HotFreeBooks.com
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon"
Author: Various
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

[35] Even in the case of the "Semitic" name of the famous Sargon I. (q.v.), whose full name is generally read Sharru-kenu-sha-ali, and interpreted as "the legitimate king of the city," the question has recently been raised whether we ought not to read "Sharru-kenu-shar-ri" and interpret as "the legitimate king rules"—an illustration of the vacillation still prevailing in this difficult domain of research.

BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN RELIGION. The development of the religion of Babylonia, so far as it can be traced with the material at hand, follows closely along the lines of the periods to be distinguished in the history of the Euphrates valley. Leaving aside the primitive phases of the religion as lying beyond the ken of historical investigation, we may note the sharp distinction to be made between the pre-Khammurabic age and the post-Khammurabic age. While the political movement represented by Khammurabi may have been proceeding for some time prior to the appearance of the great conqueror, the period of c. 2250 B.C., when the union of the Euphratean states was effected by Khammurabi, marks the beginning of a new epoch in the religion as well as in the political history of the Euphrates valley. Corresponding to the states into which we find the country divided before 2250 B.C., we have a various number of religious centres such as Nippur, Erech, Kutha (Cuthah), Ur, Sippara (Sippar), Shirgulla (Lagash), Eridu and Agade, in each of which some god was looked upon as the chief deity around whom there were gathered a number of minor deities and with whom there was invariably associated a female consort. The jurisdiction of this chief god was, however, limited to the political extent or control of the district in which the main seat of the cult of the deity in question lay. Mild attempts, to be sure, to group the chief deities associated with the most important religious and political centres into a regular pantheon were made—notably in Nippur and later in Ur—but such attempts lacked the enduring quality which attaches to Khammurabi's avowed policy to raise Marduk—the patron deity of the future capital, Babylon—to the head of the entire Babylonian pantheon, as [v.03 p.0113] Babylon itself came to be recognized as the real centre of the entire Euphrates valley.

Associated with Marduk was his consort Sarpanit, and grouped around the pair as princes around a throne were the chief deities of the older centres, like Ea and Damkina of Eridu, Nebo and Tashmit of Borsippa, Nergal and Allatu of Kutha, Shamash and Ā of Sippar, Sin and Ningal of Ur, as well as pairs like Ramman (or Adad) and Shala whose central seat is unknown to us. In this process of accommodating ancient prerogatives to new conditions, it was inevitable that attributes belonging specifically to the one or the other of these gods should have been transferred to Marduk, who thus from being, originally, a solar deity becomes an eclectic power, taking on the traits of Bel, Ea, Shamash, Nergal, Adad and even Sin (the moon-god)—a kind of composite residuum of all the chief gods.

In the religious literature this process can be traced with perfect definiteness. The older incantations, associated with Ea, were re-edited so as to give to Marduk the supreme power over demons, witches and sorcerers: the hymns and lamentations composed for the cult of Bel, Shamash and of Adad were transformed into paeans and appeals to Marduk, while the ancient myths arising in the various religious and political centres underwent a similar process of adaptation to changed conditions, and as a consequence their original meaning was obscured by the endeavour to assign all mighty deeds and acts, originally symbolical of the change of seasons or of occurrences in nature, to the patron deity of Babylon—the supreme head of the entire Babylonian pantheon. Besides the chief deities and their consorts, various minor ones, representing likewise patron gods of less important localities and in most cases of a solar character were added at one time or the other to the court of Marduk, though there is also to be noted a tendency on the part of the chief solar deity, Shamash of Sippara, and for the chief moon-god to absorb the solar and lunar deities of less important sites, leading in the case of the solar gods to the differentiation of the functions of Shamash during the various seasons of the year and the various times of the day among these minor deities. In this way Ninib, whose chief seat appears to have been at Shirgulla (Lagash), became the sun-god of the springtime and of the morning, bringing joy and new life to the earth, while Nergal of Kutha was regarded as the sun of the summer solstice and of the noonday heat—the harbinger of suffering and death.

There were, however, two deities who appear to have retained an independent existence—Anu (q.v.), the god of heaven, and Ishtar (q.v.), the great mother-goddess, who symbolized fertility and vitality in general. There are some reasons for believing that the oldest seat, and possibly the original seat, of the Anu cult was in Erech, as it is there where the Ishtar cult that subsequently spread throughout Babylonia and Assyria took its rise. While Anu, with whom there was associated as a pale reflection a consort Antum, assigned to him under the influence of the widely prevalent view among the early Semites which conceived of gods always in pairs, remained more or less of an abstraction during the various periods of the Babylonian-Assyrian religion and taking little part in the active cult of the temples, his unique position as the chief god of the highest heavens was always recognized in the theological system developed by the priests, which found an expression in making him the first figure of a triad, consisting of Anu, Bel and Ea, among whom the priests divided the three divisions of the universe, the heavens, the earth with the atmosphere above it, and the watery expanse respectively.

Postponing the discussion of this triad, it is to be noted that the systematization of the pantheon after the days of Khammurabi did not seriously interfere with the independence of the goddess Ishtar. While frequently associated with Marduk, and still more closely with the chief god of Assyria, the god Assur (who occupies in the north the position accorded to Marduk in the south), so much so as to be sometimes spoken of as Assur's consort—the lady or Belit par excellence—the belief that as the source of all life she stands apart never lost its hold upon the people and found an expression also in the system devised by the priests. By the side of the first triad, consisting of Anu, Bel and Ea—disconnected in this form entirely from all local associations—we encounter a second triad composed of Shamash, Sin and Ishtar. As the first triad symbolized the three divisions of the universe—the heavens, earth and the watery element—so the second represented the three great forces of nature—the sun, the moon and the life-giving power. According as the one or the other aspect of such a power is brought into the foreground, Ishtar becomes the mother of mankind, the fertile earth, the goddess of sexual love, and the creative force among animals, while at times she appears in hymns and myths as the general personification of nature.

We thus find in the post-Khammurabic period the pantheon assuming distinct shapes. The strong tendency towards concentrating in one deity—Marduk—the attributes of all others was offset by the natural desire to make the position of Marduk accord with the rank acquired by the secular rulers. As these emphasized their supremacy by grouping around them a court of loyal attendants dependent in rank and ready to do their master's bidding, so the gods of the chief centres and those of the minor local cults formed a group around Marduk; and the larger the group the greater was the reflected glory of the chief figure. Hence throughout the subsequent periods of Babylonian history, and despite a decided progress towards a monotheistic conception of divine government of the universe, the recognition of a large number of gods and their consorts by the side of Marduk remained a firmly embedded doctrine in the Babylonian religion as it did in the Assyrian religion, with the important variation, however, of transferring the role of the head of the pantheon from Marduk to Assur. Originally the patron god of the city of Assur (q.v.), when this city became the centre of a growing and independent district, Assur was naturally advanced to the same position in the north that Marduk occupied in the south. The religious predominance of the city of Babylon served to maintain for Marduk recognition even on the part of the Assyrian rulers, who, on the political side likewise, conceded to Babylonia the form at least of an independent district even when, as kings of Assyria, they exercised absolute control over it. They appointed their sons or brothers governors of Babylonia, and in the long array of titles that the kings gave themselves, a special phrase was always set aside to indicate their mastery over Babylonia. "To take the hand of Bel-Marduk" was the ceremony of installation which Assyrian rulers recognized equally with Babylonians as an essential preliminary to exercising authority in the Euphrates valley. Marduk and Assur became rivals only when Babylonia gave the Assyrians trouble; and when in 689 B.C. Sennacherib, whose patience had been exhausted by the difficulties encountered in maintaining peace in the south, actually besieged and destroyed the city of Babylon, he removed the statue of Marduk to Nineveh as a symbol that the god's rule had come to an end. His grandson Assur-bani-pal, with a view of re-establishing amicable relations, restored the statue to the temple E-Saggila in Babylon and performed the time-honoured ceremony of "taking the hand of Bel" as a symbol of his homage to the ancient head of the Babylonian pantheon.

But for the substitution of Assur for Marduk, the Assyrian pantheon was the same as that set up in the south, though some of the gods were endowed with attributes which differ slightly from those which mark the same gods in the south. The warlike nature of the Assyrians was reflected in their conceptions of the gods, who thus became little Assurs by the side of the great protector of arms, the big Assur. The cult and ritual in the north likewise followed the models set up in the south. The hymns composed for the temples of Babylonia were transferred to Assur, Calah, Harran, Arbela and Nineveh in the north; and the myths and legends also wandered to Assyria, where, to be sure, they underwent certain modifications. To all practical purposes, however, the religion of Assyria was identical with that practised in the south.

We thus obtain four periods in the development of the Babylonian-Assyrian religion: (1) the oldest period from [v.03 p.0114] c. 3500 B.C. to the time of Khammurabi (c. 2250 B.C.); (2) the post-Khammurabic period in Babylonia; (3) the Assyrian period (c. 2000 B.C.) to the destruction of Nineveh in 606 B.C.; (4) the neo-Babylonian period beginning with Nabopolassar (625-604 B.C.), the first independent ruler under whom Babylonia inaugurates a new though short-lived era of power and prosperity, which ends with Cyrus's conquest of Babylon and Babylonia in 539 B.C., though since the religion proceeds on its undisturbed course for several centuries after the end of the political independence, we might legitimately carry this period to the Greek conquest of the Euphrates valley (331 B.C.), when new influences began to make themselves felt which gradually led to the extinction of the old cults.

