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make not the least hesitation to ascribe these intestine divisions of the Cretans to the distinction of professions, which had place in Crete as well as in Egypt',
We cannot sufficiently praise the attention Minos had with respect to magistrates and aged persons. He not only required that they should have for them the respect and regard which were their due ; but further, left they should fail, he forbade, in case they should remark any defects in them, to take notice of them before the young menm. He also used all the precautions which human prudence could suggest, to inspire the youth with the greatest refpect and attachment for the maxims and customs of the ftate. The youth were not allowed to call in doubt, nor even to put in dispute the wisdom or utility of the rules by which they were instructed. This was what Plato found most admirable in the laws of Minos".
In order to inspire the Cretans with a most profound veneration for his ordinances, Minos often retired into a cave, where he boasted of having familiar conversations with Jupiter , But indeed he was neither the first, nor the only one of the ancient legislators, who thought they ought to be authorised by fome divinity to make their laws be respected. Mneves, one of the most renowned and most ancient legislators of Egypt, attributed his to Hermes, otherwise called Mercury P. Lycurgus took care to avail himself of the suffrage of Apollo, before he began the reformation of Sparta 9. Zaleucus, legiflator of the Locrians, said he was inspired by Minervak. Zathraustes, among the Arimafpes, declared that he had his ordinances from a genius adored by these people s. Zamolxis boasted to the Getes liis intimate communications with the goddess Vesta . Numa amused the Romans with his conversations with the nymph
? Arift. polit. 1.7. C. 10. See upon this article part 3. book. I. c. 2. m Plato de leg. l. 1. p. 775.
n Ibid. • Hom. Odyff 1. 19. V. 179.; Plato in Minoe, p. 568. ; Horat. carm. I. 1. od. •28.; Diod. 1. 1. p. 105. ; Strabo, l. 16. p. 1105.; Val. Max. l. 1. c. 2. p. 37. ; Plut. in Numa, p. 62. D.
P Diod. l. 1. p. 105.
9 Ibid. loco cit.; Strabo, 1, 16. p. 1105. ; Plut. t. 2. p. 543. A.; Val. Max. 1. 1.C. 2. p. 38.
Diod.), 1. p. 105.; Val. Max.1.1.C 2. p. 38.; Plut. in Numa, p. 62. D. I Diod. loco cit,
: Ibid. ; Strabo. I. 16.7. 1106. VOL. II.
Egeria . We might quote many more examples. These facts, just to mention them, invincibly demonstrate that the primordial tradition of the existence of God was never toit, fince, in all the known world, this belief was established time immemorial, and that so deeply, that the first legillators would avail themselves of it, to give to their laws a reputation more than human x,
The grand defect of Minos, in his political institutions, a defect into which Lycurgus fell after him, was not to have regarded any thing but war. This was the only end which the Cretan legislator seems to have proposed y. We have seen that it was solely by this motive that he was die rected in the education of the youth. By a consequence of the same motive, the Cretans did not cultivate their lands themselves. Slaves known in antiquity by the name of Pe. riccians, were charged with this bufiness. They were obra liged every year to pay a certain fum to their masters 2, from which were first levied the sums necessary for the exis gences of the state ,
If the laws of Minos were good to make the Cretans excellent soldiers, they do not appear to have been equally proper- to regulate their manners and their sentiments: Each citizen was obliged to marry b; but with what aftonishment shall we not look on a legiflator who could approve of a means fo infamous as that which the Cretans inade ule of, left they fhould have too many children ? Whether in Crete the fertility or extent of the lands did not answer to the number of inhabitants, or that their bodies ivere more robust, or the women were more fruitful, Minos authorised, by his laws, a paffion which nature disavows, and permitted an excess which modesty never mentions but with horror
u Plut. in Numa. p. 62. D.; Dion. Halic. I. 2. p. 122.; Val. Max. I. 1.c.2. * See Diod. l. 1. p.105.; Strabo, l. 16. p. i 105. 106.; Plut. in Numa, p. 62.; Dion. Halicarn. I. 2. p. 122. and the tract of opinion, t. 4. p.513.
y Plato, de leg. l. 1. p. 769. &c.
2 Arist. polit. 1. 2. C. 10.; Strabo, 12. p. 817.; Plut. in Lacon. p. 239.; Athen. 1.6. p. 263. & 264. a Arift. loco cit. o Strabo, 1. 10. p. 739. A.
c Arift. l. 2.c. 10. p.333.; Strabo, 1. 10.p. 739. & 740. Athen.l. 13. p. 672.; See also the manner in which they punished adultery in Crete. Ælian var. hift. 1:12. 6.12
Have endeavoured in the first part of this work to give an idea of the origin and discovery of the arts, I hould
have liked to have been able to have followed them from age to age, and fixed the degree of persection, to which they were carried in each century. The deficiency of monuments has not perunitted me to execute this project. We see only through the obscurity which surrounds the hi. ftory of the people of Asia and that of the Egyptians, thae these people knew very early many arts, and that their first progress was very rapid. We really find, a few ages after the deluge, the Egyptians, and some countries of Asia, in possession of many of the sciences which are the portion of policed people. The relation which I am going to make of the works executed by these nations, in tlie times which at present fix our attention, will be suficient to convince us.
With respect to the Greeks, their knowledge in the arts was then very different from those of the people of Asia and the Egyptians. They were only, at the time we speak of at present, in their first elements. Greece languished many ages in ignorance and barbarity.
Of the state of Arts in Asia and Egypt.
Have thought fit to put in one and the same fection,
what I have to say in this second part of the state of arts in Asia and Egypt. The people of these countries seem to have advanced almost equally in the career of human knowledge. Their taite appears to have been almoft the fame ; I will not therefore make separate articles for Asia and Egypt.
"HE history of the people of Asia, in the ages which
are the object of this second part, furnisl us with nothing in particular of the state of agriculture properly so called. I think we can only perceive some traces which give room to think, that the art of gardening was then much cultivated in some countries of that part of the world. The Syrians are said to have understood gardening perfectlyd, a proof that they had applied themselves to it a long time. We might say as much of the Phrygians. The gardens of Midas were very famous in antiquity; but there now remains no description of them.
Herodotus, who speaks of them, contents himself with saying, that there grew roses of a great size and admirable sielle Homer will give us more lights on this subject. The description of the gardens of Alcinous will let us know what was the taste of the people of Asia, in this part
of agriculture. The reader will perhaps be astonished at the relation which I establish between Asia and the ille of the Phæacians; but I think it sufficiently authorised *.
d Plin. 1, 20. fect. 16. p. 192. EL.8. n. 138.
* To this time they have always taken the ine of Corfu for the isle of the Phaeacians, fo famous in the poems of Homer. Yet I do not know if the reasons on which they found it are absolutely decisive. I think, on the contrary, facts may be found in the text of Homer, which will not suffer us to place the ise of the Phaeacians in Europe.
The sole motive on which they establish the identity of the isle of the Phaeacians with that of Corfu, is its nearness to Ithaca. It is not difficult to de. Itroy this conjecture, and to thew it is supported on very weak foundations.
Homer has sown too many fables and put too many contradictions in the voyages of Ulyffes, for its being possible to determine with any sort of certainty, the countries where he would make his hero land. Geographic exactness was not the end the poet proposed in the Odyssee. Every moment he displaces countries, and makes his routes, just as he thinks proper. In vain would we endeavour toi.. d most of the countries he speaks of; the tria! would be fruitless. ! hall mention, for exainple, the isle of Oea,
Homer is the most ancient author who has spoken expressly of gardens, and who took pleasure in describing them. His works then can instruct us in the species of trees and plants which were known and cultivated in these earliest times. We likewise find there the manner in which their gardens were disposed.
where the poet places the abode of Circe. Geographers pretend that it is the promontory Circei, situated on the western coast of Italy. But what resemblance can one find between the isle of Oea of Homer and the promontory Circei ?
1. Homer says plainly that Circe lived in an isle, and not upon a promontoTy. 2. There never was a city of Oea in Italy. 3. Homer says the isle of Circe was situated in the ocean. We'are not ignorant how far the promontory Circei is diftant from it. Lastly, How can one reconcile the position of this promontory, situated on the western coast of Italy, with the dancing of Aurora which Homer places in the ile of Oea, where he says moreover, Me faw the sun rise? Odyff. 1.12, init.
I know very well that Strabo, and those who defend the geography of the Odyffee, have endeavoured to reconcile, by the help of an ancient tradition, the contradictions I mention. But we fee that they are every moment obli. ged to do violence to the most common notions of geography. They are obliged to overturn all the ideas we can have of it.
But, fay they, the isle of the Phaeacians cannot be far from Ithaca, fince Ulyftes was only one day in going to it.
To draw any induction from this reasoning, we should be assured that Homer never loses probability on this subject. Yet we see that when Ulyffes parts from Circe to go to Hell, the poet makes him cross the ocean in one day. With regard to his crossing from the isle of the Phaeacians to Ithaca, the marvellous which Homer has spread over all that recital, does not permit us to infer any thing as to the distance of places. He explains it clearly enough, since he says, that it was not with the vessels of the Phaeacians as with those of other nations. These ships, says he, have neither rudder nor pilot. They are endowed with knowledge. They of themselves know the way to all cities and to all countries; they very soon make the longest voyages. Odyff. 1.8. v. 556.&c.
I think this passage sufficiently destroys all the inductions which they pretend to draw from the proximity of the ise of Corfu to that of Ithaca. Besides, they do not find any conformity, any relation between the name of Scherie, which Homer gives to the isle of the Phaeacians, and that of Corcyra or Corfu. Let us now shew that the state in which the poet says the ille of Phacacia was when Ulysses landed there, does not in any respect agree with the state the isle of Corfu must have been in the heroic ages.
Homer describes the isle of the Phaeacians as a country where there reigned at the time of the war of Troy an opulence, a luxury, and magnificence, certainly at that time ynknown in Europe. I do not speak of the palace of Alcinous, although Homer seems to have exhausted himself to give us the highest idea of it. But 1 Mall insist on the grandeur and decoration of the public squares, on that of their ports, on the beauty and number of their