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1. Etudes d' Histoire et d'Archéologie, par Paul Allard. Paris: Lecoffre, 1899, 8vo, pp. 436.
2. The Homeric Palace, by Norman Morrison Isham, A. M., Architect. Providence: The Preston and Rounds Co., 1898, 8vo, pp. 62, with eleven illustrations.
3. Notes on Mediæval Services in England, with an index of Lincoln Ceremonies, by Chr. Wordsworth, A. M. London: Thomas Baker, 1898, 8vo, pp. 313.
4. The Graphic Art of the Eskimos, by Walter James Hoffman, M. D., Honorary Curator of the Ethnological Museum, Catholic University of America. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897, 8vo, pp. 219.
1. Few disciples of De Rossi have done more to make known his labors than Paul Allard. In his admirable "Histoire des Persécutions" (5 vols., Paris, Lecoffre, 1885-1890) he has outlined with a sure hand the main features of the public and private sufferings of the Christians from Nero to Diocletian. In his "Esclaves Chrétiens" and "Esclaves, Serfs et Mainmortables," he has sketched in a way at once popular and learned the institution of ancient slavery as it was modified by Christian influences, and was later on transformed into various shades of serfage. His facile pen has also produced a most readable book on pagan art under the Christian emperors. In these essays he offers us a bouquet of choice erudition culled from his favorite field of early Christian life and habits,ancient philosophy and slavery, collegiate teaching in ancient Rome, the origin of the papal library and archives, the newly found house of the Roman martyrs John and Paul, rural properties from the fifth to the ninth centuries, a critique of Boissier's "End of Paganism," a necrology of De Rossi. Such essays illuminate splendidly the pages of ordinary church history, and are to be recommended to all studious youth, both lay and ecclesiastical. They are written with grace and feeling, with a certain preoccupation as to their modern uses, with sound knowledge and approved methods, and without too great a show of authorities, sources, and the like. In the essay on the Origins of our Christian Civilization,
which is a review of Kurth's famous book, the reader will find the marrow of that work extracted with so much skill that he will scarcely need to read the original in order to grasp its conclusions and principal lines of proof.
2. Mr. Isham undertakes in this elegantly executed monograph to reconstruct a royal dwelling of the Homeric time-"its situation, approaches and defences, its internal arrangements (courts, women's apartments, baths, passages, armory, treasury, etc.), construction, decoration and external appearance." This is done by the study of the late excavations at Troy, Mycenae, Tiryns and elsewhere, as well as by the intelligent reading of the Homeric poems themselves, or rather by a combination of both, pretty much as De Rossi was wont to study the catacombs by the light of the earliest Christian literature. Several plates illustrate the argument, which is that of the archeologists Tsountas and Manatt. What might have been a dry academic presentation of an interesting theme, becomes in the hands of a practical architect as fascinating as intelligible. In plate X, for instance, the reader grasps at a glance the evolution of a natural stronghold like Tiryns from a bare hill-top to a great irregular fortress, with outer walls and inner citadel, and all the barbaric pomp of a day when flocks and herds and the "swift black ship" made up the riches of a Greek chieftain.
3. A prebendary of Lincoln Cathedral has rendered good service by the publication of this volume of medieval English liturgical antiquities, especially such as concern the service of the divine office and the Mass in parochial and cathedral churches. Here is quite a picture of ancient ecclesiastical England, -the celebration of matins, the public Mass, with its preparation, processions, ceremonies, the choristers and canons, their manners and meals, the evensong, the curfew, the condition of the church close or precincts, and a hundred other curious and forgotten details. Apropos of the follies and misdemeanors that in time discredited certain services, the author remarks with discrimination that "such improprieties were exceptional . . . . . We may trust that not a few holy and useful lives were lived beneath the shadow of our cathedral churches in medieval times, as in our own days; for while offenders gain notoriety the good and orderly are less observed.” On pp. 44, 45 is given the arrangement of the office for the ferias in Lent, whereby it is seen that on these days Vespers followed the Mass of the day. This explains the "Evening Mass" of Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, IV, 1), about which so much has been written. "It was in connection with such arrangements when Mass on the fast was followed closely by Vespers before bodily refection was taken, that the rubrics inform us that thus endeth the order for Mass and Evensong together. So it was that poor
Juliet offered to come to Friar Laurence "at evening Mass" on that unlucky Tuesday, presumably a vigil, as the proposed wedding with Paris was to be on a Wednesday or Thursday not in Lent. Canon Wordsworth in a note inserts the following passages from the play, suggested by Dr. Legg, to show the exact date of that evening Mass:
"It was only a fortnight to Lammas (Juliet's birthday being Lammas eve). Lady Capulet: How long is it now to Lammas-tide?
Nurse: A fortnight and odd days.
Therefore, the evening Mass was on St. James's eve, July 24th, the only vigil or fast day on which they could have an evening Mass in the last half of July."
The greater part of this charming volume is taken up with a catalogue raisonneé of various articles of church furniture and customs, whose names have been gathered from the thirty-five volumes of the Chapter Acts of Lincoln (1305-1876), and from other documents pertaining to the muniments of the chapter. These two hundred pages bring before us in great detail the course of public service in Catholic England,—the high altars, ambries, belfries and bell-ringers, lavatories, lecterns, piscinas, pixes, tabernacles, and a multitude of objects yet familiar to us, as well as many long since dropped from memory, like "querecope," "custuraria," "malanderie," etc.
4. Dr. Walter Hoffman, the honorary curator of our ethnological museum, and presently consul at Mannheim in Germany, places before us in this monograph a very detailed study of the collection of Eskimo etchings or picture-writings now possessed by the United States National Museum. These rude engraving are usually on walrus ivory, though horn, bone, wood, metal, the skins of animals, and even the human skin (tattooing) are often resorted to for graphic purposes. The human figure is very imperfectly done, but the reindeer, the seal, the walrus, boats, and other objects are often seized with vigor and truth. On the strips of ivory they represent domestic avocations, habits, and conveyances, utensils, preparation of food, pastimes, games, travel, combats, hunting, fishing, gestures of all kinds. It is quite a little world of primitive art that is here revealed with great accuracy and thoroughness of description. Dr. Hoffman gives us in these pages an enlarged chapter of his famous "Beginnings of Writing" (Appleton, New York: 1895), and contributes therewith a valuable addition to the annals of American archæology. The University is indebted to him for a very attractive ethnological museum, whose collections he has arranged in the most serviceable
SCRIPTURE AND CHURCH HISTORY.
Die Alexandrinische Uebersetzung des
Freiburg: B. Herder, 1897, 8vo., xii-218.
This remarkable study by Dr. Bludau on the Alexandrine Version of the book of Daniel is one of a series of monographs of rare merit contributed by some of the foremost scholars of Catholic Germany, and published under the direction of Dr. Bardenhewer, of Munich, in the "Biblische Studien " (Herder, Freiburg). This study is worthy of special attention, on account of the author's ripe scholarship, his scientific methods, his careful treatment of the subject, and his exhaustive discussion of one of the most complicated themes of Old Testament criticism.
As is well known, the Alexandrine translation of the Old Testament is not only the first in time and importance, but also the most famous of the translations of the Hebrew Bible. It was the Bible used by our Lord, by His Apostles, by the Jews both before and after the time of Christ, by nearly all Christians in the early Church, and is still the standard text in the Greek Church, both Catholic and Orthodox. It is generally called the "Septuagint" or the "Bible of the Seventy," either because it was supposed to have been translated by seventy interpreters sent down by the High Priest from Jerusalem to Alexandria for that purpose, or because it was sanctioned by some Jewish council or Sanhedrim consisting of seventy members after the fashion of the Sanhedrim at Jerusalem, or because the name "Septuagint " belonged to the famous library for which this version was made and then passed over to as its greatest treasure, or for some other reason.
There is at most but a grain of truth in the fabulous story of the origin of this version, as told by Aristobulus, Aristæas, Josephus, and accepted by some of the fathers of the early Church. Hence, laying aside fable and legend, we may suppose that this famous translation was made very much as follows. Shortly after Alexander the Great, by whom it was founded, Alexandria became a centre of Jewish religious life, commercial enterprise, and intellectual activity. As the Jews of the Dispersion resident there soon forgot Hebrew and readily learned Greek, they felt the need of a Greek translation of their canonical books, especially of the first five, containing the Law of Moses. Accordingly the Pentateuch was first translated.
Internal evidence shows that this work must have been done by several translators, and that they were Alexandrine Jews. The remaining books, being less necessary than the Law of Moses, were rendered into Greek only at a later period. In fact, it is now generally admitted that the Septuagint was made by many translators of uncertain number, of
unequal skill and knowledge, of very different qualifications for the work. It seems, too, that for all we know they may have accomplished their very difficult task in different places and at irregular intervals of time, beginning with the Pentateuch about B. C. 280, and continuing with the remaining books till the completion of the work, about B. C. 180 or 170.
That many were engaged on this work may be inferred both from the character of the translation, which varies in the different books, and from certain ever-recurring words and phrases peculiar to some books and not to others. Some of the books are well and some are poorly translated. The Pentateuch is generally well rendered, especially Leviticus, also Exodus and Deuteronomy. Ecclesiastes is done so literally as to border on the obscure. Job and Jeremiah are wretchedly done, entire sentences being sometimes omitted or inserted, either because the translator did not understand them or because he may have had before him a Hebrew text different from what we now possess.
But the worst of all is Daniel. The Greek of this book contains so many and so remarkable divergences from the Hebrew as to excite the surprise even of the casual reader. In fact, the interpolations, mutilations, mistranslations and paraphrases are so important, especially in certain chapters, that at a very early date, even as early as the time of Irenæus (died about A. D. 202), the Christian Church discarded the Septuagint Greek and in its stead substituted the Version of Theodotion, both in the Greek bibles and in the liturgy. St. Jerome confesses that he did not understand the reason that prompted this change, "Hoc, cur acciderit, nescio." Dr. Bludau seems to admit that one reason for this substitution was that the Version of Theodotion makes it easier to give a Messianic character to the prophecy of the seventy weeks of years (Daniel, IX, 24-27). No doubt the example of Origen, who preferred the Version of Theodotion to every other, was largely instrumental in effecting the change.
Dr. Bludau is of opinion that some Hellenistic Jew, observing the many imperfections of the Daniel of the Septuagint, undertook to correct it by comparing it with the Hebrew or the Aramaic. His work, which was rather a recension than a translation, was simply revised by Theodotion, and for some time all three forms of the Greek Daniel were independently in circulation, till all became in some way inexplicably mixed up. This opinion, if true, would explain the readiness with which the recension of Theodotion was received by the entire Christian Church and is still retained in the liturgical books of the Catholic Church for her Greek rite, and in the Orthodox Greek Church.
Meanwhile, the Septuagint version of this book, discarded and discredited, passed so entirely out of use, that for centuries it was supposed