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John Franklin Genung.

Outlines of rhetoric: embodied in rules, illustrative examples, and ... online

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such slight explanations of them as the subjects afforded.
And if this object shall be attained, in however small a
degree, the Editor will not think his time has been mis-
employed.



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SOME ACCOUNT, &c.



PLATE I.

1 HE subject of this Plate, which is taken from the Fourth
Volume of Sir William Hamilton's large work, has baffled
the inquiries of M. D'Hancarville, and indeed seems to be
inexplicable, otherwise than as one of the genii, and per-
haps of the same kind as that in Plate II.



PLATE II.

This genius bears in one hand a patera, containing the indi-
cation of the sun, or Apollo ; the consecration of which is
denoted by the fillet, which is attached to it. Under the figure
another symbol of the god appears in the globe, and a third
is placed on one side. There cannot, therefore, be any doubt,
that this figure is intended to represent one of the genii
belonging to Apollo ; and the string of pearls round his thigh
denotes this to be a genius, that presides over augury.

B



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[2]

PLATE III.

There were at Athens certain festivals held in honour,
as some say, of Bacchus, and others of Diana. They were
called Canephoria, and at the celebration of them it was
customary either for youths or virgins of a marriageable
age, to carry baskets, which contained the different things
necessary for the sacrifices. These were called Canephori
or Canephorae, according to their sex; but it is supposed
they were chiefly females. There formerly existed many
statues of them ; Cicero in his fourth oration against
Verres, states, that there were two in bronze, made by
Paracletes. — ^This outline, which is copied from a painting
upon one of the earliest Greek vases, represents one of
these ministers, and is very curious from ascertaining the
action and dress of such as were consecrated to the service
of the gods.

Upon the original vase, the figure itself is black, upon a
reddish ground.

PLATE IV.

In this Plate we may evidently discover the character of
Bacchus; he is crowned with myrtle, and is oflFering a
branch of sesamum upon an altar. He holds a pastoral staflF
in one hand. This was probably the origin of the litutis,
the use of which was perhaps introduced into Italy by the



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[ s ]•

Pelasgians ; when these, becoming as it were Etruscans,
communicated it to the Romans, with whom it soon
became, as it now is, an emblem of the priesthood, and
was carried by the augurs.



PLATE V.

The domestic sacrifice, which is represented in this paint-
ing, is
evidentl
which h(
which h
it, whicl
Jleur de h
ment roi
pouring ;
a vessel \
we may <
or fillets,
sion of I
simplicit



PLATE VL

This is probably the figure of a priestess of Bacchus, and
seems dressed in a bassaride, a species garment, said to



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have been worn long before by this god in his expedition
into India. She carries a branch of sesamum in her hand.
This painting is on a very small vase.



PLATE VII.

This beautiful little painting exhibits a young female
standing before an altar with a batiliumy which she

Ltioned by

lich is also

the art of

similar to

found in

, in which

fVhen this

5 produced

cles them-

a similar



; and the

e intended

to shew, that these scenic entertainments are consecrated

to Bacchus, at the celebration of whose rites they were

first represented. The actor, who is dancing to the music



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. [ 5 ]

of the double flute, is dressed like a slave, and has a torch
in each hand.

The mask, which the actor wears, is that of Sosius, and
was formed to represent the countenance of Socrates ; and
it bears the same character as that, which Michael Angelo
designed for the harlequins of the Italian comedy. The
masks for the characters of Pantaloon, Punchinello, and
the Doctor (all Italian characters), have each their ori-
ginal among the ancients. Some say, that Thespis in-
vented the mask, but Suidas ascribes the invention to
Cherites of Athens, while Aristotle attributes it to the
Megarians of Sicily ; and the origin of comedy he gives to
those of Attica.

