Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

. (page 119 of 153)
Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 119 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

stahtine. Nearly every one of the authors who have been named was a preacher or
sacred orator. The great business of the Apostles was to address their fellow-men on
the sublime truths ofl-eligion and the momentous interests of eternity. The apostolical
Fathers were also chiefly employed in the same duty. The other writers mentioned
were pabhc rehgious teachers. Yet of the actual addresses of so many speakers, we
have scarcely any full and fair specimens, until we reach Origen. Their other writ-
ings, however, afford us some aid in judging of their oratory. The apostles imhated
the simple and powerful manner of the Redeemer himself, who spake as never man
spake. They practiced an easy, artless, moving eloquence, warm-hearted and pungent,
which was astonishingly efficacious to convince and to reform. The apostohcal Fa-
tliers and their contemporaries generally followed the same natural, unstudied, unosten-
tatious method of speaking. But an unfortunate change in taste soon made its ap-
pearance. The writings of the Platonizing Fathers, of whom Justin may be taken as
a representative, furnish plain evidence that in their public discourses they indulged to
a melancholy extent in feeble reasonings and frivolous allegories, in erroneous and even
puerile and ridiculous applications of Scripture. The oratory of Justin was strikingly
marked by these faults, but was nevertheless flowing and persuasive in its character.

On the preaching of the first centuries, see Bemh. Eschenburg, Versuch einer Geschichte der Offentlichen Religionsvortrige in
der griech. und lat. Kirche. Jen. 1785. 8. — M. G, Haruch, Abbildung der Predigten im ersten Christenthum. Frankf. 1725. 3.

§ 291. The principal genuine homiletical remains of the period under notice are from
the hand of Origen, wlio has already been mentioned as a writer of extensive acquire-
ments and extraordinary abilities. The homilies of Origen exhibit as one of their most
prominent characteristics the disposition for allegory and mystery, for which he was so
much distinguished as an interpreter of Scripture. Interpretation or exposition still
continued to be the essence of preaching. The speaker proceeded from clause to
clause of the passage before him, offering miscellaneous observations and reflections
as he advanced. This was the manner of Origen. His explanations were more full
and diffuse than those of earlier speakers, with more of studied oratory and a freer use
of human erudition. He had prepared himself for the highest duties of a sacred orator
by cultivating a thorough acquaintance with the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, with
the languages important to a bibhcal interpreter, and with the hterature, philosophy,
and arts, both of the Greeks and Romans. He possessed less ardor of rehgious feeling
than some others of the same age, but maintained a character of uncommon courage,,
independence, and decision, so as to be entitled to the name which was sometimes applied
to him, the man of adamant {ifaixavTivoi). Had he not been misguided by a lively and
fertile imagination, he would have secured a much higher place in the annals of sacred

Many of the homilies of Onjen are lost ; and of those extant a considerable number are only in the Latin translations ncade by
flvfinus or Jerome; those in Greek are chiefly included under his Exegetica or Commaitaria, and the Philocalia, a. collection of
ertracts from his works made by Basil the Great.— Cirtrftc, (as cited k 293) i. 162-166.

The best edition of Ori^en'i works has been named, § 2S9.— For a good account of Origen, see MurdocH't Mosheim, vol. i. p. 20^


—Homilies from Ori^m, Athanasius, and others, are given in the Hnmiliarium Patritticum by Ehdmoaldl tf Fogt, commenced
lfe9-33. pts. i.-iv. S. "a fine work with notes historical and critical." S.

§ 292. Although confined by our plan and limits to the Christian writers before the
death of Constantine, we cannot forbear while speaking of the early sacred eloquence,
to mention the names of two or three, who lived at the close of the 4th century, and
who were highly distinguished as scholars and orators. We refer especially to Gre-
gory Naziarizen, Basil the Great, and Chrysoslom.

The published works of Gregory consist of about 50 orations or sermons, with a
large number of epistles and small poems. As an orator he exhibits a fertile imagina-
tion united with much strength and grandeur, but is charged with indulging in false
ornament and as deficient in method. — Basil was a contemporary, fellow-student, and
intimate friend of Gregory. He was a pupil of the rhetorician Libanius (cf. ^ 128) at
Constantinople. His education was completed at Athens, where Gregory and Julian
the Apostate were his companions in study. Among his numerous works are nearly a
hundred discourses and homilies. He is esteemed a fine scholar, an elegant writer,
and a good reasoner. — But both Gregory and Basil were wholly surpassed in elo-
quence by John Chrysostom, who was born at Antioch, A. D. 354, and was in early
hfe distinguished for his genius, Uterary acquirements, and piety, and in the year 398
was made patriarch of Constantinople, His works include above 300 discourses and
orations, and above 600 homilies, besides numerous letters and treatises. " For over-
powering popular eloquence, Chrysostom had no equal among the fathers. His dis-
courses show an inexhaustible richness of thought and illustration, of vivid conception,
and striking imagery. His style is elevated, yet natural and clear. He transfuses his
own glowing thoughts and emotions into all his hearers, seemingly without efTort, and
without the power of resistance. Yet he is sometimes too florid, he uses some false
ornaments, he accumulates metaphors, and carries both his views and his figures too
far." (.Murdoch.)

