Sunday, April 11, 2021

False Correlations Based on Homophonic Resemblances


Tungus shaman with mask and drum.

Alice C.Linsley

The term shaman (šaman) comes from the Manchu-Tungus verb ša, 'to know'. The shaman is consulted to determine the cause of trouble that comes upon a family of community. The shaman consults spirits in a trace state. His or her knowing is of an occult nature. In the shaman’s worldview, trouble, disaster, sickness, and war result when the spirits are offended and/or the spirit world is in disharmony. The shaman’s tools are usually a drum, a medicine bag, amulets, fetishes, masks, fire, and smoke.

The Hebrew words shemen (Strong's #8081) and shamen (Strong's #8082) refer to oil. The verb form is שמן (shaman, Strong's #8080) and means “to be fat.”

There is no relation between the Tungus term shaman and the Hebrew terms shamen/shaman. As Calvin Steck has written, “Homophonic resemblances occur regularly across languages, and there is no significance other than curious amusement. Consider the Hebrew student’s gag line/ mi מי is who, hu הוא is he, hi היא is she, and shi שּׁי is that.”

The terms šaman (Tungus) and shamen/shaman (Hebrew) have totally different cultural contexts. The two languages are not related. Hebrew is a Semitic language in the Afro-Asiatic family. Tungusic (Manchu-Tungus) languages belong to the Altaic family with the Turkic and Mongolian language groups.

In the Hebrew worldview the priest is forbidden to consult spirits, and troubles are largely the consequence of violating divine Law. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

An Invitation to Readers of Just Genesis


Many of the topics explored at Just Genesis are also discussed in the international Facebook forum The Bible and Anthropology. Those discussions are lively and informative. 

That forum is not for theological conversation. Rather, we identify and discuss anthropologically significant data in the canonical texts. The purpose of the group is to advance the science of Biblical Anthropology.

These are a few of the topics we consider at that forum:

  • The social structure of the biblical Hebrew
  • Kinship analysis
  • Ancient biblical populations
  • Burial practices and grave goods of biblical populations
  • Artifacts and dating
  • Solar symbolism
  • Origins of the Messianic Faith (before Judaism)
  • The dispersion of the Horite Hebrew ruler-priest caste
  • Linguistic connections between Sumerian, Akkadian, and other Semitic languages
  • DNA studies that pertain to biblical populations

If you enjoy reading the posts at Just Genesis, you will enjoy the discussions at The Bible and Anthropology. The members come from around the globe and represent different religions, including Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. We even have a few agnostics! Consider joining the forum. 

Alice C. Linsley

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Failed Parallels, Confused People

Alice C. Linsley

In historical analysis, literary criticism, and comparative mythology "parallelomania" refers to works that stress apparent similarities and construct parallels and analogies without historical basis. Without historical basis, the parallel is considered false and unfounded. There are many examples of parallelomania and false correlations circulating on the Internet. Here is an example:

  • Abraham is a variant of Brahma.
  • Sara is a variant of Sarawati.
  • Brahma and his wife Saraswati are the founders of the worlds.
  • Abraham is said to be the father of many nations.
  • Abraham and Sara represent a parallel to the Hindu myth.

The mythical Brahma and Sarawati are posed as a parallel to the historical Abraham and Sarah, but the historical evidence that links the two couples is never provided. There are linguistic connections between the ancient languages spoken by Abraham's ancestors and the Dravoid peoples. They share ancient Akkadian roots, as has been recognized by Hindu scholars. However, no logical conclusions can be drawn simply on the basis of the resemblance of names. Sarawati refers to a river and a sub-caste of Hindu Brahman society. 

This is not to dismiss the importance of myth as it reflects the beliefs of a given people in a given time and place. Myths speak in symbols and Jung discovered that discrete symbols emerged in the dreams of people with common ancestors. He called this the "collective unconscious." Mythic symbols and narratives must be investigated using the same test: Is there sufficient historical basis for drawing the parallel?

