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Nonnus, who was born at Panopolis in Egypt, in the fifth century, and who collected in his Dionysiaca scattered remnants of knowledge, from the hieroglyphical descriptions and ancient hymns of the country, alludes to the circumstances of the deluge *.
Relations respecting this event were to be found in various parts of Greece. Aristotle speaks of the effects of the deluge of Deucalion in Epirus. The Thessalians seem to have believed it to have prevailed in their country +
The people of Phocis supposed the ark to have rested on Parnassus §. Lucian, a native of Samosata, gives also an account of the flood .
Cumberland imagines the Scythian Deucalion of Lucian to have been the Ouranus of Sanchoniatho, distinguishing him from the Grecian Deucalion: and a statue of him is said to have been in the Adytum of Hierapolis, with a golden dove upon his head.
Bryant's Mythol. vol. ii. p. 369.
+ Meteorol. lib. i. c. 14. p. 778. Servius in Virg. Eclog. vi. 1. 41. Pausan. x. p. 811.
De Dea Syria, vol. ii. p. 882. See chapter on Lucian.
Semiramis is related to have protected pigeons, with some reference, it has been supposed to Noah's dove. The Syrians considered fish and doves as more especially the gift of the Deity*, and allowed the latter to fly unmolested through their cities as sacred birds.
They were revered as the emblems of peace in consequence, probably, of the tiding of abated wrath which they brought back to Noah in the ark; and for similar reasons the olive branch might be regarded as the symbol of forgiveness. Lucretius alludes to the character of Venus, as Dione who calms the sea.
"O lovely queen of heaven, at thy command
The dove was the emblematic bird of Ve nd festivals were established to comthe departure and return of that
197. Lucian de Dea Syria, p. 912.
goddess to the sea and Venus was regarded as sprung from the sea. Bryant, who pushes these remarks very far, observes, that the ancient and true name of the dove was Jonah, or Jonas †, importing a sacred emblem so received by the line of Ham, and admitted as a symbol among the Hebrews, and it had a peculiar propriety as borne by the prophet, when he proclaimed. the necessity of repentance to Nineveh.
Some writers considered the sea as the avenger of perfidy. It deserves also to be remarked, that Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, is represented as the messenger from the gods to men; she was one of the Oceanides, being the daughter of Thaumas and Electra, and she is described as having supplied the clouds with water for the deluge.
Not only did a general belief prevail that a deluge had taken place, but the history of the world among the Heathens seems to take its origin from that period, insomuch that many blended the idea of
* Seneca, Hyppol. and Musæus, 1. 249.
Ovid. Ep. Med. ad Jason.
a creation with that of the universal flood, and supposed the system of the world to arise from a chaos of elements, of which water was the primordial principle.
On Testimonies of Prophane Writers, which directly bear Witness to Facts recorded in the Scripture of the Old Testament.
THERE are numberless passages in the prophane writings of antiquity, which bear a direct testimony to the truth of many facts recorded by the sacred Historians. A few only of these need be produced. Many representations, which bear evidence to the creation, the flood, and other particulars which took place in the early ages of the world, have already been brought forward; and many others will be produced in the remarks upon the works of individual writers. Manetho, Berosus, Hestiæus, Hecatæus, and others relate, that those who succeeded the first man lived to a thousand years, and confirm many other particulars too numerous to mention with respect to the early ages of the world.