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In triad eighty-nine we read of three illustrious astronomers as “ Tri Gwyn seronyddion Prydain. Idris gawr a Gwyddion mab Don, a Gwyn ab Nudd. A chan faint eu gwybodau am y ser a'u hansoddau y darogenynt, a chwennychid ei wybod hyd yn nydd brawd.':
From this triad we learn that these three celebrated astronomers, Idris the Giant, Gwydion, and Gwyn ab Nudd, had observed and studied the phenomena of the heavens, were cognizant of the motions and revolutions of the planets, and were capable not only cf predicting their periodical return, but of calculating their movements, · hyd yn nydd brawd. This expression is considered by some as rather ambiguous, and as such demands a passing investigation. It admits of two interpretations; first, nydd, signifying a twisting, or retrograde motion of the judgment; secondly, the day, or era, of judgment: what judgment? If the former interpretation be accepted reference is made, possibly, to a 'prorsum et rursum'action of the intellect, so as to be able by the exercise of their judgment to re-calculate the precise epochs of the orbits of the heavenly bodies at any given period, as demanded by the institute. If the latter opinion, which I prefer, be taken, it refers back to the deluge as a day of retribution, a day of judgment, ever to be remembered by the children of men. In either case these astronomers were able to “make observations,' and · found calculations 'thereon, up to the deluge, or vice versâ, which is all I contend for.
In reference to the latter clause of this triad the learned author of “ Hanes Cymry” gives the following annotation, which I have endeavored to anglicise :
“There is a tradition,” says Carnuanbawc, the historian, “among the Arabians respecting a skilful and erudite astronomer of the name of Idris, who, they assert, was no other than Enoch, the antediluvian; the latter clause of the 97th triad containing these memorable words, ‘main Gwyddon Ganhebon, lle y darllenid arnynt holl gelfyddydau a gwybodau y byd ;' i.e., 'the slabs or blocks of stone of Gwyddon Ganhebon, on which the arts and knowledge of the world can be read or deciphered,'—seems to point out a remarkable similarity to the eastern tradition respecting the alleged antediluvian slabs carved and modelled by Enoch in order to keep the arts and sciences from being lost in the deluge ; but how, and in what manner, such traditions came to Prydain I know not. It is manifest that they have existed here centuries upon centuries, for it cannot be a name derived from the mountain in Meirion, as Cader Idris is an appellation of a comparative modern date in our sense of modernity. The triad appears to retain certain vague notions of the deluge. It is clear that the tradition was not taken out of the scriptures.” Since elsewhere direct reference is made to the ship of Nefydd Naf Neifion, containing male and female of animals across the waters of Llyn Llion.
Gwydion ab Don, the other astronomer, was, it is recorded, buried at Caer yn arfon, “under a stone of enigmas.'
History, as far as I am aware, is silent otherwise respecting the third astronomer, except that he combined, like Ptolemy, of Egypt, the peculiar doctrines of swyngyfaredd, or astrology with the nobler principles of astronomical science.
“Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate,
THE CIMMERIAN THEOGONY OF THE HELLENES.
“ Such is the aspect of this shore ;
Time and space prevent me from entering into a categorical description of the theogony of the Cimmerian druids, their philosophic principles, dogmas, or tenets, as well as into a minute analysis of the Hyperborean memorial trees and plants of the sages—into “a delineation of the elementiry trees and reeds,” and “ the authority of the sprigs," and so forth, alluded to by Taliesin and the bards. I shall not eventually lose sight of these questions, pregnant with results to the historian and philosopher.
I will now merely take a rapid sketch of the pre-Pelasgic Hyperborean worship of the druids, as perceived through the Herodotusian glass darkly; and apply an historic eyeglass here and there till the subject matter shall be reviewed more distinctly, and laid bare, I trust, to open day of frank conviction.
I fearlessly advance two propositions in reference to the prehistoric attainments of the Hyperborean Cimmerii. 1.-That they supplied the groundwork not merely of the
Hellenic alphabet and language, but also the basis of their philosophical system as taught by the Pythagorean school.
1.-That the very names, sounds, and significations, of their alphabet are not understood as innate self-elucidating elements of the language.
2.—Vast numbers of Greek words, imputed as such, have no defined and tangible roots or key of self-inter
pretation, and are consequently lost, save what the running comment of the context supplies the sagacity of the translator.
3.—That all these elements are, generally speaking,
traceable to the Cimmerian, or its Hebrew dialect. II.—That the Hyperborean Celtic druids supplied the majority
of the fables, or certain early mabinogion, which originated the attributes and nomenclature of eastern or western deities; in other words, that the Cimmerians were the inventors of the theogony of the Hellenes as a whole; and as, inter alia, adequately exemplified in thgir Appollinarian worship, which was borrowed, according to the un-Celtic version, or traditionary conjectures, of the stoic philosopher Cornutus, or Phurnutus, from various nations, namely, the Egyptians, Phrygians, and Libyans, as extracted from the following passage: “ Tov dɛ nollas kal ποικιλας περι θεων γεγονεναι, παρα τους παλιοις Ελλησι μαθοποϊας, ως αλλαι μεν επι Μαγοις γεγoνασιν, αλλαι δε παρ' Αιγυπτιους και Κελτοις και Λιβυοι, και φρυξι, και τοις αλλοις &
eOvnol. K. T. X., cap. xvii. I shall leave the former propositions to be proved while incidentally discussing various matters affecting the immeasurable superiority of the Cimmerian language, in its various correlative bearings of divine originality, over all the languages of the world.
Relative to the second proposition, let us at once collate lib.iv., cap. 35, of Herodotus and Cornutus, with the cyclic poets, and examine facts stated there and elsewhere with each other, bearing directly, or inferentially, on this point.
“ The Delians,” then, according to Herodotus, “ also say that both Arge and Opis, being virgins from the Hyperboreans, came to Delos long before Hyperoche and Laodice; that the latter came to bear to Ilithyia [the tribute imposed for quick childbirth, from its root of i, to, llith, enticement, temptation of pleasure, and iau, (s. m.) a yoke, a bond, payment in acknowledgment, or iau, (adj.) junior, younger.) But that Arge and Opis had come with the deities themselves, and that other honours were paid to them by the Delians; that their matrons in assemblies invoked their names in a hymn composed for them by Olen, a Lycian ;. and that both the islanders and the Ionians had learned from them to invoke in their sacred assemblies the names of Arge and Opis,” and so forth.
Hear, also, as corroborative evidence in this court of enquiry, what Callimachus states on the Hyperborean worship of the institute in his hymn to Delos, as translated by Archdeacon Williams.
“ All states lead up your choice dances ;
“ First receiving them arriving from afar.” Again, according to Herodotus, as remarked by Archdeacon Williams, there had been a time when the Pelasgi had no names for the numerous Hellenic gods. He had heard this from Dodonean priests and priestesses, who were also aware of the time when Dodona was the only oracle in the country afterwards called Hellas. Here is his extraordinary testimony :-- Now whence sprang each of the gods, and whether all of them always existed, and what were their figures ? men knew not, to use the expression, until yesterday and the day before; for, as I think, Hesiod and Homer were only four hundred years older than myself. But these [on a similar conjectural basis) are the men who invented the theogony of the Hellenes, and who gave names to the gods, who assigned to them several offices and arts, and who shaped
forth their figures.” • “If such was the case, the connection between the Hyperboreans and the well-known Pelasgian oracle of the Dodonæan Zeus of the oak grove, at a period long anterior to Homer and Hesiod, leads us naturally to infer that in the earlier ages the Hyperboreans were as free as the Pelasgi from the pollution of Polytheism.”
Now, though the Hellenic and Roman gods and goddesses, with their pontifices maximi vel sacerdotes beatæ, are no more alive to modern faith, (save two, who, in heaven and earth, under one representative form or other, still remain, here below, workable problems of enthroned man and woman deity, a'sub judice lis' among certain conscientious theologians and zealous adherents of the 'regina cæli,') the Cimmerian, or primary Celtic language, which gave the former a local habitation and a name, is still an ever-living miracle, a standing monument of durability, not merely in our own Cambria, but in the fraternal fastnesses of America, notwithstanding the impotent assaults and vaticinations of Anglo-Saxon and Cimbro-Saxon croakers respecting its ever-inpending annihilation from the face of the earth for upwards of a thousand years. Of all the tongues of ancient or of modern times it is indisputably the only surviving instrument whereby to solve the problem of Herodotus, the Cyclic poets, of Cornutus or Phurnutûs, as well as of our own Taliesin and the triads, the only key to unravel the pre-cyclic theogony of the Hellenes, and of the polytheism of Roman adaptations, and other countless events and realities untold to collegiate schools of
science and seminaries of art, that seem to waste away their glory either in an apathetic isolation, or else in a thundering ex cathedrâ denunciation of vapoury conjectures against everything previously, and, yet not strangely, unknown to their own verbal un-Celtic code of Cæsarean criticism, and groundless idealities !
Taliesin, having in view the contents of the 'magnum numerum versuum' vel sententiarum of the institute, chants the universality of his bardic knowledge in reference to the arts and sciences of the world, as follows :
“ Mawr gefais innau
“Gwlad 'Europa,” &c. [Citing other places.] And then:
“ Mi wn eu cerdded
“Hyd ultima.” Or, “ I also (as it were, among prehistoric or historic multitudes of bards, and philosophers of the order), have profoundly discovered in my bardic books a knowledge of all the sciences of the land of Europe ;” and further on the learned ovate remarks :
“I am acquainted with their original bearings and ramifications, whether on oath or asseveration, by flux of time or passport of reception, even to the very uttermost :" or, as it were, to the ultima of Roman innovations.
This Cimmerian idea is furthermore confirmed by the passage from the stoic philosopher Cornutus, tallying, as you will observe, with the doubts and misappropriation of Herodotus in relation to primitive aspect of Celtic and other un-Hellenic theogonic inventions.
«Tουδε πολλας και ποικιλας περι θεων γεγονεναι παρα τους παλιοις Ελλησι μαθoποιας, ως αλλαι μεν επι Μαγοις γεγoνασιν, αλλαι δε παρ' Αιγυπτιους και κελτοις και Λιβυοι, και Φρυξι, και τους αλλους εθνησι. Cap. 17.
To this intent, let us critically analyse some of the Dii Majorum minorumque gentium, and philologically ascertain whether there be any historical, rational, and national grounds for the assumptions of traditional antiquity as to the authenticity of an Hyperborean theogony, of Hyperborean astronomy, of Hyperborean metaphysics, poetry, and so forth, being Cimmerian systems or fountains of learning-in fine, innovations transplanted into Greece and Rome by the peripatetic druids of primeval ages. Let us begin with the former wholesale, but hitherto unacknowledged, plagiaristic element.