Skip to main content

Full text of "Paradise found, the cradle of the human race at the North Pole : a study of the primitive world"

See other formats




Compare  p.  479. 

A.   The  Northern  celestial  Pole  in  the  zenith. 

A  B.   The  axis  of  the  heavens  in  perpendicular  position. 

C  D.   The  axis  of  the  Earth  in  perpendicular  position. 

I  I  I  I.    The  abode  of  the  supreme  God,  or  gods. 

2,  3,  4.    Europe,  Asia,  and  the  known  portion  of  Africa. 

555.   The  Earth-surrounding  equatorial  Ocean-river. 

666.   The  abode  of  disembodied  human  souls. 

7777.   The  abode  of  demons. 

C.    Location  of  submerged  Eden. 

C  A.    "  The  Strength  of  the  Hill  of  Sion." 



A  Study  of  the  Prehistoric  World 







New  York:  11  East  Seventeenth  Street 

«##,  Camfcri&ge 

Copyright,  1885, 

All  rights  reserved. 

The  Riverside  Press,  Cambridge : 
Electrotyped  and  Printed  by  H.  O.  Houghton  and  Company. 






THIS  book  is  not  the  work  of  a  dreamer.  Neither 
has  it  proceeded  from  a  love  of  learned  paradox. 
Nor  yet  is  it  a  cunningly  devised  fable  aimed  at 
particular  tendencies  in  current  science,  philosophy, 
or  religion.  It  is  a  thoroughly  serious  and  sincere 
attempt  to  present  what  is  to  the  author's  mind 
the  true  and  final  solution  of  one  of  the  greatest 
and  most  fascinating  of  all  problems  connected 
with  the  history  of  mankind. 

That  this  true  solution  has  not  been  furnished 
before  is  not  strange.  The  suggestion  that  primi 
tive  Eden  was  at  the  Arctic  Pole  seems  at  first 
sight  the  most  incredible  of  all  wild  and  willful 
paradoxes.  And  it  is  only  within  the  lifetime  of 
our  own  generation  that  the  progress  of  geological 
discovery  has  relieved  the  hypothesis  of  fatal  ante 
cedent  improbability.  Moreover,  when  one  consid 
ers  the  enormous  variety  and  breadth  of  the  fields 
from  which  its  evidences  of  truth  must  be  derived ; 
when  one  remembers  how  recent  are  those  com 
parative  sciences  on  whose  results  the  argument 
must  chiefly  depend  ;  when  one  observes  that  many 
of  the  most  striking  of  our  alleged  proofs,  both  in 


the  physical  and  in  the  anthropological  domain, 
are  precisely  the  latest  of  the  conclusions  of  these 
most  modern  of  all  sciences,  —  it  is  easy  to  see  that 
a  generation  ago  the  demonstration  here  attempted 
could  not  have  been  given.  Even  five  years  ago 
some  of  the  most  interesting  and  cogent  of  our 
arguments  would  as  yet  have  been  lacking. 

The  interest  which  has  so  long  invested  our 
problem,  and  which  has  prompted  so  many  at 
tempts  to  solve  it,  was  never  greater  than  to-day. 
The  lapse  of  centuries  has  rendered  many  another 
question  antiquated,  but  not  this.  On  the  con 
trary,  the  more  the  modern  world  has  advanced  in 
new  knowledge,  the  more  exigent  has  grown  the 
necessity  of  finding  a  valid  solution.  Men  are  feel 
ing  as  never  before  that  until  the  starting-point  of 
human  history  can  be  determined,  the  historian, 
the  archaeologist,  and  the  paleontological  anthro 
pologist  are  all  working  in  the  dark.  It  is  seen 
that  without  this  desideratum  the  ethnologist,  the 
philologist,  the  mythographer,  the  theologian,  the 
sociologist  can  none  of  them  construct  anything 
not  liable  to  profound  modification,  if  not  to  utter 
overthrow,  the  moment  any  new  light  shall  be 
thrown  upon  the  mother-region  and  the  prehistoric 
movements  of  the  human  race.  Every  anthropolog 
ical  science,  therefore,  and  every  science  related  to 
anthropology,  seems  at  the  present  moment  to  be 
standing  in  a  state  of  dubitant  expectancy,  will 
ing  to  work  a  little  tentatively,  but  conscious  of 


its  destitution  of  the  needful  primal  datum,  and 
conscious  of  its  consequent  lack  of  a  valid  struc 
tural  law. 

To  the  believer  in  Revelation,  or  even  in  the 
most  ancient  and  venerable  Ethnic  Traditions,  the 
volume  here  presented  will  be  found  to  possess  un 
common  interest.  For  many  years  the  public  mind 
has  been  schooled  in  a  narrow  naturalism,  which 
has  in  its  world-view  as  little  room  for  the  ex 
traordinary  as  it  has  for  the  supernatural.  Decade 
after  decade  the  representatives  of  this  teaching 
have  been  measuring  the  natural  phenomena  of 
every  age  and  of  every  place  by  the  petty  measur 
ing  rod  of  their  own  local  and  temporary  experience. 
So  long  and  so  successfully  have  they  dogmatized 
on  the  constancy  of  Nature's  laws  and  the  uniform 
ity  of  Nature's  forces  that  of  late  it  has  required 
no  small  degree  of  courage  to  enable  an  intelligent 
man  to  stand  up  in  the  face  of  his  generation  and 
avow  his  personal  faith  in  the  early  existence  of 
men  of  gigantic  stature  and  of  almost  millenarian 
longevity.  Especially  have  clergymen  and  Chris 
tian  teachers  and  writers  upon  Biblical  history 
been  embarrassed  by  the  popular  incredulity  on 
these  subjects,  and  not  infrequently  by  a  conscious 
ness  that  this  incredulity  was  in  some  measure 
shared  by  themselves.  To  all  such,  and  indeed 
to  all  the  broader  minded  among  the  naturalists 
themselves,  a  new  philosophy  of  primeval  history  - 
a  philosophy  which  for  all  the  alleged  extraordinary 


effects  provides  the  adequate  extraordinary  causes 
—  cannot  fail  to  prove  most  welcome. 

The  execution  of  the  plan  of  the  book  is  by  no 
means  all  that  the  author  could  desire.  To  the 
elaboration  of  so  vast  an  argument,  the  materials 
for  which  must  be  gleaned  from  every  possible  field 
of  knowledge,  the  broadest  and  profoundest  scholar 
might  well  devote  the  undistracted  labor  of  a  life 
time.  To  the  writer,  loaded  with  the  cares  of  a 
laborious  executive  office,  there  were  lacking  both 
the  leisure  and  the  equipment  otherwise  attainable 
for  so  high  a  task.  The  best  he  could  do  was  to 
turn  one  or  two  summer  vacations  into  work-time 
and  give  the  result  to  the  world.  Of  the  correct 
ness  of  his  position  he  has  no  doubt,  and  of  the 
preparedness  of  the  scientific  world  to  accept  it  he 
is  also  confident. 

To  the  foregoing  remarks  it  may  be  proper  to  add 
that  apart  from  its  immediate  purpose  the  book  has 
interest,  and,  it  is  hoped,  value  as  a  contribution  to 
the  infant  science  of  Comparative  Mythology.  By 
the  application  of  the  author's  "  True  Key  to  An 
cient  Cosmology  and  Mythical  Geography,"  it  has 
been  possible  to  adjust  and  interpret  a  great  va 
riety  of  ancient  cosmological  and  geographical  no 
tions  never  before  understood  by  modern  scholars. 
For  example,  the  origin  and  significance  of  the 
Chinvat  Bridge  are  here  for  the  first  time  explained. 
The  indication  of  the  polocentric  character  com 
mon  to  the  mythical  systems  of  sacred  geography 


among  all  ancient  peoples  will  probably  be  new  to 
every  reader.  The  new  light  thrown  upon  such 
questions  as  those  relating  to  the  direction  of  the 
Sacred  Quarter,  the  location  of  the  Abode  of  the 
Dead,  the  character  and  position  of  the  Cosmical 
Tree,  the  course  of  the  backward-flowing  Ocean- 
river,  the  correlation  of  the  "  Navels  "  of  Earth  and 
Heaven,  —  not  to  enumerate  other  points,  —  can 
hardly  fail  to  attract  the  lively  attention  of  all  stu 
dents  and  teachers  of  ancient  mythology  and  myth 
ical  geography. 

To  teachers  of  Homer  the  fresh  contributions  to 
ward  a  right  understanding  of  Homeric  cosmology 
are  sure  to  prove  of  value.  And  if,  in  the  end,  trie 
work  may  only  lead  to  a  systematic  and  intelligent 
teaching  of  the  long  neglected,  but  most  important 
science  of  ancient  cosmology  and  mythical  geog 
raphy  in  all  reputable  universities  and  classical 
schools,  it  will  surely  not  have  been  written  in  vain. 

That  the  author  has  escaped  all  errors  and  over 
sights  while  ranging  through  so  numerous  and  such 
diverse  fields  of  investigation,  many  of  which  are 
but  just  opened  to  the  pioneering  specialist,  is  too 
much  to  expect.  He  only  asks  that  any  such  blem 
ishes  which  a  more  competent  scholarship  may  de 
tect,  or  which  the  progress  of  new  learning  may 
yet  bring  to  light,  may  not  be  allowed  to  prejudice 
the  force  of  true  arguments,  but  may  be  pointed  out 
in  the  spirit  of  a  candid  and  helpful  criticism. 

In   conclusion,  the  author  respectfully   commits 


his  work  to  all  truth-seeking  spirits,  —  not  less  to 
the  patient  investigators  of  nature  than  to  the  stu 
dents  of  history,  of  literature,  and  of  religion.  Par 
ticularly  would  he  commend  it  to  all  those  yearning 
and  waiting  Konigssohnen  whose  experience  has 
been  described  by  Hans  Andersen  in  the  words, 
"  Es  war  einmal  ein  Konigssohn  ;  Niemand  hatte  so 
viele  und  schb'ne  Bucher  wie  er  ;  Alles,  was  in  dieser 
Welt  geschehen,  konnte  er  darin  lesen,  und  die  Ab- 
bildungen  in  prachtigen  Kupferstichen  erblicken. 
Von  jedem  Volke  und  jedem  Lande  konnte  er 
Auskunft  erhalten  ;  aber  wo  der  Garten  des  Para- 
dieses  zu  finden  sei,  davon  stand  kein  Wort  darin  ; 
und  der,  gerade  der  war  es,  an  dem  er  am  meisten 

W.  F.  W. 

1  The  same,  being  interpreted,  read  as  follows  :  "  Once  upon  a 
time  there  was  a  king's  son  ;  nobody  had  so  many  and  such  beau 
tiful  books  as  he.  In  these  all  that  had  ever  happened  in  the  world 
he  could  read  and  see  depicted  in  splendid  engravings.  Of  every 
people  and  of  every  land  could  he  get  information,  but  as  to  where 
the  Garden  of  Eden  was,  —  not  a  word  was  to  be  found  therein  ; 
and  this,  just  this  it  was,  on  which  he  meditated  most  of  all." 



PREFACE .    .  .  (    viii 




Columbus  approaching  the  gate       .        .         .        ••   >:. *•'•.'      .  3 

The  report  of  Sir  John  de  Maundeville       .        .'.-*.  7 

Adventures  of  Prince  Eirek Io 

The  voyages  of  St.  Brandan  and  of  Oger 12 

The  success  of  the  author  of  The  Book  of  Enoch  .        ,  •  --4  .       .  20 

An  equestrian's  anticipations 21 

David  Livingstone  a  searcher  for  Eden 22 

Unanimous  verdict :  Non  est  inventus 22 



Ideas  of  the  church  fathers      .        .        .        .      ^       ,«        .        .23 

Opinions  of  Luther  and  of  Calvin 25 

Contemporary  opinion  entirely  conflicting      .        .        .        .        .25 
Inconclusive  character  of  the  Biblical  data          ....       26 

The  garden  " eastward" 27 

The  "  Euphrates " 28 

The  problem  "  unsolved  if  not  insoluble  " 32 




The  unity  of  the  human  species 33 

But  one  "  mother-region " 33 

Its  location  —  ten  different  answers         .         .         .         ...         .35 

Views  of  Darwin,  Hackel,  Peschel,  etc.       .        .        .    i    .        -35 

Views  of  Quatrefages,  Obry,  etc.    .  ,        .        .        .         .36 

Locations  of  lost  Atlantis 38 

Theory  of  Friedrich  Delitzsch 39 

Theory  of  E.  Beauvois 41 

Theory  of  Gerald  Massey 42 

The  Utopians 43 

Despair  of  a  solution .43 






Statement  of  the  hypothesis    .        . 47 

Seven  sciences  to  be  satisfied       •  •   ,  • 48 



Seven  peculiarities  of  a  polar  Eden 50 

Our  hypothesis  consequently  most  difficult  53 

Its  certain  break-down  if  not  true 53 




Popular  prepossessions 57 

Secular  refrigeration  of  the  earth 57 


Inevitable  implications  of  the  doctrine 58 

Bearing  of  these  upon  our  problem 59 



Length  of  the  polar  day 60 

Mistakes  of  Geikie  and  Lyell 60 

The  actual  duration  of  daylight 61 

Experience  of  Weyprecht  and  Payer 62 

Experience  of  Barentz  63 

Citation  from  Baron  Nordenskjold 63 

The  statement  of  Captain  Pirn 64 

The  explanation  of  discrepancies 65 

A  safe  settlement  of  the  question 66 

The  polar  night 68 

Aspects  and  progress  of  the  polar  day 69 

A  paradisaic  abode 70 



A  primitive  circumpolar  continent 71 

Anticipated  by  Klee 71 

Speculations  of  Wallace 72 

Postulated  by  Professor  Heer 73 

Also  by  Baron  Nordenskjold 73 

Testimony  of  Starkie  Gardner     .         .        .        .        .         .         .74 

Testimony  of  Geikie 74 

Theories  as  to  its  submergence 75 

Adhemar's  theory 75 

Theory  of  tidal  action 75 

Leibnitz's  theory  of  crust-collapse 79 

Summary  of  evidence  under  this  head 82 



Primeval  temperature  at  the  Pole 83 

The  evidence  of  scientific  geogony       .         .         .         .        .        .84 

The  evidence  of  paleontological  botany 84 

Testimony  of  life-history 85 

Estimates  of  Professor  Heer 85 

Declaration  of  Sir  Charles  Lyell 86 

Conclusion       .        .  .86 




The  starting-point  of  all  floral  types 87 

A  remarkable  recent  discovery .87 

Sir  Joseph  Hooker .        .        .        .88 

The  contribution  of  Heer 89 

Of  Professor  Asa  Gray •        .        .         .90 

The  claim  of  Count  Saporta .        .      90 

The  conclusions  of  Otto  Kuntze 92 



Geographical  distribution  of  animals 93 

First  remarkable  fact  .        .  .        .        .  93 

Second  remarkable  fact 94 

Language  of  Professor  Orton 94 

Language  of  Professor  Packard 94 

Mr.  Alfred  Russel  Wallace  cited 95 

Conclusion 95 



One  traveler  who  has  been  in  Eden 97 

His  note-books  lost 97 

What  says  Paleoethnique  science  ? 97 

The  first  conclusions  of  Quatrefages 98 

His  premonitions  of  a  new  doctrine 98 

Count  Saporta's  conclusions 99 

F.  Muller  and  M.  Wagner's  views Io° 

Anthropogony  by  virtue  of  ice  and  cold IO° 

An  unacceptable  theory IO1 



A  word  from  Principal  Dawson I( 

Summary  of  results  thus  far  .         .         .  '  .    •         •         .102 

An  unexpected  reinforcement IO3 

"  Where  did  Life  Begin  ?  " IO3 

Confirmatory  extracts IO4 





The  mistaken  modern  assumption 117 

The  "True  Key" 120 

General  statement 121 

The  "  Mountain  of  the  World  "     ' 123 

The  same  in  Egyptian  Mythology 124 

In  the  Akkadian,  Assyrian,  and  Babylonian      ....  126 

In  the  Chinese .•'•'.-.    ;     .  128 

In  the  Indo-Aryan 129 

In  the  Buddhistic .        .        .131 

In  the  Iranian 133 

In  the  Greek  and  Roman               ".     ''  Y 135 

The  Underworld 137 

Cautions  as  to  interpretation      •    .         .         .         .'        .        .         .  137 

The  chorography  of  Christian  hymns    •    .         .        «        .    ;  ".  138 



The  most  ancient  Japanese  book  .        ...........        .        .        .  140 

Japanese  cosmogony .        .        .         .        ...        ..      ...       140 

Izanagi's  spear ......         .  140 

"  The  Island  of  the  Congealed  Drop  "      .        '.        .         .        .       141 

Sir  Edward  Reed  places  it  at  the  Pole  ......  141 

Mr.  Griffis  reaches  the  same  conclusion     .....       141 



The  Tauist  paradise       .         .         .         ;        .'       .        -.  '•••'.  .  143 

Descriptions       .         .         .         .        •.                 .        •.        -;         .  143 

The  stupendous  world-pillar .•  .  144 

Connects  the  terrestrial  and  celestial  paradises .         .         .      '•;  145 

Same  idea  in  the  Talmud       .                          .        .•  :    [i'      v  .  145 

"  The  Strength  of  the  Hill  of  Sion "          .       ;.        -.      'V':'.  145 

Shang-te's  upper  and  lower  palaces 146 

At  the  celestial  and  terrestrial  Poles 146 




The  world  of  the  Brahmans 148 

The  abode  of  Yama 149 

The  varshas  of  the  upper  world 150 

The  northward  journey  to  Mount  Meru 150 

The  descent  to  Uttarakuru 151 

Illustrations  of  the  Puranic  world 151 

Ilavrita,  the  Hindu's  Eden 151 

Its  north  polar  position 151 

Lenormant's  language 151 

Ritter's  unwitting  testimony 154 

"  The  polar  region  is  Meru  " 154 

"Meru  the  Garden  of  the  Tree  of  Life  " 154 



The  primitive  pair  and  their  abode 155 

Key  to  the  Iranian  cosmography 155 

The  Chinvat  Bridge 155 

Current  misinterpretations 156 

Twelve  questions  answered 156 

True  nature  of  the  bridge 158 

Its  position  • .     • 1 58 

Position  of  Kvaniras 158 

The  mythic  geography  of  the  Persians 159 

Diagram  of  the  Keshvares 159 

Polar  position  of  "  Iran  the  Ancient "  .         .        .        .         .        .  161 



The  sacred  mountain .        .163 

Chaldasan  cosmology ,-•••'    .       163 

Lenormant's  exposition ,    , •  ,         .  163 

Three  inconsistencies          .        .        .        .        .        .'..-...       165 

Location  of  the  world-mountain 166 

Lenormant's  difficulties 166 

The  true  solution 168 

Two  Akkads 168 

The  mount  of  the  Underworld 169 

It  determines  the  site  of  Kharsak 170 

And  this  the  site  of  the  Akkadian  Eden 171 




Underestimates  of  Egyptian  science 172 

Six  theses  in  Egyptian  cosmology 173 

Its  earth  a  sphere 174 

Northern  and  southern  termini 174 

Four  supports  of  heaven  at  the  North 174 

A  parallel  in  Buddhist  cosmology 175 

The  southern  hemisphere  the  Underworld 176 

The  highest  North  the  abode  of  the  gods 179 

An  interesting  hieroglyph 179 

Plato's  Egyptian  Eden-story 181 



Supposed  discrepancies  of  tradition 182 

Possible  agreement 182 

A  reminiscence  of  Mount  Meru 183 

Renan  and  Lenormant 183 

Lost  Atlantis          .        .        .'.'." 184 

Deukalion,  a  man  of  the  North  . 186 

The  Isles  of  Kronos      .        .        .'  187 

The  Golden  Age 187 

Wolfgang  Menzel's  verdict    .         ,'        .'        .'      '_• ',      .         .        .  187 

Conclusion  and  transition .  187 





Stellar  motion  at  the  Pole      .        .        .        «:  .-:•,. .'      .        .  .191 

Has  tradition  any  reminiscence  of  such  ?  .        .        •        .        .  191 

The  strange  doctrine  of  Anaxagoras     .        .        .        .        .  .  191 

Chaldaean  and  Egyptian  traditions 193 

A  natural  explanation    .         .         .*        .'   :     .        .         .         .  •  194 

The  myth  of  Phaethon       .         .        .        ;        :        .        .  195 

Iranian  and  Aztec  traditions          . 196 

Result 196 




Length  of  day  at  the  Pole     .        .        '."'".  .  .        .        .  197 

Sunrise  in  the  South  .         .         .  .         .  .        ,        .       197 

The  tradition  of  the  Northmen      .       ,.'..'  .  .        .        .  197 

The  tradition  of  the  ancient  Persians      ...  .        .        .       197 

The  tradition  of  the  East  Aryans  .        .        .  "  .  '  .      .  i        .198 

The  year- day  of  Homer     ...  .         .  ..""  .         .         .       200 

The  tradition  of  the  Navajos        .        .        .  .  .        .  x     .  201 



The  polar  zenith  is  the  Pole          .' 202 

This  the  true  heaven  of  the  first  men         v        •.        .        .        •      202 
The  Hebrew  conception        .       ..        ...        .        .      ^  •        •  203 

The  Egyptian  conception  .         .        „         .         .        .         .         .      208 

The  Akkadian  conception      .        . 209 

The  Assyrio- Babylonian  conception  .  .         .        ,        .       209 

The  Sabaean  conception 210 

The  Vedic  conception        .         .        ....        .        .      210 

The  Buddhistic  conception    .         .         .        .        .         .        .         .211 

The  Phoenician  conception .       212 

The  Greek  conception   .        .        .        .        »        .        .        .        .212 
The  Etruscan  and  Roman  conception        .        .        ,.        .        .       213 

The  Japanese  conception       .        .'. .215 

The  Chinese  conception 215 

The  ancient  Germanic  conception 217 

The  ancient  Finnic  conception .218 

How  came  the  Biblical  Eden  to  be  in  the  East  ?  .        .        .        .219 

Solution  of  the  problem     . 219 

Confirmations  and  illustrations 222 



Prevalence  of  the  expression 225 

Its  symbolical  and  commemorative  character    ....       228 

The  Jerusalem  earth-centre 234 

That  of  the  Greeks     .        .        .        .        .        .        .        .         .       234 

That  of  the  Babylonians        .        .        .     ,   *        .        .        .        .  239 

That  of  the  Hindus    .........       240 


That  of  the  Persians 243 

That  of  the  Chinese 244 

That  of  the  Japanese 245 

That  of  the  Northmen 246 

That  of  the  Mexicans 246 

That  of  the  Peruvians  and  others 247 

Result 248 



Origin  and  nature  of  this  river 250 

Sacred  hydrography  of  the  Persians 251 

All  waters  have  one  headspring 251 

Also  one  place  of  discharge .251 

Exposition  of  the  system 252 

Similar  ideas  among  the  Greeks 254 

The  Vedic  system 257 

The  Puranic 259 

Traces  in  Christian  legend 260 



The  tree  in  the  midst  of  the  garden 262 

Were  there  two  ? •*        .        .        .       262 

Its  inevitable  significance  if  at  the  North  Pole     ..  -..:.;!       j  '•  •    .  263 

The  Yggdrasil  of  the  Northmen 264 

The  World-tree  of  the  Akkadians 264 

The  Tat-pillar  of  the  Egyptians 265 

The  Winged  Oak  of  the  Phoenicians 266 

The  White  Horn  of  the  Persians        .        , ,      ,,    ,,.,,,,.         .       267 
The  cosmic  Asvattha  of  the  Hindus     .          .         .  .  269 

The  holy  Palm  of  the  Greeks 270 

The  Bodhi  tree  of  the  Buddhists  .         .         .         .        .         .         .271 

The  Irmensul  of  the  Saxons 272 

The  Arbre  Sec  of  the  Middle  Ages 273 

The  Tong  of  the  Chinese 274 

The  World-reed  of  the  Navajos 274 

The  Apple-tree  of  Avalon 276 

The  star-bearing  World-tree  of  the  Finns 276 




Ethnic  traditions  of  the  Earth's  deterioration        ....  279 

Also  of  the  deterioration  of  mankind 281 

Stature  and  longevity  of  primeval  men 281 

All  credible  on  our  hypothesis  .         .'.*.'.",         .       284 

Language  of  Professor  Nicholson 285 

A  citation  from  Figuier      .         .         .     ,,.„.       .        .        .        .       285 

The  gigantic  Sequoia  of  Arctic  origin 286 

Animal  life  in  the  Tertiary  period      .         .         .         ,         .         .       289 

Primitive  forms  by  no  means  monstrosities 294 

All  this  wealth  of  fauna  from  the  North 297 



Nature  of  the  argument       • 300 

Seven  tests  applicable  to  any  location        .  .        .        .      300 

Seven  others  peculiar  to  a  location  at  the  Pole    ....  300 

A  double  demonstration     .         .  301 

Bailly's  approximation  to  the  truth 303 

Another  independent  line  of  evidence 303 

Philosophy  of  previous  failures      .'''."'.        .        .        .         .  304 

Philosophy  of  mediaeval  confusion     . 304 

Patristic  descriptions  made  plain 305 

The  world  of  Cosmas  Indicopleustes 3°5 

The  world  of  Columbus         .        . 3°6 

The  world  of  Dante 3°7 

How  highest  heaven  came  to  be  under  foot 3°9 





The  sciences  immediately  affected 3T3 

The  services  of  biology  to  archaeology 3T4 

The  services  of  archaeology  to  biology 3*4 

Narrowness  of  many  biologists 3*5 

Evils  thereof  .  3*5 


The  true  corrective 317 

The  latest  generalization  of  paleontology 317 

Anticipated  in  two  Persian  myths 317 

Terrestrial  life-gamut  of  the  Hindus 319 

Its  lesson  to  students  of  the  Origin  of  Life        .         .         .         -319 

Extraordinary  biological  conditions 320 

Most  favorable  of  all  at  the  Poles 320 

Biological  superiority  of  the  North  Pole 321 

Reasons  to  be  more  fully  investigated 322 

Heightened  fascination  of  polar  exploration         .        .        .        .  325 



Darwin's  primeval  man 326 

His  discovery  of  the  sky    .         .         .        .        .         .         .         .327 

And  of  trees  of  infinite  height 327 

The  "  short  memories  "  of  Vedic  worshipers     ....       327 

Their  ocean-producing  imaginations  .•      ^.-        .         .         .  328 

Bunbury  on  Homeric  science     .         .-        .•  .         .         .       328 

Exegetical  distortions  of  ancient  thought      .         .  ' ;<;  .        •.         .  328 
Homer's  cosmology  re-expounded      .         .         .•  ;  :.        .      "• .      329 
First,  as  to  the  movement  of  the  sun    *        ,         .-       .        .         .  329 
Second,  as  to  the  location  of  Hades  .         .•        .        .        .        .      332 

Third,  as  to  the  cosmic  water-system    .        .      •  '•  Y  •    ''  • ; '    ' .         .  333 
Fourth,  as  to  the  Olympos  of  the  gods       .         *'      .        «        .      338 
Fifth,  as  to  the  tall  pillars  of  Atlas       .         .         .         .         .         .  350 

The  exegetical  method  dictated  by  our  results  .         .         .        .       359 

Its  fruitfulness  in  the  future  .         .         .         .        .         .        .         .  360 



The  pan-ethnic  account          .         r  '    .         .         .     •    .        .         .  363 

Hume's  dissent .    :     .  •      .         .       364 

The  doctrine  of  Comte '..''.         .  369 

Miiller's  refutation  of  primitive  fetichism  .         .         .      •  -.        .      370 

Sir  John  Lubbock's  scheme 372 

Refutation  by  Roskoff  and  others       .         .         .         .        •.         .       375 

Caspari's  theory 375 

The  theory  of  Jules  Baissac 382 


Current  approximations  of  teaching 385 

As  to  the  origin  of  the  arts 386 

As  to  intellectual  powers  of  the  first  men 386 

As  to  their  super-fetichistic  attitude 390 

As  to  their  monogamous  family  form 392 

As  to  their  capacity  for  monotheism 397 

Seven  conclusions "...  403 



The  apostles  of  primeval  savagery 407 

Their  doctrine 407 

Sub-savage  stupidity  of  the  first  men 408 

Dr.  Wilhelm  Mannhardt's  representation 409 

A  most  important  primitive  discovery 410 

Daphne  not  a  tree 410 

Emphatic  demand  for  antediluvian  longevity         ....  410 

The  new  Babel 411 

Nine  memoranda 41 1 

Primeval  human  history 418 

The  ancient  ethnic  view  Biblical  and  true 419 

Plato's  antediluvian  age 420 

The  consensus  of  all  ancient  religions 422 

The  "  Stone  Age  "  in  the  light  of  our  results    ....       422 

Origin  of  postdiluvian  laws  and  states 423 

An  imaginary  conversation 424 

A  pagan  testimony 432 

To  those  who  hear  not  Moses  and  the  Prophets        .        .        .      432 
Conclusion 432 


I  The  Earth  of  Columbus  not  a  True  Sphere      .        .         .435 

II.     How  the  Earth  was  Peopled 437 

III.  Reception  of  "  The  True  Key  " 45° 

IV.  The  Earth  and  World  of  the  Hindus    .         .         .         -459 
V.     The  World-Pillar  of  the  Rig  Veda 465 

VI.  Homer's  Abode  of  the  Dead 46? 

VII.  Latest  Polar  Research 4§7 

VIII.  Trustworthiness  of  Early  Tradition  ....  492 

IX.  Index  of  Authors  cited 497 

X.  Index  to  the  Work 5°2 





THE  EARTH  OF  THE  HINDUS.    No.  1 152 

THE  EARTH  OF  THE  HINDUS.    No.  II 152 













You  shall  understand  that  no  mortal  may  approach  to  that  Paradise  ;  for  by  land 
no  man  may  go,  for  wild  beasts  that  are  in  the  deserts,  and  for  the  high  mountains 
and  great  huge  rocks  that  no  man  may  pass  by  for  the  dark  places  that  are  there ; 
and  by  the  rivers  may  no  man  go,  for  the  water  runs  so  roughly  and  so  sharply,  be 
cause  it  comes  down  so  outrageously  from  the  high  places  above,  that  it  runs  in  so 
great  waves  that  no  ship  may  row  or  sail  against  it ;  and  the  water  roars  so,  and 
makes  so  huge  a  noise,  and  so  great  a  tempest,  that  no  man  may  hear  another  in  the 
ehip  though  he.  cried  with  all  the  might  he  could.  Many  great  lords  have  assayed 
with  great  will  many  times  to  pass  by  those  rivers  towards  Paradise,  with  full 
great  companies ;  but  they  might  not  speed  in  their  voyage ;  and  many  died  for 
weariness  of  rowing  against  the  strong  waves ;  and  many  of  them  became  blind, 
and  many  deaf,  from  the  noise  of  the  water ;  and  some  perished  and  were  lost  in 
the  waves  ;  so  that  no  mortal  man  may  approach  to  that  place  without  the  special 
grace  of  God.  —  SIR  JOHN  DE  MAUNDEVILLB. 



Man  lernt  die  Welt  am  besten  durch  Reisen  kennen. 

K.  H.  W.  VOLCKER. 

ONE  of  the  most  interesting  and  pathetic  pas 
sages  to  be  found  in  all  literature  is  that  in  which 
Christopher  Columbus  announces  to  his  royal  pa 
trons  his  supposed  discovery  of  the  ascent  to  the 
gate  of  the  long-lost  Garden  of  Eden.  With  what 
emotions  must  his  heart  have  thrilled  as,  steering 
up  this  ascent,  he  felt  his  "  ships  smoothly  rising 
toward  the  sky,"  the  weather  becoming  "milder"  as 
he  rose  !  To  be  so  near  the  Paradise  of  God's  own 
planting,  to  be  the  first  discoverer  of  the  way  in 
which  the  believing  world  could  at  length,  after  so 
many  ages,  once  more  approach  its  sacred  precincts 
even  if  forbidden  to  enter,  —  what  an  exquisite  ex 
perience  it  must  have  been  to  the  lonely  spirit  of 
that  great  explorer ! 

It  is  his  third  voyage.  He  is  in  the  Gulf  of  Paria 
to  the  north  or  north-west  of  the  mouth  of  the  Ori 
noco.  In  his  loyal  epistle  to  Ferdinand  and  Isabella 
thus  he  writes  :  — 

The  Holy  Scriptures  record  that  our  Lord  made  the 
earthly  Paradise  and  planted  in  it  the  tree  of  life  ;  and 
thence  springs  a  fountain  from  which  the  four  princi 
pal  rivers  of  the  world  take  their  source ;  namely,  the 


Ganges  in  India,  the  Tigris  and  Euphrates,  and  the 

I  do  not  find,  nor  ever  have  found,  any  account  by  the 
Romans  or  Greeks  which  fixes  in  a  positive  manner  the 
site  of  the  terrestrial  Paradise,  neither  have  I  seen  it  given 
in  any  mappe-monde,  laid  down  from  authentic  sources. 
Some  placed  it  in  Ethiopia  at  the  sources  of  the  Nile,  but 
others,  traversing  all  these  countries,  found  neither  the 
temperature  nor  the  altitude  of  the  sun  correspond  with 
their  ideas  respecting  it ;  nor  did  it  appear  that  the  over 
whelming  waters  of  the  deluge  had  been  there.  Some 
pagans  pretended  to  adduce  arguments  to  establish  that 
it  was  in  the  Fortunate  Islands,  now  called  the  Canaries. 

St.  Isidore,  Bede,  and  Strabo l  and  the  Master  of  scho 
lastic  history,2  with  St.  Ambrose  and  Scotus,  and  all  the 
learned  theologians  agree  that  the  earthly  Paradise  is  in 
the  East. 

I  have  already  described  my  ideas  concerning  this 
hemisphere  and  its  form,8  and  I  have  no  doubt  that  if 
I  could  pass  below  the  equinoctial  line  after  reaching  the 
highest  point  of  which  I  have  spoken,  I  should  find  a 
much  milder  temperature  and  a  variation  in  the  stars  and 
in  the  water :  not  that  I  suppose  that  elevated  point  to 
be  navigable,  nor  even  that  there  is  water  there  ;  indeed, 
I  believe  it  is  impossible  to  ascend  thither,  because  I  am 
convinced  that  it  is  the  spot  of  the  earthly  Paradise, 
whither  no  one  can  go  but  by  God's  permission ;  but  this 
land  which  your  Highnesses  have  now  sent  me  to  explore 
is  very  extensive,  and  I  think  there  are  many  other 
countries  in  the  south,  of  which  the  world  has  never  had 
any  knowledge. 

I  do  not  suppose  that  the  earthly  Paradise  is  in  the 
form  of  a  rugged  mountain,  as  the  descriptions  of  it  have 
made  it  appear,  but  that  it  is  on  the  summit  of  the  spot 

1  Walafried  Strabus  of  Reichenau,  Baden. 

2  Petrus  Comestor,  who  wrote  the  Historia  Scholastica. 
9  See  APPENDIX,  Sect.  I. 


which  I  have  described  as  being  in  the  form  of  the  stalk 
[or  stem  end]  of  a  pear ;  the  approach  to  it  from  a  dis 
tance  must  be  by  a  constant  and  gradual  ascent ;  but  I 
believe  that,  as  I  have  already  said,  no  one  could  ever 
reach  the  top;  I  think  also  that  the  water  I  have  de 
scribed  may  proceed  from  it,  though  it  be  far  off,  and  that 
stopping  at  the  place  I  have  just  left,  it  forms  this  lake. 

There  are  great  indications  of  this  being  the  terres 
trial  Paradise,  for  its  situation  coincides  with  the  opinions 
of  the  holy  and  wise  theologians  whom  I  have  mentioned ; 
and,  moreover,  the  other  evidences  agree  with  the  sup 
position,  for  I  have  never  either  read  or  heard  of  fresh 
water  coming  in  so  large  a  quantity,  in  close  conjunction 
with  the  water  of  the  sea ;  the  idea  is  also  corroborated 
by  the  blandness  of  the  temperature;  and  if  the  water 
of  which  I  speak  does  not  proceed  from  the  earthly 
Paradise,  it  seems  to  be  a  still  greater  wonder,  for  I  do 
not  believe  that  there  is  any  river  in  the  world  so  large 
and  deep. 

When  I  left  the  Dragon's  Mouth,  which  is  the  north 
ernmost  of  the  two  straits  which  I  have  described,  and 
which  I  so  named  on  the  day  of  our  lady  of  August,1  I 
found  that  the  sea  ran  so  strongly  to  the  westward  that 
between  the  hour  of  mass,2  when  I  weighed  anchor,  and 
the  hour  of  complines  8  I  made  sixty-five  leagues  of  four 
miles  each ;  and  not  only  was  the  wind  not  violent,  but 
on  the  contrary  very  gentle,  which  confirmed  me  in  the 
conclusion  that  in  sailing  southward  there  is  a  continu 
ous  ascent,  while  there  is  a  corresponding  descent  to 
wards  the  north. 

I  hold  it  for  certain  that  the  waters  of  the  sea  move 
from  east  to  west  with  the  sky,  and  that  in  passing  this 
track  they  hold  a  more  rapid  course,  and  have  thus  eaten 
away  large  tracts  of  land,  and  hence  has  resulted  this 
great  number  of  islands ;  indeed,  these  islands  them- 

1  The  feast  of  the  Assumption. 

8  Probably  six  A.  M.  8  Nine  P.  M. 


selves  afford  an  additional  proof  of  it,  for  on  the  one 
hand,  all  those  which  lie  west  and  east,  or  a  little  more 
obliquely  north-west  and  south-east,  are  broad;  while 
those  which  lie  north  and  south  or  north-east  and  south 
west,  that  is  in  a  directly  contrary  direction  to  the  said 
winds,  are  narrow ;  furthermore,  that  these  islands  should 
possess  the  most  costly  productions  is  to  be  accounted 
for  by  the  mild  temperature,  which  comes  to  them  from 
heaven,  since  these  are  the  most  elevated  parts  of  the 
world.  It  is  true  that  in  some  parts  the  waters  do  not 
appear  to  take  this  course,  but  this  only  occurs  in  certain 
spots  where  they  are  obstructed  by  land,  and  hence  they 
appear  to  take  different  directions.  .  .  . 

I  now  return  to  my  subject  of  the  land  of  Gracia, 
and  of  the  river  and  lake  found  there,  which  latter  might 
more  properly  be  called  a  sea  ;  for  a  lake  is  but  a  small 
expanse  of  water,  which,  when  it  becomes  great,  deserves 
the  name  of  a  sea,  just  as  we  speak  of  the  Sea  of  Galilee 
and  the  Dead  Sea ;  and  I  think  that  if  the  river  men 
tioned  does  not  proceed  from  the  terrestrial  Paradise,  it 
comes  from  an  Immense  tract  of  land  situated  in  the 
south,  of  which  hitherto  no  knowledge  has  been  obtained. 
But  the  more  I  reason  on  the  subject  the  more  satisfied 
I  become  that  the  terrestrial  Paradise  is  situated  in  the 
spot  I  have  described  ;  and  I  ground  my  opinion  upon 
the  arguments  and  authorities  already  quoted.  May  it 
please  the  Lord  to  grant  your  Highnesses  a  long  life,  and 
health  and  peace,  to  follow  out  so  noble  an  investigation ; 
in  which  I  think  our  Lord  will  receive  great  service, 
Spain  considerable  increase  of  its  greatness,  and  all 
Christians  much  consolation  and  pleasure,  because  by  this 
means  the  name  of  our  Lord  will  be  published  abroad.1 

Alas  for  the  hope  of  settling  the  problem  of 
Eden's  site  by  actual  exploration  !  Columbus  never 

1  Select  Letters  of  Christopher  Columbus.  Translated  by  R.  H. 
Major,  F.  S.  A.  2d  ed.,  London,  1860  :  pp.  140-147. 


lived  to  find  his  Paradise ;  and  geographers  have 
long  ago  ascertained  that  the  golden  summit  of  the 
world  is  not  in  Venezuela,  nor  in  any  of  its  neighbor 

Of  course  Columbus  supposed  himself  to  be  off 
the  eastern  coast,  not  of  a  new  continent,  but  of 
Asia.  His  idea  of  the  location  of  the  terrestrial 
Paradise  as  in,  or  to  the  eastward  of,  Farther  India 
was  the  prevailing  idea  of  his  age.  The  Hereford 
map  of  the  world,  dating  from  the  thirteenth  century, 
represents  the  favored  spot  as  a  circular  island  to  the 
East  of  India,  and  as  separated  from  the  mainland, 
not  only  by  the  sea,  but  also  by  a  battlemented  wall, 
with  its  one  gate  to  the  West,  through  which  our 
first  parents  were  supposed  to  have  been  expelled. 
Hugo  de  St.  Victor  wrote  :  "  Paradise  is  a  spot  in 
the  Orient  productive  of  all  kinds  of  woods  and 
pomiferous  trees.  It  contains  the  Tree  of  Life ; 
there  is  neither  cold  nor  heat  there,  but  perpetually 
an  equable  temperature.  It  contains  a  fountain 
which  flows  forth  in  four  rivers."  So  Gautier  de 
Metz,  in  a  poem  written  in  the  thirteenth  century, 
describes  the  terrestrial  Paradise  as  situated  in 
an  unapproachable  region  in  Asia,  surrounded  by 
flames,  and  guarded  at  its  only  gate  by  an  armed 

In  the  year  1322  Sir  John  de  Maundeville  made 
his  memorable  pilgrimage  to  the  East.  In  his  ac 
count  of  these  travels,  after  describing  the  marvel 
ous  kingdom  of  Prester  John  in  India,  he  says  : 
"And  beyond  the  land  and  isles  and  deserts  of 
Prester  John's  lordship,  in  going  straight  towards 
the  East  men  find  nothing  but  mountains  and  great 
rocks  ;  and  there  is  the  dark  region  where  no  man 


may  see,  neither  by  day  nor  by  night,  as  they  of  the 
country  say.  And  that  desert  and  that  place  of 
darkness  lasts  from  this  coast  unto  terrestrial  Para 
dise,  where  Adam,  our  first  father,  and  Eve  were 
put,  who  dwelt  there  but  a  little  while  ;  and  that  is 
towards  the  East,  at  the  beginning  of  the  earth.  .  .  . 
Of  Paradise  I  cannot  speak  properly,  for  I  was  not 
there.  It  is  far  beyond ;  and  I  repent  not  going 
there,  but  I  was  not  worthy.  But  as  I  have  heard 
say  of  wise  men  beyond  I  shall  tell  you  with  good 
will.  Terrestrial  Paradise,  as  wise  men  say,  is  the 
highest  place  of  the  earth  ;  and  it  is  so  high  that  it 
nearly  touches  the  circle  of  the  moon  there,  as  the 
moon  makes  her  turn.  For  it  is  so  high  that  the 
flood  of  Noah  might  not  come  to  it,  that  would  have 
covered  all  the  earth  of  the  world  all  about  and 
above  and  beneath  except  Paradise.  And  this  Para 
dise  is  inclosed  all  about  with  a  wall,  and  men  know 
not  whereof  it  is ;  for  the  wall  is  covered  all  over 
with  moss  as  it  seems :  and  it  seems  not  that  the 
wall  is  natural  stone.  And  that  wall  stretches  from 
the  South  to  the  North  ;  and  it  has  but  one  entry, 
which  is  closed  with  burning  fire,  so  that  no  man 
that  is  mortal  dare  enter.  And  in  the  highest  place 
of  Paradise,  exactly  in  the  middle,  is  a  well  that 
casts  out  four  streams,  which  run  by  divers  lands, 
of  which  the  first  is  called  Pison,  or  Ganges,  that 
runs  throughout  India  or  Emlak,  in  which  river  are 
many  precious  stones,  and  much  lignum,  aloes,  and 
much  sand  of  gold.  And  the  other  river  is  called 
Nile,  or  Gyson,  which  goes  through  Ethiopia,  and 
after  through  Egypt.  And  the  other  is  called  Tigris 
which  runs  by  Assyria  and  by  Armenia  the  Great. 
And  the  other  is  called  Euphrates,  which  runs 


through  Media,  Armenia,  and  Persia.  And  men 
there  beyond  say  that  all  the  sweet  waters  of  the 
world,  above  and  beneath,  take  their  beginning  from 
the  well  of  Paradise  ;  and  out  of  that  well  all  waters 
come  and  go."  l 

Various  writers  and  map-makers  of  the  same  age 
seem  very  evidently  to  have  identified  the  Paradise 
of  Genesis  with  the  island  of  Ceylon.  Even  to  this 
day  a  mount  near  the  centre  of  the  island  bears  the 
name  of  "Adam's  Peak."  According  to  Moham 
medan  tradition,  this  was  only  so  called  because  it 
was  the  place  where  Adam  alighted  when  cast  out 
of  the  true  celestial  Paradise  in  heaven.  Neverthe 
less,  Christian  tradition  or  legend  long  lingered  about 
Ceylon  as  the  genuine  site  of  primitive  Eden.2 

In  entire  accord  with  this  view  is  the  remarkable 
story  of  Prince  Eirek,  as  told  in  an  Icelandic  Saga 
of  the  fourteenth  century.  Mr.  Baring-Gould,  in  a 
style  not  very  reverent,  has  summarized  the  tale  as 
follows :  — 

1  Early  Travels  in  Palestine.     Edited  by  Thos.  Wright,  London, 
1848,  p.  276. 

2  Even  Maundeville,  whose  Paradise,  as  we  have  seen,  was  still 
farther  to  the  East,  found  here  a  Fountain  of  Youth  whose  head 
spring  was  in  Paradise  :  "  Toward  the  head  of  that  forest  is  the  cytee 
of  Polombe  [Columbo],  and  above  the  cytee  is  a  great  mountayne, 
also  clept  Polombe.     And  of  that  mount  the  Cytee  hathe  his  name. 
And  at  the  foot  of  that  Mount  is  a  fayr  welle  and  a  gret,  that  hathe 
odour  and  savour  of  all  spices  ;  and  at  every  hour  of  the  day  he 
chaungethe  his  odour  and  his  savour  dyversely.     And  whoso  drynk- 
ethe  3  times  fasting  of  that  watre  of  that  welle,  he  is  hool  of  alle 
maner  sykenesse  that  he  hathe.     And  thei  that  duellen  there  and 
drynken  often  of  that  welle,  thei  nevere  have  sykenesse  and  thei 
semen  alle  weys  yonge.     I  have  dronken  there  of  3  or  4  sithes  ;  and 
zit,  methinkethe,  I  fare  the  better.     Some  men  clepen  it  the  Welle 
of  Youthe ;  for  thei  that  often  drynken  thereat  semen  alle  weys 
youngly  and  lyven  withouten  sykenesse.     And  men  seyn,  that  that 
welle  comethe  out  of  Paradys  ;  and  therefore  it  is  so  vertuous." 


Eirek  was  a  son  of  Thrand,  king  of  Drontheim,  and 
having  taken  upon  him  a  vow  to  explore  the  Deathless 
Land  he  went  to  Denmark,  where  he  picked  up  a  friend 
of  the  same  name  as  himself.  They  then  went  to  Con 
stantinople,  and  called  upon  the  Emperor,  who  held  a 
long  conversation  with  them,  which  is  duly  reported,  rela 
tive  to  the  truths  of  Christianity  and  the  site  of  the 
Deathless  Land,  which,  he  assures  them,  is  nothing  more 
nor  less  than  Paradise. 

"  The  world,"  said  the  monarch,  who  had  not  forgotten 
his  geography  since  he  left  school,  "is  precisely  180,000 
stages  round  (about  1,000,000  English  miles),  and  it  is 
not  propped  up  on  posts,  —  not  a  bit !  —  it  is  supported 
by  the  power  of  God  ;  and  the  distance  between  earth 
and  heaven  is  100,045  m^es  (another  MS.  reads  9382 
miles  ;  the  difference  is  immaterial)  ;  and  round  about 
the  earth  is  a  big  sea  called  Ocean."  "  And  what 's  to 
the  south  of  the  earth  ?  "  asked  Eirek.  "  Oh  !  there  is 
the  end  of  the  world,  and  that  is  India."  "  And  pray 
where  am  I  to  find  the  Deathless  Land  ?  "  "  That  lies  — 
Paradise,  I  suppose  you  mean  —  well,  it  lies  slightly  east 
of  India." 

Having  obtained  this  information,  the  two  Eireks 
started,  furnished  with  letters  from  the  Greek  Emperor. 

They  traversed  Syria,  and  took  ship,  —  probably  at  Bal- 
sora ;  then,  reaching  India,  they  proceeded  on  their  jour 
ney  on  horseback,  till  they  came  to  a  dense  forest,  the 
gloom  of  which  was  so  great,  through  the  interlacing  of 
the  boughs,  that  even  by  day  the  stars  could  be  observed 
twinkling,  as  though  they  were  seen  from  the  bottom  of  a 

On  emerging  from  the  forest,  the  two  Eireks  came 
upon  a  strait,  separating  them  from  a  beautiful  land, 
which  was  unmistakably  Paradise ;  and  the  Danish 
Eirek,  intent  on  displaying  his  Scriptural  knowledge,  pro 
nounced  the  strait  to  be  the  river  Pison.  This  was 
crossed  by  a  stone  bridge,  guarded  by  a  dragon. 


The  Danish  Eirek,  deterred  by  the  prospect  of  an  en 
counter  with  this  monster,  refused  to  advance,  and  even 
endeavored  to  persuade  his  friend  to  give  up  the  attempt 
to  enter  Paradise  as  hopeless,  after  that  they  had  come 
within  sight  of  the  favored  land.  But  the  Norseman  de 
liberately  walked,  sword  in  hand,  into  the  maw  of  the 
dragon,  and  the  next  moment,  to  his  infinite  surprise  and 
delight,  found  himself  liberated  from  the  gloom  of  the 
monster's  interior,  and  safely  placed  in  Paradise. 

The  land  was  most  beautiful,  and  the  grass  as  gor 
geous  as  purple  ;  it  was  studded  with  flowers,  and  was 
traversed  by  honey  rills.  The  land  was  extensive  and 
level,  so  that  there  was  not  to  be  seen  mountain  or  hill, 
and  the  sun  shone  cloudless,  without  night  and  darkness ; 
the  calm  of  the  air  was  great,  and  there  was  but  a  feeble 
murmur  of  wind,  and  that  which  there  was  breathed  red 
olent  with  the  odor  of  blossoms.  After  a  short  walk, 
Eirek  observed  what  certainly  must  have  been  a  remark 
able  object,  namely,  a  tower  or  steeple  self-suspended 
in  the  air,  without  any  support  whatever,  though  access 
might  be  had  to  it  by  means  of  a  slender  ladder.  By  this 
Eirek  ascended  into  a  loft  of  the  tower,  and  found  there 
an  excellent  cold  collation  prepared  for  him.  After  hav 
ing  partaken  of  this  he  went  to  sleep,  and  in  vision  beheld 
and  conversed  with  his  guardian  angel,  who  promised 
to  conduct  him  back  to  his  fatherland,  but  to  come  for 
him  again  and  fetch  him  away  from  it  forever  at  the  ex 
piration  of  the  tenth  year  after  his  return  to  Drontheim. 

Eirek  then  retraced  his  steps  to  India,  unmolested  by 
the  dragon,  which  did  not  affect  any  surprise  at  having  to 
disgorge  him,  and,  indeed,  which  seems  to  have  been, 
notwithstanding  his  looks,  but  a  harmless  and  passive 

After  a  tedious  journey  of  seven  years,  Eirek  reached 
his  native  land,  where  he  related  his  adventures,  to  the 
confusion  of  the  heathen,  and  to  the  delight  and  edifi 
cation  of  the  faithful.  And  in  the  tenth  year,  and  at 


break  of  day,  as  Eirek  went  to  prayer,  God's  Spirit  caught 
him  away,  and  he  was  never  seen  again  in  this  world :  so 
here  ends  all  we  have  to  say  of  him. 

Here  we  get  farther  than  with  Columbus,  but 
however  beautiful  and  credible  this  story  of  Eden- 
exploration  may  have  been  five  hundred  years  ago, 
we  now  know  that  the  only  Paradise  in  Ceylon  is  a 
symbolical  Buddhist  one,1  as  far  removed  from  the 
primitive  garden  of  Genesis  as  Roman  Catholic  "  Cal 
varies"  in  South  America  are  from  the  primitive 
Calvary  of  the  crucifixion.  Moreover,  even  the 
scribes  of  five  hundred  years  ago,  however  credulous 
in  other  things,  seem  well  to  have  understood  the 
true  character  of  this  story  of  travel,  for  "  according 
to  the  majority  of  the  MSS.  the  story  purports  to  be 
nothing  more  than  a  religious  novel."  2 

As  the  Keltic  terrestrial  Paradise,  Avalon,  was  a 
sea-girt  island  in  the  waters  of  the  North,  it  could 
of  course  be  reached  only  by  ship.  The  first  to  ac 
complish  this  feat,  so  far  as  Christian  legend  informs 
us,  was  St.  Brandan,  son  of  Finlogho,  a  celebrated 
saint  of  the  Irish  Church,  who  died  A.  D.  576  or 
577.  According  to  the  story  an  angel  brought  to 
this  good  abbot  a  book  from  heaven,  in  which  such 
marvelous  things  were  narrated  concerning  the  then 
unknown  portions  of  the  world  that  the  honest  fa 
ther  charged  both  angel  and  book  with  falsehood, 

1  "  The  Buddhists  of  Ceylon  have  endeavored  to  transform  their 
central  mountain,  Deva-kuta  (Peak  of  the  Gods),  into  Meru,  and  to 
find  four  streams  descending  from  its  sides  to  correspond  with  the 
rivers  of  their  Paradise."  —  Obry,  Le  Berceau  de  rEsfece  Humaine. 
Amiens,  1858  :  p.  118  n.     Lassen,  Indische  Alterthumskunde.     Bonn, 
1862  :  Bd.  i.,  196. 

2  Baring-Gould,  Curious  Myths  of  the  Middle  Ages.  London,  1866  : 
p.  236. 


and  in  his  righteous  indignation  burned  the  latter. 
As  a  punishment  for  his  unbelief  God  sentenced 
him  to  recover  the  book.  He  must  search  through 
hell  and  earth  and  sea  until  he  finds  the  heavenly 
gift.  The  token  given  him  by  the  angel  is  that 
when  he  sees  two  twin  fires  flame  up  he  shall  know 
that  they  are  the  two  eyes  of  a  certain  ox,  and  on  the 
tongue  of  that  ox  he  shall  find  the  book.  For  seven 
long  years  he  sails  the  Western  and  the  Northern 
Ocean.1  He  here  encounters  more  marvels  than 
were  recorded  in  the  original  incredible  book,  and 
is  even  permitted  to  visit  the  earthly  Paradise.  The 
beauty  of  the  soil,  of  the  fountain  with  four  streams, 
of  the  magnificent  castle  and  castle  halls  lighted 
with  self-luminous  stones  and  adorned  with  all  man 
ner  of  precious  jewels,  surpassed  description.  The 
stay  of  the  party  seems,  however,  to  have  been  short, 
and  unfortunately  just  where  the  island  was  located 
—  the  commander  forgets  to  mention. 

A  more  elaborate  and  fanciful  picture  of  the  same 
mediaeval  Paradise  is  furnished  us  in  the  story  of 
Oger,  or  Holger,  a  Danish  knight  of  the  age  of 
Charlemagne.  In  a  plain  prose  rendering,  this  is 
the  style  in  which  a  famous  court  minstrel  of  six 
hundred  years  ago  was  accustomed  to  chant  the 
adventure  to  admiring  audiences. 

Caraheu  and  Gloriande  were  in  a  boat  with  a  fair 
company,  and  Oger  had  with  him  a  thousand  men-at- 
arms.  When  they  were  a  certain  way  on,  there  arose  so 
mighty  a  tempest  that  they  knew  not  what  to  do,  only  to 
commit  their  souls  to  God.  So  great  was  the  storm  that 
the  mast  of  Oger's  ship  brake,  and  he  was  constrained  to 

1  Carl  Schroeder,  Sanct  Brandan.  Ein  lateinischcr  und  drei 
deutsche  Textc.  Erlangen,  1871  :  pp.  xii.,  xiii.  xn& passim. 


embark  in  a  little  vessel  with  a  few  of  his  comrades,  and 
the  wind  struck  them  with  such  fury  that  they  lost  sight 
of  Caraheu.  Caraheu  was  so  sore  troubled  that  he  was 
like  to  die,  and  he  began  to  mourn  the  noble  Oger ;  for 
he  wist  not  what  was  become  of  the  boat.  And  Oger  in 
like  manner  lamented  Caraheu.  Thus  grieved  Caraheu 
and  the  Christians  in  his  company,  saying,  "  Alas  !  Oger, 
what  is  become  of  thee  ?  This  is,  I  ween,  the  most  sud 
den  departure  that  I  heard  of  ever."  "  Nay,  but  cease, 
my  beloved,"  said  Gloriande  ;  "  he  will  not  fail  to  come 
again  when  God  wills,  for  he  cannot  be  far  away."  "  Ah, 
lady,"  said  Caraheu,  "you  know  not  the  dangers  of  the 
sea  ;  and  I  pray  God  to  take  him  into  his  keeping."  .  .  . 
Now  I  will  leave  speaking  of  Caraheu,  and  return  to 
Oger,  who  was  in  peril,  yet  was  ever  grieving  for  his 
friend,  and  saying,  "  Ah,  Caraheu,  hope  of  the  remaining 
days  of  my  life,  thou  whom  I  loved  next  to  God  !  How 
has  God  allowed  me  to  lose  so  soon  you  and  your  lady  ? " 
At  that  moment  the  great  ship,  in  which  Oger  had  left 
his  men-at-arms,  struck  against  a  rock,  and  he  saw  them 
all  perish,  at  which  sight  he  was  like  to  die  of  grief.  And 
presently  a  loadstone  rock  began  to  draw  towards  it  the 
boat  in  which  Oger  was.  Oger,  seeing  himself  thus  taken, 
recommended  his  soul  to  God,  saying,  "  My  God,  my 
Father  and  Creator,  who  hast  made  me  in  Thine  image 
and  semblance,  have  pity  on  me  now,  and  leave  me  not 
here  to  die  ;  for  that  I  have  used  my  power  as  was  best 
to  the  increase  of  the  Catholic  faith.  But  if  it  must  be 
that  Thou  take  me,  I  commit  to  Thy  care  my  brother 
Guyou,  and  all  my  relatives  and  friends,  especially  my 
rephew  Gautier,  who  is  minded  to  serve  Thee,  and  bring 
the  paynim  into  Thy  Holy  Church.  .  .  .  Ah,  my  God  ! 
had  I  known  the  peril  of  this  adventure,  I  should  never 
have  abandoned  the  beauty,  sense,  and  honor  of  Clarice, 
Queen  of  England.  Had  I  but  gone  back  to  her,  I  should 
have  seen,  too,  my  redoubted  sovereign,  Charlemagne, 
witn  all  the  princes  who  surround  him." 


Meanwhile  the  boat  continued  to  float  upon  the  water 
till  it  reached  the  loadstone  castle,  which  they  call  the 
Chateau  d'Avalon,  which  is  but  a  little  way  from  the 
earthly  Paradise,  whither  were  snatched  in  a  beam  of 
fire  Elias  and  Enoch,  and  where  was  Morgue  la  Fe'e,  who 
at  his  birth  had  given  him  such  great  gifts.  Then  the 
manners  saw  well  that  they  were  drawing  near  to  the 
loadstone  rock,  and  they  said  to  Oger,  "  My  lord,  com 
mend  thyself  to  God,  for  it  is  certain  that  at  this  moment 
we  are  come  to  our  voyage's  end ; "  and  as  they  spake  the 
bark  with  a  swing  attached  itself  to  the  rock,  as  though 
it  were  cemented  there. 

That  night  Oger  thought  over  the  case  in  which  he 
was,  but  he  scarce  could  tell  of  what  sort  it  might  be. 
And  the  sailors  came  and  said  to  Oger,  "  My  lord,  we  are 
held  here  without  remedy ;  wherefore  let  us  look  to  our 
stores,  for  we  are  here  for  the  remainder  of  our  lives." 
To  which  Oger  made  answer,  "  If  this  be  so,  then  will  I 
make  consideration  of  our  case,  for  I  would  assign  to  each 
one  his  share,  to  the  least  as  to  the  greatest."  For  him 
self  Oger  kept  a  double  portion,  for  it  is  the  law  of  the 
sea  that  the  master  of  the  ship  has  as  much  as  two  others. 
But  if  that  rule  had  not  been,  he  would  still  have  needed 
a  double  quantity,  for  he  ate  as  much  as  two  common 

When  Oger  had  apportioned  his  share  to  each,  he 
said,  "  Masters,  be  sparing,  I  pray  you,  of  your  food  as 
much  as  you  may,  for  so  soon  as  ye  have  no  more  be  sure 
that  I  myself  will  throw  you  into  the  sea."  The  skipper 
answered  him,  "  My  lord,  thou  wilt  escape  no  better  than 
we."  Their  food  failed  them  all,  one  after  another,  and 
Oger  cast  them  into  the  sea,  and  he  remained  alone. 
Then  he  was  so  troubled  that  he  knew  not  what  to  do. 
"  Alas  !  my  God,  my  Creator,"  said  he,  "  hast  Thou  at  this 
hour  forsaken  me  ?  I  have  now  no  one  to  comfort  me  in 
my  misfortune."  Thereupon,  whether  it  were  his  fantasy 
or  no,  it  seemed  to  him  that  a  voice  replied,  "  God  orders 


that  so  soon  as  it  be  night  thou  go  to  a  castle  after  thou 
hast  come  to  an  island  which  thou  wilt  presently  find. 
And  when  thou  art  on  the  island  thou  wilt  find  a  small 
path  leading  to  the  castle.  And  whatsoever  thing  thou 
seest  there,  let  not  that  affray  thee."  And  Oger  looked, 
but  wist  not  who  had  spoken. 

Oger  waited  the  return  of  night,  to  learn  the  truth  of 
that  which  the  voice  foretold,  and  he  was  so  amazed  that 
he  wist  not  what  to  do,  but  set  himself  to  the  trial.  And 
when  night  came  he  committed  himself  to  God,  praying 
Him  for  mercy  ;  and  straightway  he  looked  and  beheld  the 
Castle  of  Avalon,  which  shone  wondrously.  Many  nights 
before  he  had  seen  it,  but  by  day  it  was  not  visible. 
Howbeit,  so  soon  as  Oger  saw  the  castle  he  set  about  to 
get  there.  He  saw  before  him  the  ships  that  were  fastened 
to  the  loadstone  rock,  and  now  he  walked  from  ship  to 
ship,  and  so  gained  the  island;  and  when  there  he  at  once 
set  himself  to  scale  the  hill  by  a  path  which  he  found. 
When  he  reached  the  gate  of  the  castle,  and  sought  to 
enter,  there  came  before  him  two  great  lions,  who  stopped 
him  and  cast  him  to  the  ground.  But  Oger  sprang  up 
and  drew  his  sword,  Curtain,  and  straightway  cleft  one  of 
them  in  twain ;  then  the  other  sprang  and  seized  Oger 
by  the  neck,  and  Oger  turned  round  and  struck  off  his 

When  Oger  had  performed  this  deed,  he  gave  thanks 
to  our  Lord,  and  then  he  entered  the  hall  of  the  castle, 
where  he  found  many  viands,  and  a  table  set  as  if  one 
should  dine  there  ;  but  no  prince  nor  lord  could  he  see. 
Now  he  was  amazed  to  find  no  one,  save  only  a  horse, 
which  sat  at  the  table  as  if  it  had  been  a  human  being. 
This  horse,  which  was  called  Papillon  (Psyche  ?),  waited 
upon  Oger,  gave  him  to  drink  from  a  golden  goblet,  and 
at  length  conducted  him  to  his  chamber,  and  to  a  bed 
whose  fairy-made  coverlet  of  cloth  of  gold  and  ermine 
was  la  plus  mignonne  chose  quifut  jamais  vue. 

When  Oger  awoke  he  thought  to  see  Papillon  again, 


but  could  see  neither  him,  nor  man,  nor  woman,  to  show 
him  the  way  from  the  room.  He  saw  a  door,  and,  having 
made  the  sign  of  the  cross,  sought  to  pass  out  that  way ; 
but  as  he  tried  to  do  this  he  encountered  a  serpent,  so 
hideous  that  the  like  has  scarce  been  seen.  It  would 
have  thrown  itself  upon  Oger,  but  that  the  knight  drew 
his  sword  and  made  the  creature  recoil  more  than  ten 
feet ;  but  it  returned  with  a  bound,  for  it  was  very  mighty, 
and  the  twain  fell  to  fight.  And  now,  as  Oger  saw  that 
the  serpent  pressed  hard  upon  him,  he  struck  at  it  so 
doughtily  with  his  sword  that  he  severed  it  in  twain. 
After  that  Oger  went  along  a  path  which  led  him  to  a 
garden,  so  beauteous  that  it  was  in  truth  a  little  paradise ; 
and  within  were  fair  trees,  bearing  fruit  of  every  kind,  of 
tastes  divers,  and  of  such  sweet  odors  that  he  never  smelt 
trees  like  them  before. 

Oger,  seeing  these  fruits  so  fine,  desired  to  eat  some, 
and  presently  he  lighted  upon  a  fine  apple-tree,  whose 
fruit  was  like  gold,  and  of  these  apples  he  took  one  and 
ate.  But  no  sooner  had  he  thus  eaten  than  he  became 
so  sick  and  weak  that  he  had  no  power  nor  manhood 
left.  And  now  again  he  commended  his  soul  to  God  and 
prepared  to  die.  .  .  .  But  -at  this  moment  turning  round, 
he  was  aware  of  a  fair  dame,  clothed  in  white,  and  so 
richly  adorned  that  she  was  a  glory  to  behold.  Now  as 
Oger  looked  upon  the  lady  without  moving  from  his 
place,  he  deemed  that  she  was  Mary  the  Virgin,  and  said, 
"  Ave  Maria,"  and  saluted  her.  But  she  said,  "  Oger, 
think  not  that  I  am  she  whom  you  fancy  ;  I  am  she  who 
was  at  your  birth,  and  my  name  is  Morgue  la  Fee,  and  I 
allotted  you  a  gift  which  was  destined  to  increase  your 
fame  eternally  through  all  lands.  But  now  you  have  left 
your  deeds  of  war  to  take  with  ladies  your  solace  ;  for 
as  soon  as  I  have  taken  you  from  here  I  will  bring  you 
to  Avalon,  where  you  will  see  the  fairest  noblesse  in  the 

And  anon  she  gave  him  a  ring,  which  had  such  virtue 


that  Oger,  who  was  near  a  hundred  years  old,  returned 
to  the  age  of  thirty.  Then  said  Oger,  "  Lady,  I  am  more 
beholden  to  thee  than  to  any  other  in  the  world.  Blessed 
be  the  hour  of  thy  birth,  for,  without  having  done  aught 
to  deserve  at  your  hands,  you  have  given  me  countless 
gifts,  and  this  gift  of  new  life  above  them  all.  Ah,  lady, 
that  I  were  before  Charlemagne,  that  he  might  see  the 
condition  in  which  I  now  stand  ;  for  I  feel  in  me  greater 
strength  than  I  have  ever  known.  Dearest,  how  can  I 
make  return  for  the  honor  and  great  good  you  have  done 
me  ?  But  I  swear  that  I  am  at  your  service  all  the  days 
of  my  life."  Then  Morgue  took  him  by  the  hand,  and 
said,  "  My  loyal  friend,  the  goal  of  all  my  happiness,  I 
will  now  lead  you  to  my  palace  in  Avalon,  where  you  will 
see  of  noblesse  the  greatest  and  of  damosels  the  fairest." 
And  she  took  Oger  by  the  hand  and  led  him  to  the  Cas 
tle  of  Avalon,  where  was  King  Artus,  and  Auberon,  and 
Malambron,  who  was  a  sea  fairy. 

As  Oger  approached  the  castle  the  fairies  came  to 
meet  him,  dancing  and  singing  marvellous  sweetly.  And 
he  saw  many  fairy  dames,  richly  crowned  and  apparelled. 
And  presently  came  Arthur,  and  Morgue  called  to  him, 
and  said,  "  Come  hither,  my  lord  and  brother,  and  salute 
the  fair  flower  of  chivalry,  the  honor  of  the  French  no 
blesse,  him  in  whom  all  generosity  and  honor  and  every 
virtue  are  lodged,  Oger  le  Danois,  my  loyal  love,  my 
only  pleasure,  in  whom  lies  for  me  all  hope  of  happiness." 
Then  Morgue  gave  Oger  a  crown  to  wear,  which  was  so 
rich  that  none  here  could  count  its  value  ;  and  it  had  be 
side  a  wondrous  virtue,  for  every  man  who  bore  it  on 
his  brow  forgot  all  sorrow  and  sadness  and  melancholy, 
and  he  thought  no  more  of  his  country  nor  of  his  kin  that 
he  had  left  behind  him  in  the  world. 

We  leave  Oger  thus  "  bien  assis  et  entretenu  des  dames 
que  fetait  merveilles"  and  return  to  the  earth,  where 
things  were  not  going  so  well ;  for  while  Oger  was  in 
Fairie  the  paynim  assembled  all  their  forces  and  took 


Jerusalem  and  proceeded  to  lay  siege  to  Babylon  (that  is, 
Cairo).  Then  the  most  valiant  knights  who  were  left  on 
earth  —  Moysant,  and  Florian,  and  Caraheu,  and  Gautier 
(Oger's  nephew)  —  assembled  all  their  powers  to  defend 
this  place.  But  they  lamented  greatly  because  Oger  was 
no  more.  And  a  great  battle  took  place  without  the 
walls  of  Babylon,  in  which  the  Saracens,  assisted  by  a 
renegade,  the  Admiral  Gandice,  gained  the  victory. 

Oger  had  been  long  in  the  Castle  of  Avalon,  and  had 
begotten  a  son  by  Morgue,  when  she,  having  heard  of 
these  doings  and  of  the  danger  to  Christendom,  deemed 
it  needful  to  awake  Oger  from  his  blissful  forgetfulness 
of  all  earthly  things,  and  tell  him  that  his  presence  was 
needed  in  this  world  once  more.  Thereupon  follows  an 
account  of  Oger's  returning  to  earth,  where  no  one  knew 
him,  and  all  were  astonished  at  his  strange  garb  and 
bearing.  He  inquired  for  Charlemagne,  who  had  been 
long  since  dead ;  the  generation  below  Oger  had  grown 
to  be  old  men,  yet  he  still  had  the  habit  of  a  man  of 
thirty.  We  need  not  wonder  that  his  talk  excited  suspi 
cion.  But  at  length  he  made  himself  known  to  the  King 
of  France,  joined  his  army,  and  put  the  paynim  to  flight. 
He  had  now  forgotten  his  life  in  Fairie  ;  he  was  beloved 
by  the  Queen  of  France  (the  King  having  been  killed), 
and  was  about  to  marry  her,  when  Morgue  again  ap 
peared  and  carried  him  off  to  Avalon.1 

Looking  back  over  this  long  story  to  see  just 
where  it  locates  its  Paradise,  and  how  one  could  get 
there,  we  find  the  data  extremely  few  and  discourag 
ing.  And  the  older  story  in  Plutarch  respecting 

1  From  Keary's  Outlines  of  Primitive  Beliefs,  pp.  452-458.  He  re 
marks,  "The  account  which  I  here  translate  is  only  a  sixteenth-cen 
tury  version  of  the  tale,  but  it  is  copied  directly  from  the  poetic  ver 
sion  of  the  well-known  troubadour  Adenez,  chief  minstrel  at  the 
court  of  Henry  III.  of  Bavaria  (1248-1261),  and  for  his  excellence  in 
his  art  called  Le  Roy,  or  king  of  all.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  in 
its  chief  particulars  the  story  is  far  older  than  the  days  of  Adenez." 


the  same  isle  of  blessedness  is  not  less  destitute  of 
indications  as  to  exact  locality.1 

Going  some  centuries  farther  back  we  find  an 
other  traveler  who  claims  to  have  been  in  the  ter 
restrial  Paradise.  He  says,  — 

As  I  looked  towards  the  North,  over  the  mountains,  I 
saw  seven  mountains  full  of  precious  balsam  and  odorous 
trees  and  cinnamon  and  pepper.  And  from  thence  I 
went  over  the  summits  of  these  mountains  far  towards  the 
East,  and  passed  on  still  farther  over  the  sea  and  came 
far  beyond  it.  And  I  came  into  the  Garden  of  Right 
eousness,  and  saw  a  many-colored  crowd  of  trees  of  every 
kind  ;  for  many  and  great  trees  flourish  there,  very  noble 
and  lovely,  and  the  Tree  of  Wisdom,  which  gives  wisdom 
to  any  one  who  eats  of  it.  It  is  like  the  Johannis  bread 
tree  ;  its  fruit  is  like  a  cluster  of  grapes,  very  good  ;  and 
the  fragrance  of  the  tree  spreads  far  around.  And  I  said, 
"  Fair  is  this  tree,  and  how  beautiful  and  ravishing  its 
look  !  "  And  the  holy  Angel  Raphael,  who  was  with  me, 
answered  and  said  to  me,  "  This  is  the  Tree  of  Wisdom  of 
which  thy  forefathers,  thy  hoary  first  parent  and  thy  aged 
first  mother,  ate,  and  found  the  knowledge  of  wisdom, 
and  their  eyes  were  opened,  and  they  knew  that  they  were 
naked,  and  were  driven  out  of  the  garden." 

This  favored  explorer,  who  had  the  special  advan 
tage  of  being  guided  by  a  holy  angel,  was  the  un 
known  author  of  the  Book  of  Enoch,  which  writing 
is  believed  by  some  to  be  as  old  as  the  second  cen 
tury  before  Christ.  No  one  can  read  many  chapters 
of  his  production,  however,  without  arriving  at  the 
firm  conclusion  that  sacred  geography  has  very  lit 
tle  to  hope  from  such  a  source,  however  ancient.2 

1  "  On  the  Face  appearing  in  the  Orb  of  the  Moon,"  Sect.  26, 
Plutarch's  Morals.     Goodwin's  ed.,  vol.  v.,  p.  201. 
3  Das  Buck  Henoch.  Uebersetzt  von  Dr.  A.  Dillmann.    Leipsic, 


Coming  down  to  the  travelers  of  our  own  time, 
we  fare  no  better,  even  though  they  do  not  tax  our 
credulity  with  stories  of  angelic  guides  or  of  guard 
ian  dragons.  One,  writing  only  ten  years  ago,  pro 
fessedly  from  the  very  Garden  itself,  momentarily 
raises  our  expectations  when  he  says,  "  Discoveries 
made  within  the  last  decade  tend  to  confirm  the  sup 
position  that  the  primeval  abode  of  man  was  near 
the  confluence  of  the  Euphrates  and  the  Tigris  ; 
and  it  is  not  too  much  to  anticipate  the  exhuming  of 
inscribed  tablets  which  will  fully  establish  this  be 
lief."  But  as  suddenly  as  our  hopes  are  excited,  so 
suddenly  do  they  die  away  in  disappointment.  In 
credulous  critics  greet  the  suggestion  of  "exhuming 
inscribed  tablets"  on  the  subject  with  a  chorus  of 
derisive  laughter.  The  author  himself  does  not  ven 
ture  to  give  any  of  the  " discoveries  made  within  the 
last  decade  "  which  tend  to  confirm  the  notion  that 
Eden  was  located  at  the  point  described.  On  the 
contrary,  in  the  immediately  following  sentence,  he 
takes  leave  of  the  subject,  and  in  so  doing  gives  us 
over  to  his  own  admitted  uncertainty  in  the  follow 
ing  terms  :  "  And  although,  after  the  lapse  of  so 
many  centuries,  exact  correspondence  of  topography 
is  not  to  be  expected,  yet  guided  by  the  general  fea 
tures  of  the  scene  rather  than  by  the  minuter  ones, 
the  present  traditional  Garden  of  Eden  may  be  ac 
cepted  until  another  has  been  discovered  and  its 
identity  more  clearly  proved."  l  In  such  darkness 
dies  out  the  kindled  hope.  Meantime,  in  a  letter  to 
Sir  Roderick  Murchison,  published  in  "  The  Athe- 

1853.     There  is  an  earlier  English  translation  by  R.  Lawrence  (Ox 
ford,  1821,  '33,  '38). 

1  J.  P.  Newman,  D.  D.,  A  Thousand  Miles  on  Horseback.  New 
York,  1875  :  p.  69. 


naeum  "  not  far  from  the  same  date,  the  indefatiga 
ble  Livingstone  disclosed  the  secret  of  his  tireless 
perambulations  through  Central  Africa,  —  he  be 
lieved  that  at  the  sources  of  the  Nile,  could  he  once 
discover  them,  he  would  stand  upon  the  site  of  the 
primeval  Paradise  !  Evidently  exploration,  wonder 
ful  as  have  been  its  achievements,  has  not  yet  solved 
the  problem  of  the  site  of  Eden.  To  this  day  the 
word  of  Pindar,  uttered  half  a  thousand  years  before 
Christ,  has  remained  true  :  — 

"  Neither  by  taking  ship, 
Neither  by  any  travel  on  foot, 
To  the  Hyperborean  Field 
Shalt  thou  find  the  wondrous  way." 



Some  have  placed  it  in  the  third  heaven,  some  in  the  fourth,  in  the  heaven  of 
the  moon,  in  the  moon  itself,  on  a  -mountain  near  the  lunar  heaven,  in  the  middle 
region  of  the  air,  out  of  the  earth,  upon  the  earth,  beneath  the  earth,  in  a  place 
that  is  hidden  and  separated  from  man.  It  has  been  placed  under  the  northern 
pole,  in  Tartary,  or  in  the  place  now  occupied  by  the  Caspian  Sea.  Others  placed 
it  in  the  extreme  south,  in  the  land  of  fire ;  others  in  the  Levant,  or  on  the 
shores  of  the  Ganges,  or  in  the  island  of  Ceylon.  It  has  been  placed  in  China,  or 
in  an  inaccessible  region  bey  and  the  Black  Sea;  by  others  in  America,  in  Africa, 
etc.  —  BISHOP  HUET. 

A  n  ein  Resultat,  das  auch  nur  einigermassen  befriedigte,  ist  nicht  zu  denken. 
—  WETZER  UNO  WELTE,  Kirchen-Lexicon. 

THEOLOGIANS,  Christian  and  Jewish,  have  in  all 
ages  differed,  and  irreconcilably  differed,  as  to  the 
location  of  the  cradle  of  the  human  race.  The  evi 
dences  of  this  are  so  well  known,  or  so  easily  acces 
sible  to  every  intelligent  reader,  that  they  need  not 
be  adduced  in  this  place.1 

The  fathers  and  theologians  of  the  Early  Church 
and  of  the  Middle  Ages  held  many  curious  and  con 
flicting  opinions  upon  the  subject.  Some,  following 
the  allegorizing  method  of  Philo,  interpreted  the 
whole  narrative  in  Genesis  as  a  parable  setting  forth 
spiritual  things.  Eden  was  not  a  place,  but  a  state 
of  spiritual  blessedness.  The  four  rivers  were  not 
rivers,  but  the  four  cardinal  virtues,  etc.  The 
majority,  however,  held  to  the  historic  character  of 
the  narrative,  and  to  the  strictly  geographical  reality 

1  See  McClintock  and  Strong,  Cyclopedia  of  Biblical,  Theological, 
and  Ecclesiastical  Literature,  Arts.  "  Eden  "  and  "  Paradise." 


of  Eden.  To  the  question  of  its  location,  number 
less  were  the  answers.  Often  it  was  in  the  far  East, 
beyond  all  lands  inhabited  by  men.  Sometimes  it 
was  thought  of  as  perhaps  within,  or  under,  the 
earth,  in  the  regions  of  the  dead.  Sometimes  it  was 
neither  on  nor  below  the  earth,  but  high  above  it,  in 
the  third  heaven,  or  some  way  associated  with  the 
lunar  orbit.  Again,  it  would  be  stated  that  there 
are  two  paradises,  a  celestial  and  a  terrestrial  one,  — 
the  one  in  heaven,  the  other  on  the  earth.  Ter- 
tullian,  conceiving  of  the  torrid  zone  as  the  flaming 
•sword,  which  turned  every  way  to  keep  the  way  of 
the  tree  of  life  (Gen.  iii.  24),  placed  Eden  beyond 
it,  in  the  southern  hemisphere.  Now  it  was  at  the 
bottom  of  the  sea  ; l  or  again  it  held  a  position  mid 
way  between  earth  and  heaven.  Anon,  it  was  on 
the  summit  of  a  miraculous  mountain,  which  rose  to 
the  height  of  the  moon.  Of  this  mountain  only  the 
base  was  washed,  when  by  the  waters  of  the  Deluge 
all  other  mountains  were  covered.  It  was  conceived 
of  as  rising  in  three  gigantic  stages  to  its  stupen 
dous  height.  All  kinds  of  marvelous  plants  and 
precious  metals  and  gems  adorned  it,  but  its  su 
preme  adornment  was  a  divine  river,  which,  starting 
from  the  throne  of  God  in  the  highest  heaven, 
descended  to  the  holy  garden  on  the  mountain's 
head,  and  thence  parting  into  four,  after  watering 
and  beautifying  the  whole  mountain  in  its  descent, 
gradually  lost  more  and  more  of  its  celestial  taste 
and  vivifying  virtues,  and  became  the  water  system 
of  the  habitable  globe.  Sometimes  the  location  of 

1  "In  some  legends  Eden  was  submerged  by  the  earliest  deluge 
that  covered  the  Mount.  The  happy  garden  was  believed  to  be  lying 
at  the  bottom  of  Lake  Van,  in  Armenia."  —  Gerald  Massey,  The  Nat* 
ural  Genesis,  vol.  ii.,  p.  231. 


this  mountain  was  described  as  in  some  distant  por 
tion  of  the  earth,  "  where  the  sea,  or  earth,  and  the 
sky  meet." 

Impatient  of  such  contradictions,  Luther,  in  his 
own  brusque  way,  rejected  all  attempts  to  locate  the 
primeval  garden,  declaring  that  the  Deluge  had  so 
changed  the  face  of  the  earth  and  the  course  of  its 
original  rivers  that  all  search  was  fruitless. 

Calvin,  on  the  contrary,  confidently  affirmed  that 
the  writer  of  the  Genesis  narrative  must  be  under 
stood  as  locating  the  Garden  of  Eden  near  the 
mouths  of  the  Euphrates.  Soon  this  original  diver 
sity  of  Protestant  teaching  upon  the  subject  became 
aggravated  by  new  theories,  some  of  them  suggested 
by  orthodox  ingenuity,  some  introduced  by  rational 
istic  conceptions  of  the  semi-mythical  character  of 
the  Bible,  until  at  the  present  time  the  state  of  the 
ological  teaching  respecting  Eden  is,  if  possible,  a 
worse  Babel  than  in  any  preceding  age. 

For  a  partial  illustration  of  the  confusion  one  has 
only  to  turn  to  the  most  recent  and  authoritative 
biblical,  theological,  and  religious  encyclopaedias. 
In  McClintock  and  Strong's,  the  writer  on  Eden  in 
clines  to  locate  it  in  Armenia.  In  Smith's  "  Bible 
Dictionary"  the  problem  is  abandoned  as  probably 
insoluble.  In  the  great  German  encyclopaedia  of 
Herzog  it  is  declared  necessary  to  deny  to  the  story 
of  Eden  a  strictly  historical  character ;  it  is  "  a  bit  of 
mythical  geography."  In  the  supplement,  however, 
Pressel  makes  an  elaborate  argument  of  many  pages 
in  favor  of  the  location  at  the  junction  of  the  Tigris 
and  Euphrates.  Dillmann,  in  Schenkel's  "  Bibel- 
Lexicon,"  places  it  in  the  Himalayas,  north  of  India. 
In  the  chief  Roman  Catholic  cyclopaedia,  Wetzel 


and  Welte's  "  Kirchen  -  Lexicon,"  the  writer  vacil 
lates  between  Eastern  Asia,  taken  in  a  vague  and 
undefined  sense,  and  an  equally  undefined  North. 
In  Lichtenberg's  just  completed  "  Encyclopedic  des 
Sciences  Religieuses  "  the  whole  story  in  Genesis  ii. 
is  declared  a  "philosophic  myth."  Professor  Brown, 
of  New  York,  in  the  new  work  edited  by  Dr.  Schaff, 
on  the  basis  of  Herzog,  enumerates  a  variety  of 
opinions  advocated  by  others,  but  refrains  from  ex 
pressing  any  opinion  of  his  own.  Such  is  all  the 
light  which  contemporary  theology  seems  able  to 
throw  upon  our  problem. 

But  here  some  plain  reader  of  the  Bible  opens  at 
the  second  chapter  of  Genesis,  and  reads,  "And 
the  Lord  God  planted  a  garden  eastward  in  Eden  ; 
and  there  he  put  the  man  whom  he  had  formed." 
And  the  plain  reader  asks  how  a  believer  in  the 
Bible  can  doubt  that  this  passage  fixes  the  location 
of  the  garden  somewhere  to  the  East  of  Palestine. 
But,  looking  a  little  more  critically,  our  inquirer 
himself  quickly  sees  that  the  verse  does  not  neces 
sarily  affirm  anything  as  to  the  direction  of  the  gar 
den  from  the  writer.  It  may  naturally  mean  that  the 
garden  was  planted  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  land 
of  Eden,  wherever  that  was  ;  and  turning  to  the 
most  careful  and  orthodox  commentators,  he  finds 
that  not  a  few  take  this  view  of  it.  Moreover,  Miq- 
qedemy  here  translated  "  eastward,"  may  be  other 
wise  translated,  as  it  is  in  King  James's  Version,  in 
the  passages  Ps.  Ixxiv.  12,  Ixxvii.  6,  and  elsewhere. 
In  fact,  in  the  Vulgate  it  is  here  translated,  a  prin- 
cipio,  "  in  or  from  the  beginning."  Among  the 
early  Greek  translators,  Symmachus,  Theodotion, 
and  Aquila  understand  the  term  in  the  same  way, 


Hence,  nearly  two  hundred  years  ago,  the  learned 
Thomas  Burnet  wrote  as  follows:  "Some  have 
thought  that  the  word  Miqqedem,  Gen.  ii.  8,  was  to 
be  rendered  in  the  East,  or  Eastward,  as  we  read  it, 
and  therefore  determined  the  site  of  Paradise  ;  but 
't  is  only  the  Septuagint  translate  it  so  ;  all  the 
other  Greek  versions,  and  St.  Jerome,  the  Vulgate, 
the  Chaldee  Paraphrase,  and  the  Syriak,  render  it 
from  the  beginning,  or  in  the  beginning,  or  to  that 
effect.  And  we  that  do  not  believe  the  Septuagint 
to  have  been  infallible  or  inspired  have  no  reason  to 
prefer  their  single  authority  above  all  the  rest."  1 

The  same  writer  says  again,  "  We  may  safely  say 
that  none  of  the  Christian  Fathers,  Latin  or  Greek, 
ever  placed  Paradise  in  Mesopotamia  ;  that  is  a  con 
ceit  and  innovation  of  some  modern  authors,  which 
hath  been  much  encouraged  of  late,  because  it  gave 
more  ease  and  rest  as  to  further  inquiries  in  an 
argument  they  could  not  well  manage."  2 

As  to  the  new  source  of  evidence  opened  up  by 
the  decipherment  of  the  Cuneiform  inscriptions,  Le- 
normant  says,  that  in  none  of  these,  so  far  as  yet 
deciphered,  has  anything  been  found  indicating  that 
the  Chaldaeo-Babylonians  believed  that  their  coun 
try  was  the  cradle  of  the  human  race.3 

"  But  the  four  rivers,"  says  our  inquirer,  and 
he  reads  verses  10-14:  "And  a  river  went  out  of 
Eden  to  water  the  garden  ;  and  from  thence  it  was 
parted  and  became  into  four  heads.  The  name  of 
the  first  is  Pison.  .  .  .  And  the  name  of  the  second 
river  is  Gihon.  .  .  .  And  the  name  of  the  third  river 

1  Sacred  Theory  of  the  Earth.     London,  2d  ed.,  1691  :  p.  252. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  253. 

8  Les  Origines  de  FHistoire.     Paris,  1882  :  torn.  ii.  I,  p.  120. 


is  Hiddekel,  .  .  .  and  the  fourth  river  is  Euphrates." 
"  Surely  here  in  the  fourth  river  we  have  one  unde 
niable  landmark.  However  impossible  it  may  be 
satisfactorily  to  identify  all  four  of  the  primitive  riv 
ers  of  Eden,  the  mention  of  the  Euphrates  at  least 
restricts  the  location  of  the  garden  to  some  part  of 
the  region  drained  by  that  river." 

Consulting  the  theologians,  however,  our  inves 
tigator  finds  a  great  variety  of  serious  objections 
urged  against  this  short  and  easy  method  of  settling 
the  controversy. 

First,  he  is  told  that  some  Biblical  critics  have 
expressed  doubt  as  to  the  genuineness  of  the  verses, 
and  that  as  earnest  a  defender  of  the  Bible  as  Mr. 
Granville  Penn  considered  the  whole  passage  an  in 

Secondly,  he  learns  that  Perath  or  Phrath,  the 
Hebrew  name  of  the  river,  is  from  the  older  form 
Buratti  or  Purattu,  a  word  believed  to  signify  "  the 
broad,"  or  "  the  deep."  1  Of  course  such  a  descrip 
tive  term  may  well  have  been  the  name  of  more 
than  one  ancient  river,  just  as  "Broad  Brook"  is  the 
name  of  many  an  American  stream.  Indeed,  in  his 
learned  work,  "  Le  Berceau  de  1'Espece  Humaine," 
Obry  shows  that  in  ancient  times  Phrat,  or  Euphra 
tes,  was  the  name  of  one,  or  possibly  two,  of  the 
rivers  of  Persia.2  One  of  these  in  Pliny's  time  still 
bore  the  name  in  the  hardly  changed  form  Ophradus. 
Lenormant  says  he  does  not  hesitate  to  consider  the 
Phrath  of  the  Khorda-Avesta  identical  with  the  Per- 

1  Delitzsch,  Wo  lag  das  Paradies?  p.  169.    Grill,  Die  Erzvater  der 
Menschheit,  Bd.  i.,  p.  230.    In  Old  Persian  it  is  Ufratu,  "  the  fair 
flowing."     F.  Finzi,  Antickita  Assira,  Turin,  1872:  p.  112. 

2  See  pp.  95,  136,  140. 


sian  river  Helmend.1  Africa  also  had  its  sacred 
Euphrates.2  If  therefore  the  passage  in  Genesis  is 
genuine,  and  Moses  wrote  of  the  Phrath,  it  is  not 
absolutely  certain  what  "  broad  "  or  "  abounding  " 
river  he  had  in  mind.  Moreover,  in  any  case,  the 
Euphrates  of  Mesopotamia  is  not  one  of  four  equal 
offshoots  into  which  the  one  "  river "  proceeding 
"  out  of  Eden  "  divided  itself  according  to  the  state 
ment  of  the  text.  Its  source  is  not  from  another 
river  at  all,  but  from  ordinary  mountain  springs. 

Thirdly,  it  must  not  be  forgotten,  our  friend  is 
told,  that  all  peoples  coming  into  a  new  country  love 
to  name  their  new  rivers  and  towns  after  the  loved 
and  sacred  ones  they  have  left  in  the  elder  home. 
The  Thames  of  New  England  perpetuates  the  mem 
ory  of  the  Thames  of  Old  England.  "  It  is  very 
seldom  indeed,"  says  a  late  writer,  "  that  a  river  has 
no  namesakes."3  Very  possibly,  therefore,  the 
Phrath  of  Mesopotamia  may  have  been  named  for 
some  elder  river  of  the  antediluvian  world,  wher 
ever  that  may  have  been.  That  it  was  so  is  the  firm 
belief  of  various  learned  writers.4 

Fourthly,  continue  the  theologians,  the  language 
of  Ezekiel  xxviii.  13-19,  and  of  Proverbs  iii.  18;  xi. 
30,  etc.,  shows  that  poetic  and  symbolical  applica 
tions  of  the  name  and  images  of  Eden  were  common. 

1  Origines  de  VHistoire,  torn.  ii.  I,  p.  99. 

2  "  Also  there  is  a  very  sacred  river  in  Hwida  called  the  Euphrates 
or  Eufrates."  —  Gerald  Massey,  The  Natural  Genesis.  London,  1883 : 
vol.  ii.,  p.  165. 

8  "  There  is  no  improbability  in  supposing  that  there  may  have  been 
in  Britain  two  rivers  named  Trisanton.  On  the  contrary,  it  is  very 
seldom  indeed  that  a  river  has  no  namesakes,"  —  Henry  Bradley,  in 
The  Academy,  April  28,  1883,  P-  29^- 

*  See  Grill,  Die  Erzvdter  der  Menschheit,  Bd.  i.,  pp.  239,  242. ' 


And  if  the  Hebrews  named  one  of  the  water-courses 
at  Jerusalem  Gihon,  in  commemoration  of  one  of  the 
four  Paradise  rivers,1  it  is  not  irrational  to  suppose 
that  the  inhabitants  of  Mesopotamia  may  have  called 
their  chief  stream  in  honor  of  another  of  the  four. 
Lenormant,  Grill,  Obry,  and  others  support  this  view. 
They  might  have  rendered  the  probability  still 
stronger  by  calling  attention  to  the  fact  that  the 
oldest  name  of  Babylon,  Tin-tir-ki,  was  of  the  same 
commemorative  or  symbolical  character,  and  signi 
fied  "  the  place  of  the  Tree  of  Life."  2 

Finally,  pursuing  these  curious  investigations  fur 
ther,  our  plain  reader  finds  mention  in  Pausanias,  ii. 
5,  of  a  strange  belief  of  the  ancients,  according  to 
which  the  Euphrates,  after  disappearing  in  a  marsh 
and  flowing  a  long  distance  underground,  rises  again 
beyond  Ethiopia,  and  flows  through  Egypt  as  the 
Nile.  This  reminds  him  of  the  language  of  Josephus, 
according  to  which  the  Ganges,  the  Tigris,  the  Eu 
phrates,  and  the  Nile  are  all  but  parts  of  "one  river 
which  ran  round  about  the  whole  earth,"  —  the  Oke- 
anos-river  of  the  Greeks.3  And  he  wonders  whether 
the  old  Shemitic  term  from  which  the  modern  Eu 
phrates  is  derived  was  not  originally  a  name  of  the 
general  water  system  of  the  world,  —  a  name  of  that 
Ocean-river  which  Aristotle  describes  as  rising  in 
the  upper  heavens,  descending  in  rain  upon  the 
earth,  feeding,  as  Homer  tells  us,  all  fountains  and 
rivers  and  every  sea,  flowing  through  all  these  water- 

1  Ewald,  Geschichte  des  Volkes  Israel,  2d  ed.,  Bd.  Hi.,  pp.  32I-328- 

2  Lenormant,  Origines  de  VHistoire,  vol.  i.,  p.  76.     English  version, 
p.  85.     See  also  Rev.  O.  D.  Miller,   "  The  Symbolical  Geography  of 
the  Ancients,"  in  the  American  Antiquarian  and  Oriental  Journal, 
Chicago,  July,  1881. 

3  Compare  Rev.  ix.  14. 


courses  down  into  the  great  and  "broad"  equatorial 
ocean-current  which  girdles  the  world  in  its  embrace, 
thence  branching  out  from  the  further  shore  into 
the  rivers  of  the  Underworld,  to  be  at  last  fire-purged 
and  sublimated,  and  returned  in  purity  to  the  upper 
heavens  to  recommence  its  round.1  And  just  as  he 
is  wondering  over  the  question,  he  finds  that  some 
of  the  Assyriologists,  in  their  investigation  of  pre- 
Babylonian  Akkadian  mythology,  have  found  reason 
to  believe  this  surmise  correct,  and  to  say  that  in 
that  mythology  the  term  Euphrates  was  applied  to 
"  the  rope  of  the  world,"  "  the  encircling  river  of  the 
snake  god  of  the  tree  of  life,"  "the  heavenly  river 
which  surrounds  the  earth." 2  Furthermore,  as  he 
turns  back  to  the  pages  of  Hyginus,  and  Manilius, 
and  Lucius  Ampelius,  and  reads  of  the  fall  of  the 
"world-egg"  at  the  beginning  "into  the  river  Eu 
phrates,"  he  perceives  that  he  is  in  a  mythologic, 
and  not  a  historic  region.3  And  when  he  lights 
upon  a  mutilated  fragment  of  an  ancient  Assyrian 
inscription,  in  which  descriptions  of  the  visible  and 
invisible  world  are  mixed  up  together,  and  in  which 
the  river  "of  the  life  of  the  world  "  is  designated  by 
the  name  "  Euphrates,"  4  he  quickly  concludes  that 
it  will  not  do  to  take  the  term  Phrath,  or  Eu-frata, 
as  always  and  everywhere  referring  to  the  historic 
river  of  Mesopotamia. 

1  See  below  Part  V.,  chapter  5  :  "  The  Quadrifurcate  River." 

2  The  Rev.  A.  H.  Sayce  in  The  Academy.     London,  Oct.  7,  1882  : 
p.   263.     "  Professor  Sayce,  after  recently  observing  that  '  in  early 
Akkadian  mythology  the  mouth  of  the  Euphrates  was  identified  with 
the  River  of  Death,'  adds,  '  The  Okeanos  of  Homer  had,  I  believe, 
its  origin  in  this  Akkadian  river  which   coiled  itself  around    the 
world.'  "  —  Robert  Brown,  Jun.,  F.  R.  S.,  The  Myth  of  KirkL  London. 
1883  :  p.  33. 

8  Bryant,  Analysis  of  Ancient  Myths,  vol.  Hi.,  pp.  160-162. 
*  Records  of  the  Past,  x.,  p.  149. 


Hitherto,  then,  the  "results"  of  the  theologians 
as  to  the  location  of  Eden  are  purely  negative  and 
mutually  destructive.  "  It  would  be  difficult,"  says 
one  of  their  number,  "to  find  any  subject  in  the 
whole  history  of  opinion  which  has  so  invited  and  at 
the  same  time  so  completely  baffled  conjecture  as 
this.  Theory  after  theory  has  been  advanced,  but 
none  has  been  found  which  satisfies  the  required 
conditions.  The  site  of  Eden  will  ever  rank,  with 
the  quadrature  of  the  circle  and  the  interpretation 
of  unfulfilled  prophecy,  among  those  unsolved  and 
perhaps  insoluble  problems  which  possess  so  strange 
a  fascination."  l 

1  William  A.  Wright,  of  Trinity  College,  Cambridge,  in  Smith's 
Dictionary  of  the  Bible,  Art.  "  Eden," 



//  is  useless  to  speculate  on  thit  subject.  —  CHARLES  DARWIN. 

THE  location  of  the  cradle  of  the  human  race  is  as 
much  a  problem  for  the  ethnologist  and  anthropolo 
gist  as  it  is  for  the  theologian.  The  archaeologist, 
the  zoologist,  and  even  the  biologist,  if  at  all  broad 
and  philosophical  in  their  inquiries,  cannot  ignore 
the  high  interest  of  the  questions,  Was  there  for 
the  human  race  one  primitive  centre  of  distribution  ? 
and,  if  so,  Where  was  it  located  ? 

Thirty  years  ago  the  pretentious  American  work 
by  Nott  and  Gliddon,  entitled  "  The  Types  of  Man 
kind,"  1  —  a  work  written  in  opposition  to  the  doc 
trine  of  the  unity  of  the  human  race,  —  attracted 
unusual  attention  to  the  former  of  these  questions. 
The  teaching  therein  put  forth  was  that  there  are 
very  many  types  or  varieties  of  men  without  genea 
logical  connection  with  each  other,  and  that  there 
fore  a  great  number  of  primitive  centres  of  distribu 
tion  must  be  assumed.  The  avowed  prejudices  of 
the  projectors  of  the  work  against  certain  races,  par 
ticularly  the  African,  would  have  rendered  the  in 
fluence  of  the  work  upon  the  scientific  world  ex 
tremely  slight,  had  not  contributions  of  some  value 
from  Dr.  S.  G.  Morton,  and  Professor  Louis  Agassiz 

1  Philadelphia  and  London,  1854. 


been  incorporated  with  it.  As  it  was,  it  gave  Eu 
ropean  ethnologists  occasion  to  form  and  express 
very  uncomplimentary  conceptions  of  American  rep 
resentatives  of  ethnological  research.1  Fortunate 
ly  these  crude  beginners  of  the  science  have  had 
no  influential  successors  of  their  own  sort  in  this 
country,  and  but  obscure  or  half-hearted  disciples 
in  any  other.2  The  polygeny  of  the  race  has  at 
present  no  respectable  support.  Even  the  author  of 
the  latest  and  perhaps  ablest  of  the  works  on  the 
Preadamite  Hypothesis  remarks,  "  The  plural  origin 
of  mankind  is  a  doctrine  now  almost  entirely  super 
seded.  All  schools  admit  the  probable  descent  of 
all  races  from  a  common  stock."  3  To  the  second 
question,  therefore,  the  attention  of  the  scientific 
and  archaeological  world  is  steadily  gravitating. 
Given  one  primeval  point  of  departure  for  the  race, 
where  shall  that  point  of  departure  be  sought  ? 

The  answers  which  recent  biologists,  naturalists, 
and  ethnologists  have  given  to  this  problem  are 
hardly  less  numerous  or  less  conflicting  than  are 
the  solutions  proposed  by  theologians.  Of  these 

1  Such  references  as   the  following  are  not  uncommon  :  "  Uner- 
lasslich  bleibt  die  Behauptung  eines  einzigen  Ausgangsortes  s'ammt- 
licher  Menschenrassen,  im  Gegensatze  zur  Anthropologenschule  unter 
den  Amerikanern,  die  vielleicht  urn  ihr  Gewissen  iiber  die  vormalige 
Negersklaverei  und  den  Rassenmord  der  Indianer  zu  beruhigen,   in 
neuster  Zeit    iiber    hundert  Menschenarten,    nicht   Menschenrassen, 
iiberhaupt  so  viele  geschaffen  hat  als  Volkertypen  sich  aufstellen  lassen" 
etc.  —  O.  Peschel,  in  Ausland,  1869,  p.  mo.     Cited  in  Caspari,  Die 
Urgeschichte  der  Menschheit.     2d  ed.,  Leipsic,  1877,  vol.  i.,  p.  241. 

2  See  Simonin,  L'Homme  Americain.     Paris,  1870:  p.  12.     A.  Re- 
ville,  Les  Religions  des  Peuples  non-civilises .  Paris,  1883  :  vol.  i.,  p.  196. 

3  Alexander    Winchell,    Preadamites ;  or  a   Demonstration  of  the 
Existence  of  Men  before  Adam.     Chicago,  1880  :  p.  297.    One  of  the 
latest  and  most  authoritative  criticisms  and  refutations  of  Agassiz's 
polygenism  is  found  in  Quatrefages,  The  Human  Race.    N.  Y.,  1879 : 
chap.  xiv. 


answers  Professor  Zoeckler,  in  a  late  work,  enumer 
ates  ten,  each  having  the  support  of  eminent  scien 
tific  names.1  In  latitude  they  range  from  Green 
land  to  Central  Africa,  and  in  longitude  from  Amer 
ica  to  Central  Asia.  Of  the  whole  number,  the  two 
which  seem  to  command  the  widest  and  weight 
iest  support  are,  first,  the  hypothesis  that  "  Lemu- 
ria  "  —  a  wholly  imaginary,  now  submerged  prehis 
toric  continent  under  the  northern  portion  of  the 
Indian  Ocean  —  was  the  "  mother-region  "  of  the 
race ;  and,  secondly,  that  it  was  in  the  heart  of  Cen 
tral  Asia. 

The  former  of  these  sites  is  the  one  supported 
by  Haeckel,  Caspari,  Peschel,  and  many  others.2 
Though  less  positive,  Darwin  and  Lyell  seem  favor 
able  to  the  same  location  or  to  one  in  the  adjoining 
portion  of  Africa.  Most  of  the  recent  maps  of  the 
progressive  dispersion  of  the  race  over  the  globe 
have  been  constructed  in  accordance  with  this  the 
ory.3  Perhaps  the  best  popular  summary  of  the 
arguments  in  its  favor  is  that  found  in  Oscar 
Peschel's  "  Races  of  Men."  4 

But  while  biological  speculation,  especially  in  the 
hands  of  Darwinists,  has  strongly  inclined  toward 
the  chief  habitat  of  the  ape  tribes  in  its  attempts 
to  find  man's  primitive  point  of  departure,  compar 
ative  philologists,  mythologists,  and  archaeological 

1  The  Cross  of  Christ.    Translated  by  Evans.    London,  1877.   Ap 
pendix  iii.,  p.  389. 

2  Ernst  Haeckel,  The  Pedigree  of  Man,  and  other  Essays.   London, 
1883  :  PP-  73-8o.     Otto  Kuntze,  Phytogeogenesis.      Leipsic,  1884 :  p. 
52,  note. 

3  See  Caspari's  in  Die  Urgeschichte  der  Menschheit,  at  the  close  of 
vol.  i. ;  Kracher's  Ethnographische  Weltkarte  in  Novara  Expedition, 
Vienna,  1875  »  Winchell's  in  his  Preadamites,  p.  I. 

4  New  York,  Appletons,  pp.  26-34. 


ethnographers  have  of  late  very  strongly  tended 
to  place  the  cradle  of  mankind  on  the  lofty  plateau 
of  Pamir  in  Central  Asia.  For  these  the  eminent 
French  anthropologist,  Quatrefages,  is  well  entitled 
to  speak. 

We  know  [says  this  savant]  that  in  Asia  there  is  a 
vast  region  bounded  on  the  south  and  south-west  by  the 
Himalayas,  on  the  west  by  the  Bolor  mountains,  on  the 
north-west  by  the  Alla-Tau,  on  the  north  by  the  Altai 
range  and  its  off-shoots,  on  the  east  by  the  Kingkhan,  on 
the  south  and  south-east  by  the  Felina  and  Kwen-lun. 
Judging  of  it  by  what  exists  at  the  present  day,  this  great 
central  region  might  be  regarded  as  having  included  the 
cradle  of  the  human  race. 

In  fact,  the  three  fundamental  types  of  all  the  races 
of  mankind  are  represented  in  the  populations  grouped 
around  this  region.  The  negro  races  are  the  furthest  re 
moved  from  it,  but  have  nevertheless  marine  stations, 
in  which  they  are  found  pure  or  mixed,  from  the  Kiussiu 
to  the  Andaman  Islands.  On  the  continent  they  have 
mingled  their  blood  with  nearly  all  the  inferior  castes  and 
classes  of  the  two  Gangetic  peninsulas ;  they  are  still 
found  pure  in  each  of  them  ;  they  ascend  as  far  as  Nepal, 
and,  according  to  Elphinstone,  spread  to  the  west  as  far 
as  the  Persian  Gulf  and  Lake  Zareh.  The  yellow  race, 
pure,  or  mixed  here  and  there  with  white  elements,  seems 
alone  to  occupy  the  area  in  question.  The  circumference 
of  this  region  is  peopled  by  it  to  the  north,  the  east,  the 
south-east,  and  the  west.  In  the  south  it  is  more  mixed, 
but  it  none  the  less  forms  an  important  element  of  the 
population.  The  white  race,  by  its  allophylian  repre 
sentatives,  seems  to  have  disputed  the  possession  of  even 
the  central  area  itself  with  the  yellow  race.  In  early 
times  we  find  the  Yu-Tchi,  the  U-Suns,  to  the  north  of 
Hoang-Ho  ;  and  at  the  present  day  in  Little  Thibet,  in 
Eastern  Thibet,  small  islands  of  white  populations  have 


been  pointed  out.  The  Miao-Tse'  occupy  the  mountain 
ous  regions  of  China ;  the  Siaputhes  are  proof  against 
all  attacks  in  the  gorges  of  Bolor.  On  the  confines  of 
this  area  we  find  to  the  east  the  Ainos  and  the  Japanese 
of  high  caste,  the  Tinguians  of  the  Philippine  Islands  ; 
to  the  south  the  Hindus.  To  the  south-west  and  west, 
the  white  element,  pure  or  mixed,  is  completely  predomi 
nant.  No  other  region  on  the  face  of  the  globe  presents 
similar  reunion  of  the  extreme  types  of  the  human  race 
distributed  around  a  common  centre.  This  fact  of  itself 
might  suggest  to  the  naturalist  the  conjecture  which  I 
have  expressed  above  ;  but  we  may  appeal  to  other  con 

One  of  the  weightiest  of  these  is  drawn  from  philol 
ogy.  The  three  fundamental  forms  of  human  language 
are  found  in  the  same  regions  and  in  analogous  connec 
tions.  In  the  centre  and  the  south-east  of  our  area  the 
monosyllabic  languages  are  represented  by  the  Chinese, 
the  Annamite,  the  Siamese,  and  the  Thibetan.  As  agglu 
tinative  languages,  we  find,  from  the  north-east  to  the 
north-west,  the  group  of  the  Ugro-Japanese ;  in  the  south 
that  of  the  Dravidians  and  the  Malays ;  and  in  the  west 
the  Turkish  languages.  Lastly,  Sanscrit  with  its  deriva 
tives,  and  the  Iranian  languages,  represent,  in  the  south 
and  south-west,  the  inflectional  languages.  With  the  lin 
guistic  types  accumulated  around  this  central  region  of 
Asia  all  human  languages  are  connected,  either  by  their 
vocabulary  or  their  grammar.  Some  of  these  Asiatic  lan 
guages  resemble  very  closely  languages  spoken  in  regions 
far  removed,  or  separated  from  the  area  in  question  by 
very  different  languages. 

Lastly,  it  is  from  Asia,  again,  that  our  earliest-tamed 
domestic  animals  have  come.  Isidore  Geoffrey- Saint- 
Hilaire  is  entirely  agreed  on  this  point  with  Bureau  de 
la  Malle. 

Thus,    taking   into   account  only  the  present   epoch, 


everything  leads  us  back  to  this  central  plateau,  or  rather 
this  vast  inclosure.  Here,  we  are  inclined  to  say  to  our 
selves,  the  first  human  beings  appeared,  and  multiplied 
down  to  the  moment  when  the  populations  overflowed 
like  a  bowl  which  is  too  full,  and  poured  themselves  out 
in  human  waves  in  all  directions.1 

This  view  of  the  location  of  the  first  centre  of  the 
race  is  very  widely  accepted.  It  has  the  support  of 
many  great  names.  To  its  establishment  contribu 
tions  have  been  made  by  scholars  in  a  great  variety 
of  fields.  Among  them  may  be  mentioned  Lassen, 
Burnouf,  Ewald,  Renan,  Obry,  D' Eckstein,  Hofer, 
Senart,  Maspero,  Lenormant,  etc.  Perhaps  the  most 
important  single  treatise  representing  the  view  is 
Obry's  "Cradle  of  the  Human  Species," — a  work 
of  singular  interest  to  every  scholar.2 

But  the  latest  writers  on  the  question  are  by  no 
means  confined  to  the  two  locations  just  mentioned. 
The  difficulty  of  accounting  for  the  first  advent  of 
human  beings  in  America,  without  supposing  in 
early  times  a  closer  land-connection  between  the 
eastern  and  western  hemispheres  in  the  intertrop- 
ical  regions  than  now  exists,  has  led  not  a  few  eth 
nologists  to  postulate  a  lost  Atlantis,  including  per 
haps  the  Canary  and  Madeira  Islands,  or  the  Azores, 

1  The  Human  Species,    pp.    175-177. — Quatrefages'   noteworthy 
suggestion  as  to  the  possibility  of  a  modification  of  the  above  con 
clusion  in  consequence  of  the  revelations  of  recent  paleontological 
researches  will  be  noticed  in  Part  III.,  chapter  7. 

2  Le  Berceau  de  PEspece  Humaine  selon  les  Indiens,  les  Perses  et 
les  Hebreux.    Amiens,  1858.     See  also  Lenormant,  Origines  de  rHis- 
toire.     Paris,  1882  :   torn.  ii.  I,  pp.  41,  144,  145.   (Translated  in  part 
in  The  Contemporary  Review,  Sept.  1881.)     Fragments  cosmogoniques 
de  Berose,  pp.  300-333.     Renan,  Histoire  generale  des  Langues  Semi- 
tiques,  pp.  475-484.    Wilford,  Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  vi.,  pp.  455-536, 
and  the  following  volumes. 


or  located  to  the  North  or  South  of  them,  and  to 
place  in  it  the  fountain  head  of  the  streams  of  popu 
lation  which  colonized  both  the  Old  and  the  New 

Another  location  lately  advanced  with  great  con 
fidence  and  supported  with  remarkable  acuteness 
and  learning  is  that  advocated  by  Dr.  Friedrich 
Delitzsch  in  his  valuable  work  entitled  "  Wo  lag 
das  Paradies  ?  "  2  This  site  is  on  the  Euphrates  be 
tween  Bagdad  and  Babylon.3  In  the  author's  con 
struction  the  "four  rivers"  are  the  great  canal  west 
of  the  Euphrates,  called  by  the  Greeks  the  Pallaco- 

1  Unger,  Die  versunkene  Insel  Atlantis.   Vienna,  1860.     An  Amer 
ican  work  in  advocacy  of  this  theory  is  Ignatius  Donnelly's  Atlan 
tis  :    The  Antediluvian   World.     New    York,  1882.     In  Europe  the 
hypothesis  has  been  represented  as  largely  abandoned.     See  Engler, 
Die  Entwickelungsgeschichte  der  Pflanzenwelt.     Leipsic,  1879  •  v°i' 
i.,  p.  82.     But  a  new  modification  has  since  appeared  in  the  work  of 
M.  Berlioux  of   Lyons  :  Les  Atlantes.     Histoire  de  ?  Atlantis  et  de 
V  Atlas  primitify  ou  Introduction  a  Fhistoire  de  C  Europe.    Paris,  1883. 

2  Wo  lag  das  Paradies  ?    Eine  biblisch-assyriologische  Studie.     Mil 
zahlreichen  assyriologischen  Beitrdgen  zur  biblischen  Lander-  nnd  Vol- 
kerlmnde  und  einer  Karte  Babylo niens.     Von  Dr.  Friedrich  Delitzsch, 
Professor    der   Assyriologie   an   der   Universitat   Leipzig.     Leipsic, 
1881.    The  author  is  a  son  of  the  well-known  Biblical  scholar  Pro 
fessor  Franz  Delitzsch,  and  is  himself  eminent  as  an  Assyriologist. 

8  Compare  the  language  of  his  fellow-student  in  Assyriology,  Pro 
fessor  Felice  Finzi :  "  Mentre  a  cercare  la  culla  degli  Ariani  dobbi- 
amo  volgerci  ad  Oriente,  agli  Uttara-Kuru  degli  Indiani,  al  mitico 
paradiso  degli  nomini  del  monte  Meru,  all'  Airyanem  Vaedjo  degli 
Irani,  al  regno  di  Udyana  presso  al  Caschmir ;  mentre  in  qualche 
gruppo  del  sistema  uralo-altaico  dee  forse  indicarsi  il  centre  di  forma- 
zione  della  famiglia  turanica,  e  la  orografia  del  Caucaso  potra  forse 
sola  determinare  il  sito  piu  opportuno  per  lo  sviluppo  delle  tribii  che 
se  ne  attestano  autottone ;  i  Semiti  ci  si  mostrano  figli  di  quella  terra 
ove  si  sono  svolte  le  pagine  piu  belle  della  loro  storia.  E  la  forse  in 
un  angolo  di  questo  paese  ricco  un  tempo  dello  splendore  di  una  na« 
tura  lussureggiante  che  la  tribii  semita  si  formo."  —  Ricerche  per  lo 
Studio  deir  Antichita  Assira.  Torino,  1872  :  p.  433. 


pas,  the  Shat-en-Nil,  and  the  lower  Tigris  and  Eu 
phrates.  But  despite  the  conceded  ability  of  the 
plea,  there  seems  at  present  little  prospect  that  it 
will  secure  acceptance  among  scholars.  The  distin 
guished  Theodor  Noeldeke,  in  a  recent  review,  while 
cordially  praising  the  learning  and  ingenuity  of  the 
work,  professes  himself  unmoved  by  its  arguments.1 
Similarly  a  critic  in  this  country  writes :  "  Unfortu 
nately  for  the  theory  so  powerfully  advanced,  almost 
all  the  linguistic  evidences  by  which  it  is  supported 
are  still  of  doubtful  value,  the  etymology  of  the 
Babylonian  names  in  most  cases,  and  the  reading  in 
some,  being  disputed  by  high  authorities  in  this  ob 
scure  field  of  inquiry.  Were  the  linguistic  points 
proved,  it  would  be  hard  to  resist  the  power  of  the 
argument,  in  spite  of  various  difficulties  arising  from 
the  scanty  text  of  Genesis  itself.  As  it  is,  although 
all  other  solutions  of  the  knotty  Biblical  problem 
may  be  subject  to  still  graver  objections,  the  follow 
ing  questions  militate  too  strongly  against  Professor 
Delitzsch's  solution :  Why,  if  the  stream  of  Eden  be 
the  middle  Euphrates,  is  it  left  unnamed  in  the  nar 
rative,  though  it  is  certain  that  the  Hebrews  were 
perfectly  familiar  both  with  the  middle  and  the  up 
per  course  of  that  river  ?  Why,  if  the  Pison  and 
Gihon  designate  the  canals  Pallacopas  and  Shat-en- 
Nil,  are  they  said  to  compass  lands  which  the  canals 
only  traverse  ?  If  the  lower  Tigris  be  meant  by  the 
Hiddekel,  why  is  this  river  described  as  flowing  in 
front  of  Assyria,  which  lay  above  the  central  Meso- 

1  "  Seine  Ansicht  zu  begriinden  wendet  er  sehr  viel  Gelehrsamkeit 
und  noch  mehr  Scharfsinn  auf,  aber  ich  fiirchte  umsonst.  Nach  sorg- 
faltiger  Priifung  muss  ich  festhalten  an  einer  Lage  des  Paradieses  in 
'Utopian,'  wie  er  etwas  spottisch  sagt."  —  Zeitschrift der Deutschen 
Morgenliindischen  Gesellschaft^  1882,  p.  174. 


potamian  lowland  asserted  to  be  Eden  ?  How  should 
a  writer  familiar  with  the  whole  course  of  the  Tigris 
deem  its  lower  part  a  branch  of  the  Euphrates  ? 
Why  should  Cush,  a  name  which  commonly  desig 
nated  Ethiopia,  have  been  used  by  the  narrator  in  a 
sense  in  which  it  nowhere  else  occurs  in  the  Scrip 
tures,  without  the  least  further  definition  ?  Why, 
on  the  other  hand,  is  Havilah,  if  the  Arabian  border 
land  so  well  known  to  the  Hebrews  be  meant,  so 
fully  described  by  its  products  ?  Who  tells  us  that 
the  gold,  the  bdellium,  and  the  shoham  of  Babylonia 
were  also  characteristic  of  the  adjoining  Havilah  ? 
But  whether  these  objections,  in  the  present  stage 
of  Assyriological  studies,  be  fatal  to  the  theory  of 
Professor  Delitzsch  or  not,  we  have  no  hesitation  in 
saying  that  his  dissertation,  amplified  as  it  is  by 
supplementary  treatises  on  the  ancient  geography 
and  ethnology  of  the  Mesopotamian  and  neighbor 
ing  countries,  of  Canaan,  Egypt,  and  Elam,  is  a  per 
fect  treasury  of  knowledge,  —  made  most  accessible 
by  excellent  indexes,  —  and  probably  the  most  bril 
liant  production  in  all  Biblico-Assyriological  litera 
ture."  ! 

At  the  present  writing,  the  latest  monograph 
upon  the  subject  is  the  one  just  published  in  the 
"Revue  de  1'Histoire  des  Religions,"  from  the  pen  of 
M.  Beauvois.2  This  locates  the  Eden  of  ethnic  tra 
ditions  in  America,  and  ascribes  to  the  Keltic  race 

1  The  Nation.     New  York,  Mar.  15,  1883.     See  Lenormant's  criti 
cisms  in  Les  Origines  de  VHistoire,  torn.  ii.  ;  and  Halevy's  in  the  Revue 
Critique,  Paris,  1881,  pp.  457-463,  477~485- 

2  "  L'Elysee  Transatlantique  et  1'Eden  Occidental,"  par  E.  Beau 
vois.    Revue,  Paris,  1883,  pp.  273  ss.     See  also  "  L'Elysee  des  Mexi- 
cains  compare  a  celui  des  Celtes,"  by  the  same  author,  in  same  Re 
view,  1884. 


no  small  influence  upon  the  Greco-Roman  mythol 
ogy  in  the  development  of  such  ideas  as  those  per 
taining  to  the  Gardens  of  the  Hesperides,  the  Isles 
of  the  Blessed,  etc.  The  site  advocated  is  not  new, 
though  the  line  of  argument  is  fresh  and  scholarly. 
The  hypothesis  that  the  cradle  of  the  race  is  to  be 
sought  in  America  has  before  found  advocacy  at  the 
hands  of  J.  Klaproth,  Gobineau,  and  others. 

That  this,  however,  is  not  to  be  the  last  and  only 
word  on  the  subject  is  evident  from  the  fact  that,  in 
a  huge  work  just  from  the  press,  an  English  writer 
says :  "  If  there  be  an  earthly  original  for  the  heav 
enly  Eden,  it  will  be  found  in  equatorial  Africa,  the 
land  of  seething,  swarming,  multitudinous,  and  co 
lossal  life,  where  the  mother  nature  grew  great  with 
her  latest  race  ;  the  lair  in  which  the  lusty  breeder 
brought  forth  her  black,  barbarian  brood,  and  put 
forth  for  them  such  a  warm,  welling  bosom  as  can 
not  be  paralleled  elsewhere  on  earth.  This  was  the 
world  of  wet  and  heaven  of  heat ;  the  land  of  equal 
day  and  dark  ;  that  supplied  the  Two  Truths  of 
Uarti  (Egyptian)  ;  the  top  of  the  world  ;  the  very 
nipple  (Kepd)  of  the  breast  of  earth,  which  is  there 
one  vast  streaming  fount  of  moisture  quick  with 
life.  So  surely  as  a  topographical  Meru  is  found 
in  Habesh,  so  surely  is  the  Earthly  Paradise,  the 
original  of  the  mythical  which  was  carried  forth 
over  the  world  by  the  migrations  from  Kam,  to  be 
found  there,  if  at  all."  1 

1  The  Natural  Genesis,  containing  an  attempt  to  recover  and  recon 
stitute  the  lost  Origins  of  the  Myths  and  Mysteries,  Types  and  Sym~ 
bols.  Religion  and  Language,  ivith  Egypt  for  the  mouthpiece,  and  Af 
rica  as  the  birthplace.  By  Gerald  Massey.  London,  1883  :  vol.  ii.,  p. 
162.  It  is  impossible  to  understand  how  Mr.  Massey  reconciles  the 
foregoing  language  with  that  used  on  p.  28  of  the  same  volume,  where 


In  fine,  so  resultless  seem  all  discussions  and  in 
vestigations  in  this  field  that  in  his  work  on  "  The 
Patriarchs  of  Humanity  "  Dr.  Julius  Grill,  like  Noel- 
deke,  prefers  to  locate  lost  Paradise  "in  Utopia," 
and  to  deny  to  it  all  historic  reality.1  Evidently  the 
naturalists  and  the  ethnologists,  the  comparative 
mythologists,  and  Kultnrgeschichtschreiber,  have  not 
yet  solved  the  problem.  Their  "  mother-region  "  of 
the  human  race  is  as  elusive  and  Protean  as  are  any 
of  the  terrestrial  Edens  of  theology,  or  of  legend, 
or  of  poetry. 

Thus  far,  then,  all  search  has  been  fruitless.  Par 
adise  is  indeed  lost.  The  explorer  cannot  find  it; 
the  theologian,  the  naturalist,  and  the  archaeologist 
have  all  sought  it  in  vain.  Representative  voices 
out  of  every  camp  are  heard  confessing  utter  igno 
rance  as  to  the  region  where  human  history  began. 
"  The  problem,"  says  Professor  Ebers,  "  remains  un 

he  speaks  of  the  crooked  sword  Khepsh,  "  that  turned  every  way,  and 
by  its  revolution  formed  the  circle  of  Eden,  or,  as  it  was  represented, 
kept  the  way  of  the  Tree  of  Life,  the  POLE,  where  the  happy  garden 
was  planted  as  the  primary  creation,  which  was  the  home  of  the  pri 
meval  pair."  But  in  the  language  of  The  Nation  (June  26,  1884) 
the  work  is  "  an  enormous  conglomeration  of  facts  set  down  with  en 
tire  indifference  to  scientific  principles  of  comparison,  .  .  .  and,  as 
far  as  the  author's  aim  is  concerned,  absolutely  worthless." 

1  "  Der  Ort,  wohin  die  althebraische  Ueberlieferung  die  Wiege  des 
Menschengeschlechtes  verlegt  .  .  .  ist  also  nicht  auf  der  Erde  gele- 
gen,  und  gehort  dem  Bereich  der  Wirklichkeit  nicht  an."  —  Grill,  Die 
Erzvater  der  Menschheit.  Leipzig,  1875  :  Abth.  I.,  p.  242. 


.  ,=s  rt  ••;•'}   r:  jfjfrmwtvj  !>>'  j>.Te  ««  5t-;j«»y«j   ;;'  r 



When  Newton  said  "  Hypotheses  non  fingo  "  he  did  not  mean  that  he  deprived 
himself  of  the  facilities  of  investigation  afforded  by  assuming  in  the  first  instance 
what  he  hoped  ultimately  to  be  able  to  prove.  Without  such  assumptions  science 
could  never  have  attained  its  present  state.  —  JOHN  STUART  MILL. 

In  scientific  investigations  it  is  permitted  to  invent  any  hypothesis,  and  if  it  ex 
plains  various  large  and  independent  classes  of  facts  it  rises  to  the  rank  of  a  well- 
grounded  theory.  —  CHARLES  DARWIN. 



The  golden  guess 
Is  morning  star  to  the  full  round  of  truth. 


