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Toward the close of the fourth century b. c, another

iDeath. of Socrates.
school of Greek philosophy was founded by Zeno of
Citiimi. The disciples of this school were named Stoics,
from the Stoa, or painted corridor on the north side of the

1 Vide Gasendi's works on Epicurus and Steinthal's article in
Ersch., Gruber.


TSE medieval WOBLt).

market-place at Athens, where its chief members were
delivering lectures on the problems of philosophy. But,
though it arose on Hellenic soil, the school is scarcely to be
considered a product of purely G-reek intellect, but rather as
the first-fruits of that inter-action between the West and
the East which followed the conquests of Alexander the
Grreat. Hardly a single stoic of eminence was a citizen of
a city in the heart of Greece, unless we except Aristo of
Chios, Cleanthes of Assus, and Panaetius of Rhodes. Nor
did Stoicism achieve its crowning triumph until it was

brought to Rome,
where the grave
earnestness of the
national character
appreciated its
doctrines. For two
centuries or more,
it was the creed,
if not the philoso-
phy, of all the best
of the Romans.

One of the grand-
est of the stoics
was Chrysippus,
who lived from 280
to 206 B. c. He
Aristotle. -was the author of

a great number of works, of which, however, but small
fragments have come down to us. He taught that, as the
sole aim of philosophy is to discover man's duty, ethics is
the only science that is of real importance in itself, while
physics (/'. e. the study of nature) is to be regarded merely
as an aid to this study. The explanation of the universe


adopted by Chrysippus is that of the stoics in general. The
real' is the corporal ; man and the world are all that ex-
ist. In each there is that which is inert, and also the
informing soul, or vivifying fire. The soul of the universe
is Grod, or destiny. Each human soul is part of the uni-
versal soul, in which the souls of all, except the wise, are
again swallowed up at death. The universe is perfect.
So-called physical evil there is none. Moral evil is the
necessary complement of good, and is turned by Provi-
dence into good. All is the result of perfect law. Per-
fect unanimity of life can only be achieved through the
unrestricted dominion of right reason, that is, by our rea-
son not only ruling unconditionally over our other energies
and circumstances, but also coinciding with the Universal
Reason — the reason which governs nature.-'

The achievements of the Grreeks in the field of phi-
losophy were equalled, if not excelled, by their productions
of a strictly scientific character. In fact, the Greeks must
be considered as the real originators of modern, as well as
of all science. They were the first to reduce a mass of
observed facts to a coherent, lucid, and well arranged system
of science. Their power of generalization and an innate
delicate perception of fitness kept them free from the wild
plays of imagination, in which, amongst others, the Indian
masters of science used to indulge. To the present day,
we have no better examples of scientific reasoning than
Euclid's works, or the writings of Archimedes and Ptol-
emy. They continue to form the foundation of our stud-
ies, and all modern trials to supersede them have proved

1 The sources of Stoicism are the seventh book of Diogenes' Laer-
tius, the philosophical books of Cicero [especially De Finibus] Stobaeus
and Plutarch. The most exhaustive modern treatise is that by Zeller.



The scientific achievements of the Greeks are chiefly
concerned with mathematics (arithmetic as well as geom-
etry) ; mechanics, astronomy, geography, and medicine.
They founded both elementary arithmetic and the most
important portions of plain and solid geometry. In me-
chanics, they laid the foundations of statics and hydro-
mechanics. In astronomy, they discovered some of the

Greek Art— Phidias in his Studio.
most important and fundamental laws of the heavenly
bodies. Pythagoras as well as Philolaus and Nicetas of
Syracuse taught, that the earth is a planet revolving
around the sun. Copernicus himself confesses his great
obligation to the Pythagoreans.^

1 lu the preface of his work: ''De Eevolutionihus Orbium Coeles-



Aristarchus of Samos, who left us a very valuable
treatise on tlie magnitudes and distances of the sun and,
moon, measured the diameter of the sun, and his results
do not differ very much from the calculations of modern
astronomers. Eratosthenes determined the magnitude of
the earth by a most ingenious method, and Hipparchus^
added the most essential discovery — the precession of the
equinoxes. Hipparchus, furthermore, discovered the ec-
centricity of the solar orbit. He accounted for the ap-
parent inequality of the sun's motion by supposing that
the earth is not placed exactly at the center of the circu-
lar orbit of the sun, and that, consequently, his distance
from the earth is subject to variations. When the sun is
at his greatest distance, he appears to move more slowly,
and when he approaches nearer, his motion becomes more
rapid. The attention of that
great astronomer was also di-
rected to the motion of the
moon, and, on this subject his
researches were attended with
equal success. From the com-
parison of a great number of
the most circumstantial and
accurate observation of eclipses '''
recorded by the Chaldeans, he
was enabled to determine the
period of the moon's revolu- Hippocrates

tion relatively to the stars, to the sun, to her nodes, and
to her apogee. These determinations are among the most
valuable results of ancient astronomy, since they corrobo-

1 Of the life of this, the greatest of all Greek astronomers, we know
but very little. Suidas, the lexicographer, placed him at from b. c. 160
to 146, but without naming these epochs as those of his birth and death.


rate one of the finest theoretical deductions — the accelera-
tion of the mean lunar motion — and thus furnish one of
the most delicate tests of the truth of Newton's law of
gravitation. Hipparchus, likewise, approximated to the
parallax of the moon. Besides he drew up a catalogue
o* ten hundred and eighty fixed stars.

In the 130th year of our era, Ptolemy, the prince
ci astronomers, as he was called, flourished in Alexan-
dria, a man who did inestimable service to astronomy.
Although his system of astronomy has been supplanted
by the system of Copernicus, his merits, nevertheless,
entitle him to the esteem and admiration of mankind.
•His works are a perfect treasury of astronomical dates

Fifty-oared Greek Boat.
and theories; and all civilized nations took their first
information on astronomy from the "Almagest" of Ptol-
emy.^ If we were to characterize the scientific labors of
the Grreeks in the shortest and still most effective manner,
we would sum up all points into the one remark, that the
Grreeks pre-eminently possessed the rare power of general-
ization, the ability to rise above the immediate wants of
practical life, and to soar to the abstract relation of ideas.
It is strange that the Grreeks did not invent the so-

1 The original Greek name of Ptolemy's work was Syntaxis or Me-
gas Astronomos (the Great Astronomer). To designate this valuable
work, the Arabs used the superlative "Megiste" (Greatest), to which
the Arabian article 'al' being prefixed, the hybrid name Almagest, by
which it is now universally known, is derived.



called Arabian (properly speaking Indian) way of denoting
numbers. They used the letters of the alphabet, as did
the Hebrews and other Semites, and this extremely clumsy
way of figuring formed a check on the free development of
Grrecian arithmetic. Some of the simplest problems of
arithmetic (especially those where fractions come into
play) become, in Greek letter-denotation, so complicated
that, amongst others, some of the arithmetical writings of
Archimedes, wherein he used letters instead of digits, are
almost unintelligible. The Grreeks had a decided bent for

Greek Art— Hector Taking Leave of Andromache-
geometrical investigations, in preference to arithmetical
ones. Their geometry remained a model presentation of
geometrical truths for twenty centuries, and, in all likeli-
hood, will never be surpassed.^

We are now to approach one of the most attractive

1 Modern Geometricians (especially Steiner, Plucker, Grassman), al-
most unanimously concede the greater perfection of forno. and system in
Greek geometry.



and most enduring features of Grecian civilization, one
wliich will never loose its sway over the ideas and thoughts
of civilized mankind. We refer to Grreek art. The
achievements of the Grreeks in this field of culture ap-
parently laid the foundations of all that is beautiful and
in keeping with harmony. Greek art continues to be
the study of the artists of all nations who spend years



If: 'fli


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liillii iiil lte!il!ii!!ili

Doric Column.

in obtaining a mastery of the rules laid down by the art-
ists of ancient Greece. The Greeks possessed charming
freedom of mind, and superabundance of inventive in-
genuity. Delicacy of preception, an aptitude for seizing
nice relationships, the sense of proportions are what en-
able an artist to construct a unity of forms, colors, sounds,
and incidents — in short, elements and details — so closely
united among themselves by inward dependencies, that
their combination brings to pass a result, surpassing in the
imaginary world the harmony of the actual world.

Let us take an object exposed to the eye, and that
which first attracts attention on entering a Greek city.


