An Ethiopian Journal

"Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters"

Posts Tagged ‘Greek Mythology

10th century BC palace of the Queen of Sheba in Axum

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German archaeologists have claimed to have found one of the fabled resting places of the Ark of the Covenant, the chest holding the Ten Commandments which gave the ancient Israelites their power.

Source: Telegraph Media Group  – 13 May 2008
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/ethiopia/1951679/Lost-ark-found-in-Ethiopia,-archaeologists-claim.html

The University of Hamburg say its researchers have found the remains of the 10th century BC palace of the Queen of Sheba in Axum, Ethiopia, and an altar which at one time reputedly held the precious treasure.

Archaeologist Helmut Ziegert, who is leading the dig said: “From the dating, its position and the details that we have found, I am sure that this is the palace.”

Ethiopian legends holds that the Ark was taken to the palace of the Queen of Sheba by King Solomon, the king of the Jews, after they fell in love.

After the Queen’s death her son, Menelek, rebuilt the palace and dedicated it to the cult of Sirius, but kept the Ark in its resting place there.

The team said evidence at the site included Sirius symbols, the debris of sacrifices and the alignment of sacred buildings to the rising-point of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.

“The results we have suggest that a Cult of Sothis developed in Ethiopia with the arrival of Judaism and the Ark of the Covenant and continued until 600 AD,” the university said. Sothis is the ancient Greek name for Sirius.

The German research, which began in 1999, is aimed at documenting the origins of the Ethiopian state and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The hunt for the Ark, which featured in the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark, has become almost as legendary as the artefact itself.

The 1981 film has the artefact recovered by the Nazis from a resting place in the “Well of Souls” in Tanis, Egypt – not to be confused with the Well of Souls on Temple Mount, Jerusalem.

The Nazi treasure hunters are later killed when the Ark is opened.

The Old Testament recounts that Moses, on leading the Israelites from Egypt, received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai.

These Commandments, written on stone tablets, were later placed in a chest made from acacia wood, plated with gold and topped with two golden angels. This was the Ark of the Covenant.

The Ark was then kept in the Temple of Solomon Jerusalem for centuries, according to the Old Testament.

After Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC, the Bible and it entered the realm of legend.

Ethiopian tradition claims that the Ark was moved to Axum from Jerusalem in 10th century BC.

A sect in Ethiopia maintains that the Ark is kept at the church of St Mary of Zion, but the site is defended by monks and only one guardian is allowed to see it, making the claim impossible to verify.

Written by Tseday

September 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Phaeton and the Chariot of the Sun

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Scholars claim that the name ‘Ethiopia’ is taken from a Greek expression ‘Aithiops’ meaning “burnt faces”. In Greek mythology, the story of Phaethon could be behind the origin of this name. So supposedly, Phaethon, the son of Helios, borrowed the sun-chariot of his father for just one day. But he was not able to keep course along the sun’s accustomed path. Phaeton was unable to control the fierce horses that drew the chariot. First it veered too high, so that the earth grew chill. Then it dipped too close, and the vegetation dried and burned. He accidentally turned most of Africa into desert; burning the skin of the Ethiopians black. To prevent an even bigger catastrophe, Zeus striked Phaethon by his thunderbolt and the youth fell to earth into the river Eridanos.

 

 

Phaeton and the Chariot of the Sun
Source:
http://www.hipark.austin.isd.tenet.edu/mythology/phaeton.html

In the ancient Ethiopia there lived a lad by name of Phaeton. His mother was an Ethiopian princess but Phaeton’s father was the sun-god himself. One day Phaeton was playing with a friend he boasted that his father was Apollo, the sun-god. Phaeton’s friend teased him by saying “Your father really isn’t the Sun. Your mother just mad that up and you are foolish to believe such a story.”

Phaeton went home confused and ashamed. He told his mother of the taunt and begged her to give him some proof that he really was the child of the Sun. His mother spoke softly but proudly, ” My son, your father truly is the radiant Sun. but if you have doubts, then why not go to his palace and speak to him yourself? Go to the land of the far East and there in the high mountains you will find the glittering palace of your father , the Sun.”

Phaeton was overjoyed at his mother’s answer and mad himself ready for the long journey, He traveled in the lad of Persia and crossed the strange land of India. finally he came to the gigantic mountains at the eastern end of the world. The boy climbed into the mountains and found a palace that he immediately knew must belong to Apollo. Although it was early in the morning and still dark, this tall palace of gold and bronze glowed like fiery coals. The entrance of the palace was through two huge gleaning silver doors. On these doors were carved intricate details of the gods and creatures of the world.

