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APPENDIX - Meaning of the name Centaurus

The ordinary classical derivation of this name gives little satisfaction; for, even though it could be derived from words that signify "Bull-killers" (and the derivation itself is but lame), such a meaning casts no light at all on the history of the Centaurs. Take it as a Chaldee word, and it will be seen at once that the whole history of the primitive Kentaurus entirely agrees with the history of Nimrod, with whom we have already identified him. Kentaurus is evidently derived from Kehn, "a priest," and Tor, "to go round." "Kehn-Tor," therefore, is "Priest of the revolver," that is, of the sun, which, to appearance, makes a daily revolution round the earth. The name for a priest, as written, is just Khn, and the vowel is supplied according to the different dialects of those who pronounce it, so as to make it either Kohn, Kahn, or Kehn. Tor, "the revolver," as applied to the sun, is evidently just another name for the Greek Zen or Zan applied to Jupiter, as identified with the sun, which signifies the "Encircler" or "Encompasser,"--the very word from which comes our own word "Sun," which, in Anglo-Saxon, was Sunna (MALLET, Glossary, p. 565, London, 1847), and of which we find distinct traces in Egypt in the term snnu (BUNSEN's Vocab., vol. i. p. 546), as applied to the sun's orbit. The Hebrew Zon or Zawon, to "encircle," from which these words come, in Chaldee becomes Don or Dawon, and thus we penetrate the meaning of the name given by the Boeotians to the "Mighty hunter," Orion. That name was Kandaon, as appears from the following words of the Scholiast on Lycophron, quoted in BRYANT, vol. iv. p. 154: "Orion, whom the Boeotians call also Kandaon." Kahn-daon, then, and Kehn-tor, were just different names for the same office--the one meaning "Priest of the Encircler," the other, "Priest of the revolver"--titles evidently equivalent to that of Bol-kahn, or "Priest of Baal, or the Sun," which, there can be no doubt, was the distinguishing title of Nimrod. As the title of Centaurus thus exactly agrees with the known position of Nimrod, so the history of the father of the Centaurs does the same. We have seen already that, though Ixion was, by the Greeks, made the father of that mythical race, even they themselves admitted that the Centaurs had a much higher origin, and consequently that Ixion, which seems to be a Grecian name, had taken the place of an earlier name, according to that propensity particularly noticed by Salverte, which has often led mankind "to apply to personages known in one time and one country, myths which they have borrowed from another country and an earlier epoch" (Des Sciences, Appendix, p. 483). Let this only be admitted to be the case here--let only the name of Ixion be removed, and it will be seen that all that is said of the father of the Centaurs, or Horsemen-archers, applies exactly to Nimrod, as represented by the different myths that refer to the first progenitor of these Centaurs. First, then, Centaurus is represented as having been taken up to heaven (DYMOCK, sub voce "Is\Ixion"). that is, as having been highly exalted through special favour of heaven; then, in that state of exaltation, he is said to have fallen in love with Nephele, who passed under the name of Juno, the "Queen of Heaven." The story here is intentionally confused, to mystify the vulgar, and the order of events seems changed, which can easily be accounted for. As Nephele in Greek signifies "a cloud," so the offspring of Centaurus are said to have been produced by a "cloud." But Nephele, in the language of the country where the fable was originally framed, signified "A fallen woman * --and fallen from the primitive faith in which she must have been brought up; and it is well known that this "fallen woman" was, under the name of Juno, or the Dove, after her death, worshipped among the Babylonians. Centaurus, for his presumption and pride, was smitten with lightning by the supreme God, and cast down to hell (DYMOCK, sub voce "Ixion"). This, then, is just another version of the story of Phaethon, AEsculapius, and Orpheus, who were all smitten in like manner and for a similar cause. In the infernal world, the father of the Centaurs is represented as tied by serpents to a wheel which perpetually revolves, and thus makes his punishment eternal (DYMOCK, Ibid.). In the serpents there is evidently reference to one of the two emblems of the fire-worship of Nimrod. If he introduced the worship of the serpent, as I have endeavoured to show (p. 228), there was poetical justice in making the serpent an instrument of his punishment. Then the revolving wheel very clearly points to the name Centaurus itself, as denoting the "Priest of the revolving sun." To the worship of the sun in the character of the "Revolver," there was a very distinct allusion not only in the circle which, among the Pagans, was the emblem of the sun-god, and the blazing wheel with which he was so frequently represented (WILSON's Parsi Religion, p. 31), but in the circular dances of the Bacchanalians. Hence the phrase, "Bassaridum rotator Evan"--"The wheeling Evan of the Bacchantes" (STATIUS, Sylv., lib. ii., s. 7, v. 7, p. 118). Hence, also, the circular dances of the Druids as referred to in the following quotation from a Druidic song:--"Ruddy was the sea beach whilst the circular revolution was performed by the attendants and the white bands in graceful extravagance" (DAVIE'S Druids, p. 172). That this circular dance among the Pagan idolators really had reference to the circuit of the sun, we find from the distinct statement of Lucian in his treatise On Dancing, where, speaking of the circular dance of the ancient Eastern nations, he says, with express reference to the sun-god, "it consisted in a dance imitating this god" (LUCIAN, vol. ii. p. 278). We see then, here, a very specific reason for the circular dance of the Bacchae, and for the ever-revolving wheel of the great Centaurus in the infernal regions.

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