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slain at Marathon was preferred to his own. Apart from the inherent improbability of such pettiness in such a man, neither story fits the facts; for in 467, the next year after Sophocles’ success, we know that Aeschylus won the prize of tragedy with the Septem; and the Marathon elegy must have been written in 490, fourteen years before his first visit to Sicily.

In passing from Aeschylus’ life to his work, we have obviously far more trustworthy data, in the seven extant plays (with Work the fragments of more than seventy others), and par

ticularly in the invaluable help of Aristotle's Poetics. The real importance of our poet in the development of the drama (see DRAMA: Greek) as compared with any of his three or four known predecessors—who are at best hardly more than names to us—is shown by the fact that Aristotle, in his brief review of the rise of tragedy (Poet. iv. 13), names no one before Aeschy— lus. He recognizes, it is true, a long process of growth, with several stages, from the dithyramb to the drama; and it is not difficult to see what these stages were. The first step was the addition to the old choric song of an interlude spoken, and in early days improvised, by the leader of the chorus (Poet. iv. 12). The next was the introduction of an actor (throxpm'ys or ‘I‘ answerer ”), to reply to the leader; and thus we get dialogue added to recitation. The “ answerer ” was at first the poet himself (Ar. Rhet. iii. 1). This change is traditionally attributed to Thespis (536 B.C.), who is, however, not mentioned by Aristotle. The mask, to enable the actor to assume different parts, by whomsoever invented, was in regular use before Aeschylus’ day. The third change was the enlarged range of subjects. The lyric dithyramb-tales were necessarily about Dionysus, and the interludes had, of course, to follow suit. Nothing in the world so tenacioust resists innovation as religious ceremony; and it is interesting to learn that the Athenian populace (then, as ever, eager for “ some new thing ”) nevertheless opposed at first the introduction of other tales. But the innovators won; or otherwise there would have been no Attic drama.

In this way, then, to the original lyric song and dances in honour of Dionysus was added a spoken (but still metrical) interlude by the chorus~leader, and later a dialogue with one actor (at first the poet), whom the mask enabled to appear in more than one part.

But everything points to the fact that in the development of the drama Aeschylus was the decisive innovator. The two things that were important, when the 5th century began, if tragedy was to realize its possibilities, were (1) the disentangle— ment of the dialogue from its position as an interlude in an artistic and religious pageant that was primarily lyric; and (2) its general elevation of tone. Aeschylus, as we know on the express authority of Aristotle (Poet. iv. 13), achieved the first by the introduction of the second actor; and though he did not begin the second, he gave it the decisive impulse and consummation by the overwhelming eflect of his serious thought, the stately splendour of his style, his high dramatic purpose, and the artistic grandeur and impressiveness of the construction and presentment of his tragedies.

As to the importance of the second actor no argument is needed. The essence of a play is dialogue; and a colloquy between the coryphaeus and a messenger (or, by aid of the mask, a series of messengers), as must have been the case when Aeschylus began, is in reality not dialogue in the dramatic sense at all, but rather narrative. The discussion, the persuasion, the instruction, the pleading, the contention—in short, the interacting personal influences of different characters on each other—arc indispensable to anything that can be called a play, as we understand the word; and, without two “pcrsonae dramatis” at the least, the drama in the strict sense is clearly impossible. The number of actors was afterwards increased; but to Aeschylus are due the perception and the adoption of the essential step; and therefore, as was said above, he deserves in a very real sense to be called the founder of Athenian tragedy.

Of the seven extant plays, Suppliccs, Persae, Septem contra Thcbas, Prometheus, Agamemnon, Choephoroe and Eumcnides, five can fortunately be dated with certainty, as the archon’s name


is preserved in the Arguments; and the other two approximately. The dates rest, in the last resort, on the 6L6GOKGMGL, or the official records of the contests, of which we know that Aristotle (and others) compiled catalogues; and some actual fragments have been recovered. The order of the plays is probably that given above; and certainly the Persae was acted in 472, Septem in 467, and the last three, the trilogy, in 458. The Supplice: is generally, though not unanimously, regarded as the oldest; and the best authorities tend to place it not far from 490. The early date is strongly confirmed by three things: the extreme simplicity of the plot, the choric (instead of dramatic) opening, and the fact that the percentage of lyric passages is 54, or the highest of all the seven plays. The chief doubt is in regard to Prometheus, which is variously placed by good authorities; but the very low percentage of lyrics (only 27, or roughly a quarter of the whole), and still more the strong characterization, a marked advance on anything in the first three plays, point to its being later than any except the trilogy, and suggest a date somewhere about 460, or perhaps a little earlier. A few comments on the extant plays will help to indicate the main points of Aeschylus’ work.