The boy walked through the doorway and came upon a dazzling sight. There stood a golden-haired young woman dressed in a bright green robe. She was covered with flowers that had been braided into her long yellow hair. Nearby was a dark haired woman dressed in emerald green, holding an armful of golden grain. Beside her was a man with auburn hair and dressed in a robe of orange, yellow, and red leaves. His hands were stained purple and he held a cluster of freshly harvested grapes. Last of all was an old man whose bluish white hair and beard looked like icicles. These were the four seasons and they stood in a half circle around the brilliant throne. It hurt Phaeton’s eyes to gaze at this throne, for it was made of shimmering jewels and upon his throne, sat Apollo. The god’s eyes blazed like fire and the crown on his head seemed to be made of pure radiant light.

Apollo Spoke, ” Why have you come here to the far ends of the earth, Phaeton?”

The boy replied, “Sir, I have come to find proof that you, great Apollo, are truly my father.”

The Sun-god smiled and answered, ” Your mother has spoken the truth. I am your father. As proof of this I will grant your one wish of your heart’s desire.”

No sooner had Apollo spoken when Phaeton blurted out, “I wish to drive your chariot, father.”

The god of light quickly regretted giving his child a wish and pleaded, No, my child, choose something else. You ask for too dangerous of a gift. Even Zeus, the mighty god of thunder, will not drive the chariot of the Sun. The horses breathe out flames and the chariot itself is fiery hot. So powerful are the steeds that I, a full-grown god, can barely restrain them. What chance would a mortal boy have? The journey is steep and at times I have grown dizzy looking down from the great heights at the Earth below. The path through the stars leads near great, dangerous creatures. You would have top pass Taurus, the giant bull and by the fierce lion. If you succeed in getting past them you would face the Scorpion with its huge deadly stinger and the pinching claws of the great Crab. I beg you to pick some other gift. Think of all the riches in the world or pearls from the boundless sea. Ask for any of these and I shall gladly give it to you.

But Phaeton refused to change his mind and insisted on driving the chariot of the Sun. Apollo sighed and led the boy to the magnificent chariot. It was made of blazing gold , with golden wheels that had spokes of silver. The chariot was embedded with rubies and other precious gems. But unlike Earthly jewels, these gave off a dazzling glow. The horses were called and then brought forth by the Hours, goddesses who waited upon the sun.

At the time Aurora, goddess of the Dawn, opened the curtains of her splendid palace and the skies were filled with a rosy glow.

The sun-god spoke, “It is almost time for the chariot to begin its daily course. But there is still time for me to take your place. Heed my plea and let me go forth, my son.”

But the lad still wanted to have his heart’s desire. So his father anointed Phaeton’s head with a magic oil and then placed the crown of light on the boy’s head. Then he gave instruction, ” Do not use the whip on the horses, my child, for the stallions have enough energy to speed forward on their own, Use the reins to restrain them since your must take the middle path through the heavens, That will be the safest for you and give the Earth the proper light and heat.

The glow from Aurora’s palace had now turned golden and the morning star had set. Thus the day beckoned the horses of the Sun who were pawing the ground and letting out blasts of the fiery flames with each snort. wit a bolt, they charged forth. But their load was much lighter than what they were used to, so these steeds ran faster and wilder than usual.

Poor Phaeton was terror-stricken and could barely hold the reins much less restrain the powerful horses. Higher and higher the stallions went and thus the rays of the Sun chariot grew distant from the Earth. The sky turned black as night, with the Sun only as a speck of light far above. The horses of the sun ran towards the pole star and in doing so came near the giant serpent. This serpent for ages had been sluggish and harmless since it was in the icy-cold regions of the pole star. But now the great heat from the sun chariot awoke the horrible snake and it hissed, exhaling poisonous breath.

As Pheaton looked down from this great height, his head grew dizzy and he felt sick in his stomach. With the furious horses of fire running madly before him, Phaeton wished he had never set foot in his father’s chariot. Now the chariot was speeding head-long toward the gigantic Scorpion. The huge monster raised its tail in an attempt to slash out with is stinger. Then the fear-struck boy completely dropped the reins and the unchecked horses galloped downwards.

