ON METEORITES, OR CELESTIAL STONES 81
site of the city of Seleucia is said to have been determined by the
fall of an aerolite, and this stone is figured on some of the coins of
the Seleucidœ, a thunderbolt appearing in its stead on other coins.
the Temple of Diana, at Ephesus, there was a stone partly fashioned
into the conventional form of the Ephesian Diana. This, it was
asserted, had fallen down from the heavens. The stone is mentioned in
the Acts of the Apostles (xix. 35), where we read that the city of the
Ephesians was "a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which
fell down from Jupiter." In this text the word "image" has been
supplied by the translators, a more literal rendering being "that which
fell down from the sky." This clearly shows that the stone only faintly
indicated the human form.
says of the stone sacred to the Astarte (or Aphrodite) of Paphos, that
it was a symbol of the goddess, not a human effigy, since it was an
obscurely formed cone.17 In his life of Apollonius of Tyana,
Philostratus, also, mentions this stone and tells us that when
Apollonius visited Paphos, he admired there "the famous symbolic figure
of Aphrodite."18 These "living stones"
were often covered with ornaments and vestments, and it has been
conjectured that these adornments were, in some cases, changed so as to
accord with the garments appropriate to certain special festivals of
the respective gods.19
The colossal emerald of the temple of Melkarth at Tyre is designated in the fragments of Sanchoniathon as an or star fallen from heaven. It was said to have been raised up by Astarte, and this last myth is
" Cornelii Taciti, " Opera," Lipsiae, 1885, p. 52.
u Philostratus, " Apollonius of Tyana," trans, by Baltzer, Rudoletadt i. Th., 1883, p. 143 (iii, 59).
" Lenormant, in Daremberg and Saglio's Diet, des antiq. grecques et romaines, vol. i, Parie, 1873, p. 645.