were beautiful, and they could not satisfy their desire. They arose and took wives and begat sons, Hiwwa and Hia. And 'Azael was master of varieties of ornaments and kinds of adornments of women, which render men prone to the thought of transgression.’"

To what is said in this last sentence we shall recur again later 1. It should be noticed that the 'Azael of the Midrash is the 'Azrail of the Muhammadan legend.

It is impossible for any one to compare the Muhammadan with the Jewish legend without perceiving that the former is derived from the latter, not exactly word for word, but as it was related orally. There are, however, some interesting points in the Muhammadan form of the fable which require attention before we investigate the question, "Where did the Jews themselves learn the story?"

One of these points is the origin of the names Harut and Marut. These angels are said to have had other names originally, being called 'Azz and 'Azabi respectively and the latter names are formed from roots common to the Hebrew and the Arabic languages. In the Midrash Yalkut, however, the angels that sinned are called Shemhazai and 'Azael, whereas the Arabic legend says that 'Azrail, though he did come down, accompanied Harut and Marut as a third member of the party,

1 Vide pp. 107, 108.

and afterwards returned to heaven without committing actual sin. He is now regarded by Muslims as the Angel of Death, a part played by Sammael among the Jews. The Arabic legend says that the names Harut and Marut were not given to these two angels until after they had sinned. The meaning underlying this becomes clear when we discover that the names are those of two ancient Armenian deities, worshipped by the Armenians before their conversion to Christianity in the third and fourth centuries of the Christian era. In Armenian they were termed Horot and Morot, and a modern Armenian writer mentions the part which they were supposed to play in the ancient mythology of his country in these words:—

"Among the assistants of the goddess Spandaramit were undoubtedly Horot and Morot, demigods of Mount Masis (Ararat), and Amenabegh, and perhaps other deities also which are still unknown to us. They were the special promotors of the productiveness and profitableness of the earth 1.’

The Armenian Spandaramit is the Avestic Spenta Armaiti, the female archangel who presides over the earth and is the guardian of virtuous women. Horot and Morot appear in the Avesta as Haurvat (or Haurvatat) and Ameretat "abundance" and "immortality." They are the fifth and sixth of the Amshaspands (Amesha-spentas, "bountiful im-

1 Entir Hatouadsner, pt. 1, p. 127.