Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/31

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xi
PREFACE.

known by all civilized nations, thousands of years ago, as is today that of the English. Thus we meet with it in Japan, the Islands of the Pacific, Hindostan, Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, Equatorial Africa, North and South America, as well as in the countries known to us as Central America, which in those times composed the Maya Empire. The seat of the Government and residence of the rulers was the peninsula of Yucatan. Wherever found, the name Maya is synonymous with power, wisdom, and learning.

The existence of the Western Continent was no more a mystery to the inhabitants of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean than to those whose shores are bathed by the waves of the Indian Ocean.

Valmiki, in his beautiful epic the "Ramayana," says that, in times so remote that the "sun had not yet risen above the horizon," the Mayas, great navigators, terrible warriors, learned architects, conquered the southern parts of the Indo-Chinese peninsula and established themselves there.

In the classic authors, Greek and Latin, we find frequent mention of the great Saturnian continent, distant many thousand stadia from the Pillars of Hercules toward the setting sun. Plutarch, in his "Life of Solon," says that when the famed Greek legislator visited Egypt (600 years before the Christian era), Sonchis, a priest of Sais, also Psenophis, a priest of Heliopolis, told him that 9,000 years since, the relations of the Egyptians with the inhabitants of the "Lands of the West" had been interrupted because of the mud that had made the sea impassable after the destruction of Atlantis by earthquakes.

The same author again, in his work, "De Facie in Orbe Lunæ," has Scylla recount to his brother Lampias all he had