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grammatics. 1. The existence of this sacred alphabet is attested by Herodotus, Diodorus, and several other writers.
Occasionally under the name of hieroglyphic, as appears not only by the passage quoted above from Manetho, if we do not alter the text, but from one in Porphyry, which may be found in Warburton, 3. It was, however, considered as perfectly distinct from the genuine hieroglyphic, which was always understood ta denote things, either by mere picture writing, or, more commonly, by very refined allegory. 4. Works of a popular and civil nature were written in this character, as we learn from Clement of Alexandria; whereas the genuine hieroglyphic was exceedingly secret and mysterious, and the knowledge of it confined to the priesthood. 5. The inscription upon the Rosetta stone is said, in the terms of the decree contained in it, to be written in sacred, national and Greek characters. Tais To Legais, mal by wgiais, nai Exληνικες γραμμασιν. 6. It could not be a mysterious character, such as the genuine hieroglyphic seems to have been, because it was exposed to public view with a double translation, 7. It occupies a considerable space upon the stone, although an indefinite part of it is broken off; although the real hieroglyphic, as is naturai to emblematic writing, appears to have been exceedingly compendious. 8. The characters do not appear to be very numerous, as they recur in various combinations of three, four, or more, as might be expected from the letters of an alphabet. But this ar gument we do not strongly press, because our examination has not been very long. It appears to hold out a decisive test; and we offer it, as such, to the ingenuity of antiquaries.
Upon these grounds, we think, that the characters upon the Rosetta stone, which are commonly denominated hieroglyphics, are, in fact, the original alphabetic characters of the Egyptians; from which the others have probably been derived, by a gradual corruption through haste in writing. They are, however, in one sense, hieroglyphics, being tolerably accurate delineations of men, animals and instruments. If we are right in our conjectures, the value of the Rosetta stone is incomparably greater than has been imagined. We have no need of hieroglyphics; Roman and Egyp tian monuments are full of them. But a primitive alphabet, probably the earliest ever formed in the world, and illustrating an important link in the history of writing, the adaptation of signs to words, is certainly a discovery very interesting to any philosophical mind. Through what steps the analysis of articulate sound into its constituent parts was completed, if we can say that it ever has been completed, so as to establish distinct marks for each of them; and whether these marks were taken at random, or from some supposed analogy between the simple sounds they
were brought to represent, and their primary hieroglyphical meaning, are questions which still stand in need of solution. We offer these remarks with equal diffidence as to their truth and their originality. If to any of our learned readers they should not appear new, we entreat their candour for troubling them with opinions, which, so far as our limited information extends, have not hitherto been made public.
In recompense to Dr Gillies, we will quote a passage in which he has cleared up a difficulty which perplexed two eminent writers.
The vaftnefs of the palace, or rather the palaces of Alexandria, need not surprise us, if we admit that the imperial palace at Rome was larger than all the reft of that capital. Hume, in his Effay on the populousness of ancient nations, p, 473, is juftly incredulous with regard to this point; and Gibbon endeavours to remove the difficulty by faying, that the emperors had confifcated the houses and gardens of opulent fenators, therefore, included under the name of the imperial palace. (Decline and Fall, c. 6. p. 161.) But upon turning to the paffage in Herodian, 1. 4. c. 1. on which this incredible account of the magnitude of the imperial palace wholly refts, the words convey to me a different meaning from that in which they are taken by all Latin translators, not excepting the learned Politian. The hiftorian relates, that the fons of Severus, upon their father's death at York, haftened by the shortest road to Rome, never eating at the fame table, nor fleeping in the fame houfe. The rapidity of their journey was urged by their defire of taking up feparate quarters in the amplitude of the royal palace, greater than any city, Rons TeXews person. Herodian inftitutes, not a comparifon between the magnitude of Rome and that of its imperial palace; he only intimates, generally and indefinitely, the magnitude of the palace, in diftin&t wings of which, Caracalla and Geta thought they would be fafer from each other's machinations than in the cities of Gaul and Italy through which they had to pass. '
We thoroughly concur in this opinion; indeed, it might be stated with more absolute confidence than it is by Dr Gillies. It excites a suspicion that both Mr Hume and Mr Gibbon must have looked at the wrong column in the page of their Herodian. That historian seems to have spoken rhetorically, and called the royal palace at Rome greater than any city, merely as a hyperbolical expression to denote its prodigious extent.
Our opinion of Dr Gillies's work may be justly collected from what we have said already. It does not appear to present such a luminous and masterly view of the very interesting period which it embraces, as would have been given by Mr Gibbon or Dr Robertson; but it exhibits proofs of learned research, and may, upon the whole, we think, be read with pleasure and advantage. It deseryes no praise on the score of style, which is commonly diffuse
and overcharged; and often vulgar and slovenly. We cannot dismiss this subject, without remarking, that there are some interesting questions with regard to the Grecian monarchies after Alexander, which are scarce at all touched by Dr Gillies. Such are the state of their armies, and the sort of troops of which they were composed, their laws and government,-the tone of the national character and manners,-the state of the natives under their subjection, and the symptoms of internal strength or weakness in their situation. We cannot justly be expected to make up this deficiency; but perhaps the reader will excuse us for putting together a few facts upon some of these points, which will not be found collectively in the work under our review.
