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(Class of 1814) 
President of Harvard College 

g^TVn Id works in ihe Intellectiul 












Mitb 5IIudtratfon5. 




lAU right* rearved.'] 



.JUN291883 , 

. / if < 




Everything has a pedigree. Everything, whether 
animate or inanimate, whether a thing of sense or 
a creation of the mind, every idea whether based on 
fact or the growth of a delusion, every truth and 
every error, has its pedigree. 

A pedigree is a line of ancestors, a chain of causes 
and eflFects, each link first an effect and then a cause. 
Rarely, if ever, is an effect the result of an isolated 
cause, but causes cross and interlace in such endless 
combinations, that novel effects are continually being 

The simplest facts have endless pedigrees of causes 
and effects. A pebble lying on the path appears a 
simple object, commonplace and uninteresting ; but 
let the geologist imfold its pedigree, and trace it 
down from the rock of which it was originally part, 
at a time when our planet was a barren lifeless mass 
of matter, and when it did not contain even the 
most elementary form of life; following this little 


lump of matter through all the convulsions of Nature, 
the vicissitudes of climate, the development of vege- 
table and animal life, and the thousand circumstances 
which have contributed to the reduction of that 
pebble to its present form and nature, and deter- 
mined its present situation, and we find a mass of 
causes and effects widening out in the retrospect 
with })owildering compUcation. 

And so with each living animal, lines of ancestors 
multiplying as they recede into antiquity in geome- 
trical proportion, until the ancestry seems to include 
the whole world of Nature, and involve all beings in 
one vast cousinship ; always exposed to vicissitudes 
of climate, food, and the endless other incidents of 
the great struggle for existence, ever at work, modi- 
fying the characteristics of each race, evolving new 
forms and making fixity of type impossible. 

Idea and ideals have also their pedigrees ; but the 
ancestor ideas are not so easily dissected as those of 
material facts. Still ideas and ideals are facts, none 
the less so, tliat they may have been imaginary and 
false. An idea is a fact although a mere figment of 
the brain, founded on a fallacy ; and when an idea 
becomes an article of faith, it becomes so strong a 
fact that it will be the parent of a thousand other 
ideas, each in its turn the father of a thousand 


Amongst ideas, that of the Devil may rank as one 
which has taken a powerful hold on the mind of man. 
The present volume is directed to an examination of 
some of the many causes which have contributed to 
the construction of the ideal DeviL 

It is difficult to discriminate with accuracy all the 
links which have formed the direct lines of descent, 
as each link in its turn has been a centre of radiation, 
a point of departure for other conceptions. It has 
been necessary to examine some of these collateral 
branches, in order to illustrate the process of diver- 
gence and point out some of the collateral relation- 
ships; and indeed the temptation to digress is 
great. But this has been done as little as possible, 
the object being, not to dogmatize on the result, but 
to examine the origin of a single but complex ideal, 
and the stages by which the result is connected with 
the original germs. 

The Devil treated of is the modern orthodox Devil 
of Christian Belief No attempt is therefore made to 
discuss the ideals and personifications of evil realized 
by other creeds, except so far a;& light may seem to 
be thrown on the history of the Christian DeviL 

As to the conclusions to which the facts may 
point, it is for each to form his own opinion. The 
existence or non-existence of the Devil, his person- 
ality or abstract existence, are not the questions 


treated of in these pages : an ideal of the Devil has 
existed, and stiU exists, and the only object is to 
trace the origin and evolution of that ideal 

Amongst the numerous works from which I have 
drawn materials for the pedigree, I would mention 
those of Mr. E. B. Tylor, Mr. Moncure Conway, M. 
Francois Lenormant, and the late Mr. Keightley, all 
of which have been of great assistance to me. I 
have endeavoured as far as possible to acknowledge 
in foot-notes the authorities from which I have 
drawn ; where I may not have done this, I still 
would express my indebtedness to those authors 
whose works I have used. 

R T. H. 

Moore Place, Esher, 
November^ 1882. 


p- ^ 

p. ix 

List of Iexusteatioxs p.3iii 

Thi Devil p. i 


Ei-n. p. 3 

Definitian of EtO — ^PersoDal.£Til — Social and Domestic Eril — 
National Eril — Theological and EeHgious Evil — Savage, 
Barbaric, and Civilized Moral Standards — Intolerance — 
Evil is ^Opposition.' 



Satax p. i6 

The Hebiew Satan— Old Testament Satans— The Satan of Job 
— Chaldean and Persian Inflnences — ^Hebrew Angels — 
Babbinical Demonology — Ahriman — ^Demonology and Hagi* 
ology of the Eathera — Satan after the Eeformation — ^The 
Satan and Devil of the New Testunent — ^The Orthodox 
Devil of the Modem Christian. 


' IV. 

Demons P- 3° 

Demons and Devils — Turanian Demonology — Spirits appur- 
tenant and Spirits unattached — Rabbinical Spirits — Pan — 
Puck — Origin of the Idea of Spirits — Shade and Psyche — 
Dreams — Manes and Manes-worship — Patron-saints — Mon- 
sters — Jinns — Peris and Deevs — Elves — Mermen — ^Mer- 
maids and Necks — ^Fairies — Lilith, Sorcery and Hair — 
Fates, ParcsB, Hathors and Nornir — Nymphs — Fays — ^Dame- 
du-lac — Oberon and Titania — Angels — Guardian Angels, 
Genii, Gods and Goddesses — Fravishis — Genius — Ka — Cos- 
mical Spirits — Maskim — Titans — ^Frost Giants — ^Rephaim — 
Duergar — Dwarfs and Trolls — Metal-workers — Giants and 
Dwarfs — Accadians — Turanians — ^Lapps — Eskim os — Alle- 
ghans and Aztecs — Beehive and Communal Dwellings — 
Andaman Islanders — Recapitulation. 


The Devil's Divine Ancestors P- 89 

The Law of Evolution — Influence of surrounding circumstances 
— ^Evolution of Religious Ideals — Animism — Isolated Spirits 
— Subordination of Spirits — Subjugation of conquered Gods 
— Degradation of overpowered Gods — The Golden Age — The 
Serpent — Earth-worship — Earth and Heaven combined — 
Degradation of the Earth-gods — Chaldean Generation of 
the Gods — Hebrew Religion — Fetishism — Slaughtering 
Gods — The Serpent and Magic — Solar Deities — Rectifica- 
tion of Standards of Morality — Surviving Religions — 
Survivals in Christianity — Theological Criticism — Some 
Degraded Deities, Bel, Zeus, B6g, Loki, Set, Lucifer — Devas 
and Asuras. 



Hell and its Monarchs P- ^33 

Hell— Hades, the Invisible World— 5iY-^a£?t—' Aides— Sheol 
— ^Assyrian Hades — Allat — Greek Hades and Tartaros — 
Minos— Egyptian Hall of Two Truths— Plato's Hades — 
Ovid's Hades — Virgil's Regions — Rabbinical Ideas — Grehenna 
— Judges in Hades. 

Fire p. 162 

Man without Fire— The Fire-Drill— Pramantha— The For- 
bidden Fruit — ^Prometheus — Fire-worship — Sacred Fire — 
Fire-gods — Agni — Izdhubar — Spirits of Fire — Red Spirits 
— The Sun — ^Lightning— Metal- working — Magic Wands and 
Iron — Metal-working Gods — Consuming Fire — Cremation 
— Devouring Deities — Moloch — Gehenna — Impure Fire — 
Hebrew History — Persian Fire-spirits — Asmodeus — Solomon 
and the Temple — Iblis — ^The Devil-on-two-sticks — Mephis- 


Dragons and Satyrs p. 195 

Primeval Monsters — Honesty of Mythological Traditions — 
Ichthyosaurus — Plesiosaurus — Atlantosaurus — Pterodac- 
tyle — Fights with Dragons — ^Leviathan — Facts precede 
Ideals — Composite Animals — Chaos — Babylonian Monsters 
— Scorpion-men — -^neas — Hesiodic Monsters — St. Michael 
— St. George and the Dragon — ^Dragons of Romance and 
Poetry — Bunyan's Apollyon — Satyrs and Pans — River- 
drift-man — Aborigines — Man and the Ape — Hea-bani — 
Hebrew Satyrs — Horns. 



Conclusion p. 226 

Pedigree of the Devil p. 235 

The Heavens — God — Spirits — Chaos and the Abyss of Pri- 
mordial Waters — ^Death — ^Fire — Monarchs and Judges of 
Hell — Darkness — Demi-gods — The Sun — ^Destruction — 
Ancestors — Water — Sun-rays, God's Messengers — Calamities 
— ^Primeval Gods. 

Index p. 249 



An ideal figure of the Devil is represented as descending from 
the upper world of light and reality, through an opening in the 
mists of Chaos, to the nether regions of the great Deep, of 
Delusion and Death. In the Deep are monstrous reptiles: and 
the land is peopled with Shades. A molten river flows from a 
region of fire, and fidls into the Deep ; and in the vapours 
which arise a sorceress appears casting her spells, while spectres 
float around. The figure of the Devil is of lurid fire, and with 
typical attributes : the diflerent parts illustrate the concourse 
of ideas which go to make up the ideal, and the tracing of each 
to its origin. 

Demons . .' P* 34 

This is intended to illustrate the belief, almost universal 
amongst races of low culture, that all Nature is thronged with 
spiritual beings ; and what a savage might expect to see, if his 
spiritual eyes were opened. Demons of storm and pestilence, 
issuing from a volcano, and identifying themselves with the 
clouds ; spirits floating in the rays of the sun like motes : a 
legion of spectres swooping down from the moimtains, and 
rushing over the waters of the lake like a chilling blast ; the 


mountains, rocks and stones resolving themselves into weii 
forms suggestive of spells, and magic, add to the terrors of tl: 
place. One man has fallen a victim, and is being seized by 

Nymphs, Dwarfs and Fairies p. 6 

An enchanted Valley lighted by the moon. Nymphs appea 
in the spray of the waterfall, in the silent pool, and dancing 


under the trees in company with Fauns and Satyrs. Th( 
Lorelei sits on a rock playing her harp. An opening in the 
mountain-side gives a glimpse of Fairy-land, and along the stream 
of light which issues from the opening flit various denizens oi 
the fairy world. A dance of Elves is going on upon the sward, 
and in the shade crouch a group of uncouth dwarfe. Puck is 
flying through the air, bent on some mischief. On the mountain 
heights are communal and beehive huts, and some of their 
pigmy inhabitants. 

Deposed Deities P* ii5 

The Cross stands out in refulgent brightness, paramount 
•amongst accredited symbols of religion. The Virgin Mary is 
almost equally prominent. The Crescent and Islam still hold 
their own : and Brahma and Buddhism, although in the back- 
ground in relation to Christianity, are still vigorous religions. 
Sunk into obscurity, in increasing degrees of depth, are Osiris, 
Jupiter, Mercury, Apollo, Serapis, Odin, Siva, Bacchus, Hercules, 
Saturn, the Serpent, Anubis, Bel and Bes : all degraded into 

Hades p. 147 

Charon in his bark has just started to cross the Styx with a 
cargo of Shades, leaving behind a host of others imploring to be 


ferried over. A Judge is enthroned on the further shore, try- 
ing the souls, as one by one they come before him from the 
crowd. To the right is the way to the Elysian fields ; to the 
left, the gloomy plains of Hades, seen through the shadowy rocks : 
in the far distance are the towers and fire of Tartaros. 

Fire p. i8i 

In a primeval dwelling, is seen the hearth-fire ; on a cliff 
beyond, a beacon fire ; still further on, the fire of a volcano. 
Round a large bonfire a number of men are dancing their reli- 
gious exercise In the centre, the brazen figure of Moloch is 
receiving a child into its arms over the burning sacrificial fire. 
Below the earth, mining and smelting prepare the metals for 
the forge, and Vulcan and the Kyklops are busy making 
shields, and other armour and arms. 

The Original Dragon p. 198 

This is an attempt to restore the Pterodactyle to its supposed 
living form ; with some contemporary plants and animals ; it 
is suggested that early Man may have seen some surviving 
individuals of this race of flying reptiles. 



What is understood by " The Devil '* ? 

This question, apparently so simple, is neverthe- 
less most diflScult to answer. The difficulty arises 
from the multifarious and vague notions which at 
all times have been, and still are, held upon the 
subject, even by those from whom critical precision 
might fairly be expected . Comparatively few, how- 
ever, have examined the subject : it is not deemed 
in itself an attractive one, and those who would enter 
upon the inquiry are open to the charge of either 
meddUng with unwholesome subjects, or treading 
upon dangerous ground. 

The term " devil " has enjoyed a very wide range 
of application, but, according to the most generally 
received notion, a devil is a spirit of Evil, and " The 
Devil " is the personification of supreme Evil. There 
have, in the human mind, been conceived as many 
devils as there have been ideas of evil ; and the 
trooping legions of evil thoughts have naturally sug- 
gested legions of devils, legions have suggested 
leadeins, and these have involved a supreme head ; so 



that a Supreme Devil, the Spirit of Supreme Evil 
has been realized. Had there not been the idea of i 
Supreme God, there would certainly not have beer 
the idea of a Supreme Devil. The tv^o ideas of good 
and evil are, in fact, inseparable, and logically de- 
pendent upon one another : we cannot conceive shade, 
except as contrasted with light, nor death except as 
following life : so, were there not such an idea as 
that of goodness, evil would be inconceivable : every 
vice is the opposite of some virtue, and every evil the 
opposite of some good : the idea of a Supreme God 
has paved the way for that of a Supreme Devil. 



Definition of Evil — Personal Evil — Social and Domestic Evil — 
National Evil— Theological and Religious Evil — Savage, Bar- 
baric, and Civilized Moral Standards — Intolerance — Evil is 
** Opposition." 

What then is EvU ? 

Anything is evil which is opposed to good. But, 
what is Good ? Good is ahnost as indefinable ; like 
evil, it only exists relatively : it certainly does exist 
in the mind of each reasonable being, but the idea of 
goodness varies with the standard formed by each 
individual thinker. Each age, each nation, each 
creed, each sect, each man, woman and child has had 
a standard of goodness different from any other : the 
tree, which of all others has borne the greatest variety 
of fruits, is the tree of the knowledge of good and 

Evil then is simply a question of standard. What- 
ever / consider to be evil, is my evil, and whatever / 
believe to be good, is my good. If I am uncontrolled 
by social and national ties, I enforce my standard 
►to the utmost of my power, and everything that is 



opposed to me is evil. I wish to eat and drink, and it 
is good that I should eat and drink : anything that 
prevents my obtaining food, is an evil : the ground 
is barren and unfruitful, and I curse it as an evil ; 
the desert wind dries up all moisture, bringing no 
pregnant clouds, nor cool refreshing dews ; the sun 
looks down relentlessly from a brazen sky, Nature 
groans in drought ; and I curse the desert wind, the 
sky and sun as unmixed evils. At last the clouds 
appear, darkening the horizon, advancing with swift 
but solemn pace, untU they shroud the wide expanse 
of heaven with deep impenetrable gloom : the mut- 
tering thunder swells into deafening peals, as earth 
and heaven exchange their lightniug volleys ; at last 
the monsoon bursts ; the thirsty ground drinks in 
the copious rain ; languid Nature revives on 
every side ; the frowning storm, with all its wel- 
come turmoil, saUs on, and flocks of fleecy clouds, 
drawn up from each valley, follow in its train ; while 
sounds of rippling watei-s, answering the songs of 
birds, waken glad Nature to new life : — I, refreshed, 
sink into sweet repose, the crisis past, and hope again 
restored. The storm, the rain, even the thunder and 
the lightning, are my good : for they have brought 
nothing but peace and plenty to me and mine. But 
that lightning has struck down my neighbour's roof- 
tree, and killed his cattle ; the deluge of rain has 
swept in an inundating flood over his most fruitful 

EVIL. 6 

field, taken with it his prospect of a plenteous 
harvest, and left gaunt ruin in its wake : — ^the storm . 
is his evil, aud as such he curses it. 

The frost, the snow, the glacial winter of the North, 
grip Nature by the throat, causing there as much 
desolation as the desert wind under the tropical sun. 
The dwellers in the north regard the frost and the 
cold biting winds as unmitigated evils ; and yet the 
world of Nature would be poorly off, and dwellers in 
warmer climes would indeed have reason to cry out, 
were frost and glacial winds cut out of Nature's 
scheme. The Lapps and Eskimos may well worship 
the Sun, and welcome him as their best^friend, as he 
delivers them from the bondage of the Frost Giants. 
What benighted beings they must think those who 
dread the sunrise ! And yet there are those who 
look upon the sun as a cruel and relentless enemy. 

But natural phenomena are not the only in- 
fluences which, for good or evil, affect man's 
struggle for existence : the pestilence stalks through 
the land, and sweeps whole nations from its ^sur- 
face ; fever and insidious disease creep over thres- 
holds at the dead of night, and carry off the 
first-born of man and beast ; wolves will decimate 
the flock, and the roaring lion will prowl about the 
herd, seeking whom he may devour, and not in vain ; 
monsters of uncouth shape and dire resistless 
strength have, in times gone by, levied their tax of 


blood Oil man and beast, reducing all to abject terror; 
until arose some hero, who, by conquering the com- 
mon enemy, has -earned immortal fame, and lived a 
demigod : or the locust-swarms will sweep through 
a land, like " the garden of Eden before them," and 
nought but a "desolate wilderness behind them," 
and earn title to the symbol of destruction,^ and a 
quasi-deification through the terror they inspire.^ No 
wonder that all these opposing influences, enemies to 
man^s well-being, should be classed by him as evils. 

But man has more than food and raiment to seek, 
more than his own life to protect and prolong. He 
has social and domestic ties : the family, the clan, 
the tribe and the race cling together for mutual 
support and protection, not only in face of natural 
obstacles, but also of other men, engaged, like them- 
selves, in the restless struggle for existence. 
Amongst themselves, a standard of social and do- 
mestic good is formed, assented to, and enforced by 
the majority, and probably handed down from 
generation to generation as a rule of life, departure 
from which is evil. Each set of rules, so fiumed, 
grows and is modified from time to time to meet 
the needs of the community for which it was framed. 
Similar sets are framed for other communities : but 

* The Scythians were spoken of as a cloud of locusts. — Joel ii. 3. 

* " Abaddon," locusts, is given as a synonym of " Apollyon " and 
the angel of the bottomless pit. — ^Rev. ix. 11. 

EVIL. 7 

these &.11 by degrees' diverge in meeting the varied 
wants and circumstances of each, until in time they 
become so opposite, that what is good according to 
one standard, may be downright evil according to 
another. Hence the pride of race, and the prejudice 
of caste : artificial standards of good, cause artificial 
evil ; as society becomes more complex, the former 
becomes more stringent and the latter more heinous ; 
and that which in all good faith was instituted for 
a good purpose, becomes the vehicle of evil; that 
which was intended for Hfe brings death.^ A law is 
made to obviate an evil, the law is glossed and over- 
laden with tradition, and the original good of the law 
is far outweighed by the evil it has brought about. 
Such are the laws of race and caste : the Brahman 
who dare not give a drink of water to the dying 
Pariah, lest he should become defiled, and be put 
•back in the scale of rising life : the Hebrews enjoined 
to put away their Gentile wives and children, on pain 
of excommunication :' the white American, who to this 
day, while shedding his life-blood in the cause of negro 
emancipation, and preaching the universal brother- 
hood of man, dreads the most distant family alliance 
with a man of colour, for fear of social degradation. 

^ '< The commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be 
unto death." — Horn. vii. lo. 

* One hundred and thirteen wives, many with families, are re- 
corded as put away by command. — See Ezra x. and Neh. xiii. 2£. 


All these are subjected to social and domestic laws, 
once made no doubt for good, but which have long 
been producing more evils than they remedied. 

As families and races became blended into national 
communities, and the relations between man and 
man became more complex still, fresh standards had 
to be created of national and political good. In 
forming such standards, the majority of power in the 
State enforced its views on the minority. It was 
possible that the rule for the whole family might 
not coincide with the views of some individuals of it, 
and that the rule for the clan or tribe might involve 
a still greater mass of difference of opinion; but 
when a code of laws had to be framed for a whole 
nation, it is certain that individual opinions would be 
more divided still. A man might honestly follow the 
dictates of his conscience, and thus conform to his 
individual standard of good ; he might fulfil all his 
social and domestic duties, and thus live up to the 
standard of the family and race ; and still be banned 
as a criminal, exiled as an outlaw, or shot down as a 
traitor, for disobedience to his nation's laws, and for 
nonconformity to the standard of good, artificially 
created for the general welfare and safety of the nation 
It is not difficult to understand that it may be quite 
right for a man to fight in the army of the nation to 
which he belongs, and that it should be a crime 
punishable with death for him to pass over to the 

EVIL, 9 

opposing army, and fight with them against his own 
countrymen; but this crime could only exist for political 
reasons, and might be the result of a mere accidental 
circumstance : — ^whether the man were bom on this 
or that side of a little stream : — the Alsatian who 
fought against France in 1870, was a traitor to his 
country ; the. inhabitant of Alsace who should now 
fight with France against Germany, would be as 
much a traitor as the other : although perhaps, in 
each case, a true and blameless man in every other 
relation of life. 

There is however one field, which has been more 
fruitful than all others put together, in the creation 
of evil, by the erection of standards of good ; and 
that is the wide, far-stretching field of Theology and 
Superstition. In the primitive states of society of 
every epoch, in which men have been banded to- 
gether in only small conununities, where they have 
found themselves face to face with such physical 
diflSculties, that their main business has been to sus- 
tain life, without any attempt to refine existence by 
culture, a Theology can hardly be said to exist at all ; 
and the religious sentiment is satisfied by a super- 
stitious dread of the unseen beings who are believed 
to exercise a baneful influence over Nature, and an 
unreasoning faith in those who profess a power to in- 
fluence those beings. In such a stage of society, a * 
sense of moral right and wi'ong in relation to the 


unseen world, is not developed : it is purely a question 
of power : the deity is to be feaxed and propitiated, 
because he is more powerful than I am, and will 
favour me more than my neighbour or my enemy, if 
I am more assiduous than he is. Where there is, by 
chance, a beneficent deity, in the pantheon of a 
nation, it by no means follows that he is as powerful 
as the malevolent one : and thus it happens that as 
amongst these men, so with their gods, might is right : 
Good is what each wishes to have and enjoy, and 
Evil everything that bars the way and prevents its 

This is and has been the basis of the religion, or 
rather superstition, of the great mass of the savage 
population of the world, which has no written history, 
and next to no traditions, and whose religion, like 
its language, is as unstable as shifting sands ;-after 
a few years so changed as to be hardly recognizable. 
A large proportion of the human race must always 
have been in this condition, all too uncertain to fix 
with definite ideas of good or evil. 

Other communities which have emerged from 
the savage state, and entered that of barbarism, have 
generally had some fixed notions as to good and 
evil, beyond the mere dictates of the individual 
fancy. They have some runic poetry, or national 
songs ; some ritual, or incantation ; something 
formulated and handed down from generation to 

EVIL. 1 1 

generation, whicli acquires strength as time goes on, 
and finishes sometimes by becoming the sacred 
record of a nation, the basis of a faith ; in defence of 
which men will fight, and bleed, and die, with all 
the devotion of which disinterested human nature is 
capable.. Many of these creeds have lived on down 
to the present day, and have become embalmed in 
the sacred books of the most highly civilized nations 
of the world ; others have dropped out of memory, 
the races who held them have been overwhelmed and 
dispersed, and the conqueror s creed has ruled with 
the conqueror's sword. Such barbaric nations have 
generally acknowledged the power of a world to 
come, and made the future state dependent upon 
the present life or mode of death or burial. The 
standard of goodness has varied through the range 
of almost every possible idea ; — death in battle, or 
some special mode of burial; the observance of 
certain forms, sacrifices, or other modes of propitia- 
tion, may have constituted the passport to a happy 
future, with little or no regard to what we should 
call the moral aspect of the case, beyond the recog- 
nition of such primitive virtues as courage and 
prudent forethought. Some have approached nearer 
to a moral code ; the mere fierceness of the warlike 
instinct, and prudential measures of a blind super- 
stition, being supplemented by the recognition of 
such milder virtues as honesty, chastity and veracity, 


and making them a condition for reward. Natiom 
owning such a code have, however, not long remained 
barbarian, but have rapidly advanced to the stage ol 
civilization in which, as a rule, the moral virtues 
have been fully recognized, and supported by all the 
sanctions of religion. 

As no theology has ever been .quite independent 
of mythology, so no religion has ever been quite free 
from superstition : a theology which discards its 
mythology is on the eve of melting away : a religion 
which loses its superstition relaxes its hold on the 
ordinary human mind, its individuality is effaced, 
and it dies out and is forgotten. If a religion has 
vitality, it is necessarily intolerant : it must main- 
tain that its gods are the only true ones, or at least 
that they are stronger than those of any other 
creed ; or, if one god alone be worshipped, then that 
all other gods are false. This, the highest refine- 
ment of the religious idea, produces the greatest 
amount of antagonism : and, standing on his own high 
pedestal, its votary regards the whole world as sunk 
in vice, seething in impurity, steeped in superstition, 
and that " every imagination of man's heart is only 
evil continually."^ Every god but the one true God, 
every being but his own obedient servants, every 
man but his own devoted worshippers, is, and must 

* Gen. vi. 5. 

EVIL. 1 3 

be, a mab-gnant enemy ; every idea not sanctioned 
by the particular code of religion and morality- 
accepted by the particular creed, is evil; and it 
is the bounden duty of every one to stamp out 
such evil, at the peril of incurring the same con- 
demnation : " Woe is unto me if I preach not the 
Gospel. '^^ 

Evil is "opposition." The savage seeks his 
food : Nature, the elements, wild beasts and enemies 
oppose him : they are his evil. He seeks to pre- 
serve his comfort and his life, his family and his 
possessions ; the storm that blasts his home, the 
pestilence that carries off his children, the wild 
beast that decimates his flock, the locusts that strip 
his fields, are all evils. The patriarch ruling over 
his family or his tribe, makes simple rules for the 
maintenance of order, and the preservation of the 
race : some Esau will persist in taking wives of the 
daughters of Heth, and that perverse opposition to 
the patriarch's will becomes a social, a domestic evil : 
the patriarch's successor applies the rule, by compel- 
ling 1 1 3 men to put away their wives, and discard 
all their own children, the marriages having been in 
opposition to the old patriarchal law, and therefore 
evil.' Families grow into tribes, and tribes into 
nations, which settle down and legislate for mutual 

* I Cor. ix. i6. ' Sec ante p. 7. 


protection and security ; thousands of laws ax 
embodied in hundreds of volumes to regulate th' 
complex compact of the nation : the problem of righ 
and wrong becomes itself so complex, and so beyonc 
the range of the untrained conscience, that a clasii 
of men are specially set apart to devote their lives 
to solving it, and settling and expounding what is 
right and wrong ; and none but the more intelligent 
of the community are able even then to follow out 
the reasoning : yet, any mistake in this is treated 
as an opposition to the law, it is an offence, a legal 
or national evil. 

But when we come to deal with the religious or 
theological element in the world ; when we find that 
the Egyptian considered i66 chapters of ritual neces- 
sary to protect him from opposing spirits in his pas- 
sage from earth to heaven, and that he went to the 
grave literally papered and painted over with his 
ritual in order to conquer : when we hear of the 
Buddhist canon comprising 500 monster volumes of 
instructions how to live in order at last to shake off 
the trammels of a weary life, and reach the restful 
haven of " nothingness :" when the Hindu holds that 
life after life must be passed through with ever in- 
creasing sanctity, each bristling with minute observ- 
ances, before the soul can shake off its earthly coil, 
and merge into the Deity, and rest : when the Jewish 
Rabbi points to 1 2 densely printed folio volumes of 

EVIL. 1 5 

Tahnudic writing as the rule of life,* and makes that 
rule so difficult to learn aright, that it is heaven's 
own business to argue over it : and when' each 
Christian sect brands all the other Christian sects 
as heretics, and the 350 millions of Buddhists, the 1 50 
millions of Brahmanists, and the 180 miUions of 
Mohammedans (to say nothing of his heathen feUow- 
creatures) as hopeless enemies of truth : when we 
find that each of these creeds throws back the fatal 
charge on all the others ; the mass of recognized evil 
in the world becomes overwhelming to the view : — 
but, the whole of this evil can nevertheless be summed 
up in the one single word " Opposition." 

Evil then is opposition, and only exists in relation 
to Good, and the concept of a *^ Spirit of Evil" par- 
takes of the same relative character. 

* Hershon's " Pentateuch according to the Tahnud " iii. 



The Hebrew Satan — Old Testament Satans — The Satan of Job — 
Chaldean and Persian Influences — ^Hebrew Angels — Eabbinical 
Demonology — Ahriman — Demonology and Hagiology of the 
Fathers — Satan after the Keformation — The Satan and Devil 
of the New Testament— * The Orthodox Devil of the Modern 

The devil of the present day is known by the name 
of Satan ; portrayed by Milton, and brought within 
the compass of the ordinary human mind. There 
was a Satan in the Old Testament, but not Milton's : 
the old Hebrew Satan was either an adversary or an 
accuser : he was a sort of public prosecutor in the 
spiritual world, wandering up and down in the earth, 
spying out men's conduct, weighing their motives, 
and reporting their failings to Jehovah, the God of 
all mankind ; taking a grim pleasure in his work, but 
still fulfilling a necessary office. Man, a sinful, stum- 
bling creature, did not like this vigilant accuser, always 
lying at the catch to throw the worst colour on his 
actions, and hold up his sins to the Hght of heaven : 
but after all, this Satan was but a public prosecutor 
on a large scale, and was only different in degree from 

SATAN. 17 

the policeman who detects and prosecutes the modem 
thief, and thereby becomes his Satan. 

No : our devil is not the Satan of the Hebrews, 
nor the Asmodeus of the Jews, nor any of the demons 
of nature or mythology, nor any dethroned god who 
has seen better days, although he combines many of 
the characteristics of each of these : but we look in 
vain amongst them for the unmixed spiiit of malig- 
nancy which is the central idea of Satan, the modern 
devil. Christians are the natural successors of the 
Hebrews in the main features of their creed, but 
whatever spirits of evU the Hebrews acknowledged, 
they never realized the existence of a Spirit of malig- 
nancy, incapable of good, and only existing for the 
purpose of creating evil, until they heard of Ahriman 
the supreme evil spirit of the Persian system.^ 
Throughout all the creeds and mythologies of the ^ 
ancient world, he alone possessed the germ of that 
which has become the exclusive and distinguishing 
characteristic of the modem Devil. 

The term " Satan " and " Satans " which occur in 
the Old Testament, are certainly not applicable to the 
modem conception of Satan as a spirit of evil ; although 
it is not difficult to detect in the old Hebrew mind a 
fruitful soil, in which the idea, afterwards evolved, 
would readily take root. The original idea of a 
" Satan *' is that of an " adversary," or agent of 
" opposition." The angel which is said to have with- 



stood Balaam is in the same breath spoken of a 
" The angel of the Lord," and a " Satan/'^ Whe: 
the Philistines under Achish their king were al^ou 
to commence hostilities against the Israelites unde 
Saul, and David and his men were about to marcl 
with the Philistines ; the latter objected, lest, in th( 
day of battle, David should become a " Satan " t< 
them, by deserting to the enemy.' When David 
in later life, was returning to Jerusalem, aftei 
Absalom's rebellion and death ; and his lately dis- 
affected subjects were, in turn, making their sub- 
mission ; amongst them came the truculent Shimei : 
Abishai, David's nephew, one of the fierce sons of 
Zeruiah, advised that Shimei should be put to death: 
this grated upon David's feelings, at a time when he 
was filled with exuberant joy at his own restoration ; 
and he rebuked Abishai as a " Satan. "^ Again, Satan 
is said to have provoked David to number Israel,* 
and at the same time, that " the Lord moved David 
to number Israel :"^ a course strenuously opposed by 
Joab, another of the sons of Zeruiah. Solomon in 
his message to Hiram, king of Tyre, congratulated 
himself on having no " Satans," and that this peace- 
ful immunity fix)m discord enabled him to build the 
Temple, which had been forbidden to his warlike 

^ Num. zxii. 22, 32. ' i Sam. xxiz. 4. '2 Sam. xiz. 22. 

* I Chron. xxi. i. '2 Sam. xxiv. i. 

SATAN. 19 

fether David/ This immunity was not, however, 
lasting ; for Hadad, the Edomite, and Rezon, of 
Zobah, became " Satans " to Solomon, after his pro- 
fuse luxury had opened the way for corruption and 
disaffection.' In all these cases, the idea is simply 
identical with the plain meaning of the word : 
a Satan is an opponent, an adversary. In the 
elaborate curse embodied in the 1 09th Psalm,® the 
writer speaks of his enemies as his '* Satans," and 
prays that the object of his anathema may have 
" Satan " standing at his right hand.'* The Psalmist 
himself, in the sequel, fairly assumes the office of his 
enemy, " Sata<' by enumemtmg Ms crimes and 
Mini, and exposing them in their worst light. In 
the 71st Psalm, enemies (v. 10) are identified with 
" Satans,'' or adversaries (v. 1 3). 

The only other places in the Old Testament where 
the word occurs, are in the Book of Job, and the pro- 
phecy of Zechariah. In the Book of Job, Satan 
appears with a distinct peraonality, and is associated 
with the sons of God, and in attendance with them 
before the throne of Jehovah. He is the cynical 
critic of Job's actions, and in that character he ac- 
cuses him of insincerity and instability; and receives 
permission from Jehovah to test the justice of this 

^ I Kings Y. 4. 'Ps. ciz. 4, 20, 29. 

' I Kings zi. 14, 23, 25. *Ib, 6. 



accusation, by afflicting Job in everything he hole 
dear. We have here the spy, the informer, tl 
public prosecutor, the executioner ; all embodifed i 
Satan, the adversary: these attributes are nc 
. amiable ones, but the writer does not suggest th 
absolute antagonism between Jehovah and Satai 
which is a fundamental dogma of modern Chrig 

In the prophecy of Zechariah,^ Satan again, wit] 
an apparent personality, is represented as standing a 
the right hand of Joshua, the high-priest, to resis 
him : he seems to be claiming strict justice agains 
one open to accusation; for Joshua is clothed in filth] 
garments — ^the type of sin and pollution. Jehoval 
relents, and mercy triumphs over justice : the filth j 
garments are taken away, and fair raiment substi- 
tuted. Even here, the character of Satan, although 
hard, is not devoid of all virtue, for it evinces a sense 
of justice. 

The Hebrews before the Captivity seem to have 
held no specific doctrine respecting evil spirits; oFj 
if they did, such doctrine was not in conflict with 
that held by other peoples, for no controversy on the 
subject is recorded. When they were carried awaj 
captives to Babylon, they successively came into con- 
tact with the Chaldean and Persian elements ; and 

^ Zech. iii. I. 

SATAN. 2 1 

contemporaneous and subsequent writers give evi- 
dence of an alteration of conception, both with regard 
to the personality of a great principle of evil, and to 
the organization of subordinate evil spirits, or demons. 
This change of views was not equally rapid along the 
whole line of thought; but, the germs of new 
opinions having been implanted, they grew slowly 
but surely, until they completely overshadowed the 
original dogma, and created what practically 
amounted to a new reUgion. 

The Chaldeans or Babylonians believed in the 
existence of vast multitudes of spirits, good, bad and 
indiflferent, with which the physical and moral uni- 
verse was peopled, and by which all phenomena of 
nature, and the events of life, were regulated and 
influenced. The Hebrews had already a belief in 
the existence of angels or spirits, whose business it 
was to regulate the affairs of mankind in obedience 
to the divine behests. We have appearances of 
angels to Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joshua, and 
others, bringing them assistance : and angels de- 
stroying Sodom and Gomorrah, the first-bom of 
Egypt, directing the pestilence in Jerusalem, and 
slajring the army of Sennacherib : but there is 
nothing to show that the old Hebrew considered 
every tree, stone and river, as possessed with its own 
personal spirit, which might at any moment quit its 
abode, and exercise a direct influence upon his life 


and welfare. After the return from the Captivity 
however, Jewish thought took a fresh departure 
Rabbinical speculations ran riot on the subject c 
angels and demons, and vied with the Babylonian 
in their realization of good and evil spiritual beingg 
interfering with, and regulating, the most trivia 
events of life : they numbered them by millions anc 
billions, and were accustomed to talk of them at 
being so numerous and ubiquitous, that, if visible, nc 
one could bear the shock. This idea grew in inten- 
sity as time went on, and we find in the text of the 
New Testament ample evidence of an established 
belief in the existence of innumerable demons — 
legions of devils — possessing and tyrannizing over 
the bodies of men and animals; and myriads of 
angels, surrounding the saints, and ministering to 

Side by side with this belief in the multitude of 
good and evil spirits, there was slowly growing up in 
the Jewish mind a belief in a prince of evil, malign- 
ant, powerful and successful ; hating Jehovah and all 
good ; directing the spiritual hierarchy of evil to 
ceaseless attacks upon Jehovah's works, intimately 
acquainted with all the foibles of weak humanity, 
and employing this knowledge for their ruin and 
destruction. The first prince of the demons was 
Asmodeus, the demon of fiery and uncontrollable 
lust. The besetting sin of the nation, impurity, 

SATAN. 23 

here received its apt embodiment, as the most dreaded 
power of evil The Rabbins were never tired of re- 
counting adventures in which Asmodeus and his- 
torical personages had played their parts, and the 
apocryphal book of Tobit presents an instance of 
one of these episodes. Asmodeus, however, is only 
bad in the main, without being wholly devoid of 
generous feelings : he could be moved by pity, and 
could even use his power for good purposes. He 
was a Persian demon, but not the Persian god of evil : 
he answered the Jewish conception during a transi- 
tion period, when there were still hosts of good spirits 
engaged in perpetually ministering to humanity, and 
hosts of demons (Jbunteracting and thwarting these 
good offices: each\tepirit, good or bad, a personal 
being, and not as, mere abstraction. Asmodeus 
was reigning at the period of which the Gospels 
treat, he was no douiDt " the devil " who tempted 
Jesus in the wilderness, employing the lusts of 
appetite and power as his allies. The more philoso- 
phical Christian writers drew gradually away from 
the somewhat human Asmodeus, and abstracted the 
idea of evil until the arch-fiend's character became 
one of immixed malignancy, consisting of nothing 
but evil, and incapable of any other motive or result. 
This is another Persian ideal, that of Ahriman, the 
Anra-mainyu of the Zend reUgion, the god of evil. 
In the Persian system a complete dualism existed : 


Ormuzd, Ahura-mazdu, the supreme Good, created 
all that was good, and inspired every good thought 
and action ; Ahriman, the supreme Evil, created 
everything that was bad in itself, and everything 
that could oppose the work of Ormuzd ; he marred 
and frustrated all the good that Ormuzd had created, 
and systematically attacked every good thought and 
action, and endeavoured to turn it into evil. Ormuzd 
and Ahriman were of equal origin, and practically of 
equal poVer, and, although the latter was destined 
some day to be overcome by, and subjected to, the 
former, yet in the meantime he enjoyed an ample 
share of success. 

These principles and beliefs were sufficiently re- 
ceived and recognized by the Jews, to be passed on 
by them into the Christian creed, which proved a 
congenial soil : we find the Fathers fully persuaded 
of the power and number of the demons, and also of 
the great and implacable malignancy of " the devil." 
Still, so long as there were a heavenly host of angels 
and saints between man and Jehovah, and to a great 
extent, by their multitudinous offices of good to man, 
veiling Jehovah from his sight, so long the prince of 
the devils was equally unnoticed in the assumed pre- 
sence of the legion of demons who worked out the 
details of the diabolical schemes. It was left for the 
Eeformation and its sternest votaries to sweep away 
the saints and angels, the demons and devils, leaving 

SATAN. 25 

face to face, the Deity, as the abstract personification 
of good, and Satan, as the abstract personification of 
evil, each pulling down the strongholds of the other, 
and waging a perpetual warfare : by associating with 
these ideas the doctrine of absolute predestination, 
before the foundation of the world, for evil as well 
as for good, the nearest possible approach to the 
Persian dualism was made by some followers of 
Calvin. It is often asserted, and strenuously main- 
tained, that the Jewish and Christian doctrine has 
never been that of the Persian dualism : that may be 
true of the Jewish faith throughout, and of the early 
and medieval Christians : but the seed of the Persian^ 
dogma was sown in the Jewish mind during the ( 
Captivity, was fostered and strengthened by after . 
intercourse, and although not appearing on the sur- / 
face, it formed an under-current, hardly felt, but al- 
ways present, until after the Reformation, when it 
again reached the surface, and practically monopolized 
the middle channel of the Christian creed; it had even 
become more sombre, for instead of Ahriman being 
destined to final reconciliation with Ormuzd, as the 
Persians taught, we find Satan, and all his victims 
and followers, doomed, without any sort of hope, to 
everlasting fire, expressly prepared for them. 

In the New Testament, Satan is either called by / 
his old Hebrew name of "Satanas," the adversary ; or 
by that of " Diabolos/' the Devil, the false accuser or 


slanderer.' These two names are employed indiscri- 
minately and interchangeably. In the account of the 
temptation in the wilderness, Matthew and Luke 
each call the tempter both Satan and the Devil ; 
Mark only speaks of him as Satan.^ In the parable 
of the tares and the wheat, the Devil sowed the 
tares f and in that of the sower Satan snatched away 
the seed that fell by the wayside.* The identity is 
V complete, and in the Apocalypse, Satan, the DevO, 
) and the Dragon are expressly stated to be one and 
; the same individual, a sort of Trinity of EviL* 

In the New Testament, Satan, the Devil, is un- 
doubtedly a personal being and not a mere abstraction. 
He tempted Jesus in the wilderness ; he tempts man 
to evil,* and was the direct agent inciting Judas to 
bring about the betrayal -/ he works all kinds of evil, 
and resists all kinds of good, and is always on the 
watch for victims f he is himself a transgressor of the 
divine law,, and the father of all other transgres- 

^ The same word that is used as a name for the arch-fiend is 
used in St. Paul's injunction that deacons' wives and aged women 
should not be slanderers — i, «.," devils." — i Tim. iii. ii ; Titus ii. 3. 

