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From 1804 to 1850 there is no record of any scientific ascents in balloons having been undertaken. In the latter year J. A. Bixio (1808-1865) and A. Barral (1819-1884) made two ascents of this kind. In the first they ascended from the Paris observatory on the 29th of June 1850, at 10.27 A.M., the balloon being inflated with hydrogen gas. The day was a rough one, and the ascent took place without any previous attempt having been made to test the ascensional force of the balloon. When liberated, it rose with great rapidity, and becoming fully inflated it pressed upon the network, bulging out at the top and bottom. The ropes by which the car was suspended being too short, the balloon soon covered the travellers like an immense hood. In endeavouring to secure the valve-rope, they made a rent in the balloon, and the gas escaped so close to their faces as almost to suffocate them. Finding that they were descending then too rapidly, they threw overboard everything available, including their coats and only excepting the instruments. The ground was reached at 10h. 45m., near Lagny. Of course no observations were made. Their second ascent was made on the 27th of July, and was remarkable on account of the extreme cold met with. At about 20,000 ft. the temperature was 15 deg. F., the balloon being enveloped in cloud; but on emerging from the cloud, at 23,000 ft., the temperature sank to —38 deg. F., no less than 53 deg. F. below that experienced by Gay-Lussac at the same elevation. The existence of these very cold clouds served to explain certain meteorological phenomena that were observed on the earth both the day before and the day after the ascent. Some pigeons were taken up in this, as in most other high ascents; when liberated, they showed a reluctance to leave the car, and then fell heavily downwards.

In July 1852 the committee of the Kew Observatory resolved to institute a series of balloon ascents, with the view of investigating such meteorological and physical phenomena as require the presence of an observer at a great height in the atmosphere. John Welsh (1824-1859) of the Kew Observatory was the observer, and the great "Nassau Balloon'' was employed, with Green himself as the aeronaut. Four ascents were made in 1852, viz. on the 17th and 26th of August, the 31st of October and the 10th of November. The heights attained were 19,510, 19,100, 12,680 and 22,930 ft., and the lowest temperatures met with in the four ascents were 8.7 deg. F. (19,380 ft.), 12.4 deg. F. (18,370 ft.), 16.4 deg. F. (12,640 ft.) and 10.5 deg. F. (22,370 ft.). The decline of temperature was very regular. A siphon barometer, dry and wet bulb thermometers, aspirated and free, and a Regnault hygrometer were taken up. Some air collected at a considerable height was found on analysis not to differ appreciably in its composition from air collected near the ground. For the original observations see Phil. Trans., 1853, pp. 311-346.

Glaisher's ascents.

At the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Aberdeen in 1859, a committee was appointed for the purpose of making observations in the higher strata of the atmosphere by means of the balloon. For two years nothing was effected, owing to the want both of an observer and of a suitable balloon. After its reappointment at the Manchester meeting of 1861, the committee communicated with Henry Tracey Coxwell (1819-1900), an aeronaut who had made a good many ascents, and he agreed to construct a new balloon, of 90,000 cub. ft. capacity, on the condition that the committee would undertake to use it, and pay L. 25 for each high ascent made especially on its behalf, defraying also the cost of gas, &c., so that the expense of each high ascent amounted to nearly L. 50. An observer being still wanted, James Glaisher, a member of the committee, offered himself to take the observations, and accordingly the first ascent was made on the 17th of July 1862, from the gas-works at Wolverhamiton, this town being chosen on account of its central position in the country. Altogether, Glaisher made twenty-eight ascents, the last being on the 26th of May 1866. Of these only seven were specially high ascents, although six others were undertaken for the objects of the committee alone. . On the ether occasions he availed himself of public ascents from the Crystal Palace and other places of entertainment, merely taking his place like the other passengers. In the last six ascents another aeronaut and a smaller balloon were employed. The dates, places of ascent and greatest heights (in feet) attained in the twenty-eight ascents were—1862: July 17, Wolverhampton, 26,177; July 30, Crystal Palace, 6937; August 18, Wolverhampton, 23,377; August 20, Crystal Palace, 5900; August 21, Hendon, 14,355; September 1, Crystal Palace, 4190; September 5, Wolverhampton, 37,000; September 8, Crystal Palace, 5428. 1863: March 31, Crystal Palace, 22,884; April 18, Crystal Palace, 24,163; June 26, Wolverton, 23,200; July 11, Crystal Palace, 6623; July 21, Crystal Palace, 3298; August 31, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 8033; September 29, Wolverhampton, 16,590; October 9, Crystal Palace, 7310. 1864: January 12, Woolwich, 11,897; April 6, Woolwich, 11,075; June 13, Crystal Palace, 3543; June 20, Derby, 4280; June 27, Crystal Palace, 4898; August 29, Crystal Palace, 14,581; December 1, Woolwich, 5431; December 30, Woolwich, 3735. 1865: February 27, Woolwich, 4865; October 2, Woolwich, 1949; December 2, Woolwich, 4628. 1866: May 26, Windsor, 6325.

The primary object of the ascents was to determine the temperature of the air, and its hygrometrical state at different elevations to as great a height as could be reached; and the secondary objects were-(1) to determine the temperature of the dew-point by Daniell's and Regnault's hygrometers, as well as by the dry and wet bulb thermometers, and to compare the results; (2) to compare the readings of an aneroid barometer with those of a mercurial barometer up to the height of 5 m.; (3) to determine the electrical state of the air, (4) the oxygenic condition of the atmosphere, and (5) the time of vibration of a magnet; (6) to collect air at different elevations; (7) to note the height and kind of clouds, their density and thickness; (8) to determine the rate and direction of different currents in the atmosphere; and (9) to make observations on sound. The instruments used were mercurial and aneroid barometers, dry and wet bulb thermometers, Daniell's dew-point hygrometer, Regnault's condensing hygrometer, maximum and minimum thermometers, a magnet for horizontal vibration, hermetically sealed glass tubes exhausted of air, and an electrometer. In one or two of the ascents a camera was taken up.

