Masjid al-Haram

El Khidr in the Popular Religion of Turkey

"In Turkey, Khidr...has been identified with various figures of the Old Testament, notably with Elias of whom he is considered a reincarnation, and with the Orthodox St. George, whose day, together with the associations of Lydda, he has taken over; the characteristics he has borrowed from St. George include the reputation of a dragon-slayer, which St. George himself may have borrowed from a pagan predecessor."

Khidr and Ilyas at the Fountain of Life

Khizr and Ilyas at the Fountain of Life. Amir Khusrau, Khamsah
Ilyas and Khizr sit down by a fountain to eat their repast, consisting of dried fish; the fish falling into the waters, comes to life, and thus the seekers are made aware that they have found the Fountain of Life, from which both drink.

F.W. Hasluck Christianity and Islam under the Sultans
2 vols. Oxford University Press, 1929 pp. 319-336
Chapter 2: Koranic Saints

The Moslem saint El Khidr, El Khizr (‘the Verdant'), though not mentioned by name in the Koran, is generally identified by commentators with the companion of Moses' travels,[1] who secured to himself immortality by the discovery of the Fountain of Life.[2] In this latter quest tradition associates him with Alexander the Great.[3]

Among orthodox Sunni Mohammedans Khidr has a certain vague popularity: his day, called the ‘feast of Lydda' (23 Nishan = 23 April, Old Style),[4] is observed all over Turkey as the beginning of spring. Among the heretical Nosairi sect, whose religion is a perversion of the Shia Mohammedan, he is a particularly important figure,[5] as he is apparently among the Yezidi,[6] and the Druses.[7] The same seems to be the case among the Shia (Kizilbash) tribes of Asia Minor,[8] whose points of contact with the Nosairi and Yezidi are at present inexactly known.

In Turkey, generally, Khidr seems to be a vague personality conceived of mainly as a helper in sudden need, especially of travellers. He has been identified with various figures of the Old Testament, notably with Elias[9] of whom he is considered a reincarnation, and with the Orthodox St. George, whose day, together with the associations of Lydda,[10] he has taken over;[11] the characteristics he has borrowed from St. George include the reputation of a dragon-slayer,[12] which St. George himself may have borrowed from a pagan predecessor.

The identification of Khidr with Elias is found as early as Cantacuzenus, who died A.D. 1380. St. George, he says, is worshipped by the Christians and worshipped by the Christians and παρ' αύτών τών Μουσουλμανών τιμα δέ παρ' αύτών χετηρ ήλιάς.[13] George of Hungary, our best early authority on Turkish popular saints, spent a long captivity in Asia Minor during the early fifteenth century[14] and makes clear the extraordinary vogue enjoyed by Khidr in his day.

‘Chidrelles', he writes, ‘is before all a helper of travellers in need. Such is his repute in all Turkey that there is scarce any man to be found that hath not himself experienced his help or heard of others that have so done. He manifesteth himself in the shape of a traveller riding on a gray horse,[15] and anon relieveth the distressed wayfarer, whether he hath called on him, or whether, knowing not his name, he hath but commended himself to God, as I have heard on several hands.'[16]

Khizr and Ilyas at the Fountain of Life

The conception of Khidr as the protector of travellers is derived for Moslems primarily from Khidr's own travels as related in the Koran, the Koranic ‘type' of traveller naturally becoming the patron of travellers in general. Travel being considered abnormal and dangerous, travellers have special need of a protector in sudden necessity; this is a phase also of the Orthodox St. George.[17] In this respect it seems abundantly proved, from oriental literary sources, that the personalities of Khidr and Elias are distinguished by the learned, the former being the patron of seafarers and the latter of travellers by land.[18] But it may be doubted whether the position of the two personalities is clearly defined in popular religion. In inland Kurdistan the roles of Khidr and Elias as given above are said to be reversed,[19] which looks as if Khidr, the predominant figure, was apt to usurp the element locally of most importance. His connection with sea-travel[20] is emphasized by the fact that his day is regarded by seamen as the opening of their season.[21]

Khidr has also a physical aspect. Whereas in relation to man he is regarded as a patron of travel and a bringer of sudden help, in relation to the world of nature he is regarded as a patron of spring, being called the ‘Verdant', partly in allusion to the greenness of that season, while his feast is the beginning of spring and, in Syria, the beginning of sowing.[22] His discovery of the Water of Life [23] may also have a reference to his connection with spring, while the physical conception of his functions has probably aided his confusion with Elias, the rain-bringer of the Christians.[24] It is probable that this rain-making aspect of Khidr is responsible for the number of hills bearing his name, which are to be found in the neighbourhood of towns and villages. Every Turkish town has its recognized place for the rain prayer. These are always outside the town and in the open air, generally high lying,[25] and frequently marked by a turbe or dome, sometimes by a pulpit. At Constantinople, for example, a pulpit for the rain prayer was built by Murad IV on the Archery Ground (Ok Meidan) high above the Golden Horn.[26] At Cairo Pococke remarked the pulpit on a spur of the Mokattam hills above the citadel.[27] When, as frequently occurs, the site is marked by a turbe or dome, this building tends to be associated with the name of a saint, who is regarded as the intercessor for rain, though in fact it is probably more often a cenotaph or commemorative monument. Thus, at Angora the hill opposite the citadel called Khidrlik is crowned by a cupola on open arches. This dome may have originally commemorated an appearance of Khidr or may merely have been erected in his honour. It is now regarded as the tomb of a saint,[28] named, as I was informed, Bula Khatun.[29] This development is characteristic of a simple theology which prefers its own saint unshared to a divinity of wider powers who is shared by many.

