ancient culture

Excerpt from the Book: The Worship of the Dead or the Origin & Nature of Pagan Idolatry – Part 1


The next point of our inquiry is the way in which the worship of and intercourse with evil spirits, supposed to be spirits of the dead, arose. How was it introduced to the human race ? Berosus, the Babylonian historian and priest of Bel, who is supposed to have lived in the time of Alexander the Great, has left us an account of the Deluge, and of certain features of antediluvian history. Allusion has already been made to his account of a being called ” Oannes,” ” the Annedotus,” partly human and partly fish, who appeared to the people of Babylonia and taught them ” letters and science and every kind of art. He taught them to construct houses, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometrical knowledge. From that time, so universal were his instructions, nothing material has been added by way of improvement.”  The mention here of an antediluvian Babylonia is probably only for the purpose of identifying the locality which, on account perhaps of its antediluvian associations, being close to the site of Eden, was selected to be the centre of the postdiluvian idolatry. Berosus, like the historians of other Pagan nations, mentions ten kings as having reigned before the Deluge, just as the Mosaic account describes ten generations during the same period, and according to his history, as given by Polyhistor, this Oannes appeared in the reign of the first king, but according to Apollodorus in that of the fourth king. In addition to the first Oannes, Berosus mentions other Annedoti of a similar form who appeared in the reigns of other kings, and who ” related to the people whatever Oannes had informed them of,”  that is to say, they instructed the people in the same knowledge. From these statements Berosus implies that the principles of idolatry were taught to mankind before the Deluge, and that Hermes, or Cush, therefore merely revived that teaching. In addition to these Annedoti, who are described as semi-daemons, we learn from Sanehoniathon’s history that the sixth descendant from ” Protugonus,” i.e., “the first-born,” or Adam, was ” Chrysor” who, he says, is the same as Hephaestus. ” He exercised himself in words and charms and divinations, wherefore men worshipped him after death as a god and called him Diamichius the great inventor.”  Now Cush, or Hermes, who was the great teacher of the same knowledge after the Deluge, was in one of his deified manifestations, ” Hephaestus,” or Vulcan, and, according to Manetho, quoted by Syncellus, there were two Hermes, or Thoths, the one  before, and the other after the Deluge. Hence we may assume that just as the postdiluvian Hermes and Hephaestus were one and the same, so also the antediluvian Hermes was Hephaestus, or Chrysor, the sixth descendant from Adam, and that Chrysor was called by these names in after ages, because he was the chief teacher among the antediluvians of the knowledge taught by the second Hermes after the Deluge. For it must be remembered that the names under which Cush and his son were deified were not given them until long after their deaths.

We have suggested that the name ” Oannes ” was also given to Cush because he, like the first Oannes, was the teacher of this knowledge, but there seems to be no reason for identifying Chrysor with but there seems to be no reason for identifying Chrysor with the Annedotus Oannes who, like the other Annedoti, is described as
a daemon.

Chrysor, the antediluvian Hephaestus, having been worshipped as a god after his death, we may be certain that he would be also recognised as a god in the postdiluvian idolatry. Now Manetho’s list of the god kings of Egypt begins with an Hephaestus, who is given a reign of 724 years, a period which is not only irreconcilable with the reign of any king after the Deluge, but is in striking contrast with the reigns of other god kings which are of normal length. But these 724 years might perfectly accord with the lifetime of an antediluvian, and we may conclude therefore that the Hephaestus mentioned in Manetho’s list is the antediluvian Hephaestus or Chrysor, the first Hermes, introduced by the priesthood as being the first human teacher of their religion. All tradition points to the fact that the idolatry established by Gush and Nimrod was a revival of antediluvian idolatry. Thus Berosus says that the knowledge obtained before the Deluge was carefully preserved, and that Xisuthrus, or Noah was directed to ” commit everything to writing and bury the account in the city of the sun at Sippara,” and that after the Deluge, having found these writings at Sippara, “they set about building cities and erecting temples, and Babylon was again inhabited.”  Similarly, Manetho, the Egyptian priest, claims to have based his writings on certain inscriptions ” engraved on columns by the first Thoth (i.e., Chrysor) before the Deluge in the land of the Siriad.” – This is probably the foundation, in part, of the statement of Josephus that the sons of Seth, in order that their scientific discoveries might not be lost, engraved them upon two columns, one of brick and the other of stone, and that the latter remains to this day in the land of Siriad {i.e., Egypt). He has probably here confused the preservation of the antediluvian knowledge of idolatry with the knowledge, astronomical, cosmogonic and prophetic, which is recorded by the Great Pyramid.