"Matt. iv. I, 5, 8, II — Devil; Ibid. 10 — Satan; Luke iv. 2, 3, 
5, 6, 13 — Devil; Ibid. 8 — Satan; Mark i. 13 — Satan. 

* Matt. xiii. 39. * Mark. iv. 15. * Rev. xii. 9; xx. 2. 

* Actsv. 3 ; I Cor. vii. 5 ; 2 Tim. ii. 26. 
^ Luke xxii. 3 ; John xiii. 2, 27. 

"Luke xxii. 31; Acts x. 38; 2 Cor. ii. 11; i Thes. ii. i8; 
2 Thes. ii. 9. 

SATAN. 27 

sors ;^ he assimilates the minds of men to his own 
nature, and possesses and afflicts their bodies with his 
own evil spirit f he can boast of his own synagogue f he 
assumes the appearance of an angel of light ;* his 
schemes are deep,* but he sits in high places f in 
imitation of his divine enemy, he has his angels, 
or messengers,' makes converts ;® and is politic, for 
he does not mar his own work.' This formidable 
adversary must never be out of mind, or yielded to,^® 
but must be resisted, and is indeed the typical enemy 
to be cast behind the back." 

Michael, the archangel, contended with him,^ and 
he fell as lightning from heaven f he had the power 
of death, but is now overcome ;" although imder con- 
demnation," he is at large," and even has opponents 
delivered over to him for chastisement.*' It is how- 
ever the fervent hope of the Christian that he shall be 
speedily bruised under foot," and it is an article of 
faith that he will be finally and everlastingly punished 

* John viii. 44 ; Acts xiii. lo ; ^^ Eph. iv. 27 ; vi. 11; i Peter 

j[ John iii. 8. v. 8 ; James iv. 7. 

Luke viii. 12 ; xiii. 16. " Matt. xvi. 23 ; Mark viii. ;^;^. 

Rev. iL 9; iii. 9. ^ Jude 9. 

2 Cor. xi. 14. ** Luke x. 18. 

Rev. ii. 24. " Hebrews ii. 14. 

Rev. ii. 13. " I Tim. iii. 6. 

2 Cor. xii. 7. " Rev. xx 7. 

I Tim. V. 15. " I Cor. v. 5; i Tim. i. 20. 

Matt. xii. 26 ; Mark iii. 23, ** Rom. xvi. 20. 
26 ; Luke xi. 18. 




in a lake of fire and brimstone,^ expressly prepared 
for liim and his angels.^ 

According to the orthodox Christian belief of the 
present day, Satan, the great spirit of evil, is the 
" enemy" of the human race, having originally fallen . 
from heaven, and become the first introducer of moral 
>^ and physical evil into the vrorld, when, in the form 
of a serpent, he successfully tempted Eve : thence- 
forward he has been at enmity with the seed of the 
woman, causing all the diseases of mind and body . 
from which man suffers, the tempter to all moral evil, 
and the prime instigator of every crime which has 
ever been committed. He is credited with most 
seductive powers, and an immense success in his 
schemes : the many travel on the broad road which 
leads to his realm, Destruction ; and the few escape 
by the narrow way that leads to Life. This work of 
destruction began with the first man who lived on 
the earth, and will continue until the earth itself 
shall pass away : and although he is destined to con- 
dign and everlasting punishment in Hell, he will 
have dragged down to the same Hell and pimishment 
the vast majority of mankind. 

In the meantime, Satan is endued with powers 
almost amounting to omniscience, omnipresence and 
omnipotence: he can read man's inmost thoughts, 

* Eev. XX. 10. ' Matt. xxv. 41. 

SATAN. 29 

and knows every detail of his life; he is always 
present to minister evil by temptation, to every 
human creature at the same time ; and, with man's 
own carnal nature for ally, he is able to hurry miUions 
to perdition, whilst only a few brands are plucked 
from tlie burning, and are "scarcely saved" from his 
power. He is the "god of this world," commanding 
the obedience of the whole hierarchy of evil spirits, 
"principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this 
world, and spiritual powers m heavenly places,"^ and 
the King of Death and Hell. 

This is Satan, the orthodox Devil of the Christian. 

*Eph. vi. 12. 




Demons and Devils — Turanian Demonology — ^Spirits appurtenant 
and Spirits unattached — Rabbinical Spirits — ^Pan — Puck — 
Origin of the Idea of Spirits — Shade and Psyche — Dreams — 
Manes and Manes-worship — Patron-saints — Monsters— Jinns — 
Peris and Deevs — ^Elves — Mermen — ^Mermaids and Necks — 
Fairies — ^Lilith, Sorcery and Hair — ^Fates, Parcae, Hathors and 
Nornir — ^Nymphs — Fays — ^Dame-du-lac — Oberon and Titania 
— ^Angels — Guardian Angels, Genii, Gods and Goddesses — Fra- 
vishis — Genius — Ka — Cosmical Spirits— Maskim — Titans — 
Frost Giants — Rephaim — Duergar — Dwarfs and Trolls — Metal- 
workers — Giants and Dwarfs — ^Accadians — Turanians — ^Lapps 
— ^Eskimos — Allegbans and Aztecs — Beehive and Communal 
Dwellings — ^Andaman Islanders — Recapitulation. 

In treating of demons, it is necessary to premise that 
there is a clear and well-defined distinction between a 
demon and a devil. They are both spiritual beings, but 
their attributes are essentially different. Originally, 
there were good as well as evil demons, although, in 
course of time, the term *' demons" became exclusively 
identified with the idea of malignancy. Even then, 
however, their baneful influences were, in principle, 
not the result of a desire to injure, but simply of the 
fulfilment of their natural vocation ; causing injury, it 
is true, but injury which was not the object aimed at, 

DEMONS. 3 1 

and which might at times be mixed with good. The 
evils, on the contrary, ascribed to the Devil had their 
sole origin and motive in pure malignity — 

Evil, be thou my good.* 

The natural history of demons has received much 
and careftd attention, and in result a tolerably clear 
idea of their nature and origin has been arrived at. 

At the time that the history of the human race 
began, that is, when it first emerged from the period 
when neither written records nor continuous tradi- 
tions were handed on from generation to generation ; 
the human inhabitants of the world who first created 
history, appear to have all belonged to the great 
Turanian race, of which the Chinese are still con- 
sidered to be, in an especial degree, the representa- 
tives :' and to which the aborigines of America can 
with certainty be referred.' 

It seems to be now satisfactorily established, that, 
at the dawn of history, these Turanian races extended 
over the whole habitable world ; and although they 
have to a great extent succumbed to other races, whose 
religions have superseded theirs, they have neverthe- 
less left on the surface of the great sea of human belief 
the wreckage of their own dogmas, with which succeed- 

* Milton, " Paradise Lost," B. 4. 110. 

■ Max MUller, '* Science of Religion," 154, &c. 

• Dawson, " Fossil Men," 203 


ing religions have constructed a great part of theii 
own systems of &itL Probably not a single race oi 
religion now exists which does not show distinct 
signs of its Turanian inheritance, although that in- 
heritance may be recognized as the most superstitious 
part of its creed. The Chinese and the American 
Indians liave preserved down to a recent period much 
of their primeval Turanian character, and in a strik- 
ing degree, their primeval theory as to demons. The 
main feature of the Turanian creed was, that the 
whole of the Universe was peopled by innumerable 
Hpirits ; that every man, woman, and child had at 
least two of such spirits ; that the sun, the moon, the 
planets, and the stars, each had its demon; that 
mountains, rivers, fountains, trees, clouds, winds, rain, 
boat, cold, each had its demon ; that many of these 
had many demons each ; that when the sun shone 
beneficently, this effect was produced by its good 
demon ; when it parched up the land, producing 
drought and famine, it was the act of the sun's evil 
demon : that when ifc thundered and lightened, a war 
of the demons of the elements was going on. There 
wore also demons of the day, and demons of the 
night ; each fever and disease had its demon ; 
famine, drought, and every other scourge which 
visits suffering humanity, had its special presiding 
demon. Indeed, it may be said, that to every object, 
living or inanimate, of sufficient individuahty to 


receive a name» and to every abstraction which did 
receive a name, at the same time was attributed its 
demon. All these demons were of a permanent 
nature, and were assumed to have come into existence 
at the same time as the body or conception to which 
they were attached, and to have a commensurate 
duration ; but besides all these, the world of demons 
was being perpetually recruited by human deaths, for 
it was a imiversal belief that the disembodied human 
soul became a demon as it separated from the body. 
Demons of this class have had attached to them 
characteristics as widely different as light is from 
darkness ; but the true and original idea in the Tura- 
nian mind seems to have been, that disembodied 
souls were capable, under certain conditions, of 
becoming not only most powerful and exacting, but 
most malignant, if not satisfied in their own parti- 
cular way. Hence the necessity for propitiating 
ancestral demons, and the introduction of the whole 
system of manes-worship, parsing into sax^rifices to 
the infernal powers for the dead, and masses for the 
repose of the souL As Nature was most prolific and 
versatile in the production of forces out of which 
man created demons, so the fertile imagination of the 
human race has given to these demons a develop- 
ment, the ramifications of which could hardly be 
conceived, were the origin and history of that deve- 
lopment not followed out and demonstrated. As 


the demons of the cosmic forces were identified with 
might, strength and magnitude, they in time passed 
into L stage of penZ gia^^, solar a.d othe. 
heroes ; the demons of the trees, rivers, fountains 
and seas, passed into dryads, nymphs, syrens and 
mermaids ; ancestral spirits assumed the form of 
lares, familiar spirits, guardian angels and patron 
saints ; whilst in certain morbid forms they were 
hobgoblins, ghosts, brownies and bogies ; the forests 
and fields, the waves and caves, teemed with satyrs^ 
fauns, fairies, elves, trolls and dwarfs. Thus it cam^: 
about that the people of the ancient classical period^ 
of the middle ages, and even of quite recent times^^ 
could well believe that, were their eyes open, likft^ 
those of Elisha's companions of old, they would see; 
the world, and every comer in it, the earth, the aii^ \ 
the heavens, the seas, and the abyss, peopled witk.; 
legions of spiritual beings, each with his office and; 
vocation, and his separate, personal and intelligent, 
existence ; and all influencing, in some form or 
another, the afl^rs of the human race, in every 
minute particular. 

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth 
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.^ 

We have hitherto been speaking of demons pro- 
perly so called, as being spiritual beings immediately 

"* Milton, Paradise Lost, b. 4. 


— .^fTif^" 



representing a material substance, or a material con- 
ception ; spirits that might be called *' spirits appur^ 
tenant :" but besides these there were independent, 
imattached spirits, such as angels. It is difficult to 
define the point at which the host of angels became 
distinguishable from the good demons, who in their 
turn imperceptibly gradate into the doubtful 
and even malignant demons. Originally there was 
only one great system of spirits, out of which 
gradually but methodically the two classes of good 
and evil spirits were evolved. The first step towards 
the " differentiation" would naturally be to classify 
spirits in harmony with their material representatives ; 
to attribute a powerful spirit to the sun, a destructive 
spirit to the tornado, a benignant spirit to the ferti- 
lizing dew, a ruthless spirit to the plague, and so on 
through the world of nature. The next step would be 
to subordinate spirits to one another, in the same rela- 
tion as apparent in the material world ; the sun dis- 
perses the clouds, the plague strikes down the man, 
therefore the spirit of the sun is more powerful than 
the spirit of the clouds, the spirit of the plague than 
that of the man. The spiritual world thus became 
disposed in a complete hierarchy, ranging from the 
supreme deities to the most insignificant fetish. The 
Tahnudists maintained that the hosts of angels were 
1,064,340,000,000,000 in number, and that the 
devils numbered 7,405,926, and that all these were 



divided into ranks and dasses, "Thrones, dominations^ 
virtues, princedoms, powers."^ "Abba Benyamin 
says : * Were the eye permitted to see the malignant 
spirits, no creatm'e could abide on account of them.*^ 
Abaii said, * They are more numerous than we are^ 
and thev stand about us as the earth of the trenchea 
surrounds the garden beds/ Eav Huna said: 
* Every one of us has i,ooo on his left side and 
lOjOCXD on his right/ "^ To this day, the devout 
Turk, at the conclusion of his prayers, bows to the 
right and to the left, as saluting the genii of good and 
evil respectively by whom he is attended.' 

Thus, then, the belief in demons having been from 
time immemorial an integral part of the popular 
belief, it has contributed very largely to the notions- 
entertained down to the present time of the devil 
himself. Two references will suffice to show this con-^ 
nection. Pan, one of the classical rural deities, closely 
associated with the satyrs and the faims, is described 
as homed and goat-footed, with a wrinkled face and 
a flat nose.* Although this latter organ is often 
modified in its form, yet there is little difficulty in 
recognizing the homed and hoofed devil of popular 
tradition and nursery dread. Again, Puck is a fair 

• Farrar's "Life of Christ," ii. 466. 

' Hershon's "Pentateuch according to the Talmud," 299. 

• Lenormant's " Chaldean Magic," 144. 

• Keightley'a " Classical Mythology," 


tspecimen of the Scandinavian dwarf or elf, the 
frolicsome embodiment of mischief : — 

I'll lead you about a round, 
Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier ; 
Sometime a horse Til be, sometime a hound, 
A hog, a headless bear, sometimes a fire. 
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn. 
Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.^ 

We have here a mischievous demon, who, if seen 
at work carrying out his threats, would' certainly be 
dubbed "the Devil." 

A few words as to the process by which the 
aboriginal mind came to believe in the existence of 
spiritual beings. At first sight it may appear incom- 
prehensible that man in a primitive state, barely 
emerging from the condition of the brute, should 
conceive such an abstract idea as that of a spiritual 
power, invisible, intangible, and in fact out of the 
reach of any of the senses. The savage's uneducated ^ 
mind could probably not have bridged over so wide 
a chasm as that between the physical and the ideal, 
but fcr certain steppmg ston^ which half suggested 
the conclusion. The associated ideas of cause and 
effect, which he at the foimdation of all intelligence, 
are however sufl&cient to account for the belief in 
spiritual beings ; and that belief, once entertained, 

^ '^ Midsummer Night's Dream," act iii, scene i. 


the door is open by which the infinite ramifications of 
the idea can troop in. 

Man in his early intellectual infancy began "to 
take notice," seeing certam effects, and wondering 
about the cause ; he saw that every solid body, living 
or dead, had two fugitive attendants, a shadow and 
a reflection, the former dark and dull, the latter 
much more bright and lively. The optical cause of 
these appearances was not recognized, and the nervous 
fear always attendant upon ignorance, gave to each 
its individuality, calling the one a shade, the other a 
soul, or psyche. Experience taught that the shade 
and psyche were directly connected with and de- 
pendent upon the body, but in a somewhat different 
relation to it ; a man died, and you no longer saw 
his shadow ; but, in the visions of the night, the well- 
known figure of the dead man as he had appeared 
in life, with his panoply and bearing, his voice and 
mien, flitted past the dreamer ; hunting and fighting, 
commanding and threatening, as in the days gone by : 
the figure, not that of the dull dark shade, but of 
the lively, fitful psyche, as seen in the water, or 
reflected in the polished mirror-surface. The man 
in life had had body, shade and psyche : the dead 
man's body was known to be mouldering in the 
grave, the . dreamer's body inert in sleep— -death's 
counterpart ; — but the psyches of the dead man and 
the dreamer were holding intercourse together, much 


as they had been wont to do when both in the body ; 
and the inference seemed irresistible, plain to demon- 
stration, that the dead man and the living dreamer 
each had a something, more ethereal than the body, 
which lived in spite of the body's death, visiting one 
at the dead of night, continuing apparently the 
business and occupation of former days, and inter- 
esting itself in the affairs of the survivors; com- 
mimicating with them through their psyches, when 
their bodies lay powerless in the simiUtude of death. 
The vision was not that of the shade but of the psyche, 
the body was gone and so was the shade ; the body 
was in the grave, the shade had been absorbed in the 
darkness and gloom which imagination identified 
with the tomb. 

The apparition of the dead ancestor was by no 
means shadowy and unpractical ; he may have been 
a tyrant, or at least a stem imperious parent ; and 
when he returned in the visions of the night, he 
brought back much of his old authority and influence, 
deepened by the glamour involved in the very 
weirdness of the apparition. With all the light and 
knowledge which an advanced intellectual training 
has given us in modem days, there are few of us who 
could dismiss readily from the mind a dream in which 
a dead parent seemed to stand before us, and, with 
the familiar voice and gesture, imfold some secret, or 
predict some momentous event : whilst in the dream. 



the judgment and the will lie dormant, and the 
feelings and affections are open and imguarded ; but 
with us, when the light of day returns, our reason 
soon enables us to sweep away the fancies of the 
night : those, however, whose reasoning powers are 
low, or who have no certain knowledge to guide them, 
to whom dreams are imdoubted facts, imaccounted 
for by waking thought and experience, see omens 
and portents in the dream episodes, and in the actors 
in them etherealized human beings. This becomes 
an earnest and honest belief, which grows into a 
firm faith, passed on from generation to generation : 
a man beheves he has a spirit which will continue in 
a shadowy world the existence which in bodily life 
was experienced, and as he has seen his father's spirit 
after death busied in a round of occupations, with all 
the recognized adjuncts and circumstances, so he 
expects to be himself in like condition after death. 
He therefore enjoins upon his children as a filial duty 
to provide his disembodied spirit with all the neces- 
saries and luxuries which disembodied spirits reioice 
in : and we may be sure that, if the chilLn do not 
carry out the commands left by their parent, their 
conscience-stricken imaginations make the night 
hideous with dream visions of the offended ancestor, 
who will only be laid by compliance with his neglected 
commands, and the ease of conscience which duty 
performed induces. 


The condition of the spirit's existence after death 
has been the subject of as much controversy and differ- 
ence of opinion as it is possible to imagine. The 
opinions have differed according to the tastes and 
occupations of those who have formed them. The 
savage and the barbarian have always lived, and still 
live, in the element of the beUef in spirits ; but from 
the earliest time, even the most civilized and refined 
races have been thoroughly imbued with the same 
idea : " A belief in the persistence of life after death, 
may be discovered in every part of the world, in every 
age, and among men representing every degree and 
variety of culture."^ Amongst cultured races the 
ancient Egyptians recognized after death a disem- 
bodied personality for each individual The "Book of 
the Dead" proceeds throughout on this assumption ; 
the soul has a form, and can eat and drink, while 
the man's shadow is part of his personality, and 
something substantial ; it is taken from him at 
death, but restored to him in the second life.^ The 
modem Basutos think that if* a man walks on the 
river bank, a crocodile may seize his shadow in the 
water and draw him in.' The old cultured Egyptians 
and the modem savage Basuto agree pretty closely 
in theory. 

* Renou^ "Hibb. Lee." 1879, 124. * Ih. 153. 

* Caaalifl Basatos, 245. 


As a general rule, amongst all races, the spiritual 
state was merely a continuation of the earthly life, 
and whatever the idea of earthly happiness was, it 
was hoped that the spiritual life would be ; and the 
dutiful family would provide, according to their power 
and judgment, for the contentment and well-being of 
the departed spirit. The deceased was a hunter, and 
a warrior ; his horse, his dogs, his servants, and even 
his wives, were slain at his grave, that he might have 
horse, dogs, servants, and wives to supply his * wants 
in the land of spirits ; his arms and armour were 
buried with him, that he might have their use : and 
so with money, clothes, and every other article of use 
or luxury. In that spirit-land " the soul of the dead 
Karen, with the souls of his axe and cleaver, builds 
his house and cuts his rice ; the shade of the Algon- 
quin hunter hunts souls of beaver and elk ; walking 
on the souls of his snow-shoes, over the soul of the 
snow."^ The axe and cleaver, and the snow shoes, 
were accordingly dedicated to the dead, and buried 
with them. 

It is not necessary here to examine more minutely 
the ideas entertained by savage, barbaric and civilized 
races as to the nature of the spirit, or soul, and its 
relation to the body ; this has been done most ably 
and exhaustively by Mr. Tylor in the chapters on 

' Tylor's " Prim. Culture," ii. 75, seconded. 


Animism in lus "Primitive Culture:"^ it is sufficient 
for the present purpose to point out that, from the 
earUest dawn of intelligence, the belief in the existence 
of ancestral spirits has been almost universal, and 
still exists in the large majority of creeds. 

The aboriginal human inhabitants of the earth, and 
especiallj the Turanian races, may be safely credited 
with the origination of the worship of ancestral 
spirits or manes. The American Indian tribes, of all 
stages of intelligence, address prayers to the spirits 
of their ancestors for good weather and luck in 
hunting : the Tasmanians bring their sick for healing 
to the funeral pile of a dead man : the Maoris of New 
Zealand beUeve that their deceased ancestors plead 
with the higher deities for the welfare of the living 
members of their families : the Vazimba, an aboriginal 
tribe of Madagascar, pay special attention to the 
tombs of their ancestors, which are constructed 
expressly with a view to offerings to the dead ; and 
the more modern races of the Malagasy have 
imbibed and continue the same doctrines and 
practices. Africa is a great stronghold of manes- 
worship : the Zulus rely upon their dead ancestors 
for success in battle, and they will speak of their 
father's spirit as present with them in daily life, and 
furthering the well-being of the family : in Southern 

^ London: Murray, 1873. 


Guinea, not only offerings of food and drink are made 
to the deceased ancestor's spirit, but also a share of 
the survivor's profits in trade. In Asia the prevalence 
of manes-worship is still more remarkable: the 
Turanian tribes of Siberia, the Nagas and other 
aboriginal tribes of India, the Veddas of Ceylon, the 
Andaman Islanders, the followers of the Sin-tu faith 
in Japan, the lower orders of the Siamese, and in fact 
almost every race of men, firmly believe in the 
existence and sympathy of their ancestors' spirits, and 
reciprocal thaL^pa'h, in a hund^ Jy.. Hving 
in the most constant and friendly relations with 
them. But it is amongst the 300 millions of Chinese, 
whose civilization is undoubtedly the oldest now in 
existence in the world, that manes-worship has 
attained its greatest perfection. They not only take 
their ancestors into confidence with regard to the 
daily occurrences of life, and seek and, a^ they think, 
obtain their powerful help (for by reason of their 
spirits being disembodied, their powers have become 
indefinitely increased), but they labour to glorify them, 
and by raising themselves in the social scale, believe 
that they are securing promotion in the world of spirits 
to their dead ancestors. It can thus be understood 
how greatly important it is considered that every man 
should leave surviving him a son by blood or adoption, 
to keep up the offerings and worship in which the 
ancestors stood in need : an idea which in varied forms 


reappears in the notions, and indeed in the laws, of 
many other races. China is like a great stratum of 
aboriginal ideas, standing out like a high table-land 
above the mass of newer races, which surging around 
has overflowed the older element in most other parts ; 
there are nevertheless spots all over the world, where 
the same stratum crops out, although in a fragmentary 
fonn, and in a more or less modified degree the same 
principles are recognizable ; such are the Vazimba, 
isolated in the mountains of Madagascar ; the Veddas 
in the interior of Ceylon ; and many of the other 
tribes to which reference has been abeady made. 
The Chinese race, out of their vast numbers, have 
developed a high state of civilization, and the iso- 
lated tribes, hunted, oppressed, and nearly extermi- 
■mted by aUen and stlge races, have remained 
in the L condition in which they started, or 
may well have fallen lower, but the principle of 
ancestor- worship, common to them all, has survived 
this great divergenca 

It may therefore be concluded that the low-class 
aboriginal tribes created the first idea of manes- 
worship, and having done so their idea turned out to 
be more robust than their race. In many instances, 
where the race has been completely stamped out or 
absorbed beyond all recognition, their religion and 
superstition have survived and been adopted by the 
conquering race. The Etruscan, and other kindred 


tribes, were no doubt of these absorbed races ; and we 
therefore find the Romans, who absorbed them, 
maintaining the worship of the manes in full force ; 
raising them to the rank of divine beings (Dii 
manes), erecting images and offering sacrifices to them, 
and relying confidently upon them for countenance and 
succour. The Greeks had similar rites, which are 
traceable to a like source. A practical illustration of 
the effect upon the Greek mind, produced by this 
belief in the necessity for manes-worship, is seen in the 
course taken by Leonidas in selecting the 300 warriors 
of Thennopylse, who were expressly chosen because 
they " were all fathers with sons living." If they fell 
in their desperate encounter, their sons were left 
behind to perform the rites due to their fathers, and 
to the other ancestors of the family ; and by belonging 
to a continued race, provision had been made for an 
indefinite performance of these kindly offices. On this 
principle celibacy was regarded by the Greeks as un- 
lawful ; it was prohibited by Solon ; and in Athens 
and Sparta it was treated even as a crime '} indeed, it 
is said, that " no man who knows he must die, can 
have so little regard for himself as to leave his family 
without descendants;" for then there would be no one 
to render him the worship due to the dead.^ The 
same idea runs through the religious sentiment of 

* Renouf, "Hibb. Lee.'* 143. ' lb. 142. 


other systematic religions : without a son to perform 
the ftmeral rites, a Brahman believes that he cannot 
enter into heaven :* and amongst the ancient 
Egyptians, the " Ritual of the Dead,'' extending over 
j66 chapters, constitutes a most elaborate system of 
rites, to be performed by survivors on behalf of a de- 
ceased, so as to ensure his safe passage over the waters 
of the infernal Nile, thence through the Hall of Judg- 
ment, and the ordeal of the forty- two infernal judges, 
into Aalu the Egyptian heaven, or Elysian fields. 
The survivors would identify themselves with the 
deceased, and, in his name, go through the ritual in 
presence of his mummy, and continue this until all 
danger was considered to be over : the evident beUef 
was, that the disembodied spirit, on its journey, was 
accompanied by the ghostly counterpart of the 
prayers and invocations which were taking sensible 
form in the presence of the material body. The 
deceased would thus, by proxy, vehemently maintain 
his personal identity with Osiris, and his right to be 
so considered, until the soul had passed all dangers, 
and was declared to be absorbed into the essence of 
Osiris himself, from whom he was originally but an 
emanation." Amongst the books on the mysteries of 
the Babylonian rehgion, there was also a book en- 

» Max Muller, "Hibb. Lee." 1878. 
» Wilkinson's "Egypt," iii. 427. 


titled "The Book of Going to Hades," which was 
probably similar to the Egyptian "Ritual of the 
Dead,"' although as yet no part of the work itself 
beyond its title has been recovered. The passing 
bell is still rung in many comitries, to drive away 
the fiendish enemies of a dying man's soul, and secure 
the prayers of the faithful for its safe passage jfrom 
earth to Paradise. The assistance rendered by the 
living to the dead is no longer that of food and 
raiment, but that of rites and invocations, to procure 
the protection from hostile spirits or demons ; but the 
principle is throughout the same. 

From the beatified spirits of our • ancestors, and 
worship offered to them, we pass insensibly to deified 
men and heroes, and saints of medieval and modem 
times. We have seen that the • sympathy existing 
between the dead and the living was mutual in its 
nature, arising upon an exchange of benefits — ^the 
party in the flesh exerting himself to procure the 
safe arrival of the dead man's soul into the happy 
land of spirits, and the dead man's spirit using his 
etherealized and accentuated powers for the benefit 
of the pious survivors : it is true, not necessarily 
furthering moral ends and desires, but repaying 
services rendered by supernatural assistance ; assis- 
tance which a good spirit would confer to ftirther a 

1 (( 

Trans, of Soc. of Bib. Arch.," iii. 433. 


good end, but which a bad spirit would dispense to 
aid a malicious purpose. One man would appeal to 
his patron saint, to deliver him from peril of ship- 
wreck, or some imminent distress; another would 
pray to a demon, the spirit of his dead grandfather, 
to lend his aid in the consummation of some fell 
scheme against the innocent, or to defeat the ends 
of justice. And each would base his claim to help 
on the sacrifices made or to be made at the 
shrine of the being invoked ; the one would hang a 
sUver ship on the image of the patron saint ; the 
other would place a pot of meal or honey in the tomb 
where the demon's bones lay buried. The lower 
orders of the Siamese believe in gods of a high aud 
potent order, but they fear to address them, lest 
through ignorance they should blunder in the complex 
ritual; they prefer to pray to the "parak," a lower 
class of deities, among whom the souls of great men 
take their places at death.^ The modern peasant of 
the Boman or Greek persuasion will run through a 
list of saints at the first appearance of danger, and 
pray their intercession with the deity for deliverance. 
Komulus was the patron deity of children, he had a 
temple at Rome, where sick children were presented 
for their cure : the Roman women now present their 
sickly children at the church of St. Theodorus, the 

* Tylor's "Prim. Culture," ii. ii8. 




patron saint of children, built on the site of the 
former temple of Romulus.* Helios, the storm-giving 
god, who traversed the heavens in his chariot of 
fire, had a temple at Mycene : the worship of Helios 
declined, and the religion of the Bible took its place; 
a church was built on the temple's site, dedicated to 
Elias, the prophet of the chariot of fire, whose prayers 
brought up the cloud, and made the heavens black 
with storm ; the holy man of the Christian succeeded 
the sun-god of the pagan; but the name of the 
locality scarcely needed change from Helios to Elias, 
and local sentiment remained the same.^ The Cotnish 
miner Perran, who discovered the art of smelting 
tin long before the Christian era, drifts into the St. 
Piran who was the patron saint of miners : and now 
the tinners' great holiday, the Thursday before 
Christmas, is still called Pieron's day.^ 

" Although full ancestor worship is not practised 
in modern Christendom, there remains even now 
within its limits a well-marked worship of the dead. 
A crowd of saints, who were once men and women^ 
now form an order of inferior deities, active in the 
affairs of men, and receiving from them reverence 
and prayer — thus coming strictly under the definition 
of manes. This Christian, culture of the dead^ 

* Tylor's "Prim. Cult" ii. 121. * Conway, " Demonology," i. 98. 

» Max Miiller, " Chips," iii. 312. 


belonging in principle to the older manes-worship, 
was adapted to answer another purpose in the course 
of religious transition in Europe. The local gods, 
the patron gods of particular ranks and crafts, the 
gods from whom men sought special help in special 
needs, were too near and dear to the inmost heart 
of pre-Christian Europe to be done away without 
substitution. It proved easier to replace them by 
saints who could undertake their particular pro- 
fessions, and even succeed them in their dwellings." ^ 
" To sum up the whole history of manes- worship, it is 
plain that in our time the dead receive worship 
from far the larger half of mankind ; and it may have 
been much the same ever since the remote periods 
of primitive culture, in which the religion of the 
manes probably took its rise."^ 

The world of spirits has thus been recruited by 
vast numbers of the souls of departed men, whose 
power for good or evil has been recognized as 
influencing the affairs of mankind. What the man 
was in life, so his spirit is assumed to be after death ; 
and as the teachers of religious ethics, particularly 
amongst Christians, have, as a rule, condemned as 
wicked the lives of the majority of men, so their 
spirits have been ranked as evil demons : and 
although the word demon, used for a departed soul, 

* Tylor's "Prim. Cult." ii. 120. * Ih. 123. 

E 2 


did not originally carry with it an evil meaning, it 
has now long since come to be regarded in no other 

But there is another class of demons, the origin of 
which is more obscure, and which cannot in any way 
be referred to the idea of departed souls. In the 
oldest mythologies of the world — ^not those of the 
savage races, but those where culture has raised the 
thought from individual souls to abstract spirits-it 
has been a widely received dogma, that prior to the 
creation of man on the earth, not only were other 
forms of men created and destroyed, but also races 
of spirits, good and evil, who have a separate 
state of existence, and are either propitious or detri- 
mental to man. 

According to Berosus, the tradition of the Baby- 
lonians was that, prior to the creation of man, 
several other races of beings were created of 
monstrous forms, amongst which we recognize 
centaurs and other monsters of Greek mythology : 
and that some of these were totally destroyed before 
man's advent on the earth.* Another Babylonian 
legend, of Accadian origin, confirms this theory, and 
goes on to relate fierce wars between the armies of 
good and evil.' Another similar legend recounts a 
revolt in heaven and the casting out of a host of re- 

• *< Originea d'Histoire," 506. • " Eecords of the Past," ». 109. 


bellious spirits :* a legend echoed by St. Peter and 
St. Jude in their epistles,^ and taken up by Milton, ^ 
and made the central episode of his immortal epic. 

Rabbinical traditions assert that malignant demons 
were created at the end of the sixth day of Creation, 
and that . the Sabbath, overtaking the work of 
Creation, and absolutely enjoining rest,' there was 
not time to do more than create their spirits, and 
they were left without bodies ; and that ever since 
thev have had to wander about seeking bodies to 
inhabit, in order that they may enjoy the pleasures 
of material lifa And this would seem to be the Jewish 
method of accounting for demoniacal possession, 
and would also explain the earnest ' prayer of the 
legion of devils, cast out of the demoniac of Gadara, 
that they should be allowed to migrate into the 
herd of swine, rather than be wholly disembodied, 
and driven into the limbo of chaos. The demons 
thus created are described as having wings, they 
sweep from one end of the world to the other, they 
know the future like ministering angels, they eat 
and drink, they propagate their species, and die like 
men : they also^ know the fixture, by listening in 
heaven behind the veil in the celestial sanctuary.* 

Th6 .Arabian legends have a very similar theory 
of the origin of the jinns, who con-espond in most 

* "Records of the Past," vii. 123. * 2 Pet. ii. 4; Jude 6. 

• Hershon's " Talmud," 80. * Hershon, 69. 
Conway, " Demonology," iL 94. 


particulars with the demons of the rabbins. The 
jinns were created out of fire, and occupied the 
earth for several thousand years before Adam : they 
were perverse, and would not reform, although 
prophets were sent to reclaim them : they were 
eventually driven from the earth, and took refuge in 
the outlying islands of the sea. One of their number, 
named Azazeel (afterwards called Iblees) had been 
carried off as a prisoner by the angels J he grew up 
amongst them, and became their chief, but having 
refused, when commanded, to prostrate himself before 
Adam, he was degraded to the condition of a sheyt^n, 
and became the father of the sheyt^ns, or devils. 
The jinns are not immortal, but destined ultimately 
to die : they eat and drink and propagate theu' 
species : they live in communities, and are ruled over 
by princes : they can make themselves visible or 
invisible, and assume the forms of various animals, 
such as serpents, cats and dogs. There are good 
jinns and bad jinns. They frequent baths, wells, 
latrines, ovens, ruined houses, rivers, cross roads and 
market places. Finally, like the demons of the 
Rabbins, they ascend to heaven and learn the fiiture 
by eavesdropping. But with all their power and 
knowledge, they are liable to be reduced to obodience 
by means of talismans or magic arts, and become 
obseouious servants until the spell is broken.* 

* Keightley's "Fairy Mythology," 25-27. 


According to the modern Persians, there was a 
creation of spiritual beings, good and bad — the peris 
of surpassing beauty, and the deevs of equal 
ugliness, who suffered the same fate as the good and 
evil jinns, in punishment for disobedience. The 
beauty of the peris, like that of the most lovely 
women, is beyond description ; and from time im- 
memorial has formed a stock subject for poets to 
dilate upon when in their most transcendental 
mood.^ The repulsive deformity of the deevs, with 
ugly shapes, long horns, staring eyes, shaggy hair, ^ 
great fangs, ugly paws, and long tails, has been an 
equally fertile one for pictorial illustration and word- 
painting.^ A perpetual war rages between the peris 
and the deevs : they are both mortal, although 
endued with prolonged life : they partake of the 
sentiments and passions of men, although much 
superior to them in power. Talismans and magic 
arts will aid men to subjugate these deevs, and 
counteract their malice.^ 

We may now pass to other latitudes and races; 
but, with variations easily accounted for by differ- 
ences of climate and other surroundings, the legends 
are much the same. Throughout the whole Gotho- 
German race, mythology and folk-lore teem with 
notices of alfe (or elves) and duergar (or dwarfs). 

* Keighdey'fl « Fairy Myth." 22, * lb. 23. • lb. 15-17. 


The whole world is full of spirits. The white alfs 
are good and friendly towards men, dwellmg in a 
city of their own ( Alf-heim) whiter than the sun in 
appearance. The dark alfe, or duergar, are equally 
inimical to man : they inhabit the air, sea and earth. 
And, of the last, those inhabiting thick woods, desert 
and lonely places, rocks and hills, are most malignant 
and mostly to be feared. They are also said to dwell 
beneath in the ground, and to be blacker than pitch. 
The origin of the duergar is stated in the Edda to 
have been in the clay, like maggots in flesh. They are 
described as in the form of men, but of low stature, 
with long legs, and arms reaching almost down to the 
ground when they stand erect : they are marvellous 
metal workers, both for gods and men, who place 
inestimable value on their works in gold, silver, iron 
or other metals.^ 

It is a prevalent opinion in the North that all the 
various beings of the popular creed were once 
worsted in a conflict with superior powers, and 
condemned to remain till doomsday in certain 
assigned abodes ; the dwarfs in the hUls ; the elves 
in the groves and leafy trees; the hill people in 
caves and caverns ; the mermen, mermaids and 
necks, in seas, lakes and rivers ; and the river-men, 
in small waterfalls : but that in the end they will 

^ Keightley's " Fairy Myth." 6^, et seq. 


be saved as well as all mankind.^ In many parts of 
Germany, and in other countries too, the idea 
prevails that the dwarfs and elves are fallen angels. 

The elves of the popular creed are directly 
descended from the dwarfs or duergar of northern 
mythology; but at the date of Spenser's "Faery 
Queene** the ^Ives had become amalgamated with 
the older fairies of romance, and both have come 
down to us in an intermingled form.^ 

The pedigree of the fairies of romance is that of an 
idea evolved from obscure traditions based on facts. 
The earliest legends connect the idea of sorcery and 
witchcraft with beautiful women. Lilith, the rabbinic 
first wife of Adam, was gifted with marvellous beauty, 
especially in her hair, and used spells and magic 
arts.* A double of Lilith is probably to be found in 
Leila, a leading figure of Persian romance, of inex- 
plicable fascination ; of dark complexion, with long 
black hair, beautiful only to her lovers, but diiving 
them to madness. The Babylonian epic of Izdhubar* 
records his being withstood on the sea-coast by two 
women, Siduri and Sabitu, whom we may strongly 
suspect of being sorceresses. Kirke is at once an 
enchiintress and a nymph of rare beauty.* The sibyls 
were gifted with such magic as compelled even the 

* Keightley's "Fairy Myth." 147, 148. * Ih. 59. 

• " Con. Dem." ii. 93-98. 
* Smith's " Chaldean Genesis,'* by Sayce, 264. * " Odyssey," b. 10. 


gods ; and one at least of them was of such beauty 
originally as to have been wooed by Apollo. The 
gorgons, originally connected with the sea, have the 
magic power of turning all who look upon them to 
stone ; they, too, had beautiful hair, which in the case 
of Medusa captivated Neptune and procured its 
metamorphosis into serpents. The sirens also were 
female nymphs who, inhabiting clifife near the sea, 
bewitched passing mariners by the sweetness of their 
voices, and allured them to their death. These find 
their exact counterparts in the lorelei of the Rhine, 
and the mermaidens of all the Northern seas, endued 
with irresistible powers of sweet music, by which 
they allure mortals to . their ruin ; they sing in sweet 
and plaintive tones, and comb their golden hair. In 
passing it may be noted that St. Paul refers to long 
hau- as the glory of a woman,^ that mystic power 
resided in the hair of Samson, and that Mohammed 
had long hair. In the Apocalyptic vision, a swarm 
of monstrous beings are, on the sounding of the 
fifth trumpet, described as rising out of the smoke 
of the bottomless pit ; they are composite and 
monstrous in shape, endued with special powers 
to hurt rrian ; they ai-e under command of the 
/ arch-fiend ApoUyon,^ arid they have long hair. 
Sorceresses and witches of all time have had 

* I Cor. xi. 15. ' Rev, ix. 8. 


dishevelled hair when entering on their sombre rites 
and incantations, and the Dame du Lac — a fay oi 
romance — ^had wonderful hair. 

Closely connected with the nymphs, are the Fates 
and Parcse of mythology, and their representatives. 
Hovering over even the greatest gods of antiquity 
was a power, veiled, vague, but undoubted : inflexible 
decrees ordained a destiny which not even Jove him- 
self could bend : and so in other creeds. In the beauti- 
ful legend of the descent of Istar to Hades found on the 
Babylonian tablets, even in the presence of the Queen 
of Hades, some power is called forth to judgment which 
seems to override her great authority — " the spirits 
of earth, seated on a throne of gold. "^ Among the 
Egyptians, the " hathors" are fair and benevolent 
maidens, daughters of Ra, the Sun, who preside at 
the birth of children, and fix their destiny. The 
hathors, daughters of the day, became to the Greeks 
and Latins the parcse or fates, starting, spinning 
and cutting the thread of life and human destiny ; 
evolved from a single goddess, Mara, who acknow- 
ledged the superiority of no other deity, not even of 
Jove himself. The Erinys and Furies are near akin 
to the Fates : — 

Chorus. Who then is the pilot of necessity ? 
Prometheus, The triform Fates and the remembering Furies. 

^ Smith's ^' Chaldean Genesis/' 245. 


Chorus, Is Jupiter then less powerful than these ? 

Prometheus, Most certainly, he cannot at any rate escape his 


The Scandinavians had their Nomir — ^the Past, the 
Present and the Future — maidens who come to each 
child that is born, to shape its life, giving gifts of 
good or evil, and foretelling its future fortune.^ 

The nymphs of classical mythology constitute 
another link between the ideas of the ancient and 
the modem worlds. They were a kind of middle 
beings between gods and men, partaking of the 
nature of, and in sympathy with, both ; beautiful, 
ever youthful, cheerful and happy; long lived but 
not immortal ; usually remaining in their particular 
spheres, in secluded grottoes or peaceful valleys by 
the fountains or streams, on the hills or in the woods 
or caves, of which they were the residing spirits ; 
occupied in spinning, weaving, bathing, singing or 
dancing, or attending other deities in their expedi- 
tions of sport or revelry.^ The nymphs were divided 
into classes, according to their origin, or the physical 
features with which they were identified: a Greek 
or Roman would have taken it as a matter of course, 
if, as he wended his way down a secluded ravine or 
shady glade, a bevy of beauteous damsels, the 
nymphs of the valley or stream, the woods or trees, 

' ^sch. " Prometheus." ^ Keightley's " Fairy Myth." 64. 
' Murray's "Handbook of Mythology," 152. 


had flitted across his path, their voices ringing out 
sweet songs and merry peals of laughter, tripping 
gracefully to the measure of wild but tuneful music : 
and at last fading from sight as the notes died out 
leaving him alone with the murmuring waterfall or 
stream, or the silent wood The nymphs were as 
much an article of faith, as ever the saints of 
medieval times have been, and the love and sym- 
pathy they inspired arose from a similar cause ; if 
they were semi-divine, they were also semi-human. 
The great gods were generally far away on Olympus 
and out of sight ; the nymphs were attached to things 
material, which formed a sort of body, coeval with 
their own existence. The hemadryad's Ufe was iden- 
tified with her tree ; she would implore the woodman 
to spare it, for if the tree died or was cut down, she 
perished with it : this induced a feeling of frailty and 
uncertainty, which appealed to human sympathies. 

