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of the Pyrea, or fire-temples of the Guebres. Of these, some, we are told, were raised to 80 high a point as near 120 feet,* the height of the tallest of the Irish towers; and an intelligent traveller, in describing the remains of one seen by him near Bagdad, says, “the annexed sketch will show the resemblance this pillar bears to those ancient coludins so common in Ireland.”+

On the strength of the remarkable resemblance alleged to exist between the pillartemples near Bhaugulpore and the Round Towers of Ireland, a late ingenious historian does not hesitate to derive the origin of the Irish people from that region; and that an infusion, at least, of population from that quarter might, at some remote period, have taken place, appears by no means an extravagant supposition. The opinion, that Iran and the western parts of Asia were originally the centre from whence population diffused itself to all the regions of the world, seems to be confirmed by the traditional histories of most nations, as well as by the results both of philological and antiquarian inquiries. To the tribes dispersed after the Trojan war, it has been the pride equally both of Celtic and of Teutonic nations to trace back their origin. The Saxon Chronicle derives the earliest inhabitants of Britain from Armenia; and the great legislator of the Scandinavians, Odin, is said to have come, with his followers, from the neighbourhood of the Euxine Sea. By those who hold that the Celts and Persians were originally the same people, the features of affinity so strongly observable between the Pagan Irish and the Persians will be accounted for without any difficulty. But independently of this hypothesis, the early and long.continued intercourse which Ireland appears to have maintained, through the Phænicians, with the East, would sufficiently explain the varieties of worship which were imported to her shores, and which became either incorporated with her original creed, or formed new and distinct rallying points of belief. In this manner the adoration of shaped idols was introduced; displacing, in many parts—as we have seen, in the instance of the idol Crom-Cruach-that earliest form of superstition which confined its worship to rude erect stones. To the same later ritual belonged also those images of which some fragments have been found in Ireland, described as of black wood, covered and plated with thin gold, and the chased work on them in lines radiated from a centre, as is usual in the images of the sun. There was also another of these later objects|| of adoration, called Kerman Kelstach, the favourite idol of the Ultonians, which had for its pedestal, as some say, the golden stone of Clogher, and in which, to judge by the description of it, there were about the same rudiments of shape as in the first Grecian Hermæ. ** Through the same channel which introduced these and similar innovations, it is by no means improbable that, at a still later period, the pillar-temples of the Eastern fire-worship might have become known; and that even from the shores of the Caspian a colony of Guebres might have found their way to Ireland, and there left, as enigmas to posterity, those remarkable monuments to which only the corresponding remains of their own original country can now afford any clue,

The connexion of sun-worship with the science of astronomy has already been briefly adverted to; and the four windows, facing the four cardinal points, which are found in the Irish as well as in the Eastern pillar-temples, were alike intended, no doubt, for the purposes of astronomical observation, for determining the equinoctial and solstitial times, and thereby regulating the recurrence of religious festivals. The Phænicians themselves constructed their buildings on the same principle; and, in the temple of Tyre, where stood the two famous columns dedicated to the Wind and to Fire, there were also pedestals, we are told, whose four sides, facing the cardinal points, bore sculptured upon them the four figures of the zodiac, by which the position of those points in the heavens is marked.* With a similar view to astronomical uses and purposes the Irish Round Towers were no doubt constructed ; and a strong evidence of their having been used as observatories is, that we find them called by some of the Irish annalists Celestial Indexes. Thus in an account given in the Annals of the Four Masters, of a great thunder-storm at Armagh, it is said that “the city was seized by lightning to so dreadful an extent as to leave not a single hospital, nor cathedral church, nor palace, nor Celestial Index, that it did not strike with its flame."'t Before this and other such casualties diminished it, the number of these towers must have been considerable.f. From the language of Giraldus, it appears that they were common in his time through the country ; and in thus testifying their zeal for the general object of adoration, by multiplying the temples dedicated to its honour, they but followed the example as well of the Greek as of the Persian fireworshippers.

* These edifices are rotundas, of about thirty feet in diameter, and raised in height to a point near 120 feet."-Hanway's Travels in Persia, vol. i. part iji. chap. 43.

| Hon. Major Keppel's Personal Narrative, vol. i. chap. 7.

