« VorigeDoorgaan »
of working for bread. If the Barin | of Egypt formerly least known and wished to have lis work done le must least visited — the Fayyûm and the get other men."
Delta — lave sprung into capital imThis is poor Ivan Ivanovitch all over. portance as mines of archeology, and Easily satisfied, indolent, self-indul- we may prophesy with confidence that gent, weak, he does not care to rise in what has been found is but a title of the world. So long as he can exist and what will yet be brought to light. allow his wife and children to exist, The two European centres which and so long as he can obtain, for cash have pre-eminently deserved the gratior credit, vodka enough to keep him tude of the learned for publishing going, he is content. He has no idea promptly their newly acquired treasures of any higher civilization, or of any are Vienna and London. The débris sort of home-comfort. For the rest, le of a great library at Medinet, the caploves his “ little father” the czar; ital of the Fayyûm, which were bought fears God in a superstitious sort of by the Archduke Rainer, are way, and the Lieshui (wood spirits) being published by a committee of saa and other supernatural creations of his vants in a special periodical, and exnational folk-lore in very real way ; ceed both in variety and in quantity observes the church festivals with bib- anything yet discovered of the kind. ulous piety ; attends church at Easter; Seven or eight centuries, and seven tolerates his wife and children, and or eight languages, are represented in kuows absolutely nothing of the affairs these fragments. But in quality they either of this world or of the next. are disappointing. The fragments of But education is making great strides, classical authors are many in number, and the younger generation is growing but not important as regards new auup with advantages to which its fore- thors or readings. The scrap from an fathers were strangers. Liglit is steal- ancient Gospel, with verses concerning ing, gradually, over the land. Would the Lord's Supper, is indeed profoundly that it might chase away the drivk de- interesting, but there is not enough mon! With the vodka evil reduced to of it to allow open minds to decide moderate dimensions, there would be a whether it is anterior to those of St. chance even for rural Russia.
Matthew and St. Mark, or merely a FRED WHISHAW. compendium drawn from them. For
while it closely resembles both, it is identical with neither. The question is accordingly usually decided by the
standpoint of each critic. If he be FURTHER GLEANINGS FROM THE PAPYRI. heterodox, he declares the fragment to
THERE is no department of antiqua- be from a proto-Gospel, which rian study which has been so flourishi- Evangelists copied ; if he be orthodox, ing and so fruitful of recent years as he tells us it is a very early compenthat of the papyrus literature found in diuin from our four Gospels, made, Egypt. In the first place, the mate- perhaps, in the third century. Of the rials available bave increased enor- classical sort, a passage from the lost mously, owing partly to the occupation " Hecale” of Callimachus, which was of the country by a civilized power, an epic idyll of the kivd that Tennyson and the consequent diffusion among has made so familiar, is the most interthe natives of the knowledge that frag- esting hitherto published. And this ments of papyrus may be exceedingly has been edited, with a facsimile, by valuable ; owing, however, still more Professor Gomperz, of Vienna, the to the genius of individual explorers, foremost scholar in Europe in the matamong whom Mr. Petrie now takes the ter of papyrus fragments.
But the first place, who have either found or passage is disappointing. It is in no bought many precious documents which way remarkable, save that it points to had else been lost. The two districts la detailed treatment which we should
From The New Review.
hardly have thought possible iu a short | produced in a very similar way the colepic. In fact, it required no small acu- lection of Leyden ; and in the “Nomen and insight to recognize its source tices et Extraits brought out forty and determine its author.
years ago by Brunet de Presle from Before we turn back to England, it Letronne's papers we have a fine storemay be well to cast a glance at the con- house of these texts. All of them are tributions to this field of scholarship given in facsimile, the last even in colmade by Paris and Berlin. Both have ors, so as to help further decipherment acquired a considerable quantity of of the passages illegible to the editors. papyri during recent years, but there But these meritorious works is no official prououncement as to the brought out before the days when phoamount, and only isolated specimens of tography began to lend its invaluable their quality. We may be quite certain aid to the accurate reproduction of that with such specialists as M. Weil originals. The imitation by hand in and M. Eugène Revillot at hand in copper-plates, however carefully done, Paris, nothing of capital importance must want the freedom of the original can lie concealed. The latter has un- handwriting, and cannot possibly give der his hand a periodical in which he us all the microscopic points which lead gives us at intervals the results of his to the decipherment of a half-obliterresearches. But they are usually in ated scrawl. Hence we find M. RevilDemotic literature, from which he has lot, in his recent admirable editions of drawn invaluable aid in deciphering the French papyri (in his Revue), aland explaining the difficult private ac- ways appealing for his new readings to counts in Greek which formi so large a the originals which are inadequately portion of every collection of papyri. rendered in the plates of the “ Notices A long and important passage from one et Extraits.” Nowadays no scholar of the lost speeches of Hypereides, feels perfectly satisfied with any tranwho seems destined to be recovered scription unless he has seen a copy piecemeal from the tombs or sands of taken by the faithful sun, wbich has no Egypt, is the only considerable classical theories to support. acquisition he has made for us.
From herceforth nobody will attempt The Berlin collection, which is also any other sort of reproduction from under the eyes of several great special- these faint and worn fragments, for ists, has vever yet been described as a the sake of the scholars who cannot whole. Many short texts, especially study the originals. Such are all the those concerned with accounts and with most recent publications of the kind local administration, have been pub- Gomperz's fragment of the “Hecale," lished and explained by Professor U. Wilcken's “ Tafeln,” or specimens of Wilcken, who has devoted his great early handwritings, and the magnificent. talents to this branch of Greek philol- volumes of the Palæographical Society. ogy ; and he now promises us a corpus The authorities of the British Museum, of all extant Greek papyri, a task so with that energy and liberality which vast, and so constantly increasing, that have made it the noblest and best in it seems beyond the reach of any single Europe, have decided to reproduce
The Berlin authorities should with solar accuracy the manuscripts. rather take heart at the example of the long since published with facsimiles in British Museum, and devote their en- copper-plate by the then chief librarian, ergies to a complete publication of their J. Forshall, in its day an excellent anci own papyri, with adequate facsimiles. scholarly production.
Of such publications we have several When we come to the quality of the notable examples in the last genera- reproduction, we find a signal superiortion. A. Peyron, in volumes never ity in the volume of the British Musince surpassed for acuteness and sound seum. For there are photographs and learning, gave us the small but excel- photographs ; there are processes and lent collection at Turin. Leemans processes. The cheaper and more ore
dinary are quite unable to reproduce the work of the Irish Academy, and for us the yellow, wrinkled surface of give the whole of the Petrie treasures these papyri. There are cheap proc-in plates to the public. esses — collotype, or whatever they are But it is high time to turn from this called - which only produce blurred external history of the publication of black surfaces, upon which very little papyri to the contents of the new volcan be deciphered. Such are, for ex-ume. In doing so it will be well to ample, the reproduction of the strange notice the various analogies in the Etruscan book found by Krall at parallel publication of Vol. II. of the Agram, and that of the "Hecale" “Petrie Papyri,” brought out this. fragment (written on wood), to which month by the Royal Irish Academy. the editor has been obliged to append Everybody knows that during the a colored cut done with the hand. Pro- last three years the British Museum fessor Wilcken's plates are somewhat has been astonishing the world with better, but still far from satisfactory.1 new classical texts, notably the “ ConNowhere is the superiority of England stitution of Athens,” by Aristotle, and plainer than in the quality of the plates the “ Mimiamboi” (character sketches) now produced by the British Museum. of Herondas — they might be called "They are the result of many trials by idylls, were the treatment not the Autotype Company with colored homely and coarse. Both these new lenses, with electric lamps, of much texts, not to speak of a volume of .consultation with Mr. Maunde Thomp- pages from the Iliad and from Demos:son, the well-known palæographer, thenes, have been given to the world whose services in the Museum are ac- in complete autotype facsimile, and knowledged by all Europe. The result have excited a perfect deluge of critical in this great volume, as well as in the literature. The new quarto, with its - Petrie Papyri,” of which the second atlas of plates, is of a very different volume is just being published by the kind. It contains no purely literary or Royal Irish Academy, is really all that classical texts. It contains not even can be desired. In