In this long period of c. 3500 to c. 300 B.C., the changes introduced after the adjustment to the new conditions produced by Khammurabi's union of the Euphratean states are of a minor character. As already indicated, the local cults in the important centres of the south and north maintained themselves despite the tendency towards centralization, and while the cults themselves varied according to the character of the gods worshipped in each centre, the general principles were the same and the rites differed in minor details rather than in essential variations. An important factor which thus served to maintain the rites in a more or less stable condition was the predominance of what may be called the astral theology as the theoretical substratum of the Babylonian religion, and which is equally pronounced in the religious system of Assyria. The essential feature of this astral theology is the assumption of a close link between the movements going on in the heavens and occurrences on earth, which led to identifying the gods and goddesses with heavenly bodies—planets and stars, besides sun and moon—and to assigning the seats of all the deities in the heavens. The personification of the two great luminaries—the sun and the moon—was the first step in the unfolding of this system, and this was followed by placing the other deities where Shamash and Sin had their seats. This process, which reached its culmination in the post-Khammurabic period, led to identifying the planet Jupiter with Marduk, Venus with Ishtar, Mars with Nergal, Mercury with Nebo, and Saturn with Ninib. The system represents a harmonious combination of two factors, one of popular origin, the other the outcome of speculation in the schools attached to the temples of Babylonia. The popular factor is the belief in the influence exerted by the movements of the heavenly bodies on occurrences on earth—a belief naturally suggested by the dependence of life, vegetation and guidance upon the two great luminaries. Starting with this belief the priests built up the theory of the close correspondence between occurrences on earth and phenomena in the heavens. The heavens presenting a constant change even to the superficial observer, the conclusion was drawn of a connexion between the changes and the ever-changing movement in the fate of individuals and of nature as well as in the appearance of nature.

To read the signs of the heavens was therefore to understand the meaning of occurrences on earth, and with this accomplished it was also possible to foretell what events were portended by the position and relationship to one another of sun, moon, planets and certain stars. Myths that symbolized changes in season or occurrences in nature were projected on the heavens, which were mapped out to correspond to the divisions of the earth. All the gods, great and small, had their places assigned to them in the heavens, and facts, including such as fell within the domain of political history, were interpreted in terms of astral theology. So completely did this system in the course of time sway men's minds that the cult, from being an expression of animistic beliefs, took on the colour derived from the "astral" interpretation of occurrences and doctrines. It left its trace in incantations, omens and hymns, and it gave birth to astronomy, which was assiduously cultivated because a knowledge of the heavens was the very foundation of the system of belief unfolded by the priests of Babylonia and Assyria. "Chaldaean wisdom" became in the classical world the synonym of this science, which in its character was so essentially religious. The persistent prominence which astrology (q.v.) continued to enjoy down to the border line of the scientific movement of our own days, and which is directly traceable to the divination methods perfected in the Euphrates valley, is a tribute to the scope and influence attained by the astral theology of the Babylonian and Assyrian priests.

As an illustration of the manner in which the doctrines of the religion were made to conform to the all-pervading astral theory, it will be sufficient to refer to the modification undergone in this process of the view developed in a very early period which apportioned the control of the universe among the three gods Anu, Bel and Ea. Disassociating these gods from all local connexions, Anu became the power presiding over the heavens, to Bel was assigned the earth and the atmosphere immediately above it, while Ea ruled over the deep. With the transfer of all the gods to the heavens, and under the influence of the doctrine of the correspondence between the heavens and the earth, Anu, Bel and Ea became the three "ways" (as they are called) on the heavens. The "ways" appear in this instance to have been the designation of the ecliptic circle, which was divided into three sections or zones—a northern, a middle and a southern zone, Anu being assigned to the first, Bel to the second, and Ea to the third zone. The astral theology of the Babylonian-Assyrian religion, while thus bearing the ear-marks of a system devised by the priests, succeeded in assimilating the beliefs which represented the earlier attempts to systematize the more popular aspects of the religion, and in this way a unification of diverse elements was secured that led to interpreting the contents and the form of the religion in terms of the astral-theological system.

The most noteworthy outcome of this system in the realm of religious practice was, as already intimated, the growth of an elaborate and complicated method of divining the future by the observation of the phenomena in the heavens. It is significant that in the royal collection of cuneiform literature made by King Assur-bani-pal of Assyria (668-626 B.C.) and deposited in his palace at Nineveh, the omen collections connected with the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria form the largest class. There are also indications that the extensive texts dealing with divination through the liver of sacrificial animals, which represents a more popular origin than divination through the observations of the heavens, based as it is on the primitive view which regarded the liver as the seat of life and of the soul, were brought into connexion with astral divination. Less influenced by the astral-theological system are the old incantation texts which were gathered together into series. In these series we can trace the attempt to gather the incantation formulae and prayers produced in different centres, and to make them conform to the tendency to centralize the cult in the worship of Marduk and his consort in the south, and of Assur and Ishtar in the north. Incantations originally addressed to Ea of Eridu, as the god of the watery element, and to Nusku, as the god of fire, were transferred to Marduk. This was done by making Ea confer on Marduk as his son the powers of the father, and by making Nusku a messenger between Ea and Marduk. At the same time, since the invoking of the divine powers was the essential element in the incantations, in order to make the magic formulae as effective as possible, a large number of the old local deities are introduced to add their power to the chief ones; and it is here that the astral system comes into play through the introduction of names of stars, as well as through assigning attributes to the gods which clearly reflect the conception that they have their seats in the heavens. The incantations pass over naturally into hymns and prayers. The connexion between the two is illustrated by the application of the term shiptu, "incantation," to the direct appeals to the gods, as well as by the introduction, on the one hand, of genuine prayers into the incantations and by the addition, on the other hand, of incantations to prayers and hymns, pure and simple. In another division of the religious literature of Babylonia which is largely represented in Assur-bani-pal's collection—the myths and legends—tales which originally symbolized the change of seasons, or in which historical occurrences are overcast with more or less copious [v.03 p.0115] admixture of legend and myth, were transferred to the heavens, and so it happens that creation myths, and the accounts of wanderings and adventures of heroes of the past, are referred to movements among the planets and stars as well as to occurrences or supposed occurrences on earth.

The ritual alone which accompanied divination practices and incantation formulae and was a chief factor in the celebration of festival days and of days set aside for one reason or the other to the worship of some god or goddess or group of deities, is free from traces of the astral theology. The more or less elaborate ceremonies prescribed for the occasions when the gods were approached are directly connected with the popular elements of the religion. Animal sacrifice, libations, ritualistic purification, sprinkling of water, and symbolical rites of all kinds accompanied by short prayers, represent a religious practice which in the Babylonian-Assyrian religion, as in all religions, is older than any theology and survives the changes which the theoretical substratum of the religion undergoes.

On the ethical side, the religion of Babylonia more particularly, and to a less extent that of Assyria, advances to noticeable conceptions of the qualities associated with the gods and goddesses and of the duties imposed on man. Shamash the sun-god was invested with justice as his chief trait, Marduk is portrayed as full of mercy and kindness, Ea is the protector of mankind who is grieved when, through a deception practised upon Adapa, humanity is deprived of immortality. The gods, to be sure, are easily aroused to anger, and in some of them the dire aspects predominated, but the view becomes more and more pronounced that there is some cause always for the divine wrath. Though, in accounting for the anger of the gods, no sharp distinction is made between moral offences and a ritualistic oversight or neglect, yet the stress laid in the hymns and prayers, as well as in the elaborate atonement ritual prescribed in order to appease the anger of the gods, on the need of being clean and pure in the sight of the higher powers, the inculcation of a proper aspect of humility, and above all the need of confessing one's guilt and sins without any reserve—all this bears testimony to the strength which the ethical factor acquired in the domain of the religion.

This factor appears to less advantage in the unfolding of the views concerning life after death. Throughout all periods of Babylonian-Assyrian history, the conception prevailed of a large dark cavern below the earth, not far from the Apsu—the ocean encircling and flowing underneath the earth—in which all the dead were gathered and where they led a miserable existence of inactivity amid gloom and dust. Occasionally a favoured individual was permitted to escape from this general fate and placed in a pleasant island. It would appear also that the rulers were always singled out for divine grace, and in the earlier periods of the history, owing to the prevailing view that the rulers stood nearer to the gods than other mortals, the kings were deified after death, and in some instances divine honours were paid to them even during their lifetime.

