BAPHOMET. Joseph von Hammer, the renowned Orientalist in Vienna, has discussed this subject in his essay (in the Fundgruben des OHents. 6 vols. 1 numb.) Mystenum Baphometis revelatum, seu Fratres Militias Templi, qua Gnostici et quidem Ophiani, Apostasies, Idoloduliae et Impuritatis convicti, per ipsa eorum Monumenta (Discovery of the Mystery of 1^ v omet, by which the Knights Templars, like the Gnostics and Ophites, are convicted of Apostasy, of Idolatry and of moral Impurity, by their own Monuments). At the same time appeared a work of his, in which he endeavored to show the connexion of the Templars with the Assassins. He intended to prove, by this, that the order had been justly condemned and abolished, and that its corruption had not originated from intercourse with the Saracens, nor crept in as a particular doctrine and corruption of single chapters, but war common to the whole order, and pro ceeded from the statutes of their institu tion. At the same time, von Hammei extends his investigations to the origin ot the Freemasons, and to the pretended similarity of their symbols with those of the Templars and Ophites. His chief subject is the images which are called Baphomet They are to be found in several museums and collections of antiquities, as in Weimar (see the drawings in the Curiositaten, 2d vol.), and in the imperial cabinet in Vienna. These little images are of stone, partly hermaphrodites, having, generally, two heads or two faces, with a beard, but, in other respects, female figures, most of them accompanied by serpents, the sun and moon, and other strange emblems, and bearing many inscriptions, mostly in Arabic. The authoi explains 24 of them, partly by means of drawings, and takes them for idols of the Templars. The inscriptions he reduces almost all to Mete. This Mete is, according to him, not the Mnng of the Greeks, but the Sophia, Achamot Prunikos of the Ophites, which was represented half man, half woman, as the symbol of wisdom, unnatural voluptuousness and the principle of sensuality. As every thing which is reported of this Metis of the Gnostic Ophites, and all that is known of the worship of images, and of the heads of Baphomet in the chapters, from the accusations and statements on the trial of the Templars, agrees with the figure and the inscriptions of these idols, the true signification of them cannot be doubted. He asserts that those small figures are such as the Templars, according to the state ment of a witness, carried with them ir their coffers. Baphomet signifies Ba<pr, Mnreos, baptism of Metis, baptism offiref or the Gnostic baptism, an enlightening oj the mind, which, however, was interpreted by the Ophites, in an obscene sense, as fleshly union. This baptism was performed by cups or chalices, accompanied by the symbols of generation and of the mystical meal of the^ Gnostics, three of which are in the cabinet of antiquities at Vienna, and are represented in the treatise. These vessels are said to have been fixed at the feet of certain images, and to have been filled with fire, by which the initiation in their shameful mysteries was completed in the secret chapters of the Templars. The image of Baphomet was girded with serpents, as a symbol of unnatural sins. In several is to be seen also the T, the truncated cross, the character of Baphomet, which, being put as a part for the whole, was used to signify the instrument of life, the creating wisdom, the key of life; and was also called, by the Ophites, the tree of life, and the key of the Gnosis. On some images, the serpent is also to be seen, entwined round this cross. Finally, the images of Baphomet exhibit also the sun and moon, which, in the mysteries of the ancients, were of different signification. Von Hammer refers all the signs and images, which are said to be found on the buildings and coins of the Templars, to that infamous mystery. Such bold speculations, in a matter so much investigated, have met with great opposition: in particular, the fundamental assertion, that those idols and cups came from the Templars, has been considered as unfounded, especially as the images known to have existed among the Templars seem rather to be images of saints. Some deny that the word Mete is to be found upon these images or any other relics at all, or that it means an Ophitic JEon, and assert, that the Ophitic sects were not in existence in the 11th century. See Raynouard, the defender of the Templars (in the Journal des Savants), and de Sacy. Von Nell, also, has written Baphometische Aetenstucke zu dem, durch des Herrn von Hammer Mysterium Baphometis revelatum wicder angeregten, Processe gegen die Tempelherren, zur Ehre?irettung des Christhchen Ordens (Vienna, 1819). In reply, von Hammer, in No. 50 of the Archives of Geogr., History, Politics and Tactics, 1819, pointed out, in the engravings of Nell, not less than eight places containing misrepresentations. In a more recent treatise of NellEssay on a cosmological Interpretation of the Phoenician Worship of the Cabiri (in the above work, No. 6975)the author asserts, that, after a close examination, he 47* thinks the mysterious monuments, in the imperial cabinet of antiquities, which von Hammer explained as symbols of the Templars, to be alchemicotheosophical symbols, and that even the figure, which was believed to be a Mete, was found among the alchemists. We ma\ observe, also, that Nicolai considered the word Baphomet as a sign of an abstract notion, as a pentagon drawn round the head of the image; but that von Hammer calls the head of the image, and the image itself, which is to designate the baptism of fire, Baphomet.