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

We also find a vestige of the same tradition in the Scandinavian Ealda. Here the story is combined with a cosmogonic myth. The three sons of Borr—Othin, Wili, and We—grandsons of Buri, the first man, slay Ymir, the father of the Hrimthursar, or ice giants, and his body serves them for the construction of the world. Blood flows from his wounds in such abundance that all the race of giants is drowned in it except Bergelmir, who saves himself, with his wife, in a boat, and reproduces the race.

In the Edda of Soemund, "The Vala's Prophecy" (stz. 48-56, p. 9), we seem to catch traditional glimpses of a terrible catastrophe, which reminds us of the Chaldean legend:

"Then trembles Yggdrasil's ash yet standing, groans that ancient tree, and the Jotun Loki is loosed. The shadows groan on the ways of Hel (the goddess of death), until the fire of Surt has consumed the tree. Hyrm steers from the east, the waters rise, the mundane snake is coiled in jotun-rage. The worm beats the water and the eagle screams; the pale of beak tears carcasses; (the ship) Naglfar is loosed. Surt from the south comes with flickering flame; shines from his sword the Valgod's sun. The stony hills are dashed together, the giantesses totter; men tread the path of Hel, and heaven is cloven. The sun darkens, earth in ocean sinks, fall from heaven the bright stars, fire's breath assails the all-nourishing, towering fire plays against heaven itself."

Egypt does not contain a single allusion to the Flood. Lenormant says:

"While the tradition of the Deluge holds so considerable a place in the legendary memories of all branches of the Aryan race, the monuments and original texts of Egypt, with their many cosmogonic speculations, have not afforded one, even distant, allusion to this cataclysm. When the Greeks told the Egyptian priests of the Deluge of Deucalion, their reply was that they had been preserved from it as well as from the conflagration produced by Phaethon; they even added that the Hellenes were childish in attaching so much importance to that event, as there had been several other local catastrophes resembling it. According to a passage in Manetho, much suspected, however, of being an interpolation, Thoth, or Hermes Trismegistus, had himself, before the cataclysm, inscribed on stelae, in hieroglyphical and sacred language, the principles of all knowledge. After it the second Thoth translated into the vulgar tongue the contents of these stelae. This would be the only Egyptian mention of the Deluge, the same Manetho not speaking of it in what remains to us of his 'Dynasties,' his only complete authentic work. The silence of all other myths of the Pharaonic religion on this head render it very likely that the above is merely a foreign tradition, recently introduced, and no doubt of Asiatic and Chaldean origin."

To my mind the explanation of this singular omission is very plain. The Egyptians had preserved in their annals the precise history of the destruction of Atlantis, out of which the Flood legends grew; and, as they told the Greeks, there had been no universal flood, but only local catastrophes. Possessing the real history of the local catastrophe which destroyed Atlantis, they did not indulge in any myths about a universal deluge covering the mountain-tops of all the world. They had no Ararat in their neighborhood.

The traditions of the early Christian ages touching the Deluge pointed to the quarter of the world in which Atlantis was situated.

There was a quaint old monk named Cosmos, who, about one thousand years ago, published a book, "Topographia Christiana," accompanied by a map, in which he gives his view of the world as it was then understood. It was a body surrounded by water, and resting on nothing. "The earth," says Cosmos, "presses downward, but the igneous parts tend upward," and between the conflicting forces the earth hangs suspended, like Mohammed's coffin in the old story. The accompanying illustration (page 95) represents the earth surrounded by the ocean, and beyond this ocean was "the land where men dwelt before the Deluge."

He then gives us a more accurate map, in detail, of the known world of his day.

I copy this map, not to show how much more we know than poor Cosmos, but because he taught that all around this habitable world there was yet another world, adhering closely on all sides to the circumscribing walls of heaven. "Upon the eastern side of this transmarine land he judges man was created; and that there the paradise of gladness was located, such as here on the eastern edge is described, where it received our first parents, driven out of Paradise to that extreme point of land on the sea-shore. Hence, upon the coming of the Deluge, Noah and his sons were borne by the ark to the earth we now inhabit. The four rivers he supposes to be gushing up the spouts of Paradise." They are depicted on the above map: O is the Mediterranean Sea; P, the Arabian Gulf; L, the Caspian Sea; Q, the Tigris; M, the river Pison; "and J, the land where men dwelt before the Flood."

It will be observed that, while he locates Paradise in the east, he places the scene of the Deluge in the west; and he supposes that Noah came from the scene of the Deluge to Europe.

This shows that the traditions in the time of Cosmos looked to the west as the place of the Deluge, and that after the Deluge Noah came to the shores of the Mediterranean. The fact, too, that there was land in the west beyond the ocean is recognized by Cosmos, and is probably a dim echo from Atlantean times.


The following rude cut, from Cosmos, represents the high mountain in the north behind which the sun hid himself at night, thus producing the alternations of day and night. His solar majesty is just getting behind the mountain, while Luna looks calmly on at the operation. The mountain is as crooked as Culhuacan, the crooked mountain of Atzlan described by the Aztecs.




"It is a very remarkable fact," says Alfred Maury, "that we find in America traditions of the Deluge coming infinitely nearer to that of the Bible and the Chaldean religion than among any people of the Old World. It is difficult to suppose that the emigration that certainly took place from Asia into North America by the Kourile and Aleutian Islands, and still does so in our day, should have brought in these memories, since no trace is found of them among those Mongol or Siberian populations which were fused with the natives of the New World. . . . The attempts that have been made to trace the origin of Mexican civilization to Asia have not as vet led to any sufficiently conclusive facts. Besides, had Buddhism, which we doubt, made its way into America, it could not have introduced a myth not found in its own scriptures. The cause of these similarities between the diluvian traditions of the nations of the New World and that of the Bible remains therefore unexplained."

The cause of these similarities can be easily explained: the legends of the Flood did not pass into America by way of the Aleutian Islands, or through the Buddhists of Asia, but were derived from an actual knowledge of Atlantis possessed by the people of America.

Atlantis and the western continent had from an immemorial age held intercourse with each other: the great nations of America were simply colonies from Atlantis, sharing in its civilization, language, religion, and blood. From Mexico to the peninsula of Yucatan, from the shores of Brazil to the heights of Bolivia and Peru, from the Gulf of Mexico to the head-waters of the Mississippi River, the colonies of Atlantis extended; and therefore it is not strange to find, as Alfred Maury says, American traditions of the Deluge coming nearer to that of the Bible and the Chaldean record than those of any people of the Old World.

"The most important among the American traditions are the Mexican, for they appear to have been definitively fixed by symbolic and mnemonic paintings before any contact with Europeans. According to these documents, the Noah of the Mexican cataclysm was Coxcox, called by certain peoples Teocipactli or Tezpi. He had saved himself, together with his wife Xochiquetzal, in a bark, or, according to other traditions, on a raft made of cypress-wood (Cupressus disticha). Paintings retracing the deluge of Coxcox have been discovered among the Aztecs, Miztecs, Zapotecs, Tlascaltecs, and Mechoacaneses. The tradition of the latter is still more strikingly in conformity with the story as we have it in Genesis, and in Chaldean sources. It tells how Tezpi embarked in a spacious vessel with his wife, his children, and several animals, and grain, whose preservation was essential to the subsistence of the human race. When the great god Tezcatlipoca decreed that the waters should retire, Tezpi sent a vulture from the bark. The bird, feeding on the carcasses with which the earth was laden, did not return. Tezpi sent out other birds, of which the humming-bird only came back with a leafy branch in its beak. Then Tezpi, seeing that the country began to vegetate, left his bark on the mountain of Colhuacan.

"The document, however, that gives the most valuable information," says Lenormant, "as to the cosmogony of the Mexicans is one known as 'Codex Vaticanus,' from the library where it is preserved. It consists of four symbolic pictures, representing the four ages of the world preceding the actual one. They were copied at Chobula from a manuscript anterior to the conquest, and accompanied by the explanatory commentary of Pedro de los Rios, a Dominican monk, who, in 1566, less than fifty years after the arrival of Cortez, devoted himself to the research of indigenous traditions as being necessary to his missionary work."

