« PreviousContinue »
creation of the world, to the universal deluge | tent of their ideas, had discovered the use in 1656.
of fire, the employment of wood and stone, If we go back to the earliest ages of the the fabrication of brick, and the art of work: world, we observe that, if man, placed by ing iron and brass, and had invented various the Creator upon the surface of the globe, tools, instruments and utensils. Finally, had possessed no other resources than those Noah's ark, if it was such as it has been which he could derive from his hands, and represented, [and the biblical account of it is his corporeal strength, he would have been true, Ev.] could not have been made without capable only of doing mechanically, what art and industry, and gives us a high idea would have been suggested to him by im- of the talents of the first men of natu perious necessity, and his existence, after The second epoch, from the deluge to the fifty-eight centuries, would have differed but I foundation of Rome, in the year 3250. ' little from that of the animals : but the sove. After the dreadful catastrophe, which reign Author of the universe had endowed had swallowed up the whole world, with the him with intellectual faculties of a superior exception of Noah and his family, we find order. Soon the habit of seeing, observing, in the sacred text, that this patriarch plantreflecting and comparing gave new powered the vine, and expressed from it an intoxto his understanding.
icating liquor. We see afterwards that Agriculture and the care of flocks appear men, either to escape a new deluge, or to have been the first occupations of the hu- to reach the skies, which they believed to man race. The wealth of the most ancient be near them, erected the tower of Babel, a patriarchs consisted of numerous heads of rash and daring enterprise, but which necattle. The skins of these animals supplied vertheless, carried even to a certain extent, them with clothing ; their flesh and their supposes powerful conception and great remilk, joined to the fruits of the earth, suffi. sources. ced to nourish the descendants of Adam and The posterity of Noah so increased, that Eve. When the first ages were passed, families dispersed, some going into Egypt, families became too numerous to subsist some into Asia, and some into Greece. together within a limited space. They dis. Hence the origin of the Hebrew, Arabic, persed, established themselves at first at a Phænician, Greek, Persian, Chinese, and little distance from each other, and formed other languages. colonies. It was then that wants began to Egypt became the cradle of the arts. multiply. Men became more familiar with Astronomy, that is to say the observation of the phenomena of nature, united their forces, the stars, began by fixing chronological and their thoughts. The necessity of measures, and the division of months, years making themselves understood, produced and centuries. The astronomical dance of signs, gestures, sounds and words. Ideas the Egyptians indicates the anterior origin were modified, application was made of of sacred and profane dances, always accomthem to things of immediate necessity; and panied by instrumental music. To Sesoshence the origin of the first inventions. iris, the tenth king of Egypt, is ascribed Tubal Cain invented, it is said, the art of the invention of geography. The obelisks of forging iron ; Seth passes for the inventor Egypt, the celebrated city of Thebes, the imof astronomy and writing ; according to the mense labyrinth, built near lake Meris ; lake historian Josephus, the children of Seth Mæris itself, from ten to twelve leagues in erected two pillars, one of brick, the other circumference, excavated by the hand of of stone, to leave to their posterity a me- man; the two pyramids, erected in the midst mento of the knowledge acquired by their of its waters, and each supporting a colossal fathers. Jubal invented music.
