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6. Frtm Herodotus.
HeroeVus assures us that Hesiod, whom he places first id his account, and Homer, lived four hundred years and oo more before himself; this «nu& carry no small weight with it. when we confcder it as delivered down to us by the oldest Greek historian we have.
7. From bis •writings. The piotrs exclamation against the vices of his own times, in the beginning; of the iron age, and the manner in which the description os that age is wro:c, most of the verbs being in the future tense, give as room to imagine he lived when the world had but just departed from their primitive virtue; \rA u the race of heroes was at an end, and men were look into all that is base and wicked.
t- 7eV ofitsiams if fuflus Lipfws, and T.udolphut confuted.
Jaihu LipGus, in his notes to the first book of V.., P^ucrculus, fays, " there is more simpli"city, and a greater air of antiquity in the works
* of Hesiod than us Homer," from which he would icier he is the older writer: and Fabricius gives us LhcXe Words i f l.-ulolphus Neocorus, who writ a critical hiltory of Homer: 11 if a judgment of m the two poets is to be made from their works, "Kilmer has the advantage in the greater sim
* p'j city and air of antiquity in his style. Hesiod
* is more finished and elegant.'* ©nc of these it a Sirract instance of the random judgment which the critic* and commentators often pas* on authors, and how little dependence is to be laid on some as them. In short, they are both in an error; for, had they considered thrr.ugh how many hands the Iliad and Odysies have been finre they came from the first author, they would not have pretended to determine the question, who was in 1: by their style.
o. Dr. Cleric's and Sir Isaac Newton s opinions confu/cred.
Dr. Samuel Clarke (who was indeed a person of much more extensive learning and nicer discernment than either Neocorus or Dipfius) has fc-anded an argument for the antiquity of Homer on a quantity of the word x*\»i: in his note on the ajJ verse of the id book of the Iliad, he observes, diat Homer has used the word n-x\at in the Iliad and Odyssey above two hundred and seventy times, aud has in every place made the first syllable long; whereas Hcsiod frequently makes it long, and often short: and Theocritus ules it both long and short in the lame verse; from which our kimed critic infers that Heliod could not be eotraiporary with Homer (unless, fays he, they spoke different languages in different parts of the country) bat much later; because he takes it for granted, that the liberty of making the first syllabic of ■«a« short was long after Homer. who uses the »aid above two hundred and seventy times, aud never has the first syllable short. This is a curious t*tt ot critkism; but productive of so certainty
of the age of Homer or Hesiod. The Ionic poets, Dr. Clarke observes, had one fixed rule of making the first syllable in xui.01 long: the Attic poets Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, in innumerable places, he fays, make it short; the Doric poets do the fame: all therefore that can be inferred from this is, that Homer always used it in the Ionic manner, and Hefiod often in the Unic, and often in the Doric. This argument of Dr. Clarke's, founded on a single quantity of a word, is entirely destructive of Sir Isaac Newton's system of chronology; who fixes the time of Troy being taken but thitty-four years before Hefiod flourished. Troy, he fays', was taken nine hundred aud four years before Christ, and Heliod, he fays, nourished eight hundred and seventy. This shows Sir Isaac Newton's opinion of the age of Hefiod in regard to his vicinity to Homer: his bringing the chronology of both so low as he does, is to support his favourite fchtme of reducing all to scripture chronology.
10. A thousand years before Cbrijl. After all, it 19 universally agreed he was before, or at least cotemporary with Homer; but 1 think we have more reason to believe, him the older; and Mr. Pope, after all the authorities he could find in behalf of Homer, fixes his decision on the Arundeliau marble. To enter into all the disputes which have been on this head, would be endless and unnecessary; but we may venture to place him a thousand years before Christ, whhout et» ceeding an hundred, perhips, on cither side.
