Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/113

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says thus: “The Chaldeans are a sect in politics, like to that of the Egyptian priests; for being ordained for the service of the Gods, they spend the whole time of their life in philosophy; being of exceeding great reputation in astrology, and pretending much also to prophecy, foretelling things to come by purifications and sacrifices, and to find out by certain incantations the preventing of harm, and the bringing to pass of good. They have also skill in augury, and in the interpretation of dreams and wonders, nor are they unskilful in the art of foretelling by the inwards of beasts sacrificed; and have their learning not as the Greeks; for the philosophy of the Chaldeans goes to their family by tradition, and the son receives it from his father.

From Assyria let us pass into India, and see what esteem the philosophers had there. “The whole multitude” (says Diodorus) “of the Indians, is divided into seven parts; whereof the first, is the body of philosophers; for number the least, for eminence the first; for they are free from taxes, and as they are not masters of others, so are no others masters of them. By private men they are called to the sacrifices and to the care of burials of the dead, as being thought most beloved of the Gods and skilful in the doctrine concerning hell; and for this employment receive gifts and honours very considerable. They are also of great use to the people of India; for being taken at the beginning of the year into the great assembly, they foretell them of great drouths, great rains, also of winds, and of sickness, and of whatsoever is profitable for them to know beforehand.

The same author, concerning the laws of the Æthiopians, saith thus: “The laws of the Æthiopians seem very different from those of other nations, and especially about the election of their Kings. For the priests propound some of the chief men amongst them, named in a catalogue, and whom the God (which, according to a certain custom, is carried about to feastings) does accept of; him the multitude elect for their King, and presently adore and honour him as a God, put into the government by divine providence. The King being chosen, he