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MikeH  MikeH is offline
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Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
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MikeH 
More on "IOU"


in my previous post I speculated that the source of Etteilla's word for the Supreme Being "IOU" was the "Iao" in Irenaeus's "Against All Heresies," a work he was not likely to have known, and that therefore he probably did have an erudite teacher. Digging further, I see that the word "Joa," for the Egyptian "great legislator," is used in the "Crata Repoa" of 1770, a German work well known in French occult circles (http://www.scribd.com/doc/12852641/Crata-Repoa). Probably a French translation already existed of this short work at the time Etteilla was writing. The "Crata Repoa" in turn cites Diodorus Siculus, Book One, De Egyptiis Legum Latoribus, i.e. sections 69ff. Here is Diodorus I.94 with the relevant part in bold (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/.../1D*.html#69):
Quote:
...After the establishment of settled life in Egypt in early times, which took place, according to the mythical account, in the period of the gods and heroes, the first, they say, to persuade the multitudes to use written laws was Mneves, 43 a man not only great of soul but also in his life the most public-spirited of all lawgivers whose names are recorded. According to the tradition he claimed that Hermes had given the laws to him, with the assurance that they would be the cause of great blessings, just as among the Greeks, they say, Minos did in Crete and Lycurgus among the Lacedaemonians, the former saying that he received his laws from Zeus and the latter his from Apollo. 2 Also among several other peoples tradition says that this kind of a device was used and was the cause of much good to such as p321believed it. Thus it is recorded that among the Arians Zathraustes44 claimed that the Good Spirit gave him his laws, among the people known as the Getae who represent themselves to be immortal Zalmoxis45 asserted the same of their common goddess Hestia, and among the Jews Moyses referred his laws to the god who is invoked as Iao.46...
Footnote 46 by the modern editor says:
Quote:
46 This pronunciation seems to reflect a Hebrew form Yahu; cp. Psalms 68.4: "His name is Jah."
The part I have put in bold type in Diodorus would have been well known even without the Crata Repoa's citation, since it contains a pagan historical reference to Moses. Given that the Crata Repoa itself reverses the o and a in "Iao," a further misspelling by Etteilla is not inconceivable (spelling "I" as "J" is of course not an error; in the 18th century, the two were the same letter). Etteilla would have known either "Joa" or "Iao" from his own reading, with no particular erudition required.

This refutation of what I said earlier is not conclusive, however, because there is one other apparent borrowing from Irenaeus not accounted for, the idea of original sin as attempting the impossible. I am still looking for a less recondite source in 18th century France than Irenaeus for this idea.
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