Jupiter, Gold, and the Birth of Athene

Pindar, speaking of the island of Rhodes, says that Zeus “rained down on the city with golden flakes of snow” at the time Athene was born from Zeus’ head, “shouting with a far-ringing cry, and all Heaven and Mother Earth shuddered before her.” (1) Homer also says that “upon them [the people of Rhodes] wondrous wealth was shed by the son of Cronus.” Strabo, after quoting Homer, adds that other writers “say that gold rained on the island the time when Athena was born from the head of Zeus, as Pindar states.” (2)

Gold-bearing gravel—with ingots in it—originated from outside of the Earth and, if we should look upon the Greek legend of Zeus and the golden rain in Rhodes as containing revealing elements, then the ingots came from Jupiter.(3) It could be meteoric gold, and as to the origin the ancients could err; but the event happened in human memory, actually during the Early Bronze Age, or at its end.(4)

In 1866 a human skull was unearthed in the interior of Bald Mountain near Altaville, in Calaveras County, California. The skull of Bald Mountain was reported to have been found in the shaft of a gold mine, in a layer of auriferous (gold-bearing) gravel, beneath four layers of lava, each separated from the other by four layers of gravel. The skull did not differ in structure or dimensions from the skull of modern man; however, it was fossilized.(5) In the gold-bearing gravel of Calaveras were also unearthed fossilized bones of the mammoth, the great mastodon, the tapir, horse, hippopotamus, rhinoceros and camel, all extinct animals in pre-Columbian America. But geologically the layer in which it was found belongs to the Tertiary, and therefore a great embarrassment was in store for the geologists and evolutionists. They divide the strata according to the fossils found in them and hold that in the Tertiary there could have been no human beings, for it is an age before the advent of man. But we have seen in the case of the Dead Sea that the great upheavals ascribed to the end of the Tertiary took place at a much later time, actually in the time of the Patriarchs, which is the end of the Early Bronze Age period. The auriferous gravels of California and of the Ural Mountains had their origin at this same time.

The rain of gold on Rhodes is assigned by Pindar to the time when Athene was born from the head of Zeus. The expulsion of the protoplanet Venus from the body of Jupiter followed, by decades or by centuries, the contact of Saturn and Jupiter, and the fantasy of the peoples regarded Venus as a child of Jupiter, conceived to him by Saturn.

The ancient Persians called Venus Tishtrya, “a magnificent and glorious star which Ahura Mazda [i.e., Jupiter] has established as master and overseer of all the stars.” (6) Plutarch described the events in the following terms: “Then Horomazes [Ahura Mazda], having magnified himself to three times his size, removed himself as far from the sun as the sun is distant from the earth . . . and one star, seirios [i.e., Tishtrya, or Venus] he established above all others as a guardian and watcher.” (7)


  1. Pindar, The Seventh Olympian Ode, transl. by L. R. Farnell (London, 1930), p. 35.

  2. Strabo, Geography,

  3. [On another occasion Zeus is said to have come to Danae, the mother of Perseus, in the form of a shower of golden rain. See Hyginus, Fabulae 63; Apollodorus, The Library II. 4. 1; Horace, Odes, III. 16. 1. Cf. L. Radermacher, “Danae und der goldene Regen,” Archiv fuer Religionswissenschaft 25 (1927), pp. 216ff. Cf. Pindar’s twelfth Pythian and seventh Isthmian odes. A fragment of a lost play of Sophocles (1026) designates Zeus as “chrysomorphos"—having the form of gold. Rains of gold are reported also in the Chinese chronicles. See Abel Remusat, Catalogue des bolides et des aerolithes observees a la Chine et dans les pays voisins (1819), p. 6. The Scythians are said by Herodotos (IV. ) to have venerated certain golden objects which they believed had fallen from the heavens in early times. In the sacred texts of the Hindus it is said that “gold belongs to Brihaspati.” Brihaspati is the planet Jupiter. The Maitrayani Samhita I. 18. 6. Cf. S. Bhattachrji, The Indian Cosmogony (Cambridge, 1970), p. 318.].

  4. [It is a remarkable fact that gold appears only in very recent geological formations. Sir Roderick Impey Murchison dedicated chapter XVII of his geological opus Siluria to this phenomenon: “On the Original Formation of Gold and Its Subsequent Distribution in Debris over Parts of the Earth’s Surface.” He argued, on the basis of his field observations in northern Russia, that gold is of recent origin:

    Whatever may have been the date when the rock was first rendered auriferous [gold-bearing], the date of this great superficial distribution of gold is clearly indicated. For it contains in many places the same remains of extinct fossil quadrupeds that are found in the coarse drift-gravel of Western Europe. The elephas primogenius, or Mammoth, bos aurochs, rhinoceros tochorrhinus, with gigantic stags, and many other species, including large carnivores, were unquestionably before that period of destruction the denizens of Europe and Siberia.

    The period of the distribution of gold in the late Pleistocene strata was that of the mass extinctions of the great quadrupeds at the end of the last ice age. next Murchison tried to determine the time when the rocks were first “impregnated with gold.” He wrote:

    Now, it would seem as if these rocks, in the Ural, have been chiefly impregnated with gold, in a comparatively recent period. In the first place, the western flank of the Ural chain offers strong evidence that this golden transfusion had not been effected in this region when the Permian deposits were completed.

    No sign of gold was found in these older strata.

    Nowhere does it [the Permian debris] contain visible traces of gold or platinum. Had these metals then existed in the Ural mountains, in the quantities which now prevail, many remnants of them must have been washed down together with the other rocks and minerals and have formed part of the old Permian conglomerates. On the other hand, when the much more modern debacles, that destroyed the great animals, and heaped up the piles of gravel above described, proceeded from this chain, then the debris became largely auriferous. It is manifest therefore that the principal impregnation of the rocks with gold—i.e., when the lumps and strings of it were formed—took place in the intervening time.

    Sometime between the Permian and the last ice age some event resulted in the infusion of the rocks with gold. Murchison tried to fix the time more precisely:

    We cannot believe that it occurred shortly after the Permian era, nore even when any of the secondary rocks were forming; since no golden debris is found in any of the older Tertiary grits and sands which occur in the Siberian flank of the chain. If, then, the mammoth drift be the oldest mass of detritus in which gold occurs abundantly, not only in the Ural, but in many parts of the world, we are led to believe that this noble metal, though for the most part formed in ancient crystalline rocks, or in the igneous rocks which penetrated them, was only abundantly imparted to them in a comparatively recent period—i.e., a short time (in geological language) before the epoch when the very powerful and general denudations took place which destroyed the large extinct mammalia.

    In another work of his, The Geology of Russia and the Ural Mountains, Vol. I (London, 1845), p. 473, Murchison presented his conclusions about the geological events which accompanied the deposition of gold:

    . . . We conclude that the [Ural] chain became (chiefly) auriferous during the most recent disturbances by which it was affected, and that this took place when the highest peaks were thrown up, when the present watershed was established, and when the syenitic granite and other comparatively recent igneous rocks were erupted along its eastern edges.

    Murchison, one of the founders of modern geology, insisted that it was during a major geological upheaval that gold became part of the rocks—it was the time of mountains being “thrown up” and molten rock flowing, before solidifying into granite. Murchison next wondered about the “agency” which deposited the gold in the mountains of the Ural and elsewhere. As a geologist he observed that “the material has been chiefly accumulated towards the surface of the rocks, and then by the abrasion and dispersion of their superficial parts, the richest golden materials have been spread out. . . .” (Siluria, p. 455).

    This last observation is of fundamental importance, in that since the gold was deposited close to the surface, it could not have come from inside the earth.].

  5. J. D. Whitney, The Auriferous Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California (1880), pp. 268-269.

  6. Yasht 8: 44.

  7. De Iside et Osiride, ch. 47.