11. Some circumstances of bis life from bit writings. Having thus far agreed to his parents, his country, and the time in which he role, our next buliBcfi is to trace him in such of his actions as are discoverable; and here we have-nothing certain but what occurs to us in his works. That he, tended his own stocks on mount Helicon, and there first received his notions of poetry, is very probable from the beginning of his Thcogohy; but what he there fays of the muses appearing to him, and giving him a sceptre of laurel, 1 pass over as a poetical stighr. It likewise appears, from the first book of his Works aud Days, that his father left some effects, when he died, on the division of which his brother Perses defrauded htm, by bribing the judges. He was so far from being provoked to any act of resentment by this injustice, tha: he expressed a concern for those poor mistaken mortals, who placed their happiness in richc3 only, even at the expence of their virtue. He lets us know, in the some p.jem, that he was not only above want, but capable of assisting his brother in time ofneed; which he often did after the ;i! usage h< hnd met with from him. The last p^ssa^e, relating to himself, is his conquest in a poetic.il contention. Amphidamas, king of fluboM, had instituted funeral games in honour of his own memory which his sons afterwards saw p<rformcd: H-llod here was competitor for the prize in pee
* In lit chronology of ancient kingdoms amended, try, a tripod, which he Wod, and, as he tell» us himself, consecrated to the muses.
I %■ From Plutartb, &c.' Plutarch, in his Banquet of the Seven Wife Men' snakes Periander give an account of the poetica' Contention at Chalcis; in which Hesiod and Homer are made antagonists; the first was conqueror, who received a tripod for his victory, which he dedicated to the muses, with this inscription:
This Hesiod vows to th' Heliconian nine,
This story, as related by Plutarch, was doubtless occasioned by what Hesiod fays of himself, in the iecond book of his Works and Days; which passage might possibly give birth to that famous treatise, Ayuvtiur.sv xtu Us tata, mentioned in the fourth section of this discourse. Barnes, in his Preloquium to the fame treatise, quotes three verses, two from Eustathius, and the third added by Li. lius Gyraliiuf, in his life of our poet, which inform Us, that Hesiod and Homer fung in Delos to the honour of Apollo.
E» AtjXw Ten zrevrev lyu xai Our,*:;, etcAit,
Goifio* AvaXXum ffivffatoat* ov rixt Aurw.
Homer, and I, in Delos fung our lays,
But these, together with the contention betwixt these two gr;at pnets, are regarded as no other than fables; and Barnes, who had certainly read as much on this head as any man, and who seems, hy some expression*, willing to believe it if he could, is forced to decline the dispute, and leave it jn the same uncertainty in which he found it. The story of the two poets meeting in Delos, is a manifest forgery ; because, as I observed before, Hesiod positively fays he never took any voyage but that to Chalcis; and these verses make his meeting in Delos, which is contrary to his own assertion, precede his contention at Chalcis. Thus have I collected, and compared together, all that is material of his life; in the latter part of which, we are tolj, he removed to Locris, a town near the fame distance from n-.ount Parnassus, as Ascra from Helicon. Lilius Gyraldus, and others tell us he left a son, and a daughter; and thiit his son was Strss chorus the pi-et; but this wants better confirmation than we have of it. It i< agreed by all that he lived to a very advanced age.
