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at the identity of ceremonies at their festivals, there is reason to believe that Osiris and Bacchus were only other names for the same deity. But be that as it may, the lugubrious observances of this rite were very discouraging to the superstitious feelings of the Athenians. It was the custom of the citizens to wear mourning on this occasion: coffins were set out at the door of every house. The statues of Venus and Adonis were carried in procession, accompanied by certain vessels called the gardens of Adonis, because they were filled with earth after the manner of garden-pots, and corn, herbs, and lettuce raised in them, which were at the conclusion of the ceremony to be thrown into the sea or some river.
It is remarkable that such a festival was not only held in Greece, where indeed few ceremonies originated, but in Egypt, and, as we learn from holy writ, in Judea during the period of its idolatry. It had all the character of a funeral. Greek mythology informs us that Adonis was slain by a wild boar; on which event, possibly historical, they not only grafted a love-story, but a miracle, in the annual death and revival of Adonis. But the story was Syrian; for Thammuz had been deified by that people, after being killed in hunting on Lebanon, whence the river Adonis descends. Hence the Greeks got the apparently strange ceremony of the garden-pots as well as the yearly decease. At certain seasons the river brought down a red soil from the mountain, which discoloured its otherwise transparent water. This was considered to be the blood of Thammuz, and a natural signal that his death had then taken place. The corn and other articles were cast in as a viaticum for the passing
soul; and the only alteration the Greeks made seems to have been that of substituting the geographical for the historical or fabulous name.
Milton has described both the Syrian and Jewish rite, in Paradise Lost, book i.:—
Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
Of alienated Judah.
The loud lamentations of the women are particularly marked by Ezekiel, as among the greater abominations. "Then said he unto me, son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.” By the expression, every man in the chambers of his imagery, is meant the imagery he kept in his own house, like the sculptured representations in the temple. "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz." The gate toward the north is evidently set down as an aggravation, because it was nearer to the temple than the other gates. Now Tammuz, or Thammuz, is clearly the same
as Adonis, which is the name of the river near which he lost his life. In short, there is reason to think that this Syrian idol was the Dionysius of the Indians, the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Liber of the Romans, the Aióvuσos and Bgóμios of the Greeks, as well as their Adonis: and that Bacchus, or BarChus, means the son of Chus, who was in fact Nimrod.
The female lamentation, reprobated by the prophet, took so great a lead on account of the sorrow felt by Venus, under whatever name she might pass. The Greeks, besides changing the name, made a dramatic addition to the plot. We know that Adonis had a powerful rival in Mars; who, it seems, in a fit of jealousy, transformed himself into a wild boar, and took his revenge in that shape. The river was discoloured with the blood; but a few drops were diverted to a purpose for which florists may be thankful to this day: those " of blood" performed the elegant and delicate office of tinging the anemone! Nor have we done with the beneficial effects of this dye, as far as regards flowers. Venus, among other outward marks of desolation, went slip-shod: roses in those days were all white; but they had thorns, as now; thorns scratch; and feet bleed, unless protected by neat's leather: so that to the skin-deep wounds of the goddess we owe that endless variety and delicate gradation of ruddy hues, by which our modern gardens are embellished.
Ovid alludes to the alternate death and life:
Luctus monumenta manebunt
Semper, Adoni, mei: repetitaque mortis imago
Annua plangoris peraget simulamina nostri.
Orpheus has a hymn on the subject, of which
this is the conclusion:
Κούρη, καὶ κόρε· πᾶσι καλὸν θάλος αἰὲν ̓́Αδωνι,
Nothing can be more elegantly poetical than the touches of Theocritus on this subject. The common sense of the fable, and fables all have common sense, however disguised, is this. Adonis, after his death, was to pass six months with Venus, and six with Proserpine: to die and revive every year. Proserpine's turn is while the sown seed lies in the ground, and that of Venus from the first appearance of the blade till its fall under the sickle. This corroborates his identity with Bacchus; for the rise and descent of the sap in the vine may be expressed by the same type. This early benefactor therefore probably subjected various products of the earth to cultivation, and hence the vessels of corn and other vegetables in the sacrifice.
But to return to the solemn rite at the period in question. The mournful part of it cast a gloom over the minds of a people so susceptible of omens; and the feeling was aggravated by another circumstance. The Athenians had terminal figures at their doors, surmounted with the head of Mercury.
The Corinthians, of whom the Syracusans were a colony, sent out under Archias, one of the Heraclidæ, were reported to have done this, in the hope that such an apparent prodigy might discourage the Athenians from the prosecution of the war. While men's minds were thus agitated, Alcibiades was alternately popular and unpopular. Those orators who were apparently his friends, but really his enemies, suggested the propriety of giving him full scope, but holding him to a severe responsibility. On their arrival at the theatre of military operations, Nicias produced a scheme for the conduct of the war, in which he was opposed by Alcibiades. Lamachus had a project originally different from both. Not finding himself competent to carry this into effect, he made common cause with Alcibiades, who sailed to Sicily, and seized Catana by surprise. He also got possession of Agrigentum by a similar stratagem. His subtilty in the intrigue of military tactics enabled him to insinuate himself into one of the forts of Syracuse, He was recalled on an impeachment, at the instance apparently of his bitterest enemy, Androcles, with whom Andocides associates Pythonicus. One of Alcibiades's slaves, Andromachus, Agariste the wife of Alcmæonides, and Lydus, a slave of Phereclus, took the lead in the several informations. Teucer of Megara, though pleading guilty himself, did not accuse Alcibiades. His confession of facts, and appeal against his accomplices, not only procured his pardon from the people, but a thousand drachmas as a reward. The mutilation of the statues was a main article of charge; for the people had recovered from the absurdity of considering it as preternatural, and attributed it to the