Obrazy na stronie
PDF

tivated in the Homeric age. It has likewise been urged, that the structure of the Homeric verses furnishes a decisive proof, that the state of the Greek language, at the time when these poems were written, was different from that in which they must have been composed. And by others it has been thought inconsistent with the law of continual change, to which all languages are subject, that the form in which these works now appear should differ so slightly as it does from that of the Greek literature, if it really belonged to the early period in which they were first recited. These difficulties are, it must be owned, in a great measure removed by the hypothesis that each poem is an aggregate of parts composed by different authors; for then the poet's memory might not be too severely taxed in retaining his work during its progress, and might be aided by more frequent recitations. But this hypothesis has been met by a number of objections, some of which are not very easily satisfied. The original unity of each poem is maintained by arguments derived partly from the uniformity of the poetical character, and partly srom the apparent singleness of plan which each of them exhibits. Even those who do not think it necessary to suppose an original unity of design in the Iliad, still conceive that all its parts are stamped with the style of the same author. (Clinton, Fast. Hellen., vol. 3, p. 375, 379.) But with others, from the time of Aristotle to our own day, the plan itself has been an object of the warmest admiration; and it is still contended, that the intimate coherence of the parts is such as to exclude the hypothesis of a multiplicity of authors. (Vid. Ilias.) If the parts out of which the Iliad or the Odyssey, was formed are supposed to have been at first wholly independent of each other, the supposition that they could have been so pieced together as to assume their present appearance is involved in almost insurmountable difficulties. For how, it may be asked, did the different poets in each instance happen to confine themselves to the same circle of subjects, as to the battles before Troy, and the return of Ulysses! Must we suppose, with a modern critic (Hermann, Wiener-Jahrbücher, vol. 54), that in the Iliad and Odyssey we see the joint labours of several bards, who drew their subjects from an earlier Iliad and an earlier Odyssey, which contained no more than short narratives of the same events, but yet had gained such celebrity for their author, that the greatest poets of the succeeding period were forced to adopt his name, and to content themselves with filling up his outline ! This would be an expedient only to be resorted to in the last emergency. Or must we adopt the form which this hypothesis, by giving it a different turn, has been made by others to assume, that the Iliad and Odyssey, after the main event in each had formed the subject of a shorter poem, grew under the hands of successive poets, who, guided in part by popular tradition, supplied what had been left wanting by their predecessors, until in each case the curiosity of their hearers had been gratified by a finished whole! (Thirlwall's Greece, vol. 1, p. 246.) This supposition is involved in still greater difficulty than the former, for we have here a race of bards, who, though living at different periods, and though the language was, during all this time, undergoing changes of some kind or other, yet write all of them in a manner so similar, and display so few, if any, discrepances, that their various productions, when collected together, wear all the appearance of a poem by a single bard.—According to every hypothesis, the origin of the Homeric poetry is wrapped in mystery; as must be the case with the beginning of a new pe. riod, when that which precedes it is very obscure. And it would certainly be no unparalleled or surprising coincidence, if the production of a great work, which formed the most momentous epoch in the history of Greek literature, should have concurred with either the

first introduction, or a new application of the most important of all inventions. Still, however, we are not driven to the necessity of adopting such a view of the subject. It is true, we are perpetually met with difficulties in endeavouring to form a notion of the manner in which these great epic poems were composed, at a time anterior to the use of writing. But these difficulties arise much more from our own ignorance of the period, and our own incapability of conceiving a creation of the mind without those appliances of which the use has become to us a second nature, than in the general laws of the human intellect. Who can determine how many thousand verses a person, thoroughly impregnated with his subject, and absorbed in the contemplation of it, might produce in a year, and confide to the faithful memory of disciples, devoted to their master and his art? "w. a creative genius has appeared, it has met with persons of congenial taste, and has found assistants, by whose means it has completed astonishing works in a comparatively short period of time. Thus the old bard may have been sollowed by a number of younger minstrels, to whom it was both a pleasure and a duty to collect and diffuse the honey which flowed from his lips. But it is at least certain, that it would be unintelligible how these great epics were composed, unless there had been occasions on which they actually appeared in their integrity, and could charm an attentive hearer with the full force and effect of a complete poem. Without a connected and continuous recitation, they were not finished works; they were mere disjointed fragments, which might, by possibility, form a whole. But where were there meals or festivals long enough for such recitations ! What attention, it has been asked, could be sufficiently sustained, in order to follow so many thousand verses?—If, however, the Athenians could at one festival hear in succession about nine tragedies, three satyric dramas, and as many comedies, without ever thinking that it might be better to distribute this enjoyment over the whole year, why should not the Greeks of earlier times have been able to listen to the Iliad and Odyssey, and perhaps other poems, at the same ‘festival? At a later date, indeed, when the rhapsodist was rivalled by the player on the lyre, the dithyrambic minstrel, and by many other kinds of Poetry and music, these latter necessarily abridged the time allowed to the epic reciter; but, in early times, when the epic style reigned without a competitor, it would have received an undivided attention. Let us beware of measuring, by our loose and desultory reading, the intension of mind with which a people enthusiastically devoted to such enjoyments, hung with delight on the flowing strains of the minstrel. In short, there was a time (and the Iliad and Odyssey are the records of it) when the Greek people, not indeed at meals, but at festivals, and under the patronage of their hereditary princes, heard and enjoyed these and other less excellent poems as they were intended to be heard and enjoyed, namely, as complete wholes; whether they were at this early period ever recited for a prize, and in competition with others, is doubtful, though there is nothing improbable in the supposition. But when the conflux of rhapsodists to the contests became perpetually greater; when, at the same time, more weight was laid on the art of the reciter than on the beauty of the well-known poem which he recited; and when, lastly, in addition to the rhapsodizing, a number of other musical and poetical performances claimed a place, then the rhapsodists were permitted to repeat separate parts of poems, in which they hoped to excel; and the Iliad and Odyssey (as they had not yet been reduced to writing) existed for a time only as scattered and unconnected fragments. (Wolf's Prolegomena, p. cxliii.) And we are still indebted to the regulator of the contest of rhapsodists at the Pana. thenaea (whether it was Solon or Pisistratus) for having

[blocks in formation]

Two different accounts are given on this head. 1. First, it is said that Lycurgus, the Spartan legislator, met with the poems of Homer during his travels in Asia, and, being charmed with them, carried them with him by some means, and in some shape or other, back to his native city. The authority for this is a o: of a fragment of Heraclides Ponticus, in which e says that Lycurgus, “having procured the poetry of Homer from the descendants of Creophylus, first introduced it into the Peloponnesus.” AElian (W. H., 13, 14) repeats this with advantage: “Lycurgus the Spartan first carried the poetry of Homer in a mass into Greece.” Plutarch (Wit. Lycurg.) finishes off the story in his usual manner. “There (in Asia) Lycurgus first fell in with the poems of Homer, probably in the keeping of the descendants of Cleophylus; he wrote them out eagerly, and collected them together for the purpose of bringing them hither into Greece; for there was already at that time an obscure rumour of these verses among the Greeks, but some few only possessed some scattered fragments of this poetry, which were circulated in a chance manner. Lycurgus had the principal hand in making it known.” This Creophylus or Cleophylus, a Samian, is said to have been Homer's host in Samos, and a poet himself. The nucleus of fact in this story may probably consist in this; that Lycurgus became more acquainted with “he Homeric verses among the Ionian rhapsodists, and succeeded in introducing, by means of his own or others' memory, some connected portions of them into Western Greece. That he wrote them all out is, as we may see, so far as the original authority goes, due to the ingenious biographer alone. But the better founded account of the introduction, or, at least, of the formal collection of the Homeric verses, though not inconsistent with the other, is, that, after Solon had directed that the rhapsodists should, upon public occasions, recite in a certain order of poetical narration, and not confusedly, the end before the beginning, as had been the previous practice, Pisistratus, with the help of a large body of the most celebrated poets of his age, made a regular collection of the different rhapsodies which passed under Homer's name, committed them all to writing, and arranged them very much in the series in which we now possess them. The division of the rhapsodies into books corresponding with the letters of the Greek alphabet, was probably the work of the Alexandrean critics many centuries afterward. Now the authorities for attributing this primary reduction into form to Pisistratus, are numerous and express, and a few quotations from them will be the most satisfactory way of putting the student in possession of the opinions of the ancients upon this subject—“Who,” says Cicero, “was more learned in that age, or whose eloquence is reported to have been more refined by literature than that of Pisistratus, who is said first to have disposed the books of Homer, which were before ... in the order in which we now have them?” (Cic., de Orat., 3, 34.)—“Pisistratus,” observes Pausanias, “collected the verses of Homer, which were dispersed, and retained in different places by memory.” (Pausanias, 7, 26.)—“Afterward,” remarks AElian, “Pisistratus, having collected