1. The best edition of Gregory o/ Kazianzua is that of Billius, Gr. & Laf. Par. 1630. 2 vols. fol. A better edition com
Bienced by the Benedictines ; yet only 1st vol. executed, by Clemencet, Gr. & Lat. Par. 1771. fol. A 2d vol. (said to have been
executed by Clemencet, and lately discovered) was published in IS3S. — UUmann, Gregorius von Nazianz. Darnist. 1S23. 8. a good
biography.— B a s i 1, that of J. Gamier, Gr. & Lat. Par. 1721-30. 3 vols, fol— Didot (print.). Par. 1839.— C hrysostom.
iJontfaiccim, Gr. & Lat. Par. 1718-3S. 13 vols. fol. reprinted, Ven. 1756. Also Par. 1834-37. 13 vols, royal Svo. a beautiful
work.— F. FieU, Chrys. Homiliae in Matthsum. Lond. 1839. 3 vols. 8.— Ce Sacerdotio, by ,3. E. Meo. Lips. 1834. S.— Meander's
Life of Chrysostom (2d ed. Lpz. 1832, 2 vols.), transl. into English. Lond. 1838.— See a very interesting account of these orator* in
the Essay De I'Eloqueiice Chrelienne dans It quatrieme Siecle, by VtUemain in his NcuveaiLX Melanges, &c. Par. 1827. 8.

2. There have been English Translations of some portions of these authors. H. S. Boyd, Select passages from Gregory Na-
zianzen, St. Basil, and St. ChrysostCiD. Lond. 1810. 8. H. S. Boyd, Select Poems of Synesius, and Gregory Nazianzen. Lond.
I8I4. 12. "The Poems of Gregory, though principally the productions of his last years, betray nothing of the decay of either in-
tellect or imagination; they abound with the fire of genius, and the vigor of youth ; without the aid of pagan machinery, the ima-
gery is bold, the expressions strong, and the thoughts frequently mounting to the sublime " — W. Barker, St. Basil the Great, his
Exhortations to his kinsmen to the Studie of the Scriptures. Lond. 1557. 8. — " An Honielye of Basilius Magnus, howe young men
oughte to reade Pnetes and Oratours. Translated out of the Greke. Anno MDLVII. 8vo. Lond. J. Cawnod." (The original
Greek of this treatise or discourse (cf. P. IV. § 83.) was published by /. Potter, with the Lat. version of Groiius. Oxf. 1694. 8.
republ. by Mai. Frankf. 1714. 4.— A good edition of the text alone is F. G. Slurz. Gera, 1791. 8.)—/. Evelyn, C h r y s o s-
t o m 's Golden Book on the Education of Children. Lond. 1559. 12. H. HoUier, Chrysostom on the Priesthood. Lond. 1728. 8.
The same treatise translated also by /. Bunce. Lond. 1759. 8. and recently by H. M. Mason (Rector of St John's church, Fayette,
vilie, N. C.) Phil. 1826.

§ 293. For brief but very satisfactory notices of all the principal early Christian authors, or Fathers of the Church, both Greek
and Latin, we refer to the notes of Dr. Murdodi's Translation of Mosheim — For an analysis of their works ; Adam Clarke, Sue
cession of Sacred Literature in a chronological arrangenieut, &c. to A. D. 1300. Lond. 1830-32. 2 vols. 8. a convenient work. — The
following works are ranked among the authorities on this subject.—/. G. n'alchii Bibliolheca Patrislica. Jen. 1770. 8. As
edited by/. L. Danz, Jen. 1^31. it is one of the best works.— ff^ Cave, Scriptor. Eccles. Historia Literaria. Oxf. 1740-3

2 vols. fol. good. L. E. Du Pin, Nouv. Bibliotheque des Auteurs Eccles. Par. 1693-1703. 14 vols. 4.~Ant. Gallajidtis,

