Obrazy na stronie

and persevering antagonists, and were at length forced to sue for peace, which was granted on condition that they should acknowledge their dependance on Sparta, and take part in all its wars. (Xen., Hist. Gr., 5, 4, 27.) Olynthus, though awed and humbled, was far from being effectually subdued; and not many years elapsed before it renewed its attempts to form a confederacy, and again dismember the Macedonian states. In consequence of the alliance which it entered into with Amphipolis, once the colony of Athens, it became involved in hostilities with the Athenians, supported by Philip, son of Amyntas, who had just ascended the throne of Macedon; and Potidaea and Methone were successively wrested from its dominion. Indeed, Olynthus itself could not long have resisted such powerful enemies, had not jealousy, or some secret cause, spread disunion among the allies and induced them to form other designs. Shortly after, we find Philip and the Olynthians in league against Athens, with the view of expelling that power from Thrace. (Demosth., Olynth., 2, p. 19) Amphipolis was besieged and taken by assault; Potidaea surrendered, and was restored to Olynthus, which for a time became as flourishing and powerful as at any former period of its history. Of the circumstances which induced this republic to abandon the interests of Macedon in favour of Athens, we are not well informed ; but the machinations of the party hostile to Philip led to a declaration of war against that monarch ; and the Athenians were easily prevailed upon by the eloquence of Demosthenes to send forces to the support of Olynthus under the command of Chares. Although these troops were at first successful, it was evident that they were unable effectually to protect the city against the formidable army of Philip. The Olynthians, beaten in two successive actions, were soon confined within their walls; and, after a siege of some duration, were compelled to surrender, not without suspicion of treachery on the part of Eurysthenes and Lasthenes, who were then at the head of affairs. On obtaining possession of this important city, Philip gave it up to plunder, reduced the inhabitants to slavery, and razed the walls to the ground. (Diod. Sic., 16, 53.—Demosth., Phil., 3. p. 113. —Justin, 8, 4.— Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 1, p. 249, seqq.) OMbos, a city of Egypt, a little north of Syene, on the eastern side of the Nile. The Antonine Itinerary calls it Ambos (p. 165), and Ptolemy, Ombi ('Ouéot. The edition of Erasmus has "Outpot by a mistake of the press.) Pliny speaks of the Ombilis Prafectura, whence we may conclude that Ombos was at one period the capital of a Nome. (Plin., 5, 9.) Its position is now found in the name of Koum-Ombo, or the Hill of Ombo. Between the inhabitants of this place and Tentyra constant hostilities prevailed, the former adoring, the latter killing, the crocodile. A horrible instance of religious fury, which took place in consequence of their mutual discord, is the subject of the 15th satire of Juvenal. (Consult Ruperti ad Sat. cit.) In relation to the Ombites worshipping the crocodile, while the inhabitants of Tentyra and other places destroyed it, we may cite the explanation of two of the French savans (Chabrol and Jomard, Descript. de l'Egypte, vol. 1.--Antiq., c. 4, p. 8, seqq.). They suppose, that the crocodile was revered by those cities which were more or less removed from the immediate vicinity of the Nile, by reason of its swimming towards them when the river began to overflow its banks, and thus bringing the first intelligence of the approach of the inundation. (Compare Creuzer, Comment. Herod., p 84) OMphile, a queen of Lydia, daughter of Iardanus. She married Tmolus, who, at his death, left her mistress of his kingdom. Omphale had been informed of the great exploits of Hercules, and wished to see so illustrious a hero. Her wish was soon gratified. Af.

ter the murder of Iphitus, Hercules fell into a malady, and was told by the oracle at Delphi that he would not be restored to health, unless he allowed himself to be sold as a slave for the space of three years, and gave the purchase-money to Eurytus as a compensation for the loss of his son. Accordingly, in obedience to the oracle, he was conducted by Mercury to Lydia, and there sold to Omphale. During the period of his slavery with this queen, he assumed female attire, sat by her side spinning with her women, and from time to time received chastisement at the hand of Omphale, who, arrayed in his lion-skin, and armed with his club, playfully struck him with her sandal for his awkward way of holding the distaff. He became by this queen the father of Agelaus, from whom, according to Apollodorus, came the race of Croesus (60ev kai Kpotoovyévos.—Apollod, 2, 7, 7). Some writers make the Lydian Heraclidae to have sprung from this union, and not the line of Croesus; but the weight of authority is in favour of the opinion that the Heraclidae of Lydia claimed descent from Hercules and a female slave of Iardanus. (Creuzer, Fragm. Hist., p. 186, seqq.—Hellanic, ap. Steph. Byz., s. v. 'Akéâm.—Diod. Suc., 4, 31–Dio Chrysost., Orat., 4, p. 236, b.)—The myth of Hercules and Omphale is an astronomical one. The hero in this legend represents the Sun-god, who has descended to the bugażór (omphalos), or “navel” of the world, amid the signs of the southern hemisphere, where he remains for a season shorn of his strength. Hence the Lydian custom of solemnizing the festival of the star of day by an exchange of attire on the part of the two sexes; and hence the fable of the Grecian writers, that Hercules had assumed, during his servitude with Omphale, the garb of a female. (Creuzer, Symbolik, par Guigniaut, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 179.) Walker, however, takes a moral view of the legend which we have just been considering, and regards it as expressing the abasement of power amid sensual indulgence. (Analysis of Beauty, p. 32.) OncAEUM, a town of Arcadia, near Thelpusa, on the banks of the river Ladon. The place was famed for a temple of Ceres, and the legend connected with it was as follows: When Ceres was in search of her daughter Proserpina, Neptune continually followed her. To elude him, she changed herself into a mare, and mingled with the mares of Oncus; but the sea-god assumed the form of a horse, and thus became the father of the celebrated steed Arion. (Pausanias, 8, 25, 4.) ONches Mus, a town of Epirus, on the coast, situate, according to Strabo (324), opposite the western extremity of Corcyra. Dionysius of Halicarnassus pretended that the real name of this place was Anchisae Portus, derived from Anchises the father of Æneas. (Ant. Rom., 1, 32.) Cicero seems to refer to the port of Onchesmus, when he speaks of the wind Onchesmites as having favoured his navigation from Epirus to Brundisium. (Ep. ad Att., 7, 2.-Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 1, p. 96.) Pouqueville gives Santi Quaranta as the modern name of Onchesmus (vol. 2, p. 133), or, more correctly, of a small place near it . (vol. 2, p. 104). Onchestus, I., a river of Thessaly, rising near Cynoscephalae, and falling into the Sinus Pelasgicus. It is supposed to correspond to the modern Patrassi. (Liv., 33,6—Polyb., 18, 3–Steph. Byz., s. v.) Some have thought it to be the same with the river which Herodotus calls Onochonus (7, 196), but without any ood reason. The Onochonus, whose waters were i. by the army of Xerxes, falls into the Peneus, and is probably the river Rejani. (Cramer's Ancient Greece, vol. 1, p. 390.)—II. A city of Boeotia, northwest of Thebes, and south of the lake Copais. It received its name from Onchestus, a son of Neptune, whose temple and grove are often celebrated by the

poets of antiquity, from Homer to Lycophron. Sir W. Gell noticed, on the ascent uniting Mount Phaga or Sphinx on the left, with the projecting hills from Helicon on the right, an immense tumulus of earth and stones, and many other vestiges, probably of Onchestus. (Itin., p. 125.-Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 2, p. 231, seqq.) ONEsicRitus, a Cynic philosopher, a native of AEgina, and, according to Diogenes Laertius, a disciple of Diogenes of Sinope. He accompanied Alexander into Asia, and officiated as pilot to the principal vessel in the fleet of Nearchus. He wrote a history of Alexander's expedition, a work swarming with falsehoods and absurdities. (AElian, H. A., 16, 39.-Diog. Laert, 6, 4.—Sainte-Croiz, Ezamen des. Hist. d’Alez., . 38.) P ONion, a city of Egypt, southwest of Heroopolis. It was inhabited by Jews, who had a temple here, which continued from the time of Onias, who built it, to that of Vespasian. Onias was nephew to Menelaus, and the rightful successor to the priesthood at Jerusalein; but, being rejected by Antiochus Eupator, who made Alcimus high-priest, he fled to Egypt, and persuaded Ptolemy Philometor to let him build this temple there, about 173 B.C. This structure remained for the space of 248 years, when it was destroyed by order of Vespasian, after the fall of Jerusalem. (Josephus, Ant. Jud., 14, 14.