The influence exerted by the Babylonian-Assyrian religion was particularly profound on the Semites, while the astral theology affected the ancient world in general, including the Greeks and Romans. The impetus to the purification of the old Semite religion to which the Hebrews for a long time clung in common with their fellows—the various branches of nomadic Arabs—was largely furnished by the remarkable civilization unfolded in the Euphrates valley and in many of the traditions, myths and legends embodied in the Old Testament; traces of direct borrowing from Babylonia may be discerned, while the indirect influences in the domain of the prophetical books, as also in the Psalms and in the so-called "Wisdom Literature," are even more noteworthy. Even when we reach the New Testament period, we have not passed entirely beyond the sphere of Babylonian-Assyrian influences. In such a movement as early Christian gnosticism, Babylonian elements—modified, to be sure, and transformed—are largely present, while the growth of an apocalyptic literature is ascribed with apparent justice by many scholars to the recrudescence of views the ultimate source of which is to be found in the astral-theology of the Babylonian and Assyrian priests.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—Morris Jastrow, jun., Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens (Giessen, 1904), enlarged and re-written form of the author's smaller Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (Boston, 1898); A. H. Sayce, The Religion of the Ancient Babylonians (Hibbert Lectures, London, 1887), now superseded by the same author's Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia (Gifford Lectures, Edinburgh, 1902); Friedrich Jeremias, Die Babylonier und Assyrer, in de la Saussaye's Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte (3rd ed., Tuebingen, 1905), vol. i.; L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology (London, 1899); T. G. Pinches, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (London, 1906). Of special texts and monographs bearing on the religion may be mentioned various volumes in the new series of cuneiform texts from Babylonian tablets, &c., in the British Museum (London, 1901- ), especially parts v., xii., xv., xvii., xviii., xx. and xxi. and vol. iv. of the earlier series of Selections from the Miscellaneous Inscriptions of Western Asia, ed. by H. C. Rawlinson (2nd ed., London, 1891); H. Zimmern, Beitraege zur Kenntniss der babylonischen Religion (Leipzig, 1901); J. A. Craig, Assyrian and Babylonian Religious Texts (Leipzig, 1895-1897); L. W. King, The Seven Tablets of Creation (London, 1902); R. C. Thompson, The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon (London, 1900); A. Boissier, Documents assyriens relatifs aux presages (Paris, 1894-1897); and his Choix de textes relatifs a la divination assyro-babylonienne (Geneva, 1905-1906); Ch. Fossey, La Magie assyrienne (Paris, 1902); G. A. Reisner, Sumerisch-babylonische Hymnen (Berlin, 1896); L. W. King, Babylonian Magic and Sorcery (London, 1896); R. C. Thompson, Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia (London, 1903-1904); K. L. Tallqvist, Die assyrische Beschwoerungsserie Maqlū (Leipzig, 1895); J. A. Knudtzon, Assyrische Gebete an den Sonnengott (Leipzig, 1893); Virolleaud, L'Astrologie chaldeenne (Paris, 1906- ); Craig, Astrological-Astronomical Texts (Leipzig, 1892); Martin, Textes religieux assyriens et babyloniens (Paris, 1900 and 1903); Paul Haupt, Das babylonische Nimrodepos (Leipzig, 1891); Friedrich Delitzsch, Das babylonische Weltschoepfungsepos (Leipzig, 1896); P. Jensen, "Assyrisch-babylonische Mythen und Epen," in Schrader's Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, vol. vi. part 1 (Berlin, 1900); also his Das Nationalepos der Babylonier, &c. (Strassburg, 1906); H. Zimmern in vol. ii. of 3rd ed. of Schrader's Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament (Berlin, 1903); Alfred Jeremias, Die babylonisch-assyrischen Vorstellungen von Leben nach dem Tode (Leipzig, 1887); and his Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1906-1907); and Babylonisches im Neuen Testament (Leipzig, 1905). On the religious literature of Babylonia and Assyria, see also chapters xv. to xxiv. in Jastrow's work (German and English edition), Carl Bezold's Ninive and Babylon (Bielefeld, 1905), chapters vi. to xii., and the same author's monumental catalogue of the cuneiform tablets in the Kuyunjik collection of the British Museum (5 vols., London, 1889-1899).

(M. JA.)

BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY, the name generally given to the deportation of the Jews to Babylon by Nebuchadrezzar. Three separate occasions are mentioned (Jer. lii. 28-30). The first was in the time of Jehoiachin in 597 B.C., when the temple of Jerusalem was partially despoiled and a number of the leading citizens removed. After eleven years (in the reign of Zedekiah) a fresh rising of the Judaeans occurred; the city was razed to the ground, and a further deportation ensued. Finally, five years later, Jeremiah (loc. cit.) records a third captivity. After the overthrow of Babylonia by the Persians, Cyrus gave the Jews permission to return to their native land (537 B.C.), and more then forty thousand are said to have availed themselves of the privilege. (See JEHOIAKIM; JEHOIACHIN; ZEDEKIAH; EZRA-NEHEMIAH and JEWS: History.)

BABYLONIAN LAW. The material for the study of Babylonian law is singularly extensive without being exhaustive. The so-called "contracts," including a great variety of deeds, conveyances, bonds, receipts, accounts and, most important of all, the actual legal decisions given by the judges in the law courts, exist in thousands. Historical inscriptions, royal charters and rescripts, despatches, private letters and the general literature afford welcome supplementary information. Even grammatical and lexicographical works, intended solely to facilitate the study of ancient literature, contain many extracts or short sentences bearing on law and custom. The so-called "Sumerian Family Laws" are thus preserved. The discovery of the now celebrated Code of Khammurabi (Hammurabi)[1] (hereinafter simply termed [v.03 p.0116] "the Code") has, however, made a more systematic study possible than could have resulted from the classification and interpretation of the other material. Some fragments of a later code exist and have been published; but there still remain many points upon which we have no evidence.

This material dates from the earliest times down to the commencement of our era. The evidence upon a particular point may be very full at one period and almost entirely lacking at another. The Code forms the backbone of the skeleton sketch which is here reconstructed. The fragments of it which have been recovered from Assur-bani-pal's library at Nineveh and later Babylonian copies show that it was studied, divided into chapters entitled Ninu ilu ṣirum from its opening words, and recopied for fifteen hundred years or more. The greater part of it remained in force, even through the Persian, Greek and Parthian conquests, which affected private life in Babylonia very little, and it survived to influence Syro-Roman and later Mahommedan law in Mesopotamia. The law and custom which preceded the Code we shall call "early," that of the New Babylonian empire (as well as the Persian, Greek, &c.) "late." The law in Assyria was derived from Babylonia but conserved early features long after they had disappeared elsewhere.

When the Semitic tribes settled in the cities of Babylonia, their tribal custom passed over into city law. The early history of the country is the story of a struggle for supremacy between the cities. A metropolis demanded tribute and military support from its subject cities but left their local cults and customs unaffected. The city rights and usages were respected by kings and conquerors alike.

As late as the accession of Assur-bani-pal and Samas-sum-yukin we find the Babylonians appealing to their city laws that groups of aliens to the number of twenty at a time were free to enter the city, that foreign women once married to Babylonian husbands could not be enslaved and that not even a dog that entered the city could be put to death untried.

The population of Babylonia was of many races from early times and intercommunication between the cities was incessant. Every city had a large number of resident aliens. This freedom of intercourse must have tended to assimilate custom. It was, however, reserved for the genius of Khammurabi to make Babylon his metropolis and weld together his vast empire by a uniform system of law.

[Sidenote: Code of Khammurabi.]

Almost all trace of tribal custom has already disappeared from the law of the Code. It is state-law; alike self-help, blood-feud, marriage by capture, are absent; though family solidarity, district responsibility, ordeal, the lex talionis, are primitive features that remain. The king is a benevolent autocrat, easily accessible to all his subjects, both able and willing to protect the weak against the highest-placed oppressor. The royal power, however, can only pardon when private resentment is appeased. The judges are strictly supervised and appeal is allowed. The whole land is covered with feudal holdings, masters of the levy, police, &c. There is a regular postal system. The pax Babylonica is so assured that private individuals do not hesitate to ride in their carriage from Babylon to the coast of the Mediterranean. The position of women is free and dignified.

The Code did not merely embody contemporary custom or conserve ancient law. It is true that centuries of law-abiding and litigious habitude had accumulated in the temple archives of each city vast stores of precedent in ancient deeds and the records of judicial decisions, and that intercourse had assimilated city custom. The universal habit of writing and perpetual recourse to written contract even more modified primitive custom and ancient precedent. Provided the parties could agree, the Code left them free to contract as a rule. Their deed of agreement was drawn up in the temple by a notary public, and confirmed by an oath "by god and the king." It was publicly sealed and witnessed by professional witnesses, as well as by collaterally interested parties. The manner in which it was thus executed may have been sufficient security that its stipulations were not impious or illegal. Custom or public opinion doubtless secured that the parties would not agree to wrong. In case of dispute the judges dealt first with the contract. They might not sustain it, but if the parties did not dispute it, they were free to observe it. The judges' decision might, however, be appealed against. Many contracts contain the proviso that in case of future dispute the parties would abide by "the decision of the king." The Code made known, in a vast number of cases, what that decision would be, and many cases of appeal to the king were sent back to the judges with orders to decide in accordance with it. The Code itself was carefully and logically arranged and the order of its sections was conditioned by their subject-matter. Nevertheless the order is not that of modern scientific treatises, and a somewhat different order from both is most convenient for our purpose.

