« AnteriorContinuar »
which we find occasionally mentioned, may seem at first sight more favourable to Mr. Walpole's opinion; but even these, we believe, were no more than portraits. Inscript. ap. Spon. Miscell
. p. 344. αναθείναι δε αυτού εικόνα γραπτήν. This was an honour frequently paid to illustrious men. Pseudo-Plutarch. Vit. Isocr. p. 839. C. ήν δε αυτού γραπτή είκων εν τω Πομπεία. Strabo xiv. p. 648. και η πατρίς δ' ικάνως αυτόν ηύξησε, σορφύραν ενδύσασα ιερωμένην του Σωσιπόλιδος Διός: καθάπερ και η γραπτή είκων εμφανίζει η εν τη αγορά. Amasis presented to the temple of Minerva εικόνα έωυτού ygantúy, says Herodotus ii. 182. So Pausanias v. 16. xai Ev úvadeivai σφισιν έστι γραψαμέναις εικόνας, having caused their own portraits to be painted. Hence eixovoygápos, Aristot. Poet. 28.
At p. 425 we are presented with a valuable dissertation by the Earl of Aberdeen, upon the gold and silver coinage of Attica. Many learned men have doubted whether the Athenians ever coined any gold money. Our own opinion is that they never
did, except perhaps a few pieces on some particular occasions. Gold coin was current at Athens, but it was of foreign coinage; either the stater of Persia, of Ægina, of Cyzicum or some other town; and when gold coin is spoken of generally, under the name of χρυσούς or στατήρ, we are to understand the Δαρεικός. The authorities by which we could support this opinion would occupy too much space in our pages. Aristophanes in the Frogs speaks of a gold coinage, greatly alloyed with copper; and calls the pieces Trouppe xanxia, which words the learned Corsini (Diss. XII. p. 205.) misunderstands, as being spoken of copper money. It is probable that from its extreme badness it was not long current. Lord Aberdeen justly observes that • The currency of the silver money of Athens was almost universal, owing to the deservedly high reputation for purity which it possessed; and on this account we find several cities of Crete copying precisely in their coins the design, weight and execution of the Attic letradrachms, in order to facilitate their intercourse with the barbarians. It is possible that the general use and estimation of the produce of the Attic mines contributed to render the Athenians averse from a coinage of another metal, which, by supplying the place of silver money at home, might, in some degree, tend to lessen its reputation abroad.'-p. 445.
The Attic tetradrachm seems to have obtained as extensive a currency in ancient times, as the Spanish dollar since the discovery of the silver mines of the new world; and for the same reason. The following remarks are important and original.
• One of the greatest problems in numismatical difficulties is the cause of the manifest neglect, both in design and execution, which is invariably to be met with in the silver money of Athens; in which the affectation of an archaic style of work is easily distinguished from the rudeness of remote antiquity. Ditlerent attempts have been made to olucidate the subject: De Pauw affirms that, owing to a wise economy, the magistrates, whose office it was to superintend the coinage of silver, employed none but inferior artists in making the design, as well as in other branches of the process, an hypothesis wholly inconsistent with the characteristic magnificence of the republic. Pinkerton asserts, that it can only be accounted for from the excellence of the artists being such as to occasion all the good to be called into other countries, and none but the bad left at home. It would be somewhat difficult to explain how Athens came to be so long bonoured both by the presence and the works of Phidias and Praxiteles, Zeuxis and Apelles.'*
• The Attic silver was of acknowledged purity, and circulated very extensively: the Athenian merehaots, particularly in their commercial dealings with the more distant and barbarous nations, appear frequently to have made their payments in it. The barbarians being once impressed with these notions of its purity, the government of Athens, in all probability, was afraid materially to change that style and appearance by which their money was known and valued among these people. A similar proceeding in the state of Venice throws the strongest light on the practice of the Athenians. The Venetian sechin is perhaps the most unseemly of the coins of modern Europe: it has long been the current gold of the Turkish empire, in which its purity is universally and justly esteemed; any change in its appearance on the part of the Venetian government would have tended to create distrust."
