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lation of 341 generations, or 11,340 years. From Bacchus, he says, to the reign of Amasis they reckon'd no le's than 15,000 years ; and fay'd they knew these things with certainty, because they had allways computeëd the years, and kept an exact account of time.* Aristotle calls them the most ancient of all mor. tals.t
The Athenians gave out that they were produce'd at the same time with the sun and assume'd to themfelves the honorable name of Αυτόχθονες, , which word fignifys persons produced out of the same foil that they inhabit : for it was an old opinion, and allmost every where received among the vulgar, that, in the begining of the world, men, like plants, were by some strange prolifick virtue produce'd out of the fertile womb of our common mother, Farth; and therefor, the ancients generally calld themselves Inyzveis, fons of the earth, as Hesychius in. forms us : alludeing to the same original, the Athenians sometimes file'd themselves Té771785,
* Ibi. Plato, in Critias, p. 1100, reckons the amount to be 9000 years, from what time a war was reported to have existed between all those who inhabited beyond and about the columns of Hercules.
+ Of a republick, B. 7, C. 10.
grasshopers; and some of them wore grass- . hopers of gold, binding them in their hair, as badgeës of honour, and marks to distinguish them from others of lateër duration, and less noble extraction, because those insects were believe'd to be generateëd out of the ground.*
Of the origin of men, says Diodorus the Sicilian, who professes to give an accurate account (as far as the antiquity of the matters wil admit) of the generation and original of mankind, there are two opinions amongst the most famous and authentick naturalists and historians. Some of these are of opinion that the world had neither begining nor ever shal have end; and likewise say, that mankind was from eternity, and that there never was a time when he first began to be. Others, on the contrary, conceive both the world to be made, and to be corruptible, and that there was a certain time when men had first a being. For whereas all things at the first were jumble'd together, heaven and earth were in one mass, and had one and the same form: but afterward (they fay) when corporeal beings appear'd one after another, the world at length presented itsfelf in the order we now see; and that the air was in continual agitation, whose firey part afcended together to the highest place, its nature (by reason of its levity) tending allways upward; for which reason, both the sun and that vast number of stars, are contain'd within that orb. That the gross and earthy matter (cloted together by moisture) by reason of its weight funk down into one place, is continually whirling about; the sea was made of the humid
* Potters Antiquities of Greece, i, 2. cites Menander Plato and Hesychius (as above), In voce Troyevsis. Plato, in Critias, says that Atlantes, the first born fun of Neptune by Clitonis or Clito, wag king of the whole Atlanticks, and the second son was Autochtbones.
parts; and the mudy earth of the more folid; as yet very moorish and soft, which by degrees at first was made crusty by the heat of the sun, and then after the face of the earth was parch’d, and as it were fermented, the moisture afterward in many placeës bubble'd up, and appear'd as so many pustles wrap'd up in thin and flender coats and skins; which may be even seen in standing ponds and marshy placeës, when, after the earth has been pierce'd with cold, the air grows hot on a sudden, without a gradual alteration : and whereas moisture generates creatures from heat, as from a feminal principle, things so generateëd, by being inwrap'd in the dewy mists of the night, grew and increase’d and in the day folidateëd, and were made hard by the heat of the fun ; and when the births includeëd in these ventricles had receive'd their due proportion, then these fender skins being burst asunder by the heat, the forms of all sorts of liveing creatures were brought forth into the light; of which those that had most of heat mounted aloft, and were fowl, and birds of the air; but those that were drossy, and had more of earth, were number'd in the order of creeping things, and other creatures alltogether use’d to the earth. Then those beasts that were naturally watery and moist (call’d fishes) presently hasteëd to the place connatural to them; and when the earth afterward became more dry and folid by the heat of the fun, and the drying winds, it had not power at length to produce any more of the greater liveing creatures; but each that had an animal life, began to increase their kind by copulation : and Euripides, he ads, the scholar of Anaxagoras, seems to be of the same opinion, concerning the first creation of all things ; for, in bis Menaiippe, hes has these verseës :
" A mass confuse'd heaven and earth once were
But, continues he, if this power of the earth to produce liveing creatures, at the first origin of all things, feem credible to any; the Aegyptians do bring testimonys of this energy of the earth, by the same things done there at this day. For they say, that about Thebes in Aegypt, after the overflowing of the river Nile, the earth being thereby cover'd with mud and slime, many placeës putrefy through the heat of the sun, and thence are bred multitudes of mice. * It is certain, therefor, that out of the earth when it is harden'd, and the air change'd from its due and natural temperament, animals are generateëd ; by which means it came to pass, that, in the first begining of all things, various liveing creatures proceeded from the earth: and these, says he, are the opinions touching the original of things. But (he proceeds) men, they say, at first led a rude and bruteilh sort of life, and wander'd and down in the fields, and fed upon herbs, and the natural fruit of the trees. Their words were confuse’d, without any certain fignification; but by degrees they spoke articulately, and made figns, and giveing proper terms to every thing
* The mud of the Nile, it is believe'd, has, for some time past, lost its generative or vivifying qualitys.