Oussoos/Usorus, in Eusebius and Philo of Byblos

Discuss the world of the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and Egyptians.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 684
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Location: New England, USA

Oussoos/Usorus, in Eusebius and Philo of Byblos

Post by billd89 »

Eusebius De Laudibus Constantini 13.5 "The Phœnicians deified Melcatharus, Usorus, and others - mere mortals, and with little claim to honor; the Arabians, Dusaris {=Dionysus/Bacchus} and Obodas..."

Two Questions: a) Who is Usorus? and b) Who is Dusaris? Is there any significance in Eusebius 'lumping together' these quasi-Judaic deities?

A) Here is the Greek, from Scaife:
διὸ δὴ πᾶν εἶδος εἰδεχθῶν κνωδάλων καὶ παντοίων ζώων γένη ἑρπετά τε ἰοβόλα καὶ θῆρας ἀγρίους θεοὺς προσειπεῖν οὐκ ἀπώκνησαν, Φοίνικες δὲ Μελκάθαρον καὶ Οὕσωρον καί τινας ἄλλους ἀτιμοτέρους θνητοὺς πάλιν ἄνδρας θεοὺς ἀνηγόρευσαν, ὡς καὶ παῖδες Ἀράβων Δούσαρίν τινα καὶ Ὄβοδον, καὶ οἱ Γέται τὸν Ζάμολξιν καὶ τὸν Μόψον Κίλικες, καὶ τὸν Ἀμφιάρεων Θηβαῖοι, καὶ παῤ ἑτέροις ἄλλοι πάλιν ἑτέρους, τὴν φύσιν οὐδὲν τῶν θνητῶν διαλλάττοντας αὐτὸ δὲ μόνον ἀληθῶς ἀνθρώπους.



Phoenicians 'Melkatharos and Usoros' are taken to be deified, historical men. (Obodas was a King of the Nabataeans 96-85 BC worshipped as a deity.) However, we know Melqart (=Melkarth/Melicarthus) was tutelary god of Tyre. Perhaps 'Melkatharos' (Eusebius' euhemerism) was a ruler deified in death, like Melchizedek. Baumgarten [1981] p.161 n.116 notes a problematic presumption here: Usorus = Ousous??? It should be clear Usoros = Osiris (= Adon, at Byblos), but Eusebius knew very well who Osiris was! The presumption/error is: Melqart and 'Osiris' (=Adon) were men of Tyre who became divinized. Because Eusebius (Praeparatio evangelica 1.10.37, reporting Porphyry-reporting Philo of Byblos-Sanchuniathon) identifies the two divinized brothers of Tyre, Hypsouranois (Baal-Sammin) and Oussoos.

Ὑψουράνιος and Οὔσωος Usos/Ousoos/Ousoüs Uzu/Usa???
“Τὸν Ὑψουράνιον οἰκῆσαι Τυρὸν, καλύβας τε ἐπινοῆσαι ἀπὸ καλάμων καὶ θρύων καὶ παπύρου, στασιάσαι δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀδελφὸν Οὔσωνον, ὃς τῷ σώματι ·πρῶτος ἐκ δερμάτων ὧν ἴσχυσε συλλαβεῖν θηρίων εὗρε.

Max Duncker, Evelyn Abbott, The History of Antiquity, Vol. 1 (1852/1877), p.374:
Philo further told us of the two sons of the giants, the brothers Samemrumus and Usous, at Tyre (p.354). The name Samemrumus means the High One of the Sky, a meaning which is clearly confirmed by the Greek attribute Hypsuranius. Hence Samemrumus was the god, the Baal of Tyre, Baal Melkarth. That Usous also was a god of Tyre is clear from the observation of Eusebius, that Usous, a man of little account, had been deified at Tyre beside Melicertes.

From Philo of Byblos (Sanchuniathon), we can reasonably reconstruct that Baal-Shammin is Samemrumus; Baal Melkarth is the Lord of Tyre; Herakles-Astrochiton Is the Celestial Melqart; Eshmun is associated w/ Apollo-Helios.

First Power: Father ............................. Ouranos ('Thoth/Hermes') ........................ El Elyon
Second Power: First Son ....................... Kronos/El ............................................ El Olam/El Shaddai = Yahweh
Third Power: Second Son ...................... Herakles-Astrochiton: Celestial Melqart ........ Adamas/Adam Kadmon
Fourth Power: Manifest Reality, etc. ........ Helios: The Charioteer of the Sun ............... Melchizedek/Moses, etc.
Fifth Power: ..................................... Priest ................................................. Aletheian Anthropos (=Divinized Man)

We can also consider how Philo Judaeus (c.25 AD) explained the Kronos lineage based on older concepts:

1. Baalshamin/Ouranos (El #1) ................. Kronos #1
2. El-Kronos (El #2) ............................... Kronos #2, assisted by Phoenician Taauthos/ Egyptian Thoth
3. Zeus Demarus/Baal-Tamar ................... Kronos #3?

