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tone is gone, the manifold stops of the organ voice, but the English Herodotus retains the picturesqueness of the narrative, the flow of the stream, the play of the eddy; and something of the dramatic impersonation is kept alive. The women · of Herodotus are true womanly in English as in Greek. The
tears of mortal things drip on our hearts in English as in Greek. The princes and the sages of Herodotean history hold language fitting their high estate, their far-reaching wisdom. Those who emphasize the simplicity of Herodotus are prone to forget that antiquity recognised in him magnificence as well.
But no matter how much or how little of the original charm hangs about the translation of Herodotus, for the appreciation of the genius of the author, for the correct estimate of his position among the great writers of the world, something must be said of the artistic character of his language. Herodotus was a conscious artist. No happy knack of fluent, graceful writing was his. The easy style was the result of conscientious toil. Genius there was, or else we should have had no such result, but the closer study of Herodotus shows what a close student he himself was. The very dialect in which he wrote was a work of art, as unreal, as ideal, if you choose, as modern literary Provençal, and the old-fashioned style, as it is called by the Greek critics, was deliberately adopted or deliberately retained. The Ionic dialect was the first dialect used for artistic prose, and its charm was felt long after the common speech of Greece had swept away all literary rivals, so that in the time of the Greek Renascence scholars composed in Ionic and tried to reproduce the easy pace of the dialect, with its wealth of vowels and its drawling utterance. A great mass of medical literature bearing the name of Hippocrates was written in Ionic; the dark and deep sayings of Heraclitus were couched in Ionic; the great thinker Democritus was a master of Ionic style; but Herodotus evolved an Ionic of his own, and his Ionic became the type, though his imitators did not appreciate either his depth or his grandeur, did not feel the bowstring of tragedy in the silken cord of his narrative. The naiveté of Herodotus, so much emphasized by those who have not penetrated into his real character, does not show itself in his language, which was not learned in the streets of Halicarnassus or picked up on the island of Samos. It is a composite diction of his own, and one of the hardest tasks of modern Hellenists has been set by the historian's dialect. The personal equation disarranges the most elaborate schemes of the uniformitarian. Now the breath of Attic blows on the vowels, now there is a reminiscence of Homer and Panyassis. To the vocal charm of the dialect is added the delight of the transparent style, the simple structure of the sentence, and its pellucid flow. Rhetoric had made considerable advance in the time of Herodotus, and he was no stranger to the periodic style, with its elaborate framework, with its protasis and apodosis, its problem and its answer, and the gathered power of its circuit. But he deliberately preferred the older type, the so-called strung-on style (néçus eipouévn), or rosary style, in which a simple and, a simple but, serves as a special bead to co-ordinate the groups of words. The freedom with which the Greek can handle his participles enables him to give colour and shade to the sentence without the use of analytic conjunctions. The reader, or, better, the listener, is left to draw his own inferences, to make his own perspective, and the tide of the narrative moves on full and yet free. This artistic use of the "strung-on” style in narrative has been misunderstood, as so much has been misunderstood in Herodotus, whose art only too effectually conceals his art.
Whether we attach much importance or not to the story of Herodotus's recitation at Athens, and if we put aside, as we must put aside, the fable of his reading at Olympia and elsewhere, unquestioned is the fact that his work became immediately famous. Thucydides, who is but little younger, treats him as a celebrity of the old school, and girds at him covertly with a sense of superiority. Ctesias's “ History of Persia” was a formal assault on Herodotus, with the result that in the age of facile sneer the world seemed richer by another liar, Ctesias and Herodotus falling into the same condemnation. In his recently recovered “Commonwealth of Athens ” Aristotle uses Herodotus freely, and the rapid decline in his reputation, which some assume, is nothing but the inevitable process of absorption. Historian swallowed up historian; Herodotus became a source, and his limpid current was a feeder to a mill-race. It was not until the time of the Roman Empire that Herodotus found readers who appreciated him from the stylistic point of view. How much he was studied then, how much imitated, how strenuously the secrets of his art were sought and practised, how many allusions to his history stud the pages of the later sophists, who saw in him the model of narrative, none but those can rightly measure who are familiar with the curious chapter of parasitic literary life, called the Greek Renascence.
Viewed as a history, viewed as a moral story-book, viewed as a contribution to ethnology and anthropology, viewed as a work of art, the “Setting Forth of Investigation” is one of the greatest literary achievements of all time, and well deserves a place in a library like this. It is not a simple registry of facts, but the legends and the fictions are often as illuminative as the facts, and for wide vision, for manifold suggestiveness, for noble and yet liberal spirit, for serene wisdom, for sunshiny humour, for fascinating style, the Father of History may challenge all those who have come after him.
BASIL L. GILDERSLEEVE.
FAMOUS AND UNIQUE MANI'SCRIPT AND
:, Ctesias and Herodotus falling into the same conn. In his recently recovered “Commonwealth of Aristotle uses Herodotus freely, and the rapid deis reputation, which some assume, is nothing but the
process of absorption. Historian swallowed up ; Herodotus became a source, and his limpid current der to a mill-race. It was not until the time of the mpire that Herodotus found readers who appreciated
the stylistic point of view. How much he was en, how much imitated, how strenuously the secrets were sought and practised, how many allusions to 7 stud the pages of the later sophists, who saw in odel of narrative, none but those can rightly measare familiar with the curious chapter of parasitic ?, called the Greek Renascence. | as a history, viewed as a moral story-book, viewed ibution to ethnology and anthropology, viewed as art, the “Setting Forth of Investigation” is one
A series of fac-similes, showing the development of manuscript and
book illustrating during four thousand years.
THE FORTRESS OF THE FAITH.
IIiniature from a fifteenth century manuscript in the National Library
atest literary achievements of all time, and well place in a library like this. It is not a simple regis, but the legends and the fictions are often as illu; the facts, and for wide vision, for manifold sug, for noble and yet liberal spirit, for serene wisdom, y humour, for fascinating style, the Father of Hishallenge all those who have come after him.
Basil L. GILDERSLEEVE.