As the Nigris Turns (A Tale of Endless Hope Book 1)

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Mind, the universal mind, is now every where in action, producing new and endless combinations, political, moral, and material; and, though the interests of a few, or the lingering prejudices of the many, may oppose and delay its march, still as the martyr of physical truth was heard to mutter when he left the tribunal of his inquisitors for his dungeon e pure si muove.

Much, however, as has been effected, that progress serves but to disclose the more that remains to be done. Society has become complicated more rapidly than philosophy and legislation can follow : the actions of man upon man, and those of the species upon nature, have multiplied faster than observation can co-ordinate, or reason control ; until a positive advance has assumed the appearance of a relative retrogradation. A large and formidable sum of suffering, therefore, still subsists in the bosom of the most civilised communities, untouched by science, unmitigated by laws.

Crimes necessitated and inevitable, are still committed with a fearful regularity, and in preassignable proportions. The arithmetic of statistics can foreshew the numbers of the victims of violence, and determine the instruments of its perpetration 1. It can calculate the minds that must degrade, the hearts which must break, the felons who must suffer, the suicides who must perish.

The future murderer, while yet smiling in innocence on his mother's bosom, is already surrounded by the circumstances which foredoom him to crime; and the fair and blooming hope of many a parent's heart must tread her fated path to shame and reprobation, because institutions are still unexplored, and laws are at war with the ends for which they were enacted.

There are, then, still unmastered, some great impediments to the working of the social machinery; there are unfitnesses and incongruities obstructing its play, and clogging its movements, that are yet scarcely suspected. The discordant fragments of elder systems still remain, which work not smoothly with a newer principle of action. In the great and general progress of knowledge, much has been neglected, much overstepped; and, amidst the most beneficial reforms and sagacious improvements, great moral incoherences still linger, which require to be eleminated, before the interests of humanity can be based upon a system, consonant with nature, and conducive to general happiness.

But where lies the oversight? Can it be one, astounding in its obviousness, and all-important in its mischiefs? While codes have been reformed, institutes rationalised, and the interests of orders and classes have been minutely attended to, has one half of the human species been left, even to the present moment, where the first rude arrangements of a barbarous society and its barbarous laws had placed it.

Is woman still a thing of. Even now, when supremacy has been transferred from muscle to mind, has that most subtle spirit, that being of most mobile fibre, that most sensitive and apprehensive organization—has she, whom God has placed, to be a "mate and a help to man," at the head of his creation, the foundress of nations, the embellisher of races V, has she alone been left behind, at the very starting-post of civilization, while around her all progresses and improves?

And is man still "the master," and does he, by a misdirected self-love, still perpetuate her ignorance and her dependance, when her emancipation and improvement are most wanting, as the crowning element of his own happiness? If, in the progress of refinement, he has brightened instead of breaking the chain of his slave, he has only linked a more shewy nucleus of evil to his own destiny, and bound up, with his noblest views of national and social development, a principle that too often thwarts the progress and enfeebles the results of his best reforms.

If, in the first era of society, woman was the victim of man's physical superiority, she is still, in the last, the subject of laws, in the enactment of which she has had no voice-amenable to the penalties of a code, from which she derives but little protection. While man, in his first crude attempts at jurisprudence, has surrounded the sex with restraints and disabilities, he has left its natural rights unguarded, and its liberty unacknowledged.

Merging the very existence of woman in his own, hn has allowed her no separate interest, assigned her no independent possessions : for," says Jhe law- the law of man- the husband is the head of the wife, and all that she has. But, in the other parts of the kingdom, the Persians' blood is now highly refined by frequent admixture with the Georgians and Circassians, two nations which surpass all the world in personal beauty. There is hardly a man of rank in Persia who is no' horn of a Georgian or Circassian mother; and even the king himself is commonly sprung, on the female side, from one or other of these nations.

As it is long since this admixture commenced, the Persian women have become very beautiful, the men tall, noble, and graceful. Jielongs to him Even the fruit of her own labour is lorn from her, unless she is protected by the solitary blessedness of a derided but innocent celibacy, or by an infamous frailty. Thus, to adopt the barbarous jargon of these barbarous laws, as femme sole, or femme couverle, she is equally the victim of violence and injustice, those universal and invariable attributes of the law of the strongest. Timidly admitting the possible injustice of early institutes, it hesitatingly evades the consequences, and ventures not to touch the principle.

Thus has the destiny of woman become only more complicated and uncertain ; and rights, on which the nature of things has already decided, are kept for years at anxious issue, through the incoherences and contradictions of the machinery by which they have been bolstered, until a life of hope deferred may be worn out, before the industry and intelligence of its defenders can acquire a mastery of the case, and ripen it to a decision 2.

But in vain has opinion, the new depository of power, the antagonist of physical force, opened its tribunals to the wrongs of the aggrieved! Even there her master meets her, citing against her what he calls philosophy and science ; and if, even while these lines are tracing, a scanty measure of partial and reluctant amelioration has been wrung from the legislature, I he exceptional fact has only been made an occasion for the sterner assertion of the outrageous principle.

The natural dependance of the sex on its master, its imputed inaptitude for the higher intellectual pursuits, and presumed incapacity for concentration, are still insisted upon; and, while woman is permitted to cultivate the arts which merely please, and which.

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J,' "1"ls of Married W omen, by. Clancy, Ksq. Educating her for the Harem, but calling on her for the practices of the Portico, man expects from his odalisque the firmness of the stoic, and demands from his servant the exercise of those virtues which, placing the elite of his own sex at the head of its muster-roll, give immortality to the master. He tells her that obscurity is her true glory, insignificance her distinction, ignorance her lot, and passive obedience the perfection of her nature;" yet he expects from her, as the daily and hourly habit of her existence, that conquest over the passions by the strength of reason, that triumph of moral energy over the senses and their appetites, and that endurance of personal privations and self-denials, which with him even under all the excitements of ambition and incentives to renown are qualities of rare exception, the practices of most painful acquirement.

Such has been the destiny of woman amongst the most highly-organized and intellectual of the human races, and in the regions most favourable to their moral development. Among the inferior varieties, and in less temperate regions, she is even yet more degraded and helpless. The object and the victim of a brutal sensuality, her life passes in humilating restriction and debasing ignorance ; while her death is not unusually an act of murderous violence, or of refined torture.

But how has this Pariah of the species, this alien to law, this dupe of fictions and subject of force—how has she felt, how acted, how borne the destiny assigned her? Has she bowed her head to the yoke with tame acquiescence, as one for whose nature it was fitted and adapted? Has she not, under the corrupting influence of oppression, sometimes converted those qualities of her sex, which were designed as the supplement of the intellectual system of the species, as an aid to man in his war with the elements, into weapons against him? Has not her quick apprehension often degenerated into cunning under his misrule?

Has she not, in discovering how little was to he hoped from his justice, succeeded in founding an empire over his passions? And has not man, who denies every right that interferes with his own supremacy, submitted to the spell which undermines it; and, by thus giving influence, direct or indirect, where he has withheld knowledge and denied rights, established an insidious, ignorant tyranny that perpetually thwarts his own designs, injures the best interest of society, and retards its progress to reform?

Still notwithstanding her false position, woman has struggled through all disabilities and degradations, has justified the in-. In all outbursts of mind, in every forward rush of the great march of improvement, she has borne a part; permitting herself to be used as an instrument, without hope of reward, and faithfully fulfilling her mission, without expectation of acknowledgment.

She has, in various ages, given her secret services to her task-master, without partaking in his triumph, or sharing in his success. Her subtlety has insinuated views which man has shrank from exposing, and her adroitness found favour for doctrines, which he had the genius to conceive, but not the art to divulge. Priestess, prophetess, the oracle of the tripod, the sibyl of the cave, the veiled idol of the temple, the shrouded teacher of the academy, the martyr or missionary of a spiritual truth, the armed champion of a political cause, she has been covertly used for every purpose, by which man, when he has failed to reason his species into truth, has endeavoured to fanaticise it into good; whenever mind has triumphed by indirect means over the inertia of masses.

In all moral impulsions, woman has aided and been adopted ; but, her efficient utility accomplished, the temporary part assigned her for temporary purposes performed, she has been ever hurled back into her natural obscurity, and conventional insignificance : no law against her has been repealed, no injury redressed, no right admitted. Alluded to, rather as an incident than a principal in the chronicles of nations, her influence, which cannot be denied, has been turned into a reproach; her genius, which could not be concealed, has been treated as a phenomenon, when not considered as monstrosity!

But where exist the evidences of these merits unacknowledged, of these penalties unrepealed? They are to be found carelessly scattered through all that is known in the written history of mankind, from the first to the last of its indited pages. They may be detected in the habits of the untamed savage, in the traditions of the semi-civilized barbarian! Wherever woman has been, there has she left the track of her humanity, to mark her passage- incidentally impressing the seal of her sensibility and her wrongs upon every phasis of society, and in every region, from Indus to the Pole.

TOWARDS the commencement of the sixteenth- century, the accidents of civilization awakened throughout Europe an universal zeal for maritime discovery. A geographical theory took possession of the public mind, that there stood out, at the southern pole of the earth, some great continent named, before it was discovered, Terra Australis incognita , which, from its mighty extent, deserved to be considered as a fifth division of the globe. Of this continent much was assumed before any thing was proved. Its latitudes were assigned, its importance predetermined ; and some visionary voyagers even believed that they had coasted a part of its shores.

In later times, navigators ascertained that no such continent existed : but, in the vain pursuit, numerous islands were discovered in the mighty ocean of the southern hemisphere, whose aggregate extent was scarcely inferior; and science and research, in replacing the dream of idle speculation by observed fact, in some sense confirmed its conjectures. These islands have received from modern geographers the name of Australasia. The climes and local aspects of this island-continent were infinitely diversified; but all was new, all was original. There was, however, one division which seemed wanting in the foregone conclusions, drawn, of the general beauty and brightness of nature, in that region,—a spot where vegetation was dark and dull, and where animal life bore scarce any resemblance to the types of the other quarters of the globe.

The foliage was coriaceous and spiny ; the fruits ligneous and devoid of nutriment; and nothing recalled the majesty of the virgin forests of the western world, or the rich variety of the vegetable genera of the East. The birds, the quadrupeds, and the fishes, partook equally of these characteristics; the hideous amphibious mole, the frightful wombat, the wild dog that looked and howled a wolf, squirrels which tlew, swans that were black, and various other specimens of helpless deformity and monstrous vitality, proper only to the spells of witchcran-the poetry of disgusting terror.

Nor was man himself an exception : the lord of a soil, which fc. In his person he was all deformity and disproportion; in his intellectual frame he was all density and insensibility. His head was immense and misshapen, his eyes dim and sunk, his brows bushy, and his mouth frightful as that of a crocodile opened extravagantly wide to shew enormous teeth above a prominent lower jaw. His nose was flat, his nostrils wide, his colour swarthy, his hair long and straight, his limbs dwindled, his trunk swollen, and his whole aspect horrible and disgusting.

Thus framed by nature, his appearance was still further degraded by the symbols of brutal taste, and of fierce cruelty, with which he adorned his unsightly person. The teeth of men or of kangaroos were fastened in his gum-clotted hair 5 the bones of fish were stuck through his nostriis ; and incisions made in bis arms and breasts marked his callous insensibility to pain. As huntsman, he still made he hollow of a tree his den ; as fisherman, a hole in the rock his dwelling. Human nature could go no luwer : yet this defective and illconditioned creature, this unideal and unawakened animal, had one strong moral conviction—that of his own superiority over f he female of his own species!

He believed that woman was of another nature from himself, and that he was born her master-she his servant by the divine right uf the strongest. He marked her at the hour of her birth for his slave, by breaking the joints of her fore-fingers; he renewed the covenant of his supremacy in her first youth by knocking out her front teeth; and when he elected this bondslave as the object of his passions, he intimated his preference by spitting in her face, and forcing her to his ben.

Thus affianced through contempt and suffering, the servant submitted, and the master assumed, uncontrolled, a power of life, death,. He loaded her shoulders wounded by his stripes with weights which his own indolence refused to bear, and speared her to the earth, if she resisted the imposition. It is curious to inquire into the nature of the creature thus subjugated and ill-treated.

Such is the relation of the sexes in the last-discovered specimens of humanity, the unclassed race of an unknown creation, the woman and her master" of the southern regions. Passing to the further extremity of the globe, across the world of waters of the great Pacific, to the vast tracts in the northern regions of America, tribes are still found living in their , primitive savagery, as when they were first discovered by the followers of Columbus. Centuries of suspicious intercourse have passed between the Europeans and the Red Man of North America; yet there he is, as he was first discovered probably as he was first formed , roaming for subsistence among those mighty mountains which" unchain the winds," and threading those gloomy forests which embosom inland seas, to share with the beasts of prey the gentler races of frugivorous animals.

Inaccessible to the improvements of civilization, though passionately addicted to its vices, sensual, selfish, slothful, sullen, and saturnine, the Red Man is only to be roused from his lair to wage a fierce warfare for food, or for security; and, in those beautiful tracts where intelligent industry would have created abundance, he escapes famine by carnage only. His dwindling tribes are rapidly disappearing, through the havoc of their own untameable passions and wasteful violence.

Where to-day ho stood ferocious and powerful, to-morrow not a trace of his savage existence is to be found ; where his warriors were lately. I Their remorseless cruelly, their unfeeling barbarity to their women and children, their immoderate revenge for the most trivial affronts, their want of natural affection, are hardly redeemed by the slightest trait of goodness.

They arc insensible 10 all distinclions, and without any idea of a supreme being and a future slate. The brief and bloody story of the Red Man of the northern hemisphere, the destroyer and the destroyed, is thus soon told. Yet he, too, all savage as he is, has a seeming consciousness of some divine law, authorizing him to assume a despotic supremacy over the female of his species. Wallowing in indolence, when not wallowing in blood, he leaves to the woman, his servant, all the labour, forethought, and ingenuity, necessary for the wants of his savage interior; and he lies basking before his proud" standard of the pheasant," or shaded by his broad shield of the buffalo, while his woman performs the drudgery of a beast of burthen, in the consciousness of her inability to resist the violence and tyranny of her master.

Still the suffering servant of the Red Man of the North, like the slave of the dark man of Australia, is described by all writers, and recently by one of the most distinguished, as a creature eminently endowed with moral sensibility I. She distinguishes the brave from the craven, and loves and imitates the only virtue which adorns her master; for she is an admirer of glory, and has a rude appreciation of renown. She has a moral courage, too that supports her under the most arduous enterprises. She is moved, by a deep, devoted tenderness for the child of her bosom; exercising, in its rearing and education, a providence, a forecast, and a self-denial, sometimes wanting in the mothers of a more policized society.

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Among the numerous nomadic tribes which occupy central and northern Asia, woman ranges on a still lower degree in the scale of consideration, Regarded as a necessary evil, as a creature inferior to man, and odious to the gods, her fine maternal organization, the cause of her intellectual excellence, renders her only the object of profound contempt; and the delicate and.

Tbe female of Itu- Kskimaux who belongs to Ihe American variety appears to have in common with the woman of the South Sea Islands, a more delicate fabric than the male ; and her eloquent blood" is often seen bearing testimony to her more sentient nature. The smallness of their hands and feet is also remarkable.

On her journey she brought forth a child; the following day she joined the parly to which her husband was attached, and proceeded on the journey. The wretched condition of the Siberian women, more especially, is attested by all writers who have made the inferior nature of the Mongol man the subject of their inquiry; and the story of this portion of the human species is one uninterrupted series of hardship and humiliation, in which every evil and mortification that can embitter and degrade is accumulated. By a strange inconsistency, however, these victims of injustice, these patient bond-slaves, who as wives are repudiated, as slaves are sold, who are debased, tortured, and put to death at the caprice of their task-masters, are not the less objects of superstitious fear, as presumed possessors of a mysterious power, arising in some undefined intellectual superiority, some sorceress-like enchantment, which holds in awe and apprehension their tyrants and oppressors.

Whatever accident befalls their master, whatever evil overshadows his path, which his dense dullness cannot otherwise account for, he never failingly assigns to the spell of some over-wise woman of his tribe : and unable, as he believes, to cope with her intellectual superiority, he flies for refuge to superior brute force; putting to death, without trial or accusation, the magician he suspects, and the victim he fears.

But how fares it with woman in that burning region, whose children bask in eternal sunshine, where the blood flows through the throbbing veins in volcanic torrents, where no iceberg chills, no snow-storm freezes, where the coasts are sanded with gold, and the bosom of the earth is studded with diamonds! What is woman in Africa, what the daughters of the African aborigines, the Negroes—the darkest illustrations of the Ethiopian variety1!

The negro, with his low, narrow, and slanting forehead, the distinctive feature of mental deficiency with all the brutal sensuality of the savage, and all the lowest vices of civilization, simple, and unintelligent, is equally satisfied of his own superiority over the female, as the American or the Siberian-the same causes every where producing the same cffects.

Still, however, the African, like the Siberian, while he oppresses, feels that he fears; and, fearing, fancies that he despises her. As bridegroom, he receives her a slave into his hut; and his first. The Caucasian from Mount Caucasus includes all the European nations, ancient and modern ; the former present inhabitants of Western Asia lineluding Chaldean".

Jew:-, Persians, Arabians, eir. He scarcely shares with her his cabin, and never his board. Eiten the common wrong of West Indian slavery does not remove this distinction; for the Negress, in the sugar islands, as in her native Africa, presents on her knees the tobacco and drink, which her intelligent industry has prepared for her indolent husband. Lord of the ascendant in his native region, ; the male Negro hunts and fishes, makes and repairs the hut,- constructs his own weapons, and sometimes manufactures clothes and ornaments for his family.

Still the greater part of his time passes in idleness and smoking ; while to the female he consigns all the various toils of agriculture and domestic service. The patient laborious Negress tills, and sows, and reaps often with one infant at her back, and another at her bosom ; she gathers and weaves the cotton, and prepares the maize, the millet, and the tobacco. She rears also the domestic animals, carries ill the wood, and fetches the water, and is at once the providence of her master and his victim.

Amidst all this violence and injustice, the moral influence of the female is still feit and feared: for the Negro, in common with the Mongol and the American, is possessed of a jealous dread of the sex, for which he tries not to account-an apprehension of powers beyond the reacb of his physical force to subdue or to counteract.

To the Negroes;, the mind, or rather the temperament, of woman is a fearful mystery ; and ba fearful mystery they endeavour to meet it. For this purpose the males enter into a horrid covenant of secresy and revenge, forming a tribunal not unworthy the suspicious despotism of more civilized, though. They have invented a secret language, which it is death t6 the other sex to learn, and which is employed for concealing the meditated vengeance, tbat female penetration might otherwise discover and evade.

The machinery of this system is as rude as the minds which invented it. It consists in the agency of an avenging demon, whom the women are taught to believe is a wild man or monster; or whom they affect to regard in that light—the penalty of their scepticism being torture, or death. This frightful deity of the husband's altars, known by the name of Mumbojumbo, is a man disguised in horrible attire,, and raised by a crown of straw to a gigantic and supernatural.

Woe to the wretched woman, who however innocent hears on the wind the well-known midnight howl of Mumbojumbo! The first terrific sound urges her flight; but she flies in vain. The monster-god and his attendant demons soon overtake her. She is seized, scourged, or murdered, according to the nature of her crime, her disobediencoor her heresy. For, Negresses have been found, who have sought knowledge at its dearest price, who have penetrated the mystery of Mumbojumbo, and even dared to whisper to their wretched partners in slavery, that the creed of their masters was an absurdity, that his grotesque god was a fabrication, and that their own subjection was the injurious motive of the gross and puerile invention : thus marking the difference between minds, even in the same race, when developed by the inherent sensibility peculiar to one sex, or brutified by the consciousness of superior physical force possessed by the other.