Eusebius in Praeparatio Evangelica § 1.10.10 explains
Again, the {Phoenician} historian adds to this, after other matters: "But Astarte (the greatest goddess), and Zeus Demarus, and Adodus 'king of gods', reigned over the country with the consent of Kronos."

x. Ouranos (El #1) ................................ Kronos #1
1. El-Kronos (El #2) ............................... Kronos #2, assisted by Phoenician Taauthos/ Egyptian Thoth
2. Zeus Demarus .................................. 'Zeus' >>>>>>> [Baal-Tamar + Astarte] = [Zeus of Kasios + Astarte Palaistine]
3. Eshmun/Horus-Apollon ....................... 'Son of Zeus'

Ushu (=Palaetyros; Uzu, Usa, etc.) was a principality beside Tyre. King Usous was an euhemerized god with Thoth-like characteristics, and (like Seth) he erected stele monuments; the wood-product/commodity/tithe was known as 'Ushu' in Egypt. According to the myth, there were two primeval brothers – Shamenrum/Baal Shammin and Usoos (??) – living on the seashore who separated after a fight. Usoos took a tree trunk and was the first to sail upon the sea. He landed on an island and consecrated two columns there, one to Fire and the other to Wind, thus founding Tyre (called Ushu in Egypt). In Egypt, Ushu-wood is Lebanese cedar. Ushu was probably a first a wood-god, a forest deity (recalling Adon/Eshmun: the Young God), then a trade-symbol and complex deity. Palaetyros is the fortified city of Tyre (Joshua 19:29: the Usu'a of Tyre): the Melqart of Tyre was 'Herakles' represented by twin pillars (Herodotus, 2.44). From Tyre came the cult of Resheph-Melqart (~Seth); Qadeš was perhaps the Young God as a warrior. Herakles-Palaemon was both the Wrestler-Grappler, the younger brother, and the Child Sea-God: a possible Phoenician origin of the Young God at Pelusion, 'Horus of Kasios'.

Was Ishai/Usho Ishaa or Ioshaa, Ushu-Aa (~Jesus?), as Willis Brewer would have it? I have no idea. But Shu was an Egyptian Wind god, associated w/ Yahweh in the Sinai, and the exceeding close connection to Phoenician Tyre is well-established for a thousand years before Christ. By this I mean 'Usous' (Greek) is Ushu, which may go back to Hittite words like ishiul 'contract' ishiya 'binding/clothing', etc. There is a concept of 'Contract' or Tithing under words associated w/ Ushu. Eshmun is also relevant. Again, Brewer supposed 'Jesse' or Ishai may be Esh-i or 'Fires', great fear of the forest-people; this is dubious speculation I think. But since we have no good information about this Phoenician god, 'Ousoos' (a Sailor-god of wooden boats? record-keeper of merchant traders?), the mystery endures.

B) ... Dusaris = Dusares, Dushārā. In Roman Syria, the hellenized population addressed the Nabatean god Dusares as 'Dionysus'. c.215 BC, Ptolemy IV. Philopator supposedly tried to force (some) Egyptian Jews to worship Dionysus (3 Maccabbees 2:29), the Young God.
Posts: 2270
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Oussoos/Usorus, in Eusebius and Philo of Byblos

Post by andrewcriddle »

Wiki on Dushara (equals Dusaris).

Andrew Criddle
User avatar
Posts: 684
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Location: New England, USA

Re: Oussoos = Du'uzu = Dushara

Post by billd89 »

Ushu (=Palaetyros; Uzu, Usa, etc.) was Old Tyre, the mainland settlement from distant pre-history which was the export site for the forest production of wood (known therefore as 'Uzu' in Egypt).

See Cheyne's Encyclopædia Biblica: Q to Z [1903], pp.4894-5:
Originally and properly Du'uzu or Dumuzu, is the spirit or god of the spring vegetation; also, by a natural sequence, he is the Lord, and his sister Bilili (see BELIAL, §2) is the lady, of the underworld, the region of growth, though also the place of the dead.” But it was not possible to keep this conception in its purity; it was natural to identify the vegetation spirit with the sun, and to treat Du'uzu as a manifestation of the solar deity (Ninib). For the drama of the sun is similar to that of plant-life; after the summer solstice the sun seems gradually to lose its strength, and at length to die, till at the winter solstice it is born again. Originally too, the Du'uzu story was distinct from the Adonis and the Osiris stories; but at an early date the distinction was forgotten (ADONIS, §2). The identity of Tammuz and Adonis is asserted by Jerome and other Fathers (see ASHTORETH, §2, with n.3).

