Ancient historical traditions of the Greeks, Egyptians, Phoenicians and Assyrians, mentioned a vast empire of the Pelasgian race, which in its epoch of power and greatness had extended over a great part of Europe, Asia and Africa (De Jubainville, Les prem. habit. de l’Europe. I. 77). But the history of these primitive, Pelasgian times is shrouded in the veil of many legends and myths. The first kings of the Pelasgian race had excelled especially in their personal virtues, in their political merits and for the blessings they bestowed on the human genus. They had been the first to gather in a society the families and tribes scattered through caves, mountains and woods, to found villages and cities, to form the first states, to give their subjects laws and to introduce gentler customs in their way of living; they had dedicated their entire activity towards a better existence, physical and intellectual, and in this way had opened a new way for the fate of humanity on this earth. In gratitude for these everlasting merits of theirs, these kings of the Pelasgian race had been deified and honored with religious cults, some after death, like Uranos and Cronos, and others while living, like for example Zeus. The ancient Pelasgian theology had then considered these civilizing kings of the ancient world like the gods, even more, like true gods, descended on earth from the sky; in their honor it had erected temples and altars, had instituted sacrifices and feast days, had composed hymns, legends and rites, had founded colleges of priests and oracles, and finally, had eternized their names on the celestial vault, attributing them to certain constellations. In this way, these kings who had lived mortal lives, begin to be called gods; they become the heads of ancient religion and watch even after their death, as glorious ancestors, over their peoples. As soon as the divine nature of these kings – who had put the first foundations of human happiness – is proclaimed, their epoch begins to darken. Historical traditions, redacted by the priestly colleges, change in miraculous legends. Their beings are dogmatically brought in connection to the birth of the world more and more, and in this way their history becomes mythical – theological [1]. [1. Those looking in the ancient legends only for symbolisms, or for personifications of the elementary forces of nature, are deluded. In pre-historical antiquity, the thoughts of humankind were dominated by real facts, not at all by personal imagination]. The ancients, writes Evhemerus, had transmitted to posterity two different notions about the gods: that some had been and are eternal, not subjected to death, like the sun, moon and stars; and others who had been men, born of the earth, who had earned divine honors and a religious cult for the benefices brought to the human genus. Uranos had been the first king to rule; a man with high feelings of justice and a great benefactor for everybody. He had been at the same time a man highly learned in the course of the stars, and the first to introduce the sacrifices with victims for the celestial divinities; because of which he had been called “Ceriu” (ouranos – TN – sky). Uranos was then followed by Cronos, and after Cronos, Zeus had reigned (Diodorus Siculus, lib. VI. 2; Cicero, De nat. Deor. II. 24). The same was said in antiquity about Cronos, that he had been a simple mortal; that he had been the first to gather in society, in villages and in cities, the people scattered through the high mountains, and to give them laws (Virgil, Aen. VIII. 321), Diodorus Siculus, lib. V. 66). Ianus, writes Macrobius, had been the first to erect altars to Cronos, as to a god, and had disposed to be considered as the highest religious authority, because he had been the founder of a better way of life (Cronos. Lib. I. 7). The same writes Tertullianus, that among all the authors who had studied pre-historical antiquity, there is not one, not even Diodorus the Greek, Thallus, Cassius Severus or Cornelius Nepos, who could have shown Cronos in any other way but as a simple man (Apolog. 10). The archaeological studies made in the last fifty years also find that in pre-historical times, a unity of religious notions and moral precepts had existed, the same type of political, civil and military institutions, the same direction of human activity, a unity of civilization everywhere, which in its results for the progress of humankind had been much more productive and more intensive than the Egyptian and Greco-Roman civilizations, which were founded and developed only on the substratum of the former. Before beginning to treat the history of the first traditional kings of the Pelasgian race though, we must first see where was the cradle in which the first notions of the ancient social life are seen to awaken and develop, and the great and powerful center of the political Pelasgian life is manifested. II. According to Homer and Hesiodus, the country of the first deified kings of the ancient world had been in the extreme parts of the Greek horizon, at north of Thrace or Istru, called in Greek legends Oceanos potamos, the father of gods (Homer, Iliad, XIV, v. 201. 227). The ancient “Oceanos potamos” of the geography of Pelasgian times was not an internal sea, but neither external, as it was later believed, but a simple river, roos (Homer, Iliad, XVIII. 402; Odyss. XI. 21. 639; XII. 1; Hesiodus, Op. 566); mediteranean, messo; big, megalos potamos (Homer, Odyss. XI. 157-8); deep flowing, bathurroos (Homer, Odyss. XI. 13); which had its sources (Hesiodus, Theog. v. 282), cataracts (Homer, Iliad, XVIII. 403; Orpheus, Argon. V. 1069. 1160; Strabo, I. 1. 7) and whirlpools (Homer, Odyss. X. 511), and which, as Homer tells us, could not be crossed by foot, but only by ship or well built boats (Odyss. XI. 158). Beyond Oceanos potamos, meaning in the northwards regions, there still existed a considerable part of the European continent, with other rivers, high mountains, rocks, woods (Homer, Odyss. X. 508 seqq; Hesiodus, Theog. v. 129), vast and fertile plains (Homer, Iliad, XVIII. 541 seqq), often named in the geography of those times ta eschata and peirata gaies meaning the extreme regions, and “ultima terra” by Ovid (Trist. III. 4. 52) [2]. [2. That Oceanos potamos must have been a river, or a flowing sea, which encircled the extreme parts of the whole earth, is an entirely wrong interpretation of the ancient geographical traditions. Homer does not say anywhere that Oceanos had been an external sea. In fact, the Greeks did not know in those times either the western Ocean, or the northern one. It is true that Homer (Hymn. in Ven. 228) and Hesiodus (Theog. 79. 282) tell us that Oceanos potamos flew alongside Gaea or Terra; but under this expression must not be understood the entire earth, but only a certain geographical region, Gaia or Terra, the land or the blessed country, which forms the theater of the traditional legends and great events of the Pelasgian times; in the same way, the Istru, or the lower Danube, circles even today, on three sides, in the shape of an arc, the territory called “Tera” and “Tera Romanesca”, which from the point of view of its geography and name is identical with “Gaea” or “Terra” of the legends of antiquity. The same geographical idea is also expressed in the text of the Iliad. On the shield of Achilles, Homer tells us, Vulcan had represented in fact not the entire terrestrial globe, but only the fertile land from the northern parts of Thrace, Gaia (Terra), also called “polus Geticus”; where the constellations of the “Ursa” rotate; where some plough the rich and wide plains, and others harvest the abundant crops, where are vineyards with excellent grapes, golden and black, which young girls and boys gather in baskets, singing with pleasant voices, and beating the earth rhythmically with their feet. Near this land, so rich in its crops and attractive for its customs and its pastoral and agricultural festivities, Vulcan, the Iliad tells us, had also shown on the edge of the shield the river Oceanos potamos. In ancient Greek poems, Oceanos potamos has also the epithet aphorroos (Homer, Iliad, XVIII. 399; Odyss. XX. 65), a word whose real meaning is that the flowing water of the river Oceanos was turning back in some places, or formed whirlpools. The same term is often replaced by the epithet bathudines, with deep eddies (Homer, Odyss. X. 511; Hesiodus, Theog. v. 133). In regard to the ancient geographical meanings of the word Oceanos, we can distinguish three periods. In the first period, or ante-Homeric, under the name of “Oceanos” was understood the Pontos, or the Black Sea, a name from which the epithet axeinos had been preserved until late, but with an entirely different meaning in Greek language than the original one, and the Istru was considered in those times only as a gulf of the Ocean (Strabo, I. 1. 7). Another gulf of this Ocean was formed by the Meotic Lake (Pliny, II. 67). In the second geographical period, or the Homeric and Hesiodic times, the Black Sea is Pontos, and the Istru appears under the name ‘Ocheanos potamos and roos ‘Ocheanoio. Finally, in the third period, the names “Oceanos” and “Oceanos potamos” are merge and the term “Oceanos” is applied only to the external seas]. In the Argonautic legends, Oceanos potamos is the same slowly flowing river like the Istru of later times. According to Hesiodus, Pindar, Antimachus and Orpheus, the Argonauts pass from the Euxine Pontos in the Mediterranean, sailing on Oceanos potamos (Hesiodus, Fragm. 57); and according to Apollonius Rhodius (Argon. IV. 288) and Valerius Flaccus (Argon. VIII. 185), they take the same way westwards, but navigating on the Istru, also called cheras ‘Ocheanoio. The great river called Oceanos potamos, came from remote regions (Eschyl, Prom. v. 284), flew towards the Pontos from west to east; it then crossed the narrow straits of the Riphei mountains or Carpathians (Orpheus, Argon. V. 1080. 1123; 1201), where it formed many deep whirlpools, very dangerous for navigation (Ibid. v. 1083). From the same Riphei mountains flew, according to Eschyl (fragm. 73), the Istru. Near Riphei and near the Istru dwelt the Agathyrsii (R. Avienus, Descr. Orb. v. 455). Oceanos potamos, after leaving the precipitous straits of the Riphei mountains, flew through the valley or basin of these mountains (Orpheus, Argon. v. 1079), passed alongside plains with extensive pastures, where dwelt the most just of people (Ibid. v. 1136) and numerous pastoral tribes of Scythians, Hyperboreans, Getae, Sauromatae, Sindi, Arimaspians, etc (Ibid. v. 1062 seqq). The sailing boats navigated upriver on Oceanos potamos helped by the north wind Boreas (Homer, Odyss. X. 97). For Hesiodus, Oceanos potamos is a “sacred” river, ieros roos (Opera et dies, v. 566), or in other words it belonged to the religious history of primitive times. The same epithet is inherited later by the Istru (Dionysius, Descr. orb. v. 298). Near Oceanos potamos were “the islands of the blessed”, macharon nasoi, destined as eternal residence for the illustrious men fallen at Thebes and Troy (Hesiodus, Opera et dies. v. 171). Among these “blessed” islands, the most famous had been in Homeric times Leuce (Pliny, lib. IV. 27. 2), today the Serpents’ Island, situated near the mouths of the Danube, where according to legends Achilles, the great hero of Trojan times, had been buried. Close to Oceanos potamos had their dwellings the legendary Pygmeii, who, as Homer tells us, were in a perpetual war with flocks of cranes, which, departing from the winter and the many rains of the northern region, flew towards the south, over the flowing waters of the Ocean. The same Pygmeii appear also in the geographical notes of Pliny as settled in the southern parts of the lower Istru, or on the territory of actual Dobrogea. It is therefore without any doubt that the renowned river of ante-Homeric times, Oceanos potamos, which flew in the northern parts of Illyria and Thracia, from west to east, was identical with the great and sacred river of Greco-Roman antiquity, called Istros and Danubius. III. The vast and fertile plains near Oceanos potamos are called in theogonies and the epic poems of antiquity Gaia or Terra, and the mountains of the northern parts, which encircled like a crown this country, are called Ourea machra “the long and high mountains” by Hesiodus (Theog. v. 129, “the high mountains” by Homer (Odyss. IX. 114), and “the mountains with high ridges” by Asius (frag. in Pausanias, lib. VII. 1). Even since the most remote of times this land had the renown of a blessed country (Diodorus Siculus, lib. III. 56), endowed in abundance with all the gifts of nature, and with an extraordinary fertility [3]. [3. In ante-Homeric times the temperature of the countries on the lower Danube was much more favorable for vegetation growth; this results from many fragmentary data found with the Greek authors and in the Egyptian papyri, in which the country of the great gods from the region of the north is mentioned]. Here, writes Homer, the earth produces everything, without seed and without tilling, wheat, oats and grapevines (Odyss. IX. 109). Near Oceanos (potamos), Hesiodus tells us, the earth blossoms and produces fruit three times a year (Opera, v. 169; Diodorus, II. 47; Chronicon Dubnicense, Ed. Florianus, c. 28). With Homer, Oceanos potamos is called “father of gods” (theon genesis), understand of the deified ancient kings. With Hesiodus though, the genealogy of these kings is reduced to Gaea, the blessed country near Oceanos potamos. Finally, according to the poet Asius, Pelasg, the first king of the Pelasgian nation, identical in fact with Uranos, had been born on the “Mountains with high ridges”, on the territory called Gaia melaina, meaning from the “Black Country (Tera)”. As we see, we have here the same historical tradition about the same geographical region which Homer characterizes by its proximity with Oceanos potamos, Hesiodus by its fertile plains called Gaia or Terra, and the poet Asius by its “Mountains with high ridges”. In regard to the geographical configuration of this country, the stoic philosopher Posidonius (2nd century bc) tells us that Terra or Gaea had the shape of a sling, wider in its middle part and narrower on its eastern and western parts (fragm. 69 in Fragm. Hist. gr. III. 282; Dionysius, Orb. Descr. 7). The same geographical shape had, according to Strabo, the country of the Getae, a Geton ga, which was narrow at one end (western), stretched along the Istru on its southern side, while on the opposite or northern side, it stretched to the foothills of the Hercinic mountains, also comprising a part of these mountains; finally, in the northern parts (understand east) it opened right to the Tyregetae (Geogr. Lib. VII. 3. 1). About the country of the Getae, considered in antiquity as identical with the country near Oceanos potamos, we also have an important geographical note. The astronomer Pytheas of the 4th century bc, had called the country of the Getae Parocheanitis, meaning the country near Oceanos potamos, and he had based this geographical name on ancient astronomical and geometrical descriptions (Strabo, Geogr. VII. 3. 1). There is no doubt that the territory called Gaea or Terra by the legends of antiquity, which also had the epithet orestera, “mountainous” (Sophocles, Philoctetes, v. 391) and pelore “country of the giants” (Hesiodus, Theog. v. 731), was identical with the region at north of the lower Danube, which bears to this day the name “Tera” and “Tera muntenesca” (TN – Mountainous Country), and the “country of the giants” in our folk legends. IV. According to other historical traditions, the great empire of the Pelasgian race had its beginnings near the high Atlas mountain, on the northern parts of the Greek zone, situated in the geographical region Gaea or Terra (Hesiodus, Theog. v. 517-8; Diod. Siculus, lib III. 60). The titan Atlas, according to Greek theogonies, had been brother with Oceanos potamos (Eschyl, Prom. v. 347 seqq), or with Cronos (Diodorus Siculus, lib.III. 60; Fragm Hist. Gr. III. 567.14), and according to other genealogies, with Prometheus (Hesiodus, Theog. v. 509-510). Atlas had taken part in the battles of the Titans against Zeus, because of which the new master of the ancient world had condemned him to support the sky on his tireless shoulders and arms (Hesiodus, Theog. v. 517-519). But Atlas had been later transformed in a vast mountain, on which was supported the northern pole of the sky, called cardines mundi, septentrio (Pliny, lib. IV. 26. 11; Isidorus, Orig. XIII. 1. 8; Ovid, Pont. Lib. II. 10), Rhiphaeus axis (Claudianus, lib. XXXVIII. v. 30-31; Virgil, Aen. IV. 481-482), Hyperborei axes (Silvius, Thebaid. XII. v. 650; Mela, lib. III. 5) and Geticus polus (Martial, Epigr. Lib. IX. 46. v. 1-2 – On the sky this pole was represented by the 7 stars, called Ursa Major). [4. The geography of prehistorical times is not the geography of Greco – Roman times. A large number of geographical names, together with their legends and traditions, had migrated at the same time as the Pelasgian pastoral tribes, some westwards, others southwards. Atlas mountain of the legends of theogony is in no way the Atlas mountain of the north-west parts of Africa, as it results from the poems of Homer and Hesiodus, and as expressed very clearly in fact by the grammarian Apollodorus (Bibl. II. 5. 11)]. On the oldest coins of Dacia, Maia, the daughter of the titan Atlas, is often represented as a protective divinity of this country (see Ch. XXXIII. 4). The country over which the titan Atlas had ruled is called in Greek traditions Atlantis (Plato, Critias, p. 251 seqq), identical by name and geographical position with the regions near the mountain and the river Atlas, on both sides of the Carpathians. Diodorus Siculus writes (lib. III. 56) about the inhabitants of this land, called Atlantes (Olteni): The Atlantes, who dwell in the regions near Oceanos (potamos), owners of that blessed country, distinguish themselves, as it is said, among all their neighboring peoples, for their particular piety and hospitality. They boast that the gods had been born there, and say that the first king of theirs had been Uranos (Munteanul), who had gathered in villages and cities the people who used to dwell scattered, and had forbidden them to continue living without laws, and by the manner of wild animals. This Uranos had under his rule the best part of the world, especially the regions towards west and north. Another historical narrative about the inhabitants from near Atlas mountain is found with Plato, extracted from a manuscript of Solon, which had been left in the possession of the Critias family. Solon, the illustrious archontas of Athens, born around 639bc, had made several travels during his life, in order to know the state of civilization and customs of the neighboring peoples. Visiting the Egypt also, Solon had had on this occasion an interesting conversation with the priests of Sais, a city situated in the Nile delta. One of these priests said the following towards Solon (Plato, Timaeus, ed. Didot, II. 199 seqq): All the big and memorable events, whose fame had reached even Egypt, had been written down since the most remote of times, and these documents had been later conserved in the archives of our temples. Namely, it is written in our ancient annals that Athens had once defeated a great power, which had departed from the great Atlantic water, had subjected several lands and had mastered Libya as far as Egypt, and Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This country, called Atlantis, had once gathered all its strength to also conquer our country (Egypt) and yours (Hellada). Then, your city, Solon, which distinguished itself by its courage and strength, placing itself at the head of the other Hellenic allies, had obtained a brilliant victory over those invaders, and in this way had saved from slavery those who had not yet been subjugated, and had freed from their rule all the peoples which dwell on this side of the Columns of Hercules. But, after these great events of war had passed, some earthquakes followed, together with flooding, and the land Atlantis disappeared in a single day and night under the waves of the waters, so that not even to this day those parts can be navigated, because of the mud deposited by the sunken land [5]. [5. In this historical narrative, as reproduced by Plato, not all the Greek expressions correspond exactly to their original meaning. If we analyzed the Greek text of this description from a critical point of view, it is very easy to see that in the Greek translation of Solon had been changed, not only the original form of the personal names (which even Plato admits), but, under the influence of newer ideas, also the original meaning of a number of geographical terms. So we see for example that in the Greek translation of Solon, Atlantis figures as nasos, meaning “island”, because it was situated on this side of Oceanos (potamos); the river Oceanos itself, which flew alongside Atlantis, is mistaken for the western Ocean, because of which it is sometimes called pelagos, and other times thalassa (Aristotle, De mundo, c. 3). In fact, the term nasos was also applied in older times to regions which did not form real islands, like for example Peloponnesos (Eustath. Comm. ad Dionys. 403). In order not to continue with these geographical errors, we have translated here the term nasos with the words “region” and “country”, basing ourselves in this regard on the text of Diodorus Siculus, in which Atlantis figures as chora, not as “island”]. The manuscript of Solon about his conversations with the priests of Sais, addressed then the political, military and economic history of the country called Atlantis. From these notes we extract the following: In the beginning, the gods (kings of the divine dynasty of the Pelasgians), had divided among themselves the earth by drawing lots, and had governed the mortals according to their wisdom, exactly like the captains of ships. Neptune (Posidaon) had received the land called Atlantis, which he had divided among the ten sons of his. The best part of this country he gave to Atlas, his eldest son, whom he named king over the other brothers, and these he named army commanders (archontas), giving to each extensive domains and governing power over a great multitude of people. From the name of Atlas, this entire region and that great water were called “Atlantis”. This region was rich in all sorts of minerals, extracted from the depth of the earth in solid or fluid form; but it was especially extracted from the mines a sort of yellow copper (aurichalcum), which in those times was considered as the most precious metal after gold. This region (Plato, Critias, Ed. Didot, II. 255 seqq) was also rich in all sort of timber needed for constructions, and the soil produced there abundant crops twice a year. This entire region was formed of a plain, the best of all plains, endowed with all the gifts of nature and encircled by a crown of mountains, which descended to the great water. For the extension, size and beauty, these mountains surpassed all the mountains known at that time. In these mountains were a great number of rich villages, with rivers, lakes and abundant pastures and all sort of tame and wild animals. The plain was level, and seen from the sea it had the aspect of an elevated plain. In its largest part this plain had the shape of a longish square with the direction south-west to north-east, being situated on the line of the northern wind. One of the sides of this square had a length of 3000 stades (540km), and the width at its center, starting from the great water upwards, was 2000 stades (360km). Finally, the perimeter of this plain had a length of about 10,000 stades. The manuscript of Solon about the conversations which he had with the priests of Sais, ends in this way: In the course of a number of centuries, the inhabitants of this country (Atlantis), being led by the noblest feelings of justice, had been moderate and wise, they despised all worldly things, in order to be virtuous. But, after the divine part in them had started to disappear and their human nature had won, they fell into depravity, and Zeus, the father of gods, who rules by law, understanding that a good genus of humans had become wicked, had decided to punish them, so that they would become more moderate [6]. [6. From this last part of the narrative results therefore that, from a historical point of view, a total disappearance or submersion of the country or region called Atlantis cannot be understood here, but only an extraordinary flooding, yet only temporary. A proof in this regard offers Diodorus (III. 57), who speaks about some historical traditions of the Atlantes (or the inhabitants near Atlas), gathered much later than those remote times about which spoke the priests of Sais. As we see, the country, or region, called by the Greek authors Atlantis, belongs to the geographical region from north of Thracia. The political history of the Pelasgian race begins therefore at the Carpathians and the lower Danube. Dacia with its high mountains, with its fertile plains, with its many and fine flowing rivers, with its famous wealth in gold, silver and copper, and finally, with its hospitable, religious, just, brave and happy populations, is the legendary country of pre-historical times. Pelasgians (not proper Hellenes), a pre-Hellenic people which include: a. Ionians b. Athenians c. Aeolians d. Islanders Argeoi, Pelasgjoi, Danaidai, Mykenaoi, Argives, Pelasgos, Pelasgjikos, Pelasgjia, Argolis are interchangeable for each other Getae “Danubian Horsemen Mystery Plaques Revisited” This thesis attempts to unravel an enigma which has intrigued scholars for more than a century – the ‘mystery’ portrayed on the ubiquitous lead plaques of the so-called “Danubian Horsemen” Although many words have already been written, much caution has precluded any meaningful interpretation of the symbols displayed on the plaques What has been generally accepted is that they expressed the credo of a religious cult, active when the spiritual direction of the Roman Empire swayed in the balance Like Rome, religions were not built in a day Both Christianity and Islam evolved from diverse beliefs which had slowly cross-pollinated over millennia Similarly, in ‘Thracian’ realms a long-drawn cultural and religious evolution reached back far beyond the sixth century B C when Greek poets first drew from the shadows the mysterious “Hyperboreans” who lived ‘beyond the North Wind’ and the more proximate “Thracian Horsemen of the Sun” These vaguely defined solar equestrians were almost certainly kin to other esoteric horse-cults along and north of the Danube, whose myths abound with ritual human sacrifice Only the Haemus Mountains, the abode of Boreas the North Wind, stood between them and the city dwellers of Greece As such equestrian communities were habitually itinerant to ensure their large grazing herds prospered, any territorial demarkations remained fluid and frequently overlapped Early Greek perceptions of the exact identities of shadowy nomadic horsemen moving across the northern fringes of their world may at best have been imprecise ‘Hyperborean’, on the other hand, had long described far-off social groups in regular communion with the Greek priests of Apollo That deity, having metamorphosed through numerous forms and attributes, finally emerged as the Lord of Spiritual Illumination, symbolised by the Sun Significantly, the “Thracian Horsemen of the Sun” helped to bring about that result Could the event have inspired the widely revered Balkans icon of Apollo enhorsed The Dacian Gods and Goddesses all live in the Underworld of the Ancients From this point of view they could be all considered chtonic divinities, but that wouldn’t be accurate, as the “Underworld” is not exactly a world under or below the Earth, but a parallel plane world would be a more accurate description Gebeleizis Also known as Nebeleizis or the Thracian Zbelsurdos God of the Sky, of Thunderstoms, of Weather Derzelas Also known as Darzos or the Thracian Knight: God of Health, of Grapevine, of the Underworld, of the Sun, of War Appears often as the lover/husband of Bendis Bendis: Goddess of the Forest, of Hunt, of War (in some representations), of the Moon and of Magic Hestia Also known as Hesta, Vesta: former Priestess of Bendis, deified as Goddess of the Hearth, of Family and of the Sacred Fire Zalmoxes Also known as Zamolxis, Zalmoxis: former priest of Gebeleizis, deified as God of the Underworld (in later times he takes over all the attributes of Gebeleizis) Dros Also known as The Lord of the Night or the Stag-God: God of the Night, Song and Magic Appears often as the lover/husband of Bendis (Herodotus, ‘History ‘ IV, 93-6) Zalmoxis (Saitnoxis) was the Supreme God of the Getae (or Dacians), a Thracian people inhabiting a territory including today’s Rotnania, but also extending farther cast and northeast Our only important information concerning this rather enigmatic deity is the text of Herodotus quoted below The scholars have interpreted Zalmoxis as a Sky-god, a god of the dead, a Mystery-god, etc 93 But before he came to the Ister, he first subdued the Getae, who pretend to be immortal The Thracians of Salmydessus and of the country above the towns of Appolonia and Mesambria, who are called Cyrmaianae and Nipsaei, surrendered themselves unresisting to Darius; but the Getae, who are the bravest and most law-abiding of all Thracians, resisted with obstinacy, and were enslaved forthwith 94 As to their claim to be immortal, this is how they show it: they believe that they do not die, but that he who perishes goes to the god Salmoxis of Gebelexis, as some of them call him Once in every five years they choose by lot one of their people and send him as a messenger to Salmoxis, charged to tell of their needs; and this is their manner of sending: Three lances are held by men thereto appointed; others seize the messenger to Salmoxis by his hands and feet, and swing and hurl him aloft on to the spear-point If he be killed by the cast, they believe that the gods regard them with favour; but if he be not killed, they blame the messenger himself, deeming him a bad man, and send another messenger in place of him whom they blame It is while the man yet lives that they charge him with the message Moreover when there is thunder and lightning these same Thracians shoot arrows skyward as a threat to the god, believing in no other god but their own 95 For myself, I have been told by the Greeks who dwell beside the Hellespont and Pontus that this Salmoxis was a man who was once a slave in Samos, his master being Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchus; presently, after being freed and gaining great wealth, he returned to his own country Now the Thracians were a meanly-living and simple witted folk, but this Salmoxis knew Ionian usages and a fuller way of life than the Thracian; for he had consorted with Greeks, and moreover with one of the greatest Greek teachers, Pythagoras; wherefore he made himself a hall, where he entertained and feasted the chief among his countrymen, and taught them that neither he nor his guests nor any of their descendants should ever die, but that they should go to a place where they would live for ever and have all good things While he was doing as I have said and teaching this doctrine, he was all the while making him an underground chamber When this was finished, he vanished from the sight of the Thracians, and descended into the underground chamber, where he lived for three years, the Thracians wishing him back and mourning him for dead; then in the fourth year he appeared to the Thracians, and thus they came to believe what Salmoxis had told them Such is the Greek story about him 96 For myself, I neither disbelieve nor fully believe the tale about Salmoxis and his underground chamber; but I think that he lived many years before Pythagoras; and whether there was a man called Salmoxis, or this be the name the Getae for a god of their country, I have done with him Herodotus was told by the Euhemeristic Pontic Greeks that Zalmoxis was really a man, formerly a slave (or disciple) of Pythagoras, who taught him the “sciences of the skies” at Samos Zalmoxis was manumitted and amassed great wealth, returned to his country and instructed his people, the Getae, about the immortality of the soul Zenon reiterates the idea that Zalmoxis was Pythagoras’ slave However, Herodotus, who declines to commit himself as to the existence of Zalmoxis, expresses the opinion that in any case Zalmoxis must have lived long before the time of Pythagoras According to Herodotus, at one point Zalmoxis traveled to Egypt and brought the people mystic knowledge about the immortality of the soul, teaching them that they would pass at death to a certain place where they would enjoy all possible blessings for all eternity Zalmoxis then had a subterranean chamber constructed (other accounts say that it was a natural cave) on the holy mountain of Kogaion, to which he withdrew for three years (some other accounts considered he actually lived in Hades for these three years) After his disappearance, he was considered dead and mourned by his people, but after three years he showed himself once more to the Getae, who were thus convinced about his teachings: an episode that some considered to be a resurrection (Thus he can be seen a life-death-rebirth deity, parallel to Tammuz or Jesus ) Plato says in the Charmides dialogue that Zalmoxis was also a great physician who took a holistic approach to healing body and mind; not just the body, as was the Greek practice After the death of Zamolxis, his cult grew into a henotheistic religion During the rule of Burebista, the traditional year of his birth, 713 BC, was to be considered the first year of the Dacian calendar Aristotle equates Zamolxis with Phoenician Okhon and Libyan Atlas It is possible that Zamolxis is Sabazius, the Thracian Dionysus or Zeus Mnaseas of Patrae identified him with Cronos (Hesychius also has S µ * ) In Plato he is mentioned as skilled in the arts of incantation His realm as a god is not very clear, as some considered him to be a sky-god, a god of the dead or a god of the Mysteries The belief of the Getae in respect of immortality is the following They think that they do not really die, but that when they depart this life they go to Zalmoxis, who is called also Gebeleizis by some among them To this god every five years they send a messenger, who is chosen by lot out of the whole nation, and charged to bear him their several requests Their mode of sending him is this A number of them stand in order, each holding in his hand three darts; others take the man who is to be sent to Zalmoxis, and swinging him by his hands and feet, toss him into the air so that he falls upon the points of the weapons If he is pierced and dies, they think that the god is propitious to them; but if not, they lay the fault on the messenger, who (they say) is a wicked man: and so they choose another to send away The messages are given while the man is still alive This same people, when it lightens and thunders, aim their arrows at the sky, uttering threats against the god; and they do not believe that there is any god but their own I am told by the Greeks who dwell on the shores of the Hellespont and the Pontus, that this Zalmoxis was in reality a man, that he lived at Samos, and while there was the slave of Pythagoras son of Mnesarchus After obtaining his freedom he grew rich, and leaving Samos, returned to his own country The Thracians at that time lived in a wretched way, and were a poor ignorant race; Zalmoxis, therefore, who by his commerce with the Greeks, and especially with one who was by no means their most conTemptible philosopher, Pythagoras to wit, was acquainted with the Ionic mode of life and with manners more refined than those current among his countrymen, had a chamber built, in which from time to time he received and feasted all the principal Thracians, using the occasion to teach them that neither he, nor they, his boon companions, nor any of their posterity would ever perish, but that they would all go to a place where they would live for aye in the enjoyment of every conceivable good While he was acting in this way, and holding this kind of discourse, he was constructing an apartment underground, into which, when it was completed, he withdrew, vanishing suddenly from the eyes of the Thracians, who greatly regretted his loss, and mourned over him as one dead He meanwhile abode in his secret chamber three full years, after which he came forth from his concealment, and showed himself once more to his countrymen, who were thus brought to believe in the truth of what he had taught them Such is the account of the Greeks I for my part neither put entire faith in this story of Zalmoxis and his underground chamber, nor do I altogether discredit it: but I believe Zalmoxis to have lived long before the time of Pythagoras Whether there was ever really a man of the name, or whether Zalmoxis is nothing but a native god of the Getae, I now bid him farewell As for the Getae themselves, the people who observe the practices described above, they were now reduced by the Persians, and accompanied the army of Darius Herodotus Book 4 On the highest peak of mount Ida, named Gargaron, as Homer tells us (Iliad, VIII. v. 48), there was a sacred place and an altar consecrated to the supreme divinity of the Trojan times, Zeus patroos or Zeus avus (Eschyl, Fragm. Nr. 169). On the territory of Attica, according to Philochorus, Cecrops was the first to dedicate an altar to Cronos and Rhea (Macrobius, Sat. I. 10). The inhabitants of Arcadia, emigrated there from the northern parts of the Lower Danube, since Neolythic times, revered their supreme divinity on top of Lycaeu mountain, where an earth tumulus served as altar to Zeus Lychaios, and two columns on which stood two gilded eagles (aquilae) rose in front of the altar towards the east (Pausanias, lib. VIII. 38. 6). But the most famous altar consecrated to great Zeus was at Olympia in the Peloponnesus, erected, as traditions said, by Hercules or other heroes, two centuries after his time. This altar was formed, as Pausanias describes it, of ashes and the burnt remains of the victims. This altar had in his time a base periphery of 38.53m and was 6.78m high. The sacrificial animals were brought to the foot of the altar, were slaughtered, and the thighs were burnt on top of the altar. Two stairs formed of the ashes of the victims rose from near the foot of the altar, on both its sides, right to the top (Ibid, lib. V. 13. 8). The oldest altar In Italy was dedicated to Cronos. King Ianus, writes Macrobius (Sat. I. 7), wanting to elevate again Cronos’s name and dues, as they had diminished, had erected an altar to him, to receive sacrifices and be worshipped as a god. On another hand Dionysius of Halikarnassus writes (I. 34. 38; VI. 1) that Cronos’s altar had been consecrated by Hercules and was on mount Capitolium. Another renowned prehistoric altar also extant in Latium had been consecrated to Hercules in the middle of a forest, and was called Ara maxima, certainly because its enormous size (Virgil, Aen. VIII.271). All these prehistoric altars mentioned by the authors of antiquity, appear to have existed in lands once occupied by Pelasgians. And in truth their origin was Pelasgian. The prehistoric religion of Dacia, meaning from the Urano-Cronosian times, had been shaped to answer the needs of the pastoral and agricultural tribes. Varro, one of the most erudite and active Roman writers, tells us the names of the divinities revered by the Latin farmers. In his treatise De Re Rustica (I. 1), he makes the following invocation: because the gods help the people who work, I shall firstly invoke the twelve gods “consentes”, but not the urban ones, but I shall address those who rule especially the farmers, so I shall firstly invoke the Sky and the Earth, Zeus (Cronosus) and Tellus, from whom all the produce of agriculture come, and who are called Parentes magni (TN – Parinti mari, Great parents). In the second place I shall invoke the Sun and the Moon, whose course the farmers follow when they saw and reap. The same author also tells us in his treatise about the Latin language (L. L. V. 74), that the altars consecrated at Rome by king Tatius, a Sabine by origin, were dedicated to the divinities Ops, Flora, Vedius, Zeus, Cronos, Sun, Moon, etc. From a historical and etymological point of view, Vediovis or Vejovis represented Vetus deus. “Vij” in Transylvania means old man, “mos”. In the old Pelasgian religion, Ops, as goddess of earth fertility, and Flora, the goddess of fecundity, were almost identical, as were Vedius, Zeus and Cronos. These divinities represented under different sacred names, the Earth and the Sky. The Scythians, according to what Herodotus writes (lib. IV. 59), honored mostly Vesta of all gods, then Zeus (Cronos) and Gaea, believing that the Earth was Zeus’ wife, and after these they worshipped Apollo and Celestial Venus, Hercules and Mars. In antique theology, Vesta was considered as the same divinity as Gaea or Rhea. She represented the earth as throne of the Olympic gods, as common and stable hearth of the universe. Finally, we also mention here that king Filip III of Macedonia (d.178bc), in the expedition against the Dentheletians (people near the frontier with Mesia – Ptolemy, III. 11), erected on top of the Hem mountain two altars, one consecrated to Zeus, the other to the Sun (Livy, lib. XL. 22). On the basis of these historical documents, we can suppose in all probability that the great altar on Caraiman mountain was consecrated to the supreme divinities of the Pelasgian times, the Sky and the Earth, or Cronos, as Zeus aristos megistos, ruler of the universe, and Rhea, who represented the Great mother of gods, Gaea or the Earth. In Olympia Hercules had similarly consecrated in six altars for twelve principal divinities (Herodorus, Fragm. 29 in Fragm. Hist. graec. II. 36), and the farmers of Italy worshipped the same number of gods and goddesses, who made up the great celestial counsel (Consentes). The general character of these altars is theogonic. They belong to religious principles much more severe, much more archaic then were presented in Homer’s epoch. Exactly as the simulacrum of Zeus euruopa is cut in live rock on the top of Omul mountain, similarly the altars of the divinities revered on Caraiman mountain are formed from the natural rocks of the earth. Gaea, or the earth, was, according to the ancient Pelasgian doctrines, the common mother of the gods and men. Therefore, it is without doubt that the divinities who had their principal terrestrial residence on the old Olympos of theogony, also had their altars there (Hesiod, Theog. v. 117, 124). One of these divine altars had in ante-Hellenic times a special religious and historical celebrity. Near this sacred altar the gods themselves performed some religious acts and swore a loyalty oath to each other in extraordinary cases. This was the principal altar consecrated to the divinities of the Earth and the Sky, because, as Homer’s Iliad (XV. V. 36), Odyssey (V. v. 184) and Apollo’s hymn (v. 84) tell, the great oath of the gods was “on Earth, Sky and the water of the river Styx”. After the great war with the Titans, the figure of this altar was made eternal with a constellation on the sky called in Latin literature Ara and Altare. The grammarian Hyginis writes about this memorable altar of the gods the following: “According to what it is said, the gods made on this altar their first religious ceremonies and their pact when they decided to start the terrible war with the Titans. This altar had been made by the Cyclops. Then the humans, following the example of the gods, introduced too the custom to make sacrifices before starting to achieve something” (Poeticon Astronomicon, lib. II. Ara). Eratosthenes, the most distinguished of the Alexandrine learned men, also writes: “Near this altar the gods swore the oath, binding themselves to one another, when Zeus went to war against Cronos, and after they won, they put this altar on the sky. This altar is used by humans at their common feasts, or drinking assemblies, and near this altar they sacrifice at festivities; then they touch the altar with the hand, believing that this is a sign of good faith. This altar has two stars in its upper part and two other at its base. There are four stars in all” (Catasterismi, Ed. Schaubach, 1795, c. 39). The poet Marcus Manilius calls this constellation Templum mundi, ara victrix and ara maxima. ” Beyond the Centaurus”, writes he, “there is the “Temple of the world” and there the “Altar” is seen glowing, victorious after the completion of the religious ceremonies, at the time when the angry Earth rose in arms against the Sky the enormous Gigants, created from the clefts of their mother, generations with different faces and bodies of different natures. Then even the gods themselves looked for other, more superior gods. Even Zeus feared and doubted that he will be able to do what he had to do. He saw the Earth raising, and believed that the entire nature had turned upside-down, mountains rising all the time on top of other mountains, so that even the stars ran away from these enormous masses that reached up towards them. Zeus had never before seen such hostile assaults, and did not know if higher powers than his existed. Then Zeus formed this altar from stars, which even now glows as the greatest altar…At the feet of this altar the Gigants fell sacrificed and Zeus took in his right hand the violent lightning as weapon, only after he declared himself priest before the gods” (Astronomicon, lib. I. v.413 seqq; V. v.340 seqq). The sacred altar of the gods about which Hyginis and Eratosthenes tell us that it had been made by the Cyclops, that the gods had sworn their great oath on it, and that was therefore on the old, Uranic Olympos, is the same as the great altar on Caraiman mountain, consecrated as we saw to the divinities of the Sky and Earth . The same mountains, identical with Caraiman – Omul of today, appear In other ballads published by Tocilescu (Mater. Folk. I. 107,108,1238), under the name of Ceridel, Cerdel and the mountains Sterii Delului (Gr. stela, stone column). Homer also mentions the feasts and common drinking of the gods on Olympos and Uranos (Iliad, I. 601; IV. 3; XXIV. 97 seqq)]. The Roman poet Papinius Statius mentions often the sacred mountain of Dacia and praises the emperor Domitian for driving out the Dacians from the top of this mountain, where they had made an oath together, and for giving it afterwards back to them, by his own indulgence (Thebaid, I. v.19-20; Ibid, Sylvae, III. 3. v.169). Another conTemporary poet, the renowned Martial (Epigr. Lib. VIII. 78; Ibid. Epigr. VIII. 50), calls Domitian’s triumph over the Dacians “triumph over the Hyperboreans” and in another place “triumph over the Gigants”. Finally, the same Martial, in another epigram of his celebrates this way Domitian’s victories: “Three times did he cross the treacherous horns (the legendary arms) of the Sarmatic Ister; three times he bathed his sweaty horse in the snow of the Getae; and always modest, he refused the triumphs which he deserved, and brought with him only the glory to have defeated the world of the Hyperboreans” (Ibid, Epigr. Lib. IX. 102). After these victories over the Dacians, Domitian threw a magnificent feast in Rome, for all the social classes, the patricians, soldiers and the simple people. With this occasion, according to Martial, the entire Rome tasted from the divine ambrosia (Ibid, Epigr. VIII. 50). Domitian, who only after long and hard battles had taken the holy mountain of Dacia (Statius, Sylvae, I.v.80-81), had apparently taken from the pastoral tribes of this mountain, and had also brought to Rome the national food of the ancient Olympian divinities, called in Greek traditions ambrosia. So, the holy mountain on which the Dacians had sworn their oath before starting the war with the Romans, appears at Statius and Martial as the famous mountain from the country of the Hyperboreans (see the following chapter), where the gods had made their oath near the great altar to fight together against the Titans, and where the ancient Gigants had assaulted the Olympian gods. We also find an obscure mention about the sacred altars, ieroi bomoi, of the great Olympic divinities, in the writings of Hesiod (Opera et Dies, v. 136; Ibid, Theog. v. 557). This author tells us also that on the snowy Olympos from the ends of the earth, there was also an assembly place, agora, for the gods and the people (Ibid, Scut. Herc. v. 204). These agorae of the ancient Pelasgian times were usually decorated with the statues and altars of divinities, with stone chairs and porticoes for the people. Often surrounded with enormous blocks of stone, they served as places of assembly for the tribes and their most important festivities, feasts, public games and fairs. The same aspect of a prehistoric agora, but in a primitive, gigantic form, is also presented by that particular site of the fine terrace of Caraiman mountain, decorated even today with the remains of some disfigured statues, called Babe, and with sacrificial altars. We conclude: By the geographical significance that the south-eastern corner of the Carpathians had in the history of the Pelasgian migration, but especially by the extended cult of Zeus aigiochos, whose principal monument is here, these enormous stone tables from Caraiman mountain, appear in everything as the sacred altars of ancient theogony . Another prehistoric altar cut in live rock appears to have been the so-called “Table (TN – masa) of Traian” (Troian) from the left bank of Olt, in the straits of the Carpathians, upstream of Jiblea village. Cesar Boliac writes about it: “…upstream from Cozia, at the stone called the table of Traian, which is definitely a Dacian altar; of which one can see very often in the Carpathians – only from Sinaia over the mountain to the Cave, one can count three such altars” (Trompeta Carpatilor, nr. 939, 1871, p.2). I have seen it twice, but today can not be distinguished any more the primitive shape of this ancient altar]. After Zeus turned Io into a white cow, Poseidon mated with her to produce the Egyptian king, “Epaphos.” Bosphorus means ‘ford of the ox’ was named by Io when she as a white cow crossed it In Egypt, she became the red cow, known also as Hapi. But in Egypt, Isis was made the mother of this bull god, meaning that Isis was Io, which duo with wide agreement are also interpreted as Ishtar` According to Pliny, as well as to other authors of the antiquity, the island Cerne was inhabited by Ethiopians. But, what sort of Ethiopians? This is a geographical question, about which a lot has been written. Homer mentions two ethnic groups of Ethiopians. Some of these dwelt in the east, while others dwelt near Oceanus potamos, the place where, according to the old traditions, the sun set. These latter Ethiopians are also called esperioi, westerners, or from the western regions (Strabo, II. 5. 15), the most extreme people known to the Greeks, virtuous and saintly. The western Ethiopians, or from near Oceanus potamos, are the men favored by gods. According to Stephanos Byzantinos they (Aithiops) were the first to revere the gods, the first who used laws; and the founders of their civilisation had been Mithras and Phlegyas. Zeus and all the gods attend their solemn banquets, when they sacrifice hundreds (hecatombs) of bulls and lambs (Homer, Odyss. I. 23; Iliad, I. 428; XXIII. 205). With the poet Pindar, these latter Ethiopians appear under the name of Hyperboreans (Pyth. X. 30 seqq), and with Dionysius Periegetus, under the name of Macrobii, meaning the long lived people. Hesiod places geographically the Ethiopians with the Ligyiens and the Ippomolgian Scythians (Fragm. 132). According to Eschyl (Prom. vinct. 808. 809) they dwelt near the gold rich Arimaspians, and according to Dionysius Periegetus they lived in the beautiful valleys of Kernes / Cerne (v. 218 seqq), or near Erythia, close to the Atlas mountain (Ibid. v. 558-560; Avienus, v. 738 seqq). According to Scylax they were the most handsome and tall among all the known peoples. They dressed in multicoloured clothes, had beards and long hair, were skilful riders, archers and fighters. The Phoenician merchants sold them bottles and earthenware. They ate meat, drank milk and produced a lot of wine, which the Phoenicians bought from them. But, because of the geographical confusion with the Ethiopians of Africa, the texts of the ancient authors about the Ethiopians from the Oceanus potamos are full of errors and interpolations. Today it is difficult to understand the origin of the name Ethiopians, given to the inhabitants of that region close to the island of Cerne, or the cataracts of the Istru. It is sure though that the Greeks generally understood under the name of Ethiopians, people burnt by the sun, and that they had applied this name not only to part of the Pelasgians who dwelt on the north side of the Istru, but also to the Pelasgians from the islands of Samothrace and Lesbos (Pauly, R. E. I. 1839 see Aethiopia). The Ethiopians from near the Columns of Hercules were shown in the old geographical descriptions as a people rich in gold (Mela, III. 9; Herodotus, III. 145, IV. 196). Prometheus as theos pyrphoros, Mithras genitor luminis, Deus Arimanius. Prometheus had been venerated as a god even from very remote prehistoric times (Eschyl, Prom vinctus, 92). The ancient Pelasgian theology had known to eternize, through dogma and mysteries, the legendary merits and suffering of this Christ of the ancient world. We find traces of the cult of Prometheus as a god also on the territory of old Hellada. Sophocles (Oed. Col. V. 55-56) presents Prometheus as theos pyrphoros, the god who fetched the fire. And Pausanias writes: “In the Academy of Athens there is an altar consecrated to Prometheus. On this altar, at the feast of the god, the people light their torches and then they race with them through the entire city. When someone’s torch had gone out, his follower took his place” (lib. I. 30. 2). But the cult of Prometheus under the name of Mithras, Mithras genitor luminis, deus invictus Mithras, appears widespread in the ancient Pelasgian lands from near the Istru, which during Roman domination were known under the name of Dacia, Pannonia and Noric (Corpus Inscriptionum latinarum, Vol. III. Illyricum; Fabri, De Mithrae Dei Solis invicti apud Romanos cultu, Elberfeldae, 1883; Lajard, Introduction a l’etude du culte public…de Mithra, Paris, 1867; Tocilescu, Monumente epigrafice si sculpturale ale museului national din Bucuresci, I. p. 83-88; Kiralyi, Dacia Provincia Augusti. II. 134-151). The origin and history of the cult of Mithra in those parts are still an enigma to this day. On the figurative monuments from the Roman epoch, the god Mithra is shown as a youth of an extraordinary beauty, sacrificing a bull in a cave. On these sacrificial tablets the god appears dressed in the national Dacian costeme, with a somewhat longish shirt, with a belt around the waist and having on his shoulders a fluttering mantle which reaches lower than his knees. The god wears on his head the national Dacian cap, with pointed, rounded top, bent forward, and his long hair (or a fine curly hair) descends on his shoulders as per the Pelasgian custom. He vigorously grabs with his left hand one horn of the bull, or his muzzle, lifting its head. With his left knee he pushes its back down to the ground, and with his right hand he stabs the animal in the throat, while looking towards the sky . [1. In various archaeological descriptions published about the Mithraic monuments of Dacia, Pannonia, Noric, Italy and Gaul, is often mentioned, but in an entirely superficial way, the Phrygian cap of the god and his half-Asian costeme. But the Dacian cap, as it appears on the figurative monuments of Trajan’s epoch, differs from the Phrygian cap and the tiara of the Persians, having a very characteristic shape]. On both sides of the god are figured two adolescent youths dressed in the same Dacian national costeme; one holding in his hand a torch with its burning end upwards, the other with its burning end downwards. Probably these Cautopats represented the rising and the setting sun, or Phosphoros and Hesperos. Both the god and the youths figured on these bas-reliefs present some Pelasgian heroic and noble types. Nothing Asian is to be seen, either in the expression of the figures, or in their costemes. We shall mention here the most remarkable of these accessories and symbolic ornaments, important for the origin and history of the cult of Mithra. On a bas-relief from Rome, the god Mithra is shown blowing with his mouth in order to light the fire on an altar, while on both sides he is surrounded by snakes, out of which one rises up to bite him on the ribs (Lajard, pl. LXXI). On another bas-relief from Ostia are figured, above the cave in which Mithra sacrifices, six altars, situated on a wide and woody summit (Lajard, pl. LXXIX. 2), and near the head of the god appears the boreal constellation of Ursa Major. So we have here a topographical indication that the scene of the sacrifice takes place near the cyclopean altars, or the altars of theogony. A particular importance though is presented by another bas-relief, discovered in the ruins of the Temple of Mithra from Sarmizegetusa. Here are figured near the head of the god two groups of altars, one on the right and the other on the left. Each group is composed of three altars (Arch.-epigr. Mitth. VII. p. 207). The first altar is bigger, the others gradually smaller. They are the two groups of cyclopean altars about which we talked previously. Another analogous sculpture is in the museum Battyani at Alba-Iulia. Here seven altars are figured above the cave and near each altar there is a wooden post covered with a Dacian cap (Lajard, pl. LXXIX. 1). This is another symbolic expression of the fact that the seven altars were on the summit of a Dacian mountain. Another geographical indication about the region where the memorable scenes from the life of Mithra take place is expressed by the mythological figure of an important river divinity. Here the god of the river appears stretched on the ground (Lajard, pl. LXXVIII), with a long and fluid beard, which parts in two in the middle (Arch.-epigr. Mitth. II. p. 119). It is without doubt the representation of the Istru, the great and divine river, about which the ancient geographical traditions said that it parted in two near the mountains of Dacia (Jornandis, De Get. Orig. c. 7). The sacred tablets of the god Mithra also had, as we see, a topographical character. Apart from the cave of sacrifice, they also represented the sacred ground on which Mithra’s deeds had taken place. On the figurative monuments of the Roman epoch the god Mithra is shown having various attributes. Some of these attributes reminded the devotees various episodes from the life of the god, while others symbolized his particular virtues or qualities. Of all these emblems, the raven is one of the most characteristic and traditional symbols presented by the Mithraic monuments. On one of these sculptures is figured a raven entering into the cave through a hole or a breakage of the rock (Lajard, pl. LXXV). The same raven is shown on another Mithraic monument in an entirely domestic attitude. Entering into the cave through the hole or breakage of the rock, it bends its head shouting something to Mithra, who sacrifices the bull (Idem. Pl. LXXXVII). This raven is a messenger. The country of the winged horses was, according to ancient legends, Scythia, especially the regions from near the Istru (Pliny, I. X. 70.1; Hesiod, Theog. v. 282-283). Other figures show the god Mithra with a key in each hand (Lajard, pl. LXXI). Mithra appears on these monuments as the god with the keys, he has the role of Ianus, who opens and closes the sky, the clouds, the earth and the sea (Ovid. Fast. I. v. 116 seqq). A marble statue discovered at Ostia shows the god Mithra as theos pyrphoros, holding in his left hand the stalk of a plant which smolders (Lajard, pl. LXX). It is narthes, or ferula, in which Prometheus had fetched the sparks of the celestial fire to the humans . [2. On some bas-reliefs, especially on those of Dacia, the cave of the god Mithra is surrounded with a laurel or olive crown. It is the symbol of victory, or of his release from his chains, also mentioned by Apollodorus (II. 5. 11. 12). Among the accessories figured in Mithra’s cave can also be seen a boat with a man (Lajard, pl. XCIV). It seems to be the ark of Deucalion, built on the counsel of Prometheus]. During the Roman epoch the mysteries of Mithra had seven grades of initiation called: Corax, Gryphus, Miles, Leo, Perses, Heliodromus and finally Pater patratus, which constituted the head of Mithraic hierarchy (Hieronymus, Epistle 107 to Laetas). It seems though that in the beginning these names had been only some popular epithets of the god Mithra. Corax, or the The second grade of initiation in Mithra’s mysteries has the name of Gryphus, meaning griffon. The mythological vultures called griffons symbolized, as we know, the country of the Hyperboreans. On the cloths worn by those initiated in Mithra’s mysteries were figured also the griffons, called gryphes hyperborei by Apuleius (Metam. XI. Ed. Garnier, I. p. 394). But it seems that the name Gryphus is only an altered Latin form, and that the original idea had been in the beginning completely different The fifth grade of the mysteries of Mithra, according to Hieronymus, was called Perses. Mithra appears under the name Perses also with Porphyrius (De antro Nympharum, 16), and the poet Statius mentions the cave of Mithra under the form of “Persei antri” (Thebaid. I. 719-720). The origin of this name has remained a mystery to this day. The word “Perses” has not at all the character of an ethnic name. It is the same underground place called by the poet Statius “Persei antri”. It is the same word, identical from the point of view of the legends with the literary Latin form of “Perses”. In the theology of the Pelasgians from the Danube, Prometheus as god is called Mithra (Mithras). This is again only a simple epic name from the regions of the Istru. It is the same name as the Greek Mithras, with the two middle consonants changing places. Mithras instead of Mirthas = Mirsas. In Doric dialect the letter th had also the sound of s. Prometheus had been venerated as a god even from very remote prehistoric times (Eschyl, Prom vinctus, 92). The ancient Pelasgian theology had known to eternize, through dogma and mysteries, the legendary merits and suffering of this Christ of the ancient world. We find traces of the cult of Prometheus as a god also on the territory of old Hellada. Sophocles (Oed. Col. V. 55-56) presents Prometheus as theos pyrphoros, the god who fetched the fire. And Pausanias writes: “In the Academy of Athens there is an altar consecrated to Prometheus. On this altar, at the feast of the god, the people light their torches and then they race with them through the entire city. When someone’s torch had gone out, his follower took his place” (lib. I. 30. 2). But the cult of Prometheus under the name of Mithras, Mithras genitor luminis, deus invictus Mithras, appears widespread in the ancient Pelasgian lands from near the Istru, which during Roman domination were known under the name of Dacia, Pannonia and Noric (Corpus Inscriptionum latinarum, Vol. III. Illyricum; Fabri, De Mithrae Dei Solis invicti apud Romanos cultu, Elberfeldae, 1883; Lajard, Introduction a l’etude du culte public…de Mithra, Paris, 1867; Tocilescu, Monumente epigrafice si sculpturale ale museului national din Bucuresci, I. p. 83-88; Kiralyi, Dacia Provincia Augusti. II. 134-151). The origin and history of the cult of Mithra in those parts are still an enigma to this day. On the figurative monuments from the Roman epoch, the god Mithra is shown as a youth of an extraordinary beauty, sacrificing a bull in a cave. On these sacrificial tablets the god appears dressed in the national Dacian costeme, with a somewhat longish shirt, with a belt around the waist and having on his shoulders a fluttering mantle which reaches lower than his knees. The god wears on his head the national Dacian cap, with pointed, rounded top, bent forward, and his long hair (or a fine curly hair) descends on his shoulders as per the Pelasgian custom. He vigorously grabs with his left hand one horn of the bull, or his muzzle, lifting its head. With his left knee he pushes its back down to the ground, and with his right hand he stabs the animal in the throat, while looking towards the sky . [1. In various archaeological descriptions published about the Mithraic monuments of Dacia, Pannonia, Noric, Italy and Gaul, is often mentioned, but in an entirely superficial way, the Phrygian cap of the god and his half-Asian costeme. But the Dacian cap, as it appears on the figurative monuments of Trajan’s epoch, differs from the Phrygian cap and the tiara of the Persians, having a very characteristic shape]. Prometheus as the god Mithra had in antiquity various epithets. He was called “deus invictus”, meaning the brave god. So, according to legends, he had gone through tough battles out of which he had emerged victorious. In the inscriptions from Pannonia he has also the epithet of “patrius” (C. I. L. III, nr. 4802), meaning that he was a national god of the Pelasgian tribes from the Danube. But a particular historical significance has his epithet of Arimanius. On two inscriptions from Aquineum (Buda), Mithra is called DEVS ARIMANIVS (C. I. L. III, nr. 3414, 3415), meaning the god from the nation of the Arimi (Arimani) or the ancient Ramleni. Still as DEVS ARIMANIVS appears Mithra on an inscription from Rome (C. I. L. VI, nr. 47) and it is important the fact that this appellation is given him by Pater patrum himself, the head of the Mithraic religion from the entire empire. Without doubt this glorification of Mithra as Arimanius had also the character of a religious propaganda. The inscriptions with Deus Arimanius from Rome and from Aquineum impressed on the Roman people and the colonies from Pannonia that this was the ancestral god of the Arimi or of the ancient Ramleni. And in truth the god Mithra had strong national traditions in Pannonia, Dalmatia and Dacia. Around 307ad the Roman emperors from the houses called “Jovii” and “Herculii” considered Mithra as their ancestral god, the patron of their reign or empire, fautor imperii sui (C. I. L. III, nr. 4413). From the family “Jovii” were at that time: Diocletian, born in Dalmatia; Galerius, born at Sardica in Aurelian Dacia, whose mother had migrated there from old Dacia (Lactantius, De mort. Pers. c. 9; Eutropius, lib. IX. C. 22); Maximin Daia or Daza, original from old Dacia (Lactantius, De mort. Pers, c. 18; Zosimus, II. c. 8; Zonoras, c. XII); Licinius the father, born in Aurelian Dacia (Eutropius, lib. X. c. 4) and Licinius, his son. And to the family “Herculii” belonged Maximian the old, born at Sirimius, and his adoptive son Constantius Chlor, whose father was from Dacia from across the Danube (Trebelius Pollionis, Divus Claudius, c. 13) and Constantine the Great, the son of Constantius Chlor. Mithra appears as a national god, as the protector of the empire and of the Roman people, on the following inscription from Apulum: pro salute imperii populique Romani et ordinis coloniae Apuli (C.I. L. III, nr. 1114). The ancients had entirely confused ideas about the origin, character and extent of the cult of Mithra in the Roman provinces. They had no idea that the regions so-called barbarian from near the Istru had formed in a very remote time the sacred country of Mithra’s religion. According to Lactantius Placidus from the 6th century ad, and without mentioning Plutarch, the religion of Mithra originated in Persia, from where it passed into Phrygia and from Phrygia to the Romans (in Operae of Papinius Statius, v. 717-720). But in Phrygia and on the entire territory of Asia Minor, we find only very few monuments consecrated to the god Mithra, and even these only in the spirit of the Hyperborean traditions . The cult of the god Mithra had been introduced to Persia together with other Pelasgian beliefs even from the time when the Scythians had occupied Media. The religion of Mithra in Persia appeared though entirely heterodox. It differed in a great number of precepts, theoretical and practical, from the orthodox religion of Mithra in the Pelasgian territories. According to the theological books of the Persians, Mithra was a subordinated divinity, entirely distinct from Ahriman, this one being considered as the principle of evil, as demon of the shadows. And according to Herodotus (I. 131), the Persian Mithra was a feminine divinity. The Zoroastrian ideas about the nature and position of the god Mithra in the divine hierarchy were always confuse]. Outside of Italy, the biggest number of Mithraic inscriptions was found in Dacia, Pannonia, Noric and Brittany, near Hadrian’s Wall, where a great many Dacians had been expatriated, under the name of Cohors I Aelia Dacorum. The history of the cult of Mithra belongs from its inception to the Pelasgian race and territory from near the Istru. Here echo even today the traditional songs about the suffering of Prometheus as hero, and the religious hymns of Mithra as god . [4. The sanctuaries consecrated to the god Mithra were underground. Such an underground Temple of Mithra was discovered in 1837 in the village Slaveni, on the right bank of Olt, in Romanati district (Annalele Soc. Acad. T. XI. Sect. 2. p. 210-215, 250-256). Another sanctuary of Mithra also built underground was discovered in 1881, south of the village Gradisce (in the ruins of Roman Sarmizegetusa), with a big number of Mithraic monuments, inscriptions, reliefs, altars, statues and columns (Arch. Epigr. Mitth. VI. 99. 101; VII. 202-225). A Mithraeum had probably also existed at Apulum, where have been found several bas-reliefs and inscriptions dedicated to the god MIthra (C. I. L. III. nr.1114 seqq). Still to the region of the Carpathians belongs the Mithraeum discovered at Aquincum, Old Buda (Kuzsinszky, Az Aquineumi Mithraeum, in Arch. Ertesito. U. F. VIII. 385-392). Prometheus (Mithra) as theos ex petras, invictus de petra natus During the Graeco-Roman antiquity there still existed a legend connected to the Pelasgian theology from the Danube, which treated the birth of the god Mithra (Prometheus) from rock, called in dogmatic sense theos ex petras (Firmicus, De err. prof. rel. c. 20), invictus de petra natus (Commodianus, Ed. Migne, Patr. curs. ser. prim. lat. V. 210-211). Various statues and bas-reliefs from the Roman epoch show Mithra as a youth with long hair, or with curly hair, naked or clothed in a sort of Daco-Phrygian costeme, rising or emerging into light from a stone pillar, while around the pillar is figured a coiled serpent . [1. A statue representing the birth of the god MIthra from the rock has been discovered at Sarmizegetusa and is reproduced in Arch. Epigr. Mitth. VII. p. 224 and in Kiralyi, Dacia, II. p.343. Other two monuments showing theos ex petras were discovered at Apulum. One of these is reproduced at Hene, Beytrage z. dacischen Geschichte, fig. 13 ]. The emergence of Prometheus or Mithra from a rock pillar refers in fact to the same antique legend communicated by Eschyl. Mercury sent by Zeus to Prometheus, chained on Pharang, addresses him the following words: “Firstly the father of gods will shatter with his thunders and lightning this corner of Pharang, and will hide your body in a womb of rock, and after a long interval of time you will again come out into the light and then the winged dog of Zeus, the bloodthirsty aquila, will avidly rip pieces off your body and will eat your black liver” (Prometheus vinctus, v. 1016 seqq). After the doctrine about the birth of the god Mithra from a rock pillar had been established as an absolute religious truth, the Pelasgian theology had attributed a divine character also to the pillar (the creative power) from which the god had been born. “Petra genetrix” and “Petra genetrix domini” (C. I. L. III, nr. 4524, 4543) are mentioned as divinities on two inscriptions from Upper Pannonia. In one of these religious hymns is said that God was enclosed into a rock pillar which was on a height, on the lower part of the key of heaven, or in other words, in a rock pillar from the region which the ancient Roman theology named Cardines mundi. [2. It means that the saints consulted oracle books. As results from this carol, whose essence is epic-theogonic, the Pelasgian tribes from near the Lower Danube had their sacred books of prophecies. We note also that Abaris, the renowned prophet and priest of Apollo had written, according to Suidas, a book of oracles in the Scythian language]. [3. Saint Ilie is the god Helios (Sol), whose eternal eye sees everything (Ovid, Met. IV. 120; Homer, Hymn. in Cer. v. 62). The legend of Prometheus in history. The name of Prometheus, under which appears in Greek legends this ancient representative of Pelasgian civilization, was just a simple epithet characteristic of the qualities of his mind and soul. (In Eschyl’s “Prometheus vinctus”, v. 85, the divinity Kratos addresses Prometheus: “The gods call you Prometheus with a false name”). The word Prometheu in its original form had only the meaning of: the first in mind, brainy man, wise, with deep understanding. Exactly as the country of Prometheus was in the regions of Thrace, western Scythia, similarly the epithet of Prometheus given to this wise hero was not a Greek creation. The origin of the word is northern Pelasgian. “Preminte Solomon”, meaning Solomon the most wise (Sezatoarea, Flaticeni, An. III. 84. 110; V. 4. 49). So the Greek form of Prometheus (Lat. Providus) appears only as a modification of the primitive Pelasgian word “Preminte”, having preserved nevertheless a similar meaning, although somewhat different. In Greek language the words Prometheus and promethes had the primary meaning of clear sighted, or seeing in advance (providus) and only its secondary meaning was that of “wise man” (Fulgentius, Myth. II. 9). The legends of Prometheus, these religious, historic and poetic traditions, present a particular interest for the countries from the Carpathians and the Danube. They throw a ray of light over an epoch full of facts and great events, but missing in history. According to the traditions of antiquity, Prometheus was the representative of the entire state of culture in the Stone Age and the beginning of the epoch of metals. He was the man with the deepest understanding. Prometheus taught mankind to build dwellings in the light of the sun. He taught man how to use the power of animals. He made from the divine element of fire the most powerful agent of human civilization. He found the way to overcome the obstacles presented by waters, sending the sailing ships on the expansive surface of the seas. He introduced the knowledge and use of metals. He discovered many secrets of nature. He discovered the occult properties of plants, in order to combat the evils which attack man’s organism (Aeschyl, Prometheus vinctus, v. 447 seqq). He tried to know, by the art of divination, the secrets of the future and fate. Even more. Prometheus tried to influence even the spirit of man. He created new types of humans from earth and water, and even tried to give them life, which, as the sacred books of Pelasgian theology said, he succeeded (Apollodorus, Bibl. I. 7. 1). So that the Hebrew legend according to which Jehova had formed man from earth, gave him soul and wisdom, appears only as a copy of a much older legend about the creation of man by Prometheus. But what presents a positive value for science is that, according to all these sacred legends which form the Promethean cycle, the beginnings of the awakening of the human genus, the entire state of culture, anterior to the Trojan and Pharaonic times, are owed to this illustrious representative of the northern countries of Thrace. Here, at the Carpathians and the Lower Danube, was the country of this titanic genius, martyr at the same time of his science and deep understanding. Here, according to all the fragments preserved to this day from the great bible of ante-historical paganism, was the ancient cradle of human civilization before the Assyrian and Egyptian times. Prometheus chained on the Sky Column in Dacia. On the principal column of Atlas mountain, the same mountain and the same column which dominate the whole SE corner of the Carpathians, was, according to the old legends of theogony, chained Prometheus, the most superior mind of the Pelasgian world. Prometheus’ legend presents one of the most sublime images of the nascent civilization of the Pelasgian people. After Zeus defeated old Cronos and took his place in all the divine and political honors, a grave misunderstanding took place, according to these legends, between the mortal men and the new autocrat. The representative of the discontented world was the wise titan Prometheus. In one of the best tragedies of Eschyl, Prometheus, the father of civilization and the friend of mankind, inculpates Zeus like this: that as soon as he ascended his father’s throne, to rule over gods and men, he gave all good things to gods only, without being concerned at all with the lot of the poor mortals, and even more, that Zeus had wished to extinguish the whole human genus and create another, and that only himself, Prometheus, had opposed this plan (Prometheus vinctus, v. 228 seqq). Zeus had become powerful over gods and men through his reigning position, but Prometheus was powerful through his wisdom, superior by the force of his thinking, and he was supported by the humans. Great jealousy and quarrel issued because of this in the counsel of gods between Prometheus and Zeus. The first cause of the discord was, according to Hesiod, the following: While the gods and the people had held a common assembly at Mecone, in order to decide the honors and duties reserved to each party, Prometheus fetched for sacrifice a big ox and proposed to divide it . [1. Mechone, an obscure locality. It was considered by some Greek authors as identical with Sycion or Sicyon in the Peloponnesus (Strabo, VII. 6l 25). But because the events of theogony and particularly the tragic episode of Prometheus happened at the north of Istru, or in Scythia, we must look for the ancient locality Mecone here. We note that two villages in Transylvania, situated close to “Omul” mountain have even today the name Moeciu]. He then slaughtered the victim and made two heaps. On one side he put all the meat with the good intestines and fat, which he covered with the skin of the ox. And on the other side he put only the bones, which he cunningly covered with white, shiny fat. In this way Prometheus wanted to trick Zeus, to choose the leanest part for the gods. Although Zeus had observed immediately the trickery, he intentionally chose the bad part in order to have a good reason to revenge himself on the mortals, as he already had no good intentions towards them. Since that time, says Hesiod, the custom was introduced to humans to burn only the bones on the altars of gods. Now Zeus, deeply angry that the gods had been shortchanged in their honors, forbade the use of fire to the humans. But Prometheus, with his titanic skills, stole from the eternal fire of Zeus a few sparks, which he brought and presented to the mortals . [2. Hyginus also tells this legend but with some more details (Poeticon astronomicon. II. 6). According to what he says, the ancients used to sacrifice to gods in great ceremonies, in which they burned whole carcasses, and because of this waste the poor could not make sacrifices. Prometheus obtained from Zeus the favor that the mortals might be allowed to burn but a part of the victims’ meat, leaving the rest for their personal use. Zeus accepting, Prometheus killed two bulls, put the intestines on the altar, then, gathering together the rest of the meat from both victims, covered it with one of the skins, after which he put all the bones together, which he covered with the other skin. He then suggested to Zeus to choose one part or the other for burning. Zeus, who, although a god, could not see everything, chose the bones, believing that each part represented the remains of one bull. But seeing that he had been deceived, he took the fire from the mortals, so that they would have no use for the meat of the victims, being unable to boil it. But Prometheus, always inventive, thought how to give back to mankind the fire which it had lost because of him. So he went to the place where Zeus’s fire was, took a few sparks, put them inside the plant called ferula and brought them to the mortals]. So, the great step towards the civilizing of the human genus had been made. The humans started to enjoy the benefits of the fire, this divine element. What had happened could not be undone. And Zeus, seeing from afar how the flames of the fire burned on the hearths of the humans, burned with anger, and because he did not want his rival Prometheus to earn a higher consideration in the eyes of the mortals than the gods had, because of this gift, decided to punish him for this daring deed. He ordered Vulcan to chain him on the high and solitary stony peak of Atlas mountain from the ends of the earth, or from the country of the Scythians. “Atlas”, writes Hesiod (Theog. v. 517 seqq), “supports the vast sky at the ends of the earth with his head and tireless arms, being constrained to do this by a double necessity. This fate was decided for him by wise Zeus, who tied and chained astute Prometheus with thick, unbreakable chains, on the middle column. And he sent against him a vulture with wide wings, who continuously picked at his liver, which was never wholly consumed, because it grew back overnight. Hercules, the brave son of Alcmene, the goddess with fine feet, killed this bird and freed Prometheus from his anguish”. From a historical point of view, Prometheus’ legends present a special interest for the origins of European civilization at the north of Lower Istru, and for the progress of this civilization towards the southern regions. According to Hesiod, Prometheus was a brother of Atlas and both of them sons of the titan Iapet, who lived at the borders of the known world together with Cronos (Ibid, Theog. v. 507, 509-510; Homer, Iliad, VIII, v. 479). According to Hesiod, the mother of Atlas and Prometheus had been a daughter of Oceanus (ancient Istru) named Clymene. And the historian Herodorus, who lived before Herodotus, tells us that Prometheus was a king of Scythia (fragm. 23). Where great historical, religious or political events were concerned, the old Greek authors usually understood under this geographical name of Scythia the lands from the north of Istru, and from the NW corner of the Black Sea. Even with Herodotus, ancient Scythia stretched along the Lower Istru and ended in the regions of today Olt. According to legends, Prometheus, the most genial figure of prehistoric world, gave man not only the benefit of fire, but a great many other good things, which Eschyl enumerates like this: “Men”, says Prometheus, “had in the beginning the mind of a child, and I made them wise and I gave them the power of thought. In the beginning the things which they saw, they saw in vain, and what they heard they did not hear. For a very long time they confused all things, as the phantoms of some dreams are confused. These men”, continues Prometheus, “did not know how to build brick houses, exposed to sunlight; they did not know how to work the wood, but dwelt in underground places, as ants, hidden inside the dark womb of the caves; they had no sure sign, either for the beginning of winter or of spring, or summer, when the fruit ripens, but lived without any sort of knowledge, until I taught them to know the rise and setting of the stars, which is a thing more difficult to remember; I invented the most useful sciences, the system of numbers, I found the way to combine letters, and how things can be memorized, this is the mother of all sciences. I first yoked the cattle, to be used for transport…and still I, and not another, discovered the sails so that the ships would be able to navigate on the sea…Moreover, when someone fell sick, had no cure, and no way to live, and men died for lack of remedies, until I first taught them how to make useful medicines, with which to protect themselves against all illnesses; I taught them different ways to prophesy…Finally, who could affirm to have discovered before me the things useful to mankind which are hidden under the earth, the copper, the iron, the silver and the gold, and, summarizing all this in a few words: know that all the arts, the mortals have learnt from Prometheus” (Prometheus vinctus, v. 443 seqq). In antique legends Prometheus appears also as the creator of a new human genus. Prometheus, Apollodorus tells us, shaped men from water and earth and gave them the fire, which he’d stolen from Zeus and which he’d brought to them hidden in the plant named ferula (Bibl. I. 7. 1; Ovid, Met. I. 81) . [3. Stephanus Byzanthinus writes that at the time of Deucalion’s flood, after all mankind had perished and the earth had dried again, Zeus ordered Prometheus and Minerva to form clay idols, then, calling all the winds, gave them souls and life]. We find a more complete version of this legend with the poet Claudianus (Eutropium, II. v. 470 ): According to what legends tell us, he says, two twin brothers, Iapet’s sons, shaped from the same matter the first ancestors of our human genus, but with different success. Prometheus had put more divine spirit in the clay of the men created by him with a lot of care, and they, being created by a better master, knew in advance what was going to happen, so they were ready to meet the events which could harm them. But the second author of the human genus, whom the Greek poets name by right Epimetheus (mindless), being a lesser master, had chosen clay of an inferior quality and had not inspired any divine essence into it. These people, exactly like animals, could not avoid dangers, could not predict things and what was going to happen, and after they suffered a misfortune, only moaned and lamented. It is impossible to know today the true historical meaning of this legend about the creation of man from water and clay. The origin of this belief harks back to very ancient times. It is the same legend which had migrated from north to south, which had passed from the Carpathians to Hellada and from Hellada to Egypt, and which later was introduced by Moses in the holy books of the Hebrews. The times of Prometheus are much more ancient than the release of the Jewish people from their slavery in Egypt; especially the northern legend about the creation of man from water and clay, is much more archaic than the final redaction of Moses’ books. Finally, we have another monument of an extreme archaeological importance, which attests that the chaining of Prometheus on the principal column of Atlas mountain refers to the gigantic column which dominates the whole SE corner of the Carpathians. Near this majestic column on Omul Peak, rise their heads, as I mentioned above, two other rocks, or two archaic monoliths which once had certain religious functions. One of these mysterious rocks presents a megalithic sculpture which represents the head, neck, chest, and part of the wings of a gigantic vulture, facing the principal column. This monumental figure is the mythological vulture, to which the legends of antiquity had attributed the role of torturer of Prometheus. To this divine vulture, sent by powerful Zeus against Prometheus, has been consecrated even from the most obscure antiquity, a constellation in the northern hemisphere, called by Greek authors aetos and in Roman literature Aquila (Cicero, De nat. deor. II. 44; Columella, R. R. II. 43), Aquila Promethei, tortor Promethei (Dupuis, Origine de tous les cultes. Tome VI. 467-8 and Atlas, pl. 9. 13). The position of this constellation is near another group of stars which have the name of Prometheus or Ingeniculus . [4. Near the constellation of the Vulture, there is also the group of stars called Serpentarius. According to some authors of old, Serpentarius represented Carnubutas, the king of the Getae, who had killed Triptolemos (Hyginus, Poeticon astronomicon, Ed. Basileae, lib. II. p. 68). The arrow with which Hercules had killed the vulture who devoured Prometheus’ liver, was also put among constellations with the name of Sagitta. According to another tradition (Hyginus, Poet. Astr. lib. II), this was the arrow with which Apollo had killed the Cyclops who had manufactured Zeus’s thunderbolts. Apollo had buried this arrow on the mountain of the Hyperboreans, but the winds had taken it back to him, together with the first fruit produced at that time. That’s why the arrow had been put among the stars]. The figure of a gigantic stone vulture near the column on which wise Prometheus had suffered according to traditions, was known also to the ancient authors. The grammarian Hyginus, in his Astronomical Poem (lib. II), communicates some of the legendary history of this famous vulture: “Zeus”, says he, “sent the vulture against Prometheus, to devour his liver, which grew back each night. This vulture was born, according to some, from Typhon and Echidna, according to others, from Earth (Terra) and Tartaros. But most of authors insist that this vulture was made by Vulcan, and Polyzeus demonstrates that it was made by Vulcan and that Zeus gave it life”. So we have before us a sculpture from the most obscure times of ante-Hellenic civilization, a religious emblem which was considered, according to traditions, as the handicraft of the most genial master of the ancient world, of Vulcan. Although this archaic figure from the high peak of the Carpathians has been exposed for millennia to the harshest of elements, it awakens admiration even today for its extremely elegant shapes. This sacred vulture of prehistoric times is not the only sculpture left to us from this divine artist. The colossal simulacrum of Zeus euruopa, from the vicinity of this column, which is a masterpiece deserving eternal admiration, and which once dominated the religious sentiments of the whole world, attests the grandiose concept and the style of the same peerless master . [5. Vulcan appears in old traditions not only as a celestial metalworker, who crafts the most exquisite metal objects, like Zeus’s scepter, Achilles’ weapons, Hercules’ shield, etc, but he is at the same time a divine master craftsman universal, a worker in clay, a sculptor (Hesiod, Op 60. 70) and an architect. He builds on ancient Olympus the gods’ palaces and the fine porticoes of gilded stone (Iliad, I. v. 607; XX. 11). According to Homer’s Iliad (XVIII. V. 402), Vulcan worked for nine years near the river Oceanus (Istru). And according to Pausanias (II. 31. 3), a son of Vulcan, who had invented the pipe, was named Ardalus]. When the poet Pindar tells us in one of his odes that Vulcan broke with his hatchet Zeus’s head, from which the goddess of wisdom Minerva emerged, he tells us through these verses only a part of the folk tradition, which was that Vulcan had been the master craftsman who had made the great sacred head of Zeus, on which were inscribed the symbolic traces of Athena’s creation. Both these figures are monuments of national art of the northern Pelasgians. Phidias belongs to the historic times, Vulcan to those prehistoric. Phidias belongs to Hellada, Vulcan to the region near Oceanus potamos, or Istru. Phidias is a famous imitator, Vulcan is a divine creator in his art. The primitive meaning of this megalithic vulture (aquila), “born from the Earth”, as the ancients said, was without doubt completely different. This figure, hieratically represented near the column consecrated to the Sky (Caelius), expressed in the beginning only a simple religious idea, it was only a sacred symbol of the divine majesty and power. According to Pausanias, there was on Lycaeu mountain in Arcadia, from where the entire Peloponnesus could be seen, a grandiose earth altar in the shape of a tumulus, dedicated to Zeus Lychaios, and on the eastern side of this altar rose two columns (chiones), on which stood two very ancient vultures. Of all the species of vultures which today dominate the lofty peaks of the Carpathians, the finest and most remarkable for its violent character is the so-called golden vulture, or cehleu (caelius), meaning the vulture of the sky . [6. This vulture is called in Transylvania sorlita, which is very significant. Eratosthenes says (Catasterismi, c. 30) that this vulture is the only bird that flies towards the sun (TN – sore), without being troubled by its rays. The vultures of Bucegi mountains are renowned for their big size and their daring (Babes, Din plaiul Pelesului, p.72)]. This is the same vulture that in the ancient religion had been consecrated to the supreme divinity of Zeus, it is the aquila of ancient Olympus (Olympus aetherius), called in the poetic literature of antiquity chrisaietos (aietos), aquila fulva, fulvus Jovis ales (Virgil, Aen. XII. V. 247), Jovis ales de plaga aetheria (Ibid. I. v. 394), Nuntia fulva Jovis, miranda visa figura (Cicero, De Leg. I. 1. 2). According to Hesiod’s theogony, chained Prometheus suffered on the famous column on Atlas mountain. Apollodorus locates Atlas mountain in the country of the Hyperboreans. And Pindar tells us that the Hyperboreans were the people who dwelt near the sources (cataracts) of Istru (Olymp. III. v. 14. 17). Finally, the Latin poet Martialis tells us even clearer (Epigr. Lib. IX. 46) that Prometheus’ rocks and the fabulous mountain (of Atlas) were in Dacia. In one of his finest epigrams dedicated to a Roman soldier who was going to Dacia, he says so: “Marceline, soldier, you go now to take on your shoulders the northern sky of the Hyperboreans and the stars of the Getic pole, which barely move. Behold also the rocks of Prometheus. Behold that famous mountain of legends. Soon you will see all these with your own eyes. When you will conTemplate these rocks in which echo the great pains of the ancient man, you will say: Yes, he was even tougher than these tough rocks, and to these words you could still add that he, who could endure such torments, could in truth also form the human genus. Prometheus nailed on the Caucasus mountain in Dacia. The chaining and torture of Prometheus formed in antiquity the object of a significant number of poems, descriptions and explanations. The fact that this memorable scene from the history of ante-Homeric civilization took place on the territory of Dacia, gives us the task to also analyze from a geographical point of view, the second legend about Prometheus’ suffering. According to various Greek authors from a later time than the time of Hesiod, Prometheus was nailed on the Caucasus mountain in Scythia. So, the grammarian Apollodorus tells us: “Prometheus, after shaping men from water and earth, secretly stole fire from Zeus and hid it in the plant called ferula. But Zeus sensing this, ordered Vulcan to nail his body on the Caucasus mountain. This mountain is in Scythia, where Prometheus stayed nailed for a number of years (Bibl. Lib. I. 7. 