Obrazy na stronie
PDF

wrote a History of Lydia in four books. Suidas cites the second. Dionysius of Halicarnassus also quotes this work, and speaks of the author in terms of high commendation. (Ant. Rom., vol. 1, p. 22, ed Reiske.) The Lydiaca are quoted by Parthenius, in Stephanus of Byzantium, and probably by the scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius: by #. also (p. 14, ed. Gaisf). The fragments of Xanthus are given by Creuzer in his “Historicorum Graccorum Antiquiss. Fragmenta,” Heidelb, 1806, 8vo, p. 148, seqq. (Mus. Crit., vol. 2, p. 109, seqq.) XENöcles, an Athenian tragic poet, ridiculed by Aristophanes, and yet the conqueror of Euripides on one occasion (Olym. 91.2, B.C. 415). He was of dwarfish stature, and son of the tragic poet Carcinus. In the Paz, Aristophanes applies the term unxavočigaç to the family. From the scholiast it appears that Xenocles was celebrated for introducing machinery and stage-shows, especially in the ascent or descent of his gods. (Theatre of the Greeks, 3d ed., p. 66.) XENocRites, I. an ancient philosopher, born at Chalcedon in the 95th Olympiad, B.C. 400. H first attached himself to AEschines, but afterward became a disciple of Plato, who took much pains in cultivating his genius, which was naturally heavy. Plato, comparing him with Aristotle, who was also one of his pupils, called the former a dull ass, who needed the spur, and the latter a mettlesome horse, who required the curb. His temper was gloomy, his aspect severe, and his manners little tinctured with urbanity. These material defects his master took great pains to correct, frequently advising him to sacrifice to the Graces; and the pupil was patient of instruction, and knew how to value the kindness of his preceptor. He compared himself to a vessel with a narrow orifice, which receives with difficulty, but firmly retains whatever is put into it. So affectionately was Xenocrates attached to his master, that when Dionysius, in a violent fit of anger, threatened to find one who should cut off his head, he said, “Not before he has cut off this,” pointing to his own. As long as Plato lived, Xenoc. rates was one of his most esteemed disciples; after his death he closely adhered to his doctrine ; and, in the second year of the hundred and tenth Olympiad, B.C. 339, he took the chair in the Academy as the successor of Speusippus. Aristotle, who, about this time, returned from Macedonia, in expectation, as it should seem, of filling the chair, was greatly disappointed and o at this nomination, and immediately instituted a school in the Lyceum, in opposition to that of the Academy where Xenocrates continued to preside till his death. Xenocrates was celebrated among the Athenians, not only for his wisdom, but also for his virtues. (Val. Mar., 2, 10,–Cic., ad Att., 2, 16. — Diog. Laert., 4, 7.) So eminent was his reputation for integrity, that when he was called upon to give evidence in a judicial transaction, in which an oath was usually required, the judges unanimously agreed that his simple asseveration should be taken, as a public testimony to his merit. Even Philip of Macedon found it impossible to corrupt him. When he was sent, with several others, upon an embassy to that prince, he declined all private intercourse with him, that he might escape the temptation of a bribe. Philip afterward said, that of all those who had come to hun, on embassies from foreign states, Xenocrates was the only one whose friendship he had not been able to purchase. (Diog. Laert., 4, 8.) During the time of the Lamiac war, being sent an ambassador to the court of Antipater for the redemption of several Athenian captives, he was invited by the prince to sit down with him at supper, but declined the invitation in the words of Ulysses to Circe. (Odyss., 10, 383.) This pertinent and ingenious application of a passage in H. or, rather, the gencrous *o spirit which it expressed, was so