According to Robertson Smith the wailing for Tammuz was not originally connected with the death of vegetation, but was a ceremony of mourning for some sacrificial victim. [...] Later, a different explanation was sought for the wailing — one more in harmony with advancing civilisation — and the rite was projected into the myth of the death of Tammuz. Robertson Smith also thinks that the yearly mourning for Tammuz-Adonis is the closest parallel in form to the humiliation of the Hebrew Day of Atonement (Rel. Sem.(2), 411, cp 414).

To this view G.A. Barton (Sem, Or. 11) assents. The story of Adapa, however (KB61, p.97; cp Jastrow, Rel. Bab. Ass. 549), discloses an earlier form of the Tammuz-myth according to which Tammuz did not go into the death-world on leaving the earth, but ascended to the gate of Anu, where he was stationed ('as door-keeper ') with another solar god or vegetation god called Gišzrida. According to Jensen (TL2, 1896, col. 70) another ancient belief made Tammuz, the god of vernal vegetation, the son of Abzu (the primæval ocean). Certainly Gudea' (about 3000 BC) mentions Tamūzi-abzu (zuaba), i.l., Tammūz of the ocean, beside Ningišzida (identical with Gešzida, mentioned above); compare, however, Jastrow (KBA 96), who deprecates fusing the two Tammuz deities, and Barton (Sem. Or. 211/.), who makes this deity a goddess.

We now turn to the single express reference to Tammuz in the MT. It occurs in the description of heathen rites practised in the temple, which Ezekiel in his captivity professes to have seen when in the ecstatic state. these rites — according to Toy's explanation of chap.8 comes (perhaps) an Asherah-image (7.5). Next, the secret worship of reptiles and beasts, probably forms of old - Israelitish worship (v.10). Next, the women weeping for Tammuz (7.14). Next, twenty-five men worshipping the sun in the east (v.16). The last form of heathenism (as most explain v.17) is not recognised as such by Toy, but we have to mention it here for completeness ; it is 'stretching out the branch to the nose'. According to Toy, the sun-worship of the Jews was probably borrowed from Assyria, so that Tammuz-worship and sun-worship would naturally be mentioned together.

The connection of Tammuz with the Branch is suggestive but indefinite.
8:17. "branch to the nose." There is an Akkadian expression (laban appi) that refers to a gesture of humility used to come contritely before deity with a petition. When this act is portrayed in art, the worshiper has his hand positioned in front of his nose and mouth, and is sometimes shown with a short cylindrical object in his hand. From the Sumerian tale called Gilgamesh in the Land of the Living there is some evidence that what is held is a small branch cut off a living tree. This would suggest that in Ezekiel the people are putting on a show of humility. It must be admitted, however, that these connections are very hazy and the significance may lie somewhere else entirely.

Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. 2000. The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed.) InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL

More to the point, where we will begin to see 'Ousoos' as a 'Child-God Protecting Sailors', see Albert I. Baumgarten, The Phoenician History of Philo of Byblos: A Commentary [1981], p.161:
Ousoos is also now identified as a section of Tyre, called Uzu in Egyptian and Babylonian documents. Uzu is the section the Greeks called Palaityros or Old Tyre, the mainland coast facing the island city. Once again, if place names are feminine in Phoenician, Philo's statement of the feminine origin of the names will be confirmed; and perhaps Philo's male Samemroumos and Ousoos are the Baals of places bearing those names (in Sidon and Tyre respectively, one would assume).

If Oussuz/Usus/etc. was a deity of Tyre (as stated), then a variant of the Byblos Adon myth becomes obvious: the vegetative god Du'uzu/Dumuzu/Dumuzi/Dumu-zi/Dumuzid is Tammuz (زو ُّمَت תַּמּוּז), the beautiful shepherd slain on the mountain by the wild boar. Jews recorded this god in Ezekiel 8:14. But is Du'uzu also a god whose name means "the Son who Rises", the Corn-god and Pomegranate-god? Then moreover 'Oussoos' definitely corresponds to the Young God of Pelusion — 'Horus of Kasios' who holds the pomegranate. In the Egyptian Delta among Phoenicians, that god was still worshipped as Eshmun c.550 BC. An older syncretized form among coastal trading communities may be Baal Malage (Lord of Sailors), however that translated; the priest of Ieoud wouldn't call it 'Baal-' in any case.

Eusebius found this cryptic god 'Ousoos' in Porphyry (c.280 AD) transcribing Philo of Byblos (c.125 BC) using recorded myth 400-150 BC, although 500 years later and hundreds of miles south the same god might have had a very different name. Are there other hints? The Star of Venus connects connects Du'uzu-Adon and Dushara.

