The Two Babylons
by Alexander Hislop
The Two Babylons
by Alexander Hislop
There is not one line or one letter in all the Bible to countenance the idea that Mary should be worshiped, that she is the "refuge of sinners," that she was "immaculate," that she made atonement for sin when standing by the cross, and when, according to Simeon, "a sword pierced through her own soul also"; or that, after her death, she was raised from the dead and carried in glory to heaven. But in the Babylonian system all this was found; and all this is now incorporated in the system of Rome.
Everyone who reads the Bible, and sees how expressly it declares that, as there is only "one God," so there is only "one Mediator between God and man" (1 Tim 2:5), must marvel how it could ever have entered the mind of any one to bestow on Mary, as is done by the Church of Rome, the character of the "Mediatrix."
One of the names of Eve, as the primeval goddess, worshiped in ancient Babylon, while it gives confirmation to this conclusion, elucidates also another classical myth in a somewhat unexpected way. The name of that primeval goddess, as given by Berosus, is Thalatth, which, as we have seen, signifies "the rib." Adam's name, as her husband, would be "Baal-Thalatth," "Husband of the rib"; for Baal signifies Lord in the sense frequently of "Husband." But "Baal-Thalatth," according to a peculiar Hebrew idiom already noticed, signifies also "He that halted or went sideways."
The Chaldean Thalatth: "a rib" or a "side," comes from the verb Thalaa, the Chaldee form of Tzalaa, which signifies "to turn aside," "to halt," "to sidle," or "to walk sideways."
As Rhea (Semiramis)
That beautiful but abandoned queen of Babylon was not only herself a paragon of unbridled lust and licentiousness, but in the Mysteries which she had a chief hand in forming, she was worshiped as Rhea, the great "MOTHER" of the gods, with such atrocious rites as identified her with Venus, the MOTHER of all impurity, and raised the very city where she had reigned to a bad eminence among the nations, as the grand seat at once of idolatry and consecrated prostitution.
Rhea or Cybele was worshiped in Phrygia under the name of Idaia Mater, "The mother of knowledge," and that she bore in her hand, as her symbol, the pomegranate, which we have seen reason to conclude to have been in Pagan estimation the fruit of the "forbidden tree."
The whole story of Attes can be proved in detail to be the story of the Fall. Suffice it here only to state that, even on the surface, this sin was said to be connected with undue love for "a nymph, whose fate depended on a tree" (OVID, Fasti). The love of Attes for this nymph was in one aspect an offence to Cybele, but, in another, it was the love of Cybele herself; for Cybele has two distinct fundamental characters--that of the Holy Spirit, and also that of our mother Eve. "The nymph whose fate depended on a tree" was evidently Rhea, the mother of mankind.
The vulture was noted for its sharp sight, and hence, the eye surrounded by the vulture's wings showed that, for some reason or other, the great mother of the gods in Egypt had been known as "The gazer." But the idea contained in the Egyptian symbol had evidently been borrowed from Chaldea; for Rheia, one of the most noted names of the Babylonian mother of the gods, is just the Chaldee form of the Hebrew Rhaah, which signifies at once "a gazing woman" and a "vulture." The Hebrew Rhaah itself is also, according to a dialectical variation, legitimately pronounced Rheah; and hence the name of the great goddess-mother of Assyria was sometimes Rhea, and sometimes Rheia.
…one of her distinguishing titles was Ophthalmitis, thereby pointing her out as the goddess of "the eye." It was no doubt to indicate the same thing that, as the Egyptian Maut wore a vulture on her head, so the Athenian Minerva was represented as wearing a helmet with two eyes, or eye-holes, in the front of the helmet.
Venus as Fair-Haired (Homer)
Dione, the mother of Venus, is described by Theocritus as "yellow-haired." Venus herself is frequently called "Aurea Venus," the "golden Venus."
Egyptian “Queen of Heaven?"
Herodotus, from personal knowledge testifies that in Egypt this "queen of heaven" was "the greatest and most worshiped of all the divinities."
Pope Leo XII
In 1825, on occasion of the jubilee, Pope Leo XII struck a medal, bearing on the one side his own image, and on the other, that of the Church of Rome symbolized as a "Woman," holding in her left hand a cross, and in her right a CUP, with the legend around her, "Sedet super universum," "The whole world is her seat."
