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chest of the corpse, and another between the legs, and (occasionally at least) a lamp near the crown of the head. The most curious kinds of vases are found in the tombs in Sicily, those of finest manufacture near Nola in Campania. A different description of vessel seems to have been peculiar to different districts, yet some of almost every kind are found in the same tomb, which may
be accounted for by a passage in Apuleius to be hereafter noticed. As they vary likewise considerably in their forms, and in the style of the painting, I have imagined that a certain classification of them might be adopted, by which, upon examining any large collection of them, individual specimens might be briefly and expeditiously distinguished. This I will lay before my reader hereafter*, and in the mean time consider, for what use these vases were designed, and the reason of their having been deposited in tombs. The most probable conjecture on the first head, is that of Lanzi and Visconti, grounded on a passage in the 10th Nemean Ode of Pindar, v. 62, &c. that these vessels were awarded as prizes to winners in the several contests of the Panathenæan festival. In this ode, Pindar says of Thiæus, that twice (or a second time after some intermission) he was the subject of Athenian hymns £v Tedetais in their perfectory rites, and that the produce of the olive was borne by him to Argos, εν αγγέων έρκεσιν παμποικίλους, , “ enclosed in vessels very variously ornamented.” Now, although Tape Troixírons may admit of different significations, yet, as the painted portico at Athens was named Foxían from the paintings it contained, the word must here also be accepted in the same sense. It is observable that Pindar attributes to the Panathenæa a mystic signification, by terming them tedétai, and Theodoret also designates them by the same word. I therefore willingly subscribe to the conjecture of Lanzi and Visconti, if it should be further supposed, that the winners at these contests
• See the Appendix.
(which consisted of Ainging the torch in a horse race, of athletic exercises, a musical competition, and a galley race off Cape Sunium,) were bound to preserve the vases won by them until their dying day, to be then buried with them : for, that the vases found in tombs were painted expressly for the dead, is declared by Aristophanes. In the comedy of the ’Exxanoce (cupai, a young man, jeering an abandoned old woman, and reminding her how near she was to her grave, says:
Y. But, you wretch, I am afraid of that lover of yours.
Y. He who paints the lecythi for the dead. * Hence it appears, that there was a class of painters at Athens, wholly employed in painting the vases that were deposited with the dead, and that these vases were manufactured expressly for this purpose. For, hear again the same dramatic author :
Away you went, and left me like a corpse ;
The scholiast acquaints us, that the lecythus denoted both a lamp and an oil vase for filling it; and as I have noticed the custom of placing a lamp in the tomb near the head of the deceased, the several vases surrounding the body, if viewed as so many emblematical reservoirs of oil for keeping alive that lamp, might very well imply the hope, that the flame of life would be rekindled in a future state. But whatever mystic meaning was attached to the Panathenæan, or to any other vases, it was only at Eleusis (as I suspect) that their secret allusions were explained: for, however the Panathenæa were termed Tedetai, or perfectory rites, yet we hear of no peúnors or initiation preceding or accompanying them ; and yet Aristophanes has said:
* Ν. 'Αλλ', ώ μελέ', ορρωδω τον εραςήν σου. ΓΡ. Τίνα;
N. Tον των γραφέων άριστον. ΓΡ. Ούτος δ' έςι τίς;
’Exxa. v. 986-7-8.
’Exxa. v. 533-4. Ed. Kusteri. A singular coincidence between ancient and modern customs may be collected from the “ Voyages de Tournefort”, who, describing the ceremonies of a modern Greek funeral, observes, “ Un des Papas mit sur l'estomac de la morte un morceau de pot “ cassé, sur lequel on avoit gravé avec la pointe d'un couteau, une croix, et les « caractères ordinaires, INBI. Ιησές Ναζαραίος βασιλεύς Ιεδαίων.” – Vol. i. p. 154.
Δεϊ γαρ μυηθήναι με πρίν τεθνηκέναι. .
It is to Eleusis, therefore, that we must direct our regard, in order to obtain a full explanation of this interesting subject.