There were, according to this document, four ages of the world. The first was an age of giants (the great mammalia?) who were destroyed by famine; the second age ended in a conflagration; the third age was an age of monkeys.

"Then comes the fourth age, Atonatiuh, 'Sun of Water,' whose number is 10 X 400 + 8, or 4008. It ends by a great inundation, a veritable deluge. All mankind are changed into fish, with the exception of one man and his wife, who save themselves in a bark made of the trunk of a cypress-tree. The picture represents Matlalcueye, goddess of waters, and consort of Tlaloc, god of rain, as darting down toward earth. Coxcox and Xochiquetzal, the two human beings preserved, are seen seated on a tree-trunk and floating in the midst of the waters. This flood is represented as the last cataclysm that devastates the earth."

The learned Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg translates from the Aztec language of the "Codex Chimalpopoca" the following Flood legend:

"This is the sun called Nahui-atl, '4 water.' Now the water was tranquil for forty years, plus twelve, and men lived for the third and fourth times. When the sun Nahui-atl came there had passed away four hundred years, plus two ages, plus seventy-six years. Then all mankind was lost and drowned, and found themselves changed into fish. The sky came nearer the water. In a single day all was lost, and the day Nahui-xochitl, '4 flower,' destroyed all our flesh.

"And that year was that of ce-calli, '1 house,' and the day Nahui-atl all was lost. Even the mountains sunk into the water, and the water remained tranquil for fifty-two springs.

"Now at the end of the year the god Titlacahuan had warned Nata and his spouse Nena, saying, 'Make no more wine of Agave, but begin to hollow out a great cypress, and you will enter into it when in the month Tozontli the water approaches the sky.'

"Then they entered in, and when the god had closed the door, he said, 'Thou shalt eat but one ear of maize, and thy wife one also.'

"But as soon as they had finished they went out, and the water remained calm, for the wood no longer moved, and, on opening it, they began to see fish.

"Then they lit a fire, by rubbing together pieces of wood, and they roasted fish.

"The gods Citlallinicue and Citlalatonac, instantly looking down said: 'Divine Lord, what is that fire that is making there? Why do they thus smoke the sky?' At once Titlacahuan-Tezcatlipoca descended. He began to chide, saying, 'Who has made this fire here?' And, seizing hold of the fish, he shaped their loins and heads, and they were transformed into dogs (chichime)."

Here we note a remarkable approximation to Plato's account of the destruction of Atlantis. "In one day and one fatal night," says Plato, "there came mighty earthquakes and inundations that ingulfed that warlike people." "In a single day all was lost," says the Aztec legend. And, instead of a rainfall of forty days and forty nights, as represented in the Bible, here we see "in a single day. . . even the mountains sunk into the water;" not only the land on which the people dwelt who were turned into fish, but the very mountains of that land sunk into the water. Does not this describe the fate of Atlantis? In the Chaldean legend "the great goddess Ishtar wailed like a child," saying, "I am the mother who gave birth to men, and, like to the race of fishes, they are filling the sea."

In the account in Genesis, 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 savor; and the Lord said in his heart, 'I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake.'" In the Chaldean legend we are told that Khasisatra also offered a sacrifice, a burnt offering, "and the gods assembled like flies above the master of the sacrifice." But Bel came in a high state of indignation, just as the Aztec god did, and was about to finish the work of the Deluge, when the great god Ea took ''pity in his heart and interfered to save the remnant of mankind.

These resemblances cannot be accidental; neither can they be the interpolations of Christian missionaries, for it will be observed the Aztec legends differ from the Bible in points where they resemble on the one hand Plato's record, and on the other the Chaldean legend.

The name of the hero of the Aztec story, Nata, pronounced with the broad sound of the a, is not far from the name of Noah or Noe. The Deluge of Genesis is a Phoenician, Semitic, or Hebraic legend, and yet, strange to say, the name of Noah, which occurs in it, bears no appropriate meaning in those tongues, but is derived from Aryan sources; its fundamental root is Na, to which in all the Aryan language is attached the meaning of water—{Greek} na'ein, to flow; {Greek} na~ma, water; Nympha, Neptunus, water deities. (Lenormant and Chevallier, "Anc. Hist. of the East," vol. i., p. 15.) We find the root Na repeated in the name of this Central American Noah, Na-ta, and probably in the word "Na-hui-atl"—the age of water.

But still more striking analogies exist between the Chaldean legend and the story of the Deluge as told in the "Popul Vuh" (the Sacred Book) of the Central Americans:

"Then the waters were agitated by the will of the Heart of Heaven (Hurakan), and a great inundation came upon the heads of these creatures. . . . They were ingulfed, and a resinous thickness descended from heaven; . . . the face of the earth was obscured, and a heavy darkening rain commenced-rain by day and rain by night. . . . There was heard a great noise above their heads, as if produced by fire. Then were men seen running, pushing each other, filled with despair; they wished to climb upon their houses, and the houses, tumbling down, fell to the ground; they wished to climb upon the trees, and the trees shook them off; they wished to enter into the grottoes (eaves), and the grottoes closed themselves before them. . . . Water and fire contributed to the universal ruin at the time of the last great cataclysm which preceded the fourth creation."

Observe the similarities here to the Chaldean legend. There is the same graphic description of a terrible event. The "black cloud" is referred to in both instances; also the dreadful noises, the rising water, the earthquake rocking the trees, overthrowing the houses, and crushing even the mountain caverns; "the men running and pushing each other, filled with despair," says the "Popul Vuh;" "the brother no longer saw his brother," says the Assyrian legend.

And here I may note that this word hurakan—the spirit of the abyss, the god of storm, the hurricane—is very suggestive, and testifies to an early intercourse between the opposite shores of the Atlantic. We find in Spanish the word huracan; in Portuguese, furacan; in French, ouragan; in German, Danish, and Swedish, orcan—all of them signifying a storm; while in Latin furo, or furio, means to rage. And are not the old Swedish hurra, to be driven along; our own word hurried; the Icelandic word hurra, to be rattled over frozen ground, all derived from the same root from which the god of the abyss, Hurakan, obtained his name? The last thing a people forgets is the name of their god; we retain to this day, in the names of the days of the week, the designations of four Scandinavian gods and one Roman deity.

It seems to me certain the above are simply two versions of the same event; that while ships from Atlantis carried terrified passengers to tell the story of the dreadful catastrophe to the people of the Mediterranean shores, other ships, flying from the tempest, bore similar awful tidings to the civilized races around the Gulf of Mexico.

The native Mexican historian, Ixtlilxochitl, gave this as the Toltec legend of the Flood:

It is found in the histories of the Toltecs that this age and first world, as they call it, lasted 1716 years; that men were destroyed by tremendous rains and lightning from the sky, and even all the land, without the exception of anything, and the highest mountains, were covered up and submerged in water fifteen cubits (caxtolmolatli); and here they added other fables of how men came to multiply from the few who escaped from this destruction in a "toptlipetlocali;" that this word nearly signifies a close chest; and how, after men had multiplied, they erected a very high "zacuali," which is to-day a tower of great height, in order to take refuge in it should the second world (age) be destroyed. Presently their languages were confused, and, not being able to understand each other, they went to different parts of the earth.

"The Toltecs, consisting of seven friends, with their wives, who understood the same language, came to these parts, having first passed great land and seas, having lived in caves, and having endured great hardships in order to reach this land; . . . they wandered 104 years through different parts of the world before they reached Hue Hue Tlapalan, which was in Ce Tecpatl, 520 years after the Flood." ("Ixtlilxochitl Relaciones," in Kingsborough's "Mex. Ant.," vol. ix., pp. 321, 322.)

It will of course be said that this account, in those particulars where it agrees with the Bible, was derived from the teachings of the Spanish priests; but it must be remembered that Ixtlilxochitl was an Indian, a native of Tezeuco, a son of the queen, and that his "Relaciones" were drawn from the archives of his family and the ancient writings of his nation: he had no motive to falsify documents that were probably in the hands of hundreds at that time.

Here we see that the depth of the water over the earth, "fifteen cubits," given in the Toltec legend, is precisely the same as that named in the Bible: "fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail." (Gen., chap. vii., 20.)