Lady of the Cup
In Pausanias we find an account of a goddess represented in the very attitude of the Apocalyptic "Woman."
But of this stone…made a statue of Nemesis; and on the head of the goddess there is a crown adorned with stags, and images of victory of no great magnitude. In her left hand, too, she holds a branch of an ash tree, and in her right a cup, in which Ethiopians are carved – Pausanius (Attica)
She was at first erected in the form of Venus, and therefore bore also the branch of an apple tree – Photius
It was from the son, however, that she derived all her glory and her claims to deification. That son, though represented as a child in his mother's arms, was a person of great stature and immense bodily powers, as well as most fascinating manners. In Scripture he is referred to (Eze 8:14) under the name of Tammuz, but he is commonly known among classical writers under the name of Bacchus, that is, "the Lamented one."
…the cup-bearing goddess was at once Venus, the goddess of licentiousness, and Nemesis, the stern and unmerciful one to all who rebelled against her authority.
Male Hero as Son and Lover
Though Iswara is the husband of Isi, he is also represented as an infant at her breast. (See Kennedy’s Hindoo Mythology.)
Osiris was known as “Husband of the Mother.”
Mary as Beltis (Madonna as My Lady)
Beltis, therefore, as the title of the female divinity, was equivalent to "Baalti," which, in English, is "My Lady," in Latin, "Mea Domina," and, in Italian, is corrupted into the well-known "Madonna." In connection with this, it may be observed, that the name of Juno, the classical "Queen of Heaven," which, in Greek, was Hera, also signified "The Lady"; and that the peculiar title of Cybele or Rhea at Rome, was Domina or "The Lady."
Founder of the First City
The first city in the world after the flood (from whence the commencement of the world itself was often dated) that had towers and encompassing walls, was Babylon; and Ovid himself tells us that it was Semiramis, the first queen of that city, who was believed to have "surrounded Babylon with a wall of brick."
Diana was depicted as a virgin, and the patroness of virginity…She was represented with all the attributes of the Mother of the gods, and, as the Mother of the gods, she wore a turreted crown, such as no one can contemplate without being forcibly reminded of the tower of Babel. Now this tower-bearing Diana is by an ancient scholar expressly identified with Semiramis.
Shur or Tur
The Bull or Leader; a symbol for the lord and king. The original Cabiri or lords were probably symbolized by the Bull, and were venerated by later kings wishing to have their line date back to the great ones. The great ones, or Cabiri, were also known as Ghebers, Gabers or Guebres. (See Masonic G.) Many lords, kings and deities, such as Dionysus, Kronos, Moses, Jesus, etc, are shown with horns to symbolize their descent from the ancient ones.
Venus was also known as Venus-Urania - and her mother Dione were symbolized by doves and can be thought of as “birds.” Goddesses of this type were often depicted with wings.
Semiramis as Dove
The dove, the chosen symbol of this deified queen, is commonly represented with an olive branch in her mouth, as she herself in her human form also is seen bearing the olive branch in her hand; and from this form of representing her, it is highly probable that she has derived the name by which she is commonly known, for "Z'emir-amit" means "The branch-bearer."
In the temple of Hierapolis in Syria, there was a famous statue of the goddess Juno, to which crowds from all quarters flocked to worship. The image of the goddess was richly habited, on her head was a golden dove, and she was called by a name peculiar to the country, "Semeion."
The first deified woman was no doubt Semiramis, as the first deified man was her husband. But it is evident that it was some time after the Mysteries began that this deification took place; for it was not till after Semiramis was dead that she was exalted to divinity, and worshiped under the form of a dove.
How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December the 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ.
Now, no name could more exactly picture forth the character of Semiramis, as queen of Babylon, than the name of "Ash-tart," for that just means "The woman that made towers." It is admitted on all hands that the last syllable "tart" comes from the Hebrew verb "Tr." It has been always taken for granted, however, that "Tr" signifies only "to go round." But we have evidence that, in nouns derived from it, it also signifies "to be round," "to surround," or "encompass." In the masculine, we find "Tor" used for "a border or row of jewels round the head." And in the feminine, as given in Hesychius (Lexicon), we find the meaning much more decisively brought out. Turis is just the Greek form of Turit, the final t, according to the genius of the Greek language, being converted into Ash-turit, then, which is obviously the same as the Hebrew "Ashtoreth," is just "The woman that made the encompassing wall."
