Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

suggested. A mere comparison of all the published interpre. tations will show that the true meaning of more than threefourths of the inscription may be regarded as perfectly clear and certain. My observations will therefore be confined to the more plausible renderings of the difficult and doubtful portions, and in remarking on them I shall endeavor to be as concise as the nature of the topic will allow.

The repetition of the date of the king's death in numeral characters, after writing it out in full—the very practice resorted to for increased certainty in modern times—shows, as Dietrich well observes, that we have here, as in the Marseilles inscription, an illustration of the commercial experience and accurate business habits of the Phoenicians.

The first really difficult passage commences with the last end of the second line. The interpretation adopted is that of Gildemeister, who renders : 'I was snatched away before my time (comp. Jny nba Eccl. vii. 17) among those who look for (length of) days; then was I laid to rest (n927 i.q. Heb. "712277); without a son I was brought to silence (nrin i. q. Heb. "na ):' meaning that, while entertaining a reasonable expectation of a long life, he died prematurely without posterity. This interpretation, it is true, is not so simple as to carry instant conviction of its correctness; yet it consists of words and meanings author. ized by Hebrew usage, and is grammatically constructed: taken altogether, it is the most satisfactory yet proposed. As for the word non, it clearly denotes, says Dietrich," "something artifi. cially dug or hollowed out; and as the sarcophagi* in Phænicia and Syria consist of a block of stone chiselled out, and a stone lid, it evidently means the stone trough which can thus be closed."

The word "23p, in line 4, has been variously explained; but the only interpretations which seem to require notice here are those which derive it from the Talmudic bp, and render my curse, imprecatory prohibition, or adjuration, or which regard it as the Syriac wsalg 'I myself.' "The words na sana ya ng 7237," says Munk, "evidently begin a new sentence, and can by no means be attached to what precedes, as several interpreters have thought, for it is perfectly evident that here, as in lines 6, 10, 11, 20, the word nabrana is opposed to b7. This being the case, we must give up the idea of seeing in bap the Syriac word Kools 'person,' and of translating app by 'my person, myself.'” The word brip figures in the Mishna among different expressions used in making vows or oaths, and which, according to the statement of the Talmudists, were borrowed from the language of the heathen (Babyl. Talmud, tract Nedarim, fol. 10). Hence nothing is more

VOL. VII.

natural than to render 25p by 'my adjuration,' the suffix showing that we have a substantive here. It was first suggested by Prof. Ewald that the word noon is not to be taken precisely in the sense of the Hebrew 7an 'kingdom,' as it had been by preceding interpreters, but rather in that of 'magistracy,' i. e. 'magistrates. This idea, that the word denotes a superior class of persons, in opposition to the common people, has been adopted by all the subsequent interpreters, who render variously royal persons' (Bargès), 'royal race' (Munk), 'nobility,' i. e. 'nobles' (Levy). Munk says: “The word naban designates the 'royal family' or all those in authority, to whom are opposed the common people,' designated by the term 678, just as 678 is opposed to bring 'princes' (Ps. Ixxxii. 7), and 678 to 132 (Ps. xlix. 3) and to burn (Prov. viii. 4)."

The best explanation of the obscure passage after the words wpao sa in line 5, appears decidedly to be that of Prof. Dietrich, who renders: 'nor seek with us treasures, as with us there are no treasures. The expression 75, i. q. Heb. 752 by or with us,' corresponds precisely to the 73 to us' of line 18. The word bra he renders treasures,' and derives it from the Heb. nona 'to divide, apportion, allot;' whence ? ' lot, fortune,' and 452 'por.. tion. On this Munk observes: “The group 632233 appears at first somewhat difficult, and has been variously interpreted. The most natural explanation, it seems to me, is that of M. Dietrich, adopted also. by the Abbé Bargès. I had fixed upon it myself, before becoming acquainted with the translation of these two scholars, and M. Dérenbourg had arrived at the same solution, This concurrence of opinions seems to prove that there is more in it than a mere conjecture. Accordingly I read ban 72, i. e. 69922793, and render: let them not seek treasures by us.' The word 6737? (plur. of 792 'the weight of a mina') might be used to denote large quantities of silver or gold, treasures ; just as in the Mishna niya (plur. of 797 copper coin') is used for money in general. The ancient historians have recorded many facts which show that under certain circumstances tombs were rifled in the hope of finding treasures in them." This is fully elucidated by Dietrich, who has collected many interesting proofs of the fact, with specimens of similar adjurations in ancient epitaphs.

is i. q. Heb. 13. 'for' (so the Duc de Luynes); # is a negative, i. q. Heb. 78 used with participles, and also * (so Dietrich), and bw pass. part. On iz (Dietrich), or act. bi (Munk). As for the construction, comp. 35 by big 4718? and no man layeth it to heart.' Is. lvii. 1.“