We refer to the temple.^ It stands usually on a height,
called the Acropolis, on a substructure of rocks, as at Syra-
cuse ; or on a small eminence which, as at Athens, was
the first place of refuge and the original site of the city.
It is visible from every point on the plain and from the
neighboring hills; vessels greet it at a distance on ap-
proaching the port. It stands out in a clear and bold
relief in the limpid atmosphere.^ It is not like our me-
dieval cathedrals, crowded and smothered by rows of
houses, secreted, half concealed, inaccessible to the eye
save in its details and its upper section. Its base, sides,
entire mass, and full proportions appear at a glance. We
are not obliged to divine the whole from a part.

In order that the impression may bo clear and dis-
tinct, they give it medium or small dimensions, that bear
no resemblance to the vast monuments of India, Baby-
lon, or Egypt; the storied and crowded palaces, the
masses of avenues, enclosures, halls, and colossi, so nu-
merous that the mind at last becomes disturbed and be-
wildered. On the contrary, the Greek temple is so simple
that a glance suffices to comprehend the whole. The ed-
ifice has nothing complicated, quaint, or elaborate about
it. It is a rectangle, bordered by a peristyle (range) of
columns ; three or four of the elementary forms of geom-
etry suffice for the whole. The crowning of the pediment,
the fluting of the pillars, the abacus of the capital — all
the accessories and all details — contribute yet more to
show in stronger relief the special character of each mem-
ber ; while the diversity of colors serves to mark and de-
fine their respective value.

1 In the description of the architectural beauties of a Greek temple,
we follow mainly the accurate and well expresssed statements in Taine :
"L'Art en Grece.'' 2 gee the restoration, accompanied with essays,
by Tetar, l^accard, Boitte, and Gamier.



In other respects, Grreek art was equally excellent.
A school of sculptors in marble existed in Chios as early
as 660 B. c, and there also Grlaucus is said to have dis-
covered the art of welding iron, as to the remains of
Grreek sculpture, which may with more or less certainty,
be assigned to the period in which Glaucus, Dipoenus,
Scyllis, and other noted sculptors were at work, there
are the metopes from some of the most celebrated

temples in .the island of
Sicily, which up to the
present have been regarded
as furnishing the first au-
thentic, and as yet, the
clearest glimpses of that
early stage of Grreek art.
There are also some other
authentic remains, espec-
ially the sculptures from
the temple of Athene at
Aegina, now in Munich,

Greek painting, or rather
coloring, as it would be
more properly described in
its earliest phase, in which
it was entirely subservient
to architecture and cera-
mography, is said to have
been first elevated to an
Ionic Column. art by Cleanthes of Cor-

inth,^ who introduced the drawing of figures in outline;
by Telephares of Sicyon,^ who improved on this by indica-
ting the principal details of anatomy ; and Eumaras of

1 Pliny: "Historia Naturalis," xxxv. 5, ? Ibid.



Athens, who is said to have first distinguished in his
paintings men from women, probably by the means adop-
ted in the early vases, that is, by painting the flesh white-
in the case of women. Like their followers down to the
timeof Apelles, these painters used only the simple colors,
white, yellow, red, and bluish black, greater attention being
paid to the dravping than to the coloring.

In temple architecture, the principles of both the
Doric and Ionic orders were already fully established ;
the latter in Asia Minor, and the former in Grreece proper.

Temple of Diana at Ephesus.
Among the remains of Doric architecture assignable to
this period/are, amongst others, the two temples of Paes-
tum. Of the Ionic order during this period (the sixth
century), the principal example was the temple of Diana
at Ephesus, the construction of which, begun by Theo-
doras of Samos, was carried on by Chersyphfon of Crete
and his son Metagenes, and completed by Demetrius and


Paeonius about the time of Croesus. It is said that from
first to last, one hundred and twenty years were con-
sumed on the work. This temple having been burned by
Herostratus was restored under the directions of Alex-
ander's architect, Dinocrates.

We have reached the time of Phidias, and have now
done with imperfections in sculpture, so far at least as
they originated in want of knowledge either of the human
form or of technical means. Phidias, the son of Charmi-
des, was an Athenian, and must have been born about 500
B. c. When Pericles succeeded to the administration of
affairs, and it was determined to erect new temples and
other public buildings worthy of the new glory which
Athens had acquired in the Persian wars,- it was to Phidias
that the supervision of all these works was entrusted,
aided by an army of artists and skilled workmen. By
438 B. c, the Parthenon was completed, with its colossal
statue of Athene, in gold and ivory, by Phidias himself,
aiid with its vast extent of sculpture in marble, executed
at least under his direction, and reflecting in most parts
his genius. After the completion of the Parthenon, -Phid-
ias accepted the invitation of the people of Elis to exert
his highest power in fashioning for their temple of Zeus
at Olympia a statue worthy of the majesty and grandeur
of the supreme god of Grreece.

