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has not induced him to alter or enlarge the contents of his own,) has adopted this opinion, and maintained it with ingenuity and success. By comparing together the paintings of many vases, the Cav. Inghirami has discovered, in certain of them, allusions to figures in the celestial sphere, to which the Mystæ were supposed to gain admission by initiation. He imagines that these astronomical phenomena were descanted upon in the mysteries ; “ which,” he says, “ regarded the passage of souls from this “ life to another state, and from another life back to this state of
mortality.” (Vasi Fittili, vol. v. p. 205.) In this view of the subject he has surmounted considerable difficulties. In explaining also certain other paintings, in a moral and religious sense, by the doctrines of the Platonists, he has gone very much farther than the writer of these disquisitions, and he has given many luminous expositions, that must be deemed, if not always, yet most frequently, satisfactory and convincing.
To have been mentioned by this learned foreigner in flattering terms must necessarily be a gratification to the writer of the present work; and although such favourable expressions have been qualified by others, discrediting the writer's general views upon this subject, yet he is contented to have gone before this learned foreigner in many opinions which the Cav. Inghirami has adopted. If this ingenious antiquary had been acquainted with the writer's opinions, otherwise than through the imperfect medium of the Magazin Encyclopédique, he must have seen, that however they might have trodden a different path in pursuing their several enquiries, their conclusions were frequently the
same, and that the researches of both had one ultimate object. At the same time he thinks, he has some cause to complain of this learned foreigner, for condemning in the gross, before he had himself perused the original work of the author; and for advancing a complaint of a paucity of proofs adduced, and those partially selected, to the exclusion of a greater number that would, as he imagined, have controverted the author's scheme. The Cav. Inghirami, however, has had the candour to quote a passage from another distinguished antiquary, Mr. Vermiglioli, who had reproved the learned foreigner for having attached himself to what he terms the “ Sistema emanato dal Christie.”* This, then, is sufficient for the author. It is possible that he may have erred, by adhering too closely to the Horatian precept respecting brevity t; but, if from a small selection of proofs, which were designed by him as illustrations of so many different classes dependent upon them, and with a scanty proportion of letter-press, he has obtained results that do not differ widely from those which the Cav. Inghirami has arrived at, in a quarto volume of no ordinary bulk, he presumes this learned foreigner will allow him the merit of having turned his materials, such as they were, to a good account, with as little inconvenience as possible to the reader. He is content with such an acknowledgment, that this systematic view of the subject had been long ago adopted by him, and he very cheerfully leaves the defence of the system to so powerful a champion as the Cav. Inghirami.
* Vasi Fittili, vol. v. p. 488. Mr. Vermiglioli does the writer too much honour. It was Charles Towneley, Esq. who first observed a mystic theology in works of Grecian art. He, jointly with the late R. P. Knight, Esq., furnished D’Hancarville with a great part of the materials of his quarto work on the Esprit des Arts de la Grèce.
+ Quicquid præcipies, esto brevis. — De Arte Poet.
Believing, then, that whatever new light may be further thrown on the allegorical paintings of the Greek vases will be reflected upon them by the labours of such a writer as the Cav. Inghirami, the author of the present work does not regret that he has added very little to this part of his enquiry. He has left what had occurred to him on the subject more than nineteen years ago, nearly as he then represented it.* He gladly turns from these to other more agreeable and consolatory considerations; and he has been irresistibly led to point to them in the conclusion of his work, and in the Appendix. In the latter he has also broached some novelties, that he hopes may prove useful or entertaining. His Systematic Classification of Vases, whatever may be thought of the grounds on which it rests, may be found useful to those who regard these vessels merely for the beauty of their forms, and to others, who may have occasion to describe them in large collections.
In attempting to trace the influence of the mystic theology of the ancients upon their sacred architecture, and the imitation of that practice by the Christians in the early centuries, in illustration of more genuine truths, he has produced some novel observations and conjectures, which may not be generally approved, because they differ from received opinions.
If these shall not be thought of the value which he himself attaches to them, they may serve at least to give a new train of thought to more judicious enquirers. He merely desires that they may be weighed and considered ; since it cannot be denied, that the information we possess respecting the origin of Gothic architecture is far from satisfactory or conclusive.
* The former impression of his work was given in 1806.
Of the painted Greek Pottery found in the Tombs of Magna Græcia. — Use of these
Vessels, as conjectured from a Passage in Pindar, — As proved by a Passage in Aristophanes. — Their Connection with the Greek Mysteries inferred from Apuleius. — Mazzocchi's Explanation of the Inscription KAMO2 confuted. - That these Vessels were symbolical Records of religious Doctrines and Opinions. Page 1
CHAP. II. Origin of these Vases considered from an Examination of the Paintings upon them.
An early Sicilian Cup illustrated by a Phænician Coin. — Origin of the Statues and Symbols of Minerva, and the Meaning of the latter explained.
CHAP. III. The Devices of the Apulian Vases derived from Sparta and Phænicia. — Imported
from Magna Græcia to Rome. — Digression respecting the Games of the Roman Circus. — Of the Olive Wreath on the Campanulate Vases. – Banquet of the Blessed.
An Exposure of the Mysteries by Clemens Alexandrinus.
CHAP. V. of the Scenery of the Eleusinian Mysteries. — The Paintings on the Greek Vases
copied from them. — Eastern Illuminations and the Eleusinian Shows compared. 34
CHAP. VI. Of the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries. — The Vase and the Lantern comparatively
considered as Symbols. — Various other Symbols explained. — Use of the Intaglio. - The Descent of Bacchus, under different Characters, ad Inferos, his Voyage over the Styx, and Re-ascent, exhibited as a Mystical Drama, in a Succession of transparent Scenes, selected chiefly from antique Gems.
The Ceremonies peculiar to each Day of the Greater Mysteries, as enumerated by
Meursius, and an Attempt to explain the Exhibitions in the Propylæa. - Cha