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Title: Abury, A Temple of the British Druids, With Some Others, Described
Author: Stukeley, William
Language: English
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  TAB. I.

  _The Groundplot
  of the Brittish
  Temple now the
  town of
  Aubury Wilts.
  A^o. 1724_

  _Stukeley del._    _E. Kirkall sculp._]

                                OF THE
                           =British DRUIDS=,
                           With SOME OTHERS,

   Wherein is a more particular account of the first and patriarchal
          religion; and of the peopling the BRITISH ISLANDS.

            ——_Quamvis obstet mihi tarda vetustas,
            Multaque me fugiant primis spectata sub annis,
            Plura tamen memini_——     Ov. Met. XII. v. 182.

                      By _WILLIAM STUKELEY_, M.D.
                 Rector of _All-Saints_ in _Stamford_.


 Printed for the AUTHOR: And Sold by _W. Innys_, _R. Manby_, _B. Dod_,
             _J. Brindley_, and the Booksellers in London.

                             M DCC XLIII.

                        To the RIGHT HONOURABLE
                      EARL of _PEMBROKE_, &c. &c.


In a family that has been in all ages remarkably the friend of the
muses, I think myself happy, that I have a particular claim. To You,
my Lord, this dedication is devolv’d by hereditary right. Through Your
father’s auspices and encouragement, I began and continued the work. He
was ever pleas’d to look upon my mean performances with a favourable
eye; and to assist me out of the inexhaustible fund of his own
knowledge, in all kinds of ancient learning; and promised to patronize
it, when published.

But if any thing herein be acceptable to the publick, they are indebted
to Your Lordship for its appearing abroad sooner than I intended
myself. Out of that innate love of letters which warms the breast
of the PEMBROKES, You thought fit to prompt and encourage me to the
printing of it; and Your Lordship’s judgment will be an agreeable
prejudice in my favour; who have cultivated Your excellent talents by
your own industry; by all that can be learn’d in a curious view and
observation of the antiquities of _Italy_; who are in every sense a
master of that immense treasure of _Greek_ and _Roman_ marbles, which
render _Wilton_ the _Tramontane Rome_.

Besides that learning which is the ornament of the present age, Your
Lordship knows how to put a true value on the antiquities proper
to Your own country. If they want somewhat of the delicacy of the
_Augustan_ times, or that of _Alexander_ the great; yet they have their
beauties, and even elegancies, which affect so exquisite a taste as
Your Lordship’s. A symmetry and harmony of parts, an amazing grandeur
in the design, the incredible force of the mechanick powers employ’d in
them, the most magnificent effect produc’d, will for ever recommend
the works of the Druids, to those of Your Lordship’s discerning eye and
accurate judgment.

We see a convincing demonstration of this, in the fine and costly
model of _Stonehenge_, which Your Lordship introduces in the garden at
_Wilton_; where, I may be bold to say, it shines amidst the splendours
of _Inigo Jones_’s architecture; amidst what he did there in person,
and what Your Lordship has since added, so agreeable to the former, as
to render the design of that great genius complete.

So uncommon and unconfin’d is Your Lordship’s knowledge in
architecture, particularly, that _Great Britain_ beholds a bridge
arising, chiefly under Your direction, superior to any the _Roman_
power produc’d at the height of empire. And _Thames_, which so lately
rescu’d the _Danube_ from _gallic_ tyranny, boasts of a nobler ornament
than that which _Trajan_ built across that famous river.

That commendable ardour of mind, which in Your younger years led you to
study men and manners, places and things, in foreign countries, you now
employ for the good of Your own; in the exercise of civil and military
arts. Your Lordship tempers that love of liberty, which is the glory
of government, with that just allegiance to the sovereign, which is
the security of all; so as to give us a view of that amiable character
of ancient _english_ nobility, which adorns every page of _british_
history. Permit me the honour to profess myself

                            _Your_ LORDSHIP’S

                                    _most faithful, and_

                                            _most obedient_

                                                    _humble servant_,

January 1, 1742-3.

                                                    WILLIAM STUKELEY.


History is political wisdom, philosophy is religious. The one consists
in the knowledge of memorable things, and application of that knowledge
to the good conduct of life: in embracing the good, and avoiding the
ill consequences and examples of actions. So the other teaches us to
entertain worthy notions of the supreme being, and the studying to
obtain his favour: which is the end of all human and divine wisdom.
Religion is the means to arrive at this purpose. In order to be
satisfied what is true religion, we must go up to the fountain-head as
much as possible. The first religion undoubtedly is true, as coming
immediately from God.

When I first began these studies about the Druid antiquities, I plainly
discern’d, the religion profess’d in these places was the first,
simple, patriarchal religion. Which made me judge it worth while to
prosecute my enquiries about them, as a matter the most interesting
and important. Knowledge is the glory of a man, divine knowledge of a
christian. What I have done in this volume, is a further prosecution of
the scheme I have laid down to this purpose. The noble person to whom
it is dedicated, induc’d me to hasten the publication, suggesting the
shortness of human life, and having a good opinion of the work.

I was willing to lay hold on the first opportunity of communicating to
the world, the pleasure of contemplating so very noble antiquities,
which we enjoy in our own island, before it be too late to see them. My
endeavour in it is to open the times of first planting the world, after
the flood; the propagation of true religion together with mankind; the
deviation into idolatry; the persons that built the several kinds of
patriarchal temples, such as we see here, in the more eastern parts
of the world; the planters of _Great Britain_ in particular; and the
connexion there is between the east and west in matters of religion.
All this shews there was but one religion at first, pure and simple.

_Pausanias in Corinthiac._ writes, “the _Phliasians_, one of the most
ancient colonies in _Greece_, had a very holy temple, in which there
was no image, either openly to be seen, or kept in secret.” He mentions
the like of a grove or temple of _Hebe_, belonging to that people; and
adds, “they give a mystical reason for it.” I guess the mystery to be,
that it was after the first and patriarchal manner. The same author
says _in argol._ “that at _Prona_ is a temple of _Vesta_, no image, but
an altar, on which they sacrifice.” The ancient _Hetruscans_ ordain’d
by a law, that there should be no statue in their temples. _Lucian de
dea Syr._ writes, “the ancient temples in _Egypt_ had no statues.”
_Plutarch, in Numa_, and _Clemens Alexan. strom._ I. remark, “that
_Numa_ the second king of _Rome_, made express orders against the use
of images, in the worship of the deity.” _Plutarch_ adds, “that for the
first 170 years after building the city, the _Romans_ used no images,
but thought the deity to be invisible.” So to the days of _Silius
Italicus_ and _Philostratus_, at the temple of _Hercules_ our planter
of _Britain_, at _Gades_, the old patriarchal method of religion was
observ’d, as bishop _Cumberland_ takes notice, _Sanchoniathon_, p. 266.

    _Sed nulla effigies, simulachrave nota deorum._      Silius III.

And our _british_ Druids had no images. And whatever we find in
history, that looks like idolatry in them, is not to be referr’d to the
aboriginal Druids, but to the later colonies from the continent.

Likewise I have open’d a large communication between the patriarchal
family, of _Abraham_ particularly, and of the first planters of the
coasts on the ocean of _Spain_, _Gaul_, _Germany_ and _Britain_.
’Tis plain, what religion was here first planted, as being an
almost inaccessible island, flourished exceedingly, and kept up to
its original system, even to the days of _Cæsar_, I mean among the
aboriginal inhabitants. The new planters from the continent, on the
southern and eastern shore of the island, were tinctured at least with
idolatry, in the later times. Whilst on the continent, where more
frequent changes of inhabitants happen, idolatry every where polluted
it. But in all accounts of the first beginnings of nations, they had
the first religion: ’till as every where, time, riches, politeness and
prosperity bring on corruption in church and state.

We find, on the continent, idolatry crept on by degrees universally,
which was the occasion of providence exerting its self in the _Mosaick_
dispensation: and thereby changing the manner of these temples,
altogether polluted. Nevertheless we have no reason to think but that
the Druids, in this island of ours, generally kept up to the purity
of their first and patriarchal institution. And that is the reason
that all our classical writers, tho’ much later than the times we are
treating of, represent them as a people of a religion diametrically
opposite to that of the rest of the world, even as the _Jews_ then, or
christians afterwards.

Therefore I thought it fully worth while, to bestow some pains on
these temples of theirs, as the only monuments we have left, of the
patriarchal religion; and especially in regard to their extraordinary
grandeur and magnificence, equal to any of the most noted wonders of
the world, as commonly termed.

I have shewn largely enough, the evidences that there were such kinds
of temples built all the world over, in the first times; but probably
nothing of them now remaining, comparable to those in our own island:
which therefore we ought to seek to rescue from oblivion, before it be
too late.

I propose to publish but one volume more to complete this argument,
as far as I have materials for that purpose. What I have done, I look
upon as very imperfect, and but as opening the scene of this very noble
subject. The curious will find sufficient room to extend it, to correct
and adorn the plan I have begun. And I take it to be well worthy of
the pains; as it lets in upon us an excellent view of the scheme of
providence, in conducting the affair of true religion, thro’ the
several ages of the world. We may hence discern the great purpose of
inducing the _Mosaick_ dispensation, on that very spot of ground where
the main of idolatry began, and from whence it was propagated over all
the western and politer world; and over which world providence rais’d
the mighty _Roman_ empire, to pave the way of a republication of the
patriarchal religion.

We may make this general reflexion from the present work, that the true
religion has chiefly since the repeopling mankind after the flood,
subsisted in our island: and here we made the best reformation from
the universal pollution of christianity, popery. Here God’s ancient
people the _Jews_ are in the easiest situation, any where upon earth;
and from hence most likely to meet with that conversion designed them.
And could we but reform from the abominable publick profanation of the
sabbath and common swearing, we might hope for what many learned men
have thought; that here was to be open’d the glory of Christ’s kingdom
on earth.

I have render’d it sufficiently clear, that the _Apollo_ of the
ancients was really _Phut_ son of _Cham_. And I have pointed to the
reader, how he may have a perfect idea of the countenance of the man,
in innumerable monuments of antiquity, now to be seen. I have pursued
that amusing topick thro’ very many of the ancient patriarchs before
and after _Phut_: so as to recover their, at least heroical, effigies.
Which, I hope, sometime I may find an opportunity of publishing.

I shall conclude my preface with a piece of old poetry, being some
nervous lines, in no contemptible vein, wrote on our subject a hundred
years ago, by _Samuel Danyel_ a domestick of queen _Anne’s_, wife to
king _James_ I. The curious reader will observe a remarkable delicacy
in the sentiments throughout: a struggle between time and the greatness
of these works, equal to that of letters, in endeavouring to recover
and preserve the memory of them; which their founders, tho’ well
qualified, neglected to do.

    _O Blessed letters, that combine in one
    All ages past; and make one live with all!
    Make us confer with those who now are gone,
    And the dead living unto counsel call!
    By you th’ unborn shall have communion
    Of what we feel, and what does us befall._

    _Soul of the world, knowledge, without thee
    What hath the earth that truly glorious is?
    Why should our pride make such a stir to be;
    To be forgot? What good is like to this,
    To do worthy the writing, and to write
    Worthy the reading, and the world’s delight!_

    _You mighty lords, that with respected grace,
    Do at the stern of fair example stand;
    And all the body of this populace,
    Guide with the only turning of your hand:
    Keep a right course, bear up from all disgrace,
    Observe the point of glory to our land._

    _Hold up disgraced knowledge from the ground,
    Keep virtue in request, give worth her due.
    Let not neglect with barbarous means confound
    So fair a good, to bring in night anew.
    Be not, oh be not accessary found
    Unto her death, that must give life to you._

    _Where will you have your virtuous names safe laid?
    In gorgeous tombs, in sacred cells secure?
    Do you not see, those prostrate heaps betrayed
    Your fathers bones, and could not keep them sure?
    And will you trust deceitful stones fair laid,
    And think they will be to your honour truer?_

    _No, no, unsparing time will proudly send
    A warrant unto wreck, that with one frown
    Will all these mockeries of vain-glory rend,
    And make them as before, ungrac’d, unknown.
    Poor idle honours that can ill defend
    Your memories that cannot keep their own!_

    _And whereto serves that wondrous trophy now,
    That on the goodly plain near_ Wilton _stands?
    That huge dumb heap, that cannot tell us how,
    Nor what, nor whence it is, nor with whose hands,
    Nor for whose glory it was set to show,
    How much our pride mocks that of other lands._

    _Whereon when as the gazing passenger
    Hath greedy look’d with admiration,
    And fain would know its birth, and what it were,
    How there erected, and how long agone;
    Inquires and asks his fellow-traveller,
    What he hath heard, and his opinion!_

    _And he knows nothing; then he turns again,
    And looks and sighs, and then admires afresh,
    And in himself with sorrow doth complain,
    The misery of dark forgetfulness.
    Angry with time, that nothing should remain,
    Our greatest wonders wonder to express._

    _Then ignorance, with fabulous discourse,
    Robbing fair art and cunning of their right,
    Tells how those stones were by the devil’s force,
    From_ Africk _brought, to_ Ireland _in a night:
    And thence to_ Britannie, _by magick course,
    From giants hand redeem’d by_ Merlin’s _sleight._

    _And then near_ Ambry _plac’d, in memory
    Of all those noble_ Britons _murder’d there,
    By_ Hengist _and his_ Saxon _treachery,
    Coming to parle in peace at unaware.
    With this old legend then, credulity
    Holds her content, and closes up her care._

    _And as for thee, thou huge and mighty frame,
    That stands corrupted so by times despite,
    And gives no evidence to save their fame,
    That set thee there, and testify their right:
    And art become a traitor to their name,
    That trusted thee with all the best they might._

    _Thou shall stand, still belyed and slandered,
    The only gazing stock of ignorance,
    And by thy guilt the wise admonished,
    Shall never more desire such heaps t’ advance,
    Nor trust their living glory with the dead,
    That cannot speak, but leave their fame to chance._

    _Tho’ time with all his power of years, hath laid
    Long battery, back’d with undermining age,
    Yet thou makes head, only with thy own aid,
    And war with his all conquering forces wage;
    Pleading the heavens prescription to be free,
    And have a grant t’ indure as long as he._

                            A TEMPLE of the
                           =British DRUIDS=,
                     With some Others, DESCRIBED.

                               CHAP. I.

  _Of the origin of Druid or patriarchal temples, with publick
    religion and celebration of the sabbath. They were made of rude
    stones set upright in the ground, round in form, and open. In hot
    countries, groves were planted about them._ Abraham _practised
    it, and from him our Druids. Of the quality of evidence, in
    matters of such antiquity. The patriarchs had a knowledge of
    the nature of the Deity to be ador’d, subsisting in distinct
    personalities: which is even deducible from human reason. The
    Druids had the same knowledge, as appears by their works. The
    first publick practice of religion was called, invoking in the
    name of_ Jehovah, _the mediator._

The writers on antiquities generally find more difficulty, in so
handling the matter, as to render it agreeable to the reader, than in
most other subjects. Tediousness in any thing is a fault, more so in
this than other sciences. ’Tis an offence, if either we spend much
time in a too minute description of things, or enter upon formal and
argumentative proofs, more than the nature of such accounts will well
bear. Nevertheless the dignity of the knowledge of antiquities, will
always insure a sufficient regard for this very considerable branch
of learning, as long as there is any taste or learning left in the
world. And indeed we may in short ask, what is all learning, but the
knowledge of antiquities? a recalling before us the acquirements in
wisdom, and the deeds of former times. But the way of writing well
upon them, as I conceive, is so to lay the things together, to put
them in such attitude, such a light, as gains upon the affection and
faith of the reader, in proceeding; without a childish pointing out
every particular, without a syllogistical proving, or mathematical
demonstration of them: which are not to be sought for in the case. The
subject of antiquities must be drawn out with such strong lines of
verisimilitude, and represented in so lively colours, that the reader
in effect sees them, as in their first ages: And either brings them
down to modern times, or raises himself, in the scale of time, as if he
lived when they were made. Then we may truly say with the poet,

    _Scilicet antiquis proficiscitur inde venustas,
      Quod, tanquam nova sint, qui legit illa, legat._

In endeavouring to keep up to such a rule, I must advertise the reader
of the general purport of this volume. It may be said to consist
of four parts. Three are descriptions of the three kinds of Druid
temples, or we may call them patriarchal temples, which I have observed
in _Britain_. The fourth will be reflexions upon them, as to their
antiquity and origin; the founders of such in the more early ages of
the world, and in the more oriental countries. And tho’ in writing
the descriptive part of these heads, (which I did on the spot, and
with great leisure) my papers swell’d to an enormous bulk; and it was
necessary for my own right understanding the antiquities: yet I shall
shorten them exceedingly, in delivering the work to the publick. In
doing this, I shall be very much helped by the engraven designs which
at one view give the reader a better notion of the things, than the
most elaborate descriptions. Likewise in that part of the work wherein
I reason upon these temples, and trace out the vestiges of such as
are recorded to us by the learned authors of antiquity now preserved,
I shall barely lay the appearances of things together; the relation
between these monuments we now see with our eyes, and the accounts of
such-like (as I take them) which I find in those authors to have been
from oldest time. I shall leave the reader to form his judgment from
such evidence, without endeavouring to force his assent with fancied
proofs, which will scarce hold good, in matters of so remote an age.

After what I have said in my former volume on _STONEHENGE_, which
carries our ideas concerning these antiquities, up to the very earliest
times of the world; I may venture to discourse a little _ex priori_,
concerning the origin of temples in general. And this will open my
purpose concerning the three first heads of this book: the three
different kinds of the Druid or patriarchal temples in the _Britannic_
isles. If we desire to know any thing of a matter so very remote, as in
all other affairs of antiquity, we must necessarily have recourse to
the Bible. And I apprehend, it is mentioned in that passage _Genesis_
IV. the last verse; “and to _Seth_, to him also there was born a son,
and he call’d his name _Enos_: then began men to call upon the NAME of
the LORD.”

I observe on this passage, the gloss in our _English_ Bibles is thus,
to call _themselves_ by the name of the LORD, which is very erroneous:
_themselves_ is a mere interpolation; and would we translate it truly,
it ought to be, to _call in_ the name of _Jehovah_; rather, to _invoke_
in the name of _Jehovah_. _Vatablus_ turns it, then began the name
of _Jehovah_ to be invoked. The jewish writers generally take this
passage to mean the origin of idolatry, as if it imported, then began
men to profane the _Name_, by calling themselves therewith. And our
great _Selden_ drops into that opinion. But was it probable, the
divine historian would have been so careful to commemorate an epoch
so disagreeable? or to what purpose, even before he had so much as
mention’d any publick form of true religion? the very wording of that
verse imports somewhat very remarkable, which he was going to declare,
“and to _Seth_, to him also there was born a son, and he called his
name _Enos_: then began men to invoke in the name of _Jehovah_.”

  TAB. II.]

In understanding this verse aright, we must certainly affirm that
_Moses_ intended hereby, to assert the practice of publick religion;
which necessarily includes two things, the origin of temples, and the
sabbatical observance. For in all publick actions, time and place are
equally necessary. In the generation, or days of _Enos_, grandson of
_Adam_, when mankind were multiply’d into distinct families; besides
private and family devotion, the publick worship of God was introduc’d
in places set apart for that purpose, and on sabbath days. Publick
worship necessarily implies all this.

Many and great authorities confirm this understanding of the words, as
well as the reason of things. The _Targum_ of _Onkelos_, _Aquila_’s
translation. _Rabbi Elieser_ in _Maase Bereschit_ XXII. _R. Salomon
Jarchi_, the _Chaldee_ paraphrast. _Vossius in comm._ on _Maimonides_
de idololatria. And very many more, too tedious to be recited.

Try the place by other like expressions in scripture, and we find, it
amounts to the same thing. _Genes._ xii. 8. _Abram_ builded an altar
unto _Jehovah_, and _invoked_ in the name of _Jehovah_. So it ought to
be translated. This was the second altar he built in _Canaan_, being
the second place he settled at, near _Bethel_. In the preceding verse,
we have an account of his first settling at _Sichem_, and of _Jehovah_
appearing to him personally and conversing with him: and of his
building an altar to that _Jehovah_, who appeared unto him. But I think
there is so little difficulty in it, that ’tis needless to multiply
authorities or argumentations: yet the importance of it demanded thus

Here three things most evidently appear, 1. _Jehovah_ was that person
in the deity, who appeared visibly and discoursed with the patriarchs,
not the invisible supreme. 2. That _Abram_ erected an altar to this
divine person _Jehovah_, worshipped him, and invoked in his _name_.
Invoked whom? the supreme unquestionably, _i. e._ prayed to the supreme
Being, in the _name_, virtue, effect, and merit of _Jehovah_, the
mediatorial deity. The word NAME, in these passages of scripture,
means the mediatorial deity, JEHOVAH by name: Ὁ Θεος Επιφανης, the
God who appear’d personally to the patriarchs, who was the king of
the _Mosaic_ dispensation, and of the _Jewish_ people, call’d the
anointed or _Messiah_, 1 _Sam._ ii. 10, 35. he was the captain of the
_Israelites_, that conducted them from _Egypt_ to _Canaan_, _Exod._
xxiii. 20. the royal angel, the king, emperor. The angel of his face
or presence, _Isaiah_ lxiii. 9. the angel of the covenant, _Malachi_
iii. 1. _Melech Jehovah_ the angelick king, _Zechar._ iii. 1, 2, 3, 4.
he is very God: for, says the supreme, in the before quoted passage in
_Exodus_, _behold I send an angel before thee_ (_the_ angel, it ought to
be read) _to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place
which I have prepared. Beware of him and obey his voice, provoke him
not, for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my_ NAME _is in
him._ This same way of speaking _Joshua_ uses, _Josh._ xxiv. 19. _Ye
cannot serve Jehovah; for he is a holy deity, he is a jealous God,
he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your sins._ The _Jews_
confess this doctrine to be just. _Rabbi Hadersan_ upon that passage in
_Zephaniah_ iii. 9. _to call upon the_ NAME _of Jehovah_, says, this
_Jehovah_ is no other than _Messiah_. All this shews the patriarchs
had a knowledge of the true nature of the deity, and that the Christian
or mediatorial religion is the first and the last. And when men were
quite deviated from the first, the _Mosaic_ dispensation was but an
intervening vail upon the effulgence and spirituality of true religion
for a time, to reduce them to it, in the actual advent of the Messiah.
3. These altars, as they are here called, were the patriarchal temples
like those of our druids, the places of publick worship; and invoking
in the name of _Jehovah_, is a form of speech importing publick worship
on sabbath days: equivalent to our saying, to go to church on sundays.
Whence _Servius_ on the _Æneid_ III. v. 85. writes, in the most
ancient manner of worshipping, they only pray’d directly to the deity,
without offering sacrifice. And thus I apprehend, we are to understand
_Herodotus_ II. where he says the _Athenians_ learn’d invoking, of
the _Pelasgi_, who were _Phœnicians_: and probably they had it from
_Abraham_, who was introduc’d into the land of _Canaan_, as a reformer
of religion. Invoking was the ordinary method of devotion on sabbath
days: sacrificing was extraordinary.

It was _Abraham_’s custom, wherever he dwelt, to build one of these
temples: as afterward, in the plain of _Mamre_, by _Hebron_, _Gen._
xiii. 18. And at _Beersheba_ we are told he planted a grove, and there
invoked in the name of _Jehovah_, the everlasting God, _Gen._ xxi.
33. It cannot be doubted but there was an altar and work of stones
at the same place. And this was the usage of all the patriarchs, his
successors, ever after; as is obvious in scripture, even to _Moses_’s
time. _Isaac_ builded an altar in _Beersheba_, and invoked in the Name
of _Jehovah_, who personally appear’d to him, _Gen._ xxvi. 25. _Jacob_
set up the anointed pillar at _Bethel_, xxviii. 18. and the temple
there, xxxv. At _Shechem_ he builded another, xxxiii. 20. At _Bethel_
he set up a pillar, where _Jehovah_ personally appeared to him, and
blessed him: he anointed it, and poured a drink-offering, or libation
thereon, xxxv. 14. In _Exod._ xxiv. 4. we read, _Moses rose early in
the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars_,
which we have no reason to doubt were set in a circle. The like was
done after they were seated in the land of _Canaan_, till the temple
of _Solomon_ was built: for _Samuel_, when he dwelt at _Ramah_, built
an altar, to _Jehovah_ there, whereat to celebrate publick offices of
religion, 1 _Sam._ vii. 17.

Hence we gather further these three things. 1. That they planted
groves in patriarchal times, as temples for publick worship. It seems
that this was done in those hot countries, for convenience in the
summer-season: and perhaps for magnificence. For we are told, _Abraham_
dwelt long at _Beersheba_, where he planted the grove. These were as
our cathedrals; they were planted round about the circular parts of
stones, as porticos for receiving of the congregation. Whence groves
and temples became a synonymous appellation, both in sacred and heathen
writers. 2. That these temples which they call’d altars, were circles
of stones, inclosing _that_ stone more properly nam’d the altar. The
circles were greater or less, of more or fewer stones, as the will or
convenience of the founder prompted. _Moses_ his temple was a circle
of twelve stones: and such we have in _England_. 3. They were commonly
made on open plains, and rising grounds, conspicuous and commodious
for multitudes, a whole neighbourhood to assemble in. This is the
consequence of the nature and reason of the thing: for a matter of
publick use must be in the most publick and conspicuous place. 4. The
patriarchal religion, and the christian, is but one and the same. Hence
in _Isaiah_ xix. 19. the prophet speaking of the restitution of the
patriarchal religion in _Egypt_, under the gospel dispensation, says,
“In that day shall there be an altar to _Jehovah_ in the midst of the
land of _Egypt_; and a pillar, at the border thereof, to _Jehovah_.”
This is expressly making use of the terms of a patriarchal temple, with
a view to that religion restor’d, meaning the christian.


  _View of the Temple of Rowldrich from the South._

  _Stukeley del._

  A. _the King Stone, as called._ B. _the Archdruids barrow._ CC.
  _round barrows: or King barrows._]

These monuments of the piety of the patriarchs in the eastern parts
of the world, were in time desecrated to idolatrous purposes, and at
length destroy’d, even by the people of _Israel_, for that reason:
and temples square in form and cover’d at top, were introduc’d at the
_Mosaic_ dispensation, in direct opposition to that idolatry. But
before then, that first method pass’d all over the western world, and
to _Britain_, where we see them to this day. By the way, we trace
some footsteps of them, but there is always a fable annex’d; as
generally at this day, in our Druid temples at home. Thus _Pausanias in
corinthiacis_ informs us, that near the river _Chemarus_, is a _septum_
or circle of stones. He says, they have a report there, that this is
the place whence _Pluto_ carry’d away _Proserpine_. By such story we
must understand, the mysteries were there celebrated. _Pausanias_
writes, that the _Thracians_ us’d to build their temples round, and
open at top, in _Bœotic_. He speaks of such at _Haliartus_, by the
name of Ναος, equivalent to the _Hebrew Beth_, which name _Jacob_ gave
to his temple. He speaks of several altars dedicate to _Pluto_, set
in the middle of _areas_ fenc’d in with stones: and they are call’d
_hermionenses_. He tells us too, among the _Orchomenians_, is a most
ancient temple of the _Graces_, but they worship ’em in the form of
stones. From the number three, we may easily guess this was a _Kist
vaen_, as our old _Britons_ call it, or _Kebla_, like that in our great
temple of _Abury_, and elsewhere. Indeed, the stones of these _Kebla_
in time, instead of a direction in worship, became the object of
worship; as _Clemens Alexandrinus_ affirms.

That our Druids were so eminently celebrated for their use of groves,
shews them to have a more particular relation to _Abraham_, and more
immediately from him deriving the usage: by which way, I pointed at in
good measure, in the account of _STONEHENGE_. Hence the name of Druid
imports, priest of the groves; and their verdant cathedrals, as we
may call them, are celebrated by all old writers that speak of this
people. We all know the awful and solemn pleasure that strikes one upon
entering a grove; a kind of religious dread arises from the gloomy
majesty of the place, very favourable to the purpose intended by them.
_Servius_ upon _Æneid_ III.

    _Ante urbem in luco falsi Simoëntis ad undam_,

observes, _Virgil_ never mentions a grove without a note of religion.
Again, _Æneid_ IX. _ver._ 4. _Strabo_ says, the poets call temples by
the name of groves. And this is frequently done in the scripture. But
it is natural for our classic writers, when speaking of the Druids and
their great attachment to religious rites, so different from what they
were acquainted with, to insist much upon their groves; overlooking our
monuments, which they would scarce dignify with the name of temples,
because not covered like their own. Yet if with some, we would from
hence conclude, that they were the only temples of the Druids, and
therefore _Stonehenge_ and the works we are upon, were none of theirs,
we should err as much, as if we asserted _Abraham_ only made use of
groves, and not of the other temples erected on plains and open places.

Thus far I premis’d with brevity, as an introduction to our discourse,
shewing the origin of temples among mankind; a necessary provision
for that duty we owe to our sovereign author and benefactor. For
unless we can prove ourselves self-sufficient and independent, all
nature cries aloud for our acknowledgment of this duty. Private and
domestic prayer is our duty as private persons and families, that we
have life, and subsistence, and the common protection of providence:
but the profession and exercise of publick religion is equally
necessary as we are a community, a part of the publick, a parish, a
city, a nation, link’d together by government, for our common safety
and protection; in order to implore at the hands of God almighty the
general blessings of life, wanting to us in that capacity. And that
person who secludes himself from his share in this duty, is a rebel
and traitor to the publick, and is virtually separated from the common
blessings of heaven. But _time_ is equally necessary to this publick
duty as _place_, as every one’s reason must dictate. Therefore was the
sabbath instituted; the very first command of our maker, even in the
happy seat of _Paradise_, and before our fatal transgression. ’Tis the
positive institution of God, and founded upon the strictest reason. So
that if we allow the patriarchs to have built these temples, wherein to
assemble for publick devotion, and disallow of the sabbath, because not
particularly mention’d in the scripture that they did celebrate it, we
think absurdly, and err against common sense and reason. The scriptures
were given to teach us religion, but not to inform us of common sense
and reason.

The duty of the sabbath commences as early as our being, and is
included with great propriety in that observation of the divine
historian concerning _Adam_’s grandson, _Enos_; when it pass’d from
a family-ordinance to that of several families united, as then was
the case. The particularity of the expression, _invoking_ in the name
of _Jehovah_, dictates to us the form of their religion, founded on
the mediatorial scheme, which Mediator was a divine person, to be
worshipped; and thro’ our faith and hope in him, or in his _Name_, we
were to invoke God almighty for our pardon and protection. Therefore
the same scheme of religion subsists, from the beginning to this day,
the _Mosaic_ system intervening chiefly as a remedy against idolatry,
till the world was prepar’d for the great advent; and patriarchal
religion should be republish’d under the name of christian.

From all this we must conclude, that the ancients knew somewhat of the
mysterious nature of the deity, subsisting in distinct personalities,
which is more fully reveal’d to us in the christian dispensation. All
nature, our senses, common reason assures us of the one supreme and
self-originated being. The second person in the deity is discoverable
in almost every page of the old testament. After his advent, he informs
us more fully of the nature of the third person: and that third person
is discoverable in almost every page of the new testament. That the
ancients had some knowledge of this great truth, the learned _Steuchus
Eugubinus_ demonstrates, in _perenni philosoph._ from their writings
which are still left, such as _Hermes_, _Orpheus_, _Hydaspes_,
_Pythagoras_, _Plato_, the _Platonics_, the sibylline verses, the
oracles, and the like. Our _Cudworth_ has very laudably pursued the
same track, and _Kircher_, and our _Ramsey_ in his history of _Cyrus_,
and many more, to whom I refer the curious reader, who has a mind to be
convinced of it. I shall only add this, that upon supposition only of
an ancient tradition of it, having been handed down from one generation
to another, in order to light up and kindle our reason concerning it;
that ’tis a doctrine so far from being contrary to reason, or above
human reason, that ’tis deducible therefrom, and perfectly agreeable to
it, as I shall shew in Chap. XV.

Nor is this a slight matter; for if knowledge be a valuable thing,
if it be the highest ornament and felicity to the human mind; the
most divine part of all knowledge is to know somewhat of the nature of
the deity. This knowledge the Druids assuredly attempted to come at,
and obtained, as we gather from the different kinds of their temples;
and when we have described them, we shall beg leave to resume this
argument, and briefly to discourse on it again, as being the chief and
ultimate purpose of all antique inquiries.

  TAB. IV.

  _View of Rowldrich Stones from the West Sept. 11. 1724._

  _Stukeley del._

  A. _the Kistvaen at a Distance._]

                               CHAP. II.

  _Of the origin of temples more particularly, the meaning of
    the name. The manner of them, round and open. The_ Mosaic
    _tabernacle a temple square and cover’d, in opposition to the
    former desecrated into idolatry. Another reason, covered with
    skins, because typical of Messiah. So the patriarchal or Druid
    temples made in those forms, that were symbols of the deity,
    and the divine personalities thereof. When become idolatrous
    generally dedicated to the sun, by reason of their round form.
    The most ancient symbolic figure of the deity was the circle,
    snake and wings, which we see frequently on_ Egyptian _and other
    Monuments. The patriarchal temples made in representations
    thereof; therefore of three kinds._ I. _A circle only._ II. _A
    circle and snake._ III. _A circle and wings. This Volume treats
    of a temple of each of these kinds in_ Britain. _The temple of_
    ROWLDRICH _in_ Oxfordshire _being of the first sort, described.
    The Evidence of its being a work of the Druids, drawn up in a
    kind of order, as a specimen._ 1. _Its high situation, on an
    open heath by the heads of rivers._ 2. _An open circle of stones
    set upright, taken from the surface of the ground._ 3. _The
    appearance of the weather on them._ 4. _From the name, the_
    Gilgal _of_ Joshua _explain’d._ 5. _From the measure, the Druid
    cubit._ 6. _From the barrows all round it. A Druid’s court.
    The king’s_ tumulus. _The archdruid’s_ tumulus, _the founder._
    7. _From old reports concerning these works._ 8. _Sepulchres
    frequently the occasion of founding temples in all ages, from a
    hope of the body’s resurrection, and one occasion of deifying
    heroes, and introducing idolatry, the first species of it._

Temple is a word deriv’d from the _greek_ Τεμενος, a place cut off,
inclosed, dedicated to sacred use, whether an area, a circle of
stones, a field, or a grove. This matter, as all others, advanced from
simplicity, by degrees, till it became what we now call a temple. Thus
we read in _Iliad_ II, of _Ceres_’s field. _Iliad_ VIII, of _Jupiter_’s
field and altar. In XXIII, another at the fountain of _Sperchius_.
In _Odyss._ VIII, that of _Venus Paphia_. _Pausanias_ mentions many
of these. _Cicero_ too among the _Thebans_, _de nat. deor._ III. In
_Odyss._ XVII, a grove perfectly round by _Ithaca_. And these were
encompass’d by a ditch which _Pollux_ calls _peribolus_. _Pausanias_
makes this particular remark in _Achaic_, of the grove of _Diana
servatrix_. They were kept by priests who dwelt there for that purpose,
as _Maron_ in _Odyss._ IX.

_Tempe_ signifies a grove or temple, which is the same thing. _Strabo_
writes, that the poets, for ornament sake, call all temples groves.
This was in affectation of antiquity.

    _Est nemus Æmoniæ, prærupta quod undique claudit
    Sylva, vocant Tempe._——

_Tempulum_, or contractedly _templum_, is a lesser grove, or temple
properly speaking, built with pillars, as it were in imitation of a
great grove. The patriarchal _temeni_ were call’d במיה _excelsa_,
because generally made on high places. Hence the _greek_ word βωμος.
By the _hebrew_ writers they were call’d _sacella montana_, mountain
oratories. _Sacellum_, says _Festus_, is an open chapel, or without a
roof. At length the word temple was apply’d to sacred structures built
with a roof, in imitation of _Solomon_’s. And that was a durable and
fixed one, an edifice of extraordinary grandeur and beauty, made in
imitation of the _Mosaic_ tabernacle, which was a temple itinerant, the
first idea of a cover’d one, properly. There were two reasons, among
others, why it was cover’d and square in form. 1. By way of opposition
to the heathen ones, practised in all the countries round about, which
were imitations of the first patriarchal temples there, and now were
converted to idolatrous purposes. 2. Because it was a type of Messiah,
or _JEHOVAH_ who was to come in the flesh, therefore cover’d with
skins. And that we may have the greatest authority in the case, our
Saviour himself declares in the most publick manner, that the temple
of _Jerusalem_ was symbolical of his body, as we find it recorded in
the gospel, _John_ ii. 19. And the author of the _Hebrews_ largely
deduces the necessity of making temples to be the pictures of heavenly
things, and particularly of the mediator, _Heb._ ix. 11, 23. which can
be done no otherwise than symbolically. And authors that describe the
tabernacle and temple, insist upon this largely. Nor is it otherwise
with us christians, in our cathedrals, designing our saviour’s body
extended on the cross. But in the more ancient patriarchal times,
before the great advent, they form’d them upon the geometrical figures
or pictures, or manner of writing, by which they express’d the deity,
and the mystical nature thereof. And this same design of making temples
in some kind of imitation of the deity, as well as they could conceive
it, was from the very beginning. The heathen authors retain some
notion of this matter, when they tell us, of temples being made in the
form and nature of the gods. _Porphyry_ in _Eusebius pr. ev._ III. 7.
affirms the round figure to be dedicated to eternity, and that they
anciently built temples round; but he did not understand the whole
reason. And when they built temples properly, in imitation of the
jewish, they made them often of a round form, and often open at top,
to preserve as near as might be, the most ancient manner they had been
acquainted with. Whence _Pausanias_ writes, the _Thracians_ us’d to
build their temples round, and open at top.

Thus at _Bethel_, the place where _Jacob_ built his temple, and where
his grandfather _Abraham_ had built one before, _Jeroboam_ chose
it for his idolatrous temple, call’d by the _Alexandrian Greeks_ in
after times, οικος Ων, the temple of _On_. _S. Cyril_ in his comments
on _Hosea_ writes, that _On_ is the sun, from its round form. The
heathen had done all they could to corrupt the remembrance of the
name of the true God, and turn’d _Beth-el_, which signifies the house
of EL or God, to οικος Ων, the house of _On_, or the sun. As ηλιος,
is a word undoubtedly made from EL, in the _Hebrew_, expressing God’s
power and sovereignty; so much like _Elion_ a name of God in Scripture,
signifying _Hypsistus_, the most high. _Gen._ xiv. 18. _Luke_ i. 37. in
_Arabic_, _allah taâla_ the most high God. Whence _Atlas_ the name of
consecration of the _African_ hero, _allah taâl_.

  TAB. V.

  _The prospect Northward from Rowldrich Stones._

  _Stukeley del._

  A. _the King Stone._ B. _the Archdruids barrow._ C. _king barrows
  or round barrows._ D. _long compton._]

When these ancient patriarchal temples in other countries came to
be perverted to idolatry, they consecrated many of them to the sun,
thinking their round form ought to be referr’d to his disc; and that
these pyramidal stones, set in a circle, imitated his rays. Hence
call’d _Aglibelus_, _rotundus Deus_, as interpreted by _Bochart_. עגל
בעל, ζευς επικυκλιος among the orientals, as _Schedius_ observes. And
had the ancient _Greek_ writers seen our temples of _Stonehenge_, and
the rest, they would have concluded them dedicated to the sun.

These temples of ours are always of a round form: and there are
innumerable of them, all over the _Britannic_ isles, nevertheless they
are to be ranked into three kinds; for tho’ they are all circular, yet
there are three manifest diversities which I have observ’d, regarding
that threefold figure, by which the ancients, probably even from
_Adam_’s time, express’d in writing, the great idea of the deity. This
figure by _Kircher_ is call’d _ophio-cyclo-pterygo-morphus_. ’Tis a
circle with wings, and a snake proceeding from it. A figure excellently
well design’d to picture out the intelligence they had, no doubt, by
divine communication, of the mysterious nature of the deity. And it
was the way of the ancients in their religious buildings, to copy
out or analogize the form of the divine being, as they conceiv’d it,
in a symbolical manner. By this means they produc’d a most effectual
prophylact, as they thought, which could not fail of drawing down the
blessings of divine providence upon that place and country, as it were,
by sympathy and similitude.

I shall therefore make it the subject of the present volume, to
describe one or two of each sort of the temples built upon the plan of
these figures: wherein the founders have left an incontestible proof
of that knowledge which the ancient world had of the divine nature, by
these durable and magnificent monuments. The remainder of these temples
(as many as are come to my knowledge) together with the places of the
sports and games of the ancient _Britons_, and the religion of the
Druids, I shall publish in the succeeding volume.