—Id., Bell. Jud., 1, 7.) ONoMacRitus, a Greek poet in the time of the Pisistratidae, who is said to have written the “hymns of initiation” (režerai) ascribed to Orpheus. (Vid. Orphica.) He was accused also of interpolating the poems of Musæus, mention of which has already been made in another article. (Wid. Musæus.) The oracles of this latter poet were collected by Onomacritus, in compliance with the orders of Hipparchus; but the poet Lasus of Hermione having discovered the fraud committed by him in intermingling his own verses among the ancient predictions, Onomacritus was thereupon driven into exile as an impostor by Hipparchus. It appears that from this time it was no longer possible to distinguish what was genuine in the poetry of Musæus from what was mere interpolation. (Herod., 7, 6–Pausan., 1, 22.) ONos ANDER, or, as Coray writes the name, ONEs ANDER, a Greek author and Platonic philosopher. Concerning the period in which he flourished, nothing more can be ascertained than that he lived about the middle of the first century. He was the author of a work of much celebrity, entitled, XTparmytkóc A6)0s, being a treatise on the duties of a general. This production is the source whence all the works on this subject, in Greek and Latin, that were subsequently published, derived their origin. It is still held in estimation by military men. The best editions are, that of Schwebel, Norimb., 1762, fol., and that of Coray, Paris, 1822, 8vo. Appended to the latter are the first elegy of Tyrtaeus and a translation of Onosander, both in French. The profits of his edition were given to the unfortunate sufferers of Chios. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 5, p. 261, seqq.) Opheltes, son of Lycurgus, king of Nemea. Hypsipile, the Lemnian princess, whom her countrywomen had sold into slavery when they found that she had saved her father, was nurse to the infant Opheltes, when the army of Adrastus marched to Nemea, on its way to Thebes. She undertook to guide the newcomers to a spring ; and, for that purpose, left the child lying on the grass, where a serpent found and killed it. The Argive leaders slew the serpent and buried the child. Amphiaraus, the famous soothsayer and warrior, augured ill-luck from this event, and called the child Archemorus (Fate-beginner), as indicative of the evils that were to befall the chieftains. His other name, Opheltes, is derived, according to the mythologists, from Öpic, as he died by the bite of a

serpent. Adrastus and the other chiefs then celebrated funeral games in his honour, which were the commencement of what were afterward called the Nemean games. (Apollod., 3, 6, 4–Heyne, ad loe.) Ophir, a land which was known to the Hebrews and to the neighbouring nations as early as the time of Job, and was famed for producing such an abundance of excellent gold, that “the gold of Ophir” became a proverbial expression for fine gold. (1 Chron, 29.4— Job,22, 24.—Id., 28, 16–Psalms, 45, 9.—Isaiah, 13, 12.) The Septuagint version gives Sophira (Xootpa) as the name of the region; but various forms occur in the MSS., such as Xopeto, Xovgeip, Xovotp, Scoeip, Xoptpá, and Xwoapá. We meet with this last also in Josephus (Ant. Jud., 8, 6, 4.—Consult Harercamp, ad loc.). The position of Ophir is very difficult to determine, and much diversity of opinion exists among biblical critics on the subject. We are informed in Scripture, that Solomon, in conjunction with Hiran, king of Tyre, sent a navy from Ezion-geber, at the head of the Red Sea, to Ophir, and that this navy returned, bringing four hundred and twenty (in Chronicles 450) talents of gold, sandal-wood (called, in our translation, almug or algum trees), and precious stones. (1 Kings, 9, 26–28.-Ib., 10, 11.—Compare 2 Chron. 8, 17, 18; 1b., 9, 10); and also that Jehoshaphat built ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold (in Chronicles it is said that he built ships to go to Tarskish), which were wrecked at Ezion-geber. (1 Kings, 22, 48, 49.—Compare 2 Chron. 20, 36, 37.) We are also told, in 1 Kings, 10, 22, that Solomon had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram. Once in three years (or every third year) came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks—Now, since both Solomon and Jehoshaphat built the navies bound for Ophir at Ezion-geber, at the head of the Red Sea, it is clear that we must seek for Ophir somewhere on the shores of the Indian Ocean; for it is highly improbable that Solomon's ships went farther than the Cape of Good Hope in one direction, or than the Indian Archipelago in the other: it is not likely, indeed, that they went so far either way. Nearly all the inquiries into the position of Ophir have proceeded on the assumption, that the passage in 1 Kings, 10, 22, refers to the same navy which is spoken of in 1 Kings, 9, 27, seqq., and, consequently, that Tarshish and Ophir were visited in the same voyage. It has therefore been necessary for those who make this assumption, not only to find a place which suits the description of Ophir, and which produces “gold, sandal-wood, and precious stones,” but also to account for the “silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks” which were brought by the navy of Tarshish, and for the three years consumed in the voyage. But Tarshish was probably the same place as Tartessus in Spain; and therefore, if Tarshish and Ophir are to be connected, we must make the gratuitous supposition that there was another Tarshish in the East. Besides, Tarshish and Ophir are not mentioned together in the account of Solomon's voyages: the ships that went to Ophir (1 Kings, 9, 28) seem to have made only a single voyage, for the purpose of fetching only a specified quantity of gold, while the “navy of Tarshish,” which “the king had" (not going to Ophir, but) “at sea," made its voyage every three years; and, mereover, the products of the two voyages were different, gold being the only article common to the two. For these reasons, Rennell appears to be correct in saying “that two distinct kinds of voyages were performed by these fleets: that to Ophir from the Red Sea, and that to the coast of Guinea (or to Tarshish, wherever it was) from the Mediterranean.” (Rennell, Geogr. of Herodotus, vol. 2, p. 353.) The conjoint mention of Ophir and Tarshish, in the account of Jehoshaphat's navy, admits of easy explanation. Either there may be some mistake in the account in 2 Chron., 30, 36, sco

which differs materially from that in 1 Kings, 22, 48, seq., or “Tarshish” in the former passage may mean only “a distant voyage ;” and we know that the phrase in the latter passage, “ships of Tarshish,” is frequently used in the Old Testament for large, strong ships. The question, therefore, as to the position of Ophir must not be encumbered with any considerations that refer to Tarshish. (Encycl. Us. Knowl., vol. 16, p. 447.)—The early Portuguese navigators believed that they had found Ophir in the modern Sofala, on the eastern coast of Africa, opposite the island of Madagascar, and this same opinion was subsequently maintained by Dapper (Africa, p. 395), Montesquieu, and Bruce (Travels, vol. 2, p. 352). The improbability, however, of this position being the true one, has been fully shown by Vincent (Periplus, p. 266) and Salt (Voyage to Abyssinia, p. 102). The chief ground, indeed, for so erroneous an opinion, seems to have been a supposed resemblance in name between Sofala and Ophir, or Sophara, Calmet places Ophir at the head waters of the Tigris and Euphrates, among the Taperes or Saspires; the gold being conveyed from this quarter, he supposes, to some harbour on the Persian Gulf. (Dict. Bibl., s. v.) Bochart makes two Ophirs, one in Arabia, near the Sabaei (Geogr. Sacr., 2, 27.-Op., vol. 2, col. 138), and the other in India. The former only of these, he thinks, was known to the Jews down to the time of Solomon, who, in conjunction with Hiram, king of Tyre, first sent an expedition to the latter. This latter Ophir he considers to be identical with Ceylon. (Geogr. Sacr., l. c. Op., vol. 2, ed. 141.) Wii, places Ophir in India, in the vicinity of Cabul. (Sacr. Geogr., s. v.) Schleusner is in favour of Spain. (Lez. Vet. Test., vol. 3, p. 75.) Tychsen also decides in favour of India, and supposes Ophir to have been one of the Isles of Sunda, an island called Ophir lying near Sumatra at the present day. (De Commerc. et Navigat. Hebræorum, &c.— Comment. Gott., vol. 16, p. 164, seqq.) Michaelis supposes Ophir to have been in Arabia, and condemns the opinion of Bochart, who finds another in India, as already stated. (Spicilegium, Geogr. Hebr. ext., pars. 11, p. 184, seqq.) Prideaux, Gossellin (Rech., vol. 2, p. 118), Vincent (Periplus, p. 265, seqq.), Niebuhr, and others, likewise declare for Arabia Felix, or the country of the Sabaei, where Aphar (Saphar) and the ruins of the ancient Himiarite dwellings make it probable to them that we must here look for the Ophir of Solomon. Mannert comes to the same conclusion. (Geogr., vol. 10, pt. 1, p. 123.) It is most probable, therefore, that Ophir was in the southern part of Arabia. It is mentioned in connexion with the names of Arabian tribes, in Genesis, 10, 29. The “gold of Ophir" * spoken of in the book of Job, a work most probably * Arabian origin. The products of the voyage, too, might easily have been obtained from Arabia; for, though gold is not sound there now, we have the tes. *imony of many ancient writers that it was in ancient times. . It is, however, very probable that Ophir was an emporium of the Phoenicians for their eastern trade; *nd, if so, the difficulty as to the productions is at $nce removed.—Before bringing this article to a close, "...may not be amiss to notice the very singular opinion *Arius Montanus, who finds Ophir in Peru, the gold $f Parrain (2 Chron, 3, 6) being, according to film, the gold of that country (Peru-aiin). It is of this that Scaliger remarks, “Puto Arium Montanum illius joclatorie interpretationis auctorem esse.” (Scaliger, Epist, 237.) 9this, I. a small river of Asia Minor, forming part of the eastern boundary of Pontus. It rises in the *ountains of the Tzani, and falls into the Euxine to he southwest of Rhizzaum. Reichard gives of as . modern name. (Arrian, Peripl. Eur.—Hudson, *9&r. Min., 1,6.)—II. A river in Arcadia, running by *nea, and falling into the Alpheus. (Paus., 8, 8.)

