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it was barren; for there was nothing in it to tempt any one to touch there, and no one went near it, unless driven upon the coast by stress of weather.' Neither could the arrows in the possession of Philoctetes be literal arrows2; for even granting the greatest possible licence to poetic fiction, it is hard to see in what way, viewed as implements of war, the success of the siege could depend on them; and certain it is, that the capture of the city was not effected, nor accelerated by his presence. But instruments of religion have always been supposed to exercise a fatal influence upon the destinies of states, like the ark of the Israelites, and the statue of Minerva, which Ulysses had already stolen from the Trojans. It is most likely, therefore, that the arrows were not weapons, but objects of worship; and considering the place from which they came, the person to whom they had belonged, and the circumstances under which they were first left behind, and afterwards sought for by the superstitious Greeks, we may conclude that they were sacred stones, like the Shalugramus of the Hindoos. The last point to be mentioned
Sophoc. Philoctet. 305.
2 The words used are 'Iès, which, in the oblique cases, makes 'I, the moon, or βέλος, Belus, or ἄτρακτος, malus navis, but never ὀϊστὲς,
5 The Shalugramus are black stones mostly round, and more frequently worshipped than the Linga. Ward's Introduction to the History of the Hindoos.
is especially worthy of consideration. Sophocles ascribes the sufferings of Philoctetes to the wrath of the incensed Chryse.' The wound, however, was manifestly not physical, but moral; for although the Lemnian earth was considered an infallible antidote for the poison of a viper's bite 2, yet Philoctetes remains there ten years without that cure, which he obtains immediately upon rejoining the Grecian army. Homer attributes the pestilence, which laid waste that army, to the anger of Chryses, whom Agamemnon had dishonoured. Now in Homer Chryses was the priest of Apollo, or the sun. In Sophocles therefore Chryse was, no doubt, his priestess, and in either case the offence consisted in preferring Arkite rites. For Neptune assisted the Greeks, and Philoctetes had built an altar to Hercules on the shore. Nor could he have any other motive for landing on such an island as the dramatist describes, except for the purpose of fulfilling its sacred rites. Accordingly, he was left sleeping, or reposing, on the lofty or hollow rock.4
It may be said, that if the Greeks had been Arkites, they would not have abandoned Philoctetes; but the influence of the rival factions might prevail at different times. Nine years had elapsed before the priest of Apollo makes his appearance; but in the tenth, the God is offended with the army: Neptune sides with them, and the arrows of Hercules are sent for.
1 Τῆς ὠμόφρονος Χρύσης, 175. 3 Hom. Il. i. 11.
2 Eustath. in lib. ii. Iliad. 4 Ἐν κατηρεφεῖ πέτρῳ, 275.
In like manner Troy also was successively subject to the domination of rival priests. It was founded by Dardanus, the Arkite, who took upon himself the character of the man preserved from the deluge in an ark near a mountain, which he called Ida, abounding in water; and as it is the tendency of mankind always to bring down religion to their own level, so the lofty Ida being inconvenient for sacred rites on account of its height, a mimic mountain was raised on the Sigean plain, called the monument, or mound of Ilus'; for Ila as well as Ida, in Sanscrit, signifies the earth'; that earth, namely, which first appeared above the waste of waters, like a small rocky island. Afterwards, when Laomedon ascended the throne, it was settled, as it were, upon a new foundation, for both the rival sects were admitted; and he
1 Superstition multiplied these Arkite temples with remarkable profuseness. Kûshûnly Tépe is a conical hill at the base of Ida, with the Scamander or Mender flowing at its foot. About half way up this immense cone are ruins of temples and baths; and upon the summit an oblong area, six yards long by two broad, enclosed by rude Cyclopian stones. The top is covered by a grove of oaks, and round them are stones ranged like what we call in England Druidical circles. What is now called the tomb of Ilus is another high conical tumulus, of very regular structure. But Aia in Greek being the earth, it is very probable that the Aianteum was originally the tomb of Ilus; for there was nothing in the character of Ajax to attract the veneration which that tumulus obtained; but Ilus is called by Homer the Divine and the Ancient; and the mound was a péya oñua, and had a σ upon it. Iliad. K. . w. And Clarke affirms, that religious regard for that hallowed spot continued through so many ages, that even to the time in which Christianity decreed the destruction of the pagan idols, the sanctity of the Aianteum was maintained. Alexander performed rites, and made offerings there. Clarke's Travels, iii. 107—167.
2 As. Res. vii. 318.
promised, as Hyginus relates, to sacrifice both to Neptune and Apollo. In this promise he failed: and a pestilence which followed soon after, being attributed to the wrath of Apollo, the worship of the sun seems to have obtained the predominance, and at last, in the course of the Trojan war, it may be inferred, that the rival sect was almost excluded. The punishments said to be inflicted by Neptune are manifestly distorted accounts of Arkite ceremonies, and the subjects represented in Arkite mysteries. Of the latter sort, is the deluge, of which he is reported to have been the cause of the former, is the annual exposure of a virgin to the fury of a sea monster; for the ark being considered the mother of mankind, it was often represented by a female figure committed to the floods. Thus, on the banks of the Ganges, under the name of Dourga, a richly decorated figure is thrown into its waters at the commencement of the lunar year2; and in Egypt, at the rising of the inundation, it is still the custom to raise a column of earth in the dyke (before it is cut), called the Virgin, and on this they throw chaplets of flowers, which, along with the virgin,
1 Non impune feres, rector maris inquit: et omnes Inclinavit aquas ad avaræ littora Troja.
Inque freti formam terras convertit: opesque
Abstulit agricolis, et fluctibus obruit agros.
Ovid. Metamorph. 1. xi.
2 Moor's Hindu Pantheon, p. 156. in the month Aswina, at the autumnal equinox.
are soon carried off by the flood.' The rescue, therefore, of Hesione by Hercules signifies either the correction of a custom which had irregularly crept into those rites, or the suppression of them altogether by those worshippers of the sun, who claimed Hercules for their own property; for so Perseus also rescued Andromeda. 2 Nor was this the only instance in which the actions of the one have been attributed indifferently to the other. Antigonus Carystius mentions a strange story, that Hercules, being asleep in the country of the Rhegini, and disturbed by grasshoppers, prayed that they might become mute3; and, in Seripho, the same story is related of Perseus and the frogs. He adds, that some attributed it to Hercules, and others to Perseus. The grasshoppers and frogs, thus silenced, were doubtless the priests of the opposite party. Similar religious differences furnish a key to explain much that occurred in the Trojan war, notwithstanding the air of romance which has been thrown over the whole of it by the poet's art. Some curious particulars of ancient
1 Madan's Travels, i. 325.
2 St. Jerome relates that in his time, the rock and the ring to which Andromeda was bound, still continued to be pointed out at Joppa. He who can believe the story of Pausanias, that the waters of a fountain, in which Perseus washed off the blood of the monster, were ever after red on that account, may believe the rest of the fable too; but the real origin of it becomes sufficiently apparent, when we learn that, according to the traditions of the country, Joppa contains the sepulchre of Noah: the castle is in an island, and the rock contains cells. Chateaubriand, i. 357.
3 The grasshoppers become ἀφώνοι ; the frogs, οὐ φθέγτονται.— Antig. Caryst. Historiarum Mirabilium Collectanea, c. ii. and iv.