P.A.L. Chapman-Rietschi, "Venus as the Star of Bethlehem" in The quarterly journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1996) 37, pp.843-844:
The hypothesis of Venus as the star of Bethlehem was later favoured by Sir James G. Frazer (1906) and J. Noiville (1928). Frazer's assertion is based on two pieces of evidence: (1) a statement of Jerome, the erudite Christian Latin writer, who became secretary of Pope Damasus (366-384); and (2) a report referring to a bright star at the time of the festival of Adonis in Antioch. [...] Frazer thinks that it may have already existed in Bethlehem at the time of the appearance of the star of the Magi, especially when we recall that Adonis is analogous to Tammuz, the god who died each winter and was reborn each spring. Relevant, too, is the fact that Tammuz was called DU-MUZI by the Sumerians. Astrally, DU-MUZI was brought into connection with Aries and the Moon (Papke 1989). Venus - that is, Inana of the Sumerians, Ishtar of the Babylonians, and Aphrodite of the Greeks - figured, too. Planet-wise, Venus was sacred to Astarte, the divine mistress of Adonis. Furthermore, Astarte was thought to be a meteor, which prompted Frazer to conclude that the appearance of Venus as Morning Star might have been the signal for the Adonis festival at Antioch. Although Cumont (1932) thinks the event was signalled by Sirius, the citing of a meteor by Frazer is significant in regard to Jesus' birth. A meteor not only flashes up and trails in the night sky, but is also the kind of new star that the Magi saw in the east (Origen, Contra Celsum 1:58; Chapman-Rietschi 1995).

Turning now to Noiville. In a little-known paper, Noiville (1928) asserts that the Morning Star was the 'star of Bethlehem', and that it characterized Dushara (Greek Dusares), the Nabataean god, who was revered in the form of a quadrangular, aniconic black stone. The main seat of Dushara's cult was in Petra (Greek 'rock'), about 80 km south of the Dead Sea. The cult focused on Chaamu - that is, Kore, or virgin, and her child Dushara, "only son of the Lord", according to Epiphanius (Panarion II, Anacephalaeosis IV: 51 (respectively 31), 22, u). Although the birth of Dushara was celebrated on December 25 (Ihm 1905), Epiphanius relates the births of Dushara and Jesus of Nazareth to the festival of Kore at Alexandria, which took place on the eve of the 11th of the Egyptian month Tybi (January 6 Julian). The same date also commemorates the star of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the act of transforming water into wine."

Josephus tells us of the Sethians in the Syriad (Sethrum), an area which venerated Hellenistic Horus Kasios - Greek and Semitic - in 200 BC and Eshmun (Phoenician) 550 BC. The Gnostic 'Yesseus, Sacrifice of the Righteous Jessaean' (a founder/angel in a Judeo-Egyptian baptist cult c.150 BC?) relates directly to key sacraments of Dushara and Du'uzu-Adon. Are there other sources for the deities in the (Judaic) pantheon of these mysterious heretics, the Jessaeans?

Zeus Kasios/Jupiter Cassius neatly corresponds to the Jews' '(Baal-) Rimmon'. Was Rimmon the Young God w/ Baal's Pomegranate? This version of Horus-Kasios/'Apollon' (Young God) of Pelusium was discovered at Gaza in 2013, in the sea:

User avatar
Posts: 684
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Location: New England, USA

Bunsen's analysis of Usou/Usôus = Esau in OT

Post by billd89 »

This is the best analysis of Ousoos (Usôus) that I've found online; it's obviously dated, and many of Bunsen's other conclusions are quite wrong. However, his philology and argumentation seem correct with regards to this Usôus character. Elsewhere, he explains that he came to the 'Egyptian question' c.1813 and began intensely studying this material in 1838. His work was completed in 1855, nearly two decades later (this is the last volume in the set.)

I translated this from German, there exists a mediocre English translation (starting at p.207) which I've augmented. For clarity, consistency & simplicity, I've also edited the names of Gods, places, etc. to our most current common variation; some 19th C. translations were strange, peculiar.

My own working conclusion is this: Uzu was something like the god of the place, profession of the leading family, and/or clan of the wilder side of Tyre, etc. Theirs was a staging-area or business-center for timber-export c.1000 BC. Semite commodity dealers were here, as an important Proto-Judaic marine community long attached to Egyptian trade. Variants of the mythic name further suggest frontiersman, fighter. Usôus may be associated with the Cruel God (Typhon/Set = Samael, Satan, Old Serpent, Wild Boar), but also combined with Thothic elements of literacy, record-keeping and even contract-resolution. 'Pillars' were perhaps proof and reference for elite (primitive) accountants or delivery managers, when literacy was rare.