Ophitsa ("Optotica) or Ophiussa ('05uotao'a), a name given to many places in ancient geography, and referring to their having been, at one time or other, more or less infested by serpents (591, a serpent). The most worthy of notice are the following : I. An island in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Spain, and forming one of the Pityusae, or Pine islands. By the Romans it was generally called Colubraria, a translation of the Greek name, and is now styled las Columbretes, or Mont Colibre. Strabo and Ptolemy consound it with Formontera. (Ukert, Geogr., vol. 2, p. 471.)—II. A city of European Scythia, on the left bank of the river Tyras, which in Pliny's time was also called Tyra. The modern Palanca, not far from the mouth of the Dneister, is supposed to correspond to the ancient city. (Pliny, 4, 12.-Bischoff und Möller, Wörterb. der Geogr., p. 806.)—III. The earlier name of the island of Tenos. (Pliny, 4, 12.)— IV. One of the earlier names of the island of Rhodes. (Plin., 5, 31.) Opici, the same with the Osci. (Vid. Osci.) “That Opicus, Opscus, and Oscus are the same name, is expressly remarked,” observes Niebuhr, “by Roman grammarians. (Festus, s. v. Oscum.) The Greek language adopted only the first form, and the last prevailed in the Latin.” (Rom. Hist., vol. 1, p. 54, Cambridge transl.)—Buttmann indulges in some curious speculations respecting this and other ancient names of cognate form. “There is a multiplicity of traces,” he observes, “which concur in proving that in the word Apis, Apia, lies the original name of a most ancient people who inhabited the European coasts of the Mediterranean. The fabulous personages Pelops, Cecrops, Merops, compared with the names of countries and people, as the Peloponnesus and the Meropes (in Cos); and, in the same way, the names Dryopes, Dryops; Dolopes, Dolops, show that Ops, Opes, corresponding with the Opici, Op.sci, in Italy, and meaning the same as Apis, were ancient names of people; and that the first syllable in those names served to distinguish the different families or tribes, as the Pelopes, Cercopes, Meropes, &c. The Abantes in Euboea, the Aones in Boeotia, the Ausones and Osci in Italy, are but varieties of the same name.” (Lerilogus, p. 154, not., Fishlake's transl.) Opima Spolia, spoils taken by a Roman general from a general of the enemy whom he had slain. They were dedicated to, and suspended in the temple of, Jupiter Feretrius. These spoils were obtained only thrice before the fall of the republic. The first by Romulus, who slew Acron, king of the Caeninenses ; the next by A. Cornelius Cossus, who slew Lars Tolumnius, king of the Veientes, A.U.C. 318; and the third by M. Claudius Marcellus, who slew Viridomarus, a king of the Gauls, A.U.C. 530. Opimius, L. Nepos, was consul 121 B.C. He made himself conspicuous by his inveterate hostility to Caius Gracchus, and was the leader in the affray which terminated with the death of the latter. He was afterward convicted of having received a bribe from Jugurtha, and was banished. He ended his days in great poverty and wretchedness at Dyrrhachium. (Cic., Orat., 2, 132.—Id., pro Planc., 69.-Sall., Bell. Jug., 12–Well. Paterc., 2, 6.) From all that we can gather relative to this individual, it would appear that he was a victim to the spirit of party. His conduct towards Caius Gracchus and his followers is represented as cruel in the extreme; and yet, when brought to trial by the tribune Duilius for having put to death a great number of citizens during his consulship without observing the forms of justice, he was acquitted through the powerful eloquence of the consul Papirius Carbo. So, again, his trial and condemnation for bribery are pronounced by Cicero (pro Sextio) decidedly unjust. (Compare Schegk. ad Vell. Paterc., 2, 7.)— During the consulship of Opimius, *...* of the summer was so great as to produce an extraordinary fertility and excellence in all the fruits of the earth throughout Italy. Hence the Opimian wine became famous to a late period. (Vid. Falernus.) Opis, a city on the river Tigris, in Assyria, west of Artemita. It is probably the same with that which Pliny calls Antiochia. (Herodotus, 1, 189.—Xen., Anab., 2, 4.—Pliny, 6, 27.) Opiter Gium, a city of Venetia in Northern Italy, on the right bank of the river Plavis. It is now Odezzo, a town of some consequence. (Strabo, 214.— Pliny, 3, 19.) The Opitergini Montes are in the neighbourhood of this place, and among them rises the Liquentia or Livenza. Oppia Lex, by C. Oppius, a tribune of the commons, A.U.C. 540. It required that no woman should have in her dress above half an ounce of gold, nor wear a garment of different colours, nor ride in a carriage in the city or in any town, or within a mile of it, unless upon occasion of a public sacrifice. This sumptuary law was made during the public distresses consequent on Hannibal's being in Italy. It was repealed eighteen years afterward, on the petition of the Roman ladies, though strenuously opposed by Cato. (Liry, 34, 1.