domenica, Giugno 13, 2021
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India in Greece

DODONA AND THE HYPERBOREANS

“And the Sons of Javan; Emshah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.”
(Genesis, x. 4)

Placed in a position nearly to intersect the Canalovian Mountains at right angles, are the tribes of the Biver Yelum, or Hydaspes— Elumyo-des (Elumio-tis) immediately in the neighbourhood of which country is to be found the celebrated oracle of Dodona. I trust that I shall be enabled to make the history of this far-famed shrine perfectly distinct and that having already reached the fountain head of the primitive Indo-European emigrations, this mysterious oracle will no longer resist rational research, based upon a sound geographical foundation. I must beg the reader to bear in mind the distinct assertion which I have already made, of the national unity of Egyptian, Greek, and Indian. This fact distinctly recognized, and surveyed without prejudice, even so far as to accept Hellenic authorities, when speaking of the colonisations from Egypt and Phoenicia, will prepare the mind for the reception of much valuable, but often rejected history. It is not by passing an arbitrary sentence upon the correctness either of logographer, poet, or historian, that truth is to be elicited. It is not by a balancing of possibilities, or by the assumptive theory of Greek invention, that a true knowledge of the past is to be obtained. Caution is a commendable virtue; but extreme distrust is far more perilous to history than extreme facility of belief. The possessor of the latter quality may, among much fable, receive some history; while the sceptic as easily Invents an invention for a nation as for an author. “It is universally allowed” observes Dr. Cramer, “that this celebrated temple owed, its origin to the Pelasgi, at a period much anterior to the Trojan war; since many writers represent it as existing in the time of Deucalion, and even of Inachus.1 Herodotus distinctly states that it was the most ancient oracle of Greece, and represents the Pelasgi as consulting it on various occasions. Hence the title of Pelasgic, assigned to Jupiter, to whom the temple was dedicated.

“Then fixing for a space
His eyes on Heaven, his feet upon the place
Of sacrifice, the purple draught he poured
Forth in the midst: and thus the god implored: —
Oh, thou Supreme! enthroned all height above,”
Oh great Pelasgic, Dodonean, Jove!
Who ‘midst surrounding frosts, and vapours chill,
Presides on bleak Dodona’s vocal hill,
Whose groves the Selli, race austere! surround,
Their feet unwashed, their slumbers on the ground,
Who bear from rustling oaks thy dark decrees,
And catch the fates, low-whispered in the breeze[1].”

