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The interval between 776-560 b.c. presents to us a remarkable expansion of Grecian genius in the creation of their elegiac, iambic, lyric, choric, and nomic poetry, which was diversified in a great many ways and improved by many separate masters. The creators of all these different styles—from Kallinus and Archilochus down to Stesichorus—fall within the two centuries here included; though Pindar and Simonides, “the proud and high-crested bards,” who car­ried lyric and choric poetry to the maximum of elaboration consistent with full poetical effect, lived in the succeeding century, and were contemporary with the tragedian Aeschylus. The Grecian drama, comic as well as tragic, of the fifth century b.c., combined the lyric and choric song with the living action of iambic dialogue—thus con­stituting the last ascending movement in the poetical genius of the race. Reserving this for a future time, and for the history of Athens, to which it more particularly belongs, I now propose to speak only of the poetical movement of the two earlier centuries, wherein Athens had little or no part So scanty are the remnants, unfortunately, of these earlier poets, that we can offer little except criticisms borrowed at second hand, and a few general considerations on their workings and tendency.

Archilochus and Kallinus both appear to fall about the middle of the seventh century b.c., and it is with them that the innovations in Grecian poetry commence. Before them, we are told, there existed nothing but the Epos, or Dactylic Hexameter poetry of which much has been said in my former volume—being legendary stories or adventures narrated, together with addresses or hymns to the gods. We must recollect, too, that this was not only the whole poetry, but the whole literature of the age. Prose composition was altogether unknown. Writing, if beginning to be employed as an aid to a few superior men, was at any rate generally unused, and found no reading public. The voice was the only communicant, and the ear the only recipient, of all those ideas and feelings which productive minds in the community found themselves impelled to pour out; and both voice and ear were accustomed to a musical recitation or chant, apparently something between song and speech, with simple rhythm and a still simpler occasional accompaniment from the primitive four­stringed harp. Such habits and requirements of the voice and ear were, at that time, inseparably associated with the success and popu­larity of the poet, and contributed doubtless to restrict the range of subjects with which he could deal. The type was to a certain extent consecrated, like the primitive statues of the gods, from which men only ventured to deviate by gradual and almost unconscious innova­tions. Moreover, in the first half of the seventh century b.c., that genius which had once created an Iliad and an Odyssey was no longer to be found. The work of hexameter narrative had come to be prosecuted by less gifted persons—by those Cyclic poets of whom I have spoken in the preceding volumes.

Such, as far as we can make it out amidst very uncertain evidence, was the state of the Greek mind immediately before elegiac and lyric poets appeared; while at the same time its experience was enlarging by the formation of new colonies, and the communion among various states tending to increase by the free reciprocity of religious games and festivals. There arose a demand for turning the literature of the age (I use this word as synonymous with the poetry) to new feelings and purposes, and for applying the rich, plastic, and musical lan­guage of the old epic, to present passion and circumstance, social as well as individual. Such a tendency had become obvious in Hesiod, even within the range of hexameter verse Now the same causes which led to an enlargement of the subjects of poetry inclined men also to vary the meter. In regard to this latter point, there is reason to believe that the expansion of Greek music was the immediate deter­mining cause. For it has been already stated that the musical scale and instruments of the Greeks, originally very narrow, were mate­rially enlarged by borrowing from Phrygia and Lydia, and these acquisitions seem to have been first realized about the beginning of the seventh century b.c., through the Lesbian harper Terpander—the Phrygian (or Greco-Phrygian) flute-player Olympus—and the Arcadian or Boeotian flute-player Klonas. Terpander made the important advance of exchanging the original four-stringed harp for one of seven strings, embracing the compass of one octave or two Greek tetra­chords; while Olympus as well, as Klonas taught many new names or tunes on the flute, to which the Greeks had before been strangers—probably also the use of a flute of more varied musical compass. Terpander is said to have gained the prize at the first recorded cele­bration of the Lacedaemonian festival of the Karneia, in 676 b.c. This is one of the best-ascertained points among the obscure chronology of the seventh century; and there seem grounds for assigning Olympus and Klonas to nearly the same period, a little before Archilochus and Kallinus. To Terpander, Olympus, and Klonas are ascribed the formation of the earliest musical names known to the inquiring Greek of later times; to the first nomes on the harp; to the two latter, on the flute—every nome being the general scheme or basis of which the airs actually performed constituted so many variations, within certain defined limits. Terpander employed "his enlarged instrumental power as a new accompaniment to the Homeric poems, as well as to certain epic proemia or hymns to the gods of his own composition. But he does not seem to have departed from the hexameter verse and the dactylic rhythm, to which the new accompani­ment was probably not quite suitable; and the idea may thus have been suggested of combining the words also according to new rhyth­mical and metrical laws.

