« PreviousContinue »
port, as soon as manned. The whole fleet proceeded in order of battle to meet the enemy; and a general engagement ensued, in which the Romans proved victorious..
. But to return. The favourite deity of the Teians was Dionysius, or Bacchus. To him they consecrated their city and territory; and before the preceding transaction, had so. licited the Roman and other states to distinguish both, by decreeing them sacred and an asylum. Several of the answers then given still remain fairly cut on pieces of grey marble, but disjoined; some of the fragments being found in the bagnio at Segigeck, some inserted in the wall, and one over a fountain without the south gate ; some also in the burying-grounds round about Sevrihissar. All these are published by Chishull, from copies taken by consul Sherard in 1709, and again examined in 1916. And the learned editor has prefixed to these literary monuments of the Teians, a delineation of their important idol ; to which the reader, curious in that article, is referred.
• This spot therefore being the peculiar possession of Dionyfius, the Dionysiac artificers, who were very numerous in Asia, and so called from their patron, the reputed inventor of theatrical representation, when incorporated by the command of the kings of Pergamus, settled here, in the city of their tutelary god; supplying from it Ionia, and the country beyond as far as the Hellespont, with the scenic apparatus by contra&t; until, a sedition arising, they fled. This society is marked as prone to tumult, and without faith.'
This work contains a curious instance of the variations to be observed on the face of the globe, different from its former appearances. It informs us, ' that Priene, where the temple of Minerva Polias stood, though now seen as an inland city, was once on the sea, and had two ports; the plain between it and Miletus was a large bay, and the Meander, which now prolongs its course much beyond, once glided sinoothly into it,' This example is, we think, alone sufficient to expose the futility and uncertainty of the literati, concerning the names and situations of antient places.
· These changes, say our editors, are so great as to bewilder and perplex the traveller, unless he is in possession of a clew, and may be afligned as the probable reason why so remarkable a portion of ancient Jonia is at present so little visited or known; the only tour through this tract, as yet given to the public, being that which was undertaken in 1673, by certain English merchants from Smyrna. It would be ungenerous to censure this journey as superficial and unsatisfactory, while its merits so much applause for the liberal design and conimunicative spirit of the party, which thus opened as it were a way, though hitherto almost unfrequented, for the benefit of future enquiries.
• Priene fell by accident into their route, and is mentioned as a village called Sanson, the name by which, and Sanson-ca. lefi, it is still known. The antiquities noted by them are ruins in general, a pillar, and a defaced infcription. It is now quite forsaken.
• The whole space within the walls, of which almost the en.' tire circuit remains standing, and in some parts several feet high, is strewed over with rubbish or scattered fragments of marble edifices. The ruined churches are monuments of the piety of its more modern inhabitants; as the veftiges of a theatre, of a stadium, and more particularly the splendid heap in plate I. are of the taste and magnificence of its more flourishing poffeffors, The Acropolis was on a flat above the precipice,'
The following observations are not only new, but highly in. teresting to the study of antiquity.
• In the article of Teos it is remarked, that Xerxes de. ftroyed all the temples in Ionia, except at Ephesus. How soon the Prienéans after that fatal æra began to rebuild this. and what progress they had made before Alexander's time, or whether it still lay in ruins when he entered upon his expedition, is uncertain. But this mighty conqueror, who regarded Afia as his patrimony, and with this idea had prohi. bited the pillage on his first landing, was as studious to adorn, as the flying Persian had been ready to deface it, not only founding new cities, but restoring the pristine splendor of the old, and re-erecting the temples which the other had thrown down, extending his pious care even to the devastation made at Babylon. Priene also mared his favour, as is evinced by the following valuable record, happily preserved to us by a ftone, which belonged to one of the antæ, now lying at the east end of the heap, in large characters most beautifully formed and cut.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥ Σ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ
TO MINERVA CIVIC A.
and from the degrees of magnitude in the letter, it may be conjectured, a regard was had to perspective, the greater being higher and more remote, the smaller nearer to the eye ; fo that, at the proper point of view for reading, all might appear nearly of the same proportior.. Many of these stones were much too ponderous to be turned up, or moved aside, by any strength or power we could apply; which is the more to be
regretted, as the legends of several are perfectly uninjured. - We carefully copied those portions to which we could gain access ; but these, as not relating to the history of the temple are reserved for publication in our collection of inscriptions."
The editors in the introduction to the third and last division of their work remark, that of twenty-five considerable theatres, which they saw in Asia-Minor, there is not one built entirely upon a level piece of ground. We are here presented with a very curious view from Miletus towards the sea, with an explanation.—Next follows an account of the temple of the Branchidæ, or, as it was afterwards called, Apollo Didymæus.
" The appellation Branchidæ, was derived from a very noted family so called, which continued in possession of the priesthood until the time of Xerxes, deducing its pedigree from the real or reputed founder and original proprietor, Branchus. Several of these sacred tribes flourished in Greece, and intermixed, as this did, fable with their genealogy, raising their progenitor, to conciliate a greater respect from the people, far above the level of common humanity. The story told by the Branchidæ is indeed sufficiently ridiculous; but if the repetition need an apology, it may be urged that one equally extravagant is the subject of a noble ode in Pindar, written to commemorate the antiquity and rerown of the prophetic family at Olympia, the once celebrated lamidæ. It is related by Varro as tollows.
