Obrazy na stronie
PDF

name of Aristasus connected, in a greater or less degree, with the rites and mysteries of Bacchus. Thus, Diodorus Siculus (3, 39) cites a legend, in which Aristasus is mentioned as the instructer or governor of the young Bacchus. From the same source (3,71) we are informed, that Aristaeus was the first who sacrificed to Bacchus as to a god. Nonnus represents him as one of the principal leaders in the expedition of Bacchus against India; and in Greece his history is connected with that of the time of Cadmus, the founder of Thebes, the birthplace of Bacchus in Grecian mythology. (Nonni Dionys, 5, p. 153, ed. 1605, 8vo.) From a view of these and other authorities, it would seem that there had been some union effected between the religious worship of Arista:us and Bacchus. Regarding this latter deity as emblematic of the great productive principle, which imparts its animating and fertilizing influence to everything around, it is not difficult to conceive how a union should have taken place between this system and that of Aristaeus, the god of agriculture and of the flocks. Now the religious system introduced by Orpheus, though itself connected with the worship of Bacchus, was very different from the popular rites of this same deity. The Orphic worshippers of Bacchus did not indulge in unrestrained pleasure and frantic enthusiasm, but rather aimed at an ascetic purity of life and manners. The consequence, therefore, would seem to have been, that these two systems, the Orphic and the popular one, came at last into direct collision, and the former was made to succumb. In the figurative language of poetry, Aristasus (the type of the popular system) pursues Eurydice (Eöpv-Čikm, the darling institutions of Orpheus), and the venom of the serpent (the gross license connected with the popular orgies) occasions her death. Orpheus, say the poets, lamenting the loss of his beloved Eurydice, descended in quest of her to the shades. The meaning of the legend evidently is, that, afflicted at the overthrow of the favourite system which he had so ardently promulgated, and the corruption which had succeeded to his purer precepts of moral duty, he endeavoured to reclaim men from the sensual indulgences to which they had become attached, by holding up to their view the terrors of future punishment in another world. Indeed, that he was the first who introduced among the Greeks the idea of a future state of rewards and punishments, is expressly asserted by ancient authorities. (Diod. Sic., 1, 96–Wesseling, ad Diod, l.c.—Banier's Mythology, vol. 4, p. 159.) The awful threatenings that were thus unfolded to their view, and the blissful enJoyments of an Elysium which were at the same time promised to the faithful, succeeded for a time in bringing back men to the purer path of moral rectitude, and to a fairer and brighter state of things; but either the impatience of their instructer to see his efforts realized, or some act of heedlessness and inattention on his part, frustrated all his hopes, and mankind relapsed once more into moral darkness. In the fanciful phraseology of the poet, the doctrine of a future state of punishment, as taught by Orpheus, was converted into his descent to the shades. His endeavour to re-establish by these means the moral system which he had originally promulgated, became, to the eye of the earlier bard, an impassioned search, even amid the darkness of the lower world, for the lost object of conjugal affection; and by the tones of the lyre, which bent even Pluto and Proserpina to his will, appear to be indicated those sweet and moving accents of moral harmony, in which were described the joys of Elysium, and whose power would be acknowledged even by those whom the terrors of punishment could not intimidate. Orphica, certain works falsely ascribed to Orpheus, which imbodied the opinions of a class of persons termed 'Oppukot. These were the followers of Or. pheus, that is to say, associations of persons who, under

