« السابقةمتابعة »
Vli. On a Phoenician gem found at Cnidos1 is represented the sun radiate, a large crescent moon, and between the two a small circle—perhaps the planet Venus, whilst below are two rude heads of a unicorn bull and cow.2
Vm. A Unicorn-bull stands near the Sacred Tree, on the other side of which is a priest with a knife.3
IX. The well-known bas-relief at Persepolis called 'Lion devouring a Bull,' is in reality 'Lion attacking a Unicorn.' The latter animal, semi-rampant and regardant, and with only one large horn, is seized behind by the lion. On this group Professor Eawlinson remarks;—
'This is a representation of a lion seizing and devouring a bull; the latter animal is evidently powerless to offer any resistance to the fierce beast which has sprung upon him from behind.* In his agony the bull rears up his fore-parts, and turns his head feebly towards his assailant. .... This favourite group, which the Persian sculptors repeated without the slightest change from generation to generation.'5 The design was favourite because highly archaic and symbolical. No man has ever seen a lion attack a unicorn, but the contest between sun and moon, between day and night, was watched from the first with the closest interest. Sun and moon may equally combine against darkness and chaos, or contend against each other.'1
1 Lajard, Culte de Venus, pi. iii. fig. 8. 2 Vide No. XXII. 2.
* Layard, ap. Inman, Ancient Faiths, vol. i. fig. 66.
X. A Persian Cylinder2 shows the Unicorn-goat held in the arms of a divinity ; 8 opposite is the sun radiate.
XL Another Assyrian scene from Layard 4 shows a man adoring a winged Unicorn-bull, above which appear the sun radiate, the crescent moon, and also the seven planets. It will be remembered that the Unicorn-stag is the creature which I regard as especially lunar; the representation shows how familiar is the idea of a Unicorn.
XII. 'Tree of Life, between two Gryphons.'5 This cylinder-scene represents the Sacred Tree 6 between two winged Unicorns (not Gryphons) rampant, each turned towards it. The Tree is of the archaic palm-type. "With this may be compared the two Unicorns and the Palm in No. HE.
XIII. 'Cow7 and calf before a tree; over them the Sun and Planets. The representation of the animal presents a striking analogy to that of the bull
1 This contest between Day and Night, is shown farther west on coins of Akanthos, where the lion-sun seizes the bull of night which is apparently unicornic. In later idea the design embraces the contest between the principles of destruction and renewal (vide G. D. M. i. 387).
* A. M. 354. s Vide No. XIX. 4.
4 Ap. King, A. G. R. vol. ii. pi. i. 6g. 1. 5 Ibid. fig. 7.
* Perhaps this tree may, as Mr. King suggests, have been also originally connected with the cult of the Vedic Soma, the Iranian Ilaoma, the Omomi of Plutarch, and the Horn of Anquetil du Perron (vid» B. B. Jr., G. D. M. cap. IX. sec. ii. Theoinot).
7 On the question whether a cow or a bull is represented, and why, vide No. XXIX.
regardant on the coins of Sybaris. Conical seal.'1 The seal in question shows the Unicorn-cow (or bull) with the usual prominent (lunar) eye, before the tree; and, as frequently, regardant. The horned moon it will of course be remembered, is frequently connected with the bull or cow, indeed more frequently than with the Unicorn; and the Bull and Cow, emblems of increase, are also connected with Night as a period of growth. The nocturnal Sun, too, iş at times bovine; in contradistinction to the diurnal and leonine Sun. We must expect to find frequently a mixture of ideas in a symbolical representation. This Unicorn-cow (if a cow it be) seems, as shown by the calf, to be kosmogonic as well as lunar; but the old attitude of the head, the prominent eye, the single horn and the tree are still preserved. The smaiden unicorn' can have no calf; but the Old Moon is at times seen in the Young Moon's arms, i.e., when in addition to the sun-lit portion of the moon, the obscure portion is faintly visible on account of the reflection of the earth-shine ;' called lumen incinerosum, a Cinderella-moon.