The Code contemplates the whole population as falling into three classes, the amelu, the muskinu and the ardu. The amelu was a patrician, the man of family, whose birth, marriage and death were registered, of ancestral estates and full civil rights. He had aristocratic privileges and responsibilities, the right to exact retaliation for corporal injuries, and liability to heavier punishment for crimes and misdemeanours, higher fees and fines to pay. To this class belonged the king and court, the higher officials, the professions and craftsmen. The term became in time a mere courtesy title but originally carried with it standing. Already in the Code, when status is not concerned, it is used to denote "any one." There was no property qualification nor does the term appear to be racial. It is most difficult to characterize the muskinu exactly. The term came in time to mean "a beggar" and with that meaning has passed through Aramaic and Hebrew into many modern languages; but though the Code does not regard him as necessarily poor, he may have been landless. He was free, but had to accept monetary compensation for corporal injuries, paid smaller fees and fines, even paid less offerings to the gods. He inhabited a separate quarter of the city. There is no reason to regard him as specially connected with the court, as a royal pensioner, nor as forming the bulk of the population. The rarity of any reference to him in contemporary documents makes further specification conjectural. The ardu was a slave, his master's chattel, and formed a very numerous class. He could acquire property and even hold other slaves. His master clothed and fed him, paid his doctor's fees, but took all compensation paid for injury done to him. His master usually found him a slave-girl as wife (the children were then born slaves), often set him up in a house (with farm or business) and simply took an annual rent of him. Otherwise he might marry a freewoman (the children were then free), who might bring him a dower which his master could not touch, and at his death one-half of his property passed to his master as his heir. He could acquire his freedom by purchase from his master, or might be freed and dedicated to a temple, or even adopted, when he became an amelu and not a muskinu. Slaves were recruited by purchase abroad, from captives taken in war and by freemen degraded for debt or crime. A slave often ran away; if caught, the captor was bound to restore him to his master, and the Code fixes a reward of two shekels which the owner must pay the captor. It was about one-tenth of the average value. To detain, harbour, &c., a slave was punished by death. So was an attempt to get him to leave the city. A slave bore an identification mark, which could only be removed by a surgical operation and which later consisted of his owner's name tattoed or branded on the arm. On the great estates in Assyria and its subject provinces were many serfs, mostly of subject race, settled captives, or quondam slaves, tied to the soil they cultivated and sold with the estate but capable of possessing land and property of their own. There is little trace of serfs in Babylonia, unless the muskinu be really a serf.

The god of a city was originally owner of its land, which encircled it with an inner ring of irrigable arable land and an outer fringe of pasture, and the citizens were his tenants. The god and his viceregent, the king, had long ceased to disturb tenancy, and were content with fixed dues in naturalia, stock, [v.03 p.0117] money or service. One of the earliest monuments records the purchase by a king of a large estate for his son, paying a fair market price and adding a handsome honorarium to the many owners in costly garments, plate, and precious articles of furniture. The Code recognizes complete private ownership in land, but apparently extends the right to hold land to votaries, merchants (and resident aliens?). But all land was sold subject to its fixed charges. The king, however, could free land from these charges by charter, which was a frequent way of rewarding those who deserved well of the state. It is from these charters that we learn nearly all we know of the obligations that lay upon land. The state demanded men for the army and the corvee as well as dues in kind. A definite area was bound to find a bowman together with his linked pikeman (who bore the shield for both) and to furnish them with supplies for the campaign. This area was termed "a bow" as early as the 8th century B.C., but the usage was much earlier. Later, a horseman was due from certain areas. A man was only bound to serve so many (six?) times, but the land had to find a man annually. The service was usually discharged by slaves and serfs, but the amelu (and perhaps the muskinu) went to war. The "bows" were grouped in tens and hundreds. The corvee was less regular. The letters of Khammurabi often deal with claims to exemption. Religious officials and shepherds in charge of flocks were exempt. Special liabilities lay upon riparian owners to repair canals, bridges, quays, &c. The state claimed certain proportions of all crops, stock, &c. The king's messengers could commandeer any subject's property, giving a receipt. Further, every city had its own octroi duties, customs, ferry dues, highway and water rates. The king had long ceased to be, if he ever was, owner of the land. He had his own royal estates, his private property and dues from all his subjects. The higher officials had endowments and official residences. The Code regulates the feudal position of certain classes. They held an estate from the king consisting of house, garden, field, stock and a salary, on condition of personal service on the king's errand. They could not delegate the service on pain of death. When ordered abroad they could nominate a son, if capable, to hold the benefice and carry on the duty. If there was no son capable, the state put in a locum tenens, but granted one-third to the wife to maintain herself and children. The benefice was inalienable, could not be sold, pledged, exchanged, sublet, devised or diminished. Other land was held of the state for rent. Ancestral estate was strictly tied to the family. If a holder would sell, the family had the right of redemption and there seems to have been no time-limit to its exercise.

The temple occupied a most important position. It received from its estates, from tithes and other fixed dues, as well as from the sacrifices (a customary share) and other offerings of the faithful, vast amounts of all sorts of naturalia; besides money and permanent gifts. The larger temples had many officials and servants. Originally, perhaps, each town clustered round one temple, and each head of a family had a right to minister there and share its receipts. As the city grew, the right to so many days a year at one or other shrine (or its "gate") descended in certain families and became a species of property which could be pledged, rented or shared within the family, but not alienated. In spite of all these demands, however, the temples became great granaries and store-houses; as they also were the city archives. The temple had its responsibilities. If a citizen was captured by the enemy and could not ransom himself the temple of his city must do so. To the temple came the poor farmer to borrow seed corn or supplies for harvesters, &c.—advances which he repaid without interest. The king's power over the temple was not proprietary but administrative. He might borrow from it but repaid like other borrowers. The tithe seems to have been the composition for the rent due to the god for his land. It is not clear that all lands paid tithe, perhaps only such as once had a special connexion with the temple.

The Code deals with a class of persons devoted to the service of a god, as vestals or hierodules. The vestals were vowed to chastity, lived together in a great nunnery, were forbidden to open or enter a tavern, and together with other votaries had many privileges.

The Code recognizes many ways of disposing of property—sale, lease, barter, gift, dedication, deposit, loan, pledge, all of which were matters of contract. Sale was the delivery of the purchase (in the case of real estate symbolized by a staff, a key, or deed of conveyance) in return for the purchase money, receipts being given for both. Credit, if given, was treated as a debt, and secured as a loan by the seller to be repaid by the buyer, for which he gave a bond. The Code admits no claim unsubstantiated by documents or the oath of witnesses. A buyer had to convince himself of the seller's title. If he bought (or received on deposit) from a minor or a slave without power of attorney, he would be executed as a thief. If the goods were stolen and the rightful owner reclaimed them, he had to prove his purchase by producing the seller and the deed of sale or witnesses to it. Otherwise he would be adjudged a thief and die. If he proved his purchase, he had to give up the property but had his remedy against the seller or, if he had died, could reclaim five-fold from his estate. A man who bought a slave abroad, might find that he had been stolen or captured from Babylonia, and he had to restore him to his former owner without profit. If he bought property belonging to a feudal holding, or to a ward in chancery, he had to return it and forfeit what he gave for it as well. He could repudiate the purchase of a slave attacked by the bennu sickness within the month (later, a hundred days), and had a female slave three days on approval. A defect of title or undisclosed liability would invalidate the sale at any time.

Landowners frequently cultivated their land themselves but might employ a husbandman or let it. The husbandman was bound to carry out the proper cultivation, raise an average crop and leave the field in good tilth. In case the crop failed the Code fixed a statutory return. Land might be let at a fixed rent when the Code enacted that accidental loss fell on the tenant. If let on share-profit, the landlord and tenant shared the loss proportionately to their stipulated share of profit. If the tenant paid his rent and left the land in good tilth, the landlord could not interfere nor forbid subletting. Waste land was let to reclaim, the tenant being rent free for three years and paying a stipulated rent in the fourth year. If the tenant neglected to reclaim the land the Code enacted that he must hand it over in good faith and fixed a statutory rent. Gardens or plantations were let in the same ways and under the same conditions; but for date-groves four years' free tenure was allowed. The metayer system was in vogue, especially on temple lands. The landlord found land, labour, oxen for ploughing and working the watering-machines, carting, threshing or other implements, seed corn, rations for the workmen and fodder for the cattle. The tenant, or steward, usually had other land of his own. If he stole the seed, rations or fodder, the Code enacted that his fingers should be cut off. If he appropriated or sold the implements, impoverished or sublet the cattle, he was heavily fined and in default of payment might be condemned to be torn to pieces by the cattle on the field. Rent was as contracted.

Irrigation was indispensable. If the irrigator neglected to repair his dyke, or left his runnel open and caused a flood, he had to make good the damage done to his neighbours' crops, or be sold with his family to pay the cost. The theft of a watering-machine, water-bucket or other agricultural implement was heavily fined.

Houses were let usually for the year, but also for longer terms, rent being paid in advance, half-yearly. The contract generally specified that the house was in good repair, and the tenant was bound to keep it so. The woodwork, including doors and door frames, was removable, and the tenant might bring and take away his own. The Code enacted that if the landlord would re-enter before the term was up, he must remit a fair proportion of the rent. Land was leased for houses or other buildings to be built upon it, the tenant being rent-free for eight or ten years; after which the building came into the landlord's possession.

Despite the multitude of slaves, hired labour was often needed, especially at harvest. This was matter of contract, and the hirer, [v.03 p.0118] who usually paid in advance, might demand a guarantee to fulfil the engagement. Cattle were hired for ploughing, working the watering-machines, carting, threshing, etc. The Code fixed a statutory wage for sowers, ox-drivers, field-labourers, and hire for oxen, asses, &c.

There were many herds and flocks. The flocks were committed to a shepherd who gave receipt for them and took them out to pasture. The Code fixed him a wage. He was responsible for all care, must restore ox for ox, sheep for sheep, must breed them satisfactorily. Any dishonest use of the flock had to be repaid ten-fold, but loss by disease or wild beasts fell on the owner. The shepherd made good all loss due to his neglect. If he let the flock feed on a field of corn he had to pay damages four-fold; if he turned them into standing corn when they ought to have been folded he paid twelve-fold.

In commercial matters, payment in kind was still common, though the contracts usually stipulate for cash, naming the standard expected, that of Babylon, Larsa, Assyria, Carchemish, &c. The Code enacted, however, that a debtor must be allowed to pay in produce according to statutory scale. If a debtor had neither money nor crop, the creditor must not refuse goods.

Debt was secured on the person of the debtor. Distraint on a debtor's corn was forbidden by the Code; not only must the creditor give it back, but his illegal action forfeited his claim altogether. An unwarranted seizure for debt was fined, as was the distraint of a working ox. The debtor being seized for debt could nominate as mancipium or hostage to work off the debt, his wife, a child, or slave. The creditor could only hold a wife or child three years as mancipium. If the mancipium died a natural death while in the creditor's possession no claim could lie against the latter; but if he was the cause of death by cruelty, he had to give son for son, or pay for a slave. He could sell a slave-hostage, unless she were a slave-girl who had borne her master children. She had to be redeemed by her owner.

The debtor could also pledge his property, and in contracts often pledged a field, house or crop. The Code enacted, however, that the debtor should always take the crop himself and pay the creditor from it. If the crop failed, payment was deferred and no interest could be charged for that year. If the debtor did not cultivate the field himself he had to pay for the cultivation, but if the cultivation was already finished he must harvest it himself and pay his debt from the crop. If the cultivator did not get a crop this would not cancel his contract. Pledges were often made where the intrinsic value of the article was equivalent to the amount of the debt; but antichretic pledge was more common, where the profit of the pledge was a set-off against the interest of the debt. The whole property of the debtor might be pledged as security for the payment of the debt, without any of it coming into the enjoyment of the creditor. Personal guarantees were often given that the debtor would repay or the guarantor become liable himself.

Trade was very extensive. A common way of doing business was for a merchant to entrust goods or money to a travelling agent, who sought a market for his goods. The caravans travelled far beyond the limits of the empire. The Code insisted that the agent should inventory and give a receipt for all that he received. No claim could be made for anything not so entered. Even if the agent made no profit he was bound to return double what he had received, if he made poor profit he had to make up the deficiency; but he was not responsible for loss by robbery or extortion on his travels. On his return, the principal must give a receipt for what was handed over to him. Any false entry or claim on the agent's part was penalised three-fold, on the principal's part six-fold. In normal cases profits were divided according to contract, usually equally.

A considerable amount of forwarding was done by the caravans. The carrier gave a receipt for the consignment, took all responsibility and exacted a receipt on delivery. If he defaulted he paid five-fold. He was usually paid in advance. Deposit, especially warehousing of grain, was charged for at one-sixtieth. The warehouseman took all risks, paid double for all shortage, but no claim could be made unless he had given a properly witnessed receipt. Water traffic on the Euphrates and canals was early very considerable. Ships, whose tonnage was estimated at the amount of grain they could carry, were continually hired for the transport of all kinds of goods. The Code fixes the price for building and insists on the builder's giving a year's guarantee of seaworthiness. It fixes the hire of ship and of crew. The captain was responsible for the freight and the ship; he had to replace all loss. Even if he refloated the ship he had to pay a fine of half its value for sinking it. In the case of collision the boat under way was responsible for damages to the boat at anchor. The Code also regulated the liquor traffic, fixing a fair price for beer and forbidding the connivance of the tavern-keeper (a female!) at disorderly conduct or treasonable assembly, under pain of death. She was to hale the offenders to the palace, which implied an efficient and accessible police system.

Payment through a banker or by written draft against deposit was frequent. Bonds to pay were treated as negotiable. Interest was rarely charged on advances by the temple or wealthy landowners for pressing needs, but this may have been part of the metayer system. The borrowers may have been tenants. Interest was charged at very high rates for overdue loans of this kind. Merchants (and even temples in some cases) made ordinary business loans, charging from 20 to 30%.

Marriage retained the form of purchase, but was essentially a contract to be man and wife together. The marriage of young people was usually arranged between the relatives, the bridegroom's father providing the bride-price, which with other presents the suitor ceremonially presented to the bride's father. This bride-price was usually handed over by her father to the bride on her marriage, and so came back into the bridegroom's possession, along with her dowry, which was her portion as a daughter. The bride-price varied much, according to the position of the parties, but was in excess of that paid for a slave. The Code enacted that if the father does not, after accepting a man's presents, give him his daughter, he must return the presents doubled. Even if his decision was brought about by libel on the part of the suitor's friend this was done, and the Code enacted that the faithless friend should not marry the girl. If a suitor changed his mind, he forfeited the presents. The dowry might include real estate, but generally consisted of personal effects and household furniture. It remained the wife's for life, descending to her children, if any; otherwise returning to her family, when the husband could deduct the bride-price if it had not been given to her, or return it, if it had. The marriage ceremony included joining of hands and the utterance of some formula of acceptance on the part of the bridegroom, as "I am the son of nobles, silver and gold shall fill thy lap, thou shall be my wife, I will be thy husband. Like the fruit of a garden I will give thee offspring." It must be performed by a freeman.

The marriage contract, without which the Code ruled that the woman was no wife, usually stated the consequences to which each party was liable for repudiating the other. These by no means necessarily agree with the Code. Many conditions might be inserted: as that the wife should act as maidservant to her mother-in-law, or to a first wife. The married couple formed a unit as to external responsibility, especially for debt. The man was responsible for debts contracted by his wife, even before her marriage, as well as for his own; but he could use her as a mancipium. Hence the Code allowed a proviso to be inserted in the marriage contract, that the wife should not be seized for her husband's pre-nuptial debts; but enacted that then he was not responsible for her pre-nuptial debts, and, in any case, that both together were responsible for all debts contracted after marriage. A man might make his wife a settlement by deed of gift, which gave her a life interest in part of his property, and he might reserve to her the right to bequeath it to a favourite child, but she could in no case leave it to her family. Although married she always remained a member of her father's house—she is rarely named wife of A, usually daughter of B, or mother of C.

Divorce was optional with the man, but he had to restore the dowry and, if the wife had borne him children, she had the [v.03 p.0119] custody of them. He had then to assign her the income of field, or garden, as well as goods, to maintain herself and children until they grew up. She then shared equally with them in the allowance (and apparently in his estate at his death) and was free to marry again. If she had no children, he returned her the dowry and paid her a sum equivalent to the bride-price, or a mina of silver, if there had been none. The latter is the forfeit usually named in the contract for his repudiation of her.

If she had been a bad wife, the Code allowed him to send her away, while he kept the children and her dowry; or he could degrade her to the position of a slave in his own house, where she would have food and clothing. She might bring an action against him for cruelty and neglect and, if she proved her case, obtain a judicial separation, taking with her her dowry. No other punishment fell on the man. If she did not prove her case, but was proved to be a bad wife, she was drowned. If she were left without maintenance during her husband's involuntary absence, she could cohabit with another man, but must return to her husband if he came back, the children of the second union remaining with their own father. If she had maintenance, a breach of the marriage tie was adultery. Wilful desertion by, or exile of, the husband dissolved the marriage, and if he came back he had no claim on her property; possibly not on his own.

As a widow, the wife took her husband's place in the family, living on in his house and bringing up the children. She could only remarry with judicial consent, when the judge was bound to inventory the deceased's estate and hand it over to her and her new husband in trust for the children. They could not alienate a single utensil. If she did not remarry, she lived on in her husband's house and took a child's share on the division of his estate, when the children had grown up. She still retained her dowry and any settlement deeded to her by her husband. This property came to her children. If she had remarried, all her children shared equally in her dowry, but the first husband's gift fell to his children or to her selection among them, if so empowered.

Monogamy was the rule, and a childless wife might give her husband a maid (who was no wife) to bear him children, who were reckoned hers. She remained mistress of her maid and might degrade her to slavery again for insolence, but could not sell her if she had borne her husband children. If the wife did this, the Code did not allow the husband to take a concubine. If she would not, he could do so. The concubine was a wife, though not of the same rank; the first wife had no power over her. A concubine was a free woman, was often dowered for marriage and her children were legitimate. She could only be divorced on the same conditions as a wife. If a wife became a chronic invalid, the husband was bound to maintain her in the home they had made together, unless she preferred to take her dowry and go back to her father's house; but he was free to remarry. In all these cases the children were legitimate and legal heirs.

There was, of course, no hindrance to a man having children by a slave girl. These children were free, in any case, and their mother could not be sold, though she might be pledged, and she was free on her master's death. These children could be legitimized by their father's acknowledgment before witnesses, and were often adopted. They then ranked equally in sharing their father's estate, but if not adopted, the wife's children divided and took first choice.

Vestal virgins were not supposed to have children, yet they could and often did marry. The Code contemplated that such a wife would give a husband a maid as above. Free women might marry slaves and be dowered for the marriage. The children were free, and at the slave's death the wife took her dowry and half what she and her husband had acquired in wedlock for self and children; the master taking the other half as his slave's heir.

A father had control over his children till their marriage. He had a right to their labour in return for their keep. He might hire them out and receive their wages, pledge them for debt, even sell them outright. Mothers had the same rights in the absence of the father; even elder brothers when both parents were dead. A father had no claim on his married children for support, but they retained a right to inherit on his death.

The daughter was not only in her father's power to be given in marriage, but he might dedicate her to the service of some god as a vestal or a hierodule; or give her as a concubine. She had no choice in these matters, which were often decided in her childhood. A grown-up daughter might wish to become a votary, perhaps in preference to an uncongenial marriage, and it seems that her father could not refuse her wish. In all these cases the father might dower her. If he did not, on his death the brothers were bound to do so, giving her a full child's share if a wife, a concubine or a vestal, but one-third of a child's share if she were a hierodule or a Marduk priestess. The latter had the privilege of exemption from state dues and absolute disposal of her property. All other daughters had only a life interest in their dowry, which reverted to their family, if childless, or went to their children if they had any. A father might, however, execute a deed granting a daughter power to leave her property to a favourite brother or sister. A daughter's estate was usually managed for her by her brothers, but if they did not satisfy her, she could appoint a steward. If she married, her husband managed it.

The son also appears to have received his share on marriage, but did not always then leave his father's house; he might bring his wife there. This was usual in child marriages.

Adoption was very common, especially where the father (or mother) was childless or had seen all his children grow up and marry away. The child was then adopted to care for the parents' old age. This was done by contract, which usually specified what the parent had to leave and what maintenance was expected. The real children, if any, were usually consenting parties to an arrangement which cut off their expectations. They even, in some cases, found the estate for the adopted child who was to relieve them of a care. If the adopted child failed to carry out the filial duty the contract was annulled in the law courts. Slaves were often adopted and if they proved unfilial were reduced to slavery again.

A craftsman often adopted a son to learn the craft. He profited by the son's labour. If he failed to teach his son the craft, that son could prosecute him and get the contract annulled. This was a form of apprenticeship, and it is not clear that the apprentice had any filial relation.

A man who adopted a son, and afterwards married and had a family of his own, could dissolve the contract but must give the adopted child one-third of a child's share in goods, but no real estate. That could only descend in the family to which he had ceased to belong. Vestals frequently adopted daughters, usually other vestals, to care for their old age.

Adoption had to be with consent of the real parents, who usually executed a deed making over the child, who thus ceased to have any claim upon them. But vestals, hierodules, certain palace officials and slaves had no rights over their children and could raise no obstacle. Foundlings and illegitimate children had no parents to object. If the adopted child discovered his true parents and wanted to return to them, his eye or tongue was torn out. An adopted child was a full heir, the contract might even assign him the position of eldest son. Usually he was residuary legatee.

All legitimate children shared equally in the father's estate at his death, reservation being made of a bride-price for an unmarried son, dower for a daughter or property deeded to favourite children by the father. There was no birthright attaching to the position of eldest son, but he usually acted as executor and after considering what each had already received equalized the shares. He even made grants in excess to the others from his own share. When there were two mothers, the two families shared equally in the father's estate until later times when the first family took two-thirds. Daughters, in the absence of sons, had sons' rights. Children also shared their own mother's property, but had no share in that of a stepmother.

A father could disinherit a son in early times without restriction, but the Code insisted upon judicial consent and that only for repeated unfilial conduct. In early times the son who denied his father had his front hair shorn, a slave-mark put on him, and [v.03 p.0120] could be sold as a slave; while if he denied his mother he had his front hair shorn, was driven round the city as an example and expelled his home, but not degraded to slavery.

Adultery was punished with the death of both parties by drowning, but if the husband was willing to pardon his wife, the king might intervene to pardon the paramour. For incest with his own mother, both were burned to death; with a stepmother, the man was disinherited; with a daughter, the man was exiled; with a daughter-in-law, he was drowned; with a son's betrothed, he was fined. A wife who for her lover's sake procured her husband's death was gibbeted. A betrothed girl, seduced by her prospective father-in-law, took her dowry and returned to her family, and was free to marry as she chose.

In the criminal law the ruling principle was the lex talionis. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, limb for limb was the penalty for assault upon an amelu. A sort of symbolic retaliation was the punishment of the offending member, seen in the cutting off the hand that struck a father or stole a trust; in cutting off the breast of a wet-nurse who substituted a changeling for the child entrusted to her; in the loss of the tongue that denied father or mother (in the Elamite contracts the same penalty was inflicted for perjury); in the loss of the eye that pried into forbidden secrets. The loss of the surgeon's hand that caused loss of life or limb; or the brander's hand that obliterated a slave's identification mark, are very similar. The slave, who struck a freeman or denied his master, lost an ear, the organ of hearing and symbol of obedience. To bring another into danger of death by false accusation was punished by death. To cause loss of liberty or property by false witness was punished by the penalty the perjurer sought to bring upon another.

The death penalty was freely awarded for theft and other crimes regarded as coming under that head; for theft involving entrance of palace or temple treasury, for illegal purchase from minor or slave, for selling stolen goods or receiving the same, for common theft in the open (in default of multiple restoration) or receiving the same, for false claim to goods, for kidnapping, for assisting or harbouring fugitive slaves, for detaining or appropriating same, for brigandage, for fraudulent sale of drink, for disorderly conduct of tavern, for delegation of personal service, for misappropriating the levy, for oppression of feudal holders, for causing death of a householder by bad building. The manner of death is not specified in these cases. This death penalty was also fixed for such conduct as placed another in danger of death. A specified form of death penalty occurs in the following cases: gibbeting (on the spot where crime was committed) for burglary, later also for encroaching on the king's highway, for getting a slave-brand obliterated, for procuring husband's death; burning for incest with own mother, for vestal entering or opening tavern, for theft at fire (on the spot); drowning for adultery, rape of betrothed maiden, bigamy, bad conduct as wife, seduction of daughter-in-law.

A curious extension of the talio is the death of creditor's son for his father's having caused the death of debtor's son as mancipium; of builder's son for his father's causing the death of house-owner's son by building the house badly; the death of a man's daughter because her father caused the death of another man's daughter.

The contracts naturally do not concern such criminal cases as the above, as a rule, but marriage contracts do specify death by strangling, drowning, precipitation from a tower or pinnacle of the temple or by the iron sword for a wife's repudiation of her husband. We are quite without evidence as to the executive in all these cases.

Exile was inflicted for incest with a daughter; disinheritance for incest with a stepmother or for repeated unfilial conduct. Sixty strokes of an ox-hide scourge were awarded for a brutal assault on a superior, both being amelu. Branding (perhaps the equivalent of degradation to slavery) was the penalty for slander of a married woman or vestal. Deprivation of office in perpetuity fell upon the corrupt judge. Enslavement befell the extravagant wife and unfilial children. Imprisonment was common, but is not recognized by the Code.

The commonest of all penalties was a fine. This is awarded by the Code for corporal injuries to a muskinu or slave (paid to his master); for damages done to property, for breach of contract. The restoration of goods appropriated, illegally bought, or damaged by neglect, was usually accompanied by a fine, giving it the form of multiple restoration. This might be double, treble, fourfold, fivefold, sixfold, tenfold, twelvefold, even thirtyfold, according to the enormity of the offence.

The Code recognized the importance of intention. A man who killed another in a quarrel must swear he did not do so intentionally, and was then only fined according to the rank of the deceased. The Code does not say what would be the penalty of murder, but death is so often awarded where death is caused that we can hardly doubt that the murderer was put to death. If the assault only led to injury and was unintentional, the assailant in a quarrel had to pay the doctor's fees. A brander, induced to remove a slave's identification mark, could swear to his ignorance and was free. The owner of an ox which gored a man on the street was only responsible for damages if the ox was known by him to be vicious, even if it caused death. If the mancipium died a natural death under the creditor's hand, the creditor was scot free. In ordinary cases responsibility was not demanded for accident or for more than proper care. Poverty excused bigamy on the part of a deserted wife.

On the other hand carelessness and neglect were severely punished, as in the case of the unskilful physician, if it led to loss of life or limb his hands were cut off, a slave had to be replaced, the loss of his eye paid for to half his value; a veterinary surgeon who caused the death of an ox or ass paid quarter value; a builder, whose careless workmanship caused death, lost his life or paid for it by the death of his child, replaced slave or goods, and in any case had to rebuild the house or make good any damages due to defective building and repair the defect as well. The boat-builder had to make good any defect of construction or damage due to it for a year's warranty.

Throughout the Code respect is paid to status.

Suspicion was not enough. The criminal must be taken in the act, e.g. the adulterer, ravisher, &c. A man could not be convicted of theft unless the goods were found in his possession.

In the case of a lawsuit the plaintiff preferred his own plea. There is no trace of professional advocates, but the plea had to be in writing and the notary doubtless assisted in the drafting of it. The judge saw the plea, called the other parties before him and sent for the witnesses. If these were not at hand he might adjourn the case for their production, specifying a time up to six months. Guarantees might be entered into to produce the witnesses on a fixed day. The more important cases, especially those involving life and death, were tried by a bench of judges. With the judges were associated a body of elders, who shared in the decision, but whose exact function is not yet clear. Agreements, declarations and non-contentious cases are usually witnessed by one judge and twelve elders.

Parties and witnesses were put on oath. The penalty for false witness was usually that which would have been awarded the convicted criminal. In matters beyond the knowledge of men, as the guilt or innocence of an alleged wizard or a suspected wife, the ordeal by water was used. The accused jumped into the sacred river, and the innocent swam while the guilty drowned. The accused could clear himself by oath where his own knowledge was alone available. The plaintiff could swear to his loss by brigands, as to goods claimed, the price paid for a slave purchased abroad or the sum due to him. But great stress was laid on the production of written evidence. It was a serious thing to lose a document. The judges might be satisfied of its existence and terms by the evidence of the witnesses to it, and then issue an order that whenever found it should be given up. Contracts annulled were ordered to be broken. The court might go a journey to view the property and even take with them the sacred symbols on which oath was made.

The decision given was embodied in writing, sealed and witnessed by the judges, the elders, witnesses and a scribe. Women might act in all these capacities. The parties swore an [v.03 p.0121] oath, embodied in the document, to observe its stipulations. Each took a copy and one was held by the scribe to be stored in the archives.