FROM  the  foregoing  chapters  it  would  seem  as  if 
nearly  every  imaginable  site  for  the  Gan-Eden  of 
Genesis  had  been  proposed,  examined,  and  found  un 
available.  One,  however,  remains,  — a  region  of  rar 
est  interest  in  astronomical,  physical,  and  historical 
geography,  —  the  natural  centre  of  the  only  historic 
hemisphere.  Considering  the  fascination  of  the  sub 
ject  and  the  inexhaustible  ingenuity  that  has  been 
expended  upon  it,  it  seems  remarkable  that  it  should 
be  left  to  the  closing  years  of  the  nineteenth  cen 
tury  to  bring  forward  and  seriously  to  test  the  prop 


AT   THE   TIME    OF    THE    DELUGE.1 

1  As  to  the  alleged  "newness"  of  the  above  hypothesis,  it  is 
proper  to  say  that  something  like  a  year  elapsed  after  its  full  accept 
ance  and  public  announcement  by  the  writer  before  he  could  find  any 
evidence  that  it  had  ever  been  entertained  or  advocated  by  any  other 
person.  He  then  met  with  the  allusion  in  the  passage  quoted  from 
Bishop  Huet  as  a  motto  to  chapter  second  of  the  preceding  part, 
and  with  a  similar  allusion  in  an  anonymous  article  in  Dickens'  All 
the  Year  Round.  Whether  these  were  more  than  rhetorical  flourishes 
he  was  long  in  doubt.  Not  until  after  the  manuscript  of  the  present 
work  had  been  completed,  packed,  and  addressed  to  the  publishers, 


This  is  the  hypothesis  which  it  is  proposed  in  the 
following  pages  to  examine  and  according  to  the 
evidences  to  adjudge.  We  propose  to  make  the  test 
both  strict  and  comprehensive.  Hypotheses,  how 
ever  promising,  must  be  brought  face  to  face  with 
reality.  Ours,  like  its  numberless  predecessors, 
must  be  rejected  if  the  solid  facts  of  any  of  the  fol 
lowing  sciences  show  that  it  is  inadmissible  :  — 

1.  General  Geogony,  or  the  science  of  the  origin 
of  the  earth ; 

2.  Mathematical  or  Astronomical  Geography,  par 
ticularly  its  teachings  as  to  the  inhabitableness  or 
uninhabitableness  of   the    circumpolar  region  with 
respect  to  light ; 

3.  Physiographical  Geology,  particularly  its  teach 
ings  as  to  the  probability  or  improbability  of   the 
former  existence   and   subsequent  submersion  of  a 
circumpolar  country  ; 

4.  Prehistoric  Climatology,  particularly  with   ref 
erence  to  the  temperature  at  the  Pole  at  the  time  of 
the  beginning  of  human  history  ; 

5.  Paleontological  Botany  ; 

6.  Paleontological  Zoology  ; 

7.  Paleontological  Anthropology   and   Ethnology ; 

8.  Comparative  Mythology,  viewed  as  the  science 

was  the  doubt  resolved  by  finding  in  an  anonymous  English  magazine 
article  of  more  than  thirty  years  ago  this  brief  statement :  "  Pastellus 
will  have  it  that  Paradise  was  under  the  North  Pole."  Who  Pastel- 
lus  was  and  what  he  wrote  upon  the  subject  remain  to  be  investigated. 
Suffice  to  say  that  up  to  the  date  of  this  writing  the  author  has  found 
no  book  or  tractate  in  which  the  above  hypothesis  has  ever  been 
advocated.  This  fact  renders  some  of  the  mottoes  prefixed  to  the 
chapters  farther  on  remarkably  significant  and  impressive.  In  many 
cases  their  authors  express  truths  which  they  themselves  did  not 


of  the  oldest  traditionary  beliefs  and  memories  of 
mankind.  On  the  contrary,  if  the  hypothesis  is  ca 
pable  of  meeting  this  eightfold  test,  and  especially 
if  we  can  show,  not  only  that  it  is  admissible,  but 
also  that  in  greater  or  less  degree  it  is  supported  by 
the  positive  evidence  of  the  facts  in  nearly  all  of 
these  fields  of  knowledge,  we  shall  afford  a  much 
more  complete  and  convincing  verification  than  is 
at  all  usual  in  matters  of  prehistoric  research. 



It  appears,  then,  to  be  a  condition  of  a  genuinely  scientific  hypothesis  that  it  be 
not  destined  always  to  remain  an  hypothesis,  but  be  certain  to  be  either  proved  or 
disproved  by  that  comparison  with  observed  facts  which  is  termed  verification-  •  .  . 
Verification  is  proof ';  if  the  supposition  accords  with  the  phenomena  there  needs 
no  other  evidence  of  it.  —  JOHN  STUART  MILL. 

IT  is  evident,  on  a  moment's  thought,  that  our 
hypothesis  immediately  and  materially  modifies  the 
whole  problem  of  the  location  of  Paradise. 

Given  a  prehistoric  circumpolar  continent  at  the 
North  Pole  as  the  cradle  of  the  race,  what  must 
have  been  marked  and  memorable  features  of  that 
primitive  abode  ? 

1.  To  the  first  men  there  would  have  been  but 
one  day  and  one  night  in  a  year. 

2.  The  stars,  instead  of  seeming  to  rise  and  set, 
would  have   had   an   apparently  horizontal    motion 
round  and  round  the  observer  from  left  to  right. 

3.  The  Pole,  the  unmoving  centre-point   of   the 
heavens   directly   overhead,   would    naturally   have 
seemed  to  be  the  top  of  the  world,  the  true  heaven, 
the  changeless  seat  of  the  supreme,  all-ruling  God. 
And  if,  accordingly,  through  all  the  long  lifetime  of 
the  ante-diluvian  world,  the  circumpolar  sky  was  to 
human  thought  the  true  abode  of  God,  the  oldest 
post-diluvian  peoples,  though   scattered  down  the 


sides  of  the  globe  half  or  two  thirds  the  distance  to 
the  equator,  could  not  easily  have  forgotten  that  at 
the  centre  and  true  top  of  the  rotating  sky  was  the 
throne  of  its  great  Creator,  and  that  there,  in  the 
far  North,  was  "  the  sacred  quarter  "  of  the  world. 

4.  Standing  at  the  Pole  of  the  earth,  an  observer 
would  be  not  only  directly  under  the  centre  of  the 
celestial  hemisphere,  but  also  directly  on  the  centre 
of  the  surface  of  the  terrestrial  hemisphere.   There, 
and  there  alone,  the  heavenly  bodies  would  move, 
in  horizontal  planes,  round  and  round  him  every 
where  at  an  apparently  equal  distance,  and  he  would 
seem  to  himself  to  stand  on  the  one  precise  centre- 
point  of  the  entire  earth.     Every  departure  of  a  few 
miles  in  any  direction  from  this  polar  position  would 
at  once  confirm  this  first  impression.     If,  therefore, 
primeval  Eden  was  at  the  Pole,  the  descendants  of 
the   first   man,   going  away  from  such  an  original 
country,  could  hardly  have  failed  to  remember  it  as 
the  centre  of  all  lands,  the  omphalos  of  the  whole 

5.  Supposing  the  first  man  to  have  been  located 
in  the  central  and  most  elevated  portion  of  the  hy 
pothetical  Eden-land,  the  streams  there  originating 
and  flowing  seaward  would  have  flowed,  not  in  one 
but  in  various  opposite  directions  toward  all  the  car 
dinal  points  of  the  horizon.     Moreover,  all  of  these 
streams  being  obviously  fed,  not  by  each  other,  but 
by  the  rain  from  heaven,  it  would  not  have  required 
a  very  powerful  imagination  to  conceive  of  them  as 
parts  of  a  finer  and  more  celestial    stream  whose 
head-springs  were  in  the  sky.1    If,  finally,  the  streams 

1  Compare  the  poetic  representation  of  "  the  river  of  God,"  in  Ps. 
Ixv.  9,  10.     Also  the  following  :  "  Aristotle,  I  remember,  in  his  Me- 


flowing  in  the  opposite  directions  grew  at  length  into 
four  opposite-flowing  rivers, — flumina  principalia,  as 
many  old  theologians  have  called  them,  —  dividing 
the  circumpolar  land  into  four  nearly  equal  quarters, 
it  would  have  constituted  a  never-to-be-forgotten 
feature  of  that  first  home  of  men. 

6.  In  another  chapter  we  shall  expose  the  base 
lessness  of  the  popular  impression  that  at  the  Pole 
six  months  of  every  twelve  are  spent  in  darkness, 
and  shall  show  that,  on  the  contrary,  less  than  one 
fifth  of  the  year  is  so  spent,  while  more  than  four 
fifths  are  spent  in  light.     This  being  true,  a  primi 
tive  abode  in  that  part  of  the  world  would  have  been 
remembered  by  the  descendants  of  the  first  man  as 
preeminently  a  land  of  beauty,  —  preeminently  the 
home  of  the  sun.     Moreover,  Arctic  explorers  find 
it  impossible  to  describe  the  nocturnal  splendors  of 
the  Aurora  Borealis  in  those  regions,  —  the  whole 
top  of  the   globe   ofttimes  seeming  veiled   in  and 
over-canopied  with  quivering  curtains  and  banners 
and  streamers  of  living,  leaping  flame ;  —  it  is  there 
fore  easy  to  believe  that,  once  exiled  from  such  a 
home,  mankind  would  ever  have  looked  back  to  it  as 
to  an  abode  of   unearthly  and   preternatural   efful 
gence,  —  a  home  fit  for  the  occupancy  of  gods  and 
holy  immortals. 

7.  Finally,  assuming  the  prevalence  of  an  equable 
tropical  temperature,  we  find  the  biological  conditions 
of  the  region  —  such   as  the  extraordinary  preva 
lence  of  daylight,  the  intenser  terrestrial  magnetism, 

teors,  speaking  of  the  course  of  the  Vapours,  saith,  there  is  a  River 
in  the  Air,  constantly  flowing  betwixt  the  Heavens  and  the  Earth, 
made  by  the  ascending  and  descending  Vapours."  —  Burnet,  Sacred 
Theory  of  the  Earth,  p.  226. 


and  the  unparalleled  electric  forces  which  feed  the 
Northern  Lights  —  all  combining  to  raise  a  high 
probability  that  if  ever  such  a  land  as  we  have  sup 
posed  existed,  it  must  have  presented  forms  of  life 
surpassing  those  with  which  we  are  familiar  ;  a  flora 
and  fauna  of  almost  unimagined  vigor  and  luxuriance 
of  development.  Under  such  conditions  men  them 
selves  may  well  have  had  a  stature  and  strength  and 
longevity  never  attained  since  the  Deluge,  which 
destroyed  "the  world  that  then  was,"  and  imme 
diately  or  ultimately  occasioned  the  translocation  of 
the  seed  of  our  new  post-diluvian  humanity  into  the 
cold  and  barren  and  desolate  regions  of  the  North 
ern  Temperate  zone.  And  if  the  first  men  were  of 
the  stature  and  strength  and  longevity  supposed, 
how  certainly  would  traditions  of  the  fact  linger  in 
the  memory  of  mankind  long  after  its  exile  from  its 
earlier  and  happier  home  ! 

Glancing  back  now  over  these  various  points,  one 
instantly  sees  that  they  present  conditions  of  hu 
man  existence  totally  unlike  the  conditions  of  life 
as  we  know  it,  or  as  it  has  ever  been  known  in  what 
are  called  historic  ages.  They  necessarily  modify 
in  the  profoundest  manner  the  whole  problem  of  the 
site  of  Eden.  No  solution  ever  heretofore  presented 
exposed  itself  to  refutation  at  so  many  points.  None 
ever  before  postulated  so  extraordinary  an  adjust 
ment  of  both  heavens  and  earth.  None  ever  before 
required,  in  order  to  its  establishment,  so  incredibly 
wide  a  concurrency  of  testimony.  Against  no  other 
has  it  ever  been  possible  for  the  very  stars  in  their 
courses  to  fight.  If  false,  it  demands  of  human  tra 
dition  shadowy  recollections  of  world  -  conditions 
which  have  never  existed  in  human  experience.  An 


hypothesis  so  peculiarly  difficult  must  surely  break 
down,  if  it  be  not  true.  Promising  the  reader,  there 
fore,  not  a  new  ignis-fatuus  chase,  but  at  least  the 
satisfaction  of  a  definite  result  as  respects  one  hy 
pothesis,  we  cordially  invite  his  critical  and  patient 
attention  to  the  facts  to  be  presented  in  the  follow 
ing  chapters. 








It  follows  .  .  .  that  man,  issuing  from  a  "mother-region  "  still  undetermined,  but 
which  a  number  of  considerations  indicate  to  have  been  in  the  North,  has  radiated 
in  several  directions  ;  that  his  migrations  have  been  constantly  from  North  to 
South.  —  M.  LE  MARQUIS  G.  DE  SAPORTA,  in  Popular  Science  Monthly,  October, 
1883,  p.  753- 

Eine  jede  Reise,  welche  nach  der  eisumgiirteten  Inselwelt  im  Norden  Amerikas 
unternommen  wurde,  weiss  von  Anzeichen  der  ehemaligen  Anwesenheit  eines  Volkes 
zu  erzahlen,  welches  Lander  bewohnte,  die  heute  kein  menschlicher  Fuss  mehr  zu 
betreten  scheint.  — DR.  F.  BOAS,  in  Zeitschrift  der  Gesellschaft  fur  Erdkunde  in 
Berlin,  Bd.  xviii.  (1883),  p.  118. 



Les  lots  gen&rales  de  la  g&ogtnie  favorisent  <fzinefa(on  remarquable  Fhypothhe 
dont  nous  venons  d?ebaucher  les  traits.  —  COUNT  SAPORTA. 

COULD  it  once  be  proven  that  the  Arctic  termi 
nus  of  the  earth  has  always  been  the  ice-bound  re 
gion  which  it  now  is,  and  which  for  thousands  of 
years  it  has  been,  it  would  of  course  be  useless  to 
entertain  for  a  moment  the  hypothesis  that  the  cra 
dle  of  the  human  race  was  there  located.  Prob 
ably  the  popular  impression  that  from  the  beginning 
of  the  world  the  far  North  has  been  the  region  of 
unendurable  cold  has  been  one  of  the  chief  reasons 
why  our  hypothesis  is  so  late  in  claiming  attention. 
At  the  present  time,  however,  so  far  as  this  difficulty 
is  concerned,  scientific  studies  have  abundantly  pre 
pared  the  way  for  the  new  theory. 

That  the  earth  is  a  slowly  cooling  body  is  a  doc 
trine  now  all  but  universally  accepted.  In  saying 
this  we  say  nothing  for  or  against  the  so-called  neb 
ular  hypothesis  of  the  origin  of  the  world,  for  both 
friends  and  foes  of  this  unproven  hypothesis  believe 
in  what  is  termed  the  secular  cooling  or  refrigera 
tion  of  the  earth.  All  authorities  in  this  field  hold 
and  teach  that  the  time  was  when  the  slowly  solid 
ifying  planet  was  too  hot  to  support  any  form  of  life, 
and  that  only  at  some  particular  time  in  the  cooling 


process  was  there  a  temperature  reached  which  was 
adapted  to  the  necessities  of  living  things. 

On  what  portion  of  the  earth's  surface,  now, 
would  this  temperature  first  be  reached  ?  Or  would 
it  everywhere  be  reached  at  the  same  time  ? 

These  are  most  interesting  questions,  and  the 
writer  has  often  marveled  that  in  scientific  treatises 
on  the  cooling  globe  he  could  nowhere  find  them 
formally  discussed.  Granting,  however,  a  uniform 
interior  heat  and  a  uniform  loss  of  it  in  the  mode 
of  superficial  radiation  in  all  directions  into  space, 
it  is  certain  that  if  these  were  the  only  factors  in 
the  problem  the  cooling  process  would  affect  every 
part  of  the  surface  in  a  uniform  manner,  and  we 
might  confidently  infer  that  the  temperature  com 
patible  with  organic  life  was  reached  at  the  same 
time  at  all  points  of  the  earth's  surface.  But  the 
factors  named  are  not  the  only  ones  of  the  problem. 
In  those  far-off  geologic  ages  the  heat  received  from 
the  great  central  furnace  of  our  system,  the  sun, 
cannot  have  been  less  than  at  the  present  time. 
Some  astronomers  and  geologists  claim  that  it  was 
greater.1  In  any  case,  therefore,  as  early  as  the  time 
when  the  earth's  atmosphere  became  penetrable  by 
the  rays  of  the  sun,  local  differences  of  temperature 
must  have  been  produced  at  the  base  of  the  atmos 
phere,  whether  the  body  of  the  globe  was  as  yet 
crusted  over  or  not.  Then  as  now,  viewed  apart 
from  air  and  water  currents,  every  particular  spot  on 
the  surface  of  the  globe  must  have  had  a  tempera 
ture  determined,  first  by  the  fixed  and  uniform  in 
herent  heat  of  the  earth-mass,  and  secondly  by  the 
varying  quantity  of  heat  received  from  the  sun.  But 

i  See  Winchell,  World-Life,  pp.  484-490. 


the  difference  between  the  solar  heat  received  at  a 
point  under  the  equator  and  that  received  at  a  point 
at  the  pole  cannot  have  been  less  in  those  ages  than 
at  the  present  time  ;  and  this  incessant  increment 
of  the  equatorial  heat  of  the  earth  by  the  direct  rays 
of  the  sun  suggests  at  once  the  portions  of  the  globe 
to  which  we  must  look  if  we  would  find  the  regions 
which  first  became  cool  enough  to  sustain  organic 
life.  Then  as  now  the  polar  regions  must  have 
been  cooler  than  the  equatorial,  and  hence,  as  far  as 
the  teachings  of  theoretical  geogony  can  be  trusted, 
the  conclusion  is  inevitable  that  there,  to  wit,  in  the 
polar  regions,  life  first  became  possible.1 

The  bearing  of  this  result  upon  our  central  thesis 
is  at  once  obvious.  We  asked  the  geologist  this 
question  :  "  Is  the  hypothesis  of  a  primeval  polar 
Eden  admissible  ? "  Looking  at  the  slowly  cooling 
earth  alone,  he  replies,  "  Eden  conditions  have  prob 
ably  at  one  time  or  another  been  found  everywhere 
upon  the  surface  of  the  earth.  Paradise  may  have 
been  anywhere."  Looking  at  the  cosmic  environ 
ment,  however,  he  adds,  "  But  while  Paradise  may 
have  been  anywhere,  the  first  portions  of  the  earth's 
surface  sufficiently  cool  to  present  the  conditions 
of  Eden  life  were  assuredly  at  the  Poles." 

1  The  similar  or  identical  reasonings  of  Professor  Philip  Spiller 
were  unknown  to  me  when  the  foregoing  was  written.  See  the  fol 
lowing  :  Die  Weltschopfung  vom  Standpunkte  der  heutigen  Wissen- 
schaft.  Mil  neuen  Untersuchungen,  1868,  2d  ed.,  1873.  Die  Entste- 
hung  der  Welt  imd  die  Einheit  der  Naturkrdfte.  Populdre  Kosmogo- 
nie,  1872.  Die  Urkraft  des  Weltalls  nach  ihrem  Wesen  und  Wirken 
auf  alien  Naturgebieten.  Berlin,  1879.  In  Professor  Otto  Kuntze's 
latest  work,  Phytogeogenesis :  Die  vorweltliche  Entwickehing  der  Erd~ 
kruste  und  der  Pflanzen,  Leipsic,  1884, 1  also  find  traces  of  a  recog 
nition  of  the  truth  above  set  forth.  See  pp.  51,  52,  53,  60,  of  the  work. 



The  nights  are  never  so  dark  at  the  Pole  as  in  other  regions,  for  the  •moon  and 
stars  seem  to  possess  twice  as  much  light  and  effulgence.  In  addition,  there  is  a 
continuous  light  in  the  North,  the  varied  shades  and  play  of  which  are  amongst 
the  strangest  phenomena  of  nature.  —  RAMBOSSON'S  Astronomy. 

The  fact  which  gives  the  phenomenon  of  the  polar  aurora  its  greatest  impor 
tance  is  that  the  earth  becomes  self-luminous  ;  that,  besides  the  light  which  as  a 
planet  it  receives  from  the  central  body,  it  shows  a  capability  of  sustaining  a  lu 
minous  process  proper  to  itself,  —  HUMBOLDT. 

WE  are  apt  to  think  of  an  unbroken  night  of  six 
months  at  the  Pole.  Eminent  scientific  authorities 
speak  as  if  this  conception  were  correct.  Thus  Pro 
fessor  Geikie,  in  his  admirable  new  manual  of  Geol 
ogy,  writing  of  the  Arctic  flora  of  the  Miocene  age, 
says,  "When  we  remember  that  this  vegetation 
grew  luxuriantly  within  8°  15'  of  the  North  Pole, 
in  a  region  which  is  in  darkness  for  half  of  the  year y 
...  we  can  realize  the  difficulty  of  the  problem  in 
the  distribution  of  climate  which  these  facts  present 
to  the  geologist."  *• 

In  like  manner  Sir  Charles  Lyell,  discussing  the 
question  of  the  possibility  of  whales  reaching  the 
supposed  open  sea  at  the  Pole,  says,  "  They  could 
pass  under  considerable  barriers  of  ice,  provided 
there  were  "openings  here  and  there;  and  so  they 
may,  perhaps,  reach  a  more  open  sea  near  the  Pole, 

1  Text-book  of  Geology.  By  Archibald  Geikie,  LL.  D.,  F.  R.  S 
London,  1882  :  p.  869. 


and  find  sustenance  there  during  a  day  of  more  than 
five  months1  duration."  1 

From  such  representations  as  these  the  reader 
naturally  carries  away  the  impression  that  daylight 
lasts  at  the  Pole  somewhat  over  five  months,  while 
all  the  rest  of  the  year  the  region  is  shrouded  in 
darkness.  Were  this  true,  it  would  certainly  be  an 
unpromising  region  in  which  to  search  for  the  ter 
restrial  Paradise. 

Fortunately  for  our  hypothesis,  this  conception  of 
the  duration  of  the  polar  night  is  very  far  from  true. 
The  half-yearly  reign  of  darkness  exists  only  in  the 
uninstructed  imagination.  Astronomical  geography 
teaches  that,  as  respects  daylight,  the  polar  regions 
are  and  always  have  been  the  most  favored  portions 
of  the  globe.  As  early  a  popularizer  of  natural  sci 
ence  as  the  Rev.  Thomas  Dick  set  forth  the  real 
facts  as  follows  :  "  Under  the  Poles,  where  the  dark 
ness  of  night  would  continue  six  months  without  in 
termission  if  there  were  no  refraction,  total  dark 
ness  does  not  prevail  one  half  of  this  period.  When 
the  sun  sets  at  the  North  Pole,  about  the  2$d  of 
September,  the  inhabitants  (if  any)  enjoy  a  perpet 
ual  aurora  till  he  has  descended  eighteen  degrees 
below  the  horizon.  In  his  course  through  the  eclip 
tic,  the  sun  is  two  months  before  he  can  reach  this 
point,  during  which  time  there  is  a  perpetual  twi 
light.  In  two  months  more  he  arrives  again  at  the 
same  point,  namely,  eighteen  degrees  below  the  ho 
rizon,  when  a  new  twilight  commences,  which  is 
continually  increasing  in  brilliancy  for  other  two 
months,  at  the  end  of  which  the  body  of  this  lumi 
nary  is  seen  rising  in  all  its  glory.  So  that  in  this 

1  Principles  of  Geology,  New  York  ed.,  vol.  i.,  p.  246. 

62        •  PARADISE  FOUND. 

region  the  light  of  day  is  enjoyed  in  a  greater  or 
less  degree  for  ten  months,  without  interruption  by 
the  effects  of  atmospheric  refraction  ;  and  during 
the  two  months  when  the  influence  of  the  solar  light 
is  entirely  withdrawn,  the  moon  is  shining  above  the 
horizon  for  two  half  months  without  intermission ; 
and  thus  it  happens  that  no  more  than  two  separate 
fortnights  are  passed  in  total  darkness,  and  this 
darkness  is  alleviated  by  the  light  of  the  stars  and 
the  frequent  coruscations  of  the  Aurora  Borealis. 
Hence  it  appears  that  there  are  no  portions  of  our 
globe  which  enjoy  throughout  the  year  so  large  a 
portion  of  the  solar  light  as  these  northern  re 
gions."  1 

Striking  as  is  this  account  of  the  polar  day,  it  is 
noteworthy  that  experience  has  repeatedly  shown 
that  the  actual  duration  of  light  in  high  latitudes 
exceeds  even  the  calculations  of  the  astronomers. 
Thus,  in  the  spring  of  1873,  the  officers  of  the  Aus 
trian  expedition,  under  Lieutenants  Weyprecht  and 
Payer,  were  surprised  to  behold  the  sun  three  days 
before  the  date  on  which  he  was  expected  to  rise. 
A  late  writer  thus  states  the  case  :  "  In  the  latitude 
(79°  1S!  N.)  in  which  the  Tegethoff  was  lying,  the 
sun  ought  to  reappear  above  the  horizon  on  the  iQth 
of  February ;  but,  owing  to  an  effect  of  refraction, 
due  to  the  low  temperature  prevailing,  — 30°  R.,  the 
explorers  were  able  to  salute  its  rays  three  days  ear 
lier."  2 

Lieutenant  Payer's  own  account  is  as  follows : 
"Though  the  sun  did  not  return  to  our  latitude  (78° 

1  Works  of  Thomas  Dick,  LL.  £>.,   The  Practical  Astronomer,  ch. 
ii.     Hartford,  vol.  ii.,  second  half,  p.  30. 

2  Recent  Expeditions  in  Eastern  Polar  Seas.    London,  1882 :  p.  83 


15'  N.,  71°  38'  E.  long.)  till  the  iQth  of  February, 
we  were  able  to  greet  his  beams  three  days  previous 
to  that  date,  owing  to  the  strong  refraction  of  i°  40' 
which  accompanied  a  temperature  of  —  30°  R."  1 

Still  more  remarkable  was  the  experience  of  Ba- 
rentz's  Arctic  expedition,  almost  three  hundred  years 
ago.  Dr.  Dick  alludes  to  it  as  follows  :  "  The  re 
fractive  power  of  the  atmosphere  has  been  found  to 
be  much  greater,  in  certain  cases,  than  what  has 
now  been  stated.  In  the  year  1595  [1596-97]  a 
company  of  Dutch  sailors  having  been  wrecked  on 
the  shores  of  Novaia  Zemlia,  and  having  been  obliged 
to  remain  in  that  desolate  region  during  a  night  of 
more  than  three  months  [it  was  a  little  less  than 
three  months],  beheld  the  sun  make  his  appearance 
in  the  horizon  about  sixteen  days  before  the  time  in 
which  he  should  have  risen  according  to  calculation, 
and  when  his  body  was  actually  more  than  four  de 
grees  below  the  horizon."  The  only  explanation  of 
this  astonishing  phenomenon  which  the  same  writer 
offers  is  found  in  this  appended  clause,  —  "  which 
circumstance  has  been  attributed  to  the  great  refrac 
tive  power  of  the  atmosphere  in  those  intensely  cold 
regions."  This  is  so  unsatisfactory  that  not  a  few 
prefer  to  believe,  what  seems  entirely  incredible, 
namely,  that  Barentz  and  his  men  in  the  short  space 
of  less  than  three  months  made  a  blunder  of  sixteen 
days  in  their  time  record. 

Professor  Nordenskjold  has  recently  referred  to 
the  case  as  follows  :  "  On  the  J^th  November  the 
sun  disappeared  and  was  again  visible  on  the  2431™;. 
These  dates  have  caused  scientific  men  much  per 
plexity,  because,  in  latitude  76°  North,  the  upper 

1  New  Lands  within  the  Arctic  Circle.    Lond.  1876  :  vol.  i.,  p.  237. 


edge  of  the  sun  ought  to  have  ceased  to  be  visible 
when  the  sun's  south  declination  in  autumn  became 
greater  than  I30,1  and  to  have  become  visible  again 
when  the  declination  again  became  less  than  that 
figure ;  that  is  to  say,  the  sun  ought  to  have  been 
seen  for  the  last  time  at  Barentz's  Ice  Haven  on  the 
5S-  October,  and  it  ought  to  have  appeared  again 
there  on  the  ^  Feb.  It  has  been  supposed  that  the 
deviation  arose  from  a  considerable  error  in  count 
ing  the  days,  but  this  was  unanimously  denied  by 
the  crew  who  wintered."  2  In  a  foot-note  he  gives 
proofs  which  seem  convincing  that  no  such  error 
can  have  been  committed. 

But  while  these  experiences  of  Barentz  and  the 
Austrians  point  to  a  duration  of  darkness  at  the 
Pole  of  less  than  sixty  days  out  of  the  three  hundred 
and  sixty-five,  some  apparently  good  authorities  ex 
tend  the  period  to  seventy-six  or  seventy-seven  days. 
Thus  Captain  Bedford  Pirn,  of  the  Royal  Navy  of 
Great  Britain,  makes  the  following  statement :  "  On 
the  1 6th  of  March  the  sun  rises,  preceded  by  a  long 
dawn  of  forty-seven  days,  namely,  from  the  2Qth  of 
January,  when  the  first  glimmer  of  light  appears. 
On  the  25th  of  September  the  sun  sets,  and  after  a 
twilight  of  forty-eight  days,  namely,  on  the  I3th  of 
November,  darkness  reigns  supreme,  so  far  as  the 
sun  is  concerned,  for  seventy-six  days,  followed  by 
one  long  period  of  light,  the  sun  remaining  above 
the  horizon  one  hundred  and  ninety-four  days.  The 
year,  therefore,  is  thus  divided  at  the  Pole:  194  days 
sun ;  76  darkness  ;  47  days  dawn  ;  48  twilight."  J 

1  On  the  assumption  of  a  horizontal  refraction  of  about  45'. 

2  The  Voyage  of  the  Vega.     London,  1882  :  p.  192. 

8  Pirn's  Marine  Pocket   Case :  quoted  in  Kinn's  Harmony  of  th 
Bible  with  Science.    London,  1882  :  2d  ed.,  p.  474. 


Even  according  to  this  account  we  should  have  at 
the  Pole  only  76  days  of  darkness  to  289  days  of 
light  in  the  year.  In  other  words,  instead  of  being 
in  darkness  little  short  of  half  of  the  time,  as  at  the 
equator,  one  would  be  in  darkness  but  about  one 
fourth  of  the  time.  As  far  as  light  is  concerned, 
therefore,  even  on  this  calculation  the  polar  region 
is  twice  as  favorable  to  life  as  any  equatorial  region 
that  can  be  named. 

But  whence  this  discrepancy  among  the  astrono 
mers  ?  Why  should  some  of  them  make  the  polar 
night  sixteen  days  longer  than  others  ? 

The  simple  answer  is  that  they  proceed  upon  dif 
ferent  assumptions  as  to  atmospheric  refraction  in 
the  region  of  the  Pole.  In  our  latitude  twilight  is 
usually  reckoned  to  begin  when  the  centre  of  the 
rising  sun  is  yet  18°  below  the  horizon.  Starting 
with  this  as  the  limit,  and  counting  sunrise  and  sun 
set  to  be  the  moments  when  the  sun's  upper  limb  is 
on  the  horizon,  we  arrive  at  the  division  of  the  polar 
year  given  by  Captain  Pirn.  But  astronomers  say 
that  in  England  twilight  has  been  observed  when 
the  sun  was  21°  below  the  horizon.  To  be  entirely 
safe  some  have  therefore  taken  20°  as  the  limit  of 
solar  depression,  and  reckoning  with  this  datum,  in 
stead  of  the  1 8°  before  mentioned,  have  found  that 
at  the  Pole  the  morning  twilight  would  begin  Jan 
uary  2Oth,  and  the  evening  twilight  would  cease  No 
vember  2 1  st.  This  would  make  the  period  of  dark 
ness  but  60  days,  and  the  period  of  light  305.  Thus 
a  difference  of  only  two  degrees  in  the  assumed 
limit  of  solar  depression  at  the  beginning  and  end 
of  the  twilights  makes  the  difference  of  sixteen  days 
in  the  supposed  duration  of  darkness.  "  Which  of 


the  two  calculations,"  writes  an  eminent  American 
mathematician,  "  is  the  more  correct  is  known,  I  im 
agine,  by  no  one."  l 

To  us  in  the  present  discussion  the  discrepancy  is 
of  very  little  moment.  It  is  only  a  question  as  to 
whether  at  the  Pole  there  is  daylight  three  fourths 
or  five  sixths  of  the  year.  Both  suppositions  may 
be  and  probably  are  wrong.  For  if  "in  tropical 
climates  16°  or  17°  is  said  to  be  a  sufficient  allow 
ance  for  the  extreme  solar  depression,  while,  on  the 
other  hand,  it  is  said  in  England  to  vary  from  17°  to 
21°,"  it  certainly  looks  as  though  in  yet  higher  lati 
tudes  the  light  of  the  sun  might  be  discernible  when 
its  body  is  as  much  as  21°  or  22°  below  the  horizon; 
and  this  would  reduce  the  annual  polar  darkness  to 
less  than  fifty  days.  This  supposition  is  rendered 
the  more  probable  by  the  fact  that,  while  the  ex 
peditions  already  alluded  to  found  much  more  of 
daylight  than  their  astronomical  calculations  had 
led  them  to  expect,  we  have  no  offsetting  accounts 
where  the  sun  was  awaited  in  vain.  The  final  and 
authoritative  settlement  of  the  question  can  be 
reached  only  by  actual  observation.  Among  the 
fascinating  problems  whose  solution  awaits  the 
progress  of  Arctic  exploration,  we  must  therefore 
place  the  scientific  determination  of  the  unknown 
duration  of  the  polar  day. 

In  view  of  the  foregoing  we  are  certainly  safe  in 
conceiving  of  the  polar  night  as  lasting  not  over 
four  fortnights.  During  two  of  these,  as  Dick  re 
minds  us,  the  moon  would  be  walking  in  beauty 

1  Professor  J.  M.  Van  Vleck,  LL.  D.,  of  Wesleyan  University,  in 
a  letter  to  the  author  under  date  of  October  11,  1883.  Professor  Van 
Vleck  was  for  many  years  a  collaborates  upon  the  American  Epheme- 
ris  and  Nautical  Almanac.  He  is  the  authority  for  the  next  quoted 


through  the  heavens,  and  exhibiting  all  her  changing 
phases  of  loveliness  in  unbroken  successions.  The 
other  two  would  be  passed  beneath  the  starry  arch 
of  heaven,  all  of  whose  sparkling  constellations 
would  be  moving  round  and  round  the  observer  in 
exactly  horizontal  orbits. 

In  such  a  perfect  and  regular  stellar  system  kept 
in  view  so  long  and  so  continuously,  the  irregular 
movements  of  the  "planets,"  or  wandering  stars, 
could  not  possibly  escape  observation.  All  their  cu 
rious  accelerations,  retardations,  conjunctions,  decli 
nations,  would  be  perfectly  marked  and  measured  on 
the  revolving  but  changeless  dial  -  plate  of  the  re 
moter  sky.  Dwelling  in  such  a  natural  observatory, 
any  people  would  of  necessity  become  astronomers.1 
And  how  magnificent  and  orderly  would  the  on 
goings  of  the  universe  appear  when  viewed  from 
underneath  a  firmament  whose  centre  of  revolution 
was  fixed  in  the  observer's  zenith!  After  long 
months  of  unbroken  daylight;  how  would  one's  soul 
yearn  for  a  new  vision  of  those  stellar  glories  of  the 
night !  Nor  would  the  moon  and  silent  stars  be  the 
only  attractions  of  the  brief  period  during  which 
the  light  of  the  sun  was  withdrawn.  The  mystic 
play  of  the  Northern  Light  would  transform  the 
familiar  daylight  world  into  a  veritable  fairy-land. 

1  Even  an  equatorial  position  would  probably  have  been  less  favor 
able.  "  The  Peruvians  had  also  their  recurrent  religious  festivals  ;  .  .  . 
but  the  geographic  position  of  Peru,  with  Quito,  its  holy  city,  lying 
immediately  under  the  equator,  greatly  simplified  the  process  by  which 
they  regulated  their  religious  festivals  by  the  solstices  and  equinoxes  ; 
and  the  facilities  which  their  equatorial  position  afforded  for  deter 
mining  the  few  indispensable  periods  in  their  calendar  removed  all 
stimulus  to  fiirther  progress"  —  Dr.  Daniel  Wilson  on  "  Pre-Aryan 
American  Man,"  in  Proceedings  and  Transactions  of  the  Royal  Society 
•f  Canada.  Montreal,  1883  :  vol.  i.,  sect,  ii.,  p.  60. 


In  our  latitude  the  Aurora  Borealis  is  a  compara 
tively  rare  and  tame  phenomenon.  In  the  highest 
Arctic  regions  it  almost  nightly  kindles  its  unearthly 
glories.1  In  itself  it  is  lightning  diluted  and  subli 
mated  to  the  point  of  harmlessness.2  Sometimes 
these  electric  discharges  not  only  fill  the  whole 
heaven  with  palpitating  draperies,  but  also  tip  the 
hills  with  lambent  flame,  and  cause  the  very  soil  on 
which  one  stands  to  prickle  with  a  kind  of  life.3 

But  after  all  the  glories  of  the  night  begin  the 
greater  glories  of  the  polar  day.  Who  with  any 
approach  to  adequacy  has  ever  described  a  dawn  ? 
What  poet  has  not  attempted  it,  and  what  poet  has 
not  failed  ?  But  if  it  be  impossible  to  picture  one 

1  A  lately  published  report,  speaking  of  the  last  winter  at  one  of 
these  circumpolar  stations  of  the  far  North,  says  :  "  Auroras  have 
been  seen  here  during  the  winter  almost  every  night,  and  during  all 
weathers.  .  .  .  The  auroral  forms  or  types  which  have  appeared  have 
been  those  generally  known,  from  the  grand  corona  to  the  modest,  pul 
sating,  little  luminous  cloud ;  but  as  a  characteristic  feature  attending 
them  all,  I  must  mention  the  absence  of  stability  in  the  types.     Thus 
only  on  a  few  occasions  has  there  been  an  opportunity  to  watch  the 
stationary  arc,  but  in  general  the  aurorae  have  represented  wafting 
draperies  and  shining  streamers  with  ever-changing  position  and  in 
tensity." —  A.  S.  Steen,  "The  Norwegian  Circumpolar  Station,"  in 
Nature,  October  n,  1883,  p.  568. 

2  "  The  electric  discharges  which  take  place  in  the  polar  regions 
between  the  positive  electricity  of  the  atmosphere  and  the  negative 
electricity  of  the  earth  are  the  essential  and  unique  cause  of  the  for 
mation  of  the  polar  light."  —  M.  de  la  Rive  in  The  Arctic  Manual,  p. 

3  "Mr.  Lemstrom  concluded  that  an  electric  discharge  which  could 
only  be  seen  by  means  of  the  spectroscope  was  taking  place  on  the 
surface  of  the  ground  all  round  him,  and  that  from  a  distance  it  would 
appear  as  a  faint  display  of  Aurora,"  —  a  display  like  "  the  phe 
nomena  of  pale  and  flaming  light  which  is  sometimes  seen  on  the  top 
of  the  Spitzbergen  mountains."  — The  Arctic  Manual,  p.  739.     Com 
pare  Elias  Loomis,  Aurora  Borealis,  Smithsonian  Report,  1865.     H. 
Fritz,  Das  Polarlicht.     Leipsic,  1881. 

An  actual  Aurora  Borealis. 


of  our  brief  and  evanescent  day-dawns,  who  shall  at 
tempt  a  description  of  that  surpassing  spectacle  in 
which  all  the  splendors  and  loveliness  of  sixty  of  our 
dawns  are  combined  in  one.  No  words  can  ever  por 
tray  it.  No  poet's  imagination,  even,  has  ever  given 
us  such  unearthly  scenery. 

First  of  all  appears  low  in  the  horizon  of  the  night- 
sky  a  scarcely  visible  flush  of  light.  At  first  it  only 
makes  a  few  stars'  light  seem  a  trifle  fainter,  but 
after  a  little  it  is  seen  to  be  increasing,  and  to  be 
moving  laterally  along  the  yet  dark  horizon.  Twen 
ty-four  hours  later  it  has  made  a  complete  circuit 
around  the  observer,  and  is  causing  a  larger  number 
of  stars  to  pale.  Soon  the  widening  light  glows  with 
the  lustre  of  "  Orient  pearl."  Onward  it  moves  in 
its  stately  rounds,  until  the  pearly  whiteness  burns 
into  ruddy  rose-light,  fringed  with  purple  and  gold. 
Day  after  day,  as  we  measure  days,  this  splendid 
panorama  circles  on,  and,  according  as  atmospheric 
conditions  and  clouds  present  more  or  less  favorable 
conditions  of  reflection,  kindles  and  fades,  kindles 
and  fades,  —  fades  only  to  kindle  next  time  yet  more 
brightly,  as  the  still  hidden  sun  comes  nearer  and 
nearer  his  point  of  emergence.  At  length,  when  for 
two  long  months  such  prophetic  displays  have  been 
filling  the  whole  heavens  with  these  increscent  and 
revolving  splendors,  the  sun  begins  to  emerge  from 
his  long  retirement,  and  to  display  himself  once 
more  to  human  vision.  After  one  or  two  circuits, 
during  which  his  dazzling  upper  limb  grows  to  a,  full- 
orbed  disk,  he  clears  all  hill-tops  of  the  distant  hori 
zon,  and  for  six  full  months  circles  around  and 
around  the  world's  great  axis  in  full  view,  suffering 
no  night  to  fall  upon  his  favored  home-land  at  the 


Pole.  Even  when  at  last  he  sinks  again  from  view 
he  covers  his  retreat  with  a  repetition  of  the  deepen 
ing  and  fading  splendors  which  filled  his  long  dawn 
ing,  as  if  in  these  pulses  of  more  and  more  distant 
light  he  were  signaling  back  to  the  forsaken  world 
the  promises  and  prophecies  of  an  early  return. 

In  these  prosaic  sentences  we  aim  at  no  descrip 
tion  of  the  indescribable  ;  we  only  remind  ourselves 
of  the  bald  facts  and  conditions  which  govern  the 
unpicturable  transformations  of  each  year-long  polar 
night  and  day. 

Enough,  however,  has  been  said  for  our  purpose. 
Whoever  seeks  as  a  probable  location  for  Paradise 
the  heavenliest  spot  on  earth  with  respect  to  light 
and  darkness,  and  with  respect  to  celestial  scenery, 
must  be  content  to  seek  it  at  the  Arctic  Pole. 
Here  is  the  true  City  of  the  Sun.  Here  is  the  one 
and  only  spot  on  earth  respecting  which  it  would 
seem  as  if  the  Creator  had  said,  as  of  His  own  heav 
enly  residence,  "There  shall  be  no  night  there." 



Die  arctische  Geologie  birgt  die  Schliissel  zu  Losung  vieler  Rathsel.  —  PROFES 

A  n  extensive  continent  occupied  this  portion  of  the  globe  when  these  strata  "were 
deposited.  —  BARON  NORDENSKJOLD. 

OUR  hypothesis  calls  for  an  antediluvian  conti 
nent  at  the  Arctic  Pole.  It  is  interesting  to  find 
that  a  writer  upon  the  Deluge  writing  more  than 
forty  years  ago  advanced  the  same  postulate.1  Is 
the  supposition  that  there  existed  such  a  continent 
scientifically  admissible  ? 

Until  very  recently  too  little  was  known  of  the 
geology  of  the  high  latitudes  to  warrant  or  even  to 
occasion  the  discussion  of  such  a  question.  Even 
now,  with  all  the  contemporary  interest  in  Arctic 
exploration,  it  is  difficult  to  find  any  author  who  has 
distinctly  propounded  to  himself  and  discussed  the 
question  as  to  the  geologic  age  of  the  Arctic  Ocean. 
It  will  not  be  strange,  therefore,  if  we  have  here  to 
content  ourselves  with  showing,  first,  that  geologists 

1  "  On  peut  supposer,  et  je  tacherai  de  developper  cette  idee  plus 
tard,  qu'il  a  existe  une  periode  geologique  plus  recoulee,  .  .  .  et  qu'a 
cette  epoque  1'Europe,  1'Asie,  et  1'Amerique  septentrionale  se  joign- 
aient  au  pole  nord  de  maniere  &  former  un  continent  d'une  etendue 
prodigeuse,  se  prolongueant  vers  le  pole  sud  en  trois  presqu'iles,  sa- 
voir:  1'Amerique  meridionale,  1'Afrique,  et  POceanie.  C'est  des 
debris  de  cet  ancien  continent  que  des  revolutions  violentes  ont  forme 
les  terres  actuelles."  Frederik  Klee,  Le  Deluge,  French  ed.  Paris, 
1847:  p.  83.  (Danish  original,  1842.) 


and  paleontologists  do  not  think  the  present  distri 
bution  of  Arctic  sea  and  land  to  be  the  primeval 
one ;  and  secondly,  that  in  their  opinion,  incidentally 
expressed,  a  "  continent  "  once  existed  within  the 
Arctic  Circle  of  which  at  present  only  vestiges  re 

We  will  begin  with  the  distinguished  Alfred  Rus- 
sel  Wallace,  who  in  speaking  of  the  Miocene  period 
presents  us  with  a  very  different  Northern  hemi 
sphere  from  ours  of  to-day.  For  instance,  in  his 
view  Scandinavia  was  at  that  time  a  vast  island.  He 
says :  "  The  distribution  of  the  Eocene  and  Miocene 
formations  shows  that  during  a  considerable  portion 
of  the  Tertiary  period  an  inland  sea,  more  or  less  oc 
cupied  by  an  archipelago  of  islands,  extended  across 
Central  Europe  between  the  Baltic  and  the  Black 
and  Caspian  seas,  and  thence  by  narrower  channels 
southeastward  to  the  valley  of  the  Euphrates  and 
the  Persian  Gulf,  thus  opening  a  communication 
between  the  North  Atlantic  and  the  Indian  Ocean. 
From  the  Caspian  also  a  wide  arm  of  the  sea  ex 
tended,  during  some  part  of  the  Tertiary  epoch, 
northwards  to  the  Arctic  Ocean,  and  there  is  noth 
ing  to  show  that  this  sea  may  not  have  been  in 
existence  during  the  whole  Tertiary  period.  An 
other  channel  probably  existed  over  Egypt  into  the 
eastern  basin  of  the  Mediterranean  and  the  Black 
Sea ;  while  it  is  probable  that  there  was  a  communi 
cation  between  the  Baltic  and  the  White  Sea,  leav 
ing  Scandinavia  as  an  extensive  island.  Turning  to 
India,  we  find  that  an  arm  of  the  sea,  of  great  width 
and  depth,  extended  from  the  Bay  of  Bengal  to  the 
mouths  of  the  Indus ;  while  the  enormous  depression 
indicated  by  the  presence  of  marine  fossils  of  Eo- 


cene  age  at  a  height  of  16,500  feet  in  Western  Tibet 
renders  it  not  improbable  that  a  more  direct  chan 
nel  across  Afghanistan  may  have  opened  a  commu 
nication  between  the  West  Asiatic  and  Polar  seas."  1 

Later,  in  the  same  book,  Mr.  Wallace  incidentally 
shows  that  the  facts  of  Arctic  paleontology  call  for 
the  supposition  of  a  primitive  Eocene  continent  in 
the  highest  latitudes, — a  continent  which  no  longer 
exists.  His  language  is,  "  The  rich  and  varied  fauna 
which  inhabited  Europe  at  the  dawn  of  the  Terti 
ary  period  —  as  shown  by  the  abundant  remains  of 
mammalia  wherever  suitable  deposits  of  Eocene  age 
have  been  discovered  —  proves  that  an  extensive 
Palearctic  continent  then  existed." 2 

Another  most  eminent  authority  in  Arctic  pale 
ontology,  the  late  Professor  Heer,  of  Zurich,  fully 
fifteen  years  ago  arrived  at  and  published  the  con 
clusion  that  the  facts  presented  in  the  Arctic  fossils 
plainly  point  to  the  existence  in  Miocene  time  of  a 
no  longer  existing  polar  continent.  Fuller  reference 
to  his  views  will  be  made  in  our  next  chapter.3 

On  another  and  more  lithological  line  of  evidence 
Baron  Nordenskjold,  the  eminent  Arctic  explorer, 
has  arrived  at  the  same  conclusion.  Speaking  of 
certain  rock  strata  north  of  the  6gth  degree  of  north 
latitude,  he  says,  "  An  extensive  continent  occupied 
this  portion  of  the  globe  when  these  strata  were  de 
posited."  4  Elsewhere  he  speaks  of  this  "  ancient 
polar  continent "  as  something  already  accepted  and 
universally  understood  among  scientific  men.  He 

1  Island  Life.     London,  1880:  pp.  184,  185. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  362. 

8  Professor  Heer,  deceased  Sept.  27,  1883.  On  the  preeminence 
of  his  authority  in  this  field,  see  Nature,  Oct.  25,  page  612. 

*  Expedition  to  Greenland.    Arctic  Manual,  London,  1875:  p.  423. 


also  alludes  to  the  conspiring  evidences  of  its  for 
mer  existence  found  in  different  departments  of  re- 
search.  "  These  basalt  beds,"  he  remarks,  "  prob 
ably  originated  from  a  volcanic  chain,  active  during 
the  Tertiary  period,  which  perhaps  limits  the  an 
cient  polar  continent,  in  the  same  manner  as  is  now 
the  case  with  the  eastern  coast  of  Asia  and  the 
western  of  America ;  this  confirming  the  division  of 
land  and  water  in  the  Tertiary  period,  which  upon 
totally  different  grounds  has  been  supposed  to  have 
existed."  1 

Another  authority  in  this  field,  writing  of  the 
theory  that  continuous  land  once  connected  Europe 
and  North  America  at  the  North,  remarks,  "  In 
further  support  of  this  theory  we  have  the  fact  that 
no  trace  of  sea  deposit  of  Eocene  age  has  ever  been 
found  in  the  polar  area,  all  the  vestiges  of  strata 
remaining  showing  that  these  latitudes  were  then 
occupied  by  dry  land."  2 

Finally,  as  our  assumption  of  the  early  existence 
of  a  circumpolar  Arctic  continent  is  thus  supported 
by  most  competent  geological  authority,  so  is  also 
our  hypothesis  that  its  disappearance  was  due  to 
a  submergence  beneath  the  waters  of  the  Arctic 
Ocean.  On  this  point  what  could  be  more  explicit 
and  satisfactory  than  the  following,  from  one  of  the 
greatest  of  living  geologists  :  "  We  know  very  well 
that  .  .  .  within  a  comparatively  recent  geological 
period  ...  a  wide  stretch  of  Arctic  land,  of  which 
Novaia  Zemlia  and  Spitzbergen  formed  a  part,  has 
been  submerged."  3 

1  Arctic  Manual,  p.  420. 

2  J.  Starkie  Gardner  in  Nature,  London,  Dec.  12,  1878  :  p.  127. 

8  James  Geikie,  LL.  D.,  F.  R.  S.,  Prehistoric  Europe.    A  Geo 
logical  Sketch.    London,  1881 :  p.  41.    Compare  Louis  Falies,  £tudes 


As  to  the  natural  conditions  and  forces  which 
may  be  conceived  as  having  brought  about  this 
continental  catastrophe,  geologists  are  not  so  well 
agreed.  The  French  savant,  Alfonse-Joseph  Adhe- 
mar,1  has  advanced  a  theory  that  this  North-polar 
deluge  was  only  one  of  an  alternating  series,  which 
in  age-long  periods  recur  first  at  the  North  and 
then  at  the  South  Pole.  Flammarion,  writing  of  it, 
says :  "  This  theory  depends  on  the  fact  of  the  un 
equal  length  of  the  seasons  in  the  two  hemispheres. 
Our  autumn  and  winter  last  179  days.  In  the  south 
ern  hemisphere  they  last  186  days.  This  seven 
days,  or  168  hours  of  difference,  increase  each  year 
the  coldness  of  the  pole.  During  10,500  years  the 
ice  accumulates  at  one  pole  and  melts  at  the  other, 
thereby  displacing  the  earth's  centre  of  gravity. 
Now  a  time  will  arrive  when,  after  the  maximum  of 
elevation  of  temperature  on  one  side,  a  catastrophe 
will  happen  which  will  bring  back  the  centre  of 
gravity  to  the  centre  of  the  figure,  and  cause  an  im 
mense  deluge.  The  deluge  of  the  North  Pole  was 
4,200  years  ago ;  therefore  the  next  will  be  6,300 
hence."  2 

Another  recent  theory  teaches  that  the  poles  are 
periodically  deluged,  but  simultaneously,  not  in  al 
ternation.  The  alternative  movement  is  at  the  equa 
tor.  The  crust  of  the  earth  at  the  equator  is  all  the 
time  rising  or  sinking  in  a  kind  of  aeonian  rhythm. 

historiques  et philosophiques  sur  les  Civilisations  Europeenne,  Romaine, 
Greque,  etc.     Paris,  1874:  vol.  i.,  pp.  348-352. 

1  In  his  Revolutions  de  la  Mer.     2  ed,  1860. 

2  Flammarion  naturally  adds,  "  It  is  very  obvious  to  ask  on  this, 
Why  should  there  be  a  catastrophe,  and  why  should  not  the  centre  of 
gravity  return  gradually,  as  it  was  gradually  displaced  ?  "    Astronomi 
cal  Myths,  p.  426.     But  a  gradual  displacement  would  produce  a  del 
uge,  only  a  gradual  one. 


Whenever  it  sinks  beyond  the  equilibrium  figure, 
due  to  its  actual  rate  of  rotation,  lands  emerge  at  the 
poles ;  whenever  it  rises  beyond  the  equilibrium 
figure,  the  polar  lands  sink  and  are  submerged  be 
neath  the  waters  of  the  ocean.  Professor  Alexander 
Winchell  thus  expounds  the  view  :  "  It  has  been 
shown  that  one  of  the  actions  of  tides  upon  a  plan 
etary  body  tends  to  diminish  its  rate  of  rotation. 
Correspondingly,  its  equatorial  protuberance  will 
tend  to  diminish.  In  the  case  of  a  planet  still  re 
taining  its  liquid  condition,  the  equatorial  subsidence 
will  keep  nearly  even  pace  with  the  retardation. 
To  whatever  extent  viscosity  exists,  the  subsidence 
will  follow  the  retardation.  There  will  exist  an  ex 
cess  of  protuberance  beyond  the  equilibrium  figure 
due  to  the  actual  rotation,  and  this  will  act  as  an 
additional  retardative  cause.  In  the  case  of  an  in- 
crusted  and  somewhat  rigid  planet,  the  excess  of 
ellipticity  would  attain  its  greatest  value.  It  would 
continue  to  augment  until  the  strain  upon  the  mass 
should  become  sufficient  to  lower  the  excessive  pro 
tuberance  to  the  equilibrium  figure.  The  recovery 
of  this  figure  might  take  place  convulsively.  The 
equatorial  regions  would  then  subside,  and  the  polar 
would  rise.  In  the  case  of  an  incrusted  planet  ex 
tensively  covered,  like  the  earth,  by  a  film  of  water, 
retarded  rotation  would  be  attended  by  a  prompt 
subsidence  of  the  equatorial  waters  and  rise  of  the 
polar  waters  to  about  twice  the  same  extent.  In 
other  words,  the  equatorial  lands  would  emerge,  and 
the  polar  lands  would  become  submerged.  The 
amount  of  emergence  would  diminish  with  increase 
of  distance  from  the  equator,  and  the  amount  of 
submergence  would  diminish  with  increase  of  dis- 


tance  from  the  pole.  In  about  the  latitude  of  30° 
the  two  tendencies  would  meet  and  neutralize  each 
other.  Under  these  conditions,  an  incrusted  and 
ocean-covered  planet,  since  it  must  be  undergoing 
a  process  of  rotary  retardation,  must  possess  the 
deepest  oceans  about  the  poles  and  the  shallowest 
about  the  equator.  The  first  emergences  of  land, 
accordingly,  will  take  place  within  the  equatorial 
zone  ;  and  the  highest  elevations  and  greatest  land 
areas  will  exist  within  that  zone.  The  elevation  of 
equatorial  land-masses  would  interpose  new  obstruc 
tions  to  the  equatorial  ocean  current.  This  would 
divert  it  in  new  directions,  and  thus  modify  all  cli 
mates  within  reach  of  oceanic  influences.  Changes 
of  currents  would  necessitate  the  migration  of  ma 
rine  faunas,  and  changes  of  climate  would  modify 
the  faunas  and  floras  of  the  land. 

"But  the  protrusion  of  the  equatorial  land-mass 
could  not  increase  indefinitely.  The  same  central 
force  which  retains  the  ocean  continually  at  the  equi 
librium  figure  strains  the  solid  mass  in  the  same  di 
rection.  The  strain  must  at  length  become  greater 
than  the  rigidity  of  the  mass  can  withstand.  The 
equatorial  land  protuberance  will  subside  toward 
the  level  of  the  ocean.  Some  parts  of  the  ocean's 
bottom  must  correspondingly  rise.  Naturally,  the 
parts  about  the  poles  will  rise  most.  Thus  some 
equatorial  lands  will  become  submerged,  and  some 
northern  and  southern  areas  may  become  newly 

"  But  these  vertical  movements  would  not  be  ar 
rested  precisely  at  the  point  of  recovery  of  the  equi 
librium  figure.  As  suggested  by  Prof.  J.  E.  Todd, 
and  less  explicitly  by  Sir  Wm.  Thomson,  the  move- 


ment  would  pass  the  equilibrium  figure  to  an  extent 
proportional  to  the  cumulation  of  strain.  The  equa 
torial  region  would  become  too  much  depressed,  and 
the  polar  regions  too  much  elevated.  The  effect  of 
this  would  be  to  accelerate  the  rotation  sufficiently 
to  neutralize  the  ceaseless  tidal  retardation.  The 
day  would  be  shortened.  The  ocean  would  rise  still 
higher  along  the  shores  of  equatorial  lands,  and  sub 
side  along  the  shores  of  polar  lands..  An  extension 
of  polar  lands  would  immediately  modify  the  cli 
mates  of  the  higher  latitudes.  They  would  become 
subject  to  greater  extremes.  A  considerable  eleva 
tion  of  polar  lands  would  diminish  the  mean  tem 
perature,  and  the  region  of  perpetual  snow  would  be 
enlarged.  These  effects  would  visit  the  northern 
and  southern  hemispheres  simultaneously. 

"  Such  effects  would  follow  from  an  excessive  sub 
sidence  of  equatorial  lands.  But  the  constant  re- 
tardative  action  of  the  tides  would  cause  the  equa 
torial  lands  again  to  emerge,  and  protrude  beyond 
the  limits  of  the  equilibrium  figure  attained  in  a 
later  age.  Thus  the  former  condition  would  return, 
and  the  former  events  would  be  repeated.  In  the 
nature  of  force  and  matter  these  oscillations  should 
be  repeated  many  times.  Professor  Todd  suggests 
that  the  present  terrestrial  age  is  one  of  equatorial 
land  subsidence  and  of  high  latitude  emergence. 
Immediately  preceding  the  present,  the  Champlain 
epoch  was  one  of  northern  and  probably  of  south 
polar  subsidence  ;  while  further  back,  in  the  Glacial 
epoch,  we  have  evidence  of  northern,  and  perhaps 
also  south  latitude  elevation."  l 

1   World- Lif e ;  or  Comparative  Geology.     Chicago,  1883  :  pp.  278- 


Leibnitz,  Deluc,  and  others,  have  presented  a  still 
different  view  of  the  etiology  of  all  deluges,  accord 
ing  to  which  they  are  the  result  of  a  steady  shrink 
age  of  the  earth  in  consequence  of  its  secular  cool 
ing.  According  to  this  theory,  after  once  a  solid 
earth -crust  had  been  formed,  the  cooling  nucleus 
within  it  withdrew  the  support  on  which  the  crust 
had  rested,  in  proportion  as  it  shrank  away  from  be 
neath  it,  until,  as  often  as  the  subterranean  voids 
thus  created  became  too  great  for  the  strength  of  the 
crust,  this  of  necessity  fell  in  with  the  force  of  in 
computable  tons,  carrying  the  ruined  surface  to  such 
a  depth  as  to  cause  it  immediately  ta  be  overflowed 
and  submerged  by  the  adjacent  water|  of  the  ocean. 
The  geologic  history  of  the  earth  is  divided  into 
its  strongly  marked  periods  by  these  successive 
"  collapsions  "  of  the  rocky  strata  which  constituted 
the  primitive  crust.  "  Each  succeeding  cataclysm," 
says  a  recent  advocate  of  the  view,  "  considered  as  a 
universal  catastrophe,  must  leave  the  globe  a  wreck, 
like  the  ruin  of  some  immense  cathedral  whose  dome 
and  arches  have  fallen  in.  Cornice  and  frieze,  pillar 
and  entablature,  broken  and  dislocated,  lie  at  all  an 
gles  of  inclination  and  in  the  utmost  confusion.  So 
it  is  with  the  ancient  rocks  and  more  modern  strata. 
Only  to  this  mighty  wreck  have  been  added  the  out- 
gushings  of  molten  matter  into  fissures,  creating 
dikes,  and  the  unsparing  movements  of  oceans 
sweeping  loose  materials  and  perishing  forms  of  all 
sorts  from  one  place  to  another,  partially  covering 
up  and  disguising  the  desolation." 

Again,  the  same  writer  says  :  "  The  present  sun 
face  of  the  earth  is  comparatively  recent.  The  last 
great  cataclysm  is,  geologically  speaking,  not  very 


ancient.  Accumulating  evidence  compels  us  to  be 
lieve  that  one  of  those  destructive  events  has  oc 
curred  since  the  human  race  was  created.  The  facts 
I  have  presented  plainly  indicate  that  another  is  in 
the  course  of  preparation.  Each  of  these  vast  peri 
odical  voids  between  the  nucleus  and  the  crust  is 
filled  by  collapsion  of  the  surface.  .  .  .  Thus,  if  we 
assume  that  the  globe  was  one  hundred  or  three 
hundred  miles  greater  in  all  its  diameters  when  its 
crust  became  hard  and  was  bathed  with  the  earliest 
seas,  and  when  marine  plants  and  trilobites  and  mol- 
lusca  began  to  appear,  the  lithological  characteris 
tics  of  the  paleozoic  ages  will  be  more  acceptably 
deciphered.  So  successively  with  the  carboniferous 
periods,  whose  vast  areas  have  been  folded  up  and 
overflowed,  and  whose  fields  for  reproduction  have 
been  so  numerous  and  extensive  as  to  convince  us 
that  Arctic  America,  during  those  remote  ages,  pre 
sented  tropical  positions  to  the  sun."  1 

Although  starting  with  no  such  purpose,  the  au 
thor,  in  expounding  this  general  Leibnitzian  theory 
of  all  deluges,  incidentally  explains  the  submersion 
of  the  primeval  Arctic  continent.  In  accordance 
with  his  theory,  he  asserts  that  "  the  diameter  of  the 
earth  at  the  poles  must  have  been  at  some  more  an 
cient  epoch  very  much  greater  than  now.  It  must 
have  been  more  than  twenty-seven  miles  greater  to 
permit  such  equatorial  or  tropical  exposures  to  the 

1  C.  F.  Winslow,  M.  D.,  The  Cooling  Globe,  or  the  Mechanics  of 
Geology.  Boston,  1865  :  pp.  50,  51.  For  the  latest  presentations  and 
criticisms  of  this  general  theory,  see  Winchell's  World -Life,  1883, 
pp.  302-308,  and  the  literature  there  given.  Among  the  older  trea 
tises  constructed  upon  it,  none  is  perhaps  of  so  great  interest  to 
the  general  reader  as  the  work  on  The  Deluge,  by  Fre'derik  Klee 
(Danish  1842,  German  1843,  French  1847). 


sun  as  we  know  to  be  necessary  for  the  production 
of  those  vegetable  forms  which  abound  in  the  coal 
measures  of  Arctic  latitudes.1  If  it  was  fifty  or  a 
hundred  miles  greater  during  any  portion  of  the 
carboniferous  age,  it  might  have  been  two  hundred 
during  the  'Taconic'  period,  and  perhaps  three  hun 
dred  or  more  when  the  life-force  began  to  fashion  its 
primordial  and  rudimentary  organisms  upon  its  wait 
ing  surface."  He  furthermore  distinctly  asserts  that 
Sir  Isaac  Newton's  supposed  demonstration  that  the 
oblateness  of  the  earth's  figure  is  due  to  the  centrif 
ugal  force  generated  by  its  rotation  "  is  an  error  un 
worthy  of  further  consideration  among  geologists." 
The  true  explanation,  as  he  regards  it,  is  stated  as 
follows  :  "  The  shorter  axes  of  the  globe  —  what  at 
present  are  our  poles  —  are  not  the  result  of  flatten 
ing  by  rotation,  but  by  a  sudden  falling  in  of  sur 

Here,  of  course,  is  just  that  down-sinking  of  wide 
polar  regions,  in  "  comparatively  recent "  geologic 
time,  demanded  by  the  facts  of  Arctic  geology.  It 
must  have  been  greater  than  any  of  those  which 
have  occurred  in  other  portions  of  the  globe,  for  it 
has  permanently  modified  the  originally  and  natu 
rally  spherical  figure  of  the  earth.  The  author  is 
"  compelled  to  believe  "  that  it,  or  one  like  it,  "  oc 
curred  since  the  human  race  was  created."  More 
over,  this  belief  is  in  no  wise  built  upon  the  Biblical 
record  of  the  Deluge,  for  he  speaks  almost  bitterly 
of  "  the  retarding  influence  of  Jewish  legends  upon 
the  free  expansion  of  the  human  intellect,"  and 

1  Dr.  Winslow  seems  here  to  forget  that  the  primeval  polar  conti 
nent  was  of  necessity  the  sunniest  of  all  lands. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  49. 



makes  Moses  one  of  the  two  men  whose  "  declara 
tions  and  authority,  more  than  the  statements  of  all 
others,  have  retarded  the  advancement  of  general 
knowledge."  Happily  for  Moses,  the  second  in  this 
portentous  duumvirate  is  no  worse  a  man  than  Sir 
Isaac  Newton  ! 

It  is  by  no  means  necessary  to  commit  ourselves 
to  any  one  of  these  theories  of  deluges,  or  to  seek 
still  other  explanations  of  the  recognized  subsidence 
of  the  basin  now  occupied  by  the  Arctic  Ocean. 
Enough  for  the  present  that  upon  the  authority  of 
eminent  physiographic  geologists  we  have  shown  :  — 

1.  That  the  present  distribution  of  land  and  water 
within  the  Arctic  Circle  is,  geologically  speaking,  of 
very  recent  origin. 

2.  That  the  paleozoic  data  of  the  highest  explored 
latitudes  demand  for  their  explanation  the  hypothe 
sis  of  an  extensive  circumpolar  continent  in  Mio 
cene  time. 

3.  That  lithological  authorities  affirm  that  such  a 
continent  existed. 

4.  That  physical  geography  has  reached  the  con 
clusion  that  the  known  islands  of  the  Arctic  Ocean, 
such  as   Novaia   Zemlia  and   the   Spitzbergen,   are 
simply  mountain  tops  still  remaining  above  the  sur 
face  of  the  sea  which  has  come  in  and  covered  up 
the  primeval  continent  to  which  they  belonged. 

5.  And  finally,  that  the  problem  of  the  process  by 
which  this  grand  catastrophe  was  brought  about  is 
now  sporadically  engaging  the  thoughts  of  terres 
trial  physicists  and  geologists.1 

1  See  the  very  interesting  paper  "  On _Ice-Age  Theories,"  in  Trans 
actions  of  the  British  Association,  1884,  by  K.  Hill,  M.  A.,  F.  G.  S. 
ATscTm  the  same  volume  W.  F.  Stanley's  criticism  of  the  theory  of 



Ver  illud  erat,  ver  magnus  agebat  Or  bis.  —  VERGIL. 

One  of  the  most  startling  and  important  of  the  scientific  discoveries  of  the  last 
twenty  years  has  been  that  of  the  relics  of  a  luxuriant  Miocene  flora  in  various 
farts  of  the  Arctic  regions.  It  is  a  discovery  which  was  totally  unexpected,  and 
is  even  now  considered  by  many  men  of  science  to  be  completely  unintelligible,  but 
it  is  so  thoroughly  established,  and  it  has  such  an  important  bearing  on  the  subjects 
•we  are  discussing  in  the  present  volume ,  that  it  is  necessary  to  lay  a  tolerably  com 
plete  outline  of  the  facts  before  our  readers.  —  A.  R.  WALLACE  (1880). 

THUS  far,  then,  we  have  found  theoretical  geog- 
ony  demanding  a  location  at  the  Pole  for  the  first 
country  presenting  conditions  of  Eden  life  ;  we  have 
found  the  requisite  astronomical  conditions  to  give 
it  an  abundance  of  light ;  we  have  found  the  geolo 
gists  attesting  the  former  existence  of  such  a  coun 
try  ;  we  must  now  interrogate  Prehistoric  Climatol 
ogy,  and  ascertain  whether  this  lost  land  ever  enjoyed 
a  temperature  which  admits  of  the  supposition  that 
here  was  the  primitive  abode  of  man.  The  answer 
to  our  question  comes,  not  from  one,  but  from  sev 
eral  sources.1 

1  We  have  no  use  here  for  mere  fancy  sketches,  like  the  following, 
which  appeared  on  the  loth  of  May,  1884,  in  The  Norwood  Review 
and  Crystal  Palace  Reporter  (Eng.),  and  which  looks  very  much  like 
an  unacknowledged  loan  from  Captain  Hall,  of  Arctic  fame  :  "  We 
do  not  admit  that  there  is  ice  up  to  the  Pole.  No  one  has  been 
nearer  that  point  than  464  miles.  Once  inside  the  great  ice-barrier, 
a  new  world  breaks  upon  the  explorer  ;  a  climate  first  mild  like  that 
of  England,  and  afterwards  balmy  as  that  of  the  Greek  Isles,  awaits 
the  hardy  adventurer  who  first  beholds  those  wonderful  shores.  Won 
derful,  indeed  ;  for  he  will  be  greeted  by  a  branch  of  the  human  race 


First,  geogony  gives  us  an  almost  irresistible  an 
tecedent  probability.  For  if  the  earth  from  its  ear 
liest  consolidation  has  been  steadily  cooling,  it  is 
hardly  possible  to  conceive  of  a  method  by  which 
any  region  once  too  hot  for  human  residence  can 
have  become  at  length  too  cold  except  by  passing 
through  all  the  intermediate  stages  of  temperature, 
some  of  which  must  have  been  precisely  adapted  to 
human  comfort. 

Again,  paleontological  botany  shows  that  in  Eu 
rope  in  Tertiary  times  this  hypothetical  cooling  of 
the  earth  was  going  on,  and  going  on  in  the  steady 
and  regular  way  postulated  by  theoretic  geogony.1 
But  if  a  telluric  process  as  essentially  universal  as 
this  was  going  on  in  Europe,  there  is  no  reason  why 
it  should  not  have  been  going  on  in  all  countries, 
whether  to  the  north,  or  to  the  south,  or  to  the  east, 
or  to  the  west  of  Europe. 

But  we  are  not  left  to  inferences  of  this  sort.  It 
is  now  admitted  by  all  scientific  authorities  that  at 
one  time  the  regions  within  the  Arctic  Circle  en 
joyed  a  tropical  or  nearly  tropical  climate.  Profes- 

cut  off  from  the  rest  of  humanity  by  that  change  of  climate  which 
came  over  Northern  Europe  about  2,000  years  ago,  but  surrounded 
by  a  profusion  of  life  bewildering  in  the  extreme." 

Speculations  or  fancies  of  this  sort  have  ever  clustered  about  this 
mysterious  region  of  the  Pole.  As  we  shall  hereafter  see,  they 
abounded  in  remote  antiquity.  Even  the  singular  fancy  known  to  the 
public  as  "  Symmes'  Hole  "  antedates  Symmes,  and  may  be  found  in 
much  more  attractive  form  in  Klopstock's  Messiah.  (K.'s  Sammtliche 
Werke.  Leipsic,  1854:  vol.  i.,  pp.  24,  25.) 

1  "  L'etude  des  flores  nous  demontre  que  le  climat  de  1'Europe, 
pendant  les  temps  tertiaires,  est  toujours  alle  en  se  refroidissant  (Tune 
mantire  continue  et  regulttre" — Le  Prehistorique.  Antiquite  de 
VHomme.  Par  Gabriel  de  Mortillet,  Professeur  d'anthropologie 
prehistorique  a  l'£cole  d'Anthropologie  de  Paris.  Paris,  1883  :  p. 


sor  Nicholson  uses  the  following  language  :  "  In  the 
early  Tertiary  period  the  climate  of  the  northern 
hemisphere,  as  shown  by  the  Eocene  animals  and 
plants,  was  very  much  hotter  than  it  is  at  present ; 
partaking,  indeed,  of  a  sub-tropical  character.  In  the 
Middle  Tertiary  or  Miocene  period  the  temperature, 
though  not  high,  was  still  much  warmer  than  that 
now  enjoyed  by  the  northern  hemisphere  ;  and  we 
know  that  the  plants  of  the  temperate  regions  at 
that  time  flourished  within  the  Arctic  Circle."  l 

Mr.  Grant  Allen  says,  "One  thing  at  least  is 
certain,  that  till  a  very  recent  period,  geologically 
speaking,  our  earth  enjoyed  a  warm  and  genial  cli 
mate  up  to  the  actual  poles  themselves,  and  that 
all  its  vegetation  was  everywhere  evergreen,  of 
much  the  same  type  as  that  which  now  prevails  in 
the  modern  tropics."  2 

Alluding  to  those  distant  ages,  M.  le  Marquis  de 
Nadaillac  remarks  :  "  Under  these  conditions,  life 
spread  freely  even  to  the  Pole." 3  Similar  is  the 
language  of  Croll  :  "  The  Arctic  regions,  probably 
up  to  the  North  Pole,  were  not  only  free  from  ice, 
but  were  covered  with  a  rich  and  luxuriant  vegeta 
tion."  4  Keerl  holds  that  at  the  very  Pole  it  was 
then  warmer  than  now  at  the  equator.5  Professor 
Oswald  Heer's  calculations  would  possibly  modify 
Keerl's  estimate  to  a  slight  degree,  but  only  enough 
to  make  the  circumpolar  climate  of  that  far-off  age  a 

1  The  Life- History  of  the  Globe,  p.  335. 

2  Kncnvledge.     London,  Nov.  30,  1883  :  p.  327. 

3  Les  Premiers  Hommes  et  les  Temps  Prehistoriques.     Paris,  1881 : 
torn,  ii.,  p.  391. 

4  Climate  and  Time.     Am.  ed.,  1875  :  P-  7- 

5  Die  Schb'pfungsgeschichte  und  Lehre  vom  Paradies.     Basel,  1861  : 
Abth.  I.,  p.  634. 


little  more  Edenic  than  is  that  of  the  hottest  por 
tions  of  our  present  earth.1 

Sir  Charles  Lyell,  who  in  the  discussion  of  this 
subject  is  characteristically  cautious  and  "uniformi- 
tarian,"  does  not  hesitate  to  say,  "  The  result,  then, 
of  our  examination,  in  this  and  in  the  preceding 
chapter,  of  the  organic  and  inorganic  evidence  as  to 
the  state  of  the  climate  of  former  geological  periods 
is  in  favor  of  the  opinion  that  the  heat  was  generally 
in  excess  of  what  it  now  is.  In  the  greater  part  of 
the  Miocene  and  preceding  Eocene  epochs  the  fauna 
and  flora  of  Central  Europe  were  sub-tropical,  and  a 
vegetation  resembling  that  now  seen  in  Northern 
Europe  extended  into  the  Arctic  regions  as  far  as 
they  have  yet  been  explored,  and  probably  reached 
the  Pole  itself.  In  the  Mesozoic  ages  the  predomi 
nance  of  reptile  life  and  the  general  character  of  the 
fossil  types  of  that  great  class  of  vertebrata  indicate 
a  warm  climate  and  an  absence  of  frost  between  the 
4Oth  parallel  of  latitude  and  the  Pole,  a  large  ichthy 
osaurus  having  been  found  in  lat.  77°  16'  N."2 

Averaging  the  above  views  and  estimates  of  sci 
entific  authorities,  we  have  at  the  Pole,  in  the  age  of 
the  first  appearance  of  the  human  race,  a  tempera 
ture  the  most  equable  and  delightful  possible ;  and 
with  this  we  may  well  be  content. 

1  Flora  Fossilis  Arctica.    Zurich,  1868  :  Bd.  i.,  pp.  60-77.    See  also 
Alfred  Russel  Wallace,  Island  Life.    London,  1880  :  ch.  ix.,  pp.  163- 
202.     Well,  therefore,  sings  a  rollicking  rhymster  of  the  age,  — 

"  When  the  sea  rolled  its  fathomless  billows 

Across  the  broad  plains  of  Nebraska  ; 
When  around  the  North  Pole  grew  bananas  and  willows, 
And  mastodons  fought  with  the  great  armadillos 
For  the  pine-apples  grown  in  Alaska." 

2  Principles  of  Geology,  eleventh  ed.,  vol.  i.,  p.  231. 



S)  von  dort  aus  —  d.  h.  aus  diesem  Bildungsherd  fur  die  Pflanzen  siid- 
Ucker  Breiten  im  hohen  Nor  den  —  hat  eine  strahlenfdrmige  Verbreitung  von 
Typen  stattgehabt.  —  PROFESSOR  HEER. 

It  is  now  an  established  conclusion  that  the  great  aggressive  faunas  and  floras 
of  the  continents  have  originated  in  the  North,  some  of  them  within  the  A  relic 
Circle.  —  PRINCIPAL  DAWSON  (1883). 

ALL  traditions  of  the  primeval  Paradise  require  us 
to  conceive  of  it  as  possessed  of  a  tropical  flora  of 
the  most  beautiful  and  luxuriant  sort,  —  as  adorned 
with  "  every  tree  that  is  pleasant  to  the  sight,  or 
good  for  food."  Any  theory,  therefore,  as  to  the  site 
of  Eden  must  of  necessity  present  a  locality  where 
this  condition  could  have  been  met.  How  is  it  with 
the  hypothesis  now  under  consideration  ? 

To  reply  that  a  polar  Eden  is  scientifically  admis 
sible  in  this  respect  would  be  to  state  but  a  small 
part  of  the  truth.  So  much  might  unhesitatingly  be 
affirmed  in  view  of  the  facts  presented  in  the  last 
chapter.  Given  in  any  country  on  the  face  of  the 
globe  a  long-continued  tropical  climate,  and  a  tropi 
cal  vegetation  may  well  be  expected.  Anything  else 
would  be  so  abnormal  as  to  require  explanation. 

But  the  study  of  Paleontological  Botany  has  just 
conducted  to  a  new  and  entirely  unanticipated  re 
sult.  The  best  authorities  in  this  science,  both  in 
Europe  and  America,  have  lately  reached  the  conclu 
sion  that  all  the  floral  types  and  forms  revealed  in  the 


oldest  fossils  of  the  earth  originated  in  the  region  of 
the  North  Pole,  and  thence  spread  first  over  the  north 
ern  and  then  over  the  southern  hemisphere, proceeding 
from  North  to  South.  This  is  a  conception  of  the 
origin  and  development  of  the  vegetable  world  which 
but  a  few  years  ago  no  scientific  man  had  dreamed 
of,  and  which,  to  many  intelligent  readers  of  these 
pages,  will  be  entirely  new.  Its  profound  interest, 
as  related  to  the  present  discussion,  will  at  once  be 

Without  attempting  a  chronological  history  of  this 
remarkable  discovery,  or  in  any  wise  assuming  to  as 
sign  to  each  pioneer  student  his  share  of  the  credit, 
we  may  say  that  Professor  Asa  Gray,  of  America, 
Professor  Oswald  Heer,  of  Switzerland,  Sir  Joseph 
Hooker,  of  England,  Otto  Kuntze,  of  Germany,  and 
Count  G.  de  Saporta,  of  France,  have  all  been  more 
or  less  prominently  associated  with  the  establish 
ment  of  the  new  doctrine.  Sir  Joseph  Hooker's 
studies  of  the  floral  types  of  Tasmania  furnished 
data,  before  lacking,  for  a  general  trans-latitudinal 
survey  of  the  whole  field.  He  was  struck  by  the  fact 
that  in  that  far-off  Southern  world  "the  Scandinavian 
type  asserts  his  prerogative  of  ubiquity."  Though 
at  that  time  he  seems  not  to  have  divined  its  sig 
nificance,  he  clearly  saw  the  paleontological  and 
other  vestiges  of  the  great  movement  by  which  the 
far  North  has  slowly  clothed  the  north-temperate, 
the  equatorial,  and  the  southern  regions  with  ver 
dure.  In  one  passage  he  describes  the  impression 
made  upon  him  by  the  facts  in  the  following  graphic 
language  :  "  When  I  take  a  comprehensive  view  of 
the  vegetation  of  the  Old  World,  I  am  struck  with 
the  appearance  it  presents  of  there  having  been  a 


continuous  current  of  vegetation,  if  I  may  so  fan 
cifully  express  myself,  from  Scandinavia  to  Tasma 
nia."  J 

Light  on  this  problem  of  the  far  South  was 
soon  to  come  from  the  far  North.  In  1868  Profes 
sor  Oswald  Heer,  of  Zurich,  published  his  truly 
epoch-making  work  on  the  fossil  flora  of  the  Arctic 
regions,  in  which  he  modestly  yet  with  much  con 
fidence  advanced  the  idea  that  the  Bildungsherd,  or 
mother-region,  of  all  the  floral  types  of  the  more 
southern  latitudes  was  originally  in  "  a  great  con 
tinuous  Miocene  continent  within  the  Arctic  Cn% 
cle,"  and  that  from  this  centre  the  southward  spread 
or  dispersion  of  these  types  had  been  in  a  radial  or 
out-raying  manner.2  His  demonstration  of  the  ex 
istence  in  Miocene  times  of  a  warm  climate  and  of 
a  rich  tropical  vegetation  in  the  highest  attainable 
Arctic  latitudes  was  complete  and  overwhelming. 
Our  latest  geologists  are  still  accustomed  to  speak 
of  his  result  as  "  one  of  the  most  remarkable  geo 
logical  discoveries  of  modern  times."  3  His  theory 
of  a  primeval  circumpolar  mother-region  whence  all 
floral  types  proceeded  is  also  at  present  so  little 
questioned  that  to-day  among  representative  schol 
ars  in  this  field  the  absorbing  and  only  question 
seems  to  be,  Who  first  proposed  and  to  whom  be 
longs  the  chief  honor  of  the  verification  of  so  broad 
and  beautiful  a  generalization  ? 4 

1  7^he  Flora  of  Australia.     London,  1859:  p.  103.    On  the  remark 
able  qualifications  of  Dr.  Hooker  to  speak  on  this  subject,  see  Sir 
Charles  Lyell,  The  Antiqtiity  of  Man,  pp.  417,  418. 

2  Flora  Arctica  Fossilis  :  Die  fossile  Flora  der  Polarldnder.  Zurich, 
1868  :   I.  Vorwort,  pp.  iii.,  iv.,  and  elsewhere. 

8  Archibald   Geikie,   LL.  D.,  F.  R.  S.,  Textbook  of  Geology.     Lon 
don,  1882  :  p.  868. 
4  Some  twenty-five  years  ago,  in  a  paper  on  "  The  Botany  of  Japan  " 


Here,  then,  is  a  new  and  wonderful  light  just 
thrown  upon  the  problem  of  the  site  of  Eden.  The 
ology  in  some  of  its  representatives  had  anticipated 
the  geologists  in  teaching  that  the  earth's  vestment 
of  vegetation  originally  proceeded  from  one  primeval 
centre,  but  it  is  the  glory  of  paleontology  to  have 
located  that  centre  and  to  have  given  us  an  evidence 
scientifically  valid.  Wherever  man  originated,  the 
biologist  and  botanist  now  know  where  was  the  cra 
dle  of  some  of  the  world's  tenants.  Whatever  the 
direction  of  the  first  human  migrations,  we  are  now 
clear  as  to  the  direction  of  that  "  great  invasion  of 

{Memoirs  of  the  American  Academy  of  Science,  1857,  vol.  vi.,  pp.  377- 
458),  Professor  Asa  Gray  suggested  the  possibility  of  the  common 
origination  in  high  northern  latitudes  of  various  related  species  now 
widely  separated  in  different  portions  of  the  north-temperate  zone. 
In  1872,  four  years  after  the  publication  of  Heer's  work,  in  treating 
of  "  The  Sequoia  and  its  History,"  in  an  address  (see  Joiirnal  of  the 
Am.  Ass.  for  the  Advancement  of  Science,  1872),  he  renewed  in  a 
clearer  and  stronger  manner  his  advocacy  of  the  idea.  In  the  same 
year,  and  also  in  1876,  Count  Saporta,  with  due  acknowledgment  of 
the  work  of  Professor  Heer,  gave  currency  to  the  theory  in  the  scien 
tific  circles  of  France.  Alluding  to  this,  the  Count  has  recently  writ 
ten,  "  Asa  Gray  was  not  the  only  botanist  who  had  the  idea  of  ex 
plaining  the  presence  of  disjoined  species  and  genera  dispersed  across 
the  boreal  temperate  zone  and  the  two  continents,  by  means  of 
emigrations  from  the  pole  as  the  mother-region  whence  these  vege 
table  races  had  radiated  in  one  or  several  directions.  This  had  been 
•parallelement  conceived  and  developed  in  France  upon  the  occasion 
of  the  remarkable  works  of  Professor  O.  Heer."  Am.  Journal  of 
Science,  May,  1883,  p.  394.  The  annotation  appended  to  this  by  Pro 
fessor  Gray  may  be  seen  on  the  same  page.  For  a  German  acknowl 
edgment  see  Engler,  Entwickelungsgeschichte  der  Pflanzenwelt,  Th.  i., 
S.  23  ;  for  an  English,  see  Nature,  London,  1881,  p.  446 ;  for  an 
American,  J.  W.  Dawson,  "  The  Genesis  and  Migration  of  Plants," 
in  The  Princeton  Review,  1879,  p.  277.  But  Dr.  Dawson,  referring  to 
Saporta's  Ancienne  Vegetation  Polaire,  Hooker's  Presidential  Address 
of  1878,  Thistleton  Dyer's  Lecture  on  Plant  Distribution,  and  J. 
Starkie  Gardner's  Letters  in  Nature,  1878,  well  remarks  that  "the 
basis  of  most  of  these  brochures  is  to  be  found  in  Heer's  Flora  Fos- 
silis  Arctica" 


Arctic  plants  and  animals  which  in  the  beginning 
of  Quaternary  ages  came  southward  into  Europe."  1 

But  it  may  be  that  the  testimony  of  Paleontologi- 
cal  Botany  is  not  yet  exhausted.  What  if  it  should 
at  length  appear  that  along  with  the  plants  prehis 
toric  men  —  and  civilized  men  at  that  —  must  have 
descended  from  the  mother-region  of  plants  to  the 
place  where  history  finds  them  ?  Without  any  refer 
ence  to  or  apparent  recognition  of  the  great  anthro 
pological  interest  of  such  a  question,  at  least  one 
botanist  of  Germany,  reasoning  from  botanical  facts 
and  postulates  alone,  has  reached  precisely  this  con 

This  savant  is  Professor  Otto  Kuntze,  who  has 
made  special  studies  of  the  cultivated  tropical  plants. 
What  other  botanists  had  found  true  of  the  wild 
flora  in  continents  separated  by  wide  oceans  he 
finds  true  of  domesticated  plants.  But  the  problem 
of  the  spread  of  these  plants  from  continent  to  con- 

1  Geikie,  Textbook  of  Geology,  p.  874.  Compare  Wallace  :  "  We 
have  now  only  to  notice  the  singular  want  of  reciprocity  in  the  migra 
tions  of  northern  and  southern  types  of  vegetation.  In  return  for  the 
vast  number  of  European  plants  which  have  reached  Australia,  not 
one  single  Australian  plant  has  entered  any  part  of  the  north  temper 
ate  zone,  and  the  same  may  be  said  of  the  typical  southern  vegeta 
tion  in  general,  whether  developed  in  the  Antarctic  lands,  New  Zea 
land,  South  America,  or  South  Africa."  Island-Life.  London,  1880  : 
p.  486.  In  like  manner  Sir  Joseph  Hooker  affirms  :  "  Geographically 
speaking,  there  is  no  Antarctic  flora  except  a  few  lichens  and  sea 
weeds."  Nature,  1881:  p.  447.  Possibly,  however,  the  progress  of 
research  may  bring  to  light  evidences  of  a  second  and  less  powerful 
polar  Bildiingsherd  of  primitive  flora  forms  in  the  Antarctic  region. 
Some  of  the  discoveries  of  F.  P.  Moreno  look  in  that  direction.  See 
"  Patagonia,  resto  de  un  antiguo  continente  hoy  sumerjido"  Anales 
de  la  societad cientifica  Argentina.  T.  xiv.,  Entregua  III.,  p.  97.  Also, 
"Lafaune  eocene  de  la  Patagonie  australe  et  le  grande  continent  an- 
tarctique"  Par  M.  E.  L.  Trouessart.  Revue  Scientifique,  Paris,  xxxii., 
pp.  588  ss.  (Nov.  10.  1883).  Also  Samuel  Haughton  in  last  lecture 
of  Physical  Geography.  Dublin,  1880. 


tinent  raises  peculiar  and  most  interesting  questions. 
Taking  the  banana-plantain,  which  was  cultivated  in 
America  before  the  arrival  of  Europeans  in  1492, 
Professor  Kuntze  asks,  "  In  what  way  was  this  plant, 
which  cannot  stand  a  voyage  through  the  temperate 
zone,  carried  to  America  ? "  The  difficulty  is  that 
the  banana  is  seedless,  and  can  be  propagated  in  a 
new  country  only  by  carrying  thither  a  living  root 
and  planting  it  in  a  suitable  soil.  Its  very  seedless- 
ness  is  evidence  of  the  enormous  length  of  time  that 
it  has  been  cared  for  by  man.  As  the  Professor 
says,  "A  cultivated  plant  which  does  not  possess 
seeds  must  have  been  under  culture  for  a  very  long 
period,  —  we  have  not  in  Europe  a  single  exclusively 
seedless,  berry-bearing  cultivated  plant,  —  and  hence 
it  is  perhaps  fair  to  infer  that  these  plants  were  cul 
tivated  as  early  as  the  middle  of  the  diluvial  period." 
But  now  as  to  its  transportation  from  the  Old  World 
to  the  New,  or  vice  versa.  "  It  must  be  remem 
bered,"  he  says,  "that  the  plantain  is  a  tree-like, 
herbaceous  plant,  possessing  no  easily  transportable 
bulbs,  like  the  potato  or  the  dahlia,  nor  propagable 
by  cuttings,  like  the  willow  or  the  poplar.  It  has 
only  a  perennial  root,  which,  once  planted,  needs 
hardly  any  care."  After  discussing  the  subject  in 
all  aspects,  he  reaches  the  twofold  conclusion,  first, 
that  civilized  man  must  have  brought  the  roots  of 
the  plant  into  any  new  regions  into  which  it  has 
ever  come ;  and  secondly,  that  its  appearance  in 
America  can  only  be  accounted  for  on  the  supposi 
tion  that  it  was  carried  thither  by  way  of  the  north- 
polar  countries  at  a  time  when  a  tropical  climate 
prevailed  at  the  North  Pole.1 

1  Pflanzen  als  Beweis  der  Einwanderung  der  Amerikaner  aus  Asien 
in  praglazialer  Zeit.     Published  in  Ausland,  1878,  pp.  197,  198. 



All  the  evidence  at  our  command  points  to  the  Northern  hemisphere  as  the 
birth-place  of  the  class,  Mammalia^  and  probably  of  all  the  orders.  —  ALFRED 

C'est  a  des  emigrations  venues,  sinon  du  pole,  du  mains  des  contrees  atte- 
nantes  au  cercle  polaire,  qu'il  faut  attribuer  la  presence  constat'ee  dans  les  deux 
mondes  de  beaucoup  d'animaux  propres  a  P  hemisphere  boreal.  —  COUNT  SA- 


BUT  in  settling  the  site  of  Eden  the  animal  king 
dom  must  also  have  a  voice.  According  to  the 
Hebrew  story,  the  representatives  of  this  kingdom 
were  an  earlier  creation  than  Adam,  and  in  Eden 
was  the  world-fest  of  their  christening.  Evidently 
the  lost  cradle  of  humanity  must  be  fixed  in  time 
posterior  to  the  beginnings  of  animal  life,  and  in 
space  so  located  that  from  that  spot  as  a  centre  all 
the  multitudinous  species,  and  genera,  and  orders, 
and  families  of  the  whole  animal  creation  might 
have  radiated  forth  to  the  various  habitats  in  which 
they  are  respectively  found. 

Now  it  is  one  of  the  striking  facts  connected  with 
Zoology  that  if  we  pass  around  the  globe  on  any  iso 
thermal  line,  at  the  equator,  or  in  any  latitude 
south  of  it,  or  in  any  latitude  north  of  it,  —  until 
we  come  to  the  confines  of  the  Arctic  zone,  —  we  find, 
as  we  pass  from  land  to  land,  that  the  animals  we 
encounter  are  specifically  unlike.  Everywhere  we 
find,  along  with  like  climatic  and  telluric  conditions, 
different  animals.  The  moment,  however,  we  reach 


the  Arctic  zone,  and  there  make  the  circuit  of  the 
globe,  we  are  everywhere  surrounded  by  the  same 

On  the  other  hand,  if  we  take  great  circles  of  the 
earth's  longitude,  and  pass  from  the  Arctic  region 
down  along  the  continental  masses  of  the  New 
World  to  the  South  Pole,  thence  returning  up  a 
meridian  which  crosses  Africa  and  Europe,  or  Aus 
tralia  and  Asia,  we  shall  find  in  the  descent  abun 
dant  fossil  evidence  that  we  are  moving  forward  on 
the  pathway  along  which  the  prehistoric  migrations 
of  the  animal  world  proceeded ;  while  on  our  return 
on  the  other  side  of  the  planet  we  shall  find  that  we 
are  no  longer  following  in  the  track  of  ancient  mi 
grations,  but  are  advancing  counter  to  their  obvious 
movement.  All  this  is  as  true  of  the  flora  of  the 
world  as  it  is  of  the  fauna.  Hence  the  language  of 
the  late  Professor  Orton  :  "  Only  around  the  shores 
of  the  Arctic  Sea  are  the  same  animals  and  plants 
found  through  every  meridian,  and  in  passing 
southward  along  the  three  principal  lines  of  land 
specific  identities  give  way  to  mere  identity  of  gen 
era  ;  these  are  replaced  by  family  resemblances,  and 
at  last  even  the  families  become  in  a  measure  dis 
tinct,  not  only  on  the  great  continents,  but  also  on 
the  islands,  till  every  little  rock  in  the  ocean  has  its 
peculiar  inhabitants."  l 

Another  well-known  naturalist  says  :  "  It  should 
also  be  observed  that  in  the  beginning  of  things  the 
continents  were  built  up  from  North  to  South,  —  such 
has  been,  at  least,  the  history  of  the  North  and  South 
American  and  the  Europeo-Asiatic  and  the  African 
continents  ;  and  thus  it  would  appear  that  north  of 

1  Comparative  Zoology.     New  York,  1876  :  p.  384. 


the  equator,  at  least,  animals  slowly  migrated  south 
ward,  keeping  pace  as  it  were  with  the  growth 
and  southward  extension  of  the  grand  land-masses 
which  appeared  above  the  sea  in  the  Paleozoic  ages. 
Hence,  scanty  as  is  the  Arctic  and  Temperate  region 
of  the  earth  at  the  present  time,  in  former  ages 
these  regions  were  as  prolific  in  life  as  the  tropics 
now  are,  the  latter  regions,  now  so  vast,  having 
through  all  the  Tertiary  and  Quaternary  ages  been 
undisturbed  by  great  geological  revolutions,  and 
meanwhile  been  colonized  by  emigrants  driven  down 
by  the  incoming  cold  of  the  glacial  period."1 

As  long  ago  as  1876  Mr.  Alfred  Russel  Wallace 
wrote,  "  All  the  chief  types  of  animal  life  appear 
to  have  originated  in  the  great  north  temperate  or 
northern  continents,  while  the  southern  continents 
have  been  more  or  less  completely  isolated  during 
long  periods,  both  from  the  northern  continent  and 
from  each  other."2  And  again,  speaking  of  mam 
malia,  he  said,  "All  the  evidence  at  our  command 
points  to  the  Northern  Hemisphere  as  the  birth 
place  of  the  class,  and  probably  of  all  the  orders." 3 

From  all  the  facts  but  one  conclusion  is  possible, 
and  that  is  that  like  as  the  Arctic  Pole  is  the  mother- 
region  of  all  plants,  so  it  is  the  mother-region  of  all 
animals,  —  the  region  where,  in  the  beginning,  God 
created  every  beast  of  the  earth  after  his  kind,  and 

1  A.  S.  Packard,  Zoology.   New  York,  2d  ed.,  1880  :  p.  665.  —  In  his 
Elements  of  Geology,  New  York,  1877,  p.  159,  Le  Conte  gives  a  graph 
ical  representation  of  the  polocentric  zones  of  the  earth's  flora  and 
fauna  (Fig.  131),  which  ought  to  have  suggested  the  true  genetic  con 
nection  of  the  whole. 

2  The  Geographical  Distribution  of  Animals.    New  York  ed.,  vol.  i.f 

P-  173- 

8  Ibid.,  vol.  ii.,  p.  544. 


cattle  after  their  kind,  and  everything  that  creepeth 
on  the  earth  after  his  kind.  And  this  is  the  con 
clusion  now  being  reached  and  announced  by  all 
comparative  zoologists  who  busy  themselves  with 
the  problem  of  the  origin  and  prehistoric  distribu 
tion  of  the  animal  world.  But  to  believe  that  Pro 
fessor  Heer's  "  Miocene  Arctic  Continent "  was  the 
cradle  of  all  floral  types  and  the  cradle  of  all  faunal 
forms,  and  yet  deny  that  it  was  also  the  cradle  of 
the  human  race,  is  what  few  philosophical  minds  are 
likely  long  to  do. 



Quittons  done  pour  un  instant  les  jar  dins  d'Armide,  et,  nouveaux  Argonautes^ 
parcourons  les  r'egions  hyperborees  ;  cherchons-y,  arm'es  de  patience  et  surtout  de 
scepticism,  Vorigine  de  la  plupart  des  nations  et  des  langues  tnodernes,  celle  meme 
des  habitans  de  VAttique,  et  des  autres  peuples  de  la  Grece,  objets  de  noire  savante 
idolatrie.  —  CHARLES  POUGENS  (A.  D.  1799). 

Telle  est  la  theorie  qui  s^accord  le  mieux  a-vec  la  ntarche  pr'esumle  des  races 
humaines.  —  COUNT  SAPORTA  (A.  D.  1883). 

MAN  is  the  one  traveler  who  has  certainly  been  in 
the  cradle  of  the  human  race.  He  has  come  from 
the  land  we  are  seeking.  Could  we  but  follow  back 
the  trail  of  his  journeyings  it  would  assuredly  take 
us  to  the  garden  of  pleasantness  from  which  we  are 
exiled.  Unfortunately  the  traveler  has  lost  whole 
volumes  of  his  itinerary,  and  what  remains  is  in 
many  of  its  passages  not  easy  of  decipherment. 

What  says  anthropologic  and  ethnic  Paleontology 
—  or  what  some  French  writers  are  beginning  to 
call  Paleoethnique  Science  —  respecting  the  hypoth 
esis  of  a  Polar  Eden  ? 

At  the  time  when  the  present  writer  began  his 
university  lectures  on  this  subject  the  teachings  of 
professed  anthropologists  were  in  the  chaotic  and 
contradictory  condition  indicated  in  Part  First.  One 
of  the  strongest  proofs  he  could  then  find  that  a 
new  light  was  about  to  dawn  on  this  field  was  in 
the  there  cited  work  of  Quatrefages,  entitled  "The 



Human  Species."  l  Accordingly,  in  discussing  the 
probable  verdict  of  this  science  upon  the  admissi- 
bility  of  the  new  theory  of  human  distribution,  the 
lecturer  presented  the  following  paragraph,  and 
there  rested  the  case  :  — 

"  Anthropology  as  represented  by  Quatrefages 
seems  to  be  actually  feeling  its  way  to  the  same  hy 
pothesis.  This  writer  first  argues  that  in  the  pres 
ent  state  of  knowledge  we  should  be  led  to  place  the 
cradle  of  the  race  in  the  great  region  '  bounded  on 
the  south  and  southwest  by  the  Himalayas,  on  the 
west  by  the  Bolor  mountains,  on  the  northwest  by 
the  Ala-Tau,  on  the  north  by  the  Altai  range  and 
its  offshoots,  and  on  the  east  by  the  Kingkhan,  on 
the  south  and  southeast  by  the  Felina  and  Kwen-lun.' 
Later  on,  however,  he  says  that  paleontological  stud 
ies  have  very  recently  led  to  results  which  are  '  ca 
pable  of  modifying  these  primary  conclusions.'  And 
after  briefly  stating  these  results,  he  starts  the  ques 
tion  whether  or  no  the  first  centre  of  human  appear 
ance  may  not  have  been  '  considerably  to  the  north 
of  the  region'  just  mentioned,  even  '  in  polar  Asia! 
Without  deciding,  he  adds,  '  Perhaps  prehistoric 
archeology  or  paleontology  will  some  day  confirm  or 
confute  this  conjecture.' " 

The  cautious  anticipation  here  expressed  was 
quickly  fulfilled.  At  the  concluding  lecture  of  the 
same  first  course  it  was  possible  to  present  the  fol 
lowing  as  the  ripe  conclusion  of  a  fellow  country 
man  of  Quatrefages,  one  of  the  foremost  savants  of 

1  New  York  edition,  pp.  175,  177,  178.  See  M.  Zaborowski's  sup 
port  of  Quatrefages'  conjecture  in  the  Revue  Scientifigue,  Paris,  1883, 
p.  496. 


Europe,  Count  Saporta : l  "  We  are  inclined  to  re 
move  to  the  circumpolar  regions  of  the  North  the 
probable  cradle  of  primitive  humanity.  From  there 
only  could  it  have  radiated  as  from  a  centre  to 
spread  into  the  several  continents  at  once,  and  to 
give  rise  to  successive  emigrations  toward  the  South. 
This  theory  best  agrees  ivith  the  presumed  march  of 
the  human  races."  2 

1  The  following  note  appeared  in  the  Boston  Daily  Advertiser  of 
May  25,  1883:  — 


A  few  years  ago,  about  the  time  of  the  appearance  of  the  first  edi 
tion  of  Dr.  WincheU's  Preadamites,  in  a  letter  addressed  to  its 
learned  author,  I  expressed  my  belief  that  the  Garden  of  Eden,  the 
first  abode  of  man,  was  to  be  sought  in  a  now  submerged  country,  sit 
uate  at  the  North  Pole.  More  than  a  year  ago,  in  a  printed  essay 
on  Ancient  Cosmology,  I  made  the  statement  that  "  all  ethnic  tra 
ditions  point  us  thither  for  the  cradle  of  the  race."  Early  last  Jan 
uary  I  began  a  course  of  lectures  in  the  post-graduate  department 
of  the  university,  setting  forth  my  view  and  the  astonishing  mass  of 
cosmological,  historic,  mythologic,  paleontologic,  paleoethnic,  and 
other  evidences  which  conspire  to  its  support.  Last  Monday  after 
noon,  about  twenty  minutes  before  I  was  to  give  the  concluding  lecture 
of  the  course,  I  opened  the  fresh-cut  leaves  of  the  Revtte  des  Deux 
Mondes,  the  number  for  the  first  of  this  month.  In  it  my  eye  quickly  fell 
upon  Un  Essai  de  Synthese  Paleoethnique,  in  which  M.  le  Marquis  G. 
de  Saporta  sums  up  and  sets  forth  the  latest  results  of  paleontological 
research,  so  far  as  they  bear  upon  ethnology.  Judge  of  my  gratifica 
tion  to  find  some  twenty  pages  devoted  to  the  question  of  the  cradle 
of  the  human  race  in  the  light  of  the  latest  science,  and  to  read  as  the 
conclusion  of  this  learned  savant  that  this  cradle  must  have  been 
"  within  the  Arctic  Circle." 

As  Count  Saporta  has  lately  shown  a  little  anxiety  that  American 
scholarship  should  not  receive  too  exclusive  credit  for  first  proposing 
a  closely  related  doctrine  which  he  holds  in  common  with  our  Pro 
fessor  Gray,  and  with  Switzerland's  Professor  Heer  (see  American 
Journal  of  Science,  May,  1883,  p.  396,  footnote),  he  will  doubtless 
pardon  the  public  statement  of  this,  tome,  most  interesting  coinci 
dence.  WILLIAM  F.  WARREN. 

Boston,  May  24,  1883. 

2  See  APPENDIX,  Sect.  II.  :  "  How  the  Earth  was  Peopled." 


In  the  foregoing  we  have  more  than  a  demonstra 
tion  of  the  bare  admissibility  of  our  hypothesis.  We 
have  in  it  the  latest  word  of  anthropological  science 
respecting  the  birth-place  of  the  human  race.  To 
make  it  a  complete  confirmation  of  our  theory,  so 
far  as  this  field  of  knowledge  is  concerned,  but  one 
thing  is  lacking,  and  that  is  a  clearer  recognition  of 
the  great  natural  revolution  or  catastrophe  which 
destroyed  man's  primitive  home  and  occasioned  the 
world-wide  post-diluvian  dispersion.  This  lack,  how- 
ever,  is  abundantly  supplied  by  the  foremost  Ger 
man  ethnographers,  and  even  by  such  as  represent 
the  most  radical  Darwinian  views.  Thus  Professor 
Friedrich  M tiller,  of  Vienna,  and  Dr.  Moritz  Wagner, 
both  of  whom  place  the  probable  cradle  of  the  race 
in  some  high  latitude  in  Europe  or  Asia,  lay  the  ut 
most  stress  upon  the  mighty  climatic  revolution 
which  came  in  with  the  glacial  age,  ascribing  to  it 
the  most  stupendous  and  transforming  influences 
that  have  ever  affected  mankind.1  In  our  view  the 
deterioration  of  natural  environment  reduced  the 

1  "  Es  muss  dort,  wo  der  Mensch  aus  dem  Zustand,  den  er  mit  den 
Thieren  gemeinsam  hat,  sich  entwickelte,  ein  gewaltiger  Wechsel  der 
Naturkrafte  und  seiner  Umgebung  stattgefunden  haben.  Nichts  ist 
natiirlicher  als  an  die  Eiszeit  des  Endes  der  Pleiocanen  und  der  Di- 
luvial-Periode,  welche  durch  eine  Reihe  schlagender  geologischer 
Thatsachen  fur  das  nordliche  Europa,  Asien  und  America  bestatigt 
wird,  zu  denken.  Damals,  wo  das  Paradies  des  in  der  Befriedigung 
leiblicher  Bediirfnisse  einzig  und  allein  dahinlebenden,  unschuldigen, 
Gutes  und  Boses  noch  nicht  unterscheidenden-  Menschen  mit  eisiger 
Hand  zertrlimmert  wurde,  damals  fing  der  Mensch  den  eigentlichen 
Kampf  urns  Dasein  an,  und  stieg  durch  Anspannung  aller  seiner 
Krafte  zum  Herrn  der  Natur  empor."  As  the  tree  no  more  bore 
fruit  the  "  climber  "  was  forced  to  "  become  a  runner  ;  "  this  differen 
tiated  the  foot  from  the  hand,  modified  the  leg,  and  in  time  changed 
the  pithecoid  ancestors  of  humanity  into  men.  Friedrich  Miiller, 
Allgemeine  Ethnographic.  Wien,  1873  :  P-  3^- 


vigor  and  longevity  of  the  race ;  in  theirs  it  changed 
one  of  the  tribes  of  the  animal  world  into  men  ! 
Which  of  these  views  is  the  more  rational  may  safely 
be  left  to  the  reader's  judgment.  Few  will  be  dis 
posed  to  accept  the  doctrine  that  man  is  simply  a 
judiciously-iced  pithecoid. 



We  must  now  be  prepared  to  admit  that  God  can  plant  an  Eden  even  in  Spitz- 
bergen  ;  that  the  present  state  of  the  -world  is  by  no  means  the  best  possible  in  re 
lation  to  climate  and  vegetation  ;  that  there  have  been  and  might  be  again  condi 
tions -which  could  convert  the  ice-clad  Arctic  regions  into  blooming  Paradises.  — 

WE  are  at  the  end  of  the  first  series  of  tests,  and 
with  what  results  ? 

1.  Scientific  Cosmology,  searching  for   the  place 
where  the  physical  conditions  of  Eden-life  first  ap 
peared  on  our  globe,  is  brought  to  the  very  spot 
where  we  have  located  the  cradle  of  our  race. 

2.  Contrary  to  all  ordinary  impressions,  we  have 
found  this  same  spot  the  most  favored  on  the  globe, 
not  only  as  respects  the  glories  of  night,  but  also  in 
respect  to  prevalence  of  daylight. 

3.  In  its  geology  we  have  found  scientific  evidence 
of  the  vast  cataclysm  which  destroyed  the  antedilu 
vian  world  and  permanently  transferred    to  lower 
latitudes  the  habitat  of  humanity. 

4.  We  have  found  scientifically  accepted  evidence 
that  at  the  time  of  the  advent  of  man  the  climate 
at  the  Arctic  Pole  was  all  that  the  most  poetic  leg 
ends  of  Eden  could  demand. 

5.  From  Paleontological  Botany  we  have  learned 
that  this  locality  was  the  cradle  of  the  floral  life- 
forms  of  the  whole  known  earth. 

6.  By  Paleontological  Zoology  we  have  been  as- 


sured  that  here  too  originated,  and  from  this  centre 
eradiated,  the  fauna  of  the  prehistoric  world. 

7.  And  lastly,  we  have  found  the  latest  ethnog 
raphers  and  anthropologists  slowly  but  surely  grav 
itating  toward  the  same  Arctic  Eden  as  the  only 
centre  from  which  the  migrations  of  the  human  race 
can  be  intelligibly  interpreted. 

We  asked  of  these  sciences  simply,  "  Is  our  hy 
pothesis  admissible  ?  "  Their  answer  is  more  than  an 
affirmative  ;  it  is  an  unanticipated  and  pronounced 

Some  months  after  the  foregoing  chapters  had 
been  written  and  delivered  in  lectures  before  classes 
of  students  in  the  University,  a  very  interesting  re 
inforcement  of  the  views  therein  advanced  appeared 
in  a  little  work  by  Mr.  G.  Hilton  Scribner,  of  New 
York,  entitled  ''Where  did  Life  Begin  ? "  l  As  Mr. 
Scribner  was  conducted  to  a  belief  in  the  north  polar 
origin  of  all  races  of  living  creatures  by  considera 
tions  quite  independent  of  those  mythological  and 
historical  ones  which  first  led  the  present  writer  to 
the  same  opinion,  the  reader  of  these  pages  will  find 
in  the  following  extracts  a  special  incentive  to  pro 
cure  and  read  the  entire  treatise  from  which  they 
are  taken.  That  two  minds  starting  with  such  en 
tirely  different  data  should  have  reached  so  nearly 
simultaneously  one  and  the  same  conclusion  touch 
ing  so  difficult  and  many-sided  a  problem  is  surely 
not  without  significance. 

1  Published  by  Charles  Scribner's  Sons,  New  York.  I2mo,  pp.64. 
Ex-Chancellor  Winchell  (anonymously)  reviews  the  work  with  much 
respect  in  Science,  March  7,  1884,  p.  292.  For  courteous  permission 
to  quote  from  the  treatise  without  restriction  I  publicly  return  the 
author  my  thanks. 


Our  first  extract  is  from  pp.  21-23,  where  the  fol 
lowing  summary  of  previous  reasonings  and  conclu 
sions  is  given  :  "  We  may  therefore  safely  conclude, 
if  the  code  of  natural  laws  has  been  uniformly  in 
force,  — 

«  First,  —  That  life  commenced  on  those  parts  of 
the  earth  which  were  first  prepared  to  maintain  it ; 
at  any  rate,  that  it  never  could  have  commenced 

"  Second,  —  As  the  whole  earth  was  at  one  time 
too  hot  to  maintain  life,  so  those  parts  were  prob 
ably  first  prepared  to  maintain  it  which  cooled  first. 

"Third, — That  those  parts  which  received  the 
least  heat  from  the  sun,  and  which  radiated  heat 
most  rapidly  into  space,  in  proportion  to  mass,  and 
had  the  thinnest  mass  to  cool,  cooled  first. 

"  Fourth,  —  That  those  parts  of  the  earth's  sur 
face,  and  those  only,  answering  to  these  conditions 
are  the  Arctic  and  Antarctic  zones. 

"  Fifth,  —  That  as  these  zones  were  at  one  time 
too  hot,  and  certain  parts  thereof  are  now  too  cold, 
for  such  life  as  inhabits  the  warmer  parts  of  the 
earth,  these  now  colder  parts,  in  passing  from  the 
extreme  of  heat  to  the  extreme  of  cold,  must  have 
passed  slowly  through  temperatures  exactly  suited 
to  all  plants  and  all  animals  in  severalty  which  now 
live  or  ever  lived  on  the  earth. 

"  Sixth,  —  If  the  concurrent  conditions  which 
have  usually  followed  lowering  temperature  followed 
the  climatic  changes  in  this  case,  life  did  commence 
on  the  earth  within  one  or  both  of  certain  zones  sur 
rounding  the  poles,  and  sufficiently  removed  there 
from  to  receive  the  least  amount  of  sunlight  neces 
sary  for  vegetal  and  animal  life. 


"  It  seems  almost  superfluous  to  say  that  those 
parts  of  the  earth  which  first  became  cool  enough 
to  maintain  life  had  a  climate  warmer  at  that  time 
than  that  which  we  now  call  torrid.  It  was  for  an 
epoch,  and  probably  a  very  long  one,  as  hot  as  it 
could  be  and  maintain  life. 

"  It  is  also  quite  obvious,  in  the  light  of  the  fore 
going  considerations,  that  as  the  temperate  zones 
have  always  received  more  heat  from  the  sun,  and 
have  had  more  mass  per  square  foot  to  cool,  in  pro 
portion  to  radiating  surface,  than  the  polar  zones, 
so,  on  the  other  hand,  they  have  always  received 
less  heat  from  the  sun  and  have  had  less  mass  to 
cool,  in  proportion  to  radiating  surface,  than  the 
torrid  zone  ;  and  so  when  the  arctic  zones  cooled 
from  a  tropical  to  what  we  now  call  a  temperate  cli 
mate,  the  temperate  zones  had  cooled  down  to  that 
temperature  which  we  now  call  a  torrid  climate, 
while  the  equatorial  belt  was  still  too  hot  for  any 
form  of  life.  Thus  the  lowering  of  temperature, 
climatic  change,  and  that  life  which  made  its  advent 
in  these  zones  surrounding  the  poles  have  crept 
thence  slowly  along,  pari  passu,  from  these  polar 
regions  to  the  equator." 

Farther  on  (pp.  26,  27)  he  claims  that  the  progres 
sive  cooling  of  the  region  at  the  Pole  is  all-sufficient, 
as  a  natural  cause,  to  account  for  that  dispersion  of 
life,  vegetable  and  animal,  which  proceeded  from  the 
Arctic  centre  southward  :  "  As  might  be  readily  sup 
posed,  these  Arctic  regions  which  first  became  cool 
enough  to  maintain  life  would  from  the  same  causes 
be  the  first  to  become  too  cold  for  the  same  pur 
pose.  And  this  cold  would  occur  first  as  a  temper 
ate  climate  near  and  around  the  pole  ;  at  any  rate, 


in  the  centre  of  a  zone  just  sufficiently  removed 
from  the  pole  to  combine  the  influence  of  the  sun 
with  its  own  cooling  temperature,  so  as  to  become 
the  first  fit  habitation  of  life. 

"  This  central  cold  creating  a  temperate  climate 
would  thus  have  become  the  first  and  all-sufficient 
cause  of  a  dispersion  and  distribution  of  both  the 
tropical  plants  and  animals  over  another  zone  next 
south,  next  further  removed  from  the  pole,  and  next 
sufficiently  cool  to  maintain  such  life.  Moreover, 
this  cooler  climate  occurring  in  the  centre  would 
have  driven  out  and  dispersed  such  life  equally,  in 
all  possible  directions.  So,  if  the  first  habitable  zone 
included  the  northernmost  land  of  all  the  great  con 
tinents  which  converge  around  the  North  Pole,  this 
dispersion  from  an  increasing  cold  to  the  north  of 
each  of  them  would  have  sent  southward  plants  and 
animals  from  a  common  origin  and  ancestry,  to  peo 
ple  and  to  plant  all  the  continents  of  the  earth,  with 
the  possible  exception  of  Australia,  whose  flora  and 
fauna  are  certainly  anomalous  and  possibly  indige 

In  section  fourth  (pp.  28-34)  the  author  briefly 
touches  upon  some  of  the  surface  features  of  the 
globe  peculiarly  favorable  to  the  southward  migra 
tion  of  plants  and  animals  :  "  Let  us  now  see  how 
admirably  the  earth  is  adapted,  by  its  surface  forma 
tion  and  topography,  for  a  southern  migration  from 
a  zone  surrounding  the  North  Pole.  In  the  first 
place,  nearly  the  whole  of  the  earth's  surface  (and 
all  the  northern  hemisphere)  is  corrugated  north  and 
south  with  alternate  continents  and  deep  sea  chan 
nels  almost  from  pole  to  pole.  Both  the  eastern  and 
western  continents  extend  with  unbroken  land  con- 


nections  from  the  Arctic  zone  through  the  northern 
temperate,  the  torrid,  and  through  the  southern 
temperate,  almost  to  the  Antarctic  zone.  Between 
these  great  continents  lie  the  deep  oceans,  whose 
channels  run  north  and  south  through  as  many  de 
grees  of  latitude.  The  great  air  and  ocean  currents 
run  north  or  south  ;  all  the  mountain  ranges  of  the 
western  continent  and  many  of  the  eastern  conti 
nents  run  mainly  north  and  south.  Nearly  all  the 
great  rivers  of  the  northern  hemisphere  run  north 
or  south.  To  a  southern  migration  —  in  other 
words,  a  migration  from  the  Arctic  region  toward 
the  equator — these  peculiarities  of  topography,  these 
great  corrugations  and  mountain  ranges,  these  chan 
nels  and  currents,  are  roads  and  vehicles,  guides  and 
helps  ;  while  to  an  east  and  west  migration  the  same 
features  are  not  only  obstacles  and  hindrances,  but 
in  the  main  barriers  insuperable. 

"  The  impassability  of  mountain  ranges  for  most 
plants  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  strongly  marked 
varieties  in  great  numbers  and  many  distinct  spe 
cies  occur  upon  the  eastern  slopes  of  the  Rocky 
Mountains,  the  Sierra  Nevadas,  the  Alleghanies,  and 
even  lower  ranges,  which  are  not  found  at  all  upon 
their  western  sides,  and  vice  versa.  Such  a  condi 
tion  of  things,  incompatible  as  it  is  with  an  eastern 
and  western  migration,  is  quite  consistent,  however, 
with  a  north  and  south  movement.  For  all  the  cli 
matic  conditions,  especially  that  of  rainfall,  are  so 
different  on  the  opposite  sides  of  all  long  mountain 
ranges  that  the  same  variety,  split  and  separated  by 
the  northern  extremities  of  these  ranges,  would,  in 
moving  southward  along  their  eastern  and  western 
sides,  and  encountering  such  diverse  conditions, 


have  become  in  the  course  of  time,  under  the  laws 
of  adaptation,  distinct  varieties,  and  probably  differ 
ent  species. 

"  It  may  be  well  now  to  examine  some  of  the 
conditions  assisting  this  movement.  Hot  air  being 
lighter  than  cold,  the  heated  air  of  the  northern 
equatorial  belt  has  always  risen  and  passed  mainly 
toward  the  North  Pole  in  an  upper  current,  while  the 
cooler  and  heavier  currents  from  the  north  have 
swept  southward,  hugging  the  surface  of  the  conti 
nents,  laded  with  pollen,  minute  germs  and  spores, 
and  all  the  winged  seeds  of  plants,  bending  grass 
and  shrubs  and  trees  constantly  to  the  southward, 
and  so,  by  small  yearly  increments,  moving  the  whole 
vegetal  kingdom  through  valleys  and  along  the  sides 
of  mountain  ranges,  down  the  great  continents,  al 
ways  moving  with,  and  never  across,  these  great  sur 
face  corrugations.  It  is  unnecessary  to  add  that  all 
insects  and  herbivorous  animals  would  follow  the 
plants,  or  that  the  birds  and  carnivorous  animals 
would  follow  the  herbivorous  animals  and  the  in 
sects.  So,  too,  the  currents  of  the  ocean  have  been 
established  in  obedience  to  similar  laws  :  as  hot 
water  is  lighter  than  cold,  great  surface  currents 
have  been  formed  in  both  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific 
oceans,  flowing  from  the  equator  to  the  Arctic  re 
gions  ;  while  the  cooler  and  heavier  currents  from 
the  Arctic  have  swept  the  floor  of  both  oceans  from 
shore  to  shore  to  the  southward,  carrying  all  kinds 
of  marine  life  from  the  pole  toward  the  equator  with 

"  It  may  be  well  in  this  connection  to  allude  to  an 
other  fact  seriously  affecting  the  bottom  currents 
from  the  pole  toward  the  equator  of  both  air  and 


ocean.  By  reason  of  the  revolution  of  the  earth 
upon  its  axis,  a  given  point  upon  its  surface  1,000 
miles  south  of  the  North  Pole  moves  to  the  eastward 
at  the  rate  of  about  260  miles  an  hour,  while  another 
point  in  the  same  meridian  at  the  equator  would  be 
moving  to  the  eastward  a  little  more  than  1,000 
miles  an  hour ;  so  every  cubic  yard  of  air  and  water 
which  starts  in  a  bottom  current  from  the  polar  re 
gions  for  the  equator  must,  before  reaching  the 
equator,  acquire  an  eastward  motion  of  about  750 
miles  an  hour.  The  tendency,  therefore,  of  all  bot 
tom  currents  of  air  and  ocean  moving  to  the  south 
is  to  press  to  the  westward  every  obstacle  met  with 
in  its  course,  and  the  result,  both  as  to  the  currents 
and  all  movable  things  they  come  in  contact  with, 
would  be  to  give  them  a  southwestern  course  and 

"  Now  it  is  a  strange  coincidence,  if  nothing  more, 
that  the  eastern  coasts  of  all  the  continents  have  a 
southwestern  trend,  are  full  of  bays,  inlets,  and  shoal 
water,  as  though  the  floor  of  the  ocean  was  being 
constantly  swept  up  against  them  ;  while  the  west 
ern  coasts  are  more  abrupt,  straight,  and  touch 
deeper  water,  as  though  the  sweepings  from  the  land 
were  being  constantly  rolled  into  the  sea  along  their 
entire  lines. 

"  Notwithstanding  all  these  indications  of  a 
southern  or  southwestern  movement,  ever  since  the 
migration  of  plants  and  animals  first  attracted  at 
tention,  students  of  natural  science,  careful  and  con 
scientious  observers,  able  and  discriminating  inves 
tigators,  have,  almost  with  one  accord,  been  looking 
east  and  west  across  these  great  north  and  south 
corrugations  and  natural  barriers  for  the  paths  of 


their  journeyings  ;  searching  along  every  parallel  of 
latitude,  across  lofty  mountain  ranges,  broad  con 
tinents,  deep  and  wide  oceans,  and  ocean  currents, 
to  and  fro ;  and  if  perchance  they  looked  north  or 
south  it  was  only  in  search  of  some  ferry  or  ford 
south  of  the  ice-fields  by  which  to  pass  the  flora  and 
fauna  from  one  continent  to  another,  and  thus  ac 
count  for  what  is  very  evident,  namely,  that  many 
widely  distributed  species  and  varieties  have  come 
from  the  same  locality  and  had  a  common  ancestry 
and  origin.  Is  it  not  evident  that  the  very  plants 
and  animals  (in  a  tribal  sense)  whose  migrations 
they  have  been  engaged  in  unraveling  were  as 
much  older  than  ice  and  snow  on  the  earth  as  it 
would  require  in  time  to  lower  the  average  temper 
ature  over  a  vast  area  from  a  tropical  to  a  frigid  cli 
mate  ? " 

The  portion  of  the  little  treatise  least  satisfactory, 
even  to  its  author,  is  the  part  which  relates  to  man 
(pp.  52-54).  By  making  the  human  race  the  de 
scendants  (or,  as  on  Darwinist  principles  we  ought 
rather  to  say,  the  ascendants)  of  one  or  more  pairs 
of  lower  animals,  and  assuming  that  our  animal  an 
cestry  had  already  been  driven  from  the  polar  region 
before  they  were  blessed  with  this  unanticipated 
progeny,  the  author  suggests  a  possible  manner  in 
which  "  the  absence  on  the  earth  of  our  immediate 
predecessor,"  the  missing  link,  might  be  accounted 
for.  He  says,  "  If  it  is  true  that,  in  common  with 
many  existing  plants  and  animals,  the  ancestry  of 
man  —  some  animal  with  a  thumb,  and  so  having 
the  possibility  of  all  things  —  shared  this  northern 
home,  this  common  and  immensely  remote  origin, 
earlier  by  long  epochs  than  the  glacial  period,  it 


would  afford  a  possible  ground  for  the  claim  of  the 
unity  of  the  origin  of  man,  and  also  a  reason  for  the 
absence  on  earth  of  his  immediate  predecessor.  His 
arboreal  progenitor  in  the  pioneer  ranks  of  this 
great  southern  movement,  ages  before  the  Quater 
nary  (during  all  of  which  period  man  has  probably 
inhabited  the  earth),  was  possibly  driven  naked  by 
the  ever-following,  merciless  cold,  thus  keeping  him 
within  the  southward-moving  tropical  climate,  down 
the  eastern  and  western  continents  alike,  until  it  and 
he,  arriving  in  the  lapse  of  ages  at  the  equatorial 
belt,  and  being  always  at  the  head  and  still  rising  in 
the  scale  of  being  by  this  movement,  discipline,  and 
process,  became  sufficiently  advanced  by  slow  de 
grees  to  build  fires,  clothe  himself,  make  imple 
ments,  and,  possibly,  domesticate  animals,  —  at  least 
the  first  and  most  useful  to  primitive  man,  the  dog, 
—  and  so  prepared  for  conflict  and  for  all  climates, 
turned  backward  to  the  verge  of  everlasting  ice, 
subduing,  slaying,  and  exterminating,  first  his  own 
ancestry,  his  nearest  but  now  weak  rival,  which  by 
lingering  behind  and  struggling  for  life  in  a  climate 
of  increasing  cold,  would  have  become  extremely  de 
generated  and  so  easily  disposed  of,  if  not  actually 
exterminated  by  the  climate  itself ;  thus  leaving  as 
the  nearest  in  resemblance  to  man,  and  yet  the  re 
motest  in  actual  relationship  both  to  him  and  to  his 
ancestry,  the  later  tribes  of  anthropoid  apes  since 
developed,  nearer  to  the  equator,  from  the  next 
lower  animals  which  accompanied  him  in  his  south 
ward  march." 

