(The), according to one tradition, were Melchior,
Gaspar, and Balthazar, three kings of the East. The first offered
gold, the emblem of royalty, to the infant Jesus; the second,
frankincense, in token of divinity; and the third, myrrh, in
prophetic allusion to the persecution unto death which awaited the “Man
of Sorrows.” MELCHIOR means “king of light.” GASPAR, or CASPAR, means
“the white one.” BALTHAZAR means “the lord of treasures.” (Klopstock,
in his Messíah, book v., gives these five names: Hadad, Selima,
Zimri, Beled, and Sunith.)
in Camoens' Lusiad,
means the Indian “Brahmins.” Ammianus
Marcellinus says that the Persian magi derived their knowledge from the
Brahmins of India (i. 23); and Arianus expressly calls the Brahmins
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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