HotFreeBooks.com
The Antediluvian World
by Ignatius Donnelly
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

We conclude, therefore: 1. That it is proven beyond question, by geological evidence, that vast masses of land once existed in the region where Atlantis is located by Plato, and that therefore such an island must have existed; 2. That there is nothing improbable or impossible in the statement that it was destroyed suddenly by an earthquake "in one dreadful night and day."

CHAPTER. V.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE SEA.

Suppose we were to find in mid-Atlantic, in front of the Mediterranean, in the neighborhood of the Azores, the remains of an immense island, sunk beneath the sea—one thousand miles in width, and two or three thousand miles long—would it not go far to confirm the statement of Plato that, "beyond the strait where you place the Pillars of Hercules, there was an island larger than Asia (Minor) and Libya combined," called Atlantis? And suppose we found that the Azores were the mountain peaks of this drowned island, and were torn and rent by tremendous volcanic convulsions; while around them, descending into the sea, were found great strata of lava; and the whole face of the sunken land was covered for thousands of miles with volcanic debris, would we not be obliged to confess that these facts furnished strong corroborative proofs of the truth of Plato's statement, that "in one day and one fatal night there came mighty earthquakes and inundations which ingulfed that mighty people? Atlantis disappeared beneath the sea; and then that sea became inaccessible on account of the quantity of mud which the ingulfed island left in its place."

MAP OF ATLANTIS, WITH ITS ISLANDS AND CONNECTING RIDGES, FROM DEEP-SEA SOUNDINGS

And all these things recent investigation has proved conclusively. Deep-sea soundings have been made by ships of different nations; the United States ship Dolphin, the German frigate Gazelle, and the British ships Hydra, Porcupine, and Challenger have mapped out the bottom of the Atlantic, and the result is the revelation of a great elevation, reaching from a point on the coast of the British Islands southwardly to the coast of South America, at Cape Orange, thence south-eastwardly to the coast of Africa, and thence southwardly to Tristan d'Acunha. I give one map showing the profile of this elevation in the frontispiece, and another map, showing the outlines of the submerged land, on page 47. It rises about 9000 feet above the great Atlantic depths around it, and in the Azores, St. Paul's Rocks, Ascension, and Tristan d'Acunha it reaches the surface of the ocean.

Evidence that this elevation was once dry land is found in the fact that "the inequalities, the mountains and valleys of its surface, could never have been produced in accordance with any laws for the deposition of sediment, nor by submarine elevation; but, on the contrary, must have been carved by agencies acting above the water level." (Scientific American, July 28th, 1877.)

Mr. J. Starke Gardner, the eminent English geologist, is of the opinion that in the Eocene Period a great extension of land existed to the west of Cornwall. Referring to the location of the "Dolphin" and "Challenger" ridges, he asserts that "a great tract of land formerly existed where the sea now is, and that Cornwall, the Scilly and Channel Islands, Ireland and Brittany, are the remains of its highest summits." (Popular Science Review, July, 1878.)

Here, then, we have the backbone of the ancient continent which once occupied the whole of the Atlantic Ocean, and from whose washings Europe and America were constructed; the deepest parts of the ocean, 3500 fathoms deep, represent those portions which sunk first, to wit, the plains to the east and west of the central mountain range; some of the loftiest peaks of this range—the Azores, St. Paul's, Ascension, Tristan d'Acunba—are still above the ocean level; while the great body of Atlantis lies a few hundred fathoms beneath the sea. In these "connecting ridges" we see the pathway which once extended between the New World and the Old, and by means of which the plants and animals of one continent travelled to the other; and by the same avenues black men found their way, as we will show hereafter, from Africa to America, and red men from America to Africa.

And, as I have shown, the same great law which gradually depressed the Atlantic continent, and raised the lands east and west of it, is still at work: the coast of Greenland, which may be regarded as the northern extremity of the Atlantic continent, is still sinking "so rapidly that ancient buildings on low rock-islands are now submerged, and the Greenlander has learned by experience never to build near the water's edge," ("North Amer. of Antiq.," p. 504.) The same subsidence is going on along the shore of South Carolina and Georgia, while the north of Europe and the Atlantic coast of South America are rising rapidly. Along the latter raised beaches, 1180 miles long and from 100 to 1300 feet high, have been traced.

When these connecting ridges extended from America to Europe and Africa, they shut off the flow of the tropical waters of the ocean to the north: there was then no "Gulf Stream;" the land-locked ocean that laved the shores of Northern Europe was then intensely cold; and the result was the Glacial Period. When the barriers of Atlantis sunk sufficiently to permit the natural expansion of the heated water of the tropics to the north, the ice and snow which covered Europe gradually disappeared; the Gulf Stream flowed around Atlantis, and it still retains the circular motion first imparted to it by the presence of that island.

The officers of the Challenger found the entire ridge of Atlantis covered with volcanic deposits; these are the subsided mud which, as Plato tells us, rendered the sea impassable after the destruction of the island.

It does not follow that, at the time Atlantis was finally ingulfed, the ridges connecting it with America and Africa rose above the water-level; these may have gradually subsided into the sea, or have gone down in cataclysms such as are described in the Central American books. The Atlantis of Plato may have been confined to the "Dolphin Ridge" of our map.

ANCIENT ISLANDS BETWEEN ATLANTIS AND THE MEDITERRANEAN, FROM DEEP-SEA SOUNDINGS

The United States sloop Gettysburg has also made some remarkable discoveries in a neighboring field. I quote from John James Wild (in Nature, March 1st, 1877, p. 377):

"The recently announced discovery by Commander Gorringe, of the United States sloop Gettysburg, of a bank of soundings bearing N. 85 deg. W., and distant 130 miles from Cape St. Vincent, during the last voyage of the vessel across the Atlantic, taken in connection with previous soundings obtained in the same region of the North Atlantic, suggests the probable existence of a submarine ridge or plateau connecting the island of Madeira with the coast of Portugal, and the probable subaerial connection in prehistoric times of that island with the south-western extremity of Europe." . . . "These soundings reveal the existence of a channel of an average depth of from 2000 to 3000 fathoms, extending in a northeasterly direction from its entrance between Madeira and the Canary Islands toward Cape St. Vincent. . . . Commander Gorringe, when about 150 miles from the Strait of Gibraltar, found that the soundings decreased from 2700 fathoms to 1600 fathoms in the distance of a few miles. The subsequent soundings (five miles apart) gave 900, 500, 400, and 100 fathoms; and eventually a depth of 32 fathoms was obtained, in which the vessel anchored. The bottom was found to consist of live pink coral, and the position of the bank in lat. 36 deg. 29' N., long. 11 deg. 33' W."

The map on page 51 shows the position of these elevations. They must have been originally islands;—stepping-stones, as it were, between Atlantis and the coast of Europe.

Sir C. Wyville Thomson found that the specimens of the fauna of the coast of Brazil, brought up in his dredging-machine, are similar to those of the western coast of Southern Europe. This is accounted for by the connecting ridges reaching from Europe to South America.

A member of the Challenger staff, in a lecture delivered in London, soon after the termination of the expedition, gave it as his opinion that the great submarine plateau is the remains of "the lost Atlantis."

CHAPTER VI.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE FLORA AND FAUNA.

Proofs are abundant that there must have been at one time uninterrupted land communication between Europe and America. In the words of a writer upon this subject,

"When the animals and plants of the Old and New World are compared, one cannot but be struck with their identity; all or nearly all belong to the same genera, while many, even of the species, are common to both continents. This is most important in its bearing on our theory, as indicating that they radiated from a common centre after the Glacial Period. . . . The hairy mammoth, woolly-haired rhinoceros, the Irish elk, the musk-ox, the reindeer, the glutton, the lemming, etc., more or less accompanied this flora, and their remains are always found in the post-glacial deposits of Europe as low down as the South of France. In the New World beds of the same age contain similar remains, indicating that they came from a common centre, and were spread out over both continents alike." (Westminster Review, January, 1872, p. 19.)