pleasing to Antipater that he immediately released the prisoners. It may be mentioned as another example of moderation in Xenocrates, that when Alexander, to mortify Aristotle, against whom he had an accidental pique, sent Xenocrates a magnificent present of fifty talents, he accepted only thirty mina, returning the rest to Alexander with this message: that the large sum which Alexander had sent was more than he should have been able to spend during his whole life. So abstemious was he with respect to food, that his provision was frequently spoiled before it was consumed. His chastity was invincible. Lais, a celebrated Athenian courtesan, attempted, without success, to seduce him. Of his humanity, no other proof can be necessary than the following pathetic incident. A sparrow, which was pursued by a hawk, flew into his bosom; he afforded it shelter and protection till its enemy was out of sight, and then let it go, saying that he would never betray a suppliant. (AE!, W. H., 13, 31.) He was fond of retirement, and was seldom seen in the city. He was discreet in the use of his time, and carefully allotted a certain portion of each day to its proper business. One of these he employed in silent meditation. He was an admirer of the mathematical sciences, and was so fully convinced of their utility, that, when a young man who was unacquainted with geometry and astronomy desired admission, he refused his request, saying that he was not yet possessed of the handles of philosophy. In fine, Xenocrates was eminent both for the purity of his morals and for his acquaintance with science, and supported the credit of the Platonic school by his lectures, his writings, and his conduct. (Plut... de Virt. Mor, 2, p. 399.) He lived to the first year of the 116th Olympiad, B.C. 316, or the 82d of his age, when he lost his life by accidentally falling, in the dark, into a reservoir of water. The philosophical tenets of Xenocrates were truly Platonic, but in his method of teaching he made use of the language of the Pythagoreans. He made Unity and Diversity principles in nature, or gods; the former of whom he represented as the father, and the latter as the mother of the universe. He taught that the heavens are divine, and the stars celestial gods; and that, besides these divinities, there are terrestrial demons of a middle order, between the gods and man, which partake of the nature both of mind and body, and are therefore, like human beings, capable of passions and liable to diversity of character. (Diog. Laert, 4, 9, 10– Plut. in Aler. vol. 5, p. 551. – Val. Mar, 4, 3. – Stob., Ecl. Phys., 1, 3. Plut, de Is, et. Os, vol. 2, p. 157-Enfield's Hist. Philos., vol. 1, p. 244, scqq.) —II. A Greek physician of Aphrodisias, a work of whose is still remaining, on the aliment afforded by fishes. The best edition is that published at Naples in 1794, 8vo, and which is based upon the edition of Franzius, which last appeared in 1774, Lips., 8vo. (Sprengel, Hist, de la Med, vol. 2, p. 57.) XENoph KNEs, the founder of the Eleatic sect, was a native of Colophon, and born, according to Eusebius, about B.C. 556. From some cause which is not related, Xenophanes early lest his country and took refuge in Sicily, where he supported himself by reciting, at the court of Hiero, elegiac and iambic verses, which he had written in reprehension of the Theogonies of Hesiod and Homer. From Sicily he passed over into Magna Græcia, where he took up the profession of philosophy, and became a celebrated preceptor in the Pythagorean school. Indulging, however, a greater freedom of thought than was usual among the disciples of Pythagoras, he ventured to introduce new opinions of his own, and in many particulars to oppose the doctrines of Epimenides, Thales, and Pythagoras. He possessed the Pythagorean chair of philosophy about 70 years, and lived to the extreme age of 100 years. In metaphysics, Xenophanes taught that if there ever had been a time when nothing existed, nothing could ever have existed. That whatever is, always has been from eternity, without deriving its existence from any prior principle; that nature is one and without limit; that what is one is similar in all its parts, else it would be many; that the one infinite, eternal, and homogeneous universe is immutable and incapable of change; that God is one incorporeal eternal being, and, like the universe, spherical in form ; that he is of the same nature with the universe, comprehending all things within himself; is intelligent, and pervades all things, but bears no resemblance to human nature either in body or mind. (Enfield's History of Philosophy, vol. 1, p. 414.) XENOPhoN, I. a celebrated Athenian, son of Gryllus, distinguished as an historian, philosopher, and commander, born at Ercheia, a borough of the tribe .Egeis, B.C. 445. (Letronne, Biogr. Univ., vol. 51, p. 370.) Xenophon was unquestionably one of the most respectable characters among the disciples of Socrates. He strictly adhered to the principles of his master in action as well as opinion, and employed philosophy, not to furnish him with the means of ostentation, but to qualify him for the offices of public and private life. While he was a youth, Socrates, struck with the comeliness of his person (for he regarded a fair form as a probable indication of a well-proportioned mind), determined to admit him into the number of his pupils. Meeting him by accident in a narrow passage, the philosopher put forth his staff across the path, and, stopping him, asked where those things were to be purchased which are necessary to human life. Xenophon appearing at a loss for a reply to this unexpected salutation, Socrates proceeded to ask him where honest and good men were to be found. Xenophon still hesitating, Socrates said to him, “ Follow me, and learn.” From that time Xenophon became a disciple of Socrates, and made a rapid progress in that moral wisdom for which his master was so eminent. Xenophon accompanied Socrates in the Peloponnesian war, and sought courageously in defence of his country. It was at the battle of Delium, in the early part of this war, that Socrates, according to some accounts, saved the life of his pupil. In another battle, also fought in Boeotia, but of which history has preserved no trace, Xenophon would seem to have been made prisoner by the enemy ; for Philostratus (Wit. Soph., 1, 12) informs us that he attended the instructions of Prodicus of Ceos while he was a prisoner in Boeotia. How his time was employed during the period which preceded his serving in the army of Cyrus is not ascertained; it is more than probable, however, that he was engaged during the interval in several campaigns, since the skill and experience displayed in conducting the retreat of the Ten Thousand presuppose a familiar acquaintance with the art of war. At the age of fortythree or forty-four years, he was invited by Proxenus the Boeotian, formerly a disciple of Gorgias of Leontini, and one of Xenophon's intimate friends, to enter into the service of Cyrus the younger, the brother of Artaxerxes Mnemon of Persia. Xenophon consulted Socrates in relation to this step, and the philosopher disapproved of it, being apprehensive lest his old pupil might incur the displeasure of the Athenians by joining a prince who had shown himself disposed to aid the Lacedæmonians in their war against Athens. He advised him, however, to visit Delphi, and consult the god about his intended scheme. Xenophon obeyed, but merely asked the oracle to which one of the gods he ought to sacrifice and offer up vows in order to ensure the success of what he was then meditating. For this Socrates blamed him, but, nevertheless, advised him to do what the god had enjoined, and then to take his departure. At Sardis, Xenophon met his friend Proxenus, and obtained, through him, an introduction to Cyrus, by whom he was well received.

The prince promised, if he would enter into his ser

vice, to send him home in safety after his expedition against the Pisidians should have terminated. Xenophon, believing the intended expedition to have no other end than this, consented to take part in it, being equally deceived with Proxenus himself; for, of all the Greeks who accompanied Cyrus, Clearchus alone was from the beginning in the secret. The army of Cyrus marched from Sardis, through Lydia, Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Cappadocia, crossed the mountains of

Cilicia, passed through Cilicia and Syria to the Euphrates, forded this river, passed through a part of Arabia and Babylonia, until they reached the plain of Cunaxa. After the fatal battle of Cunaxa and the fall of Cyrus, Xenophon advised his fellow-soldiers rather to trust to their own bravery than surrender themselves to the victor, and to attempt a retreat into their own country. They listened to his advice; and, having had many proofs of his wisdom as well as courage, they elected him one of the five new commanders, chosen to supply the place of their former leaders, who had been entrapped and slain by Tissaphernes.

Xenophon was appointed in the room of Proxenus, and soon became the soul of all the movements of the Greeks in their memorable retreat, acquiring great glory by the prudence and firmness with which he conducted them back, through the midst of innumerable dangers. The particulars of this memorable adventure are related by Xenophon himself, in his Anabasis, or Retreat of the Ten Thousand. In retreating, the object of the Greeks was to strike the Euxine; but the error they committed was in making that sea ex

tend too far to the east. From Cunaxa they turned

their course to the Tigris, crossed that river, marched

through Media, northward, still following the course of the Tigris. They then crossed the mountains of

the Carduchi, and, after great exertions, reached the sources of the river just mentioned. After this they traversed Armenia, crossed the Euphrates not far from its source, lost many of their number in the marshes through the cold and snow, and came to the Phasis.