We know Esau is a minor character in the OT, but there are a few additional Biblical points of correspondence. There's something here, certainly. Usôus as 'Herakles-Israel' is most intriguing -and perhaps correct- but not fully demonstrated (to me). Unfortunately, the tacit question of Usôus as Yesseus or Jessaeus (Sethian Founder/intermediary angel) is neither confirmed nor disproven (simply unmentioned); however, this deity's features do suggest the Young God of Kasios (Baal-Rimmon?) and a 'Righteous Judge.' Simple conclusion: 'Ousoos' (divinized man of Tyre) may be the origin or prototype for 'Yesseus' (divinized man of the Sethrum) but more evidence is needed.

Christian Carl Josias Bunsen's Aegyptens Stelle in der Weltgeschichte Vol.5 [1857], pp388-
{p.288} [...] With the two scions of the holy mountains we arrive at the most intricate and at the same time most attractive point {p.289} in the descriptions of Sanchuniathon. By itself, the name of one of the brothers, Samin-rum {=Baalshamin}, reminds us that here we have entered a sublime area approaching the true lineage of gods worshipped by the Phoenician people. But our sympathies will be raised higher still when we are convinced ‘the Highest Celestial’ (agreeably with all known analogies which F.K. Movers {Die Phönizier [1841?]} has compiled with great erudition) can only be, according to Semitic mythology and planetarily-speaking, Saturn: the highest of planetary stars. Otherwise, or cosmogonically-speaking, this is the revealing god: Graeco-Phoenician Herakles. His brother Usôus must have been, moreover, Phoenician Usou (i.e. Esau =ʿÊsâv the rough/shaggy [Sē'hir, Ἠσαῦ]), with a dialectical difference of pronunciation. If we add to this what we know from Philo's unimpeachable testimony, that this Herakles was called ‘Israel’ by the Phoenicians (i.e. God’s Warrior, Struggler with God), then we may deduce important and interesting results. First, the whole idea of Herakles as Saturn, ‘the Lord’, gains greater clarity. But next, the obvious must strike us: two brothers in the Bible, Jacob and Edom (the Red), progenitors of the Jews and Edomites, are also and at the same time called ‘Israel’ and ‘Esau’. But then how does this echo what Philo gives as their history, and what we have only alluded to above?

Philo’s text thus reads:
"They (the two brothers: Usous/Memrumus and Hypsuranios) made a business of their mothers’ shamelessness, for women of that period gave themselves to any man they encountered. Then Hypsuranios organized Tyre, and invented the art of building huts from cane-reed {p.290:} and rushes and papyrus. 31) He fought against Usôus, who first invented clothing from skins of animals he slew. Devastating rains and storms caused trees at Tyre to rub against each other and catch fire, thereby burning the local forest. Usôus took a tree, stripped it of its boughs and was the first to launch a ship. He erected two pillars to Fire and Wind (Pneuma), then prostrated himself, offering them the blood of wild beasts he had caught.

Now when they (i.e. the two brothers) died, they {their progeny?} consecrated rods to them, and worshipped the pillars, and celebrated an annual festival in their honor.”

It might seem here as though nothing more absurd and incoherent was ever told in any fairy-tale. Yet these are Philo's own words, not an abridgement. How could such a parody have arisen from a cosmogonical tradition, truly and without actual fiction? Here, we have to look a bit deeper to get a clue. For this purpose, we give a synopsis of the Saturn Myth (as far as the question before us is affected by it.

31) F.K. Movers, singularly enough, considers the mention of ‘papyrus’ to be proof that Philo falsified Phoenician records by using Egyptian (Hermetic) books. Papyrus grows just as well on the Jordan and in Sicily as northern Egypt, and ‘Byblos’ (Greek name for the famous Phoenician city, actually called ‘Gebal’ = mountain) is its common word. Indeed, the whole assumption no longer squares with Mover's developed system; it is only a residue of the one-sided conception of Philo’s work formed when Movers was quite young.

p.291: In any case, we cannot agree with Movers, who equates the Babylonians’ Bel with Phoenician El. There are no grounds for supposing this Babylonian name was used by Phoenicians for Saturn. But they had a corresponding god, and it is necessary to compare parallel traditions to get a clearer understanding of the general ideas of western Ur-Asia.

