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while grant it; and inquire what was the progress. They had the use of them so far as to put an inscription on the pediment of a temple, or upon a pillar; or to scrawl a man's name upon a tile or an oyster-shell, when they wanted to banish or poison him. Such scanty knowledge, and so base materials, go but a little way towards science. What history was there of Corinth, or of Sparta ? What annals were there of Argos, or Messena; of Elis, or the cities of Achaia ? None: not even of "3 Athens. . There are not the least grounds to surmise that any single record existed. The names of the Olympic victors from Corcebus, and of the priestesses of Argos, were the princi
pal memorials to which they pretended: but how little knowledge could be obtained from hence! The laws of Draco, in the thirty-ninth Olympiad, were certainly the most antient writing to which we can securely appeal. Whenthe Grecians began afterwards to bestir themselves, a"nd to look back upon what had passed, they collected whatever accounts could be ,4 obtained. They tried also to separate and arrange them, to the best of their abilities, and to make the various parts of their history correspond. They had still some good materials to proceed upon, had they thoroughly understood them; but herein was a great failure. Among the various traditions handed down, they did not consider which really related to their country, and which had been introduced from other ls parts. Indeed they did not chuse to distinguish, but adopted all for their own; taking the merit of every antient transaction to themselves. No people had a greater love for science, nor displayed a more refined taste in composition. Their study was ever to please, and to raise admiration. Hence they always aimed at the mar
14 The Arundel Marbles arc a work of this sort, and contain an account of 1318 years. They begin from Cecrops, and come down to the l60th Olympiad. So that this work was undertaken Very late, after the Archonship of Diognetus.
15 See Diodorus above, p. 19, 20.
vellous, which they dressed up in a most winning manner: at the same time they betrayed a seeming veneration for antiquity. But their judgment was perverted, and this veneration attended with little regard for the truth. 16 They had a high opinion of themselves, and of their country in general : and, being persuaded that they sprang from the ground on which they stood, and that the Arcadians were older than the moon, they rested satisfied with this, and looked no farther. In short, they had no love for any thing genuine, no desire to be instructed. Their history could not be reformed but by an acknowledgment which their pride would not suffer them to make. They therefore devoted themselves to an idle mythology : and there was nothing so contradictory and absurd but was greedily admitted, if sanctified by tradition. Even when the truth glared in their very faces, they turned from the light, and would not be undeceived. Those who,
162-Τις 8 παρ αυτων συγγραφεων μαθοι ραδιως, ότι μηδεν βεβαιώς ειδοτες συνεγραφον, αλλ' ως έκαςοι περι των πραγματων εικαζοντο; πλειον γον δια των βιβλιων αλληλες ελεγχεσι, και εναντιωτατα περι των αυτων Meryelv 8X OxV800-x72: Josephus contra Apion. vol. 2. 1. 1. c. 3. p. 439. . '
Ομοίως δε τετω (Εφορω) Καλλισθενης και Θεοπόμπος κατα την ηλικιών γεγονοτες ασεπησαν των παλαιων μυθων ημεις δε την εναντιαν τετοις κρισιν έχοντες, και τον εκ της αναγραφης πονον υσοςαντες, την πασαν επίPEREIQv swono Xpeber ons aexavodayics. Diod: 1. 4. p. 209.
like Euemerus and Ephorus, had the courage to dissent from their legends, were deemed atheists and apostates, and treated accordingly. Plutarch more than once insists that it is expedient to veil the truth, and to dress it up in "allegory. They went so far as to deem inquiry a 8 crime, and thus precluded the only means by which the truth could be obtained.
Nor did these prejudices appear only in respect to their own rites and theology, and the history of their own nation : the accounts which they gave of other countries were always tinctured with this predominant vanity. An idle zeal made them attribute to their forefathers the merit of many great performances to which they were utterly strangers; and supposed them to have
founded cities in various parts of the world where the name of Greece could not have been known; cities which were in being before Greece was a state. Wherever they got footing, or even a transient acquaintance, they in their descriptions accommodated every thing to their own preconceptions; and expressed all terms according to their own mode of writing and pronunciation, that appearances might be in their favour. To this were added a thousand silly stories to support their pretended claim. They would persuadf us that Jason of Greece founded the empire of the Medes; as Perseus, of the same country, did that of the Persians. Annenus, a companion of Jason, was the reputed father of the Armenians. They gave out that Tarsus, one of the most antient cities in the world, was built by people from 19 Argos; and that Pelusium of Egypt had a name of Grecian "original. They, too, built Sais, ia the same "country: and the city of the Sun, styled Heliopolis, owed its origin to an "Athenian.
Staph. Byzantinus, and Strabo. 1. 16*. p. 10S9.
10 n»oftarai i' onto T« vnXu. Strabo. 1. 17. p. 1155.
According to Marcellinus, U was built by Pcleus of Thessaly. 1. 22. c. 16. p. 26*4.
21 Diodorus. 1. 5. p. 328.
"Diodortis. 1. 5. p. 328. built by Actis;