“Of the existence of another oracle in Thessaly of the same name, no doubt, I imagine, can be entertained, and to this, the prayer of Achilles probably had reference. Setting aside the fables which Herodotus has transmitted to us respecting Dodona and its doves, to which he evidently attached no belief, his report of the affinity which existed between the service of this temple and that of Thebes in Egypt, is deserving of our attention: as it confirms what we learn from other sources, that many of the superstitions of the Pelasgi were derived from the Egyptians, either directly, or through the medium of the Phoenicians. Strabo asserts that the duties of the temple were originally allotted to men, from the circumstance of Homer’s mention of the Selli as being attendant upon the god: the term Selli was considered by many ancient writers to refer to a people of Pelasgic origin, whom they identified with the Helli; and also with the Tomari. The origin of the word Dodona seems not to have been ascertained … Nor are we better informed as to the nature and construction of the temple., during the early age of Grecian history. Dodona was the first station in Greece to which the offerings of the Hyperboreans were dispatched, according to Herodotus. All accounts seem to agree that it stood either on the declivity or at the foot of an elevated mountain called Tomarus[2]. Hence the term Tomuri, supposed to be a contraction for Tomaruri, or guardians of Tomarus, which was given to the priests of the temple[3].” If the reader will now refer to the map of the Punjab, he will at once rescue Dodona from the mythologic category; nothing, certainly, can be less mythological than latitude and longitude; to that test I appeal. Doda[4] is “a town in the Northern Punjab, amidst the mountains south of Cashmir, situate on the north-west bank of the Chenab, nearly opposite its confluence with the river of Budrawar[5]”. The tribe Dodo, or Dor, is, perhaps, the most ancient of the thirty-six Rajpoot tribes of the Hiya or Aswa Sachas. Colonel Tod observes, speaking of this tribe, “Though occupying a place in all the genealogies, time has destroyed all knowledge of the past history of a tribe, to gain a victory over whom, was deemed by Pert’hwiraja, worthy of a tablet” The dignified and powerful state of this great clan,, which ranks., in the Mosaic account of the primitive genealogies of our race., on a par with Elisha (Ellas), and Javan, “Yavana,” or the “Ionians,” is still farther proved by their people being the central pivot of Soo-Meroo, the far-famed mountain of glory—the Olympus of the Hindoo deities. Soo-Meroo, however, both in Greece and in the Punjab, is as geographical a position as Snowdon; and “The Dodo” as much a fact as “The Douglas.”
“Mer” is the well-known term in North-Western Asia to express “a mountain” — “Soo 2- Mer,” is “the mountain” par eminence — “the great mountain ” — “the glorious mountain;” the Greek way of writing which was “To-mar-os[6],” as I have before noticed. Doda, situate amidst the mountains south of Cashmir, is in lat. 33° 2’, long. 75° 18’; it is almost as near to the magnificent “Mer”—“the Soo-mer” of the Punjab, as the Dodon of Greece is to its To-mar-os (Soo-Meru.) The residence of Clan Doda was about sixty miles from their grand mountain “Mer.” “Mer and Ser” in the north of the Punjab, are two mountain summits, which rise to a great height and with sublime effect, fifty or sixty miles east of the eastern boundary of Cashmir. In their regular conical form, they as closely resemble each other as though they had been cast in the same mold, but they differ in hue, one being completely white, and the other as uniformly black. No explanation appears to have been given of the singular fact that, being of the same height, and situate in the same latitude, one is covered with perpetual snow, the other is quite bare. They are probably, with the exception of the mountains in Rupshu, the highest mountains between the Sutlej and the Indus. Hiigel clearly viewed them at Vizerabad, in the plain of the Punjab, overtopping the Panjals of Cashmir, and many other intervening mountains, though the distance is not less than one hundred and forty miles[7]. Dodo and Mer then, or “ Soo-Mer-os” are, in the Cashmirian “y’ELUMYO-des[8]” almost as contiguous as Dodon and To-mar-os in the Macedonian Elum-io-tis; and, still more pointedly to mark the identity of both, we have in a nearly equidistant and central position between Doda and Mer, the town of Pambu-r. “Pambur” is again transferred to the Grecian Dodona; it now gives a name to the lake on which Dodona is situate. That lake is “Pambo-’tis” ce Pambor-des, “the Land of Pambur” Pambur, as the reader will observe, is situate to the north east of the Punjab : it lies on the route from Kishtewar to Cashmir, and is on the “Muru Wurdwun” River, forty miles above its confluence with the Chenaub[9]. Those ancient people, who are grouped along the western heights of the Grecian Tomaros, from north to south, are the Hellopes, These are the mysterious beings who have for centuries provoked the curiosity and the despair of the classical student. They are the “Helo-pes[10]” or “Chiefs of the Hela” and their land is called Hellopia—the land of the Hela Chiefs; their country “Hella-dos[11]” or the “Land of Hela, their tribe The Doda[12],” and their priests are named Selli or Brahmins[13]. “While the sacred tribe of Dodo, or the Dodan, fixed their oracle towards the northerly line of the “ Hellop es,” in Thessaly, the immediate neighbours of the Hyperboreans took up their abode towards the south of the holy mountain of To-Maros or Soo-Meroo. These were the Pashwaran[14], or the emigrants from Peshawer, who appear in the Greek guise of “Pass-aron.” We now readily see the connection between the settlements of the Dodan (Dodonian Oracle), Passaron (Peshawer people), and the offerings of the Hyperboreans, or the men of “Khyber-poor,” who retained this appellation wherever they subsequently settled. The people of the Khyber and of Peshawer (Hyper-boreans and Pass-aron), are placed in immediate contiguity to each other in the maps of Afghanistan.
It was not without just reason that the memory of the Hyperboreans was so hallowed in the affections of the pious and the wise, among the nations of antiquity, as to induce a grateful record of their virtues in poetry and song. “In Cashmir,” writes Muller, “plants, and animals, and men, exist in the greatest physical perfection.” Bailly refers the origin of the arts and sciences, astronomy, and the old lunar zodiac, and the discovery of the planets, to the most northerly tract of Asia. In the Scriptures, the second origin of mankind is referred to a mountainous region eastward of Shinar; and the ancient books of the Hindus fix the cradle of our race in the same quarter.
The Hindu Paradise is on Mount Meru, on the confines of Cashmir and Thibet.
“The Hyperboreans” observes Diodorus “worship Apollo more zealously than any other people; they are all priests of Apollo; one town in their country is sacred to Apollo, and its inhabitants are for the most part players on the lyre.
Such is the testimony borne to these Hyperboreans by the magnificent lyrist, Pindar, whose style I have endeavoured to clothe in an English dress. There is throughout the whole of this author a strong Buddhistic bias, while many of his doctrines are the exact counterpart of the chief Jaina tenets, one great source of which is to be traced to the Cashmirian philosophy and religion, introduced by the founders of Chaironjea, or “the people of Cashmir[15].” Other powerful religious influences also will be noticed in their proper place, as especially acting upon Boeotia.
About five miles to the north of Dodon, was a remarkable town of these priests — its name given at a correlative time with that of the oracle Bodan (Bodon), i.e. “the Boodhists[16] hence, it is clear, that “Dodon[17]” once represented the Brahminical, and Bodon the Boodhistic sect. This town appearing in Greek as “Damastium” is “Dham/5 “asti/5 (Saint5 s Town), or “All Saints” It was to Dodon and to these “Dhammos[18]” that the Hyper-boreans sent their offerings. What wonder, when they were of the same stock, and were of old the fellow inhabitants of the same land, these Hyper-boreans being, as I have already shown, the “Khyber-pooreans,” or “people of Khyber-poor” i.e. the city and district of the Khyber[19]. One of the Khyber settlements will be seen in Thessaly, on the eastern branch of the Phoenix river. Its name is tolerably preserved as “Kyphara” and “Kyphaera?