In the two curious picture-histories of the Aztecs preserved in the Boturini collection, and published by Gamelli Careri and others, there is a record of their migrations from their original location through various parts of the North American continent until their arrival in Mexico. In both cases their starting-point is an island, from which they pass in a boat; and the island contains in one case a mountain, and in the other a high temple in the midst thereof. These things seem to be reminiscences of their origin in Atlantis.

In each case we see the crooked mountain of the Aztec legends, the Calhuacan, looking not unlike the bent mountain of the monk, Cosmos.

In the legends of the Chibchas of Bogota we seem to have distinct reminiscences of Atlantis. Bochica was their leading divinity. During two thousand years he employed himself in elevating his subjects. He lived in the sun, while his wife Chia occupied the moon. This would appear to be an allusion to the worship of the sun and moon. Beneath Bochica in their mythology was Chibchacum. In an angry mood he brought a deluge on the people of the table-land. Bochica punished him for this act, and obliged him ever after, like Atlas, to bear the burden of the earth on his back. Occasionally be shifts the earth from one shoulder to another, and this causes earthquakes!

Here we have allusions to an ancient people who, during thousands of years, were elevated in the scale of civilization, and were destroyed by a deluge; and with this is associated an Atlantean god bearing the world on his back. We find even the rainbow appearing in connection with this legend. When Bochica appeared in answer to prayer to quell the deluge he is seated on a rainbow. He opened a breach in the earth at Tequendama, through which the waters of the flood escaped, precisely as we have seen them disappearing through the crevice in the earth near Bambyce, in Greece.

The Toltecs traced their migrations back to a starting-point called "Aztlan," or "Atlan." This could be no other than, Atlantis. (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. v., p. 221.) "The original home of the Nahuatlacas was Aztlan, the location of which has been the subject of much discussion. The causes that led to their exodus from that country can only be conjectured; but they may be supposed to have been driven out by their enemies, for Aztlan is described as a land too fair and beautiful to be left willingly in the mere hope of finding a better." (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. v., p. .306.) The Aztecs also claimed to have come originally from Aztlan. (Ibid., p. 321.) Their very name, Aztecs, was derived from Aztlan. (Ibid., vol. ii., p. 125). They were Atlanteans.

The "Popul Vuh" tells us that after the migration from Aztlan three sons of the King of the Quiches, upon the death of their father, "determined to go as their fathers had ordered to the East, on the shores of the sea whence their fathers had come, to receive the royalty, 'bidding adieu to their brothers and friends, and promising to return.' Doubtless they passed over the sea when they went to the East to receive the royalty. Now this is the name of the lord, of the monarch of the people of the East where they went. And when they arrived before the lord Nacxit, the name of the great lord, the only judge, whose power was without limit, behold he granted them the sign of royalty and all that represents it . . . and the insignia of royalty . . . all the things, in fact, which they brought on their return, and which they went to receive from the other side of the sea—the art of painting from Tulan, a system of writing, they said, for the things recorded in their histories." (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. v., p. 553 "Popul Vuh," p. 294.)

This legend not only points to the East as the place of origin of these races, but also proves that this land of the East, this Aztlan, this Atlantis, exercised dominion over the colonies in Central America, and furnished them with the essentials of civilization. How completely does this agree with the statement of Plato that the kings of Atlantis held dominion over parts of "the great opposite continent!"

Professor Valentini ("Maya Archaeol.," p. 23) describes an Aztec picture in the work of Gemelli ("Il giro del mondo," vol. vi.) of the migration of the Aztecs from Aztlan:

"Out of a sheet of water there projects the peak of a mountain; on it stands a tree, and on the tree a bird spreads its .wings. At the foot of the mountain-peak there comes out of the water the heads of a man and a woman. The one wears on his head the symbol of his name, Coxcox, a pheasant. The other head bears that of a hand with a bouquet (xochitl, a flower, and quetzal, shining in green gold). In the foreground is a boat, out of which a naked man stretches out his hand imploringly to heaven. Now turn to the sculpture in the Flood tablet (on the great Calendar stone). There you will find represented the Flood, and with great emphasis, by the accumulation of all those symbols with which the ancient Mexicans conveyed the idea of water: a tub of standing water, drops springing out—not two, as heretofore in the symbol for Atl, water—but four drops; the picture for moisture, a snail; above, a crocodile, the king of the rivers. In the midst of these symbols you notice the profile of a man with a fillet, and a smaller one of a woman. There can be doubt these are the Mexican Noah, Coxcox, and his wife, Xochiquetzal; and at the same time it is evident (the Calendar stone, we know, was made in A.D., 1478) that the story of them, and the pictures representing the story, have not been invented by the Catholic clergy, but really existed among these nations long before the Conquest."

The above figure represents the Flood tablet on the great Calendar stone.

When we turn to the uncivilized Indians of America, while we still find legends referring to the Deluge, they are, with one exception, in such garbled and uncouth forms that we can only see glimpses of the truth shining through a mass of fable.

The following tradition was current among the Indians of the Great Lakes:

"In former times the father of the Indian tribes dwelt toward the rising sun. Having been warned in a dream that a deluge was coming upon the earth, he built a raft, on which he saved himself, with his family and all the animals. He floated thus for several months. The animals, who at that time spoke, loudly complained and murmured against him. At last a new earth appeared, on which he landed with all the animals, who from that time lost the power of speech, as a punishment for their murmurs against their deliverer."

According to Father Charlevoix, the tribes of Canada and the valley of the Mississippi relate in their rude legends that all mankind was destroyed by a flood, and that the Good Spirit, to repeople the earth, had changed animals into men. It is to J. S. Kohl we owe our acquaintance with the version of the Chippeways—full of grotesque and perplexing touches—in which the man saved from the Deluge is called Menaboshu. To know if the earth be drying, he sends a bird, the diver, out of his bark; then becomes the restorer of the human race and the founder of existing society.

A clergyman who visited the Indians north-west of the Ohio in 1764 met, at a treaty, a party of Indians from the west of the Mississippi.

"They informed him that one of their most ancient traditions was that, a great while ago, they had a common father, who lived toward the rising of the sun, and governed the whole world; that all the white people's heads were under his feet; that he had twelve sons, by whom he administered the government; that the twelve sons behaved very bad, and tyrannized over the people, abusing their power; that the Great Spirit, being thus angry with them, suffered the white people to introduce spirituous liquors among them, made them drunk, stole the special gift of the Great Spirit from them, and by this means usurped power over them; and ever since the Indians' heads were under the white people's feet." (Boudinot's "Star in the West," p. 111.)

Here we note that they looked "toward the rising sun"—toward Atlantis—for the original home of their race; that this region governed "the whole world;" that it contained white people, who were at first a subject race, but who subsequently rebelled, and acquired dominion over the darker races. We will see reason hereafter to conclude that Atlantis had a composite population, and that the rebellion of the Titans in Greek mythology was the rising up of a subject population.

In 1836 C. S. Rafinesque published in Philadelphia, Pa., a work called "The American Nations," in which he gives the historical songs or chants of the Lenni-Lenapi, or Delaware Indians, the tribe that originally dwelt along, the Delaware River. After describing a time "when there was nothing but sea-water on top of the land," and the creation of sun, moon, stars, earth, and man, the legend depicts the Golden Age and the Fall in these words: "All were willingly pleased, all were easy-thinking, and all were well-happified. But after a while a snake-priest, Powako, brings on earth secretly the snake-worship (Initako) of the god of the snakes, Wakon. And there came wickedness, crime, and unhappiness. And bad weather was coming, distemper was coming, with death was coming. All this happened very long ago, at the first land, Netamaki, beyond the great ocean Kitahikau." Then follows the Song of the Flood:

"There was, long ago, a powerful snake, Maskanako, when the men had become bad beings, Makowini. This strong snake had become the foe of the Jins, and they became troubled, hating each other. Both were fighting, both were, spoiling, both were never peaceful. And they were fighting, least man Mattapewi with dead-keeper Nihaulowit. And the strong snake readily resolved to destroy or fight the beings or the men. The dark snake he brought, the monster (Amanyam) he brought, snake-rushing water he brought (it). Much water is rushing, much go to hills, much penetrate, much destroying. Meanwhile at Tula (this is the same Tula referred to in the Central American legends), at THAT ISLAND, Nana-Bush (the great hare Nana) becomes the ancestor of beings and men. Being born creeping, he is ready to move and dwell at Tula. The beings and men all go forth from the flood creeping in shallow water or swimming afloat, asking which is the way to the turtle-back, Tula-pin. But there are many monsters in the way, and some men were devoured by them. But the daughter of a spirit helped them in a boat, saying, 'Come, come;' they were coming and were helped. The name of the boat or raft is Mokol. . . . Water running off, it is drying; in the plains and the mountains, at the path of the cave, elsewhere went the powerful action or motion." Then follows Song 3, describing the condition of mankind after the Flood. Like the Aryans, they moved into a cold country: "It freezes was there; it snows was there; it is cold was there." They move to a milder region to hunt cattle; they divided their forces into tillers and hunters. "The good and the holy were the hunters;" they spread themselves north, south, east, and west." Meantime all the snakes were afraid in their huts, and the Snake-priest Nakopowa said to all, 'Let us go.' Eastwardly they go forth at Snakeland (Akhokink), and they went away earnestly grieving." Afterward the fathers of the Delawares, who "were always boating and navigating," find that the Snake-people have taken possession of a fine country; and they collect together the people from north, south, east, and west, and attempt "to pass over the waters of the frozen sea to possess that land." They seem to travel in the dark of an Arctic winter until they come to a gap of open sea. They can go no farther; but some tarry at Firland, while the rest return to where they started from, "the old turtle land."

Here we find that the land that was destroyed was the "first land;" that it was an island "beyond the great ocean." In all early age the people were happy and peaceful; they became wicked; "snake worship" was introduced, and was associated, as in Genesis, with the "fall of man;" Nana-Bush became the ancestor of the new race; his name reminds us of the Toltec Nata and the Hebrew Noah. After the flood came a dispersing of the people, and a separation into hunters and tillers of the soil.

Among the Mandan Indians we not only find flood legends, but, more remarkable still, we find an image of the ark preserved from generation to generation, and a religious ceremony performed which refers plainly to the destruction of Atlantis, and to the arrival of one of those who escaped from the Flood, bringing the dreadful tidings of the disaster. It must be remembered, as we will show hereafter, that many of these Mandan Indians were white men, with hazel, gray, and blue eyes, and all shades of color of the hair from black to pure white; that they dwelt in houses in fortified towns, and manufactured earthen-ware pots in which they could boil water—an art unknown to the ordinary Indians, who boiled water by putting heated stones into it.

I quote the very interesting account of George Catlin, who visited the Mandans nearly fifty years ago, lately republished in London in the "North American Indians," a very curious and valuable work. He says (vol. i., p. 88):

"In the centre of the village is an open space, or public square, 150 feet in diameter and circular in form, which is used for all public games and festivals, shows and exhibitions. The lodges around this open space front in, with their doors toward the centre; and in the middle of this stands an object of great religious veneration, on account of the importance it has in connection with the annual religious ceremonies. This object is in the form of a large hogshead, some eight or ten feet high, made of planks and hoops, containing within it some of their choicest mysteries or medicines. They call it the 'Big Canoe.'"

This is a representation of the ark; the ancient Jews venerated a similar image, and some of the ancient Greek States followed in processions a model of the ark of Deucalion. But it is indeed surprising to find this practice perpetuated, even to our own times, by a race of Indians in the heart of America. On page 158 of the first volume of the same work Catlin describes the great annual mysteries and religious ceremonials of which this image of the ark was the centre. He says:

"On the day set apart for the commencement of the ceremonies a solitary figure is seen approaching the village.

"During the deafening din and confusion within the pickets of the village the figure discovered on the prairie continued to approach with a dignified step, and in a right line toward the village; all eyes were upon him, and he at length made his appearance within the pickets, and proceeded toward the centre of the village, where all the chiefs and braves stood ready to receive him, which they did in a cordial manner by shaking hands, recognizing him as an old acquaintance, and pronouncing his name, Nu-mohk-muck-a-nah (the first or only man). The body of this strange personage, which was chiefly naked, was painted with white clay, so as to resemble at a distance a white man. He enters the medicine lodge, and goes through certain mysterious ceremonies.

"During the whole of this day Nu-mohk-muck-a-nah (the first or only man) travelled through the village, stopping in front of each man's lodge, and crying until the owner of the lodge came out and asked who he was, and what was the matter? To which he replied by narrating the sad catastrophe which had happened on the earth's surface by the overflowing of the waters, saying that 'he was the only person saved from the universal calamity; that he landed his big canoe on a high mountain in the west, where he now resides; that he has come to open the medicine lodge, which must needs receive a present of an edged tool from the owner of every wigwam, that it may be sacrificed to the water; for,' he says, 'if this is not done there will be another flood, and no one will be saved, as it was with such tools that the big canoe was made.'

"Having visited every lodge in the village during the day, and having received such a present from each as a hatchet, a knife, etc. (which is undoubtedly always prepared ready for the occasion), be places them in the medicine lodge; and, on the last day of the ceremony, they are thrown into a deep place in the river—'sacrificed to the Spirit of the Waters."'

Among the sacred articles kept in the great medicine lodge are four sacks of water, called Eeh-teeh-ka, sewed together, each of them in the form of a tortoise lying on its back, with a bunch of eagle feathers attached to its tail. "These four tortoises," they told me, "contained the waters from the four quarters of the world—that those waters had been contained therein ever since the settling down of the waters," "I did not," says Catlin, who knew nothing of an Atlantis theory, "think it best to advance anything against such a ridiculous belief." Catlin tried to purchase one of these water-sacks, but could not obtain it for any price; he was told they were "a society property."

He then describes a dance by twelve men around the ark: "They arrange themselves according to the four cardinal points; two are painted perfectly black, two are vermilion color, some were painted partially white. They dance a dance called Bel-lohck-na-pie,'" with horns on their heads, like those used in Europe as symbolical of Bel, or Baal.

Could anything be more evident than the connection of these ceremonies with the destruction of Atlantis? Here we have the image of the ark; here we have a white man coming with the news that "the waters had overflowed the land," and that all the people were destroyed except himself; here we have the sacrifice to appease the spirit that caused the Flood, just as we find the Flood terminating, in the Hebrew, Chaldean, and Central American legends, with a sacrifice. Here, too, we have the image of the tortoise, which we find in other flood legends of the Indians, and which is a very natural symbol for an island. As one of our own poets has expressed it,

"Very fair and full of promise Lay the island of St. Thomas; Like a great green turtle slumbered On the sea which it encumbered."

Here we have, too, the four quarters of Atlantis, divided by its four rivers, as we shall see a little farther on, represented in a dance, where the dancers arrange themselves according to the four cardinal points of the compass; the dancers are painted to represent the black and red races, while "the first and only man" represents the white race; and the name of the dance is a reminiscence of Baal, the ancient god of the races derived from Atlantis.

But this is not all. The Mandans were evidently of the race of Atlantis. They have another singular legend, which we find in the account of Lewis and Clarke:

"Their belief in a future state is connected with this theory of their origin: The whole nation resided in one large village, underground, near a subterranean lake. A grape-vine extended its roots down to their habitation, and gave them a view of the light. Some of the most adventurous climbed up the vine, and were delighted with the sight of the earth, which they found covered with buffalo, and rich with every kind of fruit. Returning with the grapes they had gathered, their countrymen were so pleased with the taste of them that the whole nation resolved to leave their dull residence for the charms of the upper region. Men, women, and children ascended by means of the vine, but, when about half the nation had reached the surface of the earth, a corpulent woman, who was clambering up the vine, broke it with her weight, and closed upon herself and the rest of the nation the light of the sun."

This curious tradition means that the present nation dwelt in a large settlement underground, that is, beyond the land, in the sea; the sea being represented by "the subterranean lake." At one time the people had free intercourse between this "large village" and the American continent, and they founded extensive colonies on this continent; whereupon some mishap cut them off from the mother country. This explanation is confirmed by the fact that in the legends of the Iowa Indians, who were a branch of the Dakotas, or Sioux Indians, and relatives of the Mandans (according to Major James W. Lynd), "all the tribes of Indians were formerly one, and all dwelt together on an island, or at least across a large water toward the east or sunrise. They crossed this water in skin canoes, or by swimming; but they know not how long they were in crossing, or whether the water was salt or fresh." While the Dakotas, according to Major Lynd, who lived among them for nine years, possessed legends of "huge skiffs, in which the Dakotas of old floated for weeks, finally gaining dry land"—a reminiscence of ships and long sea-voyages.

