Monday, January 31, 2011

Anah, Aminadi, and the Mysterious Yemim (but not the Yeti)

The Book of Mormon works "unto the convincing" of all mankind "that the records of the prophets and of the apostles of the Lamb are true" (1 Nephi 13: 39). "These last records," says the prophecy, "shall establish the truth of the first" (v. 40): "Proving to the world that the Holy Scriptures are true" (Doctrine and Covenants 20).

And is it not the case that the convincing power of the Book of Mormon often establishes even the minutiae of the Bible? Are the stories of the Bible true? or the fables of men? The Book of Mormon overcomes all obstacles to belief, learned or foolish, with a convincing power that is often quite subtly worked into the texture of the book. As we turn pages, the convincing thread then works its weave into the human heart. At other times the convincing power strikes like a lightning bolt.

Among the tiny but bright threads of witness that together bind and establish the truth of the Holy Scriptures, consider the following words of Amulek about one electrifying filament in his family line (Alma 13):

I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was that same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God.

And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren.

The names Aminadi (Am-i-nadi) and Abinadi (Ab-i-nadi) call out for interpretation. Hugh Nibley reads -nadi as the verb of vowing: My father (ab) has vowed; My people (am) have vowed (Teachings of the Book of Mormon, 2:304). Another guess: "A Rival (Equal, Peer) is my Clan," a good name for the typical boastful desert clan (see Arabic nadid/andad and perhaps also the root nd/nt/anti found in both Indo-European and Afroasiatic languages: My Father's Family is a Peer--to be reckoned with).

A child can interpret: the story of the American Aminadi, who also interpreted an ominous writing on a wall, "which was written by the finger of God," perforce returns us to the story of Daniel and King Belshazzar with new eyes--a nursery tale no longer. It takes but a verse, even a parenthetical aside within a single verse, for the Book of Mormon to convincingly sweep aside generations of learned exposition on the fictional character of the Book of Daniel, its supposed origins, its date of composition, and so on. It so happens the schoolmen know but little about it. We now have Aminadi to reckon with, and if the episode of Aminadi stands rock solid, so that of Daniel. But why should the Book of Mormon thus ungently rock our bedrock belief in higher criticism? The answer is clear: the Lord simply will not allow his words to stand unproven. He does not write messages to man in vain.

We've heard it since childhood:

Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.

They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

The king summons Daniel:

And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

And Daniel duly interprets the writing on the wall:

And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.

This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

We've heard tell since childhood, and the tale, after all, is true--think of that! Americans love to sing about how "The things that you're liable to read in the Bible ain't necessarily so," and yet the convincing power of the Book of Mormon has its perfect work in the heart: That Bible is liable to be so anyhow.

Nor is the reference to Daniel's interpretation the end of the convincing work. The very form of the aside about Aminadi proves to the world that the Holy Scriptures are true even where the old tribal genealogies are intoned, thus pouring greening water onto the very driest garden, and darkest corner, of Scripture.

Consider the following place in the genealogy of the sons of Esau (Genesis 36:24-5):

And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.

And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.

Aholibamah the daughter of Anah? Dry or just odd? With a spirited hope let's explore this curious genealogical aside, ponder its rhetorical function, and mine its unspoken riches:

"and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father"

"of Aminadi; and it was the same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God."

The similarity in formula bespeaks more than Kulturkreis (one cultural circle) for the Edomites and Ammonihahites; such specificity in formula goes down to the details, down to the nitty-gritty, however removed in time, place, circumstance, or language the one from the other. The Aminadi aside, in the genealogical forecast, makes for a touch of authenticity. And the original purpose of such a formula (or formulaic aside), becomes clear. The ancient genealogies were not mere lists of names; they represent, with pregnant pauses for rhetorical heightening, a repository of history and a treasury of lore, a drum roll echoing throughout all time. Bedtime stories around the camp of Edom. Such formulae of remembrance are as peculiar and specific to the oral culture of the Semitic peoples as is the use of simile in Homer. And indeed such momentous asides in the chant of forefathers also appear in Homer. . . Kulturkreis throws a wide net.

For us, the significance of the formulation in Alma 10 lies in the deceptively subtle, yet peculiar, particular, and specific manner in which it shows that the Holy Scriptures are true. By such small and simple turns of phrase, a mere throw-away line or two, the last records, the Book of Mormon, establish the truth of the first.

There's still a bit more to mull over.

Both the form of expression and the specific words in the Hebrew are curious:

hu Anah, asher matzah et-hayyemim bamidbar bir'oto et-haxamorim litziv'on aviv

He Anah, that person who discovered the Yemim [Ymm] in the desert, while pasturing the asses for Zibeon, his father.

