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4. Mæurs des Sauvages Américains Comparées aux Mæurs des
premiers Temps. Par JOSEPH FRANÇOIS LAFITAU.
IX. NOTICES AND CRITICISMS..
Education and Belles-lettres...
Biography and Autobiography.
VIII. LOGIC AS AN AGENCY OF REFORM,
NATIONAL QUARTERLY REVIEW.
ART. 1.-1. Tree and Serpent Worship; or, Illustrations of
Mythology and Art in India in the First and Fourth Centuries after Christ. By James Fergusson, Esq., F. R. S., M. R. A. S. London : India Museum, 1868.
2. American Archæological Researches, No. 1. The Serpent
Symbol, and the Worship of the Reciprocal Principles of
3. The Worship of the Serpent traced throughout the World, and
its Traditions referred to the Events in Paradise ; proving the Temptation and Fall of Man by the Instrumentality of a Serpent-tempter. By the Rev. John BATHURST DEANE, M. A. London. 1830.
“THERE are few things,” says Mr. Fergusson,* " which at first sight appear to us at the present day so strange, or less easy to account for, than that worship which was once so generally offered to the serpent-god. If not the oldest, it ranks, at least, among the earliest forms through which the human intellect sought to propitiate the unknown powers. Traces of its existence are found not only in every country
* Introduction, p. 1. VOL. XXIV. -NO. XLIX,
of the Old World ; but before the New was discovered by us, the same strange idolatry had long prevailed there, and even now the worship of the serpent is found lurking in out-ofthe-way corners of the globe, and startles us at times with the unhallowed rites which seem generally to have been associated with its prevalence.” There is abundant evidence to prove the truth of these statements, and it will probably surprise those who think that serpent-worship was an ancient Asiatic practice, to be told that it prevailed in Italy under the Romans, and was found in full vigor in Mexico by the Spaniards when they invaded that country. In the present article we propose to summarize this evidence-to give it in detail would occupy too much space-and to discuss the nature and meaning of serpent-worship.
This worship seems to have been nearly universal among the primitive nations of the earth. It may be traced wherever there existed a monument of civilization or humanity.* In ancient Egypt the serpent was worshipped with a certain degree of pre-eminence over other animals, but not exclusively. The Egyptians worshipped all created beings in a greater or less degree. Their heroes and kings were gods; and they paid divine honors to bulls, beetles, crocodiles, cats, and dogs; so that it can only be said that the serpent was more honored by them than his associated gods. He frequently appears in the sculptures of the temples and in a place of honor, such as the brow of a king, or as a prominent ornament of his dress; yet it would be incorrect to designate the Egyptians as serpent-worshippers only. The reptile was much more honored by the original inhabitants of Canaan and Syria than by them. The ancient coins of Tyre contain representations of the serpent, and there is the testimony of that most ancient author, Sanchoniathon, who is supposed to have lived before the Trojan war, that is to say, in the twelfth century before the * Tod Rajasthan, vol. I, p. 580.
+ Herodotus, ii, 74. Quoted by Eusebius, Præ. Evan., i, 9, and by Müller, Fragmenta, iii, 572.