The Mandans celebrated their great religious festival above described in the season when the willow is first in leaf, and a dove is mixed up in the ceremonies; and they further relate a legend that "the world was once a great tortoise, borne on the waters, and covered with earth, and that when one day, in digging the soil, a tribe of white men, who had made holes in the earth to a great depth digging for badgers, at length pierced the shell of the tortoise, it sank, and the water covering it drowned all men with the exception of one, who saved himself in a boat; and when the earth re-emerged, sent out a dove, who returned with a branch of willow in its beak."

The holes dug to find badgers were a savage's recollection of mining operations; and when the great disaster came, and the island sunk in the sea amid volcanic convulsions, doubtless men said it was due to the deep mines, which had opened the way to the central fires. But the recurrence of "white men" as the miners, and of a white man as "the last and only man," and the presence of white blood in the veins of the people, all point to the same conclusion—that the Mandans were colonists from Atlantis.

And here I might add that Catlin found the following singular resemblances between the Mandan tongue and the Welsh:

+ + + + -+ English. Mandan. Welsh. Pronounced. + + + + -+ I Me. Mi. Me. + + + + -+ You. Ne. Chwi. Chwe. + + + + -+ He. E. A. A. + + + + -+ She. Ea. E. A. + + + + -+ It. Ount. Hwynt. Hooynt. + + + + -+ We. Noo. Ni. Ne. + + + + -+ They. Eonah. Hona, fem. Hona. + + + + -+ No; or there is not. Megosh. Nagoes. Nagosh. + + + + -+ No. Na. + + + + -+ Head. Pan. Pen. Pan. + + + + -+ The Great Spirit. Maho Peneta. Mawr Mosoor Penaethir. Panaether. + + + + -+

Major Lynd found the following resemblances between the Dakota tongue and the languages of the Old World:


- - - - Latin. English. Saxon Sanscrit. German. Danish. Sioux. Other Primary Languages. Signification. - - - - See, Seon Sehen Sigt Sin Appearing, seen visible. - - - - Pinso Pound Punian Pau W., Beating Pwynian - - - - Vado Went Wendan Winta Passage. Wend - - - - Town Tun Zaun Tun Tonwe Gaelic, Dun - - - - Qui Who Hwa Kwas Wir Tuwe - - - - Weapon Wepn Wapen Vaapen Wipe Sioux dimin. Wipena - - - - Ego I Ic Agam Ich Jeg Mish - - - - Cor Core Co Gr., Kear Centre, heart - - - - Eight Achta Aute Acht Otte Shaktogan Gr., Okto - - - - Canna Cane Can Heb., Can Reed, weed, W., Cawn wood. - - - - Pock Pock Poc Pocke Pukkel Poka Dutch, Swelling. Poca - - - - With With Wider Wita Goth., Gewithan. - - - - Doughty Dohtig Taugen Digtig Dita Hot, brave, Ditaya daring. - - - - Tight Tian Dicht Digt Titan Strain. - - - - Tango Touch Taecan Ticken Tekkan Tan Touch, take. Tactus Take Htaka - - - - Child Cild Kind Kuld Cin Progeny. - - - - Work Wercan Woccas Dutch, Labor, motion. Hecon Werk Span., Hecho - - - - Shackle Seoacul Shka Ar., to bind (a Schakala, link). Dutch, Schakel Teton, Shakalan - - - - Query Kuiva - - - - Shabby Schabig Schabbig Shabya - - - -

According to Major Lynd, the Dakotas, or Sioux, belonged to the same race as the Mandans; hence the interest which attaches to these verbal similarities.

"Among the Iroquois there is a tradition that the sea and waters infringed upon the land, so that all human life was destroyed. The Chickasaws assert that the world was once destroyed by water, but that one family was saved, and two animals of every kind. The Sioux say there was a time when there was no dry land, and all men had disappeared from existence." (See Lynd's "MS. History of the Dakotas," Library of Historical Society of Minnesota.)

"The Okanagaus have a god, Skyappe, and also one called Chacha, who appear to be endowed with omniscience; but their principal divinity is their great mythical ruler and heroine, Scomalt. Long ago, when the sun was no bigger than a star, this strong medicine-woman ruled over what appears to have now become a lost island. At last the peace of the island was destroyed by war, and the noise of battle was heard, with which Scomalt was exceeding wroth, whereupon she rose up in her might and drove her rebellious subjects to one end of the island, and broke off the piece of land on which they were huddled and pushed it out to sea, to drift whither it would. This floating island was tossed to and fro and buffeted by the winds till all but two died. A man and woman escaped in a canoe, and arrived on the main-land; and from these the Okanagaus are descended." (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii., p. 149.)

Here we have the Flood legend clearly connected with a lost island.

The Nicaraguans believed "that ages ago the world was destroyed by a flood, in which the most part of mankind perished. Afterward the teotes, or gods, restored the earth as at the beginning." (Ibid., p. 75.) The wild Apaches, "wild from their natal hour," have a legend that "the first days of the world were happy and peaceful days;" then came a great flood, from which Montezuma and the coyote alone escaped. Montezuma became then very wicked, and attempted to build a house that would reach to heaven, but the Great Spirit destroyed it with thunderbolts. (Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii., p. 76.)

The Pimas, an Indian tribe allied to the Papagos, have a peculiar flood legend. The son of the Creator was called Szeu-kha (Ze-us?). An eagle prophesied the deluge to the prophet of the people three times in succession, but his warning was despised; "then in the twinkling of an eye there came a peal of thunder and an awful crash, and a green mound of water reared itself over the plain. It seemed to stand upright for a second, then, cut incessantly by the lightning, goaded on like a great beast, it flung itself upon the prophet's hut. When the morning broke there was nothing to be seen alive but one man—if indeed he were a man; Szeu-kha, the son of the Creator, had saved himself by floating on a ball of gum or resin." This instantaneous catastrophe reminds one forcibly of the destruction of Atlantis. Szeu-kha killed the eagle, restored its victims to life, and repeopled the earth with them, as Deucalion repeopled the earth with the stones.



The Fountains of the Great Deep.—As Atlantis perished in a volcanic convulsion, it must have possessed volcanoes. This is rendered the more probable when we remember that the ridge of land of which it was a part, stretching from north to south, from Iceland to St. Helena, contains even now great volcanoes—as in Iceland, the Azores, the Canaries, etc.—and that the very sea-bed along the line of its original axis is, to this day, as we have shown, the scene of great volcanic disturbances.

If, then, the mountains of Atlantis contained volcanoes, of which the peaks of the Azores are the surviving representatives, it is not improbable that the convulsion which drowned it in the sea was accompanied by great discharges of water. We have seen that such discharges occurred in the island of Java, when four thousand people perished. "Immense columns of hot water and boiling mud were thrown out" of the volcano of Galung Gung; the water was projected from the mountain "like a water-spout." When a volcanic island was created near Sicily in 1831, it was accompanied by "a waterspout sixty feet high."

