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or in the waters ?-Do we not discover in these religious opinions, that source of the marvellous with which our ancestors filled their romances; in which we see dwarfs and giants, fairies and demons?” &c.' And in another place.
And in another place. “The fortresses of the Goths were only rude castles situated on the summits of rocks, and rendered inaccessible by thick misshapen walls. As these walls ran winding round the castles, they often called them by a name which signified SERPENTS or DRAGONS; and in these they usually secured the women and young virgins of distinction, who were seldom safe at a time when so many enterprising heroes were rambling up and down in search of adventures. It was this custom which gave occasion to antient romancers, who knew not how to describe any thing simply, to invent so many fables concerning princesses of great beauty guarded by dragons, and afterwards delivered by invincible champions P."
I do not mean entirely to reject this hypothesis; but I will endeavour to shew how far I think it is true, and in what manner or degree it may be reconciled with the system delivered above.
A few years before the birth of Christ, soon after Mithridates had been overthrown by Pompey, a nation of Asiatic Goths, who possessed that region of Asia which is now called Georgia, and is connected on the south with Persia, alarmed at the
progressive encroachments of the Roman armies, retired in vast multitudes under the conduct of their leader Odin, or Woden, into the northern parts of Europe, not subject to the Roman government, and settled in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and other districts of the Scandinavian territory. As they brought
° Mallet, Introduction a l'Histoire de eam tamen non primam. Verum circa Dannemarc, &c. tom. ii. p. 9.
annum tandem vicesimum quartum ante P Ib. ch. ix. p. 243. tom. ii.
natum Christum, Romanis exercitibus (This and other similar passages in auspiciis Pompeii Magni in Asiæ parte, Mallet's lively history would form an ex- Phrygia Minore, grassantibus. Illa enim cellent supplement to the Homeric alle- epocha ad hanc rem chronologi nostri gories of Heraclides Ponticus.-Edit.] utuntur. In cujus (Gylvi Sueciæ regis)
8 “Unicam gentium Asiaticarum Im- tempora incidit Odinus, Asiaticæ immimigrationem, in orbem Arctoum factam, grationis, factæ anno 24 ante natum nostræ antiquitates commemorant. Sed Christum, antesignanus." Crymogæa,
with them many useful arts, particularly the knowledge of letters, which Odin is said to have invented', they were hospitably received by the natives, and by degrees acquired a safe and peaceable establishment in the new country, which seems to have adopted their language, laws, and religion. Odin is said to have been stiled a god by the Scandinavians; an appellation which the superiour address and specious abilities of this Asiatic chief easily extorted from a more savage and uncivilised people.
This migration is confirmed by the concurrent testimonies of various historians: but there is no better evidence of it, than that conspicuous similarity subsisting at this day between several customs of the Georgians, as described by Chardin, and those of certain cantons of Norway and Sweden, which have preserved their antient manners in the purest degrees. Not that other striking implicit and internal proofs, which often carry more conviction than direct historical assertions, are wanting to point out this migration. The antient inhabitants of Denmark and Norway inscribed the exploits of their kings and heroes on rocks, in characters called Runic; and of this prac
Arngrim. Jon. lib. i. cap. 4. p. 30, 31. colligi potest linguam, ut gentem, Heledit. Hamburg. 1609. See also Bar LENICAM, a septentrione et SCYTHIA ori. tholin. Antiquitat. Dan. Lib. ii. cap. 8. ginem traxisse, non a meridie. Inde Lip. 407. iii. c. 2. p. 652. edit. 1689. La- TERÆ GRÆCORUM, inde Musæ PIERIDES, zius, de Gent. Migrat. L. X. fol. 573. inde sacrorum initia." Salmas. de Hel30. edit. fol. 1600. Compare Ol. Rud- lenist. p. 400. As a further proof I shall beck. cap. v. sect. 2. p. 95. xiv. sect. 2. observe, that the antient poet Thamyris
There is a memoir on this sub was so much esteemed by the Scythians, ject lately published in the Petersburgh on account of his poetry, xitagwoice, that Transactions, but I chuse to refer to they chose him their king. Conon. Naroriginal authorities. See tom. v. p. 297. rat. Poet. cap. vii. edit. Gal. But Thaedit. 1738. 4to.