1). We have here therefore a new question from the geography of antiquity: which is the Caucasus about which the second legend of Prometheus speaks? This Caucasus of Scythia on which Prometheus was chained or nailed, was a geographical mystery even for the most distinguished authors of old. The Caucasus from Prometheus’ legends was not at all identical with the range of mountains which stretches between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. One of the most distinguished and learned men of the 12th century, the bishop Eustathius of Thessalonika, tells us the following in the Commentaries written by him on Dionysius Periegetus: “But the ancient authors affirm that that Caucasus, on which according to legends Prometheus was crucified, does not figure on the geographical tables” (v. 663). So we have here a very precious staTument, made on the basis of old legends and geographical sources, that Prometheus’ Caucasus was not the Caucasus of Asia, or from the eastern parts of the Black Sea. And regarding this, the epoch of Roman domination in the eastern parts of Europe elucidates it completely. Once the sovereignty of the world passed into the hands of the Romans, the geographical knowledge started to make an immense progress. Each Roman expedition was at the same time also a geographical reconnaissance. And, in our case, as soon as the Roman legions reached the Istru, the SE region of the Carpathians appears in different historical and geographical monuments under the name of “Caucasus”. The first Roman general who reached the Danube was Marcus Livius Drus (Florus, lib. III. c. 5; Mommsen, Rom. Gesch. II. 173). Shortly after that, the ex-consul Piso, following the same strong policy of punishing and weakening the barbarians by making military incursions in their lands, crossed, according to the historian Florus (lib. III. 5), the mountains of Rhodope and of Caucasus. In the historical summary of Florus, under the name Rhodope was to be understood the entire complicated system of mountains of ancient Thrace, together with the Hem or today Balkans, as seventy or eighty years later the poet Virgil similarly called Rhodope not only the mountains of Thrace, but also the mountains of Scythia from the north of Istru (Georg. III. v. 351). And Florus meant doubtlessly under the name of Caucasus, a mountain from the territory of ancient Scythia, or the southern range of Dacia’s Carpathians. This is also confirmed by a remarkable Roman inscription (in Koln museum) from the time of the emperor Trajan, where the group of the Carpathians near the Olt river is called Caucasus. The text of this inscription, of great value for the geography of Dacia in ante-Roman times is: “Matronis / Aufanib(us) / C(aius) / Jul(ius) / Mansue / tus M(iles) l(egionis) I.M(inerviae) / p(iae) f(idelis) v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) fu(it) / ad Alutum / flumen secus / mont(em) Caucasi” (Henzen, nr. 5939; Froehner, La Colonne Trajane, I. p. 28, nr. 16). Dacia’s Carpathians appear also under the name Caucasus in various other historical and geographical descriptions. In the 5th century ad, the Roman geographer Julius Honorius had composed, based on older sources, a small treaty on cosmography (Cosmographia, 28), in which he mentions two mountain ranges with the name of Caucasus, one on the territory of Europe close to the Hem mountain, which corresponds to the SE Carpathians of Dacia, the other on the territory of Asia, on the eastern part of the Black Sea. (Honorius mentions near the Caucasus of Europe, the mountain Hypanis. We note that a mountain near Olt, towards SE of Samboteni village, is called today the Upanas Peak – Charta Romaniei meridionale, 1864). We find another precious geographical staTument with Jornandis, the historian of the Getae, who was probably born in Mesia. Caucasus, writes he (De reb. Get. C. VII), starts at the Indian Sea, goes then into Syria, where, forming a round corner, turns towards north, stretches along the lands of Scythia, descends to the Pontos, then, gathering its heights, touches also the courses of Istru, at the point where the river divides and flows in two directions. Finally, the Carpathians also appear under the name Caucasus in the oldest Russian chronicle, attributed to the monk Nestor, born around 1056ad. “In the northern part of Pontos”, he writes, “there are the Danube, Nistru (Dnestr), and Caucasus mountains, or the Hungarian mountains” (Schlozer, Russische Annalen. II. Gottingen, 1802, c. II, p.22). Prometheus’ Caucasus, or the legendary Caucasus of Scythia, is therefore from the point of view of prehistoric geography, one and the same with the southern range of the Carpathians, called by Apollodorus Atlas from the country of the Hyperboreans, and in the inscription from Koln, Caucasus by the river Olt (Alutum flumen) . [1. Hasdeu says in Istoria critica, p.285: “It is therefore a fact mentioned by seven undeniable sources, plus Ovid’s and Strabo’s, which makes them nine, that the Carpathians were named Caucasus, beginning with the most remote time, until the Middle Ages”]. Prometheus chained on the rocks of Pharanx (Parang) mountain in Dacia. According to Eschyl of Greece, born in the 6th century bc, Prometheus, the most powerful genius of the Pelasgian times, was chained in Scythia, in the country of the iron (Prometheus vinctus, v. 2), on the remote territory of the ancient world (Herodotus, lib. V. 9), in a wild mountainous region, on some rocky crags, which in his poem are called pharagga, pharaggos and pharaggi, various forms of the nominative pharagxi (Eschyl, Prometheus, v. 15. 142. 618. 1015), meaning mountain or rocky cliff with broken faces and deep ravines. From the constant use which Eschyl makes in his tragedy of the term Pharang- in order to indicate the rocks and mountain on which Prometheus was crucified, results that we have in this case not a generic word, but a particular topical name. Close to this mountain called Pharang-, on which according to Eschyl’s legend, had taken place Prometheus’ torture, flowed, according to the same author, the great and divine river of the ancient world called Oceanus potamos or the Istru of historical times (Ibid. v. 284-285). And in regard to the particular geographical position of this Pharang-, the itinerary proposed by Prometheus to the nymph Io presents a special importance. The young priestess Io, daughter of king Inachus of Argos, persecuted by Juno because she was loved by Zeus, comes on Pharang- to the crucified Prometheus, who was also the first prophet of his times, to learn how much more she will have to suffer and wander because of the persecution of the powerful queen goddess. Prometheus indicates to the girl the following itinerary: “Firstly”, says he to Io, “taking the road from here towards east, you will cross untilled fields and will come to the shepherd Scythians (nomads), superb men, armed with far reaching arrows, who spend their lives in carts well fitted with iron, and well covered. But I counsel you not approach them, but instead to turn towards the rocks beaten by the waves of the sea, and to continue your way on dry land. On the left dwell the Chalybi, the ironsmiths, of whom you should beware, they are violent men and do not gladly receive strangers; from there you will reach the violent river called rightfully that, but don’t cross it, because it is dangerous, until you reach the Caucasus, the highest mountain, where the torrents gather, rushing from the tops of this mountain, from where then the river takes their violence downstream. From there then, passing over the peaks of the mountain which reaches to the stars, take the road southwards and you will arrive to the land of the many Amazons, who hate men…They will show you the way with goodwill, then you will come to the Cimmerian isthmus, near the narrow mouths of the Meotic lake. After you will leave this isthmus, gathering your courage, you will have to cross the mouths of the Meotic lake, and you will achieve an everlasting fame for this crossing. After this deed, the straits of the Meotic lake will be called Bospor, then, leaving behind the lands of Europe, you will cross into the continent of Asia” (Prometheus, v. 707 seqq). It results from this new legend communicated by Eschyl that the rocky cliffs on which the great hero of the ante-Homeric civilization was put in irons, were on the western side of the Black Sea, on the territory of mountainous Scythia, near ancient Oceanus potamos. It also results from this legend that the tragic scene of Prometheus had taken place on the same mountain chain which is called by Hesiod Atlas, and by Apollodorus Caucasus. The only difference is that the prehistoric Golgotha is presented by Eschyl as having been another group of mountains, Parang, the grandiose massif on the western side of the river Olt, famous for the wildness of its rocky cliffs and its solitary valleys. In Eschyl’s legends the shepherd Scythians, superb men and well armed, are the famous Hyperborean shepherds, who had once trodden the whole known world, and who dominated the mountains and the untilled fields on the northern parts of Istru. Close to Pharang- mountain were the renowned Chalybi (Ibid, v. 715), the ironsmiths of prehistoric times. By form and meaning, this word is of Pelasgian origin, synonymous with the German Huttenarbeiter, workers in metal factories. The geographical position of Atlas Mountain according to the heroic legends. Near the simulacrum of Zeus aigiochos from the highest peak of Bucegi Mountain (2508m), between Prahova district and the county of Brasov, rises a gigantic rock column, which dominates the entire south-eastern corner of the Carpathians, and near this column, two other rocky peaks, born from the womb of the earth in the shape of powerful monoliths, rise their tops into the sky. Exactly like the figure of Zeus aigiochos, this column had in prehistoric antiquity a particular religious celebrity with all the Pelasgian tribes which had emigrated from the Carpathians towards Hellada, Asia Minor and Egypt. This column was considered in the southern legends as the miraculous column of the earth, which supported the starry vault of the sky, or the northern pole of the universe. We will examine firstly the old Hellenic traditions regarding the geographical position of this column and we will present then the legends and the important role which this column had in the ante-Homeric religious beliefs. According to the old Greek geographical traditions, this legendary column of the sky was located in the extreme parts, or northern, of the known world, on the high and vast mountain called Atlas, in the country of the Hyperboreans. This Atlas is one of the great figures of the Cronosian times. As the old historical sources used by Diodorus Siculus said (lib. III. 57. 60), Atlas was Cronos’s brother and both were the sons of Uranus and Gaea. The titan Atlas especially was a powerful and wealthy king who ruled over the people of the Atlantes, who were part of the big family of the Hyperboreans. It was said about this Atlas that he had flocks of fine sheep, of a reddish golden color (Ibid,lib.IV.27). And the poet Ovid presents this shepherd king from the times of the theogony with the following words: “Thousands of flocks and cattle herds wander on his plains. His country is not pressed on either side by his neighbors’ boundaries. On his trees leaves grow glowing with gold, the branches of the trees are of gold and of gold also are the fruit that covers them” (Metam. lib. IV. v. 634 seqq). This Atlas, brother of Cronos, had taken part in the Titans’ war against Zeus, from which cause, after the total victory of this new monarch, was condemned to one of the most difficult labors known in the legendary history of antiquity, namely to support the sky with his head and tireless arms (Hesiod, Theog. v. 517). The Sky Column (chion ouranou) from ancient Atlas, in the country of the Hyperboreans, today Omul Peak in the south-eastern corner of the Carpathians. View from E-NE (From a 1899 photograph) The grammarian Apollodorus of Athens, who had lived around 145bc, had written an important work about the traditions and legends of the heroic times, which he had extracted from the cyclic poets, the ancient logographers and historians. In this work of his, of a great value for the history of ante-Homeric times, we find the following geographical data regarding the region over which the titan Atlas had once ruled: Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae, Apollodorus tells us, had asked Hercules to accomplish also an eleventh labor and to bring him the golden apples from the Hesperides. But these apples, writes Apollodorus, were not in Libya (or the lands of Africa), as some say, but at the Atlas Mountain in the country of the Hyperboreans (Bibl. Lib. II. 5. 11). Zeus, on the occasion of his wedding, had presented these apples to Juno, and they were guarded there by an immortal dragon, who had one hundred heads, born from the union of Echidna and Typhon, and this dragon used many and different kinds of voices. Hercules, traveling across Libya, reached the External Sea, from there he crossed with his ship to the facing continent, and went to the Caucasus mountain, where he killed with his arrows the eagle (also born from Echidna and Typhon), who picked at Prometheus’ liver. So he freed Prometheus from his chains, and Prometheus advised him that, once arrived at Atlas, in the country of the Hyperboreans, he was not to go in person for the apples, but to send Atlas to bring them, while he, Hercules, supported on his shoulders, in Atlas’ stead, the pole of the sky (Apollodorus, II. 5. 11; Cicero, De nat. deor. II. 41) . [1. The Greek writers had lost very early the exact knowledge about the geographical position of the Atlas mountain. Because of this, some placed it in Mauritania in Africa, others in Italy, and finally some in Arcadia in the Peloponnesus. But no other mountain with the name of Atlas ever existed in any part of the ancient world, except in the country of the Hyperboreans. To the indigenous populations of NW Africa the name Atlas was totally unknown. This name was given to that mountainous range only in the Greek literary writings (Pliny, V. 1.13; Strabo, XVI. 3. 2)]. Hercules obeyed Prometheus’ advice, took the pole of the sky on his shoulders in Atlas’ stead, and Atlas went to the gardens of the Hesperides, took three apples and returned to Hercules. (This scene is represented on a bas-relief from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia). But now Atlas did not want to take back on his shoulders the pole of the sky, saying that he himself will take to Eurystheus the apples, while Hercules will continue to support the sky in his place. Hercules promised firstly to do that, but using a ruse, taught him by Prometheus, he put again the sky on Atlas’ shoulders. Namely, Hercules asked Atlas to support the sky for only a few moments, so that he could put a cushion on his head. Atlas put down the apples and took the sky, while Hercules grabbed the apples and went away. This is the oldest tradition, and the most accredited at the same time, about the country of the titan Atlas, a king from the country of the pious Hyperboreans. The Hyperboreans, the inhabitants of a very fertile and blessed country, a pastoral and agricultural people, full of virtues, religious and just, conTemporary with the gods of Olympus, who considered themselves born from the glorious race of the titans (Boeckhius, Pindari opera,II.96), were an extended Pelasgian population living at the north of Istru and the Black Sea (Pindar affirmed that the Hyperboreans lived near the sources, or cataracts, of the Istru -Olymp.III.14-17). Later though, Atlas, this powerful ruler of the people of the Atlantes, was turned into a huge mountain, continuing to support on his head the northern pole or the axis of the sky. This legend is the following: Perseus, the mythical hero from Argos, the son of Zeus and the nymph Danae, was sent by king Polydectes from the island of Seriphos to bring him the head of Gorgona Medusa, which had the magic power to turn mortals into stone. Perseus arrived to the sources of the river Oceanus (the cataracts of Istru), where the three legendary gorgons lived (Apollodorus, Bibl. II. 4.2.8; Hesiod, Theog. v. 274. 281; Preller, Gr. Myth. II, 1854, p.44), cut Medusa’s head, put it in his bag and went away. He stopped at king Atlas on his way back, in the country of the Hyperboreans, and asked for his hospitality for one night. But Atlas, remembering an old prediction that a son of Zeus will steal his golden apples, told him harshly to be off immediately, as otherwise neither his false brave deeds, nor his father Zeus, will protect him from his wrath. Perseus took then out of the bag the ugly head of Medusa and Atlas, big as he was, was instantly transformed into a mountain, his head becoming the top of a high peak (Ovid, Metam. lib. IV. 627 seqq; Pindar, Pyth. X. 50), while his body an immense mountain range . The fundamental idea in Atlas’ legends is that this shepherd-king of the ancient world supported with his head and arms the pole, or the northern extremity of the axis around which the sky vault rotates. And Atlas mountain is also located in the northern regions of Europe by Ovid (Metam. IV. 130-131), by Hesiod (Theog. v.518, 736) and by Virgil in his Aeneid, these last two works having been written on the basis of the geographical data of the sacred literature. Mercury (Hermes), Virgil tells us, sent by Zeus to Africa with order to Aeneas to leave without delay for Italy, flew over countries and seas, helped by his sandals’ wings. “In this travel of his through the air, Hermes sees the cap and the precipitous slopes of hard Atlas, who supports the sky with his head. His head is crowned with fir trees and always surrounded by black clouds, beaten by winds and rain. His shoulders are covered by masses of snow, and rivers of water rush forth from the old one’s face, while his terrible beard is full of ice” . [3. In another poem of his (Georg. III. 349 seqq), Virgil also mentions near the Istru the long shape of the Rhodope mountains range (Carpathians), which arches back around the central axis of the sky. St. Paulinus in his poem dedicated to the bishop Niceta from Dacia at 398ad, also considers that the Dacians lived under the northern pole]. So far we talked about Atlas as of one of the great personalities of the prehistoric times, as of a powerful king rich in flocks and wealthy in gold, from the country of the Hyperboreans; we also talked about Atlas as an important mountain from the same region, which represented, by name and legends, the ancient titan. But in Greek antiquity, the name Atlas had another special geographical meaning. With Herodotus, Atlas is the name of a significant river, which flows from the heights of old Hem (Carpathians) and into the Lower Istru (Herodotus, lib. IV. 49; Gooss, Studien zur Geographie d. Trajanischen Daciens, p.10; Dio Cassius, lib. LXVII. 6), identical with Alutus fluvius of the Romans and with the river Olt of today (Germ. Alt) . [4. The name Alutus (Greek ‘Atlas) presents itself as an old Pelasgian word, whose primitive meaning was without doubt “washed gold” and the place where gold is washed (Lat. alluo, to wash). From here derives also the legend that in Atlas’ kingdom even the leaves on the trees were of gold. The term alutatium, with the meaning of gold found on the surface of the earth, was still used in the times of Pliny (H. N. XXXIII. 21. 2) by the gold miners who washed gold in Dalmatia. Finally, the legendary history of Atlas presents also an archaeological character. According to old Hellenic traditions, the highest peak of Atlas mountain showed the petrified figure of this powerful representative of the race of the titans. “As great as Atlas was” writes Ovid (Metam. IV. v. 656 seqq) “he was changed into a mountain. His beard and locks now became forests, his shoulders and arms, extensive hills; what had before been his head, now is the top of the highest mountain; his bones became rocky crags; and then, growing in all directions, he reached an immense size”. Virgil also mentions Atlas’ head, crowned with fir trees and surrounded by clouds, his shoulders covered by masses of snow, the big face of the old man from which rivers of water rush forth, and his terrible beard full of ice. This colossal figure turned to stone, described with such realism by Atlas’ legends, still exists today near the column which rises on the top of Omul mountain. It is the grandiose simulacrum of Zeus aigiochos, formed by an entire mountain peak. And the words of the Roman poet Statius (Thebaid. Lib. XII. V. 650) referred to the same figure, when he talked about Zeus nubilus from the axis of the Hyperboreans. These legends of Atlas belong to the second period of prehistory, when the old traditions about the holy places from the north of Istru had been lost in the southern regions, when the miraculous simulacrum of Cronos as Zeus euruopa aigiochos from the mountains of Olt was considered to be the titan Atlas, turned into stone. It is the same monument of the ante-Homeric times, but this time with different names and legends . [6. This lack of geographical knowledge regarding the regions from the north of Istru is stated by Herodotus, in the following words: “northwards from Thrace, what sort of people dwell, nobody can precisely tell. Only that it seems that beyond the Istru there is a deserted and infinite land]. We are presented now with the last geographical matter from the history of the legends of the titan Atlas, namely: which is the origin of the name “the Sky Column” of the colossal pyramid from the top of the Omul mountain. With Eschyl (Prometheus, v. 349), this majestic monument of the Pelasgian world bears the name “the column of the sky and earth”. And Homer mentions in his Odyssey (I. v. 53-54) “the long columns” on the Atlas mountain, “which separate the sky from the earth”, without saying anything though about their number. But Hesiodus tells us (Theog. v. 521-522) that Atlas supports the sky with his head and tireless arms, and this author also adds that Prometheus had been chained on the middle column. So, according to the old legends of the Theogony, there were three stone columns on Atlas mountain, out of which one, the highest and strongest, was considered as the principal column. Three columns with particular shapes, which had once represented some sacred symbols, can still be seen on the highest peak of Omul mountain, dominating from above the figure of Zeus aigiochos (from the point of view of its geological formation, the peak called Omul was and still is considered as only one of the peaks of Caraiman mountain – Frunzescu, Dict. top. p. VI). The name “the Sky Column” was doubtless in the beginning only an expression of the sacred geography. It designated not an imaginary miraculous column, which supported the starry vault of the sky, but a real, grandiose column, from the most sacred mountain of the ancient times, called in Greek literature Ouranos, megas ouranos, today Caraiman (Cerus manus), column which had been consecrated to the supreme divinity of the sky. According to traditions and the positive archaeological data which we have, the first religious monuments which humanity had erected in honor of the celestial divinities, were only simple wooden or stone columns. So, the gigantic columns of Hercules, so famous once in the ancient world, were, as the scholiast of Dionysius Periegetus tells us (Fragm. Hist. gr., Ed. Didot, III. 640. 16), consecrated firstly to Cronos, the god who represented the great divinity of the immense sky. And Pausanias, in The description of Greece, mentions that, on the road from Sparta to Arcadia there were seven columns, erected according to the ancient rite, about which it was said that represented the simulacra of the seven planets (lib. III. 20. 9). Even in the second century b.c., the grammarian Apollodorus of Athens had established, based on older texts, that the majestic Atlas mountain which supported the northern pole of the sky, was not in Libya or NW Africa, but in the country of the Hyperboreans, an extended Pelasgian population from north of Thrace or the Lower Istru. The same truth is confirmed today by the names and geographical descriptions, as well as the monuments mentioned in the legends of Atlas. According to all these different geographical indications of antiquity, the immense Atlas mountain, the pastoral mountain of the Hyperboreans, corresponds to the southern chain of the Carpathians. Especially the apex of old Atlas presents itself as identical in everything with the majestic peak called Omul, from the Bucegi massif, that massif on which there are also the simulacrum of Zeus aigiochos, the cyclopean altars, and the three columns of stone, about the legends of which we shall speak in the following chapters . [7. As in antiquity the countless flocks of the titan Atlas had become famous for their golden fleece, similarly was renowned, to our very days, the race of sheep with fine, short and curly fleece from the mountains of Fagaras and Barsa (Fridvalszky, Mineralogia M. Pr. Transilvaniae, 1767, p.6). And also regarding the great flocks and herds which grazed once this group of mountains, Babes writes (Din plaiul Pelesului, p.58-63): “From prehistoric times, on the peaks of the mountains and the highest tops of the Carpathians, were brought to pasture countless flocks of sheep, herds of cattle and horses…There were shepherds who owned hundreds and even thousands of horses, others who had flocks of ten to twenty thousands of sheep…The predominant races of sheep in our country are tsurcana or barsana and tsigaia….Tsigaia sheep are of the type with curly and fine fleece; as for color, tsigaia is white, black, reddish or smoky”. The religious songs from Dobrogea still mention these sheep: ewes with yellowish fleece, with golden fleece, with silken fleece. The peaks of Omul are usually covered in clouds and mists today also, exactly as it was said about old Atlas; and under the cover of the rocks, the snow is permanent (Turcu, Escursiuni, p.20). Atlas was considered in the old legends as the highest mountain of the known world (Ovid, Met. VI. 115; Virgil, Aen. IV. 482). The same was believed in the 18th century, that the mountains Clabucet, Piatra Craiului and Bucegi were the principal heights of the Dacian Carpathians (Fridvalszky, Mineralogia M. Principatus Transilvaniae, 1767, p.11)]. In Eschyl’s geography the mountain called Caucasus appears also near this violent river (Prometheus, v. 719), but not the Asian Caucasus, but the Caucasus from the western side of the Black Sea. It is the same mountain about which also talks the Roman inscription from Brambach: Ad Alutum flumen secus monTum Caucasi (see above). After Caucasus, the most important point from the western side of the Black Sea was, in Eschyl’s geography, the mountain whose peaks reach to the stars (Ibid, 721). It is the ancient Atlas of the Hyperboreans, about which Virgil says that it bears on its shoulders the axis, especially made to support the flaming stars (Aen, IV. v. 4820. “And after passing over the peaks of the mountain that reaches to the stars”, says Prometheus to the nymph Io, “…you will arrive to the land of the many Amazons”. These Amazons belonged to the barbarian lands. Homer mentions them only as an ancient tradition. Their country of origin was Scythia, especially Scythia from near the Lower Danube. According to the traditions collected by the Roman historian Trog Pompeius, the Amazons boasted that they were” the daughters of the god Mars” and that they “were from the nation of the Scythians” (Justinis, lib. II. c. 4). Virgil (Aen. XI. v. 659-660) gives the Amazons also the geographical epithet of Threiciae, and according to Hecateus (Fragm. 352) they spoke the Thracian language, meaning Getic (Valerius Flaccus, Argon. IV. 602). Apart from Mars, the Geto -Thracian divinity, the Amazons especially worshipped the goddess Diana, whose principal residence according to Pindar (Olymp. III. v. 27), was in Istria, near the mouths of the Danube. On old monuments of Greek art, bas-reliefs, statues and vase paintings, they are armed with shields, bows and the war hatchet. They wear a helmet on their head, or a Dacian type cap (Jahn, Berichte d. sachs. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaften. Phil.-Hist. Cl. I. 1850). Finally, their physiognomy presents a national Pelasgian character. Prometheus’ Pharang- appears therefore as a mountain from the western parts of the river Olt. By name, position and description, it entirely corresponds to the mountain Parang of today . [2. Parang mountain is especially characterized by vast precipices, collapsed cliffs and waves formed of gigantic boulders. Under the peak called Carja (2520m), two spikes rise from these ruins of rocks, like some inform columns, each ten 10m high. Eschyl also mentions (v. 142) some craggy rocks, schopeloi, on Pharanx mountain]. The geographical position of Atlas Mountain according to the heroic legends. Near the simulacrum of Zeus aigiochos from the highest peak of Bucegi Mountain (2508m), between Prahova district and the county of Brasov, rises a gigantic rock column, which dominates the entire south-eastern corner of the Carpathians, and near this column, two other rocky peaks, born from the womb of the earth in the shape of powerful monoliths, rise their tops into the sky. Exactly like the figure of Zeus aigiochos, this column had in prehistoric antiquity a particular religious celebrity with all the Pelasgian tribes which had emigrated from the Carpathians towards Hellada, Asia Minor and Egypt. This column was considered in the southern legends as the miraculous column of the earth, which supported the starry vault of the sky, or the northern pole of the universe. We will examine firstly the old Hellenic traditions regarding the geographical position of this column and we will present then the legends and the important role which this column had in the ante-Homeric religious beliefs. According to the old Greek geographical traditions, this legendary column of the sky was located in the extreme parts, or northern, of the known world, on the high and vast mountain called Atlas, in the country of the Hyperboreans. This Atlas is one of the great figures of the Cronosian times. As the old historical sources used by Diodorus Siculus said (lib. III. 57. 60), Atlas was Cronos’s brother and both were the sons of Uranus and Gaea. The titan Atlas especially was a powerful and wealthy king who ruled over the people of the Atlantes, who were part of the big family of the Hyperboreans. It was said about this Atlas that he had flocks of fine sheep, of a reddish golden color (Ibid,lib.IV.27). And the poet Ovid presents this shepherd king from the times of the theogony with the following words: “Thousands of flocks and cattle herds wander on his plains. His country is not pressed on either side by his neighbors’ boundaries. On his trees leaves grow glowing with gold, the branches of the trees are of gold and of gold also are the fruit that covers them” (Metam. lib. IV. v. 634 seqq). This Atlas, brother of Cronos, had taken part in the Titans’ war against Zeus, from which cause, after the total victory of this new monarch, was condemned to one of the most difficult labors known in the legendary history of antiquity, namely to support the sky with his head and tireless arms (Hesiod, Theog. v. 517). The Sky Column (chion ouranou) from ancient Atlas, in the country of the Hyperboreans, today Omul Peak in the south-eastern corner of the Carpathians. View from E-NE (From a 1899 photograph) The grammarian Apollodorus of Athens, who had lived around 145bc, had written an important work about the traditions and legends of the heroic times, which he had extracted from the cyclic poets, the ancient logographers and historians. In this work of his, of a great value for the history of ante-Homeric times, we find the following geographical data regarding the region over which the titan Atlas had once ruled: Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae, Apollodorus tells us, had asked Hercules to accomplish also an eleventh labor and to bring him the golden apples from the Hesperides. But these apples, writes Apollodorus, were not in Libya (or the lands of Africa), as some say, but at the Atlas Mountain in the country of the Hyperboreans (Bibl. Lib. II. 5. 11). Zeus, on the occasion of his wedding, had presented these apples to Juno, and they were guarded there by an immortal dragon, who had one hundred heads, born from the union of Echidna and Typhon, and this dragon used many and different kinds of voices. Hercules, traveling across Libya, reached the External Sea, from there he crossed with his ship to the facing continent, and went to the Caucasus mountain, where he killed with his arrows the eagle (also born from Echidna and Typhon), who picked at Prometheus’ liver. So he freed Prometheus from his chains, and Prometheus advised him that, once arrived at Atlas, in the country of the Hyperboreans, he was not to go in person for the apples, but to send Atlas to bring them, while he, Hercules, supported on his shoulders, in Atlas’ stead, the pole of the sky (Apollodorus, II. 5. 11; Cicero, De nat. deor. II. 41) . [1. The Greek writers had lost very early the exact knowledge about the geographical position of the Atlas mountain. Because of this, some placed it in Mauritania in Africa, others in Italy, and finally some in Arcadia in the Peloponnesus. But no other mountain with the name of Atlas ever existed in any part of the ancient world, except in the country of the Hyperboreans. To the indigenous populations of NW Africa the name Atlas was totally unknown. This name was given to that mountainous range only in the Greek literary writings (Pliny, V. 1.13; Strabo, XVI. 3. 2)]. Hercules obeyed Prometheus’ advice, took the pole of the sky on his shoulders in Atlas’ stead, and Atlas went to the gardens of the Hesperides, took three apples and returned to Hercules. (This scene is represented on a bas-relief from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia). But now Atlas did not want to take back on his shoulders the pole of the sky, saying that he himself will take to Eurystheus the apples, while Hercules will continue to support the sky in his place. Hercules promised firstly to do that, but using a ruse, taught him by Prometheus, he put again the sky on Atlas’ shoulders. Namely, Hercules asked Atlas to support the sky for only a few moments, so that he could put a cushion on his head. Atlas put down the apples and took the sky, while Hercules grabbed the apples and went away. This is the oldest tradition, and the most accredited at the same time, about the country of the titan Atlas, a king from the country of the pious Hyperboreans. The Hyperboreans, the inhabitants of a very fertile and blessed country, a pastoral and agricultural people, full of virtues, religious and just, conTemporary with the gods of Olympus, who considered themselves born from the glorious race of the titans (Boeckhius, Pindari opera,II.96), were an extended Pelasgian population living at the north of Istru and the Black Sea (Pindar affirmed that the Hyperboreans lived near the sources, or cataracts, of the Istru -Olymp.III.14-17). Later though, Atlas, this powerful ruler of the people of the Atlantes, was turned into a huge mountain, continuing to support on his head the northern pole or the axis of the sky. This legend is the following: Perseus, the mythical hero from Argos, the son of Zeus and the nymph Danae, was sent by king Polydectes from the island of Seriphos to bring him the head of Gorgona Medusa, which had the magic power to turn mortals into stone. Perseus arrived to the sources of the river Oceanus (the cataracts of Istru), where the three legendary gorgons lived (Apollodorus, Bibl. II. 4.2.8; Hesiod, Theog. v. 274. 281; Preller, Gr. Myth. II, 1854, p.44), cut Medusa’s head, put it in his bag and went away. He stopped at king Atlas on his way back, in the country of the Hyperboreans, and asked for his hospitality for one night. But Atlas, remembering an old prediction that a son of Zeus will steal his golden apples, told him harshly to be off immediately, as otherwise neither his false brave deeds, nor his father Zeus, will protect him from his wrath. Perseus took then out of the bag the ugly head of Medusa and Atlas, big as he was, was instantly transformed into a mountain, his head becoming the top of a high peak (Ovid, Metam. lib. IV. 627 seqq; Pindar, Pyth. X. 50), while his body an immense mountain range . The fundamental idea in Atlas’ legends is that this shepherd-king of the ancient world supported with his head and arms the pole, or the northern extremity of the axis around which the sky vault rotates. And Atlas mountain is also located in the northern regions of Europe by Ovid (Metam. IV. 130-131), by Hesiod (Theog. v.518, 736) and by Virgil in his Aeneid, these last two works having been written on the basis of the geographical data of the sacred literature. Mercury (Hermes), Virgil tells us, sent by Zeus to Africa with order to Aeneas to leave without delay for Italy, flew over countries and seas, helped by his sandals’ wings. “In this travel of his through the air, Hermes sees the cap and the precipitous slopes of hard Atlas, who supports the sky with his head. His head is crowned with fir trees and always surrounded by black clouds, beaten by winds and rain. His shoulders are covered by masses of snow, and rivers of water rush forth from the old one’s face, while his terrible beard is full of ice” . [3. In another poem of his (Georg. III. 349 seqq), Virgil also mentions near the Istru the long shape of the Rhodope mountains range (Carpathians), which arches back around the central axis of the sky. St. Paulinus in his poem dedicated to the bishop Niceta from Dacia at 398ad, also considers that the Dacians lived under the northern pole]. So far we talked about Atlas as of one of the great personalities of the prehistoric times, as of a powerful king rich in flocks and wealthy in gold, from the country of the Hyperboreans; we also talked about Atlas as an important mountain from the same region, which represented, by name and legends, the ancient titan. But in Greek antiquity, the name Atlas had another special geographical meaning. With Herodotus, Atlas is the name of a significant river, which flows from the heights of old Hem (Carpathians) and into the Lower Istru (Herodotus, lib. IV. 49; Gooss, Studien zur Geographie d. Trajanischen Daciens, p.10; Dio Cassius, lib. LXVII. 6), identical with Alutus fluvius of the Romans and with the river Olt of today (Germ. Alt) . [4. The name Alutus (Greek ‘Atlas) presents itself as an old Pelasgian word, whose primitive meaning was without doubt “washed gold” and the place where gold is washed (Lat. alluo, to wash). From here derives also the legend that in Atlas’ kingdom even the leaves on the trees were of gold. The term alutatium, with the meaning of gold found on the surface of the earth, was still used in the times of Pliny (H. N. XXXIII. 21. 2) by the gold miners who washed gold in Dalmatia. According to old Hellenic traditions, the highest peak of Atlas mountain showed the petrified figure of this powerful representative of the race of the titans. “As great as Atlas was” writes Ovid (Metam. IV. v. 656 seqq) “he was changed into a mountain. His beard and locks now became forests, his shoulders and arms, extensive hills; what had before been his head, now is the top of the highest mountain; his bones became rocky crags; and then, growing in all directions, he reached an immense size”. Virgil also mentions Atlas’ head, crowned with fir trees and surrounded by clouds, his shoulders covered by masses of snow, the big face of the old man from which rivers of water rush forth, and his terrible beard full of ice. This colossal figure turned to stone, described with such realism by Atlas’ legends, still exists today near the column which rises on the top of Omul mountain. It is the grandiose simulacrum of Zeus aigiochos, formed by an entire mountain peak. And the words of the Roman poet Statius (Thebaid. Lib. XII. V. 650) referred to the same figure, when he talked about Zeus nubilus from the axis of the Hyperboreans. These legends of Atlas belong to the second period of prehistory, when the old traditions about the holy places from the north of Istru had been lost in the southern regions, when the miraculous simulacrum of Cronos as Zeus euruopa aigiochos from the mountains of Olt was considered to be the titan Atlas, turned into stone. It is the same monument of the ante-Homeric times, but this time with different names and legends . [6. This lack of geographical knowledge regarding the regions from the north of Istru is stated by Herodotus, in the following words: “northwards from Thrace, what sort of people dwell, nobody can precisely tell. Only that it seems that beyond the Istru there is a deserted and infinite land]. We are presented now with the last geographical matter from the history of the legends of the titan Atlas, namely: which is the origin of the name “the Sky Column” of the colossal pyramid from the top of the Omul mountain. With Eschyl (Prometheus, v. 349), this majestic monument of the Pelasgian world bears the name “the column of the sky and earth”. And Homer mentions in his Odyssey (I. v. 53-54) “the long columns” on the Atlas mountain, “which separate the sky from the earth”, without saying anything though about their number. But Hesiodus tells us (Theog. v. 521-522) that Atlas supports the sky with his head and tireless arms, and this author also adds that Prometheus had been chained on the middle column. So, according to the old legends of the Theogony, there were three stone columns on Atlas mountain, out of which one, the highest and strongest, was considered as the principal column. Three columns with particular shapes, which had once represented some sacred symbols, can still be seen on the highest peak of Omul mountain, dominating from above the figure of Zeus aigiochos (from the point of view of its geological formation, the peak called Omul was and still is considered as only one of the peaks of Caraiman mountain – Frunzescu, Dict. top. p. VI). The name “the Sky Column” was doubtless in the beginning only an expression of the sacred geography. It designated not an imaginary miraculous column, which supported the starry vault of the sky, but a real, grandiose column, from the most sacred mountain of the ancient times, called in Greek literature Ouranos, megas ouranos, today Caraiman (Cerus manus), column which had been consecrated to the supreme divinity of the sky. According to traditions and the positive archaeological data which we have, the first religious monuments which humanity had erected in honor of the celestial divinities, were only simple wooden or stone columns. So, the gigantic columns of Hercules, so famous once in the ancient world, were, as the scholiast of Dionysius Periegetus tells us (Fragm. Hist. gr., Ed. Didot, III. 640. 16), consecrated firstly to Cronos, the god who represented the great divinity of the immense sky. And Pausanias, in The description of Greece, mentions that, on the road from Sparta to Arcadia there were seven columns, erected according to the ancient rite, about which it was said that represented the simulacra of the seven planets (lib. III. 20. 9). Even in the second century b.c., the grammarian Apollodorus of Athens had established, based on older texts, that the majestic Atlas mountain which supported the northern pole of the sky, was not in Libya or NW Africa, but in the country of the Hyperboreans, an extended Pelasgian population from north of Thrace or the Lower Istru. The same truth is confirmed today by the names and geographical descriptions, as well as the monuments mentioned in the legends of Atlas. According to all these different geographical indications of antiquity, the immense Atlas mountain, the pastoral mountain of the Hyperboreans, corresponds to the southern chain of the Carpathians. Especially the apex of old Atlas presents itself as identical in everything with the majestic peak called Omul, from the Bucegi massif, that massif on which there are also the simulacrum of Zeus aigiochos, the cyclopean altars, and the three columns of stone, about the legends of which we shall speak in the following chapters . [7. As in antiquity the countless flocks of the titan Atlas had become famous for their golden fleece, similarly was renowned, to our very days, the race of sheep with fine, short and curly fleece from the mountains of Fagaras and Barsa (Fridvalszky, Mineralogia M. Pr. Transilvaniae, 1767, p.6). And also regarding the great flocks and herds which grazed once this group of mountains, Babes writes (Din plaiul Pelesului, p.58-63): “From prehistoric times, on the peaks of the mountains and the highest tops of the Carpathians, were brought to pasture countless flocks of sheep, herds of cattle and horses…There were shepherds who owned hundreds and even thousands of horses, others who had flocks of ten to twenty thousands of sheep…The predominant races of sheep in our country are tsurcana or barsana and tsigaia….Tsigaia sheep are of the type with curly and fine fleece; as for color, tsigaia is white, black, reddish or smoky”. The religious songs from Dobrogea still mention these sheep: ewes with yellowish fleece, with golden fleece, with silken fleece. The peaks of Omul are usually covered in clouds and mists today also, exactly as it was said about old Atlas; and under the cover of the rocks, the snow is permanent (Turcu, Escursiuni, p.20). Atlas was considered in the old legends as the highest mountain of the known world (Ovid, Met. VI. 115; Virgil, Aen. IV. 482). The same was believed in the 18th century, that the mountains Clabucet, Piatra Craiului and Bucegi were the principal heights of the Dacian Carpathians (Fridvalszky, Mineralogia M. Principatus Transilvaniae, 1767, p.11)]. The titan Atlas, ancestor of the Ausoni. The Sky Column from the Carpathians as symbol of eternal life in Etruscan religion. In Italic traditions the titan Atlas, the king of the Hyperboreans, appears also as ancestor of the Ausones, in particular of the Latins and the Romans. Eustathius, the archbishop of Thessalonika, wrote in the twelve century (Commentarii in Dionysium. v. 78) the following, based on older sources: “According to what some say, Auson, from whom Ausones draw their name, had been the first to reign in Rome, and this Auson had been the son of Atlas and Calypso, as Stephanos Byzanthinos, the author of the work about the names of the tribes, tells us. With Hesiod also, Auson (Nausinoos) was a son of Calypso (Theog. v. 1017), who though, according to Homer (Odyss. I. v. 50) had been the daughter, not the wife of the titan Atlas. (Hesiod claims though in his Theogony – 359, that Calypso was a daughter of the divine river Oceanus, but she hailed anyway from the same country in both versions). The Ausones had formed in prehistoric antiquity the preponderant population of Italy. They were characterized by the ancient authors as a strong and warlike race. Especially in poetic literature the name of Ausones was applied to all the inhabitants of Italy, “Ausonia” denoted the entire Italy (Virgil, Aen. IV. 349) and the word “Auson” was synonymous with Latin, Italian, Roman (Ovid, Pontica, Lib. II. 2. 