Again, Brahma is said to have written the Vedas, but they were stolen from him by the demon ” Hayagriva ” while ” he slumbered in a prior world,” i.e., while shut up in the Ark, After which ” Vishnu became a fish and recovered them from the bottom of the ocean.” This is simply a way of saying that they were recovered from the bottom of what had been the ocean. In other traditions the sacred writings came from heaven, as in the case of Buddha, who is said to have flourished at the time of the Deluge, “when the Earth poured forth the flood in order to assist him against the Assoors or giants,—five holy scriptures descended from above which gave knowledge of introspection and ability of accomplishing the desires of hearts and means of carrying words into effect.” This has already been referred to. So also ” Maha Bad,” ” the great Buddha,” who is said to have been the first monarch of Iran, ” received from the Creator a sacred book in a heavenly language.” Again, Menu Satyavrata is represented as being saved with seven saints from the Deluge by Heri, the Preserver of the Universe, in the shape of a large fish (the Ark), and after the Flood he received a book of divine ordinances in the language of the gods. The Druids have a similar tradition. They say that the Patriarch was saved with seven companions on a floating island with a strong door. They also speak of the sacred books of Pherylt, or the writings of Hu, or Prydain, of which Taliesen says that ” should the waves again disturb  their foundation he would conceal them deep in the cell of the Holy Sanctuary.”

Now it is, of course, utterly absurd to suppose that Noah, or anyone Now it is, of course, utterly absurd to suppose that Noah, or anyone else, recorded and buried the principles of Pagan idolatry previous to the Deluge in order that they might be recovered and idolatry re-established after the Deluge. But, on the other hand, it is very probable that Cush, the originator of postdiluvian idolatry, may, like the votaries of modern Spiritualism, have received instructions from the spirits he invoked as gods, as to the means of communicating with them and enlisting their powers on his behalf; — or, in other words, the principles of magic and sorcery ;—and that this was ” the special revelation from the gods ” said to be received by Buddha, Menu and other forms of the Pagan god. We may also presume that the uniform tradition of the recovery after the Deluge of the secrets of the Pagan religion has some foundation, and, taking into consideration the tradition of the first Hermes, or Hephaestus, and the first Oannes, as the primary teachers of idolatry, it implies that the worship of the gods, or communication with evil spirits, first originated in the antediluvian world, and was merely revived by the Hamite descendants of Noah from the traditional else, recorded and buried the principles of Pagan idolatry previous to the Deluge in order that they might be recovered and idolatry re-established after the Deluge. But, on the other hand, it is very probable that Cush, the originator of postdiluvian idolatry, may, like the votaries of modern Spiritualism, have received instructions from the spirits he invoked as gods, as to the means of communicating with them and enlisting their powers on his behalf; — or, in other words, the principles of magic and sorcery ;—and that this was ” the special revelation from the gods ” said to be received by Buddha, Menu and other forms of the Pagan god. We may also presume that the uniform tradition of the recovery after the Deluge of the secrets of the Pagan religion has some foundation, and, taking into consideration the tradition of the first Hermes, or Hephaestus, and the first Oannes, as the primary teachers of idolatry, it implies that the worship of the gods, or communication with evil spirits, first originated in the antediluvian world, and was merely revived by the Hamite descendants of Noah from the traditional knowledge preserved by their father Ham.

