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These words belong to the Maya tongue, although we are told they are Chaldee and used by Chaldean magicians.
Hax, in Maya, is a small cord or twine twisted by hand; that is to say, on the spur of the moment, in a hurry. Such cord would naturally be used to make a ligature to stop the circulation of the blood in the wounded limb, to prevent the rabid virus from entering into it. This ligature is still made use of in our day by the aborigines of Yucatan in case of any one being bitten by a snake or other venomous animal.
Pax is a Maya verb of the third conjugation, the meaning of which is to play on a musical instrument.
The action of music on the nervous system of animals, of man particularly, was well known of the ancients. They had recourse to harmonious sounds to calm the fury of those afflicted with insanity. We read in the Bible: 1" And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and the evil spirit departed from him." We are aware that music can excite all passions in man or appease them when aroused. Martial sounds inflame in the breast of warriors homicidal rage, and they rush blindly to combat and slay one another without cause or provocation. Patriotic hymns sustain the courage of the victims of political parties,
even in the face of death. Soft and sweet melodies soothe the evil passions, predisposing the mind to peace, quietude, and meditation. Religious strains excite ecstasy, when the mind. sees visions of heavenly things, and the enthusiasts become convinced that they hold communion with celestial beings, whoever or whatever these may be, and imagine they act under divine impulse.
The thaumaturgi of old were well acquainted with the in11 Samuel, chap. xvi., verse 23.
fluence of music on men. In the temples of Greece and Asia they used flutes, cymbals, drums, etc., among other means, to induce in certain individuals the abnormal condition known to-day as "clairvoyance," and to develop prophetic exaltation. And Elisha said: "But now bring me a minstrel; and it came to pass when the minstrel played that the hand of the Lord came upon him.”
Pax, then, indicates that in cases of hydrophobia they had recourse to musical instruments to calm the patient and assuage his sufferings.
Max is the Maya name for a certain species of wild pepper (the Myrtus pimenta of Linnæus, the Eugenia pimenta of De Candolle). It grows spontaneously and in great abundance in the West Indies, Yucatan, Central America, in fact, throughout the tropical regions of the Western Continent. Cayenne pepper, therefore, was considered by the Chaldeans as by the Mayas an antidote to the rabic virus, and applied to the wounds, as garlic is in our day and has been from remote ages. It is a very ancient custom among the aborigines of Yucatan, when anybody is bitten by a rabid dog, to cause the victim to chew garlic, swallow the juice, and apply the pulp to the wounds made by the animal's teeth. They firmly believe that such application and internal use of the garlic surely cure hydrophobia, or any other evil consequences of the venomous virus introduced into the body by the bites of certain animals.
Resuming, hax, pax, max, simply means, make a ligature, soothe the patient by means of soft music, apply wild pepper to cauterize the wounds and counteract the effects of the poison.
Let us mention another name the etymon of which, from
12 Kings, chap. iii., verse 15. 1 Samuel, chap. x., verse 5.
the Maya, is so evident that it cannot be regarded as a mere coincidence. A hymn in the Akkadian language, an invocation to the god Asshur, the mighty god who dwells in the temple of Kharsak-kurra, "the mountain of the world, dazzling with gold, silver, and precious stones," has been translated by Professor Sayce of England.1
The name of the god and that of the temple in which he was worshipped are bright flashes that illumine the darkness surrounding the origin of these ancient nations and their civilization. In Maya the words Kharsak-kurra would have to be spelled Kal-zac-kul-la, the meaning of which is, literally, kal, "enclosure; zac, "white; "white; "kul, "to adore;" la, "eternal truth," "God;" that is, "the white enclosure where the eternal truth is worshipped." As to the name
of the god Asshur, or Axul in Maya, it means, a, "thy; xul, "end."
In all nations that have admitted the existence of a Supreme Being, He has always been regarded as the beginning and the end of all things, to which men have aspired, and do aspire, to be united after the dissolution of the physical body. This reunion with God, this Nirvana, this End, has in all ages been esteemed the greatest felicity to which the spirit can attain. Hence the name Axul, or Asshur, given to the Supreme Deity by the Assyrians and the Chaldeans.
1 Professor A. H. Sayce (translation), Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, London, vol. i., pp. 44–45; also Records of the Past, vol. xi., pp. 131-132. Also Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, p. 168; last revised translation in Les Origines de l'Histoire, vol. ii., pp. 127–128.
SOME of these Maya-speaking peoples, following the migratory instincts inherited from their early ancestors, left the banks of the Euphrates and the city of Babylon, and went forth across the Syrian desert, toward the setting sun, in search of new lands and new homes. They reached the Isthmus of Suez. Pushing their way through it, they entered the fertile valley of the Nile. Following the banks of the river, they selected a district of Nubia, where they settled, and which they named Maiu,' in remembrance of the birthplace of their people in the lands of the setting sun, whose worship they established in their newly adopted country.2
When the Maya colonists reached the valley of the Nile, the river was probably at its full, having overflowed its banks. The communications between the native settlements being then impossible except by means of boats, these must have been very numerous. What more natural than to call it the 'Henry Brugsch-Bey, History of Egypt under the Pharaohs, vol. i., p. 363; vol. ii., pp. 78–174.
2 Thoth is said to have been the first who introduced into Egypt the worship of the "Setting Sun."
"country of boats "-Chem, this being the Maya for "boat"?
Be it remembered that boats, not chariots, must have been the main means of transportation among the early Egyptians. Hence, unlike the Aryans, the Greeks, the Romans, and other nations, they did not figure the sun travelling through the heavens in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds, but sailing in the sky in a boat; nor were their dead carried to their restingplace in the West in a chariot, but in a boat.1
No doubt at the time of their arrival the waters were swarming with crocodiles, so they also naturally called the country the "place of crocodiles," Ain, which word is the name of Egypt on the monuments; and in the hieroglyphs
the tail of that animal stood for it. But Ain is the Maya for "crocodile." The tail serves as rudder to the animal; so for the initiates it symbolized, in this instance, a boat as well as a crocodile.3
"A real enigma," says Mr. Henry Brugsch, "is proposed
1 Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, vol. iii., p. 178.
Henry Brugsch-Bey, Hist. of Egypt, vol. i., p. 10.
'Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, vol. iii., p. 200.