I. The most prominent name here is Set or Seth. It must be the oldest authentic name of this God: according to Rawlinson, Set occurs in cuneiform inscriptions, but its meaning is clear from what we know from other sources. No further proof is required that Set-Typhon corresponds to Saturn in the Osiris cycle. Sôthis, later the star sacred to Isis, Sôthis (Sirius or the Dog Star) bears the same name. Lastly, it should be sufficient to suggest here what shall be proven elsewhere: that we find this primitive name for God indicated in the series of Patriarchs, where Set-Seth is father of Enoch, i.e. of Man (synonymous with Adam). Yet we see at once the planetary system, though old, nevertheless (in its Babylonian development) indicates no point of contact with the God-consciousness of Phoenicians or other Semites, still less with Egyptians. ‘Set’ is common to all, but his conception as Saturn is not so old as his identity with the Sun-God, as Sirius (Sôthis), because the Sun’s highest power occurs when the Sun is in Sirius. It would be advisable, moreover, in reference to the name of Set, {p.292:} to bear in mind that the word ‘Set’ in Hebrew as well as Egyptian means ‘pillar’, and in a general sense: ‘erect’, ‘elevated’, or ‘high’.

II. Kion or Keïvan* is the God whom, according to testimony of the Prophet Amos (5:26), the Israelites worshipped instead of Jehovah during the forty years in the wilderness. The remarkable words are as follows:

“But you have brought along the Sukkōt (tent) of your king (Moloch, Melekh) and the pillar (the erected Kion) of your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves 32).

However one chooses to read ‘Kion’, whether as equivalent to ‘tabernacle’ (in the sense of kun: to erect) and ‘star’, or as a proper name (corresponding to the Chaldean name for Saturn, Keïvan, which simultaneously means ‘the Righteous’), it is quite certain from Amos’ testimony that the Israelites worshipped the God of the Pillar, equated with Saturn: highest of the planets 33). The Arabs and even the Persians have this same name: the ordinary word for ‘planet’ in Arabic is zahal: but also ‘Kion’ is just as Semitic

32) Movers (p. 292) offers the conjecture that Kion, in the sense of ‘pillar,’ is the origin of the Greek word κιών, which has the same meaning: just like Sukkot = tent, sanctuary; onkos as chapel. However, both words are very isolated in Greek, and have in it a fine admissible etymology. Also, the Sanskrit which Bohlen has so grossly misused cannot help here. {See also where C. de Moor translates, “But you carry around the stele of your king / and the pedestal of your statues” (in UF 27 [1995], pp.9-12)}.
33) On Kion, compare Movers p. 289 ff. The LXX used another text of this passage or altered it, reading Raiphan/Remphan, as an Egyptian God; but there is no more authority for such a name than there is for the reading.

* Kion = Kiyyun Kayvân Kēwān Kiun Chiun Kiyun Khun Kiyyûn Koun Kun Kon Kaiwan Keiwan Keyvan Kayvon Keivan Kaywan Keywan Kavon Kevan Kaevon etc.

{p.293:} as Keïvan and Set, and not Zend. As late as St. Ephraim day, in the 4th C. AD, the child-eater Keïvan still had worshippers in Syria.

III Derived from the same root, and perhaps the same word, is Kon, which Movers first proved to be the Phoenician designation of Saturn, in the sense of the Orderer, Establisher, Institutor of the Law of the Universe. It also seems to be contained in several Babylonian royal names which have come down to us, though Rawlinson does not give it among those he reads with certainty.

IV. In the Book of Enoch Yekun is the chief of the Fallen Angels. Yakin, which might also come from the same root, is the name of one of the two free-standing pillars (=Jachin and Boaz) which Solomon had Hiram's Phoenician builders erect in the forecourt of his temple at Jerusalem (1 Kings 7:21, compare 2 Chronicles 3:17). Movers explains Jachin as ‘the firm,’ ‘erect’; Boaz is ‘the moving,’ ‘advancing.’ In any case, it is very remarkable the great Zeus-Bel was represented in Babylon as erect and striding forward, according to Diodorus 34).

V. The Phoenician 'Pillars of Herakles' are called Hamunim, which may compare to Hebrew Amôn, ‘pillar’, and Sanchuniathon's Ammunea, pillars with ancient sacred writing in Phoenician temples to the gods. Here we must suppose a pointed and detached column, with a capital on the top 35). Movers has shown {p.294:} the probability of the former representing Usou-Mars, the latter as Kon-Hypsuranios. They probably figured in legends of the celestial 'Pillars of Atlas' in the far west, and those of Herakles near Cadiz.

Whatever Philo discovered about the columns dedicated (according to his misapprehensions) not 'to Usou' but rather 'by Usou, to his brother' Hypsuranios cannot be established with certainty. But it is certain, however, the pillars under which Hypsuranios-Herakles (Israel) and Usou-Ares were worshipped were named after them.

Other traits are clearer, despite the travesty. The imputation that they made their mothers do a shameful business (i.e. whoring) is merely a parody of the Mylitta festivals connected with Baal- or Moloch-worship, where women, as slaves of the Goddess, were obliged to ransom themselves (free themselves from the sacrificial death), by prostitution. Almost all the prophets down to Jeremiah complain this service was carried out upon the mountains by Jews.

