« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Persia, and here we find Chapters on the worship of Venus Urania throughout the East, On the Magian Revolution and the PseudoSmerdis, On the Persian system of administration and government, and On the topography of Babylon. Moreover we find in this volume translations of the Standard Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar, and of the Great Inscription of Darius at Behistun. These additions fill more than one fifth of the second volume. The fourth Book describes the expedition of Darius into Scythia, and to this are added Chapters by the editor, On the Cimmerians, and the Migrations of the Cymric race, On the Ethnography of the European Scyths, and on the Geography of Scythia. It is not till the fifth book that Ierodotus reaches Greece Proper, and with this we find connected two extended essays on the early history of Athens and Sparta. The enumeration in the Seventh book of the nations which composed the army of Xerxes, leads to a dissertation by the editor, On the obscurer tribes contained within the empire of XerYes, and to another, On the early migration of the Phænicians. To this is added an Essay, by Sir Henry Rawlinson, On the Alarodians of Herodotus as identified with the Urarda, or People of Ararat, in connection with which essay, we find a translation of the inscription on the tomb of Darius at Nakhsh-i-Rustam. The books on the Persian war hardly needed illustration, yet we find here an account of one of the most interesting of modern discoveries. Herodotus informs us that one-tenth part of the booty gained at the battle of Platæa “was set apart for the Delphian God, and that from it was made the golden tripod which stands on the bronze serpent with the three heads, quite close to the altar.” This was in 479 B. C. In 357 B. C. the temple of Delphi was seized by the Phocians, at the commencement of the Sacred War, and plundered, among other things, of this golden tripod. Somewhere about six hundred years after this tripod was first dedicated, it was seen and described by the traveler Pausanias, at which time it was complete, with the exception of the golden tripod, which had been taken by the Phocians, (Paus. v, xxiii, $ 1.) In 324, A. D. it was carried by order of Constantine to Constantinople, where it adorned the hippodrome of the new capitol. (Gibbon, Ch. 17). It was seen there by Spon and Wheeler in 1675, and was then entire. But since that time it has been mutilated. It still exists. During the recent occupation of Constantinople by the Western Powers, not only were excavations made, and the
serpent laid bare to its base, but by the application of chemical solvents the inscription was almost entirely recovered. The orig. inal inscription, according to Thucydides, was as follows:
“The Greek Pausanias, victor o'er the Mede,
To Phoebus this memorial decreed”but the Lacedaemonians caused this to be erased, and substituted the names of the states that took part in the war, and to this day the monument exhibits traces of this erasure. Besides the serpent, a “ bronze Jupiter ten cubits high,” says Herodotus,
was erected at Olympia,” on which was inscribed the names of the same states. Pausanias copied this list, and his copy agrees sufficiently well with the inscription itself, which has just been brought to light, and by these lists can the accuracy of the account which Herodotus has given of the states engaged in the war, be tested. As in many other instances, his fidelity is fully established by this test.
The work is well furnished with maps,-maps of Western Asia, of the Persian war, of Scythia in the time of Herodotus, and of Greece at the time of the Persian war-plans of cities and ruins, and a multitude of wood-cuts, to illustrate the antiquities of Egypt and the other countries. To all this may be added good indexes, one of authors and editions quoted, another of Scripture texts, and finally an extended general index, all of which makes it one of the best edited works in the language. The Appletons have conferred a great favor upon the reading community by republishing it; and we take pleasure in saying, after having compared their edition with the English, that they have republished it entire, with all the notes, maps, plans of cities and engravings—and we take the greater pleasure in saying this, because it is the practice of some publishers in their reprints to leave out maps and engravings, as in the reprint of Grote's History, where we find every illustration with which the English edition abounded, omitted, with the exception of a single map to illustrate the last volume.
CONTRIBUTIONS THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF CoxNECTICUT.*— Volat emissa vox! The celebration of the General
* Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of Connecticut: prepared under the direction of the General Association, to commemorate the completion of One Hundred and Fifty Years since its first annual Assembly. New Haven: William L. Kingsley. 1860. 8vo. Pp. xvi, 568. Price $3. [See Advertisement, p. 20.]
Association at its one hundred and fiftieth meeting, at Norwich, June, 1859, was one of the most interesting commemorative events in our American history. Everything in the time, the circumstances, and the exercises of the occasion, conspired to make it memorable to all who witnessed it. But all this would soon have become a mere matter of tradition, except that the same gentleman whose historical zeal originated the celebrationthe Rev. E. W. Robinson, of Bethany,--has had the needful patience to elaborate the mass of historical and other materials accumulated for the occasion, and set up an enduring monument of it, in the beautiful memorial volume, of which we have transcribed above the appropriate title. Litera scripta manet. All that paper and types could preserve, of such a meeting, we have now where we can hold it; and besides this, a mass of instructive facts, historical, biographical, and anecdotical, in the most condensed form, (sometimes a tabular form, and in the most convenient arrangement practicable). To all students of Connecticut history, this book is henceforth a necessity.