Recent discoveries in the fossil beds of the Bad Lands of Nebraska prove that the horse originated in America. Professor Marsh, of Yale College, has identified the several preceding forms from which it was developed, rising, in the course of ages, from a creature not larger than a fox until, by successive steps, it developed into the true horse. How did the wild horse pass from America to Europe and Asia if there was not continuous land communication between the two continents? He seems to have existed in Europe in a wild state prior to his domestication by man.

The fossil remains of the camel are found in India, Africa, South America, and in Kansas. The existing alpacas and llamas of South America are but varieties of the camel family.

The cave bear, whose remains are found associated with the hones of the mammoth and the bones and works of man in the caves of Europe, was identical with the grizzly bear of our Rocky Mountains. The musk-ox, whose relics are found in the same deposits, now roams the wilds of Arctic America. The glutton of Northern Europe, in the Stone Age, is identical with the wolverine of the United States. According to Rutimeyer, the ancient bison (Bos priscus) of Europe was identical with the existing American buffalo. "Every stage between the ancient cave bison and the European aurochs can be traced." The Norway elk, now nearly extinct, is identical with the American moose. The Cervus Americanus found in Kentucky was as large as the Irish elk, which it greatly resembled. The lagomys, or tailless hare, of the European eaves, is now found in the colder regions of North America. The reindeer, which once occupied Europe as far down as France, was the same as the reindeer of America. Remains of the cave lion of Europe (Felix speloae), a larger beast than the largest of the existing species, have been found at Natchez, Mississippi. The European cave wolf was identical with the American wolf.

Cattle were domesticated among the people of Switzerland during the earliest part of the Stone Period (Darwin's "Animals Under Domestication," vol. i., p. 103), that is to say, before the Bronze Age and the Age of Iron. Even at that remote period they had already, by long-continued selection, been developed out of wild forms akin to the American buffalo. M. Gervais ("Hist. Nat. des Mammifores," vol. xi., p. 191) concludes that the wild race from which our domestic sheep was derived is now extinct. The remains of domestic sheep are found in the debris of the Swiss lake-dwellings during the Stone Age. The domestic horse, ass, lion, and goat also date back to a like great antiquity. We have historical records 7000 years old, and during that time no similar domestication of a wild animal has been made. This fact speaks volumes as to the vast period, of time during which man must have lived in a civilized state to effect the domestication of so many and such useful animals.

And when we turn from the fauna to the flora, we find the same state of things.

An examination of the fossil beds of Switzerland of the Miocene Age reveals the remains of more than eight hundred different species of flower-bearing plants, besides mosses, ferns, etc. The total number of fossil plants catalogued from those beds, cryptogamous as well as phaenogamous, is upward of three thousand. The majority of these species have migrated to America. There were others that passed into Asia, Africa, and even to Australia. The American types are, however, in the largest proportion. The analogues of the flora of the Miocene Age of Europe now grow in the forests of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Florida; they include such familiar examples as magnolias, tulip-trees, evergreen oaks, maples, plane-trees, robinas, sequoias, etc. It would seem to be impossible that these trees could have migrated from Switzerland to America unless there was unbroken land communication between the two continents.

It is a still more remarkable fact that a comparison of the flora of the Old World and New goes to show that not only was there communication by land, over which the plants of one continent could extend to another, but that man must have existed, and have helped this transmigration, in the case of certain plants that were incapable of making the journey unaided.

Otto Kuntze, a distinguished German botanist, who has spent many years in the tropics, announces his conclusion that "In America and in Asia the principal domesticated tropical plants are represented by the same species." He instances the Manihot utilissima, whose roots yield a fine flour; the tarro (Colocasia esculenta), the Spanish or red pepper, the tomato, the bamboo, the guava, the mango-fruit, and especially the banana. He denies that the American origin of tobacco, maize, and the cocoa-nut is proved. He refers to the Paritium tiliaceum, a malvaceous plant, hardly noticed by Europeans, but very highly prized by the natives of the tropics, and cultivated everywhere in the East and West Indies; it supplies to the natives of these regions so far apart their ropes and cordage. It is always seedless in a cultivated state. It existed in America before the arrival of Columbus.

But Professor Kuntze pays especial attention to the banana, or plantain. The banana is seedless. It is found throughout tropical Asia and Africa. Professor Kuntze asks, "In what way was this plant, which cannot stand a voyage through the temperate zone, carried to America?" And yet it was generally cultivated in America before 1492. Says Professor Kuntze, "It must be remembered 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, and yet produces the most abundant crop of any known tropical plant." He then proceeds to discuss how it could have passed from Asia to America. He admits that the roots must have been transported from one country to the other by civilized man. He argues that it could not have crossed the Pacific from Asia to America, because the Pacific is nearly thrice or four times as wide as the Atlantic. The only way he can account for the plantain reaching America is to suppose that it was carried there when the North Pole had a tropical climate! Is there any proof that civilized man existed at the North Pole when it possessed the climate of Africa?

Is it not more reasonable to suppose that the plantain, or banana, was cultivated by the people of Atlantis, and carried by their civilized agricultural colonies to the east and the west? Do we not find a confirmation of this view in the fact alluded to by Professor Kuntze in these words: "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 cultivated as early as the beginning of the middle of the Diluvial Period."

Is it possible that a plant of this kind could have been cultivated for this immense period of time in both Asia and America? Where are the two nations, agricultural and highly civilized, on those continents by whom it was so cultivated? What has become of them? Where are the traces of their civilization? All the civilizations of Europe, Asia, and Africa radiated from the Mediterranean; the Hindoo-Aryans advanced from the north-west; they were kindred to the Persians, who were next-door neighbors to the Arabians (cousins of the Phoenicians), and who lived along-side of the Egyptians, who had in turn derived their civilization from the Phoenicians.

It would be a marvel of marvels if one nation, on one continent, had cultivated the banana for such a vast period of time until it became seedless; the nation retaining a peaceful, continuous, agricultural civilization during all that time. But to suppose that two nations could have cultivated the same plant, under the same circumstances, on two different continents, for the same unparalleled lapse of time, is supposing an impossibility.

We find just such a civilization as was necessary, according to Plato, and under just such a climate, in Atlantis and nowhere else. We have found it reaching, by its contiguous islands, within one hundred and fifty miles of the coast of Europe on the one side, and almost touching the West India Islands on the other, while, by its connecting ridges, it bound together Brazil and Africa.

But it may be said these animals and plants may have passed from Asia to America across the Pacific by the continent of Lemuria; or there may have been continuous land communication at one time at Behring's Strait. True; but an examination of the flora of the Pacific States shows that very many of the trees and plants common to Europe and the Atlantic States are not to be seen west of the Rocky Mountains. The magnificent magnolias, the tulip-trees, the plane-trees, etc., which were found existing in the Miocene Age in Switzerland, and are found at the present day in the United States, are altogether lacking on the Pacific coast. The sources of supply of that region seem to have been far inferior to the sources of supply of the Atlantic States. Professor Asa Gray tells us that, out of sixty-six genera and one hundred and fifty-five species found in the forests cast of the Rocky Mountains, only thirty-one genera and seventy-eight species are found west of the mountains. The Pacific coast possesses no papaw, no linden or basswood, no locust-trees, no cherry-tree large enough for a timber tree, no gum-trees, no sorrel-tree, nor kalmia; no persimmon-trees, not a holly, only one ash that may be called a timber tree, no catalpa or sassafras, not a single elm or hackberry, not a mulberry, not a hickory, or a beech, or a true chestnut. These facts would seem to indicate that the forest flora of North America entered it from the east, and that the Pacific States possess only those fragments of it that were able to struggle over or around the great dividing mountain-chain.

We thus see that the flora and fauna of America and Europe testify not only to the existence of Atlantis, but to the fact that in an earlier age it must have extended from the shores of one continent to those of the other; and by this bridge of land the plants and animals of one region passed to the other.

The cultivation of the cotton-plant and the manufacture of its product was known to both the Old and New World. Herodotus describes it (450 B.C.) as the tree of India that bears a fleece more beautiful than that of the sheep. Columbus found the natives of the West Indies using cotton cloth. It was also found in Mexico and Peru. It is a significant fact that the cotton-plant has been found growing wild in many parts of America, but never in the Old World. This would seem to indicate that the plant was a native of America; and this is confirmed by the superiority of American cotton, and the further fact that the plants taken from America to India constantly degenerate, while those taken from India to America as constantly improve.

There is a question whether the potato, maize, and tobacco were not cultivated in China ages before Columbus discovered America. A recent traveller says, "The interior of China, along the course of the Yang-tse-Kiang, is a land full of wonders. In one place piscicultural nurseries line the banks for nearly fifty miles. All sorts of inventions, the cotton-gin included, claimed by Europeans and Americans, are to be found there forty centuries old. Plants, yielding drugs of great value, without number, the familiar tobacco and potato, maize, white and yellow corn, and other plants believed to be indigenous to America, have been cultivated there from time immemorial."

Bonafous ("Histoire Naturelle du Mais," Paris, 1826) attributes a European or Asiatic origin to maize. The word maize, (Indian corn) is derived from mahiz or mahis, the name of the plant in the language of the Island of Hayti. And yet, strange to may, in the Lettish and Livonian languages, in the north of Europe, mayse signifies bread; in Irish, maise is food, and in the Old High German, maz is meat. May not likewise the Spanish maiz have antedated the time of Columbus, and borne testimony to early intercommunication between the people of the Old and New Worlds?

It is to Atlantis we must look for the origin of nearly all our valuable plants. Darwin says ("Animals and Plants under Domestication," vol. i., p. 374), "It has often been remarked that we do not owe a single useful plant to Australia, or the Cape of Good Hope—countries abounding to an unparalleled degree with endemic species—or to New Zealand, or to America south of the Plata; and, according to some authors, not to America north of Mexico." In other words, the domesticated plants are only found within the limits of what I shall show hereafter was the Empire of Atlantis and its colonies; for only here was to be found an ancient, long-continuing civilization, capable of developing from a wild state those plants which were valuable to man, including all the cereals on which to-day civilized man depends for subsistence. M. Alphonse de Candolle tells us that we owe 33 useful plants to Mexico, Peru, and Chili. According to the same high authority, of 157 valuable cultivated plants 85 can be traced back to their wild state; as to 40, there is doubt as to their origin; while 32 are utterly unknown in their aboriginal condition. ("Geograph. Botan. Raisonnee," 1855, pp. 810-991.) Certain roses—the imperial lily, the tuberose and the lilac—are said to have been cultivated from such a vast antiquity that they are not known in their wild state. (Darwin, "Animals and Plants," vol. i., p. 370.) And these facts are the more remarkable because, as De Candolle has shown, all the plants historically known to have been first cultivated in Europe still exist there in the wild state. (Ibid.) The inference is strong that the great cereals—wheat, oats, barley, rye, and maize—must have been first domesticated in a vast antiquity, or in some continent which has since disappeared, carrying the original wild plants with it.

CEREALS OF THE AGE OF STONE IN EUROPE

Darwin quotes approvingly the opinion of Mr. Bentham ("Hist. Notes Cult. Plants"), "as the result of all the most reliable evidence that none of the Ceralia—wheat, rye, barley, and oats—exist or have existed truly wild in their present state." In the Stone Age of Europe five varieties of wheat and three of barley were cultivated. (Darwin, "Animals and Plants," vol. i., p. 382.) He says that it may be inferred, from the presence in the lake habitations of Switzerland of a variety of wheat known as the Egyptian wheat, and from the nature of the weeds that grew among their crops, "that the lake inhabitants either still kept up commercial intercourse with some southern people, or had originally proceeded as colonists from the south." I should argue that they were colonists from the land where wheat and barley were first domesticated, to wit, Atlantis. And when the Bronze Age came, we find oats and rye making their appearance with the weapons of bronze, together with a peculiar kind of pea. Darwin concludes (Ibid., vol. i., p. 385) that wheat, barley, rye, and oats were either descended from ten or fifteen distinct species, "most of which are now unknown or extinct," or from four or eight species closely resembling our present forms, or so "widely different as to escape identification;" in which latter case, he says, "man must have cultivated the cereals at an enormously remote period," and at that time practised "some degree of selection."

Rawlinson ("Ancient Monarchies," vol. i., p. 578) expresses the opinion that the ancient Assyrians possessed the pineapple. "The representation on the monuments is so exact that I can scarcely doubt the pineapple being intended." (See Layard's "Nineveh and Babylon," p. 338.) The pineapple (Bromelia ananassa) is supposed to be of American origin, and unknown to Europe before the time of Columbus; and yet, apart from the revelations of the Assyrian monuments, there has been some dispute upon this point. ("Amer. Cyclop.," vol. xiii., p. .528.)

ANCIENT IRISH PIPES

It is not even certain that the use of tobacco was not known to the colonists from Atlantis settled in Ireland in an age long prior to Sir Walter Raleigh. Great numbers of pipes have been found in the raths and tumuli of Ireland, which, there is every reason to believe, were placed there by men of the Prehistoric Period. The illustration on p. 63 represents some of the so-called "Danes' pipes" now in the collection of the Royal Irish Academy. The Danes entered Ireland many centuries before the time of Columbus, and if the pipes are theirs, they must have used tobacco, or some substitute for it, at that early period. It is probable, however, that the tumuli of Ireland antedate the Danes thousands of years.

ANCIENT INDIAN PIPE, NEW JERSEY

Compare these pipes from the ancient mounds of Ireland with the accompanying picture of an Indian pipe of the Stone Age of New Jersey. ("Smithsonian Rep.," 1875, p. 342.)

Recent Portuguese travellers have found the most remote tribes of savage negroes in Africa, holding no commercial intercourse with Europeans, using strangely shaped pipes, in which they smoked a plant of the country. Investigations in America lead to the conclusion that tobacco was first burnt as an incense to the gods, the priest alone using the pipe; and from this beginning the extraordinary practice spread to the people, and thence over all the world. It may have crossed the Atlantic in a remote age, and have subsequently disappeared with the failure of retrograding colonists to raise the tobacco-plant.

PART II. THE DELUGE.

CHAPTER I.

THE DESTRUCTION OF ATLANTIS DESCRIBED IN THE DELUGE LEGENDS.

Having demonstrated, as we think successfully, that there is no improbability in the statement of Plato that a large island, almost a continent, existed in the past in the Atlantic Ocean, nay, more, that it is a geological certainty that it did exist; and having further shown that it is not improbable but very possible that it may have sunk beneath the sea in the manner described by Plato, we come now to the next question, Is the memory of this gigantic catastrophe preserved among the traditions of mankind? We think there can be no doubt that an affirmative answer must be given to this question.

An event, which in a few hours destroyed, amid horrible convulsions, an entire country, with all its vast population-that Population the ancestors of the great races of both continents, and they themselves the custodians of the civilization of their age-could not fail to impress with terrible force the minds of men, and to project its gloomy shadow over all human history. And hence, whether we turn to the Hebrews, the Aryans, the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Cushites, or the inhabitants of America, we find everywhere traditions of the Deluge; and we shall see that all these traditions point unmistakably to the destruction of Atlantis.

Francois Lenormant says (Contemp. Rev., Nov., 1879):

"The result authorizes us to affirm the story of the Deluge to be a universal tradition among all branches of the human race, with the one exception, however, of the black. Now, a recollection thus precise and concordant cannot be a myth voluntarily invented. No religious or cosmogonic myth presents this character of universality. It must arise from the reminiscence of a real and terrible event, so powerfully impressing the imagination of the first ancestors of our race as never to have been forgotten by their descendants. This cataclysm must have occurred near the first cradle of mankind, and before the dispersion of the families from which the principal races were to spring; for it would be at once improbable and uncritical to admit that, at as many different points of the globe as we should have to assume in order to explain the wide spread of these traditions, local phenomena so exactly alike should have occurred, their memory having assumed an identical form, and presenting circumstances that need not necessarily have occurred to the mind in such cases.