myris was a Thracian: and a late inger“ Odino etiam et aliis, qui ex Asia nious antiquarian endeavours to prove, huc devenere, tribuunt multi antiquita- that the Goths were descended from the tum Islandicarum periti; unde et Odinus Thracians, and that the Greeks and RunhordI seu Runarum (i. e. Litera- Thracians were only different clans of rum) auctor vocatur.' Oì. Worm. Lin the same people. Clarke's Connexion, ter. Runic. cap. 20. edit. Hafn. 1651. &c. ch. ii. p. 65. Some writers refer the origin of the Gre [See also Mr. Pinkerton's Dissertacian language, sciences, and religion to tion on the Goths, and Dr. Jamieson's the Scythians, who were connected to Hermes Scythicus.-Edit.] wards the south with Odin's Goths. I See Pontoppidan. Nat. Hist. Norcannot bring a greater authority than way, tom. ii. c. 10. S. 1, 2, 3. that of Salmasius, Satis certum ex his
marks are said still to remain in those countries. This art or custom of writing on rocks is Asiaticu. Modern travellers report, that there are Runic inscriptions now existing in the deserts of Tartary*. The WRITTEN MOUNTAINS of the Jews are an instance that this fashion was oriental. Antiently, when one of these northern chiefs fell honourably in battle, his weapons, his war-horse, and his wife, were consumed with himself on the same funeral piley. I need not remind my readers how religiously this horrible ceremony of sacrificing the wife to the dead husband is at present observed in the east. There is a very remarkable correspondence, in numberless important and fundamental points, between the Druidical and the Persian superstitions: and notwithstanding the evidence of Cesar, who speaks only from popular report, and without precision, on a subject which he cared little about, it is the opinion of the learned Banier, that the Druids were formed on the model of the Magi”. In this hypothesis he is seconded by a modern antiquary; who further supposes, that Odin's followers imported this establishment into Scandinavia, from the confines of Persia a The Scandinavians attributed divine virtue to the misletoe; it is mentioned in their Edda, or system of religious doctrines, where it is said to grow on the west side of Val-hall, or Odin's elysiumb. That Druidical rites existed among the Scandinavians we are informed from many antient Erse poems,
? See Saxo Grammat. Præf. ad Hist, y See Keysler, p. 147. Two funeral Dan. And Hist. lib. vii. See also Ol. ceremonies, one of BURNING, the other Worin. Monum. Dan. lib. iii.
of BURYING their dead, at different times " Paulus Jovius, a writer indeed not prevailed in the north; and have distinof the best credit, says, that Annibal en- guished two eras in the old
orthern graved characters on the Alpine rocks, history. The first was called the Age or as a testimony of his passage over them, Fire, the second the Age or Hills. and that they were remaining there two Mytholog. Expliq. ii. p. 628. 4to. centuries ago. Hist. lib. xv. p. 163. a M. Mallet. Hist. Dannem. i. p. 56.
* See Voyage par Strahlemberg, &c. See also Keysler, p. 152. A Description of the Northern and East • Epp. Isl. fab. xxviii. Compare Keyern Parts of Europe and Asia. Scbrodersler, Antiquit. Sel. Sept. p. 304. seq. says, from Olaus Rudbeckius, that RUNES, The Germans, a Teutonic tribe, call it or letters, were invented by Magog the to this day “ the Branch of Spectres." Scythian, and communicated to Tuisco But see Dr. Percy's ingenious note on the celebrated German chieftain, in the this passage in the Enda. NORTHERN year of the world 1799. Præf. ad Lexi- ANTIQUITIES, vol. ii. p. 143. con Latino-Scandic.
