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Its ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH

WITH
CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONS BY THE AUTHOR,
AND NOTES BY THE EDITOR

BY FRANCOIS LENORMANT


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 1877

THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE
THIS book came out in France three years ago.
Since that time science has been making
rapid strides, and in prosecuting my studies I have
found a confirmation of many of my opinions. I
could not therefore allow a translation of my studies
relating to “Chaldean Magic” to appear without
making a new edition of it, subject to various
corrections and additions. To this end I have
carefully revised all the translations of Cuneiform
texts contained in this volume, and in some cases
slight modifications have been necessary to bring
them into harmony with the latest discoveries. I
have added a translation of several interesting
fragments which were not comprised in the French
edition, and entirely rewritten some of the chapters.
The book which I now offer the English public may,
therefore, be regarded as an almost entirely new
work, which alone represents the present state of
my opinions and studies.

EDITOR’S  PREFACE
LA MAGIE CHEZ LES CHALDEENS,”
of which this present volume is an enlarged
edition, was issued by M. Lenormant in the autumn
of 1874; it was preceded hy Les Premieres Civilisations^
and closely followed in 1875 by La Divination et la
Science des Presages; all these works possessing the
same characteristic feature : the exposition of Assyrian
thought, as evidenced by the language of the
Cuneiform inscriptions themselves, compared with
the traditions and usages of other ‘contemporary and
descended races, both Semitic and Turanian.
The interest excited in the philosophical world by
these treatises was still further increased, by the
publication in England, almost immediately afterwards,
of the late George Smith’s Chaldean Genesis^
in which for the first time since the era of Assurbanipal,
the myths of the ancient Accadians were
read in the light of day. By the additional texts
thus recovered for the use of students, the premises
of M. Lenormant were to a great extent confirmed;
and the interest of Biblical scholars in Assyrian
mythology showing every sign of increasing, it was
deemed advisable to present the general public with
an English edition of La Magie. This task was at
once undertaken by Messrs. Bagster and Sons, and
on the MSS. being sent to the author, he in the
most generous manner offered to recast the earlier
Chapters of the work, and to rewrite some of the
latter. While this was being done, the researches
of Prof. Sayce and other Assyriologists elucidated
new facts, and discovered fresh parallels between the
Accadian and Ugro-Finnic theologies. These discoveries
had all to be considered and incorporated
with the original text of M. Lenormant, and the
result was, in the end, an almost entire remodelling
of the French edition. To the editor was assigned,
with the consent of the author, the office of .adding
references from English authorities to the citations
already given from Continental writers, especially as
La Magie was, in its new form, designed for a larger
circulation than that of scholars alone. The various
texts issued in the Records of the Past, and the
Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archceology
, had to be cited wherever it was possible to do so ; and
further, such various readings noted as had been
adopted by English translators. These numerous
emendations, while they increased the value of the
>
work, delayed its progress through the press far
longer than was anticipated, and even now, at the
last moment, it has been judged expedient by
M. Lenormant to add an Appendix bearing upon
the ethnographical meaning of the term “Sumirian,”
in reply to a pamphlet by Dr. Oppert, which has
become the centre of a controversy, the waves of
which have begun to reach our shores.
These circumstances will account for one or two
apparent discrepancies in the present translation:
viz., the use of the syllable “ dug” for “ khi,” in the
ideograms composing the name of the god Marduk,
from p. 19 to p. 64, and its subsequent abandonment
by the author in favour of the older reading in
p. 108, et seq. The expansion of the note from
Berosus on p. 157, regarding the deity Oannes into
an Appendix to Chapter XIII. , at p. 201, is another
example of the progressive revision which this
translation has undergone.
These revisions and corrections, both of the
original work and the present translation, as passed
by M. Lenormant, are only such as from the nature
of the theme, and the advancing condition of
Assyrian philology might be expected. Of Assyriology
it may truly be written, “day unto day uttereth
knowledge.” There is probably no section of the
science of comparative mythology of which, till recently,
less has been known, or of which, at present,
more authentic materials remain, than the subject of
“ Chaldean Magic : its Origin and Development.”
W. R. C.
Ventnor,
November, 1877.


Table of Contents
Author’s Preface . .
'
. .
Editor’s Preface ......
Chap. I.—The Magic and Sorcery of the Chaldeans
Chap. II.—The Chaldean Demonology
Chap. III.—Chaldean Amulets and their Uses
Chap. IV.—Chaldean Sorcery and its Dual Nature .
Chap. V.—Comparison of the Egyptian with the Chaldean
Magic ......
Chap. VI.—Contrasts between Egyptian and Chaldean
Magical Systems .....
Chap. VII.—The Magic of the Ritual of the Dead
Chap. VIII.—Contrasts between Accadian and Egyptian
Magic ......
Chap. IX.—The Chaldaio- Babylonian religion and its
doctrines . . . . .
Chap. X.—Development of the Chaldean Mythology
Chap. XI.—The religious System of the Accadian Magic
Books ......
Chap. XII.—The Origin of the Myth of the Zi
Chap. XIII.—The Mythology of the Underworld .
Chap. XIV.—The Religions and the Magic of the Turanian
Nations ......
Chap. XV.—The Early Median Mythology compared with
that of the Chaldeans . . . .
Chap. XVI.—Finno-Tartarian Magical Mythology . . 241
Chap. XVII.—Further Analysis of Finnish Demonology . 253
Chap. XVIII.—The Accadian People and their Language 263
Chap. XIX.—The Accadian Language . . .268
Chap. XX.—Differentiation of the Accadian and its allied
Languages . . . . . .283
Chap. XXL—Altaic affinities of the Accadian Language . 292
Chap. XXII.—Accadian and Altaic affinities . . 299
Chap. XXIII.—Phonology of the Accadian Language . 309
Chap. XXIV.—The origin of the Kushito-Semitic religion . 318
Chap. XXV.—The two Ethnic elements in the Babylonian
nation . . . . • - 33 ^
Chap. XXVL—The Origin of the Chaldaio-Babylonian
Cosmogonies . . . . • 33^
Chap. XXVII.—The Priority of the Accadian Population
of Chaldea ..... 350
Chap. XXVIII.—The Sumirian Influence in Chaldean and
Babylonian Civilization . . . • 35 ^
Chap. XXIX.—The Influence of the Kushite Mythology in
Chaldean Faith . . . . . 367
Chap. XXX.—The Turanians in Chaldea and Ancient Asia 371
Chap. XXXI.—The Archaic Legislation of the Accadians . 378
Appendix.


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ERRATA
Page 83, line 2 of note. For Osiris Baris read Osiris Baris.
Page 103, line 14. For Schu read Shu.
Page 133, line 6. For Chaldaic Babylonian read Chaldaio-Babylonian.
Page 134, line 24.
Page 172, line 20. For Silik-mulu-dug read Silik-mulu-khi.
Page 244, line 2 of note. For Asyekoks read Angekoks.

Pranic Healing Energy Remedies to Boost Vitality and Speed Recovery from Common Health Problems

MASTER STEPHEN CO &

ERIC B. ROBINS, M.D. WITH JOHN MERRYMAN

1. Healing. 2. Vital force. 3. Mental healing.

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 2002 by Master Stephen Co,
 Eric B. Robins, M.D., and John Merryman

About the Pranic Healing
What if one of the most effective tools you have to
restore your health is not surgery or medication.-, but
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u>e> a >ene> of powerful hut >imple methods to
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Additionally, they present, for the first time in any
book, the Grandmaster's special modifications to the
breathing practices that can dramatically n
your power and energy and rejuvenate and 1
your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritus

PRAISE FOR YOUR HANDS CAN HEAL YOU
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"This book not only offers a practical, enjoyable guide to working with your own health and transformation, it is a doorway to the world of subtle energy."
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"Eighty-five percent of illnesses are not optimally treatable with drugs or surgery. For those individuals,
Your Hands Can Heal You offers one of the best self-healing approaches I have seen."
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"Your Hands Can Heal You is a wonderful, exciting new approach to healing. A self-help guide to
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FOREWORD
Today more than ever, we all have a tremendous need for rapid, effective methods of
balancing the material and spiritual aspects of our life. At the same time, we are
experiencing a mass awakening of consciousness, which has created in many people
a need to seek spiritual solutions to everyday life situations, such as stress, relationships, success,
failure, and perhaps most of all, health.

I believe this book will greatly help to meet these needs.
It presents a simple, effective way to increase your health and personal energy through
working at deeper emotional and energetic levels of reality, where you can increase, control, and
direct your personal supply of prana, the universal life force that your body uses for healing.
When you gain control over your personal health, you increase your ability to live a full
life and experience all this world has to offer. But learning how to heal your aches, pains,
and illnesses is really just the beginning of your healing journey, for as you enter this path,
your consciousness will be stirred to recognize greater truths. The most important of these is
that we are all parts of a larger whole, a bioenergetic system that represents the sum total of
the energy o{ each of us. As a result, we are interdependent upon one another for energy
and for life. This interdependence means that the choices we make in our lives have an
effect—physically and energetically—on everyone around us. When we take steps to heal
ourselves, we contribute positive emotions and energy to that system; we heal the world.
That is the ultimate goal of Pranic Healing.
So as you begin your study of these simple, effective healing techniques, I offer my love,
blessings, and hopes that you achieve all your personal self-healing goals. But I also hope
that you become aware of the important role you play in increasing the health and energy of
the world in which we live and work, and that you use the teachings in this book to that end
as well.
With love and blessings, Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui


Table of Contents
FOREWORD by Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui xiii
INTRODUCTION by Eric B. Robins, M.D. 1
Note on Nomenclature 6

PART I - HOW YOUR BODY AND MIND WORK
CHAPTER 1 : You're Wired for Healing—Your Energetic Anatomy 9
CHAPTER 2: The True Nature of Your Mind—How It Protects You and Hurts You 3

PART II - THE SIX STEPS TO SELF-HEALING
STEP 1 : Clearing Negative Emotions and Limiting Beliefs

CHAPTER 3: All Clear!—Removing Emotionally Based Energetic Blockages 45
STEP 2: Pranic Breathing

CHAPTER 4: Take a Deep Breath—Pranic Breathing 62
STEP 3: Energy Manipulation

CHAPTER 5: Hands Up! Scanning—Hand Sensitivity
and General Scanning 82

CHAPTER 6: Hands Up! More Scanning—Specific Scanning and Interpreting Results 97
CHAPTER 7: Out With the Old—Sweeping Away Congested Energy,
Cleaning Your Aura 111
CHAPTER 8: Pump It Up—Energizing Areas of Depletion 142
CHAPTER 9: Rainbow Power—Using Colors 155
STEP 4: Energetic Hygiene
CHAPTER 10: Keep It Clean—The Importance of Energetic Hygiene 177
STEPS: Meditation
CHAPTER 11: Easy Ways to Put Your Mind at Ease—Meditations
for Peace and Stillness 199
STEP 6: Energy-Generation Exercises
CHAPTER 12: Plugging In, Charging Up—Two Powerful Energy-Generation Exercises 220

PART III - STAYING ENERGIZED AND HEALTHY
CHAPTER 13: A Self-Healing Guide—Energetic Solutions to 24 Common
Health Problems 245
CHAPTER 14: Prescription for Greater Energy and Better Health
—The Your Hands Can Heal You Daily Routine 262

PART IV - BEYOND PHYSICAL HEALTH
CHAPTER 15: You've Got Soul—Physical Health, Spiritual Development, and Beyond . . . 267
For Further Reference 285
Index 293


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We are but beginning to understand the past : one hundred
years ago the world knew nothing of Pompeii or Herculaneum
; nothing of the lingual tie that binds together the Indo-European
nations; nothing of the significance of the vast volume of inscriptions
upon the tombs and temples of Egypt ; nothing of
the meaning of the arrow-headed inscriptions of Babylon ; nothing
of the marvellous civilizations revealed in the remains of
Yucatan, Mexico, and Peru. We are on the threshold. Scientific
investigation is advancing with giant strides. Who shall
say that one hundred years from now the great museums of
the world may not be adorned with gems, statues, arms, and
implements from Atlantis, while the libraries of the world shall
contain translations of its inscriptions, throwing new light upon
all the past history of the human race, and all the great problems
which now perplex the thinkers of our day ?

