4966. Prince of the guards. That this signifies those which are primary for interpretation, is evident from the signification of "prince of the guards," as being things primary for interpretation (n. 4790): things primary for interpretation are those which primarily conduce to the interpretation of the Word, and thus to the understanding of the doctrinal things of love to God and of charity toward the neighbor, which are from the Word. Be it known that the memory-knowledges of the ancients were altogether different from those of the present day. As before said the memory-knowledges of the ancients treated of the correspondence of things in the natural world with things in the spiritual world. The memory-knowledges which are now called philosophy, such as that of Aristotle and others like him, were unknown to them. This is evident also from the books of the ancient writers, most of which were written in language that signified, represented, and corresponded to interior things, as is evident from the following instances, not to mention others.
 They located Helicon on a mountain, and by it they meant heaven; they gave to Parnassus a place below on a hill, by which they meant memory-knowledges, where they said that a flying horse, called Pegasus, broke open a fountain with his hoof; the sciences they called virgins, with other such traditions. For they knew from correspondences and representatives that a mountain denotes heaven; a hill, that heaven which is beneath, or which is with man; a horse, the understanding; the wings with which he flew, spiritual things; a hoof, the natural mind; a fountain, intelligence; the three virgins who were called the Graces, affections of good; and the virgins who were called the Muses, affections of truth. So also they assigned to the sun horses, the food of which they called ambrosia, and their drink, nectar; for they knew that the sun signified celestial love, horses the intellectual things therefrom; and that food signifies celestial things, and drink spiritual things.
 From the ancients also there still survives the custom for kings at their coronation to sit upon a silver throne, to be clothed with a crimson robe, to be anointed with oil, to wear a crown on the head, and to carry a scepter, sword, and keys in their hands, to ride in royal pomp upon a white horse whose hoofs are shod with silver, and to be waited on at table by the chiefs of the kingdom, with other ceremonies; for they knew that a king represented Divine truth which is from Divine good, and hence they knew what is signified by a silver throne, a crimson robe, anointing oil, a crown, a scepter, a sword, keys, a white horse, hoofs shod with silver, and being waited on by chief men. Who at this day knows these significations, and where are the knowledges that teach them? Men call such things emblems, not knowing anything whatever about correspondence and representation. From all this it is evident of what nature were the knowledges of the ancients, and that they brought them into a knowledge of spiritual and heavenly things which at this day are scarcely known to exist.
 The knowledges which succeeded those of the ancients, and are properly called philosophy, rather draw away the mind from the knowledge of such things, because they can also be applied to the confirmation of falsities; and moreover when truths are confirmed by means of them, they plunge the mind into darkness, because they are for the most part bare expressions, whereby confirmations are effected which are comprehended by few, and regarding which even these few are not agreed. From this it is evident how far mankind has receded from the erudition of the ancients, which led to wisdom. The Gentiles received those knowledges from the Ancient Church, the external worship of which consisted in representatives and significatives, and the internal in those things which were represented and signified. These were the knowledges which, in the genuine sense, are signified by "Egypt."