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racter, and is apt to choose his men ill. In this he is a striking contrast to his uncle, of whom Chateaubriand said, “ C'est un bien grand découvreur d’hommes.” His field of selection, to be sure, is deplorably limited by the alienation from him of all the notabilities of France; but he has been unfortunate or unskilful in nearly all the chief appointments he has made. If his natural capacity were greater, he would be a far safer man, and his course far more predictable. He has made the most of the faculties with which he was originally endowed; but these were both limited in range and incomplete in number, and it is impossible to say when they will fail him, or whither they may lead him. He is shrewd rather than sound; being, in fact, one of what the French call “special” men; he is an eartraordinary man, in the sense of being unusual rather than being wonderful; he differs from other men far more than he surpasses them. It is impossible, therefore, to feel confident or at ease in reference either to his proceedings or his fate.
ART. WI.—PHOENI CIA. Phoenicia. By John Kenrick, M.A. London, B. Fellowes. 1855.
IT sounds paradoxical, but it is nevertheless perfectly true, that the further we recede from any given section in the wide field of the past—provided we still possess sources of information respecting it, and these continue to be diligently and critically used— the more qualified we often become to understand it; the clearer the light we can throw on its obscurities; and the more sense we are able to extract out of statements which once baffled us as hopeless enigmas. No page in the great book of human history, which has any thing legible written on it, is turned over finally and for ever. Though again and again recurred to, it continues to yield fresh knowledge, proportionate to the intellectual resources of the mind which consults it. The reason of modern times is more sagacious and more exact in the interpretation of evidence than that of antiquity; and the critical faculty, from longer exercise, has acquired a more exquisite tact. Those contrasts and parallels which are indispensable to a distinct apprehension of the true import of any group of circumstances, are supplied in richer abundance from the wide and varied experience of former ages on which we can now look back; and the laws of social combination which have been deduced from a more extensive survey of social phenomena, place a new instrument of discovery in the hands of the philosophic inquirer, enabling him many times from mere fragmentary indications to reconstruct an ancient fact—to infer, for example, the latent presence of an institution from the clear traces of effects which are known always to accompany it, or vice versá to assume the effects from a passing notice of the institution. Direct and contemporary witnesses of past events possess of course a peculiar value; but they must be subjected to the cross-examining of a critical judgment not less than circumstantial evidence; and the latter may at times exist in such abundance, come from so many sources, and be stamped with so authentic a character, as almost to compensate the absence of the former. In the whole compass of antiquity there is no people of whose interior life and social economy it would be more interesting to obtain a view, than the Phoenicians. The effect of their energy and enterprise on the future condition of the world is still perceptible. They first of the civilised people of the East applied a stimulus to the dormant susceptibilities of Hellenic culture, and furnished the conditions of its independent growth and rapid selfdevelopment. In their daring navigation and wide-extended commerce, in the resources and activity of their manufacturing industry, in the wealth and intelligence and political ascendency of their great mercantile aristocracy, they present many similitudes and suggest many affinities of the deepest interest to the form of society which exists among ourselves, and which is distinguished so broadly in the most striking of its features from the intervening civilisation of the Greeks and Romans. Egypt, Northern India and Ariana, from the vast antiquity into which their traditions run back, the impenetrable obscurity which invests the commencement of their social existence, and the monuments of dateless origin on which they have recorded the awakening consciousness of their nationality, carry with them an impression of the wonderful and mysterious which more powerfully affects the imagination; but they seem to belong to a primeval world with which we have no longer any concern; all that yet subsists of their wisdom and their industry does not come so home to us, does not stand in so intimate a relation to the still-enduring interests of our race, as the arts, the voyages, and the policy of the merchant-princes who anticipated by more than two thousand years, in the confederation of free cities which they founded at the foot of Lebanon, the commercial republics of Venice, Pisa, Genoa and Holland in the Christian period and the western world. Of this remarkable nation we possess no native monuments, or next to none, to illustrate its origin and history. For our principal information we are indebted to the Greeks—Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo—and to the Latins, Pomponius Mela and Justin, who have followed in their track. These writers not only record what they saw or learned in their own age, but transmit a great deal of knowledge derived from earlier sources no longer accessible to us; and their more direct and ample statements are confirmed or qualified by the incidental notices scattered up and down the remains of classical literature— of the character and doings of a people which had left the traces of its existence on every promontory and island of the western SeaS. In the middle of the fifth century before Christ, that indefatigable traveller, Herodotus, sailed from Egypt to Tyre, to visit some temples of Melcarth, or Hercules, there, and compare the traditions of their priests respecting the god, with those he had collected from other sources.” His visit was evidently a hurried one. Of what he then saw in Tyre, he has described nothing but two pillars—one of fine gold, the other of smaragdus brilliantly luminous by night (probably green glass with a lamp burning in the interior), which he found set up in one of the temples. In pursuit of his specific object he soon hastened away to Thasus, where another temple of Hercules had excited his curiosity. We cannot but regret that it did not come within his plan to remain longer in Tyre, where his keen eye and graphic pen could not have failed to preserve for us some invaluable pictures of the industrial life of antiquity. Had he favoured us with only a few such glimpses as he has opened into the interior of society at Babylon—setting before our eyes the dress and habitudes of its citizens; its marriage-law and sanitary regulations; the blended pride and shame which restrained ladies of rank from mingling with the crowd of vulgar votaries, as they went, shut up in their close carriages and followed by a long retinue of servants, to render their obligatory dues at the temple of the impure Mylitta, our obligations to him would have been unspeakable.t Next to the Greek historians and geographers, the Hebrew Scriptures yield us the most abundant information respecting the Phoenicians, not only in the historical books, where the relations of Tyre with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah come under notice, but still more in the prophets, especially Isaiah and Ezekiel. The latter prophet has left us a more full and particular account of the Tyrian commerce than any other writer of antiquity.