which say that the British Druids, in the extremity of their affairs, solicited and obtained aid from Scandinavia. The Gothic hell exactly resembles that which we find in the religious systems of the Persians, the most abounding in superstition of all the eastern nations. One of the circumstances is, and an oriental idea, that it is full of scorpions and serpents d. The doctrines of Zeno, who borrowed most of his opinions from the Persian philosophers, are not uncommon in the EDDA. Lok, the evil deity of the Goths, is probably the Arimanius of the Persians. In some of the most antient Islandic chronicles, the Turks are mentioned as belonging to the jurisdiction of the Scandinavians. Mahomet, not so great an inventor as is imagined, adopted into his religion many favourite notions and superstitions from the bordering nations which were the offspring of the Scythians, and especially from the Turks. Accordingly, we find the Alcoran agreeing with the Runic theology in various instances. I will mention only one. It is one of the beatitudes of the Mahometan paradise, that blooming virgins shall administer the most luscious wines. Thus in Odin's Val-hall, or the Gothic elysium, the departed heroes received cups of the strongest mead and ale from the hands of the virgin-goddesses called Valkyres, Alfred, in his Saxon account of the northern seas, taken from the mouth of Ohther, a Norwegian, who had been sent by that monarch to discover a north-east passage into the Indies, constantly calls these nations the ORIENTALSf. And as these eastern tribes brought with them into the north a certain degree of refinement, of luxury and splendour, which ap
Ossian's Works. Cathlin, ii. p. 216. Spelm. Append. vi. (Oht-here was not Not. edit. 1765. vol. ii. They add, that sent by Alfred. This voyage was underamong the auxiliaries came many magi- taken for the gratification of his own cucians.
riosity, and the furtherance of his comSee Hyde, Relig. Vet. Pers. p. 399. mercial views. He was doubtlessly
ig-404. But compare what is said of the norant of the existence of Asia. The Edda, towards the close of this Dis Orientals, to use the language of the
text, were those inhabitants of the Scan• Odin only, drank wine in Val-hall. dinavian peninsula, whose country lay End. Myth. xxxiv. See Keysler, p. 152. upon his starboard quarter, while steer
( See Preface to Alfred's Saxon Oro- ing due north from Halgoland in Norsius, published by Spelman. (And since way.--Edit.] by Daines Barrington.] Vit. ÆlfrEDI.
peared singular and prodigious among barbarians; one of their early historians describes a person better dressed than usual, by saying, “he was so well cloathed, that you might have taken him for one of the Asiatics 8.” Wormius mentions a Runic incantation, in which an Asiatic enchantress is invoked”. Various other instances might here be added, some of which will occasionally arise in the future course of our inquiries.
It is notorious, that many traces of oriental usages are found amongst all the European nations during their pagan state; and this phenomenon is rationally resolved, on the supposition that all Europe was originally peopled from the east. But as the resemblance which the pagan Scandinavians bore to the eastern nations in manners, monuments, opinions, and practices, is so very perceptible and apparent, an inference arises, that their migration from the east must have happened at a period by many ages more recent, and therefore most probably about the time specified by their historians. In the mean time we must remember, that a distinction is to be made between this expedition of Odin's Goths, who formed a settlement in Scandinavia, and those innumerable armies of barbarous adventurers, who some centuries afterwards, distinguished by the same name, at different periods overwhelmed Europe, and at length extinguished the Roman Empire.
& LANDNAMA-Saga. See Mallet. Hist. CHANTMENTS, xxiv. 1, &c. Odin himself Dannem. c. ii.
was not only a warrior, but a magician, 1 Lit. Run. p. 209, edit, 1651. The and his Asiatics were called IncantatioGoths came from the neighbourhood of num auctores. Chron. Norweg. apud Colchis, the region of witchcraft, and Bartholin. L. iii. c. 2. p. 657. the country of Medea, famous for her mog. Arngrim. L. i. cap. vii. p. 511. incantations. The eastern pagans from From this source, those who adopt the the very earliest ages have hird their en- principles just mentioned in this dischanters. Now'the magicians of Egypi, course, may be inclined to think, that they also did in like mann r with their en- the notion of spells got into the ritual of chäni ments. Exod. vii. 11. See also vii. chivalry. In all legal single combats, 18, 19. ix. 11, &c. When the people of each champion attested upon oath, that Israel had overrun the country of Balak, he did not carry about him any herb, he invites Balaam, a neighbouring prince, Spell, or ENCHANTMENT. Dugdal. Orig. to curse them, or destroy them by magic, Juridic. p. 82. See Hickes's account of which he seems to have professed. And the silver Dano-Saxon shield, dug up in the elders of Moab departed with the re- the Isle of Ely, having a magical Runic wards of Div.NATIon in their hand. Num. inscription, supposed to render those xxii. 7. Surely there is no ENCHANT who bore it in battle invulnerable. Apud MENT against Israel. xxiij. 23. And he Hickes. Thesaur. Dissertat. Epistol. went out, as at other times, to seek for EN