Now, as these vessels are found only in Greek tombs, they may be supposed to have been deposited there, as a tessera, or mark that the deceased had been initiated, by commemorating the particular scenes at Eleusis, of which he might have been PETÓ]ns, or spectator. These painted vases, then, and the crepundia of diminutive pottery, we may conclude, were the memorials of initiation spoken of by Apuleius, which he had received from the priests, and preserved with devout secrecy in the penetralia of his dwelling -“ Vin' dicam, cujusmodi illas res in sudario 6 obvolutas, laribus Pontiani commendarim ? Mos tibi geretur.
Sacrorum pleraque initia in Græciâ participavi. Eorum quædam signa et monumenta tradita mihi a sacerdotibus sedulò
Nihil insolitum, nihil incognitum dico : vel unius “ Liberi Patris symmistæ, qui adestis, scitis, quid domi conditum “ celetis, et absque omnibus profanis tacitè veneremini.” — And again : :- “ Etiamne cuiquam mirum videri potest, cui sit ulla “ memoria religionis, hominem tot mysteriis Deûm conscium,
quædam sacrorum crepundia domi adservare?” — Apologia.
It is here observable, that Apuleius had not been initiated at Eleusis only, but in various parts of Greece, and had received these trinkets from the initiators ; we may therefore conclude, that there were various religious theatres where mystic shows were exhibited, and although Greek writers have not spoken of them, that there may have been Agrigentine, Nolan, and other mysteries, equal in point of splendour to those at Eleusis; which may account for vases of different manufactures being frequently found in the same sepulchre.
If a computation were to be made of all the prizes delivered in the lesser annual, and in the greater quinquennial Panathenæa, from the first invention of the art of painting down to the Christian æra, or to the final extinction of that Athenian festival, the quantity of ancient fictilia preserved in the collections in this country and on the Continent, would infinitely outnumber them; so that even the hypothesis of Lanzi and Visconti would be insufficient to account for the almost infinite number found. The Grecian mysteries alluded to by Apuleius might have very
well supplied them.
But not only do I believe, that the paintings on these fictilia represented the
scenery of the Eleusinian shows, but that the certificate of initiation to them was expressed on these memorials; as in the words, KAAQC or KAAOC inscribed in transparent characters on the vases of Nola. Thus KAINIAC KAAC, sc. &TedeÚTNCE, “ Cli“ nias died in the good hope;" upon one of this description in the possession of Samuel Rogers, Esq.: KAITAPXOC KAAOC in opaque letters on the famous Agrigentine vase of Thomas Hope, Esq., —KAAE AOKEC* declared of a female upon a vase cited by the Abbé Zarillo in his two letters to the late Mr. Millin, wherein the Abbé proved with considerable neatness of remark, as well as erudition, that doveis does not so much imply “ you appear,”
* As if for KAAH AOKEIL.
as“ you appear in the judgment of,” “ you are considered ;” which gives fresh colour to my explanation of the words inscribed : that the
person had been approved by the initiator, and by him pronounced perfect. From these considerations, I feel inclined to disbelieve that anecdote which Clemens has reported (Protrept. p. 47. Ed. Potter), so injurious to the credit of Phidias, that the artist designed to celebrate the beauty of a favourite by the words inscribed on the finger of his Olympian Jupiter. I rather apprehend that proud of his performance, Phidias gave the challenge to criticism, by declaring in the language of Eleusis, IANTAPXHE KAAOE, that his figure of the all-sufficient Deity was a perfect work. This injurious illustration of the word KAAOE
Greek vases was first made by Mazzocchi, and Count Caylus, and has been from them adopted by almost every antiquary upon the Continent, with the exception of the honest Targioni, who revolts from so base an application of the term. Hevery judiciously observes, that the AOHNAIOI KAAOI in Aristophanes could never have been a term of amatory affection. It was in truth, what in English we should
express, in the warmth of political feeling, by “ Athenians “ for ever !" But it is needless for me to engage
any controversy on this subject, when the passage I have already adduced from Aristophanes to prove that these vases were painted for the dead, presents an argument unanswerable.
Let those who prefer the opinion of Mazzocchi and Caylus reflect, that if these vases were manufactured expressly for the tomb, the compliment conveyed by the word KAAOE must have come too late. If therefore it alludes to beauty, it must be to spiritual, and not corporeal beauty.
The mystic doctrine of the immortality of the soul imparted at Eleusis, being allegorically expressed by an elegant group on the side of the vase, the painting itself was put for the religious opinion of the person, and the person was in some degree repre