Page images

The second of the above dissertations, by M. Panofka, treats of the gods to whom, besides Asclepios and his descendants, healing powers were attributed. The author brings before us most of the great gods of the Greeks, and shews, partly from ancient authors and partly from works of art, that all were looked upon as possessing, more or less, the power of curing diseases and healing wounds. To this is added a short dissertation on the dæmones and heroes to whom medical and surgical skill was ascribed, such as Chiron (the man of the hand, i. e. the surgeon), Prometheus, Apis, Achilles, and others. The whole treatise, though consisting of only eighteen pages of text and two plates, is a valuable contribution towards the understanding of ancient mythology.

MANUAL OF CLASSICAL LITERATURE. From the German of J. J. Eschenburg. With additions by N. W. Fiske. Fourth edition. Philadelphia, 1844. 8vo. (London: Wiley and Putnam.)

THIS work comprises short treatises on the following subjects: 1. Classical Geography and Topography; 2. Classical Chronology; 3. Greek and Roman Mythology; 4. Greek Antiquities; 5. Roman Antiquities; 6. Archæology of Greek Literature; 7. Archæology of Roman Literature; 8. Archæology of Art; 9. History of Greek Literature; 10. History of Roman Literature. It was at one time extensively used in the schools of Germany, and enjoyed a wellmerited reputation. In consequence, however, of the great progress that has been made in almost all the subjects of which it treats, it may be regarded as out of date in the present day, and is in many respects inferior to the similar works of Schaaff and Hoffmann. The translator says that he has made many additions and improvements, in order to bring up the work to the present state of classical knowledge, and in the preface to the present edition, mentions in particular the assistance he has derived from Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. We have noticed, however, that many errors of the original work remain uncorrected, as must almost necessarily happen in such cases, however industrious and careful the editor may be in his revision: it is much safer to write a new work than to attempt patching up an old one. This is particularly exemplified in the sections devoted to the Roman constitution, which contain a curious mixture of the views of modern scholars with the old substratum of the work. Thus, though the translator refers to the article Patricii in the Dictionary of Antiquities, he confines the term, with Livy and Cicero, "to the descendants of the patres or senators ap

pointed by Romulus." (§ 253.) In like manner the translator neglects to point out the essential difference between the comitia curiata and the comitia centuriata, namely, that the former was the assembly of the patricians, and the latter included both orders, arranged according to a property qualification: he merely states, that "Romulus established the comitia curiata, in which the votes were given by curiæ; Servius Tullius the comitia centuriata, in which the people voted by centuries." (§ 259.) With respect to the comitia tributa we find the strange statement, that "it was instituted by the tribunes in B.C. 491." Surely there is no need now for introducing such books into our schools; they have served in their time, but if those who undertake to reproduce them, do not keep pace with the times, they must share the fate of every thing which is stagnating, and make room for better works.





WITH a view to testify my respect for the editor of this Journal, and at the same time to offer him a substantial proof of the interest I have taken in this excellent periodical from the commencement of its publication, I had begun, some time since, to pen some remarks on the characteristics of the Greek Iambic poets. Being, however, interrupted by more pressing business, I had not proceeded far in my researches when Boissonade's long-expected edition of Babrius came to hand. A question connected with this work, which the French editor has but briefly noticed, I shall here endeavour to discuss more minutely.

The Brute-fable in Greece is of the highest antiquity. It may be considered, in all respects, as the twin-sister of the Heroic-Epic, and though I do not deny their connection with the East, which, in respect of the former, cannot be reasonably contradicted, they both, as they have come down to us, exhibit a form which must be considered as an independent production of the Hellenic national mind. For it is a striking peculiarity of the Greeks, that they always transformed whatever they borrowed from other nations, so as to obliterate, as far as was practicable, every trace of its foreign origin, and bring it to an artistic perfection. But whilst the Herofable was, at an early period, embellished with all the charms of poetry, the Brute-fable continued to retain its original

'Translated from the author's MS. by G. F. Graham.

rude form, though it was never lost sight of by the nation. Indeed, I consider it not improbable, that at a later period, when the Heroic-Epic ceased to be composed, and the Epic form began to be used upon other materials, the Brute-fable was then first treated poetically, and that the actions and habits of animals were described in an Epic form, but with naïveté, and without the least view of conveying moral instruction. Of this we have some faint echo in the Batrachomyomachia, which undoubtedly must be ascribed to Pigres, in the time of the Persian war. And even supposing that there were predecessors to Pigres, which I consider probable, their works must be regarded as merely isolated attempts; the whole and rich material which the Brute-fable offered was in no instance artistically treated, but how could the Greeks have allowed so important a bequest from their ancestors to have fallen into oblivion, without leaving some traces of its former existence? On the other hand, poetry, in an early period, uses these national legends for a didactic purpose, in which animals appear as if in a mirror held up by the poet, as a warning and instruction to his age. The alvos is made use of in this way even by Hesiod; with the same aim the ingenious Archilochus composed his most sarcastic Iambic Brute-fables; in like manner, Simonides of Amorgos probably used these inexhaustible mines of instruction. It is but to advance a step further, to compose with a didactic view, in imitation of the Brute-fable. Of this there is a remarkable example in Galen, Protrept. 13: Ὅτι δὲ καὶ ἐν αὐτοῖς, οἷς ἀσκοῦσιν, οὐδενός εἰσιν ἄξιοι λόγου (οἱ ἀθληταὶ) μάθοιτ' ἂν εἰ διηγησαίμην ὑμῖν τὸν μῦθον ἐκεῖνον, ὃν τῶν οὐκ ἀμούσων ἀνδρῶν τις ἐντείνας ἔπεσιν διεσκεύασεν· ἔστι δὲ οὗτος. Εἰ Διὸς γνώμη πᾶσι τοίς ζώοις ὁμόνοια καὶ κοινωνία γένοιτο πρὸς τὸν βιὸν, ὡς τὸν ἐν Ὀλυμπίᾳ κήρυκα μὴ μόνον ἀνθρώπους τοὺς ἀγωνιουμένους καλεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ πᾶσιν ἐπιτρέπειν τοῖς ζώοις εἰς στάδιον ἥκειν ἕν, οὐδένα ἂν ἄνθρωπον οἶμαι στεφθήσεσθαι· ἐν μὲν γὰρ δολιχῷ ὑπέρτατος, φησίν, ἔσται ὁ ἵππος, τὸ στάδιον δὲ λαγωὸς ἀποίσεται, ἐν δὲ διαύλῳ δορκὰς ἀριστεύει, μερόπων δ' έναρίθμιος οὐδεὶς ἐν ποσὶν, ὦ κούφοι ἀσκητῆρες ἄθλιοι ἄνδρες· ἀλλ ̓ οὐδὲ τῶν ἀφ ̓ Ἡρακλέους τὶς ἐλέφαντος ἢ λέοντος ἰσχυρότερος ἂν φανείη· οἶμαι δ ̓ ὅτι καὶ ταῦρος πυγμῇ στεφθήσεται, καὶ ὄνος, φησὶ, λαξ ὅτι εἰ βούλεται, ερίσας αὐτὸν τὸν στέφανον οἴσεται, αὗταρ ἔν ἱστορίῃ πολυπείρῳ γράψεται ὄνος ὅτι παγκράτιον νίκησέ ποτ ̓ ἄνδρας, εἰκοστὴ καὶ πρώτη Ολυμπιάς ἦν ὅτ ̓ ἐνίκα ὀγκητής· πάνυ

« PreviousContinue »