The double flute, which was of very early invention,
some say it was by Minerva, was sometimes made of the
bones of the stag, but more commonly of brass or copper,
or of small pieces of bone or ivory fastened together with
plates of metal. From this design it is observable, that
women sometimes appeared in these scenes without masks.
As Suidas says, that Phrynicus, who obtained the prize in
the sixty-seventh Olympiad, first introduced female cha-
racters on the stage, it is clear, that this painting is later
than the time of that poet, who is supposed to be a pupil
of Thespis.

The expression of this design is very remarkable ; in
the attitudeof thearmof the flute player, we may observe the



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[6]

constraint, which is produced by the difficulty of walking and
playing at the same time. The direction of her eyes shews
her attention to the dancer, that the cadence may be exact.
And in his action there is a degree of comic effect, well suited
to the mask, he wears.

PLATE IX.

The subject of this Plate is unknown, at least there is no
account of it in Sir William Hamilton's work. It is a
simple but very beautiful composition, and the attitudes of
both the figures is pleasing and elegant.



PLATE X.

This design is said to represent Apollo in pursuit of
Daphne ; he is in a travelling dress, with the bina hastilia
and the sword under his arm, as is usual in the heroic
characters. This arrangement of his dress seems to indicate,
that he appeared to Daphne simply in the character of a
mortal.

PLATE XL

We have been unable to discover the individual characters
of this design, in which the actions both of the horse and
figures engaged in battle are finely imagined and well
combined.



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[ 7 ]

PLATE XII.

The subject of this Plate is a very curious one. It seems
to represent an inhabitant of the banks of the river Ari-
maspias, attacked by two griffons. They inhabited the
northern part of Scythia, and are said to have had but one
eye. They were continually fighting with the griffons, a
sort of monster, whose employment is said to be that of
collecting gold from the sands of rivers. D'Hancarville
says, that it was these animals who were constantly attack-
ing the Arimaspians, and preventing them from carrying
the gold from their mines.



PLATE XIII.

The subject of this Plate is probably that of Penelope. She
is sitting in her chamber, as is shewn by the fillet ; and it
is supposed, that she has just finished dressing, as the
female behind her holds the mirror, which she has been
using. The other female holds some implements of work
which the princess appears to be about to resume. The
simplicity and beauty of this composition made such an
impression upon Angelica Kauffman, that with very little
change she has taken it for the subject of one of her best
pictures. And indeed the designs upon all the ancient
vaaes, furnish a variety of subjects for the pencil.



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[ 8 ] •

Upon this vase there is the Greek word KolKoq
written, signifying beautiful; and the same word is fre-
quently found upon those vases, which are most perfect
and most highly finished. Mazzocchi has made several
remarks upon this word in a dissertation upon the ancient
vases, which were formerly iit the possession of Mastrillo,
and are" no w in the B r itish Museum .



PLATE XIV.

The subject of this design is supposed to be Ariadne. She
has ?i ferula in her hand, as a symbol of Bacchus. This
princess is remarkable for her hair, for which reason
Homer -gave her the epithet of '• the beautiful-haired
Ariadne." Aratus says, that the diadem, which she wore,
was put among the number^of the stars. This is probably
the reason of the figure of a star placed near the female
genius of Ariadne. This genius holds a patera filled
with the grain of the sesamum ; and we may also observe
some of the same upon the column, as symbolical of the
wife of Bacchus, of whom also there is another column as
a symbol, upon which a female figure is leaning. The
circle, drawn in the centre of the instrument this figure
holds in her hand, evidently shews, that it is not a
mirror, although it has otherwise so much the appearance
of one.



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[9]

PLATE XV.

This Plate seems to represent a female, about to make an
offering of an animal, which resembles a rabbit or. hare, to
a column, as a symbol of Bacchus ; the fillet, which is
placed immediately over this column, shews, that it is con-
secrated. These animals were offered both to Ceres and
Bacchus, because they were equally destructive in corn-
fields and in the vineyard ; this also was probably the
motive among the ancients fi)r sacrificing the sow and the
goat.

PLATE XVI.

