Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

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

. (page 63 of 153)
Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 63 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ried before the deceased at funerals, as Dr. .^dam (Rom. Ant.) stales, but actors were employed
to personate the individual ancestors, and these busts or images formed a part of the disguise."
On this topic, however, consult Polybius, vi. 51, 52. — Cicero, pro Mil. 13 — Dion Cassitis, Ivi. 134.
— Pliny, Hist. Nat. xx.w. 2. — Suetonius, Vesp. 19.

4. "As to the mourning habits, it has been already observed, that the senators some-
times on these occasions went attired like knights, the magistrates hke senators, &c.,
and that the common wear for mourners was black. But we may further remark, that
though this was the ordinary color to express their grief, used alike by both sexes; yet
after the estabhshrnent of the empire when abundance of party colors came in fashion,
the old primitive white grew so much into contempt, that at last it became proper to
the women for their mourning clothes. — The matter of fact is evident from the autho-
rity of Plutarch, who states this as the subject of one of his problems [or Questions,
cf.P. V. ^ 249. 2] , and gives several reasons for the practice." Kennetl.

§ 341. The place of burning, as also of interring, was without the city. In
case of the former, the procession finds the funeral pile {rogus, pyra) already
prepared, its height being in proportion to the rank and wealth of the deceased.
Upon this they lay the corpse, having sprinkled it over with spices or anointed
it with oil ; it is then kindled with a torch by the nearest relatives, who do il
with averted face {aversi). Weapons, garments, and other articles possessed
by the deceased, were thrown upon the pile: also various things which were
presented as offerings to the dead {munera, dona). When the whole was con-
sumed, the embers were quenched with wine; then followed the collecting of
the bones (^ossilegium) ; these were placed in an urn {feralis urna) of clay, stone,
or metals, along with some of the ashes, also spices and perfumes, and some-
times a small phial of tears {lachrymse) ; and the urn was solemnly deposited
in the earth {tumulus) or a tomb (sepulchrum, canditorium, cinerarium).

1 u. Corpses that were not to be burned, but merely interred, which was altogether
the most coinmon practice among the Romans, were placed in a marble coffin called
area or sarcophagus. — The erection of monuinents to the dead (monumenta) was a very
common, almost universal practice. They were not always raised over the spot of

2. Over the grave of one buried in the ground, it was customary to raise at least a
mound of earth (tumulus). When a monumental structure was erected, it usually
received an inscription (titulus, epitaphium) with the name of the deceased, and some-
thing of his life and character. In the sepulchral monument, part of which is given in
our Plate XXXVI. the square pannel, seen between the representations of the Dii
Manes, was occupied by an inscription. Sometimes a bust of the deceased was at-
tached to the monument. Columns or pillars, particularly small npp?, for sepulchral
inscriptions, appear to have been common among the Romans, as well as the Greeks
(cf. '^ 187). Sometimes an inscription was put on the coffin, when the body was buried
in the earth ; and when the body was burned an inscription was placed on the urn con-
taining the bones ; the inscription usually began, as on the urns preserved in the British
Museum, with the letters D. M. or D. M. S., i. e. Diis Ma7iihus Sacrum. — Monuments
not on the spot of burial {tuinuli i?i.anes or ceiiotaphia) were erected among the Romans
for the same reasons as among the Greeks.

3. There were public and private places of burial. The public were commonly m



the Campus Martius or Campus Esquilinus, for great men, on whom the honor of such
a burial-place was conferred by vote of the senate. Those for the poor were without
the Esquiline gate, and called puficiilce. The private burial-places were usually in
gardens or fields near the highways; the sides of some of the roads leading to Rome
were occupied by tombs for the distance of miles from the gates of the city.