"Let us observe, however, that probably the diluvian tradition is not primitive, but imported in America; that it undoubtedly wears the aspect of an importation among the rare populations of the yellow race where it is found; and lastly, that it is doubtful among the Polynesians of Oceania. There will still remain three great races to which it is undoubtedly peculiar, who have not borrowed it from each other, but among whom the tradition is primitive, and goes back to the most ancient times, and these three races are precisely the only ones of which the Bible speaks as being descended from Noah—those of which it gives the ethnic filiation in the tenth chapter of Genesis. This observation. which I hold to be undeniable, attaches a singularly historic and exact value to the tradition as recorded by the Sacred Book, even if, on the other hand, it may lead to giving it a more limited geographical and ethnological significance. . . .

"But, as the case now stands, we do not hesitate to declare that, far from being a myth, the Biblical Deluge is a real and historical fact, having, to say the least, left its impress on the ancestors of three races—Aryan, or Indo-European, Semitic, or Syro-Arabian, Chamitic, or Cushite—that is to say, on the three great civilized races of the ancient world, those which constitute the higher humanity—before the ancestors of those races had as yet separated, and in the part of Asia they together inhabited."

Such profound scholars and sincere Christians as M. Schwoebel (Paris, 1858), and M. Omalius d'Halloy (Bruxelles, 1866), deny the universality of the Deluge, and claim that "it extended only to the principal centre of humanity, to those who remained near its primitive cradle, without reaching the scattered tribes who had already spread themselves far away in almost desert regions. It is certain that the Bible narrative commences by relating facts common to the whole human species, confining itself subsequently to the annals of the race peculiarly chosen by the designs of Providence." (Lenormant and Chevallier, "Anc. Hist. of the East," p. 44.) This theory is supported by that eminent authority on anthropology, M. de Quatrefages, as well as by Cuvier; the Rev. R. p. Bellynck, S.J., admits that it has nothing expressly opposed to orthodoxy.

Plato identifies "the great deluge of all" with the destruction of Atlantis. The priest of Sais told Solon that before "the great deluge of all" Athens possessed a noble race, who performed many noble deeds, the last and greatest of which was resisting the attempts of Atlantis to subjugate them; and after this came the destruction of Atlantis, and the same great convulsion which overwhelmed that island destroyed a number of the Greeks. So that the Egyptians, who possessed the memory of many partial deluges, regarded this as "the great deluge of all."

CHAPTER II.

THE DELUGE OF THE BIBLE

We give first the Bible history of the Deluge, as found in Genesis (chap. vi. to chap. viii.):

"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

"And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.

"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

["These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.]

"The earth also was corrupt before God; and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind; two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

"Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

"And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

"And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

"And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of everything that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

"And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; they, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.

"And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went Upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high bills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.

"And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh mouth, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the mouth, were the tops of the mountains seen.

"And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: and he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground. But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark; for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. Then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came in to him in the evening, and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove, which returned not again unto him any more.

"And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

"And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.

"And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.

"And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth: neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

Let us briefly consider this record.

It shows, taken in connection with the opening chapters of Genesis:

1. That the land destroyed by water was the country in which the civilization of the human race originated. Adam was at first naked (Gen., chap. iii., 7); then he clothed himself in leaves; then in the skins of animals (chap. iii., 21): he was the first that tilled the earth, having emerged from a more primitive condition in which he lived upon the fruits of the forest (chap. ii., 16); his son Abel was the first of those that kept flocks of sheep (chap. iv., 2); his son Cain was the builder of the first city (chap. iv., 17); his descendant, Tubal-cain, was the first metallurgist (chap. iv., 22); Jabal was the first that erected tents and kept cattle (chap. iv., 20); Jubal was the first that made musical instruments. We have here the successive steps by which a savage race advances to civilization. We will see hereafter that the Atlanteans passed through precisely similar stages of development.

2. The Bible agrees with Plato in the statement that these Antediluvians had reached great populousness and wickedness, and that it was on account of their wickedness God resolved to destroy them.

3. In both cases the inhabitants of the doomed land were destroyed in a great catastrophe by the agency of water; they were drowned.

4. The Bible tells us that in an earlier age, before their destruction, mankind had dwelt in a happy, peaceful, sinless condition in a Garden of Eden. Plato tells us the same thing of the earlier ages of the Atlanteans.

6. In both the Bible history and Plato's story the destruction of the people was largely caused by the intermarriage of the superior or divine race, "the sons of God," with an inferior stock, "the children of men," whereby they were degraded and rendered wicked.

We will see hereafter that the Hebrews and their Flood legend are closely connected with the Phoenicians, whose connection with Atlantis is established in many ways.

It is now conceded by scholars that the genealogical table given in the Bible (Gen., chap. x.) is not intended to include the true negro races, or the Chinese, the Japanese, the Finns or Lapps, the Australians, or the American red men. It refers altogether to the Mediterranean races, the Aryans, the Cushites, the Phoenicians, the Hebrews, and the Egyptians. "The sons of Ham" were not true negroes, but the dark-brown races. (See Winchell's "Preadamites," chap. vii.)

If these races (the Chinese, Australians, Americans, etc.) are not descended from Noah they could not have been included in the Deluge. If neither China, Japan, America, Northern Europe, nor Australia were depopulated by the Deluge, the Deluge could not have been universal. But as it is alleged that it did destroy a country, and drowned all the people thereof except Noah and his family, the country so destroyed could not have been Europe, Asia, Africa, America, or Australia, for there has been no universal destruction of the people of those regions; or, if there had been, how can we account for the existence to-day of people on all of those continents whose descent Genesis does not trace back to Noah, and, in fact, about whom the writer of Genesis seems to have known nothing?

We are thus driven to one of two alternative conclusions: either the Deluge record of the Bible is altogether fabulous, or it relates to some land other than Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia, some land that was destroyed by water. It is not fabulous; and the land it refers to is not Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia—but Atlantis. No other land is known to history or tradition that was overthrown in a great catastrophe by the agency of water; that was civilized, populous, powerful, and given over to wickedness.

That high and orthodox authority, Francois Lenormant, says ("Ancient Hist. of the East," vol. i., p. 64), "The descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japhet, so admirably catalogued by Moses, include one only of the races of humanity, the white race, whose three chief divisions he gives us as now recognized by anthropologists. The other three races—yellow, black, and red—have no place in the Bible list of nations sprung from Noah." As, therefore, the Deluge of the Bible destroyed only the land and people of Noah, it could not have been universal. The religious world does not pretend to fix the location of the Garden of Eden. The Rev. George Leo Haydock says, "The precise situation cannot be ascertained; bow great might be its extent we do not know;" and we will see hereafter that the unwritten traditions of the Church pointed to a region in the west, beyond the ocean which bounds Europe in that direction, as the locality in which "mankind dwelt before the Deluge."

It will be more and more evident, as we proceed in the consideration of the Flood legends of other nations, that the Antediluvian World was none other than Atlantis.

CHAPTER III.

THE DELUGE OF THE CHALDEANS.

We have two versions of the Chaldean story—unequally developed, indeed, but exhibiting a remarkable agreement. The one most anciently known, and also the shorter, is that which Berosus took from the sacred books of Babylon, and introduced into the history that he wrote for the use of the Greeks. After speaking of the last nine antediluvian kings, the Chaldean priest continues thus.

"Obartes Elbaratutu being dead, his son Xisuthros (Khasisatra) reigned eighteen sares (64,800 years). It was under him that the Great Deluge took place, the history of which is told in the sacred documents as follows: Cronos (Ea) appeared to him in his sleep, and announced that on the fifteenth of the month of Daisios (the Assyrian month Sivan—a little before the summer solstice) all men should perish by a flood. He therefore commanded him to take the beginning, the middle, and the end of whatever was consigned to writing, and to bury it in the City of the Sun, at Sippara; then to build a vessel, and to enter it with his family and dearest friends; to place in this vessel provisions to eat and drink, and to cause animals, birds, and quadrupeds to enter it; lastly, to prepare everything, for navigation. And when Xisuthros inquired in what direction he should steer his bark, he was answered, 'toward the gods,' and enjoined to pray that good might come of it for men.

"Xisuthros obeyed, and constructed a vessel five stadia long and five broad; he collected all that had been prescribed to him, and embarked his wife, his children, and his intimate friends.