The complete observations, both as made and after reduction, are printed in the British Association Reports, 1862-1866; here only a general account of the results can he given. It appeared that the rate of the decline of temperature with elevation near the earth was very different according as the sky was clear or cloudy; and the equality of temperature at sunset and increase with height after sunset were very remarkable facts which were not anticipated. Even at the height of 5 m., cirrus clouds were seen high in the air, apparently as far above as they seem when viewed from the earth. The results of the observations differed very much, and no doubt the atmospheric conditions depended not only on the time of day, but also on the season of the year, and were such that a vast number of ascents would be requisite to determine the true laws with anything approaching to certainty and completeness. It was also clear that England is a most unfit country for the pursuit of such investigations, as, from whatever place the balloon started, it was never safe to be more than an hour above the clouds for fear of reaching the sea. It appeared from the observations that an aneroid barometer could be trusted to read as accurately as a mercurial barometer to the heights reached. The time of vibration of a horizontal magnet was taken in very many of the ascents, and the results of ten different sets of observations indicated that the time of vibration was longer than on the earth. In almost all the ascents the balloon was under the influence of currents of air in different directions which varied greatly in thickness. The direction of the wind on the earth was sometimes that of the whole mass of air up to 20,000 ft., whilst at other times the direction changed within 500 ft. of the earth. Sometimes directly opposite currents were met with at different heights in the same . ascent, and three or four streams of air were encountered moving in different directions. The direct distances between the places of ascent and descent, apart from the movements of the balloon under the influence of these various currents, were always very much greater than the horizontal movement of the air as measured by anemometers. For example, on the 12th of January 1862, the balloon left Woolwich at 2h. 8m. P.M., and descended at Lakenheath, 70 m. distant from the place of ascent, at 4h. 19m. P.M. At the Greenwich Observatory, by a Robinson anemometer, during this time the motion of the air was 6 m. only. With regard to physiological observations, Glaisher found that the frequency of his pulse increased with elevation, as also did the number of inspirations. The number of his pulsations was generally 76 per minute before starting, about 90 at 10,000 ft., 100 at 20,000 ft., and 110 at higher elevations. But a good deal depended on the temperament of the individual. This was also the case in respect to colour; at 10,000 ft. the faces of some would be a glowing purple, whilst others would be scarcely affected; at 4 m. high Glaisher found the pulsations of his heart distinctly audible, and his breathing was very much affected, so that panting was produced by the slightest exertion; at 29,000 ft. he became insensible. In reference to the propagation of sound, it was at all times found that sounds from the earth were more or less audible according to the amount of moisture in the air. When in clouds at 4 m. high, a railway train was heard; but when clouds were far below, no sound ever reached the ear at this elevation. The discharge of a gun was heard at 10,000 ft. The barking of a dog was heard at the height of 2 m., while the shouting of a multitude of people was not audible at heights exceeding 4000 ft. In his ascent of the 5th of September 1862, Glaisher considered that he reached a height of 37,000 ft. But that figure was based, not on actual record, but on the circumstances that at 29,000 ft., when he became insensible, the balloon was rising 1000 ft. a minute, and that when he recovered consciousness thirteen minutes later it was falling 2000 ft. a minute, and the accuracy of his conclusions has been questioned. Few scientific men have imitated Glaisher in making high ascents for meteorological observations. In 1867 and 1868 Camille Flammarion made eight or nine ascents from Paris for scientific purposes. The heights attained were not great, but the general result was to confirm the observations of Glaisher; for an account see Voyages aeriens, Paris, 1870, or Travels in the Air, London, 1871, in which also some ascents by W. de Fonvielle are noticed. On the 15th of April 1875, H. T. Sivel, J. E. Croce-Spinelli and Gaston Tissandier ascended from Paris in the balloon "Zenith,'' and reached a height of 27,950 ft.; but only Tissandier came down alive, his two companions being asphyxiated. This put an end to such attempts for a time. But Dr A. Berson and Lieut. Gross attained 25,840 ft. on the 11th of May 1894; Berson, ascending alone from Strassfurt on the 4th of December 1894, attained about 31,500 ft. and recorded a temperature of —54 deg. F.; and Berson and Stanley Spencer are stated by the latter to have attained 27,500 ft. on the 15th of September 1898 when they ascended in a hydrogen balloon from the Crystal Palace, the thermometer registering —29 deg. F. On the 31st of July 1901, Berson and R. J. Suring, ascending at Berlin, actually noted a barometric reading corresponding to a height of 34,500 ft., and possibly rose 1000 or 1500 ft. higher, though in spite of oxygen inhalations they were unconscious during the highest portion of the ascent.

The personal danger attending his ascents led Gustave Hermite and Besancon in November 1892 to inaugurate the sending up of unmanned balloons (ballons sondes) equipped with automatic recording instruments, and kites (q.v.) have also been employed for similar meteorological purposes. (See also METEOROLOOY.)

Military balloons.

The balloon had not been discovered very long before it received a military status, and soon after the beginning of the French revolutionary war an aeronautic school was founded at Meudon, in charge of Guyton de Morveau, the chemist, and Colonel J. M. J. Coutelle (1748-1835). Four balloons were constructed for the armies of the north, of the Sambre and Meuse, of the Rhine and Moselle, and of Egypt. In June 1794 Coutelle ascended with the adjutant and general to reconnoitre the hostile army just before the battle of Fleurus, and two reconnaissances were made, each occupying four hours. It is generally stated that it was to the information so gained that the French victory was due. The balloon corps was in constant requisition during the campaign, but it does not appear that, with the exception of the reconnaissances just mentioned, any great advantages resulted, except in a moral point of view. But even this was of importance, as the enemy were much disconcerted at having their movements so completely watched, while the French were correspondingly elated at the superior information it was believed they were gaining. An attempt was made to revive the use of balloons in the African campaign of 1830, but no opportunity occurred in which they could be employed. It is said that in 1849 a reconnoitring balloon was sent up from before Venice, as also were small balloons loaded with bombs to be exploded by time-fuses. In the French campaign against Italy in 1859 the French had recourse to the use of balloons, but this time there was not any aerostatic corps, and their management was entrusted to the brothers Godard. Several reconnaissances were made, and one of especial interest the day before the battle of Solferino. No information of much importance seems, however, to have been gained thereby. In the American Civil War (1861) balloons were a good deal used by the Federals. There was a regular balloon staff attached to Mcclellan's army, with a captain, an assistant-captain and about 50 non-commissioned officers and privates. The apparatus consisted of two generators, drawn by four horses each; two balloons, drawn by four horses each, and an acid-cart, drawn by two horses. The two balloons used contained about 13,000 and 26,000 ft. of gas, and the inflation usually occupied about three hours. (See Royal Engineers' Papers, vol. xii.) By their aid useful information was gained about the enemy round Richmond and in other places, but eventually difficulties of transport and the topography of the theatre of war made ballooning impracticable; and little was heard of it after the first two years of the war.

The balloon proved itself very valuable during the siege of Paris (1870-71). It was by it alone that communication was kept up between the besieged city and the external world, as the balloons carried away from Paris the pigeons which afterwards brought back to it the news of the provinces. The total number of balloons that ascended from Paris during the siege, conveying persons and despatches, was sixty-four—the first having started on the 23rd of September 1870, and the last on the 28th of January 1871. Gambetta effected his escape from Paris, on the 7th of October, in the balloon "Armand-Barbes,', an event which doubtless led to the prolongation of the war. Of the sixty-four balloons only two were never heard of; they were blown out to sea. One of the most remarkable voyages was that of the "Ville d'Orleans,'' which, leaving Paris at eleven o'clock on the 21st of November, descended fifteen hours afterwards near Christiania, having crossed the North Sea. Several of the balloons on their descent were taken by the Prussians, and a good many were fired at while in the air. The average size of the balloons was from 2000 to 2050 metres, or from 70,000 to 72,000 cub. ft. The above facts are extracted from Les Ballons du siege de Paris, a sheet published by Buila and Sons, Paris, and compiled by the brothers Tissandier, well-known French aeronauts, which gives the name, size and times of ascent and descent of every balloon that left Paris, with the Da.mes of the aeronaut and generally also of the passengers, the weight of despatches, the number of pigeons, &c. Only those balloons, however, are noticed in which some person ascended. The balloons were manufactured and despatched (generally from (the platforms of the Orleans or the Northern railway) under the direction of the Post Office. The aeronauts employed were mostly sailors, who did their work very well. No use whatever was made in the war of balloons for purposes of reconnaissance.

Ballooning, however, as a recognized military science, only dates back to about the year 1883 or 1884, when most of the powers organized regular balloon establishments. In 1884-85 the French found balloons very useful during their campaign in Tongking; and the British government also despatched balloons with the Bechuanaland expedition, and also with that to Suakin in those years. During the latter campaign several ascents were made in the presence of the enemy, on whom it was said that a great moral effect was produced. The employment of balloons has been common in nearly all modern wars.

We may briefly describe the apparatus used in military operations. The French in the campaigns of the 19th century used varnished silk balloons of about 10,000 cub. ft. capacity. The Americans in the Civil War used much larger ones. those of 26,000 cub. ft. being found the most suitable. These were also of varnished silk. In the present day most nations use balloons of about 20,000 cub. ft., made of varnished cambric; but the British war balloons, made of goldbeater skin, are usually of comparatively small size, the normal capacity being 10,000 cub. ft., though others of 7000 and 4500 cub. ft. have also been used, as at Suakin. The usual shape is spherical; but since 1896 the Germans, and now other nations, have adopted a long cylindrical-shaped balloon, so affixed to its cable as to present an inclined surface to the wind and thus act partly on the principle of a kite. Though coal-gas and even hot air may occasionally be used for inflation, hydrogen gas is on account of its lightness fat preferable. In the early days of ballooning this had to be manufactured in the field, but nowadays it is almost universally carried compressed in steel tubes. About 100 such tubes, each weighing 75lb., are required to fill a 10,000-ft. balloon. Tubes of greater capacity have also been tried.

The balloon is almost always used captive. If allowed to go free it will usually be rapidly carried away by the wind and the results of the observations cannot easily be transmitted back. Occasions may occur when such ascents will be of value, but the usual method is to send up a captive balloon to a height of somewhere about 1000 ft. With the standard British balloon two officers are sent up, one of whom has now particularly to attend to the management of the balloon, while the other makes the observations.