Introduction
This book is an attempt to demonstrate several distinct and
novel propositions. These are :
1. That there once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite
tlie mouth of the Mediterranean Sea, a large island, which was
the remnant of an Atlantic continent, and known to the ancient world as Atlantis.
2. That the description of this island given by Plato is not,
as has been long supposed, fable, but veritable history.
3. That Atlantis was the region where man first rose from
a state of barbarism to civilization.
4. That it became, in the course of ages, a populous and
mighty nation, from whose overflowings the shores of the
Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, the Amazon, the Pacific
coast of South America, the Mediterranean, the west coast of
Europe and Africa, the Baltic, the Black Sea,- and the Caspian
were populated by civilized nations.
5. That it was the true Antediluvian world ; the Garden of
Eden; the Gardens of the Hesperides ; the Elysian Fields;
the Gardens of Alcinous; the Mesomphalos ; the Olyrapos; the
Asgard of the traditions of the ancient nations; representing
a universal memory of a great land, where early mankind dwelt
for ages in peace and happiness.
6. That the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, the
Phoenicians, the Hindoos, and the Scandinavians were simply
the kings, queens, and heroes of Atlantis ; and the acts attributed
to them in mythology are a confused recollection of real historical events.
That the mythology of Egypt and Peru represented the
original religion of Atlantis, which was sun-worship.
8. That the oldest colony formed by the Atlanteans was
probably in Egypt, whose civilization was a reproduction of
that of the Atlantic island.
9. That the implements of the "Bronze Age" of Europe
Avere derived from Atlantis. The Atlanteans were also the
first manufacturers of iron.
10. That the Phoenician alphabet, parent of all the European
alphabets, was derived from an Atlantis alphabet, which
was also conveyed from Atlantis to the Mayas of Central America.
11. That Atlantis was the original seat of the Aryan or
Indo-European family of nations, as well as of the Semitic
peoples, and possibly also of the Turanian races.
12. That Atlantis perished in a terrible convulsion of nature,
in which the whole island sunk into the ocean, with nearly all its inhabitants.
13. That a few persons escaped in ships and on rafts, and
carried to the nations east and west the tidings of the appalling
catastrophe, which has survived to our own time in
the Flood and Deluge legends of the different nations of the old and new worlds.
If these propositions can be proved, they will solve many
problems which now perplex mankind ; they will confirm in
many respects the statements in the opening chapters of Genesis
; they will widen the area of human history ; they will explain
the remarkable resemblances which exist between the
ancient civilizations found upon the opposite shores of the Atlantic
Ocean, in the old and new worlds ; and they will aid us
to rehabilitate the fathers of our civilization, our blood, and
our fundamental ideas—the men who lived, loved, and labored
ages before the Aryans descended upon India, or the Phoenician
had settled in Syria, or the Goth had reached the shores
of the Baltic.

Table of Contents
PART I.
 THE HISTORY OF ATLANTIS
I. The Purpose of the Book 1
U. Plato's History of Atlantis 5
III. The Probabilities of Plato's Story 22
IV. Was such a Catastrophe Possible? 31
V. The Testimony of the Sea 46
VI. The Testimony of the Flora and Fauna 54

PART II.
THE DELUGE.
I. The Destruction of Atlantis described in the Deluge
Legends 65
II. The Deluge of the Bible 68
III. The Deluge of the Chaldeans 75
IV. The Deluge Legends of other Nations 85
V. The Deluge Legends of America 98
VL Some Consideration op the Deluge Legends 119

PART III.
THE CIVILIZATION OF THE OLD WORLD AND NEW COMPARED.
I. Civilization an Inheritance 129
II. The Identity of the Civilizations of the Old World and
THE New 136
III. American Evidences of Intercourse with Europe or Atlantis 165
IV. Corroborating Circumstances ....
V. The Question of Complexion ....
VI. Genesis contains a History of Atlantis
VII. The Origin of our Alphabet ....
VIII. The Bronze Age in Europe
IX. Artificial Deformation op the Skull .
THE MYTHOLOGIES OF

PART IV.
THE OLD WORLD ATLANTIS.
A RECOLLECTION OF
I. Traditions of Atlantis 276
II. The Kings of Atlantis become the Gods of the Greeks . 283
III. The Gods of the Phcenicians also Kings of Atlantis . . 308
IV. The God Odin, Woden, or Wotan 313
V. The Pyramid, the Cross, and the Garden of Eden . . .317
VI. Gold and Silver the Sacred Metals of Atlantis .... 34.3

PART V.
THE COLONIES OF ATLANTIS.
I. The Central American and Mexican Colonies 348
II. The Egyptian Colony 358
III. The Colonies of the Mississippi Valley 370
IV. The Iberian Colonies of Atlantis 387
V. The Peruvian Colony 390
VI. The African Colonies 404
VII. The Irish Colonies from Atlantis 408
VIII. The Oldest Son of Noah 423
IX. The Antiquity of some of our Great Inventions .... 440
X. The Aryan Colonies from Atlantis 456
XI. Atlantis Reconstructed 472