13. Hu Death. The story of his ileath, as told by Solon, in Plutarch's Banquet of the Seven Wile Men, is very remarkable. The man, with whom Hisiod lived at Locris, ravislied a maid in the fame house. Hesiod, though entirely ignorant of the fact, was malioiouiiv accused, as an accomplice, 10 her brothers,
who barbarously murdered him with his companion, whose name was Troilus, and throwed their bodies into the sea. The body of Troilus was cast on a rock, which retains the name of Troilus from that accident. The body of Hesiod was received by a shoal of dolphins as soon as it was hurled into the water, and carried to the city Molicria, near the promontory Rhion : near which place the Locrians then held a solemn feast, the fame which it at this time celebrated with so much pomp. When they saw a floating carcase, they ran with astonishment to the shore, and finding it to be the body of Hesiod, newly slain, they resolved, ai they thought themselves obliged, to detect the murderers of a person they se much esteemed and honoured. When they had found out the wretches who committed the murder, they plunged them alive into the sea, and afterwards destroyed their houses. The remains of Hesiod were deposited in Nemea; and his tomb is unknown to most strangers; the reason of it being concealed, was because of the Orchomenians, who had a design, founded on the advice of an oracle, to steal his remains from thence, and to bury them in their own country. This account of the oracle, here mentioned by Plutarch, is related T>y Pausanias, in his Bceotics. He tells us the Orchomenians were advised by the oracle to bring the bones of Hesiod into their country, as the only means to drive away a pestilence which raged among them. They obeyed the oracle, found the bones, and brought them home. Pausanias, fay they, erected a tomb over him, with an inscription to this purpose on it:
Hesiod, thy birth is barren Ascra's boast,
14. Mmumtntiy ls*f. us him. We have the knowledge of some few morrunients which were raised in honour to this great and ancient poet: Paulanhu, in his Bceotics informs us, that his countrymen the Bœotians erected to his memory an image with a harp in his hand: the fame author tells us, in another place, there was likewise a statue of Hesiod in the temple of Jupiter Olympicus. Fulvius Ursinus, and Boiffarii, in his Antiquities, have exhibited a breast with a iiead, a tiuuk without a head, and a gem, of him: and Ursinus fays, there is a statue of him, of brass, in the public college of Constantinople. The only rriginal monument of him besides, now/ remaining, or" at least known, is a marble busto in the Pcmbmke collection at Wilton. « What Fulvius Ursinus has published resembles that, but is only a basso relievo. From the manner of the* head being cracked iff from the lower part, which has some of the hair behind, it appears that both the parts are of the fame work and date."
15. Hit cbaraBcr. For his character we need go no farther than his Works and Days. With what a dutiful affection he speaks of bis father, when he proposes kirn
n :•, patten) to h'n brother. Hit behaviour, after the unjust treatment from Perscs and the judges, prove* htm both a philosopher and a good man. His moral precepti, in the first book, seenvto be u mitch the dt ctate* of his heart as the fruits of
t * groias; there we behold a man of the chastest
Buorers, and the best disposition.
and cooremplation, and seems to have had no am. biaon imt that of acting well. I shall conclude my character of him with that part of it which Paterculos so justly thought his due: "pereleganris ingenii, et molislima dulcedini carmioum memorabilia; otii quietilque cupidiflimus of a trely elegant genius, and memorable for his most easy sweetness of verse ; most fond of leisure and
ON THE WRITINGS OF HESIOD.
Or all the authors who have given any account •: the writings of our poet, 1 find none so perfect as the learned Fabricius, in his Bibliotheca Grata. He there seems to have left unread no work that might in the least contribute to the completing r.K design: him I shall follow in the succeeding discourse, so far as relates to the titles of the id the authorities for them.
a. Tie Tleogony.
1 Audi begin with the Theogony, or Generation •' the Gods, which Fabricius puts oat of dispute to be of Hesiod: nor is it doubted, fays he, that Pjthagora* took it for his, who feigned he saw the fool of our poet in hell chained to a brazen pilfer; a punishment inBicted upon him for the tones which he invented of the gods. This doubtIds is the poem that gave Herodotus occasion to • fay that Hesiod, with Homer, was the first who introduced a theogony among the Grecians; the. Erft who gave names to the gods, ascribed to 'hem koo«r« and arts, giving particular descriptions of their persons. The first hundred and fifteen lines of this poem have been disputed; but I am inclined to believe them genuine; because Pausanias takes notice of the sceptre of laurel, which the pnet says, in those verses, was a present to him from the muses; and Ovid, in the beginning of kis Art of .Love, alludes to that passage of the muses appearing to him; and Hesiod himself, in the second book of his Works and Bays, has an allusion to these verses.
