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watermen in Lucian give the preference to a jackdaw: but Antipater in some degree dissents, and thinks that the swan has the advantage.
** Λωιτερος κυκνων μικρος θρoος, ηε κολοιων
And Lucretius confesses, that the screaming of a crane is not quite so pleasing:
** Parvus ut est, Cygni melior canor, ille gruum
Which however is paying them no great compli
To these respectable personages I must add the evidence of a modern; one too of no small repute, even the great Scaliger. He says, that he made a strict scrutiny about this affair, when in Italy; and the result of his observations was this: 4 Ferrariæ multos (cygnos) vidimus, sed cantores sane malos, neque melius ansere canere.
Epigram. in Erinnam. I. 3. p. 280. H. Steph. "Lucretius. I. 4. v. 182.
" See Vossius de Idol. vol. 2. I. 3. C. 88. p. 1212. and Pierius de Cygnis. p. 254.
THE Egyptians were very famous for geometrical knowledge: and as all the flat part of their country was annually overflowed, it is reasonable to suppose that they made use of this science to determine their lands, and to make out their several claims, at the retreat of the waters. Many indeed have thought, that the confusion of property, which must for a while have prevailed, gave birth to practical' geometry, in order to remedy the evil : and in consequence of it, that charts and maps were first delineated in this country. These, we may imagine, did not relate only to private demesnes : but included also the course of the Nile in its various branches; and all the sea coast, and its inlets, with which lower Egypt was bounded.
* Herod. I. 2. c. 109.
Γεωμετριας τι αυ ευρεται γεγονασιν (αν Αιγυπτιοι.) Clemens, Strom. 1. 1. p. 361.
It is very certain, that the people of Colchis, who were a colony from Egypt, had charts of this sort, with written descriptions of the seas and shores, whithersoever they traded : and they at one time carried on a most extensive commerce. We are told, says the “Scholiast upon Apollonius, that the Colchians still retain the laws and customs of their forefathers : and they have pillars of stone, upon which are engraved maps of the continent, and of the ocean : Eισι δε, φησι, και νομι παρ' αυτοις των Προγονων, και Στηλαι, εν αις γης και θαλασσης
, αναγραφει εισι. The poet, upon whom the above writer has commented, calls these pillars, zupfers: which, we are told, were of a square figure, like obelisks : and on these,' he says, were delineated all the passages of the sea; and the boundaries of
; every country upon the earth.
3'Οι δη του γραπτας πατερων
These delineations had been made of old, and
2 L. 4. ν. 279.
transmitted to the Colchians by their forefathers; which forefathers were from * Egypt.
If then the Colchians had this science, we may presume that their mother country possessed it in as eminent a degree: and we are assured, that they were very knowing in this article. Clemens Alexandrinus ' mentions, that there were maps of Egypt, and charts of the Nile very early. And we are moreover told, that Sesostris (by which is meant the Sethosians) drew upon boards schemes of all the countries, which he had traversed: and copies of these were given both to the Egyptians, and to the Scythians, who held them in high estimation. This is a curious account of the first delineation of countries, and origin of maps ; which were first described upon 'pillars. We
* Dionys. Napinynais. v. 688.
S Clerm. Alexand. speaks Περι τε της Κοσμογραφιας και Γεωγραφιας κτλ.-Χωρογραφιας τε της Αιγυπτα, και της τε Νειλε διαγραφης. Strom. 6. p. 757.
“Σεσωσεις δε, φασιν, ο Αιγυπτιος, πολλην περιεληλυθως γην πιναξι τε δεδωκε την περιοδον, και της των πινακων αναγραφας ουκ Αιγυπτιους μονον, αλλα και Σκυθαις εις θαυμα μεταδουναι ηξιωσεν. Εustath. Pref. Epist. to Dionys. p. 12.
' Ægyptios primos omnium tam cælum quam terram esse dimensos: ejusque rei scientiam columnis incisam ad posteros propagâsse. Petavii Uranalogia. p. 121. taken from Achilles Tatius.