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finiteness, and obviously cannot be taken as binding upon men's faith.
It by no means follows, however, that because our minds are open to admit, upon any sufficient evidence, a very ancient date for man's appearance in history, we should therefore take the present vague calculations of twenty or fifty or a hundred thousand years, as being of the nature of scientific facts. We shall do well, instead of straining at possible thousands in this misty chronicle, to hold to the fewest hundreds that will answer the exigencies of the case. And thus, when we find the Swiss lake-dwellers brought in as part of the evidence bearing on the antiquity of man, as they are in three of the works now before us, we must look narrowly and grudgingly at the estimates of
No enormous antiquity is indeed claimed for them, but they form, in the treatises of Sir Charles Lyell, Sir John Lubbock, and Mons. Le Hon, a stepping-stone, as it were, in chronology to the yet more ancient tribes of the drift gravels and the Dordogne caves. As direct means of calculating their age, there are brought forward three geological arguments. The first is Herr von Morlot’s, based on a railway section through a conical accumulation of gravel and alluvium, which the torrent of the Tinière has gradually built up where it enters the Lake of Geneva near Villeneuve. This cone is remarkably regular in its structure, and in it there occur three sheets or layers of vegetable soil of great extent, each of which must at one time have formed the surface of the cone. The first is about 4 feet below the present surface, and contains Roman tiles and a Roman coin; the second, 10 feet down, contained unglazed pottery and a pair of tweezers, relics of the bronze age; the third, 19 feet down, yielded rude pottery, charcoal, some broken bones, and a human skeleton with a small, round, and very thick skull. Allowing for certain disturbing influences, Herr von Morlot reckons, as we may roughly put it, about fourteen centuries for the accumulation of 4 feet between Roman times and our own, and thence reckons at the same rate of 1 foot to three and a half centuries, back to about 3500 years for the age of bronze, and to about 6500 years to the age of stone.
We fail, however, to see that an accumulation of gravel, which was so interrupted and varying that six-inch layers of vegetable mould could be from time to time formed upon it, can be taken, with any confidence, as a regular measure of the lapse of years. Again, M. Gilliéron calculates a minimum of 6750 years, required for the silting up of the valley of the Thiele, from the point where the remains of a lake settlement indicate the former presence of open water, but his ingenious argument requires
more than one supposition by no means easy to verify. M. Troyon calculates in a similar way the date of the lake settlement of which the piles were found in a peat bog at Cham blon, near Yverdun. This old Roman town, Eburodunum, was once on the borders of the Lake of Neuchâtel, but 2500 feet of new ground now intervenes, and if the lake retreated at the same rate before Roman times, the Bronze-Age lake settlement of Chamblon would be some 3300 years old. Such calculations as these are, Sir Charles Lyell holds, though confessedly imperfect, yet full of promise, and Sir John Lubbock insists with reason on the value of estimates, however crude, if while founded on different data they yet in the main agree in one result.
If we look at the lake remains themselves, and guess how long it must have taken for such large and numerous settlements to have grown up in the Stone Age, before the new series of towns belonging to the ages of bronze and iron, it seems neces. sary to date their first foundation in Switzerland several centuries before the Christian era. But this general impression of length of time does not readily shape itself into a distinct chronology. If we are to make a stand anywhere, we will make it in a protest against such point-blank assertions as that the Swiss lake villages belong to "ages ascending far beyond the Pharaohs.' We suppose few chronologers would give to the pyramids of Egypt an antiquity of less than 2000 years B.C. The Swiss lake dwellings, for all we can prove to the contrary, may be as old as this, or even older; but mere possibilities go for little in such matters, and as yet we have met with nothing like an absolute convincing proof that the first lake-man drove his first rudely-pointed fir stem in the Swiss waters fifteen hundred, or even a thousand years, before the Christian era.
ART. VI.-1. Der Epische Cyclus, oder die Homerischen Dichter.
Von F. G. Welcker. 2te Aufl. 8vo. Bonn, 1865. 2. Betrachtungen über Homer's Ilias. Von K. Lachmann. Mit
Zusätzen von M. Haupt. 8vo. Berlin, 1865. 3. Die Homerische Text-Kritik im Alterthume. Von Jacob La
Roche. 8vo. Leipzig, 1866. 4. Homer and the Iliad. By John Stuart Blackie. 4 vols. 8vo.
Edinburgh, 1866. 5. The Odyssey of Homer. Edited by Henry Hayman, B.D.
Vol I., Books I. to VI. 8vo. London, 1866. 6. The Iliad of Homer, with Enylish Notes. By F. A. Paley, M.A. Vol. I. 8vo. London, 1866.
7. The Iliad of Homer, with English Notes for the use of Schools.
Books I. to XII. By F. A. Paley, M.A. 12mo. London,
1867. 8. Ομήρου βίος και ποιήματα. Υπό Ιωάννου Ν. Βαλέττα.
4to. London, 1867. 9. Homer's Ilias, für den Schulgebrauch erklärt. Von K. F.
Ameis. Erster Band, Erstes Heft, Gesang 1.-II. 8vo.
Leipzig, 1868. 10. On the Comparatively late Date and Composite. Character of
our Iliad and Odyssey. (From the “Transactions of the
must, to be a theme of party strife among scholars, it will still possess solid and permanent claims on their interest. Apart from the imperishable attractiveness of the poems themselves, the controversy to which they gave rise is of the highest significance as a chapter in the history of knowledge. It is the first-born of the great inquiries which have sprung from the union, in modern criticism, of the scientific with the literary spirit. The publication of Wolf's • Prolegomena'is a landmark to show the meeting-point of two great intellectual movementsthe impulse of learning inherited from the scholars of the Renaissance, and the impulse of physical discovery, which dates from nearly the same period, and is associated with still more familiar names. The progress of the discussion has been as fertile as its origin was propitious. Historical and philological studies have been condemned as failing in results—as turning on questions which can never be settled, or which, if settled, would add nothing of real value to human knowledge. The Homeric controversy offers a favourable field for testing the justice of such complaints. Few subjects appear at first so remote from modern interests, or so deficient in the materials of scientific inquiry. Yet we have only to glance through the series of writers on Homeric subjects to see how various and fruitful a theme it has proved to be. How far we are still from the close of the debate may be gathered from the list of new books or new editions (published within the last four years) which stands at the head of this article. Yet these are but the last stragglers of the army of students by whom this great warfare has been carried on. With each successive champion the issues in dispute have been narrowed, fresh points of view gained, fresh criteria discovered and applied. Even if the main question has not been fully solved, even if it should be thought to be
insoluble, still the permanent fruits of the investigation remain, both in the ideas and methods which it has suggested, and the increased knowledge of primitive history and literature which is its more immediate result. Such things are useful in the highest sense of the word, for they are the chief elements in progress towards that insight of the human race into its own nature and capacities which measures the advance from the lower and ruder to the higher and more exquisite forms of existence.
Homer, according to the legend which finally prevailed throughout Greece, was born at Smyrna, and was the son of the Meles, the black water' which flowed through the ancient site of that city, and formed the boundary between Æolis and Ionia, The river doubtless owed this honour to the chance likeness between its name and the word uéros, song; but it was a just instinct which placed the germ of epic poetry on the confines of Æolic and Ionian Greece; in a city which, like the • Iliad' itself, was debatable ground between the two races. The poem has, indeed, come down to us in a purely Ionic dialect, as the treasure of an Ionic school of reciters, the Homerids of Chios; but its heroes are especially the heroes of Æolic Greece, and its scene is laid in folic territory. Hence the claim which each had to share in the glory of Homer. If he was an Æolian, how came he to compose his songs in another dialect? If an Ionian, why did he choose a story in which his countrymen played no important part? How did the Tale of Troy overflow the bounds of its native Æolis, and gain fame in the mouths of Ionic singers in all the chief cities of the Ionian race? The fancy of Greek tradition was satisfied with placing the birthplace of Homer halfway between the two countries, and telling of his travels from city to city, planting, as he went, the seeds of epic poetry. Modern critics, no less struck with the union in the Iliad' of elements from different Hellenic nationalities, have generally felt that the personality of a single poet is not an adequate meeting-point even for two such streams as the influences of Æolic and Ionian life, still less a sufficient origin for the many schools in which Greek epic poetry is found to flourish in aftertimes.
The Iliad' is attached to the Æolian settlements of Asia, and to the country of Æolis itself, by circumstances which prove an intimate and original connexion. It belongs to the Æolians through the memories of their European ancestors and the traditions which were their itle to the new seats. Of its two chief heroes, Achilles and Agamemnon, the one is a Thessalian prince, the champion of an Æolic nationality, the other
represents the great Pelopid family, whose descendants were claimed as their first leaders by the polic colonists of Lesbos and of Cyme. The assembling of the Greek fleet at Aulis in Baotia points still more distinctly to the Æolic migration; for it is hardly consistent with the traditional picture of Agamemnon, the king over many islands and all Argos,' but is sufficiently explained by the historical importance of Aulis as the starting-point for emigrants from Bæotia, Achæa, and the other parts of European olis. On the other hand, the “Iliad' is no less intimately connected with the history and geography of the country to which the Æolic migration took its course. The prophecy which is put into the mouth of Poseidon, that the dynasty of Priam should perish, but that the descendants of Æneas were to rule over the Trojans in time to come, is plainly an allusion to a race of Ænead princes then reigning in the Troad. The Trojan catalogue is only less minute than the Greek; probably, therefore, it was nearly as interesting. In this and in many other ways
poet of the · Iliad' is the poet of both Greek and Trojan, of Hector and Paris as well as of Achilles and Agamemnon. He is, in short, the poet of the actual Æolis of his time, with its native and half-Asiatic legends embedded in the traditions of the Achæan families; as the remains of the indigenous races might still be seen in its mountains or even in its great cities.* Everything points to a war of conquest, but not of extermination, full of stirring events, and leaving a vivid impression on the memories of victors and vanquished : such a war as is capable of awakening a people to that first dim sense of its own historical existence which finds its fitting expression in epic legend. The national character of the Polic Greeks—a combination of fiery pride with enthusiasm and romantic sentiment—was one that fitted them to be the originators of a body of heroic poetry. The same temperament which afterwards gave rise to passionate lyric poetry must have shown itself in an earlier and simpler age, in short and stirring war-songs, the recitals of real or mythical exploits.
The Ionic character of the Homeric poems rests, in the first place, upon the language in which they have reached us. It has, indeed, been supposed that the Homeric dialect is a mixture of Æolic and lonic forms, and in particular that the digamma shows the presence of an Æolic element. Such a mixture, however, would be a mere linguistic monster, without parallel in literature. The digamma, as it is called, represents a sound which belonged at one time to all dialects of Greek; and it is
* Herod. V. 122.