"The Deluge having come, and soon going down, Xisuthros loosed some of the birds. These, finding no food nor place to alight on, returned to the ship. A few days later Xisuthros again let them free, but they returned again to the vessel, their feet fall of mud. Finally, loosed the third time, the birds came no more back. Then Xisuthros understood that the earth was bare. He made an opening in the roof of the ship, and saw that it had grounded on the top of a mountain. He then descended with his wife, his daughter, and his pilot, who worshipped the earth, raised an altar, and there sacrificed to the gods; at the same moment he vanished with those who accompanied him.

"Meanwhile those who had remained in the vessel, not seeing Xisutbros return, descended too, and began to seek him, calling him by his name. They saw Xisuthros no more; but a voice from heaven was heard commanding them piety toward the gods; that he, indeed, was receiving the reward of his piety in being carried away to dwell thenceforth in the midst of the gods, and that his wife, his daughter, and the pilot of the ship shared the same honor. The voice further said that they were to return to Babylon, and, conformably to the decrees of fate, disinter the writings buried at Sippara in order to transmit them to men. It added that the country in which they found themselves was Armenia. These, then, having heard the voice, sacrificed to the gods and returned on foot to Babylon. Of the vessel of Xisuthros, which had finally landed in Armenia, a portion is still to be found in the Gordyan Mountains in Armenia, and pilgrims bring thence asphalte that they have scraped from its fragments. It is used to keep off the influence of witchcraft. As to the companions of Xisuthros, they came to Babylon, disinterred the writings left at Sippara, founded numerous cities, built temples, and restored Babylon."

"By the side of this version," says Lenormant, "which, interesting though it be, is, after all, second-hand, we are now able to place an original Chaldeo-Babylonian edition, which the lamented George Smith was the first to decipher on the cuneiform tablets exhumed at Nineveh, and now in the British Museum. Here the narrative of the Deluge appears as an episode in the eleventh tablet, or eleventh chant of the great epic of the town of Uruk. The hero of this poem, a kind of Hercules, whose name has not as yet been made out with certainty, being attacked by disease (a kind of leprosy), goes, with a view to its cure, to consult the patriarch saved from the Deluge, Khasisatra, in the distant land to which the gods have transported him, there to enjoy eternal felicity. He asks Khasisatra to reveal the secret of the events which led to his obtaining the privilege of immortality, and thus the patriarch is induced to relate the cataclysm.

"By a comparison of the three copies of the poem that the library of the palace of Nineveh contained, it has been possible to restore the narrative with hardly any breaks. These three copies were, by order of the King of Assyria, Asshurbanabal, made in the eighth century B.C., from a very ancient specimen in the sacerdotal library of the town of Uruk, founded by the monarchs of the first Chaldean empire. It is difficult precisely to fix the date of the original, copied by Assyrian scribes, but it certainly goes back to the ancient empire, seventeen centuries at least before our era, and even probably beyond; it was therefore much anterior to Moses, and nearly contemporaneous with Abraham. The variations presented by the three existing copies prove that the original was in the primitive mode of writing called the hieratic, a character which must have already become difficult to decipher in the eighth century B.C., as the copyists have differed as to the interpretation to be given to certain signs, and in other cases have simply reproduced exactly the forms of such as they did not understand. Finally, it results from a comparison of these variations, that the original, transcribed by order of Asshurbanabal, must itself have been a copy of some still more ancient manuscript, it, which the original text had already received interlinear comments. Some of the copyists have introduced these into their text, others have omitted them. With these preliminary observations, I proceed to give integrally the narrative ascribed ill the poem to Khasisatra:

"'I will reveal to thee, O Izdhubar, the history of my preservation-and tell to thee the decision of the gods.

"'The town of Shurippak, a town which thou knowest, is situated on the Euphrates—it was ancient, and in it [men did not honor] the gods. [I alone, I was] their servant, to the great gods—[The gods took counsel on the appeal of] Ann—[a deluge was proposed by] Bel—[and approved by Nabon, Nergal and] Adar.

"'And the god [Ea], the immutable lord, repeated this command in a dream.—I listened to the decree of fate that he announced, and he said to me:—" Man of Shurippak, son of Ubaratutu—thou, build a vessel and finish it [quickly].—[By a deluge] I will destroy substance and life.—Cause thou to go up into the vessel the substance of all that has life.—The vessel thou shall build-600 cubits shall be the measure of its length—and 60 cubits the amount of its breadth and of its height. [Launch it] thus on the ocean, and cover it with a roof."—I understood, and I said to Ea, my lord:—"[The vessel] that thou commandest me to build thus—[when] I shall do it,—young and old [shall laugh at me.]"—[Ea opened his mouth and] spoke.—He said to me, his servant:—"[If they laugh at thee] thou shalt say to them:—[shall be punished] he who has insulted me, [for the protection of the gods] is over me.— . . . like to caverns . . . — . . . I will exercise my judgment on that which is on high and that which is below . . . .—. . . Close the vessel . . . — . . . At a given moment that I shall cause thee to know,—enter into it, and draw the door of the ship toward thee.—Within it, thy grains, thy furniture, thy provisions, thy riches, thy men-servants, and thy maid-servants, and thy young people—the cattle of the field, and the wild beasts of the plain that I will assemble-and that I will send thee, shall be kept behind thy door."—Khasisatra opened his mouth and spoke;—he said to Ea, his lord:—"No one has made [such a] ship.—On the prow I will fix . . . —I shall see . . . and the vessel . . . —the vessel thou commandest me to build [thus] which in . . ."

"'On the fifth day [the two sides of the bark] were raised.—In its covering fourteen in all were its rafters—fourteen in all did it count above.—I placed its roof, and I covered it.—I embarked in it on the sixth day; I divided its floors on the seventh;—I divided the interior compartments on the eighth. I stopped up the chinks through which the water entered in;—I visited the chinks, and added what was wanting.—I poured on the exterior three times 3600 measures of asphalte,—and three times 3600 measures of asphalte within.—Three times 3600 men, porters, brought on their beads the chests of provisions.—I kept 3600 chests for the nourishment of my family,—and the mariners divided among themselves twice 3600 chests.—For [provisioning] I had oxen slain;—I instituted [rations] for each day.—In [anticipation of the need of] drinks, of barrels, and of wine—[I collected in quantity] like to the waters of a river, [of provisions] in quantity like to the dust of the earth.-[To arrange them in] the chests I set my hand to.—. . . of the sun . . . the vessel was completed.— . . . strong and—I had carried above and below the furniture of the ship.—[This lading filled the two-thirds.]

"'All that I possessed I gathered together; all I possessed of silver I gathered together; all that I possessed of gold I gathered—all that I possessed of the substance of life of every kind I gathered together.—I made all ascend into the vessel; my servants, male and female,—the cattle of the fields, the wild beasts of the plains, and the sons of the people, I made them all ascend.

"'Shamash (the sun) made the moment determined, and he announced it in these terms:—"In the evening I will cause it to rain abundantly from heaven; enter into the vessel and close the door."—The fixed Moment had arrived, which he announced in these terms:—"In the evening I will cause it to rain abundantly from heaven."—When the evening of that day arrived, I was afraid,—I entered into the vessel and shut my door.—In shutting the vessel, to Buzur-shadi-rabi, the pilot,—I confided this dwelling, with all that it contained.

"'Mu-sheri-ina-namari—rose from the foundations of heaven in a black cloud;—Ramman thundered in the midst of the cloud,—and Nabon and Sharru marched before;—they marched, devastating the mountain and the plain;—Nergal the powerful dragged chastisements after him;—Adar advanced, overthrowing;—before him;—the archangels of the abyss brought destruction,—in their terrors they agitated the earth.—The inundation of Ramman swelled up to the sky,—and [the earth] became without lustre, was changed into a desert.