1 Cluverius, Keysler, Pelloutier, and others. "A l'égard des Perses," says Pelloutier, "ils étoient cer. tainement le même peuple que les Celtes."

§ By Governor Pownall, in his account of these and other curious Irish remains to the Society of Anti. quaries, 1774. In speaking of one of the images, which he supposes to have been a symbolic image of Mithra, he remarks, that the Gaditanians used such radiated figures, and adds, “ from the known and confirmed intercourse of this Phænician or Carthaginian colony with Ireland, all difficulty as to this symbolic form ceases." Pursuing the view that naturally suggests itself on the subject, the learned antiquary adds, “Whatever the image was, I must refer it to the later line of theology rather than to the Celtic Druidic theology of the more ancient Irish. To the colonies, or rather to the settlements and factories of the later people of Carthage and Gades, and not to the original Phænicians, I refer those several things heretofore and hereinafter described.”

|| To a still later mythology belong the belief of the Irish in a sort of Genji or Fairies, called Sidhe, sup. posed to inhabit pleasant hills. Lanigan, vol. i. chap. 5. In the same class with the Sidhe, Vallancey places ihe Bansidhe, or Banshee, —"a young demon," as he explains it, "supposed to attend each family, and to give notice of the death of a relation to persons at a distance."-Vindic. of Anc. Hist. There were also the Suire, or Nymphs of the Sea, claimed by Vallancey as the Deæ Syriæ; and described by Keating, as playing around the ships of the Milesian heroes during their passage to Ireland.

The scholia of Cathold Maguir, quotod by O'Flaherty, Ogygia, part iii. chap. 22. ** “Πλαττεται δε και αχεις, και απους, και τετραγωνος, το σχηματι δ' Ερμης.-Phurnutus de Nalur. Deor.

There remain yet one or two other hypotheses, respecting the origin and purposes of these structures, to which it may be expected that I should briefly advert. By some the uses to which they were destined have been thought similar to that of the turrets in the neighbourhood of Turkish mosques, and from their summits, it is supposed, proclamation was made of new moons and approaching religious festivities. A kind of trumpet,|| which has been dug up in the neighbourhood of some of these towers, having a large mouth-hole in the side, is conjectured to have been used to assist the voice in these announcements to the people. Another notion respecting them is, that they were symbols of that ancient Eastern worship, of which the god Mahadeva, or Siva, was the object;T while, on the other hand, an ingenious writer, in one of the most learnedly argued, but least tenable, of all the hypotheses on the subject, contends that they were erected, in the sixth and seventh centuries, by the primitive Cænobites and Bishops, with the aid of the newly converted Kings and Toparchs, and were intended as strong-holds, in time of war and danger, for the sacred utensils, relics, and books, belonging to those churches** in whose immediate neighbourhood they stood. To be able to invest even with plausibility so inconsistent a notion as that, in times when the churches themselves were framed rudely of wood, there could be found either the ambition or the skill to supply them with adjuncts of such elaborate workmanship,tt is, in itself, no ordinary feat of ingenuity. But the truth is, that neither then nor, I would add, at any other assignable period, within the whole range of Irish history, is such a state of things known authentically to have existed as can solve the difficuliy of these towers, or account satisfactorily, at once, for the object of the buildings, and the advanced civilization of the architects who erected them. They must, therefore, be referred to times beyond the reach of historical record. That they were destined originally to religious purposes can hardly admit of question; nor can those who have satisfied themselves, from the strong evidence which is found in the writings of antiquity, that there existed, between Ireland and soine parts of the East, an early and intimate intercourse, harbour much doubt as to the real of the Pyrea, or fire-temples of the Guebres. Of these, some, we are told, were raised to so high a point as near 120 feet,* the height of the tallest of the Irish towers; and an intelligent traveller, in describing the remains of one seen by him near Bagdad, says, "the annexed sketch will show the resemblance this pillar bears to those ancient colunins so common in Ireland.”+

• Joseph. Antiq. 1. viii. c. 2. † Annal. Ult. ad ann. 995.; also Tigernach, and the Annals of the Four Masters for the same year. Tigernach adds, that “there never happened before in Ireland, nor ever will, till the day of judgment, a similar visitation." The learned Colgan, in referring to this record of the annalists, describes the ruin as extending to the church, belfries, and Towers of Armagh;" thus clearly distinguishing the Round Towers from the belfries.

| It is generally computed that there are now remaining fifty-six; but the Rev. Mr. Wright, in his account of Glendalough, makes the number sixty-two; and Mr. Brewer (Beauties of Ireland, Introduction) is of opinion, that “ several, still remaining in obscure parts of the country, are entirely unnoticed by topo. graphical writers."

In speaking of the Prytanea, which, according to Bryant, were properly towers for the preservation of the sacred fire, a learned writer says, " When we consider that before the time of Theseus, every village in Altica had its Prytaneum, we may collect how generally the fire-worship prevailed in those times."--Disser. tation upon the Athenian Skirophoria. So late as the 10th century, when Ebn Haukal visited Pars, there was not, as he tells us, "any district of that province, or any village, without a fire-temple."

| See a description of these trumpets in Gough's Camden, and in Collectan de Reb. Hibern. No. 13.

1 See, for the grounds of this view, General Vallancey's imaginary coincidences between the Eocad of the Irish and the Bavani of the Hindoos; as also between the Muidhr or sun-stone of the former, and the Mahody of the Gentoos.-Vindication of an ancient History of Ireland, pp. 160, 212, 506. The same notion has been followed up in Mr. O'Brien's clever, but rather too fanciful" disquisition, on the subject, lately published.

** Inquiry into the Origin and primitive Use of the Irish Pillar. Torer, by Colonel Harvey de Montmorency Morres.

tt Dr. Milner, a high authority on such subjects, says of these structures :—“The workmanship of them is excellent, as appears to the eye, and es is proved by their durability."— Inquiry, &c. Leller 14. No words, however, can convey a more lively notion of the time they have lasted and may still endure, than does the simple fact stated in the following sentence.-"In general, they are entire to this day; though many churches, near which they stood, are either in ruins or totally destroyed."-$. Brereton, on thc Round Toroers, Archæolog. Lond. Soc.

On the strength of the remarkable resemblance alleged to exist between the pillartemples near Bhaugulpore and the Round Towers of Ireland, a late ingenious historian does not hesitate to derive the origin of the Irish people from that region; and that an infusion, at least, of population from that quarter might, at some remote period, have taken place, appears by no means an extravagant supposition. The opinion, that Iran and the western parts of Asia were originally the centre from whence population diffused itself to all the regions of the world, seems to be confirmed by the traditional histories of most nations, as well as by the results both of philological and antiquarian inquiries. To the tribes dispersed after thc Trojan war, it has been the pride equally both of Celtic and of Teutonic nations to trace back their origin. The Saxon Chronicle derives the earliest inhabitants of Britain from Armenia; and the great legislator of the Scandinavians, Odin, is said to have come, with his followers, from the neighbourhood of the Euxine Sea. By those who hold that the Celts and Persians were originally the same people, f the features of affinity so strongly observable between the Pagan Írish and the Persians will be accounted for without any difficulty. But independently of this hypothesis, the early and long.continued intercourse which Ireland appears to have maintained, through the Phænicians, with the East, would sufficiently explain the varieties of worship which were imported to her shores, and which became either incorporated with her original creed, or formed new and distinct rallying points of belief. In this manner the adoration of shaped idols was introduced; displacing, in many parts—as we have seen, in the instance of the idol Crom-Cruach-that earliest form of superstition which confined its worship to rude erect stones. To the same later ritual belonged also those images of which some fragments have been found in Ireland, described as of black wood, covered and plated with thin gold, and the chased work on them in lines radiated from a centre, as is usual in the images of the sun. There was also another of these later objects|| of adoration, called Kerman Kelstach, T the favourite idol of the Ultonians, which had for its pedestal, as some say, the golden stone of Clogher, and in which, to judge by the description of it, there were about the same rudiments of shape as in the first Grecian Hermæ. ** Through the same channel which introduced these and similar innovations, it is by no means improbable that, at a still later period, the pillar-temples of the Eastern fire-worship might have become known; and that even from the shores of the Caspian a colony of Guebres might have found their way to Ireland, and there left, as enigmas to posterity, those remarkable monuments to which only the corresponding remains of their own original country can now afford any clue.

