Imágenes de páginas

Beau, as Secretray to the Academy) we find the substance of two Memoirs of M. de BURIGNY, concerning that Taste for the marvellous, of which the Greek and Latin Hiftorians have been accufed. The other Memoirs which are abridged in this part, are as follows:

A Memoir, concerning the religious, civil, and political Notions of the Ancients with respect to their Hair, and the Beard. By M. GOUTIER de SIBERT. These two objects seem to be of little consequence; but when customs depend upon sentiments and manners, or upon religious and political systems, they may deserve attention, as connected with the history of human nature; and it is under this point of view that they are considered by M. GOUTIER. He has collected, from a multitude of vo. lumes, all that has been faid upon these two subjects ; so that antiquarians and philologists, as well as hair-dressers and barbers, will find here ample food for their curiosity. The beard feems to have been more unanimously respected in ancient times than long hair, though it appears fomewhat surprising, that while philofophy was treating it with the most profound veneration, Scipio Africanus shaved him felf without fear or shame every day. Long hair was but an equivocal object of esteem: when it hung, in filth and flovenly negligence, upon the shoulders, the fathers of the church treated it with regard ; but when it was clean, neat, and graceful, it became an object of ecclesiafical censure ; and when highly ornamented, both philosophy and theology anathematized it with severity, as a symptom of effeminacy, or a mark of reprobation.

Memois. Concerning the politisal State of the Gauls, when they were conquered by the Romans. By M. de BURIGNY,

Concerning the Life and Medals of Agrippa. By the Abbé le BLOND.

Illustrations and Conjectures concerning fome ancient Roman Laws. By M. BOUCHAUD.

Researches concerning the City of Lamia, its Inhabitants, the Malians, and fome of their Medals. By the Abbé le Blond.

Illustrations concerning some Niedals of Lacedemon, Heraclea, and Mullus; designed as an Answer to the Memoir of the Abbé le Blond. By M. DUTENS.

Inquiries concerning the Art of Diving among the Ancients. By the Abbé AMEILHON. From swimming, which this learned Academician treated in a preceding volume, to diving, which is the subject of the present Memoir, the transition is natural; and some will be surprised to find this latter art carried to fuch a degree of improvement as it was in ancient times, if the historians do not exaggerate. Our Academician points out, first, the services which divers rendered to the public : he shews, afterwards, how far they excelled in their art; and he enumerates, in the third place, the different means they made use of to fa6


cilitate the exercise of their profeflion, and to avoid the dangers to which they were often exposed. Our Academician tells many wonderful stories of the ancient divers, who were employed on a multitude of occasions, among others, to carry intelligence to and from besieged cities, and even to put trouts clandestinely on Mark Antony's hook, when he was angling with Cleopatra, as Plutarch relates.

An Examination of the Opinion of y. Godfrey, concerning the Ceremony of conferring Liberty upon Slaves, as performed in the Churches.

OBSERVATIONS on the History, Records, and Monuments of Cæfarea in Cappadocia. By the late Abbé Belley, Thele Observations relate to the geographical situation and antiquity of the city in question, to the fertility of its territory, its government under its own kings, and under the Romans, its religious worship, temples, festivals, sacred games, medals, revolutions, and its present state.

A Discourse concerning the Passion of Gaming, in different Ages. By M. DUSAULX.

Observations on a MS. in the King's Library, which contains the Songs of the TROUBADOURS of Swabia or Germany, from the End of the 12th Century, to the Year 1336. By the Baron ZurLAUBEN. The history of this Manuscript, and a description of the figures with which it is ornamented, as relative to the customs and manners of the time, form the contents of this first Memoir.

Indication of a Manuscript which furnishes fome historical Details concerning Robert Count d'Artois. By M. Dacier.

The historical part of this volume is concluded by the EuJogies of the following deceased Academicians, composed by M. DUPUY; Messrs. Fontette, Bignon, and Duclos, the Abbé de la Bletterie, the Earl of Chesterfield, Messrs. la Nauze, and Cape peronier.

XVII.-XXI, Memoirs. Concerning the Phoenicians. By the late Abbé MIGNOT. In these five Memoirs, the learned and voluminous Academician pours forth a profufion of erudition upon the government and cifferent revolutions of Phænicia; and treats, allo, very amply, concerning the laws and the military forces of the Phænicians, their cities, edifices, domestic life, maso riages, and dress.

Observations concerning certain Points, relative to the Religion and Philosophy of the Egyptians and Chinese. By M. de GUIGNES. This Memoir is deligned to prove that, generally speaking, the Chinese were indebted for their knowledge to the Egyptians, and were in the grosseft state of ignorance and barbarism

before their intercourse with this latter people. The learned Academician proves, moreover, that it was not from the Indians, to whom an

Nn 2


extravagant antiquity is attributed by some, that the Chinese received their civilization. The following learned and important Memoirs illustrate farther this curious point of erudition.

Hiftorical Researches concerning the Indian Religion, and the fundamental Books of that Religion, which have been translated from the Indian Language into the Chinese. By M. de GUIGNES. These curious researches are contained in Three Memoirs. In the first we have the history of the establishment of the Indian religion in India, Tartary, Thibet, the isles of the ocean, and in Japan ; and in the second and third, an account of its establishment in China. There is nothing more disagreeable to an ardent inquirer, than the contradictory accounts which our (for the most part ignorant) travellers have given of the Indian religion. Our very learned Academician has therefore struck out a new path to come at more consistent and satisfactory views of this subject, and he has illustrated it by a multitude of facts, hitherto absolutely unknown, which he has found where few would expect to meet with them, even in the books of the Chinese. As 1700 years have elapsed since the establishment of the Indian religion in China, it was natural to consult the annals of the Chinese on this subject. And here he was informed, not only that the Indians brought with their religion into China, a prodigious number of their books, which were translated into the language of that country, but that the Chinese, who on many occafions, travelled into India, always brought back with them books, which, learned Indians, who were numerous in China, translated also into the Chinese language. These facts authenticate the sources from which M, de GUIGNES has de. rived his information. This information seems to us curious enough to justify our laying before our Readers a summary of the principal matters it contains.