With regard to observations from captive balloons much depends on circumstances. In a thickly wooded country, such as that in which the balloons were used in the American Civil War, and in the war in Cuba (in which the balloon merely served to expose the troops to severe fire), no very valuable information is, as a rule, to be obtained; but in fairly open country all important movements of troops should be discernible by an experienced observer at any point within about four or five miles of the balloon. The circumstances, it may be mentioned, are such as would usually preclude one unaccustomed to ballooning from affording valuable reports. Not only is he liable to be disturbed by the novel and apparently hazardous situation, but troops and features of the ground often have so peculiar an appearance from that point of view, that a novice will often have a difficulty in deciding whether an object be a column of troops or a ploughed field. Then again, much will depend on atmospheric conditions. Thus, in misty weather a balloon is well-nigh useless; and in strong winds, with a velocity of anything over 20 m. an hour, efficient observation becomes a matter of difficulty. When some special point has to be reported on, such as whether there is any large body of troops behind a certain hill or wood, a rapid ascent may still be mace in winds up to 30 m. an hour, but the balloon would then be so unsteady that no careful scouting could be made. It is.usually estimated that a successful captive ascent can only be made in England on half the days of the year. As a general rule balloon ascents would be made for one of the following objects— to examine the country for an enemy; to reconnoitre the enemy's position; to ascertain the strength of his force, number of guns and exact situation of the various arms; also to note the plan of his earthworks or fortifications. During an action the aerial observer would be on the look-out for any movements of the enemy and give warning of flank attacks or surprises. Such an observer could also keep the general informed as to the progress of various detached parties of his own force, as to the advance of reinforcements, or to the conduct of any fighting going on at a distance. Balloon observations are also of especial use to artillery in correcting their aim. The vulnerability of a captive balloon to the enemy's fire has been tested by many experiments with variable results. One established fact is that the range of a balloon in mid-air is extremely difficult to judge, and, as its altitude can he very rapidly altered, it becomes a very difficult mark for artillery to hit. A few bullet-holes in the fabric of a balloon make but little difference, since the size of the perforation is very minute as compared with the great surface of material, but on the other hand, a shrapnel bursting just in front of may cause a rapid fall. It is therefore considered prudent to keep the balloon well away from an enemy, and two miles are laid down as the nearest approach it should make habitually.

Besides being of use on land for war purposes, balloons have been tried in connexion with the naval service. In France especially regular trials have been made of inflating balloons on board ships, and sending them aloft as a look-out; but it is now generally contended that the difficulties of storing the gas and of manoeuvring the balloon are so great on board ship as to be hardly worth the results to be gained.

A very important development of military ballooning is the navigable balloon. If only a balloon could be sent up and driven in any required direction, and brought back to its starting-point, it is obvious that it would be of the very greatest use in war.

Dirigible balloons.

From the very first invention of balloons the problem has been how to navigate them by propulsion. General J. B. M. C. Meusnier (1754-1793) proposed an elongated balloon in 1784. It was experimented on by the brothers Robert, who made two ascensions and claimed to have obtained a deviation of 22 deg. from the direction of a light wind by means of aerial oars worked by hand. The relative speed was probably about 3 m. an hour, and it was so evident that a very much more energetic light motor than any then known was required to stem ordinary winds that nothing more was attempted till 1832, when Henri Giffard (1825-1882) as ascended with a steam-engine of then unprecedented lightness. The subjoined table exhibits some of the results subsequently obtained :—-

Year. Inventor. Length. Dia- Con- Lifting Weight Weight H.P. Speed meter. tents. Capa- of of per city. Ballon. Motor. hour. Ft. Ft. Cub.ft. lb. lb. lb. Miles 1852 Giffard 144 39 88,300 3,978 2,794 462 3.0 6.71 1872 Dupuy de Lome 118 49 120,088 8,358 4,728 2000 0.8 6.26 1884 Tissandier 92 30 37,439 2,728 933 616 1.5 7.82 1885 Renard and Krebs 165 27 65,836 4,402 2,449 1174 9.0 14.00 1897 Schwarz 157 {46 39} 130.500 8,133 6,800 800? 16.0 17.00 1900 Zeppelin I 420 39 400,000 25,000 19,000 1500 32.0 18.00 1901 Santos Dumont VI. 108 20 22,200 .. .. .. 16.20 19.00 1908 "Repub- lique'' 195 35 130,000 3,100 .. .. 80 30 1908 Zeppelin IV 446 42 1/2 450,000 .. .. .. 220 ..

Giffard, the future inventor of the injector, devised a steam-engine weighing, with fuel and water for one hour, 154 lb. per horse-power, and was bold enough to employ it in proximity to a balloon inflated with coal gas. He was not able to stem a medium wind, but attained some deviation. He repeated the experiment in 1855 with a more elongated spindle, which proved unstable and dangerous. During the siege of Paris the French Government decided to build a navigable balloon, and entrusted the work to the chief naval constructor, Dupuy de Lome. He went into the subject very carefully, made estimates of all the strains, resistances and speeds, and tested the balloon in 1872. Deviations of 12 deg. were obtained from the course of a wind blowing 27 to 37 m. per hour. The screw propeller was driven by eight labourers, a steam-engine being deemed too dangerous; but it was estimated that had one been used, weighing as much as the men, the speed would have been doubled. Tissandier and his brother applied an electric motor, lighter than any previously built, to a spindle-shaped balloon, and went up twice in 1883 and 1884. On the latter occasion he stemmed a wind of 7 m. per hour. The brothers abandoned these experiments, which had been carried on at their own expense, when the French War Department took up the problem. Renard and Krebs, the Officers in charge of the War Aeronautical Department at Heudon, built and experimented with in 1884 and 1885 the fusiform balloon " La France,'' in which the " master'' or maximum section was about one-quarter of the distance from the stem. The propelling screw was at the front of the car and driven by an electric motor of unprecedented lightness. Seven ascents were made on very calm days, a maximum speed of 14 m. an hour was obtained, and the balloon returned to its starting-point on five of the seven occasions. Subsequently another balloon was constructed, said to be capable of a speed of 22 to 28 m. per hour, with a different motor. After many years of experi- ment Dr Wolfert built and experimented with in Berlin, in 1897, a cigar-shaped balloon driven by a gasoline motor. An explosion took place in the air, the balloon fell and Dr Wolfert and his assistant were killed. It was also in 1897 that an aluminium balloon was built from the designs of D. Schwarz and tested in Bedin. It was driven by a Daimler benzine motor, and attained a greater speed than "La France''; but a driving belt slipped, and in coming down the balloon was injured beyond repair.

From 1897 onwards Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, of the German army, was engaged in constructing an immense balloon, truly an airship, of most careful and most intelligent design, to carry five men. It consisted of an aluminium framework containing sixteen gas bags with a total capacity of nearly 400,000 cub. ft., and it had two cars, each containing a 16 h.p. motor. It was first tested in June 1900, when it attained a speed of 18 m. an hour and travelled a distance of 3 1/2 m. before an accident to the steering gear necessitated the discontinuance of the experiment. In 1905 Zeppelin built a second airship which had a slightly smaller capacity but much greater power, its two motors each developing 85 h.p. This, after making some successful trips, was wrecked in a violent gale, and was succeeded by a third airship, which, at its trial in October 1906, travelled round Lake Constance and showed itself able to execute numerous curves and traverses. At a second series of trials in September 1907, after some alterations had been effected, it attained a speed of 36 m. an hour, remaining in the air for many hours and carrying nine or eleven passengers. A fourth vessel of similar design, but with more powerful motors, was tried in 1908, and succeeded in travelling 250 m. in 11 hours, but owing to a storm it was wrecked when on land and burnt at Echterdingen on the 5th of August. Subscriptions, headed by the emperor, were at once raised to enable Zeppelin to build another. Meanwhile in 1901 Alberto Santos Dumont had begun experiments with dirigible balloons in Paris, and on the 19th of October won the Deutsch prize by steering a balloon from St Cloud round the Eiffel tower and back in half an hour, encountering on his return journey a wind of nearly 5 metres a second. An airship constructed by Pierre and Paul Lebaudy in 1904 also made a number of successful trials in the vicinity of Paris; with a motor of 40 h.p., its speed was about 25 m. an hour, and it regularly carried three passengers. In October 1907 the "Nulli Secundus,'' an airship constructed for the British War Office, sailed from Farnborough round St Paul's Cathedral, London, to the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, a distance of about 50 m., in 3 hours 35 minutes. The weight carried, including two occupants, was 3400 lb., and the maximum speed was 24 m. an hour, with a following wind of 8 m. an hour.

Thus the principles which govern the design of the dirigible balloon may be said to have been evolved. As the lifting power crows as the cube of the dimensions, and the resistance approximately as the square, the advantage lies with the larger sizes of balloons, as of ocean steamers, up to the limits within which they may be found practicable. Count Zeppelin gained an advantage by attaching his propellers to the balloon, instead of to the car as heretofore; but this requires a rigid framework and a great increase of weight. Le Compagnon endeavoured, in 1892, to substitute flapping wings for rotary propellers, as the former can be suspended near the centre of resistance. C. Danilewsky followed him in 1898 and 1899, but without remarkable results. Dupuy de Lome was the first to estimate in detail the resistances to balloon propulsion, but experiment showed that in the aggregate they were greater than he calculated. Renard and Krebs also found that their computed resistances were largely exceeded, and after revising the results they gave the formula R=0.01685 D2V2, R being the resistance in kilograms, D the diameter in metres and V the velocity in metres per second. Reduced to British measures, in pounds, feet and miles per hour, R=0.0006876 D2V2, which is somewhat in excess of the formula computed by Dr William Pole from Dupuy de Lome's experiments. The above coefficient applies only to the shape and rigging of the balloon "La France,'' and combines all resistances into one equivalent, which is equal to that of a flat plane 18% of the "master section.'' This coefficient may perhaps hereafter be reduced by one-half through a better form of hull and car, more like a fish than a spindle, by diminished sections of suspension lines and net, and by placing the propeller at the centre of resistance. To compute the results to be expected from new projects, it will be preferable to estimate the resistances in detail. The following table shows how this was done by Dupuy de Lome, and the probable corrections which should have been made by him:—


Computed by Dupuy de Lome. More Probable Values. V = 2.22 m. per sec. V = 2.82 m. per sec. Area Coeffici- Air Resist- Coeffici- Air Resist- Part. Sq. ent. Pres- ance, ent. Pres- ance, Metres sure. Kg. sure Kg. Hull, without net 172.96 1/30 0.665 3.830 1/15 0.875 10.091 Car 3.25 1/5 ,, 0.432 1/5 ,, 0.569 Men's bodies 3.00 1/5 ,, 0.400 1/5 ,, 1.312 Gas tubes 6.40 1/5 ,, 0.850 1/2 ,, 2.750 Small cords 10.00 1/2 ,, 3.325 1/2 ,, 4.375 Large cords 9.90 1/3 ,, 2.194 1/3 ,, 2.887 11.031 21.984

When the resistances have been reduced to the lowest minimum by careful design, the attainable speed must depend upon the efficiency of the propeller and the relative lightness of the motor. The commercial uses of dirigible balloons, however, will be small, as they must remain housed when the wind aloft is brisk. The sizes will be great and costly, the loads small, and the craft frail and short-lived, yet dirigible balloons constitute the obvious type for governments to evolve, until they are superseded by efficient flying machines. (See further, as to the latter, the article FLIGHT AND FLYING.)

Practice of aerostation.

The chief danger attending ballooning lles in the descent; for if a strong wind be blowing, the grapnel will sometimes trail for miles over the ground at the rate of ten or twenty miles an hour, catching now and then in hedges, ditches, roots of trees, &c.; and, after giving the balloon a terrible jerk, breaking loose again, till at length some obstruction, such as the wooded bank of a stream, affords a firm hold. This danger, however, has been much reduced by the use of the "ripping-cord,'' which enables a panel to be ripped open and the balloon to be completely deflated in a few seconds, just as it is reaching the earth. But even a very rough descent is usually not productive of any very serious consequences; as, although the occupants of the car generally receive many bruises and are perhaps cut by the ropes, it rarely happens that anything worse occurs. On a day when the wind is light (supposing that there is no want of ballast) nothing can be easier than the descent, and the aeronaut can decide several miles off on the field in which he will alight. It is very important to have a good supply of ballast, so as to be able to check the rapidity of the descent, as in passing downwards through a wet cloud the weight of the balloon is enormously increased by the water deposited on it; and if there is no ballast to throw out in compensation, the velocity is sometimes very great. It is also convenient, if the district upon which the balloon is descending appear unsuitable for landing, to be able to rise again. The ballast consists of fine baked sand, which becomes so scattered as to be inappreciable before it has fallen far below the balloon. It is taken up in bags containing about 1/2 cwt. each. The balloon at starting is liberated by a spring catch which the aeronaut releases, and the ballast should be so adjusted that there is nearly equilibrium before leaving, else the rapidity of ascent is too great, and has to be checked by parting with gas. It is almost impossible to liberate the balloon in such a way as to avoid giving it a rotary motion about a vertical axis, which continues during the whole time it is in the air. This rotation makes it difficult for those in the car to discover in what direction they are moving; and it is only by looking down along the rope to which the grapnel is suspended that the motion of the balloon over the country below can be traced. The upward and downward motion at any instant is at once known by merely dropping over the side of the car a small piece of paper: if the paper ascends or remains on the same level or stationary, the balloon is descending; while, if it descends, the balloon is ascending. This test is exceedingly delicate.

REPERENCES.—Tiberius Cavallo, Treatise on the Nature and Properties of Air and other permanently Elastic Fluids (London, 1781); Idem, History and Practice of Aerostation (London, 1785); Vincent Lunardi, Account of the First Aerial, Voyage in England, in a Series of letters to his Guardian (London, 1785); T. Forster, Annals of some Remarkable aerial and alpine Voyages (London, 1832); Monck Mason, Aeronautica (London, 1908; John Wise, A System of Aeronautics, comprehending its Earliest Investigations (Philadelphia, 1850); Hatton Tumor, Astra Castra, Experiments and Adventures in the Atmosphere (London, 1863); J. Glaisher, C. Flammarion, W. de Fonvielle and G. Tissandier, Voyages aeriens (Paris, 1870) (translated and edited by James Glaisher under the title Travels in the Air (London, 1871); O. Chanute, Progress in Flying Machines (New York, 1894); W. de Fonvielle, Les Ballons sondes (Paris, 1899); Idem, Histoire de la navigation aerienne (Paris, 1907); F. Walker, Aerial Navigation (London, 1902); J. Lecornu, La Navigation aerienne (Paris, 1903); M. L. Marchis, Lecons sur la navigation aerienne (Paris, 1904), containing many references to books and periodicals on pp. 701-704; Navigating the Air (papers collected by the Aero Club of America) (New York, 1907); A. Hildebrandt, Airships past and present (London, 1908).

1 Mr Tytler contributed largely to, and, indeed, appears to have been virtually editor of, the second edition (1778-1783) of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

AEROTHERAPEUTICS, the treatment of disease by atmospheric air: a term which of late has come to be used somewhat more loosely to include also pneumotherapeutics, or the treatment of disease by artificially prepared atmospheres. The physical and chemical properties of atmospheric air, under ordinary pressure or under modified pressure, may be therapeutically utilized either on the external surface of the body, on the respiratory surface, or on both surfaces together. Also modifications may be induced in the ventilation of the lungs by general gymnastics or respiratory gymnastics. The beneficial effects of air under ordinary pressure are now utilized in line open-air treatment of phthisical patients, and the main indications of benefit resulting therefrom are reduction of the fever, improvement of appetite and the induction of sleep. The air, however, may be modified in composition or in temperature. Inhalation is the most common and successful method of applying it—when modified in composition—to the human body. The methods in use are as follows: (1) Inhalation of gases, as oxygen and nitrous oxide. The dyspnoea and cyanosis of pneumonia, capillary bronchitis, heart failure, &c., are much relieved by the inhalation of oxygen; and nitrous oxide is largely used as an anaesthetic in minor operations; (2) Certain liquids are used as anaesthetics, which volatilize at low temperatures, as chloroform and ether. (3) Mercury and sulphur, both of which require heat for volatilization, are very largely used. In a mercurial or sulphur bath, the patient, enveloped in a sheet, sits on a chair beneath which a spirit lamp is placed to vaporize the drug, the best resuits being obtained when the atmosphere is surcharged with steam at the same time. The vapour envelops the patient and is absorbed by the skin. This method is extensively used in the treatment of syphilis, and also for scabies and other parasitic affections of the skin. (4) Moist inhalations are rather losing repute in the light of modern investigations, which tend to show that nothing lower than the larger bronchial tubes is affected. Complicated apparatus has been devised for the application, although a wide-mouthed jug filled with boiling water, into which the drug is thrown, is almost equally efficacious.

Artificial atmospheres may be made for invalids by respirators which cover the mouth and nose, the air being drawn through tow or sponge, on which is sprinkled the disinfectant to be used. This is most valuable in the intensely offensive breath of some cases of bronchiectasis.

The air may be modified as to temperature. Cold air at 32—33 deg. F. has been used in chronic catarrhal conditions of the lungs, with the result that cough diminishes, the pulse becomes fuller and slower and the general condition improves. The more recent observations of Pasquale di Tullio go far to show that this may be immensely valuable in the treatment of haemoptysis. The inspiration of superheated dry air has been the subject of much investigation, but with very doubtful results.

Hot air applied to the skin is more noteworthy in its therapeutic effects. If a current of hot air is directed upon healthy skin, the latter becomes pale and contracts in consequence of vaso-constriction. But if it is directed on a patch of diseased skin, as in lupus, an inflammatory reaction is set up and the diseased part begins to undergo necrosis. This fact has been used with good results in lupus, otorrhoea, rhinitis and other nasal and laryngeal troubles.

Lastly the air may be either compressed or rarefied. The physiological effects of compressed air were first studied in diving-bells, and more recently in caissons. Caisson workers at first enjoy increased strength, vigour and appetite; later, however, the opposite effect is produced and intenbe debility supervenes. In addition, caisson workers suffer from a series of troubles which are known as accidents of decompression. (See CAISSON DISEASE.) But, therapeutically, compressed air has been utilized by means of pneumatic chambers large enough to hold one or more adults at the time, in which the pressure of the atmosphere can be exactly regulated. This form of treatment has been found of much value in the treatment of emphysema, early pulmonary tuberculosis (not in the presence of persistent high temperature, haemorrhage, softening or suppuration), delayed absorption of pleural effusions, heart disease, anaemia and chlorosis. But compressed air is contra-indicated in advanced tubercle, fever, and in diseases of kidneys, liver or intestines.

Rarefied air was used as long ago as 1835, by V. T. Junod, who utilized it for local application by inventing the Junod Boot. By means of this the blood could be drawn into any part to which it was applied, the vessels of which became gorged with blood at the expense of internal organs. More recently this method of treatment has undergone far-reaching developments and is known as the passive hyperaemic treatment.

There are also various forms of apparatus by means of which air at greater or lesser pressures may be drawn into the lungs, and for the performance of lung gymnastics of various kinds. Mr Ketchum of the United States has invented one which is much used. A committee of the Brompton Hospital, London, investigating its capabilities, decided that its use brought about (1) an increase of chest circumference, and (2) in cases of consolidation of the lung a diminution in the area of dulness.

AERTSZEN (or AARTSEN), PIETER (1507-1573), called "Long Peter'' on account of his height, Dutch historical painter, was born and died at Amsterdam. When a youth he distinguished himself by painting homely scenes, in which he reproduced articles of furniture, cooking utensils, &c., with marvellous fidelity, but he afterwards cultivated historical painting. Several of his best works—-altar-pieces in various churches—-were destroyed in the religious wars of the Netherlands. An excellent specimen of his style on a small scale, a picture of the crucifixion, may be seen in the Antwerp Museum. Aertszen was a member of the Academy of St Luke, in whose books he is entered as Langhe Peter, schilder. Three of his sons attained to some note as painters.

AESCHINES (389-314 B.C.), Greek statesman and orator, was born at Athens. The statements as to his parentage and early life are conflicting; but it seems probable that his parents, though poor, were respectable. After assisting his father in his school, he tried his hand at acting with indifferent success, served with distinction in the army, and held several clerkships, amongst them the office of clerk to the Boule. The fall of Olynthus (348) brought Aeschines into the political arena, and he was sent on an embassy to rouse the Peloponnesus against Philip. In 347 he was a member of the peace embassy to Philip of Macedon, who seems to have won him over entirely to his side. His dilatoriness during the second embassy (346) sent to ratify the terms of peace led to his accusation by Demosthenes and Timarchus on a charge of high treason, but he was acquitted as the result of a powerful speech, in which he showed that his accuser Timarchus had, by his immoral conduct, forfeited the right to speak before the people. In 343 the attack was renewed by Demosthenes in his speech On the False Embassy; Aeschines replied in a speech with the same title and was again acquitted. In 339, as one of the Athenian deputies (pylagorae) in the Amphictyonic Council, he made a speech which brought about the Sacred War. By way of revenge, Aeschines endeavoured to fix the blame for these disasters upon Demosthenes. In 336, when Ctesiphon proposed that his friend Demosthenes should be rewarded with a golden crown for his distinguished services to the state, he was accused by Aeschines of having violated the law in bringing forward the motion. The matter remained in abeyance till 330, when the two rivals delivered their speeches Against Ctesiphon and on the crown. The result was a complete victory for Demosthenes. Aeschines went into voluntary exile at Rhodes, where he opened a school of rhetoric. He afterwards removed to Samos, where he died in the seventy-fifth year of his age. His three speeches, called by the ancients "the Three Graces,'' rank next to those of Demosthenes. Photius knew of nine letters by him which he called the Nine Muses; the twelve published under his name (Hercher, Epistolographi Graeci) are not genuine.

ANCIENT AUTHORITIES.—-Demosthenes, De Corona and De Falsa Legatione; Aeschines, De Falsa Legatione and In Ctesiphontem; Lives by Plutarch, Philostratus and Libanius; the Exegesis of Apollonius. EDITIONS.—Benseler (1855-1860) (trans. and notes), Weidner (1872), Blass (1896); Against Ctesiphon, Weidner (1872, 1878), G.A.and W.H. Simcox (1866), Drake (1872), Richardson(1889), Gwatkin and Shuckburgh (1890). ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS.—Leland (1771). Biddle (1881), and others. See also Stechow, Aeschinis Oratoris vita (1841); Marchand, Charakteristik des Redners Aschines (1876): Castets, Eschine, l'Orateur (1875); for the political problems see histories of Greece, esp. A. Holm, vol. iii. (Eng. trans., 1896); A. Schofer, Demosth. und seine Zeit (Leipzig, 1856-1858); also DEMOSTHENES.

AESCHINES (5th century B.C.), an Athenian philosopher. According to some accounts he was the son of a sausage-maker, but others say that his father was Lysanias (Diog. Laert. ii. 60; Suidas, q.v..) He was an intimate friend of Socrates, who is reported to have said that the sausage-maker's son alone knew how to honour him. Diogenes Laertius preserves a tradition that it was he, not Crito, who offered to help Socrates to escape from prison. He was always a poor man, and Socrates advised him "to borrow from himself, by diminishing his expenditure.'' He started a perfumery shop in Athens on borrowed capital, became bankrupt and retired to the Syracusan court, where he was well received by Aristippus. According to Diog. Laert. (ii. 61), Plato, then at Syracuse, pointedly ignored Aeschines, but this does not agree with Plutarch, De adulatore et amico (c. 26). On the expulsion of the younger Dionysius, he returned to Athens, and, finding it impossible to profess philosophy publicly owing to the contempt of Plato and Aristoue, was Compelled to teach privately. He wrote also forensic speeches; Phrynichus, in Photius, ranks him amongst the best orators, and mentions his orations as the standard of the pure Attic style. Hermogenes also spoke highly of him (Peri ideon.) He wrote several philosophical dialogues: (1) Concerning virtue, whether it can be taught; (2) Eryxias, or Erasistratust concerning riches, whether they are good; (3) Axiochus: concerning death, whether it is to be feared,—but those extant on the several subjects are not genuine remains. J. le Clerc has given a Latin translation of them, with notes and several dissertations, entitled Silvae Philologicae, and they have been edited by S. N. Fischer (Leipzig, 1786), and K. F. Hermann, De Aeschin. Socrat. relig. (Gott. 1850). The genuine dialogues appear to have been marked by the Socratic irony; an amusing passage is quoted by Cicero in the De inventione (i. 31).

See Hirzel, Der Dialog. i. 129-140; T. Gomperz, Greek Thinkers, vol. iii. p. 342 (Eng. trans. G. G. Berry, London, 1905).

AESCHYLUS (525-456 B.C.), Greek poet, the first of the only three Attic Tragedians of whose work entire plays survive, and in a very real sense (as we shall see) the founder of the Greek drama, was born at Eleusis in the year 525 B.C.


His father, Euphorion, belonged to the "Eupatridae'' or old nobility of Athens, as we know on the authority of the short Life of the poet given in the Medicean Manuscript (see note on "authorities'' at the end). According to the same tradition he took part as a soldier in the great struggle of Greece against Persia; and was present at the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Plataea, in the years 490-479. At least one of his brothers, Cynaegirus, fought with him at Marathon, and was killed in attempting a conspicuous act of bravery; and the brothers' portraits found a place in the national picture of the battle which the Athenians set up as a memorial in the Stoa Poecile (or "Pictured Porch'') at Athens.

The vigour and loftiness of tone which mark Aeschylus' poetic work was not only due, we may be sure, to his native genius and gifts, powerful as they were, but were partly inspired by the personal share he took in the great actions of a heroic national uprising. In the same way, the poet's brooding thoughtfulness on deep questions—-the power of the gods, their dealings with man, the dark mysteries of fate, the future life in Hades—though largely due to his turn of mind and temperament, was doubtless connected with the place where his childhood was passed. Eleusis was the centre of the most famous worship of Demeter, with its processions, its ceremonies, its mysteries, its impressive spectacles and nocturnal rites; and these were intimately connected with the Greek beliefs about the human soul, and the underworld.

His dramatic career began early, and was continued for more than forty years. In 499, his 26th year, he first exhibited at Athens; and his last work, acted during his lifetime at Athens, was the trilogy of the Oresteia, exhibited in 458. The total number of his plays is stated by Suidas to have been ninety; and the seven extant plays, with the dramas named or nameable which survive only in fragments, amount to over eighty, so that Suidas' figure is probably based on reliable tradition. It is well known that in the 5th century each exhibitor at the tragic contests produced four plays; and Aeschylus must therefore have competed (between 499 and 458) more than twenty times, or once in two years. His first victory is recorded in 484, fifteen years after his earliest appearance on the stage; but in the remaining twenty-six years of his dramatic activity at Athens he was successful at least twelve times. This clearly shows that he was the most commanding figure among the tragedians of 500-458; and for more than half that time was usually the victor in the contests. Perhaps the most striking evidence of his exceptional position among his contemporaries is the well-known decree passed shortly after his death that whosoever desired to exhibit a play of Aeschylus should "receive a chorus,'' i.e. be officially allowed to produce the drama at the Dionysia. The existence of this decree, mentioned in the Life, is strongly confirmed by two passages in Aristophanes: first in the prologue of the Acharnians (which was acted in 425, thirty-one years after the poet's death), where the citizen, grumbling about his griefs and troubles, relates his great disappointment, when he took his seat in the theatre "expecting Aeschylus,'' to find that when the play came on it was Theognis; and secondly in a scene of the Frogs (acted 405 B.C.), where the throne of poetry is contested in Hades between Aeschylus and Euripides, the former complains (Fr. 860) that "the battle is not fair, because my own poetry has not died with me, while Euripides' has died, and therefore he will have it with him to recite''-a clear reference, as the scholiast points out, to the continued production at Athens of Aeschylus' plays after his death.

Apart from fables, guesses and blunders, of which a word is said below, the only other incidents recorded of the poet's life that deserve mention are connected with his Sicilian visits, and the charge preferred against him of revealing the "secrets of Demeter.'' This tale is briefly mentioned by Aristotle (Eth. iii. 2), and a late commentator (Eustratius, 12th century) quotes from one Heraclides Pontius the version which may be briefly given as follows:—

The poet was acting a part in one of his own plays, where there was a reference to Demeter. The audience suspected him of revealing the inviolable secrets, and rose in fury; the poet fled to the altar of Dionysus in the orchestra and so saved his life for the moment; for even an angry Athenian crowd respected the inviolable sanctuary. He was afterwards charged with the crime before the Areopagus; and his plea "that he did not know that what he said was secret'' was accepted by the court and secured his acquittal. The commentator adds that the prowess of the poet (and his brother) at Marathon was the real cause of the leniency of his judges. The story was afterwards developed, and embellished by additions; but in the above shape it dates back to the 4th century; and as the main fact seems accepted by Aristotle, it is probably authentic.

As to his foreign travel, the suggestion has been made that certain descriptions in the Persae, and the known facts that he wrote a trilogy on the story of the Thracian king Lycurgus, persecutor of Dionysus, seem to point to his having a special knowledge of Thrace, which makes it likely that he had visited it. This, however, remains at best a conjecture. For his repeated visits to Sicily, on the other hand, there is conclusive ancient evidence. Hiero the First, tyrant of Syracuse, who reigned about twelve years (478-467), and amongst other efforts after magnificence invited to his court famous poets and men of letters, had founded a new town, Aetna, on the site of Catana which he captured, expelling the inhabitants. Among his guests were Aeschylus, Pindar, Bacchylides and Simonides. About 476 Aeschylus was entertained by him, and at his request wrote and exhibited a play called The Women of Aetna in honour of the new town. He paid a second visit about 472, the year in which he had produced the Persae at Athens; and the play is said to have been repeated at Syracuse at his patron's request. Hiero died in 467, the year of the Seven against Thebes; but after 458, when the Oresteia was exhibited at Athens, we find the poet again in Sicily for the last time. In 456 he died, and was buried at Gela; and on his tomb was placed an epitaph in two elegiac couplets saying: "Beneath this stone lies Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, the Athenian, who perished in the wheat-bearing land of Gela; of his noble prowess the grove of Marathon can speak, or the long-haired Persian who knows it well.'' The authorship of this epitaph is uncertain, as the Life says it was inscribed on his grave by the people of Gela, while Athenaeus and Pausanias attribute it to Aeschylus. Probably most people would agree that only the poet himself could have praised the soldier and kept silence about the poetry.

Of the marvellous traditions which gathered round his name little need be said. Pausanias' tale, how Dionysus appeared to the poet when a boy, asleep in his father's vineyard, and bade him write a tragedy—-or the account in the Life, how he was killed by an eagle letting fall on his head a tortoise whose shell the bird was unable to crack—-clearly belong to the same class of legends as the story that Plato was son of Apollo, and that a swarm of bees settled upon his infant lips as he lay in his mother's arms. Less supernatural, but hardly more historical, is the statement in the Life that the poet left Athens for Sicily in consequence of his defeat in the dramatic contest of 468 by Sophocles; or the alternative story of the same authority that the cause of his chagrin was that Simonides' elegy on the heroes slain at Marathon was preferred to his own. Apart from the inherent improbability of such pettiness in such a man, neither story fits the facts; for in 467, the next year after Sophocles' success, we know that Aeschylus won the prize of tragedy with the Septem; and the Marathon elegy must have been written in 490, fourteen years before his first visit to Sicily.