In  this  speculation,  it  will  be  observed,  the  place 
of  the  origin  of  the  human  race  is  entirely  indeter 
minate.  When  its  far-off  arboreal  ancestor  left  the 


Pole  his  only  prophetic  endowment  was  "a  thumb." 
But  possessing  this,  he  "  had  the  possibility  of  all 
things."  In  his  successors,  ages  afterward,  the  real 
transition  from  the  plane  of  animal  to  that  of  human 
life  seems  to  be  represented  as  having  taken  place 
"at  the  equatorial  belt."  Unfortunately,  however, 
for  the  theory,  the  claim  of  the  new  men  to  the 
virtue  and  name  of  humanity  was  now  poorer  than 
before  the  change,  for  their  first  act  was  to  turn 
fiercely  upon  those  who  brought  them  into  being, 
"  subduing,  slaying,  and  exterminating  their  own  an 
cestry  "  in  a  frenzy  worse  than  brutal.  The  shock 
to  the  feelings  of  the  near  but  younger  relatives  of 
the  massacred  victims  —  the  mild-mannered  apes  — 
must  have  been  violent  in  the  extreme.  In  fact, 
among  all  the  tens  of  thousands  of  their  descendants 
not  one,  from  that  day  to  this,  has  ever  been  seen  to 

But  in  justice  to  our  author  it  should  be  stated 
that  he  attaches  little,  if  any,  weight  to  this  Darwin- 
istic  episode.  He  frankly  says,  "  This  last  proposi 
tion,  however,  is  but  a  vague  and  very  deductive 
supposition,  for  which  nothing  is  claimed  beyond  a 
possibility  or  bare  probability."  It  is  possible  that 
he  is  only  slyly  indulging  in  a  bit  of  quiet  pleasantry 
at  the  expense  of  the  new-school  anthropogonists. 
Whether  so  or  not,  he  hastens  without  further  words 
to  return  from  it  to  the  impregnable  positions  of  his 
main  argument,  and  to  reinforce  them  by  a  fresh 
study  of  the  power  and  function  of  heat  in  the  cos 
mic  unfoldment  and  distribution  of  life. 

The  next  two  divisions  of  the  present  work  will 
show  us  that  the  birth-memories  of  mankind  con 
duct  us,  not  to  "the  equatorial  belt,"  but  to  the 


polar  world,  and  that  in  Mr.  Scribner's  answer  to 
the  question,  "  Where  did  Life  begin  ? "  human  as 
well  as  floral  and  faunal  life  should  be  included. 
After  examining  these  fresh  lines  of  evidence  it  is 
believed  that  the  reader  will  find  more  impressive 
than  ever  the  words  with  which  our  author  con 
cludes  his  charming  tractate  :  — 

"  Thus  the  Arctic  zone,  which  was  earliest  in  cool 
ing  down  to  the  first  and  highest  heat  degree  in  the 
great  life-gamut,  was  also  first  to  become  fertile,  first 
to  bear  life,  and  first  to  send  forth  her  progeny  over 
the  earth.  So,  too,  in  obedience  to  the  universal 
order  of  things,  she  was  first  to  reach  maturity,  first 
to  pass  all  the  subdivisions  of  life-bearing  climate 
and  finally  the  lowest  heat  degree  in  the  great  life- 
range,  and  so  the  first  to  reach  sterility,  old  age,  de 
generation,  and  death.  And  now,  cold  and  lifeless, 
wrapped  in  her  snowy  winding  sheet,  the  once  fair 
mother  of  us  all  rests  in  the  frozen  embrace  of  an 
ice-bound  and  everlasting  sepulchre." 





All  these  things  happened  in  the  North  ;  and  afterward,  when  men  were  created, 
they  were  created  in  the  North  ;  but  as  the  people  multiplied  they  moved  toward 
the  South,  the  Earth  growing  larger  also,  and  extending  itself  in  the  same  direction, 
—  H.  H.  BANCROFT,  Native  Races,  vol.  iii.,  p.  162. 

II  y  a  done  beaucoup  d'apparence  que  les  peuples  du  Nord,  en  descendant  vers  le 
Midi,  y  portent  les  emblems  relatifs  au  physique  de  leur  climat ;  et  ces  emblems  sont 
devenus  des  fables,  puis  des  personnages,  puis  des  Dieux,  dans  des  imaginations 
vives  et  pretes  a  tout  animer,  comme  celles  des  Orientaux.  — JEAN  SYLVAIN  BAILLY. 



Not  enough  credit  has  been  given  to  the  ancient  astronomers.  For  instance, 
there  is  no  time  within  the  scope  of  history  when  it  was  not  known  that  the  earth 
is  a  sphere,  and  that  the  direction  DOWN  at  different  points  is  toward  the  same 
point  at  the  earth's  centre.  Current  teaching  in  the  text-books  as  to  the  knowl 
edge  of  astronomy  by  the  ancients  is  at  fault.1  —  SIMON  NEWCOMB,  LL.  D. 

Hie  -vertex  nobis  semper  sublimis,  at  ilium 
Sub  pedibus  Styx  atra  videt  manesque  profundi. 


BACK  of  every  mythological  account  of  Paradise 
lies  some  conception  of  the  world  at  large,  and  es 
pecially  of  the  world  of  men.  Rightly  to  understand 
and  interpret  the  myths,  we  must  first  understand 
the  world-conception  to  which  they  were  adjusted. 
Unfortunately,  the  cosmology  of  the  ancients  has 
been  totally  misconceived  by  modern  scholars.  All 
our  maps  of  "  The  World  according  to  Homer  "  rep 
resent  the  earth  as  flat,  and  as  surrounded  by  a  level, 
flowing  ocean  stream.  "There  can  be  no  doubt," 
says  Bunbury,  "  that  Homer,  in  common  with  all  his 
successors  down  to  the  time  of  Hecataeus,  believed 
the  earth  to  be  a  plane  of  circular  form." 2  As  to 
the  sky,  we  are  generally  taught  that  the  early 
Greeks  believed  it  to  be  a  solid  metallic  vault.3  Pro- 

1  Lowell  Lecture.     Boston  Daily  Advertiser,  Nov.  29,  1881. 

2  E.  H.  Bunbury,  History  of  Ancient  Geography  among  the  Greeks 
and  Romans,     London,  1879:  vol.  i.,  p.  79.     Professor  Bunbury  was 
a  leading  contributor  to  Smith's  Dictionary  of  Ancient  Greek  and  Ro 
man  Geography.     Compare  Friedreich,  Die  Realien  in  der  Ilias  und 
Odysee.     1856,  §  19.     Buchholz,  Die  Homerische  Realien.     Leipsic, 
1871  :  Bd.  i.,  48. 

1  See  Voss,  Ukert,  Bunbury,  Buchholz,  and  the  others. 


fessor  F.  A.  Paley  aids  the  imagination  of  his 
readers  as  follows  :  "  We  might  familiarly  illustrate 
the  Hesiodic  notion  of  the  flat  circular  earth  and  the 
convex  overarching  sky  by  a  circular  plate  with  a 
hemispherical  dish-cover  of  metal  placed  over  it  and 
concealing  it.  Above  the  cover  (which  is  supposed 
to  rotate  on  an  axis,  -n-oXos)  live  the  gods.  Round 
the  inner  concavity  is  the  path  of  the  sun,  giving 
light  to  the  earth  below."  l 

That  all  writers  upon  Greek  mythology,  including 
even  the  latest,2  should  proceed  upon  the  same  as 
sumptions  as  the  professed  Homeric  interpreters 
and  geographers  building  upon  their  foundations  is 
only  natural.  And  that  the  current  conceptions  of 
the  cosmology  of  the  ancient  Greeks  should  pro 
foundly  affect  current  interpretations  of  the  cosmo- 
logical  and  geographical  data  of  other  ancient  peo 
ples  is  also  precisely  what  the  history  and  inner 
relationships  of  modern  archaeological  studies  would 
lead  one  to  expect.  It  is  not  surprising,  therefore, 
that  the  earth  of  the  Ancient  Hebrews,  Egyptians, 
Indo-Aryans,  and  other  ancient  peoples  has  been 
assumed  to  correspond  to  the  supposed  flat  earth  of 
the  Greeks.3 

1  The  Epics  of  Hesiod,  with  an  English  Commentary.      London, 
1861  :  p.  172. 

2  See,  for  example,  Sir  George  W.  Cox  :  An  Introduction  to  the 
Science  of  Comparative  Mythology  and  Folk-Lore.     London  and  New 
York,  1881  :  p.  244.      Decharme,  Mythologie  de  la    Grece  Antique. 
Paris,  1879:  p.  n. 

8  It  is  true  that  Heinrich  Zimmer  remarks,  "  Die  Anschauung  die 
sich  bei  Griechen  und  Nordgermanen  findet,  dass  die  Erde  eine 
Scheibe  sei,  um  die  sich  das  Meer  schlingt,  begegnet  in  den  vedischen 
Samhita  nirgends."  Altindisches  Leben.  Berlin,  1879:  p.  359.  But 
even  he  does  not  advance  from  this  negative  assertion  to  an  exposition 
of  the  true  Vedic  cosmology.  Compare  M.  Fontane  :  "  Leur  cosmog- 


A  protracted  study  of  the  subject  has  convinced 
the  present  writer  that  this  modern  assumption,  as 
to  the  form  of  the  Homeric  earth  is  entirely  base 
less  and  misleading.  He  has,  furthermore,  satisfied 
himself  that  the  Egyptians,  Akkadians,  Assyrians, 
Babylonians,  Phoenicians,  Hebrews,  Greeks,  Irani 
ans,  Indo-Aryans,  Chinese,  Japanese,  —  in  fine,  all 
the  most  ancient  historic  peoples, — possessed  in 
their  earliest  traceable  periods  a  cosmology  essen 
tially  identical,  and  one  of  a  far  more  advanced  type 
than  has  been  attributed  to  them.  The  purpose  of 
this  chapter  is  to  set  forth  and  illustrate  this  oldest 
known  conception  of  the  universe  and  of  its  parts. 

In  ancient  thought,  the  grand  divisions  of  the 
world  are  four,  to  wit  :  the  abode  of  the  gods,  the 
abode  of  living  men,  the  abode  of  the  dead,  and, 
finally,  the  abode  of  demons.  To  locate  these  in 
right  mutual  relations,  one  must  begin  by  represent 
ing  to  himself  the  earth  as  a  sphere  or  spheroid, 
and  as  situated  within,  and  concentric  with,  the 
starry  sphere,  each  having  its  axis  perpendicular,  and 
its  north  pole  at  the  top.  The  pole-star  is  thus  in  the 
true  zenith,  and  the  heavenly  heights  centring  about 
it  are  the  abode  of  the  supreme  god  or  gods.  Ac 
cording  to  the  same  conception,  the  upper  or  north 
ern  hemisphere  of  the  earth  is  the  proper  home  of 
living  men  ;  the  under  or  southern  hemisphere  of 
the  earth,  the  abode  of  disembodied  spirits  and  rulers 
of  the  dead ;  and,  finally,  the  undermost  region  of 
all,  that  centring  around  the  southern  pole  of  the 

raphie  est  embryonaire.  La  terre  est  pour  1'Arya  ronde  et  plate 
comme  un  disque.  Le  firmament  vedique,  concave,  vien  se  souder  a 
la  terre,  circulairement,  a  Phorizon."  Inde  Vedique,  Paris,  1881  :  p.  94. 
With  this  agrees  Bergaine,  La  Religion  Vedique.  Paris,  1878  :  p.  I. 


heavens,  the  lowest  hell.1  The  two  hemispheres  of 
the  earth  were  furthermore  conceived  of  as  separated 
from  each  other  by  an  equatorial  ocean  or  oceanic 

To  illustrate  this  conception  of  the  world,  let  the 
two  circles  of  the  diagram  which  constitutes  the 
frontispiece  of  this  work  represent  respectively  the 
earth-sphere  and  the  outermost  of  the  revolving 
starry  spheres.  A  is  the  north  pole  of  the  heavens, 
so  placed  as  to  be  in  the  zenith.  B  is  the  south  pole 
of  the  heavens  in  the  nadir.  The  line  A  B  is  the 
axis  of  the  apparent  revolution  of  the  starry  heavens 
in  a  perpendicular  position.  C  is  the  north  pole  of 
the  earth  ;  D  its  south  pole  ;  the  line  C  D  the  axis 
of  the  earth  in  perpendicular  position,  and  coinci 
dent  with  the  corresponding  portion  of  the  axis  of 
the  starry  heavens.  The  space  I  I  I  I  is  the  abode 
of  the  supreme  god  or  gods ;  2,  Europe ;  3,  Asia  ;  4, 
Libya,  or  the  known  portion  of  Africa ;  5  5  5,  the 
ocean,  or  "  ocean  stream  ; "  666,  the  abode  of  dis 
embodied  spirits  and  rulers  of  the  dead  ;  7/77, 
the  lowest  hell.2 

1  It  is  worthy  of  notice   that  the  sight  of  portions  of  the  south- 
polar  heavens,  especially  the  starless  region  known  as  "  the  black  Coal 
Sack,"  is  to  this  day  capable  of  suggesting  the  associations  of  the 
bottomless  pit.    Thus  in  a  recent  traveler's  letter  of  the  ordinary  kind 
we  read,  "  Every  clear  evening  we  could  see  the  Magellan  Clouds, 
soft  and  fleece-like,  floating  airily  among   the  far-off  constellations. 
These  mysterious  bodies  look  like  star-spray,  or  borrowed  bits  of  the 
Milky  Way.     Then,  too,  our  eyes  would  seek  out,  as  by  some  strange 
fascination,  those  still  more  mysterious  '  chambers  of  the  South,'  the 
black  Coal  Sack,  with  its  retreating  depths  of  darkness,  wherein  no 
star  shines.     These  irregular  spaces,  emptinesses,  as  it  were,  in  the 
heavens,  impress  one  with  a  sense  of  something  uncanny,  as  though 
these  were,  indeed,  the  '  blackness  of  darkness  forever?  "  —  The  Sunday 
School  Times.     Philadelphia,  1883:  p.  581. 

2  The  reception  accorded  to  the  foregoing  "  True  Key "  is  illus 
trated  in  the  APPENDIX,  Sect.  III. 


Now,  to  make  this  key  a  graphic  illustration  of 
Homeric  cosmology,  it  is  only  necessary  to  write  in 
place  of  i  I  i  i  "  LOFTY  OLYMPOS  ; "  in  place  of 
555,  "  THE  OCEAN  STREAM;"  in  place  of  666, 
"  HOUSE  OF  AIDES  "  (Hades) ;  and  in  place  of  7  7  7  7, 
"  GLOOMY  TARTAROS."  Imagine,  then,  the  light  as 
falling  from  the  upper  heavens,  —  the  lower  terres 
trial  hemisphere,  therefore,  as  forever  in  the  shade  ; 
imagine  the  Tartarean  abyss  as  filled  with  Stygian 
gloom  and  blackness,  —  fit  dungeon-house  for  de 
throned  gods  and  powers  of  evil ;  imagine  the  "  men- 
illuminating"  sun,  the  "well-tressed"  moon,  the 
"splendid"  stars,  silently  wheeling  round  the  central 
upright  axis  of  the  lighted  hemispheres,  — and  sud 
denly  the  confusions  and  supposed  contradictions  of 
classic  cosmology  disappear.  We  are  in  the  very 
world  in  which  immortal  Homer  lived  and  sang.1  It 
is  no  longer  an  obscure  crag  in  Thessaly,  from  which 
heaven-shaking  Zeus  proposes  to  suspend  the  whole 
earth  and  ocean.  The  eye  measures  for  itself  the 
nine  days'  fall  of  Hesiod's  brazen  anvil  from  heaven 
to  earth,  from  earth  to  Tartarus.  The  Hyperboreans 
are  now  a  possibility.  Now  a  descmsus  ad  inferos 
can  be  made  by  voyagers  in  the  black  ship.  Un 
numbered  commentators  upon  Homer  have  pro 
fessed  their  despair  of  ever  being  able  to  harmonize 
the  passages  in  which  Hades  is  represented  as  "  be 
yond  the  ocean  "  with  those  in  which  it  is  repre 
sented  as  "subterranean."  Conceive  of  man's  dwell 
ing-place,  of  Hades,  and  the  ocean,  as  in  this  key, 
and  the  notable  difficulty  instantaneously  vanishes. 
Interpreters  of  the  Odyssey  have  found  it  impos* 
sible  to  understand  how  the  westward  and  north- 
1  See  cut  in  APPENDIX,  Sect.  VI. :  "  Homer's  Abode  of  the  Dead." 


ward  sailing  voyager  could  suddenly  be  found  in 
waters  and  amid  islands  unequivocally  associated 
with  the  East.  The  present  key  explains  it  per 
fectly,  showing  what  no  one  seems  heretofore  to 
have  suspected,  that  the  voyage  of  Odysseus  is  a 
poetical  account  of  an  imaginary  circumnavigation 
of  the  mythical  earth  in  the  upper  or  northern  hemi 
sphere,  inc 'hiding  a  trip  to  the  southern  or  under  hemi 
sphere  and  a  visit  to  the  o/x,<£aAo?  OaXda-a-rj^  or  North 

In  this  cosmological  conception  the  upright  axis 
of  the  world  is  often  poetically  conceived  of  as  a 
majestic  pillar,  supporting  the  heavens  and  furnish 
ing  the  pivot  on  which  they  revolve.  Euripides 1  and 
Aristotle2  unmistakably  identify  the  Pillar  of  Atlas 
with  this  world-axis.  How  interesting  a  feature  this 
pillar  became  in  ancient  mythologies  will  be  seen 
below  in  chapter  third  of  this  part,  in  chapter  sec 
ond  of  part  six,  and  elsewhere  in  this  volume. 

Again,  according  to  this  view  the  highest  part  of 
the  earth,  its  true  summit,  would  of  course  be  at  the 
North  Pole.  And  since  the  whole  of  the  upper  or 
northern  hemisphere  would  in  this  case  be  con 
ceived  of  as  rising  on  all  sides  from  the  equatorial 
ocean  toward  that  summit,  nothing  would  be  more 
natural  than  to  view  the  entire  upper  half  of  the  earth 
as  itself  a  vast  mountain,  the  mother  and  support  of 
all  lesser  mountains.3  Moreover,  as  the  abode  of  the 
supreme  God  or  gods  was  thought  to  be  directly 
over  this  summit  of  the  earth,  it  would  be  extremely 
easy  for  the  imagination  to  carry  the  summit  of  so 

1  Peirithous,  597,  3-5,  ed.  Nauck. 

2  De  Anim.  Motione,  c.  3. 

8  See  Bundahish)  chaps,  viii.,  xii.,  etc. 



stupendous  a  mountain  into  and  far  above  the  clouds, 

and  even  to  extend  it  to  such  a  height  that  the  gods 

of   heaven  might  be  conceived  of  as  having  their 

abode  upon  its  top.     This  is  precisely  what  came  to 

pass,  and  hence  in  the  cosmology  of  the  ancient  Egyp 

tians,  Akkadians,  Assyrians,  Babylonians,  Persians, 

Indians,  Chinese,  and  others  we  find,  under  various 

names,  but  always  easily  recognizable,  this  Weltberg, 

or  "  Mountain  of  the  World,"  situated  at  the  North 

Pole  of  the  earth,  supporting  or  otherwise  connect 

ing   with   the   city  of    the 

gods,  and  serving  as  the  axis 

around  which    sun,  moon, 

and    stars  revolve.     Often 

we  also  find  evidence  that 

the  under  hemisphere  was 

in  like  manner  conceived  of 

as  an   inverted    mountain, 

antipodal  to  the  mountain 

of  the  gods,  and  connecting 

at   its  apex  with  the  abode 

of  demons.1      The   adjoin 

ing  figure  may  illustrate  this 

conception    of    the    earth, 

the  upper  protuberance  be 

ing  the    "  Mount   of   the   Gods,"  the  lower  the    in 

verted  "Mount  of  Demons." 

A   clear  view  of  the    first   of   these   remarkable 

1  "  Dans  les  conceptions  de  la  cosmogonie  mythique  des  Indians  on 
oppose  au  Sou-Merou  '  le  bon  Merou,'  du  Nord,  tin  Kou-Merou  mau- 
vais  et  funeste,  qui  y  fait  exactement  pendant  et  en  est  1'antithese.  De 
meme  les  Chaldeens  opposaient  a  la  divine  et  bienheureuse  montagne 
de  1'Orient  accadien  'garsag-babbarra  =  assyrien  sad  fit  samsi,  une 
montagne  funeste  et  tenebreuse  .  .  .  accadien,  ''garsag-gigga  =  assy 
rien  sad  erib  samsi,  situee  dans  les  parties  basses  de  la  terre."  —  Le« 
normant,  Origines  de  I'llisfoire,  torn.  ii.  I,  p.  134. 


World-Mountains  is  so  essential  to  any  right  under 
standing  of  mythical  geography  and  of  the  mythical 
terrestrial  Paradise  that  a  more  extended  examina 
tion  of  the  subject  seems  a  necessity. 

Beginning  with  the  Egyptians  we  may  note  this 
remarkable  fact ;  that  notwithstanding  his  sharing 
the  common  and  mistaken  modern  assumption  that 
the  Egyptians  conceived  of  the  earth  as  flat,  Brugsch, 
confessedly  the  foremost  authority  in  ancient  Egyp 
tian  geography,  places  the  highest  and  most  sacred 
part  of  the  Egyptians'  earth  at  the  North,  making 
the  land  there  to  rise  until  in  actual  contact  with 
heaven.  He  also  places  at  the  farthest  southern 
extremity  of  the  earth  another  lofty  mountain,  Ap- 
en-to  or  Tap-en-to,  literally  "the  horn  of  the  world."1 
Now,  while  several  professed  Egyptologists  have  re 
cently  come  to  the  conviction  that  the  earth  of  the 
Egyptians  was  a  sphere,  no  one  has  brought  out  the 
fact  that  these  two  heights  are  two  antipodal  polar 
projections  of  the  spherical  earth,  the  upper  or  celes 
tial  one  being  the  mount  of  the  gods,  and  the  lower 
or  infernal  one  the  mount  of  demons.  Of  the  for 
mer  the  following  passage  in  the  "  Book  of  Hades  " 
may  naturally  be  understood  to  speak :  — 

"  Draw  me  [the  nocturnal  sun],  infernal  ones  !  .  .  . 

"Retreat  towards  the  eastern  heavens,  toward  the 
dwellings  which  support  Sar,  that  mysterious  moun 
tain  that  spreads  light  among  the  gods  [or,  that  I 
may  spread  light  among  the  gods  ?],  who  receive  me 
when  I  go  forth  from  amongst  you,  from  the  re 
treat."  2 

1  Geographische  Inschriften    altagyptischer  Denkmdler.      Leipsic, 
1858  :  vol.  ii.,  p.  37. 

2  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  x.,  p.  103.     I  understand  this  to  refer  to 
the  (northward  and  southward)  annual,  and  not  to  the  diurnal,  move 
ment  of  the  sun. 


To  the  inverted  infernal  mountain  seem  to  apply 
the  expressions  in  chapter  one  hundred  and  fifty  of 
the  "  Book  of  the  Dead  : "  — 

"  Oh,  the  very  tall  Hill  in  Hades  !  The  heaven 
rests  upon  it.  There  is  a  snake  or  dragon  upon  it : 
Sati  is  his  name,"  etc.1 

In  another  chapter  of  the  same  book  a  place  is 
spoken  of  as  "  the  inverted  precinct,"  which  place  is 
Hades.2  Moreover,  the  translator  of  another  text, 
called  the  "Book  of  Hades,"  describes  a  "pendant 
mountain  "  as  a  curious  feature  in  the  vignette  illus 
trations  of  the  original.  This  can  hardly  be  any 
thing  other  than  Ap-en-to,  the  inverted  mountain  of 

1  The  mention  of  the  starry  serpent  or  dragon  completes  the  paral 
lelism  between  the  North  Polar  and  South  Polar  mountains.     "  Mr. 
Procter  has  remarked  that  when  the  North   Pole  Star  was  Alpha 
Draconis,  the  Southern  was  most  probably  the  star  Eta  Hydri,  and 
certain  to  have  been  in  the  constellation  Hydra.  .  .  .  The  encircling 
Serpent,  the  symbol  of  eternal  going  round,  was  figured  at  both  Poles, 
the  two  centres  of  the  total  starry  revolution."    Massey,  The  Natural 
Genesis,  vol.  i.,  p.  345.     In  our  discussion  of  the  Pillar  of  Atlas  we 
have  spoken  of  the  identity  of  Draco  with  the  dragon  which  assisted 
the  nymphs  in  watching  the  golden  apples  in  the  North  Polar  Gar 
dens  of  the  Hesperides.    See  Depuis,  Origines  des  Constellations,  p.  147. 
The  same  parallelism  is  alluded  to  in  the  following  :  "The  hypoceph- 
alus   in   question   is   divided   into  four  compartments,  two  of  which 
are  opposed  to  the  two  others  as  if  to  indicate  the  two  celestial  hemi 
spheres  ;  the  upper  one  above  the  terrestrial  world  and  the  lower  one 
below  it."    Proceedings  of  the  Society  of  Biblical  Archeology,  March  4, 
1884.    London,  1884  :  p.  126.    See  also  Revue  Archeologique.     Paris, 
1862  :  vi.,  p.  129. 

2  Bunsen,  Egypt's  Place  in  Universal  History,  vol.  v.,  p.  208. 

3  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  x.,  p.  88.     Two  years  after  the   above 
was  written  I  met  with  the  following  :  "  The  god  advancing  in  a  re 
versed  position  "  (in  a  certain  New  Zealand  legend)  "is  the  sun  in  the 
Underworld.     The  image  exactly  accords  with  an  Egyptian  scene  of 
the  sun  passing  through  Hades,  where  we  see  the  twelve  gods  of  the 
earth,  or  the  lower  domain  of  night,  marching  towards  a  mountain 


The  Akkadians,  who  antedated  even  the  most  an 
cient  empires  of  the  Tigro-Euphrates  valley,  had  in 
like  manner  a  "  Mountain  of  the  World,"  which  was 
unlike  all  other  mountains  in  that  it  was  a  support 
on  which  the  heavens  rested  and  around  which  they 
revolved.  It  was  called  Kharsak  Kurra.  It  was  so 
rich  with  gold  and  silver  and  precious  stones  as  to 
be  dazzling  to  the  sight.  An  ancient  Akkadian 
hymn  respecting  it  uses  this  language  :  — 

"  O  mighty  mountain  of  Bel,  Im-Kharsak,  whose 
head  rivals  heaven,  whose  root  is  in  the  holy  deep ! 

"  Among  the  mountains  like  a  strong  wild  bull  it 
lieth  down. 

"  Its  horn  like  the  brilliance  of  the  sun  is  bright. 

"  Like  the  star  of  heaven  it  is  filled  with  sheen."  1 

In  another  hymn,  apparently  of  great  antiquity,  we 
find  the  goddess  Istar  addressed  as  "  Queen  of  this 
Mountain  of  the  World,"  which  is  further  located 
and  identified  by  its  connection  with  "the  axis  of 
heaven,"  and  with  "the  four  rivers"  of  the  Akkadian 

turned  upside  down,  and  two  typical  personages  are  also  turned  upside 
down.  This  is  an  illustration  of  the  passage  of  the  sun  through  the 
Underworld.  The  reversed  on  the  same  monument  are  the  dead. 
Thus  the  Osirified  deceased,  who  has  attained  the  second  life,  in  the 
Ritual  says  exultingly,  '  /  do  not  walk  upon  my  head?  The  dead,  as 
the  Akhu,  are  the  spirits,  and  the  Atua  [of  the  New  Zealand  legend] 
is  a  spirit  who  comes  walking  upside  down."  Massey,  The  Natural 
Genesis.  London,  1883  :  vol.  i.,  p.  529.  (The  italics  are  Massey's.)  The 
passage  is  the  more  remarkable  from  the  fact  that  Massey  elsewhere 
states  that  the  earth  "  was  considered  flat  by  the  first  myth-makers," 
who  in  his  scheme  appear  to  have  been  the  Egyptians.  Ibid.,  vol.  i., 
p.  465. 

1  Records  of  the  Past.     London,  vol.  xi.,  pp.  131,  132.     Lenormant, 
Chaldcean  Magic,  p.  168.     Lenormant's  latest  revised  translation  may 
be  seen  in  Les  Origines  de  FHistoire,  torn.  ii.  i,  pp.  127,  128. 

2  George  Smith,  Assyrian  Discoveries,  pp.  392,  393.     Mr.  G.  Mas- 


Lenormant  places  this  mountain  in  the  North  (but 
sometimes  incorrectly  in  the  East  or  Northeast),  and 
makes  it  the  "lieu  de  r assembled  des  dieux /"  but 
when  he  locates  the  corresponding  antipodal  moun 
tain  of  Hades  in  the  West,  instead  of  in  the  South, 
he  seems  to  have  gone  entirely  beyond  the  evidence. 
At  least,  Dr.  Friedrich  Delitzsch  affirms  that  in  the 
cuneiform  literature  thus  far  known  he  has  discov 
ered  no  trace  of  such  a  location.1  But  on  this  ques 
tion  of  the  site  of  these  mountains  more  will  be  said 
in  chapter  sixth  of  the  present  division. 

The  Assyrians  and  Babylonians  inherited  the 
Akkadian  conception.  One  of  the  titles  of  the  su 
preme  divinity  of  the  Assyrians  related  to  the  sa 
cred  mount.  An  invocation  to  him  opens  thus  : 
"  Assur,  the  mighty  god,  who  dwells  in  the  temple 
of  Kharsak  Kurra." 2  An  Assyrian  hymn  speaks 
of  the 

"  feasts  of  the  silver  mountain, 
The  heavenly  courts,"  — 

and  the  translator  makes  the  expression  refer  to 
this  "Assyrian  Olympos."  3  Sayce  finds  in  the  fol 
lowing  a  plain  reference  to  the  same  :  — 

"  I  am  lord  of  the  steep  mountains,  which  tremble 
whilst  their  summits  reach  to  the  firmament. 

sey  remarks,  "  In  an  Akkadian  hymn  to  Ishtar,  the  goddess  is  ad 
dressed  as  the  '  Queen  of  the  Mountain  of  the  World '  and  '  Queen 
of  the  land  of  the  four  rivers  of  Erech  ; '  that  is,  as  the  goddess  of  the 
mythical  Mount  of  the  Pole  and  the  four  rivers  of  the  four  quarters, 
which  arose  in  Paradise.  The  Mountain  of  the  World  was  the 
Mount  of  the  North."  The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  ii.,  p.  21. 

1  Wo  lag  das  Paradies  ?  Leipsic,  1881  :  p.  1 2 1. 

2  Cuneiform  Inscriptions  of  Western  Asia.     London  :  vol.  i.,  pp. 
44,  45.     Translated  by  Mr.  Sayce  in  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  xi., 

P-  5- 

3  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  iii.,  p.  133. 


11  The  mountain  of  alabaster,  lapis,  and  onyx,  in 
my  hand  I  possess  it."  l 

How  current  the  idea  must  have  been  among  the 
Babylonians  is  shown  by  the  rhetorical  use  made  of 
it  by  the  prophet  Isaiah.  Rebuking  the  arrogance 
of  the  king  of  Babylon  and  pre-announcing  to  him 
his  doom,  the  prophet  beholds  his  fall  as  already  ac- 
complished,  and  in  a  passage  of  wonderful  pictorial 
power  and  beauty  exclaims,  "  How  art  thou  fallen 
from  heaven,  O  Lucifer,  son  of  the  morning  !  howv 
art  thou  cut  down  to  the  ground,  which  didst  weaken 
the  nations  !  For  thou  hast  said  in  thine  heart,  I 
will  ascend  into  heaven,  I  will  exalt  my  throne 
above  the  stars  of  God  :  I  will  sit  also  upon  the 
mount  of  the  congregation  in  the  sides  of  the  North 
(or  more  correctly  in  the  uttermost  parts  of  the 
North,  in  the  extreme  northern  regions),  I  will  as 
cend  above  the  heights  of  the  clouds  ;  I  will  be  like 
(or  equal  to)  the  Most  High.  Yet  thou  shalt  be 
brought  down  to  Sheol,  to  the  sides  (or  regions)  of 
the  pit."2 

Since  the  publication  of  Gesenius's  commentary 
on  this  passage  and  his  excursus  upon  the  "  Gotter- 
berg  im  Norden  "  appended  to  it,  no  question  has  re 
mained  in  the  minds  of  scholars  as  to  the  character 
of  the  Har  Moedy  the  "  mount  of  the  congregation," 
in  the  far-off  North. 

Among  the  Chinese  we  find  a  similar  celestial 
mount,  the  mythical  Kwen-lun.  It  is  often  called 
simply  "  The  Pearl  Mountain."  On  its  top  is  Para 
dise,  with  a  living  fountain  from  which  flow  in  oppo 
site  directions  the  four  great  rivers  of  the  world.3 

1  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  iii.,  p.  126.  2  Isaiah  xiv.  12-15. 

8  Stollberg,  Memoires  concernant  les  Chinois,  t.  i.,  p.  IOI,  cited  in 
Keerl,  Lehre  vom  Paradies.  Basle,  1861  :  p.  796. 


Around  it  revolve  the  visible  heavens  ;  and  the  stars 
nearest  to  it,  that  is  nearest  to  the  Pole,  are  sup 
posed  to  be  the  abodes  of  the  inferior  gods  and 
genii.  To  this  day,  the  Tauists  speak  of  the  first 
person  of  their  trinity  as  residing  in  "  the  metropo 
lis  of  Pearl  Mountain,"  and  in  addressing  him  turn 
their  faces  to  the  northern  sky.1 

A  striking  parallel  to  the  Egyptian  and  Akkadian 
idea  of  two  opposed  polar  mountains,  an  arctic  and 
an  antarctic,  —  the  one  celestial  and  the  other  infer 
nal,  —  is  found  among  the  ancient  inhabitants  of 
India.  The  celestial  mountain  they  called  Su-Meru, 
the  infernal  one  Ku-Meru.2  In  the  Hindu  Puranas 
the  size  and  splendors  of  the  former  are  presented 
in  the  wildest  exaggerations  of  Oriental  fancy.  Its 
height,  according  to  some  accounts,  is  not  less  than 
eight  hundred  and  forty  thousand  miles,  its  diameter 
at  the  summit  three  hundred  and  twenty  thousand. 
Four  enormous  buttress  mountains,  situated  at  mu 
tually  opposite  points  of  the  horizon,  surround  it. 
One  account  makes  the  eastern  side  of  Meru  of  the 
color  of  the  ruby,  its  southern  that  of  the  lotus,  its 
western  that  of  gold,  its  northern  that  of  coral.  On 
its  summit  is  the  vast  city  of  Brahma,  fourteen  thou 
sand  leagues  in  extent.3  Around  it,  in  the  cardinal 

1  Joseph  Edkins,  Religion  in  China.     2d  ed.,  1878  :  p.  151.     The 
Ainos  of  Japan,  although  declared  to  be  "  ausserordentlich  arm  an 
Sagen,"  have  nevertheless  their  corresponding  mythical  Gold-moun 
tain,  Kogane-yama.     Dr.  B.  Scheube,  Die  Ainos.     Yokohama,  1882  : 
p.  24. 

2  "  Meru,  in  Sanskrit,  signifies  an  axis  or  pivot."     Wilford  in  Asi 
atic  Researches.    London,  1808:  vol.  viii.,  p.  285.    The  prefix  "  Su  " 
signifies  "  beautiful." 

3  In  Brugsch's  Astronomische  Inschriften,  p.  177,  we  read,  "Es  gab 
ein  himmliches  Ami  or  On,  Heliopolis,  dessen  b'stliche  Lichtseite  und 
westliche  Lichtseite  ofters  erwahnt  werden."     Was  this  perhaps  the 


points  and  the  intermediate  quarters,  are  situated  the 
magnificent  cities  of  Indra  and  the  other  regents  of 
the  spheres.  The  city  of  Brahma  in  the  centre  of 
the  eight  is  surrounded  by  a  moat  of  sweet  flowing 
celestial  waters,  a  kind  of  river  of  the  water  of  life 
(Ganga),  which  after  encircling  the  city  divides  into 
four  mighty  rivers  flowing  towards  four  opposite 
points  of  the  horizon,  and  descending  into  the  equa 
torial  ocean  which  engirdles  the  earth.1 

Sometimes  Mount  Meru  is  represented  as  planted 
so  firmly  and  deeply  in  the  globe  that  the  antarctic 
or  infernal  mountain  is  only  a  projection  of  its  lower 
end.  Thus  the  Surya  Siddhanta  says :  "  A  collec 
tion  of  manifold  jewels,  a  mountain  of  gold,  is  Meru, 
passing  through  the  middle  of  the  earth-globe  (b/m- 
gola\  and  protruding  on  either  side.  At  its  upper 
end  are  stationed  along  with  Indra  the  gods  and 
the  Great  Sages  (maharishis)  ;  at  its  lower  end,  in 
like  manner,  the  demons  have  their  abode,  —  each 
[class]  the  enemy  of  the  other.  Surrounding  it  on 
every  side  is  fixed,  next,  this  great  ocean,  like  a 
girdle  about  the  earth,  separating  the  two  hemi 
spheres  of  the  gods  and  of  the  demons." 

Conceiving  of  Meru  in  this  way,  as  a  kind  of  core 
extending  through  the  earth  and  projecting  at  each 
pole,  one  can  easily  understand  the  following  pas 
sage,  in  which  two  pole-stars  are  spoken  of  instead 
of  one :  "  In  both  \i.  e.,  the  two  opposite]  directions 
from  Meru  are  two  pole-stars  fixed  in  the  midst  of 
the  sky."  As  these  mark  the  two  opposite  poles  of 

Vorbild  and  Egyptian  counterpart  of  the  city  of  Brahma,  the  city  of 
Sakra,  and  all  the  other  Asiatic  Gotterstddte  in  the  celestial  pole  ? 
It  would  be  very  interesting  to  know. 
1  See  APPENDIX,  Sect.  IV.  :  "  The  Earth  of  the  Hindus." 


the  heavens,  it  is  correctly  added  that  "to  those 
who  are  situated  in  places  of  no  latitude  [i.  e.,  on 
the  equator]  both  these  pole-stars  have  their  place 
in  the  horizon."  Farther  on  in  the  same  treatise 
the  common  designation  used  for  the  northern  hem 
isphere  is  the  hemisphere  of  the  gods,  and  for  the 
southern  the  hemisphere  of  the  asuras,  or  demons.1 

A  picture  of  "  the  Earth  of  the  Hindus,"  showing 
the  exact  position  of  Meru  and  its  buttress-mounts, 
will  be  given  below  in  chapter  fourth  of  the  present 
Part  (p.  152). 

That  the  cosmology  of  ancient  India  should  have 
been  retained  and  propagated  in  its  main  features 
by  all  the  followers  of  Buddha  was  only  natural. 
Accordingly,  in  their  teachings  our  earth,  and  every 
other,  has  its  Sumeru,  around  which  everything  cen 
tres.2  Its  top,  according  to  the  Nyayanousara  Shas- 
ter,  is  four-square,  and  on  it  are  situated  the  three 
and  thirty  (Trayastrinshas)  heavens.  Each  face  of 
the  summit  measures  80,000  yojanas.  Each  of  the 
four  corners  of  the  mountain-top  has  a  peak  seven 
hundred  yojanas  high.  These,  of  course,  are  simply 
the  four  buttress -mountains  of  the v  Hindu  Meru 
lifted  to  the  summit  and  made  the  culminating 

1  Chapter  xii.,  sections  45-74.     On  the  origin  and  age  of  this  trea 
tise  see  the  notes  of  the  translator,  Rev.  Ebenezer  Burgess,  in  the 
Journal  of  the  American    Oriental  Society,  vol.  vi.      New  Haven, 
1860  :  pp.  140-480. 

2  Its  name,  in  Japanese,  is  written  Sxi-meru  ;  in  Chinese,  Si-mi- 
liu,  or  Siu-mi ;  in  Tibetan,  Rirap,  or  Ri-rap-hlumpo  ;  in  Mongolian 
(Kalmuck),  Summer  Sola,  or  Sjumer  Sula  ;  in  Burmese,  Miem-mo. 
C.  F.  Koeppen,  Die  Religion  des  Buddhas.     Berlin,  1857  :  vol.  i.,  p. 
232.     See,  also,  A.  Bastian,  Die  Volker  des  ostlichen  Asiens,  Bd.  iii., 
8-  352,  353  5  vi.,  567,  568>  578,  580,  587,  589,  590.     Spence  Hardy, 
Manual  of  Buddhism,  pp.  1-35.    The  same,  Legends  of  the  Buddhists. 
London,  1866 :  pp.  xxix.,  42,  81,  101,  176,  etc. 


peaks.  They  are  ornamented,  we  are  told,  with  the 
seven  precious  substances,  —  gold,  silver,  lapis-lazuli, 
crystal,  cornelian,  coral,  and  ruby.  One  of  the  cities 
on  the  summit  is  called  Sudarsana,  or  Belle-vue.  It 
is  10,000  yojanas  in  circuit.  The  stoned  gates  are 
\\  yojanas  high,  and  there  are  1,000  of  these  gates, 
fully  adorned.  Each  gate  has  500  blue-clad  celestial 
guards,  fully  armed.  In  its  centre  is  a  kind  of  inner 
city  called  the  Golden  City  of  King  Sakra,  whose 
pavilion  is  1,000  yojanas  in  circuit,  and  its  floor  is  of 
pure  gold,  inlaid  with  every  kind  of  gem.  This  royal 
residence  has  500  gates,  and  on  each  of  the  four 
sides  are  100  towers,  within  each  of  which  there  are 
1,700  chambers,  each  of  which  chambers  has  within 
it  seven  Devis,  and  each  Devi  is  attended  by  seven 
handmaidens.  All  these  Devis  are  consorts  of  Ktng 
Sakra,  with  whom  he  has  intercourse  in  different 
forms  and  personations,  according  to  his  pleasure. 
The  length  and  breadth  of  the  thirty-three  heav 
ens  is  60,000  yojanas.  They  are  surrounded  by  a 
sevenfold  city  wall,  a  sevenfold  ornamental  railing,  a 
sevenfold  row  of  tinkling  curtains,  and  beyond  these 
a  sevenfold  row  of  Talas-trees.  All  these  encircle 
one  another,  and  are  of  every  color  of  the  rainbow, 
intermingled  and  composed  of  every  precious  sub 
stance.  Within,  every  sort  of  enjoyment  and  every 
enchanting  pleasure  is  provided  for  the  occupants. 

Outside  this  wonderful  city  of  the  gods,  there  is 
on  each  of  its  four  sides  a  park  of  ravishing  beauty. 
In  each  park  there  is  a  sacred  tower  erected  over 
personal  relics  of  Buddha.  Each  park  has  also  a 
magic  lake,  filled  with  water  possessing  eight  pecu 
liar  excellences.  Thus  beauties  are  heaped  upon 
beauties,  splendors  upon  splendors,  marvels  upon 


marvels,  until  in  sheer  despair  the  wearied  and  ex 
hausted  imagination  abandons  all  further  effort  at 
definite  mental  representation.1 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that,  while  most  scholars  have 
supposed  the  Sumeru  of  Buddhism  to  be  simply  a 
development  of  the  Indian  idea,  Mr.  Beal,  a  high 
authority,  has,  in  one  of  his  latest  publications, 
claimed  for  it  an  independent  and  coordinate,  if  not 
primitive,  character.2  Other  peculiarities  in  Buddhist 
cosmography,  especially  the  detachment  of  Uttara- 
kuru  and  of  Jambu-dvvipa  from  Mount  Meru,  —  in 
both  of  which  particulars  the  Buddhist  cosmos  dif 
fers  from  the  Puranic,  —  lend  some  apparent  confir 
mation  to  this  claim. 

In  ancient  Iranian  thought  this  same  celestial 
mountain  presents  itself  to  the  student.  Its  name 
is  Hara-berezaiti,  the  mythical  Albordj,3  —  "  the  seat 
of  the  genii :  around  it  revolve  sun,  moon,  and  stars  ; 
over  it  leads  the  path  of  the  blessed  to  heaven."  4 

1  See  Beal,  Catena  of  Buddhist  Scriptures,  pp.  75-81.    Comp.  Beal, 
Lechtres  on  Buddhist  Literature  in  China,  pp.  146-159. 

2  "  I  cannot  doubt  that  the  Buddhist  myth  about  Sume  or  Sumeru  is 
distinct  from  the  later  Brahmanical  account  of  it,  and  allied  with  the 
universal  belief  in  and  adoration  of  the  highest."  —  Buddhist  Litera 
ture  in  China.     London,  1882  :  p.  xv. 

3  "  Das  erste  Vorkommen  des  Namens  im  Zend  ist  im  Gebet  an 
Mithra  (invoco,  celebro  supremum  umbilicum  aquarum,  nach  Duper- 
rons  Uebersetzung)  welches  E.  Burnouf  wortgetreuer  iibersetzt :  '  Ich 
preise  den  hohen  gottlichen  Berggipfel,  die  Quelle  der  Wasser,  und 
das  Wasser  des  Ormuzd,'  wo  die  Bezeichnung  eine  ganz  allgemeine 
ist.     Vom  Adjectiv  berezat,  d.  i.  '  erhaben  '  in  der  Parsen  Uebersetz 
ung,  stammt  erst   der  '  Bordj?  d.  i.  der  Erhabene.     Als  Berg   aus 
dem  die  Wasser  hervortreten,  wird  er  im  Zend   *  Nafedro  '  (Nabhi  im 
Sanskrit.)  d.  i.  '  der  Nabel '  genannt,  als   Erhohung  welche   Wasser 
giebt  ;  und  als  Berg  der  das  befruchtende  Princip  enthalt  zum  Genius 
der  Frauen  erhoben."  —  Ritter,  Erdkunde,  viii.  47. 

*  Spiegel,  Erdnische  Alterthumskunde.     Leipsic,   1871  :    Ed.  i .,  S. 
463.     The  Venid&d.    Fargard  xxi.,  et  passim.     See  references  in  Index 


The  following  description  of  it  in  one  of  the  invo 
cations  of  Rashnu  in  the  Rashn  Yasht  forcibly  re 
minds  one  of  the  Odyssean  description  of  the  heav 
enly  Olympos  :  "  Whether  thou,  O  holy  Rashnu,  art 
on  the  Hara-berezaiti,  the  bright  mountain  around 
which  the  many  stars  revolve,  where  come  neither 
night  nor  darkness,  no  cold  wind  and  no  hot  wind, 
no  deathful  sickness,  no  uncleanness  made  by  the 
Daevas,  and  the  clouds  cannot  reach  up  to  the  Ha- 
raiti  Bareza  ;  we  invoke,  we  bless  Rashnu."  l 

The  following  description  is  from  Lenormant : 
"  Like  the  Meru  of  the  Indians,  Hara-berezaiti  is  the 
Pole,  the  centre  of  the  world,  the  fixed  point  around 
which  the  sun  and  the  planets  perform  their  revolu 
tions.  Analogously  to  the  Ganga  of  the  Brahmans, 
it  possesses  the  celestial  fountain  Ardvi-Sura,  the 
mother  of  all  terrestrial  waters  and  the  source  of  all 
good  things.  In  the  midst  of  the  lake  formed  by 
the  waters  of  the  sacred  source  grows  a  single  mi 
raculous  tree,  similar  to  the  Jambu  of  the  Indian 
myth,  or  else  two  trees,  corresponding  exactly  to 
those  of  the  Biblical  Gan-Eden.  .  .  .  There  is  the 
garden  of  Ahuramazda,  like  that  of  Brahma  on  Meru. 
Thence  the  waters  descend  toward  the  four  cardinal 
points  in  four  large  streams,  which  symbolize  the 
four  horses  attached  to  the  car  of  the  goddess  of  the 
sacred  source,  Ardvi  -  Sura  -  Anahita.  These  four 
horses  recall  the  four  animals  placed  at  the  source 
of  the  paradisaic  rivers  in  the  Indian  conception."  2 

to  Pahlevi  Texts,  translated  by  E.  W.  West.  Vol.  v.  of  Sacred  Books 
of  the  East.  Also  Haug,  Religion  of  the  Par  sees.  2d  ed.,  Boston, 
1878  :  pp.  5,  190,  197,  203-205,  216,  255,  286,  316,  337,  361,  381,  387, 


1  Darmesteter,  l^he  Zend-Avesta,  ii.  174. 

2  "  Ararat  and  Eden."   The  Contemporarv  Re-view,  September,  1881, 


The  Hellenic  and  Roman  myths  concerning  the 
"  World  -mountain  "  were  numerous,  but  in  later 
times  not  a  little  confused,  as  Ideler  has  learnedly 
shown.1  By  some,  as  for  example  Aristotle,  it  was 
identified  with  the  Caucasus,  and  it  was  asserted 
that  its  height  was  so  prodigious  that  after  sunset 
its  head  was  illuminated  a  third  part  of  the  night, 
and  again  a  third  part  before  the  rising  of  the  sun 
in  the  morning.  This  identification  explains  the 
later  legend,  according  to  which,  in  order  to  prove  his 
rightful  lordship  of  the  world,  Alexander  the  Great 
plucked  "  the  shadowless  lance "  (the  earth's  axis) 
out  of  the  topmost  peak  of  the  Taurus  Mountains.2 
More  commonly  the  mount  is  called  Atlas,  or  the 
Atlantic  mountain.  Proclus,  quoting  Heraclitus,  says 
of  it,  "Its  magnitude  is  such  that  it  touches  the 
ether  and  casts  a  shadow  of  five  thousand  stadia  in 
length.  From  the  ninth  hour  of  the  day  the  sun  is 
concealed  by  it,  even  to  his  perfect  demersion  under 

Am.  ed.,  p.  41.  Compare  the  following  :  "  L'Albordj  des  Perses  cor 
respond  parfaitement  au  Merou  des  Hindous  ;  de  meme  que  la  tra 
dition  de  ceux-ce  divise  la  terre  en  sept  D\vipas  ou  isles,  de  meme  les 
livres  zends  et  pehlvis  reconnaissent  sept  Keschvars  ou  contrees 
groupees  egalement  autour  de  la  montagne  sainte,"  etc.  —  Religions  de 
rAntiquite.  Creuzer,  trad.  Guigniaut.  Tom.  I.,  pt.  ii.,  p.  702,  note. 

1  On  the  Homeric  and  Hesiodic  Olympos,  see  below,  part  sixth, 
chapter  second. 

2  "  Auch  in  den  Alexandersagen  des  Mittelalters  ist  die  Erinnerung 
an  das  Naturcentrum  im  Nordpol  erhalten,  und  zwar  in  merkwiirdiger 
Uebereinstimmung  der  morgen-  und  abendlandischer  Dichter.      In 
dem  altenglischen  Gedicht  von  Alisaunder  (bei  Jacobs  und  Uckert, 
8.461)  findet  Alexander  der  Grosse  auf  dem  hochsten  Gipfel  des  Tau 
rus  eine  schattenlose  Lanze,  von  welcher  geweissagt  war,  wer  sie  aus 
dem  Boden  reissen  konne,  werde  Herr  der  Welt  werden.     Alexander 
aber  riss  sie  heraus.     Die  Lanze  ist  ein  Sinnbild  der  Weltachse.     Sie 
weist  vom  hochsten  Berge  auf  den  Nordpol  hin,  und  ist  schattenlos 
weil  von  dort  urspriinglich  alles  Licht  ausging."  —  Menzel,  Die  vor~ 
christliche  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  Bd.  i.,  S.  86. 


the  earth."  1  Strabo's  account  of  it  is  full  of  the 
legendary  features  characteristic  of  an  earthly  Par 
adise.  The  olive  -  trees  were  of  extraordinary  ex 
cellence,  and  there  were  there  seven  varieties  of 
refreshing  wine.  He  informs  us  that  the  grape 
clusters  were  a  cubit  in  length,  and  the  vine-trunks 
sometimes  so  thick  that  two  men  could  scarcely 
clasp  round  one  of  them.  Herodotus  describes  the 
mountain  as  "  very  tapering  and  round  ;  so  lofty, 
moreover,  that  the  top  (they  say)  cannot  be  seen, 
the  clouds  never  quitting  it  either  summer  or  win 
ter.  The  natives  call  this  mountain  l  The  Pillar 
of  Heaven,'  and  they  themselves  take  their  name 
from  it,  being  called  Atlantes.  They  are  reported 
not  to  eat  any  living  thing  and  never  to  have  any 
dreams."2  Equally  strange  is  the  story  told  by 
Maximus  Tyrius,  according  to  which  the  waves  of 
the  ocean  at  high  water  stopped  short  before  the 
sacred  mount,  "standing  up  like  a  wall  around  its 
base,  though  unrestrained  by  any  earthly  barrier." 
"  Nothing  but  the  air  and  the  sacred  thicket  prevent 
the  water  from  reaching  the  mountain."  According 
to  other  ancient  legends,  a  river  of  milk  descended 
from  this  marvelous  height.  Noticing  such  curious 
stories,  Pliny  well  describes  the  mountain  asfabulo- 

1  See  Taylor's  Notes  on  Pausamas,  vol.  iii.,  p.  264. 

2  Herodotus,  Bk.  iv.    184. 

3  "  When  Cleanthes  asserted  that  the  earth  was  in  the  shape  of  a 
cone,  this,  in  my  opinion,  is  to  be  understood  only  of  this  mountain, 
called  Meru  in  India.     Anaximenes  said  that  this  column  was  plain 
and  of  stone  :  exactly  like  the  Meru-pargwette  of  the  inhabitants  of  Cey 
lon,  according  to  Mr.  Joinville  in  the  seventh  volume  of   the  Asiatic 
Researches.      This   mountain,  says    he,  is   entirely  of  stone,  68,000 
yojanas  high,  and  10,000  in  circumference  from  top  to  bottom.     The 
divines  of  Tibet  say  it  is  square,  and  like  an  inverted  pyramid.   Some 


Everywhere,  therefore,  in  the  most  ancient  ethnic 
thought,  —  in  the  Egyptian,  Akkadian,  Assyrian, 
Babylonian,  Indian,  Persian,  Chinese,  and  Greek,  — 
everywhere  is  encountered  this  conception  of  what, 
looked  at  with  respect  to  its  base  and  magnitude,  is 
called  the  "  Mountain  of  the  World,"  but  looked  at 
with  respect  to  its  glorious  summit  and  its  celestial 
inhabitants  is  styled  the  "  Mountain  of  the  Gods." 
We  need  not  pursue  the  investigation  further. 
Enough  has  been  said  to  warrant  the  assertion  of 
Dr.  Samuel  Beal :  "It  is  plain  that  this  idea  of  a 
lofty  central  primeval  mountain  belonged  to  the  un 
divided  human  race."  !  Elsewhere  the  same  learned 
sinologue  has  said,  "I  have  no  doubt  —  I  can  have 
none  —  that  the  idea  of  a  central  mountain,  and  of 
the  rivers  flowing  from  it,  and  the  abode  of  the  gods 
upon  its  summit,  is  a  primitive  myth  derived  from 
the  earliest  traditions  of  our  race."  2 

The  ideas  of  the  ancients  respecting  the  Under 
world,  that  is  the  southern  hemisphere  of  the  earth 
beyond  the  equatorial  ocean,  are  sufficiently  set  forth 
in  the  writer's  essay  on  "  Homer's  Abode  of  the 
Dead,"  printed  in  the  Appendix  of  the  present  work.3 

In  all  these  studies  one  important  caution  has  too 
often  been  overlooked.  In  interpreting  the  cosmo- 
logical  and  geographical  references  of  ancient  relig 
ious  writings  it  should  never  be  forgotten  that  the 
ideas  expressed  are  often  poetical  and  symbolical,  — 

of  the  followers  of  Buddha  in  India  insist  that  it  is  like  a  drum,  with  a 
swell  in  the  middle,  like  drums  in  India  ;  and  formerly  in  the  West, 
Leucippus  said  the  same  thing."  —  F.  Wilford,  in  Asiatic  Researches, 
vol.  viii.,  p.  273. 

1  Buddhist  Literature  in  China,  p.  147. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  xiv. 

8  See  APPENDIX,  Sect.  VI. 


religious  ideas,  hallowed  in  sacred  song  and  story. 
If,  some  thousands  of  years  hence,  one  of  Macaulay's 
archaeologists  of  New  Zealand  were  to  try  to  ascer 
tain  and  set  forth  the  geographical  knowledge  of  the 
Christian  England  of  to-day  by  a  study  of  a  few 
fragments  of  English  hymns  of  our  period,  critically 
examining  every  expression  about  a  certain  wonder 
ful  mountain,  located  sometimes  on  earth  and  some 
times  in  heaven,  and  bearing  the  varying  name  of 
"Sion"  or  "  Zion  ; "  then  making  a  microscopical 
study  of  all  the  references  to  the  strange  river,  which 
according  to  the  same  texts  would  seem  to  be  va 
riously  represented  as  udark,"  and  as  possessed  of 
"  stormy  banks,"  and  as  "  rolling  between "  the 
singer  living  in  England  and  the  abode  of  the  dead 
located  in  Western  Asia,  and  called  "Canaan,"  —  a 
river  sometimes  addressed  and  represented  as  so 
miraculously  discriminating  as  to  know  for  whom  to 
divide  itself,  letting  them  cross  over  "  dry  shod,"  — 
surely,  under  such  a  process  of  interpretation,  even 
the  England  of  the  nineteenth  century  would  make 
in  geographical  science  a  very  sorry  showing.  Or 
again,  if  some  Schliemann  of  a  far-off  future  were  to 
excavate  the  site  of  one  of  the  dozen  American  vil 
lages  known  by  the  name  of  "  Eden,"  and,  finding 
unequivocal  monumental  evidence  that  it  was  thus 
called,  were  thereupon  to  conclude  and  teach  that 
the  Americans  of  the  date  of  that  village  believed  its 
site  to  be  the  true  site  of  the  Eden  of  Sacred  His 
tory,  and  that  here  the  race  of  man  originated,  this 
would  be  a  grave  mistake,  but  it  would  be  a  mistake 
precisely  similar  to  many  an  one  which  has  been 
committed  by  our  archaeologists  in  interpreting  and 
reconstructing  the  geography  of  the  ancients. 


In  concluding  this  sketch  of  ancient  cosmology 
one  further  question  naturally  and  inevitably  thrusts 
itself  upon  us.  It  is  this  :  How  are  the  rise  and  the 
so  wide  diffusion  of  this  singular  world-view  to  be 
explained  ?  In  other  words,  how  came  it  to  pass 
that  the  ancestors  of  the  oldest  historic  races  and 
peoples  agreed  to  regard  the  North  Pole  as  the  true 
summit  of  the  earth  and  the  circumpolar  sky  as  the 
true  heaven  ?  Why  were  Hades  and  the  lowest  hell 
adjusted  to  a  south  polar  nadir  ?  The  one  and  sole 
satisfactory  explanation  is  found  in  the  hypothesis 
of  a  primitive  north  polar  Eden.  Studied  from  that 
standpoint,  the  appearances  of  the  universe  would  be 
exactly  adapted  to  produce  this  curious  cosmolog- 
ical  conception.  Thus  the  very  system  of  ancient 
thought  respecting  the  world  betrays  the  point  of 
view  from  which  the  world  was  first  contemplated. 
This,  though  an  indirect  evidence  of  the  truth  of  our 
hypothesis,  is  for  this  very  reason  all  the  more  con 



A  ccording  to  the  most  ancient  texts  Japan  is  the  centre  of  the  earth.  —  W.  E. 

ACCORDING  to  the  earliest  cosmogony  of  the  Jap 
anese,  as  given  in  their  most  ancient  book,  the  Ko- 
ji-ki,1  the  creators  and  first  inhabitants  of  our  world 
were  a  god  and  goddess,  Izanagi  and  Izanani  by 
name.  These,  in  the  beginning,  —  we  quote  from 
Sir  Edward  Reed,  — "  standing  on  the  bridge  of 
heaven,  pushed  down  a  spear  into  the  green  plain  of 
the  sea,  and  stirred  it  round  and  round.  When  they 
drew  it  up  the  drops  which  fell  from  its  end  consoli 
dated  and  became  an  island.  The  sun-born  pair 
descended  on  to  the  island,  and  planting  a  spear  in 
the  ground,  point  downwards,  built  a  palace  round 
it,  taking  that  for  the  central  roof-pillar.  The  spear 

1  Speaking  of  this  work,  M.  Leon  de  Rosny  calls  it  1'un  des  monu 
ments  les  plus  authentiques  de  la  vieille  litterature  japonaise,  and 
says,  "Nous  devons  non  seulement  a  cet  ouvrage  la  connaissance  de 
1'histoire  du  Nippon  anterieure  au  vii.  siecle  de  notre  ere,  mais  1'ex- 
pose  le  plus  autorise  de  1'antique  mythologie  sintauiste.  II  y  a  meme 
ce  fait  remarquable,  que  les  dieux  primordiaux  du  pantheon  japonais, 
mentionnes  dans  ce  livre,  ne  figurent  deja  plus  au  commencement  du 
Yamato  bumi,  qui  est  posterieur  seulement  de  quelques  annees  a  la 
publication  du  Koji  ki.  Ces  dieux  primordiaux  paraissent  oublies, 
ou  tout  au  moins  negliges,  dans  les  ouvrages  indigenes  qui  ont  paru 
par  la  suite."  Questions  d1  Archeologie  Japonaise.  Paris,  1882  :  p.  3. 
An  English  translation  of  the  Ko-ji-ki,  by  B.  H.  Chamberlain,  has 
just  appeared  in  Transactions  of  the  Asiatic  Society  of  Japan,  vol.  v. 


became  the  axis  of  the  earth,  which  had  been  caused 
to  revolve  by  the  stirring  round."  l 

This  island,  however,  was  the  Japanese  Eden. 
Here  originated  the  human  race.  Its  name  was 
Onogorojima,  "The  Island  of  the  Congealed  Drop." 
Its  first  roof-pillar,  as  we  have  seen,  was  the  axis  of 
the  earth.  Over  it  was  "  the  pivot  of  the  vault  of 
heaven." 2  Mr.  Reed,  who  has  no  theory  on  the 
subject  to  maintain,  says,  "The  island  must  have 
been  situated  at  the  Pole  of  the  earth."  3  In  like 
manner,  with  no  idea  of  the  vast  anthropological 
significance  and  value  of  the  datum,  Mr.  Griffis  re 
marks,  "The  island  formed  by  the  congealed  drops 
was  once  at  the  North  Pole,  but  has  since  been 
taken  to  its  present  position  in  the  Inland  Sea."  ' 

Here,  then,  is  the  testimony  of  the  most  ancient 

1  Sir  Edward  J.  Reed,  Japan^  vol.  i.,  31. 

2  Leon  Metchnikoff,  L' Empire  Japonais.     Geneve,  1881  :  p.  265. 

8  Ibid.  —  Our  interpretation  of  ancient  cosmology  and  of  the  true 
Eden  location  at  once  brings  light  into  the  whole  system  of  Japanese 
mythology.  In  the  following,  extracted  from  Mr.  Griffis,  no  one  has 
ever  before  known  what  to  make  of  "  the  Pillar  of  Heaven  and  Earth" 
"the  Bridge  of  Heaven"  the  position  of  primitive  Japan  "on  the  top 
of  the  globe"  and  at  the  same  time  at  "  the  centre  of  the  Earth  :  "  — 
*'  The  first  series  of  children  born  were  the  islands  of  Japan.  .  .  .  Japan 
lies  on  the  top  of  the  globe.  ...  At  this  time  heaven  and  earth  were 
very  close  to  each  other,  and  the  goddess  Amaterazu  being  a  rare  and 
beautiful  child,  whose  body  shone  brilliantly,  Izanagi  sent  her  up  the 
Pillar  that  united  heaven  and  earth,  and  bade  her  rule  over  the  high 
plain  of  heaven.  ...  As  the  earth-gods  and  evil  deities  multiplied, 
confusion  and  discord  reigned,  which  the  sun  goddess  (Amaterazu), 
seeing,  resolved  to  correct  by  sending  her  grandson  Ninigi  to  earth  to 
rule  over  it.  Accompanied  by  a  great  retinue  of  deities,  he  descended 
by  means  of  the  floating  Bridge  of  Heaven,  on  which  the  divine  first 
pair  had  stood,  to  Mount  Kirishima.  After  his  descent,  heaven  and 
earth,  which  had  already  separated  to  a  considerable  distance,  receded 
utterly,  and  further  communication  ceased.  .  .  .  According  to  the  most 
ancient  texts  Japan  is  the  centre  of  the  earth." 

4  McClintock  and  Strong,  Cydopadia,  vol.  ix.,  p.  688.  Art.  "  Shinto." 


Japanese  tradition.  Nothing  could  be  more  un 
equivocal.  Izanagi's  divinely  precious  spear  of  jade,1 
like  the  transverse  jade -tube  of  the  ancient  Shu 
King,2  is  an  imperishable  index,  not  only  to  the 
astronomical  attainments  of  prehistoric  humanity, 
but  also  to  humanity's  prehistoric  abode. 

In  Part  fifth,  chapter  fourth,  further  illustration 
of  the  Japanese  conception  of  the  origin  of  their 
race  will  be  given. 

1  £mile  Burnouf,  "  La  pique  celeste  de  jade  rouge."  —  La  Mytho- 
logie  des  Japonais  d'apres  le  Koku-si-Ryaku.    Paris,  1875  :   p.  6. 

2  "  He  examined  the  pearl-adorned  turning  sphere,  with  its  trans 
verse  tube  of  jade,  and  reduced  to  a  harmonious  system  the  move 
ments  of  the  Seven  Directors."      Legge's  Translation  in  The  Sacred 
Books  of  the  East,  vol.  iii.,  p.  38.     Professor  Legge  once  examined 
this  passage  in  my  presence,  and  found  unexpected  corroboration  of 
the  interpretation  which  identifies  "  the  transverse  tube  of  jade  "  with 
the  axis  of  heaven. 



The  rationalistic  genius  of  the  matter-of-fact  Chinese  is  apparent  even  in  the 
way  in  which  they  conceived  their  primitive  history  ;  and  in  this  respect,  as  in 
many  others,  it  brings  them  into  nearer  relations  with  the  best  modern  science 
than  belong  to  the  other  Oriental  races.  —  SAMUEL  JOHNSON  (of  Salem). 

It  is  through  this  wonderfully  pure  seer  [Lao-tse],  as  it  appears  to  me,  that 
we  ascend  to  the  primitive  revelation  oj  truth  given  to  this  ancient  people.  — 

APPROACHING  this  theme,  a  reviewer  of  the  Shin 
Seen  Tung  Keen  —  a  "  General  Account  of  the  Gods 
and  Genii,"  in  twenty-two  volumes  —  offers  the  fol 
lowing  observations  :  "  All  nations  have  some  tradi 
tion  of  a  Paradise,  a  place  of  primeval  happiness,  a 
state  of  innocence  and  delight.  The  Tauists  a  are 
by  no  means  behind  in  referring  to  an  abode  of  last 
ing  bliss,  which,  however,  still  exists  on  earth.  It  is 
called  Kwen-lun."  2 

In  another  article,  by  a  student  of  Chinese  sources, 
it  is  stated,  "  This  locality,  being  the  abode  of  the 
gods,  is  Paradise ;  it  is  round  in  form,  and  like  Eden 
it  is  '  the  mount  of  assembly.'  "  3 

Like  the  Gan-Eden  of  Genesis  it  is  described  as  a 

1  "  Die  Secte  der  Tao-sse  hat  die  Sagen  und  religiosen  Gebrauche 
des  alten  China's  noch  am  Meisten  aufbewahrt."    Liiken,  Traditionen 
des  Menschengeschlechtes,  p.  77.     "  Lao-tse  abounds  in  sentences  out 
of  some  ancient  lore,  of  which  we  have  no  knowledge  but  from  him." 
Samuel  Johnson,  Oriental  Religions —  China.     Boston,  1877:  p.  861. 

2  The  Chinese  Repository^  vol.  vii.,  p.  519. 

8  The  Chinese  Recorder  and  Missionary  Journal,  vol.  iv.,  p.  94- 
Compare  Isaiah  xiv.  13,  14. 


garden,  with  a  marvelous  tree  in  the  midst ;  also  with 
a  fountain  of  immortality,  from  which  proceed  four 
rivers,  which  flow  in  opposite  directions  toward  the 
four  quarters  of  the  earth.1 

In  the  language  of  the  writer  first  quoted  in  this 
chapter,  "Sparkling  fountains  and  purling  streams 
contain  the  far-famed  ambrosia.  One  may  there 
rest  on  flowery  carpeted  swards,  listening  to  the 
melodious  warbling  of  birds,  or  feasting  upon  the 
delicious  fruits,  at  once  fragrant  and  luscious,  which 
hang  from  the  branches  of  the  luxuriant  groves. 
Whatever  there  is  beautiful  in  landscape  or  grand 
in  nature  may  also  be  found  there  in  the  highest 
state  of  perfection.  All  is  charming,  all  enchanting, 
and  whilst  Nature  smiles  the  company  of  genii  de 
lights  the  ravished  visitor."  2 

Where,  now,  is  this  Paradise  mountain  located  ? 
At  the  North  Pole. 

The  sentence  before  those  last  quoted  reads  as 
follows  :  "  Here  is  the  great  pillar  that  sustains  the 
world,  no  less  than  300,000  miles  high." 

This  world-pillar,  or  axis  of  the  earth,  is  some 
times  conceived  of  as  slender  enough  for  the  use  of 
a  climber.  Thus  we  read,  "  One  of  the  Chinese 
kings,  anxious  to  become  acquainted  with  the  de 
lightful  spot,  set  out  in  search  of  it.  After  much 
wandering  he  perceived  the  immense  column  spoken 
of,  but,  trying  to  ascend  it,  he  found  it  so  slippery 
that  he  had  to  abandon  all  hopes  of  gaining  his  end, 
and  to  endeavor  by  some  mountain  road  which  was 
rugged  in  the  extreme  to  find  his  way  to  Paradise. 
When  almost  fainting  with  fatigue,  some  friendly 

1  Liiken,  Traditionen  des  Menschengeschlechtes,  p.  72. 

2  The  Chinese  Repository,  vol.  vii.,  p.  519. 


nymphs,  who  had  all  the  time  from  an  eminence 
compassionated  the  weary  wanderer,  lent  him  an 
assisting  hand.  He  arrived  there,  and  immediately 
began  to  examine  the  famous  spot."  1 

Such  a  pillar  connecting  the  earth  with  an  upper 
Paradise,  and  affording  a  means  of  access  thereto, 
necessarily  recalls  to  mind  the  analogous  conception 
set  forth  in  the  Talmud  :  "There  is  an  upper  and  a 
lower  Paradise.  And  between  them,  upright,  is  fixed 
a  pillar  ;  and  by  this  they  are  joined  together  ;  and 
't  is  called  '  The  Strength  of  the  Hill  of  Sion.'  And 
by  this  Pillar  on  every  Sabbath  and  Festival  the 
righteous  climb  up  and  feed  themselves  with  a  glance 
of  the  Divine  majesty  till  the  end  of  the  Sabbath  or 
Festival,  when  they  slide  down  and  return  into  the 
lower  Paradise."  2 

In  this  conception  we  have  a  twofold  Paradise,  one 
celestial  and  one  terrestrial.  Among  the  Chinese 

1  The  Chinese  Repository,  vol.  vii.,  p.  520. 

2  Eisenmenger,  Entdecktes   Judenthum,  Bd.  ii.,  p.  318.     (English 
translation,  vol.  ii.,  p.  25.)     Compare   Schulthess,  Das  Paradies,  p. 
354.     Also  the  story  of  Er,  the  Pamphylian,  in  which  we  have  the 
same  "  column,  brighter  than  the  rainbow,  extending  right  through  the 
whole  heaven  and  through  the  earth  ;  "  here  also  the  spirits  visiting 
the  earth  are  allowed  seven  days  before  ascending.     Plato,  Republic, 
616.    Also  the  Chaldaeo-Assyrian  conception  of  "  the  celestial  and  ter 
restrial  Paradises,  supposed  to  be  united  by  means  of  the  Paradisaic 
Mount  itself."      The  Oriental  and  Biblical  Journal.     Chicago,  1880  : 
p.  173.     Also  the  Greek  idea:    "  Sehr  merkwiirdig  ist,  was   Pindar 
(Olymp.,  ii.,  56  f.)  von  den  Seligen  sagt.    Wenn  sie  namlich  auf  der 
Insel  der  Seligen  sich  befmden,  steigen  sie  zum  Thurme  des  Chronos 
empor.      Dieser  Hohentendenz  entspricht  nun  die  alte  Vorstellung 
vom  Naturcentrum  am  Nordpol  und  so  fiihren  uns  denn  auch  die  grie- 
chischen  Dichter  auf  einem  langen  Umwege  doch  zuletzt  nach  Nysa, 
wo  uns  die  griechischen  Kiinstler  alle  Wonnen  des  dionysischen  Him- 
mels  aufthun."     Menzel,  Die  vorchristliche  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  ii., 
p.  10.     Finally,  the  Japanese  idea  in  Griffis,  The  Mikadtfs  Empire, 
p.  44. 



we  find  the  same.  The  upper  is  situated  in  the  cen 
tre  or  pole  of  heaven,  the  lower  directly  under  it,  at 
the  centre  or  pole  of  the  northern  terrestrial  hemi 
sphere.  The  Pillar  connecting  them  is  of  course 
the  axis  of  the  heavenly  vault. 

We  quote  :  "  Within  the  seas,  in  the  valleys  of 
Kwen-lun,  at  the  northwest  is  Shang-te's  Lower 
Recreation  Palace.  It  is  eight  hundred  le  square, 
and  eighty  thousand  feet  high.  In  front  there  are 
nine  walls,  inclosed  by  a  fence  of  precious  stones. 
At  the  sides  there  are  nine  doors,  through  which  the 
light  streams,  and  it  is  guarded  by  beasts.  Shang- 
te's  wife  also  dwells  in  this  region,  immediately  over 
which  is  Shang-te's  Heavenly  Palace,  which  is  situ 
ated  in  the  centre  of  the  heavens  [the  celestial  pole], 
as  his  earthly  one  is  in  the  centre  of  the  earth  [the 
terrestrial  pole]."  * 

There  can  be  no  mistaking  this  use  of  the  term 
"centre"  for  pole,  for  the  Chinese  astronomers 
expressly  state,  "The  Polar  star  is  the  centre  of 
heaven."  2 

Elsewhere,  instead  of  Kwen-lun  being  a  World- 
pillar  in  the  "valleys,"  or  "plain,"  or  "mound"  of 
the  terrestrial  Paradise,  we  find  it  described  as  a  stu 
pendous  heaven-sustaining  mountain,  marking  the 
centre  or  pole  of  the  earth  :  "  The  four  quarters  of 
the  earth  incline  downwards.  .  .  .  On  this  vast  plain 
or  mount,  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  the  four  seas, 
arise  the  mountains  of  Kwen-lun,  the  highest  in  the 
world  according  to  the  Chinese  geographers :  '  Kwen- 

1  The  Chinese  Recorder,  vol.  iv.,  p.  95. 

2  The  Chinese  Repository,  vol.  iv.,  p.  194.    Compare  Menzel  :  "  Der 
Polarstern  heisst  Palast  der  Mitte."      Unsterblichkeitslehre,   Bd.  i, 
p.  44. 


lun  is  the  name  of  a  mountain  ;  it  is  situated  at  the 
northwest,  fifty  thousand  le  from  the  Sung-Kaou 
mountains,  and  is  the  centre  of  the  earth.  It  is  eleven 
thousand  le  in  height '  (Kang-he)."  1 

The  significance  of  the  foregoing  as  respects  the 
location  of  Paradise  cannot  be  doubtful.  But  com 
pare  further  the  sixth  head  under  chapter  third  of 
Part  fifth  ;  also  chapter  fourth  of  the  same  Part. 

1  The  Chinese  Recorder,  vol.  iv.,  p.  94. 



TJte  reader  cannot  have  failed  to  be  struck,  as  the  first  explorers  of  Sanskrit 
literature  have  been,  with  tfa  close  analogy,  -we  might  even  say  the  perfect  iden 
tity ,  of  all  the  essential  features  of  the  typical  description  of  Mount  Meru  in  the 
Puranas  with  the  topography  of  Eden  in  the  second  chapter  of  Genesis.  The  gar 
den  of  Eden  (gan-Eden],  the  garden  of  God  (gan-Elohim,  Ezek.  xxviii.  13),  which 
is  guarded  by  the  anointed  and  protecting  Kerub  (Ezek.  xxviii.  14,  16),  is  placed, 
like  the  garden  of  delight  of  the  gods  of  India,  on  the  summit  of  a  mountain,  the 
holy  mountain  of  God  (har  qodesh  Elohim  (Ezek.  xxviii.  14,  16),  all  sparkling  with 
precious  stones  (Ibid.).*-  —  LENORMANT. 

IN  what  kind  of  a  world  lived  the  ancient  Brah 
man  ?  And  what  was  his  conception  of  the  location 
of  the  cradle  of  the  race  ? 

One  of  the  oldest  of  the  elaborate  geographical 
treatises  of  India  is  the  Vishnu  Purana.  Taking 
this  as  a  guide,  let  us  place  ourselves  alongside  one 
of  the  ancients  of  the  country,  and  look  about  us. 

First,  we  will  look  to  the  South,  far  down  the 
Indian  Ocean.  What  was  supposed  to  lie  in  that 

1  The  continuation  of  the  passage  is  as  follows  :  "  The  Jehovistic 
writer  does  not  say  so  in  Genesis,  but  the  prophets  are  express  in  this 
respect.  The  tree  of  life  grows  '  in  the  midst  of  the  garden '  (bethoch 
haggan}  with  the  tree  of  the  knowledge  of  good  and  evil  (Gen.  ii.  9  ; 
iii.  3),  exactly  like  the  tree  Jambu,  in  the  centre  of  the  delightful  pla 
teau  which  crowns  the  height  of  Meru.  A  river  goes  out  of  Eden  to 
water  the  garden,  and  from  thence  it  divides  and  forms  four  arms 
(Gen.  ii.  10).  This  corresponds  in  the  most  precise  manner  with  the 
way  in  which  the  spring  Ganga,  after  having  watered  the  Celestial 
Land,  or  the  Land  of  Joy  at  the  summit  of  Meru,  forms  four  lakes  on 
the  four  counterforts  of  this  holy  mountain,  whence  it  afterwards  flows 
out  in  four  large  rivers  toward  the  four  cardinal  points." 


direction  ?  To  begin  with  their  distribution  of  the 
different  quarters  of  the  world  among  the  gods,  this 
is  the  quarter  belonging  to  Yama,  the  god  of  the 
dead  :  — 

"  May  he  whose  hands  the  thunder  wield 
Be  in  the  East  thy  guard  and  shield ; 
May  Yama's  care  the  South  befriend, 
And  Varun's  arm  the  West  defend ; 
And  let  Kuvera,  lord  of  gold, 
The  North  with  firm  protection  hold." l 

In  precise  accordance  with  our  Key  to  Ancient 
Cosmology,  it  is  the  direction  of  descent.  North  is 
upwards  (uttardt),  south  is  downwards  (adhardt}? 
Hence  the  abode  and  kingdom  of  Yama  is  not  only 
to  the  south,  but  also  below  the  level  of  India,  i.  e., 
on  the  under  hemisphere,  or,  as  Monier  Williams  lo 
cates  it,  in  "  the  lower  world."  3  All  Hindu  litera 
ture  is  full  of  similar  references.  The  exact  time 
required  for  the  soul's  journey  was  supposed  to  be 
four  hours  and  forty  minutes.4 

In  this  direction,  evidently,  we  shall  vainly  seek 
a  paradise.  Let  us  turn  to  the  North  and  "  ascend." 

1  Griffiths,  Ramayana,  ii.  20. 

2  Zimmer,  Altindisches  Leben.     Berlin,  1879  :  p.  359. 

3  Yama  :  "  one  of  the  eight  guardians  of  the  world  as  regent  of  the 
South  quarter,  in  which  direction  in  some  region  of  the  lower  world 
is  his  abode  called  Yama-pura ;   thither  a  soul,  when  it  leaves  the 
body,  is  said  to  repair,  and  there,  after  the  recorder,  Citra-gupta,  has 
read  an  account  of  its  actions,  kept  in  a  book  called  Agra-Sandani, 
receives  a  just  sentence,  either  ascending  to  heaven,  or  to  the  world 
of  the  Pitris,  or  being  driven  down  to  one  of  the  twenty-one  hells." 
—  Williams,  Sanskrit  Dictionary,  sub.  "  Yama." 

4  "  The  soul  is  believed  to  reach  Yama's  abode  in  four  hours  and 
forty  minutes  ;  consequently  a  dead  body  cannot  be  burned  until  that 
time  has  passed  after  death."  —  W.  J.  Wilkins,  Hindu  Mythology,  Ve- 
dic  and  Puranic.     London,   1882  :  Art.  "Yama."      See,  also,  Muir, 
Sanskrit  Texts,  v.   284-327,  and  our  references  in  "  Homer's  Abode 
of  the  Dead." 


First,  of  course,  we  come  to  the  Himalaya  range, 
the  Himavat  of  Indian  geography.  All  that  por 
tion  of  the  earth  lying  between  this  mountain  range 
and  the  great  ocean  to  the  South  constitutes  one  of 
the  seven,  or  nine,  "  varshas,"  or  divisions  of  the 
habitable  (upper)  hemisphere.  Its  name  is  Bharata. 
If  now  our  ancient  Hindu  could  proceed  due  North 
and  cross  the  Himavat,  —  which  he  does  not  think 
possible  to  mortals,  —  he  would  find  himself  in  Kim- 
purusha,  an  equally  extensive  but  more  elevated  and 
beautiful  varsha,  extending  northward  till  bounded 
by  a  second  range  of  incredibly  lofty  mountains, 
the  Himakuta.  Still  "  ascending,"  or  going  North, 
until  he  had  crossed  this  division  and  passed  the 
Himakuta,  he  would  enter  Harivarsha,  a  still  loftier 
and  diviner  country.  This  extends,  in  turn,  to  an 
other  boundary  range,  the  Nishadha,  crossing  which 
one  would  come  to  Ilavrita,  the  central  varsha  of  all, 
which  occupies  the  top  as  well  as  the  centre  of  the 
world.  To  the  adequate  description  of  the  beauty 
and  glory  and  preciousness  of  this  country  no  tongue 
is  equal.  In  its  centre  is  situated  the  mount  of  the 
gods,  "Beautiful  Meru,"  described  in  chapter  first 
of  the  present  Part.  It  is  at  the  Pole,  and  around 
it  revolve  all  constellations  of  heaven.  It  is  the 
centre  of  the  habitable  world. 

Continuing  our  imaginary  journey  across  this  di 
vine  country  of  Ilavrita,  crossing  of  course  this  co 
lossal  central  mountain,  we  should  now  begin  to  de 
scend  on  the  meridian  opposite  to  that  on  which  we 
ascended  on  the  India  side  of  the  globe.  The  boun 
dary  of  the  central  region  on  that  side  is  the  Nila 
range,  then  comes  the  varsha  of  Ramyaka  ;  its 
farther  boundary  is  the  Sweta  range,  beyond  which 


is  the  varsha  of  Hiranmaya.  Still  descending,  we 
cross  this  and  the  range  which  bounds  it  on  the  far 
ther  side,  the  Sringin,  and  we  are  in  Uttarakuru,  the 
last  of  the  seven  grand  divisions  of  the  earth,  the 
one  corresponding,  in  distance  from  Meru,  to  Bha- 
rata,  or  our  starting-point.  It,  of  course,  is  on  the 
equatorial  ocean,  and  here  too  we  have  only  to  cross 
this  ocean  in  order  to  reach  the  underworld. 

The  way  in  which  the  varshas  are  made  to  num 
ber  "  nine  "  is  by  subdividing  the  great  central  cross- 
section  of  the  hemispherical  surface,  leaving  Ilavrita 
a  perfect  square  on  the  top  of  the  globe,  the  land 
descending  eastward  to  the  sea  being  called  Bhad- 
rasva,  and  the  corresponding  country  to  the  West 
being  called  Ketumala. 

To  assist  the  reader  to  a  clearer  conception  of 
this  sacred  geography  we  give  herewith  two  cuts, 
one  of  which  presents  in  outline  the  side-aspect  of 
the  Puranic  earth,  and  the  other  a  flat  polocentric 
projection  of  its  upper  hemisphere.1 

Having  now  answered  our  first  question,  and 
showed  in  what  kind  of  a  world  the  ancient  Hindu 
lived,  we  pass  to  the  second  :  "  What  was  his  con 
ception  of  the  location  of  the  cradle  of  the  race  ? " 

The  question  is  answered  the  moment  we  say  that 
in  the  Hindu  conception  and  tradition  man  pro 
ceeded  from  Meru.  His  Eden-land  was  Ilavrita.  It 
was  therefore  at  the  Pole. 

How  strange  that  Lenormant  could  have  written 
the  following,  and  still  have  imagined  that  the  true 
primeval  Eden  of  the  Hindu  was  anywhere  else  than 
at  the  terrestrial  Pole !  He  says,  "  In  all  the  leg- 

1  See  also  APPENDIX,  Sect.  IV.,  "The  Earth  and  the  World  of 
the  Hindus." 


ends  of  India  the  origin  of  mankind  is  placed  on 
Mount  Meru,  the  residence  of  the  gods,  a  column 
which  unites  the  sky  to  the  earth.  ...  At  first  sight, 
on  reading  the  description  of  Mount  Meru  furnished 
by  the  Puranas,  it  appears  overcharged  with  so 
many  purely  mythological  features  that  one  hesi- 

The  Earth  of  the  Hindus,  viewed  from  above. 

i.  Uttarakuru.  5.  Harivarsha. 

a.  Hiranmaya.  6.  Kimpurusha. 

3.  Ramyaka.  7-  Bharata  (India). 

8.  Ketumala.        9.  Bhadrisva. 
4.  SU-MERU  in  Ila-vrita. 

tates  to  believe  that  it  has  any  basis  in  reality.  To 
realize  these  descriptions  one  must  represent  one's 
self  in  the  centre  of  a  vast  level  and  very  elevated 
surface,  surrounded  by  various  mountain-ranges,  a 
gigantic  block,  the  axis  of  the  world,  raising  its  head 
to  the  highest  point  of  the  heavens,  whence  there 

Side  View  of  Upper  Hemisphere. 


falls  upon  its  summit,  on  the  North  Pole,  the  divine 
Ganga,  the  source  of  all  rivers,  which  there  dis 
charges  itself  into  an  ideal  lake,  the  Manasa-Saro- 
vara.  .  .  .  Meru,  then,  is  at  one  and  the  same  time 
the  highest  part  of  the  terrestrial  world  and  the  cen 
tral  point  of  the  visible  heaven,  —  the  two  having 
been  confounded  through  ignorance1  of  the  real 
constitution  of  the  universe :  it  is  also,  at  one  and 
the  same  time,  the  north  pole  and  the  centre  of  the 
habitable  earth,  Jambu-dwtpa, —  literally  of  the  conti 
nent  of  the  tree  Jambu,  the  tree  of  life.  Leaving 
the  higher  basin  of  the  mountain  in  which  its  wa 
ters  have  at  first  collected  the  source,  Ganga  travels 
seven  times  round  the  Meru  in  descending  from  the 
abode  of  the  seven  Rishis  of  the  Great  Bear,  to 
empty  itself  afterward  into  four  lakes  placed  on  four 
summits  adjacent  to  this  vast  pyramid,  and  serving 
as  buttresses  on  its  four  sides.  .  .  .  Fed  by  the 
waters  of  the  celestial  Ganga  the  four  lakes  in 
their  turn  feed  four  terrestrial  rivers  which  flow  out 
through  the  mouths  of  four  symbolical  animals. 
These  four  great  rivers  water  as  many  distinct  re 
gions,  .  .  .  and  discharge  themselves  into  four  oppo 
site  seas,  to  the  east,  south,  west,  and  north  of  the 
central  Meru.  .  .  .  The  four  lakes,  the  four  rivers, 
and  the  four  oceans  are  composed  of  different  liq 
uids,  corresponding  to  the  four  castes,  and  these 
latter,  with  which  are  connected  all  the  nations  of 
the  human  race,  are  reputed  to  have  set  out  from 
the  four  sides  of  Meru  to  people  the  whole  earth."  2 

1  Lenormant  here  follows  the  misleading  arguments  of  Wilford  in 
Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  viii.,  pp.  312,  313. 

2  The  Contemporary  Review,  Sept.,  1881  :   Am.  ed.,  p.  39.     Also 
Les  Origines  de  I'Histoire,  torn.  ii.  I,  ch.  i.     Compare  Essai  de  Com- 
mentairf  des  Fragments  Cosmogoniques  de  Btrose.     Paris,  1871 :  pp. 


A  similar  illustration  of  the  power  of  a  wrong  pre 
possession  is  given  us  in  the  illustrious  Carl  Ritter, 
who  after  expressly  declaring  that  "  the  numberless 
Puranas  and  their  most  diverse  interpretations  by 
the  Pundits  teach  that  Meru  is  the  middle  of  the 
earth,  and  itself  literally  designates  its  centre  and 
axis?  1  thereupon  in  the  coolest  manner  imaginable 
proceeds  to  identify  the  same  sacred  height  with 
the  mountains  of  Central  Asia.  Still  worse  is  the 
procedure  of  Mr.  Massey,  who  after  locating  the 
Garden  of  Eden  on  Mount  Meru,  and  saying  explic 
itly,  "  The  Pole,  or  polar  region,  is  Meru?  and  again, 
"  Meru  is  the  garden  of  the  Tree  of  Life?  neverthe 
less  tells  us  that  in  equatorial  Africa  beasts  first 
grew  into  men.2  Happier  is  the  inconsistency  of 
Mr.  Lillie,  who,  despite  his  adhesion  to  the  flat-earth 
theory  of  Hindu  cosmology,  still  incidentally  speaks 
of  "the  blissful  Garden"  as  "at  the  Pole."3 

300-328.  Also  Muir,  Sanskrit  Texts,  vol.  ii.,  p.  139.  ''  In  his  In- 
dische  Studien,  vol.  i.,  p.  165,  Weber  speaks  of  the  Aryan  Indians  be 
ing  driven  by  a  deluge  from  their  home,  and  coming  from  the  North, 
not  from  the  West  (as  Lassen,  i.,  515  will  have  it),  into  India." 

1  "  Die  zahllosen    Puranas   und  ihre  verschiedenartigsten  Ausle- 
gungen  durch  die  Pundits  lehren,  dass  Meru  die  Mitte  der  Erde  sei, 
und  selbst  wortlich  auch  das  Centrum,  die  Axe,  bezeichne."  —  Erd- 
kunde,  Bd.  ii.,  p.  7. 

2  The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  28,  162. 

8  Buddha  and  Early  Buddhism.    London,  1882  :  p.  8. 



A  us  den  Angaben  iiber  die  Paradiesstrome  und  den  Lauf  derselben  erhellt  nun 
awk,  wo  -wir  das  Parodies  selbst  zu  suchen  haben,  ndmlich  im  iiussersten  Nor- 
den. —  FR.  SPIEGEL. 

ACCORDING  to  the  sacred  books  of  the  ancient 
Persians  all  the  five-and-twenty  races  of  men  which 
people  the  seven  "keshvares"  of  the  earth  de 
scended  from  one  primitive  pair,  whose  names  were 
Mashyoi  and  Mashya.  The  abode  of  this  primitive 
pair  was  in  the  keshvare  Kvaniras,  the  central  and 
the  fairest  of  the  seven.1  Let  us  see  if  we  can  de 
termine  its  location. 

As  a  key  to  the  old  Iranian  conception  of  the 
world  let  us  investigate  the  nature  and  location  of 
the  "  Chinvat  bridge."  This,  like  the  Bifrost  of  the 
Northmen  and  the  Al  Sirat  of  Islam,  is  the  bridge 
on  which  the  souls  of  the  dead,  the  evil  as  well  as 
the  good,  leave  this  world  to  enter  the  unseen.2  The 
investigation  is  in  itself  and  for  its  own  sake  full  of 
interest,  for  no  writer  on  the  ideas  and  faith  of  the 

1  Bundahish,  ch.  xv.,  1-30. 

2  "  This,"  says  Professor  Rawlinson,  "  is  evidently  the  original  of 
Mohammed's  famous  '  way  extended  over  the  middle  of  hell,  which 
is  sharper  than  a  sword  and  finer  than  a  hair,  over  which  all  must 
pass.'  "    Ancient  Monarchies,  vol.  ii.,  p.  339  n.    Compare  Sale's  Koran, 
Prelim.  Discourse,  Sect.  iv.     Professor  Tiele  thinks  "  it  was  borrowed 
from  the  old  Aryan  mythology,"  and  that  it  "was  probably  originally 
the  rainbow."    History  of  Religion.    London  and  Boston,  1877  :  p.  177. 


Mazdaeans  has  ever  professed  to  be  able  to  tell 
either  the  origin  or  true  meaning  of  the  myth.  Most 
interpreters  have  either  carefully  abstained  from  all 
attempts  at  explanation,  or  have  suggested  that  it 
probably  refers  to  the  rainbow  or  to  the  Milky  Way, 
or  to  both.1  To  dispose  of  these  suggestions,  let  us 
raise  a  few  questions  :  — 

1.  Do  we  find  in  any  part  of  the  Avestan  liter 
ature  any  evidence   that   the  Chinvat   Bridge  pos 
sessed  a  curvilinear  form  ? 


2.  Straight,  or  curved  as  a  whole,  were  its   two 
ends  conceived  of  as  on  a  common  level  ? 

No,  for  motion  upon  it  in  one  direction  is  described 
as  upward,  and  in  the  opposite  direction  as  down 

3.  Where  was  the  upper  end  ? 

In  the  heaven  of  Ahura  Mazda,  the  Supreme  God, 
to  whose  abode  the  bridge  conducts  good  souls. 

4.  But  where  is  this  abode  ? 

At  the  Northern  Pole  of  the  sky,  as  elsewhere 

5.  Where  is  the  earthward  end  ? 
It  rests  upon  "the  Daitik  peak." 

6.  Is  this  peak  in  Persia  ? 

No  ;  it  is  part  of  a  sacred  mountain  in  Airan-vej, 
the  Eden  of  Iranian  tradition. 

7.  And  where  is  Airan-vej  ? 

"  In  the  middle  of  the  world." 

1  "The  Bridge  of  Souls  cannot  be  always  the  Milky  Way.  .  .  . 
Supposing  the  myths  which  once  belonged  to  the  Milky  Way  to  have 
been  passed  on  to  the  Rainbow,  the  name  of  the  former  might  also 
have  been  inherited  by  the  latter."  C.  F.  Keary,  Primitive  Belief. 
Lond.,  1882  :  p.  292.  Comp.  pp.  286-294,  347.  Also  Justi,  Handbuch 
der  Zendsprache.  Leipsic,  1864  :  p.  Hi,  Jw£  voce  "  Cinvant." 


8.  In  what  keshvare  ? 

In  Kvaniras,  the  central  of  the  seven  divisions  of 
the  earth,  and  the  one  in  which  men  and  the  good 
religion  were  first  created. 

9.  And  in  what  direction  from  Persia  was  Airan- 
vej  supposed  to  lie  ? 

Far  to  the  North. 

10.  What  natural  "  centre  of  the  earth  "  is  situ 
ated  in  that  direction  ? 

The  North  Pole. 

11.  What  other  evidence  is  there  that  the  Daitik 
peak  is  at  the  North  Pole  ? 

The  fact  that  the  mountain  of  which  this  is  simply 
"the  peak  of  judgment"  is  Hara-berezaiti,  around 
which  the  heavenly  bodies  revolve,  and  which,  as  all 
allow,  answers  to  the  north  polar  Su-Meru  of  the 

12.  Then  the   Chinvat   bridge  extends  from  the 
North  Pole  of  the  heavens  to  the  North  Pole  of  the 
earth  :  what  is  its  shape  ? 

It  is  "beam-shaped"  To  quote  the  sacred  book  : 
"  That  bridge  is  like  a  beam,  of  many  sides,  of  whose 
edges  there  are  some  which  are  broad,  and  there  are 
some  which  are  thin  and  sharp  ;  its  broad  sides  are 
so  large  that  its  width  is  twenty-seven  reeds,  and  its 
sharp  sides  are  so  contracted  that  in  thinness  it  is 
just  like  the  edge  of  a  razor.  And  when  the  souls 
of  the  righteous  and  wicked  arrive,  it  turns  to  them 
that  side  which  is  suitable  to  their  necessities."  2 

1  "  Like  the  Meru  of  the  Indians,  Hara-berezaiti  is  the  pole  and 
centre  of  the  world,  the  fixed  point  around  which  the  sun  and  the 
planets  perform  their  revolutions."  —  Lenormant,  "  Ararat  and  Eden," 
in  the  Contemporary  Review,  September,  1881.     Am.  ed.,  p.  41. 

2  Dddistdn-i-Dinik,  ch.  xxi.,  2-9.  West,  Pahlavi  Texts,  ii.,  pp.  47-49. 
It  is  a  curious  coincidence  that  in  Polynesian  mythology  Buataranga, 


The  Chinvat  bridge,  then,  is  simply  the  axis  of  the 
northern  heavens,  the  Pillar  of  Atlas,  the  Talmudic 
"  Strength  of  the  Hill  of  Sion,"  the  column  which  in 
the  Chinese  legend  the  emperor  vainly  sought  to 
climb !  In  solving  this  long-standing  problem  we 
have  at  the  same  time  unlocked  the  mystery  which 
has  hitherto  attached  to  Bifrost  and  Al  Sirat.1 

But  in  locating  our  bridge  we  have  located  the 
Persian  Eden.  And  the  location  is  unquestionably 
at  the  North  Pole.  More  than  this,  we  have  made 
clear  the  fact  that  in  the  mythical  or  sacred  geog 
raphy  of  this  ancient  people  the  world  of  living  men 
was  originally  the  northern  circumpolar  hemisphere. 
The  arrangement  of  the  keshvares  now  becomes 
entirely  clear.2  Like  the  divinely  beautiful  Ilavrita 
varsha  of  the  Hindus,  "  illustrious  Kvaniras  "  holds 
the  central  position.  In  its  centre,  as  in  the  centre 

"  guardian  of  the  road  to  the  invisible  world,"  is  wife  to  Ru,  "  the 
supporter  of  the  heavens."  Gill,  Myths  and  Songs  of  the  South  Pa 
cific.  London,  1876:  p.  51.  So  if  Heimdallr's  true  station  were  at 
the  top  of  the  rainbow,  his  title  "son  of  nine  mothers"  (Vigfusson 
and  Powell,  Corpus  Poeticum  Boreale,  London,  1883,  ii.  465)  would 
have  no  such  obvious  significance  as  our  interpretation  gives. 

1  One  of  the  etymologies  of  Chinvat  makes  it  the  "  Bridge  of  the 
Judge."     (Haug,  Essays,  2d  ed.,  p.  165  n.)     As  among  the  ancient 
Assyrians,   and  some  other  peoples,  the  pole  star  has   been  styled 
"  the  judge  of  heaven,"  it  is  possible  that  we  have  here  at  once  the 
origin  of  the  name  and  a  new  identification  of  the  position  of  the 
mythical  "beam-shaped"  bridge.     It  is  interesting  to  note  in  this 
connection  that  Heimdallr,  the  Norse  god  who  stands  at  the  top  of 
Bifrost,  is  also,  etymologically  considered,   the   "World-judge"   or 
"  World-divider."     Menzel,    Unsterblichkeitslehre ,  i.    134-     In  Plato 
(Repub.,  614  ff.)  the  judge  stands  at  the  bottom  of  the  column.  —  For 
grotesque  survivals  of   the  Bridge  of   Souls  in  folklore,  see    Tylor, 
Primitive  Culture,  Index. 

2  The  diagram  attempted  by  Windischmann,  Zoroastrische  Studien, 
p.  67,  is  inconsistent  with  the  Bundahish,  ch.  v.,  9.     So  must  be  every 
attempt  to  arrange  the  keshvares  on  a  flat  earth. 


of  Ilavrita,  is  the  holiest  mount  in  the  world.  Di 
rectly  over  it  is  the  true  heaven.  In  this  central 
polar  country  North  and  South  and  East  and  West 
would  have  no  application ;  but  speaking  from  their 
own  geographical  standpoint  as  south  of  Airan-vej, 
the  Persians  located  to  the  east  of  this  holy  central 
Kvaniras  the  keshvare  Savah,  to  the  west  Arzah,  to 
the  south  the  keshvares  Fradadafsh  and  Vidadafsh, 
and  to  the  north  Vorubarst  and  Vorugarst.1  This 
gives  a  map  of  the  northern  hemisphere  which  in  a 




The  Earth  of  the  Persians. 

1  Darmesteter  transliterates  the  names  as  follows  :  "  The  earth  is 
divided  into  seven  Karshvares,  separated  from  one  another  by  seas 
and  mountains  impassable  to  men.  Arezahi  and  Savahi  are  the  west 
ern  and  eastern  Karshvare  ;  Fradadhafshu  and  Vidadhafshu  are  in 
the  south  ;  Vouru£are.rti  and  Vouru£ar.rti  are  in  the  north  ;  flvzni- 
ratha  (Kvaniras)  is  the  central  Karshvare.  ^z/aniratha  is  the  only 
Karshvare  inhabited  by  man  (Bundahish,  xi.  3)."  —  Darmesteter,  The 
Zend-Avesta^  vol.  ii.,  p.  123  n. 


plane  polocentric  projection  may  be  represented  as 
on  the  foregoing  page,  the  polar  centre  of  course 
being  occupied  by  Hara-berezaiti. 

It  would  be  a  fascinating  task  to  reinterpret  the 
whole  Avestan  literature  and  mythology  in  the  new 
light  of  this  recovered  geography  and  cosmology,  but 
this  would  require  a  book  of  itself.  It  is  worthy  of 
remark  that  the  Venidad  expressly  calls  the  earth 
"  round,"  and  apparently  recognizes  the  existence  of 
its  two  far-separated  poles.1  As  we  have  seen,  its 
Chinvat  bridge  or  beam,  which  is  also  an  idea  so  an 
cient  as  to  be  found  in  the  Avesta  itself  (Farg.,  xix., 
30,  et  passim],  is  the  axis  of  the  world,  conducting 
good  souls  by  an  upward  "  flight "  into  the  north 
polar  heaven  of  Ahura  Mazda,  but  the  evil  by  a  fall 
"  headforemost "  into  the  south  polar  hell.2  Airan- 
vej,  or  "  Old  Iran,"  was  the  most  natural  name  in 
the  world  for  the  Iranians  to  give  to  the  traditional 
birth-place  of  their  race.3  But  all  attempts  to  find  it 
"  on  the  banks  of  the  Aras  "  or  "  in  the  far-off  lands 

1  The  Avesta  (Darmesteter),  i.,  p.  205  ;  ii.,  pp.  143,  144.     Compare 
Windischmann's  version  of  the  Farvardin  Yasht,  i.  3  :  "  die  beiden 
Enden  des  Himmels."     Studien,  p.  313. 

2  Apparently  through   the   passage  forced   through   the   earth  by 
Aharman  (Ahriman).     See  Z&d  Sparam,  ch.  ii.,  3,  4,  5.     West,  Pah- 
lavi  Texts,  vol.  i.,  p.  161.     Also  Bwidahish,  iii.    13.     Rhode,  Die  hei~ 
lige  Sage  des  Zendvolks,  p.  235.     Windischmann's  translation  of  Bun 
dahish,  ch.  xxxi.  (in  Darmesteter  numbered  xxx.),  seems  especially  to 
support  this  idea :  "  Ahriman  und  die  Schlange  werden  durch  die  Kraft 
der  Lobgesange  geschlagen  und  hiilflos  und  schwach  gemacht.     Auf 
jener  Briicke  des  Himmels,  auf  welcher  er  herbeilief,  wird  er  in  die 
tiefste  Finsterniss   zuriicklaufen.  .  .  .  Auch  dies  ist  gesagt :    Diese 
Erde  wird  rein  und  eben  sein  :  ausser  dem  Berg  Cakat-Cinvar  wird 
ein  Aufsteigen  und  ein  Hinabtragen  nicht  sein."     Zoroastrische  Stti- 
dien,  p.   117.     Compare  Plato's  "  chasms,"  with  ways  leading  hell- 
ward  and  heavenward.    Republic,  614. 

3  F.  C.  Cook,  Origins  of  Religion  and  Language.    London,  1884  :  p. 


of  the  rising  sun  " 1  are  entirely  useless.  Equally 
mistaken  is  the  gloss  which  merely  makes  it  "  prim 
itively"  the  mythic  land  where  the  disembodied 
"souls  of  the  righteous"  are  assembled  by  Ahura 
Mazda.2  The  same  must  be  said  of  the  assertion 
that  "the  real  site  of  the  Airan-vej  in  its  ancient  and 
original  conception  is  to  the  east  of  the  Caspian  Sea 
and  of  Lake  Aral."  3  By  every  particular  of  its  de 
scription  it  is  identified  with  the  Daitik  peak,  with 
Hara  -  berezaiti,  with  the  polar  "  river,"  the  polar 
"tree,"  the  polar  " centre  "  of  the  upper  hemisphere. 
It  is  simply  the  Arctic  Eden  of  humanity  remem 
bered  as  it  was  before  the  Evil  One  entered,  and  "  by 
his  witchcraft  counter-created  winter  and  the  worst 
of  plagues."4  This  being  the  case  we  need  not  won 
der  that  in  a  paper  on  "The  Aryan  Birth-place," 
read  in  January,  1884,  before  the  Royal  Society  of 
Literature,  Mr.  C.  J.  Stone  expressed  his  strong 
doubt  of  the  current  doctrine  that  the  cradle  of  the 
Aryans  was  the  upper  valleys  of  the  Oxus.5  The 

1  Darmesteter,  The  Avesta,  i.,  p.  3. 

2  Ibid.,  i,  p.  15. 

8  Lenormant,  The  Contemporary  Review,  Sept.,  1881  (Am.  ed.),  p. 
41. — Pietrement,  Les  Aryas,  locates  it  just  east  of  Lake  Balkach,  in 
lat.  45°-47°.  Grill  is  so  bewildered  by  the  number  of  attempted  iden 
tifications  that  he  pronounces  the  land  a  purely  mythical  one,  and  denies 
to  the  name  all  historic  or  geographic  reality.  Erzvater,  i.  218,  219. 

4  Fargard,  i.    3.     The  passage  continues,   "  There  are  (now)  ten 
winter  months  there,  two  summer  months  ;  and  those  are  cold  for  the 
waters,  cold  for  the  earth,  and  cold  for  the  trees."   This  reminiscence 
of  the  on-coming  of  the  Glacial  Age  at  the  Pole  also  appears  in  the 
Flood  legend  of  the    American   aborigines,  particularly  the  Lenni- 
Lenapi,  or  Delaware  Indians.     Rafinesque,  The  American  Nations. 
Phila.,  1836  :  Song  III. 

5  See  also  Dr.  O.  Schrader,  Sprachvergleichung  und  Urgeschichte. 
Linguistisch  -  historische  Beitrdge  zur   Erforschiing  des  indogerman- 
ischen  Alterthums.      Jena,  1883.      Dr.  S.  formerly   adhered  to  the 


cradle  of  the  whole  Aryan  family  will  at  last  be  found 
to  be  in  "  Airan,  the  Ancient,"  —  and  this  in  the 
Arctic  birth-place  of  man. 

theory  of  a  Mid- Asian  Aryan  birth-land,  but  has  been  led  to  abandon 
it.  Still  more  positive  and  emphatic  is  Karl  Penka,  who  boldly  lo 
cates  the  original  home  of  the  Aryans  in  Scandinavia.  See  his 
Origines  Ariaccz.  Linguistisch-ethnologische  Untersuchungen  zur  dl- 
testen  Geschichte  der  Arischen  Volker  und  Sprachen.  Vienna,  1883. 
Mr.  John  Gibb  argues  in  the  same  direction,  "  The  Original  Home 
of  the  Aryans,"  in  The  British  Quart.  Review,  Oct.,  1884. 



We  have  here,  even  to  the  most  minute  details,  an  exact  reproduction  of  the 
Aryan  conception  of  Mount  Meru,  or  Albordj,  with  its  accessories.  Here  is  the 
abode  of  the  heavenly  hierarchy,  located  on  the  summit  oftJie  Kharsak,  or  sacred 
mount  which  penetrates  the  heavens  exactly  in  the  region  of  the  Pole  star.  —  REV. 
O.  D.  MILLER. 

WE  have  already  seen  that  the  prehistoric  inhab 
itants  of  the  Tigro-Euphrates  basin,  called  by  some 
Akkadians,  by  others  Sumerians,  by  yet  others  Ak- 
kado-Sumerians,  had  like  other  Asiatic  peoples  their 
Mountain  of  the  World,  on  whose  top  was  the  celes 
tial  Paradise,  and  around  which  sun,  moon,  and  stars 
revolved.  Our  present  task  is  to  locate  this  moun 
tain  more  exactly,  and  to  consider  its  significance 
for  our  hypothesis  respecting  the  site  of  Eden. 

That  the  earth,  as  conceived  of  by  this  ancient 
people,  was  spherical  is  not  at  the  present  day  ques 
tioned.  With  their  ideas  probably  no  archseologist 
was  more  familiar  than  the  late  Francois  Lenor- 
mant,  and  he  expresses  himself  as  follows :  " '  The 
Chaldees,'  says  Diodorus  Siculus  (lib.  ii.,  31),  'have 
quite  an  opinion  of  their  own  about  the  shape  of  the 
earth  ;  they  imagine  it  to  have  the  form  of  a  boat 
turned  upside  down,  and  to  be  hollow  underneath.' 
This  opinion  remained  to  the  last  in  the  Chaldaean 
sacerdotal  schools ;  their  astronomers  believed  in 
it,  and  tried,  according  to  Diodorus,  to  support  it  by 


scientific  arguments.  //  is  of  very  ancient  origin,  a 
remnant  of  the  ideas  of  the  purely  Akkadian  period. 
.  .  .  Let  us  imagine,  then,  a  boat,  turned  over ;  not 
such  an  one  as  we  are  in  the  habit  of  seeing,  but  a 
round  skiff,  like  those  which  are  still  used  under  the 
name  of  Kufa  on  the  shores  of  the  lower  Tigris  and 
Euphrates,  and  of  which  there  are  many  represen 
tations  in  the  historical  sculptures  of  the  Assyrian 
palaces ;  the  sides  of  this  round  skiff  bend  upwards 
from  the  point  of  the  greatest  width,  so  that  they 
are  shaped  like  a  hollow  sphere  deprived  of  two 
thirds  of  its  height  [?],  and  showing  a  circular  open 
ing  at  the  point  of  division.  Such  was  the  form  of 
the  earth  according  to  the  authors  of  the  Akkadian 
magical  formulae  and  the  Chaldaean  astrologers  of 
after  years.  We  should  express  the  same  idea  in  the 
present  day  by  comparing  it  to  an  orange  of  which 
the  top  had  been  cut  off,  leaving  the  orange  upright 
upon  the  flat  surface  thus  produced.  The  upper  and 
convex  surface  constituted  the  earth  properly  so 
called,  the  inhabitable  earth  (ki)  or  terraqueous  sur 
face  (ki-a\  to  which  the  collective  name  kalama,  or 
the  countries,  is  also  given."  1 

It  is  well  known  that  in  minor  details  Diodorus  is 
often  found  not  altogether  trustworthy.  He  was  not 
a  critical  reporter.  While,  therefore,  in  the  above 
quotation  he  has  undoubtedly  preserved  to  us  one  of 
the  ancient  Chaldaean  similes,2  by  the  use  of  which 
the  true  figure  of  the  earth  was  taught,  I  can  but 
think  that  the  statement  as  to  the  hollowness  of  the 

1  Chaldaan  Magic,  p.  150. 

2  The  figure  was  also  used  by  the  Egyptians,  and  other  ancient  na 
tions.     See  Wilford,  in  Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  viii.,  p.  274.     Also 
articles  and  works  on  "  The  Ark  "  and  "  Arkite  Symbols." 


earth  underneath  is  an  unauthorized  inference,  sug 
gested  by  the  hollow  boat,  and  made  by  the  compar 
atively  uninstructed  Greek  solely  upon  his  own  re 
sponsibility.  It  is  true  that,  in  the  same  work  from 
which  the  above  extract  is  taken,  Lenormant  endeav 
ors  to  adjust  Akkadian  cosmology  to  such  a  notion 
of  a  hollow  sphere,  saying,  "  The  interior  concavity 
opening  from  underneath  was  the  terrestrial  abyss, 
ge,  where  the  dead  found  a  home  (kur-nu-de,  ki-gal, 
aralli).  The  central  point  in  it  was  the  nadir,  or,  as 
it  was  called,  '  the  root,'  uru>  the  foundation  of  the 
whole  structure  of  the  world ;  this  gloomy  region  wit 
nessed  the  nocturnal  journey  of  the  sun."1  But  noth 
ing  can  be  more  evident  on  examination  than  that 
this  attempt  involves  the  writer  in  at  least  three  in 
consistencies  :  First,  if  the  sun  visits  the  interior  of 
the  earth  at  night,  its  proper  orbit  cannot  be  round 
and  round  the  Mountain  of  the  World  to  the  north 
east  of  Babylonia,  as  our  author  elsewhere  repre 
sents.  Second,  if  aralli,  the  abode  of  the  dead,  is  in 
the  interior  of  the  hollow  earth,  it  cannot  be  to  the 
northeast  of  Babylonia,  as  it  is  represented  to  be  in 
the  context.  Third,  if  the  earth  was  conceived  of 
as  hollow,  of  course  its  whole  central  portion  was 
empty  space;  but  according  to  this  presentation  its 
central  point  "was  called  'the  root,'  uru,  the  foun 
dation  of  the  whole  structure  of  the  world."  Surely 
the  foundation  of  the  world  can  scarcely  have  been 
supposed  to  be  mere  emptiness.  To  a  layman  in 
these  studies  this  uru  would  much  rather  suggest 

1  Ibid.,  p.  150.  —  It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the  expression  "root" 
of  the  world,  or  "  root-land,"  is  applied  to  the  same  subterranean 
region  of  darkness  in  Japanese  mythology.  See  "  Shintoistn,"  by 
Griffis  in  McClintock  and  Strong's  Cyclopedia,  vol.  ix.,  p.  688. 


the  antarctic  Tap-en-to  mountain  of  ancient  Egyp 
tian  thought,  the  Ku-Meru  of  ancient  India. 

But  it  is  time  to  return  to  the  Akkadian,  or  Ak- 
kado-Sumerian,  mountain  of  the  gods.  Again  we 
quote  Lenormant :  "  Above  the  earth  extended  the 
sky  (ana),  spangled  with  its  fixed  stars  (mul),  and 
revolving  round  the  Mountain  of  the  East  (Kharsak 
Kurra),  the  column  which  joins  the  heavens  and  the 
earth,  and  serves  as  an  axis  to  the  celestial  vault. 
The  culminating  point  in  the  heavens,  the  zenith 
(nuzkti),1  was  not  this  axis  or  pole  ;  on  the  contrary, 
it  was  situated  immediately  above  the  country  of 
Akkadia,  which  was  regarded  as  the  centre  of  the 
inhabited  lands,  whilst  the  mountain  which  acted  as 
a  pivot  to  the  starry  heavens  was  to  the  northeast  of 
this  country.  Beyond  the  mountain,  and  also  to  the 
northeast,  extended  the  land  of  aralli,  which  was 
very  rich  in  gold,  and  was  inhabited  by  the  gods  and 
blessed  spirits."  2 

Here  we  have  the  "  Mountain  of  the  East "  lo 
cated,  not  in  the  east,  but  in  the  northeast.  Else 
where  our  author  recognizes  most  fully  the  identity 
of  this  mount  with  the  Har-Moed  of  Isaiah  xiv.  14, 
and  the  difficulty  of  placing  it  anywhere  but  at  the 
North  Pole.3  He  adduces  from  the  cuneiform  texts 
no  evidence  whatever  for  a  location  to  the  "  north 
east,"  and  seems  to  fix  upon  that  direction  only  as  a 
compromise  of  his  own.  "  Nous  devons  conclure  "  is 
his  language.  His  only  reason  for  thinking  of  any 
other  position  than  one  due  north  appears  to  be  a 
cuneiform  expression  which  seems  to  make  Khar 
sak  Kurra  at  the  same  time  "  the  mountain  of  the 

1  Paku  in  the  French  edition.  2  Chaldaan  Magic,  p.  150. 

8  Fragments  de  B erase,  pp.  392,  393. 


This,  in  reality,  instead  of  being  a  rea 
son  for  searching  among  the  mountains  to  the  east 
of  Assyria  or  Babylonia,  is,  when  rightly  understood, 
precisely  an  additional  reason  for  looking  to  the 

One  other  statement  in  the  extract  calls  for  no 
tice.  The  writer  seems  to  have  anticipated  that  his 
readers  would  inevitably  locate  a  mountain,  described 
as  "the  column  which  joins  the  heavens  and  the 
earth,  and  serves  as  an  axis  to  the  celestial  vault," 
under  the  celestial  pole  ;  and  believing  that  the 
cuneiform  texts  which  locate  the  celestial  pole  di 
rectly  over  Akkad  (or  Akkadia),  "  the  centre  of  the 
inhabited  lands,"  to  be  inconsistent  with  such  a  loca 
tion,  he  introduces  the  remark  that  "  the  culminat 
ing  point  in  the  heavens  "  was  "  not  the  axis  or  pole ; 
on  the  contrary,  it  was  situated  immediately  over 
the  country  of  Akkadia,  which  was  regarded  as  the 
centre  of  the  inhabited  lands,  whilst  the  mountain 
which  acted  as  a  pivot  to  the  starry  heavens  was  to 
the  northeast  of  this  country." 

1  The  following  from  his  latest  account  of  the  mountain  will  be  val 
ued  :  "  La  'montagne  des  pays  '  est  le  lieu  ou  resident  les  dieux.  .  .  . 
Elle  est  situee  au  nord,  vient  de  nous  dire  Yescha'  yahou ;  a  1'est 
disent  les  documents  cuneiformes,  ou  1'expression  accadienne  'garsag 
babbara=  assyriene  sad  fit  samsi,  '  la  montagne  du  levant,'  apparait 
comme  synonyme  de  1'accadien  'garsag  kurkurra  =  assyrien  sad  ma- 
tati ;  d'ou  nous  devons  conclure  que  c'est  au  nord-est  du  bassin  de 
1'Euphrate  et  du  Tigre  qu'on  la  supposait  placee.    C'est  elle  qui  vaut 
a  1'orient,  son  nom  accadien  de  mer  kurra  et  son  nom  assyrien  de 
sadti  signifiant  tous  les  deux  '  le  point  cardinal  de  la  montagne.'     Et 
le  sens  de  ce  terme  est  bien  precise  par  la  variante  accadienne  mer 
'garsag,  oil  ce  mot,  dont  le  sens  '  la  montagne '  est  incontestable,  se 
substitue  a  son  synonyme  kur,  dont  la  signification  cut  pu  etre  dou- 
teuse."  —  Les  Origines  de  VHistoire,  vol.  ii.,  I,  p.  126. 

2  See  Menzel,  Die  vorchristliche  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  Bd.  i.,  chap 
ter  entitled  "  Der  Sonnengarten  am  Nordpol,"  pp.  87-93. 


From  so  eminent  an  authority  one  naturally  hesi 
tates  to  differ  ;  but  inasmuch  as  M.  Joachim  Menard, 
in  a  work  as  recent  as  the  one  from  which  we  have 
quoted,  while  agreeing  with  M.  Lenormant  in  mak 
ing  Akkad  the  traditional  "  centre  of  the  earth,"  dif 
fers  from  him  in  locating  precisely  in  this  central 
country  "  the  mountain  on  whose  apex  the  heaven  of 
the  fixed  stars  is  pivoted,"  1  we  cannot  avoid  the 
conclusion  that  Lenormant's  distinction  between  the 
zenith  of  Akkad  and  the  celestial  pole  is  based  upon 
a  misapprehension,  and  is  productive  only  of  con 
fusion.  The  solution  of  all  difficulties  is  found  the 
moment  the  mythological  Akkad  is  made  a  cir- 
cumpolar  mother-country,  after  which  the  Akkad  of 
the  Tigro-Euphrates  valley  was  commemoratively 
named.2  This  supposition  is  made  all  the  easier  by 
three  noteworthy  facts :  (i)  that  both  the  names 
Akkad  and  Sumir  are  not  Assyrio-Babylonian,  but 
loan  -  words  from  an  older  prehistoric  tongue  ;  3 
(2)  that  the  etymological  signification  and  appella 
tives  of  Akkad  thoroughly  identify  it  with  the  lofty 
country  at  the  north  polar  summit  of  the  earth  ; 4 

1  "  Le  pays  d' Akkad  est  regarde,  d'apres  les  plus  antiques  tradi 
tions,  comme  le  centre  de  la  terre  ;  c'est  la  que  s'eleve  la  montagne 
sur  la  cime  de  laquelle  pivote  le  ciel  des  etoiles  fixes."  —  Babylone  et 
la  Chaldee.     Paris,  1875 :  P-  46- 

2  Compare  the  primitive  name  of  Babylon,   Tin-tir-ki,  "  Place  of 
the  Tree  of  Life."     Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History,  p.  85. 

3  "  II  est  certain  que  les  mots  Sumir  et  Akkad  n'appartiennent  pas 
a  la  langue  assyro-chaldeenne.   Us  sont  propres  a  une  langue  anteri- 
eure  ;  et  nous  savons,  par  les  explications  memes  des  Assyriens,  que 
Akkad  veut  dire  '  montagne.'  "  —  Menant,   Babylone  et  la  Chaldee. 
Paris,  1875  :  P-  47- 

4  "  Akkad  is  bovendien  zeker  een  hoog  land,  geen  lage  vlakte  bij  de 
zee,  zooals  ook  een  glosse  het  door  tilla,  hoogte,  verklaart."     C.  P. 
Tiele,  Is  Sumer  en  Akkad  hetzelfde  ah  Makan  en  Melucha  ?    Am 
sterdam,  1883  :  p.  6.    Compare  last  preceding  note  :  Akkad  =  "  mon- 


and  (3)  that  recently  discovered  tablets  are  compel 
ling  the  Assyriologists  to  recognize  two  Akkads, 
one  in  the  Tigro-Euphrates  valley  and  one  much 
farther  to  the  North,  though  as  yet  none  of  these 
scholars  have  looked  as  far  in  that  direction  as  to 
the  Pole.1 

If  further  proof  were  needed  that  the  Kharsak 
Kurra  of  the  earliest  inhabitants  of  Mesopotamia 
was  identical  with  the  north  polar  World-mountain 
of  Egypt  and  the  surrounding  Asiatic  nations,  it 
would  be  found  on  investigating  their  conceptions  of 
the  region  of  the  disembodied  dead  and  their  notion 
of  a  mountain  of  the  rulers  of  the  dead  antipodal  to 
the  mount  of  the  gods.  The  Akkadians,  like  the 
ancients  generally,  conceived  of  the  realm  of  the 
dead  as  located  to  the  South.  Their  underworld  be 
ing  simply  the  under  or  southern  hemisphere  of  the 
earth,  they  could  not  place  it  in  any  other  direction. 
In  naming  the  cardinal  points  the  Akkadians  there 
fore  called  the  South  "\hefunereal  point."  2  In  this 
quarter  was  located  the  mount  of  the  rulers  of  the 

tagne."  Also  Smith,  The  Phonetic  Values  of  the  Cuneiform  Charac 
ters.  London,  1871  :  p.  17. 

1  See  Proceedings  of  the  Society  of  Biblical  Archaology,    London, 
Nov.-Dec.,  1 88 1.     "Mr.  Pinches,  in  a  further  communication  on  the 
"Paris  Tablet  [in  cuneiform  characters,  but  supposed  to  be  Cappado- 
cian  in  origin],  observes  :  '  The  question  of  the  original  home  of  the 
Akkadians  is  affected  thereby.  ...  As  it  seems  that  the  country  north 
of  Assyria  was  also  called  Akkad,  as  well  as  the  northern  part  of 
Babylonia,  the  neighborhood  of  Cappadocia  as  the  home  of  the  Ak 
kadian  race  may  be  regarded  as  a  very  possible  explanation,  etc.'  " 
Brown,   Myth  of  Kirkt.     London,  1883  :   p.  87.     Finzi,  in  his  Carta 
del  Mondo  conosciuto  dagli  Assiri  tracciata  secondo  le  inscrizioni  cunei- 
formi,  does  not  venture  to  locate  either  Akkad  or  Kharsak  Kurra. 

2  Chaldaan  Magic,  Eng.  ed.,  p.   168,   169.     Compare  F.  Finzi,  Ri- 
cerche  per  lo  Studio  delV  Antichita  Assira.      Turin,   1872  :  p.    109 
note  1 8. 


dead.  It  was  the  under  or  south  polar  projection 
of  the  earth.  It  corresponded  with  the  south  polar 
mount  of  demons  in  Hindu  and  in  Egyptian  thought. 
Even  Lenormant,  whose  mistake  in  locating  the 
mount  of  the  gods  in  the  East,  logically  leads  to 
the  mistake  of  locating  this  mount  of  the  rulers  of 
the  dead  in  the  West,  still  unconsciously  gives  evi 
dence  as  to  the  true  location  by  stating  that  it  is 
"situated  in  the  low-down  portions  of  the  earth."1 
And  elsewhere  he  has  told  us  that  in  the  Akkadian 
language  to  descend  and  to  go  southward  were  sy 
nonymous  expressions.2 

With  Professor  Friedrich  Delitzsch,  then,  we  lo 
cate  the  Akkadian  Kharsak  Kurra  at  the  North.3 
Once  make  the  primeval  Akkad  the  equivalent  of 
Ilavrita  in  Hindu,  or  of  Kvaniras  in  Iranian,  mythol 
ogy,  and  all  is  perfectly  plain  and  self-consistent. 
The  primitive  Akkad  is  now  "the  centre  of  all 
lands "  in  the  same  sense  in  which  Ilavrita  and 
Kvaniras  are  in  their  respective  systems.  As  in 
both  these  systems  the  mount  of  the  gods  is  in  the 
centre  of  this  central  country,  so  is  Kharsak  Kurra. 
Su-Meru  and  Hara-berezaiti  and  Kwen-lun  are 
each  exactly  under  the  Pole-star,  having  it  in  their 
zenith  ;  the  same  is  true  of  Kharsak  Kurra.  As 
every  splendor  of  a  divine  abode  crowns  the  top  of 
all  the  former,  so  is  the  summit  of  Kharsak  resplen 
dent  beyond  description.  As  the  sun,  moon,  and 
stars  revolve  around  the  Hindu  and  Iranian  and 
Chinese  mounts,  so  is  Kharsak  the  point  "  on  which 

1  "  Situee  dans  les  parties  basses  de  la  terre."  —  Origines,  torn,  ii 
i,  p.  134- 

2  The  Beginnings  of  History,  p.  313  n.  4. 
1   Wo  lag  das  Paradies  ?  p.  1 21. 


the  heaven  of  the  fixed  stars  is  pivoted."  Moreover 
from  its  top  flows  that  Eden  river,  which,  like  Gunga 
and  Ardvi-Sura,  waters  the  whole  earth.1 

Under  these  circumstances  the  candid  reader  will 
probably  be  prepared  to  agree  with  the  statement 
of  Mr.  Miller  which  we  have  made  the  motto  to  this 
chapter,  and  to  say  with  Gerald  Massey,  only  with 
better  understanding  than  his,  "The  cradle  of  the 
Akkadian  race  was  the  '  Mountain  of  the  World/ 
that  'Mount  of  the  Congregation  in  the  thighs  of 
the  North.'  .  .  .  The  first  mount  of  mythology  was 
the  Mount  of  the  Seven  Stars,  Seven  Steps,  Seven 
Stages,  Seven  Caves,  which  represented  the  celestial 
North  as  the  birth-place  of  the  initial  motion  and 
the  beginning  of  time.  This  starting-point  in 
heaven  above  is  the  one  original  for  the  many  copies 
found  on  the  earth  below.  .  .  .  The  Akkadians  date 
from  Urdhu,  the  district  of  the  northern  Mountain 
of  the  World."  2 

1  Of  this  celestial  source  Lenormant  speaks  as  follows :  "  .  .  .  et 
la  fontaine  divine  Ghetim-kour-kou  de  la  montagne  des  pays  des  Chal- 
deens.     Cette  derniere  fontaine,  dont  le  nom  est  accadien  et  veut  dir 
'  las  ource  qui  enveloppe  la  montagne  sainte/  est  dite  '  fille  de  1'Ocean,' 
mar  at  apsi,  et  invoquee  comme  une  deesse  douee  d'une  personal  ite 
vivante,  pareille  a  celle  que  revet  chez  les  Iraniens  Ardvicoura-Ana- 
hita.    L'existence  chez  les  Chaldeens  de  la  croyance  a  un  cours  d'eau 
mythique  d'ou  precedent  tous  les  fleuves  de  la  terre  semble  attestee 
par  la  mention  d'une  riviere  (dont  le  nom  est  malheureusement  en 
partie  detruit  sur  la  tablette  qui  contient  ce  reseignement)  laquelle  est 
qualifiee  ftumme  na'r'i  '  la  mere  des  fleuves.'  "     Origines,  torn.  ii.  i, 
p.  133.     Compare  Siouffi,  La  Religion  des  Soubbhas  ou  Sabeens,  Paris, 
1880,  p.  7  n.,  where  the  Euphrates  is  represented  as  rising  in  a  celes 
tial  Paradise  (Olmi  Danhouro)  under  the  throne  of  Avatha,  whose 
throne  is  under  the  Pole  star. 