"'They broke . . . of the surface of the earth like . . . ;—[they destroyed] the living beings of the surface of the earth.—The terrible [Deluge] on men swelled up to [heaven].The brother no longer saw his brother; men no longer knew each other. In heaven—the gods became afraid of the water-spout, and—sought a refuge; they mounted up to the heaven of Anu.—The gods were stretched out motionless, pressing one against another like dogs.—Ishtar wailed like a child, the great goddess pronounced her discourse:—"Here is humanity returned into mud, and—this is the misfortune that I have announced in the presence of the gods.—So I announced the misfortune in the presence of the gods,—for the evil I announced the terrible [chastisement] of men who are mine.—I am the mother who gave birth to men, and—like to the race of fishes, there they are filling the sea;—and the gods, by reason of that—which the archangels of the abyss are doing, weep with me."—The gods on their seats were seated in tears,—and they held their lips closed, [revolving] future things.

"'Six days and as many nights passed; the wind, the water-spout, and the diluvian rain were in all their strength. At the approach of the seventh day the diluvian rain grew weaker, the terrible water-spout-which had assailed after the fashion of an earthquake—grew calm, the sea inclined to dry up, and the wind and the water-spout came to an end. I looked at the sea, attentively observing—and the whole of humanity had returned to mud; like unto sea-weeds the corpses floated. I opened the window, and the light smote on my face. I was seized with sadness; I sat down and I wept;-and my tears came over my face.

"'I looked at the regions bounding the sea: toward the twelve points of the horizon; not any continent.—The vessel was borne above the land of Nizir,—the mountain of Nizir arrested the vessel, and did not permit it to pass over.—A day and a second day the mountain of Nizir arrested the vessel, and did not permit it to pass over;—the third and fourth day the mountain of Nizir arrested the vessel, and did not permit it to pass over;—the fifth and sixth day the mountain of Nizir arrested the vessel, and did not permit it to pass over. At the approach of the seventh day, I sent out and loosed a dove. The dove went, turned, and—found no place to light on, and it came back. I sent out and loosed a swallow; the swallow went, turned, and—found no place to light on, and it came back. I sent out and loosed a raven; the raven went and saw the corpses on the waters; it ate, rested, turned, and came not back.

"'I then sent out (what was in the vessel) toward the four winds, and I offered a sacrifice. I raised the pile of my burnt-offering on the peak of the mountain; seven by seven I disposed the measured vases,—and beneath I spread rushes, cedar, and juniper-wood. The gods were seized with the desire of it—the gods were seized with a benevolent desire of it;—and the gods assembled like flies above the master of the sacrifice. From afar, in approaching, the great goddess raised the great zones that Anu has made for their glory (the gods). These gods, luminous crystal before me, I will never leave them; in that day I prayed that I might never leave them. "Let the gods come to my sacrificial pile!—but never may Bel come to my sacrificial pile! for he did not master himself, and he has made the water-spout for the Deluge, and he has numbered my men for the pit."

"'From far, in drawing near, Bel—saw the vessel, and Bel stopped;—he was filled with anger against the gods and the celestial archangels:—

"'"No one shall come out alive! No man shall be preserved from the abyss!"—Adar opened his mouth and said; he said to the warrior Bel:—"What other than Ea should have formed this resolution?—for Ea possesses knowledge, and [he foresees] all."—Ea opened his mouth and spake; he said to the warrior Bel:—"O thou, herald of the gods, warrior,—as thou didst not master thyself, thou hast made the water-spout of the Deluge.—Let the sinner carry the weight of his sins, the blasphemer the weight of his blasphemy.—Please thyself with this good pleasure, and it shall never be infringed; faith in it never [shall be violated].—Instead of thy making a new deluge, let lions appear and reduce the number of men;—instead of thy making a new deluge, let hyenas appear and reduce the number of men;—instead of thy making a new deluge, let there be famine, and let the earth be [devastated];—instead of thy making a new deluge, let Dibbara appear, and let men be [mown down]. I have not revealed the decision of the great gods;—it is Khasisatra who interpreted a dream and comprehended what the gods had decided."

"'Then, when his resolve was arrested, Bel entered into the vessel.—He took my hand and made me rise.—He made my wife rise, and made her place herself at my side-.-He turned around us and stopped short; he approached our group.—"Until now Khasisatra has made part of perishable humanity;—but lo, now Khasisatra and his wife are going to be carried away to live like the gods,—and Khasisatra will reside afar at the mouth of the rivers."—They carried me away, and established me in a remote place at the mouth of the streams.'"

"This narrative," says Lenormant, "follows with great exactness the same course as that, or, rather, as those of Genesis; and the analogies are, on both sides, striking."

When we consider these two forms of the same legend, we see many points wherein the story points directly to Atlantis.

1. In the first place, Berosus tells us that the god who gave warning of the coming of the Deluge was Chronos. Chronos, it is well known, was the same as Saturn. Saturn was an ancient king of Italy, who, far anterior to the founding of Rome, introduced civilization from some other country to the Italians. He established industry and social order, filled the land with plenty, and created the golden age of Italy. He was suddenly removed to the abodes of the gods. His name is connected, in the mythological legends, with "a great Saturnian continent" in the Atlantic Ocean, and a great kingdom which, in the remote ages, embraced Northern Africa and the European coast of the Mediterranean as far as the peninsula of Italy, and "certain islands in the sea;" agreeing, in this respect, with the story of Plato as to the dominions of Atlantis. The Romans called the Atlantic Ocean "Chronium Mare," the Sea of Chronos, thus identifying Chronos with that ocean. The pillars of Hercules were also called by the ancients "the pillars of Chronos."

Here, then, we have convincing testimony that the country referred to in the Chaldean legends was the land of Chronos, or Saturn—the ocean world, the dominion of Atlantis.

2. Hea or Ea, the god of the Nineveh tablets, was a fish-god: he was represented in the Chaldean monuments as half man and half fish; he was described as the god, not of the rivers and seas, but of "the abyss"—to wit, the ocean. He it was who was said to have brought civilization and letters to the ancestors of the Assyrians. He clearly represented an ancient, maritime, civilized nation; he came from the ocean, and was associated with some land and people that had been destroyed by rain and inundations. The fact that the scene of the Deluge is located on the Euphrates proves nothing, for we will see hereafter that almost every nation had its especial mountain on which, according to its traditions, the ark rested; just as every Greek tribe had its own particular mountain of Olympos. The god Bel of the legend was the Baal of the Phoenicians, who, as we shall show, were of Atlantean origin. Bel, or Baal, was worshipped on the western and northern coasts of Europe, and gave his name to the Baltic, the Great and Little Belt, Balesbaugen, Balestranden, etc.; and to many localities, in the British Islands, as, for instance, Belan and the Baal hills in Yorkshire.

3. In those respects wherein the Chaldean legend, evidently the older form of the tradition, differs from the Biblical record, we see that in each instance we approach nearer to Atlantis. The account given in Genesis is the form of the tradition that would be natural to an inland people. Although there is an allusion to "the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep" (about which I shall speak more fully hereafter), the principal destruction seems to have been accomplished by rain; hence the greater period allowed for the Deluge, to give time enough for the rain to fall, and subsequently drain off from the land. A people dwelling in the midst of a continent could not conceive the possibility of a whole world sinking beneath the sea; they therefore supposed the destruction to have been, caused by a continuous down-pour of rain for forty days and forty nights.

In the Chaldean legend, on the contrary, the rain lasted but seven days; and we see that the writer had a glimpse of the fact that the destruction occurred in the midst of or near the sea. The ark of Genesis (tebah) was simply a chest, a coffer, a big box, such as might be imagined by an inland people. The ark of the Chaldeans was a veritable ship; it had a prow, a helm, and a pilot, and men to manage it; and it navigated "the sea."

4. The Chaldean legend represents not a mere rain-storm, but a tremendous cataclysm. There was rain, it is true, but there was also thunder, lightning, earthquakes, wind, a water-spout, and a devastation of mountain and land by the war of the elements. All the dreadful forces of nature were fighting together over the doomed land: "the archangel of the abyss brought destruction," "the water rose to the sky," "the brother no longer saw his brother; men no longer knew each other;" the men "filled the sea like fishes;" the sea was filled with mud, and "the corpses floated like sea-weed." When the storm abated the land had totally disappeared-there was no longer "any continent." Does not all this accord with "that dreadful day and night" described by Plato?

