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their truth. Hence Hecataeus in the first generation after the commencement of prose-writing declared as follows:—" Thus saith Hecatseus the Milesian: the fables of the Greeks are many and ridiculous, &c." Secondly, the political and moral condition of the Greeks was improved, and the notions of the gods and heroes involved in the old mythi became repugnant to the better morality of later times. In the third place, "between the century of Homer and that of Thucydides the habit grew up of recording and connecting positive and present facts, and of determining authentic chronology. There was thus gradually created, among the superior minds, what may be called an historical sense—a habit of requiring positive evidence, and of distinguishing the certified truth from the uncertified though plausible supposition, of acknowledging a regular course of nature, and not looking beyond or above it for an explanation of particular phenomena. The intellectual dispositions suitable to an historiographer, in regard to present or recent events, exist to the utmost perfection in Thucydides: nothing greater or better of its kind has been produced, even to this day, than his history."
Although these causes, in their combination, were inconsistent with the continuance of the childlike faith of the early period, yet it was scarcely possible, even for the most consistently logical Greek, to reject all the legends which his ancestors had received as true, to disconnect himself with the religion and ancient history of his country, and, moreover, to treat with apparent disrespect the poems of Homer, for which every educated Greek had almost a religious veneration. "The result was (as Mr. Grote observes) a new impulse, partaking of both the discordant forces, one of those thousand unconscious compromises between the rational convictions of the mature man and the indelible illusions of early faith, religious as well as patriotic, which human affairs are so often destined to exhibit—yiyvopeva pev Koi a'e! earopeva, ea>s av i\ avrtj (pva-K Twv dvBpairav jj." Mr. Grote proceeds to explain, with much perspicuity and aptitude of illustration, how this compromise was effected.
Whatever might be the peculiar bent of the person's mind, all agreed in holding that the apparent was not the true meaning of the legend. The supernatural and marvellous part was to be removed, and a nucleus of positive fact was to be discovered by some process of interpretation. Men of philosophical tendency perceived latent truths in physics beneath the covering of the ancient mythus; while the historical enquirer found in it mere ordinary matter of fact, incrusted with supernatural incidents. The latter process was most in fashion, and was systematically pursued by such historians as Ephorus, Diodorus, and Dionysius, after Thucydides had set the example of treating the history of the Trojan war upon rationalist principles, by a substitution of the genuine historical facts for the poetical incidents preferred by Homer.
Our space does not allow us to dwell on the examples of this process of converting fiction into history wliich Mr. Grote presents; and we will simply add his general characteristic of the (so-called) early history of Greece. After indicating the causes to which the poetical legends of the Trojan war, the Argonautic voyage, the hunt of the Calydonian boar, &c. &c, appear to owe their origin, he remarks: "It is from the aggregate of mythi, such as these, that what is called the history of Greece, prior to the commencement of the Olympiads, has been made out. In respect of beauty of incident and genius of combination, there are very great differences between these various legends: in respect of evidence, homogeneous origin, and common influence over Grecian sentiment, they are all in the main alike. They constitute the heroic antiquities of Greece, a world completely distinct from the world of historical fact, and connected with it only by that thread of genealogy which the great families in every Grecian community prided themselves in tracing up to the heroes and the gods."
But although the mythical world is essentially unreal, there is between the purely historical and the purely mythical period an age which is neither exclusively mythical nor exclusively historical, and in which real events and persons occur, mixed with mythical fictions. This is the mythico-historical period; as an example of which Mr. Grote cites the story of Arion and the dolphin, as related by Herodotus. Arion and Periander are real persons; and, moreover, the fact of Arion having been a celebrated citharist and dithyrambic poet, is well established by authentic testimony. But the marvellous story of the dolphin grew out of the admiration of the Greeks for the musical and poetical genius of Arion, and was a mere fiction "We have here then (says Mr. Grote) a perfect mythus, but tacked on to an historical fact and an historical person—a mythico-historical incident. Now it appears to us, that the mistake so commonly made, in regard to the Grecian early legends, consists in dealing with the Trojan war and the Argonautic expedition in the same way as we deal with this story of Arion, in seeking a basis of fact for the two former, as we successfully do for the latter. There is this essential difference between the two. In regard to the Trojan war and the Argonautic expedition, the legend stands alone, professing only to refer to an undefined past time: there is no collateral evidence of any kind to corroborate either its incidents or the reality of its personal characters. But in the case of Arion, we know the existence, the celebrity, and the date of the poet, upon evidence quite independent of the legend; if we affirm that the legend has an historical basis, we do not ground our affirmation
on the single certificate of the legend itself A certain number of
the plays of Shakspeare have an historical basis. How do we know this. Not upon the testimony of Shakspeare himself, or of these particular plays themselves, but upon positive testimony, independent both of the one and the other. Any play for which you cannot, by some independent evidence, demonstrate an historical basis, passes ipso facto as non-historical. Apply the same test to the early Grecian poems, and we exact no more."
There is much valuable matter in this article, to which we have scarcely been able to allude; but before we conclude we will remark that the small bronze statue of a man sitting upon a dolphin, offered by Arion at Taenarum, which Herodotus mentions, and, perhaps, had seen (i. 23), was probably the origin of the mythus above mentioned. Miiller, in his History of Greek Literature (ch. 14, § 7, note), conjectures that this statue represented Taras sitting on a dolphin, as he appears on the coins of Tarentum. It will be observed that Arion is supposed to have been sailing from Tarentum to Corinth when the adventure of the dolphin occurred.
The Public Economy Of Athens; to which, is added a Dissertation on the Silver Mines of Laurion. By Augustus Boeckh, Professor in the University of Berlin; translated by George Cornwall Lewis, Esq., A.M. late Student of Christ Church. Second Edit. Revised. London: Parker, 1842. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 688. Boeckh's Public Economy of Athens is a book too well known in this country to require any commendation from us; and we notice it chiefly because the publication of the second edition of such a work is an encouraging indication of the attention that is paid in this country to the higher subjects of classical antiquity. It is a curious fact, that the translation, which was first published in the year 1828, should have reached a second edition; while the original, which appeared as early as 1817, has not yet been reprinted in Germany. The same has been the case with Miiller's Dorians; of the translation of which two editions have been published in this country, whereas the original, of which a comparatively small number of copies was printed, has not yet reached a second edition. It is a still more curious fact, which the Chevalier Bunsen mentions somewhere in Niebuhr*s Lebensnachrichten, that a greater number of copies of the translation of Niebuhr's Roman History has been sold in England than of the original in Germany.
Mr. Lewis has carefully revised the present translation of Boeckh, which has been compared throughout with the original by Dr. Leonhard Schmitz. The well-known attainments and scholarship of Mr. Lewis and Dr. Schmitz are a sufficient guarantee for the accuracy of the translation. We also find that Mr. Lewis, though he does not mention it in the Preface, has added several notes of his own, which did not appear in the first edition of the translation. The author in the original work inserted a collection of inscriptions, which have since been published in his Corpus Inscriptionum Grmcarum. Mr. Lewis has omitted these inscriptions from his translation, and has always referred to the numbers in the Corpus Inscriptionum, which will be of considerable use to the student.
The History Of Bome, by B. G. Niebuhr; translated by William Smith, Ph. D., and Leonhard Schmitz, Ph. D. Third Volume. London: Taylor and Walton, 1842. pp. 717. We have to congratulate our readers that the translation of the third volume of Niebuhr's Boman History has at length appeared. The translators have added a very copious Index [to the three volumes, which will prove invaluable to the student of Niebuhr. The present volume only goes down to the first Punic war, and is unfortunately all of his great work that Niebuhr lived to complete; but we are glad to perceive that Dr. Schmitz, one of the translators of the third volume, has announced a fourth to be published in the course of this year, containing a course of Lectures by Niebuhr on the History of Bome, from the first Punic war down to the time of Constantine. "These Lectures," we are told, " were delivered by Niebuhr, in the years 1828 and 1829, in the University of Bonn, where the editor, then a pupil of the historian, took them down in short-hand notes for his own private use. These notes have been carefully revised and compared with the manuscript notes made by others at the same time, and their translation and publication have been undertaken by Dr. Schmitz, at the request and with the sanction of distinguished friends of Niebuhr, both in this country and in Germany." We look forward with great interest to the publication of this volume, since every reader of the volumes already published must be anxious to obtain the advantage of Niebuhr's guidance through the most important period of Boman History.
Obsehvationes Critic* In Platonis Comici Beliquias, scripsit C. G.Cobet. Amstelodami, 1840. 8vo. This little volume gives a great deal more than its title promises. It is divided into four chapters, the first of which contains a brief account of the history of the Attic Comedy; not so much with a view of giving a complete history of the rise and growth of the comic stage at Athens, as of clearing up some points in it, which have hitherto been little or imperfectly understood. One of these points is the meaning of the law (^ij0«rua Tow M KWjueuBeii/), which was carried at Athens in Olymp. 85. 1, and remained in force for three years. The import of this law is| satisfactorily explained, and we could only wish that it was done in a somewhat briefer and conciser manner. In the second chapter (p. 55), he arrives at the real subject of his dissertation, and endeavours to refute the opinions of those who see in the fragments of Plato symptoms of the decline of the pure Attic language, and to vindicate the poet] from the charge of plagiarism. The chapter concludes with a critical examination of the relation which existed between Aristophanes and Plato. In the third chapter M. Cobet gives an account of the nature and development of the middle comedy, as it is called, and then proceeds to amend and explain some fragments of the comedies of Plato. This last subject is continued in the fourth chapter. The whole little volume is full of important information, and forms a very valuable contribution to the history of the Attic comedy.
Travels And Researches In Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, ChalDea, And Armenia, by W. T. Ainsworth. 2 vols. 8vo. London: Parker, 1842. The author after having accompanied Colonel Chesney on his memorable Euphrates expedition, was chosen by the Royal Geographical Society, and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, to make a second tour through Asia Minor, &c., for two purposes,—he was first to inquire into the social and religious state of the Christian tribes in Chaldea, and secondly, to examine different localities renowned in ancient times, and of which we have now but little accurate knowledge. Mr. Ainsworth was accompanied by Mr. Eassam, a Chaldean, now Her Majesty's consul at Mosul, and Mr. Russel, a mathematician, who has become known since the expedition of Colonel Chesney. The author left London in 1838, and travelled in the above-mentioned countries till 1841. His work is a lively and spirited journal, and the description of the battle of Nizib, at which the author was present as a spectator, and in consequence of which he was obliged to retreat to Constantinople, is a highly interesting picture of modern warfare in the East. His statements [on the Chaldean Christians deserve to be read by all those who are anxious to have some positive information about fellowbelievers whose creed and ecclesiastical institutions appear to have not deviated from the simplicity of the primitive Christian Church.
As to the commission which the author had received from the Royal Geographical Society, Mr. Ainsworth has already given an account of the greater part of his geographical and historical investigations in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. The most interesting subjects connected with ancient history and geography, which occur in his work are,—the tomb of Hannibal at Libyssa