Names or words are necessary for the understanding of things; therefore
1. The round temples simply, I call temples; 2. Those with the form
of a snake annext, as that of _Abury_, I call serpentine temples, or
_Dracontia_, by which they were denominated of old; 3. Those with
the form of wings annext, I call alate or winged temples. And these
are all the kinds of Druid temples that I know of. We may call these
figures, the symbols of the patriarchal religion, as the cross is of
the christian. Therefore they built their temples according to those


I shall begin with _Rowlright_ or rather _Rowldrich_, and as a specimen
of what requisites are sought for in these enquiries, I shall draw them
up in a kind of order: which may be useful in all researches of this

1. A situation on high ground, open heaths, by heads of rivers.

ROWLDRICH is a temple of the Druids of the first kind, a circular
work which has been often taken notice of in print, lying in the
north-west part of _Oxfordshire_: upon high ground, where the counties
of _Oxford_, _Warwick_, and _Glocester_ meet. ’Tis near the town of
_Chippin-Norton_. Two rivers rise here, that run with quite contrary
directions; the _Evenlode_ towards the south part of the kingdom, which
joining the _Isis_ below _Woodstock_, visits the great luminary of
_Britain_, _Oxford_, and then meets the _Thames_ at _Dorchester_, the
ancient _Episcopal see_ of the _Mercian_ kingdom. At this _Dorchester_
are fine remains both of _Saxon_ church antiquity, of _Roman_, and of
_British_. The inquisitive that prefer our own country antiquities to
the vain tour of foreign, will find much of curious amusement there.
The other river _Stour_ runs from _Rowldrich_ directly north, to
meet the _Avon_ at _Stratford_, thence to the _Severn_ sea. So that
_Rowldrich_ must needs stand on very high ground, and to those that
attentively consider the place itself, it appears to be a large cop’d
hill, on the summit of an open down; and the temple together with
the Archdruid’s barrow hard by, stand on the very tip of it, having
a descent every way thence: and an extensive prospect, especially
into _Glocestershire_ and _Warwickshire_. The country hereabouts was
originally an open, barren heath; and underneath, a quarry of a kind of
rag stone. At present near here are some inclosures, which have been
plough’d up. The major part of our antiquity remains: tho’ many of the
stones have been carried away within memory, to make bridges, houses,

2. ’Tis an open temple of a circular form, made of stones set upright
in the ground. The stones are rough and unhewn, and were (as I
apprehend) taken from the surface of the ground. I saw stones lying
in the field north of _Norton_, not far off, of good bulk, and the
same kind as those of our antiquity. There are such in other places
hereabouts, whence the Druids took them: tho’ in the main, carry’d off
ever since, for building and other uses.

3. We observe the effect of the weather upon these works. This we are
treating of, stands in a corner of the hedge of the inclosure, near
the northern summit of the hill, “a great monument of antiquity,” says
the excellent Mr. _Camden_, “a number of vastly great stones plac’d
in a circular figure. They are of unequal height and shape, very much
ragged, impair’d and decay’d by time.” Indeed as from hence we must
form some judgment of their age, we may pronounce them not inferior
to any in that respect; corroded like worm-eaten wood, by the harsh
jaws of time, and that much more than _Stonehenge_, which is no mean
argument of its being the work of the Druids.

4. We are led to this conclusion from the name. Mr. _Camden_ calls
them _Rolle-rich_ stones. Dr. _Holland_ in his note says, in a book in
the _Exchequer_ (perhaps he means doomsday book) the town adjacent,
(whence its name) is _Rollendrich_, if it was wrote exactly, I suppose
it would be _Rholdrwyg_, which means the Druids’ _wheel_ or _circle_.
_Rhwyll_ likewise in the _British_, is _cancelli_, for these stones
are set pretty near together, so as almost to become a continued wall,
or _cancellus_. Further, the word _Roilig_ in the old _irish_ language,
signifies a church; then it imports the _Druids’_ church, _chancel_,
or _temple_, in the first acceptation of the word. We may call this
place the _Gilgal_ of _Britain_, to speak in the oriental manner, a
word equivalent to the _Celtic Rhol_, a wheel or circle, which gave
name to that famous camp or fortress where the host of _Israel_ first
pitch’d their tents in the land of _Canaan_; after they pass’d the
river _Jordan_ in a miraculous manner, dry-shod, as ’tis described
in the sublimest manner, and equal to the dignity of the subject, in
_Joshua_ iv. There also we read, that _Joshua_ caused twelve men, a
man out of each tribe, to pitch twelve stones in the channel of the
river _Jordan_, where the ark stood whilst the people pass’d over,
when the stream was cut off; they were set there for a memorial. And
they likewise took up twelve stones out of the bed of the river, and
_Joshua_ pitch’d them in _Gilgal_, in a circular form, which gave name
to the place, meaning a _rhowl_ or _wheel_. And to this he alludes in
the next chapter, in that passage, which otherwise is difficult to
be understood; for here _Joshua_ circumcised the people, that rite
having been omitted in the young race during their peregrination in the
wilderness: “And the LORD said unto _Joshua_, this day have I _rolled_
away the reproach of _Egypt_ from off you; wherefore the name of the
place is called _Gilgal_ unto this day.”

  TAB. VI.

  _View of the Kistvaen at Rowldrich from the East._

  _Stukeley del._

  A. _the Druid temple at a distance._]

Commentators not apprehending this, run into many odd solutions, as not
seeing a reason between _name_ and _thing_. Some therefore suppose it
so call’d, because from hence _Joshua_ conquer’d all his enemies _round
about_, and the like. But the truth is, _Joshua_ set the stones in a
circular form, like the ancient temples; but placed no altar there,
because they had no need to use it as a temple, where the tabernacle
was present, therefore call’d it simply the _wheel_. So I doubt not
but the altar which _Moses_ built under mount _Sinai_, with twelve
pillars, was a circular work, as our Druid temples, _Exod._ xxiv. 4.
The like we ought to think of the altar which _Moses_ built, and called
_Jehovah Nissi_, which the heathen perverted into _Jupiter Nyseus_,
or _Dionysus_, _Exod._ xvii. 15. The like must be affirm’d of all the
patriarchal altars of _Abraham_, _Isaac_, and _Jacob_. These works
of ours prove it, which are but little later in time, and made in
imitation of theirs; and without a pun, or false logic, these matters
may be said to prove each other in a circle; where ’tis absurd to
demand any positive proof thro’ extreme distance of times and places.
I apprehend nothing further ought to be expected from us than to lay
together circumstantial evidence, a concurrence of numerous and strong
verisimilitudes; as is now the case with us concerning _Rowldrich_.

5. We very justly infer this is a temple of the Druids, from the
measure it is built upon. In a letter from Mr. _Roger Gale_ to me,
dated from _Worcester, Aug. 19, 1719_, having been to visit this
antiquity at my request, he tells me, the diameter of the circle is 35
yards. So the bishop of _London_ writes, the distance at _Stonehenge_
from the entrance of the area to the temple itself is 35 yards; so the
diameter of _Stonehenge_ is 35 yards. We suppose this is not measur’d
with a mathematical exactness; but when we look into the comparative
scale of _English_ feet and cubits, we discern 60 cubits of the
Druids is the measure sought for. The diameter of the outer circle of
_Stonehenge_, and this circle at _Rowldrich_, are exactly equal.

I have repeated the table of the Druid cubits collated with our
_English_ feet, which will be of service to us throughout this work,
plate II.

The circle itself is compos’d of stones of various shapes and
dimensions, set pretty near together, as may best be seen by the
drawings, TABLE III, IV. They are flattish, about 16 inches thick.
Originally there seems to have been 60 in number, at present there
are 22 standing, few exceeding 4 foot in height; but one in the
very north point much higher than the rest, 7 foot high, 5½ broad.
There was an entrance to it from the north-east, as is the case at
_Stonehenge_. _Ralph Sheldon_, esquire, dug in the middle of the circle
at _Rowldrich_, but found nothing.

6. Another argument of its being a Druid temple, is taken from the
barrows all around it, according to the constant practice in these
places. To the north-east is a great _tumulus_ or barrow of a long
form, which I suppose to have been of an arch-druid. Between it and our
temple is a huge stone standing upright, called the _kingstone_; the
stone is 8 foot high, 7 broad, which, together with the barrow, may be
seen in TABLES III, V. but the barrow has had much dug away from it.
’Tis now above 60 foot in length, 20 in breadth, flattish at top.

I know not whether there were more stones standing originally about
this barrow, or that this belong’d to some part of the administration
of religious offices in the temple, as a single stone.

In the same plate may be seen another barrow, but circular, below
the road to the left hand, on the side of the hill. Under it is a
spring-head running eastward to _Long Compton_. This barrow has had
stone-work at the east end of it. Upon this same heath eastward, in the
way to _Banbury_, are many barrows of different shapes, within sight of
_Rowldrich_; particularly, near a place call’d _Chapel_ on the heath,
is a large, flat, and circular _tumulus_, ditch’d about, with a small
tump in the center: this is what I call a Druid’s barrow; many such
near _Stonehenge_, some whereof I opened; a small circular barrow a
little way off it. There are on this heath too, many circular dish-like
cavities, as near _Stonehenge_, we may call them barrows inverted.

Not far from the Druid’s barrow I saw a square work, such as I call
Druids’ courts or houses. Such near _Stonehenge_ and _Abury_. ’Tis a
place 100 cubits square, double-ditch’d. The earth of the ditches is
thrown inward between the ditches, so as to a raise a terrace, going
quite round. The ditches are too inconsiderable to be made for defence.
Within are seemingly remains of stone walls. ’Tis within sight of
the temple, and has a fine prospect all around, being seated on the
highest part of the ridge. A little further is a small round barrow,
with stone-work at the east end, like that before spoken of near
_Rowldrich_; a dry stone wall or fence running quite over it, across
the heath.

Return we nearer to the temple, and we see 300 paces directly east from
it in the same field, a remarkable monument much taken notice of; ’tis
what the old _Britons_ call a _Kist vaen_ or stone chest; I mean the
_Welsh_, the descendants of those invaders from the continent, _Belgæ_,
_Gauls_ and _Cimbrians_, who drove away the aboriginal inhabitants,
that made the works we are treating of, still northward. Hence they
gave them these names from appearances; as _Rowldrich_, the _wheel or
circle of the Druids_; as _Stonehenge_ they call’d _choir gaur_, the
_giants’ dance_; as our _saxon_ ancestors call’d it _Stonehenge_, the
_hanging-stones_, or _stone-gallows_. Every succession of inhabitants
being still further remov’d from a true notion and knowledge of the

Our _Kist vaen_ is represented in plates VI. and VII. One shews the
foreside, the other the backside; so that there needs but little
description of it. ’Tis compos’d of six stones, one broader for the
back-part, two and two narrower for the sides, set square to the
former; and above all, as a cover, a still larger. The opening is full
west, to the temple, or _Rowldrich_. It stands on a round _tumulus_,
and has a fine prospect south-westward down the valley, where the
head of the river _Evenlode_ runs. I persuade myself this was merely
monumental, erected over the grave of some great person there buried;
most probably the king of the country, when this temple was built. And
if there was any use of the building, it might possibly be some way
accommodated to some anniversary commemoration of the deceased, by
feasts, games, exercises, or the like, as we read in the classic poets,
who describe customs ancienter than their own times. It is akin to that
_Kist vaen_ in _Cornwall_, which I have drawn in plate XXXVII.


  _View of the Kistvaen of Rowldrich from the Southwest._

  _Stukeley del._    _Vᵈʳ. Gucht. Sculp._]

Near the arch-druid’s barrow, by that call’d the _Kingstone_, is a
square plat, oblong, form’d on the turf. Hither, on a certain day of
the year, the young men and maidens customarily meet, and make merry
with cakes and ale. And this seems to be the remain of the very ancient
festival here celebrated in memory of the interr’d, for whom the long
barrow and temple were made. This was the sepulture of the arch-druid
founder. At _Enston_, a little way off, between _Neat Enston_ and
_Fulwell_, by the side of a bank or _tumulus_, stands a great stone,
with other smaller. ’Tis half a mile south-west of _Enston_ church. A
famous barrow at _Lineham_, by the banks of the _Evenlode_.

7. Mr. _Camden_ writes further concerning our antiquity, that “the
country people have a fond tradition, that they were once men, turn’d
into stones. The highest of all, which lies out of the ring, they
call the _king_. Five larger stones, which are at some distance from
the circle, set close together, they pretend were knights, the ring
were common soldiers.” This story the country people, for some miles
round, are very fond of, and take it very ill if any one doubts of it;
nay, they are in danger of being stoned for their unbelief. They have
likewise rhymes and sayings relating thereto. Suchlike reports are to
be met with in other like works, our Druid temples. They savour of the
most ancient and heroic times. Like _Perseus_, turning men into stones;
like _Cadmus_, producing men from serpents’ teeth; like _Deucalion_,
by throwing stones over his head, and such like, which we shall have
occasion to mention again, chap. XIV.

8. We may very reasonably affirm, that this temple was built here,
on account of this long barrow. And very often in ancient times
temples owe their foundation to sepulchres, as well as now. _Clemens
Alexandrinus_ in _Protrept._ and _Eusebius_, both allow it; and it
is largely treated of in _Schedius_ and other authors; ’tis a common
thing among these works of our Druids, and an argument that this is a
work of theirs. I shall only make two observations therefrom. 1. That
it proceeded from a strong notion in antiquity of a future state, and
that in respect of their bodies as well as souls; for the temples are
thought prophylactic, and have a power of protecting and preserving the
remains of the dead. 2. That it was the occasion of consecrating and
idolizing of dead heroes, the first species of idolatry; for they by
degrees advanc’d them into those deities of which these figures were
symbols, whereof we shall meet with instances in the progress of this

Thus we pronounce _Rowldrich_ a Druid temple, from a concurrence of
all the appearances to be expected in the case; from its round form,
situation on high ground, near springs, on an extended heath, from the
stones taken from the surface of the ground, from the name, from the
measure it is built on, from the wear of the weather, from the barrows
of various kinds about it, from ancient reports, from its apparent
conformity to those patriarchal temples mentioned in scripture. This is
the demonstration to be expected in such antiquities. Nor shall I spend
time in examining the notion of its belonging to _Rollo_ the _Dane_,
and the like. Mr. _Camden_ had too much judgment to mention it. ’Tis
confuted in the annotations to _Britannia_, and in _Selden_’s notes
on _Drayton_’s _Polyolbion_, page 224. And let this suffice for what I
can say upon this curious and ancient monument: the first kind, and
most common of the Druid temples, a plain circle: of which there are
innumerable all over the _Britannick_ isles; being the original form of
all temples, ’till the Mosaick tabernacle.

                              CHAP. III.

  Abury, _the most extraordinary work in the world, being a
    serpentine temple, or of the second kind, described. Now was
    the critical time of saving the memory of it. Account of the
    place. Natural history. The gray weathers, call’d_ Sarsens, _a_
    phœnician _word, meaning a rock. Whence the name of the city of_
    Tyre. _Their weight and texture. The wear of the weather, more
    apparent here, than at_ Stonehenge, _an argument of its being a
    much older work._

When we contemplate the elegance of this country of _Wiltshire_,
and the great works of antiquity therein, we may be persuaded, that
the two atlantic islands, and the islands of the blessed, which
_Plato_ and other ancient writers mention, were those _in reality_
of _Britain_ and _Ireland_. They who first took possession of this
country, thought it worthy of their care, and built those noble works
therein, which have been the admiration of all ages. _Stonehenge_ we
have endeavoured to describe; and we are not more surpriz’d at the
extraordinary magnitude of this work of _Abury_, than that it should
have escap’d the observation of the curious: a place in the direct
_Bath_-road from _London_. Passing from _Marlborough_ hither, ’tis the
common topic of amusement for travellers, to observe the gray weathers
on _Marlborough_ downs, which are the same kind of stones as this
of our antiquity, lying dispers’d, on the surface of the ground, as
nature originally laid them. When we come to this village, we see the
largest of those stones in great numbers, set upright in the earth,
in circles, in parallel lines and other regular figures, and a great
part inclos’d in a vast circular ditch, of above 1000 foot diameter.
And what will further excite one’s curiosity, the _vallum_ or earth,
which is of solid chalk, dug out of that ditch, thrown on the outside;
quite contrary to the nature of castles and fortifications. The ditch
alone, which is wide and deep, is a very great labour, and the rampart
very high, and makes the appearance of a huge amphitheatre, for an
innumerable company of spectators; but cannot possibly be design’d for
offence or defence. This is twice passed by all the travellers: and
its oddness would arrest one’s attention, if the stones escap’d it.


  _A Scenographic view of the Druid temple of ABVRY in north
  Wiltshire, as in its original._

  _W. Stukeley Delin._

  _Præhonorabili Dño. Dño. Philippo Dño. Hardwick, summo magnæ
  Brittanniæ Cancellario tabulam. L.M.D. W. Stukeley._]

The mighty carcase of _Stonehenge_ draws great numbers of people, out
of their way every day, as to see a sight: and it has exercis’d the
pens of the learned to account for it. But _Abury_ a much greater
work and more extensive design, by I know not what unkind fate, was
altogether overlooked, and in the utmost danger of perishing, thro’ the
humor of the country people, but of late taken up, of demolishing the
stones. Mr. _Camden_ the great light of _British_ antiquities, took
_Kennet_ avenue to be plain rocks, and that the village of _Rockley_
took its name from them. It is strange that two parallel lines of great
stones, set at equal distance and intervals, for a mile together,
should be taken for rocks in their natural site. As for the town of
_Rockley_, ’tis four miles off, has nothing to do with this antiquity,
tho’ probably had its name from the adjacent gray weathers, whence our
stones were drawn.

Dr. _Holland_, his annotator, writes thus of it. “Within one mile of
_Selbury_, (by which he means _Silbury-hill_) is _Abury_, an uplandish
village, built in an old camp, as it seemeth, but of no large compass.
It is environed with a fair trench, and hath four gates, in two of
which stand huge stones, as jambs; but so rude, that they seem rather
natural than artificial: of which sort, there are some other, in the
said village.” In the time, when this was wrote, all the circles of
these great stones, within the village of _Abury_, were nearly perfect;
two of about 150 foot diameter, two of 300 foot diameter, and the great
one of above 1000: which merited a higher notice. The largeness of the
circles hinder’d an incurious spectator from discerning their purpose.

I persuade my self the intelligent reader, by casting his eye over
the plate in the frontispiece, being the village of _Abury_, will see
enough to excite a vast idea of the place: more so, if they conceive
that the two avenues of _Kennet_ and _Bekamton_, going off at the
bottom, to the right and the left, extend themselves each, above a mile
from the town.

Dr. _Childrey_ likewise, in his _Britannia Baconica_, takes these
stones about _Kennet_ to be mere rocks. Thus if our minds are not
properly dispos’d for these inquiries, or we believe nothing great in
art, preceded the times of the _Romans_, we may run into _Munster_’s
error, in _cosmograph._ iii. 49. who believes, plain _celtic_ urns dug
up in _Poland_, to be the work of nature. _Harrington_ in his notes on
_Orlando furioso_ speaks likewise of _Abury_.

Just before I visited this place, to endeavour at preserving the memory
of it, the inhabitants were fallen into the custom of demolishing the
stones, chiefly out of covetousness of the little _area_ of ground,
each stood on. First they dug great pits in the earth, and buried them.
The expence of digging the grave, was more than 30 years purchase of
the spot they possess’d, when standing. After this, they found out
the knack of burning them; which has made most miserable havock of
this famous temple. One _Tom Robinson_ the _Herostratus_ of _Abury_,
is particularly eminent for this kind of execution, and he very much
glories in it. The method is, to dig a pit by the side of the stone,
till it falls down, then to burn many loads of straw under it. They
draw lines of water along it when heated, and then with smart strokes
of a great sledge hammer, its prodigious bulk is divided into many
lesser parts. But this _Atto de fe_ commonly costs thirty shillings in
fire and labour, sometimes twice as much. They own too ’tis excessive
hard work; for these stones are often 18 foot long, 13 broad, and 6
thick; that their weight crushes the stones in pieces, which they lay
under them to make them lie hollow for burning; and for this purpose
they raise them with timbers of 20 foot long, and more, by the help of
twenty men; but often the timbers were rent in pieces.

They have sometimes us’d of these stones for building houses; but
say, they may have them cheaper, in more manageable pieces, from the
gray weathers. One of these stones will build an ordinary house; yet
the stone being a kind of marble, or rather granite, is always moist
and dewy in winter, which proves damp and unwholsom, and rots the
furniture. The custom of thus destroying them is so late, that I could
easily trace the _obit_ of every stone; who did it, for what purpose,
and when, and by what method, what house or wall was built out of
it, and the like. Every year that I frequented this country, I found
several of them wanting; but the places very apparent whence they were
taken. So that I was well able, as then, to make a perfect ground-plot
of the whole, and all its parts. This is now twenty years ago. ’Tis to
be fear’d, that had it been deferr’d ’till this time, it would have
been impossible. And this stupendous fabric, which for some thousands
of years had brav’d the continual assaults of weather, and by the
nature of it, when left to itself, like the pyramids of _Egypt_, would
have lasted as long as the globe, must have fallen a sacrifice to the
wretched ignorance and avarice of a little village unluckily plac’d
within it; and the curiosity of the thing would have been irretrievable.

Such is the modern history of _Abury_, which I thought proper to
premise, to prepare the mind of the reader. All this was done in my
original memoirs, which I wrote on the spot, very largely. Tho’ it was
necessary for me then to do it, in order to get a thorough intelligence
of the work; yet I shall commit nothing more to the press, than what I
judge absolutely necessary to illustrate it.

In regard to the natural history of the stones, ’tis the same as that
of _Stonehenge_, which is compos’d of the very same stones, fetch’d
from the same _Marlborough-downs_, where they lie on the surface of
the ground in great plenty, of all dimensions. This was the occasion,
why the Druids took the opportunity of building these immense works in
this country. The people call these great stones, _sarsens_; and ’tis a
proverb here, _as hard as a sarsen_; a mere _phœnician_ word, continued
here from the first times, signifying a _rock_. The very name of _Tyre_
is hence derived, of which largely and learnedly _Bochart_, _Canaan_
II. 10. This whole country, hereabouts, is a solid body of chalk,
cover’d with a most delicate turf. As this chalky matter harden’d at
creation, it spew’d out the most solid body of the stones, of greater
specific gravity than itself; and assisted by the centrifuge power,
owing to the rotation of the globe upon its axis, threw them upon
its surface, where they now lie. This is my opinion concerning this
appearance, which I often attentively consider’d. ’Tis worth while
for a curious observer to go toward the northern end of that great
ridge of hills overlooking _Abury_ from the east, call’d the _Hakpen_,
an oriental name too, that has continued to it from _Druid_ times.
A little to the right hand of the road coming from _Marlborough_ to
_Abury_, where are three pretty barrows, and another dish-like barrow,
if we look downwards to the side of the hill toward _Abury_, we discern
many long and straight ridges of natural stone, the same as the gray
weathers, as it were emerging out of the chalky surface. They are
often cross’d by others in straight lines, almost at right angles. For
hereabouts, it seems, that the chalk contracting itself, and growing
closer together, as it hardened, thrust the lapidescent matter into
these fissures. ’Tis a very pretty appearance. This is near that part
of the _downs_ call’d _Temple-downs_. There are no quarries, properly
speaking, nearer _Abury_ than _Swindon_, and those have not long been
dug. In _Caln_ they dig up a paltry kind of stone, fit for nothing
but mending the highways. But our gray weather stone is of so hard a
texture, that Mr. _Ayloff_ of _Wooton-basset_ hewed one of them to make
a rape-mill stone, and employ’d twenty yoke of oxen to carry it off.
Yet so great was its weight, that it repeatedly broke all his tackle in
pieces, and he was forc’d to leave it. It may be said of many one of
our gray weathers,

  _Est moles nativa, loco res nomina fecit.
    Appellant saxum, pars bona montis ea est._      Ovid.

Lord _Pembroke_ caus’d several of these stones to be dug under, and
found them loose, and detach’d. My lord computed the general weight of
our stones at above fifty tun, and that it required an hundred yoke of
oxen to draw one. Dr. _Stephen Hales_ makes the larger kind of them
to be seventy tun. Mr. _Edward Llwyd_, in his account of the natural
history of _Wales_, _Phil. Trans. abridg’d_, Vol. V. 2. p. 118. writes,
he found a strange appearance of great stones, and loose fragments of
rocks on the surface of the earth, not only on wide plains, but on the
tops too of the highest mountains. So the moor stones on the wastes and
hill-tops of _Cornwall_, _Derbyshire_, _Devonshire_, _Yorkshire_, and
other places, of a harder nature than these, and much the same as the
_Egyptian granite_.

  TAB. IX.

  _The Roman road leading from Bekampton to Hedington July 18. 1723._

  _Stukeley del._   _Vᵈʳ. Gucht. Sculp._]

As to the internal texture of this stone, when broke, it looks whitish
like marble. It would bear a pretty good polish, but for a large
quantity of bluish granules of sand, which are soft, and give it a
grayish or speckled colour, when smooth’d by an engine. It consists,
as all other stones, of a mixture of divers substances, united by
lapidescent juices, in a sufficient tract of time. Sometimes in one
stone shall be two or three colours, sometimes bits of flints kneaded
amongst the rest. In one stone fetch’d from _Bekamton_ avenue, near
_Longstone barrow_ (as commonly call’d) and which was broken and
made into a wall, at the little alehouse above _Bekamton_, in the
_Devizes_ road, I saw several bones, plainly animal, part of the
composition of the stone. This I admir’d very much, and concluded it
to be antediluvian. The stone in general is shining, close, and hard,
little inferior to common marble; yet the effect which time and weather
has had upon it, far beyond what is visible at _Stonehenge_, must
necessarily make us conclude the work to be many hundred years older
in date. In some places I could thrust my cane, a yard long, up to the
handle, in holes and cavities worn through by age, which must needs
bespeak some thousands of years continuance.

                               CHAP. IV.

  _The figure of the temple of_ Abury _is a circle and snake._
    Hakpen, _another oriental word still preserved here, meaning
    the_ serpent’s head. _The chorography of_ Abury. _A description
    of the great circle of stones_ 1400 _foot in diameter. Of the
    ditch inclosing it. The vallum form’d on the outside, like an
    amphitheater to the place. This represents the circle in the
    hieroglyphic figure. Of the measures, all referring to the
    ancient eastern cubit which the Druids us’d._

The situation of _Abury_ is finely chose for the purpose it was
destin’d to, being the more elevated part of a plain, from whence there
is an almost imperceptible descent every way. But as the religious
work in _Abury_, tho’ great in itself, is but a part of the whole,
(the avenues stretching above a mile from it each way,) the situation
of the intire design is likewise projected with great judgment, in a
kind of large, separate plain, four or five miles in diameter. Into
this you descend on all sides from higher ground. The country north of
_Abury_, about _Berwick-basset_ and _Broad Hinton_, is very high, tho’
not appearing so to be, and much above the level of _Abury_ town. In
a field of _Broad Hinton_ the water runs two ways, into the _Thames_
and _Severn_, and they pretend ’tis the highest ground in _England_.
’Tis indeed part of that very great ridge of hills, coming from
_Somersetshire_, and going hence north-eastward, to the _white-horse
hill_. So that the ground northward and westward, tho’ not much
appearing so, is still very high, a cliff descending that way; and
whilst guarded to the east by the _Hakpen_, yet it may be called like
the _thessalian_, of the same name,

    ——_Zephyris agitata Tempe._      Hor.

The whole temple of _Abury_ may be consider’d as a picture, and it
really is so. Therefore the founders wisely contriv’d, that a spectator
should have an advantageous prospect of it, as he approach’d within
view. To give the reader at once a foreknowledge of this great and
wonderful work, and the magnificence of the plan upon which it is
built, I have design’d it scenographically in TABLE VIII. the eye being
somewhat more elevated than on the neighbouring hill of _Wansdike_,
which is its proper point of sight, being south from it.

When I frequented this place, as I did for some years together, to take
an exact account of it, staying a fortnight at a time, I found out the
entire work by degrees. The second time I was here, an avenue was a
new amusement. The third year another. So that at length I discover’d
the mystery of it, properly speaking; which was, that the whole figure
represented a snake transmitted thro’ a circle; this is an hieroglyphic
or symbol of highest note and antiquity.

In order to put this design in execution, the founders well studied
their ground; and, to make their representation more natural, they
artfully carry’d it over a variety of elevations and depressures,
which, with the curvature of the avenues, produces sufficiently the
desired effect. To make it still more elegant and picture-like, the
head of the snake is carried up the southern promontory of the
_Hakpen_ hill, towards the village of _West Kennet_; nay, the very name
of the hill is deriv’d from this circumstance, meaning the head of the
snake; of which we may well say with _Lucan_, _lib._ IV.

    _Hinc ævi veteris custos, famosa vetustas
    Miratrixque sui signavit nomine terras,
    Sed majora dedit cognomina collibus istis._

Again, the tail of the snake is conducted to the descending valley
below _Bekamton_.

  TAB. X.

  _Stukeley d._

  _Prospect of the Roman Road & Wansdike Just above Calston May 20.
  This demonstrates that Wansdike was made before the Roman Road._]

Thus our antiquity divides itself into three great parts, which will be
our rule in describing the work. The circle at _Abury_, the fore-part
of the snake, leading towards _Kennet_, which I call _Kennet-avenue_;
the hinder part of the snake, leading towards _Bekamton_, which I call
_Bekamton-avenue_; for they may well be look’d on as avenues to the
great temple at _Abury_, which part must be more eminently call’d the

This town is wrote _Aubury_, _Avebury_, _Avesbury_, sometimes _Albury_:
’tis hard to say which is the true. The former three names may have
their origin from the brook running by, _au_, _aux_, water, _awy_ in
_welsh_; the old _german_ _aha_. The latter points to _Aldbury_, or
_old work_, regarding its situation within the _vallum_. Nor is it
worth while to dwell on its etymology; the _saxon_ name is a thing
of so low a date, in comparison of what we are writing upon, that we
expect no great use from it; unless _Albury_ has regard to _al_, _hal_,
_healle_, _gothicè_ [symbols] a _temple_ or _great building_. There
are two heads of the river _Kennet_ rising near it: one from a little
north-west of _Abury_, at _Monkton_, runs southward to _Silbury-hill_;
this affords but little water, except in wet seasons. At _Silbury-hill_
it joins the _Swallow_ head, or true fountain of the _Kennet_, which
the country people call by the old name, _Cunnit_; and it is not a
little famous among them. This is a plentiful spring. It descends
between _east_ and _west Kennet_, by the temple on _Overton-hill_,
which is properly the head of the snake: it passes by _Overton_, and so
to _Marlborough_, the _roman_ _Cunetio_, which has its name from the

To conduct the reader the better through this great work, I must remind
him of what I wrote in the account of _Stonehenge_, p. 11, concerning
the Druid cubit or measure, by which they erected all their structures,
that ’tis 20 inches and four fifths of the _english_ standard. For this
purpose I have repeated the plate wherein the _english_ foot and Druid
cubit is compar’d to any lengths, which must necessarily accompany
us in the description. A ready way of having the analogism between
our feet and the cubits is this, 3 foot 5 inches and a half makes 2
cubits. A staff of 10 foot, 4 inches, and a little more than half an
inch, becomes the measuring-reed of these ancient philosophers, being 6
cubits, when they laid out the ground-plot of these temples; where we
now are to pursue the track of their footsteps which so many ages have
pass’d over.

The whole of this temple, wherein the town of _Abury_ is included I
have laid down in TABLE I, the frontispiece, done from innumerable
mensurations, by which means I fully learn’d the scheme and purport of
the founders. ’Tis comprehended within a circular ditch or trench above
1400 foot in diameter, which makes 800 cubits, being two _stadia_ of
the ancients. A _radius_ of 400 cubits, one _stadium_, struck the inner
periphery of the ditch, in the turf. This is done with a sufficient,
tho’ not a mathematical exactness. They were not careful in this great
measure, where preciseness would have no effect, seeing the whole
circle cannot be taken in by the eye on the same level. The ditch is
near 80 foot, which is 45 cubits broad, very deep, like the foss that
encompasses an old castle. The great quantity of solid chalk dug out
of it, is thrown on the outside, where it forms a mighty _vallum_, an
amphitheatrical terrace, which hides the sight of the town as we come
near it, and affords a good shelter from the winds. ’Tis of the same
breadth at bottom as the ditch at top. The compass of this, on the
outside, Mr. _Roger Gale_ and I measured about 4800 feet, _August 16,

The included _area_ of the temple containing about 22 acres, I observ’d
to have a gentle descent, from the meridian line of it to the east,
and to the west: carrying the rain off both ways. The north point is
the highest part of the whole. About 35 feet or 20 cubits within the
verge of this circular ditch, is a great circle of _great_ stones.
The epithet may well be redoubled. These great masses are really
astonishing, if we contemplate a single stone, and consider how it was
brought hither, and set upright in the ground, where it has stood, I
doubt not, 3 or 4 thousand years. But how is the wonder heightened,
when we see the number one hundred, which composes this mighty circle
of 1300 foot diameter! The stones of this circle, tho’ unhewn, are
generally about 15, 16, or 17 foot high, and near as much in breadth.
About 43 _English_ feet, measures regularly from the center of one
stone, to the center of the other. Look into the scale and we discern
these measures of the height and breadth of the stones. 17 feet is
ten cubits; 43 feet the central distance from stone to stone, is 25
cubits of the Druids; so that the interval between is 15 cubits. Tho’
this be the general and stated measure, which was proposed by the
founders, where the stones suited, and of the largest dimensions, yet
we must understand this, as in all their works, with some latitude. The
ancients studied a certain greatness: to produce an effect, not by a
servile exactness no way discernible in great works, but in securing
the general beauty; especially we must affirm this of our Druids,
who had to do with these unshapely masses, and where religion forbad
them applying a tool. But the purpose they proposed, was to make the
breadth of the stone to the interval, to be as two to three. They very
wisely judg’d that in such materials, where the scantlings could not
be exact, the proportions must still be adjusted agreeable to their
diversities, and this both in respect of the particulars, and of the
general distance to be filled up. These stones were all fetched from
the surface of the downs. They took the most shapely, and of largest
dimensions first; but when ’twas necessary to make use of lesser
stones, they set them closer together, and so proportion’d the solid
and the vacuity, as gave symmetry in appearance, and a regularity to
the whole.

Therefore tho’ 25 cubits be the common measure of the interval between
center and center of the largest stones of this circle, yet this is not
always the rule; for if we measure the two stones west of the north
entrance (which entrance was made for the convenience of the town, by
throwing the earth of the _vallum_ into it again) you will find it to
be about 27 feet. This is but 16 of the Druid cubits, and here us’d,
because these stones are but of moderate bulk. The next intervals are
43 feet as usual, being of the larger kind of stones, so plac’d 25
cubits central distance, and then they proceed. This is in that call’d
pasture IIII. in the ground plot.

I have always been at first in some perplexity in measuring and
adjusting these works of the Druids, and they seem’d magical, ’till
I became master of their purpose. Therefore to make it very plain
to the reader, I shall repeat what I have deliver’d in other words,
concerning this great circle, which is a general rule for all others.

  TAB. XI.

  Rundway hill 18 Iuly, 1723.

  _Stukeley del._

  A. _Bekhampton._ B. _the Model of a Camp._ C. _Celtic barrows._
  D. _the way to_ Verlucio.]

As to the construction of this circle, by diligent observation, I found
this to be the art of the Druids. ’Tis not to be thought, they would
be at the trouble of bringing so many mountains together, of placing
them in a regular form, without seeking how to produce the best effect
therein, and thus they obtain’d their purpose. As it was necessary, the
stones should be rude and native, untouch’d of tool, and that it was
impossible to procure them of the dimensions exactly; they consider’d
that the beauty in their appearance must be owing to their conformity,
as near as may be, and to the proportion between the solid and the void
interval. This _ratio_ with judgment they chose to be as two to three:
two parts the breadth of the stone, the interval three. And this they
accommodated to the whole circle. So that they first brought 100 of
their choicest stones together, and laid them in the destin’d circle,
at the intended distances, according to that proportion: and then
raised them into their respective places.

Hence I find, that where the stones are 15, 16, or 17 feet high above
ground, and as much broad, as for the most part they are, about 43
_English_ feet measures, from the center of one stone to the center
of another; there the square of the solid or stone is ten cubits, the
void or interval is 15: the whole central distance 25. Therefore the
proportion of the solid to the void is as two to three.

But before I found out this key to the work, I met with a good deal of
difficulty, because the central intervals and the voids were different,
for they proportion’d these to the breadths of the stones, as above.
Still they chose whole numbers of cubits for that proportion; for
instance, in the stones at the northern and modern entrance, where
they are but of a moderate bulk, you measure but about 27 feet central
distance. This is 16 cubits.

Further I observ’d, they took care to make a reasonable gradation,
between greater and lesser stones, not to set a great stone and a
little one near one another, but make a gradual declension; by this
means in the whole, the eye finds no difference. The proportion of
solid and void being the same, the whole circle appears similar and
altogether pleasing.

I thought it adviseable to give a plate of a very small part of this
magnificent circle, being 3 stones now standing _in situ_. ’Tis a most
august sight, and whence we may learn somewhat of the appearance of the

I observ’d further, that as these stones generally have a rough
and a smoother side; they took care to place the most sightly side
of the stone inwards, toward the included _area_. For this vast
circle of stones is to be understood, as the portico inclosing the
temple properly. Between this circle and the ditch is an esplanade
or circular walk quite round, which was extraordinary pretty when
in its perfection. It was originally 25 cubits broad, equal to the
central distances of the stones. The quickset hedges now on the place,
sometimes take the range of the stones, sometimes are set on the verge
of the ditch. Further I observ’d they set the largest and handsomest
stones in the more conspicuous part of the temple, which is that
southward, and about the two entrances of the avenues.

Out of this noble circle of stones 100 in number, there was left in the
year 1722, when I began to write, above 40 still visible: whereof 17
were standing, 27 thrown down or reclining. Ten of the remainder all
contiguous, were at once destroy’d by _Tom Robinson_, _anno_ 1700, and
their places perfectly levelled, for the sake of the pasturage. In the
north entrance of the town one of the stones, of a most enormous bulk,
fell down, and broke in the fall.

    ——_nec ipso
    monte minor procumbit_.——      Virg.

It measured full 22 feet long. _Reuben Horsall_, clerk of the parish,
a sensible man and lover of antiquity, remembers it standing. And when
my late lord _Winchelsea_ (_Heneage_) was here with me, we saw three
wooden wedges driven into it, in order to break it in pieces.

In the great frontispiece plate, I have noted many dates of years, when
such and such stones were demolished, and took down the particulars of
all: some are still left buried in the pastures, some in gardens. I was
apt to leave this wish behind;

    _Pro molli viola, pro purpureo narcisso
    Carduus, & spinis surgat paliurus acutis!_      Virg.

The seat of many is visible by the remaining hollow; of others by a
hill above the interr’d. Of many then lately carry’d off the places
were notorious, by nettles and weeds growing up, and no doubt many
are gone since I left the place. But the ground-plot representing the
true state of the town and temple, when I frequented it, I spare the
reader’s patience in being too particular about it.

When this mighty colonnade of 100 of these stones was in perfection,
there must have been a most agreeable circular walk, between them and
the ditch; and it’s scarce possible for us to form a notion of the
grand and beautiful appearance it must then have made.


  _A peice of the great circle, or
  A View at the South Entrance into the temple at Abury Aug. 1722._

  _Stukeley delin._]

                               CHAP. V.

  _Of the two great temples included in the area of the great circle
    of stones. Each consists of two concentrick circles. One has a
    central obelisc or ambre, a very high stone in the center. The_
    Egyptians _called an obelisc an ambre. The other temple has a
    cove in the center, compos’d of three stones of a stupendous
    bulk, set in a nich-like figure. A short history of the
    destroyers of this noble work, but a very few years ago._

The great circle of stones last described, together with the ditch
and rampart inclosing all, may be esteemed as the _præcinctus_ of the
temple, not properly the temple; but including the area thereof. There
are strictly within this great compass, two temples, of like form and
dimensions: each temple consists of two concentric circles. The line
that connects their centers, runs from north-west to south-east: which
line passes thro’ the center of the whole area. The outer circles
of them consist each of 30 stones of like dimensions with those of
the outer circle, and at like intervals. The inner circles of both
consist each of 12 stones, of the same size and distances. The geometry
therefore of them, when laid down on paper, shews, the inner circle
must be 100 cubits in diameter, the outer 240.

The centers of these two double circles are 300 cubits asunder. Their
circumferences or outward circles are 50 cubits asunder, in the nearest
part. By which means they least embarrass each other, and leave the
freest space about ’em, within the great circular portico (as we may
call it) inclosing the whole; which we described in the former chapter.
There is no other difference between these two temples (properly)
which I could discover, save that one, the southermost, has a central
obelisc, which was the kibla, whereto they turn’d their faces, in the
religious offices there performed: the other has that immense work in
the center, which the old _Britons_ call a cove: consisting of three
stones plac’d with an obtuse angle toward each other, and as it were,
upon an ark of a circle, like the great half-round at the east end of
some old cathedrals: or like the upper end of the cell at _Stonehenge_;
being of the same use and intent, the _adytum_ of this temple. This
I have often times admir’d and been astonish’d at its extravagant
magnitude and majesty. It stands in the yard belonging to the inn. King
_Charles_ II. in his progress this way, rode into the yard, on purpose
to view it.

