« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
where now to be found in those extunt tragedies of this poet, many whereof have been lost, yet tho sincerity there. of cannot reasonably be at all suspected by us, it having been cited by so many of the ancient fathers in their writings against the pagans, as particularly Justin Mure tyr, Athenigoras, Clemens Alexandrinus, Eusebius, Cyril, and Theodoret, of which number Clemcis tells us, thut it was attested likewise by that ancient Pagan historiographer Hecat cus. Intell. Syst, p. 363.
Hecatæus, whom Josephus commends, Contr. Apion. i. 22. is said to have lived in the tiine of Alexander the Great, and to have conversed much with the Jews, and he might have been a kind of proselyte, or half-Jew. Le Clerc suspects that this book of Hecatæus might have been forged by the Jews, Bibl. Chois. viii. 392, Athenagoras only citeș the two first verses of this fragment: it is strange that he should not have produced the rest, if he ever saw it, which made so much for his purpose, Some may think it improbable that Sophocles should venture to attack the gods and the religious ceremonies of his own country in so open a manner : but these verses are not, like those of the Sibyl, in the style of the Scriptures, and it is certain that in the Greek comedies and tragedies there are many bold strokes against the fabulous and popular religions; and Clemens Alexandrinus, Strom, v, p. 691, produces passages out of Euripides, Plato, and Zeno, whiel are very remote from the yulgar notions concerning the gods. The fathers have taken great pains to collect such testi, monies, for which we are much obliged to them.
Justin, Color&. 3$. cites an oracle, which seems to be a Jewish or a Christian trifle, in which it is said that God N 4
στώτον πλασας μερόπων, 'Αδαμ δε καλέσσας. Qui primum mortalem effinxit, Adamque vocæit. Justin, in the book de Monarchia, if it be his, produces a passage from Philemon, which others ascribe to Menander, wherein are these lines :
Δει και τον άνδρα χρήσιμον καθεσάναι,
nent?] Acum vel unam haud concupiscas, Pamphile. The verses which I have enclosed in brackets are not in Clemens Alexandrinus Strom. v. 720. nor in Eusebius Proep. Evang. xiii. 13. nor in the collections of Grotius, or of Le Clerc. .They are, I think, the handy-work of some Jew or Christian, and a sorry imitation of the tenth commandment ; and, it may be, an interpolation in Justin : Ουκ επιθυμήσεις την γυναίκα το πλησίον : ουκ επιθυμήσεις την οικίαν τε λησίον του, έδε τον αγρόν αυτε, δε τον σαϊδα αυτν, έδε την παιδίσκην αυτε, ότι το βούς αυτε, έτε το υποζυγίου αυτε, ετέ σαντος κλώνους αιτε, έτε όσα το πλησίον έσί: Erod. xx. 17. .
Τ' αλλότρια βλέποντα, καπιθυμόνερα
is not a verse, nor worth the mending. One might read,
Ταλλότρια βλέποντ', ή επιθυμάμενον-
Χώριζεθνητων τον Θεόν, και μη δική
Nainque omnia potest: laus Dei est altissimi. This passage is also to be found with some various readings in Clemens Strom. v. 727.
The last line has an air of forgery ; it is unharmonious, and prosaic, and seems to be taken from the Scriptures. In the second line, instead of "Onosov Cauta it should perhaps be "Oporre Caut for the second foot will not regularly admit a spondee.
Eusebius, mless my memory deceives me, has made no direct lise of the Sibyl, whence it may be conjectured that he had no great esteem for her. Dr Middleton has charged him with approving and . justifying a very silly Acrostich of the Erythræan Sibyl. Eusebius has preserved an Acrostich.--He tells us however that many people rejected it but the truth, adils he, is manifest--for it is agreed by all that Cicero had read this poem.--Now the sole ground of this confident assertion is, &c. Inquiry, p. 36.
The father of Ecclesiastical History dleseryes not this censure, and the Doctor has inadvertently ascribed to Eusebius, sentiments contained in an oration, published indeed by Eusebius, but composed by the Emperor Constantine. As to the Emperor's judgment, defend it who will, for I will not; but why should Eusebius be responsible for the mistakes of
Constantine? See Canstantini Orat. apud Eusebium, p. 700. Edit. Cant, and Valesius there, and Euseb. Vit. Const. iv. 32.
Eusebius cites the Sibyl, Priep. Evang. xiii, 13. but in the words of Clemens Alexandrinus, whom he transcribes.
IX. 15. Ile produces a passage from her concerning the tower of Babel, but he took it, as he informs us, from Josephus Ant. i. 4. who says, Περί δε το πύργο τότε και της αλλοφωνίας των ανθρώπων, μέμνηται και Σίβυλλα λέγουσα έτως, Πάντων ομοφώνων όλων των ανθρώπων, σύργον ώκοδόμησάν τινες υψηλότατον, ως επί τον έρανόν αναβησόμενοι δι' αυτα οι δε θεοί ανέμους επιπέμψαντες ανέτρεψαν τον πύργον, και ιδίαν εκάσω φωνήν έδωκαν, και δια τετο Βαβυλώνα [υνέβη κληθήκαι την πόλιν. De turri qutem hac, deque linguis hominum mutatis meninit etiam Sibylla, ad hunc modum dicens : Cum universi homines uno eloquio uterentur, turrim aedificarunt quidam excelsissiman, quosi ad cælum per cam ascensuri, Diä vero procellis emissis turrim everterunt, et suum cuique lixguam dederunt. Que causu fuit, ut urbs eu Babylonis nomen acciperet.
The verses relating to this subject are preserved by Theophilus ad Autolycum ii, 31.
'Αλλ' οπόταν μεγάλοιο θεν τελέωνίαι απειλεί,
Ας σοτ' επηπείλησε βροτοίς, ότι σύργον έτευξαν
Sed quando magni Dei perficiuntur mince,
Terra mortalibus impleta fuit sub rariis regibus. In the last line perlaps for Brosnáw it should be $20!nerūv, The earth was replenished with men, and divided into various kingdoms.
Hence it may be concluded that a Sibylline oracle concerning the tower of Babel was extant in the days of Josephus, and hence Beverege makes some inferences in favour of the Sibylline verses cited by the ancienț fathers, which are by no means conclusive and satisfactory. Cod. Can. Illustr. i, 14.
Was the oracle mentioned by Josephus in prose or in yerse? We cannot certainly tell, but it is most probable that it was in verse, and that Josephus gave us the sense and substance of it in prose. Had Josephus those verses before him which are preserved by Theophilus ? Beverege says he had, and so thinks Isaac Vossius; and it may be so. But then the verses seem to have undergone some alteration afterwards; for the Sibyt in Josephus says that from the confision of languages the place was called Babylon; the Sibyl in Theophilus says it not: the Sibyl in Josephus says that oi Orsi, the gods, overthrew the edi