« ElőzőTovább »
of this prince was, say they, one of the labours which Eurystheus imposed on Hercules y. What is certain, is, that the secret of meliorating the grounds and fertilizing them by means of manure, was known to the Greeks in the most ancient times. Homer speaks of it preciselyż Ci cero: and Plinyo had already remarked it.
These people had a manner of making their harvest, different from that which we practise at present. Their reapers did not range themselves in a line as ours do. They divided themselves into two parties, and each taking an end of a ridge, advancing one against the other, they met about the middle of the field d. The Greeks did not heap up their grains in sheaves in the barns, as is our practice. They put then in veslels of earth, or in baskets destined for that purpose . Instead of beating the corn with flails, they made the oxen tread it f. There is great reason to think, that the fan which they used, had no resemblance io ours. conjecture that this machine was made a good deal like a shovels
I have already said elsewhere, that the Greeks originally, like all other people, had been ignorant of the art of reducing their grain to meal. They then eat it green and half roasted *. They learned afterwards to grind it. This art must have been very rude in the beginning. They knew nothing but the pestle and mortar to reduce the grain into flour, The Greeks, by degrees, had in use hand-mills.
y Diod. 1. 4, p. 259.; Paus. 1. 5.c. 3. p. 377. z Odysf. 1. 17. V. 297. &c.
a De senect. n. 15. t. 3, p. 312. BL, 17. fect. 6. p. 55.
• The passage of Homer meant by Cicero and by Pliny, is found in the the Odyssey, I. 23. V. 225. & 226.
They speak of Laertes, father of Ulysses, whom Homer, according to these two authors, represents employed in manuring his lands. It is in this sense that they translate the word n15ęcivorta, used by this poet, though literally this word means fimply, to raise or , ake. But without having recourse to this passage, which may be dubious, we find in that which I have quoted the custom of manuring the grounds established in a precise manner, a Iliad. 1. II. v. 67. &c.
· Hesiod. op. v. 475. & 482. &c. 1 Iliad. 1. 20. v. 495. &c. : Odyff. 1. 11. V. 125. See the notes of Mad. Dacier. Supra, p. 179. Hefiod. op, V. 423.
We have seen, that they gave the honour of this invention to Myles son of Lelex first King of Laconia *. These machines, notwithstanding, were very imperfect. They were ignorant then of the art of making them move by means of water and of wind. The ancients, during many ages, knew nothing but hand-mills. In Greece, as well as in Egyptk, it was the women who were charged with the labour of turning the mill.
The Greeks had a custom of giving to the grains, before they ground them, many preparations which proved how very imperfect the machines were which they employed in that operation. They began by steeping the grains in water. They then left them to dry for a whole month; and afterwards dried them by the fire. It was only after all these operations that they brought their corn to the mill". I have explained elsewhere the motives of all these preparations m.
I have nothing particular to say of the manner in which the Greeks used the flour in the first times. I have spoke fufficiently of these ancient practices in the first part of this work. We cannot determine the time in which the art of making bread began to be known in Greece. Tradition gives the honour of this invention to the god Pan.. We see by Homer, that this discovery must have been very ancient p. I shall remark farther, that in the heroic times the women appear to have been the only persons who concerned themselves in the care of preparing this aliment 9.
* Supra, p. 179.
i Odys. 1. 7. V. 103. &c. 1. 20. V. 105. &c. * See part 1. book 2. chap. I.
1 Plin. I. 18. sect. 14. P. 108. m Part 1. book 2. chap. I.
n Book 2. chap, 1. • Cassiodor. var. 1. 6. formul. 18. p. 106. P Iliad. 1. 9. V. 216. ; Odyff. 1. 1. V. 147. I See Odyr. 1. 7. V. 103. &c. I. 18. v. 559. & 565.; Herod. 1. 8. n. 137.
Of the art of making wine.
THE epoch in which the Greeks had begun to cultivate
the vine, and to know the art of making wine, labours under almost as many difficulties as that of tillage. The Athenians pretend equally to have communicated this knowledge to all Greecer. They place the epoch in the reign of Pandion the Firsts, fifth King of Athens, '1463 years before Christ. But they were not agreed about the author of this discovery. Some give that honour to Bacchus', others to one Eumolpus, who had, say they, quitted Thrace, his original country, to come and settle in Attica“. I do not think we ought to pay much regard to this pretension of the Athenians. In all respects, it appears to me to have no foundation.