Bibliolh. Gr. and Lat. vet. Patr. Ven. 1778. in fol. " this is the most critical collection of the Greek and Latin Fathers-" — VAhl*
Tricalet, Bibliotheque Portative des Peres de I'Eglise, qui renferme I'histoire abregee de ieurs vies, I'analyse de leurs principaux
pcrits. etc Par. 1758-62. 9 vols 8. new ed. 1787. 8 vols. 8.— A work more extensive, Bibliotheque Choisie des Peres de I'Eglise,
ty GuiHon. was commenced 1831. to consist of 20 vols. 8. "elegant and well spoken of."— A collection entitled Biblioth.
Sacra Patr. Grxcorum, containing the Greek text only, was commenced by Richter. Lips. 1826. in I2mo.— Many cf the Fathers
mentioned in the preceding glance, with the works of later writers, are found in De la Bigne, Maxima Biblioth. Vet. Patr. (ed. by
Despont). Lugd. 1677. 27 vols. fol. "this is the fullest collection, yet it does not contain the original text of the Greek Fr.thers,
but only a Latin version."— C. Fr. Rdssler, Biblioth. der KirchenViler, in Ueberselzungen und Auszflgen. Lpz. 1776-83. 5 vols. 8.
—A new German translation by Catholics is in progress, in ihe Sdmmtliche IVerhe der Kirchen-l^dter, tic. Kempt. 1830-36.

vol. i.-i. 8. There is a Collection of the Latin Fathers, by OberthUr, Opera Patrum Latinorum, in 13 vols. 8 ; not, however

complete. His collection of the Greek Fathers is cited above, § 287.— The Library of the Fathers, Oxf. 1838-40. 4 vols. 8. !S t
•eries of Engliah Translations by members of the Church of England, designed to be continued. CL Christian Rev. Dec. 1S4C.




% 294 u. Next to the Greeks, the Romans deserve an honorable rank in the literary
history of antiquity. But in the first periods of their republic they were too much en-
grossed by war, and the prevaiUng taste was too much for conquest and for the ex-
tension of their power to allow any considerable leisure or patronage to the arts of
peace. Subsequently, however, when security and opulence were enjoyed, and the
Romans had by their very conquests been led to a knowledge of the arts and sciences
existing in the conquered countries ; when, especially, they began to have intercourse
with the Greeks, and became acquainted whh the productions of Grecian taste and art
(cf. P. IV. % 119) ; then they themselves imbibed a love for letters and the sciences,
and cultivated their language with greater care ; then also they imitated the best writers
of Greece with peculiar talents and happy success. Accordingly we find in their
literature master-productions of eloquence, poetry, history, and philosophy. The most
flourishing period of Roman literature and art was in the last ages of the republic and
the reigns of the first emperors, especially that of Augustus. Afterwards (cf. P. IV.
§ 121, § 128), under the withering influence of tyranny, luxury, and moral corruption,
there was a gradual and complete decline of letters.

VAbbe le Maine d'Orgival, Considerations sur I'origine et lea progres des belles-lettres chez les Romains et les causes de leur d^
cadence, {id ed.) Amst. 1750. 8. Transl. into Germ, by J. C. Stockhaicsen. Han. 1755. S.—C. Meiners, Geschichte, &c., as cited
P. rV. § 128.— 7. H. Eberhardt, I'eber den Zustand derschOnea Wissenschaften bei den ROmern ; aus dem Schwedischen tnit Zu
Bllzen. Altona, 1801. 8. This work, siy's Dunlop, "contains in its original form only a superficial sketch of the subject; but
valuable notes and corrections accompany the German translation."

§ 295 u. From these remarks it is obvious that the study of the Roman language
and authors must be attended with many advantages. An acquaintance with both is
the more indispensable to the learned of every class, because the Latin language has
been so extensively employed as a general medium of written communication in the
republic of letters.

To the English and American scholar, the study of this language is highly important on account of the great number of English
words derived from it. Cf. § 29S. 2.— On the study of the Classics in general, cf. P. IV. ^ 29.

§ 296 u. Respecting the origin and progress of the Latin language, we have already
(P. IV. '^i 114) mentioned what is most important. — Four ages have been commonly
assigned to it ; these are also considered as periods of Roman literature, and in reference
to their relative character and value are denominated from four metals. But in this
assignment, the period of the rise and formation of the language is not included. The
golden age continued from the second Punic war to the death of Augustus ; the silver,
from the death of Augustus to the death of Trajan ; the brazen, from the death of
Trajan to the destruction of Rome by the Goths (A. D. 410) ; the iron, from this event,
during the whole of the middle ages, to the restoration of letters. — 'Others divide the
history of this language into periods, which are denominated, according to an analogy
in human life, the infancy, the youth, the manhood, and the old age of the Roman lan-
guage and Hterature.

