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Æschylus, in his Prometheus Desmotes (v. 1734. edition Blomfield) says:
Σκύθας δ' αφίξει νομάδας, οι πλεκτας στέγας
εκηβόλοις τόξοισιν εξηρτημένοι. The learned Editor of this play presents us with the following note: “Thaytas atéyus suspicatur Dacierus, quòd putat Horatium hunc poetæ nostri versum expressisse in Ode 24. L. iii. 10. Quorum plaustra vagas rite trahunt domos : Sed neuter Scholiastes ingeniosæ suspicioni favet. L. Theobald.” The opinion of Dacier that Horace alludes to this passage of Æschylus is just as absurd, as to suppose that Herodotus alluded to Æschylus, who describes the Scythians in the same way (1. iv. c. 19.) φερέοικοι εόντες πάντες, έωσι ιπποτοξόται, ζώντες μη από αρότου, αλλ' από κτηνέων, οικήματά τέ σφι ή επί ζευγέων κ. τ. λ. The fact is , à
. that the Scythian mode of life was well known, and we have no'occasion to suppose that either Herodotus borrowed from Æschylus, or Horace borrowed from Æschylus : the conjecture of πλαγκτάς for πλεκτας, whatever ingenuity it may possess, seems unfortunately to betray the ignorance of Dacier, who, because he, probably, did not comprehend the meaning of Texta's otevas, supposed the passage to be corrupt.
Stanley thus explains the word (Vol. 1. p. 230. Butler, 8vo. edition :) “Sunt autem iXsxtai otéyai, casæ : Isidor. Origin. xv. 2. Casa est agreste habitaculum palis, virgultis, arundinibusque contectum : Auctor Pervigilii Veneris v. 6. implicat casas virentes de flagello myrteo." The first Scholiast says: Οίτινες οι Σκύθαι ναίoυσι και κατοικούσι πλεκτας στέγας, και από της γής έπαιρόμενοι και υψούμενοι και γαρ επάνω αμαξών (τούτο γαρ δηλοί το επ' ευκύκλοις όχoις) τας σκηνας οι Σκύθαι ποιούνται τόξα έχοντες: And the 2d Scholiast says: πλεκτας στέγας, πεπληγμένας οικίας.
The following passage from Bell's Travels (Vol. 1. p. 29.) will be the best comment upon the adéxtes o téryas of Æschylus. “ The [Kalmuck] Tartars had their tents pitched along the river-side : these tents are of a conical figure; there are several long poles erected, inclining to one another, which are fixed at the top into something like a hoop, that forms the circumference of an aperture for letting out the smoke, or admitting
VOL. IY. NO. VII.
the light; across the poles are laid some small rods from 4 to 6 feet long, and fastened to them with thongs: this frame is covered with pieces of felt, made of coarse wool and hair : these tents afford better shelter than any other kind, and are so contrived, as to be set up, taken down, folded, and packed up with great ease and quickness, and are so light that a camel may carry 5 or 6 of them.” There is a very curious description of a Tartar tent in the travels of the monk William de Rubriquis, inserted in the 1st Vol. of Harris's Collection, p. 559 : “ Their houses, in which they sleep, they raise upon a round foundation of wickers, artificially wrought and compacted together; the roof consisting of wickers also meeting above in one little roundell, out of which there rises upwards a neck like a chimney, which they cover with white felt, and often they lay mortar, or white earth upon the felt with the powder of bones, that it may shine and look white : sometimes also they cover their houses with black felt : this cupola of their house they adorn with variety of pictures: before the door they hang a felt curiously painted over; for they spend all their colored felt in painting vines, trees, birds, and beasts there. upon : these houses they make so large, that they contain 30 feet in breadth ; for measuring once the breadth between the wheel-ruts of one of their carts or wains, I found it to be 20 feet over, and when the house was upon the
cart, it stretched over the wheels on each side 5 feet at least: I told 22 oxen in one draught drawing a house upon a cart, 11 in one row according to the breadth of the cart, and 11 more on the other side : the axle-tree of the cart was. of a huge bigness, like the mast of a ship, and a fellow stood in the door of the house upon the forestall of the cart driving the oxen : they likewise make certain four-square baskets of slender twigs as big as great ehests, and afterwards from one side to another they frame a hollow lid, or cover of such-like twigs, and make a door in it before : then they cover the said chest, or house with black felt, rubbed over with tallow, or sheep's milk, to keep the rain from soaking through, which they likewise adorn with painting, or white feathers : into these chests they put their whole household stuff, cr treasure, and bind them upon other carts, which are drawn by camels, that they may pass through rivers,
neither do they ever take down these chests from their carts." Dr. Harris gives a print of both these Tartar houses, and these Tartar chests. Æschylus says above fa' eủxúxrons éxous. This epithet of eủxúxross alludes to the arched covering of these waggons: thus Ammianus Marcellinus says in the passage cited above, that the Alani “vagari supersedentes plaustris, quæ operimentis curvatis corticum (tanquam imbricibus) per solitudines conserunt.” See also the description of the Kalmuck tents from Mr. Bell, but more particularly the first part of the quotation from Rubriquis.
E. H. BARKER.
Beverley, Feb. 14th.
