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savours of the pedant in Hierocles, who, having a house on sale, tendered a brick by way of sample. It will be hardly courteous, however, to dismiss Mr. Taylor without laying a fragment, at least, of his version before our readers, and we shall take part of the story of Thermopylæ.
As the sun arose, Xerxes poured forth libations, and waiting till about the time of full market, set out ;—thus he had been instructed by Ephialtes; for the descent from the mountain is much shorter than the circuit which must be made in ascending it. The barbarians with Xerxes now drew on, while the Greeks with Leonidas, marching as to death, advanced much further than heretofore in the passage, and until they reached the wider part of the defile. Hitherto the wall had afforded them protection, for they had fought on the former days only in the narrowest part of the road. But now they engaged the enemy beyond the narrows, and great numbers of the Barbarians fell. Behind each rank were seen the officers with whips flogging the men, and continually goading them to move on. Multitudes of them fell into the sea, and so perished; but many more were trampled to death by their own ranks, nor was any regard paid to the dying. The Greeks, well knowing that death awaited them from the
enemy had come round the mountain, put forth their utmost vigour in attacking the Barbarians:-reckless of their own lives, they fell furiously upon
Most of their spears being broken, they dealt upon the Persians with their swords. In this combat fell Leonidas, valiantly fighting, and with him those celebrated Spartans whose names, worthy as they are of renown, I have learned ;—the names even of the whole three hundred. Many distinguished Persians also fell on this occasion. Among these were two sons of Darius—Abrocomes and Hyperanthes...
A great struggle took place between the Persians and Lacedæmonians over the body of Leonidas : at length, after four times repelling their assailants, the Greeks by their valour succeeded in withdrawing it. The combat was maintained until the Persians, led by Ephialtes, came up ; when the Greeks were informed of their approach, the contest assumed another aspect, for now they retreated to the narrow part of the road, and passing the wall, they stationed themselves in close order—all except the Thebans, upon the rising ground, at the entrance of the pass, where now stands the marble lion on the tomb of Leonidas. On this spot they continued to fight with their swords, those who retained swords, or with their hands and teeth, until buried beneath the missiles of the Barbarians, who came up-some in front, after demolishing the wall, and others on each side, who had made the circuit of the mountain. Though all the Lacedæmonians and Thespians behaved in this valiant manner, a Spartan, named Dieneces, is mentioned as the first in bravery. It is said of him, that before the battle joined with the Medes, when a certain Trachinian affirmed in his hearing, that if the Medes discharged their arrows, such was the number of their host, the sun would be obscured by the flight of their missiles ; he, not at all smitten with fear, and utterly disregarding the numbers of the Medes, replied :“Our Trachinian friend tells us nothing but good news-if indeed the Medes darken the sky, then we shall fight in the shade, nor be exposed to the sun.
• We have only to say further, that the preface and notes contain, in a compressed form, much valuable criticism and illustration; that the volume is excellently printed ; and that the maps, though necessarily on a small scale, are well constructed, and neatly engraven. Neither pains nor reasonable expense seem to have been spared in the getting up' of this compact and, considering its size, exceedingly cheap volume.
Art. III. Historical and Critical Remarks on the Nine Books of the
History of Herodotus ; with a Chronological Table. Translated from the French of P. H. Larcher. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 1219. Price 1l. 8s.
London. 1829.* THE History of Herodotus is an account of the travels and
researches of an intelligent and curious voyageur, who had travelled through Greece, Italy, and Egypt, an I visited many other portions of the world, as known in the geography of the ancients. In the books into which his classic work is distributed, bearing the names of the Muses, he has recorded his observations on the countries which he saw, and the customs which he found existing in them; and has accumulated an extensive collection of historical facts and traditions, which form no inconsiderable part of our knowledge of the people who flourished in the times of antiquity down to his own age. He has indeed been represented as a retailer of fables, and the '' Græcia mendax' of the satirist has been applied to his details and reports; but the honesty and simplicity of the Historian are less likely to be questioned, in proportion as the means of passing a true judgement on his character become multiplied. He has told us explicitly enough on some occasions, that he did not believe the truth of the relations which he had received; and on others, he has left us to infer his distrust of his informer. He has very faithfully described whatever he had personally observed in the countries through which he had passed; and the manner in which he has recorded the traditionary knowledge obtained by his inquiries, is a very available evidence of his diligence and accuracy. Modern discoveries have clearly established, that Herodotus had knowledge of facts totally unknown to later writers; and the result of the superior information which we now possess, has been the clearing of his reputation from suspicions and charges by which it bad long been obscured. That he was, in too many instances, credulous and under the influence of superstition, is not to be questioned; and so was
* Accidental circumstances have placed in juxta-position this and the preceding article, by different contributors: our readers will not, perhaps, be displeased at the undesigned coincidence of sentiment. Ed.
Xenophon, whose fidelity every one allows. His collections have transmitted to us the transactions of very early times and of very celebrated individuals; and they enable us to correct, in many cases, the representations of less credible relators. In this country, although the recent impressions of the History have been numerous and at short intervals, little has been done by English scholars to enhance its literary value. The French Version and Notes of Larcher have long been known to classical students, and have maintained a reputation of the highest order; but his work has hitherto been much less accessible than could be wished. This inconvenience, so far as regards the notes, is remedied by the publication before us; while his Version is superseded by the English translation of Mr. Taylor.
The Notes of Larcher form a most valuable body of annotations on the whole of the nine Books of Herodotus. He had read the text of the Historian with a most watchful eye, and his vigilance was constantly exercised in detecting the occasions on which the application of criticism and learning might, by appropriate emendations and illustrations, impart perspicuity to his Author's meaning. His philological observations evince a nice discrimination in affixing the senses of words, and a very correct judgement in settling the import of many verbal combinations wbich others have mistaken. The student who is desirous of being instructed in the niceties of Greek prose, will find his advantage in the diligent perusal of these Notes. But the illustration of the Greek text of the Historian, is not the only feature which forms a recommendation of these volumes. They are replete with discussions of the interesting and varied subjects comprised in the History; and on these points, the Notes are not a mere collection of brief remarks which leave the reader disappointed and displeased, but are frequently of considerable length. The antiquities of ancient nations are a copious subject, to which Larcher has devoted very considerable labour, and which he has very successfully illustrated. Babylon, but particularly Egypt, makes a prominent figure in the History; and in the volumes before us, there is an accumulation of valuable observations relating to the latter country. Since the date of Larcher's Translation, indeed, Egypt has been visited, and its antiquities have been examined, by many learned travellers, who have materially enlarged our acquaintance with it. These Notes could be but little corrected or improved, however, by any additions that might be made to them from the more recent sources of information; the sagacity of their Author having enabled him to anticipate many of the results of subsequent investigation. The history of Creesus, of Cyrus, the identity and achievements of Sesostris, the Phænician circumnavigation of Africa, the formation and repeated re-opening of the canal of Egypt,
the Nile, the pyramids, the origin and use of letters, and a most copious et cætera of subjects, are learnedly illustrated in notes which may be not improperly named essays and disquisitions. The contributions which Larcher has made available for the elucidation of his Author, are highly creditable to his industry, while the manner in which he has used them, manifests his honesty and candour; and the original observations which he has so plentifully intermingled, are always appropriate and interesting. To review at large a work so various in learning, and embracing so many subjects as the present, would require, . instead of one article, a series of critical disquisitions, for which our readers would scarcely thank us; and M. Larcher's work is already too well known to the scholar, to render it necessary to add any thing by way of recommending the work to his attention. We shall therefore merely offer some desultory observations on a few of the notes.
The Latin translators have rendered the introductory words which Herodotus has employed to designate his work, in a very imperfect and indefinite manner. Larcher remarks, that 'Istopin, in Herodotus, does not signify a history, but the result of researches carefully made ; and he translates the expression, 'Iotopins á nádegis - In presenting to the public these researches. A rendering more corresponding to the original would be the relation of the things which Herodotus himself saw, or learned from inquiry. The introductory passage is very properly praised by the Translator, as an example of the simplicity which distinguishes most of the ancient writers.
In Dalzel's Collectanea Gr. Maja. (Notæ in Herodotum, 6. 6.) there is an erroneous interpretation of the phrase, Tou Blou čů Öxovti, is tà nag ruiv, – at an advanced age, if one considers the ' nature of man. This the student may correct from Larcher's note.
Toở Biou ci “xovtı.] After having enjoyed a considerable fortune. The Abbé Geinoz has very satisfactorily proved, that Bios here signifies wealth, worldly goods, “les biens"; and that ws tà mag' nuir does not
quantum in nobis est”, but “ pro modulo nostratium facultatum.” The reader may refer to the remarks of this learned man, which are rather too long to be here quoted. Gronovius has ill translated this passage, and Wesseling leaves his reading uncorrected ; which the more surprises me, as he has frequently profited by the observations of Geinoz, and generally has pointed out where they differed in opinion. Cornelius Nepos uses a similar expression in speaking of one Meneclides, a slanderer of Epaminondas--“ Satis exercitatum in dicendo, ut Thebanum scilicet ”, a tolerably clever orator, at least for a Theban.
• Wealth does contribute to happiness, and I am far from disputing it; but yet, I am somewhat astonished that the ancient philosophers should have thought it impossible to be happy without it. Nevertheless, we find this sentiment in Theognis and a thousand other authors.
Sophocles says, in his tragedy of Creusa : “ Men value nothing but riches: some think him happy who enjoys good health, but a poor man is never in good health ; for, in my opinion, his state is that of perpetual disease.” Vol. I. p. 47.
The conversations of Solon with Crosus, as related by Herodotus, have been pronounced by some writers to be a fable invented by the Historian ; while, by others of the greatest reputation, the notion has been justly, we think, regarded as only a capricious objection to his veracity. There are, undoubtedly, chronological difficulties connected with the story, which it may not be very easy to obviate. This, however, is the case in respect to many facts of ancient times, which no one thinks of denying on the ground of the indefinite calculations applied to them. In what manner we are to explain the account which follows in the
pages of the Father of History, respecting the consultation of the oracles by Cræsus, and the answer received by him from the Delphian Apollo, previously to his engaging in war against the Persians, is a difficulty not a little perplexing. Crasus wished to obtain the decision of the most trust-worthy of the oracles on the question, whether he should commit himself and his empire to the perils of war; and to ascertain the quarter to which he should address his inquiry, he despatched ambassadors to the most celebrated of the shrines of divination, directing them to propose at the same time, each to the oracle which he was consulting, the question, What is Cresus, the son of Alyattes, king of Lydia, now doing? Cresus was, at the moment, cooking the flesh of a lamb and a tortoise, in a copper kettle; and this the Delphian oracle was reported by the Prince's messenger to have declared. The answer determined Crosus in favour of the oracle thus proved to be divine. Rollin is staggered at this relation, and concludes, That God, to punish the blindness of the pagans
(heathens), sometimes permitted demons to give them answers • conformable to the truth. Cicero is unwilling to credit the story. M. Larcher's opinion is, we think, the more probable one; that Herodotus found the story established in popular belief, and that the truth was, Cræsus had confided his secret to some one, from whom the address of the priests had extracted it. The munificent donations of the Lydian king to the Delpbian god, were ample testimonies of his veneration and gratitude; and we must be allowed to add a few observations to the concluding paragraph of M. Larcher's note, which refers to the numerous sacrifices offered on that occasion.
The number of victims immolated in the celebration of the religious rites of the ancients, on particular occasions, was very great. The accounts contained in the Jewish History have appeared to some critics scarcely credible; and corrections of the text have been suggested, on the supposition that, the enumera