72). A part of the population of Dacia appears under the name of Ausones until the 5th century ad. The Byzantine historian Priscus, sent by the emperor Theodosius the Young on a mission to Attila’s residence, which was on the plains of today Hungary, east of Tisa, calls the subjects of this barbarian king “Ausones”. They dwelt in the region where his palace was, spoke a rustic Roman language and lived there among the Huns and Goths (Excerpta de legationibus – Ed. Bonnae, 1829, p.190, 206). [1. The ambassadors of Theodosius, after crossing the Danube, had to travel northwards more than eight days, passing over extensive plains, over several rivers and swampy places, in order to reach Attila’s residence, which was in a locality which Priscus names “sat foarte mare” (TN – very big village), and Jornandes “vicum, ad in star civitatis amplissimae (De Get. Orig. c. 34). As results from the description of Priscus, this residence was not in Banat, close to the Roman army which defended the line of the Danube, but in the upper parts of today Hungary (TN – in 1900. In this region must have lived therefore the inhabitants who spoke a rustic Roman language and whom Priscus names Ausones. Tacitus mentions in Descriptio Germaniae (cap. 43) an important tribe called Osi, who dwelt behind the Marcomans and the Quazi, some on plains, others in forests, on valleys and on mountain peaks. They paid tribute to the Quazi and the Sarmatians and spoke the Pannonic language, or the ancient Pelasgian dialect from the middle Danube. Priscus’ Ausones, the Oseni of today, are therefore only a part of the ancient Pelasgian tribe from near the Northern Carpathians, called by Tacitus Osi. Another branch of this population lived, according to Tacitus (cap. 28), in upper Pannonia, beyond the Danube; and in truth, the Itinerary of the emperor Antoninus (Ed. Parthey, 263) mentions between Acinquum (Buda) and Sabaria (Stein am Anger) a locality called Osonibus (nom. pl. Osones)]. In antiquity also existed a similar tradition about the origin of the Latins. As Dionysius of Halikarnasus writes, Latinus, the eponymous king of the Latins, had been a son of Hercules and a Hyperborean maid (lib. I. c. 43). And according to another tradition, king Latinus had been a brother of Auson, and both were the sons of Calypso (Apollodorus, Epit. VII. 24), a daughter of Atlas. And there existed in Italy still another tradition, which connected the beginnings of Rome with the settling there of a Pelasgian tribe coming from Atlas mountain. Evander, who had founded near the Tiber a town called Pallantium, from which Rome later developed, appears according to ancient genealogies, as a great grandson of Atlas (Virgil, Aen. VIII. 134-140); and the country of Evander had been, according to the same tradition, Arcadia, in which Atlas had dwelt and reigned, therefore not Arcadia from the Peloponnesus (Dionysius Halik. I. c. 31-33). This Evander, as historical traditions said, had transported to Italy several pastoral divinities (Ovid, Fast. II. v. 279), had founded Temples there, had introduced holy days, laws and various useful industries (Livy, Hist. lib. I. c. 5). So, Evander and his companions had settled in Italy coming from a country which enjoyed an old religious and political organization, and an advanced civilization. According to the ancient ethnic genealogies, the territory of the titan Atlas from the country of the Hyperboreans appears as the original country of several tribes and a number of important princely families from Hellada, Asia Minor, Africa and Italy. Atlas, writes Diodorus Siculus (lib. III. c. 60), had several daughters, who, by marrying the most distinguished heroes and even gods, had sons who for their virtues were called heroes and gods, and were at the same time the originators of several families. On a fragment of a vase discovered in Apulia, Atlas, the lord of the blessed country of the Hyperboreans, founder of several southern Pelasgian families, that Atlas in whose kingdom not only the fruit, but also the branches of the trees were of gold, is shown sitting on a throne, in complete regal paraphernalia (Roscher, Lexikon der gr. u.rom. Mythologie. I. p.710). Doubtless, this image had a genealogical character. The artist had wished to represent one of the most glorious ancestors of some Ausonic family of Apulia. As for the mythological representation of the titan Atlas, he is shown on another vase from Apulia supporting the sky, figured in the shape of a globe (Ibid. I. p.710). He appears in the same way also on an Etruscan mirror from Vulci (Daremberg, Dict. d. ant. See Atlas). The idea to represent the sky or the universe in the shape of a globe is very ancient. According to Plato (Axiochus – Ed. Didot. Tom. II. p. 561), the Hyperboreans had been the first to consider the universe as a sphere, at the centre of which was the Earth. And according to Diodorus Siculus (lib. IV. 27. 5), king Atlas, whose empire was near Oceanus (potamos), had possessed very exact knowledge of astrology and had been the first to regard the universe as a globe, because of which it was said that the entire firmament rests on Atlas (Pliny, Hist. Nat. lib. II. 2; lib. II. 6. 3; lib. VII. 57. 12). The most famous statue of Roman art, which showed the titan Atlas with the globe on his back, is that from the museum of Neapole, commonly referred to under the name of Farnese. Here Atlas appears crushed by the weight of his load. He supports himself with the right knee on a rocky crag. His head is pushed down under the globe and he has a tortured expression on his face. With tired eyes he still looks towards the course of the constellations. The statue of the titan Atlas from the museum of Neapole was not an original work, from the imagination of the Italian artist. In the same way was also symbolized in Egyptian art the god Shu, who supported on his head the sky in the shape of a concave semi-sphere, supported on his right knee bent to the ground (Maspero, Egypte et Chaldee, p.127). Another analogous figure of Atlas is reproduced in the magnificent edition of the Aeneid, published by the Duchess of Devonshire. In it the powerful titan supports on his back, with both his hands, the sky column in the shape of a stunted pyramid, while he props himself on the ground with his left knee (Duruy, Hist. d. Rom. II. p.264. The idea that this figure might represent Sisyphus is wrong). But what gives to the Neapole statue a special historical value, which distinguishes it from other analogous representations, is that this sculpture work is modeled after an original type, after the pyramid from near the Lower Istru, which had been considered from the most remote times as the rock of the titan Atlas on which the sky leans, as the northern pole of the sky, as the axle of the Hyperboreans, cardines mundi (Pliny, H. N. IV. 26. 11; Macrobius, Somnium Scipionis, II. 7). The column from the Carpathians was a sacred symbol, was the most famous religious monument of the Pelasgian world. While the S and SW faces of the column had served more as subjects for the ceramic paintings, while the Egyptian theology had adopted as symbol of the trinity the NW face of this pillar of the world, the Roman artist had figured the titan Atlas supporting the sphere of the universe after the eastern face of this legendary pyramid. There is an identity we can say absolute, to the smallest detail, between the exterior contours of these two monuments. On the column from the Carpathians can still be seen even the marks which seem to have once figured the arms lifted up in order to support on the back the shape of the globe which represents the vault of the sky. Probably this memorable statue was sculpted during the time of the emperor Domitian, when the Roman legions had to sustain a long and tough war in order to conquer the holy mountain of the Dacians, called Gigantes and Hyperboreans, when the legends of Atlas had become once again popular in Italy, when the most distinguished poets of that epoch, Statius and Martial, wrote about the sky axle from the country of the Hyperboreans and with the torment of Prometheus on that rock (see above). “You go now, Marcelline, soldier”, says Martial, “to take on your shoulders the northern sky of the Hyperboreans and the stars of the Getic pole, which barely move. Behold the rock of Prometheus, behold also the famous mountain of legends, etc”. Apart from the historical traditions and apart from the mythological legends regarding the titan Atlas, there existed also in Italy an archaic religious belief regarding the sky column from the Carpathians. The Etruscans were considered during the Roman epoch, as the representatives of ancient Pelasgian theological doctrines. They had learned priests and a literature rich in rituals, to which the Roman people showed a particular respect. One of the oldest necropolis of Etruria was in the mountains of Axia (today Castel d’Asso), on the territory of the ancient city Tarquinia, the birth place of Tarquinius the Old and the metropolis of the 12 confederate cities of Etruria. The inhabitants of Tarquinia originated, as Hierocles tells us, in the lands of the Hyperboreans (Stephanus Byz. see Tarquinia), those Hyperboreans where the griffons guarded their great gold treasures. The tombs of the necropolis of Axia are dug in live rock, and the following religious symbol is figured on the frontispiece which decorates a number of these tombs: This mystical sign, which prehistoric archaeology could not explain so far, represents on its lower part the sky column, in the shape of a stunted pyramid (trapeze), having figured above it the sky, in the same shape as on the hieroglyphic monuments of Egypt, a horizontal line with the ends bent downwards. This religious symbol of the future life and of the divine region tells us therefore that the ancient Etruscan religion was the same as the religion of the Pelasgians from the Istru, Argos and Egypt. This symbol expressed in particular the same religious belief that the souls of the deceased went to the residence of the gods (at the Oceanus potamos), where was the Atlantean Olympus, in the country of the just, long lived Hyperboreans, where the sky was supported on the earth, where the supreme judgment took place, where was the place of happiness, the region of the pious . [1. The Etruscan discipline had had its beginnings in some mountainous lands outside of Italy. Pliny (lib. X. c. 17), speaking about the birds which served as augurs, tells us that in Etruscan discipline were mentioned several types of birds which nobody had seen. In regard to the ancient dwellings of the Etruscans, it is important the tradition communicated also by Pliny (III. 81) that the town of Pisa in Etruria had been founded by Pelops or by the Teutani. As we shall see later, the dwellings of the ancient Teutani, or Titani (TN – titans), were near the Istru]. The Sky Column from the Carpathians as symbol of immortality for the Pelasgians of Sicily. We find the Sky Column from the Carpathians represented on two antique monuments of Sicily. One is a painting on a ceramic vase, the other is a funerary stela. We shall talk here about both these relics of great importance for the history of the Sky Column from the ancient country of the Hyperboreans. The decoration of the vase from Sicily has a mythological character. It shows in the middle an enormous pillar of rock, whose forms are entirely identical with the W-NW face of the column from Omul Peak. A huge covered krater, having an almost spherical shape, is placed above this rock figured on the Sicilian vase. (We shall talk about this krater later, in a special chapter referring to the monuments of the prehistoric metallurgy). On the right side of this rock is figured an old man with a white beard, clothed with a mantle and holding in his left hand the mace of the messenger. It is the god Hermes (Mercury), who leads Prometheus to be chained on the sky column. Near Hermes is seen the titan Prometheus, tired and shattered, sitting on a stone. He holds in his left hand an object which looks like the half split stalk of a plant (ferula). Hermes stretches out his right hand over the head of Prometheus and pronounces a sacred formula. In protest Prometheus covers his head with his right hand. On the left side of the rock is seen a woman dressed with a tunic and a hemi-diploidion. She is the goddess Themis, the personification of legal order. With her right hand she makes an imperative gesture towards Vulcan, the master smith, showing him the rock, while with her left hand she touches the belts which move the bellows of the smithy. By this she tells Vulcan what Zeus had ordered, to chain and nail on this rock the astute Prometheus. (According to Eschyl – Prom. V. 12 – the giant Cratos / Power, accompanied by his sister Bia / Violence, symbolic personalities of theogony, lead Prometheus to the place of his ordeal, and Cratos communicates Zeus’s order to Vulcan). Vulcan, understanding the order he is receiving, turns to go to his smithy, making with his left hand a sign of immediate obedience . [1. Some have believed that this scene represents a subject from the Lemnian mysteries. Lenormant (Elite des monuments ceramographiques, I. pl. XXIII) sees in this painting Vulcan among the Cyclopes, near the Etna mountain. These explanations are not acceptable, lacking a religious or mythological meaning. There is neither Cyclope in this composition, nor is the rock figured in the conical shape of the Etna volcano]. The artist had wanted to express at the same time that this scene took place on the peak of a high mountain from the north region. So he drew an undulated line of white dots at about half the height of the figures, which meant the height of the snow covering the top of this mountain. From a historical point of view, the decoration from the Sicilian vase is important because the rock figured on it presents in everything the contours of the W-NW face of the sky column from the Carpathians. But this painting brings to light at the same time another big, but obscure matter of the sacred geography of the Pelasgian epoch. According to Homer (Iliad, XVIII. v. 140 seqq), the smithy of Vulcan was on ancient Olympus. Thetis, Achilles’ mother, addresses the following words to her sisters: “I am going to the great Olympus, to Vulcan, the illustrious master craftsman, to have him make fine, shiny weapons for my son”. On the vase from Sicily the smithy of Vulcan is indicated as being close to the rock to which Prometheus is led, and this rock, we say it again, presents in everything the contours of the W-NW face of the column from the Carpathians. We have here therefore an important document from the Italo-Greek antiquity, a document which gives us an absolute certitude that the prehistoric Olympus of the theogony, the Olympus from the ends of the earth, according to Hesiod, was that mountain on which were the legendary columns of the sky, Atlas from the country of the Hyperboreans, Olympus atlantiacus at Calpurnius (IV. v. 83), today Omul Peak of Bucegi Mountains, near the Lower Istru, where there are, apart from the columns, the other monuments famous in the history of theogony, the figure of Zeus aigiochos and the cyclopean altars. As I have already mentioned, three gigantic columns rise on this majestic peak of the Carpathians. Each of these columns had represented in antiquity a particular figure, each had a certain symbolic meaning. These three columns, important monuments consecrated to the principal divinity of the Sky even during the times predating Troy, Mycenae, Tirynth and Thebes of Egypt, played an important role also in the religious beliefs of the Pelasgians of Sicily. The three columns of the Sky as religious symbol on a funerary stela from Lilybeu in Sicily. (From Perrot et Chipiez, Phenicie – Cypre, p.309). On a funerary stela discovered recently on the territory of the ancient town Lilybeu in Sicily (today the town Marsala), we see three columns represented on the upper part, the middle one higher, the side ones shorter, and above these columns there is a triangle and a celestial symbol. The town Lilybeu, as Diodorus Siculus tells us (lib. XXII. 10. 4), had been founded by the Carthagenese, who after the war with Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, had resettled here the rest of the inhabitants of Motya, a town which had enjoyed a great prosperity. These three columns figured on the upper part of the stela from Lilybeu represent the three columns of the sky from the Theogony of Hesiod (v. 522), called cardines mundi by the Roman authors, on which the sky was supported in the country of the Hyperboreans (Pliny, H. N. lib. IV. 26. 11; lib. II. c. 64). The Sky Column from the Carpathians, as sacred emblem of the acropolis of Mycenae. The Sky Column from the south-eastern corner of the Carpathians, which even today hides its top into the clouds, had in the most remote times of prehistory, and still has partly today, the shape of a stunted, four angled pyramid. Each face of this column represented then the shape of a trapeze and each face has once been decorated with certain figures, some of which can be made out even today, although only just, and about which we shall speak in the next chapters. The dimensions of this column, as we ourselves have measured it in 1900 when we climbed the peak of Bucegi in order to study from a historical point of view this important monument of ancient world, are: height = 9.99m and base width of the longer sides =10.72m. (The SE and NW sides are wider, the SW and NE narrower). This column has been considered in ante-Homeric times as the most sacred religious symbol of the entire Pelasgian world. It was represented with the same shape on the religious monuments of Hellada and Egypt, in the statuary art of the Romans, as well as on various specimens of ceramic paintings of the Greek and Etruscan epochs. The oldest reproduction of this column is found on the cyclopean walls which encircled once the famous acropolis of Mycenae in the Peloponnesus. The southern part of Hellada, called Peloponnesus, had once been Pelasgian par excellence. Its oldest name had been Pelasgia (Strabo, Geogr. lib. V. 2. 4). One of the most important provinces of the Peloponnesus in antiquity has been Argos, a vast plain which stretched on the eastern side of this peninsula, between the mountains of Arcadia and the Aegean Sea. According to legends, the oldest inhabitants of Argos had been Pelasgians (Ibid. lib. V. 2. 4). Because the plains of this province were swampy in ancient times and were of little use for the sheep economy, the Pelasgians settled here were especially employed with keeping and rearing horses. Homer calls Argos the region where “horses are bred” (Iliad, II. 287; III. v. 75 and XV. v. 30). There existed in Argos in the beginning two states and two principal cities as regal residences, Argos and Mycenae (Strabo, Geogr. lib. II. c. 6. 10). Later though, the hegemony over Argos and the entire of the Peloponnesus was taken over by Mycenae, which under the reign of the Pelopides had attained a bigger power and development. During the times of the Trojan War, king in Mycenae was Agamemnon and his power extended over all of Greece (Pausanias, lib. VIII. 33. 2). Homer calls Mycenae “a beautifully built city” (Iliad, II. v. 569), “city with wide streets” (Ibid, IV. v. 52), “Mycenae rich in gold” (Ibid, VII. v. 180 and XI. v. 46) and attributes the same epithet of “rich in gold” to its inhabitants. The acropolis of Mycenae was situated on a high rocky outcrop in the shape of an irregular triangle (Schliemann, Mycenes, p.80). This citadel was surrounded by cyclopean walls (Pausanias, lib. II. 16. 5 seqq), some of which still subsist today, 10.50m high, and 4.80m wide (Schliemann, Mycenes, p.81). On the south-western side of the citadel was the lower city of Mycenae, also surrounded with walls, but less significant, although on the site of this city a number of edifices built in cyclopean style still exist (Ibid, p.92, 94), the most monumental being the underground so-called “Treasure of Atreus”. These impressive buildings tell us that Mycenae had once harbored an immense population, disciplined and opulent. Euripides calls Mycenae “Handicraft of the Cyclopes” (Iphigenia in Aul. v.1500-1501), “Fortress of the Cyclopes” (Ibid, Herc. Fur. v. 15), “Cyclopean Mycenae” (Ibid, Iphig. Aul. v. 265), and “cyclopean walls of stone” (Ibid, Electra, v. 1159). He calls the Peloponnesus “Pelasgia, my country” (Ibid, Iph. Aul. v. 1498-1499) and mentions the “beloved women of Mycenae who occupy first place on the chairs of the Pelasgians of Argos (Ibid, Orestes, v. 1246-1247). The first settling of the Pelasgians in Mycenae took place during the Neolithic epoch. The material and moral culture of these Pelasgians during the Neolithic epoch presents from every point of view the same ethnic character, the same evolution in the way of industry and art, as the civilization of the Pelasgians from the north of Thrace, especially from Dacia. The stone implements, chisels and arrows (Schliemann, Mycenes, p. 144. 181. 354; Perrot, Grece primitive, p. 116. 119. 127) of these southern Pelasgians, discovered under the ruins of their cyclopean edifices, their archaic pottery, its ornamentation (Ibid. Mycenes, p. 107. 127. 130. 167. 191. 192. 243) and their clay idols (Ibid, Mycenes, p.61. 137; Tocilescu, Dacia, p.877), present the same types and the same northern conception of art and industry as do those found on the territory of Dacia. There is only one difference: the technique of the clay vases of Mycenae and Tirynth is inferior to that of Dacia. The Pelasgians of the cyclopean times of Mycenae belong in everything to the same family, to the same civilization of the Pelasgians from the regions of the Carpathians . [1. The great divinities of the inhabitants of Argos were those of the Dacians: Zeus Optimus Maximus (Livy, 1. XXXIV. 24) or Zeus pater, and Apollo (Iliad, II. 371, IV. 288). As for the physical type of the aristocracy of Mycenae, judging by the gold masks discovered in the graves of the acropolis (Schliemann, Mycenes, p.300, 371 and 418), it appears as a powerful and serious race, endowed with great intelligence, with an enterprising and domineering spirit; it is a type which in its characteristic traits is entirely different from the Greek figures from historical times]. During the times of the Trojan War, or in other words the prehistoric epoch of the metals, an entirely particular civilization begins and flourishes in the lands which constitute the eastern basin of the Mediterranean, a culture which by its origin and development is totally different from the civilizations of Assyria, Egypt and even of the post-Homeric epoch. The monuments of this civilization are especially represented in the ruins of Mycenae, the city rich in gold; and this new phase in the history of the progress of humankind, which has been unknown up to our times, has received the name of Mycenaean civilization. “The state”, writes Perrot, “the capital of which was Mycenae, seems to have been the most powerful constituted state in continental Greece during the first four or five centuries before the Dorian invasion. This is attested in the poem by the rank given to Agamemnon as leader of the alliance against Troy. The ruins of the enclosure and of the buildings of Mycenae are the most important of all those attributed to the heroic epoch in Hellada. At no other site the digs have brought to light so many riches from this remote epoch, and have given us such a good idea about the development of the art and industry, as those of Mycenae. Of all the discoveries made in the last 30 years, discoveries which reveal a long forgotten world, much older than the Greece of Homer, none were to have such an echo as the discoveries made at the acropolis of Mycenae. These discoveries offered us the means to be able to define this civilization, to distinguish it from the civilization of Egypt and Asia, from which does not derive, and from the Greek civilization proper, for which forms only a preface ….” (Grece primitive, p.133, 134; Reinach, L’origine des Aryens, p.113). The national origin of the Pelasgians of the Peloponnesus and especially of those from Mycenae, had been in the lands from the north of Istru, not only because of their occupations and the character of their civilization, but also by their historical traditions and religious beliefs. Between Argos and Mycenae and the countries from the north of Istru had existed continuous family and religious connections from the most ancient of times. Pelasg, the legendary king of Argos, had been born, as the poet Asius who has lived around 700bc writes, “on the high mountains, from the black Earth” (Pausanias, lib. VIII. 1. 4). Pelops, the founder of the dynasty of Mycenae, was a nephew of Atlas, the titan from the country of the Hyperboreans (Hyginus, fab. 83). Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae, sent Hercules, the great hero of ancient times, to bring him the sacred golden apples from the country of the Hyperboreans. He also sent Hercules to Istria, after the sacred deer with the golden horns (Pindar, Olymp. III. v. 27). And we can suppose that Eurystheus sent Hercules to those same lands for the girdle of Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, given her by Mars. This powerful king of Mycenae therefore, considered himself probably on the basis of an ancient genealogy, as having some right to certain sacred things from the north of the Lower Danube. Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, chased by the Furies for having killed his mother CliTumnestra, came to purify himself and recover his health to the sacred altar from Scythia (Lucanis, Phars. VII. v. 776) . [2. Ancient traditions tell us that Orestes, after being freed from the Furies, ran to Macedonia and died in Arcadia, in the locality called after him Orestion, or Orestis and Orestias (Frag. Hist. graec. IV. 510. 10; Strabo, XIII. 1. 3). We have to note that under the name of “Arcadia” often figures at the antique authors a territory from the north of the Lower Danube. We find this geographical confusion also in the legends of Atlas, which according to some was a mountain in Arcadia (Apollod. III. 10. 1; Dionys. Hal. I. 61). It is probable that the legend about the death of Orestes in Orestion of Arcadia referred in the beginning to the town Orestia from Ardel (Transilvania). Aeneas, leaving Troy, went from Thrace to Arcadia (Dionys. I. 49), but certainly not to Arcadia in the Peloponnesus, allied with the other princes of Hellada against the Trojans]. The young priestess Io, persecuted by the caste of the priests of Argos, takes refuge in the mountains from the north of Istru, from there she goes to the Amazons, then to the Pelasgians of Scythia, then to those of Asia, and from there to her people in Egypt. Menelaus, the king of Sparta, younger brother of Agamemnon, retires in his old age to the sacred ancestral places at the north of Istru. “Your fate”, Proteus says towards Menelaus, “is to die not in Argos, where the horses graze, but the immortal gods will send you to the plain of Elysium at the ends of the earth….where the people lead an easy life, where there is neither snow, nor winter, nor much rain, and where the Ocean (Istru) always sends its gentle zephyrs to reanimate the people” (Homer, Odyss. IV. 561 seqq). Finally, Helen, the beautiful heroine of the Trojan times, appears retired, after the death of Menelaus, near the Temple in Leuce island from the mouths of the Danube, married with Achilles, as the legends say (Pausanias, lib. III. 19. 12. 13). En engraving on an Etruscan mirror shows Helen dressed in a rich Pelasgian costeme, sitting on a throne and stretching her hand towards Agamemnon, whom she receives in her kingdom in Leuce island. Between these two persons is figured Menelaus as a young man, holding in his right hand a phial, and in his left hand a lance (Duruy, Hist. d. Gr. I. p. 152). In the traditions of the Pelasgians of the Peloponnesus, the places from the north of Istru, from the country of the pious and blessed Hyperboreans, were considered as the original lands of their sacred history, as the country of residence of their protective divinities, venerated at the same time for its riches. A special interest for the origin of the Pelasgians of Argos and the evolution of the Mycenaean civilization is presented by the religious emblem which decorates the cyclopean walls of Mycenae. Above the main gate of the acropolis of Mycenae, a huge basalt slab in the shape of a trapeze, 3.00m high and 0.60m thick, is enclosed in its cyclopean walls (Schliemann, Mycenes, p.87). It is a sort of bas-relief on which three altars are represented on the lower part, two at the front and one at the back, but from this latter only part of the pedestal is visible (Schliemann, preoccupied more with his findings than with archaeological research has believed that on this bas-relief only one altar had been represented). A Doric column rises from the big altar at the back and on each side of it a lion is figured, facing outwards, with the front legs propped on the slabs topping the altars. (The artist wanted to indicate by these three top slabs the number of the altars, which also seem to have been placed in the shape of a triangle, two small ones at the front and a big one at the back, on the right, like the real three cyclopean altars cut in live rocks are). The emblem of Mycenae. The bas-relief which decorates the main gate of the acropolis. (After Duruy, Hist. d. Grecs. I. p. 59) We are here in front of a monument of religious sculpture ante-dating the epoch of Homer. Various archaeologists have tried to interpret the obscure meaning of this monumental sculpture masterpiece, but so far no satisfying conclusion founded on positive data, and corresponding at least in part with the original idea, has been reached. The emblem of Mycenae. (After Perrot et Chipiez, Grece primitive. Pl. XIV) “It is considered generally”, writes Schliemann (Mycenes, p.87), “that this figure has a symbolic meaning. But which is this meaning? Various conjectures have been made: some believe that the column alludes to the cult by which the Persians worshipped the sun; others see in this column a symbol of the sacred fire, and finally, some think that it represents Apollo Agyieus, the guardian of the gates. I share this latter opinion”. Perrot, another distinguished modern archaeologist confesses that the difficulties start with the interpretation of certain details of this emblem. Finally, he reckons that this column is only a representation in miniature of the palace of the kings of Mycenae, that palace which once crowned the top of the rock on which was built the acropolis of Mycenae (Grece primitive, p. 800-801. 875). All these are simple suppositions, which can not be supported either by texts, or by some analogous archaeological finding. All the archaeologists who studied the ante-Homeric civilization generally admit that the sacred emblem from the cyclopean walls of Mycenae represented something exotic in the lands of Hellada. When we wish to interpret the narrative meaning of the monumental bas-relief we are met with this first matter: why the artist of Mycenae has figured this slab in the shape of a trapeze, and this point has been missed by all the archaeologists. The artist of Mycenae has shaped this slab as a stunted pyramid, or as a trapeze, not because he lacked a suitable stone, but because this was a hieratical necessity. His intention was not to execute an original work, in which to use his imagination, but to reproduce as faithfully as possible the shape of a real sacred figure. Even the relative huge proportions which the artist gave to the stone slab and the figures represented on it, show that he was imitating a prototype. The main Column on Omul Peak (Carpathians) View from SE (After a photograph from 1900) Whoever conTemplates from close, or even from afar, the grandiose shape of the column which rises on Omul Peak, cannot but be surprised by the great similarity between the outside shape of this column and the trapeze-slab which decorates the cyclopean walls of Mycenae. Our eyes are first attracted by two lines almost parallel which start from the base, near the ground level, continue upwards, and above these lines can be observed two horizontal lines in the shape of a capital. We can suppose therefore that this bas-relief almost effaced from the column of the Carpathians, had once represented the shape of a gigantic Doric column. Other ancient marks can also be seen on the left side of the column. On the lower part there is the figure of an altar, represented in the same style as on the Mycenaean slab, and above it a few black points, and under these points some curved lines rising upwards, with the appearance of a figure which once had represented the head of a man or an animal, looking outwards. The Sky Column on Omul Peak in the Carpathians. S-SW face, on which can still be recognized marks almost effaced of a bas-relief representing a Doric column, an altar, and above it a human head with long hair. (TN – or possibly the head of a lion and a human head). On the left is the vulture of Prometheus. (After a photograph from 1899). We have talked so far about the resemblance between these two monuments from the point of view of the lines which form the outside contour, as well as from the point of view of the figures. We have now to find out how the ancients interpreted this cyclopean emblem of Mycenae. Euripides, who treated especially the prehistoric legends and ethnography of Argos, calls the acropolis of Mycenae celestial cyclopean stone walls (Troades, v. 1088); and in another place cyclopean and celestial walls (Ibid. Electra, v. 1138). He also calls Mycenae the Cyclops’ altars (Ibid. Iphig. Aul. v. 152). These expressions of celestial walls and cyclopean altars used by Euripides to designate Mycenae, are without doubt only an allusion to the emblem which characterized the Pelasgian walls of the acropolis . [3. Above the column represented on the relief of Mycenae can also be observed a representation of the walls of prehistoric citadels, formed by two horizontal slabs and four transverse beams (Perrot et Chipiez, Grece primitive, p.479; Froehner, La Colonne Trajane, Pl. 147-149). The artist had wanted to express by this composition that the sacred sky column was in charge of supporting the walls of the acropolis of Mycenae]. We have therefore a positive text, coming from one of the most competent authors, relating to the traditions of Mycenae, text which makes it clear that the slab-trapeze, which was part of its gigantic walls, did not represent Apollo Agyieus, or the sacred fire of the Persians, or the palace of the Atreides, but the Uranic column or the Sky column from ancient Atlas in the country of the Hyperboreans, and at the same time the cyclopean altars of the Olympian gods, which were in fact on the same mountain, not far from the figure of Zeus aigiochos. Or, in other words, those who have built the cyclopean walls of Mycenae wanted to represent in this emblem the most sacred ancestral symbols, the Sky column and the cyclopean altars from the ancient country of the dynasty of Mycenae and of its inhabitants. The relief of Mycenae represented in the first place a religious symbol. The walls of the Pelasgian cities and citadels had always been considered as sacred. The religious character of this emblem is also confirmed by some glyptic specimens from the Mycenaean epoch. One of these engraved stones, discovered in one of the oldest graves of Mycenae, shows a column in the middle and two altars in front of it, one bigger than the other. There are two griffons figured on it instead of the two lions, tied with gold threads to the column consecrated to the sky, and propped with their front legs on the bigger altar at the back. The country of the griffons was, according to ancient legends, the country of the Hyperboreans. They guarded the gold of the Arimaspians, and on the occasions of his great feasts Apollo the Hyperborean traveled to the southern countries astride a griffon, which meant that the mother country was also sending gifts of gold to the sanctuaries of Hellada. According to Euripides, the rock which stood on ancient Olympus between the sky and the earth, was tied all around with gold chains. This was of course an allegorical expression. It designated the mountains rich in gold which surrounded this column. On two other engraved stones discovered, one in Crete, the other in Mycenae, the middle column has disappeared. One of the specimens shows two altars, one larger than the other, and above these altars a star with twelve rays, symbol of consecration, by which the artist wanted to express that here were represented the cyclopean altars of the Olympian gods, altars which had been placed among constellations. On this engraved stone the heads of the lions, exactly like those of the griffons, are turned backwards. It is an unnatural representation, certainly executed as such only in order to put even more in evidence the mystical shape of the trapeze, consecrated by a certain tradition, and which represented the sky column . Stone engraved in Mycenaean style, Engraved stone, Mycenae. representing the cyclopean altars (Crete) ( Perrot et Chipiez, Grece primitive, Pl. XVI. 11; 20) [4. The funerary columns of Mycenae had also the shape of a trapeze. On one of these funerary stelae a column is figured in the middle, and on its both sides are shown the gold chains of the Olympus rock, in the shape of thick ropes bent in zig-zags ]. On the other engraved stone the artist has represented only one big altar. It is the “ara maxima” of theogony, near which the Olympian gods had made their pact in their difficult war with the Titans. On both sides of this altar one lion is figured with only one head among them. The archaeological study of this important monument from the Carpathians forces us to open at this point another parenthesis. Above the two almost parallel lines which we see impressed with such expression on this column, can still be distinguished the almost vanished marks which represented a huge human head in profile. The figure looks towards left, and from the head descend three long hair locks, twisted by the archaic custom. It has a very curious physiognomy. The upper part of the profile has a remarkable preeminence compared to the lower part. It is the same characteristic type also appearing on some painted vases, discovered in the cyclopean houses of Mycenae (Schliemann, Mycenes, p.211. 217; Perrot, Grece primitive, p.935; Duruy, Hist. d. Grecs. I. 35). (TN – I enlarged the particular area of the rock about which Densusianu is talking, without retouching it. One can see very clearly the two heads, the lion’s head on the left, and the human’s head on the right). This human figure, which still adorns the column of the Carpathians, was also well known to Greek antiquity. Various specimens of ceramic painting present the legendary pillar of the sky in the shape of a Ionic or Doric column, and near this column a human figure in profile, having in everything the same characteristic type as that from the monument of Dacia. One of these paintings represents the ordeal of Prometheus on Atlas mountain. The hero of human wisdom has his hands and legs tied to a Doric column. The vulture tears up his chest. In front of Prometheus is Atlas, with bent knees, supporting on his shoulders the immense weight of the sky, under the shape of a huge boulder. On the left there is shown a large irritated serpent, which rises up on its tail, intent on biting Atlas. Certainly the artist wanted to represent the dragon from the garden of the Hesperides, which, according to legends, guarded the golden apples which Atlas had taken. Prometheus’ physiognomy and his long locks present a curious resemblance with the human head whose marks can still be observed on the column of Bucegi. On top of this column on which Prometheus is tied up, there is figured a bird of a gentle nature, smaller than the vulture. It is the Phoenix of the ancients, or another bird symbolizing the sky, which we often find represented in antique paintings, either on top of some column, or in other scenes with the Olympian gods (Lenormant, Elite d. mon. ceramograph. I. pl. XXIX A, XXIX B; LXV A, LXXI). The ordeal of Atlas and Prometheus. Scene supported by the gigantic column of the Universe. Painting on a vase. (Gerhard, Auserles. Vasenbilder. Taf. LXXXVI) This entire scene which presents the ordeal of the two famous titans, is supported at its base by another stronger column. The artist wanted to express through this new motif that the figure of Atlas, which supports on his shoulders the weight of the sky, and the figure of chained Prometheus, were represented on the gigantic column of the world. We find another interpretation of the human figure from the column of Dacia on a chalice discovered in Etruria in the digs from Camposcala (Lenormant, Ibid, I. pl. LXIII). The decoration from this antique chalice shows the birth of Minerva from Zeus’s head, executed by an artist from Italy after a Greek model. The great Zeus is shown in profile, sitting on a throne (high backed chair). At his back is represented a Ionic column. The god is crowned with laurels, and four long, twisted hair locks fall on his shoulders. His physiognomy presents the same type as that of the archaic profile from the monument of the Carpathians. This column from the Omul Peak had been therefore very well known to the artists of Greco-Roman antiquity. It had been considered as the most sacred monument of the ancient world, symbol of the divine throne, traditional model of hieratic painting. Only one symbol had remained enigmatic. The titanic figure, whose faint marks are still seen on the column from Carpathians, appeared so effaced even during the historical times of Greece, that some considered that it represented Prometheus in chains, while others saw in it Zeus, the sovereign of Olympus. We return now to the emblem from the cyclopean walls of Mycenae. Apart from its religious symbolism, this emblem had at the same time the character of a national tradition. It attested the origin of the dynasty and of the tribes which had once founded the powerful capital of Argos. From this monument of the cyclopean times, the city of Mycenae appears as a colony founded by people from the north of Istru, the Pelasgian shepherds who had come to the southern lands from the Carpathians . [5. Atlas appears in ancient traditions as the ancestor of several famous dynasties and families from the southern Pelasgian regions, not only from the Peloponnesus (Mycenae, Corinth, Sparta, Elis, Arcadia), but also from other regions of Hellada, Asia Minor, Italy and Africa. Electra, one of his daughters, is the mother of Dardanos, the patriarch of the Trojans. Another daughter of Atlas, Calypso, is the mother of Auson and Latinus; and finally, his daughter Pasiphae is the mother of Ammon, the shepherd king of Libya and Egypt (Pauly-Wissowa, R. E., Atlas, p.2122)]. Curtius writes about the conditions in which the ancient colonies of Hellada were formed and governed (Bouche-Leclercq, Histoire grecque, I. 575). These colonists took their country with them everywhere they went. They took the fire from the hearth of their mother-city. From there they also took the images of the gods of their race. They were accompanied by priests and prophets descended from the old families. The protective divinities of the old metropolis were invited to take part in this new settlement and these colonists were always animated by the wish to represent everything in their new country after the model of their city of birth: acropolis, Temple, plazas and streets. The colony took often the name of the mother-city, or the name of a village which belonged to it. So, during the time of the building of its cyclopean walls, the city of Mycenae appears to have been, as expressed figuratively by its emblem, subordinate, from a religious point of view, to the cult of Dacia. But the religious and political administration was concentrated in those times in the same hands. The great priests were at the same time the kings. We can therefore suppose that Mycenae in ante-Homeric times was subordinated not only to the religious hierarchy from the north of the Danube, but it had also to accept the decisions of the mother country in some political matters. In the great war with the Trojans, Mycenae played the principal and decisive role. The Pelasgians of Hellada and Thrace, allied with the Pelasgians from the north of Istru, fought the Pelasgians of Asia Minor for the rule of the seas which separated Europe from Asia. Troy was destroyed. A part of its citizens was taken in captivity and another part was forced to emigrate. History though, this divine nemesis, had reserved to Mycenae the same sad fate. As Diodorus Siculus writes (lib. XI. 65), “during the 78th Olympiad (468bc) a war erupted between the inhabitants of Argos and Mycenae. The cause was the following: the inhabitants of Mycenae, proud of the ancient glory of their country, refused to accept the hegemony of Argos, in contrast to the other cities from the province of the Argolid. They governed themselves by their own laws and institutions, which had nothing in common with those of the Argiens. The Mycenaeans also had a quarrel with the Argiens for the Temple of Juno and for the religious ceremonies of that Temple, and they pretended at the same time that the direction and administration of the Nemeian games belonged to them. As for the Argiens, they resented Mycenae because, while the Argiens had decided to send help to the Spartans at Thermopyle only with the condition of receiving part of the supreme command, the Mycenaeans alone among all the inhabitants of the Argolid had sent troupes to help the Spartans. Finally, the Argiens feared that the Mycenaeans will contest their hegemony, encouraged by their ancient glory. So the Argiens, envious of Mycenae and having wanted for a long time to destroy this city, believed that the time had come, especially seeing that the Spartans were in no situation to give help to Mycenae. So, they gathered a large army from Argos and other allied cities and sent it against Mycenae. The inhabitants of Mycenae were defeated and withdrew inside the walls, where they were besieged. They resisted for a while, but finally they weakened and because the Spartans could not send them any help, as they had their own wars and calamities, like some earthquakes, the citadel was assaulted. The citizens were taken into captivity and Mycenae was razed to the ground. This city, which in ancient times had enjoyed a great prosperity, which had given birth to famous men, and boasted glorious deeds, was destroyed and has been deserted to our own days”. And Pausanias also writes (lib. V. 23. 3; VII. 25. 6) on this matter: After the Persians were chased out of Greece, Mycenae and Tirynth were destroyed by the Argiens. Because the Argiens could not conquer Mycenae because of its walls which were very strong, built as it is told, by the Cyclops, the inhabitants of Mycenae were defeated through famine and forced to leave the city and the citadel. Some withdrew at Cleonae (between Corinth and Argos), others ran to Cerynia in Arcadia and almost half of them withdrew to Macedonia. The fall and destruction of Mycenae had happened during the time of Euripides. He alludes to this fate of Mycenae in one of his fine tragedies (Orestes, v. 947 seqq). Electra, the daughter of king Agamemnon, who after his return from Troy had been killed by his wife ClyTumnestra and her lover Aegistus, laments like this: “Oh, country of the Pelasgians (o Pelasgia), I begin to lament you and with my white nails I scratch my bleeding face and I beat my head, as it is fit for you, beautiful queen of the other world. Let the country of the Cyclopes (ga Kyclopia) lament with me, let her undo her tresses and mourn the unhappiness of the house of the Atreides. They deserve this lamentation for the family which once commanded the armies of Greece has been extinguished. It vanished, it vanished the entire family of the descendents of Pelops, vanished the glory which had crowned the head of this blessed house. It succumbed because of the envy of the gods and because of the hostile and murderous feeling which overcame the community of Argos. Oh! piteous race of the mortals, condemned to suffering, you can see how fate brings suddenly upon us misfortunes over misfortunes …. Oh! if I could go to that rock which rises between sky and earth, to that piece of land at that Olympus, tied all around with gold chains, and call from there, crying, the ancient father Tantalus, who gave birth to the ancestors of my people” (Ibid, Orestes, v. 969-977) . [6. The Olympus of Euripides is the Olympus from near Oceanus potamos, the father of the gods (Homer, Iliad, XIV. v. 201. 246; Hesiod, Theog. v. 119), the Olympus Atlantiacus of Calpurnius (IV. 83), or from the country of the Hyperboreans at north of Istru, where, according to Ovid (Pont. II. 10. 45), Pliny (H. N. IV. 26. 