It appears then that the person who civilized and instructed the Indians was Chekia-mouni, who was the founder of the phiJosophical fect of the Samaneans, and whose birth is placed by fome in the year 1122, by others in the year 1027, and by others so far down as the year 688 before Jesus Chrift. Before Chekia-Mouni, the Indians were in a state of gross ignorance, and the Brahmines attest that they received all their knowledge from the Samaneans. If we fix the birth of this legislator, even at the first of the three epochas above-mentioned (from which the Bagavadam dates the establishment of the Indian empire), it is certain that civilization and science flourished, more or less, in other nations before that period. It appears from the accounts of Herodotus, that the Indians were civilized but slowly and successively, and from the records of the Chinese, that the empire of Siam dates the earliest principles of its ori. gin from the 4th century of the Christian æra.' The Chinese 5


taught, about this period, the inhabitants of Siam to build houses and cities, and the Indians brought thither their books, and their religion. The peninsula of Malaya (the Aurea Chersonesus of thé: ancients) was seized upon, in the fourth century, by an Indian Brahmine, who established in it the laws and religion of his country; and it was, also, by the Brahmines, that a powerful king dom was formed in the Idle of Ceylan (the ancient Taprobana) which, though frequented long by the Greeks, Romans, and other Western nations, for the purposes of commerce, had not a fingle city in the time of Eratosthenes, i. e. about the middle of the third century before Christ. The Chinese books mention also several other isles in the Indian ocean, such as Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, where the Indians transplanted their religion, but in a late period. The Japanese, who carry the foundation of their monarchy as far back as the year 660 before the Christian æra, acknowledge, that they derived their arts and sciences from the Chinese ; but as they were not acquainted with the letters and books of this latter people, before the year 286 of the Christian ara, we cannot date higher the real establishment of the sciences among them. The Indians carried with them their religion from China to Japan; where, however, is was not firmly established before the middle of the sixth century. As the Japanese make use of the Chinese letters, they were furnished with the Indian books that were translated in China. All this shews, that the countries, east of the Ganges, were civilized slowly, and in a late period; and we have no proof, that, in any period, they carried the arts and sciences so far as the Chaldeans, Phoenicians, and Egyptians, who had cultivated them long before.

As to the Tartars, they were always barbarously ignorant, more especially while they continued in their own country, of which we have no historical records. Writing was unknown to them fo far down as the Christian æra. By their frequent conquests in China, they had occasion to make some improvement in knowledge, and they availed themselves more or less of this opportunity, while they were masters of that country; but no sooner were they driven from thence, into their native land, than they returned to their primitive barbarism. About the year 162 before Christ, some hords of Tartars marched towards Bactria, and from thence entered India, where they settled, and embraced the Indian religion. This religion was established in the very centre of Tartary, about four centuries after this, i.e. about the year of Christ 572 ; and then many temples were built, whose ruins, together with those of the fortresses, which the Chinese had erected in that country, are vestiges of which certain chronological system-makers have availed themselves, to prove monuments of the most remote antiquity.- Such Proofs !


[ocr errors]

The annals of Thibet prove the barbarism of that nation about the commencement of the Christian æra (what are they yet ?), when they were instructed in the Indian religion by Samtanpoutra, a native of Thibet, who went into India, and brought from thence religious books, and other materials of knowledge for the instruction of his countrymen.

These researches of M. de GUIGNES, form the contents of his First Memoir, and they are terminated by a Summary of the doctrines of the Indian religion.

The principal contents of the second and third Memoirs, which relate to the establishment of the Indian religion in China, are as follows:- It was only fo far down as the year 207 before Christ, that the Chinese (who were at that time civilized and instructed in the two distinct religious systems of Confucius and Lao-tse) made great and extensive conquests towards the West. In the year 126 before the Christian æra, their armies advanced as far as Bactria, where the fucceffors of Alexander had founded a kingdom of Greeks, whose power extended to India, and contributed to spread the sciences there. This is the first time that the Chinese (as we learn from their own records) heard mention made of India, on occasion of certain merchandises, which they saw in Bactria ; but it was only in the 65th year after Christ, that they were fully instructed in the Indian religion, by the means of Indians, who brought into China one of their sacred books, which is now in the French King's library. This book was translated into the Chinese language, and was followed by more, in process of time, introduced by the Indian Samaneans, who were the priests and teachers of that religion, which many of the Chinese embraced, while it attracted but little the attention of their sovereigns, who were indifferent about every kind of external worthip. About the end of the third century, the secret books of that relig gion, which were not communicated to the people, even in lodia, were brought into China, but not without much difficultya by Indian doctors, who lived in a kind of monastic community, and translated these books (of which M. de GŲ GNES gives here an account) into the Chinese language. . Temples were built, and monasteries were erected for both sexes, and the Indian religion, and these connexions between China and In. dia, contributed to the progress of astronomy among the Chinese, who, in the year 440 of Christ, had not as yet fallen upon any exact method of observing and calculating. They derived some light in this feience from a Samanean doctor, as well as from the astronomical treatises they had received from the Romans.

The Indian doctors, however, grew ambitious and enterpriz: ing; and in the year 446, the Emperor Tai-Vouti, being in


« AnteriorContinuar »