The connexion of sun-worship with the science of astronomy has already been briefly adverted to; and the four windows, facing the four cardinal points, which are found in the Irish as well as in the Eastern pillar-temples, were alike intended, no doubt, for the purposes of astronomical observation,—for determining the equinoctial and solstitial times, and thereby regulating the recurrence of religious festivals. The Phænicians themselves constructed their buildings on the same principle; and, in the temple of Tyre, where stood the two famous columns dedicated to the Wind and to Fire, there were also

* These edifices are rotundas, of about thirty feet in diameter, and raised in height to a point near 120 feet."-Hanway's Travels in Persia, vol. i. part iji. chap. 43.

† Hon. Major Keppel's Personal Narrative, vol. i. chap. 7.

| Cluverius, Keysler, Pelloutier, and others. A l'égard des Perses," says Pelloutier, "ils étoient cer. tainement le même peuple que les Celtes."

s By Governor Pownall, in his account of these and other curious Irish remains to the Society of Anti. quaries, 1774. In speaking of one of the images, which he supposes to have been a symbolic image of Mithra, he remarks, that the Gaditanians used such radiated figures, and adds. “ from the known and confirmed intercourse this Phænician or Carthaginian colony with Ireland, all difficulty as to this symbolic form ceascs." Pursuing the view that naturally suggests jiself on the subject, the learned antiquary adds, "Whatever the image was, I must refer it to the later line of theology rather than to the Celtic Druidic theology of the more ancient Irish. To the colonies, or rather to the settlements and factories of the later people of Carthage and Gades, and not to the original Phænicians, I refer those several things heretofore and hereinafter described."

| To a still later mythology belong the belief of the Irish in a sort of Genij or Fairies, called Sidhe, sup. posed to inhabit pleasant hills. Lanigan, vol. i. chap. 5. In the same class with the Sidhe, Vallancey places ihe Bansidhe, or Banshee, -"a young deinon," as he explains it, “supposed to attend each family, and to give notice of the death of a relation to persons at a distance."-Vindic. of Anc. Hist. There were also the Suire, or Nymphs of the Sea, claimed by Vallancey as the Deæ Syriæ; and described by Keating, as playing around the ships of the Milesian heroes during their passage to Ireland.

1 The scholia of Cathold Maguir, quotod by O'Flaherty, Ogygia, part iii. chap. 22.

** « Πλαττεται δε και αχεια, και απους, και τετραγωνος, το σχηματι δ' Ερμης.-Phurnutus de Nalur. Deor.

pedestals, we are told, whose four sides, facing the cardinal points, borc sculptured upon them the four figures of the zodiac, by which the position of those points in the heavens is marked.* With a similar view to astronomical uses and purposes the Irish Round Towers were no doubt constructed ; and a strong evidence of their having been used as observatories is, that we find them called by some of the Irish annalists Celestial Indexes. Thus in an account given in the Annals of the Four Masters, of a great thunder-storm at Armagh, it is said that "the city was seized by lightning to so dreadful an extent as to leave not a single hospital, nor cathedral church, nor palace, nor Celestial Index, that it did not strike with its flame.”+ Before this and other such casualties diminished it, the number of these towers must have been considerable.f. From the language of Giraldus, it appears that they were common in his time through the country ; and in thus testifying their zeal for the general object of adoration, by multiplying the temples dedicated to its honour, they but followed the example as well of the Greek as of the Persian fireworshippers.

There remain yet one or two other hypotheses, respecting the origin and purposes of these structures, to which it may be expected that I should briefly advert. By some the uses to which they were tined have been thought similar to that of the turrets in the neighbourhood of Turkish mosques, and from their summits, it is supposed, proclamation was made of new moons and approaching religious festivities. A kind of trumpet|| which has been dug up in the neighbourhood of some of these towers, having a large mouth-hole in the side, is conjectured to have been used to assist the voice in these announcements to the people. Another notion respecting them is, that they were symbols of that ancient Eastern worship, of which the god Mahadeva, or Siva, was the object;T while, on the other hand, an ingenious writer, in one of the most learnedly argued, but least tenable, of all the hypotheses on the subject, contends that they were erected, in the sixth and seventh centuries, by the primitive Cænobites and Bishops, with the aid of the newly converted Kings and Toparchs, and were intended as strong-holds, in time of war and danger, for the sacred utensils, relics, and books, belonging to those churches** in whose immediate neighbourhood they stood. To be able to invest even with plausibility so inconsistent a notion as that, in times when the churches themselves were framed rudely of wood, there could be found either the ambition or the skill to supply them with adjuncts of such elaborate workmanship,tt is, in itself, no ordinary feat of ingenuity. But the truth is, that neither then nor, I would add, at any other assignable period, within the whole range of Irish history, is such a state of things known authentically to have existed as can solve the difficulty of these towers, or account satisfactorily, at once, for the object of the buildings, and the advanced civilization of the architects who erected them. They must, therefore, be referred to times beyond the reach of historical record. That they were destined originally to religious purposes can hardly admit of question; nor can those who have satisfied themselves, from the strong evidence which is found in the writings of antiquity, that there existed, between Ireland and soine parts of the East, an early and intimate intercourse, harbour much doubt as to the real birth-place of the now unknown worship of which these towers remain the solitary and enduring monuments.

* Joseph. Antiq. 1. viii. c. 2. † Annal. Ult. ad ann. 995.; also Tigernach, and the Annals of the Four Masters for the same year. Tigernach adds, that "there never happened before in Ireland, nor ever will, till the day of judgment, a similar visitation.” The learned Colgan, in referring to this record of the annalists, describes the ruin as extending to the "church, belfries, and Towers of Armagh;" thus clearly distinguishing the Round Towers from the belfries.

| It is generally computed that there are now remaining fifty-six; but the Rev. Mr. Wright, in his account of Glendalough, makes the number sixty-two; and Mr. Brewer (Beauties of Ireland, Introduction) is of opinion, that "several, still remaining in obscure parts of the country, are entirely unnoticed by topo. graphical writers."

g'In speaking of the Prytanea, which, according to Bryant, were properly towers for the preservation of the sacred fire, a learned writer says, “ When we consider that before the time of Theseus, every village in Attica had its Prytaneum, we may collect how generally the fire-worship prevailed in those times."-Disser. tation upon the Athenian Skirophoria. So late as the 10th century, when Ebn Haukal visited Pars, there was not, as he tells us, “any district of that province, or any village, without a fire-temple."

See a description of these trumpels in Gough's Camden, and in Collectan de Reb. Hibern. No. 13. I See, for the grounds of this view, General Vallancey's imaginary coincidences between the Eocad of the Irish and the Bavani of the Hindoos; as also between the Muidhr or Sun-stone of the former, and the Mabody of the Gentoos.-Vindication of an ancient History of Ireland, pp. 160, 212, 506. The same notion has been followed up in Mr. O'Brien's clever, but rather too fanciful disquisition, on the subject, lately published.

** Inquiry into the Origin and primitive Use of the Irish Pillar. Tower, by Colonel Harvey de Montmorency Morres.

ft Dr. Milner, a high authority on such subjects, says of these structures :-" The workmanship of them is excellent, as appears to the eye, and as is proved by their durability."Inquiry, &c. Leller 14. No words, however, can convey a more lively notion of the time they have lasted and may still endure, than does the simple fact stated in the following sentence.-"In general, they are entire to this day; though many churches, near which they stood, are either in ruins or totally destroyed."-S. Brereton, on the Round Torders, Archæolog. Lond. Soc.

