Images de page

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; "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."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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,1 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

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

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.

3 Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, vol. iii., p. 200.

to us in the derivation of the curious proper names by which the foreign peoples of Asia, each in its own dialect, were accustomed to designate Egypt. The Hebrews gave the land the name of Mizraim; the Assyrians, Muzur. We may feel assured that at the basis of all these designations there lies an original form which consisted of the three letters M, z, r-all explanations of which have as yet been unsuccessful.” 1

It may be asked, and with reason, How is it that so many learned Egyptologists, who have studied the question, have failed to find the etymology of these words?

The answer is, indeed, most simple. It is because they have not looked for it in the only language where it is to be found -the Maya.

Egypt has always been a country mostly devoid of trees, which were uprooted by the inundation, whose waters carried their débris and deposited them all over the land. The husbandman, in order to plough the soil, had first to clear it from the rubbish; hence no doubt the names Misur, or Muzur, given to it by the Assyrians. Well, then, miz, in the Maya language, means "to clear away rubbish of trees," and muuzul" to uproot trees."

Not satisfied with these onomatopoetic names, they gave the new place of their adoption others that would recall to their mind and to that of their descendants the mother country beyond the western seas. We learn from the Troano MS., the Codex Cortesianus, and the inscriptions, that Mayach from the remotest ages was symbolized either as a beb (mulberry tree) or as a haaz (banana-tree); 2 also by a serpent with inflated breast, standing erect in the midst of the waters


Henry Brugsch-Bey, Hist. of Egypt, vol. i., p. 12.


Aug. Le Plongeon, Sacred Mysteries, p. 115, et passim.

between the two American Mediterraneans, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, represented in the Maya writings by a sign similar to our numerical 8.1 Diego de Cogolludo in his history of Yucatan informs us that up to A. D. 1517, when the Spaniards for the first time invaded that country, the land of the Mayas was still designated as "the great serpent" and "the tree.


The Maya colonists therefore called their new settlement on the banks of the Nile the "land of the serpent" and also the "land of the tree." The Egyptian hierogrammatists represented their country as a serpent with inflated breast, standing on a figure 8, under which is

a sieve, called Mayab in Maya; some






[ocr errors]

times also as a serpent with inflated and wings, wearing a headidentical with that worn by of the magnates pictured in the bas-reliefs at Chichen. They likewise symbolized Egypt as a tree believed to be the Persea, sacred to the goddess Athor, whose fruit in the sculptures resembles a human heart, which vividly recalls the on of the Mayas, that bears the alligator pear-the Laurus persea of Linnæus, so abundant in tropical America.



Can it be that all these are mere coincidences? If they be, then let us present more of them.

The river, spread as it was over the land, they designated as Hapimil, which in aftertimes was corrupted into Hapi



Aug. Le Plongeon, Sacred Mysteries, p. 120, et passim.

Cogolludo, Hist. de Yucathan, lib. i., cap. i.

Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, vol. iii., p. 199.

Ibid., p. 200.

Ibid., p. 119.

« PrécédentContinuer »