is, however, not unlikely that the 365 days in the solar year are
signified ; and this enigmatical name might thus be brought into
connection with Mithra, the solar divinity, who was worshipped
throughout the Persian and Roman empires in the first and second
centuries of our era.
very recondite but ingenious explanation of the Gnostic name Abrasax is
given by Harduin in his notes to Pliny's "Natural History."18 He sees in the first three letters the initials of the three Hebrew words signifying father, son, and spirit (ab, ben, ruah), the Triune God; the last four letters are the initials of the Greek words ανθρώπους σώζει άγίω ξόλψ or ' ' he saves men by the
sacred wood " (the cross). This seems rather farfetched, it must be
confessed, and yet to any one familiar With the vagaries of Alexandrine
eclecticism, and with the tendency of the time and place to make
strange and uncouth combinations of Greek and Hebrew forms, there is
nothing inherently improbable in the explanation. Indeed, the Hebrew
and Greek words in this composite sen-
18 Caii Plinii Secundi, Naturalis Historie, ed. Harduin, Parisiis, 1741, vol. ii, p. 489.