THE sufferings and the wrongs of woman among the savage tribes of the inferior races, however separated by origin or by distance, every where alike exhibit her and her master in the same relation—in that of slave and tyrant - a relation determined by physical causes, and by that pressure of externals, to which the male organization is the most successfully opposed. The possession of power awakens the selfishness of man in all races and in all climes, developing tendencies, which a high civilization and an enlightened morality alone can regulate and adjust.

But the position of the women of savage life, miserable as it may be, is less strikingly degraded than that of the females of those vast empires of the East, which vaunt an antique origin, and in which the lights of a semi-civilization have surrounded a fraction at least of the species with the luxuries of wealth, and afforded something of the semblance of a social policy. Of the earliest condition of these widely extended nations nothing is known ; and the few scanty fragments of their history which have reached posterity shew them as then already far removed from the rudeness of savage life.

In these fragments, the records of ages when civilization was as yet exclusively confined to Asia the supposed cradle of the human species, and, cer-. The precocious development of the maternal organization, which, in some Oriental countries, confounds infancy with motherhood, and leaves the functions of the brain imperfect, while the affections and the passions are already matured, may be assigned as the origin of polygamy-that institute which has the most impeded the progress of society, wherever it has been perpetuated.

It is an awful and heart-rending act to raise the dark curtain which hangs before "the sanctuary of the women," throughout the great continent of Asia, and to penetrate the domestic holds of those vain-glorious nations, which arrogate to themselves the precedence in creation, and date their power and their policy from eras, anterior to the written records of more civilized communities. In these states, on whose condition the passage of some thousands of years has impressed no change, and in which the sufferings of one half the species have awakened no sympathy, may be discovered the most graphic illustrations of the tyranny of man, and of the degradation of woman.

There, the sexes, in their mutual relations, are still where the earliest necessities of the species iirst placed them ; perpetuating, by their false position, the barbarous rudiments of primaeval society. In the Zenana of the modern Hindu, woman is still reared the slave of the most frightful superstition, the victim of the most selfish institutes which man has yet devised. Frail, her infidelity to her lord is punished by a living burial; faithful, her constancy is rewarded by a place on his funeral pyre : her life and death alike a violence to nature, an outrage to society, and a mortifying evidence of the incapacity of some races for improvement and reform.

In the Persian Harem, and the Turkish Serai, the story of the victims devoted on the altars of man's sensuality and cruelty is briefly and bitterly told : ignorance, corruption, incarceration ; infants murdered, mothers maddened; for the unfaithful, the sack, the bowstring, or the tower; for the true,.

While this page was writing, the papers announced the horrible sacrifice of a young and beautiful Hindoo wife, burned alive with the body of her aged husband. For this existence of pains, and penalties, and privations, what are the compensations? But there is a pompous and a pedantic land, which boasts supremacy in wisdom and in science from an epoch anterior to all human record save its own—China, the land of many letters, of many lanterns, and of few ideas.

Peopled, by the long-eared, elliptic-eyed, flat-nosed, olive-coloured, Mongolian race, it offers a population singularly deficient in intellectual physiognomy ; though, to its absurd ugliness, the women of the higher classes occasionally offer striking exceptions. In China, polygamy prevails virtually, if not by name ; and the sovereign, self-imprisoned in his golden-roofed palace, with his one empress, six queens, and three hundred or, if he please, three thousand concubines, reflects, on the great scale, the domestic establishment of those among his subjects, whose wealth may permit the irrational indulgence of their passion or their pride.

The female slave, who, at the head of a hand of inferior slaves, is dignified with the name of superior adequate to that of wife , who has been purchased with gold, and may be returned, if on trial not approved, is not deemed worthy to eat at her master's table. Crippled from her cradle, morally and physically, ignorant of any one of the many thousand letters of her husband's alphabet, referred to the futile amusements of infancy for all resource against utter tedium, to dress and to smoke are her highest pleasures; and to totter on the flat roof of her golden cage her sole privilege.

She, too, feeble and imbecile as she is, is outraged in the only feeling that nature may have rescued from the wreck of man's oppression: for the Chinese wife, like the Odalisque of Turkey, yields up her offspring a sacrifice to the murderous policy of her master.

Jf such is the destiny of the lady of the celestial empire, the woman of the middle and the lower classes submits to a yet severer fate. She it is who feeds and rears the silkworm, with an attention to details of which the female organization is so pre-eminently capable; she reels the produce, and works and weaves the silk.

It is the woman, too, who cultivates the most tender tea-plants, and whose delicate fingers are alone fitted to roll the finer tea-leaf : having thus furnished her quota to the common means of national wealth, she also works that exquisite gold and silver fillagree, and prepares those gorgeous orna-. Descending yet lower in the social chain, the female peasant of China presents a still more extraordinary example of plodding industry.

Exposed to the inclemency of the seasons, with the infant tied to her back, which she may have rescued from the wild beast, or from the devouring wave, she ploughs, sows, reaps, and performs the thousand offices of toil and drudgery attached to the cultivation of the soil, from which she derives so little benefit and enjoyment. Denied, too, all moral rights, she incurs, nevertheless, a fatal responsibility for her husband's delinquencies; and suffers death with him, as his dependant, for crimes in which she could have no moral participation.

The natural death of her husband gives her over to the family, who, to recover the money expended in her purchase, may resell her to the highest bidder; while her own is very frequently the work of her own hand. Suicide, it is asserted, is of frequent occurrence among the Chinese females of the lowest classes ; and well may they seek death, to whom, from the cradle to the tomb, life holds forth not one solitary good.


Other Eastern states, less policized, or less self-important, exhibit fearful examples of the dire results of polygamy, its outrage and degradation towards one half of the species, its brutalizing reaction on the other. Still, through ages of suffering and injustice, the numbing influence of custom, which for ever confounds establishment with fitness, did not so extinguish the sense of right in its victims, but that some vague traditionary dniuna was required to justify the institutes perpetuated by tlll master against his servant. If the Hindu woman, all palpitating with life and feeling, was buried or burned alive at her husbands will, a page was quoted from the ancient story of the nation, denouncing some cunning combination among the women to escape from the dominion of the strongest, by the murder of their husbands, which necessitated the merging of the woman's existence in that of her lord.

If the Chinese crushed the feet, and paralysed the intellects of their women, the practice was traced back to some supposed time, when the females, left free to walk and to act, had conspired against the eternal government of the celestial empire, and sought to establish a female supremacy. Either as fact, or as a mythological fable, the notion of some attempt on the part of woman to escape from thraldom, through the exercise of her subtle and insinuating faculties, and to found a forbidden empire on a superiority of knowledge, seems to have prevailed throughout the East from the earliest times; amounting to an admission of the wrongs inflicted upon the sex, and to an acknowledg-.

That any such general combination of the females against the males did really occur, is more than problematical; but, setting aside that hypothesis, it is certain that the earliest portion of Oriental history, called the Heroic, has left behind it the memory of splendid and particular instances of woman's moral supre- macy—instances in which woman has determined the destinies of empires, advanced the march of civilization, and effected more than enough to awaken the jealousy and provoke the obloquy implied in that supposition.

In all that is known of Assyria, the most ancient empire of the earth1, every extant fragment, moral or material, bears evidence in favour of a sex to which the land of wonders owes the immortality of its grandeur. The name of Semiramis has preserved what Sardanapalus could not destroy, nor Cyrus bury under the ruins of Babylon the memory of the greatest combination of wealth, power, art, and magnificence, which the world had till then witnessed, or has since conceived.

Babylon, with its hundred gatejs and towers, was founded by a woman of low origin and destitute youth, who attained to supreme power by her genius alone; and though all that has been ascribed to her may not be strictly true, though Diodorus Siculus in his enthusiasm may have exaggerated, and Ctesiasa may have too vividly coloured his brilliant delineations of her greatness, yet that such a woman lived and reigned in Assyria, that she founded its capital, and influenced her age by her works and her talents, that she built cities, raised aqueducts, constructed roads, commanded great armies in person, and, both as conqueror and legislator, was among the earliest agents of Asiatic civilization, there remains no room for historic doubt.

Her passage over the Indus, her conquests on its shores, the brilliant triumphs she obtained abroad, the astute wisdom with which she met conspiracy at home, and the bold confidence she expressed in the decisions of posterity, are stubborn facts. I "Behold" says the Prophet , "behold I he Chaldaeans, these people were not, rill the Assyrians founded it, for them that dwelt in the wilderness: they set up the towns thereof, they built the palaces thereof.

J Ctesias, of Guidos, historian and physioian; of his writings nothing remains but some fragments of the History of the Assyrians and the Persians. Posterity has nobly ratified the appeal of Semiramis to its verdict : at the end of three thousand years her life and character have been taken as the inspiration of its genius, and the speJt of its attraction. Semiramis, however, has paid the penalty of her sex's superiority, and has been the mark of calumnious pedantry through succeeding ages. Tirolli, in his Antiquities x," observes of her, de hac bestia incredibilia narrantur et incnarrabilia:" but in recounting the proofs which the ancients have handed down of her greatness, he adds a.

Paradiso: Canto 15

But, while the genius and the grandeur of the immortal queen of Assyria is thus bound up with all that is known of the greatest and most ancient empire of the earth, there are fragments of the history of other Eastern nations, which, like the lingering fires of expiring volcanoes, throw up, here and there, flashes to brighten the darkness of woman's destiny, and show her able and prompt to justify the original intention of nature in her favour. It is related in the brief story of the Cretans and of the Syrians, that their national genealogy was carried on from mother to daughter, the bearers and bestowers of the family cognomen, and the inheritors of its wealth.

