صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the other." (p. 218). Now there is not throughout the whole of M. Boeckh's metrological investigations, a more direct, precise, or unimpeached testimony than this of Hero, which he treats as merely approximative: and that too because it does not coincide with a long tissue of calculations of his own, based upon assumptions as yet unsupported. If a statement such as this of Hero is not to be trusted, the class of researches to which the Metrologie is devoted will become utterly impracticable: for no better evidence can be procured.

The last four chapters of M. Boeckh's volume are devoted to an account of the various pound weights and scales of weight throughout Italy—of the perplexing variations in the Roman silver and copper money—and of the monetary estimates in the census of Servius Tullius. They are chapters highly instructive: in respect to the Roman silver money, the clearest and most complete that I know. He rejects and refutes the opinion of Niebuhr, that the debasement of the Roman standard was caused or accompanied by an extraordinary rise in the value of copper, so that, the diminished coins possessed as great a purchasing power as the full-sized coins had possessed before. Whether the value of the metal copper underwent any serious or continued reduction in reference to silver, may be a matter of reasonable doubt: certain it is, that no such adventitious cause need be invoked to account for the degradation of the standard. Such a proceeding has been so nearly universal with governments both ancient and modern, that the contrary may be looked upon as a remarkable exception.

The limits to which this article has already extended will not permit me to furnish any detailed remarks upon M. Boeckh's account of the Italian and Roman scales of weight and money. I will only mention, that since the publication of the Metrologie, another work of singular importance on the same subject has appeared in Italy, by the learned fathers Marchi and Tessieri:"L' aes grave del Museo Kircheriano, ovvero le Monete primitive de' Popoli dell' Italia Media ordinate e descritte. Roma 1839." The collection of the Kircherian Museum at Rome, unrivalled in the number and completeness of its specimens of the ancient Italian as grave, and enriched by many recent discoveries, has here, for the first time, been explained and reduced to order, and connected with the inferences legitimately deducible from it.

Two of these inferences I will briefly glance at, inasmuch as they bear directly upon the positions maintained in M. Boeckh's Metrologie: in one case, in the way of confirmation — in the other, of contradiction.

M. Boeckh advances two positions; first, that the duodecimal division of the pound prevailed all over Italy; next, that the absolute weight called by the name of a pound was not the same throughout that country—heavier in some parts, lighter in others.

The second of these two positions has been placed beyond a doubt by the new facts set forth in the work of the two learned fathers. They have produced ancient cast copper-money of the Latins and Volscians, which belong to an as, or pound weighing 13 Roman ounces,—and coins of Hadria in Picenum, which indicate an as, reaching even to 16 Roman ounces. The ancient Etruscan pound, as far as we can judge by the coins published and authenticated, appears to have been the lightest in Italy.

But, on the other hand, the opinion of M. Boeckh, that the duodecimal division of the pound was universal throughout Italy, has been shewn to be erroneous. Amongst the people of middle Italy, north of the Apennines, a decimal division of the pound prevailed, distinguishing them from the people south of the same chain, who employed the duodecimal scale. Of the numerous coins belonging to the people south of the Apennines, not a single quincunx, or coin of five ounces, has yet been discovered: the complete series runs from the semis or six ounces downwards, omitting the quincunx—triens, quadrans, sextans, and uncia. On the other hand, for the coins north of the Apennines, comprising those of seven different townships, no semis has ever been found; the highest denomination below the as is the quincunx, below which the other coins appear just as in the duodecimal series. There is no way of explaining this very marked and uniform contrast, except by admitting a decimal division of the pound north of the Apennines'. In Sicily, where the coa

9 See the valuable Dissertation of Dr. | Italischen Munzsystems von Etrurien Lepsius, "Ueber die Verbreitung des I aus, p. 74. (Leipzig. 1842).

lescence of the Grecian and Italian systems produced a complication almost inextricable, a silver quincunx as well as a semis appears to have prevailed: at least we find in the fragments of Epicharmus mention both of ntvrayKiov and qpiKirpov (Pollux, ix. 82). This double scale of weight, prevalent in different regions of Italy, is a remarkable phenomenon; only recently verified, and as yet unexplained.

George Grote.



Our collections of Greek inscriptions have recently been enriched by about one hundred and seventy new ones, which have been published by Professor Ross, of Athens1. All of them have been found in the islands of the iEgean, which are still promising a rich harvest, as many of these islands have not yet been explored. Among these new inscriptions there are some of great historical interest; several of them are in verse, and one among these has attracted so much the attention of continental scholars that there are already three different editions of it2. This is a fragment of a hymn to Isis, which was found in the island of Andros, and is indeed an important document, inasmuch as it shows the extent of the worship of this Egyptian goddess in Greece, and at the same time the curious pantheistic views about this divinity, which appear to be a combination of the religious opinions of the East with those prevalent in the more western parts of the Roman empire. The

1 Inscriptiones Greecas ineditm. Collegit ediditque Ludovicus Rossius, Holsatus, &c. Fascicul. n. Insunt Lapides insularum Andri, Ii, Teni, Syri, Amorgi, Myconi, Pari, Astypalaea, Nisyri, Teli, Coi, Calymnse, Leri, Patmi, Sami, Leabi, Therae, Anaphse et Peparethi. Athenis, 1842. 4to.

2 One by Welcker, in the Rheinisches Museum, Neue Folge, n. p. 326, foil.; another by Th. Bergk, in the Zeitschrift fur die Alterthumswissenschaft for 1843, p. 36, foil.; and the third is a separate edition by H. Sauppe, Hymnus in Isim. Distinxit, emendavit, annotavit H. S., Turici, 1842. 8vo.

account of the discovery of this hymn is thus given by the editor: "Sequentem hymnum in Isidem reperi inter rudera antiques urbis, ad casam 'lawaxi) AovKpifa. Tabula est oblonga, albi marmoris, quatuor columnis inscripta; sed titulum pessime habitum adeo festinanter transscribere coactus fui, ut difficiliora attingere non possem. Exscripsi igitur tantum Col. I et iv; verum sicui otium contingat, tabulamque commode ad lucem obvertat, crediderim etiam Col. II partem superiorem, et per totam fere Col. Hi dimidiam versuum partem, qua Col. iv attingunt, legi et transscribi posse. Quo magis a praepropero explicandi conatu in praesentia abstineo; neque tamen apographum quamvis mutilum iis, qui linigerae deae religiones scrutantur, diutius invidendam esse duxi." From this account we see that Prof. Ross has published scarcely one half of the whole hymn: for even the first column is very much mutilated, and the last eight, or according to Welcker's more accurate examination, the last fifteen lines of the fourth are quite illegible on the stone. As each column contained forty-seven hexameter lines, the whole poem consisted of one hundred and eighty-eight. Professor Welcker, who, on his late excursion in Greece, also visited Naxos, endeavoured to read the second and third columns also, but they are in such a mutilated condition, that in the whole of these two columns not one of the lines is legible entirely; some lines are destroyed altogether, in others only a few words, or a part of one word only is readable, so that it would be scarcely worth while reprinting the fragments here. All that could be read, has been published by Welcker in the Rheinisches Museum, Neue Folge, ii. p. 438, foil. His subsequent examination of the first and fourth columns, published by Ross, has also shown that Ross' transcript is not everywhere correct, and the original stone in several instances confirms the conjectures of the editors. We shall, with a few exceptions, give the text of the first and fourth columns as constituted by Bergk, and subjoin the readings of the stone where he has made alterations, as well as some emendations proposed by Welcker and Sauppe. The parts enclosed in brackets contain the supplements of Bergk.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« السابقةمتابعة »