And what is, or are, the Yemim? The Authorized Version (preposterously) interprets the Yemim as a plural: "mules"; others see the word as a rare expression for "hot springs," with Yemim as anagram of meyim, "waters." Or did Anah perhaps find a "sea in the wilderness" (Proto-Semitic *ymm)? (Note that the Book of Mormon does not prove that the Authorized Version is infallible, rather that the Holy Scriptures are true.)

Alas! Scholarship so often ultimately amounts to no discovery at all: we can feed asses in the desert all we want; still, generation after hungry generation, we will never know what is a Yemim. But isn't that the point? Why sing of Anah at all, if he only found water or mules or such? His discovery of generational import, to be anything at all, must knock us off our feet--be as startling, say, as nightingales or words divinely written on a temple wall. News like that hits the generational hearer with something like a shock. It's genealogy with a shine.

Ramesses the Great himself was one day " 'wandering over the desert of Iunu, to the south of the House of Ra, north of the House of the Ennead, by [the shrine of] Hathor, lady of the Red Mountain.' There he found a striking purple vein of quartzite, perfect for quarrying." With joy, Pharaoh ordered that a statue of himself by hewn from the quartzite and placed "in the main temple of the king's new city at Piramesse," the very place Exodus 1:11 gives as the scene of Hebrew labor:

And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

"According to the inscription, Ramesses went on to find a series of other fine veins of quartzite at Iunu and in the Beautiful Mountain of Elephantine, on the southern border of Egypt with Nubia." Of note "is a fossil inscribed in hieroglyphs with this line: 'found on the south of the quarry of Soped by the god's father Tjanefer" (Stephen Quirke, The Cult of Ra: Sun-Worship in Ancient Egypt, 76-77). Lucky Tjanefer!

So what of the Edomite Yemim? Animal? vegetable? or mineral? I like the idea of a precious stone, a fossil, or even a rich deposit of clayey soil (Egyptian ym). . . To be sure, the Yemim represents something so unutterably odd (and old), so very archaic, so like the Coelacanth in its surfacing, that lucky little Anah did not expect--not in a million years--to see it that day. The point is that Anah found.

Lehi, the dreamer, adrift in the dark waste, stumbled upon "a tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy" (1 Nephi 8). Both fruit tree and the expression desirable to make one happy answer to a sole Egyptian root: ym', later y'm (Woerterbuch I, 78-79: jm3/j3m). Lehi thus also found his Yam or Yemim!--and the entire Book of Mormon becomes one long genealogical aside attesting to that fact. And, here, I recall how the Semitic verbal root ymm suggests for Professor William Albright the Arabic verb ymm, "to strive for," as if on a quest. Do we spot an Arthurian questing beast? (William F. Albright, "Egyptian Empire," 238, cited in Herbert Bardwell Huffmon, Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts: A Structural and Lexical Study (Baltimore, Maryland), 211).

The final -m of Ymm yields a clue: it's a matter of mimation, that is, the archaic nominative Semitic case ending of singular nouns in an -m. (The final -m is usually understood as the morpheme of the plural: Yemims) So what we have is a Yem or Yam or Yim. Hmm. . . yum-yum. Hugh Nibley fairly sings the workings of mimation in The World of the Jaredites; and with the Jaredites in mind, I can't help but recall those curious mimation-laden beasts of the Book of Ether: the curelom and the cumom. Like the Yemim--and don't think for a moment it's a Yeti--we have no idea what is the curelom, much less the cumom.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Primeval Tower Mound in the Book of Ether and Egyptian Heliopolis

We previously showed how as many as three names in the brief Jaredite onomasticon, Gilead, Gilgal, and Gilgah, all signify standing stones or standing circles of stone, an indication of the archaic megalithic nature of Jaredite civilization. The Book of Ether is clear: Jared and his people all come from the place of a "great tower" (Ether 1; for the Book of Ether: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether?lang=eng).

Yet another window onto the universal concern with raising great stone centers for assembly and remembrance (to "remember how great things the Lord had done for their fathers"--Ether 6, etc.) comes from the 13th Chapter of Ether:

2 For he [the Prophet Ether] truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded‍ from off the face of this land‍ it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve‍ him who dwell upon the face thereof;

3 And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come‍ down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.
http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/13?lang=eng

No place in literature--not even Egyptian Scripture or museum handbooks--better describes the purpose behind the Egyptian enterprise of raising monumental pillars on top of mounds, or places of emergence, and thus "marking the first land to emerge from the great waters, the place where the sun first rose on the day of creation," an event celebrated anew at the season of the Nile flood (Hugh Nibley and Michael Rhodes, One Eternal Round, 171). Preeminent above all Egypt's sacred centers was 'Iwnw (Stone Pillar), which the Greeks called Heliopolis (Sun City), at center of which stood the ben-ben pillar, originally raised on a mound (see One Eternal Round, 172). Indeed: "The hieroglyph for a sacred mound (j3.t), is a mound surrounded by standing stones," what the Semitic peoples call ha-gilgal (One Eternal Round, 172). A gilgal is a stone circle set on a circular mound as marker or memorial in order to show "how great things" the Lord had done for their Israelite fathers.

For Ether, all Jaredite territory, from the moment of creation, or its repetition at the time of the Flood, becomes the sacred emergent mound, marked off by a sacred fence above and from all other lands. America becomes the place of the New Creation, the New Year, the New Place of Assembly, or New Jerusalem.

A stunning example of Egyptian iconography from the Book of the Dead of Khensu-mosu (Dynasty 21) so depicts the Mound of Creation, upon its emergence from the waters, as the symbolic representation of the whole land, a land, or earth, washed and purified by Isis and Nephthys and prepared for life by the eight beings who represent the First Time, Order, and the renewal of life (see Ancient Egypt, David Silverman, editor, 120-1).

The archaic Jaredite text, in form and feel, better matches the Egyptian literature than anything else; we're not dealing with a mere reworking of John's Revelation here:

After the [primeval] waters [of Nun], [even the waters of the Nile], had receded from off the face of this land [of Kuma, ie, Egypt, or 'Iwnw, Heliopolis], [Kuma] became a choice land [temple] above all other lands [Egypt was anciently known as "the temple of the whole world"], a chosen land of [Atum-Re, i.e., the god of creation]; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof [the great assembly or panegyris in which all men gather to celebrate the New Year]. Hugh Nibley notes how megaliths were "territorial markers" that "celebrate the greatness of a ruler or tribe and draw the world to them from a distance," One Eternal Round, 171-2; the Jaredite place name "the plains of Heshlon" (h-sh-l ~ Arabic h-s-r/h-s-d + morpheme of place -on) might well signal such an open field or place of Assembly, as of battle (Ether 13:28).

And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem [Iunu, Pillar City, Heliopolis], which should come down out of heaven [in Egyptian Scripture Heliopolis is located first in heaven then on earth], and the holy sanctuary of Atum-Re [the Sanctuary of the ben-ben stone, or hw.t bn-bn, the place so prominently featured on the rim of the Joseph Smith hypocephalus, or Facsimile 2 of the Book of Abraham].

The connection with Facsimile 2 is no happenstance either. No text better explains, or with such full scope, the purpose and meaning of that document than does Ether 13.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stonehenge, Gilgah, Gilgal, and Gilead in the Book of Ether

The Gil- names in the Book of Ether open a window onto the archaic culture of the Jaredites. The word signifies stone pillar or pile and points at the archaic practice of making monuments of standing stone, sunstone pillars, and the like. Hugh Nibley has much to say about how the builders of these ageless piles all belong to one universal civilization having one universal rite, fragments of which civilization and of which rite defy all the tides of time (see H. Nibley and M. Rhodes, One Eternal Round, 126ff, 171-, 527; and H. Nibley, "The Circle and the Square," in Temple and Cosmos, 1992, Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, vol 12). Avebury and Stonehenge thus have everything to do with Egyptian Heliopolis (Sun City), the native name of which was Iwnw, that is, Stone Pillar, the sacred standing stone dedicated to Re. Four other ancient Egyptian cities bear a variant of the same name.

Moroni's abbreviated tale of Jared and his people leaves but limited hope of being able to tie that archaic civilization to the others. Yet consider the names. The American Valley of Gilgal signifies the Valley of Standing Stones, Circular Stone Heap or Pile; Gilead (the name of the Brother of Shared), Stone Heap of Witness, Pillar of Memorial or Witness; Gilgah (a son of Jared) derives from the selfsame root and doubtless signifies Pillar, or the like. Might Gilgah signify foundation stone (cf. Egyptian grg, to dig a foundation)? What does it all mean? In our circumscribed onomasticon of the Jaredites, we notably have three names that all derive from the root gil-. We descry in the Jaredites yet another archaic people obsessed with the memorialization of things of greatest import by setting up monuments of stone. Saxa loquuntur signifies "the stones speak": Gilgah, Gilead, and Gilgal make up a saxa loquuntur.

