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paper or parchment. It is no use to in- | the Greeks déarol and nívakes. Each would dulge in mere assertion, and say that represent a page; and for the purposes " papyrus, with the Egyptian trade open of a note-book, or of transmission under now for over a century and a half, must seal, they could easily have been used like have been cheap and plentiful in Greece the Roman pugillares. That the surface and Sicily.” * Why, then, is it never was covered with a thin layer of wax is mentioned as a writing-material? There probable from many considerations. In is indeed one verse in Aeschylus f in the first place it is a material very cheap, which he speaks of certain commands very plentiful, very easily impressed or not being “sealed down in folds of by- obliterated,* and very durable. We have blus," after the manner of an official mis- a vast number of ancient deeds, and the sive, but delivered viva voce; but the waxen seals still appended to them remain genuineness of the verse cannot, even for in good preservation after the lapse of metrical reasons, be trusted, and the con- six or seven centuries. There are incitext tends to show it is a later interpola- dental notices of these waxed tablets betion. Anyhow, it is evident, from the ing used in the Athenian law-courts for mention of sealing, that letter-writing, and indictments and other purposes. So in not the copying of literature, must be the "Clouds,” there is a joke about meltalluded to. Still the line is one of the ing the letters of a writ in the sunshine, t greatest importance to the determination and in the “Wasps we read of an old of this question; for, if papyrus was used juryman having his finger-nail full of wax for letter-writing, it could also have been from scratching a line on a tablet. It is used for copying books.

therefore highly probable that a stiff and Herodotus does indeed tell us f that not a flexible material was at first used the lonians used prepared skins for writ- for writing; in other words, the schooling on, and this is probably the origin of slate preceded the use of the copy-book ; parchment. § Yet no notice of it any- and the “blackboard” of the lecturer is where occurs beyond the brief statement still a witness to the ancient custom. It be makes to this effect. There is now is the origin too of the diptychs and where the slightest indication that either triptychs that came into use over the papyrus or parchment was ever used for altars of churches, not, at first, for paintthe transcription of literary works. ngs, but for lists of written names.

What, then, did they use? For, even The examples of Egypt and Assyria, if Homer and Hesiod and the rhapsodists not to mention some other countries, as who represented them, made no written Lycia, Phænicia, and Etruria, tend to copies (which, in itself, they either may show that the earliest form of writing was or may not have done), it cannot be scratching stone or clay,

a process esdoubted that the plays of Aeschylus and sentially different from the use of the pen. Sophocles were written down from the The form of the arrow-headed character first; and being so written, they must is thought to show that clay cylinders, have been preserved (and all the more impressed by an angular piece of wood carefully because they were unique auto- or metal, were used before the inscriptions graph copies) either in temples or treas- were cut in stone, which must have been aries, or among the State archives, till the very early, though not so early as Egyptimes of the Alexandrine school of learn- tian hieroglyphics on granite. Assyrian ing, when for the first time the use of inscriptions on slabs considerably exceed papyrus and the practice of transcription one thousand years B.C. The Greeks too became common; and from them have made inscriptions on stone pillars (orihai) come down to us the copies we still pos- as early as Solon or Pisistratus, perhaps, sess in a more or less corrupt state of the - very short and badly executed, so far texts.

as we can now judge from the ungainly Noihing could be more convenient than shapes of the letters and the non-division light strips or tablets of wood, called by of words. The early “lettering” of the

Greek vases, of about the same period, • Dr. Hayman in the Journal of Philology, viii., p.

* The word used by Euripides for altering words in a † Suppl 947

δέλτος is συγχειν, implying melting the surface, or : Book v. 58. | Corrapied from Pergamena, from its manufacture obliterating words with the blunt end of a stilus. iph.

The prepared wax was called piiron or a Perzanios in Asia Minor. I Diogenes Laertius tells us that Xenophon stole pá20a (Jul. Pollux, Onom. x. 58). See Herod. vii. od published (as he also himself continued) the “ His- | 239. try of Thucydides,This anecdote, it true, shows † Aristoph. Nub. 772, – a passage very remarkable

ibe book had not been published or circulated for the early mention of a glass lens and its use for (Laert ii. 6 § 13).

drawing the sun's rays into a focus. LIVING AGE. VOL. XXX. 1511

Aul. 37

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“ Frogs.”