—Tacit., Ann., 3, 33.) Opel ANUs, an eminent Greek grammarian and poet of Cilicia, two of whose works are still extant under the titles “Cynegetica” (Kvvnyeruká), or “On Hunting;” and “Halleutica” (AÄtevruka), or “On Fishing.” The time and place of his birth are not fully agreed upon. Syncellus (Chronogr., p. 352, seq.) and Jerome (Chronic.) place him in the reign of Mar. cus Aurelius Antoninus; but Sozomen (Praf ad Hist. Eccles.), Suldas (s. v. 'Orruavóc), and others, make him to have lived in the time of Severus ; and though Oppian, in both his poems, addresses the emperor by the name “Antoninus,” it is more than probable that Caracalla is meant, as this appellation was conferred upon him when he was associated with his father in the empire (A.D. 198.-Herodian, 2, 10), and as this is the name by which he is commonly designated by the ancient historians, Herodian, Dio Cassius, &c. As to his birthplace, Suidas supposes it to have been Corycus, but the anonymous author of the Greek life of Oppian, and most other authorities, say that he was born at Anazarba, a city which also gave birth to Dioscorides. His father appears to have been a person of some consideration in . native city, for he was banished to the island of Melita, in the Hadriatic, by Severus, for suffering himself to be so entirely engrossed by his philosophical studies as to neglect coming in person, along with his fellow-citizens, to pay his respects to the emperor, when, in taking a progress through Cilicia, the latter made his entrance into Anazarba. He was accompanied in his exile by his son Oppian, who had enjoyed the advantage of an excellent education under the superintendence of his father, and who now began to devote himself to poetry. Accordingly, he now composed his poem on fishing, and presented it to the Emperor Severus (Sozomen, Praf ad Hist. Eccles.), or, more probably (Suidas, s. v. 'OTTuavóc.— Oppian, Halieut., 1, 3–Id. ib., 4, 5), to his son Caracalla, who was so much pleased with it that he not only repealed the sentence of his father's banishment, but also presented Oppian with a piece of gold for each verse that it contained. Suidas says that he received on this occasion 20,000 gold pieces; but he must have counted the verses contained in all Oppian's poems, since the Halieutica consisted of only about 3500. Reckoning the aureus at about $340 cts. of our currency, the sum received by the poet will be nearly $12,000. The verses of Oppian might therefore well be called xpvail orn, “golden verses.” (Sozomen, l.c.)—Oppian died of the plague shortly after his return to his native country, at the early age of thirty, leaving behind him three poems, on “Hawk

ing” ('Iševrtkä), “Hunting” (Kvynyeruká), and “Fishing” (AÄtevruká).-The 'Istvrtrá consisted of two books according to Suidas, or rather of five accord. ing to the anonymous Greek author of Oppian's life, and are no longer extant ; but a Greek paraphrase in prose, by Eutecnius, of three books, was published in 1792 (Harnia, 8vo, ed. E. Windingius), which is also inserted in Schneider's edition of Oppian, Argent, 8vo, 1776.-The “Cynegetica” are written in hexameter verse, consist of about 2100 lines, and are divided into four books. They display a very fair knowledge of natural history, with which, however, a good many absurd sables are mixed up —The “Haileutica” are also written in hexameter verse, and consist of five books, of which the first two contain the natural history of fishes, and the last three the art of fishing. In this poem, as in the “Cynegetica,” the author displays considerable zoological knowledge, though it contains several fables and absurdities. The “Halieutica” are much superior to the “Cynegetica” in point of style and poetical embellishment, and it is partly on account of this great disparity that it has been supposed that the two poems were not composed by the same person. But there are other and stronger reasons in support of this opinion (which was first put forth by Schneider, in the preface to his first edition of Oppian's works), rendering it almost certain that, though by the universal consent of antiquity Oppian wrote a poem on hunting, yet it cannot be that which now goes under his name. Oppian was, as we have seen, a Cilician, but the author of the “Cynegetica” tells us distinctly, in two different passages, that his native place was a city on the Orontes in Syria (probably Apamea, lib. 2, v. 125, seqq.