Appeal to the king was allowed and is well attested. The judges at Babylon seem to have formed a superior court to those of provincial towns, but a defendant might elect to answer the charge before the local court and refuse to plead at Babylon.

Finally, it may be noted that many immoral acts, such as the use of false weights, lying, &c., which could not be brought into court, are severely denounced in the Omen Tablets as likely to bring the offender into "the hand of God" as opposed to "the hand of the king."

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—Contracts in general: Oppert and Menant, Documents juridiques de l'Assyrie et de la Chaldee (Paris, 1877); J. Kohler and F. E. Peiser, Aus dem babylonischen Rechtsleben (Leipzig, 1890 ff.); F. E. Peiser, Babylonische Vertrage (Berlin, 1890), Keilinschriftliche Actenstuecke (Berlin, 1889); Br. Meissner, Beitraege zur altbabylonischen Privatrecht (Leipzig, 1893); F. E. Peiser, "Texte juristischen und geschaeftlichen Inhalts," vol. iv. of Schrader's Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek (Berlin, 1896); C. H. W. Johns, Assyrian Deeds and Documents relating to the Transfer of Property (3 vols., Cambridge, 1898); H. Radau, Early Babylonian History (New York, 1900); C. H. W. Johns, Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters (Edinburgh, 1904). For editions of texts and the innumerable articles in scientific journals see the bibliographies and references in the above works. "The Code of Hammurabi," Editio princeps, by V. Scheil in tome iv. of the Textes Elamites-Semitiques of the Memoires de la delegation en Perse (Paris, 1902); H. Winckler, "Die Gesetze Hammurabis Koenigs von Babylon um 2250 v. Chr." Der alte Orient, iv. Jahrgang, Heft 4; D. H. Mueller, Die Gesetze Hammurabis (Vienna, 1903); J. Kohler and F. E. Peiser, Hammurabis Gesetz (Leipzig, 1904); R. F. Harper, The Code of Hammurabi, King of Babylon about 2250 B.C. (Chicago, 1904); S. A. Cook, The Laws of Moses and the Code of Hammurabi (London, 1903).

(C. H. W. J.)

[1] For the transliteration of Babylonian and Assyrian names generally, see BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA, section ix., Proper Names.

BACAU, the capital of the department of Bacau, Rumania; situated among the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, and on the river Bistritza, which enters the river Sereth 5 m. S. Pop. (1900) 16,187, including 7850 Jews. Although of modern growth, Bacau is one of the chief commercial centres in Moldavia, possessing many large timber yards. It is on the main railway from Czernovitz, in Bukovina, to Galatz; and on two branch lines, one of which enters Transylvania through the Ghimesh Pass, while both give access to the salt mines, petroleum wells and forests of the Carpathians.

BACCARAT, a gambling card-game (origin of name unknown), supposed to have been introduced into France from Italy during the reign of Charles VIII. There are two accepted varieties of the game—baccarat chemin de fer (railway) and baccarat banque (or a deux tableaux). In baccarat chemin de fer six full packs of cards are used. These are shuffled by a croupier and then by any of the players who wish to do so. From three to eleven persons may play. Counters are generally used and are sold by the banker who afterwards redeems them. The croupier takes a number of cards from the top of the pack and passes them to the player on his right (sometimes left) who becomes banker, a position which he holds until he loses, when the deal passes to the player next in order. The other players are called punters. The banker places before him the sum he wishes to stake and the punters do likewise, unless a punter desires to go bank, signifying his intention by saying, Banco! In this case he plays against the entire stake of the banker. After the stakes have been made the dealer deals a card to his right for the punters, then one to himself, then a third to his left for the punters and, finally, another to himself, all face downwards. Court cards and tens count nothing; all others the number of their pips. Each punter looks at his cards, and any one having 8 or 9 turns his card up and announces it, the hand then being at an end. The player having the highest stake plays for both punters, and if the card turned is better than that of the banker, the latter pays each punter the amount of his stake. If not, the banker wins all stakes and the game proceeds as before. If no announcement is made, meaning that neither player holds 8 or 9, the banker deals another card to the player on his right, who, if his first card is 6 or 7, will refuse it, fearing to overrun. The second card is turned face upwards on the table. If his card is 5 he may, or may not, accept the second card, according to his judgment. In case of his refusal the card is offered to the second punter. If the first card is baccarat (i.e. amounts to 0) or 1, 2, 3 or 4, a punter always accepts the second card. The banker then decides whether he will draw another card himself or expose his original ones, and when he has made his play pays or receives according as he wins or loses. Ties neither win nor lose but go over to the next deal. A player who has lost on going bank may go bank again, but no player may go bank more than twice in succession. In the variation baccarat banque (or a deux tableaux), three packs of cards are used and the banker is permanent; the player who offers to risk the largest amount occupying the position. A line is drawn across the table and any one wishing to do so may place his stake a cheval, i.e. on the line. Stakes so placed neither win nor lose if one side wins and the other loses, but win if both sides win and are lost if both sides lose. The laws of baccarat are complicated and no one code is accepted as authoritative, the different clubs making their own rules.

See Badoureau, Etude mathematique sur le jeu de baccarat (Paris, 1881); L. Billard, Breviaire du baccara experimental (Paris, 1883).

BACCHANALIA, the Lat. name for the wild and mystic festivals of Bacchus (Dionysus). They were introduced into Rome from lower Italy by way of Etruria, and held in secret, attended by women only, on three days in the year in the grove of Simila (Stimula, Semele; Ovid, Fasti, vi. 503), near the Aventine hill. Subsequently, admission to the rites were extended to men and celebrations took place five times a month. The evil reputation of these festivals, at which the grossest debaucheries took place, and all kinds of crimes and political conspiracies were supposed to be planned, led in 186 B.C. to a decree of the senate—the so-called Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Calabria (1640), now at Vienna—by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited throughout the whole of Italy, except in certain special cases, in which the senate reserved the right of allowing them, subject to certain restrictions. But, in spite of the severe punishment inflicted upon those who were found to be implicated in the criminal practices disclosed by state investigation, the Bacchanalia were not stamped out, at any rate in the south of Italy, for a very long time (Livy xxxix. 8-19, 41; xl. 19).

BACCHYLIDES, Greek lyric poet, was born at Iulis, in the island of Ceos. His father's name was probably Meidon; his mother was a sister of Simonides, himself a native of Iulis. Eusebius says that Bacchylides "flourished" ([Greek: ekmazen]) in Ol. 78. 2 (467 B.C.). As the term [Greek: ekmazen] refers to the physical prime, and was commonly placed at about the fortieth year, we may suppose that Bacchylides was born circa 507 B.C. Among his Odes the earliest that can be approximately dated is xii.,[1] which may belong to 481 or 479 B.C.; the latest is vi., of which the date is fixed by the recently found fragment of the Olympic register to Ol. 82. 1 (452 B.C.). He would thus have been some forty-nine years younger than his uncle Simonides, and some fifteen years younger than Pindar. Elsewhere Eusebius states that Bacchylides "was of repute" ([Greek: egnorizeto]) in Ol. 87. 2 (431 B.C.); and Georgius Syncellus, using the same word, gives Ol. 88 (428-425 B.C.). The phrase would mean that he was then in the fulness of years and of fame. There is nothing improbable in the supposition that he survived the beginning of the Peloponnesian war.

Bacchylides, like Simonides and Pindar, visited the court of Hiero I. of Syracuse (478-467). In his fifth Ode (476 B.C.), the word [Greek: xenos] (v. 11) has been taken to mean that he had already been the guest of the prince; and, as Simonides went to Sicily in or about 477 B.C., that is not unlikely. Ode iii. (468 B.C.) was possibly written at Syracuse, as verses 15 and 16 suggest. He there pays a high compliment to Hiero's taste in poetry (ver. 3 ff.). A scholium on Pyth. ii. 90 (166) avers that Hiero preferred the Odes of Bacchylides to those of Pindar. The Alexandrian scholars interpreted a number of passages in Pindar as hostile allusions to Bacchylides or Simonides. If the scholiasts [v.03 p.0122] are right, it would appear that Pindar regarded the younger of the two Cean poets as a jealous rival, who disparaged him to their common patron (schol. Pyth. ii. 52 f.), and as one whose poetical skill was due to study rather than to genius (Ol. ii. 91-110). In Olymp. ii. 96 the dual [Greek: garueton], if it does not refer to the uncle and nephew, remains mysterious; nor does it admit of probable emendation.[2] One would gladly reject this tradition, to which the scholia so frequently refer; yet it would be rash to assume that it rested merely on surmise. The Alexandrians may have possessed evidence on the subject which is now lost. It is tolerably certain that the three poets were visitors at Hiero's court at about the same time: Pindar and Bacchylides wrote odes of the same kind in his honour; and there was a tradition that he preferred the younger poet. There is thus no intrinsic improbability in the hypothesis that Pindar's haughty spirit had suffered, or imagined, some mortification. It is noteworthy that, whereas in 476 and 470 both he and Bacchylides celebrated Hiero's victories, in 468 (the most important occasion of all) Bacchylides alone was commissioned to do so; although in that year Pindar composed an ode (Olymp. vi.) for another Syracusan victor at the same festival. Nor is it difficult to conceive that a despot such as Hiero, whose constitutional position was ill-defined, and who was perhaps all the more exigent of deference on that account, may have found the genial Ionian a more agreeable courtier than Pindar, an aristocrat of the Boeoto-Aeolic type, not unmindful of "his fathers the Aegidae," and rather prone to link the praises of his patron with a lofty intimation of his own claims (see, e.g., Olymp. i. ad fin.). But, whatever may have been the true bearing of Pindar's occasional innuendoes, it is at any rate pleasant to find that in the extant work of Bacchylides there is not the faintest semblance of hostile allusion to any rival. Nay, one might almost imagine a compliment to Pindar, when, in mentioning Hesiod, he calls him [Greek: Boiotos aner].