We agree with the editor in considering these remarks of the Earl of Aberdeen, as affording a more satisfactory explanation of the difficulty in question, thian any which has hitherto been offered. We cannot help adducing a testimony in favour of his lordship’s hypothesis, from a quarter, where one would not expect to meet with any thing bearing upon a question of this kind. Sir W. D'Avenant, in bis Prologue to The Wits,' says that there are some
who would the world persuade
Intrinsick value for their handsomeness.' If merit depended, in poetry as well as numismatics, apon ugliness' and ' raggedness,' these verses of Sir William would be, in their way, perfect Attic tetradrachms. The present volume has also been enriched by the same accurate and learned noblepian with an account of two very curious and interesting marbles, found at Amyclæ, in Laconia, which is the place where the Abbé Fourmont pretended to have found his celebrated inscriptions, the spuriousness of which has been so ably demonstrated by Mr. R. P. Knight. Of the two pieces of sculpture described by the Earl of . Qu.—How long was Athens honoured by the preseuce of either Zeuxis or A pelles ?
Aberdeen, and copied in an engraving at p. 446, each represents a band-basin, surrounded with the various implements of a female toilet, combs, pins, a needle or bodkin, perfume-boxes and bottles, mirrors, painit-boxes, curling-irons, rollers, toothpicks, and reticules (or perhaps night-caps). What we believe to be hand-basins the Earl of Aberdeen calls patera. In one of them is the following inscription, ΑΝΘΟΥΣΗ ΔΑΜΑΙΝΕΤΟΥ ΥΠΟΣΤΑΤΡΙΑ; and in the other, ΛΑΥΑΓΗΤΑ ΑΝΤΙΠΑΤΡΟΥ ΙΕΡΕΙΑ. The first remark which suggests itself, upon inspecting these inscriptions, is, that they are not in the Laconic dialect. The only Doric form in the first, is the first A in AAMAINETOT. In the second, Lord Aberdeen considers ΛΑΥΑΓΗΤA to be for ΛΑΟΑΓΗΤΑ. . But AAOACHTA assuredly was not a Greek proper name. We suspect some error in the transcript. Mr. Walpole supposes the marbles to have been offerings inade by the priestesses Anthusa and Laoageta; or as consecrated during the priesthood of those women; in which case they may have been presented by the KOSMHTPIAI or ornatrices of some deity. Caylus considers the word TIIOETATPIA to signify sous-prêtresse. Lord Aberdeen, thinks that it may have some allusion to distribution or regulated measure. The fact is that the word means nothing more nor less than under-dresser. Stétpore was one appellation of a female hair-dresser. Ηesych. Στάτρια. εμπλέκτρια. Now εμπλέκτρια was the same as xoj córgia, a tire-woman, one who dressed and depilated the ladies; as an old grammarian explains it. The name xopepc'rgia is derived from xéjpes, a sort of gum, used by females to make the plaits of their hair retain the form which was given them : the profession itself was called Téxvn xojpwtixÝ. This is the account given by a scholiast on Plato; to which, if it were necessary, we could add much more, illustrative of the subject.
Amongst the articles, represented upon each of these marbles, are two pair of slippers. We have an epigram of Antipater of Sidon, which mentions the dedication to Venus of sandals, amongst other articles of dress. Σάνδαλα
τα ποδών θαλπτήρια ταύτα Βίτιννα, κ.τ.λ. And we may observe, by the way, that a peculiar kind of sandals were used at Amyclæ, where these marbles were found, and were thence called'Αμύκλαι or'Αμυκλαΐδες, for withholding a dissertation upon which, our readers will probably thank us; as also for the suppression of a page or two of observations on the Caryatides of ancient architecture, of which no satisfactory account has hitherto been given, nor is the matter cleared up by Mr. Walpole in his remarks at p. 602. Mr. Wilkins conjectures, that these Caryatides, who are called Kopar in a very ancient inscription, were no other than the Canephoræ.