Babylon Serpent Goddess
In the uppermost story of the tower of Babel, or temple of Belus, Diodorus Siculus tells us there stood three images of the great divinities of Babylon; and one of these was of "a woman grasping a serpent's head."
Keys of Vatican
That new ground was found, when, about 378, the Pope fell heir to the keys that were the symbols of two well-known Pagan divinities at Rome. Janus bore a key, and Cybele bore a key; and these are the two keys that the Pope emblazons on his arms as the ensigns of his spiritual authority.
This was a common term for a hierophant or “shower” (Ptr) in Egypt. Probably originated from a word meaning follower of Ptah.
St. Peter’s Chair
…the very chair…was shown and exposed to public adoration on the 18th of January, the festival of the said chair. But while it was cleaning, in order to set it up in some conspicuous place of the Vatican, the twelve labors of Hercules unluckily appeared on it!" and so it had to be laid aside.
From Cardo, meaning “hinge” but also from Cardea, a goddess.
Dagon, the fish-god, represented that deity as a manifestation of the same patriarch who had lived so long in the waters of the deluge. As the Pope bears the key of Janus, so he wears the mitre of Dagon. The excavations of Nineveh have put this beyond all possibility of doubt.
There were two ways in which Dagon was anciently represented. The one was when he was depicted as half-man half-fish; the upper part being entirely human, the under part ending in the tail of a fish. The other was, when, to use the words of Layard, "the head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the man.
Roi, Ri, Rex, Regal, Royal and Pharaoh
These syllables mean “shepherd. (See Shepherd Kings or Hyksos)
The First Eucharist offered to Semiramis
…Semiramis, the real original of the Chaldean Queen of Heaven, to whom the "unbloody sacrifice" of the mass was first offered…
Among the lords many, and the gods many, worshiped in the imperial city, the two grand objects of worship were the "Eternal Fire," kept perpetually burning in the temple of Vesta, and the sacred Epidaurian Serpent. In Pagan Rome, this fire-worship and serpent-worship were sometimes separate, sometimes conjoined; but both occupied a preeminent place in Roman esteem. The fire of Vesta was regarded as one of the grand safeguards of the empire. It was pretended to have been brought from Troy by Aeneas, who had it confided to his care by the shade of Hector, and was kept with the most jealous care by the Vestal virgins, who, for their charge of it, were honored with the highest honors. The temple where it was kept, says Augustine, "was the most sacred and most reverenced of all the temples of Rome." The fire that was so jealously guarded in that temple, and on which so much was believed to depend, was regarded in the very same light as by the old Babylonian fire-worshipers.
In the Eleusinian Mysteries at Athens, when the candidates for initiation were instructed in the secret doctrine of Paganism, the explanation of that doctrine was read to them out of a book called by ordinary writers the "Book Petroma"; that is, as we are told, a book formed of stone. But this is evidently just a play upon words, according to the usual spirit of Paganism, intended to amuse the vulgar. The nature of the case, and the history of the Mysteries, alike show that this book could be none other than the "Book Pet-Roma"; that is, the "Book of the Grand Interpreter," in other words, of Hermes Trismegistus, the great "Interpreter of the Gods." In Egypt, from which Athens derived its religion, the books of Hermes were regarded as the divine fountain of all true knowledge of the Mysteries.
Keys of St. Peter
These are the keys of Janus, the double-faced god. He opens and closes the year. In other words, he is the doorkeeper. The Pope is the key-holder and doorkeeper; the cardinals are the hinges of the door.
The Pope, therefore, when he set up as the High-priest of Janus, assumed also the "jus vertendi cardinis" - "the power of turning the hinge."
Mitre of Dagon
The two-horned mitre, which the Pope wears, when he sits on the high altar at Rome and receives the adoration of the Cardinals, is the very mitre worn by Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines and Babylonians. There were two ways in which Dagon was anciently represented. The one was when he was depicted as half-man half-fish.