It is certain, at least, that the age (670-600) immediately succeed­ing Terpander—comprising Archilochus, Kallinus, Tyrtaeus, and Alcman, whose relations of time one to another we have no certain means of determining, though Alcman seems to have been the latest—presents a remarkable variety both of new meters and of new rhythms, superinduced upon the previous Dactylic Hexameter. The first departure from this latter is found in the elegiac verse, employed seemingly more or less by all the four above-mentioned poets, but chiefly by the first two, and even ascribed by some to the invention of Kallinus. Tyrtaeus in his military march-songs employed the Anapestic meter, while in Archilochus as well as in Alcman we find traces of a much larger range of metrical variety—iambic, trochaic, anapestic, Ionic, etc.—sometimes even asynartetic or compound meters, anapestic or dactylic blended with trochaic or iambic. What we have remaining from Mimnermus who comes shortly after the preceding four is elegiac. His contemporaries Alkaeus and Sappho, besides employing most of those meters which they found existing, invented each a peculiar stanza, which is familiarly known under a name derived from each. In Solon, the younger contemporary of Mimnermus, we have the elegiac, iambic, and trochaic: in Theognis, yet later, the elegiac only. Arion and Stesichorus appear to have been innovators in this department, the former by his improvement in the dithyrambic chorus or circular song and dance in honor of Dionysus—the latter by his more elaborate choric compositions, containing not only a strophe and antistrophe, but also a third divis­ion or epode succeeding them, pronounced by the chorus standing still. Both Anacreon and Ibykus likewise added to the stock of existing metrical varieties. We thus see that within the century and a half succeeding Terpander, Greek poetry (or Greek literature, which was then the same thing) became greatly enriched in matter as well as diversified in form.

To a certain extent there seems to have been a real connection between the two. New forms were essential for the expression of new wants and feelings—though the assertion that elegiac meter is especially adapted for one set of feelings, trochaic for a second, and iambic for a third, if true at all, can only be admitted with great lati­tude of exception, when we find so many of them employed by the poets for very different subjectsgay or melancholy, bitter or com­plaining, earnest or sprightly—seemingly with little discrimination. But the adoption of some new meter, different from the perpetual series of hexameters, was required when the poet desired to do some­thing more than recount a long story or fragment of heroic legend —when he sought to bring himself, his friends, his enemies, his city his hopes and fears with regard to matters recent or impending, all before the notice of the hearer, and that too at once with brevity and animation. The Greek hexameter, like our blank verse, has all its limiting conditions bearing upon each separate line, and presents to the hearer no predetermined resting-place or natural pause beyond. In reference to any long composition, either epic and dramatic, such unrestrained license is found convenient, and the case was similar for Greek epos and drama—the single-lined iambic trimeter being generally used for the dialogue of tragedy and comedy, just as the dactylic hexameter had been used for the epic. The metrical changes introduced by Archilochus and his contemporaries may be compared to a change from our blank verse to the rhymed couplet and quatrain. The verse was thrown into little systems of two, three, or four lines, with a pause at the end of each; and the halt thus assured to, as well as expected and relished by, the ear, was generally coincident with a close, entire or partial, in the sense which thus came to be distrib­uted with greater point and effect.

The elegiac verse, or common hexameter and pentameter (this second line being an hexameter with the third and sixth thesis, or the last half of the third and sixth foot suppressed, and a pause left in place of it), as well as the epode (or iambic trimeter followed by an iambic dimeter) and some other binary combinations of verse which we trace among the fragments of Archilochus, are conceived with a view to such increase of effect both on the ear and the mind, not less than to the direct pleasures of novelty and variety. The iambic meter, built upon the primitive iambus or coarse and licen­tious jesting which formed a part oi some Grecian festivals (espe­cially of the festivals of Demeter as well in Attica as in Paros, the native country of the poet), is only one amongst many new paths struck out by this inventive genius. His exuberance astonishes us, when we consider that he takes his start from little more than the simple hexameter, in which too he was a distinguished composer—for even of the elegiac verse he is as likely to have been the inven­tor as Kallinus, just as he was the earliest popular and successful composer of table-songs or Skolia, though Terpander may have originated some such before him. The entire loss of his poems, except­ing some few fragments, enables us to recognize little more than one characteristic—the intense personality which pervaded them, as well as that coarse, direct, and outspoken license, which afterwards lent such terrible effect to the old comedy at Athens. His lampoons are said to have driven Lykambes, the father of Neobule, to hang himself. Neobule had been promised to Archilochus in marriage, but that promise was broken, and the poet assailed both father and daughter with every species of calumny. In addition to this disap­pointment, he was poor, the son of a slave-mother, and an exile From his country Paros to the unpromising colony of Thasos. The desultory notices respecting him betray a state of suffering combined with loose conduct which vented itself sometimes in complaint, some­times in libelous assault. He was at last slain by some whom his muse had thus exasperated. His extraordinary poetical genius finds but one voice of encomium throughout antiquity. His triumphal song to Herakles was still popularly sung by the victors at Olympia, near two centuries after his death, in the days of Pindar; but that majestic and complimentary poet at once denounces the malignity, and attests the retributive suffering of the great Parian iambist.