2  A  Book  of  Beginnings.     London,  1881  :  vol.  ii.,  p.  520. 



According  to  the  Kamite  legend  related  by  Diodorus,  Osiris  and  I  sis  lived  to 
g-ether  in  Nysa,  or  Paradise.  Here  there  was  a  garden  wherein  the  deathless 
dwelt.  Here  they  lived  in  perfect  happiness  until  Osiris  was  seized  with  the  de 
sire  to  drink  the  water  of  immortality .  Then  he  went  forth  in  search  of  it,  and 
fell.  .  .  •  But  an  earlier  couple  than  Osiris  and  I  sis  was  Sevekh  and  Ta-urt,  who 
as  the  two  constellations  of  the  seven  stars  revolving  round  the  Tree,  or  Pole,  were 
the  primeval  pair  in  Paradise.  —  The  Natural  Genesis. 

THE  mythical  geography  of  the  ancient  Egyptians 
is  as  yet  too  little  known  to  allow  us  to  hope  for  much 
light  from  this  quarter  on  the  question  of  the  site  of 
Eden.  Even  their  cosmology  is  little  understood, 
and  their  scientific  attainments  are  by  many  inexcus 
ably  underestimated.  So  good  a  scholar  as  Mr.  Vil- 
liers  Stuart  could  recently  write,  "  The  Egyptians 
had  not  attained  to  a  sufficiently  advanced  point  in 
science  to  solve  the  problem  of  how  the  sun  in  his 
daily  course,  having  sunk  behind  the  western  hori 
zon,  returned  to  rise  at  the  opposite  quarter  of  the 
heavens."  1  Nevertheless,  as  we  desire  to  test  our 
hypothesis  as  far  as  possible  by  all  most  ancient  tra 
ditions  and  myths,  whether  favorable  or  unfavorable, 
we  must  inquire  whether  anything  can  be  ascer 
tained  as  to  the  ideas  of  the  ancient  Egyptians  touch- 

1  Nile  Gleanings.  London,  1879 :  p.  262.  This  is  as  bad  as  the 
declaration  of  Lauer :  "  Und  so  glaube  ich  dass  auch  Homer  nie 
daran  gedacht  hat,  wie  die  Sonne  wieder  aus  dem  Westen  in  den  Osten 
gelange."  Nachlass.  Berlin,  1851 :  vol.  i.,  p.  317. 


ing  the  form  of  the  earth  and  the  theatre  of  man's 
first  history. 

The  leading  features  of  Egyptian  cosmology,  as 
interpreted  by  the  present  writer,  are  in  perfect  ac 
cord  with  the  cosmological  ideas  of  other  ancient 
nations  as  described  in  chapter  first  of  the  present 
division.  They  may  be  briefly  expressed  in  the  six 
following  theses  :  — 

1.  That  in  ancient  Egyptian   thought   the  earth 
was  conceived  of  as  a  sphere,  with  its  axis  perpen 
dicular  and  its  North  Pole  at  the  top. 

2.  That  in  the  earliest  time  Amenti  was  conceived 
of  neither  as  a  cavern  in  the  bowels  of  the  earth, 
nor  as  a  region  of  the  earth  to  the  West,  on  the 
same  general  plane  as  the  land  of  Egypt,  but  was 
simply  the  under  or   southern   hemisphere   of   the 
earth,  conceived  of  as  just  described. 

3.  That  the  Tat  pillar  symbolized  the  axis  of  the 
world  (heaven  and  earth)  upright  in  space. 

4.  That  Ta  nuter,  whatever  its  later  applications, 
originally  signified  the  extreme  northern  or  topmost 
point  of  the  globe,  where  earth  and  heaven  were  fa 
bled  to  meet. 

5.  That  Cher-nut er  was  the  inferior  celestial  hemi 
sphere  underarching  Amenti. 

6.  That  Hes  and  Nebt-ha  (Isis  and  Nephthys)  were 
respectively  goddesses  of  the  North  and  South  poles, 
or  of  the  northern  and  southern  heavens.1 

Assuming  now,  with  Chabas,  Lieblein,  Lefevre, 
and  Ebers,  that  the  earth  of  the  ancient  Egyptians, 

1  In  a  brief  communication  published  in  T/ie  Independent,  New 
York,  Feb.  8,  1883,  the  critical  attention  of  Egyptologists  was  respect 
fully  invited  to  these  theses.  Since  that  time  much  new  evidence  of 
their  correctness  has  come  to  light.  See,  for  example,  the  new  The 
saurus  Inscriptionum  of  Brugsch,  pp.  176,  177,  et  passim. 


like  that  of  the  ancient  Asiatic  nations,  was  spherical, 
what  was  their  conception  of  its  northern  terminus  ? 
In  chapter  first  of  this  Part,  some  indication  has 
been  already  given.  But  our  present  investigation 
demands  a  fuller  answer  to  this  question.  Turning 
to  the  great  work  of  Brugsch  on  the  "  Geographical 
Inscriptions  of  the  Old -Egyptian  Monuments,"  we 
find  that  the  Egyptians  considered  the  farthest  limit 
in  the  North  to  be  "the  four  pillars  or  supports  of 
heaven." l  The  fact  that  these  four  supports  of 
heaven,  instead  of  being  situated  in  four  opposite 
directions  from  Egypt,  are  all  in  the  farthest  North, 
is  very  significant.  It  shows  that  though  the  people 
might  speak  of  heaven  as  supported  on  four  pillars, 
it  is  not  to  be  inferred  therefrom  that  they  conceived 
of  the  earth  as  flat,  and  of  the  sky  as  a  flat  Oriental 
roof  one  story  above  it.2  Brugsch  himself,  though 
writing  upon  the  supposition  that  the  Egyptians' 
earth  was  flat,  avoids  this  mistake.  His  inference, 
coming  from  one  who  had  a  traditional  wrong  theory 
to  support,  is  most  interesting  and  valuable.  He 
says,  "  Inasmuch  as  these  '  four  supports  of  heaven,' 
the  northern  limit  of  the  earth  as  known  to  the 
Egyptians,  nowhere  else  occur  as  name  of  people, 
land,  or  river,  it  seems  to  me  most  probable  that  we 
have  herein  the  designation  of  a  high  mountain 
which  was  perhaps  characterized  by  four  peaks,  or 

1  "  Die  Ansicht  von  den  Enden  der  Welt  ist  eine  uralte  und  vielen 
Volkern  gemeinsame.  .  .  .  Als  die  ausserste  Grenze  im  Siiden  gait 
den  Egyptern  das  Meer  CSar)  und  der  Berg  ap-en-to  oder  tap-en-to^ 
wortlich  '  das  Horn  der  Welt ;  '  als  die  ausserste  Grenze  im  Norden 
dagegen  '  die  vier  Stiitzen  des  Himmels.'  "   Geographische  Inschriften, 
Bd.  ii.,  p.  35.     Compare  Taylor's  Pausaniasy  vol.  iii.,  255,  bot. 

2  Maspero,  Les  Contes  Populaires  de  FEgypte  Andenne.     Paris, 
1882  :  pp.  Ixi.-lxiii. 


which  consisted  of  four  ranges,  from  which  pecu 
liarity  it  received  its  name.  Like  all  peoples  of  an 
tiquity,  —  at  least  all  those  whose  literature  has 
come  down  to  us,  —  the  Egyptians  conceived  of  the 
earth  as  rising  toward  the  North,  so  that  at  last  at 
its  northernmost  point  it  joined  the  sky  and  sup 
ported  it."  1 

In  the  Buddhist  conception  of  Meru,  as  given  in 
chapter  first  of  this  Part,  we  have  precisely  the  four- 
peaked,  heaven-supporting  mountain  which  Brugsch 
here  describes  :  "  Each  of  the  four  corners  of  the 
mountain-top  has  a  peak  seven  hundred  yojanas 
high."  It  is  not  impossible  that  in  the  four  dwarfs 
which  support  the  dome  of  the  modern  Buddhist 
temple  we  have  a  far-off  survival  of  ancient  Egypt's 
"  four  supports  of  heaven."  Certainly  the  Buddhist 
temple-roofs  symbolize  the  circumpolar  heaven,2  and 
a  recent  author,  touching  upon  the  latter' s  mytholog 
ical  support,  writes  as  follows  :  "  This  prop  passing 
through  the  earth  and  the  heavens  at  the  pole,  indi 
cated  as  we  have  seen  by  the  Alpha  of  Draco,  be 
came  the  '  nail '  of  the  old  astronomers,  the  point 
round  which  all  nature  revolved.  Between  earth 
and  the  celestial  pole  the  prop  idea  was  again 
brought  forward  as  the  central  column  of  a  huge 
conical  mountain,  Mount  Meru,  guarded  at  each 
cardinal  point  by  a  mighty  king.  The  four  dwarfs 
propping  up  some  of  the  columns  in  the  old  Bud 
dhist  temples  are  evidently  these  four  kings.  .  .  . 
When  the  prop  pierced  the  highest  heaven  it  was  a 
spire  called  the  *  tee,'  and  in  Nepal  it  is  confessedly 

1  Geographische  Inschriften^  Bd.  ii.,  p.  37. 

2  Koeppen,  Die  Religion  dcs  Buddhas,  ii.  262. 


in  all  the  temples  the  symbol  of  Adi  Buddha,  the 
supreme,  in  his  heavenly  garden,  Nandana  grove."  l 

But  returning  from  this  merely  curious  question, 
we  remind  ourselves  that  we  have  seen  reason  to 
believe  that  the  ancient  Egyptians  conceived  of  the 
earth  as  a  sphere,  with  a  heaven-supporting  moun 
tain  in  the  extreme  North.  In  the  extreme  South 
was  another  mountain,  "The  Horn  of  the  World," 
represented  as  of  incredible  height  (eight  atur  or 
stadia).2  This  corresponds  so  perfectly  with  the 
earth  of  the  Puranas,  with  its  Su-Meru  and  Ku-Meru, 
that  we  are  irresistibly  impelled  to  inquire  whether 
the  parallelism  extends  any  farther. 

We  take  the  question  of  the  direction  of  the  abode 
of  the  dead.  All  agree  that  in  Indian  thought  the 
abode  of  the  dead  is  in  the  South.  So  was  it  in  the 
thought  of  the  ancient  Egyptian.  The  recently  dis 
covered  epitaph  of  Queen  Isis-em-Kheb,  mother-in- 
law  of  Shishak,  king  of  Assyria  (circa  1000  B.  c.), 
thus  reads  :  "  She  is  seated  all  beautiful  in  her  place 
enthroned,  among  the  gods  of  the  South  she  is 
crowned  with  flowers.  She  is  seated  in  her  beauty 
in  the  arms  of  Khonsou,  her  father,  fulfilling  his 
desires.  He  is  in  Amenti,  the  place  of  departed 
spirits."  3 

Again,  in  the  mythological  earth  of  India,  the 
abode  of  the  dead,  being  the  southern  or  under  hemi 
sphere,  is  looked  upon  as  inverted.  Viewed  from 
the  standpoint  of  gods  and  men,  it  is  bottom  up 
ward,  and  its  inhabitants  move  about  head  down- 

1  Lillie,  Buddha  and  Early  Buddhism,  p-  50. 

2  See  first  quotation  from  Brugsch  above. 

3  Villiers  Stuart,  The  Funeral  Tent  of  an  Egyptian  Queen.  Lon 
don,  1882  :  p.  34.     See  also  "  Homer's  Abode  of  the  Dead  "  in  the 
APPENDIX,  Sect.  VI. 


ward.1     The  same  is  true  of  Amenti,  the  Egyptian 
underworld,  and  of  its  inhabitants.2 

Again,  in  Hindu  thought  all  deadly  influences  pro 
ceed  from  the  South,  the  abode  of  death ;  all  benefi 
cent  and  life-giving  influences  from  the  North.  The 
same  is  true  in  ancient  Egyptian  thought.  "It  is 
curious,"  says  the  English  editor  of  Lenormant's 
"  Chaldaean  Magic,"  3  —  "it  is  curious  that  in  Egypt 
all  good  and  healing  and  life  proceeded  from  the 
West,  the  land  of  the  setting  sun,  and  all  evil  from 
the  East  the  land  of  its  rising."  The  statement  is 
"  curiously  "  incorrect.  The  North  is  the  sacred 
quarter,  and  from  the  North  come  life  and  blessing. 
The  North  wind  is  the  very  breath  of  God.  It 
"proceeds  from  the  nostrils  of  Knum  and  enlivens 
all  creatures."  4  It  is  one  of  the  high  prerogatives 
of  the  blessed  dead  to  "breathe  the  delicious  air 
of  the  North  wind."5  That  they  may  breathe  it  is 

1  "  The  gods  in  heaven  are  beheld  by  the  inhabitants  of  hell  as 
they  move  with  their  heads  inverted."  —  Garrett,  Classical  Dictionary 
of  India :   Art.  "  Naraka." 

2  See  Brugsch,  Hieroglyphischcs  Demotisches  Wbrterbuch,  S.  1331, 
sub  v.  "  Set,"  "  Set-mati."    Also  chapter  first  of  the  present  division. 

8  Page  51.  —  Undoubtedly  there  are  Egyptian  texts  in  which  the 
sun-god  Ra  is  represented  as  going  into  "  the  land  of  life  "  at  his  set 
ting  (see  Brugsch,  Thesattrtis  Inscriptionum  sEgyptiacarum,\ste  Abth., 
Leipsic,  1883:  p.  29),  but  this  is  made  quite  intelligible  by  Menzel's 
"  Sonnengarten  am  Nordpol  "  in  his  Vorchristliche  Unsterblichkeits- 

4  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  iv.,  p.  67. 

5  Ibid.,  p.  3.     Compare  the  expression,  "  Give  the  sweet  breath 
of  the  North  wind  to  the  Osiris,"  Book  of  the  Dead  (Birch),  p.   170  ; 
also  311,  312.      Gerald  Massey  remarks,  "In  Egyptian   the  Meh  is 
the  North,  the  quarter  of  the  waters,  and  the  name  of  the  cool  wind 
that  breathed  new  life."     The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  ii.,  p.  168.     The 
following  very  curious  passage  from  the  apocryphal  Book  of  Adam, 
translated  from  the  Ethiopic  by  Dillmann,  shows  that  this  ancient 
Egyptian  idea  survived  to  a  very  late  period:  "Als  der  Hcrr  den 



the  prayer  of  bereaved  affection.1  The  "  Fields  of 
Peace  "  are  at  the  North  of  the  fields  of  Sanehem-u.2 
There  is  the  proper  home  of  the  great  god  of  whom 
the  Nile  poet  sang:  — 

"  There  is  no  building  that  can  contain  him  ! 

"  There  is  no  counselor  in  thy  heart  ! 

"  Thy  youth  delight  in  thee,  thy  children  ; 

"  Thou  directest  them  as  King. 

"  Thy  law  is  established  in  the  whole  land, 

" In  the  presence  of  thy  servants  in  the  North" 

Of  the  same  god  it  is  said  :  — 

"  He  createth  all  works  therein, 
"  All  writings,  all  sacred  words, 
"  All  his  implements,  in  the  North."  3 

As  yet  no  texts  have  been  discovered  which  rep 
resent  the  earliest  Egyptian  ideas  of  the  origin  of 
man  and  the  location  of  his  birth-place.  One  proof, 
however,  that  man  was  conceived  of  as  having  pro 
ceeded  from  the  "  Land  of  the  Gods  "  in  the  North 
appears  in  connection  with  the  myth  of  the  reign  of 
Ra.  In  Egyptian  mythology,  the  reign  of  Ra  was 
like  the  primeval  reign  of  Kronos ;  the  myth  of  it 
was  a  reminiscence  of  the  sinless  Golden  Age.4  But 

Adam  austrieb,  wollte  er  ihn  auf  der  Siidgrenze  des  Gartens  nicht 
wohnen  lassen,  weil  der  Nordivind,  wann  er  darin  bldset,  den  siissen 
Geruch  der  Bdume  des  Gartens  nach  der  Siidgegend  hinfiikrt ;  und 
Adam  sollte  nicht  die  siissen  Geriiche  der  Baume  riechen,  und  die 
Uebertretung  vergessen,  und  sich  iiber  das  was  er  gethan  trosten, 
und  durch  den  Geruch  der  Baume  befriedigt  die  Busse  flir  die  Ueber 
tretung  unterlassen.  Vielmehr  liess  der  barmherzige  Gott  den  Adam 
in  der  Gegend  westlich  vom  Garten  wohnen."  Dillmann,  S.  13. 

1  "Dans  le  papyre  Boulak  No.  3,4,  16,  on  souhait  a  un  defunt: 
•les  agreables  vents  du  Nord  dans  la  AM  Hi.'  "  —  Brugsch,  Diction' 
naire  Geographique.     Leipsic,  1879  :  p.  37. 

2  Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  iv.,  p.  122. 
8  Ibid.,  p.  101. 

4  Maspero,  Histoire  Ancienne  des  Peuples  de  V Orient,  p.  38. 


in  those  primeval  and  perfect  days  men  still  dwelt 
in  the  country  of  the  gods,  which  country,  as  we 
have  seen,  was  in  the  highest  North.  And  because 
they  still  occupied  the  heaven  -  touching  mountain, 
the  rebellion  by  which  they  forfeited  their  estate  of 
blessedness  is  expressly  described  as  "on  the  moun 
tain,"1 —  an  object  not  easily  found  in  Egypt. 

The  same  teaching  is  further  supported  by  the 
language  of  certain  scholars,  who,  without  any  par 
ticular  theory  as  to  the  location  of  Eden,  have  held 
that  the  hieroglyph  used  in  Egyptian  texts  as  the 
determinative  prefix  to  names  designating  civilized 
lands,  £^,  is  simply  a  pictorial  symbol  of  primitive 

Eden  divided  by  its  fourfold  river.2  A  writer  in 
the  Edinburgh  Review,  said  to  be  Mr.  Walter  Wil- 
kins,  remarks  :  "  The  Buddhists  and  Brahmans,  who 
together  constitute  nearly  half  the  population  of  the 
world,  tell  us  that  the  decussated  figure  of  the  cross, 
whether  in  a  simple  or  complex  form,  symbolizes 
the  traditional  happy  abode  of  their  primeval  ances 
tors,  —  the  Paradise  of  Eden  toward  the  East,  as  we 
find  it  expressed  in  the  Hebrew.  And,  let  us  ask, 
what  better  picture  or  more  significant  characters, 

1  "  Wahrend  er,  der  Gott  der  das  Sein  selber  ist,  seines  Konig- 
thums  waltete,  da  waren  die  Menschen  und  die  Gotter  zusammen 
vereint."     Brugsch,  Die  neiie  Weltordmmg  nach  Vertilgung  des  siin- 
digen  Menschengeschlechts.     Berlin,   1881  :  p.  20.     Naville,  The  De 
struction  of  Mankind  by  Ra.    Records  of  the  Past,  vol.  vi.,  pp.  103  seq. 

2  Sometimes  this  hieroglyph  is  accompanied  by  the  character  sig 
nifying  "God"  or  "divine."     In  such  connection  Brugsch  renders  it 
"  heilige  Wohnstatte."     On  other  renderings,  however,  see  the  Zeit- 
schrift  fur  agyptische  Sprache.    1880:  p.  25.    See  also  Ceramic  Art  in 
Remote  Ages  ;  with  Essays  on  the  Symbols  of  the  Circle,  the  Cross  and 
Circle,  the  Circle  and  Ray  Ornament,  the  Fylfot,  and  the  Serpent,  shoiu- 
ing  their  relation  to  the  primitive  forms  of  Solar  and  Nattire  Wor 
ship.     By  John  B.  Waring.     London,  1874:  Plates  33-37. 


in  the  complicated  alphabet  of  symbolism,  could 
have  been  selected  for  the  purpose  than  a  circle  and 
a  cross  ?  —  the  one  to  denote  a  region  of  absolute 
purity  and  perpetual  felicity,  the  other  those  four 
perennial  streams  that  divided  and  watered  the  sev 
eral  quarters  of  it."  1  Mr.  Wilkins  claims  that  in 
the  Egyptian  hieroglyph  above  given  we  have  the 
same  symbol  as  in  the  Indian  Swastika.  It  was 
therefore  primeval  Paradise  which  was  commemo 
rated  by  "the  sacred  circular  cakes  of  the  Egyp 
tians,  composed  of  the  richest  materials,  —  of  flour, 
of  honey,  of  milk,  —  and  with  which  the  serpent  and 
bull,  as  well  as  the  other  reptiles  and  beasts  conse 
crated  to  the  service  of  Isis  and  their  higher  divin 
ities,  were  daily  fed,  and  which  upon  certain  festi 
vals  were  eaten  with  extraordinary  ceremony  by  the 
people  and  their  priests."  He  continues,  "  '  The 
cross-cake,'  says  Sir  Gardiner  Wilkinson,  'was  their 
hieroglyph  for  civilized  land/  —  obviously  a  land 
superior  to  their  own,  as  it  was,  indeed,  to  all  mun 
dane  territories  ;  for  it  was  that  distant,  traditional 
country  of  sempiternal  contentment  and  repose,  of 
exquisite  delight  arid  serenity,  where  Nature,  unas 
sisted  by  man,  produces  all  that  is  necessary  for  his 

"  This,"  says  Donnelly,  though  arguing  in  favor  of 
a  mid-Atlantic  island-Eden,  —  "  this  was  the  Garden 
of  Eden  of  our  race.  ...  In  the  midst  of  it  was  a 
sacred  and  glorious  eminence,  —  the  umbilicus  orbis 
terrarum,  —  '  toward  which  the  heathen  in  all  parts 

1  "  The  Pre-Christian  Cross."  Edinburgh  Review,  January,  1870, 
p.  254.  Zockler  did  not  think  the  primitive  character  of  this  sym 
bolism  well  established  ( The  Cross  of  Christ,  p.  35) ;  but  the  moment 
Eden  is  identified  with  the  "  middle  country  "  of  the  Pole  the  natu 
ralness  and  primitiveness  of  the  symbol  become  most  easy  of  belief. 


of  the  world,  and  in  all  ages,  turned  a  wistful  gaze 
in  every  act  of  devotion,  and  to  which  they  hoped 
to  be  admitted,  or  rather  to  be  restored,  at  the  close 
of  this  transitory  scene.'  "  1 

In  Part  fifth,  chapter  fourth,  it  will  be  shown  that 
the  umbilicus  orbis  terrarum  is  indisputably  the  ter 
restrial  pole. 

Finally,  if,  as  Plato  represents,  the  story  of  lost 
Atlantis  was  received  from  Egypt,  and  constituted  a 
part  of  the  priestly  teaching  of  the  dwellers  upon 
the  Nile,  our  next  chapter  will  present  us  further 
evidence  that  the  Eden  and  the  antediluvian  world 
of  ancient  Egyptian  tradition  were  precisely  where 
the  tradition  of  other  ancient  peoples  placed  them, 
to  wit,  in  the  land  of  sacred  memories  in  the  far-off, 
faerie  North. 

1  Donnelly,  Atlantis,  p.  322. 




In  the  Centre  of  the  Sea  is  the  White  Isle  of  great  Zeus, 
There  is  Mount  Ida,  and  our  race's  Cradle. 

A.  II  that  is  beautiful  and  rare  seems  to  come  from  the  North.  —  HERODOTUS. 

When  transactions  are  of  such  antiquity  it  is  not  wonderful  if  the  history  should 
Prove  obscure.  —  PLUTARCH. 

The  -writings  that  narrate  these  fables,  not  being  delivered  as  inventions  of  the 
•writers,  but  as  things  before  believed  and  received,  appear  like  a  soft  whisper  from 
the  traditions  of  more  ancient  nations,  conveyed  through  the  flutes  of  the  Grecians. 
—  BACON. 

RESPECTING  the  origin  of  men  there  were  among 
Greek  writers,  as  Preller  states,  "very  different  opin 
ions."  Part  of  this  diversity  he  ascribes  to  a  dif 
ference  in  the  natural  environment  of  the  first  in 
habitants  :  some,  residing  in  the  woody  hills,  would 
naturally  think  the  first  men  came  from  these  ; 
others,  inhabiting  a  valley,  would  more  naturally 
think  of  their  ancestors  as  having  come  out  of  the 
water.  The  Asiatic-Greek  belief  that  the  first  of 
the  human  race  were  made  out  of  trees  he  calls 
"  quite  peculiar."  1  What  if  it  should  be  found  that 
all  these  notions  were  merely  fragments  of  an  old, 
old  faith,  according  to  which  man  originated  on  the 
mountain  of  all  mountains,  by  the  source  of  all  wa 
ters,  and  under  the  tree  of  all  trees  ! 

However  this  may  be,  it  is  certainly  very  interest- 

1  Griechische  Mythologie,  i.,  pp.  56,  57. 


ing  to  note  that  in  the  Greek  myth  of  Meropia,  or 
Meropis,  Renan,  Lenormant,  and  others  recognize 
the  old  Asiatic  Meru.  They  hold  that  "  the  sacred 
expression  /xepoTre?  wOpwiroi  originally  meant  'the  men 
sprung  from  Meru.'  "  l  Stephanus  has  the  same  ren 
dering  in  his  "  Thesaurus." 

In  an  advance  chapter  of  his  "  Origines  de  1'His- 
toire,"  Lenormant  expressed  himself  on  this  point 
as  follows :  "  I  have  stated  above,  in  agreement 
with  M.  Renan,  that  the  sacred  expression  /^oTres, 
as  used  among  the  Greeks  to  designate  mankind, 
could  not  have  originally  been  applied  to  them  on 
account  of  their  possessing  the  gift  of  articulate 
speech,  as  is  pretended  in  the  etymology  of  gram 
marians  of  late  date,  but  as  having  proceeded  from 
Meru.  Such  an  explanation,  the  consequence  of 
which  is  to  carry  back  this  name  of  the  sacred 
mountain,  the  abode  of  the  gods  and  the  birth-place 
of  mankind,  to  the  most  ancient  period  of  Aryan 
unity,  is  corroborated,  in  a  manner  to  my  mind  quite 
decisive,  by  the  existence  of  myths  which  make  the 
Meropes  to  be  a  special  and  autochthonic  popula 
tion,  of  a  date  far  back  in  the  most  ancient  times, 
who  lead  a  life  of  innocence  and  happiness,  marked 
by  extraordinary  longevity  (a  feature  in  common  with 
the  Indian  legends  concerning  Uttara-Kuru),  under 
the  government  of  a  king,  Merops,  who  is  sometimes 
represented  as  preserving  them  from  the  Deluge  in 
the  same  way  as  the  Yima  of  the  Iranians,  and  as 
sembling  them  around  him  to  shelter  them  from  the 
Flood,  from  which  they  alone  escape.  This  myth 
is  usually  localized  in  the  island  of  Kos,  which  re 
ceives  the  name  of  Meropeis,  Meropis,  or  Merope. 

1  Lenormant,  Origines,  ii.  i,  p.  56. 


But  the  island  of  Siphnos  is  also  reputed  to  have 
been  called  Meropia  in  virtue  of  a  similar  tradition, 
and  Strabo  speaks  of  a  fabulous  region  of  the  name 
of  Meropis,  which  was  described  by  Theopompus, 
and  which  seems  to  have  been  placed  near  the  coun 
try  of  the  Hyperboreans.  Merops  is  also  given  as 
a  king  of  the  Ethiopians  ;  the  most  pious  and  most 
virtuous  of  men,  the  husband  of  Klymene  the  mother 
of  Phaethon,  and  consequently  anterior  to  the  catas 
trophe  of  the  conflagration  of  the  universe,  by  which 
the  first  human  race,  that  of  the  Golden  Age,  is  often 
said  to  have  been  destroyed.  Or  else  the  same 
name  is  given  to  a  prophet  king  of  Rhyndakos,  in 
Mysia,  who  also  receives  the  very  significant  appel 
lation  of  Makar,  or  Makareus,  '  the  happy.'  All 
this  shows  that  the  paradisaic  myth  of  the  Meropes 
was  not  peculiar  to  the  island  of  Kos,  but  was  cur 
rent  elsewhere  in  the  Greek  world,  and  had  under 
gone  more  than  one  localization  there."  l 

Plato's  story  of  lost  Atlantis,  the  island  which 
the  ocean-god  Poseidon  prepared  for  his  son  Atlas 
to  rule  over,  is  a  fascinating  picture  of  the  ante 
diluvian  world.  Whether  originating  in  Egypt,  as 
claimed  by  Plato,2  or  inherited  as  a  part  of  the 
legendary  wealth  of  the  Hellenes,  it  is  of  special 
interest  to  us  in  the  present  discussion  ;  and  this 
for  three  reasons  :  — 

1  "Ararat  and  Eden."    The  Contemporary  Review,  Sept.,  1881,  Am. 
ed.,  p.  44.     Compare  Bryant,  Analysis  of  Ancient  Mythology.     Lon 
don,  1807  :  vol.  v.,  pp.  75-92.     Also   Samuel   Beal :  "It  can  hardly 
be  questioned  that  the  Buddhist  cosmic  arrangement  is  allied  with 
Greek  tradition   as  embodied  in  Homer."     Buddhist  Literature  in 
China.     London,  1882  :  p.  xv. 

2  "  But,  O  Socrates,  you  can  easily  invent  Egyptians  or  anything 
else  !  "  —  Phatdrus,   275  B. 


First,  we  have  elsewhere  shown  that  in  oldest 
Greek  thought  Atlas  belongs  at  the  North  Pole,  and 
it  is  only  reasonable  to  locate  the  kingdom  of  Atlas 
in  the  same  locality. 

Secondly,  some  authorities  have  unconsciously 
placed  Atlantis  in  just  this  polar  position  by  identi 
fying  its  inhabitants  with  the  "  Hyperboreans."  l 

Thirdly,  Apollodorus  and  Theopompus  expressly 
call  the  lost  land  Meropia,  and  its  inhabitants  Me- 
ropes  ;  i.  e.,  according  to  the  above  authorities,  "is 
sued  from  Meru."  2 

The  fabled  country  further  resembles  Eden  in  the 
difficulties  which  scholarship  of  every  kind  has  found 
in  giving  it  a  location  in  harmony  with  all  the  data. 
These  difficulties  are  so  great  that  some  learned 
writers  have  located  it  as  far  to  the  West  as  Amer 
ica,  others  as  far  to  the  East  as  in  the  Sea  of  Azof, 
or  in  Persia.  Even  of  those  who  have  sought  a 
place  for  it  in  the  mid-Atlantic,  some  have  pushed  it 
up  and  some  down,  until  one  of  the  latest  writers 
says,  "All  hypotheses  are  permissible."  3  His  illus- 

1  Liiken,  Die  Traditionen  des  Menschengeschlechtes,  p.  73.     Bryant, 
Analysis  of  Ancient  Mythology,  vol.  v.,  p.   157:   "Pindar  manifestly 
makes  them  [the  Hyperboreans]  the  same  as  the  Atlantians." 

2  "  It  was  a  common  practice  with   the  Greeks  to  disguise  their 
own  ignorance  of  the  purport  of  a  foreign  word  by  supplying  a  word 
of  a  similar  sound  and  inventing  a  story  to  agree  with  it :  thus  Meru, 
or  the  North  Pole,  the  supposed  abode  of  the  Devatas,  being  consid 
ered  as  the  birth-place  of  the  god,  gave  rise  to  the  fable  that  Bac- 
chus's  second  birth  was  from  the  thigh  of  Jupiter,  because  Meros,  a 
Greek  word  approaching  Meru  in  sound,  signifies  thigh  in  that  lan 
guage." —  J.  D.  Paterson,  "  Origin  of  the  Hindu  Religion,"  in  Asiatic 
Researches.     London,  1808  :  vol.  viii.,  p.  51. 

3  Reference  is  had  to  M.  le  Marquis  de  Nadaillac,  who,  being  him 
self  uncertain,   says,  "  Que  PAtlantide  ait  ete  situee  vers  le  Nord, 
que  ses  limites  aient  ete  recule'es  vers  le  Sud,  il  est  difficile  de  rien 
preciser  et  tous  les  hypotheses  sont  permises."     L'Amerique  Prehis- 


trious  countryman,  Monsieur  J.  S.  Bailly,  a  century 
ago,  came  nearer  the  truth,  when,  in  view  of  the 
perplexities  attending  all  other  locations,  he  cor 
rectly  placed  his  lost  Atlantis  in  the  Paleo-Arctic 

Again,  the  antediluvian  world  was,  of  course,  in 
the  vicinity  of  lost  Eden.  But  it  is  to  be  observed 
that  in  Hellenic  tradition  Deukalion  is  not  a  Greek, 
but  an  inhabitant  of  a  country  in  the  high  North, 
a  Scythian.  Moreover  the  Scythians,  as  we  know 
from  Justin,  were  considered  a  very  much  more  an 
cient  people  than  the  Greeks  ;  indeed,  as  the  very 
oldest  in  the  world.1  Moreover,  Scythia,  like  polar 
Meru  and  Hara-berezaiti,  was  conceived  of  as  a  lofty 
region  from  which  all  the  rivers  of  the  earth  de 
scend.2  All  of  which  obviously  connects  the  ante- 

torique.  Paris,  1883  :  p.  566.  See  Unger,  Die  versunkene  Insel  At 
lantis.  Vienna,  1860.  Donnelly,  Atlantis:  the  Antediluvian  World. 
New  York,  1882.  A  "  conjectural  map  "  is  given  in  Bory  de  Saint 
Vincent,  VHomme,  Essai  Zob'logique  sur  le  genre  httmain.  The  fJl- 
tima  Teoria  sobre  la  Atldntida,  by  D.  Pedro  de  Novo  y  Colson,  ap 
pended  to  the  author's  Viajes  Apocrifos  de  Juan  de  Fuca,  Madrid, 
1881,  pp.  191-223,  has  no  independent  value,  being  based  on  the 
Studies  of  M.  Gaffarel.  An  extended  essay  by  E.  F.  Berlioux,  is  en 
titled  "  Les  Atlantes  :  Histoire  de  P Atlantis  et  de  P Atlas  primitif," 
appearing  in  the  just  issued  Annuaire  de  la  Faculte  de  Lyon.  Paris, 
1884,  Premiere  Annee,  Fasc.  i.,  pp.  1-170. 

"  Scytharum  gentem  semper  habitam  fuisse  antiquissimam." 
2  "The  geographical  indications  of  the  great  epic  poem  of  the 
Mahabharata  represent  Meru  rather  as  a  vast  and  highly  elevated  re 
gion  than  as  a  distinct  mountain,  and  make  it  supply  all  the  rivers  of 
the  world  with  water.  This  system  is  pretty  much  in  conformity 
with  that  which  Justin  has  borrowed  from  Trogus  Pompeius,  and 
according  to  which  Scythia,  the  country  of  the  most  ancient  of  man 
kind,  without  having,  properly  speaking,  any  mountains,  is  higher 
than  the  rest  of  the  earth  in  such  a  way  as  to  be  the  starting-point  of 
all  the  rivers,  editiorem  omnibus  terris  esse,  ut  cuncta  flumina  ibi 
nata"  —  Lenormant,  The  Contemporary  Review^  Sept.,  1881  (Am, 
cd.),  p.  40. 


diluvian  Deukalion  with  the  primitive  country  at  the 
Arctic  summit  of  the  globe. 

Finally,  in  Greek  tradition,  the  first  men  lived 
under  the  beneficent  rule  of  Kronos,  father  of  Zeus, 
enjoying  the  blessedness  of  the  Golden  Age.  But 
it  is  clear  from  Strabo  and  others  that  the  seat  of 
Kronos'  kingdom  was  in  the  farthest  North.1  Men- 
zel  begins  his  chapter  on  "  The  Isles  of  Kronos  "  with 
these  words  :  "  The  oldest  of  the  Greek  gods,  Kro 
nos,  we  must  conceive  of  as  enthroned  at  the  North 
Pole."  2 

We  have  now  interrogated  not  only  natural  and 
ethnological  science,  but  also  the  history,  the  tradi 
tions  and  myths  of  the  eldest  nations  of  the  world. 
Nowhere  have  we  found  our  hypothesis  inadmissible; 
everywhere  has  it  found  remarkable  confirmatory 
evidence.  The  aggregate  of  this  evidence  coming 
from  such  unexpected  and  entirely  different  sources 
is  very  great.  It  is  so  convincing  that  an  advocate 
might  well  be  content  to  leave  the  argument  at  this 
point,  —  at  least  until  some  advocate  of  a  different 
location  shall  have  made  out  a  better  case  than  any 
one  has  yet  done.  Before  leaving  the  subject,  how 
ever,  we  deem  it  wise  to  glance  back  to  chapter  sec- 

1  Pherecydes  describes  Kronos  as  dwelling  in  that  part  of  heaven 
which  is  "  nearest  the  earth,"  /'.  <?.,  the  northern.     Strabo,  vii.,  143, 
places  him  in  "  the  home  of  Boreas"    It  agrees  herewith  that  Sancho- 
niathon,  as  preserved  in  the  Greek  version  by  Philo  of  Byblos,  places 
the  seat  of  his  power  "  in  the  middle  of  the  lands,"  ...  in  "  a  place 
near  springs  and  rivers,  where  henceforth  the  worship  of  heaven  was 
established."     Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History,  p.  531.     Compare 
infra,  Part  fifth,  chapters   fourth   and   fifth  :   "  The   Navel  of   the 
Earth,"  and  "  The  Quadrifurcate  River." 

2  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  i.,  p.  93. 


ond  of  Part  second,  and  inquire  whether  the  various 
points  there  hypothetically  set  forth  as  of  necessity 
"  marked  and  memorable  features  "  of  a  north  polar 
Paradise,  if  such  an  one  ever  existed,  are  capable 
of  any  not  yet  alleged  confirmation  from  the  fields 
of  history  and  science.  The  results  of  this  inquiry 
will  appear  in  the  Part  next  following. 









When  the  Sun  the  East  forgets, 
When  the  Star  no  longer  sets, 
When  the  sacred  Rishis  seven 
Wheel  all  night  in  highest  heaven, 
When  the  sky-descending  Sea 
Waters  but  a  single  Tree, 
When  each  Year  is  but  a  Day,  — 
What  shall  all  these  portents  say  ? 



E  vidi  stelle 
Non  viste  mai,  for  che  alia  prima  gente. 


WE  have  already  reminded  the  reader  that  in  an 
Eden  situated  at  the  North  Pole  the  stars,  instead  of 
seeming  to  rise  and  set  as  with  us,  would  have  had 
a  horizontal  motion  from  left  to  right  round  and 
round  the  observer.  This  appearance  of  the  heav 
enly  bodies  could  of  course  be  found  nowhere  but  at 
the  Pole.  If,  therefore,  we  could  anywhere  in  the 
world  of  ancient  tradition  find  any  statement  of  a 
belief  that  at  the  beginning  of  the  world  the  move 
ments  of  the  heavenly  bodies  were  different  from 
their  present  movements,  and  particularly  if  we 
should  be  able  to  find  trace  of  a  belief  that  the  pri 
meval  motion  of  the  stars  was  in  orbits  apparently 
horizontal,  this  would  certainly  be  a  most  striking 
and  cogent  and  unexpected  evidence  that  human 
observation  of  the  starry  heavens  began  at  the  Pole. 

Now  it  so  happens  that  we  have  traces  of  just 
such  a  belief.  In  the  tantalizing  fragments  of  an 
cient  lore,  preserved  to  us  in  the  pages  of  Diogenes 
Laertius,  we  find  ascribed  to  the  illustrious  Greek 
astronomer  Anaxagoras  this  remarkable  teaching : 

"In  the  beginning  the  stars  revolved  in  a  tholiform 


Now  to  revolve  in  a  tholiform  manner  is  to  re 
volve  in  a  horizontal  plane,  like  the  0o'Aos,  or  "  dome," 
of  an  astronomical  observatory.  Anaxagoras  him 
self  denned  the  motion  more  fully  when  he  said  that 
it  was  a  motion,  not  vvro,  underneath,  but  wept,  around 
the  earth.1 

Anaximenes  would  seem  to  have  had  the  same 
idea,  for  he  is  reported  to  have  likened  the  primitive 
revolution  of  the  sky  to  the  rotating  of  a  man's  hat 
upon  his  head.  Another  explanatory  expression 
(whether  originating  with  Anaxagoras  or  with  his  re 
porter  we  do  not  know)  is  this:  "At  first  the  Pole 
star,  which  is  continually  visible,  always  appeared  in 
the  zenith,  but  afterward  it  acquired  a  certain  decli 
nation."  2 

Here,  then,  we  have  as  a  doctrine  of  the  ancient 
astronomers  the  singular  notion  that,  in  the  begin 
ning  of  the  world,  the  celestial  Pole  was  in  the  ze- 

1  See  "  Des  ficrits  et  de  la  Doctrine  d'Anaxagore  "  in  Histoire  de 
I* Academic  des  Sciences  et  Bdles  Lettres  de  Berlin.    Berlin,  1755  :  vol. 
ix.,  pp.  378  ff. 

2  Diogenes  Laertius,  ii.,  9  :   T&  S'&ffTpa  /car'  apx&s  juei/  floAoeiSws 
evex^cu,  #oTe  Kara  Kopu^V  TTJS  77)5  r'bv   aei  $cuv6fAfVOV  e?rat   Tr6\ov, 
vvrepov  5e  r^v  eyK\icriv  Aa/Beti/.     Letronne  (Des  Opinions  Cosmogra~ 
phiques  des  Peres  de  F  Eglise  rapprochees  des  Doctrines  Philosophiques 
de  la  Grece)  says  that  the  opinion  cannot  have  been  limited  to  the 
school  of  Anaximenes  and  Zenophanes.     "Elle  a  du  faire  partie  de 
la  doctrine  physique  de  plusieurs  des  sects  anciennes."     Revue  des 
Deux  Mondes.     Paris,  1834  :  p.  650.  —  In  this  connection  it  is  well 
worthy  of  note  that  in  the  Japanese  cosmogony  the  predecessor  or 
"  father,"  of  our  present  sun  and  moon  is  represented  as  beginning 
his  activities  in  the  new-created  world  by  repeatedly  performing  in  a 
horizontal  plane  a  circumambulation  of  the  "  Island  of  the  Congealed 
Drop  ;  "  also  that  in  Chinese  tradition  the  first  man  held  the  primeval 
sun  and  moon  one  in  each  hand.     Our  latest  Chinese  writer  upon  the 
subject  speaks  of  this   as  particularly  noticeable.     Revue  des  Deux 
Mondes,  May  14,  June  i,  and  June  14,  1884.    A  few  passages  are  cited 
in  The  Catholic  World,  December,  1884,  pp.  320-323. 


nith,  and  that  the  revolutions  of  the  stars  were  round 
a  perpendicular  axis.1  What  could  have  led  an  as 
tronomer  to  invent  such  a  doctrine  it  is  impossible 
to  say.  On  the  other  hand,  if  it  was  one  of  the 
interesting  and  seemingly  paradoxical  traditions  of 
the  early  postdiluvian  world,  it  is  perfectly  easy  to 
see  how  imperishable  a  story  it  would  be,  particu 
larly  among  the  star-loving  Chaldaeans  and  Babyloni 
ans,  from  whom  the  earliest  Greek  astronomers  and 
scientists  received  no  small  share  of  their  doctrines.2 
And  that  the  Chaldseans  and  probably  the  Egyp 
tians  had  precisely  this  idea  is  not  a  notion  here 
advanced  for  the  first  time.3 

Another  interesting  question  now  suggests  itself. 
When  and  under  what  circumstances  was  this  al 
leged  "declination"  of  the  Pole  imagined  to  have 
taken  place  ?  Was  it  gradual,  or  sudden  ?  Did  the 
ancients  suppose  it  to  have  resulted  from  a  move 
ment  in  the  regular  order  of  nature,  or  from  one  in 

1  Since  writing  the  above  I  have  read  Richard  A.  Proctor's  "  New 
Theory  of  Achilles'  Shield,"  and  have  been  particularly  struck  with 
his  argument,  from  the  position  of  the  aquatic  constellations  in  the 
most  ancient  astronomy,  that  the  celestial  equator  at  the  time  of  the 
invention  of  the  constellations  must  have  been  "  in  a  horizontal  posi 
tion"    Light  Science  for  Leisure  Hours.    London,  1870:  pp.  309-312. 

2  The  instructor  of  Thales  was  a  Chaldasan,  a  fact  which  writers 
on  the  early  cosmological  speculations  of  the  Greeks  have  almost  uni 
formly  overlooked.     See  also  L.  von  Schroeder,  Pythagoras  und  die 
Inder.     Leipsic,  1884. 

3  "  II  est  de  meme  vraisemblable  que  les  Chaldeens  ont  eu  1'idee 
d'une  destruction  et  d'un  renouvellement  du  monde,  c'est-a-dire,  de  la 
surface  de  notre  globe,  et  conjointement  avec  cette  destruction,  d '«« 
deplacement  des  corps  celestes  du  firmament.  .  .  .  Diverses  inscriptions 
dans  les  temples  Egyptiens  et  des  hieroglyphes  .  .  .  me  paraissent 
aussi  etre  des  essais    de    representer  distinctement   la  catastrophe 
du  deluge  et  le  changement  qui  alors  s'est  operS  dans  fancien  del"  — 
Klee,  Le  Deluge.     Paris,  1847  :  p.  307. 



violation  thereof  ?  Was  it  to  them  a  normal  and 
ever  on-going  change,  or  was  it  the  record  of  a  nat 
ural  catastrophe  ? 

Our  hypothesis  would  lead  us  to  expect  the  latter 
of  these  suppositions.1  The  only  rational  and  cred 
ible  explanation  of  the  declination  is  to  be  found  in 
a  transfer  of  the  theatre  of  human  history  from  the 
circumpolar  home  to  some  land  of  lower  latitude. 
Now  if,  during  the  prevalence  of  the  Deluge,  or 
later,  in  consequence  of  the  on-coming  of  the  Ice 
age,  the  survivors  of  the  Flood  were  translocated 
from  their  antediluvian  home  at  the  Pole  to  the 
north  slope  of  the  "  plateau  of  Pamir,"  the  prob 
able  starting-point  of  historic  postdiluvian  human 
ity,  the  new  aspect  presented  by  the  heavens  in  this 
new  latitude  would  have  been  precisely  as  if  in  the 
grand  world-convulsion  the  sky  itself  had  become 
displaced,  its  polar  dome  tilted  over  about  one  third 
of  the  distance  from  the  zenith  to  the  horizon. 
The  astronomical  knowledge  of  those  survivors  very 
likely  enabled  them  to  understand  the  true  reason 
of  the  changed  appearance,  but  their  rude  descend 
ants,  unfavored  with  the  treasures  of  antediluvian 
science,  and  born  only  to  a  savage  or  nomadic  life 
in  their  new  and  inhospitable  home,  might  easily 
have  forgotten  the  explanation.  In  time  such  chil 
dren's  children  might  easily  have  come  to  embody 
the  strange  story  handed  down  from  their  fathers 
in  strange  myths,  in  which  nothing  of  the  original 
facts  remained  beyond  an  obscure  account  of  some 
mysterious  displacement  of  the  sky,  supposed  to  have 

1  Bailly  in  his  Histoire  de  VAstronomie  des  Anciens  inclines  to  the 
opinion  that  the  ancient  Egyptians  thought  the  declination  a  gradual 
one,  but  Klee  expresses  decided  doubt.  Le  Deluge,  p.  301. 


occurred  in  a  far-off  age  in  connection  with  some 
appalling  natural  cataclysm  or  world-disaster.1 

Now  it  is  difficult  to  believe  it  a  mere  accident 
that  in  various  ancient  authors  we  find  allusion  both 
to  an  extremely  ancient  displacement  of  the  sky  and 
to  its  supposed  original  state.  None  of  these  allu 
sions  have  ever  been  explained  by  writers  on  the 
subject.  One  of  them  occurs  in  Plato's  Timaeus, 
where,  in  language  ascribed  to  an  Egyptian  priest  of 
Solon's  time,  "  a  declination  of  the  bodies  revolving 
round  the  earth"  is  spoken  of,  and  this  declination  is 
offered  as  the  true  explanation  of  the  partial  destruc 
tion  of  the  world  commemorated  in  the  myth  of 
Phaethon.  As  this  destruction  was  by  fire  there 
would  at  first  sight  seem  to  be  no  connection  be 
tween  it  and  the  destruction  at  the  time  of  the 
Deluge ;  nor  is  there  in  the  context  anything  to  sug 
gest  such  a  connection.  Fortunately,  however,  we 
have  in  Hyginus  a  fuller  version  of  the  myth,  from 
which  it  appears  that  the  Greeks  supposed  Deukali- 
on's  universal  flood  to  have  been  providentially  sent 
to  extinguish  the  fearful  conflagration  which  Phae- 
thon's  unskillful  driving  of  the  steeds  of  the  sun  had 

1  The  only  other  plausible  explanation  of  the  facts  now  under  con 
sideration  would  be  that  furnished  by  the  long  ago  proposed  but  em 
phatically  rejected  theory,  that  in  some  distant  geological  age  in  con 
sequence  of  some  cataclysm  the  axis  of  the  earth's  rotation  was 
changed,  bringing  the  new  or  present  Pole  into  a  region  before  tem 
perate  or  torrid.  C.  F.  Winslow,  M.  D.,  in  his  pamphlet  on  The 
Cooling  Globe,  Boston,  1865,  was  one  of  the  most  recent  theorists  to 
favor  this  view.  But  see  Maedler,  Populdre  Astronomie,  p.  370  ss., 
who  states  that,  according  to  the  calculations  of  Bessel,  the  bodily 
plucking  up  of  one  hundred  and  fourteen  cubic  miles  of  the  Himalaya 
mountains  and  the  transfer  of  them  to  North  America  would  change 
the  position  of  the  earth's  axis  less  than  one  hundred  feet.  Still 
stronger  statements  are  made  in  the  paper  read  before  the  London 
Geological  Society,  Feb.  21,  1877,  by  Professor  J.  F.  Twisden. 


occasioned.  This  makes  the  connection  clear  and 
direct.  The  Flood  and  the  "  declination  of  the 
heavenly  bodies  revolving  round  the  earth  "  are  at 
once  brought  into  a  true  historic  relation.1 

In  like  manner,  in  the  Bundahish,  in  the  first  five 
chapters,  and  in  Zad  Sparam's  paraphrase  of  the 
same,  it  is  stated  that  during  the  first  three  thousand 
years,  before  the  incoming  of  the  Evil  One,  "  the 
sun,  moon,  and  stars  stood  still,"  but  as  soon  as  the 
Destroyer  of  the  good  creation  came  he  assaulted 
and  deranged  the  sky,  as  well  as  the  earth  and  sea.2 
And  remarkably  enough,  it  is  stated  that  as  a  result 
of  this  assault  the  Evil  One  mastered  as  much  as 
"  one  third  of  the  sky  "and  overspread  it  with  dark 
ness.3  Moreover,  in  the  thirtieth  chapter,  in  giv 
ing  a  prophetic  account  of  the  final  restoration  of 
the  material  world  to  its  primeval  state,  there  seems 
to  be  an  allusion  in  verse  thirty-two  to  a  necessary 
resetting  or  readjustment  of  the  celestial  vault  by 
the  hand  of  its  Creator.4 

To  all  such  facts,  wherever  found,  we  have  in  the 
hypothesis  of  an  Arctic  Eden  and  a  transfer  of  the 
human  horizon  at  the  time  of  the  Deluge  to  lower 
latitudes  a  perfect  key. 

1  Compare  Milton,  Paradise  Lost,  x.   648-690. 

2  "  The  Aztecs  said  that  when  the  sun  had  risen  for  the  first  time, 
at  the  beginning,  it  lay  on  the  horizon,  and  moved  not.'''     Dorman, 
Primitive  Superstitions.    Phila.,  1 88 1  :  p.  330.    Both  of  these  reports 
look  as  if  they  had  sprung  from  misapprehension  of  the  original  tradi 
tion  given  by  Anaxagoras. 

8  West,  Pahlavi  Texts.  London,  1880 :  Pt.  5.,  p.  17.  West  trans 
lates  uncertainly.  Justi  renders  the  passage,  '•'  Er  nahm  vom  Inneren 
des  Himmels  ein  Drittheil  ein."  Der  Bundahish.  Leipsic,  1868  : 


4  West,  Pahlavi  Texts,  Pt.  i.,  p.  129.  This  last  remark  is  based 
upon  West's  version ;  it  is  not  supported  by  Windischmann's. 



Such  day 
As  heaven! s  great  year  brings  forth. 


To  the  first  men,  if  the  Garden  of  Eden  was  lo 
cated  at  the  Pole,  there  could  have  been  but  one  day 
and  one  night  in  a  year.  Moreover,  at  the  break  of 
that  strange  day  the  sun  must  have  risen,  not  in 
the  East,  as  in  postdiluvian  times,  but  in  the  South. 
Do  the  traditions  or  sacred  books  of  the  ancient 
world  afford  any  hint  of  such  a  sunrise  and  of  such 
an  Eden  day  ? 

A  partial  answer  to  this  question  is  found  in  the 
beliefs  of  the  ancient  Northmen.  A  learned  Danish 
writer  pronounces  it  "  remarkable  "  that  the  Scandi 
navian  mythology  informs  us  that,  before  the  estab 
lishment  of  the  present  order  of  the  world,  the  sun, 
which  now  rises  in  the  East,  "rose  in  the  South"  1 

Equally  striking  confirmations  appear  in  other 
mythologies.  Turning  to  the  second  Fargard  of  the 
Avesta,  we  find  the  most  ancient  Iranian  account  of 
Yima,  the  first  man  and  "the  King  of  the  Golden 
Age."  A  detailed  account  is  also  given  of  a  certain 

1  "  Ce  qu'il  y  a  de  plus  remarquable  dans  la  mythologie  du  Nord, 
c'est  qu'elle  nous  reconte  qu'avant  1'ordre  actual  des  choses  (avant 
que  les  fils  de  Bor,  c'est-a-dire  les  dieux,  eussent  cree  Midgard),  le 
soleil  se  levait  au  Sud,  tandis  qu'i  present  il  se  leve  a  1'Est." —  Fre- 
derik  Klee,  Le  Deluge,  Fr.  ed.  Paris,  1847  :  P-  224-  / 


Vara,  or  inclosure,  which  as  a  safe  habitation  —  a 
kind  of  Garden  of  Eden  —  he  was  divinely  com 
manded  to  make.  Then  comes  this  singular  ques 
tion  and  answer  :  "  O  Maker  of  the  material  world, 
thou  Holy  One !  What  lights  are  there  in  the  Vara 
which  Yima  made  ? " 

"Ahura  Mazda  answered:  There  are  uncreated 
lights  and  created  lights.  There  the  stars,  the 
moon,  and  the  sun  are  only  once  a  year  seen  to  rise 
and  set,  and  a  year  seems  only  as  a  day."  1  Haug's 
version  of  the  last  clause  is,  "  And  they  think  that  a 
day  which  is  a  year."  2  Spiegel's  is  the  same,3  al 
though  in  his  Commentary  he  confesses  himself  per 
plexed  as  to  the  meaning  of  so  remarkable  a  decla 
ration.  "The  really  genuine  words,"  he  observes, 
"  are  very  difficult."  They  are  not  so  when  once 
the  key  is  found. 

That  the  East  Aryans  had  the  same  idea  is  also 
evident  from  the  Laws  of  Manu.  Among  this  peo 
ple  Yama  —  the  same  as  the  Iranian  Yima  —  was 
the  first  man.  His  first  abode,  as  we  have  seen,  was 
at  the  North  Pole,  and  at  death  he  became  a  god, 
the  guardian  of  the  South  Pole,  at  which  was  the 
region  of  the  dead.  But  though  the  Hindus  no 
longer  associated  him  with  the  North  at  the  time  of 
the  writing  of  this  ancient  book,  they  well  under 
stood  that  Yama's  primitive  Eden  in  Ilavrita,  around 
the  north  polar  Meru,  where  the  gods  reside,  has 
only  one  day  and  one  night  in  the  year.  This  is  the 
language  of  the  Code  :  "  A  year  of  mortals  is  a  day 

1  Darmesteter's  Translation,  vol.  i.,  p.  20. 

2  Haug's  Essays  on  the  Religion  of  the  Par  sis,  2d  ed.,  p.  235. 

3  "  Diese  (die  Bewohner)  halten  fur  einen  Tag  was  ein  Jahr  ist." 
Spiegel,  Avesta.     Leipsic,  1852  :  vol.  i.,  p.  77.     See  also  his  Commen* 
tar  ilber  das  Avesta.    Wien,  1864  :  vol.  i.,  pp.  78,  79. 

THE  EDEN  DAY.  199 

and  a  night  of  the  gods,  or  regents  of  the  universe 
seated  around  the  North  Pole  ;  and  again  their  divis 
ion  is  this  :  their  day  is  the  northern  and  their  night 
the  southern  course  of  the  sun."  1 

In  like  manner,  in  the  Surya  Siddhanta  we  read, 
"  The  gods  behold  the  sun,  after  it  is  once  arisen, 
for  half  a  year."  2 

Equally  unmistakable  is  the  language  of  the  prob 
ably  more  ancient  work,  lately  translated  under  the 
title  of  "  The  Institutes  of  Vishnu  :  "  - 

"  The  northern  progress  of  the  sun  is  a  day  with 
the  gods. 

"  The  southern  progress  of  the  sun  is  (with  them) 
a  night. 

"  A  year  is  (with  them)  a  day  and  a  night."  3 

1  Code  of  Manual.   67. 

2  Chapter  xii.,  74. 

3  The  Institutes  of  Vishnu,  translated  by  Julius  Jolly.     Ch.  xx.,  I, 
2,  3.     Sacred  Books  of  the  East,  vol.  vii.,  p.  77.     I  cannot  help  think 
ing  that  in  these  alternate  approaches  and  recessions  of  the  sun  we 
have  the  true  explanation  of  the  origin  of  the  old  Rabbinical  idea  of 
half-yearly  cold  and  heat  in  hell,  this  latter  being  located,  as  we  have 
shown,  at  the  South  Pole  :  "  The  great  Jalkut  Rubeni  gives  us  the 
following  account  of    hell  :    Sheol  is  half  fire  and   half  hail,  and 
therein  are  many  rivers  of  fire.     The  seven  abodes  (or  divisions)  of 
hell  are  very  spacious  ;  and  in  each  there  are  seven  rivers  of  fire 
and  seven  rivers  of  hail.     The  uppermost  abode  is  sixty  times  less 
than  the  second,  and  thus  the  second  is  sixty  times  larger  than  the 
first,  and  every  abode  is  sixty  times  larger  than  that  which  precedes 
it.     In  each  abode  are  seven  thousand  caverns,  and  in  each  cavern 
seven  thousand  clefts,  and  in  each  cleft  seven  thousand  scorpions  ; 
and  each  scorpion  hath  seven  limbs,  and  on  each  limb  are  one  thou 
sand  barrels  of  gall.     There   are  likewise  seven  rivers  of   rankest 
poison,  which  when  a  man  toucheth  he  bursteth  ;  and  the  destroying 
angels  judge  him  and  scourge  him  every  moment,  half  a  year  in  the 
fire  and  half  a  year  in  the  hail  and  snow.     And  the  cold  is  more  in 
tolerable  than  the  fire."     Eisenmenger,  Entdecktes  Judenthum,  vol. 
:i.,  p.  345  (English  translation,  vol.  ii.,  p.  52).    According  to  the  Sur 
ya  Siddanta,  the  demons  as  well  as  the  gods  behold  the  sun  for  six 
months  at  a  time. 


This  strange  notion  is  perfectly  clear  and  compre 
hensible  the  moment  we  assume  that  the  long-lived 
fathers  and  first  regents  of  the  human  race  originally 
dwelt  at  the  North  Pole,  and  that  these,  apotheosized 
and  glorified  in  the  imagination  of  later  generations, 
in  time  became  the  gods  which  ancient  nations  wor 

Both  in  the  Iliad  and  Odyssey  the  learned  Anton 
Krichenbauer  finds  two  kinds  of  days  continually  re 
ferred  to.  In  what  he  considers  the  more  ancient 
portions  of  the  poems,  the  day  is  a  period  of  one 
year's  duration,  especially  when  used  in  describing 
the  life  and  exploits  of  the  gods  ;  in  what  he  con 
siders  the  more  modern  portions,  the  term  has  its 
modern  meaning  as  a  period  of  twenty-four  hours. 
He  quotes  Lepsius  as  recognizing  a  similar  "one- 
day  year"  in  the  Egyptian  and  other  ancient  chro 
nologies  ;  also  the  mention  made  of  it  by  Palaifatos 
and  Suidas.1 

In  all  such  hitherto  unnoticed  testimonies  —  and 
we  have  not  exhausted  the  list  of  them  2  —  we  have 
new  and  singularly  unimpeachable  evidences  that  in 
the  thought  of  these  ancient  peoples  the  land  in 
which  the  generated  gods  and  men  alike  originated 
was  a  land  in  which,  as  in  our  Polar  Eden,  a  day  and 
a  night  filled  out  the  year.  And  if  such  was  their 

1  Beitrdge  zur  homerischen  Uranographie.     Wien,  1874  :  pp.   1-34. 
Comp.  p.  68. 

2  Even  the  Bushmen  of  South  Africa  have  the  strange  idea  that 
the  sun  did  not  shine  on  their  country  in  the  beginning.     Only  after 
the   children  of  the  first  Bushmen  had  been  sent  up  to  the  [North 
ern  ?]  top  of  the  world  and  had  launched  the  sun  was  light  procured 
for  this  [subterranean]  South  African  region.     Bushman  Folk-lore, 
By  W.  H.  J.  Bleek,  Ph.  D.,  Parliament  Report.    Capetown  and  Lon- 
don,  1875  :  p.  9.     A  similar  myth  was  found  among  the  Australian 


idea,  whence,  save  from  actual  tradition,  could  they 
have  derived  it  ?  As  cautious  a  scientific  authority 
as  Sir  Charles  Lyell,  speaking  of  these  cosmological 
and  chronological  traditions  of  the  Hindus,  says : 
"  We  can  by  no  means  look  upon  them  as  a  pure 
effort  of  the  unassisted  imagination,  or  believe  them 
to  have  been  composed  without  regard  to  opinions 
and  theories  founded  on  the  observation  of  Nature!' 1 
Even  where  the  tradition  has  become  distorted  or 
inverted  among  barbarians,  the  parallelism  of  the 
year  and  the  day  is  not  always  lost.  A  curious  in 
stance  of  this  has  come  under  the  notice  of  the 
writer  since  the  present  chapter  was  begun  :  "  In 
those  days  (in  the  world  before  the  present)  the  sea 
sons  were  much  shorter  than  they  are  now.  A  year 
then  was  but  as  a  day  of  our  time."  2 

1  Elements  of  Geology,  nth  ed.,  vol.  i.,  p.  8. 

2  W.  Matthews,  "  The  Navajo  Mythology,"  in  The  American  An 
tiquarian  and  Oriental  Journal.    Chicago,  July,  1883  :  p.  209.    Com 
pare  the  expression  given  by  Garcia  as  from  the  Mixteque  cosmog 
ony,  in  P.  Dabry  de   Thiersant,  Origins  des  Indiens  du  Nouveau- 
Monde.     Paris,  1883  :  p.  140  n.  2. 



.  .  .  The  shrine  -where  motion  first  began?- 
A  nd  light  and  life  in  mingling  torrent  ran, 
From  whence  each  bright  rotundity  -was  hurled, 
The  Throne  of  God,  — the  Centre  of  the  World. 

CAMPBELL'S  Pleasures  of  Hope. 

EL  walketh  in  the  CHUG  of  heaven.  —  Book  of  Job. 

To  the  first  men,  on  the  hypothesis  of  an  Arctic 
Eden,  the  zenith  and  the  north  pole  of  the  heavens 
were  identical.  Such  an  aspect  of  the  starry  vault 
the  humanity  of  our  late  historic  ages  has  never 
seen.  Under  such  an  adjustment  of  the  rotating 
firmament,  how  regular  and  orderly  would  nature 
appear !  What  profound  significance  would  of  ne 
cessity  attach  to  that  mysterious  unmoving  centre- 
point  of  cosmic  revolution  directly  overhead !  As 
intimated  on  page  50,  that  polar  centre  must  nat 
urally  have  seemed  to  be  the  top  of  the  world,  the 
true  heaven,  the  changeless  seat  of  the  supreme  God 
or  gods.  "  And  if,  through  all  the  long  life-time  of 
the  antediluvian  world,  this  circumpolar  sky  was 
thus  to  human  thought  the  true  abode  of  God,  the 

1  The  poet  is  speaking  of  the  North  Pole.  The  first  three  lines 
are  illustrated  by  the  closing  chapters  of  Part  third,  above  ;  the  last 
sums  up  the  facts  to  be  set  forth  in  the  present  chapter.  A  word  from 
Menzel  is  here  in  place  :  "  Nysa  wird  in  vielen  griechischen  Mythen 
als  im  Central punkt  bezeichnet  von  wo  das  Weltleben  ausging  und 
wohin  es  zuriickkehrt.  .  .  .  Das  ideale  Nysa  kb'nnen  wir  nirgend 
anders  als  im  Ausgangspunkte  des  Welt,  im  Nordpol  suchen."  Die 
vorchristliche  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  i.  65  ;  also  p.  42. 


oldest  postdiluvian  peoples,  though  scattered  down 
the  sides  of  the  globe  half  or  two  thirds  the  distance 
to  the  equator,  could  not  easily  forget  that  at  the 
centre  and  true  top  of  the  firmament  was  the  throne 
and  the  palace  of  its  great  Creator." 

The  religions  of  all  ancient  nations  signally  con 
firm  and  satisfy  this  antecedent  expectation.  With 
a  marvelous  unanimity  they  associate  the  abode  of  the 
supreme  God  with  the  North  Pole,  "  the  centre  of 
heaven''  or  with  the  celestial  space  immediately  sur 
rounding  it.  No  writer  on  Comparative  Theology 
has  ever  brought  out  the  facts  which  establish  this 
assertion,  but  the  following  outline  of  them  will 
suffice  for  our  present  purpose  :  — 

First.  The  Hebrew  Conception.  —  In  so  pure  and 
lofty  a  monotheism  as  that  of  the  ancient  Hebrews, 
we  must  not  expect  to  find  any  such  strict  localiza 
tion  of  the  supreme  God  in  the  circumpolar  sky  as 
we  shall  find  among  polytheistic  peoples.  "  Do  I 
not  fill  heaven  and  earth  ? "  is  the  language  of  Jeho 
vah.  Nevertheless,  as  the  Hebrews  must  be  sup 
posed  to  have  shared,  in  some  measure,  the  geo 
graphical  and  cosmological  ideas  of  their  age,  it 
would  not  be  strange  if  in  their  sacred  writings  traces 
of  these  ideas  were  here  and  there  discernible. 
Some  of  these  traces  are  quite  curious,  and  they 
have  attracted  the  attention  of  not  a  few  Biblical 
scholars,  to  whom  their  origin  and  rationale  are  en 
tirely  unsuspected.  Thus  a  learned  writer  on  He 
brew  geography,  after  blindly  repeating  the  common 
assumption  that  "the  Hebrews  conceived  the  sur 
face  of  the  earth  to  be  an  immense  disk,  supported, 
like  the  flat  roof  of  an  Eastern  house,  by  pillars," 
yet  uses  such  language  as  this  :  "  The  North  ap- 


pears  to  have  been  regarded  as  the  highest  part  of 
the  earth's  surface,  in  consequence,  perhaps,  of  the 
mountain  ranges  which  existed  there."  1 

Another,  touching  upon  the  same  subject,  says, 
"  The  Hebrews  regarded  what  lay  to  the  North  as 
higher,  and  what  lay  to  the  South  as  lower:  hence 
they  who  traveled  from  South  to  North  were  said 
to  '  go  up/  while  they  who  went  from  North  to  South 
were  said  to  '  go  down.'  "  2 

In  Psalm  seventy-fifth,  verse  sixth,  we  read,  "  Pro 
motion  cometh  not  from  the  East,  nor  from  the  West, 
nor  from  the  South."  Why  this  singular  enumera 
tion  of  three  of  the  points  of  the  compass,  and  this 
omission  of  the  fourth?  Simply  because  heaven, 
the  proper  abode  of  the  supreme  God,  being  con 
ceived  of  by  all  the  surrounding  nations,  if  not  by 
the  Hebrews  themselves,  as  in  the  North,  in  the  cir- 
cumpolar  sky,  that  was  the  sacred  quarter,  and  it 
could  not  reverently  be  said  that  promotion  cometh 
not  from  the  North.3  It  would  have  been  as  offen 
sive  as  among  us  to  say  that  promotion  cometh  not 
from  above.  Therefore,  having  completed  his  neg 
ative  statements,  the  Psalmist  immediately  adds, 
"But  God  is  the  judge;  He  putteth  down  one,  and 
setteth  up  another." 

A  curious  trace  of  the  same  conception  appears 
in  the  book  of  Job,  in  the  eighth  and  ninth  verses 

1  Rev.  William  Latham  Bevan,  A.  M.,  in  Smith's  Dictionary  of  the 
Bible,  Art.  "  Earth,"  vol.  i.,  p.  633,  634  (Hackett's  ed.).     McClintock 
and  Strong's  Cyclopedia,  Art.  "  Geography,"  vol.  iii.,  p.  792. 

2  McClintock  and   Strong,  Cyclopedia,  Art.  "  North,"  vol.  vii.,  p. 
185.     The  Akkadians  had  the  same  idiom.     Lenormant,  Beginnings 
of  History,  p.  313. 

8  "  A  peculiar  sanctity  is  attached  to  the  North  in  the  Old  Testa 
ment  records."  T.  K.  Cheyne,  The  Book  of  Isaiah.  London,  1870: 
pp.  140,  141.  [See  our  cut :  "  The  Earth  of  the  Hindus,"  p.  152.] 


of  the  twenty -third  chapter.  In  Old  Testament 
times,  the  Hebrews  and  the  Arabians  designated 
the  cardinal  points  by  the  personal  terms,  "  before  " 
for  East,  "behind"  for  West,  "left/hand  "  for  North, 
and  "  right  hand  "  for  South.  Thus  Job,  in  the  pas 
sage  indicated,  is  complaining  that  he  can  nowhere, 
East  or  West,  North  or  South,  find  his  divine  judge.1 
But,  in  speaking  of  one  of  these  points,  he  adds  this 
singular  qualification,  "where  God  doth  work"  This 
is  said  of  the  left  hand,  or  North.  It  seems  to  be 
inserted  to  render  peculiarly  emphatic  the  declara 
tion,  "I  go  .  .  .  [even]  to  the  left  hand  where  He  doth 
work,  but  I  cannot  behold  Him."  If  at  first  blush 
such  an  apparent  localizing  of  the  divine  agency 
seems  inconsistent  with  Job's  splendid  descriptions 
of  God's  omnipresence  in  other  passages,  it  should 
be  remembered  that  we,  too,  speak  of  the  omni 
present  deity  as  dwelling  "  on  high,"  and  address 
Him  as  "  Our  Father  which  art  in  Heaven." 

A  natural  counterpart  to  this  idea  of  a  northern 
heaven  would  be  a  belief  or  impression  that  spiritual 
perils  and  evils  were  in  a  peculiar  degree  or  manner 
to  be  apprehended  from  the  right  hand,  or  South, 
as  the  proper  abode  of  demons,  —  the  quarter  to 
which  Asmodeus  fled  when  exorcised  by  the  angel.2 
We  cannot  positively  affirm  that  such  a  belief  con- 

1  Adam  Clarke,  Commentary,  in  loc.     The  best   explanation   the 
oldest  commentators  know  how  to  give  is  this :  There  were  more  hu 
man  beings  and  more  intelligent  ones  North  of  Job's  country  than  in 
either  of  the  three  other  cardinal  directions  ;  especially  was  the  North 
the  seat  of  the  great  Assyrian  empire  ;  but  God  desires  to  reside  and 
to  work  preeminently  among  men,  hence  the  language  of  the  text ! 
Matthew   Poole,  in  Dietelmair  and  Baumgarten's  Bibeliverk,  vol.  v., 
p.  634. 

2  Tobit,  viii.  3.     Compare  The  Book  of  Enoch,  xviii.  6-16;   xxi. 


sciously  prevailed  among  the  ancient  Hebrews,  but, 
holding  the  possibility  in  mind,  we  find  passages 
of  Scripture  which  seem  to  stand  out  in  a  new  and 
striking  light.  Thus,  in  case  there  was  such  a  be 
lief,  how  great  the  force  and  beauty  of  the  expres 
sion,  "  Because  [the  Lord]  is  at  my  right  hand  [the 
side  exposed  to  danger]  I  shall  not  be  moved." 1 
With  this  may  be  compared  the  confident  expres 
sions  of  the  one  hundred  and  twenty-first  Psalm  : 
"  The  Lord  is  thy  keeper :  the  Lord  is  thy  shade  upon 
thy  right  hand."  So  also  in  the  ninety-first  it  is  on 
the  right  hand  that  destruction  is  anticipated :  "  A 
thousand  shall  fall  at  thy  side,  and  [or  even]  ten 
thousand  at  thy  right  hand ;  but  it  shall  not  come 
nigh  thee."  Again,  in  the  one  hundred  and  forty- 
second  it  is  said,  "  I  looked  on  my  right  hand,  but 
there  was  no  man  that  would  know  me :  refuge  failed 
me;  no  man  cared  for  my  soul."  Notice  also  the 
imprecation,  "  Let  Satan  stand  at  his  right  hand " 
(Ps.  cix.  6),  and  the  vision  of  Zechariah,  where  the 
great  adversary  makes  his  appearance  on  the  right 
of  the  one  whom  he  came  to  resist  (Zech.  iii.  i). 

But  as  Satan  here  reveals  himself  from  beneath 
and  from  the  South,  so  to  Ezekiel  the  true  God  re 
veals  himself  from  above  and  from  the  North  (Eze. 
i.  4).  In  that  quarter  was  God's  holy  mountain  (Is. 
xiv.  13),  the  city  of  the  Great  King  (Ps.  xlviii.  2), 
the  land  of  gold  (Job  xxxvii.  22,  marg.),  the  place 
where  divine  power  had  hung  the  earth  upon  noth 
ing  (Job  xxvi.  ;).2  Hence  the  priest  officiating  at 

1  Ps.  xvi.  8.     The  reference  seems  all    the   more   unmistakable 
since  the  next  two  verses  speak  of  Sheol,  or  Hades. 

2  "  Im  Norden  sind  die  hochsten  Berge,  vor  alien  der  heilige  Got- 
terberg  Is.  14,  13.  ...  Vom  Norden  her  kommt  in  der  Regel  Jeho- 


the  altar,  both  in  the  tabernacle  and  later  in  the 
temple,  faced  the  North.  According  to  the  Talmud, 
King  David  had  an  yEolian  harp  in  the  North  win 
dow  of  his  royal  bed-chamber,  by  means  of  which 
the  North  wind  woke  him  every  night  at  midnight 
for  prayer  and  pious  meditations.1  Probably  it  is 
not  without  significance  that  in  Ezekiel's  vision  of 
the  ideal  temple  of  the  future  the  chamber  prepared 
for  the  priests  in  charge  of  the  altar  was  one 
"whose  prospect  was  toward  the  North."  2  (Eze. 
xl.  46.) 

vah."  Herzog's  Real-Encyklopddie,  Art.  "  Welt,"  Bd.  xvii.,  S.  678. 
"  Like  the  Hindus,  Persians,  Greeks,  and  Teutons,  .  .  .  the  She- 
mitic  tribes  spoke  of  a  mountain  of  their  gods  in  the  far  North  (Is. 
xiv.  13  ;  Eze.  xxviii.  14) ;  and  even  with  the  Jews,  notwithstanding 
the  counteracting  influence  of  the  Mosaic  creed,  traces  of  such  a  pop 
ular  belief  continued  to  be  visible  (Ps.  xlviii.),  the  North  being,  e.  g., 
regarded  as  the  sacred  quarter  (Lev.  i.  n;  Eze.  i.  4)."  Dillmann, 
in  Schenkefs  Bibel  Lexicon.  Leipsic,  1879  :  v°l-  "•>  P-  49- 

1  "  Daily  from  the  four  quarters  of  the  world  blow  the  four  Winds, 
of  which  three  are  continually  attended  by  the  North  wind  ;  otherwise 
the  world  would  cease  to  be.     The  most  pernicious  of  all  is  the 
South  wind,  which  would  destroy  the  world  were  it  not  held  back  by 
the  angel  Bennetz."     Quoted  from  the  Talmud  by  Bergel,  Studien 
iiber  die  naturwissenschaftlichen  Kenntnisse  der  Talmudisten.     Leip 
sic,    1880 :    p.   84.      Compare    Dillmann,  Das  Buck  Henoch,  Kap. 
Ixxvi. ;  Ixxvii.  ;  xxv.  5 ;  xxxiv. ;  xxxvi,      W.  Menzel,   Die  vorchrist- 
liche  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  Bd.  ii.,  p.  35,  101,  168,345.    See  also  p.  177 
of  this  volume. 

2  At  first  view  it  seems  strange  that  in  the  Middle  Ages,  in  Chris 
tian  Europe,  the  North  should  have  come  to  be  regarded  as  the  special 
abode  of  Satan  and  his  subjects,  and  that  on  the  north  side  of  some 
churches,  near  the  baptismal  font,  there  should  have  been  a  "  Devil's 
Door,"  which  was  opened  to  let  the  evil  spirit  pass  to  his  own  place 
at  the  time  of  the  renunciation  of  him  by  the  person  baptized.     The 
simple  explanation  of  this  is  found  in  the  fact  that  the  people  were 
taught  that  their  old  gods,  whom  they  had  worshiped  when  pagans, 
were  devils.     Compare  Grimm,  Deutsche  Mythologie,  p.  30,31.     Con- 
way,  in  his  Demonology  and  Devil  Lore  (London,  1879  :  vol.  ii.,  115  ; 
i.,  87),  entirely  misconceives  the  philosophy   of  the  fact.     A  similar 
change  seems  to  have  occurred  among  the  Iranians  after  Mazdeism 


Second.  The  Egyptian  Conception.  —  The  corre 
spondence  of  the  ancient  Egyptian  conception  of 
the  world  and  of  heaven  with  the  foregoing  would 
be  remarkable  did  we  not  know  that  Egypt  was 
the  cradle  of  the  Hebrew  people.  The  ancient  in 
habitants  of  the  Nile  valley  had  the  same  idea  as  to 
the  direction  of  the  true  summit  of  the  earth.  To 
them,  as  to  the  Hebrews,  it  was  in  the  North.  This 
was  the  more  remarkable  since  it  was  exactly  con 
trary  to  all  the  natural  indications  of  their  own 
country,  which  continually  ascended  toward  the 
South.  As  stated  in  a  previous  chapter,  Brugsch 
says,  "  The  Egyptians  conceived  of  the  earth  as  ris 
ing  toward  the  North,  so  that  in  its  northernmost 
point  it  at  last  joined  the  sky!' *  In  correspondence 
herewith  the  Egyptians  located  their  Ta-nuter,  or 
"  land  of  the  gods,"  in  the  extreme  North.2  On  this 
account  it  is  on  the  northern  exterior  wall  of  the 
great  temple  of  Ammon  at  Karnac  that  the  divinity 
promises  to  King  Rameses  II.  the  products  of  that 
heavenly  country,  "  silver,  gold,  lapis-lazuli,  and  all 
the  varieties  of  precious  stones  of  the  land  of  the 
gods."  Hence,  also,  contrary  to  all  natural  indica 
tions,  the  northern  hemisphere  was  considered  the 
realm  of  light,  the  southern  the  realm  of  darkness.3 

had  transformed  their  ancient  Daevas  from  gods  to  demons.  Hence, 
while  in  portions  of  the  Avestan  literature  (generally  the  older)  the 
heaven  of  Ahura  Mazda  is  in  the  North,  in  other  portions  the  North 
is  the  world  of  death  and  demons.  See  Bleek's  Avesta,  i.,  pp.  3,  137, 
143  ;  ii.  30,  31  ;  iii.  137,  138,  et passim.  Darmesteter,  Introduction, 
p.  Ixvii.,  Ixxx.  Haug,  Religion  of  the  Parsis,  pp.  267  ff. 

1  Geographische  Inschriften  altagyptischer   Denkmdler.      Leipsic, 
1858  :  vol.ii.,  p.  37. 

2  In  one  place  Brugsch  translates  ta-nutar-t  mahti  "  das  nb'rdliche 
Gottesland."     Astronomische  und  astrologische  Inschriften,  p.  176. 

3  "  To  the  twelve  great  gods  of  heaven  are  immediately  subjected 


The  passage  out  of  the  secret  chambers  of  the  Great 
Pyramid  was  pointed  precisely  at  the  North  Pole 
of  the  heavens.  All  the  other  pyramids  had  their 
openings  only  on  the  northern  side.  That  this  ar 
rangement  had  some  religious  significance  few  stu 
dents  of  the  subject  have  ever  doubted.  If  our  in 
terpretation  is  correct,  such  passages  from  the  burial 
chamber  toward  the  polar  heaven  intimated  a  vital 
faith  that  from  the  chamber  of  death  to  the  highest 
abode  of  life,  imperishable  and  divine,  the  road  is 
straight  and  ever  open.1 

Third.  The  Conception  of  the  Akkadians,  Assyri 
ans,  Babylonians,  Indians,  and  Iranians.  —  After 
what  has  been  said  in  former  chapters  respecting 
the  location  of  Kharsak  Kurra,  Sad  Matati,  Har- 
Moed,  Su-Meru,  and  Hara-berezaiti,  no  further  proof 
is  needed  that  all  the  peoples  above  named  associ 
ated  the  true  heaven,  the  abode  of  the  highest  gods, 

the  stars  dispersed  in  infinite  number  through  all  the  ethereal  space, 
and  divided  into  four  principal  groups  according  to  the  four  quarters 
of  the  world.  They  were  then  divided  into  two  orders  more  elevated, 
the  one  filling  the  northern  hemisphere  and  belonging  to  light,  to  the 
good  principle,  the  other  to  the  southern  hemisphere,  dark,  co\d,fu- 
neste,  and  to  the  sombre  abodes  of  Amenti."  Guigniaut's  Creuzer, 
Religions  de  F  Antiquite,  vol.  ii.,  p.  836.  A  very  curious  survival  of  the 
above  conception  is  found  in  the  Talmudic  Emek  Hammeleck.  See 
Eisenmenger,  Entdecktes  Judenthum,  Stehelin's  version,  vol.  i.,  p. 
181  ;  comp.  p.  255  ff. 

1  The  association  of  Set  with  the  constellation  of  the  Great  Bear, 
reported  by  Plutarch  and  lately  confirmed  by  original  astronomical 
texts  (Brugsch,  Astronomische  Inschriften  alttrgyptiscker  Denkmaler, 
Leipsic,  1883,  pp.  82-84,  I2I-I23)>  seems  at  first  view  inconsistent 
with  the  south  polar  location  of  demons  and  destructive  divinities. 
But  the  apparent  difficulty  is  transformed  into  an  all  the  stronger 
proof  of  the  correctness  of  our  theory  when  it  is  remembered  that  in 
the  most  ancient  times  Set  "  was  not  a  god  of  evil,"  but  the  supreme 
world-sovereign  from  whom  the  Egyptian  kings  derived  their  author 
ity  over  the  two  hemispheres.  "  It  was  not  till  the  decline  of  the  Em- 


with  the  northern  celestial  pole.1  In  each  case  the 
apex  of  their  respective  mounts  of  the  gods  pierced 
the  sky  precisely  at  that  point.  To  this  day  the 
Haranite  Sabaeans  —  the  most  direct  heirs  of  the 
religious  traditions  of  the  Tigro-Euphratean  world 

—  construct  their  temples  with  careful  reference  to 
the  ancient  faith.2      Their  priests  also,  in  the  act 
of   sacrifice,   like  all  ancient  priesthoods,   face  the 

In  the  Rig  Veda,  ii.,  40,  I,  we  read  of  the  amf- 
tasya  n  fib  him,  "the  Navel  of  the  Heavens."  The 
same  or  similar  expressions  occur  again  and  again 
in  the  Vedic  literature.  They  refer  to  the  northern 
celestial  Pole,  just  as  the  expression  ndbhir prthivyds, 
"  Navel  of  the  Earth,"  R.  V.  iii.,  29,  4,  and  elsewhere, 
signifies  the  northern  terrestrial  Pole.  To  each  is 
ascribed  preeminent  sanctity.  The  one  is  the  holi- 

pire  that  this  deity  came  to  be  regarded  as  an  evil  demon,  that  his 
name  was  effaced  from  the  monuments,  and  other  names  substituted 
for  his  in  the  Ritual."  Renouf,  Religion  of  Ancient  Egypt,  pp.  119, 120. 
The  expression  navel  or  centre  of  heaven,  as  a  designation  for  the 
northern  celestial  Pole,  so  common  among  ancient  nations,  would 
seem  to  have  been  current  among  the  Egyptians  also.  Brugsch, 
Ibid.,  p.  122,  123.  In  the  text  as  translated,  however,  there  is  some, 
obscurity.  Compare  p.  154. 

1  "  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  '  the  Heaven  of  Anu  '  was  the  par 
ticular  limited   celestial  region,  centring  in  the  Pole  star  and  pene 
trated  by  the  summit  of  the  Paradisaical  Mount."  —  Rev.  O.  D.  Mil 
ler,  The  Oriental  and  Biblical  Journal.     Chicago,  1880:  p.  173. 

2  "  L'eglise  n'a  que  deux  fenetres  et  une  porte  qui  est  toujours 
ouverte  du  oote  du  sud,  afin  que  celui  qui  y  entre  ait  1'etoile  polaire 
devant  lui."  —  N.  Siouffi,  Etudes  sur  la  Religion  des  Soubbas  oit  Sa- 
beens,  les  Dogmes,  leur  Mceurs.     Paris,  1880  :  p.  118. 

3  "  Cette  position  de  la  victime  permet  au  sacrificateur,  qui  a  le 
morgno  appuye  sur  1'epaule  gauche,  de  se  placer,  pour  remplir  son 
role,  de  fa9on  qu'il  ait  la  figure  tournee  vers  1'etoile  polaire  qui  couvre 
Avather,  tout  en  ayant  en  meme  temps  la  tete  de  1'animal  a  sa  droite." 

—  Ibid.,  p.  112. 

THE  EDEN  ZENITH.  2 1 1 

est  shrine  in  heaven,  the  other  the  holiest  shrine  on 
earth.  That  no  translator  has  hitherto  caught  the 
true  meaning  of  the  terms  seems  unaccountable.1 

In  Buddhism,  the  heir  and  conservator  of  so  many 
of  the  ancient  ideas  of  India,  the  same  notion  of  a 
world  ruler  with  his  throne  at  the  celestial  Pole 
lived  on.2  Very  curiously,  if  we  follow  the  author 
ity  of  the  Lalitavistara,  the  first  actions  and  words 
ascribed  to  the  infant  Buddha  on  his  arrival  in  our 
world  unmistakably  identify  the  North  with  the 
abode  of  the  gods,  and  its  nadir  with  the  abode  of 
the  demons.3  Even  the  modern  relics  of  the  non- 
Aryan  aboriginal  tribes  of  India,  as  for  example  the 
Gonds,  have  retained  this  ancient  ecumenical  ethnic 

1  In  his  heading  to  Hymn  I.,  185,  5,  Grassman  parenthetically  con 
jectures  that  the  Navel  of  the  World  therein  spoken  of  may  be  "  im 
Osten"  but  suggests  no  reason  for  its  location  in  that  or  any  other 
quarter.     Not  by  accident,  however,  did  the  ancient  bard  elsewhere 
(X.,  82, 2)  place  the  abode  of  God  "beyond  the  Seven  Rishis,"  in  the 
highest  North. 

2  "  The  omnipotence  of  Amitabha  is  dwelt  on  in  some  fine  gdthds. 
In  the  centre  of  heaven  he  sits  on  the  lotus  throne  and  guides  the  des 
tinies  of  mortals.'"      Arthur  Lillie,  Buddha  and  Early  Buddhism. 
London,  1882  :  p.  128.     Compare  also  p.  7  :  "This  Pole-star  (Alpha 
Draconis]  was  believed  to  be  the  pivot  round  which  the  cosmos  re 
volved.  .  .  .  The  symbol  of  God  and  the  situation  of  Paradise  got  to 
be  associated  with  this  star." 

8  "Le  Lalitavistara,  97,  rapporte  ces  paroles  d'une  maniere  un  peu 
differente  :  '  Je  suis  le  plus  glorieux  dans  ce  monde,  etc.'  Ensuite, 
apres  avoir  fait  sept  pas  dans  la  direction  du  septentrion  :  '  Je  serai 
le  plus  grand  de  tous  les  etres,'  puis  apres  sept  pas  dans  la  direction 
du  nadir  :  '  Je  detruirai  le  Malin  et  les  mauvais  esprits,  je  publierai 
la  loi  supreme  qui  doit  eteindre  le  feu  de  1'Enfer  au  profit  de  tous  les 
habitants  du  monde  souterrain.'  "  Note  to  Professor  Kern's  Histoire 
du  Bouddhisme  dans  f  Inde.  Revue  de  V Histoire  des  Religions.  Paris  : 
torn,  v.,  nro.  i,  p.  54.  Compare  the  less  explicit  account  in  Beal's 
Romantic  History  of  Buddha,  p.  44. 

*  "  In  burying  they  lay  the  head  to  the  South  and  the  feet  to  the 


Fourth.  The  Phoenician,  Greek,  Etruscan,  and 
Roman  Conception.  —  That  the  Phoenicians  shared 
the  general  Asiatic  view  of  a  mountain  of  the  gods 
in  the  extreme  North  appears  from  Movers'  learned 
work  upon  that  people.1 

The  evidence  that  in  ancient  Hellenic  thought, 
also,  the  heaven  of  the  gods  was  in  the  northern 
sky  is  incidental,  but  cumulative  and  satisfactory. 
For  example,  heaven  is  upheld  by  Atlas,  but  the  ter 
restrial  station  of  Atlas,  as  we  have  elsewhere  shown, 
is  at  the  North  Pole.  Again,  Olympos  was  the 
abode  of  the  gods  ;  but  if  the  now  generally  current 
etymology  of  this  term  is  correct,  Olympos  was  sim 
ply  the  Atlantean  pillar,  pictured  as  a  lofty  moun 
tain,  and  supporting  the  sky  at  its  northern  Pole.2 
In  fact,  many  writers  now  affirm  that  the  Olympos 
of  Greek  mythology  was  originally  simply  the  north 
polar  "  World-mountain  "  of  the  Asiatic  nations.3 

North,  as  the  home  of  their  gods  is  supposed  to  be  in  the  latter  direction. 
They  call  the  North  Deoguhr  sometimes,  and  the  South,  Muraho,  is 
looked  upon  as  a  region  of  terror  ;  so  the  feet  are  laid  towards  Deo 
guhr  in  order  that  they  may  carry  the  dead  man  in  the  right  direc 
tion." —  Report  of  Ethnological  Committee,  quoted  in  Spencer's  De 
scriptive  Sociology,  Div.  I.,  Ft.  3,  A.,  p.  36. 

1  Die  Phb'nizier.    Bonn,  1841-56,  vol.  i.,  pp.  261,  414. 

2  "  Here  the  idea  is  that  the  gods  reside  above  this  mountain  [Su- 
Meru],  which  is,  as  it  were,  the   support  of   their  dwellings.     This 
brings  to  our  mind  the  fable  of  Atlas  supporting  the  heavens  ;  the 
same  idea  may  probably  be  traced  in  the  Greek  Olympos  (Sanskrit, 
dlamba,  a  '  support ')."     Samuel  Beal,  Four  Lectures  on  Buddhist  Lit 
erature  in  China.     London,  1882  :  p.  147.     Compare  Grill. 

3  Compare  A.  H.  Sayce,  Transactions  of  Society  Bib.  Archeology, 
vol.  iii.,  152. —  Even  in  the  mathematical  cosmos  of  Philolaos,  though 
the  sedes  deorum  seems  to  be  placed  in  Hestia,  at  the  centre  of  the 
system,  there  is  yet  a  steep  way  leading  perpendicularly  to  the  polar 
summit  of  the  heavens,  by  means  of  which  the  gods  and  holy  souls 
attain  the  diviner  realm  of  all  perfection  :  "  Dii  vero,  quando  ad  con- 
vivium  pergunt,  turn  quidem  acclivi  via  proficiscuntur  sub  summura 


In  prayer  the  Greeks  turned  towards  the  North, 
and  from  Homer  we  know  that  when  they  addressed 
the  "  Olympian  "  gods  they  stretched  out  their  hands 
"  toward  the  starry  heavens  ;  "  Greek  prayers,  there 
fore,  must  have  been  addressed  toward  the  northern 
heavens.  Entirely  confirmatory  of  this  is  the  ac 
count  Plato  gives  of  "  the  holy  habitation  of  Zeus," 
in  which  the  solemn  convocations  of  the  gods  were 
held,  and  which,  he  explains,  "  was  placed  in  the 
Centre  of  the  World."  l 

That  this  Centre  is  the  northern  celestial  Pole  is 
placed  beyond  question  by  a  well-known  passage 
from  Servius  Maurus,2  where  it  is  called  the  "  domi- 
cilium  Jovis"  and  where  we  are  informed  that  the 
Etruscan  and  Roman  augurs  considered  thunder  and 
lightning  in  the  northern  sky  more  significant  than 
in  any  other  quarter,  being  "  higher  and  nearer  to 
the  abode  of  Jove?  3  Countries  in  high  northern 
latitudes  shared  in  this  peculiar  sanctity.  "  Toward 

qui  sub  coelo  est  fornicem  (arJoSa),  et  immortales  quae  dicuntur  animae, 
quando  ad  summum  pervenerunt,  extra  progresses  in  coeli  dorso  con- 
sistunt,  circumlataeque  cum  iis  animabus,  quae  comitari  eas  potuerunt, 
loca  supra  coelum  spectant,  ubi  pura  et  absoluta  veritas,  cognitio  vir 
tus,  pulchritude,  atque  omnis  omnino  perfectio  patet."  Aug.  Boeckh, 
"  De  vera  indole  astronomiae  Philolaicas."  Gesammelte  Kleine  Schrif- 
ten.  Leipsic,  1866 :  vol.  iii.,  p.  288.  Compare  pp.  290-292. 

1  Critias,  120.  2  j£ncid^  jj.  £93. 

3  "  Et  ideo  ex  ipsa  parte  significantiora  esse  fulmina,  quoniam  altiora 
et  viciniora  domicilio  Jovis"  Compare  Regell,  "  Das  Schautempel  der 
Augurn"  in  the  Neite  Jahrbiicher der  Philologie,  Bd.  cxxiii.,  pp.  593- 
637.  "  The  Hawaiian  soothsayer,  or  kilo-kilo,  turned  always  to  the 
North  when  observing  the  heavens  for  signs  or  omens,  or  when  re 
garding  the  flight  of  birds  for  similar  purposes.  The  ancient  Hindus 
turned  also  to  the  North  for  divining  purposes,  and  so  did  the  Ira 
nians  before  the  schism,  after  which  they  placed  the  devs  in  the 
North  ;  so  did  the  Greek,  and  so  did  the  Scandinavians  before  their 
conversion  to  Christianity."  A.  Fornander,  The  Polynesian  Race. 
London,  1878  :  vol.  i.,  p.  240. 


the  end  of  the  official  or  state  paganism,"  says  M. 
Beauvois,  "  the  Romans  regarded  Great  Britain  as 
nearer  heaven  and  more  sacred  than  the  Mediterra 
nean  countries."  l  Varro  and  other  Latin  writers 
confirm  this  general  representation,  so  that  all  mod 
ern  expounders  of  the  old  Etruscan  religion  unite 
in  locating  the  abode  of  the  gods  of  Etruria  in  the 
Centre  of  Heaven,  the  northern  circumpolar  sky.2 
Niebuhr  and  other  authorities  of  the  highest  rank 
assure  us  that  the  Romans  shared  the  same  faith.3 

1  "  Sacratiora  sunt  profecto  Mediterraneis  loca  vicina  ccelo"     Beau 
vois,  in  Revue  de  VHistoire  des  Religions.    Paris,  1883  :  p.  283.     The 
statement  is  based  upon  expressions  in  the  official  panegyric  of  the 
Emperor  Constantine  Augustus.     Compare  the  following  :  "  Diodo- 
rus  Siculus  speaks  of  a  nation  whom  he  calls  the  Hyperboreans,  who 
had  a  tradition  that  their  country  is  nearest  to  the  moon,  on  which 
they  discovered  mountains  like  those  on  the  earth,  and  that  Apollo 
comes  there  once  every  nineteen  years.    This  period,  being  that  of  the 
metonic  cycle  of  the  moon,  shows  that  if  this  could  have  been  really 
discovered  by  them  they  must  have   had  a  long  acquaintance  with 
astronomy.''     Flammarion,  Astronomical  Myths.    London  :  p.  88. 

2  "  Im  Nordpunkte  der  Welt."    K.  O.  Miiller,  Die  Etrusker.    Bres- 
lau,  1828  :  Bd.  ii.,  pp.  126,  129.    "  Suivant  eux,  ceux-ci  devaient  habi- 
ter  dans  la  partie  septentrionale  du  ciel,  £  raison  de  son  immobilite. 
C'est  de  la  region  polaire  qu'ils  veillaient  sur  toute  la  terre."      A. 
Maury,  in  Religions  de  VAntiquite,  Creuzer  et  Guigniaut,  torn,  ii.,  p. 
1217.     "  La  theologie  etrusque,   accueillant  une  doctrine   que  nous 
avons  deja  recontree  a  1'etat  de  reve  confus  dans  la  theologie  grecque, 
pla9ait  a  Textreme  nord  le  sejour  des  ^Lsars  ou  dieux.     Mais,  tandis 
que  1'Hellene  se  tourne  vers  les  dieux  pour  les  interroger,  le  Toscan 
imite  leur  attitude  supposee,  afin  de  voir  1'espace  comme  ils  le  voient 
eux-memes.     Ayant   done   le  visage  tourne  vers   le  midi,  il  appelle 
antica   la  moitie    meridionale  du  ciel,"  etc.    A.  Bouche-Leclercq,  La 
Divination  chez   les  Etrusques.     Revue  de  VHistoire  des  Religions. 
Paris,  1881  :  torn,  iii.,  p.  326. 

3  "  Der  Wohnsitz  der  Gotter  ward  im  Norden  der  Erde  geglaubt." 
Niebuhr,  Romische  Geschichte,  vol.  ii.,  Anhang,  p.  702.     "  It  is  well 
known  that  the  Romans  placed  the  seat  of  the  gods  in  the  extreme 
North."     The  Oriental  Journal.    Chicago,  1880  :  vol.  i.,  p.  143.    Nie- 
buhr's  remark,  "  Der  Augur  dachte  sich  schauend  wie  die  Gotter  auf 
die  Erde  schauen,"  explains  the  somewhat  unqualified  and  mislead- 


Fifth.  The  Japanese  Conception.  —  We  have  al 
ready  seen  that  in  the  Japanese  cosmogony  the 
down-thrust  spear  of  Izanagi  becomes  the  upright 
axis  of  heaven  and  earth.  Izanagi's  place,  there 
fore,  at  the  upper  end  of  this  axis  can  be  nowhere 
else  than  at  the  North  Pole  of  the  sky.1 

But  we  are  not  left  to  inference.  So  inseparably 
was  the  Creator  associated  with  the  Pole  in  ancient 
Japanese  thought  that  one  of  his  loftiest  and  divin- 
est  titles  was  derived  from  this  association.  Writ 
ing  of  the  primitive  ideas  of  this  people,  one  of  our 
best  authorities  uses  the  following  language :  "  I 
shall  do  the  Ko-ji-ki,  and  the  Shinto  religion,  and 
the  Japanese  philosophy,  strict  justice  by  saying 
that,  according  to  them,  there  existed  in  the  begin 
ning  one  god,  and  nobody  and  nothing  besides. 

"  '  Far  in  the  deep  infinitudes  of  space, 
Upon  a  throne  of  silence,' 

sat  the  god  Ame-no-mi-naka-nushi-no-kami,  whose 
name  signifies  THE  LORD  OF  THE  CENTRE  OF 
HEAVEN."  2 

What  this  Centre  of  Heaven  is  cannot  well  be 
doubtful  to  any  careful  reader  of  the  present  chapter. 

Sixth.  The  Chinese  Conception.  —  The  oldest 
traceable  worship  among  the  Chinese  is  that  of 
Shang-te,  the  highest  of  all  gods.  It  is  believed  to 
have  existed  more  than  two  thousand  years  before 
Christ.  Shang-te  is  usually  and  correctly  described 

ing  statement  of  Professor  Kuntze  touching  the  rotary  posture  of 
the  Roman  in  prayer.  Prolegomena  zur  Geschichte  Roms.  Oraculum, 
Auspicium  Templum,  Regnum.  Leipsic,  1882  :  p.  15. 

1  See  above,  pt.  iv.,  ch.  2. 

2  Sir  Edward  J.  Reed,  Japan,  vol.  i.,  p.  27.     Compare  Leon  de 
Rosny,  in  Revue  de  PHistoire  des  Religions.     Paris   1884 :    p.  208  ; 
also  p.  211. 


as  the  god  of  heaven.  But  his  proper  place  of 
abode,  his  palace,  is  called  Tsze-wei.  And  if  we  in 
quire  as  to  the  meaning  and  location  of  Tsze-wei, 
the  native  commentators  upon  the  sacred  books  in 
form  us  that  it  is  "  a  celestial  space  about  the  North 
Pole."  i 

Here,  as  in  Japan,  and  in  Egypt,  and  in  India,  and 
in  Iran,  and  in  Greece,  the  Pole  is  "  the  centre  "  of 
the  sky.  A  writer  in  the  "  Chinese  Repository  " 
quotes  from  authoritative  religious  books  these  dec 
larations:  "The  Polar  star  is  the  Centre  of  Heaven." 
"  Shang-te's  throne  is  in  Tsze-wei,  i.  e.,  the  Polar 
star."  "  Immediately  over  the  central  peak  of 
Kwen-lun  appears  the  Polar  star,  which  is  Shang- 
te's  heavenly  abode."  "In  the  central  place  the 
Polar  star  of  Heaven,  the  one  Bright  One,  the 
Great  Monad,  always  dwells."  2 

In  accordance  with  this  conception,  the  Emperor 
and  his  assistants,  when  officiating  before  the  Altar 
of  Heaven,  always  face  the  North.3  The  Pole-star 
itself  is  a  prominent  object  of  worship.4  And  how 
prevalent  this  localization  of  the  abode  of  God  at 

1  Legge,  The  Chinese  Classics,  vol.  iii.,  Pt.  i.,  p.  34  n.    See  further, 
Legge,  Spring  Lectures  on  the  Religions  of  China,   London,  1880,  p. 
175,  and  the   not  well  understood  prayer  in  Douglas,  Confucianism 
and  Tauism,  London,  1879,  P-  2?8-     From  these  and  other  references 
it  is  plain  that  Confucians  and  Tauists  alike  identified  the  northern 
sky  with  the  abode  of  God. 

2  Vol.  iv.,  p.  194.     So,  likewise  in  West  Mongolian  thought  the 
celestial  pole  and  the  "  apex  of  the  Golden  Mountain  "  are  identical  : 
"  Allan   kadasu   niken   nara    Tagri-dschin    urkilka.      Apex   mentis 
aurei,  nomine  Cardo  Coeli,  Stella  polaris."     Uranographia  Mongolica. 
Fundgruben  des  Orients,  Bd.  iii.,  p.  181. 

3  See  English  Translation  of  the  Chinese  Ritual  for  the  Sacrifice  to 
Heaven.     Shanghai,  1877  :  pp.  25,  26,  27,  28,  31,  48. 

4  Joseph  Edkins,  Religion  in  China,  p.  115.    Compare  G.  Schlegel, 
Uranographie  Chinoise,  pp.  506,  507. 

THE   EDEN  ZENITH.  21  / 

the  Pole  remains  after  four  thousand  years  may  be 
illustrated  by  the  following  incident  narrated  by 
Rev.  Dr.  Edkins  :  "  I  met  on  one  occasion  a  school 
master  from  the  neighborhood  of  Chapoo.  He 
asked  if  I  had  any  books  to  give  away  on  astronomy 
and  geography.  Such  books  are  eagerly  desired  by 
all  members  of  the  literary  class.  .  .  .  The  inquiry 
was  put  to  him  'Who  is  the  Lord  of  heaven  and 
earth  ?'  He  replied  that  he  knew  none  but  the  Pole- 
star,  called  in  the  Chinese  language  Teen-hwang-ta- 
te,  —  the  Great  Imperial  Ruler  of  Heaven."  1 

Seventh.  The  Ancient  German  and  the  Finnic  Con 
ception.  —  Like  the  ancients,  when  praying  and  sac 
rificing  to  the  gods,  the  pagan  Germans  turned  their 
faces  toward  the  North.2  There,  in  the  northern 
heaven,  at  the  top  of  Yggdrasil,  the  world-axis,  stood 
the  fair  city  of  Asgard,  the  home  of  the  Asen.  The 
Eddas  expressly  say  of  it  that  it  was  built  "  in  the 
Centre  of  the  World."  3  At  that  point,  whence  alone 

1  Religion  in  China,  p.  109.     This  title  irresistibly  suggests  the 
Assyrian  one,  Dayan-Same,  "  Judge  of  Heaven."      Transactions  So 
ciety  Bib.  Archeology,  iii.   206. 

2  Jakob  Grimm,  "  Betende  und  opferende  Heiden  schauten  gen  Nor- 
den."     Deutsche  Mythologie,  Bd.  5.,  p.  30. 

3  Grimm,  "  Im  Mittelpunkte  der  Welt."     Deutsche  Mythologie,  p. 
778.     The  following  is  from  the  Prose  Edda  :  "  Then  the  sons  of  Bor 
built  in  the  middle  of  the  universe  the  city  called  Asgard,  where 
dwell  the  gods  and  their  kindred,  and  from  that  abode  work  out  so 
many  wondrous  things  both  on  the  earth  and  in  the  heavens  above  it. 
There  is  in  that  city  a  place  called  Hlidskjalf,  and  when  Odin  is 
seated  there  upon  his  lofty  throne  he  sees  over  the  whole  world,  dis 
cerns  all  the  actions  of  men,  and  comprehends  whatever  he  contem 
plates.     His  wife  is  Frigga,  the  daughter  of  Fjorgyn,  and  they  and 
their  offspring  form  the  race  that  we  call  the  ^sir,  — a  race  that  dwells 
in  Asgard  the  old,  and  in  the  regions  around  it,  and  that  we  know  to 
be  entirely  divine."     Mallet,  Northern  Antiquities,  p.  406.     The  ex 
pression,  "  from  that  abode  work  out  so  many  wondrous  things,"  re 
calls  to  mind  Job's  description  of  the  North  as  the  place  "  where  God 
doth  work.1 


the  whole  world  of  men  is  ever  visible  by  night  and 
by  day,  stood  Hlidskjalf,  the  watch-tower  of  Odin. 
From  this  " partie  septentrionale  du  del"  he  and 
Frigga,  like  the  great  gods  of  the  Etruscans,  "  veil- 
latent  sur  toute  la  terre."  1 

Among  the  ancient  Finns  the  name  of  the  su 
preme  god  was  Ukko.  In  their  mythology  he  is 
sometimes  represented  as  upbearing  the  firmament, 
like  Atlas,  and  sometimes  he  is  called  Taivahan  Na- 
panen,  "the  Navel  of  Heaven."  As  Castren  shows, 
this  curious  title  is  given  him  simply  because  he  re 
sides  in  the  centre  or  Pole  of  heaven.2  In  the  great 
epic  of  this  people,  the  Kalevala,  the  abode  of  the 
supreme  God  is  called  Tahtela,8  which  word  simply 
means  "  Place  of  TdJiti :  Esthonian,  Taht,  the  Polar 

We  have  not  exhausted  our  materials  in  hand  for 
the  illustration  of  this  point,4  but  surely  we  have 
presented  enough.  Reviewing  this  singular  una 
nimity  of  the  ancient  nations,  no  thoughtful  reader 
can  fail  to  be  impressed  with  its  significance.  No 
other  explanation  of  it  can  be  so  simple  and  obvious 
as  the  supposition  that  the  heaven  which  over 
arched  the  cradle  of  humanity  was  a  heaven  whose 
zenith  was  the  northern  Pole. 

Before  concluding  the  present  chapter,  another 
point  of  considerable  interest  should  be  noticed.  In 
reading  the  Edenic  traditions  of  the  ancient  nations 

1  Vide  supra,  p.  214  n.  2. 

2  Castren,  Finnische  Mythologie  (Tr.  Schiefner),  pp.  32,  33. 

3  Rune  II,  32,  36,  40. 

4  See,  for  example,  Gill,  Myths  and  Songs  of  the  South  Pacific.    Lon 
don,  1876  :  p.  17. 


as  given  in  Part  fourth,  the  question  may  well  have 
suggested  itself  to  the  reader,  "  How  is  it  that,  with 
such  perfect  unanimity  on  the  part  of  contemporary 
nations  in  respect  to  the  north-polar  position  of  the 
cradle  of  mankind,  the  traditions  of  the  Hebrews 
alone  should  have  placed  it  in  the  East  ? "  In  the 
facts  just  now  reviewed  we  have  a  key  to  this  puz 
zle.  The  only  word  in  Genesis  which  connects  Eden 
with  the  East  is  Kedem  (Qedem).  This  term  "  prop 
erly  means  that  which  is  before  or  in  front  of  a  per 
son,  and  was  applied  to  the  East  from  the  custom  of 
turning  in  that  direction  when  describing  the  points 
of  the  compass."  1  From  Gen.  xiii.  14,  it  would 
seem  to  have  acquired  this  association  with  the  East 
as  early  as  the  days  of  Abraham,  but  according  tc 
"the  custom"  of  a  particular  time  or  people  it  could 
mean  one  point  of  the  compass  as  well  as  another. 
It  was  simply  the  "front-country."  In  late  historic 
times  among  the  Hebrews  it  was  the  East,  and  ac 
cordingly  the  West  was  the  country  "  behind,"  the 
North  the  "left  hand,"  the  South  the  "right,"  as 
before  noticed.  In  Egypt,  however,  the  usage  was 
different, — the  "  front  -  country  "  being  either  the 
North  or  the  South,  —  which  we  cannot  certainly 
tell,  as  Egyptologists  are  divided  on  the  question. 
Pierret  thinks  that  it  was  South,  and  that  accord 
ingly  the  right  hand  was  West  and  the  left  East.2 
Chabas  and  others,  however,  exactly  reverse  the 
meaning  of  the  hieroglyphics  translated  "right"  and 
"  left,"  and  hold  that  in  designating  the  points  of 
the  compass  the  ancient  Egyptian  faced  the  North. 

1  Smith's  Bible  Dictionary,  Art.  "  East." 

2  Dictionnaire  d"1  Archeologie    Egyptienne.      Paris,    1875  :    P-    I9I« 
Comp.  pp.  116,  118,  187,  344,  351,  364,  371,  392,  399. 


Among  the  Akkadians  and  Assyrians,  if  we  may  rely 
upon  a  questionable  statement  of  Lenormant,  still 
another  adjustment  prevailed  :  the  right  hand  was 
the  North,  the  left  the  South,  and  the  "front"  direc 
tion,  of  course,  the  West.1 

In  view  of  these  facts  it  is  plain  that,  anterior  to 
the  fixation  of  Hebrew  usage,  that  is  in  pre-Abra- 
hamic  times,  Qedem,  or  the  "front-country,"  may  as 
well  have  meant  the  North  as  any  other  quarter. 
And  there  is  much  reason  to  suppose  that  it  did 
have  this  meaning.  We  have  seen  that  this  was  pe 
culiarly  the  sacred  quarter  of  the  whole  Asiatic  and 
Egyptian  world.  Toward  it  faced  all  earliest  priest 
hoods  and  worshipers  of  whom  we  have  any  knowl 
edge.2  What  so  natural  as  that  they  should  con 
template  and  designate  the  different  quarters  of  the 
world  from  the  standpoint  of  their  normal  posture 
in  worship  ?  And  if  once  we  assume  that  such  was 
the  usage  of  all  the  Noachidae  anterior  to  their  dis 
persion,  and  that  accordingly  "the  front  -country  " 
meant  the  North,  all  at  once  becomes  plain.  Gen 
esis  then  unites  with  universal  ethnic  tradition  in 
locating  the  cradle  of  mankind  in  the  North.  The 
record  then  reads,  "And  the  Lord  God  planted  a 
garden  in  the  North  country,  in  Eden."  And,  in 
precise  agreement  herewith,  it  is  down  from  the 
mountainous  heights  of  this  North  country —  "from 

1  Fragments  de  Berose,  p.  367  ;  also,  380,  419.     But  compare  Ckal- 
daan  Mag?'c,  pp.  168,  169,  where,  by  identifying  the  West  with  the 
point  "  behind  the  observer,"  he  directly  contradicts  the  account  given 
in  his  Commentary  on  Berosus.     The  paragraph  does  not  appear  in 
the  original  French  edition  of  the  work. 

2  Even  among  the  aborigines  of  America  and  Africa  we  are  told 
that  "  the  West  is  the  left  hand  and  the  East  the  right."     Massey, 
The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  ii.,  p.  231. 


Qedem  "  —  that  the  descendants  of  Noah  in  after 
time  come  into  "  the  plain  in  the  land  of  Shinar  " 
(Gen.  xi.  2).  So  is  cleared  up  simultaneously  an 
other  mystery,  for  how  to  bring  the  first  colonizers 
of  Shinar  into  the  Tigro-Euphrates  valley,  from  any 
probable  Ararat  by  any  probable  "  journeying  from 
the  East"  or,  as  the  margin  gives  it,  "eastwards" 
has  always  perplexed  the  commentator.1 

This  interpretation  harmonizes  for  the  first  time 
Gen.  ii.  8  with  Eze.  xxviii.  13,  both  now  referring  to 
one  and  the  same  point  of  the  compass,  the  sacred 
North.  Again,  the  well-known  difficulty  of  harmo 
nizing  the  references  to  "  the  children  of  Qedem," 
found  in  the  oldest  of  the  Hebrew  Scriptures,  such 
as  Gen.  xxix.  I,  and  Job  i.  3,  is  solved  at  once  by 
this  interpretation.  At  the  same  time  it  gives  us  a 
location  for  "the  land  of  Uz"  exactly  correspond 
ing  with  the  explicit  declaration  of  Josephus  :  "  Uz 
founded  Trachonitis  and  Damascus  ;  this  country 
lies  between  Palestine  and  Coelosyria."  2 

To  most  readers,  this  solution  of  the  problem  of 
the  exceptional  character  of  the  Hebrew  tradition 
will  probably  at  once  commend  itself  as  eminently 
satisfactory.  To  some,  however,  it  may  seem  a  little 
difficult  of  belief  that  one  and  the  same  term  could 
in  successive  ages  have  found  application  to  differ 
ent  points  of  the  compass.3  To  such  the  following, 

1  Of  course,  this  interpretation  proceeds  upon  the  common  assump 
tion  that  Miqqedem  is  translocative  in  signification,  and  that  the  land 
of  Shinar  was  in  the  Tigro-Euphrates  basin.     In  another  note  I  have 
indicated  the  possibility  that  the  land  of  Shinar  was  in  primeval  Qe 
dem,  in  which  case  Miqqedem  in  Gen.  xi.  2  should  be  translated  pre 
cisely  as  in  Gen.  ii.  8,  "  in  the  North  country." 

2  Antiquities  of  the  Jews,  Bk.  i.,  6,  4. 

3  See  diagram  illustrative  of  the  discrepancy  between  Euphratean 
and  Egyptian  orientations  in  Brown,  Myth  of  Jtirke.     London,  1883  : 


written,  of  course,  with  no  reference  to  our  problem, 
will  be  of  special  interest :  "  The  names  of  the  four 
cardinal  points,  and,  what  is  very  remarkable,  the 
hieroglyphic  signs  by  which  they  are  expressed,  are 
in  a  certain  measure  the  same  in  the  Akkadian  and 
Chinese  cultures.  This  I  intend  to  show  in  a  spe 
cial  monograph  upon  the  subject;  but  that  which  is 
here  of  importance  to  note  is  the  displacement  of 
the  geographical  horizon  produced  in  the  establish 
ing  of  the  '  hundred  families.'  The  South,  which 
was  so  termed  on  the  cuneiform  tablets,  corresponds 
in  Chinese  to  the  East,  the  North  to  the  West,  the 
East  to  the  South,  making  thus  a  displacement  of 
quarter  of  a  circle.  It  would  be  interesting  if,  on 
examination  of  the  Akkadian  and  Assyrian  names, 
we  could  find  that  they  in  their  turn  denoted  an 
early  displacement  of  which  only  these  traces  re 
main  to  us."  1 

p.  99.  Comp.  p.  101,  bot.  Mr.  G.  Massey,  in  his  vast  astrotypolog- 
ical  medley,  refers  to  the  horizon-displacement,  but  affords  no  intelli 
gible  explanation.  He  says,  "  In  making  the  change  to  a  circle  of 
twelve  signs,  the  point  of  commencement  in  the  North  was  e  slewed  ' 
round  eastward.  Hence  the  Akkadian  Mountain  of  the  World  be 
came  the  Mountain  of  the  East.  Mount  Meru,  the  primordial  birth 
place  in  the  North,  likewise  became  the  Mountain  eastward.  This 
may  be  followed  in  the  Adamah  of  the  Genesis  ;  and  in  the  Book  of 
Enoch  it  says,  '  The  fourth  wind,  which  is  named  the  North,  is  divided 
into  three  parts,  and  the  third  part  contains  Paradise.'  Thus  Eden, 
which  began  at  the  summit  of  the  Mount,  and  descended  into  the 
Circle  of  Four  Quarters  prepared  by  Yima,  in  the  Avesta,  against 
the  coming  Deluge,  was  finally  planted  in  the  twelfth  division  of  the 
zodiac  of  twelve  signs,  as  the  garden  eastward."  The  Natural  Gen 
esis.  London,  1883  :  vol.  ii.,  p.  263. 

1  Terrien  de  Lacouperie,  Early  History  of  the  Chinese  Civilization. 
London,  1880 :  p.  29.  On  this  curious  matter  Mr.  T.  G.  Pinches 
threw  some  new  light  at  a  meeting  of  the  Society  of  Biblical  Arche 
ology,  Feb.  6,  1883.  In  May  Mr.  Terrien  de  Lacouperie  read  a  paper 
before  the  Royal  Asiatic  Society,  entitled  "  The  Shifting  of  the  Car- 


Possibly  the  usage  of  ancient  Egypt  may  enable 
us  to  put  our  solution  in  yet  simpler  form.  If  we 
may  accept  the  teachings  of  the  learned  Maspero, 
the  Egyptians  often  reduced  the  four  quarters  or  di 
rections  to  two,  using  the  term  East  in  a  sense  suffi 
ciently  broad  to  include  both  East  and  North,  and 
the  term  West  in  a  sense  sufficiently  broad  to  in 
clude  both  West  and  South.1  If,  then,  Moses,  who 
in  his  education  was  an  Egyptian,  wrote  in  accord- 

dinal  Points  in  Chaldaea  and  China,"  which  will  appear  in  his  forth 
coming  work  on  The  Origin  of  Chinese  Civilization.  Similar  inter 
changes  and  identifications  of  the  North  and  West  are  referred  to 
by  Menzel,  Die  vorchristliche  Unsterblichkcitslehre,  i.,  p.  101.  See 
also  Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  viii.,  pp.  275-284. 

1  "J'ai  expose  depuis  longtemps  dans  mes  cours  au  College  de 
France  une  theorie  d'apres  laquelle  les  Egyptiens  auraient  divise  les 
quatre  points  en  deux  series  groupees  :  Nord-Est,  Sud-Ouest.  .  .  . 
Ce  n'est  que  par  suite  de  la  classification  dont  je  viens  de  parler  qu'on 
met  souvent  a  1'Ouest  les  regions  proprement  situees  au  Sud,  ou  re- 
ciproquement  au  Sud  les  regions  situees  a  1'Ouest.  L'application  de 
cette  idee  a  1'Est  nous  mene  aussi  a  croire  que  Ton  a  pu  dire  du  Ta- 
noutri  qu'il  etait  au  Nord."  (M.  Maspero,  in  a  letter  to  the  author, 
under  date  of  December  20,  1882.)  This  usage  could  hardly  have 
arisen  among  any  people  not  acquainted  with  the  spherical  figure  of 
the  earth.  How  easily  it  could  arise  among  us  is  illustrated  by  Sir 
John  de  Maundeville,  who,  writing  in  A.  D.  1356,  located  Paradise  so 
far  to  the  East  of  England  that  he  could  no  longer  correctly  describe  the 
place  by  this  term.  Thus,  after  speaking  of  the  Terrestrial  Paradise  as 
situate  far  "  to  the  East,  at  the  beginning  of  the  earth,"  he  says,  "  But 
this  is  not  that  East  which  we  call  our  East,  on  this  half,  where  the 
sun  rises  to  us  ;  for  when  the  sun  is  East  in  those  parts  towards  Ter 
restrial  Paradise,  it  is  then  midnight  in  our  parts  on  this  half,  on  ac 
count  of  the  roundness  of  the  earth,  of  which  I  have  told  you  before ; 
for  our  Lord  God  made  the  earth  all  round  in  the  middle  of  the  firma 
ment."  Wright,  Early  Travels  in  Palestine.  London,  1848  :  p.  276. 
The  nearest  way  to  an  Eden  thus  located  would,  of  course,  be  north 
ward.  Its  location  could  therefore  be  described  with  equal  correct 
ness  either  by  the  term  "  eastward  "  or  "  northward."  Still  another 
interesting  theory  of  its  origin  will  suggest  itself  to  the  thoughtful 
student  of  such  facts  as  those  alluded  to  by  Mr.  Scribner  in  Where 
iid  Life  Begin  ?  pp.  32,  33. 


ance  with  such  a  usage,  it  would  be  quite  possible 
to  use  Qedem  for  a  "  front-country  "  in  the  North, 
and  again,  without  embarrassment,  to  use  the  same 
term  in  speaking  of  the  East.1 

1  Compare  the  arrangement  of  the  winds  on  the  ceiling  of  the  Pro- 
naos  of  the  temple  at  Dendera.  Brugsch,  Astronomische  Inschriften 
ctitagyptischer  Denkmdler.  Leipsic,  1883  :  pp.  26  hot.,  and  27  top. 


THE    NAVEL    OF    THE    EARTH.1 

He  is  the  god  who  sits  in  the  centre,  on  the  Navel  of  the  Earth  ;  and  he  is  the 
interpreter  of  religion  to  all  mankind.  —  PLATO. 

But  at  the  Navel  of  the  Earth  stands  Agni,  clothed  in  richest  apparel.  —  Rig 

To  whom  then  will  ye  liken  God  ?  It  is  HE  that  sitteth  upon  the  CHUG  of  the 
Earth,  and  the  inhabitants  thereof  are  as  grasshoppers.  —  ISAIAH. 

After  proceeding  some  distance  we  paused  to  take  breath  where  the  crowd  was 
more  dense  and  obstinate  than  usual :  and  I  was  seriously  informed  that  this  was 
the  exact  Navel  of  the  Earth,  and  that  these  obstinate  pilgrims  were  bowing  and 
kissing  it, — The  Land  and  the  Book. 

Jedes  Volk  hat  einen  Nabel  der  Erde.  —  KLEUKER. 

STUDENTS  of  antiquity  must  often  have  marveled 
that  in  nearly  every  ancient  literature  they  should 
encounter  the  strange  expression  "  the  Navel  of 
the  Earth."  Still  more  unaccountable  would  it 
have  seemed  to  them  had  they  noticed  how  many 
ancient  mythologies  connect  the  cradle  of  the  human 
race  with  this  earth-navel.  The  advocates  of  the 
different  sites  which  have  been  assigned  to  Eden 
have  seldom,  if  ever,  recognized  the  fact  that  no 
hypothesis  on  this  subject  can  be  considered  accept 
able  which  cannot  account  for  this  peculiar  associa 
tion  of  man's  first  home  with  some  sort  of  natural 
centre  of  the  earth.  Assuming,  however,  that  the 
human  race  began  its  history  at  the  Pole,  and  that 

1  Printed  in  advance  in  the  Boston  University  Year  Book,  vol.  xi. 



all  traditional  recollections  of  man's  unfallen  state 
were  connected  with  a  polar  Eden,  the  mystery 
which  otherwise  envelops  the  subject  immediately 

We  have  already  seen  that  the  term  "  navel "  was 
anciently  used  in  many  languages  for  "  centre,"  and 
that  the  Pole,  or  central  point  of  the  revolving  con 
stellations,  was  the  "  Navel  of  Heaven."  But  as  to 
the  celestial  Pole  there  corresponds  a  terrestrial  one, 
so  it  is  only  natural  that  to  the  term  the  "  Navel  of 
Heaven  "  there  should  be  the  corresponding  expres 
sion  the  "  Navel  of  the  Earth." 