66 T

belongs to the department of painting | same diameter, so that a strip of barko rather than of writing proper; and it skin wrapped round, and written hardly extended, for two or three centu- lengthwise, would be intelligible only b ries, beyond single words. As a rule, precisely the same arrangement of th ancient sites, e.g. those called “Cyclo- lines, since the order of the words woul pian,” are wholly destitute of inscrip: become disjointed on a stick of any othe tions; we might as well expect to find diameter. letters on a block at Stonehenge as on a There is hardly any allusion to“ books polygonal or squared stone at Mycenae. earlier than the writings of Plato. And Even the scratches on the clay balls is very remarkable that they are spoke (whorls) found by Schliemann at Hissarlik of as a novelty and a development in tl have no claim at all to be considered as

of Aristophanes (B.C. 400 writing. Nor have any Hebrew inscrip- where it is said * “that every one no tions of any antiquity (apart froin the has a book and learns wisdom out of it." Moabitic stone,* with its Assyrian and We must next inquire how far the pr Egyptian affinities of form and material) ceding remarks agree with the opinio ever come to light in any of the explora- ordinarily held by scholars. And th tions at Jerusalem or in Palestine. The inquiry will show, I think, how erroneou sole exception to the absence of ancient or, at least, how baseless, are many of t writing other than that on stone, seems to current opinions on the subject. be certain papyri found in Egyptian Mr. Grote † writes as follows: tombs, which are said to claim a very high interval between Archilochus and Sol antiquity.

(660-580 B.C.) seems, as has been But because the Egyptians had the marked in my former volume, to be t papyrus and wrote upon it, it must not period in which writing first came to be assumed, as it too often is, contrary to applied to Greek poems, to the H all evidence, that the early Greeks used meric poems among the number; a it too, and wrote copies of Homer upon shortly after the end of that period, co it even in the time of Solon. A stone- mences the era of compositions witho cutter with his chisel is a widely different metre or prosé. The philosopher Phe person from a student with his pen. It is codes of Syros, about 550 B.C., is call curious to find written words described as by some the earliest prose-writer. E composed of “shapes ” rather than of no prose-writer for a considerable ti letters. Thus, in the “Theseus of afterwards acquired any celebrity, Euripides,f a countryman (illiterate, of seemingly none earlier than Hecataeus course) describes the letters composing Miletus, about 510-490 B.C., - prose bei the name as so many combinations of a subordinate and ineffective species linés, circles, and zigzags, just as if the composition, not always even perspicuo letter A were described to us by a country and requiring no small practice befo bumpkin as two sticks set aslant with a the power was acquired of rendering bar across them.” † There was a legend interesting." He adds (p. 25), "T that Palamedes “invented writing”in the acquisition of prose-writing, commenci time of the Trojan War; and in allusion as it does about the age of Peisistrat to this we have a droll scene in Aris- is not less remarkable as an evidence tophanes, where Mnesilochus, a relative past, than as a means of future, pr of Euripides, while in prison cuts a rude ress.” inscription on pieces of wood, and In accordance with the view of an ea throws them out to inform his friends of written literature here laid down (as i his trouble.

were a plain and acknowledged matter The custom of sending written mes- fact) we read, in the dictionaries of bi sages must have prevailed early; and we raphy, of Cadmus of Miletus, Cha may safely place letter-writing before of Lampsacus, Pherecydes, Hecatae book-writing. The scytale was one of the Acusilaus, Hellanicus, all of whom earliest contrivances, and it was a very stated to have lived earlier than B.c. 5 ingenious one. Two persons privately When, however, we look into the auth kept staves or batons of precisely the ties for these alleged composers of w

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ten prose works, we find only Stra * I observe that the supposed date of this stone, B.C. 896, is now seriously questioned, and the date placed as

Plutarch, Diodorus, Pliny, and others v laté as B.C. 260 (Atheneum, Dec. 6, 1879).

lived six centuries later, appealed to † Frag: 385, Dind. 1 Athenaeus, who quotes this in Book x., gives other examples of sinuilar descriptive accounts given by those

† Hist. of Greece, Part ii., chap. xxix. (vol. iv., p.

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who could not read.

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proof of the assertion. With the excep-| droll stories of Aesop's were orally recited tion of Acusilaus who is once quoted by at the dinner-table. Hence he is called Plato, Hellanicus once by Thucydides, and by Herodotus, in cominon with Hecataeus Hecataeus three or four times by Herod- of Miletus, hoyonolòs, “a story-maker.” otus, we find no reason to believe that Dr. Hayman is not justified in saying their written works, if they then existed, that " prose-writer is undoubtedly the were known to or made use of by the his- sense in which Herodotus applies hoyorolòs torians of the very next century. There-to Hecataeus.” We read in the “ Phaefore, if their works really existed in MS., drus ” † that Lysias was taunted with bethey were either unknown or inaccessible ing a speech-writer," hoyoypápos, the to the writers who next succeeded them, alleged reason being that “the more or these latter were (which is very im- influential men in the states feel scruple probable) so careless that they did not at writing their essays or speeches, and consult works known to have been written so leaving records of themselves in writon the very subjects they undertook to ing, lest posterity should stigmatize them record. We must fall back on the suppo-as Sophists.This also furnishes us sition, that if there really were written with a reason for a repeated boast of copies, either the authors of them had Socrates, that he should leave behind him scarcely any literary reputation, or they no offspring of his mind, viz. no books reserved their own properties to be used or written treatises. He appears to be for "readings”.or as repertories from satirizing a practice which was beginning which oral instruction might be obtained, to come in vogue. but not either for lending or for circula- There is certainly no proof at all that tion. And such a view is, without doubt, Herodotus refers to Hecataeus as al in itself neither absurd nor impossible. writer. It is perfectly possible, and on It will make the limited existence of writ- the whole highly probable, that the stories, ten literary works at least conceivable at the histories, or the philosophic teachings that early period.

of the earlier Greeks were a purely oral But the difficulty does not stop here. literature. They were put into writing We find in the early Greek writers, e.g. in eventually from the dictation of their Herodotus, mention made of three dis- pupils and followers; and thus it happens tinct kinds of literary persons, those that in after times the writings of Hera"versed in history” (called aóycol), * "com- clitus, Anaximander, Thales, and the posers of stories,” and “writers of early philosophers generally as well as stories.” The last term is the latest of those of the historians preceding Herod. the three, a fact significant in itself. otus, are referred to.f There is not the There must have been separate profes: slightest ground for believing, while sions corresponding to these several there are many grounds for doubting, terms. The oldest are the kóyloi, whom that there was any written Iliad and we find mentioned in Pindar along with Odyssey till the age of “ books,” which is the "bards ” (uocdoi), and several times, that of Plato. Hence, to suppose that 1.9. in the opening chapter, by Herodotus. such long poems could have come down We cannot doubt that they were a class to us, by oral recitation alone, from a oi men who were authorities in history, period five or six centuries earlier than such as “history” then was, i.e. in the that, and unmixed with the countless main mere mythology. Oral anecdotes verses which in the times of the tragic o marvellous exploits or adventures, clan- poets composed the “tale of Troy,” is stories of prowess, and all that we ex- nothing less than a literary delusion, press by the terms tales and anecdotes, cherished because it is popular, but opFere called hóyol by the early Greeks. posed to every principle of fair logical Such stories were told by Patroclus to inference from facts. amuse the wounded Eurypylus in his tent, Books were no sooner introduced than while soothing the pain of his wound.f they became both popular and cheap. And we know from Aristophanes # that Treatises on eloquence, as those by Tisias

and Corax mentioned in the “Phaedrus,” ş "lo il 77 he expressly speaks of the memory of see men,-a fact that alone proves the absence of echirg trom books. They probably consulted such * P. 138, in Journal of Philology viii.

† P. 257. C. puons as existed, and made themselves acquainted oracles, records of temples and prytanea (town

1. It is very significant, that Parmenides and EmEs, and they may have made written notes of them. pedocles wrote philosophy in verse, which was so much

easier to remember than precepts in prose. Uag even this as possible or probable, we are still te from the era of a written literature in circulation. § P. 273: A. A phrase was soon introduced, “ You + Lad mi

are not up in your Aesop," etc., expressed by the word : Pap. 1258

TETSTTKAS, the original of our term “trite."

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the stories of Aesop, and the philosophi- ments as made with sufficient certainty cal dogmas of Anaxagoras,* could be considering the length of time that has bought at Athens in the

time of Plato for elapsed.” a very small sum. But Thucydides, with Thus we see this great writer, impressec the exception of a single reference by with the deficiency of any authentic his name to the “ Attic History" of Hellani- tory, either obliged or contented to fal cus, and Herodotus, who quotes only the back on inferences, memory, hearsay." statements of Hecataeus in three or four If he had known of the large amount o passages (and both writers in evident dis- Spartan traditions recorded in the sixth paragement of their authorities), are una- book of Herodotus, he could hardly have ble to appeal to any current written liter- used the language he employs in i. ch.9 ature. Thucydides is evidently glancing “Now those affirm, who have receive at Hellanicus when he alludes (i. 21) to the clearest accounts about the Pelopon "writers of stories who compose rather nesus by memory from their predeces to please the ear than with a view to sors,” etc. truth.” He does not seem to have known Herodotus himself commences his his Herodotus at all; his appeal is only to tory with these notable words. " This i hearsay and memory; The following the setting forth” (literally, “a showin passages in the introduction to his his- to the eye”) “ of the history (or research tory are well deserving of impartial con- of Herodotus, in order that events whic sideration. It will be observed, that in have taken place may not vanish fro his sketch of the early history of Greece mankind by time, and that deeds grea from the time of the Trojan war, he ad- and worthy of admiration may not com duces no single fact on the authority of to be without renown,” i.e. lose the any one except“ Homer," and he nowhere credit, as they would in the course shows the least consciousness that the ages if they were narrated only to prese Persian wars and passages in the early hearers, and not recorded in writin history of Sparta had been written by These are precisely the words of an a Herodotus. Thus he says (i. I. $ 2)," The thor who is congratulating himself events before them (viz. before the Pelo- having achieved something more than ha ponnesian and the Persian wars), and yet been done for the recording of h those yet earlier, it was impossible to tory. The only meaning we can fair make out clearly through the length of attach to his phrase, “become evane time.” Again (ch. 9, § 2), “Such, accord-cent by time,” is this, — that he can ing to my research, is the history of early them in writing, and so make them p Greece, though it is difficult to put full nanent. But if others had done so, a trust in it by all the chain of evidence I if Hecataeus “the story-maker” had 1 could collect, because men receive from a written work, to which Herodotus h each other hearsay accounts of the past, access, how very much out of placet even when their own country is concerned, declaration on his part would have bee without any more inquiry than if it were Now, though Hecataeus is referred to

few times, I there is nowhere the slig Many other matters, even contempo-est reference to any written book of 1 rary events, and not beginning to be for- On the whole then, it is probable, or gotten through time, the other Hellenic improbable, that tales told orally (afte peoples have a wrong notion about” fashion analogous to the rhapsodists) (ib. § 4).

the authority of Hecataeus and Aes Still, from the evidences I have men- and other composers or compilers, w tioned, one would not be far wrong in the only prose literature current in accepting as facts what I have mentioned, time of Herodotus. And thus we und that is, if he does not trust the exaggera- stand why Thucydides says more tl tions of poets nor the attractive rather once that his work was not meant than truthful narratives of story-writers, f “ tickle the ear." which have become little better than fa- There is a passage in Pindar (Oly bles through time, but takes my state- vi. 90) on which, as bearing on this 's

ject, a discussion was raised by me so Plat. Apol. p. 26. E; Phaedo, P: 97. C. Eupolis ode, with instructions for the perfc

years ago. A messenger who convey in Meineke's Fragm. Com. Gr., vol. ii., P: 550.

† He undoubtedly means Hellanicus by the indefinite hoyoypápol. He is comparing his own narrative of τεκμήρια, μνήμη, ακοή. facts, as carefully observed and recorded by bimself, + The word he uses was applied to the facing with the only existing Attic history that was known, by of dyes or of blood. recitations from it, to his countrymen.

