Slike stranica

vain science of the archbishop, it is clear that he was not unimpressed.

But Leo the astrologer escaped more easily than his kinsman John the Grammarian-the iconoclast Patriarchwho was believed to be a wicked and powerful magician.1 His brother, the patrician Arsaber, had a suburban house on the Bosphorus, near its issue from the Euxine, a large and rich mansion, with porticoes, baths, and cisterns. Here the Patriarch used constantly to stay, and he constructed a subterranean chamber accessible by a small door and a long staircase. In this "cave of Trophonius" he pursued his nefarious practices, necromancy, inspection of livers, and other methods of sorcery. Nuns were his accomplices, perhaps his "mediums" in this den, and scandal said that time was spared for indulgence in forbidden pleasures as well as for the pursuit of forbidden knowledge. An interesting legend concerning his black magic is related. An enemy, under three redoubtable leaders, was molesting and harassing the Empire.2 Theophilus, unable to repel them, was in despair, when John came to the rescue by his magic art. A threeheaded statue was made under his direction and placed among the statues of bronze which adorned the euripos in the Hippodrome. Three men of immense physical strength, furnished with huge iron hammers, were stationed by the statue in the dark hours of the night, and instructed, at a given sign, simultaneously to raise their hammers and smite off the heads. John, concealing his identity under the disguise of a layman, recited a magical incantation which translated the vital strength of the three foemen into the statue, and then ordered the men to strike. They struck;

[blocks in formation]

Xóyo transferred to the statue the δύναμις of the leaders ἢ μᾶλλον (to speak more accurately) τὴν οὖσαν πρότερον ἐν τῷ ἀνδριάντι [δύναμιν] καταβαλὼν ἐκ τῆς τῶν στοιχειωσάντων δυνάμεως (which seens to imply that the image had been constructed out of an old statue which had been originally στοιχειωθέν). This operation is illustrated by an occurrence in the reign of Romanus I. An astronomer told the Emperor to cut off the head of a statue which was above the vault of the Xerolophos and faced towards the west, in order to procure the death

two heads fell to the ground; but the third blow was less forceful, and bent the head without severing it. The event corresponded to the performance of the rite. The hostile leaders fell out among themselves; two were slain by the third, who was wounded, but survived; and the enemy retreated from the Roman borders.

That John practised arts of divination, in which all the world believed, we need no more doubt than that Leo used his astronomical knowledge for the purpose of reading the secrets of the future in the stars. It was the medieval habit to associate scientific learning with supernatural powers and perilous knowledge, and in every man of science to see a magician. But the vulgar mind had some reason for this opinion, as it is probable that the greater number of the few men who devoted themselves to scientific research did not disdain to study occult lore and the arts of prognostication. In the case of John, his practices, encouraged perhaps by the Emperor's curiosity, furnished a welcome ground of calumny to the image-worshippers who detested him. The learning of Photius also gave rise to legends which were even more damaging and had a far more slender foundation. It was

of the Bulgarian Tsar Simeon, avr γὰρ ἐστοιχειῶσθαι τὴν τοιαύτην στήλην (Skylitzes = Cedr. ii. 308, cp. Cont. Th. 411); Romanus followed his advice and Simeon died instantly.


magic process of σToixeiwois was regularly used when statues were erected. Legend said that many of the statues in Constantinople had been thus enchanted by Apollonius of Tyana (who is called στοιχειωματικός in Cedr. i. 346), see Patria, 191, 206, 221. He was said to have placed three stone images of storks ἀντιπροσώπως ἀλλήλοις ὁρῶντας, to prevent storks from coming to the city (ib. 11). The Tyche of the city in the Milion was ἐστοιχειωμένον (ib. 166). The Palladion brought from Rome to Constantinople is called a σTOIXELOV (ib. 174). Diels (Elementum, 54-57), in discussing the history of στοιχεῖον, mentions the use of oтoxe in the sense of "bewitch" (and Dieterich, Rheinisches Museum, 56, 77 sqq. 1901, is certainly right in connecting the meaning with the use of the letters of the alphabet in magic), but has not realised that it means only a special kind of bewitching-the sorcery by

