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HAVING written pretty ample notes upon the Satires of Persius, it was my intention to have published a much larger volume than that which I now offer to my readers. I have, however, been induced, at least for the present, to suppress almost all my notes. The few following are selected from the rest for publication, chiefly because they contain some observations relative to my own version.
Nerio jam tertia ducitur uxor. In rendering ducitur in this passage, I have followed the opinion of Casaubon. (Some of the old copies erroneously have it conditur.) See also the Thesaurus of Stephanus
-Quinta dum linea tangitur umbra. Most of the commentators upon Persius have understood him in this place, to mean eleven o'clock, A.M. I have not specified the particular hour. The
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 Cas. siodorus, 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 legations. Ου γαρ εγω κρίνομαι τήμερον ουδ' έγκί μελά ταυθ' 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 wça 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 ωρων κραζεϊν. 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