In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Religions—Gods

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: About 1856

Whitman Archive ID: bpl.00003

Source: The Walt Whitman Collection, Boston Public Library. Transcribed from digital images of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the marginalia and annotations, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: These reading notes on various world religions and religious figures are based partly on Constantin-François Chasseboeuf comte de Volney's Ruins; or Meditations on the Revolution of Empires (Paris: Levrault, 1802). Edward Grier suggests that "the other material probably came from WW's reading in Bunsen or in magazines" (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 6:2024). Included are lists of names, definitions, quotations, descriptions, and dates. Many of the notes are written on small sheets of paper which have been glued to the larger sheets. Whitman drew upon this material explicitly in writing "Salut au Monde!," which was first published as "Poem of Salutation" in the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass. At one point, this manuscript likely formed part of Whitman's cultural geography scrapbook.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Kirsten Clawson, Janel Cayer, and Kevin McMullen


Paste-on | Whitman's Notes on Paste-on | Whitman's Highlighting on Paste-on | Erasure | Overwrite

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supposed to be about one thousand religions

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names of Gods, sect and prophets

Chiven, (god of desolation and destruction).
Mahomet, with a green banner, a saber, a bandage, and a crescent.
Santon with dishevelled hair
Ormuzd god of light
Ahrimanes god of darkness
Parsees from Persia followers of Zoroaster their pope ^or high priest is called "Mobed"
Zoroaster, (Zerdusht)
Vishnu preserver of the world
image of the Lingam the male sign
Fot (Phtah) the Chinese god
bonze Japanese with a yellow robe
Tuisco (a god of the Ancient Germans

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Kaldee Kaldee (Sabean Kaldee of Assyria.)
Orus, the sun
Serapis, a god of ensemble, I think
Osiris, "to give forms."
"I am he who finds nothing more divine than simple and natural things are divine.—"
Typhon, (made up of all that opposes hinders, obstructs, revolts.
Charon, the ferryman to Tartarus, and to Elysium
Rhadamanthus, Minos judges of the dead,—the wand, the bend, the ushers, and the urns.

"Hermes (Mercury) the god of science


? Zoroaster, ^Bunsen 3000 B.C.—some years 600 ^or 700 B.C. two centuries after Moses,

? Menu preceded both Zoroaster & 2100 B.C. Moses


The Egyptian priests, (the Greeks also) regarded the preservation of health as a point of the first importance, and indispensably necessary to the practice of piety, and the service of the gods.

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Confucius, 2500 B.C. 550 B.C.
lamas in Thibet and China
African negroes worshipping a great snake
Mithras the Persian deity—the modern parsees are the representatives the mediator between Ahrimanes and Oromades
Brahma, to create,
Vishnu, to preserve,
Chiven, to destroy,
In India—the Vedas—all the three deities from "the Eternal"
Boudh or Bhudda
the Boudh doctrine is found in books of 3000 B.C.
Hermes, author of Egyptian vedas
Zoroaster ? or Zerdusht two centuries after Moses 1700? B.C.
there are 3 or four Sacred Books
Pouranas, treat of mythology and history
Vedas, (the fourth concerning ceremonies is lost.)

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Menu—aAll seems to go back to Menu, who preceded Zoroaster, Moses, and the rest, and must have been 2100 B.C., and founded ^more definitely embodied on the banks of the Ganges, the Indian theology, with Brahma, Vishnu, and Chiven— ^☜ Menu, son or grandson of Brahma

Tár a nis a Celtic divinity the evil principle sometimes confused by Latin writers with Jupiter
Mithras Masculine the sun

Myletta the moon feminine

Tuisco ancient Teutonic deity—leading ? Tuesday


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Talmud (of Jerusalem) very old
"Sybilline verses among the ancients"
always looking for "a great mediator, a judge, god, ^lover, legislator, friend of the poor and degraded, conqueror of powers."
Krishna, (? thence Christ)

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^Young Bacchus, the clandestine ^(nocturnal) son of the virgin Minerva, whose life and even death, bring to mind those of Christ—and are have the [wise?] star of day, for their emblem

"the sacrifice holocaust, the libation, circumcision, baptism, ablution, prayer, confession


? Confucius ^531 B.C. 2500 B.C. ? To) (according to Voltaire)


Apollo, the god of light, healing, and deliverance


Fo, divine being, teacher, god, 2500 yrs B.C.


Confucius 531 B.C.

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Pan—the great Whole, with a forehead of stars body of planets feet of animals
Kneph ^("existence"—) (a Theban god.) a human figure dressed in dark blue, holding in one hand a sceptre and a girdle, with a cap of feathers on his head, (to express the fugacity of thought.)
Orpheus—1450 B.C.
Pythagoras—three centuries after Homer,
"ancient verses of the Orphic sect"—which originated in Egypt
Orpheus Musaeus
1400 (before Christ) in Greece
Mylitta, in the old Persian mysteries was the name of the moon
Mithras that of the sun


Sunday ( the sun
Monday ( moon
Tuesday ( Tuisco, an ancient Teuton deity
Wednesday ( Woden, (or Odin)
Thursday ( Thor—(thunder). "
Friday —Goddess Friya
equal—co-ordinate ? a female deity feminine (?Frigah) principle or divinity
Saturday ( Saturn (? Kronos)

Scythian—from Scythes—a son of Jupiter—and founder of the Scythian nations
Pelops (Peloppenesian (seems to have been a son ^or grandson of Jupiter who came from Asia to Greece, and laid the foundation of a new royal dynasty which supplanted the older order of the Danadi about 1300 B.C.
(Agamemnon "King of Men" in the Iliad was his grandson)

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