It is to be remarked that nymphs were often the 
nurses and protectors of the gods and heroes ; and 
the ocean nymphs had a special mission to rear the 
children of men.i Nymphs were mostly beneficent, 
but not always so; for one class at least — the 
limnads, nymphs of lakes, marshes and swamps — 
were dangerous beings, alluring and misleading tra- 
vellers by their songs, or mimic screams for help.* 

' Keigb Uey's " Cla. Myth." 215. " Murray 's « Mythology," 1 54. 


As Greek and Eoman traditions waned in popu- 
larity, and the romance of knight errantry followed 
in the track of the barbarian inroads on the Roman 
Empires, the Roman and Greek nymphs ceased to 


be recognized as such, but their places were taken 
by other beings, not less interesting, not less beauti- 
ful, but partaking of the weird attributes which 
always characterized the faith of the invaders from 
the wild and frowning North. The fays of romance 
were beings of supernatural beauty and powers, able 
to become invisible at will, and transport themselves 
from place to place in a moment of time, often in 
assumed forms, and by enchantments and spells to 
subjugate humans to their will ; they were, moreover, 
susceptible of human passions, and their intrigues 
with ordinaiy mortals form the staple of medieval 
romance. In these respects, the fays closely repeat 
the history of the nymphs, and when their name is 
traced to its origin the resemblance is as close as 
ever. The term " fay" (French, //(g) has been traced 
to two derivatives, both worked out with consider- 
able ingenuity and plausibility : they are probably 
both founded in fact. The Latin word fata was 
used for the parcse or the fates, to whom reference 
has been already made, and this word appears to 
have passed into all the dialects of the romance 
language in use in the Middle Ages, and to have 
been then used to describe the beings whom we now 


know as the fays of romance : /ato, Italian ; fada^ 
Proven9al ; Jiada^ Spanish ; fee^ French ; fays^ 
fairies^ English. The other derivation is from Latin 
fatare (derived from fatum or fata) to enchant ; this 
passed into French as faer to enchant ; with the par- 
ticiple faSy and we read of chevaliers faes and dames 
faces. The modern expression to represent a fairy- 
has become fee in French, and fay in English ; their 
domain, faerie^ and, finally, the denizens of faerie, 

As a characteristic example of the fays of romance, 
may be mentioned a legend of the Dame du Lac, who 
was a pupil of Merlin the enchanter, from whom she 
learnt the art of magic, and who requited her in- 
structor by entrapping him in a rock, and transport- 
ing him as a prisoner to fairy-land. At another 
time. King Ban was djdng of grief caused by base 
treachery: his queen, having placed her new-born 
babe on the margin of a lake, was soothing the 
monarch's last moments ; she returns to the lake and 
finds the babe in the arms of a beautiful lady ; no 
entreaties will prevail upon her to return it, and with- 
out a word she plunges into the lake with the child. 
The lady was the Dame du Lac ; the lake itself was 
but an illusion raised by enchantment : the babe was 
trained by the fay, and became the Lancelot du Lac 

* Keiglidey's " Fairy Myth." 5, &c 


of King Arthur's court. We trace here some of iii6 
mischief of the old lake nymphs, the limnads. 

The fays of this period are not diminutive in size, 
as we now conceive die fairies, but resemble or- 
dinary mortals so much as to be mistaken for them, 
and in fact to enter into matrimonial alliances and 
intrigues with them. The fays of romance wero, 
however, doomed to rapid degeneration. Bunning 
parallel with their history was that of another class 
of beings, brought in by the northern hordes, who 
had a folk-lore of their own, traced 'from a dim anti- 
quity, and having an origin far removed from the 
classic mythology of the soutL These were the 
elves, the dwarfs or Httle people, themselves a race 
of varied origin and varied attributes, and deistined 
to coalesce with the fays or fairies, and practically to 
absorb them. The accomplishment of this union is 
best shown by the fact that, at the tim'e of Shake- 
speare, Oberon is spoken of as the king of fairy-land, 
and Titania as its queen. Now Oberon is the same 
as Elberich, the chief of the dwarfs, or elves of 
German folk-lore,^ and Titania is the same as Diana,* 
the principal leader of the nymphs, who had since 
been transformed into the fays. 

The fairies of Shakespeare and our modem nurse- 

' Keightley's " Fairy Myth." 208. 

' Ovid, " Metamor." b. 3. The poet records that the Groddess 
was taller than all her Nymphs. 


ries require no description. We all know how they 
will come to a christening and fix the infant s destiny, 
not seldom mixed with a dash of spite. As man's 
&ith in, and respect for, the supernatural influence 
has dwindled, so has the realization of the beings 
exercising it. Diana, the dreaded Artemis, grand- 
daughter of the first and greatest of the Titans, and 
sprung from Jove himself, and who was also one of the 
twelve great Olympian deities, has dwindled down to 
Titania, the fairy queen, who despatches her subjects 
with the command — 

Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds ; 
Some war with rear-mice for their leathern wings, 
To make my small elves coats.^ 

Whilst the fays and elves and all the varied 
streamis of beings, which have contributed to their 
pedigrees, have now shrunk into one small common 
stream, fast drying up in the sands of thought, 
some of the conceptions from which they sprang, at 
an early date diverged and struck root indepen- 
dently. This new departure produced a most 
luxuriant growth, which has since become as impor- 
tant in the world's history as the other has faded 
into insignificance. 

Starting from the general principle that every- 
thing in heaven and earth had its spirit, we can at 

* "Midsummer Night's Dream," Act ii. sc. 3. 


once understand how good things and beneficent 
phenomena had good and beneficent spirits. When 
the expanse of heaven was regarded as the most 
sublime object that could be presented to the senses, 
the great spirit of the heavens was looked upon as 
the Supreme God, the originator of all other spirits, 
and the creator of all things in heaven and earth — 
the Father in Heaven. The sun and moon, and the 
five other planets come next in the order of 
sublimity ; far beyond the reach of man, moving 
about the heavens, of apparent set purpose, and not 
like the other stars ; their spirits therefore came next 
in order in the heavenly hierarchy, and amongst the 
star-gazing people of Chaldea, imposed a veneration 
for the number seven, which has reverberated 
throughout the world, and is still instinct with life in 
our midst at the present day : we thus have amongst 
the Chaldeans seven gods of the seven planets, and 
among the ancient Persians or Zends, Ahura-Mazdu 
associated with the seven Amshaspands, immortal 
saints who assisted him in the government of 
the world. The Jews had their archangels, each 
one with a host of angels under his command : the 
Egyptians had good genii in the service of Osiris : 
and in the Apocalypse we read of the seven lamps be- 
fore the throne of God, which have their seven angels, 
the watchers, — or unsleeping ones, — to whom was 
committed the care of the seven Christian Churches.. 


One star after another was seen to dart across the 
heavens; these were messengers sent on special 
missions of mercy or retribution. Or the falling star, 
apparently torn from its place and suddenly cast 
down into darkness, had its spirit, which in like 
manner was cast out of heaven ; one of the wander- 
ing stars to whom is reserved the blackness of dark- 
ness for ever.^ 

The innumerable stars, the host of heaven, each 
one with its attributed spirit, most naturally 
furnished the Great Spirit and the archangels with 
messengers- and attendants ; and so we find them 
continually described both in sacred and secular 
literature. These angels are perfectly pure spirits, 
without sin and invisible ; they are ^* messengers'' 
and ministers of God's will and purposes, nothing is 
too great or too insignificant for them to perform ; 
they will destroy Sodom with fire and brimstone, or 
tend the growth of a wayside herb. Their number 
is beyond computation, outnumbering the inhabitants 
of the world in the proportion of a million to one.* 
These hosts of angels passed on from the Jewish 
faith into the Christian creed : no wonder that in 
view of such a wealth of beneficent spirits, man 
should have concluded that one of their number was 
specially commissioned to guard and defend him 

' Jude 13. " Farrar's "Life of Christ," ii. 466. 

F 2 


from danger, and that each man, woman and child 
should have a guardian angel, or even more than one. 
The Chaldeans had each a guardian god and goddess 
living in him as his protectors : the ancient Persians, 
as well as aU the stars, animals, and even angels 
themselves, had each his *^ Fravishi," who was invoked 
in prayers and sacrifices, and was the invisible 
protector who watched untiringly over the being to 
whom he was attached.^ Each Jewish child had 
his guardian angel, who always beheld the face of 
his Father who was in Heaven.^ And these guardian 
angels have passed on into Christian times, and have 
only yielded to the more material but perhaps more 
easily recognized saint, who, having done battle with 
human infirmities, is felt to be more accessible to 
the wants of a ' struggling mortal. The Latin 
*^ Genius" and the Egyptian "Ka," both variants of 
the same ideal, were spiritual beings which seem to 
have been on the border land between the individual 
soul and the individual's guardian spirit, and it is 
difficult now to determine which of these two 
characters they more resembled. 

It will thus be seen that the belief in angels, and 
in guardian angels, brought down to the present 
day, and still widely held with all the sanctions of 
accepted religions, is but a branch from the same 

* Lenormant's "Chaldean Magic," 199. " Matt, xviii. 10. 


root : — the existence of spirits associated with each 
material object or person, — which gave birth to the 
beb'ef in nymphs, fairies, and elves, and all the other 
spiritual denizens of mythology and folk-lore. 

Another branch of the world of spirits was 
developed into the great class of cosmical spirits, 
represented as being in some form or other the off- 
spring of the earth, as having made war upon the 
gods of Heaven, and having been conquered and 
thrust down to the lowest depths of Hell, to Tartaros, 
there to undergo punishment for their rebellion. 

The Chaldeans had seven *' ensnarers" whom they 
called " Maskim ;" demons dwelling in the bowels of 
the earth, and surpassing all others in power and 
in terror : these cause convulsions of the earth, dis- 
turb the motion of the stars. 

They violently attack the dwellings of man, 

They wither everything in the town or in the country. 

They oppress the free man and the slave. 

They pour down like a violent tempest in heaven and earth.* 

These are the seven "rebellious spirits," powers of 
evil, which in the "days of storms," against high 

heaven plotted evil ;- they are the dreaded enemies, 

against whom the highest and most potent gods are 

invoked with the reiterated wild cry : — 

They are seven, they are seven ! 
Twice over they are seven !' 

* Lenormant's " Chaldean Magic," 29. 

* "Records of the Past," v. 163. * Ih, iii. 143. 


These rebel spirits reappear amongst the Greeks 
as the Titans, the children of Titania, the earth ; who, 
for the most part, are personifications of the wild, 
powerful, and obstructive forces of Nature. The 
Titans warred against Jove, the god of heaven, the 
earth crashed in conflagration, the forests crackled, 
the ocean boiled, and threw up scalding vapour to 
the sky, as thunderbolts and lightnings flew whirling 
down from heaven, the winds adding to the din and 
increasing the strife, until the sound was as of the 
earth falling in ruins, and of a solid heaven like a 
vast avalanche, dashing down upon it from above. ^ 

The battle ended by the Titans being overcome, 
and driven headlong into Tartards, a dark and dreary 
place where are the extremities of earth : — ^ 

The gaping gulf low to the centre lies, 

And twice as deep as earth is distant from the skies. 

The rivals of the gods, the Titan race, 

Here sing'd with lightning roll within th' unfathom'd space.' 

Such too were the great frost giants of the 
Eddaic mythology. A mass of frozen venom had 
originally produced the giant Ymir, out of whom was 
formed the earth, and who became the father of the 
frost giants. The destruction of these giants was 
brought about . by Bor, the father of the gods of 
heaven, the Eddaic Jove : — * 

* Hesiod, 690. ' lb. ' " ^neid," vi. 

* Mallet's "Northern Antiquities," 402-405. 


Mountains together dash, 

Giants headlong rush, 

And Heaven in twain is rent,' 

Finally we note that Job recognized that the 
Rephaim, " the mighty ones," were confined in the 
depths of Sheol, groaning and trembling at Jehovah :' 
that Isaiah identifies the Rephaim with the " other 
lords," whose name had been invoked as gods, but 
whom Jehovah had destroyed, and had made their 
memory to perish, turning them into ''Rephaim"' 
and that the Apostle Peter quotes the angels that 
sinned, and whom Jehovah had cast down into 
Tartaros, and delivered them into chains of darkness, 
to be reserved unto judgment/ 

It is not improbable that, through all these tradi- 
tions, in which dread powers of terrific influence and 
mien are dimly seen, comes down to us the echo of 
a mighty and cruel religion, in which the powers 
of earth were deified, and their worship cruel, 
bloody and relentless, sensual and degrading ; when 
the only offering acceptable to the gods was human 
blood, and the standard of morality that of the Pans 
and Satyrs : when " the earth was corrupt and filled 
with violence."* 

We have seen that the most dreaded cosmical 
spirits were considered as the offspring of the earth, 

' Mallet's ** Northern Antiquities," 402 ' Job xxvi. 5. 

' la, xxvi. 13, 14. * 2 Pet. ii« 4. * Gen. vL 11. 


and in Northern Mythology the duergar, who were 
its earth spirits, whose abode was in the ground and 
in stones, were said to have been bred in the earth 
as maggots are in flesh. ^ The duergar were a repul- 
sive race of beings, of low stature, with short legs and 
long arms, reaching almost down to the ground when 
standing upright ; gifted with much knowledge, and 
especially skilled as metal-workers.^ After the duer- 
gar became personified and familiar to the popular 
mind, their origin as cosmical spirits, in which they 
resembled the Titans, Rephaim, and other subter- 
ranean monsters, was gradually lost sight of; and 
they were classed with any race of actual men who 
combined in themselves a sufl&cient number of such 
attributes as, to the careless and ignorant, present 
some features of resemblance. At this point come 
in the dwarfs. 

The dwarfs or trolls are represented as dwelling 
inside hills, mounds, and hillocks ; sometimes in 
single families, sometimes in societies. They are 
regarded as extremely rich. Their hill dwellings 
are very magnificent inside ; and, on great occasions 
of festivity, are lighted up, and seem to be ftdl of 
treasure, and sumptuous furniture and utensils. 
The dwarfs are obliging and neighbourly, keeping up 
friendly intercourse with mankind : equally sensitive 

' " Prose Edda," 13. * Keightley's " Fairj MTthology," 67. 


to kindness and to slight, requiting the former with 
gratitude, and resenting the latter with manifest 
petulance. They marry, have children, and live 
much as mankind do : — even at times intermarrying 
with them. They are generally low in stature, hump- 
backed, with long crooked noses and twinkling 
mischievous eyes ; dressed in grey or brown jackets, 
and wearing red caps. They are much addicted to 
dancing, music and singing, in which they specially 
indulge at festival time. They have supernatural 
powers, which they exercise not only for their own 
benefit, but by which they influence the lives ^nd 
destinies of mankind ; they can confer bodily strength 
and beauty, prosperity or mischance ; they can fore- 
tell future events, and spirit themselves or others 
away, either in an invisible state, or in the form of 
animals or other beings, and this by means of spells, 
talismans and charms. 

Whilst possessing all these wonderful powers, they 
are themselves the slaves of magical influences, and 
at times become suddenly subdued and helpless by 
some chance accident. Usually invisible to mortal 
sight, they become suddenly visible if their cap gets 
knocked off* and seized ; and until they regain it 
they are in the power of the possessor of the cap. In 
other ways they may at times be captured by mortals, 
and made to reveal and give up their treasures, or 
otherwise subserve the interests of their captor. 


They are however a very slippery set, and although 
inferior in size are sometimes endued with great 
strength and agility, and always with a watchful 
cunning which makes them more than a match for 
the ponderous beings of a duller mould: the cap 
of invisibility will be suddenly snatched back and 
resumed, or the vigilance of the captor will be eluded 
just at the critical moment, and the dwarf will vanish 
with a ringing jeer. 

All dwarfs are not however equally good-natured, 
some being more grim than others, and seeming to 
rejoice in malicious spite : but as a rule they are harm- 
less, shy, and retiring, timid when not in large num- 
bers, suspicious, and occasionally morose. They are 
not particularly honest, but their dishonesty consists 
more of pilfering than serious robbery, and only being 
of a serious character when women or children are 
carried off, — kidnapping being a particular weakness 
of theirs. Their mischief is also more of a petty 
than of a serious nature ; skimming the milk, breaking 
the crockery, worrying the cattle, and such like : or 
misleading or scaring travellers or their horses, 
inveigUng them into dilemmas or leaving them to 
flounder in swamps or quagmires. 

They are often represented as metal workers of 
great and unrivalled skill ;^ being able to fashion work 

* Keightley's "Fairy Mythology," 176. 


of silver, gold, and steel of incredible fineness, strength 
and durability. Tradition is full of instances where 
gold and silver goblets, rings and chains, have been 
obtained from them, sometimes by fair means, and 
sometimes by foul : and their swords, armour, and coats 
of steel mail have a lightness, temper and strength 
which make their happy possessors at the same time 
irresistible and invulnerable. Even in such common- 
place items as ploughshares and other agricultural 
implements, their neighbours sought, and with proper 
consideration, obtained from them, their assistance, 
although the mode and plan of working were kept a 
profound secret, and were rarely intruded upon. 

With all this occult knowledge and superiority in 
certain " arts and mysteries," the dwarfs were behind 
their human fellow-creatures in some of the more 
every-day subjects : naturally quick-witted, they 
were not readily receptive of new ideas of civilization. 
A tale is told of a company of Korreds, (Dwarfs of 
Brittany,) succeeding in counting up a sequence of 
days sufficiently to make up a chorus of — 

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ; 
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday — 

and getting no further until taught by the tailors 
Peric and Jean, to go on to ** Thursday and Friday 
and Saturday and Sunday."^ 

* Keightley's " Fairy Mythology," 439. 



Upon a full examination of the traditions and 
monuments of the earliest ages, it is impossible not 
to conclude that the dwarfs and trolls must be 
identified with primeval races of men of low stature ; 
who covered a large area of the habitable globe, and 
who were gradually driven into mountain-fastnesses, 
swamps, ice-bound tracts, or trackless steppes, before 
the steady advance of a larger, more powerful, or better 
armed race of men. This fluctuation of races has 
undoubtedly taken place in most parts of the world : 
the invading element not always being the intrusion 
of the larger races on the smaller, but sometimes of 
the smaller on the larger. Hence we have traditions 
coming down from the smaller race, recording their 
own victories over the larger one ; in which they 
speak of themselves as ordinary men of normal size^ 
and their enemies as giants : and they boast of their 
own cunning, whereby they outwitted the clumsy and 
stupid giants, their ponderous strength notwith- 
standing. The nursery tale of Jack the Giant Killer 
is no doubt a tradition of this class. When on the 
other hand the history is recounted by the larger race 
they in their turn refer to themselves as ordinary men,, 
and the enemy become a race of dwarfs or pigmies^ 
whose treachery and cunning, nimble activity and 
unexpected resources, incomprehensible to the slower 
intellect of the narrator, invest them with attributes, 
of supernatural powers. This not only engenders fear 


and superstition in relation to the little people when 
alive, but, when they are dead, haunts the places of 
sepulture — the caves and huts where they lived, and 
the dolmens and barrows where they were buried, — 
and creates an equal and indeed a much greater dread : 
for, be it remembered, every one without exception 
believed implicitly in the spirits of the dead being 
endued with accentuated powers, and haunting the 
localities where they had passed this life, and the 
places where their bodies were laid. 

The Accadians, who were amongst the earliest, if 
not the earliest, inhabitants of Babylonia, were 
eminently gifted with all the culture of the ancient 
world ; they professed to be the heirs of an older 
extinct society, — the world before the Flood — and to 
have alone received the last words of the occult 
sciences which the perished races of man had built up 
through cycles of life and culture. One cannot help 
suspecting that the Accadians represented the nucleus 
of the original Turanian stock, which had from time to 
time thrown off the vast hordes of ever teeming races, 
which had spread throughout the world, and which 
eventually were elbowed out by the stronger and 
larger races of men. The Accadians themselves had 
to yield to the ferocious Assyrian conquerors, and to 
see political power pass from their hands for genera- 
tions, until their conquerors were themselves subdued 
by the steady force of culture and superior intelligence 


which the physically conquered race possessed. The 
dread powers of magic, astrology, and other occult arts 
restored to the Chaldeans the sway which had been 
wrested from their Accadian ancestors. In the great 
Indian peninsula successive hordes of Aryan invaders 
from the North- Western mountains poured down into 
the plains of Hindustan, and passed over to the island 
of Ceylon : the lofty stature and the fine physique of 
this handsome race was more than a match for the 
aborigines of low Turanian type whom they found in 
possession of the land : centuries of persistent 
aggression have driven these races from the greater 
part of the country, either overwhelming them or 
absorbing and subjugating them : but still the Nagas 
and Nautch people of the main-land hills, and the 
Veddas of the interior of Ceylon remain to testify 
by their very distinct physical characteristics, and 
their social and religious customs and superstitions, 
that they belong to the great Turanian stratum of the 
human race, or were once incorporated with it. The 
great continent of Northern Asia, the teeming millions 
of China, and the wandering Tartar tribes, have in the 
main resisted the inroads of intruders, and present, 
some in a state of culture and others of barbarism, 
probably the most perfect examples of the old Tura- 
nian nature. In Europe the Lapps, the Finns, the 
Esthonians, the Etruscans, the Basques, the Iberians, 
with other kindred races, once overspread the whole 


continent and the British isles : the Celts, Gauls, and 
Scandinavians, and other Aryan races, surged over 
them in successive waves, to some extent absorbing 
as they went, but leaving a few isolated groups of 
the old people, sufficiently distinct for recognition, in 
the present day, amongst whom still survive in some 
vitality, traditions of the little cunning people of 
primeval times, or the physique and the social customs 
which characterized them. Such traditions are to be 
found amongst the Bretons and Basques, in the hills 
of Wales, Cornwall, Devonshire and Derbyshire, the 
Highlands of Scotland, and the outlying islands, and 
the wilder parts of Ireland; all places where the 
shattered remnants of a tounded race would linger 
longest until extinguished or absorbed into other 
races ; and when indeed such races were absorbed, 
they would perpetuate a strong complexion of 
their own physical and mental character. The old 
physique and social customs are most to be remarked 
amongst the Lapps, who, a small and feeble race, 
have been driven into the outer circle of the habitable 
world, where existence is too miserable to be envied, 
and the country almost too inhospitable to be intruded 
upon. But here we have preserved an easily recog- 
nizable type of the old dwarf race, living either under 
ground or in conical beehive huts, and with the main 
features and traditions of their ancestors, modified only 
by the necessities of their position and mode of life. 


In America the Eskimos, who certainly at one time 
overspread a far greater tract of the continent than 
they now do, have been like the Lapps shut out in the 
cold by the world's household, as the only condition 
upon which their continued existence would be 
tolerated. It is here to be remarked that probably 
in America the order of conquest was to some extent 
reversed, that at one time the primeval inhabitants 
were of a higher physical type than their conquerors, 
and that it was only in consequence of a long period 
of peace, prosperity, and plenty, that they became so 
effeminated as to be unable to withstand the inroads 
of the fierce but small Aztecs who were genuine re- 


presentatives of the Turanian type. Dr. Dawson in his 
" Fossil Men," has argued, with much force, that the 
Alleghans were the oldest inhabitants of the North 
American continent of whom any trace can be found ; 
that they were a mild, peaceable, prosperous, and 
effeminate race, living in large communistic dwellings 
capable of lodging as many as 600 families under one 
roof; and that they fell an easy prey to the blood- 
thirsty, cruel, and hardy Aztecs, who in point of stature 
were nevertheless a much smaller race of men,^ 

Now what are the characteristics of the Turanian 
race which fossil remains and recognizable history 
enable us to identify ? They were all short, obese 

1 (( 

Fossil Men," by Dawson, 51-66, 


and swarthy; with dark hair, crisply curled, and 
scanty beards, high cheek-bones, and obliquely set 
dark eyes : these physical characteristics are seen in 
theportraits of ancient Etruscansand the Latin records 
of them,^ and in the descriptions of the Scythians, — 
the roaming peoples of the whole Northern world. 
The remains of many of the neohthic men are in 
complete accordance with these features, and although 
we have not any precise information on the physique 
of the Accadians, yet other circumstances seem to 
combine to picture to us as probable a similarity to 
other Turanian races. In modern times the Tartar 
tribes of Asia, the Nagas, the Lapps and Eskimos, 
have a greater resemblance to those ancient races 
than any others now extant. Again, wherever the 
dwellings of primeval man are traced, if they do 
not consist of caves and holes in the earth, they 
generally are found to be in a beehive form and partly 
underground ; dwellings of this pattern are still used 
by the Lapps and Eskimos, and traces of prehistoric 
huts of this form are found very generally all over 
the world. Another form of dwelling which was 
largely adopted, was that of the communal dwellings 
before referred to as in use amongst the Alleghans : 
traces of this system are also found in Sweden, in 
Mexico, Yucatan, Peru and Africa, and probably the 

^ Taylor, ''Etrascan Bescarches,'' 6i. 



Swiss lake dwellings may have been of the same 
nature; the Greenlanders' winter houses certainly 
are of that class/ Dr. Dawson suggests that the tra- 
dition of the Tower of Babel built on the Chaldean 
plain, refers to the construction of a huge]} com- 
munistic building on this plan, intended to bind to- 
gether the early tribes of men in one vast commu- 
nistic league.^ 

Before quitting this subject, reference should be 
made to the inhabitants of the Andaman Islands, who 
have recently been most carefully studied and ably 
described by Mr. E. H, Man. These interesting 
people would seem to be a pure and unmixed sur- 
vival of the old Turanian races, and it would appear 
that their insular position and insignificance have 
saved them from destruction and contamination. 
Varied influences have been at work in almost every 
other part of the world, which have leavened and 
modified all its other inhabitants, to a greater or less 
extent : but in the case of the Andamanese we feel 
that we are in the presence of a race of men belong- 
ing to another and distinct creation, so great is the 
divergence fi:om the ordinary types. The average 
stature of the men is 4ft. loi inches and of the 
women 4fb. 7J inches, and the average weight 98J 
lbs. and 9 si lbs. respectively. They are thick-set, 

* Dawson, « Fossil Men." S^. * lb, 84. 


sturdy, and active, but very short lived, dying ge- 
nerally at the age of about 22 : they are simple-minded 
and child-Kke, wanting many of the most common 
rudiments of culture, not knowing how to produce 
fire and not having in their language the means of 
counting beyond two : their huts are of various 
shapes, but large common dwellings are found amongst 
them, and some of the beehive pattern : they have 
very acute perceptions, being able to spear turtle in 
the pitch dark night, guided in their aim by the 
acute hearing which they possess, and distinguishing 
among the jungle, animals and birds which to the 
ordinary eye are not perceptible. They are most 
industrious dancers and singers ; every event of life, 
every transaction of business or pleasure leads to con- 
certed dancing and singing, without which their life 
would evidently come to a standstill. Their intellect 
is by no means of a low order, for if taken in hand when 
quite young their children will acquire rapidly a full 
average of education ; a child of 1 3 has been known to 
speak in four languages. Their character is described 
as *' merry, talkative, petulant, inquisitive, and rest- 
less ; their speech is rapid, with a constant repetition 
of the same idea : a joke, if it does not take too 
practical a form, is heartily appreciated while all 
insults or injuries are promptly resented." * 

* Journal ofAnth. Inst, xi. 285. 





It is hardly necessary to point • out that the 
Andamanese have so many points of similarity to 
the traditional description of the dwarfs, that it is 
fair to infer that they are identical in origin, and 
that the dwarfs of popular mythology and 
folk-lore are none other than Turanians of 
an early age, or at all events their ghosts or 
spirits, in which their main features and charac- 
teristics survive. 

The vast number of the old Turanian tribes, the 
varied circumstances of their existence, the exigencies 
and influence of climate, caused great diversity in 
their state of culture ; and many groups of such 
tribes were remarkable for arts which others had not 
acquired. Thus the neolithic races made their 
weapons of flint, and dwindled away under the 
oppression of their bronze and iron-using invaders, 
leaving but little trace of their existence, beyond the 
vast numbers of their flint arrow-heads and other 
stone implements, and the confirmatory evidence of 
their identity with the dwarfs or elves, afibrded by 
these arrow-heads being known as " elfin bolts" of 
magic power. But there certainly appear to have 
been other races of Turanians who acquired and 
exercised great skill in metal working, and thereby 
originated the legends of metal working dwarfs and 
trolls, which undoubtedly abound in the folk-lore of 



We have endeavoured to trace how, from the ob- 
servation of shadows, reflections and dreams, the 
human mind first conceived the idea of spirits ; how 
this idea, in the first instance, attached itself to 
deceased ancestors, and from thence developed into 
manes-worship, the deification of heroes, and the 
canonization of saints: how the unexplained phe- 
nomena of nature led to the behef in nature spirits, 
generated independently of men, and therefore of 
another and perhaps prior creation ; how the world 
became peopled with jinns, genii, demons and 
fravishis : how, parallel with these, the conception of 
inexorable fate or destiny beyond the range even 
of thought, came in as a controlling power, and 
that all other, even the highest, spiritual powers were 
bound by sorcery and magic forms : how this over- 
ruling power of fate and sorcery spread amongst the 
dread votaries of occult art, the sybils, fates, and 
nymphs ; but softened away its terrors, as nymphs 
assumed a lovely human form, and entered into 
human intercourse : how, by degrees, the nymphs and 
fates of old melted into the fays and fairies of 
romance : how the northern invaders of Europe had 
inherited another form of nature worship, coloured 
by the grimness of their country and climate, and 
had realized their ideal in monstrous duergar and 



dwarfs : how these beings of the mind had received 
amplification by association with the dwarfs of 
actual life, the low type of aborigines, dwarf and un- 
couth, but cunning and wielding magical knowledge 
and power : how the duergar and dwarfs dwindled 
into elves, whilst the fays and fairies faded in like 
manner as they each passed down from power to petti- 
ness and pranks, until eventually the two peoples 
made common cause and occupied fairy-land to- 
gether; Oberon, the dwarf, being their king, and 
Titania, the quondam nymph, their queen : how the 
great cosmical powers, who refused to sacrifice their 
greatness, and dwindle into toy spirits, w^ere cast 
down from heaven, and as Titans, Rephaim, and 
fallen angels, chained and groaning in the depths 
below, serve to point the moral that opposition to 
the powers that be, is evil. 

We have seen that all these beings are or have 
been, classed as both good and evil in their time, that 
there are good demons and bad demons, good jinns 
and bad jinns, good genii and bad genii, kind fairies 
and spiteful fairies, propitious as well as fatal 
nymphs; that the Titans suffer only from the wicked- 
ness of having opposed those who were strong enough 
to overcome them, and that, even now, there are 
hosts of heavenly and infernal angels, who own a 
common origin and the divergence of whose career is 
not easily explained. 


The intermingling of all these beings and the ideas 
of which they are the offspring is the result of ignor- 
ance, of limited knowledge and experience: — the 
Northern peasant has his runes of trolls and elves, 
his Eoman neighbour has legends of nymphs and fays : 
they both find tombs and other traces of a dwarfish 
and strange race of men, and local records and 
traditions; all these have points of contact, and, 
floating on the uncertain sea of imagination from 
which they sprang, without any firm anchorage or 
attachment of fact, they drift together down the 
stream of time, and finish as a poetical conglomerate. 
This process is discernible in all subjects of tradition : 
the evolution is worked out by the decay of each 
component part, and the conglomeration of the de- 
generated residuum : as time obhterates a part of 
each tradition, it adds new matter from another 
source ; and it is only by tracing each step of the 
process (often an impossibility) that the true source 
of each constituent part can be detected. 

The English popular ideas of the Devil are very 
intimately connected with those about house spirits, 
hobgoblins, dwarfs, puck and pixies ; who were 
always conceived to be in league wdth the foul fiend. 
It is not so very long ago that all these beings, as 
well as elves, feiries, wit<5hes and magicians were 
solemnly denounced by the English clergy as allies 
of Satan, the great enemy of mankind. 


The jinns and demons of Semitic creeds received 
the sanction of the Hebrew and the Christian sacred 
canons^ and were fully recognized by the Eabbinic 
teaching, which had so A^ast an influence on the 
Christian and Mohammedan faith ; and these jinns and 
demons have become firmly established as the 
''Angels'* — "the Messengers" — of the Arch-fiend. 

The Titans and Rephaim, the fallen powers of 
heaven, ftimished hierarchs for hell itself and even 
gave to it a monarch. 

The fear engendered by superstition and ignorance : 
the belief in enchantment, magic, witchcraft, charms 
and spells : the practical fetishism which gives a spirit 
to every substance animate or inanimate, with power 
to flit from body to body, — the secret of demoniacal 
possession, — ^lie at the root of all these theories and 
systems, and have created and handed down all these 
co-operative and opposing spirits, without which the 
Devil himself would indeed be but a shadowy entity. 




The Law of lilvolutioii — ^Influence of Surrounding Circumstances — 
Evolution of Religious Ideals — Animism — Isolated Spirits — 
Subordination of Spirits — Subjugation of Conquered Gods — 
Degradation of Overpowered Gods — The Golden Age — The 
Serpent — Earth Worship — Earth and Heaven combined — 
Degradation of the Earth Gods — Chaldean Generation of the 
Gods — Hebrew Religion — Fetishism — Slaughtering Gods — 
The Serpent and Magic — Solar Deities — Rectification of 
Standards of Morality — Surviving Religions — Survivals in 
Christianity — Theological Criticism — Some Degraded Deities, 
Bel, Zeus, Bog, Loki, Set, Lucifer — Devas and Asuras. 

The fundamental religion of the great Turanian 
race, which in primeval times overspread the whole 
habitable world, was a system of animism, varying . 
amongst different tribes and peoples, but exhibiting 
throughout a belief in all-pervading spiritual 'exist- 
ences, which were related either to material bodies, 
or to physical phenomena, past or present. The 
mode in which this belief may have originated has 
been discussed in the preceding chapter : it is now 
proposed to examine how some of these spiritual 
beings first became elevated into deities, and how in 
course of time they were degraded, and became 
demons or devils. 


This result is due to a process of evolution, the 
stages of which can be traced with a fair amount of 

The law of evolution, although but recently recog- 
nized and defined, has taken its place amongst the 
firmly established dogmas of naturial science ; in 
the universality of its application, it ranks with the 
law of gravitation : it may even claim a wider range, 
for, whereas gravitation only aflfects material bodies 
with a dull, though steady force, evolution has been 
continuously at work for untold ages, not only upon 
every material body, but also upon the mental and 
moral life of man. Not only every thing, but also 
every idea has had its pedigree, and each link in 
every pedigree involves some fact of evolution. 
Although like produces like, likeness never amounts 
to identity: as circumstances successively change, 
and change is never absent, so successive individuals 
change : no son is exactly like his father in mind or 
body, and the grandson will be still less like his 
ancestor. No result is spontaneous, every variation 
is the result of heredity of one kind or another, or of 
some outside influence : each living organism is per- 
petually under influences difierent from those which 
surrounded its parents, and their oflPspring is not only 
their child, but also the child of every surrounding 
circumstance. The man who changes his abode from 
town to country, from country to town, from an alluvial 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 91 

plain to a mountainous district, at once exposes his off- 
spring to influences which tend to difiPerentiation, and 
which bring about clearly discernible modifications 
in the physical system, modifications which, repeated 
from generation to generation, will become more and 
more pronounced and permanent. 

Instead of a mere change fi:om town to country 
life, or some other slight displacement, let us suppose 
a migration from one country to another, involving a 
change of climate, food, pursuits, and all other physi- 
cal circumstances and relations, and we shall see the 
descendants of the emigrant developing characteris- 
tics which no parent or ancestor of theu-s ever had, 
but which are really the ofl&pring of the outside 
influences newly imported into the race, and which 
thereupon modify its nature in a manner never 
before experienced. Every child has three parents, 
the father, the mother, and the suiTounding circum- 

The Aryas, who invaded India from the north, 
were a race totally diflPerent in features and colour 
from the Turanian inhabitants of the country whom 
they conquered : the highest caste of the conquering 
race, the Brahmans, have always been hedged round 
by so many barriers against corruption of their blood, 
as to make it most improbable that they should have 
crossed their race with that of the dark skinned 
aborigines : and yet in the south of India, under 


the tropical sun, there are Brahmans as black as 
Pariahs. The Sanskrit name for caste is " vama/' 
colour : this shows that when caste was instituted, a 
distinction of colour was regarded as sufficient to in- 
dicate a distinction of race : but now colour is no 
longer a criterion, although other features of diifer- 
ence are quite sufficient to attest the distinction of 
races.^ It is not to be supposed for a moment that 
the blackness of these Brahmans was inherited from 
any human ancestor, it is not at all probable, nor is 
it necessary to so conclude : it is a matter of con- 
stant observation, that the complexion of Europeans, 
whose blood certainly remains unmixed with that of 
the native Indians, after two or three generations of 
residence in India, will show unmistakeable signs of 
darkening, and at such a rate, as to make it highly 
probable that a hundred generations of progress in 
the same direction, would find the skin completely 
black. Now the dark complexion, discernible in 
these black Brahmans, has been gradually but surely 
imposed upon their race by the climate and the 
physical circumstances in which they have been de- 
veloped, and has become as much incorporated in their 
nature as any other characteristic passed on from 
father to son : so that it is impossible to lay down 
which of the attributes of body or mind are really 

^1 — ■ ■^^i^»^»^— ^^^i^^^ !■■■ i ■-^■.» ■ ■■■■ ^ ,i i ■■ ^^— ^ i»ii » ■ -^m^^^^^ 

* Max MuUer's " Chips," ii. 322, 323. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 93 

inherited from the first progenitors of a race, or 
which of them have been incorporated by such a 
gradual process as shown in the case of the black 
Brahmans. In settling any pedigree which aims at 
logical precision, the third parent of each link, the 
surrounding circumstances, must be taken into con- 

Mr. Wallace sums up the complex nature of evo- 
lution, and the kindred process of survivals, as 
follows : — " If we take the organic productions of a 
small island, or of any very Umited tract of country 
such as a moderate sized country parish, we have, 
in their relations and affinities — ^in the fact that 
they are there and others are not there, a problem 
which involves all the migrations of these species 
and their ancestral forms — all the vicissitudes of 
climate and all the changes of sea and land which 
have affected those migrations — ^the whole series 
of actions' and reactions which have determined 
the preservation of some forms and the extinction 
of others — ^in fact the whole history of the earth, 
inorganic and organic, throughout a large portion 
of geological time.*'^ 

The interlacing complications involved in the evo- 
lution of physical organisms, have their exact 
counterparts in the evolution of human ideas ; and 

I a 

Island Life," 6, 7. 


no ideas show more distinct traces of direct descent, 
combined with accretions from outside and foreign 
influences, than those from time to time entertained 
respecting the deities to whom worship has been 
accorded by man, in the successive ages of the world. 

It has been necessary to digress somewhat, in 
order to explain an element in evolution, which, 
operating more or less in all cases, is pre-eminently 
potent in the evolution of religions. No religion has 
ever, like Pallas, sprung complete from any brain, 
but has always been engendered by some previous 
ideal : all religions have been deeply tinged, and at 
times completely changed in character, almost beyond 
recognition, by their surroundings and other adven- 
titious circumstances. 

Animism, we have* seen, in one form or another, 
was the universal religion of the primeval races of 
man. There was a separate spirit for each separate 
thing, each spirit essentially independent of all others, 
and only subordinated by lack of power. Professor 
Max Mtiller, borrowing an analogy from his special 
study of language, calls this religion " monosyllabic'* '} 
Professor Haeckel, the uncompromising champion of 
material evolution, would call it a *' one-celled" 
religion : and we may safely accept it as a faith 
founded on the realization of powers and energies, 

' "Science of Religion," 155. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 95 

recognized and attributed because of their eflfects, 
but without knowledge of their causes. 

The next step was the individualization of the 
spirits, and the attribution to them of power to pass 
from one substance or body to another substance or 
body ; then the meeting of more than one spirit in 
the same body : rivalry for sole possession, conflict, 
conquest, and subordination of one spirit to another. 
This brought about what evolutionists call " difieren- 
tiation" amongst the spirits : some classes of them 
were less powerful than others, and became sub- 
ordinated to the more powerful classes : by the same 
process, these latter became ranked amongst them- 
selves in various degrees of eminence and power, 
until one over-ruling head of the whole spirit world 
was eventually recognized. All this travelled side 
by side with an evolution of human society : savage 
man, wandering through the world to find his food, 
regardless of his fellows, could not long remain in 
that state ; he must have soon learnt that absolute 
equality cannot exist : combination would produce a 
division of labour, and that subordination : subordina- 
tion would develop into a state with innumerable 
ranks and shades of power and influence ; culminating 
in a chief, a king, a president, a dictator, or a generalis- 
simo. Tribes, races, kingdoms and nationalities w^ould 
fight against and conquer one another; the conquering 
king would depose the vanquished king, and probably 


consign him to chains and a dark dungeon, and his 
people to slavery or tribute. The spirit world was a 
reflex of the materiid world; and as social policy 
developed with it, and when wars of races, and the 
struggle for existence and supremacy arose, and politi- 
cal subordination ensued, the spirits and gods of the 
subjugated races followed the fate of their worshippers, 
and became the slaves of the conquerors' gods and 
spirits, and often had to do their dirty work for them. 
As physical strength and power in men was vener- 
ated and feared, so the spirits and gods were vener- 
ated and feared in proportion to the power and 
strength they were believed to wield : if the gods of 
Egypt were not able to nei-ve the Egyptians to van- 
quish the Syrians, it was quite clear that the gods of 
the Syrians were more powerful than those of Egypt ; 
and the change to a Syrian dynasty in Egypt was 
logically followed by the subordination of the gods of 
Egypt to those of Syria. If at any time the gods of 
Egypt enabled their people to throw off* the Syrian 
yoke, then it was equally logical to erase the names 
of the Syrian gods from all places of honour, and 
relegate them to utter darkness, like the holes and 
corners where their desecrated images were thrown. 
The gods are immortal, and therefore cannot die like 
their analogues on earth ; but beaten, trampled down 
with ignominy, expelled from heaven, and soured in 
temper, their natural vocation becomes conspiracy and 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 97 

revenge; the thwarting of their conqueror's plans, the 
undermining of hig power and influence, and the com- 
passing of his ruin, and that of all his sympathisers. 
Here again, man has his own experience to go by, and 
nothing else, and he attributes to the spirit- world 
motives, passions and schemes analogous to those 
which humans entertain and promote in parallel cases. 