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JOHN BARTON

OXFORD

University Press

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Foreword
I have worked on ethics in relation to the Old Testament since my doctoral
dissertation, ‘God and Ethics in the Eighth-Century Prophets’, presented in
1974. My supervisor for that was John Austin Baker, who first aroused my
interest in the subject when he set me an essay on ‘Old Testament Ethics’ as
my Old Testament tutor in 1967. I remain very grateful to him for all he taught
me about this and many other areas of theology.
Writing this book was made possible by a Leverhulme Major Research
Fellowship from 2010–13, which bought out all my teaching and administration
for that period, and it is a pleasure to express my gratitude to the
Leverhulme Trust for their generosity. I am also hugely grateful to Dr John
Jarick, who deputized for me so ably during that period.
Warmest thanks to Tom Perridge, Lizzie Robottom, and Karen Raith at
Oxford University Press for all their work on the book, and to the Press’s
anonymous readers for helpful and constructive suggestions for improving it.
Holly Morse compiled the bibliography and index, and I am most grateful
to her for undertaking this task, at the same time boring and demanding.
The work of a number of my former doctoral students who have worked
with me on ethical themes over the years has made a big impression on many
of the arguments here: among them I would mention especially Professor Paul
Joyce, Dr Andrew Mein, Dr Sungmin Min Chun, and Dr Carly Crouch.
Quotations from the Bible are from the New Revised Standard Version
(NRSV), Anglicized Edition, unless otherwise specified. After some thought,
I have freely used the name ‘Yahweh’ for the God/god worshipped in ancient
Israel. There is a case, out of reverence for Jewish sensitivity to using the name
of God, for eschewing it altogether, or printing it in the at least slightly
reverential, ‘unvocalized’ form YHWH. But in a book about ancient Israel,
for which the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible is historical evidence rather than a
sacred text, I think it better to write the name straightforwardly in the form it
is generally thought to have taken in the time before its pronunciation became
taboo, just as one writes Zeus, Enlil, Chemosh, or Thoth. At the same time,
there are clearly many places in the Hebrew Bible where the name is not
treated exactly as a personal name, but more as a synonym for the single God
in whom at least some in ancient Israel believed, and hence I have also used
‘God’, with a capital G, where that seems appropriate, just as the biblical texts
often use ’elohim.
There are many quotations from German sources, and a few from French
ones, and in accord with Oxford University Press policy these appear only in
English translation. Except where the quotations are attributed to a published
English translation, they are my own.
I dedicate the book to the memory of Ernest Nicholson, my colleague and
close friend for over thirty years, who died as it was being completed. He
supported me in more ways than I can say, and he and Hazel have been the
best of friends. The influence of his own superb work will be very clear to
many readers, but it is his personal kindness that I and so many others will
remember even more.
John Barton
Oriel College, Oxford
December 2013