the guidance of the ancient mystical poet Orpheus, dedicated themselves to the worship of Bacchus, in which they hoped to find the gratification of an ardent longing after the soothing and elevating influences of religion. The Bacchus, to whose worship these Orphic rites (tà 'Opotkä kažeóueva kai Bakxuká, Herod., 2, 81) were annexed, was the Chthonian deity, Bacchus or Dionysus Zagreus, closely connected with Ceres and Proserpina, and who was the personified expression, not only of the most rapturous pleasure, but also of a deep sorrow for the miseries of human life. The Orphic legends and poems related in great part to this same Bacchus, who was combined, as an infernal deity, with Pluto or Hades (a doctrine given by the philosopher Heraclitus as the opinion of a particular sect), and upon whom the Orphic theologers founded their hopes of the purification and ultimate immortality of the soul. But their mode of celebrating this worship was very different from the popular rites of Bacchus. The Orphic worshippers of Bacchus did not indulge in unrestrained pleasure and frantic enthusiasm, but rather aimed at an ascetic purity of life and manners. The followers of Orpheus, when they had tasted the mystic sacrificial feast of raw flesh torn from the ox of Bacchus (duopayia), partook of no other animal food. They wore also white linen garments, like Oriental and Egyptian priests. (Müller, Hist. Lit. Gr., p. 231, seqq.)—Of the Orphic writers, the most celebrated are, Onomacritus, who lived under Pisistratus and his sons, and Cercops, a Pythagorean, who lived about B.C. 504. Works ascribed to Orpheus were extant at a very early period. Plato mentions several kinds of Orphic poems; but he intimates that they are not genuine. Aristotle speaks of them as the so-called (tā kažosueva) Orphic poems. In later times, all manner of works on mysteries and religion were ascribed to him. There are also Orphic poems later than the Christian era, which are difficult to be distinguished from those of earlier times.—The writings ascribed to Orpheus, and which have reached our times, are as follows: 1. Hymns ('Yuvot), eighty-eight in number. They are in hexameter verse, and were most of them, as is thought, composed by Onomacritus.-2. An historical or epic poem on the Expedition of the Argonauts ('Apyovavruká), in 1384 verses, probably by Onomacritus; at least, by some one not earlier than Homer.—3. A work on the Magical Virtues of Stones (trepi Attov, or Authrá), in 768 hexameters, showing how they may be used as preservatives against poisons, and as a means of conciliating the favour of the gods. –4. Fragments of various other works; among which is placed a poem of 66 verses, entitled Topi Xetauðv, concerning Earthquakes, that is, of the prognostics to be derived from this species of phenomena; a production sometimes ascribed to the fabulous Hermes Trismegistus. Many other fragments of the Orphic poems, some in a metrical form, others converted into prose, and scattered throughout the commentary of Proclus on the Cratylus of Plato, were collected from the Munich MSS. by Werfer, and inserted in the Philological Transactions of Munich. (Acta Philologorum Monacensium, vol. 2, p. 113, seqq.)— Other writings, also ascribed to Orpheus, but which have not come down to us, except it be a few scattered fragments of some of them, are the following: 1. Sacred Legends (‘Iepoi Żóyot), a complete system of Orphic theology, in twenty-four books. It was ascribed by some to Cercops and Diognetus, but was probably the production of several authors.-2. Prophecies (Xpmauot)—3. Baxxtrá, probably stories relative to Bacchus and his mysteries. They were attributed by some to Arignotes, a pupil or daughter of Pythag oras.—4. The descent to Hades (H & Aldov Karstsa atc), a poem of great antiquity, ascribed, among others, to Cercops.-5. Religious Rites or Mysteries (TeAerai), directions for worshipping * the gods; probably by Onomacritus—As late as the 17th century, no one doubted but that the different works which bear the name of Orpheus, or, at least, the greater part of them, were either the productions of Orpheus himself, or of Onomacritus, who was regarded as the restorer of these ancient poems. The learned Huet was the first who, believing that he had discovered in them traces of Christianity, expressed the suspicion that they might be the work of some pious impostor. In 1751, when Ruhnken published his second critical letter, he attacked the opinion of Huet, and placed the composition of the works in question in the tenth century before the Christian era. Gesner went still farther, and in his Prolegomena Orphica, which were read in 1759 at the University of Göttingen, and subsequently placed in Hamberger's edition of Orpheus, published after Gesner's death, he declared that he had found nothing in these poems which prevented the belief that they were composed before the period of the Trojan war. He allowed, however, at the same time, that they might have been retouched by Onomacritus. Gesner found an opponent in the celebrated Walckenaer, who believed the author of the poems in question to have belonged to the Alexandrean school. (Valck, ad Herod., ed Wesseling.) In 1777, Schneider revived and developed the theory of Huet. (Schneider, de dubia Carm. Orphic. auctoritate et vetustate. Analect. Crit., fasc. 1.) The same }. in which Ruhnken had found a diction almost Homeric, and Gesner the simple style of remote antiquity, appeared, to the German professor, the work of a later Platonist, initiated into the tenets of Judaism and the mysteries of Christianity. His arguments, deduced entirely from the style of these productions, were strengthened by Thunmann (Neue philolog. Bibliothek, vol. 4, p. 298), who discovered in these poems historical and geographical errors such as could only have been committed by a writer subsequent to the age of Ptolemy Euergetes. And yet it is singular enough, that Mannert, arguing from the acquaintance with geographical terms displayed by the author of these poems, places him between Herodotus and Pythias. (Geogr., vol. 4, p. 67.) In 1782 Ruhnken published a new edition of his critical letter, in which he endeavoured to refute the opinion of Schneider, allowing, at the same time, that the position assumed by Walckenaer was not an improbable one. The discussion rested here for twenty years, when Schneider, in his edition of the Argonautics published in 1803, defended the theory which he had supported in his younger days, adding, at the same time, however, some modifications ; for he allowed that the author of the Argonautics, although comparatively modern, had appropriated to himself the style and manner of the Alexandrean school. Two years aster, Hermann, in a memoir annexed to his edition of the Orphica, and subsequently, in a separate dissertation, supported with rare erudition the opinion of Huet, and that which Schneider had advanced in 1777. After giving a brief account of the state of the controversy, Hermann proceeds to examine the structure of the Orphic verse. He first indicates the progressive modification of the hexameter verse, through the series of the epic and didactic hexameter writers, pointing out the gradual changes which it underwent from the time of Homer till it was wholly remodelled by Nonnus. He detects, in the hexameters of the Orphic poems, those peculiarities which show, as he thinks, that their author must have lived in the fourth century of the Christian era, just before the hexameter verse received its last considerable modification under the hands of Nonnus. (Vid. Nonnus.) Five German critics, Heyne, Voss, Wolf, Huschke, and Königsmann, opposed the hypothesis of Schneider and Hermann, and declared in favour of Walckenaer's theory. (Voss, Dedic. der übersetz. des Hesiodus.-Id., Recens. Jen. L. Z., 1805, n. 138.

