صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

umes.

rus.

Greek church at Vienna. He is the author of a history of Greek literature to the taking of Constantinople, in four vo l.

He has published maps of Greece, Europe, and Asia, a translation into Greek of Voltaire's Charles XII, a second translation of Martin's grammar of philosophical sciences, a second of La Lande's astronomy, and of the chemical philosophy of Fourcroy.

His must learned work, of which two of three small folio volumes have appeared from the press of Glycys in Venice, is a dictionary of the Romaic, on the basis of Stephens' Thesau.

His paper just mentioned is printed at Vienna, where also is published another in the German language, which is devoted to topics of Greek literature, and conducted by Demetrius Alexandrides, a physician, and native of Thessaly; whom we shall mention hereafter as the translator of Goldsmith's history of Greece. From this paper it appears that translations have been made of Condillac's logic, and of the ancient and Roman history of Rollin. Homer's Iliad is announced as about to be published at Constantinople. Demetrius has lately published translations of Abulfeda's Geography, which, with a Turkish and Romaic Lexicon, and the translation of Gold. smith's history, we believe are all his works.

But in Greece itself, the tyranny of the Turks is so oppressive and so vigilant, that little liberty of the press is enjoyed by its poor inhabitants. They are forbidden to speak, and if possible to think, on all those topics of political and moral interest, which engage so much attention in other countries. “It is no great wonder then,” says Lord Byron, “that in a catalogue now before me of fifty five Greek writers, many of whom were late. ly living, not above fifteen should have touched on any thing but religion. This catalogue is in the Ecclesiastical History of Meletius." Among them we may notice the following.

Procopius, of Moscopolis in Epirus, has written a catalogue of learned Greeks.

Eustathius Psalida, of Bucharest, a physician, has made the tour of England, wagon platbusiws; but though his name is enume, rated, he is not stated to have written any thing.

Anastasius Macedon, of Naxos, a member of the Royal Academy of Warsaw. A writer of church biography.

Demetrius Pamperes, a Moscopolite, has written many books, particularly a commentary on Hesiod's shield of Hercules, and two hundred tales. He has also published his correspondence with the celebrated George of Trebizond, his cotemporary.

Meletius, a celebrated geographer, and church historian, and author of the book whence these notices are taken.

Dorotheus, of Mitylene, an Aristotelian philosopher: his Romaic works are in great repute, and he is esteemed by the moderns, according to Meletius, Muita tov Oseudodno nas Esopwita αριστος Έλληνω.

It is added, that he is so famous among his countrymen, that they are accustomed to say, if Thucydides and Xenophon were wanting, Dorotheus would repair the loss.

Marinus count Tharboures, of Cephalonia, professor of chemistry in the academy of Padua, and member of that academy, and those of Stockholm and Upsal. He has published, at Vienna, an account of some marine animal, and a Treatise on the properties of iron.

Marcus, brother to the former, famous as a mechanician. He removed to Si. Petersburgh the immense rock, on which the statue of Peter the Great was fixed, in 1769; and published a dissertation upon the subject at Paris.

George Constantine has published a four tongued Lexicon.

All these authors are deceased. Among living ones, besides Coray, Kamarases, Christodoulos, and Psalida, already mentioned, is Athanasius the Parian, who has written a treatise on rhetoric. Panagiotes Kodrikas, mentioned above, has translated Fontenelle's plurality of worlds, a favorite work among ,

the Greeks, and is stated to be a teacher of the Romaic and Arabic languages at Paris, in both which he excels.

There are several works in modern Greek, at the Boston Athenæum.

As they are there accessible to reference or ex. amination, it will be worth while to put down their titles: though for the most part they are anonymous, and apparently of little value.

A history of Alexander the Macedonian, containing his life, wars, exploits, and successes, with the places of his expeditions

and death, printed and diligently corrected, tagu Noxona T'Auxur

Moral and political Maxims, with counsels and admonitions, godly and spiritual, together with Pilate's blasphemous indictment of Christ.

The New Flower of the Graces, Romaic and Italian.

An Amatory Poem, called Erotokritos, composed by the most noble Bitzetzes. This poem is divided into five parts, and seems to be a rhyming drama.

The Arabian Mythology, composed in Arabic, by the most learned dervise, Abu-Bekur, translated this third time from the Italian to Romaic.

Prologue of Syntipas, the philosopher; translated from the Syriac.

ELEMENTS OF ARITHMETIC AND ALGEBRA, written in French by the Abbe de la Caille, and translated by Jonas Sparmiotes.

The Door of repentance: a searching and most useful book, containing the four ends of man, death, judgment, hell, and paradise. Composed formerly by a wise man, and now improved and corrected with care by the brothers of the monastery of St. Demetrius, at the holy mount of Athos:

Εις κοινην των Ορθοδοξων ωφελεια). . But by far the most interesting is the following:which is the specimen referred to p. 84.