Beginning  with  Christian  traditions,  let  us  make 
a  pilgrimage  to  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre 
at  Jerusalem.  There,  in  the  portion  belonging  to 
the  Greek  Christians,  we  shall  discover  a  round  pil 
lar,  some  two  feet  high,  projecting  from  the  marble 
pavement,  but  supporting  nothing.  If  we  inquire  as 
to  its  purpose,  we  shall  be  informed  that  it  is  de 
signed  to  mark  the  exact  centre  or  "  Navel "  of  the 
Earth.1  Early  pilgrims  and  chroniclers  refer  to  this 

1  As  my  own  inspection  of  this  monument  was  nearly  thirty  years 
ago,  I  have  thought  it  well  to  make  inquiry  as  to  its  present  state. 
The  following,  written  under  date  of  Oct.  28,  1884,  by  my  obliging 
friend,  Dr.  Selah  Merrill,  the  United  States  Consul  at  Jerusalem,  and 
well  known  as  an  Oriental  archaeologist,  will  be  read  with  much  inter 
est  :  "  The  stone  to  which  you  refer  still  stands  in  the  middle  of  the 
Church  (Greek)  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre,  and  is  called  the  Centre  or 
Navel  of  the  Earth.  It  is  called  a  '  pillar,'  although  it  is  not  a  pil 
lar,  but  a  vase,  conforming  in  its  general  shape  to  a  large,  tall  fruit 
dish.  The  top  is  in  the  form  of  a  basin,  with  a  raised  portion  in  its 
centre ;  that  is,  in  the  bottom  of  the  basin.  I  was  told  that  at  every 
feast  bread  was  laid  on  this  pillar.  I  am  assured  that  it  is  called  the 
Centre  of  the  Earth  only  by  the  Arab  or  native  Christians  of  Syria, 
and  not  by  the  Greeks  proper  ;  also,  that  every  Greek  church  in 
Syria  that  is  built  after  the  form  of  this  one  has  such  a  '  pillar '  in 
the  centre.  Within  two  or  three  years  past,  an  old  church  has  been 


THE  NAVEL  OF  THE  EARTH.       22  / 

curious  monument,  but  its  antiquity  no  one  knows.1 
As  usually  described,  it  is  a  monument  of  the  geo 
graphical  ignorance  of  those  who  placed  it  there,  a 
proof  that  they  supposed  the  edge  of  the  "flat  disk" 
of  the  earth  to  be  everywhere  equidistant  from  this 
stone.  In  reality,  it  is  a  monument  of  primeval  as 
tronomic  and  geographic  science.' 

excavated  a  little  distance  north  of  the  Damascus  gate.  In  the  Pal 
estine  Fund  Report  for  October,  1883,  I  wrote  some  account  of  this 
to  supplement  what  had  been  written  before  by  others.  In  the  centre 
of  that  church  there  is  a  similar  stone,  but  that  is  a  real  pillar.  This 
church  is  no  doubt  very  old,  and  is  popularly  spoken  of  as  the  '  Church 
of  St.  Stephen.'  In  my  judgment  it  stands  on  the  site  of  an  older 

"  It  seemed  to  me  a  little  singular  that  this  object  should  be  called 
a  '  pillar  '  (Amud),  when  it  is  only  a  vase,  or  vase-shaped  ;  but  as  the 
tradition  connected  with  it  is  very  old,  the  name  may  have  come  down 
from  the  time  when  the  object  used  for  this  purpose  was  actually  a 
pillar  or  column." 

It  is  interesting  to  compare  with  the  foregoing  the  description  given 
by  Bernard  Surius,  of  Brussels,  in  the  year  1646,  particularly  as  at 
that  time  the  "  Oriental  Greeks  "  seem  to  have  had  no  scruple  in  call 
ing  the  pillar  the  Centre  of  the  Earth  :  "  Omtrent  het  midden  steckt 
eenen  witten  marmer-steen  uyt,  van  twee  voeten  in  syn  vierkant,  daer 
een  rondt  putteken  in  is,  't  welck  soo  de  Oostsche  Griecken  seggen, 
het  midden  van  den  aerdt-bodem  is."  Reyse  van  Jerusalem.  Ant 
werp,  1649  :  P-  664. 

1  Bishop  Argulf,  in  his  pilgrimage,  A.  D.  700,  "saw  some  other 
relics,  and  he  observed  a  lofty  column  in  the  holy  places  to  the  north 
of  the  Church  of  Golgotha,  in  the  middle  of  the  city,  which  at  mid 
day  at  the  summer  solstice  casts  no  shadow  ;  which  shows  that  this  is 
the  centre  of  the  earth."  Wright,  Early  Travels  in  Palestine,  p.  4. 
As  late  as  A.  D.  1102,  it  still  seems  to  have  been  outside  the  then  ex 
isting  Church.  Bishop  Saewulf  says,  "At  the  head  of  the  Church  of 
the  Holy  Sepulchre,  in  the  -wall  outside,  not  far  from  the  place  of  Cal 
vary,  is  the  place  called  Compos,  which  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  him 
self  signified  and  measured  with  his  own  hand  as  the  middle  of  the 
world  according  to  the  words  of  the  Psalmist,  '  God  is  my  king  of 
old,  working  salvation  in  the  midst  of  the  earth.'  "  Ibid.,  p.  38.  In 
1322,  however,  it  is  described  by  Sir  John  de  Maundeville  as  "  in  the 
midst  of  the  Church."  Ibid.,  p.  167.  At  one  time  in  the  Middle 
Ages,  the  spot  seems  to  have  been  marked  by  a  letter  or  inscription. 


To  find  the  true  symbolical  and  commemorative 
character  of  this  pillar,  we  need  to  remind  ourselves 
of  a  tendency  ever  present  and  active  among  men. 
We  have  already  alluded  to  the  scores  of  "  Calva 
ries  "  which  have  been  set  apart  in  Roman  Catholic 
lands,  and  hallowed  as  memorial  mounts.  Up  the 
side  of  each  leads  a  Via  dolorosa,  with  its  different 
"  stations,"  each  recalling  to  the  mind,  by  sculptured 
reliefs  or  otherwise,  one  of  the  immortal  incidents 
of  the  Passion.  On  the  summit  is  the  full  cruci 
fixion  tableau,  —  the  Saviour  hanging  aloft  upon 
the  cross,  between  two  crucified  malefactors.  The 
spear,  the  reed  with  the  sponge,  the  hammer,  —  all 
are  there,  sometimes  the  ladder  also  ;  and  near  by, 
the  tomb  wherein  never  man  was  laid.  In  the  minds 
of  the  worshipers  it  is  a  holy  place. 

Even  in  our  Protestant  republic,  on  the  shore  of 
Lake  Chautauqua,  we  have  seen  successfully  carried 
out,  in  our  own  day,  a  complete  reproduction  of  Pal 
estine.  Thousands  have  visited  it  to  take  object- 
lessons  in  Sacred  Geography.  From  it  these  thou 
sands  have  gained  clearer  ideas  of  the  relative 
positions  and  bearings  of  Hermon  and  Tabor  and 
Olivet,  of  Kedron  and  Cherith  and  the  Jordan,  of 
Nazareth  and  Hebron  and  the  Holy  City,  than 'else 
they  ever  would  have  had.  What  here  has  been 
done  for  purposes  of  instruction  has  elsewhere  and 
often  upon  a  greater  or  smaller  scale,  been  done  for 
purposes  of  direct  religious  edification,  and  for  the 
gratification  of  religious  sentiment. 

Now,  just  as  Christians  love  to  localize  in  their 

Barclay,  City  of  the  Great  King.  Philadelphia,  1858  :  p.  370.  See 
Michelant  et  Reynaud,  Itineraries  a  Jerusalem.  Geneve,  1882  :  pp, 
36,  IO44,  182,  230,  etc. 


own  midst  their  "  Holy  Places,"  so  the  early  nations 
of  the  world  loved  to  create  miniature  reproductions 
of  Eden,  the  fair  and  sacred  country  in  which  man 
dwelt  in  the  holy  morning  hours  of  his  existence.1 
The  traditional  temple  architecture  of  many  early 
religions  was  determined  by  this  symbolical  and 
commemorative  motive.  This  was  eminently  true 
of  the  sacred  architecture  of  the  Babylonians,  Egyp 
tians,  Hebrews,  and  Chinese.2  Koeppen  assures  us 
that  "  every  orthodoxly  constructed  Buddhist  temple 
either  is,  or  contains,  a  symbolical  representation  of 
the  divine  regions  of  Meru,  and  of  the  heaven  of 
the  gods,  saints,  and  Buddhas,  rising  above  it."  3 
Lillie  says,  "The  thirteen  pyramidal  layers  at  the 
top  of  every  temple  in  Nepal  represent  the  thirteen 
unchangeable  heavens  of  Amitabha."  4  With  what 

1  "  The  Hindus  generally  represent  Mount  Meru  of  a  conical  figure, 
and  kings  were  formerly  fond  of  raising  mounds  of  earth  in  that 
shape,  which  they  venerated  like  the  divine  Meru,  and  the  gods  were 
called  down  by  spells  to  come  and  dally  upon  them.     They  are  called 
Meru-sringas,  or  the  peaks  of  Meru.     There  are  four  of  them  either 
in  or  near  Benares  ;  the  more  modern,  and  of  course  the  more  per 
fect,  is  at  a  place  called  Sar-nath.     It  was  raised  in  the  year  of  Christ 
1027.  .  .  .  This  conical  hill  is  about  sixty  feet  high,  with  a  small  but 
handsome  octagonal  temple  on  the  summit.     It  is  said  in  the  inscrip 
tion  that  this  artificial  hill  was  intended  as  a  representation  of  the 
worldly  Meru,  the  hill  of  God,  and  the  tower  of  Babel,  with  its  seven 
steps  or  zones,  was  probably  raised  with  a  similar  view  and  for  the 
same  purpose."  —  Wilford  in  Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  viii.,  p.  291. 

2  Miller,  "The  Pyramidal  Temple,"  in  the  Oriental  and  Bib.  Jour 
nal.     Chicago,   1880:  vol.  i.,  pp.  169-178.     Also,  Boscawen,  in  the 
same,  1884,  p.  118.     Perrot  and  Chipiez,  History  of  Art  in  Chaldaa 
and  Assyria.     London  and  New  York,  1884  :  vol.  i.,  pp.  364-398. 

8  Die  Religion  des  Buddha,  vol.  ii.,  262. 

4  Buddha  and  Early  Buddhism,  p.  51.  We  find  the  same  symbol 
ism  even  among  the  civilized  aborigines  of  America.  Thus  "  the 
temple  at  Tezcuco  was  of  nine  stories,  symbolizing  the  nine  heavens" 
Bancroft,  Native  Races,  vol.  iii.,  p.  184.  Compare  pp.  186,  195,  197; 
also  532-537. 


astonishing  elaboration  this  idea  has  sometimes  been 
carried  out  may  be  seen  in  the  Senbyoo  temple  in 
Mengoon,  near  the  capital  of  Burmah.1  That  the 
natural  features  of  the  landscape  were  often  utilized 
in  producing  these  symbolic  shrines  and  holy  places 
is  only  what  we  should  expect.  "  The  Buddhists  of 
Ceylon,"  as  Obry  states,  "  have  endeavored  to  trans 
form  their  central  mountain,  Deva-Kuta  (Peak  of  the 
Gods),  into  Meru,  and  to  find  four  streams  descend 
ing  from  its  sides  to  correspond  with  the  rivers  of 
their  Paradise."  2 

Again,  in  the  "  rock-cut "  temples  of  Ellora,  we 
have,  in  like  manner,  a  complete  representation  of 
the  Paradise  of  Siva.  Faber  develops  the  evidence 
of  this  practice  among  the  ancients  with  great  full 
ness,  and  with  respect  to  the  Hindus  and  Buddhists 
says,  "  Each  pagoda,  each  pyramid,  each  montiform 
'  high-place/  is  invariably  esteemed  to  be  a  copy  of 
the  holy  hill  Meru,"  the  Hindu's  Paradise.3 

From  "  Records  of  the  Past,"  vol.  x.,  p.  50,  we  see 
that  the  Egyptians  had  the  same  custom  of  building 
temples  in  such  a  manner  that  they  should  be  sym 
bolical  of  the  abode  of  the  gods.  So  in  Greece  and 

1  See  Journal  of  the  Royal  Asiatic  Society.    London,  1870:  pp.  406- 

2  Le  Bercea^^  de  V E spice  Humaine,  p.  118. 

3  Origin  of  Pagan  Idolatry.     London,  1816  :  vol.  i.,  p.  345.     So  an 
American   writer  says,  "  Akkad,  Aram,  and  all  the  other  '  highlands  ' 
of  antiquity  were  but  reproductions,  traditionary  inheritances  from 
this  primitive  highland,  this  Olympus  of  all  Asia.  .  .  .  Similar  notions 
were  associated  at  a  later  period  with  Mount  Zion  in  Jerusalem,  and 
with  the  Mohammedan   Mecca  and  other  sacred  localities.      Such 
ideas  [as  that  they  were  respectively  in  the  centre  of  the  world]  are 
no  indication  of  the  ignorance  of  the  ancients  :  they  were  symbolical 
and    traditionary   conceptions  inherited  from   the  sacred   mount  of 
Paradise."      The  American  Antiquarian  and  Oriental  Journal.     Chi 
cago,  1881  :  p.  312.     Compare  1884,  p.  118. 

THE  NAVEL    OF  THE   EARTH.  2$l 

Rome  the  citadel  mounts  in  their  cities  had  quite  as 
great  religious  as  military  significance.  Lenormant, 
speaking  of  Rome  and  Olympia,  remarks,  "  It  is  im 
possible  not  to  note  that  the  Capitoline  was  first  of 
all  the  Mount  of  Saturn,  and  that  the  Roman  archae 
ologists  established  a  complete  affinity  between  the 
Capitoline  and  Mount  Cronios  in  Olympia,  from  the 
standpoint  of  their  traditions  and  religious  origin 
(Dionysius  Halicarn.,  i.,  34).  This  Mount  Cronios 
is,  as  it  were,  the  Omphalos  of  the  sacred  city  of 
Elis,  the  primitive  centre  of  its  worship.  It  some 
times  receives  the  name  Olympos."  1  Here  is  not 
only  symbolism  in  general,  but  also  a  symbolism 
pointing  to  the  Arctic  Eden,  already  shown  to  be 
the  primeval  mount  of  Kronos,  the  Omphalos  of  the 
whole  earth.2 

Now,  as  Jerusalem  is  one  of  the  most  ancient  of 
the  sacred  cities  of  the  world,  and,  at  the  same  time, 
the  one  where  the  tradition  of  the  primeval  Paradise 
was  preserved  in  its  clearest  and  most  historic  form, 
it  would  be  strange  if,  in  all  its  long  history,  no  king 
or  priesthood  had  ever  tried  to  enhance  its  attrac 
tiveness  and  sanctity  by  making  it,  or  some  part  of 
it,  symbolize  Earth's  earliest  Holy  Land,  and  com 
memorate  man's  earliest  Theocracy.  That  the  at- 

1  Beginnings  of  History,  pp.  151,  153. 

2  Among  the  Romans  no  city,  or  even  camp,  was  rite  established 
and  founded  without  a  sacred   Umbilicus.     It  "  fiel  in  den  Schnitt- 
punkt  des  Decumanus  und  Cardo  Maximus,  d.  h.,  wohin  die  Via  decu- 
mana,s\ch  mit  der  Via principalis  \i\z\ii\. ;  dieser  Schnittpunkt  befand 
sich  vor  dem  introitus  Praetorii ;  da  stand  auch  die  Ara  castrorum, 
da  war  der  Umbilicus  des  Systems.     Diesen  Umbilicus  nun  finden 
\vir  in  Rom  noch  in  Mauerresten  vorhanden  am  nordostlichen  Anfang 
des  Forum  wieder,  welche  Stelle  als  Umbilicus  bezeichnetwurde."    J. 
H.  Kuntze,  Prolegomena  z^^r  Geschichte  Roms.     Leipsic,  1882:  p.  154. 
See  notes  below,  on  the  cities  of  Cuzco  and  Mexico. 


tempt  was  made  is  beyond  a  doubt.  To  this  day  the 
visitor  is  shown  the  spot  where,  according  to  one 
tradition,  Adam  was  created.1  Not  many  feet  away, 
under  the  custody  of  another  religion,  he  finds  the 
sacred  rock-hewn  grave  in  which  at  least  the  head 
of  the  first  of  men  was  buried.2  In  the  little  Gihon, 
the  name  of  one  of  the  Paradise  rivers  still  lives. 
The  miraculous  virtue  of  the  Pool  of  Bethsaida 
was  ascribed  in  early  Christian  legend  to  its  being 
in  subterranean  contact  with  the  Tree  of  Life, 
which  grew  in  the  midst  of  Paradise.3  Christ's 
cross  was  said  to  have  been  made  of  the  wood  of  the 
same  tree.  The  very  name,  Mount  Sion,  is  a  memo 
rial  one.  The  Talmudic  account  of  "  The  Strength 
of  the  Hill  of  Sion "  shows  that  the  Palestinian 
mount  was  named  after  the  heavenly  one,  and  not 
vice  versa,  as  commonly  supposed.  The  true  sacred 
name  of  the  Holy  City  is,  therefore,  not  Sion 
(though  it  is  often  called  by  the  heavenly  appella 
tion  also),  but  "  Daughter  of  Sion."  She  is  simply 

1  Murray's  Handbook  for  Syria  and  Palestine.    London,  1858  :  Pt.  i., 
p.  164.    Another  account  reads,  "  E  de  Iherusalem  a  Seint  Habraham 
sunt.  viii.  liwes,  e  la  fust  Adam  fourme."     Itineraires  &  Jerusalem, 
et  Descriptions  de  la  Terre  Sainte.      Rediges  en  frangais  aux  XP, 
XIP,  XIIP  siecles.      Publics  par  Michelant  et  Reynaud.     Geneve, 
1882  :   p.  233. 

2  See  F.  Piper,  Adams  Grab  auf  Golgotha.     Evangelischer  Kalen- 
der>  1861  :  p.  17  ff.  (illustrated).     Philippe  Mousket  (A.  D.  1241),  in 
his  descriptive  poem  on  the  Holy  Places,  makes  it  the  tomb  of  both 
Adam  and  Eve  :  — 

"  Et  la  tout  droit  u  li  ludeu 
Crucifiierent  le  fil  Deu, 
Fu  Adam,  li  premiers  om,  mis 
Et  entieres  et  soupoulis, 
Et  Eve,  sa  feme,  avoec  lui,"  etc. 

(Michelant  et  Reynaud,  ut  supra,  p.  115.) 

8  W.  Henderson,  Identity  of  the  Scene  of  Man's  Creation,  Fall,  and 
Redemption.     London,  1864  :  p.  10. 


a  copy,  a  miniature  likeness,  of  the  true  mount  and 
city  of  God  "  in  the  sides  of  the  North."  1 

So  confident  is  Lenormant  that  Solomon  and 
Hezekiah  intentionally  conformed  their  capital  to 
the  Paradisaic  mount,  and  intentionally  introduced 
in  their  public  works  features  which  should  sym 
bolize  and  commemorate  peculiarities  of  Eden,  that 
he  uses  the  fact  as  an  unanswerable  argument 
against  those  imaginative  critics  who  would  place 
the  composition  of  the  second  chapter  of  Genesis 
subsequent  to  the  Babylonian  exile.  He  says,  — 

"  Another  proof,  and  a  very  decisive  one  in  my 
opinion,  of  the  high  antiquity  of  the  narrative  of 
Genesis  concerning  Eden,  and  of  the  knowledge  of 
it  possessed  by  the  Hebrews  long  before  the  Captiv 
ity,  is  the  intention  —  so  clearly  proved  by  Ewald  — 
to  imitate  '  the  four  rivers '  which  predominated  in 
the  works  of  Solomon  and  Hezekiah  for  the  distri 
bution  of  the  waters  of  Jerusalem,  which,  in  its  turn, 
was  considered  as  the  Umbilicus  of  the  Earth  (Ezek. 
v.  5),  in  the  double  sense  of  centre  of  the  inhabited 
regions  and  source  of  the  rivers.  The  four  streams 
which  watered  the  town  and  the  foot  of  its  ram 
parts —  one  of  which  was  named  Gihon  (i  Kings 
i-  33>  38  ;  2  Chron.  xxxii.  30,  xxxiii.  14),  like  one  of 
the  Paradisaic  rivers  —  were,  as  Ewald  has  shown, 
reputed  to  issue  through  subterranean  communica 
tions  from  the  spring  of  fresh  water  situated  be 
neath  the  Temple,  the  sacred  source  of  life  and 
purity  to  which  the  prophets  (Joel  iii.  1 8  ;  Ezek. 
xlvii.  1-12;  Zech.  xiii.  i,  xiv.  8  ;  cf.  Apoc.  xxii.  i)  at 
tach  a  high  symbolic  value."  2 

1  See  chapter  iii.  of  the  present  Part. 

2  "  Ararat  and  Eden."     The  Contemporary  Review,  vol.  iii.,  No.  27 
lAm.  ed.,  p.  46). 


In  this  citation,  in  addition  to  a  strong  assertion 
of  the  symbolical  character  of  the  topography  and 
waterworks  of  Jerusalem,  we  have  the  location  it 
self  included  in  this  symbolism.  The  city  is  said  to 
have  been  the  Umbilicus  or  Navel  of  the  Earth,  for 
two  reasons  :  first,  because  of  its  relation  to  sur 
rounding  countries ;  *  and,  second,  because  of  its 
containing  the  source  of  the  rivers.  In  our  next 
chapter,  this  last  reason  will  become  more  significant 
than  even  the  writer  intended.  At  present  we  will 
only  add  that  the  true  philosophy  of  this  symbolical 
centrality  of  Jerusalem  is  found  in  two  facts  :  first, 
the  Hebrews  had  a  tradition  that  primeval  Eden 
was  the  Centre  of  the  Earth :  2  and,  second,  by  styling 
Jerusalem  the  Navel  of  the  Earth,  as  they  did,  it  was 
symbolically  all  the  more  assimilated  to  the  prim 
itive  Paradise  which  in  so  many  other  ways  it  sa 
credly  commemorated. 

Passing  to  the  field  of  Hellenic  tradition,  we  are 
told  by  all  modern  interpreters  that  the  Greeks 
shared  the  "narrow  conceit  and  ignorance  of  all 
ancient  nations,"  and  supposed  their  own  land  to 
occupy  the  middle  of  the  "flat  earth-disk."  And 
because  of  certain  expressions  in  Pindar  and  a  pas 
sage  in  Pausanias,  it  is  affirmed  as  a  first  principle 
in  the  geography  of  the  ancient  Greeks  that  Delphi 
was  believed  to  be  the  exact  topographical  centre- 
point  of  the  whole  earth. 

1  That  this  traditionally-given  first  reason  for  the  appellation  is  not 
well  founded  is  evident  from  the  fact  that  the  Hebrews  had  a  "  Navel 
of  the  Earth,"  farther  to  the  North,  before  ever  they  had  possessed 
themselves  of  the  site  of  Jerusalem  (Judg.  ix.  37). 

2  In   Origen,  Sdectis  ad  Genesin,  we   read,    "  Tradunt  Hebraei  lo 
cum,  in  quo  Paradisum  plantavit  Deus,  Eden  vocari,  et  ajunt  ipsum 
mundi  medium  esse,  ut  pupillam   oculi"     Compare    Hershon,    Tal* 
mudic  Miscellany,  p.  300. 

THE   NAVEL   OF   THE  EARTH.  235 

Such  a  representation  is  far  from  satisfactory. 
For  while  the  term  "  Omphalos  of  the  Earth  "  was  un 
doubtedly  applied  in  a  sense  to  Delphi,  it  belonged 
to  it  only  as  the  name  Athens  belongs  to  many  a 
town  thus  designated  in  America.  It  had  other  and 
older  topographical  connections  and  associations. 
We  find  traces  of  the  same  title  in  connection  with 
Olympos,  with  Ida,  with  Parnassos,  with  Ogygia, 
with  Nyssa,  with  Mount  Meros,  with  Delos,  with 
Athens,  with  Crete,  and  even  with  Meroe.  In  the 
multiplicity  of  these  localizations,  the  people  seem  to 
have  lost  the  clue  to  the  original  significance  of  the 
conception,  and  to  have  contrived  crude  etymologi 
cal  myths  of  their  own  for  the  explanation  of  what 
seemed  to  them  a  remarkable  designation.1 

The  moment  we  make  the  true  original  Omphalos 
of  the  Earth  the  North  Pole,  and  invest  it  with  sa 
cred  traditionary  recollections  of  Eden  life,  all  this 
confusion  becomes  clear.  The  " centre-stone"  of 
Delphi,  like  the  Omphalium  of  the  Cretans,  becomes 
merely  a  memorial  shrine,  an  attempted  copy  of  the 
great  original.  And  if  all  the  Olymps  and  Idas 
and  Parnassos  mounts  were  alike  convenient  repro 
ductions  and  localizations  of  the  one  celestial  moun 
tain  of  the  gods  at  the  North  Pole,  what  wonder  if 
we  find  each  of  them  in  some  way  designated  as  the 
Centre  of  the  Earth. 

Homer's  "  Omphalos  of  the  sea,"  Calypso's  isle, 

1  "  A  peine  Penfant  [Zeus]  venoit  de  naitre,  que  les  Curetes  le  por- 
terent  sur  1'Ida.  Dans  le  trajet,  le  cordon  ombilical  se  detacha  et 
tomba  au  milieu  d'une  plaine  qui  prit  de  la  le  nom  de  o/juf>a\bs,  nom- 
bril  (nom  qu'elle  devoit  avoir  auparavant)."  —  T.  B.  Emeric-David, 
Jupiter  ;  Recherches  sur  ce  Dieu,  sur  son  Culle,  etc.,  Paris,  1833,  t.  i., 
p.  248,  referring  to  Callimachus,  Hymnus  in  Jovem,  v.  44  ;  Diodorus 
Sic.,  v.  70. 


has  in  like  manner  all  the  marks  of  a  mythico-tradi- 
tional  north  polar  Eden.  Its  name,  Ogygia,  connects 
it  with  a  far-off  antediluvian  antiquity.1  It  is  situ 
ated  in  the  far  North,  and  Odysseus  needs  the  blast 
of  Boreas  to  bring  him  away  from  its  shores  on 
the  homeward  journey.  Its  queen,  Calypso,  is  the 
daughter  of  Atlas ;  and  Atlas'  proper  station  in 
Greek  mythology,  as  elsewhere  shown,  is  at  the  ter 
restrial  Pole.  Its  beauty  is  Paradisaic,  it  being 
adorned  with  groves  and  "  soft  meadows  of  violets," 
—  so  beautiful,  in  fact,  that  "  on  beholding  it  even  an 
Immortal  would  be  seized  with  wonder  and  delight."2 
Finally,  identifying  the  place  beyond  all  question, 
we  have  the  Eden  "  fountain,"  whose  waters  part 
into  "four  streams,  flowing  each  in  opposite  direc 

In  Mount  Meros  we  have  only  the  Greek  form 
of  Meru,  as  long  ago  shown  by  Creuzer.4  The  one 
is  the  Navel  of  the  Earth  for  the  same  reason  that 
the  other  -is.  Egyptian  Meroe  (in  some  Egyptian 
texts  Mer,  in  Assyrian  Mirukk,  or  Mirukka),  the 
seat  of  the  famous  oracle  of  Jupiter  Ammon,  was 
possibly  named  from  the  same  "World-mountain." 
This  would  explain  the  passage  in  Quintus  Cur- 
tius,  which  has  so  troubled  commentators,  wherein 
the  object  which  represented  the  divine  being  is 
described  as  resembling  a  "navel  set  in  gems."6 

1  See  Welcker,  Griechische  Gotterlehre,  i.,  775  et  seq. 

2  Odyssey,  v.  63-75. 
8  Ibid. 

4  Symbolik,  vol.  i.,  p.  537. 

6  "  Id  quod  pro  deo  colitur,  non  eandem  effigiam  habet,  quam 
vulgo  diis  accommodaverunt :  umbilico  maxime  similis  est  habitus, 
smaragdo  et  gemmis  coagmentatus."  Quintus  Curtius,  De  Reb.  Ges., 
iv.  7,  23.  See  notes  in  Lemaire's  ed.,  Paris,  1822;  also  Diodorus 
Siculus,  iii.  3.  Capt.  Wilford  notices  another  coincidence  :  "  The 


When  the  two  doves  of  Zeus,  flying  from  the  two 
opposite  ends  of  the  world,  determine  the  cosmic 
centralness  of  "  Parnassos,"  it  is  of  an  antediluvian 
Parnassos  that  the  myth  is  speaking.1  It  is  that 
mount  on  whose  polar  top  we  have  already  found 
the  "  domicilium  "  of  Zeus. 

Nonnos,  in  describing  the  symbolical  peplos  which 
Harmonia  wove  on  the  loom  of  Athene,  says,  "  First 
she  represented  the  earth  with  its  omphalos  in  the 
centre  ;  around  the  earth  she  spread  out  the  sphere 
of  heaven  varied  with  the  figures  of  the  stars.  .  .  . 
Lastly,  along  the  exterior  edge  of  the  well-woven 
vestment  she  represented  the  Ocean  in  a  circle."2 
That  Delphi  or  the  Phocian  Parnassos  is  the  ompha 
los  here  mentioned  is  far  enough  from  credible.  It 
is  the  Pole,  and  the  manner  in  which  the  term  is  in 
troduced  shows  that  it  was  perfectly  understood  by 
every  reader,  and  needed  no  explanation.  The  true 
shrine  of  Apollo  was  not  at  Delphi,  but  in  that  older 
earth-centre  of  which  Plato  speaks  in  the  motto  pre 
fixed  to  this  section.  His  real  home  is  among  "the 
Hyperboreans,"  in  a  land  of  almost  perpetual  light ; 
and  it  is  only  upon  annual  visits  that  he  comes  to 
Delphi.3  The  remembrance  of  this  fact  would  have 

Pauranics  say  that  .  .  .  the  first  climate  is  that  of  Meru ;  among  the 
Greeks  and  Romans  the  first  climate  was  that  of.  Meroe."  —  Wilford 
in  Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  viii.,  p.  289. 

1  "Before  this  time"  —  the  time  of  the  deluge  of  Deucalion  — 
"  Zeus  had  once  wanted  to  know  where  the  middle  of  the  earth  was, 
and  had  let  fly  two  doves  at  the  same  moment  from  the  two  ends  of 
the  world,  to  see  where  they  would  meet ;  they  met  on  Mount  Par 
nassos,  and  thus  it  was  proved  beyond  a  doubt  that  this  mountain 
must  be  the  centre  of  the  earth."  —  C.  Witt,  Myths  of  Hellas.     Lon 
don,  1883  :  p.  140. 

2  Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History,  p.  549. 

8  "  Au  debut  de  1'hiver  Apollon  quitte  Delphes  pour  le  pays  mys- 
terieux  des  Hyperboreans,  ou  rfegne  une  lumiere  constante,  et  qui 


helped  the  interpreters  of  Pindar  out  of  more  than 
one  perplexity.1  According  to  Hecataeus,  Leto,  the 
mother  of  Apollo  and  his  sister  Artemis,  was  born 
on  an  island  in  the  Arctic  Ocean,  "  beyond  the 
North  wind."  Moreover,  on  this  island  inhabited  by 
the  Hyperboreans,  Apollo  is  unceasingly  worshiped 
in  a  huge  round  temple,  in  a  city  whose  inhabitants 
are  perpetually  playing  upon  lyres  and  chanting  to 
his  praise.2  So  reports  Diodorus  (it.,  47)  ;  and  here 
with  agrees  the  imaginary  journey  of  Apollonius  of 
Tyana,  —  a  namesake  of  Apollo, — who  tells  of  his 
journey  far  to  the  North  of  the  Caucasus  into  the 
regions  of  the  pious  Hyperboreans,  among  whom  he 
found  a  lofty  sacred  mountain,  the  Omphalos  of  the 

In  the  Phaedo  we  have  a  charming  description  of 
Plato's  terrestrial  Paradise.     "  In  this  fair  region," 

echappe  aux  rigueurs  de  1'hiver."  Maxima  Collignon,  Mythologie 
Figuree  de  la  Grece.  Paris,  1883  :  p.  96.  See  Alcaeus'  Hymn,  re 
ferred  to  by  Menzel,  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  i.,  p.  87.  The  present 
writer  is  not  the  first  to  be  reminded  here  of  polar  Meru  :  "  Bei  ihnen 
(den  Hyperboreern),  wohnen  bestandig  der  Sonnengott  Apollo  und 
seine  Schwester  Artemis,  wie  auf  dem  indischen  Meru  ebenfalls  In- 
dra,  der  Lichtgeist  und  Sonnengott,  wohnt."  Dr.  Heinrich  Liiken, 
Die  Traditionen  des  Menschengeschlechts,  oder  die  Uroffenbarung 
unler  den  Heiden.  Minister,  2d  ed.,  1869  :  p.  73. 

1  See  Olympian  Odes,  iv.,  74 ;  vi.,  3 ;  viii.,  62  ;  xi.,   10.     Nemean, 
viL,  33.   Frag.,  i.,  3,  m&  passim  ;  comp.  Olymp.,  ii.,  iii. ;  Pyth.,  iv.,  etc. 

2  "  The  Dorian  worship  of  Apollo  was  primitively  Boreal."    Hum- 
boldt,  Cosmos  (Bohn's  ed.),  ii.,  511.    Compare  Pindar's  expression  in 
second  Olympian  Ode  :  "  the  Hyperborean  folk  who  serve  Apollo." 

8  "  Cette  montagne  est  sacree ;  c'est  1'ombilic  du  monde."  Mo- 
reau  de  Jonnes,  L1  Ocean  des  Anciens,  p.  162.  As  to  the  ^Egean 
Delos,  the  best  explanation  Keary  can  give  is  this  :  "  Delos  was  after 
ward  deemed  to  be  the  navel  of  the  earth,  because,  being  in  special 
favor  with  Apollo,  it  might  be  thought  to  stand  under  the  eye  of  the 
midday  sun"  (!)  Primitive  Belief,  p.  183.  Compare,  on  the  other 
hand,  Pindar's  Fragment  in  honor  of  Delos,  the  Homeric  Hymn  to 
Apollo,  and  the  Japanese  myth  of  Onogorojima  before  described. 


Socrates  is  made  to  say,  "  all  things  that  grow 
—  trees  and  flowers  and  fruit  —  are  fairer  than 
any  here  ;  and  there  are  hills  and  stones  in  them 
smoother  and  more  transparent  and  fairer  in  color 
than  our  highly-valued  emeralds  and  sardonyxes  and 
jaspers  and  other  gems,  which  are  but  minute  frag 
ments  of  them  :  for  there  all  the  stones  are  like  our 
precious  stones,  and  fairer  still.  The  temperament 
of  their  seasons  is  such  that  the  inhabitants  have 
no  disease,  and  live  much  longer  than  we  do,  and 
have  sight  and  hearing  and  smell  and  all  the  other 
senses  in  much  greater  perfection.  And  they  have 
temples  and  sacred  places  in  which  the  gods  really 
dwell,  and  they  hear  their  voices,  and  receive  their 
answers,  and  are  conscious  of  them,  and  hold  con 
verse  with  them,  and  they  see  the  sun,  the  moon, 
and  the  stars  as  they  really  are."  1 

If  we  ask  as  to  the  location  of  this  divinely  beau 
tiful  abode,  every  indication  of  the  text  agrees  with 
our  hypothesis.  It  is  right  under  the  eye  when 
the  world  is  looked  at  from  its  summit,  the  North 
ern  celestial  pole.2  Viewed  from  the  standpoint  of 
Greece  and  its  neighbor  lands  it  is  "  above"  —  it 
is  "  the  upper  Earth"  the  dazzling  top  of  the  "  round" 
world.  In  it,  moreover,  is  the  Navel  of  the  Earth, 
/ueo-oycua,  inhabited  by  happy  men. 

If  anything  is  needed  to  disprove  the  common  no 
tion  that  geographical  ignorance  and  national  self- 
esteem  first  governed  the  ancient  peoples  in  locating 
in  their  own  countries  "  navels  "  of  the  earth,  it  is 
furnished  by  what  is,  in  all  probability,  the  oldest 
epic  in  the  world,  that  of  Izdhubar,  fragments  of 

1  Phcedo,  1  10,  in. 



which  have  survived  in  the  oldest  literature  of  Baby 
lonia.  These  fragments  show  that  the  earliest  in 
habitants  of  the  Tigro-Euphrates  basin  located  "  the 
Centre  of  the  Earth,"  not  in  their  own  midst,  but  in 
a  far-off  land,  of  sacred  associations,  where  "  the 
holy  house  of  the  gods"  is  situated,  —  a  land  "into 
the  heart  whereof  man  hath  not  penetrated  ; "  a 
place  underneath  the  "  overshadowing  world-tree," 
and  beside  the  "  full  waters."  1  No  description  could 
more  perfectly  identify  the  spot  with  the  Arctic  Pole 
of  ancient  Asiatic  mythology.  Yet  this  testimony 
stands  not  alone  ;  for  in  the  fragment  of  another 
ancient  text,  translated  by  Sayce  in  "  Records  of  the 
Past,"  we  are  told  of  a  " dwelling"  which  "the  gods 
created  for  "  the  first  human  beings,  —  a  dwelling  in 
which  they  " became  great "  and  "increased  in  num 
bers,"  and  the  location  of  which  is  described  in 
words  exactly  corresponding  to  those  of  Iranian,  In 
dian,  Chinese,  Eddaic,  and  Aztec  literature  ;  namely, 
"in  the  Centre  of  the  Earth."  2 

In  the  Hindu  Puranas  we  are  told  over  and  over 
that  the  earth  is  a  sphere,  and  that  Mount  Meru  is 
its  Navel  or  Pole.3  But  the  expression  ndbhi,  or 
"  Navel "  of  the  earth,  is  older  than  the  Puranas, 
though  the  very  meaning  of  Purana  is  "ancient." 
Like  the  term  "  Navel  of  Heaven,"  it  occurs  in  the 

1  A.  H.  Sayce,  Babylonian  Literature.     London,  1878  :  p.  39.     The 
Sunis  of  Northwestern  Africa,  in  our  own  day,  fix  the  centre  of  the 
world  outside  their  own  territory,  "  between  themselves  and  the  Sou 
dan."     R.  G.  Haliburton,  Notes  on  Mount  Atlas  and  its  Traditions. 
Salem,  Mass.,  1883  :  P-  8- 

2  Records  of  the  Past,  xi.,  pp.  109  seq.     George  Smith,   Chaldaan 
Account  of  Genesis,  2d  ed.,  p.  92.     Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History, 
app.,  pp.  508-510. 

8  "  The  convexity  in  the  centre  is  the  navel  of  Vishnu."  —  Asiatic. 
Researches,  vol.  viii.,  p.  273. 


hymns  of  the  earliest  Veda.  But  where  was  the 
sacred  shrine  to  which  it  was  applied  ?  It  was  no 
holy  place  in  Bactria,  or  in  the  Punjab.  Nothing 
tends  to  locate  it  in  India.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
fifth  verse  of  the  one  hundred  and  eighty-fifth  hymn, 
mandala  first,  of  the  Rig  Veda,  seems  most  plainly 
to  fix  it  at  the  North  Pole.  In  this  verse  Night  and 
Day  are  represented  as  twin  sisters  in  the  bosom 
of  their  parents  Heaven  and  Earth  ;  each  bounding 
or  limiting  the  other,  but  both  kissing  simultane 
ously  the  Ndbhi  of  the  Earth.  Now,  everywhere 
upon  earth,  except  in  the  polar  regions,  Night  and 
Day  seem  ever  to  be  pursuing  and  supplanting 
each  other.  They  have  no  common  ground.  At 
the  Pole  — and  only  there  —  they  may  be  said,  with 
locked  arms,  to  spin  round  and  round  a  common 
point,  and  unitedly  to  kiss  it  from  the  opposite  sides.1 
This  plainly  is  the  meaning  of  the  poet  ;  and  re 
membering  all  the  legendary  splendors  of  the  polar 
mountain  around  which  sun  and  moon  are  ever  mov 
ing,  we  must  pronounce  the  figure  as  beautiful  as 
it  is  instructive.2 

1  The  following  versions  may  be  compared  :  "  Zusammenlcommend, 
die  beiden  Jungen,  deren  Enden  zusammenstossen,  die  verbiindeteten 
Schwestern  in  der  beiden  Aeltern  Schosse,  kussend  den  Nabel  der 
Welt,  schiitzt  uns,  Himmel  und  Erde,  vor  Gewalt."  —  Ludwig,  i.  182. 

"Going  always  together,  equally  young  and  of  like  termination, 
sisters  and  kindred,  and  scenting  \sic\  the  navel  of  the  world,  placed 
on  their  lap  as  its  parents  ;  defend  us,  Heaven  and  Earth,  from  great 
danger."  —  Wilson,  ii.,  188. 

"  Die  Beiden  Jungfraun  an  einander  grenzend, 

"  Die  Zwillingsschwestern  in  dem  Schoss  der  Eltern, 

"  Die  im  Verein  der  Welten  Nabel  kiissen,  — 

"  Beschirmt  vor  grauser  Noth  uns  Erd'  und  Himmel." 

(Grassmann,  ii.,  177.) 
Compare  R.  K,  i.,  144,  3  ;  ii.,  3,  6,  and  7  ;  et  passim. 

2  A  later  poet  has  borrowed  the  same  idea  :  — 



In  perfect  accord  herewith,  we  find  the  bard  ask 
ing,  in  another  hymn,  where  the  Navel  of  the  Earth 
is  ;  and  in  doing  it  he  associates  it  as  closely  as  pos 
sible,  not  with  some  central  home-shrine  in  his  own 
land,  but  with  the  extreme  "  End  of  the  Earth" — an 
expression  used  again  and  again,  in  ancient  lan 
guages,  for  the  Pole  and  its  vicinity.1 

Again,  in  another  Vedic  passage,  the  Navel  of  the 
Earth  is  located  upon  "the  mountains,"  and  this  as 
sociation  points  us  to  the  North.2  Still  stronger  evi 
dence  of  its  polar  location  is  found  in  other  hymns, 
where  the  supporting  column  of  heaven — the  Atlas 
pillar  of  Vedic  cosmology — is  described  as  stand 
ing  in  or  upon  the  Navel  of  the  Earth.3 

Finally,  so  unmistakable  is  the  Vedic  teaching  on 
this  subject  that  a  recent  writer,  after  asserting  with 
all  his  teachers  that  the  cosmography  of  the  Vedic 
bards  was  "  embryonic,"  and  their  earth  a  "  flat 
disk"  overarched  by  a  solid  firmament,  which  was 
"  soldered  on  to  the  edge  of  the  disk  at  the  horizon," 
nevertheless,  later,  in  studying  one  of  the  cosmo- 
gonical  hymns  of  DIrghatamas,  the  son  of  Mamata, 
reaches  the  conclusion  that  the  singer  had  knowl 
edge  both  of  the  celestial  and  of  the  terrestrial  Pole, 
and  that,  in  seeking  to  answer  the  question  as  to  the 

"  Around  the  fire  in  solemn  rite  they  trod, 

The  lovely  lady  and  the  glorious  god ; 

Like  Day  and  starry  Midnight  when  they  meet 

In  the  broad  plains  at  lofty  Meru 's  feet." 

(Griffiths'  Translation  of  Kumara  Sambhava,  or  The  Birth  of  the  War-God. 
London,  1879.) 

1  The  following  is  Grassmann's  translation  :  "  Ich  frage  nach  dern 
aussersten  Ende  der  Erde,  ich  frage  wo  der  Welt  Nabel  ist,"  etc 
Rig  Veda,  i.,  164,  34  ;  comp.  35. 

2  Rig  Veda,  ix.,  82,  3. 

8  Ibid.,  ix.,  86,  8  ;  ix.,  79,  4;  ix.,  72,  7,  etc. 


birth-place  of  humanity,  he  locates  it  precisely  at  the 
point  of  contact  between  the  polar  mountain  and 
the  Pole  of  the  northern  sky.1 

We  have  seen  that,  according  to  Old-Iranian  tra 
dition  also,  man  was  created  in  the  "central"  divis 
ion  of  the  earth.  The  primordial  tree,  which  "  kept 
the  strength  of  all  kinds  of  trees,"  was  "  in  the  vi 
cinity  of  the  Middle  of  the  Earth."  2  The  primeval 
ox,  which  stood  by  the  Paradise  river  when  the  de 
stroyer  came,  was  "  in  the  Middle  of  the  Earth."  3 
Mount  Taera  (Pahl.  :  Terak),  the  celestial  Pole,  and 
Kakad-i-Daitik,  the  mountain  of  the  terrestrial  Pole, 
are  each  described  in  similar  terms :  the  one  as 
"Centre  of  the  World,"  the  other  as  "Centre  of  the 
Earth."  4  The  expression  Apdm  Nepdt,  the  "  Navel 
of  the  Waters,"  occurs  in  the  Avestan  writings  again 
and  again,  and  is  always  applied  either  to  the  world- 
fountain  from  which  all  waters  proceed,  or  to  the 
spirit  presiding  over  it.5  But  as  this  world-foun- 

1  The  reader  will  no  doubt  be  glad  to  see  the  exact  language  :  "  Le 
contact  de  la  terre  et  du  ciel,  serait-il  1'hymen  mysterieux  d'oii  1'hu- 
manite  naquit  ?     Le  del,  ce  serait  le  pere  qui  engendre  ;  la  mere,  ce 
serait  la  grande  terre,  ayant  sa  matrice  dans  la  partie  la  plus  haute  de 
sa  surface,  sur  les  hauts  monts  ;  et  ce  serait  la  que  le  pere  '  feconde- 
rait  le  sein  de  celle  qui  est  en  meme  temps,  son  epouse  et  sa  fille.' 
On  a  cru  voir  ce  point  de  contact  dont  parle  Dirghatamas,  —  Outta- 
n&yah   tchamwah,    '  endroit   septentrional   oil   les   deux   surfaces   se 
touchent/  —  au  pole  nord,  connu  de  1'auteur  ;  1'etoile  polaire  se  nom- 
mant  outtanapada.     II  est  certain  que  la  somme  des  connaissances 
positives  collectionees  par  ce  philosophe  etait  relativement  impor 
tant."  —  Marius  Fontane,  Inde  Vedique.    Paris,  1881  :  pp.  94,  200. 

2  West,  Pahlavi  Texts,  pt.   i.,  p.  161. 
8  West,  Pahlavi  Texts,  pt.  i.,  p.  162. 

4  Ibid.,  pp.  22,  36.  So,  in  consequence  of  the  duality  and  opposite 
polarity  alluded  to  in  the  context,  "  Hell  is  in  the  middle  of  the  earth," 
at  the  South  Pole,  p.  19. 

6  See  Index  to  Darmesteter's  Zend-Avesta.  Compare  the  Vedic 
hymn  (ii.,  35),  "An  den  Sohn  der  Wasscr,"  Apam  nap&t,  whose  loca- 


tain,  Ardvi  Sura,  is  located  in  the  north  polar  sky 
(see  next  chapter),  we  have  here  also  a  recognition 
of  a  vfQY\d.-omp/ialos,  inseparable  from  the  ancient 
and  sacred  Paradise-mountain  at  the  Pole.1 

The  Chinese  terrestrial  Paradise  is  described  not 
only  as  "  at  the  Centre  of  the  Earth,"  but  also  as 
directly  under  Shang-te's  heavenly  palace,  which  is 
declared  to  be  in  the  North  star,  and  which  is  some 
times  styled  "  Palace  of  the  Centre."  2  Very  prob 
ably  the  historic  designation,  "  The  Middle  King 
dom,"  was  originally  a  sacred  name,3  commemora 
tive  of  that  primeval  middle  country  which  the 
Akkadian  called  Akkad,  the  Indian  Ilavrita,  the  Ira 
nian  Kvaniras,  and  the  Northman  Idavollr.  In  the 
funeral  rites  of  China,  this  supposition  finds  a  co 
gent  confirmation.4 

tion  is  "a«  dent  hochsten  Orte"  (v.,  13,  Grassmann).  Compare  quota 
tion  from  Ritter,  in  part  iv.,  chapter  first,  supra. 

1  "  Dieser  Albordj,  der    Lichtberg,  der  Nabel  der  Erde,  wird  von 
Sonne  Mond  und  Sternen  umgeben."  —  Carl  Ritter,  Erdkundc,  Bd. 
viii.,  p.  46. 

2  "  In  Kwen-lun  is  Shang-te's  lower  recreation-palace.  .  .  .  Shang- 
te's  wife  dwells  in  this  region,  immediately  over  which  is  Shang-te's 
heavenly  palace,  which  is  situated  in  the  centre  of  the  heavens,  as  his 
earthly  one  is  in  the  centre  of   the  earth.  .  .  .  The  Queen  mother 
dwells  alone  in  its  midst,  in  the  place  where  the  genii  sport.     At  the 
summit  there  is  a  resplendent  azure  hall,  with  lakes  inclosed  by  pre 
cious  gems,  and  many  temples.     Above  rules  the  clear  ether  of  the 
ever-fixed,  the  polar,  star."  —  Condensed  from  the  Chinese  Recorder, 
vol.  iv.,  p.  95. 

3  Frederik  Klee,  Le  Deluge.     Paris,  1847  :  p.  188,  note. 

4  "  Quand  je  vous  ai  parle  des  libations  en  usage  a  la  Chine,  je 
vous  ai  dit,  Monsieur,  qu'on  se  tournait  vers   le  pole  septentrional 
pour  faire  les  libations  en  1'honneur  des  morts.     En  considerant  la 
veneration  de  ce  peuple  pour  ses  ancetres,  on  n'apergoit  qu'une  expli 
cation  naturelle  de  cet  usage  ;  c'est  de  dire  que  les  Chinois  se  tour- 
nent  vers  le  pays  du  monde,  ou  ils  ont  pris  naissance,  et  oil  leur  an 
cetres  reposent."  —  Bailly,  Lettres  sur  VOrigine  des  Sciences  et  sui 
celle  des  Peuples  de  VAsie.     Paris,  1777  :  p.  236. 


Passing  to  Japan,  it  is  curiously  interesting  to 
note  that  the  Ainos,  who  are  supposed  to  have  been 
the  first  inhabitants,  are  believed  to  have  come  into 
the  archipelago  "  from  the  North  ; " 1  that  their 
heaven  is  on  inaccessible  mountain-tops  in  the  same 
quarter ; 2  and  that  their  name,  according  to  some 
authorities,  etymologically  signifies  "  Offspring  of 
the  Centred  3  In  burial,  their  dead  are  always  so 
placed  that  when  resurrected  their  faces  will  be  set 
toward  the  lofty  northern  country  from  which  their 
ancestors  are  believed  to  have  come,  and  to  which 
their  spirits  are  believed  to  have  returned.4 

1  Griffis,  The  Mikado's  Empire,  p.  27. 

2  "  These  [a  mythological  pair]  were  the  ancestors  of   the  Ainos. 
Their  offspring,  in  turn,   married  ;  some  among  each  other,  others 
with  the  bears  of  the  mountains  [the  Bear  Tribe?].     The  fruits  of 
this  latter  union  were  men  of  extraordinary  valor  and  nimble  hunters, 
who,  after  a  long  life  spent  in  the  vicinity  of  their  birth,  departed  to 
the  far  North,  where  they  still  live  on  the  high  and  inaccessible  table 
lands   above   the   mountains  ;  and,  being  immortal,  they  direct,  by 
their  magical  influences,  the  actions  and  the  destiny  of  men ;  that  is, 
the  Ainos."  — Ibid.,  p.  28. 

8  Ai-no-ko.       Ibid.,  p.  29. 

4  "  It  may  not  be  devoid  of  interest  to  mention  here  that  the  Ainos 
bury  their  dead  with  the  head  to  the  South.  .  .  .  The  Aino,  to-day, 
as  he  did  in  ancient  times,  buries  his  dead  by  covering  the  body  with 
matting,  and  placing  it  with  the  head  to  the  South  in  a  grave  which 
is  about  three  feet  deep."  Notes  on  Japanese  Archccology  with  es 
pecial  reference  to  the  Stone  Age,  by  Henry  von  Siebold,  Yokohama, 
1879,  p.  6.  Let  no  reader  imagine  this  a  meaningless  rite  of  un 
developed  savages.  "  From  all  these  observations,  as  well  as  from 
the  traditions  of  the  Ainos,  in  which  are  ever-recurring  laments  for  a 
better  past  ;  and  from  many  peculiarities  in  their  customs,  we  must 
conclude  that  the  Ainos  are  to  be  classed  with  those  peoples  that 
have  earlier  been  more  richly  supplied  with  the  implements  of  civili 
zation,  but  have  become  degraded  through  isolation.  Prehistoric 
discoveries  .  .  .  favor  this  view.  The  pits  found  there  for  dwellings 
indicate  that  the  Ainos  came  from  the  North  to  Yezo."  Professor 
Brauns,  of  Halle.  Translated  from  Memoirs  of  the  Berlin  Anthropo 
logical  Society,  in  Science,  Cambridge,  1884;  p.  72. 


Taking  these  facts  in  connection  with  those  pre 
sented  in  chapter  second  of  the  preceding  part, 
one  can  hardly  evade  the  conclusion  that,  when 
Griffis  informs  us  that  the  Japanese  considered  their 
country  as  lying  at  "the  top  of  the  world,"  and  when 
others  say  that  the  Japanese  once  regarded  their 
country  as  the  "  Centre  of  the  World,"  1  it  is  most 
probable  that  these  writers  have  applied  to  the 
Japan  of  to-day  ideas  which  originally  belonged  to 
a  far-distant  prehistoric  polar  Japan,  the  primitive 
seat  of  the  race,  as  it  has  lived  on  in  these  most 
ancient  traditions  of  the  Ainos. 

In  Scandinavian  mythology  we  meet  with  a  sim 
ilar  idea.  In  the  Eddas,  both  Asgard  and  Idavollr 
are  represented  as  in  "  the  Centre  of  the  World  ; " 
and  at  least  one  author,  in  explaining  the  reason  of 
it,  has  come  within  a  hair's-breadth  of  the  truth, 
though  missing  it.2 

The  ancient  Mexicans  conceived  of  the  cradle  of 
the  human  race  as  situated  in  the  farthest  North, 
upon  the  highest  of  mountains,  cloud-surrounded, 

1  "  The  Japanese  in  their  earlier  separation  regarded  their  country 
as  the  centre  and  most  important  part  of  the  world." — J.  J.  Rein, 
Japan,  Travels  and  Researches,  English  translation.    London,   1884  : 
p.  6. 

2  "  Nos  ancetres  scandinaves  pla9aient  la  demeure  de  leurs  dieux, 
Asgard,  au  milieu  du  monde,  c'est-a-dire  au  centre  de  la  surface  de 
la  terre  d'alors.     II  est  assez  remarquable  qu'une  telle  idee  n'est  pas 
sans  fondement,  puisqu'il  faut  admettre,  comme  je  crois  1'avoir  de- 
montre,  que  1'Europe,  1'Asie,  et  1'Amerique,  unis  vers  le  pole  nord, 
formaient  avant  le  deluge  un  seul   continent."     Frederik  Klee,  Le 
Deluge,  Fr.  ed.    Paris,  1847  •  P-  l88  n-    But>  bY  clinging  to  "  the  high 
est  mountains  of  Asia,"  as  the  centre  originally  meant,  M.  Klee  loses 
the  chief  advantage  of  his  supposed  union  of  the  continents  at  the 
Pole.  —  The  Teutonic  omphalos  of  the  world  is  preserved  at  Finzingen, 
near   Altstadt,   in  Saxe-Weimar.     See  Kuhn   and   Schwartz,   Nord' 
deutsche  Sagen.     Leipsic,  1848  :  p.  215. 

THE  NAVEL  OF  THE  EARTH.        247 

the  residence  of  the  god  Tlaloc.  Thence  come  the 
rains  and  all  streams,  for  Tlaloc  is  the  god  of  waters. 
The  first  man,  Quetzalcoalt,  after  having  ruled  as 
king  of  the  Golden  Age  in  Mexico,  returned  by 
divine  direction  to  the  primeval  Paradise  in  the 
North  (Tlapallan),  and  partook  of  the  draught  of 
immortality.  The  stupendous  terraced  pyramid- 
temple  in  Cholula  was  a  copy  and  symbol  of  the 
sacred  Paradise-mountain  of  Aztec  tradition,  which 
was  described  as  standing  "  in  the  Centre  of  the 
Middle  -  country  "  1  Some  of  the  Mexican  myths 
represent  the  mountain  as  now  "crooked,"  or  turned 
partly  over.  For  the  true  explanation  of  this  see 
above,  pp.  192-196. 

Among  the   ancient  Inca-subjects   of  Peru2  was 

1  Im  Centrum  des  Mittellands.     Luken,  Tradifionen,  p.  75;  citing 
Clavigero,  Storia  del  Messico,   torn,   ii.,  13,  14.    "  Die  Mexicaner  op- 
ferten   auf  den  hochsten  Bergen  weil  sie  glaubten,   dass  auf  ihnen 
Tlaloc,  der  Herr  des  Paradieses  wohne.     Sie  wurden  einerseits  als 
der  Mittelpunkt  der  Erde  betrachtet,  andererseits  aber  als  die  Statte, 
welche  dem  Himmel  am  ndchsten  ist,  und  ihm  in  naherer  Beriihrung 
als  die  Erde  selbst  steht."      Keerl,  Die  Schb'pfungsgeschichte,  p.  799. 
In  like   manner  the  national  temple  of   Tlaloc  and  Vizilputzli,  his 
brother,  stood  in  the  centre  of  the  city  of  Mexico,  whence  four  cause 
way  roads  conducted  East,  West,  North,  and  South.     In  the  centre 
of  the  temple  was  a  richly  ornamented  Pillar  of  peculiar  sanctity. 
Bancroft,   Native  Races,    vol.   iii.,   p.    292.     The   Quiche  prayer   to 
the  "  Heart  of  Heaven,  Heart  of  Earth,"  would  seem  to  rest  upon 
similar   conceptions   of   the   true   abode  of   God.     Popol  Vuh.  Max 
Miiller,  Chips  from  a  German  Workshop.  New  York,  1872  :  vol.  i.,  p. 


2  "The  centre  and  capital  of  this  great  territory  was  Cuzco  (i.  e., 
'navel'),  whence  to  the  borders  of   the  kingdom  branched  off  four 
great  highways,  North  and  South  and  East  and  West,  each  traversing 
one  of  the  four  provinces  or  vice-royalties  into  which  Peru  was  di 
vided."      TheLandofthelncas,  by  W.  H.  Davenport  Adams.     Lon 
don,  1883  :  P-  2O-     ^n  tne  central  temple  here,  too,  there  was  a  Pillar, 
placte  dans  le  centre  d'un  cercle  dans  Vaxe  du  grand  temple  et  tra- 
verstc  -tar  un  diamttre  de  Vest  a  Pouest.     P.  Dabry   de   Thiersant, 


found  the  same  idea  of  a  Navel  of  the  Earth,  and 
even  among  the  Chickasaws  of  Mississippi.1 

Thus  is  all  ancient  thought  full  of  this  legendary 
idea  of  a  mysterious,  primeval,  holy,  Paradisaic 
Earth-centre,  —  a  spot  connected  as  is  no  other 
with  the  "Centre  of  Heaven,"  the  Paradise  of  God. 
Why  it  should  be  so  no  one  has  ever  told  us ;  but 
the  hypothesis  which  places  the  Biblical  Eden  at  the 
Pole,  and  makes  all  later  earth  navels  commemora 
tive  of  that  primal  one,  affords  a  perfect  explana 
tion.  In  the  light  of  it,  there  is  no  difficulty  in 
understanding  that  Earth-centre  in  Jerusalem  with 
which  we  began.  The  inconspicuous  pillar  in  the 
Church  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre  symbolizes  and  com 
memorates  far  more  than  the  geographical  ignorance 
of  mediaeval  ages.  It  stands  for  the  Japanese  pillar 
by  which  the  first  soul  born  upon  earth  mounted  to 
the  sky.  It  stands  for  the  World -column  of  the 
East-Aryans  and  the  Chinvat  Bridge  of  Iran.  It 
stands  for  the  law-proclaiming  pillar  of  orichalcum 
in  Atlantis,  placed  in  the  centre  of  the  most  central 
land.  It  stands  for  that  Talmudic  pillar  by  means 
of  which  the  tenants  of  the  terrestrial  Paradise 
mount  to  the  celestial,  and,  having  spent  the  Sab- 

De  rOrigine  des  Indiens  du  Nouveau- Monde  et  de  leur  Civilisation. 
Paris,  1883  :  p.  125.  Still  more  interesting  is  it  to  note  that  the  pre 
decessors  of  the  Peruvians  are  reported  to  have  had  an  idea  of  the 
work  of  the  creation  of  the  world  as  proceeding  from  the  North  to  the 
South.  Dorman,  Origin  of  Primitive  Superstitions.  Philadelphia, 
1881,  p.  334- 

1  "  Some  of  the  large  mounds  left  in  Mississippi  were  called 
'navels*  by  the  Chickasaws,  although  the  Indians  are  said  not  to 
have  had  any  idea  whether  these  were  natural  mounds  or  artificial 
structures.  They  thought  Mississippi  was  at  the  centre  of  the  earth^ 
and  the  mounds  were  as  the  navel  in  the  middle  of  the  human  body." 
—  Gerald  Massey,  referring  to  Schoolcraft,  i.  311. 


bath,  return  to  pass  the  week  below.  It  symbol 
izes  Cardo,  Atlas,  Meru,  Hara-berezaiti,  Kharsak- 
Kurra,  —  every  fabulous  mountain  on  whose  top 
the  sky  pivots  itself,  and  around  which  all  the  heav 
enly  bodies  ceaselessly  revolve.  It  perpetuates  a 
religious  symbolism  which  existed  in  its  region  be 
fore  ever  Jerusalem  had  been  made  the  Hebrew 
capital,  —  recalling  to  our  modern  world  the  tabbur 
ha-aretz  of  a  period  anterior  to  the  days  of  Samuel.1 
In  tradition  it  is  said  to  mark  the  precise  spot 
"  whence  the  clay  was  taken,  out  of  which  the  body 
of  Adam  was  modeled."  It  does  so,  but  it  does  it 
in  a  language  and  method  which  were  common  to 
all  the  most  ancient  nations  of  the  earth.  It  points 
not  to  the  soil  in  which  it  stands,  but  to  the  holier 
soil  of  a  far-away  primitive  Eden.2 

1  Judg.  ix,  37  (margin). 

2  The  genuinely  scientific  basis  of  this  ancient  symbolism  is  vividly 
shown  in  our  above  given  sketch-map  of  the  actual  relations  of  all 
the  continents  to  the  North  Pole. 



Als  ich  erfunden  han. 
Us  dent  paradise  ran 
Zufuhten  baum  undgras, 
Und  alles  das  darynne  -was, 
Zu  guter  moss  ein  wasser  gross, 
Das  in  vier  teil  darnache floss. 


Wir  haben  hier  ein  merkwurdiges  Stromsystem.  —  GRILL. 

"AND  a  river  went  out  of  Eden  to  water  the 
garden,  and  from  thence  it  was  parted  and  became 
into  four  heads." 

In  chapter  second  of  Part  Second  we  presented 
the  simple  and  natural  interpretation  suggested  by 
the  hypothesis  of  a  primitive  circumpolar  continent. 
If  the  reader  will  kindly  turn  back  to  the  statement 
there  made  (p.  5 i),  he  will  see  in  how  natural  a  man 
ner  the  water  system  of  that  lost  "  land  of  delights  " 
might  have  become,  in  after  tradition,  the  one  dis 
parted  river  which  waters  the  whole  earth. 

The  insuperable  difficulties  of  all  hitherto  at 
tempted  identifications  of  the  four  rivers  are  too  nu 
merous  to  present  here  in  detail.1  In  our  interpreta- 

1  "  We  entirely  agree  with  Delitzsch  [the  elder]  that  '  Paradise  is 
lost,'  and  the  four  streams  are  on  this  account  a  riddle  which  cries, 
'  Where  is  Paradise  ? '  the  question  remaining  without  an  answer." 
Ebers,  ALgypten  und  die  Biicher  Mose,  p.  30.  See  McClintock  and 
Strong's  Cyclop&dia,  Arts.  "  Gihon,"  "  Pison,"  "  Eden,"  etc. 
"  Wherever  there  is  a  river-head  that  can  be  made  to  run  on  all-fours, 
even  by  assuming  the  existence  of  water-channels  no  longer  extant, 


tion  the  original  river  is  from  the  sky  ;  the  division 
takes  place  on  the  heights  at  the  Pole,  and  the  four 
resulting  rivers  are  the  chief  streams  of  the  circum- 
polar  continent  as  they  descend  in  different  direc 
tions  to  the  surrounding  sea.  Does  such  a  view 
find  any  support  in  the  traditions  of  the  ancient 
world  ? 

That  it  does  will  be  clear  to  any  one  who  has 
carefully  read  thus  far.  Let  us  take  the  rivers  of 
the  Persian  cradle  of  the  race.  Where  do  they  rise  ? 
If  the  investigator  of  this  question  have  made  no 
previous  studies  in  Comparative  Sacred  Hydrog 
raphy,  he  will  be  surprised  to  find  that  in  Persian 
thought,  not  only  the  Paradise  rivers,  but  also  all 
the  rivers  of  the  whole  earth,  have  but  one  head 
spring  and  but  one  place  of  discharge. 

This  head-spring  is  the  Ardvi-Sura,  situated  in 
heaven,  —  the  heaven  of  the  Pole.  "  This  heavenly 
fountain,"  says  Haug,  summarizing  the  contents  of 
the  Aban  Yasht,  —  "  this  heavenly  fountain  has  a 
thousand  springs  and  a  thousand  canals,  each  of  them 
forty  days'  journey  long.  Thence  a  channel  goes 
through  all  the  seven  keshvares,  or  regions  of  the 
earth,  conveying  everywhere  pure  celestial  waters."  * 

the  Biblical  Eden  has  been  discovered,  —  whether  in  Asia,  Africa, 
Europe,  or  America."  Gerald  Massey,  The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  ii., 
p.  162.  We  may  add  that  Mr.  Samuel  Johnson's  suggestion  (Oriental 
Religions  ;  Persia.  Boston,  1885  :  p.  253),  to  the  effect  that  the  "  four 
rivers  "  of  the  Hebrew  story  consisted  of  two  real  rivers,  the  Tigris  and 
the  Euphrates, plus  two  imaginary  "  words,  that  simply  mean  'flowing 
waters,'  and  that  were  used  as  generic  terms  for  the  purpose  of  mak 
ing  up  the  number  four,  the  conventional  sign  of  completeness  in  all 
Eastern  mythologies,"  is  a  characteristic  specimen  of  the  unschol- 
arly  and  dogmatic  caprice  of  pantheistic  exegesis  in  the  field  of  an 
cient  religious  ideas  and  their  history. 

1  Essays,  2d  ed.,  p.  198.     See  Darmesteter's  translation  :  "  From 
this  river  of  mine  alone  flow  all  the  waters  that  spread  all  over  the 


The  following  is  an  ancient  invocation  to  Ana- 
hita,  the  spirit  of  these  heavenly  waters  :  "  Come 
before  me,  Ardvi-Sura  Anahita  !  —  come  down  from 
yonder  stars  on  to  the  earth  created  by  Ahura- 
Mazda  !  Thee  shall  worship  the  handy  lords,  the 
rulers  of  countries,  sons  of  the  rulers  of  countries."  l 

From  its  elevation  the  heavenly  height  is  called 
Hugar,  i.  e.,  "  the  lofty  :  "  "  Hugar,  the  lofty,  is  the 
mount  from  which  the  water  of  Ardvi-Sura  leaps 
down  the  height  of  a  thousand  men."  2  Again  it  is 
written,  "  Hugar,  the  lofty,  on  which  the  water  of 
Ardvi-Sura  flows  and  leaps,  is  the  chief  of  summits, 
since  it  is  that  above  which  is  the  revolution  of 
Sataves,  the  chief  of  reservoirs."  3 

As  all  the  rivers  of  the  earth's  seven  regions,  so 
all  lakes  and  seas  and  the  ocean  itself,  are  from  this 
one  celestial  fountain.  "Through  the  warmth  and 
clearness  of  the  water,  purifying  more  than  other 

seven  keshvares ;  this  river  of  mine  alone  goes  on  bringing  waters 
both  in  summer  and  in  winter."    The  Zend-Avesta,  Pt.  ii.,  pp.  52-84. 

1  Haug,  Ibid.,  p.  198.     Darmesteter,  Ibid.,  p.  73. 

2  Bundahish  (West),  xii.  5.     The  Zend-Avesta  (Darmesteter),  ii. 


8  Bundahish,  xxiv.  17.  When  West  (Pahlavi  Texts,  Pt.  i.,  p.  35, 
note  6)  uses  the  last  clause  of  this  quotation  to  show  that  the  loca 
tion  of  Hugar  is  "  probably  "  in  the  western  quarter,  his  argument 
rests  upon  two  mistakes,  both  of  which  seem  to  be  shared  by  all 
modern  Avestan  students.  The  first  mistake  is  to  suppose  Sataves  a 
different  star  from  Tishtar  (Tijtrya) ;  and  the  second  is  the  notion 
that  Tishtar  was  the  star  now  called  Sirius.  The  fact  is  that  orig 
inally  Satavaesa  and  Ti-rtrya  were  simply  two  designations  for  one 
and  the  same  object,  and  that  object  was  not  our  Sirius,  but  the  Pole 
star.  I  say  our  Sirius,  because  there  is  evidence  that  this  name  also 
once  belonged  to  a  very  different  heavenly  body,  and  to  one  situated 
in  "  die  Mitte  des  Himmels"  i.  e.,  at  the  Pole.  (Ideler,  Sternennamen, 
p.  216.)  Hugar  (Hukairya)  is  the  heavenly  height  of  the  polar  sky, 
high  above  Hara-berezaiti,  whenever  this  term  is  applied,  as  originally, 
to  the  terrestrial  polar  mount.  Abdn  Yasht,  88.  See  Windischmann, 
Zoroastrische  Studien,^.  171. 


waters,  everything  continually  flows  from  the  source 
Ardvi-Sura."  *  However  named,  all  waters  are  sim 
ply  portions  of  the  same  heaven-descending  stream. 
"  The  other  innumerable  waters  and  rivers,  springs 
and  channels,  are  one  in  origin  with  those,  so  in  va 
rious  districts  and  various  places  they  call  them 
by  various  names."  2  Even  plant-sap,  and  blood,  and 
milk,  and  all  the  seventeen  kinds  of  liquid  enumer 
ated  in  the  Yashts,  are  parts  of  the  one  cosmic  cur 
rent.  "All  these,  through  growth,  or  the  body  which 
is  formed,  mingle  again  with  the  rivers,  for  the  body 
which  is  formed  and  the  growth  are  both  one."  3 

Everything  of  a  liquid  nature,  therefore,  in  the 
whole  world  is  conceived  of  as  proceeding  from  one 
source  high  in  the  north-polar  sky.  Whither  is  it 
tending  ?  What  becomes  of  it  all  in  the  end  ? 
Where  do  its  myriad  rills  and  rivers  at  last  dis 
charge  ?  As  according  to  the  cosmological  concep 
tion  so  often  illustrated  in  these  pages,  all  start  from 
the  zenith,  we  should  naturally  expect  all  to  reunite 
at  last  in  the  nadir.  This  is  found  to  be  the  fact. 
But  in  this  nether  gathering  place  the  waters,  now 
polluted  from  their  contact  with  all  the  filth  and 
vileness  of  the  world,  are  not  allowed  to  rest  and  ac- 

1  Bundahish,  ch.  xiii.,  3.     The  chapter  on  Seas. 

2  Ibid.,  xx.  33.     Ranha,  the  original  Avestan  name  of  the  world- 
river,  became  corrupted  into  Arahh&m  —  Arang — Aring — and  finally 
into  Arg.     Windischmann,  Zoroastrische  Studien,  pp.  187,  189. 

3  Ibid.,   xxi.  2.     Henry   Bowman,   in  his  Eighteen  Hundred  and 
Eighty-one ;  or  the  End  of  the  s£on   (St.  Louis,  Mo.,  1884,  p.  36), 
gives  the  following  remarkable  interpretation  to  the  heaven-descend 
ing  river  :    "  The  throne  of  God  is   the   apex,  culmination,  directly 
over  the  pole's  axis,  and  so  in  the  centre  of  the  city,  —  corresponding 
to  the  tree  of  life,  which  in  the  old  creation  was  situated  in  the  centre 
of  the  garden,  —  from  which  proceeds  the  ELECTRICAL  CURRENT,  the 
'  pure  river  of  the  water  of  life,  clear  as  crystal.'  " 


cumulate.1  This  cesspool  of  the  universe  has 
vious  bottom.  By  the  various  processes  of  strain 
ing,  vaporizing,  aeration,  etc.,  the  polluted  waters 
are  by  Tishtar  brought  back  distilled  and  purified, 
and  are  re-discharged  into  the  zenith-reservoir  which 
perpetually  supplies  the  gushing  streams  of  Ardvi- 
Sura.2  Into  such  a  marvelously  complete  cosmical 
circulatory  water  system  did  the  Iranic  imagination 
develop  the  primitive  head  -  stream  of  Eden.  But 
never,  even  in  the  most  extravagant  mythological 
adornments  of  the  idea,  was  it  for  a  moment  forgot 
ten  that  the  original  undivided  stream  originates  in 
the  north  polar  sky ;  and  that  its  division  into  earthly 
streams  and  rivers  is  on  the  holy  mount  which 
stands  in  the  centre  of  Kvaniras,  the  central  and 
circumpolar  keshvare  of  the  whole  habitable  earth.3 
The  various  fragmentary  allusions  of  the  oldest 
Greek  poets  to  Okeanos  and  the  rivers  would  seem 
to  imply  the  early  existence,  and  perhaps  early  loss, 
of  a  similar  Hellenic  conception  of  the  water  cir 
culation  of  the  entire  earth.  Thus,  according  to 
Homer's  familiar  couplet,  it  is  from  Okeanos,  in 

1  This  underworld  is  the  long-misunderstood  "  cave,"  in  which,  in 
the  Vedic  myth,  the  demons  try  to  imprison  the  stolen  rain-cows,  so 
that  the  earth  may  be  cursed  with  drought. 

2  Ibid.,  xx.  4.     Vendiddd,  v.  16-19.     More  fully  and  graphically 
described  in  Dddist&n-i  Dinik,  ch.  xciii.      The  ancient  idea  seems  yet 
to  survive  in  modern  folk-lore  :  "  In  der  Geschichte  von  Ikirma  und 
Chuseima  (in  den  Erzahlungen  der  1001  Nachte)  sitzen  zwei  Engel  der 
eine  in  Gestalt  eines  Lowen,  der  andere  in  der  eines  Stieres  vor  einer 
Pforte,  Wache  haltend  und  Gott  preisend.    Die  Pforte,  welche  nur  der 
Engel  Gabriel  offnen  kann,  fiihrt  zu  einem  von  Rubingebirgen  um- 
flossenen  Meere,  der  Quelle  aller  Wasser  auf  Erden ;  aus  ihm  schop- 
fen  Engel  die  Gewasser  der  Welt  bis  zum  Auferstehungstage."   Justi, 
Geschichte  des  alten  Persiens,  1879,  P-  80. 

8  Compare  Spiegel,  Erdnische  Alterthumskunde.     Leipsic,  1871; 
vol.  i.,  pp.  198-202. 


some  application  of  the  term,  that  "  all  rivers  and 
every  sea  and  all  fountains  flow."  1  Euripides  pre 
sents  the  same  idea.2  There  is,  therefore,  one  foun 
tain  of  all  the  world's  waters.  The  same  conception 
is  expressed  by  Hesiod  in  his  Theogony,  where  all 
rivers,  as  sons,  and  all  fountains  and  brooks,  as 
daughters,  are  traced  back  to  Okeanos.  Then  we 
have  a  constant  descending  movement  of  all  waters 
until  they  reach  the  world-surrounding  Ocean-river 
at  the  equator,  beyond  which  is  the  Underworld. 
From  this  equatorial  ocean,  parting  off  from  the 
southern  or  under  shore,  new  branches  diverge  and 
form  the  river  system  of  the  Hadean  kingdom. 
Other  Underworld  rivers  were  perhaps  conceived  of 
as  percolating  through  the  earth  and  emerging  to 
the  surface  in  the  lower  hemisphere.  There  is  at 
least  some  evidence  that  the  Greeks,  like  the  Per 
sians,  had  this  idea  of  interterranean  water-courses, 
and  even  rivers,  resembling  the  circulation  of  the 
blood  in  the  human  body.3  Sometimes  these  Under 
world  rivers  are  represented  as  four  in  number,  thus 
making  the  circumpolar  water  system  of  the  Under 
world  a  perfect  counterpart  of  the  Eden  rivers  at 
the  summit  of  the  upper  hemisphere.4  All,  more 
over,  like  those  of  the  Persian  Underworld,  seem  to 
be  plunging  forward  and  ever  downward,  until  in 
the  last  glimpse  which  the  imagination  can  catch 
they  are  seen  streaming  from  the  roof  of  the  grot 
of  the  goddess  Styx,  and,  as  Preller  expresses  it, 

1  Iliad,  xxi.  195. 

2  Hippolytus,  119. 

8  Bundahish,  viii.  4. 

4  "  In  der  Unterwelt  gab  es  ausser  dem  Styx  noch  drei  Fliisse. 
Die  Vierzahl  entspricht  derjenigen  der  vier  Paradiesfliisse." — Wolf 
gang  Menzel,  Die  vorchristliche  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  vol.  ii.,  p.  6. 


"  falling  thence,  beneath  the  Earth,  downward  into 
the  deep,  deep  Night."  l 

Here,  then,  we  have  a  unitary  water  system,  em 
bracing  the  whole  earth,  and  the  remarkable  Ho 
meric  and  Hesiodic  term  d^o/Spoo?,  "  refluent,"  may 
well  imply  that  the  Underworld  -n-poxor),  or  " outflow,"2 
returns  in  nature's  perfect  order  to  feed  its  original 
fountain,  thus  conforming  the  whole,  in  every  part, 
to  the  sacred  hydrography  of  the  Persians.3 

Granting  this,  one  should  locate  the  Okeanos- 
fountain,  not  where  Preller  and  Welcker  and  Volcker 
and  the  other  mythographers  have  hitherto  placed 
it,  but  in  the  farthest  North,  and  in  the  sky.  That 
this  location  was  the  original  one  is  plain  from  all 
the  local  implications  of  the  mythological  accounts 
of  the  proper  home  of  Okeanos  and  Tethys,  and  is 
further  confirmed  by  many  incidental  evidences  con 
nected  with  such  myths  as  those  of  the  Eridanus,4  the 
Acheloos,  the  birth  of  Zeus,  and  particularly  those 
of  Atlas  and  his  children.5 

1  Preller,   Griechische  Mythologie,  i.  29.      Plato,  in  his   cosmical 
sketch  in  Phasdo,  makes  the  Hadean  rivers  pour  into  Tartaros. 

2  Odyssey,  xx.  65. 

8  "  Fountf ul  Ida "  corresponds  almost  perfectly  to  the  Iranian 
Hugar,  down  whose  sides  leap  and  flow  the  waters  of  Ardvi-Sura. 
Moreover,  in  its  very  name  Lenormant  and  others  see  a  root  connect 
ing  it  with  Ilavrita,  the  circumpolar  paradisaic  varsha  of  Puranic 
geography.  It  should  be  added  that  to  Ilavrita  corresponds  signifi 
cantly  the  Norse  Idavollr,  or  "  plain  of  Ida,"  which  is  "  in  the  middle 
of  the  divine  abode."  Mallet,  Northern  Antiquities,  p.  409. 

4  "  Der  Eridanus  ist  ursprunglich  ein  mythischer  Fluss."  Ideler, 
Ursprung  der  Starnennamen,  p.  229.  See  especially  Robert  Brown, 
Jr.,  Eridanus.  London,  1883. 

6  Compare  the  like  conclusion  of  Grill,  Die  Erzvdter  der  Mensch- 
heit.  Leipsic,  1875  :  *•>  PP-  222>  223-  Grill  also  claims  that  the  an 
cient  Germans  had  a  similar  world-river,  p.  223.  I  cannot  help  think 
ing  that  in  the  descending  Ukko's  stream  and  in  the  ascending  Am- 
ma's  stream  of  Finnish  mythology  we  have  traces  of  a  like  cosmic 


In  the  most  ancient  Akkadian,  Assyrian,  and  Bab 
ylonian  literature  there  are  expressions  which  seem 
clearly  to  indicate  the  presence  among  these  peo 
ples  of  a  precisely  similar  conception  with  respect 
to  the  waters  of  the  world.1  The  same  is  true  of 
Egyptian  literature,  but  in  both  these  cases  the  data 
are  as  yet  too  meagre  to  make  them  entirely  conclu 
sive  in  argument.2  We  therefore  pass  them  by,  and 
close  with  a  glance  at  the  Eden  river  of  the  ancient 
Aryans  of  India. 

This,  as  already  seen,  is  the  heaven-born  Ganga. 
The  Vedas  call  it  "the  river  of  the  three  worlds," 
for  the  reason  that  it  flows  through  Heaven  and 
Earth  and  the  Underworld.  In  Vedic  times  "the 
original  source  and  home  of  the  waters  was  thought 
to  -be  the  highest  heaven  (paramam  vyoman\  the  re 
gion  peculiarly  sacred  to  Varuna."  3  This  is  clearly 

water  circulation.  See  Castren,  Mythologie,  p.  45.  After  reading  the 
long  note  in  Buxtorfii,  Lexicon  Chaldaicum,  Talmudicum  et  Rabbini- 
cum,  Lipsiae,  1865,  pp.  341,  342,  one  could  also  readily  believe  that 
we  have  here  the  true  origin  of  the  two  movements  or  paths  set  forth 
in  the  omnifluent  philosophy  of  Heraclitus :  r)]v  65b;/  KC£T&>,  and  rV 
65bv  6.v(a.  Again,  "  In  the  Edda  all  rivers  derive  their  origin  from 
that  called  liver  gelmer"  Asiatic  Researches,  vol.  viii.,  p.  321. 

1  Attention  is  only  called  to  the  ancient  Akkadian  hymn  given  by 
George  Smith,  Assyrian  Discoveries,  pp.  392,  393  ;  to  the  exceedingly 
interesting  article  by  Professor  Sayce  on  "  The  Encircling  River  of 
the  Snake-God  of  the  Tree  of  Life,"  in  The  Academy,  London,  Oct.  7, 
1882,  p.  263  ;  and  finally  to  the  instructive  account  of  the  Akkadian 
"mother  of  rivers"  given  in  Lenormant's  Origines,  ii.   i,  p.  133,  a 
citation  from  which  has  already  been  made  on  p.  171.     See  also  Rob 
ert  Brown,  The  Myth  of  Kirkt,  p.  no. 

2  "  Die  ^gypter  wussten  schon  friihe  von  einem  die  Erde  umflies- 
senden  Strom."  —  Grill,  Die  Erzvater  der  Menschheit,  i.,  p.  277. 

8  E.  D.  Perry,  Journal  of  the  American  Oriental  Society,  1882,  p. 
134.  He  adds  in  a  foot-note,  "  In  the  Veda,  'water'  and  all  corre 
sponding  terms,  such  as  stream,  river,  torrent,  ocean,  etc.,  are  used 
indiscriminately  of  the  water  upon  the  earth  and  of  the  aqueous  vapor 
in  the  sky  or  of  the  rain  in  the  air."  Compare  M.  Bergaigne  :  "  L'eau 


illustrated  in  scores  of  passages  :  for  example,  in  the 
beautiful  prayer  for  immortality,  where  the  fourfold l 
head-spring  of  all  waters  is  located  in  the  sacred 
Centre  of  Heaven.2  Sometimes  the  heaven-sprung 
stream  is  called  the  Sindhu,3  sometimes  the  Saras- 
vati.4  In  the  later  Mahabharata  its  head-spring  is 
placed  in  the  heaven  of  Vishnu,  high  above  the 
lofty  Pole-star  (Druva).  On  their  descent  the  ethe 
real  waters  wash  the  Pole-star,  and  the  Seven  Rishis 
(the  Great  Bear),  and  the  polar  pivot  of  "  the  lu 
nar  orb,"  5  thence  falling  upon  the  top  of  beautiful 

des  rivieres  terrestres  est  reconnue  identique  par  sa  nature  et  son 
origine  a  celle  des  rivieres  celestes,"  etc.,  etc.  La  Religion  Vedique, 
torn,  i.,  p.  256.  See  pp.  251-261. 

1  Rig  Veda,  ix.  74,  6. 

2  Rig  Veda,  ix.  113,  8.     Grassmann  translates  it :  — 

"  Wo  Konig  ist  Vivasvats  Sohn, 

Und  wo  des  Himmels  Heiligthum 

Wo  ewig  stromt  des  Wassers  Born, 

Da  mache  du  unsterblich  mich." 

See  the  "  Hymns  to  the  Waters  "  generally,  and  particularly  that  ad 
dressed  to  Apdm  Napdt,  the  "Navel  of  the  Waters,"  R.  V.,  ii.  35, 
comparing  therewith  the  invocations  to  the  "  Navel  of  the  Waters  " 
in  the  Yashts.  Darmesteter,  Zend-Avesta,  ii.  6  n.,  12,  14,  20,  36,  38, 
39,  71,  94,  102,  202.  Windischmann,  Zoroastrische  Studien,  pp.  177- 

3  "  Der  vedische  Inder  redet  von  dem   Sindhu  /car'  e|o%^,  dem 
Einen  himmlischen  Strom  oder  Weltstrom,  in  dem  er  die  Gesammt- 
heit  der  atmospharischen  Diinste  und  Wasser  als  in  Bewegung  be- 
griffener  und   die    Erde    rings    umfliessender   sich   zur  Anschauung 
bringt."  —  Grill,  Die  Erzvater  der  Menschheit,  Th.  i.,  p.  197. 

4  See  the  Vedic  passages  in  Bergaigne,  La  Religion  Vedique,  torn. 
i.,  pp.  325-328. 

5  Wilkins,  Hindu  Mythology.     London,  1882  :  p.   102.     In  Indian 
cosmology  the  lunar  sphere  is  concentric  with  and  includes  the  earth- 
sphere  ;  hence  water  falling  perpendicularly  from  the  celestial  to  the 
terrestrial  pole  can  yet  on  its  way  "  wash  the  lunar  sphere.''     So  too 
a  mountain  at  the  North  Pole,  if  only  high  enough,  will  reach  to  the 
"  lunar  sphere."    Such,  in  fact,  was  the  case  with  the  Paradise  moun- 
tain  of  Indian  cosmology,  and  traces  of  the  idea  live  on  in  the  Tal« 


Meru.  "  On  the  summit  of  Meru,"  says  the  Vishnu 
Purana,  "  is  the  vast  city  of  Brahma,  .  .  .  inclosed 
by  the  river  Ganga,  which,  issuing  from  the  foot  of 
Vishnu  and  washing  the  lunar  orb,  falls  here  [on 
the  top  of  Meru]  from  the  skies,  and,  after  encir 
cling  the  city,1  divides  into  four  mighty  rivers,  flow 
ing  in  opposite  directions.  These  rivers  are  Si'ta, 
the  Alakananda,  the  Chakshu,  and  the  Bhadra.  The 
first,  falling  on  the  tops  of  the  inferior  mountains 
on  the  east  side  of  Meru,  flows  over  their  crests, 
and  passes  through  the  country  of  Bhadraswa  to 
the  ocean.  The  Alakananda  flows  south  to  the 
country  of  Bharata,  and,  dividing  into  seven  rivers 
on  the  way,  falls  into  the  sea.  The  Chakshu  falls 
into  the  sea  after  traversing  all  the  western  moun 
tains  and  passing  through  Ketumala.  And  the 
Bhadra  washes  the  country  of  the  Uttarakurus  and 
empties  itself  into  the  northern  ocean."  2 

mud  and  in  Patristic  theology  too  plain  for  even  Massey  to  render 
valueless  :  "  Meru  is  shown  to  be  the  mount  which  reached  to  the 
moon  and  became  a  figure  of  the  four  lunar  quarters.  .  .  .  Hence  the 
tradition  that  Paradise  was  preserved  during,  or  was  exempt  from,  the 
Deluge  because  it  was  on  the  summit  of  a  mountain  that  reached  to 
the  moon  (Bereshith  Rabba,  xxxiii.)  ;  which  shows  the  continuation 
of  the  typical  mount  of  the  seven  stars  into  the  lunar  phase  of  time 
keeping,  where  the  mount  of  the  four  quarters  carried  Eden  with  it." 
The  Natural  Genesis^  vol.  ii.,  p.  244. 

1  Here  is  probably  the  origin  of  the  curious  notion  of  the  Sabaeans 
touching  the  Euphrates.     Or  was  the  borrowing  on  the  other  side  ? 
"  Les    Soubbas  ont  la   certitude  que   1'Euphrate,  qui,  d'apres  eux, 
prend  sa  source  sous  le  trone  d'Avather  (personnage  qui  preside  au 
jugement  des  ames  et  dont  le  trone  est  place  sous  retoile  polaire), 
passait  autrefois  a  Jerusalem."     M.  N.  Siouffi,  La  Religion  des  Soub 
bas  ou  Sabtens.     Paris,  1880  :  p.  7,  note.     Jehovah's  city  here  takes 
the  place  of  Brahma's. 

2  The  Vishnu  JPurana,  Wilson's  version,  vol.  vii.,  p.  120.    Compare 
herewith  the  notions  of  the  Chinese  Buddhists  :  "  With  reference  to 
this  land  of  Jambu-dwipa  [the  earth],  the  Buddhists  say  that  in  the 


Here,  again,  as  our  interpretation  of  Genesis  re 
quires,  the  four  rivers  traced  back  to  their  origin 
bring  us  to  the  summit  of  the  earth  at  the  Pole, — 
to  the  one  river  which  descends  from  the  north  polar 
sky.  Curious  confirmations  of  this  primitive  con 
ception  come  even  from  the  most  distant  conti 
nents.1  Late  Christian  legend  shows  evident  traces 
of  it,  for  in  Maundeville's  description  of  the  Para 
dise-fountain  he  says,  "  All  the  sweet  waters  of  the 
world  above  and  beneath  take  their  beginning  from 
that  well  of  Paradise  ; "  and  again,  "  Out  of  that  well 
all  waters  come  and  go"  —  giving  thus  clear  expres 
sion  to  the  idea  of  a  unitary  cosmic  water  circula- 

midst  of  it  is  a  centre  (heart),  called  the  lake  A-nieou-to  ( Anavataptu) ; 
it  lies  to  the  south  of  the  Fragrant  Mountains,  and  to  the  north  of  the 
great  Snowy  Mountains  (Himavat).  It  is  800  li  in  circuit.  In  the 
midst  of  this  lake  is  the  abode  of  a  Naga,  who  is  in  fact  the  trans 
formed  appearance  of  Dasabhumi  Bodhisatwa  (or  of  the  Bodhisa- 
twas  of  the  ten  earths).  From  his  abode  proceed  four  refreshing 
rivers,  which  compass  Jambu-dwipa.  At  the  east  side  of  the  lake, 
from  the  mouth  of  a  silver  ox,  flows  out  the  Ganges  River.  After 
compassing  the  lake  once  it  enters  the  sea  towards  the  southeast. 
From  the  south  side  of  the  lake,  from  the  mouth  of  a  golden  elephant, 
flows  the  Sindhu  [Indus]  River.  After  compassing  the  lake  once  it 
enters  the  sea  on  the  southwest.  On  the  west  side  of  the  lake,  flow 
ing  from  the  mouth  of  a  horse  of  lapis-lazuli,  flows  the  river  Foh-tzu 
(Vakshu,  i.  e.,  Oxus),  which,  after  compassing  the  lake  once,  enters 
the  sea  on  the  northwest.  On  the  north  side  of  the  lake,  flowing 
from  a  crystal  lion,  flows  the  river  Sida  [Hoang-ho],  which  after  mak 
ing  one  circuit  flows  into  the  sea  on  the  northeast."  Beal,  Buddhist 
Literature  in  China.  1882  :  p.  149- 

1  Thus  in  Africa,  among  the  Damaras,  "  the  highest  deity  is  Oma- 
kuru,  the  Rain-giver,  who  dwells  in  the  far  North."  E.  B.  Tylor, 
Primitive  Culture,  Am.  ed.,  vol.  ii.,  p.  259.  So  also  in  America: 
"  Die  alten  Mexikaner  glaubten,  das  Paradies  liege  auf  dem  hb'chsten 
Berge,  wo  die  Wolken  sich  versammeln,  von  wo  sie  Regen  bringen, 
und  von  wo  auch  die  Fliisse  herabkommen."  Luken,  Traditionen,  i., 
p.  115.  And  this  Paradise-mountain  was  in  the  farthest  North.  See 
the  pathetic  prayer  to  Tlaloc  in  Bancroft,  Native  Races,  vol.  iii.,  pp. 


tion.1  So,  again,  in  the  apocryphal  "  Revelation  of 
the  Holy  Apostle  Paul,"  the  angel  who  was  showing 
the  apostle  the  wonders  of  the  heavenly  city  brought 
him  to  just  such  a  World-river,  whose  spring  was 
in  heaven,  but  whose  main  body  surrounded  the 

"And  he  set  me  upon  the  river  whose  source 
springs  up  in  the  circle  of  heaven,  and  it  is  this  river 
which  encircleth  the  whole  earth.  And  he  says  unto 
me  :  This  river  is  Ocean."2 

1  Compare  verses  482-487  of  the  Old  German  legend  of  Brandan 
in  Carl  Schroeder,  Sanct  Brandan.     Erlangen,  1871  :  p.  6l  :  — 

"  Vor  dem  sale  stunt  ein  brunne, 

"  uz  dem  vloz  milch  und  win, 

"  waz  mohte  wunderlicher  sin. 

"  ouch  olei  und  honicseim  daruz  vloz 

"  daz  an  vier  enden  sich  ergoz." 

The  editor  (p.  105)  connects  this  last  line  with  the  quadripartite 
river  of  Paradise,  and  the  lines  immediately  following  give  it  an  un 
equivocally  cosmical  significance  :  — 

"  Von  dem  selben  brunnen 

"  haben  die  wurze  saf  gewunnen 

"  die  got  liez  gewerden  ie." 

2  The  Apocryphal  Gospels,  Acts  and  Revelations.     Ante-Nicene 
Christian  Library,  vol.  xvi.,  p.  483. 



The  Tree  of  Life, 
The  middle  tree,  and  highest  there  that  grew. 


Sowohlder  Apfelbaum  und  die  Quelle,  als  auch  der  Drache  des  Hesperidengar~ 
tens,  werden  in  den  Mythen  und  Mdrchen  der  meisten  Volker  in  das  Centrum  der 
Natur,  an  den  Gipfel  des  Weltberges,  an  den  Nordpol  verlegt,  —  WOLFGANG 

IN  the  centre  of  the  Garden  of  Eden,  according 
to  Genesis  iii.  3,  there  was  a  tree  exceptional  in 
position,  in  character,  and  in  its  relations  to  men. 
Its  fruit  was  "good  for  food,"  it  was  " pleasant  to 
the  eyes,"  "  a  tree  to  be  desired."  *  At  first  sight  it 
would  not  perhaps  appear  how  a  study  of  this  tree 
in  the  different  mythologies  of  the  ancient  world 
could  assist  us  in  locating  primitive  Paradise.  In 
the  discussions  of  such  sites  as  have  usually  been 

1  Was  this  "tree  of  knowledge  "  identical  with  the  "  tree  of  life  "  ? 
Possibly.  "  The  tradition  of  Genesis,"  says  Lenormant,  Beginnings, 
p.  84,  "  at  times  appears  to  admit  two  trees,  one  of  Life  and  one  of 
Knowledge,  and  again  seems  to  speak  of  one  only,  uniting  in  itself 
both  attributes  (Gen.  ii.  17  ;  iii.  1-7)."  Compare  Ernst  von  Bunsen, 
Das  Symbol  des  Kreuzes  bei  alien  Nationen.  Berlin,  1876  :  p.  5.  To 
make  the  whole  account  relate  to  one  tree  it  would  only  be  necessary 
first  to  translate  the  last  clause  of  ch.  ii.  9  "  the  tree  of  life  also  in  the 
midst  of  the  garden,  even  the  tree  of  knowledge  of  good  and  evil ;  " 
and  then  the  last  clause  of  ch.  iii.  22  "  and  now  lest  he  continue  to 
put  forth  his  hand  and  to  take  of  the  tree  of  life,"  etc.,  —  for  both  of 
which  constructions  there  are  abundant  precedents,  if  only  the  gam 
be  rendered  with  the  freedom  used  in  some  other  passages.  As  to 
the  first,  see  I  Sam.  xvii.  40 ;  xxviii.  3  ;  Dan.  iv.  10  ;  as  to  the  second, 
the  Hebrew  grammars  on  the  use  of  the  future.  Compare  also  Prov. 
iii.  13,  1 8,  where  wisdom  is  a  tree  of  life. 

THE   CENTRAL    TREE.  263 

proposed  it  could  not ;  but  if  the  Garden  of  Eden 
was  precisely  at  the  North  Pole,  it  is  plain  that  a 
goodly  tree  standing  in  the  centre  of  that  Garden 
would  have  had  a  visible  and  obvious  cosmical  signif 
icance  which  could  by  no  possibility  belong  to  any 
other.  Its  fair  stem  shooting  up  as  arrow-straight  as 
the  body  of  one  of  the  "  giant  trees  of  California,"  far 
overtopping,  it  may  be,  even  such  gigantic  growths 
as  these,  would  to  any  one  beneath  have  seemed 
the  living  pillar  of  the  very  heavens.  Around  it 
would  have  turned  the  "  stars  of  God,"  as  if  in  hom 
age  ;  through  its  topmost  branches  the  human  wor 
shiper  would  have  looked  up  to  that  unmoving 
centre-point  where  stood  the  changeless  throne  of 
the  Creator.  How  conceivable  that  that  Creator 
should  have  reserved  for  sacred  uses  this  one  natural 
altar-height  of  the  Earth,  and  that  by  special  com 
mand  He  should  have  guarded  its  one  particular 
adornment  from  desecration  !  (Gen.  ii.  16,  17.)  If 
anywhere  in  the  temple  of  nature  there  was  to  be 
an  altar,  it  could  only  be  here.  That  it  was  here 
finds  a  fresh  and  unexpected  confirmation  in  the  sin 
gular  agreement  of  many  ancient  religions  and  my 
thologies  in  associating  their  Paradise-Tree  with  the 
axis  of  the  world,  or  otherwise,  with  eqttal  unmistak- 
ableness,  locating  it  at  the  Arctic  Pole  of  the  Earth.1 
That  the  Northmen  conceived  of  the  universe  as 

1  "  The  Mythical  Tree,  like  the  Pillar  and  the  Mount,  is  a  type  of 
the  celestial  Pole."  Massey,  The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  i.,  p.  354.  The 
arguments  of  Professor  Karl  Budde  in  favor  of  eliminating  the  Par 
adise-tree  from  the  original  Genesis  account  of  the  Garden  of  Eden 
betray  a  strange  lack  of  insight.  Die  biblische  Urgeschichte.  Giessen, 
1883 :  pp.  45-88.  Even  Kuenen  refuses  to  entertain  so  arbitrary  a 
notion,  and  M.  Reville  well  exclaims,  What  would  a  Paradise  be  with 
out  VArbre  de  Vie  ! 


a  tree  (the  Yggjjrasfl)  is  well  known  to  ordinary 
readers.  Its  roots  are  in  the  lowest  hell,  its  mid- 
branches  inclose  or  overarch  the  abode  of  men,  its 
top  reaches  the  highest  heaven  of  the  gods.  It  was 
their  poetical  way  of  saying  that  the  whole  world 
is  an  organic  unity  pervaded  by  one  life.  As  the 
abode  of  the  gods  was  in  the  north  polar  sky,  the 
summit  of  the  tree  was  at  that  point,  its  base  in 
the  south  polar  abyss,  its  trunk  coincident  with  the 
axis  of  heaven  and  earth.1  It  was,  therefore,  in  po 
sition  and  in  nature  precisely  what  an  idealizing 
imagination  magnifying  the  primitive  tree  of  Para 
dise  to  a  real  World-tree  would  have  produced.2 

But  while  most  readers  are  familiar  with  this 
Norse  myth,  few  are  aware  how  ancient  and  univer 
sal  an  idea  it  represents.  This  same  tree  appears 
in  the  earliest  Akkadian  mythology.3  And  what  is 
precisely  to  our  purpose,  it  stood,  as  we  have  before 
seen,  at  *'  the  Centre  "  or  Pole  of  the  earth,  where 
is  "  the  holy  house  of  the  gods."  *  It  is  the  same 

1  Mencel,  *  Dieses  Sinnbfld  entsteht  urspriinglich  aus  der  Vorstel- 
lung  der  Weltachse."     Dit  vorckristkcke  UnsterWchkatslthre,  i.  70. 

*  See  •*  Les  Cosmogonies  Aryennes,"  par  J.  Darmesteter,  Remit 
Critique.     Paris,  1881 :  pp.  470-4761 

*  "  By  the  full  waters  grew  the  giant  '  overshadowing  tree,1  the 
Yggdrasfl  of  Noise  mythology,  whose  branches  were  of  'lustrous 
crystal,'  rTtrrwfing  downwards  even  to  the  deep.**     Sayce,  Babylonian 
Literature,  p.  39.  Compare  Lepormant,  Btgmmimgs  of  History,  pp.  83- 
107.    Hid  Professor  Finzi  duly  considered  the  Tree  of  Life  in  Ak 
kadian  tradition,  he  could  hardly  have  felt  "  constrained  "  to  ascribe 
the  origin  of  the  sacred  tree  of  the  Awjifo*  fy^ipw*^  *P  "Aryan, 
•ore  particularly  Iranian  influences."    Ricfrche  per  lo  Studio  delT 
Amtickiti  Assira,  p.  553,  note. 

*  "  In  Eridu  a  dark  pine  grew.    It  was  planted  in  a  holy  place. 
Its  crown  was  crystal  white,  which  spread  towards  the  deep  vault 
above.    The  abyss  of  Hea  was  its  pasturage  in  Eridu,  a  canal  full  of 
waiers.    Its  station  was  the  centre  of  this  earth.    Its  shrine  was  the 
couch  of  Mother  ZHram.    The  (roof)  of  its  holy  house  like  a  forest 


tree  which  in  ancient"  Egyptian  mythology 

die  sarcophagus  of  Osiris,  and  out  of  which  the 
.-;..'._  .:  .  ..:-  :  =--.-;_  ".:.-:  :..:-....-:  ". :  :..-  :.-  . -j 
to  be  taken.  But  this  was  only  a«M*Jn*r  form  of 
the  Tat-piilar,  which  is  the  axis  of  the  world.1  In 
the  light  of  comparative  cosmology  it  is  quite  im 
possible  to  agree  with  Mr.  Renouf  in  his  treatment 
of  the  Tree  in  Egyptian  mythology.  It  is  neither 
"  the  rain  cloud,"  nor  "  the  light  morning  cloud,"  nor 
"the  transparent  mist  on  the  horizon."  His  own 
citations  of  texts  dearly  show  that  under  all  its 
names  the  Egyptian  Tree  of  Life  is  a  true  World- 
tree,  whose  trunk  is  coincident  in  position  and  direc- 

spread  ks  shade.    There  wnc  •one  who  i •fcn  il  mat  withii  JL    It 

-    :-- 
1  "It  was  most  fifcdfy  at  Monpbrs,  too,  Oat  he  [Flak] 

=.:    1   -      .::;;  -  --.-•.::'.:-:•     .-     /      : .         '    :   :          :      :    ; 

"    --     ;     -  :-:   -.      ?    _-i.-; 

-i-  -        :  ",  .  :     ----:.- 
—.     :-:---.      -:     '.      -  - 

1  .          I  - 

.-        -—:  - r 

--  '      :-    --   -    i  .:.- 

.  - 1   .  i :  -  -      L.- 

of  Osn 
trace  of  art,  proves 

=:.-   i-:i-  :c      ,  ;   : : 

-,._.      .  .  ..,  .  .  .      .    t.t... 

%««,  pp.  44  47-    See  ai» 

::      -:-     n:    .;:       -  :    2- 


tion  with  the  axis  of  the  world  ;  a  tree  in  whose 
sky-filling  branches  Bennu,  the  sun-bird,  is  seated  ; 
a  tree  from  whose  north  polar  top  the  "  North- 
wind"  proceeds;  a  tree  which,  like  the  Yggdrasil, 
yields  a  celestial  rain  that  is  as  life-giving  as  Ardvi- 
Sura's,  and  that  descends,  not  merely  upon  the  fields 
of  Lower  Egypt,  but,  like  Ardvi-Sura's,  to  the  Under 
world  itself,  refreshing  "  those  who  are  in  Amenti"  1 
The  super-terrestrial  portion  of  the  Egyptian's  Ygg 
drasil,  therefore,  —  like  that  of  the  Northman's,  — 
stands  at  the  Arctic  Pole. 

The  Phoenicians,  Syrians,  and  Assyrians  had  each 
their  sacred  tree  in  which  the  universe  was  symbol 
ized.2  In  the  lost  work  of  Pherecydes  the  former 
is  represented  as  a  "  winged  oak."  3  Over  it  was 
thrown  the  magnificent  veil,  or  peplos,  of  Harmo- 
nia,  on  which  were  represented  the  all-surrounding 
Ocean  with  his  rivers,  the  Earth  with  its  omphalos 
in  the  centre,  the  sphere  of  Heaven  varied  by  the 
figures  of  the  stars.4  But  as  this  self-interpreting 

1  SeeRenouf,  "  Egyptian  Mythology,  particularly  with  Reference  to 
Mist  and  Cloud."     Transactions  of  the  Society  for  Biblical  Arcktzology. 
London,   1884:  pp.  217-220.     A  beautiful  confirmation  of  our  view 
is  found  in  the  important  text  in  which  "  the  abyss  under  the  earth  " 
(die  Tiefe  unter  der  Erde]  is  poetically  expressed  by  the  term  "the 
cavity  of  the  Persea  (die  Hbhle  der  Persea}.     Brugsch's  version,  from 
which  the  above  German  expressions  are  taken,  may  be  seen  in  the 
Zeitschrift  fur  Aegyptische  Sprache  und  Alterthumskunde.     Leipsic, 
1881  :  pp.   77  ff.     Surely  no  opening  in  an  ordinary  cloud  could  be 
called  the  subterranean  deep. 

2  "  W.  Baudissin  is  wrong  in  supposing  it  unknown  to  the  Phosni- 
cians."  —  Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History,  vol.  i.,  p.  104  n. 

8  But  Spvs  was  originally  a  generic  term  for  tree.  See  Curtius, 
Etymologic,  s.  v. 

4  "  This  veil  is  identical  with  the  starry  peplos  of  Harmonia." 
Robert  Brown,  Jr.,  The  Unicorn.  London,  1881  :  p.  89.  The  Myth 
of  Kirke.  London,  1883:  p.  71. 

THE   CENTRAL    TREE.  267 

symbol  was  furnished  with  wings  to  facilitate  its  con 
stant  rotation,  it  is  plain  that  we  have  in  it,  not  only 
a  World-tree,  but  also  one  the  central  line  of  whose 
trunk  is  one  with  the  axis  of  heaven  and  earth.1  In 
the  language  of  Maury,  "  It  is  a  conception  identi 
cal  with  the  Yggdrasil  of  Scandinavian  mythology."  2 
That  section  of  the  tree,  therefore,  which  reaches 
from  the  abode  of  men  into  the  holy  heavens  rises 
pillar-like  from  the  Pole  of  the  earth  to  the  Pole  of 
the  sky. 

Among  the  Persians  the  legendary  tree  of  Para 
dise  took  on  two  forms,  according  as  it  was  viewed 
with  predominant  reference  to  the  universe  as  an 
organic  whole,  or  to  the  vegetable  world  as  proceed 
ing  from  it.  In  the  first  aspect  it  was  the  Gaoke- 
rena  (G6kard)  tree,  or  "  the  white  Horn  "  (Haoma  = 
Soma) ;  in  the  second,  the  "tree  of  all  seeds,"  the 
"  tree  opposed  to  harm."  Of  the  former  it  is  writ 
ten,  "  Every  one  who  eats  of  it  becomes  immortal ; 
.  .  .  also  in  the  renovation  of  the  universe  they  pre 
pare  its  immortality  therefrom  ;  it  is  the  chief  of 
plants."  3  Of  the  second  we  read,  "  In  like  manner 

1  "  Thus  the  universe  definitively  organized  by  Zeus,  with  the  assist 
ance  of  Harmonia,  was  depicted  by  Pherecydes  as  an  immense  tree, 
furnished  with  wings  to  promote  its  rotary  motion,  —  a  tree  whose  roots 
were  plunged  into  the  abyss,  and  whose  extended  branches  sustained 
the  unfolded  veil  of  the  firmament  decorated  with  the  types  of  all  ter 
restrial  and  celestial  forms."     Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History,  p. 
549.     Compare   Louis  de  Ronchaud,  "  Le  Peplos  d' Athene  Parthe- 
ws,"  Revue  Archeologique.    Annee,  xxiii.  (1872)  pp.  245  seq.,  309^^., 
390  seq.  ;  xxiv.  80  seq.     Also  W.  Svvartz,  "  Das  Halsband  cler  Har 
monia  und  die  Krone  der  Ariadne."     Neue  JahrbUcher  der  Philologie, 
1883  :  pp.  115-127.     This  writer's  view  of  the  connection  of  the  Hals- 
band  with  the  foot  of  the  Yggdrasil  is  very  curious  and  not  wholly 

2  Religions  de  la  Grhe  Antique,  iii.  253. 

8  Bimdahishy  xxvii.  4.     Compare  the  Vendiddd,  Farg.  xx. 


as  the  animals,  with  grain  of  fifty  ana  five  species 
and  twelve  species  of  medicinal  plants,  have  arisen 
from  the  primeval  ox,  so  ten  thousand  species  among 
the  species  of  principal  plants,  and  a  hundred  thou 
sand  species  among  ordinary  plants,  have  grown 
from  all  these  seeds  of  the  tree  opposed  to  harm, 
the  many-seeded.  .  .  .  When  the  seeds  of  all  these 
plants,  with  those  from  the  primeval  ox,  have  arisen 
upon  it,  every  year  the  bird  (Kamros)  strips  that 
tree  and  mingles  all  the  seeds  in  the  water ;  Tishtar 
seizes  them  with  the  rain-water  and  rains  them  on 
to  all  regions."  x 

Where  stood  this  tree  which,  in  its  dual  form,  was 
at  once  the  source  of  all  other  trees  and  the  giver 
of  immortality  ?  Every  indication  points  us  to  the 
northern  Pole.  It  was  in  Airan-Vej,2  the  Persian 
Eden,  and  this  we  have  already  found.  It  was  at 
the  source  of  all  waters,  the  north  polar  fountain 
of  Ardvi-Sura.3  It  was  begirt  with  the  starry  girdle 
of  the  zodiacal  constellations,  which  identifies  it  with 
the  axis  of  the  world.4  It  grew  on  uthe  highest 
height  of  Hara-berezaiti,"  5  and  this  is  the  celestial 
mountain  at  the  Pole.  Finally,  although  Grill  mis- 

1  Ibid.,  xxvii.  2,  3. 

2  Bundahish,  xxix.  5. 

3  Ibid.,  xxvii.  4.     Compare  Windischmann  :  "  Also  der  Baum  des 
Lebens  wachst  in  dem  Wasser  des  Lebens,  in  der  Quelle  Ardvigura 
Anahita."     Zoroastrische  Studien.     Berlin,  1863  :  p.  171. 

4  Homa  Yasht,  26.     Haug,  Essays,  2d  ed.,  p.  182. 

5  Yasht,  IX.  (Gosh.),  17.    Compare  Bundahisk,xvm.,  as  translated 
by  Justi  and  Windischmann.     See  Grill,  Die  Erzvater,  i.,  pp.  186- 
191.     Windischmann,  Zoroastrische  Studien,   p.    165  seq.      Spiegel, 
Er&nisckc  Alterthumskunde,  i.  463  seq.     It  is  by  no  means  inconsis 
tent  herewith  that,  according  to  the  Minokhired,  the  tree  grows  in  the 
sea  Var-Kash  "  am  verborgensten  Orte,"  since  this  statement  has  ref 
erence  to  the  subterranean  rooting  of  the  tree  in  the  lowest  part  of  the 
Underworld.     Kuhn,  Herabkunft,  p.  124. 

THE   CENTRAL    TREE.  269 

takenly  makes  the  Chinvat  bridge  "  correspond  with 
the  Milky  Way  and  the  rainbow,"  he  nevertheless 
correctly  discerns  some  relationship  between  Chin- 
vat  and  the  Persian  Tree  of  Life.1  By  this  identi 
fication  we  are  again  brought  to  the  one  unmistak 
able  location  toward  which  all  lines  of  evidence 
perpetually  converge. 

The  Aryans  of  India,  as  early  as  in  the  far-off 
Vedic  age,  had  also  their  World-tree,  which  yielded 
the  gods  their  soma,  the  drink  which  maintains  im 
mortality.  As  we  should  anticipate,  its  roots  are  in 
the  Underworld  of  Yama  at  the  hidden  pole,  its  top 
in  the  north  polar  heaven  of  the  gods,  its  body  is  the 
sustaining  axis  of  the  universe.2  Weber  long  ago 
expressly  identified  it  with  the  World-ash  of  the 
Edda  ; 3  and  Kuhn,4  Senart,5  and  all  the  more  recent 
writers  accept  without  question  the  identification. 
Grill's  interesting  sketch  of  the  historic  develop 
ments  of  the  myth  may  be  seen  in  the  Appendix  to 
this  volume.6  Some  of  the  late  traces  of  it  in  Hindu 

1  Grill,  Ibid.,  p.  191.    Compare  the  original  Zend  invocation  in  the 
Homa   Yasht :  "  Amereza  gayeh$  stdna"  "O  imperishable  Pillar  of 
Life"     Haug,  Essays,  p.  177  n. 

2  Rig  Veda,  x.  135,  i ;  Atharvan  Veda,  vi.  95, 1.    See  Kuhn,  Herab- 
kunft  des  Feuers  und  des  Gottertranks.     Berlin,  1859:  p.  126  seg.    J. 
Grill,  Erzvater,  i.,  pp.  169-175.     Obry,  Le  Berceau  de  FEsphe  Hu- 
niaine,  pp.  146-160.     Windischmann,  Zoroastrische  Studien,  pp.  176, 
177.     It  is  true  that  the  roots  of  this  divine  Afvattha  are  sometimes 
represented  as  in  the  heaven  of  the  gods,  its  growth  being  downwards  ; 
but  this  is  only  to  symbolize  the  emanation  of  Nature  and  of  Nature's 
life  from  the  divine  source,  as  clearly  expressed  in  the  opening  verses 
of  the  fifteenth  reading  of  the  Bhagavad  Glta.     See  John   Davies' 
translation,  London,  1882,  p.  150  ;  and  for  a  parallel,  M.  Wolff,  Mu- 
bammedanische  Eschatologie,  Leipsic,  1872,  p.  197. 

8  Indische  Studien,  Bd.  i.,  p.  397. 
*  Herabkunft,z\.z.,  p.  128. 

5  La  Legende  du  Bouddha,  p.  240. 

6  See  APPENDIX,  Sect.  V. 


art  betray  the  ancient  conception  of  the  Pole  as  a 
means  of  ascent  to  heaven,  a  bridge  of  souls  and 
of  the  gods,  a  stair  substituted  for  the  slippery  pil 
lar  up  which  the  Tauist  emperor  vainly  sought  to 

Among  the  Greeks  2  it  is  more  than  probable  that 
the  "  holy  palm  "  in  Delos,  on  which  Leto  laid  hold 
at  the  birth  of  Apollo,  represents  the  same  mythical 
World-tree.  If  so,  and  if  we  follow  Hecataeus  in 
locating  the  scene,  we  shall  be  brought  to  the  Arc 
tic  Pole.3  The  eternally  flourishing  olive  of  Athene 
(Euripides,  Ion  1433)  seems  also  but  another  form 
of  the  holy  palm,  and  this  in  some  of  its  descrip 
tions  brings  us  again  to  the  land  of  the  Hyperbo- 

1  "  In  the  Naga  sculptures  (Fergusson,  Tree  and  Serpent  Worship, 
pi.  27),  the  Tree  of  the  Mount  or  Pole  is  identified  at  the  bottom  by 
one  tree,  and  at  the  top  by  another,  and  between  the  two  there  is  a 
kind  of  ladder,  with  a  series  of  steps  or  stairs  which  ascend  the  tree, 
in  the  place  of  a  stem.    These  denote  the  Tree  of  the  Ascent,  Mount, 
or  Height,  now  to  be  considered  as  representing  the  Pole."  —  G.  Mas- 
sey,  The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  i.,  p.  354. 

2  Kuhn,  Herabkunft,  etc.,  pp.  133-137. 

8  Menzel,  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  i.  89.  Its  "  central  "  position  with 
respect  to  the  world  of  men  is  recognized  by  old  Robert  Burton  in 
his  Anatomy  of  Melancholy,  New  York,  1849,  P-  292-  Compare 
Massey :  "  The  Tree  of  the  Pole  is  extant  in  Celebes,  where  the  na 
tives  believe  that  the  world  is  supported  by  the  Hog,  and  that  earth 
quakes  are  caused  when  the  Hog  rubs  itself  against  the  Tree.  .  .  . 
At  Ephesus  they  showed  the  Olive  and  Cypress  Grove  of  Leto,  and 
in  it  the  Tree  of  Life  to  which  the  Great  Mother  clung  in  bringing 
forth  her  twin  progeny.  There  also  was  the  Mount  on  which  Hermes 
announced  the  birth  of  her  twins  Diana  and  Apollo  [sun  and  moon]. 
The  imagery  is  at  root  the  same  as  the  Hog  rubbing  against  the  Tree 
of  the  Pole."  The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  i.,  p.  354.  And  again,  the 
cosmical  imagery  of  Hesiod  :  "  Das  leitende  Bild  eines  Baumes,  des- 
sen  Stamm  sich  von  den  Wurzeln  erhebt  und  oben  ausbreitet,  tritt  in 
den  Worten  der  Theogonie  v.  727  :  vom  Tartarus  aufwarts  seien  die 
Wurzeln  der  Erde  und  des  Meeres,  deutlich  hervor."  W.  F.  Rinck, 
Die  Religion  der  Hellenen.  Zurich,  1853  :  Bd.  i.,  p.  60. 


reans.1  In  the  Garden  of  the  Hesperides,  the  tree 
which  bore  the  golden  apples  was  unquestionably 
the  Tree  of  Paradise  ;  but  following  ^Eschylus,  Pher- 
ecydes,  and  Apollodorus,  we  must  place  it  in  the 
farthest  North,  beyond  the  Rhipaean  mountains.2 
Traces  of  the  same  mythical  conception  among  the 
Romans  are  presented  by  Kuhn.3 

The  sacred  tree  of  the  Buddhists  figures  largely 
in  their  sculpture.  An  elaborate  specimen  repre 
sentation  may  be  seen  on  the  well-known  Sanchi 
Tope.  One  inconspicuous  feature  in  the  representa 
tion  has  often  puzzled  observers.  Almost  invariably, 
at  the  very  top  of  the  tree  we  find  a  little  umbrella. 
So  universal  is  this  that  its  absence  occasions  re 
mark.4  This  little  piece  of  symbolism  has  a  curious 
value.  In  Buddhist  mythological  art  the  umbrella 
symbolizes  the  north  polar  heaven  of  the  gods,5  and 
by  attaching  it  to  the  tip  of  the  sacred  tree  the  an 
cient  sculptors  of  this  faith  unmistakably  showed 
the  cosmical  character  and  axial  position  of  that  to 
which  it  was  attached. 

But  this  cosmic  tree  was  the  mythical  B6dhi  tree, 
the  Tree  of  Wisdom,  - 

"  Beneath  whose  leaves 
It  was  ordained  that  Truth  should  come  to  Buddh."  6 

1  Nonnus,  Dionysiac,  xl.  443  seq.     Liiken,  Traditionen,  p.  74. 

2  Preller,  Gr.  Mythologie,  i.  149.      Volcker,  Mythische  Geographie. 
Leipsic,  1832  :  p.  134. 

8  Herabkunfty  etc.,  pp.  179,  180. 

4  James  Fergusson,  Tree  and  Serpent  Worship.     London,  2d  ed., 
1873:  pp.  134,  135. 

5  Lillie,  Buddha  and  Early  Buddhism.     London,  1881  :  pp.  2,  19. 
A  different  study  of  the  cosmical  nature  of  this  tree  may  be  found  in 
Senart,  Llgende  du  Bouddha.     Paris,  1875  :  PP*  239~244- 

6  Arnold,  Light  of  Asia,  Book  vi. 


Its  location  is  in  "  the  Middle  of  the  Earth."  l  Not 
withstanding  his  doctrine  of  an  African  origin  of 
mankind,  Gerald  Massey  says,  "  In  the  legendary 
life  of  Gautama,  Buddha  is  described  as  having  to 
pass  over  the  celestial  water  to  reach  Nirvana,  which 
is  the  land  of  the  Bodhi  Tree  of  Life  and  Knowl 
edge.  He  was  unable  to  cross  from  one  bank  to  the 
other,  but  the  spirit  of  the  Bodhi  tree  stretched  out 
its  arms  to  him  and  helped  him  over  in  safety.  By 
aid  of  this  tree  he  attained  the  summit  of  wisdom 
and  immortal  life.  It  is  the  same  Tree  of  the  Pole 
and  of  Paradise  all  mythology  through.  The  Tree  of 
the  Guarani  garden,  the  Hebrew  Eden,  the  Hindu 
Jambu-dwipa,  is  likewise  the  Tree  of  Nirvana.  This 
final  application  of  the  imagery  proves  its  origin. 
The  realm  of  rest  was  first  seen  at  the  polar  centre 
of  the  revolving  stars."  2 

The  ancient  Germans  called  their  World-tree  the 
Irmensul,  i.  e.,  "  Heaven-pillar."  Grimm  speaks  of 
its  close  relationship  with  the  Norse  Yggdrasil,  and 

1  "  The  Buddhists  assert  that  this  tree  marks  the  middle  of  the 
earth."  —  E.  C.  Brewer,  Dictionary  of  Miracles.  Philadelphia,  1884: 

P-  3H- 

'2  The  Natural  Genesis,  vol.  ii.,  90.  On  the  independence  of  the 
Buddhist  cosmogony  and  cosmology  Beal  remarks,  "  But  whilst  we 
may  regard  Buddhism  in  the  light  of  a  reformation  of  the  popular 
belief  in  India,  we  must  bear  in  mind  that  the  stream  of  tradition 
which  reappears  in  its  teaching,  and  may  be  traced  in  its  books,  is  in 
dependent  and  probably  distinct  from  the  Brahmanical  traditions 
embodied  in  the  Puranas  and  elsewhere.  At  any  rate,  this  is  the  case 
so  far  as  the  primitive  question  of  creation  and  of  the  cosmic  system 
generally  is  concerned.  Mr.  Rhys  Davids  has  already  remarked  that 
'  the  Buddhist  archangel  or  god  Brahma  is  different  from  anything 
known  to  the  Brahmans,  and  is  part  of  an  altogether  different  system 
of  thought '  (Bitddhist  Suttas,  p.  168  n.).  I  am  inclined  to  go  further 
than  this,  and  say  that  the  traditions  of  the  Buddhists  are  different 
from  those  of  the  Brahmans  in  almost  every  respect."  Samuel  Beal, 
Buddhist  Literature  in  China.  London,  1882  :  p.  146. 


lends  his  high  authority  to  the  view  that  it  was  sim 
ply  a  mythical  expression  of  the  idea  of  the  world's 
axis.1  The  same  view  was  advanced  still  earlier 
by  the  distinguished  Icelandic  mythographer,  Finn 
Magnusen.2  How  profoundly  the  myth  affected  me 
diaeval  Christian  art  is  illustrated  in  many  places, 
among  the  rest  in  the  sculptures  on  the  south  portal 
of  the  Baptistery  at  Parma.3  It  is  also  not  without 
a  deep  significance  that  "in  the  mediaeval  legend  of 
Seth's  visit  to  the  Garden  of  Eden,  to  obtain  for  his 
dying  father  the  Oil  of  Compassion,  the  Tree  of  Life 
which  he  saw  lifted  its  top  to  heaven  and  sent  its 
root  to  hell;  "  4  and  that  on  the  crucifixion  cf  Christ, 
himself  the 

"  Arbor,  qu<z  ab  initio  posita  est," 

this  cosmical  Tree  of  the  Garden  died,  and  became 
the  " Arbre  Sec"  of  mediaeval  story.6 

1  "  Mir  scheint  auch  die  im  deutschen  Alterthum  tief  gegriindete 
Vorstellung  von  der  Irmensdule,  jener  altissima,  universalis  columna 
quasi  sustinens  omnia,  dem  Weltbaum  Yggdrasil  nah  verwandt."  — 
J.  Grimm,  Deutsche  Mythologie,  p.  759.     Compare  pp.  104-107. 

2  Den  aellre  Edda.     Kjobenhavn,  1822  :  Bd.  ii.,  61.     Compare  the 
following  :  "  Yggdrasil  has  never  been  satisfactorily  explained.     But 
at  all  events  the  sacred  tree  of  the  North  is,  no  doubt,  identical  with 
the  '  robur  Jovis?  or  sacred  oak  of  Geismar,  destroyed  by  Boniface, 
and  the  Irminsul  of  the  Saxons,  the  columna  universalis,  the  terres 
trial  tree  of  offerings,  an  emblem  of  the  whole  world  as  far  as  it  is 
under  divine  influence."    Thorpe,  Northern  Mythology ',  vol.  i.,  p.  155. 

8  See  F.  Piper,  Evangelischer  Kalender  fur  1866,  pp.  35-80  (illus 
trated).  Also  Piper's  "  Baum  des  Lebens,"  in  the  same  Kalender for 
1863,  pp.  17-94. 