the great majority much newly discovered matter. But it of these cases these autotypes are quite professes to reproduce more accurately as good as the originals ; in a few they the fragments already printed by Forare even better, bringing out points shall, with so many improvements as to more clearly than the original ; in some, supersede the older book. A considerof course, especially with very wrinkled able part of these texts is from a treas:surfaces, they cannot but be inferior. ure which was divided among the The only objection to this truly bril- finders, and sold to divers hands, from liant and artistic work is its great whence portions liave come to Leyden, expense. The large plates in the folio Rome, Turin, Paris, as well as London. of the Museum may have cost £20 Thus legal documents, consisting of apiece ; for the quarto plates in the complaints, replies, minutes, receipts, - Petrie Papyri” cost £12. This is the can be explained by comparison of the reason why none but wealthy editors collections in various museums. can indulge in the luxury, and in the Such is the case with the long series case of the Petrie collection the learned of documents concerning the claims of are already regretting that more of its the twin female acolytes, Thaes and ·curious and unique documents have not Thaous, who were appointed to offer been reproduced. If this collection daily services at the Serapeum passes, as is not improbable, into the Memphis, with a monthly allowance of hands of the Museum, we may hope bread and oil. This salary had fallen that in a new volume it will complete into arrears, and the Twins, who assert
that they are starving, besiege the 1 The only thoroughly satisfactory foreign repro- authorities with petitions. duction is that of the “ Codex Marchalianus," an Egyptian sixth-century copy of the Gospels, pub- however, was conducted for them by a Jished two years ago at Rome.
certain Ptolemy, son of Glaucias, a
Macedonian, who had retired into the to this oppression of delay — a real temple for ten years as a recluse under weapon of torture in the hands of a vows which prevented his leaving its bureaucracy - there was also imprisonprecincts. This Ptolemy was evidently ment pending trial, or without trial, for à really writer, and we have from his we find there several petitions from hand many personal complaints, as well prisoners to high oficials to get them as those in behalf of the Twins. So released, and save them from “ rotting far as the issue is known to us, the in gaol.” This had been specially forTwins recovered their arrears of oil and bidden by the old Egyptian law, which bread in the end. But the pursuit of was now overridden by the new dyeach required a long series of papers, nasty with Græco-Macedonian tradiincluding first on their part an applica- tions. tion to the governor of Memphis, and We have been drifting naturally into when that failed an appeal to the king, the inferences concerning life and who happened to pay an official visit manners to be drawn from these tedito Memphis during the dispute. But ous minutes and claims about a petty these appeals have to pass through the affair — if, indeed, any affair can be bands of so many officials, even after called petty which can be raked up and the king had ordered the payment, that discussed after more than two thouwe are quite bewildered by the crowd sand years. For such antiquity, espeof bureaus and clerks, and come to cially when we possess the original wonder how any business of the kind documents, lends interest to every trivwas ever completed. Every device of iality of human affairs. It seems that our War Office clerks seems fully an- when an Egyptian mother had twins, ticipated. The Egyptian officials had she gave them names not more easy to learned perfectly how to ignore, to distinguish than the children thempostpone, to resent as impertinence, to selves; the various spellings of Thaous shunt responsibility on another depart- and Thaes are such that if we met ment. Red tape was already rampant. either by itself we should with diffiAll this went on in the days of the cully say which of them was meant. Seventh Ptolemy, about 160 B.C. But These girls were members of the crowd even then it was not new, for the of priests and acolytes who were at“ Petrie Papyri,” which date from the tached to the great group of temples Second and Third Ptolemies - many of of which the Serapeum was but one. them a full century earlier — show the From the high priest to the hanger-on same exuberance of officialdom. It is there was a descending hierarchy of likely that the natural consequences, the same complication which we find oppression and corruption, were also in the public offices. But in addition prevalent. The acharnement of the to these salary-bearing officials, we Twins in their complaints is clearly have revealed to us a fact which we owing to the conviction, openly ex- never could have guessed - the existpressed (Pap. XXXV.), that while the ence of monastic ideas, of the presence crown had honestly paid the salary, the of voluntary recluses who escaped from liead officials of the temple had embez- the world to the protection and peace zled it, and so, when two years' arrears of the temple. Ptolemy does not tell were paid to them, the third year was us what his duties were. They cerwithheld and required a new series of tainly allowed him time to take interest applications. The arrear of bread re- in worldly affairs. He not only conquires also a separate set of applica- ducts this complicated case for the tions, etc., from that of oil.1 The Twins, whose interest'he espoused from * Petrie Papyri” show that in addition pure benevolence (or officiousness ?),
for they were no relations of his, but 1 The oil is of two' kinds, kiki (castor oil) for he also manages lis property through a burning, and sesemine, for we know that olive oil was only produced by the Greek colony in the younger brother, for whom he begs a Fayyum.