Several inscriptions are published for the first time in this volume; they are generally well explained by the learned editor, but not always. For instance, in p. 457. we have the following, from the journals of Mr. Hawkins :
ΓΑΙΟΣ ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ ΚΕΛΕΡ ΕΚ
ΤΗΣ ΥΠΟΧΩΡΗΣΕΩΣ. 'Caius Julius Celer built, at his own expense, for the people of Apollonia, the recess or passage; and Caius Julias Hermas, who is called also Mercupus, paved at his own cost the broad court leading from the zygostasium as far as the recess.'
Mercupus! a pretty name! what can be clearer than that the true reading is ΜΕΡΚΟΥΡΙΟΣ, Mercurius 2 The υποχώρησις was a recess by the side of the street, resembling, we suppose, those on Westminster Bridge; for what purpose we need not say. Zuyootholov should have been translated, the weighing place, or public steelyards, which, in every city of the Roman empire, were superintended by an officer, called præfectus ponderibus. Lastly, the concluding words should be rendered, paved at his own cost the street from the steelyards to the recess;' not leading from the Zygostasium, which would have been την πλατείαν την από TOU 3. with the article repeated.
The volume concludes with a valuable dissertation of Mr. Wilkins upon a Greek inscription, six years older than the date of Euclid's archonship, at which era the Ionic letters began to be used at Athens in public documents. But we observe some inaccuracies, both in the copy of the inscription, which is given as divested of its archaisms, and also in the translation of it ; none, however, of material consequence.
Amongst other symptoms of the haste with which this volume has been put together, is the circumstance, that some of the plates are in one part and the descriptions of them in another. Thus, at p. 321. we have the representation of a lecythus, which is described in p. 539. This cruse, which presents the figures of two liorses and their grooms, is entitled ΛΗΚΥΘΟΣ ΑΤΤΙΚΟΣ. Now as the book is an English one, we do not see the propriety of giving Greek titles to the plates; which, to our minds, savours of pedantry. An English inscription would at all events have avoided the false concord of an xulos ’ATTixós for aúxulos 'ATTIXÍ.
The editor's notes upon the various communications display extensive reading; but we wish he had bestowed a little more attention upon the correction of the press; it is pity that so handsome a volume should be disfigured by so many typographical
ART. XI.-Woman: a Poem. By the Author of The Heroine.'
12mo. pp. 121. 1818. THE preface to this little volume is written with peculiar candour
and modesty. Mr. Barrett, it informs us, published, some time since, a poem on the same subject, and felt all the irritation, common in such cases, at finding it universally condemned by the critics. After the lapse of a few years, however, he bimself began to discover, that his favourite performance' was written in a false taste; and as, when we begin to hate, we generally hate that most which we had before loved best, so Mr. Barrett, it seems, managed to contract a most unqualified abhorrence for his quondam Dalilah. The consequence was, that he drew his pen, with a vindictive resolution to exterminate it from every earthly library. We know not where to look in the annals of literature for a similar instance of an author, who professedly sets up himself against bimself, and assiduously endeavours to run down his own production. At the same time, we trust he has not acted in a dishonourable manner towards his earlier love, and resorted to the contemptible expedient of injuring it by invidious attacks in the periodical journals.' As, on this occasion, he lies entirely at the mercy of himself, he is bound, we think, lo exercise his power with moderation, and not to take ap ungenerous advantage of his own acrimony against his own work.
But while we indulge a smile at the suicidal hostility of Mr. Barrett, we are far from wishing to leave any ultimate impression of ridicule upon it.
On the contrary, as critics, whose suggestions are almost always taken in ill part by authors, we feel interested in recommending to their imitation the ingenuous example of this poet, and in calling their especial attention to the following extract from his preface. After acquainting us with his mortifying discovery of the defects in his former work, he adds,
• But, at ieast, the discovery contained a moral. It shewed that we should listen with deference to those critics whose taste differs from our own, since even our own, in process of time, may differ from itself.' We may, therefore, suppose him quite sincere, when he says,
Indeed, I had formed so erroneous an estimate of my former work, that I am almost afraid to hope any thing from this, and I can most conscientiously add, that my chief feelings on the subject are doubt and apprehension.