It is necessary here to call attention to the fact that the traditions and histories bearing upon the subject are derived from writings dated 2000 years or more after the events of which they treat, and that they emanate from priests, or priestly castes, who represent them in accordance with their religious belief. Thus Bel, the chief god of the Babylonians, Osiris, the god of the Egyptians, and the Jupiter of the Greeks and Romans, are by these writers entirely removed from the events of human history, as being the supreme gods of these nations and the orderers and arbiters of those events. For instance, we find in the lately – discovered account of the Deluge on the Assyrian tablets that Bel, who was the first king in Babylon many years after that event, is represented as arranging the circumstances of the Flood as the supreme god. The same is the case with Osiris and Jupiter when they are spoken of in relation to the events of history. It is only in those myths which treat of the histories of the gods themselves that their true relations are revealed, although, for the causes before mentioned, their particular relationship to their human originals is sometimes misplaced.

We have also to take into consideration the dual character of Pagan idolatry. It consisted, as we have said, at first of magic, demon and nature worship, the worship of the Sun, Moon and Stars and the Phallic or generative principle ; and afterwards the authors of this worship were themselves deified and identified with the demon and Nature gods they themselves had instituted, and therefore with the Sun as the Great Father and the Earth as the Great Mother. So also they were identified with the progenitors of the human race, and Belus, Cronus, Saturn, etc., being the Father of the Gods and of men, were therefore represented as, not merely the first rulers of Babylon and Egypt, but as Noah, and even Adam, whose histories were more or less interwoven with theirs.

In like manner the goddess Mother was not merely Rhea, the Earth and the Moon, but the Ark from which the human race had been reborn. So also she was Eve, ” the Mother of all living,” and hence was called ” Idaia Mater ” (” the Mother of Knowledge ” ), that is, the woman through whom came the knowledge of good and evil. Again, because Eve was formed from Adam, and the Ark (the symbol of the goddess) was constructed by Noah, the goddess Mother is sometimes represented as the daughter as well as the wife and mother of the god, as in the case of Ila, who is both the daughter and wife of Menu, while, as the mother of the supposed reincarnation of the god, she is his mother as well, as in the case of Isis and Osiris.

The Greeks, knowing these things only in their allegorical form, and failing to understand their mystical import, turned them into a multitude of fanciful fables which, in a large number of instances, have completely obliterated their original significance. Nevertheless, by making due allowance for these confusing elements, the underlying truth may still be extracted from many of these myths by carefully comparing them with each other, and with the statements of ancient authors. There is much in the antediluvian traditions of the various nations which is in accordance with the Scriptural account. M.Lenormant writes : ” In the number given in the Bible for the antediluvian Patriarchs we have the first instance of a striking agreement with the traditions of various nations. In Chaldea Berosus enumerates ten antediluvian kings. . . . The legends of the Iranian race commence with the reign of ‘ten Peisdadien kings, men of ancient law, who lived on pure Homa (water of life), who preserved their sanctity.’ In India we meet with the nine Brahmadikas who, with Brahma, their founder, make ten, and who are called the ten Petris or Fathers. The Chinese count ten emperors, partakers of the divine nature, before the dawn of historical times, and finally, not to multiply instances, the Germans and Scandinavians believed in the ten ancestors of Odin, and the Arabs in the ten mythical kings of the Adites, the primordial people of their peninsula.” To this we might add the ten kings of the antediluvian Atlantis, the story of which was related to Solon by the Egyptian priests, and also to the nine generations before Noah, mentioned by Sanchoniathon in his history, and to which we shall presently refer.

In the Scriptural account of the antediluvian world mention is made of ” giants ” who were the predisposing cause of the wickedness which led to the destruction of the world by the Deluge. The traditions of the Pagan nations are also in remarkable accordance with this. The Gothic legend speaks of a first world called ” Muspelsheim,” the abode of Surtur, which was destroyed by fire, and of a second world in which all the families of the giants were destroyed by a flood except one who saved himself and his household in a ship. His three sons born of a Cow, i.e., the Ark, were the gods of the  Goths.’ Another tradition mentions the giant ” Ymer,” whose blood destroyed all the other giants except one, Bergelmer, who escaped on board his bark. ” Ymer ” is represented as, in the first place, the Earth, from whose body (when “the fountains of the great deep were broken up “) came the Deluge and who afterwards made the ocean. He is evidently the same as ” Typhon,” the ocean, and the evil principle of the Egyptians.