Leaving this stream, they passed through the countries of the Taochi, Chalybes, Macrones, Colchians, and at last reached the Greek colony of Trapezus on the coast of the Euxine Sea. As there were not ships enough there to receive them all, they determined to return home by land, and, marching along the coast of

the Euxine, came to Chrysopolis opposite Byzantium. After having crossed over to the latter city, and been deceived by the promises of Anaxibius, the Spartan admiral, they entered into the service of Seuthes, king of Thrace, who had solicited their aid. This prince, however, proving faithless, and paying them only a part of their stipulated recompense, they finally entered into the service of Thymbron, who had been directed by the Spartans to raise an army and make war upon the satraps Pharnabazus and Tissaphernes. According to Xenophon, the whole distance traversed by the Greeks, both in going and returning, was 1155 parasangs, or 34,650 stadia. The whole time taken up was fifteen months, of which the retreat itself occupied less than eight.—Having returned to Greece, Xenophon, after an interval of four or five years, joined Agesilaus, king of Sparta, and fought with him, not only in Asia, but also against the Thebans at home, in the battle of Coronea. The Athenians, displeased at this alliance, brought a public accusation against him for his former conduct in engaging in the service of Cyrus, and condemned him to exile. The Spartans, upon this, took Xenophon, as an injured man, under their protection, and provided him with a comfortable retreat at Scilluns in Elis, making him a present of a dwelling there, with considerable land attached to it. According to Pausanias (5, 6), they gave him the entire town of Scillums. Here he remained, if we believe the same Pausanias, for the remainder of his days, and in this retreat dedicated his time to literary pursuits. Xenophon himself has given us, in the Anabasis (5,3,7), an interesting account of his residence at Scilluns, where he erected a temple to the Ephesian Diana, in performance of a vow made during the famous retreat which he so ably conducted. In this place he died, in the 90th year of his age. Pausanias, who visited the ruins of Scilluns, states that the tomb of Xenophon was pointed out to him, and over it his statue of Pentelic marble. He adds, that when the Eleans took Scilluns, they brought Xenophon to trial for having accepted the estate at the hands of the Spartans, but that he was acquitted, and allowed to reside there without molestation. The common account, however, makes him to have retired to Corinth when a war had broken out between the Spartans and Eleans, and to have ended his days there. The integrity, the piety, and the moderation of Xenophon rendered him an ornament to the Socratic School, and proved how much he had profited by the precepts of his master. His whole military conduct discovered an admirable union of wisdom and valour. And his writings, at the same time that they have afforded, to all succeeding ages, one of the most perfect inodels of purity, simplicity, and harmony of language, abound with sentiments truly Socratic.—By his wife Phitesia Xenophon had two sons, Gryllus and Diodorus ; the sormer of whom sell with glory in the battle of Mantinea, after having inflicted a mortal wound on Fpaminondas, the Theban commander. (Wid. Gryllus ) —The works of Xenophon, who has been styled, from the sweetness and graceful simplicity of his lan. guage, the “Attic bee,” are as follows: 1. ‘EA2nvuka (“Grecian History”), in seven books. In this work Xenophon gives a continuation of the history of Thucydides, down to the battle of Mantinea. It was undertaken at an advanced age, amid the retirement of Scilluns, and completed either there or at Corinth. The work is full of lacunae and falsified passages. The recital of the battle of Leuctra is not given with sufficient development, and it is evident that Xenophon relates with regret the victory of Epaminondas over his adopted country. Xenophon does not imitate in this production the manner of Thucydides. That of Herodotus accorded better with his general character as a writer, and had more analogy to the style of eloquence that marked the school of Isocrates, of which Xenophon had been a disciple.—2. 'Avá6aour (“The Erpedition into Upper Asia"), otherwise called “the Retreat of the Ten Thousand.” Xenophon, as has already been remarked, bore a large share in this glorious crpedition. His narrative, written with great clearness and singular modesty, forms one of the most interesting works bequeathed to us by antiquity.—3. Kipov IIauðeia (“The Education of Cyrus"). This work not only gives a view of the earlier years of Cyrus, the Great, but also of his whole lise, and of the laws, institutions, and government employ. ed by him at home and abroad, in peace and in war. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Ep. ad Cn. Pomp.– Op., vol. 6, p. 777, ed. Reiske) characterizes the work as the tikóva Baqu%éac dyaslow kai evčaiuovoc, and Cicero (Ep. ad Q. Fr., 1, 1, 8) warns us not to consider this treatise as constructed with historic faith, but as a mere pattern of just government. In fact, the Cyropædia is less a history than a species of his. torical romance. Cyrus is represented to us as a wise and magnanimous, a just, generous, and patriotic king; as a great and experienced, a prudent and invincible commander; a bright exemplar to those who are called to wield the military energies of nations, to desend their father-land srom hostile aggression, to conquer on a foreign soil the enemies of their country, to enlarge the boundaries of their empire, and to diffuse over subject millions the blessings of civil order and peaceful industry, of extended manufactures, trade,

and commerce. Plato (de Leg., 3–0p., vol. 8, p. 142, ed. Bip.) denies that Cyrus épôňc traideia: #96a, and this statement is considered by Walckenaer to have been directed against the representations of Xenophon; and hence we need feel no surprise at the opposition between the Banquet of Xenophon and that written by Plato. From Aulus Gellius (N. A., 14, 3) we discern some traces of this personal hostility between these great philosophers. (Barker, de Xen, Cyrop., 1, 1. — Compare remarks under the article Plato.)—As regards the more received accounts relative to the elder Cyrus, the student is referred to that article itself—Some modern critics have thought that Xenophon, in this work, is not as romantic in his details as he is commonly supposed to be, but that he gives us the mode of education adopted in the case of the young Persians that belonged to a privileged caste, that of the warriors namely, and not the manner of rearing which was common to the people at large. One thing at least is certain, that nothing in the Cyropaedia indicates the intention of its author to produce a work of the imagination. Others have supposed that Xenophon's object in writing the treatise in question was to criticise the first two books of Plato's Republic, and that the latter retaliated in his third book of laws by drawing a character of Cyrus quite different from that which $. had depicted. (Consult Aul. Gell., l.c., and, in relation to the Cyropaedia generally, the Dissertation of Fraguier, Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscr., &c., vol. 2, p. 48.-Sainte-Croiz, Obserrations, &c., ibid., vol. 46, p. 399.-Baden, Opuscula Latina, Havn., 1763, 8vo, n. 2.-Damm, Berliner Monatschrift, 1796, vol. 1, p. 69.) Though the Cyropadia be certainly the work of Xenophon, some doubts have nevertheless arisen with respect to the latter part of the history, and which Walckenaer, Schneider, F. A. Wolfe, and many other modern scholars regard as the addition of some later writer, who wished to weaken the favourable impression towards the Persians which the perusal of the main work could not sail to produce. (Compare Schulz, De Cyropadia epilogo, &c. Hal., 1806, 8vo.—Bornemann, Epilog. der Cyropardie, &c., Leipz., 1819, 8vo.)—4. A6) or el AymaiAaov (“Eloge on Agesilaus"). Xenophon had sollowed this prince in his expedition into Asia, and had been an eyewitness of his victories in that country. He had accoinpanied him also in his Grecian campaigns, and his attachment to this eminent commande: was the secret cause of his banishment from Athens No one, therefore, was better qualified to write the biography of this celebrated Spartan. Cicero, in speaking of this work of Xenophon's, says that it surpasses all the statues ever erected to the Lacedaemonian monarch (Ep. ad Fam., 5, 12); and yet some modern critics, with Valckenaer at their head, have regarded this piece of biography as below the standard of Xenophon's acknowledged abilities as a writer, and the production of some sophist or rhetorician of a subse. quent age.—5. 'Atrouvmuovetouara Swxpárovo (“Memoirs of Socrates”), the best of Xenophon's philosophical works. It gives, first, a justification of Soc. rates against the charge of having introduced strange deities instead of worshipping the national ones, and of having corrupted the young by his example and maxims. It then goes on to adduce various conver. sations between Socrates and his disciples on topics of a moral and religious nature. (Consult Dissen, De philosophia morali in Xenophontis de Socrate commenta*iis tradita, Gött., 1812.) This work, written with singular grace and elegance, offends in many instances against the rules and the forin of the dialogue, and be. comes, on these occasions, an actual monologue. It is divided into four books, but is thought to have been anciently more voluminous.