Page images

mediately sensible to the eyes and the history of the Assyrian nations would be acquired almost at a glance.

Now it is only concerning the Assyrian world, the Greek world, and the Roman world, that such historical charts of topographical nomenclature are necessary to the classical scholar; the mountains, rivers, latitudes, longitudes, and remarkable ruins of the district, except perhaps in Palestine, being tolerably well knowir: so that the toil would not be immense in preparing the requisite delineations of the old world at successive periods. It was fabled of Enceladus that, during the war of the Titans, Jupiter flung Mount Ætna on his breast; and, that, oppressed with the weight, he fell asleep : but that, once in three or four centuries, he awakes, and stirs, and examines his confinement. We want such an Enceladus for our atlas ; and we much wish that a collection of maps, constructed on this chronological principle, had accompanied the present author's literary sketch.

A table of dates, however, opens the work : but this is a mere transcript from Blair's Chronology, without the local insertion of those corrections which the progress of historical research, and of Scripture-criticism, is constantly rendering ne. cessary. For instance, the Jewish captivity, which took place under Cyrus, is here dated nearly seventy years too soon :Hesiod, who had not read Homer, is made to flourish later than Homer; - and the building of Carthage is given as an ascertained date. The newest and perhaps most plausible theory of this last doubtful incident is, that Dido was the widow of Ethbaal, King of Tyre, and headed a colony which was expelled by the siege described in Ezekiel. — An epocha is sometimes made of a trifling and sometimes of an imaginary event. Thus A. D. 209, we here read, Severus builds his wall in Britain : but Mannert, in his learned and critical Antient Geography, says that no adequate testimony exists of Severus having built any wall. These are minute things; yet still they indicate some neglect of the surrounding state of knowlege, and some indifference about inculcating error.

The first part of the book is a sketch of modern geography, which occupies only sixty-eight pages. Pinkerton, the Strabo of our age, is properly made or at least named as the chief guide : but any attempt to compress Pinkerton into four sheets of letter-press must somewhat resemble the magic of the Arabian sorceress, who changed the entire empire of the King of the Black Isles into a fish-pond near her habitation. A long but meagre list of multifarious proper names, in which the peculiar and characteristic features of each place are but rarely indicated, is of some value to the memory, if marshalled


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

according to imperial distribution, but is not likely to subsist there with a due sense of proportionate and discriminating value.

The following delineation of the religions of Europe may serve as a specimen of this portion of the work:

• The Church of England is commonly called a Lutheran church, but whoever compares it with the Lutheran churches on the Continent, will have reason to congratulate himself on its superiority. It is in fact a church sui generis, yielding in point of dignity, purity, and decency in its doctrines, establishments, and ceremonies, to no congregation of Christians in the world ; modelled to a certain and considerable extent, but not entirely, by our great and wise pious Reformers, on the doctrines of Luther, so far as they are in conformity with the sure and solid foundation on which it rests, and we trust for ever will rest, the authority of the Holy Scriptures, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone,

• Other Lutheran churches are those of the North of Europe, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Prussia, and the North of Germany,

• Martin Luther, the great Reformer, was born at Eisleben, in Saxony, A.D. 1483 ; was summoned to Rome for preaching against Indulgences, A.D. 1518; excommunicated by the Pope A. Ď. 1520; threw off his monastic habit A.D. 1524; married A.D. 1525 ; died A.D. 1546. His great protector on the Continent was the Elector of Saxony.

John Calvin, whose real name was Chauvin, was born at Noyon, in Picardy, A.D. 1509. The persecution of the Protestants in France obliged him to fly to Geneva, where he established his system, and died A.D. 1564.

• Among the leading features of Calvinism are belief in Predestination, Election and Reprobation, and Irresistible Grace, together with the rejection of Episcopacy; instead of which Calvin proposed that the Church should be governed by presbyteries and synods, composed of clergy and laity, without bishops or any clerical superiority. Hence Calvinistic churches are also called Presbyterian, The following churches are Calvinistic : Scotland, Holland, and Geneva.

• Protestants are subdivided into numerous other sects, which it is unnecessary to particularize.