NOTES

[1] Pope’s Homer, II., xvi, 233.
[2] Strabo, vii. 328.
[3] Cram. Geog. Greece, vol. i. p. 118.
[4] Dodan, plural of the tribe Doda. The Dodan-im of Moses.
[5] Thomt. Punjab, vol. i. p. 168—9.
[6] The commutation of the letters “s” and “t” is of great extent throughout the Greek and Sanscrit languages. See Append. Rule 23.
[7] “Mer and Ser may be considered situate about lat. 34°, long. 76°.” — Thoenton’s Gaz. Punjab; vide Mer and Ser — Doda, &c.
[8] Land of the Yelum, or Elumio-tis.
[9] Lat. 33° 38′, long. 75° 40’. Thornt. vol. ii. p. 92.
[10] From Hela, the Mountain Hela, and Pe, a chief, a king.
[11] Properly Hela-des; Hela and des, a land. The genitive case is here given 33 showing the true source of “Hellas.”
[12] Plural Dodan.
[13] SELOS, BRAHMA. (Rule ii.) See the Homeric description quoted page 123, also that of Cramer.
[14] Pashwar is a less common form than Pesh-war. Both Pesh and Pask (before), are in general use in Persia. Pesh-war, or Pash-war, is properly a frontier town; the Persian plm”al of which is Pash-waran; and the digammated “w” or “v” being dropped, gives Pass-aron to the Greek language. (Rule vii. Appendix.),
[15] Kira, Cashmir. Kaira, the descendants or people of Cashmir (also Kira); Kairo-naya, Cashmir town or province; as Naya-pala, Ne-pal from Naya, polity, government.
[16] Persian plural form of Boodha. See Append. Rule 7.
[17] I have not the slightest doubt that the Dodan of Cashmir, and consequently the Dodan of Epirus, were a Brahminical tribe. De’va-deva, God of gods, is the name of Brahma. Its euphonic changes will be Deo-deo, then Do-do. I have traced to great extent the common substitution of “w” for “V” Sanscrit. The general principle is noticed in Bopp.
[18] Dhammo, righteousness, is the Pali form of Dlierma; Dhammo is a favourite prefix to the names of Budhist Theros, or Priests. As in the case of Dharamasoko, the great Bud’hist emperor of India. See Mahawanso, passim.
[19] Between lat. 33° 30’, 34° 20’; long. 71° 10’, 71° 30’.

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