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decrees. They met at an appointed place in the open air, and the extent of their authority appears to have rather militated against the aristocratic tendencies of Mr. Muller.
* In the first place, with regard to the external relations of the state, we know that the whole people alone could proclaim war, conclude a peace, enter into an armistice for any length of time, &c.; and that all negociations with foreign states, although conducted by kings and ephors, could alone be ratified by the same authority. With regard to internal affairs, the highest offices, particularly the councillors', were filled by the votes of the people; a disputed succession to the throne was decided by the same tribunal; changes in the constitution were proposed and explained, and all new laws (as often as this rare event took place,) after previous examination in the council, were confirmed in the assembly. Legally, also, it required the authority of the assembled people to liberate any considerable number of Helots, as being the collective possessor of them. In short, the popular assembly possessed the supreme political and legislative authority; but it was so hampered and restrained by the spirit of the constitution, that it could only exert its authority within certain prescribed limits.
• This circumstance was shewn, in an especial manner, in the method of its proceedings; none but public magistrates, chiefly the ephors and kings, together with the sons of the latter, addressed the people without being called upon, and put the question to the vote; foreign ambassadors also being permitted to enter and speak concerning war and peace; but that citizens ever came forward upon their own impulse to speak on public affairs, is neither probable, nor do any examples of such a practice occur. A privilege of this kind could, according to the Spartan principles, only be obtained by holding a public office; as, therefore, the magistrates only were the leaders and speakers of the assembly, so we often find that stated as a decree of the authorities (especially in foreign affairs) which had been discussed before the whole community, and approved by it. The occasional speeches were short, and spoken extempore. Lysander first delivered before the people a prepared speech, which he procured from Cleon, of Halicarnassus. The method of voting by acclamation, has indeed, something rude and barbarous; but it has the advantage of expressing, not only the number of approving and negative voices, but also the eagerness of the voters, accurately enough, according to the ancient simplicity of manoers.'—vol. ii. pp. 91–93.
The remark contained in the last sentence looks like an apology, for introducing to the notice of the Germans, the privileges of a popular assembly-such an assenibly, by the way, as they, of all other nations, are entitled to possess, if antiquity of
usage give any rights to a community. In Sparta, the popular branch of the legislature was controlled by a council of elders, in whom the aristocratical interests were centered. They were chosen for life by the people. None but men of sixty or more years were eligible to this council, and they were generally aristocrats in the true sense of the word ; that is to say, they were of distinguished families, eminent station, and blameless lives. They were subject to no responsibility, since it was thought that the near prospect of death would give them more moderation, than the fear of incurring at the cessation of their office the displeasure of the community. This institution obtains from the author unbounded praise. It appears to him the most splendid monument of early Grecian customs. Its functions were at once executive, deliberative, and judicial, (in criminal matters). It advised with the kinys, prepared and passed through their first stages, the laws which were submitted for the sanction of the public assembly, and had the power of supreme decision in all criminal cases. The kingly office, exercised by two princes for a considerable period, was strictly limited, indeed much more so than it is in this country. It was hemmed around not only by the popular assembly and the council of elders, but also by the Ephoralty, an institution peculiar, we believe, to the ancient Greek states. The otfice of the Ephori (who were five in number) is supposed to have been originally limited to a superintendence over sales, and over the public market. They were chosen by the popular assembly, without reference to property or distinctions, but merely on account of personal qualifications. They obtained, in the course of time, jurisdiction in all civil matters, and became a most formidable tribunal. They exercised the privilege of instituting scrutinies into the official conduct of all magistrates, the members of the council alone excepted. The kings were amenable to the decisions of the Ephori. They could not only punish magistrates, who, after the termination of their office, had been found guilty of misconduct, but they could divest them of office before the period of its cessation, if they thought proper. They could moreover impeach the kings as well as the other magistrates in extreme cases, without consulting the assembly of the people, and could bring them to trial for life and death. Such impeachments were carried before an extraordinary court, however, composed of one of the kings, the councillors, the Ephori, and a number of other public officers, and from its sentence there was no appeal. In short, they ultimately became a directory, like that of France, which engrossed all the power, executive, legislative, judicial, and financial, of the state. They affected to learn the will of the gods by dreams, and by the inspection of the heavens, and they did not cease to extend their prerogatives until they eradicated every vestige of the Spartan constitution. The Ephoralty was an institution altogether abhorred by Mr. Muller. Strictly speaking it must have been an excrescence upon the true Doric principle of government, for it was, in every sense, a tribuneship of the people, not unlike that which was subsequently established in Rome. Nevertheless, the author attempts to reconcile the Ephoralty with the aristocratic spirit of the Spartan constitution, and this he does in a way that would almost induce us to suspect that there was a spice of democracy in his Toryism.
