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in the symbolism of the great nature-goddess ArtemisEphesia-Polymastos, whose chief priest was called Essên, the King-bee. The bee-swallowing Lion is the raging Athamas consuming the nourishing vegetation of the earth, whose happy voice is uplifted in the murmuring of innumerable bees.' ?
The last instance of the connexion between Sun and Lion which I shall mention is the zodiacal Leo, the Akkadio-Assyrian Sign of the month Abu, Aramaic Ab (July-August), the Akkadian name of which is Ab ab-gar, ‘Fire-that-makes-fire,' the period of the full sway of the burning Athamas-Tammuz. I have treated of the original connexion between the Sun and the Signs in a separate monograph.”
Subsection 2. The Contest. Such, then, being the characteristics of the mythological Lion and Unicorn, they are, like the Lion and the Leopard, naturally antagonistic; and their contest is the converse of that of these two latter animals. As the Lion, fast in the cave, is gnawed to death by the Leopard who comes round behind him, so the Unicorn when rushing at the Lion sticks his horn fast in a mythic Tree behind which his opponent has taken refuge, and the Lion coming round devours him whilst thus defenceless. This incident of the
1 Vide K. O. Müller, Doric Race, i. 403-4. 2 Vide G. D. M. i. 401 et seq.
* For further detail respecting the leonine sun, vide R. P. Knight, Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology, edit. 1876, pps. 75, 97, 112; R: B. Jr., G. D. M. ii. 61.
story, when taken in connexion with the Leopardmyth, shows that no real animal has supplied a foundation for the belief. Spencer thus gives the legend ;
Like as a lyon whose imperial powre .
Strikes in the stocke, ne thence can be releast,
Malone, commenting on the passage, · Unicorns may be betray'd with trees,'? quotes Bussy D'Ambois, 1607 ;
• An angry unicorne in his full career
Nail him with his rich antler to the earth.' : On the passage · Wert thou the Unicorn, pride and wrath would confound thee, and make thine own self the conquest of thy fury,'3 Sir Thos. Hanmer quotes from Gesner, History of Animals, The Unicorn and the Lion being enemies by nature, as soon as the lion sees the unicorn he betakes himself to a tree: the unicorn in his fury, and with all the swiftness of his course, running at him, sticks his. horn fast in the tree, and then the lion falls upon him and kills him.' ..? Faerie Queene, II. v. 10.. . ? Julius Caesar, ii. 1.
3 Timon of Athens, iv. 3.
Schliemann gives a representation of a gold plate from Mykênê with a design which he says “represents a lion chasing a stag; the fore feet of the former are in a horizontal line to show the great speed with which he is running; he has just overtaken the stag, which sinks down before him, and his jaws are wide open to devour it. The representation of the stag which has no horns, is clumsy and indistinct.'1 This is not a correct description of the design; the so-called stag, half of which only is shown, has a head and neck like that of a horse, and a peculiar crest not unlike that with which the Gryphon is at times supplied. I rather think that it has also one short horn, and far from sinking down, or flying, as might be implied from Schliemann's description, it awaits the lion's charge with lowered head, and is apparently the larger animal of the two. I do not assert that the design represents the contest of Lion and Unicorn, but it certainly bears a great resemblance to this famous duel.
The myth is of course very easy to explain in the light of the foregoing considerations. The Lion-sun flies from the rising Unicorn-moon and hides behind the Tree or Grove of the Underworld ; 2 the Moon pursues and, sinking in her turn, is caught in this mysterious Tree and sun-slain. So, curiously enough, we read in a Babylonian Astrological tablet, Sin Samsa : la 4 yu-ci-va; na-an-dhur aryai 5 u akhi.6
1 M. and T., 308-9. Vide sec. III., No. XXXIII. Vide subsec. 3. s Heb. viny
5 Heb. ning • Heb. Dink (Isaiah, xiii. 21.)
• The Moon the Sun does not face; appearance of lions and hyaenas.' So, again ;- The Moon and Sun with one another are seen : king to king hostility sends.'? • The Sun in the place where the Moon set is fixed.'3 So some Families who bear the Unicorn as Arms or Crest have such mottoes as • Tenez le droit,' • Cassis_ tutissima virtus,' etc. Moonlight as involving com-in parative cold and frigidity, not unnaturally connects the Moon in idea with chastity..
Subsection 3. The Grove of the Underworld. As the Lion is caught in the straightness of a cave, so the Unicorn is caught in a Tree; and I will first briefly notice the mythic statements respecting this Tree and its reduplication as a Grove, and secondly consider the meaning of the occult myth. : First, then, as to the Tree-myth : the Tree constantly comes before us in connexion with the Unicorn in archaic art,* and in addition to the foregoing instances, I may mention a very remarkable gold signet-ring found by Schliemann at Mykênê, on which is shown the conventional Tree' whose stem certainly resembles that of a palm; it has fifteen short branches on which we see no leaves, but large clusters of a small fruit, each cluster resembling a
i T. S. B. A. iii. 305. It will be observed that IIebrew is a dialect of the Semitic Babylonio-Assyrian.
2 W. A. I. III. lviii., 1-2, ap. Prof. Sayce. 3 Ibid. III. lxiv. Rev. 22.
4 Vide Frontispiece ; sec. III., Nos. I. II. III. VI. VIII. XII. XIII, XVIII. XXVII. ; sec. VI.
5 M. and T., tig. 530, p. 354.
pine apple.' One savant regards it as a pine, another as a breadfruit-tree, another as a clumsy representation of a vine ; but it is none of these, being merely the conventional Tree of the myth, which in art has passed as far westwards as Mykênê, and is often a palm (Euphratean type) or poplaresque (Kamic type), the two being found jointly under Phoenician influence. · The types of the Sacred Tree of Assyria are now very familiar to us from the works of Assyriologists and otherwise; in some instances divinities stand or kneel on each side of it. "A sacred tree, an ox, a bee'' were special Babylonian symbols. Thus a Babylonian Cylinder gives "Sacred Tree, Seated Figure on each side, and Serpent in background,' a combination which links it with the Biblical Tree of Life ;4 and an Assyrian Cylinder5 shows 'Sacred Tree, or Grove, with attendant Cherubim.' A Kamic representation 6 gives the cypress 7 shades guarded by fire-breathing uraei,' the solar-serpents of good; in these secure retreats the bodies of the just await their ultimate revivification. The symbolical trees are in each case trees of the country where the myth originated.
Pherekydes 8 of Syros, a writer of reputed Phoenician descent and whose works show the strongest
"A. M. iii, 32.