Page images
PDF
EPUB

that the Samothracian Gods have often been confounded with Castor and Pollux'; but if these Samothracian gods were a trinity, I imagine that I hear you ask, how could this have been the case ? I reply, that though the Cabiri might appear by the visible representations in the Samothracian temples as a Duad, yet the image of the Great Third was left to the imagination to conceive. Pausanias says, in a passage cited in my last Letter, that “the people of Amphissa observe a religious solemnity in the honor of the youths, who are called Anactes : men differ in their opinions about the nature of these gods; some say that they are Castor and Pollux, or the Dioscuri ; some believe them to be the Curetæ; while others, who pretend to a more accurate knowledge of these abstruse matters, identify them with the Cabiri.This passage supplies us with two important facts: it not only proves that Castor and Pollux, the fabulous Dioscuri, were often confounded with the real Dioscuri, but also proves that the Cabiri, or Pelasgic trinity, were often considered by the Grecians as a Duad, because, as I have intimated above, there was often no visible representation of the Creator. I may appeal to the Scholiast of Apollonius the Rhodian, who says, in a passage to which I have before referred, that in ancient times there were only two Cabiri. I may appeal again to Pausanias, who says in B. viii. c. 20.3 that “ among the Clitorians there is a temple erected to the Dioscuri, who are there called the Great Gods," or Cabiri. I may also appeal to the fact, which has been stated in a note from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, that, in the temple of the Penates, erected under the eminence of Velia, near the Roman Forum, there was a visible representation only of two gods, and that this Duad was represented as two young men. I wish you particularly to notice the fact that this was the temple of the Dii Penates ; but the Dii Penates were, as Bishop Horsley and yourself have

* Gesner says, in his Latin Thesaurus, under Samothraces : " Dii Samothraces vulgò putabantur Castor et Pollux, sed refellit hanc opinionem Varro de L. L. 4, 10. et ita potiùs statuit:' Hi mas, et fæmina, et hi, quos Augurum [sc. Romanorum] libri scriptos habent sic, Divi Potes, et sunt pro illis, qui in Samothrace sol dúvatos: hæc duo cælum et terra, quod anima et corpus, humidum et frigidum.'” I may here remark, that this passage of Varro completely identifies the Samothracian Gods with the Divi Potes, or Penates, or Cabiri of the Romans.

2 οι δε δύο είναι τους Καβείρους φασί πρότερον, πρεσβύτερον μεν Διά, νεώτερον δε Διόνυσον. .

3 Κλειτορίοις δε και Διοσκούρων, καλουμένων δέ ΘΕΩΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΩΝ, έστιν τερον όσον τέσσαρα απέχον στάδια από της πόλεως, και αγάλματα έστιν αυτοίς χαλκά.

shown, the Roman Trinity, and therefore these two youths were the real Dioscuri, the Alcis of the Germans, the Anactes of Pausanias, and the Duad of Varro.

But this temple of the Penates appears to me to be the identical temple, which is generally called the temple of Castor and Pollux. Dionysius says, in the passage, to which I have before referred, that the temple of the Penates was situated by the Roman Forum, not far from the temple of Vesta." Now, if you turn to Suetonius's Lives of the Twelve Cæsars, examine the 10th c. of the first book, as well as the 22d c. of the fourth book, read the notes in the Variorum edition by Berneggerus and by Torrentius; and then turn to the note of Marlianus in the Variorum edition of Valerius Maxi mus, you will find that these critics are greatly puzzled to discover the exact situation of the temple of these fabulous Dioscuri, from the apparent contradiction in some passages of the classical writers. I do not mean to enter into a full discussion of this subject at the present moment, and it will be sufficient for me to produce one testimony in the support of my assertion, that the temple of the Penates has often been confounded with the temple of Castor and Pollux. Marlianus, in the note, to which I have referred, says from Appian, that “ when Asellius the Prætor happened one day to be sacrificing to Castor and Pollux in the Forum, some one discharged the contents of a cup upon a stone, and the Prætor ran to the temple of Vesta." “ Hence,” says Marlianus, - it is evident that the temple of Castor and Pollux was near to the temple of Vesta.” Now, Sir, it was, as we are told by Heynè, in the note above, the temple of the Penates, which was contiguous to the tem. ple of Vesta : hence, then, you see that Appian has confounded the real, and the fabulous Dioscuri. If we suppose (as we may suppose with a great probability, from what has been said above, that the temple, erected to Castor and Pollux, was placed in a different part of the Forum from the temple of the Penates, and bear in our minds the remembrance of the confusion between the fabulous, and the real Dioscuri, all the critical difficulties, which arise from the

* Heynè, in the Excursus mentioned above, says : “ Penatium ædes Romæ fuit sub Veliâ, non longè ab æde Vestæ, v. Dionys. ibid, incendio Neroniano deleta : v. Tac. Ann. xv. 41; non enim rectè alii tradiderunt in Vestæ templo Penates servatos : v. ad Tac. 1. c. Cf. Donat 3, 3. de urbe Româ.”

2 Appianus autem commemorat Asellium, Prætorem, fortè sacra Castori et Polluci in foro facientem, cùm quidam lapide phialam excussisset, ad Vestæ ædem cucurrisse : ex quibus verbis apparet ædem Castorum prope Vestæ, forumque Romanum ita sitam, ut à fronte hoc, illum verò à tergo habuerit.

apparent contradictions in different writers about the situation of the temple of Castor and Pollux, may be easily solved.

