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all over the land in vast numbers; and seem to have been not only formidable for their swarms, but for the 'painfulness of their stings, as well as of their bite, which was intolerable. There is reason to think, that the Egyptians had particular deities to remedy stated evils; as we may infer from the nations, who came from them. They were similar to the o άлоτgоTαio, and Dii Averrunci, of Greece and Rome: and their department was to ward off those natural evils to which their votaries were liable. The province allotted to several deities was particularly to drive away flies. I have shewn that many of the Grecian states consisted of colonies from Egypt; and we read of Jupiter μυιαγρος, μυιοκόρος, απομυιος, all titles conferred upon this deity from a supposition of his clearing his temples from these insects. He was worshipped under this character at
Είπε, και ήλθε κυνόμυια. Psalm 104. v. 31.
Εξαπέσειλεν επ' αυτές κυνόμυιαν, και κατέφαγεν αυτές. Psalm 77. v. 45.
The Vulgate renders it-Omne genus muscarum. Aquila και παμμυιαν. The like is to be found in the Syriac and Samaritan. Cyniphen omnis generis: & omne genus muscarum, according to the Latin translation.
Ους κεν γαρ ακρίδων και μυιων σπεκτεινε δηγμα. Sapient. Li
ber. c. 16. v. 9.
1 Elis ; as Hercules was at Rome. The Arcadians also sacrificed to the hero Myiagrus, from whence we may infer that the worship was very ancient. The like obtained at Cyrene, where the deity was stiled Achor, as we learn from Pliny.---3 Cyrenaïci Achorem deum (invocant) muscarum multitudine pestilentiam adferente; quæ protinus intereunt, postquam litatum est deo. From the supposed influence of the presiding deity many temples were said to have been free from this inconvenience. Thus we are told by Apollonius Dyscolus, that there were no flies seen in the temple of Venus at Paphos; and the altar of Hercules in the Forum 5 Boarium at Rome was said to have had the same immunity. The like is mentioned of the altar of Jupiter at Olympia: and of another at Aliphera in Arcadia: likewise at other places,
Απομυιῳ Διο θυέσιν Ηλείοι, Ρωμαίοι δε Απομυιῳ Ηρακλει. Cleo mens. Protrept. p. 33. See also Pausan. 1. 5. p. 410.
2 Pausan. 1. 8. p. 653. Ev Tautη, iy tavnyugel Mularea neo-και επικαλεμενοι τον Μυιαγρον.
3 L. 10. c. 26.
tat. Plin. p. 10.
Salmasius would alter this-see ExerciSee also Pliny, l. 29. c. 6.
4 See Rerum Mirabil. Scriptores by Meursius. c. 7. p. 14. 5 Nam divinitus illo neque canibus neque muscis ingressus
est. Solinus, 1. 1. p. 2.
Pausan. 1. 5. p. 410.
Of Flies held sacred.
But this was not all. These insects, however incredible it may appear, were in many places worshipped. This reverence seems to have been sometimes shewn, to prevent their being troublesome, at other times, because they were esteemed sacred to the deity. Ælian accordingly tells us, that at Actium, where stood the temple of Apollo, they sacrificed in his time an ox to these objects-1 vs Crv ταις μυιαις. Clemens also mentions' ATOλΑπολ λωνος τε Ακτιο το ἱερον, and speaks of the same custom. The same is mentioned by Antiphanes the comedian in Athenæus, as being practised at Olympia in Elis.
Ολυμπιαισι φασι ταις Μυιαις ποιειν
Βεν, τους τ' ακλητους προκατακοπτειν πανταχε. He seems to have introduced a person in his play, who is speaking in favour of Umbræ and parasites and thinks, that they are a successful body. He compares them to the flies at
3 L. 1. p. 5.
See Casaubon's Notes, p. 17,
Olympia, to whom, says he, the people sacrifice an ox: and they always claim the first share, though they are never invited.
and ACORON, the
The worship of ACHOR, and
God-fly; called also ZEBUB.
Nor did they only shew an idolatrous regard to flies in general. There was a deity stiled Deus Musca, who was particularly worshipped under the characteristic of a fly. The god Achor of Cyrene, of whom we before made mention, seems to have been of this denomination and it is probable, that the word Achor denoted a Fly: or had some relation to it. This may be inferred from the city Acaron or Accoron, which we mistakenly render Ekron: where the same insect was supposed to be worshipped by the name of , Zebub, J, a fly. We generally join it to the word Baal, and represent the deity as the Lord of Flies in
* Whether the author means Ολυμπιαισιν ἑορταις, οι Ολυμ Tridio fevidis, may not be certain: but I should think the latter to be the truth. Ælian mentions-μvia iaiai. 1. 11. P. 615.
→ There seems to be a double meaning: and the words may signify, that those, who are not invited, are foremost, and fare best-from goxoт, bene succedere.
the plural. But to my apprehension it was not so. And here it is proper to remedy a mistake, into which we are led by our version, concerning Ahaziah, who is supposed to have enquired of Baal-zebub at the place above mentioned. The fly was probably worshipped at Ekron: and the god was called Baalzebub. But neither that place, nor the deity of the place, are referred to in that passage about Ahaziah, where they are supposed to be found. The history alluded to is in the first chapter of the second book of Kings; where it is said that---Ahaziah (the son of Ahab) fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber, that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go enquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover of this disease. ch.i. v. 2. So it stands in our translation: and the Vulgate is nearly to the same purport. Ite, consulite Baalzebub deum A aron. This Baalzebub by our commentators is rendered the God of Flies; and they suppose the Ekron in Phili
A Baal-zebub hæresin format Philastrius musca-Accaronitarum; qui (ut verba ejus sunt) muscam colunt in civitate Accaron dictâ. Selden de Diis Syris, p. 228. All these evidences shew manifestly, that the fly was worshipped.