Amidst the multifarious veins in which Archilochus displayed his genius, moralizing or gnomic poetry is not wanting; while his con­temporary Simonides of Amorgos devotes the Iambic meter espe­cially to this destination, afterward followed out by Solon and Theognis. Kallinus, the earliest celebrated elegiac poet, so far as we can judge from his few fragments, employed the elegiac meter for exhortations of warlike patriotism; and the more ample remains which we possess of Tyrtaeus are sermons in the same strain, preaching to the Spartans bravery against the foe, and unanimity as well as obedience to the law at home. They are patriotic effusions, called forth by the circumstances of the time, and sung by single voice, with accompaniment of the flute, to those in whose bosoms the flame of courage was to be kindled. For though what we peruse is in verse, we are still in the tide of real and present life, and we must suppose ourselves rather listening to an orator addressing the citizens when danger or dissension is actually impending. It is only in the hands of Mimnermus that elegiac verse comes to be devoted to soft and amatory subjects. His few fragments present a vein of passive and tender sentiment, illustrated by appropriate matter of legend, such as would be cast into poetry in all ages, and quite different from the rhetoric of Kallinus and Tyrtaeus.

The poetical career of Alkman is again distinct from that of any of his above-mentioned contemporaries. Their compositions, besides hymns to the gods, were principally expressions of feeling intended to be sung by individuals, though sometimes also suited for the Komus or band of festive volunteers, assembled on some occasion of common interest: those of Alkman were principally choric, intended for the song and accompanying dance of the chorus, lie was a native of Sardis in Lydia, or at least his family were so: and he appears to have come in early life to Sparta, though his genius and mastery of the Greek language discountenance the story that he was brought over to Sparta as a slave. The most ancient arrangement of music at Sparta, generally ascribed to Terpander, underwent considerable alteration, not only through the elegiac and anapestic measures of Tyrtaeus, but also through the Cretan Thaletas and the Lydian Alkman. The harp, the instrument of Terpander, was rivaled and in part superseded by the flute or pipe, which had been recently rendered more effective in the hands of Olympus, Klonas, and Polymnestus, and which gradually became, for compositions intended to raise strong emotion, the favorite instrument of the two—being employed as accompaniment both to the elegies of Tyrtaeus, and to the hyporchemata (songs or hymns combined with dancing) of Thaletas; also, as the stimulus and regulator to the Spartan mili­tary march. These elegies (as has been just remarked) were sung by one person in the midst of an assembly of listeners, and there were doubtless other compositions intended for the individual voice. But in general such was not the character of music and poetry at Sparta; everything done there, both serious and recreative, was public and collective, so that the chorus and its performance received extraordinary development.

It has been already stated, that the chorus, with song and dance combined, constituted an important part of divine service through­out all Greece. It was originally a public manifestation of the citizens generally—a large proportion of them being actively engaged in it, and receiving some training for the purpose as an ordinary branch of education. Neither the song nor the dance under such conditions could be otherwise than extremely simple. But in process of time, the performance at the chief festival tended to be­come more elaborate and to fall into the hands of persons expressly and professionally trained—the mass of the citizens gradually ceasing to take active part, and being present merely as spectators. Such was the practice which grew up in most parts of Greece, and espe­cially at Athens, where the dramatic chorus acquired its highest per­fection. But the drama never found admission at Sparta, and the peculiarity of Spartan life tended much to keep up the popular chorus on its ancient footing. It formed in fact one element in that never-ceasing drill to which the Spartans were subject from their boyhood, and it served a purpose analogous to their military train­ing, in accustoming them to simultaneous and regulated movement—insomuch that the comparison between the chorus, especially in its Pyrrhic or war-dances, and the military enomoty, seems to have been often dwelt upon. In the singing of the solemn paean in honor of Apollo, at the festival of the Hyakinthia, King Agesilaus was under the orders of the chorus-master, and sang in the place allotted to him; while the whole body of Spartans without exception—the old, the middle-aged, and the youth, the matrons and the virgins—were distributed in various choric companies, and trained to har­mony both of voice and motion, which was publicly exhibited at the solemnities of the Gymnopaedia. The word dancing must be under­stood in a larger sense than that in which it is now employed, and as comprising every variety of rhythmical, accentuated, conspiring movements, or gesticulations, or postures of the body, from the slowest to the quickest; cheironomy, or the decorous and expres­sive movement of the hands, being especially practiced.