Now,' he says, “I call the Spartan constitution an aristocracy, without the least hesitation, on account of its continued and predominant tendency towards governing the community by a few, who were presumed
to be the best, and as it inculcated in the citizens far less independent confidence than obedience, and fear of those persons whose worth was guaranteed by their family, their education, and ihe public voice which had called them to the offices of state. The ancients, however, remark that it might be called a democracy, since the supreme power was always considered as residing in the people, and an entire equality of manners prevailed; that it might be called a monarchy on accouut of the kings; and that in the power of the Ephors there was even an appearance of tyranny : so that in this one constitution all forms of goveroment were united. But,' adds the author, anxious for the consistency of his argument, 'the animating soul of all these forms was the Doric spirit of fear and respect for ancient and established laws, and the judgment of older men, the spirit of implicit obedience towards the state and the constituted authorities; and lastly, the conviction, that strict discipline, and a wise restriction of actions, are surer guides to safety than a superabundance of strength and activity directed to no certain end.' -vol. ii. pp. 194—195.
In the public economy of the Spartans, there were some very extraordinary arrangements according to our notions. Nature does not abhor a vacuum more than they abhorred the extinction of a family; considering, that by the destruction of a house, “the dead lost their religious honour, the household gods their sacrifices, the hearth its flame, and the ancestors their name among the living.' This evil, so formidable in their estimation, was prevented, as far as possible, by various regulations, some of which were most unnatural. For instance, if a husband considered his wife to be barren, he had the power of putting her away, and dissolving the bond of marriage. If he had reason to suppose himself to be the cause of unfruitfulness, he, as it were, put himself away, appointing a substitute, whose child, if one were born, was considered as legally belonging to the family of the husband, although the relation between the child and its real father was openly proclaimed. But there was another institution still more extraordinary than this. If, before he had children, a husband were slain in the field of battle, a successor to him, probably a slave, was appointed as to his marital rights, for the purpose of producing heirs and successors, not to themselves, but to the deceased husband!' Nothing can possibly demonstrate the artificial economy of the Dorians more palpably than these strange regulations.
For the laws which prescribed the appropriation of the lands, the value of money, and the punishment of criminals, we must refer the reader to Mr. Muller's volumes. From these subjects, which he treats with his wonted learning and skill, he passes to the history of architecture, that art in which the Dorians were so pre-eminent, and upon an order of which they bestowed the name of their nation, which to this hour remains attached to it. The remarks which the author makes upon the connexion between the architecture and character of the Dorians, may seem perbaps a little enthusiastic ; but they will not, therefore, be considered as less interesting.
• The Doric character, in short, created the Doric architecture. In the
temples of this order, the weight to be supported is intentionally increased, and the architeclure, frieze, and cornice, of unusual depth ; but the columns are proportionably strong, and placed very close to each other; so that in contemplating the structure, our astonishment at the weight supported, is mingled with pleasure at the security imparted by the strength of the columns underneath. This impression of firmness and solidity, is increased by the rapid tapering of the column, its conical shape giving it an appearance of strength, while the diminution beginning immediately at the base, and the straight line not being, as in other orders, softened by the interposition of the swelling, gives a severity of character to the order. With this rapid diminution is also connected the bold projection of the echinus (or quarter-round) of the capital, which likewise creates a striking impression, particularly if its outline is nearly rectilineal. The alternation of long unornamented surfaces, with smaller rows of decorated work, awaken a feeling of simple grandeur, without appearing either monotonous or fatiguing. The harmony spread over the whole becomes more conspicuous when contrasted with the dark shadows occasioned by the projecting drip of the cornice ; above, the magnificent pediment crowns the whole. Thus, in this creation of art, we find expressed the peculiar bias of the Doric race to strict rule, simple proportion, and pure harmony.'—-vol. ii. pp. 276, 277.
There is no part of this work more delightful, than that in which the author presents to us a view of the private life and domestic economy of the Dorians. Their dwellings were remarkably plain and simple, the doors of every house having been, in compliance with an ancient law, fashioned only with the saw, and the cieling with the axe. Though rudely constructed, their private residences were commodious, having a court-yard in front, separated from the street by a wall, and containing a large portico. Tlie pomp of that order of architecture, of which they have the reputation of being the original inventors, they reserved for their temples and other public buildings. In their clothing they displayed a peculiar taste, not unlike that which they shewed in their achitecture, inasmuch as it was equally removed from the effeminacy and ostentation of the Asiatics on one hand, as from the slovenliness of the barbarians on the other. They did not deem it necessary to cover the whole body, though they paid considerable attention to personal appearance. Contrary to the modern European usages, the unmarried ladies lived much more in public than the married women, the latter being constantly engaged in the care of their families, while the former practised music, and even athletic exercises, beyond the precincts of their homes. The unmarried ladies too walked out unveiled, and in company with young men, and were allowed to be present at the gymnastic contests, privileges which no married female was permitted to enjoy. We may see in those works of art which represent the goddesses Victory and Iris, an exact model of the dress which the Doric virgins generally wore. It consisted principally of a woollen stuff garment without sleeves, called a chiton, which was fastened over both shoulders by clasps of considerable size, and was wholly joined together only on one side, while on the other it
was partly left open, so as to admit of a freer motion of the limbs. It was worn without a girdle, and hung down to the calves of the Jegs.
This is the dress in which Minerva is usually arrayed. Diana's robe is also of the Doric fashion, though, as she was a huntress, it is girt up for the purposes of rapid motion. The married women seldom went out without adding to this slight costume an upper garment, which more fully covered the person. The dress of the men consisted first of the chiton, which served as a shirt ; secondly, of a square piece of cloth, called the himation, thrown over the left, and behind under the right arm, the end being brought back again over the left shoulder; and thirdly, of a cloak, called the chlamys, consisting of an oblong piece of cloth, of which the two lower ends came forward, and were fastened with a clasp upon the right shoulder. Oil was their only ointment, that of nature their only dye. The men preserved not only their beard, but the hair of their head, uncut, and both men and women tied the hair in a knot over the crown of the head. Public tables, at which many persons joined, were much in use. They sat at table, an attitude which their degenerate descendants exchanged for the recumbent posture. The office of cook was hereditary, so that the black broth was made after the same fashion for many generations, and as there was no competition, there were no new inventions. The trade of the bakers was also hereditary. Their bread was made of barley; on extraordinary occasions they indulged at dessert in the luxury of maize, which was very scarce.
Besides their black broth, tbey used at their meals beef, pork, kid, poultry and game. Their drink consisted of mixed wine, which was poured by a cup-bearer into a cup that was placed before each person. The wine was not passed round, nor were healths drunk. Intoxication was forbidden by law, which shews, by the way, that it had prevailed to a great extent, and no persons were lighted home except old men of sixty !
The most singular part of this system was the community of their public tables. These were not tables d'hote, in the French fashion, to which persons were indiscriminately admitted. The company consisted of a small society of fifteen men, to which fresh members were admitted by unanimous election, ascertained through the medium of the ballot. Their conversation was such as might arise amongst friends, sometimes upon politics, always frank and unrestrained. The laugh and joke went round, and songs enlivened their meetings. Youths and boys eat in their own companies or divisions, but the small children were allowed to eat at the public tables; they sat on low stools near their fathers' chairs, and received,' says the author, 'a half share without any vegetables.' The women uniformly eat at home.
The Doric ceremony of marriage was not among the least curious of their institutions. The lady was first betrothed on the part of her father, and under the notion that marriage was against the delicacy of the virgin, her person was seized, as it were by violence,