4  Gubernatis,  Zoological  Mythology.  London,  1872  :  vol.  ii.,  p. 
411,  note. 

6  The  Book  of  Marco  Polo.  Edition  of  Col.  H.  Yule.  London, 
1871  :  pp.  120-131.  Notice  particularly  the  picture  on  p.  127,  which 
corrects  Polo's  blunder  in  confounding  the  Arbre  Sol  with  the  Arbre 
Sec,  The  bird  at  the  top  of  the  central  and  highest  of  the  trees  de 
picted  conclusively  identifies  it  with  the  World- tree  of  universal  Ar 
yan  tradition.  On  this  bird  see  Kuhn. 


The  Paradise-tree  of  the  Chinese  Tauists  is  also 
a  World-tree.  It  is  found  in  the  centre  of  the  en 
chanting  Garden  of  the  Gods  on  the  summit  of  the 
polar  Kwen-lun.  Its  name  is  Tong,  and  its  location 
is  further  denned  by  the  expression  that  it  grows 
"hard  by  the  closed  Gate  of  Heaven."  l  As  in  many 
of  the  ancient  religions,  the  mount  on  which,  after 
the  Flood,  the  ark  rested  was  considered  the  same 
as  that  from  which  in  the  beginning  the  first  man 
came  forth,  it  is  not  strange  to  find  the  tree  on  the 
top  of  the  mountain  of  Paradise  remembered  in 
some  of  the  legends  of  the  Deluge.  In  the  Tauist 
legend  it  seems  to  take  the  place  of  the  ark.  Thus 
we  are  told  that  "  one  extraordinary  antediluvian 
saved  his  life  by  climbing  up  a  mountain,  and  there 
and  then,  in  the  manner  of  birds  plaiting  a  nest,  he 
passed  his  days  on  a  tree,  whilst  all  the  country  be 
low  him  was  one  sheet  of  water.  He  afterwards 
lived  to  a  very  old  age,  and  could  testify  to  his  late 
posterity  that  a  whole  race  of  human  beings  had 
been  swept  from  the  face  of  the  earth."  2 

It  is  at  least  suggestive  to  find  this  same  idea  of 
salvation  from  a  universal  deluge  by  means  of  a  mi 
raculous  tree  growing  on  the  top  of  the  divine 
Mountain  of  the  North  among  the  Navajo  Indians 
of  our  own  country.  Speaking  of  the  men  of  the 
world  before  our  own,  and  of  the  warning  they  had 
received  of  the  approaching  flood,  their  legends  go 
on  :  "  Then  they  took  soil  from  all  the  four  corner 
mountains  of  the  world,  and  placed  it  on  top  of  the 
mountain  that  stood  in  the  North  ;  and  thither  they 
all  went,  including  the  people  of  the  mountains, 

1  Liiken,  Traditionen,  p.  72. 

2  The  Chinese  Repository,  vol.  viii.,  p.  517. 

THE   CENTRAL    TREE.  2?$ 

the  salt-woman,  and  such  animals  as  then  lived  in 
the  third  world.  When  the  soil  was  laid  on  the 
mountain,  the  latter  began  to  grow  higher  and 
higher,  but  the  waters  continued  to  rise,  and  the 
people  climbed  upwards  to  escape  the  flood.  At 
length  the  mountain  ceased  to  grow,  and  they 
planted  on  the  summit  a  great  reed,  into  the  hol 
low  of  which  they  all  entered.  The  reed  grew  every 
night,  but  did  not  grow  in  the  daytime;  and  this 
is  the  reason  why  the  reed  grows  in  joints  to  this 
day :  the  hollow  internodes  show  where  it  grew  by 
night,  and  the  solid  nodes  show  where  it  rested  by 
day.  Thus  the  waters  gained  on  them  in  the  day 
time.  The  turkey  was  the  last  to  take  refuge  in  the 
reed,  and  he  was  therefore  at  the  bottom.  When 
the  waters  rose  high  enough  to  wet  the  turkey,  they 
all  knew  that  danger  was  near.  Often  did  the  waves 
wash  the  end  of  his  tail,  and  it  is  for  this  reason 
that  the  tips  of  the  turkey's  tail-feathers  are  to  this 
day  lighter  than  the  rest  of  his  plumage.  At  the 
end  of  the  fourth  night  from  the  time  it  was  planted 
the  reed  had  grown  up  to  the  floor  of  the  fourth 
world,  and  here  they  found  a  hole  through  which 
they  passed  to  the  surface."  1 

The  opening  sentence  of  the  above  citation  gives 
us  a  topography  exactly  corresponding  to  Mount 
Meru,  the  Hindu  "  mountain  of  the  North,"  with  its 
"  four  corner  mountains  of  the  world,"  in  the  four 
opposite  points  of  the  horizon.  Moreover,  in  the 
Deluge  myths  of  the  Hindus,  as  in  this  of  the  Nava- 

1  W.  Matthews,  "  The  Navajo  Mythology."  The  Am.  Antiquarian, 
July,  1883,  p.  208.  The  difficulty  of  any  interpretation  of  this  cos 
mology  other  than  the  true  is  illustrated  by  the  efforts  of  M.  Reville. 
Les  Religions  des  Peuples  Non-civilis6s.  Paris,  1883  :  vol.  i.,  pp.  271- 


jos,  it  was  over  this  central  mountain  that  the  sur< 
vivors  of  that  world-destruction  found  deliverance. 
However  explained,  the  coincidences  are  remark 

In  Keltic  tradition  the  Tree  of  Paradise  is  repre 
sented  by  the  tree  which  bore  golden  apples  in 
Avalon.  But  Avalon  is  always  represented  as  an 
island  in  the  far  North,  and  its  "  loadstone  castle  " 
self-evidently  connects  it  with  the  region  of  the  mag 
netic  Pole.1 

In  the  ancient  epic  of  the  Finns,  the  Kalevala,  we 
see  the  World-tree  of  another  people.  If  any  doubt 
could  rise  as  to  its  position  in  the  universe,  the  con 
stellation  of  the  Great  Bear  in  its  top  would  suffice 
to  remove  it.2 

1  Menzel,  Unsterblichkeitslehre,  i.  87,  95  ;  ii.  10.     Keary,  Outlines 
of  Primitive  Belief,  p.  453.      Especially  see  Humboldt's  references  to 
" Monte  Calamitico"  the  mediaeval  magnetic  mountain  in  the  sea  to 
the  north  of  Greenland.     Cosmos  (Bohn's  ed.),  ii.  659 ;  v.  55.     Also, 
Le  Cycle  mythologique  irlandais  et  la  Mythologie  celtique.    Par  H.  d'Ar- 
bois  de  Jubainville.     Paris,  1884.     Dr.  Carl  Schroeder,  Sanct  Bran- 
dan.     Erlangen,  1871  :  pp.  57,  in,  167,  etc. 

2  The  German  translation  by  Anton  Schiefner.    Helsinfors,  1852  : 
Rune  x.,  31-42.    Compare  Schiefner,  Heldensagen  der  minussinischen 
Tataren,  p.  62  seq.     Traces  of  the  same  myth  are  found  among  the 
Samoans  (Samoa  a  Hundred  Years  Ago  and  Long  Before.    By  George 
Turner,   LL.  D.     London,    1884  :    pp.    199,   201).     Also,  among  the 
Ugrian  tribes  (Peschel,  Races  of  Man,  p.  406)  ;  and  among  many  of 
the  tribes  of  the  American  aborigines,  and  in  Polynesia.     See  M. 
Husson,  La  Chaine  Traditionnelle,  Contes  et  Legendes  au  point  de  vue 
mythique.   Paris,  1874  :  especially  pp.  140-160.    Massey,  The  Natural 
Genesis.     "It  was  at  the  top  of  the  Tree  of  Heaven  —  the  Pole  — 
that  the  Guaranis  were  to  meet  once  more  with  their  Adam,  Atum, 
Turn,  or  Tamoi,  who  was  to  help  them  from  thence  in  their  ascent  to 
the  higher  life.     Here  the  Tree  of  Life  becomes  a  tree  of  the  dead  to 
raise  them  into  heaven.    So  in  the  Algonkin  myth  the  tree  of  the  dead 
was  a  sort  of  oscillating  log  for  the  deceased  to  cross  the  river  by,  as 
a  bridge  of  the  abyss,  beyond  which  the  Dog,  as  in  the  Persian  mythos, 
stands  waiting  for  the  souls  of  the  dead,  just  as  the  Dog  stands  at 

THE   CENTRAL    TREE.  2/7 

Thus  the  sacred  trees,  like  the  sacred  waters,  of 
every  ancient  people  invariably  conduct  the  inves 
tigator  to  lands  outside  the  historic  habitats  of  the 
peoples  in  question,  and  ever  to  one  and  the  same 
primeval  home-country,  the  land  of  light  and  glory 
at  the  Arctic  Pole.1 

the  Northern  Pole  of  the  Egyptian,  and  is  depicted  in  the  tree  of  the 
Southern  Solstice,  — the  Tree  of  the  Pole  which  was  extended  to  the 
four  quarters."  Vol.  i.,  p.  404. 

1  Since  completing  the  foregoing  chapter  I  have  seen  the  work  en 
titled  Plant  Lore,  Legends,  and  Lyrics  ;  embracing  the  Myths,  Tradi 
tions,  Superstitions,  and  Folk-lore  of  the  Plant  Kingdom.  By  Richard 
Folkard,  Jun.  London,  1884.  In  the  first  three  chapters  the  reader 
will  find  valuable  supplementary  reading  on  "  The  World-Trees  of  the 
Ancients,"  "The  Trees  of  Paradise,"  "The  Tree  of  Adam,"  "  Sa 
cred  Trees  of  all  Nations,"  etc.  Other  chapters  treat  of  "  Plant  Sym 
bolism,"  "  Plant  Language,"  and  of  the  fabulous  trees  and  miracle 
plants  which  play  so  important  a  part  in  the  history  of  religious  and 
scientific  credulity.  Should  any  reader  thereof  be  inclined  to  claim 
that  "  the  progress  of  science  "  has  forever  done  away  with  such  igno 
rant  mediaeval  mystagogy,  he  will  do  well  to  turn  to  The  Weekly  Inter- 
Ocean,  Chicago,  Dec.  n,  1884,  in  which,  in  an  illustrated  article  enti 
tled  "  The  Tree  of  Life,"  we  are  informed  that  "  science  has  now  dis 
covered  in  a  most  unexpected  manner  both  the  Tree  and  the  River 
of  Life."  The  former  is  the  brain  and  spinal  cord  of  man.  "  We  do 
not  mean  that  the  brain  merely  looks  like  a  tree  or  resembles  one  ex 
ternally.  We  are  not  dealing  with  analogies.  But  we  do  mean  that 
the  brain  and  spinal  cord  are  an  actual  tree.  By  the  most  rigid  scien 
tific  examination  it  is  shown  to  fill  the  ideal  type  and  plan  of  a  tree 
more  completely  than  any  tree  of  the  vegetable  kingdom.  The  spinal 
cord  is  the  trunk  of  this  great  tree.  Its  roots  are  the  nerves  of  feel 
ing  and  motion  branching  out  over  the  body.  .  .  .  The  Tree  of  Life 
is  planted  in  the  midst  of  many  others,  for  the  heart  is  a  tree,  the 
lungs  are  a  tree,  and  the  pancreas,  stomach,  liver,  and  all  those  vital 
organs.  The  brain  is  its  radiant  and  graceful  foliage.  The  mental 
faculties  are  classified  in  twelve  groups  by  the  most  recent  scientific 
analysis.  This  Tree  bears  twelve  kinds  of  fruit.  .  .  .  On  each  side 
of  the  Tree  of  Life  is  the  great  River  of  Life.  Let  us  lay  a  man 
down  with  his  head  to  the  north,  and  his  arms  stretched  to  the  west 
and  to  the  east.  The  River  of  Life  has  its  four  heads  in  the  four 
chambers  of  the  heart,  the  two  auricles  and  the  two  ventricles.  The 
branches  of  this  river  pass  upward  to  the  head,  '  the  land  of  gold,' 


eastward  to  the  left  and  westward  to  the  right  arm  and  lung.  But 
greatest  of  all  the  branches,  '  The  River,  or  Phrath,'  are  the  aorta 
and  vena  cava,  reaching  southward  to  the  trunk  and  lower  limbs.  In 
branching  over  the  body  this  river  divides  into  four  parts  at  seven 
teen  different  points.  Two  branches  of  the  river  form  a  network 
around  the  very  trunk  of  the  tree,  and  spread  upward  among  its  ex 
panding  branches.  The  blood  is  the  '  Water  of  Life,'  and  it  looks 
'  as  clear  as  crystal '  when  seen  through  the  microscope,  the  eye  of 
science.  It  is  three  fourths  water,  and  through  this  are  diffused  the 
red  cells  and  the  living  materials  which  are  to  construct  and  to  main 
tain  the  bodily  organs."  Had  this  article  and  its  antique-looking  illus- 
tration  been  found  in  one  of  the  Church  fathers,  it  would  have  af 
forded  to  a  certain  class  of  "  scientists  "  great  edification. 



And  the  Lord  God  planted  a  garden.  And  out  of  the  ground  made  the  Lord- 
God  to  grow  every  tree  that  is  pleasant  to  the  sight  and  good  for  food.  —  The 
Book  of  Genesis. 

Moreover,  there  were  a  great  number  of  elephants  in  the  island  ;  and  there  was 
provision  for  animals  of  every  kind.  Also  whatever  fragrant  things  there  are 
in  the  earth,  whether  roots,  or  herbage,  or  woods,  or  distilling  drops  of  flowers  or 
fruits,  grew  and  thrived  in  that  land.  —  The  Critias  of  Plato. 

Wie  verkehrt  man  ilberhaupt  geht,  wenn  man  lediglich  aus  dem  Kreise  unsrer 
jetzigen  Erfahrung  die  Urwelt  construiren  will,  haben  uns  die  paldontologischen 
Entdeckutigen  der  neuern  Zeit  gelehrt,  die  eben  in  der  Urwelt  uns  die  riesen- 
haftesten  und  wunderbarsten  Thiergestalten  vorfiihren.  —  DR.  H.  LUKEN. 

ACCORDING  to  all  ancient  traditions  and  beliefs, 
the  cradle  of  the  human  race  was  in  a  portion  of  the 
world  characterized  by  an  altogether  extraordinary 
exuberance  of  life.  Of  all  lands  the  sun  shone  upon 
it  was  the  fairest  and  best.  Even  down  to  the  Del 
uge,  and  later,  something  of  the  divine  goodness  of 
that  primeval  home-land  remained.  In  the  eyes  of 
Plato,  the  steady  deterioration  has  been  going  on 
from  the  beginning,  the  good  soil  washing  down 
from  the  heavenly  mountains  of  the  earth's  summit 
and  disappearing  in  the  abyss,  until,  "  in  comparison 
with  what  then  was,  there  are  remaining  only  the 
bones  of  the  wasted  body,  as  they  may  be  called,  — 
all  the  richer  and  softer  parts  of  the  soil  having 
fallen  away,  and  the  mere  skeleton  of  the  land  being 
left."  J 

1  Critias,  III. 


The  deterioration  of  the  climate  of  the  mother- 
region  of  the  race  is  particularly  described  in  the 
first  Fargard  of  the  Avesta  :  "  The  first  of  the  good 
lands  and  countries  which  I,  Ahura  Mazda,  created 
was  the  Airyana  Vaejo  [Airan  Vej,  "  Iran  the  An 
cient  "]  by  the  good  river  Daitya.  Thereupon  came 
Angra  Mainyu  [Ahriman],  who  is  all  death,  and  he 
counter-created  by  his  witchcraft  the  serpent  in  the 
river,  and  winter,  a  work  of  the  daevas.  There  are 
[now]  ten  winter  months  there,  two  summer  months, 
and  these  are  cold  for  the  waters,  cold  for  the  earth, 
and  cold  for  the  trees."  l  So  in  Fargard  second  we 
have  a  legendary  account  of  the  successive  migra 
tions  of  the  earliest  remembered  men  out  of  the 
original  North  country  "  southwards,  to  meet  the 
sun,"  and  nearly  all  commentators  ascribe  these 
repeated  "  southward "  movements  to  the  gradual 
refrigeration  and  glaciation  of  the  primitive  home  in 
"  Iran  the  Ancient."  2 

The  same  idea  of  a  perfect  primeval  climate  is 
found  among  all  ancient  peoples.  Ovid  represents 

1  Darmesteter,  i.,  p.  8.     Haug,  p.  227.     It  will  be  observed  that 
the  winter  and  summer  here  described  are  the  exact  counterpart  or 
"counter-creation"  of  the  original  polar  day  (the  growing  season)  of 
ten  months,  and  the  original   polar  night  (or  winter  of  rest   from 
growth)   of  two  months.     This   is  another  incidental  evidence  that 
"  Iran  the  Ancient  "  was  situate  at  the  Pole. 

2  "  Or  1'avenement  de  la  periode  glaciaire  pourrait  seule  expliquer 
un  tel  fait,  car  on  ne  connait  aucune  autre  cause  capable  de  rendre  in 
habitable,  a  cause  de  froid,  une  contree  qui  est  represented  comme 
ayant  etc  a  1'origine  un  pays  d'excellente  nature.     On  serait  done 
obligee  d'en  inferer  que  les  firaniens  avestiques  avaient  conserve,  non 
seulement  le  souvenir  de  la  periode  glaciaire,  mais  aussi  celui  des 
beaux  jours  qui  1'ont  precedee,  et  c'est  ce  qu'en  general  on  n'admittra 
pas  facilement.     L'age  d'or  primitif  n'est  pas  un  souvenir  traditionnel 
des  temps  preglaciaires,"  etc.    Pietrement,  Les  Aryas  et  leur  Premiere 
Patrie.    Paris,  1879  :  p.  15.     How  near  the  truth  ! 


the  spring,  in  Saturn's  reign,  to  have  been  peren 
nial.  The  spring  of  our  world-age  is  only  an  ab 
breviated  reminder  of  that  great  original.1  So  Lac- 
tantius  has  preserved  a  fragment  of  the  old  ethnic 
creed  when  he  tells  us  that  only  upon  the  loss  of 
Paradise,  darkness  and  winter  came  over  the  earth.2 
With  this  supposed  deterioration  of  soil  and  cli 
mate  the  deterioration  of  man  kept  pace.  Hence 
ancient  writers,  with  hardly  an  exception,  represent 
the  men  of  their  own  day  as  far  inferior  in  stature, 
in  strength,  and  in  longevity  to  the  first  progenitors 
of  the  race.  Hesiod,  Aratus,  Ovid,  Vergil,  and  Clau- 
dian  vary  somewhat  in  their  accounts  of  the  Golden, 
Silver,  and  later  ages  of  human  history,  but  all 
agree  in  representing  the  men  of  their  time  as  weak 
and  puny  and  short-lived,  compared  with  men  of  the 
early  ages  of  the  world.  Juvenal,  in  a  well-known 
passage,  alludes  to  Homer's  judgment,  and  expresses 
his  own  :  — 

"  Nam  genus  hoc  vivo  jam  decrescebat  Homero, 
Terra  malos  homines  mine  educat  atque  pusillos."  8 

Plato,  speaking  of  the  antediluvians,  says,  "For 
many  generations,  as  long  as  the  divine  nature  lasted 
in  them,  they  were  obedient  to  the  laws,  and  well 
affectioned  toward  the  gods  who  were  their  kins 
men  ;  for  they  possessed  true  and  in  every  way  great 
spirits,  practicing  gentleness  and  wisdom  in  the 
various  chances  of  life  and  in  their  intercourse  with 
one  another.  ...  By  such  reflections,  and  by  the 
continuance  in  them  of  the  divine  nature,  all  that 

1  Metamorphoses,  i.  113. 

2  Placidus,  4. 

8  Satires,  xv.  69,  70.  Compare  Homer,  Iliad,  v.  302  et  seq.  ;  Ver 
gil,  jEneid,  xii.  900  ;  Lucret.,  ii.  1151. 


we  have  described  waxed  and  increased  in  them  ; 
but  when  this  divine  portion  began  to  fade  away  in 
them,  and  became  diluted  too  often,  and  with  too 
much  of  the  mortal  admixture,  and  the  human  na 
ture  got  the  upper  hand,  they,  being  unable  to  bear 
their  fortune,  became  unseemly,  and  to  him  who  had 
an  eye  to  see  they  began  to  appear  base,  and  had 
lost  the  fairest  of  their  precious  gifts."  1 

The  ancient  Indian  conception  of  the  world's  de 
cadence  from  period  to  period  is  given  in  the  "  Laws 
of  Manu."2  Of  the  four  great  ages  of  the  life  of 
the  present  universe,  we  are  living  in  the  last  and 
worst.  In  the  first  yuga  all  men  were  holy  ;  in  the 
present  all  are  utterly  corrupt  and  vile.  In  the  first 
they  were  tall  and  long-lived  ;  in  each  succeeding 
age  they  have  grown  dwarfed  and  feeble. 

Similar  to  the  Indian  was  the  Iranian  belief  as 
reflected  in  the  Bundahish.  Here  the  duration  of 
the  universe  is  represented  as  filling  four  world- 
periods  of  three  thousand  years  each.  During  the 
first  of  the  four  all  is  pure  and  sinless,  but  at  its 
close  the  Evil  One  declares  war  against  Ahura 
Mazda,  the  holy  God,  which  war  is  destined  to  fill 
the  three  last  ages.  During  the  first  of  the  three, 
the  Evil  One  is  unsuccessful;  during  the  second, 
good  and  evil  are  exactly  balanced  ;  while  in  the 
last,  which  is  our  own,  evil  obtains,  and  till  the  des 
tined  overthrow  at  the  very  end  maintains  su 

The  conception  which  we  are  noticing  is  as  old  as 
it  is  universal.  Berosus,  reporting  the  earliest  tra- 

1  Critias,  120. 

2  Laws  of  Manu,  I.  68-86. 

8  The  Bundahish)  chapters  i.,  xxxi.,  xxxiv. 


ditions  of  Chaldaea,  represents  the  first  men  as  of 
extraordinary  stature  and  strength,  and  as  retaining 
in  lessening  degree  these  characteristics  until  some 
generations  after  the  Flood.1  "  Among  the  Egyp 
tians,"  says  Lenormant,  "  the  terrestrial  reign  of  the 
god  Ra,  who  inaugurated  the  existence  of  the  world 
and  of  human  life,  was  a  Golden  Age,  to  which  they 
continually  looked  back  with  regret  and  envy  :  to 
assert  the  superiority  of  anything  above  all  that  im 
agination  could  set  forth,  it  was  sufficient  to  affirm 
that  *  its  like  had  never  been  seen  since  the  days  of 
the  god  Ra.'  The  same  idea  is  found  again  in  the 
Egyptian  account  of  the  succession  of  the  terres 
trial  reigns  of  the  gods,  the  demi-gods,  heroes,  and 
men,  as  collected  from  the  fragments  of  Manetho, 
and  corroborated  by  the  testimony  of  native  texts."  2 
In  China,  too,  the  catholic  ethnic  faith  in  a  primeval 
Golden  Age  was  not  lacking,  so  that  everywhere 
the  eldest  traditions  —  be  they  Shemitic,  Aryan,  or 
Turanian  —  support,  confirm,  and  illustrate  the  rep 
resentations  of  the  Bible  touching  the  extraordinary 
pristine  vitality  of  Edenic  nature  and  of  antedilu 
vian  man.  So  overwhelming  is  the  evidence  that 
this  universal  belief  of  antiquity  is  a  reminiscence  of 
primitive  reality,  that  one  who  expressly  disclaims  a 
personal  belief  in  the  superior  stature  of  the  early 
men  nevertheless  asserts  that  "  the  universality  of 
the  popular  belief  attests  its  very  ancient  origin," 
and  adds  that  "it  may  unhesitatingly  be  ranked 
among  those  originating  at  a  time  when  the  great 
civilized  peoples  of  a  remote  antiquity,  still  cluster- 

1  Fragments  Cosmogoniques  de  B erase.     Ed.  Lenormant.    Frag.  17. 

2  Beginnings  of  History,  pp.  67,  73,  note.     See  the  entire  chapter 
and  the  authorities  there  quoted.     Also  chapters  vi.  and  vii.,  particu 
larly  pp.  35 i 


ing  about  the  cradle  of  the  race,  enjoyed  a  contact 
sufficiently  close  for  some  common  traditions."  1 

The  bearing  of  this  unanimous  verdict  of  ancient 
tradition  upon  the  problem  of  the  location  of  Eden 
is  obvious.  The  traditions  of  the  whole  ethnic 
world,  not  less  than  the  record  in  Genesis,  require 
that  the  cradle  of  the  race  be  placed  in  the  one  spot 
on  earth  where  the  biological  conditions  are  the 
most  favorable  possible.  According  to  all  procur 
able  data,  that  spot  at  the  era  of  man's  appearance 
upon  the  stage  was  in  the  now  lost  "  Miocene  conti 
nent,"  which  then  surrounded  the  Arctic  Pole.  That 
in  that  true,  original  Eden  some  of  the  early  gener 
ations  of  men  attained  to  a  stature  and  longevity 
unequaled  in  any  countries  known  to  postdiluvian 
history  is  by  no  means  scientifically  incredible.  On 
the  contrary,  the  exceptional  biological  conditions 
of  that  land  and  the  remarkable  consensus  of  all 
tradition  respecting  the  vigor  of  early  giant  races 
combine  to  form  a  fresh  illustration  of  the  principle 
that  the  more  incredible  things  an  hypothesis  ex 
plains,  the  more  irresistibly  credible  the  hypothesis 
itself  becomes. 

1  Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History,  p.  354.  The  author  con 
tinues,  "  To-day  we  have  scientific  proof  that  such  belief  [in  the  ex 
traordinary  stature  of  the  early  men]  has  no  real  foundation,  but  is 
simply  a  product  of  the  imagination."  But  his  alleged  scientific 
proof  is  purely  negative,  consisting  of  the  fact  that  the  human  skele 
tons  which  paleontologists  have  so  far  found  — none  of  which  are  from 
the  high  North  —  are  only  of  ordinary  size.  "  As  far  back  as  we  can 
trace  the  vestiges  of  mankind,  up  to  the  races  who  lived  in  the  Qua 
ternary  period  side  by  side  with  the  great  mammifers  of  extinct  spe 
cies,  it  may  be  proved  that  the  medium  height  of  our  species  has 
never  exceeded  its  existent  limits."  If  other  early  species  of  mam 
mifers  were  gigantic  in  comparison  with  their  nearest  living  repre 
sentatives  of  to-day,  why  may  not  the  mammifer  man  have  illustrated 
the  same  law  ? 


Back  in  that  far-off  foretime,  even  in  the  lower 
latitudes,  life  was  remarkably  luxuriant.  The  pale 
ontologists  almost  exhaust  the  resources  of  language 
in  the  effort  to  describe  it.  Thus,  on  a  single  page, 
Professor  Alleyne  Nicholson,  of  St.  Andrew's  Uni 
versity,  says :  "  The  life  of  the  Miocene  period  is 
extremely  abundant,  also  extremely  varied  in  its  char 
acter.  .  .  .  The  marine  beds  have  yielded  numerous 
remains  of  both  vertebrate  and  invertebrate  sea-ani 
mals,  .  .  .  an  enormous  number  of  plants.  .  .  .  The 
remains  of  air-breathing  animals  are  also  abundantly 
found.  .  .  .  The  plants  of  the  Miocene  period  are 
extraordinarily  numerous.  .  .  .  The  plant  -  remains 
.  .  .  indicate  an  extraordinarily  rank  and  luxuriant 
vegetation,"  etc.1  Figuier  gives  the  following  illus 
tration  :  "The  Lycopods  of  our  age  are  humble 
plants,  scarcely  a  yard  in  height  and  most  commonly 
creepers  ;  but  those  of  the  ancient  world  were  trees 
of  eighty  or  ninety  feet  in  height."  2  But  we  have 
before  seen  that  the  mother  -  region  of  all  these 
abounding  and  varied  floral  and  faunal  types  was 
within  the  Arctic  Circle,  and  from  their  amazing  ex 
uberance  in  low  latitudes  we  may  form  some  concep 
tion  of  the  yet  superior  potencies  of  life  which  were 
at  work  in  that  more  highly  favored  circumpolar 
seed-plot  of  the  whole  earth. 

In  our  last  chapter  it  was  suggested  that  the  Tree 
in  the  midst  of  Paradise  may  have  been  as  lofty  as 
one  of  the  giant  Sequoias  of  California.  The  com 
parison  was  not  made  at  random.  In  the  Miocene 
remains  in  Britain,  conifers  are  especially  numerous. 
And  "  the  most  abundant  of  these  is  a  gigantic  pine, 

1  Ancient  Life-History  of  the  Earth.    New  York  ed.,  1878  :  p.  308. 

2  The  World  before  the  Deluge,  p.  134. 


the  Sequoia  Couttsicz,  which  is  very  nearly  allied  to 
the  huge  Sequoia  gigantea  of  California.  A  nearly 
allied  form,  Sequoia  Langsdorfii,  has  been  detected 
in  the  Hebrides."  1  From  the  latitude  of  the  Se 
quoia  grove  in  Mariposa  County,  California,  to  that 
of  the  Hebrides  is  a  long  stride  toward  the  Pole  ; 
but  we  are  not  left  to  mere  inference  when  we  raise 
the  question  whether  the  original  starting-point  of 
this  gigantic  tree-species  may  not  have  been  still 
higher  in  the  Arctic  regions.  The  Miocene  fossils 
of  the  highest  attainable  Arctic  latitudes  tell  their 
own  story.  Limited  as  have  been  the  explorations 
among  these  fossils,  as  Sir  Charles  Lyell  remarks, 
"  more  than  thirty  species  of  Coniferae  have  been 
found,  including  several  Sequoias  allied  to  the  gigan 
tic  Wellingtonia  of  California.  .  .  .  There  are  also 
beeches,  oaks,  planes,  poplars,  walnuts,  limes,  and 
even  a  magnolia,  two  cones  of  which  have  lately 
been  obtained,  proving  that  this  splendid  evergreen 
not  only  lived,  but  ripened  its  fruit,  within  the  Arc 
tic  Circle.  Many  of  the  limes,  planes,  and  oaks 
were  large-leaved  species,  and  both  flowers  and 
fruits,  besides  immense  quantities  of  leaves,  are  in 
many  cases  preserved.  .  .  .  Even  in  Spitzbergen, 
within  12°  of  the  Pole,  no  less  than  ninety-five  spe 
cies  of  fossil  plants  have  been  obtained."  The  vigor 
of  the  vegetable  life  of  the  Miocene  age  in  these 
Arctic  regions  impresses  the  veteran  geologist  as 
"  truly  remarkable." 

We  have  a  right,  then,  not  only  to  draw  a  conclu 
sion  from  the  "abundant"  and  " extraordinarily  rank 
and  luxuriant  vegetation"  of  the  Arctic  regions  in 
Miocene  time,  but  also  to  learn  a  special  lesson  from 

1  Nicholson,  Life-History,  p.  309. 


the  gigantic  forms  which  linger  on  our  Western 
coast.  Had  the  book  of  Genesis  described  one  of 
the  trees  of  Eden  as  three  hundred  and  twenty  feet 
in  height  and  thirty  feet  in  diameter  at  the  base,  not 
only  all  the  Voltaires  of  modern  history,  but  also  — 
until  the  discovery  of  California  —  all  naturalists  of 
the  advanced  anti-Christian  variety,  would  have  made 
no  end  of  sport  over  the  unscientific  or  mythical 
"  Botany  of  Moses."  But  the  Sequoia  gigantea  is  a 
living,  indisputable  fact.  Though  not  the  oldest  of 
the  Coniferae,  it  illustrates  some  of  the  earlier  possi 
bilities  of  vegetable  life.  It  tells  the  botanist  that 
growths  once  realized  in  great  abundance  are  dying 
out,  and  unless  perpetuated  by  human  care  are  soon 
to  disappear  from  our  globe  forever.  Its  last  surviv 
ing  representatives  in  the  state  of  nature,  preserved 
to  our  day  by  certain  fortunate  local  conditions  and 
by  their  own  inherent  longevity,  are  witnesses  re 
specting  a  far-off  world,  —  witnesses  whose  testimony 
the  most  incredulous  must  accept.  They  tell  of  the 
far-away  dawn  of  the  day  of  man,  they  bear  testimony 
to  the  extraordinary  life  which  characterized  their 
distant  birth-land.1  And  if  these  last  individuals  of 
an  expiring  race  can  maintain,  under  unfavorable 
biological  conditions,  a  vigorous  life  through  two  mil 
lenniums  of  time,  who  shall  declare  it  impossible  that 

1  During  the  Tertiary  period  the  Sequoias  "occurred  all  around 
the  Arctic  zone  "  (Asa  Gray).  Professor  J.  D.  Whitney  finds  evidence 
that  one  of  the  fallen  trees  in  Placer  County  was  over  2000  years  of 
age.  See  his  Yosemite  Book ;  also  Engler,  Entwickelungsgeschichte 
der  Pflanzenwelt.  Leipsic,  1879-82  :  chap.  i.  and  ii.  It  is  also  note 
worthy  that  the  Australian  Eucalyptus  gigantea,  the  only  tree  which 
surpasses  the  Sequoia  in  height,  is  found  precisely  in  that  country 
whose  belated  living  flora  and  fauna  are  more  closely  related  to  the 
northern  types  of  the  early  world  than  are  any  other. 


the  men  of  the  time  and  place  of  the  origination  of 
the  Sequoia  gigantea  should  have  averaged  more 
than  six  feet  in  stature,  or  attained  to  an  age  quite 
surpassing  our  threescore  years  and  ten  ?  As  to  the 
latter  point,  it  would  require  more  than  the  com 
bined  lives  of  two  Methuselahs  to  watch  the  growth 
and  death  of  a  single  tree  like  those  of  California. 
The  thought  is  not  the  incubation  of  the  present 
writer ;  it  is  what  the  trees  themselves  said  to  the 
foremost  botanist  of  America.1 

But  the  exuberance  of  animal  life  in  the  Miocene 
period  is  not  less  remarkable.  We  quote  the  same 
author  as  before  :  "  The  Invertebrate  animals  of 
this  period  are  very  numerous.  ...  The  little  shells 
of  the  Foraminifera  are  extremely  abundant.  .  .  . 
Corals  are  very  abundant,  in  many  instances  forming 
regular  reefs.  .  .  .  Numerous  crabs  and  lobsters 
represent  the  Crustacea.  .  .  .  Of  Insects  more  than 
thirteen  hundred  species  have  been  determined  by  Dr. 
Heer  from  the  Miocene  strata  of  Switzerland  alone. 
.  .  .  The  Mollusca  are  very  numerous.  .  .  .  Polyzoans 

1  "  We  cannot  gaze  high  up  the  huge  and  venerable  trunks,  which 
one  crosses  the  continent  to  behold,  without  wishing  that  these  patri 
archs  of  the  grove  were  able,  like  the  long-lived  antediluvians  of 
Scripture,  to  hand  down  to  us  through  a  few  generations  the  tradi 
tions  of  centuries,  and  so  tell  us  somewhat  of  the  history  of  their 
race.  Fifteen  hundred  annual  layers  have  been  counted  or  satisfac 
torily  made  out  upon  one  or  two  fallen  trunks.  It  is  probable  that 
close  to  the  heart  of  some  of  the  living  trees  may  be  found  the  circle 
that  records  the  year  of  the  Saviour's  nativity.  A  few  generations  of 
such  trees  might  carry  the  history  a  long  way  back.  But  the  ground 
they  stand  on  and  the  marks  of  very  recent  geologic  change  and  vi 
cissitude  in  the  region  around  testify  that  not  very  many  such  gener 
ations  can  have  flourished  just  here,  at  least  in  unbroken  series."  — 
Professor  Asa  Gray,  LL.  D.,  "  The  Sequoia  and  its  History."  Pro 
ceedings  of  the  American  Association  for  ike  Advancement  of  Science, 
1872,  p.  6. 


are  abundant.  Bivalves  and  Univalves  are  extremely 
plentiful.  .  .  .  The  Fishes  of  the  period  are  very 
abundant.  .  .  .  The  remains  of  Reptiles  are  far 
from  uncommon.  .  .  .  The  Land-tortoises  make  their 
first  appearance  during  this  period.  The  most  re 
markable  form  of  this  group  is  the  huge  Colossochelys 
Atlas  of  the  Upper  Miocene  deposits  of  the  Siwalik 
Hills  in  India,  described  by  Dr.  Falconer  and  Sir 
Proby  Cautley.  Far  exceeding  any  living  tortoise  in 
its  dimensions,  this  enormous  animal  is  estimated  as 
having  had  a  length  of  about  twenty  feet,  measured 
from  the  tip  of  the  snout  to  the  extremity  of  the  tail, 
and  to  have  stood  upwards  of  seven  feet.  .  .  .  The 
accomplished  paleontologists  just  quoted  show  fur 
ther  that  some  of  the  traditions  of  the  Hindus  would 
render  it  not  improbable  that  this  colossal  Tortoise 
survived  into  the  earlier  portion  of  the  human  pe 
riod.  .  .  .  The  Mammals  of  the  Miocene  are  very 
numerous.  .  .  .  The  Edentates  (Sloths,  etc.)  are  rep 
resented  by  two  large  European  forms.  One  of 
these  is  the  large  Macrotheritim  giganteum.  .  .  .  The 
other  is  the  still  more  gigantic  Ancylotherium  Pen- 
telici,  which  seems  to  have  been  as  large  as,  or  larger 
than,  the  rhinoceros.  .  .  .  We  may  also  note  here  the 
first  appearance  of  true  'whalebone  Whales,'  two  spe 
cies  of  which,  resembling  the  living  '  Right  Whale' 
of  the  Arctic  seas,  and  belonging  to  the  same  genus, 
have  been  detected  in  the  Miocene  beds  of  North 
America.  .  .  .  The  great  order  of  the  Ungulates, 
or  hoofed  quadrupeds,  is  very  largely  developed  in 
strata  of  the  Miocene  age,  various  new  types  mak 
ing  their  appearance  here  for  the  first  time.  .  .  .  We 
meet  for  the  first  time  with  representatives  of  the 
family  Rhinocerida,  comprising  the  only  existing  rhi- 


noceroses.  .  .  .  The  family  of  the  Tapirs  is  repre 
sented,  .  .  .  some  of  which  were  quite  diminutive  in 
point  of  size,  whilst  others  attained  the  dimensions 
of  a  horse.  Nearly  allied  to  this  family,  also,  is  the 
singular  group  of  quadrupeds  which  Marsh  had  de 
scribed  under  the  name  of  Brontotheridce.  These 
extraordinary  animals,  typified  by  Brontotherium 
itself,  agree  with  .  .  .  and  differ  from  the  existing  Ta 
pirs.  .  .  .  Brontotherium  gigas  is  said  to  be  nearly 
as  large  as  an  elephant,  whilst  Brontotherium  ingens 
appears  to  have  attained  dimensions  still  more  gigan 
tic.  The  well-known  genus  Titanotherium  would 
also  appear  to  belong  to  this  group.  .  .  .  The  family 
of  the  Horses  appears  under  various  forms  in  the 
Miocene,  but  the  most  important  and  best  known  of 
these  is  the  Hipparion.  .  .  .  Remains  of  the  Hippa- 
rion  have  been  found  in  various  regions  in  Europe 
and  in  India ;  and  from  the  immense  quantities  of 
their  bones  found  in  certain  localities,  it  may  be  safely 
inferred  that  these  Middle  Tertiary  ancestors  of  the 
Horse  lived,  like  their  modern  representatives,  in 
great  herds.  .  .  .  Amongst  the  even-toed  Ungulates 
we  for  the  first  time  meet  with  examples  of  the  Hip 
popotamus,  with  its  four-toed  feet,  its  massive  body, 
and  huge  tusk-like  lower  teeth.  .  .  .  The  true  Deer, 
with  their  solid  bony  antlers,  appear  for  the  first  time 
here.  .  .  .  Perhaps  the  most  remarkable  of  these 
Miocene  Ruminants  is  the  Sivatherium  gigantetim 
of  the  Siwalik  Hills  in  India.  In  this  extraordinary 
animal  there  were  two  pairs  of  horns.  ...  If  all 
these  horns  had  been  simple,  there  would  have  been 
no  difficulty  in  considering  Sivatherium  as  simply  a 
gigantic  four-horned  Antelope.  ...  It  is  to  the  Mio 
cene  period  that  we  must  refer  the  first  appearance 


of  the  important  order  of  the  Elephants  and  their 
allies  (Proboscidians).  .  .  .  Only  three  generic  groups 
of  this  order  are  known,  namely,  the  extinct  Dei- 
notherium,  the  equally  extinct  Mastodons,  and  the 
Elephants  ;  and  all  these  three  types  are  known 
to  have  been  in  existence  as  early  as  the  Miocene 
period,  the  first  of  them  being  exclusively  con 
fined  to  deposits  of  this  age.  .  .  .  The  most  cel 
ebrated  skull  of  the  Deinothere  is  the  one  which 
was  exhumed  from  the  Upper  Miocene  deposits  of 
Epplesheim,  in  Hesse-Darmstadt,  in  the  year  1836. 
This  skull  was  four  and  a  half  feet  in  length,  and 
indicated  an  animal  larger  than  any  existing  species 
of  the  Elephant.  .  .  .  Whilst  herbivorous  quadrupeds, 
as  we  have  seen,  were  extremely  abundant  during 
Miocene  times,  and  often  attained  gigantic  dimen 
sions,  beasts  of  prey  (Carnivora)  were  by  no  means 
wanting ;  most  of  the  existing  families  of  the  order 
being  represented.  .  .  .  Weasels  and  Otters  were 
not  unknown,  .  .  .  whilst  the  great  Cats  of  subse 
quent  periods  are  more  than  adequately  represented 
by  the  huge  '  sabre-toothed  '  Tiger.  .  .  .  Amongst 
the  Rodent  Mammals  .  .  .  all  the  principal  living 
groups  were  differentiated  in  Middle  Tertiary  times. 
.  .  .  Lastly,  the  Monkeys  existed  during  the  Mio 
cene  period  under  a  variety  of  forms.  .  .  .  The 
Dryopithecus  is  referable  to  the  group  of  '  Anthro 
poid  Apes/  .  .  .  Dryopithecus  was  also  of  large  size, 
equaling  Man  in  stature,  and  apparently  living 
amongst  the  trees  and  feeding  upon  fruits."1 

It  would  be  easy  to  heighten  the  impression  of 
this  vigor  and  luxuriance  of  animal  life  in  Tertiary 
and  Post-tertiary  times  by  studying  the  huge  bird- 

1  Nicholson,  Life-History,  pp.  311  et  seq. 


tracks  of  the  Connecticut  sandstone,  or  the  enor 
mous  skeletons  of  the  Dinornis  giganteus  and  the 
Dinornis  elephantopus,  or  the  eggs  of  the  ^Epiornis 
maximus,  —  eggs  "  measuring  from  thirteen  to  four 
teen  inches  in  diameter."  *  We  might  consider  the 
Diprotodon,  which  "  in  size  must  "have  many  times 
exceeded  the  dimensions  of  the  largest  of  its  living 
successors,  since  the  skull  measures  no  less  than 
three  feet  in  length."  2  Or  we  might  rehabilitate 
the  "  colossal  "  Megatherium  Cuvieri,  whose  "  thigh 
bone  is  nearly  thrice  the  thickness  of  the  same  bone 
in  the  largest  of  existing  Elephants."  3  Or,  again, 
visiting  the  Jurassic  beds  of  our  own  Colorado,  we 
might  contemplate  the  Titanosaurus,  one  of  the 
latest  discovered  of  the  tenants  of  the  early  world, 
of  which  Sir  John  Lubbock  says  that  it  "  is  perhaps 
the  largest  land  animal  yet  known,  being  a  hundred 
feet  in  lengthy  and  at  least  thirty  feet  in  height, 

1  The  fact  that  fossil  remains  of  these  gigantic  extinct  birds  have 
been  found  only  in  the  Southern  hemisphere   militates  in  no  wise 
against  the  doctrine  that  the  species  originated  in  the  highest  North. 
For  (i)  birds  are  the  best  equipped  of  all  creatures  for  migration  to 
the  remotest  parts  of  the  earth.     (2.)  The  Connecticut  Valley  sand 
stones,  in  the    Northern   hemisphere,  preserve  the  tracks  of  birds 
"which  must  have  been  of  colossal  dimensions,"  the  tracks  being  22 
inches  in  length  and  12  in  breadth,  with  a  proportionate  length  of 
stride.     "  These  measurements  indicate  a  foot  four  times  as  large  as 
that  of  the  African  Ostrich."     (3.)  These  tracks  were  made  in  the 
Triassic  period,  while  the  remains  found  in  New  Zealand  and  adjacent 
regions  belong  to  the  much  more  recent  Post-pliocene  period,  thus 
giving  a  long  lapse  of  years  for  the  spread  or  migration  of  the  species 
from  the  latitude  of  the  Connecticut  Valley  to  that  of  the  most  South 
ern  lands.    Compare  Geikie  :  "  The  higher  fauna  of  Australia  is  more 
nearly  akin  to  that  which  flourished  in   Europe  far  back  in  Meso- 
zoic  time  than  to  the  living  fauna  of  any  other  region  of  the  globe." 
Geology,  p.  619. 

2  Nicholson,  Life- History,  p.  349. 
8  Ibid.,  p.  350. 


though  it  seems  possible  that  even  these  vast  di 
mensions  may  have  been  surpassed  by  those  of  the 
Atlantosaurus"  1  also  a  late  discovery.  But  why 
multiply  illustrations  ?  Natural  history  in  our  times 
can  produce  no  species  of  fishes,  or  of  amphibians, 
or  of  reptiles,  or  of  birds,  or  —  among  mammals  — 
of  marsupials,  or  of  edentates,  or  of  ungulates,  or 
of  proboscidians,  or  of  carnivores,  or  of  apes,  which 
in  normal  dimensions  are  not  excelled  by  species  of 
the  corresponding  orders  and  classes  belonging  to 
Tertiary  and  Quaternary  ages.  And  this  being  so, 
it  is  surely  possible  and  credible  that  in  the  same 
antediluvian  ages  some  of  the  varieties  of  the  spe 
cies  Bimana  may  have  exceeded  in  stature  its  pres 
ent  average,  and  enjoyed  a  corresponding  vigor  of 
constitution.  At  any  rate,  it  will  be  soon  enough 
to  deny  it  after  human  remains  of  suitable  age  shall 
have  been  found  in  the  vicinity  of  the  race's  origin 
and  earlier  history.  So  far  as  past  findings  are  con 
cerned,  even  Biichner,  who  holds  that  "primitive 
man  was  inferior  even  in  corporeal  attributes  to  the 
men  of  the  present  day,"  and  that  "  the  widely  spread 
belief  in  the  former  existence  of  a  race  of  human 
giants  is  perfectly  erroneous,"  still  has  to  say,  "  It 
is  true  that  some  very  ancient  skeletons  or  parts  of 
skeletons  have  been  found,  which  must  have  be 
longed  to  comparatively  large  and  very  muscular 
men,  such,  for  example,  as  the  skeleton  of  the  famous 
Neanderthal  man,  and  the  human  bones  recently 
found  by  M.  Louis  Lartet  in  one  of  the  caverns  of 
Perigord,  .  .  .  which  seem  to  indicate  a  rude  but 
muscular  race  of  men."  2  Again,  speaking  of  the 

1  Nature.     London,  1881  :  p.  406. 

2  Man  in  the  Past,  Present,  and  Future.     Eng.  tr.  by  Dallas,  pp. 


skeleton  to  which  the  Neanderthal  skull  belongs,  he 
says,  "  The  ridges  and  crests  especially  which  served 
as  points  for  insertion  of  the  muscles  are  very 
strongly  developed,  so  that  we  may  conclude  that 
their  possessor  was  a  very  strong  and  muscular 
man!' J  It  may  be  added  that  Carl  Vogt,  one  of  the 
earliest  and  most  influential  of  Darwin's  German 
disciples,  also  conceived  of  "  the  man  of  the  oldest 
Stone  Age  "  as  "of  large  stature,  powerful  and  long 
headed!'  * 

Here  it  may  be  well  to  remark  that  the  primitive 
forms  of  animals,  while  often  so  excelling  in  size 
the  later  forms  of  their  own  kind,  are  by  no  means 
to  be  thought  of  as  monstrosities.  The  proportion 
of  a  young  child's  head  to  his  body  is  very  different 
from  that  of  an  adult's.  In  comparison  with  the 
grown  man,  his  limbs  and  hands  and  feet  are  re 
markably  plump  and  well  rounded.  Had  a  painter 
never  seen  and  studied  a  human  being  except  in  the 
adult  and  senescent  stage,  the  infant  form  would 
seem  to  him  singularly  abnormal.  This  illustration 
may  help  to  a  right  judgment  of  certain  early  types 
of  animals.  For  "if  we  take  the  earliest  known 
and  oldest  examples  of  any  given  group  of  animals, 
it  can  sometimes  be  shown  that  these  primitive 
forms,  though  in  themselves  highly  organized,  pos 
sessed  certain  characters  such  as  are  now  only  seen 
in  the  young  of  their  existing  representatives.  In 
technical  language,  the  early  forms  of  life  in  some 
instances  possess  '  embryonic '  characters,  though 
this  does  not  prevent  them  often  attaining  a  size 
much  more  gigantic  than  their  nearest  living  rela« 

1  Man  in  the  Past,  Present,  and  Future,  p.  53. 

2  Ibid.,  pp.  60,  259. 


tives.  Moreover,  the  ancient  forms  of  life  are  often 
what  is  called  'comprehensive  types ;'  that  is  to  say, 
they  possess  characters  in  combination  such  as  we 
nowadays  only  find  separately  developed  in  different 
groups  of  animals.  Now  this  permanent  retention 
of  embryonic  characters  and  this  '  comprehensive 
ness  '  of  structural  type  are  signs  of  what  a  zoolo 
gist  considers  to  be  a  comparatively  '  low '  grade  of 
organization  ;  and  the  prevalence  of  these  features 
in  the  earlier  forms  of  animals  is  a  very  striking 
phenomenon,  though  they  are  none  the  less  perfectly 
organized  so  far  as  their  own  type  is  concerned'' 1 
To  put  the  mistake  to  be  guarded  against  in  another 
light,  it  may  be  said  that  whoever  considers  the  de 
partures  of  the  most  ancient  forms  of  animal  life 
from  the  allied  living  forms  as  abnormal  and  mon 
strous  in  many  cases  simply  takes  the  types  of  de 
cadence  and  senility  by  which  to  test  and  condemn 
the  plumper  and  fuller  and  fairer  types  of  physical 
juvenility.  In  like  manner,  the  "  comprehensive  " 
types  can  be  called  monstrous  and  strange  only 
as  these  terms  might  be  applied  to  the  "  London 
Times  "  by  a  man  who  in  all  his  life  had  never  seen 
any  other  specimen  of  journalism  than  "  The  North 
British  Wool-Growers'  Monthly  Bulletin,"  or  "  The 
Daily  Price-Current  of  the  Southampton  Associated 
Grocers."  What  the  zoologist  calls  the  "lowest" 
forms  of  organization  are  rather  the  highest,  if  by 
"highest  "  we  mean  those  forms  which  are  most  in- 


elusive,  lebenskrdftig,  and  susceptible  of  evolutionary 
differentiation.2  The  notion  that  the  faunal  world  at 

1  Nicholson,  Life-History,  pp.  60,  61.     Compare  pp.  367-374. 

2  "  The  first  appearance  of  leading  types  of  life  are  rarely  embry 
onic.     On  the  contrary,  they  often  appear  in  highly  perfect  and  spe 
cialized  forms ;  often,  however,  of  composite  type,  and   expressing 


the  time  of  the  advent  of  man  was  a  world  of  crudi 
ties  and  monstrosities  —  a  notion  to  which  books 
and  magazines  of  popularized  science  have  given  an 
almost  universal  currency  —  is  therefore  entirely 
false.1  In  the  light  of  profounder  science,  the  fair 
est  Eden  of  the  oldest  legend  is,  so  far  as  primeval 
zoology  is  concerned,  more  credible  than  when  the 
study  of  Paleontology  was  first  begun. 

It  must  not  be  forgotten  that  in  all  that  has  now 
been  hinted  respecting  the  fauna  of  the  early  world 
no  account  has  been  taken  of  more  favorable  and 
less  favorable  portions  of  the  earth.  Paleontologists 
are  but  just  beginning  to  consider  that  between  the 
biological  conditions  of  the  Arctic  regions  and  those 
of  every  other  portion  of  the  globe  there  must  have 
been,  in  Pre-Glacial  times,  the  profoundest  and  most 
far-reaching  difference.  The  growths  of  a  region 
whose  day  was  ten  months  in  length,  and  whose 
night  was  but  two,  could  not  fail  to  be  vastly  differ- 

characters  afterwards  so  separated  as  to  belong  to  higher  groups.  .  .  . 
The  bald  and  contemptuous  negation  of  these  facts  by  Haeckel  and 
other  biologists  does  not  tend  to  give  geologists  much  confidence  in 
their  dicta."  —  Principal  J.  W.  Dawson,  in  his  "  Presidential  Address 
before  the  American  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Science." 
Science,  Cambridge,  Mass.,  Aug.  17,  1883  :  p.  195. 

1  "  Dr.  Hooker  observes,  in  his  recent  introductory  essay  on  the 
Flora  of  Australia,  that  it  is  impossible  to  establish  a  parallel  between 
the  successive  appearances  of  vegetable  forms  in  time  and  their  com 
plexity  of  structure  or  specialization  of  organs  as  represented  by  the 
successively  higher  groups  in  the  natural  method  of  classification. 
He  also  adds  that  the  earliest  recognizable  cryptograms  are  not  only 
the  highest  now  existing,  but  have  more  highly  differentiated  vegeta 
tive  organs  than  any  subsequently  appearing,  and  that  the  dicotyledo 
nous  embryo  and  perfect  exogenous  wood,  with  the  highest  special 
ized  tissue  known  (the  coniferous  with  glandular  tissue),  preceded 
the  monocotyledonous  embryo  and  endogenous  wood  in  date  of  ap 
pearance  on  the  globe,  —  facts  wholly  opposed  to  the  doctrine  of  pro 
gression."  —  Sir  Charles  Lyell,  The  Antiquity  of  Man,  p.  404. 


ent  from  those  of  the  regions  where,  on  the  average, 
almost  twelve  hours  of  every  twenty-four  are  spent 
in  darkness.  "  Nor  can  we  overlook  the  fact  that 
the  plants  and  shells  of  the  Arctic  region  are  emi 
nently  variable."  l  If,  therefore,  in  low  latitudes  the 
forms  and  powers  of  animal  life  were  what  we  have 
seen,  who  can  undertake  to  depict  its  superior  exu 
berance  and  variety  of  manifestation  in  that  primitive 
polar  focus  from  which  all  faunal  types  proceeded  !  2 
The  Arctic  rocks  tell  of  a  more  wonderful  lost 
Atlantis  than  Plato's.  The  fossil  ivory  beds  of  Si 
beria  excel  everything  of  the  kind  in  the  world. 
From  the  days  of  Pliny,  at  least,  they  have  con 
stantly  been  undergoing  exploitation,  and  still  they 
are  the  chief  headquarters  of  supply.3  The  remains 

1  Charles  Darwin,  Animals  and  Plants  tinder  Domestication.    New 
York,  1868 :  ii.  309. 

2  This  "  eminent "  variableness  of  Arctic  life  has  its  bearing  upon 
the  scientific  credibility  of  prehistoric  Arctic  giants.     At  the  present 
day,  and  in  our  own  latitudes,  men  occasionally  appear  whose  stature 
is  four  or  five  times  the  height  of  the  smallest  adult  dwarfs.    Accord 
ingly,  if  we  were  to  assume  two  and  one  half  feet  as  the  minimum 
adult  stature  in  polar  regions  in  primeval  times,  the  still  prevailing 
range  of  variation  would  give  us  in  those  times  some  men  from  seven 
and  one  half  to  twelve  and  one  half  feet  in  height.    Possibly  new  fos 
sil  evidence  on  this  point  is  soon  to  be  afforded  us.     The  following  is 
going  the  rounds  of  the  daily  press  :  "  A  Carson  (Nev.)  dispatch  says, 
The  footprints  which  were  so  much  discussed  in  this  country  and 
Europe,  and  which  were  originally  pronounced  by  Dr.  Harkness,  of 
the  Academy  of  Sciences,  to  be  those  of  mammoths,  are  now  stated 
by  him,  after  a  year's  examination,  to  be  only  those  of  big-footed 
men."     See  Proceedings  of  the  California  Academy  of  Science,  1882 
(Aug.  7  and  27,  Sept.  4,  Oct.  2).    Nadaillac,  in  Materiaux pour  rHis- 
toire  primitive  et  naturellc  de  V Homme.     Paris,  1882:    pp.  313-321. 
Topinard,  in  Revue  d '  Anthropologie.    Paris,  1883  :  pp.  309-320.    Also 
Mr.  Cope,  in  The  American  Naturalist,  Philadelphia,  1883. 

8  Von  Middendorff  (Reise  im  Norden  und  Ostcn  Siberiens,  1848) 
reckons  the  number  of  the  tusks  which  now  annually  come  into  the 
market  as  at  least  a  hundred  pairs,  on  which  Nordenskjold  remarks  : 


of  the  mammoth  are  so  abundant  that,  as  Gratacap 
says,  "  the  northern  islands  of  Siberia  seem  built 
up  of  its  crowded  bones"  *  Another  scientific  writer, 
speaking  of  the  islands  of  New  Siberia,  northward 
of  the  mouth  of  the  river  Lena,  uses  this  language : 
"  Large  quantities  of  ivory  are  dug  out  of  the  ground 
every  year.  Indeed,  some  of  the  islands  are  believed 
to  be  nothing  but  an  accumulation  of  drift-timber  and 
the  bodies  of  mammoths  and  other  antediluvian  ani 
mals  frozen  together?'  2  So  full  of  these  remains  is 
the  soil  of  these  high  Arctic  regions  that  the  Ost- 
yaks  and  other  ignorant  tribes  have  an  idea  that  the 
mammoth  is  an  underground  animal  ploughing  his 
way  through  the  earth  like  a  mole,  and  that  he  still 
lives  in  his  subterranean  passages.  Nor  would  there 
seem  to  be  anything  so  remarkably  novel  in  the 
theory  we  have  advocated  in  this  book,  according 
to  which  the  submergence  of  the  primeval  home  of 
mankind  and  the  introduction  of  the  great  Ice  Age 
are  connected  with  the  Deluge  :  for  when,  nearly 
two  hundred  years  ago,  the  Russian  ambassador, 
Evert  Yssbrants  Ides,  made  his  bold,  three -year 
overland  journey  to  China,  he  in  the  high  North 
found  and  reported  this  precise  traditionary  belief.3 

"  From  this  we  may  infer  that  during  the  years  that  have  elapsed 
since  the  Russian  conquest  of  Siberia,  useful  tusks  from  more  than 
20,000  mammoths  have  been  collected."  In  a  note  the  same  writer 
expresses  the  opinion  that  Von  Middendorff  s  estimate  is  quite  too  low, 
and  says  that  a  single  steamer  on  which  he  sailed  up  the  Yenisej  in 
1875  was  on  that  single  trip  taking  more  than  one  hundred  tusks  to 
market.  The  Voyage  of  the  Vega,  p.  305. 

1  "  Prehistoric  Man  in  Europe."  The  Am.  Antiquarian  and  Oriental 
"Journal.     Chicago,  1881  :  p.  284. 

2  Johnsoris  Cyclopadia,  sub  voce. 

3  "  The  old  Russians  living  in  Siberia  were  of  opinion  that  the  mam 
moth  was  an  animal  of  the  same  kind  as  the  elephant,  and  that  before 
the  Flood  Siberia  had  been  warmer  than  now,  and  elephants  had  then 


Summing  up  the  present  chapter,  then,  we  have 
only  to  say  that  whoever  accepts  the  conclusion  to 
which  the  preceding  lines  of  argument  have  con 
ducted  us  will  find  no  longer  a  stumbling-block  in 
the  latest  revelations  of  Geology  touching  the  ex 
traordinary  life-energies  of  far-off  ages,  and  in  the 
hoary  myths  which  tell  of  giants  and  Titans  and 
demigods  in  Earth's  early  morning.  On  the  con 
trary,  fossil  form  and  ethnic  myth  and  sacred  page 
will  all  be  found  uniting  in  a  common  story. 

lived  in  numbers  there  ;  that  they  had  been  drowned  in  the  Flood, 
and  afterwards,  when  the  climate  became  colder,  had  frozen  in  the 
river  mud."  Nordenskjb'ld,  Voyage  of  the  Vega>  p.  305. 



Now  if  Water  be  the  Best,  and  Gold  be  the  most  precious  ',  so  now  to  the  farthest 
bound  doth  Theron  by  his  fair  deeds  attain,  and  front  his  own  home  touch  the 
Pillars  of  'Heracles  -1  Pathless  the  things  beyond,  pathless  alike  to  the  unwise  and 
the  wise.  Here  will  I  search  no  more  ;  the  quest  were  vain.  —  PINDAR  (MYERS). 

IN  Part  Second,  at  the  very  beginning  of  our  dis 
cussion,  attention  was  called  to  the  two  classes  of 
tests  which  the  hypothesis  of  an  Arctic  polar  site 
for  Eden  must  of  necessity  meet  :  first,  the  tests 
which  would  apply  alike  to  all  the  ordinarily  pro 
posed  sites  in  temperate  and  inter-tropical  latitudes  ; 
and  second,  the  tests  which  would  be  inseparable 
from  the  aspects  and  adjustments  of  Nature  at  the 
Pole.  In  the  first  class  seven  were  enumerated,  and 
at  the  close  of  Part  Fourth  we  saw  how  surpris 
ingly  and  convincingly  all  of  the  seven  had  been 
met.  In  the  second  class  seven  others  were  par 
ticularized  as  "  new  features  "  introduced  into  the 
problem  of  the  site  of  Eden  by  the  very  nature  of 
our  hypothesis.  They  were  all  of  so  peculiar  and 
extraordinary  a  character,  and  they  so  modified  the 
requirements  to  be  made  of  all  corroborative  hu 
man  tradition,  that  nothing  short  of  the  truth  of  the 
intrinsically  improbable  hypothesis  could  save  it 

1  "  Atlas  gave  to  Heracles  the  /c&r/uou  niovas  which  contained  all  the 
secrets  of  Nature."  Rawlinson's  Herodotus,  vol.  i.,  p.  505  n.  Com 
pare  below,  Part  VI.,  ch.  ii.  Also  Jonnes,  UOcean,  pp.  121,  107,  et 


from  obvious  and  ridiculous  failure  at  each  succes 
sive  point.  In  the  present  Part  we  have  now  brought 
together  the  facts,  or  at  least  a  portion  of  the  facts, 
which  go  to  demonstrate  that  the  hypothesis  of  a 
Polar  Paradise,  and  no  other,  can  meet  and  satisfy 
each  one  of  these  new  and  more  difficult  require 
ments.  Speaking  after  the  manner  of  the  mathe 
maticians,  though  of  course  with  due  remembrance 
of  the  nature  of  the  reasoning  employed,  it  may  be 
said  that  we  have  first  solved  our  problem,  and  then, 
by  a  new  process  and  with  changed  elements,  proved 
and  verified  our  answer.  Whoever  would  see  how 
strikingly  complete  and  cogent  this  verifying  pro 
cess  is  should  turn  back  to  the  second  chapter  of 
Part  Second  and  carefully  collate  the  seven  "new 
features  "  there  enumerated  with  the  facts  of  the 
first  seven  chapters  of  the  present  Part.  The  result 
of  such  a  collation  upon  any  candid  mind  can  hardly 
be  doubtful. 

In  the  writer's  firm-grounded  conviction,  then, 
LOST  EDEN  is  FOUND.  To  no  one  of  his  readers 
can  its  true  site  be  more  surprising  than  it  was  at 
first  to  him.  Every  antecedent  probability  seemed 
in  array  against  it.  First  of  all,  in  such  problems 
every  new  hypothesis  is  inherently  unlikely  in  di 
rect  proportion  to  the  number  of  hypotheses  pre 
viously  propounded  and  found  wanting.  Where 
had  more  been  advanced  by  the  learned  and  ingen 
ious  than  here  ?  Again,  from  its  nature  the  hy 
pothesis  greatly  aggravated  the  conditions  and  re 
quirements  of  the  problem  itself.  And  if,  during 
centuries  of  discussion,  no  sublunary  site  had  been 
found  which  could  meet  the  simple  conditions  of 
Genesis,  how  unlikely  that  with  new  and  far  more 


extraordinary  conditions  added  a  place  could  be 
found  corresponding  !  Again,  in  order  to  its  verifi 
cation,  the  hypothesis  required  that  a  wholly  new  in 
terpretation  of  mankind's  oldest  cosmological  ideas 
and  traditions  should  be  propounded  and  verified,  — 
an  interpretation  unanimously  forbidden  by  the  con 
sensus  of  modern  scholarship  in  almost  every  de 
partment  of  historical  and  archaeological  research. 
How  supremely  unlikely  that  any  such  undertaking 
could  be  crowned  with  success  ! 

Happily,  human  events  do  not  fall  out  according 
to  our  short-sighted  human  likelihoods.  Even  the 
thoughtless  man  sees  it,  and  exclaims,  "  It  is  always 
the  impossible  that  happens  !  "  The  more  reverent 
soul,  who  discerns  in  all  history  a  higher  than  hu 
man  agency,  and  in  whose  eyes  Nature  itself  is 
supernatural,  must  least  of  all  be  daunted  by  the 
unpromising  first  appearances  of  any  clue  to  truth. 
His  conceptions  of  the  actual  are  larger  than  those 
of  mere  believers  in  nature,  and  thereto  are  ad 
justed  his  conceptions  of  the  probable.  Identifying 
himself  with  that  personal  Power  which  everywhere 
makes  for  truth  no  less  than  for  righteousness,  he 
is  ever  expecting  the  otherwise  unexpectable,  and  for 
the  same  reason  ever  looking  upon  each  new  truth 
attained,  not  as  a  personal  achievement,  but  simply 
as  one  more  proof  and  precious  pledge  of  pupilhood. 

In  the  progress  of  the  studies  here  summed  up 
many  curious  things  have  come  to  light,  one  of 
which  may  appropriately  be  mentioned  in  this  place. 
Archaeologists  are  well  aware  that  more  than  one 
hundred  years  ago,  in  his  "  Lettres  sur  1'  Atlantide 
de  Platon,"  1779,  and  "Lettres  sur  1'Origine  des 
Sciences,"  1777,  the  learned  and  ingenious  Jean 


Sylvain  Bailly  advocated  the  view  that  the  primi 
tive  cradle  of  civilization  was  in  Siberia,  under  the 
49th  or  5oth  degree  of  latitude.  In  the  latter  of  the 
works  named  there  occurs  a  noteworthy  passage  in 
which  the  author,  rhetorically  fixing  the  birthplace 
of  mankind  at  the  very  Pole,  remarks  upon  the  "sin 
gular  conformity "  of  such  a  starting-point,  both 
with  all  the  phenomena  of  civilization  and  with  the 
indications  of  mythology.  In  the  same  breath,  how 
ever,  as  if  startled  by  his  own  temerity,  he  reas 
sures  his  readers  by  announcing  that  his  suggestion 
is  "  only  a  philosophic  fiction,"  and  that  it  "  lacks 
the  support  of  history."  l  Is  it  too  much  to  say  that 
the  support  of  history  has  now  been  furnished  ? 2 

Though  our  hypothesis  needs  no  further  confir 
mation,  it  would  be  perfectly  easy  to  develop  a  new 
and  striking  line  of  evidence  from  the  light  which 
it  throws  on  the  origin  of  the  erroneous  precon 
ceptions  which  in  the  past  have  either  perpetually 
suggested  false  theories,  or  else  occasioned  the  con 
viction  that  the  problem  was  insoluble.  Thus,  after 
what  we  have  learned  as  to  the  posture  of  wor 
shipers  in  all  ancient  nations,  it  is  easy  to  under- 

1  "  Au  reste,  si  j'ai  trace  la  marche  de  1'homme  ne  sous  le  pole, 
s'avan9ant  vers  1'equateur,  inventant  toutes  les  differentes  mesures 
de  1'annee,  par  les  circonstances  physiques  des  differentes  latitudes, 
ce  n'est  qu'une  fiction  philosophique,  singuliere  par  sa  conformite 
avec  les  phenomenes,  remarquable  par  1'explication  des  fables  ;  fic 
tion  qui  surtout  n'a  rien  d'absurde  en  elle-meme,  et  a  laquelle  il  ne 
manque  que  d'etre  appuyee  par  1'histoire :  "  pp.  255,  256. 

2  Since  the  announcement  of  his  results  the  writer  has  received 
letters  from  three  plain,  unschooled  Bible-students,  who  appear  to 
have  anticipated,  each  in  his  own  way,  the  conclusions  of  this  book. 
One  of  them,  Mr.  Alexander  Skelton,  a  machinist  and  blacksmith,  of 
Paterson,  N.  J.,  obtained  a  hearing,  it  seems,  in  the  New  York  Trib 
une,  in  1878,  and  his  argument,  though  brief,  is  remarkably  compre 
hensive  and  cogent. 


stand  that  the  primitive  Garden  "  in  the  Front- 
country  "  must  have  been  in  the  North.  But  since 
in  the  Post-Glacial  ages  this  Front-country  was 
naturally  associated  with  the  East,  and  all  investi 
gators,  Jewish,  Christian,  and  Mohammedan,  were 
trying  to  find  some  Oriental  region  of  Paradisaic  cli 
mate,  with  a  central  Tree  and  a  quadrifurcate  River 
by  which  the  primitive  Gan-Eden  might  be  identi 
fied,  we  have  in  this  preliminary  misconception  rea 
son  enough  for  their  failure  age  after  age. 

Again,  in  reviewing  the  results  of  the  theologians, 
we  saw  that  not  a  few  of  the  more  modern  had,  like 
Luther,  been  repelled  and  disgusted  by  the  appar 
ently  senseless  and  contradictory  representations  of 
the  earlier  fathers  and  church-teachers,  in  some  of 
which  Paradise  was  placed  in  heaven,  and  yet  appar 
ently  on  earth,  and  anon  perhaps  midway  between 
heaven  and  earth ;  as  high,  in  fact,  as  the  moon. 
In  view  of  such  representations  we  cannot  be  sur 
prised  that  a  keen-witted  satirist  like  Samuel  Butler, 
in  enumerating  the  rare  accomplishments  of  Hudi- 
bras,  should  have  said,  — 

"  He  knew  the  seat  of  Paradise, 
Could  tell  in  what  degree  it  lies ; 
And,  as  he  was  disposed,  could  prove  it 
Below  the  moon,  or  else  above  it." 

Our  study  of  the  prehistoric  Paradise-mountain, 
standing  upon  the  earth  at  the  Arctic  Pole  and  lift 
ing  its  head  "  to  the  orbit  of  the  moon,"  brings  in 
stant  light  into  all  this  confusion.  The  mountain  is 
at  once  in  heaven  and  on  earth.  And  it  is  interest 
ing  to  note  that  late  mediaeval  theologians,  despite 
their  meagre  opportunities  for  historical  research, 
traced  this  conception  to  just  that  apostle  who,  ao 


cording  to  ecclesiastical  tradition,  as  special  "  Apos 
tle  of  India,"  had  best  opportunity  to  learn  of  the 
East-Aryan  Meru,  and  to  report  this  peculiar  and 
venerable  tradition  of  Paradise.1  Moreover,  as  we 
have  seen,  there  were  in  several  Asiatic  religions 
two  Paradises,  a  celestial  and  a  terrestrial,  con 
nected  by  a  pillar,  or  bridge,  up  and  down  which 
holy  souls  could  pass.  When,  therefore,  an  ancient 
writer  is  found  alluding  in  one  place  to  Paradise  as 
on  earth  and  in  another  to  Paradise  as  in  heaven, 
the  confusion  is  not  in  his  own  mind,  but  merely  in 
that  of  his  reader. 

Here,  too,  a  good  word  can  be  put  in  for  poor 
Cosmas  Indicopleustes,  —  the  man  who  has  had  the 
honor  of  being  more  ignorantly  and  contemptuously 
abused  by  modern  scientists  than  any  other  cos- 
mographer  of  early  Christian  ages.  Doubtless  it  is 
easy  to  ridicule  his  rude  representation  of  the  uni 
verse,  but  who  will  assure  us  that,  thirteen  or  four 
teen  centuries  hence,  it  may  not  be  equally  easy  to 
ridicule  the  speculations  of  Herschel  as  to  the  form 
of  the  Cosmic  Whole  ?  However  this  may  be,  the 
foregoing  chapters  have  given  a  new  significance  to 
the  thought  of  the  monk  "  who  sailed  to  India," 
showing  us  that  his  "  Mountain  "  to  the  North  of 
the  known  countries  of  his  day  was  none  other  than 
Mount  Meru,  the  legendary  heaven-supporting  cul 
mination  of  the  Northern  hemisphere.  His  loca 
tion  of  Eden,  so  far  as  the  verdict  of  science  is 
yet  rendered,  is  at  least  as  well  supported  as  Hackel's 

1  "  I  have  found  it  in  some  most  ancient  books  that  Thomas,  the 
Apostle,  was  the  author  of  the  opinion  .  .  .  that  Paradise  was  so  high 
as  to  reach  to  the  lunar  circle."  —  Albertus  Magnus,  Summa  Theologies, 
Pars  II.,  Tract,  xiii.,  qu.  79. 


in  lost  "Lemuria,"  or  Unger's  in  a  mid-Atlantic 
"Atlantis."  Most  remarkable  of  all,  just  NORTH 
of  the  Arctic  Ocean  boundary  of  Europe —  not  in  the 
West,  as  sometimes  falsely  represented :  —  he  lo 
cates  "the  land  where  men  dwelt  before  the  Flood"* 
If  our  conclusions  are  correct,  Cosmas  was  the  ear 
liest  known  geographer  who  gave  to  the  Christian 
world  a  true  account  of  the  original  seat  of  the  post- 
Edenic  antediluvian  world.  Thus  those  who  have 
so  long  made  him  their  pet  illustration  of  the  igno 
rance  and  unscientific  spirit  of  "  Christian  "  teach 
ing  may  yet  see  occasion  to  revise  their  judgment, 
and  to  transform  a  portion  of  their  ridicule  into 

The  same  principles  which  explain  the  strange 
world  of  Cosmas  explain  also  the  strange  conception 
of  the  Earth  which  we  found  in  the  letters  of  Colum 
bus.  According  to  this  latter,  it  will  be  remem 
bered,  the  historic  hemisphere  was  true  to  the 
spherical  figure,  but  the  hemisphere  of  his  far  West 
explorations  rose  to  a  lofty  eminence  at  the  equator, 
in  what  he  supposed  to  be  Asia,  but  which  after 
wards  proved  to  be  the  northern  part  of  South 
America.  This  gave  to  the  Earth  the  figure  shown 
in  the  adjoining  cut,  —  a  figure  which  he  compared  to 
that  of  a  nearly  round  pear.3  At  first  view  this  con- 

1  E.  g.,  by  Donnelly,  Atlantis,  p.  96. 

2  "  Terra  ultra  Oceanum  ubi  ante  Diluvium  habitabant  homines." 
Cosmas  Indicopleustes.     De  Mundo,  lib.  iv.     Montfaucon,  Collectio 
Nova,  torn  ii.,  Tabula  i.,  opp.  p.   188. 

3  "  It  is  probable  that  this  idea  really  dates  from  the  seventh  cen 
tury.     We  may  read  in  several  cosmographical  manuscripts  of  that 
epoch  that  the  earth  has  the  form  of  a  cone  or  a  top,  its  surface  ris- 
ing  from  south  to  north.     These  ideas  were  considerably  spread  by 
the  compilations  of  John  of  Beauvais  in  1479,  from  whom,  probably, 
Columbus  derived  his  notion."     Flammarion,  Astronomical  Mythst 



ception  seems  altogether  arbitrary,  and  even  whim 
sical  ;  but  if  we 
go  back  a  century 
or  two  to  Dante's 
Earth,  we  find  a 
globe  still  more 
eccentric,  one  on 
which  the  Para 
dise  -  mount  has 
slipped  down  full 
30°  below  the  equa 
tor,  as  shown  in 
the  following  figure, 
construction  is 

The  Earth  of  Columbus. 

A  fundamental  datum  for  its 
found    in    the   description    of    the 

Mountain  of  Purgato 
ry,  respecting  whose 
location  it  is  said, 
"  Zion  stands  with 
this  Mountain  in  such 
wise  on  the  earth  that 
both  have  a  single 
horizon  and  diverse 
hemispheres."  a  A 
commentator  on  this 
says,  "When  the  Di- 
vina  Commedia  was 
written,  Jerusalem  was  believed  to  be  the  exact 

The   Earth  of    Dante. 

a.  City  of  Jerusalem,     b.  Mountain  of  Pur 
gatory,     c.  Inferno  within  the  Earth. 

p.   296.     See  also  G.  Marinelli,  La  Geografia  e  i  Patri  della  Chiesa. 
Roma,  1882. 

1  Come  cio  sia,  se  il  vuoi  poter  pensare, 
Dentro  raccolto  immagina  Sion 
Con  questo  monte  in  su  la  terra  stare, 
SI  che  ambo  e  due  hanno  un  solo  orizzon, 
E  diversi  emlsperi. 

(Purgatorio,  Canto  iv.,  67-70.) 


centre  of  the  habitable  hemisphere  ;  the  other  was 
conceived  to  be  covered  with  water.  Out  of  this 
ocean  the  mountain  of  the  poet's  Purgatory  rises  up, 
like  the  Peak  of  Teneriffe,  from  the  bosom  of  the 
waves,  and  is  exactly  opposite  to  Mount  Zion,  so  that 
the  two  become  the  antipodes  of  each  other.  The 
mathematicians  in  their  measurement  of  Dante's 
Hell  proceeded  in  this  wise  :  An  arc  of  thirty  de 
grees  was  measured  from  the  meridian  of  Jerusalem 
westward  as  far  as  Cuma,  near  Naples,  and  here,  at 
the  '  Fauces  Averni'  of  Vergil,  it  pleased  them  to 
locate  its  dreary  entrance.  Another  arc  of  thirty 
degrees  was  next  measured  from  the  same  meridian 
eastward,  so  that  both  together  made  up  a  portion 
of  the  earth's  circumference  of  about  4330  English 
miles,  the  chord  of  which  would  be  equal  to  its  semi- 
diameter.  This  was  made  the  base  of  their  opera 
tions,  so  that  with  the  world's  centre  for  its  apex 
.  .  .  the  Inferno  became  as  broad  as  it  was  deep. 
At  this  centre  of  gravity,  firmly  wedged  in  everlast 
ing  ice,  the  grim  monarch  of  these  dolorous  realms 
is  placed."  1 

A  more  recent  editor  remarks,  "  Dante's  Purga 
tory  is  figured  as  an  island  mountain  whose  summit 
just  reaches  to  the  first  of  the  celestial  spheres,  that 
of  the  Moon.  ...  It  is  exactly  at  the  antipodes  of 
Jerusalem,  and  its  bulk  is  precisely  equal  and  oppo 
site  to  the  cavity  of  Hell.  ...  On  the  summit  of 
the  mountain  is  the  Earthly  Paradise,  formerly  the 
Garden  of  Eden."2 

1  Henry  Clark  ¥>*x\w,  Contributions  to  the  Study  oftheDivina  Corn- 
media.     London,  1864  :  pp.  169,  170. 

2  A.  J.  Butler,  The  Purgatory  of  Dante.     London,  1880  :  Prefatory 
Note.     Compare  Witte's  genial  lecture  on  "  Dante's  Weltgebaude," 
in  his  Dante-  For  schungen,  Bd.  L,  pp.  161-182. 


Upon  the  correctness  of  "  the  mathematicians " 
above  mentioned,  the  present  writer  is  not  prepared 
to  pass  judgment,1  but  no  careful  reader  of  the  Divine 
Comedy  can  fail  to  see  that  its  "  Mount  Zion  "  and 
the  Purgatorial  "  Montagna  malagevole,  altissima  et 
cinta  de  mare!'  are  simply  unrecognized  "  survivals" 
of  prehistoric  thought,  —  antipodal  world-mountains 
once  situate  at  the  poles,  but  here  relocated  to  suit 
the  demands  of  sacred  mediaeval  cosmology.  They 
are  the  Su-Meru  and  Ku-Meru  of  India  figuring  in 
Christian  poetry.  In  Lord  Vernon's  illustration  of 
this  curious  cosmos,  a  Hindu  pundit  would  almost 
certainly  think  he  had  a  Puranic  mappe-monde? 
That  after  the  Paradise-mount  has  thus  declined, 
first  to  the  latitude  of  Central  Asia,  then  to  the 
equator,  and  finally  to  the  pendant  position  in  which 
Lord  Vernon  places  it,  directly  under  the  City  of 
God,  with  a  hypogene  central  Inferno  between,  — 
that  after  such  translocations  it  should  so  long  have 
eluded  the  recognition  of  all  Paradise- seekers  is 
surely  little  wonder.3 

1  Dante's  instructor  in  the  natural  sciences  was  Brunetto  Latini, 
who  was  born  A.  D.  1230  and  died  1294.     He  is  paid  an  affectionate 
tribute  in  the  Inferno,  xv.  85.     He  wrote  a  work  of  which  Li  Livres 
dou    Tresor,  Paris,  1863,  is   an    Old-French  edition.     In   it    (lib.  i., 
part  iii.,  c.  v.)  the  author  ably  advocates  the  doctrine  of  the  spher 
ical  figure  of  the  earth.     Dante's  references  to  the  author  and  to 
his  work  have  been  carefully  collected  and  presented  in  a  learned 
paper  in  the  Jahrbuch   der  Deutschen  Dante  -  Gesellschaft,  Bd.  iv., 
pp.  1-23. 

2  See  the  "  Figura  universale  della  Divina  Commedia,"  p.  xxx.  of 
vol.  i.  of  L' Infer  no  di  Dante  Alighieri  da  G.  G.  Warren  Lord  Vernon. 
London,  1858. 

3  Flammarion's  picture  (Myths  of  Astronomy,  p.  311)  corresponds 
quite  closely  to  Lord  Vernon's,  only  the  exactly  south  polar  position 
of  the  mountain  is  made,  if  possible,  more  unequivocal  by  inserting 
the  words  "  Southern  Hemisphere,"  and  making  the  pendant  mount 


Our  Arctic  Eden,  therefore,  by  explaining  the 
origin  of  the  cosmological  conceptions  of  ancient 
Chaldsea  and  Egypt  and  India,  explains  at  the  same 
time  the  origin  of  the  most  eccentric  and  apparently 
senseless  conceptions  of  mediaeval  and  modern  cos- 
mographers,  and  presents  what  may  properly  enough 
be  called  the  philosophy  of  the  errors  and  misconcep 
tions  and  fancies  of  previous  searchers  after  Para 
dise.  It  is  much  that  an  hypothesis  meets  all  the 
requirements  of  a  given  problem  ;  it  is  more  that  it 
does  this  better  than  any  other  hypothesis ;  it  would 
seem  to  be  past  all  question  when  it  so  illuminates 
and  enriches  the  very  data  of  the  problem  that  every 
previous  solution  falls  away  of  itself,  the  philosophy 
of  its  origin  and  of  its  inadequacy  being  patent  and 

its  precise  culmination  point  beneath.  See,  further,  S.  Giinther  on 
"  Die  Kosmologische  Anschauungen  des  Mittelalters,"  in  Die  Rund 
schau  fur  Geographic  und  Statistik,  Bd.  iv. 









But  as  when  one  lights  a  candle  to  look  for  one  or  two  things  which  they  want, 
the  light  will  not  confine  itself  to  those  two  objects,  so  methinks,  in  seeking  after 
these  two,  the  Universal  Deluge  and  Paradise,  and  in  retrieving  the  notion  and 
doctrine  of  the  Primeval  Earth  upon  which  they  depended,  we  have  cast  a  light 
upon  all  Antiquity.  —  THOMAS  BURNET. 

I  have  laid  it  down  as  an  invariable  maxim  constantly  to  follow  historical  tradi 
tion,  and  to  hold  fast  by  that  clue  even  when  many  things  appear  strange  and  almost 
inexplicable,  or  at  least  enigmatical ;  for  in  the  investigation  of  ancient  history,  the 
moment  we  let  slip  that  thread  of  Ariadne,  we  can  find  no  outlet  from  the  labyrinth 
of  fanciful  theories  and  the  chaos  of  clashing  opinions.  —  F.  VON  SCHLEGEL,  Phi 
losophy  of  History. 

Le  mythe  du  jardin  d'lCden  n'est  point  une  fiction  ;  il  nous  donne,  sous  une  forme 
d'enfantine  poe"sie,  la  premiere  page  de  1'histoire  morale  de  humanite,  de  cette  his- 
toire  qui  a  pour  documents  non  plus  simplement  quelques  silex  plus  ou  moins  tailles, 
mais  toute  cette  survivance  d'une  vie  divine  dans  1'ame  humaine,  manifested  par  ses 
aspirations  et  ses  douleurs,  et  par  cet  universal  sentiment  de  la  deche"ance,  qui  pal- 
pite  dans  toutes  les  mythologies  et  est  1'inspiration  dominente  de  toutes  les  religions. 
*-  E.  DE  PRESSENSB". 

Der  Tempel  des  Heidenthums  ist  ein  uralter  Bau,  aber  ein  Bau  der  nicht  aus  dem 
Heidenthum  stammt  und  nicht  von  den  Heiden  selbst  errichtet  ist.  Die  Mythen- 
Inschriften  und  heiligen  Legenden  dieses  Tempels  enthalten  urspriinglich  dieUrge- 
schichte  der  Welt  und  des  Menschengeschlechtes,  und  die  Verheissungen  welche 
demselben  im  Anfange  geworden  sind.  —  LI/KEN. 



How  seemed  this  globe  of  ours  when  thou  didst  scan  U  ? 

When  in  thy  lusty  youth  there  sprang  to  birth 
A II  that  hath  life,  unnurtured,  and  the  planet 

Was  Paradise,  the  true  Saturnian  Earth  ! 
Far  toward  the  Poles  was  stretched  the  Happy  Garden, 

Earth  kept  it  fair  by  warmth  front  her  own  breast ; 
Toil  had  not  come  to  dwarf  her  sons  and  harden  ; 

No  crime  (there  was  no  want  /)  perturbed  their  rest. 

EDMUND  C.  STEDMAN,  The  Skull  in  the  Gold  Drift, 

The  solution  of  the  problem  of  Life  may  come  from  an  unexpected  quarter. — 

IF  the  alleged  facts  and  the  conclusions  of  the 
foregoing  chapters  shall  be  accepted  as  correct,  it  is 
plain  that  in  finding  the  true  answer  to  one  of  the 
longest  standing  and  most  baffling  of  the  problems 
of  Biblical  theology  we  have  at  the  same  time  found 
one  of  those  central  key-truths,  acquaintance  with 
which  affects  a  great  many  other  kinds  of  knowl 
edge.  Indeed,  it  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  the 
acceptance  of  this  alleged  truth  upon  its  appropri 
ate  evidences,  must  affect  men's  estimate  of  the 
sources  of  knowledge.  For  if  the  sacred  traditions 
of  mankind,  when  once  rightly  interpreted,  are  dis 
covered  to  be  in  astonishing  harmony  with  each 
other,  and  to  yield  results  which  our  most  advanced 
sciences,  working  in  the  most  varied  fields  of  re 
search,  singularly  conspire  to  verify,  this  discovery 
cannot  fail  to  give  new  significance  to  history  in  all 


its  departments  and  in  all  its  teachings.  But  apart 
from  this  general  effect  of  a  verification  of  ancient 
testimony,  our  precise  conclusion  as  to  the  location 
of  the  cradle  of  the  human  race  has  a  most  evident 
and  important  connection  with  all  physical,  paleon- 
tological,  archaeological,  philological,  mythological, 
ethnological,  and  "  culture-historical  "  speculation,  — 
in  a  word,  a  most  evident  and  important  connection 
with  about  every  problem  which  in  a  marked  degree 
attracts  and  occupies  our  modern  thought.1  In  the 
present  Part  it  is  proposed  to  notice  the  relation  of 
our  facts  and  conclusions  to  a  few  of  these  fields  of 
study,  and  first  of  all,  in  the  present  chapter,  their 
bearing  upon  the  study  of  biology  and  terrestrial 

In  Part  Third  and  in  the  seventh  chapter  of  Part 
Fifth  and  elsewhere,  we  have  already  had  various 
illustrations  of  the  fascinating  and  authenticating 
light  which  the  biological  sciences  can  throw  upon 
the  study  of  prehistoric  traditions.  Possibly  the 
reader,  if  devoted  to  this  kind  of  study,  has  won 
dered  why  a  field  of  illustration  so  rich  has  not 
oftener  been  utilized  by  writers  upon  antiquity. 
But  however  important  this  bearing  of  biological 
upon  prehistoric  studies  may  be,  it  should  not  be 
forgotten  that  the  counterpart  bearing  of  the  study 

1  Even  psychological  research  may  be  found  to  have  a  profound 
interest  in  our  result :  "  Here  the  question  arises  how  far  it  [the  jug 
gler's  mind-power  over  matter]  may  be  affected  by,  or  dependent 
upon,  electrical  and  magnetic  phenomena  and  surroundings  and  cli 
matic  influences,  since  it  flourishes  at  its  best,  both  in  the  Old  World 
and  in  the  New,  as  one  approaches  the  regions  of  the  Arctic  Circle, 
and  enters  the  lands  of  the  aurora  and  midnight  sun."  G.  Archie 
Stockwell,  M.  D.,  "  Indian  Jugglery  and  Psychology,"  in  The  Inde 
pendent,  New  York,  Sept.  27,  1883,  p.  1221. 


of  the  earliest  traceable  thoughts  and  beliefs  of 
mankind  upon  biology  and  upon  the  most  fruitful 
study  of  biology  is  not  a  whit  less  important.  This 
is  a  point  of  utmost  moment  to  the  fields  of  knowl 
edge  concerned  and  also  to  the  general  theory  of 
personal  and  organized  culture  ;  yet  it  is  a  point 
most  infrequently  brought  under  the  consideration 
of  thoughtful  readers. 

It  is  an  unfortunate  and  ominous  fact  that  the  aver 
age  biologist  of  the  present  day  sees  nothing  worthy 
of  his  professional  attention  back  of  the  present  cen 
tury.  The  intellectual  history  of  the  human  race 
has  not  the  slightest  interest  for  him  or  value  for 
his  work.  Ages  on  ages  of  human  observation  and 
thought  and  speculation  touching  the  problems  of 
life  are  to  him  as  if  they  had  never  been.  If  he  ac 
quaints  himself  with  them  in  the  slightest  degree,  it 
is  usually  only  for  the  sake  of  amusing  his  hearers 
with  what  he  considers  the  grotesque  and  absurd 
ideas  of  former  times,  and  impressing  them  with  the 
contrast  which  latter-day  "  science  "  presents.  For 
all  that  his  race  has  done  until  just  before  his  own 
immediate  teachers  began,  he  has  little  more  than 
pity  and  contempt. 

Now,  in  any  department  of  human  learning,  such 
an  attitude  of  mind  is  certainly  to  be  deplored.  Its 
effects  are  detrimental  in  every  aspect.  In  propor 
tion  as  it  prevails  among  any  class  of  intellectual 
workers,  in  just  that  proportion  does  that  class  be 
come  isolated  from  the  one  collective  and  historic 
intellectual  life  of  humanity.  In  this  way  the  col 
lective  intellectual  life  suffers,  and  yet  more  do  the 
isolated  workers  suffer.  Humanity,  conscious  of  an 
intellectual  history,  naturally  comes  to  pay  little 


attention  to  these  men  who  deny  it,  or  take  no  in 
terest  in  it.  On  the  other  hand,  any  class  of  men 
who  ignore  the  history  of  the  human  mind  and  be 
gin  all  true  history  and  all  true  science  with  their 
own  achievements,  by  this  very  procedure  place 
themselves  outside  that  spiritual  fellowship  in  which 
all  forms  and  fragments  of  knowledge  find  unity  and 
mutual  supplementing.  The  circle  of  their  intellect, 
ual  sympathies  and  tastes  is  narrowed.  With  the 
loss  of  broad  sympathies  and  tastes  they  are  in  dan 
ger  of  losing  even  the  capacity  to  discern  and  appre 
ciate  any  kind  of  truth  outside  the  limited  range  of 
their  own  specialized  field  of  professional  research. 
So  far  has  this  perilous  tendency  already  gone  that 
it  is  a  difficult  thing  in  any  country  to  find  a  cele 
brated  biologist  whose  publicly  advocated  theory  of 
education  for  his  own  field  of  labor  does  not  quietly 
ignore,  or  actively  antagonize,  the  broadening  his 
torical  and  humanistic  studies  which  alone  can  qual 
ify  a  man  for  intelligent  sympathy  with  all  good 
learning.  Unless  the  tendency  can  in  some  way  be 
checked,  there  is  positive  danger  lest  the  special 
cultivators  of  biology  and  the  natural  sciences  be 
come  as  narrow  and  isolated  and  influenceless  a 
guild  of  experts  as  are  the  antiquarian-catalogue 
makers  of  modern  Europe.1 

1  A  few  years  ago  Mr.  John  Stuart  Mill,  in  an  address  before  a 
Scotch  university,  put  forth  a  defense  of  the  claims  of  classical  stud 
ies  to  a  place  in  the  regular  university  curriculum.  For  this  one 
crime  he  was  recently  editorially  assailed  and  vilified  through  several 
columns  of  an  American  organ  of  natural  science,  and  despite  the 
fact  that  he  was  notoriously  a  disbeliever  in  Revelation,  and  was  a 
professed  admirer  of  Comte's  atheistic  evolutional  sociology,  the 
dreadful  charge  is  brought  forward :  "  He  was  in  the  Golden- Age, 
Paradise-Lost  dispensation  of  thought,  in  which  the  notions  of  the 
early  perfection  of  mankind  and  the  superiority  of  the  ancients  were 


In  studies  like  the  one  which  has  thus  far  en 
gaged  us  lies  the  best  possible  corrective  for  this 
one-sidedness.  In  this  field  are  found  stimulation 
for  the  student's  curiosity,  facts  for  his  understand 
ing,  arguments  for  his  reason,  play  for  his  imagina 
tion.  And  all  the  time  his  study  of  Nature  and  his 
study  of  Man  are  mutually  helpful  to  each  other. 
He  now  has  Nature  and  her  life  before  him  in  two 
forms  :  first,  as  she  has  entombed  herself  in  the  great 
cemetery  of  the  rocks  ;  and  secondly,  as  she  has  pic 
tured  herself  in  historic  and  even  prehistoric  human 
thought.  If  the  former  gives  her  with  greater  tan 
gibility,  it  is  only  the  tangibility  of  the  mouldering 
skeleton.  It  is  the  latter  which  shows  her  alive 
and  filled  with  all  life's  meanings.  Each  is  impor 
tant  in  its  place,  both  being  reciprocally  corrective 
and  mutually  complementary. 

As  yet  the  biologist  has  not  profited  by  ancient 
conceptions  of  Nature  as  he  should  have  done. 
How  long  and  slow  has  been  the  progress  of  the 
botanist  up  to  this  latest  conception  that  all  the  life- 
forms  of  the  vegetable  kingdom  proceeded  originally 
from  one  centre,  and  that  at  the  Pole !  The  ancient 
Iranian  myth  of  "  the  tree  of  all  seeds,"  from  which 
proceeded  "  the  germs  of  all  species  of  plants  "  that 
ever  grew,  and  which,  moreover,  was  located  at  the 

contrasted  with  the  degeneracy  of  the  moderns  ;  and  so  completely 
was  his  intellect  possessed  and  perverted  by  this  view  that  he  was  dis 
abled  from  appreciating  the  immense  and  epoch-making  influence  of 
the  modern  doctrine  of  evolution."  "  The  Dead- Language  Supersti 
tion,"  Popular  Science  Monthly,  New  York,  1883,  p.  703.  Such  natu 
ralists  are  too  unlettered  to  know  their  own  party  leaders,  or  to  be 
aware  of  the  fact  that  it  is  precisely  to  biology  that  Mill  pays  the 
splendid  tribute  of  declaring  that  among  all  departments  of  human 
knowledge  it  "  affords  as  yet  the  only  example  of  the  true  principles 
of  rational  classification." 


North  Pole,  ought  long  ago  to  have  suggested  to 
him  the  truth  as  to  the  genetic  unity  of  the  vegeta 
ble  kingdom  and  also  as  to  its  pristine  centre  of  dis 
tribution.  The  same  may  be  said  of  the  zoologist 
and  the  suggestiveness  of  the  myths  of  the  same 
people  respecting  "  the  primeval  ox  "  and  the  Gosh, 
"  the  personification  of  the  animal  kingdom."  1  In 
these  survivals  of  ancient  culture  we  have  the  forms 
in  which  prehistoric  zoology  expressed  the  unity,  the 
monogenesis,  and  the  north  polar  origin  of  the  entire 
fauna  of  the  earth. 

It  is  now,  perhaps,  too  late  for  the  biologist  to 
gain  from  these  particular  myths  the  instruction 
which  generations  ago  they  could  have  given  him. 
By  slower  and  more  painful  methods  this  beautiful 
polocentric  conception  of  the  vegetable,  animal,  and 
human  worlds  has  at  last  been  reached.  The  prob 
lems  of  earliest  floral  and  faunal  and  ethnic  distri 
bution  have  shut  men  up  to  its  acceptance.  But  if 
the  discovery  of  the  accordant  significance  of  these 
ancient  myths  has  been  equally  delayed,  we  may  at 
least  indulge  the  hope  that  the  unexpected  agree 
ment  of  the  prehistoric  conception  with  that  of 
latest  science  will  inspire  in  candid  students  of  Na 
ture  a  new  and  higher  respect  for  the  primeval  teach 
ings  and  beliefs  of  mankind.  Meantime  let  it  not 
be  forgotten  that  there  are  other  myths,  of  equal 
antiquity  and  possibly  of  wider  prevalence,  the  sig 
nificance  of  which  for  the  progress  of  biology  may 
to-day  be  as  great  as  ever  was  that  of  the  tree  of  all 

Notice,  for  example,  this  curious  fact :  that  while 
in  ancient  East  Aryan  thought  the  gods  on  Mount 

i  Darmesteter,  The  Zend-Avesta,  Part  ii.,  p.  no. 


Meru  are  of  prodigious  stature  the  proper  tenants  of 
the  adjacent  regions  are  somewhat  less,  though  still 
gigantic  ;  and  they  seem  to  dwindle  regularly  in 
size  from  Varsha  to  Varsha,  until  we  reach  Bharata, 
the  Varsha  which  borders  upon  the  equatorial  ocean 
and  is  peopled  with  ordinary  men.  And  as  if  the 
inhabitants  of  Hades,  being  still  farther  to  the 
South,  must  be  by  some  law  of  nature  still  smaller 
than  men,  Prince  Satyavan's  soul,  when  led  away  to 
Yama's  abode,  is  described  in  the  Mahabharata  as 
only  "a  thumb  in  height."  A  striking  gradation, 
every  one  will  say.  Beginning  with  beings  some 
times  represented  as  miles  in  height,  it  ends  on  the 
borders  of  the  Land  of  Death  with  disembodied 
spirits  whose  stature  is  only  a  thumb's  length.  But 
this  conception  of  the  range  of  the  kingdom  of  gen 
erated  and  mutable  life  was  not  limited  to  the  an 
cestors  of  the  Hindus.  In  the  most  ancient  Greek 
thought  the  proper  habitat  of  the  Pygmies  was  near 
the  equatorial  Ocean-river ;  farther  northward  was 
the  abode  of  men  ;  still  farther  proceeding,  one  came 
into  the  region  of  giants  ;  while  in  polar  Olympos 
the  gods  were  so  colossal  that  in  his  fall  prostrate 
Ares  "covered  seven  acres."1  Traces  of  the  same 
remarkable  adjustment  are  found  in  other  mytholo 
gies.2  Possibly  this  far-off  prehistoric  conception 
has  some  significance,  some  lesson  for  the  biology 
of  to-day. 

What  should  this  lesson  be  if  not  that  in  all  our 

1  Iliad,  xxi.  407.     In  keeping  herewith  the  more  than  gigantic  Po 
seidon  passes  with  four  strides  from  Thracian  Samos  to  ^Egee.     //., 
xiii.  20. 

2  "  The  idea  of  the  soul  as  a  sort  of  '  thumbling '  is  familiar  to  the 
Hindus  and  to  German  folk-lore."  —  E.  B.  Tylor,  Primitive  Culture, 
i.  450  n. 


researches  into  the  origin  and  sustaining  conditions 
of  life  the  phenomena  of  the  highest  North  should 
be  taken  into  account  ?  Too  long  have  those  who 
busy  themselves  with  these  investigations  been 
turning  their  attention  to  the  ice-cold  abysses  of  the 
"deep  sea,"  hoping  in  some  "  bathybius  "  clot  of  the 
sunless  ocean-bottom  to  find  the  protoplasmic  power 
which  has  transmuted  inorganic  matter  into  micro 
cosms  of  organic  life.  In  no  such  region  of  cold  and 
darkness  should  this  search  be  made.1  Let  life's 
beginnings  and  life's  feeding  forces  be  looked  for 
where  its  supreme  vigor  and  exuberance  have  been 
seen,  —  at  the  pristine  centre  whence  the  types  and 
forms  of  life  have  spread  victoriously  through  the 
world  ;  let  them  be  studied  at  the  Pole.2 

On  this   subject  as  conservative  an  authority  as 

1  "  As  we  descend  from  the  shore  into  deep  water,  the  temperature 
becomes  lower  and  lower  the  deeper  we  go,  until  we  come  to  a  stra 
tum  or  zone  of  water  about  32°-36°  Fahrenheit,  where  circumpolar 
or  Arctic  life  alone  abounds.  .  .  .  The  water  of  the  ocean  all  over  the 
globe  below  a  depth  of  one  thousand  fathoms  is  of  an  Arctic  temper 
ature."  —  Packard,  Zoology,  p.  665. 

2  Since  the  above  was  written,  a  distinguished  specialist  in  deep- 
sea  dredging  has  borne  the  following  striking  testimony  :  "  With  re 
gard   to   the   constitution  of   the  deep-sea  fauna,  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  features   is   the   general   absence   from   it   of   Paleozoic 
forms,  excepting  so  far  as  representatives  of  the  Mollusca  and  Brach- 
iopoda  are  concerned ;  and  it  is  remarkable  that  amongst  the  deep- 
sea  Mollusca  no  representatives  of  the  Nautilidce  and  Ammonitidat 
so  excessively  abundant  in  ancient  periods,  occur,  and  that  Lingula, 
the  most  ancient  Brachiopod,  should  occur  in  shallow  water  only." 
Professor  H.  N.  Moseley,  F.  R.  S.,  Biological  Address  before  British 
Association  in  1884.     Nature,  August  28,   1884,  p.  428.     The  same 
high   authority  adds,  "  With  regard  to  the   origin  of  the  deep-sea 
fauna  there  can  be  little  doubt  that  it  has  been  derived  almost  en 
tirely  from  the  littoral  fauna,"  —  agreeing  herein  with  Professor  Sven 
Loven  in  his  "splendid  monograph,"  Pourtalesia,  Stockholm,  1883. 
The  funeral  sermon  of  the  bathybius  theory  of  the  origin  of  life  has 
already  been  preached,  and  the  text  of  the  sermon  was  Job  xxviii.  14. 


Principal  Dawson  recently  remarked :  "  It  is  not 
impossible  that  in  the  plans  of  the  Creator  the  con 
tinuous  summer  sun  of  the  Arctic  regions  may  have 
been  made  the  means  for  the  introduction,  or  at 
least  for  the  rapid  growth  and  multiplication,  of  new 
and  more  varied  types  of  plants."  1 

In  this  true  centre  what  new  and  interesting  as 
pects  the  problems  of  life  immediately  take  on  ! 2 
Here  we  have  a  regnancy  of  sunlight  such  as  we 
never  dreamed  of  in  our  lower  zones.  Here  we  have 

1  "  The  Genesis  and  Migration  of  Plants,"  in  The  Princeton  Review, 
1879,  P-  292. 

2  The  following,  from  a  recent  newspaper,  suggests  some  of  the  new 
lines  of  desirable  investigation  :  — 

"  The  Norwegian  plant-geographer,  Schubeler,  a  short  time  ago 
called  attention  to  some  striking  and  surprising  peculiarities  mani 
fested  by  vegetation  in  high  latitudes,  which  he  ascribed  to  the  inten 
sive  light-effects  of  the  long  days.  Most  plants  in  these  regions  pro 
duce  much  larger  and  heavier  seeds  than  in  lower  latitudes.  Grain  is 
heavier  in  the  North  than  in  the  more  Southern  latitudes  ;  the  in 
crease  of  weight  being  due  to  the  assimilation  of  non-nitrogenous 
substances,  while  the  protein  products  have  no  part  in  it.  The  leaves 
of  most  plants  grow  larger  in  the  higher  latitudes,  and  at  the  same 
time  take  on  a  deeper,  darker  color.  This  fact  has  been  observed  not 
only  in  most  of  the  wild  trees  and  shrubs,  but  also  in  fruit  trees  and 
even  in  kitchen-garden  plants.  It  has  further  been  observed  that  the 
flowers  of  most  plants  are  larger  and  more  deeply  colored,  and  that 
many  flowers  which  are  white  in  the  South  become  in  the  far  North 

So  potent  and  irrepressible  are  the  powers  of  life  in  highest  Arctic 
latitudes  that  neither  darkness  nor  the  indescribable  cold  avail 
against  them.  The  algic  flora  well  illustrates  this  statement.  Ac 
cording  to  a  writer  in  Nature,  Oct.  30,  1884,  nearly  all  Arctic  algae 
live  several  years,  and,  in  order  that  they  may  be  able  to  effect  the 
work  of  propagation  and  nourishment,  their  organs  are  in  operation 
during  the  dark  as  well  as  the  light  season.  Whilst  wintering  at  the 
northernmost  part  of  Spitzbergen  in  1872-73,  Professor  Kjellman 
observed,  in  the  middle  of  the  winter  —  viz.,  at  a  time  when  the 
sun  was  lowest,  and  the  darkness,  therefore,  most  intense  —  that  a 
considerable  development  and  growth  of  the  organs  of  nourishment 
took  place,  while,  as  regards  the  organs  of  propagation,  he  found  that 



a  tension  and  a  direction  of  terrestrial  magnetism 
with  whose  biological  significance  we  are  utterly 
unacquainted.  Here  we  have  electric  forces  which 
pour  their  currents  through  every  grass-blade,  and 
tip  the  very  hills  with  lambent  flame.1  Shall  not 
such  absolutely  exceptional  biological  conditions 
and  energies  be  found  to  yield  some  exceptional 
biological  result  ?  Is  not  this  a  more  hopeful  field 
for  the  study  of  the  origin  of  life  than  the  dark  and 
almost  congealed  recesses  of  the  deep  sea  ?  The  old 
theologians  were  accustomed  to  call  Adam  and  Eve 

it  was  just  at  this  season  that  they  were  most  developed.  Spores  of 
all  kinds  were  produced  and  became  mature,  and  they  developed 
into  splendid  plants.  The  Arctic  algae,  therefore,  present  the  re 
markable  spectacle  of  plants  which  develop  their  organs  of  nourish 
ment,  and  particularly  their  organs  of  propagation,  all  the  year  round, 
even  during  the  long  Polar  night,  growing  regularly  at  a  temperature 
of  between  — 1°  and  — 2°  C.,  and  even  attaining  a  great  size  at  a 
temperature  which  never  rises  above  freezing-point.  As  to  "  mother- 
region,"  the  result  at  which  Professor  Kjellman  arrived  was  that  the 
algae  flora  of  the  Arctic  Ocean  is  not  an  immigrant  flora,  but  that  its 
origin  lay  in  the  Polar  Sea  itself.  This  theory  is,  he  believes,  proved 
by  the  fact  that  the  Arctic  algae  flora  is  rich  in  endemic  species. 
There  are  many  species  found  both  in  the  Northern  Atlantic  and  the 
Pacific  Oceans,  a  large  percentage  of  which  reaches  very  far  north 
in  the  Arctic  Sea,  and  which  have  attained  a  high  degree  of  develop 
ment  there,  being  characteristic  algae  of  the  Arctic  Ocean  ;  and  that 
these  species  have  been  originated  there,  and  gradually  spread  to  the 
other  two  oceans  is,  as  he  believes,  more  than  probable.  How  little 
our  zonal  diversities  of  climate  affect  the  question  of  the  possibility 
of  a  universal  distribution  of  a  north  polar  flora,  or  even  fauna,  is 
well  illustrated  in  the  following  :  "  A  remarkable  fact  associated 
with  the  ocean  temperature  is  that  forms  of  animal  life  belonging  to 
the  Arctic  seas  have  been  dredged  up  from  the  Antarctic  Ocean  at 
depths  of  two  thousand  fathoms,  and  may  have  passed  from  pole  to 
pole  through  the  tropics  [in  deep-sea  currents]  without  having  been 
subjected  to  a  greater  variation  of  temperature  than  some  five  degrees  or 
to."  Gen.  R.  McCormick,  Voyages  of  Discovery  in  the  Arctic  and 
Antarctic  Seas.  London,  1884 :  vol.  i.,  p.  354. 
1  The  Arctic  Manual,  p.  739. 


the  "Protoplasts;"  in  their  ancient  polar  home  it 
is  possible  that  science  may  yet  discover  the  divine 
secret  of  all  "protoplasm" 

Again,  our  new  interest  in  one  of  the  terrestrial 
polar  regions  gives  fresh  significance  to  the  con 
trasts  between  the  two.1  Within  ten  years  our  most 
eminent  American  geologist  has  said,  "  I  find  no 
explanation  in  the  present  state  of  science,  where 
fore  most  of  the  dry  land  of  the  globe  should  have 
been  located  about  the  North  Pole,  and  of  the  water 
about  the  South.  Physicists  say  that  it  indicates 
greater  attraction  and  therefore  a  greater  density  in 
the  solid  material  beneath  the  southern  ocean.  But 
why  the  mineral  ingredients  should  have  been  so 
gathered  about  the  South  Pole  as  to  give  the  crust 
there  greater  density  is  the  unanswered  query.  It 
may  be  that  magnetite  is  much  more  abundantly 
diffused  through  the  Antarctic  crust  than  the  Arctic. 
This  is  only  one  of  many  possibilities,  and  it  is  at 
present  without  a  satisfactory  fact  to  stand  upon 
beyond  the  general  truth  that  iron  was  universally 
present."  2 

But  the  diversity  of  the  two  Poles  is  as  great  and 
as  perplexing  to  the  biologist  as  to  the  physical 
geographer.  "  The  researches  made  show  that  the 
two  polar  regions  differ  greatly.  The  seas  of  the 

1  "  The  higher  mean  temperature  of  the  Northern  compared  to  the 
Southern  hemisphere  is  clearly  proved  and  universally  acknowledged." 
Professor  Hennessy  on  "  Terrestrial  Climate  "  in  Philosophical  Maga 
zine  and  Journal  of  Science.     London  and  Edinburgh,  1859  :  p.  189. 
On  the  Northern  hemisphere's  greater  length  of  spring  and  summer 
see  Malte-Brun,  System  of  Universal  Geography.    Boston,  1834  :  vol.  i., 
p.   14.     Also  Mansfield  Merriman,   The  Figure  of  the  Earth.     New 
York,  1881  :  p.  76.     The  disparity  of  mean  temperature  is  now  be 
lieved  to  be  less  than  was  formerly  supposed. 

2  Professor  Dana,  in  American  Journal  of  Science,  1875,  v°l'  ^^ 


Arctic  teem  with  animal  life.  Land  animals,  such 
as  the  bear,  wolf,  reindeer,  musk-ox,  and  Arctic  fox, 
are  scattered  over  the  frozen  surface  of  the  land 
where  they  find  the  means  of  sustenance.  The  air  is 
peopled  with  innumerable  flocks  of  birds ;  a  hardy 
vegetation  extends  close  up  to  the  Arctic  Circle,  and 
beyond  it,  in  mosses,  lichens,  scurvy-grass,  sorrel, 
small  stunted  shrubs,  dwarfed  trees,  and  in  summer 
beautiful  flowers.  In  the  Antarctic,  on  the  con 
trary,  vegetation  ceases  at  a  certain  limit,  trees  ter 
minating  at  about  56°  S.  latitude.  Animal  life 
abounds  in  the  seas,  but  though  birds  exist  in  great 
numbers  and  in  varieties  unknown  in  the  Arctic, 
no  quadrupeds  are  found  upon  the  land."  l 

With  this  we  may  compare  the  already  cited  lan 
guage  of  Sir  Joseph  Hooker :  "  Geographically  speak 
ing,  there  is  no  Antarctic  flora  except  a  few  lichens 
and  seaweeds."  2 

Would  it  not  seem  as  if  the  South  Pole  must 
have  been  covered  by  "  the  barren  sea "  at  the 
period  when  floral  and  faunal  life,  starting  at  its 
Arctic  centre,  began  its  conquering  marches  over 
all  the  Earth  ?  Or  is  there  rather  some  marked 
difference  in  the  biological  value  of  the  poles  them 
selves  ? 3 

But  polar  biological  research  involves  antecedent 
Polar  Exploration  and  a  wider  and  more  system- 

1  C.  P.  Daly  in  Johnson's  Cyclopedia,  Art.  "  Polar  Research." 

2  Nature,  London,  1881,  p.  447. 

8  The  latter  explanation  would  seem  to  be  favored  by  the  experi 
ments  of  Dr.  Ferdinand  Cohn,  who  found  that  a  positive  electrode 
would  hinder  the  development  of  micrococcus  "  in  bci  weitem  hoherem 
Grade  als  die  negative"  Beitrdge  zur  Biologic  der  Pflanzen.  Breslau, 
1879:  p.  159.  It  is  also  known  that  eggs  may  be  hatched  quicker  al 
one  pole  of  a  magnet  than  at  the  other. 


atic  study  of  Terrestrial  Physics.1  Herein  lies  a 
fresh  and  novel  impulse  to  reinvest  on  every  side 
the  still  uncaptured  citadel  of  the  Arctic  Pole. 
Long  ago  could  Maury  write,  "  As  science  has  ad 
vanced,  men  have  looked  with  deeper  and  deeper 
longings  toward  the  mystic  circles  of  the  Polar 
regions.  There  icebergs  are  framed  and  glaciers 
launched  ;  there  the  tides  have  their  cradle,  the 
whales  their  nursery  ;  there  the  winds  complete 
their  circuits,  and  the  currents  of  the  sea  their 
round;  there  the  aurora  is  lighted  up,  and  the  trem 
bling  needle  brought  to  rest ;  there,  too,  in  the  mazes 
of  that  mystic  circle,  terrestrial  forces  of  occult 
power  and  of  vast  influence  upon  the  well-being  of 
man  are  continually  at  play.  Within  the  Arctic 
Circle  is  the  pole  of  the  winds  and  the  poles  of  cold, 
the  pole  of  the  earth  and  of  the  magnet.  It  is  a 
circle  of  mysteries  ;  and  the  desire  to  enter  it,  to 
explore  its  untrodden  wastes  and  secret  chambers, 
and  to  study  its  physical  aspects  has  grown  into 
a  longing.  Noble  daring  has  made  Arctic  ice  and 
snow-clad  seas  classic  ground.  It  is  no  feverish  ex 
citement  nor  vain  ambition  that  leads  men  there. 
It  is  a  higher  feeling,  a  holier  motive  :  a  desire  to 
look  into  the  works  of  creation,  to  comprehend  the 
economy  of  our  planet,  and  to  grow  wiser  and  better 
by  the  knowledge."  If  such  a  passion  for  discovery 
could  be  kindled  in  the  presence  of  the  older  and 
more  abstract  problems,  what  ought  to  be  the  result 
when  to  these  are  added  the  possibility  of  solving 
at  least  some  of  the  mysteries  of  Nature's  Life,  and 
the  certainty  of  standing  where  Human  Life  began  ! 

1  See  APPENDIX,  Sect.  VII.:  "Latest  Polar  Research."    Also  An- 
dree,  Der  Kampf  urn  den  Nordpol.  4  Aufl.,  Bielefeld,  1882. 



A  nd  the  Greeks,  ivho  surpassed  all  men  in  ingenuity,  appropriated  to  themselves 
the  greater  part  of  these  things,  exaggerating  them,  and  adding  to  them  various 
ornaments  which  they  wove  into  this  foundation  in  every  style,  in  order  to  charm 
by  the  elegance  of  the  myths.  Hence  Hesiod  and  the  famed  cyclic  poets  drew  their 
theogonies,  their  gigantomachies,  their  mutilations  of  the  gods,  and  in  hawking 
them,  about  everywhere  they  have  supplanted  the  true  narrative.  And  our  ears, 
accustomed  to  their  fictions,  familiar  to  us  for  several  centuries  past,  guard  as  a 
precious  deposit  the  fables  which  they  received  by  tradition,  as  I  remarked  when 
I  began  to  speak  ;  and,  rooted  by  time,  this  belief  has  become  so  difficult  to  dislodge 
that  to  the  greater  number  the  truth  appears  like  a  story  told  for  amusement, 
•while  the  corruption  of  the  tradition  is  looked  upon  as  the  truth  itself.  —  PHILO  OF 

SUMMING  up  the  most  probable  results  of  all  his 
investigations,  Darwin  states  as  his  opinion  that 
man  must  be  considered  as  "descended  from  a 
hairy  quadruped,  furnished  with  a  tail  and  pointed 
ears,  probably  arboreal  in  his  habits,  and  an  inhab 
itant  of  the  Old  World."  J 

According  to  Hackel,  this  Homo  primigenius  was 
a  blackish,  woolly-haired,  prognathous,  ape-like  be 
ing,  with  a  long,  narrow  head.  His  body  was  en 
tirely  covered  with  hair,  and  he  was  unable  to  speak. 

In  reading  most  fashionable  writers  upon  ancient 
mythology  and  literature,  one  would  think  that  they 
conceived  of  the  writers  of  the  Vedic  Hymns  and 
the  authors  of  the  myths  of  classic  literature  as  very 
early  and  but  slightly  developed  descendants  of  this 
hairy  Homo  Darwinius.  Thus,  according  to  Mr. 

1  Descent  of  Man,  Pt.  II.,  ch.  21. 


Keary,  at  the  time  that  the  myth  of  the  Cyclops 
originated,  "  men  really  believed  that  the  stormy  sky 
was  a  being  and  the  sun  his  eye."  1  Indeed,  it 
might  almost  appear,  from  another  passage  in  the 
same  book,  that  at  the  period  when  this  Cyclops- 
faith  was  reached  men  had  arrived  at  quite  an  ad 
vanced  stage  as  compared  with  the  earlier  one,  when 
as  yet  they  knew  too  little  to  look  up  at  the  sky  at 
all,  and  had  an  idea  that  the  branches  of  the  trees 
extended  quite  to  heaven.  "  The  power  of  gazing 
upward  to  heaven,"  he  says,  "  came  to  us  not  all  at 
once,  but  gradually,  through  lapse  of  time.  Savages 
are  said  scarcely  ever  to  raise  their  eyes,  and  their 
heads  are  naturally  inclined  with  a  downward  gaze, 
so  that  it  must  be  an  effort  for  them  to  look  at  the 
sky  and  the  heavenly  bodies.  Primeval  man  lived 
upon  roots  and  berries,  or  on  the  lesser  animals  and 
the  vermin  which  he  gathered  from  the  soil,  and  so 
habit  as  well  as  nature  kept  his  eyes  fixed  upon  the 
ground.  We  need  not  therefore  wonder  if,  in  their 
half-glances  upward,  our  forefathers  had  not  leisure 
to  observe  that  the  tree-top  was  not  really  close 
against  the  sky.  They  may  well  have  deemed  that 
the  upper  branches  hid  themselves  in  infinitely  re 
mote  ethereal  regions."  2 

The  work  which  such  men  make  in  interpreting 
ancient  literature  and  thought  is  strange  enough. 
The  ascription  to  Agni  of  the  same  supreme  wor 
ship  which  the  bard  has  just  paid  to  Varuna  or  Mi- 
tra  is  explained  as  due  to  the  extreme  "  shortness  of 
the  memory  "  of  early  men.3  Only  a  knowledge  of 

1  Outlines  of  Primitive  Relief.     1882  :  p.  27. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  58. 
8  Ibid.,  p.  115. 


a  most  limited  portion  of  the  earth's  surface  can  be 
conceded  to  any  of  the  ancient  nations.  The  early 
Aryans  sing  of  the  Ocean  and  of  ships  of  an  hun 
dred  oars,  but  it  must  not  for  a  moment  be  sup 
posed  that  they  had  ever  seen  or  heard  of  the  real 
Ocean  ;  they  had  simply  originated  in  their  imag 
inations  a  mythical  one.1  In  such  hands  the  im 
mortal  Iliad  becomes  merely  "  a  tale  of  land-battle, 
the  theatre  of  whose  action  is  limited  to  the  two 
shores  of  the  ^Egaean,  the  known  world  of  the 
Greek."  2  Though  the  Homeric  poems  betray  in  va 
rious  places  an  acquaintance  with  astronomy,  and 
actually  name  various  constellations,  yet,  when  the 
question  is  raised  as  to  how  the  poet  conceived  of 
the  return  of  the  sun  during  the  night  from  the 
West  to  the  East,  even  Mr.  Bunbury  silences  us, 
telling  us  that  in  Homer's  day  nobody  had  ever 
thought  of  such  a  question  !  3 

Illustrations  of  this  worse  than  mediaeval  igno 
rance  and  distortion  of  ancient  thought  and  language 
could  be  multiplied  to  almost  any  extent.  But  as 
some  selection  must  be  made,  it  may  perhaps  be 
best  to  confine  ourselves  to  three  or  four  points  in 
a  field  comparatively  familiar  to  all  readers  likely  to 
peruse  these  pages,  —  the  field  of  Homeric  cosmol 
ogy.  If  we  succeed  according  to  our  expectation  we 

1  Ch.  Ploix,  "  L'Ocean  des  Anciens,"  Revue  Archeologique,  1877, 
vol.  xxxiii..  pp.  47-54. 

2  Keary,  Primitive  Belief t  p.  296. 

3  "  How  the  sun  was  carried  back  to  the  point  from  which  it  was 
to  start  afresh  on  its  course,  it  is  probable  that  no  one  in  his  day  ever 
troubled  himself  to  inquire."  (!)     Hist.  Ancient  Geography,  vol.  i.,  p. 
34.     This  does  not  well  accord  with  the  statement  of  Bergaine  :  "  Le 
sejour  et  1'etat  du  soleil  quand  il  a  disparu  sont  des  questions  qui  pre- 
occupent  vivement  les  poetes  vediques."    La  Religion  Vedique,  torn, 
i.,  p.  6. 


shall  make  it  plain  that  those  interpreters  of  Homer 
whose  conceptions  of  Greek  culture  are  derived 
from  current  Darwinistic  anthropology  rather  than 
from  the  poems  themselves,  demonstrate,  by  the 
number  and  character  of  their  exegetical  entangle 
ments,  the  entire  incorrectness  of  their  fundamental 

i.  The  question  just  touched  upon,  the  Move 
ment  of  the  Sun,  is  as  good  as  any  with  which  to 
begin,  and  by  which  to  show  the  embarrassments 
into  which  accepted  interpreters  have  continually 
fallen  in  consequence  of  denying  to  the  ancients  a 
knowledge  of  the  spherical  figure  of  the  Earth. 

Opening  Keightley,  we  find  the  customary  asser 
tion  that  "according  to  the  ideas  of  the  Homeric  and 
Hesiodic  ages  the  Earth  was  a  round, flat  disk,  around 
which  the  river  Ocean  flowed."  Then  he  says  that 
"  men,  seeing  the  sun  rise  in  the  East  and  set  in  the 
West  each  day,  were  naturally  led  to  inquire  how 
his  return  to  the  East  was  effected."  He  alludes  to 
the  fact  that  "  in  the  Odyssey,  when  Helios  ends 
his  diurnal  career,  he  is  said  to  go  under  the  Earth  ;" 
but  he  adds  that  "  it  is  not  easy  to  determine  whether 
the  poet  meant  that  he  then  passed  through  Tar- 
taros  back  to  the  East  during  the  night."  The 
"  beautiful  fiction  of  the  solar  cup  or  basin,"  he  thus 
describes  :  "  If,  then,  as  there  is  reason  to  suppose, 
it  was  the  popular  belief  that  a  lofty  mountainous 
ring  ran  round  the  edge  of  the  Earth,  it  was  easy 
for  the  poets  to  feign  that  on  reaching  the  western 

1  In  W.  Helbig's  new  work,  Das  Homerische  Epos  von  den  Denk- 
mdlern  erlautert,  Leipsic,  1884,  we  have  some  symptoms  of  a  new  and 
better  type  of  Homeric  archaeology.  The  author  holds  that  in  Ho 
mer's  day  there  were  evidences  of  "lost  arts,"  and  in  the  treasures 
found  at  Mycenae  he  sees  the  products  of  a  pre-Homeric  civilization. 


stream  of  Ocean  Helios  himself,  his  chariot  and  his 
horses,  were  received  into  a  magic  cup  or  boat, 
made  by  Hephaistos,  which,  aided  by  the  current, 
conveyed  him  during  the  night  round  the  northern 
part  of  the  earth,  where  his  light  was  only  enjoyed 
by  the  happy  Hyperboreans,  the  lofty  Rhiphaeans 
concealing  it  from  the  rest  of  mankind.  They  must 
also  have  supposed  that  the  cup  continued  its  course 
during  the  day,  compassing  the  earth  every  twenty- 
four  hours."  Of  this  fiction,  however,  Keightley 
confesses,  "neither  Homer  nor  Hesiod  evinces  any 
knowledge."  After  quoting  various  later  poets, 
therefore,  he  concludes  as  follows  :  "  From  a  con 
sideration  of  all  these  passages  it  may  seem  to  fol 
low  that  the  ideas  of  the  poets  on  this  subject  were 
very  vague  and  fleeting.  Perhaps  the  prevalent 
opinion  was  that  the  Sun  rested  himself  and  his 
weary  steeds  in  the  West,  and  then  returned  to  the 
East!'  l  By  what  passage,  however,  whether  via 
the  North  or  underneath  the  supposed  u  flat  disk  " 
of  the  Earth,  Keightley  makes  no  further  effort  to 

The  difficulty  in  the  way  of  supposing  that  in 
Homer's  thought  the  nocturnal  sun  passed  under 
neath  the  flat  Earth-disk,  through  Tartaros,  back  to 
the  East,  is  that  the  poet  invariably  represents  this 
Underworld  as  forever  unvisited  by  sunlight.  In 
view  of  this,  and  of  the  ominous  silence  of  Homer 
as  to  any  winged  cup  sailing  round  the  earth  to  the 
North,  some  interpreters  warn  us  against  expecting 
any  consistency  of  thought  in  poetry  so  primitive.2 

1  Mythology,  pp.  47-50.     Here,  as  usual,  Keightley  closely  follows 
Volcker.     For  the  "  mountainous  ring  "  see  Ukert's  map. 