We see thus that both at Sparta and in Crete (which approached in respect to publicity of individual life most nearly to Sparta) the choric aptitudes and manifestations occupied a larger space than in any other Grecian city. And as a certain degree of musical and rhythmical variety was essential to meet this want, while music was never taught to Spartan citizens individually, we further understand how strangers like Terpander, Polymnestus, Thaletas, Tyrtaeus, Alkman, etc., were not only received, but acquired great influence at Sparta, in spite of the preponderant spirit of jealous seclusion in the Spartan character. All these masters appear to have been effective in their own special vocation—the training of the chorus—to which they imparted new rhythmical action, and for which they composed new music. But Alkman did this, and something more. He pos­sessed the genius of a poet, and his compositions were read afterward with pleasure by those who could not hear them sung or see them danced. In the little of his poems which remains we recognize that variety of rhythm and meter for which he was celebrated. In this respect he (together with the Cretan Thaletas, who is said to have introduced a more vehement style both of music and dance, with the Cretic and Paeonic rhythm, into Sparta) surpassed Archilochus, pre­paring the way for the complicated choric movements of Stesichorus and Pindar. Some of his fragments, too, manifest that fresh out­pouring of individual sentiment and emotion which constitutes so much of the charm of popular poetry. Besides his touching address in old age to the Spartan virgins, over whose song and dance he had been accustomed to preside, he is not afraid to speak of his hearty appetite, satisfied with simple food and relishing a bowl of warm broth at the winter tropic. He has attached to the spring an epithet, which comes home to the real feelings of a poor country more than those captivating pictures which abound in verse, ancient as well as modern. He calls it “the season of short fare”—the crop of the previous year being then nearly consumed, the husbandman is com­pelled to pinch himself until his new harvest comes in. Those who recollect that in earlier periods of our history, and in all countries where there is little accumulated stock, an exorbitant difference is often experienced in the price of corn before and after the harvest, will feel the justice of Alcman’s description.

Judging from these and from a few other fragments of this poet, Alkman appears to have combined the life and exciting vigor of Archilochus in the song properly so called, sung by himself individu­ally—with a larger knowledge of musical and rhythmical effect in regard to the choric performance. He composed in the Laconian dialect—a variety of the Doric with some intermixture of Aeolisms. And it was from him,, jointly with those other composers who figured at Sparta during the century after Terpander, as well as from the simultaneous development of the choric muse in Argos, Sicyon, Arcadia, and other parts of Peloponnesus, that the Doric dialect acquired permanent footing in Greece, as the only proper dialect for choric compositions. Continued by Stesichorus and Pindar, this habit passed even to the Attic dramatists, whose choric songs are thus in a great measure Doric, while their dialogue is Attic. At Sparta, as well as in other parts of Peloponnesus, the musical and rhythmical style appears to have been fixed by Alkman and his con­temporaries, and to have been tenaciously maintained, for two or three centuries, with little or no innovation; the more so, as the flute players at Sparta formed an hereditary profession, who followed the routine of their fathers.

Alkman was the last poet who addressed himself to the popular chorus. Both Arion and Stesichorus composed for a body of trained men, with a degree of variety and involution such as could not be attained by a mere fraction of the people. The primitive Dithyrambus was a round choric dance and song in honor of Dionysus, common to Naxos, Thebes, and seemingly to many other places, at the Dionysiac festival—a spontaneous effusion of drunken men in the hour of revelry, wherein the poet Archilochus, “with the thunder of wine full upon his mind,” had often taken the chief part. Its excit­ing character approached to the worship of the great mother in Asia, and stood in contrast with the solemn and stately paean addressed to Apollo. Arion introduced into it an alteration such as Archilochus had himself brought about in the scurrilous Iambus. He converted it into an elaborate composition in honor of the god, sung and danced by a chorus of fifty persons, not only sober, but trained with great strictness; though its rhythm and movements, and its equipment in the character of satyrs, presented more or less an imitation of the primitive license. Born at Methymna in Lesbos, Arion appears as a harper, singer, and composer, much favored by Periander at Cor­inth, in which city he first “composed, denominated, and taught the Dithyramb”, earlier than any one known to Herodotus. He did not, however, remain permanently there, but traveled from city to city exhibiting at the festivals for money—especially to Sicilian and Italian Greece, where he acquired large gains. We may here again remark how the poets as well as the festivals served to promote a sentiment of unity among the dispersed Greeks. Such transfer of the Dithy­ramb, from the field of spontaneous nature into the garden of art, constitutes the first stage in the refinement of Dionysiac worship; which will hereafter be found still farther exalted in the form of the Attic drama.


The date of Arion seems about 600 b.c., shortly after Alkman: that of Stesichorus is a few years later. To the latter the Greek chorus owed a high degree of improvement, and in particular the final distribution of its performance into the Strophe, the Antistrophe, and the Epodus: the turn, the return, and the rest. The rhythm and meter of the song during each strophe corresponded with that during the antistrophe, but was varied during the epodus, and again varied during the following strophes. Until this time the song had been monostrophic, consisting of nothing more than one uniform stanza, repeated from the beginning to the end of the composition; so that we may easily see how vast was the new complication and difficulty introduced by Stesichorus—not less for the performers than for the composer, himself at that time the teacher and trainer of performers. Both this poet, and his contemporary the flute-player Sakadas of Argos,—who gained the prize at the first three Pythian games founded after the sacred war,—seem to have surpassed their predecessors in the breadth of subject which they embraced, borrowing from the inexhaustible province of ancient legend, and expanding the choric song into a well-sustained epical narrative. Indeed these Pythian games opened a new career to musical composers just at the time when Sparta began to be closed against musical novelties.

Alcaeus and Sappho, both natives of Lesbos, appear about con­temporaries with Arion b.c. 610-580. Of their once celebrated lyric compositions, scarcely anything remains. But the criticisms which are preserved on both of them place them in strong contrast with Alkman, who lived and composed under the more restrictive atmos­phere of Sparta—and in considerable analogy with the turbulent vehemence of Archilochus, though without his intense private malig­nity. Both Alcaeus and Sappho composed for their own local audi­ence, and in their own Lesbian Aeolic dialect; not because there was any peculiar fitness in that dialect to express their vein of sentiment, but because it was more familiar to their hearers. Sappho herself boasts of the pre-eminence of the Lesbian bards; and the celebrity of Terpander, Perikleitas, and Arion permits us to suppose that there may have been before her other popular bards in the island who did not attain to a wide Hellenic celebrity. Alkaeus included in his songs the fiercest bursts of political feeling, the stirring alternations of war and exile, and all the ardent relish of a susceptible man for wine and love. The love-song seems to have formed the principal theme of Sappho, who, however, also composed odes or songs on a great variety of other subjects, serious as well as satirical, and is said farther to have first employed the Myxolydian mode in music. It displays the tendency of the age to metrical and rhythmical novelty, that Alkaeus and Sappho are said to have each invented the peculiar stanza, well known under their respective names—combinations of the dactyl, trochee, and iambus, analogous to the asynartetic verses of Archilochus. They by no means confined themselves however to Alcaic and Sapphic meter. Both the one and the other composed hymns to the gods; indeed this is a theme common to all the lyric and choric poets, whatever may be their peculiarities in other ways. Most of their compositions were songs for the single voice, not for the chorus. The poetry of Alkaeus is the more worthy of note, as it is the earliest instance of the employment of the Muse in actual political warfare, and shows the increased hold which that motive was acquiring on the Grecian mind.

The nomic poets, or moralists in verse, approach by the tone of their sentiments more to the nature of prose. They begin with Simonides of Amorgos or of Samos, the contemporary of Archilo­chus. Indeed Archilochus himself devoted some compositions to the illustrative fable, which had not been unknown even to Hesiod. In the remains of Simonides of Amorgos we trace nothing relative to the man personally, though he too, like Archilochus, is said to have had an individual enemy, Orodoekides, whose character was aspersed by his Muse. His only considerable poem extant is devoted to a sur­vey of the characters of women, in iambic verse, and by way of com­parison with various animals—the mare, the ass, the bee, etc. This poem follows out the Hesiodic vein respecting the social and eco­nomical mischief usually caused by women, with some few honor­able exceptions. But the poet shows a much larger range of obser­vation and illustration, if we compare him with his predecessor Hesiod; moreover his illustrations come fresh from life and reality. We find in this early iambist the same sympathy with industry and its due rewards, which is observable in Hesiod, together with a still more melancholy sense of the uncertainty of human events.