Having now devoted to the consideration of these remarkable buildings that degree of attention which their connexion with the history of the country seemed to call for, I shall proceed to notice thosc other ancient remains with which Ireland abounds, and which, though far less peculiar and mysterious, bear even still more unquestionable testimony to the origin and high antiquity of her people. That most cominon of all Celtic monuments, the Cromleach,* which is to be found not only in most parts of Europe, but also in Asia,t and exhibits, in the strength and simplicity of its materials, the true character of the workmanship of antiquity, is also to be found, in various shapes and sizes, among the monuments of Ireland. Of these I shall notice only such as have attracted most the attention of our antiquaries. In the neighbourhood of Dundalk, in the county of Louth, we are told of a large Cromleach, or altar, which fell to ruin some time since, and whose site is described as being by the side of a river, " between two Druid groves."I On digging beneath the ruins, there was found a great part of the skeleton of a human figure, which bore the appearance of having been originally enclosed in an urn. There were also, mixed up with the bones, the fragments of a broken rod or wand, which was supposed to have been part of the insignia of the person there interred, and might possibly have been that badge of the Druidical office which is still called in Ireland, the conjuror's or Druid's wand. In the neighbourhood of this ruined Cromleach is another, called by the inhabitants “the Giant's Load,” from the tradition attached to most of these monuments, that they were the works of giants in the times of old. At Castle-Mary, near Cloyne, are seen the remains of a large Cromleach, called an Irish Carig Croith, or the Rock of the Sun,-one of those names which point so significantly to the ancient worship of the country; and, in the same county, near Glanworth, stands a monument of this kind, called Labacolly, or the Hag's Bed, of such dimensions as to form a chamber about twenty-five feet long and six feed wide. Il

Not less ancient and general, among the Celtic nations, was the circle of upright stones, with either an altar or tall pillar in the centre, and, like its prototype at Gilgal, serving sometimes as a temple of worship, sometimes as a place of national council or inauguration. That the custom of holding judicial meetings in this manner was very ancient appears from a group which we find represented upon the shield of Achilles, of a Council of Elders, seated round on a circle of polished stones. I The rough, unhewn stone, however, used in their circular temples by the Druids, was the true, orthodox observance** of the divine command delivered to Noah, “ If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone:" for even those nations which lapsed into idolatry still retained the first patriarchal pattern, and carried it with them in their colonizing expeditions throughout the world. All monuments, therefore, which depart from the primitive observance just mentioned are to be considered as belonging to a comparatively recent date.

* So called in Irish. “ It is remarkable that all the ancient altars found in Ireland, and now distinguished by the name of Cromleachs or sloping stones, were originally called Bothal, or the House of God, and they seem to be of the same species as those mentioned in the Book of Genesis, called hy the Hebrews, Bethel, which has the same signification as the Irish Bothal."-Beauford, Druidism revived, Collect. Hibern. No 7.

From the word Bethel, the name Bætyli, applied to the sacred stones of the Pagans, was evidently derived. "This sort of monument," says Scaliger, (in Euseb.) “ though beloved by God ai tirsi, became odious to him when perverted to idolatrous purposes by the Canaanites:"-Odit eum quòd Chananæi deduxerunt illum ungendi seu consecrandi ritum in ritum idololatriæ.

f in Sir Richard Hoare's History of Wiltshire, there are representations given of two Cromleachs in Malabar, exactly similar to those of the British Isles. See also, Maundrell's Travels, for an account of a inonument of the same description upon the Syrian coast, in the very region," says King, "of the Phæni. cians themselves."- Munimenta Antiqua. King supposes this structure, described by Maundrell, to have been of nearly the very same form and kind as the cromleach, or altar, called Kit's Cotty House, in Kent.

| Louthlana, book ii. The frequent discovery of human bones under these monuments favours the opinion of Wright and others, that they were, in general, erected over graves. See, for some of the grounds of this view, Wright's Remarks on Plate V., Louthiana. It is, indeed, most probable, that all the Druidical monumenis, circles, cromleachs, &c., whatever other uses they may have served, were originally connected with in terment.

§ " The native Irish tell a strange story about it, relating how the whole was brought all at once, from the neighbouring mountains, by a giant called Parrah bough M'Shaggean, and who, they say, was buried near this place."-Louth.

| For an account of various other remains of this description in Ireland, see King's Muniment. Antiq., vol. i. pp. 253, 254, &c.

-οι δε γεροντες

E.LT &TI EES TOIOI Megans, segur 191 XUXAQ. Iliad, xviii. 503. For the credit of the antiquity of these stones, King chooses to translate &&T TO101(I know not on what authority,)“ rough, unhewn stones."

** It appears extremely probable, that all the Cities of Refuge, of which so much is said in the Scriptures, were temples erected in this eircular manner."Identity of the Religions called Druidical and Hebrero.

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