the verses, set out the Iliad and Odyssey.” (AElian, W. H., 13, 14.)—“We praise Pisistratus,” observes Libanius, “for his collection of the verses made b Homer.” (Liban., Pan. in Iul., vol. 1, p. 170, ed. Reiske.)—“The poetry of the Iliad,” says Eustathius, “is one continuous body throughout, and well fitted together; but they who put it together, under the direction, as is said, of Pisistratus,” &c. (Wolf, Prolegom., p. cxliii., in not.)—That this collection was made with the assistance, and probably by the principal operation of the contemporary poets, rests also upon good authority. Pausanias, in speaking of v. 573, in the second book of the Iliad, says that Pisistratus, or some one of his associates, had changed the name through ignorance. “Afterward,” remarks Suidas, “this poetry was put together and set in order by many persons, and in particular by Pisistratus.” (Suid., s. v. "Oumpoc.) The great poets with whom Pisistratus lived in friendship, and of whose aid he is supposed to have availed himself on this occasion, were Orpheus of Crotona, said to be the author of the Argonautics, Onomacritus the Athenian, Simonides, and Anacreon. In the dialogue called Hipparchus, attributed to Plato, it is said, indeed, of the younger son of Pisistratus of that name, “that he executed many other excellent works, and particularly he brought the verses of Homer into this country, and compelled the rhapsodists at the Panathenaic festival to go through them all in order, one taking up the other, in the same manner that they do now.” There seems, however, no great inconsistency in these statements. They may very reasonably be reconciled, by supposing that this great work of collecting and arranging the scattered verses of the Homeric rhapsodists was begun in an imperfect manner by Solon, principally executed by Pisistratus and his friends, and finished under ipparchus. This will embrace about eighty years from the date of Solon's law, B.C. 594, to the death of Hipparchus, B.C. 513. It must be remembered, however, that, although the Homeric rhapsodies were undoubtedly committed to writing, and reduced into a certain form and order of composition, in the age of the Pisistratidae, the ancient and national practice of recitation still continued in honour, and for a considerable time afterward was, perhaps, the only mode by which those poems were popularly known. But it may readily be believed, that, in proportion as written copies became multiplied, a power of, and taste for, reading generated, and a literature, in the narrow sense of the word, created, this practice of publicly reciting national poetry, which was as congenial as it was indispensable to a primitive and unlettered people, would gradually sink in estimation, become degraded in character, and finally fall into complete disuse. This we find to have been precisely the case from about the year B.C. 430, till the age of the Alexandrean critics, under the polite and civilized government of the Ptolemies. The old manner of reciting was no doubt very histrionic; but after the formation of a regular theatre, and the composition of formal dramas in the time of Æschylus, the heroic verses of the Homeric age must have seemed very unfit vehicles of, or accompaniments to, scenic effect of any kind. In this interval, therefore, are to be placed a third and last race of rhapsodists, now no longer the fellow-poets and congenial interpreters of their originals, but, in general, a low and ignorant sort of men, who were acceptable only to the meanest of the people. Xenophon (Sympos., 3) and Plato (Ion, passim) bear abundant testimony to the contempt with which they were regarded, though the object of the latter in the Ion or Ionian was probably to sketch a true and exalted picture of the duty and the character of a genuine shapsodist. There were many editions, or Atop6%dets, as they were called, of the Iliad, after this primary one by the Pisistratidae. We read of one by Antimachus,