Of Solon and Theognis I have spoken in former chapters. They reproduce in part the moralizing vein of Simonides, though with a strong admixture of personal feeling and a direct application to pass­ing events. The mixture of political with social morality, which we find in both, marks their more advanced age: Solon bears in this respect the same relation to Simonides, as his contemporary Alkaeus bears to Archilochus. His poems, as far as we can judge by the fragments remaining, appear to have been short occasional effusions, with the exception of the epic poem respecting the submerged island of Atlantis; which he began toward the close of his life, but never finished. They are elegiac, trimeter iambic, and trochaic tetrameter; in his hands certainly neither of these meters can be said to have any special or separate character. If the poems of Solon are short, those of Theognis are much shorter, and are indeed so much broken (as they stand in our present collection), as to read like separate epigrams or bursts of feeling, which the poet had not taken the trouble to incorporate in any definite scheme or series. They form a singular mixture of maxim and passion—of general precept with personal affection toward the youth Kyrnus—which surprises us if tried by the standard of literary composition, but which seems a very genuine manifestation of an impoverished exile’s complaints and restlessness. What remains to us of Phokylides, another of the nomic poets nearly contemporary with Solon, is nothing more than a few max­ims in verse—couplets with the name of the author in several cases embodied in them.

Amidst all the variety of rhythmical and metrical innovations which have been enumerated, the ancient epic continued to be recited by the rhapsodes as before. Some new epical compositions were aided to the existing stock: Eugammon of Cyrene, about the 50th Olympiad (580 b.c), appears to be the last of the series. At Athens, especially, both Solon and Peisistratus manifested great solicitude as well for the recitation as for the correct preservation of the Iliad. Perhaps its popularity may have been diminished by the competition of so much lyric and choric poetry, more showy and striking in its accompaniments, as well as more changeful in its rhythmical char­acter. Whatever secondary effect, however, this newer species of poetry may have derived from such helps, its primary effect was pro­duced by real intellectual or poetical excellence—by the thoughts, sentiment, and expression, not by the accompaniment. For a long time the musical composer and the poet continued generally to be one and the same person; and besides those who have acquired suf­ficient distinction to reach posterity, we cannot doubt that there were many known only to their own contemporaries. But with all of them the instrument and the melody constituted only the inferior part of that which was known by the name of music—altogether subordinate to the “thoughts that breathe and words that burn.” Exactness and variety of rhythmical pronunciation gave to the words their full effect upon a delicate ear; but such pleasure of the ear was ancillary to the emotion of mind arising out of the sense conveyed. Complaints are made by the poets, even so early as 500 b.c., that the accompaniment was becoming too prominent. But it was not until the age of the comic poet Aristophanes, toward the end of the fifth century b.c., that the primitive relation between the instrumental accompaniment and the words was really reversed—and loud were the complaints to which it gave rise. The performance of the flute or harp then became more elaborate, showy, and overpowering, while the words were so put together as to show off the player’s exe­cution. I notice briefly this subsequent revolution for the purpose of setting forth, by contrast, the truly intellectual character of the original lyric and choric poetry of Greece; and of showing how much the vague sentiment arising from mere musical sound was lost in the more definite emotion, and in the more lasting and reproductive com­binations, generated by poetical meaning.

The name and poetry of Solon, and the short maxims or sayings of Phokylides, conduct us to the mention of the Seven Wise men of Greece. Solon was himself one of the seven, and most, if not all of them were poets or composers in verse. To most of them is ascribed also an abundance of pithy repartees, together with one short saying or maxim peculiar to each, serving as a sort of distinctive motto. Indeed, the test of an accomplished man about this time was his talent for singing or reciting poetry, and for making smart and ready answers. Respecting this constellation of Wise men—who in the next century of Grecian history, when philosophy came to be a mat­ter of discussion and argumentation, were spoken of with great eulogy—all the statements are confused, in part even contradictory. Neither the number, nor the names, are given by all authors alike. Dikaearchus numbered ten, Hermippus seventeen: the names of Solon the Athenian, Thales the Milesian, Pittakus the Mitylenean, and Bias the Prienean, were comprised in all the lists—and the remaining names as given by Plato were, Kleobulus of Lindus m Rhodes, Myson of Chenae, and Cheilon of Sparta. We cannot cer­tainly distribute among them the sayings or mottoes, upon which in later days the Amphiktyons conferred the honor of inscription in the Delphian temple—Know thyself—Nothing too much—Know thy opportunity—Suretyship is the precursor of ruin. Bias is praised as an excellent judge; while Myson was declared by the Delphian oracle to be the most discreet man among the Greeks, according to the testimony of the satirical poet Hipponax—this is the oldest testi­mony (540 b.c.) which can be produced in favor of any of the Seven. But Kleobulus of Lindus, far from being universally extolled, is pro­nounced by the poet Simonides to be a fool.