In the island of Dominica, one of the islands constituting the Leeward group of the West Indies, and nearest to the site of Atlantis, on the 4th of January, 1880, occurred a series of convulsions which reminds us forcibly of the destruction of Plato's island; and the similarity extends to another particular: Dominica contains, like Atlantis, we are told, numerous hot and sulphur springs. I abridge the account given by the New York Herald of January 28th, 1880:

"A little after 11 o'clock A.M., soon after high-mass in the Roman Catholic cathedral, and while divine service was still going on in the Anglican and Wesleyan chapels, all the indications of an approaching thunder-storm suddenly showed themselves; the atmosphere, which just previously had been cool and pleasant—slight showers falling since early morning—became at once nearly stifling hot; the rumbling of distant thunder was heard, and the light-blue and fleecy white of the sky turned into a heavy and lowering black. Soon the thunder-peals came near and loud, the lightning flashes, of a blue and red color, more frequent and vivid; and the rain, first with a few heavy drops, commenced to pour as if the floodgates of heaven were open. In a moment it darkened, as if night had come; a strong, nearly overpowering smell of sulphur announced itself; and people who happened to be out in the streets felt the rain-drops falling on their heads, backs, and shoulders like showers of hailstones. The cause of this was to be noted by looking at the spouts, from which the water was rushing like so many cataracts of molten lead, while the gutters below ran swollen streams of thick gray mud, looking like nothing ever seen in them before. In the mean time the Roseau River had worked itself into a state of mad fury, overflowing its banks, carrying down rocks and large trees, and threatening destruction to the bridges over it and the houses in its neighborhood. When the storm ceased—it lasted till twelve, mid-day—the roofs and walls of the buildings in town, the street pavement, the door-steps and back-yards were found covered with a deposit of volcanic debris, holding together like clay, dark-gray in color, and in some places more than an inch thick, with small, shining metallic particles on the surface, which could be easily identified as iron pyrites. Scraping up some of the stuff, it required only a slight examination to determine its main constituents—sandstone and magnesia, the pyrites being slightly mixed, and silver showing itself in even smaller quantity. This is, in fact, the composition of the volcanic mud thrown up by the soufrieres at Watton Waven and in the Boiling Lake country, and it is found in solution as well in the lake water. The Devil's Billiard-table, within half a mile of the Boiling Lake, is composed wholly of this substance, which there assumes the character of stone in formation. Inquiries instituted on Monday morning revealed the fact that, except on the south-east, the mud shower had not extended beyond the limits of the town. On the north-west, in the direction of Fond Colo and Morne Daniel, nothing but pure rain-water had fallen, and neither Loubiere nor Pointe Michel had seen any signs of volcanic disturbance. . . .

"But what happened at Pointe Mulatre enables us to spot the locale of the eruption. Pointe Mulatre lies at the foot of the range of mountains on the top of which the Boiling Lake frets and seethes. The only outlet of the lake is a cascade which falls into one of the branches of the Pointe Mulatre River, the color and temperature of which, at one time and another, shows the existence or otherwise of volcanic activity in the lake-country. We may observe, en passant, that the fall of the water from the lake is similar in appearance to the falls on the sides of Roairama, in the interior of British Guiana; there, is no continuous stream, but the water overleaps its basin like a kettle boiling over, and comes down in detached cascades from the top. May there not be a boiling lake on the unapproachable summit of Roairama? The phenomena noted at Pointe Mulatre on Sunday were similar to what we witnessed in Roseau, but with every feature more strongly marked. The fall of mud was heavier, covering all the fields; the atmospheric disturbance was greater, and the change in the appearance of the running water about the place more surprising. The Pointe Mulatre River suddenly began to run volcanic mud and water; then the mud predominated, and almost buried the stream under its weight, and the odor of sulphur in the air became positively oppressive. Soon the fish in the water—brochet, camoo, meye, crocro, mullet, down to the eel, the crawfish, the loche, the tetar, and the dormer—died, and were thrown on the banks. The mud carried down by the river has formed a bank at the month which nearly dams up the stream, and threatens to throw it back over the low-lying lands of the Pointe Mulatre estate. The reports from the Laudat section of the Boiling Lake district are curious. The Bachelor and Admiral rivers, and the numerous mineral springs which arise in that part of the island, are all running a thick white flood, like cream milk. The face of the entire country, from the Admiral River to the Solfatera Plain, has undergone some portentous change, which the frightened peasants who bring the news to Roseau seem unable clearly and connectedly to describe, and the volcanic activity still continues."

From this account it appears that the rain of water and mud came from a boiling lake on the mountains; it must have risen to a great height, "like a water-spout," and then fallen in showers over the face of the country. We are reminded, in this Boiling Lake of Dominica, of the Welsh legend of the eruption of the Llyn-llion, "the Lake of Waves," which "inundated the whole country." On the top of a mountain in the county of Kerry, Ireland, called Mangerton, there is a deep lake known as Poulle-i-feron, which signifies Hell-hole; it frequently overflows, and rolls down the mountain in frightful torrents. On Slieve-donart, in the territory of Mourne, in the county of Down, Ireland, a lake occupies the mountain-top, and its overflowings help to form rivers.

If we suppose the destruction of Atlantis to have been, in like manner, accompanied by a tremendous outpour of water from one or more of its volcanoes, thrown to a great height, and deluging the land, we can understand the description in the Chaldean legend of "the terrible water-spout," which even "the gods grew afraid of," and which "rose to the sky," and which seems to have been one of the chief causes, together with the earthquake, of the destruction of the country. And in this view we are confirmed by the Aramaean legend of the Deluge, probably derived at an earlier age from the Chaldean tradition. In it we are told, "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 ocean overflowed its banks." The disturbance in Dominica duplicates this description exactly: "In a moment" the water and mud burst from the mountains, "the floodgates of heaven were opened," and "the river overflowed its banks."

And here, again, we are reminded of the expression in Genesis, "the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up" (chap. vii., 11). That this does not refer to the rain is clear from the manner in which it is stated: "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," etc. And when the work of destruction is finished, we are told "the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped." This is a reminiscence by an inland people, living where such tremendous volcanic disturbances were nearly unknown, of "the terrible water-spout which "rose to the sky," of the Chaldean legend, and of "the enormous volumes of water issuing from the earth" of the Aramaean tradition. The Hindoo legend of the Flood speaks of "the marine god Hayagriva, who dwelt in the abyss," who produced the cataclysm. This is doubtless "the archangel of the abyss" spoken of in the Chaldean tradition.

The Mountains of the North.—We have in Plato the following reference to the mountains of Atlantis:

"The whole country was described as being very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea. . . . The whole region of the island lies toward the south, and is sheltered from the north. . . . The surrounding mountains exceeded all that are to be seen now anywhere."

These mountains were the present Azores. One has but to contemplate their present elevation, and remember the depth to which they descend in the ocean, to realize their tremendous altitude and the correctness of the description given by Plato.

In the Hindoo legend we find the fish-god, who represents Poseidon, father of Atlantis, helping Mann over "the Mountain of the North." In the Chaldean legend Khasisatra's vessel is stopped by "the Mountain of Nizir" until the sea goes down.

The Mud which Stopped Navigation.—We are told by Plato, "Atlantis disappeared beneath the sea, and then that sea became inaccessible, so that navigation on it ceased, on account of the quantity of mud which the ingulfed island left in its place." This is one of the points of Plato's story which provoked the incredulity and ridicule of the ancient, and even of the modern, world. We find in the Chaldean legend something of the same kind: Khasisatra says, "I looked at the sea attentively, observing, and the whole of humanity had returned to mud." In the "Popol Vuh" we are told that a "resinous thickness descended from heaven," even as in Dominica the rain was full of "thick gray mud," accompanied by an "overpowering smell of sulphur."

The explorations of the ship Challenger show that the whole of the submerged ridge of which Atlantis is a part is to this day thickly covered with volcanic debris.

We have but to remember the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were covered with such a mass of volcanic ashes from the eruption of A.D. 79 that for seventeen centuries they remained buried at a depth of from fifteen to thirty feet; a new population lived and labored above them; an aqueduct was constructed over their heads; and it was only when a farmer, in digging for a well, penetrated the roof of a house, that they were once more brought to the light of day and the knowledge of mankind.

We have seen that, in 1783, the volcanic eruption in Iceland covered the sea with pumice for a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, "and ships were considerably impeded in their course."

The eruption in the island of Sumbawa, in April, 1815, threw out such masses of ashes as to darken the air. "The floating cinders to the west of Sumatra formed, on the 12th of April, a mass two feet thick and several miles in extent, through which ships with difficulty forced their way."

It thus appears that the very statement of Plato which has provoked the ridicule of scholars is in itself one of the corroborating features of his story. It is probable that the ships of the Atlanteans, when they returned after the tempest to look for their country, found the sea impassable from the masses of volcanic ashes and pumice. They returned terrified to the shores of Europe; and the shock inflicted by the destruction of Atlantis upon the civilization of the world probably led to one of those retrograde periods in the history of our race in which they lost all intercourse with the Western continent.

The Preservation of a Record.—There is a singular coincidence in the stories of the Deluge in another particular.

The legends of the Phoenicians, preserved by Sanchoniathon, tell us that Taautos, or Taut, was the inventor of the alphabet and of the art of writing.

Now, we find in the Egyptian legends a passage of Manetho, in which Thoth (or Hermes Trismegistus), before the Deluge, inscribed on stelae, or tablets, in hieroglyphics, or sacred characters, the principles of all knowledge. After the Deluge the second Thoth translated the contents of these stelae into the vulgar tongue.

Josephus tells us that "The patriarch Seth, in order that wisdom and astronomical knowledge should not perish, erected, in prevision of the double destruction by fire and water predicted by Adam, two columns, one of brick, the other of stone, on which this knowledge was engraved, and which existed in the Siriadic country."

In the Chaldean legends the god Ea ordered Khasisatra to inscribe the divine learning, and the principles of all sciences, on tables of terra-cotta, and bury them, before the Deluge, "in the City of the Sun at Sippara."

Berosus, in his version of the Chaldean flood, says:

"The deity, Chronos, appeared to him (Xisuthros) in a vision, and warned him that, upon the 15th day of the month Doesius, there would be a flood by which mankind would be destroyed. He therefore enjoined him to write a history of the beginning, procedure, and conclusion of all things, and to bury it in the City of the Sun at Sippara, and to build a vessel," etc.

The Hindoo Bhagavata-Purana tells us that the fish-god, who warned Satyravata of the coming of the Flood, directed him to place the sacred Scriptures in a safe place, "in order to preserve them from Hayagriva, a marine horse dwelling in the abyss."

Are we to find the original of these legends in the following passage from Plato's history of Atlantis?

"Now, the relations of their governments to one another were regulated by the injunctions of Poseidon, as the law had handed them down. These were inscribed by the first then on a column of orichalcum, which was situated in the middle of the island, at the Temple of Poseidon, whither the people were gathered together. . . . They received and gave judgments, and at daybreak they wrote down their sentences on a golden tablet, and deposited them as memorials with their robes. There were many special laws which the several kings had inscribed about the temples." (Critias, p. 120.)

A Succession of Disasters.—The Central American books, translated by De Bourbourg, state that originally a part of the American continent extended far into the Atlantic Ocean. This tradition is strikingly confirmed by the explorations of the ship Challenger, which show that the "Dolphin's Ridge" was connected with the shore of South America north of the mouth of the Amazon. The Central American books tell us that this region of the continent was destroyed by a succession of frightful convulsions, probably at long intervals apart; three of these catastrophes are constantly mentioned, and sometimes there is reference to one or two more.

"The land," in these convulsions, "was shaken by frightful earthquakes, and the waves of the sea combined with volcanic fires to overwhelm and ingulf it. . . . Each convulsion swept away portions of the land until the whole disappeared, leaving the line of coast as it now is. Most of the inhabitants, overtaken amid their regular employments, were destroyed; but some escaped in ships, and some fled for safety to the summits of high mountains, or to portions of the land which for a time escaped immediate destruction." (Baldwin's "Ancient America," p. 176.)

This accords precisely with the teachings of geology. We know that the land from which America and Europe were formed once covered nearly or quite the whole space now occupied by the Atlantic between the continents; and it is reasonable to believe that it went down piecemeal, and that Atlantis was but the stump of the ancient continent, which at last perished from the same causes and in the same way.

The fact that this tradition existed among the inhabitants of America is proven by the existence of festivals, "especially one in the month Izcalli, which were instituted to commemorate this frightful destruction of land and people, and in which, say the sacred books, 'princes and people humbled themselves before the divinity, and besought him to withhold a return of such terrible calamities.'"

Can we doubt the reality of events which we thus find confirmed by religious ceremonies at Athens, in Syria, and on the shores of Central America?

And we find this succession of great destructions of the Atlantic continent in the triads of Wales, where traditions are preserved of "three terrible catastrophes." We are told by the explorations of the ship Challenger that the higher lands reach in the direction of the British Islands; and the Celts had traditions that a part of their country once extended far out into the Atlantic, and was subsequently destroyed.

And the same succession of destructions is referred to in the Greek legends, where a deluge of Ogyges—"the most ancient of the kings of Boeotia or Attica, a quite mythical person, lost in the night of ages"—preceded that of Deucalion.

We will find hereafter the most ancient hymns of the Aryans praying God to hold the land firm. The people of Atlantis, having seen their country thus destroyed, section by section, and judging that their own time must inevitably come, must have lived under a great and perpetual terror, which will go far to explain the origin of primeval religion, and the hold which it took upon the minds of men; and this condition of things may furnish us a solution of the legends which have come down to us of their efforts to perpetuate their learning on pillars, and also an explanation of that other legend of the Tower of Babel, which, as I will show hereafter, was common to both continents, and in which they sought to build a tower high enough to escape the Deluge.

All the legends of the preservation of a record prove that the united voice of antiquity taught that the antediluvians had advanced so far in civilization as to possess an alphabet and a system of writing; a conclusion which, as we will see hereafter, finds confirmation in the original identity of the alphabetical signs used in the old world and the new.





Material civilization might be defined to be the result of a series of inventions and discoveries, whereby man improves his condition, and controls the forces of nature for his own advantage.

The savage man is a pitiable creature; as Menabosbu says, in the Chippeway legends, he is pursued by a "perpetual hunger;" he is exposed unprotected to the blasts of winter and the heats of summer. A great terror sits upon his soul; for every manifestation of nature—the storm, the wind, the thunder, the lightning, the cold, the heat—all are threatening and dangerous demons. The seasons bring him neither seed-time nor harvest; pinched with hunger, appeasing in part the everlasting craving of his stomach with seeds, berries, and creeping things, he sees the animals of the forest dash by him, and he has no means to arrest their flight. He is powerless and miserable in the midst of plenty. Every step toward civilization is a step of conquest over nature. The invention of the bow and arrow was, in its time, a far greater stride forward for the human race than the steam-engine or the telegraph. The savage could now reach his game—his insatiable hunger could be satisfied; the very eagle, "towering in its pride of place," was not beyond the reach of this new and wonderful weapon. The discovery of fire and the art of cooking was another immense step forward. The savage, having nothing but wooden vessels in which to cook, covered the wood with clay; the day hardened in the fire. The savage gradually learned that he could dispense with the wood, and thus pottery was invented. Then some one (if we are to believe the Chippeway legends, on the shores of Lake Superior) found fragments of the pure copper of that region, beat them into shape, and the art of metallurgy was begun; iron was first worked in the same way by shaping meteoric iron into spear-heads.

But it must not be supposed that these inventions followed one another in rapid succession. Thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands, of years intervened between each step; many savage races have not to this day achieved some of these steps. Prof. Richard Owen says, "Unprepossessed and sober experience teaches that arts, language, literature are of slow growth, the results of gradual development."

I shall undertake to show hereafter that nearly all the arts essential to civilization which we possess date back to the time of Atlantis—certainly to that ancient Egyptian civilization which was coeval with, and an outgrowth from, Atlantis.

In six thousand years the world made no advance on the civilization which it received from Atlantis.

Phoenicia, Egypt, Chaldea, India, Greece, and Rome passed the torch of civilization from one to the other; but in all that lapse of time they added nothing to the arts which existed at the earliest period of Egyptian history. In architecture, sculpture, painting, engraving, mining, metallurgy, navigation, pottery, glass-ware, the construction of canals, roads, and aqueducts, the arts of Phoenicia and Egypt extended, without material change or improvement, to a period but two or three hundred years ago. The present age has entered upon a new era; it has added a series of wonderful inventions to the Atlantean list; it has subjugated steam and electricity to the uses of man. And its work has but commenced: it will continue until it lifts man to a plane as much higher than the present as the present is above the barbaric condition; and in the future it will be said that between the birth of civilization in Atlantis and the new civilization there stretches a period of many thousands of years, during which mankind did not invent, but simply perpetuated.