—Ib., v. 156, seg). Schneider supposes that the two Oppians were either father and son, or uncle and nephew. This opinion respecting two Oppians has been denied by Belin de Ballu, who published an edition of the “Cynegetica” in 1786, Argent., 4to and 8vo, and who, as Dibdis says, “seems to have entered upon the task almost expressly with a determination to oppose the authority and controvert the positions of Schneider;” but it is only by altering the text in both passages (and that, too, not very skilfully) that he has been able to reconcile them with the commonly-received opinion that the poem is the work of Oppian. In Schneider's second edition he continues to hold his former opinion, and replies to the objections of Belin de Ballu. It appears, from an allusion to fishing and the sea deities, in the first book of the “Cynegetica” (v. 77, seqq.), that this poem was composed after the “Halieutwa,” and as a sort of supplement or companion to it; and this has tended to confirm the common opinion that both poems were written by the same author.—With regard to the poetical merits of o he seems to be one of those poets whose works have been more praised than read. Julius Caesar Scaliger pronounces him to be “a sublime and incomparable poet, the most perfect writer among the Greeks, and the only one of them that ever came up to Virgil.” (Poèt., 5,9.) Sir Thomas Browne calls him “one of the best epic poets,” and “wonders that his elegant lines should be so much neglected (Wugar Errors, I., 8); and is, as Rapin says, he is sometimes dry (Reflex. sur la Poétique, p. 176), it may fairly be accounted for and excused when we consider the unpropitious nature of his subject.” His style is florid and copious, the language upon the whole very good, though (as is noticed by Heinsius, ad Nonni Dionys, p. 197) it is now and then deformed by Latinisms.The last and (as far as it goes) the best edition of Oppian's two poems is Schneider's second one, which unhappily is unfinished, Lips., 8vo, 1813. The most complete edition is that published by Schneider in 1775, Argent., 8vo, containing also the paraphrase of the “Ireutica,” by Eutecnius, to which we have already referred. Schneider published some addenda to this

edition in his Analecta Critica, Francof, 1777, 8vo, Fascic, 1, p. 31, seqq. —(Encycl. Us. Knowl., vol. 16, p. 459, seqq.—Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 4, p. 67.) Ops, called also Tellus, the goddess of the Earth, and the same with the Rhea of the Greeks. (Wid. Rhea.) Another form of her name was Opis. The appellation Ops or Opis is plainly connected with opes, “wealth,” of which the earth is the bestower; and her festival, the Opalia, was on the same day with the original Saturnalia. (Macrob., Sat., 1, 10. –Varro, L. H., 5, p. 57–Keightley's Mythology, p. 525.) Opus (gen. Opuntis), one of the most ancient cities of Greece, the capital of the Locri Opuntii, whose territory lay to the north of Boeotia. According to Strabo, it was fifteen stadia from the sea, and the distance between it and Cynus, its emporium, was sixty stadia. (Strabo, 425.) I.ivy places Opus, however, only one mile from the sea (28, 6).-This place is celebrated by Pindar as the domain of Deucalion and Pyrrha (Ol., 9, 62), and by Homer as the birthplace of Patroclus. (Iliad, 18, 325.) The form of government adopted by the Opuntians was peculiar, since, as we learn from Aristotle, they intrusted the sole administration to one magistrate. (Polit., 3, 16.) Plutarch commends their piety and observance of religious rites. Herodotus informs us that they furnished seven ships to the Greek fleet at Artemisium (8, 1). They were subsequently conquered by Myronides, the Athenian general. In the war between Antigonus and Cassander, Opus, having favoured the latter, was besieged by Ptolemy, a general in the service of Antigonus. It was occupied several years after by Attalus, king of Pergamus, in the Macedonian war; but, on the advance of Philip, son of Demetrius, he was forced to make a precipitate retreat to his ships, and narrowly escaped being taken. (Livy, 28, 6.)—The position of this town has not been precisely determined by the researches of modern travellers. (Wheler's Travels, p. 575–Melet, Geogr., 2, p. 323–Dodwell, vol.2, p. 58.-Gell's Itinerary, p. 229.) Its ruins are laid down, in Lapie's map, a little to the southwest of Alachi, and east of Talanta. (Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 2, p. 117, seqq.) ORAcúlum, an oracle. The primary and proper signification of the term is that of a response from an oracle, and Cicero says that “oracula” were so called “quod inest in his Deorum oratio.” (Top., 20.) The word, however, is frequently employed to denote the place whence the answers of divinities, as regarded the events of the future, were supposed to be obtained. Oracular responses were called by the Greeks apmauot or uavreia; the name unvreiov was also often given to the oracular place, or seat of the oracle.