Γολδσμιο Ιστορία της Ελλαδος" απο της πρώτης καταβολης των Ελληνικων πραγματων, αχοι της αλυσίως της Κονσταντινουπολεως, υπο των Οθωμα

It is both translated and amplified; and is the work of De metrius Alexandrides, mentioned above. The copy in the Athenæum is of the second edition, and contains a brief dissertation Rego Inonuwy, xar 28%uur, defece do xei maga denoxiioes, ondan ser elsewn two 'Eaamw. It was printed at Vienna in 1807. It is dedicaied to the brothers Zosimado, who were mentioned above, in the following terms. Τους ευπατριδαις Ικαννινων, Αδελφους Ζωσιμαδαις Κύριοις, Ελλαδος Ευεργέταις, και Μεταφραστης ταυτην της Ελλαδος ισοριαν, ευγνωμοσυins inza, avatudnou. In the list of subscribers, is Anthimus, the most holy patriarch of Jerusalem.

[ocr errors]

There is a translation, which we have before named, of the New Testament into the modern Greek. The name of its aus thor is Maximus, which is all we know of him or it. It is not probably of any critical value. *

We have given us in the appendix of Childe Harolde, the prospectus of a translation into Romaic of Barthelemi's Anacharsis. It was made by Marmarotouri, an instructor in the language, and apparently not a man of great accomplishments. He has sent it for publication to England.

In this prospectus there is nothing striking, unless perhaps the following passage, which may be taken as a specimen of the language. Hv MOLTO και ημεις θελωμού να μεθεξωμεν της γνωσεως των λαμπρών κατορθωματων όπι καμαν οι θαυμαστοι εκεινοι προπαιορες ημων, αν επιθυμωμεν να μαθωμεν την προοδων και αυξησιν των εις τας τεχιας και επιστημες, και ως καθε αλλο αδος μαθησιως, αν εχωμεν περιεργειαν να γνωρισωμεν ποθεν καταγομεθα, και όποιους θαυμαστές και μεγαλους Ανδρας 4 και προγονους ημων, φευ, ημεις δεν ειζομεν, ως καιρον όπε οι Αλλογενεις θαυμαζεσιν αυθες, και ως πωλερας παντοιο «σαν μαθησιως σεβονται, ας συνδρομωμεν άπαντες προθυμως ως την εκδοσιν το θαυμασιου τουτε συγγραματος του Νεα Αναχαρσιως.

We regret that this is all the information, which we have been able to collect on the modern Greek language and literature. Though there have been written many books, from which we might expect the most interesting details upon this subject, we have been generally disappointed. The travels of Chateaubriand, for instance, are written with great spirit, and a very classical taste; but his notices are nearly confined to the state of manners, the topography, and the ruins of Greece. The old travellers dwell almost exclusively upon the same top ics, and as not many of them had his learning, and still fewer his fine imagination, their accounts are for the most part unsatisfactory and dull. Our greatest obligations are to the notes and appendix of Lord Byron's new poem of Childe Harolde.

• A fine copy of this book, formerly in the possession of Cæsar de Missy, is in the library of Harvard college, where is also a Lexicon of the Romaic and Italian languages, which appears to be very copious, and is the work of Somavera.

if: y pesoekwury same as peilexey, an instance of the use of particles: omov, which: dor, not: as another particle, expressive of the imperative mood.

t

· For the rest, though the vulgar Romaic is a wretched jargon, compared with the Athenian Greek, yet how nigh does it come to classical purity, considered as a modern language? It is in. deed melancholy to be obliged to count in that city, where an herb woman detected the exquisite Atticism of Theophrastus, three distinct dialects of different purity. But how small a degeneracy is this, compared with that of Jerusalem or Rome! In the former, the place of the sacred tongue is supplied with a depraved dialect of Turkish, in which hardly a word of Hebrew is to be detected, and which in its best estate, says Lady Montague, is a confused and irregular gabble. While in the city of Tully and Virgil, the noble stream of the Roman speech has been polluted with a torrent of Gothic from the north, and of Arabic from the east; till its character is changed, and its identity lost.

If then, in the page of revolutions, which is opening on the world, there is written an hour of political revival for Greece, we may prophesy, without enthusiasm, that their language may be restored. Till this hour of political revival shall come, it is not even to be hoped that they should regain the purity of their fathers' tongue. For who could hear, without pain, the language of Leonidas and Miltiades from the lips of a Russian vassal, or a Turkish slave? We think indeed of the ancient Greeks, to borrow the beautiful words of Mr. Ames, in that fine essay on American literature, “that their apprehension was quicker, their native taste more refined, their prose poetry, their poetry music, their music enchantment. We imagine they had more expression in their faces, more grace in their movements, more sweetness in their tones of conversation than the moderns.” Alas, this expression of face is clouded in dejection, this grace of movement is broken by the labors of servitude, this sweetness of voice is hushed into murmurs against their tyrants! And can we wish then that their melodious prose and enchanting poetry should return to gild those chains, which need not such a contrast with their pristine glory, to render them intolerable.

Unhappy Greece!

“Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild,
Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields,

« السابقةمتابعة »