Closer and closer the fiery chariot came to the Earth. Rivers began to dry up, cities and forest caught fire because of the great heat. Neptune raised his head from the sea and shook his trident angrily at the chariot of the sun. But the air was so hot that Neptune soon dove back into the seep blue sea. As the chariot crossed the continent of Africa it was so close that it set on fire the great Sahara forest. That wooded region of northern Africa was reduced to ashes and burning sands.

All creatures began to cry to Zeus for help because of the unbearable heat. The gods. the humans, the animals, and the Earth herself were afraid that everything would soon be burned up. Zeus listened to their plea and then he climbed on high. He was armed with a thunderbolt and he threw the deadly shaft at the chariot of the sun. The magic oil Apollo had put on Phaeton protected the boy from the heat and the flames of the chariot, but it could not save him from a thunderbolt of Zeus. There was a deafening crash as the lightening shattered the chariot and Phaeton fell wrapped in sizzling flames. The horses ran home while pieces of the wrecked chariot fell hissing into the sea.

Quickly the master craftsman of the gods, Vulcan, made a new golden chariot for the sun. But Apollo was so sad over his son’s death that he refused to drive it. So the next day passed without sunlight.Zeus and the other gods then came and pleaded with Apollo, begging him not to leave the world in darkness. the sun god spoke bitterly of his son’s death at the hand of Zeus.

But the chief of gods replied, “You have lost a son, true. But how many men on Earth were burned up? I had no choice but to blast the fiery chariot, otherwise every creature on Earth would have been destroyed.”

With these words and those of the other gods, Apollo was finally persuaded to return to his rightful duty. He bridled his fiery horses to the Sun chariot the next day and the Sun once again traveled its correct course. It still gives proper light and heat to this very day.

Written by Tseday

September 17, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Compare Mayan and Egyptian Mythology

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Comparing Mayan mythology to Egyptian, one finds uncanny similarities.

In Egyptian mythology, Osiris was creator and first ruler of Egypt. He was popular with his subjects, but his brother, Seth, was jealous of his popularity, plotted against him, deceived Osiris and killed him. Seth then cut the body into 14 pieces and spread the pieces throughout Egypt.

When Isis (wife of Osiris) learned her husband was killed, she searched Egypt looking for his body parts. She found all but one part, and using magic she put his body back together and wrapped him in bandages. During the process of putting him back together, Isis breathed life back into Osiris’ body and became impregnated, conceiving their son Horus.

The young Horus went out to battle his uncle Seth and avenge his father’s death.

After a series of contests and battles, neither god was able to secure an overall victory. Ultimately Osiris was declared king of the underworld, Horus king of the living, and Seth ruler of the deserts as the god of chaos and evil.

Horus eventually avenged his father’s death by killing his uncle Seth.

Horus became the god of the sky. One of his eyes is the sun and the other is the moon. Both are seen each day and night when, as a falcon, Horus flies across the sky.

One fascinating notion is that both the Egyptian and Mayan account described in this video could possibly have been derived from a more ancient source.

Even more remarkable parallels have been found between Mayan mythology and the biblical account of creation in the book of Genesis.

Written by Tseday

September 13, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Aithiopians

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“People, Places & Things: Ethiopians” By Michael Stewart
Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant
http://messagenet.com/myths/ppt/Ethiopians_1.html

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The “long lived” race who lived to the south of Egypt; they are mentioned several times by the historian, Herodotus, and the poet, Homer, but the exact location of their homeland is not made clear.

Herodotus comments that the Ethiopians became more like the Egyptians after the two hundred and forty thousand Egyptian soldiers garrisoned at Elephantine deserted their posts and were given asylum by an Ethiopian king and were assimilated into the native population; Herodotus also reports that of the three hundred and thirty kings of Egypt, one was a woman and eighteen were Ethiopians, the rest were Egyptian men.

During the reign of the blind Egyptian king, Anysis, an Ethiopian named Sabakos (Sabacos) invaded Egypt and ruled for fifty years; Sabakos left Egypt of his own free will because of an oracle and a dream; the oracle said he would rule Egypt for only fifty years and his dream implied that if he did not leave Egypt on the fiftieth year, he would be punished by gods and men; the legacy of Sabakos was that, while king of Egypt, he sentenced criminals to work on civic improvement projects, primarily the building of embankments around cities to protect them from the flooding Nile River.

In the Histories, Herodotus tells how the Persian ruler, Kambyses (Cambyses) sent spies to Ethiopia to see if the Table of the Sun actually existed; the Table of the Sun was a meadow where the Ethiopians in authority would nightly bring food and leave it for anyone who wanted it; the spies that Kambyses sent were Egyptians called Fish-Eaters from Elephantine, a city on the Upper Nile, i.e. the southern portion of the river.

The Ethiopians were reputed to be some of the tallest and most beautiful people in the world and Kambyses was aware that the Ethiopian kings were chosen only from the tallest and proportionally strongest men of their race; he sent beautiful gifts because he wanted to impress them with his generosity and lull them into thinking he was potentially their friend; when the Fish-Eaters gave the Ethiopian king Kambyses’ gifts, the king rejected the cloth, the myrrh and the gold but pronounced the wine to be good; he explained that the Ethiopians only ate boiled meat and drank only milk and that they lived at least one hundred and twenty years; they also bathed in a spring whose water smelled of violets and was so light that nothing would float on the water.

Seeing through Kambyses’ feigned friendship, the Ethiopian king gave the Fish-Eaters an enormous bow and told them that the Persians should not consider attacking them until they could string the bow and to be thankful that the Ethiopians were not greedy and aggressive because, if that was so, the Persians would lose their lives and land to the superior men of Ethiopia.

Herodotus also mentions another aspect of the Ethiopians which would make it seem that he regarded most of the non-Egyptian Africans to be “Ethiopians;” in describing the geography of Libya, Herodotus tells of the cave-dwelling Ethiopians; they ate snakes, lizards and other reptiles; they were fleet of foot and had voices like the squeaking of bats; another tribe of Libyans, the Garamantes, hunted the Ethiopians with four-horse teams but whether the Garamantes hunted the cave-dwellers for sport or food is not clear.

Herodotus also mentions Ethiopians from Asia and their tribute to the Persian Empire; the Asian Ethiopians who fought in the army of Xerxes had straight hair and were teamed with the Indians whereas the Ethiopians who were teamed with the Arabians were from Africa and had wooly hair; other than their hair and speech, the Asian and African Ethiopians seemed to be of the same race; the nation of Cyprus had Ethiopians in its population.

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September 1, 2008 at 3:52 pm

DELPHOS OF DELPHI

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Delphos of Delphi
Author: Eloise McKinney Johnson
The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 67, No. 3 (Autumn, 1982), pp. 279-282
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“… historical accounts, myths, and legends, and some monuments of Delphi indicate that the oracle [of Apollo] was established there by Pharoahs of the Ethiopian Dynasty. This is the reason why the Greeks portrayed Delphos, the eponymous hero of Delphi, as a Negro…”