The last-mentioned is the division made by Funccius, in his History of the Roman Language

and Literature (as cited i 299. 6). The same is followed by Harles.—Dunlop (cited $ 299. 8)sug-

PRSts a division into three periods : the age before Augustus ; the age marked by his name ; and

the age after him, extending to the destruction of Rome. But we shall adopt another division,

hich is suggested by SckoU (cited } 299. 8), and appears more simple and e.xact (cf $ 301),

To the references given P. IV. § 114, § 128, we add the following; 0. Borrichius, Cogitationes de variis Lat. Ling, .^tatibus.
Hafn. 1675. 4.— J. Facciolati, De ortu, inleritu, et instauralione Ling. Lat. in his Oratories X de Optimia Studiis. Lips. 1725. 8.
—I. F. NoUenius, Quatuor Ling. L. .States, in his Lexicon Ling. L. Antibarharum. Berol. 1780. 2 vols. 8.-7. G. Walch, Historia
Critica Ling. Latinse, 3d ed. Lips. 1761. 8.—/. Oberlin, De Ling. L. medii aevi mira barb«ne. Argent. 1771. 4.

% 297. The true pronunciation of the Latin, Uke that of the Greek (cf. "S 5), cannot
be determined with certainty. There is no dispute among scholars repecting the prin-
ciples which are to guide us in locating the accent ; i. e. in deciding on which syllable
to place the stress in enunciating any word.

The following rule is adopted. In all words of only two syllables, place the stress always on
the first syllable or pennltima ; in all words of more than two syllablfs. place the stress on the
penultima when the penuUima is Ions in quantity, but on the antepenultima when the penultima
is short in quantity. This rule is thought to be supported by the authority of Quintilian. " Nam-
que in omni voce, acuta intra numerum trium syllabarum continelur, sive has sint in verbo solae^



sive ultimo; et in his aut prnxima extremae, aut ab ea tenia. Trium pnrro, de quibus loquor,
media longa aut acuta aut flexa erit ; eodem loco brevis, utique gravem habebit soiium, ideoque
positam ante se, id est ab ultima tertiam, acuet. Est autem in onmi voce utique acuta, sed nun-
quam plus una; nee ultima unquani; ideoque in dissyilabis prior." Instit. Orat. L. i. c. 5.

But with reference to the sound of the letters, the vowels especially, there is not
such agreement. Many think it proper to adopt what are called the Continental
sounds of the vowels, while others choose to follow English analogy. The latter is
the custom at most of the seminaries in the U. States, particularly the northern.

It is worthy of remark that the FreDchman, German, and Italian, in pronouncing Latin, each yields to the analogies of his native
tongue. Each of them may condemn the other, while each commits the same error, or rather follows in truth the same general
rule. Erasmus says he was present at a levee of one of the German princes, where most of the European ambassadors were pre-
sent ; and it was agreed that the conversation should be carried on in Latin. It was so ; but you would have thought, adds he, that
all Babelhad come together.—Cf. C. MiddUton, De Latinanim lilerarum pronunciatione, in his Miscellaneous Worki. Lend. 1755.
5 vols. 8. (vol. 4th). See Andrews and Stoddard, Lat. Grammar, under Orthoepy.

§ 298. It is important that the study of this langttage as well as the Greek should be
commenced in early life. In the introduction to the History of Greek Literature, we
offered (§ 6) some remarks on the methods of teaching the languages. We will add
here a few particulars.

1. Besides the various exercises before alluded to (cf. § 6. 4), that of conversation
may be mentioned as a very valuable aid in acquiring famiharity with Latin or any
other foreign language. It may in fact be a question, whether the inconvenience of the
old regulation, which required the intercourse between ptipil and teacher in the higher
seminaries to be carried on in Latin, was not more than compensated by the know-
ledge of the language thereby acquired. Certain it is, that under our present systems
of study, languages are learned as it were by the eye rather than the ear ; and it often
happens, that a scholar would be quite puzzled by a sentence spoken to him, when he
could readily translate the same sentence pre.sented to his eye in a xi^rittin iorm. The
difficulty is, partly at least, that he has associated the meaning of the foreign word with
its visible form rather than its sound. Frequent conversation would remove this,
besides contributing in other ways to familiarity with the language.— A very useful
exercise, preparatory for more regular conversation, is to give orally in Latin (and the
same of course may be done in the case of any other language which one wishes to
learn) the name of each object that is noticed in a room, a walk, ride, or visit to a
place of resort, a store, a shop, or the like. This exercise is particularly calculated to
please youthful beginners, and might be practiced by several students in company,
either with or without a teacher.

