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The Latinity of Claudian, though not wholly free from the corruptions of his age, is, for that age, remarkably pure and elegant. Gessner has anticipated us in a remark, which we shall give in his own words: “Poëseos illa prærogativa est, quod, cum imitatione superiorum bonam partem contineatur, diutius servavit decus suum, non minus in nostro, quam in Papinio, Martiale, deinde Ausonio, ceteris, quorum prosa oratio sæculum suum sapit, carmina facile se tuentur. Nempe ut fuerunt a renatis inde literis plures, qui versus Latinos Græcosque facerent bonos, solutæ orationis Latinæ eloquentes emendatosque scriptores laudare possumus paucos, Græcæ forte probabilem nullum.” Prolegom. p. ix. Whatever may be thought of the justice of the latter observation, or of its relevance to the subject, the truth of the former is undeniable. Our own language furnishes proof of the position. Probably, however, the purity of Claudian's Latin style was in part owing to the circumstance of the Latin being to him a written, and not a spoken language. Claudian displays a great familiarity with the works of his precursors in Roman poetry. The fragments of Virgilian diction with which his language is interwoven produce so happy an effect as to make us regret that the whole is not of the same texture. In this, as in his cadence, Statius approaches the nearest to him.
It remains only to speak of his rhythm, in which, as is well known, he is distinguished from all the Latin poets by a fastidious study of smoothness, and more especially by an almost entire absence of elision. This fault, as we have observed above, is less visible in his Proserpine, where vigor is more required, than in his political poems. The harmony of the Latin hexameter, as has been well observed of Milton's blank verse, consists in
many a winding bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out. Claudian's voice wanted compass : he had but a few notes, excellent in their way, but from their monotony apt to pall on
He never ventures into the " sea of ever-spreading
such murmur fillid
Par. L. ii. 284.
sound,” but is contented to glide along the shore in his gilded pleasure-boat. The peculiar character of bis versification is more especially visible in his manner of winding up a system of hexameters, if it may be so called, where the termination of the sentence coincides with that of the line. Claudian has two favorite methods of doing this; the first, by concluding with what is called a Golden Line, consisting of a verb placed between two adjectives and their corresponding substantives: as
Saucia dividuis clarescunt nubila sulcis. This species of verse has a peculiarly sonorous effect, owing to the juxtaposition of so many emphatic words, without any of less consequence being interposed to break the continuity. Virgil uses it sparingly, and always with success. In Claudian, on the contrary, it occurs more frequently than in any of the other poets, and generally at the end of a sentence, for which indeed it is peculiarly fitted. In this case, the line preceding, and sometimes the two former, are divided by a pause, in order to give more full effect to the concluding one.
mediumque per hostem Flammatus virtute pia, propriæque salutis Immemor, et stricto prosternens omnia ferro,
Barbara fulmineo secuit tentoria cursu.--Vi. Cons. Honor. 466. The effect of this conclusion is somewhat weakened by its frequency. The “ Golden Line” sometimes occurs twice or thrice in succession :
Fida per innocuas errent incendia turres.
Cons. Mall. 329.
Ægra soporatis spumant oblivia linguis.- Pros. i. 280.
Cons. Prob. et Olyb. 6.
Lambit contiguas innoxia flamma pruinas. Pros. i. 168.
pause of the preceding line is generally in the middle or at the latter end, and the pause in the last line, or both, are followed by a copulative of some kind. We give the following instances by way of illustration from the poem on the consulship of Mallius.
variisne meatibus idem
quæ flamma per auras
largo ditescat arena Sanguine: consumant totos spectacula montes.-308. With these two exceptions, Claudian's conclusions are in general rather lame.
Claudian's heroics, like Thomson's blank verse, frequently deviate into couplets;several instances of which occur in the above-quoted poem. He seldom admits more than three dactyls in a line; scarcely ever so many as five. It is not unfrequent with him to begin a line with a word consisting of a spondee; a practice to which Virgil is decidedly adverse, except in certain cases. He is fond of the pause on the first syllable of the fourth foot, which he not unfrequently repeats for several lines together.
We shall conclude with a few observations on the individual poems of Claudian.
In 1812 a translation of the Rufinus and the Rape of Proserpine was published in blank verse by Mr. Strutt. Blank verse, lofty and ornate as it is, is not susceptible of the peculiar march, or the style of ornament, which characterise Claudian's hexameters. If it were worth while to transfer his writings to our language, the heroic couplet, as modelled by Pope, would be a more appropriate vehicle. Hughes, Cowley, and others, have translated particular pieces; but besides the one mentioned in Gessner's catalogue of translations, as follows: “ 1628. 4. translated by L. Digges, Harl. III. 365,” we hear of a complete version of Claudian in our language, by a Mr. Hawkins.
' It is common with Virgil to include a sentence in three lines.
The Topography of Athens, with some Remarks on its
Antiquities; with an Atlas of Plates : by Lieut.
That we were justified in expecting more than common gratification from the work above-named, will be readily admitted by all' who are acquainted with the author's powerful talents, his classical attainments, and the favorable opportunities of which he has so ably availed himself in the prosecution of his literary and geographical researches. We now acknowledge that this volume has most amply satisfied our expectations, with regard to its principal subject, the Topography of Athens; and afforded more instruction than we could have anticipated in the antiquarian remarks which its title-page professes, and in the historical, critical and philological observations incidentally scattered throughout its various sections. There are, most probably, few among our readers who have not experienced certain feelings, which we shall not attempt to describe, arising from the contemplation of ancient ruins; but these feelings are in a particular manner awakened by the remains of cities long since fallen to decay. Of some, the existing monuments may claim admiration by their beauty; they may surprise or even astonish by their magnitude or uncommon style of architecture; and they may excite our curiosity by the mysterious inscriptions and devices which they exhibit. Thus the Egyptian city of an hundred gates,' and the Persepolitan hall of a thousand columns.'We can feel, however, but little interest concerning those who founded, or in former ages inhabited either Thebes or Persepolis, until, by deciphering the hieroglyphical or cuneiform characters in which their inscriptions consist, or from some other source of information not yet discovered, we have learned who they were and what memorable actions they performed. But to the very name of Athens are associated the most delightful recollections; and amidst its ruins our imagination peoples every spot with illustrious heroes, legislators, philosophers, orators and poets; whose forms the ancient artists have rendered
familiar to our eyes, while from early youth we have been intimately acquainted with the minute anecdotes of their public history or private life. We almost forget that twenty or thirty centuries have elapsed since they existed; we tread the ground marked by their footsteps; the edifices and sculptures on which we gaze, are those which they daily bebeld; the same inscriptions that attracted their eyes, we read and understand; perhaps the inarble fragment on which we recline, once served to support the person of Themistocles or Alcibiades; perhaps the modern dwelling which we occupy covers that spot, where once stood the mansion of Pericles, or of the fascinating Aspasia. But we must check such excursions of imagination, and proceed to the notice of Colonel Leake's valuable work.
In the Introduction (which fills above an hundred pages, and forms a highly interesting portion of this volume) our learned author calls the reader's recollection to such passages in the history of Athens, whether real or fabulous, as seem most necessary to the illustration of its Topography and Antiquities; and he takes a rapid, but masterly view of the city's progressive ruin.
* There can be no stronger proof,' says he, (p. i.) 'of the early civilisation of Athens than the remote period to which its history is carried in a clear and consistent series. We have some reason to believe tbat Cecrops, an Egyptian, who brought from Sais the worship of Neith (by the Athenians called 'Adhun) was contemporary with Moses. It is probable that even before that time the worship of Jupiter had been introduced into Athens from Crete. The rock of the Acropolis, which at that early period contained all the habitations of the Athenians, received from Cecrops the name of Cecropia.'
We shall briefly enumerate those whom Athenian tradition has recorded as the successors of Cecrops.-). Amphictyon.2. Erectheus the first, whose identity with Ericthonius our author establishes.-3. Pandion the first, in whose reign it is supposed the Eleusinian mysteries were instituted by Triptolemus.4. Erectheus the second.-5. Ægeus, and 6. Theseus, who by founding the Prytaneium as a court of judicature common to all Attica, and establishing the Panathenæa as a festival for the whole province, rendered Athens pre-eminent above the other eleven cities of that country, about the year 1300 before Christ. -To the Pelasgi, a people of uncertain origin, who came to Athens from the northward (about 1192 years before Christ), Col. Leake thinks the Athenians indebted for the fortifications of their Acropolis, although they had themselves already built several temples; and it is not improbable, he adds, that they taught the Greeks that polygonal masonry which distinguishes