3. Tie Worlt and Dayi,
The Works and Days is the first poem of its kid, if we may tely on the testimony of Pliny; "being very uncertain, fay- Fabricius, whether tke poems attributed to Orpheus were uMer than Htfiod; among which the critics and commentate mention one of the fame title with this of our f--t. Pausanias, in his Bceotks, tells us he saw a
n-JT of this wrote in plates of lead, but without
the first ten versei with which it now begins. The only dispute about this piece has been concerning the title, and the division into books Some make it two poems; the first they call B>>«. works, and the second rltttotu, days; others call the first Eyf* ui fycigiu, works and days, and the second U/ueou only, which part consists of but sixty-four lines: where I mention the number of verses in this discourse, 1 speak of (hem as they stand in the original. We find, in some editions, the division beginning at the end of the moral and religioua precepts; but Grævius denies such distinctions being in any of the old manuscripts. Whether these divisions were in the first copies signifies little; for as we find them in several late editions, they are very uatural, and contribute something to the ease of the reader, without the least detriment to the original text. I am ready to imagine we have not this work delivered down to us so perfect as it came from the hands of the poet, which I shall endeavour to show in the next section. This poem, as Plutarch in his Symposiact assures us, was fung to the harp.
4. Tit Tleogony, and Worlt and Dayt, tie tmly «t« doubted poems of Hesiod now extant.
The Theogony, and Works and Days, are the only undoubted pieces of our poet now extant; the mrttit Htx.xt.itis, the shield of Hercules, is always printed with these two, but has not one convincing argument ill its favour by which we may positively declare it a genuine work of Hesiod. We have great reaapn to believe those two poem* only were remaining in the reign of Augustus. Maniliuswhq was an author of the Augustan age, in the second book of his Astronomy, takes notice, in his commendation of our poet and his writings, of no other than the Theogony, and Works and Days. The verses of Manilius are these:
Hesiodus memorat divos, div'umque parentet, Et chaos enixum terras, orbcmque sub illo Infantem, * primum, titubantia sidera, corpus, f'itanafque fines, Jovis et cunabula magni. Et sub fratre viri tinmen, sine fratre parentis, .\tque iterum patrionascentem corpore Bacchum, Omniaque immenso volitantia numina mundo:
* Dr h* entity, whose Mamlius nvas puilijhcd ten yean after the ftrfl edition of tbit discourse, gives primo* titubantia sidera parrus: tie eld copies, he says, have p. into*, and partus issupplied by bit orrn Judgment: but primos partus for titubantia sidera it n«t eitifsient with the genealogy of these natural loJiee in tie 1 beo?ony of Hesiod: an er ad genealogical table tc whiti J have <;iven at the end of my natti to that poem. 1 must, •tvitb great deference to the super, or knowledge of that learned critic, prefer the common reading ,>nm am corpus: Dr. 'entleyt chief objection to this reading it founded on making primum to be understood sit it I* point of time s therefore, fays be qttomodo vero s.Ocra primum cram eutpus, cum ante tile extiterint chaos, terræ, orbis? Very true; i:. pi. num mrfi be tuitn « J kate used it ill my explanation *f iU
Qninetiam rutis cultus, * legesque rogavit, Mditiamque Solt,quos colics Bacchrjs amaret, Quos soecunda Ceres campos, quod f Bacchus utriumque,
Atque arbusta vagis essent quod adultera pomis,' Sylvarumque dt os, sacrataque numina nymphas; Pads opus, magnos naturre condit in usus.