And note how these names specifically and authentically reveal the Jaredites, not the Nephites, to be among the great archaic cultures. It's all a bit different with the Nephites and their stone works. There is a Nephite city named Gilgal (an old Hebrew place and personal name), and, of course, the Ancient Israelite Gilead comes to mind, but all this is but the remnant, though very old in its own way, of a quite archaic folk practice. The Jaredites come to us laden with the culture of stone; the Hebrews and Nephites shadow but distant mirrors of Stonehenge.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Brother of "Shared" (or Gilead) in the Book of Ether

It doesn't matter how many readings, every time I open the Book of Ether (the account of the Jaredite people train bound for headlong destruction), it's a new ride. I can never remember which witch was which: which the righteous king, which the bad; nor can I recall whose brother was who. Who's on first?

To any well-instructed Latter-day Saint savvy about Jared's famous but unnamed brother, it still shocks to learn there is also a Brother of Shared. Even more alarming to the potential contestant in Book of Mormon quiz games comes the belated information that the name of the Brother of Shared is Gilead.

Gilead (stone heap or pillar of witness) is an outlier of a name anyhow (see Genesis 31). It stands beetling at the edge of things. And what does this Jaredite Gilead bear witness to? As with the Book of Mormon name Gilgal, Gilead bespeaks unmixed evil: slayer of wine-drenched foes, usurper of a throne, victim of assassination at the hands of his own high priest (Ether 14). Too late for the famous balm, prophesies Jeremiah, "for thou shalt not be cured" (46:11; Gilgal meets Gilead in Hosea 12:11). Jaredite bones become as heaps of earth, an attesting Gilead of once a great nation (see Ether 11 and 14).

Michael Dirda, reviewing Marilynne Robinson's novel, Gilead, for The Washington Post, writes:

Gilead is a land east of the Jordan traditionally viewed as the source of a healing salve: the balm of Gilead. But in the Old Testament this same region carries less pacific associations as well and is sometimes described as a place of war, bloodshed and iniquity. The word Gilead is also linked--through a folk etymology--with the idea of witnessing (Sunday, 21 November 2004, page BW 15).

We witness, among others, Jephthah, son of Gilead--and of a harlot--Israel's antihero, whose victory evaporates into the polluted sacrifice of his own daughter.

Gilead, Hosea intones, "is polluted with blood" (6:8).

Is there no balm in Gilead?

Not in the resolute Book of Ether.


Notes:
Detailed discussion on the various places, people, and things bearing the name Gilead may be found in the International Study Bible Encyclopaedia, Geoffrey W. Bromley (ed). The Assyrian form of the name is given as Gal'aza.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Name Gilgal in the Book of Mormon

The name Gilgal (wheel, stone pile, standing stones, heap of stones) portends evil and violence in the Book of Mormon. It is a darker, bleaker Stonehenge.

The name first appears in the enumeration of cities destroyed during the great earthquake described in 3 Nephi 9: And behold, the city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk, and the inhabitants thereof to be buried up in the depths of the earth (3 Nephi 9:6). Gilgal surfaces again as the name of a Nephite commander slain in the battle for Cumorah, along with his 10,000 "to be buried up in the depths of the earth."

Finally, in the archaic record of Jaredite warfare that Moroni redacts for our benefit at the end of his record, we all--Gog and Magog--again dress for destruction at Gilgal (Ether 13:27-30):

And it came to pass that Coriantumr was exceedingly angry with Shared, and he went against him with his armies to battle; and they did meet in great anger, and they did meet in the valley of Gilgal; and the battle became exceedingly sore.

And it came to pass that Shared fought against him for the space of three days. And it came to pass that Coriantumr beat him, and did pursue him until he came to the plains of Heshlon.

And it came to pass that Shared gave him battle again upon the plains; and behold, he did beat Coriantumr, and drove him back again to the valley of Gilgal.

And Coriantumr gave Shared battle again in the valley of Gilgal, in which he beat Shared and slew him.

Around and around it goes, this great wheel of Gilgal. Here King Coriantumr begins the civil war that grinds all into annihilation.

There is something universal about this wheel of Gilgal, something as archaic as ruined stone heaps. Gilgal is a timeless word, and it comes as no surprise to find it in Egyptian as well (borrowed from Semitic).

On a Dynasty 19 ostracon (O. Ebinb. 916 vs 3-4) we read:

Dw.w bshd;
st h3w m ka=-r=ka--r [or karkar = *galgala]

The mountains topple;
they come down in a rock heap
(J. E. Hoch, Semitic Words in Egyptian, #485, 333: "The word has been identified with BH [Biblical Hebrew] gilgahl n. loc. Stone Pile.")

Could any words better describe the stunning appearance of a valley called Gilgal?