I. The small Macedonian army of Alexander, received frequent recruits from the same country during the course of his conquests; which, however, unless more numerous than ancient writers report them, could have little more than repaired the losses of war and fatigue during eleven years, and filled the place of those veterans whom from time to time he dismissed to their native country. The collective armies, however, of his generals, while they were disputing the spoil, almost immediately after his death, seem to have been very numerous. Antigonus brought 80,000 men into the battle of Ipsus. The opposite army was little inferior; and the troops of Ptolemy were not engaged in this action. This too, was after twenty years of constant warfare, and many well contested and sanguinary battles. Macedon was indeed the mint of soldiers; but Macedon was a country of no vast extent, and, after it became divided from the rest of the empire, could not, it should seem, have furnished troops to foreign and often hostile sovereigns. The solution of this problem may be found by comparing scattered passages of antiquity. The great strength of all these armies was the Macedonian phalanx; one of those grand military innovations which have rewarded the genius of their inventors with supreme power and renown. For two centuries the phalanx was supposed to be irresistible. When complete, it consisted of 1024 files, 16 deep. Their charge in close order, presenting their Macedonian spears, which were of such a length that those of the fifth rank projected beyond the front, was not to be withstood by the shorter weapons and less compact arrangement of the Greeks, much less by the rude and irregular multitudes of the Asiatics. This phalanx, so early as the time of Alexander, was filled up with Persians. We are told by Arrian, that he formed the three first ranks of Macedonians, the twelve next of Persians, and placed another Macedonian in the last. By this judicious intermixture, the want of skill, and perhaps of bravery, in the Persians, was compensated. They acquired, with the arms
and discipline, the spirit and self-estimation of their conquerors; and we are almost inclined to suspect, that they were gradually confounded under the same name. Long at least after this age, and when few native Macedonians can be well supposed to have served in the troops of Egypt, in the sedition which followed the death of Ptolemy Philopater, the soldiery is addressed by Agathocles with that honourable appellation. Next in dignity to the Macedonians, or those at least who bore their name in the phalanx, were the mercenary troops who were raised, in great numbers, for the service of the two eastern kings, from the Grecian cities of Europe and Asia. These seem not to have adopted the Macedonian tactics, but were ranged commonly on each side of the phalanx, and formed a very respectable part of the army. The great victory obtained by Ptolemy Philopater at Raphia, is ascribed, by Polybius, to the freshness of his Grecian mercenaries, which had lately been levied for his service; whereas, those of Antiochus were exhausted by the fatigue of long campaigns in the Upper Asia. A passage in Plautus throws light upon the recruiting or crimping system of that time. the comedy of the Miles Gloriosus, Pyrgopolinices tells us that he was employed upon such a commission,
Nam rex Seleucus me opere oravit maximo,
Ut fibi latrones (i. e. mercenarios) cogerem et confcriberem. '
A&t 1. Sc. 1. In the plays, indeed, of that writer, and of Terence, the mirrors of the later Greek comedy, we find the stage character of the partisan, who has served in the wars of Asia, as much established as those of the slave and the parasite. It occurs three or four times in Plautus, and once in the well known Thraso of Terence: and although the sameness which pervades them, may lead us to think that these authors rather copied each other than real life, there must have been a prototype in the received notion of the character, which the public were able to recognize. In every instance, they are represented as having acquired inordinate riches, and as spending it a good deal in the same manner as an English sailor is supposed to get rid of his prize money. But the parallel will hold no further. The most ridiculous vanity, stupidity and cowardice, are the constant attributes of the soldier in those comedies. A nation, one would think, must be sunk very low, in which the military character was never exhibited but as odious and contemptible. But, to judge from history, the picture must be somewhat overcharged. The Greeks of that age, though unable to cope with Rome or Macedon, displayed occasionally both skill and prowess. Perhaps it was unpopular thus to waste the blood of Greece in wars in which it had no concern; and public indignation
indignation refused to the mercenaries of the Seleucida that admiration and sympathy which are the usual reward of a military life. The third class of troops in the armies of these princes, were their native subjects. Though the inhabitants of the finest climates of Asia were generally unwarlike, other parts, especially the mountainous districts, contained a hardy race of men. The skill which barbarians frequently acquire in missile weapons, is formidable to any army not possessed of artillery, and consequently obliged to fight near at hand. Media, the finest province of Asia, produced an incomparable breed of horses; and the kings of Syria, at one time, were able to reinforce their armies from the savage hardihood of the Isaurian mountaineers, the obstinate bravery of the Jews, and the dexterity of the Parthian cavalry. The kingdom of Egypt seems to supply less military resources from itself. Yet, if 200,000 infantry and 40,000 horse obeyed the mandate of Philadelphus, so prodigious an army could hardly have been collected without great draughts upon the native population.
II. It would be a more difficult task to attempt the satisfactory delineation of the internal state of society. If we were to judge from the personal character of the sovereigns, upon which, in a mere despotism, so much seems to depend, the condition of the Eastern Greeks would generally appear deplorable. After the first or second generation, the successors of Seleucus and Ptole y degenerated into effeminate luxury or portentous guilt; and the annals of Constantinople itself hardly contain a greater series of crimes, than sullied the royal families of Antioch and Alexandria. But this was compensated to their subjects by the peculiar advantages of their situation. They enjoyed the inexhaustible fertility of Syria, Babylonia and Egypt. The ports of the Mediterranean were crowded with vessels, secure from maritime hostility; and the creation of almost numberless cities, bearing the names of Seleucus and his family, is the noblest evidence of the riches and magnificence of that dynasty. Athenæus speaks of the Syrians, as a people who, from the fertility of their country, had little need to labour, and consumed their leisure in banqueting and diversions. Antioch, the capital, was most distinguished for this character. The beautiful grove of Daphne, situated about five miles from that city, was the scene where its luxurious inhabitants abused the prodigality of nature in every enjoyment of voluptuous ease. It was the more honourable characteristic of Alexandria, to be the seat of literature; and the praise of her sovereigns to have bestowed patronage upon men who, however inferior to those nursed in the bosom of Grecian liberty, surpassed them in erudition, and have formed a sort of epoch in the his