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The earliest instructor of man in letters sciences, and arts, especially in architecture, geometry, botany. and agriculture, and in all other useful Knowledge, was the fish-god Oannes, according to ancient mythology. This universal teacher, according to Berossus, appeared in the Persian Gulf, bordering on Babylonia, and, although an animal, was endowed with reason and great knowledge.

The usual appearance of the creature was that of a fish, having a human head beneath that of a fish, and feet like unto a man. This personage conversed with men during the day, but never ate with them. At Kouyunjik there was a colossal statue of the fish-god Oannes. The following is from the Book of Enoch (volume ii, page 514): "The Masons hold their grand festival on the day of Saint John, not knowing that therein they merely signify the fish-god Oannes, the first Hermes and the first founder of the Mysteries, the first messenger to whom the Apocalypse was given, and whom they ignorantly confound with the fabulous author of the common Apocalypse. The sun is then (midsummer day) in its greatest altitude. In this the Naros is commemorated."

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