Power is still the test, and fear and reverence wait 
upon it : if power be limited or destroyed, the fear 
and reverence flag or die out. If the spirits of Light 
have conquered the spirits of the night, then in the 
daytime the woi*shippers of Light may walk secure ; 
but when the Sun sinks in the West, and darkness 
steals over the earth, the spirits of darkness, like 
nocturnal beasts of prey, creep out of the dark holes 
and caves, where they had been all day companions 
of the moles and bats,i and make night hideous with 
their roarings ; as prowling, they seek whom they 
may devour. Then is the time to commune with the 
powers of hell, and make unholy compacts for their 
aid to defeat virtue and the works of Light : for that 
is their "hour, and the power of darkness. " ' 

It is difficult to fathom the primeval history of 

mankind, so as to attain reliable results. But there 

are nevertheless some points respecting which facts 
have been brought down by so many concurrent 

* Isaiah ii. 20« ' Luke lauL 53* 



streams of tradition, as to justify the conclusion that 
these traditions have some solid grounds upon which' 
to found a theory: among such is the tradition of 
the Golden Age. 

The Golden Age supplies the subject for a chapter 
in the history of almost every mythology ; a period 
when life was without care, and sorrows were un- 
known : when innocence, joy and freedom reigned 
supreme : when the earth produced plenty for all, 
and social and political strife had not been introduced 
into the world. This was an age of agriculture, 
when the earth was looked upon as the nursing 
mother of mankind, and of all that ministered to 
their comfort and well being. This was the fabled 
reign of Kronos amongst the Greeks, and of Saturn 
amongst the Latins, when Ops and Gaia were the 
fruitful earth, and the heavens combined with them 
to bring forth and ripen copious harvests. This was 
the early reign of the Ephesian Artemis whose attri- 
butes were those of fruitfulness. This was the asfe 
when the visible causes of reproduction and life and 
the earth itself were venerated as all-powerful 
deities, and Ubations and sacrifices were made to 
them. It was then that not only the earth, but each 
tree, brook, river, fountain, well, mountain, rock and 
stone had its spirit and received its cult. 

But there was a sombre reverse to this bright and 
golden picture : Kronos and Saturn held the pruning 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 99 

knife, but it was also the sacrificial knife : the 
libations to the earth were of human blood, the 
sacrifices, human too : wherever the earth has been 
the supreme deity, as in the Golden Age, there have 
also been found the strongest belief in the efficacy 
and necessity of human sacrifice, and its most 
fanatical observ^ance. The Khonds of India placed 
their earth goddess, Tari-Pennu, above the Sun- 
god, Boora-Pennu : their whole religion was made up 
of agricultural myths and rites : when Tari-Pennu 
had to be propitiated, it was with human victims, 
whose blood would feitilize the earth : in the midst 
of dances and drunken orgies, these victims were 
torn piecemeal by the frenzied worshippers and 
spread in morsels over their fields.^ 

Similar drunken orgies and fi:enzied dances were 
likewise the necessary accompaniments of the Kronia 
and Saturnalia, the festivals in which the Golden 
Age W8U3 specially commemorated by the Greeks and 
Latins, and during which mirth and pleasure were 
unrestrained, when master and slave laid aside all 
marks of distinction, and intermingled freely. 

Kronos was not only the god of the Golden Age, 
but the devourer of his own children, like Moloch 
his grim Phoenician counterpart. The Ephesian 
Artemis, the "Diana of the Ephesians," whose 

* Macpherson's " India." 



worship was older than that of the Grecian Pantheon^ 
had to be served by human sacrifices, and, although 
the goddess of fertility, was a dread and sombre^ 
deity. Bes, one of the oldest forms of deity found 
amdngst the Egyptian records, was pre-eminently the- 
slaughterer, as we find him depicted with open jaws, 
and a slaughtering knife in each hand. Cain also, 
" a tiller of the ground," did not hesitate, when he 
found his oflferings not respected, to slay his brother 
Abel, in order that the earth might " open her 
mouth " to receive the blood.^ 

The people of the Golden Age seem to have had but 
little domestic strife, but this was probably because 
they had little or no sense of domestic virtue : they 
lived in herded communities inimical to moral 
culture ; and many strange customs, which still 
survive amongst savage tribes, and are even 
shadowed in high civilization, growing out of a low 
standard of morality, have relation to the state of* 
things which existed in the primeval times of the 
Golden Age. 

Other survivals amongst the more cultured races 
confirm this view : Lilith, the Rabbinic first wife of 
Adam, was the demoness of Lust : the Ashera, or 
Grove, of the Canaanitish nations, against whom 
such unsparing warfare was enjoined, was an 

* Gen. iv. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 101 

obscene emblem, which had to be veiled, and for 
which the renegade Jewish women wove hangings or 
veils in the corrupt reign of Manasseh.^ Besides the 
Saturnalia, and other popular festivals of a like 
nature,^ the primeval religion was kept in memory by- 
various " mysteries '' which, like the veiled images, 
were not considered fit for popular knowledge, and 
were either intrinsically unfit, or were such as to 
require special training to see the moral truth beneath 
an opposite presentment. The myths of Uranos 
and of Osiris have probably some relation to the same 
idea, and the modem Hindu cult of the Lingam 
may safely be regarded as directly brought down to 
the present time from the corrupt Golden Age.^ 

How or why it came about, it is difficult to deter- 
mine, but it is certain that in very early ages, the 
serpent was generally an object of worship ; and it 
is probable that this worship was conteinporaneous 
with the Golden Age. The serpent fell from his 
high position, but not at once ; a serpent was cursed 
in Eden, but seraphim — beings of a . serpent form — 
continued to hold angelic rank, and to be the special 
attendants by the divine throne. The serpent as a 
reptile, became to the Hebrews an object of dread. 

^ 2 Kings xxiii. 7. 
* See this subject elaborately worked out in Cox*s "Aryan 
Mythology," u. 112 et seq. And see a Paper by Mr. Sellon in the 
''Memoirs of the Anthropological Society," vol. i. 327. 


but it did not cease to be enjoined on them as a 
model of wisdom; "Be ye wise as serpents."^ 
Amongst other nations it was the symbol of the 
healing art, of life and of eternity. It is still the 
object of divine worship in many parts of the world, 
amongst races of Turanian origin, although in all 
Aryan and Semitic religions it has become the type 
of unmixed evil. The serpent-men and serpent- 
women of mythology, always associated with sor- 
ceiy and magic,^ have sunk down into hell : and 
although the "old serpent" was probably Ophion, 
the first god of heaven, yet, as he was deposed, 
discredited, and cast down into Tartaros, we ac- 
cept his identification in the Apocalypse as "the 
dcAol." ' 

Man first awoke to a sense of gratitude to unseen 
powers, and to the conviction that his acts were 
recognized and requited, when he found that tilling 
the ground produced fertility ; and that the greater 

^ Matt. X. 1 6. 
^ Before the gates there sat 
On either side a formidable shape ; 
The one seem'd woman to the waist, and fair ; 
But ended foul in many a scaly fold 
Voluminous and vast ; a serpent arm'd 

With mortal sting 

the snaky sorceress that sat 

Fast by hell-gate. — Milton, Paradise Lost, ii. 648, &c. 
* Eev. xii. 9 ; xx. 2 et seq, Lenormant's " Origines de PHis- 
toire," 100. 


the attention paid to Mother earth, the more profuse 
the benefits which she returned. His energies and 
attention were therefore fixed on the earth, and what- 
ever he gave of worship and service, was rendered to 
the occult power, which in his eyes was his supreme 
good. Those were the days of Eden, when the rain 
from heaven did not co-operate in promoting man's 
good, but the earth was watered by an earth-bom mois- 
ture, for "Elohim had not caused it to rain upon the 
earth,. . . . but there went up a mist from the earth, and 
watered the whole face of the ground.'' * This was an 
age of perpetual spring, when all power emanated from 
the earth, and man had not been taught by hard adver- 
sity, to long for the return of summer warmth, and 
for the genial showers which drop fatness out of 
heaven's expanse. But man and Eden parted com- 
pany : man went forth to gain his bread by the 
sweat of his brow, in a land of barrenness, where the 
ground was cursed : Cain tilled in vain, and in vain 
watered the ground with his brother's blood: the 
curse was doubled, and hardship was the order of the 
age: the struggle for existence became more and 
more intense, and nerved the combatants to stronger 
efforts, and wider fields of energy : then those who 
saw that earth, unwatered by the rains of heaven, 
unwarmed by the rays of the sun, was dead and 

* Gen. ii. 5, 6. 


unproductive; but that when the powers of the 
Heavens chose to embrace the Earth, she answered 
with fertility, again relapsing into dull inaction when 
the Heavens withdrew their influence; they recog- 
nized that Heaven was more powerful than Earth, 
and transferred their supreme allegiance to this 
greater power. The st^rn monitor of hard facts 
taught this lesson to the races, which, deprived by 
expatriation, or by climatic changes, of the soft 
luxurious existence of the Golden Age, were com- 
pelled to fight a desperate battle with Nature for the 
means of life. In the bracing climate of the " Moun- 
tain of the World," the great Central Asian plateau, 
a revolution in religious thought was being brought 
about, evolved from the old ideas in combination 
with the new experience of Nature's laws, or rather 
of the spiritual powers which, unrecognized before, 
were now found to be the greatest motors in the 
world of nature. The powers of earth by no means 
disappear, but they are associated with the powers 
of Heaven : and this association constitutes a distinct 
stage of development in a progressive course of 

We accordingly find, in the Greek mythology, 
Gaea, the earth, to be the mother of Uranos, the 
expanse of heaven; and that Uranos afterwards 
marries his mother Gaea. The Egyptian inscriptions 
bear testimony to the same paradoxical idea, for Ra 

THE devil's DiyiNE ANCESTORS. 105 

is represented as the husband of his own mother. 
Among the Latins, Ops, the earth, is married to 
Saturn : and indeed myths abound amongst all races 
of the marriage of heaven and earth. 

But the hardy mountaineers, nurtured by an oft 
frowning nature ; physically, mentally and morally 
stronger and greater than the dwarfed and careless 
votaries of ease, in course of time began to pour 
down upon the fertile and luxuriant plains from 
which their ancestors had been driven. The 
Acxjadians (mountaineers) became the predominant 
race inhabiting the Babylonian plains, laying the 
foundations of the study and worship of the heavenly 
bodies, which developed into the Chaldean astrology 
and modern astronomy. Their first system of 
religion was dual without being exactly antagonistic, 
for there were spirits of the heavens, and spirits of 
the earth invoked in the same breath ; and although 
the former are evidently preferred, the latter are 
nevertheless great powers, deserving of worship. 
Other Turanian families, whose culture had 
developed a higher standard of thought and life, 
began to radiate from the centre where this culture 
had been nurtured, and to permeate the weaker 
tribes, carrying with them their religious tenets in 
various forms of solar worship. Such were the 
Phoenicians, the Etruscans, the Egyptians and the 


Later on, the Aryas, longer nurtured and hardened 
in their mountain home, and having developed 
distinctive features of body and mind, poured down 
into India ; and likewise, in successive waves, over- 
spread the whole of Europe, carrying into Greece, 
Italy, and Scandinavia a system of religion higher 
still, which, being associated with stubborn power of 
will, and sturdy thews and sinews, was forced upon 
the conquered native races, and laid the groundwork 
of the tliree great systems of Aryan mythology which 
have come down to our time, the Hindu, the Greek, 
and the Scandinavian. These systems, in India, 
came into contact with the oldest form of earth- 
\voi>»hip, and probably the same was the case in some 
of the more favoured localities elsewhere : but the 
inttn^mingling of stronger northern races had in most 
of these parts, already prepared the way for a 
transfor of supreme power from the deities of earth 
to tlu)80 of heaven. After a period of alliance, we 
Hootniiingly find the old worship relegated to 
ijfuurunt, half savage coimtry folk and rural slaves, 
tho Mubjngated people ; and the gods themselves 
oitliov to Tartaros, or subterranean holes and 
oavevuH: and their rites only tolerated as a con- 
ooHidou to the lowest class, and made an opportunity 
fuv indulgence in the lowest vices. 

However, tlie Greeks and Romans were an easy- 
gi^ng set in inattera of religion : they did not object 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 107 

to strengthening their Pantheon with recruits from 
creeds and peoples of very various natures. What 
mattered it that there should be a score or so of 
extra gods, if affiliated subjects wished their deities 
affiliated with them. Evolution was still at work : 
the grub which had been bom and bred in the earth, 
and which had fattened on the unctuous garbage of 
a foul and rank undergrowth, had left its earthly 
birthplace, had crept up between earth and heaven, 
and was winding itself up into an inextricable maze 
of philosophy, which, with all its beautiful threads of 
scholastic argument, could do no more than enshrine 
a mummied grub, the similitude of death ; for, the 
vitality of primeval superstition had become 
obscured, and nothing but scepticism or total dis- 
belief remained. 

It was reserved for another Sun, of another nature, 
and for the third great race of the human family, to 
bring about the next development of the religion of 
the world ; and to quicken the death-like chrysalis, to 
make it burst its bonds, pierce through its Dedalian 
envelope, and rise, the brilliant denizen of heaven's 
pure sky. 

The religion of the Jews, at the time when it came 
into contact with the Greek philosophy, was essen- 
tially a product of evolution, and the successive stages 
of that process of evolution can be traced with some 
d^ree of certainty, by means of the Hebrew canon. 


and by what can be read between the lines through 
the aid of contemporary history and traditions. The 
Genesitic accounts of the Creation, the antediluvian 
ages, the Deluge, and the dispersion were evidently 
preserved in their present form^ for the purpose of 
enforcing what were considered the essential dogmas 
of the Hebrew feiith, and of aflfording countenance to 
the special mode of life which the nation affected — 
that of a pastoral and peculiar people. 

By the intermingled employment of the term Elohim, 
" Gods," in the plural, and of that of Jehovah, " God," 
in the singular, it is apparent that the early chapters 
of Genesis are a compilation of at least two accounts 
covering the same epoch, but originally written from 
different and somewhat inconsistent standpoints. 
M. Frangois Lenormant, and other critical writers, 
have dissected these two versions, and fairly demon- 
strated the independence of their sources. Thus dis- 
entangled, the Elohistic account^ bears a marked 
resemblance to the Accadian legends of the Creation 
and the Deluge, which the late Mr. George Smith 
and Professor Sayce have so ably translated and illus- 
trated.^ . It would appear that this account, and the 
Chaldean legends, were derived from a common 
source, and it is not rash to assume that Abraham, 

^ F. Lenormant's " Origines de THistoire." Paris, 1880. 
* Smith's "Chaldean Account of Genesis," edited by Sayce. 1880. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 109 

emigrating as he did from Ur of the Chaldees, a city 
mentioned in the Accadian records, took with him 
this part of the ancestral faith. The Elohim would 
in that case be a group of nature gods, identified with 
the assumed stages of the evolution of the material 
world, and ruling the universe, each in his own de- 
partment. Thus, from Abzu (the abyss) and Tiamat 
(the primordial sea), had emanated Ilu ''the God One,'* 
who gave place to a trinity of supreme gods, Anu, 
the primordial Chaos, the god of time ; Hea, the in- 
telligence, the inspirer of life, the fertiliser, the king 
of the element of water, "the spirit which moved on 
the face of the waters," the benevolent counsellor, 
the comforter ; and Bel,^ the god of the earth, the 
father of the sun, moon and stars, the determiner of 
destinies, " the god of the world," the god of force, 
wrath and vengeance. We can here trace the stages 
through which religious belief had passed before 
arriving at this point : the god of the earth, the 
bloody, cruel god, had preceded the heavenly hier- 
archy of sun, moon, and stars, which had since been 
promoted to the rank of deities ; for Bel, the god of 
the earth, was their father. 

But concurrently with the Elohim, was the great 
God Jehovah, who, at first appearing in association 

* Thk was in the early stage of development. Later on Bel 
became 'the sun-god. 


with the Chaldean Elohim, gradually becomes 
detached from all other conceptions of the deity, and 
remains the sole and the distinctive God of Israel — 
the only undoubted realization which history records 
of a " One God." And what was the Hebrew con- 
ception of their God ? and whence came that concep- 
tion ? He was a spirit, but not that of the material 
earth, nor of the sun, moon or stars, nor of the sea, 
nor of anything that had a bodily form, or could be 
represented as such : but it was necessary that He 
should visibly appear in some way to His worshippers ; 
and He accordingly revealed Himself to them in the 
form of Fire. 

In the Jehovistic portion of Genesis, it is recorded 
that, on the expulsion of man from Eden, it was a 
flaming sword which barred his return to the tree 
of life — ^the emblem of the old religion, which was 
now condemned. The same account records the pre- 
ference given to AbeFs ofiering of " the firstlings of 
the flock, and of the fat thereof," which had to be 
burnt with fire ; to Cain's offering of the " fruit of 
the ground" which would not be offered by fire. 
When the great covenant was made with Abraham,' 
and the sun had gone down, and a horror of great 
darkness fell upon him, Jehovah revealed Himself in 
" a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed 

* Gen. XV. 17. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. Ill 

between" the cloven pieces of the sacrificial victims. 
When the great Name was to be proclaimed, and the 
most ardent religion which the world has ever known 
was to be instituted, Jehovah revealed Himself in a 
burning bush. When the Israelites wandered for 
the forty years in the wilderness, they did so under 
the guidance of a pillar of fire : an appearance of fire, 
** the glory of Jehovah" was His manifestation in the 
tabernacle and the temple : when rebellion broke out 
in the camp, the rebels were devoured by the " fire 
from before Jehovah :" and when the great Mosaic 
law was promulgated from the brow of Sinai, " the 
moimtain burned with fire, unto the midst of heaven, 
with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness," and 
Jehovah " spake out of the midst of the fire :" * " for," 
says the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ** our 
God is a consuming fire. " ^ The whole ritual of the 
Levitical law involved the sacrifice by fire as the most 
solemn and important. 

We can also, as this religion developed into a more 
settled form, note the extinction of some rites and 
customs which had characterized the superseded 
faith : the primeval custom referred to by Balak, and 
no doubt at^ne time universally practised, was for a 
man to sacrifice to his god his greatest treasure, his 
first-bom, and perhaps his only son — the son to whom 
he looked to tend his sepulchre, and perform those 

* Deut. iv. II, 12. ' Ileb. xii. 29. 


funeral rites upon which alone the peace of his soul 
was to depend, and who would perpetuate the race 
for a like object. The distracted monarch inquired 
of the venal prophet, the dealer in maledictions, 
" Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the 
fruit of my body for the sin of my ^oul ?" ^ But the 
typical sacrifice of Isaac had been to the Hebrews 
the aboUtion of the sacrifice of the first-bom to God ; 
the circumcision of all the male children, and the 
special dedication to Jehovah of all the first-bom 
of them and also of beasts,^ had been a substitution 
for the older rite : the feast of the Passover, the 
destruction of all the first-born of Egypt, and the re- 
demption by a he-lamb, roasted with fire, not raw,* 
of all the first-bom of Israel, being a further confir- 
mation of the same change. 

The stern command to exterminate the Canaanitish 
nations, which were stUl addicted to the old worship, 
and not to intermingle with them ; and also to root 
out sorcery and witchcraft, which were intimately 
associated with such worship, clearly proceeded from 
the same motive. 

It is not difficult to detect many features in the 
cultured religious system of the Egyptians, which 
influenced, and indeed softened, that of the 
Hebrew ; and this no doubt accounts for the general 

* Micah vi. 7. * Exodus xiii. 12, 13. ' Exodus xii. 9. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 113 

absence of denunciations against the Egyptian 
worship noticeable in the Hebrew writings. 

The Hebrews, however, repeatedly reverted to the 
forbidden practices of the old faith, and this went on 
more or less until the Babylonish captivity, when 
contact with the highly refined system of the Persian 
fire worshippers, combined with the fiery trials of 
their captivity — passing them, as it were, through a 
moral and physical furnace, — purged away their 
corrupting dross, and sent them back to their native 
land with one of the purest forms of faith which the 
world has ever known. 

Whether the Jews ever came into contact with the 
disciples of the Buddha it is at present impossible 
to say : the followers of that self-denying ascetic, from 
their own stand-point, certainly aimed at a purity of 
life and motive which could not well be rivalled ; 
if their influence did reach the Jews, it could only 
have had upon them a beneficial efiect. Probably 
the influence, if any, did not tell until a later period 
of history, and affected early Christianity more than 

Even down to the Christian era the Jews, in 
common with the Persians, Babylonians, and others, 
retained distinct remnants of primeval animism, 
such as the belief in demons, magic, sorcery and 
witchciufl: and Christianity itself, the outcome 
of Judaism organized by Greek philosophy, has 



never entirely shaken off the same belief, which has 
come down to the present day and still exists 
amongst us. 

It is neither necessary nor desirable here to dis- 
CUSS such a subject as the evolution of Christianity. 
The history of Christianity, its doctrines and its 
champions ; the authenticity of its records and evi- 
dences ; its influence and its prospects ; have formed, 
and still form, the most voluminous subject of litera- 
ture which the world has ever seen. It is sufficient 
to know that, as a fact, and as it now exists, the 
Christian religion is recognized as embodying the 
most enlightened system of ethics, and the purest 
moral code, that have ever been promulgated ; and 
thg,t in comparison with its light, all other systems 
appear in semi or complete obscurity. 

Mohammedanism, Confucianism and Buddhism 
all boast a standard of moral excellence worthy of 
comparison with that of Christianity, and the boast- 
ing is not wholly vain ; passages in ancient records of 
Egypt, Assyria, and in the Greek and Latin classics, 
attest that light was never absent from the cultured 
races : and the touching child-like faith of many a 
savage race of modem times, reflecting as it un- 
doubtedly does, much that has always been common 
in such races, show that veneration, faith and 
charity have always existed, sufficient to furnish a 
ground-work for the development of those higher 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 115 

systems, which are now regarded as representing 
the highest good. 

But the passage from the Earth to Heaven, which 
the human mind has made, has been Hke an aerial 
ascent, in which, at every stage, it has been neces- 
sary to cast out the earthy ballast which dragged 
man down. As faith soared into purer light, these 
weights were cast adrift, and, being left behind, 
appeared like earthly things ; although the time was 
when they were seen as bright lights, shining in 
the heavens. Man's gaze is upwards, and when he 
glances down below, from the point he has attained 
he sees the things he cast away-his stepping-stones 
to light — as plunged in sombre gloom, and, forgetful 
of their history, despises them. 

The first outcome of animism was fetishism, 
arising from the belief that a material body was 
necessary for eveiy soul or spirit, and that, when a 
soul or spirit found itself disembodied, it was rest • 
less, intractable, and incapable of communication 
with material man ; and, at most, could only appear 
to him in dreams and trances. Something of this 
idea is discernible in the Odyssey, where the unsub- 
stantial shades of the departed are described as 
incapable of rational action, until feasted on the life- 
blood of the recently slain victims : — 

I 2 


All pale ascends my royal mother^s shade : 
A queen of Troy she saw her legions pass ; 
Now a thin form is all Anticlea was ! 
Struck at the sight I melt with filial woe, 
And down my cheek the pious sorrows flow, 
Yet as I shook my falchion o'er the blood, 
Eegardless of her son the parent stood. 

But say why yonder on the lonely strands, 
Unmindful of her son, Anticlea stands ? 

Know ; to the spectres, that thy bev'rage taste, 
The scenes of life recur, and actions past ; 
They, seal'd with truth, return the sure reply ; 
The rest, repelFd, a train oblivious fly. 

When near Anticlea moved and drank the blood 
Straight all the mother in her soul awakes.^ 

According to Arabian legends, the Jinns were 
spirits .created without bodies, and are supposed to 
be perpetually wandering about to find bodies to 
inhabit ; and Asmodeus, the demon of lust, seeks 
to enter human bodies, in order to give himself up 
to carnal enjoyments. 

The savage mind, believing in the existence of 
myriads of souls or spirits, saw no objection to several 
Hjurits inhabiting the same body or substance, and 
J massing freely fi:om one to another. It became, 
thirifore, a matter of great importance to cause, if 

1 a 

Odyssey," b. ii. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 117 

possible, the right spirit to be in the right substance, 
so as to either utilize its power for good, or to neu- 
tralize its malignant powers. If a man was ill of a 
fever, he was deemed to be possessed bj a fever 
demon ; the desideratum then was to get some pro- 
pitious and stronger demon to enter the man's body 
and expel the fever demon. From this belief the 
doctrines of demoniacal possession, spiritual inspira- 
tion, exorcism by incantations, and the lajdng of 
spirits, had their rise. It was firmly believed that 
if the proper forms were used, a spirit could be 
isolated in a substance, like electricity in a Leyden jar, 
and that the operator could then, at will, wield the 
spirit's power, and discharge it in any desired direction. 
This principle being firmly established, then every- 
thing having a material existence was capable of 
being a fetish, and subserving the will of any one 
having power over the possessed matter : animals, 
trees, stocks and stones were recognized as fetishes 
at an early stage ; particularly famous trees, strange 
or intelligent animals, stones that had fallen from 
heaven, like the aerolite, in which Artemis of the 
Ephesians was believed to reside : even now the 
African negroes and other tribes worship the stone 
hammers and arrow-heads, reUcs of the stone age, the 
origin of which is forgotten, under the impression 
that they dropped from heaven, and must therefore 
contain some powerful spirit. 


But man in time required something more realistic 
than an upright block of wood, or a boulder, as the 
embodiment of his constant allies, the spirits ; and 
he began to shape his fetish in accordance with his 
notion of the spirits' forms and attributes ; the spirits 
were in general those of his ancestors, and traditions 
of men of low stature, with coarse strong limbs and 
open mouths thirsting for blood, rejoicing in slaughter 
and the effusion of blood, and promoting that end to 
the utmost of their power, was naturally the con- 
ception formed of those early ancestors. We there- 
fore find the dumpy semi-bestial, open-mouthed 
figure of Bes, with a slaughtering knife in each hand 
as an image of a demon deity, furnished, too, with a 
tail, whether from supposition, or fi:om a tradition 
that the remote ancestor rejoiced in that ornament, 
it is now impossible to say. If the king of Dahomey 
should come to be represented in his true character 
by some pious descendant, he would be not inaptly 
modelled like Bes, minus the tail. Destruction is a 
frantic joy accompanying a low and brutal nature : 
the blood-thirsty savage gloats over a score of victims 
set in a row for him to decapitate ; the Assyrian 
conqueror's reward for all the hardship and risk of a 
campaign, was the power of hacking down the fettered 
prisoners of war until the physical power to slaughter 
was exhausted : and there is a survival of the same 
passion when a modem " sportsman " spends quite a 

THE devil's DIVmE ANCESTORS. 119 

fortune in rearing vast numbers of birds, so that he 
may be able to take the greatest number of lives, in 
the shortest possible time, and with the least possible 
exertion ; or where the felling of a tree or the slashing 
of railway cushions is a special treat after grand 
exertions in politics or business.^ 

As time went on the sacrificial slaughter of human 
victims, and the probable accompaniment of cannibal- 
ism, became abated, the savage slaughtering gods 
fell into disrepute, were looked upon with abhorrence, 
and at last became the recognized ideal of evil The 
obscene and brutal Bes, Kronos, who devoured his 
own children, and Moloch, who consumed those of 
others, thus became demons, and were relegated to 

The serpent, however much it was considered to 
be wise, was by its very nature a subject of intense 
fear. It was small but powerful, and, looked upon 
as a fetish, its possessing spirit could exert its 
power with dire effect. Great effectual power, com- 
bined with small physical strength, created an idea 
of cunning akin to that of sorcery. Long after 
other systems of fetish worship had fallen into 
desuetude, the veneration for the serpent, fed by fear, 

^ The author was once authentically assured that a certain mem- 
ber of the swell-mob, whenever successful in an important swindle, 
treated himself to a first-class railway journey in order that he might 
destroy the railway cushions, and thus give vent to the exuberance 
of his spirits. 


survived ; and the form of the serpent passed on from 
age to age as an accompaniment of magical power. We 
thus find on the Chaldean seals serpents and scorpions 
— and in all sorts of mythologies women with 
serpent tails or serpent hair, or both, who wield some 
magic power : Lilith, the Hebrew sorceress, rival and 
enemy of Eve, had a woman^s body and a serpent's 
tail The serpent's reputation was of long duration, 
even amongst the Hebrews, and died hard in the days 
of Hezekiah, when the brazen serpent of the wD der- 
ness was finally ground to dust, called "Nehushtan," 
and dispersed. Amongst the serpent worshipping 
tribes of India and many other races, and even in 
Brahmanism, the serpent has retained its prestige, 
but amongst Jews, Mohammedans and Christians, 
it has been most thoroughly demonized, and the 
deities whose attributes were connected with the 
serpent have generally shared the same fate. 

Amongst solar deities there has been a great sub- 
sidence into the realms of darkness ; but, except in 
comparatively few instances, the degradation has not 
been so complete as with their predecessors in popular 
favour ; possibly because solar worship itself was not 
necessarily degrading, except so far as it represented 
the deification of an error, or so far as demoralizing 
customs, superstitions and rites were inherited from 
the superseded forms of worship, and incorporated 
with that of the sun. The earliest solar deities seem 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 121 

to have been of the hero type, such as Nimrod, the 
mighty hunter ; Izdhubar, the mass of fire, — the Acca- 
dian fire-god, — and Adonis ; all of whom being of 
mixed human and divine origui, were of too material 
a nature to withstand the degradation which was 
sure to be involved by their very liuman passions, 
inconsistent with the purity to which solar worship 
in course of time was raised. The cruel Bel, who 
caused the Deluge, and wished to destroy even the 
few survivors, was too cruel a god to remain in 
heaven : and even Osiris, the supreme deity of the 
most idealized form of the sun god, upon whom were 
fixed the hopes of all the devout Egyptians, whose 
code of morality is almost a counterpart of that of 
the Christian, has found his place in the realms of 
Satan : whilst Mercury, or Hermes, the messenger of 
the gods, and the mediator for men in Hades, has 
drifted into the same company, whilst, as Michael, 
the Archangel, he has retained his place in heaven. 

In the early ages of the human race, when man's 
ideal of perfection was based on the life and habits 
of his own ancestors, who were really less enlightened 
than himself ; when Nature was so little understood, 
and power was the great insignia of deity, the char- 
acters attributed to the gods were too much chequered 
with good and evil, and the standards of human 
right and wrong — of human good and evil — were 
necessarily too confused to remain unchanged when 


man's ideal became more elevated : they required 
continual rectification, to satisfy the human mind in 
its more cultured state : and as it discerned a truer 
basis for the general welfare, and science u^nfolded 
its truths, this rectification silently but surely 

The philosophical systems of the Greeks and 
Romans, and earlier still, those of the Egyptians and 
Assyrians, settled standards of morality for the 
regulation of every-day life, which were certainly 
pui'er than could have been expected from the 
traditional Kves of the deities whom they worshipped : 
for those deities belonged to an earlier age of greater 
ignorance, and coarser habits of life. The consequence 
was a tendency, more and more pronounced, either to 
discredit the deities, or to explain away their histories, 
by allegorizing them : it being impossible to apply 
reasonably to daily life the principles attributed to the 
gods. For the same reason the rude, imcouth and 
obscene images of the oldest gods had to be veiled, 
and only remained gods when enveloped in mystery. 
By degrees the gods either ceased to be believed in, 
or became resolved into solar and other natural myths, 
and their anthropomorphic acts were interpreted as 
the mere poetical exposition of the cosmical forces in 
Nature. In this way the school of the Euhemerists 
reduced the romantic mythology of Greece to the 
most prosaic series of common-place incidents. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 123 

This view, however, was only realized by a com- 
parative few, the philosophers and men of culture of 
the time, who took the trouble to think the subject 
out : the old mythology still existed, inextricably 
woven into the life of the people : there were more- 
over episodes in this mythology, which represented the 
gods not only as accessible, but as continually yielding 
to sensual and vindictive passions; this struck a 
chord of sympathy in the habits and tastes of all but 
the highly cultured, and it became impossible to 
destroy the ancient deities, and wipe out their 
memory and worship from the popular life ; from age 
to age they lingered on, changed, distorted, and 
defamed, plunged int^ darkness and disrepute, but 
neither dead nor out of mind, and they are still alive : 
truly they are the " immortal gods !" 

This process had been going on for ages before the 
Christian era, but since Christianity has attained 
preponderating influence, and been supported by 
secular authority, the gods of the ancients have been 
finally degraded into devils, and indiscriminately cast 
down to Hell. 

The cultured missionary apostle of Christianity 
wrote " the Gentiles sacrifice to devils, and not to 
God."^ From a Christian point of view this was 
true ; for the heathen gods had been denounced as 

1 I Cor. X, 20. 


evil demons in disguise. But St. Paul in fax^t only- 
echoed the prevailing philosophy of his time which 
had become entirely detached from the popular 
deities, who were only fitted to assist and screen the 
dishonest and dissolute, or at most to furnish poetical 
tropes and figures. In result, almost all the dis- 
tinctive name^s, which are now applied and which have 
been applied to the devil, can be traced to the name 
of some high god, in his time worshipped and revered 
by some people or other, with all the devotion of 
which they were capable. Milton, who certainly 
reflects the orthodox belief on this subject of the 
Christian age in which he lived, has shown us Moloch, 
Beelzebub, Lucifer, Baal, Astarte, Adonis, Tammuz, 
Rimmon, Osiris, Horus and Serapis, wallowing in the 
fiery lake of Hell, although they formerly were — 

Princes, Potentates, 
Warriors, the flower of Heaven I 

But they had changed : — 

They but now who seem'd 

In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons, 

Now less than smallest dwarfs in narrow room 

Throng numberless, like that Pygmean race 

Beyond the Indian mount ; or faery elves, 

Whose midnight revels, by a forest side 

Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, 

Or dreams he seesJ 

" Milton, " Paradise Lost ;" b. i. 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 125 

The poet at the same time, for the purpose of his 
epic, but also in accordance with venerable tradition, 
explains that these gods were originally preadamite 
demons ; and that they became missionaries from 
Hell, and entered into the false gods, whose names 
they bore, in order to bring about the cori-uption of 
man, the last and best created handiwork of Jehovah, 
the Creator. 

The religions of the present day which have the 
most vitality, are those which have raised the Deity 
to the highest position of ideal purity, and have 
bereft Him almost entirely of human attributes. 
We still however see the battle between idealism 
and realism going on, and the dangers of each. The 
Brahman system was realistic in the extreme ; 
Buddhism cast off the earthly coil, aimed at ideal 
purity, and set before its disciples the final goal of 
nothingness, annihilation — Nirvana — as the supreme 
good.* The Brahmans had proceeded on an error, 
in assuming the unending transmigration of souls ; 
and the Buddha had invented Buddhism sis a means 
to attaining annihilation in order to escape these 
weary cycles. This marvellous system of virtuous 

^ The object of nil the asceticism of the Buddhist religion was 
'' Simply to guide each individual towards that path which would 
finally bring him to ' Nirvana,' to utter extinction or annihilation, 
to cross over to the other shore which was not death, but cessation 
of all being.'* — Max MUlleb's Chips, i. 248. 


self abnegation consequently proceeded in like 
manner upon an erroneous foundation ; although its 
high standard of Faith, Hope, and Charity could not 
fail to command respect : the aim was sublime, but 
it missed its mark : the Buddhist creed has either 
evaporated through transcendentalism into an 
absence of all belief, ending in blank materialism: 
or it has drifted back into the narrow superstitions 
of Brahmanism. The spirit worship of the Chinese 
became moralized by Confucius, but could not stand 
the transformation, and Taoism, the most degraded 
form of Buddhism, is the outcome. Mohammedanism 
has stood the test of many a hard battle, and for 
the peoples whom it sways, it is a vital and, on the 
whole, a beneficial power : there are not wanting 
amongst us prophets who proclaim renewed vigour 
and increased influence to the faith of Islam : but 
the contact with western civUization, and the 
deadening influence which contact and sympathy 
with other successful systems produce, are certainly 
eating into and permeating the doctrines of the 
Prophet. Christianity, the most restless of all 
creeds, with every range of culture within its pale, 
presents the best examples of the evolution of 
religious belief: — a Christian may believe in the im- 
portation of a spirit into a substance or person by 
means of a form of words, he may also believe in exor- 
cism ; he habitually recognizes the presence of spirits 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 127 

in certain special places ; thereby rendering homage to 
the doctrines of Fetishism : — ^he may readily adopt 
the figurative language of the East, and address the 
deity in words not distinguishable from solar invoca- 
tions ; and thereby follow the very language of the 
worshippers of Osiris and Bel, of Apollo and Tam- 
muz : — he may venerate saints, martyrs, prophets, 
virgins aad confessors ; the ancestral spirits of a 
past gone age; and thereby illustrate a full, 
developed and vigorous manes-worship, without 
transgressing the strictest rules of the Christian 
faith. If he discard all these, and centre his ideal 
on an abstract essence of good, untouched and unsur- 
rounded by any material attribute, he is at once in 
danger of finding his own faith evaporate with his 
ideal — and of waking up from his trance a materialist 
and nothing else. The dangers are still alternative 
of overmuch superstition or of too little belief. 

Seen from a Christian point of view. Buddhism, 
Mohammedanism, and the religions of China are 
overlaid with superstitions and fallacies to such an 
extent as to unfit them for control over the human 
judgment: but if Christianity, and the practical 
effect which it has upon the lives and conduct of its 
professors be intelligently examined and criticised by 
an educated disciple of the Buddha, or of Confucius, 
he would find much to cavil at^ and his theological 
opponents would find it somewhat difficult to 


reply. It is said that a missionary of Confucianism 
recently demonstrated to an American audience, 
that the doctrines of Confiicius had a far greater in- 
fluence than the teaching of Christianity to prevent 
crime and the neglect of fetmily and domestic duties. 

It is so difficult to approach any question judi- 
cially, and most so when the question is deemed of 
such paramount importance as that of the welfare 
of immortal souls, that no one brought up and 
educated in a Christian community can easily bring 
himself to look at these matters with a totally un- 
prejudiced mind : but a few historical facts will 
demonstrate the great and radical changes of opinion 
which earnest and honest beUevers have in former 
times passed through. We will now refer to a few 
instances in which former deities can be shown to 
have become degraded and converted into devils. 

Bel was the supreme deity of the Assyrians, and 
probably of all the Semitic races ; originally the 
demiurges, he in course of time became more ex- 
clusively identified with the sun in his glory, as 
quickener of nature, the great Creator, and the 
source of light and life. His Syrian counterpart 
was Baal, and in one form, in relation to his 
influence over flies, was known as Baal-Zebul. The 
Hebrews, first by a pun changed his name to Beel- 
Zebub (dung-god), and afterwards crowned him 
*' the Prince of Devils.*' 

THE devil's divine ancestobs. 129 

The Greek Zeus, the Latin Deus, and many other 
modifications of the same original root, run through 
all the Aryan forms of speech, as the title of the 
supreme god, the original root meaning "the 
Shining One." Our word " deuce," which means 
" a little devil," is the vernacular representative of 
this venerable root. 

The Sclavonic word for god is " Bog ;" this word 
also has run through a marvellous number of modifi- 
cations, having kindred significations, but it has 
finished with us in the name of " Bogie."^ 

Loki, the Scandinavian devil, who is now indenti- 
fied with Satan, is the German " Leucht,'' or Light : 
he was more mischievous than malevolent, and can 
\vithout difficulty be identified with Hermes and 
Mercury, the messengers — the Angels — of Zeus and 
Jupiter — ^the rays proceeding from the great light of 
heaven. Loki is thus described in the prose 
Edda : " There is another deity reckoned in the num- 
ber of the -^sir, whom some call the calumniator of 
the gods, the contriver of all firaud and mischief, and 
the disgrace of gods and men : his name is ' Loki ' 
or Loptur. .... Loki is handsome and well made, 
but of a very fickle mood, and most evil disposition. 
He surpasses all beings in those arts called cunning 
and perfidy. Many a time has he exposed the gods 

* Boring-Gould, « Religioufl BeUef," 98. 


to very great perils, and often extricated them again 
by his artifices/'^ Although now a devil, he was 
once among the JEsiv, the great gods of the Scandi- 
navian Olympos. 

Set was the devil of the later Egyptian mythology : 
** Set, though the antagonist of Light in the mytha 
of Ea, Osiris and Horus, is not a god of eviL He 
represents a physical reality, a constant and ever- 
lasting law of Nature, and is as true a god as his 
opponents. His worship is as ancient as any. The 
kings of Egypt were as devoted to Set as to Horus, 
and derived from them the sovereignty over north 
and south. On some monuments one god is repre- 
sented with two heads, one being that of Horus, the 
other that of Set. The name of the great conqueror, 
^ Seti,* signifies 'he that is devoted to Set.* It was 
not till the decline of the Empire that this deity 
came to be regarded as an evil demon, that his name 
was effaced from monuments, and other names 
substituted for his in the Ritual.''^ 

Lucifer is referred to in Isaiah xii. 14 as 
" son of the morning," and clearly signifies a ** bright 
star,'' and probably what we call the morning star. 
The Christian church from St. Jerome downwards 
has identified Satan with this Lucifer, probably 

* Mallet's "Northern Antiquities," 422. 