—Curiosity regarding the future, and the desire to penetrate its mysteries, are dispositions which excite a powerful control over the minds of men in every stage of society. Among nations that have made little advancement in civilization and intelligence, they operate with peculiar force; and in these dispositions, combined with the belief that the gods had both the ability and the inclination to afford the knowledge so eagerly sought aster, the oracles of the pagan world had their origin. Of these oracles the most famous were those of Greece, and among them the three most noted were those of Dodona, Delphi, and Trophonius. In the number of other noted oracles of antiquity may be mentioned that of Jupiter Ammon in the deserts of Libya, of the Branchidae in Ionia, of Pella in Macedonia, of the head of Orpheus at Lesbos, &c. There were also current in Greece numerous so-called prophecies, the production of individuals who were probably supposed to speak under a divine influence. Such were those of Bacis and Musasus, in which the battle of Salamis was predicted; and that of Lysistratus, an Athenian. (Herod., 8, 96.)—Though the Romans had various modes of ascertaining the will of the deities, it does not ap6 B

pear that oracles, like those of Dodona or Delphi, were ever established among them ; and we find that the oracles of Greece, and particularly the far-famed one of Delphi, were consulted by them on many important occasions. (Liry, 5, 15. —Id, 22, 57, &c.)—The importance attached by the Greeks and Romans to oracular responses is a striking feature in the history of that people. Hardly any cnterprise, whether public or private, of any moment, was undertaken without recourse being had to them, and their sanction being obtained. In later times, indeed, their influence was greatly diminished, and thus gradually fell into disrepute. Cicero affirms, that, long before his age, even the Delphic oracle was regarded by many with contempt ; and there is little doubt that oracles were considered by philosophers as nothing different from what they really were, and by politicians as instruments which could be used for their purposes.—The modes in which oracular responses were delivered were various. At Dodona they issued from the sacred oaks, or were obtained from the sounds produced by the lashing of a brazen caldron. At Delphi they were delivered by the Pythia after she had inhaled the vapour that proceeded from the sacred fissure. At Memphis, a favourable or unfavourable answer was supposed to be returned, according as Apis received or rejected what was offered him. (Vid. Apis.) Sometimes the reply was given by letter: and sometimes the required information could be obtained only by casting lots, the lots being dice with certain characters engraven on them, the meaning of which was ascertained by referring to an explanatory table. Dreams, visions, and preternatural voices also announced the will of the divinities.—Bishop Sherlock, in his discourses concerning the use and intent of prophecy, expresses his opinion that it is impious to disbelieve the heathen oracles, and to deny them to have been given out by the Evil Spirit. Dr. Middleton, however, in his Eramination, &c., confesses that he, for his own part, is guilty of this very impiety, and that he thinks himself warranted to pronounce, from the authority of the best and wisest heathens, and the evidence of these oracles, as well as from the nature of the thing itself, that they were all a mere imposture, wholly invented and supported by human craft, without any supernatural aid or interposition whatever. He adds that Eusebius declares that there were 600 authors among the heathens themselves who had publicly written against the reality of them. Although the primitive fathers constantly affirmed them to be the real effects of a supernatural power, and given out by the devil, yet M. de Fontenelle maintains, that while they preferred this way of combating the authority of the oracles, as most commodious to themselves and the state of the controversy between them and the heathens, yet they believed them at the same time to be nothing else but the effects of human fraud and contrivance, which he has illustrated by the examples of Clemens of Alexandrea, Origen, and Eusebius.—Another circumstance respecting the ancient oracles, which has given birth to much controversy, is the time when they ceased altogether to give responses. Eusebius was the first who propounded the opinion that they became silent ever after the birth of Christ; and many writers, willing thus to do honour to the author of Christianity, have given it their support. Milton makes allusion to this theory also in the most magnificent of all his minor poems, “The Hymn of the Nativity.” But the circumstance that may be made available for the purpose of poetical ornament happens unfortunately to be contrary to the fact. . It appears from the edicts of the emperors Theodosius, Gratian, and Valentinian, that oracles existed, and were occasionally, at least, consulted as late as A.D. 358. About that period they entirely ceased, though for several centuries previous they had sunk very low in public esteem. So few *; to them,

« PoprzedniaDalej »