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Greece was then fallen again into the ignorance and barbarity from which the Titan princes had drawn it, when the different colonies which went from Egypt and Phænicia paffed fucceffively into that part of Europe. The first of these new colonies was conducted by Cecrops. This prince, at the head of an Egyptian colony, landed in Attica, and settled there 1582 years before the Christian æra . Cecrops was not ignorant of agriculture. Cicero tells us that he ina troduced in Greece the custom of spreading of corn, in fu. neral ceremonies, on the tomb of the deceased when they were buried. We may conclude then that Cecrops tried to fow grain ; but discouraged, without doubt, by the dry and sandy foil of Artica, he laid aside that enterprise. We see that he got his corn from Sicily and Libya . It was not the same with olives. Cecrops planted them, and succeeded very well. This prince establified afterwards the worship of Minerva, because that goddess, according to ancient trai dition, had made known to men the utility of these trees, and learned them to cultivate them d.
A little while after Cecrops, Cadmus and Danaus, coming one from Egypt, and the other from Phoenicia, passed into Greece. Cadmus settled in Boeotia, and Danaus in the Argolide. We have just seen, that, according to all appearances, these princes had brought agriculture into the districts where they were settled ,
About one hundred and sixty-three years after Cecrops, Attica found itself aflicted with a very great dearth, because the common convoys, without doubt, had failed them. In this circumstance Erechtheus conductor of a new Egyptian colony, arrived with a fleet loaden with corn, and delivered the country from the famine which oppressed it. The Athenians, in acknowledgment of such an important service, placed him on the throne , Erechtheus studied innmediately to put his people in a state not to have any more recourse to a stranger. Judging the plains of Eleusis more proper than the rest of-Attica for tillage, he caused it to be ploughed and sown s. He had the happiness to succeed in this undertaking, and to accustom the Athenians to tillage.
· Supra, b. I. b De leg. 1. 2. n. 25. t. 3. p. 558.
Tzetzes, ex Philocor. ad Heliod. op. V. 30. p. 18. edit. in 4to 1603. d See infra, art. 3. e Spra, b. 1. chay, 4.
f Diod. l. 1. p. 34.
Diodorus, from whom we have taken one part of this recital, adds, that Erechtheus taught the Athenians the worship of Ceres, and established at Eleusis the mysteries of that god. dess, fucli as they were practised in Egypt. This is what has given room to say, according to the remark of the same historian, that Ceres herself was come to Athens, and to place at that epoch the discovery of corn, which was then brought from Egypt to the Athenians, under the name and under the auspices of that goddess". We have seen that the Ceres of the Greeks was the same divinity as the lsis of the Egyptians, to whom, according to the tradition of these people, they owed the knowledge of tillage. Erechtheus having succeeded in his enterprise, it was natural that he ihould establish the worship of Isis. It was from a fimilar motive that Cecrops, as I have just said, had infi, tuted the worship of Minerva.
But the origin of agriculture, and that of the worship of Ceres, were more ancient in Greece than the reign of Erechtheus : we cannot doubt of this after the different traditions which I have reported. I think then that the establishment of the mysteries of Ceres at Eleusis, and the knowledge of tillage which they place under Erechtheus, ought only to be regarded as a renewal or re-establishment of ancient cuftoms which the troubles and misery of the times had insensibly abolished.
The worship of Ceres was greatly esteemed in Greece, under the reign of Erechtheus ; nothing is more famous in antiquity than the mysteries celebrated at Eleusise That feast, at first peculiar to the inhabitants of Attica, becamo afterwards common to all the Greeks. Yet the Argives
8 Marm. Oxon. ep. 13.; Diod. 1. 5. p. 385, į Justin, I. 2C, 6. p. 87., Phurnut. de nat. deoruni, c. 28. p. 209, b Loco cit. & 1.5: p. 333.
had received the worship of Ceres before the Athenians'. But whether it was that they did not know all the mysteries, or from motives at present unknown to us, the honour of having communicated to all Greece the worship of Ceres, remained to the Athenians. As in the idea of these people, the knowledge of tillage was joined to the establishment of the mysteries of Eleusis, they would make us believe, that Greece was equally indebted to them for both discoveries. Yet we see that some Greek cities protested against this pretension : but it does not appear they paid any regard to it. The plurality of votes was declared for the Athenians: they pass, in almost all the ancient writings which now remain to us, to have polished Greece. It is to the
of their writers, that, without doubt, they owe this pre-emi
The Athenians, vain to excess, have always boasted of having communicated the arts, the laws, and the sciences, to all the rest of the Greeks. Argos, Thebes, and some other cities, where the origin of arts to me appears almost as ancient as in Attica, have produced neither so many writers, nor of a merit equal to those of the Athenians. The writings of the Athenians have always carried it. The ancient authors, even the Romans, fed by these writings, have got those ideas of a superiority which the Athenians had at all times thought proper to arrogate: they have adopted them, and have transmitted them to us. This is perhaps the source of that anteriority of knowledge, which the Athenians enjoy even at this time. These indeed are only conje&tures : but it is an expedient to which we are too often obliged to have recourse when we treat of events of this high antiquity.
If agriculture, as I'suspect, had been difficult to be introduced among the Greeks in the first ages, these people afterwards thought very differently. In all the states formed by the new colonies of which I have spoken, the fovereignis applied themselves to divert their subjects from the custom of rambling upon the seas. They used various methods to bring them to cultivate the earth : I have spoken
i See lerol, 1. 2. n. 171.; Paul. 1. 1. 6:14.
of it in the article of government k. Their design succeed.' ed, the Greeks were not long of perceiving and acknowledging the advantages of agriculture : they gaye them. selves up to it with much ardour and success.
Barley was the first species of grain which the Greeks cultivated t, and the plains of Rharia were the first which were sown in Attica *. The forts of grains which were fown there are not indeed specified by the marbles; the word is effaced, but we may fupply it from Pausanias. This author says, that, in remembrance of the first essays of agriculture, the sort of cakes which the Athenians used in their sacrifices were still made in his time with barley gathered from the fields of Rharia . We are ignorant in .what time they began to cultivate in Greece wheat and other grains. There is room, for example, to doubt, if in the ages we now speak, or even for a long time afterWards, the Grecks had any 'knowledge of oats. We see that in the time of the war of Troy barley was the common food of the horses,
Homer and Hefiod are the only persons who can give us any knowledge of the manner in which the ancient Greeks, cultivated their lands. We may judge of these original practices by those which fubfifted in the times of these authors. It appears that they then gave three ploughings to the ground. Two sorts of ploughs were in ufe:
* B. 1. art. 8. p. 65. & 66.
1 Dionyf. Halicarn. l. 2. p. 95. ; Plut. t. 2. p. 292. B.; Plin. 1. 18. fect. 1.4. p. 108. ; Paus. 1. 1. c. 38.; Pindar. fchol. ad Olymp. od. 9. p. 93." In Marm. Oxon. ep. 13. Plutarch seems to oppose this tradition, t. 2.
L. I, c. 38. • Odyff. 1. 4. V. 41. p Ibid. 1. 5. v. 127. ; Hesiod. Theog. v. 971. See Salmaf. Plin. exercit. P.509. &c.; Le Clerc, not. in Hesiod. p. 264. & 266.
I think we perceive a glimpse of that ancient practice in the name of Triptolemus. Le Clerc, according to his custom, has searched in the oriental lan. guages the etymology of this word. Triptolemus, according to his opinion, Signifies breaker of the ridges. Bibl. univerf.'t. 6. p. 54. & 91..
But I think that it would be more natural to draw the name of Triptolemus from two Greek words Teus & fonów, ter verso.
This name probably has allusion to the custom of ploughing the land three times; a custom which the tradition of the Greeks implies, without doubt, to have been mewn by Triptolemus. A passage of Heliod seems to favour this conjecture. See Theog. v.971.
P. 144. A.
one which was only a single piece of wood ; the other, more compounded, consisted of two pieces of wood contrived in such a manner that one part made the body of the plough, and the other served to yoke the oxen to. I have borrowed from Hefiod this description 9 : but I confefs, at the same time, it is not easy to form a clear and perfect] idea of all its construction. We may say in general, , that these ploughs were very simple ; they had no wheels, and we do not find that they had any iron about them *.
Oxen and mules appear to have been the animals which the Greeks made use of most commonly for tillage ". They used mules preferably to oxen when they wanted to open the earth lightly, as when they gave to the field a second ploughing. We may conjecture also, and with much reafon, that horses were sometimes used in this work..
The Greeks had been a long time without the knowledge of the harrow. This machine does not appear to have been in use even in the time of Hefiod. We see in reality, that this poet employs a young slave to cover with a spade the feeds spread on the surface of the earth".
The custom of manuring the grounds was established very anciently in Greece. Pliny attributes the invention of it to Augeas, so famous in Greek antiquity for the immense quantity of his flocks *. The care of cleaning the stables
9 We may conjecture this from the epithets that the poet gives to the two ploughs of which he speaks. Oper. & Dies, v. 432. & 433. See Graevius, ledion. Hesiod. p.48. & 49. ; Hom. Iliad. 1. 10. V. 353. & fchol. ad hunc verf.
They might object, that Homer, Iliad. I. 23..v. 835. in speaking of a mass of iron, says, that it might be of great use to an husbandman, and conclude from thence that it Mould enter into the construction of ploughs, But I think that the poet would only say, that iron was proper to make many of the tools of which they had need for the country, such as fickles, axes, c. The reason on which I ground this is, that if they had used iron in the construction of ploughs, the Mare, without doubt, ought to have been made of it. But Heliod, who was probably posterior to Homer, says plainly that the Niare was made of a sort of oak very hard, called agivo. Op. & Dies, v. 436.
• Hesiod. op. & dies. v. 46.