The greatest part of ancient authors agree to give the discovery of the vine to Bacchus. They acknowledge, it is true, many persons who have borne that name; nevertheless, it is only to one who passed for the son of Jupiter. We ought, therefore, to make the first knowledge which the Greeks had of making wine, to ascend to the ages in which the Titans had reigned in that part of Europe ; and I think in reality, that the culture of the vine had been introduced among the Greeks under the dominion of these princes. But it must have been with this knowledge, as with many others which were abolished in the trouble and confusion which the extinction of the family of the Titans, and the destruction of their empire, occasioned in Greece.
I have already said, that some time after this event, the
* Apollod. I. 3. P. '97. ; Hygin. fab. 130. ; Justin. I. 2. c. 6. ; Paul. I. 1. C.. 2.; Propert. I. 2. eleg. 33. V. 29. Apollod. 1. 3. p. 197.
* Id. ibid. ; Hygin. fab. 130. u Plin. 1. 7. feet. 57. p. 415. Pliny makes this Eumolpus an Athenian, but he is wrong. He was originally of Thrace, from whence he came to settle at Athens, See Strabo, 1. 7. p. 494.
conductors of new colonies, had brought into Greece the arts under the auspices of the gods honoured in the countries from whence they came: depending on this principle, I conjecture, that Boeotia had been the first district of Greece where the culture of the vine had been renewed. Cadmus, at the head of a Phoenician colony, settled there 1519 years before the Christian æra. This prince had learned, in his travels, the art of planting the vine. He made it known to his subjects, and established at the same time the worship of Bacchus, to whom the tradition of the people of the East had given the honour of the discovery of wine. Every thing seems to favour this fystem. The Greeks said, that their Bacchus was the issue of Jupiter and of Semele, daughter of Cadmus. Herodotus gives us the explication of this fable, by teaching us, that this prince introduced the worship of Bacchus into Greece . Yet I believe, from the reasons I have already given, that Cadmus only made a renewal of it.
The Greeks had very particular methods of making wine. After having cut the grapes, they exposed them ten days to the fun and to the coolness of the night. They put them afterwards into the shade for five days, and the sixth they stamped them y. This method was very long and very troublesome. It was with great difficulty they could make a large quantity of wine at a time. They must have had a considerable quantity of ground to spread and expose the quantity of grapes sufficient to make, for example, ten butis of wine. And there must not have been a less space, and more precautions afterwards to make these grapes dry in the shade. All these methods were subject to great inconveniencies. The wine at that time must have been very dear in Greece, although they collected a great quantity. We may also judge of this, hy the epithets which Homer gives to many of these countries.
* L. 2. n. 49.
y Odyff. 7. V. 122. &c.; Hesiod. oper. v. 611. &c. See Mad. Dacier's notes on the 7th book of the Odyssey, p. 160.
The Greeks did not keep their wines in casks. The useful invention of these vessels of wood so commodious, was unknown to them. They put their wines in borachios, and very often into great vessels of earthen warez. The Athenians were particularly famous for making of these forts of vessels. But the custom of keeping the wine in these earthen vessels, liable to be broken, or in these leather-bags, subject to contract bad smells, or to unrip, render. ed at that time the carriage of wines very difficult, and the keeping of them less sure than with us at present.
Wine, if we believe some authors, was not the only present which Bacchus made to the Greeks. After the example of Osiris, he taught them to compose with water and barley, a liquor, which, for strength and good. ness, approached to wineo. Ovid, speaking of the meeting that Ceres, exhausted with weariness, had with an old woman named Baubo, says, that the goddess, having de manded some water, the old woman presented her with a liquor composed of dried grain c. It seems that the authors whom I cite would mean beer; but we may doubt if the knowledge of that liquor had been as ancient in Greece as they say. Homer never mentions it. Is it with design? or rather, is it not a mark, that in his time beer was not in use?
of the art of making oil.
THough I have thought we should refuse to the Athe
nians the honour of having communicated to all Greece tillage and the culture of the vine, I shall not say so much of all that concerns the plantation of olives and
2 Odysf. 1. 9. V. 196.; Iliad. 1. 9. V. 465.; Herod. 1. 3. n. 6.; Diod. I. s.p. 380.; Plin. l. 35. sect. 46. p. 711. a See Casaub. not. in Athen, 1. 1. c. 22. p. 65. Diod. l. 4. p. 248. • Metam, 1. 5. V. 449. &c.