—Huschke, de Orphei Argonaut, Rost., 1806, 4to.— Königsmann, Prolus. Crit., 1810, 4to.)—The author. ity of the grammarian Draco, who cites the Argonautics of Orpheus, having been strongly urged by Königsmann against Hermann, the latter obtained the work of Draco, which until then had remained unedited, from the celebrated Bast, and published it at Leipsic in 1812. Draco does, in fact, cite the Argonautics, and his authority is the more entitled to attention, since Hermann himself has shown that he lived before the time of Apollonius Dyscolus, and, consequently, at the beginning of the second century; whereas, before this, he had been generally assigned to the sixth century. (Compare Tiedemann, Griechenlands erste Philosophen, Leipz., 1780, 8vo.— Gerlach, de Hymnis Orphicis Commentatio, Gött., 1797, 8vo.) Hermann, however, has greatly shaken the authority of Draco, and leads us to entertain the opinion that we possess only an extract of the work, augmented by interpolations and marginal glosses that have crept into the text. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 1, p. 38, seqq.) It is even probable that the very part relating to Orpheus was added by Constantine Lascaris.-In 1824, a prize dissertation appeared by another German scholar, Bode. (Orpheus Poetarum Gracorum Antiquissimus, Gött., 4to) Assuming the spuriousness of the Orphic poems, the author aims only to establish the country, age, and character of the poet; and of him, not as one historical personage, but only as the representative of a primeval school of bards. By a learned and ingenious train of argument, he fixes the period of the commencement of the Orphic school about the 13th century before the commencement of the Christian era, making it earlier than the time of the Homeric poems, which he assigns to the 10th century.—The best edition of the Orphica is that of Hermann, Lips., 1805, 8vo. The edition of Gesner is also a valuable one, Lips., 1764, 8vo. Schäffer published likewise a new edition of the Greek text in 1818, 12maj., for the use of praelections and schools (Hoffmann, Lez. Bibliog., vol. 3, p. 186.) The Orphic fragments are given by Lobeck in his Aglaophamus, Regiom., 1829, 8vo.) ORTHIA, a surname of Diana at Sparta. At her altar boys were scourged during the festival called Diamastigosis (Atauaariywoto). The young sufferers were called Bomonicae. (Wid. Bomonicae, and Diana.) Orthos, the dog that guarded the oxen of Geryon. He had two heads, and was sprung from the union of Echidna and Typhon. (Apollod, 2, 5.) Ortospápa or Orospéna Mons (Ptolemy giving it the former name, and Strabo the latter), a chain of mountains in Spain; properly speaking, a continuation of the range of Idubeda. One part terminates, in the form of a segment of a circle, on the coast of Murcia and Grenada, while two arms are sent off in the direction of Baetica, one of which pursues nearly a western direction, and is called Mons Marianus, now Sierra Morena; the other runs more to the southwest, nearer the coast, and is called Mons Ilipula, now Sierra Nevada, ending on the coast at Calpe or Gibraltar. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 1, p. 406.) Ortygia, I. a spot near the port of Ephesus, thickly planted with cypresses and other trees, and watered by the little river Cenchrius. Latona was said by some to have been delivered here of her twins. The grove was filled with shrines, and adorned with statues by the hand of Scopas and other eminent sculptors. (Strab., 639.) According to Chandler (Trarels in Asia Minor, p. 176), this part of the coast has undergone considerable alterations. Ortygia has disappeared, the land having encroached on the sea. (Cramer's Asia Minor, vol. 1, p. 376.)—II. An island in the bay of Syracuse, forming one of the five quarters of that city. The colonists under Archias first settled here, and afterward extended to Acradina on the mainland of Sicily. Ortygia was famed for containing the celebrated fount of Arethusa. The earliest mention of this island is found in Hesiod (Theog., 1013). On it is now situate the greater part of modern Syracuse. (Göller, de Situ et Orig. Syracus., p. 39, seq.) —III. One of the early names of the island of Delos. (Vid. Delos.) ORUs, an Egyptian deity, son of Osiris and Isis. (Wid. Horus.) Osca, a town of Hispania Baetica, in the territory of the Turdetani. According to Mannert, it corresponds to the modern Huesca, in Aragon. (Geogr., vol. 1, p. 410.) Ukert, however, places its site to the west of the city. It was in Osca that Sertorius collected together, from the various nations of Spain, the children of the nobility, and placed masters over them to instruct them in Greek and Roman literature. Plutarch states, that this had the appearance only of an education, to prepare them for being admitted citizens of Rome; but that the children were, in fact, so many hostages. (Wit. Sertor.) Osci or Opici, a people of ancient Italy, who seem to have been identical with the Ausones or Aurunci, and who inhabited the southern part of the peninsula. Some ancient writers consider the Ausones to be a branch of the Osci; others, as Polybius, have spoken of them as distinct tribes, but this appears to be an error. The names Opicus and Oscus are undoubtedly the same. Aristotle (Polit., 7, 10) calls the country from the Tiber to the Silarus, Ausonia and Opicia; and other ancient writers extended the name much farther, to the Straits of Sicily ; but the southern extremity of the peninsula appears to have been occupied previously by the OEnotrians, a Pelasgic race, who were conquered by the Lucanians and Bruttii. Cumae, one of the earliest Greek colonies on the coast of Italy, was in the country of the Opici. The early immigrations of the Illyrians or Liburnians along the eastern coast of Italy, drove the aboriginal inhabitants from the lowlands into the fastnesses of the central Apennines, whence they issued under the various names of Sabini, Casci, or Latini veteres. There was an ancient tradition in Italy, in the time of the historian Dionysius, of a sudden irruption of strangers from the opposite coast of the Adriatic, which caused a general commotion and dispersion among the aboriginal tribes. Afterward came the Hellenic colonies, which occupied the whole seacoast from Mount Garganus to the extremity of the peninsula, in the first and second centuries of Rome; in consequence of which, the population of the southern part of the Italian peninsula became divided into two races, the tribes of Aboriginal or Oscan descent, such as the Sabini, Samnites, Lucani, and Bruttii, who remained in possession of the highlands, and the Greek colonists and their descendants, who occupied the maritime districts, but never §o possession of the upper or Apennine regions. Such is the view taken by Micali and other Italian writers. But Niebuhr describes the Sabini, and their colonies the Samnites, Lucani, and other tribes, which the Roman writers called by the general name of Sabellians, as a people distinct from the Osci or Opici. He says, aster Cato and other ancient historians, that the Sabini issued out of the highlands of the central Apennines, near Amiternum, long before the epoch of the Trojan war, and, driving before them the Cascans or Prisci Latini, who were an Oscan tribe, settled themselves in the country which has to this day retained the name of Sabina. Thence they sent out numerous colonies, one of which penetrated into the land of the Opicans, and became the Samnite people; and afterward the Samnites occupied Campania, and, mixing themselves with the earlier Oscan population, settled there and adopted their language. But, farther on, in speaking of the Sabini and Sabellians, Niebuhr admits the probability of their being