commission in the army. But his se
clusion within the temple precincts was ments, to the deserts and the forests, evidently imperative. We are not told to save their souls by auchorite ascetiof the causes which induced him to cism! There is a companion letter adopt this life, but there is extaut in from this man's brother preserved in the collection another document, which the Vatican, which speaks still more shows that a mau would suddenly de- strongly concerning his neglect of sert his home and family and take ref-duty ;. but [ will not dwell upon a uge in the Serapeum without letting single case longer. them know of his intentions or even of It is to be remarked that even in his whereabouts, till perhaps his con- such letters of angry complaint the science smote him. In the face of forms of politeness are strictly obsuch a document we imagine ourselves served, as strictly as our Dear sir and in the Middle Ages. Here is the text your obedient servant, even when we (Pap. XLII.):
mean nothing of the kind. Such is " Isias to her brother Hephæstion. also the character of the letters in the If you are in good health and in other “ Petri Papyri,” from which I may respects satished, you are as I con- quote one from a son to his father, stantly pray the gods that you should which is well enough preserved to show be. I too am well, and the child, and its extreme courtesy or filial affection. all the household, all constantly think. The date is about 250 B.C. and the ing of you.
When I received your let- heading is lost, but it must have comter by the hands of Horos announcing menced : [“ Philonides to his father that you were in retreat at the Sera- (Kleon), greeting ...] For thus will peum at Memphis, I forth with thanked you find the king favorable to you for the gods that you were safe and well, the future. Surely nothing is to me but I am vexed that you did not come more vital than to protect you for the home with all the rest who were ar- rest of your life in a manner worthy of rested there [the place and occasion of you, worthy of myself ; and should any this arrest or detainment is assumed as mortal chance befall you, that you familiar), because that all through such should receive every attention [he a crisis, having managed for myself means a stately funeral] ; for it is my and for your child, and being in great whole object to stand by you well, both straits owing to the high price of food, while you live and when you depart and expecting some relief when you to the gods. Above all things, then, returned, I find that you never thought make every effort to be relieved finally of coming home or considering our dif- of your duties (he was commissioner of ficulties. And yet even while you were public works in the Fayyûm), but if here we were in great need, not to say this be impossible, make an effort when after the additional lapse of time, and the river falls, and there is no danger the bad times, and your having sent us [to dykes and sluices], and when Theonothing. And now that Horos, who doros can act as your deputy, to take brought your letter, also told us that ship, so as to spend that season at least you had been completely released from with us. Keep this before you, that, your vows, I am quite annoyed. But you may avoid vexation, and remember since your mother happens to be in that I have used every forethouglit to very bad health you will do well, on keep you free from trouble
The her account as well as ours, to come conclusion is lost. The handwriting is home to this city, if not absolutely pre- very large and clear, and evidently vented. Farewell, and take care of written with peculiar care by way of your health.” The date appended cor- respect to his correspondent. But I responds to 172 B.C.
must return again to the British MuHow many similar letters must dis- seum volume. tracted wives and sisters have written Among the miscellaneous papers to men who fled from the world and which are printed after the Serapeum the terrible prospect of eternal tor- ! papers, there are assessments of taxes,