4. One of the streets discovered at Pompeii is called the street of the tombs. The family tomb
of Naevoleia Tyche, excavated here, may be considered a fair representation of such structures
amongthe Romans generally. "It consists of a square building, containing a small chamber, by
the side of which is a door giving admission to a small court surrounded by a high wall. The
entrance to the chamber is at the back. From the level of the outer wall there rise two steps,
supporting a marble cippus richly ornamented. Its front is occupied by a bas-relief and inscrip-
tion. — A sort of solid bench for the reception of urns runs round the funeral chamber, and seve-
ral niches for the same purpose are hollowed in the wall, called columbaria from their resemblance
to the holes of a pigeon-house. Some lamps were found here, and inavy iirvs, three of glass,
the rest of common earth. The glass urns were of large size, one of them fifteen inches in height
hy ten in diameter, and were protected by leaden cases. They contained burnt bones, and a
liquid which has been analyzed and found to consist of mingled water, wine, and oil. This
iiquiii, there can be little doubt, was the libation poured upon the ashes."— In 1780, the beautiful
aniique called the Sarcophagus of Scipio, preserved in the Museum Pio-Clementinum, was found
in a tomb near the Appian Way. It is of the stone callfd peperino or "lapis Jllhanus, a volcanic
production found near the lake of Albano." Visconti, in describing it, says, "est du peperin le
plus comi)act, et a douze palmes de long, sur si.x de haut et cinq de large." The inscription on it
is given under the head of Roman inscriptions ; see P. IV. $ 133. 2. A bust with a corona on the
Qead was found in the same tomb.

5. Common tombs are said to have been usually built under ground, and called
kypoecea. Such are those discovered at Voleterrag and other places in ancient Etruria.
Cf P. IV. ^ 173. 3. "Many of the hypogasa of Tarquinia, in F^truria, are similar to
those found in Egypt, containing a number of rooms and corridors branching out in
various directions; and when the rooms are of a large size, the roof is supported by
square pillars. The walls of many are coated with stucco and ornamented with paint-
ings, representing, sometimes the arrival of the soul in Hades, and the punishments in-
flicted on the guilty ; but, in general, mythological, heroic, ar^d civil subjects."

For an account of the discovery of various tombs in Etruria in 1829, see Cftfralier Kulner, in the Jinnali ddV Instituto di Cor-
retpondenza Archelogica. Rom. 1829. vol. Isl, p. 101. — Of. /. Millingen, as cited P. IV. § 173. 3, and other references there given.

6. Roman sepulchers have been found in England, containing urns with ashes and sarcophagi
with skeletons. (Stuart's Diet, of Architecture".) — A Roman burial-place was called, in tlie later
times, Ustrinum, or Ustrina, from the circumstance of burning the corpse. One of these burial-
places was discovered in 1821, at Littington ; many sepulchral vessels were collected, which are
paid to be preserved in the library of Clare Hall, at Cambridge.— In the parish of Ashdon, in
Essex county, are several artificial sepulchral mounds, known by the name of Bartlow Hills.
Many have supposed them to have been cast up after a battle with the Danes. They are eight
in number ; four larger ones in a line, and four smaller ones in a line in their front. The smaller
ones were opened in I83'2, and relics were found which seem clearly to prove them of Roman
origin. In one, was f lund a remarkable hrick sepukher or coffin, six feet and three ii:ches long,
two feet three and a half inches wide, and one foot and eleven inches high. There were, in this
trick coihn or chest, three glass vessels. One of them was a sort of urn, eleven and a half inches
high, and ten and a quarter inches in diameter, with a reeded handle ; it was nearly two-thirds
full of a clear pale yellow liquor, covering a deposit of burnt human bones; on the top of the
bones was seen lying a gold ring, which was found to be a signet-ring having a carnelian intaglio,
with the device of two bearded ears of corn. Afterwards, on examination of the contents of the
urn, a brass coin was found, very much corroded, bearing the head of the emperor Hadrian on
the obverse, and on the reverse a figure supposed to be that of Fortuna Redux. A representa-
tion of the brick coffin, with the vessels in it as they were found, is given in our Plate XVIH.
fig. h h. One of the larger mounds was opened in April, 1&35. An urn like the one above de
scribed, with bones, was found ; also other similar vessf Is, tw>j bronze strigiles, and other
articles. A bronze vase, with colored enamels, was among the most remarkable.

See p. IV. 5 !73. 2.—Mrchxologia (as cited P. IV. § 32. 5), vol. xxv. p. I. vol. xxvi. p. 300, 368, with engravicgs.

