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EARLY CHRISTIANITY

according to the historians of Greece, that they were the most ancient people of the globe, that amongst them first originated the worship of the gods, and that they were the first inventors of religious rites and

    Egypt and Ethiopia might lead to interesting results. In the short space of a note it would be useless to attempt it. Diod. Sic. amongst the ancients has avowed his opinion that the Egyptians were an Ethiopian colony, (lib. iii. c. 2. p. 175.) He informs us that the Ethiopians had formerly used hieroglyphics, and that the hieroglyphics were called Ethiopian letters, and he seems to think that they originated amongst that people:—περι δε των Αιθιοπικων γραμματων, των παρ' Αιγυπτιοις καλουμενων ἱερογλυφικων, ῥητεον, ἱνα μηδεν παραλειπωμεν των αρχαιολογουμενων. συμβεβηκε τοινυν τους μεν τυπους ὑπαρχειν αυτων ὁμοιως ζωοις παντοδαποις και ακρωτηριοις ανθρωπων, ετι δ'οργανοις, και μαλιστα τεκτονικοις. ου γαρ εκ της των συλλαβων δυνθεσεως ἡ γραμματικη παρ' αυτοις τον ὑποκειμενον λογον αποδιδωσιν, αλλ' εξ εμφασεως των μεταγραφομενων και μεταφορας μνημη συνηθλημενης. (c. iv. p. 176.) Heliodorus says—ταινιαν γραμμασιν Αιθιοπικοις ου δημοτικοις, αλλα βασιλικοις εδτιγμενην, ἁ δε τοις Αιγυπτιων ἱερατικοις καλουμενοις ὡμοιωνται. (Heliod. Ethiop. lib. iv. p. 174.) We find Egypt mentioned in the book of Genesis as a flourishing kingdom as early as the days of Abraham and Joseph, and at the same time we find such a marked difference between the Egyptians and the people of Syria and Palestine that the former were not allowed by their laws to eat of the same food. The Egyptian colony cannot therefore have come from the north. In the time of the patriarchs the kingdom of Egypt is believed to have been confined to Upper Egypt and the Thebaid. Bruce thinks that the colony which founded Thebes came from Siré, in Ethiopia. One of the principal deities of the Ethiopic and Arabian theologies was named Siris; Diodorus says that the proper name of the Egyptian deity was Siris, which the Greeks, by prefixing O, transformed into Osiris.