The Celtic Hu, who is said to have lived at the time of the Deluge, and who is also called “Noe,” is represented as the conqueror of the giants and “after patience in affliction became the father of all the tribes of the Earth.”

The Chinese tradition, although it does not speak of giants, yet attributes the Deluge to the moral evil of the human race. It mentions first a golden age, after which “men despised the Monarch of the Universe, disputes arose about truth and falsehood which banished eternal reason, in consequence of which they fixed their looks on terrestrial objects to excess, and became like them. Such was the source of all crimes. Then the pillars of heaven were broken, the Sun, Moon and Stars changed their motions, the earth fell to pieces and the waters enclosed within its bosom burst forth with violence and overflowed it.”  It will be remarked that the above attributes the moral evil which led to the Deluge to the loss of the knowledge of God and consequent disputes about truth and falsehood, the result of which was that men fixed their looks, i.e., directed their attention, wholly to earthly things, or to the satisfaction of their natural lusts and inclinations, and the law of self, or selfishness, becoming thus predominant, the demands of righteousness would be ignored, which, as the tradition says, was the source of all crimes. As stated by the Mosaic account, ” violence filled the earth.”

Buddha, who, in certain aspects, is also Noah, is represented as living at the time of the Deluge, and it is said that the earth poured forth a flood to assist him against the Assoors or Asuras, who were giants and were the demons of Indian mythology.
According to Hesiod, Neptune, or the Sea, shut up the Titans in a central cavity of the earth, surrounding them on all sides with the ocean, and overwhelmed the wicked race of Phlegyae and their island beneath the sea. This is an allegorical way of saying that ” the Titans,” the name by which Noah and his descendants are spoken of in classical mythology, were shut up in the Ark and surrounded by the waters of the Flood which destroyed the wicked antediluvians.
The impious Phlegyae were said by the Greeks to be descended from Mars and Chrysa, while Phavorinus represents them to be Cushites. The latter, of course, could not be the case, as Cush was not born until after the Deluge, but both traditions have a corresponding significance. The first seems to connect the Phlegyae with the antediluvian Chrysor, who, according to Sanchoniathon, introduced magic and intercourse with evil spirits. The second connects the Phlegyae with the Cushite race, who resuscitated that magic and intercourse after the Deluge. The two traditions point, therefore, to a general recognition of the fact that this unholy intercourse with evil spirits was the cause of the wickedness which brought on the world the judgment of the Deluge.

If now we turn to the Scriptural account of ” the giants” through whom it is implied that the human race became thoroughly corrupt and violence filled the earth, we find it stated that they were results of marriages contracted between the sons of God and the daughters of marriages contracted between the sons of God and the daughters of men (Gen. vi.) The popular interpretation of the statement is that the “sons of God” were the righteous descendants of Seth, and the ” daughters of men ” were the descendants of Cain. But it is manifestly absurd to suppose that the result of the marriage of the righteous with the unrighteous should be a gigantic race of men ! Nor is there any precedent in the Bible for calling the  unrighteous, “Sons or daughters of men,” in contrast to the righteous, or people of God. Such an interpretation cannot be supported by any valid argument, and the rule of Biblical interpretation, namely that laid down by the Apostle Paul of comparing
spiritual things with spiritual, or of considering the meaning which Scripture attaches to the terms used, in other passages, obliges us to interpret the passage in a very difierent way.