The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, Greece, is an important symbol of wisdom in Western literature. It is the most famous of the ancient oracles-sources of divine data. Western literature, however, seldom mentions this oracle’s origin among the black people of ancient Ethiopia and Egypt.
That world-famed Delphi is named for “a Negro” is a carefully shrouded secret. Mythology books in the English language tell us that Delphi means dolphin and that the area’s first settler arrived from Crete astride a dolphin’s back. These books, however, ignore Delphos and his Ethiopian origins. Even today, one may tour the hallowed grounds of Delphi and depart without learning of Delphos.
Delphi’s being named for Delphos is especially significant for scholars of African history. Delphi’s celebrated Oracle of Apollo was, in ancient times, the Western world’s international center for intellectual pursuits and political intrigues. It was, also, an exceedingly prosperous business. Sovereigns and scholars traveled long distances to consult the Oracle’s priestesses-for a fee. These priestesses, savvy ladies, cultivated clients by specializing in Delphic (ambiguous) pronouncements which one could inter- pret as one wished.
Herodotus, a Greek historian of the fifth century, reports, for example, that Croesus, a wealthy king of Lydia, donated the following gifts to curry the Oracle’s favor:
Of every kind of appropriate animal he slaughtered three thousand; he burnt in a huge pile a number of precious objects-couches overlaid with gold or silver, golden cups, tunics, and other richly coloured garments-in the hope of binding the god more closely to his interests; and he issued a command that every Lydian was also to offer a sacrifice according to his means. After this ceremony he melted down an enormous quantity of gold into one hundred and seventeen ingots about eighteen inches long, nine inches wide, and three inches thick; four of the ingots were of refined gold weighing approximately a hundred and forty-two pounds each; the rest were alloyed and weighed about a hundred and fifteen pounds. He also caused the image of a lion to be made of refined gold, in weight some five hundred and seventy pounds.
Later, when King Croesus asked whether he should wage a war against the Persians, the Oracle replied: “A powerful empire will fall.” Croesus waged war and lost his own empire.
To appreciate Peter Tompkins’ quotation on the Ethiopian Delphos at the beginning of this article, we must consider the myth of Chronos (Saturn)-a god of the heavens- and his wife Rhea (Ops)-an Earth Mother goddess-early divinities at Delphi, mem- bers of the Titan race.
Chronos, whose name means “time,” devoured his children as soon as they were born. (Time consumes all things produced in time.) He believed a prophecy that one of the children would seize his throne; thus, he protected his power by devouring them at birth.
Rhea, aggrieved in losing her children, saved the last one by substituting a stone. This last child was the infant Zeus (Jupiter or Jove), later to become king of the Olympian race of gods.
While Chronos consumed the stone substitute, Rhea spirited the baby Zeus to the island of Crete. This substituted stone-or a facsimile of it-appears today in the museum at Delphi. The Greeks call it an omphalos or “navel,” and it designates Delphi the center of Greece.
The omphalos at Delphi is not original; for such a stone existed earlier in Egypt, where it served a similar geodetic purpose in designating the country’s center. Tomp- kins says: “The omphalos of Delphi was similar to the object which represented the god Amon of Thebes, the navel of Egypt.”
Both in Greece and in Egypt, the omphalos is an ovoidal stone, akin to a beehive in form and covered with a net called an agrenon. This net, according to Tompkins, symbolizes “what even today we call the net of meridians and parallels” and is still vital to all geodetic surveys.
The word Apollo means “stone”; and it may be more than a coincidence that the name Peter, so important to Christian worshippers, also means “stone” or “rock.”
Further evidence of Delphos’-the “dolphin man’s”-African roots resides in repli- cas of an oxyrhynchus (“sharp-snout”) fish resembling a dolphin, recently shown in conjunction with the Treasures of Tutankhamon Exhibition in the United States. These bronze, Ethiopian fish replicas date from 3,000 B.C. and have sun-disk crowns bearing the Uraeus or rearing cobra-major emblem of ancient Ethiopian and Egyptian royalty. Dr. Richard King, a Los Angeles psychiatrist, affirms the ethnic significance of the Uraeus, observing that it sits over the pineal gland that manufactures melanin, producer of black complexions. 
Two cities in ancient history bear the name of “Thebes.” One is on the Nile River near Luxor in Egypt; the other is in Greece-probably deriving its name from Egyptian- Theban colonists. Herodotus states that Amon was the Egyptian name for Zeus at Thebes-on-the-Nile,”‘ but adds that the only two gods universally worshipped there were Osiris and Isis, who were the parents of a son, Horus. The Egyptians inherited Osiris, Isis, and Horus from the more ancient Ethiopians. Osiris is, indeed, the probable forerunner not only of Zeus in Greece but also of Buddha in India, Fuhi in China, Xaha in Japan, and Quetzalcoatl in Mexico-all of whom were black and had woolly hair.
An Ethiopian/Egyptian/Greek connection looms when we learn from noted Egyp- tologist E. A. Wallis Budge that: Osiris . . . took great pleasure in music and dancing. He, therefore, carried along with him a train of musicians, of whom nine were virgins, most excellent singers and expert in many other things (whom the Greeks called Muses) of whom Apollo (i.e., Horus) was the captain and was therefore the Leader of the Muses.
Our Ethiopian/Egyptian/Greek connection becomes clearer when Diodorus of Sicily (circa 80 B.C.-20 B.C.) informs us that-in the beginning, Egypt was not land but sea and gradually formed as silt from Ethiopia built up from deposits of the Nile River. Diodorus says, too, that Ethiopians colonized Egypt under the leadership of Osiris.
The Osiris’ observations by Diodorus and Budge denote a direct link between the ancient Ethiopians and the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. In other words, the early Ethiopians-whom Homer describes in his Iliad as being cherished by Zeus above all others-sailed down the Nile to colonize Egypt and continued to establish colonies in Crete, in Greece-and elsewhere.  Osiris, Amon/Zeus-the father god-and Horus/ Apollo-the son/sun god-are the link. This is the reason why the founding Greeks portrayed Delphos, the eponymous hero of Delphi, as a Negro.

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September 1, 2008 at 12:52 am