7. The phials, or small vessels, which are supposed to have received the fears of relatives shed
at funerals, have been found in great number, and of various forms. They are termed lachry-
matories (urncB lachrymales). The tears are said to have been kneaded and compounded with
odoriferous balsams. It has also been supposed that the vessels misht have contained merely a
preparation of fragrant essences, which were fiu'iiraiively called tears. The lachrymatories fijund
in the ancient tombs are sometimes of terra cottn, sometimes of alabaster (cf P. IV. $ 195. 5), fre-
quently o( gla^s (cf i 268. 4). Many of the latter material have been gathered from tlie cata-
combs in the island Milo, the ancient Melus, one of the Oyclades. Several forms of lachryma-
tories and easa unguentaria are given in our Plate XVIII. fig. a, and fig. d d.

See Mem. de VInstitut, Classe i'llist et LU. Anc. vol. vii. p. 92. sur vases lachrymatoires. On the vessels found at Milo,

8ee§ 186. I.

8. It has been mentioned (cf $ 187. 4) that the Christians under the pagan emperors of Rome
usually deposited their dead in subterranean excavations. "Among the monuments of Christian
antiquity, none are more singular than these abodes of the dead ; and one feels at a loss whether
most to admire their prodigious extent, the laborious indnslrv that provided them, or the inte-
resting recollections with which they are associated. Like 'the Moorish caves in Spain, they
were generally excavated at the base of a lonely hill, and the entrance was so carefully con-
cealed that no aperture appeared, and no traces were discernible, except by an experienced eye,
of the ground having been penetrated, and of the vast dungeons that had been hollowed out
underneath. . . . One was discovered about three miles from Rome so late as the end of the
aixteenth eeutury, the size and various apartments of which excited universal astonishiQent


Numbers still remain, bearing; the names of their respective founders, and affording by their
inscriptions and the monuments of antiquity fonnd in them, the most satisfactory proofs of their
having been used as hiding-places by the Christians." (Coleman's Christian Antiquities, p. 421.)

§ 342. A period of mourning was observed in memory of the deceased ; its
duration in each particular case was fixed by law ; in the case of widows it
continued ten months. In the time of the emperors, a general mourning {Indus
pubKcus) was appointed at their decease or that of their sons ; a thing previously
not practiced, except on occasions of great public calamity. — Immediately after
the funeral obsequies, it was also customary to slay the victims (called ivferise)
offered in sacrifice to the departed, and to connect therewith a solemn funeral
repast {silicernium).

"Among the tombs at Pompeii there is a funeral triclinium for the celebration of these feasts.
It is open to the sky, and the walls are ornamented by paintings of animals in the center of the
compartments, which have borders of flowers. The triclinium is made of stone with a pedestal
in the center to receive the table." A view of it from Maiois is given in Umith's Diet, of Anti-

1 u. When the deceased was of distinguished character, this repast or entertainment
was publicly given, and meat was sometimes distributed among the people (visceralio).
These funeral sacrifices were annually repeated at the graves or spot of interment. On
such occasions, pubUc games {ludi funebres) were appointed, especially gladiatorial

2. Gladiatorial shows probably had their origin, as has been observed (^ 235), in
funeral celebrations. And, although they were exhibited on many other occasions,
"yet the primitive custom of presenting them at the funerals of great men, all along
prevailed in the city and Roman provinces ; nor was it confined only to persons of
quality, but almost every rich man was honored with this solemnhy after his death ;
and this they very commonly provided for in their wills, defining the number of gladia-
tors as their due by long custom. Suetonius to this purpose tells us of a funeral, in
which the common people extorted money by force from the deceased person's heirs,
to be expended on this account." {Kennetl.)

3. A very vivid picture of the funeral sacrifices and games annually repeated at the graves of
the deceased is given by Virgil in the fifth book of the .(Eneid, where he describes the honors
rendered by ^neas to the manes of his father Anchises. He mentions particularly a contest in
rowing galleys, a foot-race, a boxing-match, a trial of skill in shooting arrows, and a mock eques-
trian battle (pugncB simulacra). — Cf. § 187.

$ 343 t. The greatest funeral solemnhy among the Romans was the deification {const-
cratio) of the emperors, something like the apotheosis of Grecian heroes. It took
place in the Campus Martius, where the image of the person to be deified was placed
upon a lofiy funeral pile. From this pile, whenever it was set on fire, an eagle, pre-
viously bound alive upon it, flew aloft in the air; which, according to the ideas of the
people, bore the soul to Olympus. The deified person then received the surname oi
appellation Divus. This solemnity was accompanied also with rehgious rites, public
games and banquets. The custom did not entirely cease under the first Christian em-.
perors. This ceremony was wholly distinct from the funeral. The true body waa
burned and the ashes buried in the usual manner and with a splendid show, before
these rites were performed with the image of wax.