5. In the original it appears that Izdhubar, when he started to find the deified Khasisatra, travelled first, for nine days' journey, to the sea; then secured the services of a boatman, and, entering a ship, sailed for fifteen days before finding the Chaldean Noah. This would show that Khasisatra dwelt in a far country, one only attainable by crossing the water; and this, too, seems like a reminiscence of the real site of Atlantis. The sea which a sailing-vessel required fifteen days to cross must have been a very large body of water; in fact, an ocean.

CHAPTER IV.

THE DELUGE LEGENDS OF OTHER NATIONS.

A collection of the Deluge legends of other nations will throw light upon the Biblical and Chaldean records of that great event.

The author of the treatise "On the Syrian Goddess" acquaints us with the diluvian tradition of the Arameans, directly derived from that of Chaldea, as it was narrated in the celebrated Sanctuary of Hierapolis, or Bambyce.

"The generality of people," he says, "tells us that the founder of the temple was Deucalion Sisythes—that Deucalion in whose time the great inundation occurred. I have also heard the account given by the Greeks themselves of Deucalion; the myth runs thus: The actual race of men is not the first, for there was a previous one, all the members of which perished. We belong to a second race, descended from Deucalion, and multiplied in the course of time. As to the former men, they are said to have been full of insolence and pride, committing many crimes, disregarding their oath, neglecting the rights of hospitality, unsparing to suppliants; accordingly, they were punished by an immense disaster. All on a sudden enormous volumes of water issued from the earth, and rains of extraordinary abundance began to fall; the rivers left their beds, and the sea overflowed its shores; the whole earth was covered with water, and all men perished. Deucalion alone, because of his virtue and piety, was preserved alive to give birth to a new race. This is how he was saved: He placed himself, his children, and his wives in a great coffer that he had, in which pigs, horses, lions, serpents, and all other terrestrial animals came to seek refuge with him. He received them all; and while they were in the coffer Zeus inspired them with reciprocal amity, which prevented their devouring one another. In this manner, shut up within one single coffer, they floated as long as the waters remained in force. Such is the account given by the Greeks of Deucalion.

"But to this, which they equally tell, the people of Hierapolis add a marvellous narrative: That in their country a great chasm opened, into which all the waters of the Deluge poured. Then Deucalion raised an altar, and dedicated a temple to Hera (Atargatis) close to this very chasm. I have seen it; it is very narrow, and situated under the temple. Whether it was once large, and has now shrunk, I do not know; but I have seen it, and it is quite small. In memory of the event the following is the rite accomplished: Twice a year sea-water is brought to the temple. This is not only done by the priests, but numerous pilgrims come from the whole of Syria and Arabia, and even from beyond the Euphrates, bringing water. It is poured out in the temple and goes into the cleft, which, narrow as it is, swallows up a considerable quantity. This is said to be in virtue of a religious law instituted by Deucalion to preserve the memory of the catastrophe, and of the benefits that he received from the gods. Such is the ancient tradition of the temple."

"It appears to me difficult," says Lenormant, "not to recognize an echo of fables popular in all Semitic countries about this chasm of Hierapolis, and the part it played in the Deluge, in the enigmatic expressions of the Koran respecting the oven (tannur) which began to bubble and disgorge water all around at the commencement of the Deluge. We know that this tannur has been the occasion of most grotesque imaginings of Mussulman commentators, who had lost the tradition of the story to which Mohammed made allusion. And, moreover, the Koran formally states that the waters of the Deluge were absorbed in the bosom of the earth."

Here the Xisuthros of Berosus becomes Deucalion-Sisythes. The animals are not collected together by Deucalion, as in the case of Noah and Khasisatra, but they crowded into the vessel of their own accord, driven by the terror with which the storm had inspired them; as in great calamities the creatures of the forest have been known to seek refuge in the houses of men.

India affords us art account of the Deluge which, by its poverty, strikingly contrasts with that of the Bible and the Chaldeans. Its most simple and ancient form is found in the Catapatha Brahmana of the Rig-Veda. It has been translated for the first time by Max Mueller.

"One morning water for washing was brought to Manu, and when he had washed himself a fish remained in his hands, and it addressed these words to him: 'Protect me, and I will save thee.' 'From what wilt thou save me?' 'A deluge will sweep all creatures away; it is from that I will save thee.' 'How shall I protect thee?' The fish replied, 'While we are small we run great dangers, for fish swallow fish. Keep me at first in a vase; when I become too large for it, dig a basin to put me into. When I shall have grown still more, throw me into the ocean; then I shall be preserved from destruction.' Soon it grew a large fish. It said to Mann, 'The very year I shall have reached my full growth the Deluge will happen. Then build a vessel and worship me. When the waters rise, enter the vessel, and I will save thee.'

"After keeping him thus, Mann carried the fish to the sea. In the year indicated Mann built a vessel and worshipped the fish. And when the Deluge came he entered the vessel. Then the fish came swimming up to him, and Mann fastened the cable of the ship to the horn of the fish, by which means the latter made it pass over the Mountain of the North. The fish said, 'I have saved thee; fasten the vessel to a tree, that the water may not sweep it away while thou art on the mountain; and in proportion as the waters decrease thou shalt descend.' Manu descended with the waters, and this is what is called the descent of Manu on the Mountain of the North. The Deluge had carried away all creatures, and Mann remained alone."

There is another form of the Hindoo legend in the Puranas. Lenormant says:

"We must also 'remark that in the Puranas it is no longer Manu Vaivasata that the divine fish saves from the Deluge, but a different personage, the King of the Dastas—i. e., fisher—Satyravata,' the man who loves justice and truth,' strikingly corresponding to the Chaldean Khasisatra. Nor is the Puranic version of the Legend of the Deluge to be despised, though it be of recent date, and full of fantastic and often puerile details. In certain aspects it is less Aryanized than that of Brahmana or than the Mahabharata; and, above all, it gives some circumstances omitted in these earlier versions, which must yet have belonged to the original foundation, since they appear in the Babylonian legend; a circumstance preserved, no doubt, by the oral tradition—popular, and not Brahmanic—with which the Puranas are so deeply imbued. This has already been observed by Pictet, who lays due stress on the following passage of the Bhagavata-Purana: 'In seven days,' said Vishnu to Satyravata, 'the three worlds shall be submerged.' There is nothing like this in the Brahmana nor the Mahabharata, but in Genesis the Lord says to Noah, 'Yet seven days and I will cause it to rain upon the earth;' and a little farther we read, 'After seven days the waters of the flood were upon the earth.'. . . Nor must we pay less attention to the directions given by the fish-god to Satyravata for the placing of the sacred Scriptures in a safe place, in order to preserve them from Hayagriva, a marine horse dwelling in the abyss. . . . We recognize in it, under an Indian garb, the very tradition of the interment of the sacred writings at Sippara by Khasisatra, such as we have seen it in the fragment of Berosus."

The references to "the three worlds" and the "fish-god" in these legends point to Atlantis. The "three worlds" probably refers to the great empire of Atlantis, described by Plato, to wit, the western continent, America, the eastern continent, Europe and Africa, considered as one, and the island of Atlantis. As we have seen, Poseidon, the founder of the civilization of Atlantis, is identical with Neptune, who is always represented riding a dolphin, bearing a trident, or three-pronged symbol, in his hand, emblematical probably of the triple kingdom. He is thus a sea-god, or fish-god, and he comes to save the representative of his country.

And we have also a new and singular form of the legend in the following. Lenormant says:

"Among the Iranians, in the sacred books containing the fundamental Zoroastrian doctrines, and dating very far back, we meet with a tradition which must assuredly be looked upon as a variety of that of the Deluge, though possessing a special character, and diverging in some essential particulars from those we have been examining. It relates how Yima, who, in the original and primitive conception, was the father of the human race, was warned by Ahuramazda, the good deity, of the earth being about to be devastated by a flood. The god ordered Yima to construct a refuge, a square garden, vara, protected by an enclosure, and to cause the germs of men, beasts, and plants to enter it, in order to escape annihilation. Accordingly, when the inundation occurred, the garden of Yima, with all that it contained, was alone spared, and the message of safety was brought thither by the bird Karshipta, the envoy of Ahuramazda." ("Vendudid," vol. ii., p. 46.)