—6, Xuxparov; 'Arožoyia irpos toi's dukaarár (“Defence of Socrates before his Judges"). This piece is not, as the title indicates, a pleading delivered in the presence of his judges; neither is it a defence of himself, on the part of Socrates, against the vices and crimes laid to his charge; it is rather a development of the motives which induced the sage to prefer death to the humiliation of addressing entreaties and supplications to prejudiced judges. Valckenaer and Schneider consider the work unworthy of Xenophon. The former of these critics sces in this the production of the same individual who fabricated the latter part of the Cyropaedia; while Schneider thinks that it once formed a portion of the Memoirs of Socrates, and that the grammarians, after detaching it from this work, falsified and corrupted it in many places.—7. Xuutóatov 942006pov (“Banquet of Philosophers"). The object which Xenophon had in view in writing this piece, which is a chef d’azuvre in point of style, was to place in the clearest light the purity of his master's principles relative to friendship and love, and to render a just homage to the innocence of his moral character. Some of the ancients were persuaded that Xenophon had another and secondary object, that of opposing his “Banquet” to Plato's dialogue which bears the same title, and in which Socrates had not been depicted, as Xenophon thought, with all the simplicity that marked his character. Schneider and Weiske, two celebrated commentators on Xenophon, as well as an excellent iudge in matters of taste, the distinguished Wieland (Attische Museum, vol. 4, p. 76), have adopted this same opinion; but it has been attacked by two other scholars, Boeckh and Ast. The former believes that Plato wrote his dialogue after having read the Banquet of Xenophon, and that, in place of Socrates as he realiy was, the founder of the Academy wished to trace, under the name of this philosopher, the beau ideal of a true sage, such as he had conceived the character to be. (Commentatio Academica de simultate qua: Platoni cum Xenophonte intercessisse fertur, Berol, 1811, 4to.) Ast goes still farther, and pretends to find in the Banquet of Xenophon sure indications of its having been one of the works of his youth. (Ast; Platons Leben und Schriften, p. 314.)—8. 'Iépov # Túpavvoc (“Hiero”), a dialogue between the Syracusan monarch and Simonides, in which Xenophon compares the troublesome life of a prince with the tranquil existence of a private individual, intermingling from time to time observations on the art of governing—9. Oikovoukö, Ääyog (“Discourse on Economy”). This piece is in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and Critobulus, son of Crito, and one of his disciples. Some critics have regarded it as the fifth book of the Memoirs. It is less a theory of, than a eulogium on, rural economy, or, in other words, a treatise on morality as applied to rural and domestic life. It contains also some interesting and instructive details relative to the state of agriculture among the Greeks: we find in it, likewise, some anecdotes respecting the younger Cyrus. Cicero translated this work into Latin, and Virgil has drawn from it the materials for some passages in his Georgics.—ll. IIepi intrusic (“On the Knowledge of Horses”). A very useful treatise, in which Xenophon makes known the marks by which a good horse may be discovered. He cites, abridges, and completes the work of a cer. tain Simon, who had written on this subject before him. —11. It traprikág (“Hipparchicus, or the duties of an officer of cavalry”). After having said something respecting the knowledge of horses necessary for an of ficer of cavalry to have, Xenophon lays down the rules that ought to guide in the selection of the officer himself, and then traces the general duties appertaining to the station. — 12. Kvvnyerukóc (“Of the chase”). A eulogium on the exercise of hunting, after which Xenophon unfolds the theory of the sport. —13. IIápot # trepi Tpooëdov (“On the revenues of ...Attica"). The object of this treatise is to show that

