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their researches in all branches of human knowledge (the power of steam and electricity not excepted). They depopulated the countries bathed by the waters of the Mediterranean; plunged the populations of Western Europe into ignorance, superstition, fanaticism; threw over them, as an intellectual mortuary pall, the black wave of barbarism that during the Middle Ages came nigh wiping out all traces of civilizationwhich was saved from total wreck by the followers of Mahomet, whose great mental and scientific attainments illumined that night of intellectual darkness as a brilliant meteor, too soon extinguished by those minions of the Church, the members of the Holy Inquisition established by Pope Lucius III. The inquisitors, imitating their worthy predecessors, the Metropolitans of Constantinople and the bishops of Alexandria, closed the academies and public schools of Cordoba, where Pope Sylvester II. and several other high dignitaries of the Church had been admitted as pupils and acquired, under the tuition of Moorish philosophers, knowledge of medicine, geography, rhetoric, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and the other sciences contained in the thousands of precious volumes that formed the superb libraries which the inquisitors wantonly destroyed, alleging St. Paul's example."
Abundant proofs of the intimate communications of the ancient Mayas with the civilized nations of Asia, Africa, and Europe are to be found among the remains of their ruined cities. Their peculiar architecture, embodying their cosmogonic and religious notions, is easily recognized in the ancient architectural monuments of India, Chaldea, Egypt, and Greece; in the great pyramid of Ghizeh, in the famed Parthenon of Athens. Although architecture is an unerring standard of the
*The Acts of the Apostles, chapter xix., verse 19.
degree of civilization reached by a people, and constitutes, therefore, an important factor in historical research; although it is as correct a test of race as is language, and more easily applied and understood, not being subject to changes, I have refrained from availing myself of it, in order not to increase the limits of the present work.
I reserve the teachings that may be gathered from the study of Maya monuments for a future occasion; restricting my observations now principally to the Memorial Hall at Chichen, dedicated to the manes of Prince Coh by his sisterwife Queen M60; and to the mausoleum, erected by her order, to contain his effigy and his cremated remains. In the first she caused to be painted, on the walls of the funeral chamber, the principal events of his and her life, just as the Egyptian kings had the events of their own lives painted on the walls of their tombs.
Language is admitted to be a most accurate guide in tracing the family relation of various peoples, even when inhabiting countries separated by vast extents of land or water. In the present instance, Maya, still spoken by thousands of human beings, and in which the inscriptions sculptured on the walls of the temples and palaces in the ruined cities of Yucatan are written, as are also the few books of the ancient Maya sages that have come to our hands, will be the thread of Ariadne that will guide us in following the tracks of the colonists from Mayach in their peregrinations. In every locality where their name is found, there also we meet with their language, their religious and cosmogonic notions, their traditions, customs, architecture, and a host of other indications of their presence and permanency, and of the influence they have exerted on the civilization of the aboriginal inhabitants.
My readers will judge for themselves of the correctness of this assertion.
The reading of the Maya inscriptions and books, among other very interesting subjects, reveals the origin of many narratives that have come down to us, as traditions, in the sacred books of various nations, and which are regarded by many as inexplicable myths. For instance, we find in them the history of certain personages who, after their death, became the gods most universally revered by the Egyptians, Isis and Osiris, whose earthly history, related by Wilkinson and other writers who regard it as a myth, corresponds exactly to that of Queen Móo and her brother-husband Prince Coh, whose charred heart was found by me, preserved in a stone urn, in his mausoleum at Chichen.
Osiris, we are told, was killed by his brother through jealousy, and because his murderer wished to seize the reins of the government. He made war against the widow, his own sister, whom he came to hate bitterly, after having been madly in love with her.
In these same books we learn the true meaning of the tree of knocledge in the middle of the garden; of the temptation of the woman by the serpent offering her a fruit. This offering of a fruit, as a declaration of love, which was a common occurrence in the every-day life of the Mayas, Egyptians, and Greeks, loses all the seeming incongruity it presents in the narrative of Genesis for lack of a word of explanation. But this shows how very simple facts have been, and still are, made
, use of by crafty men, such as the highpriest Hilkiah, to devise religious speculations and impose on the good faith of ignorant, credulous, and superstitious masses. It is on this story of the courting of Queen M60 by Prince Aac, the murderer of
her husband—purposely disfigured by the scheming Jewish priest Hilkiah, who made the woman appear to have yielded to her tempter, perhaps out of spite against the prophetess IIuldah, she having refused to countenance his fraud and to become his accomplice in it that rests the whole fabric of the Christian religion, which, since its advent in the world, has been the cause of so much bloodshed and so many atrocious crimes.
In these Maya writings we also meet with the solution of that much mooted question among modern scientists—the existence, destruction, and submergence of a large island in the Atlantic Ocean, as related by Plato in his “ Timæus" and “Critias," in consequence of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Of this dreadful cataclysm, in which perished sixtyfour millions of human beings, four different authors have left descriptions in the Maya language. Two of these narratives are illustrated—that contained in the Troano MS., the other in the Codex Cortesianus. The third has been engraved on stone in relief, and placed for safe-keeping in a room in a building at Chichen, where it exists to-day, sheltered from the action of the elements, and preserved for the knowledge of coming generations. The fourth was written thousands of miles from Mayach, in Athens, the brilliant Grecian capital, in the form of an epic poem, in the Maya language. Each line of said poem, formed by a composed word, is the name of one of the letters of the Greek alphabet, rearranged, as we have it, four hundred and three years before the Christian era, under the archonship of Euclydes.
1 2 Kings, chap. xxii., verse 14 et passim ; also 2 Chronicles, chap. xxxiv., verse 24.
· See Appendix, note iii.