Woman, too, in ancient Crete, presided over the companies into which the population was divided. In the time of Xerxes one of recent date as compared to the ages alluded to , the prejudice in favour of the Cretan women was so great, that Artemisia who could prove her Cretan descent from the mother's side was accepted as a leader in the army of Xerxes, and a member of his council.

Her sagacious advice to the headlong prince might have saved him at Salamis, had he adopted it; and it was in watching her efforts at the head of his fleet, that he exclaimed, The men have this day behaved like women, and the women are behaving like men'. I Tirolli Antiquitates, MS. The fragment of a society, so constituted, still survives on the coast of Malabar, in the military tribes of Nairs, where the succession follows the female line.

When the existence of Troy itself remains a mystery and a doubt, the tale of Cassandra, her genius and her fate, cannot be cited as a direct proof of the position of the Asiatic women in that city. Still, as a mere poetical conception, embodying an ancient tradition, it may be adopted as implying a prevalent opinion of wisdom and forethought in the sex, to which it assigns the divine honours of prophecy; and as an impersonation of the female character, according to the notions imported into Greece by the Asiatic colonies, and recorded in the immortal poem of one of their earliest descendants.

The records of Persia establish the fact that polygamy reigned unrestrained from its earliest times, except in the royal harems, where the kings' wives were limited in their number, and enjoyed many of the high privileges which distinguish the Greek women of more modern ages. They were entrusted with high prerogatives, assigned provinces for the expences of their dress and the maintenance of their households; they were solemnly crowned with the royal diadem, and draped with the purple robe, the insignia of royal power.

They sat on the right hand of the king, in the presence of the representatives of prostrate nations; their sons alone could ascend the throne of their fathers; and at one epoch of their history they gave a royal rank to their sons, which the husbands of these powerful women had not assumed. The immortal Mandane1, the mother of Cyrus, may thus be considered as the foundress of the Persian dynasty; and the Jewish Esther, raised to the throne of Darius, and permitted to exert a political influence, is evidence of the general condition of the royal wives of Persia, which must have afforded a precedent for that elevation.

The Greek writers ascribe to the women of various Eastern countries, at this period, prerogatives which would in vain be sought among the institutions of the same region in modern times a ; and Herodotus observes that, among various nations of Africa, the rank of nobility descended in the female line, so that the children of a noble Lydian woman inherited the nobility of their mother's caste, even when the father was a plebeian or a slave.

Political reasons and other causes are assigned to justify this great source of demoralization. See Chardin. Egypt, that land where man was wisest,-Egypt, from whose intellectual fires Greece and Rome borrowed the lights, by which worlds then unguessed at, and races then unknown, have since learned the laws of Nature and the philosophy of morals, —Egypt, from her remotest existence, assumed the female form, as the representative of a superintending Providence ; and gave to Isis a homage, which the assigned co-partner of her divinity, Osiris, never received.

The image of a young mother, with her child on her bosom, Isis, suckling the infant Horus, was to the initiated of the Egyptians a personification of Nature; or rather, this worship offered to the" queen of Heaven," the mother of the universe," of" gods and men '," was addressed to the great source of the imperishable elements, the essence of life itself3 ; a pure theism, at variance with the gross and sensual idolatry of the people.

After an interval of nearly two thousand years, the sublime fragments of the Temple of Tentyra, as they rise, in their ruined magnificence, on the boundless horizon of the vast and dreary solitudes they glorify, attest to this day the religious associations of the Egyptians with their reverence for motherhood—a reverence with which the Israelites so often reproaehed their old taskmasters! The capitals of the columns of the Temple of Isis, stiil undefaced, represent the brighl countenance of a woman four times repeated , which, irradiated with smiles, meets the eye, from whatever side it is gazed on ; and in the sculpture of its still beautiful Propylon are traced religious festivals and processions, in which women, all softness in their expression, with children at their bosoms, are the images most frequently repeated 4.

It may have been from the exalted rank given to Isis in the Egyptian mythology, that the women of that country attained that high consideration, which opened the book of knowledge to their perusal, which gave them the privileges of citizens, which brought the graces of their minds and persons into the most intellectual circles of Memphis and Alexandria, and which, leaving Salic laws "undreamed of in the philosophy" of the. See St. John's Travels in Egypt.

If tradition and history are to be credited, this prestige in favour of female intellect gave to the female sovereigns of Egypt a power which the male successors of the Pharaohs or the Ptolemies never enjoyed. But Egypt an ancient state when Israel was but a nomade population finally submitted to the common lot of all things earthly, of empires as of man, and sunk under the touch of political and moral degradation.

The Roman eagle fluttered over its cloud-capt towers and gorgeous palaces"-over those timehonoured monuments, which still exist, enshrining history in tangible forms, and bearing evidence to facts, which prejudice can no longer refute, or scepticism deny. One only Egyptian was then found, whose character and actions recalled something of the recorded grandeur of Sesostris, and the national pride of the Pharaohs.

This one was-a woman, of Greek descent, indeed, but of Egyptian parentage, birth, and associations. Egypt had already shared the fate or her ancient contemporary empires ; the throne of the Pharaohs had received a new power. The corruption of morals and manners introduced by its Greek masters, and by the scourging tyranny of the Ptolemies, had changed much of the national character, and dried up those sources of sensibility" which originated the ancient religion of poetry and affection, and so long contributed to the intellectual temperament of the people.

In this revolution, the highlyorganized race of women, the descendants of the venerated mothers of the kings of Memphis, shared the common fate. There were still, however, in the land of the Arsinoes 3 and Berenices, some great, if not many good women, who long con-. She headed his armies.

The successive Cleopatras, though sometimes branded by crimes, but too coincident with the times, the men, and the circumstances, of a rapidly disorganizing community , exhibited powerful capacities, strong abilities, and a firmness of purpose wanting to their sons and husbands, which, though often directed to evil, still for a time preserved the national unity and the independence of their country.

The first, and worst, of these Cleopatras, was the bold, bad, ambitious rival of the beautiful Rodogune, the subject of a drama 1 as immortal as her wrongs :-the last and greatest of the Cleopatras was she who closed the heroic history of her country with her own. The glory of Egypt, and the intellectual powers of her women, sunk together in the tomb of the daughter of Ptolemy-Auletes.

Accused by the eulogists and parasites of her enemies of crimes most prevalent in the age, and in the caste to which she belonged, the halo of her patriotism still threw a redeeming light over the shadow of her faults, brightening, if it did not efface them. Cleopatra loved Egypt better than the Caesars loved Rome, and struggled to the last for the independence of her country, as they had done against the liberty of theirs.

Opposed to the most able and powerful men that ever lived, she finally conquered the world's conquerors, by the brilliant qualities of her mind, and the seductive influence of her charms. She successively subdued Julius, enslaved Antony, and outwitted Augustus. When proclaimed the partner of the Jmperator of Rome, and when her statue was placed in the temple of its gods, she only used her power over the hearts of the world's great masters," to save Egypt and to increase its dominions From a fugitive princess, wronged, friendless, dethroned, and hunted to the death by unnatural kindred, she made herself an independent sovereign queen, and raised the decrying capital of her kingdom to be the intellectual metropolis of the universe; a shrine to which the wise men of all nations brought their tributes.

Never was Egypt so rich in wealth, power, and civilization, as under the reign of this last of its queens, who made knowledge the basis of national supremacy 3, who reconstructed that. Judea, and Syria. Cleopatra encouraged science, loved the arts, cultivated letters, and was irresistibly eloquent in seven different languages, all of which she spoke with the purity of her mother tongue; and, although Lucan, the most pompous poet of the declining literature of Rome, reviles the conqueress of the Caesars.

Her kingdom sunk not to the degradation of a Roman province, until the voluntary and heroic death of its champion queen disappointed the ostentatious hopes of Augustus, and deprived the land of the wisest, of the most patriotic of her sovereigns, and the last of her great intellectual illustrations. Throughout the whole fragmentary history of the earliest peopled regions of the earth, this one great dogma is mystically attested, and made darkly visible, [that at some period of the doubtful past the spiritual nature of woman struggled against the physical superiority of man!

But there is a history antecedent to all other written records of human actions extant, an authentic transcript of the human mind in the earliest stages of society, which authoritatively establishes the accredited dogma of the East, by a most important illustration. This record, in giving the history of a single family, a history in its influence upon the opinions and interests of the species, the most marked and miraculous ever known , redeems the fault of the first created woman so awfully punished, by assigning to her sex that great spiritual mission, which made woman a sublime agent in the redemption of mankind.

To this fact, scriptural story bears evidence from the. John , "who translated for me these scraps of poetry, compared theabote song to an old Scotch hallad that he heard when he was in EII! THE Mosaic history of the creation assigns to the East the first scene of human existence, and places the first pair, created in perfect equality, in a Paradise, which of God the garden was, By him in the East of Eden planted.

The selection of the female for the experiment of a super-human sophistry, indicated on her part a difficulty, rather than a facility to be won over; and the reward offered, for risking the awful penalty of death "by disobedience," was no less than that "she should be as are the Gods, knowing good from evil! The woman, " seeing that the tree was to be desired, to make one wise, took the fruit accordingly thereof and did eat. The crime was common, but the motive was peculiar to the woman.

But the Reverend Dr. Conyers Middleton, in his allegorical explanations of the first chapters of Genesis, represents Adam to be the Mind, Eve the Senses, and the Serpent Pleasure or Passion. See Bochart de serpente tentatore, p. The penalty, too, of disobedience to both was death ; but a sublime and prophetic distinction was made in favour of the future mother of all living," of whom was to proceed one who should swallow up death in victory," etc. The temporal punishments inflicted on Eve were marked by an intellectual pre-eminence in suffering — Adam's, by personal degradation : to Adam was assigned the task of physical labour ; in the sweat of thy faceshalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground from whence thou wert taken ; for out of it was thou taken, for dust thouart, and unto dust thou shalt return1.