His workshop was near the Altis, or sacred grove,
where through successive centuries down to the second
century of our era, it was preserved and pointed out with
feelings of reverence. The finished work was over forty
feet high, and represented the god seated on his throne.
On his head was .a wreath of olive. The drapery was of
gold, richly worked with flowers and figures in enamel.
On the footstool was inscribed the verse: "Phidias, the



son of Cliarmicles, an
Athenian, has made
me." The throne was
mostly of ebony and
ivory, inlaid with pre-
cious stones, and rich-
ly sculptured with re-
liefs, and in parts

All Greece made a
pilgrimage to this
marvelous statue and
every one who had
seen it was pronoun-
ced happy. Most af-
fectingly is the unsur-
passable character of
the work expressed
in that beautiful le-
gend, which tells how
that Phidias, after
the completion of his
statue, when he stood
thoughtfully contem-
plating his work,
raised his hands in
prayer to Jupiter, and ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^.^^ pj^.^.^^_

implored a token whether his work was well pleasing to
the god. Then suddenly, through an opening in the roof,
a lightning flash glanced from the sky upon the temple
floor, as an unmistakable sign of the perfect satisfaction of
the Thunderer .^ We possess, in the sculptures of the

1 Pauaanius, Deser. Gr. v. 10.



Parthenon, a large series of works in marble, at least de-
signed or modeled by Phidias and executed under his im-
mediate care, if not in many cases finished by his own

Olympian Zeus, after Phidias-
The mantle of Phidias fell on his pupil, Alcamenes,
an Athenian, the lofty conception in his figures of deities
was highly praised, while in point of gracefulness in
womanly form he appears to have excelled his master.
His most celebrated work was a statue of Aphrodite for
her temple, of which, however, the merit of the last touch
Was ascribed to Phidias. Her cheeks, hands, and figure


were specially admired ; but as to the attitude and general
effect we have no information, and are not justified in ac-
cepting the Aphrodite of Mino in the Louvre at Paris as
a copy of it, much less as the original work.

Amongst the painters of this period, Polygnotus de-
serves particular notice. He found favor with Cimon, to
whose zeal the new impulse for the improvement of Athens
was due, and was employed to execute wall paintings for
the Stoa Poecile, the Theseum, and the Anaceum, or tem-
ple of the Dioscuri. For his services, and especially for
the disinterestedness of his character, Polygnotus received
what was then regarded as the highest distinction — the
freedom of the city of Athens. As regards the style of
Polygnotus, we h^-ve the distinction drawn by Arisotle
between it and that of Zeuxis (another celebrated Greek
painter), a distinction which he expressed by the words
ethos ?ixA pathos. By ethos, as applied to the paintings of
Polygnotus, we understand a dignified bearing in his fig-
ures and a measured movement throughout his composi-
tions, such as the Parthenon frieze presents, compared
with the pathetic rendering of scenes in the frieze from the
temple of Apollo at Phigalea, or in the frieze of the Mau-
soleum of Halicarnassus. The sculptures of the latter
monument were made by Scopas, a native of Paros, who
settled in Athens about 380 b. c, where for thirty years he
maintained a reputation for an unparalleled power of ren-
dering the human or divine figure, especially in a state of
excited feeling. When considerably advanced in years, he
was invited by Artemisia, the queen of Caria, to direct
the sculptors for a monument that she was erecting at
Halicarnassus in memory of her husband Mausolus.^ The

1 Cicero, Tusc. Quaest. iii. 31; Strabo, Geog. xiv.; Pliny, Hist.
Nat. XXV.


site of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of an-
tiquity, was discovered and excavated by C.-T. Newton in
1856-7, the result being the recovery of an important part
of these celebrated sculptures.