a poet of Colophon; and of another very celebrated one by Aristotle, which edition Alexander is said to have himself corrected and kept in a very precious casket, taken among the spoils of the camp of Darius. This edition was called ñ is toū vupt/mkoç. The editions by any known individual were called at Kar' avdpa, to distinguish them from several editions existing in different cities, but not attributed to any particular editors. These latter were called at karū tróżew, or at #x tróżeov. The Massiliotic, Chian, Argive, Sinopic, Cyprian, and Cretan are mentioned. There are three other names very conspicuous among the multitude of critics, and commentators, and editors of the Iliad in subsequent times; these are Zenodotus, Aristophanes, the inventor of accents, and Aristarchus. This last celebrated man lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, B.C. 150, and, after a collation of all the copies then existing, he published a new edition, or Atóptuouc, of the Iliad, divided into books, the text of which, according to the general opinion of critics, has finally prevailed as the genuine diction of Homer. (Coleridge, Introduction, &c., p. 37–55.) In the preface to Gronovius' Thesaurus (vol. 5), there is a particular and curious account of the manner in which Pisistratus put together the poems of Homer. It is taken from the Commentary of Diomedes Scholasticus on the grammar of Dionysius the Thracian, and was first published in the original Greek by Bekker, in the second vol. of his Anecdota Graca (p. 767, seqq.). It is in substance as follows: The poems of Homer were in a fragmentary state, in different hands. One man had a hundred verses; another two hundred; a third a thousand, &c. Thereupon Pisistratus, not being able to find the poems entire, proclaimed all over Greece, that whoever brought to . verses of Homer, should receive so much for each line. All who brought any received the promised reward, even those who brought lines which he had already obtained from others. Sometimes people brought him verses of their own for those of Homer, now marked with an obelus (rows vöv bö874&ouévov;). After having thus made a collection, he employed 72 grammarians to put together the verses of Homer in the manner they thought best. After each had separately arranged the verses, he brought them all together, and made each show to the whole his own particular work. Having all in a body examined carefully and impartially, they with one accord gave the preference to the compositions of Aristarchus and Zenodotus, and determined still farther, that the former had made the better one of the two. (Bekker, Anec. Graec., l.c.)

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

liast to the Birds of Aristophanes (v. 914). By

others, however, the Margites was attributed to Pi. gres; and Knight is of opinion, from the use of the augment in the few lines still preserved, that it was the work of an Athenian earlier than the time of Xerxes, but long after the lowest time of the composition of the Iliad. (Coleridge, Introduction, &c., p. 180.)

2. Batrachomyomachia.

“The Battle of the Frogs and Mice” is a short mock-heroic poem of ancient date. The text varies in different editions, and is obviously disturbed and corrupt to a great degree. It is commonly said to have been a juvenile essay of Homer's genius; but others have attributed it to the same Pigres mentioned above, whose reputation for humour seems to have invited the appropriation of any piece of ancient wit, the author of which was uncertain. So little did the Greeks, before the era of the Ptolemies, know or care about that department of criticism which is employed in determining the genuineness of ancient writings. As to this little poem being a youthful prolusion of Homer's, it seems sufficient to say, that from the beginning to the end it is a plain and palpable parody, not only of the general spirit, but of numerous passages of the Iliad itself; and, even if no such intention to parody were discoverable in it, the objection would still remain, that, to suppose a work of mere burlesque to be the primary effort of poetry in a simple age, seems to reverse that order in the development of national taste, which the history of every other people in Europe and of many in Asia has almost ascertained to be a law of the human mind. It is in a state of society much more refined and permanent than that described in the Iliad, that any popularity would attend such a ridicule of war and the gods as is contained in this poem; and the fact of there having existed three other poems of the same kind, attributed, for aught we can see, with as much reason to Homer, is a strong inducement to believe that none of them were in reality of the Homeric age. Knight infers, from the usage of the word 667 too, as a writing tablet, instead of 690&pa or a skin, which, according to Herodotus (5, 58), was the material employed by the Asiatic Greeks for that purpose, that this poem was another offspring of Attic ingenuity; and, generally, that the familiar mention of the cock (v. 191) is a strong argument against so ancient a date for its composition.

[ocr errors]

The Homeric Hymns, including the hymn to Ceres and the fragment to Bacchus, which were discovered in the last century at Moscow, and edited by Ruhnken, amount to thirty-three ; but with the exception of those to Apollo, Mercury, Venus, and Ceres, they are so short as not to consist of more than about three hundred and fifty lines in all. Almost all modern critics, with the eminent exception of Hermann, deny that any of these hymns belong to Homer. Nevertheless, it is certain that they are of high antiquity, and were commonly attributed by the ancients to Homer with almost as much confidence as the Iliad and Odyssey. Thucydides (3,104) quotes a passage from the Hymn to Apollo, and alleges the Allo of Homer, whom he expressly takes to be the writer, to prove an historical remark; and Diodorus Siculus (3,66; 4,2), Pausanias (2,4), and many other ancient authors, cite different verses from these hymns, and always treat them as genuine Homeric remains. On the other hand, in the Life under the name of Plutarch, nothing is allowed to be genuine but the Iliad and Odyssey; Athenaeus (1, 19) suspects one of the Homeridae or Homeric rhapsodists to be the author of the Hymn to Apollo; and the scholiast to Pindar (Nem. 2) testifies, that one Cynaethus, a Chian rhapsodist, who flourished in great reputation at Syracuse about 500 B.C., was supposed by many to be the real Homer of this particular poem. One thing, however, is certain, that these hymns are extremely ancient, and it is probable that some of them only yield to the Iliad and Odyssey in remoteness-of date. They vary in character and poetical merit; but there is scarcely one among them that has not something to interest us, and they have all of them, in a greater or less degree, that simple Homeric liveliness which never fails to charm us wherever we meet with it.

4. Epigrams.

Under the title of Epigrams are classed a few verses on different subjects, chiefly addresses to cities or private individuals. There is one short hymn to Neptune which seems out of its place here. In the fourth epigram, Homer is represented as speaking of his blindness and his itinerant life. As regards the general character of the Greek Epigram, it may here be remarked, that it is so far from being the same with, or even like to, the Epigram of modern times, that sometimes it is completely the reverse. In general, the songs in Shakspeare, Ben Jonson, Waller, and, where he writes with simplicity, in Moore, give a better notion of the Greek Epigrams than any other species of modern composition.

5. Fragments.

The Fragments, as they are called, consist of a few scattered lines which are said to have been formerly found in the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the other supposed works of Homer, and to have been omitted as spurious or dropped by chance from their ostensible context. Besides these, there are some passages from the Little Iliad, and a string of verses taken from Homer's answers in the old work, called the Contests of Homer and Hesiod. (Coleridge, Introduction, &c., p. 235.)

Conclusion.