As to local cults of Khidr, we can point to two areas, the Syrian and the Turkish. In Turkey the connection between St. George and Khidr seems to be less close than in Syria, where the two seem almost synonymous. Moslems who have made vows to Khidr frequently pay them to his Christian counterpart.[30] One of the most frequented centres of the cult is a Christian monastery near Bethlehem, which is famous for its cures of madness.[31] According to Conder, sanctuaries (makams) of Khidr in Palestine are often found on Crusaders' sites, thus suggesting an inheritance from St. George.[32] On the strength of his identification withElias, Khidr has occupied a chapel of the latter at Zarephath.[33] Various sites, at Nablus[34] (a spring), Jerusalem,[35] Damascus,[36] Baghdad,[37] and Mosul,[38] are associated with his name. The last three seem to be regarded as tombs, the rest, and probably all originally, as places where he has appeared to mortals[39] or merely as memorials.

As regards Turkish lands, Khidr, who is recognizable by the fact that one of his thumbs is boneless, is said to have appeared at Constantinople several times, at St. Sophia[40] and at the Valideh Atik mosque in Skutari.[41] There is a ‘station' of Khidr in the mosque of Aatik All Pasha in Stambul.[42] Bars of iron engraved by the boneless thumb of the saint are shown in the mosque of Mohammed II,[43] while he is said to be present daily at one of the five prayers in the mosque of Sultan Ahmed.[44] Near Adrianople, Covel in 1677 notices a ‘place of Khidr' with an imperial kiosk said to occupy the site of a church of St. George.[45] At Gallipoli a mosque called Khizr u Ilyas Maqami, ‘the station of Khidr and Elias,' is supposed to commemorate an appearance of the saint to the poet Mehemed Yazijioglu.[46] In Albania, near Elbassan, a hot spring bears the saint's name.[47]

In Asia Minor, Khidr has replaced at Elwan Chelebi the dragon-slaying St. Theodore.[48] This is the only proved instance of his intrusion in Turkey on a Christian cult. But in many places the name Khidrlik (‘place of Khidr') is given to hills or ‘high places' of which the Christian traditions, if any ever existed, have disappeared. Such hills exist nearAngora,[49] near Sinope[50] above Geredeh (Krateia Bithyniae),[51] near Changri (Gangra),[52] near Ladik (Pontus),[53] near Tarakli (Dablae),[54] and at Afiun Kara Hisar.[55] There is a mountain Khidirli Dagh near Kebsud,[56] while places named Kheder Elles are recorded near Kula in Lydia[57] and above Tripoli on the Black Sea,[58] Pere de Jerphanion, in his new map of Pontus[59] marks a village Khedarnale (‘Horseshoe of Khidr') near Sivas, which probably claims, like Elwan Chelebi, to possess a hoof-print of the saint's horse. Professor White of Marsovan seems to find Khidrlik almost a generic name for a holy place in his district,[60] which has a large Shia population.[61]

On the grounds of Orthodox Greek practice we should, perhaps, expect that St. Elias was the saint displaced on hill-top sites.[62] But the functions and conceptions of Khidr are at once so varied and so vague as to adapt him to replace almost any saint, or indeed to occupy any site independently. His sudden appearances make it specially easy to associate him with any spot already hallowed by previous tradition or notable for recent supernatural occurrences,[63] while his functions as a patron of spring vegetation and as a rain-maker recommend his cult to primitive pastoral or agricultural populations.

Khidr sanctuary at Samandag, Turkey
Khidr sanctuary at Samandag, Turkey, with car performing ritual threefold circumambulation
Holy rock in Khidr sanctuary at Samandag where Khidr and Moses are said to have met
Holy rock in Khidr sanctuary at Samandag where Khidr and Moses are said to have met

Without claiming to solve the various fusions of cult and legend which have produced the mysterious and many-sided figure of Khidr,[64] we may perhaps make the following tentative suggestions[65] as to the origin of his functions and vogue in popular religion:

  1. In the Koran the unnamed Servant of God, generally interpreted as Khidr, travels with Moses and commits three seemingly unjust deeds.[66] A probable original[67] of this story is the Talmudic tale of Rabbi Jochanan's travels with Elijah,[68] so that its being told of Khidr would indicate another case of identifying Elias with Khidr. Such an identification, however, raises the difficulty that the association of Moses with Elias involves a serious anachronism. But it may be doubted whether that matters much in popular theology, while there is some reason to suspect that the confusion dates from a period considerably anterior to the composition of the Koran, from the sixth century in fact. Antoninus of Piacenza, who travelled in the Holy Land about A.D. 570, visited Suez and came ‘ad ripam, ubi transierunt filii Israel et exierunt de mare [sic]. Ibi est oratorium Moysis.'[69] Variant readings are: ‘Et in loco, ubi [or quo] exierunt de mari, est oratorium Heliae. Et transcendentes [transeuntes] venimus in locum ubi intraverunt mare. Ibique [or ubi] est oratorium Moysis.' Tobler has little doubt that the second better represents the original reading, the copyist having inadvertently omitted part: this would also explain the mare for mari in the text.[70] Granted, then, that two ‘oratories', of Moses and Elias respectively, existed, as Tobler supposes, on the Red Sea, the popular mind would readily associate them with each other, however distinct they may have been in the beginning, and would thus pave the way for the anachronism in the Koran to pass undetected. There Moses is said to have found Khidr where the sea of the Greeks joins that of the Persians, that is, at Suez.[71] In this sphere of activity Khidr may therefore with some probability be said to derive from the Hebrew Elijah.
  2. In his discovery of the Water of Life Khidr is brought into connection with Alexander, whose vizir he is said to have been. This story seems mostly to depend ultimately on the Pseudo-Callisthenes[72] but gathers up a number of legends which connect Elias with Enoch and Khidr.[73] From the Jewish composite figure of Elias + Enoch + Phinehas[74] come several of Khidr's aspects, e.g.
  3. His association with learning.[75] Various traditions associate Elias with books. He is said to delight in the studies of Jewish rabbis,[76] to have written certain apocrypha,[77] and to have personally instructed Maimonides.[78] The Turks, besides confusing Elias with Enoch,[79] hold that Enoch was a great sage.
  4. From the same composite figure comes Khidr's association with the high priesthood.[80] Elias is believed to perform daily sacrifice in the Temple underground.[81]
    Samandag Khidr sanctuary plaque
    Plaque in Turkish and Arabic in Khidr sanctuary at Samandag, Turkey
    His contact with Phinehas is early and has been used by Moslem theologians as a proof that Khidr and Elias are separate persons.[82]
  5. Khidr's association with travel comes explicably enough in view of the above from Ellas' wandering life, he being the type of the eternal wanderer. In commemoration of this, Jews lay a place for him at their Passover,[83] the idea arising especially from the text, ‘And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not.'[84] Immortality is the connecting link between the components of the Enoch + Phinehas + Elias figure and leads to:

  6. Khidr's identification with St. George, whom the tyrant king tried in vain to kill.[85] This entails the fusion, it will be noted, of the aged ascetic Elias with the young soldier George.[86] Khidr (verdant)[87] would, on this showing, be merely an epithet derived from the immortality of the Elias prototype.[88]

The results of our analysis thus tend to show that in Khidr there is no independent Moslem or pre-Moslem clement. The Elias part can all be paralleled in Jewish tradition, while the George part is all Christian: only his adventure with Moses is of somewhat uncertain origin, but even that, in view of the early date of the Talmudic story,[89] is probably descended from a Jewish ancestor.

In conclusion, it may be remarked that the protean figure of Khidr has a peculiar interest for the study of popular religion in Asia Minor and the Near East generally. Accepted as a saint by orthodox Sunni Mohammedans, he seems to have been deliberately exploited by the heterodox Shia sects of Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Albania—that is, by the Nosairi, the Yezidi, the Kizilbash, and the Bektashi—for the purposes of their propaganda amongst non-Mohammedan populations. For Syrian, Greek, and Albanian Christians Khidr is identical with Elias and St. George. For the benefit of the Armenians he has been equated in Kurdistan with their favourite St. Sergius, and, just as Syrian Moslems make pilgrimages to churches of St. George,
Khidr festival in Trabzon, Turkey
Khidr festival in Trabzon, Turkey
so do the Kizilbash Kurds of the Dersim to Armenian churches of St. Sergius.[90]

As regards Christianity, Khidr is only one of many points of contact in the Shia heterodoxies. The Kizilbash Kurds, for example, hold that Christ was reincarnated in Ali, that the Twelve Apostles and the Twelve Imams are identical, and that St. Peter and Paul are the same persons as Hasan and Husain.[91] The Albanian Bektashi equate their own saint Sari Saltik to Saint Nicolas and other Christian saints.[92] Such points of contact may be regarded either as inheritances from Christianity or introduced with the deliberate purpose of conciliating Christians to a form of Islam. It is obvious that at all times conversion from Christianity to Islam has been aided by the considerable material advantages to be gained from it. The Shia sects to which we have referred are not forbidden outwardly to observe Sunni forms, and frequently do so; at the same time their real religion, with its many natural or artificial points of contact with Christianity, offers a compromise which spares the susceptibilities of the convert and may well have been the refuge of many harassed Christian tribes.



End Notes

[1] Sale's Koran, p. 222 (ch. xviii): for the literary side of the Khidr legends see Vollers, in Archiv f. Religionsw. 1909, pp. 234-84; Friedländcr, Die Chadhirlegende und der Alexanderraman.

[2] Le Strange, E. Caliphate, p. 175; Hanauer, Folk-Lore of the Holy Land, pp. 51 ff.; Migne, Dict. des Apacryphes, ii, 627.

[3] See Friedländer, op. cit.; Paul Meyer, Alexandre le Grand, ii 175 ff.; Spiegel, Die Alexander sage, p. 29.

[4] Le Strange, Palestine, p. 21.

[5] R. Dussaud, Nosairis, pp. 128-35.

[6] A. Grant (Nestarians, p. 319) gives the 24th Nishan (probably by mistake for the 23rd) as the date of the Yezidi spring festival.

[7] Petermann, Reisen im Orient, i, 147.

[8] See above, pp. 145,148

[9] e.g. there is an Armenian church of ‘Choddre Elias' at Urfa (Nie-buhr. Voyage en Arabie, ii, 330). For the Sinai Arabs' veneration of Khidr-Elias see Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, p. 57; for the combination at Samaria see Conder in P.E.F., Q.S. for 1877, p. 96. For the traditions of Mount Cannel see d'Arvieux, Memoires, ii, 294, 306, 314, 417; de Breves, Voyages, p. 68; Carmoly, Itineraires, pp. 144, 448-9; Bordeaux Pilgrim, in Chateaubriand, Itiner, iii, 240; Goujon, Terre Sainte, pp. 63-5.

[10] For the church of St. George at Lydda, which was partly left to the Greeks and partly transformed into a mosque, see Robinson, Palestine, iii, 52; Fabri, Evagat., i, 219; Goujon, Terre Sainte, p. 107; Ludolf, De Itinere, p. 50; d'Arvieux, Memoires, ii, 32-3; de Breves, Voyages, p. 100; V. Guerin, Descr. de la Pales. I, i, 324; Stern, Die moderne Türkei, p. 170. Two sixth-century travellers mention the tomb and martyrdom of St. George at Lydda; see Antoninus of Piacenza, De Lads Sanctis, ed. Tobler, p. 28, xxv (cf. Lucius, Anfänge des Heiligenk., p. 240), and Theodore in Tobler, Palaest. Descr., p. 40.

[11] e.g. at Beyrut (Niebuhr, Voyage en Arabie, ii, 382; V. Guerin, Descr. de la Pales. I, iii, 311-13); at Banias (Kitchener in P.E.F; Q.S. for 1877, p. 172; Burckhardt, Syria, p. 38; cf. Stanley, Sinai, pp. 398-9); near Jerusalem (see below, p. 326, n. 6); in Albania (Durham, Burden of the Balkans, p. 208). See especially Rycaut, Ottoman Empire, p. 68.

[12] It is curious that, while in the West legend relates the rescue by St. George of a princess from a dragon, this is by no means the case generally in the East. Thus, in the Byzantine Painters' Guide, translated by Didron, Iconographie Chretienne, pp. 369-71, no dragon-killing type is given for the saint. Early western travellers to the East mention his martyrdom and his burial at Lydda (Diospolis), but say nothing of his dragon fight (see, e.g. Antoninus of Piacenza, ed. Tobler, p. 28, xxv, and the similarly sixth-century Theodore, in Tobler's Palaest. Descr., p. 40). Their silence is especially notable as Lydda is so near Joppa with its traditions of Perseus and the dragon he slew. The bones of the dragon were shown there in the Christian era: cf. Jerome, Epist., p. 108, and Josephus, Bell. Jud. iii, 7. According to Amelineau (Contes de l'Egypte Chretienne, Introd., p. liii) the saint is represented in Coptic iconography as a horseman with a lance but no dragon, the slaying of the dragon being foreign to the Coptic legend. On the other hand, St. Michael slaying the dragon is pictured on horseback (Amelineau attributes the ultimate confusion to Syrian painters working in Egypt, and holds that Michael, not George, replaces the Egyptian Horus). The Martyre de Saint Georges current among the Copts (Amelineau, op. cit. ii, 167 ff.) resembles the early Acta of the saint as given by Baring Gould in his Curious Myths, 2nd Series, pp. 9 ff. The Acta place St. George's birth and martyrdom under Dacian, emperor of the Persians, and at Melitene: among other tortures, a pillar is laid on him. The Copts hold that St. George, whom they associate with Lydda (Amelineau, ii, 208-9), was martyred by King ‘Tatien' (Amelineau, ii, 167), who is several times called a ‘dragon' (Amelineau, ii, 171, 198, &c.: cf. Hasluck, Letters, p. 193); one torture is to roll a column over his body (Amelineau, ii, 174). A reminiscence of this torture is found in his church at Beyrut, where a column is rolled on patients whose backs ache (Pococke, Voyages, iii, 275). The Copts celebrate St. George of ‘Melitr' on 18 April (Amelineau, ii, 153). As in the Coptic legends, there is no mention in the Acta of the dragon fight. In fact, according to Baring Gould (op. cit., p. 31), the first mention of the princess and the dragon is in de Voragine's Golden Legend, that is, not earlier than the end of the thirteenth century. Thereafter it is normally mentioned by travellers to Beyrut (e.g. Ludolf (c. 1350), De Itinere, p. 38; d'Anglure, Saint Voyage (1395), p. 10; Poloner (1422), in Tobler, Palaest. Descr., p. 259), and to Rama (e.g. della Valle, Voyages, ii, 19; Pococke, Voyages, iii, 15). It then appears to have gained general currency in the East as in the West (cf. Carnoy and Nicolaides, Trad. de I'Asie Mineure, p. 80, where a prince replaces St. George; cf. also modern Greek iconography). As, therefore, its appearance in the East seems not anterior to the Crusades, while it is most prominent at Beyrut, where the Crusaders were strong, and is not found at Lydda in spite of Lydda's proximity to Joppa, the conjecture may be hazarded that the Crusaders imported this part of the legend, on which point see further below, p. 660, n. 3. Of this an echo may be preserved in the belief held by Moslems that St. George was the patron saint of the Crusaders (Conder, in P.E.F., Q.S. for 1877, p. 98; cf. Hutton, English Saints, p. 88, for his traditional appearance to the Crusaders before Antioch). In virtue of his prowess against dragons St. George is, like S. Michael, a famous healer of diseased minds; see below, p. 326, n. 2.

[13] P. 48

[14] On him see below, p. 494, n. 1.

[15] This is evidently a trait borrowed from the Christian St. George, whose horse is invariably depicted as white or grey, while that ofS. De-metrius is red. For an apparition of a knight on a grey horse (evidently Khidr) in a modern Anatolian folk-story see Carnoy and Nicolaides, Trad. de l'Asie Minewe, p. 5. Jenghiz Khan was visited in a dream by a knight armed all in white and sitting on a white horse; the knight foretold his future greatness (Mandeville, ed. Wright, p. 238). St. Claude, a military saint and martyr of Antioch, who is apparently connected in Egypt with Assiut, appears on a white horse to chastise a sacrilegious emir (Amelineau, Contes de I'Egypte Chretienne, ii, 50).

[16] George of Hungary, De Moribus Turcoriim (first printed c. 1480), cliap. xv (see further below, p. 498). Brcuning probably copies from George of Hungary (Orient. K.eyss (1579), p. 106: ‘Chiridilles ruffen auch müde unnd matte Wandersleute unnd Pilger an'). It is perhaps worth while to cite in this connection Petis de la Croix's 1001 Jours, p. 267, where a young man suddenly appears to a princess in a jinn's castle and is greeted by her with the words, "Je ne saurais croire que vous soyez un homme. Vous ētes sans doute le prophete Elie?"

[17] Cf.,in the Travels of the Patriarch Macarius of Antioch, the author's Invocation of St. George as ‘the rider upon sea and land' (tr. Belfour, i, 12) and the incident, often depicted in his ikons, of his rescue of a Christian slave from a Moslem master in a distant land (cf. Polites, Παραδόσεις, p. 798, quoting Spratt, Crete, i, 345-6). Hottinger (Hist. Orient., p. 480), quoting Busbecq, says Turks made fun of this slave as figured in ikons. Didron, Iconographie Chretienne, p. 372, notes the presence of the slave, but could hear of no explanation of his presence.

[18] Vollers, loc. cit., p. 262; Friedländer, Chadhirlegende, p. 119. See, also Hammer's extracts from Mejir-ed-Din in Mines de l'Orient, ii, 96; Goldziher, in Rev. Hist. Relig. ii (1880), p. 324; Lane, Mod. Egyptians, i, 293, n.

[19] Jaba, Recueil de Recits Kourdes, p. 93.

[20] For the marine side of Khidr see Clermont-Ganneau in Rev. Arch. xxxii (1876), pp. 196-204, 372-99: his special marine associations at Suadyeh (Dussaud, Nosairis, p. 133) are doubtless due to the position of the sanctuary (at the mouth of the Orontes).

[21] Sestini, Lettres, iii, 234; cf. Le Bruyn, Voyage (Delft, 1700), p. 177. Cf. also d'Arvieux, Memoires, ii, 315.

[22] Mukaddasi, ap. Clermont-Ganneau, Inc. cit., p. 388.

[23] See e.g. Spiegel, Die Alexandersage, p. 29.

[24] I Kings, xviii, 41-5; M. Hamilton, in B.S.A. xiii, 354, and Greek Saints, p. 20.

[25] An exception is to be found in Turkish Athens, where the rain prayer was made at ‘the columns' [of the Olympieum] (Hobhouse, Albania, i, 323; J. Gait, Letters, p. 167; Michaud and Poujoulat, Corresp. d'Orient, i, 161). The open-air pulpit at ‘the columns' ii shown in L. Dupre's plate and mentioned by Randolph (Marea, p. 23).

[26] Evliya, Travels, I, ii, 89.

[27] Pococke, Descr. of the East, i, 36.

[28] M. Walker, Old Tracks, p. 69; cf. Evliya, Travels, ii, 234, who seems to regard the place as the grave of a human saint named Khidr.

[29] Bula Khatun, whose name betrays her sex, may well have been the lady who built the cupola, perhaps as a prayer place for women. For this practice cf. Burton, Arabian Nights, i, 74 (and note): ‘She builded for herself a cenotaph wherein to mourn, and set on its centre a dome under which showed a tomb like a Santon's sepulchre'. Tliese cenotaphs might be ‘dedicated' as memorials. At Baghdad in recent times a pasha's wife built a cupola in honour of the daughter of Noah (Nie-buhr. Voyage en Arabie, ii, 215). Among ignorant populations such cenotaphs easily come to be accepted as actual tombs (cf. Niebuhr, op. cit; ii, 237, where a cenotapli at Helle, built in honour of the Prophet Elias, is thought his tomb). [At Kastoria in West Macedonia two ruined open turbes in the Moslem cemetery are said to be either the tombs of Janissaries or shelters for mourners.—M, M. H.]

[30] For the general position of Khidr in the religious folk-lore of Syria see Einsler, in Z.D.P.V. xvii (1894), pp. 42 ff.; Hanauer, Folk-Lore of the Holy Land, pp. 51 ff.

[31] Robinson, Palestine, ii, 321, 325; Einsler, loc. cit., p. 69; Balden-sperger in P.E.F., Q.S. for 1893, p. 208, cf. p. 36; Hanauer, op. cit., p. 52; d'Arvieux, Memoires, ii, 231; Tobler, Topogr. van Jerusalem, ii, 501 ff., who quotes the Anon. Allot, as already (c. 1400) mentioning the chain, beating with which formed part of the cure; Thevenot, Voyages, ii, 639; Le Bruyn, Voyage (Delft, 1700), p. 277; Fabri, Evagat. ii, 187; Guerin, Descr. de la Pales. I, iii, 312. The Copts' convent of St. George in Jerusalem also possesses a chain of the saint which cures lunacy; see Tobler, op. cit. i, 370-1, and Tischendorf, Terre-Sainte, p. 204.

[32] Survey of West Palestine, v, 257, and P.E.F., Q.S. for 1877, p. 98.

[33] Robinson, Palestine, iii, 412 f.; cf. Goujon, Terre Sainte, p. 56, and La Roque, Voyage de Syrie, i, 16. The fourth-century S. Paula mentions the tower of S. Elias at ‘Sarepta' (Tobler, Palaest. Descr., p. 13), as does the sixth-century Theodore (Tobler, Palaest. Oescr., p. 42); cf. Antoninus of Piacenza, ed. Tobler, p. 4, ii.

[34] Le Strange, Palestine, p. 512.

[35] Ibid., p. 164; cf. Tobler, Topogr. van Jerusalem, i, 505, 529; Mejir-ed-Din, tr. v. Hammer in Mines de l'Orient, ii, 90; Hanauer, Folk-Lore of the Holy Land, p. 61.

[36] Le Strange, Palestine, pp. 253, 264. Monconys (Voyages, i, 340) and Pococke (Descr. of the East, ii, 119) mention a ‘tomb of St. George' at Damascus, but this is rather St. George the porter, for whom see also Porter, Damascus, p. 16, and Thevenot, Voyages, iii, 49. Khidr is said to attend prayers in the Great Mosque (Kitab of Menasik-el-Haj, tr. Rianchi, p. 36, in Rec. de Voyages, ii, 116).

[37] Tavernier, Voyages (London, 1678), p. 86, mentions a chapel of Khidr frequented by Christians. A ‘tomb' is cited by Massignon in Rev. Hist. Relig. lviii (1908), p. 336.

[38] Hammer-Hellen, Hist. Emp. Olt. iv, 442; cf. Sherif-ed-Din, Hist. de Timour, ir. Petis de la Croix, ii, 262. For the tomb of ‘Nebbe Gurgis' at Mosul see Niebuhr, Voyage en Arabic, ii, 291, and for his martyrdom there Masudi (quoted by J. Friedrich in Sitzb. Sayr. Akad., Ph.-Ph. Cl., II, ii, l8l) and Baring Gould, Curious Myths, 2nd Series, p. 11.

[39] Stanley (Sinai, 268) makes some interesting remarks on the alleged tomb of Khidr at Surafend. ‘Close to the sea-shore', he says, ‘stands one of these sepulchral chapels dedicated to "El-Khudr", the Mohamedan representative of Elijah. There is no tomb inside, only hangings before a recess. This variation from the usual type of Mussulman sepulchres is "because El-Khudr is not yet dead; he flies round and round the world, and those chapels are built wherever he has appeared".' A miraculous light was seen, added the peasants who gave Stanley the above information, every Thursday evening and Friday morning at the chapel. This miraculous light at tombs frequently figures in legend: see above, p. 254. For his association with Surafend see also d'Arvieux, Memoires, ii, 4.

[40] For Khidr's connection with the building of St. Sophia see above, pp. 10-11. For his appearance there in the reign of Selim II see Evliya, ii, 61.

[41] Cuinet, Turquie d'Asie, iv, 640; Jardin des Mosquees in Hammer-Hellen, Hist. Emp. Ott. xviii, 90 (749). For this mosque see above, p.273.

[42] Jardin des Mosquees, p. 30 (312). Aatik All Pasha was a vizir and died in 1511. It is a curious coincidence, if no more, that in the Valideh Atik mosque and in Aatik All's mosque there should be a station of Khidr, the only Moslem saint who goes on horseback. It would be interesting to know whether an alleged footprint of his horse were shown in these mosques.

[43] Cuinet, loc. cit.

[44] Carnoy and Nicolaides, Folklore de Constantinople, pp. 98 ff.

[45] Diaries, p. 248; cf. Jacob, Beitrage, p. 15, and Rycaut, Ottoman Empire, p. 69.

[46] Gibb, Ottoman Poetry, i, 393.

[47] Von Hahn, Alban. Studien, iii, 59.

[48] Above, p. 48.

[49] Evliya, Travels, ii, 230; Ainsworth, Travels, i, 133; see also below, p. 449.

[50] Ibn Batuta, tr. Sanguinetti, ii, 349.

[51] Von Diest, Tilsit nach Angora, pl. iii.

[52] R. Kiepert's Kleinasien.

[53] Evliya, Travels, ii, 211.

[54] R. Kiepert's Kleinasien.

[55] Von Hammer, Osman. Dichtkunst, i, 63.

[56] R. Philippson's Karte des W. Kleinasiens.

[57] R. Kiepert's Kleinasien. 

[58] Ibid.

[59] Carte du Bassin du Yechil Irmak. R. Kiepert gives the name as Hidirnal.

[60] Cf. the use of χιξύρης (= holy man) by the Greeks of Silleh near Konia (Dawkins, Mod. Greek, p. 288).

[61] Trans. Vict. Inst. xxxix (1907), p. 156; cf. de Jerphanion in Byz.. Zeit. xx, 493, where the cult of Elias at the site (Ebimi) of a temple of Zeus Stratios (Cumont, Stud. Pont. ii, 172) is identified as a Khidrlik.