The great difficulty in interpreting the first portion of line 6 is how to reconcile it with the similar passage in l. 20. If we

as the elevated base of גב considering ,ואל יעמס נב משכב ז read

[ocr errors]

as suggested by myself, it is necessary to suppose an ellipsis of the particle 'or' or 'and' before the word ng cover;' and if, with all the later interpreters, we regard 1 (of 22] as a suffix, and render 'let them not lay upon me the cover of another resting. place,' then the passage in line 21, 'let them not lay upon me' or burden me,' is imperfect, and requires an ellipsis which, although adopted by several, is so violent as to be altogether inadmissible. The difficulty, however, can be removed by considering 33 to be synonymous with my, which its etymology as given by Dietrich readily allows, and rendering it 'top' or roof. We have, then, the following terms applied to the different parts of the tomb: 55P, the excavated sepulchre or burial vault; own, the couch, or entire coffin, as in 2 Chron. xvi. 14 (Schlottmann contends that it is the interior space in which the body is deposited); on, the hollowed part forming the trough or body of the sarcophagus;

[blocks in formation]

The desire to know more of early Muslim history, especially as determined by the character and actions of Muhammad, has naturally directed attention, of late years, to Muslim tradition as the most important source of knowledge on this subject, next-to the Ķurân; and the working of this mine, with such critical tact as Weil, Sprenger, and Muir have brought to the task, has led to very valuable results. Meanwhile, however, the system of tradition developed among the Muslims themselves into a special science, and constituting one of the main foundations of their faith and jurisprudence, has been, comparatively, little dwelt upon. It seems, indeed, to have been deliberately slighted, in the praiseworthy earnestness of criticism to avoid being led by it to erroneous conclusions. Yet, without surrendering our right of independent judgment upon the veraciousness of traditionary statements, we may certainly profit by investigating the system within which they have been enshrined and handed down to us—even if it be regarded only as a manifestation of the genius and grade of scientific culture of the people to whom we are indebted for them; and as constituting an indispensable basis, whether well or ill laid, of actual doctrinal belief and legal decision in all Muslim countries—the source of multifarious laws, usages, and dogmas of the followers of Muḥammad, supplementary to the Kurân, like the Jewish Mishna in relation to the Scriptures of the Old Testament. With this view are offered for consideration the following contributions to our knowledge of the science of Muslim tradition, which have been gathered from orig. inal sources, either only in manuscript or so little accessible as to be nearly equivalent to unpublished authorities we say, contributions, because we do not pretend to have exhausted the subject.

The sources from which we have chiefly drawn are: 1. The Șaḥīḥ of 'al-Bukhârî, in MS., being the copy numbered

28 in the Bibliothèque de M. le Bn Silvestre de Sacy, Tome 3me; where, however, the notice of this manuscript erroneously represents it as containing only a portion of the work. The

author died A. H. 256; 2. Muslim's preface to his collection of traditions, 'al-Musnad

'-Şahîh, lithographed at Dehli. This author died A. H. 261; 3. A treatise on the principles of tradition by the Saiyid 'Ali

'aj-Jurjânî, lithographed at Dehli in 1849-50, and prefixed to an edition of 'at-Tarmidhî traditions, 'aj-Jama' 'as-Şahîh, also

lithographed at Debli. 'Aj-Jurjânî died A. H. 816; 4. An introductory explanation of some of the technical terms

of the science of tradition by 'Abd 'al-Hakk, prefixed to an edition of Mishkât 'al-Maşabiħ lithographed at Dehli in 185152. The author was associated with Sprenger in editing a Dictionary of the Technical Terms used in the Sciences of the

Musalmans, which forms a part of the Bibliotheca Indica: these we shall refer to, in our citations, by the letters B, M, J, and H, respectively.

Haji Khalfah* defines the science of tradition to be the means of a discriminating knowledge of the sayings of the Prophet, together with his actions and his circumstanceswiele weil, nebo si Sigit n ie pals gely—and divides it into two parts: 1. the science of the reporting of tradition

which treats of the conditions under whichالعلم برواية لدين

[ocr errors]

العلم بدراية لادین-the science of the understanding of tradition

-which treats of the meaning of a particular tradition, as ascertained by its language, by reference to the fixed principles of Muslim law, or by the analogy of known circumstances relating to the Prophet. The definitions and statements which we have here to present relate chiefly to the former part of the science.

The ultimate criterion of the quality of the report of any tradition is made up of the personal character and attainments of its reporters. It will be proper, then, to begin by distinguishing several grades of traditionists, as we find them stated in the Dictionary of the Technical Terms etc., already referred to:t 1. the inquirer

الطالب وهو المبتدی الراغب فيه

“ the inquirer, that is, the beginner, the seeker after tradition”—

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »