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either to disprove the existence of this strange faculty, or to establish it on a basis that shall command universal belief, the reader must exercise his own judginent, and either receive it as an incomprehensible fact, or discard it as an unaccountable fiction. It will perhaps be readily admitted by those who contend for its reality, that they cannot fairly, op rational principles, account either for its existence or mode of operation; but those who resolve it into the workings of imagination, must be well aware, tbat this concession can furnish no argument in favour of its non-existence. The faculties of our minds, and the manner in which they receive impressions from distant objects, are but imperfectly known; the process, therefore, admitting it to be a reality, may not in itself be more mysterious than that by which images are received through the orgaps of bodily vision; and if the faculty were as generally diffused and exercised in the former case as in the latter, we should look on both with equal indifference, as common events resulting from established causes.

The period may perhaps arrive, when the phenomena of the human mind may be much better understood than they are at present; and it may then be satisfactorily seen, why a surprising power of mental disceroment should be incorporated in one constitution, while it is withheld from others of the same species. With the operation of natural causes, in all their variety and extent, we are but very imperfectly acquainted ; our inability therefore to find an adequate agent within the empire of pature, will no more justify us in rejecting as fabulous, a phenomenon for which we can find no adequate cause, than it will sanction our appeals to supernatural agency when we wish to draw a veil over human ignorance.

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BELOMANCY. This signifies divination by arrows. Belomancy was practised in the East, but chiefly among the Arabians. It was performed in different manners. One was, to mark a parcel of arrows, and to put eleven or more of them into a bag ; these were afterwards drawn out, and according as it was marked or not, they judged of future events. Another way was, to have three arrows, upon ove of which was written,“ God orders it me;" upon another, “God forbids it me;" and upon the third, nothing at all. These were put into a quiver, out of which, they drew one of the three at random : if it happened to be that with the first inscription, the thing they consulted about was to be done ; if it chanced to be that with the second inscription, it was let alone ; but if it proved that without any, they drew over again. Belomancy is an ancient practice, and probably that which Ezekiel mentions, chap. xxi. 21. At least, St. Jerome understands it so, and observes that the practice was frequent among the Assyrians and Babylonians. Something like it is also mentioned in Hosea, chap. iv. only that staves are mentioned instead of arrows, which is rather that of demancy than belomancy. Grotius, as well as Jerome, confounds the two together, and shews that it prevailed among the Magi, Chaldeans, and Scythians, whence it passed to the Sclavonians, and thence to the Germans, who, as Tacitus observes, made use of it.

692

PART VII.

E XTRAORDINARY BUILDINGS,

&c.

PANTHEON.

Tuis is a beautiful edifice at Rome, anciently dedicated to all the gods, but now converted into a church, and dedicated to the Virgin and all the martyrs. It has been generally supposed to have been built by Agrippa, son-in-law to Augustus, because it has the following inscription on the frieze of the portico : “M. Agrippa, L. F. Cos. Tertium fecit.” Several antiquarians and artists, however, hare supposed that the Pantheon existed in the times of the commonwealth ; and that it was only embellished by Agrippa, who added the portico. Be this as it will, the Pantheon, when perfected by Agrippa, was an exceedingly magnificent building. The form of its body is round or cylindrical, and its roof or dome is spherical; it is one hun. dred and forty-four feet diameter within; and the height of it, from the pavement to the grand aperture on the top, through which it receives the light, is just as much. It is of the Corintbian order. The inner circumferenče is divided into seven grand niches, wrought in the thickness of the wall : six of these are flat at the top; but the seventh, opposite to the entrance, is arched. Before each niche are two columns of antique yellow marble, fluted, and of one entire block, making in all the finest in Rome. The whole wall of the temple, as high as the grand cornice inclusive, is cased with divers sorts of precious marble in compartments. The frieze is entirely of porphyry.

Above the grand cornice arises an attic, in which were wrought, at equal distances, fourteen oblong square niches. Between each niche were four marble pilasters, and between the pilasters marble tables of various kinds. This attic had a complete entablature, but the cornice projected less than that of the grand order below. Immediately from the cornice spring the spherical roofs, divided by bands which cross each other like the meridians and parallels of an artificial terrestrial globe. The spaces between the bands increase in size as they approach the top of the roof; to which, however, they do not reach, there being a considerable plain space between them and the great opening. That so bold a roof might be as light as possible, the architect formed the substance of the spaces between the bands of nothing but lime and pumice stones. The walls below were decorated with lead and brass, and works of carved silver over them, and the roof was covered on the outside with plates of gilded bronze. There was an ascent from the springing of the roof to the very summit, by a flight of seven stairs. The portico is composed of sixteen columns of granite, four feet in diameter, eight of which stand in

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front, with an equal columniation all along. The ascent to the portico is by eight or nine steps.

Such was the Pantheon, the richness of which induced Pliny to rank it among the wonders of the world. The eruption of Vesuvius, in the reign of Tiberius, having damaged the Pantheon considerably, it was repaired by Domitian and Adrian. But the Pantheon is more indebted to Septimus Severus than to any one since its erection. Septimus bestowed essential reparation upon it, as appears from an inscription upon the architrave. This temple subsisted in all its grandeur till the incursion of Alaric. Zosymus relates, that the Romans having engaged to furnish this barbarian with 3000lbs. of gold, and 5000lbs. of silver, upon condition that he should depart from their walls, and it being inipossible to raise those sums, they stripped the temples of their statues and ornaments of gold and silver. Genseric king of the Vandals, thirty-nine years after, took away part of their marbles, and loaded one of his ships with statues. On this occasion the inestimable works of Diogeoes became the prey of this barbarian.

The Christian emperors had issued orders for demolishing the Pagan temples; but the Romans spared the Pantheon, which suffered no damage from the zeal of the pontiffs, or the indignation of the saints, before the first siege of Rome by Alaric. It remained so rich till about A. D. 655, as to excite the avarice of Constantine II. who came from Constantinople, and pillaged the Pantheon of its brazen coverings, which he transported to Syracuse, where they soon fell into the hands of the Saracens.

About fifty years before this, pope Boniface IV. had obtained the Pantheon of the emperor Phocas, to make a church of it. The artists of these parts spoiled every thing they laid their hands upon. After the devastations committed by the barbarians, Rome was contracted within a narrow compass. The Pantheon standing at the entrance of the Campus Martius, was surrounded with houses, which spoiled the fine prospect of it; and some of them were built close to its walls. Pedlars' sheds were built within its portico, and the intercolumniations were bricked up, to the irreparable damage of the matchless pillars, of which some lost part of their capitals, and others were chiselled out six or seven inches deep, and as many feet high, to let in posts. This disorder continued till the pontificate of Eugene IV. who had all the houses cleared away, when the miserable barracks in the portico were knocked down. Benedict II. covered it with lead, which Nicholas V. renewed in a better style. Raphael Urban, who had no equal as a painter, and as an architect no superior, left a considerable sum for the reparation of the Pantheon, where his tomb is placed. La Vagua, Udino, Hannibal Caracci, Flamingo, Vacca, and Archangelo Corelli, did the same.

Pope Urban VIII. was a protector and practiser of the arts. He repaired it; but while be built up with one hand, he pulled down with the other. He caused two belfries, of wretched taste, to be erected on the ancient front-work, and divested the portico of all the remains of its ancient grandeur, viz. the brazen coverture of the crossbeams, which amounted to a prodigious quantity. This pope, who was of the family of Barbarini, presented as much of this metal to his nephew as was sufficient for the decoration of bis new palaces, op which occasion this pasquinade was stuck up:

Quod non fecerunt Barbari fecere Barbarini. Alexander VII. did what Urban had neglected to do. He ordered search to be made for pillars to match those of the portico of the Pantheon, and some were found of the very same model. He also caused all the old houses before the portico to be pulled down, and the rubbish to be cleared away which covered the steps and the bases of the pillars. Clement IX. enclosed the portico with iron rails. Several later popes have added to its decorations, which were all in the taste of the times they were done in, and the body of the edifice and its architecture gained nothing from them.

ANTIQUITIES OF BENEVENTO, IN ITALY. The arch of Trajan, now called the Porta Aurea, forms one of the entrances to the city. This arch, though it appears to great disadvantage, from the walls and houses that hem it iu on all sides, is in tolerable preservation, and is one of the most magnificent remains of Roman grandeur to be met with out of Rome. The architecture and sculpture are both singularly beautiful. This elegant monument was erected A. D. 114, about the commencement of the Parthian war, and after the submission of Decebalus had entitled Trajan to the surname of Dacicus. The order is Composite ; the materials, white marble; the height, sixty palms; length, thirty-seven and a half; and depth, twenty-four. It consists of a single arch, the span of which is twenty palms, the height thirty-five. On each side of it, two fluted columns, upon a joint pedestal, support an entablement and an attic. The intercolumpiations and frieze are covered with basso-relievos, representing the battles and triumphs of the Dacian war. Ia the attic is the inscription. As the sixth year of Trajan's consulate, marked on this, is also to be seen on all the different columps he erected along his new road to Brundusium, it is probable that the arch was built to commemorate so beneficial ani undertaking. Except the old metropolis of the world, no city in Italy can boast of so many remaios of ancient sculpture as Benevento. Scarce a wall is built of any thing but altars, tombs, columns, and remains of entablatures,

The cathedral is a clumsy edifice, in a style of Gothic, or rather Lombard architecture. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built in the sixth century, enlarged in the eleventh, and altered considerably in the thirteenth, when archbishop Panger adorned it with a new front. To obtain a sufficient quantity of marble for this purpose, he spared neither sarcophagus, altar, por inscription, but fixed them promiscuously and irregularly in the walls of bis barbarous structure. Three doors, a type of the Trinity, according to the rules established by the mystical virtuosi of those ages, open into this facade. That in the centre is of bronze, embossed with the life of Christ, and the effigies of the Beneventine metropolitan, with all his suffragan bishops. The inside offers nothing to the curious observer but

TEMPLE OF JUPITER AT OLYMPIA,

695

columns, altars, and other decorations, executed in the most inelegant style that any of the church-building barbarians ever adopted. In the courtyard stands a small Egyptian obelisk, of red granite, crowded with bieroglyphics. In the adjoining square is a fountain, and a very indifferent statue of Benedict XIII. long archbishop of Benevento,

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TEMPLE OF JUPITER AT OLYMPIA. This temple was of the Doric order, sixty-eight feet high to the pediment, ninety-five wide, and two hundred and thirty long; the cell encompassed with the columns. It was erected with the country stone; the roof was not of earth baked, but of Pentelie marble, the slabs disposed as tiles; the way to it was up a winding staircase. The two pediments were enriched with sculpture, and one had over the centre a statue of Victory gilded, and underneath a votive buckler of gold. At each comer was a gilded vase. Above the columns were fixed 21 gilded bucklers, offered, at the conclusion of the Achean war, by the Roman general Mummius. The gates in the two fronts were of brass, and over them were carved the Labours of Hercules. Within the cell were double colonnades, between which was the approach to the image.

The Jupiter of Olympia inmortalized its maker, Phidias. It was of ivory and gold, the head crowned with olive. In the right hand was a statue of Victory; in the left a Rowered sceptre, composed of various metals, on wbich was an eagle. The sandals were of gold, as also the vestment, which was curiously embossed with lilies and animals. The throne was gold inlaid with ebony and ivory, and studded with jewels, intermixed with paintings, and exquisite figures in relievo. The pillars between the feet contributed to its support. Before it were walls, serving as a fence, decorated principally with the exploits of Hercules. The portion opposite the door was of a blue colour. It was the office of a family descended from Phidias, called Phædruptæ, or the polisher, to keep the work bright and clean. The veil or curtain was cloth rich with the purple dye of Phænicia, and with Assyrian embroidery, an offering to king Antiochus, and was let down from above by strings.

The image appeared higher and broader than it measured. Its magnitude was such, that though the temple was very large, the artist seemed to have erred in the proportions. · The god, though sitting, nearly touched the ceiling with his head. A part of the pavebent before it was of black marble, enclosed in a rim of Parian or white, where they poured oil to preserve the ivory.

The altar of Jupiter Olympius was of great antiquity, and covered with ashes from the thighs of the victims, which were carried up

and .consumed on the top with wood of the white poplar-tree. The ashes also of the Prytaneum, in which a perpetual fire was kept on a hearth, were removed annually on a fixed day, and spread on it, being first mingled with water from the Alpheus. The cement was made with that fluid only; and therefore this river was esteemed the most friendly of any to the god. On each side of the altar were stone steps. Its

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