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is so self-evident that it is safe to assert that the whole have a mystical signification which is based on their protective functions, as I have already explained in the chapter on the ancient coins of Ceylon.
We learn from Egyptian records that immediately before and immediately after the period when the Kūrna temple was being constructed, much attention was paid in Thebes to the action of magic. It is stated of Amenhetep, the minister of King Amenhetep III (1450-1430 B.C.), Profound knowledge of the mysteries of magic were (sic) attributed to him. On this subject he wrote certain works which maintained their reputation for more than a thousand years after his death.' Copies of two of them are preserved in European libraries. He himself claimed in the inscription on his statue that he knew all the deep mysteries of literature, and that every secret thing was known to him.2
Professor Maspero says of Prince Khāmoisit (Khā-em-Uast), the grandson of Seti I, 'He had a great reputation for his knowledge of abstruse theological questions and of the science of magic-a later age attributing to him the composition of several books on magic giving directions for the invocation of spirits belonging to this world and the world beyond.' 3 In the story of Setna, the manuscript of which is attributed by Professor Maspero to the third century B.C., it is recorded of this prince, 'Satni Khāmoïs was well acquainted with all matters: he could read books in the sacred text and the books of the Double House of Life [explained by the learned professor as the magical books of the priestly library'], and the works which are engraved on steles and on the walls of the temples, and he knew the virtues of amulets and talismans, and he understood how to compose them and to draw up writings of power, for he was a magician who was unequalled in the land of Egypt.'
Decorations composed of various highly developed forms
1 Maspero. The Struggle of the Nations, English Translation, p. 448. 2 Dr. Budge. History of Egypt, Vol. iv, p. 106.
Maspero. Loc. cit. p. 425.
4 Maspero. Contes Egyptiens, 1882, p. 47.
of Swastika were painted on the ceilings of tombs of the eighteenth dynasty, which held the throne at this time, and the upright cross is also found on Egyptian glazed pottery of about the thirteenth century B.C.1
It is therefore not surprising that the intelligent stonecutters and masons who executed the admirable works of this period should possess some knowledge of magical diagrams and, possibly in the quarries, should have chiselled many of them on the upper side of the slabs of the Kūrna temple, and perhaps at other sites where they have not been searched for. The fact that three diagrams were partly cut away in fitting the stones together is itself an absolute proof that some, at least, were incised while the construction of the temple was in progress, and before the roof stones were finally laid in position. The whole probabilities therefore lead me to believe that all were cut by the workmen at the same date, which must be about 1360 to 1370 B.C.
I have already stated that probably the earliest known Swastika to which a definite age can be assigned occurs on pottery of the lowest remains of the first city on the site of Troy, which was in existence before 2500 B.C. As it is not a simple design, but forms part of a diagram in which it is surrounded by three rectangles, one outside the other, it must have been invented at an earlier time the date of which is unknown, but may possibly belong to the fourth millennium B.C. But some of the Kūrna figures, and other diagrams that are unmistakably closely allied to them, can be traced back to an even earlier period.
Of these designs, the upright cross enclosed in a square was much used in ancient times. It is found throughout Europe, Asia, and Central America. It is a character in Accadian and Assyrian writing, and forms the side of the throne of the deity on some Chaldean cylinders, and is on a mould from Kouyunjik. It is on Egyptian pottery of the
1 Hall. The Earliest Civilisation of Greece,
2 Maspero. The Dawn of Civilization, p. 681. Perrot and Chipiez. A History of Art in Chaldea and Assyria, Vol. ii, p. 266.
3 Layard. Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, p. 597
thirteenth century B.C. It appears on a vase of the second city of Troy,1 on the early pottery of Mycenae, on a gem from Cyprus, and on a vase from Cyprus. It is not uncommon among the objects found at European Lake Dwellings." It is figured on some of the earliest coins of India and Ceylon, it occurs among Chinese characters, and it is to be seen in the carvings of Uxmal in Yucatan. Thus it is certain that it had some other signification than a mere decorative one, and also that it was not simply a diagram used for playing a game like Nerenchi.
In Egyptian drawings a plain square represents an enclosure or a house, as in the ideograph of a hawk standing in a square'the House of Horus.' In Dr. Sayce's Elementary Grammar, second edition, its meaning in Accadian and Assyrian characters is stated to be 'to bind, gathering, enclosing.' Col. Conder says of the Hittite' character which represents it, 'it clearly signifies an enclosure. In Chinese characters the plain square also means an enclosure.' Its function in the design is therefore to house or to enclose, and thus to protect, the cross placed inside it; and apparently it is not an essential part of the figure.
