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metheus flourished: Quem propterea ferunt de luto formasse homines, quia optimus sapientiæ doctor fuisse perhibetur ; “Of whom it is reported, that he formed men out “ of clay, because he was an excellent teacher of wisdom :" and so Theophrastus expoundeth the invention of fire, ascribed to Prometheus, ad inventa sapientiæ pertinere ; “ to have reference to wise inventions:” and b Æschylus affirmeth, that by the stealing of Jupiter's fire was meant, that the knowledge of Prometheus reached to the stars and other celestial bodies. Again, it is written of him, that he had the art so to use this fire, as thereby he gave life to images of wood, stone, and clay; meaning that before his birth and being, those people among whom he lived had nothing else worthy of men, but external form and figure. By that fiction of Prometheus, being bound on the top of the hill Caucasus, his entrails the while devoured by an eagle, was meant the inward care and restless desire he had to investigate the natures, motions, and influences of heavenly bodies: for so it is said, Ideo altissimum ascendisse Caucasum, ut sereno cælo quam longissime astra, signorum obitus et ortus spectaret; “ That he ascended Cauca
sus, to the end that he might in a clear sky discern afar “ off the settings and risings of the stars :” though Diodorus Siculus expounds it otherwise, and others diversely.
Of this man's knowledge Æschylus gives this testimony:
d Ast agebant omnia
But fortune governed all their works, till when
• Æschyl. in Prom. vinct. in c. 8. 1. 18. de Civit. Dei.
c L. Vives ex Hes.
Æschyl, in Prom. vinct.
And others of like use I did devise ;
Africanus makes Prometheus far more ancient, and but ninety-four years after Ogyges. Porphyrius says, that he lived at once with Inachus, who lived with Isaac.
There lived also at once with Moses, that famous Atlas, brother to Prometheus, both being the sons of Japetus, of whom though it be said that they were born before Moses's days, and therefore are by others esteemed of a more ancient date; yet the advantage of their long lives gave them a part of other ages among men which came into the world long after them. Besides these sons of Japetus, Æschylus finds two other, to wit, Oceanus and Hesperus, who being famous in the west, gave name to the evening, and so to the evening star. Also besides this Atlas of Libya, or Mauritania, there were others which bare the same name: but of the Libyan, and the brother of Prometheus, it was that those mountains which cross Africa to the south of Marocco, Sus, and Hea, with the sea adjoining, took name, which memory Plato in Critias bestows on Atlas, the son of Neptune.
Cicero, in the fifth of his l'usculan Questions, affirmeth, that all things written of Prometheus and Atlas were but by those names to express divine knowledge: Nec vero Atlas sustinere cælum, nec Prometheus affixus Caucaso, nec stellatus Cepheus cum uxore traderetur, nisi divina cognitio nomen eorum ad errorem fabulæ traduxisset ; “ Neither should Atlas be said to bear up heaven, nor Pro“ metheus to be fastened to Caucasus, nor Cepheus with his “ wife to be stellified, unless their divine knowledge had 66 raised
upon their names these erroneous fables.” Orpheus sometimes expressed time by Prometheus, sometimes he took him for Saturn; as Rheæ conjux alme Prometheu. But that the story of Prometheus was not altoge
© Aug. 1. 18. c. 3. de Civit. Dei.