*

the revenues of Attica, is well regulated, are suffcient for its population, without the need of the Athenians rendering themselves odious by exactions from their allies or subjects.-14. Aakedaipovian trožareia (“Government of the Lacedæmonians").-15. Atmalwv trožtreia (“Government of the Athenians”). These two small works are very probably not Xenophon'sWe have also seven letters of this same writer.—The best editions of the works of Xenophon are, that of Schneider, Lips., 1800, reprinted at Oxford, 1812, 6 vols. 8vo, and that of Weiske, Lips., 1798–1802, 5 vols. 8vo. There are numerous editions also of the separate works, some very useful.—II. A Greek roinance writer, a native of Ephesus, whose era and history are equally unknown. With the exception of Suidas, no ancient writer makes any mention of him, not even Photius, who has recorded the names of so many writers of the middling class. The Baron di Lacella places him in the age of the Antonines, and others in the fourth and fifth centuries. Peerlkamp, on the other hand, one of his editors, considers him to be the earliest of the Greek romancers, and fancies that he is able to detect the imitations of the rest. The same author affirms that Xenophon is an assumed name, and, farther, that no Greek romancer, with the exception of Heliodorus, has written in his real name. Mr. Dunlop, in his History of Fiction, mentions three Xenophons, who lived about the time of Chariton; but Chariton must have lived in or after the fifth century, at a distance of no less than 300 years from the time in which we have placed Xenophon, on the best authorities we can find. The three Xenophons, according to Mr. Dunlop, were Antiochus, Cyprius, and Ephesius, and their works, “Babylonica,” “Cypriaca," and “Ephesiaca.” Of these, only the last has been published. It is entitled 'Egeotakā karū ‘Avtotav kai. 'A6pokóumv (“Ephesiacs, or the Loves of Abrocomes and Anthia”). The story is commonplace, and yet improbable ; but the style is simple, and the action busy without confusion. For a long time the existence of this work was denied. In the fifteenth century, Angelo Poliziano quoted a passage from this romance; but the incredulity of the learned was still manifested two centuries after. At length, in 1726, an Italian translation was published by Antonio Maria Salvini, and in the same year the Greek text appeared in print. Even this, however, was insufficient; for, eight years after, we find Lenglet du Fresnoy, in his pseudonymous work on the customs of the Romans, asserting that “neither the original Greek, nor any other version,” was known. The best edition of Xenophon of Ephesus is that of Peerlkamp, Harlem, 1818, 4to. There is also a good edition by Passow, Lips., 1833, 12mo. (Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. 5, p. 124, seqq.)

Xerxes, I. son and successor of Darius Hystaspis on the throne of Persia. He was, in fact, the second son of that monarch, but the first born unto him of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, whom Darius had married after he came to the throne. The elder son was Artabanus, born unto Darius while yet in a private station. The two princes contended for the empire, Artabanus grounding his claim on the common law of inheritance, Xerxes, the younger, on his descent from the sounder of the monarchy. Demaratus, the exiled king of Sparta, aided Xerxes with his counsels, and suggested to him another argument, drawn from the Spartan rule of succession, by which a son born after the accession of a king was preferred to his elder brother. Darius decided in his favour, and declared him his heir; swayed, perhaps, much more by the influence of Atossa, which was always great with him, than by reason or usage. In the following year (B.C. 485), before he had ended his preparations against Egypt and Attica, he died, and Xerxes ascended the throne. Thus the Persian sceptre passed from the hands of a prince who had acquired it by his boldness and prudence, to one born in the palace, the favourite son of the favourite queen, who had been accustomed, from his infancy, to regard the kingdom as his inheritance, perhaps to think that the blood of Cyrus which flowed in his veins raised him above his father. Bred up in the pompous luxury of the Persian court, among slaves and women, a mark for their flattery and intrigues, he had none of the experience which Darius . gained in that period of his life when Syloson's cloak was a welcome present. He was probably inferior to his father in ability; but the difference between them in fortune and education seems to have left more traces in their history than any disparity of nature. Ambition was not the prominent feature in the character of Xerxes ; and, had he followed his unbiased inclination, he would, perhaps, have been content to turn the preparations of Darius against the revolted Egyptians, and have abandoned the expedition against Greece, to which he was not spurred by any personal motives. But he was surrounded by men who were led by various passions and interests to desire that he should W. his father's plans of conquest and revenge. Mardonius was eager to renew an enterprise in which he had been foiled through unavoidable mischance, not through his own incapacity. He had reputation to retrieve, and might look forward to the possession of a great European satrapy, at such a distance from the court as would make him almost an absolute sovereign. He was warmly seconded by the Greeks, who had been drawn to Susa by the report of the approaching invasion of their country, and who wanted foreign aid to accomplish their designs. The Thessalian house of the Aleuads, either because they thought their power insecure, or expected to increase it by becoming vassals of the Persian king, sent their emissaries to invite him to the conquest of Greece. The exiled Pisistratids had no other chance for the recovery of Athens. They had brought a man named Onomacritus with them to court, who was one of the first among the Greeks to practise an art, afterward very common, that of forging prophecies and oracles. While their family ruled at Athens, he had been detected in fabricating verses, which he had interpolated in a work ascribed to the ancient seer Musaeus, and Hipparchus, before his patron, had banished him from the city. But the exiles saw the use they might make of his talents, and had taken him into their service. They now recommended him to Xerxes as a man who possessed a treasure of prophetical knowledge, and the young king listened with unsuspecting confidence to the encouraging predictions which Onomacritus drew from his inexhaustible stores. These various engines at length prevailed. The imagination of Xerxes was

inflamed with the prospect of rivalling or surpassing the

achievements of his glorious predecessors, and of extending his dominion to the ends of the earth. (Herod., 7, 8.) He resolved on the invasion of Greece. First, however, in the second year of his reign, he led in army against Egypt, and brought it again under the Persian yoke, which was purposely made more burdensome and galling than before. He intrusted it to the care of his brother Achtenenes, and then returned to Persia, and bent all his thoughts towards the West. Only one of his counsellors, his uncle Artabanus, is said to have been wise and honest enough to endeavour to divert him srom the enterprise, and especially to dissuade him from risking his own person in it. If any reliance could be placed on the story told by Herodotus about the deliberations held on this question in the Persian cabinet, we might suspect that the influence and arts of the Magian priesthood, which we find in this reign rising in credit, had been set at work by the adversaries of Artabanus to counteract his influence over the mind of his nephew, and to confirm Xerxes in his martial mood. The vast preparations were continued with re

doubled activity, to raise an armament worthy of the presence of the king. His aim was not merely to collect a force sufficient to ensure the success of his undertaking, and to scare away all opposition, but also, and perhaps principally, to set his whole enormous power in magnificent array, that he might enjoy the sight of it himself, and display it to the admiration of the world. For four years longer Asia was still kept in restless turmoil : no less time was needed to provide the means of subsistence for the countless host that was about to be poured out upon Europe. Besides the stores that were to be carried in the fleet which was to accompany the army, it was necessary that magazines should be formed along the whole line of march as far as the confines of Greece. But, in addition to these prudent precautions, two works were begun, which scarcely served any other purpose than that of showing the power and majesty of Xerxes, and proving that he would suffer no obstacles to bar his progress. It would have been easy to transporohis troops in ships over the Hellespont; but it was better suited to the dignity of the monarch, who was about to unite both continents under his dominion, to join them by a bridge laid upon the subject channel, and to march across as along a royal road. The storm that had destroyed the fleet which accompanied Mardonius in his unfortunate expedition, had made the coast of Athos terrible to the Persians. The simplest mode of avoiding this formidable cape would have been to draw their ships over the narrow, low neck that connects the mountain with the mainland. But Xerxes preferred to leave a monument of his greatness and of his enterprise, in a canal cut through the isthmus, a distance of about a mile and a half. This work employed a multitude of men for three years. The construction of the two bridges which were thrown across the Heilespont was intrusted to the skill of the Phoenicians and Egyptians. When these preparations were drawing to a close, Xerxes set forth for Sardis, where he designed to spend the following winter, and to receive the re-enforcements which he had appointed there to join the main army (B.C. 481). During his stay at Sardis, the Phoenician and Egyptian engineers completed their bridges on the Hellespont; but the work was not strong enough to resist a violent storm, which broke it to picces soon after it was finished. How far this disaster was owing to defects in its construction, which might have been avoided by ordinary skill and foresight, does not appear. But Xerxes is said to have been so much angered by the accident that he put the architects to death. Such a burst of passion would be credible enough in itself, and is only rendered doubtful by the extravagant sables that gained credit on the subject among the Greeks, who, in the bridging of the sacred Hellespont, saw the beginning of a long career of audacious impiety, and gradually transformed the fastenings with which the passage was finally secured into setters and scourges, with which the barbarian, in his madness, had thought to chastise the aggression of the rebellious stream. The construction of new bridges was committed to other engineers, perhaps to Greeks; but their names have not passed down, like that of Mandrocles. By their art two firm and broad causeways were made to stretch from the neighbourhood of Abydus to a projecting point in the opposite shore of the Chersonesus, resting each on a row of ships, which were stayed against the strong current that bore upon them from the north by anchors and by cables fastened to both sides of the channel: the length was not far short of a mile. When all was in readiness, the mighty armament was set in motion. Early in the spring (B.C. 480), Xerxes began his march from Sardis, in all the pomp of a royal progress. The baggage led the way : it was followed by the first division of the armed crowd that had been brought together from the tributary nations; a motley throng, in

« PoprzedniaDalej »