More celebrated still than Scopas was Praxiteles.
The scene of his labors was mostly Athens and the neigh-
boring towns. His model was Phryne, the courtezan.
Like Scopas he had little taste for bronze in comparison



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Ici: J

jw^^^K^^K^SsSt^wB^^Ui^^^^^^ ''jT' ^H^HJ^HIH^H^^^^H

Greek Art— Fight of Acliilles.
with marble, with its surface finely sensftive to the most
delicate modulation. Unsatisfied with even this, he en-
deavored to soften the asperity of the marble in the crude
parts by a process of encaustic. That he was peculiar in
thus tinting the marble and an exception among other
Greek sculptors can not be meant in the face of so many
instances of coloring in the remains of Greek sculpture
and architecture. Of his works, the number of which was
unusually large, the most celebrated were the following


ones : The marble statue of Aphrodite at Cnidus, a statue
of Aphrodite at Thespiae, a statue of Phryne, and a statue
of Eros.

In painting, a great step in advance was made by
Zeuxis and Parrhasius of Ephesus. An interesting tale
describes their contests. Once Zeuxis painted some grapes
so perfectly that birds came to pick at them. He then
called on Parrhasius to draw aside the curtain and show
his picture ; but, finding that his rival's picture was the
curtain itself he acknowledged himself to be surj)assed,
for Zeuxis had deceived birds, but Parrhasius had deceived
Zeuxis.-^ The next great painter was Timanthes. But
it is Apelles, in whose person were combined, if we
may judge from his reputation, all the best qualities of the
hitherto existing schools of painting. The best part of
the life of Apelles was probably spent at the court of
Philip and Alexander the Great. Many anecdotes are pre-
served of Apelles and his contemporaries, which throw an
interesting light both on his personal and his professional
character. He was ready to acknowledge that in some
points he was excelled by other artists, as by Amphion
and by Asclepiodorus in perspective. He first caused the
merits of Protegenes to be understood.

By the general consent of ancient authors, Apelles
stands first among Greek painters. To the indiscrimina-
ting admiration of Pliny, we may add the unmeasured
praise which Cicero, Varro, Ovid, and other writers give
to the work of Apelles and especially to his Venus Ana-
dyomene.^ Apelles is said to have made great improve-
ments in the mechanical part of his art. His principal

1 Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxxv. 9. 36, 3.

2 Cicero, Brutus 18, de Orat. iii. 7; Varro, de Lingue, Lat. ix. 12-
Ovid, Art Amandi, iii. 401. '



discovery was that of covering the picture with a very
thin black varnish, which, besides preserving the picture,
made the tints clearer and subdued the more brilliant
colors. That he painted on moveable panels is evident
from the frequent mention of tabulae with reference to
his pictures. Pliny expressly says, that he did not paint
on walls.^

Greek Art— Capture of Helen.
We have now made a short study of G-recian Civili-
zation. We have seen how, owing to their contracted area
and their mode of life, the mental activity of the Greeks
was wrought up to a high pitch ; and we have traced the
results of this in the fields of philosophy, science, and art.
Taking a general view of this whole matter, regarding
G-reece as simply the first point where Aryan civilization

1 Hist. Nat. XXXV. 37.


came to its fruitage, we are now to turn to the study of
Eoman Civilization. And here we are to notice that the
waves of Aryan culture are swinging in a greatly wider
circle than in Grreece. This is but a prophesy of the time
when all Aryan Europe was to glow refulgent with the
light first focussed in Ancient Hellas.




Influence of the City of Rome— First History of Rome— Description
of Rome— Tlie Houses— Tlie Fora— Slavery in Ancient Rome— Dif-
ferent Classes of Slaves— Treatment of Slaves — Manumission of Slaves
— The House Sons — House Daughters — Marriage in Ancient Rome —
The Status of Married Women — Ceremonies of Marriage — Education
in Rome — Compared with Greek Education — Public Life in Rome —
Public Games — Races — Gladiatorial Games — The Coliseum — The
Gladiators— Influence of these Games on the People— The "Ludi
Magni " — Public Baths — Meals and Foods of the Romans— Use of
Wine in Rome — The Dress of Romans — The Toga — The Tunica —
Special Articles of Dress— Female Dress— Roman Literature— Cicero
— Tacitus — Finances in Rome — Taxes — Commerce — The Government
in Ancient Rome— Normal Development of Tribal Government-
Roman Civil Law— The Vast Influence on
Our Civilization— Conclusion.

OUR delineation of Grrecian Civi-
lization, we dwelt, to a considera-

Online LibraryEmory Adams AllenHistory of civilization .. → online text (page 29 of 46)