originally a branch of the same stock as the Opici or Osci. Micali considers the Sabini, Apuli, Messapii, Campani, Aurunci, and Volsci, as all branches of the great Oscan family.—The Greeks, being superior to the native tribes in refinement and mental cultivation, affected to despise them, and they applied to the native Italian tribes, including the Romans, the epithet “Opican,” as a word of contempt, to denote barbarism both in language and manners (Cato, ap. Plin, 29, 1); and the later Roman writers themselves adopted the expression in the same sense: “Osce loqui” was tantamount to a barbarous way of speaking. Juvenal says (3, 207), “Et divina Opici rodebant carmina mures,” where Opici is equivalent to “barbari;” and Ausonius (Prof., 22, 3) uses “Opicas chartas” in the sense of rode, unpolished compositions. The Oscan language was the parent of the dialects of the native tribes from the Tiber to the extremity of the peninsula, Sabini, Hernici, Marsi, Samnites, Sidicini, Lucani, and Bruttii, while in the regions north of the Tiber the Etrurian predominated. Livy (10, 20) mentions the Oscan as being the language of the Samnites. The older Latin writers, and especially Ennius, have many Oscan words and Oscan terminations. The Oscan language continued to be understood at Rome down to a later period of the empire, and the Fabulae Atellana, which were in the Oscan tongue, were highly relished by the great body of the people. In the Social war, the Confederates, who were chiefly communities of Oscan descent, stamped Oscan legends on their coins. In Campania and Samnium, the Oscan continued to be the vulgar tongue long after the Roman conquest, as appears from several monuments, and especially from the Oscan inscriptions found at Pompeii. (Micali, Storia degli Antichi Popoli Italiani, ch. 29.-Id, Atlas, pl. 120. De Iorio, Plan of Pompeii, pl. 4.)—The Oscan race, like the Etruscan, appears to have been, from the remotest times, strongly under the influence of religious rites and laws (Festus, s. v. Oscum); and the primitive manners and simple morals of the Oscan and Sabine tribes, as well as their bravery in arms, have been extolled by the Roman writers, among others by Virgil (Æm., 7, 728, seqq.) and Silius Italicus (8.526, seqq.).-Concerning the scanty remains of the Oscan language which have come down to us, the following may be consulted: “Lingua, Osca, Specimen Singulare, quod superest Nolae, in marmore Musaei Seminarii,” which is given by Passeri in his “Pictura, Etruscorum in Wasculis,” &c., Rome, 3 vols. sol., 1767–75; and also Guarini, in his “ In Osca Epigrammata nonnulla Commentarius,” Naples, 1830, 8vo, where several Oscan inscriptions are found collected; but particularly the learned work of Grotefend, “ Rudimenta Lingua, Osca,” Hannov., 1840. Another work of the last-mentioned writer, entitled “Rudimenta Lingua, Umbrica,” Hannov., 1835, &c., is also worthy of being consulted. Grotefend makes both the Oscan and the Latin come from the Umbrian language. (Encycl. Us. Knowl, vol. 17, p. 47–Niebuhr, Rom. Hist., vol. 1, p. 55, Cambr. transl.) Osiris, one of the principal Egyptian deities, was brother of Isis, and the father of Horus. His history is given in the first book of Diodorus, and in Plutarch's treatise “On Isis and Osiris;” but it is not improbable that the genuine Egyptian traditions respecting the deity had been considerably corrupted at the time of these writers. According to their accounts, however, Osiris was the first who reclaimed the Egyptians from a state of barbarism, and taught them agriculture and the various arts and sciences. After he had introduced civilization among his own subjects, he resolved to visit the other nations of the world and confer on them the same blessing. He accordingly committed the administration of his kingdom to Isis, his sister and queen, and gave her Heine,” her in council, and Hercules to command her troops. Having collected a large army himself, he visited in succession Ethiopia, Arabia, and India, and thence marched through Central Asia into Europe, instructing the nations in agriculture, and in the arts and sciences. He left his son Macedon in Thrace and Macedonia, and committed the cultivation of the land of Attica to Triptolemus. After visiting all parts of the inhabited world, he returned to Egypt, where he was murdered soon after his arrival by his brother Typhon, who cut up his body into twenty-six parts, and divided it among the conspirators who had aided him in the murder of his brother. These parts were afterward, with one exception, discovered by Isis, who enclosed each of them in a statue of wax, made to resemble Osiris, and distributed them through different parts of Egypt.—Other forms of the legend may be found in Creuzer's elaborate work (Symbolik, vol. 1, p. 259, seqq.—Symbolik, par Guigniaut, vol. 1, pt. 1, p. 389, se?".) For some remarks explanatory of it, consult the article Isis.—Herodotus informs us (2, 48), that the festival of Osiris was celebrated in almost the same manner as that of Bacchus., . It appears, however, not improbable, that the worship of Osiris was introduced into Egypt, in common with the arts and sciences, from the Ethiopian Meroë. We learn from Herodotus (2,29), that Ammon and Osiris were the national deities of Meroë, and we are told by Diodorus (3, 3) that Osiris led a colony from Ethiopia into Egypt.—Osiris was venerated under the form of the sacred bulls Apis and Mnevis (Diod. Sic, 1,21); and as it is usual in the Egyptian symbolical language to represent their deities with human forms, and with the heads of the animals which were their representatives, we find statues of Osiris with the horns of a bull. (Egyptian Antiquities, vol. 2, p. 295.) Osiris, in common with Isis, presided over the world below ; and it is not uncommon to find him represented on rolls of papyrus, as sitting in judgment on departed spirits. His usual attributes are the high cap, the flail or whip, and the crosier. (Encycl. Us. Knowl., vol. 17, p. 49.-Cory, Horapollo Nilous, p. 164, pl. 2.) Osismii, a people of Gallia Lugdunensis Tertia, on the coast of the Mare Britannicum, and at the southwestern extremity of the Tractus Armoricus. Their country, according to some, answers to the modern Léon and Tréguier; but, according to D'Anville, their chief city was Vorgannum, now Karhez, in Basse Bretagne. (Caes., B. G., 2, 34.—Id. ib., 3, 9, &c.— Lemaire, Ind. Geogr., ad. Caos, s. v.) Osrhof.NE, a district of Mesopotamia, in the northwestern section of the country. (Wid. Mesopotamia.) Ossa, I. a celebrated mountain, or, more correctly, mountain-range of Thessaly, extending from the right bank of the Peneus along the Magnesian coast to the chain of Pelion. It was supposed that Ossa and Olympus were once united, but that an earthquake had rent them asunder (Herod., 7, 132-/Elian, V. H., 3, 1), forming the vale of Tempe. (Wid. Tempe.) Ossa was one of the mountains which the giants, in their war with the gods, piled upon Olympus in order to ascend to the heavens. (Hom, Od, 11, 312, seqq. —Virg., Georg., 1, 282.) The modern name is Kissovo, or, according to Dodwell, Kissalos (Kissavos). “Mount Ossa,” observes Dodwell, “which does not appear so high as Pelion, is much lower than Olympus. It rises gradually to a point, which appears about 5000 feet above the level of the plain; but I speak only from conjecture.” (Tour, vol. 2, p. 106.—Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 1, p. 422.)—II. A small town of Macedonia, in the territory of Bisaltia, and situate on a river (probably the Basaltes) falling into the StryInnon. OstíA, a celebrated town and harbour, at the mouth of the river Tiber, in Italy. It was the port of Rome, and its name even now continues unchanged, though

few vestiges remain of its ancient greatness. All historians agree in ascribing the foundation of Ostia to Ancus Marcius. (Liv., 1,33–Dion. Hal., 3, 44.—Flor. 1, 4.) That it was a Roman colony we learn from Florus (l. c.—Compare Senec., l, 15.—Tacit., Hist., 1, 80). When the Romans began to have ships of war, Ostia became a place of greater importance, and a fleet was constantly stationed there to guard the mouth of the Tiber. (Liv., 22, 11 et 27.—Id., 23, 38.-Id., 27, 22.) It was here that the statue of Cybele was received with due solemnity by Scipio Nasica, when the public voice had selected him for that duty, as the best citizen of Rome. (Liry, 29, 14. — Herodian, 1, 11, 10.) In the civil wars, Ostia fell into the hands of Marius, and was treated with savage cruelty. (Liv., Epit., 79.) Cicero, in one of his orations, alludes with indignation to the capture of the fleet stationed at Ostia by some pirates. (Pro. L. Manil.) The town and colony of Ostia were distant only thirteen miles from Rome, but the port itself, according to the Itineraries, was at the mouth of the Tiber; unless it be thought with Vulpius, that the town and harbour, with all their dependencies, might occupy an extent of three miles along the river. (Wet. Lat., 2, 1, p. 136.) There is some difficulty, however, in ascertaining the exact situation of the harbour, from the change which appears to have taken place in the mouth of the river during the lapse of so many ages. Even the number of its channels is a disputed point. Ovid seems to point out two (Fast., 4, 291.-Ibid., 4, 329), but Dionysius Periegetes positively states that there was but one. The difference, however, may be reconciled by supposing that, in the geographer's time, the right branch of the river might alone be used for the purposes of navigation, and that the other stream was too insignificant and shallow for the reception of ships of any size. The two streams still exist; the left is called Fiumaro, the right, on which the Portus Augusti was situate, is known by the name of Fiumecino.—According to Plutarch, Julius Caesar was the first who turned his attention to the construction of a port at Ostia, by raising there a mole and other works; but it was to the Emperor Claudius that this harbour seems indebted sor all the magnificence ascribed to it by antiquity. Suetonius, in his life of that prince, has given us a detailed account of the formation of this harbour with its pharos (c. 20.-Compare Dio Cass., 60, 11.-Plin., 36, 9.

—Id., 36, 15 et 40). It is generally supposed that Trajan subsequently improved and beautified the port of Ostia; but the only authority for such a supposition

is derived from the scholiast on Juvenal, in his com

mentary on the passage where that poet describes the

entrance of Catullus into this haven (12, 75). It is

not improbable, however, that the scholiast might con

found the harbour of Ostia with that of Centum Cellae.

—In process of time, a considerable town was formed

around the harbour of Ostia, which was itself called

Portus Augusti, or simply Portus; and a road was

constructed thence to the capital, which took the name

of Via Portuensis. Ostia, as has been remarked, at

tained the summit of its prosperity and importance

under Claudius, who always testified a peculiar regard

for this colony. It seems to have flourished likewise under Vespasian, and even as late as the reign of Trajan; for Pliny the younger informs us, when describing his Laurentine villa, that he derived most of his household supplies from Ostia. In the time of Procopius, however, this city was nearly deserted, all its commerce and population having been transported to the neighbouring Portus Augusti. The same writer gives a full account of the trade and navigation of the Tiber at this period; srom him we learn, that the island which was formed by the separation of the two branches of that river was called Sacra. (Rer. Got., 1.-Compare Rutil., Itin., 1, 169.) The salt marshes formed by Ancus Marcius, at the first foundation of Ostia (Lit., 1, 33), still subsist near the site now called Casone del Sale. (Cramer's Anc. Italy, vol. 2, p. 11, seqq.)—“Nothing,” observes a modern traveller, “can be more dreary than the ride from Rome to this once magnificent seaport. You issue out of the Porta San Paola, and proceed through a continued scene of dismal and heart-sinking desolation ; no fields, no dwellings, no trees, no landmarks, no marks of cultivation, except a few scanty patches of corn, thinly scattered over the waste; and huts, like wigwams, to shelter the wretched and half-starved people that are doomed to live on this field of death. The Tiber, rolling turbidly along in its solitary course, seems sullenly to behold the altered scenes that have withered around him. A few miles from Ostia we entered upon a wilderness indeed. A dreary swamp extended all around, intermingled with thickets, through which roamed wild buffaloes, the only inhabitants of the waste. A considerable part of the way was upon the ancient pavement of the Via Ostiensis, in some places in good preservation, in others broken up and destroyed. When this failed us, the road was execrable. The modern fortifications of Ostia appeared before us long before we reached them. At length we entered its gate, guarded by no sentinel; on its bastions appeared no soldier; no children ran from its houses to gaze at the rare splendour of a carriage; no passenger was seen in the grass-grown street. It presented the strange spectacle of a town without inhabitants. After some beating and hallooing, on the part of the coachman and lackey, at the shut-up door of one of the houses, a woman, unclosing the shutter of an upper window, presented her ghastly face; and, having first carefully reconnoitred us, slowly and reluctantly admitted us into her wretched hovel. “Where are all the people of the town!' we inquired. “Dead,' was the brief reply. The fever of the malaria annually carries off almost all whom necessity confines to this pestilential region. But this was the month of April, the season of comparative health, and we learned, on more strict inquiry, that the population of Ostia, at present, nominally consisted of twelve men, four women, no children, and two priests.—The ruins of old Ostia are farther in the wilderness. The sea is now two miles, or nearly, from the ancient port. The cause of this, in a great measure, seems to be, that the extreme flatness of the land does not allow the Tiber to carry off the immense quantity of earth and mud its turbid waters bring down; and the more that is deposited, the more sluggishly it flows, and thus the shore rises, the sea recedes, and the marshes extend. The marshy insula sacra, in the middle of the river, is now inhabited by wild buffaloes. We had intended to cross to the sacred island, and from thence to the village of Fiumecino, on the other side, where there are said to be still some noble remains of ancient Porto, particularly of the mole, but a sudden storm prevented us.” (Rome in the Nineteenth Century, vol. 2, p. 449.) Ostorius Scapúl A, a governor of Britain in the reign of Claudius, who defeated and took prisoner the famous Caractacus. He died A.D. 55. (Tacit., Ann., 12, 36.) Ostrogöth AE, or Eastern Goths, a division of the great Gothic nation, who settled in Pannonia in the fifth century of our era, whence they extended their dominion over Noricum, Rhaetia, and Illyricum. About 482 or 483 A.D., their king Theodoric was serving as an auxiliary under the Emperor Zeno, and distinguished himself in Syria. On his return to Constantinople, Theodoric, according to the statement of the historian Evagrius, fearing Zeno's jealousy of his success, retired into Pannonia in 487, where he collected an army, and in the following year marched into Italy, with all his jo, men, women, and children, and, as 6

appears, with the consent of Zeno himself, who wished to remove the Ostrogoths from his territories. Theodoric defeated Odoacer in various battles, took him prisoner, and some time after put him to death. Upon this event, Theodoric sent an ambassador to Anastasius, the emperor of Constantinople, who transmitted to him, in return, the purple west, and acknowledged him as King of Italy. It appears that both Theodoric and his predecessor Odoacer acknowledged, nominally at least, the supremacy of the Eastern emperor. The rest of the history of the Ostrogoths is connected with that of Theodoric, who established his dynasty over Italy, which is generally styled the reign of the Goths in that country. (Encycl. Us. Knowl., vol. 17, p. 55.) OsyMANdyas, a king of Egypt, the same with Ameproph or Phamenoph. (Wid. Memnon, and Memnonium.) Jablonski makes Osymanydas equivalent in meaning to “dans vocem,” voice-emitting. (Voc. AEgypt., p. 29, p. 97.-Compare Creuzer, Symbolik, par Guigniaut, vol. 1, p. 482.) Otho, I. Marcus S.Alvius, was born A.D. 31 or 32. He was descended of an honourable family, which originally came from Ferentinum, and which traced its origin to the Lucumones of Etruria. His grandfather, who belonged to the equestrian order, was made a senator through the influence of Livia Augusta, but did not rise higher in office than the praetorship. His father, Lucius Otho, was advanced to offices of great honour and trust by the Emperor Tiberius, whom he is said to have resembled so closely in person as to have been frequently taken for a near relation. Marcus Otho was an intimate friend of Nero during the early years of his reign, and his associate in his excesses and debaucheries; but Nero's love for Poppaea, whom Otho had seduced from her husband, and to whom he was greatly attached, produced a coolness between them, and this rivalry for the affections of an unprincipled woman would soon have terminated in the ruin of Otho, had not Seneca procured for the latter the government of Lusitania, to which he was sent as into a kind of honourable exile. In this province, which he governed, according to Suetonius (Wit. Othonis, 3), with great justice, he remained for ten years; and afterward took an active part in opposition to Nero, and in placing Galba on the throne, A.D. 68.

Otho appears to have expected, as the reward of his

services, that he would be declared his successor; but when Galba proceeded to adopt Piso Licinianus, Otho formed a conspiracy among the guards, who proclaimed him emperor, and put Galba to death after a reign of only seven months. Otho commenced his reign by ingratiating himself with the soldiery, whom Galba had unwisely neglected to conciliate. He yielded to the wishes of the people in putting to death Tigellius, who had been the chief minister of Nero's pleasures, and he acquired considerable popularity by his wise and judicious administration. He was, however, scarcely seated upon the throne, before he was called upon to oppose Vitellius, who had been proclaimed emperor by the legions in Germany a few days before the death of Galba. Vitellius, who was of an indolent disposition, sent forward Caecina, one of his generals, to secure the passes of the Alps, while he himself remained in his camp upon the Rhine. Otho quickly collected a large army and marched against Caecina, while he sent his fleet to reduce to obedience Liguria and Gallia Narbonensis. (Compare Tacitus, Agric., c. 7.) At first Otho was completely successful. Liguria and Gallia Narbonensis submitted to his authority, while Caecina was repulsed with considerable loss in an attack upon Placentia. Caecina encountered subsequently a second check. But, shortly after, Otho's army was completely defeated by the troops of Vitellius, in a hard-fought battle near Bebriacum, a village on the Po, southwest of Mantua....” who

« PoprzedniaDalej »