This genius has in one hand the vase containing lustral
water, and in the other the mysterious ^aM of lacchus, the
sacred purposes of which are denoted by the cestus, that
is placed over it ; by the side of it is the symbol of the
moon, or Ceres. The simall branch of olive, which is visible
between the feet of the genius, is a distinguishing indica-
tion of the mystic scenes of Eleusis, which renders the
idea probable, that all the genii, represented in these
designs, are copied from those, who performed such parts
in the feasts of Bacchus and Ceres. It is well known, that
the priests, who attended these ceremonies, were dressed to
represent Mercury, Apollo, and Diana ; it is therefore very
probable, that others, who assisted, personated the fauns.



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[ 10 ]

satyrs, and genii, which are so often introduced on the
vases. The latter usually have their heads dressed like
those of the women. Apuleius, who was witness of these
feasts, says, that in the disguises, which they used, the men
wore socks with gilt sandals, silken robes ornamented with
precious stones, their hair tied on the top of the head, and
resembling the women as much in their dress as in their
effeminate manner.

This is a satisfactory reason for frequent confusion *of
sexes, which appears in the genii, and which, no doubt,
denotes, that they were considered as midway between the
gods and men, and therefore were distinguished by a cha-
racter partaking of neither. In order to give an adequate
idea of these genii, in their representations they chose the
youths at that age, when they have not acquired the robust-
ness of manhood, and resemble a beautiful girl ; to increase
the similitude, their hair was raised and tied on the head
in imitation of the Greek girls, which rendered them ex-
actly what we see on the vases, with the exception of the
wings, which were easily fastened to their shoulders.

Various other authorities corroborate the opinion, that
the ancients represented their gods and goddesses, as well
as their attendants, by such persons as were best suited to
personify tbem, and there can be no doubt, that these
designs are representations of some of the feasts and
mysteries of that age.



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[ 11 ]

PLATE XVII.

Whenever a female was represented sitting upon a stool,
it was always a ^ark of dignity among the ancients, and
when to this was joined the patera, or bowl, held near the
head, it became a sign of some divinity. By these marks
we may know, that this painting represents Ceres, with
two of her initiated priestesses near her : one of them
carries the cystus with the praefericulum. The goddess
herself is holding a mirror. In almost all the processions,
which were instituted in honour of Ceres, some of the
mystics, or initiated, walked before her and carried mirrors
fastened to their backs, while others attended with ivory
combs to put her head dress in order, and attend upon her,
as the initiated are seen to do in this Plate. Nothing can
be more elegant and graceful than the different attitudes and
actions of these three figures, while the whole forms a
composition at once simple and beautiful.



PLATE XVIII.

The subject of this Plate is unknown.



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[ 12 ]

PLATE XIX.

Pliny in his 3 4th book, 28th chapter, mentions, that among
the works of Hegias and Ctesilaus, two famous sculptors,
there was one called Pueri Celetizontes^ or youths contesting
a race on horseback ; and it is not therefore very impro-
bable, that this Plate is a design from one of those artists. The
column may have been placed there either by th^ sculptor
or the painter, in imitation of those in Olympia, in the val-
ley, or recess, called Altis. Pausanias speaks of many statues,
which were erected in this place in honour of the Olympic
conquerors, and each has a column by the side of it. These
columns were perhaps erected for the following reason,
given in the words of Pliny : Golumnarum ratio erai attolli
supra cateros mortales. It may not also be unlikely, that the
column in this Plate may be intended to mark the starting
point, as that in Plate XLI. shews the termination of the
course. •

PLATE XX.

When Jupiter was in love with Semele, Juno through
jealousy wished to destroy her rival ; for this purpose she
transformed herself to one of the female attendants of this
young princess, and persuaded her, that it would be proper
and becoming in her to have Jupiter visit her with the
same pomp and ceremony, with which he went to see Juno.



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[ IS ]

Semele su£Pered herself to be seduced by this insidious
counsel, and imperiously commanded Jupiter to do her
that favour, which would in fact destroy her. This god
therefore presented himself before her, armed with his
thunder and lightning ; but Semele could not support the
brilliancy and glory of his appearance ; it brought on a
prem her death was the consequence.

It fable is related by Diodorus ; but

Apol It Jupiter, being unable to refuse

Seme e made him, came into her palace in

a car, his thunderbolts. It is most probable,

that t of the present Plate, where Jupiter

is mounted on a car with the thunder in his hand, as his
countenance is mild and pleased, like that of a lover, and
his head has a wreath of myrtle, the sacred plant of
Venus.

PLATE XXL

Among the ancients the women were never accustomed to
sit, or recline upon the beds or sofas with the men, except
in the different feasts, which were dedicated to any* of the
gods ; hence Cicero, in one of his orations, makes a person
say, that it was not a custom among the Greeks for the two
sexes to mix together at their feasts. The fillet suspended
near the female, who is playing on the double flute, with
the roses employed on this occasion, seem evidently to



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[ 1< ]

shew, that this repast was in honour of Venus in one of her
numerous festivals. There is no old painting extant, which
better shews the manner, in which the ancients sat or re-
clined at their feasts, than the present Plate.



PLATE XXII.

There is no account of the subject of this Plate given by
M. D'Hancarville, nor have we been able to discover any-
thing satisfactory about it.

PLATE XXIII.

That this is a representation of a feast of Venus, is discer-
nible by the dove, with the fillet placed near it, as well as
by the branches of myrtle and the pearl girdles, which the
goddess and her priestesses wear. Two symbols are placed
on the symbolic pillar of Bacchus ; a pine apple,

indicative of that god as well as of he other may

probably be the batilus in the shap 11 urn, which

denotes Venus ; the armed figure s le god of war,

whose connexion with the goddess q this feast is

consecrated, needs no explanation ; ; often repre-

sented in armour, particularly, ace Pausanias, in

her temples at Lacedemon and Corinth ; several gems cor-
roborate this testimony.



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[ 15 ] .

PLATE XXIV.

Dancing, among the ancients, was perhaps a matter of
greater importance than with us. Lucian gives a long ac-
count of it, and both Plato and Xenophon assert, that it was
regarded as a matter of great consequence with respect to
manners, and even of use in war ; and was therefore
worth
inforn
best d
Lycur
And :
book I
robes
probal

Thi
she se
gance
very r
fall so;
of the

cing, may mean to shew, that she is in a portico or a theatre,
where dances were performed ; it may also be a sign of
Bacchus, and the dance she is executing may have a relation
to some of the festivals in honour of that god and of Geres.



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[16]

PLATE XXV.

This beautiful painting consists of a genius supporting
himself upon a symbolical column. If beauty and elegance
be marks of goodness, this must be the good genius called
Agathodemon. The Athenians erected statues to him;
and according to Pausanias there was a chapel in Lebadia

Fortune, of whom
il.



tes in Sir William
ast number, which
hem. The grounds
. In some instances
bjects, upon which
in the present we
this composition is,
us to a knowledge



PLATES XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX.

It is related in the fourth book of Diodonis Sicidus, that
Atlas, the brother of Saturn, and also, as some mythologists



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[ 1' I

asseH, of Hesperus, had some daughters who were called
after his own name Atlantides; or Hesperides, after that of
Hesperis their mother, the daughter of Hesperus, and the
wife, as well as niece, of Atlas.

The golden apples, which grew in the garden of the
Hesperides, were guarded by a serpent. " As the At-
lantides, or Hesperides, were," says Diodorus, '* possessed
of great beauty and wisdom, Busiris, king of Egypt,
merely from the reputation they had acquired, formed the
design of becoming master of them ; and he ordered a band
of pirates to repair to their country, seize them, and bring
them to him. These pirates, having discovered the daugh-
ters of Atlas diverting themselves in their garden, seized
them and fled towards their ships with the utmost speed,
on board of which they were compelling them to embark ;
when Hercules, having surprised them on the shore, and
having been informed by the virgins of the misfortune
that had happened to them, killed their ravishers, and
restored the distressed daughters to their father.