The term ” Sons of God ” is only used in the Old Testament to express the angels, or those beings who are the direct creation of God, and it is thus applied in the New Testament to Adam  and to Christ. It is also applied in a spiritual sense in the New Testament to those who are spiritually born of God, or regenerated, but in that sense it was unknown in the Old Testament, and cannot be made use of to explain its use of the term. Again the original word translated ” giants ” is not ” giants ” but ” Nephilim,” meaning ” Fallen Ones,” although it afterwards became a term to express giants, because the result of these marriages was a race of gigantic beings. The statement in Gen. vi. is therefore as follows :—” There were Fallen Ones in the earth in those days” {i.e., before the Deluge), “and also after that, when the sons of God ” (the angels) ” came in unto the daughters of men and they bare children to them ; the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown ” (ver. 4). The result of this union of the human race with beings who are said to be ” greater in power and might ”  was a mixed race of fallen angels and men, and this race were of vast stature and strength, and wholly and irredeemably wicked. Various races of these giants are mentioned in Scripture as existing amongst the nations of Canaan.

There is, however, among many, a singular hostility to the admission of the possibility of the supernatural in anything which immediately affects the human race ; and this has led them to oppose the manifest conclusion to be drawn from the Scriptural statements, and to fall back on the weak and inconsequent hypothesis that ” the Sons of God ” were merely the more pious antediluvians. They will accept the miracles of Christ as a fact of the past which does not affect people living now, but the possibility of spiritual agents, such as the Nephilim, able to communicate with and influence mankind, disturbs their minds, and rather than admit the plain teaching of Scripture, they shut their eyes to the evidence. The same hostility is seen in the refusal to admit of spiritual agency in the phenomena of Spiritualism, Hypnotism, etc., and the endeavour to explain such things, however illogically, by natural causes which may be controlled by the aid of human knowledge and science. It is the old Sadducean spirit, which revolts against the idea of spiritual powers outside the knowledge and control of human power and wisdom. To attempt to combat this sceptical spirit is useless, and we can only point out the testimony of Scripture to those with whom that testimony has greater weight than the laboured and illogical explanations of others, who desire to explain away its meaning.

The intercourse of these ” fallen ones ” with the human race in the past and the possibility of its recurrence was the general belief of the Jews and the early Christian Church. Josephus states it as an undoubted fact and Augustine speaks of the folly of doubting it. It was also the general belief throughout the East, and the Persians say that “Djemschid” married the daughter of a dev, i.e., a demon. Now “Djemschid,” or ” Ghemschid,” is stated to be the fourth king of Iran, and the ancient Iran extended from the Caucasus to the Indus, including the valley of Shinar—that is to say, it consisted of the empire conquered by Nimrod, who was the fourth from Noah. The Persian account says that the father of Ghemschid founded the cities of Babylon and Nineveh, which is in accordance with the various records of the dynasties of the Assyrian Empire, These nearly always place Belus or Gush as the first king, and Ninus or Nimrod as succeeding him. The Zendavesta says that “Ghemschid, that wonderful king of Iran, built a place of enormous extent in the form of a square, and within it was a tower or castle and also a conspicuous palace.”  This is clearly Babylon, the beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod, showing that the Ghemschid, or Djemschid, of these traditions was Nimrod, In the Arabian traditions Djemschid would appear to be Cush, but the history and subsequent mythology of the two deified kings are so interwoven, that the one is constantly confused with the other.

This tradition of the marriage of Gush or Nimrod with the daughter of a demon will be referred to again, and it is here quoted, as a record of the union of the human race with demons, which, as we shall see, and as is implied in Gen. vi., took place after the Deluge, as well as before that event.

The original authors of this intercourse, the Sons of God or fallen angels mentioned in Gen, vi., would appear to be alluded to by the Apostles Peter and Jude as ” the angels which kept not their first estate but left their first habitation ” ; for this is exactly what the estate hut left their first habitation ” ; for this is exactly what the
Nephilim were guilty of, and their sin is likened to that of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, who ” went after strange flesh.” These fallen angels are said to be ” reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 5, 6). But if these ” fallen ones ” had thus established communication with man, it is not necessary to seek further for the original source of that knowledge of the spirit world and the means of invoking the assistance of its inhabitants, which has been handed down to the present day. In fact, it is the tradition of the Hindus that the gods (i.e., the daimonia) at first became incarnate and conversed with men, and taught them arts and science and the nature of the place where they were to go after an earthly probation. The latter, it may be remarked, is the special subject of spiritualistic revelation at the present day.