Since the Homeric question was first agitated by Wolf and Heyne, it has been placed on 'a very different footing by the labours of more recent scholars. The student may consult with advantage the following works: Nitzsch, de Historia Homeri Meletemata.Kreuser, Worfragen über Homeros.—Id., Homerische Rhapsoden.— Muller, Homerische Worschule. Heinecke, Homer und Lycurg.—Knight, Prolegomena ad Homerum. London Quarterly Review, No. 87. — Müller's Review of Nitzsch's work, in the Göttingen, Gel. Anzeigen, for Febr., 1831.-Hermann's remarks in the Wiener Jahrbücher, vol. 54.—Hug, Erfindung der Buchstabenschrift.—An argument which confines itself to the writings of Wolf and Heyne, can now add but little to our means of forming a judgment on the Homeric question, and must keep some of its most important elements out of sight. (Thirlwall's Greece, vol. 1, p. 248, in notis.)—The best edition of the Iliad is that of Heyne, Lips., 1802–1822, 9 vols. 8vo. The most popular edition of the entire works is that of Clarke, improved by Ernesti, Lips., 1759, 1824, Glasg., 1814, 5 vols. 8vo. The most critical one, however, is that of Wolf, Lips., 1804–1807, 4 vols. 12mo. A good edition of the Odyssey is still needed, though the want may in a great measure be supplied by the excellent commentary of Nitzsch, Hannov., 1826–1831, 2 vols. 8vo.—II. A poet, surnamed, for distinction' sake, the Younger. He was a native of Hierapolis in Caria, and flourished under Ptolemy

Philadelphus. Homer the Younger formed one of the Tragic Pleiades. (Schöll, Gesch. Gr. Lit., vol. 2, p. 41.)

HomoNKDA, a strong fortress of Cilicia Trachea, on the confines of Isauria. This place Mannert makes to belong to Pisidia. (Geogr., vol. 6, pt. 2, p. 166.)

