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from the lower hemisphere. Again, the solar orb was distinguished by the name of Horus, when, immediately before and after entering the sign of Leo, it poured upon the world the full blaze of its meridian glory. This opinion is confirmed by the signification of the word horus; which in Egyptian, according to Salmasius, was lord or king, though more properly the latter. Some have erroneously derived it from the Hebrew 778, fire or light; and Jablonski, with still less appearance of plausibility, understands horus to have been an Egyptian word, which signified virtus effectrix vel causalis.
Nodosaque venit arundo. As I have translated arundo literally a reed, it may perhaps be proper to inform some of my readers, that the Romans made pens of reeds, as we do of quills. They were seldom of Italian growth, but were generally gathered in other countries. Chartis serviunt calami; Ægyptiż maxime cognatione quadam papyri; probatiores tamen Gnidiï et qui in Asia circum Anaiticum lacum nascuntur., Dioscorides, in speaking of this kind of reed, calls'it morvoaqxos. But it is difficult to understand this, unless we suppose the fleshy or pithy part of the reed was dried before using. See what Tournefort, Chardin, and other modern travellers, have said concerning the reeds employed for pens in the Levant.
Some have thought, that the ancients made use of quills. They quote the following words of Juvenal.
tanquam ex diverses partibus orbis
Anxia præcipiti venisset epistola penna. But the expression of the poet is evidently figurative. It is true, an ancient writer informs us in one instance, that as news were good or bad, a laurel or a feather was ordered to be fixed on the letter, which conveyed the intelligence. These authors have mentioned the figure of Egeria with greater reason, who is represented with a pen in her hand. Beckmann, however, supposes the pen to have been added by a modern artist,
SATIRE IV. Ver. 51. [How truly fair was bounteous Nature's plan!
I shall offer no apology for here deviating from the sense of
author; and must request of the reader to bear with me through the next thirty verses, where I am not the translator of Persius.
totaque impune Suburra Permisit sparsisse oculos jam candidus umbo. The most ancient scholiasts upon Persius, thought that umbo in this passage was put ouvedoxoxws, for toga. Casaubon has adopted this opinion; and if he had executed his intention of writing de re vestiaria, would no doubt have treated this subject with his usual erudition. I have, however, preferred giving umbo its more
common signification of a shield, in which I have fol. lowed the example of Dryden and Holyday.
It does not clearly appear, what part of the toga was understood by the umbo. Tertullian (de pallio) mentions it. Ferrarius de re vestiaria shows it to be dif. ferent from the sinus: but I am led to suspect, that both he and Rubenius build too much upon conjecture, in their opinions upon this and other parts of the Roman dress; Ferrarius however is the more accurate of the two.
The reader may see what Polybius has said concerning the armour of the Roman knights. As Per. sius was of the equestrian order, it is probable he was equipped in his martial dress as soon as he laid aside the pretexta. Tully was about the same age when he was entered a knight.
Herodis venere dies, unctáque fenestrá
Labra moves tacitus, recutitaque sabbata palles.
Upon the first consideration of the above verses it does not appear, why the superstitious man waits for
the celebration of Herod's birthday, before he fasts at the sabbaths of the Jews. I can only conjecture, that that was the season when strangers were generally admitted at Rome within the pale of the temple. The Herodians, who probably alone 'of all the Jews observed this festival of Herod, were numerous at Rome. They had disobliged their countrymen by the support which they gave to Herod the Great, and by acceding to the payment of a tribute to Augustus.
It seems extraordinary that Persius should sneer at the Jews for lighting lamps at their festivals, as a similar practice was common to the Romans. The Jews, however, had certainly given offence at Rome upon that subject. Accendere aliquem, says Seneca in one of his epistles, lucernas Sabbatis prohibeamus; quo niam, adds he contemptuously, nec lumine Diï egent, et ne homines quidem delectantur fuligine.
Nothing, however, was more common at Rome, than the lighting of lamps at festivals. Even upon occasions of domestic rejoicing, the doors of the house were hung with laurels, and illuminated with lamps. Juvenal in a beautiful satire thus expresses himself,
Longos erexit janua ramos, Et matutinis operatur festa lucernis. It appears from Tertullian, that the Christians soon adopted this practice. He thus charges the alienated disciples of the faith. Sed luceant, inquit (nempe Christus), opera vestra. At nunc lucent taberna et januæ nos • tra: plures jam invenies Ethnicorum fores sine lucernis et laureis quam Christianorum.
• The Jews probably took their custom of burning lamps at their feasts from the Egyptians. Herodotus L. 11, tells us, there was an annual sacrifice at Sais known by the name of the feast of lamps. The Chinese have a similar festival at the present day.
We must not understand Persius in this place, to speak of the feast of lamps among the Jews. That festival was instituted by Judas, and was held annually on the twenty-fifth of the month Cishleu. See Josephus, and Picart des Cérémonies des Juifs.
Persius, as well as Suetonius, is mistaken in supposing that the Jews fasted on their sabbaths. The verb now, signifies quievit; the substantive derived from it (and which is the same in sound) signifies quies. The Jews on their sabbath abstained from labour, but they did not observe it as a fast: on the contrary, it appears that the nown 379 sabbath eve was generally employed in preparing the feast of the succeeding day. They then lighted lamps, which burned during the day-time, which practice they still continue. Picart says he has seen “ leur appartement très artistement illuminé,
les rayons du soleil encore doroit le toit de la maison."
Through the whole of this passage, it is evident, Persius means to expose the meanness and poverty of the Jews. The rubrum catinum, the alba fidelia, the cauda thynni, all mark the wretchedness of the feast, at which the superstitious man assists.
Persius alludes in the words, labra moves tacitus, to the Jews repeating inwardly certain words and prayers.