These three Plates are all taken from the same vase, and
are in fact one complicated design, continuing entirely
round the vase; they represent Hercules and his com-
panions in the gardens of the Hesperides. In Plate
XXVn. the god, known by his club and the skin of the
Nemean lion, upon which he is seated, is waiting ready
to receive the golden apples, which the daughters of Atlas



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[ 18 ]

are about to oflFer him. This hero is with a party of his Argo-
nauts, with whom he landed on the coast of Africa. The
rest of his associates are supposed, by the painter to be on
board the Argo. In Plate XXVIII. Atlas is sitting hold-
ing a sort of sceptre, the flower on the top of which is indi-
cative of the family of Uranus, and the relationship, which
connects them with Jupiter. The daughters of Atlas were
seven in number ; after their deaths they were placed among
the constellations, and called the Pleiades, from one of the
names of their mother, Pleione. As six stars only appear,
unless when the sky is extremely clear, and then the
seventh is dull, the fable says, that six of the daughters
were married to gods, but the other, Merope, married a
mortal, Sisyphus, king of Corinth, and therefore she is
hidden. This is explained in a passage in the fourth
book of Ovid's Fasti.

Hyginus gives, the same account, but adds, that others
say it was Electra, another of the daughters, who concealed
herself through grief. Inconsolable at the destruction of
Troy, and being unable to support the misfortunes which
had happened to her son Dardanus, while the gaiety and
dancing of her sisters disgusted her, she withdrew into the
arctic circle, where she was seen for a long time in great
affliction, and with dishevelled hair ; hence she derived
the name of Cometes. From this we may fairly infer, that
it is Electra whom we see in Plate XXVIII. with her



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[ 19]

head hanging down, as if she were absorbed in grief. The
veil which she wears, and which falls a great way down
her back, is spangled over with stars. In Plate XXVII.
the figure immediately behind Hercules seems to be
Jason ; the artist may perhaps have placed him there, in
order to shew, that it was this hero, who commanded the
Argonauts, when Hercules returned. Merope, the youngest
daughter of Atlas seems to be endeavouring to conceal her-
self near her mother Hesperis. Those, who are standing
near the tree round which the serpent is entwined, are
supposed to be Taygeta and Alcyone ; the former was the
mother of Lacedemon, the founder of the Spartan kingdom ;
the latter had two sons by Neptune. The posterity of
these two sisters exceeded, in power and glory, that of all
the others, except Maia, of whom we shall speak hereafter.
Hence probably the artist placed them in the most conspi-
cuous part of the vase.

In Plate XXVIII. we see Atlas seated, and it seems to
be Orpheus, who is conversing with him ; at least such is the
conjecture of M. D'Hancarville. The female figure sitting
down on the left of Plate XXIX. appears to be Maia ; she
is distinguished beyond her sister, because she was the
mother of a god, Mercury. The other sitting figure is con-
jectured to be Typhis, the son of Neptune ; he was pilot
of the Argo, and therefore, unlike all the rest of his com-
panions, he appears without arms. AH the other figures



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[20 ]

have haddifFerent names assigned to them, but they must
be allowed to be founded upon the slightest conjecture.

These designs are probably as beautiful as any that
remain upon the vases of the ancients, and that which
contains them is esteemed as one of the most valuable.
The different figures possess in the highest degree the
various marks of grandeur, strength, grace, elegance, and
simplicity, and the compositions themselves are extremely
beautiful ; . and there is so much purity and true taste
throughout the whole, that they can never be studied
without advantage

PLATE XXX.

This design consists of two figures, one of which carries
upon the cystus a globe, as an indication of the sun : the
fillet, which is in this Plate, is probably for the purpose of
wrapping up this globe in.

PLATE XXXI.

The subject of this Plate is unknown.

PLATE XXXII.

The two females, represented in this design, have each
in their hand the symbols of the sun and moon ; the



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2 4

Online LibraryJohn Franklin GenungOutlines of rhetoric: embodied in rules, illustrative examples, and ... → online text (page 2 of 4)