The Homonadenses were a wild and plundering people, and greatly infested the neighbouring country. They were subdued, however, by the Roman commander Quirinus, who blocked up the passages of the mountains, and reduced them by famine. D'Anville was of opinion, that Homonada was represented by the fortress of Ermenak, situate near the sources of the Giuk-sou; and this locality has been adopted by Gossellin and others. (French Strabo, vol. 4, pt. 2, p. 100.) But Col. Leake, in his map, supposes Ermenak to be Philadelphia. (Cramer's Asia Minor, vol. 2, p. 333.) HoNorius, son of Theodosius the Great, and younger brother of Arcadius, was born at Constantinople A.D. 384. After the death of his father in 395, Honorius had for his share the Empire of the West, under the guardianship of Stilicho, a distinguished general of the imperial armies, and fixed his residence at Milan. For several years after, Stilicho was the real sovereign of the West ; and he also endeavoured to extend his sway over the territories of Arcadius in the East, under the pretence of defending them against the Goths. He gave his daughter Maria in marriage to Honorius, and recovered the province of Africa, which had revolted. About A.D. 400, the Goths and the Huns, under Alaric and Radagaisus, invaded Italy, but were repelled by Stilicho. In the year 402, Alaric came again into Italy, and spread alarm as far as Rome, when Stilicho hastily collected an army, with which he met Alaric at Pollentia, on the banks of the Tanarus, completely defeated him, and compelled him to recross the Noric Alps. After this victory Honorius repaired to Rome with Stilicho, where they were both received with great applause. On that occasion Honorius abolished by a decree the fights of gladiators, and he also forbade, under penalty of death, all sacrifices and offerings to the pagan gods, and ordered their statues to be destroyed. In the year 404, Honorius left Rome for Ravenna, where he established his court, making it the seat of his empire, like another Rome, in consequence of which, the province in which Ravenna is situated assumed the name of Romania, Romaniola, and afterward Romagna, which last it retains to this day. In the following year Radagaisus again invaded Italy with a large force of barbarians, but was completely defeated, and put to death by Stilicho, in the mountains near Faesulae in Etruria. In the next year, the Wandals, the Alani, the Alemanni, and other barbarians, crossed the Rhine and invaded Gaul. A soldier, named Constantine, revolted in Britain, usurped the imperial power, and, having passed over into Gaul, established his dominion over part of it, and was acknowledged by Honorius as his colleague, with the title of Augustus. Stilicho now began to be suspected of having an understanding with the barbarians, and especially with Alaric, to whom he advised the emperor to pay a tribute of 4000 pounds' weight of gold. Honorius, in consequence, gave an order for his death, which was executed at Ravenna, in August of the year 408. Historians are divided concerning the fact of Stilicho's treason. Zosimus and the poet Claudian consider it a calumny. His death, however, was fatal to the empire, of which he was the only remaining support. Alaric again invaded Italy, besieged Rome, and at last took it, and proclaimed the prefect Attalus emperor. Honorius meantime remained inactive, and shut up within Ravenna. The continued indecision and bad faith of Honorius, or, rather, of his favourites, brought Alaric again before Rome, which was this time plundered by the invader (A.D. 410). After Alaric's death, his son Ataulphus married Placidia, sister of Honorius, and took possession of Spain. The rest of the reign of Honorius was a succession of calamities. The Empire of the West was now falling to pieces on every side; and in the midst of the **,o Honorius died of the dropsy at Ravenna, in August, 423, leaving no issue. (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, c. 29, seqq.—Encycl. Us. Knowl., vol. 12, p. 281.) o, or Horus Apollo, a grammarian of Alexandrea, according to Suidas, in the time of the Roman emperor. Theodosius. He taught, first in his native city, and afterward in Constantinople, and wrote, under the title of Teufvuká, a work on consecrated places. Several other writers of this name are mentioned by Suidas, by Stephanus of Byzantium (s. v. Pevé6mtlic), by Photius (p. 536, ed. Bekker), and by Eustathius (ad Od. 4). It is doubtful to which one of the whole number a treatise which has come down to us on Egyptian Hieroglyphics is to be ascribed. According to the inscription that is found in most MSS., the work was originally written in Egyptian, and translated into Greek by a person named Philip. But, whatever opinion we may form respecting the author, it is evident that the work could not have been written before the Christian era, since it contains allusions to the philosophical tenets of the Gnostics. Its merits are differently estimated. The object of the writer appears to have been, not to furnish a key to the Hieroglyphic system, but to explain the emblems and attributes of the gods. Champollion, and Leemans in his edition of the work, are disposed to attribute greater importance to it than former critics had been willing to allow. The best edition is that of Leemans, Amst., 1834, 8vo. Previous to the appearance of this, the best edition was that of DePauw, Traj, ad Rhen., 1727, 4to. HoRAE ("Qpat), the Seasons or Hours, who had charge of the gates of Heaven. Hesiod says that they were the daughters of Jupiter and Themis ; and he names them Eunomia (Order), Dike (Justice), and Eirene (Peace). “They watch,” adds the poet, “over the works of mortal man” (opy’ opatoval karash'n’rolat Bporoiot.—Theog, 903). By an unknown poet (ap. Stobacum.—Lobeck, Aglaoph., p. 600), the H. are called the daughters of Time; and by late poets they were named the children of the year, and their number was increased to twelve. (Nonnus, 11,486.—ld., 12, 17.) Some made them seven or ten in number. (Hygin., fab., 183.)—The Horae seem to have been originally regarded as presiding over the three seasons into which the ancient Greeks divided the year. (Welcker, Tril., p. 500, not.) As the day was similarly divided (Il., 21, 111), they came to be regarded as presiding over its parts also ; and when it was farther subdivided into hours, these minor parts were placed under their charge, and were named from them. (Quint., Smyrn., 2, 595.—Nonnus, l.c.) Order and regularity being their prevailing attributes, the transition was easy from the natural to the moral world ; and the guardian goddesses of the seasons were regarded as presiding over law, justice, and peace, the great producers of order and harmony among men. (Keightley's Mythology, p. 190, seq.) Horatia, the sister of the Horatii, killed by her surviving brother for deploring the death of her betrothed, one of the Curiatii, and for reproaching him with the deed by which she had lost her lover. (Wid. Horatius II.) Hor Arius, I. QUINtus Flaccus, a celebrated Roman poet, born at Venusia or Venusium, December 8th, B.C. 65, during the consulship of L. Aurelius Cotta and L. Manlius Torquatus. (Od., 3, 21, 1.Epod, 13, 6.) His father, who was a freedman of the Horatian family, had gained considerable property as a coactor, a name applied to the servant of the money-brokers, who attended at sales at auction, and collected the money from the purchasers. (Serm., 1, 6, 6.) With these R. he purchased a farm in the neighbourhood of Venusia, on the banks of the Aufidus. In this place Horace appears to have lived until his eleventh * twelfth year, when his father, dissatis64

