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and purging. Others make Æsculapius an Egyptian, King of Memphis, antecedent by a thousand years to the Æsculapius of the Greeks. The Romans numbered him among the Dii Adcititii, of such as were raised to heaven by their merit, as Hercules, Castor and Pollux. The Greeks received their knowledge of Æsculapius from the Phoenicians and Egyptians. His chief temples were at Pergamus, Smyrna, and Trica, a city of Ionia, and the isle of Coos, or Cos ; in which all votive tablets were hung up,* shewing the diseases cured by his assistance : but his most famous shrine was at Epidaurus, where every five years in the spring, solemn games were instituted to him nine days after the Isthmian games at Corinth.

It was by accident that the Romans became acquainted with Æsculapius. A plague happened in Italy, the oracle was consulted, and the reply was that they should fetch the god Esculapius from Epidaurus. An embassy was appointed of ten senators, at the head of whom was Q. Ogulnius. These deputies, on their arrival, visiting the temple of the god, a huge serpent came from under the altar, and crossing the city, went directly to their ship, and lay down in the cabin of Ogulnius ;t upon which

* From these tablets, or votive inscriptions, Hippocrates is said to have collected his aphorisms.

+ The Romans who sent for Æsculapius from Epidaurus, when their city was troubled with the plague, say, that the serpent that was worshipped there for him followed the ambassadors of its own accord to the ship that transported

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they set sail immediately, and arriving in the Tiber, the serpent quitted the ship, and retired to a little island opposite to the city, where a temple was erected to the god, and the pestilence ceased.

The animals sacrificed to Æsculapius were the goat ; some say on account of his having been nursed by this animal ; others because this creature is unhealthy, as labouring under a perpetual fever. The dog and the cock were sacrificed to him, on account of their fidelity and vigilance ; the was also devoted to him for its forecast,

and being skilled in divination. Authors are not agreed as to his being the inventor of physic, som affirming he perfected that part only which relates to the regimen of the sick.

The origin of this fable is as follows :—the public sign or symbol exposed by the Egyptians in their assemblies, to warn the people to mark the depth of the inundation of the Nile, in order to regulate their ploughing accordingly, was the figure of a man with a dog's head, carrying a pole with serpents twisted round it, to which they gave the name of Anubis,* Thaaut,t and Æsculapius. In process of time, they it to Rome, where it was placed in a temple built in the isle called Tiberina. In this temple the sick people were wont to lie, and when they found themselves no better, they reviled Æsculapius : so impatiently ungrateful and peevislı were often the afflicted, that they made no scruple to reproach the very god who administered to their maladies,

* From Hannobeach, which, in the Phænician language, signifies the barker, or warner, Anubis. + This word signifies the dog.

From Æish, man, and caleph, dog, comes Æscaleph, the man-dog, or Æsculapius.

made use of this representation for a real king, who by the study of physic, sought the preservation of his subjects. Thus the dog and the serpents became the characteristics of Æsculapius amongst the Romans and Greeks, who were entirely strangers to the original meaning of these hieroglyphics.

Esculapius was represented as an old man, with a long beard, crowned with a branch of bay tree ; in his hands was a staff full of knots, about which a serpent had twisted itself : at his feet stood an owl or a dog-characteristics of the qualities of a good physician, who must be as cunning as a serpent, as vigilant as a dog, as cunning and experienced as an old bashaw, to handle a thing so difficult as physic. At Epidaurus his statue was of gold and ivory,* seated on a throne of the same materials, with a long beard, having a knotty stick in one hand, the other entwined with a serpent, and a dog lying at his feet. The Phliasians depicted him as beardless, and the Romans crowned him with a laurel, to denote his descent from Apollo. The knots in his staff signify the difficulties that occur in the study of medicine. He had by his wife Epione two sons, Machaon and Podalirius, both skilled in surgery, and who are mentioned by Homer as having been present at the siege of Troy, and who were very serviceable to the Greeks. He had also two daughters, called Hygiæa and Jaso.

This image was the work of Thrasymedes, the son of Arignotus, a native of Paros.

CHAPTER

VII.

INFERIOR DEITIES ATTENDING MANKIND FROM

THEIR BIRTH TO THEIR DECEASE.

It would be almost an endless task to enter into a detail of all the inferior deities of the Greeks and Romans; our object being to refer to such only as preside over the health of the human race, every part and parcel of whom had their presiding genius. —During pregnancy, the tutelar powers were the god Pelumnus, * and the goddesses Intercedonia, and Deverra. | The import of these words seems to point out the necessity of warmth and cleanliness to ladies in this condition.

Besides the superior goddesses Jemo-Lucien, Diana Hythia, and Latona, who all presided at the

* Either from pilum, a pestle ; or from pello, to drive away ; because he procured a safe delivery.

+ She tauglit the art of cutting wood with a hatchet to make fires.

I The inventress of brooms.

birth, there were the goddesses Egeria,* Prosa,t and Manageneta, who with the Dii Nixii,ş had all the care of women in labour.

To children, Janus performed the office of door-keeper or midwife ; and in this quality was assisted by the goddess Opis or Ops ;|| Cuma rocked the cradle, while Carmenta sung their destiny ; Levana lifted them up from the ground ; and Vegetanus took care of them when they cried ; Rumina** watched

them while they suckled ; Polina furnished them with drink; and Edura with food or nourishment; Osslago knit their bones ; and Carnatt strengthened their constitutions. Nuainatt was the goddess of children's purification ; Stilinus or Statanus instructed them to walk, and

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* From casting out the birth.
+ Aulus Gellius.
| Ælian.
s From erritor, to struggle. See Ausonius, Idyll 12.
|| Some make her the same with Rhea or Vesta.

Among the Romans the midwife always laid the child on the ground, and the father or somebody appointed, lifted it up; hence the expression of tollere liberos, to educate

children.

** This goddess had a temple at Rome, and her offerings were milk.

tt On the Kalends of June, sacrifices were offered to Carna, of bacon and bean flour cakes; whence they were called Fabariæ.

11 Boys were named always on the ninth day after the birth, and girls on the eighth.

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