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in the hump, and three in the inner part of the flanks.' l The mouths are distributed amongst the phases in the same manner as the eyes. The hump, so far as any actual animal supplies the imagery, will be that of the Indian ox. The increased number may express intensity, and the mouths be more or less Gorgonian.
'The one horn is as it were of gold and hollow. With that horn it will vanquish and dissipate all the vile corruption due to the efforts of noxious creatures.'2 This is the pure buight unicorn's horn that drives away darkness and evil, cleanses streams and pools, and by which ' venym is defended.'8
'When it stales in the ocean all the sea-water will become purified. ... If, 0 three-legged ass! you were not created for the water, all the Avater in the sea would have perished.'4 The sea-and-water-ruling inoon.
'Tistar seizes the water more completely from the ocean with the assistance of the three-legged ass.' 5 In Bundahis, vii. 2, we read ;—
'Every single month is the owner of one constellation; the month Tir is the fourth month of the year, Cancer 6 the fourth constellation from Aries, so it is the owner of Cancer, into which Tistar sprang, and displayed the characteristics of a producer of
1 Bundahis, sec. 3. 2 Ibid. sees. 0, 7. 3 Vide sec. I.
4 Bundahis, xix. 10. * Ibid. sec. 11.
8 Kalakang-Karkinos. In another Monograph (to appear in the Archaeoloffia) I have considered the origin of the Signs of the Zodiac, and their antczodiacal character.
The Ass of the Bundahis. 65
rain.' Tistar, Tistrya or Tishtrya, is Sirius,1 who, as the stellar protagonist, co-operates with the Moon in ruling water and regulating that humidity which is necessary to vitality.
'Tistar was converted into three forms, the form of a man and the form of a horse and the form of a bull; thirty days and nights he was distinguished in brilliance; and in each form he produced rain ten days and nights; as the astrologers say that every constellation has three forms.'2
In this very interesting passage we see the Triform Moon reduplicated in a triform Sirius, himself in his glorious light a second moon. His special period of brilliance is that of the lunar course, and like the Moon, he takes the forms of horse and bull.8
When we get as late as the formulated systems of 'the astrologers,' each zodiacal constellation has three forms as divided into three decans, and it appears that the extra-zodiacal constellations were also regarded in some way as triform. These are the elaborations of previous simpler observation, and probably originally based upon lunar triformity. Thus Tistar ' the shining, majestic, the first ten nights unites himself with a body, with the body of a youth
1 'Le (re'uie de l'dtoilo Sirius' (Lenormant, Let Origines, 431). Of. Plutarch: 'Qpo/uifijr rov ovpavtiv atrrpois fudfrptjtrfV tva 8" atrrtpa npo ravrav olov tpi\aKct Km itpoinrriv iyKaritrnjat—rbv 2tlpiov (Pen Is. xlvii. It is now usual to deny that Plutarch wrote this Tractate; but I see no sufficient reason for the scepticism).
'Bundahis, vii. 4.
» The bovine moon is, of course, not the subject of this Monograph.
of fifteen years, a shining one, with bright eyes. The second ten nights, Tistar unites himself with a body, proceeding along the clear apace, with the body of a bull with golden hoofs.1 The third ten nights Tistar unites himself with a body, with the body of a horse, a shining, beautiful one, with yellow ears, with a golden housing.'2 These phases, however, do not really apply to Sirius but to Lunus, and hence their origin.
The three-legged lunar ass is found on coins and elsewhere under the familiar form of the Triquetra,3 the origin of which appears thus;—4
Fia. 1. Fig. 2.
It is familiar on coins of Sicily as the national monetary type, a connexion however which is probably merely based upon the shape of the island— Trinacria or, as the Roman poets sometimes actually call it, Triquetra. But in the case of the Isle of Man no such reason can be admitted as explanatory.5 Planche remarks;—
1 Of. the golden horn of the three-legged ass: the ancient Egyptians called silver ' white-gold.'
2 Khordah-Avesta, xxiv. 6, ap. Spiegel and Bleeck.
3 Vide sec. III. No. XXII. l Vide O. D. M. i. 408.
6 The Ilev. Is. Taylor observes, 'Mona and the Isle of Man are perhaps from the Welsh mon, separate' ( Word* and Flaces, 230, note 2). 'Separate' is but a feeble name to give to an island, considering also the wonderful suitability of nearly all truly archaic names. Far more probably is Man the Moon Island. The Triquetra seems to make this view almost. an absolute certainty.
The Ass'of the Bundahis. 67
'The arms of Man are legs, or in less equivocal language, the ancient kingdom of Man was, and the island itself is still, represented in heraldry by three legs in armour, conjoined at the thighs. Our example of this heraldic curiosity 1 is particularly interesting, because the armour in which the legs are encased is the banded mail of the thirteenth century, and therefore presents us with the earliest appearance of the armorial coat of that Island and Sovereignty, after it had ceased to be Norwegian, A.d. 12G4. The origin of the bearing has yet to be discovered.'2 Behold it.
On coins of the ancient Greek city of Metabon (Metapontion-Metapontum) on the Tarentine Gulf, the three crescent legs appear in a variant phase thus;— The dots show that the three crescents are really identical with the central dot or full-moon. A favourite type on coins of Metabon is the Ear-of-corn which is always, and doubtless justly, connected with local fertility and the F10. 3.
cult of Damater-Ceres; but at the same time the resemblance between the Ear and the Sacred Tree of the Euphrates Valley is very striking. Another coin of Metabon shows a bull's head, a type which may be lunar.1
1 Vide Arms of Man tern. Edward I. Mis. Cur. Coll. of Arms. There is not the slightest evidence that the device was originally a Norman importation, or that it is really connected with any local features.
• The Pursuivant of Arms, 143-4.
A triquetric ornament appears also at Troy and Mykene.2
1 Astarte appears at times on coins as cow-headed or bull-headed, in accordance with the statement that' she placed the head of a bull on her own head in token of sovereignty' (Sancn. i. 7). Pausanias (VI. xxiv. 6) mentions a statue of the Moon which had horns on its head, and Taurokeros is an Orphik epithet of Selene. So Porphyry states that the priestesses of Demeter ' called the moon, who presides over generation, a bull,' and adds,' and Taurus is the exaltation of the Moon' (Peri ton en Odysseia tun Nymphon antrou, viii.). According to Olympiodoros (MS. Comment. on the Qorgias),' the ancient theologists' said that'the Moon is drawn by two bulls; by two, on account of her increase and diminution; by bulls, because as these till the ground [Not much tillage is done by bulls], so the Moon governs all those parts which surround the earth.'
3 Vide Schliemann, Mycenae, figs. 382, 428, 601, 611, etc.