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consequences to which it leads. The Greek romances are less valuable than they might have been, from giving too much to adventure, and too little to manners and character ;-but these have not been altogether neglected, and several pleasing pictures are delineated of ancient customs and feelings. In short, these early fictions are such as might have been expected at the first effort, and must be considered as not merely valuable in themselves, but as highly estimable in pointing out the method of awaking the most pleasing sympathies of our nature, and affecting most powerfully the fancy and the heart."
Phlegon of Tralles in Lydia, one of Hadrian's freedmen, may further be mentioned before dismissing the present subject. Under his name the Emperor, as is supposed, wrote his own biography (Spartiani Vita Hadriani, c. 16). His work Tepi Javpaoiwv (printed in Jac. Gronovii Thes. Graec. Anth. viii. p. 2694) consists of a collection of marvellous tales and ghost stories, not altogether unlike those which have been so popular in the German literature of the present century. The first portion of the book is lost, and therewith the commencement of the story of Philinnion returned from the grave (borrowed by Phlegon from a letter of Hipparchus, Philipp's Commandant of Amphipolis, to Arrhidaeus, see Rohde, p. 391), which Goethe adapted in his Bride of Corinth. The tale of Phlegon is undoubtedly connected with the tales current in south-eastern Europe of vampyres, and dead who rise from their graves and suck the blood of the living, especially of their nearest relatives, and called in modern Greek Buthrolakkas, or Burkolassas [βουρκόλακκας].
Here, too, are found the stories of the Succubi (ép trovoai), or female sprites (Alp.). See Dobeneck, Des Deutschen Mittelatus Volksglaube, i. 32, who cites a pre-Christian example of this kind of being from Philostratus.
See, further, note on Morgant le Géant, Chassang, p. 400, the tables of Lamide, Gorgons, Ephialta, Mormolyce, Manducus.
Another fictionist unmentioned by Dunlop is Damascius, recorded by Photius (cod. 130), but without any biographical information about him. He was probably a Christian at a time when Christianity had become generally diffused. Photius gives only the titles of his books which are:Of Incredible Stories, 352 chapters; Tales of Demons, 52 chapters; Wonderful Stories of Apparitions, 63 chapters, and of Incredible Natures, 105 chapters. Photius pronounces them to have been full of extravagances, and of gloomy Pagan superstition, but composed in a clear and elegant style.-
LIEB. A contemporary of Theodorus Prodromus, Constantine Manasses composed the metrical romance of Aristander and Callithea in nine books. The only extracts from this work which have come down show it to have contained the usual accumulation of adventures and vicissitudes found in the Greek romances.
In general, remarks F. W. V. Schmidt (Wien. Jahrb. Bd. 26, p. 46), speaking of the later Greek romances, and especially the works of Eustathjus, Theodorus Prodromus, and Nicetas Eugenianos, the perusal of these works, important as they are for the knowledge of philology and literature, leaves upon the reader the impression conveyed by seeing an old man in his dotage.
The contact with the western nations effected by the Crusades with the effete civilization of Byzantium, and French domination in the Morea, substituted Frankish romances for ancient models, or poor imitations thereof, and narrative literature received themes from both east and west, as the stories of the Pankyatranta and Sindibad had already been introduced into the popular Byzantine literature ; separate French compositions were now translated, such as stories from the Round Table, of la Belle Maguelonne, Flores and Blanchefleur, etc. Many of these stories became in this way so popularized that they are still recognizable in the modern Greek folk tales. (See note to Apollonius, p. 83, and Nicolai, Gesch. des Neugriech, Literatur. p. 11.) An instance is the story of the good Florentia, or the history of the faithful wife vainly tempted by her brother-in-law during her husband's absence, then turned adrift, resisting the amorous proposals of divers men whom she meets, who subsequently come to be healed at a monastery whither she had retired, and where she had become celebrated for miraculous cures, and whom she heals from their ailments upon their confessing their guilt; whereupon she is reconciled to her husband. For an account of the variants of this story of the good Florentia of Rome, see Graesse, Literärgeschichte, iii. i. 286, 287. The same story is current with but little difference in Janina Hahn, Griech. Märchen, N. 16 (1, p. 140, etc.). The legend probably found its way in the popular mouth from some Greek version of a Frankish original. The ultimate source of the Saga (which is found in various forms, such as that of Genoveva, of Crescentia, see v. d. Hagen Gesammtabentener, vii, and i. 101; also Esterley, on Kirchof's Wendunnuth, 2, 23; G. Rom. 249, p. 747, of Hildegard; Grimm. Deutsche Sagen, N. 437) is to be found in the Indian cycle of the Papageienbuch in the oldest form of that collection which is accessible to us, Night 33, as well as in the Turkish Tooti Nameh : Rose, i. 89-108. See Rohde, p. 533, etc., and Gidel, Etudes. For further information on the perpetuation of popular fiction among the Greeks, the following works may be consulted : Berington's “Literary History of the Middle Ages,” Appendix I. Bikelas, Die Griechen des Mittelalters und ihre Einflues auf die Europäische Cultur, Güttersloh, 1878. Nicolai, Geschichte der Neugriechischen Literatur, Leipzig, 1876. Gidel, Études-Nouvelles Etudes sur la Littérature grecque moderne, 1866, 1878. Schmidt, Bernhardt, Das Volksleben der Neugriechen und das Hellenische Alterthum, Leipzig, 1871, and the same author's Griechische Märchen, etc., 1877. Hahn, Griechische und Albanesische Märchen, 1864. Miss J. E. Harrison's " Myths of the Odys in Art and Literature,” London, 1882. Gerland, Altgriechische Märchen in der Odyssee, Magdeburg, 1869. Geldart, Folklore of Modern Greece, London, 1882. W. Wagner, Shakespeare in Griechenland, Leipzig, and chaps. 21, 28-30, of Rev. H. F. Tozer's “ Researches in the Highlands of Turkey.
INTRODUCTION OF THE MILESIAN TALES INTO ITALY.LATIN
ROMANCĘS. - PETRONIUS ARBITER. - APULEIUS, ETC.
HE Milesian Fables had found their way into Italy
even before they flourished in Greece. They had been received with eagerness, and imitated by the Sybarites, the most voluptuous nation in the west of Europe; whose stories obtained the same celebrity in Rome, that the Milesian tales had acquired in Greece and Asia. It is not easy to specify the exact nature of the western imitations, but if we may judge from a solitary specimen transmitted by Ælian in his Variæ Historiæ (1. 14. c. 20), they were of a facetious description, and intended to promote merriment. A pedagogue of the Sybarite nation conducted his pupil through the streets of a town. The boy happened to get hold of a fig, which he was proceeding to eat, when his tutor interrupted him by a long declamation against luxury, and then snatching the dainty from his hand, devoured it with the utmost greed. This tale Ælian says he had read in the Sybarite stories (sopiais ouşapırıkac), and had been so much entertained that he got it by heart, and committed it to writing, as he did not grudge mankind a hearty laugh !
Many of the Romans, it would appear, were as easily amused as Ælian, since the Sybarite stories for a long while enjoyed great popularity; and, at length, in the time of Sylla, the Milesian tales of Aristides were translated into Latin by Sisenna, who was prætor of Sicily, and author of a history of Rome. Plutarch informs us in his life of Crassus [c. 32], that when that general was defeated by the Parthians, the conquerors found copies of Milesian and Sybarite tales in the tents of the nan soldiers; whence Surena expressed his contempt for the effeminacy and licentiousness of his enemies, who, even in time of war, could not refrain from the perusal of such compositions.
The taste for the Sybarite and Milesian fables increased during the reign of the emperors. Many imitators of Aristides appeared, particularly Clodius Albinus, the competitor of the Emperor Severus, whose stories have not reached posterity, but are said to have obtained a celebrity to which their merit hardly entitled them. It is strange that Severus, in a letter to the senate, in which he upbraids its members for the honours they had heaped on his rival, and the support they had given to his pretensions, should, amid accusations that concerned him more nearly, have expressed his chief mortification to arise from their having distinguished that person as learned, who had grown hoary in the study of old wives' tales, such as the Milesian-Punic fables.-Major fuit dolor, quod illum pro literato laudandum plerique duxistis, cum ille neniis quibusdam anilibus occupatus, inter Milesias Punicas Apuleii suit, et ludicra literaria consenesceret.?
But the most celebrated fable of ancient Rome is the work of Petronius Arbiter, perhaps the most remarkable fiction which has dishonoured the literary history of any nation. It is the only fable of that period now extant, but is a strong proof of the monstrous corruption of the times in which such a production could be tolerated, though, no doubt, writings of bad moral tendency might be circulated before the invention of printing, without arguing the depravity they would have evinced, if presented to the world subsequent to that period.
The work of Petronius is in the form of a satire, and, according to some commentators, is directed against the vices of the court of Nero, who is thought to be delineated under the names of Trimalchio and Agamemnon; an opinion which has been justly ridiculed by Voltaire [Ecrivains franç. du Siècle de Louis XIV. 8. v. Nodot). The satire is written in a manner which was first introduced by Varro; verses are intermixed with prose, and jests with serious remark. It has much the air of a romance, both in the incidents and their disposition; but the story is too well known, and too scandalous, to be particularly detailed. The scene is laid in Magna Græcia ; Eucolpius [c. 91), is the chief character in the work, and the narrator of events ;-he commences by a lamentation on the decline of eloquence [c. 2], and while listening to the reply of Agamemnon, a professor of oratory, he loses his companion Ascyltos. Wandering through the town in search of him [c. 6], he is finally conducted by an old woman to a retirement where the incidents that occur are analogous to the scene. The subsequent adventuresthe feast of Trimalchio—the defection and return of Giton -the amour of Eumolpus in Bythinia—the voyage in the vessel of Lycus—the passion and disappointment of Circe, follow each other without much art of arrangement; an apparent defect which may arise from the mutilated form in which the satire has descended to us.
1 Milesias nonnulli ejusdem esse dicunt, quarum fama non ignobilis. habetur, quamvis mediocriter scriptæ sunt. - Capitolinus vit. Clod. Albini., c. 11.
2 Ibid. c. 12.
* And extant only in a fragmentary form. Being employed for excerpts in anthologies, the work itself was all the sooner lost,
which it. appears to have been as early as the seventh century. The MSS. known have on the whole the same gaps and corruptions, and must therefore be derived from, and the same original MSS., which contained only excerpts from the complete works of Petronius.— Teuffel. His. Rom. Lit. ii. p. 88.
The style of Petronius has been much applauded for its elegance-it certainly possesses considerable naiveté and grace, and is by much too fine a veil for so deformed a body. Some of the verses also are extremely beautiful. The best part of the prose, however, is the well-known episode of the matron of Ephesus [c. 111, 112], which, I have little doubt, was originally a Milesian or Sybarite fable. A lady of Ephesus, on the death of her husband, not contented with the usual demonstrations of grief, descended with the corpse into the vault in which it was entombed, resolving there to perish with sorrow. From this design no entreaties of her own or her husband's friends could dissuade her. But at length a common soldier, who had been appointed to watch the bodies of malefactors crucified in the vicinity, lest they should be taken down by their relations, perceiving a light, descended into the vault,
1 The council of Trent declined to put the work on the Index on account of its Latinity. For a very readable account of Petronius, who is now generally considered to have been a contemporary of Nero, see Sincox, Latin Literature, ii. 83.