Dikaearchus, however, justly observed, that these seven or ten per­sons were not Wise Men or Philosophers, in the sense which those words bore in his day, but persons of practical discernment in refer­ence to man and society—of the same turn of mind as their contem­porary the fabulist Aesop, though not employing the same mode of illustration. Their appearance forms an epoch in Grecian history, inasmuch as they are the first persons who ever acquired an Hellenic reputation grounded on mental competency apart from poetical genius or effect—a proof that political and social prudence was beginning to be appreciated and admired on its own account. Solon, Pittakus, Bias, and Thales, were all men of influence—the first two even men of ascendency—in their respective cities. Kleobulus was despot of Lin­dus, and Periander (by some numbered among the seven) of Corinth. Thales stands distinguished as the earliest name in physical philos­ophy, with which the other contemporary Wise Men are not said to have meddled. Their celebrity rests upon moral, social, and political wisdom exclusively, which came into greater honor as the ethical feeling of the Greeks improved and as their experience became enlarged.

In these celebrated names we have social philosophy in its early and infantine state—in the shape of homely sayings or admonitions, either supposed to be self-evident, or to rest upon some great author­ity divine or human, but neither accompanied by reasons nor recog­nizing any appeal to inquiry and discussion as the proper test of their rectitude. From such incurious acquiescence, the sentiment to which these admonitions owe their force, we are partially liberated even in the poet Simonides of Keos, who (as before alluded to) severely criticises the song of Kleobulus as well as its author. The half-century which followed the age of Simonides (the interval between about 480-430 b.c.) broke down that sentiment more and more, by familiarizing the public with argumentative controversy in the public assembly, the popular judicature, and even on the drama­tic stage. And the increased self-working of the Grecian mind, thus created, manifested itself in Socrates, who laid open all ethical and social doctrines to the scrutiny of reason, and who first awakened among his countrymen that love of dialectics which never left them—an analytical interest in the mental process of inquiring out, veri­fying, proving and expounding truth. To this capital item of human progress, secured through the Greeks—and through them only—to mankind generally, our attention will be called at a later period of the history. At present it is only mentioned in contrast with the naked, dogmatical, laconism of the Seven Wise Men, and with the simple enforcement of the early poets—a state in which morality has a certain place in the feelings, but no root, even among the superior minds, in the conscious exercise of reason.

The interval between Archilochus and Solon (660-580 b.c.) seems, as has been remarked in my former volume, to be the period in which writing first came to be applied to Greek poems—to the Homeric poems among the number; and shortly after the end of that period, commences the era of compositions without meter or prose. The philosopher Pherecydes of Syros, about. 550 b.c., is called by some the earliest prose-writer. But no prose-writer for a considerable time afterward acquired any celebrity—seemingly none earlier than Hekataeus of Miletus, about 510-490 b.c.—prose being a subordinate and ineffective species of composition, not always even perspicuous, and requiring no small practice before the power was acquired of render­ing it interesting. Down to the generation preceding Socrates, the poets continued to be the grand leaders of the Greek mind. Until then, nothing was taught to youth except to read, to remember, to recite musically and rhythmically, and to comprehend, poetical composition. The comments of preceptors addressed to their pupils may probably have become fuller and more instructive, but the text still continued to be epic or lyric poetry. These were the best masters for acquiring a full command of the complicated accent and rhythm of the Greek language, so essential to an educated man in ancient times, and so sure to be detected if not properly acquired. Not to mention the Choliambist Hipponax, who seems to have been possessed with the devil of Achilochus, and in part also with his genius—Anacreon, Ibykus, Pindar, Bacchylides, Simonides, and the dramatists of Athens, continue the line of eminent poets without intermission. After the Persian war, the requirements of public speaking created a class of rhetorical teachers, while the gradual spread of physical phil­osophy widened the range of instruction; so that prose composition, for speech or for writing, occupied a larger and larger share of the attention of men, and was gradually wrought up to high perfection, such as we see for the first time in Herodotus. But before it became thus improved, and acquired that style which was the condition of wide-spread popularity, we may be sure that it had been silently used as a means of recording information, and that neither the large mass of geographical matter contained in the Periegesis of Hecataeus, nor the map first prepared by his contemporary Anaximander, could have been presented to the world, without the previous labors of unpretending prose writers, who set down the mere results of their own experience. The acquisition of prose-writing, commencing as it does about the age of Peisistratus, is not less remarkable as an evidence of past, than as a means of future, progress.

