I hate September. I always have. I never liked going back to school as a kid, and now as an adult I have whole new reasons to hate September. As a freelancer, my income is dependent on clients, and August is the slowest month of the year. It’s when many businesses take time off for vacation or otherwise slow down in advance of preparing for fall. So immediately following my slowest month of the year, I am of course bombarded with taxes come September. School taxes are due—which currently rival actual tuition in size—and quarterly income taxes are due, too, which are particularly onerous because the U.S. government requires the self-employed to bear the full burden of Social Security taxes. Add to that regular mortgage payments, utility bills, the water bill, etc. and it quickly becomes unmanageable.
Worse, I had another major expense this month when my four year old laptop’s monitor and sound card failed. I got the monitor working OK, though it has lost some pixels in the lower left corner and turns weird colors when not at a specific angle; but I had to shell out for another computer, which should arrive tomorrow. All told, this month will cost me more than $5,000. I try to plan ahead for it, but I had been counting on receiving the first royalty payments for Cthulhu in World Mythology to help make up the difference since the book was supposed to have been published in May, with the first quarterly payment due this month. That isn’t going to happen, and I am, to be polite about it, a might miffed that the book has yet to be published. However, the publisher informed me today that he’ll have a firm publication date later this week.
If September couldn’t get worse, we’re also getting new episodes of Ancient Aliens.
Then, if you’d like to have more fun, there’s always illustrating my new book, Jason and the Argonauts. Several key pieces of Greek art are held in major museums, which control access to these pieces and demand extortionate rates to reproduce photographs of the art: anywhere from $200 to $2,000 per photograph—for art whose copyrights expired before there was any such thing as copyright. And of course my publisher requires the author to bear the burden of buying images. A few photos at those prices and the book will never make a dime. So, on top of everything, I have been drawing out copies of Greek art to avoid shelling out still more cash.
But enough about me. In reviewing some references for Jason, I found a bizarre nineteenth century idea that is the complete reverse of the claim that the Minoans came to North America for copper, as Ignatius Donnelly thought. In 1884, William Stephens Blacket took the opposite view. As part of his argument that the zodiac was in fact a celestial map leading to Atlantis, which was America, he mistakenly thought that the civilization of South America predated all world civilization, and that Peru was the center of world culture from which all megalithic architecture diffused. (Compare this to modern claims for Tiwanaku in Bolivia as Atlantis.)
Minos has a second wife, one Pasiphae: and it is this marriage which links ancient Peru to Assyria, and shews that the people of South America must have migrated into ancient Persia. This is seen in the myth of Æetes, who is "king of Colchis, son of Sol and Perseis, daughter of Oceanus. Æetes was father of Medea, Absyrtus, and Chalcione, by Idya, one of the Oceanides." Pasiphae has the same parents as Æetes: so that this family must represent great histories and migrations by which the two hemispheres must have been joined in consanguinity and history. With these observations the myth of Pasiphae may be understood.
Pasiphae fell in love with a bull sent by Poseidon (Neptune) and by this bull birthed the Minotaur.
Of course, any one who reads stories of this sort without thought, or as poetry or natural phenomena, reads this "cunningly devised fable" or rather myth,—laughs or blushes, and goes on to the next page. But to any one who sees in them the great histories of the human race,—concealed, misunderstood, and made ridiculous, this tradition is full of historical significance.
Where have we heard such claims before? Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.
But wait until you hear what Blacket thinks the myth really means:
In this myth, Pasiphae takes a fancy for the Bull. Nobody in his senses can suppose it to be a natural bull. All the myths in the Greek Lexicon are to be interpreted by the pictorial map [i.e., the zodiac] that belongs to them. In this case, the bull is portraiture for Assyria. It is Taurus Major. In the Ptolemaic sphere, only the head and shoulders are drawn; but in the Coptic sphere, there is the entire animal. When Pasiphae takes a fancy for the bull, she takes a fancy for Assyria, and she and her husband's people forsake their Oceanic home and link their fortunes with the great nationalities of the Orient.
He then identifies the Minotaur as one of the man-bull guardian statues of Assyrian palaces.
Yes, he thinks Greek mythology is nothing but misunderstood astrology and garbled accounts of statues. Graham Hancock should get on that; astrological speculation was half of Fingerprints of the Gods, after all.
The details of the group of classic myths that have been brought together for the understanding of the tradition of the Minotaur, lead to the inference that the ancient Peruvians and the Inca's court must have been a migratory and aggressive people. They must not only have conquered many of the countries that lie along the coast of the Pacific Ocean: they must have sent out colonies into Asia. The territory of the Inca must have contributed very early in history, to the formation of the very important Empires of Irania. Those Empires must owe some of their greatness to South America. To acquire, therefore, a just conception of the remote histories which laid the basis of Assyrian, and Babylonian, and Median greatness, America must be brought within the scope of events which led to the birth, and subsequently to the histories of the five Great Monarchies.
We can laugh at this ridiculous idea, secure in our knowledge that the Inca were at least 2,000 years too late to have given rise to Old World monarchies. But, really, how is this monomaniacal single-source-of-civilization theory different from the fact-free historical fantasies we see recent writers proposing?
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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