The following paper contains, it is presumed, some particulars respecting Epaphroditus, very worthy the attention of ecclesiastical inquirers. Suetonius in his life of Domitianus c. 14, 19. has thus written : Epaphroditum à libellis capitali pænâ condemnavit, quod post destitutionem Nero in adipiscendâ morte manu ejus adjutus existimabatur. Denique Flavium Clementem patruelem suum contemtissimæ inertiæ repentè ex tenuissimâ suspicione tantùm non ipso ejus consulatu interemit. “ He (Domitian) capitally condemned Epaphroditus his secretary, because he is supposed to have assisted Nero after the loss of his power, in destroying himself. Finally F. Clement, his own cousin, but a man of the most despicable inertness, he, on a sudden and upon very slight suspicion, put to death, though he had as yet hardly laid down the consulship.”
D. Cassius, Lib. lxxvii. 14. speaks more fully of these transactions. Και εν τω αυτώ έτει άλλους τε πολλούς και τον Φλάβιον Κλήμεντα υπατεύοντα, καίπερ ανέψιον όντα, και γυναίκα και αυτήν συγγενή εαυτού Φλάβιαν Δομιτίλλαν έχοντα, κατέσφαξεν ο Δομιτία
νος. Επηνέχθη δε αμφοίν έγκλήμα άθεοτήτος, υφ' ής και άλλοι εις τα των Ιουδαίων ήθη έξοκέλλοντες πολλοί κατεδικάσθησαν και οι μεν απέθανον, οι δε των γούν ουσίων εστερήθησαν· η δε Δομιτίλλα υπεραρίσθη μόνον εις Πανδατέρειαν–και τον Επαφρόδιτον δε τού Νερώνος πρότερον μεν εξεδιώξε, τότε δε και έσφαξεν, επικαλέσας αυτω ότι μη ņuúrn to Negãs. In this same year Domitian slew, with many others, Clement the Consul, though his own cousin, and married to a woman, who was also his relation. Against both these, was alleged the crime of impiety, in consequence of having with precipitation embraced the Jewish institutions. Of these some were put to death; others were deprived of their property; but Domitilla was only banished to Pandateria. Epaphroditus, a freed-man of Nero, whom he had before banished, he then slew, under the charge of not having supported Nero.
The first conclusion to be drawn from these accounts is that the Clement, here said to have been slain, was a convert to Christianity. The first object which the preachers of the gospel had at heart was to bring the heathen gods into disbelief and contempt. Hence the charge of impiety and atheism was every where urged against them. The spirit of paganism was blended with every circumstance of pleasure or of business, and those who embraced the gospel were induced (in some instances no doubt unnecessarily) to withdraw not only from the amusements, but also from the duties of society. Clement adopted this conduct; and Suetonius hence brands him as a man of the most despicable inertness. This accusation, as generally laid against the early believers, is thus complained of by Tertullian. Alio quoque injuriarum titulo postulamur, et infructuosi in negotiis dicimur. Apolog. iv. 42.
Epaphroditus is said by Cassius to have been a freedman of Nero: but Suetonius gives him the title of à libellis, meaning that he was employed by the emperor in decyphering and answering such letters, addresses, or petitions as were made to him. Hence his office corresponded to that which in modern language is filled by a Secretary of State, and he has been called Master of Requests. He was originally, it appears, a man of education, niade a slave by the chance of war; but afterwards advanced to this high post of honor in the emperor's service by his industry and talents. From the above incidental mention of him we might infer that he too was a believer in Jesus, and suffered with Clement in the same honorable cause. For Suetonius and Dion, though very different and independent writers, connect their sufferings together, which could not have been the case, unless the occasion of it had some connexion. . It is moreover evident that Nero put Epaphroditus to death for some reason different from that specified by the above historians. Suetonius says that he was slain, because he assisted Nero in destroying himself, when now deprived of his power and pursued by the vengeance of the people : whereas Dion writes that he suffered, because he did not support the emperor after his downfal. Both these reasons
are as frivolous and absurd as they are contradictory. Above thirty years had now elapsed since the fall of Nero; and Epaphroditus had already lived fifteen years under the reign, if not in the service, of Domitian. And what cause could there be for now putting bim to death, unless it were that for which others suffered? The above historians, it is true, do not mention this as the real reason; but they were evidently ashamed of such a reason, though the true one; and they would have been glad to allege for the death of Clement any other pretence than the suspicion of atheism. Besides, Epaphroditus had already been persecuted by Domitian, and it follows from the train of Dion's narrative that he, as well as Clement, Domitilla, and Glabrio, were among the many who incurred the charge of atheism by precipitately flying to the Jewish Institutions. We have the authority of the Apostle Paul for saying that, in the reign of Nero, the gospel was made known to the whole palace, and to all others, Phil. i. 12. Epaphroditus was a learned and inquisitive man: and he appears to have been in the number of those illustrious persons, whom St. Paul had the honor and bliss of converting in Cæsar's household. The conclusion drawn from the above passages is thus directly supported by the testimony of St. Paul, Phil. ii. 25. “ Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and companion in labor, and fellow-soldier, an Apostle to you, and minister to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of anguish, (ádnuóvwv) because that'ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh ụnto death: but God had mercy on him; and