This clearly signifies that, prior to the destruction of Atlantis, a colony had been sent out to some neighboring country. These emigrants built a walled town, and brought to it the grains and domestic animals of the mother country; and when the island of Atlantis sunk in the ocean, a messenger brought the terrible tidings to them in a ship.

"The Greeks had two principal legends as to the cataclysm by which primitive humanity was destroyed. The first was connected with the name of Ogyges, the most ancient of the kings of Boeotia or Attica—a quite mythical personage, lost in the night of ages, his very name seemingly derived from one signifying deluge in Aryan idioms, in Sanscrit Angha. It is said that in his time the whole land was covered by a flood, whose waters reached the sky, and from which he, together with some companions, escaped in a vessel.

"The second tradition is the Thessalian legend of Deucalion. Zeus having worked to destroy the men of the age of bronze, with whose crimes he was wroth, Deucalion, by the advice of Prometheus, his father, constructed a coffer, in which he took refuge with his wife, Pyrrha. The Deluge came; the chest, or coffer, floated at the mercy of the waves for nine days and nine nights, and was finally stranded on Mount Parnassus. Deucalion and Pyrrha leave it, offer sacrifice, and, according to the command of Zeus, repeople the world by throwing behind them 'the bones of the earth'—namely, stones, which change into men. This Deluge of Deucalion is, in Grecian tradition, what most resembles a universal deluge. Many authors affirm that it extended to the whole earth, and that the whole human race perished. At Athens, in memory of the event, and to appease the manes of its victims, a ceremony called Hydrophoria was observed, having so close a resemblance to that in use at Hierapolis, in Syria, that we can hardly fail to look upon it as a Syro-Phoenician importation, and the result of an assimilation established in remote antiquity between the Deluge of Deucalion and that of Khasisatra, as described by the author of the treatise 'On the Syrian Goddess.' Close to the temple of the Olympian Zeus a fissure in the soil was shown, in length but one cubit, through which it was said the waters of the Deluge had been swallowed up. Thus, every year, on the third day of the festival of the Anthesteria, a day of mourning consecrated to the dead—that is, on the thirteenth of the month of Anthesterion, toward the beginning of March-it was customary, as at Bambyce, to pour water into the fissure, together with flour mixed with honey, poured also into the trench dug to the west of the tomb, in the funeral sacrifices of the Athenians."

In this legend, also, there are passages which point to Atlantis. We will see hereafter that the Greek god Zeus was one of the kings of Atlantis. "The men of the age of bronze" indicates the civilization of the doomed people; they were the great metallurgists of their day, who, as we will see, were probably the source of the great number of implements and weapons of bronze found all over Europe. Here, also, while no length of time is assigned to the duration of the storm, we find that the ark floated but nine days and nights. Noah was one year and ten days in the ark, Khasisatra was not half that time, while Deucalion was afloat only nine days.

At Megara, in Greece, it was the eponym of the city, Megaros, son of Zeus and one of the nymphs, Sithnides, who, warned by the cry of cranes of the imminence of the danger of the coming flood, took refuge on Mount Geranien. Again, there was the Thessalian Cerambos, who was said to have escaped the flood by rising into the air on wings given him by the nymphs; and it was Perirrhoos, son of Eolus, that Zeus Naios had preserved at Dodona. For the inhabitants of the Isle of Cos the hero of the Deluge was Merops, son of Hyas, who there assembled under his rule the remnant of humanity preserved with him. The traditions of Rhodes only supposed the Telchines, those of Crete Sasion, to have escaped the cataclysm. In Samothracia the same character was attributed to Saon, said to be the son of Zeus or of Hermes.

It will be observed that in all these legends the name of Zeus, King of Atlantis, reappears. It would appear probable that many parties had escaped from the catastrophe, and had landed at the different points named in the traditions; or else that colonies had already been established by the Atlanteans at those places. It would appear impossible that a maritime people could be totally destroyed; doubtless many were on shipboard in the harbors, and others going and coming on distant voyages.

"The invasion of the East," says Baldwin ('Prehistoric Nations,' p. 396), "to which the story of Atlantis refers, seems to have given rise to the Panathenae, the oldest, greatest, and most splendid festivals in honor of Athena celebrated in Attica. These festivals are said to have been established by Erichthonis in the most ancient times remembered by the historical traditions of Athens. Boeckh says of them, in his 'Commentary on Plato:'

"'In the greater Panathenae there was carried in procession a peplum of Minerva, representing the war with the giants and the victory of the gods of Olympus. In the lesser Panathenae they carried another peplum (covered with symbolic devices), which showed how the Athenians, supported by Minerva, had the advantage in the war with the Atlantes.' A scholia quoted from Proclus by Humboldt and Boeckh says: 'The historians who speak of the islands of the exterior sea tell us that in their time there were seven islands consecrated, to Proserpine, and three others of immense extent, of which the first was consecrated to Pluto, the second to Ammon, and the third to Neptune. The inhabitants of the latter had preserved a recollection (transmitted to them by their ancestors) of the island of Atlantis, which was extremely large, and for a long time held sway over all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantis was also consecrated to Neptune."' (See Humboldt's "Histoire de la Geographie du Nouveau Continent," vol. i.)

No one can read these legends and doubt that the Flood watt an historical reality. It is impossible that in two different places in the Old World, remote from each other, religious ceremonies should have been established and perpetuated from age to age in memory of an event which never occurred. We have seen that at Athens and at Hierapolis, in Syria, pilgrims came from a distance to appease the god of the earthquake, by pouring offerings into fissures of the earth said to have been made at the time Atlantis was destroyed.

More than this, we know from Plato's history that the Athenians long preserved in their books the memory of a victory won over the Atlanteans in the early ages, and celebrated it by national festivals, with processions and religious ceremonies.

It is too much to ask us to believe that Biblical history, Chaldean, Iranian, and Greek legends signify nothing, and that even religious pilgrimages and national festivities were based upon a myth.

I would call attention to the farther fact that in the Deluge legend of the Isle of Cos the hero of the affair was Merops. Now we have seen that, according to Theopompus, one of the names of the people of Atlantis was "Meropes."

But we have not reached the end of our Flood legends. The Persian Magi possessed a tradition in which the waters issued from the oven of an old woman. Mohammed borrowed this story, and in the Koran he refers to the Deluge as coming from an oven. "All men were drowned save Noah and his family; and then God said, 'O earth, swallow up thy waters; and thou, O heaven, withhold thy rain;' and immediately the waters abated."

In the bardic poems of Wales we have a tradition of the Deluge which, although recent, under the concise forms of the triads, is still deserving of attention. As usual, the legend is localized in the country, and the Deluge counts among three terrible catastrophes of the island of Prydian, or Britain, the other two consisting of devastation by fire and by drought.

"The first of these events," it is said, "was the eruption of Llyn-llion, or 'the lake of waves,' and the inundation (bawdd) of the whole country, by which all mankind was drowned with the exception of Dwyfam and Dwyfach, who saved themselves in a vessel without rigging, and it was by them that the island of Prydian was repeopled."

Pictet here observes:

"Although the triads in their actual form hardly date farther than the thirteenth or fourteenth century, some of them are undoubtedly connected with very ancient traditions, and nothing here points to a borrowing from Genesis.

"But it is not so, perhaps, with another triad, speaking of the vessel Nefyddnaf-Neifion, which at the time of the overflow of Llyon-llion, bore a pair of all living creatures, and rather too much resembles the ark of Noah. The very name of the patriarch may have suggested this triple epithet, obscure as to its meaning, but evidently formed on the principle of Cymric alliteration. In the same triad we have the enigmatic story of the horned oxen (ychain banog) of Hu the mighty, who drew out of Llyon-llion the avanc (beaver or crocodile?), in order that the lake should not overflow. The meaning of these enigmas could only be hoped from deciphering the chaos of barbaric monuments of the Welsh middle age; but meanwhile we cannot doubt that the Cymri possessed an indigenous tradition of the Deluge."

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse