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and stars accurately stated in Horner, It is Homer; nor
as velt7 tially necessary to studious retire natural to suppose that Corinth;
ment, were unknown to that state, from its advantageous : situation, either of letters or government, at should be among the first cities on least in Greece. Homer therefore the continent of Greece, after that had only the great book of Nature country began to have a settled guto peruse, and was original from vernment, which would enrichita necessity, as well as by genius. self by commerce; and it was
Few countries of the same extent undoubtely great maritime have so much sea-coast as Greece. power. But this was long after The intercourse of its inhabitants the heroic, or, which is the same
with other countries, or with one thing; the mystical age of Greece. w jais another, was mostly kept up by When Corinth furnished her quota
water. There is no land-journey under Agamemnon, who from the regularly described, either in the extent of sea-coast, and from the Iliad or Odyssey, except that short islands under his command, was by one of Telemachus from Pylos to far the greatest naval power of that
Sparta; and even there Nestor sub- time, she is barely mentioned, , 0, 24 mits to the choice of his guest the without any distinction to point out
alternative of going by sea, though the consideration which she aftermuch the longest way.
wards acquired in inaritime affairs, In this state of things, and con- The fiect; which assembled at Aulis, sidering how much the various oc consisted of open half decked boats, cupations of high and low life were a sort of galleys with one mast, fitthen confined to one rank and ore for rowing or sailing. They were der of men, it is not extraordinary launched, and drawn up on the that we should find the poet so con beach occasionally, or fastened on versant in the language and man- shore, and served as mere transports ners of the sea, and so knowing, for soldiers who were at the same as well in the business of the ship- tine mariners.
There is nothing wright as of the sailor. Indeed, it in Homer that alludes to a regular a bere is only by following him through sea-engagement; or that conveys a bete each of those arts, that history is any idea of that manner of carry
furnished with the earliest account ing on war. Those poles of an exof them. Let us therefore first ex- traordinary length, which he menamine his niethod of building, and tions, seem to have been used as next his manner of navigating a an offensive woapon against boarda ship:
ing; and may have been of service If we compare the naval force of in landing. When Achilles the different states of Greece at the Ulysses talk of commanding naval time of the Trojan war with that expeditions, and destroying cities of the same countries afterwards with a fleet: or when Hercules is when Ægina, Corinth, and Athens, said to have taken Troy with six had turned their thoughts to trade ships only; the allusion is to tho and navigation; we shall find that numbers, which they carried to act their
progress, as maritime powers, an shore. Their boats had a ruda did not correspond with the ac- der, and ballast, but no' anchor. count of their shipping, as it is The name of it does not occur in
was the use of that Q 4
instrument known. If we may return to Greece, they siould keep
cern the illustration of our present · It is, no doubt, difficult to de inquiry. It was in the year 1742, 'scribe and understand accounts of that I happened to be on board his battles. But whoever places him- Majesty's ship the Chatham, then self on the spot where the Persian escorting the Turkey trade from monarch is said to have viewed the Constantinople to Scanderoon. battle of Salamis, and at the same When we were between Mytelene time reads the account, which He- and Scio, and due north of the rodotus, or that which Æschylus, latter, in a dark night, with a an eye-witness, gives in his Persæ, brisk galę at north-west
, our Greek of that action; and considers the pilot proposed pushing through the shoalness of the water, and the channel of Scio; but our officers
, small space into which so many not caring to engage so nich with ships were crowded, must think the land in that narrow passage, contemptibly of the marine
en- preferred the broad course, and, gagements in those days.
hawling close up to the wind, lett Agreeably to this account of an. the island of Scio on the larboard cient ships and ship-building, we
side. see, that though Homer's seamen If we compare our situation with are expert in their manquvre, yet that of Nestor, Diomede, and Methey are confined to the precautions nelaus, who had the allest pilot of of that tịnid coasting navigation, that age on board, we see, that which is at this day practised in though our destinations were diffethe Mediterranean, in slight un- rent, our point under deliberation decked vessels, unfit to resist the was so far precisely the same, that open sea. Their first care is, to we both doubteil hetween the venture as little as possible out of shortest and the surest way. They sight of land, to run along shore, ventured to sea though it was most and to be ready to put in, and dangerous; we chose it because it draw up their ships on the beach, was most safe; and this constitutes if there is no port, on the first ap- . gne of the great differences between pearance of foul weather
ancient and modern narigation. We find Nestor, Diomedes, and
As the most respectable commerMenelaus, consulting at Lesbos upon tators on Homer have, by their a doubt which this imperfect state different constructions of part of the art alone could suggest. The the passage here alluded to, devis question was, Whether, in their ated from that plain sense of the
Bei diesel poet, in which, I think, his accu a debate, which ended in much
racy consists, I shall enter a little “ altercation between the brothers; more largely into the consideration “, so that the assembly broke up
of the lines, which describe this " tumultuously, without coming Blius Le navigation, in order to ascertain ".to any resolution. their meaning. Though it may
“ The Grecian army was, by carry us.a little beyond the object “ these means, divided into two immediately before us, it will only : “ parties, one espousing the senti. anticipate a specimen of his histo “ ments of Againemnon, and the rical accuracy (one of the proposed s other those of Menelaus. Of the objects of this essay), and will shew " last were Nestor, Diomede, and how cautious we should be not to “ Ulysses; who, having einbarked disturb that delicate connection and “ their women and baggage, sailed thread of circumstances, which are next morning, with a fair wind, seldom disranged, even by the " for Tenedos; where they sacrismallest alteration, without endan “ ficed to the gods, to grant them gering his truth and consistence.
a propitious voyage. Should we, in this view, strip “ 'Here a second dispute arose; those lines of their poétical dress, “ for Ulysses's party, paying court and extract a plain narrative or
" to the commander in chief, rejournal from the most literal and « turned to Trov. But Nestor, natural construction of the whole foreseeing the mischiefs likely to passage,' it will, with very little happen, prudently continued his paraphrase, and that entirely fur voyage the second day, with nished by the poet himself, pro Diomede, leaving Menelaus beduce tire following piece of ancient « hind at Tenedos. However, Mchistorv.
“ nelaus fokowed and overtook The demolition of. Troy be “ then the same day at Lesbos, " ing at length accomplished, Aga " where he found them delibera
memnon and Menelaus, disagree ting whether, in that advanced ing about the farther measures season, ji were most adviseable to be taken upon that occasion, " to consult their safety in the " summoned a council, in order “ slower inethod of coasting round
to state their different opinions. by Mimas and the Cyclades, or " But this was done precipitately,
“ tó risk the shorter passage, and " in the evening, an unseasonable “ make directly for Euhæa. ” time for deliberation, when the They preferred the most exo
chiefs, rising from table, and peditious course, and sailed the ! heated with wine, came impro “ third day from Lesbos; and the
perly prepared for considerations “ wind proving very favourable, " of that moment. The event " they made Geræstum that night.
corresponded with the irregula Having so prosperously ac“ rity of such a proceeding; for, “ complished the most dangerous " the council being assembled, Me. part of their navigation, they "' nelaus proposed, thet they should
« Difered a sacrifice of thanks to embark for Greece; but Aga Neptune; and the wind being . memnon advised them first to “ stili fair, they pursued 'their appease the wrath of Minerva voyage the fourth day along the by a hecatomb. This produced coas: of Greece. As they passed
i obsec the is above
" the Sunian promontory, Mene- Phocæans and Milesians. The fora Preencia se laus had the misfortune to lose. mer are expressly called the disto
fasulous “ his pilot Phrontis, who died verers of Adria, Iberia, Tuscany, tales po
suddenly: Though impatient and Tartessus. They are said io z emla « to see his native country, he be the first among the Greeks, who that “ stopped here to perform the fu- undertook long voyages; and we alseady “ neral rites, and pay the last du- find they had established an inter- melulit o ties to his skilful friend; but course, and even formed close and. bough “ Diomede continued his voyage, friendly connections, on the oceai,
knowled “ and arrived the same day at Ar as early as the time of Cyrus the vabane gos, being the fourth from his Great. The Milesians were so re
departure from Troy. Nestor markable for colonization, that they " took the advantage of the same had founded above seventy cities in fugar “ fair wind, which carried him to different parts of the world, and
ter place Pylos."
were respectable at sea long before tug, This journal of four days navi- the Persian invasion. Nor can we, gation is so entirely Homer, and except from the resources of their Homer only, the circumstances of navigation and commerce, account time and distance correspond so ex- for their being a match for the Ly. actly with one another, and borė dian monarcliy, as early as the so scrupulous an examination, when reign of Gyges; up to which peo we made the same voyage, that I riod, from that of Cræsus, we can shall not trouble the reader with trace these two nations almost conany other confutation, either of stantly at war. Eustathius or Madam Dacier's sense When we consider how far back of this passage. The first was led 'this leads us, upon explicit bistoriinto an error by mistaking the cal authority, and without the equi. meaning of one word, and the last, vocal and suspicious aid of etymoþy mistaking the distance from Les- logy, upon which Phænician colobos to Eubæa; but both by attend- nization is so much extended; it ing more to grammatical criticism does not seem probable, that Hothan to the genius and character of mer's countrymen should have atthe poet, and of the age when he rived at so tlourishing a state of na
vigation, so soon after his age, Though, from the general cha- witbout having made some progress racter, by which Homer constantly towards it before his time. distinguishes the, Phænicians as a To wliat extent navigation was commercial, sea-saring people, it known to him, either from his own has been naturally supposed, that he experience or the information of was indebted to that nation for others, is rendered difficult to as. much of his information with re- certain, by the constant method he gard to distant voyages: yet I think follows of preserving some reality we cannot be at a loss to account in his wildest fictions. The history for the poet's acquiring at home all of the Cimmerians seems to have the knowledge of this kind, which furnished soine of his ideas with res we meet with in his works. We gard to the gloomy infernal shades, know the lonians were among the and the distinguishing features earliest navigators, particularly the in thc Pharcian character are
Phænician, Even where he is most which it now conveys. Nor' am I
fabulous, he takes the hint from surprised that, so much later, HeThe tales propagated before his time, rodotus should treat this idea of an
and embroiders his own variations ocean, where the sun rises, as a
WINDS. though impatient of the limited knowledge of his age, is unwilling Under the article of Homer's to abandon nature, and when he country, we have anticipated some seems to desert her, it is in favour observations on the winds of that of some pleasing irregularity, which climate; but his navigation natuvulgar opinion had substituted in rally engages us in a further cousiher place. This inixture of some deration of this subject. We find thing, that was either true, or com-. only those which 'blow from the monly believed to be so, with regard four cardinal points expressly mento the scene of his fabulous narration, tioned in the Iliad and Odyssey. is observable in his description of In the storm which Neptune prethe islands of Circe, folus, and, pares against Ulysses, sailing from above all, in that of Calypso. Calypso's island, they are all intro
His knowledge of the sun setting duced in the following order, Euin the ocean might fall within the rus, Notus, Zephyrus, and Borcas, observation even of that confined So imperfect a list of winds corstate of navigation. which we may responds with the coasting navigareasonably allow to his age ; for it is tion of those times, and forbids us probable, that not only the Phæni. to expect more than a general idea cians, but the Poet's countrymen, of their nature and qualities
. Some had passed the Pillars of Hercules, of the ancients imagined, that the and of course could, as eye witnes- Poet meant to express a subdivision ses, report such an appearance. of those principal winds by certain
But how he could learn that the sun epithets; which they understood to prieks rises out of the ocean, or that the convey the idea (for which it should
globe is entirely surrounded by wa seem the Greek language had not ter, was so much beyond my idea yet found a name), it is rather to be
of his experience, that I continued discovered where he employs two nede Hot to attribute this knowledge to guess of them together, as in the instances eisest and conjecturę ; till upon further already taken notice of, where Bo
consideration I was induced to reas and Zephyrus blow from the
See Martyn's Virgil, 8vo. P: 336. Pliny, H. N. 1.2.6. 47. See Strabo, 8.603, 609, notes. 8ee Hesiod. Theog. v. 388.