XIV. It is convenient to notice next the archaic coinage of Sybaris referred to by Mr. King. Sybaris was colonised from Achaia, B.C. 721, and the coins in question may be placed prior to B.C. 600. Leake
1 King, A. G. R. vol. ï. pl. ii. fig. 4. 2 Vide Nos. II. III. IX. : Vide G. D. M. cap. IX. sec. iii. Taurokerós.
4 'Late late yestreen I saw the new moone
(Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens, 7.).
describes the type as 'Bull standing to left, with head reverted ;' and remarks, 'This type is probably symbolical of the river Crathis.'1 As in previous instances no attention is paid to the circumstance that the animal, whatever else it may be, is a unicorn, in this case a unicorn-bull. I do not absolutely assert that it is a lunar emblem; but it is certainly a link in the chain of unicornic representations, and has faithfully preserved the regardant attitude. As one of a series it is quite unconnected with the river Crathis, a circumstance also shown by the fact that this class of symbolical river-representations were not unicornic but purely bovine with respect to the head, such as that of the Achelobs, one of whose horns was broken oflf in his contest with Herakles.2
XV. The demi-Unicorn-bull alone, and also the heads of the Lion and Unicorn-bull fronting each other, as if combatant, appear on coins of Kypros. Archaic coins of Sardis also show the Demi-lion and Demi-bull (not Unicorn-bull), the same type, combatant. On another coin of Sardis the demi-Unicorn-bull appears alone.3
XVI. Another Sardian coin shows the heads of the Lion and Unicorn-bull addorsed and joined at the neck, a fore foot of each being added. This type is almost certainly borrowed from Persia; at Persepolis the double Unicorn-bull-capital appears, the bodies of the bulls being joined below the neck, and a fore foot of each being added.1 This is probably ornamentation as distinct from symbolism.
1 Numismata Hellenica, ii. 144. s Vide O. D. M. i. 388.
3 Vide Humphrey, Coin Collectors' Manual, pi. i. figs. 2, 4, 5. He well observes,' the type of the bull and lion would appear to have been derived from Persia or Assyria ' (vol. i. 13).
XVII. Unicornic monsters are also shown on Persian gems, cylinders, and sculptures. These creatures, however, are not lunar, but reproductions of the Akkadian and Assyrian evil-spirits, Tiamat and her brood, who often attack the Moon-god. 'One of them has the griffin head, a feathered crest and neck, a bird's wings, a scorpion's tail,2 and legs terminating in the claws of an eagle.' 3
XVILL. A very interesting Assyrian or Babylonian Cylinder given by Creuzer4 from Ker Porter and Guigniaut, shows above in the centre the Supreme Divinity, having the crescent moon and seven planets on his right hand, and the eight-rayed radiate sun on his left. Beneath the crescent stands the Moon-god armed, ' auf ein ungefliigeltes Einhorn [Unicorn] tretend.'6 -Before him stands the figure of a votary, behind whom and beneath the Divinity is the Sacred Tree, beyond which and beneath the sun is the figure of the Sun-god armed, and holding over the Tree what is apparently a necklet. A cuneiform inscrip
1 Vide Bawlinson, A. M. iii. fig. 87, p. 305.
2 This is a specially interesting feature; the Scorpion, as I have shown elsewhere (The Archaic Solar-Cult of Egypt), was originally a type of darkness. The darkness in archaic idea first stings the Sun to death, and then when kosmic order is realised, guards it. This is the basis of the Akkadian myth of the giant' Scorpion-men' found by Izdubar. 'At the rising of the sun and the setting of the sun, they guard the sun' (Izdubar Tablets, No. ix., ap. Smith, C. A. G. 259).
3 Eawlinson, A, M. iii. 334. 4 Symbolik, vol. v. fig. 8. 5 Vide p. 16, note 3.