Of that splendid genius in sculpture and architecture, which shone forth in Greece after the Persian invasion, the first lineaments only are discoverable between 600-500 b.c., in Corinth, Aegina, Samos, Chios, Ephesus, etc.—enough, however, to give evidence of improve­ment and progress. Glaucus of Chios is said to have discovered the art of welding iron, and Rhoecus or his son Theodoras of Samos the art of casting copper or brass in a mold. Both these discoveries, as far as can be made out, appear to date a little before 600 b.c. The primitive memorial erected in honor of a god did not even pretend to be an image, but was often nothing more than a pillar, a board, a shapeless stone, a post, etc., fixed so as to mark and consecrate the locality, and receiving from the neighborhood respectful care and decoration as well as worship. Sometimes there was a real statue, though of the rudest character, carved in wood; and the families of carvers—who from father to son, exercised this profession, repre­sented in Attica by the name of Daedalus and in Aegina by the name of Smilis—adhered long with strict exactness to the consecrated type of each particular god. Gradually the wish grew up to change the material, as well as to correct the rudeness, of such primitive idols. Sometimes the original wood was retained as the material, but covered in part with ivory or gold—in other cases marble or metal was substi­tuted. Dipoenus and Skyllis of Crete acquired renown as workers in marble about the 50th Olympiad (580 b.c.). From them downward, a series of names may be traced, more or less distinguished; more­over, it seems about the same period that the earliest temple-offer­ings, in works of art properly so called, commence—the golden statue of Zeus, and the large carved chest, dedicated by the Kypselids of Corinth at Olympia. The pious associations, however, connected with the old type were so strong, that the hand of the artist was greatly restrained in dealing with statues of the gods. It was in statues of men, especially in those of the victors at Olympia and other sacred games, that genuine ideas of beauty were first aimed at and in part attained, from whence they passed afterward to the statues of the gods. Such statues of the athletes seem to commence somewhere between Olympiad 53-58 (568-548 b.c.).

It is not until the same interval of time (between 600-550 B.C.) that we find any traces of these architectural monuments by which the more important cities in Greece afterward attracted to themselves so much renown. The two greatest temples in Greece known to Herodotus were the Artemision at Ephesus, and the Heraeon at Samos. Of these the former seems to have been commenced, by the Samian Theodorus, about 600 b.c.—the latter, begun by the Samian Rhoecus, can hardly be traced to any higher antiquity. The first attempts to decorate Athens by such additions proceeded from Peisistratus and his sons, near the same time. As far as we can judge, too, in the absence of all direct evidence, the temples of Paestum in Italy and Selinus in Sicily seem to fall in this same cen­tury. Of painting during these early centuries, nothing can be affirmed. It never at any time reached the same perfection as sculp­ture, and we may presume that its years of infancy were at least equally rude.

The immense development of Grecian art, subsequently, and the great perfection of Grecian artists, are facts of great importance in the history of the human race; while in regard to the Greeks them­selves, these facts not only acted powerfully on the taste of the people, but were also valuable indirectly as the common boast of Hellenism, and as supplying one bond of fraternal sympathy as well as of mutual pride, among its widely-dispersed sections. It is the paucity and weakness of such bonds which renders the history of Greece, prior to 560 b.c, little better than a series of parallel but isolated threads, each attached to a separate city. The increased range of joint Hellenic feeling and action, upon which we shall presently enter, though arising doubtless in great measure from new and common dangers threatening many cities at once—also springs in part from those other causes which have been enumerated in this chapter, as acting on the Grecian mind. It proceeds from the stimu­lus applied to all the common feelings in religion, art, and recreation—from the gradual formation of national festivals, appealing in various ways to such tastes and sentiments as animated every Hellenic bosom—from the inspirations of men of genius, poets, musicians, sculptors, architects, who supplied more or less in every Grecian city, education for the youth, training for the chorus, and ornament for the locality—from the gradual expansion of science, philosophy, and rhetoric, during the coming period of this history, which rendered one city the intellectual capital of Greece, and brought to Socrates and Plato pupils from the most distant parts of the Grecian world. It was this fund of common tastes, tendencies, and aptitudes, which caused the social atoms of Hellas to gravitate toward each other, and which enabled the Greeks to become something better and greater than an aggregate of petty disunited communities like the Thracians or Phrygians. And the creation of such common, extrapolitical Hellenism is the most interesting phenomenon which the historian has to point out in the early period now under our notice. He is called upon to dwell upon it the more forcibly because the modern reader has generally no idea of national union without polit­ical union—an association foreign to the Greek mind. Strange as it may seem to find a song-writer put forward as an active instrument of union among his fellow-Helions, it is not the less true that those poets, whom we have briefly passed in review, by enriching the common language and by circulating from town to town either in person or in their compositions, contributed to fan the flame of Pan­Hellenic patriotism at a time when there were few circumstances to co-operate with them, and when the causes tending to perpetuate isolation seemed in the ascendant.