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and the people were obliged to acknowledge the inferiority of their own deities, by sueing through Moses to the God of Israel. Intreat for me, says Pharaoh. And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the Lord. Exodus, c. viii. v. 30.
The reason, why the 'æstrum, or cunomyia, was thought sacred, arose probably from its being esteemed among many nations an instrument of vengeance in the hand of God. . In the fable of Io this fly is sent to punish her; and to make her wander over the face
It was expressed by the Romans both oestrus and cestrum. Estrum_Græcum est, Latine asilus, vulgo tabanus vocatur. Servius in Virg. Georg. 1. 3. v. 148.
Naturalists in later times distinguished between the ossgos, estrum; and the pleats, the same as the cunomyia. However the poets, and many other writers speak of one animal under both names. Ælian says, Τον μεν μυωπα ομοιον φυναι τη xa degetun nuvojeviç. 1. 4. c. 51. p. 227. And they make the myops the same as the cestrum.
-Μνωψ ειδος μυιας Οισρος καλυμενος. Ηesych.--Μυωψ παρομοιος τη κυνομυια.
Schol. in Odyss. %. v. 299. In the Prometheus of Æschylus the myops and cestrum are throughout used as synonymous.
See Bochart Hierozoic. v. 2. 1. iv. p. 547. ? Hence she is made to say,
Æschyl, Prometh, p. 32. Turneb.
of the earth. And when Bellerophon was supposed to have rashly mounted the winged horse ; and to have tried to pass to heaven, this fly was ' sent, which by rendering the horse unruly, brought him soon to the earth. The like calamity happened to Ampelus, the favourite of Bacchus. He was by the same means thrown down to the ground from a sacred bull, and killed, through the jealousy of Selene, As it was supposed to be sent at the will of heaven, people metaphorically stiled any divine, and any extravagant impulse, an æstrum. Hence Orpheus, having been forced for a long time to be in a state of wandering, says that he was at last by means of his mother Calliope freed from that madness.
Και με αλητειηστε και εξ οιστρε εσαωσε
Mnone nuestegn.--- Orph, Argonaut. v. 101. The bite or puncture of this insect was terrible: hence people's fears increased their reverence, especially when it was esteemed a messenger of the gods.
Τον Δια μηνισαντα οισρον εμβαλεις τα Πηγασο όθεν εκπεσειν τον Belas oportui. Schol. in Homerum, l. 6. v. 155. The story taken from Asclepiades, the tragedian.
--σκοπιαζε -Σεληνη, , Kat Or toute Heuwia Goortev_Nonni Dionys. l. xi. p. 199.
The Miracle of the Flies ascertained.
The land of Egypt being annually overflowed was on that account pestered with swarms of flies. They were so troublesome, that the people, as 'Herodotus assures us, were in many places forced to lie on the tops of their houses, which were fiat: where they were obliged to cover themselves with a network, called by Juvenal ? Conopeum. This is described by the scholiast as-linum tenuissimis maculis nexum : a knitting together of line into very fine meshes.
As the country abounded thus with these insects, the judgment which the people suffered might be thought to have been brought about by natural means.
For both the soil and climate were adapted to the production of frogs, and flies, and other vermin : and they certainly did produce them in abundance. All this may be granted : and yet such is the texture of the holy scriptures, and these great events were by divine appointment so circumstanced, that the objection may be easily shewn to be idle: and that none of these evils could
! L. 2. c. 95. p. 146.
? Ut testudineo tibi, Lentule, Conopeo. Sat. 6. v. 80. So called from Kayart, a gnat, or fly.
have been brought about in the ordinary course of things. Whoever considers the history, as it is afforded us, will be obliged to determine, as the priests did, and say in
every instance—this was the finger of Go!. In respect to the flies, they must have been brought upon the country miraculously on account of the time of year. These insects breed chiefly in marshy places, when the waters decrease in summer, and autumn, and where moisture still abounds. Now this season in Egypt was in September and October, after the subsiding of the river. For the Nile began to rise in June, when the sun was in Cancer: but its increase was more apparent, in the next month, when the sun was in ' Leo: and about the end of
Incipit crescere lunâ novâ, quæcunque post solstitium est, sensim modiceque, sole Cancrum transeunte, abundantissime autem Leonem. Pliny, vol. 1. 1. 5. p. 256.
Κατερχεται μεν και Νειλος πληθυων, απο τροπέων των θερινέων αρξαμενος, επι εκατον ημερας πελασας δε ες τον αριθμον τετεων των ημερεων ÓTIOW ATESXETA_.—Herod. 1. 2. c. 19. p. 112. Ægyptum Nilus irrigat, & cum totâ æstate obrutam oppletamque tenuit, cum recedit, mollitos atque obiimatos agros ad serendum relinquit. Cicero de Nat. Deor. l. 2. c. 52. p. 1230.
As the chief increase of the Nile was, when the sun was passing through Leo; the Egyptians made the lion a type of an inundation, as we learn from Johannes Pierianus. He says that all effusion of water was specified by this charac
August, and sometimes about the equinox, the river began to subside and the meadows to appear.
'Cum autem sol per Cancri sidus coeperit vehi, augescens
transitum ejus in Libram, diebusque centum sublatius fluens, minuitur postea, et equitabiles campos ostendit. They are the words of Marcellinus, who had been in that country: and he agrees with other writers. Theon the scholiast upon Aratus speaks nearly to the same purpose. Τω Παωφι παυεται ο Νειλος, ος εστι κατα Ρωμαιες Ox7w@gros. The Nile stops, and subsides in the month Paophi, which answers to October among Romans. Diodorus Siculus places the commencement of its decrease more truly at the autumnal equinox, as he does its first rising at
teristic. And he adds, that from hence has been the custom of making the water, which proceeds from cisterns and other reservoirs, as well as spouts from the roofs of buildings, come through the mouth of a lion.--Apud gentes omnes uno jam consensu receptum, ut canales, tubique et siphones qui aquam eructant per terebrata foramina in leonina capita ad id locis opportunis adsculpi solita, aquam immittant, quæ inde ex leonis rectibus evomi videatur. 1. 1. c. 13. p.
9. See the whole, which is curious.
See Marci Frid. Wendelini Admiranda Nili, c. 7. p. 55. -also Orus Apollo, c. 21. p. 37.