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observed the fundamental rule of criticism, that every CHAP. author is his own best interpreter, and I have illustrated any peculiar idiom pretty freely from the rest of this writer's remains, especially from those ethical and other tracts which form this particular division of his works. I have then compared the authors of the nearest age, the same country, and the like profession, especially Cyprian, Arnobius, and Lactantius, and a circumstance which would otherwise increase nothing but the tedium of their perusal, has made these latter writers remarkably interesting and serviceable to this purpose. They all to a greater or less extent exerted themselves as the apologists of their fellow-Christians; and as the absurdities of ancient polytheism, the passions of the dominant, and the sufferings of the persecuted party continued from reign to reign with little mitigation or change, so the arguments of their defenders could not be expected materially to differ; the consequence is, that we find not only the pleas of Tertullian taken as the theme or burden of subsequent pieces, but even his language paraphrased and explained, and an obscure hint, a dark allusion, or an extraordinary idiom, amplified by the irregular redundance of Arnobius, or illustrated by the open translation of Minutius Felix. But I have not stopped here: when the language only is the subject of investigation, the works of any contemporary and fellow-countryman, however different may be his profession and his character, are valuable in the extreme, and second only to those which unite to such recommendations the additional qualifications of similar aims and views; nor are we so well acquainted with African literature of the second and third centuries, that we can dispense with all aid from the writings of one who in the first of those periods was the greatest and the most celebrated
CHAP. of its profane and luxurious representatives. From the writings of Apuleius, to whom I am here alluding, we may collect the most important information concerning Carthage and the provinces; we learn the domestic habits which Tertullian lashes, we see the theatres and spectacles against which he declaims, we attend the pomps and festivals of the deities which he exposes, and are introduced to the dark practices and magical arts to which he so frequently refers. And though it will be readily perceived how much even the knowledge of these circumstances is calculated to illustrate peculiarities of phraseology, yet still more opposite aid can be procured from the remains I speak of. Not only are all these communications conveyed in the same provincial dialect, and what is more, by a writer of similar education and analogous literary taste, but we have actually a counterpart composition, an apology of Apuleius, as well as of Tertullian, written indeed in a widely different spirit, pleading for private acquittal instead of public justice, refuting dirty scandal, instead of popular calumnies, savouring vastly more of ingenuity than innocence, but still written by an eloquent African, spoken before a Roman pro-consul in a Carthaginian court, addressed to the same ears to which the Christians pleaded, and possibly to many who might afterwards have read the apology of Tertullian. The very difference of these two productions is interesting and instructive, and while seizing a parallel idiom or a corresponding term, it is edifying to contrast the confident complacency of an absolute rhetorician, with the serious and passionate tone of a man pleading for his life and for the truth. I have availed myself much and often of this author's aid on points of verbal criticism. In order too that the peculiarities of the language which we are considering might
be more exactly apprehended, I have frequently quoted CHAP. the earlier or the intermediate Latin writers, either for an identical or an analogous expression, so that the transition sense of a word might be occasionally shewn, and the various changes exhibited which it experienced in its passage from Rome to Carthage, from Cicero to Tertullian. I have been less sparing in my illustrations than I perhaps otherwise might have been, because my object was as much an introduction to the ordinary style of the Latin Fathers, and a general recommendation to accuracy in their perusal, as an explanation or commentary on this particular treatise, which indeed I only took because I thought that general assistance would be best given through the medium of a particular example, and because, as I before stated, this appeared to me especially eligible for the purpose. To carry out this plan a little further, I have added a chapter on the Latinity of the African Fathers, in which I have briefly adverted to the characteristics of the class, and touched upon the distinctive properties of each individual, and I hope that this, in conjunction with the notes at the foot of the text, will enable the student to proceed with a little more ease through one portion of Tertullian's works, and through most of the remains of the other writers. I have observed, that in confining myself particularly to the verbal difficulties of the text, I have omitted the usual notices of mythological allusions, or doctrinal implications, but I have occasionally given a paraphrase of an intricate passage, or pointed out, to the best of my judgment, the thread of the argument where it appeared to be obscure, and I have thrown into a third chapter of this preface some remarks on the Apologetic writings of the early Christians, which include a special examination of the divisions, the
CHAP, arguments, and the spirit of the present tract. Most readers will probably be aware that Tertullian composed two books ad Nationes for the same purpose as the Apology, and which correspond so closely with it that they must be either a rough draught of it, or an imperfect copy; these of course are peculiarly valuable in the assistance which I noticed as supplied from other apologists, and I have placed marginal references to the corresponding passages both in these and in the Apology of Justin Martyr, that they may be thus compared. I believe I have only one more remark to add respecting the notes. Dr. Ashton, Master of this college through the first half of the last century, bequeathed to the library several volumes enriched with his MS. notes, and amongst them the Leyden edition of this treatise by Havercamp, 1718. These notes are principally occupied in refuting and exposing the views of Havercamp (which indeed was no difficult matter), but they shew very good scholarship and clear perception of the author's true meaning. A few of these annotations, by the permission of the college, I have selected; they are given in the original Latin of the Master, enclosed within brackets and distinguished by the initial A at the foot. The text has been taken mainly from the small Leipsic edition of 1841, by Leopold, with some few emendations of other editors; I have made no alteration or addition myself.
The whole of the sheets containing the text and notes had passed through the press, when the English translation of this Apology appeared amongst the periodical volumes of the Anglo-Catholic Society; I have not yet had time to read it, but if it should prove that any of my interpretations of disputed passages coincide with the translator's views, I shall be very glad of the sanction and support of such publications.
ON THE LATINITY OF THE AFRICAN FATHERS.
Ir was my belief, when I commenced investigating CHAP. this subject, that I should be able to collect certain characteristics from the language of these writers, peculiar to them as a class, but common to all of them amongst themselves, and that, by carefully comparing the dialects of other authors of the same country, such as Apuleius and Macrobius, I might approximate to a general illustration of African Latinity. But, the further I advanced, the less practicable appeared the completion of any such scheme, and the fewer points of character could I finally select which fulfilled the conditions mentioned above, the greater number of them appearing always, when strictly examined, to be either common to writers of other schools, or not common to all writers of this. I cannot therefore offer to the reader such systematic aid as I had hoped in his prosecution of the studies in question, but he may possibly derive advantage from the observations which I made during my researches, and I therefore subjoin some of them, though in a form unconnected and incomplete.
The first point to which our consideration is naturally directed in such enquiries as these, is the influence which the vernacular language of an author's native country may have exerted on the language in which he writes, and if we happen to be acquainted with both of these, we have little difficulty in tracing the operations of the former. The Syro-Chaldaisms of the New Testament Greek are nearly as perceptible and intelligible