2  "  Of  popular  views  and  conceptions  one  must  not  demand  con- 


Schwenck  goes  so  far  in  this  direction  as  to  suggest 
that  the  island  Aiaie  is  a  creation  of  the  imagina 
tion  in  the  far  West,  called  forth  for  the  express 
purpose  of  giving  the  mind  a  kind  of  resting-place, 
where  it  can  leave  the  sinking  Helios  without  troub 
ling  itself  with  inconvenient  speculations  as  to  how 
he  is  to  get  back  to  the  Orient  at  the  appointed 
hour.  He  says  :  "  The  Homeric  poetry  could  not 
allow  the  Sun  and  the  daylight  to  rest  during  the 
night  in  the  Homeric  Hades,  for  in  that  case  Hades 
would  have  been  illuminated.  It  therefore  supposes 
an  island  afar  off  at  the  end  of  the  world,  where 
Helios  and  Dawn,  after  they  have  passed  over  across 
the  heavens,  repose  at  night,  and  whence,  after  this 
repose,  they  in  the  morning  again  ascend  the  sky. 
An  exact  explanation  as  to  how  they  come  west- 
wardly  to  this  island  and  then  in  the  morning  rise 
in  the  East  lies  aloof  from  the  poetry,  for  in  Homer 
nothing  of  systems  is  to  be  found,  and  only  each  ob 
ject  taken  by  itself  is  correct  and  clear."  l 

Assume  once  a  spherical  Earth,  and  all  these  dif 
ficulties  of  the  interpreters  are  at  an  end.  East  and 
West  touch  each  other.  Mr.  Gladstone,  before  aban 
doning  fully  the  flat-earth  theory,  came  as  near  the 
truth  as  he  possibly  could  and  not  hit  it,  when, 
speaking  of  Helios,  he  wrote:  "The  fact  of  his 
sporting  with  the  oxen  night  and  morning  goes  far 
to  show  that  Homer  did  not  think  of  the  Earth  as 
a  plane,  but  round,  perhaps,  as  upon  a  cylinder,  and 

sistency  or  completion.  They  go  up  to  a  certain  point,  apprehend 
only  a  part,  and  this  only  as  it  appears  at  first  blush  ;  they  leave  one 
side  all  conclusive  reflection,  and  are  unconcerned  about  contradic 
tions  since  they  are  not  conscious  of  any"  —  J.  F.  Lauer  in  Anhang  to 
Ameis's  Odyssey,  x.  86. 

1  Cited  in  Ameis,  Odyssey,  Anhang,  xii.  4. 


believed  that  the  West  and  East  were  in  contact."  * 
He  mistook,  however,  in  suggesting  Thrinakia  as 
the  place  of  contact.  It  was  rather  on  the  meridian 
of  Aiaie,  for  we  are  expressly  told  that 

Wi  r'  'Hows 
otKia  Kal  X°P°l  €'°"1  K°d  avro\al  'HeAioto. 

"  There  are  the  abodes  and  dance-grounds  of  Au 
rora,  there  the  risings  of  the  Sun."  2 

Nor  could  anything  be  more  natural  than  that  the 
poet,  conceiving  of  the  world  of  living  men  as 
Homer  did,  and  sending  out  his  thoughts  eastward 
and  westward  in  search  of  the  meeting-place  of  even 
ing  and  morning,  should  fix  upon  the  meridian  oppo 
site  his  own,  the  very  place  and  only  place  where 
his  eastward  -journeying  thought  and  his  westward 
journeying  thought  would  of  necessity  meet.  His 
eastern  hemisphere  would  naturally  extend  round 
eastward  until  it  met  the  edge  of  the  hemisphere 
extending  round  westward.  On  that  farthest  off  me 
ridian,3  therefore,  he  made  the  old  day  give  place  to 
the  new,  eve  to  morn.  That  was  the  doubtful  line  on 
which  Odysseus  and  his  companions  were  no  longer 
clear  :  "  where  was  East  and  where  was  West,  where 
Helios  went  behind  the  Earth  or  where  he  rose 
again."  4 

2.  The  false  assumption  that  Homer's  Earth  is 
flat  has  created  all  the  noted  controversies  connected 
with  his  representations  of  the  location  of  Hades. 
This  question  has  divided  Homeric  interpreters  into 
more  than  a  dozen  differing  camps.  Their  mutually 

1  Juventus  Mundi,  p.  325. 

2  Odyssey,  xii.  3,  4. 

8  That  the  son  of  Odysseus  by  Kirke  should  have  been  named  Teleg' 
onos,  "  the  far-away  begotten"  thus  becomes  peculiarly  significant. 
*  Odyssey,  x.  189-192. 


contradictory  solutions  of  the  problem  would  be  the 
laughing-stock  of  the  opposers  of  classical  studies, 
were  these  latter  only  sufficiently  acquainted  with 
the  world's  scholarship  to  be  aware  of  their  exist 
ence.  To  review  and  solve  the  question  in  this 
place  would  detain  the  general  reader  too  long,  but 
in  the  Appendix,  Section  sixth,  the  assertions  here 
made  will  be  found  abundantly  verified. 

3.  The  same  flat-earth  assumption  is  further  re 
sponsible  for  all  the  difficulties  which  interpreters 
have  found  in  representing  the  Ocean,  and  in  gen 
eral  the  Water  System  of  the  Earth,  in  accordance 
with  the  Homeric  data. 

These  difficulties  have  been  neither  few  nor  small. 
Four  of  them  we  will  here  notice.  And,  first,  that 
growing  out  of  the  statement  that  from  deep-flow 
ing  Ocean  "  flow  all  rivers  and  every  sea,  and  all 
fountains  and  deep  wells."  1  Volcker  pronounces 
this  "  hard  to  explain."  He  says,  "  An  immediate 
in-streaming  of  the  Ocean  into  the  sea  can  scarcely 
be  meant,  partly  because  sea- water  and  ocean-water 
do  not  unite,  partly  because  Homer  knows  of  no 
such  in-streamings  in  the  Phasis  and  at  the  Pillars 
of  Hercules,  and  the  origination  of  rivers  in  this 
way  would  not  be  thinkable."  2  Other  writers,  de 
voted  to  the  illustration  of  ancient  thought,  seem 
not  to  have  stopped  to  inquire  whether  rivers  flow 
ing  up-stream  from  the  Ocean  to  the  hills  were 
thinkable  or  not,  and  have  gravely  set  before  the 
youthful  student  diagrams  constructed  on  this  plan 
as  the  true  representation  of  Homeric  thought ! 3 

1  Iliad y  xxi.  196. 

3  Homerische  Geographic,  §  49. 

1  See  the  older  Classical  Atlases.     "  According  to  Homer,"  says 


A  second  embarrassing  question  has  been  this : 
"If  the  Ocean  -  stream  surrounded  and  constituted 
the  outermost  boundary  of  the  Earth-disk,  what  sus 
tained  the  Ocean-stream  itself  and  constituted  its 
further  shore  ?  "  As  Volcker  says,  "  Who  on  the 
further  side  held  in  the  billows  of  the  vast  World- 
river,  that  they  did  not  flow  off  into  the  empty 
spaces  of  heaven  ?  Was  it  a  narrow  strip  of  the 
inner  Earth,  or  was  it  formless  chaos,  or  the  descend 
ing  rim  of  the  sky,  or  the  inner  power  of  the  waters 
themselves  ?  "  l  Buchholz  says,  "  By  what  the  Ocean 
itself  was  in  turn  bounded  remains  unclear.  The 
child-like  imagination  of  the  Homeric  age  contented 
itself  with  that  confused  halbverschwommene  con 
ception."  2  The  most  natural  answer,  especially 
from  the  point  of  view  represented  by  Buchholz, 
who,  with  Ukert  and  others,  claims  that  the  Ho 
meric  heaven  was  literally  metallic,  would  seem  to 
be  Volcker's  third  supposition,  namely,  that  the  rim 
of  the  metallic  sky  constitutes  the  outer  limit  of  the 
Ocean-stream.3  This  would  correspond,  also,  with 
the  general  notion  that  the  circular  disk  of  the  earth 
"  divided  the  hollow  sphere  of  the  universe  into  two 
equal  parts."4  It  would  also  exactly  correspond  to 

Theodore  Alois  Buckley,  in  his  translation  of  the  Iliad >  "the  Earth  is 
a  circular  plane,  and  Oceanus  is  an  immense  stream  encircling  it, 
from  which  the  rivers  flow  inward"  —  of  course,  therefore,  up-hill. 

1  Horn.  Geog.,  §  49.     Compare  Keightley :  "As  it  was  a  stream  it 
must  have  been  conceived   to  have  a  further  bank  to  confine  its 
course."     Mythology  of  Greece,  p.  33. 

2  Homerische  Realien,  I.  I,  p.  55. 

3  In  his  earlier  work,  Die  Mythologie  des  Japetischen  Geschlechtes, 
Giessen,  1824,  p.  60,  Volcker  distinctly  represents  this  as  the  ancient 
Greek  conception :    "  Wo  der  Himmel  sich  wahrhaft  an  den  Okean 
schliesst  und  dem  kiihnen  Schiffer  das  letzte  Ziel  geworden" 

*  Keightley,  MythoL,  p.  29. 


Flach's  curious  and  elaborate  representation  of  the 
Hesiodic  world  in  his  recent  work  on  the  Hesiodic 
cosmogony.1  Still  further  it  would  seem  best  to  ac 
cord  with  Homer's  language  describing  the  heavenly 
constellations  as  bathing  in  the  Ocean.  On  the 
other  hand,  however,  such  a  supposition  would  be 
incompatible  with  the  Homeric  representation  that 
the  farther  shore  presented  a  suitable  landing-place, 
and  especially  a  landing-place  situated,  like  that  of 
Odysseus,  in  the  Underworld.  Moreover,  it  would 
be  incompatible  with  the  current  notion  that  the 
Homeric  heaven  was  supported  upon  mountain  pillars 
standing  on  the  Earth  inside  the  Ocean-stream,  like 
Mount  Atlas  in  western  Libya.2  Again,  therefore, 
the  question  returns,  "Given  a  flat  Earth  surrounded 
by  the  Ocean-river,  what  constitutes  the  farther 
shore,  and  how  can  the  mariner  who  lands  upon  it 
speak  of  himself  as  in  the  Underworld  ? "  The 
learned  Volcker  leaves  the  subject  with  the  unsatis 
fying  observation,  "The  poet  has  not  answered  our 

A  third  embarrassment  dwelt  upon  by  the  same 
advocate  of  the  flat-earth  theory  is  that,  as  he  un 
derstands  Homer,  Hellas  was  the  centre  of  the  cir 
cular  Earth-disk,  and  not  more  than  "  ten  or  eleven 
days'  sail  "  from  the  Ocean  in  any  direction  ;  and 
yet  the  poet  makes  it  eighteen  days'  sail  by  the 
shortest  route  from  Ogygia  to  the  land  of  the  Phae- 
acians,  and  at  least  another  in  the  same  direction  to, 

1  Hans  Flach,  Das  System  der  Hesiodischen  Kosmogonie.     Leipsic, 
1874.     (Diagram  prefixed.) 

2  Maury,  Histoire  des  Religions  de  la  Grece  Antique.     Paris,  1857  : 
vol.  i.,  p.  596.     In  like  manner  Bunbury,  History  of  Ancient  Geogra 
phy,  vol.  i.,  p.  33,  represents  the  solid  Homeric  vault  as  resting  on 
the  outermost  edge  of  the  circular  earth  just  inside  the  Ocean-stream. 


Hellas,  and  yet  Ogygia  is  the  navel  or  centre  of  the 
sea.  "These,"  says  he,  "are  insurmountable  diffi 
culties  for  him  who  would  measure  with  the  com 
passes.  Rather  should  we  learn  from  this  example 
what  folk-faith  and  folk-tales  are.  Where  there  is 
no  agreement  we  should  not  create  one  by  main 
force.  The  Earth  is  circular  and  Hellas  is  its  cen 
tre;  that  was  the  popular  faith.  But  the  situation  of 
the  Ocean  and  the  extent  of  the  Earth  are  at  the 
same  time  such  fluctuating  ideas,  and  all  any  way 
extended  voyages  seem  to  the  poet  to  extend  to 
such  a  terrific  distance,  that  it  may  well  happen 
to  him  to  overpass  all  bounds  out  in  that  realm 
where  were,  so  to  speak,  the  most  terrific  of  all  dis 
tances."  1  Thus  the  nodding  Homer  is  again  caught 
in  contradiction,  and  to  accommodate  his  exagger 
ated  and  terrific  distances  even  Gladstone  at  first 
felt  constrained  to  change  the  figure  of  the  Earth- 
disk  itself,  and  to  present  it  as  a  vast  parallelogram 
more  extended  from  North  to  South  than  from  East 
to  West.2 

The  fourth  difficulty  involved  in  the  current  inter 
pretation  is  that  experienced  in  harmonizing  the 
poet's  representations  of  the  Ocean,  as  commonly 
understood,  with  his  representations  of  the  move 
ments  of  the  sun,  as  commonly  understood.  The 
sun  at  evening  certainly  ceases  to  be  visible  to  men. 
According  to  the  Homeric  representation  he  returns 
to  the  flowing  of  the  Ocean.3  His  bright  light 
sinks  in  it.4  At  his  rising  it  is  also  from  the  Ocean 

1  Horn.  Geographic,  §  50. 

2  See  his  map.     Comp.  Juventus  Mundi,  p.  493. 
8  Iliad,  xviii.  240. 

4  Iliad,  viii.  485. 


that  he  begins  to  mount  the  sky.1  Yet  his  setting 
is  also  described  as  a  going  eTs  VTTO  yalav,  under  or 
behind  the  Earth.2  How  now,  with  a  flat  circular 
disk  for  the  Earth,  and  with  a  circumfluent  Ocean  in 
the  same  plane,  and  with  an  eternally  dark  and  un 
sunned  Hades  just  beyond  the  Ocean-river  to  the 
westward,  can  these  data  be  harmonized  ?  If  we  at 
tempt  to  conceive  of  the  Sun  as  literally  sinking  in 
the  ocean  and  hiding  his  light  beneath  its  waters,  he 
has  not  gone  e?s  VTTO  yalav,  but  rather  "  in  under"  the 
Ocean.  Moreover,  the  old  difficulty  reappears  as  to 
how  he  shall  get  round  into  the  East  in  time  for  his 
rising  again.  Furthermore,  if  he  is  the  whole  night 
concealed  under  the  waves  of  the  Ocean,  descending 
into  it  in  the  far  West  at  his  setting  and  ascending 
out  of  it  in  the  far  East  at  his  rising,  how  can  we 
arrange  for  his  rejoicing  himself  night  and  morning 
with  his  oxen  on  the  island  of  Thrinakia  ? 3  But 
we  cannot  abandon  this  whole  supposition,  and  let 
the  Sun  set  beyond  and  behind  the  Ocean-stream,  for 
that  would  be  in  the  western  Hades,  where  he  never 
shines.  Nor  yet,  again,  can  we  say  that  he  descends 
to  the  surface  of  the  Ocean  simply,  and  then,  in  his 
"  cup,"  or  otherwise,  moves  round  to  the  Orient  by 
way  of  the  North,  for  then,  the  Ocean  being  in  sub 
stantially  the  same  plane  as  the  abode  of  men,  they 
would  not  be  overspread  with  darkness,  but  would 
enjoy,  if  not  the  spectacle  of  "  the  midnight  sun," 
at  least  the  full  light  of  a  sun  moving  round  the 

1  Iliad,  vii.  422  ;  Odyssey,  xix.  433. 

2  Odyssey,  x.  191. 

8  Odyssey,  xii.  380.     The  only  diagram  based  upon  this  conception 
which  I  remember  to  have  seen  is  in  the  rare  and  curious  work  by 
Johannes  Herbinius,  Dissertationes  de  admirandis  mundi  Cataractis. 
Amstel.     1678  :  p.  13. 


horizon.  On  this  supposition,  too,  Hades,  just  west 
of  the  river,  would  also  be  equally  illuminated.  In 
side  the  Ocean-stream  he  certainly  does  not  hide 
himself  in  the  ground,  for  that  would  be  incompati 
ble  with  all  the  passages  associating  his  rising  and 
setting  with  the  Ocean.  But  if  he  cannot  be  con 
ceived  of  as  setting  on  the  hither  side  of  the  stream, 
nor  on  the  farther  side,  nor  yet  as  resting  on  the 
Ocean,  nor  yet  as  hiding  beneath  it,  what  possible 
conception  of  the  matter  remains  ? 

All  this  trouble  is  the  natural  result  of  one  false 
assumption,  —  the  assumption  that  Homer's  Earth  is 
a  flat  disk,  Assume  that  it  is  a  sphere,  and  every 
one  of  these  difficulties  vanishes.  Then,  in  caus 
ing  the  Sun  to  descend  to  the  Ocean  in  which  lies 
Aiaie  the  poet  makes  the  bed  to  which  the  king  of 
day  retires  the  same  as  that  from  which  in  the 
morning  he  rises  again.  At  the  same  time,  from  the 
poet's  standpoint  and  from  the  standpoint  of  the 
lands  inhabited  by  the  poet's  countrymen,  each  set 
ting  of  the  Sun  was  a  going  "  behind  the  earth,"  to 
reappear  on  the  opposite  side.  This  view  of  the 
movement  of  Helios  solves  every  perplexity  ;  and  if 
Homer  had  the  knowledge  of  the  Earth  and  Heavens 
involved  in  the  view,  we  may  be  sure  he  also  knew 
as  well  as  we  do  in  what  sense  the  Ocean  is  the 
source  of  all  springs  and  rivers,  and  for  what  reason 
the  equatorial  Ocean  never  runs  away  for  the  lack 
of  an  ultra-terrestrial  shore. 

4.  The  same  hermeneutical  myopia  which  has 
thus  minified  and  misconceived  every  feature  of  Ho 
mer's  cosmography  has  introduced  and  maintained 
the  now  universal  dogma  that  in  the  Homeric  poems 
"  Olympos  is  always  the  Thessalian  mountain  "  of 


that  name.1  All  our  youth  are  taught  that  "  the 
early  poets  believed  that  the  gods  actually  lived 
upon  the  top  of  this  mountain  separating  Macedonia 
and  Thessaly.  Even  the  fable  of  the  giants  scaling 
heaven  must  be  understood  in  a  literal  sense  ;  not 
that  they  placed  Pelion  and  Ossa  upon  the  top  of 
Olympos  to  reach  the  still  higher  heaven,  but  that 
they  piled  Pelion  on  the  top  of  Ossa  and  both  on 
the  lower  slopes  of  Olympos  to  scale  the  summit  of 
Olympos  itself,  the  abode  of  the  gods."  2  To  settle 
the  question  negatively  as  well  as  positively,  revered 
German  erudition  solemnly  declares,  "The  gods  of 
Homer  never  live  in  heaven."3  Such  dogmatism 
challenges  a  fresh  investigation  of  the  question. 

Taking  up  this  subject,  Keightley  remarks  that  if 
we  were  to  follow  the  teachings  of  Comparative 
Mythology  we  should  have  to  locate  the  abode  of 
Homer's  gods  in  the  heights  of  heaven.  His  lan 
guage  is  :  "  Were  we  to  follow  analogy,  and  argue 
from  the  cosmology  of  other  races  of  men,  we  would 
say  that  the  upper  surface  of  the  superior  hemi 
sphere  was  the  abode  of  the  Grecian  gods." 4  He 
goes  on  to  allude  to  the  conceptions  of  the  Scandi 
navians  and  some  other  peoples,  and  adds,  "  Hence 
we  might  be  led  to  infer  that  Olympos,  the  abode  of 
the  Grecian  gods,  was  synonymous  with  heaven, 
and  that  the  Thessalian  mountain  and  those  others 
which  bore  the  same  name  were  called  after  the 
original  heavenly  hill." 

It  is  a  pity  that  the  learned  author  could  not  have 

1  Ameis  and  Hentze,  Ilias,  i.  44. 

2  Smith's  Classical  Dictionary,  Art.  "  Olympus." 
8  Volcker,  Homerische  Geographic,  pp.  9,  12. 

4  Mythology.     Fourth  Edition.     London,  1877  :  p.  34. 


accepted  this  very  sensible  conclusion  ;  but  he  did 
not.  Rejecting  the  admitted  intimations  of  Com 
parative  Cosmology,  he  says,  "A  careful  survey, 
however,  of  those  passages  in  Homer  and  Hesiod  in 
which  Olympos  occurs  will  lead  us  to  believe  that 
the  Achaeans  held  the  Thessalian  Olympos,  the 
highest  mountain  with  which  they  were  acquainted, 
to  be  the  abode  of  their  gods." 

The  only  passage  specially  referred  to  by  Keight- 
ley,  as  establishing  this  view,  is  the  Iliad,  xiv.  225 
seq.,  where  the  language  employed  is  not  at  all  in 
consistent  with  the  idea  that,  in  descending  from 
the  summit  of  Olympos,  Hera  descended  from  the 
northern  sky.  More  elaborate  is  the  argument  of 
Volcker,1  but  its  logical  cogency  is  by  no  means 

The  true  Homeric  conception  of  the  abode  of  the 
gods  is  far  loftier,  grander,  and  more  poetic  than 
that  given  us  by  such  interpreters.  According  to 
the  poet's  real  representation,  that  abode  is  "the 
wide  heaven,"  —  not  the  atmospheric  heaven,  ovpa- 
voi/  lv  aWepi  KOL  ve^eA^o-ti/,  for  this  is  a  special  posses 
sion  of  Zeus  (Iliad,  xv.  192) ;  it  is  the  upper  sky, 

1  Homerische  Geographic  und  Weltktmde,  pp.  4-20.  Copied  by 
Buchholz,  Horn.  Realien,  I.  §  12.  Professor  Blackie's  reasoning  is  en 
tirely  subjective  :  "  In  a  spiritual  religion,  like  Christianity,  the  word 
heaven  will  always  be  kept  as  vague  as  possible  ;  in  an  imaginative 
and  sensuous  religion,  like  the  Greek,  it  must  be  localized.  A  Zeus 
with  human  shape  and  members  must  sit  on  a  terrestrial  seat ;  and 
the  only  seat  proper  for  him  is  the  highest  mountain  in  the  country 
to  which  he  belongs.  Now,  as  the  original  seat  of  the  Greeks,  when 
they  rested  from  their  long  journey  by  the  Caspian  and  Euxine  west 
ward,  was  the  plains  of  Macedonia  and  Thessaly,  the  necessary  local 
ity  for  the  throne  of  the  Supreme  God  and  the  council  of  the  Immor 
tals  was  Olympos,  the  extreme  east  end  of  the  long  Cambunian  range 
separating  Thessaly  from  Macedonia,  to  the  north  of  the  Peneios  and 
the  defile  of  Tempe."  Homer  and  the  Iliad.  Edinburgh,  1866  :  vol 
iv.,  p.  174. 


the  celestial  dome  in  which  sun,  moon,  and  stars 
wheel  silently  around  the  Pole.  To  the  early  Greek, 
as  to  the  early  Perso-Aryan,  it  was  easy  to  con 
ceive  of  this  celestial  dome  as  a  heavenly  moun 
tain,  vast,  majestic,  of  unearthly  beauty,  and  peo 
pled  with  glorious  beings  invisible  to  mortals.  And 
this  heavenly  mountain  he  called  Olympos.  The 
Thessalian  mount,  the  Bithynian,  and  all  the  dozen 
others  of  the  same  name l  were  sacred  only  so  far  as 
they  symbolized  and  commemorated  their  heavenly 
original.  In  the  Odyssey,  xi.  315,  it  is  plain  that 
Homer  speaks  of  the  Thessalian  Olympos  along 
with  other  Thessalian  mountains  ; 2  but  in  general 
he  means  by  Olympos  the  heights  of  the  northern 
heaven  viewed  as  the  proper  abode  of  the  gods.3 
The  proofs  of  the  incorrectness  of  the  current 

1  Heyschius  professed  to  have  knowledge  of  fourteen  mountains 
bearing  the  name  of  Olympos. 

2  To  all  who  deny  that  heaven  was  to  Homer  the  abode  of  the 
gods   this   passage  presents   insurmountable   difficulties.     To  place 
Ossa  upon  Olympos,  then  upon  Ossa  Pelion,  in  order,  by  means  of 
the  three,  to  climb  up  into  an  abode  situated  on  the  top  of  the  under 
most  of  the  three,  is  the  problem  !     No  wonder  that  Volcker  thinks 
Homer  has  been  overpraised  for  his  knowledge  of  localities  and  of 
the  arrangement  of  mountains  :  "  Der  Olymp  muss  auf  jeden  Fall  zu 
unterst  kommen,  und  die  Folgerung  aus  dieser  Stelle  fiir  die  Homer- 
ische  Localkenntniss  und  Grundlage  der  Wirklichkeit  in  Anordnung 
der  Berge  miissen  wir  dahin  gestellt  sein  lassen."     Horn.  Geog.,  p.  9. 
Truly  amusing  is  the  haughty  remark  under  which  Hartung  beats  a 
retreat :  "  Warum  aber  sollte  ein  Gelehrter  iiber  solche  Wiederspriiche 
sich  Scrupel  machen  da  die  religiose  Vorstellung  sich  niemals  daran 
gestossen  hat?"     Die  Religion  und  Mythologie  der  Griec/ien,  Th.  iii., 
6.     But  one  German,  and  he  a  Swiss,  seems  to  have  apprehended 
the  inevitable  implication  of  this  passage  :  "  Jedoch  war  dem  Griechen 
wohl  bewusst,  dass  die  Gotter  nicht  eigentlich  und  wirklich  auf  dem 
Olymp  wohnten,  wie  aus  der  Beschreibung  des  Kampfes  des  Otus 
und  Ephialtes  gegen  die  olympischen   Gotter  hervorgeht."     Rinck, 
Die  Religion  der  Hellenen.     Zurich,  1853  :  vol.  i.,  p.  207. 

8  Compare  Pictet,  Les  Origines,     Paris,  1877  :  torn,  iii.,  p.  225. 


interpretation  appear  on  almost  every  page  of  the 
Homeric  poems.  The  designation  of  the  gods  by 
the  formula  ot  ovpavov  evpw  IXOV(TLV  occurs  twice  in  the 
Iliad  and  sixteen  times  in  the  Odyssey,  but  the  ex 
pressions  "  who  possess  the  wide  heaven,"  in  Odys 
sey,  xix.,  line  40,  and  "  who  possess  Olympos,"  line 
43,  are  plainly  identical  in  meaning.1  So  in  the  Iliad, 
"the  immortals  who  possess  the  Olympian  man 
sions  "  and  "  the  gods  who  possess  the  wide  heaven  " 
are  unquestionably  interchangeable  phrases.2  Hence 
also  "  the  Olympians,"  "  the  Uranians,"  and  "  the 
Epouranians "  are  names  of  the  same  beings.3  In 
Hesiod's  Theogony  the  expression  ei/ros  'OA^TTOV, 
"  within  Olympos,"  occurs  no  less  than  three  times.4 
To  translate  it  according  to  the  current  interpreta 
tion  of  Homer  is  to  locate  the  palace  of  Zeus  in  the 
heart  of  an  earthly  mountain  and  to  transform  the 
"  Lichtgestalten  "  of  his  heavenly  court  into  Trolls. 
In  book  twenty -four  of  the  Iliad,  verse  ninety- 

1  Comp.  xii.  339  ;  also  the  Homeric  Hymn,  In  Apollinem,  ii.  320, 
334.     In  the  Iliad,  \\\\.,  lines  393  and  411,  the  selfsame  portals  are 
called  now  "  gates  of  heaven,"  now  "gates  of  Olympos." 

2  Book  i.  18  ;  ii.  13,  30,  484  ;  v.  383,  404,  et  passim.     See  Volcker, 
Homerische  Geographic,  p.  13  (§  9). 

3  Book  i.  399,   xx.  47,  and   often  ;  i.  570 ;   v.  373,  898,  etc. ;  vi. 
129,  131,  527.     Compare  i.  497  :  — 

'Hepf??  8'  avfp-r)  fj.4yav  ovpavbv  Otf\v/LLTr6v  re. 

A  similar  identification  occurs  in  Hesiod,  7fteogony,  v.  689.  See  L. 
Preller,  "  Daher  der  Himmel  und  der  Olymp  auch  ganz  gleichbe- 
deutend  gebraucht  werden  kdnnen."  Griechische  Mythologie.  Leip- 
sic,  1854 :  vol.  i.,  p.  48. 

4  Lines  37,  51,  408.     The  interpreters  of  Hesiod  have  found  this 
so  great  a  crux  that  Gottling  and   Paley  make  it  a  ground  for  ques 
tioning  the  genuineness   or  antiquity  of  the  passages.      See  also 
Schoemann,  Die  hesiodische  Theogonie  ausgelegt  und  bewtheilt.     Ber 
lin,  1868:  p.  303.      Yet  Pfau,  in    Pauly's  Real-Encydopaedie,  Art 
"  Olympos,"  affirms  that  we  find  in  Hesiod  "  exactly  the  same  con 
ceptions  of  Olympos  "  as  in  Homer. 


seven,  we  are  told  that  Iris  and  Thetis  were  im 
pelled  up  "  to  heaven  "  (es  ovpavov).  But  the  moment 
the  Father  of  gods  and  men  begins  discourse, 
he  says,  "Thou  hast  come  to  Olympos,  O  goddess 
Thetis  ; "  and  in  verse  one  hundred  twenty-one  the 
bard  resumes,  "  Thus  he  spoke  ;  nor  did  the  silver- 
footed  goddess  Thetis  disobey,  but  rushing  im 
petuously,  she  descended  down  from  the  tops  of 

One  of  the  most  vivid  of  the  pictures  of  Olympian 
life  in  the  whole  Iliad  is  that  portraying  (book  xv. 
14  ff.)  the  punishment  of  Hera  by  Zeus.  In  the 
literal  translation  of  Buckley,  it  is  thus  rendered : 
"  O  Hera,  of  evil  arts,  impracticable,  thy  stratagem 
has  made  noble  Hector  cease  from  battle,  and  put 
his  troops  to  flight.  Indeed,  I  know  not  whether 
again  thou  mayst  not  be  the  first  to  reap  the  fruits 
of  thy  pernicious  machinations,  and  I  chastise  thee 
with  stripes.  Dost  thou  not  remember  when  thou 
didst  swing  from  on  high,  and  I  hung  two  anvils 
from  thy  feet,  and  bound  a  golden  chain  around  thy 
hands,  that  could  not  be  broken  ?  And  thou  didst 
hang  in  the  air  and  clouds,  and  the  gods  commis 
erated  thee  throughout  lofty  Olympos  ;  but  stand 
ing  around,  they  were  not  able  to  release  thee ;  but 
whomsoever  I  caught,  seizing,  I  hurled  from  the 
threshold  of  heaven  till  he  reached  the  earth,  hardly 

Although  the  words  "  of  heaven  "  are  supplied  by 
the  translator,  the  contrast  required  by  the  expres- 

1  Similar  cases  occur  ;  Iliad,  i.  195,  208,  compared  with  221  ;  v. 
868  with  869;  xix.  351  with  355  ;  xx.  5  with  10 ;  Od.,  xi.  313  with 
316;  xx.  31  with  55  ;  also  103  with  113.  It  is  astonishing  that  Faesi 
can  say  that  the  case  in  the  text  is  the  only  one  found  in  the 
Iliad.  Odysee,  Einleitung,  p.  xvii. 


sion  "reached  the  earth"  compels  the  supply  in 
order  to  make  good  sense. 

In  book  first  Hephaistos  gives  his  own  account  of 
this  same  hurling  out  of  heaven.  He  says,  "  Be 
patient,  my  mother,  and  although  grieved  restrain 
thyself,  lest  with  my  own  eyes  I  behold  thee  beaten, 
being  very  dear  to  me  ;  nor  then,  though  full  of  grief, 
should  I  be  able  to  assist  thee,  for  Olympian  Zeus 
is  difficult  to  be  opposed.  For  upon  a  time  before 
this,  when  I  desired  to  assist  thee,  having  seized  me 
by  the  foot,  he  cast  me  down  from  the  heavenly 
threshold  (/fyAov  fco-Treo-ioio).1  The  whole  day  was  I 
hurled,  and  at  the  setting  of  the  sun  I  fell  on  Lem- 
nos,  and  but  little  of  life  remained  in  me." 

Nothing  can  well  be  plainer  than  that  this  whole 
scene  is  conceived  of  as  occurring  high  in  the  vault 
of  heaven.  To  locate  it  on  any  "  many-peaked 
mountain  "  every  way  embarrasses  the  imagination.2 
Moreover,  Lemnos  is  not  situated  under  Thessa- 

1  "  Heavenly  threshold  "  is  Buckley's  rendering  of  this  term,  though 
he  elsewhere  distinguishes  Olympos  from  heaven,  as  in  note  on  book 
xvi.  364.     In  ancient  cosmology  the  "  door  of  heaven  "  was  situated 
at  the  North  Pole  of  the  sky.    Khandogya-Upanishad,  xxiv.  3,  4,  7,  8, 
II,    12.     Sacred  Books  of  the  East,  vol.   i.,    Pt.  I.,  pp.  36,   37.  For 
the  rabbinical  usage  see  Eisenmenger,   Entdecktes  Judenthum,  Bd. 
ii.,  p.  402. 

2  Thus  Volcker,  after  reminding  the  reader  that  "there  can  be  no 
doubt  that  the  gods  are  here  represented  as  on  Olympos,  and  not 
where  Hera  hung  eV  aiOepi  Kal  vttyeXrjaiv"  exclaims  very  naturally, 
"Where  now  is  the  end  of  the  rope  made  fast  ?"     He  immediately 
adds  as  his  answer,  "  Ohne  Zweifel  irepl  piov  OV\VJU.TTOIO  I  —  Without 
doubt  around  the  peak  of  Olympos  !  "     No  wonder  he  places  an  ex 
clamation  point  after  such  a  masterpiece  of  interpretation.     Possibly 
the  French  savant,  M.  Boivin,'  who  to  explain  Od.t  vi.  40  ff.,  con 
tended  that  Homer  conceived  of  Olympos  as  an  inverted  mountain, 
having  its  snowy  top  near  the  earth  and  its  snowless  and  rainless 
toots  in  heaven,  caught  his  idea  from  Volcker's  exegesis  of  this  pas* 
saee ! 


Han  Olympos,  nor  could  the  word  Kamrca-ov  describe 
Hephaistos's  motion  in  space  from  the  one  to  the 
other.  So  irresistible,  indeed,  is  the  right  inter 
pretation  that  Keightley,  unconscious  of  his  in 
consistency,  elsewhere  says,  "The  favorite  haunt 
of  Hephaistos  on  earth  was  the  isle  of  Lemnos. 
It  was  here  he  fell  when  flung  from  heaven  by 
Zeus  for  attempting  to  aid  his  mother  Hera."  l  In 
like  manner  Professor  Geddes,  with  a  forgetfulness 
equally  entertaining,  writes  of  Zeus  "hurling  He 
phaistos  over  the  celestial  battlements"  and  of  his 
being  "able  to  draw  gods  and  earth  and  sea  aloft 
into  the  sky."  2 

The  not  less  famous  passage  in  the  opening  lines 
of  book  eighth  is  even  more  conclusive  :  "  Whomso 
ever  of  the  gods  I  shall  discover,  having  gone  apart 
from  the  rest,  wishing  to  aid  either  the  Trojans  or 
the  Greeks,  disgracefully  smitten  shall  he  return  to 
Olympos  ;  or,  seizing,  I  will  hurl  him  into  gloomy 
Tartaros,  very  far  hence,  where  there  is  a  very  deep 
gulf  beneath  the  earth,  and  iron  portals,  and  a 
brazen  threshold,3  as  far  below  Hades  as  heaven  is 
from  earth  ;  then  shall  he  know  by  how  much  I 
am  the  most  powerful  of  all  the  gods.  But  come, 
ye  gods,  and  try  me,  that  ye  may  all  know.  Having 
suspended  a  golden  chain  from  heaven,  do  all  ye 
gods  and  goddesses  suspend  yourselves  therefrom  ; 
yet  would  ye  not  draw  down  from  heaven  to  earth 
your  supreme  counselor  Jove,  not  even  if  ye  labor 
ever  so  much :  but  whenever  I,  desiring,  should 

1  Mythology,  p.  97. 

2  The  Problem  of  the  Homeric  Poems,    p.  133. 

3  Here  is  the  Underworld  door  and  threshold  corresponding  to  the 
upper,  north  polar  one  from  which  Hephaistos  was  hurled  down  to 
earth.     Compare  also  Hesiod's  description. 


wish  to  pull  it,  I  could  draw  it  up  together,  earth, 
and  ocean,  and  all ;  then,  indeed,  would  I  bind  the 
chain  around  the  top  of  Olympos,  and  all  these 
should  hang  aloft.  By  so  much  do  I  surpass  both 
gods  and  men." 

Comment  is  unnecessary.  Until  the  whole  of  a 
thing  can  be  suspended  upon  and  supported  by  a 
part  of  itself,  no  interpreter  can  make  the  top  of 
Olympos  in  this  passage  signify  the  top  of  a  moun 
tain  in  Thessaly.1 

If  any  further  evidence  can  be  needed  to  show 
that  no  mountain  of  earth  can  meet  the  requirements 
of  the  language  of  the  Iliad  respecting  Olympos,  it 
is  surely  afforded  in  the  passages  already  alluded  to 
where  suppliants,  addressing  the  gods  as  "  Olym 
pian,"  are  said  to  stretch  forth  their  hands  toward 
"the  starry  heavens."  An  example  of  this  is  the 
following  :  "  But  the  guardian  of  the  Greeks,  Ge- 
renian  Nestor,  most  particularly  prayed,  stretching 
forth  his  hands  to  the  starry  heaven  :  '  O  Father 
Zeus,  if  ever  any  one  in  fruitful  Argos,  to  thee  burn 
ing  the  fat  thighs  of  either  oxen  or  sheep,  suppli 
cated  that  he  might  return,  and  thou  didst  promise 

1  The  heroic  manner  in  which  Professor  Geddes  accepts  this  grave 
alternative  and  shifts  his  own  embarrassment  to  the  shoulders  of  the 
poet  is  somewhat  discouraging  to  interpreters  who  have  an  inclina 
tion  to  find  a  rational  meaning  in  their  author.  He  says,  "  The 
manner  in  which  this  f>iov  OvX-ufjuroio  is  referred  to  in  a  concrete  form 
shows  that  it  was  not  only  a  visible  but  [also  a]  commanding  object 
in  the  poet's  landscape  ;  so  much  so  that  it  embarrasses  his  physical 
speculations  and  conceptions  of  the  Cosmos  [sic],  since  it  is  made  the  pin 
nacle  on  which  the  world  of  sea  and  land  is  to  be  suspended  by  the 
golden  chain.  The  piov  here,  however,  must  le  a  part  of  the  veritable 
mountain,  not  any  idealized  Olympos"  (!)  Win.  I).  Geddes,  LL.  D., 
The  Problem  of  the  Homeric  Poems.  London,  1878 :  p.  257.  This 
is  as  bad  as  the  exclamatory  arbitrariness  of  Volcker,  on  the  same 
passage,  Geog.,  §  n. 


and  assent,  be  mindful  of  these  things,  O  Olympian, 
and  avert  the  cruel  day.'  "  1 

Nor  is  the  language  of  the  Odyssey  less  opposed 
to  the  prevailing  interpretation.  Here  Olympos  is 
metaphorically  spoken  of  precisely  as  we  speak  of 
heaven  :  "  For  Olympos  hath  given  me  grief "  (iv. 
722).  Again,  in  a  memorable  passage,  it  is  de 
picted  in  terms  which  plainly  belong  to  no  sub 
lunary  sphere:  "Thus  having  spoken,  blue -eyed 
Athene  departed  to  Olympos,  where  they  say  is 
forever  the  firm  seat  of  the  gods  ;  it  is  neither  shaken 
by  the  winds,  nor  is  it  ever  bedewed  by  the  shower, 
nor  does  the  snow  approach  it ;  but  a  most  cloud 
less  serenity  is  spread  out,  and  white  splendor  runs 
over  it,  in  which  the  blessed  gods  are  delighted  all 
their  days.  To  this  place  Athene  departed  when 
she  had  admonished  the  damsel."  2 

In  book  xx.  30,  Athene  descends  "from  heaven" 
(ovpavoOw  KaTafiao-a),  while  in  line  55  her  return  is 
described  as  "to  Olympos."  So  in  line  103  Zeus 

GMT*  aly\^€vros  'OX^ifjnrov 
v\l/6dev  e/c  vffyewv, 

but  in  line  113  the  same  thundering  is  described  as 

far3  ovpavov  affrepdevros. 

As  in  the  Iliad,  so  in  the  Odyssey,  suppliants  ad 
dress  their  prayers  toward  "  the  starry  heaven  ; "  3 

1  Book  xv.  371,  375.  Comp.  x.  461  ;  iii.  364  ;  vii.  178,  201  ;  viii. 
365  ;  xvi.  232;  xix.  257  ;  xxi.  272  ;  xxiv.  307,  etc. 

'2  Book  vi.  40.  On  p.  65  of  his  Mythology,  Keightley  quotes  this 
passage  as  apparently  somewhat  inconsistent  with  his  view,  but 
nevertheless  renews  his  assertion  that  "  the  Greeks  of  the  early  ages 
regarded  the  lofty  Thessalian  mountain  named  Olympos  as  the  dwell 
ing  of  their  gods."  Compare  Volcker :  "  In  nearly  all  poets  such 
contradictions  are  found."  Geog.,  p.  6. 

8  Odyssey,  ix.  527,  and  elsewhere. 


and  the  gods  who  possess  Olympos  are  called  v- 
pdpTvpoi,  or  the  "  witnesses  on  high."  1 

So  unmistakable  is  this  language  and  the  entire 
usage  of  the  Odyssey  that  various  recent  writers, 
not  emancipated  from  the  traditional  view  as  re 
spects  the  Iliad,  have  yet  perceived  and  admitted 
the  identity  of  "OA.V/XTTOS  and  the  upper  ov/mvos  in  the 
former  work.  Among  German  scholars,  Faesi  2  and 
Ihne3  have  expressed  themselves  in  this  sense,  and 
prominent  among  the  Scotch,  Professor  Geddes.4 
The  latter  says,  "  There  is  nothing  in  the  Odyssey 
which  obliges  us  to  think  of  Mount  Olympos."  Tes 
timony  from  such  a  quarter  is  of  course  all  the  more 

In  Homeric  thought,  then,  the  abode  of  the  gods 
was  where  we  should  antecedently  expect  to  find  it, 
namely,  in  the  heights  of  heaven.  Considered  with 
reference  to  the  august  sovereign  of  gods  and  men, 

1  Odyssey,  xiv.  393,  4. 

2  Note  on  Iliad,  i.  420,  and  in  Einleitung  to  the  Odyssey,  p.  xvii. 

3  Smith's  Dictionary  of  Biography,  Art.  "  Homer,"  p.  510. 

4  Op.  cit.,  §§  155,  156,  pp.  260-263.     Professor  Geddes'  elaborate 
argument  to  prove  that  "  the  Olympos  of  the  Achilleid  "  is  "  a  veri 
table  mountain,  and  that  in  Thessaly  "  is  entirely  inconclusive.     The 
use  of  a.y<ivvi(pos  no  more  necessitates  a  literal   interpretation  than 
does  a  poet's  application  of  the  term  "  snowy  "  to  a  living  bosom,  or 
"fleecy"  to  the  clouds.     So  iroXuirruxos  proves  nothing  at  all  to  his 
purpose,  since  Euripides  —  never  having  read  the  Professor's  instruc 
tive  statement,  "  The  epithet  TTOXVTTTVXOS,  applicable  only  to  mountains, 
is  a  sufficient  barrier  to  prevent  the  identification  with  ovpav6s  "  —  ap 
plies  it  again  and  again  to  many-strata-ed  Ouranos.     Even  the  Profes 
sor's  one  only  evidence   not  by  his  own  concession  merely  "presump 
tive,"  to  wit,  the  "great  simile"  of   the  Iliad,  book  xvi.  364,  tells 
against  rather  than  for  him,  for  the  oir'  OV\V/J.TTOV  veQos  cannot  pos 
sibly  come  alQepos  e/c  Sirjs  into  the  atmospheric  ovpav'bv  where  clouds 
move,  unless  Olympos  be  where  the  divine  ether  is,  high  above  the 
atmospheric  heavens.     Volckers  treatment  of  the  passage  is  so  ab 
surd  that  Geddes  does  not  even  attempt  to  follow  it.     Horn. 



the  polar  sky-arch  was  a  palace,  the  royal  residence, 
the  Sw/xa  or  So/xos  of  Zeus.1  Viewed  with  reference 
to  its  tints,  steel-blue  and  gold,  it  was  described  as 
metallic,  o-t8^peos,  x^A/ceos  and  TroA^aXKo?,  terms  which 
metallic  interpreters  like  Voss  and  Buchholz  and 
Bunbury  have  pushed  to  absolute  literalness.2  Con 
ceived  of  as  an  ethereal  height,  it  was  pictured  as 
a  heaven  -  high  mount,  "  snowy  "  as  its  own  white 
clouds.  Then  to  the  climbing  imagination,  mount 
ing  height  above  height  in  the  vain  attempt  to  reach 
the  summit,  the  mountain  became  alms  (II.,  v.  367, 
869 ;  xv.  84) ;  /xa/cpos  (II.,  i.  402,  and  in  ten  other  pas 
sages)  ;  TroAuoapas  (II.,  i.  499  ;  v.  754  ;  viii.  3)  ;  and 
TroAvTrrvxos  (II.,  viii.  411  ;  xx.  5).  This  last  descrip 
tion,  "  the  Olympos  of  many  layers,  or  thicknesses" 
is  peculiarly  expressive.  Instead  of  signifying  the 
"ridges"  of  a  mountain  or  range  of  mountains,  as 
Geddes  and  so  many  before  him  have  affirmed,  it 

1  The  house  of  Hephaistos  in  Olympos  is  plainly  styled  "  starry." 
Iliad,  xviii.  370,  comp.  with  146,  148.     Moreover,  Aristotle,  or  who 
ever  wrote  the  "  Letter  of  Aristotle  to  Alexander  on  the  System  of 
the  World,"  in  one  passage  expressly  identifies  Ouranos  and  Olympos, 
saying  that  for  diverse  etymological  reasons  we  call  the  outermost  cir 
cumference  of  heaven  by  both  names.    See  Flammarion,  Astronomical 
Myths,  or  History  of  the  Heavens,  p.  156.     Even  Volcker,  in  first  lay 
ing  down  the  thesis  which  has  so  misled  all  his  successors  ("dass 
Uranus  und  Olympus  nie  als  synonym  bei  Homer  gebraucht  wer- 
den  "),  frankly  confesses  that  this  is   "  gegen  die   bisher  allgemein 
gehegte  Meinung  ;  "  that  is,  "  contrary  to  the  opinion  hitherto  gen 
erally  held."     Homerische  Geog.,  p.  4.     With  gods  of  Homeric  size, 
a  single  one  of  whom  required  seven  acres  for  his  couch,  the  idea  of 
placing  the  whole  Olympian  Court  and  Gotterleben  on  the  sharp,  nar 
row,  clearly  visible  peak  in  Thessaly  is  ridiculous. 

2  Buchholz  (Horn.  Realien,  Bd.  i.  i,  p.  3)  declares  the  metaphorical 
interpretation  "  zu  gekiinstelt"  for  those  early  times,  and  roundly  as 
serts  that,  "  according  to  the  idea  of  the  Homeric  Greek,  heaven  is 
tine  metallene  Hohlkugel.""     He  should  have  added  that  to  the  same 
infantile  mind  Aphrodite  was  a  solid  gold  image  (Odyssey,  viii.  337)1 
and  the  voice  of  Achilles  (Iliad,  xviii.  222)  a  brass  projectile. 


pictures  that  world-old  conception  of  a  firmament, 
not  single-storied,  but  with  heaven  above  heaven, 
to  the  "third,"  or  the  "seventh,"  or  the  " ninth." 
These  heavens  were  conceived  of  by  Homer  him 
self  as  in  layers  one  above  another,  like  the  curved 
lamincs  (TTTVXO.I)  of  a  shield.1  And  what  adds  to  the 
fitness  of  the  comparison  and  to  the  fitness  of  the 
cosmic  adornment  of  Achilles'  shield  is  the  fact  that 
to  the  omphalos  of  a  shield  there  corresponded  the 
central  and  ever-abiding  Omphalos  of  the  Skies. 

5.  Finally,  our  larger  and  more  rational  interpre 
tation  of  Homeric  ideas  beautifully  explains  "  the 
tall  Pillars  of  Atlas,"  and  solves  the  multiform  per 
plexities  of  the  ruling  authorities  on  this  question. 

In  approaching  the  study  of  this  subject  several 
questions  occur  to  every  thoughtful  beginner,  the 
answers  to  which  he  can  nowhere  find.  For  in 
stance  :  How  can  Homer  speak  of  the  Pillars  of 
Atlas,  using  the  plural,  when  elsewhere  in  the  early 
Greek  mythology  the  representations  always  point 
to  only  one  ?  Again,  if  there  is  but  one,  and  that 
in  the  West,  near  the  Gardens  of  the  Hesperides,2 
what  corresponding  supports  sustain  the  sky  in  the 
East,  the  North,  and  the  South  ?  Or,  if  Atlas's  Pillar 

1  See  Homer's  own  rplirrvxos,  //.,  xi.  353,  in  just  this  sense.     Com 
pare  the  marvelous  description  in  Plato's  Republic,  616.     Depuis  had 
caught  the  right  idea  when  he  penned  the  words,  "POlympe,  compost 
de  plusieurs  couches  sphtriques."     Origine  de  Tous  les  Cults,  torn,  i.,  p. 
273.    So  a  recognition  of  the  fact  that  the  nine  subterranean,  or  south 
polar,  Mictlans,  or  abodes  of  the  dead,  of  the  Aztecs  were  simply 
the  counterparts  of  their  nine  celestial,  or  north  polar,  Tlalocans,  or 
heavens,  instantaneously  clears  up  the  long-standing  difficulties  of  the 
interpreters  of  that  mythology.     See  Bancroft,  Native  Races,  vol.  iii., 

PP-  532-537- 

2  Hesiod,  Theogony,  517.     Atlas  pflegt  immer  mit  den  Hespencien 
genannt  zu  werden.     Preller,  Griechische  Mythologie,  vol.  i.,  p.  348. 


is  only  one  of  many  similar  ones  supporting  heaven 
around  its  whole  periphery,  how  came  it  to  be  so 
much  more  famous  than  the  rest  ?  Or,  if  Homer's 
plural  indicates  that  all  of  them  belonged  to  Atlas, 
how  came  the  idea  of  one  Pillar  to  be  so  universally 
prevalent  ?  If  the  support  of  heaven  was  at  many 
points,  and  at  its  outermost  rim,  how  could  Hesiod 
venture  to  represent  the  whole  vault  as  poised  on 
Atlas's  head  and  hands  ? l  Again,  if  it  is  the  special 
function  of  Atlas,  or  of  his  Pillar,  to  stand  on  the 
solid  earth  and  hold  up  the  sky,  he  would  appear  to 
have  no  special  connection  with  the  sea  :  why,  then9 
should  Homer  introduce  the  strange  statement  that 
Atlas  "  knows  all  the  depths  of  the  sea "  ?  This 
certainly  seems  very  mysterious.  Again,  if  the  office 
of  the  Pillar  or  Pillars  is  to  prop  up  the  sky,  they 
of  course  sustain  different  relations  to  earth  and 
heaven.  They  bear  up  the  one,  and  are  themselves 
borne  up  by  the  other.  Yet,  singularly  enough,  Ho 
mer's  locus  classicus  places  them  in  exactly  the  same 
relation  to  the  two.2  Worse  than  this,  Pausanias 
unqualifiedly  and  repeatedly  asserts  that,  according 
to  the  myth,  Atlas  supports  upon  his  shoulders 
"  both  earth  and  heaven." 3  And  with  this  corre- 

1  Theogony,  747.     Moreover,  how  could  one   limited  being   have 
charge  of  so  many  and  so  widely  separated  pillars  ?    "  It  can  scarcely 
be  doubted  that  the  words  a/x^is  exoutnv,  Odyssey,  i.  54,  do  not  mean 
that  these  columns  surround  the  earth,  for  in  this  case  they  must  be 
not  only  many  in  number,  but  it  would  be  obvious  to  the  men  of  a 
myth-making  and  myth-speaking  age  that  a  being  stationed  in  one 
spot  could  not  keep  up,  or  hold,  or  guard,  a  number  of  pillars  sur 
rounding  either  a  square  or  a  circular  earth."     Cox,  Mythology  of  the 
Aryan  Nations.     London,  1870  :  vol.  i.,  p.  37  n. 

2  "  For  that  both  heaven  and  earth  are  meant,  not  heaven  alone, 
is  proved  by  various  poetic  passages,  and  by  other  testimonies."  — 
Preller,  Griechische  Mythologie,  vol.  i.,  p.  348. 

*  Book  v.  n,  2;  18,  i.     One  interpreter  makes  the  profound  sug* 


spends  the  language  of  ^Eschylus.1  But  what  sort 
of  a  poetic  imagination  is  this  which  represents  a 
mighty  column  as  upholding  not  only  a  vast  super 
incumbent  weight,  but  also,  and  at  the  same  time, 
its  own  pedestal  ?  Is  this  a  specimen  creation  of 
that  immortal  Hellenic  genius,  which  the  whole  mod 
ern  world  is  taught  almost  to  adore  ? 

Turning  to  the  authorities  in  textual  and  myth 
ological  interpretation,  our  beginner  finds  no  help. 
On  the  contrary,  their  wild  guesses  and  mutual 
contradictions  only  confuse  him  more  and  more. 
Volck,er  tells  him,  with  all  the  assuring  emphasis  of 
leaded  type,  that  "  in  Atlas  is  given  a  personification 
of  the  art  of  navigation,  the  conquest  of  the  sea  by 
means  of  human  skill,  by  commerce,  and  the  gains  of 
commerce."  2  Preller  instructs  him  to  reject  this 
view,  and  to  think  of  this  mysterious  son  of  lapetos 
as  a  "  sea-giant  representing  the  upbearing  and  sup 
porting  almightiness  of  the  ocean  in  contrast  with 
the  earth-shattering  might  of  Poseidon."3  The  clas 
sical  dictionaries  only  perplex  him  with  multitudi 
nous  puerilities  invented  by  ignorant  Euhemeristic 
scholiasts,  —  stories  to  the  effect  that  the  original 
Atlas  was  merely  the  astronomer  who  first  con 
structed  an  artificial  globe  to  represent  the  sky  ;  or 
that  he  was  a  Northwest  African,  who,  having  as 
cended  a  lofty  promontory  the  better  to  observe  the 
heavenly  bodies,  fell  off  into  the  sea,  and  so  gave 

gestion  that  in  Homer's  passage  the  yriv  is  "  added  by  a  zeugma  "  ! 
Merry  and  Riddell,  Odyssey,  i.  53. 

1  Prometheus  Sound,  349,  425  seq. 

2  Mythologie  des  Japetischen  Geschlechts,  p.  49  scq.     Followed  by 
K.  O.  Miiller,  Keightley,  Anthon,  and  many  others. 

3  Griechische  Mythologie,  vol.  i.,  pp.  32,  348.     Followed  by  Faesi 
and  called  by  Professor  Packard  "  the  usually  accepted." 


name  both  to  the  mountain  and  to  the  Atlantic 
Ocean.  Schoemann  does  not  profess  a  positive  and 
certain  understanding  of  the  matter,  but  suggests 
that  the  mysterious  Titan  was  in  all  probability 
"originally  a  gigantic  mountain-god"  of  some  sort.1 

Bryant  at  first  makes  Atlas  a  mountain  support 
ing  a  temple  or  temple-cave,  called  Co-el,  house  of 
God,  whence  "the  Coelus  of  the  Romans,"  vol.  L, 
p.  274.  In  the  next  volume,  however,  he  says  that 
"  under  the  name  of  Atlas  is  meant  the  Atlantians." 
And  quoting  the  Odyssey,  he  translates  thus  :  "  They 
[the  Atlantians]  had  also  long  Pillars,  or  obelisks, 
which  referred  to  the  sea,  and  upon  which  was  deline 
ated  the  whole  system  both  of  heaven  and  earth  ;  d/x^is, 
all  aroiuid,  both  on  the  front  of  the  obelisk  and  on  the 
other  sides'.'  2 

If  our  investigator  asks,  as  did  an  ancient  gram 
marian,  how  Atlas  could  stand  on  the  earth  and 
support  heaven  on  his  head,  if  heaven  was  so  far 
removed  that  an  anvil  would  require  nine  days  and 
nights  in  which  to  fall  through  the  distance,  Paley 
kindly  explains  that  "  the  poet's  notion  doubtless 
was  that  Atlas  held  up  the  sky  near  its  junction 
with  earth  in  the  far  West."  3  In  this  case,  of  course, 
a  reasonably  short  giant  would  answer  the  purpose. 
If,  after  all  his  consultations  of  authorities,  our  youth 
is  still  unsatisfied,  and  to  make  a  last  effort  for  light 
turns  to  the  illustrious  Welcker,  he  learns  as  an  im- 

1  G.  F.  Schoemann,  Die  hesiodische  Theogonie  ausgelegt.      Berlin, 
1868  :  p.  207. 

2  Analysis  of  Ancient  Mythology.     London,  1807:  vol.  ii.,  91. 

8   The  Epics  of  Hesiod,  p.  229.    On  the  other  hand,  another  English 
interpreter  would  give  us  a  giant  with  shoulders  as  broad  as  the  whole 
heaven,  and  translate  &/*</>}$  flgewu' "  which  support  at  either  side; 
t.  e.,  at  the  East  and  West."     Merry  and  Riddell,  Odyssey,  i.  53. 


portant  final  lesson  that  when  an  ancient  author 
says  "heaven  and  earth,"  it  is  not  for  a  moment  to 
be  supposed  that  he  literally  means  "  heaven  and 
earth,"  and  that,  if  they  had  remembered  this,  wri 
ters  on  mythology  would  have  spared  themselves  "  a 
vast  amount  of  brain -racking  and  ineffectual  pro- 
&K&-contra  pleading."  1  With  this  as  the  sole  out 
come  of  all  his  researches,  may  not  a  beginner  well 
despair  of  ever  getting  any  knowledge  of  the  mean 
ing  of  the  myth,  if,  indeed,  he  can  still  imagine  it 
to  have  had  a  meaning  ? 

Here,  as  everywhere,  the  truth  at  once  explains 
and  removes  all  the  difficulties  which  a  false  and 
groundless  presupposition  has  created. 

Once  conceive  of  the  Homeric  world  as  we  have 
reconstructed  it,  and  how  clear  and  beautiful  the 
conception  of  the  Pillars  of  Atlas  becomes  !  They 
are  simply  the  upright  axes  of  earth  and  heaven. 
Viewed  in  their  relation  to  earth  and  heaven  respec 
tively,  they  are  two  ;  but  viewed  in  reference  to  the 
universe  as  an  undivided  whole,  they  are  one  and  the 
same.  Being  coincident,  they  are  truly  one,  and  yet 
they  are  ideally  separable.  Hence  singular  or  plural 
designations  are  equally  correct  and  equally  fitting. 
Transpiercing  the  globe  at  the  very  "  navel  or  centre 
of  the  sea,"  Atlas's  Pillar  penetrates  far  deeper  than 
any  recess  of  the  waters'  bed,  and  he  may  well  be 
said  to  "know  the  depths  of  the  whole  sea."  Or 
this  statement  may  have  reference  to  that  primordial 

1  "  Viel  Kopfbrechens  und  vergeblichen  Hin-und  Herredens  hat 
der  Ausdruck  des  Pausanias  gemacht  eVi  TWJ/  &p.<av  KO.TCI  TO  \€y6/u€va 
ovpavdv  re  dWx*i  fol  rfv*  der  auch  bei  dem  Gemalde  von  Pananos 
(5,  ii,  2)  wiederkehrt :  ovpavbv  Kal  yrjv  <W%ajj/  TrapeVrTj/ce,  indem  man 
ovpavbv  Kal  yr)v  buchstablich  verstehen  zu  miissen  glaubte."  —  Gr. 
Gotterlehre,  vol.  i.,  pp.  746,  747. 


sea  in  which  his  Pillar  was  standing  when  the  geo- 
gonic  and  cosmogonic  process  began.  In  this  sense 
how  appropriate  and  significant  would  it  have  been 
if  applied  to  Izanagi ! 1 

Again,  the  association  of  Atlas  with  the  Gardens 
of  the  Hesperides,  so  far  from  disproving  our  inter 
pretation,  actually  affords  new  confirmation,  since 
^Eschylus,  Pherecydes,  and  the  oldest  traditions 
locate  the  Hesperides  themselves,  not  in  the  West, 
but  in  the  extreme  North,  beyond  the  Rhiphaean 
Mountains,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Hyperboreans.2 
In  fact,  there  are  very  strong  reasons  for  believing 
that  these  Gardens  of  the  Hesperides  were  nothing 
other  than  the  starry  gardens  of  the  circumpolar 
sky ;  that  therefore  the  Hesperides  were  called 
the  "  Daughters  of  Night,"  and  that  the  great  ser- 

1  Compare  the  Vedic  statement,  "  He  who  knows  the  Golden  Reed 
standing  in  the  waters  is  the  mysterious  Prajapati."     Muir,  Sanskrit 
Texts,  vol.   iv.,   p.  21.     Garrett,    Classical  Dictionary  of  India,  Art. 
"  Skambha."     Still  another  explanation  is  suggested  by  the  Rig-Veda, 
x.  149  :  "  Savitri  has  established  the  earth  by  supports  ;  Savitri  has 
fixed  the  sky  in  unsupported  space  ;  Savitri,  the  son  of  the  waters, 
knows  the  place  where  the  ocean   supported  issued  forth."     Muir, 
Sanskrit  Texts,  vol.  iv.,  p.  no  (comp.  Ludwig's  German  version).    Ac 
cording  to  this,  he  would  be  conceived  of  as  knowing  the  depths  of 
the  whole  ocean,  because  its  celestial  springs  are  about  his  head,  and 
its  lowest  depths  at  his  feet.  —  Since  the  foregoing  was  first  printed 
the  author  has  met  with  the  remarkable  diagram,  published  four  hun 
dred  years  ago  in  the  Magarita  Philosophica,  in  which  Atlas  is  repre 
sented  as  a  venerable  man,  with  his  feet  at  the  inferior  and  his  head 
at  the  superior  Pole  of  the  heavens,  precisely  according  to  our  inter 
pretation.     A  reproduction  of  it  can  be  seen  in  Flammarion,  Astro 
nomical  Myths,  p.  150.     See,  moreover,  Aristophanes,  Aves,  180  foil., 
for  the  significant  etymology  of  ir6\os. 

2  Preller,  Griechische  My'.hologie,  vol.  ii.,  p.  149.     Volcker,  Mytholo- 
gisc/ie  Geographic,  pp.  133  seq.     Wolfgang  Menzel,  Die  vorchristliche 
Unsterblichkeitslehre,  vol.  i.,   p.  98.     On   "/a   Colonne  dite  Bortale," 
spoken  of  by  a  Greek  geographer  B.  c.  275,  see  Beauvais,  Revue  de 
VHistoirc  des  Religions.     Paris,  1883  :  p.  711  n.     Comp.  p.  700. 


pent  which  assisted  the  nymphs  in  watching  "  the 
golden  apples  "  was  none  other  than  the  constella 
tion  Draco,  whose  brilliant  constituent  Alpha,  the 
astronomer's  Thuban,  was,  less  than  fifty  centuries 
ago,  the  Pole-star  of  our  heaven.1 

Once  more,  our  interpretation  perfectly  harmo 
nizes  the  passages  which  represent  Atlas  as  a  heaven- 
supporter  with  those  which  represent  him  as  equally 
supporting  earth.  More  than  this,  it  reveals  the  cu 
rious  fact  that  Homer's  description  of  the  tall  Pillars 
of  Atlas  identifies  them  with  the  axes  of  earth  and 
heaven  so  unmistakably  that,  in  order  to  blunder 
into  the  common  mistranslation  of  it,  it  was  first 
necessary  to  invent,  and  get  the  lexicographers  to 
adopt,  a  span-new  special  meaning  for  the  words 
d/x,<£is  ex€U/>  —  a  meaning  necessitated  by  no  other  pas 
sage  in  the  whole  body  of  Homeric  Greek.  Homer's 
beautifully  explicit  language  is,  — 

e%ei  Se  re  Kiovas  avrbs 
fiaKpds,  a?  ycudv  re  nal  ovpa.v'bv  a.p.<p\s  exovffiv' 

"Who,  of  his  own  right,  possesses  the  tall  Pillars 
which  have  around  them  earth  and  heaven."  2  No 
where  in  Homeric,  if  indeed  in  any  ancient  Greek, 
does  the  expression  mean  "to  prop  asunder"  3 

Finally,  as  to  the  supposed  difficulty  of  imagining 
a  heaven-upholder  so  tall  that  it  would  take  a  brazen 
anvil  nine  days  and  nights  to  fall  from  his  head  to 
his  feet,  if  Professor  Paley  had  remembered  San- 
dalfon,  the  Talmudic  Atlas,  he  would  hardly  have 

1  Gustav  Schlegel,   Uranographie  Chinoise.     La  Haye,  1875  :   PP» 
506,  507,  685. 

2  Compare  Odyssey,  xv.  184. 

3  Buttmann  (Lexilogus,  English  translation,  5th  ed.,  pp.  94-104)  is 
no  more  successful  in  showing  such  a  meaning  than  are  the  older  dic 


thought  it  necessary  to  locate  the  Hesiodic  one  on 
the  edge  of  the  earth  where  the  sky  is  low.  Of  San- 
dalfon,  Rabbi  Eliezer  has  said,  "  There  is  an  angel 
who  standeth  on  earth,  and  reacheth  with  his  head 
to  the  door  of  heaven.  It  is  taught  in  the  Mishna 
that  he  is  called  Sandalfon ;  he  exceedeth  his  com 
panions  as  much  in  height  as  one  can  walk  in  five 
hundred  years,  and  that  he  stands  behind  the  chariot 
[Charles's  Wain]  and  twisteth  or  bindeth  the  gar 
lands  for  his  Creator."  1 

Atlas's  Pillar,  then,  is  the  axis  of  the  world.  It  is 
the  same  Pillar  apostrophized  in  the  Egyptian  docu 
ment  known  as  the  great  Harris  Magic  Papyrus,  in 
these  unmistakable  words  :  "  O  long  Column,  which 
commences  in  the  upper  and  in  the  lower  heav 
ens!"2  It  is,  with  scarce  a  doubt,  what  the  same 
ancient  people  in  their  Book  of  the  Dead  so  happily 
styled  "the  Spine  of  the  Earth."3  It  is  the  Rig- 
Veda's  vieltragende  Achse  des  unaufhaltsam  sick 
drelienden,  nie  alternden,  nie  morscliwerdenden,  durch 
den  Lauf  der  Zeiten  nicht  abgenutzten  Weltrads,  auf 
ivelchem  ALLE  WESEN  STEHEN.4  It  is  the  Umbrella- 
staff  of  Burmese  cosmology,  the  Churning-stick  of 
India's  gods  and  demons.  It  is  the  Trunk  of  every 
cosmical  Tree.5  It  is  the  shadowless  Lance  of  Alex- 

1  Eisenmenger,  Entdecktes  Judenthum,  Bd.  ii.,  p.  402  (Eng.,  vol.  ii., 
p.  97).     In  all  ancient  cosmologies  "  the  door  of  heaven  "  is  at  the 
North  Pole.     Sacred  Books  of  the  East,  vol.  i.,  pp.  36,  37. 

2  Records  of  the   Past,  vol.   x.,  p.   152.     Other  references   to  the 
Heaven-supporting  Pillar  may  be   seen  in  Brugsch,    Thesaurus  In- 
scriptionum  ALgyptiacarum,  1.82,83,  87,   177  et  passim.     Comp.  fig. 
opposite  p.  175,  and  fig.  No.  12,  p.  124. 

3  Chap,  cxlii. 

4  Rig  Veda,  i.  164.     Grassmann  and  Ludwig. 

6  Ludwig,  in  his  version  of  the  Veda,  finds  repeated  occasion  for 
the  use  of  the  expression  "  Stengel  der  Welt:'1 


ander ;  the  tortoise-piercing  (earth-piercing)  Arrow 
of  the  Mongolian  heaven-god  ;  the  Spear  of  Izanagi ; 
the  Hacha  de  Cobre  on  which  the  heavens  of  the 
Miztecs  rested.1  It  is  the  Cord  which  the  ancient 
Vedic  bard  saw  stretched  from  one  side  of  the  uni 
verse  to  the  other.2  Is  it  not  the  Psalmist's  "Line" 
of  the  heavens  which  "  is  gone  out  through  "  the 
very  "  earth  "  and  on  "to  the  end  of  the  world  "? 
It  is  the  Irminsul  of  the  Germans,  as  expressly  rec 
ognized  by  Grimm.  It  is  the  Tower  of  Kronos.  It 
is  Plato's  Spindle  of  Necessity.  It  is  the  Azacol  of 
the  North  African  Sunis.  It  is  the  Ladder  with 
seven  lamps  in  the  rites  of  Mithra.  It  is  the  Tal- 
mudic  Pillar  which  connects  the  Paradise  celestial 
and  the  Paradise  terrestrial. 

In  the  foregoing  discussions  of  Homeric  cosmol 
ogy  we  have  had  a  sufficient  exhibition  of  the  cause 
and  cure  of  current  —  malpractice  shall  we  call  it? 
—  on  the  part  of  interpreters  of  Homeric  poetry. 
Their  baseless  assumptions  and  blunders  have  been 
renewed  and  multiplied  in  nearly  every  field  of  ar 
chaeology,  —  Assyrian,  Egyptian,  Hebrew,  Persian, 
Indian.  Whithersoever  "modern  research"  has  gone 
it  has  carried  with  it,  as  a  kind  of  first  principle  and 
rule  of  interpretation,  the  assumption  that  the  early 
nations  cannot  possibly  have  known  anything  about 
the  world,  beyond  what  undeveloped  tribes  and  peo- 

1  F.   Gregorio    Garcia,    Origen   de   los   Indios  del  Nuevo   Mundo. 
Madrid,  1729:  p.  337.     Here,  the  "pole-axe"  of  ignorance  has  sup 
planted  the  pole-axis  of  ancient  science.     Bancroft,  Native  Races,  vol, 
iii.,  p.  71.     Compare  the  "  Golden  Splinter"  of  Manco  Capac.     Re- 
rille,  Hibbert  Lectures,  1884  :  p.  131. 

2  Rig  Veda,  x.  129,  5. 


pies  would  of  necessity  observe  within  their  own  con 
tracted  boundaries.  The  inconsistencies  of  igno 
rance  and  of  half-knowledge  and  of  an  undisciplined, 
"  child-like "  imagination  are  therefore  to  be  ex 
pected  at  every  step.  Even  the  squarest  contradic 
tions  must  not  surprise.  Indeed,  in  respect  to  Ho 
mer,  the  learned  Sengebusch  has  actually  formulated 
the  universal  proposition  that  the  results  of  investi 
gations  in  different  departments  of  Homeric  study 
"will  always  be  found  to  contradict  each  other."1 
In  view  of  the  accepted  modern  results  of  investi 
gation  into  Homer's  cosmology  one  is  tempted  to 
justify  the  proposition,  only  qualifying  it  in  a  mild 
degree,  as  follows :  The  results  of  all  Homeric  inves 
tigations  based  upon  the  assumption  that  Homer 
was  too  "primitive"  a  man  to  know  where  the  sun 
sets  will  always  be  found  self-contradictory. 

Against  all  such  barbarizing  misinterpretation  of 
ancient  literature  it  is  high  time  that  a  protest 
should  be  heard.  Long  enough  has  the  beauty  and 
the  breadth  of  ancient  thought,  in  poetry  and  myth 
and  even  in  word-building,  been  obscured  and  hid 
den  by  this  conceited  assumption  of  the  modern 
teacher.  It  was  bad  enough  when  the  old  gramma 
rians,  assuming  that  Homer  could  have  had  no  idea 
of  other  than  the  nearest  waters,  mutilated  the 
grand  proportions  of  the  Odyssey  to  fit  the  voyag- 
ings  of  its  hero  into  the  western  basin  of  the  Med 
iterranean,  or,  worse  yet,  into  the  Euxine.2  But 
this,  after  all,  was  an  altogether  pardonable  offense 

1  Hoffmann,  Homerische  Untersuchungen,  vol.  i.,  p.  30. 

2  Mr.  W.  J.  Stillman,  in  the   The  Century  Magazine  for  1884,  has 
just  resketched  in  this  antiquated  fashion  "  The  Track  of  Ulysses," 
confessing,  however,  that  for  his  location  of  the  all-decisive  Ogygia 
"  there  is  no  evidence  :  "  pp.  562,  563.     See  his  map. 


compared  with  the  currently  accepted  procedure  of 
scholars,  who,  brought  up  apparently  on  magazines 
of  popular  science,  and  imagining  that  Columbus 
was  the  first  man  to  whom  the  idea  ever  occurred 
that  the  earth  is  round,  approach  the  study  of  antiq 
uity  merely  as  the  study  of  an  older  department  of 
barbarian  folk-lore.  Surely  it  is  time  to  investigate 
the  great  creations  of  ancient  mind  in  a  different 
spirit.1  It  is  nothing  short  of  deplorable  to  consider 
the  mass  of  senseless  argument  and  false  explana 
tion  annually  crowded  into  the  memories  of  succes 
sive  classes  of  academic  and  collegiate  youth,  —  ar 
guments  and  explanations  which  neither  to  teacher 
nor  taught  have  even  the  poor  merit  of  intelligently 
illustrating  the  evils  of  wrong  principles  of  classical 
hermeneutics.  The  discussions  and  results  of  the 
present  treatise  have  at  least  disclosed  a  conceivable 
beginning  of  human  history,  according  to  which  the 
early  generations  of  men  can  hardly  have  failed  to 
acquire  that  knowledge  of  the  mechanism  of  the 
heavens  which  all  the  oldest  traditions  of  the  race 
ascribe  to  them.2  And  if,  in  consequence  of  the 

1  "  Je  tiefer  Dr.  Schliemann  bei  Troja  grub,  desto  hohere  Cultur 
liess  sich  aus  den  Funden  erschliessen  ;  so  konnen  auch  wir  sagen,  je 
alter  die  Nachrichten  sich  zeigen,  desto  grossere  Bildung  der  Vorfah- 
ren  verrathen  sie."     Anton  Krichenbauer,  Beilrage  zur  homerischen 
Uranographie ,  Wien,  1874,  p.   13.     Comp.  68,    69   et  passim.     The 
statement  has  reference  to  astronomical  science  among  the  earliest 

2  "  Among  the  Jews  there  are  traditions  of  a  very  high  antiquity 
for  their  astronomy.    Josephus  says  :  '  God  prolonged  the  life  of  the 
patriarchs  that  preceded  the  Deluge,  both  on  account  of  their  virtues 
and  to  give  them  the  opportunity  of  perfecting  the  sciences  of  geom 
etry  and  astronomy,  which  they  had  discovered ;  which  they  could 
not  have  done  if  they  had  not  lived  600  years,  because  it  is  only  after 
the  lapse  of  600  years  that  the  great  year  is  accomplished.' 

"  Now,  what  is  this  great  year  or  cycle  of  600  years  ?     M.  Cassini, 


acceptance  or  even  the  discussion  of  the  proffered 
results,  the  eyes  of  scholars  shall  at  last  once  more 
be  directed  to  the  study  of  the  great  literary  and 
other  art-works  of  ancient  mind  in  a  new  and  more 
modest  spirit,  the  gains  which  are  sure  to  accrue 
therefrom  will  be  neither  few  nor  small. 

the  director  of  the  Observatory  of  Paris,  has  discussed  it  astronom 
ically.  He  considers  it  as  a  testimony  of  the  high  antiquity  of  their  as 
tronomy.  '  This  period,'  he  says, '  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  that 
have  been  discovered  ;  for  if  we  take  the  lunar  month  to  be  29  days, 
12  h.  44  m.  3.,  we  find  that  219,146^  days  make  7,421  lunar  months,  and 
that  this  number  of  days  gives  600  solar  years  of  365  days,  5  h.  51  m. 
36  s/  If  this  year  was  in  use  before  the  Deluge,  it  appears  very  proba 
ble,  it  must  be  confessed,  that  the  patriarchs  were  already  acquainted 
to  a  considerable  degree  of  accuracy  with  the  motions  of  the  stars,  for 
this  lunar  month  agrees  to  a  second,  almost,  with  that  which  has  been 
determined  by  modem  astronomers."  —  Flammarion,  Astronomical 
Myths.  Paris,  p.  26. 



The  more  I  search  into  the  ancient  history  of  the  world,  the  more  I  am  convinced 
that  the  cultivated  nations  commenced  with  a  purer  -worship  of  the  Supreme  Be 
ing  ;  that  the  magic  influence  of  Nature  upon  the  imaginations  of  the  hitman  race 
afterward  produced  polytheism,  and  at  length  entirely  obscured  spiritual  concep 
tions  of  religion  in  the  belief  of  the  people .  —  A.  W.  VON  SCHLEGEL. 

La  pretendue  evolution  de  la  vie  sauvage,  telle  que  la  dtcrit  Vecole  naturaliste 
en  la  considerant  comme  le  premier  degre  du  developpement  de  I"1  humanity  a  deux 
grands  defauts :  elle  part  de  trop  bas,  et  elle  s^eleve  trap  haut  ;  car  il  lui  est  im 
possible  d^expliquer  les  pr ogres  qu'elle  constate  dans  rhumanite,  une  fois  qu'elle 
la  fait  debuter  par  la  bestialite  complete.  —  E.  DE  PRESSENS& 

THERE  is  another  class  of  investigations  of  re 
markable  present  interest,  —  investigations  lying 
partly  in  the  anthropological  and  partly  in  the 
theological  field  of  research,  —  on  which  the  discus 
sions  and  results  of  the  present  treatise  have  a  most 
important  bearing.  They  are  the  questions  which 
relate  to  the  Origin,  the  Primordial  Form,  and  the 
true  History  of  Religion. 

Such  light  is  greatly  needed  at  the  present  time. 
As  we  have  seen,  all  the  most  ancient  traditions  of 
the  race  represent  mankind  as  having  commenced 
existence  in  a  divine  fellowship,  and  as  having  lost 
this  holy  and  blessed  estate  only  through  sin.  This 
view  of  the  Origin  of  Religion  has  prevailed  from 
the  beginning  of  traceable  history  among  all  nations 
of  the  earth,  varying  only  to  such  slight  extent  as 
would  permit  polytheistic  peoples  to  conceive  of  the 


primeval  divine  fellowship  polytheistically,  and  the 
monotheistic  peoples  monotheistically.  To  a  mono- 
theist  it  is  significant  that  several  of  the  ancient 
nations,  representing  widely  differing  races,  as  for 
example  the  Egyptians,  the  Persians,  and  the  Chi 
nese,  seem  to  have  been  more  monotheistic  in  their 
earliest  traceable  conceptions  of  religion  than  in 
their  later  and  latest  creed  and  practice.  But  with 
out  dwelling  upon  this,  it  may  be  stated  as  a  broad 
and  impressive  fact  that,  with  the  exception  of  a  few 
speculative  authors,  nearly  all  of  whom  have  lived 
since  the  middle  of  the  last  century,  the  solid  tra 
ditional  belief  of  the  whole  human  family  in  every 
age  of  the  world  has  been  that  man  began  his  exist 
ence  pure  and  sinless,  and  in  conscious  and  intelli 
gent  divine  communion.1  This  is  the  pan-ethnic 
no  less  than  the  Biblical  doctrine  of  the  Origin  and 
First  Form  of  Religion  among  men. 

It  was  remarked  a  moment  ago  that  at  the  pres 
ent  time  new  light  is  greatly  needed  on  this  ques 
tion.  The  need  is  special  for  the  reason  that  for 
about  a  hundred  years  past  certain  speculative 
minds,  oblivious  of  the  early  history  of  mankind,  ig 
noring  the  sacred  books  of  all  nations,  despising  the 
consentaneous  convictions  of  all  peoples,  and  more 
or  less  ridiculing  the  very  idea  on  which  religion 
itself  is  based,  —  namely,  the  idea  of  the  existence 
and  action  of  extra-human  and  super-human  per 
sonalities,  —  have  undertaken  to  set  aside  the  view 
which  we  have  above  described  as  the  pan-ethnic 
doctrine  of  the  Origin  of  Religion,  and  to  substitute 

1  Compare  Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  History,  ch.  ii.  The  Duke 
of  Argyll's  Unity  of  Nature.  London,  1884  :  chapters  xi.,  xii.,  and 


for  it  some  other  explanation,- so  framed  as  to  make 
it  appear  that  religion  originated  from  man  himself, 
apart  from  any  divine  manifestation,  or  teaching,  or 
impulse  whatsoever.  The  result  has  been  a  succes 
sion  of  crude  speculations,  inadequate  in  their  prem 
ises  and  contradictory  in  their  respective  conclu 
sions.  Professing  unusual  philosophic  candor,  aided 
by  the  interest  which  always  attends  novel  attempts 
to  set  aside  the  beliefs  of  ages  ;  adapting  themselves 
to  every  class  of  readers,  and  especially  to  all  the  suc 
cessively  ruling  fashions  in  non-religious  and  irrelig 
ious  current  speculation,  these  writers  have  at  last 
not  only  wrought  a  perfect  confusion  in  this  portion 
of  the  Philosophy  of  Religion,  but  have  furthermore 
so  degraded  and  bestialized  their  readers'  concep 
tion  of  primitive  humanity,  and  so  outraged  all  prob 
ability  in  their  descriptions  of  primitive  savagery, 
that  even  from  biological  and  sociological  sides  a 
strong  reaction  has  already  set  in. 

It  will  be  instructive  briefly  to  review  the  history 
of  these  speculations,  and  to  note  the  successive 
stages  of  ever-deepening  error  and  the  mutual  con 
tradiction  of  their  much-admired  results. 

The  first  of  them  of  any  note  was  David  Hume, 
the  English  deist  and  champion  of  philosophic  doubt. 
In  his  "  Natural  History  of  Religion  "  (published  in 
1755),  he  lays  down  this  as  his  first  and  fundamen 
tal  proposition  :  "  Polytheism  was  the  primary  re 
ligion  of  mankind." 

His  first  argument  in  support  of  this  thesis  is  an 
appeal  to  the  evidence  of  post-christian  history.  He 
puts  it  thus  :  - 

"  It  is  a  matter  of  fact,  incontestable,  that  about 
1700  years  ago  all  mankind  were  polytheists.  The 


doubtful  and  skeptical  principles  of  a  few  philoso 
phers,  or  the  theism  —  and  that  not  entirely  too  pure 
—  of  one  or  two  nations,  form  no  objection  worth  re 
garding.  Behold,  then,  the  clear  testimony  of  history. 
The  farther  we  mount  into  antiquity  the  more  do  we 
find  mankind  plunged  into  polytheism.  No  marks,  no 
symptoms,  of  any  more  perfect  religion.  The  most 
ancient  records  of  the  human  race  still  present  us 
with  that  system  as  the  popular  and  established 
creed.  The  North,  the  South,  the  East,  the  West, 
give  their  unanimous  testimony  to  the  same  fact. 
What  can  be  opposed  to  so  full  an  evidence  ? " 

The  force  of  this  passage  consists  almost  ex 
clusively  in  its  cool  positiveness  of  dogmatic  asser 
tion.  Plainly,  the  condition  of  the  majority  of  man 
kind  1700  years  ago  affords  no  just  criterion  by 
which  to  judge  of  the  condition  of  the  race  thou 
sands  of  years  before  that.  Indeed,  to  any  believer 
in  historic  evolution  of  any  sort,  it  would  seem  an 
tecedently  certain  that  the  condition  of  men  several 
thousand  years  after  the  commencement  of  their  ex 
istence  must  be  very  different  indeed  from  their 
primitive  condition.  But,  furthermore,  he  grants 
that  1700  years  ago  the  prevalence  of  polytheism 
was,  after  all,  not  universal ;  there  were  "  one  or 
two  nations "  of  theists,  and  even  philosophers  in 
other  nations,  who  doubted  the  truth  of  polytheism. 
It  was  absurd,  therefore,  to  talk  of  "  the  unanimous 
testimony  "  of  North  and  South,  East  and  West. 

The  second  point  urged  by  Hume  is  the  improb 
ability  of  the  supposition  that  "  a  barbarous,  ne 
cessitous  animal,  such  as  man  is,  on  the  first  origin 
of  society,"  a  being  "  pressed  by  such  numerous 
wants  and  passions,"  should  have  had  either  the 


disposition,  or  the  capacity,  or  the  leisure,  so  to 
study  "the  order  and  frame  of  the  universe  "  as  im 
mediately  to  be  led  "  into  the  pure  principles  of 
theism."  He  grants  that  a  careful  and  philosophic 
consideration  of  the  unity  and  order  of  the  natu 
ral  world  is  sufficient  to  conduct  one  to  an  assured 
belief  in  the  being  of  one  Supreme  and  Almighty 
Creator,  but  he  says,  "  I  can  never  think  that  this 
consideration  could  have  an  influence  on  mankind 
when  they  formed  their  first  rude  notions  of  re 
ligion."  Assuming  that  the  first  men  must  nec 
essarily  have  been  "  an  ignorant  multitude,"  he 
says,  — 

"  It  seems  certain  that,  according  to  the  natural 
progress  of  human  thought,  the  ignorant  multitude 
must  first  entertain  some  groveling  and  familiar 
notion  of  superior  powers  before  they  stretch  their 
conception  to  that  perfect  Being  who  bestowed  order 
on  the  whole  frame  of  nature/' 

The  force  of  this  argument  it  is  difficult  to  see. 
It  all  rests  upon  two  assumptions:  first,  the  assump 
tion  that  the  first  men  were  the  lowest  barbarians, — 
to  use  his  own  words,  "  barbarous,  necessitous  an 
imals  ; "  and,  secondly,  the  assumption  that  there 
was,  apart  from  the  philosophic  study  of  nature,  no 
other  way  in  which  they  could  have  obtained  a  belief 
in  the  existence  of  the  Creator.  As  no  religionist  of 
any  age  has  ever  admitted  these  assumptions,  and 
as  Hume  adduces  no  particle  of  proof  for  either  of 
them,  this  part  of  his  argument  is  surely  quite  un 
worthy  of  a  professed  philosopher. 

His  next  and  last  point  is  the  impossibility  of  the 
loss  of  the  monotheistic  faith  if  it  had  once  been 
reached  by  the  earliest  men.  He  says,  — 


"If  men  were  at  first  led  into  the  belief  of  one 
superior  Being  by  reason-ing  from  the  frame  of  na 
ture,  they  could  never  possibly  leave  [have  left]  that 
belief  in  order  to  embrace  polytheism  ;  but  the  same 
principles  of  reason  which  at  first  produced  and  dif 
fused  over  mankind  so  magnificent  an  opinion  must 
be  [have  been]  able,  with  greater  facility,  to  pre 
serve  it.  The  first  invention  and  proof  of  any  doc 
trine  is  much  more  difficult  than  the  supporting  and 
retaining  of  it." 

Here  our  author  appears  to  even  poorer  advan 
tage  than  in  either  of  his  former  arguments.  In 
the  first  place,  as  before,  he  ignores  the  possibility 
of  supposing  a  knowledge  of  God  by  means  of  a  di 
vine  self-manifestation,  thus  covertly  misrepresent 
ing  or  evading  the  only  point  in  debate.  In  the  sec 
ond  place,  the  assertion  that  if  the  first  men  had 
attained  to  a  pure  theism  they  never  could  have  left 
it  and  become  polytheists  should  be  compared  with 
his  own  later  assertions  in  Section  viii.  of  the  same 
treatise,  where  he  describes  what  he  himself  calls 
the  "Flux  and  Reflux  of  Polytheism  and  Theism." 
This  section  opens  thus  :  — 

"  It  is  remarkable  that  the  principles  of  religion 
have  a  kind  of  flux  and  reflux  in  the  human  mind, 
and  that  men  have  a  natural  tendency  to  rise  from 
idolatry  to  theism,  and  to  sink  again  from  theism 
into  idolatry." 

The  author  then  states  his  well-known  theory  of 
the  origin  of  polytheism  as  the  first  form  of  religion, 
and  his  theory  of  the  rise  of  monotheism  out  of 
polytheism.  But  when  a  people  have  thus  reached 
a  belief  in  a  God  possessed  of  "the  attributes  of 
unity  and  affinity,  simplicity  and  spirituality,"  there 


comes  —  so  he  declares  —  a  natural  relapse  into 
polytheism.  The  explanation  of  this  is  given  in 
these  words :  — 

"  Such  refined  ideas  [as  those  of  pure  monothe 
ism],  being  somewhat  disproportioned  to  vulgar  com 
prehension,  remain  not  long  in  their  original  purity, 
but  require  to  be  supported  by  the  notion  of  inferior 
mediators  or  subordinate  agents,  which  interpose 
between  mankind  and  their  supreme  deity.  These 
demi-gods,  or  middle  beings,  partaking  more  of  hu 
man  nature,  and  being  more  familiar  to  us,  become 
the  chief  objects  of  devotion.  .  .  .  But  as  these 
idolatrous  religions  fall  every  day  into  grosser  and 
more  vulgar  corruptions,  they  at  last  destroy  them 
selves,  and  by  the  vile  representations  which  they 
form  of  their  duties  make  the  tide  turn  again  toward 

Thus  monotheism  and  polytheism  are,  to  Hume, 
two  opposites,  between  which  the  human  mind  for 
ever  oscillates.  This  being  so,  it  is  plain  that  this 
oscillation  is  grounded  in  reason,  or  it  is  not.  If  it 
is  grounded  in  reason,  then  primitive  men  may  have 
reasoned  their  way  into  monotheism  as  their  first 
religious  faith,  and  still  have  relapsed  into  polythe 
ism  as  the  natural  and  rational  reaction.  On  the 
other  hand,  if  the  oscillation  is  not  grounded  in  rea 
son,  then,  as  by  his  own  account  all  later  religious 
states  of  mankind  have  been  unreasonable,  the  first 
may  have  been  altogether  different  from  what  Hume 
would  have  considered  rational ;  that  is,  may  have 
been  a  state  of  pure  monotheism. 

Such  was  Hume's  attempted  demonstration  of 
the  primitiveness  of  polytheism,  and  the  whole 
of  it. 


Five  years  later,  in  1760,  De  Brosses,  one  of  Vol 
taire's  correspondents,  published  his  crude  but  note 
worthy  book  on  "  The  Worship  of  Fetiches ;  or, 
Parallel  of  the  Ancient  Religion  of  Egypt  with  the 
Present  Religion  of  Nigritia."  This  was  the  writer 
who  first  gave  currency  to  the  word  "  fetichism," 
and  who  first  postulated  it  as  the  invariable  ante 
cedent  of  polytheism.  De  Brosses,  however,  was  a 
professed  believer  in  primeval  divine  revelation,  and 
he  made  the  Hebrews  an  exception  to  his  general 
claim  that  all  ancient  nations  began  with  fetichism, 
rose  thence  to  polytheism,  and  tended  thence  to 
ward  monotheism.  In  the  early  part  of  the  present 
century,  however,  Auguste  Comte,  ignoring  any  pri 
meval  revelation,  elevated  De  Brosses'  generaliza 
tion  into  an  absolute  law  of  historic  development. 
He  gave  the  greater  plausibility  and  influence  to  it 
by  representing  this  law  of  theological  progress  as 
only  part  of  a  yet  broader  social  law,  according  to 
which  humanity,  having  traversed  this  "  theological 
stage  "  in  the  manner  indicated,  passes  next  through 
a  "metaphysical"  one,  and  finally  attains  the  "sci 
entific  "  stage  of  atheistic  positivism. 

In  Germany,  in  1795,  Hume's  opinion  found  an 
able  representative  in  G.  L.  Bauer,  of  Altdorf,  and 
ten  years  later  we  see  Meiners,  in  his  "  Universal 
History  of  Religion,"  repeating  and  enforcing  the 
notion  of  the  absolute  primitiveness  of  fetichism. 
The  rationalistic  and  pantheistic  tendencies  of  Ger 
man  speculation  about  this  time  were,  of  course, 
favorable  to  any  new  theory  which  discredited  the 
Biblical  one,  and  thus  it  came  to  pass  that  before 
the  middle  of  the  present  century  the  De  Brosses 
theory,  in  its  completer  Comtean  form,  became  al- 


most  universally  adopted.  Speaking  of  its  preva 
lence,  Professor  Max  Miiller  says:  — 

"  All  of  us  have  been  brought  up  on  it.  I  myself 
certainly  held  it  for  a  long  time,  and  never  doubted 
it  till  I  became  more  and  more  startled  by  the  fact 
that,  while  in  the  earliest  accessible  documents  of 
religious  thought  we  look  in  vain  for  any  very  clear 
traces  of  fetichism,  they  become  more  and  more  fre 
quent  everywhere  in  the  latter  stages  of  religious 
development,  and  are  certainly  more  visible  in  the 
later  corruptions  of  the  Indian  religion,  beginning 
with  the  Atharvana,  than  in  the  earliest  hymns  of 
the  Rig  Veda."1 

For  many  years  our  works  on  primeval  history 
have  been  saturated  with  this  idea.  Even  profess 
edly  Christian  writers  upon  the  History  of  Religions, 
and  upon  Comparative  Theology,  have  largely  fallen 
in  with  the  prevailing  notion.  As  one  has  well  said, 
"The  very  theory  has  become  a  kind  of  scientific 
fetich,  though  like  most  fetiches  it  seems  to  owe  its 
existence  to  ignorance  and  superstition." 

For  some  time  past,  however?  this  long  dominant 
dogma  of  naturalism  has  been  losing  credit  with  all 
careful  students  of  the  world's  religions,  and  indeed 
with  the  more  thorough  professional  ethnologists. 
In  his  recent  work,  "The  Hibbert  Lectures  on  the 
Origin  and  Growth  of  Religion,"  2  Max  Miiller,  him 
self  for  a  long  time,  as  we  have  seen,  a  believer  in 
the  theory,  publicly  challenges  its  correctness.  In 
Lecture  second,  after  rapidly  sketching  the  rise  and 
remarkable  prevalence  of  the  theory,  he  exposes, 

1  Origin  and  Growth  of  Religions.     London  and  New  York,  1879; 
p.  58. 

2  Reviewed  by  C.  P.  Tiele,  in  Theol.  Tijdschrift,  for  May,  1879. 


with  much  acuteness  and  with  his  usual  wealth  of 
illustrative  facts,  the  indiscriminateness  with  which 
the  term  fetichism  has  been  currently  used,  and  the 
worthlessness  of  evidence  upon  which  Comte  and 
others  have  relied.  He  sets  forth,  respectfully  but 
strongly,  the  inadequacy  of  their  psychological  ex 
planation  of  the  origin  of  fetichism,  and  shows  that 
even  the  West  African  fetich-worshipers  hold  at  the 
same  time  other  views  properly  polytheistic,  or,  in 
some  cases,  even  monotheistic.  Summing  up  his 
own  conclusions,  he  says,  — 

"  The  results  at  which  we  have  arrived  after  ex 
amining  the  numerous  works  on  fetichism  from  the 
days  of  De  Brosses  to  our  own  time  may  be  summed 
up  under  four  heads :  — 

"  First.  The  meaning  of  the  word  fetich  has  re 
mained  undefined  from  its  first  introduction,  and 
has  by  most  writers  been  so  much  extended  that  it 
may  include  almost  every  symbolical  or  imitative 
representation  of  religious  objects. 

"  Second.  Among  people  who  have  a  history  we 
find  that  everything  which  falls  under  the  category 
of  fetich  points  to  historical  and  psychological  ante 
cedents.  We  are  therefore  not  justified  in  suppos 
ing  that  it  has  been  otherwise  among  people  whose 
religious  development  happens  to  be  unknown  or 
inaccessible  to  us. 

"  Third.  There  is  no  religion  which  has  kept  itself 
entirely  free  from  fetichism. 

"  Fourth.  There  is  no  religion  which  consists 
entirely  of  fetichism."  l 

So  able  an  expose  of  the  shortcomings  of  the 
fetichistic  philosophy  of  the  origin  of  religion,  com- 

1  Origin  and  Growth  of  Religions,  p.  115. 


ing  from  the  pen  of  a  scholar  so  widely  and  deserv 
edly  revered,  cannot  fail  to  produce  in  the  world  of 
general  readers  and  second-hand  writers  a  profound 
and  wholesome  impression.  Probably  the  work  will 
fail  of  becoming  "  epoch-making "  solely  in  conse 
quence  of  something  for  which  the  author  is  not  re 
sponsible,  namely,  the  fact  that  in  discussing  to-day 
this  dogma  of  primitive  fetichism  one  is  really  deal 
ing  with  an  issue  which  in  advanced  circles  is  al 
ready  dead.  Even  Mr.  Andrew  Lang,  perhaps  the 
most  antagonistic  of  all  Professor  Miiller's  review 
ers,  is  not  himself  willing  to  make  fetichism  the 
"  first  '  moment '  in  the  development  of  religion."  1 
Ten  or  fifteen  years  earlier  the  polemic  would  have 
done  many  times  the  good  it  can  now.  During  this 
period  a  decided  change  has  taken  place.  There  re 
mained  a  decade  or  two  ago  a  further  step,  and  but 
one  further  step,  for  the  advocates  of  the  naturalistic 
view  of  the  origin  of  religion  to  take.  Hume  had 
made  polytheism  the  primitive  faith  ;  Comte  thought 
to  go  back  of  this,  and  to  postulate  a  still  more  ru 
dimentary  form  as  antedating  polytheism.  It  re 
mained  to  go  back  of  fetichism,  and  predicate  of  the 
first  men  absolute  atheism.  This  various  recent  au 
thors  have  done,  prominent  among  whom,  in  Eng 
land,  is  Sir  John  Lubbock.  In  chapter  iv.  of  his 
work,  miscalled  "  The  Origin  of  Civilization,  and  the 
Primitive  Condition  of  Man,"  2  he  classifies  "  the  first 
great  stages  of  religious  thought  "  as  follows  :  — 
First.  Atheism  ;  "  understanding  by  this  term  not 

1  Custom  and  Myth.     London,  1884:  pp.  212-242. 

2  The  first  edition  was  published  in  1870.     Later  echoes  are  heard 
in  Mortillet,  Le  Prehistorique.     See  the  Revue  de  FHistoire  des  Re 
ligions.     Paris,  1883:  p.  117. 


a  denial  of  the  existence  of  a  deity,  but  an  absence 
of  any  definite  ideas  on  the  subject." 

Second.  Fetichism.  In  the  state  of  primeval  athe 
ism  men  were  "  not  without  a  belief  in  invisible  be 
ings."  They  especially  believed  in  human  shadows, 
ghosts,  and  the  people  seen  in  dreams,  etc.,  though 
these  spirits  were  not  conceived  of  as  immortal,  or 
as  possessing  any  supernatural  powers.  They  were 
feared  only  because  they  were  supposed  to  have 
power  and  disposition  to  inflict  disease,  or  otherwise 
to  injure  men  yet  in  the  flesh.  Now,  inasmuch  as  it 
was  believed  that  by  means  of  the  fetich  these  evil 
spirits  could  be  controlled  and  coerced  to  the  will  of 
the  worshiper,  fetichism,  viewed  in  its  relation  to 
religious  development,  is  pronounced  by  Lubbock 
"  a  decided  step  in  advance."  Viewed  in  itself,  "  it 
is  mere  witchcraft." 

Third.  Totemism,  or  Nature-worship.  This  our 
author  nowhere  clearly  distinguishes  from  fetich 
ism.  In  this  stage  of  religious  progress,  "  the  sav 
age  does  not  abandon  his  belief  in  fetichism,  from 
which,  indeed,  no  race  of  men  has  yet  entirely  freed 
itself,  but  he  superinduces  on  it  a  belief  in  beings 
of  ~a  higher  and  less  material  nature.  In  this  stage 
everything  maybe  worshiped, — trees,  stones,  riv 
ers,  mountains,  the  heavenly  bodies,  plants,  and 

Fourth.  Shamanism.  "  As  totemism  overlies 
fetichism,  so  does  Shamanism  overlie  totemism." 
Here  the  gods  are  conceived  of  as  far  more  "  power 
ful  than  men,"  as  "  of  a  different  nature,"  as  residing 
far  away,  and  as  "  accessible  only  to  the  Shamans," 
who  are  "  occasionally  honored  by  the  presence  of 
the  deities,  or  are  allowed  to  visit  the  heavenly 


regions."  This  in  its  turn  is  pronounced  "a  consid 
erable  advance  "  over  the  preceding  stage  of  relig 
ious  thought. 

Fifth.  Idolatry,  or  Anthropomorphism.  Here 
"the  gods  take  still  more  completely  the  nature  of 
men,  being,  however,  more  powerful.  They  are  still 
amenable  to  persuasion ;  they  are  a  part  of  Nature, 
and  not  creators.  They  are  represented  by  images 
or  idols." 

Sixth.  To  the  sixth  stage  no  name  is  given ;  but 
it  is  described  as  one  in  which  "  the  deity  is  re 
garded  as  the  author,  not  merely  a  part,  of  Nature. 
He  becomes  for  the  first  time  a  really  supernatural 

Seventh.  In  this  last  and  highest  stage,  which  he 
also  leaves  unchristened,  morality  becomes  "  for  the 
first  time  associated  with  religion."  * 

We  will  not  stop  to  criticise  in  detail  this  ex 
tremely  confused  and  ill-named  classification,  or  the 
assumptions  on  which  it  rests.  Its  most  character 
istic  feature  is  its  postulation  of  universal  primitive 
atheism  as  antedating  every  form  of  religious  devel 
opment  in  our  race.  So  far  as  he  rested  this  dogma 
either  upon  the  affirmed  absence  of  all  religious  be 
liefs  and  usages  among  the  lowest  savages  of  to-day, 
or  upon  the  principle  that  the  religious  conceptions 
of  a  people  are  always  in  exact  proportion  to  its 
degree  of  civilization,  his  refutation  quickly  began. 
The  next  year  after  the  publication  of  his  work,  in 
a  learned  treatise  on  "  Primitive  Culture,"  E.  B.  Tylor 
challenged  several  of  Lubbock's  authorities  for  the 
statement  that  non-religious  tribes  have  been  found, 
while  in  his  new  work  on  "  The  Human  Species," 

1  Chaps,  iv.-vi. 


1879,  the  learned  and  able  Professor  of  Anthro 
pology  in  the  Paris  Museum  of  Natural  History, 
Quatrefages,  went  yet  further,  not  only  maintaining 
with  Tylor  that  no  atheistic  tribe  of  savages  has  yet 
been  discovered,  but  also  expressly  denying  the 
proposition  that  elevation  of  religious  conceptions 
invariably  corresponds  to  the  elevation  of  a  peo 
ple  in  the  scale  of  general  civilization  or  knowl 
edge  of  the  arts.  The  fact  that  these  objections  to 
the  hypothesis  of  primitive  atheism  came,  not  from 
theologians,  but  from  scientific  men,  —  from  fellow- 
students  in  the  fields  of  anthropology  and  ethnology, 
—  gave  them,  with  many,  all  the  greater  weight.1 
The  careful  reader,  however,  cannot  fail  to  see  that 
the  only  difference  between  Lubbock  and  some  of  his 
critics  is  merely  one  of  name,  and  not  of  thing ;  that 
the  alleged  primitive  state  which  he  calls  atheistic 
exactly  answers  to  what  Tylor  and  Darwin  would 
describe  as  the  earliest  form  of  animistic  religion, 
and  to  what  Herbert  Spencer  would  call  the  first 
rudimentary  beginnings  of  ghost  and  ancestor  wor 
ship.  Nor  can  we  fail  to  see  that  the  consistent 
Darwinian  evolutionist  must  place  the  beginnings  of 
human  history  so  near  the  plane  of  the  brute-life  as 
to  make  it  almost  certain  that  its  first  stage  was 
truly  non-theistic,  if  not,  indeed,  altogether  non-re 

Precisely  at  this  point  notice  should  be  taken  of 
the  elaborate  work  of  Otto  Caspari,  of  Heidelberg, 
entitled  "  Die  Urgeschichte  der  Menschheit,  mit 

1  Professor  Roskoff  has  done  Mr.  Lubbock  the  honor  to  take  up 
every  tribe  and  people,  in  the  extended  list  which  the  latter  had 
claimed  as  non-religious,  and  to  exhibit  in  every  case  evidence  of  their 
religious  character.  See  his  work,  Das  Religionswesen  der  rohesten 
Naturvolker.  Leipsic,  1880. 


Riicksicht  auf  die  natiirliche  Entwickelung  des  friihe- 
sten  Geisteslebens  "  ("  The  Primitive  History  of  Man 
kind,  with  Respect  to  the  Natural  Evolution  of  the 
Earliest  Spiritual  Life)."  This  two-volumed  treatise 
was  issued  at  Leipsic  in  1872,  and  reached  a  second 
edition  in  1877.  A  very  large  portion  of  it  is  de 
voted  to  the  exposition  of  the  author's  view  of  the 
origin  and  natural  evolution  of  religion  in  the  early 
history  of  the  race.  This  view  is  characterized 
by  an  originality  and  elaborated  with  an  ingenuity 
which  render  the  book  as  fascinating  to  the  student 
as  the  most  absorbing  romance.  The  author  is  a 
pure  and  professed  evolutionist,  but  instead  of  at 
tempting  to  solve  his  problem  with  Lyell  and  Broca 
from  the  data  of  Paleontology,  or  with  Darwin  and 
Hackel  from  the  data  of  Zoology,  or  with  Huxley 
and  Bastian  from  the  data  of  Biology,  or  with  Miil- 
ler  and  Noire  from  the  data  of  Philology,  or  with 
Prichard  and  Peschel  from  the  data  of  Ethnology, 
or  with  Tylor  and  Lubbock  from  the  data  of  Cul 
ture-History,  or  with  Waitz  and  Topinard  from  the 
data  of  General  Anthropology,  he  approaches  it  and 
grapples  with  it  as  a  problem  for  that  higher  and 
broader  science  to  which  all  of  the  above  are  tribu 
tary,  —  the  science  to  which  its  German  originators 
have  given  the  name  Volker-Psy dialogic  (Ethnic  or 
Anthropic  Psychology).  He  cannot  consider  the 
problem  solved  until,  beginning  with  the  psycholog 
ical  facts  of  brute-life,  we  are  able  to  represent  to 
ourselves  the  successive  steps  and  stages  by  which 
the  originally  animal  mind  slowly  evolved  all  the 
spiritual  and  religious  conceptions,  emotions,  habits, 
and  ideals  of  the  historic  and  actual  human  race. 
His  own  attempt  to  do  this  is  not  free  from  arbitrary 


assumptions  or  inconsistencies,  but,  as  a  whole,  it  is 
a  marvel  of  subtile  analysis  and  constructive  ability. 
In  contrast  with  it  the  expositions  of  Hume  and 
Lubbock  appear  as  clumsy  and  grotesque  as  the 
early  theories  of  geology,  described  in  Goldsmith's 
"  Book  of  Nature,"  now  look  to  the  modern  student 
One  of  the  oldest  of  the  anti-supernaturalist  ex 
planations  of  the  origin  of  religion  is  that  which 
ascribes  it  to  the  ignorant  and  superstitious  fears  oi 
earliest  men. 

"  Primus  in  orbe  deos  fecit  timer," 

wrote  Petronius,  and  Lucretius'  fuller  exposition  of 
the  same  notion  is  familiar.  No  such  explanation 
satisfies  Caspari.  He  cannot  conceive  how  fear  could 
ever  become  that  compound  of  reverence  and  love 
which  is  of  the  essence  of  religion.  Fear  simply 
prompts  the  brute  to  shun,  as  far  as  may  be,  the 
object  feared.  Equally  unsatisfactory  is  the  notion 
that  the  heavenly  bodies  and  the  sublimer  phenom 
ena  of  nature  inspired  the  awe  and  curious  ques 
tionings  out  of  which  religion  could  have  grown. 
The  primitive  man,  like  the  anthropoid  brute,  took 
no  notice  of  the  remote  and  lofty.  Nothing  had  in 
terest  for  him  save  that  which  was  perceived  to  be 
vitally  related  to  him  in  the  struggle  for  existence. 
The  range  of  his  conceptions  and  of  his  sympathies 
was  limited  to  the  objects  which  were  his  allies  or 
his  enemies  in  this  perpetual  battle.  Religion,  there 
fore,  is  not  to  be  traced  to  any  inworking  of  nature, 
or  of  natural  objects  upon  the  human  mind.  It  had 
a  deeper  and  yet  more  obvious  genesis  in  natural  hu 
man  relationships.  The  first  and  root  form  of  all  piety 
was  filial  piety.  The  first  object  of  truly  religious 
regard  was  the  parent.  This  reverential  and  affec- 


tionate  regard  of  the  consciously  ignorant,  weak, 
and  dependent  child  for  the  indefinitely  wise,  strong, 
and  helpful  father  or  mother  is  essentially  religious. 
At  an  extremely  early  date  it  must  have  become  ex 
tended  from  the  parent  to  the  all-defending  and  all- 
regulating  tribal  chieftain,  and  to  the  aged  and  ex 
perienced  counselors  of  the  rude  primeval  commu 
nities.  The  natural  tendency  of  uncivilized  men  to 
gesture-language  must  have  produced  habitual  forms 
of  rendering  homage,  —  the  germ  of  which  we  may 
observe  in  the  homage  paid  by  the  bees  to  their 
queen,  — and  thus  parents,  chieftains,  and  sages  were 
the  first  objects  of  religious  reverence  and  homage 
among  men.  As  yet  men  had  no  conceptions  of 
nature  as  a  whole,  no  intellectual  interest  in  stars,  or 
trees,  or  animals,  no  mental  provocation  to  worship 
anything  else  than  "the  ethically  exalted"  as  it  ap 
peared  in  the  narrow  circle  of  the  family  and  tribal 
life.  There  was  no  thought  of  an  unseen  world,  no 
idea  of  souls,  no  proper  conception  even  of  death. 
The  dead  man  was  supposed  to  be  simply  asleep,  or 
in  a  long  swoon.  Being  self-evidently  helpless  for 
the  present,  like  a  sick  member  of  the  family,  he 
called  out  natural  pity  and  care.  Food  and  drink 
were  placed  in  readiness  against  his  awakening.  If 
he  had  to  be  left  behind,  he  was  put  in  a  cave  to 
protect  him  against  wild  beasts,  and  his  weapons 
were  left  for  his  use. 

On  the  basis  of  this  nai've  conception  of  things  the 
rise  of  animal  worship  first  becomes  conceivable. 
The  beast  which  has  devoured  a  man,  living  or  dead, 
is  now  as  much  man  as  beast.  The  man  has  not 
ceased  to  be  ;  he  has  simply  blended  his  life  in  that 
of  the  beast,  and  become  a  "  man-beast."  The  feroc- 


ity  of  the  new  compound  is  easily  mistaken  for  an 
angry  wish  on  the  part  of  the  late  man  to  take  ven 
geance  on  his  relatives  or  associates  for  not  having 
more  effectually  protected  him  from  the  devouring 
animal.  But  if  the  "  man-beast "  is  human  enough 
to  remember  and  avenge  such  real  or  supposed  neg 
lects  on  the  part  of  his  late  friends,  he  must  be  hu 
man  enough  to  recognize  and  appreciate  any  well- 
meant  attempts  to  appease  his  anger  and  propitiate 
his  favor.  Hence  a  natural  basis,  not  for  universal 
animal  worship,  but  for  the  worship  of  the  more 
common  carnivora,  and  these  Caspari  endeavors  to 
show  were  the  first  that  attained  such  distinction. 

Here,  also,  is  found  the  origin  of  cannibalism. 
A  man  has  killed  his  foe.  If  he  leaves  him  merely 
dead  he  will  some  time  come  to  life  again  as  bad  as 
ever.  If  haply  before  this  some  wild  beast  devour 
him,  he  will  then  become  a  ferocious  and  malevo 
lent  "  man-beast,"  —  a  worse  enemy  than  before. 
There  is  no  way  of  making  the  victory  final  and  se 
cure,  except  by  eating  him  up  one's  self.  Then  the 
life  and  valor  of  the  slain  become  life  and  valor 
to  the  slayer.  Even  the  eating  of  others  than  foes 
is  in  this  way  made  intelligible.  As  the  Fan  Ne 
groes  are  said  to  eat  —  "  with  a  certain  tenderness  " 
—  the  bodies  of  their  wives  and  children,  so  the 
primitive  man,  seeking  the  safest  possible  place  for 
the  body  of  his  dead  friend,  may  have  thought  it  a 
far  friendlier  act  to  eat  him  up  than  to  leave  him  to 
take  his  chances  at  the  hand  of  worms  underground, 
or  beasts  of  prey  above  it.  Between  the  two  mo 
tives,  the  desire  to  appropriate  the  vital  forces  of 
the  foe  and  the  wish  to  do  the  best  possible  thing 
for  the  unwakable  friend,  our  author  thinks  that 


anthropophagy  became  in  the  first  age  of  the  world 
almost  universal.  The  very  piety  of  the  surviving 
toward  the  dead  contributed  to  the  dissemination  of 
the  revolting  custom. 

Our  limits  will  not  permit  an  equally  full  account 
of  the  remaining  stages  by  which  religion  grew  to  be 
what  it  has  been  and  is  in  the  world.  Suffice  to  say 
that  possible  millenniums  from  the  beginning  of 
human  history  "  toward  the  end  of  the  Stone  Age," 
there  occurred  the  greatest  revolution  in  human 
thought  and  belief  and  life  which  the  race  has  yet 
witnessed.  This  was  brought  about  by  the  rise  and 
adoption  of  the  belief  that  trees  and  men  and  beasts 
—  in  fine,  all  natural  objects  —  are  possessed  of 
invisible,  impalpable,  vital  principles,  souls.  That 
which  produced  and  supported  this  strange,  new  no 
tion  was  a  discovery  which,  estimated  by  the  breadth 
and  profoundness  of  its  influence,  must  be  placed  at 
the  head  of  all  others,  —  the  discovery,  namely,  of 
the  art  of  kindling  fire.  This  mysterious  and  novel 
power  of  evoking  what  seemed  a  bright  and  living 
being  from  the  realm  of  the  invisible,  by  means  of 
the  "fire-drill,"  half  bewildered  even  the  priestly 
caste,  in  whose  hands  the  awful  secret  lay.  Their 
attempts  to  use  it  led  to  Shamanism  and  a  sincere 
magic.  By  means  of  the  observed  vital  heat  of 
living  things  and  the  coldness  of  the  dead  the  new 
element  was  quickly  identified  with  the  inner  es 
sence  of  life  itself,  and  the  new  art  the  more  com 
mended  to  universal  attention  by  means  of  its  be 
neficent  applications  in  the  hands  of  the  Flamens, 
or  Fire-priests,  to  the  purposes  of  healing.  The 
same  identification  of  heat  and  life  soon  associated 
phallus  and  fire-drill,  and  introduced  the  strange  and 


apparently  monstrous  aberration  of  phallic  worship. 
Under  these  new  ideas  it  was  only  natural  that  sun 
and  star  and  lightning  flash  should  come  to  have  a 
new  significance  for  man,  and  make  their  impress 
on  religion.  Animal  worship  was  profoundly  mod 
ified  in  ways  ingeniously  set  forth.  The  simple 
oblations  of  the  earlier  period  give  place  to  sacri 
fices  to  fire,  and  to  the  heavenly  bodies.  So  strong 
is  the  desire  to  become  transformed  into  white, 
flaming  spirits,  and  to  be  joined  to  the  supernal 
fellowship  of  such,  that  men  bring  themselves  as 
offerings,  and  seek  transfiguration  in  the  holy  altar 
flames.  Hence  human  sacrifices ;  hence  also  in 
cremation  of  the  dead.  In  time,  the  idea  of  the 
soul  takes  on  greater  and  greater  definiteness  ;  so 
also  the  idea  of  the  immaterial  supersensual  gods. 
The  long-continued  stimulation  of  the  imagination 
renders  myth-constructions  possible.  Some  of  the 
great  priesthoods  of  history  invent  hieroglyphic  and 
alphabetic  writing,  and  in  time  there  naturally  fol 
low  sacred  books,  cosmogonies,  codes  of  religious 
laws,  etc.,  etc.  The  magic  wand  of  the  first  fire- 
bringer  has  at  last  created  a  spiritual  and  unseen 
counterpart  to  the  world  which  is  seen.  In  this 
enchanted  world  we  live  to-day ;  the  lowest  of  us 
showing  our  faith  by  superstitious  fetichism,  the 
highest  of  us  by  attempts  at  a  purely  spiritual  wor 
ship.  That  highest  Christian  conception,  "  God  is 
light,  and  in  Him  is  no  darkness  at  all,"  is  simply 
the  culmination  of  a  mode  of  thinking  which  started 
ages  ago  with  the  spark  which  some  savage  prehis 
toric  flint-chipper  struck  out  of  the  flinty  stone.1 

1  Very  similar  to  Caspari's  view  is  that  set  forth  by  Professor  J. 
Frohschammer  in  his  late  work,  Die  Genesis  der  Menschheit.  Miinchen, 
1883:  pp.  68-38 1. 


The  brevity  of  this  sketch  of  Caspari's  theory  ren 
ders  it  impossible  to  do  full  justice  to  the  skill  and 
plausibility  with  which  he  has  elaborated  it.  Still 
less  have  we  space  for  that  detailed  review  which 
would  be  needed  were  we  to  undertake  a  refutation 
of  the  scheme  in  part  or  whole. 

In  striking  opposition  to  the  theory  of  Caspari 
stands  that  of  Jules  Baissac,  elaborated  in  his  "  Ori- 
gines  de  la  Religion."  1  He,  too,  begins  with  primi 
tive  animality,  and  proposes  to  trace  the  rise  and 
natural  evolution  of  religion  from  that  far-off  start 
ing-point  of  the  human  race.  But,  instead  of  mag 
nifying  the  initial  influence  of  a  pure  domestic  life 
in  Caspari's  truly  German  method,  Baissac  —  in  a 
manner  characteristically  French,  shall  we  say  ?  — 
starts  with  a  deification  of  mere  maternity,  con 
ceived  of  as  self-originating  and  self-sufficing.  This 
form  of  religion  prevailed  during  the  remote  period 
anterior  to  the  time  when  it  was  discovered  that 
males  had  any  participation  in  the  procreation  of  the 
species.  The  religious  symbols  of  that  far-off  age 
were  "  les  elevations  et  tumescences  terrestres,  natu- 
relles  ou  artificielles,  et  les  cavites  souterraines  ;  les 
tumescences  comme  image  du  sein  maternel  en  etat 
de  pregnation  et  les  profondeurs  et  cavites  comme 
ventre  sacr£  de  la  divine  mere.  De  la  le  culte  des 
ballons  ou  montagnes  a  croupe  arrondie  ;  de  la  le 
symbolisme  des  tumuli,  des  pyramides,  des  grottes, 
des  puits,  des  labyrinthes,  des  dolmens."  In  this 
period  all  motherhood  is  divine,  and  all  life  and 
change  in  nature  are  mentally  represented  as  a 
spontaneous,  and  exclusively  female,  conceiving  and 
bringing  forth. 

1  Paris,  2  tomes,  1877.     Compare  Baring-Gould,  Religious  Belief. 
New  York,  1870:  Part  I.,  pp.  411-414. 


In  the  second  period,  which  is  still  anterior  to  the 
idea  of  marriage  and  to  the  establishment  of  the 
idea  of  personal  property  or  individual  rights,  the 
function  of  the  male  principle  has  been  discovered  ; 
and  now  Nature,  the  divine  mother,  is  conceived  of 
as  analogous  to  a  woman  of  the  period,  —  a  mother 
fecundated  only  by  male  energy,  but  by  male  energy 
from  any  quarter.  To  use  Baissac's  own  terms,  she 
is  a  "  prostituee  divine,  ayant  son  symbole  dans  la 
terre  ouverte  a  tous  les  germes."  1 

In  the  third  period  the  two  principles  are  brought 
into  a  relation  of  equality,  and  now  the  divine  be 
comes  hermaphrodite. 

In  the  fourth  the  male  principle  is  given  priority, 
the  religious  symbols  of  maternity  give  place  to  the 
phallic  symbols,  the  institutions  of  marriage  and 
property  arise,  the  power  of  atmospheric  and  celes 
tial  divinities  begins  to  supersede  that  of  earth- 
spirits.  The  fifth  stage  is  marked  by  the  entire 
predominance  of  these  celestial  divinities  and  the 
definite  rejection  of  the  ancient  chthonian  and  sub 
terranean  powers.  In  the  sixth  comes  the  final 
separation  of  the  Heaven  and  the  Earth,  the  idea  of 
creation,  and  the  idea  of  an  almighty  and  transcend 
ent  Creator  of  all  things. 

The  manner  in  which  the  author  elaborates  this 
remarkable  interpretation  of  the  history  and  symbol 
ism  of  religion,  through  two  octavo  volumes  of  300 
pages  each,  is  as  ingenious  as  it  is  disgusting. 

Behold  the  savory  outcome  of  these  successive 
philosophic  and  scientific  rebellions  against  history ! 
And  whom  of  all  these  wise  men  of  the  West  shall 
we  follow  ?  The  first  form  of  religion,  says  one  of 

1  Origines,  p.  131. 


them,  was  an  animal  hallucination  of  the  early  an 
thropoids  respecting  sexual  generation.  No,  says 
another,  it  was  a  genuine  worship  of  invisible  gods 
and  goddesses,  like  the  beautiful  Olympian  divini 
ties  of  Greece,  —  a  religion  whose  fruits  in  character 
and  conduct  compare  most  favorably  with  those  of 
Christian  monotheism.1  Absurd !  exclaims  a  third. 
"  Polytheism  "  is  a  very  high  type  of  religion  ;  men 
never  could  have  reached  that  until  after  the  inven 
tion  of  the  fire-drill,  nobody  knows  how  many  ages 
from  the  beginning.  Fools  all!  rejoin  the  more 
thorough-going.  Know  ye  not  that  primitive  men 
were  far  lower  than  our  lowest  modern  savages,  —  as 
incapable  of  any  religious  ideas  as  they  were  of  us 
ing  the  integral  calculus  ? 

At  the  beginning  of  the  exposition  of  these  specu 
lations  it  was  intimated  that  their  contradictory  and 
incredible  outcome  had  already  provoked  a  degree 
of  reaction  even  from  biological  and  sociological 
writers.  This  reaction  is  too  instructive  to  leave 
unnoticed.2  It  comes  from  men  who,  religiously  or 
theologically  speaking,  seem  in  full  sympathy  with 
the  rejecters  of  the  old  Biblical  and  pan-ethnic  faith  ; 
but  they  find  they  cannot  go  along  with  these  re 
jecters  without  surrendering  more  than  any  biol 
ogist  or  sociologist  can  afford  to  surrender  if  he 
would  maintain  a  credible  philosophy  of  the  history 
of  man  and  of  human  society.  To  a  simple  disciple 
of  history  the  spectacle  of  their  embarrassment  and 
of  their  attempts  at  extrication  is  in  an  eminent 
degree  entertaining.  Indeed,  the  best  refutation  of 
whatever  is  wrong  in  all  these  new  conceptions  of 

1  Hume's  above-cited  Essay,  closing  sections. 

2  Compare  Revue  des  Deux  Mondes,  April,  1880,  pp.  660-665. 


primordial  religion  will  be  found,  not  in  a  blind  and 
indiscriminate  polemic  against  them  en  masse,  but 
in  showing  how  every  departure  from  the  traditional 
conception  involves  the  careful  thinker  in  perplex- 
ing  if  not  insoluble  problems,  and  how  easily  all  the 
real  facts  on  which  these  proposed  departures  are 
based  can  be  arrayed  in  support  of  the  traditional 
conception.  To  this  task  we  turn. 

First,  then,  according  to  Genesis,  the  earliest  rep 
resentatives  of  the  human  race  began  their  exist 
ence  in  Paradise  unclad,  unhoused,  and  possessed 
of  none  of  the  outward  and  visible  signs  of  what 
is  called  civilization.  Had  Mr.  Lubbock  been  per 
mitted  at  the  time  to  visit  the  spot,  he  would  have 
seen  —  so  far  as  Moses  suggests  —  no  printing-press, 
no  power-loom,  perhaps  not  even  a  "fire-drill"  or 
flint  "  arrow-head."  He  would  have  seen  no  god, 
no  Miltonic  guard  of  angels,  no  Eden  gates,  no  tem 
ple  or  altar.  He  would  have  noticed  in  the  luxu 
riant  tropical  landscape  simply  a  wealth  of  grace 
ful  animal  forms,  rising  in  manifold  gradations,  and 
culminating  in  two  fair  human  figures.  He  would 
doubtless  have  gone  his  way,  and  reported  at  the 
next  meeting  of  the  Anthropological  Society  the 
discovery  of  a  new  Otaheite,  whose  naked  and  art 
less  inhabitants  were  evidently  at  the  bottom  of  the 
scale  as  respects  "  culture,"  and  in  the  sub-fetichis- 
tic  "  atheistic  stage "  as  respects  religion.  So  do 
ing,  he  would  have  committed  no  greater  blunder 
than  many  of  his  favorite  reporters  have  made  in 
describing  such  people  as  the  Andaman  Islanders.1 

1  For  the  complete  vindication  of   this  statement  see    Sir  Henry 
Sumner  Maine,  Early  Law  and  Custom,  London,  1883,  pp.  229-231  ; 
Quatrefages,  The  Human  Species,  New  York,  1879,  chap.  xxxv.  ;  and 


According  to  the  old  conception,  no  less  than  ac 
cording  to  the  new,  the  arts  were  only  gradually 
developed.  Men  were  destitute  of  the  art  of  metal- 
working  and  of  all  to  which  that  was  essential  until 
the  days  of  Tubal  Cain.  Musical  instruments  there 
were  none  until  invented  by  Jubal.  Everything  in 
sacred  Scripture  indicates  the  kind  of  social  and 
industrial  progress  for  which,  in  connection  with 
the  beginnings  of  human  society,  one  would  natu 
rally  look. 

So  far,  then,  the  believer  in  Sacred  History  has  no 
occasion  whatever  to  disagree  with  the  believer  in 
Natural  History.  Hackel  and  Peschel  and  Caspari 
hold,  with  Moses,  to  the  monogenesis  of  the  race, 
and  even  place  their  imaginary  "Lemuria"  just 
under  the  northern  portion  of  the  Indian  Ocean, 
hard  by  one  of  the  traditional  seats  of  Eden.  Their 
account  of  man's  migrations  from  that  centre,  and 
of  his  primeval  destitution  of  the  arts,  conflict  with 
no  fact  recorded  in  Holy  Scripture.  Neither  party 
can  tell  precisely  how  long  the  period  antecedent  to 
the  rise  of  the  first  great  historic  civilizations  of 
Asia,  Egypt,  and  Greece  lasted,  and  neither  can  tell 
how  long  ago  it  terminated,  so  that  even  in  their 
confessed  ignorances  both  are  in  accord. 