This raises a question about the proper boundaries of historical investigation. None would question the value of referring to the writings of ancient historians to better understand their contexts. Ancient sacred texts are useful for historical investigation also. However, secularists tend to regard religious documents as questionable historical evidence. 

As an anthropologist, I am aware of the dangers of constructing parallels without substantial evidence. I have no interest in exaggerating trifling resemblances. The apparent similarities between Horus and the biblical account of Jesus Christ are not an example of parallelomania. Instead, the evidence suggests that the Horite Hebrew belief in Horus as the son of God is the basis of Messianic expectation. 

A close reading of Genesis reveals that Abraham's ancestors came out of the Nile Valley. His cultural context was Kushite. Abraham's father Terah was a Horite Hebrew priest, and the Horite Hebrew were devotees of Re, Hathor and Horus. That has been confirmed by archaeology, anthropology, DNA studies, ancient texts, and migration studies. 

Abraham and his people held Hathor as a sacred archetype. She conceived Horus by divine overshadowing. She points to the Virgin Mary, who by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, brought forth the "Seed" of God in accordance with Genesis 3:15. The message of Christianity is that Jesus fulfilled the expectation of a Righteous Ruler who would trample down death by his death and lead his people to immortality.

The Ra-Horus-Hathor narrative is a form of the Proto-Gospel. To pose Christianity and the faith of the Horite Hebrew as an example of parallelomania is nonsense! The Horite Hebrew believed in God Father and God Son. Horus is the pattern upon which Messianic expectation developed. Jesus is the only figure of history who fits the pattern, and He is a descendant of the Horite ruler-priests, as I have demonstrated through scientific analysis of the Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern

Christianity is not an invented religion based on the Horus myth. It is a faith with deep roots, a received tradition concerning a unique hope for life beyond death. That life is given through the divine ruler who overcomes the grave and leads his people to abundant life. The details of the narrative are extremely important. One such detail is the third-day resurrection described in Pyramid Texts, Utterance 667: "Oh Horus, this hour of the morning, of this third day is come, when thou surely passeth on to heaven, together with the stars, the imperishable stars."

The Horite expectation that the Divine One would not remain in the grave is expressed in Psalm 16:10:  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Consider how Horus, the archetype of Christ, describes himself in the Coffin texts (passage 148):

“I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of ‘Red Cloak’.” (Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R.T. Rundle Clark, p. 216)

Here we find the words of Psalm 110:1, a messianic reference: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

It has been argued that the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection are based on the Horus myth, and that Christianity is a copy-cat religion. This argument has no basis in facts, and has been proven false.

The core of Christianity concerns the expectation of a Divine Son or the "Seed"of God. This is called “Messianic Expectation” and is attributed to the Jews. However, it existed long before there was a "Jewish" ethnicity. It is attributed to the ancient Hebrew.

This expectation can be traced to Abraham’s Horite ancestors. They believed that one of their virgins would miraculously conceive and bring forth the Son/Seed of God. This was a central belief of Abraham’s Horite ancestors

Why would the Horite Hebrew believe this? What was the basis for their hope?  The answer appears to be found in Genesis 3:15. Abraham’s ancestors received a promise that a “Woman” of their ruler-priest lines would bring forth the Seed who would crush the serpent’s head and restore paradise.

The myth of Horus is a form of the Proto-Gospel. Jesus’ Horite ancestry has been demonstrated through scientific analysis of the Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern. We are not speaking here of trifling resemblances between the myth of Horus and the historic Jesus. Scripture itself which indicates that Abraham and his people were a caste of ruler-priest devotees of Horus. Their cultural context was Kushite and they expected a woman of their blood lines to bring forth the "Seed" of God in accordance with the first biblical promise (Gen. 3:15). This is the origin of Messianic expectation, and clearly it did not originate with the Jews who reject belief in God Son. (See Trinitarian Correspondances Between Mesopotamia and the Nile.)

Because the myth of Horus has striking parallels to the story of Jesus, some claim that Christians borrowed the idea of a dying-rising deity from the ancient Egyptians. That claim fails to take into consideration that the New Testament writers were heirs of the Horite Hebrew religion and they saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the ancient hope for a ruler-priest who would overcome death.

This statute of the Kushite-Nubian Pharaoh Taharqa shows him holding two orbs and kneeling before the falcon totem of Horus. The two orbs are the Upper and Lower Nile regions which were first united by the Kushite-Nubian kings before the first Egyptian dynasties. Apparently, the inscription states that Taharka is offering "wine to the little-known Egyptian falcon-god Hemen." Inscriptions are not reliable because sometimes they are written long after the statue was created or are changed to honor the current ruler and the current ruler's favorite deity.

We have reason to doubt that Taharqa is venerating Hemen as Hemen's totem was a hippopotamus. The falcon is the totem of Horus. At Nekhen, the oldest known site of the Horite Hebrew, Hemen was associated with Horus, the Son of  the High God Ra. 

One ancient Nilotic text says, "I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of ‘Red Cloak’.”

Here we find the words of Psalm 110:1, a messianic reference: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” 

A reference to Horus' resurrection on the third day is found in Pyramid Texts Utterance 667: "Oh Horus, this hour of the morning, of this third day is come, when thou surely passeth on to heaven, together with the stars, the imperishable stars." (1941b)

The Horite Hebrew expectation that the Divine One would not remain in the grave is expressed in Psalm 16:10: "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." However, it was expressed almost 1000 years earlier in the Pyramid Texts.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Genesis and Inerrancy

Alice C. Linsley

From the perspective of anthropology, Genesis 1-11 is rich in data that enables us to identify the cultural contexts of Abraham’s ancestors. Though the material is not to be taken as a scientific account, it nonetheless contains data about Abraham’s ancestors that anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and DNA studies can confirm.

Noah was one of Abraham’s ancestors. Noah’s great grandson was Nimrod, a Kushite kingdom builder who left Africa and established a territory for himself in Mesopotamia. This explains why we first meet Abraham in Mesopotamia. However, his cultural context appears to be Kushite. (DNA studies have confirmed the Kushite migration out of Africa.)

We overcome most of the supposed contradictions between Science and Scripture once we identify the context of Abraham’s ancestors as Proto-Saharans and Nilotes living during the African Humid Period (African Aqualithic) when the Sahara was green and wet. Saharan petroglyphs dating to 4300-2900 BC depict boats transporting cattle. It is also significant that the only place on earth which is claimed by the natives to be Noah’s homeland is Bor-no (“land of Noah”) in the region of Lake Chad.

Noah would have lived in the Lake Chad area around 6000 years ago. At that time, God Father (Re) and God Son (Horus) were worshipped at the Horite Hebrew shrine city at Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) on the Nile. This was a very prestigious city as has been shown through archaeological discoveries there. The votive offerings and mace heads were larger than have been found elsewhere. There are numerous burial sites of high-ranking persons, some of whom had long wavy red hair (Burial 79). These are the likely ancestors of the Horites of Edom (Genesis 36). An Edomite chief named Esau is described as red and hairy. 

Some of the graves at Nekhen had painted ostrich eggs, symbols of the hope of resurrection. The earliest texts that speak of bodily resurrection are found among the Horite and Sethite Hebrew.

Using kinship analysis, a tool of cultural anthropology, the king lists of Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36 have been shown to be authentic. They speak of historical persons. These were Horite and Sethite Hebrew rulers. They were a moiety, that is, one people divided into two ritual groups. We have writings from these ruler-priests that date to 4400 BC, roughly Noah’s time.

The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (2400-2000 BC) tell us that the Horites and the Sethites maintained separate settlements. Utterance 308 of the Pyramid Texts addresses them as separate but related groups: "Hail to you, Horus in the Horite Mounds! Hail to you, Horus in the Sethite Mounds!"

Utterance 470 contrasts the Horite mounds with the Sethite mounds, designating the Horite Mounds "the High Mounds.”

The Horite and Sethite Hebrew shared religious practices and beliefs, and they worshiped the same God and served the same king.

Though separate ritual groups, the Horites and the Sethites served the same king. Utterance 213 says: "O King, you have not departed dead, you have departed alive...The Mounds of Horus serve you, the Mounds of Seth serve you."

In his resurrection body the king is to "traverse the Mound of Horus of the Southerners" and "traverse the Mound of Horus of the Northerners" (PT Utterances 536 and 553). The risen king restores his settlements and cities, and opens doors to the Westerners, Easterners, Northerners and Southerners (Pt Utterance 587). He is to ascend to the heavens (PT Utterance 539).

The risen king unites the peoples, restores the former state of blessedness, and unites heaven and earth. When seen from this perspective, the Horite Hebrew religion appears to be the foundation of the Messianic hope that is fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. This expectation was expressed about 1000 years before Psalm 91 in Utterance 388 of the Pyramid Texts. "Horus has shattered (tbb, crushed) the mouth of the serpent with the sole of his foot" (cf. Genesis 3:15).

The Question of Inerrancy

Once we identify Noah’s cultural context, we may investigate further. The Lake Chad region was constantly threatened by floods during Noah’s time. The Lake Chad Basin is relatively flat and prone to monsoonal flooding. It is ringed by mountains from which water drains into the Basin. During the African Humid Period there was an extensive system of interconnected lakes and rivers across the Sahara. The western Nile watershed extended well into the Sudan. Hydrological studies indicate many periods of flooding from the Nile to the Atlantic coast of Nigeria.

The archaeological discovery that Proto-Saharan rulers kept menageries of exotic animals is especially pertinent to Genesis 7-9. It is likely that these rulers attempted to rescue their prized creatures when threatened by inundation.

One of the oldest known zoological collections was found during the 2009 excavations at Nekhen. The menagerie dates to about 5500 years ago and included hippos, elephants, baboons, and wildcats.

The Hebrew term for "earth" in the flood stories is eretz, which also means territory. From Noah's perspective in a flooded lake area, it would have appeared that his entire territory was under water.

Biblical scholars agree that Genesis 1-11 is a complex and layered body of material. It contains data that pertains to the earliest Hebrew ancestors and material that appears to have been redacted by at least two later sources: the Deuteronomist Historian, and Jewish Rabbis. The Deuteronomist writes from the context of the Neo-Babylonian Period (c. 700-300 BC), about 1500 years after Abraham. The Rabbinic insertions reflect an even later period. They date from the first century AD to c. 600 AD.

A contextual incongruity is evident in Genesis 6:4 which poses the Nephilim as fallen angels (a Rabbinic notion) while also presenting them as historical “heroes of days gone by, men of renown.” "Nephilim" is derived from the same root as the Aramaic npyl which means giant, as in great. This is equivalent to the Arabic nfy, meaning hunter. Noah’s great grandson Nimrod is described as a “mighty hunter” or a “mighty man” before the Lord.

The perspectives of Noah and the post-exilic Jews present contextual incongruities. It is a matter of different cultural contexts, and yet the significant data has been preserved in the Genesis Prehistory. Understanding the material requires unraveling the interwoven elements and paying attention to textual and contextual incongruities. Contextual incongruities are not errors.

It is best to read the biblical texts with some skepticism, but since God is truthful and He has superintended the Scriptures, they tell us truth. We should read them as if they were law briefs: there is a majority opinion and a minority opinion. To gain a better understanding of Genesis 1-11 we need to be aware of the different perspectives.

Related reading: The Historicity of Noah's Flood; The Genesis King Lists; Abraham's Faith Lives in Christianity; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; Contextual Incongruities in Genesis

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Iberian Prince and His Crystal Dagger


A team excavating the megalithic tomb of Montelirio tholos (PP4-Montelirio Structure 10.049) in southwestern Spain found a 5000-year dagger formed from rock crystal. Experts say it is the "most technically sophisticated" ever to be uncovered in Prehistoric Iberia and would have taken enormous skill to carve. In addition to the dagger, they found arrowheads and cores for making the weapons. The tomb was the burial site of 25 persons, mostly females between the ages of 20 and 30 (likely to serve him in the next life). Grave goods included elephant tusks, jewelry, gold, clay pots, and an ostrich egg.

