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the art of drawing oil from their fruit. Attica appears to have been incontestably the first country in Greece, in which that part of agriculture is faid to have been known d. The Athenians were indebted for it to Cecrops. This prince came from Saise a city of the Lower Egypt, where the culture of the olive-tree was the principal occupation of the inhabitants f. Cecrops, who found the soil of Attica very proper for that sort of trees, took care to have them planted s. The fuccess answered his expectation. Athens in a little time became famous for the excellence of its oil. It was even anciently the only place in Greece where olives were to be found h.
Antiquity thought they were indebted to Minerva for the discovery of this tree i, Moreover this goddess was particularly reverenced at Sais k. The culture of the olive was then brought into Greece under the auspices of Minerva. Cecrops, in imparting that knowledge to the inhabitants of Attica, took occasion to establish, at the same time, the worship of that goddess'. The feast of Minerva was celebrated at Athens m in the fame manner as at Sais", by lighting an innumerable quantity of lamps. The Greeks have propagated many fables about all these events; they relate, that Minerva and Neptune had entered into a dispute about the honour of giving a name to the city of Athens. The question was to determine this dispute. Some faid, that they would refer it to Cecrops", others, that the oracle ordered all the people to be assembled P; some, lastly, that the twelve great gods were chosen to judge of the dispute. However it was, they determined, that those of the two divinities who could produce the most useful invention should name the city they were building. Neptune, with a stroke of his trident, made a horse come out of a rock: Minerva, by striking the earth with a lance, made an olive-tree come up: this production got her the victory. The explication of this fable is not very difficult to penetrate into.
d Herod. 1. 5. n. 82.; Ælian. var. hist. I. 3. C. 38.; Justin. l. 2. c. 6. e Diod. l. 1. p. 33.
Herod. I. 2. n. 59. & 62. & Syncell. p. 153. B.
h Herod. I. 5. n. 82. i Virgil. georg. I. 1. V. 18.; Diod. 1. 5. p. 389.
k Herod. l. 2. n. 59. & 62.; Cicero de nat. deor. l. 3. n. 23. t. 2. p. 506.
i Paus. l. 1. c. 27. 1. 2. c. 36.; Euseb. praep. evang. I. 10. c. 9. p. 486. m Marth. p. 128. * Herod. 1. 2. n. 62. o Euseb, chron. l. 2. p. 75. P. Varro apud Auguft. de civit. Dei, l. 18. chap. 9. . Apollod. I. 3. p. 192.
It appears that it was not without some difficulty that Cecrops engaged the inhabitants of Altica to apply themselves to the culture of olive-trees. The establishment of the worship of the gods was at that time too intimately connected with the establishment of the arts to receive one without the other. To adopt the worship of Minerva, was to declare that they would apply themselves to those arts of which that goddess passed for the inventress. The ancient inhabitants of Attica, profiting by their neighbourhood to the sea, were accustomed 'to piracy. Neptune of consequence was their tutelar divinity. One party opposed the new establishment of Cecrops; he would change the ancient manner of life. This prince nevertheless found the means to gain the greatest number of the inhabitants, and the plurality of votes gave it for the worship of Minerva, that is to say, the preference to agriculture.
Yet we see in the circumstances of this fable, that spirit of vanity which, in the latter times, has brought the Greeks to invent the most extraordinary fictions to bring back to their gods the invention and merit of all the arts. They had received them from their first sovereigns, who coming out of policed countries, had brought into Greece the discove. ries forgotten or unknown till their arrival. They had introduced at the same time the worship of the gods who were thought to be the authors of all these inventions. They insensibly confounded the history and motives of these establishments. The Greeks naturally vain, and lovers of the marvellous, perplexed the ideas and obscured tradition, to attribute to the divinities which they had created, the discovery of all the arts.
I have spoken in the first part of this work of the different methods invented originally to give light in the night. We
have there seen that the more or the less industry in the ways which men invented to remedy the obscurity of darknels, distinguished barbarous people from polished nations. If this proposition is true, we may say, that, in this respect, the Greeks in the heroic ages did not differ any thing from the people of whom we now form the most disadvantageous idea. Their little induitry had not permitted them to procure any of the proper means to give light casily and commodioufly during the night.
The Greeks were not at that time ignorant of the art of making oil : yet they had not the use of lamps. They likewise knew wax and tallow, but had not found the secret to draw from them their principal utility. These people, at the times I am fpeaking of, were lighted only by fires which they had in their apartments. The princes, and those who piqued themselves upon delicacy, burnt odoriferous woods". Virgil has conformed to the custom of these an. cient times, when he says that Circe made them burn cedar to light her t.
With regard to torches which are often mentioned and spoken of in Homer, they were pieces of wood split lengtltwise, which they carried in their hand when they went in the night from one place to another u. I liave théwn, in the first part of this work, the antiquity and the universality of this practice, I Mall add, that probably they employed for this use resinous woods.
Homer, indeed, has used on one occasion a term which at first fight would make us think the Greeks knew lamps in the heroic times. He tells us in the Odyssee, that Minerva took a vase of gold to light Ulysses y: but it is more than probable that this vase was not a lamp. In reality, there is never any thing spoken of by this poet which has any relation to these sort of machines : we see on the contra
* Odyff. 1. 6. v. 395. 1. 18. v. 306. (c.1. 19. v. 63.bc.
* B. 2. chap: 1. art. 4,
ry, that on all occasions where he could have placed lamps, he only speaks of burning torches. Also the scholiasts believe, that the word which Homer has used to design the vase casried by Minerva, thould be understood of a sheath of gold into which they had put a torch. I should rather think that they meant a sort of chafing-dish into which they put pieces of wood to make the fire lively and clear. The Turks use even at this day to give them light, machines very like them . .. But be it as it would, we may be assured that there is no mention made in Homer of oil, of wax, or of tallow to give light. The Greeks in the heroic times never used tallow, or, to speak more properly, grease, but to rub and soften things which time had hardened b. With respect to wax, although they knew it, they employed it for quite another use than to burn *. As to oil, they incontestably never used it but
to anoint and rub themselves... I confess, that lamps being • fo ancient in Asia and in Egypt as we have seen',
astonishing that the knowledge of them had not as yet got into Greece at the time of the war of Troy, but their ignorance in this respect is not less certain.
it is very
Of the culture of fruit-trees.
T is certain that the Greeks did not apply very early
to the culture of fruit-trees. Figs and pears appear to
2 Ad Odyff. 1.19. V. 34.
a Trey. Mars. 1721. p. 373. Homer only signs what Minerva took to light Ulysses with, by the word húzvor. It is certain, that, in the ages posterior to Homer, they conftantly understood by dúxvos, a lamp; but I do not think, that, in Homer, that word ought to have the famé signification; for he never speaks of oil for giving light. I should think then that réxros, in this passage, means a sort of chafing-dish, where they put little pieces of lighted wood. Moreover, this is the only time that the term dúxuos is found in Homer.
o See Odyff. 1. 21. V. 178. &c. * They covered with wax, nips, tablets of wood to write on, &c. The only time it is mentioned in Homer, is on account of Ulysses, who, the poet says, used wax to stop the ears of his companions, to hinder them from hearing the voice of the Syrens. Odys. 1. 12. v. 173, 5 Part. 1. b. 2. chap. 1. art. 4,
be the first sort of fruits which they knewd: we may add to these apples. We indeed fee fig-trees, pear-trees, and apple trees in the description, which Homer gives of the orchard of Laertes, father of Ulysses. Figs particularly were regarded as the first aliment of agreeable taste which the Greeks used. The different traditions which these people have propagated about the epoch in which they had known this fruit, prove, as I have already said, that the first principles of agriculture were very anciently known in Greece; that this art had suffered interruptions. Some in reality carry back the knowledge of the fig tree to Bacchus, and place that event under Pandion 1.", who reigned at Athens 1463 years before Christ. Others give this honour to Ceresi, whose arrival in Greece they fix in the reign of Erechtheus k, 1426 years before the Christian æra. But, following another tradition, the Greeks had known the nigtree long before these épochs. This tradition imported, that Syceus, one of the Titans, son of the earth, being pursued by Jupiter, the tender mother had made the fig-tree come out of her bosom to serve for an asylum and the nourilhinent at the same time of this well-beloved fon 1.,
All these variations make us fee that the Greeks had received some knowledge of agriculture under the dominion of the Titans. The troubles which arose upon the deat!! of these princes, made them neglect the culture of the earth, which the new colonies that came out of Egypt and Phænicia restored again to honour in Greece, about the commencement of the ages we are now running over.
We cannot enter into any detail of tlie manner in which the Greeks cultivated fruit-trees in the heroic times. There is nothing can instruct us in it: I think they were at that time very ignorant in this part of agriculture. They have not thought fit to reduce it into precepts. I fancy I havé
d Ælian. var. hist. 1. 3. c. 39.; Plut. t. 2. p. 323. A.
Ody. 1. 24. V. 337.60. f Athen. I. 3. C. 2, p. 74. 6 Athen. ç. 5: p. 78.
\ Apollod. 1. 3. p. 197. i Paul. 1. 1. c. 37. p. 89. } Marin. Oxon. ep, 12. • Athen. 1. 3. C. 5.p. ;8.
B b 2