Introduction
Ethics in Ancient Israel—A Historical Enquiry
‘Ethics’ may mean one of two closely related things. It may refer to the moral
code of a society, and thus be more or less synonymous with ‘morality’. In that
sense all societies have ethics or ‘an ethic’. But it may also be used to refer to
reflection on morality from a philosophical perspective, and thus be equivalent
to ‘moral philosophy’; and in this sense it is clear that not all societies have
‘ethics’.1 In western writing on moral philosophy it is normal to think of
classical Greece as the first culture in the world to reflect systematically on
ethical issues, and to move beyond specifics to a general analysis of how people
ought to live and why certain moral norms have a binding character.
This book does concern itself to some extent with ethics in the first sense:
much will be said about the moral norms of ancient Israelite society in various
periods.2 But its primary focus is on ethics in the second sense. I want to argue
that ethics in ancient Israel forms an as yet unwritten chapter in the history of
ethics.3 Normally writers on ethics, who are trained in western philosophical
traditions and are neither Old Testament nor ancient Near Eastern specialists,
pass over Israelite and indeed ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian culture
without much comment. Terence Irwin in his magisterial The Development of
Ethics writes, ‘Even if we ignore the Hebrew Scriptures, or the ethical reflexions
of Chinese writers, and confine ourselves to the Greeks, Socrates is not the
first to ask questions about morality.’4 Nevertheless he goes on to argue that
for his purposes Socrates remains the best, and not only the customary,
starting-point, as the first person to ask critical questions about morality in a
way we can recognize as continuous with later moral philosophy. Without
disputing this, my own belief is that the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean
and Mesopotamia did think about ethics in more sophisticated ways than is
commonly supposed, and that the Hebrew Scriptures in particular contain
evidence for thinking which, even if it does not constitute moral philosophy in
the accepted sense, moves well beyond the mere assertion that certain moral
norms are to be observed. That is, it might be a good idea not to ‘ignore the
Hebrew Scriptures’.5 In 1946 Henri Frankfort and others published a book
called The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, in which they argued that
the peoples of the ancient Near East had not yet developed philosophical
thinking but did have a coherent worldview that could be set out in terms
comprehensible (though, in their view, alien) to ‘modern man’; and the British
edition of this book was called, very appropriately, Before Philosophy.6 The
present book could perhaps have been entitled Before Moral Philosophy, since
it argues in a rather similar way that the ancient Israelites (Egypt and Mesopotamia
will be discussed at times, but I am not an ancient Near Eastern
expert) had ways of thinking that to some degree correspond to the place of
theoretical ethics in the western philosophical tradition, even though they did
not have the sharp critical edge that has characterized analytical moral philosophy.
Their ‘pre-philosophical’ ethics has to be teased out by looking at the
presuppositions and implied framework of what they said about practical
morality, and the result is bound to be unsystematic by comparison with
anything in Greek thought about these matters from the time of Socrates
onwards. But the attempt is worth making.
Readers from within the theological world—the world in which the Hebrew
Bible is most intensively studied—will be surprised that the book is not called
The Ethics of the Old Testament, as is customary with works on this subject.7
The difference is deliberate, and important.8 As Henry McKeating puts it,
I am concerned with the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament10 not as the
Scriptures of Judaism or Christianity, but as evidence for the thinking of
ancient Israelites and Jews,11 just as the wealth of material we have from
Egypt and Mesopotamia is evidence for the thinking of the ancient peoples
who inhabited those lands. Of course many theological issues will have to be
discussed, since the texts of the Old Testament are relentlessly religious in
character. Ancient Israel’s ‘moral philosophy’ will turn out to be highly
theological, though far less simply so than in the popular imagination. But
the book has no confessional or religious apologetic motivation. My aim is to
present Israelite thought as one would present the thinking of the ancient
Greek writers who are acknowledged to lie at the root of western moral
philosophy, and not to treat it as privileged by the fact that this can be
discovered only by examining what are now the canonical texts for two
major religions.12
If there is an apologetic drive behind my work, it is to try to convince
readers who assume that the thought-world of ancient Israel was primitive and
unsophisticated, and who associate the expression ‘Old Testament ethics’ only
with the slaughter of the Canaanites and with unrelenting vengeance, that
these texts are much more variegated and above all much more interesting
than the stereotype suggests. But the task I am undertaking here is purely
descriptive, and is not meant to convince anyone that they should become
a Christian, a Jew, or indeed a ‘Yahwist’. There is a sizeable group among
my fellow Old Testament specialists who will dislike this deliberately nonconfessional
stance from the beginning, since ‘canonical’ approaches, in which
the scholar expounds these texts only from within a Christian framework of
thought (‘theological interpretation’) are now widespread.13 But it may also
seem strange to some moral philosophers, for whom the history of ethics is the
study of texts with which one expects still to be in dialogue, rather than an
exercise in the ‘history of ideas’ of a more neutral kind.14 Unlike, for example,
Cyril Rodd, who is a convinced relativist, I do not think that the thoughtworld
of ancient Israel is so alien that we cannot relate to it at all,15 and to that
extent I believe that we can still ask whether this or that moral idea reflected in
the Old Testament is ‘right’ or not. I do think he is correct to stress that
sometimes at least we simply have to acknowledge that we are facing a mindset
that does not intersect with our own: where the questions are so different
that we cannot say whether or not the answers are right. Nevertheless, I have
tried to show that ancient Israelite ideas can be comprehensible to us more
often than some suppose. This is true, for example, of the realm of pollution
and taboo, which are not quite so remote from modern experience as is
sometimes thought. And even something as apparently alien as the idea of
God ‘hardening the heart’ of exceptionally wicked human beings so that they
become actually unable to act morally, which appears a number of times in the
Old Testament, is clearly an attempt to explain from a theological point of
view (however unattractive the explanation may seem to us) a phenomenon
.......................

