Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/112

This page needs to be proofread.


NOTES -AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. FEB. s, 1902.

rites seems quite feasible, and may help to explain the existence of Orphism m Homer and elsewhere, albeit some contend that these passages are spurious. Many of these early settlers in the plains of Attica wor- shipped the Pelasgian Zeus, whose temple is the sky, the unseen father dwelling alone, whose resemblance to the Hebraic Jahveh is, to say the least, noteworthy. These immi- grants built a temple in which they hung a perpetual lamp," and from certain remains it is conjectured they lived on rocks, resembling the " rock-dwellers " of the Scriptures. There are many other citable facts, all pointing more or less directly to Semitic strands in the rites and ceremonies of the Greeks. Nor can the relation of the Pythagoreans to the question be overlooked. Herodotus records that Pythagoras brought back from Egypt a complete insight into the arcana of Egyptian priestcraft, among which was the theory of metempsychosis, of the immortality of the soul, and of " clean and unclean." The Pythagoreans possessed many traits in com- mon with the Essenes.

All this heterogeneous evidence shows that the barriers between Hellenism and Judaism were never so wide but a day would come when the two systems could merge and flourish in one camp. That camp was to be Essenism. In fact, the Rabbis, whose toler- ance is constantly receiving signal demon- stration, favoured Hellenism, and even dis- covered in Gen. ix. 27 a prophetic sanction to harmonious intercourse between Aryan and Semite. Reference to Alexander has already been made supra. Now when that emperor founded Alexandria, 332 B.C., he little dreamt that the decaying forces of Hellenism were to spring into renewed activity in less than a century from his death. About 260 B.C. the Alexandrian Jews translated the Scriptures into Greek, and so enabled the Therapeutte a similar sect to the Essenes to obtain an insight into Mosaism.^ Regarding the existence of this band of Socialists there raged a battle royal between Graetz and Zeller. But if Zeller is correct, it follows that the Alexandrian Jews must have had an object-lesson in communistic living ready made. Now intercourse between Judaea and Alex- andria was continuous, despite the fact of the building of the Onian temple near Heliopolis. Regular pilgrimages were made to Jerusalem, and tribute and offerings were religiously dispatched. Moreover, when Philo wrote his 'De Vita Contemplativa' it may reasonably be assumed that there were com- mumsticideasanoatinthephilosophicanddoc-

trinal controversies of the learned Alexandrine Jews, some of whom, bolder than the rest, may have returned to Judaea to put into a practical form what they had learnt from the Therapeutse in Egypt Hence, in all likeli- hood, arose the Essenes.

A sect that discouraged marriage was not destined to grow into a multitudinous race ; and, apart from this destructive factor, the religious tenets of the Essenes were lacking in the warmth arid colour of the parent faith, and thus could hardly compete with Judaism, even if the "selective" conditions of mem- bership did not oppose an impassable barrier to successful development.


Percy House, South Hackney.

ROLLO ON NORTH WYKE ALIAS MORETON WYKE. I should be glad if through your columns I could communicate with one Rollo, who, in 1899, wrote to the owner of North Wyke, in South Tawton, Devon, sug- gesting the identity of that estate with the Wica that in Edward the Confessor's day was held by Ordulf, and at the time of the Domesday survey by Robert, Earl of More- tain. Premising' that in the opinion of the Rev. O. G. Reichel (based, he believes, prin- cipally on the sequence in the Exeter Book) this Wica is represented by Wick in Sho- brook, and certainly not by Teignweek ah. Highweek, as sometimes conjectured, Rollo maintains that there are many grounds for passing over these claims in favour of North Wyke, in South Tawton. Accepting Worthy's statement that this North Wyke* was, in or about the reign of Henry II., held by William cle Wigornia, "a grandson of Waleran de Bellomonte, Earl of Mellant, created in 1144 first Earl of Worcester " (Comes Wigornise), and noting that in the Visitation of 1564 the name of the house appears as Moreton Wyke, Rollo advances the theory that it must have been included in those Devonshire estates of the Earl of Moretain which were bestowed by Henry I. on Reginald FitzHenry, Earl of Cornwall, and which upon Reginald's death were resumed by the king, with the exception of such estates as Reginald had given to his daughters.t One of these daughters being Maude, wife of Robert Bello- monte, Earl of Mellant and Worcester, there would be no difficulty in supposing her to

  • The topographers seem to have fallen into some

confusion between North Wyke in South Tawton, North Wyke in North Tawton, and Chawleigh Wyke als. Flambert's Wyke, near Chulmleigh.

t What historic evidence is there for the gift of Devonshire estates to Reginald's daughters ?