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related that in his youth he met a Jew who suid, “What will you give me, young man, if I make you excel all men in Grecian learning ?” “My father," said l'hotius, “ will gladly give you half
, his estate.” "I need not money," was the tempter's reply, “and your father muet 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." l'hotius gladly consented, and from that time forth he devoted hiinself 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 ine to punish you for what was snid against him yesterday, but you have defeated me by the weapon of the cross." I Thus the learning of Photius was honoured by popular fancy like the science of Gerbert ;legend represented them both as sorcerers and friends of the devil.
The encyclopaedlic 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 lis Bibliotheca, and the circumstances which suggested the composition of this work
i These stories about Photius arc was probably à propos of the earth. told only by Pseudo-Simcon, 670 sqq. quake of 1.11. 862, sec above p. 198, lle mentions (673) that preached a sermon to show that carth. " See Olleris, l'ic de Girrbert, 321 quakes are not a consequence of our 8119. (1867). sing lout due to natural causes. This
throw light on a side of Byzantine life of which we are seldom permitud to gain a glimpse. A sclevt circle of friends scems to have been in the habit of assembling at the house of Photius for tlie purpose of reading aloud literuture of all kinds, secular and religious, pagan and Christinn. His library Wils thus at the service of friends who were qualificd to appreciate it. His brother Tarasius was a member of this reading-club, and when I'hotius was sent on a mission to the Fast, Tarusius, who had been unable to attend a number of the gatherings, asked him to write synopses of those books which had been react in his absence. Photius complied with this request, and probably began the task, though he cannot have completed it, before his return to Constantinople.'
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 Tarusius was present, the reading séances inust have continued for several years. The range of reading Wils wide. History wils represented luy authors from the earliest to the latest period; for instance, Herodotus, Ktesias, Theopompus, Dionysius of Haliuirnassus, Appian, Josephus, Arrian, l’lutarch, Diodorus, Dion Cassius, Herodian, l'rocopius, to name some of the most familiar nanics. Geographers, 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 specches, we are expressly told, there will 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.? Fiction was not disdained. The roinances of Iamblichus, Achilles Tatius, and Antonius. Diogenes were rend, as well as the Aethiopica of Heliodorus, which Photius highly appreciated. The theological and ccclesiastical 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 shonld find that the hours devoted to Hellenic literature and learning were not vastly fewer than those which were occupied with the clifying works of the Fathers and controversial theologians. We are ourselves under al considerable debt to l'hotius 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, ind perhaps for wonder, that he seems to have taken no interest in the Greek poets. The Bibliotheca is occupied exclusively with writers of prose.
See liis l'refatory delication to assumption. A critical cdition of the Tiarasius, which shows that he began work is much wanted, and the ground the work wlich lie was aloroad. He is l.eing prepared by E. Martini, who had some difficulty in finding a in his Texlijeschichic der Bibliothcke Secretary, and he implies that lie ilcs l'ulr. Pholios ron képei., 1. Teil wrote from memory. The articles (albhanllungen der phil.-hist. kl. der vary greatly in length: the first 60 ki süchs. lirs, der l'iss. xxviii. No. 6, occupy less than 19 pages out of 544 in 1911), studies the MSS., and concludes Behiker's cilition ; the last 60 extend that the textual tralition depends t. 368 pages. There are many of the mainly on the Coule. Marciani 450 long alinly*c* whicle we cannot suppon:C
and 451. l'hootinx to have written without the ?? 279 according to his l'refacc. books before liim; and wc piny coll. There aro actually 280 Articles, bout -clude that he crew lip the whole list there is 10 inconsistency, as vol. 268 and wrote the shiort articles at the (. 496), the Orntions of Lycurylin, wild beginning from memory, and continuci not reall. But there are a number of tlic work on a larger scale when he doublets : several works are cnunier: returned. In determining the length atcıl twice though dilli-rently described of his articles he was indeed guided by (Philostratus, l'ila Apollonii; Josephus, another principle, which he notes in' Archaeologia ; Isocrates ; Hicrocles, his l'refice. Ii intended to treat more Tepi #povoias ; Dionysius of Aegae; lyrictly those books which he might Diodorus ; Ilimerius). Evidently in assume his brother would have read the virasting of the list, sonie rgpeti. limself (rarà orautóv). Krunilacher tions crept in ; and, as the work was has suggestel that the Preface may porolvably composed at intervals, Phot. be entirely a literary fiction, but it coulil casily have forgotten one notico serius quite explicable without that when he came to write tlıe secoul.
Photius give ill 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, wlio was born at latrae towarıls the close of our period, and became, carly in the tenth century, archbishop of Caesaren. Arethas collected books.
Several lexicons and glossaries were read to the patient audience (articles 145 899.).
heretic Theollore of Mojusiesti.
: On Arethas see Harnack, Die i'berlieferuny der yr. Apologeten des 2sten Jahrh., in Texte 26 Untersuchungen, i. 1'p". 36-46, 1883. Cfr. also kirumbacher, G.B. ... 524.
In A.D. 888 we find him purchasing a copy of Euclid ;' and seven years later the furnous manuscript of Plato, formerly at l'atinos, and now one of the treasures of the Bodleian Library, was written expressly for him. Students of early Christianity owe hiin a particular debt for preserving apologetic writings which would otherwise have been lost."
It is notorious that the Byzantine world, which produced many men of wide and varied learning, or of subtle intellect, such as l'hotius, Isellos, and Eustathios—to name three of the best-known names,-never gave birtli; to an original and creative genius. Its science can boast of no new discovery, its philosophy of no novel systein or explanation of the universe. Age after age, innumerable pens moved, lakes of ink were exhausted, but no literary work remains which can claim a place among the incmorable books of the world. To the mass of mankind Byzantine literature is a denul thing; it has not left a single iinmortal book to instruct and delight posterity.
While the unquestioned authority of religious doyma, and the tyranny of orthodoxy, confined the mind by invisible fetters which repressed the instinct of speculation and intellectual adventure," there was another authority no less fatal to that freedom which is an indispensable condition of literary excellence as of scientific progress, the authority of the ancients. We have seen the superiority of the Eastern Empire to the contemporary European states in the higher cilucation which it provided. In this educational system, which enabled and encouraged studious youths to become acquainted with the great payan writers of Greece, we might have looked to find an outlet of escape from the theories of the universe and the views of life dogmatically imposed by religion, or at least a stimulus to seek in the broad field of human nature material for literary art. But the influence of the great Greek thinkers proved powerless to unchain willing
'Subscription in the MS. in the Bodleian (D'Orville, xi. inf. 2, 30), whicre the price he paid is stated, 4 nomismata = £2: 8s. (equivalent in value to about $12).
: Clarkiamus, :39. Arethas paid the scribo Stephen 1:3 nom, or £7:1086., & silmi aqual in purchasing value to not
much less than £40.
:3 Harnack, ib. 46.
• Cp. (iibbon vi. 108, “The minds of the Greeks were bound in the letters of a lase and imperious sujurstition, whicho wstens livor clominioll 1'0111111 the circle of profane science,"
slaves, who studied the letter and did not understand the meaning.. And so the effect of this education was to submit the mind to another yoke, the literary authority of the ancients. Classical tradition was an incubus rather than a stimulant ; classical literature was an idol, not an inspiration. The higher education was civilizing, but not quickening; it was liberal, but it did not liberate.
The later Greeks wrote in a style and manner which 1 appealed to the highly educated among their own temporaries, and the taste of such renders appreciated and demanded an artificial and laboured style, indirect, periphrastic, and often allusive, which to us is excessively tedious and frigid. The vocabulary and grammar of this literature were
! clifterent from the vocabulary and grammar of everyday life, and had painfully to be acquired at school. Written thus in il langunge which wils purely conventional, and preserving the tradition on Fictoric which had llescere from the Hellenistic nye, the literature of Byzantium was tied hand and foot by unnatural restraints. It was much as if the Italians had always useil Latin as their literary medium, and were unable to emancipate themselves from the control of Cjrero, Livy, and Seneca.
The power of this stylistic trailition is one of the traits of the conservative spirit of Byzantine society.
These facts beatr upon the failure of Byzantine men of letters to produce anything that makes in universal appeal. Yet if the literature of the world is not indebted to the Byzantines for contributions of enduring value,' we owe to them and to their tenacity of educational traditions an inestimable debt for preserving the monuments of Greek literature which we possess to-day. We take our inheritance for granted, and seldom stop to remember that the manuscripts of the great poets and prose-writers of ancient Greece were not written for the sake of a remote and unknown posterity, lut to supply the demand of contemporary readers.