The ancients expressly attributed the foundation of Tyre and invention of navigation to ‘Herakles’, who was worshipped at the two pillars on the island of Tyre.36).

The tale about the fire, lastly, is a misapprehension of the annual spring festival described by Lucian and others, the ‘Pyre-‘ or ‘Torch Festival’ instituted by the Tyrians in honour of the greatest Gods 37). Lucian states:

" On this occasion the Tyrians perform the following sacrifice. …

36) Nonnus Dionys. XL, 443, in Movers p.394.
37) Lucianus, Dea Syra, p. 49. Movers loc. cit.

p.295: “They chop down tall trees and erect them in the temple courts. Then they bring goats sheep and and other sacrificial animals which they hang alive upon the trees. To these they add birds, garments and statues of gold and silver. After these preparations, they carry the gods around the trees, and the pyre is set fire; in a moment all is ablaze. At this festival a great multitude flocks from Syria and all neighbouring countries.”

Putting all this together, we are justified coming to the conclusion that Phoenicians viewed the concept of the old primeval god in two opposite characters: (Saminrum) as ‘Preserver’ and (Usou) as ‘Destroyer’, or Herakles and Ares. The ‘Destroyer’ is the vanquished, banished brother - therefore, probably the elder. This contrast pervades the whole Phoenician mythology. Eusebius 38) mentions Usôus together with Melikarthos (Melkarth), Patron of Carthage, as examples of the deification of mortals deserving of little respect. 'Melikarthos' is unquestionably the Melikertes of the Greeks, who is conflated with the oldest legends:,the son of Athamas and Ino, the paternal brother of Helle and Phryxus. Yet the origin of the myth is ideal, not historical. Later, Sanchuniathon expressly calls Melikarthos ‘Herakles’.

The Phoenician Herakles himself wrestled with Typhon (the Sun ..."

38) De Laudibus Constantini, c.13. Movers (p. 395.) has corrected the common reading Οὒσωρος (Usoros) and Mελκάνθαρον (Melkantharon) instead of Μελίκαρθον (Melikarthon).

{p.296:} “(at the meridian) in the sand, like Jacob-Israel with Elohim in the dust. Like Isaac's son, Herakles was injured at the hip during this wrestling: and, like Jacob, received the name of ‘Palaimon’: the Wrestler. Usou is a hunter, like rugged Esau, and wore rough animal skins; in both stories the elder brother separates from the younger. Acrisius, the Phrygian Saturn 39),wrestles his twin brother Prætus in his mother's womb, as Jacob did with Esau. In early times, Esau was also interpreted by the Jews as Samael, Satan, Old Serpent, Wild Boar.40) There was a similar contest, not only between Osiris and Set-Typhon (brothers, sons of Kronos), but also in the meaningful Phoenician myth of Pygmalion and Sichæus. Neither of these words makes any claim to be Greek, both are purely Phoenician. The slain signifies ‘the Pure’ (Zakkai [Sichæus]), and therefore Movers' interpretation of Pygmalion is probable: namely, Pu'me-Elyon, ‘Slayer of the Most High’.

Concerning Egypt, it should be especially noted that the contest between Hypsuranios and Usou, as Wind (Ruah) and Fire, is exactly like that of Set-Typhon (burning, parching heat) and Osiris (invigorating solar-heat).

One of the pillars in the Tyrian temple of Herakles shone by day,

39) Hesychius s.v. historically transformed Herodotus I,34. See Movers, p.398. Atys, whom (according to him) Adrastus killed on the boar-hunt, is also called Agathon, ‘the Good One’, killed over a quail.
40) The evidence in Movers, p.397 ff., cf. p.430 ff. and p.538.

{p.297:} the other by night; upon an altar of Herakles-Buzygos at Rhodes, one of the two sacrificial bulls was sacrificed under imprecations, probably to Adonis, God of Spring; as the ass or dog was to Typhon 41).