• One Olus, the tenth in descent from Apollo, after dining on the shore, renewed his journey, leaving behind his son Simerus. The youth, thus forgotten, was received by one Patron, who let him to attend the goats, in company with his own two fons. These on a time catching a swan, and a dilpute arising which Tould present it to their father, began to fight, covering the bird with a garment, which, when mutually tired, they removed, and discovered beneath it a woman. They were astonished, and would have fled, but she recalled them, and directed that Patron should prefer Simerus to either. Accordingly, on hearing the tale, Patron caressed him with uncommon affection, and bestowed on him his daughter in marriage. She, during her pregnancy, beheld in a dream the dun palling down her throat, and through her body. Hence the infanc was named Branchus, (á Bpcy , the throar.)
Tonian Antiquide was embraced ruddenly
He, after kissing Apollo in the woods, was embraced by hirti, received a crown and wand, began to prophesy, and suddenly disappeared. The temple called the Branchiadon was erected to him, with other temples in honour of Apollo Philesius, and called Philesia, either from the kiss of Branchus, or the contest of the boys.'
We are next entertained with an account of Branchus, who was a kind of a substitute of Apollo, and who was succeeded in his office by Evangelus, or the Good Messenger, (being so named by Branchus) who was the founder of the Milesian race; an anecdote, which we will venture to say, must be very agreeable to the true Milesians of a neighbouring island. This same Branchus, however, seems to have been no better than a Threwd cunning impostor, who had studied his trade to great perfection at Delphi, and other oracular temples of Apollo. The following is, perhaps, the best account that has appeared in the English language of this oracular legerdemain, and is. founded upon the most unexceptionable evidences quoted by the editors in the margin, but omitted here for brevity. "The mode of consultation instituted here, (viz. to oracular temples of Apollo,) was attended, besides expence, with much cere. mony and delay; the forınar adopted to give solemnity, the latter contrived to gain time for consideration, and to prepare the answer. The prophetess indeed appears to have sustained a very unpleasant character in the farce, if, with her bathing, The really fasted, as was asserted, for three entire days. At length, the previous rites being ended, the, bearing the wand given by the god, was believed to be filled with divine light; foretold futurity, fitting on the axle of a wheel; or received the deity, while enveloped in the steam arising from the fountain ; or on dipping her feet, or a certain hem of her garment, into the water. Possessed and solaced by this inward light, The tarried a long while in the sanctuary. The expecting vo. tary propounded the question to be resolved, and the god was feigned to vouchsafe utterance through the organs of the in. flated female.
• Apollo, both at Branchidæ and Delphi, displayed his prescience verbally. The talent of extemporary versification was fupposed to be derived from him, and the Pythia for many ages gave her refponfes in verse ; but profane jelters affirming that of all poets the god of poesy was the most wretched, the consulted his credit by condescencing to use profe ; and these replies were converted into metre by bards serving in the temple. From the specimens yet extant, we may safely pronounce the genius of the god to have been as contemptible in Asia as in Greece, disgracing in both the heroic measure, che chief ve
hicle of his predictions : and there likewise he seems to have retreated behind a substitute ; for, in an inscription relating to this temple, we find the prophet and poet recorded as distinct persons.'
The rest of this publication is full of the like curious accounts of those oracles from antient history, and may be deemed a most valuable repository of that literature, far more satisfactory than any thing to be met with in Van Dale, or other modern writers ; but, for the reason already mentioned, we must omit particulars.
After what has been said, we can add nothing to our account of this excellent work, but that we are impatient for the publication of the gentlemen's subsequent labours.
VIII. Strictures on Agriculture. Wherein a Discovery of the Physical
Cause of Vegetation, of the Food of Plants, and the Rudiments of
Tillage, is attempted. By John Dove. 8vo. Pr. Is. Bladon. · THIS author is one of those philosophers who would derive
all our knowledge of the operations of nature from the writings of Moses and the prophets. According to him, no person ought to pretend to any skill in agriculture who is not an adept in the Hebrew language.
• It is by the labour of the hands, says he, and the simple operations of nature, the earth is rendered permanently fertile, not by composts and stinking dung. See Genesis xxvii. 27, 28. I shall only observe 117 is the root of the word here rendered small ; its idiom is to respire, dilate, refrigerate or refresh: hence spirit, wind, &c. It is the inftrument of compression to every thing, and principality of vegetative motion to plants, and respiration to animals. From 117 comes 1717 vapor, odor, that which the spirit carries to the nostrils, and gives the sen. sation of smell. It is applied, Job xiv, 28. to the fine corpuscles of vegetable matter contained in water as their vehicle, which the action of the 1777 fpirit with the light carries up into feed or vegetables, for its formation and auginentation. By means of the reek of water, it, viz. the tree will germinate. In Dan. iii. 27. the reek of fire had not left its mark or testimony upon them. Our word, reek, comes from hence, which we apply to the vapor or steem which the expanfion of the spirit and light in a joint action raises from the abyss, hangs in the air, and is not carried high enough, thinned and dispersed. This word in scripture, is oftener applied to vegetation than to any thing else, and when understood, gives a stronger idea of it than we can obtain by ten thousand ex.