A humiliating vocation — a humiliating reminiscence, both spared as denunciations to Eve. It is also shown by the evidence of the facts: not only does such a figure in all its parts converge upon itself; not only must it sustain itself, enclosing and holding itself together without the need of any fastenings, and without experiencing an end or a beginning at any part of itself; not only is that shape the one best fitted for the motion with which, as will shortly appear, it must repeatedly revolve, but our eyesight also confirms this belief, because the firmament presents the aspect of a concave hemisphere equidistant in every direction, which would be impossible in the case of any other figure.

Whether the sound of this vast mass whirling in unceasing rotation is of enormous volume and consequently beyond the capacity of our ears to perceive, for my own part I cannot easily say — any more in fact than whether this is true of the tinkling of the stars that travel round with it, revolving in their own orbits; or whether it emits a sweet harmonious music that is beyond belief charming. To us who live within it the world glides silently alike by day and night. Stamped upon it are countless figures of animals and objects of all kinds — it is not the case, as has been stated by very famous authors, that its structure has an even surface of unbroken smoothness, like that which we observe in birds' eggs: this is proved by the evidence of the facts, since from seeds of all these objects, falling from the sky in countless numbers, particularly in the sea, and usually mixed together, monstrous shapes are generated; and also by the testimony of sight — in one place the figure of a bear, in another of a bull , in another a wain, in another a letter of the alphabet, the middle of the circle across the pole being more radiant.

The Greeks have designated the world by a word that means 'ornament,' and we have given it the name of mundus because of its perfect finish and grace! As for our word caelum, it undoubtedly has the signification 'engraved,' as is explained by Marcus Varro. Further assistance is contributed by its orderly structure, the circle called the Zodiac being marked out into the likenesses of twelve animals; and also by the uniform regularity in so many centuries of the sun's progress through these signs.

Thus the mutual embrace of the unlike results in an interlacing, the light substances being prevented by the heavy ones from flying up, while on the contrary the heavy substances are held from crashing down by the upward tendency of the light ones. In this way owing to an equal urge in opposite directions the elements remain stationary, each in its own place, bound together by the unresting revolution of the world itself; and with this always running back to its starting-point, the earth is the lowest and central object in the whole, and stays suspended at the pivot of the universe and also balancing the bodies to which its suspension is due; thus being alone motionless with the universe revolving round her she both hangs attached to them all and at the same time is that on which they all rest.

Upheld by the same vapour between earth and heaven, at definite spaces apart, hang the seven stars which owing to their motion we call 'planets,' although no stars wander less than they do. In the midst of these moves the sun, whose magnitude and power are the greatest, and who is the ruler not only of the seasons and of the lands; but even of the stars themselves and of the heaven.

Taking into account all that he effects, we must believe him to be the soul, or more precisely the mind, of the whole world, the supreme ruling principle and divinity of nature. He furnishes the world with light and removes darkness, he obscures and he illumines the rest of the stars, he regulates in accord with nature's precedent the changes of the seasons and the continuous rebirth of the year, he dissipates the gloom of heaven and even calms the storm-clouds of the mind of man, he lends his light to the rest of the stars also; he is glorious and pre-eminent, all-seeing and even all-hearing — this I observe that Homer the prince of literature held to be true in the case of the sun alone.

Whoever God is — provided there is a God — and in whatever region he is, he consists wholly of sense, sight and hearing, wholly of soul, wholly of mind, wholly of himself. To believe in gods without number, and gods corresponding to men's vices as well as to their virtues, like the Goddesses of Modesty , Concord, Intelligence, Hope , Honour, Mercy and Faith — or else, as Democritus held, only two, Punishment and Reward, reaches an even greater height of folly.

Frail, toiling mortality, remembering its own weakness, has divided such deities into groups, so as to worship in sections, each the deity he is most in need of. Consequently different races have different names for the deities, and we find countless deities in the same races, even those of the lower world being classified into groups, and diseases and also many forms of plague, in our nervous anxiety to get them placated.

Because of this there is actually a Temple of Fever consecrated by the nation on the Palatine Hill, and one of Bereavement at the Temple of the Household Deities, and an Altar of Misfortune on the Esquiline. For this reason we can infer a larger population of celestials than of human beings, as individuals also make an equal number of gods on their own, by adopting their own private Junos and Genii; while certain nations have animals, even some loathsome ones, for gods, and many things still more disgraceful to tell of — swearing by rotten articles of food and other things of that sort.

To believe even in marriages taking place between gods, without anybody all through the long ages of time being born as a result of them, and that some are always old and grey, others youths and boys, and gods with dusky complexions, winged, lame, born from eggs, living and dying on alternate days — this almost ranks with the mad fancies of children; but it passes all bounds of shamelessness to invent acts of adultery taking place between the gods themselves, followed by altercation and enmity, and the existence of deities of theft and of crime. For mortal to aid mortal — this is god; and this is the road to eternal glory: by this road went our Roman chieftains, by this road now proceeds with heavenward step, escorted by his children, the greatest ruler of all time, His Majesty Vespasian , coming to the succour of an exhausted world.

To enrol such men among the deities is the most ancient method of paying them gratitude for their benefactions. In fact the names of the other gods, and also of the stars that I have mentioned above, originated from the services of men: at all events who would not admit that it is the interpretation of men's characters that prompts them to call each other Jupiter or Mercury or other names, and that originates the nomenclature of heaven?

That that supreme being, whatever it be, pays heed to man's affairs is a ridiculous notion. Can we believe that it would not be defiled by so gloomy and so multifarious a duty? Can we doubt it? It is scarcely pertinent to determine which is more profitable for the human race, when some men pay no regard to the gods at all and the regard paid by others is of a shameful nature: they serve as the lackeys of foreign ritual, and they carry gods on their fingers; also they pass sentence of punishment upon the monsters they worship, and devise elaborate viands for them; they subject themselves to awful tyrannies, so as to find no repose even in sleep; they do not decide on marriage or having a family or indeed anything else except by the command of sacrifices; others cheat in the very Capitol and swear false oaths by Jupiter who wields the thunderbolts — and these indeed make a profit out of their crimes, whereas the others are penalized by their religious observances.

Everywhere in the whole world at every hour by all men's voices Fortune alone is invoked and named, alone accused, alone impeached, alone pondered, alone applauded, alone rebuked and visited with reproaches; deemed volatile and indeed by most men blind as well, wayward, inconstant, uncertain, fickle in her favours and favouring the unworthy. To her is debited all that is spent and credited all that is received, she alone fills both pages in the whole of mortals' account; and we are so much at the mercy of chance that Chance herself, by whom God is proved uncertain, takes the place of God.

Another set of people banishes fortune also, and attributes events to its star and to the laws of birth, holding that for all men that ever are to be God's decree has been enacted once for all, while for the rest of time leisure has been vouchsafed to Him. This belief begins to take root, and the learned and unlearned mob alike go marching on towards it at the double: witness the warnings drawn from lightning, the forecasts made by oracles, the prophecies of augurs, and even inconsiderable trifles — a sneeze, a stumble — counted as omens.

His late Majesty put abroad a story that on the day on which he was almost overthrown by a mutiny in the army he had put his left boot on the wrong foot. This series of instances entangles unforeseeing mortality, so that among these things but one thing is in the least certain — that nothing certain exists, and that nothing is more pitiable, or more presumptuous, than man!

But the chief consolations for nature's imperfection in the case of man are that not even for God are all things possible — for he cannot, even if he wishes, commit suicide, the supreme boon that he has bestowed on man among all the penalties of life, nor bestow eternity on mortals or recall the deceased, nor cause a man that has lived not to have lived or one that has held high office not to have held it — and that he has no power over what is past save to forget it, and to link our fellowship with God by means of frivolous arguments as well that he cannot cause twice ten not to be twenty, or do many things on similar lines: which facts unquestionably demonstrate the power of nature, and prove that it is this that we mean by the word 'God.

We have stated that the stars are attached to the firmament, not assigned to each of us in the way in which the vulgar believe, and dealt out to mortals with a degree of radiance proportionate to the lot of each, the brightest stars to the rich, the smaller ones to the poor, the dim to those who are worn out; they do not each rise with their own human being, nor indicate by their fall that someone's life is being extinguished.

There is no such close alliance between us and the sky that the radiance of the stars there also shares our fate of mortality. When the stars are believed to fall, what happens is that owing to their being overfed with a draught of liquid they give back the surplus with a fiery flash, just as with us also we see this occur with a stream of oil when lamps are lit.

But the heavenly bodies have a nature that is eternal — they interweave the world and are blended with its weft; yet their potency has a powerful influence on the earth, indeed it is owing to the effects that they produce and to their brilliance and magnitude that it has been possible for them to become known with such a degree of precision, as we shall show in the proper place.

Also the system of the revolutions of the sky will be more appropriately stated when we deal with geography, since it is entirely related to the earth; only we must not postpone the discoveries that have been made as to the zodiac. Tradition says that Anaximander of Miletus in the fifty-eighth Olympiad was the first person to discover the obliquity of the zodiac, that is, to open the portals of science; and that next Cleostratus explained the signs in it, beginning with the Ram and the Archer; the firmament itself having been explained long before by Atlas.

The following points are certain: 1 The star called Saturn 's is the highest and consequently looks the smallest and revolves in the largest orbit, returning in thirty years at the shortest to its initial station. The orbit of Jupiter is much below it and therefore revolves much faster, completing one rotation every twelve years. The third star is Mars , called by some Hercules ; owing to the proximity of the sun it has a fiery glow; it revolves once in about two years, and consequently, owing to its excessive heat and Saturn 's frost, Jupiter being situated between them combines the influence of each and is rendered healthy.

This property of Venus was first discovered by Pythagoras of Samos about the 42nd Olympiad, [ BC] years after the foundation of Rome. Further it surpasses all the other stars in magnitude, and is so brilliant that alone among stars it casts a shadow by its rays. Consequently there is a great competition to give it a name, some having called it Juno , others Isis , others the Mother of the Gods.

Its influence is the cause of the birth of all things upon earth; at both of its risings it scatters a genital dew with which it not only fills the conceptive organs of the earth but also stimulates those of all animals. It completes the circuit of the zodiac every days, and according to Timaeus is never more than 46 degrees distant from the sun.

The star next to Venus is Mercury , by some called Apollo ; it has a similar orbit, but is by no means similar in magnitude or power. It travels in a lower circle, with a revolution nine days quicker, shining sometimes before sunrise and sometimes after sunset, but according to Cidenas and Sosigenes never more than 22 degrees away from the sun. Consequently the course of these stars also is peculiar, and not shared by those above-mentioned: those are often observed to be a quarter or a third of the heaven away from the sun and travelling against the sun, and they all have other larger circuits of full revolution, the specification of which belongs to the theory of the Great Years.

By the riddle of her transformations she has racked the wits of observers, who are ashamed that the star which is nearest should be the one about which we know least — always waxing or waning, and now curved into the horns of a sickle, now just halved in size, now rounded into a circle; spotted and then suddenly shining clear; vast and full-orbed, and then all of a sudden not there at all; at one time shining all night and at another rising late and for a part of the day augmenting the light of the sun, eclipsed and nevertheless visible during the eclipse, invisible at the end of the month when she is not believed to be in trouble; again at one time low down and at another up aloft, and not even this in a uniform way, but sometimes raised to the sky and sometimes touching the mountain-tops, now borne up to the North and now carried down to the South.

The first human being to observe all these facts about her was Endymion — which accounts for the traditional story of his love for her. We forsooth feel no gratitude towards those whose assiduous toil has given us illumination on the subject of this luminary, while owing to a curious disease of the human mind we are pleased to enshrine in history records of bloodshed and slaughter, so that persons ignorant of the facts of the world may be acquainted with the crimes of mankind.

Consequently the frontier between the moon and the other heavenly bodies is at the point where the air ends and the aether begins. All the space above the moon is clear and filled with continual light, but to us the stars are visible through the night in the same way as other lights in shadows. And these are the reasons why the moon wanes in the night-time; but both of her wanings are irregular and not monthly, because of the slant of the zodiac and the widely varying curves of the moon's course, as has been stated, the motion of the heavenly bodies not always tallying in minute fractional quantities.

The vast size of the sun will be shown with the more certainty from the two bodies, so that there is no need to investigate its size by the evidence of the eyes and by logical inference, arguing that it is immeasurably large for the following reasons: 1 the shadow that it throws of rows of trees along the balks of fields are at equal distances apart for ever so many miles, just as if over the whole space the sun were in the centre; 2 during the equinoxes it reaches the vertical simultaneously for all the inhabitants of the southern region; 3 the shadows of the people living round the Tropic of Cancer fall northward at midday but westward at sunrise, which could not happen unless the sun were much larger than the earth; 4 when it is rising its breadth exceeds Mount Ida , overlapping it widely right and left — and that though it is separated from it by so great a distance.

For shadows are of three shapes, and it is clear that, if the solid object that throws a shadow is equal in area to the shaft of light, the shadow projected is shaped like a pillar and is of infinite length, but if the solid body is larger than the light, the shadow has the shape of an upright spinning-top, so that it is narrowest at the bottom, and infinite in length as in the former case, while if the solid is smaller than the light the result is the figure of a cone narrowing down to end in a point, and this is the nature of the shadow observed during an eclipse of the moon; hence it is proved without any further possibility of doubt remaining that the sun exceeds the earth's size.

Indeed, this is also proved by the silent testimony of nature herself; for why in the division of the turns of the year does the winter sun retire, so as to refresh the earth with the darkness of the nights? After their time the courses of both stars for years were prophesied by Hipparchus , whose work embraced the calendar of the nations and the situations of places and aspects of the peoples — his method being, on the evidence of his contemporaries none other than full partnership in the designs of nature.

O mighty heroes, of loftier than mortal estate, who have discovered the law of those great divinities and released the miserable mind of man from fear, mortality dreading as it did in eclipses of the stars crimes or death of some sort those sublime singers, the bards Stesichorus and Pindar , clearly felt this fear owing to an eclipse of the sun , or in the dying of the moon inferring that she was poisoned and consequently coming to her aid with a noisy clattering of cymbals this alarm caused the Atheman general Nicias , in his ignorance of the cause, to be afraid to lead his fleet out of harbour, so destroying the Athenians ' resources: all hail to your genius, ye that interpret the heavens and grasp the facts of nature, discoverers of a theory whereby you have vanquished gods and men!

Less than years ago the penetration of Hipparchus discovered that an eclipse of the moon also sometimes occurs four months after the one before and an eclipse of the sun six months, and that the latter when above earth is hidden twice in thirty days, but that this eclipse is visible to different nations, and — the most remarkable features of this remarkable occurrence — that when it comes about that the moon is obscured by the shadow of the earth, this sometimes happens to it from the west side and sometimes from the east; and he also discovered for what exact reason, although the shadow causing the eclipse must from sunrise onward be below the earth, it happened once in the past that the moon was eclipsed in the west while both luminaries were visible above the earth.

For the eclipse of both sun and moon within 15 days of each other has occurred even in our time, in the year of the third consulship of the elder Emperor Vespasian and the second consulship of the younger. This fact proves that the planets are of greater magnitude than the moon, since these occasionally become visible even on reaching 7 degrees' distance; but their altitude makes them appear smaller, just as the sun's radiance makes the fixed stars invisible in daytime, although they are shining as much as in the night, which becomes manifest at a solar eclipse and also when the star is reflected in a very deep well.

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Afterwards they retire from contact with his rays, and make their morning or 'first' stations in a triangle degrees away, and subsequently their evening risings opposite degrees away, and again approaching from the other side, make their evening or 'second' stations degrees away, till the sun overtaking them at 12 degrees obscures them — this is called their evening setting. The planet Mars being nearer feels the sun's rays even from its quadrature, at an angle of 90 degrees, which has given to his motion after each rising the name of 'first' or 'second ninety-degree.

The two lower planets Mercury and Venus are similarly obscured at their evening conjunction, and when left by the sun make their morning rising the same number of degrees away, and from the further limits of their distance follow the sun and when they have overtaken him are hidden in their morning setting and pass away. Then they rise in the evening at the same distance apart, as far as the limits we have stated. From these they pass backward to the sun, and disappear in their evening setting.

The planet Venus actually makes two stations, morning and evening, after each rise, from the furthest limits of her distance. Mercury 's stations have too short a period to be perceptible. And although our account of these matters will differ in many points from that of our predecessors, we confess that credit for these points also must be given to those who first demonstrated the methods of investigating them: only nobody must abandon the hope that the generations are constantly making progress.

The first is the factor of the circles which in the case of the stars the Greeks designate apsides or arcs it will be necessary to employ Greek terms. Each planet has its own circle, and these are not the same as those of the firmament, since the earth between the two vertices, named in Greek poles, is the centre of the sky, and also of the zodiac, which is situated on a slant between the poles. The result of this is that they appear to move slower and to be smaller when they are travelling at the highest point of their circuit, but to be larger and travel faster when they have come nearer to the earth, not because they actually accelerate or reduce their natural motions, which are fixed and individual to them, but because lines drawn from the top of the arc to the centre necessarily converge like the spokes of a wheel, and the same motion at one time is perceived as faster and at another slower according to its distance from the centre.

The stars we have mentioned travel through the zodiac, and the only habitable part of the earth is what lies beneath it — all the other parts towards the poles are frost-bound. Only the planet Venus goes two degrees outside the zodiac; this is understood to be the reason that causes some animals to be born even in the desert places of the world. The moon also wanders through the whole of its breadth, but without going at all outside it.

The planet Mercury diverges very widely from these, but without wandering over more than 6 of the 12 degrees of latitude of the zodiac, and these 6 not uniformly but two in the middle of the zodiac, four above it and two below it. Then the sun travels unevenly in the middle of the zodiac between the two halves with a wavy serpentine course, the planet Mars over 4 degrees in the middle, Jupiter one in the middle and two above it, Saturn two like the sun.

This will be the principle of the latitudes of the planets when setting towards the South or rising towards the North. Most people have supposed that with this system agrees also the third mentioned above, that of their rising from the earth to the sky, and that this ascent also is made simultaneously; but this is a mistake. To refute them it is necessary to develop an extremely abstruse argument that embraces all the causes mentioned. It is equally undoubted that the three higher ones moreover increase their motion in their morning risings and diminish it from their first morning stations to their second evening stations.

In view of these facts it will be evident that the latitudes are ascended from their morning rising, because in that state their acceleration first begins to diminish, but in their first stations their altitude also is ascended, since then the numbers first begin to be reduced and the stars begin to recede.

The reason for this must especially be given. When struck in the degree that we stated and by a triangular ray of the sun they are prevented from pursuing a straight course, and are lifted upward by the fiery force. This cannot be directly perceived by our sight, and therefore they are thought to be stationary, which has given rise to the term 'station.

This occurs much more at their evening rising, when they are driven out to the top of their apsides by the full opposing force of the sun, and appear very small because they are at the distance of their greatest altitude and are moving with their smallest velocity — which is proportionately smaller when this occurs in the highest signs of their apsides. From their evening rise their altitude is descended with a velocity now decelerating less and less, but not accelerating before their second stations, when their altitude also is descended, the ray passing above them from the other side and pressing them down again to the earth with the same force as that with which it had raised them to the sky from the former triangle.

So much difference does it make whether the rays come from below or from above, and the same things occur far more in the evening setting. As situated below the sun both have arcs that are the opposite of those of the other planets, and as much of their circle is below the earth as that of the planets mentioned before is above it; and they cannot be further from it than they are because the curve of their arcs does not allow greater elongation there; consequently the edges of their arcs put a limit on a similar principle for each, and compensate for the dimensions of their longitude by the enlargement of their latitude.

But, it will be objected, why do they not reach 46 and 23 degrees always? As a matter of fact they do, but the explanation escapes the theorists. For it is manifest that even their arcs alter, because they never cross the sun; accordingly when the edges have fallen on one side or the other into the actual degree of the sun, then the stars also are understood to have reached their longest distances, but when the edges are short of that, they themselves too are compelled to return with proportionately greater velocity, since with each of them that is always the extreme limit.

For the higher planets travel most quickly in their evening setting, whereas these travel most slowly, and the former are farthest from the earth when their pace is slowest but the latter are highest when their pace is quickest — the reason being that with the latter the circumference of the circle accelerates their pace in the same manner as proximity to the centre does in the case of the former; the former begin to decelerate from their morning setting, but the latter to accelerate.

The former travel backward from their morning to their evening station, the planet Venus from her evening to her morning station. But she begins to climb her latitude after her morning rise, but after her morning station to ascend her altitude and follow the sun, being swiftest and highest at her morning setting; whereas she begins to descend in latitude and decelerate after her evening rising, and to turn back and simultaneously to descend in altitude after her evening station; on the other hand the planet Mercury begins to climb in both ways after his morning rising, but after his evening rising to descend in latitude, and following the sun at an interval of 15 degrees he stands motionless for almost four days.

Afterwards he descends from his altitude and proceeds back from his evening setting to his morning rise. And only this planet and the moon set in as many days as they have risen in; Venus ascends in 15 times as many days as she sets in, while Saturn and Jupiter descend in twice as many, and Mars in actually four times as many. So great is the variety of nature; but the reason is evident — bodies that strain up into the heat of the sun also have difficulty in descending.

It is true that each has its own special hue — Saturn white, Jupiter transparent, Mars fiery, Lucifer bright white, Vesper glaring, Mercury radiant, the moon soft, the sun when rising glowing and afterwards radiant; with these being causally connected also the appearance of the fixed stars. For at one time there is a dense crowd of stars in the sky round the circle of the half-moon, a fine night giving them a gentle radiance, but at another time they are scarce, so that we wonder at their flight, when the full moon hides them or when the rays of the sun or the planets above-mentioned dim our sight.

But the moon herself also is undoubtedly sensitive to the variations of the strength of impact of the rays of the sun, as moreover the curve of the earth dulls their impact, except when the impact of the rays meets at a right angle. And so the moon is at half in the sun's quadrature, and curved in a hollow circle in its trinal aspect, but waxes to full at the sun's opposition, and then waning exhibits the same configurations at corresponding intervals, on the same principle as the three planets above the sun.

The variation is due to the slant of the zodiac, as at every moment an equal part of the firmament is above and below the earth; but the planets that follow a straight path at their rising keep their light for a longer tract and those that follow a slanting path pass in a swifter period. Consequently heavenly fire is spit forth by the planet as crackling charcoal flies from a burning log, bringing prophecies with it, as even the part of himself that he discards does not cease to function in its divine tasks. And this is accompanied by a very great disturbance of the air, because moisture collected causes an overflow, or because it is disturbed by the birth-pangs so to speak of the planet in travail.

The penetrating genius of Pythagoras , however, inferred that the distance of the moon from the earth was 15, miles, and that of the sun from the moon twice that figure, and of the sun from the twelve signs of the Zodiac three times. Our fellow-countryman Sulpicius Gallus also held this view. Posidonius holds that mists and winds and clouds reach to a height of not less than 5 miles from the earth, but that from that point the air is clear and liquid and perfectly luminous, but that the distance between the cloudy air and the moon is , miles and between the moon and the sun , miles, it being due to this distance that the sun's vast magnitude does not burn up the earth.

The majority of writers, however, have stated that the clouds rise to a height of miles. These figures are really unascertained and impossible to disentangle, but it is proper to put them forward became they have been put forward already, although they are matters in which the method of geometrical inference, which never misleads, is the only method that it is possible not to reject, were anybody desirous of pursuing such questions more deeply, and with the intention of establishing not precise measurement for to aspire to that would mark an almost insane absorption in study but merely a conjectural calculation.

It is marvellous to what length the depravity of man's intellect will go when lured on by some trifling success, in the way in which reason furnishes impudence with its opportunity in the case of the calculations above stated. And when they have dared to guess the distances of the sun from the earth they apply the same figures to the sky, on the ground that the sun is at its centre, with the consequence that they have at their finger's ends the dimensions of the world also. For they argue that the circumference of a circle is us times its diameter, as though the measure of the heavens were merely regulated from a plumb-line!

This computation is a most shameful business, since the addition of the distance of the zodiac itself to the circle of Saturn produces a multiple that is even beyond reckoning.

Dante Lab at Dartmouth College: Reader

There are also stars that suddenly come to birth in the heaven itself; of these there are several kinds. The Greeks call them 'comets,' in our language 'long-haired stars,' because they have a blood-red shock of what looks like shaggy hair at their top. The Greeks also give the name of 'bearded stars' to those from whose lower part spreads a mane resembling a long beard. To this class belongs the comet about which Titus Imperator Caesar in his 5th consulship wrote an account in his famous poem, that being its latest appearance down to the present day.

The same stars when shorter and sloping to a point have been called 'Daggers'; these are the palest of all in colour, and have a gleam like the flash of a sword, and no rays, which even the Quoit-star, which resembles its name in appearance but is in colour like amber, emits in scattered form from its edge. The 'Tub-star' presents the shape of a cask, with a smoky light all round it. The 'Horned star' has the shape of a horn, like the one that appeared when Greece fought the decisive battle of Salamis.

The 'Torch-star' resembles glowing torches, the ' Horse -star horses ' manes in very rapid motion and revolving in a circle. There also occurs a shining comet whose silvery tresses glow so brightly that it is scarcely possible to look at it, and which displays within it a shape in the likeness of a man's countenance. There also occur ' Goat comets,' enringed with a sort of cloud resembling tufts of hair. The shortest period of visibility on record for a comet is 7 days, the longest Aristotle also records that several may be seen at the same time — a fact not observed by anyone else, as far as I am aware — and that this signifies severe winds or heat.

Comets also occur in the winter months and at the south pole, but comets in the south have no rays. A terrible comet was seen by the people of Ethiopia and Egypt , to which Typhon the king of that period gave his name; it had a fiery appearance and was twisted like a coil, and it was very grim to behold: it was not really a star so much as what might be called a ball of fire. Planets and all other stars also occasionally have spreading hair.

But sometimes there is a comet in the western sky, usually a terrifying star and not easily expiated: for instance, during the civil disorder in the consulship of Octavius , and again during the war between Pompey and Caesar , or in our day about the time of the poisoning which secured the bequest of the empire by Claudius Caesar to Domitius Nero , and thereafter during Nero 's principate shining almost continuously and with a terrible glare. People think that it matters in what direction a comet darts, what star's strength it borrows, what shapes it resembles, and in what places it shines; that if it resembles a pair of flutes.

It is a portent for the art of music, in the private parts of the constellations it portends immorality, if it forms an equilateral triangle or a rectangular quadrilateral in relation to certain positions of the fixed stars, it portends men of genius and a revival of learning, in the head of the Northern or the Southern Serpent it brings poisonings. His late Majesty Augustus had deemed this comet very propitious to himself; as it had appeared at the beginning of his rule, at some games which, not long after the decease of his father Caesar , as a member of the college founded by him he was celebrating in honour of Mother Venus.

In fact he made public the joy that it gave him in these words: 'On the very days of my Games a comet was visible for seven days in the northern part of the sky. It was rising about an hour before sunset, and was a bright star, visible from all lands. The common people believed that this star signified the soul of Caesar received among the spirits of the immortal gods, and on this account the emblem of a star was added to the bust of Caesar that we shortly afterwards dedicated in the forum. Of these there are two kinds: one sort are called lampades, which means torches, the other bolides missiles , — that is the sort that appeared at the time of the disasters of Modena.

The difference between them is that 'torches' make long tracks, with their front part glowing, whereas a 'boils' glows throughout its length, and traces a longer path. There also occurs a yawning of the actual sky, called chasma,. My own view is that these occurrences take place at fixed dates owing to natural forces, like all other events, and not, as most people think, from the variety of causes invented by the cleverness of human intellects; it is true that they were the harbingers of enormous misfortunes, but I hold that those did not happen because the marvellous occurrences took place but that these took place because the misfortunes were going to occur, only the reason for their occurrence is concealed by their rarity, and consequently is not understood as are the risings and setting of the planets described above and many other phenomena.

Similar haloes occur round the moon and round The principal fixed stars. It is also reported that once several suns were seen at midday at the Bosphorus , and that these lasted from dawn till sunset. In former times three suns have often been seen at once, for example in the consulships of Spurius Postumius and Quintus Mucius , of Quintus Marcius and Marcus Porcius , of Marcus Antonius and Publius Dolabella , and of Marcus Lepidus and Lucius Plancus ; and our generation saw this during the principate of his late Majesty Claudius , in his consulship, when Cornelius Orfitus was his colleague.

It is not stated that more than three suns at a time have ever been seen hitherto. It was seen by the proconsul Silanus and his suite. I have seen a radiance of star-like appearance clinging to the javelins of soldiers on sentry duty at night in front of the rampart; and on a voyage stars alight on the yards and other parts of the ship, with a sound resembling a voice, hopping from perch to perch in the manner of birds. These when they come singly are disastrously heavy and wreck ships, and if they fall into the hold burn them up. If there are two of them, they denote safety and portend a successful voyage; and their approach is said to put to flight the terrible star called Helena : for this reason they are called Castor and Pollux , and people pray to them as gods for aid at sea.

They also shine round men's heads at evening time; this is a great portent. All these things admit of no certain explanation; they are hidden away in the grandeur of nature. Now the remaining noteworthy facts as to the heavens: for the name 'heaven' was also given by our ancestors to this which is otherwise designated 'air' — the whole of that apparently empty space which pours forth this breath of life. This region below the moon, and a long way below it as I notice is almost universally agreed , blends together an unlimited quantity from the upper element of air and an unlimited quantity of terrestrial vapour, being a combination of both orders.

From it come clouds, thunder-claps and also thunderbolts, hail, frost, rain, storms and whirlwinds; from it come most of mortals' misfortunes, and the warfare between the elements of nature. The force of the stars presses down terrestrial objects that strive to move towards the sky, and also draws to itself things that lack spontaneous levitation.

Rain falls, clouds rise, rivers dry up, hailstorms sweep down; rays scorch, and impinging from every side on the earth in the middle of the world, then are broken and recoil and carry with them the moisture they have drunk up. Steam falls from on high and again returns on high. Empty winds sweep down, and then go back again with their plunder. So many living creatures draw their breath from the upper air; but the air strives in the opposite direction, and the earth pours back breath to the sky as if to a vacuum.

Thus as nature swings to and fro like a kind of sling, discord is kindled by the velocity of the world's motion. Nor is the battle allowed to stand still, but is continually carried up and whirled round, displaying in an immense globe that encircles the world the causes of things, continually overspreading another and another heaven interwoven with the clouds.

This is the realm of the winds. On this account more facts have to be set out at the same time. For who can doubt that summer and winter and the yearly vicissitudes observed in the seasons are caused by the motion of the heavenly bodies? Therefore as the nature of the sun is understood to control the year's seasons, so each of the other stars also has a force of its own that creates effects corresponding to its particular nature.

Some are productive of moisture dissolved into liquid, others of moisture hardened into frost or coagulated into snow or frozen into hail, others of a blast of air, others of warmth or heat, others of dew, others of cold. But it must not be thought that the stars are of the size that they appear to the sight, since the consideration of their immense altitude proves that none of them is smaller than the moon.

Consequently each of them exercises its own nature in its own motion, a fact which the transits of Saturn in particular make clear by their storms of rain. Nor does this power belong to the moving stars only, but also to many those that are fixed to the sky, whenever they are impelled forward by the approach of the planets or goaded on by the impact of their rays, as we observe occurring in the case of the Little Pigs , the Greek name for which is consequently the Hyades , a word denoting rain. Indeed some stars move of themselves and at fixed times — compare the rising of the Kids.

But the rising of the constellation Arcturus is almost always accompanied by a hail-storm. At its rise the seas are rough, wine in the cellars ripples in waves, pools of water are stirred. There is a wild animal in Egypt called the gazelle that according to the natives stands facing this dog -star at its rise, and gazing at it as if in worship, after first giving a sneeze.

It is indeed beyond doubt that dogs throughout the whole of that period are specially liable to rabies. Some men are paralysed by a star, others suffer periodic disturbances of the stomach or sinews or bead or mind. The olive and white poplar and willow turn round their leaves at the solstice. Fleabane hung up in the house to dry flowers exactly on midwinter day, and inflated skins burst.

This may surprise one who does not notice in daily experience that one plant, called heliotrope, always looks towards the sun as it passes and at every hour of the day turns with it, even when it is obscured by a cloud. Indeed persistent research has discovered that the influence of the moon causes the shells of oysters, cockles and all shell-fish to grow larger and again smaller in bulk, and moreover that the phases of the moon affect the tissues of the shrewmouse, and that the smallest animal, the ant, is sensitive to the influence of the planet and at the time of the new moon is always slack.

This makes ignorance all the more disgraceful to man, especially as he admits that with some cattle diseases of the eyes increase and diminish with the moon. His excuse is the heaven's vastness, being divided at an enormous height into 72 signs, that is, shapes of things or of animals into which the learned have mapped out the sky.

In them they have indeed noted stars as being specially remarkable for their influence or their appearance, for instance the seven which they have named the Pleiades in the tail of the Bull and the Little Pigs in his forehead, and Bootes the star that follows the Seven Plough- oxen. Their density and bulk are conjectured with certain inference from the fact that they obscure the sun, which is otherwise visible even to those diving into water to whatever depth.

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And I agree that these produce storms, and if there is wind or steam struggling in the cloud, it gives out claps of thunder, if it bursts out on fire, flashes of lightning, if it forces its way on a longer track, heat-lightning. The latter cleaves the cloud, the flashes burst through it, and thunder-claps are the blows of the fires colliding, causing fiery cracks at once to flash out in the clouds.

It is also possible for breath emerging from the earth, when pressed down by the counter-impact of the stars, to be checked by a cloud and so cause thunder, nature choking down the sound while the struggle goes on but the crash sounding when the breath bursts out, as when a skin is stretched by being blown into. It is also possible for this breath, whatever it is, to be set on fire by the friction during its headlong progress. It is also possible for it to be struck out by the impact of the clouds, as by that of two stones, with heat-lightning flashing out like sparks.

But all these occurrences are accidental — they cause mere senseless and ineffectual thunder-claps, as their coming obeys no principle of nature — they merely cleave mountains and seas, and all their other blows are ineffectual; but the former are prophetical and sent from on high, they come by fixed causes and from their own stars. For we see winds arising both from rivers and bays and from the sea even when calm, and others, called altani, arising from the land; the latter when they come back again from the sea are called turning winds, but if they go on, offshore winds.

So again are caverns, like the one with an enormous gaping mouth on the coast of Dalmatia , from which, if you throw some light object into it, even in calm weather a gust like a whirlwind bursts out; the name of the place is Senta. Also it is said that in the province of Cyrenaica there is a certain cliff, sacred to the South wind, which it is sacrilege for the hand of man to touch, the South wind immediately causing a sandstorm.

Even manufactured vessels in many houses if shut up in the dark have peculiar exhalations. Thus there must be some cause for this. The latter, regular and blowing steadily, and felt not by some particular tract only but by whole countries, and not being breezes nor tempests but winds — even their name being a masculine word — whether they are caused by the continuous motion of the world and the impact of the stars travelling in the opposite direction or whether wind is the famous 'breath' that generates the universe by fluctuating to and fro as in a sort of womb, or air whipped by the irregular impact of the planets and the non-uniform emission of their rays, or whether they issue forth from these nearer stars which are their own or fall from those stars which are fixed in the heaven — it is manifest that the winds too obey a law of nature that is not unknown, even if not yet fully known.

This makes me all the more surprised that, although when the world was at variance, and split up into kingdoms, that is, sundered limb from limb, so many people devoted themselves to these abstruse researches; especially when wars surrounded them and hosts were untrustworthy, and also when rumours of pirates , the foes of all mankind, terrified intending travellers — so that now-a-days a person may learn some facts about his own region from the notebooks of people who have never been there more truly than from the knowledge of the natives — yet now in these glad times of peace under an emperor who so delights in productions of literature and science, no addition whatever is being made to knowledge by means of original research, and in fact even the discoveries of our predecessors are not being thoroughly studied.

The rewards were not greater when the ample successes were spread out over made the discoveries in question with no other many students, and in fact the majority of these reward at all save the consciousness of benefiting posterity. Age has overtaken the characters of mankind, not their revenues, and now that every sea has been opened up and every coast offers hospitable landing, an immense multitude goes on voyages — but their object is profit not knowledge; and in their blind engrossment with avarice they do not reflect that knowledge is a more reliable means even of making profit.

Consequently in view of these thousands of persons who go on voyages I will give a more detailed account of the winds than is perhaps suited to the task I have set in hand. Their successors adopted a compromise, adding to the short list four winds from the long one. There are consequently two winds in each of the four quarters of the heaven: Subsolanus blowing from the equinoctial sunrise E. The more numerous scheme had inserted four between these: Thrascias N. Nor is this the end, inasmuch as others have also added one named Meses between Boreas N.

There are also certain winds peculiar to particular races, which do not go outside a special region, e. Some people call Caecias E. Hellespontias, and others have other variants for these names. Similarly in the province of Narbonne the most famous of the winds is Circius W. Fabianus asserts that South winds also do not penetrate Egypt — which reveals the law of nature that even winds have their prescribed limits as well as seasons.

This also practically applies to all the winds whose positions I shall give afterwards, although every leap-year they come a day earlier, but they keep the regular rule in the period that follows. Certain persons give the name Chelidonias to the West wind on the 19th February, owing to the appearance of the swallow, but some call it Ornithias, from the arrival of the birds on the 71st day after the shortest day, when it blows for nine days.

Opposite to the West wind is the wind that we have called Subsolanus E. The rise of the Pleiades in the same degrees of Taurus on May 10 brings summer; it is a period of South wind, Auster , the opposite of Septentrio. But in the hottest period of summer the Dog -star rises, when the sun is entering the first degree of Leo — this day is July The Dog -star's rise is preceded for about eight days by North-east winds: these are called the Forerunners. But two days after his rising the North-east winds begin again, and continue blowing steadily for 30 days; these are called Etesian or Annual winds.

They are believed to be softened by the sun's warmth being reinforced by the heat of the star; and they are the most regular of any of the winds. They are followed in turn by South winds, continuing to the rise of Areturus , which occurs 40 days before the autumnal equinox. With the equinox begins the North-west wind; this, the opposite of Volturnus , marks the beginning of autumn. About 44 days after the autumnal equinox the setting of the Pleiades marks the beginning of winter, which it is customary to date on November 11; this is the period of the winter Aquilo, which is very unlike the summer one mentioned above; it is opposite to the South-west wind.

But for six days before the shortest day and six days after it the sea calms down for the breeding of the halcyons from which these days derive their name. The rest of the time there is wintry weather. However, not even the fury of the storms closes the sea; pirates first compelled men by the threat of death to rush into death and venture on the winter seas, but now avarice exercises the same compulsion. The Southwest and especially the South are for Italy the damp winds; it is said that on the Black Sea the East-north-east also attracts clouds. The North-west and South-east are dry, except when they are falling.

The North-east and North are snow winds; the North brings hailstorms, and so does the North-west.