Herodotus tells us ("Euterpe," cxlii.) that, according to the information he received from the Egyptian priests, their written history dated back 11,340 years before his era, or nearly 14,000 years prior to this time. They introduced him into a spacious temple, and showed him the statues of 341 high-priests who had in turn succeeded each other; and yet the age of Columbus possessed no arts, except that of printing (which was ancient in China), which was not known to the Egyptians; and the civilization of Egypt at its first appearance was of a higher order than at any subsequent period of its history, thus testifying that it drew its greatness from a fountain higher than itself. It was in its early days that Egypt worshipped one only God; in the later ages this simple and sublime belief was buried under the corruptions of polytheism. The greatest pyramids were built by the Fourth Dynasty, and so universal was education at that time among the people that the stones with which they were built retain to this day the writing of the workmen. The first king was Menes.

"At the epoch of Menes," says Winchell, "the Egyptians were already a civilized and numerous people. Manetho tells us that Athotis, the son of this first king, Menes, built the palace at Memphis; that he was a physician, and left anatomical books. All these statements imply that even at this early period the Egyptians were in a high state of civilization." (Winchell's "Preadamites," p. 120.) "In the time of Menes the Egyptians had long been architects, sculptors, painters, mythologists, and theologians." Professor Richard Owen says, "Egypt is recorded to have been a civilized and governed community before the time of Menes. The pastoral community of a group of nomad families, as portrayed in the Pentateuch, may be admitted as an early step in civilization. But how far in advance of this stage is a nation administered by a kingly government, consisting of grades of society, with divisions of labor, of which one kind, assigned to the priesthood, was to record or chronicle the names and dynasties of the kings, the duration and chief events of their reigns!" Ernest Renan points out that "Egypt at the beginning appears mature, old, and entirely without mythical and heroic ages, as if the country had never known youth. Its civilization has no infancy, and its art no archaic period. The civilization of the Old Monarchy did not begin with infancy. It was already mature."

We shall attempt to show that it matured in Atlantis, and that the Egyptian people were unable to maintain it at the high standard at which they had received it, as depicted in the pages of Plato. What king of Assyria, or Greece, or Rome, or even of these modern nations, has ever devoted himself to the study of medicine and the writing of medical books for the benefit of mankind? Their mission has been to kill, not to heal the people; yet here, at the very dawn of Mediterranean history, we find the son of the first king of Egypt recorded "as a physician, and as having left anatomical books."

I hold it to be incontestable that, in some region of the earth, primitive mankind must have existed during vast spaces of time, and under most favorable circumstances, to create, invent, and discover those arts and things which constitute civilization. When we have it before our eyes that for six thousand years mankind in Europe, Asia, and Africa, even when led by great nations, and illuminated by marvellous minds, did not advance one inch beyond the arts of Egypt, we may conceive what lapses, what aeons, of time it must have required to bring savage man to that condition of refinement and civilization possessed by Egypt when it first comes within the purview of history.

That illustrious Frenchman, H. A. Taine (" History of English Literature," p. 23), sees the unity of the Indo-European races manifest in their languages, literature, and philosophies, and argues that these pre-eminent traits are "the great marks of an original model," and that when we meet with them "fifteen, twenty, thirty centuries before our era, in an Aryan, an Egyptian, a Chinese, they represent the work of a great many ages, perhaps of several myriads of centuries. . . . Such is the first and richest source of these master faculties from which historical events take their rise; and one sees that if it be powerful it is because this is no simple spring, but a kind of lake, a deep reservoir, wherein other springs have, for a multitude of centuries, discharged their several streams." In other words, the capacity of the Egyptian, Aryan, Chaldean, Chinese, Saxon, and Celt to maintain civilization is simply the result of civilized training during "myriads of centuries" in some original home of the race.

I cannot believe that the great inventions were duplicated spontaneously, as some would have us believe, in different countries; there is no truth in the theory that men pressed by necessity will always hit upon the same invention to relieve their wants. If this were so, all savages would have invented the boomerang; all savages would possess pottery, bows and arrows, slings, tents, and canoes; in short, all races would have risen to civilization, for certainly the comforts of life are as agreeable to one people as another.

Civilization is not communicable to all; many savage tribes are incapable of it. There are two great divisions of mankind, the civilized and the savage; and, as we shall show, every civilized race in the world has had something of civilization from the earliest ages; and as "all roads lead to Rome," so all the converging lines of civilization lead to Atlantis. The abyss between the civilized man and the savage is simply incalculable; it represents not alone a difference in arts and methods of life, but in the mental constitution, the instincts, and the predispositions of the soul. The child of the civilized races in his sports manufactures water-wheels, wagons, and houses of cobs; the savage boy amuses himself with bows and arrows: the one belongs to a building and creating race; the other to a wild, hunting stock. This abyss between savagery and civilization has never been passed by any nation through its own original force, and without external influences, during the Historic Period; those who were savages at the dawn of history are savages still; barbarian slaves may have been taught something of the arts of their masters, and conquered races have shared some of the advantages possessed by their conquerors; but we will seek in vain for any example of a savage people developing civilization of and among themselves. I may be reminded of the Gauls, Goths, and Britons; but these were not savages, they possessed written languages, poetry, oratory, and history; they were controlled by religious ideas; they believed in God and the immortality of the soul, and in a state of rewards and punishments after death. Wherever the Romans came in contact with Gauls, or Britons, or German tribes, they found them armed with weapons of iron. The Scots, according to Tacitus, used chariots and iron swords in the battle of the Grampians—"enormes gladii sine mucrone." The Celts of Gaul are stated by Diodorus Siculus to have used iron-headed spears and coats-of-mail, and the Gauls who encountered the Roman arms in B.C. 222 were armed with soft iron swords, as well as at the time when Caesar conquered their country. Among the Gauls men would lend money to be repaid in the next world, and, we need not add, that no Christian people has yet reached that sublime height of faith; they cultivated the ground, built houses and walled towns, wove cloth, and employed wheeled vehicles; they possessed nearly all the cereals and domestic animals we have, and they wrought in iron, bronze, and steel. The Gauls had even invented a machine on wheels to cut their grain, thus anticipating our reapers and mowers by two thousand years. The difference between the civilization of the Romans under Julius Caesar and the Gauls under Vercingetorix was a difference in degree and not in kind. The Roman civilization was simply a development and perfection of the civilization possessed by all the European populations; it was drawn from the common fountain of Atlantis.

If we find on both sides of the Atlantic precisely the same arts, sciences, religious beliefs, habits, customs, and traditions, it is absurd to say that the peoples of the two continents arrived separately, by precisely the same steps, at precisely the same ends. When we consider the resemblance of the civilizations of the Mediterranean nations to one another, no man is silly enough to pretend that Rome, Greece, Egypt, Assyria, Phoenicia, each spontaneously and separately invented the arts, sciences, habits, and opinions in which they agreed; but we proceed to trace out the thread of descent or connection from one to another. Why should a rule of interpretation prevail, as between the two sides of the Atlantic, different from that which holds good as to the two sides of the Mediterranean Sea? If, in the one case, similarity of origin has unquestionably produced similarity of arts, customs, and condition, why, in the other, should not similarity of arts, customs, and condition prove similarity of origin? Is there any instance in the world of two peoples, without knowledge of or intercourse with each other, happening upon the same invention, whether that invention be an arrow-head or a steam-engine? If it required of mankind a lapse of at least six thousand years before it began anew the work of invention, and took up the thread of original thought where Atlantis dropped it, what probability is there of three or four separate nations all advancing at the same speed to precisely the same arts and opinions? The proposition is untenable.

If, then, we prove that, on both sides of the Atlantic, civilizations were found substantially identical, we have demonstrated that they must have descended one from the other, or have radiated from some common source.




Architecture.—Plato tells us that the Atlanteans possessed architecture; that they built walls, temples, and palaces.

We need not add that this art was found in Egypt and all the civilized countries of Europe, as well as in Peru, Mexico, and Central America. Among both the Peruvians and Egyptians the walls receded inward, and the doors were narrower at, the top than at the threshold.

The obelisks of Egypt, covered with hieroglyphics, are paralleled by the round columns of Central America, and both are supposed to have originated in Phallus-worship. "The usual symbol of the Phallus was an erect stone, often in its rough state, sometimes sculptured." (Squier, "Serpent Symbol," p. 49; Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii., p. 504.) The worship of Priapus was found in Asia, Egypt, along the European shore of the Mediterranean, and in the forests of Central America.

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