In the Religion of the Semites (2nd ed., 1894) the theory was remodelled so as to overcome the difficulty pointed out above.
Semites and Egyptians, Peruvians and Aztecs, slew human victims; Africa, especially the West Coast, till recently saw thousands of human victims perish annually; in Polynesia, Tahiti and Fiji were great centres of the rite - in fact, it is not easy to name an area where it has not been known.
Smith, Religion of Semites; L.
In fact, while Robertson Smith (in Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, as well as his Religion of the Semites, followed by Stade and Benzinger) strongly advocated the view that clear traces of totemism can be found in early Israel, later writers, such as Marti, Gesch.
(On this subject of holy trees, holy waters and holy stones, consult article Tree-Worship, and Robertson Smith's Religion of the Semites, 2nd ed., pp. 165-197.) The wide prevalence of magic and soothsaying may be illustrated from the historical books of the Old Testament as well as from the pre-exilian prophets.
We are here moving in a realm of ideas prevailing in ancient Israel respecting holiness, uncleanness and sin, which are ceremonial and not ethical; see especially Robertson Smith's Religion of the Semites, 2nd ed., p. 446 foll.
On Semitic religion generally: Wellhausen's Reste des arabischen Heidentums (2nd ed.) and Robertson Smith's Religion of the Semites (2nd ed.) are chiefly to be recommended.
Smith, Religion of the Semites (2nd ed., chaps.
Smith, Kinship and Marriage, Religion of the Semites; to E.
In the early history of southwestern Asia the Semites form the most important ethnic group, which is primarily linguistic but also shares other remarkable characteristics.
The earliest Sumerian records seem to be anterior to 4000 B.C. Shortly after that period Babylonia was invaded by Semites, who became the ruling race.
The language and writing of the Semites who, at an unknown period, settled in what is now Abyssinia, show affinities with those of South Arabia, and these Semites may have been immigrants into Africa from that region.
The con flexion between Carthage and Phoenicia is more certain, and the ancient Abyssinian kingdom was founded by Semites from south Arabia.
Smith, Religion of the Semites(2), p. 455 sqq., and Schwally Semit.
Semites, 2nd ed.
It may be that these belong in reality to the old Nilotic inhabitants, who were probably related to the true Semites of Arabia; but the hieroglyphic system seems to have developed in the Delta, and is very probably to be ascribed to the " Armenoids.
And the question whether the " Armenoid " conquerors of Egypt and founders of the kingdoms there, who came from Syria, were Semites still remains unanswered.
If they were Semitic speakers, the present facial contours of the northern Semites, which have spread all over the world, are not Semitic at all: for the Egyptian Armenoids in the statues of the Old Kingdom look like Europeans, and must have been of " European " blood.
At the time of the great dynasty of Ur (c. 2400 B.C.) in Babylonia, the whole Argaeus region was occupied by these Semites, who seem to have been most kin to the Assyrians.
These were presented in the month Rajab, corresponding to Nisan (Smith, Religion of Semites, p. 210).
Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 37; Schwally, Kriegsaltertumer, i.
It seems quite evident that the city of Assur was originally founded by Semites from Babylonia at quite an early, but as yet undetermined date.
The Semites who visited Egypt wore a larger and coloured cloth, ornamented with parallel stripes of patterns similar to those found upon some early specimens of Palestinian pottery.
But a close-fitting skirt or tunic was more usual, and the Semites on the famous Beni-Hasan tombs (about the 10th or 10th century B.C.) wear richly decorated cloth FIG.
Egyptian monuments depict Semites with long bordered tunics reaching from neck to ankle; they have sleeves, which are sometimes curiously decorated, and are tied at the neck with tasselled cords; some times there is a peculiar design at the neck resembling a cross (Muller, Asien and Europa, pp. 298 seq.).
The Semites of the XIIth Dynasty wore on their journeys sandals of black leather, those of the FIG.
The Semites often bound their bushy locks with a fillet, which varies from a single band (so often, e.g.
Of Semites, pp. 401 sqq., 491 sq.; F.
Indeed Sumerian continued to be the language of religion and law long after the Semites had become the ruling race.
When the Semites first entered the Edin or plain of Babylonia is uncertain, but it must have been at a remote period.
It was in the north, however, that the Semites first appear on the monuments.
These considerable reductions in the dates of the earlier dynasties of Babylonia necessarily react upon our estimate of the age of Babylonian civilization The very high dates of 5000 or 6000 B.C., formerly assigned by many writers to the earliest remains of the Sumerians and tl e Babylonian Semites, 12 depended to a great extent on the statem nt of Nabonidus that 3200 years separated his own age from th: t of Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon of Agade; for to Sargon, on this statement alone, a date of 3800 B.C. has usually been assigned.
If the former, then their names are surely to be read as Sumerian, while, if they were Semites, the signs with which the names are written are probably to be read according to their Semitic equivalents, though we may also expect to encounter Semites bearing genuine Sumerian names.
Verneau, " Sur les Semites aux Iles Canaries," and " Sur les anciens habitants de la Isleta, Grande Canarie," Bull.
- Arabia is a land of Semites, and is supposed by some scholars to have been the original home of the Semitic peoples.
We should thus have in the tablets evidence of the worship of Yahweh among the Western Semites at a time long before the rise of Israel.
Of Semites, pp. 1 33, 44 2; Ency.
Smith, Religion of the Semites, 2nd ed., 377.
Among the Canaanite branch, the king-god is more prominent, and apart from the Ammonite variant Milcom, numerous names compounded with Milkare found on Phoenician inscriptions and among western Semites mentioned in cuneiform literature (H.
In this rapid glance at some of the chief priesthoods of antiquity we have hitherto passed over the pure Semites, whose priesthoods call for closer examination because of the profound influence which one of them - that of the Jews - has exercised on Christianity, and so on the whole history of the modern world.
Among the nomadic Semites, to whom the Hebrews belonged before they settled in Canaan, there has never been any developed priesthood.
The fundamental type of the Arabic sanctuary can be traced through all the Semitic lands, and so appears to be older than the Semitic dispersion; even the technical terms are mainly the same, so that we may justly assume that the more developed ritual and priesthoods of the settled Semites sprang from a state of things not very remote from what we find among the heathen Arabs.
Smith, Religion of the Semites; Jul.
However this name may have originally been pronounced, so much is certain, - that through Aramaic influences in Babylonia and Assyria he was identified with the storm-god of the western Semites, and a trace of this influence is to be seen in the designation Amurru, also given to this god in the religious literature of Babylonia, which as an early name for Palestine and Syria describes the god as belonging to the Amorite district.
Robertson Smith (Religion of the Semites, 1894), " was a group of persons whose lives were so bound up together, in what must be called a physical unity, that they could be treated as parts of one common life.
- Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites; Goetz, Die Abendmahlsfrage; G.
Tylor, Primitive Culture (London, 1903); Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites (London, 1901); Mary H.
Excavation in Mesopotamia may in time cast some light on the questions whether the Semites really reached Babylonia by way of Mesopotamia,' when, and whom they found there, and whether they partly settled there by the way.
Possibly the rulers of Babylon had a freer hand in a city that they apparently raised to a dominant position than the Semitic rulers of Asshur, who seem to have succeeded to men of the stock which we have hitherto called Mitanni, if we may judge ' On the theory that it was climatic changes in Arabia that drove the Semites to seek new homes along the route mentioned above, see L.
209, is taken to mean Semites in general.