S upplices.—~The exceptional interest of the Supplices is due to its date. Being nearly twenty years earlier than any other extant play, it furnishes evidence of a stage in the evolution of Attic drama which would otherwise have been unrepresented. Genius, as Patin says, is a “ puissance libre,” and none more so than that of Aeschylus; but with all allowance for the “ uncontrolled power ” of this poet, we may feel confident that we have in the Supplices something resembling in general structure the lost works of Choerilus, Phrynichus, Pratinas and the 6thcentury pioneers of drama.

The plot is briefly as follows: the fifty daughters of Danaus (who are the chorus), betrothed by the fiat of Aegyptus (their father’s brother) to his fifty sons, flee with Danaus to Argos, to escape the marriage which they abhor. They claim the protection of the Argive king, Pelasgus, who is kind but timid; and he (by a pleasing anachronism) refers the matter to the people, who agree to protect the fugitives. The pursuing fleet of suitors is seen approaching; the herald arrives (with a company of followers), blusters, threatens, orders off the cowering Danaids to the ships and finally attempts to drag them away. Pelasgus interposes with a force, drives off the Egyptians and saves the suppliants. Danaus urges them to prayer, thanksgiving and maidenly modesty, and the grateful chorus pass away to the shelter offered by their protectors.

It is clear that we have here the drama in its nascent stage, just developing out of the lyric pageant from which it sprang. The interest still centres round the chorus, who are in fact the “ protagonists ” of the play. Character and plot—the two essentials of drama, in the view of all critics from Aristotle downwards—are both here rudimentary. There are some fluctuations of hope and fear; but the play is a single situation. The stages are: the appeal; the hesitation of the king, the resolve of the people; the defeat of insolent violence; and the rescue. It should not be forgotten, indeed, that the play is one of a trilogy—an act, therefore, rather than a complete drama. But we have only to compare it with those later plays of which the same is true, to see the difference. Even in a trilogy, each play is a complete whole in itself, though also a portion of a larger whole.

Puree—The next play that has survived is the Pen-ac, which has again a special interest, viz. that it is the only extant Greek historical drama. We know that Aeschylus’ predecessor, Phrynichus, had already twice tried this experiment, with the Capture of Miletus and the Phoenician Women; that the latter play dealt with the same subject as the Persae, and the handling of its opening scene was imitated by the younger poet. The plot of the Persae is still severely simple, though more developed than that of the Suppliants. The opening is still lyric, and the first quarter of the play brings out, by song and speech, the anxiety of the people and queen as to the fate of Xerxes’ huge army. Then comes the messenger with the new: of Salamis, including a description of the sea-fight itself which can only be called magnificent. We realize what it must have been for the vast audience—30,000, according to Plato (Symp. 175 E)— to hear, eight years only after the event, from the supreme poet of Athens, who was himself a distinguished actor in the war, this thrilling narrative of the great battle. But this reflexion at once suggests another; it is not a tragedy in the true Greek sense, according to the practice of the 5th-century poets. It may be called in one point of view a tragedy, since the scene is laid in Persia, and the drama forcibly depicts the downfall of the Persian pride. But its real aim is not the “pity and terror” of the developed drama; it is the triumphant glorification of Athens, the exultation of the whole nation gathered in one place, over the ruin of their foe. This is best shown by the praise of Aeschylus’ great admirer and defender Aristophanes, who (F rags, 1026-1027) puts into the poet’s mouth the boast that in the Persae he had “ glorified a noble exploit, and taught men to be eager to conquer their foe.”

Thus, both as an historic drama and in its real effect, the Persae was an experiment; and, as far as we know, the experiment was not repeated either by the author or his successors. One further point may be noted. Aeschylus always has a taste for the unseen and the supernatural; and one effective incident here is the raising of Darius’s ghost, and his prophecy of the disastrous battle of Plataea. But in the ghost’s revelations there is a mixture of audacity and naiveté, characteristic at once of the poet and the early youth of the drama. The dead Darius prophesies Plataea, but has not heard iof Salamis; he gives a brief (and inaccurate) list of the Persian kings, which the queen and chorus, whom he addresses, presumably know; and his only practical suggestion, that the Persians should not again invade Greece, seems attainable without the aid of superhuman foresight.

Septem contra Thebas.—Five years later came the Theban Tragedy. It is not only, as Aristophanes says (Frogs, 1024), “ a play full of the martial spirit,” but is (like the Supplices) one of a connected series, dealing with the evil fate of the Theban House. But instead of being three acts of a single story like the Supplices, these three plays trace the fate through three generations, Laius, Oedipus and the two sons who die by each other’s hands in the fight for the Theban sovereignty. This family fate, where one evil deed leads to another after many years, is a larger conception, strikingly suited to Aeschylus’ genius, and constitutes a notable stage in the development of the Aeschylean drama. And just as here we have the tragedy of the Theban house, so in the last extant work, the Orcsteia, the poet traces the tragedy of the Pelopid family, from Agamemnon’s first sin to Orestes’ vengeance and purification. And the names of several lost plays point to similar handling of the tragic trilogy.

The Seven against Thebes is the last play of its series; and again the plot is severely simple, not only in outline, but in detail. Father and grandfather have both perished miserably; and the two princes have quarrelled, both claiming the kingdom. Eteocles has driven out Polynices, who fled to Argos, gathered a host under seven leaders (himself being one), and when the play opens has begun the siege of his own city. The king appears, warns the people,chides the clamour of women,appoints seven Thebans, including himself, to defend the seven gates, departs to his post, meets his brother in battle and both are killed. The other six chief tains are all slain, and the enemy beaten off. The two dead princes are buried by their two sisters, who alone are left of the royal house. ~

Various signs of the early drama are here manifest. Half the play is lyric; there is no complication of plot; the whole action is recited by messengers; and the fatality whereby the predicted mutual slaughter of the princes is brought about is no accidental stroke of destiny, but the choice of the king Eteocles himself. On the other hand, the opening is no longer lyric (like the two earlier plays) but dramatic; the main scene, where the messenger reports at length the names of the seven assailants, and the king appoints the seven defenders, each man going 03 in silence to his post, must have been an impressive spectacle.

_he shares unjustly their deserved fate.


One novelty should not be overlooked. There is here the first passage of heroin, or general reflexion of life, which later became a regular feature of tragedy. Eteocles muses on the fate which involves an innocent man in the company of the wicked so that The passage (Theb. 597-608) is interesting; and the whole part of Eteocles shows a new eflort of the poet to draw character, which may have something to do with the rise of Sophocles, who in the year before (468) won with his first play, now lost, the prize of tragedy.

There remain only the Prometheus and the Oresteia, which show such marked advance that (it may almost be said) when we think of Aeschylus it is these four plays we have in mind.

Prometheus.—The Prometheus-trilogy consisted of three plays: Prometheus the Fire-bringer, Prometheus Bound, Prometheus Unbound. The two last necessarily came in that order; the F ire-bringer is probably the first, though recently it has been held by some scholars to be the last, of the trilogy. That Prometheus sinned against Zeus, by stealing fire from heaven; that he was punished by fearful tortures for ages; that he finally was reconciled to Zeus and set free,—all this was the ancient tale indisputably. Those who hold the F ire-bringer (va¢6por) to be the final play, conjecture that it dealt with the establishment of the worship of Prometheus under that title, which is known to have existed at Athens. But the other order is on all grounds more probable; it keeps the natural sequence—crime, punishment, reconciliation, which is also the sequence in the Oresteio. And if the reconciliation was achieved in the second play, no scheme of action sufficing for the third drama seems even plausible.‘

However that may be, the play that survives is a poem of unsurpassed force and impressiveness. Nevertheless, from the point of view of the development of drama, there seems at first sight little scope in the story for the normal human interest of a tragedy, since the actors are all divine, except Io, who is a distracted wanderer, victim of Zeus’ cruelty; and between the opening where Prometheus is nailed to the Scythian rock, and the close where the earthquake engulfs the rock, the hero and the chorus, action in the ordinary sense is ipsofacto impossible. This is just the opportunity for the poet’s bold inventiveness and fine imagination. The tortured sufferer is visited by the Oceanic Nymphs, who float in, borne by an (imaginary) winged car, to console; Oceanus (riding a griffin, doubtless also imaginary) follows, kind but timid, to advise submission; then appears Io, victim of Zeus’ love and Hera’s jealousy, to whom Prometheus prophesies her future wanderings and his own fate; lastly Hermes, insolent messenger of the gods, who tries in vain to extort Prometheus’ secret knowledge of the future. Oceanus, the well-meaning palavering old mentor, and Hermes, the blustering and futile jack-in-office, gods though they be, are vigorous, audacious and very human character-sketches; the soft entrance of the consoling nymphs is unspeakably beautiful; and the prophecy of 10’s wanderings is a striking example of that new keen interest in the world outside which was felt by the Greeks of the 5th century, as it was felt by the Elizabethan English in a very similar epoch of national spirit and enterprise two thousand years later. Thus, though dramatic action is by the nature of the case impossible for the hero, the visitors provide real drama.

Another important point'in the development of tragedy is what we may call the “ balanced issue.” The question in Suppliants is the protection of the threatened fugitives; in Pcrsae the humiliation of overweening pride. So far the sympathy of the audience is not doubtful or divided. In the Septem there is an approach to conflict of feeling; the banished brother has a personal grievance, though guilty of the impious crime of attacking his own country. The sympathy must be for the defender Eteocles; but it is at least somewhat qualified by his injustice to his brother. In Prometheus the issue is more nearly

‘ The Eumenides is quoted as a parallel, because there the establishment of this worship at Athens concludes the whole trilo ; but it is forgotten that in Eumenides there is much besides—t e pursuit of Orestes, the refu e at Athens, the trial, the acquittal, the

conciliation by Athena of t e Furies; while here the story would be finished before the last play began.

balanced. The hero is both a victim and a rebel. He is punished for his benefits to man; but though Zeus is tyrannous and ungrateful, the hero’s reckless defiance is shocking to Greek feeling. As the play goes on, this is subtly and delicately indicated by the attitude of the chorus. They enter overflowing with pity. They are slowly chilled and alienated by the hero's violence and impiety; but they nobly decline, at the last crisis, the mean advice of Hermes to desert Prometheus and save themselves; and in the final crash they share his fate.

Oresteia.——The last and greatest work of Aeschylus is the Oresteia, which also has the interest of being the only complete trilogy preserved to us. It is a three-act drama of family fate, like the Oedipus-trilogy; and the acts are the sin, the revenge, the reconciliation, as in the Prometheus-trilogy. Again, as in Prometheus, the plot, at first sight, is such that the conditions of drama seem to exclude much development in character-drawing. The gods are everywhere at the root of the action. The inspired prophet, Calchas, has demanded the sacrifice of the king’s daughter Iphigenia, to appease the oflended Artemis. The inspired Cassandra, brought in as a spear-won slave from conquered Troy, reveals the murderous past of the Pelopid house, and the imminent slaughter of the king by his wife. Apollo orders the son, Orestes, to avenge his father by killing the murderess, and protects him when after the deed he takes sanctuary at Delphi. The Erinnyes (“ Furies ") pursue him over land and sea; and at last Athena gives him shelter at Athens, summons an Athenian council to judge his guilt, and when the court is equally divided gives her casting vote for mercy. The last act ends with the reconciliation of Athena and the Furies; and the latter receive a shrine and worship at Athens, and promise favour and prosperity to the great city. The scope for human drama seems deliberately restricted, if not closed, by such a story so handled. Nevertheless, as a fact, the growth of characterization is, in spite of all, not only visible but remarkable. Clytemnestra is one of the most powerfqu presented characters of the Greek drama. Her manly courage, her vindictive and unshaken purpose, her hardly hidden contempt for her tool and accomplice, Aegisthus, her cold scorn for the feebly vacillating elders, and her unflinching acceptance (in the second play) of inevitable fate, when she faces at last the aVQwed avenger, are all portrayed with matchless force—her very craft being scornfully assumed, as needful to her purpose, and contemptuously dropped when the purpose is served. And there is one other noticeable point. In this trilogy Aeschylus, for the first time, has attempted some touches of character in two of the humbler parts, the Watchman in A gamemnon, and the Nurse in the Choephoroe. The Watchman opens the play, and the vivid and almost humorous sententiousness of his language, his dark hints, his pregnant metaphors drawn from common speech, at once give a striking touch of realism, and form a pointed contrast to the terrible drama that impends. A very similar effect is produced at the crisis of the Choephoroe by the speech of the Nurse, who coming on a message to Aegisthus pours out to the chorus her sorrow at the reported death of Orestes and her fond memories of his babyhood—with the most homely details; and the most striking realistic touch is perhaps the broken structure and almost inconsequent utterance of the old faithful slave’s speech. These two are veritable figures drawn from contemporary life; and though both appear only once, and are quite unimportant in the drama, the innovation is most significant, and especially as adopted by Aeschylus.

It remains to say a word on two more points, the religious ideas of Aeschylus and some of the main characteristics of his poetry. The religious aspect of the drama in one sense was prominent from the first, owing to its evolution from the choral celebration of the god Dionysus. But the new spirit imported by the genius of Aeschylus into the early drama was religious in a profounder meaning of the term. The sadness of human lot, the power and mysterious dealings of the gods, their terrible and inscrutable wrath and jealousy (6.70. and .qb06vor), their certain vengeance upon sinners, all the more fearful h delayed,—such are the poet’s constant themes, delivered with strange solemitty and impressiveness in the lyric songs.


especially in the Oresteia. And at times, particularly in the Trilogy, in his reference to the divine power of Zeus, he almost approaches a stern andvsombre monotheism. “ One God above all, who directs all, who is the cause of all” (Ag. 163, 1485); the watchfulness of this Power over human action (363-367), especially over the punishment of their sins; and the mysterious law whereby sin always begets new sin (Ag. 7 58-760) :—these are ideas on which Aeschylus dwells in the Agamemnon with peculiar force, in a strain at once lofty and sombre. One specially noteworthy point in that play is his explicit repudiation of the common Hellenic view that prosperity brings ruin. In other places he seems to share the feeling; but here (Ag. 7 30) he goes deeper, and declares that it is not 5X50: but always wickedness that brings about men’s fall. All through there is a recurring note of fear in his view of man’s destiny, expressed in vivid images—the “ death that lurks behind the wall ” (Ag. 1004), the “ hidden reef which wrecks the bark, unable to weather the headland ” (Eum. 561- 56 5). In one remarkable passage of the Eumenides ( 517- 525) this fear is extolled as a moral power which ought to be enthroned in men’s hearts, to deter them from impious or violent acts, or from the pride that impels them to such sins.