See, for instance, Book ü. 143, v. 36, vi. 137.

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ance of it, is compared to a scytala, or Mr. Grote could hardly have been written scroll. Now, if he carried with aware of the very significant fact I have him the ode in writing, the comparison pointed out, viz. the total absence from is obviously out of place. But, if he the Greek vocabulary of all words and learned the ode by heart (Pindar retain terms connected with pen-and-ink writing, ing the autograph copy written on wooden till a comparatively late period. If he tablets), the oral message is very well had been aware of it, he would have compared to a written missive.

stated with less confidence that the “first Another passage, about which I had positive ground which authorizes ys to some controversy in one of the leading presume the existence of a manuscript of reviews, is that in v. 52 of the “ Frogs, Homer, is the famous ordinance of Solon of Aristophanes, Dionysus is there made with regard to the rhapsodes at the to say, after an allusion to the sea-fight off Panathenaea." * Dr. Hayman, who Arginusae, “ As I was reading to myself adopts Mr. Grote's conclusions, founds it the . Andromeda' on the ship, a sudden on the same weak argument, viz. the redesire caused my heart to beat.” Does quirements of lyric poetry, which (he this mean,

as he was reading the play says) could not have floated over the preof Euripides from a MS. copy” (as one carious stage of their unwritten existence might now read a book or a paper on if it had lasted more than one or two genboard a steamer), or “as he was reading erations.” But these songs were used the name 'ANDROMEDA painted on the socially, and could be recited or sung or stern or prow (Pollux i. 86) of his own or played to music by memory alone; nor is another vessel?

there the least necessity for inferring that No doubt, this is rather a nice point. “ that first (or unwritten) stage was a very Conceding, as I have done, that the use short one,” or that " unless fixed at once of "books” is mentioned as a novelty, in by MS. they must have died an early this very play, my argument is not seri- death.” + ously affected whichever interpretation A great deal has been said by many we adopt. I think, however, that this learned men on the early use of writing carrying about literary MSS. for casual for the purposes of inscriptions and dediperusal is so alien to everything we know catory offerings, but no one as yet has about the Greek habits of the period, that sufficiently discriminated the use of letters the other explanation must be the true for public or state purposes, and the use one. The “Andromeda" was a ship that of them for book-writing. No doubt, had distinguished itself in the sea-fight, there are notices of writing in several and when Dionysus saw the name upon passages of Herodotus; but they are all it, it reminded him of the play of Eurip- notices of quite a different sort from that ides of the same name.

of copying volumes of prose or poetry: I think I have shown good reasons for There are many, very many, specimens of holding Mr. Grote's statements to be, at early handwriting on extant Greek vases ; least, unsupported by evidence, when he but they are confined to single names in amms that "there is ground for assur- explanation of the subjects; the forms, ance that Greek poems first began to be too, of the letters are quite unsuited to written before the time of Solon” (B.C. their use for book-writing, and the ab600), and that “the period which may with sence of all mention of writing-material the greatest probability be fixed upon as (except tablets) is against Mr. Grote's having first witnessed the formation even theory # of “both readers and manuof the narrowest reading class in Greece scripts having attained a certain recogis from B.C. 660 to B.C. 630." He thence nized authority before the time of Solon." jumps to the conclusion (which I think It may be argued, that mere negative contrary to all evidence) that “manu- evidence is not to be pushed too far. scripts of the Homeric poeins and the But then why, if there was a written litercher old epics – the Thebais and the ature in his time, does Thucydides appeal Cypria as well as the Iliad and the Odys- to memory and hearsay? Why is there sey – began to be compiled towards the no mention of “books ” up to a certain middle of the seventh century B.C., and be opening of Egypt to Grecian com

His argument is founded on an erroneous Derce, which took place about the same interpretation of a phrase which he thought meant by period, would furnish increased facilities prompting from a MS.," but which really means, como

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successive parts." iz obtaining the requisite papyrus to write t Journal of Philology, viii. p. 134.

I Vol. ii., p. 150.

It is fair to add that F. A. Wolf tpon” (p. 150).

(Proleg. ad. Hom., .ch. xvii, $ 70) avows the same • Hist, of Greece, ii. pp. 1489


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