Plutarch (de Exilio, p. 605 c) names Bacchylides in a list of writers, who after they had been banished from their native cities, were active and successful in literature. It was Peloponnesus that afforded a new home to the exiled poet. The passage gives no clue to date or circumstance; but it implies that Peloponnesus was the region where the poet's genius ripened and where he did the work which established his fame. This points to a residence of considerable length; and it may be noted that some of the poems illustrate their author's intimate knowledge of Peloponnesus. Thus in Ode viii., for Automedes of Phlius, he draws on the legends connected with the Phliasian river Asopus. In Ode x., starting from the Argive legend of Proetus and Acrisius, he tells how the Arcadian cult of Artemis [Greek: Hemera] was founded. In one of his dithyrambs (xix.) he treated the legend of Idas (a Messenian hero) and Marpessa in the form of a hymenaeus sung by maidens of Sparta.

The Alexandrian scholars, who drew up select lists of the best writers in each kind, included Bacchylides in their "canon" of the nine lyric poets, along with Alcman, Sappho, Alcaeus, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Anacreon, Simonides and Pindar. The Alexandrian grammarian Didymus (circ. 30 B.C.) wrote a commentary on the epinikian odes of Bacchylides. Horace, a poet in some respects of kindred genius, was a student of his works, and imitated him (according to Porphyrion) in Odes, i. 15, where Nereus predicts the destruction of Troy. Quotations from Bacchylides, or references to him, occur in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Strabo, Plutarch, Stobaeus, Athenaeus, Aulus Gellius, Zenobius, Hephaestion, Clement of Alexandria, and various grammarians or scholiasts. Ammianus Marcellinus (xxv. 4) says that the emperor Julian enjoyed reading Bacchylides. It is clear, then, that this poet continued to be popular during at least the first four centuries of our era. No inference adverse to his repute can fairly be drawn from the fact that no mention of him occurs in the extant work of any Attic writer. The only definite estimate of him by an ancient critic occurs in the treatise [Greek: Peri Hupsous] commonly translated "On the Sublime," but meaning rather, "On the Sources of Elevation in Style"; a work ambiguously ascribed to Cassius Longinus (circ. A.D. 260), but more probably due to some writer of the first century of our era. In chapter xxxiii. of that treatise, the author asks whether we ought to prefer "greatness" in literature, with some attendant faults, to flawless merit on a lower level, and of course replies in the affirmative. In tragedy, he asks, who would be Ion of Chios rather than Sophocles; or in lyric poetry, Bacchylides rather than Pindar? Yet Bacchylides and Ion are "faultless, with a style of perfect elegance and finish." In short, the essayist regards Bacchylides as a thoroughly finished poet of the second class, who never commits glaring faults, but never reaches the loftier heights.

The first and most general quality of style in Bacchylides is his perfect simplicity and clearness. Where the text is not corrupt, there are few sentences which are not lucid in meaning and simple in structure. This lucidity is partly due, no doubt, to the fact that he seldom attempts imagery of the bolder kind, and never has thoughts of a subtle or complex order. Yet it would be very unjust to regard such clearness as merely a compensatory merit of lyric mediocrity, or to ignore its intimate connexion with the man's native grace of mind, with the artist's feeling for expression, with the poet's delicate skill. How many readers, who could enjoy and appreciate Pindar if he were less difficult, are stopped on the threshold by the aspect of his style, and are fain to save their self-esteem by concluding that he is at once turgid and shallow! A pellucid style must always have been a source of wide, though modest, popularity for Bacchylides. If it be true that Hiero preferred him to Pindar, and that he was a favourite with Julian, those instances suggest the charm which he must always have had for cultivated readers to whom affairs did not leave much leisure for study, and who rejoiced in a poet with whom they could live on such easy terms.

Another prominent trait in the style of Bacchylides is his love of picturesque detail. This characteristic marks the fragment by which, before the discovery of the 1896 MS., he was best known—a passage, from one of his paeans, on the blessings of peace (fr. 13, Bergk, 3, Jebb); and it frequently appears in the Odes, especially in the mythical narratives. Greater poets can make an image flash upon the mind, as Pindar sometimes does, by a magic phrase, or by throwing one or two salient points into strong relief. The method of Bacchylides is usually quieter; he paints cabinet pictures. Observation and elegance do more for him than grasp or piercing insight; but his work is often of very high excellence in its own kind. His treatment of simile is only a special phase of this general tendency. It is exemplified by the touches with which he elaborates the simile of the eagle in Ode v., and that of the storm-tossed mariners in Ode xii. This full development of simile is Homeric in manner, but not Homeric in motive: Homer's aim is vividness; Bacchylides is rather intent on the decorative value of the details themselves. There are occasional flashes of brilliancy in his imagery, when it is lit up by his keen sense of beauty or splendour in external nature. A radiance, "as of fire," streams from the forms of the Nereids (xvi. 103 ff.). An athlete shines out among his fellows like "the bright moon of the mid-month night" among the stars (viii. 27 ff.). The sudden gleam of hope which comes to the Trojans by the withdrawal of Achilles is like a ray of sunshine "from beneath the edge of a storm-cloud" (xii. 105 ff.). The shades of the departed, as seen by Heracles on the banks of the Cocytus, are compared to the countless leaves fluttering in the wind on "the gleaming headlands of Ida" (v. 65 ff.)—an image not unworthy of Dante or of Milton.

Among the minor features of this poet's style the most remarkable is his use of epithets. A god or goddess nearly always receives some ornamental epithet; sometimes, indeed, two or even three (e.g. [Greek: kalukostephanou semnas ... Artemidos leukolenou], v. 98 f.). Such a trait is in unison with the epic manner, the straightforward narrative, which we find in some of the larger poems (as in v., x., and xvi.). On the other hand, the copious use of such ornament has the disadvantage that it sometimes gives a tinge of conventionality to his work. This impression is somewhat strengthened by the fact that many [v.03 p.0123] of the epithets are long compound words, not found elsewhere and (in some cases at least) probably invented by the poet; words which suggest a deliberate effort to vary the stock repertory.

The poems contained in the MS. of Bacchylides found (see below) in 1896 are of two classes: I. Odes of Victory; II. Dithyrambs. The Ode of Victory, [Greek: epinikion (melos] or [Greek: epinikos (humnos], is a form derived from the [Greek: humnos], which was properly a song in praise of a deity. Stesichorus (c. 610 B.C.) seems to have been the first who composed hymns in honour, not of gods, but of heroes; the next step was to write hymns in celebration of victories by living men. This custom arose in the second half of the 6th century B.C., the age in which the games at the four great Greek festivals reached the fulness of their popularity. Simonides (b. c. 556 B.C.) was the earliest recorded writer of epinikia. His odes of this class are now represented only by a few very small fragments, some twenty lines in all. Two of these fragments, belonging to the description of a chariot-race, warrant the belief that Simonides, in his epinikia, differed from Pindar in dwelling more on the incidents of the particular victory. The same characteristic is found in the epinikia of Bacchylides. His fifth ode, and Pindar's first Olympian, alike celebrate the victory of the horse Pherenicus; but, while Pindar's reference to the race itself is slight and general (vv. 20-22), Bacchylides describes the running of the winner much more vividly and fully (vv. 37-49).

The MS. contains fourteen epinikia, or thirteen if Blass be right in supposing that Odes vi. and vii., as numbered by Kenyon in the editio princeps, are parts of a single ode (for Lachon of Ceos). Four (or on the view just stated, three) of the odes relate to the Olympian festival; two to the Pythian; three to the Isthmian; three to the Nemean; and one to a Thessalian festival called the [Greek: Petraia]. This comes last. The order in which the MS. arranges the other epinikia seems to be casual; at least it does not follow (1) the alphabetical sequence of the victors' names, or of the names of their cities; nor (2) chronological sequence; nor (3) classification by contests; nor (4) classification by festivals—except that the four great festivals precede the Petraea. The first ode, celebrating a victory of the Cean Argeios at the Isthmus, may possibly have been placed there for a biographical reason, viz., because the poet treated in it the early legends of his native island.

A mythical narrative, connected in some way with the victor or his city, usually occupies the central part of the Pindaric ode. It serves to lift the poem into an ideal region, and to invest it with more than a local or temporary significance. The method of Bacchylides in this department of the epinikion is best illustrated by the myth of Croesus in Ode iii., that of Heracles and Meleager in Ode v., and that of the Proetides in Ode x. Pindar's habit is to select certain moments or scenes of a legend, which he depicts with great force and vividness. Bacchylides, on the other hand, has a gentle flow of simple epic narrative; he relies on the interest of the story as a whole, rather than on his power of presenting situations. Another element, always present in the longer odes of victory, is that which may be called the "gnomic." Here, again, there is a contrast between the two poets. Pindar packs his [Greek: gnomai], his maxims or moral sentiments, into terse and sometimes obscure epigrams; he utters them in a didactic tone, as of one who can speak with the commanding voice of Delphic wisdom. The moralizing of Bacchylides is rather an utterance of quiet meditation, sometimes recalling the strain of Ionian gnomic elegy.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16     Next Part
Home - Random Browse