Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Metis. Hesiod, Theogony 886 ff : "Zeus, as king of the gods, took as his first wife Metis, and she knew more than all the gods or mortal people. But when she was about to be delivered of the goddess, gray-eyed Athene, then Zeus, deceiving her perception by treachery and by slippery speeches, put her away inside his own belly. This was by the advices of Gaia (Earth) and starry Ouranos (Sky), for so they counselled, in order that no other everlasting god, beside Zeus, should ever be given kingly position. For it had been arranged that, from her, children surpassing in wisdom should be born, first the gray-eyed girl, the Tritogeneia Athene . . . but then a son to be king over gods and mortals was to be born to her and his heart would be overmastering; but before this, Zeus put her away inside his own belly so that this goddess should think for him, for good and for evil."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Al-Masudi: The Arab Herodotus

"... the stars wandered confusedly from their courses, and clashed together with a tremendous noise. The king, although greatly affected by this vision, did not disclose it to any person, but was conscious that some great event was about to take place. ... upon which the king ordered the Pyramids to be built, and the predictions of the priests to be inscribed upon columns, and upon the large stones belonging to them; and he placed within them his treasures, and all his valuable property, together with the bodies of his ancestors. He also ordered the priests to deposit within them written accounts of their wisdom and acquirements in the different arts and sciences. Subterraneous channels were also constructed to convey to them the waters of the Nile. He filled the passages with talismans, with wonderful things and idols, and with the writings of the priests, containing all manner of wisdom, the names and properties of medical plants, and the sciences of arithmetic and geometry, that they might remain as records, for the benefit of those who would afterwards comprehend them." -- Al-Masudi, historian, Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems, 947