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it was to be feared that both mind [literally 'counsel'] and life were about to fail him [Cæsar]; for both of these [mind and life] do issue from the heart."1
Similarly it has been, and to the present day it is, with primitive peoples everywhere. Blood libations were made a prominent feature in the offerings in ancient Phoenicia,2 as in Egypt. In India, the Brahmans have a saying, in illustration of the claim that Vishnu and Siva are of one and the same nature: "The heart of Vishnu is Sivâ, and the heart of Sivâ is Vishnu; and those who think they differ, err."3 The Hindoo legends represent the victim's heart as being torn out and given to the one whom in life he has wronged. In China, at the great Temple of Heaven, in Peking, where the emperors of China are supposed to have conducted worship without material change in its main features for now nearly three thousand years, the blood of the animal sacrifice is buried in the earth while the body of the sacrificial victim is offered as a whole burnt offering.7
1 Cicero's De Divinatione, Bk. I., chap. 52, % 119.
2 See Sanchoniathon's references to blood libations, in Cory's Ancient Fragments, pp. 7, 11, 16.
3 See "The Hindu Pantheon," in Birdwood's Indian Arts, p. 96. Frere's Old Deccan Days, p. 266.
5 Williams's Middle Kingdom, I., 194.
The blood is the life; the heart as the fountain of blood is the fountain of life; both blood and heart are sacred to the Author of life. The possession, or the gift, of the heart or of the blood, is the possession, or the gift, of the very nature of its primal owner. has been the world's thought in all the ages.
2. VIVIFYING POWER OF BLOOD.
The belief seems to have been universal, not only that the blood is the life of the organism in which it originally flows, but that in its transfer from one organism to another the blood retains its life, and so carries with it a vivifying power. There are traces of this belief in the earliest legends of the Old World, and of the New; in classic story; and in medical practices as well, all the world over, from time immemorial until the present day.
For example, in an inscription from the Egyptian monuments, the original of which dates back to the early days of Moses, there is a reference to a then ancient legend of the rebellion of mankind against the gods; of an edict of destruction against the human race; and of a divine interposition for the rescue of the doomed peoples. In that legend, a prominent
1 The inscription was first found, in 1875, in the tomb of Setee I., the father of Rameses II., the Pharaoh of the oppression. A transla tion of it appeared in the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Arch
part is given to human blood, mingled with the juice of mandrakes1-instead of wine-prepared as a drink of the gods, and afterwards poured out again to overflow and to revivify all the earth. And the ancient text which records this legend, affirms that it was in conjunction with these events that there was the beginning of sacrifices in the world.
An early American legend has points of remarkable correspondence with this one from ancient Egypt. It relates, as does that, to a pre-historic destruction of the race, and to its re-creation, or its re-vivifying, by means of transferred blood. Every Mexican province
aology, Vol. 4, Part I. Again it has been found in the tomb of Rameses III. Its earliest and its latest translations were made by M. Edouard Naville, the eminent Swiss Egyptologist. Meantime, Brugsch, De Bergmann, Lauth, Lefébure, and others, have aided in its elucidation (See Proceed. of Soc. of Bib. Arch., for March 3, 1885).
Is there not a reference to this legend in the Book of the Dead, chapter xviii., sixth section?
1 Mandrakes, or "love-apples," among the ancient Egyptians, as also among the Orientals generally, from the days of Jacob (Gen. 30: 14–17) until to-day, carried the idea of promoting a loving union; and the Egyptian name for mandrakes-tetmut-combined the root-word tet already referred to as meaning "arm," or "bracelet," and mut-with the signification of "attesting," or "confirming." Thus the blood and the mandrake juice would be a true assiratum. (See Pierret's Vocabulaire Hieroglyphique, p. 723.) "Belief in this plant [the mandrake] is as old as history." (Napier's Folk-Lore, p. 90.) See, also, Lang's Custom and Myth, pp. 143-155.
told this story in its own way, says a historian; but the main features of it are alike in all its versions.
When there were no more men remaining on the earth, some of the gods desired the re-creation of mankind; and they asked help from the supreme deities accordingly. They were then told, that if they were to obtain the bones or the ashes of the former race, they could revivify those remains by their own blood. Thereupon Xolotl, one of the gods, descended to the place of the dead, and obtained a bone (whether a rib, or not, does not appear). Upon that vestige of humanity the gods dropped blood drawn from their own bodies; and the result was a new vivifying of mankind.1
An ancient Chaldean legend, as recorded by Berosus, ascribes a new creation of mankind to the mixture, by the gods, of the dust of the earth with the blood that flowed from the severed head of the god Belus. "On this account it is that men are rational, and partake of divine knowledge," says Berosus." The blood of the god gives them the life and the nature of a god. Yet, again, the early Phoenician, and the early Greek, theogonies, as recorded by Sanchoniathon and by Hesiod, ascribe the vivifying of mankind to the outpoured
1 Mendieta's Hist. Eccl. Ind., 77 ff.; cited in Spencer's Des. Soc., II., 38; also Brinton's Myths of the New World, p. 258.
2 See Cory's Anc. Frag., p. 59 f.
3 Ibid., p. 15.
Comp. Fabri's Evagatorium, III., 218.
LIFE TO THE DEAD.
blood of the gods. It was from the blood of Ouranos, or of Saturn, dripping into the sea and mingling with its foam, that Venus was formed, to become the mother of her heroic posterity. "The Orphics, which have borrowed so largely from the East," says Lenormant,1 "said that the immaterial part of man, his soul [his life], sprang from the blood of Dionysus Zagreus, whom Titans had torn to pieces,
partly devouring his members.”
Homer explicitly recognizes this universal belief in the power of blood to convey life, and to be a means of revivifying the dead. When Circé sent Odysseus
The Theban seer, Tiresias, in the abode
Of Pluto and the dreaded Proserpine,"
she directed him, in preparation, to
"Pour to all the dead
Libations,-milk and honey first, and next
Rich wine, and lastly water;"
and after that to slay the sacrificial sheep. But Circé's
"Draw then the sword upon thy thigh, and sit,
And suffer none of all those airy forms
To touch the blood, until thou first bespeak
1 Beginnings of History, p. 52, note.