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Romans divided the natural day, i.e. from sun-rising to sun-setting, into twelve hours. Hence the length of those lours was the same only twice a year. The distinction made by the Romans, between the civil and the natural day, is thus explained by Censorinus. Dies partim naturalis, partim civilis. Naturalis dies, tempus ab oriente sole, ad solis occasum, cujus contrarium est tempus nox, ab occasu solis ad ortum; civilis autem dies vocatur tempus, quod fit uno cæli circuitu, quo dies verus et nox continentur.
It appears that the Romans were acquainted with the use of sun-dials before the first Punic war. Pliny says, that Lucius Papirius Cursor placed a dial on the temple of Quirinus eleven years previous to that period. He observes, that Fabius Vestalis, upon whose authority he states this fact, has not mentioned either the method according to which the dial was constructed, the artificer who made it, whence it was brought, or in what author he found it described.
It is to be suspected, that the Roman dials were not very exact. Seneca says, facilius inter philosophos, quam inter horologia, conveniet. Salmasius thinks, that only eleven lines were drawn on the dials. See what Cassiodorus, who wrote in the sixth century, has said de Horologio Solari.
Vitruvius ascribes the invention of water-clocks to Ctesibius of Alexandria. They were introduced at Rome by Scipio Nasica ; and were first employed in the consulship of Pompey, to regulate the length of the speeches made in the forum. In this the Romans copied the Athenians. It appears from Eschines, that in the public trials at Athens certain portions of time were allowed to the accuser, as well as to the prisoner, and the judge. These divisions of time were regulated by a water-clock. No orator was permitted to speak after his time had elapsed, nor without the water was poured into the clepsydra, could he commence his discourse. Sigonius has quoted several authorities to prove the use of the water-clock among the Athenians; and to show that it regulated the length of public orations. I observe, however, he has not cited the following words from Demosthenes, in his celebrated speech de falsa legatione. Ου γαρ εγώ κρίνομαι τήμερον ουδ' έγκέι μέια τώυθ' ύδωρ εδείς έμοί.
It is probable, that the Greeks were instructed by the Egyptians in the art of making the clepsydra, or water-clock. That ingenious people generally formed this machine with a cynocephalus sculptured upon it; a name by which it is sometimes called. Sunt qui tradunt, says a learned author, cynocephalum non modo meiere sed etiam latrare singulis horis. The imaginary animal, called a cynocephalus by the Egyptians, was supposed to be an ape with a dog's head. It is mentioned twice by Pliny, and, I think, once by Solinus.
I am led to believe that the Egyptians were acquainted with the use of sun-dials even in very remote periods. I agree with Goguet, that their obelisks were originally intended to serve as gnomons: but ingenuity would soon contract the size of the gnomon; and it may be presumed, would render it more useful upon a smaller scale. This I can the more easily believe, because the astronomical science of the Egyptians was undoubtedly profound; and from the accuracy with which they calculated the greater divisions of time, such as cycles, years, and months, it is probable they would endeavour to measure its minuter portions with equal exactness.
It appears, indeed, that the very name given to the regular divisions of the day, by the Greeks and Ro. mans, is taken from an Egyptian word; and that Horus, though undoubtedly altered in the termination, is the original of więce hora, whence so many modern nations derive words of similar signification. Apud eos (nempe Ægyptios), says Macrobius, Apollo qui et Sol Horus vocatur, ex quo et horæ viginti quatuor, quibus dies noxque conficitur, nomen acceperunt.
Some authors seem inclined to throw doubts on this derivation made by Macrobius. But I am induced to think, if Horus was an appellation of the sun, considered with respect to a particular period of the year, the etymology is very far from being fanciful or forced. Still less will it appear to be so, when compared with that of Horapollo, who derives the Egyptian word from the Greek “Ήλιος δε Ωρος απο 18 των ωρών κραιείν. It has been supposed, upon the authority of Epiphanius, that Horus and Harpocrates were the same (Cuperus in Harpocrate). But I am inclined to think with Jablonski, that they were distinct. The Egyptians symbolically represented the sun under the name of Harpocrates when it passed the winter solstice, and rose 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 718, 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 niy 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; Ægyptic maxime cognatione quadam papyri; probatiores tamen Gnidii et qui in Asia circum Anaiticum lacum nascuntur. Dioscorides, in speaking of this kind of reed, calls it moduo agxos. 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 diversis 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 my author; and must request of the reader to bear with me through the next thirty verses, where I am not the translator of Persius.
totáque impune Suburra Permisit sparsisse oculos jam candidus umbo. The most ancient scholiasts upon Persius, thought that umbo in this passage was put ouvedoXixws, 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 erudi. tion. I have, however, preferred giving umbo its more