* RenouTs "Hibbert Lectures," 1879, ^^7- 

THE devil's divine ANCESTORS. 131 

because Lucifer having been a Babylonish deity, the 
fall of the Babylonish Empire has been taken as 
analogous to the fall of Satan from heaven/ 
Lucifer seems to have lost his character through 
a figure of speech. 

The religious system of Persia affords a most 
striking instance of deities originally adored being 
. degraded into devils. This system records the great 
conflict between Ormuzd and Ahriman, Light and 
Darkness, the good and evil principles : but another 
conflict equally violent has been enacted on the 
great field of Aryan theology, one result of which is 
that the word *' deva/' originally signifying " a bright 
one," and still meaning a deity to Brahmans, is 
**a devil" to Parsees. On the other hand the 
**Ahuras'' of the Parsees are gods, Ahura-mazdu 
(Ormuzd) is their supreme god ; yet the same word 
" Asuras" in the Hindu means malignant demons. 
The bitterness of some theological controversy of a 
long bygone age, or some internecine war, at a time 
when the Iranian and the Aryan had not parted 
company, — ^perhaps the feud which brought about 
the separation, — bore its usual fruit : each party, 
with the virulent implacability which characterizes 
religious discord, branded its opponents as devil 
worshippers : and now that the din of battle is 

1 c 

Smith's « Dictionary of the Bible," tit. " Lucifer." 

E 2 


hushed, mutual persecution ended, and even the 
motive cause forgotten, it appears that all the gods 
of each party, have, by one side or the other, been 
torn from their celestial thrones, and contemptuously 
thrust down to Hell to rank as devils. 

Similar instances might be multipUed, taken from 
the history of every creed and nation, but the 
position is sufficiently illustrated by the fact, that, 
Beelzebub, Lucifer, Loki, Set and the Deuce have 
each in his time sat high among the gods, and as 
they all must be ranked as ancestors of the modem 
devil, it may fairly, and indeed literally be said that 
" Satan has fallen from Heaven." 



Hell— Hades, the Invisible World— Bit-Hadi—' Aides— Sheol— 
Assyrian Hades — ^Allat — Greek Hades and Tartaros — Minos 
— ^ptian Hall of Two Truths— Plato's Hades— Ovid's 
Hades — ^Virgil's Regions — Rabbinical Ideas — Gehenna — Judges 
in Hades. 

The Devil is regarded as the Monarch of Hell, and 
Hell is conceived with more or less vagueness as 
a place of retribution " prepared for the devil and his 
angels."* There was a time when the place now 
called Hell was presided over by the highest, the 
most moral god which at the time was acknowledged. 
The god of Hell now is undoubtedly the Devil, 

Theologians of the present day do not define what 
Hell is; they speak of the older descriptions as 
figurative, and dilate upon its moral horrors and 
torments, as represented by the physical sufierings 
and dread gloom recorded by earlier writers. Only 
the ignorant addressing the ignorant, in solemn 

^ Matt xxv. 41. 



earnest ; or poets appealing to the emotions of the 
imaginative, in measured rhythm, place before their 
hearers or then- readers the harrowing details of fire 
and brimstone, darkness and chains, which formed 
so large a staple of the teaching in medieval times. 

The purity of Milton's style, and the refinement of 
his thought, have furnished an exact ideal of the 
Hell of the later Christian period, before it melted 
into a mere unsubstantial expression : — 

A dungeon horrible, on all sides round, 

As one great furnace, flamed ; yet from those flames 

No light ; but rather darkness visible 

Served only to discover sights of woe, 

Eegions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 

And rest can never dwell ; hope never comes 

That comes to all ; but torture without end 

Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed 

With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.^ 

This Hell has had its pedigree, its earliest 
ancestor being a product of necessity, the obvious 
outcome of animistic belief : animistic belief being 
almost universal, the belief in an invisible world, 
inhabited by invisible beings, became equally 

The idea was that there are two great co-existing 
worlds, the visible, material world, and the unseen 
spiritual world ; the earth, the material world in 

" Milton's, "Paradise Lost," b. i. 


which we live, is specially associated with the state 
in which men's bodies exist; Hades, the unseen 
world, is the abode of all the disembodied souls of all 
past generations: the earth is the abode of one 
generation of living bodies ; Hades that of the souls 
of all the generations, which, since the world began, 
have lived their mortal lives and passed away : Hades 
is therefore necessarily a i^lace of vast extent and 
great importance, and any Being believed to be in- 
vested with the sovereignty of that unseen world, has 
had a realm which could not be considered as less 
important, than that over the one, short-lived, pass- 
ing generation of mortal men. Where the immor- 
tality of the soul, and its non-return to a material 
existence, were received as dogmas, the God of the 
unseen world became supereminently great. 

The primary meaning of the word Hades is simply 
** Invisible" : — men died, their souls quitted their 
bodies, and became invisible, they had entered invisi- 
bility, Hades ; but terms such as these oft repeated, 
and having a defined meaning, soon become materia- 
lized : ideas are like the Rabbinical demons,^ always 
seeking for bodies to inhabit, and not long remaining 
disembodied ; and in the present case, the expression 
invisible had a fabric appropriated for it, not only a 
name but also a local habitation, which in course of 
time became very real and definite indeed. 

* See p. 53. 


It is not proposed here to discuss the wide subject 
of primeval belief in a future life, and the great 
variety of views on this subject known to have been 
and to be still entertained by diflferent races of men. 
As before pointed out, some belief of the sort was 
a necessary corollary of the belief in souls and spirits, 
and in effect we find some such belief almost uni- 
versal. The first form which it assumed was that of , 
a fiiture state of all alike in which, with more or less 
of conscious individuality, the present life was con- 
tinued in the next. Sometimes the mode of life on 
earth influenced the soul's fate in the next, but that 
was hardly the primitive idea. The standard of good 
and evil in this life was but very confused, and. the 
sanction of such a standard did not reach beyond 
the grave. 

Then, as to the place fixed for Hades, opinions 
varied extremely ; it was beyond the seas, or in the 
heavens, or the sun, or the moon, or under the earth. 
The most generally adopted view, and that which has 
come down to modern days with the greatest force, 
is that Hades is below the earth, and that it is reached 
over the waters of a river or ocean, which has come 
to be called the river of Death. 

This abode of the dead at first had a shadowy, un- 
substantial, cold existence, where the shades were 
without blood or warmth, melancholy, whirling 
whiffs of air, whose teeth chattered or gnashed vdth 


the cold, as they swept through the outer darkness. 
This was the mournful gloom, and the chill, dark 
melancholy of the tomb, or sepulchral cave : the 
" Bit-Hadi, the house of Eternity," of the old Assyrian 
tablets. It does not seem improbable that this term 
" Hadi^^ signifying " Eternity," was the original name 
brought from the East, and that ^aides^ Hades, in- ' 
visible, was adopted as an after-thought as being 
equally appropriate to the subject^ 

The Accadian Hades, as mentioned in the tablet 
records, probably the oldest in the world, is of this 
negative kind, it is a " place where no feeling exists, 
the foimdation of chaos, the place where there is no 
blessing, the tomb, the place where no one can see, 
the abode of confusion;" nevertheless reigned over by a 
roller, "Nin-ge, upon her raised altars, "with her spouse 
Mul-ge.^ It is described as the abyss of Hades, the 
offspring of the chaos of primeval waters.^ 

The Hades of the ancient Hebrews was called 
" Sheol," and probably owed its origin to the same 
source as that of the Accadians or Chaldeans. The 
word Sheol means a " hollow-place," representing the 
same idea as " Holle," " a hole, a hollow place," the 
original form of the English word " Hell." 

Sheol was the destination of all the dead whether 

" " Transactions Bib. Arch." iL i88. 

* Lenormant's "Chaldean Magic," i66. 170. 

* " Records of the Past," ix. 117. 


good or bad ; the patriarch Jacob looked forward to 
going there/ Job prayed to be sent there,^ and the 
wicked are turned into it;' it is never full and is in- 
satiable ;* it is the abode of the departed Rephaim, 
the Hebrew Titans, who have become weak and 
trembling, and who shudder when Jehovah's eye 
pierces through the accustomed gloom/ In these 
very earliest types there is no trace of Hades beinggg^ 
a place of punishment, beyond the fact that a speedy 
or premature devotion to Sheol, involving earthly 
death, was looked upon as a form of retribution to 
the mcked. 

The Assyrian Hades, as described in the account 
of Istar's descent into Hades, although in the main 
a sombre abode of listless emptiness, like the Hebrew 
Sheol, had developed a department of judgment, fol- 
lowed by personal punishment or reward, which con- 
stitutes a most important variation, perpetuated and 
further developed in after times. It is a land of dark- 
ness, from which light is excluded and is never seen, a 
road from which there is no return, a place where its 
chiefs are like hovering birds who do not even disturb 
the dust which remains on the doors and bolts ; where 
the dead would fain escape to devour the living ; but 
they cannot, for it is a house out of which there is no 

* Gen. xxxvii. 35. ^ Job. xiv. 13. * Ps. ix. 17. 

* Prov. xxvii. 20 ; xxx. 16. * Is. xiv. 10 ; Job xxvi. 5, 6. 


exit, and dust is their nourishment, and their food 
mud. The entrance is guarded by the keeper cS i3ie 
waters, who demands from all comers homage for 
Allat the queen of Hades : each comer is then spell- 
bound and passes successively through seven gates, 
at each of which some of the glories and pomps of 
life faU off, so that on reaching the presence of AUat 
^nothing is left, and even the power to speak is gone. 
But beyond these death-like characteristics, there are 
others of a life-like kind : even in that age, one 
looking forward to this vaUey of the shadow of death 
could say : — 

In the bouse, O my friend, which I will enter, 

For me is treasured up a crown ; 

With those wearing crowns who from days of old ruled the 

To whom the gods Anu and Bel have given names of rule. 
Water they have given to quench tlie thirst, they drink 

limpid waters. 
In the house, O my friend, which I will enter. 
Dwell the lord and the unconquered one, 
Dwell the priest and the great man.* 

In this Assyrian Hades, we read that at the com- 
mand of Allat, the spirits of the earth come forth, 
and are seated on thrones of gold ; the ashSrim, the 
symbols of the ancient earth goddess Asharah (the 
grove) are adorned with precious stones, — the tree 

' Smith, ** Genesis," Sayce, 236. 


of life bears its twelve kinds of gem-like finit, the 
waters of life are given, and the seven gates of Hades 
reopen for a triumphant exit with renovated glory. ^ 
This is a veritable doctrine of future life and resur- 
rection. But if she can dispense rewards, Allat can 
also condemn, and the task seems a congenial one to 
her. She can strike eyes, side, feet, heart, head and 
the whole body with disease : she will consign to 
the great prison, with garbage for food, drains for 
drink, dungeon darkness for dwelling, a stake for 
seat, and with hunger and thirst for attendants.* 
Here we have future retribution framed on the model 
of earthly punishment in its then accustomed form. 

One step further in the development of the idea 
of Hades brings us to the conception of the early 
Greeks on the subject, as systematically stated 
by Hesiod, and graphically described by Homer 
in the Odyssey — Hesiod, who personifies all places 
and phenomena, makes Hades the brother of Zeus, 
marries him to Persephone, and describes their 
realm in gloomy depths below the earth, vaulted 
in by huge rocks, at the sources and boundaries 
of dusky earth, and miu-ky Tartaros, and barren 
sea, and starry heaven, boundaries oppressive 
and gloomy which even gods abhor. This is sur- 
rounded by the river Styx, which is a tenth part of 

^ Smith, " Genesis," Sayce, 244. 
* lb, and see further ** Trans. Bib. Arch." iv. 288. 

i- * 


the wide ocean turned back into the bowels of the 
earth to encircle the land of shades, a stream of fate 
which even the Olympian gods cannot disregard with 
impunity. Below all this in the deepest depths is a 
dark drear place, Tartaros, oppressive and gloomy, 
walled in with double walls, and closed above with 
brazen gates ; so deep that a brazen anvil dropped 
from earth would fall nine days and nights and only 
reach it on the tenth ; a vast chasm, in which, with 
perpetual whirlwinds, one would be for a whole year 
driven round and round without reaching the pave- 
ment. Here the enemies of God, the Titans, the 
fallen angels of Greek mythology, were for their 
rebellion doomed to ruthless punishment. If any of 
the great gods forswore themselves : on the waters of 
the Styx, they were condemned to Tartaros by an 
inexorable fate stronger than themselves, a first year 
passed in breathless stupor, was followed by nine years 
of evet increasing trouble, until ten years of punish- 
ment and famine wiped out the dire ofience, and made 
them fit again to return to Olympos, and take part 
in the councils and feasts of the gods. 

The Odyssey gives us more details of the realms of 
death. At old ocean's utmost bounds, where the 
dusky nation of Cimmeria dwells, where the sun 
never shines, and endless night and clouds of dull 
air envelop them in shades, are the cavernous pas- 
sages to the infernal regions. Sacrifices and invoca- 


tions bring up from below vast shoals of thin, airy, 
visionary ghosts, shrieking and trembling, who crowd 
round the slain victims, and seek to drink the blood. 
A waving falchion wards them off. The few who are 
allowed to drink regain their consciousness : the 
others, impassive souls, reluctant fly, like a vain 
dream, through the dolesome realms of darkness and 
of death, — a dire region, where lakes profound 
and floods oppose their waves, where the wide sea 
with aU its biUows raves. 

All this is the old idea of Sheol, but there are 
other scenes than this : — 

High on a throne tremendous to behold. 
Stem Minos waves a mace of burnished gold : 
Around ten thousand thousand spectres stand 
Thro' the wide dome of Dis, a trembling band. 
Still as they plead, the fatal lots he rolls. 
Absolves the just, and dooms the guilty souls.^ 

We are then told of demigods suffering an ever- 
lasting penance, and we are led to understand that 
" the kings of ancient days, the mighty dead that live 
in endless praise," could be seen, and assumedly in 
good case, but the narrator is cut short by swarms of 
spectres which rise from deepest hell, with bloodless 
visage and with hideous yell, they scream, they 
shriek, sad groans and dismal sounds stun his scared 
ears, and pierce helFs utmost bounds: he cannot 
sustain the din and hurries back to the upper air. 


1 (( 

Odyssey,'' b. ii. 


All these forms of Hades partake very largely of 
the primeval ideasi connected with the shades of the 
departed^ and only incidently recognize accountability 
after death for the deeds done in the body. This 
latter conception belongs to a high state of culture 
and its development can be traced alongside of the 
development of such culture. This cannot be better 
illustrated than by a reference to the tenets of the 
ancient Egyptians upon the subject of the future 
life. They believed that at death the soul and body 
separated, and whilst the body was being ferried over 
the Nile, and entombed with funereal pomp and 
ritual of a most elaborate nature, the soul entered 
the realms of the underworld and was ferried over 
the infernal Nile, ushered into the hall of the Two 
Truths, there to undergo a formal trial, and receive 
a doom in direct relation to the moral conduct in the 
earthly life as ascertained by the judges. 

The journey to the hall of judgment is one beset 
with terrors of every kind, which the deceased must 
encounter — ^gigantic and venomous serpents, gods 
with names significant of death and destruction, 
waters and atmospheres of flames, beds of torment, 
nets and devouring monsters. The wicked who 
succumb are said to undergo " the second death ;" 
but the faithful dead expect to be protected from all 
these dangers, partly by amulets and talismans of 
magic power, partly by the knowledge of religious 


fbrmolas (sacli as the chapters of the Book of the 
Dead) and of divine names, but chiefly by the con- 
formity of their conduct with the standard of law by 
which they are judged in the Hall of the Two Truths. 
Arrived at the HaU, the soul is conducted by 
Horus into the presence of Osiris his father, presiding 
over a court composed of forty-two assessors, who 
adjudicate with him on the life and actions of the 
deceased. This trial turns upon points of morality 
of which no religious system need be ashamed. The 
inquiry is whether the professions put into the 
deceased's mouth are correct or not : " I have not 
blasphemed, I have not cheated, I have not stolen, I 
have not caused strife, I have treated '^no one with 
cruelty, I have occasioned no disorders, I have not 
been an idler, I have not been given to drunken- 
ness, I have given no unjust orders, I have not been 
indiscreet through idle curiosity, I have not indulged 
in vain talk nor in evil speaking, I have used violence 
to no one, I have caused no one to fear unjustly, I 
have not been envious, I have never spoken evil of 
the king nor of my parents, I have not brought 
any false accusation. I have made the requisite 
offerings to the gods, for the love of God 1 have 
given food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, 
clothing to the naked, and shelter to the destitute.*'* 

1 (( 

Chrestos," by Dr. Mitchell, 25, 26. 


At the termination of the hearing, at which Horus 
assists as a mediator and pleads his own good 
works for the vicarious benefit of the deceased, the 
good actions of the deceased are placed in one scale 
of a balance, and the emblem of truth in the other, 
and Osiris pronounces judgment according to the 
result. If the deceased's good actions are sufficiently 
weighty, he is awarded admission to heaven, and the 
enjoyment of eternal felicity. If on the other hand 
he is found wanting, he is condemned to return to 
the earth in the form of a pig, or some other unclean 
animal, there to go through a fresh term of life; or 
he may be condemned to a term of purification in 
Purgatory, for the judgment hall has three openings, 
one into Aalu^ heaven, a second into Karr^ hell, and 
a third into Ker-neter, purgatory.* 

The constant intercommunication between Egypt 
and Greece, could not fail to produce a marked effect 
upon the superstitions of the latter on the important 
subject of future life ; and we accordingly find, that 
the region of Hades described by the earlier poets, is 
rectified so as to bring it more into conformity with 
the advanced and refined ideal of the Egyptians. 
On arriving at the asphodel meadow, within the gates 
of Death, the soul sees three judges sitting to 
decide its fate : Eacus to try those from Europe, 
Rhadamanthus, those from Asia, and Minos, as 

* Kenoufs "Ilibb. Lectures," 1879. 


referee, in case of doubt ; two roads turn off from 
here, the one to the isles of the blessed, the 
other to Tartaros : those who are condemned to the 
latter are so condemned for their sins committed in 
the flesh ; if the offence be curable, the punishment 
awarded has amendment for its object ; and if 
incurable, then the punishment is for ever,, as 
examples, for a spectacle of warning to unjust men.' 
Tartaros is the one place of punishment for both 
classes of offenders, but each suffers only according to 
his deserts. This subject is fully worked out by 
Plato, who puts the explanation into the mouth of 
Socrates, as an argument for a virtuous and pious 
life ending in a peacefiil death. 

Ideas upon the subject of Hades were being 
collected by philosophers and poets, and the process 
of evolution was as usual advancing from the more 
simple, to the more complicated and detailed. The 
Ilomans absorbed the Greek learning on the subjejct, 
and no doubt aflBliated many another notion culled 
from the corners of their vast and growing empire. 

Ovid in a few words described the Hades of the 
Eomans : *^ There is a shelving path, shaded with 
dismal yew, which leads through profound silence to 
the infernal abodes. Here languid Styx exhales 
vapours ; and the new-made ghosts descend this way^ 

* Plato, Gorgias. 


and phantoms when they have enjoyed funereal rites. 

Horror and winter possess these dreary regions far 

and wide, and the ghosts newly arrived know not 

where the way is that leads to the Stygian city, or 

where is the dismal palace of the black Pluto. The 

wide city has a thousand passages, and gates open on 

every side. And as the sea receives the rivers for the 

>-. whole earth, so does that spot receive all the souls ; 

nor is it too little for any amount of people, nor 

does it perceive the crowd to increase. The shades^ 

wander about, bloodless, without body and bones ; 

and some throng the place of judgment ; some the 

abode of the infernal prince. Some pursue varioua 

callings, in imitation of their former life ; their own 

punishment confines others. " » 

No classic writer, however, has entered into such 

minute details of the infernal regions as Virgil, and 

from him we learn that the whole nether world 

called Orcus is divided into five regions : — 

1. The Previous Region. 

2. Ihe Watery Begion — The Siyx. 

3. The Gloomy Region — Erebus. 

4. The Begion of Torments — Tartarus. 

5. The Begion of Bliss — Mysinm. ^ 

I. The Previous Region. This part, the suburbs 
of the realms of death, Virgil has peopled with two 



sorts of ideal beings. First with those which make 
the reaJ misery of mankind upon Earth; such as 
War, Discord, Labour, Grief, Cares, Distempers, and 
Old age : and secondly with fancied terrors, and all 
the most frightful creatures of our own imagination ; 
such as Gorgons, Harpies, Chimeras, and the like. 

2. The next is the Water which all the departed 
were supposed to pass, to enter into the other world. 
This was called Styx, or the hateful passage. The 
imaginary personages of this division, are the souls of 
the departed who are either passing over, or suing 
for a passage ; and the master of the vessel, who 
carries them over, one freight after another, according 
to his will and pleasure. 

3. The third division begins immediately with the 
bank on the other side of the river, and was supposed 
to extend a great way in. It is subdivided again into 
several particular districts. The first seems to be the 
receptacle for infants. There is the limbo, for all 
such as have been put to death without a cause. 
Next is the place for those who have put a period to 
their own lives : a melancholy region, and situated 
among the marshes, made by the overflowing of the 
hateful river. After this are the fields of mourning, 
fuU of dark woods and groves, and inhabited by 
those who died for love. Last of all, spreads an 
open champaign country, allotted for the souls 
of departed warriors. The name of this whole 


division is Erebus. The several districts of this 
division seem to be disposed all in a line, one 
after the other ; but after this the great line or road 
divides into two, of which the right-hand road leads 
to Elysium, or the place of the blest ; and the left- 
hand road to Tartarus, or the place of the tormented. 

4. The fourth general division of the subterranean 
world is this Tartarus, or the place of torments. 
There is a city in it and a prince to preside over it. 
Within the city is a vast deep pit in which the 
tortures are supposed to be performed. In this 
horrid part Virgil places two sorts of souls ; first, such 
as have shown their impiety and rebellion towards the 
gods; and secondly, such as have been vile or 
mischievous among men. Those more particularly 
of the latter, who hated their brethren, used 
their parents ill, or cheated their dependants, 
who made no use of their riches, who committed 
incest or disturbed the marriage union of others, 
those who were rebellious subjects, or knavish 
servants, who were despisers of justice and betrayers 
of their country, and who made and unmade laws not 
for the good of the public, but only to get money 
themselves. All these, and the despisers of the gods, 
Virgil places in this most horrid division of the 
subterranean world, and in the vast abyss which was 
the most horrible part of that division. 

5. The fifth division is that of Elysium, or the place 


of the blest. Here Virgil places those who died for 
their country, those of pure lives, truly inspired poets, 
the inventors of arts, and all who have done good to 
mankind. He does not speak of any particular 
districts for these, but supposes that they have the 
liberty of going where they please in that delightfiil 
region, and conversing with whom they please. He 
only mentions one vale towards the end of it as 
appropriated to any particular use, and this is the 
vale of Lethe, or forgetfulness ; in the river of which 
many of the ancient philosophers supposed the souls 
which had passed through some periods of their 
trial, would be immersed as a preliminary to being 
put into new bodies, to fill up the remainder of 
their probation in our upper world. In each of 
these three divisions on the other side of the 
river Styx was a prince or judge: Minos for the 
regions of Erebus ; Rhadamanthus for Tartarus, and 
Eacus for Elysium. Pluto and Proserpine had their 
palace at the entrance of the road to the Elysian 
fields, and presided as sovereigns over the whole 
subterranean world. ^ 

Whilst this very elaborate system of future 
existence was being evolved by the philosophers and 
poets of Greece and Rome, the Sheol of the Hebrews, 
under the influence of Babylonian and Persian 

' Virgil's '' ^neid." 


contact, was developing new energies and character- 
istics. Tiae Hebrews had gone into captivity with 
a behef in their shadowy Sheol, the abode of shades. 
Whilst Daniel by his life, and Ezekiel by his life and 
writings, were protesting against the polytheistic 
systems with which they were coming in contact, 
they were familiarizing their fellow-countrymen with 
the "beasts" and "living creatures" and all the 
other imagery of the denounced creeds : and while 
Ezekiel was inveighing against the form of beasts 
pourtrayed upon the temple walls, he was indelibly 
engraving on their minds the imagery of Babylonian 
mythology, imagery which survived in full force into 
Christian times, and formed the staple of the Apoca- 
lyptic vision of St. John, and an inexhaustible supply 
of allegories for the pious Christians of the present day 
to interpret. But another and a greater influence 
was at work. The captive Hebrews came face to 
face with the Persian theology, a pure worship of 
fire ; so much akin to their own traditional worship 
of Jehovah, who had manifested Himself in fire, and 
who dwelt in the light that no man could approach 
unto. Nothing was so calculated as this to blot out 
the lingering remnants of the gross Canaanitish rites, 
which had clung like a foetid mantle round the ideal 
of their faith. The Jews passed through their fiery 
affliction of captivity, and the fiery influence of the 
Zend religion, and they returned to their native land 


chastened and purified. With revised ideas of the 
Deity, they had imbibed revised ideas of the after 
life ; the souls of men, after death, no longer passed 
a shadowy negative existence in a dark and silent 
underworld, where few but degraded gods could 
expect notice, even sufiicient for punishment. But 
there was a decisive judgment for all with results 
trenchantly distinct ; for the souls of the righteous, 
a gradual and blissful reviving into new life, as stage 
by stage they realize new joys until they reach 
Eternal light, and are welcomed out of the corruptible 
world into the imperishable life of spotless purity. 
The souls of the wicked sink lower and lower, through 
ever increasing stages of corruption and impurity, 
until they sink into final despair. It is true that 
hosts of angels and demons troop into the system, 
obscuring, materializing, and degrading much that is 
otherwise refined and noble in the Persian creed, but 
such incrustations were and are the common inheri- 
tance of many systems, and although they obscure 
they do not destroy the main distinctive features. 

The outcome of all this was a belief in a Hades for 
all, a Purgatory for most, and a Gehenna of fire for 
a few of the eminently wicked. The Rabbins in the 
Talmud revel in fanciful descriptions of the locality, 
and the nature and incidents of this nether world ; 
but these views have been summed up as follows : — 
" Ordinary transgressors of Israel, whose merits pre- 


ponderate, though they descend into hell, do not feel 
the eflPects of the flames, and rise at once. Some who 
sin with their bodies, such as those who put their 
neighbours to shame publicly and who neglect the 
phylacteries, &c., are annihilated after twelve months' 
endurance of hell-fire. Adulterers, though they sin 
with their bodies, ascend to happiness at the end of 
the same period. Christians, informers, and those 
who systematically despise the words of the Rabbis, 
are consigned to eternal punishment. Of course, all 
may escape punishment altogether by repentance in 
this Ufe."> 

The rigid adherence of the Rabbis to their 
canonical texts, on which alone they allow them- 
selves to found any statement, produces confusion 
in the descriptions of HeU which they attempt, for 
the simple reason that those texts, not dealing with 
such a hell, contain no description of it at all. 
Such, however, was the general idea entertained 
respecting this phase of the after life at the com- 
mencement of the Christian Era, when the mission- 
aries of the new creed came into contact with the 
philosophical realization of the Hades of Greek and 
Latin mythologies. How far the elaborate Egyptian 
system of the judgment, with rewards and punish- 
ments, directly or indirectly influenced the Jewish 

* Henhon, " Talmud," loo ; and see Matt. iii. ii ; Mark ix. 49. 


mind, it is difficult to say ; but there are certainly 
allusions in the Gospel narratives which are so 
strikingly similar to some points in the Egyptian 
Ritual of the Dead, as to favour the view that such 
influence had been brought to bear. 

We have now reached a point in the evolution of 
Hades, where we can without difficulty recognize in 
the Amenti of Egypt, the Sheol and Gehenna of the 
Jews, and the Orcus of Virgil, all the elements of the 
Hell of the Christian fathers, the medieval monks, 
the puritans, and of the Christian religion generally. 
Indeed, the Hells of the Koran and of many other 
creeds are easily seen to be merely offshoots from the 
same original stock, and do not vary materially 
amongst themselves. The Scandinavian ValhaUa, 
with its Purgatory, Niflheim, and its everlasting 
Tartarus, Nastrond, are only variants of the same 
idea, where ice and howling winds however have a 
larger share in the economy of punishment, as repre- 
senting to the hardy Norseman a greater ideal of 
misery than a glowing crackling fire would do. 

As age after age has rolled on, as the visible world 
has changed, as culture has advanced, and moral and 
religious sanctions have been developed, the invisi- 
ble world has likewise changed, the realm of " the 
great majority " has changed, and so have the rulers 
of that realm. 

At first through a haze of darkness Mul-ge and 
Nin-ge, the shrouding spirits of the Accadian Hades 


and spirits of the earth, are dimly seen commissioning 
Namtar (" the fixer of Destiny"), — ^the plague 
demon, — and other such emissaries, to collect souls 
for the dread abode of death, which has little else 
but negation as its characteristic. 

The Sheol of the Hebrews was still less definite, 
for there is no trace either of a special god, or, 
which woidd perhaps be more orthodox, of a 
presiding angel of the realms of death. Sheol was 
indeed directly under the eye of Jehovah, for Sheol 
and destruction are naked before Him;* and being 
omnipresent. He is also in SheoL^ Sheol was too 
silent,' its inhabitants immurmuring like sheep,^ too 
unstrung, either to work,* or to praise ; • or to require 
much governing : it has gates ' and bars,^ and they 
constitute a po^er sufiicient for it to be likened 
to jealousy in its cruelty.' From the antithetical 
form of this simile it is to be inferred that fire was 
no part of the ideal of the Hebrew Sheol : " Love is 
strong as death : the coals thereof are coals of fire, 
which hath a most vehement flame, many waters can- 
not quench love, neither can the floods drown it : 
jealousy is cruel as the grave " (Sheol). Finally, Jeho- 
vah alone "bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up."*" 

' Job xxvi. 6; Prov. xv. ii. ' Ps. cxxxix. 8. 

* Ps. xxxu 17. * Ps. xlix. 14. • Eccl. ix. 10. 

* Ps. vi. 5. ' Is. xxxviii. 10. * Job xvii. 16. 

* Song of Solomon, viii. 6. ^* i Sam. ii. 6, 


The queen of the Assyrian Hades, Allat, the "queen 
of the divining rod," the spell-binder, is a true mon- 
arch fitted for the work of relentless vengeance, 
withering the condemned with curses, revelling in 
the exercise of her sway, and smiting her breast and 
biting her thumb when thwarted and overmastered 
by superior power. In passing, it may be remarked 
that Istar, the account of whose descent into Hades 
throws such light upon the subject, was the goddess 

of love and fruitfulness, and that AUat (like her 


Greek successor Persephone) was the goddess of 
death and barrenness; that a natural antagonism 
was likely to exist between them : and that when 
the waters of life had to be administered, the emblems 
of reproductive nature and the spirits of the earth, — 
the old ideal of fruitfulness, — were brought into 
requisition ; not willingly, but by outside and superior 
authority ; by Hea, the god of wisdom, who, by the 
ministration of his messenger or angel Marduk could 
alone annul the spells of Hades, and bring the dead to 
life again. The Greek Hermes, — the Latin Mer- 
cury, — who was the same as Marduk or Merodach,. 
and who like him was the messenger of the gods, 
carried a magic staflP or rod given to him by Phoebus, 
and had the power of raising the dead. 

In the Greek Hades a further development takes 
place : Hades, brother of Zeus the god of heaven, has 
permanently taken up his abode in the realms of 


doom, wedded to his childless queen Persephone, 
sombrely and silently ruling the vast empire of the 
dead. They are at times represented as receiving 
the shades, as they arrive conducted by Hermes the 
psychopompos ; but, in the Odyssey, they do not 
seem to judge the dead, but to leave that to their 
vicegerents, of Tthom Minos is especially named, in a 
passage already quoted, as placed on a throne, waving 
a mace of burnished gold, hearing and judging the 
spectres, rolling the fatal lots, absolving the just and 
dooming the guilty/ 

The element of divination is still present, Allat had 
her divining rod ; Minos has his mace of gold, and 
determines the fate of each soul by lot. 

Hades himself was of exemplary justice, and was 
at one time so concerned at impediments which he 
found in the way of impartial judgment, that at his 
earnest solicitation, he obtained an amendment of the 
code of laws regulating the trial of the dead, which 
was carried out by the three judges, Minos, Rhada- 
manthus and Eacus.* 

Osiris was also a permanent resident in Amenti, 
the Egyptian Hades, where, as above described, he 
sat in the Hall of the two Tiniths, and with the as- 
sistance of his forty -two assessors, and on the presen- 

* « Odyssey," b. ii. * Plato, Gorgias. 


tation of Horns, his son. the Egyptian psychopompos^ 
judged the souls of the dead, and awarded them 
their destuiy. It is curious to trace how this idea 
of Osiris, as the judge, was imported into the Greek 
religion, and became incorporated in their system. 
Ea and Osiris were identical, both the Sun, the one 
the orb of day, the other the same orb as it passed 
at night through the under world : Osiris was then 
Ea in Amenti : — Ra-t-Amenti — whom the Greeks 
named Rhadamanthus. Another personification of 
the Sun became invested with the character of the 
judge of the dead : Dianysus, as the Sun, was the god 
of the Arabians ; according to Plutarch, Dianysus and 
Osiris were identical ; and according to Heraclitus, 
Dianysus and Hades were the same : it is probable 
that the name Dianysus was derived from the 
Assyrian words Daian-nisi or Dian-nisi, which means 
*' the judge of men ;" moreover, Dionysos was the 
Greek Bacchus, the god of the fniitful vine, and of 
the rising sap of vegetation, and thus a deity of earth's 
productive nature. 

The Roman mythology repeated that of Greece 
in a revised and enlarged form, and we find not 
only Pluto, and Proserpine, the latter the childless 
daughter of fruitful Ceres, and the three judges ; 
but we recognize Rhadamanthus, — the quondam 
Ra-t-Amenti, the supreme deity, the sun, — as judge 
of the dead, specially told off to inflict the tor- 


ments of Tartarus upon rebellious gods and incor- 
rigible men : — 

These are the realms of unrelenting fate, 
And awful Rhadaraanthus rules the state. 
He hears and judges each committed crime; 
Inquires into the manner, place and time : 
The conscious wretch must all his acts reveal; 
Loth to confess, unable to conceal ; 
From the first moment of his vital breath, 
To his last hour of unrepenting death. 

Had I a hundred mouths, a hundred tongues. 
And throats of brass, inspired with iron lungs, 
I could not half those horrid crimes repeat. 
Nor half the punishments those crimes have met.^ 

From the judge and inflicter of punishment for sins, 
in a Tartarus of fire, to the medieval or Moslem devil, 
who receives the wicked soul into hell fire, with the 
appliances of whips of flame, red hot pincers, vipers, 
vultures, poison and filth, there is but a step, and 
we can understand how this latter development 
followed upon that which had been building up for 
untold ages. 

True to their original conceptions, the Jews did not 
create a monarch of their Gehenna, nor did the early 
Christians really do so : the Epistles of Peter and 
Jude and the Apocalypse show that Gehenna, the 

» Virgil, "iEneid," Bk. 6. 


bottomless pit, and the lake that burns with fire 
and brimstone, were prepared for the Devil and his 
angels ; and that Satan, the Devil, that old serpent, 
classed with all the irretrievable wicked of the earth, 
were to be cast into it, not as a hierarchy with varying 
positions and powers, but in one common destruction. 
Asmodeus was the Rabbinic prince of the demons ; 
Beelzebub was the gospel prince of the devils ; and 
Satan, the accusing angel of the old system, was 
gradually growing into power, but there was no god 
of Hades, or of Tartaros, such as the Greeks and 
Romans described. The nearest approach to the ex- 
pression is in the Apocalypse, where Abaddon, or 
ApoUyon, as the personification of destruction, issuing 
from the bottomless pit in the form of locusts, is 
described as their king and the angel of the bottom- 
less pit. 

In other religions there were also judges of the 
dead, such as Yama, the Hindu god of hell and 
justice, one of many types of a first ancestor, ruling 
the souls of his descendants in the land of shades; 
and who is probably identical with Yami, the Vedic 
spirit of darkness, Yima, the Iranian king of paradise, 
O Yama, the Japanese chief of the demons, and Amma, 
the Sintoo god of hell. Many rehgions recognize 
death, destruction, and other abstract ideas as per- 
sonified in a monarch of Hell; such as the Hindu 
Kali, destruction, the Gothic Kalja, the black one, 


and Hel or Hela, the Scandinavian goddess of death. 
But all these personified abstractions came too late 
into the Christian system to influence the evolution 
of the Christian ideal of the monarch of hell, the 
modem Satan. 

With man's first belief in a future state, came his 
first idea of Hades, — invisible and eternal, — the abode 
of all the dead, both good and bad. The invisible 
gods fought amongst themselves, the conquerors 
monopolized the realms of bliss, and put the conquered 
under durance vile. The disembodied souls of men 
lived on, but pnictically unconscious and unnoticed, 
re-embodiment alone revived them. A few distin- 
guished by great deeds or great impiety, rose 
to the rank of demigods, and were favoured with 
a god-like life of bliss or woe. As by degrees, 
men convinced themselves that they were equal to 
the gods, they claimed their privilege of conscious 
life, and a share of heaven and hell. Hades then 
required judges, executioners and varied regions of 
bliss and woe. The judges grew in grimness, the 
executioners in terror, until fear invested many of 
the judges and all the executioners with such hateful 
attributes, that their merger into the personality of 
the Devil, — ^man's adversary and accuser, — was the 
result. Hatred led to revenge, and this concentrated 
judge and executioner has been himself at last linked 
with his prisoners, and condemned to everlasting 




Man without Fire — The Fire- drill — Pramanfiha — The Forbidden 
Fruit — ^Prometheus — Fire-worship — Sacred Fire — Fire-gods — 
Agni — Izdhubar— Spirits of Fire — Red Spirits — The Sun — Light- 
ning — ^Metal-working — Magic Wands and Iron — Metal-working 
Gods — Consuming Fire — Cremation — Devouring Deities — 
Moloch — Gehenna — Impure Fire — Hebrew History — Persian 
Fire-spirits — ^Asmodeus — Solomon and the Temple — Iblis — ^The 
Devil-on-two-sticks — Mephistopheles. 

The element of fire has in all ages appealed to the 
deepest feelings of mankind. This is not surprising : 
the most prosaic utilitarian is bound to admit its 
value in daily life: the least poetical observer of 
Nature can hardly stand unmoved in the presence of 
the sun in all the golden glory of his setting : and 
the lightning flash, the rocking earthquake, and the 
volcanic outburst, must arrest the attention of the 
most indiflferent. The brute creation is equally im- 
pressed by these developments of fire : animals court 
' and enjoy its mild warmth : the rising sun awakens 
the woods to melodious joy, and makes them teem 
with life : the storm and earthquake paralyze all 
Nature into deadly silence with overwhelming dread : 
the lava stream and prairie fire make hungry beasts 

FIRE. 163 

of prey forget their savage instincts, in the ptoic- 
stricken struggle to escape : and even the encamp- 
ment fire sufiices to keep ofi* the prowling wolf by a 
kind of fascination. 

It is difficult to realize what the world was with- 
out fire ; or rather, without the utilization of fire ; 
for man must always have had some experience of 
fire as a physical fact ; the lightning, the burning 
mountain, the sparks from the flints which the river- 
drift man chipped for his weapons and tools, must 
have made the phenomena of fire familiar ; but until 
man had learnt how to use and perpetuate fire and 
artificial light, what a strange existence must his 
have been! No cooked food, no metals, no bricks; 
nothing to scare away the midnight foe, to counteract 
miasmatic damps, or biting frosts : nothing to relieve 
the long dark nights of winter. Who could be sur- 
prised at man, under such circumstances, looking up 
to heaven, and saluting the sun as his best friend ; 
and regarding the rest of the heavenly host as the 
sun's attendants ; or at his mourning aud desponding 
as the days grew shorter and shorter ; and rejoicing at 
the birth of the new year, when the crisis of winter 
was passed and the dark dread nights became less 
and less wearisome and chill ? 

We can well imagine that before the days of fire 
and artificial light, men '4ived as infants, .... 
who, seeing, saw in vain, hearing they heard not. 

M 2 


But like to the form of dreams, for a long time they 
used to huddle together aU things at random, and 
nought knew they about brick-built • and sun- ward 
houses, nor carpentry ; but they dwelt in the exca- 
vated earth, like tiny emmets in the sunless depths 
of caverns."* 

In our own age we are just beginning to realize 
some of the benefits which can be derived by bring- 
ing under control one of the great forces of Nature, 
electricity, which for countless ages had only been 
recognized as the manifestation of a wrathful deity : 
now, like the spirit in Faust within the pentagram, 
confined within the narrow limits of a gutta-percha 
film, and a most obedient servant. How much 
greater must have been the stride which marked the 
transition from ignorance to knowledge of the art of 
creating and preserving fire, and its use for human 
wants ; how arts of every kind became possible, and 
were developed one by one, each upon the foundation 
of its predecessor, until the dreaded demon, fire, once 
only known as the agent of destruction, became the 
slave of man. 

How fire was first created and subdued for the use 
of man, cannot now be shown; many theories are 
equally possible ; but one method of procuring it has 
received such marked honour, and has come down to 

* iEsch. Prom, 446. 

FIRE. 165 

US SO wonderfully imbedded in the earliest stratum 
of history, as to demand especial notice. "Pra- 
mantha" is the Sanskrit name for the old fire-drill, 
which is the earliest known instrument for procuring 
fire. It consisted of a stick like an arrow shaft, cut 
to a blunt point, which was twirled between the 
hands, with such speed and pressure as to bore a hole 
in an under piece of wood, till the charred dust made 
by the boring took fire.^ " Prometheus" is the Titan 
of the Aryan mythology, who stole fire from heaven, 
concealed in a fennel stick, and gave it to men, who 
have ever since procured fire by using a " pramantha," 
a fire drill, often made with a fennel stick. The 
wrath of Zeus at " creatures of a day possessing bright 
fire," is difficult to understand, imless there be an ex- 
planation in the jealousy of some dominant race, at 
the' acquisition of fire by a class of down-trodden 
slaves : it has been suggested that there may be some 
relation between this acquisition of fire, and that of 
the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the garden of 
Eden, which had been forbidden to mortals ; but which, 
when seized and appropriated, made them as Jehovah- 
£lohim in their power of knowledge : the mysterious 
association of Jehovah with fire lends some colour to 
tliis supposition. 