Or the tumbling and sinking of 3 Nephi 9?

And behold, the city of Gilgal have I caused to be
sunk,
and the inhabitants thereof to be
buried up
in the
depths
of the earth.


Notes:
According to the unpublished Book of Mormon Onomasticon (to be published by the Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah), Gilgal twice appears as a Hebrew personal name: 1) "on a bowl from Arad, 8th c. BC (JAT) [John A. Tvedtnes]," and 2) as glgwl among the Elephantine documents 10:21 (EHA)." The parallels are remarkable. One of the sons of Jared is named Gilgah [stone pillar?].

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Water of Sebus and The Waters of Amun

Only two Egyptian texts describe semi-nomadic Semitic tribes bringing their flocks to a place of water. One is Alma 17 in the Book of Mormon; the other, found in Papyrus Anastasi IV, is a report of the Egyptian border patrol (discussed in James E. Hoch, Semitic Words in Egyptian Texts, #131, 106-07).

I. And after he had been in the service of the king three days, as he was with the Lamanitish servants going forth with their flocks to the place of water, which was called the water of Sebus, and all the Lamanites drive their flocks hither, that they may have water (Alma 17:26; elsewhere termed the waters of Sebus).

II. We are finished letting the tribe of Edomite bedouin pass by Fort Merneptah-hotpe-hi-ma'at, l.p.h., which is in Tjeku, to the pools of Pi-Tum [of] Merneptah-hotpe-hi-ma'at. . .in order to keep their flocks alive (An IV).

The word for pools, so Professor Hoch tells us, is a Hebrew loan word into New Kingdom Egyptian [bi4=r=ka=ta, *birkata, *barkata]. Pools occurs in the Egyptian onomastica, that is, vocabulary lists kept for scribal consultation. Spanish also has the word: alberca (from the Arabic pool, swimming pool).

Other Semitic loan words into Egyptian describe "the place of water," and prominent among these is *mash'aba Watering Place (Hoch, #205, 156): "The word occurs in the onomastica among bodies of water," that is, it is the standard expression in New Kingdom Egypt for such a thing. The Water or Waters of Sebus might well have been "The mash'aba Sebus," which has a nice alliterative ring to it.

A second possibility is shaqona/shakuna? another borrowing into Egyptian from Semitic (Hoch, 289-290), as in:

Akkadian: mashqitu Watering Places
Arabic: siqaya

The word for revealed law in Islam is famously shari'a, which, along with mashra'a, primarily denotes the path to the water hole, drinking place. The River Jordan is thus Nahr ash-Shari'a, the Syro-Palestinian "Waters of Sebus" for many a desert tribe (see Wehr's Dictionary of Modern Arabic). Isaiah unfolds the Waters of Shiloah, from which the thirsty, in quietude, may draw living waters, and, of course, the Bible yields many such Waters for the thirsting seeker.

The Egyptian onomastica also yield the expression "the water, or waters of So-and-So" as place name, as is the case with the branches of the Nile Delta (see Alan H. Gardiner, Ancient Egyptian Onomastica, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1947). Note that the Egyptian word mw may be translated as either water or waters, just as in Alma (mw is a collective plural):

P3 mw nj P3-r'  The Water of Prei [Re: the Water of the Sun] II 164*
(And cf. jtrw '3, the "great river," a watering place for cattle.)
P3 mw [nj] Pth  The Water of Ptah, II 155*
P3 mw [nj] Jmn  The Water of Amun 
(recalling the Waters of Mormon = Meriamun?)
P3 mw [nj] Mnm3'tre'  The Water of Menma'rei [= Sethos I], II 155*
(again recalling the Waters of Mormon in the Book of Mosiah)
P3 mw 3  The Three Waters

Given the heroic deeds of Prince Ammon at the Water of Sebus, may we not also call the place the Water of Ammon (P3 mw Jmn)?

Book of Mormon Sebus, by the way, does something recall the Semitic word for sun (sh/s-m-s), especially in its Ugaritic form, Shapash, which last often signifies the female sun (Hathor?). Water of the Sun matches the Egyptian place name P3 mw r', The Waters of Re. Still, the best explanation for the word, thus far, appears in the Book of Mormon Onomasticon, where Professor Paul Hoskisson ties Sebus to a West Semitic root, sbs, "which means 'to gather/assemble (persons).' It appears as an Aramaic loan word in Neo-Babylonian texts" (see Chicago Assyrian Dictionary S, 341, sub "subbusu"; AHW, 1053). According to Hoskisson, Lamanite Sebus may thus denote a place of assembly or gathering. One thinks, here, not of the tropics of course, but a drier zone, savanna or desert.