The early meaning of the upright cross is less obvious. According to Professor Maspero a double cross, consisting of a vertical one and a diagonal one, enclosed in a circle, originally represented a map of the sky." When the circle was omitted the interlaced crosses came to symbolise planets or stars, and as the greater Gods had astral powers, eventually any god; and this emblem accordingly accompanies the names of all gods in the earliest Chaldean inscriptions, and in a simplified shape the names of all Assyrian gods.
But this is a compound design, composed of three symbols,
1 Schliemann. Troy, p. 50.
2 Schliemann. Mycenae, Plate 10, Fig. 47.
3 Cesnola. Salaminia, Plate 15, Fig. 51.
4 Wilson. The Swastika, p. 841.
5 Munro. The Lake Dwellings of Europe, pp. 72, 173, 175.
The Hittites and their Language, p. 227.
7 The Dawn of Civilization, p. 726.
8 King. Babylonian Magic and Sorcery, p. 109.
each of which, when considered separately, must have had its own meaning in primitive times. It is not probable that the upright cross was obtained by a dissection of the complex sky symbol into its three components, the circle, and the vertical and oblique crosses; but rather that the symbol which represented the sky was formed by the union of these three ancient simple forms, with only one of which we are at present concerned.
To ascertain the early meaning of the upright cross we must go back, as in the case of the square, to its use in the first alphabets.
In Egyptian hieroglyphics the cross formed of two upright lines connected at the ends, with one central cross-bar, signifies 'to be in,' or 'to dwell in.' 1
In Accadian and Assyrian, according to Dr. Sayce's Grammar, a vertical cross made with two wedges has several meanings, some of which are 'to dwell, to take; oracle, heap, family, offspring, liver, white, high.' The upright cross also forms part of an ideogram used for fire, which is interpreted Cross wood'; but possibly-as the remarks which follow show-may mean auspicious' wood. The upright cross of two upright lines and one transverse bar-representing the Egyptian form-when combined with the four wedges which compose the character for 'good, great, multitude, propitious,' means 'wind, breath, brightness, heaven, rain, Rammānu (the Air-god), sky, earth.' The whole of these are terms which in the East and in Africa, even at the present day, would be thought to be very auspicious, there being in them. nothing to indicate loss or deficiency, or defect, but, on the contrary, the opposites.
The upright cross inside a square is also an auspicious expression. As the word lu it means 'flocks, sheep'; as udu,' sheep, lamb, gazelle,' that is, animals suitable for offering to the gods. As dib its meaning is 'tablet, to cross, to seize, to hold.' These are also auspicious, as indicating success, gain, and a slab on which a god or king may be depicted
1 Dr. Budge. Easy Lessons in Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
The sound khi which means 'good' in Accadian is represented in Hittite' inscriptions by a vertical cross.1
In Chinese writing the upright cross occurs as the chief part of the character for rice 2; and the vertical cross in the square forms an important part of the characters meaning 'happiness,' and therefore must have been thought to be very auspicious. The whole design, according to Doolittle, is much used as an emblem of good luck.3
In dealing with magical ideas it is an invariable rule that whatever is auspicious is protective. It is an omen of good and good-luck, and as such it necessarily excludes whatever is evil and unlucky. As all unlucky acts or states areaccording to primitive ideas-due to the injurious influence of evil spirits it follows that all auspicious acts and things and terms have guardian powers against such influences. It is manifest, therefore, that at the time when the earliest alphabets were being invented the Cross, having auspicious significations, was a protecting emblem.1
As an example we may take the Accadian ideograph for ' tomb,' which is formed of the character for corpse,' enclosed in an oblong-the coffin or grave-in which, at the head of the body, is placed an upright cross formed of two wedgesapparently, as the idea of 'tomb' is complete without it, depicted there with the belief that it will guard the body from demoniacal interference. This seems to be evidence that the upright cross actually had a protective signification at so early a date as, say, 5000 B.C.
In India, also, it was employed in a similar manner. General Maisey remarked in Sanchi and its Remains (p. 12, foot-note), 'Many of the relic-chambers opened at Sanchi, and other places, were Swastika-shaped in plan, as also were the funeral chambers found in some of the kistvaens of Southern India;
1 Col. Conder. The Hittites and their Language, p. 254.
2 The Atharva Veda calls Rice and Barley,' the two healing, immortal children of Heaven.'
3 Social Life of the Chinese, Hood's revision, 1868, p. 569. 4 A cross of reeds is employed by the Bushmen of South Africa, and is placed upon the body as a remedial agent in cases of extreme sickness (Stow. The Races of South Africa, p. 120).