I shall close this body of evidence with the direct testimony of Pausanias, who says in B. 1. c. 31.' that “the Cephalensians particularly worship the Dioscuri; for this is the appellation, which they give to the Great Gods," or Cabiri. Again Pausanias says, in B. 3. c. 24. that “ on a small promontory at Brasiæ stand some images of brass, about the height of one foot, with caps on their heads : I know not whether they are worshipped as the Dioscuri, or as the Corybantes : however, they are three in number.This passage

is

very curious: it establishes the truth of the remark, that the Dioscuri of the classics do not always mean Castor and Pollux ; for we are expressly told here that there were three images : Pausanias confesses that he could not discover whether these images were the Dioscuri, or the Corybantes : Now the real, as well as the fabulous, Dioscuri, were only two in number: it is unnecessary to show that these images could not be intended to represent the Corybantes ; the only supposition, therefore, is, that this was a representation of the trinity.

There now remains for me only to ask whether the Alcis of Tacitus, and the Dioscuri of the classics, is not the same with the Hebrew Schechinah with the Cherubim overshadowing the mercy-seat ? Whether the Cherubim are not the Fratres, and the Juvenes of Tacitus? You have given in vol. iv. p. 402, an engraving of this Hebrew symbol, which, as you remark, Philo asserts to be emblematical of the two Powers of God, sometimes called, as you well know, the two Hands of God. The real Dioscuri, or Cherubim of the classics, are often represented, as we have seen in the extract from Heynè, with their hands joined, as if they were overshadowing the Great Supreme, who is generally placed in the centre, when three figures are given, as I shall have occasion to observe in my third Letter.

I am, Reverend Sir,
With every sentiment of respect,

E. H. BARKER. Beverley, April 5th, 1811.

1 Κεφαλήσι δε οι Διόσκουροι νομίζονται μάλιστα μεγάλους γαρ σψώς οι ταυτη Θεούς ονομάζουσι. .

*Ακρα δε έστιν εν ταϊς Βρασιαϊς μικρά, προέχουσα ηρέμα ες την θάλασσαν» και επ' αυτή χαλκού ποδιαίων εστήκασιν ου μείζονες πίλους επί ταϊς κεφαλαίς έχοντες· ουκ οίδα ει Διοσκούρους σφάς, ή Κορύβαντας νομίζουσι: ΤΡΕΙΣ Δ' ΟΥΝ ΕΙΣΙ.

1

IMITATIONS OF HORACE,

By PROFESSOR Porson.
From the Spirit of the Public Journals, for 1797.

The Poet makes a voyage to Britain, in pursuance of his promise-lib. 3. Ode iv. line 33.–Visam Britannos hospitibus feros” _“ I will visit the Britons, inhospitable to strangers.” The vessel in which he sailed was called the Britannia, whether from the place of its destination, or from the circumstance of being built of British wood, I cannot determine ; but, I believe, for both reasons.

After a tedious voyage, at last he arrived -safe at Portsmouth. The ship was grievously shattered ; but the Captain determined to go out again immediately, before she was well refitted, and while the weather was very unpromising.--Several of the crew were heard to mutter, in consequence of this proceeding; upon which the Captain, by advice of the pilot, put them in irons. But the most curious incident was (if we may believe Quintilian), that Horace was indicted for a libel, as if, under the allegory of a ship, he had intended to paint the dangers and distresses of the commonwealthWhoever peruses my version, will see how groundless and absurd this accusation was—The reader need only keep in mind that the Poet, more safe at shore, makes this pathetic address to the vessel, in which his life and fortunes were so lately risked

TO THE GOOD SHIP BRITANNIA.

BRITANNIA, while fresh storms are brewing,
I wonder what the devil you're doing !
Put back to harbour, might and main,
Nor venture out to sea again:
Your hull's too tender long to last,
You're fain to try a jury.mast ;
Your tackle's old, your timber's crazy,
The winds are high, the weather hazy ;
Your anchor's lost, you've sprung a leak ;

Hark, how the ropes and cordage creak!
VOL. IV.

No. VII.

A rag of canvass scarce remains;
Your pilot idly beats his brains-
A cub that knows not stem from stern,
Too high ť obey, too proud to learn-
In vain you worry Heav'n with pray'rs:
Think

you

that Heav'n one farthing cares
Whether a sailor prays or swears?
In vain you sport your threadbare joke,
And call yourself « Old Heart of Oak.”
No seaman, that can box his compass,
Trusts to your daubs, or titles pompous.
Take heed, lest Boreas plays the mocker,
And cry—“ Tis snug in Davy's locker."
Though while on board as sick as hell,
At shore, old girl, I wish you well.
Beware of shoals—of wind and weather,
And try to keep your planks together;
Or else the rav'nous sea will

gorge, And lodge you next the Royal George,

Q. HORAT. FLAC. CARM. LIB. I. ODE XIV.

[ocr errors]

O Navis! referent in mare te novi
Fluctus ? ! quid agis? fortiter occupa
Portum. Nonne vides, ut

Nudum remigio latus,
Et malus celeri saucius Africo,
Antennæque gemant? Ac sine funibus
Vix durare carinæ

Possint imperiosius
Æquor? Non tibi sunt integra lintea,
Non Di, quos iterum pressa voces malo.
Quamvis Pontica pinus,

Sylvæ filia nobilis-
Jactes et genus, et nomen inutile :
Nil pictis timidus navita puppibus
Fidit-Tu, nisi ventis

Debes ludibrium, cave.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »