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position in comparison to the Classical world. It possessed its own Weltanschauung in a system which reaches back at least 2500 years before our era; and where it is found wanting in later developnent, it must be remembered that, as far as the development of European thought is concerned, besides the influences which its system exerted over the Far East, it created the necessary basis of European development, though, in the nature of things, it could not share in the accumulation of knowledge which later generations have enjoyed. Yet, though much had to be overcome (and was overcome as the silence of post-Homeric writers indicates), many elements of our Western civilization still preserve intact much which, directly or indirectly, has originated in the Near East, and especially in Babylonia.
Our modern calendar system rests on the Babylonian astro-mythological system, in which the seven planets play such an important rôle. Meton, in 432, introduced into Athens a calendar system which counted moon months of 29 and 30 days, and introduced the necessary intercalary month, thereby getting a cycle of 19 years=235 months= 6940 days, and in so doing, employed a system which was known in Babylonia as early as the beginning of the third millenium B. C. And Meton had by no means found this cycle-he simply introduced it as one of many possible ones. The sanctity of the number seven originated from the seven planetary divinities of the Babylonians. And the influence of the sacred numbers of the Ancient Near East has exerted itself also in regard to the number twelve. As the year has twelve months, so in antiquity the number twelve was also employed extensively in regard to the organization of states. The Hebrews counted twelve tribes, twelve the ancient Ionians in Asia, twelve demoi existed in Attica, twelve Etruscan cities formed an alliance, ancient Gaul was ruled by twelve princes who composed the highest nobility, twelve nobles ruled over the old Saxons in Germany. Similarly, the number thirty played an important rôle as the number of days in the month, not only in Babylonia and the Near East but also in Greece (3x30-90 cities existed in Crete
according to the arrangement of Minos) and in the old Roman constitution. And Babylonian systems have 'deeply influenced the monetary, measure, and weight systems. While Herodotus, Plato, Pausanias, and Diodorus speak especially of Egyptian cultural influences on Greece, the influences which Babylonia directly or indirectly exerted on that country are not so apparent to the Greeks in the postHomeric period, nor yet to us. But the more we are enabled to learn of the Babylonian culture and its radiation among other peoples, and the more we learn of the Homeric and pre-Homeric Greeks, the more we recognize the multitudinous threads that connect Greek thought with Babylonian thought and culture. And there is every possibility that new discoveries in the field of cuneiform literature will throw additional light on this interesting and important factor.
ADA HILTON DAVIES
Tomorrow I shall climb the haze-drowned hills,
And challenging my spirit with its sheen
Tomorrow I shall cage the wind and stay
The sun looms big: the birds of winter fare
O vain, unstable world! What heart is there
Once I saw here a leafy shade above,
Now earth is mute, and stripped is every tree.
New spring will give new youth,—but not to me!
EMMA ELIZABETH SKEMP
Oh, you may love a garden spot
Conspire to sing a harmony
Of color and perfume,
And plan to spend your summer days
In dreamy idleness,
Where sheltering trees make pools of light
And shadowed quietness;
But when the high hills beckon,
The hills that touch the sky
You'll hear the call and follow it
And let all else go by.
Oh, mountain trails are wild and steep
And stones will bruise your feet,
And mountain winds are rude and chill
But mountain air is sweet!
And wide horizons have the power
To stir the thoughts of man
And touch the inmost heart in ways
No sheltered beauty can.
Oh, never think a garden spot,
How fair or dear it be,
Can hold you when the high hills call
BARHAM AND THE IRRESPONSIBLE DECADE
One of the most astounding transitions in the whole record of social fluctuation has received far less than its due share of regard from those who undertake to observe the reflection of a nation's life in the heterogeneous currentmainly a trustworthy mirror, despite occasional riffles and backwaters of the nation's literature. The opening years of the nineteenth century in England are thoroughly familiar, and so are the years of the mid-century; but there is amazingly little in common between the two eras: the former immediately connotes a convivial modish gallant society which we typify by George Brummel and Vanity Fair, and which is frequently designated The Regency; yet only a generation later England was completely under the spell of the utterly antithetical code which is comprehensively epitomized in the word Victorianism. Somehow in the interval John Bull must have gone through a miraculous transfiguration.
It happens that the interlude was unusually devoid of outstanding literary production: by 1830 the more picturesque romantic poets were dead, Scott was dying, Coleridge and Wordsworth were superannuated; and not till after 1840 did the new demigods, Tennyson and Browning, Dickens and Thackeray, establish their indubitable ascendancy over the public taste. So literary history passes over the decade with a perfunctory enumeration of unimportant names; desiccation conquers a coterie that was essentially full-blooded, and insignificance is the fate of men who confronted life with exuberant gusto.