• The Roman Catholic church contains many errors, which were gradually introduced into it by the continually increasing thirst of the Popes for temporal power. Among their principal errors, renounced and opposed by the Protestants, are Transubstantiation, or a belief that the consecrated wafer, or Host, as it is called, (from Hostia a victim,) are absolutely changed in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper into the real and substantial body and blood of Christ; Purgatory, or the intermediate state of punishment between this life and the final judgment, from whence the souls of men can be deli. vered by the prayers, or alms, or penances of the faithful ; the Intercession of Saints; the Worship of the Virgin Mary, Miraculous Interpositions ; tbe Celibacy of the Clergy against these, and Rev. MAY, 1814.


many other idle, superstitious, or erroneous doctrines, and against the Supremacy and Infallibility of the Pope, the Reformed Churches Protest, and are therefore called Protestant Churches. The Popes formerly claimed the supreme dominion in things spiritual and temporal over all the Sovereigns of the earth, by virtue of being them. selves the immediate vicars or vicegerents of God. - It is but justice to the Roman Catholics to add, that these high pretensions, generally known under the name of the dispensing and deposing powers, (or the power of the Pope to dispense with the oath of allegiance from the subject to the Sovereign, and to depose the Sovereign in case of heresy,) have been formally disavowed by the six principal Catholic Universities, consulted for that purpose in the year 1788.

The following countries are Roman Catholic : France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, nearly the whole of the Southern German States, Belgium, and part of Switzerland.

• The King is the head of the Church of England. The esta. blished Religion of Ireland is that of the Church of England ; but the mass of the population is Roman Catholic.

The Greek Church is derived from the Greek Christians, who formed the Eastern division of the Roman Empire, the capital of which was Constantinople. Hence it is also called the Eastern, in contradistinction to the Romish or Western Church, from which it differs in many unimportant points of discipline, but few very material points of doctrine. The Patriarch of Constantinople is head of the Greek Church, which comprehends the Russians and Greeks, whether on the Continent or in the Grecian Islands.

• Mahometanism is a form of religion engrafted on the Jewish and Christian dispensations by the impostor Mahomet, who was born A.D. 571, at Mecca, in Arabia, and died A.D. 632. The Maho. metans acknowledge the divine missions of Moses and of Christ, but maintain that these were ineffectual to conver: mankind, and that none but faithful Mussulmen, or Mahometans, will be entitled to future happiness, which they believe will consist in a paradise of sensual delights. They are also believers in predestination. The doctrines of Mahomet are to be found in the Coran, which may be called the Mahometan Bible.

In describing the sects of Europe, some pious notice was surely due to our universal parent, the Jewish religion. The professors of that primeval faith are scattered in considerable numbers over the whole surface of the world; and they are said to be so numerous in the newly acquired settlement of Surinam, that it may become the duty of a British parliament to establish there this antient persuasion, and to give a salary to a rabbinical church. As the Christian sects grow old, the hereditary shape of the bones begins to appear through the skin ; and a family-likeness to the common progenitor is more and more visible on every fresh attempt at reformation.

Part ii. of this work is more important and better executed than the first : it is intitled Geographia classica, or the application of antient geography to the classics.

A definition

- A definition of the extent of territorial surface known to the antients constitutes the business, or employment, of the first chapter ; which is very short, and which undervalues the topographical information of antiquity. Vincent, or Rennell, or even the superficial Robertson, might have served to caution the author against under-rating the recorded observations of the old world: the more we explore the forsaken routes, the more accurate we find the notices of them which are preserved.