which Meleager's life depended on a
brand, or that of Delphis on the dayús
of Simaitha. Thus we read of a statue
which was the oтoxelov of one Phidalia
('EXλnvidos, a pagan? Patria, 195).
But we find the best illustration in
the story about the Emperor Alexander,
son of Basil I., who believed in sooth-
sayers, and was told by them (Cont.
Th. 379) that the bronze image of a
wild boar in the Hippodrome στοιχεῖον
αὐτοῦ εἴη, which is explained by
the corresponding passage in Simeon
(Leo Gr.) 287 τὸ τοῦ συαγροῦ στοιχεῖον
σοὶ καὶ τῇ σῇ ζωῇ προσανάκειται.
Compare the use of σToxeó in modern
Greek for spirit, bogey; and I may
point out that στοιχεῖον τοῦ τόπου
occurs in Digenes Akritas, vi. 320 (in
Legrand's "Grotta-Ferrata " ed. 1892),
in the sense of ghost or genius of the
place. Illustrations of magic practices
of this kind will be found in Dalzell,
The Darker Superstitions of Scotland,
328 sqq. (1834).-The destruction of
the three-headed statue by John is
pictured in the Madrid Skylitzes
(Beylié, L'Habitation byzantine, 106).
1 Cp. Cont. Th. 12110-

related that in his youth he met a Jew who said, "What will you give me, young man, if I make you excel all men in Grecian learning?" "My father," said Photius, "will gladly give you half his estate." "I need not money," was the tempter's reply, "and your father must hear nought of this. Come hither with me and deny the sign of the cross on which we nailed Jesus; and I will give you a strange charm, and all your life will be lived in wealth and wisdom and joy." Photius gladly consented, and from that time forth he devoted himself assiduously to the study of forbidden things, astrology and divination. Here the Patriarch appears as one of the forerunners of Faustus, and we may confidently set down the invention of a compact with the Evil One to the superstition and malignancy of a monk. For in another story the monastic origin is unconcealed. John the Solitary, who had been conversing with two friends touching the iniquities of the Patriarch, dreamed a dream. A hideous negro appeared to him and gripped his throat. The monk made the sign of the cross and cried, "Who are you? who sent you?" The apparition replied, "My name is Lebuphas; I am the master of Beliar and the familiar of Photius; I am the helper of sorcerers, the guide of robbers and adulterers, the friend of pagans and of my secret servant Photius. He sent me to punish you for what was said against him yesterday, but you have defeated me by the weapon of the cross.' Thus the learning of Photius was honoured by popular fancy like the science of Gerbert; 2 legend represented them both as sorcerers and friends of the devil.

[ocr errors]

The encyclopaedic learning of Photius, his indefatigable interest in philosophy and theology, history and grammar, are shown by his writings and the contents of his library. He collected ancient and modern books on every subject, including many works which must have been rarities in his own time and have since entirely disappeared. We know some of his possessions through his Bibliotheca, and the circumstances which suggested the composition of this work

1 These stories about Photius are told only by Pseudo-Simeon, 670 sqq. He mentions (673) that Photius preached a sermon to show that earthquakes are not a consequence of our sins but due to natural causes. This

was probably à propos of the earthquake of A.D. 862, see above p. 198,

n. 4.

2 See Olleris, Vie de Gerbert, 321 sqq. (1867).

throw light on a side of Byzantine life of which we are seldom permitted to gain a glimpse. A select circle of friends seems to have been in the habit of assembling at the house of Photius for the purpose of reading aloud literature of all kinds, secular and religious, pagan and Christian. His library was thus at the service of friends who were qualified to appreciate it. His brother Tarasius was a member of this reading-club, and when Photius was sent on a mission to the East, Tarasius, who had been unable to attend a number of the gatherings, asked him to write synopses of those books which had been read in his absence. Photius complied with this request, and probably began the task, though he cannot have completed it, before his return to Constantinople.1

He enumerates more than 270 volumes, and describes their contents sometimes very briefly, sometimes at considerable length. As some of these works are long, and as many other books must have been read when Tarasius was present, the reading séances must have continued for several years. The range of reading was wide. History was represented by authors from the earliest to the latest period; for instance, Herodotus, Ktesias, Theopompus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Appian, Josephus, Arrian, Plutarch, Diodorus, Dion Cassius, Herodian,

1 See his Prefatory dedication to Tarasius, which shows that he began the work when he was abroad. He had some difficulty in finding a secretary, and he implies that he wrote from memory. The articles vary greatly in length: the first 60 occupy less than 19 pages out of 544 in Bekker's edition; the last 60 extend to 368 pages. There are many of the long analyses which we cannot suppose Photius to have written without the books before him; and we may conclude that he drew up the whole list and wrote the short articles at the beginning from memory, and continued the work on a larger scale when he returned. In determining the length of his articles he was indeed guided by another principle, which he notes in his Preface. He intended to treat more briefly those books which he might assume his brother would have read himself (karà σeavтóv). Krumbacher has suggested that the Preface may be entirely a literary fiction, but it seems quite explicable without that

assumption. A critical edition of the work is much wanted, and the ground is being prepared by E. Martini, who in his Textgeschichte der Bibliotheke des Patr. Photios von Kpel., I. Teil (Abhandlungen der phil.-hist. Kl. der k. sächs. Ges. der Wiss. xxviii. No. 6, 1911), studies the MSS., and concludes that the textual tradition depends mainly on the Codd. Marciani 450 and 451.

2 279 according to his Preface. There are actually 280 articles, but there is no inconsistency, as vol. 268 (p. 496), the Orations of Lycurgus, was not read. But there are a number of doublets: several works are enumerated twice though differently described (Philostratus, Vita Apollonii; Josephus, Archaeologia; Isocrates; Hierocles, Tepi povolas; Dionysius of Aegae; Diodorus; Himerius). Evidently in the drafting of the list, some repetitions crept in; and, as the work was probably composed at intervals, Phot. could easily have forgotten one notice when he came to write the second.

Procopius, to name some of the most familiar names.



graphers, physiologists, writers on medicine and agriculture, grammarians, as well as orators and rhetoricians, furnished entertainment to this omnivorous society. All or almost all the works of the ten Attic orators were recited, with the exception of Lycurgus, whose speeches, we are expressly told, there was no time to read. We may note also Lucian, the life of Apollonius the Wonderworker by Philostratus, the lives of Pythagoras and Isidore, and a work on Persian magic.2 Fiction was not disdained. The romances of Iamblichus, Achilles Tatius, and Antonius Diogenes were read, as well as the Aethiopica of Heliodorus, which Photius highly appreciated. The theological and ecclesiastical items in the list largely preponderate; but it may gratify us to note that their proportion to the number of pagan and secular works is not more than double; and we may even suspect that if we could estimate not by the tale of volumes but by the number of words or pages, we should find that the hours devoted to Hellenic literature and learning were not vastly fewer than those which were occupied with the edifying works of the Fathers and controversial theologians. We are ourselves under

a considerable debt to Photius for his notices of books which are no longer in existence. His long analysis of the histories of Ktesias, his full descriptions of the novel of Iamblichus and the romance of Thule by Antonius Diogenes, his ample summary of part of the treatise of Agatharchides on the Red Sea, may specially be mentioned. But it is a matter for our regret, and perhaps for wonder, that he seems to have taken no interest in the Greek poets. The Bibliotheca is occupied exclusively with writers of prose.

Photius gave an impulse to classical learning, which ensured its cultivation among the Greeks till the fall of Constantinople. His influence is undoubtedly responsible for the literary studies of Arethas, who was born at Patrae towards the close of our period, and became, early in the tenth century, archbishop of Caesarea. Arethas collected books.

[blocks in formation]


3 On Arethas see Harnack, Die Überlieferung der gr. Apologeten des 2sten Jahrh., in Texte u. Untersuchungen, i. pp. 36-46, 1883. Cp. also Krumbacher, G.B. L. 524.

« PrethodnaNastavi »