statue, the famous pyramids of Memphis, But there remain to us no monuments of constructed in imitation of the tower of those remote ages ; those which then ex- Babel, and the statue of Memnon, were so isted were buried under the waters of the many monuments, some of which, still existuniversal deluge. There is no trace of an- ing, attest the power and industry of this tediluvian industry. Tradition has scarce. first people of the earth. ly transmitted to us the names of some of Egyptian colonies passed into Asia, exthe first inhabitants of the earth ; all that tended from the shores of the Mediterrawe can gather from the text of the Sacred nean to China, and transported with them Scriptures is, that human industry had the knowledge which they had acquired in made some progress ; since, within a pe- their own country. Hence the origin of the riod of time which embraced, at the most, Chaldeans, Tyrians, Phænicians, Babylo. five or six generations, men had succeeded nians, Medes, Assyrians, Persians, and Chiin forming a language adapted to the ex. Inese. The Chaldeans dispute with the
Egyptians the invention of astronomy. Na-lindustry among the Greeks. Cecrops foundvigation and commerce had their rise amonged there twelve cities which composed the the Tyrians and Phænicians. There were kingdom of Athens. Cadmus and his Phæmanufactories of glass at Sidon. The cities nician companions founded the city of Thebes of Babylon and Nineveh soon arose, both in Bæotia, and made known there the means celebrated for the magnificence of their of transmitting thought by writing. Pelops, palaces, and the former for the tower of Bela Phrygian, reigned in the Peloponnesus lus, built on the ruins of that of Babel. and gave his name to that famous conntry. Tyre, Sidon, Troy, and many other cities The first money was coined at Athens, and were, from their foundation, so many small Philo of Argos coined the first silver money, kingdoms, which, soon united by the right in the island of Ægina. Dædalus constructof conquest, formed large empires. The Per-ed the famous labyrinth of Crete. Calus or sians and the Chinese partook of the industry Talus his rival invented the saw and the of other nations. The invention of the compass. The siege and taking of Troy, so sphere was of great antiquity among the well described by Homer, indicate to us Chinese, and chronology mentions that the what was, at that period, the military art, sun-dial was known in China towards the the art of forming camps, the kind of offenend of the second epoch.
sive and defensive armor, which was then fab. It was also towards the end of this epoch, ricated, the use of chariots, the skill in trainthat the Tyrians built Carthage, and the city ing and managing horses. Homer immorof Herculaneum was founded, and afterwards talized his age and country. Lycurgus gave unfortunately buried in the earth.
laws to Lacedæmon. The institution of The Hebrews, going out of Egypt, under gymnastic exercises, and the restoration of the the command of Moses, also present to us Olympic games promoted address, strength a picture of human industry. Ancient his and courage among the Greeks. tory teaches us that soon after the deluge, Among the fables, which cover with a men had made many discoveries well worthick veil the early ages of the world, are thy of admiration, and that they had dis- seen the principal truths, which may be decovered the secret, first of spinning gold, duced from the most remarkable events. and weaving it into cloth ; secondly, of gold. The third epoch, from the foundation of beating and gilding wood and other materi. Rome to the vulgar era. als; thirdly, of casting gold and silver figures Previous to this third epoch, important expressive of various objects, and of inak. events had occurred in Egypt and in Asia. ing all kinds of ornaments and vases ; fourth Greece began to be ranked among civilized ly, of painting and carving wood, stone and nations. The rest of Europe, almost unin. marble; and fifthly, of dying stuffs with the habited, was without art and without indusmost beautiful colors. We also see the try. The colossal powers of Egypt and Hebrews at the foot of Mount Sinai mak. Asia soon destroyed each other. The coning a god under the form of a golden calf ; quests of Cambyses, Cyrus and Alexander the decalogue, or the ten commandments arrested the progress of civilization, and by of God, engraved upon stone; the vestments of a necessary consequence, the people were the high priest, adorned with precious stones the slaves of the first usurping despot pow. and woven of fine linen, mixed with gold erful enough to subjugate them. Asiatic and dyed with different colors; the ark of luxury and effeminacy completed the annithe covenant, of precious wood, overlaid with hilation of what the destructive wars of the plates of gold, fastened with golden nails, and people had spared. furnished with rings of gold, into which It was reserved for Greece to preserve were inserted large gilded staves, intended and rekindle the sacred fire of the arts and to bear it. David calms the fury of Saul, sciences. The first Greek medals, or coins by the harmonious sounds of his harp. Fi. with inscriptions, without the concave die, date nally, the temple of Solomon, erected in from the commencement of this epoch. Jerusalem, one of the most celebrated mon. Thales carried from Egypt into Greece the uments of the Jewish people, by its archi- knowledge of the circles of the sphere. Antecture and the almost infinite number of aximander invented geographical maps. So. works of gold and casting, announces a lon gave laws to Athens. The Pythian magnificence worthy of the Master of the games, adapted to give flexibility and agiuniverse, who was its object, and gives us | lity to the body, were instituted at Delphi. an idea of the progress, which the industry The theory of music was invented by Pyiha
coras. who first call of man had made during a period of 3,000 goras, who first calls untion to the five years. Wo
Philolaus of A colony from Egypt introduced arts and Cr a discij
chytas, first made known the motion of the ed its projects of conquest, and the ambition earth round the sun. Hipparchus was the of becoming the first city of the universe; first, after Thales and Sulpicius Gallus, who and while gold and riches prepared the de. discovered the method of calculating eclipses. cay of the republics of Greece, the Roman He invented the astrolabe, and calculated the republic, after the expulsion of the Tarnumber of the fixed stars, which he made quins, strengthened upon its foundation, amount to 1022. Greece gave birth to So. rose with majesty upon the ruins of the crates, Plato and Aristotle. Theophrastus thrones by which it was surrounded, and is the first botanical author known. Graft- which overshadowed its rising greatness. ing was invented by the Greeks. Hippo- Six hundred years of the republic were crates, regarded with reason as the father six hundred years of war. This haughty of medicine, gave the first lessons in the art people, who at first regarded with disdain of curing. Towards the golden age of the mechanic arts, and abandoned the ex. Greece, the fine arts were there carried to ercise of them to slaves, knowing no art the highest degree of perfection. Dancing, but that of conquest, learned from conquermusic, wrestling, and chariot-racing were ed nations to value the arts and sciences, held in high estimation. Attalus, king of as well as the master-pieces of industry. Pergamus, invented tapestry. Painting, Papirius constructed the first sun-dial. Soon sculpture, engraving, and architecture made enriched by the industry of its neighbors, such rapid progress among the Greeks, that Rome could not, like Egypt and Greece, they have not yet been surpassed by any boast of its discoveries. History paints to nation upon the earth, but have served as a us the genius of this people, as directed model for all. We shall always remember rather to imitation than to invention. Its manthe great talents of the painters A pelles, ners, laws, festivals, pageants, customs, all, Zeuxis and Parrhasius; of the sculptors, even its religion, were borrowed from other Phidias, Polycletus, Praxiteles, Agesander, nations, but principally from the Greeks. Polydorus and Athenodorus;* of the engra- The Roman people, who thought only of vers, Stratonicus, Mentor and Pytheas; of subduing and governing the world, did not the architects, Ictinus, Callicrates and Philo. cultivate the sciences, such as geometry From Greece have come the most beautiful and mathematics. To judge from their master-pieces of the chisel and the pencil. own historians, they despised and ridiculed The art of making arches was known there. them. Cicero speaks very slightly of ArCallimachus invented the capital of the Co-chimedes, whose immortal name will go rinthian order. The tomb of Mausolus has down to posterity with that of the Roman been considered one of the seven wonders orator. Tacitus confounds mathematics of the world. The marbles of Paros, after with judicial astrology, and does not give wards called the marbles of Arundel or 0.x- us a very high idea of his knowledge of ford, have preserved the most interesting physical geography. It was only towards epochs of this industrious people.
The end of the republic, that eloquence was The arts of luxury did not diminish their honored at Rome. The taste for the fine energy. It was especially in the military arts was confined to a sterile admiration. art, that they were distinguished, by the The Romans loved them only for pomp and invention and construction of the battering ostentation. They neglected nothing inram, tortoise, auger, rolling towers, and other deed to procure the works of art, which they machines for the attack and defence of envied their neighbors; but we do not see places ; by the disposition of armies in among them that emulation of the Greeks, battle and the precision of their movements, nor those sublime talents, which, long afand by skill in the navy, which always reri- ter the fall of the empire, rendered Italy il. dered their fleets victorious, procured for lustrious, and still afford us models. them the empire of the sea, and obliged the The Romans did not neglect agriculture. Persians to renounce it forever, by a solemn The works of Cato, Varro, Columella and treaty.
| Pliny prove to us how great a value they But the greatest empires have a limit to attached to it. Ctesibius was the inventor their increase and duration, appointed by of pumps, and the hydraulic machine, the the sovereign Ruler of destiny.
| water-clock, otherwise called clepsydra. The Beside Greece arose a rival power. invention of gauze was known from the Rome, which, according to history, derived time of Petronius. Architecture appears to its origin from the Trojans, early announc-have been more particularly cultivated unamphitheatres, baths, bridges, triumphal | Rome, but the inventive genius of the inarches, the invention of the composite order, dustrious people of Greece could not be its theatres, and many other public edifices, won by conquest. This genius, so fruitful the remembrance of which has descended in the happy times of liberty, was enfeebled, to posterity, will perpetuate the memory prostrated, annihilated under the emperors of Cæsar, Vespasian, Titus, Trajan, Adrian, of the East and West. Those famous citAntoninus, and Marcus Aurelius. Cæsar, lies, Athens, Corinth, Lacedæmon, Thebes, who traversed Gaul, and nearly all Europe Delphi, their temples, theatres, circi, counas a conqueror, erected, on his way, monu- cil-houses, porches, porticoes, and many ments, which attest the grandeur, pomp and other monuments, were destroyed by war magnificence of the golden age of the Ro- and by time. In the midst of ruins, we man empire.
der the emperors; and Rome owed to this * These last three sculptors of Rhodes together art a part of its splendor. Its highways, its executed the celebrated group of Laocoon. I palaces, temples, mosaics, aqueducts, circi,
scarcely dissover any trace of them, and But it must be confessed that Rome, in- upon the uncultivated soil of the country, ferior to Greece in science, does not yield once the most celebrated and the most flour. to it in literature. If Greece had its Ho ishing, we find only the emblems of demer, its Demosthenes, its Æschylus, its struction, indigence and gross stupidity. Xenophon, its Thucydides, its Herodotus, Such are the fatal effects of war, that, by its Dioscorides, its Sophocles, its Euripides, reducing to ashes cities and empires, by its Aristophanes, Rome had its Virgil, its exterminating the human race, by effacing Cicero, its Horace, its Tacitus, its Livy, its even the traces of nations which have exPliny, its Seneca, its Plautus, its Terence, isted, it brings in its train, terror and deso. and many other celebrated writers. The lation, covers the earth with mourning, en. history of Greece interests by the detail of velopes it in the thick darkness of ignorance, its arts; the history of Rome astonishes and substitutes the horrors of barbarism, and amazes by its colossal grandeur and for the laws of civilization. We can only magnificence. There was more industry deplore the disastrous times, in which the in Greece, more pomp and majesty in dismemberment of the Roman empire threw Rome.
all Europe into confusion, disorder and anUntil the Christian era, the splendid archy. Discord and ambition on one side, brilliancy of the Roman power so dazzles ignorance,superstition and barbarism on the our eyes, that we do not perceive the other other, caused for a long time the misery of nations of the earth. Nevertheless we must nations. The annals of the middle ages believe that the resources of industry present to us only sieges, battles, civil wars, spread with the population. But if the his. crusades, factions, murders and poisonings. torical monuments of the Roman people Amid the storms by which Europe was agitagive us but little information, concerning led, we see some traits of magnanimity and their means and their progress in the arts, courage mingled with treason and ferocity, what can we expect from nations, which but men occupied with defence or conquest were just beginning to arise, or whose an- had neither time nor inclination to be intiquity, obscure and alınost unknown, leaves structed and enlightened. us no trace of their ingenious inventions Pagan philosophy had lost its empire. It and discoveries.
was reserved for a religious philosophy, to The fourth epoch, from the Christian era to regenerate the human race. Christianity the sixteenth century.
came forth from the ruins of Judea and Under the shade of the olive, the arts sought an asylum at Rome, where it long and sciences spring up and flourish. found only persecution. Ah! what moraliWars are their pest and scourge, they cutty was better adapted to soften men, than off whole generations. The youth educa. that which commands the practice of all the ted in camps and amid the tumult of arms virtues, which attaches shame and remorse have not calm leisure to surrender them to the crimes and vices so fatal to the reselves to the alluring charms of useful and pose of society, a morality which calls man, agreeable talents. The laurels of victory each moment, before the tribunal of his flourish only while they are watered by conscience, which consoles him in adversity human blood. The famous library of Al. and affliction, teaches him to support the exandria was burned during the wars of evils, inseparable from human frailty, and Cæsar in Egypt. The wars which de- makes of all nations one and the same stroyed the empires of the Babylonians, Per family? Is there upon the earth a religion, sians and Assyrians stifled the industry of which elevates man more above himself, those Asiatic nations. It is true that some than that which teaches him the immortali. master-pieces of the Greek artists embellish. ty of the soul, which ranks charity among ed the temples and public monuments of his first duties, which enjoins the forgiveness of injuries, which renders the nuptial multitude of churches of Gothic architecture, bond sacred and inviolable, and which, even some of which still excite the admiration of at the gates of death, sustains his courage architects, by their sublimity. by the hope of returning to the bosom of the Eternal? This philosophy, religious,
THE TENTH CENTURY. mild, beneficent, consolatory, the friend of The monk Gerbert, afterwards Pope Syl. peace and harmony, always ready to defend vester Second, introduced into France, Arathe innocent, to relieve the weak, indigent bic or Indian arithmetical figures, which the and oppressed, is by no means opposed to Saracens had made known to him, and con. the arts and sciences. We owe to it the structed the first clock with wheels. preservation of the precious remnants of
THE TENTH, ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CENTURIES. ancient learning. Europe, ravaged and laid waste, remain.
| Among the Saracens are found some names ed, until the sixteenth century, in a state of
of celebrated in medicine, such as Isaac, (of barbarism, given up by turns to despotism
potism the seventh century) Rhazes, Avicenna and and anarchy. There also exists a blank of
Messue. Alhazen, an Arabian, composed nearly ten centuries in the history of indus- seven
seven books upon optics, remarkable for the try. During this long period, the people,
time in which he lived. plunged in a kind of brutality, alternately
THE ELEVENTH CENTURY. conquering and conquered, knew only the empire of force, or the yoke of servitude.
| Guido Aretinus, a Benedictine monk, inThe human race, degraded from its ancient
vented the several parts of music, the lines, splendor, vegetated miserably without arts,
gamut, and notes, ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si. industry or emulation.
The art of painting on glass began to deco
rate the windows of churches, and the inTHE FIRST CENTURY OF THE CHRISTIAN ERA. vention of organs made their arches resound. Even amid the darkness of ignorance,
THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. there shone at intervals some rays of light. The mosk of St. Sophia at Constantinople
The invention of the mariner's compass proves that there existed even then a certain
appears to be several years anterior to Flataste for architecture.
vio Gioia. The use of wind-mills came to
us from the East, after the crusades. The THE SECOND CENTURY.
names of Geber, Roger Bacon, Arnaud, de Next to Hippocrates, Galen was the Villeneuve, are still held in veneration by most celebrated author among physicians. chemists. The system of Ptolemy, although now aban. doned, was, for the time in which he lived,
THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY. a great effort of the human mind, and forms.
is! We owe the invention of spectacles to an epoch in the history of astronomy.
Alexander Spina, a Dominican of Pisa, and
Salvinus Armatus, a Florentine.-Horology THE THIRD CENTURY.
had already had its birth, under Charles the Plotinus, a native of Egypt, went to Rome Fifth.—Under Charles the Sixth, engraving to give lessons in philosophy, and was dis on wood was invented, -Dante, Petrarch, tinguished for his erudition.
Boccaccio, Ambrosius Calepin, and John THE FOURTH CENTURY.
Picus Mirandula, are names dear to the reDiophantus invented algebra.
public of letters. THE SIXTH CENTURY.
THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. Proclus, the mathematician, like another
op Erasmus rendered himself so illustrious, Archimedes, destroyed. by means of burn. I by his learning and his writings, that the ing-glasses, the vessels of Vitalian, who was city of Ro
city of Rotterdam erected a bronze statue laying siege to Constantinople.
to his honor. During the pontificate of
Leo Tenth, talents of every kind flourished THE SEVENTH CENTURY.
in Italy, and were soon communicated to Callinicus, an engineer of Heliopolis in France, whither Francis the First attracted Syria, was the inventor of Greek-fire, an them, and where he caused them to expand invention since lost, but, unfortunately for by the favor and protection which he bemankind, replaced by the use of gunpowder. stowed upon them. History informs us
that by the counsel and persuasion of Wil. THE EIGHTH AND NINTH CENTURIES. liam Budaeus, this monarch founded literary Amid civil and foreign wars, there arose, professorships in Paris. To the University in France and other Christian countries, al is due the invention of the post in France.