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signedly, to have prevented any mistake about his country; he tells us positively, in the same book, he never was but once at sea, and that in a voyage from Aulis, a seaport in Bœotia, to the island Euboea. This, connected with the former passage of his father sailing from Cuma to Boeotia, will leave us in no doubt concerning his country.
3. Of his Quality, from his Writings.
Of what quality his father was we are not very certain; that he was drove from Cuma to Ascra by misfortunes, we have the testimony of Hesiod. Some tell us, he fled to avoid paying a fine; but what reason they have to imagine that I know not. It is remarkable, that our poet, in the first book of his Works and Days, calls his brother διον γενος. We are told indeed that the name of his father was Dios, of which we are not assured from any of his writings now extant: but if it was, I rather believe, had he designed to call his brother of the race of Dios, he would have used Διογενης οι Διο γενος; he must therefore by διον Yεvos intend to call him of race divine.' Le Clerc observes, on this passage, that the old poets were always proud of the epithet' divine;' and brings an instance from Homer, who styled the swineherd of Ulysses so. In the same remark he says, he thinks Hesiod debases the word in his application of it, having spoke of the necessitous circumstances of his father in the following book. I have no doubt but Le Clerc is right in the meaning of the word diov; but at the same time I think his observation on it trifling: because, if his father was reduced to poverty, we
are not to infer from thence he was never rich; or, if he was always poor, that is no argument against his being of a good family: nor is the word divine' in the least debased by being an epithet to the swineherd, but a proof of the dignity of that office in those times. We are supported in this reading by Tzetzes; and Valla and Frisius have took the word in the same sense, in their Latin translations of the Works and Days.
-Frater ades (says Valla) generoso e sanguine Perse. And Frisius calls him Perse divine.
4. A Judgment of his Age and Quality from Fiction.
The genealogy likewise which the author of the contention betwixt Homer and Hesiod gives us, very much countenances this interpretation. We are told in that work, that Linus was the son of Apollo, and of Thoose, the daughter of Neptune; King Pierus was the son of Linus, Oeagrus of Pierus and the nymph Methone, and Orpheus of Oeagrus and the Muse Calliope; Orpheus was the father of Othrys, Othrys of Harmonides, and Harmonides of Philoterpus; from him sprung Euphemus the father of Epiphrades, who begot Menalops the father of Dios; Hesiod and Perses were the sons of Dios by Pucamede the daughter of Apollo; Perses was the father of Mæon, whose daughter Crytheis bore Homer to the river Meles. Homer is here made the great grandson of Perses the brother of Hesiod. I do not give this account with a view it should be much depended on; for it is plain, from the poetical etymologies of the names, it is a fictitious generation; yet two useful inferences may be
made from it; first, it is natural to suppose the author of this genealogy would not have forged such an honourable descent, unless it was generally believed he was of a great family; nor would he have placed him so long before Homer, had it not been the prevailing opinion he was first.
5. Of his Age, from Longomontanus, and the Arundelian Marble.
Mr. Kennet quotes the Danish astronomer Longomontanus, who undertook to settle the age of Hesiod from some lines in his Works and Days; and he made it agree with the Arundelian marble, which makes him about thirty years before Homer.
6. From Herodotus.
Herodotus assures us, that Hesiod (whom he places first in his account) and Homer lived four hundred years and no more before himself: this must carry no small weight with it, when we consider it as delivered down to us by the oldest Greek historian we have.
7. From his Writings.
The pious exclamation against the vices of his own times, in the beginning of the iron age, and the manner in which the description of that age is wrote (most of the words being in the future tense), give us room to imagine he lived when the world had but just departed from their primitive virtue; just as the race of heroes was at an end, and men were sunk into all that is base and wicked.
8. The Opinions of Justus Lipsius and Ludolphus Neocorus confuted.
Justus Lipsius, in his notes to the first book of Velleïus Paterculus, says, 'there is more simplicity, and a greater air of antiquity, in the works of Hesiod than of Homer,' from which he would infer, he is the older writer: and Fabricius gives us these words of Ludolphus Neocorus, who writ a critical history of Homer: If a judgment of the two poets is to be made from their works, Homer has the advantage in the greater simplicity and air of antiquity in his style: Hesiod is more finished and elegant.'. One of these is a flagrant instance of the random judgment which the critics and commentators often pass on authors, and how little dependance is to be laid on some of them. In short, they are both in an error; for, had they considered through how many hands the Iliad and Odyssey have been, since they came from the first author, they would not have pretended to determine the question, who was first by their style.
9. Dr. Clarke's and Sir Isaac Newton's Opinions considered.
Dr. Samuel Clarke (who was indeed a person of much more extensive learning and nicer discernment than either Neocorus or Lipsius) has founded an argument for the antiquity of Homer on a quantity of the word καλος. In his note on the 43d verse of the 2d book of the Iliad, he observes, that Homer has used the word naλos in the Iliad and Odyssey above two hundred and
seventy times, and has in every place made the first syllable long; whereas Hesiod frequently makes it long, and often short: and Theocritus uses it both long and short in the same verse; from which our learned critic infers, that Hesiod could not be cotemporary with Homer (unless, says he, they spoke different languages in different parts of the country), but much later; because he takes it for granted, that the liberty of making the first syllable of naλoç short was long after Homer, who uses the word above two hundred and seventy times, and never has the first syllable short. This is a curious piece of criticism, but productive of no certainty of the age of Homer or Hesiod. The Ionic poets, Dr. Clarke observes, had one fixed rule of making the first syllable in naλos long: the Attic poets, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, in innumerable places, he says, make it short; the Doric poets do the same: all therefore that can be inferred from this is, that Homer always used it in the Ionic manner, and Hesiod often in the Ionic, and often in the Doric. This argument of Dr. Clarke's, founded on a single quantity of a word, is entirely destructive of Sir Isaac Newton's system of chronology; who fixes the Time of Troy being taken but thirty-four years before Hesiod flourished. Troy, he says,' was taken nine hundred and four years before Christ, and Hesiod, he says, flourished eight hundred and seventy. This shows Sir Isaac Newton's opinion of the age of Hesiod in regard to his vicinity to Homer: his bringing the chronology of both so low as he In his Chronology of ancient kingdoms amended.'