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But there is another fact which we must not pass by unnoticed. The Sanscr. B remains unchanged, not only in English, but in all the cognate languages. The Sanscrit examples are not very numerous, but they are without exceptions. English B then answers in general to Sansc. Bh; Sanscr. B always answers to an English B. From former inquiries and comparisons, we know that Sanscr. P answers to an English F; and English P almost always to Sanscr. P. Remembering now that P and F are Surds, B and Bh Sonants, we cannot help acknowledging this to be a general law, for the LABIALS of the English and Sanscrit languages, that Surds answer to Surds, Sonants to Sonants."18

There is only one Sanscrit Surd letter of consideration (P) answering to the two common English Surds, (P and F); there is only one English Sonant letter, (B,) answering to the two common Sanscrit Sonants, (B and Bh.)


(To be continued.)



OUR age aims at tracing the spirit of classical antiquity in all departments of archaeological science. In addition to the advantages immediately derived from this practice, there is one very closely consequent on it, on which we wish to say a few words. Classical antiquity can no longer stand as something

18 Or exhibited in a Table :

Engl. Sanscr.


Sonants, B


} {

Whilst Grimm has :




Ph, Bh.

| Translated from the Philologus, 11. 3. p. 385–397. By Robert Johnston.

isolated, but must gradually become more intimately connected with the great whole of the history of human civilization. The particular must find its relation to the general, individuality and nationality to universal humanity.

Our age casts on the study of antiquity the reproach of standing a dead and solitary department of knowledge, in no connection with the present, and with our own age and nationality. This is not the place to discuss the subject at length. But can classical philologers look with equanimity at this fact, that their efforts meet, amongst the great mass of educated persons, with infinitely less sympathy than those of such men as employ themselves in the study of their own language, history, or natural science? In this instance Horace's "satis est equitem mihi plaudere,” gives but slight consolation. Can our philologers not do more to bring the subject of their study into greater respect among those beyond their own circle? The attacks on classical studies are directed, not only against the system pursued in the schools, but against Philology itself, and shew that its importance is either questioned or entirely unknown. Philology has long had a practical influence on education; its association with our national character and institutions also would, we think, be in a very high degree useful. That we cannot study philology exclusively with this view, is self-evident, for otherwise it would lose its character and independence. But something might be done, and philological societies ought certainly to direct their attention to the subject.

We find in the Philologus, pp. 340–343, a short essay by Jacob Grimm, “ Vom Singen der Schwerter und Pfannen,” in which the German and classical customs are discussed, and which proves that even such trifles can be made interesting. A similar association of the old German with the old classical, presents itself in very many points in the same distinguished author's Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer. Many subjects which are in that work only casually alluded to, might give occasion for the most beautiful comparisons. We offer the present article on Ordeals, not because we expect to bring forward new or even complete materials; but merely as an attempt to show whether what was briefly spoken of by Grimm in regard to the Greeks and Romans, can be carried out further. If this contribution lead to similar investigations, we can wish for no more.

Besides the assistance afforded by Grimm, we have in Beck

er's Charicles' useful materials. The article “ Ordalien," by W. E. Wilda, in Ersch and Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopädie, has principally reference to German ordeals. Other literary aids are pot at our command. Grimm * says that such trials as the ordeals of the Germans are so consonant to the childlike and rude character of antiquity, that it would be wonderful if we did not meet with them among other nations also. What he and Becker bring forward in proof of the existence of similar customs among the Greeks and Romans, has been taken proper advantage of in the following remarks.5

Wilda and others say that most authors, even Grimm, have committed an error, in omitting the lot amongst ordeals. Wilda himself mentions it first, and thinks it ought to be reckoned one of the most ancient and really national ordeals of the Germans; nay he says (p. 469,) that the lot is in some measure the purest ordeal, for the result of it, if every thing be done regularly, cannot in the least degree be foreseen by human judgment. Some say that in employing the lot, man, renouncing entirely his own power of decision, commits his cause to blind chance. But how can this be, if divinity directly interfere, and if the benevolence and mercy of God afford man ground for the hope of finding in the lot, not an instance of unregulated chance, but an exercise of Providence? Antiquity evidently saw in the decision by lot, an indication of fate; and we in modern times are not indisposed to the same opinion. And in this manner we have in it a kind of oracle, a prognostication of the dark future. That the Germans too had a

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II. pp. 282–285 of the original. 3 Section 3. vol. 4. pp. 453–490. 4 P. 933, of the first edition.

5 Regarding the connection between the ordeal and the oracle, we refer to Wilda, (p. 453). The single combat plainly served both purposes. As amongst the Germans, (Tacit. Germ. c. 10; comp. Grimm, p. 928,) it gave a prophetic decision, so also in the fight between the Gaul and T. Manlius. Livy, (v11. 11,) says: "Et hercule tanti ea ad universi belli eventum momenti dimicatio fuit, ut Gallorum exercitus proximâ nocte relictis trepide castris, in Tiburtem agrum transierit.” Besides

those in which there was a direct appeal to heaven, other decisions of a judicial nature, among different nations and in different ages, exhibit the same leading idea: for instance, the settlement of a quarrel regarding boundaries between Carthage and Cyrene, (Sallust. Jug. 79,) and between the Swiss Cantons of Uri and Glarus (Grimm, Deutsche Sagen, 287) by a race. Grimm (Rechtsalterth. p. 935) is probably right in classing such a mode of settlement with that by ordeal, though it may be granted that in the case of the race, the belief in an exertion of divine power is less prominent than in the ordeal.

divinatio per sortes," is known from Tacitus (Germ. c. 10). With his remarks in that passage, may be compared what Herodotus says of the Scythians. No discussion is required to show that Pindar's “ μάντις ορνίχεσαι και κλάροισι θεοπροπέων ispois,” refers to this kind of “divinatio."8 What Wilda brings forward, appears to us sufficient to prove, that when persons were accused of theft, and when it was wished to discover the murderer of an individual killed in a riot or fray, an ordeal “per sortes," as the Latin legal phrase has it, which reminds us of Tacitus's “divinatio per sortes” among the Germans, was resorted to, though it may neither have been generally nor long employed. As Wilda himself admits, history gives no specific instance of its being used.' Nothing of the kind among the Greeks and Romans of the later ages is known to us; but we think it may safely be asserted, that the idea of recognizing in the decision by lot a decision of heaven, was not foreign to the Homeric age. Hector, on one occasion, in the Miad, 10 challenges to single combat any one of the Greeks who dares to fight with him. Menelaus wishes to accept the challenge, but is restrained by the remonstrances of his brother. Nestor's angry speech puts the dilatory and trembling princes of the Achæans to shame; nine rise, ready to meet the dreaded foe. The question now is, which of them shall obtain the honour. Nestor's advice is to let the lot decide. This counsel is followed : the nine heroes mark their lots, and throw them into the helmet. Then the poet continues, v. 177, foll.:

λαοί δ' ήρήσαντο, θεοίσι δε χείρας άνεσχον :
ώδε δέ τις είπεσκεν ιδών εις ουρανόν ευρύν: •
Ζεύ πάτερ, ή Αίαντα λαχείν, ή Τυδέος υιόν,

ή αυτόν βασιλήα πολυχρύσοιο Μυκήνης ! The lot falls upon one of the three chiefs named; on him indeed, whom the army had prayed for first, viz. Ajax ;

Ως άρ' έφαν» πάλλεν δε Γεράνιος τππότα Νέστωρ
εκ δ' έθoρε κλήρος κυνέης, δν άρ' ήθελον αυτοί,
Αίαντος. .


6 IV. 67.

Pyth. iv. 190.

The article “ Divinatio,” in Pauly's Real-Encyklopädie, affords rich materials, which, however, do not lie in our way at present.

• We may lastly refer to Du Cange's Glossarium: So judicium Dei, pur gatio vulgaris; where the same passages are cited as in Wilda.

VII. 67, foll,


Let us now turn to what appears to have more of the peculiarities of the ordeal, as it existed among our own ancestors ; and in so doing we shall look first at the trial by single combat, as that mode of obtaining a decision of God, which seems to be most suited to warlike character.

The issue of every battle may be regarded as a divine decision, and in this sense Chaereas is right, when he says: 11 EJ uèv έμελλες την δίκην κρίνειν, εγώ δε ήδη νενίκηκα παρά τω δικαιοτάτω δικαστή • πόλεμος γαρ άριστος κριτής του κρείττονός τε και χείρους. . In some contests, however, this is more the case than in others.

Strabo 12 calls it an “dos tl tahacòv tõv 'Exuv," to seek a decision by single combat. Wachsmuth18 considers the principle which originated the settlement of national quarrels by single combat, according to a public agreement, to have been the idea of a representation of the two states. This idea appears to us too abstract for that age ; our opinion is that these single combats were fought, in order that the lives of the soldiers, who were less interested in the contest, might be spared. Schömann, in his Antiquitates juris publici Græcorum, expresses an opinion similar to ours. This view is confirmed by the words of Menelaus, Iliad III. 98:

Κέκλυτε νύν και εμείο μάλιστα γαρ άλγος κάνει
θυμόν εμόν · φρονέω δε διακρινθημέναι ήδη
'Αργείους και Τρώας, επεί κακά πολλά πέπoσθε
είνεκ' έμής έριδος και Αλεξάνδρου ένεκ' αρχής.
ημέων δ' δππoτέρω θάνατος και μοίρα τέτυκται,

τεθναίη : άλλοι δε διακρινθείτε τάχιστα. . Our opinion is strengthened also by the words of the Alban leader to the king of Rome, in the case of the combat between the Horatii and Curiatii :14 “ ineamus aliquam viam, qua, utri utris imperent, sine magna clade, sine multo sanguine utriusque populi decerni possit.” We may compare also the words of Hyllus in Ηerodotus : 15 ως χρέων είη τον μεν στρατόν το στρατό μη ανακινδυνεύειν συμβάλλοντα. .

The motive then seems clear. The character of the ordeal becomes apparent, when all the other soldiers retire, and those

14 Livy 1. 23.



IX. 26.

11 Chariton, vill. 4.

VIII. p. 357. 13 Hellen. Alterthumskunde, 1. p. 140, comp. p. 184.

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