Of the poetic qualities of Aeschylus’ drama and diction, both in the lyrics and the dialogue, no adequate account can be attempted; the briefest word must here suffice. He is everywhere distinguished by grandeur and power of conception, presentation and expression, and most of all in the latest works, the Prometheus and the Trilogy. He is pro-eminent in depicting the slow approach of fear, as in the Persae; the imminent horror of impending fate, as in the broken cries and visions of Cassandra in the Agamemnon (107 2-1177), the long lament and prayers to the nether powers in the Choephoroe (315—478), and the gradual rousing of the slumbering Furies in the Eumenides (117-139). The fatal end in these tragedies is foreseen; but the effect is due to its measured advance, to the slowly darkening suspense which no poet has more powerfully rendered. Again, he is a master of contrasts, especially of the Beautiful with the Tragic: as when the floating vision of consoling nymphs appears to the tortured Prometheus (11 5-13 5); or the unmatched lyrics which tell (in the Agamcmnon, 228—247) of the death of Iphigenia; or the vision of his lost love that the night brings to Menelaus (410-426). And not least noticeable is the extraordinary range, forcc and imaginativencss of his diction. One example of his lyrics may be given Which will illustrate more than one of these pOints. It is taken from the long lament in the Sefltem, sung by the chorus and the two sisters, while following the funeral procession of the two princes. These laments may at times be wearisome to the modern reader, who does not see, and imperfectly imagines, the stately and pathetic spectacle; but to the ancient feeling they were as solemn and impressive as they were ceremonially indispensable. The solemnity is here heightened by the following lines sung by one of the chorus of Theban women (Sept. 8 54—860) :—

Nay, with the waiting gale of your sighs, my sisters,

Beat on your heads with your hands the stroke as of oars,
The stroke that passes ever across Acheron,

Speedin on its way the black-robed sacred bark,—

The bari Apollo comes not near,

The bark that is hidden from the sunlight—To the shore of darkness that welcomes all!

AUTHORITIES.—-The chief authority for the text is a single MS. at Florence, of the early 11th century, known as the Medicean or M., written by a professional scribe and revised b a contemporary scholar, who corrected the copyist’s mistakes, ad ed the scholia. the arguments and the drarnatis rsonae of three lays (Theb., Agam , Eum.), and at the end the Lrgof Aeschytus and)the Catalogue of his Dramas. The MS. has also been further corrected by later hands. In 1896 the ltalian Ministry of Public instruction publishd the MS. in

hotographic facsimile, with an instructive preface by Signor

ostagno. Besides M. there are some eight later MSS. (13th to 15th century), and numerous copies of the three select plays (Sept., Perm, From.) which were most read in the later Byzantine period. when Greek literature was reduced to gradually diminishing excerpts. These later MSS. are of little value or authority.

The editions, from the beginning of the 15th century to the present time. are very numerous, and the text has been further continuously improved by isolated su gestions from a host of scholars. The three first printed copies (Al inc, 1518; Turnebus and Robortello, 1552) give only those parts of Agamemnon found in M., from which MS. some leaves were lost; in 1557 the full text was restored by Vettori (Victorius) from later MSS. After these four, the chief editions of the seven pla s were those of Schiitz, Porson, Butler, Wellauer, Dindorf, Bothe, hrens, Paley, Hermann, Hartung, Weil, Merkel, Kirchhoff and Wecklein. Besides these, over a hundred scholars have thrown light on the corruptions or obscurities of the text, by editions of separate plays, by emendations, by special studies of the poet's work, or in other wags. Among recent writers who have made such contributions may e mentioned Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, Enger, Conington, Blaydes, Cobet, Meineke, Madvig, Ellis, W. Headlam, Davies, Tucker, Verrall and Hai 1h. The Fragments have been edited by Nauck and also by Weck ein. The Acschylean staging is discussed in Albert Muller's Lehrbuch der grieehisehen Brihnenalterthfimer; in “ Die Biihne des Aeschylos," b Wilamowitz (Hermes, xxi.); in Smith's Diet. of Antiquities, art. “T eatrum " (R. C. Jebb); in Dbrpfeld and Reisch (Das griechische Theater), Haigh's Attic Theatre, and Gardner and Jevons Manual of Greek Antiquities. English Verse_ Translations: Agamemnon, Milman and Browning; Oresteia, Sup lianls, Persae, Seven against T hebes. Prometheus Vinctus, by E. . A. Morshead; Prometheus, E. B. Browning; the whole seven plays, Lewis Campbell. (A. 51.)

AESCULAPIUS (Gr. ’onhr'lmos), the legendary Greek god of medicine, the son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis. Tricca in Thessaly and Epidaurus in Argolis disputed the honour of his birthplace, but an oracle declared in favour of Epidaurus. He was educated by the centaur Cheiron, who taught him the art of healing and hunting. His skill in curing disease and restoring the dead to life aroused the anger of Zeus, who, being afraid that he might render all men immortal, slew him with a thunderbolt (Apollodorus iii. 10; Pindar, Phthia, 3'; Diod. Sic. iv. 71). Homer mentions him as a skilful physician, whose sons, Machaon and Podalirius, are the physicians in the Greek camp before Troy (Iliad, ii. 731). Temples were erected to Aesculapius in many parts of Greece, near healing springs or on high mountains. The practice of sleeping (ineubalio) in these sanctuaries was very common, it being supposed that the god effected cures or prescribed remedies to the sick in dreams. All who were healed offered sacrifice—especially a cock—and hung up votive tablets, on which were recorded their names, their diseases and the manner in which they had been cured. Many of these votive tablets have been discovered in the course of excavations at Epidaurus. Here was the god’s most famous shrine, and games were celebrated in his honour every five years, accompanied by solemn processions. Herodas (M imes, 4) gives a description of one of his temples, and of the oflerings made to him. His worship was introduced into Rome by order of the Sibylline books (293 13.0.), to avert a pestilence. The god was fetched from Epidaurus in the form of a snake and a temple assigned him on the island in the Tiber (Livy x. 47; Ovid, Metam. xv. 622). Aesculapius was a favourite subject of ancient artists. He is commonly represented standing, dressed in a long cloak, with bare breast; his usual attribute is a club-like staff with a serpent (the symbol of renovation) coiled round it. He is often accompanied by Tclesphorus, the boy genius of healing, ' and his daughter Hygieia, the goddess of health. Votive reliefs repre-' senting such groups have been found near the temple of Aesculapius at Athens. The British Museum possesses a beautiful head of Aesculapius (or possibly Zeus) from Melos, and the Louvre a magnificent statue.

AUTHORITIES—L. Dyer, The Gods in Greece (1891); Jane E. Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (1903); R. Caton, Temples and Ritual of A. at Epidaurus and Athens (1900); articles in Pauly-Wissowa's Real-Encyclopedic, Roscher’s Lexikon der M ythologie; T. Panofka, Asklepios und die Asklepiaden (1846); Alice Walton, “ The Cult of Asklepios,” in Cornell Studies in Classical Philology. iii. (New York, 1394); W. H. D. Rouse, Greek Votive Ofl'erings (1902).

AESERNIA (mod. Isernio), a Samnite town on the road from Beneventum to Corfinium, 58 m. to the north-east of the former, at the junction of a road going past V enafrurn to the Via Latina. These routes are all followed by modern railways—the lines to Campobasso, Sulmona and Caianello. A Roman colony was established there in 26 3 3.1:. It became the headquarters of the Italian revolt after the loss of Corfinium, and was only recovered by Sulla at the end of the war, in 80 ac. Remains of its fortifica


tions are still preserved—massive cyclopean walls, which serve as foundation to the walls of the modern town and of a Roman bridge, and the subterranean channel of an aqueduct, cut in the rock, and dating from Roman times.

AESOP (Gr. Aioonros), famous for his Fables, is supposed to have lived from about 620 to 560 B.C. The place of his birth is uncertain—Thrace, Phrygia, Aethiopia, Samos,Athens and Sardis all claiming the honour. We possess little trustworthy informa— tion concerning his life, except that he was the slave of Iadmon of Samos and met with a violent death at the hands of the inhabitants of Delphi. A pestilence that ensued being attributed to this crime, the Delphians declared their willingness to make compensation, which, in default of a nearer connexion, was claimed and received by Iadmon, the grandson of his old master. Herodotus, who is our authority for this (ii. 134), does not state the cause of his death; various reasons are assigned by later writers—his insulting sarcasms, the embezzlement of money entrusted to him by Croesus for distribution at Delphi, the theft of a silver cup.

Aesop must have received his freedom from ,Iadmon, or he could not have conducted the public defence of a certain Samian demagogue (Aristotle, Rhetoric, ii. 20). According to the story, he subsequently lived at the court of Croesus, where he met Solon, and dined in the company of the Seven Sages of Greece with Periander at Corinth. During the reign of Peisistratus he is said to have visited Athens, on which occasion he related the fable of The Frogs asking for a King, to dissuade the citizens from attempting to exchange Peisistratus for another ruler. The popular stories current regarding him are derived from a life, or rather romance, prefixed to a book of fables, purporting to be his, collected by Maximus Planudes, a monk of the 14th century. In this he is described as a monster of ugliness and deformity, as he is also represented in a well-known marble figure in the Villa Albani at Rome. That this life, however, was in existence a century before Planudes, appears from a 13th-century MS. of it found at Florence. In Plutarch’s S ymbosium of the Seven Sages, at which Aesop is a guest, there are many jests on his original servile condition, but nothing derogatory is said about his personal appearance. We are further told that the Athenians erected in his honour a noble statue by the famous sculptor Lysippus, which furnishes a strong argument against the fiction of his deformity. Lastly, the obscurity in which the history of Aesop is involved has induced some scholars to deny his existence altogether.

It is probable that Aesop did not commit his fables to writing; Aristophanes (Wasps, 1259) represents Philocleon as having learnt the “ absurdities ” of Aesop from conversation at banquets, and Socrates whiles away his time in prison by turning some of Aesop’s fables “which he knew” into verse (Plato, Phaedo, 61 b). Demetrius of Phalcrum (345—283 B.C.) made a collection in ten books, probably in prose (Aévwv Aiowreiwv evva'yw'yai) for the use of orators, which has been lost. Next appeared an edition in elegiac verse, often cited by Suidas, but the author’s name is unknown. Babrius, according to Crusius, a Roman and tutor to the son of Alexander Severus, turned the fables into choliambics in the earlier part of the 3rd Century 11.1). The most celebrated of the Latin adapters is Phaedrus, a freedman of Augustus. Avianus (of uncertain date, perhaps the 4th century) translatcd'42 of the fables into Latin elegiacs. The collections which we possess under the name of Aesop’s Fables are late renderings of Babrius’s version or Hpoyvnvdopara, rhetorical exercises of varying age and merit. Syntipas translated Babrius into Syriac, and Andreopulos put the Syriac back again into Greek. Ignatius Diaconus, in the 9th century, made a version of 5 3 fables in choliambic tetrameters. Stories from Oriental sources were added, and from these collections Maximus Planudes made and edited the collection which has come down to us under the name of Aesop, and from which the popular fables of modern Europe have been derived.

For further information see the article FABLE; Bentley, Dissertation on the Fables of Aeso ; Du Méril, Poésies inédites (In moyen dge (1854); J. Jacobs, The ables afAesop (1889): i. The history of the Aesogic fable; ii. The Fables of Aesop, as first printed by William axton, 1484, from his French translation; Hervieux, Les Fabulisles Latins (1893—1899). .

Before any Greek text appeared, a Latin translation of 100 Fabulac Aesopicae by an ltalian scholar named Ranuzio (Renutius) was published at Rome, 1 76. About 1480 the collection of Planudes was brought out at ilan b Buono Accorso (Accursius), together with Ranuzio's translation. his edition, which contained 144 fables, was frequent] reprinted and additions made from time to time from various MSS—the Heidelber (Palatine), Florentine, Vatican and Au sburg—by Stephanus 15 7), Nevelet (1610), Hudson (1718), lg—lauptmann (1741), Furia 1810), Coray (1810), Schneider (1812) and others. A critical edition of all the reviously known fables, prepared by Carl von Halm from the col ections of Furia, Cora and Schneider, was ublished in the Teubner series of Greek and tin texts. A .Fab _a_rum Aesogicarum sylloge (233 in number) from a Paris MS., With critical notes y Sternbach, appeared in a Cracow University publication, RozPra-wy akademii umiejctnosci' (1894).

ABSOPUS, a Greek historian who wrote a history of Alexander the Great, a Latin translation of which, by Julius Valerius, was discovered by Mai in 1816.

AESOPUS, CLODIUS, the most eminent Roman tragedian, flourished during the time of Cicero, but the dates of his birth and death are not known. The name seems to show that he was a freedman of some member of the Clodian gens. Cicero was on friendly terms with both him and Roscius, the equally distinguished comedian, and did not disdain to profit by their instruction. Plutarch (Cicero, 5) mentions it as reported of Aesopus, that, while representing Atreus deliberating how he should revenge himself on Thyestes, the actor forgot himself so far in

. the heat of action that with his truncheon he struck and killed one of the servants crossing the stage. Aesopus made a last appearance in 5 5 B.C.--when Cicero tells us that he was advanced in years—on the occasion of the splendid games given by Pompey at the dedication of his theatre. In spite of his somewhat extravagant living, he left an ample fortune to his spendthrift son, who did his best to squander it as soon as possible. Horace (Sat. 3. 239) mentions his taking a pearl from the car-drop of Caecilia Metella and dissolving it in vinegar, that he might have the satisfaction of swallowing eight thousand pounds' worth at a draught.

Cicero, De Divinatione, i. 37; Pro Seslio, 56, 58; Quint., Institxi. 3, 111; Macrobius, Sal. iii. 14.

AFSTHETICS, a branch of study variously defined as the philosophy or science of the beautiful, of taste or of the fine arts.