But,  secondly,  the  believer  in  Sacred  History,  He 
brew  or  Ethnic,  cannot  accept  the  eagerly  advocated 
notion  that  the  intellectual  condition  of  the  earliest 
men  was  not  higher  than  that  of  the  lowest  savages 
of  to-day.  Ignorant  of  many  things  those  earliest 
generations  must  have  been,  but  it  is  equally  certain 

especially  Roskoff,  Das  Religionswesen  derrohesten  Naturvolker,  Leip- 
sic,  1880,  and  Reville,  Les  Religions  des  Peuples  non-civilisfc,  Paris, 
1883,  torn,  i.,  ch.  i. 


that  they  must  have  been  above  the  line  which  sep 
arates  stationary  or  retrograding  peoples  from  pro 
gressive  ones.  They  were  men  capable  of  investigat 
ing  the  powers  and  laws  of  nature,  of  originating 
arts  absolutely  new  in  the  history  of  the  world,  and 
of  making  successive  inventions  which  revolution 
ized  the  social  state. 

With  this  representation  we  should  expect  the 
Darwinian,  on  sober  second  thought,  to  agree.  For 
it  is  a  well-known  fact  that  our  lowest  savages  are 
dying  out,  while  the  men  who  peopled  the  world  in 
accordance  with  the  law  of  the  survival  of  the  fittest, 
at  a  period  in  the  earth's  history  when,  in  important 
respects,  according  to  Darwin,  the  environment  was 
less  favorable  to  the  human  struggle  for  existence 
than  now,  must  have  been  superior  to  these  de 
generating  and  vanishing  tribes.  And  as  all  evo 
lutionists,  in  enumerating  the  qualities  which  win 
in  the  struggle  for  existence,  lay  great  stress  upon 
superior  intellectual  endowments,  it  is  only  a  nat 
ural  inference  that  the  native  intelligence  of  the 
earliest  men  was  at  least  superior  to  that  of  the  low 
est  modern  savage.  Turning  to  the  writers  in  ques 
tion  we  find  our  antecedent  expectations  confirmed. 
Thus  Mr.  Herbert  Spencer,  in  one  of  his  matur- 
est  works,  expresses  himself  as  follows  :  "  There 
are  sundry  reasons  for  suspecting  that  existing  men 
of  the  lowest  types,  forming  social  groups  of  the 
simplest  kinds,  do  not  exemplify  men  as  they  origi 
nally  were.  Probably  most  of  them,  if  not  all  of 
them,  had  ancestors  in  higher  states,  and  among 
their  beliefs  remain  some  which  were  evolved  dur 
ing  those  higher  states.  .  .  .  There  is  inadequate 
warrant  for  the  notion  that  the  lowest  savagery  has 


always  been  as  low  as  it  is  now.  .  .  .  That  supplant 
ing  of  race  by  race,  and  thrusting  into  corners  such 
inferior  races  as  are  not  exterminated,  which  is  now 
going  on  so  actively,  and  which  has  been  going  on 
from  the  earliest  recorded  times,  must  have  been 
ever  going  on.  And  the  implication  is  that  remnants 
of  inferior  races,  taking  refuge  in  inclement,  barren, 
and  otherwise  unfit  regions,  have  retrograded."  l 

In  like  manner  Darwin  himself  conceives  of  the 
first  men  as  capable  of  rising  in  thought  above  the 
knowledge  furnished  by  the  senses,  as  able  to  repre 
sent  to  themselves  the  unseen  and  spiritual.  And  he 
expressly  calls  their  mental  faculties  "  high,"  say 
ing,  "  The  same  high  mental  faculties  which  first 
led  men  to  believe  in  unseen  spiritual  agencies,  then 
in  fetichism,  polytheism,  and  ultimately  in  monothe 
ism,  would  infallibly  lead  him,  so  long  as  his  reason 
ing  powers  remained  poorly  developed,  to  various 
strange  superstitions  and  customs."  2  Thus  Darwin 
justly  considers  the  character  of  the  very  aberra 
tions  of  the  human  intellect  in  its  infantile  stage  a 
striking  proof  of  the  loftiness  of  its  powers. 

Lubbock  ascribes  to  the  earliest  men  a  like  ability 
to  conceive  of  the  supersensual  and  to  govern  them 
selves  largely  by  ideals.  Though  sometimes  de 
scribing  the  primitive  generations  as  in  a  state  of 
"utter  barbarism,"  or  as  having  been  "  no  more  ad 
vanced  than  the  lowest  savages  of  to-day,"  this 
seems  to  occur  only  by  inadvertence ;  for  in  the  later 
editions  of  his  already  quoted  work,  "  The  Origin 
of  Civilization,"  page  483,  he  expressly  admits  and 
asserts  that  he  does  not  regard  cannibals  as  repre- 

1  Principles  of  Sociology,  pp.  106-109. 

2  Descent  of  Man,  vol.  i.,  p.  66. 


sentatives  of  the  first  men.1  On  the  same  page  he 
says,  "  It  may  be  as  well  to  state  emphatically  that 
all  brutal  customs  are  not,  in  my  opinion,  primeval. 
Human  sacrifices,  for  instance,  were,  I  think,  cer 
tainly  not  so." 

Caspari  no  less  emphatically  affirms  that  the  so 
cial  state  of  the  North  American  Indians  and  of  the 
Australians  is  not  primitive,  but  a  result  of  degen 
eration.  He  says,  "  We  know  a  succession  of  such 
tribes,  of  which,  in  fact,  only  ausgeartete  verkommene 
Banden  und  staatliche  Splitter  remain  in  existence, 
who,  wild  and  savage,  wander  about  in  the  primitive 
forests,  miserably  to  perish."  2 

Tylor  takes  the  same  general  ground,  maintaining 
that  the  best  representatives  of  primitive  men  are 
not  the  lowest  but  "the  higher"  of  the  uncivilized 
races.  Thus  he  says,  "  In  a  study  of  the  nature- 
myths  of  the  world  it  is  hardly  practicable  to  start 
from  the  conceptions  of  the  very  lowest  human 
tribes,  and  to  work  upward  from  thence  to  fictions  of 
higher  growth  :  partly  because  our  information  is 
meagre  as  to  the  beliefs  of  these  shy  and  seldom 
quite  intelligible  folk,  and  partly  because  the  legends 
they  possess  have  not  reached  the  artistic  and  sys 
tematic  shape  which  they  attain  to  among  races  next 
higher  in  the  scale.  It  therefore  answers  better 

1  Let  us  hope  that  it  is  by  a  like  inadvertence,  merely,  that  Profes 
sor  Sayce  speaks  of  "  the  savage  tribes  of  the  modern  world,  and  the 
still  more  savage  tribes  among  whom  the  languages  of  the  earth  took 
their  start."     Introdtiction  to  the  Science  of  Language,  vol.  ii.,  p.  31. 
Compare  p.  269,  where,  speaking  of  the  mythopoeic  man,  whom  he 
considers  a  considerable  advance  on  the  primitive  savage,  the  profes 
sor  says,  "  He  had  not  yet  learned  to  distinguish  between  the  lifeless 
and  the  living ;  "  "  he  had  not  yet  realized  that  aught  existed  which 
his  senses  could  not  perceive." 

2  Vol.i.,p.  113. 


to  take  as  a  foundation  the  mythology  of  the  North 
American  Indians,  the  South  Sea  Islanders,  and 
other  high  savage  tribes  who  best  represent  in  mod 
ern  times  the  early  mythological  period  of  human 
history" 1 

In  chapter  ii.  of  the  same  work  he  presents  the 
evidence  that  many  of  the  very  lowest  tribes  of  the 
modern  world  have  become  what  they  are  by  degen 

But,  thirdly,  if  the  best  representatives  of  the 
first  men  must  be  sought,  not  among  the  lowest,  but 
rather  among  the  higher,  of  the  uncivilized  peoples, 
then  surely  we  are  justified  in  rejecting  the  notion 
of  all  those  writers  who,  since  the  time  of  De 
Brosses  and  Comte,  have  maintained  that  primitive 
men  personified  and  vitalized  and  fetichized  all  natu 
ral  objects  about  them. 

On  this  point  the  author  of  the  "  Outlines  of 
Cosmic  Philosophy"  is  less  clear-sighted  than  his 
master,  Herbert  Spencer.  Boldly  and  ably  as  he 
criticises  Comte  in  some  other  particulars,  in  this 
Mr.  Fiske  surrenders  to  him  wholly.  He  says,  "We 
may  safely  assert,  with  Comte,  that  the  earliest  atti 
tude  assumed  by  the  mind  in  interpreting  nature 
was  a  fetichistic  attitude."  2  Spencer,  however,  rec 
ognizing  the  fact  that  the  lower  mammals,  birds,  and 
even  insects  are  able  to  distinguish  animate  from 
inanimate  objects,  and  that  to  deny  this  capacity  to 
the  first  men  would  be  to  make  them  less  and  lower 
than  animals,  commits  himself  unreservedly  to  the 
view  in  harmony  with  that  of  the  Biblical  record. 
Quoting  the  stock  examples  of  savages  who,  on 

1  Primitive  Culture,  vol.  i.,  p.  321. 

2  Vol.  i.,  p.  178,  et  passim. 


first  seeing  a  watch  or  a  compass,  imagined  that 
it  was  alive,  he  shows  the  naturalness  of  the  mis 
take,  and  very  properly  says  :  "  We  must  exclude 
these  mistakes  made  in  classing  things  which  ad 
vanced  arts  have  made  to  simulate  living  things, 
since  such  things  mislead  the  primitive  man  in  ways 
unlike  those  in  which  he  can  be  misled  by  the  natu 
ral  objects  about  him.  Limiting  ourselves  to  his 
conceptions  of  these  natural  objects,  we  cannot  but 
conclude  that  his  classification  of  them  into  animate 
and  inanimate  is  substantially  correct.  Concluding 
this,  we  are  obliged  to  diverge  at  the  outset  from 
certain  interpretations  currently  given  of  his  super 
stitions.  The  assumption,  tacit  or  avowed,  that  the 
primitive  man  tends  to  ascribe  life  to  things  which 
are  not  living  is  clearly  an  untenable  assumption. 
Consciousness  of  the  difference  between  the  two, 
growing  ever  more  definite  as  intelligence  evolves, 
must  be  in  him  more  definite  than  in  all  lower  crea 
tures.  To  suppose  that  without  cause  he  begins  to 
confound  them  is  to  suppose  the  process  of  evolu 
tion  inverted."  1 

This  writer,  therefore,  whom  Darwin  in  one  pas 
sage  calls  "our  great  philosopher,"  explicitly  rejects 
the  dogma  of  the  primitiveness  and  universality 
of  animism  and  fetichism  among  the  earliest  men. 
According  to  him,  animistic  and  fetichistic  beliefs 
were  not  "  primary  beliefs  ; "  they  were  errors  into 
which  "  the  primitive  man  was  betrayed  during  his 
early  attempts  to  understand  the  surrounding  world." 
"  The  primitive  man  no  more  tends  to  confound 
animate  with  inanimate  than  inferior  creatures  do  " 
(p.  146). 

1  Principles  of  Sociology,  pp.  143,  144. 


Caspar!,  too,  as  we  have  seen,  denies  to  fetichism 
a  primitive  character.1  Ascribing  its  rise  to  the 
new  ideas  which  the  discovery  of  the  art  of  fire-kin 
dling  produced,  he  makes  the  worship  of  u  the  mor 
ally  exalted "  (des  sittlich  Erhabenen},  represented 
by  the  personal  father,  the  tribal  chieftain,  and  the 
deceased  ancestor,  far  older,  possibly  thousands  of 
years  older,  than  any  worship  of  fetiches.  With 
Lubbock  there  is  no  moral  element  in  religion  until 
it  reaches  its  last  and  highest  stage.  With  Caspari, 
on  the  contrary,  religion  is  essentially  moral  in  its 
first  emergence,  and  has  from  the  first  moment  of 
its  existence  an  actual  and  relatively  worthy  per 
sonal  object.  This  is  a  prodigious  scientific  advance 
from  the"  positions  of  Hume,  Comte,  Lubbock,  and 
all  their  followers,  and  by  postulating  a  high  moral 
nature  and  moral  life  at  the  very  beginnings  of  hu 
man  history  it  renders  the  Biblical  conception  of 
those  beginnings  not  only  conceivable,  but  even  an 
tecedently  probable. 

Fourthly.  The  Bible  and  the  sacred  traditions  of 
nearly  all  peoples  present  monogamy  as  the  first 
form  of  marriage,  ascribing  all  deviations  from  it  to 
the  ungoverned  selfish  passions  of  men.  This  view, 
Lubbock  and  the  writers  whom  he  has  followed, 
McLennan  and  Morgan,  emphatically  reject.  These 
theorists  claim  that  among  the  first  men  the  late 

1  Compare  the  like  utterance  of  Frohshammer  :  "  Mit  Fetischismus 
hat  das  Gottesbewusstsein  und  religiose  Cultus  nicht  begonnen."  Die 
Genesis  der  Menschheit.  Miinchen,  1883:  p.  71.  Also,  the  recent 
declaration  of  a  learned  Professor  of  Roman  Law  :  "  Die  religiose 
Anschauung  aller  Volker  ist,  denke  ich,  ausgegangen  von  dem  Glau- 
ben  an  Einen  gottlichen  Willen,  welcher  liber  Allen  und  zu  Oberst 
waltet."  J.  E.  Kuntze,  Prolegomena  zur  Geschichte  Roms.  Leipsic, 
1882 :  p.  23. 


Oneida  Community  system  of  "  complex  marriage," 
or,  as  Lubbock  calls  it,  "  communal  marriage,"  uni 
versally  obtained.  The  appropriateness  of  the  term 
marriage  is  very  far  from  clear.  The  first  communi 
ties  were  mere  herds,  in  which  all  the  women  were 
"wives"  to  all  the  men.  In  McLennan's  opinion 
"  the  next  stage  was  that  form  of  polyandry  in  which 
brothers  had  their  wives  in  common  ;  afterward  came 
that  of  the  levirate,  i.  e.,  the  system  under  which, 
when  an  elder  brother  died,  his  second  brother  mar 
ried  the  widow,  and  so  on  with  the  others  in  suc 
cession.  Thence  he  considered  that  some  tribes 
branched  off  into  endogamy,  others  into  exogamy ; 
that  is  to  say,  some  forbade  marriage  out  of,  others 
within,  the  tribe.  If  either  of  these  two  systems 
was  older  than  the  other,  he  held  that  exogamy  must 
have  been  the  more  ancient.  Exogamy  was  based 
on  infanticide,  and  led  to  the  practice  of  marriage 
by  capture.  Lubbock,  on  the  contrary,  believes 
that  the  communal  marriage,  which  he  assumes  to 
have  been  the  primitive  form,  "  was  gradually  super 
seded  by  individual  marriage  founded  on  capture," 
and  that  this  led,  first,  to  exogamy,  and  then  to 
female  infanticide,  thus  reversing  Mr.  McLennan's 
order  of  sequence.  "  Endogamy  and  regulated  poly 
andry,  though  frequent,"  he  says,  "  I  regard  as  ex 
ceptional  and  as  not  entering  into  the  normal  prog 
ress  of  development."  1  Still  different  is  the  theory 
of  Bachofen,  set  forth  in  his  work  entitled  "  Das 
Mutterrecht."  Assuming  sexual  promiscuity  as  the 
primordial  state,  he  considers  that  under  this  system 
the  women,  instead  of  being  rendered  more  and 

1  Origin  of  Civilization,  pp.  94,  95.     Compare  D.  McLennan,  The 
Patriarchal  Theory.     London,  1884 :  P-  355- 


more  debauched  and  corrupted  by  the  practice,  as 
we  might  suppose,  became  on  the  contrary,  in  pro 
cess  of  time,  so  refined,  that  after  a  season  they  felt 
shocked  and  scandalized  by  the  beastly  state  of 
things,  revolted  against  it,  and  established  a  system 
of  marriage  with  female  supremacy,  the  husband  be 
ing  subject  to  the  wife,  property  and  descent  being 
required  to  follow  the  female  line,  and  women  enjoy 
ing  the  principal  share  of  political  power. 

Gradually,  however,  the  more  spiritual  ideas  asso 
ciated  with  fatherhood  prevailed  over  the  more  ma 
terial  ideas  associated  with  motherhood.  The  father 
came  to  be  considered  the  real  author  of  life  to  the 
offspring,  the  mother  a  mere  nurse  ;  property  and 
descent  were  traced  in  the  male  line,  sun-worship 
superseded  moon-worship,  men  absorbed  all  political 
power,  —  in  a  word,  as  primitive  "  Hetairismus"  was 
followed  by  the  "  Mother-Law "  system,  so  this  now 
gave  way  to  the  modern  social  state. 

The  chief  evolutionist  authorities  disagreeing  so 
widely  on  this  point,  it  is  surely  proper  to  look  fur 
ther.  So  doing,  we  find  a  number  of  at  least  equally 
respectable,  scientific  and  speculative  representa 
tives  of  the  evolutional  school,  who  expressly  ques 
tion,  if  they  do  not  openly  reject,  the  dogma  of  uni 
versal  sexual  promiscuity  as  the  primeval  social  state. 
Thus  Herbert  Spencer  argues  through  many  pages 
of  his  "  Principles  of  Sociology  "  against  McLennan, 
claiming  that  monogamy  must  be  conceived  of  as 
going  back  to  the  beginning.  However  unsettled 
social  and  sexual  relations  then  were,  "  promiscuity," 
he  affirms,  "was  checked  by  the  establishment  of  in 
dividual  connections  prompted  by  men's  likings,  and 
maintained  against  other  men  by  force"  (p.  665), 


Again  he  says,  "  The  impulses  which  lead  primitive 
men  to  monopolize  other  objects  of  value  must  lead 
them  to  monopolize  women  "  (p.  664).  And  again, 
"  Monogamy  dates  back  as  far  as  any  other  marital 
relation  "  (p.  698).  Darwin  takes  substantially  the 
same  view,  positively  discrediting  the  alleged  sexual 
promiscuity  of  the  earliest  communities.1 

In  like  manner  another  of  the  latest  of  English 
writers  on  this  subject,  James  A.  Farrer,  in  his  book 
entitled  "  Primitive  Manners  and  Customs," 2  em 
phatically  rejects  the  notion  that  a  brutal  and  forci 
ble  bride-capturing  was  ever  universal,  and  denies 
that  the  customs  relied  upon  by  McLennan  and 
others  to  prove  its  prevalence  are  to  be  viewed  as 
a  survival  of  such  a  custom.  As  to  the  absolutely 
first  form  of  marriage  he  does  not  express  an  opin 
ion,  but  the  theory  of  primitive  monogamy  would 
better  agree  with  his  general  representation  than 
any  other.  The  same  may  be  said  of  Caspari,  who, 
though  he  does  not  expressly  postulate  the  priority 
of  monogamy,  yet  ascribes  to  filial  piety  a  role  in 
the  first  origination  of  religion  which  seems  to  ne 
cessitate  such  a  postulate.3  So  Mr.  John  Fiske's 
suggestion  that  the  transition  from  the  anthropoid 
animals  to  truly  human  beings  was  probably  effected 
by  the  prolongation  of  infancy  and  of  parental  care 
incident  to  the  slower  evolution  of  a  highly  complex 
organism,  and  by  the  family  life  thus  necessitated 
and  brought  about,  is  more  harmonious  with  the 
doctrine  of  primitive  monogamy  than  with  any  other. 
It  would  not  be  surprising,  therefore,  if  this  class  of 

1  Descent  of  Man,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  362-367. 

2  London,  1879. 

8  See  vol.  i.,  pp.  322,  358,  367. 


considerations,  which  we  meet  again  in  Noire' s  the 
ory  of  the  origin  of  language,  should  gradually  lead 
to  such  a  reconstruction  of  Darwinistic  sociology  as 
will  postulate  monogamy  as  the  one  and  only  form 
of  sexual  relation  by  virtue  of  which  man  could  have 
arisen  out  of  the  lower  and  preceding  animal  orders. 
Mr.  Spencer  calls  Mr.  Fiske's  suggestion  "  an  im 
portant  "  one,  and  he  explains  it  in  a  note  appended 
to  a  significant  declaration  respecting  the  biological 
and  sociological  value  of  monogamy  (p.  630).  Else 
where,  after  stating  that  "  irregular  relations  of  the 
sexes  are  at  variance  with  the  welfare  of  the  society, 
of  the  young  and  of  the  adults,"  and  after  ascribing 
the  gradual  dying  out  of  the  Andamanese  to  their 
promiscuity  of  sexual  relation,1  he  says,  "We  may 
infer  that  the  progeny  of  such  unions  (as  had  a  de 
gree  of  exclusiveness  and  durability)  were  more 
likely  to  be  reared  and  more  likely  to  be  vigorous  " 
(p.  669).  Again,  a  page  or  two  later,  he  uses  this 
language  :  "  As  under  ordinary  conditions  the  rear 
ing  of  more  numerous  and  stronger  offspring  must 
have  been  favored  by  more  regular  sexual  relations, 
there  must  on  the  average  have  been  a  tendency  for 
those  societies  most  characterized  by  promiscuity  to 
disappear  before  those  less  characterized  by  it  "  (p. 
671).  But  Spencer  himself  must  grant  that  in  the 
earliest  ages,  upon  the  whole,  the  race  multiplied 
and  spread  from  generation  to  generation,  so  that  we 
must  at  least  conclude  from  his  own  declaration, 
that  the  approximately  monogamous  societies  and 

1  Mr.  E.  H.  Man's  recent  paper  on  the  Andaman  Islanders  (The 
Journal  of  the  Anthropological  Institute,  vol.  xii.,  i.  69,  and  ii.  13)  de 
nies  the  alleged  sexual  promiscuity,  and  illustrates  the  worthlessness 
of  much  of  the  evidence  on  which  popular  ethnographers  rely. 


unions  were  more  numerous  than  the  approximately 
promiscuous  ones.  Well,  therefore,  may  Mr.  Lang, 
our  latest  advocate  of  McLennan's  theory,  concede 
the  possibility  that  "  man  originally  lived  in  the  pa 
triarchal  or  monogamous  family,"  and  seek  to  con 
tent  his  fellow  sociologists  with  the  assurance  that 
"  if  there  occurred  a  fall  from  the  primitive  family, 
and  if  that  fall  was  extremely  general,  affecting  even 
the  Aryan  race,  Mr.  McLennan's  adherents  will  be 
amply  satisfied."  J 

Fifthly.  The  Bible  represents  the  earliest  men  as 
capable  of  entertaining  the  conception  of  a  supreme 
Divine  Being,  the  Maker  of  the  heavens  and  earth, 
the  Creator  and  rightful  Lord  of  men.  It  represents 
them  as  capable  of  realizing  the  moral  obligation  of 
obedience  to  the  Creator,  and  as  possessed  of  free 
dom  to  obey  or  to  disobey.  It  gives  us  to  understand 
that,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  a  few  then  as  now  were 
faithful  to  their  light  and  to  their  convictions  of 
duty,  while  the  greater  part  lived  in  conscious  vio 
lation  of  the  promptings  of  their  own  consciences. 
As  a  natural  consequence  immoralities  multiplied  : 
these  demoralized  and  brutalized  those  who  practiced 
them.  Then  demoralized  and  brutalized  parents 
were  followed  by  children  less  well  instructed  and 
less  well  endowed  than  they  themselves  had  been, 
and  so,  despite  exceptional  men  and  exceptional  fam 
ilies  who  were  more  faithful  to  conscience,  the  gen 
eral  demoralization  went  on.  The  song  of  Lamech, 
Gen.  iv.  23,  24,  is  the  song  of  a  true  savage,  though 
of  one  who  has  known  the  law  of  right  and  duty. 
One  can  hardly  read  it  without  imagining  it  first 
sung  in  a  kind  of  domestic  war-dance  in  the  hut  of 

1  Custom  and  Myth.     London,  1884:  pp.  246-248. 


its  polygamous  author.     He  glories  in  his  homicides, 
and  evidently  belongs  to  those  who  with  savage  lust 
and  brutality  "  took  them  wives  of  all  which  they 
chose."     He  was  a  representative  of  his  Cainite  kin 
dred.     By  the  mass  of  these  and  those  who  inter 
married  with  them  the  Father  and  Lord  of  all  crea 
tures  was  ignored  and  gradually  misconceived,  and 
at  last  superseded  by  creations  of  man's  own  disor 
dered  mind  and  heart,  until  the  pure  primitive  relig 
ion  of  the  righteous  patriarchs  became  a  false  wor 
ship  as  irrational  and  immoral  as  the  mass  of  those 
who   gave  themselves    to    its    loathsome  and  cruel 
practices.      With   some  populations    this    abnormal 
and  immoral  evolution  proceeded  to  thoroughly  un 
natural  and  self-destructive  results,  such  as  religious 
prostitution,   sodomy,  human  sacrifices,  cannibalism, 
etc.     On   the  other  hand,  then  as   now,  fidelity  to 
truth  and  goodness  led  its  possessor  to  larger  knowl 
edge  and  to  higher  spiritual  experiences.     Then  as 
ever  the  principle  held  good,   "To   him  that  hath 
shall  be  given."     Hence  alongside  and  within  and 
above  the  historic  evolution  of  a  large  portion  of  the 
race  from  evil  to  evil  there  was  another  evolution  of 
a  smaller  but  more  vital  portion  from  good  to  good. 
If  Satan's  kingdom  steadily  unfolded,  so  did  also  the 
kingdom  of  God.     And  while  the  one  was   in  the 
direction  of  spiritual  and  physical  degeneration  and 
death,  the  other  was  in  the  direction  of  life  and  ulti 
mate  spiritual  ascendency.     Both  of  these  partial  or 
special  evolutions  were  within  and  part  of  the  uni 
versal  evolution  of  the  race  under  its  preestablished 
nature  and  conditions,  one   of  which  fundamental 
conditions  is  its  immanency  in  the  Divine.     Such  is 
the  picture  presented  us  by  all  the  monotheistic  re- 


ligions  of  the  world,  and  it  is  substantially  confirmed 
by  most  of  the  ancient  traditions  of  the  human  race. 
Now  in  all  this  there  is  nothing  inconsistent  with 
any  well-established  facts  or  principles  of  science. 
Some  authorities  which  Lubbock  himself  quotes 
prove  not  only  that  uncivilized  tribes  are  capable  of 
entertaining  the  theistic  conception  of  the  world, 
but  also  that  not  a  few  of  them  when  first  found 
actually  possessed  remarkably  high  and  pure  con 
ceptions  of  the  Supreme  Spirit  and  of  man's  rela 
tion  to  him.  Thus  he  cites  Livingstone  as  saying 
that  "  the  uncontaminated  African  believes  that  the 
Great  Spirit  lives  above  the  stars."  In  trying  to 
prove  the  absence  of  prayer  among  certain  savages, 
he  admits  witnesses  who  show  that  the  Esquimos, 
the  North  American  Indians,  and  the  Caribs  be 
lieved  in  the  existence  of  a  Supreme  Spirit,  the 
"  Master  of  Life."  He  even  quotes  the  following 
objection  to  prayer  made  by  Tomochichi,  the  chief 
of  the  Yamacraws,  to  General  Oglethorpe,  to  wit : 
"  That  the  asking  of  any  particular  blessing  looked 
to  him  like  directing  God  ;  and  if  so,  that  it  must 
be  a  very  wicked  thing.  That  for  his  part  he  thought 
everything  that  happened  in  the  world  was  as  it 
should  be ;  that  God  of  himself  would  do  for  every 
one  what  was  consistent  with  the  good  of  the  whole ; 
and  that  our  duty  to  him  was  to  be  content  with 
whatever  happened  in  general,  and  thankful  for  all 
the  good  that  happened  in  particular."  What  civil 
ized  religionist,  what  purest  monotheist,  ever  appre 
hended  or  expressed  this  theological  problem  more 
clearly  than  did  this  Indian  chief?  Lubbock  quotes 
another  author  as  saying  that  the  Caribs  considered 
the  Great  Spirit  as  endowed  with  so  great  good- 


ness  that  he  does  not  take  revenge  even  on  his  ene 

So  Mr.  Tylor  allows  not  only  that  most  barbarians 
are  able  to  conceive  of  a  Creator,  but  also  that  they 
actually  believe  in  one.  He  says  :  — 

"Races  of  North  and  South  America,  of  Africa, 
of  Polynesia,  recognizing  a  number  of  great  deities, 
are  usually  and  reasonably  considered  polytheists, 
yet  their  acknowledgment  of  a  Supreme  Creator 
would  entitle  them  at  the  same  time  to  the  name  of 
monotheists,"  if  belief  in  a  Supreme  Deity,  held  to 
be  the  Creator  of  the  world  and  chief  of  the  spiritual 
hierarchy,  were  the  sufficient  criterion  of  monothe 
ism.  "  High  above  the  doctrine  of  souls,  of  divine 
manes,  of  local  nature-spirits,  of  the  great  deities  of 
class  and  element,  there  are  to  be  discerned  in  sav 
age  theology  shado wings,  quaint  or  majestic,  of  the 
conception  of  a  Supreme  Deity."  2 

He  illustrates  the  prevalence  of  this  conception 
by  facts  related  of  barbarous  peoples  in  almost 
every  quarter  of  the  globe.  Speaking  of  the  re 
markable  clearness  of  this  idea  and  belief  among 
the  New  Zealanders,  the  Hawaiians,  the  Tongans, 
Samoans,  and  other  representatives  of  the  Polyne 
sian  race,  he  says  :  — 

"  Students  of  the  science  of  religion  who  hold 
polytheism  to  be  but  the  misdevelopment  of  a 
primal  idea  of  divine  unity,  which  in  spite  of  cor 
ruption  continues  to  pervade  it,  might  well  choose 
this  South  Sea  Island  divinity  as  their  aptest  illus 
tration  from  the  savage  world."  3 

1  Origin  of  Civilization,  pp.  374,  375. 

2  Primitive  Culture,  vol.  ii.,  p.  332. 

8  Compare  Quatrefages,  pp.  486-495 


He  quotes  Moerenhout  as  saying  :  — 

"  Taaroa  is  their  supreme,  or  rather  only,  God  ; 
for  all  the  others,  as  in  other  known  polytheisms, 
seem  scarcely  more  than  sensible  figures  and  im 
ages  of  the  infinite  attributes  united  in  his  divine 

He  adds  the  following  sublime  native  description 
of  this  Supreme  God  :  — 

"  He  was  ;  Taaroa  was  his  name  ;  he  abode  in  the 
void.  No  earth,  no  sky,  no  men.  Taaroa  calls,  but 
naught  answers ;  and  alone  existing  he  became  the 
universe"  (p.  345). 

Though  an  outspoken  opponent  of  the  theory  that 
polytheism  arose  from  moral  and  spiritual  degenera 
tion,  his  own  facts  are  so  strong  that  for  the  expla 
nation  of  some  of  them  he  is  constrained  to  resort 
to  it.  Speaking  of  the  "conceptions  of  the  Supreme 
Deity  in  the  savage  and  barbaric  world,"  he  says, 
"  The  degeneration  theory  may  claim  such  beliefs 
as  mutilated  and  perverted  remnants  of  higher  re 
ligions,  in  some  instances  no  doubt  with  justice." 

That  a  religion  originally  good  and  pure  may  de 
generate  and  become  corrupt  is  conceded  even  by 
Lubbock.  At  the  close  of  his  sketch  of  "  the  low 
est  intellectual  stages  through  which  religion  has 
passed,"  he  uses  this  significant  language  :  — 

"  I  have  stopped  short  sooner,  perhaps,  than  I 
should  otherwise  have  done,  because  the  worship  of 
personified  principles,  such  as  Fear,  Love,  Hope, 
etc.,  could  not  have  been  treated  apart  from  that  of 
the  Phallus,  or  Lingam,  with  which  it  was  so  inti 
mately  associated  in  Greece,  India,  Mexico,  and  else 
where  ;  and  which,  though  at  first  modest  and  pure, 
• —  as  all  religions  are  in  their  origin,  —  led  to  such 


abominable  practices  that  it  is  one  of  the  most  pain 
ful  chapters  in  human  history."  l 

Reading  this,  the  disciple  of  history  simply  asks, 
If  men  could  so  corrupt  the  originally  modest  and 
pure  worship  of  Aphrodite,  why  not  also  the  origi 
nally  pure  worship  of  El  ? 

Sixthly.  The  disclosure  of  the  Arctic  Eden  solves 
all  further  difficulties  in  the  Hebrew  conception  of 
the  religious  development  of  mankind. 

This  doctrine  as  to  the  cradle  of  the  race  con 
cedes  to  the  devotee  of  prehistoric  archaeology  all  his 
claims  as  to  the  lowly  beginnings  of  every  historic 
civilization  developed  in  our  postdiluvian  seats  of 
humanity.  It  welcomes  every  revelation  which  fossil 
bone,  or  chipped  flint,  or  lacustrine  pile,  or  sepul 
chral  mound  has  ever  made,  finding  in  it  precious 
illustration  of  those  "  times  of  ignorance  "  through 
which  our  expatriated  race  has  made  its  passage 
(Acts  xvii.  30;  Rom.  i.  18-32).  It  is  equally  ready 
for  every  conclusion  of  the  scientific  anthropologist. 
By  his  own  doctrine  of  the  power  of  environment, 
and  by  his  own  picture  of  Mammalian  life  in  Ter 
tiary  and  Quaternary  times,  it  constrains  him  to 
admit  that  if  the  Eden  of  Genesis  was  at  the  Pole, 
the  Biblical  picture  of  Antediluvian  Man,  with  his 
extraordinary  vigor  and  stature  and  longevity,  with 
his  extraordinary  defiance  of  the  authority  of  God, 
and  with  his  extraordinary  persistence  in  the  in 
dulgence  of  self-centred  passions  and  appetites  and 
ambitions,  is  credible  in  the  highest  degree.  And 
that  nothing  may  be  lacking  to  its  perfect  confirma 
tion,  the  comparative  mythologist  discovers  that  in 
this  new  Eden  he  is  given  the  master-key  to  his 

l  Origin  of  Civilization,  p.  350. 


own  science,  and  that  every  great  system  of  ancient 
mythology  and  of  mythological  geography  must  now 
be  freshly  and  intelligently  interpreted  in  the  light 
of  it.  The  old,  old  stories  of  a  Golden  Age,  of  the 
Hesperidian  Gardens,  of  the  Tree  of  Golden  Fruit, 
of  the  Hyperborean  Macrobii,  of  the  insurrection 
of  the  Titans,  of  the  destruction  of  mankind  by  a 
Flood,  are  history  once  more.  Their  authenticity 
as  history  is  attested  by  new  and  unchangeable  evi 
dences,  —  by  witnesses  as  unbribable  as  the  axis 
of  the  earth  and  the  pole  of  the  heavens.  No  more 
can  the  investigator  of  the  history  and  philosophy 
of  religion  rule  out  the  ancient  myths  of  humanity 
as  senseless,  or  seek  to  interpret  them  as  results  of 
an  inevitable  "  disease  of  language."  No  more  can 
they  be  palmed  off  upon  us  as  capricious  variations 
of  that  myth  of  dawn,  or  of  the  sun,  or  of  the  storm, 
which  we  are  told  that  the  fancy  of  "  primitive  " 
men  is  ever  weaving.  They  are  simply  blurred 
chapters  from  the  neglected  and  abused  and  almost 
lost  Bible  of  the  Gentiles,  confirming  and  establish 
ing  the  opening  chapters  of  our  own. 

Summing  up,  then,  we  see  :  I.  That  in  rejecting 
the  historical  conception  of  the  primeval  religious 
belief  of  mankind  Hume  took  up  a  position  which 
none  of  his  own  successors  consider  as  at  all  tena 

2.  The  further  these  successors  have  carried  their 
revolt  against  history,  the  more  have  they  become 
involved  in  contradiction  with  each  other. 

3.  The  more  consistently  and  radically  the  dogma 
of  primitive  savagery  has  been  carried  out,  the  more 
inevitably  has  it  landed  its  advocates  in  the  doctrine 
of  primitive  bestiality. 


4.  In  their  eagerness  to  destroy  the  possibility  or 
credibility  of  primeval  monotheism,  these  more  con 
sistent  and  radical  theorists  have  inadvertently  gone 
so  far  as  to  render  a  self-consistent  evolutional  biol 
ogy  or  sociology  impossible. 

5.  In  consequence  hereof  the  more  clear-sighted 
of  the  representatives  of   Darwinism   are  just  now 
deftly  re-approaching  the  long-scouted  historic  con 
ception,  by  representing  the  first  men  as  superior  to 
the  modern  savage   in  intellectual    endowment,  by 
calling  their  powers  high,  by  considering  their  judg 
ments  of   natural    objects   substantially  correct,  by 
admitting  their  knowledge  of  the  true  and  normal 
form  of  the  family,  by  conceding  to  them  a  truly  hu 
man  appreciation  of  ethical  excellences  and  obliga 
tions,  by  allowing  to  them  a  capacity  to  conceive  of 
an  almighty  Supreme  Spirit,  the  Author  and  right 
ful  Governor  of  the  world,  and  by  recognizing  that 
nearly  all  religions  present  clear  traces  of  corrup 
tion.     So  far  as  principles  are  concerned  these  rep 
resentations  surrender  their  whole  case.    With  these 
data  Adamic  Revelation  becomes  quite  as  possible 
and  quite  as  credible  as  Abrahamic,  or  Mosaic,  or 
Christian  Revelation. 

6.  The  Anlage  for  religion  is  no  product  of  age 
long  advances  in  civilization  and  in  the  arts.     The 
unclad  Adam  of  the  garden  was  no  more  incapaci 
tated  for  the  knowledge  of  his  Father  than  was  that 
naked  second  Adam,  for  whose  advent  Mary  pro 
vided  the  swaddling-clothes.     If  the  former  seems 
too  undeveloped  to  be  an  organ  of  divine  revelation, 
the  latter,  the  highest  of  all  these  organs,  the  abso 
lute  Revelator,  began  quite  as  low.     If  nomad  Arabs 
of  to-day  can  see  in  storm  and  stars  sublime  mani* 


festations  of  one  almighty  personal  Power,  why  could 
not  the  nomadic  Abel  as  well  ?  If  the  Gospel  mes 
senger  of  to-day  can  cause  the  rudest  Fijian  to  know 
God  and  to  experience  a  sense  of  divine  forgiveness 
and  favor,  why  may  not  God's  earliest  preachers  of 
righteousness  have  produced  a  like  effect  on  sincere 
souls  before  the  .discovery  of  the  art  of  metal-work 
ing  ?  Once  let  the  anthropological  and  sociolog 
ical  postulates  demanded  even  by  Herbert  Spencer 
be  granted,  and  the  ancient  historic  conception  of 
Primitive  Monotheism  becomes  both  possible  and 
eminently  reasonable.  As  an  escape  from  the  con 
flicting  and  mutually  destructive  theories  of  the  nat 
uralistic  school  in  its  different  departments,  it  pre 
sents,  on  merely  speculative  grounds,  a  positive 
attractiveness.  Its  full  array  of  evidences,  however, 
is  simply  co-extensive  and  identical  with  the  evi 
dences  for  the  reality  of  Historic  Revelation  as  a 
whole.  Everything  which  goes  to  show  that  God 
has  intelligibly  revealed  himself  to  men  at  all  bears 
more  or  less  directly  upon  the  credibility  of  a  Reve 
lation  "  in  the  beginning? 

7.  Lastly,  the  Arctic  Eden  completes  the  recon 
ciliation  of  Biblical  and  secular  learning  in  their  re 
lations  to  the  problem  of  the  primitive  religion  of 
men.  As  we  have  seen,  both  science  and  theology 
now  find  in  this  primeval  Bildungsherd  at  the  Pole 
the  one  prolific  centre  whence  all  the  floral  and 
faunal  and  human  life-forms  of  the  whole  earth  have 
proceeded.  In  an  "  environment"  of  such  crea 
tively  potent,  world -overflowing  nature  -  forces  as 
were  there,  any  culmination  of  life's  manifestations 
short  of  a  "  Golden  Race  "  of  men,  kingly  in  stature, 
Rishis  in  intelligence,  measuring  their  Deva-Yike 


lives  by  centuries,  would  have  been  an  incongruity. 
That  a  loving  Creator  —  creating  because  loving  — 
should  have  put  himself  into  instant  personal  com 
munion  with  these  highest  of  his  creatures,  moral 
natures  fashioned  in  his  own  image  and  after  his 
likeness,  children  of  his  love,  is  to  a  theist,  even 
an  ethnic  theist,  the  only  credible  representation. 
That  such  a  lusty  race  should  have  been  open  to 
temptation  on  the  line  of  apparently  innocent  aspira 
tion  after  still  higher  perfections,  that  they  should 
have  desired  to  "be  as  gods,"  that  they  should  have 
coveted  experimental  and  personal  knowledge  of 
evil  as  well  as  of  good,  —  these  are  suppositions 
which  no  serious  anthropologist  will  pronounce  in 
admissible.  That  the  actual  revolt  of  such  an  order 
of  moral  agents  from  the  true  law  and  basis  of  its 
life  should  have  carried  into  its  subsequent  historic 
developments  consequences  of  profoundest  import  is 
as  much  a  necessary  implication  of  the  law  of  hered 
ity  and  of  the  established  constitution  of  nature  as 
it  is  an  instinctive  inference  from  the  preconceived 
character  of  a  perfect  Moral  Governor.  Given  such 
antediluvian  men,  one  must  pronounce  the  history 
of  antediluvian  religion,  as  reported  in  the  oldest 
memories  and  in  the  most  sacred  scriptures  of  hu 
manity,  a  self-attesting  chronicle. 



It  would  be  a  valuable  contribution  to  the  Study  of  Civilization  to  have  the  ac~ 
tion  of  Decline  and  Fall  investigated  on  a  -wider  and  more  exact  basis  of  evidence 
than  has  yet  been  attempted.  —  E.  B.  TYLOR. 

L'orfut  certainement  le  premier  metal  que  Von  connut.  .  .  .  Les  trots  ages  des 
poetes,  Page  d'or,  Vage  d'airain,  et  Page  de  fer  sont  une  realite,  et  non  une  fic 
tion.1-  —  A.  DB  ROCHAS. 

BESIDES  their  philosophies  of  religion,  the  apostles 
of  universal  primeval  savagery  have  also  their  Phi 
losophy  of  Human  History  and  of  Social  Progress. 
First  of  all,  they  would  have  us  believe  that  man  has 
existed  upon  the  Earth  hundreds  of  thousands  of 
years,2  and  that  for  at  least  the  first  hundred  thou 
sand  years,  possibly  for  twice  or  thrice  this  period, 

1  Revue  Scientifique,  Paris,  September  22,  1883. 

2  With   an   impressive   attempt   at    accuracy   Professor   Mortillet 
says,  "at   least   230,000   to    240,000   years."      Le  Prehistorique,   p. 
627.     Haeckel  says,  "  in  any  case  more  than  20,000  years,"  "  prob 
ably  more  than  100,000  years,"  "  perhaps  many  hundred  thousand 
years."      Naturliche  Schopfungsgeschichtc,  p.  595.     Mr.  John  Fiske, 
building  upon  Croll,  thinks  that  "  the  human  race  has  covered  both 
the  eastern  and  the  western  hemispheres  for  thousands  of  centuries," 
and  that  the  period  during  which  man  has  possessed  sufficient  intelli 
gence  to  leave  a  traditional  record  of  himself  is  "  only  an  infinitesi 
mal  fraction  "  of  the  time.     In  one  passage  he  fixes  on  the  period  of 
"  eight  hundred  thousand  years,"  and  at  one  time  Lyell  and  others 
favored  the  same  duration.     Cosmic  Philosophy,  ii.  320,  295.     Com 
pare  on  the  other  side  Southall,  The  Recent  Origin  of  Man,  Phila., 
1875,  ar|d   The  Epoch  of  the  Mammoth  and  the  Apparition  of  Man 
upon  the  Earfk,  Phila.,  1878. 


he  lived  like  a  wild  beast  in  thickets  and  dens  and 
caverns  of  the  earth.1  His  one  occupation  was  the 
struggle  for  existence.  The  very  cave  in  which 
his  wretched  young  were  sheltered  from  the  storm 
was  continually  exposed  to  invasion  by  the  cave- 
hyena  and  the  cave-bear,  fiercer  and  more  powerful 
than  the  modern  type.  His  multitudinous  enemies 
were  all  provided  with  offensive  and  defensive 
armor,  —  with  tusk  and  fang,  with  claw  and  beak, 
with  lances  steeped  in  never-failing  deadliest  poi 
sons.  To  every  foe  they  could  oppose  an  almost 
impenetrable  hide,  a  mail  of  horny  scales,  a  solid 
shell.  He,  by  strangest  anomaly,  was  destitute  of 
all.  He  was  a  naked  and  defenseless  babe  in  the 
Indian  jungle  of  Earth's  fierce  and  venomous  car- 
nivora.  He  had  not  a  weapon,  not  an  implement 
with  which  to  shape  one.  Even  had  he  had  imple 
ments  ever  so  good,  he  would  not  have  known 
enough  to  fashion  himself  the  rudest  club  from  the 
branch  of  a  tree.  He  had  not  yet  "  learned  to  look 
up  "  to  where  the  tree  branches  grew.  "  Habit  as 

1  "  In  the  dim  mist  of  bygone  ages  our  ancestors  lived  the  life 
of  wild  beasts  in  forests  and  caves."  Elisee  Reclus,  Ocean,  Atmos 
phere^  and  Life,  vol.  ii.,  p.  190.  "  We  must  assign  to  him  the  posi 
tion  of  a  savage,  but  of  a  savage  as  far  below  the  buffalo-hunting 
Pawnee  as  the  latter  is  removed  from  the  cultivated  representative  of 
the  Caucasian  race."  Rau,  Early  Man  in  Europe.  N.  Y.,  1876  :  p. 
162.  "  On  such  a  view  "  as  that  "  of  the  modern  naturalist,  savage 
life  itself  is  afar  advanced  condition."  Tylor,  Primitive  Culture,  vol. 
i->  P-  37-  "  All  our  recent  investigations  in  Europe  into  the  state  of 
the  arts  in  the  earlier  Stone  Age  lead  clearly  to  the  opinion  that  at  a 
period  many  thousands  of  years  anterior  to  the  historical,  man  was 
in  a  state  of  great  barbarism  and  ignorance,  exceeding  that  of  the  most 
savage  tribes  of  modern  times!''  Lyell,  Principles  of  Geology,  vol.  ii., 
p.  485.  For  a  contrary  view  see  the  Duke  of  Argyll's  chapter  "  On 
the  Degradation  of  Man  "  in  his  Unity  of  Nature.  London,  1884  : 
PP-  374-447- 


well  as  nature  kept  his  eyes  fixed  upon  the  ground." 
As  we  saw  in  the  preceding  chapter,  he  supposed 
that  "  the  branches  of  the  trees  extended  quite  to 
heaven,  hiding  themselves  in  infinitely  remote 
ethereal  regions."  Indeed,  according  to  some  of 
these  advocates,  this  precious  "primitive  man"  could 
not  distinguish  a  tree  when  he  saw  it.  He  was  not 
at  all  certain  that  its  outspreading  roots  and  branches 
were  not  the  legs  and  arms  of  a  fellow-man  who 
happened  to  grow  in  that  particular  way.  So  says 
a  "  generally-understandable-scientific  lecturer  "  of 
Germany,  Dr.  Wilhelm  Mannhardt.  Let  us  note 
his  exact  statement :  "  However  inconceivable  it 
may  be  to  us  moderns,  there  truly  was  a  time  when 
people  were  unable  to  make  any  conceivable  distinc 
tion  between  a  plant  and  a  man."1 

It  is  somewhat  to  be  feared  lest  writers  of  this 
sort  have  been  a  little  precipitate  in  rejecting  so  de 
terminedly  the  traditional  idea  of  extraordinary  an 
tediluvian  longevity.  For  if  the  earliest  generations 
of  mankind  were  in  truth  such  idiotic  specimens  as 
here  represented,  the  great  problems  as  to  the  possi 
bility  of  their  defending  themselves  against  the  blood 
thirsty  and  powerful  carnivora  by  which  they  were 

1  "  Alle  lebenden  Wesen,  vom  Menschen  bis  zur  Pflanze,  haben 
Geborenwerden,  Wachsthum  und  Tod  miteinander  gemein,  und  diese 
Gemeinschaft  des  Schicksals  mag  in  einer  fernen  Kindheitsperiode 
unsers  Geschlechts  so  uberwaltigend  auf  die  noch  ungelibte  Beobach- 
tung  unserer  Voraltern  eingedrungen  sein,  dass  sie  darliber  die  Un- 
terschiede  iibersahen,  welche  jene  Schopfungsstufen  voneinander  tren- 
nen.  So  unbegreiflich  es  uns  Modernen  klingen  mag,  hat  es  in 
Wahrheit  eine  Zeit  gegeben,  in  der  man  keinen  begreiflichen  Unter- 
schied  zwischen  einer  Pflanze  und  einem  Menschen  zu  machen  wuss- 
te."  Sammlung  gemeinverstdndlicher  •wissenschaftlicher  Vortrage, 
herausgegeben  von  Rudolf  Virchow  und  Franz  von  Holtzendorff.  Nro. 
239.  Berlin,  1876. 


surrounded,  and  as  to  the  possibility  of  their  learning 
sufficiently  early  how  to  wring  a  subsistence  from 
the  unfriendly  soil,  must  give  place  to  the  still  more 
perplexing  and  more  fundamental  problem  as  to  the 
possibility  and  credibility  of  primitive  procreation 
itself.  To  say  nothing  of  the  question  as  to  the 
whence  of  the  very  first  of  these  feeble  and  down- 
looking  intelligences,  it  is  plain  that  if  ever  they 
did  have  successors  to  take  up  and  carry  forward 
and  upward  their  type  of  life,  in  some  way  and  at 
seme  time  within  the  natural  life  of  the  first  individ 
uals,  —  incredible  as  it  may  be  "  to  us  moderns," 
—  it  must  (happily  for  us)  have  dawned  upon  some 
man's  mind,  or  on  whatever  then  occupied  the  place 
of  his  mind,  that  between  Daphne  (or  whoever  was 
practically  the  first  woman)  and  a  tree  some  dis 
tinction  was  discernible.  And  as  the  friends  who 
give  us  such  witless  ancestors  are  prodigal  to  a  fault 
in  their  allowance  of  ages  of  time  whenever  any 
ordinary  geological  or  zoological  result  is  to  be 
reached  without  troubling  a  Higher  Power,  it  seems 
to  a  calm  on-looker  a  very  penurious  and  illogical, 
not  to  say  cruel,  procedure  to  require  these  embry- 
otic  representatives  of  incipient  humanity  to  create, 
or  rather  to  evolve  and  bring  to  practicable  perfec 
tion,  the  high  arts  and  sciences  of  intelligent  per 
ception,  of  human  as  distinguished  from  dendrolog- 
ical  physiology,  of  gynecology  and  obstetrics,  —  all 
within  the  few  swift  years  of  a  modern  human  life 
time.  With  "two  hundred  and  thirty  thousand  to 
two  hundred  and  forty  thousand  years  "  at  his  com 
mand,  or  even  "  many  hundred  thousand,"  we  really 
hope  Dr.  Mannhardt  will  see  his  way  to  reconsider 
this  point,  and  to  deal  with  the  protistoi  of  the  hu- 


man  world  in  a  more  liberal  and  truly  evolutionistic 

Happily,  the  apostles  of  what  De  Maistre  calls 
the  banale  hypothesis  of  primeval  savagery  have 
done  their  worst,  and  doing  this  have  shattered  their 
own  party  into  an  indefinite  number  of  mutually  an 
tagonistic  factions,  each  protesting  against  all  who 
happen  to  be  more  thorough-going  and  radical  than 
themselves.  Thus  Spencer  is  in  array  against  Mc 
Lennan,  Caspari  protests  against  Mannhardt,  Vogt 
endeavors  to  outdo  Darwin,  and  so  on  to  the  end  of 
the  chapter.  The  modern  Babel  is  worse  than  the 
ancient.  To  one  surveying  at  the  present  time  the 
different  departments  of  science  which  relate  to 
Man,  it  would  seem  as  though  in  each  the  break 
down  of  the  theory  of  primitive  human  brutishness 
and  imbecility  were  complete,  though  not  yet  pub 
licly  proclaimed  and  acknowledged.  A  review  of 
the  situation,  with  authentic  citations  of  the  dissen- 

1  There  is  some  evidence  that  the  geologists  are  becoming  increas 
ingly  skeptical  as  to  the  time-pieces  relied  upon  by  the  ruling  school 
of  paleontological  anthropologists.  For  example:  "The  present 
rates  of  the  retrocession  of  Niagara,  or  of  the  deposit  of  Nile  mud,  or 
of  stalagmite  in  caverns,  or  of  the  accumulations  of  the  rocks  them 
selves,  or  of  the  movement  of  glaciers,  have  been  vainly  used  as  natural 
chronometers,  on  the  assumption  that  they  have  been  going  on  at  the 
same  rate  through  all  the  past,  and  have  been  warranted  never  to  stop, 
or  to  want  winding  up,  or  to  go  faster  or  slower  than  at  the  moment  the 
observer  was  looking  at  them.  Such  attempts  are  so  obviously  futile 
that  it  is  not  a  little  strange  to  find  them  seriously  made  by  men  like 
Wallace  and  Mortillet."  W.  Boyd  Dawkins,  "  Early  Man  in  Amer 
ica."  North  American  Re-view,  Oct.,  1883,  p.  338.  See  also  "  The 
Niagara  Gorge  as  a  Chronometer,"  by  G.  Frederick  Wright,  in  the 
Bibliotheca  Sacra,  and  in  the  Am.  Journal  of  Science  for  1884.  Still 
more  significant  is  the  alarmingly  revolutionary  "  Opening  Address  " 
delivered  last  summer  in  Montreal  before  the  Geological  Section  cf 
the  British  Association  by  President  W.  T.  Blanford,  F.  R.  S.,  and 
printed  in  Nature,  Sept.  4,  1884,  pp.  440  ff. 


tient  and  often  contradictory  utterances  of  represen 
tative  leaders,  would  be  most  timely,  but  the  task 
must  be  left  to  other  and  more  competent  hands. 
Here,  foregoing  all  exposures  of  such  a  kind,  we 
will  simply  suggest  to  the  reader  a  few  obviously 
important  memoranda  :  — 

1.  Considered  in  the  light  of  antecedent  proba 
bilities,    there    is    no  discoverable  reason,  or   apol 
ogy  for  a  reason,  why  the  first  Homines  should  have 
been  but  half-witted,  any  more  than  those  perfect 
Nautili  which,  ages    earlier,  with   astounding   skill 
navigated  the  old  Silurian  seas.1 

2.  Given  Human  beings,  normally  endowed  at  the 
beginning,  and  we  see  experience  everywhere  show 
ing  how  all  the  savagery  of  past  and  present  history 
could   easily  and  naturally  have  originated   simply 
from  disregard  of  natural  and  moral  law. 

3.  Given  at  the  beginning  nothing   but  Animal 
powers,  and  we  find  nothing  in  the  whole  range  of 
experience,  from  the  first  dawn  of  history  until  now, 
paralleling  or  in  any  wise  rendering  intelligible  the 
hypothetical  biological    legerdemain    of   Nature  by 
which  these  zoologic  powers  were  once,   and  once 
only,  transmuted  into  Human.2 

1  Since  these  pages  were  placed  in  the  printer's  hands  the  follow 
ing   has  appeared  in  the  scientific  journals  :  "  A   discovery  by  Dr. 
Lindstrom  in  the  Silurian  rocks  of  Gotland  is  worthy  of  special  notice. 
In  beds  which  are  said  to  be  the  equivalent  of  our  Niagara  group 
he  has  discovered  a  remarkably  well-preserved  scorpion.     Dr.  Tho- 
rell,  one  of  the  foremost  students  of  Arachnida  in  the  world,  and  Dr. 
Lindstrom  are  preparing  a  paper  upon  it,  and  have  given  it  the  name 
of  Paleophoneus  nuncius.     No  scorpions,  nor  indeed  any  Arachnida, 
have  before  been  found  fossil  in  beds  lower  than  the  carboniferous 
deposits,  in  which  some  twenty-five  species  have  been  found  in  this 
country  and  Europe  ;  yet  this  Silurian  example  is  more  perfect  than 
Q.ny  specimen  of  a  fossil  scorpion  from  any  formation" 

2  "  That  man,  equally  with  the  monad  and  the  Conferva,  owes  his 


4.  If  Paleontology  presents  to  us  certain  types  of 
life  which  indicate  in  their  successions  a  certain 
progress,  it  must  not  be  forgotten  that  the  same 
science  presents  us  other  types,  whose  successions 
with  equal  clearness  reveal  a  progressive  degeneracy 
and  an  ultimate  disappearance.  The  movement 
may  be  forward,  but  it  may  also  be  backward.  "  As 
to  the  class  Reptilia,"  says  Sir  Charles  Lyell,  "some 
of  the  orders  which  prevailed  when  the  Secondary 
rocks  were  formed  are  confessedly  much  higher  in 
their  organization  than  any  of  the  same  class  now 
living.  If  the  less  perfect  Ophidians,  or  snakes, 
which  now  abound  on  earth  had  taken  the  lead  in 
those  ancient  days  among  the  land  reptiles,  and  the 
Deinosaurians  had  been  contemporary  with  Man, 
there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  progressionist  would 
have  seized  upon  this  fact  with  unfeigned  satisfac 
tion  as  confirmatory  of  his  views.  Now  that  the 
order  of  succession  is  precisely  reversed,  and  that 

origin  to  a  protoplasmic  germ,  in  which  are  contained  all  the  possi 
bilities  of  his  after  development,  is  no  piece  of  scientific  romance, 
but  demonstrable  truth.  .  .  .  All  forms  of  protoplasm,  however  alike 
in  appearance  and  composition  science  may  and  does  declare  them  to 
be,  are  not  identical  in  their  potentialities.  They  do  not,  in  other 
words,  all  possess  similar  powers  of  becoming  similar  organisms. 
The  speck  which  remains  an  Amoeba  has  no  power  of  evolving  from 
its  substance  a  higher  form  of  life.  The  protoplasmic  spore  of  a  sea 
weed  is  a  seaweed  still,  despite  its  similarity  to  other  or  higher  forms 
of  plant-germs.  The  germ  of  the  sponge,  again,  remains  possessed 
of  the  powers  which  can  convert  it  into  a  sponge  alone.  And  the 
differences  between  such  protoplasmic  specks  and  the  germ  which  is 
destined  to  evolve  the  human  frame  can  only  be  declared  as  of  im 
mense  extent,  and  as  equaling  in  their  nature  the  wide  structural  and 
functional  distinctions  which  we  draw  betwixt  the  sponge  and  the 
man.  Of  such  differences  in  the  inherent  nature  of  protoplasm  un 
der  different  conditions  we  are  as  yet  in  complete  ignorance."  —  An 
drew  Wilson,  Ph.  D.,  F.  L.  S.,  Chapters  on  Evolution.  London,  1883  : 
9P-  74*  75- 


the  age  of  the  Iguanodon  was  long  anterior  to  that 
of  the  Eocene  palaeophis  and  the  living  boa,  while 
the  crocodile  is  in  our  own  times  the  highest  repre 
sentative  of  its  class,  a  retrograde  movement  in  this 
important  division  of  the  vertebrata  must  be  admit 
ted."  l  With  this  agrees  the  emphatic  declaration  of 
Andrew  Wilson :  "  A  study  of  the  facts  of  animal 
development  is  well  calculated  to  show  that  life  is 
not  all  progress,  and  that  it  includes  retrogression 
as  well  as  advance.  Physiological  history  can  read 
ily  be  proved  to  tend  in  many  cases  towards  back 
sliding  instead  of  reaching  forwards  and  upwards  to 
higher  levels.  This  tendency,  beginning  now  to  be 
better  recognized  in  biology  than  in  late  years,  can 
readily  be  shown  to  exercise  no  unimportant  influ 
ence  on  the  fortunes  of  animals  and  plants."  2  In 
view  of  these  facts  of  retrogression,  the  latest  writers 
on  the  history  of  life  on  our  planet,  even  when  pro 
fessing,  with  the  last-quoted  author,  to  accept  of 
Darwin's  philosophy  as  true,  are  at  the  same  time 
very  generally  saying,  "  It  cannot  be  the  whole 
truth."  3 

1  The  Antiq^l^ty  of  'Man ,  Philadelphia  ed.,  p.  402. 

2  Andrew  Wilson,  Ph.  D.,  F.  L.  S.,  Chapters  on  Evolution,  p.  343 
(italics  ours).     See  pp.  342-365.     The  progress  of   paleontological 
research  is  constantly  bringing  new  illustrations  to  light.    Revue  Scien- 
tifique.     Paris,    1884:  p.   282.     Even  in  our  late   age   of  the  world 
"  highly  specialized  forms  of  life  are  in  fact  numerically  a  minority  of 
living  beings."     E.  D.  Cope,  "  On  Archaesthetism,"  in  the  American 
Naturalist.     Phila.,    1882  :    vol.  xvi.,  p.  468.     Compare  same  writer 
on  "Catagenesis,"  in  vol.  xviii.  (i884),  pp.  970-984. 

3  What  could  be  more  striking  and  impressive  than  the  following 
fresh  testimony  from  this  field  :  "  The  flora  of  the  whole  Paleozoic 
period  ...  is  very  distinct  from  that  of  succeeding  times.     Still,  the 
leading  families  of  Rhizocarpea,  j&quisetacea,  Lycopodiacece,  Filicea, 
and  Conifera,  established  in   Paleozoic  times,  still  remain,  and  the 
changes  which  have  occurred  consist  mainly  in  the  degradation  of  the 


5.  Again,  by  the   same   testimony  of  the  rocks, 
life  need  not,  of  necessity,  either  advance  or  retreat ; 
it   may   stand  as  first    originated  from  age  to  age. 
Says  Professor  Nicholson,  "There  are  various  groups, 
some   of  them  highly  organized,  which  make  their 
appearance  at  an  extremely  ancient  date,  but  which 
continue    throughout    geological    time    almost   un 
changed,  and  certainly  unprogressive.     Many  of  these 
'  Persistent  Types '  are  known,  and  they  indicate  that 
under  given  conditions,  at  present  unknown  to  us, 
it  is  possible  for  a  life-form  to  subsist  for  an  almost 
indefinite  period  without  any  important  modification 
of  its  structure."  1 

6.  All  arguments  for  the  alleged  self-evolution  of 
the    Human    Race    out    of   preceding  animal  races, 
based  upon  an  alleged  universal  and  uniformly  pro 
gressive  self-evolution  of  life-forms  in   the   animal 
kingdom,  are,  in  view  of  the  above  facts,  arguments 
originating  in  ignorance  or  in  fraud. 

7.  According  to  the  teachers  of  the  current  ag 
nostic   anthropology   and  atheistic  history,   modern 
Man  is  the  supreme  product,  the  crowning  glory,  of 
the  cosmic  life-process,  at  least  so  far  as  our  planet 
is  concerned.    Yet,  by  their  own  concessions,  through 
all  the  unmeasured  aeons  during  which  this  being 
has  been  maturing   and  perfecting,   the  Earth  has 
steadily  been  losing  its  life-giving  warmth,  its  once 
delightful   and    almost   equable   climate  has  slowly 

three  first  families,  and  in  the  introduction  of  new  types  of  Gymno- 
sperms  and  Phaenogams.  These  changes,  delayed  and  scarcely  per 
ceptible  in  the  Permian  and  Early  Mesozoic,  seem  to  have  been  greatly 
accelerated  in  the  Later  Mesozoic,"  Principal  Dawson,  "  On  the  More 
Ancient  Land  Floras  of  the  Old  and  New  Worlds."  Paper  read  be 
fore  the  British  Association  in  Montreal,  Aug.  1884.  Nature,  p.  527. 
1  Life-History  of  the  Earth,  p.  371,  2. 


given  place  to  Sahara  heat  and  Arctic  cold,  its  once 
luxuriant  flora  has  yielded  to  types  of  marked  infe 
riority,  and  its  degenerating  fauna  ceased  to  come 
up  to  the  measure  of  the  stature  of  preceding  forms.1 
This  is  saying  that  one  and  the  same  secular  Deteri 
oration  of  Environment  has  devitalized  and  degraded 
all  forms  of  life  save  one,  but  that,  unaided  and  alone, 
it  has  elevated  that  one  to  the  physical,  intellectual, 
and  spiritual  kingship  of  the  world.2 

8.  In  proportion  as  the  discussions  and  conclu 
sions  of  this  treatise  have  vindicated  and  illustrated 
the  trustworthiness  of  the  most  ancient  Traditions 
with  reference  to  the  location  of  the  first  abode  of 
the  race,  in  precisely  the  same  degree  have  they  au 
thenticated  and  verified  those  same  Traditions  as 
trustworthy  sources  of  information  with  respect  to 
Man's  primitive  state,  his  intellectual  powers,  and 
his  knowledge  of  the  Divine. 

Finally,  the  varying  Power  of  Man  over  Nature, 
dwindling  whensoever  by  vice  he  descends  beast- 
ward,  increasing  whensoever  by  virtue  he  ascends 

1  "  The  Pliocene  period  is  the  declining  age  of  the  European  flora, 
the  time  when  the  climatic  conditions  are  definitively  altered,  when 
the  vegetation  gradually  becomes  poor  and  ceases  to  gain  anything. 
The  progress  of  the  phenomenon  is  slow,  but  it  moves  along  an  in 
clined  plane,  on  which  it  never  stops.    Those  ornamental  plants,  those 
precious  trees,  those  noble  and  elegant  shrubs,  which  are  now  care 
fully  trained  by  artificial  culture   in   European  conservatories  were 
until  then  inhabitants  of  Europe,  but  they  left  it  forever.    One  by  one 
the  ostracised  plants  take  their  departure,  lingering  here  and  there  on 
the  road  to  exile.     It  is  this  exodus  that  we  should  have  to  describe, 
if  we  could  follow  step  by  step  the  march  of  retrogression,  and  indi 
cate  species  by  species  the  progress  and  the  result  of  this  abandon 
ment  of  our  soil."  —  G.  de  Saporta,  Le  Monde  des  Plantes  avant  V Ap 
parition  de  FHomme.     Noticed  in  Am.  Journal  of  Science,  1879,  p. 

2  See  above,  page  100,  note. 


Godward,  is  to  a  truly  scientific  and  philosophic  eye 
full  of  significance.  The  slightest  study  of  the  man 
ifestations  of  this  power  in  history  inwardly  convicts 
Us  of  unfaithfulness,  as  a  race,  to  the  true  law  of  our 
being.  We  cannot  help  feeling  that  we  ought  to  be 
lords  of  Nature.  Our  actual  relation  to  the  cosmic 
forces  is  not,  and  in  historic  time  never  has  been, 
the  ideal  and  true  relation.  It  was  no  narrow- 
minded  "  bibliolater  "  who  penned  the  following  ex 
pression  of  this  feeling  ;  it  was  Ralph  Waldo  Emer 
son  :  "  As  we  degenerate,  the  contrast  between  us 
and  our  house  is  more  evident.  We  are  as  much 
strangers  in  Nature  as  we  are  aliens  from  God.  We 
do  not  understand  the  notes  of  birds.  The  fox  and 
the  deer  run  away  from  us ;  the  bear  and  the  tiger 
rend  us.  .  .  .  Man  is  a  god  in  ruins.  When  men 
are  innocent,  life  shall  be  longer,  and  shall  pass  into 
the  immortal  as  gently  as  we  awake  from  dreams. 
Man  is  the  dwarf  of  himself.  Once  he  was  perme 
ated  and  dissolved  by  spirit.  At  present  he  applies 
to  Nature  but  half  his  force.  .  .  .  Meantime,  in  the 
thick  darkness,  there  are  not  wanting  gleams  of  a 
better  light,  —  occasional  examples  of  the  action  of 
man  upon  Nature  with  his  entire  force.  Such  exam 
ples  are  the  traditions  of  MIRACLES  in  the  antiquity 
of  all  nations,  the  HISTORY  OF  JESUS  CHRIST,  the 
achievements  of  a  principle  in  political  revolutions, 
the  miracles  of  enthusiasm,  the  wisdom  of  children. 
.  .  .  The  problem  of  restoring  to  the  world  original 
and  eternal  beauty  is  solved  by  the  redemption  of  the 

The  above  is  an  utterance  as  true  and  deep  as  it 
is  beautiful  and  poetic.     And  here  in  this  ancient 
and  Biblical  conception  of  Man's  relation  to  Nature 


is  given  the  sun-clear  solution  of  the  whole  contro 
versy  between  the  advocates  of  universal  racial  and 
technological  degeneration,  on  the  one  hand,  and  the 
advocates  of  universal  racial  and  technological  pro 
gression,  on  the  other.  Both  parties  are  right  and 
both  are  wrong.  The  one  has  vindicated  and  em 
phasized  one  vital  class  of  facts ;  the  other,  another 
class  equally  vital.  Christian  thought  interprets  and 
harmonizes  them  both.  It  shows  us  through  all  hu 
man  history  racial  and  social  and  technological  deca 
dence  wherever  men  have  rejected  or  ignored  God. 
It  shows  us,  on  the  other  hand,  racial  and  social  and 
technological  progress  wherever  men  have  acknowl 
edged  and  lovingly  served  that  Divine  One  in  whom 
we  live  and  move  and  have  our  being.  Here,  then, 
is  the  law  of  true  human  progress.  As  Emerson 
in  his  more  Christian  moods  would  put  it,  The  res 
toration  of  the  lost  harmony  between  Man  and  his 
House  must  begin  with  the  Redemption  of  his  Soul. 
As  to  the  primeval  condition  of  our  race,  a  truly 
scientific  mind  will  wish  to  base  its  conception  not 
on  the  air-hung  speculations  of  mere  theorists,  but  on 
an  immovable  foundation  of  fact,  attested  and  con 
firmed  by  the  widest,  oldest,  and  most  incontestable 
of  all  concurrences  of  divine  and  human  testimony. 
According  hereto,  as  in  its  beginning  light  was  light, 
and  water  water,  and  the  Spirit  spirit,  so  in  his  be 
ginning  Man  was  Man.  It  says  that  the  first  men 
could  not  have  been  men  without  a  human  con 
sciousness,  and  that  they  could  not  have  had  a  hu 
man  consciousness  without  rationality  and  freedom. 
It  says  that  they  could  not  have  possessed  con 
scious  rationality  and  freedom  without  the  percep 
tion  of  ethical  qualities  and  the  personal  taste  of 


moral  experiences.  It  boldly  asserts  that,  accord 
ing  to  every  principle  of  just  analogy,  the  notion 
that  it  took  the  earliest  men  one  hundred  thousand 
years  to  get  an  idea  of  the  conditions  of  normal  in 
tellectual,  and  ethical,  and  social  living  is  as  incredi 
ble  as  that  it  took  the  first-born  mammal  one  hun 
dred  thousand  years  to  find  its  mother's  milk.  It 
calls  attention  to  the  fact  that  all  the  oldest  historic 
peoples  of  every  continent  unite  in  the  testimony 
that  the  first  men  had  knowledge  of  superhuman 
personalities,  good  and  evil.  It  dwells  upon  the 
equally  universal  tradition  that  primeval  human  life, 
while  progressive  in  everything  which  accumulating 
human  experience  would  of  necessity  improve,  was 
yet  from  the  first  the  life  of  decidedly  super-bestial, 
almost  god-like  intelligences,  as  daring  ultimately  in 
evil  as  potent  originally  for  good.  It  holds  on  the 
same  authority  that  after  centuries  and  possibly  mil 
lenniums  of  such  history  as  great  natures  undisci 
plined  by  virtue  are  ever  reproducing,  the  social 
organism  was  incurably  corrupted  and  the  moral 
world-order  itself  defied.  As  Plato's  Egyptian  priests 
told  Solon,  "  the  divine  portion  in  human  nature 
faded  out ;  "  the  purely  human  "  gained  the  upper 
hand,"  and,  spoiled  by  the  very  excellence  of  their 
fortune,  "  men  became  unseemly.  To  him  who  had 
an  eye  to  see  they  appeared  base,  and  had  lost  the 
fairest  of  their  precious  gifts.  They  still  appeared 
glorious  and  blessed,  at  the  very  time  when  they 
were  filled  with  unrighteous  avarice  and  violence. 
Then  the  GOD  OF  GODS,  who  rules  with  law,  and  is 
able  to  see  into  such  things,  perceiving  that  an  hon 
orable  race  was  in  a  most  wretched  state,  and  want- 
ing  to  inflict  punishment  upon  them  that  they  might 


be  chastened  and  improved,"  made  fresh  announce 
ments  of  divine  penalty  and  promise,  to  the  end 
that  haply  He  might  recall  them  to  that  earlier  and 
better  life,  when  they  had  "  despised  everything  but 
virtue,  neither  were  intoxicated  by  luxury ; "  when, 
being  "  possessed  of  true  and  great  spirits,  they  prac 
ticed  gentleness  and  wisdom  in  their  intercourse 
with  one  another  ; "  when  they  "  were  obedient  to 
the  laws  and  well  affectioned  toward  the  gods."  l 
These  gracious  endeavors  of  Divine  compassion 
proving  fruitless,  the  integrity  of  the  world's  ra 
tional  purpose  and  significance  could  be  conserved 
only  by  penalty,  and  by  a  new  moral  and  physi 
cal  conditioning  of  the  race.  No  change  of  moral 
administration  could  suffice,  since  every  wise  appli 
ance  of  merefy  moral  influence  and  instruction  had 
been  exhausted.  A  new  physical  environment  and 
conditioning  was  essential  to  the  new  moral  methods 
which,  in  this  critical  juncture,  Humanity  was  need 
ing.  The  inbringing  of  such  a  new  physical  envi 
ronment  would  of  itself  carry  to  human  consciences, 
individual  and  social,  the  profoundest  and  most  ef 
fectual  of  moral  meanings.  Both  the  physical  and 
the  moral  change  came  in  that  world-convulsion 
which  Plato  calls  "the  Great  Deluge  of  all."  In  it 
perished  what  Hesiod  and  Ovid  and  so  many  others 
called  the  "  Golden  Race  "  of  men,  —  the  first,  the 
fairest,  the  strongest,  the  longest-lived  of  all  that 
ever  bore  the  human  form  divine.  Under  its  waters 
were  engulfed  precious  accumulations  of  science, 
the  primordial  creations  of  art,  the  incunabula  of  all 
literature.  So  sore  was  this  loss  of  man's  costliest 
possessions  that  either  myth  or  truthful  history  has 

1  Crifias,  1 20. 


filled  the  early  Shemitic  world  with  the  pathetic 
story  that  the  God  of  gods,  while  arranging  for  the 
righteous  judgment  upon  the  ungodly,  Himself  still 
so  compassionated  the  successors  and  heirs  of  its 
unhappy  victims  as  to  command  the  patriarchal 
minister  of  His  will  to  make  an  indestructible  mon 
umental  record  of  all  that  the  progenitors  of  a  new 
Humanity  would  need  to  know.1 

The  new  physical  conditions  under  which  the 
race  was  placed  were  the  conditions  brought  in  by 
the  Diluvian  cataclysm.  They  involved  (i)  expa 
triation,  the  great  Glacial  Age  compelling  an  entire 
abandonment  of  the  mother-region  of  the  human 
family ;  (2)  dispersion,  the  frozen  and  sterilized  con 
dition  of  even  what  is  now  the  North  Temperate 
zone  rendering  the  struggle  for  the  means  of  subsist 
ence  a  most  arduous  and  difficult  one  ;  (3)  deterio 
ration  of  physical  constitution  corresponding  to  the 
biological  conditions  of  the  new  and  deteriorated  en 
vironment  ;  and  (4),  as  a  natural  consequence  of  the 
whole,  an  abbreviation  of  the  normal  longevity  pre 
viously  enjoyed.  Being  at  the  same  time  reduced 
to  the  lowest  social  unit  in  the  way  of  organization, 
—  the  Family,  —  and  being,  in  consequence  of  the 
poverty  of  Nature's  provision,  compelled  to  spread 
in  proportion  as  it  multiplied,  the  new  Humanity  of 
"  the  world  which  now  is "  was  signally  guarded 
against  the  repetition  of  those  insolent  and  God- 
defying  forms  of  sin  in  consequence  of  which  a 
nemesis  of  cosmical  proportions  had  overtaken  the 
antediluvian  world.2 

1  Josephus,  Antiquities,  i.  2,  3.      Lenormant,  Beginnings  of  His 
tory,  p.  445.     Polar  "  Sippara  "  and  the  "  Siriad  land  "  are  one. 

2  The  events  described  in  Gen.  xi.  1-9  may  have  occurred  "in  the 
Front-country"  (v.  2).     See  above,  page  221,  note  I. 


Such  is  the  conception  of  primeval  human  history 
which  the  oldest  traditions  of  the  oldest  nations 
set  over  against  this  late-born  dream  of  "  primitive 
savagery."  It  is  the  conception  of  the  whole  Chris 
tian  world  —  of  the  whole  Jewish  world  —  of  the 
Mohammedan  world  — of  the  ancient  Greek  and 
Roman  world  —  of  the  world  of  the  eldest  Asiatic 
and  Egyptian  antiquity.  It  is  the  irrefutable  Selbst- 
zetigniss  of  the  Human  Race  respecting  facts  of 
which  it  has  the  knowledge  of  a  living  and  most  in 
terested  participating  witness.1 

According  to  the  results  of  this  treatise  the 
primitive  seat  of  the  world's  first  civilization  was 
outside  the  boundaries  of  all  lands  known  to  record 
ed  history.  This  being  so,  Mr.  Tylor's  confident 
challenge  has  for  the  present  quite  lost  its  force. 
"Where,"  he  exclaims,  —  "where  now  is  the  district 
of  the  Earth  that  can  be  pointed  to  as  the  primeval 
home  of  Man  which  does  not  show  by  rude  stone 
implements  buried  in  its  soil  the  savage  condition 
of  its  former  inhabitants  ?  "  2  The  "  cave-men  "  of 
Europe  can  as  little  illustrate  man's  antediluvian 
condition  as  Robinson  Crusoe's  cave  could  illustrate 
Westminster  Cathedral.  Postdiluvian  civilization, 
or  barbarism,  whichever  one  may  choose  to  call  it, 

1  "  The  men  of  old  time  .  .  .  must  surely  have  known  the  truth 
about  their  own  ancestors.  .  .  .  How  can  we  doubt  the  word  ...  as 
they  declare  that  they  are  speaking  of  what  took  place  in  the  family  ?  " 
Plato,  Timaus,  40.     It  is  satisfactory  to  note  that  that  undervalua 
tion  of  oral  tradition  which  is  inseparable  from  the  theory  that  man 
is  merely  an  improved  beast,  and  which  shows  its  natural  fruit  in  such 
free-handed   reconstructors   of   history   as    Professors    Kuenen   and 
Wellhausen,  has  proceeded  so  far  that  even  rejecters  of  the  tradi 
tional  estimate  of  the  Pentateuch  and  of  the  Old  Testament  are  be 
ginning  to  react  restively  against  it.     See  APPENDIX,  Sect.  VII. 

2  Primitive  Culture,  vol.  i.,  p.  60. 


may  be  studied  in  "Stone  Age"  implements  and 
products  wherever  we  may  find  them,  but  never 
should  it  be  forgotten  that,  back  of  all  dawnings  of 
new  knowledge  and  new  arts  here  revealed,  lay  the 
fuller  knowledge  and  the  more  perfect  arts  of  a 
favored  antediluvian  world.1 

Let  no  one  say  that  the  profession  of  such  an 
opinion  betrays  the  prejudice  of  a  Christian  educa 
tion  ;  that  it  is  ignoring  the  fruits  of  a  century's 
study  ;  that  it  is  simply  repristinating  the  doctrine 

1  In  his  late  work,  entitled  India:  What  can  it  teach  us?  (Lon 
don,  1883)  Professor  Max  Mtiller  well  challenges  the  first  prin 
ciples  of  our  dominant  school  of  "  Culture-students,"  as  follows  : 
"  What  do  we  know  of  savage  tribes  beyond  the  last  chapter  of  their 
history  ?  Do  we  ever  get  an  insight  into  their  antecedents  ?  Can 
we  understand  what,  after  all,  is  everywhere  the  most  important  and 
the  most  instructive  lesson  to  learn,  how  they  have  come  to  be  what 
they  are  ?  There  is,  indeed,  their  language,  and  in  it  we  see  traces  of 
growth  that  point  to  distant  ages,  quite  as  much  as  the  Greek  of 
Homer,  or  the  Sanskrit  of  the  Vedas.  .  .  .  Unless  we  admit  a  special 
creation  for  these  savages  they  must  be  as  old  as  the  Hindus,  the 
Greeks,  and  Romans  ;  as  old  as  we  ourselves.  We  may  assume,  of 
course,  if  we  like,  that  their  life  has  been  stationary,  and  that  they 
are  to-day  what  the  Hindus  were  no  longer  than  three  thousand 
years  ago.  But  that  is  a  mere  guess,  and  is  contradicted  by  the  facts 
of  their  language.  They  may  have  passed  through  ever  so  many 
vicissitudes,  and  what  we  consider  as  primitive  may  be,  for  all  we 
know,  a  relapse  into  savagery,  or  a  corruption  of  something  that  was 
more  rational  and  intelligible  in  former  stages.  Think  only  of  the 
rules  that  determine  marriage  among  the  lowest  of  savage  tribes. 
Their  complication  passes  all  understanding.  All  seems  a  chaos  of 
prejudice,  superstition,  pride,  vanity,  and  stupidity.  And  yet  we 
catch  a  glimpse  here  and  there  that  there  was  some  reason  in  most 
of  that  unreason  ;  we  see  how  sense  dwindled  away  into  nonsense, 
custom  into  ceremony,  ceremony  into  force.  Why,  then,  should  this 
surface  of  savage  life  represent  to  us  the  lowest  stratum  of  human 
life,  the  very  beginnings  of  civilization,  simply  because  we  cannot  dig 
beyond  that  surface  ? "  A  hundred  years  hence  the  story  that  the 
wise  men  of  the  nineteenth  century  sought  to  reconstruct  the  begin 
nings  of  human  history  by  the  study  of  the  lowest  contemporary 
savages  will  be  one  of  the  choicest  of  popular  illustrations  of  the 
folly  of  "  ante-scientific  times." 


of  a  forgotten  Goguet,  and  seeking  to  resurrect  the 
long  dead  Banier.  If  any  reader  is  tempted  to  such 
utterances,  it  is  possible  that  an  imaginary  conversa 
tion  may  help  him  to  juster  conclusions. 

Let  us  fancy  ourselves  at  Cnossus,  upon  the 
shores  of  Crete,  hundreds  of  years  before  the  Chris 
tian  era.  A  traveler  has  just  landed,  —  a  Greek 
from  Athens,  intent  upon  visiting  the  celebrated 
temple  and  cave  of  Zeus.  As  he  is  walking  to  the 
temple  he  falls  in  with  two  companions,  the  one  an 
intelligent  Cretan,  the  other  a  traveler  from  Lace- 
daemon.  After  due  salutations  they  naturally  dis 
course  of  the  laws  and  institutions  of  the  country, 
of  their  origin,  and  of  the  origin  of  all  states  and 
laws  and  civilizations.  And  this  we  may  imagine  is 
a  part  of  their  conversation  :  — 

The  Athenian :  Do  you  believe  that  there  is  any 
truth  in  ancient  traditions  ? 

The  Cretan  :   What  traditions  ? 

Ath.  The  traditions  about  the  many  destructions 
of  mankind  which  have  been  occasioned  by  deluges 
and  diseases,  and  in  many  other  ways,  and  of  the 
preservation  of  a  remnant. 

Cr.    Every  one  is  disposed  to  believe  them. 

Ath.  Let  us  imagine  one  of  them  :  I  will  take 
the  famous  one  which  was  caused  by  a  Deluge. 

Cr.   What  is  to  be  remarked  thereon  ? 

Ath.  I  should  say  that  those  who  then  escaped 
would  only  be  hill  shepherds,  —  small  sparks  of  the 
human  race  preserved  on  the  tops  of  mountains. 
Such  survivors  would  necessarily  be  unacquainted 
with  the  arts  of  those  who  live  in  cities,  and  with 
the  various  devices  which  are  suggested  to  them  by 
interest  or  ambition,  and  all  the  wrongs  which  they 
contrive  against  one  another. 


Cr.    Very  true. 

Ath.  Let  us  suppose,  then,  that  the  cities  in  the 
plains  and  on  the  sea-coast  were  utterly  destroyed 
at  that  time.  Would  not  all  implements  perish  and 
every  other  excellent  invention  of  political  or  any 
other  sort  of  wisdom  utterly  fail  at  that  time  ? 

Cr.  Why,  yes ;  and  if  things  had  always  con 
tinued  as  they  are  at  present  ordered,  how  could 
any  discovery  have  ever  been  made  even  in  the  least 
particular  ?  For  it  is  evident  that  the  arts  were  un 
known  during  thousands  and  thousands  of  years. 
And  no  more  than  a  thousand  or  two  thousand 
years  have  elapsed  since  the  discoveries  of  Dae 
dalus,  Orpheus  and  Palamedes,  —  since  Marsyas 
and  Olympus  invented  music,  and  Amphion  the  lyre, 
—  not  to  speak  of  numberless  other  inventions 
which  are  but  of  yesterday. 

Ath.  Have  you  forgotten  the  name  of  a  friend 
who  is  really  of  yesterday  ? 

Cr.    I  suppose  that  you  mean  Epimenides. 

Ath.  The  same,  my  friend  ;  for  his  ingenuity  does 
indeed  far  overleap  the  heads  of  all  your  great  men ; 
what  Hesiod  had  preached  of  old,  he  carried  out  in 
practice,  as  you  declare. 

Cr.    Yes,  according  to  our  tradition. 

Ath.  After  the  great  destruction,  may  we  not 
suppose  that  the  state  of  man  was  something  of 
this  sort.  In  the  beginning  of  things  there  was  a 
fearful  illimitable  desert  and  a  vast  expanse  of  land  ; 
a  herd  or  two  of  oxen  would  be  the  only  survivors 
of  the  animal  world  ;  and  there  might  be  a  few 
goats,  hardly  enough  to  support  the  life  of  those 
who  tended  them. 

Cr.  True. 


Ath.  And  of  cities  or  governments  or  legislation, 
about  which  we  are  now  talking,  do  you  suppose 
that  they  could  have  any  recollection  at  all  ? 

Cr.  They  could  not. 

Ath.  And  out  of  this  state  of  things  has  there  not 
sprung  all  that  we  now  are  and  have  :  cities  and 
governments,  and  arts  and  laws,  and  a  great  deal  of 
vice  and  a  great  deal  of  virtue  ? 

Cr.  What  do  you  mean  ? 

Ath.  Why,  my  good  friend,  how  can  we  possibly 
suppose  that  those  who  knew  nothing  of  all  the 
good  and  evil  of  cities  could  have  attained  their  full 
development,  whether  of  virtue  or  of  vice  ? 

Cr.  I  understand  your  meaning,  and  you  are  quite 

Ath.  But,  as  time  advanced  and  the  race  multi 
plied,  the  world  came  to  be  what  the  world  is. 

Cr.  Very  true. 

Ath.  Doubtless  the  change  was  not  made  all  in 
a  moment,  but  little  by  little,  during  a  very  long 
period  of  time. 

Cr.  That  is  to  be  supposed. 

Ath.  At  first  they  would  have  a  natural  fear  ring 
ing  in  their  ears  which  would  prevent  their  descend 
ing  from  the  heights  into  the  plain. 

Cr.  Of  course. 

Ath.  The  fewness  of  the  survivors  would  make 
them  desirous  of  intercourse  with  one  another  ;  but 
then  the  means  of  traveling  either  by  land  or  by  sea 
would  have  been  almost  entirely  lost  with  the  loss  of 
the  arts,  and  there  would  be  great  difficulty  in  getting 
at  one  another ;  for  iron  and  brass  and  all  metals 
would  have  become  confused,  and  would  have  dis 
appeared  ;  nor  would  there  be  any  possibility  of  ex- 


tracting  them  ;  and  they  would  have  no  means  of 
felling  timber.  Even  if  you  suppose  that  some  im 
plements  might  have  been  preserved  in  the  moun 
tains,  they  would  quickly  have  worn  out  and  disap 
peared,  and  there  would  be  no  more  of  them  until 
the  art  of  metallurgy  had  again  revived. 

Cr.  There  could  not  have  been. 

Ath.  In  how  many  generations  would  this  be  at 
tained  ? 

Cr.  Clearly  not  for  many  generations. 

Ath.  During  this  period,  and  for  some  time  after 
wards,  all  the  arts  which  require  iron  and  brass  and 
the  like  would  disappear. 

Cr.  Certainly. 

Ath.  Faction  and  war  would  also  have  died  out 
in  those  days  and  for  many  reasons. 

Cr.  How  would  that  be  ? 

Ath.  In  the  first  place,  the  desolation  of  these 
primitive  men  would  create  in  them  a  feeling  of  af 
fection  and  friendship  towards  one  another ;  and, 
in  the  second  place,  they  would  have  no  occasion 
to  fight  for  their  subsistence,  for  they  would  have 
pasture  in  abundance,  except  just  at  first,  and  in 
some  particular  cases  ;  on  this  pasture-land  they 
would  mostly  support  life  in  a  primitive  age,  having 
plenty  of  milk  and  flesh,  and  procuring  other  food 
by  the  chase,  not  to  be  despised  either  in  quantity 
or  quality.  They  would  also  have  abundance  of 
clothing,  and  bedding,  and  dwellings,  and  utensils 
either  capable  of  standing  on  the  fire  or  not  ;  for 
the  plastic  and  weaving  arts  do  not  require  any  use 
of  iron  :  God  has  given  these  two  arts  to  man  in 
order  to  provide  him  with  necessaries,  that,  when 
reduced  to  their  last  extremity,  the  human  race  may 


still  grow  and  increase.  Hence  in  those  days  man 
kind  were  not  very  poor  ;  nor  was  poverty  a  cause 
of  difference  among  them ;  and  rich  they  could  not 
be,  if  they  had  no  gold  or  silver,  and  such  at  that 
time  was  their  condition.  And  the  community 
which  has  neither  poverty  nor  riches  will  always 
have  the  noblest  principles,  there  is  no  insolence 
or  injustice;  nor,  again,  are  there  any  contentions 
or  envyings  among  them.  And  therefore  they  were 
good,  and  also  because  they  were  what  is  called 
simple-minded  ;  and  when  they  were  told  about 
good  and  evil,  they  in  their  simplicity  believed  what 
they  heard  to  be  very  truth  and  practiced  it.  No 
one  had  the  wit  to  suspect  another  of  a  falsehood, 
as  men  do  now  ;  but  what  they  heard  about  gods 
and  men  they  believed  to  be  true  and  lived  accord 
ingly  ;  and  therefore  they  were  in  all  respects  such 
as  we  have  described  them. 

Cr.  That  quite  accords  with  my  views,  and  with 
those  of  my  friend  here. 

Ath.  Would  not  many  generations  living  on  in  a 
simple  manner,  although  ruder,  perhaps,  and  more 
ignorant  of  the  arts  generally,  and  in  particular  of 
those  of  land  or  naval  warfare,  and  likewise  of  other 
arts,  termed  in  cities  legal  practices  and  party  con 
flicts,  and  including  all  conceivable  ways  of  hurting 
one  another  in  word  and  deed  ;  although  inferior  to 
those  who  lived  before  the  Deluge,  or  to  the  men  of 
our  day  in  these  respects,  would  they  not,  I  say,  be 
simpler  and  more  manly,  and  also  more  temperate, 
and  in  general  more  just?  The  reason  has  been 
already  explained. 

Cr.  Very  true. 

Ath.   I  should  wish  you  to  understand  that  what 


has  preceded  and  what  is  about  to  follow  has  been, 
and  will  be,  said  with  the  intention  of  explaining 
what  need  the  men  of  that  time  had  of  laws,  and 
who  was  their  lawgiver. 

Cr.  And  thus  far  what  you  have  said  has  been 
very  well  said. 

Ath.  They  could  hardly  have  wanted  lawgivers  as 
yet ;  nothing  of  that  sort  was  likely  to  have  existed 
in  their  days,  for  they  had  no  letters  at  this  early 
stage ;  they  lived  by  habit  and  the  customs  of  their 
forefathers,  as  they  are  called. 

Cr.   Probably. 

Ath.  But  there  was  already  existing  a  form  of 
government  which,  if  I  am  not  mistaken,  is  gener 
ally  termed  a  lordship,  and  this  still  remains  in 
many  places,  both  among  Hellenes  and  barbarians, 
and  is  the  government  which  is  declared  by  Homer 
to  have  prevailed  among  the  Cyclopes  :  — 

"  They  have  neither  councils  nor  judgments,  but 
they  dwell  in  hollow  rocks  on  the  tops  of  high 
mountains,  and  every  one  is  the  judge  of  his  wife 
and  children,  and  they  do  not  trouble  themselves 
about  one  another." 

Cr.  That  must  be  a  charming  poet  of  yours  ;  I 
have  read  some  other  verses  of  his,  which  are  very 
clever ;  but  I  do  not  know  much  of  him,  for  foreign 
poets  are  little  read  among  the  Cretans. 

The  Laced&monian.  But  they  are  in  Lacedaemon, 
and  he  appears  to  be  the  prince  of  them  all  ;  the 
manner  of  life,  however,  which  he  describes  is  not 
Spartan,  but  rather  Ionian,  and  he  seems  quite  to 
confirm  what  you  are  saying,  tracing  up  the  ancient 
state  of  mankind  by  the  help  of  tradition  to  bar 


Ath.  Yes  ;  and  we  may  accept  his  witness  to  the 
fact  that  there  was  a  time  when  primitive  societies 
had  this  form. 

Cr.  Very  true. 

Ath.  And  did  not  such  states  spring  out  of  single 
habitations  and  families  who  were  scattered  and 
thinned  in  the  devastations  ;  and  the  eldest  of  them 
was  their  ruler,  because  with  them  government  orig 
inated  in  the  authority  of  a  father  and  a  mother, 
whom,  like  a  flock  of  birds,  they  followed,  forming 
one  troop  under  the  patriarchal  rule  and  sovereignty 
of  their  parents,  which  of  all  sovereignties  is  the 
most  just  ? 

Cr.  Very  true. 

Ath.  After  this  they  came  together  in  greater 
numbers,  and  increased  the  size  of  their  cities,  and 
betook  themselves  to  husbandry,  first  of  all  at  the 
foot  of  the  mountains,  and  made  inclosures  of  loose 
walls  and  works  of  defense,  in  order  to  keep  off  wild 
beasts  ;  thus  creating  a  single  large  and  common 

Cr.  Yes  ;  at  least  we  may  suppose  it. 

Ath.  There  is  another  thing  which  would  prob 
ably  happen. 

Cr.  What? 

Ath.  When  these  larger  habitations  grew  up  out 
of  the  lesser  original  ones,  each  of  the  lesser  ones 
would  survive  in  the  larger ;  every  family  would  be 
under  the  rule  of  the  eldest,  and,  owing  to  their  sep 
aration  from  one  another,  would  have  peculiar  cus 
toms  in  things  divine  and  human,  which  they  would 
have  received  from  their  several  parents  who  had 
educated  them,  and  these  customs  would  incline 
them  to  order,  when  the  parents  had  the  element  of 


order  in  them  ;  and  to  courage,  when  they  had  the 
element  of  courage  in  them.  And  they  would  natu 
rally  stamp  upon  their  children,  and  upon  their  chil 
dren's  children,  their  own  institutions  ;  and,  as  we 
are  saying,  they  would  find  their  way  into  the  larger 
society,  having  already  their  own  peculiar  laws. 

Cr.  Certainly. 

Ath.  And  every  man  surely  likes  his  own  laws 
best,  and  the  laws  of  others  not  so  well. 

Cr.   True. 

Ath.  Then  how  we  seem  to  have  stumbled  upon 
the  beginnings  of  legislation  ! 

Cr.   Exactly. 

Ath.  The  next  step  will  be  that  these  persons  who 
meet  together  must  choose  some  arbiters,  who  will 
inspect  the  laws  of  all  of  them,  and  will  publicly  pre 
sent  such  of  them  as  they  approve  to  the  chiefs  who 
lead  the  tribes,  and  are  in  a  manner  their  kings,  and 
will  give  them  the  choice  of  them.  These  will  them- 
selves  be  called  legislators,  and  will  appoint  the  mag 
istrates,  framing  some  sort  of  aristocracy,  or  perhaps 
monarchy,  out  of  the  dynasties  or  lordships,  and  in 
this  altered  state  of  the  government  they  will  live. 

Cr.  Yes,  they  would  be  appointed  in  the  order 
which  you  mention.  .  .  . 

But  we  will  not  pursue  the  conversation  farther. 
Is  the  reader  indignant  that  he  has  been  made  to 
listen  so  long  to  Abbe  Banier,  clumsily  disguised  in 
the  robes  of  a  pretended  Athenian  philosopher  and 
discoursing,  all  out  of  character,  on  matters  which 
betray  "the  prejudices  of  a  Christian  education"? 
It  may  well  be.  To  a  reader  of  Lubbock  and  Tylor 
and  Vogt,  the  sentiments  of  the  Athenian  traveler 
do  seem  singularly  in  accord  with  Holy  Scripture. 


But  let  not  the  innocent  suffer  for  the  guilty.  It 
happens  that  our  imaginary  conversation  is  not  of 
our  imagining.  It  was  written  more  than  two  thou 
sand  years  before  the  birth  of  Abbe  Banier,  and  by 
as  good  a  pagan  as  the  famed  Athenian  Plato. 

On  the  whole,  we  are  of  the  opinion  that  the 
great  consentaneous  Traditions  of  the  Human  Race 
will  yet  outlive  a  considerable  number  of  Bachofens 
and  Biichners  and  Buckles,  and  that  if  ever  the  bur 
ial-place  of  Moses  shall  be  discovered,  it  will  not  be 
found  to  be  in  any  of  the  ignominious  graveyards 
periodically  prepared  for  him  by  on-coming  Profes 
sors  of  Hebrew  eager  for  a  stunning  inaugural.  De 
spite  the  ingenious  "  higher "  criticism  of  to-day's 
ephemeral  "authorities,"  the  Biblical  scholarship  of 
the  future  is  more  likely  to  carry  the  age  of  the 
composition  of  the  Eden  story  backward  than  for 
ward.  The  documents  embedded  in  the  opening 
chapters  of  Genesis  may  yet  prove  to  be,  what  rev 
erent  and  orthodox  scholars  have  already  affirmed 
—  fragments  of  the  Sacred  Scriptures  of  the  Ante 
diluvian  Patriarchal  Church.1  Whether  so  or  no,  one 
ancient  word  shall  evermore  be  verified  :  "  The  grass 
withereth,  the  flower  fadeth  ;  but  the  word  of  our 
God  shall  stand  forever." 

Our  treatise  opened  with  a  pathetic  picture,  —  it 
must  close  with  another.  Long-lost  Eden  is  found  ; 
but  its  gates  are  barred  against  us.  Now,  as  at  the 
beginning  of  our  exile,  a  sword  turns  every  way  to 
keep  the  Way  of  the  Tree  of  Life. 

1  Moffat :    Comparative  History  of  Religions.     New  York,  1871 : 
vol.  i.,  pp.  99  seq. 

SCHL  USS  WOR  T.  433 

Sadder  yet,  it  is  Eden  no  longer.  Even  could 
some  new  Columbus  penetrate  to  the  secret  centre 
of  this  Wonderland  of  the  Ages,  he  could  but  hur 
riedly  kneel  amid  a  frozen  desolation  and,  dumb 
with  a  nameless  awe,  let  fall  a  few  hot  tears  above 
the  buried  and  desolated  hearthstone  of  Humanity's 
earliest  and  loveliest  home. 

Happily  for  us,  O  Menschengeschlecht,  a  trusty 
hand  has  added  to  the  third  of  Genesis  the  closing 
chapters  of  the  Patmos  Apocalypse.  The  thought 
of  the  old  forever  evanished  Eden  is  henceforth 
bearable,  for  from  afar  we  have  caught  the  vision  of 
a  Sinless  Paradise,  the  frostless  Gardens,  the  Tree, 
and  the  River  of  the  Heavenly  City  of  God. 

fa,  wenn  des  Nordwinds  rauhes  Tosen 
Der  Erde  Garten  zugeschneit, 
Dann  bliihen  erst  des  Himmels  Rosen 
In  unverwelkter  Herrlichkeit. 
y#,  sind  wir  Gdste  hier  zu  Landen 
Auf  dieser  kalten  Winterflur, 
So  ist  noch  eine  Ruh  vorhanden 
Dem  Seufzen  aller  Kreatur. 




(Illustrating pp.  3-7  ;  306,  307.) 

THE  following  authentic  account  of  the  views  enter 
tained  by  Columbus  respecting  the  figure  of  the  Earth 
will  be  welcome  to  many  readers  :  — 

"  I  have  always  read  that  the  world  comprising  the 
land  and  the  water  was  spherical,  and  the  recorded  expe 
riences  of  Ptolemy  and  all  others  have  proved  this  by  the 
eclipses  of  the  moon  and  other  observations  made  from 
East  to  West,  as  well  as  the  elevation  of  the  Pole  from 
North  to  South.  But  as  I  have  already  described,  I  have 
now  seen  so  much  irregularity,  that  I  have  come  to  an 
other  conclusion  respecting  the  Earth,  namely,  that  it  is 
not  round  as  they  describe,  but  of  the  form  of  a  pear, 
which  is  very  round  except  where  the  stalk  grows,  at 
which  part  it  is  most  prominent ;  or  like  a  round  ball 
upon  part  of  which  is  a  prominence  like  a  woman's  nipple, 
this  protrusion  being  the  highest  and  nearest  the  sky,  sit 
uated  under  the  equinoctial  line,  and  at  the  eastern  ex 
tremity  of  this  sea.  ...  In  confirmation  of  my  opinion, 
I  revert  to  the  arguments  which  I  have  above  detailed 
respecting  the  line,  which  passes  from  North  to  South  a 
hundred  leagues  westward  of  the  Azores  ;  for  in  sailing 
thence  westward,  the  ships  went  on  rising  smoothly  to 
wards  the  sky,  and  then  the  weather  was  felt  to  be  milder, 
on  account  of  which  mildness  the  needle  shifted  one  point 


of  the  compass  ;  and  the  further  we  went,  the  more  the 
needle  moved  to  the  Northwest,  this  elevation  producing 
the  variation  of  the  circle  which  the  North-star  describes 
with  its  satellites  ;  and  the  nearer  I  approached  the  equi 
noctial  line  the  more  they  rose  and  the  greater  was  the 
difference  in  these  stars  and  in  their  circles.  Ptolemy 
and  the  other  philosophers  who  have  written  upon  the 
globe  thought  that  it  was  spherical,  believing  that  this 
[western]  hemisphere  was  round  as  well  as  that  in  which 
they  themselves  dwelt,  the  centre  of  which  was  in  the 
island  of  Arin,  which  is  under  the  equinoctial  line  be 
tween  the  Arabian  Gulf  and  the  Gulf  of  Persia ;  and  the 
circle  passes  over  Cape  St.  Vincent  in  Portugal  westward, 
and  eastward  by  Cangara  and  the  Seras  ;  —  in  which 
hemisphere  I  make  no  difficulty  as  to  its  being  a  perfect 
sphere  as  they  describe;  but  this  western  half  of  the 
world  I  maintain  is  like  half  of  a  very  round  pear,  hav 
ing  a  raised  projection  for  the  stalk,  as  I  have  already 
described,  or  like  a  woman's  nipple  on  a  round  ball. 
Ptolemy  and  the  others  who  have  written  on  the  globe 
had  no  information  respecting  this  part  of  the  world, 
which  was  then  unexplored ;  they  only  established  their 
own  hemisphere,  which,  as  I  have  already  said,  is  half  of 
a  perfect  sphere.  And  now  that  your  Highnesses  have 
commissioned  me  to  make  this  voyage  of  discovery,  the 
truths  which  I  have  stated  are  evidently  proved,  because 
in  this  voyage,  when  I  was  off  the  island  of  Hargin  l  and 
its  vicinity,  which  is  twenty  degrees  to  the  North  of  the 
equinoctial  line,  I  found  the  people  black  and  the  land 
very  much  burnt ;  and  when  after  that  I  went  to  the  Cape 
Verde  Islands  I  found  the  people  there  very  much  darker 
still,  and  the  more  southward  we  went,  the  more  they  ap 
proach  the  extreme  of  blackness  ;  so  that  when  I  reached 
the  parallel  of  Sierra  Leone,  where,  as  night  came  on,  the 
North  star  rose  five  degrees,  the  people  there  were  exces- 
1  Arguin,  west  coast  of  Africa. 


sively  black,  and  as  I  sailed  westward  the  heat  became  ex 
treme.  But  after  I  had  passed  the  meridian  or  line  which 
I  have  already  described,  I  found  the  climate  became 
gradually  more  temperate  ;  so  that  when  I  reached  the 
island  of  Trinidad,  where  the  North  star  rose  five  degrees 
as  night  came  on,  there,  and  in  the  land  of  Gracia,  I 
found  the  temperature  exceedingly  mild ;  the  fields  and 
the  foliage  likewise  were  remarkably  fresh  and  green,  and 
as  beautiful  as  the  gardens  of  Valencia  in  April.  The 
people  there  are  very  graceful  in  form,  less  dark  than 
those  whom  I  had  before  seen  in  the  Indies,  and  wear 
their  hair  long  and  smooth  ;  they  are  also  more  shrewd, 
intelligent,  and  courageous.  The  sun  was  then  in  the  sign 
of  Virgo  over  our  heads  and  theirs  ;  therefore  all  this 
must  proceed  from  the  extreme  blandness  of  the  temper 
ature,  which  arises,  as  I  have  said,  from  this  country  be 
ing  the  most  elevated  in  the  world  and  the  nearest  to  the 
sky.  On  these  grounds,  therefore,  I  affirm  that  the  globe 
is  not  spherical,  but  that  there  is  the  difference  in  its 
form  which  I  have  described ;  the  which  is  to  be  found 
in  this  hemisphere  at  the  point  where  the  Indies  meet  the 
ocean,  the  extremity  of  the  hemisphere  being  below  the 
equinoctial  line.  And  a  great  confirmation  of  this  is,  that 
when  our  Lord  made  the  sun,  the  first  light  appeared  in 
the  first  point  of  the  East,  where  the  most  elevated  point 
of  the  globe  is."  —  Hakluyt  Society  Publications.  Select 
Letters  of  Columbus.  Tr.  by  R.  H.  Major.  London,  2d 
ed.,  pp.  134-138. 



How  has  the  human  race  been  able  to  spread  itself 
over  the  whole  surface  of  the  globe  ?  Is  it  the  result 
of  different  and  independent  origins  in  the  several  con- 


tinents,  or  have  all  men  sprung  from  a  common  cradle,  a 
"  mother-region  "  ?  On  this  point  students  are  divided, 
Agassiz  holding  that  men  were  created,  and  Carl  Vogt 
that  they  were  developed,  at  different  centres,  and  Qua- 
trefages  and  the  theologians  maintaining  the  unity  of 
their  origin.  The  fact  is  left  that  man,  the  same  in  all 
the  essential  characteristics  of  the  species,  has  advanced 
into  all  the  habitable  parts  of  the  globe,  and  that  not  re 
cently  and  when  provided  with  all  the  resources  that 
experience  and  inventive  genius  could  put  at  his  disposal, 
but  when  still  young  and  ignorant.  It  was  then  that, 
weak  and  almost  naked,  having  only  just  got  fire  and  a 
few  rude  arms  with  which  to  defend  itself  and  procure 
food,  the  human  race  conquered  the  world  and  spread  it 
self  from  within  the  Arctic  Circle  to  Terra  del  Fuego, 
from  the  Samoyed  country  to  Van  Diemen's  Land,  from 
the  North  Cape  to  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope.  It  is  this 
primitive  exodus,  as  certain  as  it  is  inconceivable,  ac 
cepted  by  science  as  well  as  by  dogma,  that  we  have  to 
explain,  or  at  least  to  make  probable ;  and  that  in  an  age 
when  it  is  only  after  the  most  wonderful  discoveries,  by 
the  aid  of  the  most  powerful  machinery  for  navigation, 
through  the  boldest  and  most  adventurous  enterprises, 
that  civilized  man  has  been  able  to  flatter  himself  that  he 
has  at  last  gone  as  far  as  infant  man  went  in  an  age  that 
is  so  far  removed  from  us  as  to  baffle  all  calculations. 

We  must  insist  on  this  point,  for  it  brings  into  light  an 
obstacle  which  those  who  have  tried  to  trace  out  the  con 
nection  between  widely  separated  races  and  to  determine 
the  course  that  had  been  followed  by  tribes  now  separated 
by  oceans  and  vast  expanses  have  hitherto  found  insur 
mountable  ;  for,  if  man  is  one  —  to  which  we  are  ready 
to  agree  —  we  must  assign  a  single  point  of  departure 
for  his  migrations.  In  these  migrations,  man  has  gone 
wherever  he  could,  and,  at  every  spot  he  has  occupied 
and  settled,  has  acquired  characteristics  peculiar  to  the 


place,  and  which  differentiated  him  from  the  men  settling 
in  other  places.  Hence  the  varieties  of  human  races. 
Some  of  these  spots  seem  to  have  been  peculiarly  favor 
able  to  his  advancement,  and  became  centres  of  civiliza 
tion.  The  number  of  such  centres  is,  however,  very 
limited,  and  their  distribution  is  significant. 

The  continental  masses  are  distributed  in  three  prin 
cipal  groups,  one  feature  in  the  configuration  of  which 
must  strike  every  one  who  carefully  examines  a  map  of 
the  world.  It  will  be  noticed  that  they  are  so  expanded 
toward  the  North  as  to  touch  in  that  direction  or  be  sep 
arated  only  by  narrow  passages,  and  that  they  also  sur 
round  within  the  Arctic  Circle  a  central  polar  sea  with  a 
bordering  island-belt.  Going  down  toward  the  South  we 
find  that  the  three  continents,  North  America,  Europe, 
and  Northern  Asia,  which  had  approached  each  other  so 
closely,  give  place  to  three  appendages,  South  America, 
Africa,  and  Australia,  which  in  their  turn  gradually  taper 
off  to  mere  points  in  an  illimitable  sea,  long  before  they 
reach  the  Antarctic  Circle.  Within  this  circle  the  con 
figuration  of  the  land  is  precisely  the  reverse  of  that  in 
the  North  j  it  is  that  of  a  solid  cap  of  land  around  the 
pole,  in  the  midst  of  the  great  ocean. 

If  we  again  observe  these  masses,  we  shall  find  that 
civilization  was  born  in  each  of  them  under  similar  geo 
graphical  conditions,  viz.,  in  the  neighborhood  of  a  smaller 
interior  sea,  near  or  rather  North  of  the  tropic  of  Cancer, 
between  20°  and  35°  north  latitude.  The  most  eastern 
of  the  centres  is  in  China,  near  the  Japan  Sea.  The 
most  western,  and  apparently  the  most  recent,  was  along 
the  inner  shores  of  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  The  last  civili 
zation  was  in  the  course  of  radiation  and  transformation 
when  the  Europeans  came  to  America,  and  was  wholly 
independent  and  autonomous ;  but,  weak  and  relatively 
new,  it  was  not  able  to  resist  the  sudden  onset  of  a 
stronger  race. 


Toward  the  centre  of  the  space  whose  extremes  we 
have  marked  out  must  be  placed  two  other  centres  of 
civilization,  more  ancient  than  either  of  the  two  already 
named,  and  in  the  same  zone  of  latitude  —  Egypt,  in  the 
valley  of  the  Nile,  and  near  the  Arabian  Gulf,  and  Meso 
potamia,  near  the  head  of  the  Persian  Gulf.  Thus,  each 
continental  mass  had  its  particular  centre  of  civilization, 
except  Asia,  which  had  two  —  one  in  the  extreme  east, 
the  other  near  the  line  which  joins  it  to  Europe.  This 
peculiar  grouping  of  the  chief  centres  of  civilization  in 
such  a  relation  of  neighborhood  constitutes  the  most  con 
siderable  paleoethnic  fact  that  we  are  able  to  record. 
The  Nile  and  the  Syrian  sea  on  the  west,  upper  Armenia 
and  the  Caspian  on  the  north,  the  Hindoo-Koosh  and 
the  Indus  on  the  east,  and  the  Arabian  Sea  on  the  south, 
bound  the  region  where  Cushites,  Semites,  and  Aryans, 
the  first  farmers,  workers,  and  founders  of  cities,  the  sec 
ond  pastoral  people,  and  the  third  mountaineers,  after 
ward  emigrants  and  conquerors,  met,  elbowed  each  other, 
and  mingled,  conquerors  and  conquered  by  turns,  invent 
ing  arts  and  the  use  of  metals,  learning  arms  and  how  to 
organize  themselves  hierarchically,  reaching  their  ideal 
through  religion,  and  having  in  writing  the  most  power 
ful  instrument  at  the  disposition  of  human  intelligence. 
With  them  we  have  the  beginning  of  history,  and  a  con 
tinuous  chain  of  social  organizations,  down  to  our  own 
days.  The  growth  of  civilization  in  these  centres  leaves, 
however,  still  unaccounted  for  the  diffusion  of  mankind 
all  over  the  earth,  which  took  place  at  a  period  far  an 
terior  to  it. 

The  spread  of  man  throughout  Europe  and  Asia  does 
not  offer  very  great  difficulties,  for,  in  consequence  of  the 
long  distance  for  which  the  two  continents  are  joined, 
Europe  is  in  reality  only  a  dependency  of  Asia  ;  and  oc 
cupation  of  Europe  from  Asia  is  conformable  to  religious 
traditions.  The  difficulties  are,  however,  formidable 


when  we  come  to  America,  which  we  find  occupied  from 
one  end  to  the  other  by  races  whose  unity  has  struck  the 
best  observers.  Not  only,  moreover,  did  the  American 
man  inaugurate  on  the  soil  of  the  New  World  an  original 
and  relatively  advanced  civilization,  but  he  has  left, 
chiefly  in  the  North,  indisputable  traces  of  his  presence 
in  the  most  remote  ages.  Paleolithic  implements  have 
been  found  in  the  valley  of  the  Delaware,  at  Trenton, 
New  Jersey,  and  near  Guanajuato  in  Mexico,  so  clearly 
characterized  that  they  cannot  be  mistaken,  the  situation 
of  which  at  the  base  of  the  Quaternary  alluvions  and 
their  coexistence  with  elephants  and  mastodons  indicate 
the  existence  of  a  race  contemporaneous  with  that  of  the 
gravels  of  the  Somme,  having  the  same  industry  and 
doubtless  the  same  manners  and  physical  traits.  Whence 
could  this  primitive  American  race,  sister  to  the  one  that 
lived  in  Europe  at  the  same  date,  have  come,  unless  we 
suppose  a  direct  communication  between  the  two  conti 
nents  ?  The  difficulty  such  men  would  have  in  crossing 
the  Atlantic  and  the  certainty  which  soundings  give  of 
the  antiquity  of  the  ocean  remove  all  possibility  of  our 
believing  either  that  the  two  continents  were  formerly 
joined,  or  that  one  of  them  was  discovered  by  some  un 
known  Columbus  navigating  the  ocean  a  hundred  thou 
sand  years  before  the  later  one. 

We  are  thus  in  the  presence  of  the  problem,  always 
coming  up  before  us,  and  always  escaping  us,  of  the  or 
igin  of  the  American  man.  Evidently  it  cannot  be  re 
solved  by  invoking  an  accidental  colonization  of  Asiatic 
wanderers,  or  a  shipwrecked  company ;  but  it  is  one  in 
which  we  have  to  deal  with  primitive  populations  flowing 
as  in  Europe  by  successive  waves,  and  attesting  the  con 
tinuous  presence  of  man,  whose  gradual  development  and 
extension  have  followed  in  America  the  same  course  as 
on  the  old  continent.  The  hypothesis  of  an  immigration 
from  Asia  by  way  of  the  Aleutian  Islands  to  Alaska 


might  be  acceptable,  did  not  the  certainty  of  the  presence 
of  an  indigenous  American  population  in  the  Quaternary 
age  reduce  it  to  the  proportions  of  a  secondary  fact. 
The  same  is  the  case  with  the  relations  —  contradictory, 
it  is  true,  and  therefore  suspicious — which  some  have 
attempted  to  establish  between  the  monuments,  statues, 
and  graphic  signs  of  Central  America  and  those  of 
Egypt  and  Buddhistic  Asia.  These  analogies,  aside  from 
their  insufficiency,  must  fall  before  two  paramount  con 
siderations  :  first,  the  certainty  of  the  contemporaneous 
ness  of  the  American  man  with  the  great  animals  of  the 
Quaternary  age  ;  and,  second,  the  relative  uniformity  of 
the  copper-colored  race,  so  like  itself  through  the  whole 
extent  of  the  continent,  except  in  that  part  which  is  oc 
cupied  by  the  Esquimaux.  The  difficulty  arises  from  the 
fact  that  the  monogenists,  having  in  view  a  single  birth 
place  and  a  single  point  of  departure  for  the  whole  hu 
man  race,  and  placing  neither  in  the  New  World,  have 
supposed  America  to  have  been  colonized  by  European 
or  Asiatic  immigrants  following  the  direction  of  the  par 
allels  of  latitude.  Emigration  in  this  direction  at  once 
meets  an  obstacle  in  the  oceans,  which  grow  wider  the 
farther  South  we  go.  The  obstacle  disappears  if  we  give 
up  the  idea  of  lateral  emigrations,  and  suppose  the  move 
ment  to  have  taken  place  in  the  direction  of  the  merid 
ians  from  North  to  South.  No  obstacle  of  any  kind  offers 
itself  to  such  migrations ;  and  the  relative  uniformity  of 
the  Americans,  from  one  end  of  the  continent  to  the 
other,  would  never  have  excited  astonishment,  if  we  had 
not  been  preoccupied  with  the  idea  of  their  introduction 
at  a  later  date. 

We  may  remark,  on  this  topic,  that  the  extreme  south 
ern  points  of  the  three  continents  are  occupied  by  races 
which  came  originally,  without  doubt,  from  somewhere 
else,  and  which  are  ranked,  in  Terra  del  Fuego,  at  the 
Cape  of  Good  Hope,  and  in  Tasmania,  among  the  lowest 


of  the  species.  These  races,  advancing  in  front  of  the 
others,  have  preserved  the  visible  stamp  of  the  relative 
inferiority  of  the  stock  from  which  they  were  prematurely 
detached.  We  have  to  believe,  in  effect,  that  these  three 
branches  —  Fuegians,  Bushmen,  and  Tasmanians  —  so 
little  elevated  in  their  physical,  intellectual,  and  moral 
traits,  have  gone  and  planted  themselves  so  far  away 
only  because  the  unoccupied  space  opened  out  before 
them.  Scouts  for  the  rest  of  mankind,  they  have  reached, 
step  by  step,  the  extreme  limits  of  the  habitable  land. 
They  must  have  occupied  for  the  moment,  at  least,  the 
parts  of  the  intermediate  space,  but  they  could  not  resist 
the  push  of  the  stronger  races,  and  they  could  not  have 
survived  to  our  time,  except  under  the  condition  of  re 
striction  to  a  small  area  in  the  most  remote  tract  of  their 
original  domain.  There  is  nothing  surprising  in  the  fact 
that  MM.  Quatrefages  and  Hamy,  having  described  the 
most  ancient  European  race  of  which  we  have  the  skulls, 
that  of  Canstadt,  should  have  found  its  analogies  only 
among  these  same  natives  of  the  extreme  South  —  the 
Bushmen  and  the  Australians. 

It  will  be  seen  that  we  are  inclined  to  remove  to  the 
circumpolar  regions  of  the  North  the  probable  cradle  of 
primitive  humanity.  From  there  only  could  it  have  radi 
ated  as  from  a  centre,  to  spread  into  several  continents 
at  once,  and  to  give  rise  to  successive  emigrations  toward 
the  South.  This  theory  agrees  best  with  the  presumed 
march  of  the  human  races.  It  remains  to  be  shown  that 
it  is  equally  in  accord  with  the  most  authentic  and  most 
recent  geological  data,  and  that,  besides  man,  it  is  appli 
cable  to  the  plants  and  animals  which  accompanied  him, 
and  which  have  continued  to  be  most  closely  associated 
with  him  in  the  temperate  regions  which  afterward  became 
the  seat  of  his  civilizing  power. 

The  general  laws  of  geogony  favor  this  hypothesis  in  a 
remarkable  manner.  To  make  it  seem  probable,  we  have 


only  to  establish  two  essential  points  that  will  not  be 
seriously  contested  by  any  geologist.  One  is,  that  the 
polar  regions,  which  were  covered  with  large  trees,  en 
joyed  a  climate  more  temperate  than  that  of  Central 
Europe,  and  were  habitable  and  fertile  to  the  eightieth 
degree,  underwent  a  slow  and  progressive  cooling  down 
till  the  middle  of  the  Tertiary  period.  Thence  refrigera 
tion  made  rapid  progress  till  the  ice  gained  exclusive 
possession  of  the  country  south  of  them.  Under  such 
circumstances,  man  as  well  as  the  animals  and  plants 
would  have  to  remove  or  perish  —  to  emigrate  step  by 
step,  or  find  himself  reduced  to  a  daily  more  precarious 
state  of  existence. 

The  second  point  is  the  relative  stability  of  the  exist 
ing  continental  masses,  and  of  their  distribution  around  a 
sea  occupying  the  Arctic  Pole  ;  while  the  other  Pole  was 
occupied  with  a  cap  of  land  surrounded  by  an  immense 
ocean.  The  importance  of  the  Arctic  Pole  in  respect  to 
the  production  of  animals  and  plants,  and  to  their  migra 
tions,  and  the  nullity  of  the  other  hemisphere  in  relation 
to  this  feature  result  from  such  a  grouping.  The  essen 
tial  point  is,  that  there  is  nothing  capricious  in  such  an 
arrangement  of  lands  and  seas,  and  that  there  have  been, 
if  not  always,  at  least  from  a  very  ancient  period,  emerged 
lands  occupying  a  considerable  part  of  the  northern  hem 
isphere,  advancing  very  far  toward  the  Pole,  and  describ 
ing  around  the  Arctic  Sea  a  belt  of  more  or  less  contigu 
ous  countries  and  islands.  This  is,  in  effect,  what  geol 
ogy  teaches.  The  changes,  immersions,  and  emersions 
have  never  been  anything  but  partial  and  successive, 
while  the  skeletons  of  the  continents  go  back  to  the  most 
remote  ages.  There  have  always  been  a  Europe,  an 
Asia,  an  America,  and  Arctic  lands.  We  know  certainly 
that  there  have  always  been  around  the  Arctic  Pole  ex 
tensive  territories,  if  not  continents,  long  the  home  of  the 
same  plants  as  the  rest  of  the  globe,  and  that,  beginning 


with  an  epoch  that  corresponds  with  the  end  of  the 
Jurassic,  the  climate,  at  first  as  warm  there  as  elsewhere, 
has  tended  gradually  to  become  colder.  The  depression 
of  temperature  was  at  first  manifested  very  slowly,  and 
was  far  from  having  attained  its  present  degree  in  the 
Tertiary ;  for  the  trees  that  then  grew  in  Greenland  —  the 
sequoias,  magnolias,  and  plane-trees  —  now  attain  their 
full  development  in  Southern  Europe,  and  are  not  suited 
with  the  climate  of  Central  Europe.  We  are,  then,  as 
sured  of  the  ancient  existence,  near  the  Arctic  Pole,  of  a 
zone  of  lands  covered  with  a  rich  vegetation.  The  perma 
nent  existence  of  a  polar  sea  is  none  the  less  attested  by 
fossils  from  all  parts  of  the  region.  The  neighborhood 
of  the  Pole  was  long  habitable,  and  inhabited  by  man  in 
a  time  near  that  in  which  the  vestiges  of  his  industry  be 
gin  to  show  themselves  alike  in  Europe  and  America. 
In  passing  thus  from  the  Arctic  lands  to  those  bordering 
on  the  polar  circle,  and  through  the  latter  into  Asia, 
Europe,  and  America,  man  would  only  have  taken  the 
road  which  a  host  of  plants  and  animal  followed,  either 
before  him  or  at  the  same  time,  and  under  the  stress  of 
the  same  circumstances. 

It  is,  in  fact,  by  the  aid  of  migrations  from  the  neigh 
borhood  of  the  Pole  that  we  can  generally  explain  the 
phenomenon  of  scattered  or  disjoined  species,  a  phenom 
enon  identical  with  the  one  which  man  of  the  Old  World 
and  man  of  the  New  World  present  when  they  are  com 
pared.  Combining  present  notions  with  the  indications 
furnished  by  the  fossils,  we  discover  numerous  examples 
of  disjunction — in  which  -allied  forms,  often  hardly  dis 
tinguishable,  have  been  distributed  at  the  same  time  in 
scattered  regions,  at  extremely  remote  points  in  the 
boreal  hemisphere,  without  any  apparent  connection 
along  the  parallels,  to  explain  the  common  unit.  Europe 
attests  by  undeniable  fossils  that  it  had  formerly  a  host 
of  vegetable  types  and  forms  that  are  now  American, 


which  it  could  have  received  only  from  the  extreme  North. 
It  had,  for  example,  magnolias,  tulip-trees,  sassafras, 
maples,  and  poplars,  comparable  in  all  respects  to  those 
which  grow  in  the  United  States.  The  two  plane-trees, 
that  of  the  West  and  that  of  Asia  Minor,  to  which  we 
may  add  an  extinct  fossil  European  plane-tree,  illustrate 
the  same  phenomenon  of  dispersion.  Europe  in  the 
Tertiary  period  witnessed  the  growth  of  a  ginko  similar 
to  the  one  in  the  north  of  China.  It  had  sequoias  and  a 
bald  cypress  corresponding  with  the  trees  of  those  names 
that  are  now  growing  in  California  and  Louisiana.  The 
beech  seems  to  have  been  growing  in  the  Arctic  circum- 
polar  zone  before  it  was  introduced  and  extended  through 
out  the  northern  hemisphere.  The  same  is  doubtless  the 
case  with  the  hemlock,  of  which  distinguishable  traces 
have  been  found  in  Grinnell-land,  above  the  eighty-sec 
ond  degree  of  latitude,  of  a  date  much  earlier  than  that 
of  its  introduction  into  Europe.  The  well-established 
presence  in  both  continents  of  many  animals  peculiar  to 
the  northern  hemisphere  must  be  attributed  to  emigra