Chapter ii. treats of antient Italy. An arrangement indicated by the successive progress of civilization would have been more natural. D'Anville's L'Euphrate et le Tigre, which was the first map for commentary, includes the starting-place of the earliest pastoral clans which separated into distinct nations. It would have been well to enumerate the provinces specified in Genesis (ch. x.), and the trading towns which adorned them in the time of Ezekiel, (ch. xxvi. to xxviii.); and to examine the Ægypt of the Pharaohs and the holy land of Joshua. In short, we should have begun, had the task of Dr. Butler devolved on us, with what may be called scriptural geography, under the guidance of Bochart's Phaleg and Canaan, and of the corrective Spicilegium of Michaelis. We should have endeavoured to restore the geography of Daniel, who may be supposed to have divided Persia anew for Darius Hystaspes. We should then have passed on to the Greek world, which next became conspicuous on the theatre of human events, and in the arena of intellectual competition. We should have been patiently curious in defining the bounds of those petty republics, which disputed with parish-patriotism the relative merit of their boxers and orators, which trained the warriors of Leonidas and Alexander, and which adorned human literature with the productions of Homer and of Demosthenes. The geographical information of the Greeks was collected by Eratosthenes of Alexandria ; and, though but small portions of his works have descended to us, the state in which he left the science is that in which we should wish to revive it. The Ægypt of the Greeks,-the Asia of the Greeks, as partitioned among the Generals of Alexander, -- and the Sicily of the Greeks, require a separate delineation for the use of the historical student.

A third set of maps and dissertations should describe the Roman world, the world of Strabo, or of Ptolemy; and this perhaps is the department which Dr Butler is best qualified to investigate. Being peculiarly familiar with the Latin classics, and having a great fund of citation to display from Virgil and Horace respecting the towns and villages of Italy, he was desirous of beginning at once where he was most at home; and accordingly he devotes his second chapter to the Italy of the



Romans. We quote the part which relates to Latium, its rivers, and cities : : • Below the Tiber was Latium, in which is Ostia, so called from its being the port at the mouth of the Tiber, about 20 miles from Rome. Below it is Antium *, now Anzio, and below it Circeii, celebrated in the time of Horace and Juvenal for its oysters t, and fabled as the residence of the enchantress Circe, now called Monte Circello. Below this is Gaieta, now Gaeta, celebrated by Virgil as the burial-place of the nurse of Æneas 1. Opposite these is the small island of Pontia, now Ponza. Between Circæa and Caieta, on an eminence, is Anxury, or Terracina, which latter name it still retains. Here the celebrated Pontinæ Paludes, or Pontine Marshes, end. In these marshes Marius || hid himself, and was dragged out from them, with a rope round his neck, to the neighbouring prison of Minturnæ. Receding from the sea, we have Tusculum, about eleven miles below Rome, where was Cicero's celebrated villa, the scene of his Tusculan Disputations ; it is now called Frascati. Preneste , the retreat of Horace, is to the East of this, now called Palestrina. Below Præneste is Anagnia, the capital of the ancient Hernici, and South East is Arpinum, or Arpino, the birth-place of Marius and Cicero.

The principal Rivers of Latium were the Anio, or Teverone, which, passing by the delightful town of Tibur **, antiently bounded it on the North East; and the Liris, which rose near the Lake Fucinus tt, not far from the Anio, and, flowing in an opposite direction, falls into the sea near Minturnæ. The Liris is now called


6 * Here was the famous Temple of Fortune, the subject of the Ode of Horace : "O Diva gratum quæ regis Antium.

Od.i. 35 . 4 Ostrea Circais, Miseno oriuntur echini. Hor, Sat. j. 4.'

cm Circais nata forent, an : Lucrinum ad saxum, Rutupinove edita fundo

Ostrea callebat primo dignoscere morsu. Juvenal, Sat. iv. 140." • Tu quoque littoribus nostris, Æneia nutrix,

Æternam moriens famam, Caieta, dedisti. Virg. Æn. vii. 1. og Impositum saxis late candentibus Anxur. Hor. Sat. i. 5.'

|| Hence Juvenal, speaking of Marius : * Exilium et carcer, Minturnarumque paludes Et mendicatus victa Carthagine panis.

Sat. x. 276.' ig Trojani belli scriptorem, maxime Lolli,

Dum tu declamas Roma Preneste relegi. Hor. Epist. ï. 2.'
Tibur Argæo positum colono
Sit mea sedes utinam senecta.

Hot. Od. ii. 6.
6- Domus Albuneæ resonantis,
Et preceps Anio, et Tiburni lucus, et uda,
Mobilibus pomaria rivis.

Hor. Od. i. 7." * ++ Te nemus Anguitia, vitrea et Fucinus unda, Te liquidi flevere lacus.

Virg. Æn. rii, 759.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »