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On the northern coast of Yucatan there is a seaport called to-day Zilan, near which are to be seen the extensive ruins of the ancient city of Dilan (Dzilan). Is it not possible that the founders of the seaport in Canaan gave it the name of Tzidon in remembrance of that of the seaport in Mayach, and that Tzidon is either a dialectical pronunciation or a corruption of Dzilan ?
The city that vied in importance with Tzidon, and at last obtained the supremacy, was Tzur, "the strong city," the Tyrus of the Greeks and of the Latins. The philologists translate the name "rock," and historians affirm that the founder gave it to the city because it was built on a rocky island about half a mile from the shore. Tzub is the Maya for "promontory," and Tzucub is a "province.'
The principal god worshipped by the Phoenicians was the sun, under the name of Baal or Bel, which we are told meant "lord," "chief." This is exactly one of the meanings of the word Baal (in Maya). As for Bel, it is in Maya the "road," the "origin."
Astarte, or Ishtar, was the goddess of love of the Phoenicians, the Chaldeans, Assyrians, etc., as Venus was of the Romans, and Aphrodite of the Greeks. Her cult was celebrated with great pomp in Babylon and in Nineveh. Her name in Maya would be Ixtal or Ixtac, a word composed of two Maya primitives-the feminine pronoun ix, “she,” and the verb tal or tac, "to feel the desire to do something cor
1 Rabbah would read in Maya Labal, the meaning of which is "to become old," 99 66 to age."
2 Joshua, chap. xix., verse 29. Jeremiah, chap. xxv., verse 22.
José de Acosta, Historia Natural y Moral de las Indias, 1590.
poreal;" as, for instance, tac in uenel, “I want to sleep." Ixtal or Ixtac, or Ishtar, would therefore mean "she who wishes to satisfy a corporeal desire, inclination, or want." What name more appropriate for the goddess of love and lust! Moloch was another god of the Phoenicians, to whom offerings of human victims were made by enclosing them alive in a bronze statue representing him. This being heated to red heat, the bodies were consumed,1 and were said, by the priests, to have served as food for the god who had devoured them.2
Moloch is another descriptive name composed of two Maya primitives—mol, to gather, and och or ooch, food, provisions, provender. Do not these sacrifices to Moloch of human victims burned alive vividly recall those made by the Itzaes of Peten to Hobo the destroyer, in which a human victim was burned alive amidst dances and songs?3
Neighbors to the Phoenicians, on the north, were the powerful Khati, who dwelt in the valley of the Orontes. Their origin is still a matter of speculation for ethnologists, and so is also their name for philologists. They made themselves famous on account of their terrible wars with the Assyrians and the Egyptians. Placed between these two nations, they opposed either, and proved tenacious and redoubtable adversaries to both. All historians agree that the Khati, up to the time when they were vanquished by Rameses the Great, always placed obstacles in the way of conquest by these nations, and at all times sallied forth in battle array to meet them and prevent their passage through their territories. Was it from
'Leviticus, chap. xviii., verse 21.
John Kenrick, Phænicia, p. 317.
Gustave Flaubert, Salambo, chap.
Moloch the Devourer, Diodorus Siculus, lib. xx., cap. 14. 'Cogolludo, Hist. de Yucathan, lib. ix., cap. 14.
that fact that they were called Khati? Any Maya scholar will answer, No doubt of it; since kat is a Maya verb meaning "to place obstacles across a road" or "to sally forth to impede the passage of a road"-a name most in accordance with the customs of that warlike nation.
The Khati were not warriors only; they were likewise merchants, whose capital, Carchemish, situated at the confluence of the river Chebar and the Euphrates, vied in commercial importance with Tyre and Carthage. There met traders from India and other countries.
Carchemish, the great emporium, was, as its name indicates, the place where navigators and merchants from afar congregated. This name is composed of two Maya vocablescah, "city," and chemul," navigator." Carchemish may well be a dialectical pronunciation of Cahchemul, the 'port," the "place of navigators," hence of merchants.
Katish was the sacred city of the Khati, where they were wont to worship in a temple dedicated to Set, or Sut, their principal god. Set was the brother of Osiris, and his murderer. His name is a cognate word of ze (Maya), "to ill-treat with blows." In that place sacrifices were offered, and religious ceremonies particularly performed, as its name indicates. We have just said that cah is the Maya for “ city or "village." Tich is a peculiar ceremony practised by the Mayas from the remotest antiquity, and still observed by their descendants. It consists in making offerings, called u-kanilcol, "the crop is ripe," to the Yumil Kaax, the "lord of the fields," of the primitia of all crops before beginning the harvest. In another work I have described the ceremony.
1 Pedro Beltran, Arte del Idioma Maya. Pio Perez, Maya dictionary. A. Le Plongeon, Monuments of Mayach, etc.