Table of Contents
Introduction: Ethics in Ancient Israel—A Historical Enquiry 1
1. The Sources 14
2. Moral Agents and Moral Patients 41
3. Popular Morality, Custom, and Convention 77
4. The Moral Order 94
5. Obedience to God 127
6. Virtue, Character, Moral Formation, and the Ends of Life 157
7. Sin, Impurity, and Forgiveness 185
8. The Consequences of Action 211
9. Ethical Digests 227
10. The Moral Character of God 245
Conclusion: God and Moral Order in Ancient Israel 273
Bibliography 277
Index of Authors 299
Index of Subjects 303
Index of Scriptural Citations 308
Index of Ancient Literature 317


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OXFORD University Press
Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP,
United Kingdom
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.
It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship,
and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of
Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries

FROM THE EDDAS AND SAGAS

BY H. A. GUERBER

AUTHOR OF "THE MYTHS OF GREECE AND ROME" ETC

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 Copyright©   
 2004   

THE prime importance of the rude fragments
ofpoetrypreserved in early Icelandic litera
ture will now be disputed by none, but there
has been until recent times an extraordinary indif
ference to the wealth of religious tradition and
mythical lore which they contain.
The long neglect of these precious records of our
heathen ancestors is not the fault of the material in
which all that survives of their religious beliefs is
enshrined, for it may safely be asserted that the
Edda is as rich in the essentials of national romance
and race-imagination, rugged though it be, as the
more gracefitl and idyllic mythology of the South.
Neither is it due to anything weak in the conception
of the deities themselves, for although they may not
rise to great spiritual heights, foremost students of
Icelandic literature agree that they stand out rude
and massive as the Scandinavian mountains. They
exhibit &quot;a spirit of victory, superior to brute force,
superior to mere matter, a spirit that fights and
overcomes."
* "Even were some part of the matter
of their myths takenfrom others, yet the Norsemen
have given their gods a noble, upright, great spirit,
andplaced them upon a high level that is all their own"
 " In fact these old Norse songs have a truth
in them, an inward perennial truth and greatness.
It is a greatness not of mere body andgigantic bulk,
but a rude greatness of soul."
The introduction of Christianity into the North
brought with it the influence of the Classical races,
and this eventually supplanted the native genius, so
that the alien mythology and literature of Greece and
Rome have formed an increasing part of the mental
equipment ofthe northempeoples inproportion as the
native literature and tradition have been neglected.
Undoubtedly Northern mythology has exercised a
deep influence upon our customs, laws, and language,
and there has been, therefore, a great unconscious
inspirationflowingfrom these into English literature.
The most distinctive traits of this mythology are a
Peculiargrim humour, to be found in the religion of
no other race, and a dark thread of tragedy which
runs throughout the whole woof, and these character
istics, touching both extremes, are writ large over
English literature.
But of conscious influence, compared with the rich
draught of Hellenic inspiration, there is little to be
found, and if we turn to modern art the difference is
even more apparent.
This indifference may be attributed to many causes,
but it was due first to the fact that the religious
beliefs of ourpagan ancestors were not held with any
real tenacity. Hence the success of the more or less
consideredpolicy of the early Christian missionaries
to confuse the heathen beliefs, and merge them in the
new faith, an interesting example of which is to be
seen in the transference to the Christian festival of
Easter of the attributes of the pagan goddess Edstre,
from whom it took even the name. Northern
mythology was in this way arrested ere it hadattained
itsfull development, and the progress of Christianity
eventually relegated it to the limbo offorgotten things.
Its comprehensive and intelligent scheme, however, in
strong contrast with the disconnected mythology of
Greece and Rome, formed the basis of a more or less
rational faith which prepared the Norseman to
receive the teaching of Christianity, and so helped to
bring about its own undoing.
The religious beliefs of the North are not mirrored
with any exactitude in the Elder Edda. Indeed only
a travesty of the faith of our ancestors has been pre
served in Norse literature. The early poet loved
allegory, and his imagination rioted among the
conceptions of his fertile muse. &quot;His eye was fixed
on the mountains till the snowypeaks assumed human
features and the giant of the rock or the ice descended
with heavy tread ; or he wouldgaze at the splendour
of the spring, or of the summerfields, tillFreya with
the gleaming necklace steppedforth, or Sif with the
flowing locks ofgold&quot;*
We are told nothing as to sacrificial and religious
rites, and all else is omitted which does not provide
material for artistic treatment. The so-called
Northern Mythology, therefore, may be regarded as
a precious relic of the beginning of Northern poetry,
rather than as a representation of the religious beliefs
of the Scandinavians, and these literary fragments
bear many signs ofthe transitional stage wherein the
confusion of the old and newfaiths is easily apparent.
But notwithstanding the limitations imposed by
long neglect it is possible to reconstruct inpart a plan
of the ancient Norse beliefs&amp;gt; and the general reader
will derive much profitfrom Carlyle s illuminating
study in "Heroes and Hero-worship."A be
wildering, inextricablejungle ofdelusions, conf^t,sions,
falsehoods and absurdities, covering the whole field of
Life /"; he calls them, with all good reason. But
he goes on to show, with equal truth, that at the soul
of this criide worship of distorted nature was a
spiritiial force seeking expression. What we probe
without reverence they viewed with awe, and not
understanding it, straightway deified it, as all
children have been apt to do in all stages of the
worlds history. Truly they were hero-worshippers
after Carlyle s own heart, and scepticism had no
place in their simple philosophy.
It was the infancy of thought gazing upon a
universe filled with divinity, and believing heartily
with all sincerity. A large-heartedpeople reaching
out in the dark towards ideals which were better
than they kneiv. Ragnarok was to undo their gods
because they had stumbled from their higher standards.
We have to thank a curious phenomenon for the
preservation of so much of the old lore as we still
possess. While foreign influences were corrupting
the Norse language, it remainedpractically unaltered
in Iceland, which had been colonisedfrom the main
land by the Norsemen who had fled thither to escape
the oppression of Harold Fairhair after his crushing
victory of Hafrsfirth. These people brought with
them the poetic genius which had already manifested
itself, and it took fresh root in that barren soil.
Many of the old Norse poets were natives of Iceland,
and in the early part of the Christian era, a supreme
service was rendered to Norse literature by the
Christian priest, Scemund, who industriously brought
together a large amount ofpaganpoetry in a collection
known as the Elder Edda, which is the chieffounda
tion of our present knowledge of the religion of our
Norse ancestors. Icelandic literature remained a
sealed book, however, until the end of the eighteenth
century, and very slowly since that time it has been
winning its way in the teeth of indifference, until
there are now signs that it will eventually come into
its own. "To know the old Faith" says Carlyle,
"brings us into closer and clearer relation with the
Past with our own possessions in the Past. For
the whole Past is the possession of the Present ; the
Past had always something true^ and is a precious possession"
The weighty words of William Morris regarding
the Volsunga Saga may also be fitly quoted as an in
troduction to the whole ofthis collection of "Myths of the Norsemen"