This cove of the northern temple was undoubtedly the _kibla_ thereof.
It opens pretty exactly north-east, as at _Stonehenge_. It measures 34
foot, from the edge of the outer jambs; 20 cubits: and half as much
in depth. _Varro_ V. _divinorum_, writes, altars were of old call’d
_ansæ_. So _Macrobius saturn._ II. 11. It seems that they mean this
figure before us. And I suppose ’tis what _Schedius_ means; _de dis
germ._ c. 25. speaking of altars among the old _germans_ set in a
triangle, he says, the Druids understood a mystery thereby. Perhaps
they intended it for a nich-like hemispherical figure, in some sort to
represent the heavens. _Sex. Pompeius_ writes, the ancients called the
heavens, _cove_. The altar properly lay upon the ground before this
superb nich. That, no doubt, was carry’d off long ago, as not being
fix’d in the earth, and one of the wings is gone too, the northern. It
fell down 1713, as marked in the ground-plot.

    _Fit sonus ingenti concussa est pondere tellus._      Virg.

They told me it was full seven yards long, of the same shape as its
opposite, tall and narrow. We measur’d this 17 foot above ground,
10 whole cubits; 7 foot broad, two and a half thick. These were the
_ansæ_ or wings of this noble ellipsis. That on the back, or in the
middle, is much broader, being 15 foot, as many high, 4 thick; but
a great piece of one side of it has been broke off by decay of the
stone. We cannot conceive any thing bolder, than the idea of those
people that entertain’d a design of setting up these stones. The vulgar
call them the _devil’s brand-irons_, from their extravagant bulk, and
chimney-like form. These coves, as _Maundrel_ says of the _turkish
kiblas_, shew the Druids’ aversion to idolatry, expressing the reality
of the divine presence there, and at the same time its invisibility; no
doubt a most ancient and oriental custom.

Of the exterior circle of this northern temple but three stones are now
left standing, six more lying on the ground, one whereof in the street
by the inn-gate. People yet alive remember several standing in the
middle of the street; they were burnt for building, _anno_ 1711. That
at the corner of the lane, going to the north gate of the town, not
many years since lying on the ground, was us’d as a stall to lay fish
on, when they had a kind of market here. The ruin of the rest is noted
in the ground-plot, and so of the others. But they told us, that about
a dozen years ago both circles were standing, and almost entire. Those
in the closes behind the inn, were taken up a year ago; (this was when
I first went thither, about 1718,) farmer _Green_ chiefly demolished
them to build his house and walls at _Bekamton_. Of the southern temple
several stones were destroy’d by farmer _John Fowler_, twelve years
ago; he own’d to us that he burnt five of them; but fourteen are still
left, whereof about half standing. Some lie along in the pastures, two
let into the ground under a barn, others under the houses. One lies
above ground under the corner of a house, over-against the inn. One
buried under the earth in a little garden. The cavities left by some
more are visible, in the places whereof ash-trees are set. All those in
the pastures were standing within memory.

The central obelisk of this temple is of a circular form at base, of a
vast bulk, 21 feet long, and 8 feet 9 inches diameter; when standing,
higher than the rest. This is what the scripture calls a pillar, or
standing image, _Levit._ xxvi. 1. These works, erected in the land of
_Canaan_ by the same people, the _Phœnicians_, as erected ours, were
ordered to be demolished by the _Israelites_, because at that time
perverted to idolatry. All the stones, our whole temple, were called
_ambres_, even by our _phœnician_ founders; but this particularly. The
_Egyptians_ by that name call’d their obeliscs; which _Kircher_ did not
rightly understand, interpreting it to be sacred books; but meaning
_petræ ambrosiæ_, _main ambres in celtic, anointed, consecrated stone_;
_Manah_, the name of a great stone of this sort which the _Arabians_
worshipped. They were called likewise, _gabal_, and the present word
_kibla_ or _kebla_ comes from it, but in a larger sense. _Elagabalus_
is hence deriv’d after they turn’d these _kiblas_ into real deities. It
means the _god obelisc_; and hence our _english_ words, _gable end_
of a house, _javelin_ or _roman pile_, and _gaveloc_ a _sharp iron bar_.


  A View of the Remains of the Northern Temple at Abury. Aug. 1722.

  _Stukeley del._

  A. _Abury Steeple._ B. _the cove._ C. _Windmill hill._]

Exactly in the southern end of the line that connects the two centers
of these temples, _viz._ in that pasture mark’d IX. in our ground-plot,
is an odd stone standing, not of great bulk. It has a hole wrought
in it, and probably was design’d to fasten the victim, in order for
slaying it. This I call the _ring-stone_. From this we may infer the
like use of that stone at _Stonehenge_, in the avenue near the entrance
into the area of the temple. I spoke of it under the name of _crwm
leche_, p. 33. It has a like hole in it.

These two temples were all that was standing originally in the great
area, within the circular colonnade. Very probably it was the most
magnificent patriarchal temple in the world. Now a whole village of
about thirty houses is built within it. This area would hold an immense
number of people at their panegyres and public festivals; and when
the _vallum_ all around was cover’d with spectators, it form’d a most
noble amphitheater, and had an appearance extremely august, during the
administration of religious offices.

      ————_ter denas curia vaccas
    Accipit, & largo sparsa cruore madet._      Ovid. fast. IV.

Each of these temples is four times as big as _Stonehenge_.

About 1694, _Walter Stretch_, father of one of the present inhabitants,
found out the way of demolishing these stones by fire. He exercis’d
this at first on one of the stones standing in the street before the
inn, belonging to the outer circle of the southern temple. That one
stone, containing 20 loads, built the dining-room end of the inn.
Since then _Tom Robinson_, another _Herostratus_ of the place, made
cruel havock among them. He own’d to us, that two of them cost eight
pounds in the execution. Farmer _Green_ ruin’d many of the southern
temple to build his houses and walls at _Bekamton_. Since then many
others have occasionally practis’d the sacrilegious method, and most
of the houses, walls, and outhouses in the town are raised from these
materials. Sir _Robert Holford_ resented this destruction of them; and
_Reuben Horsall_, parish-clerk, had a due veneration for these sacred
remains, and assisted me in the best intelligence he was able to give.
Concerning the purport of the disposition and manner of the temple
hitherto described, I shall speak more largely in chap. X. toward
the end, concluding this with an inscription of the _Triopian_ farm
consecrated by _Herodes Atticus_.

    _Ne cuiquam glebam, saxumve impune movere
    Ulli sit licitum. Parcarum namque severæ
    Pœnæ instant: siquis sacra scelus edat in æde.
    Finitimi agricolæ, & vicini attendite cuncti,
    Hic fundus sacer est; immotaque jura deorum._

                               CHAP. VI.

  _Concerning antiquities found about this place; with a more
    particular chorography of the country around. Description of
    the_ roman _road here, via_ Badonica. _A plain demonstration
    that these works we are writing upon, are older than the_ roman
    _times. Another like demonstration. Of_ Divitiacus, _of the
    british_ Belgæ, _who made the wansdike. A Druid axe or celt,
    found under one of the stones in_ Abury. _Burnt bucks-horns,
    charcoal, and the like._

Several _Roman_ coins have from time to time been found here, and in
the neighbouring fields. A mile off goes the _roman_ way, which I have
described in my _Itinerary_, p. 132. call’d _Via Badonica_, being the
way from _London_ to _Bath_. It comes from _Marlborough Cunetio_,
crosses the _Hakpen-hill_ by _Overton-hill_, quite over the neck of
the snake belonging to our temple, goes close by _Silbury-hill_,
thro’ _Bekamton-fields_; then, a little southward of the tail of the
snake, ascends _Runway-hill_, up the heath, where ’tis very plain,
just as the _Romans_ left it. Plate IX. exhibits a view of it from the
present road to _Bath_ and _Devizes_, and at the same time affords us a
demonstration that our Druid antiquities, which we are here describing,
are prior in time to these works of the _Romans_. This way is not
compos’d, as they generally are, of materials fetch’d from a distance,
made into a high bank, but only a small ridge of chalk dug up all along
close by. We discern upon the heath the little pits or cavities, on
both sides, whence it was taken to make the ridge of the road. For this
road is not finished, though mentioned in _Antoninus’s itinerary_,
journey XIV, only chalk’d out, as we may properly say. Moreover, the
workmen for readiness, have par’d off above half of a sepulchral barrow
on the right hand, of a very finely turn’d bell-like form, to make use
of the earth; and there is a discontinuance of the line of the little
cavities there for some time, till it was not worth while any longer
to fetch materials from it. And on the left hand they have made two
of their little pits or cavities within the ditch of a Druid’s barrow
(as I call them) and quite dug away the prominent part of the barrow,
consisting of a little tump over the urn, inclos’d with the circular
ditch of a much larger dimension. This observation is of a like nature
with that of Plate IV. of _Stonehenge_. It must be noted, that this
_roman_ road here, being mark’d out only; I suppose it was done toward
the declension of their empire here, when they found not time to finish

I could well enough discern from which point the _roman_ workmen
carry’d this way, by observing the discontinuity of these little pits,
on account of the materials they took from the larger barrow, _viz._
from _Cunetio Marlborough_, to _Verlucio Hedington_, and so to _Bath_.

This road, as it goes farther on, and passes to the other side of
_Runway-hill_ (_Roman-way hill_) gives us two other remarkable
appearances, both which are seen in Plate X. which I have repeated
again in this book, to which it more properly belongs. It serves
to rectify our notions concerning the high antiquity of the temple we
are writing upon. 1. We discern the artifice of the _roman_ workmen,
in conducing their road along the precipicious side of this hill, and
preserving at the same time the straight line, as much as may be. 2.
We see a part of the famous _Wansdike_, or boundary of the _belgic_
kingdom in _Britain_, drawn under their king _Divitiacus_, spoken of
by _Cæsar_ in his _commentaries_. He built the neighbouring town, the
_Devizes_, so call’d from his name, and most probably the city of his
residence. I treated of this matter in _Stonehenge_. 3. We may remark
the union of the _roman_ road and _Wansdike_, for some space, and a
proof that _Wansdike_ was made before this _roman_ road, because the
bank of the dike is thrown in, in order to form the road. _Cæsar_ says,
this _Divitiacus_, king of the _Suessions_ in _Gaul_, lived an age
before him.


  Prospect of the Cove Abury _10 July 1723_.

  _Stukeley del._]

At the bottom of this hill is _Hedington_, another _roman_ town, call’d
_Verlucio_. _Calne_, less than five mile off _Abury_, was a _roman_
town too, where many _roman_ coins are found. Several of them I saw.
Hence, the _romans_ being very frequent in this country, ’tis no wonder
their coins are found about _Abury_. I think I may well be excus’d from
entering into a formal argumentation to prove that we must not hence
gather, the _Romans_ were founders of _Abury_. In my own opinion, who
have duly consider’d these affairs, the temple of the Druids here is
as much older than the _roman_ times, as since the _Romans_ to our own

Return we down _Runway-hill_, and contemplate that most agreeable
prospect, of which I have given a faint representation in Plate XI. We
see here the whole course of this _Via Badonica_ hence, in a straight
line to _Marlborough_, by _Silbury-hill_, the great tomb of the founder
of _Abury_. I saw several _roman_ coins found about this road on
_Overton-hill_, near the _white-hart_ alehouse. On the left hand is the
strong _roman_ camp of _Oldbury_. Every where we behold great numbers
of the barrows of the old _Britons_, regarding the temple of _Abury_.
On the right hand we may discern a vast length of the _Wansdike_,
carried along the northern edge of the high range of hills parting
north and south _Wiltshire_. Below is a pretty work like a _roman_
camp, cut in the fine turf. It should seem to be somewhat belonging to
the Druids, of which afterwards.

Beside some _roman_ coins accidentally found in and about _Abury_, I
was inform’d of a square bit of iron taken up under one of the great
stones, upon pulling it down. I could not learn particularly what it
was, tho’ no doubt it belonged to the _British_ founders. They found
likewise a brass ax-head, under an ash-tree dug up near the smith’s
shop by the church. I understood, by the description they gave of
it, it was one of those Druid axes or instruments call’d _Celts_,
wherewith they cut the misletoe, fastening it occasionally on the end
of the staff, which they commonly carry’d in their hands, one of the
_insignia_ of their office, as a pastoral staff of bishops.

When the lord _Stowell_, who own’d the manor of _Abury_, levell’d the
_vallum_ on that side of the town next the church, where the barn now
stands, the workmen came to the original surface of the ground, which
was easily discernible by a black _stratum_ of mold upon the chalk.
Here they found large quantities of bucks’ horns, bones, oyster-shells,
and wood coals. The old man who was employ’d in the work says, there
was the quantity of a cart-load of the horns, that they were very
rotten, that there were very many burnt bones among them.

They were remains of the sacrifices that had been perform’d here;
probably before the temple was quite finish’d, and the ditch made.
These are all the antiquities I could learn to have been found in and
about the town of _Abury_.

                              CHAP. VII.

  _A description of the great avenue from_ West-Kennet, _a mile off,
    which is the forepart of the snake proceeding from the circle.
    Observations on the_ vallum _and ditch. On the proportion between
    the breadth of the avenue and the side interval of the stones.
    The avenue broader in that part, which is the belly of the snake,
    than the neck. Its whole length ten stadia of the ancients;
    4000 cubits, an eastern mile. The_ Hakpen _an oriental word,
    signifying the_ snake’s head. _The temple on_ Overton-hill. _Such
    another temple described by_ Pausanias _in_ Bœotia, _called the_
    snake’s head.

The Druids, by throwing outwards the earth dug out of the huge circular
ditch environing the town, demonstrated to all comers at first sight,
that this was a place of religion, not a camp or castle of defence.
They prevented its ever being us’d as such, which must have ruin’d
their sacred design. Moreover it adds to the solemnity of the place; it
gives an opportunity for a greater number of people to assist at the
offices of religion.

This further great convenience attends the disposition of ditch and
_vallum_, that the water falls off the _area_ every way, and keeps it
dry, which provides for the stability of their work, and convenience
of the priests in their ministry. I observ’d the earth that composes
the _vallum_ was laid a small distance from the verge of the ditch, so
as to leave a parapet or narrow walk between. This was as the _podium_
of an amphitheater, for the lower tire of spectators. The ditch and
rampart are each 60 feet, or 35 cubits broad. And now the whole is
an agreeable terrace-walk round the town, with a pleasant view upon
sometimes corn-fields, sometimes heath; the hill-tops every where
cover’d with barrows; and that amazing artificial heap of earth call’d
_Silbury-hill_ in sight. The great _belgic_ rampart, the _Wansdike_,
licks all the southern horizon, as far as you can see it, crowning
the upper edge of that range of hills parting _north_ and _south
Wiltshire_. Part of this pleasant prospect I have given in plate XXIII,
as seen from _Abury_ church-steeple.

Let us then walk out of the confines of the temple properly, by the
southern entrance of the town. Passing the _vallum_, the road straight
forwards leads to _Kennet_ and _Overton_, that on the right hand to
the _Bath_. But our present way lies straight forwards, which is
south-eastward, and may properly enough be call’d _Via sacra_, as being
an avenue up to the temple; besides, it forms one half of the body
of the snake, issuing out of the circle. There were but two gates or
entrances into the temple originally; this was one. And this way I call

  TAB. XV.

  _View of the Cell of the Celtic Temple at Abury. Augˢᵗ: 16. 1721._

  _The Cove of the Northern temple._

  _Stukeley Del._]

By repeated mensurations, by careful attention and observations, by
frequently walking along the whole track thereof, from one end to
the other, I found out its purpose, its extent, the number of stones
it is compos’d of, and the measures of their intervals. It extends
itself from this southern entrance of _Abury_ town to _Overton-hill_,
overhanging the village of _West-Kennet_. _There_ was another double
circle of stones, which made the head of the snake. All the way between
there, and this southern entrance, which is above a mile, was set with
stones on each hand, opposite to one another, and at regular distances.
This was the avenue, and form’d the forepart of the snake.

The Druids, in laying down this design, that it might produce a
magnificent effect suitable to so great and operose a work, studied the
thing well. As this was to be a huge picture or representation of an
animal, they purposed to follow nature’s drawing, as far as possible. A
snake’s body has some variation in its thickness, as slenderer toward
the neck, than at its middle. This the Druids imitated in making the
avenue broader toward this southern entrance of _Abury_; and drawing
it narrower as it approached _Overton-hill_. Again, when a snake is
represented in its sinuous motion, the intervals of the stones sideways
must have a variation, as set in the inner or the outer curve; so as to
make them stand regularly opposite to one another: yet this necessarily
makes some little difference in the intervals, and this too is properly
regarded in the work.

The whole length of this avenue consists of a hundred stones on each
side, reaching from the _vallum_ of _Abury_ town, to the circular
work on _Overton-hill_. Measuring the breadth of it in several places
where I had an opportunity of two opposite stones being left, I
found a difference; and the like by measuring the interval of stones
sideways; yet there was the same proportion preserved between breadth
and interval; which I found to be as two to three. So that here by
_Abury_-town, in a part that represented the belly of the snake, the
breadth of the avenue was 34 cubits, 56 feet and a half, and the
intervals of the stones sideways 50 cubits, the proportion of two
to three; twice 17 being 34, thrice 17 50. These 34 cubits take in
the intire space of two intervals of the stones of the outer great
circle of the temple of _Abury_ within the ditch, together with the
intermediate stone, which is the entry of the avenue to the temple.
A most ancient manner, a double door with a pillar in the middle.
Such was that of the _Mosaick_ tabernacle: and such very often of
our cathedrals. When we mount up _Overton-hill_, the avenue grows
much narrower. And this observation help’d me in the discovery of the
purport and design of the whole figure of the snake; and in the nature
of the scheme thereof. Of which wonderful work we may well say with the
poet; elsewhere,

    _Nec rapit immensos orbes per humum, neque tanto
    [Saxeus] in spiram tractu se colligit anguis._      Virg. Geor. 2.

When I abode here for some time on purpose, for several summers
together; I was very careful in tracing it out, knew the distinct
number of each stone remaining, and where every one stood that was
wanting; which often surpriz’d the country people, who remembred them
left on the ground or standing, and told me who carried them away. Many
of the farmers made deep holes and buried them in the ground: they
knew where they lay. Lord _Winchelsea_ with me counted the number of
the stones left, 72, _anno_ 1722. I laid it all down in the nature
of a survey, on large imperial sheets of paper, and wrote a detail of
every stone present, or absent. But it would be very irksome to load
the press with it. I shall recite no more of it, than what I think most
useful and necessary.

Standing at the southern entrance of _Abury_, one stone the first, lies
on the eastern side or left hand, close by the ditch: its opposite
stood where at present a sycamore tree is planted. The next stone on
the right hand is standing, by the turning of the _Bath_-road. Twenty
four stones on both sides, next following, are carried off. At about 20
intervals going along the road to _Kennet_, which is the same as the
avenue, we descend a gentle valley, and then lose sight of _Abury_.
There you discern the curving of the avenue, many stones being left
together on both sides. Here two stones are standing opposite to each
other. I measur’d them near 60 feet asunder, which is 34 cubits. Then
we ascend again a little hillock, where a good number of stones remain
on both sides.

In a close on the left hand of the avenue, or east of it, not far
from _Abury_ town, is a pentagonal stone laid flat on the ground, in
the middle of which is a bason cut, always full of water, and never
overflowing. The country people have a great regard to it: it proceeds
from a spring underneath, and for ought I know, it may have been here
from the foundation of our temple. Coming out of _Abury_, you observe
the line of the avenue regards _Overton-hill_ before you, but soon
you find it leaves it, and curves to the right hand a little. At the
number of 65 stones on each side, you come to a hedge belonging to the
inclosures of _West-Kennet_. In the year 1720 I saw several stones
just taken up there, and broke for building; fragments still remaining
and their places fresh turf’d over, for the sake of pasturage. Where
the corn-fields or pasturage have infring’d upon the sacred ground,
our work generally goes to wreck. Where the heath remains, ’tis still
perfect enough; of which we say with the great poet,

    _Nec nulla interea est inaratæ gratia terræ._

so that the covetous farmer and grazier have conspired to abolish this
most magnificent monument; and that just about the time I was there.
_Charles Tucker_ Esq; late of _East-Kennet_ a gentleman of sense, us’d
to be very angry at the ruin of these stones, and prevented it as much
as he could.

As to the stones that compos’d this avenue, they were of all shapes,
sizes, and height that happen’d, altogether rude. Some we measur’d 6
feet thick, 16 in circumference. If of a flattish make, the broadest
dimension was set in the line of the avenue, and the most sightly side
of the stone inward. The founders were sensible, all the effect desired
in the case, was their bulk and regular station. All the hill tops,
especially the _Hakpen_, are adorn’d with barrows as we go along. When
the avenue comes to the inclosures aforementioned of _West-Kennet_,
it passes through three of them, crosses a little field lane, and the
common road from _Marlborough_ to _Bath_, just after the road makes a
right angle descending from _Overton-hill_. We must note that we have
been a good while ascending again. In this angle the _Roman_-road from
_Marlborough_ coming down the hill, enters the common road. This is the
_via Badonica_ aforementioned.

_John Fowler_, who kept the alehouse hard by, demolish’d many of these
stones by burning. The alehouse (the _white hart_) and the walls about
it, were built out of one stone.


  _Part of the South Temple from the Central Obelisk 10 July 1723_]

As before, the avenue coming out of _Abury_ town bended itself to the
right, now ’tis easily enough discernible, that it makes a mighty curve
to the left, the better to imitate the creature it’s intended for.

    _Fit lapis, & servat serpentis imagine saxum._      Ovid. Met. XII.

Passing the _Roman_ road, it traverses an angle of a pasture, and falls
into the upper part of the same road again, and marches through two
more pastures, all along the quickset hedge-side: so that the quick is
planted in the very middle of it. Many of the stones are seen lying in
their proper places, both in the pastures and in the road. These stones
are all thrown down or reclining, and very large. We measur’d one by
the style 12 feet long, 6 and a half broad, 3 and a half thick.

At the bottom of these pastures on the right, runs the virgin stream of
_Kennet_, just parted from its fountain by _Silbury-hill_. One stone
is still standing by a little green lane going down to the river. Now
our avenue marches directly up the hill, across some plough’d fields,
still by the hedge of the _Marlborough_ road, where yet stands another
stone belonging to it. Then we are brought to the very summit of the
celebrated _Overton-hill_, properly the _Hakpen_ or head of the snake,
which is 7000 feet from the _vallum_ of _Abury_ town. 400 cubits,
according to _Herodotus_ II, was the _stadium_ of the ancients, our
furlong; a space that _Hercules_ is said to run over at one breath.
Had the side-interval of the stones of this avenue been the same
throughout, 50 cubits, that repeated 100 times the number of the
intervals, would produce 5000 cubits. But because, as I said, they
lessen’d this interval proportionably, as they came to the neck of the
snake, it amounts to 4000 cubits, which is ten _stadia_, an eastern
mile in Dr. _Arbuthnot_’s tables, amounting to 7000 feet, as Mr. _Roger
Gale_ and I measur’d its whole length.

We may observe the proportion between the diameter of the great circle
of _Abury_ town, which was 800 cubits, two _stadia_, and the length
of the avenue, which is five times the other. Observe farther, they
carry’d the avenue up the side of the hill, so sloping as to make the
ascent gradual and easy.

This _Overton-hill_, from time immemorial, the country-people have a
high notion of. It was (alas, it was!) a very few years ago, crown’d
with a most beautiful temple of the Druids. They still call it the
sanctuary. I doubt not but it was an _asylum_ in Druid times; and
the veneration for it has been handed down thro’ all succession of
times and people, as the name, and as several other particulars, that
will occasionally be mention’d. It had suffer’d a good deal when I
took that prospect of it, with great fidelity, _anno_ 1723, which I
give the reader in plate XXI. Then, about sixteen years ago, farmer
_Green_ aforemention’d took most of the stones away to his buildings at
_Bekamton_; and in the year 1724 farmer _Griffin_ plough’d half of it
up. But the vacancy of every stone was most obvious, the hollows still
left fresh; and that part of the two circles which I have drawn in the
plate, was exactly as I have represented it. In the winter of that year
the rest were all carry’d off, and the ground plough’d over.

The loss of this work I did not lament alone; but all the neighbours
(except the person that gain’d the little dirty profit) were heartily
griev’d for it. It had a beauty that touch’d them far beyond those much
greater circles in _Abury_ town. The stones here were not large, set
pretty close together, the proportions of them with the intervals, and
the proportions between the two circles, all being taken at one view,
under the eye, charm’d them. The great stones of the great circles at
_Abury_ were not by them discern’d to stand in circles, nor would they
easily be persuaded of it. But these of the sanctuary they still talk
of with great pleasure and regret.

This _Overton-hill_, whereon was the elegant temple we are speaking of,
is a very pleasant place. ’Tis the southern end of that ridge call’d
the _Hakpen_, broken off by the river _Kennet_. All the water that
falls in that plain wherein the whole work of _Abury_ stands, descends
this way. It is a round knoll with a gentle declivity to the east,
west, and south. The _Kennet_, as it were, licks its feet on all those
sides. The whole hill has its name from this end.

To our name of _Hakpen_ alludes אחים _ochim_ call’d _doleful creatures_
in our translation, _Isaiah_ xiii. 21. speaking of the desolation
of _Babylon_, “Wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their
houses shall be full of _ochim_, and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs
shall dance there.” St. _Jerom_ translates it serpents. The _Arabians_
call a serpent, _Haie_; and wood-serpents, _Hageshin_; and thence our
_Hakpen_; _Pen_ is _head_ in _british_.

עכן _acan_ in the _chaldee_ signifies a _serpent_, and _hak_ is no
other than _snake_; the spirit in the pronunciation being naturally
degenerated into a sibilation, as is often the case, and in this
sibilating animal more easily. So _super_ from υπερ, _sylva_ from υλη,
_sudor_, υδωρ. So our word _snap_ comes from the _gallic_ _happer_,
a _snacot_ fish from the _latin_ _acus_, _aculeatus piscis_. And in
_Yorkshire_ they call snakes _hags_, and _hag-worms_. Vide _Fuller’s
Misc._ IV. 15.

The temple that stood here was intended for the head of the snake in
the huge picture; and at a distance, when seen in perspective, it very
aptly does it. It consisted of two concentric ovals, not much different
from circles, their longest diameter being east and west. By the best
intelligence I could obtain from the ruins of it, the outer circle
was 80 and 90 cubits in diameter, the medium being 85, 146 feet. It
consisted of 40 stones, whereof 18 remained, left by farmer _Green_;
but 3 standing. The inner circle was 26 and 30 cubits diameter, equal
to the interval between circle and circle.

The stones were 18 in number, somewhat bigger than of the outer circle,
but all carried off by _Green_ aforesaid. Every body here remembers
both circles entire, and standing, except two or three fallen.

Mr. _Aubury_, in his manuscript notes printed with _Camden_’s
_Britannia_, mentions it, “a double circle of stones, four or five
feet high, tho’ many are now fallen down. The diameter of the outer
circle 40 yards, and of the inner 15. He speaks of the avenue coming
up to it, as likewise of our before-describ’d avenue, from _Abury_ to
_West-Kennet_, set with large stones. One side, he says, is very nearly
entire, the other side wants a great many.” He did not see that ’tis
but one avenue from _Abury_ to _Overton-hill_, having no apprehension
of the double curve it makes. And he erred in saying there was a
circular ditch on _Overton-hill_.

The view here is extensive and beautiful. Down the river eastward we
see _Marlborough_, and the whole course of the _Roman_ road hence going
along _Clatford-bottom_. We see a good way in the road to _Ambresbury_,
and the gap of the _Wansdike_, where we pass thro’. Thence the
_Wansdike_ skims the edge of all the hill tops to _Runway-hill_. There
we enter upon the view presented in plate XXI. The _Roman_ road runs
upon the edge of the hill, on the right hand of that plate, between
the barrows there. It descends the hill, and runs to the left hand of
_Silbury_, and close by it; and then up _Runway-hill_. Next we see
_Oldbury_ camp, over _West-Kennet_ village. Then we may view the whole
length of the avenue hence to _Abury_, and observe the two great curves
it makes, to imitate the figure of a snake, as drawn in the ancient
hieroglyphics. Coming from _Abury_ town it curves to the right-hand
or eastward, then winds as much to the west, till it ascends this
_Overton-hill_, full east.


  _A View of the_ South Temple _July 15 1723._]

I observed the breadth of the avenue here is narrower than elsewhere,
as being the neck of the snake. ’Tis 45 feet or 26 cubits, equal
to the diameter of the inner circle here. And as it is narrower
than elsewhere, they made the side-distance between stone and stone
proportional, being two thirds of that in breadth. Mr. _Smith_,
living here, informed me, that when he was a school-boy, the _Kennet_
avenue was entire, from end to end. _Silbury-hill_ answers the avenue
directly, as it enters this temple, being full west hence. Here is a
great number of barrows in sight from this place, two close by; and a
little north-eastward that chain of barrows design’d in plate XXIX. the
lower part, looking toward _Marlborough_. Human bones found in digging
a little ditch by the temple, across some small barrows there, and
where there were no barrows. Mr. _Aubury_ says, sharp and form’d flints
were found among them; arguments of great antiquity. They were of the
lower class of _Britons_, that were not at the charge of a _tumulus_.

Thus we have conducted one half, the forepart of the snake, in this
mighty work, up to _Overton-hill_, where it reposed its bulky head, and
not long ago made a most beautiful appearance. I happen’d to frequent
this place in the very point of time, when there was a possibility
just left, of preserving the memory of it. In order to do it, I have
laid down the groundplot thereof in plate XX. just as I found it for
three years together, before it was demolish’d. I found that a line
drawn between _Overton-mill_ and the entrance of _Kennet_ avenue in
_Abury_ town, is the ground-line of this avenue, from which it makes
two vast curves contrary ways, to imitate the winding of a snake, and
the hieroglyphic figures we see on _Egyptian_ and other monuments.
From _Overton-mill_ is a most glorious prospect, overlooking the whole
extent of _Abury_ temple, and the sacred field it stands in, and beyond
that, into _Gloucestershire_ and _Somersetshire_.

    _Explicat hinc tellus campos effusa patentes,
    Vix oculo prendente modum_——                     Lucan IV.

As we descend _Overton-hill_ by the neck of the snake, we discern the
main part of the track of this avenue between here and _Abury_ town,
and may observe its huge curves both ways. And when we are near entring
_Abury_ town again, upon mounting the hill by the hedge-corner, at
about eighteen intervals of stones from the _vallum_, you see a most
advantageous prospect or approach to the temple, partly represented in
plate XVIII. _Windmill-hill_, with its easy acclivity, fronting you
directly, the northern end of _Hakpen_ on the right and _Cherill-hill_
on the left closing the horizon like scenes at a theater.

I observed many of these studied opportunities in this work, of
introducing the ground and prospects, to render it more picture-like.

_Pausanias in Bœotic._ writes, that in the way from _Thebes_ to
_Glisas_, is a space fenc’d round with select stones, which the
_Thebans_ call the _snake’s head_. And they tell a silly story about
it, of a snake putting his head out of a hole there, which _Tiresius_
struck with his sword. Just by it, he says, is a hill call’d the
_supreme_, and a temple to _Jupiter the supreme_, and the brook
_Thermodon_ runs under it.

Can we doubt but this was an ancient temple, like what we are
describing? It was built by _Cadmus_, or some of his people, of whom we
shall talk more in chapter XIV.

I conclude this account with a verse of the poet’s, which I believe was
upon a work of the very same nature, as we shall explain by and by.

    _Quod caput antè fuit, summo est in monte cacumen,
    Ossa lapis fiunt_——                          Ovid. Met. IV.

                              CHAP. VIII.

  _A description of the other great avenue from_ Bekamton, _a mile
    off, which is the hinderpart of the snake, proceeding from the
    circle. The cove on the midway of it call’d_ Longstones, _or the_
    Devil’s coits. _The avenue terminated in a valley. Some animal
    bones found in a stone, whence a conjecture concerning their age.
    Of the number of the stones._ Solomon’_s temple compared with
    ours. The mechanicks of the Druids called magick. Of the effect
    of the weather upon the stones._

After I had carefully laid down the plan of _Kennet_ avenue, and not
understanding the full purport of it; in the year 1722, I found out
this other, extending itself above a mile from the town of _Abury_, by
another direction. It goes toward the village of _Bekamton_, therefore
I call it _Bekamton_ avenue. ’Tis really the hinderpart of the
hieroglyphic snake, which the Druids meant here to picture out, in this
most portentous size.

The former avenue goes out of _Abury_ town at the south-east point;
this full west, at the interval of 25 stones, or a quadrant of the
great circle from _Kennet_ avenue, and proceeds by the south side of
the churchyard. Two stones lie by the parsonage-gate on the right hand.
Those opposite to them on the left hand, in a pasture, were taken
away 1702, as mark’d in the ground-plot of _Abury_. _Reuben Horsal_
remembers three standing in the pasture. One now lies in the floor of
the house in the churchyard. A little farther, one lies at the corner
of the next house, on the right hand, by the lane turning off to the
right, to the bridge. Another was broke in pieces to build that house
with, _anno_ 1714. Two more lie on the left hand, opposite. It then
passes the beck, south of the bridge. Most of the stones hereabouts
have been made use of about the bridge, and the causeway leading to it.
A little spring arises at _Horslip_ north-west, and so runs by here to
_Silbury-hill_, where the real head of the _Kennet_ is. But sometimes
by a sudden descent of rain coming from _Monkton_ and _Broad-Hinton_,
this is very deep. The picture here humours the reality so far, as this
may be call’d the vent of the snake.

Now the avenue passes along a lane to the left hand of the _Caln_
road, by a stone house call’d _Goldsmiths_-farm, and so thro’ farmer
_Griffin_’s yard, thro’ one barn that stands across the avenue, then
by another which stands on its direction. Two stones and their
opposites still lie in the foundation; immediately after this, it
enters the open plow’d fields; the _Caln_ road running all this while
north of it. If we look back and observe the bearings of _Abury_
steeple, and other objects, a discerning eye finds, that it makes
a great sweep or curve northwards. The avenue entring the open
corn-fields, runs for some time by the hedge, on the right hand. When
it has cross’d the way leading from _South-street_, we discern here
and there the remains of it, in its road to _Longstone_ cove. Farmer
_Griffin_ broke near 20 of the stones of this part of the avenue.


  _Stukeley delin._    _E. Kirkall sculp._

  _The Entrance of_ Kennet avenue _into_ Abury _14. May 1724._]

This _Longstone_ cove, vulgarly call’d long stones, is properly a cove,
as the old _Britons_ call’d ’em, compos’d of three stones, like that
most magnificent one we described, in the center of the northern temple
at _Abury_; behind the inn. They are set upon the ark of a circle,
regarding each other with an obtuse angle. This is set on the north
side of the avenue; one of the stones of that side makes the back of
the cove. This is the only particularity in which this avenue differs
from the former. I take it to be chiefly a judicious affectation of
variety, and serv’d as a _sacellum_ or _proseucha_ to the neighbourhood
on ordinary days of devotion, _viz._ the sabbath-days. For if the
Druids came hither in _Abraham_’s time, and were disciples of his, as
it appears to me; we cannot doubt of their observance of the sabbath.
It stands on the midway of the length of the avenue, being the fiftieth
stone. This opens to the south-east, as that of the northern temple
to the north-east. ’Tis placed upon an eminence, the highest ground
which the avenue passes over: these are call’d _Longstone_-fields from
it. You have a good prospect hence, seeing _Abury_ toward which the
ground descends to the brook: _Overton-hill_, _Silbury_, _Bekamton_;
and a fine country all around. Many stones by the way are just buried
under the surface of the earth. Many lie in the balks and meres, and
many fragments are remov’d, to make boundaries for the fields; but more
whole ones have been burnt to build withal, within every body’s memory.
One stone still remains standing, near _Longstone_ cove.

_Longstone_ cove, because standing in the open fields, between the
_Caln_ road and that to the _Bath_, is more talk’d of by the people of
this country, than the larger, and more numerous in _Abury_ town. Dr.
_Musgrave_ mentions it in his _Belgium Britannicum_, page 44. and in
his map thereof.

Mr. _Aubury_ in his manuscript observations publish’d with Mr.
_Camden_’s _Britannia_, speaks of them by the name of the _Devil’s
coits_. Three huge stones then standing. It was really a grand and
noble work. The stone left standing is 16 feet high, as many broad,
3½ thick. The back stone is fallen flat on the ground, of like

     ——_annis solvit sublapsa vetustas:
    Fertur in abruptum magnus mons_——      Virg. Æn. 12.

The other was carried off by that destroyer _Richard Fowler_, together
with many more, but seven years ago (when I was there). The people
that saw it broken in pieces by fire, assured me there were perfect
flints in its composition and bones. And I verily believe I saw a piece
of this same stone in a garden-wall of the little alehouse below in
_Bekamton_-road, which had evidently a bone in it. Whence probably we
may conclude, that these stones were form’d by nature since _Noah_’s
deluge, and these bones are of an antediluvian animal, which casually
fell into the petrifying matter. They told me the stone contain’d 20
good loads, that the bones were in the middle of the stone, and as hard
as the stone. That stone now standing, was the right hand or eastern
jamb of the cove.

A little way hence is a bit of heath-ground, but the plough will soon
have devoured it. Here remains a great barrow, call’d _Longstone long
barrow_; and from hence we see innumerable more barrows. The avenue
continu’d its journey by the corn fields. Three stones lie still by
the field-road coming from _South-street_ to the _Caln_-road. Mr.
_Alexander_ told me he remember’d several stones standing by the
parting of the roads under _Bekamton_, demolish’d by _Richard Fowler_.
Then it descends by the road to _Cherill_, ’till it comes to the
_Bath_-road, close by the _Roman_-road, and there in the low valley it
terminates, near a fine group of barrows, under _Cherill-hill_, in the
way to _Oldbury-camp_; this is west of _Bekamton_-village. This point
facing that group of barrows and looking up the hill is a most solemn
and awful place; a descent all the way from _Longstone_ cove, and
directed to a descent, a great way further, down the _Bath_-road, where
no less than five valleys meet. And in this very point only you can see
the temple on _Overton-hill_, on the south side of _Silbury-hill_.

Here I am sufficiently satisfied this avenue terminated, at the like
distance from _Abury_-town, as _Overton-hill_ was, in the former
avenue; 100 stones on a side, 4000 cubits in length; ten _stadia_
or the eastern mile. Several stones are left dispersedly on banks
and meres of the lands. One great stone belonging to this end of the
avenue, lies buried almost under ground, in the plow’d land between the
barrow west of _Longstone_ long barrow, and the last hedge in the town
of _Bekamton_. _Richard Fowler_ shew’d me the ground here, whence he
took several stones and demolish’d them. I am equally satisfied there
was no temple or circle of stones at this end of it. 1. Because it
would be absurd in drawing. The head of the snake was aptly represented
by that double circle on _Overton-hill_: but this place, the tail of
the snake, admitted no such thing, and I doubt not but it grew narrower
and narrower as before we observed, of the neck of the snake. 2. Here
is not the least report of such a thing among the country people.
It would most assuredly have been well known, because every stone
was demolish’d within memory, when I was there. I cannot doubt but
many have suffered since; and I have had very disagreeable accounts
thereof sent to me. I apprehend this end of the avenue drew narrower
in imitation of the tail of a snake, and that one stone stood in the
middle of the end, by way of close. This I infer from the manner of the
end of that avenue of the Druid temple at _Classerness_; which I take
to be the tail of a snake. Of which hereafter.

For a more mathematical determination of this end of the avenue, see
Chap X. at the end.

The avenue took another circular sweep of a contrary manner, as it
descended from _Longstone_ cove, bending southward.

          ————_pars cætera campum
    Ponè legit, sinuatque immensa volumine terga_.

as _Virgil_ writes of this creature, _Æneid_ II.

And it went over variety of elevations and depressures as the other of
_Kennet_ avenue; but that terminated on a hill, as this in a valley.
With great judgment, they thus laid out the ground, to make the whole
more picture-like.


  _Stukeley delin._    _Toms Sculp._

  _Continuation of Kennet avenue 24. May 1724._]

_Bekamton_-village lies very low, at the bottom of a valley subject to
inundations, and the ground is springy: they can’t make cellars there:
whereas _Abury_ is very dry, and their wells deep.

