isis unveiled: chapter xiv (ancient mysteries)

“Muratori, the modern Italian inventor who, some ten years ago, introduced his “impenetrable cuirasse”, has but followed in his invention what he could make out of the ancient method which suggested to him the idea. The process of rendering such objects as card-board, felt, and other tissues, impenetrable to the cuts and thrusts of any sharp weapon, is now numbered among the lost arts. Muratori succeeded but imperfectly in preparing such felt cuirasses, and, notwithstanding the boasted achievements of modern chemistry, he could derive from it no preparation adequate to effect his object, and failed.”

To what perfection chemistry had reached in ancient times, may be inferred from a fact mentioned by Virey. In his dissertations, he shows that Asclepiadotus, a general of Mithradates, reproduced chemically the deleterious exhalations of the sacred grotto. These vapors, like those of Curnae, threw the Pythoness into the mantic frenzy.

Egyptians used bows, double-edge swords and daggers, javelins, spears, and pikes. The light troops were armed with darts and slings; charioteers wielded maces and battle axes; in siege-operations they were perfect.

“The assailants”, says the anonymous writer, “advanced, forming a narrow and long line, the point being protected by a triple-sided, impenetrable engine pushed before them on a kind of roller, by an invisible squad of men. They had covered underground passages with trap-doors, scaling ladders, and the art of escalade and military strategy was carried by them to perfection. …The battering ram was familiar to them as other things; being such experts in quarrying they knew how to set a mine to a wall and bring it down.”

The same writer remarks, that it is a great deal safer for us to mention what the Egyptians did than what they did not know, for every day brings some new discovery of their wonderful knowledge; “and if”, he adds, “we were to find out that they used Armstrong guns, this fact would not be much more astonishing than many of the facts brought out to light already.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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