Tyrian Herakles is the same as Molech the King, Moloch/Baal, ‘Malakbel’ as he is called 42) on coins. At Cadiz or Tyre, no statues were erected to him, but he was worshipped in the latter with eternal fire which illuminated the temple by night, in the reflection from the smaragdus (=emerald tablet). Dogs were sacrificed to him, as well as to Hekate and Melékhet-Artemis 43). In Babylonia, their neck or backbone (Isaiah 64:3.), as well as that of the first-born of the ass, were, according to the Law of Moses (Exodus 13:13., 34:20.) 44), if unredeemed, broken in honor of the Lord. The main sacrifices offered to Herakles-Usou (as well as to his mythical companion Melékhet-Artemis) were human beings. In Phoenician Laodicea, they might be ransomed by a doe, as Diana accepted that animal instead of Iphigenia. The wild boar was also sacred to the same Goddess. In like manner another Artemis {Aphrodite Aphakitis} caused the delicate Vernal Adon to be slain by a boar, instead of by Ares typically. At Carthage, the practice of child-sacrificing their favourite children, and those of the highest rank, in honor of Herakles, continued down to their latest wars. The Grecian Herakles, become insane, burns his own children as well as those of his twin-brother Iphicles, and murders his guest {p.298:} Iphitus. But in Asia the ruthless God sometimes also required this hideous sacrifice. In Amathus, Malika (Moloch), ‘the iniquitous Zeus,’ sarcastically called ‘Jupiter Hospes’, had his bloody altar in front of the Temple of Adonis (Lord) and Baaltis (Queen); so likewise the Arabian Saturn, whom Nonnus compares with the Syrian God.45) These sacrifices were offered on occasions of great misfortune, but otherwise regularly when there was excessive heat.

If we sum up all these particulars, we shall find that Philo's account, which seemed so ludicrous, not only becomes intelligible, but we can also understand how an isolated trait in the fable of the two brothers, so full of meaning, may have played into the history of the Jewish Patriarchs. The simple meaning was originally only this: that Jacob, the pious, quiet, God-trusting, and God-seeing grandson of Abraham, is spiritually the true ‘'God-fighter’ (Yisraêl). Thus, the epithet ‘of Edom’, for fierce untamable Usou, explains itself. Lastly, we can understand how Set-Seth, Western Asia’s oldest mythological type, is found in Egypt, in precisely the same known form; and that traces of its former divine meaning are still extant in the name of Enoch’s father.

It now only remains for us to elucidate more accurately our cosmogonic description of the Hunter and the Fisherman. Among the late descendants of Hypsuranios and Usôus are thus listed: {p.299:}

Halieus and Agrieus,

the Fisherman and the Hunter, with whose names we have already identified Phoenician words .

Zayad and Zidon.

Neither of them has any meaning but primitive Sidonian, the eponym of Sidon, Zidon. The root zud signifies both hunting (zayad) as well as fishing: from the former comes hunting; from the latter zidon, fishing (zidon). Here, therefore, both meanings are placed side by side, as a double-eponym. It may also imply fishing and hunting were the earliest pursuits. Therefore, the sense is this: from Hypsuranios, the victorious God, was created Man, the primeval Sidonian, as a hunter and fisherman, i.e. in forests by the sea-shore (as Phoenicia had, or as assumed). This was a very natural idea, inasmuch as Man was supposed to have risen out of the sea provided with fishing-boats, as the Maltese still believe at present 46).

46) I am indebted for this information to my late friend, Mr. John Hookham Frere, friend of Canning and British Envoy at Madrid, a man justly famous for sense of humor (like Aristophanes and Foote). He was told by a credible Maltese scholar that the Maltese, when speaking openly about religious matters, used to say as follows: "Everybody knows Adam was the First Man; but we alone know that he possessed fishing-boats.” This can only be a Phoenician memory.

On the interpretation of Herakles ‘Palaimon’ (the Wrestler) as Baʿal Ḥammon, Melqart = Melicertes, and Herakles was certainly associated with Baal, see McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia (LINK):
Hercules (῾Ηρακλῆς) is mentioned in 2 Macc. 4:19 as the Tyrian god to whom the Jewish high-priest Jason sent a religious embassy (θεωροί), with the offering of 300 drachmae of silver. That this Tyrian Hercules (Herod. 2.44) is the same as the Tyrian Baal is evident from a bilingual Phoenician inscription found at Malta (described by Gesenius, Monum. Ling. Phaen. 1.96), in which the Phoenician words, "To our Lord, to Melkarth, the Baal of Tyre," are represented by the Greek ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙ ΑΡΧΗΓΕΤΕΙ {Herakles the Founder}. Moreover, Herakles and Astarte are mentioned together by Josephus (Ant. 8.5.3), just in the same manner as Baal and Ashtoreth are in the Old Testament. The further identity of this Tyrian Baal with the Baal whom the idolatrous Israelites worshipped is evinced by the following arguments, as stated chiefly by Movers (Die Phonicier, 1, 178).

Another idea, LINK.
The name Palaimon, however, is also quite similar to the name of the Phoenician hypostasis of Melqart: Baal-Hamon. Possible confirmation for this idea could be found in Melicertes’ brother’s name Learchus, “leader of the people,” which is one of the suggested meanings for Baal Hamon’s name. Learchus then would serve essentially as a doublet of Melicertes. See Astrour (1967), p.210.

Post Reply