fied with the country school of Flavius (Serm., 1, 6, 72), removed with his son to Rome, where he was placed under the care of a celebrated teacher, Orbilius Pupillus, of Beneventum, whose life has been written by Suetonius. (De Illustr. Gramm., c. 9.) After studying the ancient Latin poets (Epist., 2, 1, 70, seq.), Horace acquired the Greek language. (Epist., 2, 2, 41, seq.) He also enjoyed, during the course of his education, the advice and assistance of his father, who appears to have been a sensible man, and who is mentioned by his son with the greatest esteem and respect. (Serm., 1, 4, 105, seqq.; 1, 6, 76, seqq.) It is probable that, soon after he had assumed the toga virilis, at the age of seventeen, he went to Athens to pursue his studies (Epist, 2, 2,43), where he appears to have remained till the breaking out of the civil war during the second triumvirate. i. this contest he joined the army of Brutus, was promoted to the rank of military tribune (Serm., 1, 6, 48), and was present at the battle of Philippi, his flight from which he compares to a similar act on the part of the Greek poet Alcaeus. (Od., 2, 7, 9.) Though the life of Horace was spared, his paternal property at Venusia was confiscated (Epist., 2, 2,49), and he repaired to Rome, with the hope of obtaining a living by his literary exertions. Some of his poems attracted the notice of Virgil and Varius, who introduced him to Maecenas, and the liberality of the minister quickly relieved the poet from all pecuniary difficulties. From this eventful epoch for our bard, the current of his life flowed on in smooth and gentle course. Satisfied with the competency which the kindness of his patron had bestowed, Horace declined the offers made him by Augustus, to take him into his service as private secretary, and steadily resisted the temptation thus held out of rising to opulence and political consideration; advantages which, to one of his philosophical temperament, would have been dearly purchased by the sacrifice of his independence. For that he was independent in the noblest sense of the word, in freedom of thought and action, is evidenced by that beautiful epistle to Maecenas, in which he states, that if the sayour of his patron is to be secured by a slavish renunciation of his own habits and feelings, he will at once say, Farewell to fortune, and welcome poverty " (Epist., 1, 7.)—Not long after his introduction to Maecenas the journey to Brundisium took place, and the gift of his Sabine estate soon followed. Rendered independent by the bounty of Maecenas, high in the favour of Augustus, courted by the proudest patricians of Rome, and blessed in the friendship of his brother poets, Virgil, Tibullus, and Varius, it is difficult to conceive a state of more perfect temporal felicity than Horace must have enjoyed. This happiness was first sensibly interrupted by the death of Virgil, which was shortly succeeded by that of Tibullus. These losses must have sunk deeply into his mind. The solemn thoughts and grave studies which, in the first epistle of his first book, he declares shall henceforward occupy his time, were, if we may judge from the second epistle of the second book, addressed to Julius Florus, confirmed by those sad warnings of the frail tenure of existence. The severest blow, however, which Horace had to encounter, was inflicted by the dissolution of his early friend and best patron Maecenas. He had declared that he could never survive the loss of one who was “part of his soul” (Od., 2, 17, 5), and his prediction was verified. The death of the poet occurred only a few weeks after that of his friend, on the 27th of November, B.C. 8, when he had nearly completed his 58th year, and his remains were deposited next to those of Maecenas, at the extremity of the Esquiline Hill.—When at Rome, Horace resided in a small and plainly-furnished mansion on the Esquiline. When he left the capital, he either betook himself to his Sabine farm or his villa at Tibur, the modern Tivoli. When in the country, as the whim seized

« PoprzedniaDalej »