Table of Contents
I. THE BEGINNING i
II. ODIN 16
III. FRIGGA ......... 42
IV, THOR .  . , 59
V. TYR . 85
VI. BRAGI . . . * . , . . . - 95
VII. IDUN . . . . . . * . . .103
VIII. NIORD . . . . . . . . . .in
IX. FREY .117
X. FREYA . ., . . 131
XI. ULLER ... 139
XII. FORSETI 143
XIII. HEIMDALL ......... 146
XIV. HERMOD 154
XV. VIDAR . . ..... . - . . .158
XVI. VALI . . . .... . . .162
XVII. THE NORNS . . . . . . i . .166
XVIII. THE VALKYRS . . . . , . . , .173
XIX. HEL . . . . . . . . . 180
XX. ^EGIR . . . . ...... 185
XXI. BALDER . ... . . . . .197
XXII. LOKI ........ -. 216
XXIII. THE GIANTS . . . . . . . .230
XXIV. THE DWARFS . . . . . . . .239
XXV. THE ELVES ... . . . . . . . 246
XXVI. THE SIGURD SAGA . . . . . . . 251
XXVII. THE FRITHIOF SAGA . . . . . . 298
XXVIII. THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS ... 329
XXIX. GREEK AND NORTHERN MYTHOLOGIES A
COMPARISON . . ..-342
INDEX TO POETICAL QUOTATIONS . . 367
GLOSSARY AND INDEX ... . 3^9

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"This is the great story of the
North, which should be to all our race what the
Tale of Troy was to the Greeks to all our race
first, and afterwards, when the change of the world
has made our race nothing more than a name of what
has been a story too then should it be to those that
come after us no less than the Tale of Troy has been to us."
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