The exquisite dagger and other grave goods indicate that this is the burial site of a ruler whose wealth compares to that of the ruler buried at Varna. Grave 43 from the Varna cemetery contained more gold than has been found at any other archaeological site from that epoch.

Biblical populations often placed ostrich eggs in graves. Some were painted. This 7th-century BC painted ostrich egg was found on Cyprus.The ostrich egg among the grave goods indicates the hope for life after death. 

The incised ostrich eggs (shown below) were found at a 3000 BC Etruscan burial site in Vulci, Italy. They are said to be devoted to Hathor (later called Isis). This burial site dates to the same time as the elite tomb where the crystal dagger was found.

British Museum

Painted or incised ostrich eggs have been found at ancient settlements in Africa, including El-Badari, Nubia and Nekhen, especially in the graves of children. At a Naqada burial site, a decorated ostrich egg replaced the owner's missing head. That egg is in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

Evidence of hope for life after death is expressed also by the highly valued allochthonous red pigments
on the walls of the tomb. The red pigments consisted of imported cinnabar mixed with small amounts of iron oxides. Humans have been burying chiefs and other elite persons with pigments such as red ochre, a symbolic blood covering, for at least 100,000 years.

The elephant tusks and ostrich egg were brought from Africa. Clearly, people of the Levant were making and trading diverse goods across great distances during the Chacolithic period. The ruler was probably part of the Bell Beaker phenomenon, a huge multicultural trade network. It is associated with the diffusion of haplogroup R1b-L11 (and subclades) across central and western Europe and shares genetic ancestry with Prehistoric African populations. The dispersion is shown on this map.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Luke's Nativity Dating is Correct


Alice C. Linsley

Luke's Gospel correlates the date of the nativity of Jesus to a census. "In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria."

Some scholars believe Luke is mistaken in saying that this was the "first registration" because the census of Jews in the Province of Syria, of which Judea was a part, was imposed later under Emperor Vespasian who ruled well after Jesus' death and resurrection.

The census was needed to collect the Jewish Tax (fiscus Judaicus), but the tax on Jews imposed by Vespasian came after the Jewish revolt of AD 66–73. To humiliate the Jews, the collection was used to support the Temple of Jupiter in Rome.

The first-century Jewish historian Josephus reports that the Jews reacted negatively to the tax census and some joined a movement led by Judas of Galilee, or Judas of Gamala. Judas led a resistance to the order of Governor Quirinius (Cyrenius) around 6 AD. Some Jews who did not to register had their houses burnt and their cattle stolen by his followers.

Josephus provides a clue as to what Luke meant when he wrote about the "first registration." Quirinius was under orders from Emperor Augustus who ruled from 27 BC until 14 AD. It is believed that Jesus was born in Bethlehem between 2-4 AD. 

Historians cite 4 BC as the time of the death of Herod the Great, so the story about the Magi visiting him in Matthew 2 only aligns with Luke's account if the Herod to whom Matthew refers is Herod Antipas who reigned from 4 BC- 39 AD.

Apparently, Joseph and Mary did not join the rebellion of Judas of Galilee, though they were living in Nazareth of Galilee. They went to Bethlehem to register for the census and to pay the tax. Given that it takes a while to organize a resistance movement, it is likely that the edict of Quirinius was issued between between 3-5 AD. Luke's account aligns well with the historical data.

A tax targeting Jews required identifying who was Jewish. The Code of Jewish Law states that a child of a Jewish mother is Jewish, regardless of the father's ethnicity and lineage. The Romans recognized this Law and used it to impose a tax selectively on Jews.

Jews were registered in their mother's ancestral town, which for Mary was Bethlehem. Joseph appears to have been from Nazareth, the home of the eighteenth priestly division, ha·pi·TSETS (Happizzez) and the hometown of Mary’s father, Joachim. (In 1962, a small piece of a list of the twenty-four priestly divisions was found in the ruins of a synagogue at Caesarea. This third-century marble fragment is inscribed with the names of the settlements of four of the divisions, including Nazareth of Galilee.)

The Jewish Law defining Jewish ethnicity and the tax targeting Jews required that Mary and Joseph return to Bethlehem, the hometown of Mary and her mother Anna. There the mother, her husband, and any children would be counted in the census, and the tax assessed and paid.

Related reading: The Priestly DivisionsBehold! A Virgin Shall Conceive; Was the Virgin Mary Dedicated to the Temple?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Victor Hugo on Genesis

The French literary figure Victor Hugo (1802-1885) wrote about the book of Genesis in the Preface to Cromwell (1857). In the Preface, Hugo provides an historically accurate depiction of the Puritan politician and soldier. He wrote that Cromwell "was a complex, heterogeneous, multiple being, made up of all sorts of contraries - a mixture of much that was evil and much that was good, of genius and pettiness...tormented by his young royalist daughter; austere and gloomy in his manners, yet keeping four court jesters about him..."

The late 19th-century writers did not have the advantage of the penetrating disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics. They usually portray early humans as innocent brutes whose closeness to Nature they admire from an attitude of superiority. We find the same attitude in Rudyard Kipling's India and in G.K. Chesterton's Africa.

Though Hugo's profile of Cromwell is realistic, in the following excerpts from his Preface to Cromwell he is the chief Romantic in his depiction of early Man.

"In primitive times, when man awakes in a world that is newly created, poetry awakes with him. In the face of the marvellous things that dazzle and intoxicate him, his first speech is a hymn simply. He is still so close to God that all his meditationns are ecstatic, all his dreams are visions. His bosom swells, he sings as he breathes. His lyre has but three strings - God, the soul, creation: but this threefold mystery envelopes everything, this threefold idea embraces everything. The earth is still almost deserted. There are families, but no nations; patriarchs, but no kings. Each race exists at its own pleasure; no property, no laws, no contentions, no wars. Everything belongs to each and to all. Society is a community. Man is restrained in nought. He leads that nomadic pastoral life with which all civilizations begin, and which is so well adapted to solitary contemplation, to fanciful reverie. He follows every suggestion, he goes hither and thither, at random. His thought, like his life, resembles a cloud that changes its shape and its direction according to the wind that drives it. Such is the first man, such is the first poet. He is young, he is cynical. Prayer is his sole religion, the ode is his only form of poetry.

This ode, this poem of primitive times, is Genesis."

"Thus, to sum up hurriedly the facts that we have noted thus far, poetry has three periods, each of which corresponds to an epoch of civilization: the ode, the epic, and the drama. Primitive times are lyrical, ancient times epical, modern times dramatic. The ode sings of eternity, the epic imparts solemnity to history, the drama depicts life. The character of the first poetry is ingenuousness, of the second simplicity, of the third, truth. The rhapsodists mark the transition from the lyric to the epic poets, as do the romancists that from the lyric to the dramatic poets. Historians appear in the second period, chroniclers and critics in the third. The characters of the ode are colossi - Adam, Cain, Noah; those of the epic are giants - Achilles, Atreus, Orestes; those of the drama are men - Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello. The ode lives upon the ideal, the epic upon the grandiose, the drama upon the real. Lastly, this threefold poetry flows from three great sources - The Bible, Homer, Shakespeare."

"There is more than one connection between the beginning and the end; the sunset has some features of the sunrise; the old man becomes a child once more. But this second childhood is not like the first; it is as melancholy as the other is joyous. It is the same with lyric poetry. Dazzling, dreamy, at the dawn of civilization, it reappears, solemn and pensive, at its decline. The Bible opens joyously with Genesis and comes to a close with the threatening Apocalypse. The modern ode is still inspired, but is no longer ignorant."

Related reading: Fossil Footprints Speak of Tough Conditions; The Sting of Death; Early Written Signs