The whole ceremony is well described by Herodian (cf. P. V. § 254), in the fourth book of his History — Cf. Mencken, Dispulati •
le Consecratione.— ScAaeji/Jin, Tractatus de Apotheosi, Argent. 1730.



39 Sea






I. — The origin of human knowledge, and its advancement into the form of
sciences and arts.

§ I. Man in his first state had the natural capacity for acquiring a great variety
of knowledge, by reason of those superior faculties which distinguished him
from irrational animals. But he had then no actual store of innate knowledge
and skill. Much less had he any comprehension of those rules and precepts,
which guide us in the arts and sciences, and which are the result of long
observation and mature reflection.

All that is known respecting the first state of man is contained in the account given
by IMoses respecting Adam and Eve, who were the first human pair, and were formed
by direct creation. This account gives httle information as to the degree or the nature
of their actual knowledge. Certain it is, however, that Adam was created a via7i ; he
was not created a child, infant, or embryo, and left to advance to manhood by the
gradual steps which are requisite, by what v/e call the laws of nature, in the formation
of every other man. It can be little else than a dispute about words to contend,
whether he had or had not innate ideas and actual knowledge before the exercises of
mind which were first occasioned by surrounding circumstances. For these exercises
of his mental powers, if truly the exercises of a man, and not of a child, must have
been such as, in all other cases but his own, could have arisen only after obtaining
previous ideas or actual knowledge to some extent ; and in fact, as plainly exhibited in
the account of Moses, they were such as, in other cases, presuppose a maturhy of
intellect. It seems an evident conclusion, therefore, that Adam either possessed by
creation the requisite knowledge, or was caused to put forth without it the same exer-
cises as if he had it. On either supposition (if any can adopt the latter) some degree
of the knowledge, which is now acquired gradually in the progress from infancy to
manhood, came at first directly from God. God implanted it in some way or other;
man did not acquire it by the gradual process which we now term natural. This
knowledge, skill, attainment, intellectual power, or whatever any may choose to call
it, was the original stock or germ from which every subsequent acquisition sprang.

Such a view of the original maturity of the first man by no means sfipposes Adam to
have possessed the extensive knowledge imagined in the fabulous tales of the Jewish
Rabbins, or in the descriptions of some theologians. It only represents him as a man
literally and truly, instead of a child ; as created at once a moral and intellectual man ;
instead of being formed a sort of animal in human shape, and left to grow into an intel-
ligent being under accidental influences.

See G. C. Knapp, Lectures on Chr. Theolojy, tr. by L. Woods, N. T. IS31, 2 vols. 8. B. I. P. ii. Art. B.—Bell. on the Hand, p.
no. Phil. 1836.— Cotoper's description of Adam, in the verses entitled Fa) diey OaA; given in .SiAin's British Poets, Phil. 1331. p. 96

§ 2. There was a gradual development of his faculties, through the impulse
of his wants, favored sometimes by accident, and aided by experience and
repeated efforts. Thus he acquired a multitude of ideas about himself and
the objects of nature around him, which were successfully enriched, corrected,
and engraved upon his memory. By degrees meditation led him from the
visible to the invisible, and from observing actual operations and appearancce
he proceeded to conjecture and contemplate secret causes and powers.



§ 3. By means of language the communication of knowledge became more
easy and rapid. Then this knowledge was no longer confined to the isolated
observations and partial experience of each individual observer. The ideas of
many were collected and combined. The amount of acquisition was increased
more and more, as men united themselves in social bonds, and as, in the
progress of population and civilization, there was a tendency to the same com-
mon aims, and modes of living, and mutual interests. (^See remarks under
§ 12. 1, 2.)

§ 4. The knowledge of the arts was acquired sooner than that of the sciences,
because the w^ants that gave them birth were more urgent, and the difficulty
of acquiring them was not so great, since they were chiefly the fruit of experi-
ence rather than of reflection. And among the arts themselves, the mechanical,
or those of common life, must, for the same reasons, have appeared first. It
was only at a late period when man began to think on the means of a nobler
destiny, and to feel a desire and relish for higher pleasures, that the fine arts
took their rise. Necessitatis inventa antiquiora sunt quam volupiatis. (Cicero.)