In reference to this last suggestion, the oldest 

* Tylor's Anthro. 261. 


myths in the world have references to the invention 
of fire, and to the waters of life, which are very 
remarkable. The idea that fire was forbidden fiiiit 
is found in the VMas, and was passed on in modified 
forms to the Greeks, the Eomans, and the Slavs ; 
it is also found amongst the Iranians and the Hindus. 
The ba^sis of these myths.-which are not found com- 
plete except under their oldest forms, — represents the 
universe as an immense tree, of which the roots 
surround the earth, and the branches form the vault 
of heaven. The finiit of this tree is fire, indis- 
pensable to the existence of man, and material 
symbol of intelligence ; its leaves distU the water of 
life. The gods have reserved to themselves the 
possession of fire, which descends at times upon the 
earth in lightning, but men ought not to produce it 
themselves. He who, like the Prometheus of the 
Greeks, discovers the method which enables him to 
light it artificially, and to communicate it to other 
men, is impious, and has stolen the forbidden fruit 
of the holy tree. He is cursed, and the wrath of 
the gods pursues him and his race.^ 

Prometheus, the demi-god, who snatched the sacred 
fire and gave it over to men, was condemned to be 
chained alive to a rock in the remote Caucasus 
mountains, and to submit, while every day a vulture 

* Lenormant^ "Origines d*Hiatoire," 96-7. 

FIRE. ^ 167 

came to gnaw away his liver, which daily grew 
afresh. But Prometheus was proud ; he had alone 
saved the human race from the destruction which all 
the other gods had planned ; and those that he had 
ransomed he took in hand to educate : having 
brought them fire and light, he proceeded to teach 
them numbers, memory, agriculture, sailing, medicine, 
divination, augury and metal- working ; and in one 
brief sentence he could truly boast " All arts among 
the human race are from Prometheus."^ 

We must still bear in mind the animistic faith of 
primeval man, and that it was in the nature of such 
belief to realize the spirit as resembling the tangible 
appearance. As visible fire was in itself almost 
spiritual in its nature, — ^fitftd and formless ; — so the 
spirits of fire were more ethereal than the spmts of 
inert and material bodies. All spirits, too, were 
hungry beings, and, as the ofierings to fire were 
visibly consumed by the spirit under the very eye 
of the votary, so confidence in the propitiation of 
these powerful spirits was the more surely felt as 
the result. The sun in the heavens and the fire on 
the earth had points in common, light and warmth, 
which had had little existence away from the sun 
before the invention of fire. The light and warmth 
produced by art were therefore part of the solar 

* -^Jsch. Prom. 


light and warmth, which had been brought down 
from heaven to earth, concealed in the fennel stick 
from which they were afterwards procured. The 
worship of fire was a natural development of that of 
the sun> and from the absence of bodily form, and 
the comparative abstractness of the ideal, fire- 
worship was certainly of a purer type than were 
most other religions. 

Fire once acquired and its value understood, its 
preservation and accessibility became a matter of 
cardinal importance : hence regulations of the earliest 
date for maintaining perpetual fire in a temple or 
other public building. Every tribe had its central 
fire, from which aU could draw, and so had every 
town and village. The sacredness of this perpetual 
fire was an article of faith ; it was the direct gift of 
heaven, a part of heaven itself. In Rome the Vestal 
virgins had to watch the fire untiringly, and if 
perchance this fire, went out, not only was there a 
most severe penalty for the impious neglect, but all 
tribunals, all authority, all public and private busi- 
ness were stopped, until the celestial fiire was 
re-kindled. The connection between heaven {Arid 
earth had been broken, and had to be restored : and 
this had to be brought about, either by Jove's 
lightning flash, or by new fire obtained by the 
priests rubbing two pieces of wood together, or by 
using a concave mirror in the sunshine. The sacred 

FlUE. 169 

tire radiated through the whole community; the 
altar with its fire travelled with every army, and to 
every colony, and into every family and hut. The 
fire temple was the place for every solemn act, 
the reception of ambassadors, the discussion of public 
policy, the transaction of business, and the award ot 
justice. The domestic hearth became the rallying 
point of the family, the centre of parental influence, 
where truth and purity should reign ; for the deity 
was there, casting light upon and taking note of all 
that passed. The public maintenance of sacred fire 
was not only an institution of the ancient Greeks 
and Eomans, but also of the Jews, Chaldeans, 
Tartars, Chinese, and other Mongolian tribes; 
Egyptians, Ethiopians and Japanese ; Mexicans, 
Peruvians, and other tribes of the new world; so 
that it may be fairly styled universal in ancient 
times. The lamps kept burning in synagogues, and 
in the Byzantine and Catholic churches, are probably 
a survival of the ancient, sacred, and perpetual fire. 
The ceremonies amongst the Aztecs attending the 
extinction of the old fire at the end of every cycle 
of fifty-two years, and the creation of the new fire, 
and with it the renovation of all domestic associa- 
tions, are very graphically described in Prescott's 
" History of the Conquest of Mexico. "^ The Aztecs 

Vol. i. p. 69. 


were very much in earnest, and gave in practice full 
evidence of their earnestness in relation to this new 

The Fire-god took many forms, and his worship 
being so widespread, we cannot wonder at finding 
the ideal considerably varied. In the Aryan 
religion Agni was the fire-god, and it has been 
pointed out that the name of Agni is the first word 
of the first hymn of the Rig- Veda, one of the most 
venerable (and perhaps even the oldest) of the 
sacred records in the world, " Agni I entreat, divine 
appointed priest of sacrifice !"i 

The Accadians and Assyrians had an equal 
veneration for their fire-god : — 

O Fire, great lord, who art the most exalted in the world, 

Noble son of heaven, thou art the most exalted in the world. 

O Fire, with thy bright flame 

In the dark house thou dost cause light. 

Of all things that can be named, thou dost form the fabric ! 

Of bronze and of lead thou art the melter ! 

Of silver and of gold thou art the refiner, 

Of the wicked man in the night-time, thou dost repel the 

assault ! 
But the man who serves his god, thou wilt give him light 

for his actions.' 

It is to be noted that the name of Izdhubar, the 
hero of the great Accadiau epic, signifies,. " a mass of 

' Tylor's " Prim. Cul." ii. 281. 
^ ** Records of the Past," iii. 137. 

FIllE. 171 

fire," showing that he was identical with the Acca- 
dian fire-god, who in this case was also the sun. Mr. 
George Smith in his Chaldean Genesis identifies 
him with the Biblical Nimrod, "the mighty hunter 
before the Lord :"' and it is certain that he belongs 
to the class of heroes, whose exploits, woven o^i to 
the framework of a zodiac, with twelve signs, have 
given us, not only the Accadian epic, but also that 
of the Odyssey, and the labours of Hercules, and 
many other compilations of the world's most ancient 

The essential principle of fire was supposed to 
pervade all Nature, and spirits were conceived as 
beings of fire : the good or celestial spirits, — ^the 
devas, the shining ones, the "angels bright and fair,"— - 
of refulgent whiteness. The vision at the opening of 
the Apocalypse is described thus : — " His head and 
his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow ; 
and his eyes were like a flame of tire : and his feet 
like unto fine brass, as if they' burned in a furnace ; 

and his countenance was as the sun shineth 

in its strength."^ The seven Spirits of God were 
also seen as seven lamps of fire, burning before His 
throne :* He, too, dvvrelleth in the light that no 
man can approach unto : and the Spiiit, when He 

* Smith's "Genesis," Sayce, 176. ' lb. 177. 

• Rev. i. 13-16. * Rev. v. 5. 


descended upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, 
did so in the form of tongues of fire. 

The spirits of earth, living in the cavernous depths, 
are not of this refulgent type ; they are still of fire, 
but heavier, duller, more lurid : they are accordingly 
composed of red fire, and not white. Thor, the 
Scandinavian god of fire, of agriculture, and of the 
domestic hearth, was a r^cf-haired and red-heaxded 
man ; and fire-gods generally were red or had red 
beards : the history of Esau, the Hebrew Satyr, is 
tinged with 7'ed throughout ; ^ the heifer which was 
to be the whole burnt offering in the Mosaic ritual 
was to be red, and its red liide was specially directed 
to be burnt ;^ a South Pacific legend makes a red 
pigeon the means of procuring fire from the sub- 
terranean fire-demon ; the dwarfs and fairies, .the 
successors of the ancient fire-worshippers, generally 
luive red caps, which are their means of preserving 
the spiritual attribute of invisibility ; the kobolds, or 
goblins, ai'e fiery imps who sport red jackets ;' and 
finally Mephistopheles would certainly not be recog- 
nized in iuiy but a scarlet garb : — 

Here as a youth of high degree, 
1 come in gold lac*d scarlet vest.* 

Intimately associated with the idea of supernatural 

^ See p. 224. " Numbers xix. 2. 

• Koighlloy's ** Fairy Mythology," 253. * "Faust," 1183-84. 

FIRE. 1 73 

beings of fire, would be the celestial bodies, far 
beyond the reach of mortal man, but always living 
and moving, some influencing in fact the economy of 
Nature, and the others believed to influence it, if not 
in an apparent, yet in some occult mode. The wide- 
spread worship of the sun has been already referred 
to, and will not be further examined here : we have 
seen how Bel was the sun, became identified with 
Baal, and degenerated into Beelzebub, the prince of 
the devils. A similiar track was followed by Duzi, 
or Damuzi, the sun that has set, who became known 
in Biblical times as Tammuz, and to the Sabeans as 
Taus, and who is now worshipped under the name of 
Taous, in the form of a peacock, by the Yzedis, the 
so-called devil worshippers of Mesopotamia. The 
Syrian Tammuz and the Greek Adonis (Syrian 
Adonai, Lord) have long been recognized as identical ; 
and ApoUo, Helios, Phoebus and Dianysos have all 
in turn been sun-gods, and their identity and attri- 
butes have been overlapped and interchanged, past 
unravelling. The Phoenix, periodically dying and 
reviving, and the mythical Rokh of Arabian mytho- 
logy, no doubt owe their origin to a common source 
with the deified peacock Taous. 

We have seen how Izdhubar-Nimrod, the mighty 
hunter, and Hercules, and the host of other heroes 
and demigods, who labour through a cycle of varied 
toils and journeys, timed to the zodiacal signs, like 


the sun, have probably a common origin. The events 
of ages have brought these doughty heroes down 
through Odin, and the wild huntsman of Grerman 
folk-lore, — a demon who hunts with a pack of hell- 
hounds, — ^to the blue-fire fiend of English legends, 
Heme the hunter. 

All these were personifications of the sun, the 
powerfiil focus of celestial fire, who for ages reigned 
as the supreme god of the universe; whose rising 
through the golden portals of the eastern sky could 
furnish a figure in sublimest language of the coining 
of Jehovah Himself: " Lifb up your heads, O ye 
gates ; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors ; and 
the king of glory shall come in. . ... the Lord strong 
andmighty,the Lord mighty in battle."* And even, the 
ideal bridegroom of mythology, Tammuz- Adonis, as 
the sun in the heavens, is made to declare the glory 
of Jehovah to every nation throughout the world ; 
for he is " As a bridegroom coming out of his chamber 
and rejoiceth as a* strong man to run a race. His 
going forth is fi*om the end of the heaven, and his 
circuit unto the ends of it : and there is nothing hid 
from the heat thereof^ Nothing was hid from the 
heat of the sun, and his heat was not lost when he 
passed through the caverns under the earth, between 
his setting and his rising again; and subterranean 

^ Ps. xxiv. 7, 8. " Ps. xix. 1-7. 

FIRE. 175 

heat and fire, and fructifying warmtli were associated 
with, if not produced by, the sun in the course of his 
circuits of perpetual activity : realizing the figure of 
the husband, — the bridegroom of the earth. 

Another form of fire could not fail to impress man 
with the greatest awe. Thinking man might be 
brought to conclude that the sun could not be a god, 
or he would not pursue his monotonous journey like 
a mill-horse, but would show some signs of inde- 
pendent action. But this idea would not attach to 
the lightning and thunder. The storm-clouds 
gathering over some devoted spot, according to no 
apparent law of Nature, flashing down their lightning 
at unequal intervals, striking hither and thither with 
destructive force, and roaring all the time with 
a stupendous voice, which drowns all other sounds 
besides, filling the mind with a profound sense of 
human impotence ; became the ideal of gods of power 
and independent action. Dyaus-pitar (heaven 
father), the Aryan god of the expanse of heaven, 
Indra, his Hindu counterpart, Zeus, the Greek divinity, 
and Jupiter, the Latin god of heaven, all wielded the 
thunderbolt, and executed speedy judgment on any 
who became the object of divine wrath. 

The discovery of fire had been an epoch in the 
history of man, the use of metals was hardly less 
important as an acquisition. Tubal-cain, whether 
this name be that of an individual or of a tribe, who 


introduced the art of working brass (bronze) and 
iron, brought about a complete revolution in the 
world. The tribes who only knew of arms and tools 
of chipped stone, bone or wood were soon mastered 
by the metal- working races; and although a magic 
glamour enveloped the people of the old stone age, 
yet the dread of iron, and its power to overcome the 
magic influences, have survived in mythology and 
folk-lore to a most remarkable extent. In the oldest 
legends of all, a wooden rod or wand was the instru- 
ment for overcoming spells and sorcery. Izdhubar, 
when he engaged in his perilous journey to the 
land of the departed, provided himself with a wand 
or spear of special efiiciency to resist obstructive 
powers; the rod of Moses was made the visible 
instrument of his power, and was afterwards pre- 
served with reverential care ; the thyrsos of Mercury, 
and similar emblems borne by many other gods in 
the hand ; the divining rod of conjurors and the wand 
of the fairy ; perhaps even the sceptre of the king, 
and the baton of the field-marshal, are all insignia 
of power, relics inherited from remotest time, before 
metal arms ruled the world by force. But iron was 
stronger still ; Ulysses held the shades at bay with 
Ins brandished falchion : the oriental jinn are in such 
deadly terror of iron, that its very name is a charm 
njj;ainHt Uumu : and in European folk-lore iron drives 

' Koightlcy's " Fairy Mythology," 26. 

FIRE. 177 

away fairies and elves, and destroys their power ; iron, 
instruments are equally potent against witches, and 
especially have iron horse-shoes been chosen for this 
purpose, as half the stable doors in England testify.* 
Stratum after stratum of the human race has 
become buried or absorbed by succeeding waves, and 
the little people of the stone age, or rather the dis- 
tinctive generations of them, died out, and only left 
behind them relics, memories and superstitions. 
Succeeding generations acquired the practice of the 
art of metal- working, and brought it to the highest 
perfection. According to the Mosaic account, Tubal- 
cain was the first instructor of every artificer in brass 
and iron : among the Greeks Hephaestos was the 
god of subterranean fire, working in a smoky smithy 
down in the heart of burning mountains, and forging 
arms and armour, and other works in metal of surpass- 
ing beauty and temper : the Latins had their Vulcan 
(whose name some have sought to identify with that 
of Tubal-cain), whose occupations were similar to those 
of Hephaestos, and who moreover forged the thunder- 
bolts for Jove, his father : Loki, the Scandinavian 
Vulcan, was more lively and mischievous than the 
Latin god, but he shared with him his skill in metal- 
working of unrivalled strength and beauty. These 


' Tylor's "Prim. Cul." 140. Keightlejr's " Fairy My thology,** 
26, 148, 413, 488. 


gods of the internal fire were aided by Kyklops, and 
other like attendants : and these grim metal-workers 
crop up in fairy mythology as the black dwarfs, who 
"are horridly ugly, with weeping eyes, like black- 
smiths and colliers. They are most expert workmen, 
especially in steel, to which they can give a degree 
at once of hardness and flexibility which no human 
smith, can imitate ; for the swords they make will 
bend like rushes, and are as hard as diamonds. In 
old times arms and armour made by them were in 
great request ; shirts of mail manufactured by them 
were as fine as cobwebs, and yet no bullet would 
penetrate them, and no helm or corslet could resist 
the swords they fashioned ; but all these things are 
now gone out of use."* 

It requires very Httle speculation to understand 
how these gods of the internal fire, invested with 
repulsive attributes, became associated in the mind 
with the presiding deities of the subterranean abodes 
of the dead, and why they should be relegated to 
that part of Hades where the fires of Tartaros were 
placed. Hephaestos, Vulcan and Loki, each lame 
fi:om some deformity of foot, in time joined natures 
with the pans and satyrs of the upper world; 
the lame sooty blacksmith donned their goatlike 
extremities of cloven hoofs, tail and horns ; and the 

* Keightley's "Fairy Mythology," 176. 

FIRE. 179 

black dwarfs became the uncouth ministers of this 
sooty, black, foul fi^nd. If ever mortal man accepted 
the services of these cunning metal-workers, it was 
for some sinister purpose, and at a fearful price — no 
less than that of the soul itself, bartered away in a 
contract of red blood, the emblem of life and the 
colour of fire. 

Fire in another aspect is distinctively the con- 
suming element ; and this phase of its power must 
always have been that most forcibly realized by man. 
When fire was the supreme god, and souls and spirits 
were like flames, death was the extinction of the 
" vital spark ;" the body dropped lifeless and inert ; 
left to itself its fate would be " to lie in cold obstruc- 
tion and to rot."* Then was the time when pious sons 
would raise the funeral pyre, and by consuming the 
material body of the dead, would send that body to 
the land of shades, to be there reunited to the ethereal 
soul, and so secure a passage over the dread waters 
of the Styx ; to a place where some hope, however 
vague, of a kind of future life, and even of happiness, 
was possible. Those who were shipwrecked and 
whose carcasses were swallowed by the deep, or lay 
unburied on the shore ; those who left no descendants 
willing to light up the fiineral fires, or compose the 
bones in graves with funeral dues, were doomed to 

^ '^ Measure for Measure," act ill. 8C. i. 



double disembodiment ; tliey not only lost their 
bodies, but also that something between a body and 
a soul, which was set free and despatched to the 
nether regions by the burning of the body, or the 
performance of other regular sepulchral rites; and 
this dire condition they were destined to endure for 
a hundred years, or until the funeral rites were per- 

The ghosts rejected are th' unhappy crew 
Deprived of sepulchres, and fun'ral due. 
The boatman Charon ; those the bury'd host^ 
He ferries over to the farther coast. 
Nor dares his transport vessel cross the waves 
With such whose bones are not composed in graves. 
A hundred years they wander on the shore, 
At length their penance done, are wafted o'er.* 

The idea is related to that which gave rise amongst 
so many races to the destruction by fire or by 
dedication in the tomb, of food, clothing, arms, horses, 
slaves and wives, to serve the great departed in the 
land of shades : of which the Hindu suttee was one 
development. But associated with this was the 
realization of the diety as a hungry demon, the 
Devourer par excellence. Loki, the Scandinavian god 
of subterranean fire, was a great devourer, and was 
ready to challenge any other being, god or man, to 
an eating match, and he was met and beaten by Logi, 

1 Dryden's " VirgiFs * ^neid/ " b. 6. 


FIRE. 181 

the Scandinavian god of devouring fire,^ such it is 
assumed, as a prairie fire or forest firie. The older 
gods of the Greeks and Romans, Kronos and Saturn, 
were devouring god^ who were not only pleased with 
perpetual sacrifices, but went to the length of devour- 
ing their own offspring ; and even Zeus himself, of the 
later race of gods, once gave way to this devouring 
propensity when he swallowed his wife. Metis. Again 
Moloch, the great Phoenician god, was generally 
identified by the Greeks with Kronos, and he was 
essentially a hungry and blood-thirsty deity. 
Moloch has always been associated with fire, although 
perhaps strictly not a fire-god : he was worshipped, 
not only by victims bemg consumed in his presence, 
but even by their being thrown into his belly of fire : 
his image is described as of brass, hollow within, and 
with a head like a calf, and outstretched arms into 
which were thrown the victims, who sank down into 
the fire, which was kindled in the belly. The worship 
of this Phoenician god by these rites was wide-spread, 
and it was so well established as to be almost ineradi- 
cable, even under the strong denunciation of the 
Hebrew prophets, who inveighed against the passing 
of children through the fire to Moloch. This form of 
human sacrifice, if indeed it ever was subdued, 
smouldered on among«t the Hebrews, and again 

* Mallet's " Northern Antiquities," 439. 


burst forth in full vigour under the monarchy, when 
Solomon and Manasseh successively set up this 
worship, and sons were passed through the fire to 
Moloch and to Chemosh, his Moabitish coimterpart 
It is probable that the worship of Baal, the sun-god, 
became in time blended with that of the devouring 
deities, and that the same rites were eventually 
observed in both. 

We have already seen that, amongst the Hebrews, 
fire held an important place in their conception of the 
Deity ; and their declension to a worship of material 
fire, and sacrifices to the local fire god, is quite 
intelligible. In the time of Jeremiah, the prophet, 
in the valley of the son of Hinnom (Ge-hinnom) 
situate outside the city of Jerusalem, on the East 
side, at the sun-gate; — near which Ezekiel in his 
vision saw the twenty-five men worshipping the sun, 
and turning their backs on the Temple, — stood 
Moloch's altar, and young children were thrown 
into the cruel arms of the brazen god, to the sound of 
the toph, the drum, beaten to drown the cries of the 
victims, and to excite the people : from whence the 
name of Tophet. This valley was to the Hebrew 
prophet a place of dire abomination, and drew down 
the most scathing denunciation. Josiah, the king, 
defiled the valley in some way calculated to make the 
place unfit for any religous service ; for, degrading as 
the worship was, it was hedged round by superstitious 

FIRE.. 183 



rules. It became thenceforth a place of btitming for 
dead carcasses and offal ; — the type of corruption, and 
of the valley of death ; — and the ideal of that hell of 
fire, which was at once the place of retribution and of 
purification, realized by the later Jews. 

When the Jews returned from the Babylonish 
captivity, they brought with them a name for Hades, 
Gehenna, derived from the old Accadian records, in 
which Gri-umuna means the foundation of " chaos,"' 
the old Hebrew Sheol. They also brought back 
their Persian ideal of a fiery place of retribution and 
purification ; and by a transition, easy to the Jews, the 
abominable valley of perpetual burnings, corruption, 
and foetid smoke ; — ^identified with traditions of himian 
sacrifices, and the presence of heathen gods, now 
demonized; the old Ge-hinnom — became the new 
Gehenna, the latter inheriting the horrible traditions 
of the former, both of human sacrifices by fire, and of 
the burning of the dead, by which those sacrifices 
had been superseded: in each case fire was the 
leading idea, and furnished the facts and figures of 
the Jewish Tartaros. Having localized this place of 
retribution, one step further placed upon the throne of 
that burning world, Asmodeus, the arch-demon of 
the impure fire, who had come back with the Jews 
from the land of Media. 

1 tt 

Chaldean Magic," 166-170, &c. 


The impure fire, — this is the real point of contact 
between the element of fire and the ideal devil: — the 
fire of passion, wrath and lust : the fire that eats into 
the moral being as a canker; turning all that was 
sound and beautiful, into rottenness and repulsive 
hideousness : it is the hell which setteth on fire the 
whole course of Nature,^ and incites to all kinds of 
lust and crime ; it is the fever which possesses erring 
man until *Hhe whole head is sick, and the whole 
heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto 
the head there is no soundness in it : but wounds and 
bruises and putrefying sores :" until the " sins are as 
scarlet and red like crimson.''^ 

We have already referred to Lilith, the Rabbinic 
first wife of Adam, and to the probable association 
with her, of the tradition of moral degradation in 
pre-historic times. The elaboration of the idea is of 
comparatively late growth ; but the idea itself, as a 
foundation, is of far greater antiquity : by reading 
between the lines of the Hebrew canon, not only is 
it possible to see that some such object was present 
to the writers, but that it was one of their great 
desiderata, to counteract the influence of the old 
tradition, and to wean their readers from its 

No one can read the Hebrew history, either in 

James ill. 6. ^ Isaiah i. 5, 6, 18. 

FIRE. 185 

the Bible, or in the Talmudic writings, without 
recognizing that the besetting sin of the Hebrew 
race was that of carnal lust. In the Bible, we have 
the history of the Hebrew race, promulgated as an 
authentic record. It purports in its earlier chapters 
to give an account of the origin of all things, of man 
and all the nations upon earth, but the document 
which has come down to us, was not compiled until 
after the Hebrews had become a nation, and we can 
see that the writer kept steadily in view the separa- 
tion, from the rest of the world, of the peculiar 
people, and the establishment of those institutions 
by which they were to be distinguished. The 
existence and history of collateral off-shoots from the 
Hebrew genealogical tree, are either not noticed at 
all, or are but barely referred to. The great 
desideratum of the Hebrew law-giver and his im- 
mediate successor was to prevent their followers 
from mixing with the Canaanitish nations, who 
retained the traditions of the hated past ; and the 
pitiless command went forth, to " save alive nothing 
that breatheth,'* so as to prevent the possibility of 
contamination. In the history of the nation, pro- 
minence was given to all the facts which could 
create abhorrence of the superseded system and its 
votaries : the fall of Eve brought about by a being 
in the form of a serpent, the ancient object of 
worship ; the murder of the shepherd Abel by the 


agriculturist Cain, and the curse which followed ; 
the curse of Ham, the progenitor of Canaan and the 
Canaanites ; the destruction of the cities of the plain 
where the obscenity of the old religion was especially 
rampant; the declension of Baal-peor, and the 
destruction by plague of 24,000 Hebrew men which 
followed; all pointing the moral against the old 
system of lewdness. No wonder that tradition even- 
tually personified this old system as Lilith, a beauti- 
ful woman, and described her as endowed with 
magic powers, as having been the first but cast-off 
wife of Adam, and that being the jealous enemy of 
Eve, she had assumed the form of a serpent,— a 
seraph, or angel of light, — and had succeeded in 
conquering her, and bringing her and all her 
offspring to misery. This was indeed the legend of 
the Rabbins, who also made LUith, the mother 
of the jinns or demons, including Asmodeus, the 
Persian demon of lust, who, in course of time, 
succeeded to a post of the highest rank in the 
demonic hierarchy. 

Piu*ity was the ideal of the Hebrew good ; Lust 
and ImmoraUty, so closely woven into the religion 
of the Canaanites, and other aboriginal and early 
nations, were the great opposing principle confront- 
ing this ideal, and denounced vehemently throughout 
their sacred books as the great evil : the spiritual 
personification of this opposing principle was the 

FIRE. 187 

nearest idea of a devil which they ever attained. 
The Hebrews themselves were a cruel, blood-thirsty 
race ; their system of warfare was atrocious in the 
extreme ; and their Religious rites demanded a 
perpetual shedding of blood, their priests being 
really the butchers of the nation : but this was 
deemed necessary both for the suppression of a stUl 
greater evil, and as a mitigation of a still greater 
atrocity : the old corrupt system was the evil, and 
the atrocity to be mitigated was human sacrifice in 
its most repulsive form. 

Among the Persians the fire which they associated 
so prominently with the spiritual beings of their 
religion, was at ap early date separated into the two 
great divisions of celestial fire, and infernal fire. 
The former was personified as Ashavahista, the spirit 
of " supreme purity ;" the latter as Aeshma-daeva, 
the spirit of the "impure fire.'' In the great 
combat between Ahura-mazda (Ormuzd) and Anro- 
mainyu (Ahriman), these two spirits of fire are 
pitted against one another. 

We have seen how the captive Jews were led by 
a similarity of traditions, to sympathize with the 
Persian religious teaching, and how, on their 
return from captivity, the Jewish religious system 
became deeply tinged, and even imbued with Persian 
doctrines. Amongst these doctrines was that of the 
hierarchy of demons or devils, with Aschmedai, the 


quondam Aeshma-daeva, the arch-demon of Inst, as 
the most potent of the infernal fiends. In the 
apocryphal book of Tobit Aschmedai is a principal 
actor, who is not only burning with lust but also 
wdth jealousy, and who slays the first seven 
husbands of Sara, in the vain hope of securing her 
for himself 

The antagonism which existed fi:om the earliest 
times between the Iranian, the Persian race, and the 
cognate race of Hindus, whose rehgious rites were to 
the last degree obscene, may have led to the accen- 
tuation of their detestation for such characters as were 
typified by Aschmedai; and found other develop- 
ments in the belief in succubi and incubi, the spirits 
of impurity, wlio, prowling through the darkness of 
the night, instilled into the mind unholy thoughts, 
and corrupted the body with pollution. It then was 
and still is the practice of Hindu races, not only to 
permit, but to enjoin as a duty such rites in con- 
nection with religion, observed to this day in their 
very temples, as do not yield in impurity to the 
worship of Mylitta, for which Babylon has in history 
gained such unenviable notoriety. 

Aschmedai in later writings became the more 
familiar Asmodeus, who furnished the industrious, 
tradition-weaving Eabbins with a hero, always 
available as the principal actor in some brand-new 
ancient legend, pieced together for the instruction 

FIRE. 189 

or entertainment of the schools of learning; as- 
semblies which these Rabbins so much enjoyed that 
they modelled their heaven on the same pattern. 

The Rabbins did not consider Asmodeus as a spirit 
of imtnixed evil, as the following legend wiU show ; — 
Solomon was commanded to build the Temple with- 
out using iron tools ; and being in perplexity how to 
fulfil the divine command, was advised to have 
recourse to a certain magical insect, called the 
Shamir, which had the power of cutting through 
the hardest stone : it was not known where the 
Shamir was to be found, and it was thought that the 
demons might disclose its whereabouts. The male 
and female demons were accordingly interrogated^ 
under the persuasive influence of the rack, but with- 
out effect, for they did not know: they however, 
suggested that Asmodeus, " the king of the demons," 
might be in possession of the Shamh*. Questioned 
as to the abode of Asmodeus, they replied that he 
usually resided on a certain mountain, and described 
the exact spot; that he ascended daily into heaven, 
for the purpose of attending the celestial seat of 
learning ; and of coming down in order to be present 
at the sublunary debating rooms; and that on 
returning home he was accustomed to drink of a 
particular well. A messenger was accordingly 
despatched with a quantity of wine, and a magic 
chain, on which the name of God was engraved : the 


water was drawn off from the well, and the wine 
was substituted. The device succeeded, Asmodeus 
drank deeply of the wine, was overpowered, and 
chained by the magic chain, which he could not 
shake off, and led away captive to Solomon. On the 
joiu'ney he came in contact with a palm tree, which 
was snapped by his weight. He was about to do 
the same to a widow's cottage, but yielded to her 
•entreaties for mercy, and refrained, but in stooping 
to get out of the way, he broke a bone in his leg, and 
became lame. They passed a blind man and a 
drunkard, who had lost their way ; and he put both 
of them right again; at the same time telling his 
<:japtors, that the former was known in heaven as a 
perfectly righteous man, and the latter as a perfectly 
wicked one. Besides these he gave other surprising 
evidence of his foreknowledge with regard to persons 
casually met on the road. On his arrival, he put 
Solomon in the way of procuring the Shamir, and 
remained in his service until the Temple was com- 
pleted. During his stay he became very intimate 
with Solomon, and one day, during a friendly dis- 
cussion as to feats of skill, managed to shoot Solomon 
away bodily to a distance of four hundred mUes ; 
and assuming his form and appearance, took posses- 
sion of his harem. Solomon, like Ulysses, had to 
find his way back home, where liis identity was at 
first doubted. Eventually, the personation was de- 

FIRE. 191 

tected, and a magic ring and chain, engraved with- 
the names of God, put Asmodeus to flight, and 
Solomon was restored to his throne and home.' 

It is to be observed in this legend, that Asmodeus, 
the king of demons, like the Satan of Job, and the 
lying spirit of Ahab's time, had access to the pre- 
sence of God ; that he is not unmoved by feelings of 
compassion, and that he is not thought unworthy to 
be employed in the erection of the great temple of 
Jehovah, which even David, the man after God's own 
heart, was not allowed to build. 

Asmodeus travelled through the early Christian 
ages and medieval times, side by side with other 
demons, endowed with various attributes of evil; 
but although from time to time he changed his form, 
and was often overshadowed by darker conceptions, 
he fairly held his own : and indeed the ideal Devil 
always retained his lustful character. A Mussulman 
legend relates of Iblis, the Arabian Devil, that Allah 
gave him for food, all things sacrificed to idols ; for 
drink, wine and intoxicating liquors ; for amusement, 
music, song, love, poetry and dancing ; and although 
his regular home was to be ruins, tombs and unclean 
places, yet he was to have liberty to curse Allah, and 
was promised a progeny which should outnumber 
the guardian angels in the proportion of seven to 

* Uershon's " Genesis accordiDg to the Talmud," i83. 


two ; and that, except with the faithful few, the evil 
should prevail.^ 

If this was the appointed lot of the Devil, we 
cannot wonder that shoals of men were found ready- 
to enlist under his banners, and to enjoy " the plea- 
sures of sin for a season," regardless of the end to 
which it led. The Devil thus had too many disciples 
among men to make him at any time absolutely un- 
popular, and Le Sage's lame Asmodeus, the ''Devil- 
on-two-Sticks,*' is a strange mixture of philosophy, 
cynical wickedness, and common sense. 

But another change was to come over this ag- 
gressive spirit.^ Children in their childhood, and 
rustics all their lives, might believe in a black Devil 
with tail and horns and cloven hoofs. But such a 
personality could not survive, and dropped into the 
limbo of vain conceits. The traditional form had 
disappeared, but not his works : he was as imtiring, 
as industrious as ever : unseen, unrecognized, he 
threaded his way through crowded humanity, 
wherever thought was lightest and joy the highest : 
he would penetrate into the seclusion of the cloister 
and the cell, and whisper his temptations to the 
ascetic and the student. The old coai'se notion of 
the Devil carried with it a wholesome panic dread, 
which, if it influenced at all, tended to repulsion. 

^ Conway's "Demon ology," ii. 261. 

FIRE. 193 

But the ideal of evil, which grew more and more 
refined as the culture advanced with which it kept 
pace, wa^ far more insidious ; and grew in strength 
and pow.jr to influence and subjugate, as the old 
form disappeared, and gave place to a graceful spirit 
of refinement and elegance. 

Mephis, The culture, too, that shapes the world, at last 
Hath e'en the devil in its sphere embraced ; 
The northern phantom from the scene hath passed, 
Tail, talons, horns, are nowhere to be traced ! 
As for the foot, with which I can't dispense, 
'Twould injure me in company, and hence, 
Like many a youthful cavalier, 
False calves I now have worn for many a year. 

Witch, I am beside myself with joy, 

To see once more the gallant Satan here ! 

Mephis, Woman, no more that name employ ! 

Witch, But why ? What mischief has it done ? 

Mephis, To fable it too long hath appertained ; 

But people from the change have nothing won, 
Rid of the Evil One^ the evil has remained.* 

So spake Mephistopheles, the courtly, seeming 
slave, but real master. The grimy garb, the brawny 
arms, and rough sledge-hammer of Vulcan have 
given place to the " gold-laced scarlet vest, the stifi* 
silk mantle, the gay feather, and the long pointed 
rapier/' and well-turned limbs of the youth of high 
degree, into whom he has become transformed. 

* Goethe's "Faust," 2146-55 ; 2156-60. 



The material fire, and the tool of brute force, for- 
midable, but capable of useful work, have been 
replaced by the moral fire, and the polished and 
more deadly arm, made only for the purpose of 



Primeval Monsters — Honesty of Mythological Traditions — 
Ichthyosaurus — Plesiosaurus — Atlantosaurus — Pterodactyle 
— Fights with Dragons — Leviathan — Facts precede Ideals—^ 
Composite Animals — Chaos — Babylonian Monsters — Scorpion 
Men — iGneas — Hesiodic Monsters — St. Michael — St. George 
and the Dragon — Dragons of Romance and Poetry — Bunyan's 
Apollyon — Satyrs and Pans — Eiver-drift Man — Aborigines 
— Man and the Ape — ^Hea-bani — Hebrew Satyrs — ^Horns. 

In examining the physical forms attributed to the 
Devil, it is hardly possible to avoid concluding that 
traditions of primeval monsters, the existence of 
which, at one time, cannot be doubted, are account- 
able for some of the most characteristic types. These 
monsters were by their aspect and ferocity, calcu- 
lated to strike terror into all beholders ; and to Hx 
upon then' memories an indelible impression of 
physical evil, and of irresistible mahgnant power. 
Such experience and impressions must have been 
passed on from generation to generation, with that 
vividness and exaggeration which are bom of a 
horrible terror. As these races of monsters gi^a- 
dually died out, and at last became extinct, the 
traditions of them l)ecame less and less capable of 



verification by contemporary facts ; and those tradi- 
tions would thus become more and more misunder- 
stood and distorted, although still preserving their 
general character and truthfulness. 

In matters of religious belief, the world has exer- 
cised far more sobriety and conscientiousness than 
it has credit for ; and these virtues are, as a rule, 
manifested in the inverse proportion to the cul- 
ture of a race or community. There is no evidence 
— and in the absence of evidence it ought not to be 
assumed — that at any time in the world's history, 
has any individual, or body of men, dehberately set 
to work to originate mythological traditions, for the 
purpose of either deceiving their contemporaries, or 
imposing upon posterity. Uncultured or simply 
cultured man is far too much surrounded by the 
unknown and the inexplicable ; and by reason of his 
ignorance, far too superstitious, to dare an attempt 
to foist upon others fanciful and foundationless tra- 
ditions. As science advances, and phenomena pass 
from the domain of the unknown to that of the 
known and understood, scepticism advances too, and 
keeps pace with science ; while the beliefs of the 
past are more and more treated with ridicule, or as 
pretty fables only fit for poetical elaboration. Then 
comes the time when imagination runs riot, loosed 
from the shackles of responsibihty ; and that which 
once was a venerable record, degenerates into a 


childish tale. Nevertheless, these myths, inherited 
by tradition from the days of ignorance, have always 
some kernel of truth imbedded in the quaint con- 
glomerate, overlaid and, it may be, hidden away, 
and difficult to find, but still representing facts, and 
therefore not to be despised. 

One of the most remarkable instances of truth 
being transmitted by tradition, through countless 
generations of ignorant repeaters, is afforded by the 
discoveries made in the present century by geologists. 
The earnest labours of geologists and comparative 
anatomists, have, step by step, demonstrated as an 
actual fact, the existence upon this earth, in pre- 
historic times, of certain monstrous beings which 
afterwards became extinct, but whose existence has 
been vouched by tradition handed down through 
thousands of years ; but because these traditions have 
only been transmitted by the ignorant and super- 
stitious, and there have been no facts wherewith to 
verify them, they came to be considered as wholly 
fabulous, and the mere creations of morbid imagina- 

It is now, however, proved beyond dispute that 
once upon a time there did exist on the earth beings 
such as these ignorant and superstitious people have 
talked about; huge monsters, who were not only 
tyrants of the ocean, but also of the shore. 

Of these, the Ichthyosaurus had the vast propor- 


tions of the whale, enormous jaws, reaching six feet 
in length, and furnished with hundreds of shark-like 
teeth.* The Plesiosaurus " to the head of a lizard, 
united -the teeth of the crocodile ; a neck of enor- 
mous length, resembling the body of a serpent ; a 
trunk and tail having the proportions of an ordinary 
quadruped, the ribs of a chameleon, and the paddles 
of a whale.' The Atlantosaurus, the largest land 
animal ever known to have existed, was of the same 
type, but was from fifty to sixty feet long, and 
standing thirty feet high.' Finally, the Pterodactyle, 
a monster resembling a bat or vampire, but having a 
head and jaws Uke the crocodile, filled with cruel 
teeth, eyes of enormous size, fitting it to fly by 
night, leather-like wings, from which projected 
fingers terminated by long hooks, forming a power- 
ful paw, wherewith it could creep, or climb, or swim/; 
This monster was not a bat, nor a bird, but a verit-> 
able flying reptile, the incarnation of the legendiary; 
fiend who. 

O'er bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense or rare, 
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way, 
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.* 

These monsters were not, like the huge though 

^ Buckland's " Geology," i66 et seq, ^ lb, 199. 

* Wallace, " Island Life," 96. * Buckland's « Geology," 219. 

* " Paradise Lost," b. ii. 947. 



smaller aDimals of the present age, — the elephant, the 
hippopotamus, and the rhinoceros, — feeders on herbs, 
and without incentive to destroy life, except in self- 
-defence : nor like whales, who feed on the smallest 
fish and molluscs they can find ; but truly ferocious, 
voracious, life destroying, and devouring reptiles — 
known to have attained gigantic dimensions, the 
flying reptiles nearly 30 feet from wing to wing, and 
the others 30, 40, 70 and 100 feet in length, and 
some of vast bulk, with jaws' and teeth, so formed as 
to show them to have been in a high degree car- 
nivorous/ Nataralists are still able to recognize in 
the ocean races of animals — dwarfed and degenerate,, 
it is true, but with suflficient distinctive charac- 
teiistics to justify the conclusion — direct descendants 
of these monster reptiles. Add to this the fact 
recently discovered, that there are reptiles of the 
lizard or saurian order, wliich are venomous ; — estab- 
lishing as true, that which had long been regarded 
as an absurd superstition, — and another point may 
be scored to the traditional dragon. 

Now what do we find in human tradition ? The 
Chaldeans tell us that Merodach fought with and 
conquered a monster, which came up from the deep 
covered with scales, furnished with wings, and armed 
with claws. In later times the legend passed into 

* Buckland's "Geology," 229. 


that of Bel and the Dragon, and from time to time 
reappears in such records as that of Michael the 
Archangel and Satan, and Saint George and the 
Dragon. The same legend appears in Greek mytho- 
logy, in the combat between Zeus and Typhosus, 
although the horrors of the monster are magnified 
into a hundred heads and fiery eyes. Phoebus, who 
like Bel, was a sun- god, had a fight with Python, an 
enormous serpent, and the exploit is handed down in 
mythology. Horus, an Egyptian Bel, fights and 
overcomes Apophis, a monstrous reptile. Similar 
feats are recorded in almost every mythology that 
has assumed a definite form : (Edipus overcomes the 
devouring Sphinx, Bellerophon the Chimera : in 
Hindu mythology, the serpent Vritra is smitten, in 
that of Zoroaster there is Ahi, and in the modern 
Parsee, Zohak, both monsters of the same class : 
even Buddhism has its dragon fight, for when Kiouen- 
thsang returned to China, he brought with him a 
golden statue representing the Buddha conquering 
the Dragon.^ The Scandinavians had echoes of the 
same traditions ; for there are combats with monsters 
of all sorts; and in the sea which surrounds their 
w^orld is the great Midgard serpent, who is to be 
slain at the end of the world by Thor. This great 
serpent still lives on in popular belief, as the great 

^ Max MUller, "Chips," i. 275. 


sea-serpent, and has, even to this day, very re- 
spectable adherents. 

