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where they were slain, [p] with this inscription made by the poet Simonides:

"Ω ξειν άγγειλαν Λακεδαιμονίοις, ότι τη δε

Κείμεθα, τοις κείνων πειθόμενοι νομίμοις. i. e. Go traveller, and say at Lacedæmon, that we lie buried here for obeying her sacred laws. It be amiss upon this occasion to give the boys a hint of the simplicity of the old inscriptions.

may not


HERODOTUS, [9] Ti 'Enbet wevín quady aszi xole Cúvipopós

, işi åpelà dè nazliç i56, ámóts Coxing κιλεργισμένη και νύμε ισχυρά τη διαχρεωμένε η Ελλάς, τηνλε σενίην αδαμύνεται, και και την δεσποσύνην. .

Valla translates the passage thus, Grecia semper quidem alumna juit paupertatis, hospes virtutis, quam à sapientii uccivit & à severd disciplina : quam usurpans Græcia & paupertatem tuetur, & dominatum. Harry Stephens, instead of paupertatem tuetur, has put in the margin paupertatem propulsat, which agrees with the Greek text, την σενέην απαμύνεται.

This passage bas very much embarrassed me, and is certainly a very difficult one. It seems to imply an evident contradiction, in saying first, that poverty was always held honourable in Greece, and then that the same Greece rejected poverty and kept it at a distance. For which reason I was very much pleased with Valla's translation, and thought it gave a beautiful meaning to the passage. “Greece, said Demaratus to Xerxes, “ has hitherto always been the seat of poverty, and “ the school of virtue. Instructed by the lectures of “ her wise men, and supported by a strict observation “ of her laws, she has hitherto always retained the love of poverty, and the honour of command, & pauperta

tem tuetur & dominatum.But in this case we must [p] Pari animo Lacedæmonii in Dum sanctis patriæ legibus obseThermopylis occiderunt, in quos

quimur. Simonides:

Cic. lib. 1. Tusc. Quæst. n. 101, Dic, hospes, Spartæ, nos te hic [9] Herod. lib, 6. pag. 473. edit. vidisse jacentes,

Hen. Steph. Ann. 1592.


change the text of Herodotus, and instead of áramúelau read étanúvėlai, as Valla evidently conjectured.

Finding myself under this difficulty I consulted an absent friend, who is very conversant in the Latin and Greek authors, and whose observations and advice have been of great assistance to me in this work; I shall here insert his answer, as it may be useful to young masters, in shewing them how to explain obscure and difficult passages.

I think, writes iny friend, that I have discovered the true meaning of the passage in Herodotus. I will give the translation of it, after. I have produced the reasons upon which I ground it.

The principal difficulty lies in the sense of the word απαμύνεται. If there is an ambiguity in construing it with deviny, it is taken away by deomorúvny which the same verb equally governs. Now δεσποσύνη does not signify the honour of command, as you translate it.

1st then, To support this version, sitauúvela. must be changed into ÉTauúvelai without authority, and in opposition to all manuscripts and printed copies, which should never be admitted, unless the direct meaning of the text required it.

2. The peculiar character of the Greeks, especially in those early ages, was the love of liberty, independency, and freedom from every yoke, ajtovouía and not the desire of rule, and ambition to command, or the glory of conquests.

. 3. Let any one, if he can, instance not a whole nation, but a single city, over which the Greeks had then extended their empire, or affected the honour of command. Demaratus would therefore have made himself ridiculous, if he had boasted to Xerxes of the command of the Greeks, when he could not shew any one village, over which they exercised it.

4. Though we should grant for a moment, that this Lacedæmonian intended to exaggerate the jealousy of the Greeks for the honour of command, as capable of making them sacrifice every thing for the conservation of so glorious a possession, he would never



have made use of the word deoTogúrn to express

bis thought. He would have certainly preferred šryejnovia, αρχή, δυναφεία, κρατο, Or it may be κοιρανίη, if he would nave talked like Homer. For degtosúvn signifies only the dominion of a master over his slaves; dominatio herilis in serros. It is an odious term, and carries with it the idea of slavery in the person who is subject to it, and conveys a notion entirely opposite to the genius of the Greeks, who never afterwards, though their ambition had been augmented from their great victories over the Persians, ever thought of establishing that despotic power, δεσποσύνην. The Athenians and Lacedænionians, who alternately shared the bonour of command, in all their conquests, affected either to introduce a democracy into the cities subdued, or an aristocrasy, and to animate them against the slavery of the Persians by that pleasing image of liberty. This needs no proof here, it is so expressly laid down in all history.

5. What Demaratus immediately adds of the Lacedæmonians, to prove his general thesis by that particular example, clearly shews, that the donosúvn here spoke of, was not active, such as they would exercise over others, but a passive SeotogÚvn, such as Xerxes required of them, to which the Spartans would never submit, though abandoned by all the Greeks, and left to perish inevitably alone. This is the end of his reasoning, which we should have constantly in view.

I do not see therefore how we can receive a version, at once directly opposite to the express text of the original, the propriety of the words, the true character of the people, the evidence of facts, and the, connection of the speaker's argument.

Thus then I would have it translated,

“ Greece indeed has ever been bred up in poverty; “ but has had 'virtue withal, improved by wisdom, " and supported by the vigour of the laws. And “ from the use she has made of this virtue it is, that “ Greece has alike preserved herself from the incon6 veniences of poverty, and the yoke of subjection.".




Without entering here into an exact detail of all that may be blamed in the laws of Lycurgus, I shall content myself with some slight reflections, which the reader without doubt, justly shocked and offended at the bare relation of them, will have made before me.

1. Upon the Choice of the Children to be brought up.

or exposed. And to begin with the choice of the children to be brought up or exposed, who can avoid being shockedat the unjust and barbarous custom of pronouncing a sentence of death upon infants, who had the misfortune to be born of too tender and delicate a constitution to support the fatigue and exercise, to which the republic destined all her subjects? Is it then impossible, and have we no instances of it, that children, at first weak and tender, may grow strong by age, and become even very robust? But were it otherwise, can our country be served only by the strength of our bodies? And are wisdom, prudence, council, generosity, courage, and greatness of soul, and all the qualities which depend on the mind, of no value? [r] Omnino illud honestum, quod ex animo cxcelso magnificoque quærimus, animi efficitur non corporis viribus. [s] Did Lycurgus himself do less service or honour to Sparta by the institution of his laws, than the greatest officers by their victories ? Agesilaus was of small stature, and had something so very disadvantageous in his mien, that the Egyptians at first sight of him could not forbear laughing; and yet he made the great king of Persia tremble upon his throne.

But what is of greater force than all I have urged, has any other a right over the lives of men, except he from whom they received them, that is, God himself? And does not a legislator visibly usurp upon his [r] Cic. 1. 1. Offic. n. 79. [s] Ibid. n. 76.


authority, when he arrogates to himself such a power independently of him? That command of the decalogue, which was only a repetition of the law of nature,

Thou shalt not kill, condemns all the ancients in general, who thought they had the right of life and death over their slaves, and even over their children.

2. The sole Care of the Body. The great fault of Lycurgus's laws, as Plato and Aristotle have observed, is, that they tended only to form a state of soldiers. This legislator seemed wholly taken up in the care of strengthening the body, without any concern about cultivating the mind. To what end should he banish all arts and sciences from his republic, [1] which principally tend to soften the manners, refine the understanding, improve the heart, and inspire a polite, generous, and honest behaviour, necessary in a word, to the support of society and to render the commerce of life agreeable ? Hence the Lacedæmonians had something rigid, austere, and of'ten cruel in their character; which partly arose from their education, and created an aversion for them in all the allies.

3. Their barbarous Cruelty to Children. It was an excellent custom at Sparta to inure the boys early to bear heat and cold, hunger and thirst, [u] and by severe and painful exercises to bring their bodies within due subjection to reason, so as to make them subservient to its orders, which could not be done, unless they were in a condition to support all kind of fatigues. But was it requisite to carry this trial so far as the inhuman treatment we have mentioned? And was it not brutal and barbarous in the parents to stand unmoved at seeing the blood run

[t] Omnes artes, quibus ætas afficiendum est, ut obedire consilio puerilis ad humanitatem informari rationique possit in exequendis nesolet. Pro Arch. n. 4.

gotiis & labore tolerando. Lib. 1. [x] Exercendum corpus, & ita de Offic. n. 79.


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