§ 5. We must not imagine the first notions concerning the arts to have con-
stituted any thing like a system reduced to a regular form and fixed principles.
With regard to the theory, there were at first only disconnected observations
and isolated maxims, the imperfect results of limited experience. As to the
practice, there was little but a mechanical routine, some process marked out
by chance or imperious necessity. The principal object was to secure the
satisfying of wants, the preservation of life, and the convenience of a social
state, which men sought to accomplish by reciprocal aid, and by communicating
to each other their experience and acquirements.

§ 6. Before the great catastrophe of the ftood, men had already acquired much
practical knowledge; such as the first elements of agriculture, architecture, and
the art of working metals; these arts were practiced, although in an imperfect
manner. But in that singular revolution of nature, which caused the destruc-
tion of nearly the whole human family, the greatest part of this knowledge
was lost.

Respecting the number of people existing on the earth before the flood, and the state
of art, science, and literature among them, nothing is known beyond mere conjecture.
The following remarks on the subject are from Shuchford^s Sacred and Profane His
tory Connected. " The number of persons in this first world must have been very
great ; if we think it uncertain, from the differences between the fiebrew and the Sep-
tuagint in this particular, at what time of life they might have their first children, let
us make the greatest allowance possible, and suppose that they had no children until
they were a hundred years old, and none after five hundred, yet still the increase of
this world must have been prodigious. There are several authors, who have formed
calculations of it, and they suppose, upon a moderate computation, that there were in
this world at least two millions of millions of souls. It would be very entertaining, if
we could have a view of the religion, politics, arts or sciences of this numerous peo-
ple." — After pursuing some hints respecting their rehgion, he adds, "we can only
guess at the progress they might make in literature or any of the arts. The enter-
prising genius of man began to exert itself very early in music, brass-work, iron- work,
in every artifice and science useful or entertaining ; and the undertakers were not Hmited
by a short life, they had time enough before them to carry things to perfection ; but
whatever their skill, learning, or industry performed, all remains or monuments of it
are long ago perished. We meet in several authors hints of some writings of Enoch,
and of pillars supposed to have been inscribed by Seth. The Epistle of St. Jude seems
to cite a passage from Enoch ; but the notion of Enoch's leaving any work behind him
has been so lutle credited, that some persons, not considering that there are many
things alluded to in the New Testament, which were perhaps never recorded in any
books, have gone too far, and imagined the Epistle of St. Jude to be spurious, for its
seeming to have a quotation from this figment. — There is a piece pretending to be this
work of Enoch, and Scaliger, in his annotations upon Eusebius's Chronicon, has given
us conpiderahle fragments, if not the whole of it. It was vastly admired by Tertuilian
and some other fathers ; but it has since thfiir time been proved to be the product of
some impostor, who made it, according to Scaliger, Vossius, Gale, and Kircher, some
time between the captivity and our Savior's birth. — As to Seth's pillars, Josephus gives
the folk wing account of them. ' That Seth and his descendants were persons of happy
tempers and lived in peace, em.nloying themselves in the study of astronomy, and in
other researcnes after useful knowledge ; that in order to preserve the knowledge they


had acquired, an'd to convey it to posterity, having heard from Adam of the Flood, and
of a destruction of the world by fire, which was to follow it, they made two pillars, the
one of stone, the other of brick, and inscribed their knowledge upon them, supposing
that one or the other of them might remain for the use of posterity. The stone pillar,
on which is inscribed, that there was one of brick made also, is still remaining in the
land of Seriad to this day.' Thus far Josephus ; but whether his account of this pillar
may be admitted, has been variously controverted ; we are now not only at a loss about
the pillar, but we cannot so much as find the place where it is said to have stood."

For further remarks on the pillars of Seth ; Shuckford, Sac and Prof. Hist Connected, vol. j. p. 55. Phil. 1824. 2 vols. S.—E,
Stillmsfltct, Originee Sacrs, B. i. c. 2. Lond. 1662. 4.— Respecting the book of Enoch, cf. P. V. § 279.— Oa the attainments of

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 63 of 153)