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“ some of them on the sea coast punctured, or tattowed, their bodies with figures resembling various kinds of animals; in consequence of which they also went without garments, that they might not cover, nor conceal, these marks. The other natives were, in general, clad with skins. They had long lank hair, but were shorn in every part of the body, except the head and upper lip.” A wretched substitute for salt was obtained merely by pouring sea-water on the embers of burning wood. The Irish drank the blood of animals, and even of their enemies. King, in the latter half of the first volume, gives prints of the altars, or cromlechs, yet entire, in many situations in Ireland, the Highlands, and England, on which human victims were cruelly murdered! The Druids were richly clad: some of them even wore golden chains, or collars, about their necks and arms; and had their garments dyed with various colors, and adorned with gold.+ Chains also, both of iron and gold, were worn by some of the chieftains and nobler ranks. These facts, will appear so incredible, that the reader must be informed, that, in most of the tumuli, or old British graves, described in King, these ornaments are found in our days. It is a remarkable omission in Mr. King, that he did not quote the three verses from the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, so descriptive of the Babylonian regal tumuli, similar to the British : “ All the kinge
explained : Bell. Gall. I. v. sect. 10. · Omnes verò se Britanni vitro (al. glasto, lege glastro ) inficiunt, quod cæruleum efficit colorem:' now Glastrum, (Britannicè Glâstir) means blue earth : this blue earth, oozing out in low grounds, in the form of soft mud, the Welsh take up, and expose to the sun: when it is a little dried, they roll it into round small pieces of about six or eight inches long : these pieces, when thoroughly hardened, resemble exactly the scoriæ of glass, and are of a blue color; and with these glass-like blue rolls dipped in water, they mark their sheep to this day: glass gives no color, but this glass-like mine. ral does, and that color coruleus.” ED.
i Her. 1. iii. sect. 47. Solinus, 1. xxxv. Cæs. de Bell. Gall. I. v. sect. 14.
2 Tac. Annal. l. xiii. c. 57. Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. xiii. c.7. Varro, de Re Rus. 1. 1. c. 8. 3 Solinus, cap. 35. p. 166. ed. Basil. Strabo, l. iv. p. 196-300. Cæs. de Bell. Gall. I. v. c. 14. 5 Tac. Ann. I. 12. c. 36. Herodian, I, 3. e. 47 Polybius, l. 3.
of the nations lie down in glory, each in his own sepulcre : To meet thee, O Sennacherib, Hades rouseth his mighty dead: he maketh them rise up from their thrones. All of them shall accost thee, and shall say unto thee, art thou become weak as we? Art thou made like unto us? Is then thy pride brought down to the grave? Is the vermin become thy couch, and the earth-worm thy covering ?
Strabo, at the end of his third book, says, that “ the Cassiterides, or Islands of tin, were inhabited by men dressed in black garments, in tunics descending to the feet, a girdle around their breast; walking erect with a staff in their hand; and permitting the beard to grow like that of a goat. They subsist on their cattle, in general spending an erratic pastoral life.”
Some of the common order of the Britons wore, instead of the skins of beasts, very thick coarse wrappers made of wool: a sort of blanket, or rug, fastened about the neck with a piece of sharp-pointed stick. They used also a coarse, slit, short vest, with sleeves; it barely reached down to the knees. As armour, they had a long two-handed sword, hanging by a chain on the right-hand side; a great long wooden shield,' as tall as a man; long spears; and a sort of missile wooden instrument, like a javelin, longer than an arrow, which they darted merely by the hand: modern writers call these two last-mentioned Celtes, fixed on the end of staves and sticks. Some of them used slings for stones, others had breastplates made of plates of iron, with hooks, or with wreathed chains : some had helmets of different forms. Many went to the battle nearly naked, and some wound chains of iron around their necks and loins. They generally lay and reposed themselves on the bare ground, yet most of them ate their food sitting on seats. A very beautiful print is given by Mr. King at p. 101. of these various dresses. The plaid seems to be derived from them. The coins of the old British, which are engraved in Speed, in Borlase's Cornwall, in Gough's edition of Camden's Britannia, and in Plot's History of Oxfordshire, will explain these descriptions of the Classics.
* Strabo, 1. iv. 196. p. 301. Diodorus, lib. v.!p. 213-359. Tac. de Mor. Ger. c. 17.
2 Diod. I. v. 213. p. 353. Herod. I. üi. c. 47,
Even Julius Cæsar had noticed that the Britons used either brass money, or iron circular coins reduced to a standard weight. In the scale of civilisation, therefore, the ancient Britons were as advanced in the era of Cæsar, as the Romans themselves at the expulsion of their kings; as the Grecians, in the age of Homer; as the Mexicans, at the Spanish Conquest; and as the modern Tartars.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL JOURNAL.
you think that the following remarks on a passage in Tacitus, and on the calumny of the Asinine Worship of the Jews and primitive Christians, will be acceptable to any of your readers, I shall be obliged to you to insert them in your Journal.
I remain, your's &e.
Northwich, 16th of May, 1811.
Tacitus, in his History, Lib. 5. after attempting to account for the exodus of the Jews out of Egypt, and their deliverance from perishing by thirst in the desert, adds, “Effigiem animalis, quo monstrante errorem sitimque depulerant, penetrali sacravere;" adopting a calumnious report, which he himself does not appear to have believed, for in the same Book he affirms “ Judæi mente solâ, unumque numen intelligunt.-Igitur nulla simulacra urbibus suis, nedum templis sunt.” But why did he retail an unfounded calumny ? Doubtless to depreciate a people, whom he, and his nation hated, on account of the exclusive nature of the religion they professed. Nor was he singular in this aspersion, for Apion had, before him, urged it against
them;' and according to Suidas?, Democritus had trodden in the steps of Apion. There is however a difficulty in accounting for the rise of so odious a charge, as is evident from the diversity of opinion on the subject entertained by the learned. Le Fevres conjectures that the schismatic Temple erected in the province of Heliopolis, in Egypt, being called 'Ovoő váos and óviežov; the surrounding Pagans invented the fable, that the Ass ("Ovos) was worshipped there. Relando contends, that the Vase which contained the Manna laid up in the Ark, was of the kind termed Ovous, and that from the similarity of this word to *Ovos, arose the belief of the Asinine worship of the Jews. The author of the work Laus Asini, believes that Oūgavos was sometimes abbreviated and written Oůvos, and that the Heathens, either from ignorance or malice, read it Oővos. Thysius“ supposes, that as the ass was appropriated to Bacchus, and the Pagans maintained, from the Institution of the Feast of Tabernacles, &c. that the Jews were worshippers of the Drunken God; the report might spread that they were adorers of the ass itself. Dilherrus? believes that the calumny arose from misunderstanding the 24th verse of the 36th chapter of Genesis, where the
-, rently pointed, either Mules, or Waters. Jurieu$ apprehends that he has adopted the most probable opinion, by assuming that the Pagans mistook one of the Faces of the Cherubim, particularly that of the Ox, for that of an Ass. Whilst the modest and profoundly learned Bochart' thinks it not improbable that the foolish story arose from the frequent use in the Hebrew Scriptures of the words 717''), which, when pronounced Pi Jao, are in sound similar to the Coptic IIIEN an ass; and that on this circumstance Apion founded the calumny.
-may be rendered according as they are diffe ,את הימים words
· Joseph. contra Apion.
2 Suid. Lex. sub voce 'loú£alos. 3 Jurieu Hist. des Dogmes, Part 4me. Chap. 4. * Apud Saurin Discours Historiques, ac Tom. 2. Disc. 50. p: 150. 8vo. Edit.
s Bochart Hieroz. Lib. 2. Cap. 18. Tom. 1. 6 A. Thysii Exercitationes Miscellaneæ, apud Crénii Fascic. Tom. 4. Exerc. 9. 7 Dilherri Farrago, apud Crenii Fascic. Tom. 8. Cap. 13.
8 Jurieu Hist. des Dogmes, Pt. 4. Ch. 4. p. 748. 9 Bochart Hieroz. Lib. 2. Cap. 18. Tom. 1. Edit. Lond. VOL. IV.NO. VII.
Among so many discordant, and well defended opinions, it is not easy to decide which ought to be preferred. Instead of adopting any, one to the exclusion of the rest, I would rather suppose that the report was raised and gained strength by the combined influence of most or all of these causes; to which may be added another from the language of the Prophetic Scriptures. I particularly allude to the memorable prophecy of Zechariah, chap. ix. ver. 9. “ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, , O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy King cometh unto thee ; he is just and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an Ass, and upon a Colt the Foal of an Ass.” This prophecy was one which the Jews regarded with peculiar attention, referring it to the Messiah, and frequently dwelling upon the circumstance of his riding upon an Ass, as a proof of his humility. We find therefore the Talmudists endeavouring to reconcile what they considered as a discordancy in their Scriptures ; for in Sanhed, cap. xi. fol. 98. it is said,“ “ Rabbi Josuem filius Levi objecit, scriptum est de Messiâ. Dan. cap. vii. ver. 13.
« Et ecce cuin nubibus coeli, sicut filius hominis venit. At Zachar. cap. ix. ver. 9. de eodem scriptum est. Pauper et insidens asino. Resp. Si Israelitæ digni sunt, veniet cum nubibus cæli; si non sunt digni, veniet pauper, et asino insidens." The Rabbins have also fabled’ that the Ass, upon which the Messiah will ride, will be one with a thousand excellencies, and the same on which Abraham and the Prophets formerly rode. From this frequent writing and speaking of the Ass, the Heathens were probably confirmed in their foolish opinion that the stupid animal was an object of adoration among the Jews.
When Christianity began to be preached, the slander raised at first against the Jews was readily transferred to the Christians, by the opponents of the Gospel. Gronovius3 indeed supposes that the calumny against the Christians might originate in having their houses ornamented with paintings of Christ's entry into Jerusalem ; and Lord Hailes affirms,* we are “indebted
• Bochart Hieroz. Lib. 2. Cap. 27. 2 Buxtorf Lex. Talmud. sub voce 782. Relandi Dissert. Miscell. pars altera, Dissert 9. p. 288, sub voce 7177. :
3 Minuc. Felix, cum not. var. Davisii, p. 56. n. 7.
4 Dalrymple's Octavius, p. 143, note.