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being emblematic of the invincible power of royalty; he does not inform us why it was selected as such an emblem, nor does Plutarch, although he also tells us that it was the symbol of royalty. Pausanias affirms that the asp was held sacred throughout Egypt, and at Omphis particularly enjoyed the greatest honor. Phylarchus states the same thing.1
Still the Egyptian sages must have had very strong motives for thus honoring this serpent and causing it to play so conspicuous a part in the mysteries of their religion. Was it perchance in commemoration of the mother country of their ancestors, beyond the sea, toward the setting sun? There the ancient rulers, after receiving the honors of apotheosis, were always represented in the monuments as serpents covered with feathers, the heads adorned with horns, and a flame instead of a crown; often, also, with simply a crown.
It is well to remember that in Egypt the cerastes, or horned snakes, were the only serpents, with the asp, that were held as sacred. Herodotus tells us that "when they die they are buried in the temple of Jupiter, to whom they are reputed sacred."
The Maya Empire comprised all the lands between the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and that of Darien, known to-day as Central America. The history of the sovereigns that had governed it, and of the principal events that had taken place in the nation, was written in well-bound books of papyrus or parchment, covered with highly ornamented wooden