Some aid in exercises of this kind may be derived from Vocabularies, in which the names of things belonging to the same class,
or of subjects related to each other, are brought together. The London Vocabulary, for the Latin, and Biward's Vocalulary, for
the Greek, are little works of this sort, of considerable merit.— Cf. Latin Phrase Book. Bost. 1837. 18mo. pp. 126.

2. Another amusing and useful exercise, in studying the Latin and Greek in parti-
cular, is to trace terms in our own language back to the Latin or Greek originals, from

which they were derived. It is also specially serviceable, in acquiring the mastery

of a language, to examine into the analogies estabhshed in it in the formation of deri-
vative words from their primitives, and of compounds from their simple constituents.

Special exercises for these objects may be devised by the teacher, besides directing the student's attention to them in connection
with particular words occurring in the daily lesions. — A very good introduction to etymological studies is furnished by the follow.
ing small works. — The Stxidenfi Manual, being an etymological and explanatory vocabulary of words derived from the Greek,
by R. H. Black, LL. D. Lond. 1834. 18. and the Sequel to the StiidenVs Manual, an etymolog. and explan. Dictionary of words
derived from the Latin, by the same author. — See also Oswaldh Etymological Dictionary of the English language, by /. M.
Keagy. Phil. 1S36. 12.

3. Some valuable remarks upon a Course of Latin Studies will be found in the .Sm. Quart. Rev.
vol. vi. p. 303.— See also T. F. Beynalz, Versuch eines Scliulstudien-Plans. (4ter Absch. von Er-
lernung der lat. Sprache.) Lpz. 1794. 8.

4. The following extract contains an account of the system of instruction in the Boston Latin School. It is from a. pamphlet,
which was kindly furnished to the writer by Mr, C. K. Dillaway, the present Principal (1S36), and which contains an interesting
account of the origin and history of that School.

" The fcholars are distributed into four separate apartments, under the care of the same number of Instructors, vii. a Principal,

or head-master, a sub-master, and two assistants. When a class has entered, the boys commence the Latin Grammar all together,

under the eye of the principal ; where they continue until he has become in some degree acquainted with their individual charac-
ters and capacities. As they receive credit-mnrks of 5, 4, 3, 1, or 0, at each recitation, and as these are added up at the end of every
month, and the rank of each boy ascertained, those boys will naturally rise to the upper part of the class who are most industrious,
or who learn with the greatest facili y. After a time, a division of from twelve to fifteen boys is taken off from the upper end ol
(he class ; after a few days more, another division is in like manner taken off; and so on, till the whole class is separated into divi-
sions of equal number ; it having been found that from twelve to fifteen is the most convenient number to drill together. In this

way boys of like capacities are put together, and the evil of having some unable to learn the lesson which others get in half the time
allowed, is in some measure obviated. The cl.iss, thus arranged for the year, is distributed among the assistant teachers, a division
to each.— When this distribution is made, the boys continue for the year in the apartment /n which they are first placed, unless some
particular reason should exist for changing them ; or when the divisions study Geography or Mathematics with the instructor to
whom these branches are comrnitted. — This method of studying each branch separately, is adopted throughout the school. The
same individuals do not study Latin one part of the day and Greek the other, but each for a week at a time. In this way the aid of
nxcitement from the continuity of a subject is secured, and a much more complete view of ihe whole obtained, than when studied iu
oetached oortions. and the grammar of neither language permitted to go out of mind. For it should ' be remembered, that i the



grammar be the first book put into the learner's hands, it should also be the last to leave them.'— At convenient times the boys in each
apartment undergo a lhorou;;h examination in the studies they have been over. If any class, or any individuals, do not pass a satis-
factory examiiiition, Ihey are put back, and made to go over the portion of studies in vvhich they are deficient, till they do pass a
satisfaclcry examination.

" Boys commence with Adam's Latin Grammar, in learning vrhich they are required to commit to memory much that they do
not understand at the time, as an exercise of memory, and to accustom them to labor. There are some objections to this, it is true,
hut il has been found extremely difficult to make boys commit thoroughly to memory at a subsequent period, what they have been
allowed to pass over in first learning the grammar. It takes from six to eight months for a boy to commit to memory all that is
required in Adam's Grammar ; but those who do master the grammar completely, seldom find any difiiculty afterwards in commit-
ting to memory whatever may be required of them.— The learned Vicesimus Knox thinks it may be well to relieve boys a little
while studying grammar, ' for,' says he, 'after they have studied Latin Grammar a year closely, they are apt to become weary.' —
■VVhen hoys can write Latin prose grammatically, they are required to make notiscnse vnsts, or to put »vords into verses with regard

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 119 of 153)