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know that in one minute it can perform journies and gain victories, which it would consume the whole lives of the most active travellers, and the most abie generals to execute, what more copious, what more important theme for delineation can we require? It is this consideration which elevates the study of ethics among the first in the scale of human knowledge; and as long as intellect is superior to matter, it must be classed in the highest rank of philosophy. Its nice and evanescent colours, which, seeming to leave much to conjecture, give to dull faculties an opportunity to call it shadowy and unsubstantial, are the very characteristics, which stamp its value.
Neverthen let it be said, that the life of a person of genius affords no materials for biograpby, because it was passed in retirement and inaction. If there remain records of his mental occupations, if his opinions, his feelings, and the rainbow-like colours of his fancy can be remembered, and properly told, they will con. tribute essentially to the best and most interesting department of human intelligence.
March 21, 1807.
Art. XXII. Literary Antiquities.
EXPLANATION OF AN ANCIENT NEDAL.
TO THE EDITOR OF CENSURA LITERARIA.
SIR, I have often wondered, why a work of a superior kind to the common monthly publications has never subsisted in this country: whether it be from a want of
purchasers or of sufficient materials, I am ignorant; but being desirous to contribute in both cases to the continuance of yours, I have committed to paper some thoughts which lately occurred to me in reading relative to an unexplained medal of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, a type of which is given in the fifth tom. of the Histoire de l'Academie of the 12mo. edition, at p. 256; having on the obverse the head of M. Anthony, with this legend, M. ΑΝΤΩΝΙΟΣ AYIOKRATOR OIΩNIΣ. THE TRINN ANARIN, and on the reverse the head of Cleopatra with this legend, ΚΛΕΟΠΑΤRΑΣ ΟΣΣΑΝ ΣΩΤΗΡΑΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ. The authors of that article, in 1731, M. Bonhier and De Boze, seem to be quite at a loss for the meaning of OEEAN on the reverse; and by their account it should seem, that no satisfactory explanation had been given of it by any former antiquaries, although it had been published by Goltzius, Tristan, Occo, Nonnius, Spanheim, and Vaillant; for Bonhier says, “that certainly it is not easy to explain ;” and De Boze adds, “ that every thing which has been urged in justify the epithet Orrar has so little foundation, that it can be only ascribed to an error in the artist.” They contend indeed further, that there is a doubt of its being genuine, or else if it be genuine, whether it has been rightly read: but against both these suppositions they themselves urge, that Occo has published a second medal likewise, with a similar legend, except that Basi110Pa occurs at the a beginning of it instead of the end, and is in the nomi. native, not the genitive case. I shall not enter further into their account, nor do I know whether any later writers have given any more satisfactory explanation
of the legends on this medal, or attempted it; therefore shall confine myself to my own opinion concerning it. It seems then to me to have been struck in some city of Persia, or some city in Asia, where an oriental language was chiefly in use, and but little knowledge of Greek; apparently soon after Anthony's expedition, against Parthia, in which Cleopatra accompanied him part of the way; for OEEAN, or as it may be better Jivided, 'O. 2. EAN, seems to be an abbreviation of the common Persian title Schah-Schakin, the king of kings; which although here applied to a female, yet as it is the title of males, therefore the masculine article has been prefixed to it, as the rest of the legend is in Greek: that Greek was not perfectly understood where it was struck seems confirmed by the worα σωτηρα, which should rather be σωτειρα ; and so Bonhier says, that Scaliger has writ the legend in his
, notes on Eusebius; another similar erroneous use of a vowel occurs, I conceive, on the obverse.
As to Schah-Schahin, Hyde, I believe, was the first author who has explained it, where it occurs in Manellinus
" Amici Saporem appellabant Achæmenem:"4 vera autem lectio in ultima editione jam restituta est Egay Saay, nempe Schahan Schah est regum-rez." Rel. Pers. p. 416. This was thirty years before the abovementioned dissertation. By this it appears, that even the Romans were no strangers to the title. Reland also, in 1706, had observed “Hin pronuntiatione persarum vix auditur ut in Saan saa pro Schaban Schah.” Diss. de ling. Pers. p. 227. Bayer, in his
" Histor. Bactr, says “EA in nummo Phraartis meo judicio neque urbem neque monitarium significat sed
ΣΑΝΣΑ: similiter in nummo Pharmacis Βασιλεως μεγαλoν Φαρνακου ΣΣΑΝ, malo legere ΣΑΝΣΑΝ quam eum Patino OESAN vel cum Spanheimo refingere Batihews Baniewy, in tom 1.487 de usu numism." P. 102. By this it appears that the word occurs also on a Parthian coin, where Bayer has given us its true meaning. While by the word refingere Spanheim seems to have thought OEEAN an erroneous reading by Patin for Bacinewr. I am not able to refer to the very words of Spanheim, but here we find both the right reading and meaning of the title, with the article i in like manner prefixed, clearly ascertained by Patin and Bayer, which scein to have perplexed all the other antiquaries. Bayer adds, in p. 105, that Plutarch mentions Anthony's giving to Cleopatra and her sons, after the conquest of Parthia, the title of Basseig Bariewe, in Antonio; moreover that in Vaillant another coin has the legend Cleopatræ reginæ regum. Bayer does not however appear to have known of the medal in question with the oriental title OZEAN applied to Cleopatra, otherwise he would not have thought that Patin had read the word erroneously with an ó prefixed on the Parthian coin; which however proves, that it was no unusual thing to abbreviate the title in this manner, even among orientals themselves, although the examples of it may now be scarce. The Greek a had the sound if not of aw yet at least of ar; and Reland has accounted for the omission of the aspirates when expressed in Greek letters, since they were but little heard even in Persian itself. This abbreviation may account likewise for what we read in Hesychius, who says, that Zay means Zevo, and Zandes means 'n epovides. Here an annotator on Hesychius
conjectures, eonjectures, that it is formed from Zawy, Zno, Zxz; but the sense of 74.vibes, leads us to a better derivation; for what connection in sense is there between vivens and Jupiter ? but gubernator has a near connection with the God of gods; the name was therefore rather an imitation of the foreign word Zaan. That it had been naturalized as well as understood in some Greek cities is further confirmed by Pausanias : for he says, that at Elis “Sunt aliquot ænea Jovis simulachra; appellantur ea patria voce Zanes.” Lib. 5. Now if the name had been formed from any so universal among the Greeks, it would have scarcely been so peculiar to the natives of Elis as to deserve being stigmatized as a provincial word in that city (patria voce); it was therefore rather the oriental word Zaan, which had by accident been naturalized there, though not universally in Greece. Neither is there any thing extraordinary in the oriental word Schahan Schal being thus abbreviated and disguised when pronounced or written in Greek letters, if we attend to similar adulterations of oriental words in modern languages, and even relative to the word in question. Thus Bayer says, in the same page above, “ Persarum reges dicti sunt, sicut nunc Padi-Schah, ab Indis Pad scha, ita olim Schalin Schah." This, I presume, is the same name which the English now give to the chief minister of the Marattas in India, and generally spelt Peshwe, while the French write it Pecheva: the origin also apparently of the Turkish word Pacha and Bashaw, thus otherwise distinguished by foreigners, seems to be the same.