[62] Elias, on the perfectly good ground of his biblical history, is the saint of rain (cf. Shishmanova, Legendes Relig. Bulg; pp. 134 ff.), and is the most popular hill-saint in Greek lands, not because he replaces Helios, the ancient sun-god, but because of his original connection with Carmel, where his memory is still alive (cf. Pierotti, Legendes Racontees, p. 43; Goujon, Terre Sainte, pp. 63-5; d'Arvieux, Memoires, ii, 294, 306, 417; de Breves, Voyages, p. 68). In the same way the other common (but far less common) hill dedications in Greece are connected with Tabor as Athos and the Great Monastery of the Meteora, or with Olivet as Olympus. The idea that Elias chapels were survivals of Helios worship (for which see, e.g., Petit de Julleville, Recherches en Grece, in Arch. des Miss., 2nd ser., v (1869), p. 519; Deschamps, La Grece d'Aujourd'hui, p. 322; Lawson, Modern Greek Folklore, p. 44; M. Hamilton (Greek Saints, p. 19) was opposed already by Lenormant (Voie Éleusin., pp. 451-2) in 1867, and seems not to be known to Buchon in 1843, though in general he is very ready to find ancient survivals in modern Greece. The theory is based partly on nomenclature and partly on the art-types of Helios and Elias. It is true that Helios looks rather like Elias and that ‘Hλίου sounds very like 'Ελίουv. But the usual genitive of 'Ελίας is 'Ελία. It is also true that there is a certain similarity in their art-types, Helios being the charioteer of the sun, and Elias being received up into heaven in a chariot of fire. But art types are not of great importance in rustic sanctuaries, and both Helios and Ellas are more frequently represented in other ways, while, if the chariot be thought away, there remain the opposite types of an ephebe and a bearded ascete. Solar survivals more probably belong to St. John, whose feast is the summer solstice, his birthday being six months before that of Christ (Luke, i, 26), which is the winter solstice. Thus, when Monte Cassino was founded, in 529, St. Benedict is said to have found there a much-frequented temple of Apollo, which he replaced by a church of St. Martin, the destroyer of idols, replacing Apollo's altar by a church of St. John, the solstice saint (Beugnot, Destr. du Paganisme, ii, 285, quoting the nearly contemporary Leo of Ostia). That is, St. Benedict ‘disinfected' the locality by building the church of St. Martin and ‘transferred' the solstice festival to St. John. St. Ellas comes rather late for a solstice saint, being celebrated on 19 July; it is, however, true that midsummer fires are lit on St. Ellas' day in the chapel of St. Elias on the summit of Taygetos (M. Hamilton, Greek Saints, p. 20), but this is an isolated case not justifying a general rule. It is also to be noted that Helios was never a popular god in Greece at all under that name, except at Rhodes, where he is thought identical with Zeus Atabyrios; in modern Rhodes Mt. Ataira retains the name and Mt. St. Elias is a separate peak. Nor was Apollo in classical (as distinct from Homeric) Greece addicted to mountain-tops. Survivalists attempt to turn this difficulty by referring to the late Roman solar cult Introduced by Aurelian, the conqueror of Palmyra, from Syria. Rut this was a Syrian city cult, favoured by a Roman emperor in Rome, and not associated with hills or country. Survivalists also quote the equally late solar cult of Mithras, which was derived from Persia, had a great vogue in Rome, and is associated with the frequent Roman coin-legend SOLI INVICTO COMITI. But the Mithras cult does not seem to have had much vogue in Greece, and it was essentially a popular cult particularly affected by soldiers and developed, not in rustic places, but in towns and camps. The typical Mithraeurn, moreover, was a cave or underground chapel made to resemble a cave. The hill-cult of Elias is unknown in the West, where these solar cults were prominent, and it seems to be found only once in South Italy (near Cotrone, Baedeker, St. Italy, p. 256), which remained long Greek (Mt. St. Elias in Alaska is due to Russian influence deriving from Greek practice), Elias is still a hill-saint in Syria (e.g. on Carmel, as above; on Sinai, see Tischendorf, Terre-Sainte, p. 76; Stanley, Sinai, p. 75; Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, p. 57; elsewhere, see Tobler, Pataest. Descr., p. 8, and Topogr. van Jerusalem, ii, 712; Stanley, Sinai, p. 251; Pococke, Voyages, iii, 263, 394), where the influence of Greek language and custom can scarcely have been important. That is, in Syria, a country where Greek was never the language and ‘Hλιος meant nothing, Elias is associated with three mountains which were well within the range of Christian pilgrims. Further, the chief and characteristic hill-god of antiquity was Zeus the cloud-gatherer (found on Athos, Olympus, Dicte, Anchesmos; cf. Lykaios, Atabyrios), the corresponding hill-goddess being Cybele-Rhea (found on Ida, Dindymon, &c.). Zeus the cloud-gatherer would be a not unnatural predecessor of Elias, in which connection it is curious to find in Trede, Heidentum (1880-91), i, 316, that ‘der Heilige Elias hatte kurzlich sein Fest [at Naples] und sah man seine Statue mit einem Rad, in der Hand den Blitz des Zeus'. And finally, as Elias chapels are generally connected with villages, though on their outskirts, and many villages are recent or not on ancient sites, most Elias chapels are probably recent and no survival of any sort.

[63] Cf. the Kurdish tale of the ‘Wishing Rock' (in Jaba's Recueil de Recits Kourdes, xxxvi), where a naked man praying is taken for Khidr. The ‘places of Khidr' seem generally regarded as praying places of the saint (cf. Gibb, Ottoman Poetry, i, 393).

[64] On this subject see d'Herbelot, Bibl. Orientate, s.vv. Khedher, Elia; von Hammer in Theol. Studien wid Kritiken, 1831, pp. 829-32; Clermont-Ganneau, Horus et St. Georges, in Rev. Arch. xxxii (1876), pp. 196-204, 372-99; Friedländer, Chadhirlegende, passim. [See also Hastings' Encycl. of Relig, s.v. Khidr, for an article by Friedländer, and s.v. Saints and Martyrs, p. 81, no. 6, for an article by Masterman; my husband did not live to see either.—M. M. H.]

[65] [It is to be noted here that my husband did not regard this chapter as sufficiently advanced for publication, and that it is published on my responsibility for the sake of its material.—M. M. H.]

[66] Sale's edition, pp. 222 ff.  

[67] See below, p. 699.

[68] Polano, Selections from the Talmud, pp. 313 ff.

[69] De Locis Sanctis, ed. Tobler, p. 44, xli.

[70] This opinion I share: it seems preferable to that of Friedrich Tucli (Antoninus Martyr, p. 39), who thinks only one ‘oratorium' existed, the attribution being changed, for no good reason, from Moses to Elias.

[71] Migne, Diet. des Apocrypha, ii, 627, drawing on Weil, Bibl. Leg.

[72] See Paul Meyer, Alexandre le Grand, ii, 176; Spiegel, Die Alexandersage, p. 29.

[73] Enoch was held by some Jewish thought to have been an early incarnation of Elias, neither having died. The Talmud records Enoch's ascent to Heaven in a chariot of fire (Polano's Selections from the Talmud, p. 21). Elias and Enoch are both in the terrestrial Paradise (Villotte, Voyages, p. 56). In medieval French tradition ‘un nomme Enoc' finds the Fountain of Life, bathes in it against Alexander's orders, and is punished (Meyer, up. cit. ii, 175). Masudi identified Elias with Enoch (Goldziher in Rev. Hist. Relig. ii, 324).

[74] On him see Hottinger, Hist. Orient., pp. 87-9, with reff.; Eders-lieim, Life of Jesus, ii, 703; Goldziher, loc. cit.

[75] ‘El Khudr' converts the heathen blacks (Lane, Thousand and One Nights, p. 312). 

[76] Edersheim, ii, 705.

[77] Migne, Diet. des Apocryphes, ii, 219 ff.

[78] Wiener, Sippurim; Sammlung Jüdischer Volkssagen, pp. 6 ff.

[79] e.g. Masudi, quoted by Goldziher, loc. cit.

[80] On Khidr as the Kutb see Goldziher, loc. cit., and Lane, Mod. Egyptians, i, 293; the latter adds that many Moslems say Elijah was the kutb of his time.

[81] Cf. Pierotti, Legendes Racontees, p. 22.

[82] Goldziher, loc. cit

[83] Hastings' Encycl. of Relig. s. v. Elijah.

[84] I Kings, xviii, 12. On this see Lane, Mod. Egyptians, i, 293.

[85] For Masudi's account of this see J. Friedrich in Sitzb. Bayr. Akad., Ph.-Ph. Cl., II, ii, 181. Masudi places the martyrdom at Mosul, where Niebuhr notes (Voyage en Arabic, ii, 291) the existence of his tomb. The Copts also have a tradition of St. George's resuscitations (Ameli-neau, Contes de l'Egypte Chretienne, ii, 213).

[86] It is not likely that such a fusion could have been made except in a religion which forbade the making of images: Greeks, for example, could scarcely have done so, cf. above, p. 49, n. 2.

[87] So Beidawi, quoted by Hottinger, Hist. Orient., p. 87.

[88] Cf. d'Arvieux, Memoires, ii, 314: ‘ils ne nomment jamais ce St. Prophete Elle, qu'ils n'y ajoutent 1'epithete de Khdr, qui veut dire verd, verdoyant, qui est le symbole de la vie, parce qu'ils sont persuadez que ce Prophete est encore vivant'. Cf. also the Memoires, ii, 315.

[89] See below, pp. 699-700.

[90] Molyneux-Seel, in Geog. Journ. xliv (1914), p. 66; for the equation of Khidr to St. Sergius among the Anatolian Kizilbash see Grenard in Journ. Asiat. iii (1004), p. 518, and for Armenian confusion between St. Sergius and George see, among others, P. della Valle, Viaggio, ii, 258. It seems to me possible that there was a young military frontier saint George known before the Acta of the (Arian) George of Alexandria became current. Melitene, where one version of the Life places his birth (Baring Gould, Curious Myths, 2nd series, p. 9; cf. St. George of Melite in Amelineau, Conies de l'Egypte Chretienne, ii, 153) is a typical frontier place. Again, at Mosul, another frontier town, Niebuhr remarks his tomb (Voyage en Arabic, ii, 291), a Moslem tradition ascribing his death to the king of Mosul (Masudi, quoted by J. Friedrich in Sitz.b. Bayr. Akad., Ph.-Ph. Cl., 1899, II, ii, 181). St. Sergius, for whom see Lucius, Anfänge des Heiligenk., pp. 234 ff., is clearly a border saint, so that this may be the point of contact between him and the soldier George.

[91] Molyneux-Seel, loc. cit., pp. 65 f.; above, p. 145.

[92] On this question see below, pp. 435 ff.