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in Euterpe saith, that the Syrians that lived about the CHAP. rivers Thermodoon and Parthenius, learned circumcision from the Colchi; of whom he saith, Moūvob távτων Κόλχοι και Αιγύπτιοι και Αιθίοπες περιτέμνονται απ' αρχής Tà aidoia. Only the Colchi, and Egyptians, and Ethiopians had originally the custom of circumcision. Or else the Odomantes might be some of the dispersed Jews in Armenia, where Strabo mentions a region Strabo, l.xi. called Odomantis; and so they retained the name of the place from whence they came, after their removal into Thrace. But whatever these Odomantes were, they were far enough from the Spartans, who never were thus suspected of Judaism, nor laughed at for circumcision; so that this opinion of Grotius, on that account, seems not very probable. Bochartus, who Bochart. de hath been so happy in many other conjectures, yet ). i. c. 22. here gives out, unless it may depend upon the testimony of Claudius Iolaus in Stephanus Byzantius, who fabulously derives the Jews from one Judæus Sparton, who went from Thebes along with Bacchus into the wars; which Sparton they might confound with another Sparton, the son of Phonoreus, the founder of Sparta ; which yet is rejected as a fable by Pausanias in Laconicis. Surely the Lacedæmonians were very ambitious of kindred with the Jews, that would claim it upon such grounds as these, especially at such a time when the people of the Jews were under distress, and their kindred might be like to cost them so dear; and if they had never such a mind to have claimed kindred with the Jews, they would certainly have done it upon a more plausible testimony than the fable of one Claudius Iolaus, that had neither sense nor reason in it; and yet supposing his fable true, it had been nothing to the purpose without the linking another fable to it, which was so gross, that even the Greeks
BOOK themselves were ashamed of it, who were always the
most daring forgers of fables in the world. But let us
see further what the divine (as some have loved to call Scalig. Ca- him) Jos. Scaliger saith to it. All that he saith, is non. Isag.
only a wonder or two at it; Quid magis mirum quam Lacedæmonios ab Abraham prognatos esse, &c. and a refutation of an absurd opinion, that Ebalus, the father of Tyndareus, and grandfather of Castor, Pollux, and Helena, was the same with Ebal, mentioned Gen. x. 28, which there can be no reason for, since Ebal was the son of Joktan, and so of another race from Abraham; and Joktan's sons were placed eastward ; but chiefly Ebalus was within an hundred years before the destruction of Troy ; but Phaleg, uncle to Ebal, died 664 years before Ebalus, in A. M. 1993. Thus far then we cannot find any plausible account of this claim of kindred; but though it be an endless task to make good all the claims of kindred in the world, especially to persons of power and authority, yet there being no visible interest or design which the Spartans could have in such a claim, especially at that time, with a nation generally hated and maligned by heathen idolaters, we cannot suppose but there must be some at least plausible ground for such a persuasion among them. What if we should conjecture that the Spartans might find in the Greek version of the Pentateuch, which was much spread abroad at that time among the sons of Ishmael, one whose name makes the nearest approach to their Cadmus, from whom they suppose themselves derived; for the youngest of Ishmael's sons was called Kedemah, Gen. xxv. 15, which the Syriac renders Kedem, the very name of Cadmus in the eastern tongues. But this being a light conjecture, I pass it by, and return to the subject of our discourse, which gives a plausible account of the ground of
this kindred. We have already shewed that the Pelasgi CHAP. were the first who peopled Greece, (κατά την Ελλάδα Tärav &TETólade, is Strabo's expression of that nation, that it spread over all Greece;) and withal it appears that the chief seat of the Pelasgi was in Arcadia, to which next adjoins Laconia, and therefore in all probability was peopled by them; and besides, the Dorians sprang from the Pelasgi, and the Spartans were a part of the Dorians, as appears already out of Grotius ; so that what kindred the Pelasgi had, was derived down to the Spartans; and we have manifested that these Pelasgi were from Phaleg ; and the Scripture tells us Gen. xi. that Phaleg was the son of Eber, from whom Abraham came in a direct and lineal succession. And thus the Jews coming from Abraham, and the Spartans by the Pelasgi from Phaleg, they both came out of the same stock : for so Josephus expresseth it; not that the Lacedæmonians came from Abraham, but that the Jews and they were both éĘ évòs yévous, out of the same stock, and both had relation to Abraham; the Jews as coming in a direct line, the Spartans as deriving from Phaleg, from whom Abraham came. And thus much may now suffice to clear the first plantation of Greece, and to shew how consonant it is to sacred Scripture; which I have taken the more pains in, because of the serviceableness of this discourse to that end, and to shew what use may be made of this kind of learning, for vindicating the honour of the sacred Scriptures.
The only thing remaining as to the origin of nations, is the peopling of that vast continent of America, which I cannot think we have yet sufficient information, either concerning the passages thither, especially east and north, or concerning any records the Indians have among themselves, absolutely to determine any
BOOK thing in it. It seems most probable that the several
parts of it were peopled at several times, and from several parts, especially north and east; but to go about absolutely to determine from what nation, in what age, by what means they were first peopled, were a piece of as great confidence as ignorance, till we have more certain discoveries of it. I choose therefore rather to refer the reader to the bandyings of this controversy in the many writers about it, than to un
dertake any thing as to the decision of it. Only in the Gent. Ame.general it appears, from the remaining tradition of the .
flood, and many rites and customs used among them, Ben Israel. that they had the same original with us; and that Spes Israel. Et Spizzel. there can be no argument brought against it from American. themselves, since some authors tell us, that the eldest
accounts and memoirs they have do not exceed 800
OF THE ORIGIN OF THE HEATHEN MYTHOLOGY.
I. That there were some remainders of the ancient history of the
world preserved in the several nations after the dispersion.
the Phænicians; Tubal-Cain and Jubal under Vulcan and Apollo ; Naamah under Minerva. VIII. Noah under Saturn, Janus, Prometheus, and Bacchus. IX. Noah's three sons under Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto. Canaan under Mercury; Nimrod under Bacchus; Magog under Prometheus. Of Abraham and Isaac among the Phænicians. X. Jacob's service under Apollo's. The Baitúlia from Bethel ; Joseph under Apis; Moses under Bacchus; Joshua under Hercules; Balaam under the old Silenus.
THE main particulars contained in the Scriptures Chap. concerning the history of ancient times, being thus far cleared, there remains only that evidence which there is of the truth of the historical part of those eldest times, in those footsteps of it which are contained in the heathen mythology. For we cannot conceive, since we have manifested that all mankind did come from the posterity of Noah, that all those passages which concerned the history of the world should be presently obliterated and extinguished among them, but some kind of tradition would be still preserved; although