There are many barrows on the south downs, between St. _Anne’s-hill_
and _Bekamton_, which chiefly regard this avenue. Many as we go up to
the _Roman_ camp of _Oldbury_, and in _Yatesbury_-field. And pretty
near the termination, in the valley of _Bekamton_ under _Cherill-hill_,
is a group or line of half a score of very different forms, which
make a pretty appearance. So the valley along the present road from
_Bekamton_ to the _Devizes_ and _Bath_, is full of barrows on both
sides; all regarding this part of the sacred work, the tail of the

I am confident, the reader by this time has conceiv’d a just notion
of this wonderful work, which we have describ’d with as much brevity
as possible; and at the same time he will resent its fate, that a few
miserable farmers should, within the space of 20 years, destroy this
the noblest monument, which is probably on the face of the globe;
which has stood so many ages, and was made to stand as many more. The
grandeur of the work has render’d it altogether unnecessary to add any
heightning, or any flourishes. I leave it as an out-line of the most
masterly hand, a picture that requires no colouring.

Concerning the forms of the religious performances here, I can say
but little, more than that I see nothing, but what appears to be in
the ancient patriarchal mode, before cover’d temples were introduc’d
in the world; the æra of which time, I am fully convinc’d, was that
of the _Mosaick_ tabernacle. We may well assert this to be ancienter
than that time; as the largest, so probably one of the most ancient
in the _Britannic_ isles. The Druids were tempted to make this work
here, by the appearance of the stones on the downs, on the other
side of _Hakpen-hill_, call’d the gray weathers. Finding the ground
all overspread with these enormous masses, they had no difficulty in
resolving, and they made none in putting their resolution in execution;
in conveying 650 of the choicest of them, to make this notable temple.
Thus we cast up the number.

  The outer circle of _Abury_ town            100
  The outer circle of the northern temple     030
  The inner circle                            012
  The cove                                    003
  The outer circle of the southern temple     030
  The inner circle                            012
  The ambre or central obelisc                001
  The ring stone                              001
  The avenue of _Kennet_                      200
  The outer circle of _Hakpen_                040
  The inner                                   018
  The avenue of _Bekamton_                    200
  _Longstone_ cove jambs                      002
  The inclosing stone of the serpent’s tail   001

The square of _Solomon_’s temple was 700 cubits; the diameter of
_Abury_ is 800. But _Abury_, in square content, is to _Solomon_’s
temple as 50 to 49. If we take into the account the _vallum_ of
_Abury_, we find this would hold incomparably more people than the
other, as spectators or assistants. An hundred oxen in sacrifice
was an hecatomb. Twenty two thousand were offered by _Solomon_ at
the dedication, beside other animals. Three times in the year the
whole nation of _Israel_ assembled there, to pay their devotions and
sacrifices, the aboriginal covenant made between God and man, in order
to obtain favour and pardon. For ought we know, there might be as many
here, and on the same account. I believe their most common times of
these extraordinary religious meetings were on the four quarters of the
year, the equinoxes and solstices.

We may well wonder how these people could bring together so many of
these great stones, and set them up so exactly. The stones they had not
far to fetch, only from the other side of the _Hakpen_, from the gray
weathers. Their vicinity, their lying on the surface of the ground,
the soil here being solid chalk, was the great inducement for the
Druids, in these most early ages, to build this temple. The manner of
their mechanics, which undoubtedly was very simple, must be equally
surprizing. I apprehend, they brought the stones upon strong carriages,
and drew them by men. For even in _Cæsar_’s time, there was an infinite
multitude of people. Their manner of raising the stones seems to have
been with tall trees, us’d for leavers, and no doubt very artfully
apply’d. The method of fixing these enormous blocks of stone was, to
dig a hole in the solid chalk, and ram the foundation of it in, with
lesser stones, flints, and coggles, very artfully. They are not let in
above two feet and a half deep. And the country being all a solid bed
of chalk, was another reason why here, as at _Stonehenge_, they chose
it for this extraordinary building. The conducting and rightly managing
an immense number of hands, the providing for their maintenance, was a
matter of wisdom and great authority. The marvellous effect produced,
might well establish the glory of the Druids of _Britain_, which
echoed across the ocean, and very much favour’d the opinion mankind
had conceiv’d of their practising magick. For magick is nothing else
but the science that teaches us to perform wonderful and surprizing
things, in the later acceptation of the word. And in very many ages
after the Druid times, mankind had the same notion, and the vulgar
have to this day, concerning these works. And most probably from them
sprung the character, which _Pliny_ gives of our _british_ Druids
practising magic, and being so great proficients therein, as to equal
the _persian_ and _chaldean magi_, “so that one would even think,” says
he, “the Druids had taught it them.”

I judge it much more probable, the Druids learn’d it from them, at
least they both derive it from the same original fountain. And whatever
they might practise of real magic, the notion of mankind concerning
them, receiv’d strength from the name _magi_, which they might bring
with them from the east. _Magus_ there originally signifies no more
than a _priest_, or person who officiates in sacreds. The word comes
from _maaghim meditabundi_, people of a contemplative, retir’d life;
whom more commonly in the west, they call’d Druids. I am not dubious
in thinking the times we are talking of, when this temple of _Abury_
was built, are of the extremest antiquity, near that of _Abraham_. I
was very often on the spot, furnish’d with what I thought a convincing
argument, from considering the wear of the weather, what effect it had
upon these stones of a very firm texture, a kind of gray marble. And
thus my reasoning was founded.

I had sufficient opportunity of comparing the effect of the weather
upon the stones here, and upon those at _Stonehenge_. For some years
together, I went from one to the other directly, staying a fortnight
or more at each place to make my observations. Nothing is more
manifest, than that the stones of _Stonehenge_ have been chizel’d,
some quite round, some on three sides, easily to be distinguish’d. The
stones of _Abury_ are absolutely untouch’d of tool. No doubt, at that
time of day, the aboriginal patriarchal method from the foundation
of the world was observ’d, not to admit a tool upon them. Even when
_Solomon_’s temple was built, tho’ the stones were all carv’d with
great art, yet that was done before they were brought to the building;
for no ax or hammer was heard thereon. The like, probably, may be said
of _Stonehenge_.

  TAB. XX.

  _The HAKPEN or snakes head temple on Overton hill, calld the

It seems likely, that when _Stonehenge_ was built, the Druids had some
notice from _phœnician_ traders, of the nature of _Solomon_’s temple;
therefore they made their impost work, as some kind of advance, toward
a cover’d temple, and likewise chizel’d their stones in compliance
thereto. By using the best of my judgment, in comparing the effect
of the weather upon _Stonehenge_ and _Abury_, I could easily induce
myself to think that _Abury_ was as old again. For in some places there
were cavities a yard long, corroded by time, and on those sides that
originally lay on the ground, which, if they had not been expos’d to
the weather, by being set upright, would have been smooth. Several
other persons of good judgment have been of the same sentiment.

[Illustration: _RUBEN HORSALL Clark of Abury & Antiquarian. July 29

                               CHAP. IX.

  _Of the barrows or sepulchral tumuli about_ Abury, _very numerous
    here, as having for ages been a metropolitical temple. The
    several kinds of them, conjecturally distinguished. Royal barrows
    of old and later fashions. Druids’ barrows. Archdruids’ or long
    barrows._ Silbury _much the largest barrow about_ Abury, _and
    perhaps in the world. The temple built, seemingly, on account of
    this barrow. The sacred character as a prophylactic to the ashes
    of the dead. The Druids taught the resurrection of the body as
    well as soul. The great king dug up, who was interred at top. His
    most ancient bridle found with the corps, in possession of the
    author. The_ british _chariots an oriental usage. A conjecture
    of the name of this king_, Cunedha, _who lived at_ Marlborough.
    _Of the fountain of the_ Kennet _hard by, taking its name from
    him. The dimension of_ Silbury-hill, _its solid content. A
    demonstration of the_ Roman _road made since_ Silbury-hill. _A
    conjecture concerning the time of year when this prince died.
    The anniversaries of the ancients at the tombs of the dead. What
    has been found in other barrows here. Beads of amber, and other
    matter, as glass, earth, &c. A flat gold ring, spear-heads, a bit
    of gold. Another demonstration of the_ Roman _road being later
    than these works. An entire urn which the author dug up. A double
    circle of stones at_ Winterburn-basset. _Pyriform barrows. Of
    long barrows or archdruids’. Very large ones here, above 300 foot
    long. Some set round with stones. Some with great stoneworks at
    the end._

So many ages as _Abury_ was the great cathedral, the chief
metropolitical or patriarchal temple of the island, no wonder there
are an infinite number of these barrows about it. Great princes,
and men within a considerable tract of country round here, would
naturally choose to leave their mortal remains in this sacred ground,
more peculiarly under the divine regard. Every hill-top within view
of the place is sure to be crowned with them. As at _Stonehenge_, so
here, there are great varieties of them, which no doubt, originally,
had their distinctions of the quality and profession of the person
interr’d. In the additions to Mr. _Camden_’s _Wiltshire_, several sorts
of them are mention’d.

1. Small circular trenches, with very little elevation in the middle.
These are what I call (for distinction-sake) Druid barrows. An eminent
one I have given plate XXII, on the _Hakpen_ hill, overlooking _Kennet_


  Prospect of the Temple on Overton Hill. 8 July 1723.

  _Stukeley d._

  _The Hakpen, or head of the Snake, in ruins._]

2. Ordinary barrows, meaning plain round ones, common all over
_England_. Some may be _roman_, or _saxon_, or _danish_, as well as

3. Barrows with ditches round them. These are commonly such as I esteem
royal, of the newest fashion among the old _Britons_; generally of an
elegantly turn’d bell-form. These two last sort I call king-barrows.

4. Large oblong barrows, some with trenches round them, others without.
These I call, for method sake, archdruids’ barrows. Several of ’em
near _Abury_ and _Stonehenge_. And sometimes we find ’em in other
places about the kingdom. A druid celt was found in that north of
_Stonehenge_, which induc’d me to give them the title. I shall speak a
little concerning them in the method mention’d, as they are observable
about _Abury_, but we ought to begin with _Silbury_, which, says our
right reverend and learned author, is the largest barrow in the county,
and perhaps in all _England_.

_Silbury_ indeed is a most astonishing collection of earth,
artificially rais’d, worthy of _Abury_, worthy of the king who was
the royal founder of _Abury_, as we may very plausibly affirm. By
considering the picture of _Abury_ temple, we may discern, that as this
immense body of earth was rais’d for the sake of the interment of this
great prince, whoever he was: so the temple of _Abury_ was made for
the sake of this _tumulus_; and then I have no scruple to affirm, ’tis
the most magnificent _mausoleum_ in the world, without excepting the
_Egyptian_ pyramids.

_Silbury_ stands exactly south of _Abury_, and exactly between
the two extremities of the two avenues, the head and tail of the
snake. The work of _Abury_, which is the circle, and the two avenues
which represent the snake transmitted thro’ it, are the great
_hierogrammaton_, or sacred prophylactic character of the divine mind,
which is to protect the _depositum_ of the prince here interr’d. The
_Egyptians_, for the very same reason, frequently pictur’d the same
hieroglyphic upon the breast of their mummies, as particularly on that
in my lord _Sandwich_’s collection; and very frequently on the top and
summit of _Egyptian_ obeliscs, this picture of the serpent and circle
is seen; and upon an infinity of their monuments. In the very same
manner this huge snake and circle, made of stones, hangs, as it were,
brooding over _Silbury-hill_, in order to bring again to a new life the
person there buried. For our Druids taught the expectation of a future
life, both soul and body, with greatest care, and made it no less than
a certainty.

    ————————_vobis auctoribus umbræ
    Non tacitas Erebi sedes, Ditisque profundi
    Pallida regna petunt; regit idem spiritus artus
    Orbe alio_————                        Sings _Lucan. Phars._ I.

Here might be said, with the same poet,

    _Et regis cineres extructo monte quiescunt._      Lucan.

’Till in the month of March, 1723, Mr. _Halford_ order’d some trees to
be planted on this hill, in the middle of the noble plain or _area_
at the top, which is 60 cubits diameter. The workmen dug up the body
of the great king there buried in the center, very little below the
surface. The bones extremely rotten, so that they crumbled them in
pieces with their fingers. The soil was altogether chalk, dug from the
side of the hill below, of which the whole barrow is made. Six weeks
after, I came luckily to rescue a great curiosity which they took
up there; an iron chain, as they called it, which I bought of _John
Fowler_, one of the workmen: it was the bridle buried along with this
monarch, being only a solid body of rust. I immerg’d it in limner’s
drying oil, and dried it carefully, keeping it ever since very dry. It
is now as fair and entire as when the workmen took it up. I have given
a sketch of it in plate XXXVI. There were deers’ horns, an iron knife
with a bone handle too, all excessively rotten, taken up along with it.

_Pausanias_, in _Eliacis_, writes, how in his time, a _roman_ senator
conquer’d at the _olympic_ games. He had a mind to leave a monument of
his victory, being a brazen statue with an inscription. Digging for the
foundation, just by the pillar of _Oenomaus_, they took up fragments of
a shield, a bridle and _armilla_, which he saw.

Our bridle belong’d to the harness of a _british_ chariot, and brings
into our thoughts the horses and chariots of _Egypt_, mention’d in
earliest days. The _Tyrian Hercules_, who, I suppose, might bring the
first oriental colony hither, was a king in _Egypt_. In scripture,
when _Joseph_ was prime minister there, we find chariots frequently
mention’d, both for civil and military use. In _Joshua_’s time,
xvii. 16, 18. the _Canaanites_, _Rephaim_ or giants, (_Titans_)
and _Perizzites_ had them. So the _Philistines_. Our ancestors the
_Britons_ coming both from _Egypt_ and _Canaan_, brought hither the
use of chariots; and they remain’d, in a manner, singular and proper
to our island, to the time that the _romans_ peopled it. And it was
fashionable for the _romans_ at _Rome_, in the height of their luxury,
to have _british_ chariots, as we now _berlins_, _landaus_, and the

    _Esseda cælatis siste Britanna jugis._

_Philostratus_, _vit. sophist._ xxv. _Polemon_, remarks the enameling
and ornament of _phrygian_ and _celtic_ bridles, as being very
curiously wrought. Ours is perfectly plain and rude; an argument of its
great antiquity.

_Silbury_ is the name of the hill given by our _saxon_ ancestors,
meaning the _great_ or _marvellous hill_. So _Silchester_, the
_Vindoma_ of the _Romans_, means the _great Chester_. It cannot help
us to the name of the monarch there buried. When I consider this hill
standing at the fountain of the _Kennet Cunetio_, still call’d _Cunnet_
by the country people, and that among the most ancient _Britons_ the
name of _Cunedha_ is very famous, that they talk much of a great king
of this name, it would tempt one to conjecture, this is the very man.
This conjecture receives some strength from what my old friend Mr.
_Baxter_ writes about _Cunetio_ or _Marlborough_, which the river
first visits. He thinks it had its name from a famous king, _Cunedha_,
who lived at _Marlborough_, called _Kynyd Kynüidion_, which we may
_english_, _Cunedha_ of _Marlborough_, which name is mention’d in the
ancient _british_ genealogies before the grandfather of king _Arthur_;
tho’ we scarce imagine their genealogies can truly reach the founder
we are thinking of. But _Cyngetorix_, a king in _Britain_, who fought
_Julius Cæsar_, and _Cunobelin_, king of the island in _Augustus_’s
time, may be descendants of this man, at least their names have some
relation. And in _Cæsar_’s _Comment._ B. G. VII. _Conetodunus_ a
_gaulish_ prince, is the same name.

We may remember too, that _Merlin_ the magician, who is said to have
made _Stonehenge_ by his magic, is affirm’d to have been buried at
_Marlborough_. Mr. _Camden_ recites it from _Alexander Necham_.
Doubtless _Stonehenge_, much more _Abury_, are incomparably older
than _Merlin’s_ time. But the oldest reports we can expect to have of
these affairs, must be from the _Britons_, the oldest inhabitants left.
And ’tis natural for them to affix old traditions vastly beyond their
knowledge, to the last famous persons they have any account of; so
that we may well judge some truths are generally latent in these old
reports. It is likely our king _Kunedha_ lived at _Marlborough_, was
buried in _Silbury_, was the founder of _Abury_. And the archdruid,
who with him was the projector and executor of the stupendous work of
_Abury_, was buried at _Marlborough_. For _Marlborough_ is in sight
of that part of the temple which is the _Hakpen_, or snake’s head, on


  _Stukeley delin._    _Toms Sculp._

  _Prospect of Kennet Avenue from the Druids tumulus on Hakpen hill.
  May 15ᵗʰ. 1724._]

_Strabo_ writes in XII, that there is a _tumulus_ of king _Marsyas_,
where he was buried, at the head of the river _Marsyas_. This seems to
be an exact parallel case with ours, and that the river preserves the
name of the king to this day, from whom it had its name. _Pausanias
Bœot._ writes, the tomb of _Asphodicus_ is at the spring-head of the
river _Oedipodias_. And _Tiresias_’s sepulchre is by the fountain
_Telphussa_. And the like of very many more.

The person that projected the forming this vast body of earth,
_Silbury-hill_, had a head as well as hands, and well chose his ground,
well contriv’d how to execute his purpose. He pitch’d upon the foot of
the chalk hill, by the fountain of the _Kennet_, in the very meridian
line of _Abury_. The bottom of the hill is natural earth, and beyond
the verge of its circumference at bottom, they dug the earth of the
hill away to the level of the adjacent meadow, in order to furnish
materials for the artificial part of the hill, leaving as it were an
isthmus, or neck of original land. Further, to render this artificial
part more detach’d from the natural, they dug a deep trench on the
land-side, in the middle of the isthmus, but left two bridges, as it
were, or passages up to the hill. By this means the ascent for the
multitude employ’d, was render’d more easy, for the natural hill was as
a half-pause or resting-place for them.

The diameter of _Silbury-hill_ at top is 105 feet, the same as
_Stonehenge_. At bottom ’tis somewhat more than 500 feet, in reality
300 cubits, as at top 60 cubits. 100 cubits its exact perpendicular
altitude. They that have seen the circumference of _Stonehenge_, will
admire that such an _area_ should be carried up 170 feet perpendicular,
with a sufficient base to support it: and they that consider the
geometry of this barrow, as I have drawn it in plate XXVIII, will be
equally pleased with the natural and easy proportion of it. But without
actually seeing it, we can scarce have a full idea of it. The solid
contents of it amount to 13558809 cubic feet. Some people have thought
it would cost 20000_l._ to make such a hill.

Some old people remember king _Charles_ II, the duke of _York_, and
duke of _Monmouth_ riding up it. The _Roman_ way, _via Badonica_,
coming from _Overton-hill_ to _Runway-hill_, should have pass’d
directly thro’ _Silbury-hill_; wherefore they curv’d a little southward
to avoid it, and it runs close by the isthmus of the hill, then thro’
the fields of _Bekamton_. This shews _Silbury-hill_ was ancienter than
the _Roman_ road. They have lately fenc’d out the _Roman_ road (which
they call the _french way_) in the plough’d fields of _Bekamton_; but
you see the continuation of it when it reaches the heath ground, as in
plate IX.

It seems no difficult matter to point out the time of the year when
this great prince died, who is here interr’d, _viz._ about the
beginning of our present _April_. I gather it from this circumstance.
The country people have an anniversary meeting on the top of
_Silbury-hill_ on every _palm-sunday_, when they make merry with cakes,
figs, sugar, and water fetch’d from the _swallow-head_, or spring of
the _Kennet_. This spring was much more remarkable than at present,
gushing out of the earth in a continued stream. They say it was spoil’d
by digging for a fox who earth’d above, in some cranny thereabouts;
this disturb’d the sacred nymphs, in a poetical way of speaking.

We observed before, concerning the temple of _Rowldrich_, there
was a like anniversary meeting at that place, which doubtless has
been continued thro’ all ages, and all succession of inhabitants,
from the death of the arch-druid there buried. If we read the fifth
_Æneid_ of _Virgil_, we shall there find the major part of it to be a
description of the very matters we are writing of. The great poet who
affectedly describes all ancient customs, speaks of his hero making a
_tumulus_ for his father _Anchises_, and a temple and sacred grove;
providing priests and officers necessary for that purpose. Celebrating
the anniversary remembrance of his deceased parent, with great
magnificence, with sacrifices, feasting, games, sports and exercises,
and distributing rewards to the victors. So _Virgil_ in _Georg._ 3.

    _Et viridi in campo templum de marmore ponam_, &c.

So _Herodotus_ describing the manner of sepulture among the _Thracians_
and _Macedonians_. The whole matter is so notorious, that I leave
the reader to make the particular application and parallel. Here at
_Silbury_, the country being all a fine and exquisite down, I cannot
point out the place where the games were kept: perhaps on the meadow
between _Abury_ and the hill.

I took notice that _apium_ grows plentifully about the spring-head of
the _Kennet_. _Pliny_ writes _defunctorum epulis dicatum apium_. To
this day the country people have a particular regard for the herbs
growing there, and a high opinion of their virtue.

The king-barrows which are round, both here and elsewhere vary in their
turn and shape, as well as magnitude, as we see in a group together;
whereof still very many are left, many destroy’d by the plough. Some of
the royal barrows are extremely old, being broad and flat, as if sunk
into the ground with age. There is one near _Longstone_ cove set round
with stones. I have depicted two groups of them, one by the serpent’s
head, on _Overton-hill_; another by the serpent’s tail, in the way
between _Bekamton_ and _Oldbury_ camp: some flat, some campani-form,
some ditch’d about, some not. One near the temple on _Overton-hill_
was quite levell’d for ploughing _anno_ 1720; a man’s bones were found
within a bed of great stones, forming a kind of arch. Several beads
of amber long and round, as big as one’s thumb end, were taken from
it, and several enamel’d _British_ beads of glass: I got some of them,
white in colour, some were green. They commonly reported the bones to
be larger than common. So _Virgil Georg._ 1.

    _Grandiaque effossis mirabitur ossa sepulchris._

I bought a couple of _British_ beads, one large of a light blue and
rib’d, the other less, of a dark blue, taken up in one of the two
barrows on _Hakpen-hill_, east of _Kennet_ avenue. These two barrows
are ditch’d about, and near one another. The single barrow next it
toward the snake’s head temple, is large and beautifully turn’d, with a
ditch about it, at a distance, which throws it into a campanule form.


  _A Prospect from_ Abury _Steeple_.

  _Stukeley d._]

Mr. _Bray_ of _Monkton_ open’d a barrow, among many others, at
_Yatesbury_. There was a great stone laid at top, just under the
surface. When taken up, they found a body laid in a stone coffin,
form’d by several stones. He says, in another they found a body, with a
flat gold ring, which was sold for 30_s._ and a piece of brass, about
the bulk of a pint mug, with spear-heads of iron.

A man of _Ambresbury_, who had liv’d here, told me of a brass
spear-head dug up in a barrow between _Monkton_ and _Abury_, by a body:
and that under some stones in a barrow, south of _Silbury_, they found
a bit of gold, (I suppose the covering of a button, or the like, such
as that I dug up at _Stonehenge_,) and many sharp bits of iron.

Mr. _Aubury_ speaks of a barrow opened in _Kennet_ parish, _anno_ 1643,
two stones 11 feet long, laid side by side, and a corps between, with a
sword and knife. Another like stone laid over all.

There is a very delicate hill north of _Abury_, of a round form, with
an easy ascent quite round; ’tis call’d _Windmill-hill_. The turf as
soft as velvet. ’Tis encompass’d with a circular trench, exceeding old.
Fifteen barrows of a most ancient shape thereon. Many barrows are on
the top, of several shapes. I open’d a small one, very old, flat, and
round, and found an entire urn turn’d up-side down, into a hole cut in
the solid chalk. The bones very rotten. I have given a drawing of the
urn, plate XXXVI. It was red without, black within, 14 inches high, 9
in diameter at the aperture, wrought a little both within and without,
and at the bottom, which stood uppermost.

South of _Abury_ town is a hill, between it and _Silbury_, call’d
_Windmill-hill_; it lies between our two avenues, and intercepts
the view from one to the other. This too is crown’d with barrows of
different sorts and sizes. The _Via Badonica_ runs on the southern
skirt of it, going from _Overton-hill_ to _Silbury_. I took notice
there of a barrow of that kind I call _Druids_. This happening too near
the track of the _Roman_ road, it goes over part of it. Part is fill’d
up, and the lump in the middle, under which the urn lay, they have dug
away: A further demonstration, that it is of a date posterior to our
_celtic_ works here. This hill too is call’d _Weedon-hill_, perhaps
from the _Roman_ way.

At _Winterburn-basset_, a little north of _Abury_, in a field
north-west of the church, upon elevated ground, is a double circle of
stones concentric, 60 cubits diameter. The two circles are near one
another, so that one may walk between. Many of the stones have of late
been carry’d away. West of it is a single, broad, flat, and high stone,
standing by itself. And about as far northward from the circle, in a
plough’d field, is a barrow set round with, or rather compos’d of large
stones. I take this double circle to have been a family-chapel, as we
may call it, to an archdruid dwelling near thereabouts, whilst _Abury_
was his cathedral.

There are likewise about _Abury_ some pyriform barrows, longish, but
broad at one end: some compos’d of earth, thrown into a _tumulus_.
Of this sort a very long one in the valley from _Bekamton_ to
_Runway-hill_. Another among the furze bushes south of _Silbury_,
set with stones, which farmer _Green_ carry’d away. Others made of
stones set upright in that form. Of the latter, a very large one in
_Monkton-fields_, about 20 stones left on one side. ’Tis directly
north of _Abury_ town. Another such south of _Silbury-hill_. Another
pyriform, made only of earth, under _Runway-hill_. Another on the hill
south-west from _Bekamton_, cut through with some later division dike.

The long barrows are what I call archdruids’. There are but few about
_Abury_ left, and but two at _Stonehenge_. The paucity seems to confirm
the notion. One very large at _East-Kennet_, points to _Abury_, but
with its lesser end: no less than 200 cubits in length, which is 350
feet, a huge body of earth. Another not far off points to the snake’s
head temple, being at a right angle with the former.

By _Horslip-gap_ is another considerable long barrow of a large bulk,
length and height: it regards the snake’s head temple, tho’ here not in

By _Bekamton_ cove another, a vast body of earth, as thick as the
_vallum_ of _Abury_, and points to the cove hard by; which shews that
cove to be as a chapel. Another large round barrow near it.

In _Monkton_, west of the town, is a large and flat long barrow, set
round with stones, which I have depicted in plate XXX, ’tis just 120
cubits long, 30 cubits broad in the broadest end. It stands due east
and west, the broadest end eastward. Its breadth the fourth part of its
length: a most magnificent sepulchre, and call’d _Milbarrow_.

But even this is much exceeded in south long barrow, near
_Silbury-hill_, south of it, and upon the bank of the _Kennet_. It
stands east and west, pointing to the dragon’s head on _Overton-hill_.
A very operose _congeries_ of huge stones upon the east end, and upon
part of its back or ridge; pil’d one upon another, with no little
labour: doubtless in order to form a sufficient chamber, for the
remains of the person there buried; not easily to be disturbed. The
whole _tumulus_ is an excessively large mound of earth 180 cubits
long, ridg’d up like a house. And we must needs conclude, the people
that made these durable _mausolea_, had a very strong hope of the
resurrection of their bodies, as well as souls who thus provided
against their being disturbed.

Upon the heath south of _Silbury-hill_, was a very large oblong work,
like a long barrow, made only of stones pitch’d in the ground, no
_tumulus_. Mr. _Smith_ beforemention’d told me, his cousin took the
stones away (then) 14 years ago, to make mere stones withal. I take it
to have been an archdruid’s, tho’ humble, yet magnificent; being 350
feet or 200 cubits long.

_Pausanias in Eliac._ II. writes, upon the bank of the river _Cladeus_
is the barrow of _Ænomaus_; of earth, incompass’d with stones. Again
in _Arcadic._ he says, at _Pergamus_ is the monument of _Auge_, being
a barrow of earth, incompass’d with a circle of stones. In the same
_Arcadic._ Book VIII. he says, he studiously contemplated the _tumulus_
of _Æpitus_, because _Homer_ makes mention of it, admiring it, for he
had seen no finer. ’Twas made of earth not very large, incompass’d
with a circle of stones. Thus naturally does a genius admire works of
antiquity! he seems thereby to antedate his own being, and to have
lived in those times long before. He writes again _in Bœot._ at the
barrow of _Amphion_ are many rude stones, which they report, were
the stones he drew together with his harp. Likewise there are three
rude stones near the tomb of _Melanippus_; and the antiquarians say,
_Tydeus_ was buried there.

To go much higher in time, and equal to those we have been describing:
_Genes._ xxxv. 20. _Jacob set a pillar upon Rachel’s grave._


  _Stukeley delin._    _Toms Sculp._

  _Prospect of Bekampton Avenue from Longston long Barrow 1724._

  ☉☉ _Two Stones of the Avenue at the Crossing of the two Roads
  demolish’d by Rᵈ. Fowler._ B. _the Termination of the avenue._]

                               CHAP. X.

  _Of the arch-druid’s house on_ Temple-downs, _his barrow. Of their
    places of judicature, and execution. Another Druid’s house
    call’d_ old-Chapel _towards_ Winterburn-basset. _Another under
    the_ Hakpen-hill, _over_ Kennet _avenue. Another at_ Bekamton.
    _Another under_ Runway-hill. _A_ Kist-vaen _in_ Monkton-fields.
    _Another in_ Clatford-bottom _by_ Marlborough. _Some general
    reflexions. They must have been a very great and learned
    people, that made this work of_ Abury. _The parish of_ Abury
    _now comprehends many townships, taken in by the extent of the
    snake. A notion of the snake, and its sacred quality retain’d
    by the people, reporting no snake will live within this tract.
    A conjecture concerning the time of founding this temple, which
    carries it up to the time of_ Abraham, _or very near it; deduc’d
    from the variation of the compass observ’d there. A mathematical
    designation of the termination of_ Bekamton _avenue. The major
    part of_ Virgil’s _fifth_ Æneid _is a description of like
    anniversary games celebrated here, in old times._

There is still another of these long archdruids’ _tumuli_ at _Abury_,
which leads me to describe a kind of ancient monuments which I meet
with here, and near _Stonehenge_ and elsewhere; which I take to be
houses of the Druids, or their courts of judicature, or both. The
principal of them here, is a remarkable thing, upon the _Hakpen-hill_
east of _Abury_, near a mile, between it and _Rockley_. That part
of the downs thereabouts is called _Temple-downs_, and the thing is
called _old Chapel_. Lord _Winchelsea_, Lord and Lady _Hertford_ and
myself were curious in observing it, _July 6, 1723_. ’Tis a large
square, intrench’d, 110 druid cubits by 130, like a little _Roman_
camp, with one entrance on the south-west side, towards _Abury_: for
it is posited with accuracy, (as all these works are) from north-east
to south-west. The situation of the place is high, and has a descent,
quite round three of its sides; the verge of the descent inclosing it
like a horseshoe. The entrance is on the side next _Abury_, on the
isthmus of the peninsula (as it were,) on the shortest side of the
square, the south-west. It is made of a vallum and ditch; beyond that,
a row of flat stones set quite round and pretty close to one another,
like a wall. Beyond that, another lesser ditch. There are stones too
set on each side the entrance. On the north-west side is a large long
barrow 50 cubits in length, with two great stone works upon it. One
on the end next the great inclos’d place, we have been describing:
another stonework towards the other end; which seems to have been a
semicircular cove, or _demi-ellipsis_ consisting of five great stones;
a _Stonehenge_ cell in miniature, but now in ruins. This probably gave
the name of _old Chapel_ to the place; the barrow likewise has been set
quite round with great stones.

In the second stone-work, one stone lies flat on the ground, along the
middle line of the barrow. On each side a flat stone stands upright,
and two flat stones stand upright at right angles, as wings to ’em.
Upon them I suppose other stones were pil’d as a _kist-vaen_. Here
probably lies the body of the interr’d. The stones are generally very
large, about ten feet long.

The whole I take to have been the palace and interment of an
arch-druid, and his tribunal or seat of justice. ’Tis posited exactly
enough south-east and north-west. The learned Mr. _Rowland_, who wrote
the history of the _Isle of Mona_, describes just such works as this in
that place, and calls them houses of the Druids.

This place stands near a great cavity call’d _Balmore-pond_, which
seems to have some regard to this work. ’Tis a pyriform concavity, set
with stones on the inside. It answers exactly to _old chapel entrance_;
and the people have a report that there is a vault under it. One would
be tempted to think it was a prison, and the pond was the place of
executions, being form’d theatrically. Otherwise it might be a place of
sports and spectacles. ’Tis 150 cubits broad, 180 long, form’d like an
_Amazonian_ shield.

In a valley between here and _Rockley_, are nine round barrows of
different bulk. And upon all the highest ground thereabouts are an
infinite quantity of immense stones, or sarsens, or gray weathers, some
of as large dimensions as any at _Abury_, and lying as thick as leaves
in _autumn_. Some upon the very surface of the ground, some half sunk
in; and many deep holes whence stones have been taken, are visible.

If we descend the _Hakpen-hill_, westward from hence towards
_Winterburn-basset_, upon the declivity of the _Hakpen_, is another
Druid’s house, called too _Old Chapel_. ’Tis a square, double ditch’d,
but small ditches, in the middle a broad oblong square bank. Before it
a sort of court, nearly as big as the other. Near it, they say, they
have found much old iron and pewter. It seems to have been set round
with stones.

There is another of these places in a delightful circular hollow, under
the _Hakpen-hill_, on the west side, hanging over _Kennet_ avenue, just
180 cubits square. It lies on a northern declivity, for coolness as
one may judge. The entrance is in the middle of the lowest side. But
toward the upper side is another lesser oblong square, what we should
call a _prætorium_ in a _Roman_ camp. And to this there was a distinct
entrance on the south. ’Tis plac’d exactly north and south.

In _Bekamton_ town, near the termination of _Bekamton_ avenue, or the
snake’s tail, is such another place, call’d _Old Chapel_ or _Chapel
field_. ’Tis full of great stones, many buried under-ground. _Richard
Fowler_, that great depopulator, told me, he demolished one stone
standing near the hedge of the pasture. Near it a great stone lies upon
the mouth of an old well, as they say, but never remember that it was
open, only speak by tradition. This field belongs still to the church.

There is another very pretty place of this sort (for ought I know)
between the _Wansdike_ and _Via Badonica_, running up _Runway-hill_.
’Tis a charming pleasant concavity. An oblong square, with another
lesser, as a _prætorium_ within. In the _vallum_ are many gaps at
equal intervals. You will see a large part of it in plate XI. called
the model of a camp. ’Tis abusing our time to be tedious, either in
descriptions or enquiries, about these matters, of which ’tis
scarce possible to arrive at any certainty at this time of day. The
pleasure arising from them, is in being upon the spot, and treading the
agreeable downy turf, crowded with these antiquities; where health to
the body and amusement to the mind are mingled so effectually together.


  _A View near the spot of the Termination of_ Bekampton avenue _Iuly
  19. 1723._

  _Stukeley delin._

  _The Snakes tail._]

In _Monkton-fields_, directly north-east from _Abury_, is a monument
of four stones, which probably is a _kist-vaen_. I have exhibited a
print of it in table XXXVII. These seem to be what Mr. _Edward Llwyd_
calls _Kromlechon_, or _bowing-stones_. I believe it was a sepulchral
monument, set on a barrow, tho’ chiefly now plow’d up; and that the
great covering-stone is luxated.

Table XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV, are views of another eminent work of this
sort, in _Clatford-bottom_ between _Abury_ and _Marlborough_, which
require no further description.

Table XXXV, two old _british_ urns found at _Sunbury_ by the _Thames_,
shewn at the antiquarian society some years ago. The inscription on the
monument of _Chyndonax_, an archdruid among the _Gauls_, of which a
large account publish’d in _french_. Father _Montfaucon_ questions the
genuineness thereof, but I think his objections are trifling.

In table XXXVI, I have etch’d the bit of the king’s bridle found in
_Silbury-hill_, the founder of _Abury_, in my possession. Underneath is
the _british_ urn which I dug up in a barrow on _Windmill-hill_ north
of _Abury_. This plate is consecrated to the memories of Sir _Robert
Halford_, knight, and _Charles Tucker_, Esq; who were very solicitous
in preserving these noble antiquities.

I have given the reader as plain and as concise a description of
these works about _Abury_, as I possibly could. We cannot but make
this general reflexion upon the whole: 1. That this temple, with the
things belonging to it, when in perfection, must have been the work
of a very great and learned people. The kind, manner, and idea of it,
shews its extreme antiquity. When we view the ruins of _Rome_, of
_Greece_, _Egypt_, _Syria_, _Persia_, or the like, we readily enough
enter into a notion of the wisdom and flourishing estate of the people
that performed them. The like we must do of these _british_ Druids.
These very works justify the high reports made concerning them in
classic authors. And if we pretend to oppose them by other reports
out of like authors, concerning the rudeness and barbarity of the
old _Britons_; the answer is obvious. They speak of different times,
or perhaps of different people, new successions from the continent,
that drove out the former possessors who performed these works, more
northward and westward. The works themselves are an evidence of the
genius of the founders. Learning commonly arrives at its height within
no long space of time. These works here have a notorious grandeur
of taste, a justness of plan, an apparent symmetry and a sufficient
niceness in the execution: In compass very extensive, in effect
magnificent and agreeable. The boldness of the imagination we cannot
sufficiently admire. When this whole _area_, which is about four miles
square, was entirely sacred ground, under the care and custody of the
Druids, one of their great seminaries or academies, every where a fine
turf, cover’d over with an infinite variety of barrows, it was a most
agreeable scene, and merely a picture.

When one traverses about this ground, an intelligent person will
discern abundance of remarkable beauties in the manner and disposition
of the temple. The wise Druids knew the internal meaning and purport
of this great symbol of the fecundity of the deity, first exerted in
producing the second person represented thereby, who with them was the
creator of all things. From the supreme proceeded the divine essences
equal to himself; but the son of the supreme formed the material
words, whence call’d the _mind_, the _creator_, and the _wisdom of the
father_, both by the Druids and us christians. And never since the
creation, was so magnificent an idea form’d in mortal minds, as this
hieroglyphic here before us made in stone-work. This snake of ours may
be near three of our common miles in length, justly laid down, its
proportions adapted to nature, its sinuosity well represented in huge
curves running contrary ways, conduced over several elevations and
depressures of ground. Two hills, one on each side the stream running
from _Abury_ to _Silbury_, hide the view of the avenues from each
other. So that probably the vulgar then knew not the true figure of the
whole, no more than now. But those that approached this place with a
purpose of religion, and that understood the mystical meaning thereof,
must be extremely affected with it; the greatest picture, no doubt,
on the globe of the earth, naturally exciting in their minds that
disposition proper for those approaches!

2. I observe that _Abury_, even now, lays its claim to all the old
appendages: the bounds of the parish taking in chiefly all that the
snake reaches, and the environs, as _Southstreet_, _West-Kennet_, and
_Bekamton_, and part of _Winterburn-basset_, and _Stan-more_ south of
_Winterburn-basset_, (they say it has been a town;) and _Overton-hill_,
_South-downs_, _West-downs_, _Cheril-hill_, almost to _Oldbury-castle_.

3. I remark, tho’ the people know nothing of the figure of a snake
made by the two avenues, yet a notion has been handed down from all
times, that gives an obscure hint of the thing, and of the prophylactic
virtue in this figure of the snake. For they say, that in all this
trail of ground, which we may call the _sacred field_, there never was
a snake seen; and if a snake should be brought hither, it would not
live. Nevertheless snakes abound in all the country round, even to
_Clatford_, between _Marlborough_ and here, but never come higher up.
This notion, I know not whether ’tis justly founded, but ’tis deeply
rooted in the mind of the inhabitants. _Pliny_ has a great deal about
the Druids’ fondness of snakes, but a little unintelligible, as we find
most of what authors have said concerning them. And we must be content
at this time, to mark out some obscure traces of things that seem to
our purpose, relating to this affair of theirs, which shall be the
subject of the next chapters.

4. When we contemplate the manner and disposition of our temple, in
regard to its parts in the circle at _Abury_, and in regard to its
position upon the cardinal points, some questions arise in our mind,
which we desire a resolution of: Concerning which I believe the hints
following will give us some satisfaction. Ever since the world began,
in building temples or places of religious assemblies, they have been
studious in setting them according to the quarters of the heavens. For
they consider’d the world as the general temple or house of God, and
that all particular temples should have a proper regard to it. The east
naturally claims a prerogative, where the sun and all the planets and
stars arise: this therefore they accounted as the face and front of
the world, or universal temple. The north then was consider’d as the
right-hand and great power of the world, the south as the left-hand or
lesser power. For when the sun approaches the northern region, passing
over the vernal equinoctial, he brings plenty, and the fulness of his
fructiferous influence; when he returns to the south, the face of
nature languishes in its winter attire. Therefore they thought the
polar region not only highest, but of most eminence and effect.


  _Stukeley delin._    _Toms sculp._

  _A prospect of_ Silbury hill _from the spring head of the Kennet
  River. 13. May. 1724._]

Whence _Orpheus_: “Thou who holdest the scepter of the pole, venerable
on many accounts, the throne of the world in the north.”

_Psellus_ says, “the _Pandochean_ power of the world reigns in the

Hence _Plutarch_ writes, “That _Xenophon_ says of the _Egyptians_, they
thought that part where the sun rises was the face of the world; the
north was its right-hand, where the _Nile_ rises its left.” And this
helps us to explain several _Egyptian_ antiquities.

But to apply this to our purpose. We cannot but observe, that the whole
of _Abury_ temple, or _Mausoleum_, regarded as a picture, has its upper
part to the north, and its face (if we may so speak) toward the east.
Thitherward the serpent goes. That way the cove of the northern temple
opens; that way the cove of _Bekamton_ avenue; that way the face of
_Stonehenge_ temple looks. So that the Druids appear to have the same
notions with the other wise men of the oriental ancients.

This therefore shews the reason why they set their temples fronting
the east, in all antiquity, and why the coves of our works look that
way. As to the two temples at _Abury_, the northern and southern,
included in the great circle, it should seem that the northern one
had the preeminence, and was the more sacred of the two. As the cove
was the _adytum_ of that temple, so the whole northern temple may be
esteem’d as the _adytum_ of the whole work, the southern being as the
body of it. _Solomon_’s temple, we know, consisted of three parts: the
_adytum_, or _holy of holies_; the _holy place_, or _sanctuary_; the
_porch_. By this means there is a conformity between it and _Abury_;
and to _Stonehenge_ likewise, which has an elliptic _adytum_, a
circular or outer part, and the _area_. Doubtless the different order
of priests, and of religious offices, took up these different parts.
And, if we may give our opinion, ’tis natural to think, that because
the ring-stone is by the southern temple, there the sacrifices were
offer’d and administer’d by the lesser orders of priests, around the
_ambre_ or central pyramidal. The highest part of religion was to be
perform’d by the archdruid and the upper order of priests before the
magnificent cove of the northern temple, together with hymns, incense,
musick, and the like.

5. In my account of _Stonehenge_ I suggested a surmise, that the
Druids, in laying down these works of theirs, used a compass or
magnetic instrument; whence I founded a conjecture concerning the time
of building that temple, by observing the variation with a theodolite.
As the variation in all the works about _Stonehenge_ is between six and
seven degrees to the east of the north, I found it at _Abury_ to be
about ten degrees the same way, and as precisely as possible. This will
necessarily excite one’s attention, as there is less reason to suppose
’tis accidental. The whole work was manifestly design’d to be set on
the cardinal points of the heavens, but they all vary one way, exactly
the same quantity; and ’tis impossible to account for it in any wise,
but that they us’d a magnetic instrument. This is the reason that the
neck of the snake on _Overton-hill_ crosses the _Roman_ road running
east and west, which would otherwise have been the ground-line of this

Thus _Kennet_ avenue enters the town of _Abury_ ten degrees north of
the north-west point, which north-west point was the Druids’ purpose.
The neck of the snake going down from _Overton-hill_ regards _Silbury_
precisely, and their intent was that it should be full west, but
’tis ten degrees north of the west. The meridian line of the whole
work passes from _Silbury-hill_ to the center of the temple at
_Abury_, this varies ten degrees to the east from the north-point.
The stupendous cove in the northern temple opens ten degrees east of
north-east. It was their purpose that it should regard the north-east.
The diameter of the great circle of the great stones at _Abury_, on
which the north and south temples are built, was design’d to have
been set on the line from north-west to south-east, but it verges ten
degrees northward; and so of all other particulars. And by this very
means we may, at any time, point out the line of the termination of
_Bekamton_ avenue, tho’ entirely destroy’d. For from _Silbury-hill_,
it was design’d by the Druids to have been set full west, as
_Overton-hill_ full east. Therefore a line mark’d from _Silbury-hill_,
ten degrees north of the west point, and at the proper length of the
avenue, being 4000 cubits, an eastern mile, determines the spot where
_Bekamton_ avenue ended. That spot is south of the square inclosure
going up to _Cheril-hill_, where _Silbury-hill_ bears ten degrees
south of east, where _Abury_ steeple bears twenty-five degrees west of
south-west. From _Silbury-hill_ you mark it by the line that goes to
_Oldbury_ camp, on the left hand of _Cheril-hill_. In that line was the
termination of _Bekamton_ avenue; it being the intention of the Druids
to place the founder’s _tumulus_ or _mausoleum_ of _Silbury-hill_ in
the middle, between the two ends of the avenue, the head and tail of
the snake, upon the east and west line, and exactly south of the center
of the great circle at _Abury_. This whole work therefore was properly
the _mausoleum_, or made, as it were, one _tumulus_ over the founder. A
prophylactic form’d by the great symbol of the deity, guarded the ashes
of the deceased hero. And from this custom in mythologic times, they
invented the notion of a snake being the genius of departed heroes; or
of such being turn’d into snakes and the like, as is said of _Cadmus_,
and many more.

Thus _Virgil_ describing _Æneas_ celebrating the anniversary of his
father’s death, at his _tumulus_ in _Sicily_, recites the ancient rites
practis’d at these places and on these occasions, and introduces a
snake creeping out of the _adytum_ of the _tumulus_, passing by the
altars and holy utensils, and retiring again, in _Æneid_ V.

      ————_Adytis cùm lubricus anguis ab imis
    Septem ingens gyros, septena volumina traxit,
    Amplexus placidè tumulum_———————— &c.

    _Hoc magis inceptos genitori instaurat honores,
    Incertus geniumne loci, famulumne parentis
    Esse putet_————

Much might I recite to our purpose out of the ancient commentators on
this passage, to which I refer the inquisitive. From the word _adytis_
we may be apt to conclude the tomb of _Anchises_ had a cove built upon
it, as that we describ’d at _Rowldrich_. But to return.

I apprehend the reader will scarce excuse me, if I make not some
inference from that observation of the variation of the needle here
from the cardinal points. Indeed in these works of antiquity, I would
be as temperate as possible in multiplying conjectures; and to nothing
more can I pretend in this case, and that too but in gross, for we want
sufficient _data_. A future age may pronounce with more certainty, when
we know the entire revolution of the circle of the magnetic variation.


  Silbury Hill _July 11. 1723_.

  _Stukeley d._

  A. _The Roman road._ B. _the Snakes head or hakpen._]

Dr. _Halley_ supposes the whole period is perform’d in about the
space of 700 years. I am sufficiently satisfy’d from considering the
different effect of the weather between _Abury_ and _Stonehenge_,
the great diversity in the manner of the works, and some other
considerations, that _Abury_ must be above 700 years prior in time to
_Stonehenge_. But if we take two entire revolutions, 1400 years, and
set it 460 years before the christian _æra_, the supposed time of the
building of _Stonehenge_, it brings us, in _Usher_’s chronology, which,
I take to be the best, to the year of the death of _Sarah_, _Abraham_’s
wife, which happen’d in the summer time of the 1859th year before
Christ. This was a little before the time of _Inachus_.

By the best light I can obtain, I judge our _Tyrian Hercules_ made
his expedition into the ocean, about the latter end of _Abraham_’s
time: and most likely ’tis, that _Abury_ was the first great temple of
_Britain_, and made by the first _Phœnician_ colony that came hither;
and they made it in this very place on account of the stones of the
gray-weathers, so commodious for their purpose.

_Usher_ makes this retirement of the _Hycsi_, or royal pastors out of
_Egypt_, which was done by our _Hercules_, to be 34 years after that
date. But my numbers make it somewhat later.

[Illustration: Tho. Robinson ALBURIAE Jerostratus]

                               CHAP. XI.

  _This second sort of temples made by the circle and snake, was
    call’d in very old times_, Dracontium, _and not understood.
    The first temples made in form of the symbol of the deity. Why
    mankind should make the serpent the symbol of the deity? Of
    symbols in general. Their antiquity and use. It was the first
    kind of writing, even_ antediluvian. _The serpent of high account
    from_ China _to_ Britain. _Of the nature of the serpent. The
    extraordinary beauty of the creature. Its wonderful motion
    without legs, thought to be like that of the gods. The wisdom of
    the serpent consider’d. Symbolically understood. Its bifid tongue
    the symbol of eloquence. Its enchanting power real. By the eyes,
    by the ears. Whence emblematic of the preachers of the gospel,
    and of our Saviour himself. On these, and many other accounts,
    esteem’d a divine animal, and chosen to symbolize the first
    begotten son of God, or first product of the divine fecundity._

  2. _Of the nature of the formation of symbols. The serpent a
    prophylactic symbol. Of the brazen serpent, typical of our
    Saviour. Of the emerods of the_ Philistines, _whence the_ Phalli
    _of the heathen. A serpent the symbol of Messiah in many views._

In my description of _Abury_, and its parts, I endeavour’d to make
every thing as plain as I could from fact and view; but now we come
to our speculative part, I can only propose to entertain, perhaps,
the reader’s curiosity, with what light I could gather from ancient
learning concerning it.

We have seen by our description, that the plan on which _Abury_ is
built, is that sacred hierogram of the _Egyptians_, and other ancient
nations, the circle and snake. The whole figure is the circle, snake,
and wings. By this they meant to picture out, as well as they could,
the nature of the divinity. The circle meant the supreme fountain
of all being, the father; the serpent, that divine emanation from
him which was called the son; the wings imported that other divine
emanation from them which was called the spirit, the _anima mundi_.

This is that figure which _Kircher_ names _ophio cyclo-pterygomorphos_,
and discourses largely of. But that we may have a better understanding
of it than hitherto has been, we shall open our mind concerning this
abstruse matter by degrees.

_Dracontia_ was a name among the first learned nations, for the very
ancient sort of temples, of which they could give no account, nor
well explain their meaning upon it. _Strabo_ XIV. this was a name of
this kind of patriarchal temple, of which _Abury_ is one, deduc’d
to later times, whilst the thing itself, and manner of building, was
disus’d and forgot.


  _Stukeley f. 1723._

  _The Geometry of Silbury hill._]

_Servius_ on the second _Æneid_, writes, “_anguis_ is a proper name of
the water-snake, _serpens_ of the land, _draco_ of those belonging to
temples.” By which, ultimately, our representations must be meant, tho’
probably by the author not understood, as having no acquaintance with
our kind of works. But it unavoidably brings to our mind the temples
of the ancients kept by dragons, which we so frequently meet with in
classical history. And we may well presume they mean such temples as
this of _Abury_, _Dracontia_.

“The serpent,” says _Maximus_ of _Tyre_, _Dissert._ 38. “was the great
symbol of the deity to most nations, and as such was worshipped by
the Indians.” The temples of old made in the form of a serpent, were
called for that reason, _Dracontia_. The universality of this regard
for serpents, shews the high antiquity of the symbol, and that it was

To give us light into the affair, first it will be convenient to
discourse a little concerning the nature of the serpent, and why
mankind should make it a symbol of divinity. For it looks a little
strange, after our first mother was seduc’d from her innocence, by the
devil under this form, that so high a regard should be paid to it.

The first learning in the world confided chiefly in symbols. The wisdom
of the _Chaldeans_, _Phœnicians_, _Egyptians_, _Jews_, of _Zoroaster_,
_Sanchoniathon_, _Pherecydes Syrus_, _Pythagoras_, _Socrates_, _Plato_,
of all the ancients, that is come to our hand, is symbolic. “It was
the mode,” says _Serranus_, on _Plato_’s _Symposium_, “of the ancient
philosophers, to represent truth by certain symbols and hidden images.
It leads us gradually, sweetly, yet most efficaciously, towards the
contemplation of the first being, which is the end of all philosophy
and theology.” We may add, it was the method of ancient divines too,
from the beginning to our Saviour’s time. No one cultivated it more
than he, in all his sermons and discourses, which were affecting, well
wrought up, lively, apposite, entertaining in the highest degree. Some
of them complete _dramas_. And in general, we must conclude, it gives a
beautiful gloss and amiable face to truth.

That the Druids studied in this enigmatic and symbolic way, appears
from what we are writing upon; and _Diogenes Laertius_, in his proem,
affirms it of them. He ranks them with the _Magi_, _Chaldeans_,
and _Gymnosophists_, gives some of their doctrines, and makes them
rather ancienter than the _Egyptians_, meaning the learned among
the _Egyptians_. He says, “the _Gymnosophists_ are descended of the
_Magi_, and some affirm the _Jews_ too.” He means the ancestors of
the _Jews_, _Abraham_ in particular. I believe, Druids, _Chaldeans_,
_Gymnosophists_, and _Egyptians_, all descended, or rather disciples of
the _Magi_, who were the first and patriarchal priests after the flood.
_Sanchoniathon_ calls _Shem_ (as I take it) by the name of _Magus_, as
the prince of the order. He says the _Egyptians_ vail their doctrines
under the figure of beetles, _snakes_, birds, and other animals. And
it seems to be the origin of animal worship in _Egypt_. Thus _Gale_,
in his _court of the gentiles_, P. I. p. 64. again P. II. p. 35. “the
ancient mode of expressing things worthy of memory, by hieroglyphic
forms, notes, and symbols, was very common amongst the ancients, in the
oriental parts especially, both poets and philosophers; and exceeding
proper for that infant state of the world, wherein knowledge was so
imperfect and impolite. And we need no way doubt but that this symbolic
kind of discourse, or language, had its original from the divine
œconomy which God prescribed in his infant church, consisting of many
terrene images and sensible forms, symbols and types, for the shadowing
forth highest contemplations and heavenly mysteries. Which way of
conveying and preserving knowledge is not only helpful to the memory,
grateful to the fancy and judgment, but also very efficacious for the
moving of the affections.”

A symbol is an arbitrary, sensible sign of an intellectual idea. And I
believe the art of writing at first was no other, than that of making
symbols, pictures, or marks of things they wanted to express. So
that every letter was the picture of an idea. This was the first and
antediluvian way of writing, before alphabet writing was invented. This
latter was a postdiluvian invention, in my opinion. The reasons I shall
give on another more immediate occasion. _Servius_, on the _Æneid_ V.
_septem ingens gyros_, speaking of the snake encompassing _Anchises_’s
tomb, writes, that this method was prior to alphabet-writing. I believe
the _Chinese_ method of writing to be the antediluvian one; and the
like, perhaps, may be affirmed of the _Egyptian_ hieroglyphics. The
_Egyptians_ had the good sense, when alphabet writing was communicated
to them, to embrace it, tho’ the _Chinese_ will not. Still the
_Egyptians_ retain’d a particular veneration for their former method,
and dedicated it to sacred uses altogether.

This symbol of the snake and circle, which is the picture of the temple
of _Abury_, we see on innumerable _Egyptian_ monuments. Always it holds
the uppermost, the first and chief place; which shews its high dignity.

Mr. Selden, upon the _Arundel marbles_, p. 132, says, “this figure
in abbreviated writing, among the _Greeks_, signifies Δαιμων, the
_deity_.” [symbol] And Kircher, in his third tome, affirms the like of
the _Brachmans_ of the _East-Indies_.

I can by no means admit it to be an _Egyptian invention_. The
_Egyptians_ took this, and hieroglyphic writing in general, from the
common ancestors of mankind. This is sufficiently prov’d from the
universality of the thing, reaching from _China_ in the east, to
_Britain_ in the west, nay, and into _America_ too.

Nothing of so high account among the _Chinese_, as the representation
of dragons and serpents, as we see in all their pictures and utensils;
nay, the very stamps upon their ink. ’Tis the genial banner of their
empire. It means every thing that is sacred among them. In baron
_Vischer_’s elegant book of ancient architecture, Tab. XV. you have the
picture of a _Chinese_ triumphal arch (of which there are many in the
city of _Pekin_) twice upon it is pictur’d, in a tablet over the front,
a circle and two snakes, as on _Egyptian_ works. They adorn their
temples, houses, habits, and every thing with this figure, as a common
_prophylaxis_. I apprehend it was from the beginning a sacred amuletic
character. ’Tis carv’d several times on the cornishes of the temple (I
take it so to be) of _Persepolis_, as we see in Sir _John Chardin_, _Le
Brun_, _Kæmfer_. Dragons were the _Parthian_ ensigns, from whom the
_Romans_ in later times took them, and our _saxon_ ancestors from the
_Romans_. ’Tis a known verse in the satyrist,

    _Pinge duos angues, sacer est locus._

The Druids had no less a veneration for it, as we find by _Abury_ and
by their fondness of snake stone beads and the like, which _Pliny_
calls snakes’ eggs, and discourses on, largely, in relation to our


  _A Group of Barrows on the side of the valley above Beckampton_

  _A Group of Barrows upon Overton hill_]

Here we see the sacred regard paid to snakes from _China_ to _Britain_.
Still as we before suggested, it appears somewhat strange, when we
consider that the patriarchs, of whose age and times we are now chiefly
treating, were not ignorant of the evil deriv’d to mankind thro’ this

We may satisfy our selves about this difficulty, by considering, 1. the
natural history of the serpent, and 2. the nature of forming of symbols.

First, the natural history of this animal. Can we divest our selves
of original prejudice, we must allow the serpent kind, as to their
outward _appearance_, among the most beautiful creatures in the world.
The poets, those great masters of nature, are luxuriant in their
descriptions of them, comparing them to the most glorious appearance in
the universe, the rainbow. Thus _Virgil Æneid_ V.

    _Cæruleæ cui terga notæ, maculosus & auro
    Squamam incendebat fulgor; ceu nubibus arcus
    Mille trahit varios, adverso sole colores._

Thus _Lucan_,

    _Serpitis aurato nitidi fulgore dracones._

    ——_cristis præsignis & auro.
    Igne micant oculi_——               Ovid. Met. 3.

Of _Cadmus_’s snake.

_Hephæstion_ II. writes concerning the _Hydra_ of _Hercules_, that
half his head was of gold. I saw a snake of such exquisite beauty in
_Surrey_. The motion and the appearance or bright golden colour, being
so like to angelick, seraphick beings; no wonder the ancients conceiv’d
so high a regard for the serpent, as to reckon it a most divine animal.
There is a kind of them bred in _Arabia_ and _Africa_, of a shining
yellow colour, like brass, or burnish’d gold, which in motion reflects
the sun-beams with inconceivable lustre. Some of them are said to have
wings, called _Seraphs_, _Saraphs_, _Seraphim_, mention’d _Deut._ xii.
15. this is the name given to the brazen serpent. And equally to the
angels and celestial messengers, who are described of this appearance,
in scripture. So the cherubim that supported the _Shechinah_ in
_Ezekiel_ i. 7. “sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.” The
divine appearance between the candlesticks in _Apocalypse_ i. 15. “His
feet were like to fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” Hence
his ministers are called a flame of fire. _Psalm_ civ. 4.

Secondly, consider the _motion_ of a serpent,’tis wonderful; perform’d
without the help of legs, nay incomparably quicker than their kindred
of the crocodile and lizard kind, which have four legs: ’tis swift,
smooth, wavy, and beautiful. The ancients conceiv’d it to be like
the walking of the gods; whence the notion of deify’d heroes, with
serpents’ feet. _Pherecydes Syrus_ says, the gods have snakes’ feet:
meaning their motion was smooth and sweeping, without the alternate use
of legs.

_Heliodorus_ III. speaks of the wavy motion of the gods, not by opening
their feet, but with a certain aerial force; it was call’d _incessus_.
_Non ambulamus, sed incedimus_, says _Seneca_.

    _Ast ego, quæ divûm_ incedo _regina, Jovisque
    Et soror & conjunx_——                       Virg. Æn. 1.

    _Et vera_ incessu _patuit dea_.

So the prophet _Ezekiel_ describes the motion of the alate globes under
the cherubims’ feet; as it ought to be understood, _Ezek._ i. 12.
_Sanchoniathon_ the _Phœnician_ in _Euseb._ _p. e._ I. 7. writes, that
the nature of serpents is divine. “’Tis the most spiritual animal of
all and fiery; that it performs all its various motions by its spirit,
without other organs;” and much more of this kind, to our purpose.
_Jerem._ xlvi. 22. The shout and the march of an army is compar’d to
the motion of a serpent.

Thirdly, from the form, pass we to the _mind_ of the serpent, if we
may be allowed so to talk. The wisdom of this creature is celebrated
from the time of creation itself. _Moses_ writes, it was more subtle
than any other creature, _Genes._ iii. 1. Our Saviour recommends to the
ministry, to imitate the prudence of serpents, as well as the innocence
of doves: he makes it the symbol of Christian prudence. The psalmist
compares the slyness of the wicked to the serpent, which refuses to
be charmed. _Aristotle_ writes, that this animal is very crafty; but
if we inquire into authors, concerning this wisdom of the creature,
nothing occurs satisfactory: in truth ’tis figurative and symbolical;
meaning the charm of rhetorick and oratory, taken from the divided
tongue of this creature, and more especially regarding the preachers
of evangelical truths: διγλωσσία among the antients was prudence. Our
Saviour in the forecited place of the apocalypse, is represented with
a two-edged sword in his mouth, meaning the efficacy of preaching.
The people affirmed, “never man spake like this man;” and he sent the
divine spirit of eloquence and languages upon his apostles, in the
likeness of cloven tongues of fire.

_Servius_ on the second _Æneid_, speaking of the tongue of _Laocoon_’s

    _Sibila lambebant linguis vibrantibus ora_,

tells us, no creature moves its tongue with so much swiftness; so that
it seems triple.

    ————_tresque vibrant linguæ_————

Says _Ovid_ of _Cadmus_’s snake.

                   •       •       •       •       •

The tongue was the only active arms of the apostles, as the bifid
tongue of the serpent is its only weapon; and which, as the ancients
thought, carried life and death with it.

From the numerous and credible accounts I have seen, snakes, I am
persuaded, have a power of charming, by looking steadfastly with their
fiery eyes, on birds, mice, and such creatures as they prey upon.
They are put into such an agony, as to run by degrees into their open
mouth. Further, snakes were thought to have an inchanting power, not
only with their eyes, but likewise by whispering into the ears: for
by that whispering they communicated a prophetick and divine spirit.
The scholiast of _Euripides_ writes, of _Helenus_ and _Cassandra_,
that serpents licking their ears, so sharpened their hearing, that
_they_ only could hear the counsels of the gods; and became great
prophets thereby. This incantation by the ears, is elegantly apply’d
by the fathers, in their writings, to the preachers of the gospel,
and to our Saviour himself. _Clemens in pædagog._ V. calls him Επωδὸς
the inchanter, as the learned _Spanheim_ observes: and often St.
_Chrysostom_ uses the like expression.


  _Stukeley del._

  _Milbarrow _in_ Monkton _215 f. long 55 broad set round with great
  Stones, the broad end Eastwᵈ. the narrow end W. drawn 10 Iuly 1723_]

All these put together, I take to be some good reasons (to omit
several more for brevity’s sake) for the extraordinary veneration
paid to this creature, from all antiquity. Our oldest heathen writer
_Sanchoniathon_ says, the _Phœnicians_ call’d it _agathodæmon_, the
good angel. _Epies_ the _Phœnician_ in _Eusebius_ pronounces it a most
divine animal. _Maximus_ of _Tyre_ before quoted writes, that the
serpent was the great symbol of the deity, in most nations, even among
the _Indians_. _Sigismund_ in his _Muscovite_-history, says the like of
the _Samogitians_, in the northern parts of that vast empire. _Gaguin_
in his _Sarmatia_, of the _Lithuanians_. So _Scaliger_ in his notes
on _Aristotle_ of animals, concerning the people of _Calicut_ in the
_East-Indies_; all books of travels into the _West-Indies_, the like.
This sufficiently proves the notion nearly as old as mankind.

From these notions in antiquity, arose the strange humour of the ophite
sect or heresy, who affirm the seducer serpent was the son of God.
_Epiphanius_, _Tertullian_, St. _Augustin_ and others speak of it. They
kept a serpent in a box and worshipped it.

2. We are to consider the nature of forming of symbols. The serpent
simply, as it was curs’d of God, and composite, as hanging on a tree,
was symbolical of Christ: according to the sense both of _Jewish_ and
Christian writers.

We have seen the serpent in very advantageous light, which was in
order to remove our prejudice, by the high notion its natural history
presents us, to which much might have been added. But this is not
necessary in the formation of symbols, for if we should think this a
mean and contemptible animal, unworthy to convey to us so great an
idea, I answer, it was one of the arts of the inventors of symbols and
emblems, to picture out the highest things by what we may esteem the
lowest subjects: a beetle, for instance, is the symbol of no less than
what the heathen call _anima mundi_; and to picture out the greatest
good by its contrary. Just as _Isaiah_ in the prophetical style calls
that most excellent prince king _Hezekiah_, by the name of dragon,
basilisk, cockatrice, and fiery flying serpent, xiv. 26. This is
understood not in regard to any pravity of his own disposition, but in
regard to the enemies of God’s people, to whom he was as a dragon, a
divine avenger against enemies, a protector of his own. Again consider
the serpent as a prophylactick symbol, and the highest of sacred
characters, thought most effectually to guard against and drive off all
evil power. It was the method in making these prophylactick symbols,
to take the figure of the thing we want to remedy. A most remarkable
and apposite instance of this nature, is the famous brazen serpent
erected by _Moses_, being suspended on a cross-pole, like that on which
military banners are hung. They that were bitten by the fiery serpents,
were order’d to look on this, and be whole. So that manifestly the
symbol is to excite faith and obedience. They are the proper cure, not
the intrinsick efficacy of the symbolical figure, _Wisd._ xvi. 6, 7.

All writers _Jewish_ and Christian with one mouth assert, this was
a type of the Messiah. _Philo_ is in a rapture about it; supposes
somewhat extraordinary, future, is meant thereby. _Rabbi Moses
Gerundinensis_ writes thus. “It seems to me, concerning this mystery,
that ’tis agreeable to the course of the divine law, as to miraculous
works, that the mischief should be remedied by a thing similar to that
which caus’d it.” And it makes the miracle more illustrious and divine,
that God should direct a snake to cure those bitten by snakes.

Others of the rabbin are of the same way of thinking, as _David
Kimchi_, _Michlol_ II. And _Abarbenel_ upon the place, f. 305. And
_Nachmanides_. Our Saviour applies the _Mosaic_ serpent directly to
himself; no wonder then that the Christian fathers do so. _Christus
veluti serpens in cruce pependit_, says St. _Ambrose_. _Moebius_
treats largely of this resemblance between _Christ_ and the serpent,
_exercitatio de æneo serpente_, p. 63. Highly honour’d was the serpent,
that, as it had been the instrument of introducing the greatest evil
to mankind, to it was directed God’s word when he promised to us the
greatest good, the Messiah, imply’d in those words, _Gen._ iii. 15. He
_shall bruise thy head_: αυτος in the LXX.

Another like case is that in 1 _Samuel_ v. the ark of God was taken
captive by the _Philistines_, and they dar’d to look into the venerable
secrecy thereof. The nation was smote in the hinder-parts, the
organs of generation, which the scripture modestly calls _emerods_,
_hæmorrhoidals_. Moreover a terrible pestilence killed many, and
a plague of mice at harvest-time came upon them, and devoured all
the fruit of their ground. In order to make an atonement, they sent
away the ark again, with golden figures of the emerods and mice, a
present accompanying of costly jewels, as a consecrated λουτρον, or
satisfaction to the God of the _Jews_. Here, by the way, we should be
blind if we did not see the origin of the _phallus_ among the heathen.

Therefore to apply this. In regard to the seeming difficulty we at
first took notice of, paying such a regard to an animal which the
ancestors of mankind had so much reason to detest. Did the devil injure
us under the form of a serpent? The like figure is the properest of
any to symbolize the remedy, the antidote against the poison whereby
the devil wrought man’s fall. Therefore, naturally, the same is to
symbolize the Messiah then promised, who is to work man’s redemption.
And St. _Athanasius_, Tom. II. _quæst._ 20. scruples not to make a
comparison between the union of the serpent and the devil, in the fatal
temptation; to the union of the divine and human nature in our blessed
Saviour. The venomous serpent is his human nature, sinful, infected by
the devil’s treachery; _he was made sin for us_, tho’ not contaminated
himself. Tho’ not venomous, he cures the venom of our nature. I observe
that the _rabbies_, tho’ they saw sufficiently, how necessarily the
_Mosaic_ serpent was applicable to the Messiah, yet they were somewhat
fearful therein, and of speaking their mind upon it, for fear of doing
ill, in comparing him to an accursed animal. But our Saviour himself
was not fearful in comparing himself to it, and the rather on that
account, took it for a very express type of his crucifixion, and of
his being accursed for our sakes, _Deut._ xxi. 25. _John_ iii. 14.
_Galat._ iii. 13, _i. e._ devoted as a sacrifice, an expiation, that
we being freed from the curse of sin, might obtain the blessing of
God. So our Christian writers explain the type between our Saviour and
the brazen serpent in the wilderness. _Bede_ in particular, on _John_
iii. And here we see the nature of types, where a man that undergoes
the curse and punishment of the law, becomes in reality a type of the
Messiah. A serpent which pictures out the evil principle, the like, 2
_Cor._ v. 21. Assuredly _Moses_, by the holy Spirit, meant it to regard
Christ’s crucifixion. A fit emblem of his divinity, thro’ that
remarkable quality of their throwing off old age with their skin, and
returning to youth again. For so the ancients thought:

    _Anguibus exuitur tenui cum pelle vetustas._      Tibullus.

A fit emblem of his resurrection from the dead, and of returning to an
immortal life.


  _The Long Barrow S. of_ Silbury Hill.

  _An Archdruids barrow._]

No wonder then, from such reasons as these, and others as obvious,
the ancients concluded this to be the most divine of all animals, and
thought it the aptest symbol of the Νους ἑτερος, the other, or second
mind of _Plato_, whom they affirmed to be the creator of the world. I
know not whether this notion of theirs did not farther contribute to
it; they thought these animals brought forth by the mouth. They have
too no limbs, or members for action, but exert their mighty power by
the mouth only; whence _Horus Apollo_ says, “a serpent is the symbol
of the mouth.” This well represents the omnific WORD, which _Suidas_
speaks of from _Trismegistus_, all perfect, fruitful, the workman,
creator of the world.

                              CHAP. XII.

  _The second sort of temples called_ Dracontia, _like that of_
    Abury, _have been built frequently in old times. The traces of
    them pursued. Part of the history of_ Phut, _third son of_ Cham.
    _A genealogy of the most ancient sacred and heathen families._
    Phut _had a fleet of ships upon the_ Mediterranean. _The_
    Typhon, Typhis, Python _of antiquity, called_ Apollo Pythius
    _after death. He was a builder of these serpentine temples.
    Like the emperor_ Augustus _in countenance. He erected the
    first patriarchal temple at_ Delphos, _a_ Dracontium. Parnassus
    _originally_ Larnassus, _which is no other than our_ Hakpen _of_
    Abury. _The sabbath observed there originally._ Ææas, _a son of_
    Phut’_s, built the_ Dracontium _at_ Colchis. Perseus, _another
    son of his, bore the sacred hierogram, the circle, snake, and
    wings, in his shield; whence the_ Medusa’_s head._

_Zoroaster Magus, in Euseb. p. e._ II. 7. _Plato_, _Porphyry_, and
others of the old philosophers, define God to be every where and no
where, who fills all space, and is contain’d in none; “from whom
came all things that are, and which are not yet; eternal, immutable,
omnipresent, incomprehensible, immaterial, without parts, beginning
or end.” If we put this definition into a geometrical figure, in
order to form a symbol, we cannot possibly do it better than by
describing the circle. A circle then in hieroglyphics means, divine;
but particularly, as it is the most perfect and comprehensive of all
geometrical figures, they design’d it for the symbol of the first and
supreme being; whose resemblance we cannot find, whose center is every
where, and circumference no where. It well pictur’d out, as _Abenephi_
the _Arabian_ and others assert, the divine nature of God.

Therefore this figure of the serpent and circle in their doctrine,
aptly means the divine creator, or the creator descended from the
supreme. For tho’ the deity was author of all things, yet more
immediately this SON or WORD of the supreme was the architect of the

And this we find exactly consonant to the scripture doctrine. So that
it seems very evident to me, the most important of divine truths
admitted in the christian church, were imparted to the first race of
mankind, the patriarchal church, which two are in reality but the same.

We learn repeatedly from _Sanchoniathon_, _Porphyry_, and other ancient
authors quoted by _Eusebius_ in the _præparatio evangelica_, that
the first sages of the world had just and true notions of the nature
of the deity, conformable to those of the Christians: That, in their
hieroglyphic way of writing, they design’d the deity and the mysterious
nature thereof, by the sacred figure of the circle, snake, and wings.
Of these, the circle meant the fountain of all being, the invisible
supreme, who had no name. The serpent symboliz’d the son, or first
divine emanation from the supreme. This they called by the name of
_Ptha_, which is deriv’d from the _hebrew_, meaning the WORD. The wings
symboliz’d that divine person or emanation from the former, commonly
called _anima mundi_, but the _Egyptians_ called him KNEPH, which in
_hebrew_ signifies _winged_.

Thus the old authors that speak of these things are to be understood,
though they are confus’d, not rightly apprehending the bottom of
the matter. And this hieroglyphic figure, in the whole, was call’d

But this knowledge of the nature of the deity, the most valuable
_depositum_ which could be communicated to mortals, was first perverted
into idolatry; therefore God almighty forbore revealing himself further
on that head, in an explicit manner, ’till the fulness of time arriv’d,
the Christian dispensation. But those people who preserv’d themselves
from idolatry, among which I reckon our Druids, retain’d that knowledge
thereof which had already been imparted, of which this sacred figure
of the alate and serpentiferous circle was, as it were, a seal; which
they stamp’d upon these most lasting monuments, their temples. And I
doubt not but they somewhat improv’d the notions they had thereof, by
reasoning, in the manner I shall speak of chap. XV.

_Abury_ is not the only temple in _Britain_ form’d on this design of
the circle and serpent. I saw another at _Shap_ in _Westmorland_, when
I travell’d thro’ the place, _anno_ 1725, with Mr. _Roger Gale_. But I
had no opportunity of examining into it.

There is another, as I take it, at _Classerness_, a village in the
island of _Lewis_, between _Scotland_ and _Ireland_. I took a drawing
of it from Mr. _Lwydd_’s travels; but he was a very bad designer, and
having no knowledge of the purport, makes the representation still
worse. The circle to which it belongs is 20 cubits in diameter. There
is a central obelisc. A part of the snake remains going from it,
which he calls an avenue. He did not discern the curve of it, no more
than that of _Kennet_ avenue, which he likewise has drawn in the same
collection, as a straight line. It seems to me that the circle was
double, or two concentric. I shall print it in the succeeding volume.


  _Stukely delin._    _Harris sculp_

  _View of the Kist-Vaen in Clatford bottom._]

No doubt but there are more in the _britannic_ isles. I propose in this
chapter to deliver my notions concerning them in the more eastern parts
of the world, of which are many traces in ancient writing; avoiding
prolixity as much as possible.

The practice of building these serpentine temples was us’d by the
patriarchs, perhaps near the beginning of the world. I have some proof
of their being ancienter than the flood; but shall not at present
insist on it. The first person I shall take notice of on this account
is _Phut_, a brother of _Canaan_, son of _Cham_. _Phut_ was a person of
much greater eminence in antiquity, than vulgarly thought. But would we
know anything of the particular memoirs of this man, or of any other
his relations and coevals, we have nothing left us for it but heathen

Tho’ the _Phœnicians_, and our Druids, as well as the _Egyptians_ too,
had the earliest use of alphabet writing, yet none of these nations
have transmitted to us any memoirs of themselves. And for what little
knowledge we have of them, besides their monuments, we are altogether
indebted to the _Greeks_, that receiv’d these arts from them. They
happily improv’d art and science, sculpture and writing, so as to hand
down to us most of the ancient history we know, beside the bible. Still
this misfortune attended them, that they improv’d the symbolical method
of writing, which they learn’d from the _Phœnicians_ and _Egyptians_,
to that monstrous pitch, as to produce what we call by the general
name of _mythology_. It was but very late that they came to write true
history: so that the whole of the ancient history of the nations they
write of, is invelop’d in this perplexing mythology.

Yet we should be highly to blame, if we absolutely neglected it. ’Tis
all we can have of prophane antiquity. ’Tis more commendable for us
to study to extricate it from its symbolic mystery, and find out the
open truth. Those that have succeeded best therein, find much agreement
between it and the scripture history, as far as they are concurrent.

’Tis from this mythology, chiefly, that I can pretend to discourse any
further, concerning these great works I have been describing. I shall
endeavour to do it with all the brevity and perspicuity possible, as
becomes such sort of discourses. Yet I despair not of finding out a
good deal of true history. I shall not answer for all. And a great
deal of candour is necessary in the reader, if he would have either
pleasure or instruction in it. Yea, says a predecessor in these kind
of inquiries, Dr. _Dickenson_, _Delph. Phœnic._ “if we look over the
_greek_ mythology with proper sagacity, we shall easily discover many
footsteps of true religion.”

“A fable is an artificial discourse, consisting of the marvellous,
and a philosopher, in some sort, is a lover of such,” says the great
philosopher, _Metaphys._ I. 2.

There are vast treasures of ancient knowledge in mythology, especially
of history both sacred and civil. ’Tis all that we have left of heathen
history of the most ancient times, and ’tis worth our while to shake
off the rubbish, and pick out the useful part. The learned labours
of _Bochart_, _Selden_, _Marsham_, _Huetius_, _Gale_, _Cumberland_,
_Banier_, and many more, shew us its utility. And we must pardon
them if, in some things, they have gone beyond the golden medium, we
ourselves will be content to err somewhat with those great names.

_Phut_, son of _Cham_, was a person of eminence, tho’ not taken
notice of so much as he deserves. I think it much to our purpose to
recite some part of his history. He is the _Apollo_ mention’d by
_Sanchoniathon_, son of _Cronus_, who is _Cham_, as is demonstrated
beyond doubt by bishop _Cumberland_, in his posthumous works; he is
said to have been born in _Peræa_, i. e. the country towards the
_Euphrates_: his third son; as likewise deliver’d by _Moses_. From the
word _Phut_, he was called _Python_, by a little transposition natural
in pronouncing a difficult name; and, by a like transposition, _Typhon_.

_Apollo Pythius_ was the son of _Ammon, that is Cham_, says _Lucius
Ampelius_, _in libro memoriali_. _Plutarch de Isid. & Osir._ writes,
that _Typhon_ was brother to _Osiris_, who was undoubtedly _Misraim_,
son of _Cham_. The like by _Diodorus Siculus_.

To facilitate the understanding of antiquity, I here present the reader
with a genealogical table of the great personages we are going to treat
of. I could produce the evidences that prove each particular descent,
in a strictly heraldical way, but it would now take up too much of our


  _Stukely delin._    _Harris Sculp._

  _North-East View of the Kist-Vaen in Clatford bottom. 1. July. 1723._]

                           _The_ GENEALOGY.

        LAMECH, Geinus Autochthou, Ophion, Ophiuchus,
                         Ehoun, Hypsistus. = Beruth
        NOAH, Agroverus, Agrotes, _the Husbandman_, Epigeus
        Autochthon, Ouranus, _the greatest of the Gods_, Titan = Ge, Titæa,
                                                            | Estia, Vesta.
         2  |            |   1           |   3    |
  SHEM, Magus, Mithras,  | JAPHET,       | CHAM, Amynus, Ammon, Saturn,
    Dis, Sumanus, Pluto. |  Nereus.      |   Mannus, Cronus, Ilus, Baal I.
           |         +---+    |          +------+          |
           |         |        |          |      |          |
           |       Atlas    +-+          |      |          |
           |         |      |            |      |          |
  ARPHAXAD, Sydic    |    JAVAN, Pontus, |  Dagon, Siton   |
  MELCHISEDEC        |    Janus          |   |          +--+-+----------+
     |               |     |             |   |          | 2  |          |
     |               |     |     Triptolemus |          | MISRAIM       |
     +--+--+       Antaeus |     Betylus     |          | Misor, Osiris |
     |  |  |               |                 |          |         |     |
     |  | Asclepias        |                 |    +-----+         |     |
     |  |                  |                 |    |     |         |     |
     |  |                  |          +------+    3     |         |  1  |
  SELAH |         TARSIS, Poseidon,   |          PHUT   |         | CHUS
    |   |         Neptune         Demaroon       Apollo |   4     | Belus II.
    | Dioscuri       |            Jupiter Picus  Typhon   CANAAN  |     |
    |          +-----+--+                 |         |     Agenor  |     |
    |          |        |                 |         |     Mercury |     |
  EBER        Albion   Bergion            |-+       |     Phœnix  |     |
    |       +-----------------------------+ |       |     Chna    |     |
    |       |                      Melicartus       |       |  +--+     |
    |       |                      Hercules         |       |  |        |
  PELEG     |    +----------------------------------+       |  |        |
    |       |    |     +-----------------+------------------+ LUD Thoth |
    |       |    |     |                 |                  | Hermes    |
    |  Perseus   |  CADMUS              HETH                |           |
    |            |                       |                  |           |
    |       Phaeton HIVITE               |Hittite         Europa        |
  REU               Heveus, Hyas         |                           NIMROD
    |                       |            |                           Ninus
    |       +---------------+            |
    |       |               |            |
  SERUG   HAMOR            HOR          ZOHAR
    |     _of whom_ Jacob  Horite, Heros |
    |     _bought a field_, |            |
    |      Gen. xxxiii.     |            |
    |           |           |            |
  NAHOR      SHECHEM      SEIR         EPHRON, _who sold unto_ Abraham _the_
    |        _who marry’d_  |          _cave of_ Macpelah, Gen. xxiii.
    |        Dinah, Jacob’s |
    |        _daughter_.    |
  TERAH                   ANAH, duke
    |                          |
  ABRAHAM                      |
    |                          |
    +---------+                |
    |         |                |
  MIDIAN    ISAAC              |
    |         |                |
    |         +-----------+    +--+
    |                     |       |
    |                    ESAU = AHOLIBAMAH
  APHER, Africus, Phryxus, Phrygius,
    _who gave name to_ Britain.

_Phut_ was the first most celebrated navigator of antiquity, built
a fleet of ships, began to carry colonies into the countries on the
_Mediterranean_ sea. _Strabo_ in IX. tells us the history of him
from _Ephorus_, a very ancient historian. He says _Phut_ or _Apollo_
travell’d the earth, and came to the rude inhabitants of _Parnassus_.
His business was to bring men to civility and manners, to use corn for
their food.

_Pindar_ writes of him,

  ————_He travell’d o’er earth and sea, setting watch-towers on
  hill-tops, among the nations, consecrating temples, and building

_Lycophron_ mentions _Typhon_’s watch-towers _in Arimis_, which
probably is the _Peræa_ of _Sanchoniathon_, the east part of _Syria_,
where _Homer_ says the ευνη, or bed of _Typhon_ was, in a field
abounding with oaks. ’Tis not unusual for _Apollo_ to be represented
in the character of a military captain. _Hygin. fab._ 140. And he
really was a leader of a vast colony of his people into _Egypt_, then
possess’d by his elder brother _Misraim_. Of this more hereafter. Of
him speaks _Seneca_ in _Medea_,

    _Ausus Tiphys pandere vasto
    Carbasa ponto, legesque novas
    Scribere ventis_————


    _Tiphys in primis domitor profundi._

_Jerem._ xlvi. 9. the _Libyans_ of _Africa_ are in the original _Phut_.
The _Lydians_ there are the people or posterity of _Lud_, _Thoth_, his

_Apollodorus_ I. 4. writes, that _Elios_, our _Phut_, married _Rhode_
daughter of _Neptune_, who was really _Tarshish_ son of _Javan_, son
of _Japhet_. From her he denominated the celebrated island, where,
to his honour, was erected by posterity, the most stupendous statue
in brass that ever was in the world, in any metal or other matter;
being seventy cubits in height, whence all great statues have been
call’d _Colosses_. The _Argonauts_ in _Apollonius_ I. sacrifice to
_Apollo_ the patron of navigation; in _Artemidorus_, _Oniro_ II. 35.
call’d _Apollo Delphinius_; that author says it means _long voyages_.
_Pausanias in Bœoticis_ gives him the same sirname. Hence, I apprehend,
the _dolphin_, his cognizance, was plac’d in the heavens.

In face, he was like to _Augustus_. I have several _Rhodian_ coins in
silver and brass, of different sizes, in all which he is pictur’d. Nor
need we be scrupulous in thinking them a good resemblance. For the
_Telchines_, inhabitants of _Rhodes_, are said to be the first makers
of images. And we may at this time of day, have the satisfaction of
seeing an infinite number of representations of him, in the coins,
busts, and images of _Augustus_, particularly the famous statue of
_Apollo_ in the _Vatican_ garden at _Rome_, made from the emperor’s
face. Therefore we may well admit of it for the heroical effigies of

_Bochart_ thinks, he fixt his habitation first at _Delos_, and his
family, and thence the fable of his being born there. I have an ancient
brass coin, with the heroical effigies of his mother _Latona_. Her head
in the adverse ΙΕΡΑ ϹΥΝΚΛΕΙΤΟϹ, reverse, the goddess sitting, a _hasta
pura_ held oblique in her right hand. ΛΗΤΩΤΡΙΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ.


  _Stukeley delin._    _Harris Sculp._

  _The Kistvaen in Clatford bottom. Jun. 30. 1723 from yᵉ Northwest_]

In this island of _Delos_ he had a most magnificent temple, built to
him in after ages, when idolatry began. The noble remains of it are
to be seen there still. For his great fame and exploits, posterity
consecrated him, calling him the son of _Jupiter_, meaning _Jupiter
Ammon_, or more properly of _Saturn_.

But in no place was _Phut_ more famous than in _Phocis_. He planted the
country about the mountain _Parnassus_, where he built, as I apprehend,
a great serpentine temple, like ours of _Abury_, at the bottom of that
mountain, by the city of _Delphos_. This I gather from the _Greek_
reports of the serpent _Python_ of an immense bulk, bred of the slime
left on the earth, by the general deluge, which _Apollo_ here overcame;
and instituted annual games call’d _Pythia_, plainly from his own name.
These were the first and most ancient games we hear of in _Greece_.

Change the places, _Abury_ for _Parnassus_, and we have both the
natural, as well as chronological history of the place; a vast temple
in form of a serpent, made out of stones left on the surface of the
earth after the deluge: not only so but the very name too. The name of
_Parnassus_ was originally _Larnassus_, says _Stephanus Byzantinus_.
The letter L is not a radical in this word, as the learned _Dickenson_
observes in _Delphi phœnic._ therefore the word is _Harnassus_, _Har_
is a headland or promontory of a hill, and _nahas_ a serpent, which is
no other than our _Hakpen_ of _Abury_. Whence we conclude, the snaky
temple extended its huge length along the bottom of _Parnassus_, and
laid its head upon a promontory of it, just as ours at _Abury_, on
_Overton-hill_. Whence _Ovid_ not merely poetically, describes it;

    ————_Tot jugera ventre prementem._

This was the original patriarchal temple dedicated to the true God,
where oracles were originally given by _Themis_ says _Apollodorus_
I. 4. Which name I take to be a corruption made in after times from
the _Jewish Thummim_, for a divine and true oracle; which _Dickenson_
asserts to have been at this place, page 104. in time turn’d into an
idolatrous one. Many built one after another, as the former ones were
sack’d and destroy’d.

The report of the mountain having been call’d _Larnassus_, is another
argument of the high antiquity of this first serpentine temple here
built by _Phut_, and throws us up to the patriarchal church, and to the
times immediately after the great deluge. _Stephanus_ of _Byzantium_
before quoted, says it: and the interpreter of _Apollonius_, and _Ovid_
makes _Apollo_’s engagement with _Python_ to be immediately after the
flood. They pretend the name _Larnassus_ comes from _Larnax_, the ark
of _Deucalion_ landing here, agreeable to the _Greek_ method of drawing
all antiquity to themselves.

The central obeliscal stone in some of the circular works here, which
was the _Kebla_, as in the southern temple of _Abury_, was afterward,
in idolatrous times, worshipped at _Delphos_ for the statue of
_Apollo_, as _Clemens Alexandrinus_ writes, _Strom._ I. ’till art and
_Grecian_ delicacy improv’d and produc’d elegant images, like that
aforemention’d of the _vatican_, and innumerable more, still remaining.

In _Vaillant_’s colony coins vol. I. page 242. is an elegant coin
struck at _Cæsarea_, to the emperor _Antoninus Pius_. On the reverse,
_Apollo_ standing, leans on a _tripod_, holds in his right hand a snake
extended. The learned author is at a loss to explain it, therefore
I may be allowed to give my opinion, that it relates to our present

It was the method of the ancient planters of colonies, to begin their
work with building temples, I mean our patriarchal temples, for there
were then no other. And they instituted festival and religious games,
which contributed very much to polish and civilize mankind, and make
them have a due notion and practice of religion, without which it
is impossible for any date to subsist. Of this _Strabo_ writes very
sensibly in IX. treating on this very place. The _Pæanick_ or _Pythian_
are the most ancient games we have any account of. _Strabo_ writes very
largely concerning them.

These great festivals were at the four solar ingresses into the
cardinal signs, which were the times of publick sacrificing, as I
suppose, from the creation of the world. The _Pythian_ festival was
celebrated on the sixth day of the _Athenian_ month _Thargelion_,
_Delphick Busius_. ’Tis between _April_ and _May_.

But we learn, from the scholiast of _Pindar_, _prolegom. ad Pythia_,
that _Apollo_ instituted the _Pythia_ on the seventh day after he had
overcome the serpent _Python_; and that at _Delphos_ they sung a hymn
called _Pæan_ to _Apollo_ every seventh day. The _Athenians_ did the
like, every seventh day of the moon, whence _Hesiod_’s

    Ἑβδόμη ἱερὸν ἦμαρ————

Because, says he, _Apollo_ was born on that day.

The learned _Gale_ observes from this, in his court of the _Gentiles_,
p. 150. that it means the sabbath as the patriarchal custom, before
the _Jewish_ institution. _Usher_ before him, of the same opinion, in
his discourse on the sabbath. _Porphyry_ in his book concerning the
_Jews_, quoted by _Eusebius pr. ev._ I. 9. tells us, the _Phœnicians_
consecrated one day in seven as holy; he says indeed, it was in honour
of their principal deity _Saturn_, as they call’d him, and _Israel_. We
are not to regard his reason, any more than _Hesiod_’s aforementioned,
but his testimony of a matter of fact, has its just weight. He means to
prove a custom older than _Judaism_.

I take all this to be an illustrious proof of the patriarchal
observation of the sabbath, before the _Mosaick_ dispensation. Their
sabbath was intirely like our Christian, the greatest festival of all,
and deservedly the most to be regarded, as being religion properly, or
practical religion.

We cannot easily determine on what day the patriarchal sabbath was
kept, _Hesiod_’s reason being the birth day of _Apollo_, pleads for
Sunday; _Porphyry_’s for saturday, consequent to which thus _Martial_
XII. 63.

                  _In Saturnum._

    _Antiqui Rex magne poli, mundique prioris,
      Sub quo pigra quies, nec labor ullus erat._

But both shew evidently the antiquity of the hebdomadal division of
time, and the planetary names of the week days, and the primæval
sabbatical rest. _Pausanias in atticis_ writes, at _Megara_ was a
statue of _Apollo_ carrying the _Docimæ_ or tithe, another patriarchal

The work of _Phut_’s building an enormous serpentine temple, was call’d
killing or overcoming the huge serpent _Python_, properly son of the

    ————_Et te quoque maxime_ Python
    _Tum genuit: populisque novis incognita serpens
    Terror eras. Tantum spatii de monte tenebas._      Ovid. Met.


  _A Roman Urn found at Newington_

  _Chyndonax a Druids tomb found in France._

  _Celtic Urns found at Sunbury._

  _Stukeley f._]

Publick sacrifices, games, hymns, a sabbatical observance being there
celebrated; we have just reason to think all the like were observ’d by
our Druids at _Abury_, especially considering they were of _Phœnician_

To conclude this chapter, this labour of _Phut_’s is told in many
places. Some say it was in _Mysia_, in _Phrygia_ others, again in
_Cilicia_, in _Pithecusa_, in _Bœotia_; _Strabo_ xiii. writes, that it
was in _Syria_; and there seems to have been a serpentine temple on the
river _Orontes_ of _Antioch_, for it was call’d originally _Typhon_ and
Οφιτης, as _Strabo_ writes, xvi. and _Eustathius_ in _Iliad_, p. 262.
_Basil._ and in _Dionysium_. The story is of _Typhon_ a huge serpent
slain there by a thunderbolt from _Jupiter_, near a sacred cave called

The meaning of all this, seems to be, that _Phut_ in person, or his
people built them in all these places. _Ææas_ a son of _Phut_’s, built
the serpentine temple at _Colchis_.

_Perseus_ was a son of _Demaroon_, born in _Egypt_, _Euseb. p. e._
II. 1. he was coæval with _Phut_, and bore in his shield the sacred
hierogram, and he probably built of these _Dracontia_. From this the
poets made their fable of _Medusa_’s head, and that it turn’d men into
snakes. _Hesiod_ in the description of _Hercules_’s shield, thus paints
him in _English_.

“As he went, his adamantine shield sounded, and tinkled with a loud
noise. In a circle two dragons were suspended, lifting up their heads.”
_Johannes Malala_ makes _Perseus_ institutor of the _Magi_, who were
the patriarchal priests of the east. He calls the river of _Antioch_
abovementioned _Dracon_.

                              CHAP. XIII.

  Hercules _of_ Tyre, _part of his history. Was a pastor king in_
    Egypt. _Retired thence with 240000 men, about the latter end of_
    Abraham’_s time. The chronology of those pastor kings fixed,
    somewhat more accurately than in_ Usher _and_ Cumberland.
    Hercules _king in_ Egypt, _or the_ Pharaoh _with whom_ Abraham
    _conversed there. He was a very great navigator: a learned
    prince, an astronomer, a chronologer. The_ Hercules Ogmius. _What
    the word means. He knew the secret of alphabet writing, and the
    true length of the solar year. He learn’d probably of_ Abraham.
    _He carried colonies about the_ Mediterranean, _and into the_
    Ocean, _and brought the Druids into_ Britain. _He built many
    patriarchal temples; some of serpentine form: particularly at_
    Acon _in_ Palestine. _He had a son called_ Isaac. _The evidences
    of_ Hercules _planting_ Britain. _Of_ Apher _his companion,
    grandson of_ Abraham, _giving name to_ Britain. _Remains of_
    Hercules _his people, called_ Hycsi, _in_ Britain. _Hence we
    conclude our Druids had the use of Writing before_ Cadmus
    _carried it into_ Greece.

Not much later in time than _Phut_, lived that other celebrated hero of
antiquity, the _Egyptian_, _Phœnician_, _Tyrian Hercules_; whom I take
to be a principal planter of _Britain_. He was of _Phœnician_ extract,
born in _Egypt_ and king there, founder of _Tyre_, and the most famous
navigator: the first that pass’d thro’ the _Mediterranean_, and
ventur’d into the great _Ocean_. I have wrote his history copiously,
from which I must recite some deductions only, useful to our present

_Hercules_ call’d _Melcartus_, was son of _Demaroon_, as
_Sanchoniathon_ the _Phœnician_ writer informs us. _Demaroon_ was
intituled _Zeus_, whence the _Greeks_ made _Hercules_ the son of
_Jupiter_. _Demaroon_ according to our _Phœnician_ author, was son of
_Dagon_ or _Siton_ son of _Ouranus_ (who in truth is _Noah_) and begat
after the flood, but it was not his business to mention the flood.
_Hercules_ then may reasonably be suppos’d to live to the same age as
_Noah_’s other great grandsons; if we say grandsons, it alters not the
case. We need not be concerned at the seeming great distance between
_Hercules_ in the genealogy and _Apher_: for from _Sanchoniathon_
we may prove that _Melchisedec_ was _Arphaxad_. He conversed with

_Josephus_ in his first book against _Apion_ has preserv’d a valuable
and venerable piece of antiquity, call’d _Manethon_, the _Egyptians’
Dynasties_. This has given the learned much entertainment. I have
considered it too with attention, in what I have wrote concerning the
_Mosaick_ chronology. I shall here recite some conclusions from it, for
my present purpose.


  _A Brittish bridle_


  _A Brittish Urn_


  _Chyndonax’ Urn_

  Roberti Halford Mit. Caroli Tucker Ar.
  De Antiquitatibus Alburiensibus
  optime meritis ex voto posuit
  L. M. Q. _W. Stukeley._

_Stukeley f._]

The dynasty of the pastor kings is what we are chiefly concern’d
in, which belongs to the most early ages after the flood. Sir _John
Marsham_ has set them too low. Bishop _Usher_ and _Cumberland_ are
much nearer the truth, as I apprehend, and from whom I differ very
little. The last of this dynasty of pastors is _Assis_, _Archles_, our
_Egyptian Hercules_. They were _Canaanites_ that followed _Misraim_
into _Egypt_, and at first liv’d very peaceably, but in time the
two families quarrel’d, and wag’d terrible wars together, for 200
years. The _Misraimites_ possess’d the upper regions of the _Nile_,
_Canaanites_ the lower or marshy part upon the _Mediterranean_ sea,
call’d _Delta_. Hence the former call’d ’em _Titans_, i. e. dirty,
fenmen, bog-trotters, as we say contemptuously, of a people who are
their real descendants. The _Misraimites_ call’d themselves the
_Elohim_, or Gods, descendants of _Ilus_ or _Cham_, and that liv’d,
as it were, in a heavenly region, toward _Egyptian Ethiopia_, where
_Homer_ makes the gods to hold their festivals. So the _Greeks_ call’d
such as liv’d in the high countries, _Athamanes_, _heavenly_. Mount
_Olympus_ was heaven, the habitation of the gods. This was the way of
talking in the heroical times.

The _Canaanites_, on the other hand, call’d themselves _Hycsi_, or
_royal pastors_. And the stories of the battles between these two
people are the oldest stories we have among the poets, when they ring
about the wars between the gods and the _Titans_.

In the chronology of this pastor dynasty, I differ a little from the
great authors aforementioned. The chief reason why, is this. They
take the numbers in _Josephus_’s catalogue, as in the present copies;
but I hold ’em erroneous, and to be corrected from _Africanus_,
_Eusebius_, and _Syncellus_, who copied from _Josephus_ in earlier
times. _Josephus_’s present numbers are somewhat too short: for tho’
_Africanus_, _Eusebius_, and _Syncellus_ differ from one another,
as well as from _Josephus_, (such is the misfortune of negligence
in transcription) yet they all agree to heighten the numbers. And
_Josephus_ himself, twice in the same books, makes the sum total to
be 393 years, which is more than his particulars, by which _Marsham_,
_Usher_, and _Cumberland_ go. But take that sum total 393, and set it
at the _exodus_, and count upwards: I apprehend then we have it in its
right situation.

By this means, the head of the pastor dynasty in _Egypt_, which
commenced with _Salatis_, must be placed _anno mundi_ 1860 instead of
1920, as _Usher_ and _Cumberland_ have it: and during the reign of
_Menes_, _Misraim_, _Osiris_, according to their own chronology. This,
I am confident, is near the truth. And thus that dynasty is to be
plac’d in the list of time.

  _Manethon_’s dynasties of pastor kings in lower _Egypt_.

  _Salatis_ began to reign A. P. J. 2570. A.M.          1860
  _Beon_                                                1879
  _Apachnas_                                            1923
  _Apophis_                                             1959
  _Janias Staan_                     A.P.J.             2020
  _Assis_, _Archles_, _Melcartus_    2781.              2071

By this means we have an opening scene of the greatest matters of
antiquity, that relate to the world in general, as well as particularly
to the island of _Great Britain_; of which I must give some account.

In the year of the world 2083, the great patriarch _Abraham_ came out
of _Chaldea_ into the land of _Canaan_. This is in the 13th year of
the reign of our _Melcarthus_ in lower _Egypt_. About 2087, not 2084
(as _Usher_ sets it) _Abraham_, by famine constrained, goes down to
_Egypt_, that is, into lower _Egypt_. So that our _Melcarthus_ is the
real _Pharaoh_ mention’d _Gen_. xii. who would have taken _Sarah_,
_Abraham_’s wife, ’till he learn’d the truth. _Usher_, at the year
2084, calls him _Apophis_; but ’tis an error of the pen, it means
_Janias_, predecessor to _Assis_, whom he sets as regent from _anno
mundi_ 2081. _Castor_ the chronographer, in _Syncellus_, writes, “that
_Abraham_ was well learn’d in the knowledge of astronomy, and the other
sciences of the _Chaldeans_.” _Berosus_, author of the _Chaldean_
history, gave him the character of “a just and great man, expert in
astronomy.” _Josephus_ adds, “that _Hecateus_ had such a value for
his memory, that he wrote his history.” _Nicholas_ of _Damascus_ an
historian, and _Trogus_, make him a king. _Alexander Polyhistor_
relates from _Eupolomus_, “that _Abraham_ exceeded all men in wisdom;
that astronomy was founded by him among the _Chaldeans_; that he came
into _Phœnicia_, and taught the _Phœnicians_ astronomy; that he being
constrain’d by famine, went into _Egypt_, lived in _Eliopolis_ among
the priests, and taught them astronomy; yet he did not pretend to be
the inventor of the art, but had it deliver’d to him by succession
from _Enoch_.” _Artapanus_ likewise, the historian, mention’d by
_Eusebius præp. evang._ IX. 4. he speaks of “_Abraham_ going to
the king of _Egypt_, and teaching him astronomy, and that after
twenty years he return’d into _Syria_.” _Melo_, another old heathen
author, speaks much of _Abraham_’s wisdom. These writers, as wholly
disinterested, sufficiently shew that _Egypt_ hence learn’d astronomy,
and _Melcarthus_ their king in particular.

It seems, at this time, the major part of the world, thro’ ignorance
or negligence, knew not the true length of a year, making it of 360
days only. But _Abraham_ taught the _Egyptians_ better; for now we
may understand that remark in _Syncellus_, that under _Assis_ or
_Hercules_, the last of the pastor kings, the 5 additional days were
placed in their year. And then a solar year of 365 days first began
among the _Egyptians_. ’Tis somewhat odd, that the _Egyptians_ should
call these 5 additional days by the word _Nesi_, which signifies a
_snake_. I suppose they meant by it _sacred days_, _holy days_. They
were placed at the end of the year, and reckon’d birth-days of the
gods, I suppose from some fore-notices they had of the birth of Messiah
at that time of the year; for I find all antiquity had such notice. But
_Syncellus_ does not tell us the whole of the truth: _Abraham_ taught
_Assis_ likewise the intercalation of the quarter-day, and the leap-day
every fourth year. For, according to what I have been able to see
concerning this matter, the _Mosaic_ or patriarchal year was solar, and
strictly _Julian_. But when the world was o’erwhelm’d with idolatry,
providence judg’d proper to alter the year too, in order to dislocate
their heathenish and superstitious festivals. Therefore to _Moses_ God
communicated the form of the lunæ-solar year, which the _Jews_ use to
this day. But toward the advent of Messiah, providence took care to
restore the ancient patriarchal year, in the _Julian_ form.

Hence we may account for what _Herodotus_ tells us of the _Thebans_, a
people in upper _Egypt_, who intercalate the quarter-day every fourth
year: from the earliest times, no doubt from the time of _Hercules_.

Let us mention this remark. In the sacred account of _Abraham_’s
sojourning here in _Egypt_, we meet with no distaste of the _Egyptians_
to shepherds, which in his grandson _Jacob_’s time was an abomination
to them. This shews that the pastor kings now reign’d here, with
whom _Abraham_ convers’d; and it shews the reason of that abomination,
when they were expell’d; it confirms this history of _Manethon_’s
dynasty, and illustrates the scriptures. _Jacob_’s family being
_Canaanites_ and shepherds, were taken to be of those that held the
_Egyptians_ in so long a war. They were pretended to be spies by
_Joseph_, _Gen._ xlii. 9.



  _In Cornwal_

  _In Cornwal_

  _In Monkton field by Abury_

  _Stukeley delin._    _E. Kirkall sculp._]

Further, we have another very important piece of history from
_Abraham_’s being in _Egypt_, which the learned are not aware of;
for hence ’tis more than presumption, that the _Egyptians_ learn’d
the use of letters or alphabet-writing. If we seek into the accounts
transmitted to us by _letters_, concerning their own origin, _Philo_
the _Jew_ expressly attributes the invention thereof to _Abraham_.
Whence _Plato in Philebo_ and _in Phædro_, contends for their first
appearance in _Egypt_, discover’d by _Theut_, “who, whether he be a
god, or a man, is doubtful,” says he; meaning, the use of them must be
a divine communication. _Syncellus_ writes, “the opinion of some is,
that _Abraham_ brought letters out of _Chaldea_, and taught them to
the _Phœnicians_, and they taught them to the _Greeks_.” _Diodorus_ V.
writes, “the _Syrians_ invented letters, and the _Phœnicians_ learn’d
the great secret from them.” _Eusebius, pr. ev._ X. confirms this, but
asserts, “that by the _Syrians_ are meant the _Assyrians_ (as was often
the case in old accounts) or the _Hebrews_ more particularly.” It was,
in truth, the ancestors of _Abraham_. And this I believe is the real
truth. God first imparted this knowledge to the patriarchal family, for
preserving the sacred records of his church; and _Abraham_ now taught
their use to _Assis_, the _Hercules_, son of _Nilus Jupiter_, who wrote
in the _Phrygian_ letters, says _Cicero_.

All this is exceedingly confirm’d by the explication which Mr. _Toland_
gives us concerning _Hercules Ogmius_, in his history of the Druids.
_Lucian_ says, ’tis a word of their own language, by which the _Celts_
call _Hercules_. And the word has hitherto been inexplicable. He
relates the picture of him (in _Hercule Gallico_) which he saw in
_Gaul_, which was explain’d to him by a Druid. He was pictured as
clad with a lion’s skin, a club in his right hand, a bent bow in his
left, a quiver hanging o’er his shoulders. As for his form, he was
an old man, bald before, wrinkled, and in colour like a sun-burnt
sailor. A multitude of people were represented as drawn after him by
golden chains from their ears, center’d in his tongue. The Druid told
_Lucian_, that _Ogmius_ accomplish’d his great atchievements by his
eloquence, and reduc’d the people of this western world, from rude and
barbarous to a state of civility.

A memorial of this knowledge which _Hercules_ had of letters, we find
in _Hephæstion_ V. where he writes, “_Hercules_ gave the name of
_Alpha_ to the first letter, in honour to the river _Alpheus_, when
victor at the _olympic_ games.” My late learned friend, Mr. _Keysler_,
in his _Antiq. septentrional._ guessed well that _Ogmius_ means
_literatus_, a _man of letters_, as we commonly say; more properly
spoken of _Hercules_ than of others. But Mr. _Toland_ shews evidently,
that _Ogum_ is a word in the _Irish_ language, importing the secret
of alphabet writing; the _literarum secreta_, as _Tacitus_ calls it,
_de mor. germ._ So that _Hercules Ogmius_ fully imports the learned
_Hercules_, and especially one that was master of alphabet writing;
without which learning is but a vague and uncertain thing. This our
_Hercules_ learn’d of _Abraham_ in the east, and this he brought with
our Druids into the extremest west, in this very early age of the
world, as we have all the reason imaginable to believe. That they had
letters, we have _Cæsar_’s express testimony, and they were the same
as the _greek_ letters, because the very same. They had them from the
same fountain as the _Grecians_, tho’ somewhat earlier; for I take
our _Hercules_ to be a little prior in time to _Cadmus_, who carry’d
letters into Greece.

_Hercules_ therefore was learned and eloquent, a great astronomer, and
philosopher. A fragment of _Palæphatus_ in the _Alexandrian_ chronicle,
calls him the _Tyrian_ philosopher, who found out the purple dye:
_Suidas_ in the word _Hercules_, the like. And long before, _Heraclitus
in Allegoriis Homericis_, says, he was a wise man, a great philosopher,
και σοφιας ουρανιου Μυστης, one initiated into the wisdom from above;
we may call him a professor of divinity.

Thus he appears a worthy scholar of the great _Abraham_, and from
him the Druids learn’d the groundwork of learning, religion, and
philosophy, which they were so famous for ever after. But my purpose
is to be very short on this head at present: nevertheless I must
remark that our _Assis_ was not only acquainted with _Abraham_ in
_Egypt_, but likewise in the land of _Canaan_ or _Phœnicia_; for he
quitted _Egypt_ by compact with _Tethmosis_ _A.M._ 2120, carrying away
with him 240000 men, which enabled him to transport colonies all over
the _Mediterranean_ and the ocean. And he must dwell several years in
_Canaan_ before his projects of that kind were ripe. But _Abraham_ dy’d
_A.M._ 2183, so that there was abundantly time enough for the two great
men to renew their acquaintance, and there is much reason to think they
actually did so.

Therefore as it was the patriarchal custom to raise temples wherever
they came; so of our hero _Hercules_, whether thro’ his own pious
disposition,or in imitation of _Abraham_: we hear of his raising
pillars too, which means our temples. And thence he obtain’d the name
in antiquity, of _Hercules Saxanus_.

Thus the learned _Lud. Vives_ on St. _Augustin C. D._ viii. 9. “The
philosophy of the _Egyptians_ is very ancient, but for the most part
deriv’d from the _Chaldeans_, especially from _Abraham_, tho’ they, as
_Diodorus_ writes, refer it to _Isis_, _Osiris_, _Vulcan_, _Mercury_,
and _Hercules_.” Further from _Joseph_’s administration, the _Egyptian_
learning commenc’d, for which they became so celebrated. He not only
instructed the priests in religion and philosophy, but settled their
colleges and possessions, as we read in _Gen._ xlvii. 22, 26. so that
if _Moses_ was learned in the wisdom of the _Egyptians_, he deriv’d
it only thro’ them from his own ancestors. Which note may be useful
to give us a true notion of this matter, which some learned men exalt
too high. And this at the same time shews idolatry commenc’d in
_Egypt_, after his time. They consecrated _Joseph_ into the genius or
intelligence of their first monarch _Osiris_, _Serapis_, &c. with the
bushel on his head. But what I chiefly insist upon at present, is of
_Hercules_ making these serpentine temples, which in his history is
call’d overcoming serpents and the like. And hence the fable of his
squeezing two serpents to death in his cradle; and the _Tyrian_ coins
struck to his honour, some whereof I have exhibited.


  _The alate Temple of the Druids at Barrow in Lincolnshire, on the
  banks of the humber._

  _W. Stukeley delin. 25 July 1724_]


    I. _A coin in_ Vaillant’s colonies II. p. 148, 218, 340, 351. Of
       the city of _Tyre_, an olive-tree with a snake between two
       stones, petræ ambrosiæ. An altar; and a conch, meaning

   II. _A coin_ in Vaillant’s colony coins II. p. 314, _struck at_
       Ptolemais _or_ Acon.

       A great and rude stone altar without any mouldings or
       carvings, between two serpents, a _Caduceus_ which is truly
       the _ophio-cyclo-pterygomorph_ on a staff meaning in the
       hieroglyphick doctrine, the power of the deity. These
       imperial coins of colonies intended to preserve the memory of
       their antiquities, and this probably regards the old
       serpentine temple in the foundation of their city _Acon_ or

  III. _A coin in_ Vaillant’s colonies II. p. 111, _struck at_
       Berytus. _They all regard_ Hercules’s _building serpentine

Of his building our Druid temples in general, of these great stones,
the two coins of _Gordian_ in _Stonehenge_ page 50, are a further
evidence. The _Ambrosiæ Petræ_ are a work of this sort, when he began
or assisted in building the city _Tyre_. And I gather he was a great
builder of serpentine temples in particular, such as we have been
describing, call’d _Dracontia_. What he did of this sort in _Britain_
I have no foundation for discovering; but in ancient history still
left us, there are sufficient traces that shew he did it, in the more
eastern parts of the world.

For instance, at _Acon_ or _Ptolemais_ as call’d afterward, a city on
the _Phœnician_ shore: it regain’d its first name and now is call’d
St. _John_ of _Acres_, from a famous church there. The first city was
probably built by our _Hercules_, at least he made one of these temples
there, as I gather from the name of the place, coins and reports
relating thereto. The _Greeks_ call it Ακη, and according to their
custom, give it a _Greek_ original, from ακεισθαι, because says the
_Etymologicum magnum_, _Hercules_ was there _heal’d_ of the bite of a
serpent. _Stephanus_ of _Byzance_ the same, in the word _Ptolemais_;
in the word _Ake_, he says, that _Claudius Julius_ in his vol. I. of
the _Phœnician_ history, writes, “that it had its name from _Hercules_,
who was order’d by the oracle to go eastward, ’till he came to a river,
and found the herb _Colocasia_, which would cure his wound. He came to
the river _Belus_, which here runs into the sea, and there found the
herb.” _Salmasius_ in his _Plinian_ exercitations, affirms, the herb
is _Dracunculus_; it grows in our gardens, called _Dragons_, from its
likeness to a snake’s head and tongue; and being spotted like a snake.

All this I can understand no otherwise, than that _Hercules_ made a
serpentine temple on the side of this river, where the city _Acon_
was afterward built, and which took its name from this temple, as our
_Hakpen_ at _Abury_; for עכן _Acan_ in the _Chaldee_, signifies a
serpent, as we observed before. _Josephus_ informs us, by the river
_Belus_ was the sepulchre of _Memnon_; which probably was made here in
regard to the temple.

When we come into _Greece_, we hear of _Hercules_ overcoming the
_Lernean_ snake, which _Heraclides Ponticus_ writes had 50 heads.
We may very well understand this of 50 stones, which compos’d the
head, as our temple on _Overton-hill_ of 58. _Hephæstion_ II. recites
from _Alexander_ the _Myndian_, that this _Hydra_ was turn’d into
stone. Thus hints and reports are drop’d, which preserve the real
truth invelop’d in fable; as was the _Greek_ method in all matters of

This snake was of a very unusual bulk, and lay near a great water,
call’d the _Lernean_-lake, by a large plane-tree, and the spring
_Anymone_. Further ’tis said, in overcoming this animal (by which they
mean the labour he bestow’d in accomplishing the work) he us’d the help
of _Iolaus_ the waggoner. Such help must be highly useful to him, to
bring the stones. But I observe from the name _Iolaus_ his waggoner
and companion, and _Hylas_ another great friend of his, and _Iole_ his
mistress, that the ancient druidical festival is couch’d under that
name, call’d _Yule_, which I shall speak largely upon in its proper
place. In the mean time (we are told) the snake was assisted against
him, by a very great crab. This will appear strange, ’till we are
directed to its meaning by this consideration. As the serpent means
the _Dracontian_ temple, so the crab was a symbol like in figure and
meaning to the _globus alatus_ or winged circle, which was the ancient
picture of the _anima mundi_, or divine spirit. Thus does mythology,
when rightly consider’d, help us in these ancient enquiries. We may say
of the work as _Statius_ does of the temple of _Hercules Surrentinus_,

      ————_Deus obluctantia saxa
    Summovit nitens, & magno pectore montem

There are like vestiges of other _Dracontian_ temples founded by
_Hercules_ in _Spain_, _Africa_, and elsewhere.

“_Hercules_,” says bishop _Cumberland_, “was a very learned prince,
bred or conversant in the _Phœnician_ universities, whereof _Debir_ was
one, _Josh._ xv. 15. 49. call’d for its eminence, _Kirjath-sepher_,
the _city of books_; and _Kirjath-sanna_, the _city of learning_.” The
bishop thinks he retreated from _Egypt_ about the time of _Abraham_’s
death. But, from what chronological evidence I gave before, it must be
a good while before it. And I do not doubt but he with pleasure renew’d
his acquaintance with his old friend _Abraham_, in the land of _Canaan_.

There seems to be a very pregnant proof of this, in that _Hercules_ had
a son call’d _Isaac_, to whom one would imagine _Abraham_ was sponsor
at his baptism, or perhaps his son _Isaac_; for baptism was one part of
the patriarchal religion. And they had susceptors, sponsors, or what
we call _god-fathers_ at the font, as we have. Of this _Isaac_ son of
_Hercules_, _Plutarch_ informs us, _de Isid. & Osir._ remembred by the
_Phrygians_, for he was planted in _Phrygia_ by his father _Hercules_.
Hence it became a common name there, and _Æsacus_ son of king _Priam_
is but the same name, as my learned friend Mr. _Baxter_ thinks, in his
_glossar. Antiq. Rom._ If this consideration be joined to what I wrote
in _Stonehenge_ about _Phryxus_, or _Apher_, grandson of _Abraham_,
having a concern in planting, and even naming of _Britain_, it may
afford us another hint about our _Phrygian_ extract, which the old
_Britons_ are so fond of. And we can expect no other than these kind
of hints, in matters of such extreme antiquity. And further, as he was
concern’d in settling colonies in _Spain_, we may attribute to him the
claim which the _Gallæci_ there had, to a _Trojan_ descent, of which
_Justin_ informs us.


  _Stukeley del._

  _Prospect of the British Temple at Barrow Lincolnshʳ July 25.

This _Apher_ is the _Africus_ mention’d by _Mela_, I. 9. He calls
him an _Arabian_ king, who being driven out by the _Assyrians_, went
into _Africa_. ’Tis very remarkable, that his name, when interpreted,
signifies _Tyn_; as the great _Bochart_ makes the name of _Britain_,
come from _Bratanac, the land of tyn_; equivalent to the _greek_ word
κασσιτερος, whence _Cassiterides_ in _latin_. This expulsion seems to
be hinted at in _Gen._ xiv. 6. in the days of _Abraham_. Now a reader
not much acquainted with these kind of inquiries, will be apt to smile
at pretending to a similitude between _Apher_ and _Britain_. So in
making the _Wiltshire_ word _sarsens_ deriv’d from the same word as the
name of the city of _Tyre_; tho’ ’tis an undeniable fact, and easily
perceiv’d by the learned.

The evidences of _Hercules_ planting _Britain_, are of the like nature,
which I shall very briefly recapitulate. _Apollodorus_ in II. after
the story of _Hercules_, _Antæus_ and _Geryon_, two kings in _Afric_
and _Spain_, mentions his conquering _Alebion_ and _Dercynus_ sons of
_Neptune_, in the same mythologic strain as the others, because they
attempted to drive away his oxen. He makes it to be in _Libya_, others
in _Ligya_ or _Liguria_, others in _Gaul_. The variety of places is of
no consequence in these very old stories. I regard only the personal
names of _Albion_ and _Bergion_, as more commonly call’d, sons of
_Neptune_. If this be really so, sons of _Tarshish_, son of _Javan_:
for _Tarshish_ was the true _Neptune_ of the heathen; and he was one
of the sons to whom the heathen generally attribute the plantation of
islands, as well as _Moses_, _Gen._ x. 5. But _Albion_ and _Bergion_
are notoriously most ancient names of _Britain_ and _Ireland_. _Mela_,
II. 5. mentions _Hercules_ fighting _Albion_ and _Bergion_. So _Tzetzes
in chiliad._ and _Tzetzes_ the interpreter of _Lycophron_.

_Tacitus_ says expressly _Hercules_ was in _Germany_, in that part
lying upon the ocean especially. _Ammianus Marcellinus_, in his XV. 9.
tells us from _Timagenes_, an ancient historian, “that the _Dorienses_
following the more ancient _Hercules_, inhabited the western countries
bordering on the ocean.” By mount _Carmel_ was a city _Dora_ spoken of
by _Josephus_, and by _Stephanus_ of _Byzantium_, quoting _Hecatæus_,
and many more old authors. See the famous fragment of _Stephanus_.
_Claudius Julius_, in his III. of the _Phœnician_ history, writes,
“next to _Cæsarea_ is _Dora_, inhabited by _Phœnicians_ on account of
the great quantity of the purple fish there found.” Now _Hercules_
being confessedly the inventor of this _Tyrian_ dye, ’tis probable the
companions of his, mention’d by _Ammianus_, were of this city.

If _Hercules_ peopled the ocean, coasts of _Gaul_, _Spain_ and
_Germany_, we may well imagine he would do the like in _Britain_.
_Pliny_’s testimony is express, that _Melcarthus_ (corruptly
_Midacritus_) first brought _tyn_ from the _Cassiterid_ islands, which
can be no other than _Britain_.

The poets and mythologists, when speaking of the _Titans_, agree they
went all into the west, which seems to be meant of _Hercules_ and his
people settling in _Britain_. Our _Thule_, or northern island, seems
to have been named by our _Hercules_, as a demonstration of his being
there, from an island of the same name in the _Persian_ gulph. Of which

The like is to be inferr’d from such stories as that related by
_Parthenius Nicæus_, “that _Hercules_ travelling, after his expedition
against _Geryon_, pass’d thro’ the country of the _Celts_, and was
entertain’d by _Britannus_. His daughter _Celtine_ fell in love with
him, on whom he begat a son call’d _Celtus_; from him afterwards the
people of the _Celts_ received their denomination.”

We took notice before, that these shepherds who quitted _Egypt_ under
the conduct of our _Hercules_, call’d themselves _Hycsi_, as _Manethon_
informs us in _Josephus & Eusebius in chronol._ The word imports
_royal shepherds_, _valiant_, _freemen_, _heroes_. Now we find the
remains of this very name in the south-western part of our island, in
_Worcestershire_, even to the _Roman_ times, and still further, even
to the time of venerable _Bede_. They were called _Huiccii_, to which
_Orduices_ and _Vigornienses_ is synonymous. And all three words mean
the same thing, as the great _Baxter_ shews in his glossary, _Antiq.
Britan. voce Orduices_, _Iceni_, _Huiccii_, &c. And by all accounts
our old _Britons_ lov’d that same free, shepherd’s life, which the old
_Canaanites_ did about _Abraham_’s time, as describ’d in scripture.
Bishop _Cumberland_ is elaborate upon it.

I take the _Irish_, and ancient highland _Scots_, to be the remains
of the original _Phœnician_ colony. My learned friend, Dr. _Pocock_,
when he was in _Ireland_, observ’d a surprizing conformity between the
present _Irish_ and the _Egyptians_, and that in very many instances.

These considerations, added to what I said in _Stonehenge_, are enough
to persuade us, that our _Hercules_ had a considerable hand in peopling

  TAB. XL.

  _The antient Symbols of the deity._

  the deity thus exprest on the imposts at Persepolis.

  _thus upon Chinese gates._

  _thus in Egyptian monuments._

  _on asardonyx in Pignor. mens. Isiaca. P.20._

  _isiac table._

  _isiac table._

  _isiac table._

  _isiac table._

  _isiac table._

  _Reverendissimo Prœsuli Iohanni Archiepiscopo Cantuarensi.
  humillime d.d. W. Stukeley._]

                              CHAP. XIV.

  _Part of_ Cadmus _his history, who was a builder of serpentine
    temples. He was son of_ Canaan _called_ Agenor. _He was a_ Horite
    _or_ Hivite, _call’d_ Kadmonite _in scripture._ Hivite _signifies
    a serpent. Mount_ Hermon _denominated from his wife_, Psal.
    cxxxiii. 3. _“like as the dew of_ Hermon, _which fell on the hill
    of_ Sion.” _Correct it_, Sirijon. _Another correction in the
    translation of our bible_, “Canaanite _in the house of the Lord
    of hosts,” read_ merchant. _’Tis a prophecy not attended to_,
    Zech. xiv. 21. _The ancient_ greek _fables of sowing serpents’
    teeth; of_ Cadmus _and his wife being turn’d into serpents, and
    the like; are form’d from their building serpentine temples. Not
    to be wonder’d at so much, when our country-people have the very
    same reports of_ Rouldrich _stones; of the_ Weddings, _another
    Druid temple in_ Somersetshire; _of_ Long Meg and her daughters,
    _another in_ Cumberland; _and most firmly believe, that they were
    men and women turn’d into stones. The mythology of the ancients
    not to be despis’d, but its original meaning sought for._

None more famous in _Grecian_ history than _Cadmus_, who brought
them the use of those letters that convey’d their history to us,
and preserv’d the little knowledge we can chiefly have of profane
antiquity. He was son of _Agenor_, by which word the _Greeks_ chose
to pronounce the difficult one of _Canaan_. _Alexander Polyhistor_
cites out of _Eupolemus_; “from _Saturn_ (who is _Cham_) came _Belus_
and _Canaan_, and _Canaan_ begat the father of the _Phœnicians_, or
_Phœnix_. _Eusebius, pr. ev._ 9 has it too. Again, _Eusebius, pr. ev._
1. quotes from _Sanchoniathon_, _Cna_, (_Canaan_,) who was styled
among the _Phœnicians_ ΧΗΝΑ.” So in _Stephanas_ of _Byzantium_,
_Phœnicia_ is called ΧΗΝΑ, and the _Phœnicians_ ΧΗΝΑΙ, which is
_Canaanites_. ΧΗΝΑ, _Cna_, is _Agenor_.

_Cadmus_ lived in the time of, or very little after _Hercules_.
Tho’ the _Parian_ marble is an invaluable monument, yet ’tis not
an infallible one. If the learned _Bentley_ finds it erring about
_Stesichorus_, we must not depend on its _æra_ of _Cadmus_, who lived
a thousand years before that stone was made. Nor is the authority of
_Eusebius_’s chronology in this particular, greater. _Bochart_ holds
him older than the builder of _Tyre_; _there_ perhaps he heightens his
date a little too much.

To have a proper notion of the history of this great man, bishop
_Cumberland_ shews us, that the _Horites_ or _Hivites_, sons of
_Canaan_, i. e. the colony or people of _Cadmus_ son of _Agenor_, or
_Canaan_, went out of the land of _Canaan_ about the same time that
_Misraim_ or _Osiris_, son of _Cham_, went to plant _Egypt_. They went
likewise into _Egypt_. They lived quietly there for some time, but
war arising between the _Misraimites_ and the pastors, they retir’d
back again, probably a little before the expulsion of the pastors. Some
went to the north of _Canaan_, about mount _Hermon_ under _Libanus_;
some remain’d in the more southern parts, more particularly call’d
_Horites_, or _Avim_, or _Hivites_.

In _Gen._ xv. 18. when God made his great covenant with _Abraham_,
he tells him, he will give him the land of the _Kenites_, and
_Kenizzites_, and _Kadmonites_, and _Hittites_, and _Perizzites_, and
_Rephaims_, _Amorites_, &c. By _Kadmonites_ he means the people of
_Cadmus_ son of _Canaan_. But afterward, in all those places where
these nations are recited, they are called _Hivites_; _Cadmus_ was
likewise call’d _Hyas_, _Hivæus_: _Hyas_ or _Cadmus_, one or both,
being honorary names, or names of consecration, as was the mode of that
time. The same is to be said of _Melchizedec_, _Abimelech_, _Pharaoh_,
and many more. About this time there was likewise _Hyas_ a son of

The name of _Hermon_ is probably deriv’d from his wife _Hermione_, as
a compliment to her. And of this mountain is that saying in _Psalm_
cxxxiii. 3. The psalmist draws an elegant comparison of the holy
unction of _Aaron_ running from his head to his beard, and so down
his garments, “like as the dew of _Hermon_ which falls on the hill of
_Sion_.” A difficulty that gave St. _Augustin_ a great deal of trouble;
but must needs be an absurd reading, and ought to be corrected _Sirion_
for _Sion_. _Sirion_ is a lower part of the high ground at the bottom
of mount _Hermon_, as that lies under the elated crest of _Libanus_.
_Psal._ xxix. 6. “_Libanon_ also, and _Sirion_, like a young unicorn.”
A mountain not a little remarkable, since we read, _Deut._ iii. 9.
“which _Hermon_ the _Sidonians_ call _Sirion_, and the _Amorites_ call
it _Shenir_;” _Hermon_ and _Sirion_ being parts of mount _Libanon_.

Since we are upon criticism, the reader will excuse me in mentioning
another of like nature, and not foreign to our purpose. These
_Horites_, _Hivites_, _Avim_ or _Cadmonites_, as called from _Cadmus_,
_Gen._ xv. 19. or _Canaanites_, as called from his father _Canaan_,
extending themselves upon the _Phœnician_ shore, became traders or
merchants in the most eminent degree of all ancient people in the
world, and traded as far as _Britain_; so that the name of _Canaanite_
and _merchant_ became equivalent. _Isaiah_ xxiii. 8. “Who hath taken
this counsel against _Tyre_, saith the prophet, the _crowning_ city;
whose merchants are princes, whose _traffickers_ are the honourable of
the earth.”

Hence we observe, 1. The prophet calls it the _crowning_ city, for they
sent a golden crown to _Alexander the great_ as a present.

2. The word _traffickers_, _mercatores_, is _Canaanites_ in the
original. And the like in _Jerem._ x. 17. “Gather up thy _wares_ out of
the land, O inhabiter of the fortress.” ’Tis _Canahe_ in the original.

3. This naturally leads me to mention a noble prophecy, overlook’d
thro’ a too literal translation in our bible, _Zech._ xiv. 21. “Yea,
every pot in _Jerusalem_, and in _Judah_, shall be holiness unto
the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take
of them, and seethe therein. And in that day there shall be no more
the _Canaanite_ in the house of the LORD of hosts.” It ought to be
translated _merchant_, as in the vulgate _latin_ and _chaldee_. For
’tis a prophecy concerning the days of the Messiah; and regards that
famous act of his life, when he drove the traders out of the temple.

The _Kadmonites_ got the name of _Hivites_, as I apprehend, from their
celebrity in building temples of the serpentine form. At first they
were consecrated to true religion; but too soon all these, and other
patriarchal temples in the land of _Canaan_ were polluted to idolatrous
purposes; and probably from them the worship of snakes became famous.
Now the word _Avim_, _Hevæus_ in the _Syriac_, signifies a _snake_.
And from this custom of the _Phœnicians_ making serpentine temples,
the notion might arise of the _Phœnicians_ worshipping serpents, as
_Eusebius_ observes, _pr. ev._ I. And from this the _Greeks_ made their
fables of _Cadmus_ overcoming a great snake, sowing its teeth, and
armed men sprouting up, _&c._

On this account it is, that they who represent this exploit of his,
describe it as done by a stone of a very extraordinary bulk, _Ovid.
Met._ III. _v._ 59.

    ————_dextrâque molarem
    Sustulit, et magnum magno conamine misit.
    Illius impulsu cùm turribus ardua celsis
    Mœnia mota forent; serpens sine vulnere mansit._

The bulk of the serpent is equally extravagant,

    ————_immensos sinuatur in arcus.
        ————tantoque est corpore, quanto
    Si totum species, geminos qui separat arctos.
    Ipse modò immensum spiris facientibus orbem
    Cingitur, interdum longâ trabe rectior exit._

This is but a poetical description of the circle and the avenues at

You have this same action of the heroes represented in some _Tyrian_
coins: _Cadmus_ is throwing a stone at a serpent. That of _Gordian_
III. in _Vaillant_’s colony coins, vol. II. p. 217. Another of
_Gallienus_, p. 350. The author quotes _Nonnus_’s _Dionysiacs_ IV.
reciting the history of his breaking a snake’s head with a stone. And
he thinks those other _Tyrian_ coins belong to this same history, as
that p. 136, where a snake is represented as roll’d about a great stone.

   I. _A coin of_ Gordian III. Vaillant’s colon. II. p. 217. _which
      the learned author adjudges to_ Cadmus. _Another of_ Gallienus,
      p. 350. _Both struck at_ Tyre.

  II. _A coin of the city of_ Tyre _in_ Vaillant’s colon. p. 136,
      147. _The learned author says a stone and serpent is the symbol
      of_ Cadmus. _The truth is, they regard_ Cadmus _founding
      serpentine temples._]

It was from the city of _Sareptha_ that _Europa_ was carry’d off; ’tis
in the country of _Sidon_; and I apprehend, from the name of it, here
was originally a serpentine temple. _Sareptha_ is the serpent _Ptha_. I
have an ancient coin of this city, in brass. A palm-tree on one side, a
leopard’s face on the other, which refers to the wine here famous: of
which the learned _Reland_ in _Palestina_.

_Conon_, in his narration 37, gives us the origin of the _greek_ fable
of _Cadmus_’s men, the _Phœnicians_, springing out of the ground armed,
for before then helmets and shields were unknown. Hence they were
call’d _Spartæ_.

That these armed men sprung out of the ground upon sowing the serpent’s
teeth, means our _Hivites_ making a religious procession along the
avenue of their serpentine temples on the great festival days, when
they sacrific’d. We see a like procession of armed men, carv’d upon
the temple of _Persepolis_ in _Le Brun_’s prints. And Ovid calles a
_Bœotian_, one of _Cadmus_’s people, _Hyantius_, III. v. 147. _Strabo_
vii. writes, they took that name from their king _Hyas_, which is the
same as _Hivite_. _Pliny_ iv. 7. observes the _Bœotians_ were so call’d

In the next book _Met._ iv. ver. 560. we have an account of _Melicerta_
our _Melcarthus_ and his mother deify’d: and of the _Sidonian_ women
their companions, some turn’d into stones, others into birds, for
grieving at their fate. This seems to mean their building temples after
some of the modes we have been describing, and that which is to follow
chap. XVI. near the sepulchres of heroes and founders of states; as was
the custom of old: what we observed by _Silbury-hill_ and _Abury_. For
these temples were prophylactick, and a sacred protection to the ashes
of the defunct. So we read in _Virgil_ by _Anchises_’s tomb, _Æneid_ V.

    _Tunc vicina astris Erycino in vertice sedes
    Fundatur Veneri Idaliæ; tumuloque sacerdos
    Ac lucus latè sacer additur Anchisæo._

Immediately after _Ovid_’s account of _Melicerta_, the poet speaks of
_Cadmus_ and his wife turn’d into serpents: which I understand of the
like serpentine temple made by their sepulchre. _Suidas_ writes, on
_Epaminondas_’s tomb was a shield and a snake carv’d, to shew he was
of _Spartan_ race. We may very well imagine the circle and snake, the
cognizance of _Cadmus_.

After _Cadmus_’s decease, his people built a city called _Butua_; and
near it is a place call’d _Cylices_, where _Cadmus_ and _Hermione_ were
turn’d into serpents: and two stone snakes are there set up by the
_Phœnicians_, to their honour: _Bochart_ page 502, where many authors
are quoted to prove these particulars. He says, the word _Cylices_
in _Phœnician_, means _tumulos_, our barrows. It was a place full
of sepulchral _tumuli_, as _Stonehenge_ and _Abury_: cups revers’d,
regarding the form of them. _Nonnus in Dionys._ writes, that there
are two great stones or rocks there, which clap together with a great
noise, whence auguries are taken. _Tzetzes chiliad._ iv. _hist._ 139,
mentions the same thing. I take this to be a main ambre, of which I
spoke largely in _Stonehenge_. _Herodot._ V. 61. says the _Cadmeians_
being admitted citizens of _Athens_, built temples there, which had
nothing common with the _Greek_ temples; particularly they had a temple
of _Ceres Achæa_ and mystical rites. _Achæa_, I suppose, means a
serpentine temple, from the oriental name.

We read just now, that the _Sidonian_ women, the mourners for
_Melcarthus_ and his mother, were turn’d some into stones, others into

    _Pars volucres factæ, sumptis Ismenides alis._

I should suppose the internal meaning of this to be, the
making an alate temple, of which we are further to speak in chap. xvi.

_Antoninus Liberalis_ in his XXXI. tells a very old story of the first
inhabitants of _Italy_ before _Hercules_’s time; a place among the
_Messapians_ called the sacred stones: where the nymphs _Epimelides_
had a fane set round with trees, which trees were formerly men. This
must be understood as the former.

Thus we see how the ancient _Greeks_ involv’d every thing in fable,
but still all fable has some historical foundation, and _that_ we must
endeavour to find, by applying things so properly together, as to
strike out the latent truth.

The learned Dr. _Bogan_ in his letter prefix’d to _Delphi phœniciss._
from _Æschylus_ and others, Ικετ. ά. shews, that men were often call’d
snakes by the ancients, in an allegorical way; and as to the report of
_Cadmus_ and his wife, of the _Sidonian_ women and others, turn’d into
snakes, or stones, or birds, or trees, in the sense we are explaining
them; ’tis no more than what we daily see and hear at this time, in
these very Druid temples of our own island, which we are speaking of.
The people who live at _Chippin-Norton_ and all the country round our
first described temple of _Rowldrich_; affirm most constantly and as
surely believe it, that the stones composing this work are a king, his
nobles and commons turn’d into stones. They quote an ancient proverb
for it, concerning that tall stone, call’d the king stone.

    _If_ Long-Compton _thou canst see,
    Then king of_ England _shall thou be._

And as Mr. _Roger Gale_ wrote once to me from the place: “’tis the
creed of all that country, and whoever dares to contradict it, is
looked upon as the most audacious free-thinker.”

The very same report remains, at the Druid temple of _Stanton-Drew_, in
_Somersetshire_, which I shall describe in my next volume. This noble
monument is vulgarly call’d the _Weddings_; and they say,’tis a company
who assisted at a nuptial solemnity, thus petrify’d. In an orchard near
the church, is a cove consisting of three stones, like that of the
northern circle in _Abury_, or that of _Longstones_: this they call the
parson, the bride, and bridegroom. Other circles are said to be the
company dancing: and a separate parcel of stones standing a little from
the rest, are call’d the fidlers, or the band of musick.

So that vast circle of stones in _Cumberland_ which was a Druid temple,
is call’d _long Meg and her daughters_, and verily believed to have
been human, turn’d into stones.

Thus we see an exact uniformity between the fables of the antient
_Greeks_, and our present people. The former found these kind of
patriarchal temples built by their first heroes and planters; admiring
the vastness of the works, they affix’d these marvellous stories to
them, and retain them as firmly, as our vulgar do the like now. And
this is the nature of the ancient mythology; but by finding the end of
the clue, we draw it out into useful truths.

These _Cadmonites_, _Avim_, _Hittites_, _Hivites_, _Spartans_,
_Lacedemonians_, (who are all one and the same people,) retain’d a
distinct remembrance of their relation to the _Jews_, even to the days
of the _Maccabees_, as we read 1. _Maccab._ xii. and in _Josephus_ Ant.
xii. 5. Undoubtedly they reckoned themselves of kin to _Abraham_, if
not descended from him; thus I understand it. _Joshua_ mentions chap.
xi. the _Hivites_ in the land of _Mizpeh_ under mount _Hermon_ by
_Libanus_. He says further, in the 19th verse, the _Gibeonites_ were
a portion of that same people. The _Avim_ or _Horites_ about mount
_Seir_ where _Esau_ dwelt, were the same people who were expell’d by
the _Caphthorim_, as _Moses_ mentions: on which bishop _Cumberland_ has
wrote largely.

We read of the great intercourse there was between _Esau_’s family and
these people; for _Esau_ married four of his wives from them, _Gen._
xxvi. 34. xxxvi. 2. no doubt but they married into his family again.
Hence it is that _Strabo_ x. writes, that _Cadmus_ had _Arabians_ in
his company. And in xvi. that the inhabitants of _Syria_ (he means
properly _Phœnicia_) are originally deriv’d from the neighbourhood of
the _Persian gulf_.

I doubt not but that there are now upon the face of the earth, many of
these serpentine temples remaining in _Europe_, _Asia_ and _Africa_.
For instance, _Strabo_ xvi. from _Posidonius_ relates, that in a field
call’d _Macra_ by _Damascus_, was a dead serpent, the length of an
acre, so thick that two horsemen could not see each other across him,
his mouth so large as a horseman might enter into it; each scale was as
big as a shield.

We may hence see the origin of idolatry, soon after these heroes we
have recited; and it seems to have begun first in _Phœnicia_, which
_Eusebius_ always puts before _Egypt_, when speaking of the matter.
_Demaroon_ was _Jupiter_ the supreme, _Phut_ they deify’d into his
son, _Canaan_ they made the third divine person. But wherever idolatry
began, whether in the call of _Asia_, or the west, it flew too soon
into other countries, and they made a _Jupiter_, a _Son_, and a
_Mercury_ or _Neptune_ who are the same, of their own; ’till with every
hero and benefactor to mankind they fill’d the heaven of the heathens.

                               CHAP. XV.

  _A metaphysical disquisition concerning the nature of the deity,
    shewing how the Druids, by the strength of reason, might arrive
    to the knowledge of a divine emanation or person, from the
    supreme first cause, which we call the Son of God; and the
    necessity of admitting of such an emanation. All the philosophers
    and priests of antiquity had this notion; as we read in_ Plato
    _and many more._

I have given the reader an account of three eminent builders of these
_Dracontia_, or serpentine temples, in the earliest times after the
flood, and in the more eastern parts of the world; as well as described
one of those works in our island. There are many more such builders
and buildings, which will be easily found out by those that are
conversant in ancient learning. This figure of the circle and snake,
on which they are founded, had obtained a very venerable regard,
in being expressive of the most eminent and illustrious act of the
deity, the multiplication of his own nature, as the _Zoroastrians_ and
_Platonists_ speak; and in being a symbol of that divine person who was
the consequence of it.

We shall not wonder that the Druids had a perception of this great
truth, when we consider that it was known, as far as necessary, to all
the philosophic and religious sects of antiquity, as shewn at large by
several learned writers. My opinion is, that it was communicated to
mankind, originally, by God himself. ’Tis the highest point of wisdom
which the human mind can arrive at, to understand somewhat of the
nature of the deity; and the studious, the pious, and thinking part of
the world, would not fail to improve this knowledge by reflexion and

Tho’ my business is to speak more fully of the religion of the Druids
in the next volume, yet I judge it very pertinent to the present
subject to anticipate that intention, so as to shew how far they might
advance toward that knowledge, by the dint of reason; to further the
works, wherein they have, in the largest characters that ever were
made, consign’d their notions of this sort, remaining to this day,
such as we have been describing; and which may induce us to have the
same sentiment concerning them as _Pere Marten_ in his _Religion des
Gaulois_, tho’ he knew nothing of our antiquities; but thus he writes,
“that the Druids worship’d the true God, and that their ideas of
religion were truly grand, sublime, magnificent.”

We may therefore very justly affirm of them, that in their serious
contemplations in this place, concerning the nature of the deity,
which, as _Cæsar_ tells us, was one part of their inquiries, they would
thus reason in their own minds.

A contemplative person, viewing and considering the world around him,
is ravish’d with the harmony and beauty, the fitnesses of things in it,
the uses and connexion of all its parts, and the infinite agreement
shining throughout the whole. He must belye all his senses to doubt,
that it was compos’d by a being of infinite power, wisdom and goodness,
which we call God. But among all the most glorious attributes of
divinity, goodness is preeminent. For this beautiful fabric of the
world displays thro’ every atom of it, such an amazing scene of
the goodness and beneficence of its author; that it appears to such
contemplative minds, that his infinite power and wisdom were but as the
two hands, employ’d by the _goodness_ of the sovereign architect.

Goodness was the beginning, the middle, the end of the creation. To
explain, to prove, or illustrate this topic, would be an affront to
the common understanding of mankind. The sum of what we can know of
him is, that he is good, essentially good. We are not more assured of
the existence of the first being, than that he is good, _the_ good,
goodness itself, in eminence. He is God, because he is good; which is
the meaning of the word in _english_, and in many other languages.
This, in God almighty, is the attribute of attributes, the perfection
of his all-perfect nature. He made and maintains those creatures which
he multiply’d to an infinite degree, the objects of his care and
beneficence; those great characters of supreme love, that render him
deservedly adorable.

All possible perfections, both moral and natural, must needs be
inherent in this first and supreme being, because from him alone they
can flow. This is in one comprehensive word, what we call good. But
good unexercis’d, unemploy’d, incommunicate, is no good, and implies
a contradiction, when affirmed of the all-good being. Therefore it
undeniably follows, there never was a time, never can be, when God was
useless, and did not communicate of his goodness.

But there was a time before creation, before this beautiful fabric of
the world was made, before even chaos itself, or the production of
the rude matter, of which the world was made. And this time must be
affirmed, not only as to material creation, but to that of angels and
spiritual beings. Reckon we never so many ages, or myriads of ages,
for the commencement of creation, yet it certainly began, and there
was a time before that beginning. For, by the definition, creation is
bringing that into being which was not before. There must have been a
time before it.

Here then occurs the difficulty, of filling up that infinite gap before
creation. Consider the supreme first being sitting in the center of
an universal solitude, environ’d with the abyss of infinite nothing,
a chasm of immense vacuity! what words can paint the greatness of the
solecism? what mind does not start at the horror of such an absurdity?
and especially supposing this state subsisted from infinite ages.

’Tis in vain to pretend, that a being of all perfections can be happy
in himself, in the consciousness of those perfections, whilst he
does no good to any thing; in the reflexive idea of his possessing
all excellency, whilst he exerts no tittle of any one. This is the
picture of a being quite dissonant to that of the All-good. And as
the Druids would, without difficulty, judge, that there must needs be
one, only, self-originated first being, the origin of all things: so
they would see the necessity of admitting one or more eternal beings,
or emanations from that first being, in a manner quite distinct from

That there ever was one eternal, self-existent, unoriginated being,
is the very first and most necessary truth, which the human mind
can possibly, by contemplation and ratiocination, obtain. Still by
considering the matter intimately, they would find it impossible to
conceive, that there should ever be a time, when there was but one
being in the universe, which we call the first and self-originated
being, possessing in himself all possible perfections, and remaining
for endless myriads of ages, torpid, unactive, solitary, useless.
This is a notion so abhorrent to reason, so contrary to the nature of
goodness, so absolutely absurd, that we may as well imagine this great
being altogether absent, and that there was no being at all.

This all the philosophers were sensible of, for good unexercis’d, that
always lay dormant, never was put into act, is no goodness; it may as
well be supposed absent, and even that there was no God. To imagine
that God could be asleep all this while, shocks the mind, therefore it
casts about, to remedy this great paradox.

Now it cannot be said of any part of creation, or of the whole, that
God always did good to any created being or beings; for these are not,
cannot be commensurate in time with his own being. Count backward never
so long for the beginning of things, still there was a time prior to
this beginning of things; for eternal creation is an equal absurdity
with an eternal absence of any being: where no part is necessary, to
affirm the whole is a necessarily and self-existing being, is a mere
portent of reason.

So we see, in every light, an absolute necessity of admitting a being
or beings coeval with the supreme and self-originated being, distinct
from any creation, and which must needs flow from the first being, the
cause of all existence. For two self-originated beings is as much an
absurdity as any of the preceding.

But, as ’tis impossible that the act of creation should be coeval with
the first being, what other act of goodness can be? For that being
which is essentially good, must ever have been actively and actually
so. To answer this great question, we must thus expostulate, as the
prophet _Isaiah_ does in the person of God, in his last chapter, when
summing up the business of his prophetical office: “Shall I bring to
the birth, and not beget, saith _Jehovah_: shall I cause to bring
forth, and be myself barren, saith thy God?” He is there speaking of
the birth of the son of God in human form; but we may apply it in a
more eminent degree, to the son of God in his divine nature; and as the
Druids may well be suppos’d to have done. The highest act of goodness
which is possible, even for the supreme being, is the production of his
like, the act of filiation, the begetting of his son, _Prov._ viii. 22.
“The LORD _begat_ me _from eternity_, before his works of old;” (so
it ought to be read) _ver._ 30. “then I was by him, as one _brought
up_ with him (_amoun_ in the original) and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing always before him.”

This is the internal divine fecundity of the fruitful cause of all
things. Creation is external fecundity. The Druids would naturally
apply the term generation, to this act of producing this person, or
divine emanation from the supreme, which we are oblig’d to admit
of: and to affirm him coeval with the supreme. The difficulty of
priority in time, between father and son, would easily be remov’d, by
considering the difference between divine and human generation, the
production of necessary and contingent beings.

If an artist produces an admirable and curious piece of mechanism, he
is said to make it; if he produces a person or being altogether like
himself, he is rightly said to generate that person; he begets a son,
’tis an act of filiation. So the like we must affirm of the supreme
being generating another being, with whom only he could communicate
of his goodness from all eternity, and without any beginning; or, in
scripture language, _in whom he always had complacency_. This is what
_Plato_ means, “by love being ancienter than all the gods; that the
kingdom of love is prior to the kingdom of necessity.” And this son
must be a self-existent, all-perfect being, equally as the father,
self-origination only excepted, which the necessary relation or
oeconomy between them forbids. If he is a son, he is like himself; if
he is like himself, he is God; if he is God, an eternity of existence
is one necessary part of his divine nature and perfection.

If the son be of the same substance and nature as the father, an
eternity of being is one part of his nature; therefore no time can be
assign’d for this divine geniture, and it must be what we call eternal.
Or perhaps we may express it as well by saying, it was before eternity;
or that he is coeval with the almighty father. In this same sense
_Proclus de patriarch._ uses the word προαιώνιος, _præeternus_. For
tho’ ’tis impossible that creation, whether of material or immaterial
beings, should be coeval with God; yet, if the son be of the same
nature with the father, which must be granted, then ’tis impossible to
be otherwise, than that the son of God should be coeval with the father.

If goodness be, as it were, the essence of God, then he can have no
happiness but in the exercise of that goodness. We must not say,
as many are apt to do, that he was always and infinitely happy, in
reflecting upon his own being and infinite perfections, in the idea of
himself. This is no exercise of goodness, unless we allow this idea
of himself which he produces, to be a being without him, or distinct
from himself; and that is granting what we contend for. A true and
exact idea of himself is the _logos_ of the ancients, the first-born
of the first cause. And this is the meaning of what the eastern and
all other philosophers assert, “that it was necessary for unity to
make an evolution of itself, and multiply; it was necessary for good
to communicate itself. There could be no time before then, for then he
would be an imperfect unity, and may as well be termed a cypher, which
of itself can never produce any thing.” Agreeable to this doctrine,
_Philo in_ II. _de monarchiis_, writes, “the _logos_ is the express
image of God, and by whom all the whole world was made.” It would be
senseless to think here, he meant only the wisdom of the supreme, the
reason, the cunning of God, a quality, not a personality.

What difficulty here is in the thing, arises merely from the weakness
of our conceptions, and in being conversant only with ordinary
generation. A son of ours is of the same nature as his father. His
father was begat in time, therefore the son the like. Not so in
divine generation. But as the father is from eternity, so is the son.
This only difference there is, or rather distinction; the father is
self-existent, and unoriginate; the son is of the father.

Further, we must remove, in this kind of reasoning, all the
imperfection of different sexes, as well as time, which is in human
generations; and all such gross ideas incompatible with the most pure
and perfect divine nature. The whole of this our reasoning further
confirms, that the son is necessarily existing. It was necessary for
God to be actively good always, and begetting his son was the greatest
act of divine goodness, and the first, necessarily. But the word
_first_ is absurd, betraying our own imperfection of speech and ideas,
when we treat of these matters; for there could be no _first_, where
no beginning. And the very names of father and son are but relative
and oeconomical; so far useful, that we may be able to entertain some
tolerable notion in these things, so far above our understanding.

But tho’ it be infinitely above our understanding, yet we reach
so far, as to see the necessity of it. And we can no otherwise
cure that immense _vacuum_, that greatest of all absurdities, the
indolence and uselesness of the supreme being, before creation. And
all this the Druids might, and I may venture to say, did arrive at,
by ratiocination. And we can have no difficulty of admitting it,
if we do but suppose, there were obscure notions of such being the
nature of the deity, handed down from the beginning of the world.
Whence in _Chronicon Alexandrinum_, _Malala_, and other authors,
we read, for instance, “in those times (the most early) among the
_Egyptians_ reigned, of the family of _Misraim_, _Sesosiris_, that
is, the branch or offspring of _Osiris_, a man highly venerable for
wisdom, who taught, there were three greatest energies or persons in
the deity, which were but one.” This man was _Lud_, or _Thoth_, son of
_Misraim_ or _Osiris_, and for this reason, when idolatry began, he
was consecrated by the name of _Hermes_, meaning one of those divine
energies, which we call the Holy Spirit.

This is a short and easy account of that knowledge which the ancients
had of the nature of the deity, deduc’d from reason in a contemplative
mind, and which certainly was known to all the world from the
beginning, and rightly call’d a mystery. For our reason is strong
enough to see the necessity of admitting this doctrine, but not to see
the manner. The _how_ of an eternal generation is only to be understood
by the deity itself.

The Druids would pursue this notion from like reasoning a little
further, in this manner. Tho’ from all that has been said, there is
a necessity of admitting an eternal generation, yet the person so
generated, all-perfect God, does not multiply the deity itself, tho’ he
is a person distinct from his father. For addition or subtraction is
argument of imperfection, a thing not to be affirmed of the nature of
the deity. They would therefore say, that tho’ these two, the father
and the son, are different divine personalities, yet they cannot be
called two Gods, or two godheads; for this would be discerping the
deity or godhead, which is equally absurd and wicked.

That mankind did formerly reason in this wise, is too notorious to
need my going about formally to prove it. ’Tis not to be controverted;
very many authors have done it substantially. And when there was
such a notion in the world, our Druids, who had the highest fame for
theological studies, would cultivate it in some such manner as I
have deliver’d, by the mere strength of natural reason. Whether they
would think in this manner _ex priori_, I cannot say; but that they
did so think, we can need no weightier an argument than the operose
work of _Abury_ before us; for nought else could induce men to make
such a stamp, such a picture of their own notion, as this stupendous
production of labour and art.

As our western philosophers made a huge picture of this their idea,
in a work of three miles’ extent, and, as it were, shaded by the
interposition of divers hills; so the more eastern sages who were
not so shy of writing, yet, chose to express it in many obscure and
enigmatic ways. _Pythagoras_, for instance, affirmed, the original of
all things was from unity and an infinite duality. _Plutarc. de plac.
philos._ _Plato_ makes three divine authors of all things, the first
or supreme he calls king, the good. Beside him, he names the cause,
descended from the former; and between them he names _dux_, the leader,
or at other times he calls him the _mind_. Just in the same manner, the
_Egyptians_ called them _father_, _mind_, _power_. Therefore _Plato_,
in his VIth epistle, writing to _Hermias_ and his friends, to enter
into a most solemn oath, directs it to be made before “God the leader
or prince of all things, both that are, and that shall be; and before
the Lord, the father of that leader or prince; and of the cause: all
whom, says he, we shall know manifestly, if we philosophize rightly,
as far as the powers of good men will carry us.” And in _Timæus_
he makes MIND to be the son of GOOD, and to be the more immediate
architect of the world. And in _Epinomis_ he writes, “the most divine
LOGOS or WORD made the world,” the like as _Philo_ wrote; which is
expressly a christian verity.

’Tis not to be wonder’d at, that the ancients wrap’d up this doctrine
in an abstruse and symbolic way of speaking, of writing, and in
hieroglyphic characters and works, as we have seen. It was communicated
to them in the same manner; they did not, could not comprehend it any
more than we, but they held it as a precious depositum of sacred wisdom.

We may therefore make this deduction from what has been said, that the
christian doctrine of distinct personalities in the deity, is so far
from being contrary to reason, as some would have it, or above human
reason as others, that ’tis evidently deducible therefrom, at least
highly agreeable thereto, when seriously propos’d to our reason. And
when most undoubtedly the ancients had such a notion, even from the
creation, those minds that were of a contemplative turn, would embrace
it and cultivate it, as being the most exalted knowledge we are capable
of. Of such a turn were our Druids, as all accounts agree.

                              CHAP. XVI.

  _Of the third species of patriarchal temples, form’d in the
    resemblance of a circle and wings. A description of one of this
    sort on the banks of the_ Humber _in_ Lincolnshire. _A very
    remarkable sort of barrows there, like to beds. This figure
    of the alate circle, the_ Egyptians _call’d by the name of_
    CNEPH; _authors mistake in telling us it was the name of God.
    ’Tis indeed the symbol of the third divine emanation from the
    supreme, call’d the_ anima mundi. CNEPH _is an oriental word,
    from_ canaph, _to_ fly, עוף. _The entire symbol, circle, snake
    and wings, was call’d_ CNEPHPTHA. Ptha _more particularly meant
    the serpent, or symbol of the second divine person. The supreme,
    they held to be ineffable, as well as invisible, therefore
    symboliz’d him by the circle. The Neptune of the_ Greeks _deriv’d
    from_ CNEPH, דניא dunia, _a circle added to_ Cneph, _is_ circulus
    alatus. _He was president of the waters, from_ Gen. i. 2. and
    the divine spirit moved upon the face of the waters. _Hence
    this temple set on the edge of the_ Humber. _Of the_ Egyptian
    Canopus. _Another of these alate temples on_ Navestock-common
    _in_ Essex. _The word_ ganaph _preserv’d in the name of the
    town._ Knave, gnavus _and_ knap, _a teutonic word, all from the_
    hebrew. _Mr._ Toland _mentions an alate temple of the Druids in
    the_ hebrid _islands, but does not altogether understand it. Of_
    Abaris _the hyperborean Druid, a friend of_ Pythagoras’_s. That
    the directive virtue of the magnetic needle was known anciently.
    The bed barrows on the_ Humber _banks explain’d. A metaphysical
    disquisition concerning the Druids’ knowledge of a third
    emanation or divine person, from the supreme; a truth agreeable
    to reason. This was the_ Mercury _of the ancients, as well as_
    Neptune. _The names which the Druids gave to the three divine
    persons. Conclusion. They were in effect Christians._

When I wrote my _Itinerary_, I travelled a good deal of the
_Hermen-street_ road, and the _Foss_ road, having Mr. _Samuel Buck_ in
my company. At that time I engag’d him to take in hand the work, which
he has so laudably pursued, and sav’d the remembrance of innumerable
antiquities in our island, by that collection of elegant prints which
he has publish’d. When we were on the banks of the _Humber_, the name
of _Barrow_ invited my curiosity, and it was fully answer’d, by finding
that most noble antiquity there of the old Druids, upon the _marsh_,
call’d _Humbers castle_.

A rivulet rises near the town of _Barrow_, and when it falls off the
high ground, and enters on the level marshes on the _Humber_ shore, it
turns a mill. Just there, upon the edge of the marsh, upon a gentle
eminence, nearly overflow’d by high spring-tides, and between the salt
and fresh water, is the work we are to speak of, made of great banks
of earth thrown up, in an odd manner, which gives it the denomination
of castle. I observ’d all about it, and in the adjacent marshes, many
long _tumuli_ of different sizes, but all of a particular shape, such
as I had never seen elsewhere, being form’d like a bed. I immediately
set to work in digging into several of them, and we found burnt bones,
ashes, bits of urns, and such kind of matters, all extremely rotten
and decay’d; and the very same appearances as I had so often seen, in
digging the barrows about _Stonehenge_ and _Abury_.

This satisfied me that the work must belong to the most ancient
inhabitants of the island, notwithstanding its unusual form. And when
I attentively consider’d those banks, and made a plan of them, I was
very agreeably surpriz’d in discovering the purport and meaning, which
was to represent the _circulus alatus_ or winged circle, an ancient
hieroglyphic well known to those more particularly conversant with
_Egyptian_ monuments; and what they rightly call the symbol of the
_anima mundi_, or _spirit pervading the universe_; in truth, the divine

I had no hesitation in adjudging this to be a temple of our Druids. All
reasons imaginable concurr’d. Tho’ instead of stones, they have made
this work with mounds of earth; I suppose for want of stones, lying on
the surface of the ground. It makes the third kind of the Druid temples
which I proposed to describe. The vertical line of it is north-east and
south-west, the upper part being directly north-east; and the barrows
generally conform to this line, being either upon it, or at right
angles with it; the head of the barrow sometimes one way, sometimes the

The circle was 120 cubits in diameter. The wings 100 cubits broad, 150
long; but the eastern wing was more extended than the other. For the
design of it is somewhat in perspective, as ’tis sometimes seen on
_Egyptian_ antiquities.

This very extraordinary work, which I could not sufficiently admire,
has very often entertain’d my thoughts. We see an uniformity in
human nature throughout all ages. We build our churches, especially
cathedrals, in a cross, the symbol or cognizance of Christianity; the
first builders of churches did it in the symbol of the deity, which
was pictur’d out with great judgment, and that (most likely) from the
beginning of the world.

The circle and wings was the picture of the deity, which the old
_Egyptian_ hierophants call’d CNEPH. As there were three varieties in
this figure, so they had more names than one for it, I mean the whole
figure, the circle, serpent, and wings. And sometimes they used one
word, sometimes another, and sometimes conjoin’d them. _Eusebius_ in
_pr. ev._ III. 3. writes, “that the _Egyptians_ painted God, whom they
call’d _Kneph_, like a man in a blue garment, holding a circle and
serpent (not scepter, for no such figure ever appears) and on his
head, feathers or wings.” Now this very figure is seen on the portals
of the _Persian_ temple of _Chilminar_. Authors are not sufficiently
accurate in these matters, for want of a more perfect knowledge of
them. _Cneph_ is properly the alate circle; yet sometimes they call
the whole figure by that name. So a feather or two, or wings, are
often plac’d on the heads of the _Egyptian_ deities; but the picture
above-mention’d at _Chilminar_ has the wings, as more commonly, annexed
to the circle.