ther a fiction, and that he lived about this time, the most approved historians and antiquaries, and among them Eusebius and St. Augustine, have not doubted. For the great judgment which Atlas had in astronomy, saith f St. Augustine, were his daughters called by the names of constellations, Pleiades and Hyades; others attribute unto him the finding out of the moon's course, of which Archas, the son of Orchomenus, challengeth the invention. Of this Archas, Arcadia in Peloponnesus took name, and therefore did the Arcadians vaunt that they were more ancient than the moon : $ Et luna gens prior illa fuit: which is to be understood, saith Natalis Comes, before there had been any observation of the moon's course, or of her working in inferior bodies. And though there be that bestow the finding out thereof upon Endymion, others (as Xenagoras) on Typhon, yet Isacius Tzetzes, a curious searcher of antiquities, gave it Atlas of Libya ; who, besides his gifts of mind, was a man of unequalled and incomparable strength : from whom Thales the Milesian, as it is said, had the ground of his philosophy
Of Deucalion and Phaeton. AND in this age of the world, and while Moses yet lived, Deucalion reigned in Thessaly, Crotopus then ruling the Argives. This Deucalion was the son of Prometheus, saith Herodotus, Apollonius, Hesiodus, and i Strabo. Hesiodus gave him Pandora for mother, the rest Clymene: Homer, in the 15th of his Odysses, makes Deucalion the son of Minos; but he must needs have meant some other Deucalion; for else either Ulysses was mistaken, or Homer, who put the tale into his mouth. For Ulysses, after his return from Troy, feigned himself to be the brother of Idomeneus, who was son to this latter Deucalion, the son of Minos: but this Minos lived but one age before Troy was taken, (for Idomeneus served in that war,) and this Deucalion, the son of Prometheus, who lived at once with Moses, was long before. In the first Deucalion's time happened that great inundation in Thessaly; by which, in effect, every soul in those parts perished but Deucalion, Pyrrha his wife, and some few others. It is affirmed, that at the time of this flood in Thessaly, those people exceeded in all kind of wickedness and villainy; and as the impiety of men is the forcible attractive of God's vengeance, so did all that nation, for their foul sins, perish by waters : as in the time of Noah, the corruption and cruelty of all mankind drew on them that general destruction by the flood universal. Only Deucalion and Pyrrha his wife, whom God spared, were both of them esteemed to be lovers of virtue, of justice, and of religion. Of whom Ovid: :
Lib. 18. c. 8. de Civitate Dei. & Ovid, de Fast. J. 1.
h Clem. Alex. Strom. I. 1. i Strab. I. 9.
Non illo melior quisquam, nec amantior aqui
Nor any woman godlier than she. It is also affirmed, that Prometheus foretold his son Deucalion of this overflowing, and advised him to provide for his own safety; who hereupon prepared himself a kind of vessel, which Lucian, in his dialogue of Tinion, calls cibotium, and others larnax. And because to these circumstances, they afterwards add the sending out of the dove, to discover the waters fall and decrease, I should verily think that this story had been but an imitation of Noah's flood devised by the Greeks, did not the times so much differ, and k St. Augustine, with others of the fathers, and reverend writers, approve this story of Deucalion. Among other his children, Deucalion had these two of note; Helen, of whom Greece had first the name of Hellas; and Melantho, on whom Neptune is said to have begot Delphus, which gave name to Delphos, so renowned among the heathen for the oracle of Apollo therein founded.
And.that which was no less strange and marvellous than this flood, was that great burning and conflagration which about this time also happened under Phaeton ; not only in Ethiopia, but in Istria, a region in Italy, and about Cumæ,
August. de Civitate Dei, l. 18. c. 10. ex Eusebio et Hieronymo.
and the mountains of Vesuvius; of both which the Greeks, after their manner, have invented many strange fables.
Of Hermes Trismegistus. BUT of all other which this age brought forth among the heathen, Mercurius was the most famous and renowned: the same which was also called Trismegistus, or Ter maximus; and of the Greeks, Hermes.
Many there were of this name; and how to distinguish, and set them in their own times, both St. Augustine and Lactantius find it difficult. For that Mercury, which was esteemed the god of thieves, the god of wrestlers, of merchants, and seamen, and the god of eloquence, (though all by one name confounded,) was not the same with that Mercury, of whose many works some fragments are now extant.
Cicero, Clemens Alexandrinus, Arnobius, and certain of the Greeks, reckon five Mercuries; of which two were famous in Egypt, and there worshipped; one, the son of Nilus, whose name the Egyptians feared to utter, as the Jews did their Tetragrammaton ; the other, that Mercury which slew Argos in Greece, and flying into Egypt, is said to have delivered literature to the Egyptians, and to have given them laws. But 1 Diodorus affirms, that Orpheus, and others after him, brought learning and letters out of Egypt into Greece; which Plato also confirmeth, saying, that letters were not found out by that Mercury which slew Argus, but by that ancient Mercury, otherwise Theuet, whom Philo Biblius writeth Taautus, the Egyptians Thoyth, the Alexandrians Thot, and the Greeks (as before) Hermes m. And to this Taautus, Sanconiatho, who lived about the war of Troy, gives the invention of letters. But St. Augustine making two Mercuries, which were both Egyptians, calls neither of them the son of Nilus, nor acknowledgeth either of them to have slain Argus. For he finds this Mercury, the slayer of Argus, to be the grand
! Lud. Vives out of Cicero, in Aug. de Civitate Dei, 1. 8. c. 26. m Euseb. I. 1. c. 6. de Præp. Evang.