Thus translated by Mr. Creech:
—— Hesiod fiugs the gods immortal race;
The observation which Mr- Kennet makes on these lines is, TM that those fine things which the "Latin poet recounts about the birth of the gods, "and the making the world, are not so nearly al"lied to any passage in the present Theogony as "to justify the allusion." An author, who was giving an account of an ancient poet, ought to have been more careful than this biographer was in his judgment of these verses; because such a» read him, and arc at the same time unlearned in the language of the poet, are to form their notions from his sentiments. Mr. Kennet is so very wrong in his remark here, that in ail the seven lines which contain the encomium on the Theogony, I cannot fee one expression that has not an allusion, and a strong one, Co some particular passage in that poem. I am afraid this gentleman's modesty made him distrust himself, and too servilely follow this translation, which he quotes in his life of Hesiod, where he seems to lay great stress on the judgment of the translator. Mr. Creech has in these few lines so unhappily mistook his author, that in some places he adds what the poet never thought of, leaves whole verses untranslated, and in other places gives a sense quite different to what the poet designed. J (hall now proceed to point out these passages lo which Manihus particularly alludes. His first line relates to the poem in general, the Generation of the Gods; though we must take notice that he
* For legesque rogavit Dr. Bentley givet lrgesque novandi, cn the authority of no copy, but from a dislike to lit expression of rogavit cultus and rogavit flltlitiam; but, as tbt old reading rogavit it agreeable to my conjlruilion of it, 1 am for keeping it in.
f For Bacchus utmmque Dr. Btntleygnts Pallas ntrumque; and in that sense Air. Creech bat translated it ; ivlicb ivould be tbt mere eligible reading, if diefiod bud Untied of Olivet. Bacchus utrumque it a falsa rrstiilitn, at Dr, Bin'.ley obstrxn.
had that part of Hcsiod's system in view he makes matter precede all things, and even the gods themselves; for by div'um partntet the Latin poet means chaos, heaven, earth, &c. which the Greek poet makes the parent* of the gods. Hesiod tells us, verse 116, chaos brought forth the earth her first offspring; to which the second line here quoted has a plain reference; and crbtmque sub illo infantem, which Mr. Creech has omitted, may cither mean the world in general, or, by sub illo being annexed, hell, which, according to our port, was made a subterranean world. Frhnum titubantiasidera, corput, which is here rendered, and infant-Jlart Jirjlstagger d in their way, are the fun and moon; our poet calls them Hijum .-i -, - •, XotfA-rtxt Ti n\n>w, the great fun, and the bright moon; the Roman calls them the wandering planets, the chief bodies in the firmament, not the first works of heaven, as is interpreted in the Dauphine's edition of Manilius. The fourth verse, which refers to the birch of Jove, and the wars of the giants and the gods, one of the greatest lubjects of the Theogony, the English translator has lest untouched. 1 am not ignorant of a various reading of this passage, viz.
"Titanasque juviffe scnis cunabula magni," which ha- a stronger allusion to the battle of the gods than the other reading, fenit cunabula m*gwit meaning the second childhood or old age of Waters. The next verse, which is beautifully expressed in these two lines. How name of brother veil'd an husband's love, And Juno bore unaided by her Juve, plainly directs to Jupiter taking his sister Juno to wise, and Juno bearing Vulcan, u $i*.crnri, U>-\itx, by which Hefiod means without the mutual joys of love. The succeeding line has a reference to the birth of Bacchus, and the seventh to the w hole poem; so that he may be said to begin and ind his panegyric on the Theogony, with a general allusion to the whole. The Latin poet, in his six verses on the Works and Days, begins as on the Theogony, with a general observation on the whole poem: " Hesiod," lays he, " inquired into "the tillage and management of the country, and "into the laws or rules of agriculture:" I do not question but Maniliu*, in legrsjue rogavit, had his eye on these words of our poet Omct <roi zeicivv ■atXiToii Kuot, this is the law of the fields. What the Roman thirc fays of Bacchus loving hills, and of grafting, has no allusion to any part of the present Works and Days; but we are not to infer from thence rhat This is not the poem alluded to, but that those passages are lost; of which 1 have not the least doubt, when I consider of some parts of the Works ai d Day* which ar<- not so well connected as I wish they were. 1 think it is indisputable that Hesiod writ more of the vintage than we have now extant, and that lie likewise laid down rules for the care of trees: this will appear more clearly, if we observe in what manner Virgil introduces this linr, "Alcræuniqiie cano, Romana per oppida,carmen." This is in the second book of the Georgics; the chief subjects ot which took ore the different me