The name is something of an accident. In its original

Greek form (alafln-rtxbs) it means'what hasto do with

sense-perception as a source of knowledge; and this is still its meaning in Kant's philosophy (“Transcendental Aesthetic”). Its limitation to that function of sensuous perception Which we know as the contemplative enjoyment of beauty is due to A. G. Baumgarten. Although the subject does not readily lend itself to precise definition at the outset, we may indicate its scope and aim, as understood by recent writers, by saying that it deals successively with one great department of human experience, viz. the pleasurable activities of pure contemplation. By pure contemplation is here understood that manner of regarding objects of sense-perception, and more particularly sights and sounds, which is entirely motived by the pleasure of the act itself. The term “ object ” means whateVer can be perceived through one of the senses, e.g. a flower, alandscape, the flight of a bird, a sequence of tones. The contemplation may be immediate when (as mostly happens) the object is present to sense; or it may be mediate, when as in reading poetry we dwell on images of objects of sense. Whenever we become interested in an object merely as presented for our contemplation our whole state of mind may be described as an aesthetic attitude, and our experience as an aesthetic experience. Other expressions such as the pleasure of taste, the enjoyment and appreciation of beauty (in the larger sense of this term), will serve less precisely to mark ofi this department of experience. Aesthetic experience is differentiated from other kinds of experience by a number of characteristics. We commonly speak of it as enjoyment, as an exercise and cultivation of feeling. The appreciation of beauty is pervaded and sustained by pleas

Preliminary definition.


urable feeling. In aesthetic enjoyment our capacities of feeling attain their fullest and most perfect development. Yet, as its dependence on a quiet attitude of contemplation might tell us, aesthetic experience is characterized by a certain degree of calmness and moderation of feeling. Even when we are moved by a tragedy our feeling is comparatively restrained. A rare exhibition of beauty may thrill the soul for a moment, yet in general the enjoyment of it is far removed from the excitement of passion. On the other hand, aesthetic pleasure is pure enjoyment. Even when a disagreeable element is present, as in a musical dissonance or in the suffering of a tragic hero, it contributes to a higher measure of enjoyment. It is, moreover, free from the painful elements of craving, fatigue, conflict, anxiety and disappointment, which are apt to accompany other kinds of enjoyment; such as the satisfaction of the appetites and other needs. To this purity of aesthetic pleasure must be added its refinement, which implies not merely a certain remoteness from the bodily needs, but the effect of a union of sense and mind in giving amplitude as well as delicacy to our enjoyment of beauty. As

Dllferentlarlon of aesthetic cxperlCECI

lls charactor/stch as feeling.

the region of most pure and refined feeling, aesthetic MM“ experience is clearly marked oil from practical life, with of! from its urgent desires and the rest. In aesthetic contempla- PM tion desire and will as a whole are almost dormant. “"0"

This detachment from the daily life of practical needs and aims is brought out in Kant’s postulate that aesthetic enjoyment must be disinterested (“ ohne Interesse ”), that when we regard an object aesthetically we are not in the least concerned with its practical significance and value: one cannot, for example, at the same moment aesthetically enjoy looking at a ‘18,, {mm paintingand desire to be itspossessor. In like manner, Inteleven if less apparently, aesthetic contemplation is Id"! marked off from the arduous mental work which enters “um-l" into the pursuit of knowledge. In contemplating an aesthetic object we are mentally occupied with the concrete, whereas all the more serious intellectual work of science involves the difficulties of the abstract. The contemplation is, moreover, free from those restraints which are imposed on our mental activity by the desire to obtain knowledge.

While as the highest phase of feeling aesthetic experience appears to belong to our subjective life, the hidden region of the soul, it is connected just as clearly, through the act

. . . , _ Uniformof sense-perception, With the world of objects which 15 "y of our common possession. Being thus dependent on a con_ aesthetic templation of things in this common world it raises the 3"”


question whether, like the perception of these objects, it is a uniform experience, the same for others as for myself. We touch here on the last characteristic of aesthetic experience which needs to be noted at this stage, its uniformity or subjection to law. It is a common idea that men’s judgments about matters of taste disagree to so large an extent that each individual is left very much to his subjective impressions. With regard to many of the subtler matters of aesthetic appreciation, at any rate, there is undoubtedly on a first view the appearance of a want of agreement. Contrasted with logical judgments H

or even with ethical ones, aesthetic judgments may no “Smut doubt 100k uncertain and “ subjective.” The proposi- lam,“ tion “ this tree is a birch ” seems to lend itself much

better to critical discussion and to general acceptance or rejection than the proposition “ this tree is beautiful.” This circumstance, as Kant shrewdly suggests, helps to explain why we have come to employ the word “ taste ” in dealing with aesthetic matters; for the pronouncements of the sense of taste are recognized as among the most uncertain and “ subjective ” of our senseimpressions. Yet viewed as a species of pleasurable feelings, aesthetic experiences will be found to exhibit a large amount of uniformity, of objective agreement as between different experiences of the same person and experiences of difl'erent persons. This general agreement appears to be clearly implied in the ordinary form of our aesthetic judgments. To say “this rose is beautiful ” means more than to say “ the sight of this rose affects

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