Notes on the Mighty Hunter: Nimrod, Nebrod-Nebros, Alorus, Belorus, Orion

Excerpted from “A New System, Or, an Analysis of Ancient Mythology (Volume 3); Wherein an Attempt Is Made to Divest Tradition of Fable; And to Reduce the Truth” by Jacob Bryant

And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth: he was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. His history is plainly alluded to under the character of Alorus, the first king of [29]Chaldea; but more frequently under the title of OrionThe Cuthite Colonies, which went westward, carried with them memorials of this their ancestor; and named many places from him: and in all such places there will be found some peculiar circumstances, which will point out the great hunter, alluded to in their name. The Grecians generally styled him [31], Nebrod: hence places called by his name are expressed Nebrod, Nebrodes, Nebrissa. In Sicily was a mountain Nebrodes, called by Strabo in the plural [32]. It was a famous place for hunting; and for that reason had been dedicated to Nimrod….

The term, Nebros, which was substituted by the Greeks for Nimrod, signifying a fawn, gave occasion to many allusions about a fawn, and fawn-skin, in the Dionusiaca, and other mysteries. There was a town Nebrissa, near the mouth of the Bæ tis in Spain, called, by Pliny, Veneria; [35]Inter æ stuaria Bæ tis oppidum Nebrissa, cognomine Veneria. This, I should think, was a mistake for Venaria; for there were places of that name. Here were preserved the same rites and memorials, as are mentioned above; wherein was no allusion to Venus, but to Nimrod and Bacchus. The island, and its rites, are mentioned by Silius Italicus …

The Priests at the Bacchanalia, as well as the Votaries, were habited in this manner…

The history of Nimrod was, in great measure, lost in the superior reverence shewn to Chus, or Bacchus: yet, there is reason to think, that divine honours were of old paid to him. The family of the Nebridæ at [39]Athens, and another of the same name at
Cos, were, as we may infer from their history, the posterity of people, who had been priests to Nimrod. He seems to have been worshipped in Sicily under the names of Elorus, Belorus, and Orion

Source of excerpt: Gutenberg

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