The most that we can do in the brief space to which this notice is limited, is to indicate briefly the chief contents of the book, which we proceed to do, stipulating, however, with our readers, that we are not to be barred, hereby, from commenting at large on the book and its subject, in a future number of the New EngLANDER.
The opening Article of the volume is the “Historical Discourse" of Dr. Bacon, which occupies seventy-two double-leaded and elegantly printed pages. In a department of literature in which Dr. Bacon has won no small part of his reputation, this discourse is one of his best and most important works. Without yielding to the temptation to expatiate at large upon the Church History of Connecticut, he addresses himself directly to the history of the Saybrook Platform and the system of clerical and church fellowship that was built upon it. He alludes to the slightly embarrassing peculiarity of his relation to the subject, that he is not the pastor of a consociated church," and is “in some quarters reputed to be unfriendly to that form of confederation which our fathers established ;” and escapes the difficulty by going simply and straight forward to give the true history of the one hundred and fifty years, in three periods of fifty years each. That the appointment should have been made at all, considering the peculiar relations of the speaker, was a high compliment to him: and to fulfill it to the general satisfaction, was a difficult and delicate task; but we believe that it has been successfully achieved.
The next division contains reports of the addresses pronounced at the public meetings, after the Historical Discourse. These have the appearance of having been carefully revised, and perhaps in some cases re-written by the speakers. And yet many of them retain much of the sparkle, and something of the inaccuracy, of extemporaneous utterances. They are all characteristic of their authors, and in some these personal characteristics show out in an unexpected and striking way. The speeches of two very highly esteemed theological professors, whose reputation is as remote as possible from anything light and frivolous, are illuminated with unanticipated jets of natural humor. And the two addresses which far surpass anything else on the occasion, the one in elegance of rhetoric and the other in splendor of diction and illustration, are from the lips of men who are known to the country distinctively as “Western men,” and whom, in this capacity, we should expect to be famous less for these scholarly qualities than “according as they had lifted up axes on the thick trees." It is not invidious to name them: President Chapin, of Wisconsin, and Dr. Post, of Missouri. The most characteristic of these pieces will grow in value with the lapse of years, as memorials of their authors. We shall be pardoned for instancing the beautiful patriarchal address of Dr. Hawes, on “The First Church in Connecticut,” which brings out so strongly and so unconsciously the best and most striking traits of its author's mind and heart. When (distant be the time !) we shall need to recall, as from the past, the manner in which he has so long been present in the councils of the churches, we shall be thankful that he has left to us, and to those that shall follow us, so vivid a memento.
These Addresses cover some seventy pages, and are followed by a series of “Historical Papers,” occupying more than one hundred and fifty pages, and constituting not the least important part of the volume. Among the authors whose names are given are some of the most eminent men in the State, including, appropriately, those-as Drs. Porter, Hawes, and McEwen-whose great age gives to their historical statements the authority of personal testimony. The papers are included under the title “Historical,” but many of them might, with not less propriety, have been entitled “ Practical,” for they are marked with a characteristic which we have not yet mentioned, but which runs through all parts of the volume,—that they present historical facts never in a merely antiquarian spirit, but always in an earnest and practical way, setting the past in its relations to the present and the future. The Articles on Permanent Funds, on Connecticut Home Missions, on Other Evangelical Denominations, on Disorderly Sects, on Legal Decisions in Ecclesiastical Cases, as well as others which we might name, will have permanent value to the clergy and the public, and (it may safely be predicted) will have their effect, in due time, on the methods of operation of our churches.
The next forty pages of the volume are occupied with a condensed history of the District Associations, together with lists of their licentiates; and the residue of the book, (besides Appendix and copious Indexes), is filled with condensed histories of the individual Congregational Churches of the State, both extant and extinct, arranged in alphabetical order. This is really the great work of the whole, whether we measure it by the pains which must have been spent in the preparation of it, or by the historical and practical value of its results. The mass of materials for history—“ mémoires à servir"—that is packed away in these pages is wonderful, and must both amplify and lighten the labors of future annalists and biographers, in a very high degree. As we glance down the Index of 6,000 Names, at the end of the book, we think of the toil which might have been saved, if we could have had it when we were busy in tracing the movements “ Obscurorum Virorum,” in our earlier history. The little snatches of biography and anecdote, which enliven these “ Historical Sketches," relieve the monotony of the tables of names and dates.
The volume, we are sorry to say, is seriously blemished with typographical errors, only a part of which are corrected in the long Table of Errata, at the end of it; this is the only respect in which the execution of the work is not creditable to the diligence of the Committee of Publication. In general, the thoroughness and completeness with which their task has been accomplished, make ample amends for the long delay.
There are many things suggested by the facts of this book, of which we would fain speak,-curious historical generalizations and some equally curious exceptions to supposed historical laws,—but we have not space. We could wish that the Historical Discourse,