11) and Mela (III. 5), were the cardines mundi, the pillars or hinges of the universe]. This rock from ancient Olympus at the ends of the world, identical with the column of the Carpathians, had played therefore an immense role in the traditions and beliefs of the Pelasgians of Argos. It had been the sacred symbol of the country from where the dynasty of Mycenae drew its origin and this symbol had been figured on its cyclopean walls, had been represented on the funerary stelae of the Mycenaean aristocracy and on the engraved stones which served as seals and amulets . [7. The origin of the Mycenaean dynasty having been near the mountains of Bucegi can also be confirmed by the ancient kinship of families. Between ancient Argos and the region of south-eastern Carpathians there exists a surprising identity of family names. Representatives of the ancient Pelasgian families from Argos appear to have been the following: Perseus, the founder of Mycenae (Pausanias, II. 15. 4), and Sthenelos, a son of his; Pelops, the great hero of Hellada, venerated as a demi-god even by Hercules (Pausanias, V. 13. 1. 2). His reign had extended over the entire Peloponnesus, to which it had been given his name; Atreus, a son of Pelops, king of Mycenae; Tantalos, a friend and guest of the gods on Olympus, the father of Pelops. He had been king in Sipylos (Apollodorus, II. 5. 6), but certainly not Sipylos of Phrygia. He had been married to one of the daughters of Atlas (Dione or Tagyete); Dasculos, a son of Tantalos; Inachos, a son of the river Oceanus (prehistoric Istru), mythical king in Argos; Proetos, king in Argos, under the reign of whom Tirynth was surrounded with cyclopean walls (Pausanias, II. 16. 5). The historian Herodorus, who lived before Herodotus, mentions a Scythian with the name of Teutaros, who had taught Hercules the art of the bow and arrows (Fragm. 5). As for the name Mycenae or Mucena, Pausanias writes (II. 16. 4) that the city was given its name after Mycene, the daughter of king Inachos, and according to the cyclical poets, Mycena, the daughter of Inachos, was a niece or granddaughter of the Ocean or Istru (Homer, Carmina. Ed. Firmin-Didot, p. 601. 3). The Pelasgians of Sicily had, as we see, exactly as the Pelasgians of Greece and Italy, a belief in a survival in another blessed terrestrial region. It was the doctrine of the Hyperboreans. It was the same belief, as expressed in the tablets sent by them to Delos, that the souls of the deceased went for the supreme judgment to a certain place of their country, from where those who had led virtuous lives passed into the region of the pious (Plato, Opera, Ed. Didot, Tom. II. p. 561). This same belief is expressed also by Hesiod when he says that the souls of the heroes fallen in the wars of Thebes and Troy had been taken to the blessed islands from the ends of the earth, near the Ocean with deep eddies (Opera et Dies, v. 161 seqq). One of these blessed islands was, as we know, Leuce island from the mouths of the Danube (Pliny, lib. IV. 27. 1: “eadem Leuce et Macaron appellata”). Here the legends and the ancient paintings show us Achilles, Ajax, Telamon, Patroclus, Antilochus, Menelaus, Helena and Agamemnon, leading a happy and eternal life (Pausanias, lib. III. 19. 11-13). The Pelasgians of Sicily, called also Sicani and Siculi, appear in Greek and Roman traditions as the earliest inhabitants of Italy. They had dwelt firstly in Umbria and around Ariminium (Pliny, H. N. lib. III. 19. 1). But after the invasion of the Umbrians, they were forced to move and lived for some time in Latium (Ibid, lib. III. 9. 4). Pushed by other Pelasgian tribes, they moved again their dwellings to lower Italy, in Brutium and Lucania (Ibid, lib. III. 10. 1), from where, pushed again by new currents coming from the upper parts of Italy, they crossed the sea to Sicily (Dionysius Halik. Lib. I. 22), which got this name from their name (first Sicania, then Sicilia). The migration of these Pelasgians to Sicily had taken place therefore on the continental road of Italy, from the Alps towards south. But they were coming from the great center of the Pelasgian world, from the Carpathians, where, due to an immense agglomeration of tribes and maybe also following some political events, they had separated and gone onwards with their flocks. This is proved by their national and religious symbol, the columns of the sky from the Carpathians. The Pelasgians from all the countries had a particular cult for their original country from near the Istru. An ancient town on the north shore of Sicily was called during the Roman epoch Agathyrson (Agathyrsa, or Agathyrnum), which meant that its inhabitants were from the nation or from the country of the Agathyrses. They had preserved until late a spirit of independence. They did not acknowledge either the laws, or the authority of others. Livy calls them (Rer. Rom. lib. XXVI. c. 40) foreigners and adventurers, brought together from all the corners of the world, men who deserved death, who lived from kidnapping and robbery, so much so that the consul M. Valerius Laevin was forced in 210bc to transport 4000 inhabitants of Agathyrson to Italy. A fortified little town with the name Aegitharsus existed also near Lilybeu (Ptolemy, lib. III. 4. 3). And on the south shore of Sicily had been founded even in remote prehistoric times a town called Cauconia (Ptolemy, Ed. Didot, lib. III. 4. 5), the first inhabitants of which had probably been only a fragment of the Dacian tribe called by Ptolemy Caucoenses. Finally, there still existed a prehistoric tradition about a migration from the lower Istru to this island of the Mediterranean. The titan Typhon, defeated by Zeus, ran, as the Greek authors tell us, to Sicily (Apollodorus, Bibl. lib. I. 6. 3). The Sky Column from the Carpathians as symbol of the Egyptian trinity. The colonization and reign of the Pelasgians in North Africa begins in times extremely remote. Egypt in particular is characterized by a Neolithic European civilization, whose character is Pelasgian (Morgan, Recherches sur les origins de l’Egypte, Paris, 1896-97). Herodotus mentions the Pelasgian colonies in Africa. In the western parts of the river Triton, or in the province called “Africa” at the time of the Romans, existed an agricultural population called Maxyes, who, as they said, were originated from the nation of the Trojans (lib. IV. c. 191). Carthage itself was Pelasgian in the beginning, later though this city fell under the rule of a commercial colony from Tyre (Silius Italicus, Punica, lib. XV. p.444). But the population from the territory subjected to Carthage was not Phoenician. It had remained Pelasgian, as can be ascertained from the big progress made by the Roman civilization in those parts, as well as from the particularities of the folk Latin language which has developed there. Other African tribes had European mores and traditions too. Getulii, the most numerous people of Libya (Mela, lib. I. c. 3; Eustathius, Commentarii in Dionysium, v. 215), which began at the shores of the Atlantic ocean and stretched towards south of Mauritania, Numidia and Cyrenaica, appear by their name, as well as by their traditions and ethnic character, as a population migrated there from the south-east parts of Europe. The episcope Isidor of Sevilla writes about them: “It is said that Getulii were Getae, who departing from their places in very large numbers, with their ships, had occupied the Syrtes of Libya, and because they had come from the territory of the Getae, they were called Getuli” (Origines, lib. IX. 1. 118). Other pastoral tribes which had gone forth from the Carpathians and the Lower Danube, had settled in Ethiopia even in very remote times. Pliny the Old mentions in the upper parts of the Nile, in Ethiopia, a tribe with the name of Dochi, and near them another population with Pelasgian mores and beliefs, called by the Greek authors Macrobii (lib. VI. 35. 12), long lived. Under this name were known in Europe the Hyperboreans, about whom it was said that they lived longer and happier than any other people in the world (Mela, lib. III. 5). Among the Ethiopian kings some have until late the name of Ramhai, LeTum, Rema and Armah (Drouin, Les listes royals Ethiopiennes, Paris 1882, p.50-53), names the origin of which goes back to ante-Roman times. But the Pelasgians of Egypt had played a special role in the civilization of Africa. Ammon was one of the most ancient kings of Libya and Egypt. This Ammon was, as traditions tell us, a great shepherd, a “man rich in sheep” (Tertullian, De pallio. 3), nephew of Atlas from the country of the Hyperboreans (according to some old traditions Ammon’s mother was Pasiphae, the daughter of Atlas – Plutarch, Agis, c. 9), that Atlas who appears at the same time as the ancestor of a number of famous dynasties and families of Hellada, Troy and Latium. In the sacred texts of the Egyptians, Ammon has also the name of Altaika (Pierret, Le livre d. morts, Ch. CLXV. 1-3), a form derived from Alutus, Greek ‘Atlas/ He is also named Remrem (Ibid. Ch. LXXV. 1. 2), meaning Ramlen, Arim or Ariman and Harmakhis or Armakhis (Pierret, Le Pantheon egyptien, p. 95), which presents only an Egyptian form of the ethnic Greek work ‘Arimaspeios and ‘Arimaspos, which in turn was only a simple variant of the name ‘Arimaios and ‘Arimfaios. Suidas also mentions that ‘Arimanios was the god of the Egyptians (see ‘Arima). Thebes, the oldest and biggest city of Egypt and of the whole world, the center of a prosperity without equal in history, the ancient seat of the Egyptian dynasty and the metropolis of the cult of Ammon, has a Pelasgian name. These Thebans, as Diodorus Siculus writes, said that they were the most ancient among all the mortals (lib. I. 50. 1; Ibid, I. 87. 9). One of their religious symbols was the bird par excellence of the high mountains, the vulture (aquila, aetos). The most ancient kings of Egypt mentioned by the sacred archives of the Temples had been Vulcan, the son of Vulcan, Cronos (Osiris and Isis, the children of Cronos), Typhon, Mars, Hercules and Apollo (Manethonis Sebennytae, Fragmenta in Mullerus, Fragmenta Hist. graec. Tom. II. p.526-531), these being the great personalities of Pelasgian history in Europe, whose names were neither Greek, nor Egyptian. Cronos had reigned over Libya and Sicily and had colonized those lands (Polemonis Iliensis, Fragm. 102 in Gragm. Hist. gr. III. 148). And Diodorus Siculus tells us that Cronos, the brother of Atlas, had reigned over Sicily, Libya, Italy and had extended his empire over all the western regions, establishing garrisons everywhere, in citadels and in fortified places (lib. III. 61). Even during the Neolithic epoch, countless tribes of Pelasgians departed with their large flocks from the Carpathians towards Hellada and Asia Minor, and from Asia Minor continued little by little down, along the shores of Lebanon, and finally, together with other tribes from Hellada and the islands of the archipelago, they reached the expansive plains of the Nile. Disciplined people, religious, laborious and warlike at the same time, the Pelasgian shepherds and farmers were masters during those remote times, wherever they settled. They took with them their national institutions, an established ancestral religion, their divinities and priests, and they formed their political centers wherever they settled. But the sacred country of the Egyptian Pelasgian religion was still that particular one from the ends of the earth, from the Oceanus potamos or Istru. In that part of the world were for the ancient Pelasgians of Egypt “the divine region”, their ancient religious monuments, the images of their protective gods, the country of their ancestors, worshipped as gods. Their sacred mountains, the sky columns were there. According to ancient Egyptian beliefs the divine region of the wheat was there (Pierret, Le livre d. morts. Ch. CXI. 5), there was the place of abundance, where the wheat grew 7 ells high, the straw 4 ells and the ear 3 ells. There was the place of rebirth, the country of eternal life, which the Hyperboreans, and later on the Getae and the Dacians, promoted with such religious conviction. There the souls of the dead of Egypt migrated, in order to continue with a new and blessed life (Pierret, Le livre d. morts. Ch. LV. 1; Ch. LXXV 1. 2), exactly like the souls of the Pelasgian heroes of Hellada did. When the African race took the reign, the ancient history of Egypt changed. The new race had adopted under the Pelasgian empire the elements of an ancient advanced civilization, had adopted the political and social institutions and the religious principles of their masters, but which it had largely modified and to which it had given forms suitable to its African character. For this new element in the history of Egypt, the geographical region of the north, the ancient domain of the Pelasgian race, became a mythological region. And the Column from the Carpathians symbolized for these Osiric Egyptians the territory of the terrestrial paradise . [3. The great number of slaves was also a dangerous custom of the Pelasgians of other regions. Herodotus writes (lib. VI. 83) that the city of Argos, following the war with Cleomenes, the king of Sparta (519-490), was left without men capable to bear weapons, so their slaves directed and managed all the private and public affairs. When the children of those killed in war grew up, the slaves were chased out of Argos. They withdrew to Tirynth, which they occupied by waging war on it. Later though, a prophet called Cleander came to the slaves and advised them to fight again against their former masters. The war started and it lasted quite some time until the Argiens managed with great difficulty to defeat them. The slaves of Scythia had also tried to take the place of their Pelasgian masters. According to Herodotus (IV. 1-3), the Scythians of Europe, chasing the Cimmerians, irrupted into Asia and occupied the empire of Media, which they ruled for 28 years. Returning back to their country after this long interval, the Scythians were met by an army of their slaves, which opposed them. After several battles without success, the Scythians threw away the lances and bows, and taking the whips, which their slaves respected, brought them back to submission and obedience]. Prometheus chained on the rocks of Pharanx (Parang) mountain in Dacia. According to Eschyl of Greece, born in the 6th century bc, Prometheus, the most powerful genius of the Pelasgian times, was chained in Scythia, in the country of the iron (Prometheus vinctus, v. 2), on the remote territory of the ancient world (Herodotus, lib. V. 9), in a wild mountainous region, on some rocky crags, which in his poem are called pharagga, pharaggos and pharaggi, various forms of the nominative pharagxi (Eschyl, Prometheus, v. 15. 142. 618. 1015), meaning mountain or rocky cliff with broken faces and deep ravines. From the constant use which Eschyl makes in his tragedy of the term Pharang- in order to indicate the rocks and mountain on which Prometheus was crucified, results that we have in this case not a generic word, but a particular topical name. Close to this mountain called Pharang-, on which according to Eschyl’s legend, had taken place Prometheus’ torture, flowed, according to the same author, the great and divine river of the ancient world called Oceanus potamos or the Istru of historical times (Ibid. v. 284-285). And in regard to the particular geographical position of this Pharang-, the itinerary proposed by Prometheus to the nymph Io presents a special importance. The young priestess Io, daughter of king Inachus of Argos, persecuted by Juno because she was loved by Zeus, comes on Pharang- to the crucified Prometheus, who was also the first prophet of his times, to learn how much more she will have to suffer and wander because of the persecution of the powerful queen goddess. Prometheus indicates to the girl the following itinerary: “Firstly”, says he to Io, “taking the road from here towards east, you will cross untilled fields and will come to the shepherd Scythians (nomads), superb men, armed with far reaching arrows, who spend their lives in carts well fitted with iron, and well covered. But I counsel you not approach them, but instead to turn towards the rocks beaten by the waves of the sea, and to continue your way on dry land. On the left dwell the Chalybi, the ironsmiths, of whom you should beware, they are violent men and do not gladly receive strangers; from there you will reach the violent river called rightfully that, but don’t cross it, because it is dangerous, until you reach the Caucasus, the highest mountain, where the torrents gather, rushing from the tops of this mountain, from where then the river takes their violence downstream. From there then, passing over the peaks of the mountain which reaches to the stars, take the road southwards and you will arrive to the land of the many Amazons, who hate men…They will show you the way with goodwill, then you will come to the Cimmerian isthmus, near the narrow mouths of the Meotic lake. After you will leave this isthmus, gathering your courage, you will have to cross the mouths of the Meotic lake, and you will achieve an everlasting fame for this crossing. After this deed, the straits of the Meotic lake will be called Bospor, then, leaving behind the lands of Europe, you will cross into the continent of Asia” (Prometheus, v. 707 seqq). It results from this new legend communicated by Eschyl that the rocky cliffs on which the great hero of the ante-Homeric civilization was put in irons, were on the western side of the Black Sea, on the territory of mountainous Scythia, near ancient Oceanus potamos. It also results from this legend that the tragic scene of Prometheus had taken place on the same mountain chain which is called by Hesiod Atlas, and by Apollodorus Caucasus. The only difference is that the prehistoric Golgotha is presented by Eschyl as having been another group of mountains, Parang, the grandiose massif on the western side of the river Olt, famous for the wildness of its rocky cliffs and its solitary valleys. In Eschyl’s legends the shepherd Scythians, superb men and well armed, are the famous Hyperborean shepherds, who had once trodden the whole known world, and who dominated the mountains and the untilled fields on the northern parts of Istru. Close to Pharang- mountain were the renowned Chalybi (Ibid, v. 715), the ironsmiths of prehistoric times. By form and meaning, this word is of Pelasgian origin, synonymous with the German Huttenarbeiter, workers in metal factories. Eschyl says in another tragedy of his (SepTum adversus Thebas, v. 729) that the Chalybi were people who had migrated from Scythia to the southern lands]. A locality at the foot of Parang mountain is called even today Baia-de-fer (TN – Iron Mine), but we don’t know at what time the iron foundry had started there, flourished and ended. All we know today are, according to our geographical descriptions, the almost vanished traces of an ancient factory (Marele Dict. Geogr. Rom., Baia de fer). The mountains of Parang were once renowned for their wealth in metals. The region of the Carpathian Mountains was in prehistoric times the classical country of mines, and it is a very remarkable fact from a historical point of view, that Eschyl (Prometheus v. 301-402) calls the western part of the Black Sea “Mama ferului” (TN – Mother of the iron). Between the mountain Pharang- and the Black Sea, Eschyl also mentions a significant river which flows from the mountains, and famous for the violence of its course (Ibid, v. 717). Of all the rivers of the Carpathians which flow into the Lower Danube, the most dangerous in Romanian traditions is the Olt. It is the “savage” river, the “accursed” river, with violent whirlpools. When it rains in the mountains, it comes swollen, muddy, angry and bloodied, it brings uprooted trees, bodies of outlaws and halters of dark bays (Alecsandri, Folk poetry, p.159 and Doinele, XLIX. LIV; Teodorescu, Folk poetry, p. 320, 323; Mandrescu, Literatura, p.119). Each day, say folk legends, at least one man must drown in the Olt and, when a day goes without the river receiving its sacrifice, it starts howling and men should avoid entering it, because it asks for a man’s head (Sezatoarea, An. III. p.101). Until the times of the reign of prince Bibescu, Margot writes (O viatorie, Buc, 1859, p.56), it was still believed that it was impossible to build a bridge over this river, even at Slatina. In Eschyl’s geography the mountain called Caucasus appears also near this violent river (Prometheus, v. 719), but not the Asian Caucasus, but the Caucasus from the western side of the Black Sea. It is the same mountain about which also talks the Roman inscription from Brambach: Ad Alutum flumen secus monTum Caucasi (see above). After Caucasus, the most important point from the western side of the Black Sea was, in Eschyl’s geography, the mountain whose peaks reach to the stars (Ibid, 721). It is the ancient Atlas of the Hyperboreans, about which Virgil says that it bears on its shoulders the axis, especially made to support the flaming stars (Aen, IV. v. 4820. “And after passing over the peaks of the mountain that reaches to the stars”, says Prometheus to the nymph Io, “…you will arrive to the land of the many Amazons”. These Amazons belonged to the barbarian lands. Homer mentions them only as an ancient tradition. Their country of origin was Scythia, especially Scythia from near the Lower Danube. According to the traditions collected by the Roman historian Trog Pompeius, the Amazons boasted that they were” the daughters of the god Mars” and that they “were from the nation of the Scythians” (Justinis, lib. II. c. 4). Virgil (Aen. XI. v. 659-660) gives the Amazons also the geographical epithet of Threiciae, and according to Hecateus (Fragm. 352) they spoke the Thracian language, meaning Getic (Valerius Flaccus, Argon. IV. 602). Apart from Mars, the Geto -Thracian divinity, the Amazons especially worshipped the goddess Diana, whose principal residence according to Pindar (Olymp. III. v. 27), was in Istria, near the mouths of the Danube. On old monuments of Greek art, bas-reliefs, statues and vase paintings, they are armed with shields, bows and the war hatchet. They wear a helmet on their head, or a Dacian type cap (Jahn, Berichte d. sachs. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaften. Phil.-Hist. Cl. I. 1850). Finally, their physiognomy presents a national Pelasgian character. Prometheus’ Pharang- appears therefore as a mountain from the western parts of the river Olt. By name, position and description, it entirely corresponds to the mountain Parang of today . [2. Parang mountain is especially characterized by vast precipices, collapsed cliffs and waves formed of gigantic boulders. Under the peak called Carja (2520m), two spikes rise from these ruins of rocks, like some inform columns, each ten 10m high. Eschyl also mentions (v. 142) some craggy rocks, schopeloi, on Pharanx mountain]. The Sky Column from the Carpathians on the funerary monuments of Carthage. The ancient inhabitants of Carthage had the same religious doctrine about the immortality and the migration of the souls to another happier terrestrial region. The city of Carthage had been a Pelasgian colony before falling into the hands of the Phoenicians (Silius Italicus, Punica, Ed. Nisard, lib. XV. p.444). The ancient name of the citadel was Byrsa, and more correctly Byrsan . [1. This name appears as Byrsan, in the accusative, with Strabo (lib. XVII. 3. 14), and in the analogous form of Byrsam with Virgil (Aen. I. v. 366-367) and Livy (lib. XXXIV. C. 62). Even beginning with the times of Eschyl, the ancients tried to reproduce in their writings the personal and geographical names of the Barbarians, so that they would correspond to the original form on one hand and to the grammatical laws of the language in which they wrote on the other]. Even the name of Carthage (Carthagena) belongs by its form to the ethnic Pelasgian group from the lower Danube. Three village on the territory of Romania have even today the name of Cartojani or Cartogiani (in Vlasca district), and a town on the plains of Hungary on this side of Tisa is called Kardszag. None of these localities is situated near any navigable river, so we have no reason to suppose that they could have once been commercial colonies founded by the Carthagenese. Carthage though, Barsa or Byrsan, was not only an isolated Pelasgian settlement in North Africa. The numerous population of Libya had been formed from very remote times by the Getuli, whose dwellings, according to the ancient geographers, were between Mauritania, Numidia, Cyrenaica and the northern edges of the great desert. They had migrated there from the lands of the Getae. So said the traditions about them (Isidorus Hispalensis, Originum, lib. IX. 2. 118). The sky column as symbol of the future life is represented also on the funerary monuments of Carthage during the Punic times. One of these old monuments is a funerary stela discovered in the ruins of the city destroyed by the Romans. On its upper part is shown a column in the shape of a stunted pyramid. (Other similar stelae can be seen at Perrot et Chipiez, Phenicie-Chypre, p.458, 460). In the middle is figured Prometheus holding at his chest the clay figure of the man created by him; and on both sides of the column are represented the rising sun and the setting sun, in the Pelasgian style from the Carpathians (Hampel, A bronzkor emlekei Magyarhonban, I, 1886, p. LXXIV, LXXXVIII). This religious symbol of Carthage represented something real. Funerary stela from Carthage, showing on the upper part the Sky Column in the shape of a stunted pyramid. (From Perrot et Chipiez, Histoire de l’art, Tome III. p. 53) This stunted pyramid presents in its forms a very characteristic similarity with the shape of the principal column from the Carpathians and also with the emblem of Mycenae. Another funerary stela from Carthage shows the emblem of the divine region as follows: Funerary stela from Carthage. (From Perrot et Chipiez, Histoire de l’art, Tome III. p. 79) We see here an ancient religious symbol and not a human shape rudimentary sculpted. It is the shape of a Pelasgian column, of a stunted pyramid on which the sky is supported, symbolized by a horizontal line with bent ends, exactly as shown on the funerary monuments of Egypt and Axia. The only difference is that on the symbol of Carthage the handles of the sky are bent upwards, showing therefore the sky as a divine boat, on which is figured the disc of the sun as “dux et moderator luminum” . [2. See also the sun boat figured in the Egyptian paintings and drawings at Maspero, Egypte et Chaldee, p. 161. 196. 197. 139, and the boat of the moon at p. 93. Similar versions of this symbol of the sky are represented on the rocks from Iasili-Kaia/Cappadocia and on the monument from Eflatunbunar/ Lycaonia, see Perrot et Chipiez, Hist. de l’art,T.IV. 639, 645, 731). We find the globe as symbol of the universe also on the funerary columns of Etruria. Varro wrote (Pliny, lib. XXXVI. 19. 7) that on the Mausoleum of Porsenna, near the town Clusium, were set five pyramids, four at the corners and one at the middle, each having on top a globe of copper. The Sky Column, as we have seen, was represented also on the Etruscan tombs from Axia, which indicates that these tribes had dwelt in the region of the Carpathians near the lower Danube before their migration to Italy. Even the name of Porsenna seems to be only a form corrupted by the ancient authors, of Barsan, Bursan or Borsan, meaning from the country of Barsa, a territory which around 1200ad had the name of terra Borza, Bursa, Burza, Bursza]. The principle of immortality dominated the religion of the Hyperboreans from Istru, the religion of the Pelasgians from Greece, Egypt, Etruria, Sicily, Carthage and we can say of the Pelasgian tribes of Asia Minor as well . [3. The ancient Carthagenese venerated Cronos, as Diodorus Siculus tells us (IV. 66. 5; XIV. 77. 5), and sacrificed after the Greek rite, meaning of the Pelasgians from the eastern parts of Europe. We add that Hannibal, as presented by Silius Italicus (I. 118), swore on Mars, as on a national god. The Sky Column in the shape of a slightly conical pillar, with a quasi-Doric capital, supported by a lion on both sides, is also figured on a rock tomb in the prehistoric necropolis of Ayazinn in ancient Phrygia (Perrot et Chipiez, Histoire de l’art, Tome V. p.111)]. The divine region, where the souls of the deceased migrated, in order to purify and renew themselves, was the mysterious region of the Hyperboreans from the Carpathians, and the symbol of immortality of all the Pelasgians was the one and the same column of the sky from near the Istru, from the heights which in Roman theology had the name of Cardines mundi. Two grand columns mark the origins of the Romanian people. One is the Sky Column from the SE arch or the Carpathians and the other is the Column from the forum of Trajan. Out of these two famous monuments of antiquity, the most glorious is without doubt the column which dominates even today the Carpathians, majestic symbol of the national and religious unity of all the Pelasgians. The Argonauts / Colchis The legend of the Argonauts goes back to a very remote antiquity. Homer himself mentions this expedition as an archaic event. A great many historical, ethnical and geographical matters are connected to the Argonauts’ legend, matters regarding the lands from the Lower Istru. Especially mentioned in the Argonauts’ legend are the very advanced culture of the population from the Istru (Oceanus potamos), and a series of very remarkable monuments from the point of view of their art, religion and customs. The subject of this legend is the following: Athamas, an ancient Pelasgian king of Thebe of Boeotia, was first married with Ino, Cadmus’ daughter. But after a while he repudiates Ino on the order of the oracle, weds Nephele and has with her a son Phrixus and a daughter Helle. But Nephele dies and Ino becoming Athamas’ wife a second time, and powerful in his house, starts to persecute Nephele’s children. During these times there happens to be a great drought and famine in Boeotia, and Ino counsels Athamas to consult the oracle of Delphi. But on the other hand she ensures in secret that the oracle shall give the answer she wanted, namely that this calamity will cease only when king Athamas will sacrifice one of his children. Upon receiving the oracle’s answer, Athamas calls his son Phrixus from the field, asking him to bring at the same time the most beautiful ram in the flock. This ram though starts talking (a gift from a divinity), reveals to Phrixus and his sister all the hidden plans of their step mother and urges them to climb on his back, so that he could save their life. According to another version of this old legend, king Athamas is forced by the workers of the fields, who suffer the effects of the drought, to take Phrixus to the altar to be sacrificed, but Nephele sends a ram with a golden fleece, which she had received as a gift from Hermes, to transport her children by air, over earth and sea, to the land named Colchis. Helle falls though in the sea at the strait between Europe and Asia, which receives the name Hellespont as a result of this tragedy, while Phrixus reaches the region of Colchis. Here, in gratitude for his escape, he sacrifices the ram to Zeus Phyxios, and presents the fleece to king Aietes, from the country called Aia, who then nails it in Colchis on an oak tree, in the grove consecrated to the god Mars, where it is guarded by a dragon which never slept (Apollodorus, Bibl. I. cap. 9; Apollonius Rhodius, Argonauticon. Ed. Didot. 1878; Orpheus, Argonautica, Ed. Schneider, 1803; Diodorus Siculus, lib. IV. c. 40 seqq; Philostephanus Cyraeneus, fragm. 37 in Fragmenta Hist. Graec. Vol. III. p. 34). This is in short the legendary Greek tradition about the origin of the golden fleece from the land of the Colchi. In these same times reigns in the south west of Thessaly, in Iolcus, king Pelias, who had usurped the throne of this little land by ousting his step brother Eson. To get rid also of Eson’s son, Iason, Pelias sends him to bring back the sacred golden fleece from the shady grove of Mars from Colchis. Iason invites the most famous heroes of his time to accompany him on this journey. According to the ancient legends, in this expedition took part the following heroes: Hercules, Zeus’s sons Castor and Pollux, Theseus the son of Egeus, Anceus the son of Lycurg, Leitus the son of Alectorus, Orpheus the great singer, Zetes and Calais the sons of Boreas from the region of the Getae (Silius Italicus, Punica, lib. VIII. v. 501-502) and other young heroes from Iolcus, Orchomenos and Pylos. All these heroes, called in fact Minyi , 54 in number and looking for glory, embark on the ship called Argo, built by Iason for this purpose with Athena’s help, and in which the Goddess had fixed a piece from the sacred prophetic oak of the Pelasgians from Dodona. [1. Most of the Argonauts traced their origin back to Minyas, an ancient and rich king, who had founded the city of Orchomenos in Boeotia, and whose mother had been Callirrhoe, the daughter of the Ocean (Istru)]. Before leaving, the Argonaut heroes pledge loyalty and compliance to Iason. In this oath they invoke firstly the old divinity of Oceanus or Istru, of the Pontos and of that extreme water Thetys, then Proteus and Triton, secondary divinities of the same Homeric Ocean (Orpheus, Argonautica, v. 333). The mountainous region named Colchis, near the Lower Istru. The event of the heroic times known under the name of the expedition of the Argonauts for taking the golden fleece, had a great echo in the antique world. This legend talked in fact about a miraculous country, superior in its civilization to the meridional lands. The inhabitants of that region, over which the famous king Aietes reigned, enjoyed excellent economic well-being, pastoral and agricultural, as well as enormous riches in metals (Strabo, Geogr. lib. I. 2. 39). The gold riches of king Aietes, who reigned over Colchis, were known in antiquity as fabulous. Pliny mentions the gold rooms of this king, the silver beams, columns and pillars of his palace (H. N. lib. XXXIII. 15). In his gold rooms, says Mimnermus, the Sun’s rays were enclosed (Strabo, Geogr. lib. I. 2. 40). And the Argonauts, according to the Orphic poem, upon arriving at Aiete’s capital, were astonished at seeing this king going along the river in a gold carriage in which he shined exactly like a sun, as his vestments radiated only light (Orpheus, Argonautica, v. 811 seqq). We shall examine firstly the Argonautic legend from the point of view of the geographical traditions, in order to get to the historical secrets of this legendary event. It had been observed even during Greek antiquity that the oldest geographical data about the expedition of the Argonauts did not correspond to the eastern parts of the Black Sea, or the lands near the Asian Caucasus. According to the old legends, king Aietes’ mother was the daughter of the great river Oceanus, or Istru. King Aietes himself marries Idyia, a daughter of the Ocean (Hesiodus, Theog. v. 956 seqq; Apollodorus, Bibl. I. 9. 23. 6) and his splendid residence is also near the river Oceanus or Istru (Homer, Odyss. X. 137; Strabo, Geogr. I. 2. 10). Phrixus, as Hesiodus tells us (Fragm LIX), running away from his step-mother’s persecution, comes to Scythia, and not at all to that Colchis, on the southern parts of the Asian Caucasus, which in fact belonged neither to European, nor to Asian Scythia. In the epic poem of Valerius Flaccus, the theatre of the most important events of the Argonautic legend, is the European Scythia. Aietes was a king of Scythia (Arg. I. 2, Ibid. I. v.43-44, v. 345, v.503, Ibid. VIII. 185), his kingdom was under the Great Bear constellation, or in other words, in that same part of the northern region (Valerius Flaccus, Argon. Lib. V. v. 318) attributed to the Getae by the old geographies. Inside the magnificent Temple of the Sun, which formed the particular splendor of Aietes’ capital, the Argonauts see the statue of powerful Atlas, on whose knees were breaking the waves of the Ocean, while on the copper gates of this Temple was represented the victory of the Getae over the Egyptian king Sesostris (Valerius Flaccus, Argon. Lib. V. v. 408 seqq). The capital of king Aietes was therefore in the country of the valiant people of the Getae, near the Istru. The geographical region over which king Aietes reigned is called by the ancient authors by the old name of Aia, meaning “Tera” (TN – country). Even the name of Aietes himself is only a derivate form of Aia (Stephanos Byzanthinos), with the meaning of “Teran” (TN – countryman, peasant) . This Aia or “Tera”, renowned for its fabulous riches, is the goal of the Argonauts’ voyage . [2. In later legends about the Argonauts, the territory where Aietes had his residence was also called Cytaea, or Cutaea (Cutaies gaia. Apollonius Rhodius, IV. 511); Cytaea terra (Valerius Flaccus, VI. 693); Cytaeis (Stephanos Byzanthinos, see Kyta). The same population, mentioned by Ptolemy by the name of Kotensioi, had their dwellings on Dacia’s territory, in the lower parts of the river Siret. In the province of Moesia Superiore (to which had been attributed in later times of the empire also the eastern parts of Dacia) we find Cives Cotini written on a Roman inscription (C.I.L.VI. nr.2831) (Mommsen). We find even today in Moldova the family name Cotin (Sezatoarea, Falticeni, AN. II. p. 14). In the parts of the rivers Siret and Buzau there still exists a topographic name analogous to the old form Cutaies: it is a significant mountain, close to Colti, on the territory of Paltineni village, called Catias. There is a stream Catias as well, and a village Catias, situated south-west of the village of Colti; and near the mouth of the river Siret we have the lake Catusa, while Catieseni is the name of a group of indigenous people from the village Paltineni]. But where was Colchis? In the Argonautic traditions Colchis appears only as a mountainous region of the extended kingdom of Aietes, called Aia or Tera in particular, and Scythia in general . [3. According to the Orphic poem (v. 821-824; 1006-1012), Aietes reigned over tera Cytea Kyteida gaian and over the land of the Colchi, Kolchon choron. Colchis appears only as a simple region of the country Aia also with Stephanos Byzanthinos (see Phasis)]. According to the poet Ovid, the martial people of the Colchi dwelt on the northern part of the Lower Danube. Only this big river, says he, separates the region of the city of Tomis from the region of the Colchi, where the legendary hero Iason had once come to steal the golden fleece. “Thrown among a hostile population” writes Ovid from his exile (Trist. Lib. II. 1. v. 191-192) “I suffer here the most extreme torments and there is no other exiled farther from his country than I am. I alone am sent to the mouths of the seven armed Istru, where the icy pole of the north leans on my shoulders. The waters of Istru can barely make a barrier between me and the Iasigi, Colchi, the Meteree hordes and the Getae” . [4. The geographical position of the Colchi appears at Mela (I. 19) and Pliny (VI. 11. 1) also in the western parts of the Black Sea, or between the Riphaei and Ceraunia (Cerna) mountains. But, faced with the enormous geographical confusion made by the Greek authors since Herodotus onwards, neither Pliny, nor Mela, knew precisely on which part of the Black Sea were these Riphaei and Ceraunia mountains]. And the same Latin poet says in another place the following: “Consider that in these parts had once come Eson’s son, and how much praise has the posterity heaped on him, although his trials were much lighter and fewer than ours” (Ep. Ex Ponto. I. 4. v. 23-26). Finally, Ovid shows Medea in another poem, uttering the following words towards Iason: “and my father (Aietes) reigns over the whole region from the left side of the Pontos as far as the snow covered Scythia”. (Heroid. XII. V. 27). (Ovid, like all the Greek geographers, considered the left side of the Euxine Pontos to be its western side – Trist. I. 8. v. 39; I. 11. v. 31). The Colchi of Ovid, who dwelt near another warlike people, called by him Meterea turba, were therefore identical with the famous Colchi of the Argonautic legends. The origin and meaning of the topical name Colchis have remained unexplained to this day. We meet very often, in the highlands of the Carpathians, once inhabited by Pelasgian pastoral tribes, the orographic name of Colti (TN – read Coltzi, fangs), a word with the meaning of sharp, pointed and prominent peaks of rock formations. The Greek name of Colchis which appears in the Argonautic legend, had this same meaning in prehistoric times . [5. The Greek language, not having the Pelasgian, or barbarian, sounds of ch and tz, expressed them very often by the letter k (ch). So, the Greek authors wrote Kolchis, a word which in Romanian is pronounced today Colti (TN – read Coltzi) and which was surely similarly pronounced by the ethnics in ancient times. We find another similar example with the historian Nicolae the Damascene, from the time of the emperor Augustus. According to this author, an Indian came along with a party of envoys, sent by king Por (Pandion) from India to sign an alliance treaty with the Romans. Arriving at Athens, and wanting for some reason to end his life, he laughingly undressed himself, anointed himself, climbed on the pyre and burnt himself, and on his tomb was put the following inscription in Greek: “Poor Kegan, Indian from Bargosa, who, following the ancestral custom of the Indians, has passed to the Gods all by himself” (Strabo, Ed. Didot, lib. XV. 1. 74; Ibid. p. 1034). As results from the satirical text of this inscription, the word Kegan or Tegan (TN – read Tzegan) is not a personal name, but an ethnic name, identical in form and meaning with the Romanian name Tigan (TN – read Tzigan, Gypsy)]. According to Apollonius Rhodius, the erudite Alexandrian poet (lib. III. v. 1275-6), the warlike Colchi people lived on the rocky outcrops (schopeloi) of the Caucasus mountain. Here we find the same Caucasus, famous in the legends and traditions of the ancient world. It is the Caucasus from near the Istru, or the northern parts of Thrace. The mountainous area of the district of Buzeu had a particular economic and strategic importance in ancient times, placed as it was close to the mouths of the Danube and the commercial cities of Scythia Minor (Dobrogea). On the valley of the river Buzeu, which bisects the south eastern arc of the Carpathians, there existed the old communication line between the Black Sea and the interior parts of Transylvania, this famous crown of mountains, rich in flocks, herds, cereals, excellent wines and metals. In this region of Buzeu, covered in secular forests, with widespread, excellent pastures, sheer cliffs, high and sharp mountain peaks, there exists a considerable group of Romanian villages named Colti, with a population of 2080 and four churches. The cradle of this group is the village named Colti, nestled at the foot of some wild cliffs, in the shape of colti (TN – fangs), which bear this same name . [6. The territory of Colti appears to have been inhabited even during Neolithic. Near the cliffs in the photo, the villagers often find chips of sylex and pot shards with ashes in them. In the hamlet of Alunis, part of the Colti group of villages, there is also a monument belonging to the primitive times, a little church, entirely cut in a stone cliff. According to the oral tradition this old sanctuary had been hewn by a shepherd]. Another hamlet in this group is called Materea, and south of the Colti area is the mountain also called Materea, covered but with little forest (Iorgulescu, Dict. geogr. jud. Buzeu, p 317). These two villages Colti and Materea, on the tableland of Buzeu, are the “Colchi, Metereaque turba” of Ovid, pastoral tribes which, driving their flocks on the territory of Scythia Minor, inspired such terror in that poet, used to live the soft life of imperial Rome, far from the severe and bellicose people of the mountains. Phasis According to what the legends of antiquity say, along the territory of the Colchi flew the fast river called Phasis, which had a particular economic and commercial importance. Near Phasis, Suidas tells us (see Phasianoi), was produced that fine race of horses, so admired by the Greeks. Near Phasis had been established in remote times some commercial Ionian (Milesian) colonies. As we had seen many times before, an infinite number of topographical names of rivers, tribes, villages and cities from the territory of the Barbarians, had been altered in Greek geographical literature, some modified only in form, others completely changed, as the ancient geographers, historians and poets had used just simple Greek translations of the original names, which has caused and will also cause in the next centuries, enormous difficulties for the historical science. The same case is with the name of the river Phasis in the geography of the Argonautica. The old legends tell us that Phrixus, after arriving in Colchis, sacrifices the miraculous ram to Zeus Phyxios (Phuxios) (Apollodorus, Bibl. lib. I. 9. 1. 6), namely “Zeus who protects the flight”, as the Greek authors explain this epithet; and he presents the fleece to king Aietes, who nails it in the Temple, or in the grove consecrated to the god Mars. This epithet, or name Phuxios, attributed to Zeus, appears for the first time in the Argonautic legend. It is without doubt a local epithet of the great divinity adored by the Colchi, a name originating with the altars or the Temple where Phrixus had sacrificed the ram. In fact, the origin of the word Phuxios is, by its form, as well as geographical circumstances, the same indigenous topical name, which in Greek literature appears as Phasis because, as the old geographers tell us, there also existed a city with the name Phasis, founded by the Milesians (Mela, lib. I. c. 19; Stephanos Byzanthinos, Phasis), and situated at the point where the river Phasis came out from the straits of the mountains. The ancient Greeks used to change very often the sound b with ph, especially in words spoken by the Pelasgians from the northern parts of Hellada. They said therefore Phryges instead of Bryges (Herodotus, lib. VII. 73), Philippos instead of Bilippos, Phalacros instead of Balacros, and Pherenice instead of Berenice, as pronounced in fact by the Macedonians. They also called Physios instead of Bysios the month or the time when it was customary to consult the Hyperborean oracle from Delphi (Plutarc, Oeuvres, Ed. 1784, Tome XIII. p. 105). The true name of the river Phasis, considering the geographical location of the Colchis territory, as well as the location of the city Phasis, and the local epithet of Phuxios attributed to the great god of Colchis, could not be translated in Greek but as Buxios, or more correctly Buzios, namely Buzeu of today, the important river, which crosses the south-eastern arc of the Carpathians from one country to another. This identification of the river Phasis with Buzeu is also confirmed in the Argonautic poem of Apollonius Rhodius, who mentions (lib. II. v. 396. 1244) as a neighboring people of the Colchi, or near Phasis, the Buxeres (Buzeres), called Buxeri by Pliny (lib. VI. 11) and Mela (lib. I. 107), surely a name formed after the name of the river Buzeu. And it is confirmed again by the fact that the river Phasis was called Boas (Procopius, Bell. Pers. II. 29; Ibid. Bell. Goth. IV. 2) in its higher regions and finally, that the city of Phasis was situated at the point where the river Phasis came out of the mountain straits (Pliny, lib. VI. 4. 4), therefore where we have today the city of Buzeu. [7. The correct name should apparently be Bosa, not Boas, because the Hungarians in Transilvania call even today the superior course of this river, Bodza]. Saranges The famous Phasis from the geography of the Argonauts, had an important tributary with the name Saranges (Orpheus, Arg. v. 1052). Both these rivers appear to have been of almost the same size, but Phasis was fast (Ovid, Met. Lib. VII. v. 6), wide and with rapids (Apollonius Rhodius, lib. II. v. 400-401; 1261; Eusthatius, Comm. In Dionys. v. 689), while Saranges was slow. The river Saranges in the Orphic poem appears at Pliny (lib. VI. 4. 5; II. 106. 5) with the name Surius , the same in fact with Siret of today, which joins Buzeu river near the village Maxineni, on the vast plain of the Lower Danube. [8. The river named Surius by Pliny, which flew into Phasis at the point from where the big ships could not proceed further upstream, corresponds therefore only to Siret, and should not be mistaken for Siriu, another tributary of Buzeu inside the mountains, and close to its sources]. Buzeu and Siret rivers of today present the same physiognomy which Phasis and Saranges had in antiquity. The Romanian Geographical Society Dictionary tells us that the incline on which Buzeu river flows being very steep, makes this river one of the fastest rivers of the country. Its bed being covered with great boulders, makes the ford crossing difficult. The width of its bed reaches 300 and 400m. As for Siret, colonel Iannescu tells us in his Military Geography (I, 1889, p.126, 162): The bed of Siret, sandy in its upper course, becomes muddy in its lower course. The incline of the bed is small, therefore the flow of the river is slow. We have to add that we find even today in the district of Buzeu a village called Saringa (Iorgulescu, Dict. p.477), proof that Saranges was quite a usual name in the geographical nomenclature of these lands. The Orphic poem tells us (Orpheus, Arg. v. 1046) that a group of Sindi dwelt near Saranges, this considerable tributary of the river Phasis. It is the same people called Sindi by Apollonius Rhodius (lib. IV. v. 322), who had their dwellings upstream from the mouths of the Danube. Finally, we have another geographical circumstance. According to Hecateus (fragm. 187. 339 in Frag. Hist. graec. I. p. 13. 26) and Pindar (Pyth. IV. 211. 251), the river Phasis (joined with Saranges) did not flow directly into the sea, but into the great river of the ancient world, Oceanus, or Istru, while Phasis is a son of the river Oceanus at Hesiodus (Theog. v. 340). And also the waters of Buzeu, joined with Siret, flow into the Danube. But we have to remark that the slow Siret, right after its confluence with the fast Buzeu, changes its south-western direction and flows eastwards on the natural bed of Buzeu. This is why Phasis was considered in antiquity, as Buzeu is today, the principal river, while Saranges, or Siret, only as its tributary . [9. Other geographical data regarding the region of the ancient Colchi: According to Apollonius Rhodius (II. v. 399-400), the sources of river Phasis were far away, in the mountains of the Amaranti. These were a people, a tribe. Their name has been preserved to this day in the word Maruntis, a village situated in the heart of the Carpathians, on both banks of Buzeu river. But according to Eratosthenes, the river Phasis had its sources in the mountains named Mosci (Pliny, VI. 4. 4 says Moschis; Strabo, XI. 14. 1 says Moschica; Mela, I. 19 says Moschici). In the higher parts of Buzeu district, near the boundary with Transylvania, an important group of mountains bear to this day the name Big Musa, Little Musa and Musica. Along these mountains flows one of the tributaries of Buzeu river, called Little Basca (Iorgulescu, Dict. geogr. Buzeu, p. 343-344). According to Scylax (c. 82), beyond the Colchi people dwelt the tribe called Buzeres by Pliny and Buxeri by Mela. They lived according to Strabo (XII. 3. 18) on the rocky mountain Scudises, whose ramifications joined with the mountains called Moschica situated above Colchi village. Scudises from Strabo’s geography, seems to be by name and position, one and the same with the vast mountain called Spedis, located above the Straits of Buzeu. According to Scylax again (c. 83), beyond the Buzeres dwelt another tribe called Ekechiries. We have here an ethnic name derived from the name of a place. In truth, further up from Spedis mountain, on the left bank of Buzeu river, close to the boundary with Transylvania, there is a mountain called today Tehereu (Charta Romaniei meridionale, 1856). Another mountain in the vicinity, part of the Tataru massif, appears on the Special map of the Austrian high command with the name Chichereu. The inhabitants named by Scylax Ekechiries are therefore the pastoral tribes living on the mountains Tehereu or Chichereu, from the higher parts of Buzeu river. In Valerius Flaccus’ poem about the Argonauts (VI. 130. 155) are also mentioned the Colchic tribes Cessaeae and Coastes. These seem to have been the ancient inhabitants of the villages called today Tisan and Chiosd, situated in the mountainous parts of Buzeu. The river Phasis, coming down from the mountains of the Amaranti, Apollonius Rhodius tells us (II. 400-401), passes over the plain Circeu. It is a name found often in the region where Buzeu river emerges from the mountain straits. On the territory of Viperesti village, near Buzeu river, there is a Carcea glade. On the right bank of Buzeu river there is an estate Chirculeasca, and not far away there is another, by the same name. The historian Fotino mentions in these same parts a river named Carcea, which flew into Buzeu river (Iorgulescu, Dict. geogr. Buzeu, 179. 162. 564). Pliny (VI. 4. 5) and Stephanos Byzanthinos (see Aia) also mention two other tributaries of the river Phasis, Hippos and Cyaneos, which seem to be identical with Valea Calului (TN – Valley of the Horse) and Calnau, both of which flow into Buzeu river. Close to the city of Phasis and the river Cyaneos, Scylax (81) mentions two more streams Cherosios potamos and Chorsos potamos, which seem to correspond to the streams of these days, Rusaveti and Ursoe, on the territories of the villages bearing the same names. Stephanos Byzanthinos also mentions another locality in the region of the Colchi, named Tyenis. It is without doubt the same village which appears today under the name Tohani, in the south-west part of the district of Buzeu. To this place can be applied Arrianis’s words (Peripl. 6), that Tyana of Capadoccia (?) was once called Thoana. Another locality in the Colchi region was called Pyenis (Stephanos Byzanthinos). The topical name Poieni is very usual in the region of the Carpathians. A hamlet of Colti village is called even today Poiena. According to the ancient authors, the lower region of the river Phasis appeared to be full of swamps and fluvial lakes, exactly as the plain of Buzeu is today. Appolonius Rhodius mentions one of these lakes as Amarantiou (III. 1220). Doubtless, the geographical sources used by Apollonius referred thus to the most considerable lake near the banks of the river Phasis, or Buzeu, a lake which is called even today Balta Amara (TN – the Bitter Lake)]. The capital and residence of king Aietes (Dia, Dioscurias, Sevastopolis, today Tirighina). According to the most exact historical sources, the capital and residence of king Aietes was situated at the mouths of the river Phasis (Apollonius Rhodius, Argon. Lib. II. v. 402-403; Orpheus, Argon. v. 763-764), whose important tributary was Saranges. The Orphic poem describes the splendour of this memorable city like this: “In front of the palace and the lovely river, raises the inaccessible enclosure of the fortress, 9 fathoms high, defended by towers and strong masses of well cut stone, and encircled by 7 circular walls. There are three huge copper gates in the walls of the fortress, and the wall above them is crowned with golden crenels. Above the gates’ lintel is placed the statue of the divinity, who the Colchi venerate under the name Diana (ArTumis). She is the goddess of the Gates, the noisy rider, staring into the distance, and exuding a shivering light, exactly like a flame”. When Iason arrives with his companions at the mouths of river Phasis, Aietes accompanied by his daughters Chalciope, the widow of Phrixus, and Medea, yet unmarried, were taking a ride on the field adjoining the river “in a gold carriage, in which Aietes shined like a sun, because the gold of his vestments radiated only light; he wore on his head a crown of brilliant rays, his sceptre shone like lightning and his daughters sat on each side of him” (Orpheus, Argon. v. 896). Apollonius Rhodius tells us even more (lib. III. v. 210 seqq) about Aiete’s citadel and his magnificent palace: Iason, accompanied by Phrixus’ children and two heroes of his group, enters the city and the palace of Aietes. “They stop first in the vestibule and Iason admires the walls, the large gates, the pilasters adjoining the stone walls of the palace, decorated on the upper part with copper triglyphs (beam ends). Then they pass in silence over the threshold, near which grape vines, with green leaves and in full bloom, climbed upwards. From under the vines, four fountains, dug and built by Vulcan, flew continuously, one of milk, another of wine, the third of lovely scented myrrh and the forth of water. From the western side of this latter fountain flew warm water, in which bathed the figures of the Pleiades, and from a rock on its eastern side flew icy cold water. Such divine things Vulcan, the master craftsman, had executed in king Aietes’ palace” . [1. In various Romanian religious carols which we find in the lower parts of the Danube, especially in the districts of Buzeu, Braila and Constanta, is celebrated even today the magnificence of some “courts”, some “reigns”, some “high palaces”, in which were made “three rivers, three little rivers”, one of wine, one of myrrh and the third of clear water, and in this last one Good God bathed (Teodorescu, Poezii popl p. 33). A nuptial song also tells about some sumptuous courts, built in the same manner as Aietes’ palace, also called “Son of the Sun” (Marianu, Nunta la Romani, p. 753)]. Finally, Valerius Flaccus tells us that in Aiete’s city there were also the altars of the Sun, and that this Temple was so brilliant, so inundated with light, that one could believe it was the palace of the Sun itself (Argon. lib. V. v. 404). This was the miraculous appearance of the capital of Aietes, king over the region called “Aia” or “Tera” and over the mountainous land of the Colchi. We can ask now, in which part of ancient Oceanus potamos, or Istru, was located this magnificent capital, whose fortifications, palaces and Temples, by their building style and their fabulous splendour, had astonished a heroic world, a residence of a king so glorious and rich, that he had acquired the illustrious title of “son of the Sun”. The famous capital of Aietes was situated, as we have already mentioned, on the high ground where the two memorable rivers, Phasis joined with Saranges, (therefore Buzeu and Siret), flew into Oceanus Potamos or Istru. Indeed, on the left bank of Siret river, close to the point where its waters join the Danube, could be found up to our days the ruins of an ancient and powerful fortress, which is called even today Tirighina. In 1836 and 1837, Professor Seulescul of Iasi, one of the most erudite Romanian men of his epoch, has studied with extreme interest these antique ruins form the mouth of Siret, and we can thank him for the precious data which we have today about the architectonic remains of this glorious fortress (Descrierea istorico-geografica a cetatii…Ghertina, 1837). Seulescul believed that these ruins might have represented the ancient city of Roman Dacia called Caput Bubali (Caput Bovis). This was a justifiable error for his times. South of Galati, writes he, at a distance of half a mile from this city, there are the ruins situated on the left bank of Siret, close to its confluence with the Danube. These ruins are called today Tiglina or Triclina (more correct Tirighina). This city, by its favorable position and by the fortification works which encircled it, seems to have been the capital of this district. Only in the 18th century these ruins started to be attacked and their material to be used for the building of the fortifications at Braila and for some churches at Galati; and also the people have used and still use the stone from these ruins in order to pave the streets and the national road to Galati. This ancient city was encircled by construction works executed in an entirely particular manner. According to the foundations uncovered during the last dig, ancient Tirighina had a fortress and a city, which was divided in the old city, situated under the castle, and the new city, adjoining the old one on its western side. The citadel is on a hillock, partly collapsed around 1837, about 40 fathoms high, while the plateau on which are the ruins of the citadel has an extent of about 35 fathoms in diameter. The foothill and its vicinity were encircled and strengthened with walls. The hill of the citadel projects as a promontory southwards, towards the plain of Siret, and is joined with the neighbouring plateau by an isthmus enclosed between two parallel walls. On the top of the plateau, to the left and right sides of the isthmus, could be also seen foundations of walls and earth fortifications. On the northern part, where the approach was easier, the citadel of Tirighina was enclosed by four semi-circular walls. On the eastern part of the second circular wall, another wall descended abruptly to the waters of Siret. A second similar wall started on the western part of the complex, from the top of the hill down also to the bed of Siret river. And at a distance of about 100 fathoms two other walls were built in the same direction as the former, one in the east, the other in the west, stretching from the top of the hill to the bank of Siret in such a way, that the city was enclosed and protected from north, east and west by the elevation of the hills, of the castle and of the fortifications. Towards south it was protected by the waters of Siret, which here, at its widest, forms a semicircle and an island in front of Tirighina. Inside the castle, whose foundations were not yet destroyed by 1837, a subterranean crypt containing catacombs was discovered, as Seulescul tells us. The shape of this crypt was square, 2 fathoms wide, and because of lack of space the tombs were built in rows, on top of each other, like honeycombs. But around 1837 the vaults of the catacombs were caved in, and the remains scattered. Bas-reliefs, urns, lamps and other precious ornaments found in the tombs prove that the people whose remains had been deposited here belonged to the higher classes of society. On the western side of the city could still be seen around 1836 the foundations of a Temple, on the ruins of which laid scattered various pieces of columns and capitals, Ionic and Corinthian. General plan of the citadel and city of Tirighina (Dia, Dioscurias, Dinogetia, Diogetia, Diogenia), the ancient capital of king Aietes. (After the archaeological digs made in 1836 and 1837 by Professor G. Saulescul.) LEGEND Various other objects had been discovered here, like a small column of porphyry marble, a copper statuette of Cybele, holding in her left hand the Horn of Plenty, and a number of rectangular marble tablets (12x24cm) with reliefs, representing various scenes from the wars fought by this city. These tablets had once decorated probably the walls of the Temple. The mastery, the beauty and size of these classical pieces, continues Seulescul, prove the magnificence of this Temple, which once represented the majesty of some divinity. Other data about the buildings and opulence of this vanished fortress is communicated to us by the teacher G. A. Murgeanu, from Filesci village, on the territory of which are these ruins. As he writes: “around Tirighina fortress there is a deep trench, having the same shape as the trench called Troian. The citadel has a round shape and occupies the head of a hill. The old people, from whom I got this information, have themselves dug here by the order of the authorities, and found ancient coins, stones with inscriptions, and other valuable things, which were taken partly by the Russians, and partly by the local government of Galati. Tirighina fortress was apparently called by the people of old the “fortress of the giants”. We have presented here the principal findings of the serious digs executed by Professor Seulescul at Tirighina in 1836 – 1837. They are invaluable for the historic science, especially when considering that today the aspect of the terrain has completely changed here, that the remains of these interesting fortifications have disappeared from the face of the earth, and that even the river Siret has changed here its course. In the sincere and faithful description made by Seulescul, we can see quite clearly that the ancient fortress near the mouths of Siret, surrounded with nine walls built in various construction systems, represented the once happy metropolis of king Aietes, from near the mouths of the river Phasis, girdled, as the poem says, by seven rows of circular walls. When studying these ruins we have to take into account that the ancient traditions of the Orphic poem about the immense wealth of king Aietes echo even today in the tales of the locals from around Tirighina. “I heard from a number of old locals” writes to us the teacher G. A. Murgeanu from Filesci village, “that on the eastern side of Tirighina fortress, facing Barbosi railway station, there is an underground vault with strong gates, and that inside it there is a gold statue of the king, seated in a gold carriage with gold horses”. We have now to study the old name of this important city from the confluence of the river Siret with the Danube. In Romanian folk traditions the ruins of the city and the citadel near the mouths of Siret are called Tirighina (Terighina at Seulescul in Descrierea Ghertinei) and Gherghina (CanTumir, Descr. Mold. Ed. 1877, p.13). We find the true and only explanation of these archaic names only in the legend of the Argonauts. According to the different versions of the legend, as told by Pindar (Pyth. IV), Apollonius Rhodius (Bibl. lib. I. 9. 20), and the grammarian Apollodorus, Iason, arriving at the river Phasis, sails the ship into the harbor and goes to king Aietes, to explain the task he had received from Pelias, and to ask for the golden fleece. Aietes promises Iason to give it to him, if he managed to fulfil some special works. So, king Aietes brought out a steel plough, made by Vulcan, and two bulls renowned for their size and savagery, received also from Vulcan as a gift. These bulls had copper hoofs and blew fire on their nostrils. Aietes himself yoked them and ploughed a few straight furrows, a fathom high (an allusion to the giant furrow existing between Serbesci and Tulucesci, which touches Tirighina fortress to the west and north, and which is considered as a continuation of Novac’s furrow from Tera Romaneasca (TN – The Romanian country). Then Aietes says the following: when the skipper of the ship will do the same, he will be allowed to take the golden fleece, which never rots. Iason, secretly aided by Medea’s spells, yokes the bulls and ploughs four jugers on the field called of Mars. Seeing this, Aietes imposes on Iason another task, to sow dragon teeth in the furrows, from those sown by Cadmus at Thebes. But Medea, burning with love for Iason, who had promised to take her to Thessaly as his wife, reveals to the hero that from the dragon teeth which he will sow on the furrows, giant armed men will spring from the earth, who will try to attack him. He will have to throw stones amongst them, they will start fighting each other, and then he will have to attack them one by one, until he will kill them all. According to the legends things happen exactly like that. These giants, emerged from the earth on the field near Aietes’ capital, are called in the Argonautica legend Gegenees (Apollonius Rhodius, Argon. lib. III. v. 799, 1338, 1342, 1355) and Terrigenae by Latin authors (Ovid, Met. Lib. VII. v. 141; Heroid. VI. v. 35), meaning men born from the earth. The name Tirighina or Terighina which the ruined fortress form the mouth of Siret bears even today, is therefore only an archaic folk name of the Pelasgo – Latin word Terrigena . [2. Professor Vaillant (La Romanie, III. 1844, 456) also derives the name Tirighina from terrigena, without knowing though the legendary history of this capital from the Lower Danube. Pliny mentions near the river Phasis a famous city, unknown today, called Tyndarida (Tyndaris), and Arrianus, who had placed in a frivolous manner the entire geography of the Colchi in Asia, calls the same city Tyndaridae. Herodotus has two traditions about Tyndaridae (IV. 145; IX. 73). According to one, they had been allied with the Argonauts. According to the other, they had invaded Attica with a great host, in order to take Helena back, not knowing where she had been taken]. Finally, we have another circumstance. In Romanian folk traditions Tirighina is also called the Fortress of the giants, and with the same epithet of fortress of the giants, Titanis, appears Aietes’ capital also with Apollonius Rhodius (lib. IV. v. 131). So, we can ascertain with full historical conviction, that the famous capital and residence of Aietes had been situated on the left bank of Siret, at the place where until 1837 could still be observed the environs of the city and fortress of Tirighina fortress, now vanished from history and despoiled of its monuments and splendour. By its favourable position and strong fortifications, this queen among fortresses, built at the mouths of Siret, between the Danube Delta and the Carpathians, had once dominated the entire Western Pontos, from the Hem mountains to the upper parts of today Moldova (Ovid, Heroid. XII. V. 27-28). The capital of a powerful riverine state, it was during the heroic times the key of the great commercial movement on the Danube; it even had suzerain rights over the Euxine Pontos. The erudite Alexandrine poet Apollonius Rhodius mentions the ancient pillars in Aietes’ city, on which were described the roads and the limits of the seas and countries, for the use of anybody who intended to travel anywhere (Argon. lib. IV. v. 277 seqq). This special preponderance of the citadel of Tirighina over the navigation on Euxine Pontos is also confirmed by numismatic finds. On a bronze coin, discovered by Seulescul in the ruins of this citadel, is depicted a woman rider, defending herself with the curved sword (the Dacian national sword) against a hero who persecutes her. It is an Amazon fighting Hercules. Near the woman’s head appears the letter D (delta) and around the coin is the inscription: METRO. PONTOU TOY EYKS. Metro(polis) Pontou tou Eucs(einou) In order to appreciate the historical value of this coin, a second example of a bronze coin was fortunately discovered in the ruins, having the same qualification of Metropolis of the Euxine Pontos. This coin shows on the front side the bust of a Roman emperor with the inscription: AUTKMAURSE. ALEXAN. Aut(ochrator) K(aisar) M(archos) Aur(elios) Se(veros), Alexan(dros) [Sevastos] and on the reverse side, the figure of a feminine divinity holding in her left hand the Horn of Plenty and in her right hand a vase. It is Cybele or Dea Mater . Under the goddess’ feet appears the Greek letter D (delta), and around the edge of the coin the inscription: METRO. PONTOY TOU EUX Metro(polis) Pontou tou Eux(einou) [3. An inscription discovered at Filesci (in Moldova) has the dedication TERRaE MATRI (C.I.L.III. Nr. 1559). As soon as Iason arrives near Aietes’ capital, says Apollonius Rhodius (II. 1273), he pours libations in honour of Gaea (Terra), of the indigenous gods and of the souls of the deceased heroes]. Various autonomous cities of antiquity, especially in the provinces of Asia Minor and Syria, were called Metropolis, some because they were under the particular protection of Cybele, the Mother of gods, others because were mother-cities of colonies, or capitals of provinces. The title METROP. PONTOU first appears on the coins of emperor Trajan, but without other local indication. Later, this title of Metropolis of the Pontos was acquired by the cities Amasia and Neocaesarea in Asia Minor, as well as Tomis in Moesia (TN – Dobrogea) (Eckhel, Doctr. Num. Pars I. Vol. II. p. 344). We must not forget though that none of these cities, neither Tomis, nor Amasia, or Neocaesarea, are called Metropolis of the Euxine Pontos, but only metropolis of Pontos, namely the littoral or the province near the Black Sea (Pontica terra). Tomis appears on a Roman inscription from 161-168ad (C. I. L. III. nr. 753) as Civitas pontica Tomitanorum (TN- the Pontic city of Tomis). The title of Metropolis of the Euxine Pontos had a totally different significance, and we find this title only on the coins discovered at Tirighina. We have here a title of maritime sovereignty. Aietes appears as the most powerful king of ancient Scythia. He could, as Apollonius Rhodius describes him, to make war even against Greece. His renown had reached west as far as the Adriatic Sea. On another hand, the Euxine Pontos is often named by the authors of antiquity Scythicus Pontus, Scythicum and Sarmaticum mare, meaning under the sovereignty of the kings of Scythia (Valerius Flaccus, Argon. I. v. 331; Ibid. II. v. 576; Statius, Thebaid. XI. v. 436-437; Ovid, Ex Ponto. Lib. IV. 10. 39). But how do we explain the isolated letter D, delta, on these coins discovered in Tirighina’s ruins? It is without doubt the initial letter of the name of the autonomous and sovereign city which had minted these coins. The glorious capital of Aietes appears with the ancient geographers under the name Dia , Dioscurias (Stephanos Byzanthinos; Pliny, lib. VI. 5. 1) and Sebastopolis, sebaste polis, the venerable, sacred, august city. [4. Dia was an ancient Pelasgian divinity, the goddess protectress of the fields, identical with Rhea (Cybele) or the Mother of gods. Her Roman cult was administered by the collegium of the Arvali brothers. In Greek literature she appears under the name Deo (Apoll. Rh. III. 413), but she was considered identical with Demeter (Ceres). The principal Temple of the ruined city from the mouths of Siret was dedicated to Cybele, therefore to Dia]. This ruined city near the mouths of Siret still existed in Roman times, but we have only versions of its true name. With Ptolemy is Dinogetia, Diogetia, Dinogenia, Diogenia (Geogr. Ed. Didot, I. p. 458); Diniguttia in Itinerarium Antonini Aug.(Ed. Pinder et Parthey) p.178; Dirigothia in Notitia Orientis (Ed. Boecking) p. 79; and Dinogessia with Ravennas (Cosmographia, Ed. Pinder et Parthey, p. 178). So, we can presume that the letter D (delta) on the coins discovered at Tirighina, having the inscriptions metropolis Pontou tou Euxeinou, indicate the old name of this city, Dia, changed by Greek geographers in Dioscurias, and during the Roman epoch in Dinogetia, Dinogenia, Diniguttia, Dirigothia . [5. We hear even today in a Romanian heroic folk song (Alecsandri, Poezii pop. p. 134) an echo about the arrival at the mouths of Siret of a small ship, with hostile intentions. It seems to be only a modified fragment of an ancient folk poem about the Argonauts. Even the number of 50 members of the group is almost the same as that of the Argonaut heroes. Another folk ballad (Marianu, Poezii pop. Tom. I. p. 30) mentions the great, princely courts from the lower parts of Moldova, at the turn of the river (the Turn of Tirighina]. And finally, we have another important coin regarding Aietes’ capital. It is an autonomous coin found in the Romanian countries, and probably in the parts of Tirighina. Cesar Bolliac, the distinguished Romanian archaeologist and numismatist, had published in 1871 a series of Dacian coins, among which a silver one presents a particular historical interest. It shows on the front the bust of a feminine divinity, Cybele or Dea Mater, a figure which as a type presents a great likeness with the statuette of Cybele discovered by Seulescul in the ruins of Tirighina. On the reverse side is figured a lion, the particular attribute of the goddess Cybele. Above the lion is the almost erased inscription …RASS and under the lion’s feet: AIET. The coin is in no way from the times of legendary Aietes, but it is connected to the capital and territory over which Aietes once reigned. The first row contains without doubt the particular name of the city, and the second row the name of the people or the confederation. We will reconstitute this inscription like this: (Dioschou)r(i)as S(evaste) [polis] Aiet(on) meaning: Dioscurias, the venerable city of the Aieni. The golden fleece as sacred object of the Pelasgian pastoral and agricultural tribes With the help of Medea, the famous enchantress, Iason also defeats the dreadful dragon from the grove consecrated to Mars, and steals the golden fleece. This fleece had, according to legends, a divine origin (Menecratis Tyrius, Fragm Hist. graec. II. p. 344). It had a particular religious, economical and political importance for the ancient Pelasgian tribes from the Carpathians, and for the tribes which had settled on Hellada’s lands. As Pindar tells us (Pyth. IV. v. 164), the Pelasgian oracle from Castalia, near Delphi, had commanded Pelias to prepare an expedition in order to bring back the golden fleece of the ram, with which Phrixus had fled. And Valerius Flaccus shows Pelias saying the following words to Iason: “You, who have the energy and the manly courage, go my dear, and bring back the fleece of Nephele’s ram, to deposit it in our Greek Temple” (Argon. I. 55 seqq). Finally, according to another oracle, king Aietes was to lose his reign when the golden fleece was stolen from him (Diodorus Siculus, lib. IV. 47. 6; Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopadie). As we see, various interests of economical and political wellbeing were connected to the possession of this fleece. (Mars, Mavors of the Latin poets, Ares of the Greeks, to whom the golden fleece was consecrated, had been in ancient times the protector of pastoralists and agriculture). We have here a historical enigma. Was this fleece, dedicated to Mars in the grove of the Colchi only a plain natural sheepskin or fleece, or was it a consecrated object of metal and therefore not subjected to decay? [1. The sheep wool, or the sheepskin with its fleece, had always played an important role in the ancient Pelasgian cult (Pausanias, VIII. 43. 11; Polemonis Iliensis, frag. 88 in Fragm. Hist. graec. III. 144; Servius, Aen. IV. 374). The Romanian people have even today the religious custom to give a sheepskin to the officiating priest, as part of the alms distributed after a burial (Marianu, Inmormantarea, p. 363)]. Gold has been always the most precious material in Pelasgian cults and sacrifices. Gaea, the great divinity of the Pelasgian people, presents the traditional gold apples at Zeus’s wedding with Juno. Vulcan, the divine craftsman of antiquity, presents to Zeus, father of gods and men, a vine with leaves and grapes of gold, worked with great art by himself (Homer, Ilias parva, Ed. Didot, fr. 3. p. 595). Croesus, the renowned king of Lydia, gives gold oxen to the Temple of Ephesus (Herodotus, lib. I. 92). The sacred objects protecting the agricultural Scythes were, according to Herodotus (lib. IV. c. 5), a plough, a double edged sickle, and a cup, all made of gold, which had fallen from the sky. The golden fleece, dedicated to Mars in the rich country of king Aietes, belonged to this kind of precious art objects, of divine origin. The poet Pindar describes this golden fleece of the Colchi as not subjected to decay, eternal (Pyth. Iv. 23). According to Valerius Flaccus, it was an object made of the most pure metal or gold (Argon. lib. V. v. 231). And according to another tradition, which we hear from Ovid, not only the fleece, but even the ram itself was of gold (Heroid, XII. 202. 203). And in truth, the invaluable worth of this fleece is allegorically expressed in the tale by the fact that it was guarded by a dragon which never slept, exactly like the famous gold apples of Gaea. Finally, we must not forget the extraordinary importance of this fleece: the famous Pelasgian oracle from Delphi orders the recovery of this fleece, for the execution of which all the Pelasgian dynasties on the territory of Hellada ally themselves . [2. The figure of Phrixus’ ram was put on the sky among the constellations which govern the sowing of crops (Erathosthenes, c. 19; Hyginis, Fab. 138; Idem, Poet. Astron.II. 20; Manilis, Astron. III. v. 302; Columella, R.R. lib. X. v. 155). According to Dupuis (Origine de tous les cultes, VI. 271), Phrixus’ ram, called by Latin authors aries, princeps zodiaci, ductor exercitus zodiaci, dux gregis, princeps signorum, ovis aurea, Zeus libycus, is the famous lamb of Christian religion, and of the Jewish religion under the name of the “Pascal lamb”. We also add that, according to Columella (XI. c. 2), in day 16 of the April Calendes (March 17), the sun enters the constellation of the Ram]. The Argonauts’ expedition to Colchis to bring the golden fleece to Greece, belongs to the legendary series of missions and actions undertaken with the purpose of removing the sacred objects from the countries situated at north of the Lower Istru. So were Hercules’ tasks: to take the gold apples from the Hyperboreans from near Atlas; to bring from the Istrian country, or from Istria, the deer with golden horns which nymph Taygeta had dedicated to Diana (Pindar, Olymp. III. 27 seqq, 52); and to take from Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, the precious girdle given her by Mars, as a symbol of primacy (Apollodorus, Bibl. lib. II. 5. 9). The fight of the Argonauts with the Colchis dragon, for the golden fleece. In the middle of the scene there is a tall and strong oak tree. The golden fleece is hung on its left side, on one of its branches. The dragon, guardian of the fleece, at the sight of the Argonauts, coils itself in fury around the tree’s trunk. Iason, with a spear in each hand, attacks the dragon on the left side of the scene. But he seems battle weary, afraid and without hope. Hercules, with a stance prepared for retreat, lifts his mace to strike the dragon on the right side. At the edge of the scene, on the lower part, there are three other Argonauts, one fallen to the ground, the other two still trying to fight, but from a distance and with little courage. The battle seems almost lost for the Argonaut heroes. At this critical moment appears Medea on the top section of the scene, dressed in splendid Istrian attire, running fast down the crest of the hill, to help the Argonauts. She holds in her left hand the box with charms, while she throws with her right hand two enchanted leaves towards the dragon, to put it to sleep. On her right and left sides are the Getae heroes, Boreas’ sons, with wings on their backs. Calais, with a firm stare and full of resolution, throws towards the dragon the terrible national weapon, the spear with the wide blade. Zetes, Calais’ brother, is behind Medea, looking at her, and holds a magic mirror (symbol of the moon – Suidas) in his left hand. A big and slow river (Oceanus potamos) is shown at the bottom of the picture, ornamented with river and seawater fish. The Argonauts steal the golden fleece and turn towards Hellada. The two prehistoric courses of the Istru, one towards Adria (Adrian), the other towards the Euxine Pontos. Iason steals the golden fleece, takes Medea with him, and embarking with his companions on the ship Argo, heads towards Hellada. There existed several versions in antiquity about the return of the Argonauts towards the southern parts of the peninsula. The oldest tradition is that the Argonaut heroes return with Argo by navigating westwards on the waters of the fine river Oceanus (Pindar, Pyth. IV; Schol. of Apollonius Rhodius, IV. v. 259). They travel along the valley of the Rhipaei mountains, pass by the perilous crags of the river Oceanus (the cataracts), onwards through the strait of the Rhipaei mountains (Orpheus, Argon. v. 1079, 1123), then through the Erythreus Pontos / Rusava’s bridge (Pindar, Pyth. IV. 251; Orpheus, Arg. 1048); and from Oceanus, they transport their famous ship on their shoulders for twelve days, passing over deserted hills, until they reach the waters of the internal sea (Mediterranean). According to the second version, which we find with Apollonius Rhodius and Valerius Flaccus, the Argonauts return with their ship to Hellada, going up on the waters of Istru. This is the same tradition, only with more modernized geographical names. Oceanus potamos of the ante-Homeric times and Istru of the historic times, were the same gigantic river of the ancient world. Even during the Neolithic, before the Argonaut epoch, Pelasgian tribes had followed its waterways and valleys on their westward migration . [1. According to still another version, which we find with Timaeus (Diodorus Siculus, IV. 56), the Argonauts had navigated up on the river Tanais. Tanais here is just another name under which Istru figured in ancient geography (see Ch.XIV.16)]. In the legend about the Argonauts’ return up on the Istru, we are confronted with two important geographical questions, about which much has been written, but which have still remained obscured to this day. The second version tells us that Istru had two arms, one of which flew into the Euxine Pontos, while the other flew towards the interior of Adria; and because king Aietes, hearing about the abduction of his daughter, had immediately blocked the river mouths to the Pontos, Iason, remembering how the priests of Egyptian Thebes told (Apollonius Rhodius, Argon. IV. v. 260. 282 seqq) that the river Istru had two arms one of which flew westwards, had crossed with the ship Argo from the Euxine Pontos straight into the Adriatic Sea. We have here only a poetic license. This fiction, about the connection of the Euxine Pontos with the Adriatic Sea through the Istru, had its origin in a simple misunderstanding of the old geographical sources. We shall reproduce here the most authentic texts: The Istru, says the geographer Scymnus, separating into two beds, one arm flows towards the inside of Adria, eis ton ‘Adrian (Orb. Descr. v. 776). We see the same geographical ideas expressed by the historian Theopompus (Strabo, lib. VII. 5. 9) in the 4th century bc, the geographer Hipparchus in the 2nd century bc (Strabo, lib. I. 2. 15) and Apollonius Rhodius’ commentator (IV. p. 321, Fragm. Hist. Graec. IV. p. 522; Diodorus Siculus, lib. IV. 56), namely that one of the mouths, or one of the courses of Istru, flew towards Adria, eis ton ‘Adrian. All these texts have one and the same origin. None of the geographers and literati mentioned above talks about the Adriatic Sea, ‘Adriatichon pelagos, but only about an enigmatic region, not very definite, “eis ton Adrian”, always expressed in the significant form of the accusative (see Ch.XV). But in which part of the old world was situated this region, maritime or continental, which the Greek authors constantly name only ‘Adrian, and always with a sort of geographical uncertainty and with precaution? We shall try first to see in which part of the old European continent the big river Danube separated into two arms. The Istru, Apollonius Rhodius tells us (Argon. IV. v. 285), as soon as it enters the domains of the Thracians and the Scythians, divides itself into two arms, one of which flows into the Ionic Sea. Jornandis, the historian of the Getae and Goths, speaks clearer. Caucasus mountain, writes he, starts at the Indian Sea, stretches towards Syria, and from Syria, turning northwards, descends to the Euxine Pontos, passes over Scythia, where it is called Taurus, and then touches also the course of Istru at the point where this river separates into two arms (De Get. Orig. c. 8). From these precise data results therefore that the geographic region where Istru divided into two water courses was at the straits of the Carpathians near the cataracts and in fact, in ancient times the geographical boundaries of Thracia on one hand, and old Scythia on the other, started right there. Even the second arm of the Danube which “threw itself inside (or outside) towards Adrian” is called Istru by the Greek geographers. Hipparchus writes: “There is a river, which bears the same name as Istru, which throws itself outwards, towards Adrian (Strabo, I. 3. 15). And Strabo says the following: “Some believe that a certain river Istru, starting from the great Istru, flows outwards, towards Adrian” (lib. I. 2. 39). This mythological arm of Istru, which flew through the region called Adria or Adrian, returned after a certain route to the bed of the principal river. “The Danube” tells us Cosmographia of Julius Honorius “springs in the Alps, and following its course divides into two, then both these courses rejoin together to form again a single river” (in Riese, Geographi latini minores, p. 38). It is therefore evident that the old texts of the geography of Istru, which treated only the littoral and the tributaries of this great commercial river, could not refer to the Adriatic Sea or the Ionic Sea, but to a certain mountainous region called Adria or Adrian, whose geographical position was in close vicinity to the boundaries of Thrace and Scythia. And in fact, from the same vast massif, or orographic knot, where the chain of the Carpathians touches the Istru, rises an important river of Ardel (Transylvania) called Streiu, in fact only a diminutive form of Istru. It springs in the proximity of the basin of the two Jiu rivers of Transylvania. From the village Petros its course takes a direction towards the interior of Ardel, crosses the country of Hateg, flows into Mures, with Mures into Tisa, and with Tisa it flows southwards, back into the Danube. This is the enigmatic river called by the Greek geographers the second Istru, which “threw itself inwards (or outwards) towards Adrian” or Ardel, and about which it was said that it returned back to the great Istru. The geographic reality is therefore evident. Ardel, the mountainous region north of Lower Istru, appears in the Argonautic traditions under the name Adrian, exactly as Ardel also appears under this constant name “Adrian” in the geography of Scymnus (see Ch.XV) and in the history of the war of Alexander the Great with the Getae (Strabo, lib.VII. 3. 8). This geographic confusion about the two arms of the Danube, one towards Adrian and the other towards the Euxine Pontos, could be formed only on the base of an ancient topographical map of the priests of Egyptian Thebes, a map on which the river Streiu, or little Istru from Ardel, was shown erroneously only as a ramification of the great Istru. An enormous multitude of inhabitants from Aietes’ kingdom pursue the Argonauts to the Adriatic Sea. They settle in Istria. The origin and language of the Istrien Romanians. According to the traditions which we find with the Greek and Roman authors, the ancient inhabitants of Istria were originally from the kingdom of Aietes. They had settled there at the time of the Argonauts. “The nation of the Istrians” writes Trog Pompeius “has its origin from the Colchi, sent by king Aietes to chase the Argonauts and his daughter’s kidnappers. Tracking the Argonauts, these Colchi had passed from Pontos into the waters of Istru, then they had advanced on the valley of the river Sava up to near its sources, and from Sava they had transported their ships over the crests of the mountains down to the shores of the Adriatic Sea, upon learning that the Argonauts had done the same thing with their big ship. But these Colchi, being unable to find the Argonauts and, either because they feared king Aietes’ anger if they returned without any result, or because they had had enough of this long and arduous journey, had settled near Aquileia and were called Istri from the name of the river on which they had navigated from the sea onwards” (Justinis, Hist. Philipp. Ex Trogo Pompeio, lib. XXXII, c.3; Apollodorus, Bibl. lib. I. 9, 24. 25). We find that the chronicler Isidorus of Sevilla (VI – VII century bc) had also reproduced exactly the same prehistoric tradition about the ancient population of Istria (Origines, lib. IX. c. 83). We find two main errors in this tradition communicated by the two Latin authors: Trog Pompeius and Isidorus of Sevilla were somehow of the opinion that the ancient dwellings of the Colchi in Aietes’ kingdom were to be found somewhere on the eastern parts of the Black Sea. These were in fact the most circulated geographical ideas during the later times of antiquity, regarding the Colchi of the Argonautic legend. This was an inaccuracy for which we can’t hold responsible either Trog Pompeius, or Isidorus of Sevilla, as they had not paid particular attention to the historical part of this legend. The second error presented in Trog Pompeius’ tradition is that the Colchi settled near the Adriatic Sea were called Istri after the name of the river Istru on which they had navigated after leaving the Pontos. We have here a simple hypothesis, lacking in any scientific value, which certainly could not satisfy even the learned Trog Pompeius. The name Istri appears, even from a very remote epoch, as a general ethnographic appellation for all the Pelasgian tribes which inhabited the plains, valleys and mountainous region of the Lower Istru. In the ancient genealogies of these prehistoric peoples, there existed even a mythological father called Istros (Apollodorus, Bibl. lib. II. 1. 5. 4) for the Istriens from the lower parts of the Danube. The Thracians and the Getae from the Lower Danube are called Istri in the geographical poem of Scymnus (Orb. Descr. v. 391), Istrians by Trog Pompeius (Justinis, lib. IX. 2) and finally, the inhabitants of the Lower Danube, right to the river Tyras or Nistru (TN – Dniester), figure at Mela under the name Istrici (De situ Orbis, lib. II. c. 1) The troupes sent with the ships by king Aietes to chase after the Argonauts, were, as Apollonius Rhodius tells us (lib. IV. v. 236-241, 1001), of such a huge number that all the waters echoed of their multitude. These inhabitants of the mountainous region of the Colchi, or better said, from Aietes’ kingdom, being unable to bring Medea back, stayed there, near the Adriatic Sea. Some settled in the Istria peninsula and the two neighboring islands called in antiquity Apsoros by Ptolemy (Geogr. lib. II. 16. 8), ‘Apsortides by Orpheus (Argon. v. 1033), Absortium by Pliny (III. 140), Absyrto by Higinus (Fab. XXIII), and ‘Apsirtides by Stephanos Byzanthinos, today Cherso, and Ossero. Others settled in the fertile and pleasant island of the Pheacians, today Veglia, and in the nearby island called Arbe . [1. According to ancient traditions, Apsyrtos was king Aietes’ son with the nymph Asterodea. It is a familiar name. Even today exist in the villages Manesci and Sarulesci from the mountainous region of Buzeu district, two groups and two hamlets of free peasants called Apostari. The name of the people settled in the Apsortides islands originated without doubt from these tribes. In Homer’s Odyssey, the island of the Pheacians is called Scheria. Apollonius Rhodius (IV. v. 984-990) calls it Drepane (TN – secere, sickle), Deous arpe (the sickle of Dia or Cybele), Couretis Chthon (Curetum Terra). Veglia island is called Curictae in Roman inscriptions, Ceryctice and Cyrictice by Strabo. Lucan (IV. 406) mentions the population of this island under the name of belaci gente Curetum, and Caesar calls it Corcyra (B. C. III. 10). Apollonius Rhodius calls the island Arbe Deous arpe, but mistakes it for the island of the Pheacians (Veglia). In C. I. L. III. nr. 2931 it is called Arba]. Finally, another significant part of the numerous troupes sent by king Aietes chose to dwell on the shores of Illyria, some on the territory occupied by the Nestii (Apollonius Rhodius, lib. IV. v. 1215) near the mouths of the Naro river, today Narenta; others founded the cities Oricum, near the gulf of Avlona (Apollonius Rhodius, Argon. IV. 1214; Pliny, lib. III. 26. 4), and Cholchinium or Olchinium, today Dulcigno in the region of Montenegro (Pliny, lib. III. 26. 3). As for the antiquity of these Istriens from near the Adriatic Sea, it is sure that they appear to have settled in this area in very obscure times. We find the first geographical mention of them with the historian Hecateus of Miletus, born around 549bc (Stephanos Byzanthinos, see ‘Istroi). And the historian Timaeus of Sicily (4th century bc) retained an important tradition about their antiquity in those parts. After the fall of Troy, this author tells us (fragm. 