[ And though this mention of Phoenicia in the Old Testament is only occasional, it has the recommendation of coming direct from contemporaries, and possesses in consequence a peculiar weight and interest. The Phoenicians must, however, have had originally histories of their own. Like other ancient nations of the eastern world, they had, no doubt, their state-archives, confided to the keeping of the priesthood, in which all events of importance were recorded. Out of materials derived from these sources two Greek writers, Dius, and Menander of Ephesus or Pergamus,” had framed complete histories of Tyre. Unfortunately their works have perished, with the exception of some fragments, exceedingly valuable as far as they go, which have been preserved by Josephus. There is yet another source of information respecting Phoenicia, claiming to be native, which is still extant, and of very singular character. About the commencement of the second century of our era, when the decay of old faiths and the thickening strife of Christianity with heathemism turned men's thoughts to the foundations of religious belief, and gave a new interest to the doctrines of the ancient priesthoods—a native of Phoenicia, Philo of Byblus, translated, as he affirmed, out of Punic into Greek, and from records kept in the temples, a work which bore the name of Sanchoniatho, an ancient sage or philosopher, who was described as having lived only a little later than Moses. Porphyry and Eusebius, who have each quoted largely from Philo Byblius, though with a different purpose, speak of the original work as a history of Phoenicia. If it were so, one cannot but wish that any other portion of it had been rescued from oblivion, than the cosmogonical dreams which it was anciently the custom to prefix to all national histories. In spite of circumstances calculated at first view to raise suspicion, there are some internal marks of substantial authenticity in this curious old fragment. The doctrines which it contains appear to have been issued, in perfect accordance with the corporate spirit of the ancient priesthoods, under the name and sanction of the religious body who had charge of the public records. Sanchoniatho was probably not the name of an individual, but the title, like our “Doctor’ or ‘Reverend’ (it has been interpreted ‘Friend of Truth'), of an entire class. In the priestly legends it was usually contrived to confer a peculiar honour and antiquity on the city and temple which immediately furnished them: and we find accordingly a divine origin, and a priority of foundation to all other Phoenician cities, assigned in these relics of Sanchoniatho to Byblus. Again, it seems implied by the language in one passage that the doctrines were derived from the interpretation of symbolical figures, depicted on the walls of the temple, and explained by the hierophant.j This, we * See Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. f Contra Apion. it See the account of Kronos and Dagon, and of the son of Thabion — trpdorov
* Herod. ii. 44.
t Herod. i. 199. Oik &éteilueval &vaufoyed 6a, Tāori &AAmal, oia TAoûre Strepppovéovgat, €rl (evyéov čv kapadpport éAdoraorai.
f Ezekiel xxvii.
know, was a customary mode of instruction in the temples of India, Egypt, and Babylon. The references to Jewish and Greek theology, indicative of a comparatively modern date, are easily accounted for by the readiness of the old priesthoods, like the Chinese of more recent times, when made acquainted with the ideas of other nations, so to modify their traditional system as to claim for it superior antiquity, and a priority in all knowledge. There can be little doubt, we suppose, that the Hermetic lore of Egypt has been continually modified in this way by the indirect action of Greek science and philosophy.* Lastly, as evidence of their extensive colonisation, and in some degree illustrative of their manners and customs, the monuments of the Phoenicians bearing inscriptions, which have been found at intervals along the coast of the Mediterranean, especially in Malta, and which have been illustrated with great learning by the late eminent Semitic Orientalist, Gesenius, have opened a new source of knowledge within the present century.f In Phoenicia itself, so far as we know, not any native inscription or monument has yet been found. What yet is concealed under the soil, and might be brought to light by applying that process of subterranean research which modern archaeology has used with so much success in other parts of the earth, future years will perhaps discover. Nothing seems inaccessible to the perseverance and sagacity of our present savans; nor can there be a stronger proof of the scientific spirit of our age, than the conversion of the mouldering relics of the tomb into the elements of an exact and classified knowledge, marked by distinct indications of date and origin—the evocation of the dead, to instruct the living, and throw back the lurid light of their opened sepulchres on what seemed the impenetrable darkness of ages long past away.S
* Goguet (Origine des Loix, &c.) has given, in an appendix to his first volume, a summary of the arguments in favour of these Fragments, though on grounds different from those taken in the text. Mr. Kenrick, who in an earlier work (Egypt of Herodotus, note on the Cabiri, p. 266) had treated Sanchoniatho “as the assumed name of Philo of Byblus,” in the present volume on Phoenicia, admits as probable the existence of a Punic original, containing ancient doctrines, which Philo translated, though not possessing the antiquity (at least in its actual form) affirmed by Eusebius and others. The negative view of this question is strongly maintained by the writer of the article Sanchoniatho in Smith's Dictionary of Biography, who cites Movers as on the same side. Swinton, a century ago, made use of Phoenician coins for historical purposes; but he had access to few monuments; and palaeography was then comparatively in its infancy. f Since writing this, we have learned that a sarcophagus of a king of the Sidonians, with a Phoenician inscription containing allusion to temples of Baal and Ashtaroth, was found at Sidon in January 1855. An account of this discovery was given to the Royal Society of Literature, November 14, 1855. Š.There is some rhetoric, but also some truth, in the following observations of a living writer: “Tous les siècles, tous les peuples sont cachés dansla terre. Le solm'a toujours