The Nephilim were thus spirits of evil, the same as the daimonia, whose prince was Satan, and who were the real gods of the Pagans, the beings who replied to their invocations. If, then, some of them had intercourse with the daughters of men, they would not fail to teach men the means also of communicating with them. It is said these ” Fallen Ones ” were ” in the earth in those days,” which plainly implies that their presence there was abnormal, and therefore that they were not human beings, but nothing is said in Scripture about their actual appearance, and it seems very unlikely that they had the power of taking the form of man, who is made in the image of God, and living amongst men as human beings. In modem Spiritualism the spirits have been known to take the form of some relative or friend of the person invoking them, but it is temporary and evanescent, and even then depends on certain peculiar and exceptional conditions. Had the Nephilim indeed lived among men as men, and been known by them by distinctive names, features and characteristics, we may be certain that they would have been worshipped by the idolaters under those names and characteristics as their chief gods, whereas Chrysor, who was worshipped after his death, was seemingly the first of the Pagan gods.

On the other hand, it does not follow that they were unable to take any material form in order to converse with men. Who was Oannes and who were the other Annedoti ? Are we to dismiss the tradition handed down by Berosus as a fable without foundation ? If so, the fable is puerile and objectless, and only worthy of the imagination of a child ; and this, as we shall see, is not the character of the generality of the Pagan myths when they have not been encrusted with fable by the imagination of the Greeks, who did not understand their true significance. Now, Berosus speaks of Oannes and the Annedoti as ” daemons” which is but another name for the Pagan gods, and we find that Oannes was actually worshipped in after ages as one of the chief gods of Paganism under his own name, Oannes, or as Dagon, the Fish god.

If Satan assumed the form of a serpent in order to converse with man and withdraw him from his allegiance to God, there would be nothing anomalous in the assumption of a form like that of Oannes by his angels, the Nephilim, for a similar purpose. It may be asked, why should the Nephilim have assumed these forms, and why did Satan assume the form of a serpent instead of that of a man, in which form, we might suppose, his arguments would have been listened to much more readily by human beings ? In both cases the forms assumed give an air of fable and grotesqueness to the story, which, with many, may seem to impeach its credibility. But there may be a deep reason, arising from the very nature of things, for the assumption of these forms; and, if so, the aspect of fable and unreality is removed, and the tradition of Berosus is in accordance with what we expect from the statements of Scripture.’ In short, we might well conceive that in the ages before the Deluge, when fallen angels allied themselves with men and a race of demon-born beings was the result, some of these Nephilim, or possibly Satan himself, did assume the shapes described by Berosus, in order to
deceive mankind and communicate to men the knowledge of evil. Satan is said to be him who “deceiveth the whole world” (Rev.xii. 9), and the chief of these Annedoti, who in after ages was worshipped as Oannes, may well have been Satan himself. For “O” is the Greek article ” The,” and O’annes might be the Hellenised form
of “Ha Nahash”—”the Serpent,” with whom the other forms of the Pagan gods, as we shall see, were eventually identified.

This excerpt comes from the book: The Worship of the Dead or the Origin & Nature of Pagan Idolatry – by Colonel J. Garnier, Chapter IX, page 182 to 193.

Next time will follow part 2 of this very interesting chapter!




6 replies »

  1. Thanks Sister!

    I divided this chapter in multiple parts as it is quite big… More will follow on this matter!

    If you seek to obtain this book yourself you can order it as a reprint from Kessinger Publishing. However, to obtain it immediately and for free you should visit

    My regards, nightcaller.


  2. Excellent work!

    I always found it funny(not in a ‘haha’ way) how it is said that the ones who taught mankind all those things that make us ‘civilized’, i.e., natures of plants, metallurgy, etc., were the “evil or fallen” ones… so everything that makes us better than the mere beasts in the field is “evil”. One more example how the Judeo-Christian traditions are completely backwards, absolute contrary to TRUTH. Black is white, up is down, good is bad. Everything it is to be human is ‘bad’.

    This is WHY the world is in the chaotic mess that literally threatens us all. *shakes head*


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