13 in Fragm. Hist. graec., Ed. Didot, I. p. 195), the hero Diomedes (the bravest after Achilles and Ajax), returning to Argos, escaped only with great difficulty being killed by his wife. So he turned towards Italy and had to fight in those parts with the Colchic dragon, which was devastating the island of the Pheacians. So, according to Timaeus, the migration and settling of the Istriens in the upper Adriatic, happened in the times predating the Trojan war. It results from this tradition, which in fact belongs to the cycle of the Homeric heroes, that the legendary dragon which guarded the golden apples from the Atlas mountain, in the country of the Hyperboreans, the dragon which the Argonauts had to fight in order to steal the golden fleece, the dragon which had chased the Argonauts as far as the Adriatic Sea, and against which Diomedes, as a mercenary hero in the island of the Pheacians, had to battle against, was the glorious dragon with open jaws from the Istru, the war standard of the Dacian tribes, against whom even the Romans had sent so many great war expeditions across the Danube. Apart from traditions and apart from the ethnographic name of Istri given to these Pelasgian tribes from the Adriatic, we still find some significant traces of the origin of this population also in the historical topography of Istria. An ancient locality in the eastern parts of Istria, or the regions of Albona, is called Alutae by Pliny (lib. III. 25), and a village called Altini is to be found today in Istria towards north-east of the valley of Montona (Special – Karte). Another city on the shore of the Adriatic Sea, not far from Aquileia, was named Altinum in Roman times . [2. We note here another curious connection. Altinum was situated near the river called in antiquity Silis, today Sil and Sille. The same name, or better said, the same historical etymology has the Jiu river (Schill in German, Sill, Zsil in Hungarian), the principal river in the central region of today Oltenia. It seems that the tribes of Olteni, settled at Altinum, had taken and also localized at the Adriatic the name of the Jiu river]. These names are two ethnic appellations of the first tribes which founded these localities. The etymology of these names goes back without doubt to Aluta or Alutus fluvius from Dacia (TN – today Olt). Another group settled in the eastern parts of the peninsula are called by the name of Mentores by Pliny (lib. III. 25. 1), namely Munteni . [3. We find an analogous from of muntari with the Romanians dwelling in the western mountains of Transylvania. Muntari have the task of guarding the cattle in the mountains (Francu, Romanii din muntii apuseni, p.25)]. We have here a “rotacism” (r instead of n) in the last syllable, and the rest of the word is a form corrupted by the Greek authors. Pliny himself, so illustrious for his vast knowledge, complains that he must use Greek data for the description of Italy (lib. III. 20. 8). Apart from the tribes called Mentores by Pliny, who lived in Istria, the Greek navigator and geographer Scylax, who lived in the times of Darius Hystaspes, mentions (Periplus, 21) the islands Mentorides, namely Muntenesci, in the Adriatic gulf. The origin of the ethnographic name Mentores is at the Lower Istru. In the geographic poem of Scymnus (1st century bc) figures a population called Mentores, whose dwellings were above the “Thracians called Istri” (Orb. Descr. v. 394). He is talking here without doubt about the inhabitants of geographical Muntenia from the Istru (our Muntenia, Tera muntenesca, Valachia montana, Transalpina, Multany with the Polish authors). The geographic term of Munteni had become in antiquity an ethnic appellation for different Pelasgian tribes, Liguri (Pliny, lib. III. 24. 3; Ciceronis, Agr. II. 35; Livy, XXVIII. 46; Tacitus, Hist. II. 12) and Istriens, which had emigrated in remote times from the Carpathians and had settled in the upper parts of the Italic peninsula. We still find in Roman inscriptions the family names of Montanus in Montona, Montanus and Montania in Aquileia, Muntana in Verona (C.I. L. Vol. V. nr. 423, 1241, 1307, 3808), Montana in Senia facing Veglia island, Montanus in Iader (Zara), Muntana in Salona (C. I. L. Vol. III. nr. 3017, 2927, 2624). These are hereditary geographical appellations, applied to emigrated families or tribes. They indicate that the primitive origin of these families had been in a region called Montania, namely Muntenia. As well as Montanus and Montana, we also find on the territory of Istria and the adjoining region, the geographical family names of Messius in Piquentum, another Messius on the territory of the Veneti, a Messius, Dacco and Decia in Aquileia and a woman called Dacia in Verona (C. I. L. Vol. V. nr. 449, 210, 1298, 1645, 1252, 3647). We add also that an ancient city of Istria, situated close to Pinguente, is called today Montona. Finally, the Slavs from the Istria peninsula call to these days the inhabitants of the district of Capodistria and the neighboring villages of Pinguente district, by the name of Bresani, meaning Munteni (De Franceschi, Sulle varie popolazioni dell’Istria, 1852, p. 225). This is a name for which the scholars studying Istria don’t have any explanation, either in the configuration of the terrain, or in the local traditions. A third geographical name in the Istria region, with the origin at the Lower Istru is Tergeste, with its variants Tregeste and Tregesten (Ravennatis, Cosmographia, Ed. PInder, p. 255. 257), or Triest of today. Tregeste had been in the Roman epoch one of the most important maritime cities of Istria, a great market centre for the imports conducted with the barbarian regions and exports towards the southern lands. But which was the historical origin of the name Tergeste, no author could tell. The geographers Strabo (Geogr. lib. II. 5. 12; III. 4. 17) and Ptolemy (Geogr. lib. III. 10. 7) mention an important ethnic group Tyregetae (with the variants Tyrigetae, Tyragetae, Tyrangitae, Tyrangotae) in the eastern parts of Dacia. According to Strabo their dwellings were more removed from the sea, but close to the mouths of Istru, near the Peucini, Britolagi, and Harpi or Carpi. The Britolagi dwelt “above the mouths of the Danube”, probably near Brates lake (TN – a big lake near the city of Galati, Romania). The appellation of Tyregetae is a Greek form, as proved by the geographical ending tes and tai, and corresponds to the Latin form Tyregenae. We have a decisive proof in this respect in the name of the city from the mouths of Siret, which appears under the forms Dinogetia and Dinogenia, Diogetia and Diogenia (Ptolemy, Geogr. Ed. Didot, Vol. I. p. 458). So, by their name and their geographical position, the Tyregeti (or Tyrangoti) of Strabo and Ptolemy were the people living near the mouths of Siret, whose political centre was Dinogetia, also called in the ancient manuscripts Dirigothia, or Tirighina, once the opulent and powerful capital of king Aietes. (The name Tyregeti does not derive from the river Tyras (Nistru, Dnester) and they were not settled there anyway). The city of Istria called Tergeste or Tregeste appears therefore to have been founded by certain tribes of Tyregeti, who had emigrated in prehistoric times from the Lower Danube. A Roman inscription from lower Pannonia (C. I. L. Vol. III. nr. 4251) mentions a Domatius Tergitio (Tergitius), merchant of Tergitia, or Tergeste. A Trygetus libertus (C. I. L. Vol. V. nr. 5891) appears on an inscription from Milan. Another Trygetus is mentioned on an inscription from Dyrrachium (C. I. L. Vol. III. nr. 619), city located between Olchinium and Oricum, in the region where according to Apollonius Rhodius and Pliny, had settled a part of the Colchi who had migrated there at the time of the Argonauts. Finally, we also find on the territory of old Istria a locality which has the name (in Greek form) of Peucetiae (Pliny, lib. III. 25. 1) and Paucinum and Pucinum in Latin form (Ptolemy, Geogr. lib. III. 1. 24). Peuce was, as we know, the name of the big island from the Danube Delta, and the inhabitants of this island were called Peucini. The historical question becomes therefore clear. The ancient inhabitants of Istria were originally from the Lower Danube, not only by traditions and their geographical name of Istri, but also by the historic topography of this peninsula . [4. We also add here the following: Buzeres and Sapires were, as we know, two important tribes in Aietes’ kingdom. In the Capodistria district we find a village called Buzari and a hamlet Puzzeri (Special- Orts- Repertorium d. oesterr.-illyr. Kustenlandes, 1894, p. 75, 80)]. As for the nationality and ethnic affiliation of these Istriens from the Adriatic Sea, they appear even at the time of the Roman republic as a branch of the Latin family, but the extra – Italic Latin family. In 221bc the Romans conquered Istria peninsula and their first move was to consolidate in those parts the authority of the Roman state, and to secure the great communication landline between Italy, Illyria and Pannonia. For this purpose the Roman Senate founded in 182bc near the gulf of Triest the fortified port city of Aquileia, which because of its name (‘Achilleia) seems to have already existed though as a commercial port of the Adriatic. But now an important political question faced the Roman Senate: if it were better to send to Aquileia a Latin colony, or a Roman one. Finally they decided for a Latin colony (Livy, lib. XXXIX. C. 55). In time the Romans bestowed “the rights of the Latin people” to the inhabitants of Alutae and Flanates in Istria, as well as to the cities Fertinates and Curictae in Veglia (Pliny, lib. III. 25) . [5. Other cities of Istria had received the prerogatives of Roman citizenship: Aegida, Parentium, Pola (Pliny, III. 23. 2), and the colony Tergeste (Pliny, III. 22. 2). The benefits of Roman citizenship had also been bestowed on the cities “founded by Colchi” in Dalmatia, Colchinium, Olchinium and Oricum (Pliny, III. 26. 3)]. These facts are quite eloquent in themselves. The indigenous population, which the Romans had found settled in the region of Aquileia in Istria, and in the island Curictae, today Veglia, was, in regard to its religion, national institutions and political sympathies, closer to the Latin shepherds than to the Latinized heterogeneous elements of Rome. The ancient cities of Istria, although not founded by Romans, bear almost all of them Latin names: Parentium, Capris, Albona, Ruginum (Ruvigno, Ruigno), Ningum, Piranum, Flanona, Pola, Alutae, Silvum (Silvium), Arsia, etc. As for the ancient national name of the indigenous inhabitants of Istria, this seems to have been Rami, with its different versions of Ramni, Remi, Rimi, Rumi, Ramleni, Armani, Arimani. So, we find the following personal names in Roman inscriptions from these regions: Romulus in Montona, Romulus Bizegoni in Aquileia, Romulus and Romulianus in Concordia, west of Aquileia, near Romatinus river, Rominus on the territory of Mediolan, Remus in Vicetia and Trident, Remmius, Remmia in Patavium, Vicetia and Verona, Remmia in Arbe, Rhome in Salona, Rumno, Rumia, the daughter of Tatuca Vervex and Roma in Noric, Armonia in Pola and Arminu in Brixia (C. I. L. vol. V nr. 423, 1045, 8669, 8662, 5662, 3180, 5033, 2837, 8110, 3701; C. I. L. vol. III. nr. 3125, 2083, 4966, 5350, 5667) . [6. We find that the names Arimanni and Aremanni were used by the ancient Romanic population of upper Italy until the 12th century (Du Gange, Gloss. Med. Latin. V. Herrimanni). The vast territory of the Veneti, with the cities Aquileia, Concordia, Patavium, Vicetia, Verona and the alpine regions of the Carni, formed during the Roman epoch, together with Istria, only one ethnographic region, and in the Middle Ages only one ecclesiastical province. The name of Istria had been extended also to the Illyric Dalmatia (Farlatus, Illyrici sacri Tom. I., 1751, p. 128-129)]. Pliny calls an ancient city in these parts, probably in Istria, which had disappeared in Roman times, Iramine (H. N. lib. III. 23. 4). The ancient national form of this name had certainly been Arimini, but a different locality than Ariminium of Umbria. A village near Pola was called Rumianum around 990ad (Codice diplomatico Istriano. Tom. I. an. 990); other various hamlets on the territory of Istria appear today with the names of Rim (Roma), Rimnjak, Rumati, Romeo (Special-Orts-Repertorium d. oesterr.-illyr. Kustenlandes, 1894, p. 89, 90, 92, 97). These are names which, as we shall see later, do not derive either from Roma, which had conquered by arms these regions, or from the ancient tribe Ramnes from near the Tiber, but from an archaic appellation of the Pelasgian race, whose strong origins had been with the Arimi from the Istru (Hesiodus, Theog. v. 304; Homer, Iliad, II. v. 783; also see Ch.VII) and the Aramaei (Aramani in Latin form) from north of the Black Sea (Pliny, lib. VI. 19. 1). To this ancient Pelasgian population of Istria seems to have also belonged the group of inhabitants which, starting from the end of the 17th century, appears in the ethnographic and linguistic literature under the name of the Romanian Istriens. The number of these Romanians was once very significant, not only in the peninsula of Istria, but also in the neighboring regions. There is no district in and around the parts of Istria in which we won’t meet almost at every step, Romanian names of places, hills, mountains and valleys, or remnants of Romanian language in the Slav dialects spoken there, traditions showing that once upon a time, this rustic Pelasgian population was widespread over the entire Istria. Today this old branch of the Romanian nation from Istru has almost disappeared. Around 1887, when I have traveled across a significant part of Istria, were still speaking Romanian all the inhabitants of the villages Berdo, Susnevita, Gradine, Letai, Villanova, Jeiani (Zejane) and only a part of the inhabitants of Senovic and Posert. According to Ireneus (Hist. di Trieste, p. 334), around 1698 Romanian was still spoken in the villages Opchiena / Opcina, Tribichiano / Tribiciano and Gropada near Triest. We do not find any historical mention about when these Romanians had emigrated from their old country from the Lower Istru, and had settled near the Adriatic, either in the chronicles of the Romanian Countries, or in the documents of Transylvania, Hungary, Croatia, Istria, Venice, or in the documents of the patriarchy of Aquileia. The opinions we have so far about the geographical origin and the age of these Romanians from Istria, who had migrated there in the 14th century ad according to some, and according to others, in the 10th century, are completely lacking any real basis . [7. According to Miklosich, they came from Major Vlachia, a region near the frontiers of Bosnia and Corbavia (Wanderung d. Rum. p. 6). According to Hasdeu, they came from Pannonia (Dict. Ist. III. p. XXX), and the Istrian Kandler considers the Romanians of Istria to be descendants of the Roman military colonies (L’Istria, An. I. nr. 11. 12; An VII. 18 – 20)]. These opinions are based neither on historical research, nor on a study of the ethnic individuality of this people in its existing environment. For our part, we can assert that, owing to the light thrown by the historical documents, we consistently find traces of the existence of this Vlach nationality on the territory of Istria and the neighboring islands, as far back as we can reach. An ancient Blac population existed in the upper parts of Italy, as well as in Veglia island, even during the time of the Roman republic. A significant group of inhabitants of the Cottic Alps, named Belaci (C. I. L. vol. V. nr. 7231) is mentioned on the triumphal arch of Susa (Segusium), erected around 8bc in honor of Augustus. It is without doubt the same ethnographic name of Blaci, which appears during the Middle Ages in different regions in which had once dwelt the great and powerful nation of the Pelasgians. The epic poet Lucan uses (Phars. Lib. Iv. v. 406-407) the same word of “bellaci”, but with an ethnographic and etymologic meaning at the same time, in order to characterize the warlike population of the island of the Cureti or Veglia. By the epithet of bellax, or in the applied form of “bellaci gente Curetum”, Lucan wants to express that the indigenous population from Veglia was part of the so-called nation of the Belaci, or that they were themselves Belaci or Blaci . [8. A Blac or Romanian population had also existed in the island Arbe, near Veglia. In a letter written in Arbe in 1852, annexed to the Statutum Arbensis Civitatis, found in the Library of the Academy of Agram (nr. II. d. 4), there is mentioned a Popolazione Valacca o Rumena, having its specific language and costeme. We also find in Statutum Arbensis Civitatis from 1331-1336 some dispositions which forbade the women from the territory of the city to cry over the body of the deceased or his monument, funeral customs characteristic for the Romanian people]. Until the end of the 17th century, the national name of the Romanian inhabitants from the regions of Triest and Valdarsa had been, as the Istrian literati assure us, Rumeri (Rumari) and Ramleni (Ireneo della Croce, Historia della citta di Trieste. Venetia, 1698, p. 334). Today though, even these names have disappeared. Only the appellation Rumar has been preserved, but only as a simple family name. The term of Romarius (Romar) begins to appear in the upper parts of Italy even since the 9th century onwards. An imperial diploma from 895ad mentions the village called Romariascum, as property of the monastery Bobbio in the province of Pavia (Historiae patriae monumenta, at Jubainville, Les premiers habitants de l’Europe, II. p. 62). And “Mercatores Romarii et peregrini” are mentioned (Du Cange, Glossarium med. Et inf. Latinitatis, v. Romarius) in the acts of the Synod of Compostella in Campania (1114ad). These Mercatores Romarii were without doubt from the upper parts of the Adriatic, where the great commercial roads of central Europe were concentrated . [9. We find the form of Rumarul used instead of Romanul also in the Carpathian regions, as appears in a document of Moldova from 1489ad (Hasdeu, Arch. ist. I. 1. 155). We also note here that a city in the north-western parts of Dacia was called Ermerium by Ravennatis Anonymus (Ed. Pinder, p. 178). Certainly the indigenous form of this had been Armari]. In another document from around 1102ad the inhabitants of the eastern parts of Istria are called Latins (Codice diplomatico Istriano, I. an. 1102). In those times, in the parts of Istria and Dalmatia, under the name of Latins was understood a population which spoke a rustic Latin language, a population different from the Slavs. The Latins of the Presbyter Diocleas are Vlachi (Regn. Slav. C. 5). The Slavs of Istria call Latins the former Vlachi of Dignano and Valle to this day (Biondelli, Studii linguistici, Milano, 1856, p. 57-59), and the Istria literati have always considered the dialect of the Romanians from the Adriatic as a rustic Latin language (Kandler, L’Istria, 1848, p. 226; Biondelli, Studii linguistici, Milano, 1856, p. 57-59). And finally, apart from the form of Rumar (Romarius), we also find in the documents of Albona from the years 1170, 1341, 1363 (Codice dipl. Istriano, Vol. I. An. 1275, 1363; L’Archeografo Triestino, N. S. vol. I. p. 6. An. 1341), the family names of Rumin and Rumen, and in the documents of Veglia from the year 1248, the name Romanus (Kandler, Inscrizione romana del secolo IV. in Veglia. Trieste, 1862, p. 23). These names are characteristic for the Romanian or Blac population from the eastern parts of southern Europe. It results therefore from what we’ve presented so far, that the ancient population of Istria was originally from outside Italy, that it belonged to the strong and widespread nation of the eastern Pelasgians, to the nation of the Arimi from the Istru; finally, that the Romanians so-called Istriens have to be considered from a historical point of view only as descendants of the ancient tribes, which in remote times had emigrated from the Carpathians and had conquered Istria and the neighboring islands. The national language of these Romanians from the Adriatic is even today, in its fundamental forms, much more archaic than the oldest texts which we know of from our Romanian church books. The dialect of the Romanians from Istria in particular is characterized by the “rotacism” of the consonant n between two vowels. The existence of this phenomenon on the territory of Istria, Aquileia and Venice can be followed back to Roman times. In the acts of the Synod of Compostella (1114ad) are mentioned, as we saw, the Mercatores Romarii from the upper regions of the Adriatic. Two centuries earlier, at 895ad, we find the village called Romariscum, as property of Bobbio monastery. An island in the Adriatic gulf appears in Ravenna’s Cosmography (7th century) under the name of Tenaria and Teraria Cosmographia, Ed. Pinder, p. 408). A group of the old inhabitants of Istria (probably today’s Montanari) appears in Greek and Roman geographic sources under the name of Mentores, where r in the last syllable is certainly a primitive n. Even in Roman times there was a particular tendency of the Latin language of Istria and of the neighboring regions to use the letter r. The city Tergeste appears in the best manuscripts of the geographies of Ptolemy (Geogr. lib. III. 1. 23, Ed. Didot, p. 336) and Mela, as Tergestron and Tergrestem, with the introduction of a useless r. In the Roman inscriptions of Verona we find the words cereberrimus instead of celeberrimus ( C. I. L. vol. V. nr. 3332) and haustrum instead of haustem (C. I. L. Vol. V. nr. 3683), another example of the influence of that special dialect. An old city of Veglia appears in Ptolemy’s codexes as Fulfinion and Furfinion (II. 16. 8). This dialect, in which the letter r substitutes very often the letter n, had once been widespread in the parts of Moldova and the upper region of Transylvania. A proof of this is in our old language treasures: “The deeds of the Apostles of Voroneti”, “The Scheian Psalm book”, “The psalm book from Voroneti” and the fragments from Mahaci. The origin of this linguistic phenomenon belongs to the ante-Roman epoch. The Pelasgian dialect (namely Daco-Getic) from the Lower Danube was characterized by the multiple use of the sound r even before the conquest of Dacia. The letter r gives asperity to the words, and its frequent use makes a language to sound harsh. To this particularity of the language spoken in the northern regions of Istru refer Ovid’s words, when he calls the language of the Getae “vox fera, vox ferina, barbara verba, murmur in ore” (Trist. V. 7. 17; Ex Ponto, IV. 13. 20. 36); when he uses, in order to characterize the Getic people, the expressions “rigidos Getas, duros Getas, diros Getas, ferox Getes, feros Getas, trux Getes, fera gens, turba Getarum, barbara turba” (Trist. Lib. V. 1. 46; III. 10. 5; IV. 6. 47; III. 3. 48; Ex Ponto, lib. I. 5. 12; I. 2. 82; II. 1. 66; IV. 15. 40; I. 7. 12; II. 2. 38); or when he composes a verse full of “rotacisms”: “Vox fera, trux vultus, verissima Martis imago”, when referring to the Getae (Ovid, Trist.V.7.17). The substitution of the nasal letter n with r was also in use in the dialect spoken in the prehistoric kingdom of Aietes. Several localities or tribes situated near the capital of this king bear names evidently “rotacised”, like Philyres, Bechires, Sapires, Buzeres (Apollonius Rhodius, lib. II. v. 393-395), the letter r corresponding to an original n. Not only the documents, but also the ethnographic character of the Romanians of Istria tells us that their settling there harks back to very obscure times. And in truth, when we studied on site the physical and moral condition of this group of Romanians, we realized easily that today they lost everything specific Romanian, apart from their archaic dialect. Their type, generally Romanic, has lost today the particular character of the Romanians from the Carpathians. Their old national name is forgotten. The traces of their origin are lost. Their heroic poetry is extinguished (though it seems that they also had the tradition about Old Novac: a hamlet of Montona is called Sella di Novaco). Only a little remains from their nuptial songs and funerary bewailing. The rhythm of their speech is so much altered, that their conversation doesn’t sound Romanic, not even when all the elements of speech are Romanian. Their costeme has changed too. From the domestic economy of the Romanian women from Istria the beautiful weavings and embroideries have disappeared, once renowned in Greek literature as “Istrien”, or from the parts of Scythia. All these real circumstances prove that the separation of these Romanians from their original stock from the Istru had happened in very remote times. The only explanation of the fact that the language of the Romanians of Istria stayed almost unchanged, stationary, that the filiations of this dialect with the Romanian mother language from the Carpathians is even today so close, is to be found in the particular history of the Romanian language. The Romanian language, as spoken at the Lower Danube and in Istria, is not a language formed at the moment of the Roman conquest, neither during the Middle Ages. It is not a modification of the Italic Latin language, it is not born from the blending of the rustic Latin language with any other indigenous and heterogeneous language and nor is it composed of different dialects of some changing mother tongues. The Romanian language from the Istru and the Carpathians came out of its formative period a long time ago. It had reached regular forms to a high degree of stability and consolidation, long before the western Romanic languages, which compared with the Romanian language are really young languages. A proof of this is the fact that on the territory of ancient Dacia, starting from the plains most open to invasions, and ending to the most impassable reaches of the Carpathians, we don’t find any variation of the Romanian language. It appears uniform in all the regions, from Morava and the Hungarian plains, to the farthest southern steppes of European Russia, only with a “rotacised” dialect of the same language. Regarding the historical origin and formation of the Romanian language everywhere, it is not a neo-Latin language, neither a dialect of the Latin language from the Tiber; on the contrary, it is basically only a continuation of the Pelasgian language from the Carpathians, from where a great number of tribes have emigrated in different prehistoric epochs, some westwards, others towards the southern regions. This explains why different forms of the Romanian language, even those with the article post placed, are also found during Greek antiquity, as we shall see later; why there are even today in the Romanian language from the Carpathians, a great number of words with a much more primitive meaning than the same words of classic Latin language, or of the rustic language of Latium, as far as this is known to us. The Romanian language from the Carpathians has been able to change some vowels in the course of centuries, to soften or eliminate some consonants, to shorten the endings, to lose some words and adopt others, to modify some verb forms, as this is a normal evolution through which every language passes. And if we find today particularities in the language of the Romanians of Istria, some of which are common to the Daco-Romanian language, others to the Macedo-Romanian dialect, this is only an obvious proof that the separation of these tribes settled near the Adriatic had happened in an epoch when the differences between the language spoken at the Carpathians and at the Pindus was not that big. There remains only one matter to be explained. The language of the Romanians of Istria has preserved its archaic, eastern character, or Romanian almost unaltered. This was due firstly to the fact that, once upon a time, the whole of Istria and the neighboring regions of Aquileia, Verona and of the Carni (who lived in the mountainous regions above Triest), were inhabited in compact masses by a single homogenous population, speaking a single language; secondly, it was due to their geographical isolation and finally, to their pastoral occupations, which made them lead a mostly communal, contained, tribal life . [10. TN – At this point in the text, the author gives some examples from the Grammar of the Istro-Romanian dialect, as collected and studied by the author himself in Istria, around 1887. He starts with some declinations of nouns, with or without articles, some verb conjugations, personal and possessive pronouns, and ends with numerals. I will give only one small example: the verb to be (Romanian a fi) in the present tense, but I will preserve the spelling as of the year 1913: Romanian: eu sunt, tu esci, el este, noi sunTum, voi sunteti, ei sunt. Istrian Romanian: io sum (escu), tu esci (sti), ie ie (iaste), noi smo (esmo), voi ste, ieli scu (isu). I have to add though, that even today, Romanians use in everyday parlance: io instead of eu, iel instead of el, e or iaste instead of este. The conjugation of the verb “to be” clarifies, at least for this translator, the origin of the typical Romanian ending of “escu” for family names. “io escu” was the Istrian Romanian equivalent of today’s Romanian “eu sunt” (TN – I am), the archaic form having been lost probably ages ago in Romanian language. So, for example “Ionescu” meant “I am Ion”. Another variation is that of names of localities, ending in esci (again, the old spelling). For example, Bucuresci, which I interpret as you are Bucur, who by the way, was supposed to have been the founder of the city]. The language of the Romanians of Istria is at the same time extremely important, because it shows the archaism and the place which the Romanian language deserves in the genealogy of the Romanic languages. It is an antique language, placed between the Latin languages of the West and the ancient language of the Pelasgian race from the Istru . [11. The studies made so far regarding the etymology of the Romanian words, lack for the best part any scientific value. We give here an example. Two hamlets on the territory of Istria, belonging to the villages Antignana and Valle, have the name Ciobani and Ciubani, and in the Romanian village of Berdo lives also a family called Ciubon (Cioban). But according to some literati who have studied the origin of the Romanian words, the word Cioban (TN – shepherd) might be of Turkish origin (Cihac, Dict. II. p. 565). So we are led to believe that the Romanians of Istria might have settled there after the Turkish invasion of Europe. But the word cioban belongs to the archaic times of the Romanian language. It had migrated from the Carpathians towards Italy many hundreds of years before the Christian era. Pliny mentions Coebanum caseum, “Casul ciobanesc” (TN – shepherds’ cheese), made especially from sheep’s milk, which came to Rome from the Ligurii of upper Italy IX. 97. 1)]. Today we have but a small number of isolated words, and very few texts preserved in the language of the Romanians from Istria, and even these are badly understood and badly transcribed (Maiorescu, Itinerar in Istria, Iasi, 1874; Miklosich, Ueber die Wenderungen der Rumunen; Ibid. Istro-und-macedo-rumunische Spachdenkmaler; Weigand, Istrisches). In order to better appreciate though the historical characteristics of this language, we reproduce here the following comparative excerpts from “The parable of the prodigal son”, texts which I have collected myself from the live language of the people in three localities of Istria . [12. TN – This chapter continues with four comparative texts from “The parable of the prodigal son” from The Gospel of St.Luke, chapter XV, 11-32. Three of them are in the Romanian dialects spoken in the villages of Berdo, Susnevita and Jeiani (Zejane) in Istria, the fourth is the corresponding text taken from the Romanian Gospel, printed by Deacon Coresi in 1560/61ad. Finally, the author compares texts from “The lamentations of Jeremiah”, chapter V, 1-8, 15-17, 21, as spoken by the people of Berdo and as appearing in the Romanian Bible printed at Blasiu in 1795]. Phrixus (Phrixios), an ancient patronymic name, at north of the Lower Danube. As the name Nephele was only a simple Greek translation, so too the Greek authors had altered the name of Phrixios. As we well know, the ancient Greeks often changed the Pelasgian B in F, saying Phriges instead of Briges, Phlippos instead of Bilippos, Phereniche instead of Bereniche, Phuxios instead of Buxios, etc. In the same way they have modified also the Pelasgian name of Phrixus. In the locality Nehoias on the tableland of Buzeu, exists even today a group of Mosneni, which bear the old, ancestral name of Briciu (Iorgulescu, Dict. Geogr. Buzeu, p. 554). The Mosneni from the mountainous parts of Tera Romaneasca (TN – the Romanian Country) and Moldova form, from a historical point of view, the oldest noble families, indigenous to these countries. They still preserve to this day the characteristic Daco-Getic sharing institution, regarding the immovable property, preserved from their forefathers . [1. The numerous groups of Mosneni (Mosteni, Mosinasi) settled in the upper region of Buzeu river (Phasis), were also known to antique geography under the name of Moscheni, Mossyni and Mossynoeci (Pliny, lib. VI. 10.3, 4.2, 4.4, V. 33; Scylax, 86; Stephanos Byzanthinos). According to Strabo (XII. 3. 18), they lived in the area of the mountain Scudises, today Spedis, on the tableland of Buzeu, and belonged to a mountain population (munteni). Apollonius Rhodius (II. v. 379) mentions the Mossynoeci close to the Amazons and the Colchi. Their dwellings were in a wooded region on the lower part of a mountainous region (“….te nemontai”). We have here again only a periphrasis of the old geographic name of “Muntenia” (TN – another name for Valachia or Tera Romaneasca). The houses of these Mossynoeci were of timber, but of a particular architecture. They were built high, in the shape of towers, or “cule” as they are called today. These Mosneni (Moscheni, Mossynoeci), exactly like their Colchi neighbors, like the Amazons, and like the Chalybi, had been displaced in the epoch of the decadence of Greek geography and transported to the south-eastern coast of the Black Sea, where their name had been applied to some obscure tribes near the northern frontiers of Armenia. Another group of Mosteni is mentioned in ancient geography near the Columns of Hercules, or the cataracts of Istru (called Mastienoi by Stephanos Byzanthinos and Massieni by Avienus (Or. Marit. v. 421 seqq)]. According to folk traditions from the tableland of Buzeu, there were some ties of kinship between the legendary Domna Nega and the Briciu family from Nehoias. In fact we have here only one big Negoias family. (A folk tradition tells us that Domna Nega, chased by Tatars, runs to Nehoias, to the Vladoian family, family from which the Briciu family later emerged). We can therefore state in all probability that, from a historical and etymological point of view, the name Phrixus from the Argonautic legend is identical with the name Briciu of a group of “mosneni” from the locality Nehoias. Phrixus, the son of king Athamas and Nephele, astride the ram with the golden fleece, flies over the agitated waves of the sea, and over far-reaching plains, in order to find a safe heaven and a life in Colchis. (Vase painting from Gerhard, Phrixos der Herold, Berlin, 1842) [2. This vase painting, in Etruscan style, presents one of the most beautiful renderings of the legend of Phrixus. Noble Pelasgian type, slender figure, Phrixus appears here with his hair tied with a white ribbon, emblem of his descent from a royal family. His curly hair, reaching to his shoulders, gives his figure a particular grace. We find the same physical type represented even today in the Romanian shepherds from the Valley of Hateg, from the Retezat – Parang mountains and the mountains of Moldova. Phrixus grabs with his left hand the neck of the ram, while with his right hand he raises up the national Dacian cap and the legendary gold rod (Apollod. Bibl. III. 10. 2. 8), magic symbol of pastoralism, of prosperity and of peace. As vestment, Phrixus wears only a light cloak with black stripes on its rim, in the shape of a primitive toga. It is a king of coat without sleeves, as is still worn even today in the mountainous parts of Oltenia and Moldova. The famous Colchic ram, as represented in the vase painting, belongs to the race of sheep with the horns turned inwards from the region of the Carpathians. It is the race of the Dacian sheep, which we also see figured on the bas-reliefs of the Trajan’s Column (Froehner, Pl. 35. 54. 76 and 133)]. The custom to close the higher mountain passes with iron gates had existed also in prehistoric times. These gates, which were defended at the same time by fortresses situated on tops of the rocks, had the function to block the incursions of the enemy mobs. Homer mentions the oldest Iron Gate (Iliad, VIII. v. 13). It was located near Oceanus potamos or Istru, at the place where according to Hesiodus the legendary dragon, which had terrified even the gods of Olympos, had been thrown into a deep cave (Theog. v. 746, 790, 811 seqq, 864) . [1. Hesiodus (Theog. v. 811) calls those same monumental gates marmareai pylai. It seems that Hesiodus makes here a geographical confusion with the Iron Gates between Banat and Tera Hategului, which in the language of the Romanian folk from that place are called “La Marmore”]. This iron gate was, as results from Homer and Hesiodus, not only a strong barrier, but at the same time it was a work deserving admiration. It was known to the southern merchants from Hellada and Asia Minor. It had become an important geographical point. The place where Homer placed the Iron Gates is identical with the famous strait near the cataracts of the Danube, called even today the Iron Gates. Pindar calls the same Gates Gadeirides pylai (fragm 25 at Strabo, III. 5. 5), today Gherdapuri in the language of the neighboring inhabitants. In Roman times, these Iron Gates were known as Portae Caucasiae, because the southern Carpathians were called, as we know, Caucasus, not only in the ancient traditions, but also in the military geography of the Romans (Jornandis, De Getar. orig. c. 7; Florus, H. R. lib. III. 5). Pliny the Old describes the Iron Gates or Caucasic as “a gigantic work of nature. Here the chain of the mountains suddenly was broken. The gates were formed from rafters lined with iron, and under them flew a stream from which exhaled a very heavy smell. On this part (the western), the Gates were defended by a castle situated on top of the rocks, in order to stop the passing of the countless tribes” (lib. VI. 12. 1). The gates were therefore situated on the great road of migration of the barbarian tribes towards the western parts of Europe. From near the Caucasic Gates began the Gordyaei mountains, inhabited by Valli and Suarni, free peoples who worked the gold mines; and from near these tribes to the Euxine Pontos stretched several nations of Heniochi. “This is the physiognomy of this corner of the earth, one of the most famous” says Pliny. (Heniochii, who appear also in the Argonautic legends, are from a geographical and ethnographical point of view, the same people as Arimaspii, those with one eye). At the same time, Pliny makes the following correction, saying “many were those who called this strait the Caspic Gates (Portae Caspiae), which is a big geographical error. The Iron Gates from the Istru had in the Roman epoch a double importance. They formed a geographical separation. For the west they were the gates of orient, and for the east they were the gates of the west. In Roman history the first mention of these Gates is found at the time of Nero. Nero, as the Roman authors tell us, had decreed an expedition against the Sarmati, or the European Scythians, who had become a permanent calamity for the Roman state even since the time of the republic. For this purpose he gathered a large army, from Britannia, Germany and Illyria, which he sent to the Caucasic straits (Suetonius, Nero Claudius, c. 19; Tacit, Hist. I. 6; Pliny, lib. VI. 15. 6). But Plautius Elianus (57 ad), the pro-praetor legate of Mesia finished quickly this expedition against the Sarmati, before the emperor arrived to the Iron Gates with his legions. The inscription which forms the epitaph of this brave general tells us that he forced some kings, unknown until then, to cross to the other bank of the Danube and to bow to the Roman banners, then he freed the sons of the kings who reigned over the Bastarni and the Roxolani, and the brother of the Dacian king, ensuring and extending in this way the peace and calm of the province (C. I. L. vol. XIV nr. 3608). The Caspic Gates were near the Istru also according to the poet Papinius Statius (Silv. lib. IV. 4. v. 56 seqq). These gates, which formed the basis of operation of the western army against the Sarmati, were, as Pliny writes (lib. V. 27. 3), in the massif of the mountain called Ceraunius, or of Cerna. The second group of mountains, Gordyaei, which, by Pliny’s description, started near the Iron Gates, is identical with the mountains of the district Gorju, on the north-western parts of the Romanian Country . [2. The confusion between the Caspic Gates from Asia and the Caucasic Gates from the Istru had produced another error in the antique geography. The Gordyaei mountains were transported and localized on the southern parts of Armenia, close to the Tigris. An expedition of the Romans against the Sarmati of Europe, with troupes from Britania, Germany and Illyria, through the Asian Caucasus, would have been against the most elementary principles of strategy]. The names of the tribes Valli and Suarni, mentioned by Pliny have been also preserved in the Romanian toponimy The first locality near the Iron Gates has the name of Gura Vaii (TN – Mouth of the Valley), meaning mouth of the great Valii, or “clisura Dunarii”. And the name of Suarni has been preserved to this day in the name of the Romanian villages Sovarna-de-jos and Sovarna-de-sus (TN – lower and upper Sovarna) from the region of Closani, a region where the mines were worked even since ante-Roman times . [3. Near Sovarna-de-jos is the hill called Rudina (from which metals were extracted). The stream which Pliny calls amnis diri odoris, is today called Slatinic, meaning stream with brackish water, or muddy; it flows into the Danube exactly at the place where in antiquity were the Iron Gates]. The same Iron Gates are also mentioned in the 4th century ad under the name of Ferratae Portae, and as Claudius tells us (Bell. Get. v. 235 seqq), they served as the basis of operation of the Getae, for their incursions into the western parts of the Roman Empire. According to the ancient Greek traditions, the eleventh work imposed on Hercules by king Eurystheus of Myceane had been to bring him the gold apples, chrysea mela, from the garden of the gods, which was near Atlas mountain in the country of the Hyperboreans. The historian Pherecydis from the 5th century bc writes the following about the traditional origin of these apples: that at Zeus’s wedding with Juno, Gaea, or Terra, had brought as gift some gold apples with branches, which the goddess Juno, admiring them very much, had ordered to be planted in the garden of the gods (lib. I. frag. 33a; Cf. ibid. frag. 33 in Fragmenta Hist. graec. I. p. 78-79), also called the Garden of the Hesperides (about which we shall speak later, in a special chapter), near Atlas mountain, in the country of the Hyperboreans. And because the daughters of Atlas kept picking these apples by stealth, the goddess Juno had put a gigantic dragon to guard the garden. Hercules, after receiving this task from Eurystheus, leaves Argos, travels over Macedonia and Illyria, and comes to the country of the Hyperboreans, where he firstly frees Prometheus from his chains. In gratitude Prometheus counsels him not to go in person after the apples, but to ask Atlas to bring them to him. Hercules goes to Atlas, tells him about his errand and asks him to bring him the three apples from the Hesperides. Atlas does this and Hercules takes the apples to Eurystheus. Now begins though a new phase in the history of the stealing of these gold apples. King Eurystheus realizes at last that by stealing these apples an impious act had been committed, and gives them to Hercules. Hercules in his turn, having the same scruples, does not want to keep them for himself, but gives them to Minerva (Athena), who takes them back to the place from where they had been stolen, because to take those apples to another place had been a sacrilege, says Apollodorus (Bibl. II. 5. 11). According to other traditions, Hercules had left Argos with a large army in order to be able to take from the Hyperboreans these precious and sacred gifts. It was a formal war expedition, strateia (Strabo, Geogr. lib. III. 2. 14), exactly as the expedition for the stealing of the herds of Geryon, and that of the Argonauts for the stealing and taking to Thessaly of the golden fleece, had been. This is in short the legendary history of the gold apples from the country of the Hyperboreans. As Pherecydis tells us, these famous gold apples, which were guarded in a sacred place near Atlas mountain, had been a nuptial gift of Gaea at the wedding of her grandchildren, Zeus and Juno. So we have here a characteristic act, part of the ancient Pelasgian wedding ceremony. The custom of giving to the bride one or two apples, when she is given away, has still been preserved to this day with the Romanian people, especially in the lands across the Carpathians. Regarding this, the priest Fl. Marian from Bukovina writes the following: “In other parts of Trnasylvania, namely towards Maramures, after the wooers (the trusted men of the young man who desires to get married) firstly approach the girl’s parents and find out from their words that they wished to marry out their daughter, one of them brings out from under his coat a wooden bottle of brandy, and the other an apple, and they put them on the table. The wooden bottle is like any other wooden bottles, but the apple is much different from other apples. In it are usually placed two or three regular coins, a few small coins of silver and at least a gold coin … and each coin must be new. At the sight of this, all the people of the house are thoroughly convinced that these guests are wooers. Everybody knows that the apple is the sign of the giving away … In these parts the giving away is done through an apple. The wooers put in the hand of the girl an apple endowed with money (Marianu, Nunta la Romani, p. 104, 753). Now the question is if these apples, to which antiquity had also attributed a strange power, had really been of gold, precious objects consecrated to the gods, or if they had been just plain, natural fruits. Even the history of the stealing of these three apples by the sending of an expedition headed by the most famous hero of antiquity, in order to take them; their being taken to the southern parts of Greece, and finally, their return, put in evidence the fact that these apples were not some natural fruits, subjected to decay, but precious objects of art, with ancient traditions and a particular religious meaning. (The tradition about the two or three gold apples from the country of the Hyperboreans is not identical with the legend about the mythological tree which produced gold apples. This confusion has been also made during classical antiquity). In traditional Romanian songs, the custom of the princely families to give to the bride or groom, in token of entrusting, an apple of real gold is even today mentioned (Marienescu, Balade, II, p. 71-72; Tocilescu, Mater. Folk. I. 180). The apples given by Gaea to Juno in those ancient happy Pelasgian times, otherwise called the golden age, had been therefore also of gold. The memory of these gold apples, as a gift from a divinity, has been still preserved to this day in Romanian traditions. So, in a Romanian folk carol, Hercules figures under the name of Troian, as he also does in other traditions from the Carpathians and the Balkans (see Ch.XVI.8). After this Hercules-Troian worships in the morning in front of the icon, God throws in his lap two gold apples. In another version Troian receives from God the gold apples, which he then gives to Saint George. Under the name of Saint George, as protector of agriculture (Georgos), figures in this carol Eurystheus, the famous king of Mycenae. Finally, the same Eurystheus appears in other versions under the name of Irod, and he gives the gold apples to the ploughmen. These legendary gold apples had once been objects consecrated in some Temple, probably of Apollo (Helios, Phoebus, Soare) from the country of the Hyperboreans . [1.In one Romanian carol the Mother of God (Pelasgian Latona, Leto) says to her son: Be quiet child, stop crying, Mother shall give you Two gold apples, to play with them … (Barseanu, 50 carols, p. 7- Gazeta Transilvaniei nr.268, 1895) Some folk carols from around Ramnicul-Sarat are addressed to the “Apple, little apple of gold”, words by which must be understood not the tree, but a consecrated gold object in the shape of an apple. Other Romanian religious carols tell how Judah had entered heaven and had taken the moon, the sun, the cross, and the orb, or the gold apple of the young couple (Barseanu, Colinde p. 11. 3)]. The fame of the gold apples from the countries of Dacia had spread far and wide in the prehistoric epoch, not only to Mycenae in the Peloponnesus, but even to the Pelasgians from the Baltic Sea. As late as the first half of the past century the following folk song was sung by the Lithuanians, and maybe it is sung even today: Today we drink alus, and tomorrow we depart. We go to the Hungarian country, Where the rivers are of wine, Where the apples are of gold, and the forests are like gardens. (Rhesa, Dainos, oder Litthauische Volkslieder, Berlin, 1843, p. 57) Ancient historical traditions of the Greeks, Egyptians, Phoenicians and Assyrians, mentioned a vast empire of the Pelasgian race, which in its epoch of power and greatness had extended over a great part of Europe, Asia and Africa (De Jubainville, Les prem. habit. de l’Europe. I. 77). But the history of these primitive, Pelasgian times is shrouded in the veil of many legends and myths. The first kings of the Pelasgian race had excelled especially in their personal virtues, in their political merits and for the blessings they bestowed on the human genus. They had been the first to gather in a society the families and tribes scattered through caves, mountains and woods, to found villages and cities, to form the first states, to give their subjects laws and to introduce gentler customs in their way of living; they had dedicated their entire activity towards a better existence, physical and intellectual, and in this way had opened a new way for the fate of humanity on this earth. In gratitude for these everlasting merits of theirs, these kings of the Pelasgian race had been deified and honored with religious cults, some after death, like Uranos and Cronos, and others while living, like for example Zeus. The ancient Pelasgian theology had then considered these civilizing kings of the ancient world like the gods, even more, like true gods, descended on earth from the sky; in their honor it had erected Temples and altars, had instituted sacrifices and feast days, had composed hymns, legends and rites, had founded colleges of priests and oracles, and finally, had eternized their names on the celestial vault, attributing them to certain constellations. In this way, these kings who had lived mortal lives, begin to be called gods; they become the heads of ancient religion and watch even after their death, as glorious ancestors, over their peoples. As soon as the divine nature of these kings – who had put the first foundations of human happiness – is proclaimed, their epoch begins to darken. Historical traditions, redacted by the priestly colleges, change in miraculous legends. Their beings are dogmatically brought in connection to the birth of the world more and more, and in this way their history becomes mythical – theological . [1. Those looking in the ancient legends only for symbolisms, or for personifications of the elementary forces of nature, are deluded. In pre-historical antiquity, the thoughts of humankind were dominated by real facts, not at all by personal imagination]. Pelasgoí (Pelasgians) An ancient etymology links pelasgos to pelargos “stork” and postulates that the Pelasgians were migrants like storks, possibly from Egypt, where they nest. Aristophanes deals effectively with this etymology in his comedy the Birds. One of the laws of “the storks” in the satirical cloud-cuckoo-land (punning on the Athenian belief that they were originally Pelasgians) is that grown-up storks must support their parents by migrating elsewhere and conducting warfare. Murray summarizes the derivation from pelas ge, “neighboring land:” If Pelasgoi is connected with p??a?, ‘near’, the word would mean ‘neighbor’ and would denote the nearest strange people to the invading Greeks… Julius Pokorny derives Pelasgoi from *pelag-skoi (Flachlandbewohner, or “flatland-inhabitants”); specifically, Bewohner thessalischen Ebene (“Inhabitants of the Thessalian plain”). The Indo-European root is *plak-, “flat.” Pokorny details a previous derivation, which appears in English at least as early as Gladstone’s Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age of 1858. If the Pelasgians were not Indo-Europeans, the name in this derivation must have been assigned by the Hellenes. The ancient Greek word for sea, pelagos, comes from the same root, *plak-, as the Doric word plagos, “side” (which is flat), appearing in *pelag-skoi. Klein therefore simply interprets the same reconstructed form as “the sea men”, where the sea is the flat. This interpretation does not require the Indo-Europeans to have had a word for sea, which living on the inland plains (if they did) they are likely to have lacked. On encountering the sea they simply used the word for plain, “the flat.” The flatlanders also could acquire what must have been to the Hellenes a homonym, “the sea men”. Best of all, if the Egyptians of the Late Bronze Age encountered maritime marauders under this name they would have translated as Sea peoples. Pelasgian as pre-Indo-European Unknown provenance One major theory uses the name “Pelasgian” to describe the inhabitants of the lands around the Aegean Sea before the arrival of proto-Greek speakers as well as traditionally identified enclaves of descendants that still existed in Classical Greece. The theory derives from the original concepts of the philologist Paul Kretschmer, whose views prevailed throughout the first half of the 20th century and are still given some credibility today. For more details on this topic, see Dorian invasion#Kretschmer’s external Greeks. Though Wilamowitz-Moellendorff wrote them off as mythical, the results of archaeological excavations at Çatalhöyük by James Mellaart (1955) and F. Schachermeyr (1979) led them to conclude that the Pelasgians had migrated from Asia Minor to the Aegean basin in the 4th millennium BC. In this theory a number of possible non-Indo-European linguistic and cultural features are attributed to the Pelasgians: * Groups of apparently non-Indo-European loan words in the Greek language, borrowed in its prehistoric development. * Non-Greek and possibly non-Indo-European roots for many Greek place names in the region, containing the consonantal strings “-nth-” (e.g. Corinth, Probalinthos), or its equivalent “-ns-” (e.g. Tiryns); “-tt-“, e.g. in the peninsula of Attica, Mounts Hymettus and Brilettus/Brilessus, Lycabettus Hill, the deme of Gargettus, etc.; or its equivalent “-ss-“: Larissa, Mount Parnassus, the river names Kephissos and Ilissos etc. * Certain mythological stories or deities that seem to have no parallels in the mythologies of other Indo-European peoples. * Non-Greek inscriptions throughout the Mediterranean, such as the Lemnos stele. George Grote summarizes the theory as follows:[56] There are, indeed, various names affirmed to designate the ante-Hellenic inhabitants of many parts of Greece — the Pelasgi, the Leleges, the Curetes, the Kaukones, the Aones, the Tummikes, the Hyantes, the Telchines, the Boeotian Thracians, the Teleboae, the Ephyri, the Phlegyae, &c. These are names belonging to legendary, not to historical Greece — extracted out of a variety of conflicting legends by the logographers and subsequent historians, who strung together out of them a supposed history of the past, at a time when the conditions of historical evidence were very little understood. That these names designated real nations may be true but here our knowledge ends. The poet and mythologist Robert Graves asserts that certain elements of that mythology originate with the native Pelasgian people (namely the parts related to his concept of the White Goddess, an archetypical Earth Goddess) drawing additional support for his conclusion from his interpretations of other ancient literature: Irish, Welsh, Greek, Biblical, Gnostic, and medieval writings.[57] Tyrsenian According to the Iliad, Lemnos has no Pelasgians, but a Minyan dynasty.[58] Iberian-Caucasian Some Georgian scholars (including M.G. Tseretheli, R.V. Gordeziani, M. Abdushelishvili, and Dr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia) connect the Pelasgians with the Iberian-Caucasian cultures of the prehistoric Caucasus, known to the Greeks as Colchis. Pelasgian as non-Hellenic Indo-European Anatolian In western Anatolia, many toponyms with the “-ss-” infix derive from the adjectival suffix also seen in cuneiform Luwian and some Palaic; the classic example is Bronze Age Tarhuntassa (loosely, “City of the Storm God Tarhunta”), and later Parnassus may be related to the Hittite word parna- or “house”. These elements have led to a second theory, that Pelasgian was to some degree an Anatolian language.[citation needed] Thracian Vladimir Georgiev asserted that the Pelasgians were Indo-Europeans, with an Indo-European etymology of pelasgoi from pelagos, “sea” as the Sea People, the PRST of Egyptian inscriptions, and related them to the neighbouring Thracians. He proposed a soundshift model from Indo-European to Pelasgian.[59] Albanian Johann Georg von Hahn in his 1854 Albanesische Studien identified the Pelasgian language with “Ur-Albanian”. In this, he followed earlier suggestions by Giuseppe Crispi (Memoria sulla lingua albanese, Palermo 1831). This “Pelasgian theory” of Albanian origins was shared by some other 19th-century authors but no longer has support in modern linguistic scholarship. It still has some currency as a national myth in Albanian nationalism.[60] Previously undiscovered Indo-European A. J. Van Windekens (1915–1989) offered rules for an unattested hypothetical Indo-European Pelasgian language, selecting vocabulary for which there was no Greek etymology among the names of places, heroes, animals, plants, garments, artifacts, social organization.[61] The term Danubian culture was coined by the Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe to describe the first agrarian society in central and eastern Europe. It covers the Linear Pottery culture (Linearbandkeramik, LBK), stroked pottery and Rössen cultures. The beginning of the Linear Pottery culture dates to around 5500 BC. It appears to have spread westwards along the valley of the river Danube and interacted with the cultures of Atlantic Europe when they reached the Paris Basin. Danubian I peoples cleared forests and cultivated fertile loess soils from the Balkans to the Low Countries and the Paris Basin. They made LBK pottery and kept domesticated cows, pigs, dogs, sheep and goats. The diagnostic tool of the culture is the Shoe-last celt, a kind of long thin stone adze which was used to fell trees and sometimes as a weapon, evidenced by the skulls found at Talheim in Germany and Schletz in Austria. Settlements consisted of longhouses. According to a theory by Eduard Sangmeister, these settlements were abandoned, possibly as fertile land was exhausted, and then reoccupied perhaps when the land had lain fallow for long enough. In contrast, Peter Modderman and Jens Lüning believe the settlements were constantly inhabited, with individual families using specific plots (Hofplätze). They also imported spondylus shells from the Mediterranean. A second wave of the culture, which used painted pottery with Asiatic influences, superseded the first phase starting around 4500 BC. This was followed by a third wave which used stroke-ornamented ware. Danubian sites include those at Bylany in Bohemia and Köln-Lindenthal in Germany. We will explain here the primitive destination which these prehistoric monuments had, not on the basis of medieval sources, as has been mainly the custom so far, but exclusively by the religious character which these monoliths had in the most remote times of Greek and Roman antiquity On the vast plain of Troy, as Homer tells us (Iliad, XI, v 371), there was a big mound from ancient times, where was buried the divine old man Ilus, the son of Dardanos, and on this mound was erected a stele or funerary stone column During the war of the Trojans with the Greeks, as Homer also tells us (Ibid XVI, v 457 674), the brave prince Sarpedon, ruler over the wealthy Pelasgian population from Lycia, falls in battle killed by Patroclus, and his body, by order of Zeus, was carried to Lycia, so that his brothers and relatives could celebrate his funerals and erect a mound with a column (stele) on it, because this is the honor of the dead Ulysses also, according to the Odyssey (lib XII, v 13-14), erects in the island Aeaea a tumulus over the ashes and weapons of the dead Elpenor, and on top of the tumulus he erects a column (stele) It results that even at the time of the Trojan war, stone columns appear as monuments erected on the tumuli of the deceased, for their eternal honor Along the road from Sparta to Arcadia, Pausanias tells us (Descriptio Graeciae lib III, 20 9), could still be seen even in his time seven columns or posts (chiones) fashioned in the archaic style, or of rough stone, and these columns represented the simulacra of the seven planets, the Sun, Moon, Cronos, Zeus, Mars, Mercury and Venus Finally, the primitive columns, or of rough stone, also appear in prehistoric antiquity as commemorative monuments Hercules, the great hero of the Pelasgian world, erects, as traditions tell, near the Gaditan ocean (TN – near Gades) two huge stone columns, as monuments, intended to commemorate his expedition and his great deeds (Diodorus Siculus, lib I 24 1;IV 18 2) In Italy, the custom to erect pyramids or huge stone columns on the graves of the deceased, also existed until relatively late times with the ancient Latin tribes “With our forefathers” writes Servius, “the nobles were buried under tall mounds, or in the mountains, from where the custom arose to erect pyramids, or huge stone columns, over the body of the deceased” (Cf Isidori Hispal, Originum, lib XV 11 4) So, according to the moral customs of antiquity, the menhirs or rough stone columns served various purposes Some appear as primitive honorary monuments, raised on the tumuli, or at the graves of the deceased Others had a higher, religious purpose They represented in a rudimentary form, the images of some archaic divinities, and formed therefore the object of a religious cult And finally, others appear only as simple commemorative monuments regarding expeditions, illustrious war deeds, or great political and religious events These stone columns had at the same time a religious-economic purpose From the point of view of prehistoric ethnology, the Fri-Bolgi, who, according to Irish traditions have first introduced the megalithic funerary monuments in the western countries of Europe, appear to have been only a migrated branch towards west of the big Pelasgian people of the Hyperboreans, settled in prehistoric times at the Lower Danube, and who in the monuments of antique geography appear under the name of Pirobori (Ptolemy,Geogr lib III 10 8- Piroboridava near the river Hierasus, Siret) The country of the Hyperboreans from the north of the Lower Danube was renowned even during the epoch of Pindar for its colossal monuments of rough stone And the second prehistoric race, the so-called Danians, mentioned by the Irish traditions, they appear to have been, in the great ethnic movement of the ancient world, just some tribes of Danai (Danaoi), as Homer calls the Greeks (Iliad, III 33 464; IV 232; VII 382; XIII 680), who had advanced westwards, on the migration routes of other Neolithic Pelasgian tribes These Danai, or Greeks, appear in the primitive times of European history as the people who immediately follow the Pelasgians About the immigration of the Danai in Pelasgian territories, there was preserved until late a tradition in Ellada, which Eschyl presents in his poem “Supplices”: Danaos (the representative of the Danai), persecuted by his brother Aegyptos, emigrates from Lybia to the vast empire of Pelasg, to ask for protection and a place to settle Even the ethnic type of the Fri-Bolgi and Danians of the Irish traditions, wholly corresponds to the physical and moral aspect of the ancient Pelasgians and the Danai Pelasgians appear in the ancient monuments of Greek literature as a race of men with a darkish color, or suntanned, robust and with a dominating character Pelasg, the founder of the empire of this race was, as the ancient poet Asius (cca 700bc) tells us, born from the black earth On the other hand, the ancient Greeks, or Danai, are shown in the traditions of the Homeric epoch, as men with a tall stature, blond hair and blue eyes Finally, the signs and figures engraved on various megalithic monuments of the west, which consist of spirals, serpentine lines, arched lines or semispherical, disks, wheels of the sun and scattered points, which imitate the sky with the stars, present a remarkable affinity with the system of ornamentation and the symbolic signs of the eastern Pelasgians These mystical characters from the funerary megalithic monuments of the west show us the traces of Pelasgian religious inspiration, the cult of the sky, the sun and the stars, and everywhere, a firm belief in a life beyond the grave, in the regions of light or the superior world We also state here that the colossal forms of these monuments tell us that they belong to a heroic people with an enormous ambition to transmit to posterity the memory and glory of the deceased Tyrrhenians The origin of the name is uncertain. It is only known to be used by Greek authors, but apparently not of Greek origin. It has been connected to tursis, also a “Mediterranean” loan into Greek, meaning “tower” The origin of this old cosmogonic religion of the Sky and Earth was considered during the epoch of classical Greece as barbarous (Pelasgian). “As we see” Socrates tells Plato, “the first people in Greece (the Pelasgians) considered as gods in those times only those who were worshiped by most of the barbarians, meaning the sun, the moon, the earth, the stars and the sky” (Plato, Cratylus, I. p.293). And the ancient Greeks meant firstly under the name “Barbarians”, the populations from north of Greece, and only secondly the Asians and Africans. “The Greeks do not know to this day, when I write this, where has each god originated from”, says Herodotus (lib. II. 53), “or if they have always existed, and what shape they have”. And in another chapter, (Ibid. lib. II. c. 50, 53) Herodotus expresses the same opinion as his conTemporary Socrates, that the name of the divinities, who the Egyptians claimed they didn’t know, the Greeks had received from the Pelasgians. As for the Romans, in their oldest inscriptions as well as in their greatest religious literature, the Sky (TN – Ceriul) appears as Kerus, Cerus manus and duonus Cerus, deus magnus (in a fragment of Carmina Saliare – Varro, L.L.VII.26) . [1. In the graves of Etruria and Latium were often found cups with inscriptions dedicated to the gods. Such a cup was discovered on the territory of the Volsci, with the inscription KERI POCOLOM, and two other cups in other localities with the dedication Saeturni pocolom and Volcani pocolom (C.I.L.I. nr. 46.48.50). In the ancient Carmina Saliare, the Sky was also venerated under the name of Cerus manus (Festus s. v. Matrem matutam). In old folk Latin language, the form Caer-us was also used for Cerus, as can be ascertained from the adjective caeruleus (an azure color), word which the poets use as an epithet for the sky. We also find coeli caerula Templa with Ennius (Cicero, Div. I.20) or only caerula coeli with Ovid (Met. XIV, 814). A great number of words from the ancient Carmina Saliare had become obscure for the Roman authors, and Varro complains that their primitive meaning was not known any more (Ibid. VII.2). Even during the Neolithic epoch, belief in an abstract supreme divinity had started to receive real human shapes. Various monarchs of that far-away world, admired for their good deeds and feared for their extraordinary power, started to be considered as gods, public cults were instituted to them, and became revered after death. But which was the origin of the name Cybele, has remained a historical enigma to this day. Strabo tells us in his Geography (XII. 5. 3), that the Mother of gods was so called after the mountain Cybele from Phrygia, where she was worshipped. But the origin of this name was completely different (Daremberg, Dictionnaire des antiquites, I. p.1679: ” those mountains of Cybele…have probably existed only in the imagination of those who wanted to explain first the name of Cybele”). Even from the most remote times Gaea, or the Mother of gods, considered as a benevolent goddess, was worshiped too as a prophetic divinity (Hesiod, Theog. v. 463; Cicero, Divin. I. 36. 79; Eschyl, Eum. 2, calls Gaea the first prophetess). Under the shade of the groves and under the cover of the rocks, the priests and priestesses of the Great Mother practiced in those extremely religious times, the art of divination and the primitive medical sciences (Heim, Incantamenta magica. Lipsiae, 1892, p.504). The name Sibylla, as Suidas also declares, is Latin. But in fact it is proto-Latin. In prehistoric antiquity, when the art of divination had such an important role in public and private life, there were a number of famous Sibyls and they were known to classical times by the names of the various lands where they had originated. But none of these prophetic women originated in Greek lands. The Sibyls were inspired by a deep mystical religious feeling, and this character was lacking to the Greek spirit. According to what Pausanias tells us (lib. X. 12. 1), the first Sibyls were at Delphi, at the renowned Temple and oracle, founded there, among the mountains, by the Hyperborean shepherds from north of the Lower Ister. Here the Sibyl called Erythrea (Rosiana, TN – the Reddish one) had practiced her divinatory art. She had lived, as some say, before the great war between Europe and Asia, and had prophesied the fall of Troy (Apollodorus Erythreaeus, at Lactantius, Institt. I. 6; Suidas, Sibylla; Friedlieb, Oracula Sibyllina, p.69). According to others, she lived in later times. The traditions also told about this Sibyl, that she had had a legendary life, had lived ten human life spans, not less than one thousand years, but according to others she had lived one hundred and twenty years (Phlegontis Tralliani, Fragm. Hist. gr. III. p.610). As Suidas tells us, she was born in the village Marmissos, near the town Gergittion (Gergitha), on the territory which had been once under Trojan rule. Sybilla Erythrea, according to what Pausanias writes (lib. X. 12. 2), was also mentioned in some hymns in Apollo’s honor. In some of these hymns she is called the sister, wife or daughter of Apollo, meaning the priestess of Apollo, the great god of the Pelasgian light. And in another hymn she tells us about her origin in the following verses: (TN – I give here only the Latin translation by Dindorfius, of Pausanias’ s Greek text): Inter utrumque sequor medium divasque hominesque, Nympha immortali sata, cetophago genitore. Ida meae matri patria est, mihi patria rubra Marpessus, matri quae sacra, amnisque Aidoneus. The Sibyls, who pronounced their oracles in moments of divine inspiration or ecstasy, never wrote their pronouncements, and never remembered them afterwards. They were noted down by certain writers from the colleges of priests of the respective sanctuaries. The fragment from the hymn of Sibylla Erythrea, presented by Pausanias, is evidently, from the point of view of the confused meaning of its first verses, only a simple Greek translation from the ancient Pelasgian language. The prehistoric Sibyls from Delphi never pronounced their oracles in the Greek language. This fragment presents a particular historical interest regarding the country and nationality of Sibylla Erythrea. Various authors of antiquity have considered Sibylla Erythrea as originated from the Ida mountain near Troy. But we can’t find a single authentic document in the entire geographical literature of ancient times, to confirm that the villages Erythrae, Marmessos and the river Aidoneus had existed on the territory of ancient Ilion. The country of this glorious Sibyl was a completely different one. The entire chain of the Carpathians was once, as we saw, a holy domain of the great Pelasgian divinities. We find especially in the region of the Carpathians between Transylvania and Hungary, in the mountains rich in gold of the Arimaspes and Agathyrses, the traces of a material prosperity and a moral civilization very advanced for the ante-historical times. Here is the country of Sibylla Erythrea, according to all the geographical data transmitted to us by the authors of antiquity. [1. The river Iad springs from the mountain The Peak of the Glade, and is used for the transportation of the log rafts when its waters are big. The Greek form ‘Aidoneus derives from ‘Aides, the lower world, iad. Aidoneus was also an epithet of Pluto]. We have therefore in Pausanias’ fragment, four principal geographic data regarding the country of Sibylla Erythrea, and all these are on the territory of the northern Pelasgians, in the lands once renowned for their gold mines, and where three important rivers are even today called Cris (Chriseios). The origin of Sibylla Erythrea in the northern lands of Istru is also confirmed by another important series of geographical data. Fortunately Suidas, in his historic-literary lexicon, had extracted from various authors of antiquity a few precious notes about the historical individuality and the country of this illustrious Sibyl. As he tells us, this genial woman, who occupied such a significant place in the history of the ancient world, was born on the territory of the Rosieni, called Batti, where later a town was founded, called Erythrae (Rosia, TN – the Red one). This note is very important. Even today a hill, which is immediately near this village, bears the name of “Botiascu”, and two other heights on the upper part of the river Iad, bear the name of Botea and Bodea (Specialkarte, f. 18, XXVII; Petra Boghi, 19. XXVII). The country of Sibylla Erythrea ( Rosiana ) Suidas also tells us that Sibylla Erythrea was also called by some Sardana, Gergithia, Libussa, Leucana, Samia, Rhodia and Sicelana, names given after lands and localities from the same region where we have also the names Marmesci, Mama, Rosia, Iad and Boti. Sardana corresponds to Zarandana, after the name of Zarand district, in which is Marmesci village; Gergithia corresponds to Gurguiata, a hilltop on the south-western part of the village Reieni; Libyssa comes from the village Lapusa, Leucana from the valley Leuca, between the Curcubeta and Zanoga mountains, Samia from the villages Soim or Soimus; Rhodia from the gold mines of Zarand, called Ruda, Sicelana from the locality Sicula . [2. The old Sibyl of Mermessos (Marmesci) was also known in the Pelasgian lands of Asia Minor under the names of Lampousa, Sarbis and Taraxandra (Suidas). There is a surprising similarity between the name of Sarbis and the name of the village Sarbesci, situated in the proximity of Moma mountain. Another village situated south-east of Marmesci is called Sarb]. Still in this region, eastward from the sources of the river Iad, on a coast of Britea mountain, there is the woody place called Sivla (Buteanu, Stana de vale, 1887, p.61) a name which we don’t find in any other place, and which evidently corresponds to the Greco-Latin form of Sibylla or Sibulla. This whole region, in which we find grouped together all the geographical data of antiquity related to the country of Sibylla Erythrea, had once important commercial and religious ties with the southern lands. Sibylla Rosiana or Erythrea had received various geographical names, after the various places where she had spent a longer time of her long and unsettled life of inspired woman. When Suidas tells us with some precaution, that the village Marmiss-os and Gertittion are within the limits of the territory over which the Trojans had once ruled, this data refers in fact to the time of the great Trojan empire, about which Herodotus also writes (lib. VIII. 20) that the Trojans, crossing once the Bosphorus to Europe, had subjected all the Thracians, spreading their rule to the Ionic Sea. So, what we have now to also examine, is the data referring to the genealogy of Sibylla Erythrea. According to what the Greek translation, communicated by Pausanias, tells us, the father of Sibylla Erythrea was chetophagos, meaning an eater of chiti, marine monsters. The primitive meaning of these words was incontestably altered. This mistake alone can definitely prove to us that the Hymn of Sibylla Erythrea had been translated from a proto-Latin rustic language, by an ignorant writer. The Sibyl indicated by these words that he was a farmer, as in antiquity the two large social classes were the farmers and the shepherds. Suidas, another Greek author who seemingly had in front of him the same archaic text of the hymn, calls the Sybil’s father Aristo-crates (a big eater). These are the same words, but with a different interpretation. And as others tell, continues Suidas, the father of Sibylla Erythrea was called Crinagoras. Here we have again a topical personal name. A high mountain near the river Iad bears even today the name of Cernagura (Specialkarte, f. 18. XXVII). Pausanias calls the mother of Sibylla Erythrea, Idogenes, and Suidas calls her Hydale and Hydole. It is the same word in different Greek forms. On the western side of the village Rosia, on the beautiful valley of Holod, there is the village called today Hodis (Hoghis), while a significant hill near Rosia is called “Dampu Hodisanului” (Ibid. 18. XXVI. XXVII). When the fragment communicated by Pausanias tells us that the mother of Sibylla Erythrea was Idogena, it is certain that we have here a corrupt form of Hodisiana, or Hodigena. The geographical origin of Sibylla Erythrea is wholly established. On the basis of these geographical and genealogical data, as well as on the basis of the great ethnic and religious movement started from north to south in those Pelasgian times, we can state here as an absolute historical truth, that Sibylla Erythrea, the most glorious of those who bore the name of Sibyl, was born in the village Rosia, spent some time in the village Marmesci, near the Moma or Mama mountain (where a renowned sanctuary of the Great Mother probably existed), and in the hamlets on the valley of Iad, localities situated in the districts Zarand – Bihor. She was the daughter of a farmer, and her mother was Hodisiana of origin. We return now to the Greek fragment from the hymn of the Sibyl, which we can translate as such: I was born among men and goddesses, I am an immortal woman, my father ate bread (was a farmer), After my mother I am Hodisiana, and my country is Rosia, Marmesci, the sacred place of the Mother (great), and the river Iad. These verses also contain another entirely characteristic particularity. Here Sibylla calls herself, with all her religious certainty, an “immortal woman”. This was not a simple personal conviction of the Sibyl. She expresses here one of the fundamental principles of the Pelasgian religion from the Lower Danube. The Getae were those who, as Herodotus tells us (lib. IV. 93), considered themselves immortal. To Sibylla Erythrea was attributed in antiquity a famous collection of predictions, known in the whole of Greece, whose primitive redaction was going back to ante-Homeric times. Apart from oracles, as Suidas tells us, she also wrote about palpitations and different songs. And the same author tells us in another place, basing his information on various biographical sources, that Sibylla Erythrea wrote in heroic verses three books about Divination, and those she took to Rome at the time of the consuls, or according to what others say, at the times of Tarquinius, hoping that she will receive much for them. But when she saw that she was despised, she burned two of the books brought with her, and only one was left, which the Romans bought at a high price. And Dionysius of Halicarnasus adds (lib. IV. 62) that king Tarquinius, astonished by the resolution of this woman, consulted the augurs about the remaining books (according to him Sibylla had brought to Rome nine books, out of which she had burnt six). The augurs, examining the rest of the books, declared to Tarquinius that they had reached the conclusion, from certain signs, that those books had been sent by divinity, and that it was very unfortunate that all the books had not been bought. They advised Tarquinius to pay the whole price to the woman. Then this woman, after giving them the remaining books, told them to keep them with great care, after which she left and was never seen again . [3. In what language these books were written, no author tells us. The fact that the Romans had instituted a special college of priests for their conservation and consultation, denotes that special knowledge was required for their interpretation (Livy, lib. X. 8; Plaut, Pseud. I. 1. 23)]. These books of the Sibyl, as results also from traditions, and from the respect shown always for them by the Romans, were characterized by a great religiosity. They conformed to the traditional principles of the old Pelasgian theology, and they had an immense influence on the state life of the Roman people . [4. According to what Pliny writes (XIII. 27), the third book of the Sibyl, bought by king Tarquinius Superbus, had burnt together with the Capitolium, in the times of Sulla. After this disaster, the Romans searched in every part of the empire for the country of Sibylla Erythrea, hoping to find another copy of her oracles. But their search was without result. The later sibylline books were only simple compilations from various oracles, in large part not authentic, written in Greek. They did not represent the old Pelasgian doctrines any more; Tacitus (Ann. VI. 12)]. Sibylla Erythrea was therefore considered identical with the Sibyl called Cumana (Marc. Cap. II. 8. 7). But all the historical sources confirm the fact that the Sibyl who brought to Rome the Pelasgians’ books of the divine revelation, was not from Italy (Livy, lib. I. 7). In ancient traditions, Sibylla Erythrea was also called Amalthea and Albunea. Both these names have an evident geographical character. They refer to the country, or in other words to the lands from where this legendary Sibyl came. Amalthea (Plato, Phaed. P.315; Stephanus, Thesaurus I.gr; Lactantius, De falsa religione, c. 6) is only a simple Greek ethnic form of the name of the town Halmagiu, the central point of the district of Zarand, near which was the village Marmesci. Amalthea Marpesia, as she is called by Tibullis (Eleg.II. 5. 67-68), referred therefore to Sibylla Erythrea from Marmesci, near Halmagiu. A second name under which Sibylla Erythrea was known in the Rome countryside, was Albunea (Lactantius, De falsa religione c. 6; Virgil, Aen. VII. v. 34) . [5. The various geographical names attributed to the same Sibyl, had as a consequence the fact that the later Greek and Roman authors have arbitrarily multiplied their number. This happened especially to Sibylla Erythrea, who was called Phrygiana, or from Ida, Cumana, Libyca, Delphica, Sicula, Amalthea, Marpesia, Albunea, etc]. But on the territory of Italy no locality, town or village ever existed, to which we could reduce with certainty the origin of this name. Sibylla known to Roman history was only a pilgrim in Italy. The name Albunea, given to this holy woman, who had come to Italy from other lands, derives incontestably from the locality rich in gold mines of Dacia, called in Roman epoch Alburnus major, part of which was the village Rosia of today, vicus Pirustarum in Roman official language . [6. Some wanted to derive the name Albunea from Aquae Albulae on the plain of Latium, but the sanctuary dedicated to Sibylla Albunea was located in the highest mountains of Tiber (Pauly-Wissowa, R. R, Aquae Albulae)]. So, in Italy too, there had been confusion about the country of Sibylla Erythrea or Rosiana. Some historical sources call her Amalthea Marpesia, meaning from Marmescii from Halmagiu, as she herself says in the fragment communicated by Pausanias. And in other traditions she is called Albunea (Alburnea), meaning from Alburnus or Rosia near Abrud. The name of this noble and astute Sibyl shone in prehistoric times not only at Delphi and in Latium, but also in the Pelasgian lands of ancient Germany. Tacitus tells us (Germania, c.8) that in Germany, in a remote time (olim), a prophetess called Aurinia was venerated as a divinity. Wackernagel rectifies it to Albruna (Pauly-Wissowa, R. E. Albruna). Aurinia or Albruna (= Alburna) is one and the same holy Sibyl from the lands rich in gold of Dacia, who was venerated as a divinity also at Tiber, under the name of Albunea . [7. We find a memory about this renowned “old mother” (TN-maica = mother = nun) and her teachings, in the following folk verses, communicated directly from the lands of Cris: “Don’t work on Sunday, Friday and Wednesday, Holy moon shall beat you; Let’s search for the old mother, with incense in hand, with white book underarm; She is a little nun, who kept praying from the book, for the sins of man”. The simulacrum discovered in the bed of the river Anio, represented, as Lactantius writes, Sibylla Albunea with a book in her hand. It is important to stress that in the verses above, one of the attributes of the “old nun” is also a “white book underarm”]. Finally, there was another old Roman tradition about Sibylla Erythrea. Eneas, leaving Troy in order to find another country in the great Pelasgian world, consulted, after the religious custom of those times, the Pelasgian oracle of Dodona, and also Sibylla Erythrea, asking in what part of the world should he, and the emigrated Trojans, settle. Sibylla Erythrea was the one who advised them to go to the western countries (Dionysius of Halicarnasus, lib. I. c. 55). And according to other tradition, Eneas, leaving Troy, came firstly to Thrace, to a “barbarian” people called Crusaei (Ibid, lib. I. c. 47, 49), or Cruseni (in Romanic form). These received him with hospitality. Eneas stayed with them for a whole winter, after which he left towards Italy. So, in these traditions about the westward migration of the Trojans, we meet with a curious coincidence: Sibylla Erythrea was originated in the lands of the Crisuri (TN – rivers), while the name of a people from barbarian Thrace, very hospitable, was that of Cruseni. This Sibyl from Rosia appears in the history of those remote times as a traveling prophetess, in the service of the Great Mother (Ovid, Fast. IV. v. 239-240) and the powerful Pelasgian god (her books were very carefully preserved in the Capitolium, in a stone box, deposited in an underground vault, under the Temple of Zeus optimus maximus). Inspired by a great religious fervor, she traveled from country to country, changed her abode from one sanctuary to another, placing her talent, art, and spiritual visions, in the service of the priests from the respective oracles. She was a pilgrim at Delphi, Delos and Dodona, a pilgrim on the shores of Asia Minor and Latium, admired and respected everywhere for her wisdom, her universal knowledge and her holy life. Pliny, talking about this Sibyl (H. N. VII. 33), says that there was something divine in her, and that she had a sort of holy communion with the heavenly powers (Lactantius, De ira Dei, cap.22). Sibyla Erythrea had not been the only one to represent the northern oracles in southern lands. A whole group of northern prophets were known in antiquity, like the Hyperborean shepherds, who founded the oracle of Delphi (Pausanias, lib. X. 5. 7), like Abaris the Hyperborean, who wrote a whole book of oracles known under the name of “Scythicae” (Suidas, ‘Abaris), and also like the anonymous founders of Apollo’s oracle of Delos. Finally, Latona (Leto) and Ilithyia, worshipped as divinities, and the virgins Arge and Opis, celebrated in the religious songs of the Delians and Ionians (Herodotus, lib. IV. 35), belong to the same category of holy women gone south from Hyperborean lands. Sibylla Erythrea, by her biographical data, as well as by her severe religious principles not influenced by the Greek spirit, was an illustrious representative of the wisdom and religion of the Hyperboreans, or Pelasgians from north of the Istru. “The people of Ellada call me a woman from “another country” says she in her oracles . [8. In various Romanian manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries, which are also only simple copies or translations from other older manuscripts, this Sibyl is mentioned under the name of “Savila”. She is the wisest woman of the ancient world. For her generosity, nobility, and spiritual qualities, she becomes queen (Lactantius calls her also the most distinguished and noble of all the Sibyls). But she appears especially rich in gold and precious stones. She travels even to Palestine, and, convinced in the superiority of her spirit, she tests the wisdom of king Solomon. According to one of these manuscripts her country is tera “Ugorescu”, meaning Unguresca (TN – Hungarian country). So, in a manuscript from 1760 it is said about this Sibyl that: “she was from the end of the earth, where is the precious gold called sufir”, that “Savila was so wise, that other kings from the ends of the earth sent for her advice…that she gave to the church of Sion many precious objects, and clothes, and gold and precious stones, and that she went back to her country with great honor” (Gaster, Literatura, p.326; Chrestomatie, II. p.71-72). The country of Sibylla is characterized in this manuscript as very rich in precious metals and stones. In this regard are important the words of Ammianus (XXII, 8), Herodotus (IV. 104) and Fridvalszky (Mineralogia M. Principatus Transilvaniae, p.174), about the diamonds of the Agathyrses of Transylvania. In Hebrew traditions this divine “Savila” is called “the queen of Saba” (Cart. Reg. I. 10). The old Sibylline books of the Romans, as results from Titus Livy, contained explanations and predictions for extraordinary events, for omens, cases of pestilence, violent changes in atmosphere, hard winters, draught, lightning, thunder, earthquakes, etc (lib. III.10; IV.21; V.13; VII.6.27; XXI.62; XXIV.10.44; XXV.7; XXVI.23; XXVII.4; XXXVI.37). The lightning and thunder were especially considered as a manifestation of divine will, according to old Pelasgian ideas. Even from the most remote times, there existed with the Pelasgian populations a very developed doctrine about lightning and thunder, doctrine based on a long observation of phenomena and events. The whole system of this science, regarding future events, was presented in some sacred books called libri fulgurales or tonitruales, which the Romans had borrowed from the northern Pelasgians or Turseni (Etruscans). The origin of these books goes back to a very remote epoch. They hail from the times of ante-Christian religion, when divination was incorporated in the public cult. “The sign of Leo: if thunder in Leo’s number, death among men and spoilt wheat…and on the western side (TN – side = lature) grief among men…and if thunder or lightning at noon, much rain and famine…; the valleys and streams will fill with water…at Ram will be fine and the crop of the earth will be on that side…and if earthquake, many kings will be troubled, and the boyars will die in wars…and it will be great fear on the western side. And crops will be all over the earth and in that place where the earth will shake, winter will be hard; and a great man will arise, very powerful…and if lightening or thunder at night…the springs and the streams will dry out”. We have to note here that Ram mentioned in this fragment is not presented as the illustrious capital of a great empire from west to east but only as a somewhat more important national city from the western regions, while lature (TN – side) seems to infer here Latium. Under the rule of pious Numa, according to what the ancient Annals of the Roman pontiffs said, terrible lightning happened, which had terrified Rome’s people, so that the king was constrained by the instructions given him by his wife Egeria, to ask the divinity how could he avoid the certain disasters announced by this omen. We have to mention here too, that the so-called Libri Etrusci (Etruscan Books), were of Hyperborean origin. The dominant characteristic of the Hyperboreans was to know the future. They were the holy people of the ancient world, all the gods attended their funeral feasts, they had founded the first oracles in Hellada, Asia Minor and Libya, they were the agents of the divine voice in antiquity]. IDENTIFIED WITH EGYPTIAN GODS The Kabeiroi were identified with the Egyptian sons of Ptah. “Thus too [the Persian invader Kambyses] he entered the Temple of Hephaistos [the Egyptian god Ptah] and jeered at the image there … I will describe it for anyone who has not seen these figures: it is the likeness of a dwarf. Also he entered the Temple of the Kabeiroi [Egyptian gods idenitified with the Kabeiroi], into which no one may enter save the priest; the images here he even burnt, with bitter mockery. These also are like the images of Hephaistos [Ptah], and are said to be his sons.” – Herodotus, Histories 3.37.2 According to Greek mythology, the Molossians were the descendants of Molossus, one of the three sons of Neoptolemus, son of Achilles and Deidamia. Following the sack of Troy, Neoptolemus and his armies settled in Epirus where they joined with the local population. Molossus inherited the kingdom of Epirus after the death of Helenus, son of Priam and Hecuba of Troy, who had married his erstwhile sister-in-law Andromache after Neoptolemus’ death. Plutarch tells us that according to some historians their first king was Phaethon, one of those who came into Epirus with Pelasgus. Plutarch also says, that Deucalion and Pyrrha, having set up the worship of Zeus at Dodona, settled there among the Molossians Montu was closely associated with Ra as a solar god and often appears as Montu-Ra. He was also merged with Atum and even associated with Set (possibly because of his martial aspect or because he could counteract the negative side of Set). The Greeks considered Montu to be a form of Ares, the god of war. He was thought to be married to Tjenenet, Iunyt and Rettawy. It was sometimes suggested that the child of Montu and Rettawy (who like Iunyt was a female aspect of Ra) was Horus the child, linking Montu with Horus and therefore the pharaoh. When Amun became the national god, he and his wife Mut were sometimes described as the (adoptive) parents of Montu. At Nag´el Madamud (north of Luxor) the war god Montu was worshiped along with his consort Raettawy, and their son Harpokrates (Horus the Younger) Getulii had been removed and re-settled near Mauritania, about which Isidorus writes that they had migrated there from the lands of the Getae, being transported by ship across the sea (orig. lib. ix. 2. 118 )

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