« НазадПродовжити »
celebrating their common festivals with greater splendor and security; and the chance gatherings once commenced might become the established meetings of a religious or a national confederacy. The great Amphictyonic league, between as many as twelve different states,” may have arisen from some such simple origin; and though there were no very numerous or very considerable functions involved in the protection of a temple or in the fulfilment of the rites to which the temple was dedicated, the connection between the members of the league was sure to be a humanizing and a strengthening bond.” Other motives of union would exist in the purposes of adventure or warfare to which their activity was continually directed; and any chief who took shield and spear from their resting-place had only to send a herald forth with a summons, to fill his camp or fleet with followers. Every century, if not every year, must have witnessed a union nearer in many ways amongst the Greeks, who, kindred in all the prominent characteristics by which they were distinguished from other people, could not live so utterly apart as not to know one another's names and be proud of one another's deeds. The curse of the nation was war; its blessing was varied and unceasing progress: by the latter its people were united, or would have been, had the former been spared them in their destiny. Their most thorough union, in the age of the heroes, was brought about by the war with Troy.” It seemed, indeed, as if these restless times must end, at last, in some great outbreak of the warlike enthusiasm which, even with Minos and the countrymen of Theseus, had retained the uppermost place in Grecian hearts. The poets sang, that Jupiter ordained the Trojan war in order that the earth might be lightened of its heroes and a new age ushered in.” More various forces and more gallant chieftains had never met, according to the story, than assembled at Aulis to fill the fleets of Agamemnon. The fair wind, obtained by the massacre, as was commonly believed, of a maiden child, bore on the multitude without remorse to the ruin of Ilion and the people of spear-armed Priam. The dissensions and disasters of the victors are familiar tales. At the beginning of the new age which we have supposed to wait the disappearance or the transformation of the heroes is the place of Homer. He is not yet far enough removed from the departed, it might still be called the departing, period, to escape the love of battle and warlike life above all other scenes or memories. But if he sings of conflicts, he sings of virtues in as fervent strains; and as time has thrown its mellowness around his song, the sharp sounds of the spear, the groan, and the angry tongue of his heroes are softened into the devotion, the hospitality, and the affection of our own fellowInell.
34 The Thessalians, Boeotians, Dorians, Ionians, Perrhaebians, Magnetes, Locrians, AEtoans or Anians, Achaeans of Phthiotis, Malians, Phocians, and Dolopes. See Hermann, Polit. Antiq., and the references in note 3 to sect. 13, ch. 1. Each of these tribes sent deputies to the Council, which, together with the great Assembly of the
League, met semiannually at Delphi or at Thermopylae.
35 “We perceive,” says Thirlwall, “two main functions assigned to the council, - to guard the temple at Delphi, and to restrain the violence of hostility amongst Amphictyonic states.” Hist. Greece, Ch. X. See Wachsmuth, Hist. Antiq., Sect. 24.
36 The fall of Troy is placed, ac- “And many brave souls loosed cording to Eratosthenes, at A. C. from weat, heroic" etc., 1183,-according to Callimachus, at as the Iliad begins. The cause of A. C. 1127. Clinton's Fast. Hell., the war was also ascribed to the Vol. I. p. 140. hatred of Jupiter for Priam. Il., 37 Cypr., Carmin., I., from Schol. XX. 306. ad Homer., Il., I. 5.
The grief of Andromache for Hector's peril, or the joy of Penelope at Ulysses's return, was the exaltation of all womanhood in the sympathy expressed and awakened for them. The love of friend or father was as tenderly described; and the duty of the child was recognized in a single word, which meant the nurture returned to the parent by the offspring.” The hero of Troy was the hero of humanity; not Achilles, indeed, but Hector, the compassionate brother to Helen, the humble son to Priam, the loving husband, and the childlike father, who would not offer up his vows with blood-stained hands.” A softer light is spread over poetry such as this; and truths we reverence appear as if half revealed through opening clouds. Beyond all evils was seen one universal right, no longer ideal, but actively supported on earth as well as above Olympus. The poor man and the
stranger were confessed to belong to Jupiter, who would himself accept the slightest gift and himself
38 eperrhpua or epérrpa. Il., IV. 478. 39 “Nor is it lawful, thus imbued with blood and dust, to prove The will of heaven, or offer vows to cloud-compelling Jove.” Il., WI. 266-269, Chapman's transl.