In the book of Job we recognize in Leviathan, a 
creature more like the extinct saurians of the old 
world, than any crocodile recorded in historic times ; 
and this Leviathan is treated as still existing in the 
days of David. In the 74th Psalm, Jehovah is 
spoken of as having broken the heads of the dragons 
in the waters, and the heads of Leviathan in pieces ;^ 
in Isaiah, as having wounded the dragon :' and paeans 
are sung on the anticipated punishment of *^ Leviathan, 
that crooked serpent," and the slaying of " the 
dragon that is in the sea:"^ Finally, in the 
Apocalyptic vision, " I saw an angel come down from 
heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a 
great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the 
dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and 
Satan, and bound him."^ 

Do not these facts prove to demonstration that 
some individuals, at least, of the now extinct races 
of monsters, survived into times, when man not only 
existed, but was capable of passing on his experience 
to his descendants ? Combats with such monsters, 
and their destruction or flight, would be scenes of 
such terrific and enthralling interest, as not to be 

* Ps. Ixxiv. 13, 14. * Isaiah li. 9. * Isaiah xxvii. i. 

* Rev. XX. I, 2,; and see Rev. xii. 7-9. 


effaced from the memory of the beholders ; and with 
such materials for tradition, the only wonder is 
that the popular conception of a dragon, framed on 
tradition, passed on through hundreds of generations 
should have not only retained its identity, but should 
be found to bear a most startling resemblance to the 
original, whose bones have slept for thousands of 
years in their stone encasement, and now come to 
light, as it were, almost for the purpose of proving 
the marvellous tenacity of tradition, and the 
honesty of those who passed it on. 

All such traditions have had their origin in savage 
times, when man was too simple to indulge in con- 
scious idealism. It is often argued that the monsters 
of tradition are personifications of the Deep, or of the 
Storm, or of the Desert wind, or of Eivers inundating 
their banks ; and so no doubt they often are and 
have been : but the wholly uncultured human mind 
would be incapable of creating an ideal dragon ; of 
building it up with limbs sjnnbolical of their special 
contribution to the composite being, with composite 
ideal attributes. Such a process assumes an amount 
of intelligent reasoning and poetical idealism, which 
would not be combined in a savage nature. A 
savage might make an image of an animal, a snake, 
or a lion, the object of his worship ; and he might 
embellish his image with a hiunan head ; and suc- 
ceeding generations might improve upon the ideal, 


uiiti] all sorts of monstrosities might be portrayed : 
but it is not conceivable that such hap-hazard model- 
ling would combine in one being so many of the char- 
acteristics of the^pterodactyle as are found in the 
dragon of tradition, unless the tradition itself had 
been pregnant with the combination. 

Mr. Conway writes : " The opinion has steadily 
gained that the conventional dragon is the tra- 
ditional form of some huge saurian. It has been 
suggested that some of those extinct forms may have 
been contemporaneous with the earliest men, and 
that the traditions of conflicts with them, trans- 
mitted orally and pictorially, have resulted in pre- 
serving their forms in fable proximately.*'^ 

Man will idealize facts, and will also idealize 
misinterpreted facts : he will then materialize his 
ideals, and thus in time create a whole world of 
imaginary facts ; these imaginary facts settle down 
and solidify, and in their turn become material for 
idealization ; and so on ad infinitum : but whatever 
may be built up afterwards, and however numerous 
the stages of the edifice, the original starting-point 
will not have been an ideal, but a fact. Man would 
not personify the sea as a marine monster, xmless he 
believed in the existence of a marine monster in some 
way associated with the sea : he would not idealize 

* Conway, " Demonology," i. 320. 


a river as a scaly reptile, with a weakness for sheep, 
unless he had seen or heard of a scaly reptile coming 
up out of a river and carrying off a sheep as prey. 
But when the idea of the river, ajad the devouring 
reptile once became associated, the transition was 
easy to an identification of the two ; and when the 
river burst its bounds, and swept away the flocks, it 
was natural enough to speak of the river as a dragon 
coming up out of its bed, and devouring the sheep 
as its prey. 

Instances of composite beings occur abundantly in 
the mythologies of the world, and they are no doubt 
mostly attributable to the universal tendency to 
anthropomorphism, by which, in some cases, the 
forms of animals have been dignified by adding the 
attributes of man ; or in others, some special charac- 
teristics of man intended to be accentuated have 
been shown, by adding to the human form the 
attributes of certain animals. Of the former class 
are the serpents, bulls, horses and hons, with human 
heads : of the latter are the hawk-headed, ibis- 
headed and jackal-headed deities of Egypt; the 
fish-tailed mermaidens and tritons, of marine habits 
and abode ; the pans and satyrs, with goat-like 
extremities and semi-bestial natures. 

These animal-headed deities were at one time 
probably imagined in human form, attended by a 
hawk, an ibis, or a jackal ; as Jove was represented 


as attended by an eagle, and Odin by his ravens and 
dogs, and other deities by their own especial 
familiars : the mermaidens and tritons were closely 
associated in the mind with fishes, and the pans and 
satyrs with goats : and the composite ideals were 
the result. Professor Max Miiller would perhaps 
call the earher stage that of the monosyllabic ideal, 
and the composite form the agglutinative stage :^ for 
his general principle would include this case : — 
** Everywhere amalgamation points back to combi- 
nation, and combination back to juxtaposition. "- 

The Bible opens with the statement that, " In the 
beginning .... the earth was' without form and 
void, and darkness was on the face of the deep." 
This represented the generally received opinion, that 
time was when our Earth did not exist, but Chaos 
reigned supreme ; when all the elements were 
mingled, formless, lifeless ; filling an abyss without 
bottom, extending in all directions without limits of 
any kind. 

The hoary deep ; a dark 
Illimitable ocean, without bound, 
Without dimension, where length, breadth and height, 
And time, and place are lost ; where eldest Night 
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold 
Eternal anarchy.* 

' Max MilUer, ** Science of Religion," 154. 
• Max Mllller, " Chips," ir. 86. • « Paradise Lost," b, 2. 


This chaotic abyss was watery, but yet not exactly 
water, although often spoken of, for want of a better 
expression, as "the primordial waters." This idea 
finds expression in the Veda : — 

Nor Aught nor Nought existed ; yon bright sky 
Was not, nor heaven's broad woof outstretched above. 
What covered all ? what sheltered ? what concealed ? 
Was it the water's fathomless abyss ? ^ 

And in the Edda : — 

'Twas Time's first dawn, 
When nought yet was, 
Nor sand nor sea, 
Nor cooling wave ; 
Earth was not there, 
Nor heaven above. 
Nought save a void 
And yawning gulf, 
But verdure none.* 

A germ of life is then believed to have come into 
existence, often spoken of as an egg — ^the mundane, 
or cosmic egg — which by degrees developed into the 
world fitted for the reception of living beings. The 
account of Creation in the first chapter of Genesis 
fairly represents the general idea of this develop- 
ment. First, a breath moved through the formless 
abyss, separating it into two elements, air and 

* Max Miiller, " Chips," ii. 195. 

'^ Mallet, "Northern Antiquities," 401. 


water; next, the advent of light caused another 
diflFerence from universal darkness ; the air develop- 
ing still further, forced up the superincumbent water, 
until there was a firmament, an aerial space between 
waters above and waters below ; the lower waters 
then recede from the centre, and the dry land 
appears. These waters produce creatures that have 
life, and flying fowl to people the air. The earth 
having brought forth vegetation now produces 
beasts of the earth, and creeping things, and man. 
The sun and moon and stars were made to serve the 
earth, and run their course within the hollow dome 
formed by the waters above the firmament. It was 
firmly beheved, however, that Chaos continued to 
exist everywhere beyond the limits of this organized 
world, and it was assumed that any one sailing 
on the ocean, right away and far enough from 
the land, would reach the confines of the world, and 
enter on the realms of Chaos, where darkness, fog, 
and unsubstantiality reigned supreme. 

At an early stage of the creation, and before 
Nature had finally settled down, it was believed 
that monsters of various forms had been created and 
fitted to live in the semi-obscurity of Chaos, only 
half dispelled : but that as the earth became more 
settled and light increased, these creatures, unable 
to bear this light, either perished or were driven 
into the misty circle of primeval Chaos. Berosus 


enumerates the monstrous forms which these beings 
assumed, and which in his time were portrayed in 
the Babylonian temples : men, with two or four 
wings, and with two faces, both male and female 
human figures with legs and horns of goats ; some 
with horses' feet, others with the hind quarters of 
a horse and the body of a man ; bulls with heads of 
men; dogs with fourfold bodies, terminated with 
fishes' tails ; horses with heads of dogs ; men with 
heads of horses, and other animals with heads and 
bodies of horses, and tails of fishes. In short, 
creatures in which were combined the limbs of every 
species of animals. Besides these, were fishes, 
reptiles, serpents, and other monstrous animals 
which could assume each others' shape and counte- 
nance. All these were presided over by the goddess 
of Chaos, Tiamtu, the Thallath of Berosus.* 

The Chaldean legends, recently exhumed, confirm 
these traditions and record the contest of Merodach 
— or Bel — the sun-god, with the monsters of Chaos, 
and their defeat. They either perished or were 
driven away into outer Chaos. The champion of 
Chaos was a dragon, a composite monster, with the 
tail, horns, claws, and wings of the medieval devil. ^ 

In the gloomy land of the Cimmerians and the 
confines of Hades, these strange monsters were to be 

* Smith's *' Chaldean Genesis," Sajce, 35. * lb, 99, 113. 


met ; and not only there, but in any part of the 
universe which was conceived as beyond the pale of 
human habitation, the same weird creatures might 
be encountered. When Izdhubar undertook the 
journey to the land of the dead, in order to inter- 
view Hasisadra, the Chaldean Noah, scorpion-men 
were found guarding the gate of the sun ; terrible in 
aspect, gigantic in stature, with their heads in 
heaven and their feet in Hades. ^ 

Similar visions were encountered when iEneas 
approached the gates of Hades : — 

Of various forms, unnumbered spectres more ; 
Centaurs and double shapes besiege the door : 
Before the passage horrid Hydra stands, 
And Briareus with all his hundred hands : 
Gorgons and Geryon with his triple frame, 
And vain Chimsera vomits empty flame.* 

Hesiod records the birth of monstrous beings of 
various forms, Thaumas, Tiamat, the great deep : the 
winged harpies ; Medusa and the Gorgons, serpent- 
headed ; Echidna, half nymph, with dark eyes and 
fair cheeks and half serpent, huge, terrible and vast, 
speckled and flesh devouring; Cerberus, the flesh 
devouring fifty-headed dog of Hell; the Lemaean 
hydra, the hundred-headed monster, slaughtered by 
Hercules, a sun-god ; Chimsera, a monster with three 

" Smith's ** Chaldean Genegis/' by Sayce, 259. ' « jEneid," b. 6. 



heads, one of a lion, another of a goat and the third 
of a serpent, slain by Bellerophon and Pegasus, the 
winged horse ; the Sphinx, a devouring, scaly dragon 
of the deep : the Nemsean lion, and a host of other 

The same idea is recognized in the Semitic belief, 
that uncanny beings lurked in the outer deserts, 
where men did not penetrate at all, or did so 
only at great danger. The " place of dragons" is as- 
sociated with the " shadow of death ;"* dragons are 
associated with the waters of the deep :^ and are 
called upon with the deeps to praise Jehovah.* Isaiah 
wishing to describe the utter desolation and destruc- 
tion which should come on Zion's enemies prophecies 
that — 

Their streams shall be turned into pitch, 

And the dust into brimstone, 

And the land thereof shall become burning pitch, 

It shall not be quenched night or day ; 

The smoke thereof shall go up for ever. 

Thorns shall come up in her palaces, 

Nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof, 

And it shall be a habitation of dragons, 

And a court for ostriches. 

The wild beasts of the desert 

Shall also meet Avith the wild beasts of the island. 

And the satyr shall cry to his fellow.*^ 

* **IIosiod,*' 265, &c. * Ps. xliv. 19. • Ps. Ixxir. 13. 

* Pa. cxlriii. 7. * Is. xxxiv. 


Hesiod's monstrous beings are of various forms, and 
cannot be fairly associated with any ancestors of 
beings in actual life and known to man ; but the most 
terrible of all monsters, the oldest form and that which 
generated the greatest and most enduring dread, 
was the marine monster, with scales, and claws, 
and of enormous size and strength ; a relentless de- 
vourer, and with a cruel ruthless nature. The legends 
of such beings have always been numerous and per- 
sistent, and outnumber all other monster-legends 
put together. Their antiquity is clearly attested by 
their being mentioned in the oldest records that the 
world possesses, — they are the " great whales" of the 
history of creation in Genesis ; we have seen that the 
Chaldean creation tablets speak of them; Hesiod 
tells us that the veil of Pandora was wrought with 
figures of sea-monsters, and, as everything connected 
with traditions of Prometheus, like the legend of 
Pandora, relates back to the earliest ages of which 
memories are embalmed in Greek mythology, this 
little record of female attire carries back mythical 
history into the remotest antiquity. 

We have already referred to some of the oldest 
battles with these monsters, and pointed out the im- 
probabiHty that such ideals should have been adopted, 
unless beings had at one time existed upon which the 
figure of speech could have been originally engrafted. 
These battles became in time the common property 



of all the epic poets of the world, and from them 
spread to the bards and troubadours, and even to 
the preachers of medieval times, furnishing subjects 
for heroic history, stirring romance and brilliant 

St. Michael, the archangel (the lineal descendant 
ef Merodach-Bel, the conquerer of the primeval 
monster of the deep), is represented as treading upon 
a dragon and piercing him with a spear. 

St. George, the patron saint of England, although 
of doubtful identity, and unpleasantly associated with 
an Arian and not too scrupulous archbishop of 
Alexandria, is popularly accredited as a soldier 
champion of Christendom, who immortalized himself 
at Sylene, a city of Lydia, by his chivalrous and 
gallant exploits. Near Sylene was a stagnant lake 
or pond like a sea, wherein dwelt a dragon, who was 
so fierce and venomous that he terrified and poisoned 
the whole country. The people assembled to slay 
him, but when they saw him, his appearance was so 
horrible that they fled. Then the dragon pursued 
them even to the city itself, and the inhabitants were 
nearly destroyed by his very breath, and suffered so 
much, that they were obhged to give him two sheep 
every day to keep him fi:om doing them harm. At 
length the number of sheep became so small, that 
they could only give him one sheep every day, and 
they were obliged to give him a man instead of the 


other. Lots had eventually to be cast amongst aH 
the surviving inhabitants, and one day it fell upon 
the king's daughter, and great was the lamentation 
which ensued. When the fatal day for the sacrifice 
of the king's daughter arrived, she, decked in bridal 
dress, went out to meet the dragon. On the road 
she fell in with St. George in full panoply and 
mounted on his charger. After a brief explanation, 
the dragon appeared on the scene, was encountered 
and wounded by the Christian knight, bound by the 
lady's girdle, and led like a *' meke beest" into the 
city. On condition of the king and I5,cx)0 men be- 
coming Christians, St. George slew the dragon ; his 
remains were carted away, and a church dedicated to 
oiu' Lady and St. George was built to commemorate 
the event. ^ 

In Spenser's " Faerie Queene " we read of the 
monster of Errour in its den : — 

Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide, 

But th' other halfe did woman's shape retaine, 

Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine. 

And as she lay upon the durtie ground, 
Her huge long taile her den all overspred, 

Yet was in knots and many boughtes upwound, 
Pointed with mortall sting.' 

A furious fight takes place between this monster 

* Hone's « Every-Day Book," April 23. 
' Book I, 14, 15. 


and the hero-knight, eAding in the defeat and death 
of the former. 

A romance without some dragon or monster, was 
as rare as one without a valiant knight or a beautiful 
lady ; but these characters were not confined to light 
literature, but reappear almost verbatim in the sublime 
imagery of Milton : — 

Before the gates there sat 
On either side a formidable shape ; 
The one scem'd woman to the waist, and fair ; 
But ended foul in many a scaly fold 
Voluminous and vast ; a serpent arm'd 
With mortal sting. 

The other shape, 
If shape it might be call'd that shape had none 
Distinguishable in member, joint or limb ; 
Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd, 
For each seem'd either ; black it stood as night, 
Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as hell. 
And shook a dreadful dart ; what seemed his head 
The likeness of a kingly crown had on.* 

In Bunyan's " Pilgrim's Progress" we meet with a 
sort of dragon or monster in the person of ApoUyon ; 
hideous to behold, clothed with scales like a fish, 
wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and a mouth 
like a lion. 

A favourite subject for Chinese and Japanese 
painting and sculpture, is a dragon or monster very 

' " Paradise Lost," b. 2. 


much of the same type, and a monstrous representa- 
tion of a dragon in the form of a huge saurian, still 
forms the central object at Japanese festivals. 

All these are variants of the original monster type, 
changing and shifting in their characteristics, like the 
shadowy beings of which they are the representa- 
tions : the sea-nymph is a very favourite form and 
constantly reappears; but the dragon with scales 
and wings, claws and cruel teeth, is still more 
frequent, and has remained from age to age dis- 
tinctly a ferocious, flying reptile, until the tradi- 
tion has been justified by the discoveries of prosaic 

The subject of monstrous beings necessitates a 
reference to the large and important class of the Pan 
and Satyr type. A being in the form of a man above 
the waist, and of a goat or bull below, and with 
cloven hoofs and horns is found in the mythology of 
many nations ; and as this form has become conse- 
crated to the medieval Devil, and still lives in the 
conception of the vulgar mind, a few moments of 
inquiry into the probable origin of the idea will not 
be out of place. 

Like all other ideals of a kindred nature, that of 
the satyr was built up from a number of independent 
sources, and we should be mistaken if we expected 
to pitch upon a suigle root from which it could be 
shown to have sprung : it has, on the contrary, been 


the result of a long course of evoltition. The final 
product of evolution may be, and often is, as 
different from the germ as the oak tree is from the 
acorn ; and in the evolution of the satyr we probably 
have an example of this difference. 

We have seen what a miserable and limited 
existence that of man was before he learned the use 
of artificial fire and light ; when he had no better 
implements than roughly chipped flints ; when he 
lived in holes and dens of the earth, and had to fight 
for sheer existence through the dark and dreary 
nights, unlighted and unwarmed, against the better 
equipped races of the brute creation : when his food 
was only fruit and uncooked roots and the raw flesh 
of such animals as he could overcome, and of the 
human enemies he could conquer. It is not to be 
supposed that these early undeveloped men were few 
in number, or limited in range : on the contrary, 
careful search and intelligent deduction have shown 
beyond dispute, that these early races of men were 
probably spread over the whole world, and that they 
were so numerous as to leave recognizable traces of 
their existence in almost every country ; traces in the 
form of flints, undoubtedly shaped by the hand of 
man, and although buried for countless ages in beds 
of river drift now far below the present surface, yet 
sown broadcast, and in such profusion, as to be 
constantly found when searched for by the very few 


who are competent to recognize their character. 
Europe has been of course the principal field of 
research, and has not unnaturally been most fruit- 
ful in results : but these paleolithic implements have 
also been found in Palestine, Assyria, India and 
Japan; in Algeria, Egypt, and other parts of 
Africa; throughout the whole of America; in 
Australia and Polynesia :^ every year reports of 
similar discoveries in fresh countries are made to the 
scientific world. The Danish Museum alone contains 
30,cxx) stone implenients, and the number is con- 
stantly increasing.^ 

If we start with the whole world teeming with 
men of this primitive type ; and then realize the first 
spark of a civilization appearing at some one point, 
where the power of a higher culture took root and 
then radiated, we can understand how this power 
of civilization as it radiated drove back the savage 
races. It is the instinct and the universal custom 
of the more powerful to drive the less powerful away 
from the most favoured districts of the earth, and to 
leave their inferiors to shift as best they can in 
those parts where Nature is less kind, and life more 
hard to sustain : and so it came about, that as stage 

' "Prehistoric Times," by Sir J. Lubbock, 103; and see Prof. 
Boyd Dawkins' "Address to the Section of Anthropology at 
Southampton," 1882, British Association. 

• "Prehistoric Times," 75. 


after stage of civilization was attained, and as wave 
after wave of culture swept over the world, the 
primitive savage who had before roamed unopposed 
through the earth — only meeting everywhere with 
the same dead level of ignorance — was driven fiirther 
and further from the centres of enlightenment. When 
history first came into existence, the rudest savage 
was only to be found in those inhospitable confines 
of the then known world, which were deemed the 
border-land of chaos : the northern lands of mist and 
darkness ; the rock-girt or distant island : the burn- 
ing sandy desert with its lurid horrors : the impene- 
trable forests, backed by perpetual mountain snows : 
jungles or fastnesses, where the tangled labyrinth 
of vegetation, the tiger and the serpent, the 
deadly miasma and the treacherous swamp, com- 
bined to create inaccessibility. This process had 
been repeated, as each fresh development had 
been established, and it is certain that many 
succeeding strata of savages have been completely 
crowded out of the world and become extinct, by the 
ovor widening circle of civilization : — each crowded out 
by a succeeding race, more civilized, and therefore 
more powerful, although only so by comparison ; and 
itsi^lf doomed to be crowded out by another race, 
rt^ljvtivoly superior. This is the natural history of 
Ho-oalled aborigines ; but recorded history only cuts 
in at a poriod when the aborigines for the time 


being represented a survival of untold ages, and 
however low the survivors might be found, there 
had certainly in the past been vast depths of 
human existence infinitely lower still, the represen- 
tatives of which had been swept away, and which 
can only now be realized by analogical deduction. 

Analogy however furnishes us with no uncertain 
data from which to deduce the course of past events 
on this subject. The natives of Australia, the 
Bushmen of South Afiica, the Veddas of the interior 
of Ceylon, the Nagas and other hill tribes of the 
Indian Peninsula, and the Andamanese islanders, all 
probably represent remnants of populations which 
once were general, but which have been driven into 
their present narrow limits ; and which, in spite of the 
efforts of the Aborigines Protection Society, are 
doomed to early extinction. How many of such races 
have died out in recent times ! unable, like the pre- 
adamite creatures of Chaldean mythology, to endure 
the light: — in this case, the light and power of 

These tribes are so shy, and so jealous of observa- 
tion, that we hardly have time to acquaint ourselves 
with their character and habits, before we see them 
melt away and disappear, as it were, under our very 
eyea We find them physically and socially, and at 
times even mentally, so different from the races 
which now hold possession of the world, as to make 


them seem to belong to a diflFerent nature, and to lead 
us sometimes to doubt their human attributes ; but 
if we could transport our standpoint of observation 
to the dawn of tradition, that is to say, to a period 
when the most cultured race then existing, had not 
long, if at all, emerged from the state in which the 
Australians and the Veddas now are, we could well 
imagine the human beings, then living on the fringe 
of habitable space, and compelled so to live in con- 
sequence of their marked ]nferi9i'ity to the dominant 
races, then of the Australian and Vedda type, to be 
many degTees nearer the brute, and immeasurably 
more removed from the average human type than 
those Austrajians and Veddas now are. We have 
seen, too, how persistent tradition can be, and there 
is nothing fanciful in supposmg that the traditions 
of monsters of semi-human form, said to have 
inhabited the border-land of chaos, were founded 
upon the existence of beings of monstrous and un- 
couth shapes, which had been seen lurking about the 
far distant and inhospitable confines of the known 
world, or hiding away in fastnesses and inaccessible 
places. That these beings should be invested with 
exaggerated deformities, is not at all surprising, 
considering the difficulties of observation, and the 
well founded sense of danger in a close encounter, 
for it is to be supposed that these semi-brutal men, 
would have habits more savage and brutal than their 


less savage neighbours, and instincts which would 
make them naturally turn their hand against their 
enemies and oppressors. 

It has not been at all an uncommon tradition 
respecting low races of men, that they were 
descended from apes, and that they had and some- 
times still have tails : but this seems to arise from 
an idea of the general fitness of things, and as an 
indication of the low esteem in which the inferior 
race is held by their more cultured neighbours. 
This subject has been careftilly examined by Mr. 
Tylor in his " Primitive Culture," and he points out 
that there are even now, races who are ready to 
admit their own descent from apes.' That man and 
apes are descended from some common ancestral form, 
which existed at a very remote period, is now 
generally admitted by evolutionists ; but it is as 
incorrect to say that man is descended from an ape, 
as it would be to maintain that the English are 
descended from the Hindus, because they happen 
to claim a common ancestry in the original Aryan 
stock, or that a man is descended from his second 
cousin because they both happen to have had the 
same great-grandfather. 

The origin of the myth of the Satyr, is however 
more enveloped in mystery, and cannot be explained 

* Vol. i. 378 e( stq. 


by a supposed reference to savage and uncouth 
tribes, although these latter may have in a great 
degree contributed to the accumulation of confused 
notions on the subject. 

Probably the oldest record of a satyr is that of 
Heajbani, the companion and firiend of Izdhubar, 
the solar hero of the Chaldean legends. Hea-bani 
is represented with an upright human form, but 
with the feet, tail and horns of a bull : he is said to 
have lived in a cave among the wild animals of the 
forest, and was supposed to possess wonderfiil know- 
ledge both of Nature and of human affairs. He is 
a composite being, half man, half bull. Now for 
some reasons, not understood, but undoubtedly 
existant, the bull was, in the Chaldean mythology, 
adopted as an embodiment of divine power; in- 
deed one of Hea-bani's greatest feats was slaying 
**the bull of heaven," which Ann, the god of heaven, 
had created at the request of Istar, and whereby she 
hoped to avenge herself on Izdhubar, for his indif- 
ference to her. The bull with human face occurs 
again and again in Ninevitish and Babylonian 
monuments, and such figures represented powerful 
protecting genii.' The name " Hea-bani " means 
'* created by Hea:" Hea was the god of the 

^ Examples of* these are to be seen at the Assyrian Court at the 
Cryslul Pttlttce. 


abyss,* and of wisdom— of deep things — the only 
deity who could unloose the fetters forged by spells 
and incantations. Hea-bani, then, the created of the 
god of wisdom, the super-magical deity, was therefore 
a semi-god ; superhuman help was wanted by 
Izdhubar, and only such help was to be foimd with 
a superhuman being, like Hea-bani, who combined 
divine and human knowledge, and who was therefore 
conceived as having a composite body blended of the 
two natures. In passing, it may be noted, that not 
only was the bull adopted as a form for god-like 
creatures, but the cow was still more widely 
identified with the moon-goddess in the mythologies 
of many nations: the moon's crescent has been 
thought to suggest horns and account for the myth, 
but it is probable that the true origin lies further 
out of view than that. 

The Hebrews believed in the existence of satyrs 

* The abyss answers to the '* water under the earth" in the 
second commandment of the Decalogue. The Hebrews were 
prohibited from making the likeness of any creature in the abyss,, 
which according to Berosus were so plentifully portrayed on the 
walls of the Babylonian temples. The same '^imagery** caused 
Ezekiel so much disturbance when he saw it transferred to the 
Temple of Jerusalem — "every form of creeping things, and 
abominable beasts*' (Ez. viii. lo) ; these were the inhabitants of the 
" great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both 
small and great beasts" (Ps. civ. ?.^); the whales and living 
creatures which move (creep) and which the waters had brought 
forth on the fifth day of creation (Gen. i. 21). 


in the remote deserts — their idea of the borders of 
chaos— but they had progressed one step nearer the 
later ideal, by making their satyr a compound of 
man and goat. The distinctive features of their 
satyr however was, that he was " a hairy one ;" and 
we accordingly find the same term applied to Esau, 
the hairy man,* as was applied to some of the deities 
worshipped by Jeroboam, who " ordained him priest 
for the high places, and for the devils ^^ (hairy 
ones), "and for the calves which he had made."^ 
And Isaiah speaking of utter desolation in a pas- 
sage already quoted, emphasises his prophecy by 
describing a place as the abode of satyrs, or hairy 
ones.' . It is interesting to note, that Esau, called 
one of the " sfe-irim," or hairy demons, was red^ and 
therefore sumamed Edom {red), that he sold his 
birthright for a mess of red pottage, and that he was 
specially assigned Mount Seir as a home for his 
descendants : we have seen that red was a special 
colour for evil spirits. 

It has been suggested that the horns popularly 
attributed to the Devil may have originated with 
the aureole of a divine being, still lingering 
round his head after his fall from heaven, and that 
the brightness of Moses' face, when he came down 

* Gen. xxvii. ii. * 2 Chron. xi. 15. Moloch had a calf's head. 

' Is. xxxiv. 14; and see xiii, 21. 


from Mount Sinai was of the same nature, and that 
this also has been called horns : both Satan and Moses 
being both represented as homed, and both from a 
similar cause.* But this explanation of the Devil's 
horns would have seemed far-fetched, even had we 
not been able to show by records, probably older than 
Moses, and certainly older than the Pentateuch, that 
beings closely akin to the Devil were already being 
depicted with horns, hoofs, and a tail. These same 
beings, with but slight modifications, were always 
kept alive in mythology as Pans, Priaps, Satyrs and 
Fauns, and when a bodily shape was wanted for the 
arch-enemy of mankind, this seemed the most appro- 
priate and was adopted accordingly. 

The addition of dragon's wings to the satyr form 
was a further development, arising from the concur- 
rent claims of the two ideals, and again "juxtaposi- 
tion led to combination." 

* Conway's " Demonology,'* vol. i. 19. 



At the outset, the Devil was defined as the Supreme 
Spirit of Evil, and Evil was identified with Opposi- 
tion. In accordance with that view, we found that 
the Satan of the Hebrews was an "adversary/' 
a spy and informer, an accuser of man to his God, 
and, as such, man's opponent. We saw how Chaldean 
and Persian influences gradually modified the ideal, 
and created the Satan of the New Testament, in 
whom were combined attributes which made him 
more and more hateful and formidable, until he 
became a shroud of sombre darkness, overshadowing 
and oppressing the whole moral world : he be- 
came more and more the enemy — the opponent of 

We have traced the lineage of spiritual beings of 
most varied characters, with whom the Earth and 
the Abyss, Heaven and Hell, have been peopled, 
and whose histories have gradually melted into that 
of the Christian Devil ; and we have shown that in 
many instances these beings were quondam gods of 


high renown. We have examined the history of 
Hell and its monarchs,. all now deposed by Satan, 
who has usurped the sole control of the nether 
world. We have found him clothed with fire, 
physical and moral, and a form derived from the 
most remote antiquity, when monsters, at first the 
denizens, and afterwards the types of a half-chaotic 
world. Were strong in opposition to mankind, and. 
waged a not unfairly balanced warfare for supremacy. 
We have seen how all these lines have from time to* 
time converged to build up the great embodiment 
of the modem Satan, and to perfect him in the pos- 
session of every known or imagined evil, physical or- 
moral, which the universe of Nature and of thought 
could formulate. The result has been a Protean 
being, shifting and changing with the point of view,, 
and never seen by any two alike. Each one who* 
thinks of a Devil at all, fancies him at his own will^ 
and has such a vast variety of materials from which to 
draw, that he can construct with ease an ideal quite 
special to himself No dogmatic definition of the 
Devil would meet with general adoption, or if 
adopted in one age would pass muster in the next ; 
and it is a fact that the ideal has shifted with the 
age, and still shifts and changes with every breath 
of doctrine, religious or philosophical. 

Tlie Hebrews had their Satan, and the Jews a 
revised ideal Asmodeus came from Persia^ was 



adopted by the Rabbins, and the mantle of Ahriman 
fell upon him : the product was the Satan of the 
New Testament. The cultured systems of Egypt, 
Greece and Rome, and the venerable mjiihs of 
Babylon, all contributed their quota, before the 
arch-enemy of the Christian fiiith assumed his final 
shape : — in the Apocalypse the Devil is truly poly- 

Even in the Christian Church the form was still 
always changing, and was not tied down to fixed 
tradition. The medieval monks did not realize a 
Hebrew Satan, who passed half his time in heaven ; 
nor a Rabbinical Asmodeus, who could be mistaken 
for King Solomon ; but they made their Devil black 
like the sooty Vulcan, and gave him horns and hoofs 
like the Satyrs and Pans, with breath of fire and 
brimstone, like the Chimiera and Typhoeus of their 
classic lore. The ApoUyon of Bunyan's " Pilgrim's 
Progress " is not the monkish Devil, nor the king of 
locusts of the Bible, but a foul fiend, conscientiously 
built up with biblical materials found in the visions 
of Daniel and the Apocalypse. Few amongst us now 
would think of the Devil in either of these forms, or 
in any bodily form at all, and would only accord him 
personality as the great spirit of evil. The latest 
guide to popular knowledge broadly lays it down 
that ** the idea of the Devil certainly no longer hulks 
in Christian thought as it once did, nor is his reign 


the recognized influence that it once was over human 
life and experience."* 

In truth, Satan has gradually lost his mythology, 
his legions of demons have dropped away, and he 
himself is meltmg into an abstraction and dying out 
of view — an abstraction, like Milton's description of 
Death, "a shape that shape has none," which is 
almost too ideal to keep a personality, and seems 
gradually, but certainly, relaxing its hold upon 
popular belief. 

The existence of such a being as Satan, without a 
dualism of good and evil, such as the Persian creed 
maintained, is admitted to be a mystery, by all who 
hold the doctrine : the existence of evil itself, under 
the control of an omnipotent and benevolent God, is 
part of the same great mystery. Whether such a 
mystery admits of a solution, and whatever such 
solution may be, it is quite clear that many of 
the attributes of the orthodox Devil are inherited 
from the ancestors whose natures we have been 

The ploughman, who, in his nightmare, dreams of 
the Devil, would no doubt still see a black, uncouth 
human form furnished with horns and hoofe and 
tail — he would see an exaggerated satyr. Or he 
would encounter a scaly dragon belching forth flames 


Encyc. Brit." title « Devil" 


from his jaws, gaping and bristling with hideous fangs, 
flapping his monstrous bat-Kke wings, and clawing and 
clutching at his prey — ^the monsters and dragons of 
primeval times would be the parents of his vision. 
The man smitten with palsy or with fever, bowed 
down with repeated strokes, and sinking in despair : 
the father grieving over the mental alienation of his 
child, or the blighting of his fields ; the wife who 
sees her husband distraught with drink; the sea- 
man who, caught in a cyclone, sees the "Flying 
Dutchman" cross his bows, riding on the storm ; the 
terror-stricken Sepoys in Afghanistan recounting 
how their Ghazi enemies ride horses who vomit fire 
^nd brimstone : All these confess the agency of 
demons, possessing or tormenting the body, or the 
mind, or the elements, or the enemy ; just as the 
old Turanians would have done in their day, and the 
Negro, Tartar or Red Indian still would do. 

Many a gambler, debauchee or bravo, maddened 
with excitement, reckless as to consequences, yet 
steeped in superstition, whose very object and 
pursuit forbid appeal to any god or saint, will 
invocate the Devil, and claim his aid ; with much the 
same notion as suggested that. Solomon of old sought 
out Asmodeus to help him build the Temple, and 
which drove Saul, -^neas and others, to seek the aid 
of witches, sorceresses and sibyls. The Trolls and 
Kobolds of our ancient homes oscillated between 

coNCLUSio:sr. 231 

mischief and good nature : they would help their 
friends, and petulantly punish slights or inattention 
to their wants. Our word "devilry" smacks of 
Loki, Mercury and Puck, and, light as the word may 
be in application, its root is plain enough. 

The devils and demons have now their home in 
Hell, where their office is to torment the souls of 
the wicked dead; and Satan is their undisputed 
prince. But these devils and demons are only the 
successors of the spirits of the ancient Hades and 
Tartaros, who were under the sway of Pluto and 
Proserpine, and are indeed the Jinns and Genii of 
Arabian Tales. Satan is but Pluto in disguise, the 
King of Hell and ruler of the fire of Tartaros. He 
is also the master of the world's great subterranean 
smithy, and like Loki, Vulcan, Hephaestos, Asmo- 
deus, and "le Diable Boiteux" of Le Sage, limps 
through existence as all other ideal devils are 
made to do. 

The Bible tells us little or nothing as to the 
organization of Hades (Hell), or of Gehenna (Tar- 
taros), but the orthodox interpretation of the little 
that is told, regards neither place as the permanent 
abode of any good thing : it is essentially a place 
prepared for the Devil and his angels. The Hades 
of the Assyrians, Egyptians and the Classics is 
much more minutely described, and we always find 
it presided over by a veritable god, and not an evil 


spirit — a god, stern and relentless, but still not evil ; 
and through the traditions of centuries, and the 
gloom of the Bible's imperfect hght, we can still 
recognize in Satan the same character as the judges 
Osiris and Rhadamanthus, Dionysos and Pluto, a 
dark survival, bereft of their judicial virtues, now 
only the divine minister of justice, execrated and 
himself condemned, but still receiving and consigning 
to everlasting flames the souls which he has won. 

The modem Christian, however, pays but little 
heed to the minor fiends and devils, and only realizes 
the one Devil, Satan, the arch-fiend ; ever present at 
the right hand and the left, reading the inmost 
thoughts, perceiving the fii'st symptom of declension, 
with aptest skill inserting the thin end of the wedge 
into the slightest chink of the spiritual or moral 
armour, and, given the slightest leverage, able to apply 
power overwhelming and irresistible; power which 
nothing human can withstand, and requiring the con- 
junction of the human will to invoke, and God Himselt 
to exert a super-human strength to countervail : in 
fine, a being omnipresent, omniscient, and so near 
omnipotency as only to be overpowered by God 
Himself. Do we not trace in this being, the Arch- 
angel, the deity, the once almost co-equal god ; the 
Ahriman of Persian dualism, warring against God, con- 
quering and being conquered in turns ? Does not the 
Christian, — groaning in spirit at his own depravity. 


finding a law in his members warring against the 
law of his mind, wrestling and succumbing, fighting 
and conquering, — recognize in fact while he denies in 
form, that the Ahriman of the Persian dualism is 
the foundation of the Satan, in whom ' he believes, 
and, by his very terror, proclaim him only second to 
his God ? 



Deuce — a little devil — ^a common English expression for the Devil. 
^Deufl — a god or genius (Latin). 

^Zeus — the god or great spirit of the Heavens^-or the 
firmament itself (Greek). 
^Deva — a spirit or shining one (Sanskrit). 

'-Dyaus — ^the heavens — ^the bright expanse of the 
firmament (Sanskrit). 

Note. — The above are names belonging to 
the Aryan gronp of languages ; the following 
names of gods and spirits also occur in the 
same group, and are of common origin : — 

Dyaus pitar (Sanskrit), Zeus pater (Greek), 

Jupiter (Latin) — Heaven father, 
Theos (Gr.), Deu8 (Lat), Diewar (Lithuanian), 

Zio (Old German), Tyr (Old Norse), Tiw 

(Anglo-Saxon) — God. 
Dies (Lat.), Dyu (Sansk.), Day (English; — 

Daylight or Ileaven-light. 
Zen (Gr.), ZenoS (Gr.), Janus (Lat.), Dianus 

(Lat.), Diana (Lat.), Diyine (English). 
Devel (Gypsy) — God. 
Dev (old Persian)— D^mon. 
Deer (mod. Persian) — Fieitd. 
DeyU (English). 

* Tkii it * key to the Genealogical figure in the Frontiijiieoe. 




Bogle — a frightful spectre of evil influence (English and Scotch). 
— Bug — a spectre such as that of death (Shakespeare). 
'-Bog — a god (Slavonic). 

^Bhaga — lord of fate (Hindu). 

I— Baga — the supreme being (Assyrian). 


Puck — the typical house-spirit — a mischievous spirit, generally 
described as an uncouth dwarfish figure (Shakespeare). 
— Pouke — an evil spirit (Spenser). 

— Pug — ^a fiend (Ben Jonson). 

- Puk — ^a goblin (Friesland). 

— Puki — an evil spirit (Iceland). 

—Pixy — a mischievous, misleading fairy (Devonshire). 

— Pooka — an evil spirit (Irish). 

— Pwcca — an evil spirit (Welsh). 

Elves (Alfa) — little semi-spiritual beings, of beautiful 

form, much given to singing and dancing, and ex- 
ercising magical powers (Scandinavian). 
—House-spirits — dwarfish spirits, who busy themselves 
in petty household matters for small pittances 
of food, and bringing luck if well treated, but 
seldom visible. 
—Familiar spirits — evil spirits, bound to attend and 
obey when called up. 
—Penates — household gods of the ancient Romans. 
"Heroes — spirits of deceased men, deified 
and endued with extraordinary powers 
— Giants — mythological beings of great and 
supernatural powers and dimensions. 
—Trolls — small beings of uncouth human form, gifted 
with magic powers, living in mounds or rocks, 
much given to dancing, and skilled metal- 
workers (Scandinavian). 
— Biver-drift men — earliest known race of men — of 



small stature — living in caves and under- 
ground dwellings — and traditionally credited 
with magical powers. 
—Aborigines — the first men who, appeared on 
the earth. 
— Dwarfs — the trolls of English folk-lore. 

•—Hill-people — a class of spirits who, having 
rebelled against heaven, were condemned 
to live inside hills. 

— Duergar — dwarfs produced from, and living 
under and in the earth, skilled in 
metal- working (Gothic). 

— Titans — an early race of powerful gods, 
but overpowered by their successors, 
and condemned to imprisonment under 
the earth. 

— Bephaim — the Titans of the Hebrews — 
antediluvian ''great ones" cast into 
Sheol, under the earth and there im- 

. Fallen angels — angels that sinned, cast 
down to hell, and reserved in chains 
under darkness, for judgment (New 

— Maskim — the seven subterranean spirits of 
the Chaldeans, who once rebelled 
against heaven, dreaded for their 
great power. 

— Earth Spirits — aboriginal gods, super- 

seded by the gods of heaven, but still 
dreaded and feared for their magical 
Fairies — ^inhabitants of Faerie, the realm of enchant- 
ment, latterly applied to the Fays and Elves, 
after they combined to form only one people — 
especially associated in folk-lore y^iih the destiny 
of children. 



— Fays — semi-spiritual beings described in the 
romances of the middle ages, as exercising 
enchantments, creating illusions — and espe- 
cially influencing the fate of children. 

— ifates — three female deities who determine 
human destiny at the time of birth. 

— Sibyls — women gifted with the knowledge of 
destiny and oracular prophecy. 

— "Narmr — the fates of Scandinavian mythology^ 
and with similar powers and practices. 

— Hathors — Egjrptian deities who attended the 
birth of children and foretold their 

— Pate — the settled course of future events, 
which even the gods themselves cannot 

" Furies — avenging deities, with grim attributes, 
and associated with serpents. 

— Erinys — the Greek furies. 

"" Gorgons — deities of magical powers, with ser- 
pents instead of hair : beholders of the 
face being turned into stone. 
- Spells — methods of binding by occult power 
through the employment of a form of 
words or other ceremony overriding 
ordinary divine power. 

— Siduri and Sabitu — Sorceresses who encountered 
Izdhubar on his travels, barring his way 
to the waters of the great deep. 

— Magic — supernatural influence exercised by 
inferior divinities or mortals by means of 
occult knowledge. 
— Asuras — the good spirits of the Hindu religion, 
the bad spirits of the Persian religion. 

— Devas— the good spirits of the Persian religion 
the bad spirits of the Hindu religion. 



■Jinns— spirits of smokeless fire, created before 
man, rebellious and punished (Arabian). 

-Sheyt&ns — devils — the offspring of Iblis, a 
specially rebellious Jinn (Arabian). 

.Deevs — ^Persian Jinns — ^wielding powers of 
enchantment, and malignant. 

.Q^nii — attendant spirits associated with indi- 
viduals and influencing them for good or evil. 

■Peris — ^Persian female Jinns of enchanting 
beauty and supernatural powers. 

-Dryads — nymphs of woods and trees — fond of 
dancing and merry making. 

- Sirens — sea-njnnphs, half women^ half fish, de- 
coying to destruction by their melodious 

Naiads — nymphs of the water, presiding over 
rivers, brooks and springs. 

Nymphs — beings of a semi-spiritual and semi- 
human nature, gifted with magical powers, 
and remarkable for their hair. 

Mermaids — mythical beings of the middle ages, 
half women, half fish, with flowing hair, and 
sweet voices. 

Lorelei — German mermaids. 



Leviathan — a monster of the deep — a typical opponent of, and 
slain by, Jehovah, the consuming fire (Hebrew). 
Midgard serpent — the great serpent inhabitiiig the ocean, 
which encircles the earth — to be slain by Thor, the god 
of fire, at the end of the world (Scandinavian). 

- Sea serpent — a great serpent supposed by some to inhabit 
i the ocean, even in modem days. 

— Vritra — a devouring monster, — slain by Indra, the god of light- 
ning (^edic). 



'ApophiB — ^the great serpent of evil, inhabiting the infernal 
Nile, — to be slain bj Horns (Ancient Egyptian). 

~ Typhosus — monster conquered bv Zens^ the god of the thunder- 
bolt (Greek). 

~ Python — a mythical monster, slain by Apollo (Greek). 

— Sphinx — monster destroyed by (Edipus (Greek). 

— Hydra — monster destroyed by Hercules (Greek). 

— Chimera — a composite monster, destroyed by Bellerophon 


— Echidna — a monster slain by Argos (Greek). 

— Ahi — the throttling serpent (Vedic). 
Tiamtu — the dragon conquered by Bel-Merodach, who 

"wielded the thimderbolt (Babylonian). 
The Deep — Primordial chaos, personified in Tiamtu, 
Tiamat, Thaumas, Thallath, and all mythical 
dragons and sea-monsters. 

— Monsters — composite beings — bred of the mighty 
deep and outer darkness — ^inimical to ordered 

"Abzu — the Chaldean primordial deep — the bottomless pit. 
L- The Abyss — the universal pre-organic condition of all 
space — and the condition of ail space beyond the 
explored boundaries of the world. 

— Saurians — such as the Ichthyosaurus, Plesiosaiirus, 
Atlantosaurus, inhabitants of the world at the 
time it emerged from a state of chaos into 
light and order. 


IXeXa — tlie goddess of death (Scandinavian). 
^- Halja — the black one (Gothic). 

^ Kali— the wife of Siva, the god of destruction (Hindu), 
^ Death — darkness, coldness and destruction. 


Jove— the god of the thunderbolts (Latin). 
'Zeus — tlie same (Greek). 


-Thor — the god of the thunderbolts (Scandinavian). 
-Indra — the same (Hindu). 

Seraph — ^a fiery serpent flashing from heaven^ and guarding 

the throne of Jehovah (Hebrew). 
-The Fire of Heaven — Lightning. 

Mephistopheles — the personification of cultured vice (Goethe). 
— Asmodeus -^ the demon of fiery lust — ^the prince of the 
demons (Rabbinic). 

- Aschmedai — the lustful demon of Tobit. 
*- Aeshma-daeva — the spirit of impure fire (Zend). 

^Impure Fire — the fire of moral depravity. 

— Sheytdns — Arabian devils — offspring of Iblis (darkness), a 
rebel Jinn. 

Jinns — spirits of fire — offsprings of Samael (Death) and 
—Lilith — the first wife of Adam (Rabbinic). 

Lust — the characteristic of primeval religion. 

— Goblins — ^the English form of the German Kobolds. 
^ Kobolds — German dwarf spirits of fiery attributes. 

— Loki — the god of subterranean fire (Scandinavian). 
-Hephaestos — the same (Greek). 

— Vulcan — the same — the great metal-worker (Latin). 

— Tubal-oain — the first instructor of metal-working 
— Internal Fire — ^mining, smelting and metal- 


Pluto — god of the underworld, and of everything subterranean. 
^ Hades — god of the invisible world, and of the dead. 
"■*Aides — invisible, unseen (Greek word). 

'^ Invisible — state of the souls of the dead as contrasted 
with the visibility of the body in life. 

— Bit-hadi — the Assyrian for " house of eternity." 
^ House of Eternity — ^the grave. 



Bhadamanthus — one of the judges, and a tormentor of the dead. 

— Bho-t-amenti — Osiris (Ra), the sun, as judge, in Hades 
(Amenti) (ancient Egyptian). 

— Dionysus — the sun, as worshipped by the Arabians. 
— Dian-nisi — the judge of men — the sun in Hades — with his 

searching light (Ass}Tian). 
-Yama — ^god of hell and justice (Hindu). 
— Yami — spirit of darkness (Vedic). 
— Yima — ^king of Paradise (Iranian). 

— O Yama — chief of the demons (Japan). 
'— Amma — God of Hell (Sintoo, Japan). 


Ahriman — the spirit of evil, light being the ideal of good (ancient 
-Anra-mainyu — the evil principle, the creator of Darkness 
— Darkness — evil as opposed to light as good. 


Medieval devil — grotesque ideal of the Devil, with goat-like horns, 
legs and hoofs, and a tail. 

— Priaps — rural deities, with sensual and obscene attributes. 

— Pans — ^rural deities, with goat-like horns, hoofs and legs, and 
a tail, much given to music (Greek). 

— Eauns — sylvan or rural deities, human in form, but with goat's 
tail, horns and pointed ears, addicted to dancing and 
music (Roman). 

— Satyrs — sylvan deities in form like Pans, distinguished for 
lasciviousness and riot. 

Hea-bani — Chaldean mythical being, half man, half bull 

(bull being the ideal of deity), with horns, tail, legs 

and hoofs of bull — living apart from mankind, and 

gifted with magical powers. 

— Demigods — beings partaking of the nature of the gods 

and man. 



Beelzebub — the prince of the devils (New Testament). 
^Beel-zebul— the dung-god, a title of derision (Hebrew). 

^Baal-zebub — the god of Ekron — ^the lord of flies (Old 
— Baal — the supreme god of Canaanites and Phoenicians. 
i— Bel — the great national deity of the Babylonians — 
the creator — ^afterwards identified with the 
I— Apollo — the sun worshipped as a deity. 

— PhcBbus — the same. 

- Helios — the same. 
The Sun — the source of light and heat, and the 

vivifier of Nature. 

Taous — figure of a mythical peacock worshipped by tlie Yzedis — 
the devil worshippers of Mesopotamia. 
-Taus — the Sabaan Tammuz. 

'— Tammuz — the sun at night passing through the under- 
world (Syrian). 
— Damuzi — the same (Assyrian). 
^Duzi — The same (Chaldean). 
'-The Sun (in Hades). 
■ Adonis — the sun alternating between the upper world and 
i Hades. 

— Dianysos — the god of fertility— of joy and sadness alter- 
natinir with the seasons. 
Rokh — mythical bird in Arabian tales — evidently related to 

Phoenix — mythical bird which periodically dies and revives 

Heme the Hunter — an English legendary fiend. 
*-Wild huntsman — a German fiend who liunts with a pack of 

Jib md 


" Odin — the hunter of the boar in the Scandinavian Valhalla 

— formerly the god of the sky. 
— Nimrod — ^the mighty hunter before the Lord (Genesis). 
" Hercules — the mighty performer of a zodiacal cycle of 
works (Greek). 
Izdhubar — the mighty hunter and performer of a zodiacal 
cycle of works (Chaldean). 
^Mass of Fire— the meaning of "Izdhubar" — really 
the sun — ^which travels through a zodiacal cycle 
in the heavens. 


Abaddon — destruction — the angel of the bottomless pit, the 
abyss (Revelations). 
— Locusts — typical of destruction — Abaddon being their prince. 
^Destruction very completely accomplished by locusts. 
Apollyon — the Greek form of Abaddon — ^a monster with scales 
like a fish, wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and the 
mouth of a lion (Bunyan's " Pilgrim's Progress"). 
Dragon — a mythical reptilian monster, with wings, scales, 
claws, and horrid mien and jaws. 
— Pterodactyle — a primeval winged reptile, of enormous 
size, fitted for flying, creeping and swimming, 
powerful, cruel and voracious. 


-Lares — spirits of deceased persons who watch over the living 

-Manes — spirits of deceased ancestors inhabiting Hades, occasion- 
ally brought up again by sorcery. 
—Ghosts — apparitions of deceased persons. 

-Vampyres — souls of the dead, who at night feed on the blood of 
the living (Eastern Europe). 
—Bats — some kinds are said to suck the blood of sleeping men.- 
- Brownies — family spirits receiving sacrifices (Orkneys). 



«01d Nick — a common English name for the Devil. 
^Nikke — ^a Norse and Dutch sea-demon — " The Flying Dutch- 

— Nixy — a diminutive water-demon. 

— Kelpie — a water-horse carrying away and devouring the 
unwary (Scotland). 

■" Merman — a spirit living under the sea. 
— Biverman — ^an elf, frequenting rivers. 

.Scratch — a common name for the Devil. 
•-Skratti — ** the roarer," an Icelandic storm demon. 


.Lucifer — "light-bearing" — the day-star, which fell from heaven 
(Isaiah) — a typical devil (Milton). 

— Merodach — servant or messenger of the goda — guide of the 
dead in Hades — a mediator — conqueror of the dragon 

— Marduk — the same. 
' Silik-muludug — the Accadian Marduk. 

— Mercury— 1-messenger of the gods — conductor of souls in the 
infernal regions — patron of dishonesty and trickery 

— HermeB — the Greek Mercury. 

— St. Michael — an archangel (chief messenger) of Jehovah — the 
con(iueror of Satan (Revelations) — a mediator (Origen). 

Messenger of the Gods — the rays of the sun 

descending from heaven to earth and 
penetrating into the darkness of Hades 
and there constituting a guide. 


fitprms — ^personified as Rudra, " the roarer*' (Vedic), Vayu, the 
wind-god (Vedic), Vul and Bimmon, the air-god (Assyrian). 


Loka-phayu, angels of tempests (Buddhist). Maruts^ 

storm-gods (Vedic), &c. 
Drought — personified as T3rpbon, the fiery wind (Greek), Azazel^ 

the desert (Moslem), the scape-goat (Hebrew), &c. 
Pestilence — personified as Namtar, the plague-demon (Chaldean)^ 

and many other forms of disease-demons — and also destroy •* 

ing angels. 
Famine — alL natural obstacles to the procuring of food. 


iEronos — the god of the Golden Age — ^the harvest god — and of the 

products of the fruitful earth — the devourer of his children 


Moloch — ^the god of the Phoenicians — often identified with Kronos — 

to whom were made human sacrifices, particularly children^ 

Chemosh — ^the Moabite counterpart of Moloch — also identified 

with the Syrian Baal. 
Baal — " Lord,*' the generic name for the principal god of the 

Canaanite and Phoenician worship — including Moloch, &c. 
Bes — an early Egyptian deity — ^with brutal and slaughtering 

attributes — referable to an early stage of earth- worship. 
Artemis — the Diana of the Ephesians — older than Greek my- 
thology, and originally the residing spirit of an aerolite — a 
nature goddess of fertility, requiring human sacrifices. 
Saturn — the god of the Golden Age — the harvest god, and of fer- 
tility (Roman). 
~" Set — the national god of the Hykshos dynasties in Egypt, the 
shepherd kings from Syria — ^aflerwards the Egyptian 
personification of evil. 
— Seth — the son of Adam — by some identified as the original 
of Set. 


Aalu, 143 

Abaddon, 611, 160, 244 

Abaii quoted, 36 

Abba Beuyamin quoted, 36 

Abel, ICX5, no, 185 

Abishai, a Satan, 18 

Aborigines, 31, 219, 237 

Abraham, 21, 108, no 

Abyss, the, 223, 240 

Vedic, 206 

Eddaic, 206 
Abzu, 109, 240 
Accadian legends, 52 

Hades, 137, 155 
Accadians, 77, 105 

and fire, 1 70 
Accuser, 16 
Achish and David, 18 
Adam's first wife, 100 
Adonai, 173 

Adonis, 121, 124, 173, 174, 243 
Adversary, 16, 17 
Aerolite, fetish, 1 1 7 
Aeshma-daeva, 187, 241 
Affiliated gods, 107 
Africa, manes worship, 43 
Age, golden, 98 
Agni, 170 
Agriculture, 98 
Ahi, 200, 240 
Ahura-mazdu (Ormuzd) 24, 66, 

Ahuras, 131 
Ahriman, 17, 23, 24, 131, 187, 228, 

232, 242 
'Aides, 137, 241 
Alfs, 55 

Algonquin belief, 42 
Allah and Iblis, 191 
Allat, 139, 156 
Alleghans, 80 
Alsatians, 9 
Amenti, 154 

American Indians, 31, 43 
Amma, 160, 242 
Amshaspands, 66 
Ancestors, 244 

of the Devil, 89 

Ancestors, worship of, 118 
Ancestral demons, 33 

spirits, 34, 43 
Andamans, 44, 82, 219 
Angel and Balaam, 17 

of light, 27 
Angels, 21, 24, 35, 88, 129 

assisting, 2 1 


of pestilence, 2 1 

of Satan, 27 

guardian, 34, 68 

number of, 35 

fallen, 57 

(messengers), 88 

and fire, 171 
Animals^ fetish, 117 
Animism, 32, 94, n3 

Tylor's 42 
Anra-mainyu (A-hriman) 23, 1S7,. 

Anthropomorphism, 204 
Anticlea, 116 
Anu, 109 

Apes and man, 221 
Apocalypse, 151, 171 
Apollo, 58, 173. 243 
Apollvon, 6n, 58, 160, 214, 244 
Apophis, 200, 240 
Appearances of angels, 2 1 
Archangels, 66 
Armour, 177 

Artemis, 65, 98, 99, n7, 246 
Aryan mythology, 106 
Aryas, 91, 106 
Aschmedai, 187, 241 
Ash&rah, 139 
Ashavahista, 187 
Ashera, 100 
Asherim, 139 
A8modeu8,22, 1 16,183,186,227,241 

tempted Jesus, 23 

and Solomon, 189 
Assyrian Hades, 138 
Assyrians, 77 

and fire, 170 
Astarte, 124 
Astrology, 78, 105 



Astronomy, 105 
Asoras, 131, 238 
Athenian celibacy laws, 46 
Atlantosaurus, 198 
Azazeel, 54, 246 
Aztecs, 80 

and fire, 169 

Ba, 70 

Baal, 124, 128, 182, 243, 246 

Baal-peor, 186 

Baal-zebub, 243 

Babel, 82 

Babyloniaa influences, 2 1 

traditions, 52 

imagery, 151 
Bacchus, 158 
Baga, 236 
Ba&uim, 17 
Balak, iii 
Ban, King, 63 
Barbarism, 10 
Barrows, 77 
Basques, 78 
Basutos, 41 
Bats, 244 

Beehive huts, 19, 81, 83 
Beelzebub, 124, 128, 132, 243 
Beel-zebul 128, 243 
Bel, 109, 121, 128, 243 

and Dragon, 200 
Bell, passiug, 48 
Bellerophon and Chimera, 200 
Berosus quoted, 52 
Bes, 100, 118, 119,246 
Bhaga, 236 
Bit-hadi, 137, 241 
Black dwarfs, 1 78 
Blood, 100, 142 
B6g, 129, 236 
Bogies, 34, 129 
Bogle, 236 
Book of the Dead, 41, 144 

of going to Hades, 48 
Boora-pennu, 99 
Brahmans, 7, 47 

black, 92 
Brahmanism, 125 
Brass, 176 

Bridegroom, the Sun, 174 
Bronze, 176 
Brownies, 34, 244 
Buddha, the, 113 

and dragon, 200 
Buddhism, 114, 125 

Buddhist canon, 14 

Bug, 236 

Bull, 222 

Bunjan's Apollyon, 214 

Bunal, necessity for, 1 80 

Burning of children, 181 

Bushmen, 219 

Cain, 100, 103, no, 185 
Calamities, 245 
Calvin's dualism, 25 
Canaan, 185 
Canaanites, 112, 185 
Cannibalism, 119 
Canon, Buddhist, 14 
Caste, 7, 92 
Celts, 79 
Cerberus, 209 
Ceres, 158 
Chaldean influences, 2 1 

astrology, 78, 105 

magic, 78 

legends, 108 
Chaldeans and fire, 169 
Chaos, 109, 205, 239 
Charms, 73 
Chemosh, 182, 246 
Children, burning of. 181 
Chimera, 200, 209, 240 
Chinese, 31, 78, 105 

manes, 44 

and fire, 169 

dragons, 214 
Christian manes- worship, 51 

hell, 154 
Christianity, 114, 126 
Cimmerians, 141, 208 
Circumcision, 1 1 2 
Cold, 5 

Colour (caste) 92 
Communistic dwellings, 80, 81, 83 
Com])osite beings, 204 
Confucianism, 114, 126, 128 
Consuming fire, 1 1 1 
Continuance theory, 42 
Cosmic forces, 34 

e^g, 206 
Cosmical spirits, 69 
Cow, 223 
Creation of demons, 53 

the, 108, 206 
Cremation, 179 
Crocodile and shadow, 41 
Crooked serpent, 201 
Culture, early, 105 



Dahomy, King of, Ii8 
Dame-da-lac, 59, 63 
Damuzi, 173, 243 
Daniel, 151 
Darkness, 242 

power of, 97 
David, a Satan, 18 

Abishai and Shimei, 18 
Dead, Book of the, 41, 144 

the power to raise, 156 
Death, 29, 160, 240 
Deep, 202, 240 
Deevs, 55, 239 

and magic, 55 

Degradation of gods, 123 
Delage, 108, 121 
Demigods, 242 
punished, 142 

Demons, 22, 30, 117, 186 
and the fathers, 24 
and. devils, 30 
human souls, 33 
and the Sabbath, 53 
of Gadara, 53 
described, 53 
recapitulation as to, 85 
and Solomon, I89 

Demoniacal possession, 53, 117 
Deposed gods, 96 
Descendants, necessary, 46 
Desert wind, 202 
Destroying angels, 21 
Destruction, 6, 244 

way to, 28 

love of, 118 

Deuce, 129, 132, 235 
Deus, 129, 235 
Devas, 131, 235, 238 
Devil, the, i 

the supreme, 2 

Diabolos, 25 

the orthodox, 29 

and demon, 30 

ancestors of the, 89 

medieval, 1 59, 242 

moslem, 159 

his lot, 192 

on-two- Sticks, the, 192 

of Goethe, 193 

Devils, number of, 35 
Devouring fire, 181 

gods, 181 
DiaMlos, 25 
Diana, 64 

Dian-nisi, 158, 242 
Dianysos, 158, 173, 243 
Dianysus, 158, 242 
Differentiation, 35 
Dii-manes, 46 
Divining rod, 157, 176 
Dolmens, ^^ 
Domestic standards, 6 
Dragon, 26, 201, 203, 244 

and Bel, 200 

St. George, 2CX), 212 
Buddha, 200 
Michael, 212 

Chinese, 214 
* Japanese, 2 1 5 
Dreams, 39 
Drouffht, 246 
Dryads, 34, 239 
Dualism, Persian, 23, 229 

Calvin's, 25 
Duergar, 55, 56, 72, 237 
Duzi, 173, 243 
Dwarfs, 34. 5^, 72, 87, 237 

and giants, 'jd 

black, 178 
Dyaus-pitar, 175, 235 

Eacus, 145, 150, 157 
Earth gods, 71 

worship, 103 

and heaven, 104 

spirits, 237 
Echiona, 209, 240 
Eddaic abyss, 206 
Eden, 103, no 

Serpent in, loi 
Egg, cosmic, 206 
Egyptian Bitual, 14, 41, 43 

oelief in Rpirits, 41 

and Syrian gods, 96 

influences, 112 

Hades, 143 
Egyptians, 105 

and fire, 169 
Elberich, 64 
Elfinbolts, 84 
Elias and Helios, 50 
Elohim, 108 
Elohistic records, 108 
Elves, 34, 55» 56. 87, 236 
Elysioni, 149 
Enemy, Satan, 28 
Ensnarers (Maskim), 69 
Erebus, 149 



Erinya, 59, 238 
Errour, monster of, 213 
Esau, 13, 172, 204 
Eskimos, 5, 80, 81 
Esthonians, 78 
Ethiopians, 169 
Etruscans, 45, 78, 81, 105 
Euhemerists, 122 
Eve, fall of, 185 
Everlasting fire, 25, 27 
Evil, 3, 226 

personal, 3 • 

is opposition, 13 

spirit of, 1 5 

and Devil, 31 
Evolution, 90 

of Jewish religion, 107 
Exorcism, 117 
Ezekiel, 151 

Facts and ideals, 203 
Fada, 63 

Faerie Queene, 57 ^ 

Fairies, 34, 63, 87, 237 

of Shakespeare, 64 

wands, 176 
Fall, the, 85 
Fallen angels, 57, 237 
Familiar spirits, 34, 236 
Famine, 246 
Fata, 62 
Fate, 238 
Fates, 59, 238 

Fathers, the, and demons, 24 
Fauns, 34, 225, 242 
Fays, 62, 238 
Fees, 63 

Fennel stick, 168 
Fetishism, 115, 117, 127 
Fever demon, 5, 117 
Finns, 78 
Fire, no, 162, 240 

everlasting, 25, 27 

andjinns, 54 
spirits, 171 
angels, 171 

of Sinai, 1 1 1 

consuming, iii 

man without, 163 

drill, 165 

tree of knowledge. 165 

forbidden fruit, 166 

spirits of, 167 

sacred, 168 

temple of, 169 

Fire, hearth, 169 

perpetual, 169 

new, 169 

gods, 170 

and red colour, 172 

subterranean, 177 

funeral, 179 

devouring, 181 

impure, 184 

of heaven, 241 
Firstborn, 112 

Flint implements, 84,176, 216, 217 
Forbidden fruit, 166 
Fravishis, 68 
Frost giants, 5, 70 
Fruit, forbidden, 166 
Funeral rites, 47 

fires, 179 
Future life, 11, 140 

continuance theory, 42 
Furies, 59, 238 

Gadara, demons of, 53 

Gaia, 98, 104 

Gauls, 79 

Gehenna, 152, 154, 183 

Ge-hinnom, 182 

Genesitic creation, 108 

Genii, 36, 239 

Genius, 68 

Geology, evidence of, 197 

Ghosts, 34, 244 

Giants, 34, 76, 236 

frost, 5, 70 
Gnashing of teeth, 1 36 
Goblins, 241 
God, 236 

the Supreme, 2, 66 

One, the, IC9 

of the world, 109 

of Hell, Satan, 133 
Gods, guardian, 68 

local, 51 

earth, 71 

deposed, 96 

Egyptian and Syrian, 96 

degradation of, 123 

punished, 141 

tire, 170 

devouring, 181 
Goethe's devil, 193 
Golden Age, 98 
Good, 3 

Gorgons, 58, 209, 238 
Gotho-german mythology, 55 



Grave, the, 241 
Greek mythology, 106 
Greenlanders* houses, 82 
Grove, the, icx5, 139 
Guardian angels, 34, 68 

gods and goddesses, 68 
Guinea, 44 

Hadad, a Satan, 19 
Hades, 135 

Book of going to, 48 

Istar's descent to, 59, 138 

Accadian, 137, 155 

Assyrian, 138 

the god, 14O; 241 

Egyptian, 143 

Plato's, 146 

Ovid's, 146 

Virgil's, 147 

regions of, 147 

Rabbinic, 152 
Hair, 57, 58, 224 
Hairy-ones (Satyrs) 224 
Hall of Two Truths, 143 
Ham, 186 
Hasisadra, 209 
Hathors, 59, 238 
Hea, 109, 1 56 
Hea-bani, 222, 242 
Hearth-fire, 169 
Heaven, revolt in, 52 

and earth, 104 
Heavens, the, 235 
Hebrew wives put away, 7 

Satan, 16 

Satyrs, 172, 210, 224 
Hebrews influenced, 20 
Hel, 161 
Hela, 161, 240 
Helios, 173, 243 

and Eiias, 50 
Hell, 28, 137 

monarchs of, 133 

Satan, god of, 133 

Milton's, 134 

Christian, 154 

of the Koran, 154 
Hemadryads, 6 1 
Hercules, 171, 244 
Hermes, 121, 129, 156, 245 
Heme-the-hunier. 1 74, 243 
Heroes, 34, 48, 236 
Hephaestos 177, 178, 241. 
Hierarchy of Hpirits, 35 
Hill-people, 56, 237 

Hindu beliefs, 14 

mythology, 106 

religious rites, 188 
Hiram, 18 
Hobgoblins, 34, 87 
Holle, 137 
Horns, 224 
Horus, 124, 130, 144 

and Apophis, 200 
House spirits, 87, 236 
House of Eternity, 241 
Human souls, demons, 33 

sacrifice, 71,99, III, 181, 183, 

Hydra, 209, 240 

Iberians, 78 
Iblis, 54 

and fire, 54 

talismans, 54 
magic, 54 
Allah, 191 
Ichthyosaurus, 197 
Ideals and facts, 203 
Ignorance, effects of, 86 
Ilu, 109 

Imagery, Babylonian, 1 5 1 
Images, veiled, loi 
Impure fire, 184, 241 
Impurity, 22 
Incantations, 117,223 
Incubi, 188 
India, effect of, 92 
Indians, American, 31, 43 
Indra, 175,241 
Infernal powers, 33 

Nile, 143 
Influence on Jews, Persians, &c . , 2 ^ 
Internal fire, 241 
Intolerance, 12 
Inundations, 204 
Invisible, the, 135,241 
Iranians, 188 
Iron, 176 

and witches, 177 
" Island life" quoted, 93 
Istar 59, 138 

Izdhubar, 57, 121, 170, 173, 
223, 244 

Jacob, 158 

angel of, 21 
Jack the giant killer, 76 
Japanese and fire, 169 

dragons, 215 



Jehovah, io8, 109 

and Sheol, 155 
the snn, 174 
Leviathan 201 
Jehovistic records, no 
Jews, religion of, 107 
Jinns, 53, 116, 186, 239, 241 
Job, 138 

Satan of, 19 
Joshua, Satan of, 20 
Joshna, angel of, 21 
Josiah and Tophet, 182 
Jove, 240 
Jude, St., 53 
Judges of Hell, 241 
Judgment 142, 152 
Jupiter, 175 


Kali, 160, 240 

Kalja, 160, 240 

Karen belief, 42 

Karr, 145 

Kelpies, 245 

Ker-neter, 145 

Khoiids, 99 

Kiouen-thsang, 200 

Kirke, 57 

Knowledge, tree of, 165 

Kobolds, 241 

Koran, Hell of the, 1 54 

Korreds, 75 

Kronia, 99 

Kronos, 98, 119, 181, 246 

Kyklops, 178 

Lake dwellings, 82 

Lame devils, 178 

Lancelot-du-lac, 63 

Lapps, 81 

Lares, 34, 244 

Laws, 14 

Laying spirits, 1 1 7 

Legends, Chaldean, 108 

Leila, 57 

Leonidas, 46 

Le Sage's devil, 192 

Lethe, 150 

Leviathan, 201, 239 

Life, way to, 28 

tree of, no, 140 

future, 140 

waters of, 140, 166 
Light, angel of, 27 
Lightning, 17 S, 241 

Lilith, 57, 100, 120, 184, 186, 241 

Limnads, 61 

Lingam, worship of the, lof 

Litue people, 77 

Local gods, 5 1 

Locusts, 6, 244 

Logi, 180 

Loka-phayu, 246 

Loki, 129, 132, 177, 178, 180, 241 

Loptur, 129 

Lorelei, 58, 239 

Lot, angels, 21 

Lucifer, 124, 130, 132, 245 

Lust, demon of, 22, 185, 241 

Magic, 63, 87, 120, 238 

and jinns, 54 
deevs, 55 
dwarfs, 73 

Chaldean, 78 

staff, 156 

rod, 176 
Magicians, 87 
Mahommed's hair, 58 
Mahommedanism, 114 
Malagasy, 43 
Manasseh, 182 
Manes, 33, 43, 244 

worship, 33, 43, 45, 5 1 
Chinese, 44 
Christian, 51 
Maoris, 43 
Mara, 59 

Marduk, 156, 199, 245 
Maruts, 246 
Maskim, 69, 237 
Mass of fire (Izdhubar) 244 
Medieval devil, 159, 242 
Medusa, 58, 209 
Mephistopheles, 172, 193, 241 
Mercurjr, 121, 129. 156,245 
Mermaids, 34, 56, 58, 205, 239 
Mermen, 56, 245 
Merlin, 63 
Merodach, 245 
Messengers (angels) 88, 245 
Metals, effect on culture, 1 76 
Metal-workers, 56, 74, 84, 177 
Metis, 181 

Mexicans and fire, 169 
Michael, 245 

and Satan 27, 200, 212 
Midgard serpent, 200, 239 
Milton's Satan. 16, 53 

Hell, 134 



Minos, 142, 146, 150 157 
Missionary of Gonfucianism, 128 
Moloch, 99, 119, 124, 181, 182, 246 
Monarchs of Hell, 133, 241 
Mongolians and fire, 169 
Monosyllabic religion, 94 
Monsoon, the, 4 
Monsters, 5, 52, 58, 196, 197, 207, 

208, 240, 241 
Moon, 66 

Morality, standards of, 122 
Moses' rod, 176 

horns, 224 
Moslem devil, 159 
Mountain of the world, 104 
Mul-ge, 137, 154 
Mycene and Helios, 50 
Mylitta, 188 
Mysteries, loi 
Mythology and theology, 1 2 

Gotho-german, 55 

Aryan, 106 

Hindu, 106 

Greek, 106 

Scandinavian, 106 

Nagas, 44, 78, 219 
Naiads, 239 
Name, no 
Namtar, 155 
Nfistrond, 154 
National standards, 8 
Nautcli people, 78 
Necks, 56 

Negroes American, 7 
Nenushtan, 120 
Nemrean lion, 210 
Neolithic men, 81, 84 
Neptune and Medusa, 58 
New fire, 169 
Nikke, 245 
Niflheim, 154 
Nile, infernal. 143 
Nimrod, 121, 171, 173, 244 
Nin-ge. 137, 155 
Nirvana, 125 
Nixy, 245 
Nornir, 60, 238 
Nymphs, 34, 60, 239 
nurses, 61 

01:)eron, 69 
Odin, 174, 244 
Odyssey, 171 
CEdipus and Sphinx, 200 

Old Nick, 245 

Omnipotence of Satan, 28 

Omnipresence of Satan, 28 

Omniscience of Satan, 28 

One, the God, 109 

One-celled religion, 94 

Ophion, 102 

Opposition, evil is, 13, 15 

Ops, 98 

Orcus, 154 

Origin of belief in spirits, yj 

Ormuzd, 24, 131, 187 

Orthodox devil, 29 

Osiris, 47, loi, 121, 124, 130, 144,, 

Ovid's Hades, 146 

O'Yama, 160, 242 

Pan, 36 
Pandora, 211 
Pans, 205, 215, 225, 242 
Parak, 49 
Parc89, 59 
Passing bell, 47 
Passover, 112 
Patron saints, 34, 40 
Pedigree of the Devil, 235 
Penates, 34, 236 
Pentacost, fire at, 172 
Peric and Jean, 75 
Peris, 55, 239 
Perran, 50 
Persephone, 140, 157 
Persian influence, 20 

Asmodeus, 23 

dualism, 23 
Personal evil, 3 
Peruvians and fire, 169 
Pestilence, 5, 246 
Peter, St., 53 
Philistines and David, i8- 
Phoebus, 173, 243 

and Python, 200 
Phoenician, 105 
Phoenix, 173, 243 
Pieron's day, 50 

Pig, 145 
Pigmies, 76 
Piran, St, 50 
Pixies, 87 
Planets, 66 
Plato's Hades, 146 
Plesiosaorus, 198 
Pluto, 150, 158, 241 
Policeman, 17 



Pooka, 236 

Possessioii, demoniacal, 53, 117 

Pouke, 236 

Power, 10, 97 

to raise the dead, 156 
Powers, infernal, 33 

of darkness, 97 
Pramantha, 165 
Priaps, 225, 242 
Primeval belief, honesty of, 196 

^ods, 246 
Primitive man, 218 
Profits of trade, 44 
Prometheus, 165 
Promotion of spirits, 44 
Prosecutor, public, 16 
Proserpine, 1 50, 158 
Psyche, 38 
Psychopompos, 158 
Pterodactyle, 198, 244 
Public prosecutor, 16 
Puck, 36, 87, 236 
Pug, 236 
Puk, 236 
Puki, 236 
Punished gods, 141 

demigods, 142 
Punishment, rabinnic, 1 53 
Purgatory, 145, 152, I34 
Pwcca, 236 
Python, 200, 240 

Ka, 104, 130 
Eabinnic Hades, 152 

punishment, 153 
Ra-t-amenti, 158, 242 
Rav Huna quoted, 36 
Hays of sun, 129 
Rebellious spirits, 69 
Recapitulation, demons, 85 
Red colour and fire, 172, 224 
Reflection, 38 
Reformation, effect of, 24 
Regions of Hades, 147 
Religion, power, basis of, 10 

and superstition, 1 2 

monosyllabic, 94 

one-cefled, 94 

of Jews, 107 
Rephaim, 71, 138, 237 
Resurrection, 140, 152 
Revolt in heaven, 52 
Rezon, a Satan, 19 
Rhadamanthus, 145, 150,157,158, 

\ Bimmon, 124, 245 

Bites, f uneraX 47 

Bitual, Egyptian, 14, 47 
! Biver-drift men, 216, 236 
I Bivermen, 56, 245 
I Bod, divining, 157, 176 
I magic, 176 

Moses', 176 

Bokh, 173, 243 

Bomance, fays of, 62 

Romans and fire, 169 

Romulus, 49 

Sabbath, the, and demons, 53 
Sacred fire, 168 
Sacrifice, 49 

human, 71, 99, iii, 181, 183, 
Saint Theodorus, 49 

Piran, 50 

Peter, 53 

Jude, 53 

George and the Dragon, 200, 

Michael, 27, 121, 200, 212 
Saints, 24, 48, 50, 68 

patron, 34, 49 
Sara, 188 
Satan, 16, 227 

Hebrew, 16 

Milton's, 16 

Balaam's angel, 1 7 

David a, 18 

Abishai a, 18 

Job's, 19 

Joshua's, 19 

a spy, 20 

in Zachariah, 20 

synogogue of, 27 

converts to, 27 

and Michael, 27, 200 

the enemy, 28 

the tempter, 28 

omniscience of, 28 

omnipresence of, 28 

omnipotence of, 28 

his allies, 87 

Lucifer, 130 

god of hell, 133 
Satanas, 25 
Satans, 17 

Solomon's, 18, 19 
Saturn, 98, 105, 181, 246 
Saturnalia, 99 
Satyrs, 34, 205, 215, 221, 225 



Satyrs, Hebrew, 172, 210,224,242 
Saurians, 197, 203, 240 
Scandinavian mythology, 106 
Scandinavians, 79 
Scepticism, 107 
Sceptre, 176 
Scratch, 245 
Scythians, 6n, 81 
Sea-serpent, 201, 239 
Seraph, 241 
Seraphim, loi 
Serapis, 124 
Serpent, the, loi, 119 
hair, 58 
wisdom of, 102 
worship of, 102 
the old, 160 
sea, 201 
crooked, 201 
Serpent-men and women, 102 
Set, 130, 132, 246 
Seth, 246 
Seti, 130 
Seven, 66 
Shade, 38 
Shades, 116, 136 
Shadow, 38 

and crocodile, 41 
of death, 210 
Shakespeare's fairies, 64 
Shamir, 189 

Sheol, 71, 137, 150, 154, 155 
Sheytans, 54, 239, 241 
Shimei, 18 
Shooting stars, 61 
Siamese, 44, 49 
Sibyls, 57, 238 
Riduri and Sabitu, 57, 238 
Sinai, tire of, 1 1 1 
Sin-tu, Japan, 44 
Skratti, 245 " 
Slanderer, Diabolos, 26 
Social standards, 6 
Sodom, angel destroying, 2 1 
Solar heroes, 34 
deities, 120 
worship, 105, 182 
Solon's celAacy laws, 46 
Solomon, his Satans, 18, 19 
human sacrifice by, 182 
and Asmodens, 189 
demons, 189 
Sorceresses, 57, 58 
SouIb, demons, 33 
Sparta, celibacy a crime, 46 

Spells, 73, 223, 238 

Spenser's "Faerie Queene," 213 

Sphinx, 200, 210, 240 

Spirit of evil, 1 5 

Spirits, 21, 236 

hierarchy of, 35 

belief in origin of, 37 
universal, 41 
Egyptian, 41 
Basuto, 41 
Indian, 42 

promotion after death, 44 

of stars, 67 

cosmical, 69 

rebellious, 69 

house, 87 

conquered, 95 

subordinated, 95 

of fire, 167 

and fire, 171 
Spy, Satan a, 2 
Staff, magic, 1 56 
Standards, domestic, 6 

social, 6 

national, 8 

of morality, 122 
Star?, 67 
Stick, fennel, 168 
Stone age, 84, 176, 216 
Stones, fetish, 1 1 7 
Storms, 5, 202, 245 
Styx, 140, 148 
Subordination of spirits, 95 
Subterranean fire, 177 
Succubi, 188 
Sun, 66, 243 

gods, 171 

and Jehovah, 174 

the Bridegroom, 1 74 

rays, 245 
Superstition, 9 

and religion, 1 2 
Supreme God, 2, 66 

Devil, 2 
Suttee, 180 
Sylene, 212 

Synagogue of Satan, 27 
Syrens, 34, 58, 239 
Syrian and Egyptian gods, 96 

Tailed men 22 1 
Talismans and jiuns, 54 
and deevs, 55 
dwarfs, 73 
Talmud, 15 



Tamxnuz, 124, 173, 174, 243 

Taoism, 126 

Taous, 173, 243 

Tari-pennu, 99 

Tartaros, 71, 141, 146, 149, 154 

Tartars, 78,81 

and fire, 169 
Tasmanians, 43 
Taus, 173, 243 
Teeth, gnashing of, 136 
Temple fire, 169 

Duilding of Solomon's, 189 
Tempter, Satan, 28 
Thanmas, 209 
Theodoms, St., 49 
Theology, 9 

and mythology, 12 
ThermopylaB, 46 
Thor, 172, 241 

and Midgard Serpent, 200 
Tiamat, 109, 209 
Tiamtu, 240 
Titania, 64 
Titans, 70, 141, 237 
Tobit, 23, 188 
Tophet and Toph, 182 
Tradition, tenacity of, 202 
Tree of life, no, 140 

knowledge, 145 
Trees> fetish, 1 1 7 
Tritons, 205 
Trolls, 34, 72, 236 
Tubal-cain, 175, 177, 241 
Turanian, 78, 91 

spirits, 32 

ancestral spiritiS, 43 

described, 80 
Turk, 36 

Two truths, hall of, 143 
Tylor's animism, 42 
Typhceus, 200, 240 

Ulysses, 176 
Uranos, loi, 104 

Yalhalla, 154 
Vampyres, 244 
Varna (caste), 92 
Yayu, 245 

Vazimbas, 43 
Veddas, 44, 78, 219 
Vedic abyss, 206 
Veiled images, 10 1 
Vestal virgins, 168 
Virgins, vestal, 168 
VirgiFs Hades, 147 
VitJal spark, 1 79 
Vritra, 20c, 239 
Vul, 245 
Vulcan, 177, 178, 241 

Wallace, ''Island Life" quoted, 93: 

Wand, fairy, 176 

Water, 245 

Waters of life, 140, 166 

Whales, 21 1 

Wild huntsman, 243 

Wisdom of serpent, 102 

Witchcraft, 57 

Witches, 58, 87 

andiron, 177 
Wives, Hebrew, put away, 7 

deacon's, devils, 26n. 
Wolves, 5 

Women, devils, 26n. 
World, mountain of, 104 

god of, 109 
Worship, manes, 33, 43, 45, 51, 
of infernal powers, 33 
serpent, 102 
earth, 103 
ancestors, 118 
solar, 105, 182 

Yama, 160, 242 
Yami, 160,242 
Yima, 160, 242 
Ymir, 70 
Yzedis, 173 

Zechariah, Satan in, 20 

Zeruiah, sons of, 18 

Zeus, 129, 17s, 181 235, 240 

and Typhoeus, 200 
Zodiac, 171 
Zohak, 200 
Zulus, 43 




*• s **' 


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