_Phtha_ was another name of one of these figures, which they sometimes
join’d to the preceding, and made the word _Cnephtha_. _Kircher_
erroneously calls it _Hemptha_; for before him _Iamblichus_ err’d in
calling _Cneph_, _Emeph_. _Strabo_ calls _Cneph_, _Cnuphis_, and says
his temple was at _Syene_, XVII. Undoubtedly a temple some way of this
form. _Athenagoras in Eroticis_ VI. calls him Κνεφαιος, _Cnepheus_; and
says, “he can’t be seen by our eyes, nor comprehended by our mind.”
_Hesychius_, and the etymologist _Suidas_, _voce_ κνεφυς, interpret the
word, _obscure_, _hidden_, _not to be seen or understood_. _Iamblichus_
and _Proclus_ the like, who make _Amûn_ and _Phtha_ the same, _Prov._
viii. 30. The truth is, the word _Cneph_ comes from the _hebrew_ ענף
_ganaph volare_, to _fly_, קנף a _wing_, _Psal._ xviii. 11. _He rode
upon the cherubim, and did fly._

_Phtha_, in _Suidas_ called φθάς, is deriv’d, on the authority of
_Kircher_ and _Huetius_, from the _hebrew_ פתה the same as the _greek_
word πειθω, to _persuade_, _suada_ in _latin_. It regards more
particularly the serpent, the emblem of eloquence, and the divine
WORD. In _Arabic_ it signifies the _son_. So that _Cnephtha_ means the
entire figure, the circle, snake and wings. The supreme had no name.
They held him ineffable, as well as invisible. Whence they call’d
the _Jehovah_ of the _jews_ an uncertain or unknown deity, or the
deity without a name. _Herodotus in Euterpe_ writes, “he heard from
the priests of _Dodona_, that the ancient _Pelasgians_ made their
prayers and sacrifices to the deity without any name or sirname, for
at that time they knew none.” _Iamblichus_’s interpretation of _Phtha_
is very little different. He says, “It signifies him that performs
all things in truth, and without lying.” The _Egyptians_ called this
_Phtha Vulcan_, and say, he was the son of the supreme God; whom
_Cicero_ makes the guardian god of _Egypt_, who was the author of all
the philosophy of the _Egyptians_, according to _Diogenes Laertius in
proem._ And this is that most ancient deity of the _Egyptians_ who
was particularly design’d by the serpent. And hence the fables of the
_greeks_ make _Vulcan_ the only son of _Juno_, without the help of her
husband. Again, they make _Pallas_ produc’d out of _Jupiter_’s brain,
who wore the _Ægis_ or snaky breast-plate, which originally was no
other than our great prophylactic hierogramma, the circle and snake,
us’d by the most ancient warriors as a sacred preservative. _Medusa_’s
head is the very same, a circle, wings, and snakes. But the delicate
_greeks_ new drest it, and made the circle into a beautiful face, more
agreeable to their taste of things. And its turning men into stones
means, at the bottom, nothing but the making our serpentine temples
in that form by the first heroes, who bore this cognizance in their

But to return to CNEPH, the deity to whom these winged temples are
dedicate. It became the chief and more famous name. Whence _Porphyry_
in _Eusebius_’s _pr. ev._ III. 11. calls this _Cneph_ the creator,
_Plutarch, de Is. & Os._ testifies, “the inhabitants in _Thebais_,
or the remotest part of _Egypt_, worshipped only the eternal God
_Cneph_, and paid nothing toward the charge of idolatrous worship
in the other parts of that kingdom.” Thus we see, those countries
farthest separated from the busy part of the world, such as _Thebais_
and _Britain_, retain’d the pure and ancient religion: which bishop
_Cumberland_ too asserts, _Sanchon._ p. 15. of _Thebais_, before
_Abraham_’s time. _Strabo_ says, “there was a temple of _Cnuphis_ (as
he writes it) at _Syene_, the farther part of _Thebais_:” which must
be understood of one of our winged temples originally, tho’ probably
afterwards built upon, cover’d, and become idolatrous. “Hence the
_Ethiopians_, neighbours to those of _Thebais_, living still in the
upper regions of _Egypt_,” says _Strabo_, “worship two gods, the
one the immortal creator, the other mortal, who has no name, nor is
easily to be apprehended.” Here we find they have a notion of the
supreme and his son. Their opposite neighbours across the _red sea_,
worshipped only two gods, τον Διον καὶ τον Διονυσον, _Jovem & Jovem
Nysæum_, God, and the God of _Nysa_. This is what is meant by the two
principles of _Pythagoras_, mention’d by _Plutarch de plac. philos._
unity and indefinite duality, the sacred _Dyas_ of _Plato_. Whence
_Diodorus_ in his I. writes, “that the _Egyptians_ declar’d there were
two first eternal Gods.” These they express’d by the names of _unity_
and _duality_. I do not believe that they found this out by their own
understanding and reasoning, but had it from patriarchal tradition.
And then their own reasoning would confirm it. For it is altogether
agreeable to reason, arguing from the fecundity of the first cause.
The _Greeks_ turned _Cneph_ into their _Neptune_, the sovereign of
the waters, from what the _hebrew_ legislator writes in the beginning
of his _cosmogony_; “and the spirit of God moved upon the face of
the waters.” The word _Neptune_ comes from _Cneph_ and דניא _Dunia_,
_orbis_, _circulus_, the _winged circle_. And this probably will
give us some light into the reason, why we find our winged temple of
_Barrow_ upon the banks of that noble æstuary, the _Humber_. I wonder’d
indeed how it should come about, that the Druids should so studiously
place this work under the verge of the high land, and upon the brink of
the salt marsh; so that every high tide washes or overflows the skirts
of it, whilst the freshwater brook runs close under it. At this time
it must have presented them with the agreeable picture of the sacred
hieroglyphic, hovering over both fresh and salt-water.

I observ’d a line, or little bank and ditch, cast up above our figure,
which I judg’d to be done with an intent to keep off the inundation of
the ocean at the times of sacrifice, which seems to have been perform’d
within that inclos’d area, where I have set the figure of the compass
in the engraven view. Likewise just without that line, eastward, I
remarked three little square plots, which perhaps were habitations of
the Druids who were keepers of the temple.

’Tis not from the purpose to take notice of one of the greatest fix’d
stars of the heavens, at the bottom of the constellation call’d the
_ship_, having the name of _Canopus_, which is no other than our word
_Cneph_. This star had this name given it by the _Egyptians_, as
appearing to them just above the edge of the southern horizon. And in
their spheres, we may very well presume, they painted it as a winged
circle, and because it always appear’d as hovering over the horizon or
great ocean.

        ————_O numen aquarum
    Proxima cui cœlo cessit, Neptune, potestas._      Ov. Met. IV.

So that originally the ancients understood the spirit or soul of the
universe, or more properly the divine spirit, by this figure which
they call’d KNEPH, which the _European_ nations call’d _Neptune_,
sovereign of the waters. So often by the poets call’d Ενοσιχθων,
Ενοσιγαιων, the _shaker of the earth_; for the waters in _Moses_ means
the _Hyle_, or moist matter of chaos whence the universe was made.

Two of the quarterly solemnities or general sacrifices of the Druids
were on the two equinoxes, when are the highest tides. A curious
observer being upon the spot, for some years together, at these times,
might possibly make some notable discovery concerning the difference
of the surface of the sea, since the current of 5 or 6000 years: for
I persuade myself this temple was made by the very first inhabitants
of the isle, and not long after the flood, on account of the interment
here of some great hero, that advanc’d so far in peopling the country.
And if our reasonings and testimonies hitherto be any whit agreeable
to truth, we may point out the species of many of these most ancient
temples built at the place of sepulture of heroes, spoken of in
writings of those times. For instance, we infer a serpentine temple
was made by the _tumulus_ of _Orpheus_, from the fable of a serpent
offering to devour his head, which serpent was turn’d into stone.

    _Hic ferus expositum peregrinis anguis arenis
    Os petit, & sparsos stillanti rore capillos
    Lambit, & hymniferos inhiat divellere vultus.
    Tandem Phœbus adest, morsusque inferre parentem
    Congelat, & patulos, ut erant, indurat hiatus._

Again, we may reasonably suppose that an alate temple was built by the
tomb of _Memnon_, said to be buried in _Phrygia_, who was turn’d into a
bird on the funeral pile, at the request of his mother _Aurora_. We see
some hints of it even from _Ovid_’s telling the story. This was done at
the request of his mother _Aurora_, who petitions _Jupiter_ for this
favour to her son, for herself she desires none. Thus she begins:

    _Omnibus inferior, quas sustinet aureus æther_
    (_Nam mihi sunt totum rarissima templa per orbem_,)
    _Diva tamen venio: non ut delubra, diesque
    Des mihi sacrificos, caliturasque ignibus aras_, &c.

He was turn’d into a bird, and a flock of the same birds, call’d _Aves
Memnoniæ_, arose from the same funeral pile, which immediately divided
into two companies, and fought till they destroy’d each other. And that
a like flight of the same birds came on the same day every year from
_Ethiopia_, went thrice round his monument, and then divided and fought
in honour of their ancestor.

What can we understand by this, but an assembly of his people and
descendants to celebrate his anniversary, as was the custom of
antiquity toward great men. The story is entirely of a piece with that
told of _Cadmus_, and must be interpreted in the same way.

In this sense we are treating of, are we to understand authors when
they tell us, that _Cadmus_ built a temple to _Neptune_ in the island
of _Rhodes_. This was not a cover’d temple with elegant pillars, nor an
idolatrous one, which were matters of after-times; but one of our alate
temples. _Phut_ had built a _Dracontium_ there before.

_Antoninus Liberalis_ XII. speaks of the lake _Canopus_, which I
suppose had its name from a _Cneph_ or alate temple near it, built by a
hero, _Cygnus_, son of _Phut_, “who, the fable says, was turn’d into a
bird there,” and _Phylius_ his sepulchral monument was by it.

In this sense, _Strabo_ II. speaks of _Hercules_ being call’d
_Canopeus_, from building such a temple. And we may now understand
that hitherto abstruse _Egyptian_ antiquity called _Canopus_, a vase
which they us’d for preserving of water in their temples and in their
families, with a cover to it. In order to insure the blessing of heaven
to this most necessary element, they frequently consign’d it with the
sacred prophylactic character of the _Kneph_ or _circulus alatus_,
which is the _greek Neptune_, the _dominator aquarum_. Many of these
vases are still remaining in the cabinets of antiquarians. Such a one
pictur’d in _Kircher_.

And, by the by, I may mention that some of these vases are adorn’d
with a _scarabeus_ with expanded wings, and this is entirely of the
same meaning as the alate circle. But this is not a place to discourse
larger on these matters.

I suspect _Geneva_ and _Geneffa_ have their names from such temples.
As _Gnaphalus_ a bird mention’d by _Aristotle_. _Simias_ the _Rhodian_
celebrates our _Cneph_, in his poem compos’d in the form of wings: as
the author of motion and creation: hence the word _Nebula_, νεφέλη and
perhaps _Nebulo_.

In the year 1725, the next year after I found out this _Humber_ temple,
and the last year of my travels, I found another of these alate
temples, on _Navestock-common_ in _Essex_, which seems to be of a later
date than the other, and when perhaps the original doctrine concerning
these theological speculations was somewhat forgotten; Because this
temple is situate on a dry common, not near water; but the figure is
the very same.

What is exceedingly remarkable as to this noble antiquity on
_Navestock-common_, is, that the name should remain to this time, and
which confirms all that we said before concerning them, as to their
name and meaning: for _Navestock_ must have been so call’d from some
old and remarkable tree, probably an oak, upon or by the CNEPH, or
winged temple; _Navestock_. Our _English_ word _Knave_, which had no
ill meaning at first, signifies the same thing, _alatus_, _impiger_;
the latin word _Gnavus_ the very same: and _Knap_ a _Teutonick_ word
the like: all from the hebrew original.

I doubt not, but there are more such temples in the _Britannick_ isles,
called _Knaves-castles_ or the like. One I remember to have seen, on a
great heathy common, by the _Roman Watling-street_ in _Staffordshire_.
And Mr. _Toland_ takes notice of a winged temple of our Druids in the
_Hebrid_ or _Hyperborean_ islands, _Shetland_. _Abaris_ a Druid of this
country, fir’d with a desire of knowledge, travell’d into _Greece_
where philosophy flourish’d; after that to _Pythagoras_ in _Italy_,
and became his favourite disciple. _Pythagoras_ imparted to him his
best notions in philosophy, which perhaps, in the enigmatick way of
those times, they call the shewing to him his golden thigh. _Abaris_
on the other hand, presented to _Pythagoras_ _Apollo_’s arrow, which he
brought out of his own country, where it had been deposited in a winged
temple. They tell you further, that _Abaris_ rode on this arrow in the
air to _Greece_. This undoubtedly would proceed from the notion they
entertain’d of the Druids practising magick.

I cannot help thinking, after what I have said in _Stonehenge_,
concerning the magnetick needle, that this arrow of _Apollo_’s which
_Abaris_ made use of in his journey from _Shetland_ to _Greece_,
was an instrument of this sort, which the _Hyperborean_ sage gave
to _Pythagoras_. And the Druids possessing such a secret as this,
would reciprocally create, and favour that notion of their practising
magick. Calling it _Apollo_’s arrow seems to throw the possession of
it up to _Phut_ the most famous navigator, we before treated of: nay
it seems that we may trace it still higher, even to _Noah_ himself.
_Sanchoniathon_ the _Phœnician_ writer tells us, among other remarkable
things concerning _Ouranus_, who is certainly _Noah_, “that he devised
_Bætulia_, or contriv’d stones that mov’d as having life.”

Besides the interpretation, we may very naturally affix to this
account, of anointed stones or main ambres: we may well judge that the
knowledge of the magnet is here understood; which at first they placed
in a little boat, in a vessel of water, and then it would move itself,
’till directed to the quarters of the heavens. _Atheneus Deipnosoph._
affirms, that _Hercules_ borrow’d his golden cup wherewith he sail’d
over the ocean, of _Nereus_. _Nereus_ is _Japhet_ eldest son of _Noah_,
and the golden cup was a compass box in all probability.

Among the ancient constellations pictur’d on the celestial globe,
is an arrow; said by _Eratosthenes_ the most ancient writer we have
on the _Catasterisms_, (as called,) to be the arrow of _Apollo_,
which was laid up in the winged temple among the _Hyperboreans_.
_Diodorus Siculus_ from _Hecateus_ and other older writers, shews,
the _Hyperborean_ island was in the ocean, and beyond _Gaul_, to the
north, under the bear; where the people liv’d a most simple and happy
life. _Orpheus_ places them near the _Cronian_ sea; a word purely
_Irish_, as Mr. _Toland_ shews, _Croin_ signifying frozen. He shews
further and that very largely, that the _Hebrid_ islands, _Skie_,
_Lewis_, _Harries_, _Shetland_, are the true _Hyperborean_ islands
of the ancients. Among them therefore was the winged temple; whether
made of mounds of earth, like those two on the _Humber_, and on
_Navestock-common_; or made of stones like other Druid temples.

There are other Druid temples in those islands, made of stones, I shall
give a print of one, in my next volume. Further there is a famous one
in _Cornwall_ call’d vulgarly the _Hurlers_, which I take to have been
one of our alate temples, made of stones set upright.

The learned _Bayer_ in his fine designs of the celestial
constellations, represents the arrow of _Apollo_ beforemention’d, as a
magnetick needle; and he took his designs chiefly from a very ancient
book of drawings. I observe likewise that the isle of _Skie_, in the
language of the natives, is call’d _Scianach_, which signifies winged.
And in that probably, was the winged temple we speak of; which gave
name to the isle.

We mention’d before that _Phut_ married _Rhode_, whence the isle
of _Rhodes_ had its name. _Rod_ in the _Psalms_ and the _Prophets_
signifies a snake. Nay _Pliny_ in vii. and 56, of his natural history
asserts, that _Rhodes_ was originally call’d _Ophiusa_, a word
equivalent. Most likely they built a serpentine temple there, which
gave the name. So the isle of _Tenos_, which _Bochart_ shews, means a
serpent in the oriental language, was call’d _Hydrusa_ and _Ophiusa_.
The isle of _Cyprus_ was call’d _Ophiodia_ by _Nicœnetus_. So _Hydra_
an isle just before _Carthage_, which was first built by _Cadmus_.
_Ophiades insulæ_ on the _Arabian_ coast of the _Red-sea_. _Pausanias_
mentions a place called _Opheos Cephale_, the serpent’s head; the same
as our _Hakpen_ on _Overton-hill_ in _Abury_.

In the isle of _Chios_ is a famous mountain higher than the rest,
called _Pelineus_, which had undoubtedly one of our great _Dracontian_
temples. The learned _Bochart_ I. 9. shews its name signifies the
prodigious serpent: a story of the sort is annex’d to it. Nay this
famous temple gave name to the whole island, for he shews that ’tis
a _Syrian_ word חויא _Chivia_ a serpent, so that _Chios_ isle is the
serpent’s isle: the word is the same as _Hivite_: probably _Cadmus_
or some of his people built it. _Hesychius_ and _Phavorinus_ mentions
_Jupiter Pelineus_, the name of the deity worshiped.

_Virgil_ in _Æneid_ II. describes the two serpents that destroy’d
_Laocoon_ coming from the isle of _Tenedos_.

I described the barrows about _Humbers_ castle, to be like beds.
They are all long barrows, of very different lengths, higher at the
head than the feet, (if we may so express it) and with a cavity the
whole length of them, drawn off at the feet, to the turf: So that
they represent the impression of a person that has lain on a very
soft, downy couch. One which I dug into near the temple was 60 cubits
long: the other two near it 40 each, plate xxxix. The sight of them
necessarily intruded into my mind, the ευνη or couch of _Typhon_ or
_Phut_, which _Homer_ says, was in _Arimis_. ’Tis natural for us to
imagine, he means exactly such a _tumulus_ of the hero, as these we are
speaking of.

_Phut_ was a great arch druid or patriarchal high-priest, as being
the head of his family. And according to my notion of the matter,
these long barrows all belong to some of the higher order of the
Druids. _Eustathius_ interprets _Homer_’s word by that of ταφος, tomb.
_Stephanus_ the scholiast on _Hesiod_’s _Theogon_, makes _Arima_ a
mountain in _Cilicia_ or _Lydia_, where is _Tiphon_’s κοιτη. _V.
Oppian. Alexand._ ver. 599. _Lucan_ ver. 191. _Apollon._ II. _Strabo_
XVI. _Mela_ I. 13. _Pausanias in Atticis_ tells us of _Hippolita_ the
_Amazons’ tumulus_, that ’twas made in shape of an _Amazonian pelta_ or
shield; perhaps somewhat like our _tumulus_.

In the beginning of the idolatrous times, they likewise consecrated
_Hermes_ the _Egyptian_ into _Mercury_, but the _Egyptians_ took
_Mercury_ in a different light from the _Canaanites_: they made him the
god of divine wisdom, the _Canaanites_ who were immers’d in trade and
traffick, made him the god of profit and gain; and that in the person
of their ancestor _Canaan_. Nevertheless they knew the holy spirit
prior to idolatry: for many think that _Mercury_ was no mortal man,
S. _Augustin_, _C. D._ viii. 26. and _Orpheus_ in his hymn to him,
pronounces him to be of the race of _Dionysus_, by whom _Jehovah_ is

I suppose _Canaan_ when he died, had an alate temple built about his
place of sepulture, which in after times occasion’d posterity to deify
him under the name of _Mercury_. Again I suppose the like done over the
_tumulus_ of the patriarch TARSIS; which gave a handle in idolatrous
times, to consecrate him into the _Neptune_ of the heathen; who in
effect is the same as _Mercury_, saving that being done by people of a
different genius and disposition, they divided one god into two.

Thus we have sail’d thro’ a wide ocean of antiquities, and that not
without a compass. We set old things transmitted to us in writing, in
parallelism with these we may now see at home, in such a manner, as I
think evidently shews them to be the same.

    _Nec sum animi dubius, verbis ea vincere magnum
    Quàm sit, & antiquis hunc addere rebus honorem.
    Sed me Parnassi deserta per ardua dulcis
    Raptat amor_——————                            Virg.

I shall conclude, with 1. what we may very well imagine to have been
the ratiocination of the Druids among one another, in their theological
contemplations, concerning this last kind of their works, these winged
temples. Of such sort would be their speculations thereon, in their
serious scrutiny into the nature of the deity.

We observ’d, the Druids in their theological studies must, with the
other eastern sages, find out two ways of the supreme being exerting
his almighty power, multiplying himself, as the _Zoroastrians_, the
_Pythagoreans_ and the _Platonists_ call it, or divine geniture: and
creation. The first necessary, therefore done before time; the second
arbitrary, therefore done in time. Nevertheless this second was fit and
proper to be done, therefore necessarily to be perform’d. For whatever
becomes the allperfect being, we may pronounce necessary with him.

The Druids would advance still further in their contemplations this
way, and conclude, that it became the supreme, and was therefore
necessary, for him to exert his power in all possible ways and modes of
acting; that he was not content in producing a single divine person or
emanation from himself, from the infinite fund of his own fecundity;
that he was pleas’d to proceed to that other mode of acting, which we
call divine procession; or a third divine person to proceed from the
first and second. This person the ancients had knowledge of, and styled
him _anima mundi_, “that spirit of the LORD which filleth the world,”
_Wisdom_ i. 7. and made him a distinct person from God, or the supreme:
but, more immediately, he was the author of life to all living things.
And this he disseminated throughout the whole macrocosm. I need only
quote _Virgil_, for many more, in his fine poem, _Georg._ IV.

    _Esse apibus partem divinæ mentis & haustus
    Æthereos dixere. Deum namque ire per omnes
    Terrasque tractusque maris, cælumque profundum.
    Hinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum,
    Quemque sibi tenues nascentem arcessere vitas;
    Scilicet huc reddi deinde & resoluta referri,

This divine mind, or _anima mundi_, the ancients pictur’d out by the
circle and wings, meaning the holy spirit in symbolical language,
or the spirit proceeding from the fountain of divinity. And we see
it innumerable times on _Egyptian_, and other ancient monuments.
_Plutarch_, in his _platonic questions_, asks, “Why should _Plato_
in his _Phædro_ say, the nature of a wing, which mounts heavy things
upward, is chiefly participant of those that are about the body of the

But thus the Druids would reason. There are three modes of divine
origin and existence, quite different from creation: they are these:
the self-existent, unoriginated first cause; divine generation; and
divine procession: all equal in nature, self-origination excepted, and
equally necessarily existent. When the supreme produces his likeness,
it must be divine filiation; or the son of God is produc’d. Divine
procession must be from them two: but it cannot possibly be filiation:
for besides that, in these acts of the divinity, we must separate all
ideas like that of human production, it would be absurd to call this
generation; because, as it is done prior to all notion of time, or
eternity itself; it is making the son to be son and father in the same
act. Therefore there remains no other word for this, than procession
from the father and son.

Whether these abstract and metaphysical notions would occur to a mind
wholly unacquainted with any doctrine of this sort, may be matter
of doubt; but when propos’d to a serious and contemplative genius,
they would be embraced and improved, as agreeable to reason; and as
an advance towards the most sublime and most useful knowledge of all
others, that of the nature of the deity.

2. The very learned _Schedius_, in his treatise _de mor. germ._ XXIV.
speaking of the Druids, confirms exceedingly all that we have said
on this head. He writes, “that they seek studiously for an oak-tree,
large and handsome, growing up with two principal arms, in form of a
cross, beside the main stem upright. If the two horizontal arms are not
sufficiently adapted to the figure, they fasten a cross-beam to it.
This tree they consecrate in this manner. Upon the right branch they
cut in the bark, in fair characters, the word HESUS: upon the middle
or upright stem, the word TARAMIS: upon the left branch BELENUS: over
this, above the going off of the arms, they cut the name of God, THAU:
under all the same repeated, THAU.”

We cannot possibly understand otherwise, than that by this they
intended to show the unity in the divine nature; for every word
signifies God emphatically, and in their general acceptation, _Thau_
especially. The other three words have each particularly a more
restrained sense, regarding the oeconomy of the deity or godhead. And
this is _Schedius_ his opinion.

This tree, so inscribed, they make their _kebla_ in the grove,
cathedral, or summer-church, toward which they direct their faces in
the offices of religion, as to the ambre stone or the cove in the above
described temples of _Abury_. Like as the Christians to any symbol or
picture over the altar. And hence the writers got a notion of their
worshipping trees; and of these names belonging to so many gods: which
serves the poets to descant upon. But if we examine them to their
origin, they are easily to be reduc’d to orthodoxy.

The word _Hesus_ means the supreme God in the _celtic_ language,
as ESAR among the _Hetruscans_. _Sueton. in Aug._ It was pronounced
_Eisar_, as the _germans_ pronounce _Cæsar_, _Keisar_. It comes from
the _hebrew_ ה _Ei_, and סר _Lord_, שר _Prince_. ה is emphatically
the name of the divinity, as השם το ονομα, the NAME _Jehovah_,
_Levit._ xxiv. 11. 16. Hence ה or EI, inscribed over the door of the
temple at _Delphos_, of which _Plutarch_ has wrote. It was the way
of the _babylonish_ monarchs to assume divine names, as _Esar-adon_,
signifying no less than God the Lord. _Esi_ is God, says _Hesychius_.
In the _arabic_ it signifies the _Creator_, says _Dickenson delph.
phœnic._ But these authors do not go to the bottom, for it comes from
AS or AT, signifying God the father. Ἄτα or Ἄττα, with the _Greeks_
is _pater_. The _Armenians_ call it Αδς, the _Egyptians_ Ὠτ, those of
_Sarmatia_ and _Slavonia_ Ος: says the learned _Baxter_, _v. Ascania_,
_gloss. ant. Rom._ where he has much of ancient learning upon it. This
is the _Atys_ of the _Phrygians_.

_Belenus_ is the _Baal_ in scripture, us’d originally to be spoken
of the true God _Jehovah_, ’till adopted into idolatry. _Belus_ of
the _Assyrians_. If we examine the word to the bottom, it means God
the son. Βηλ, in the _babylonic_ language is the _son_, Βηλτις the
_daughter_. He is the _Apollo_ of the _Latins_.

_Tharamis_ is the same as _Tat_, _Thoth_ of the _Egyptians_, _Thor_ of
the northern nations, call’d more particularly the _spirit: lord of
the air_, from the wings being symbolical of him; and hence made the
thunderer, from the _Phœnician_ and _celtick Tarem_. He was sometimes
call’d _Theutates_, the _Mercury_ of the _Latins_, who was particularly
worshipped by the _Germans_, says _Tacitus de mor. germ._ _Cæsar_ the
same, VI. _bell. gall._ Hence the _Greeks_ dress’d their _Mercury_ with
a winged cap, and winged heels, which was no other than the _circulus
alatus_ we have been speaking of. He bears a staff in his hand, with a
globe on the end of it with wings and snakes. The _Phœnicians_ call’d
him _Taautus_. _Sanchoniathon_, _Varro_ IV. _de ling. lat._

So in the temple of _Belus_ or the _sun_, at _Edessa_ in _Mesopotamia_,
in idolatrous times, by his statue was another of _Ezizus_, who is our
_Hesus_, and another of _Mercury_, whom they call _Monimus_. _Julian_,
in his _hymn to the sun_, mentions the same. And so generally the true
theology communicated to mankind from the beginning, was perverted into
polytheism and idolatry.

3. So by the tree came death, by the tree came life, which the Druids
seem to have had some knowledge of. _Ruffinus_ II. 29. affirms the
cross among the _Egyptians_ was an hieroglyphic importing the life that
is to come. _Sozomen_ the same, _hist. eccl._ VII. 15. and _Suidas_.
_Isidore_ tells, “it was the method of the muster-masters in the
_roman_ army, in giving in the lists of the soldiers, to mark with a
cross the name of the man that was alive; with a Θ him that was dead.”

The ancient inhabitants of _America_ honour’d the form of the cross. So
the conjurers in _Lapland_ use it. Which intimate this hieroglyphic to
be most ancient, probably antediluvian.

But concerning the knowledge of the cross which the Druids had, and
of their religion more at large, I shall discourse fully in the next
volume, which will conclude what I have to say concerning them and
their works.

4. From what has been delivered in the speculative part of this
treatise, the springs of idolatry appear sufficiently. For the race of
heroes that built these patriarchal temples in the eastern part of the
world especially, and propagated true religion, were some ages after
deify’d by their idolatrous posterity; and had names of consecration
taken from the divine attributes, and the just notions delivered to
them concerning the nature of the deity.

5. If then we reflect on the foregoing description of the work of
_Abury_, whether we consider the figure it is built upon, the antiquity
or the grandeur of it, we must needs admire it, as deservedly to
be rank’d among the greatest wonders on the face of the earth. The
ancients indeed did make huge temples of immense pillars in colonnades,
like a small forest; or vast concaves of cupolas to represent the
heavens; they made gigantick colosses to figure out their gods; but to
our _British_ Druids was reserv’d the honour of a more extensive idea,
and of executing it. They have made plains and hills, valleys, springs
and rivers contribute to form a temple of three miles in length. They
have stamp’d a whole country with the impress of this sacred character,
and that of the most permanent nature. The golden temple of _Solomon_
is vanish’d, the proud structure of the _Babylonian Belus_, the temple
of _Diana_ at _Ephesus_, that of _Vulcan_ in _Egypt_, that of the
_Capitoline Jupiter_ are perish’d and obliterated, whilst _Abury_,
I dare say, older than any of them, within a very few years ago, in
the beginning of this century, was intire; and even now, there are
sufficient traces left, whereby to learn a perfect notion of the whole.
Since I frequented the place, I fear it has suffer’d: but at that time,
there was scarce a single stone in the original ground-plot wanting,
but I could trace it to the person then living who demolish’d it, and
to what use and where.

This I verily believe to have been a truly patriarchal temple, as the
rest likewise, which we have here described; and where the worship
of the true God was perform’d. And I conclude with what _Epiphanius_
writes, speaking of the old religion from the beginning of the world.
_Non erat judaismus aut secta quæpiam alia: sed ut ita dicam, ea quæ
nunc in præsenti sancta Dei catholica ecclesia obtinet, fides erat; quæ
cum ab initio extiterit, postea rursum est manifestata._ He affirms
_Adam_ and all the patriarchs from him to _Abraham_, were no other than
christians; and this is the doctrine of the apostle of the _Gentiles_,
1 _Cor._ ix. 21.


  _The dignity of the study of antiquities_, Page 1, 46

  _Religion the principal purpose of life_, 6, 7, 55, 85, 100

  _The patriarchal and Christian religion the same_, 4, 6, 62, 68,
    89, 102

  _Publick religion began with_ Adam’_s grandson_, Enos, 2, 6

  _Exercis’d in a publick place call’d a temple_, 3, 7, 25

  _A temple was an open circle of stones_, 4, 8

  _Groves planted as cathedrals, summer-temples_, 4, 5

  _Groves and temples equivocal_, ibid.

  _The Druid temples were patriarchal_, 4, 5, 102

  _Heathen remains of patriarchal temples_, 5, 8, 33, 52, 83

  _Our patriarchal round temples often dedicated to the sun_, 9, 67

  _Likewise to dead heroes who built them_, 13, 84, 95, 98, 101

  _Publick religion was on a stated day, the sabbath_, 6, 36, 68

  _Heathen remains of the sabbath_, 68

  _The ordinary service of publick religion was call’d invoking_, 3,
    4, 6

  _Heathen remains of invoking_, 4, 6

  _This implies an expected mediator, Messiah_, 3, 6

  Jehovah _was the Messiah who appear’d visibly_, 3, 6

  _Knowledge of the nature of the deity, the highest wisdom_, 7, 85,

  _From that knowledge idolatry first began_, 62, 84, 89, 101

  _Sacrificing was the extraordinary service of religion_, 4, 38

  _At the four solar ingresses_, 68

  _Temples were form’d on figures of the symbol of the deity_, 8, 9,

  _Whence thought prophylactic, to guard the ashes of the dead_, 41,
    52, 82, 95

  _When desecrated to idolatry, the_ Mosaic _tabernacle was order’d;
    square and cover’d_, 3, 5, 8, 14, 24, 62, 72

  _Three kinds of Druid or patriarchal temples, from the threefold
    symbol of the deity._ First, _the circle_, 9

  _The circle, the symbol of the Supreme_, 54, 61

  _The Supreme, as invisible, had no picture, no name_, 3, 50, 62, 98

  _Called_ As, Atys, Hesus, _by the Druids_, 100

  Rowldrich _temple described, as an example of the first kind_, 10

  _The requisites of a Druid temple drawn up_, 10, 13

  _The_ Second _kind of temple, the circle and snake_, Dracontium, 9,

  ABURY, _a serpentine temple of the second kind, described_, 14

  _Another at_ Shap _in_ Northumberland, 62

  _Another at_ Classerness, ibid.

  _Of the symbol of the snake_, 49, 54, 56, 92

  _It means the divine Son_, 55, 60, 61, 62, 93, 94

  _The Druids’ great regard to it_, 56

  _The natural history of the serpent_, 50, 57

  _Origin of serpent worship_, 59

  _Of symbols in general_, 55

  _It was the ancient form of writing_, 56

  _The divine Son call’d_ Phtha, νους ἑτερος, mind, creator, wisdom,
    word, Logos, 50, 61, 62, 88

  _He was_ Jehovah, _the Mediator, who appeared visibly_, 3

  _He was called the__ NAME, _3, 6, 100

  _Called_ Belenus _by the Druids_, 100

  _Of the_ kebla _or central obelisc in our temples, called_ ambre,
    5, 23, 24, 67, 100

  _Became idols_, 5, 67

  _The_ petra ambrosia _of the heathen_, 24, 75, 82

  _Of the cove, or_ ansæ, 5, 23, 100

  Kist vaen, 13

  _Indicative of the divine presence_, 24

  _The_ Hakpen, _or snake’s head_, 15, 31, 32

  _Heathen remains of such_, 33, 84, 97

  _The snake’s tail_, 36, 37, 52

  _The whole symbol of the deity was a circle, snake, and wings;
    call’d_ Cnephtha, 9, 29, 54, 62, 92, 93

  _Heathen remain of this in_ Medusa’_s head_, 69, 93

  _The_ Third _sort of Druid temple form’d like the circle and wings,
    alate temples_, 9, 76, 83, 92

  _This figure call’d Cneph, means the divine spirit, or_ anima
    mundi, 62, 92, 93

  _An alate temple of the Druids on the banks of the_ Humber,
    _described_, 92

  _An alate temple on_ Navestock-common, 96

  _Another in_ Cornwall, 97

  _Another in the isle of_ Scianach, ibid.

  _Hence the_ Mercury _of the heathen_, 84, 98, 101

  _The same as_ Neptune, 84, 94, 98

  _Same as_ Taranus, Thoth, 101

  _Same as_ Hermes, 98

  _Same as_ Canaan, ibid.

  _An alate temple over the tomb of_ Canaan, ibid.

  _By the lake_ Canopus, 96

  _In the isle_ Chios, 98

  _In the isle of_ Cyprus, 97

  _At the tomb of_ Hermes _or_ Lud, 98

  _At the tomb of_ Memnon, 95

  _Over the tomb of_ Neptune _or_ Tarsis, 98

  _In the isle of_ Rhodes, 95, 97

  _In the isle of_ Tenos, 97

  _The crab likewise a symbol of the_ anima mundi, 76

  _Serpentine temples_, Dracontia, _built by the ancients_, 9, 61

  _By_ Phut _or_ Typhon, _son of_ Cham, 61, 63

  _The history of_ Phut, 64

  _His effigies_, 66

  _The patriarchal and heathen genealogy_, 65

  _The heroical effigies of_ Phut’_s mother_, 66

  Dracontia _built by the_ Tyrian Hercules, 70, 75, 76

  _He was a great navigator, and had the use of the compass_, 97

  _His history and time fixed_, 53, 71

  _He planted_ Britain, 53, 77, 78

  _He was king in_ Egypt _when_ Abraham _went thither_, 72

  _He learn’d religion and other things from_ Abraham, 74, 76

  _He built temples wherever he came, thence call’d_ Saxanus, 74

  _He brought the use of alphabet-writing hither_, 73

  _He had a son call’d_ Isaac, 76

  Apher, _grandson of_ Abraham, _a companion of_ Hercules _in
    planting_ Britain, 70, 77

  _Of_ Albion _and_ Bergion, 77

  Dracontia _built by_ Cadmus, 34, 80

  _History of_ Cadmus _son of_ Canaan, 79

  _The_ Cadmonites _related to the_ Jews, 84

  _Serpentine temples at_ Acon, 75

  _At_ Colchis, 69

  _By_ Damascus, 84

  _By the tomb of_ Orpheus, 95

  _By the river_ Orontes, 69

  _At_ Parnassus, 67

  _In the isle of_ Rhodes, 95

  _At_ Sarephtha, 82

  _At_ Tyre, 75

  _The Druid measure, cubit_, stadium, 11, 19, 31

  _A demonstration of the Druid works prior to_ roman _times_, 26,
    43, 45

  _A Druid celt or hatchet found at_ Abury, 27

  _Another at_ Stonehenge, 41

  _The time of founding_ Abury _conjectured_, 52

  _The founder’s_ tumulus, Silbury-hill, 41

  _A conjecture concerning his name_, 42

  _A conjecture concerning the time of his death_, 44

  _The founder of_ Abury’s _bridle dug up_, 42

  _Antediluvian bones_, 17, 35

  _The formation of_ sarsens, 16

  British _beads, urns_, &c. _dug up_, 44, 45

  _Heathen barrows like ours_, 42, 44, 46, 52, 66, 98

  _Conjecture concerning the age of_ Abury, _from the wear of the
    weather_, 17, 38

  _From the Variation of the magnetic needle_, 51, 52

  _Of the use of the loadstone of old_, 51, 96

  _Seems to have been known to_ Noah, _to_ Japhet, _to_ Phut, _to_
    Hercules, 97

  _A magnetic needle among the constellations_, ibid.

  _The origin of alphabet-writing_, 56, 73

  _The patriarchal genealogy_, 65

  _Origin of_ Egyptian _learning from_ Abraham _and_ Joseph, 72, 74

  _The reason of the_ Mosaic _institution_, 8, 62, 72

  _Of mythology, the oldest heathen history_, 13, 31, 33, 63, 76, 83

  _Our present reports at the Druid temples the same mythology_, 5,
    13, 76, 83

  _Why_ EI _inscrib’d on the door at_ Delphos, 100

  _Temples made on account of sepulchres_, 13, 41

  Typhon’_s couch, what it means_, 66, 98

  _The_ atlantic _islands, where_, 14

  _Of_ Solomon’_s temple_, 38, 39

  _The astonishing tumulus of_ Silbury, 41, 42, 43

  _Of_ british _chariots_, 42

  _Why antient temples regarded the east_, 50, 51

  _Origin of animal-worship_, 55

  _Origin of the_ Phallus, 60

  _The_ Roman _road_, Runway, Via Badonica, 26, 30, 32, 43

  _A demonstration that ’tis later than our works_, 26, 27, 43

  _A demonstration that ’tis later than the_ Wansdike, 27

  _King_ Divitiacus _founder of_ Devizes, 27

  Cunetio Marlborough, 19, 26

  Verlucio Hedington, 27


  Abl, Hal, Healle, 19

  Au, Aux, Awy, ibid

  As, Ata, Atys, 100

  Atlas, 9

  Apher, 77

  Avim, Hevæus, 81, 98

  Athamanes, 71

  Belenus, Baal, Bel, Belus, 100

  Bratanac, 77

  Beth, 5

  Canopus, 94, 96

  Cnephtha, 93

  Cronius, 97

  Cneph, 92

  Cromlechen, 49

  Dionysus, 11, 98

  Efi, 100

  Esar-haddon, ibid.

  Elohim, 71

  Elagabalus, 24

  Gilgal, 11

  Genessa, Geneva, Gnaphalus, Gnavus, 96

  Gable, Gaveloc, 9, 24, 29

  Hesus, 100

  Har, 67

  Hakpen, 16, 31, 32, 75, 76

  Hycsi, 71, 78

  Javelin, 9, 24, 25

  Kibla, ibid.

  Kist-vaen, 12, 49

  Knave, Knap, 96

  Kneph, 62

  Magus, 38, 55, 69

  Neptune, 94

  Nebula, Nebulo, 96

  Nahas, 67

  Nesi, 72

  Ogmius, 73

  Parnassus, Larnassus, 67

  Ptha, 62, 93

  Rhwl drwyg, 11, 12

  Rhode, Rod, 97

  Sarsens, 16, 48

  Sarephtha, 82

  Scianach, 97

  Taramis, Thoth, 101

  Themis, 67

  Titans, 71

  Tempe, Temple, 7, 25

  _Knowledge of the nature of the deity, the most valuable_, 7, 85,
    90, 100

  _Of divine geniture, a metaphysical discourse_, 49, 50, 85, 99

  _Of divine procession_, 100

  _This doctrine is discoverable by reason_, 85, 99, 100

  _The Druids came from_ Phœnicia, 38, 42, 51, 73, 78

  _The Druids were not idolaters, preface_, 24, 51, 85

  _They were a great and learned people_, 38, 49, 76

  _They were disciples of_ Abraham, 5, 35, 73, 74, 76, 85

  _Of the patriarchal religion_, 11, 37, 51, 55, 62, 69, 85, 102

  _They observ’d the sabbath_, 6, 35

  _A proof that the patriarchs observ’d the sabbath_, 68

  _Tithe paid by the patriarchs_, 68

  _Baptism and sponsors in the patriarchal religion_, 76

  _The Druids built our temples of stones untouch’d of tool_, 20, 21,

  _Groves not their only temples_, 5

  _They bore a celt on a staff ordinarily_, 27

  Abaris _a_ hyperborean _Druid_, 96

  Chyndonax _a_ gallic _arch-druid_, 49

  _They believ’d a future state, and resurrection of the body_, 13,
    40, 41, 46, 82

  _They knew Messiah was to be born at the end of the year_, 72

  _The yule festival then_, 76

  _They knew the mysterious nature of the deity_, 6, 7, 9, 90

  _As the patriarchs, the ancient priests and philosophers_, 4, 6, 9,
    85, 89, 94, 100

  _They believ’d the unity of the divine nature_, 100

  _All this deducible from reason_, 6, 85, 100

  _They had knowledge of the cross_, 101

  _They knew alphabet-writing_, 56

  _Notions of the magic of the Druids_, 21, 38, 69

  _Druid houses_, 12, 27, 47, 48, 94

  _Druid celt or hatchet_, 27

  _Sharp flints_, 33


                         Transcriber’s Notes:

 - Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).
 - Text enclosed by equals is in blackletter (=blackletter=).
 - Blank pages have been removed.
 - Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected.
 - Sidenote references to illustrations removed.
 - Page numbers removed from illustrations in text version.

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