In passing from Aeschylus' life to his work, we have obviously far more trustworthy data, in the seven extant plays (with the fragments of more than seventy others), and particularly in the invaluable help of Aristotle's Poetics. The real importance of our poet in the development of the drama (see DRAMA: Greek) as compared with any of his three or four known predecessors—who are at best hardly more than names to us—is shown by the fact that Aristotle, in his brief review of the rise of tragedy (Poet. iv. 13), names no one before Aeschylus. He recognizes, it is true, a long process of growth, with several stages, from the dithyramb to the drama; and it is not difficult to see what these stages were. The first step was the addition to the old choric song of an interlude spoken, and in early days improvised, by the leader of the chorus (Poet. iv. 12). The next was the introduction of an actor (upokrites or "answerer''), to reply to the leader; and thus we get dialogue added to recitation. The "answerer'' was at first the poet himself (Ar. Rhet. iii. 1). This change is traditionally attributed to Thespis (536 B.C.), who is, however, not mentioned by Aristotle. The mask, to enable the actor to assume different parts, by whomsoever invented, was in regular use before Aeschylus' day. The third change was the enlarged range of subjects. The lyric dithyramb-tales were necessarily about Dionysus, and the interludes had, of course, to follow suit. Nothing in the world so tenaciously resists innovation as religious ceremony; and it is interesting to learn that the Athenian populace (then, as ever, eager for "some new thing'') nevertheless opposed at first the introduction of other tales. But the innovators won; or other-wise there would have been no Attic drama.

In this way, then, to the original lyric song and dances in honour of Dionysus was added a spoken (but still metrical) interlude by the chorus-leader, and later a dialogue with one actor (at first the poet), whom the mask enabled to appear in more than one part.

But everything points to the fact that in the development of the drama Aeschylus was the decisive innovator. The two things that were important, when the 5th century began, if tragedy was to realize its possibilities, were (1) the disentanglement of the dialogue from its position as an interlude in an artistic and religious pageant that was primarily lyric; and (2) its general elevation of tone. Aeschylus, as we know on the express authority of Aristotle (Poet. iv. 13), achieved the first by the introduction of the second actor; and though he did not begin the second, he gave it the decisive impulse and consummation by the overwhelming effect of his serious thought, the stately splendour of his style, his high dramatic purpose, and the artistic grandeur and impressiveness of the construction and presentment of his tragedies.

As to the importance of the second actor no argument is needed. The essence of a play is dialogue; and a colloquy between the coryphaeus and a messenger (or, by aid of the mask, a series of messengers), as must have been the case when Aeschylus began, is in reality not dialogue in the dramatic sense at all, but rather narrative. The discussion, the persuasion, the instruction, the pleading, the contention—-in short, the interacting personal influences of different characters on each other—are indispensable to anything that can be called a play, as we understand the word; and, without two "personae dramatis'' at the least, the drama in the strict sense is clearly impossible. The number of actors was afterwards increased; but to Aeschylus are due the perception and the adoption of the essential step; and therefore, as was said above, he deserves in a very real sense to be called the founder of Athenian tragedy.

Of the seven extant plays, Supplices, Persae, Septem contra Thebas, Prometheus, Agamemnon, Choephoroe and Eumenides, five can fortunately be dated with certainty, as the archon's name is preserved in the Arguments; and the other two approximately. The dates rest, in the last resort, on the didaskaliai, or the official records of the contests, of which we know that Aristotle (and others) compiled catalogues; and some actual fragments have been recovered. The order of the plays is probably that given above; and certainly the Persae was acted in 472, Septem in 467, and the last three, the trilogy, in 458. The Supplices is generally, though not unanimously, regarded as the oldest; and the best authorities tend to place it not far from 490. The early date is strongly confirmed by three things: the extreme simplicity of the plot, the choric (instead of dramatic) opening, and the fact that the percentage of lyric passages is 54, or the highest of all the seven plays. The chief doubt is in regard to Prometheus, which is variously placed by good authorities; but the very low percentage of lyrics (only 27, or roughly a quarter of the whole), and still more the strong characterization, a marked advance on anything in the first three plays, point to its being later than any except the trilogy, and suggest a date somewhere about 460, or perhaps a little earlier. A few comments on the extant plays will help to indicate the main points of Aeschylus' work.

Supplices.—-The exceptional interest of the Supplices is due to its date. Being nearly twenty years earlier than any other extant play, it furnishes evidence of a stage in the evolution of Attic drama which would otherwise have been unrepresented. Genius, as Patin says, is a "puissance libre,'' and none more so than that of Aeschylus; but with all allowance for the "uncontrolled power'' of this poet, we may feel confident that we have in the Supplices something resembling in general structure the lost works of Choerilus, Phrynichus, Pratinas and the 6th century pioneers of drama.

The plot is briefly as follows: the fifty daughters of Danaus (who are the chorus), betrothed by the fiat of Aegyptus (their father's brother) to his fifty sons, flee with Danaus to Argos, to escape the marriage which they abhor. They claim the protection of the Argive king, Pelasgus, who is kind but timid; and he (by a pleasing anachronism) refers the matter to the people, who agree to protect the fugitives. The pursuing fleet of suitors is seen approaching; the herald arrives (with a company of followers), blusters, threatens, orders off the cowering Danaids to the ships and finally attempts to drag them away. Pelasgus interposes with a force, drives off the Egyptians and saves the suppliants. Danaus urges them to prayer, thanksgiving and maidenly modesty, and the grateful chorus pass away to the shelter offered by their protectors.

It is clear that we have here the drama in its nascent stage, just developing out of the lyric pageant from which it sprang. The interest still centres round the chorus, who are in fact the "protagonists'' of the play. Character and plot—-the two essentials of drama, in the view of all critics from Aristotle downwards—are both here rudimentary. There are some fluctuations of hope and fear; but the play is a single situation, The stages are: the appeal; the hesitation of the king, the resolve of the people; the defeat of insolent violence; and the rescue. It should not be forgotten, indeed, that the play is one of a trilogy—-an act, therefore, rather than a complete drama. But we have only to compare it with those later plays of which the same is true, to see the difference. Even in a trilogy, each play is a complete whole in itself, though also a portion of a larger whole.

Persae.—-The next play that has survived is the Persae, which has again a special interest, viz. that it is the only extant Greek historical drama. We know that Aeschylus' predecessor, Phrynichus, had already twice tried this experiment, with the Capture of Miletus and the Phoenician Women; that the latter play dealt with the same subject as the Persae, and the handling of its opening scene was imitated by the younger poet. The plot of the Persae is still severely simple, though more developed than that of the Suppliants. The opening is still lyric, and the first quarter of the play brings out, by song and speech, the anxiety of the people and queen as to the fate of Xerxes' huge army. Then comes the messenger with the news of Salamis, including a description of the sea-fight itself which can only be called magnificent. We realize what it must have been for the vast audience—-30,000, according to Plato (Symp. 175 E)— to hear, eight years only after the event, from the supreme poet of Athens, who was himself a distinguished actor in the war, this thrilling narrative of the great battle. But this reflexion at once suggests another; it is not a tragedy in the true Greek sense, according to the practice of the 5th-century poets. It may be called in one point of view a tragedy, since the scene is laid in Persia, and the drama forcibly depicts the downfall of the Persian pride. But its real aim is not the "pity and terror'' of the developed drama; it is the triumphant glorification of Athens, the exultation of the whole nation gathered in one place, over the ruin of their foe. This is best shown by the praise of Aeschylus' great admirer and defender Aristophanes, who (Frogs, 1026-1027) puts into the poet's mouth the boast that in the Persae he had "glorified a noble exploit, and taught men to be eager to conquer their foe.''

Thus, both as an historic drama and in its real effect, the Persae was an experiment; and, as far as we know, the experiment was not repeated either by the author or his successors. One further point may be noted. Aeschylus always has a taste for the unseen and the supernatural; and one effective incident here is the raising of Darius's ghost, and his prophecy of the disastrous battle of Plataea. But in the ghost's revelations there is a mixture of audacity and naivete, characteristic at once of the poet and the early youth of the drama. The dead Darius prophesies Plataea, but has not heard of Salamis; he gives a brief (and inaccurate) list of the Persian kings, which the queen and chorus, whom he addresses, presumably know; and his only practical suggestion, that the Persians should not again invade Greece, seems attainable without the aid of superhuman foresight.

Septem contra Thebas.—-Five years later came the Theban Tragedy. It is not only, as Aristophanes says (Frogs, 1024), "a play full of the martial spirit,'' but is (like the Supplices) one of a connected series, dealing with the evil fate of the Theban House. But instead of being three acts of a single story like the Supplices, these three plays trace the fate through three generations, Laius, Oedipus and the two sons who die by each other's hands in the fight for the Theban sovereignty. This family fate, where one evil deed leads to another after many years, is a larger conception, strikingly suited to Aeschylus' genius, and constitutes a notable stage in the development of the Aeschylean drama. And just as here we have the tragedy of the Theban house, so in the last extant work, the Oresteia, the poet traces the tragedy of the Pelopid family, from Agamemnon's first sin to Orestes' vengeance and purification. And the names of several lost plays point to similar handling of the tragic trilogy.

The Seven against Thebes is the last play of its series; and again the plot is severely simple, not only in outline, but in detail. Father and grandfather have both perished miserably; and the two princes have quarrelled, both claiming the kingdom. Eteocles has driven out Polynices, who fled to Argos, gathered a host under seven leaders (himself being one), and when the play opens has begun the siege of his own city. The king appears, warns the people, chides the clamour of women, appoints seven Thebans, including himself, to defend the seven gates, departs to his post, meets his brother in battle and both are killed. The other six chieftains are all slain, and the enemy beaten off. The two dead princes are buried by their two sisters, who alone are left of the royal house.

Various signs of the early drama are here manifest. Half the play is lyric; there is no complication of plot; the whole action is recited by messengers; and the fatality whereby the predicted mutual slaughter of the princes is brought about is no accidental stroke of destiny, but the choice of the king Eteocles himself. On the other hand, the opening is no longer lyric (like the two earlier plays) but dramatic; the main scene, where the messenger reports at length the names of the seven assailants, and the king appoints the seven defenders, each man going off in silence to his post, must have been an impressive spectacle. One novelty should not be overlooked. There is here the first passage of dianoia or general reflexion of life, which later became a regular feature of tragedy. Eteocles muses on the fate which involves an innocent man in the company of the wicked so that he shares unjustly their deserved fate. The passage (Theb. 597-608) is interesting; and the whole part of Eteocles shows a new effort of the poet to draw character, which may have something to do with the rise of Sophocles, who in the year before (468) won with his first play, now lost, the prize of tragedy.

There remain only the Prometheus and the Oresteia, which show such marked advance that (it may almost be said) when we think of Aeschylus it is these four plays we have in mind.

Prometheus.—-The Prometheus-trilogy consisted of three plays: Prometheus the Fire-bringer, Prometheus Bound, Prometheus Unbound. The two last necessarily came in that order; the Fire-bringer is probably the first, though recently it has been held by some scholars to be the last, of the trilogy. That Prometheus sinned against Zeus, by stealing fire from heaven; that he was punished by fearful tortures for ages; that he finally was reconciled to Zeus and set free,—all this was the ancient tale indisoutably. Those who hold the Fire-bringer (Purforos) to be the final play, conjecture that it dealt with the establishment of the worship of Prometheus under that title, which is known to have. existed at Athens. But the other order is on all grounds more probable; it keeps the natural sequence—-crime, punishment, reconciliation, which is also the sequence in the Oresteia. And if the reconciliation was achieved in the second play, no scheme of action sufficing for the third drama seems even plausible.1

However that may be, the play that survives is a poem of unsurpassed force and impressiveness. Nevertheless, from the point of view of the development of drama, there seems at first sight little scope in the story for the normal human interest of a tragedy, since the actors are all divine, except Io, who is a distracted wanderer, victim of Zeus' cruelty; and between the opening where Prometheus is nailed to the Scythian rock, and the close where the earthquake engulfs the rock, the hero and the chorus, action in the ordinary sense is ipso facto impossible. This is just the opportunity for the poet's bold inventiveness and fine imagination. The tortured sufferer is visited by the Oceanic Nymphs, who float in, borne by an (imaginary) winged car, to console; Oceanus (riding a griffin, doubtless also imaginary) follows, kind but timid, to advise submission; then appears Io, victim of Zeus' love and Hera's jealousy, to whom Prometheus prophesies her future wanderings and his own fate; lastly Hermes, insolent messenger of the gods, who tries in vain to extort Prometheus' secret knowledge of the future. Oceanus, the well-meaning palavering old mentor, and Hermes, the blustering and futile jack-in-office, gods though they be, are vigorous, audacious and very human character-sketches; the soft entrance of the consoling nymphs is unspeakably beautiful; and the prophecy of Io's wanderings is a striking example of that new keen interest in the world outside which was felt by the Greeks of the 5th century, as it was felt by the Elizabethan English in a very similar epoch of national spirit and enterprise two thousand years later. Thus, though dramatic action is by the nature of the case impossible for the hero, the visitors provide real drama.

Another important point in the development of tragedy is what we may call the "balanced issue.'' The question in Suppliants is the protection of the threatened fugitives; in Persae the humiliation of overweening pride. So far the sympathy of the audience is not doubtful or divided. In the Septein there is an approach to conflict of feeling; the banished brother has a personal grievance, though guilty of the impious crime of attacking his own country. The sympathy must be for the defender Eteocles; but it is at least somewhat qualified by his injustice to his brother. In Prometheus the issue is more nearly balanced. The hero is both a victim and a rebel. He is punished for his benefits to man; but though Zeus is tyrannous and ungrateful, the hero's reckless defiance is shocking to Greek feeling. As the play goes on, this is subtly and delicately indicated by the attitude of the chorus. They enter overflowing with pity. They are slowly chilled and alienated by the hero's violence and impiety; but they nobly decline, at the last crisis, the mean advice of Hermes to desert Prometheus and save themselves; and in the final crash they share his fate.

Oresteia.—-The last and greatest work of Aeschylus is the Oresteia, which also has the interest of being the only complete trilogy preserved to us. It is a three-act drama of family fate, like the Oedipus-trilogy; and the acts are the sin, the revenge, the reconciliation, as in the Prometheus-trilogy. Again, as in Prometheus, the plot, at first sight, is such that the conditions of drama seem to exclude much development in character-drawing. The gods are everywhere at the root of the action. The inspired prophet, Calchas, has demanded the sacrifice of the king's daughter Iphigenia, to appease the offended Artemis. The inspired Cassandra, brought in as a spear-won slave from conquered Troy, reveals the murderous past of the Pelopid house, and the imminent slaughter of the king by his wife. Apollo orders the son, Orestes, to avenge his father by killing the murderess, and protects him when after the deed he takes sanctuary at Delphi. The Erinnyes ("Furies'') pursue him over land and sea; and at last Athena gives him shelter at Athens, summons an Athenian council to judge his guilt, and when the court is equally divided gives her casting vote for mercy. The last act ends with the reconciliation of Athena and the Furies; and the latter receive a shrine and worship at Athens, and promise favour and prosperity to the great city. The scope for human drama seems deliberately restricted, if not closed, by such a story so handled. Nevertheless, as a fact, the growth of characterization is, in spite of all, not only visible but remarkable. Clytemnestra is one of the most powerfully presented characters of the Greek drama. Her manly courage, her vindictive and unshaken purpose, her hardly hidden contempt for her tool and accomplice, Aegisthus, her cold scorn for the feebly vacillating elders, and her unflinching acceptance (in the second play) of inevitable fate, when she faces at last the avowed avenger, are all portrayed with matchless force—her very craft being scornfully assumed, as needful to her purpose, and contemptuously dropped when the purpose is served. And there is one other noticeable point. In this trilogy Aeschylus, for the first time, has attempted some touches of character in two of the humbler parts, the Watchman in Agameninoni, and the Nurse in the Choephoroe. The Watchman opens the play, and the vivid and almost humorous sententiousness of his language, his dark hints, his pregnant metaphors drawn from common speech, at once give a striking touch of realism, and form a pointed contrast to the terrible drama that impends. A very similar effect is produced at the crisis of the Choephoroe by the speech of the Nurse, who coming on a message to Aegisthus pours out to the chorus her sorrow at the reported death of Orestes and her fond memories of his babyhood—-with the most homely details; and the most striking realistic touch is perhaps the broken structure and almost inconsequent utterance of the old faithful slave's speech. These two are veritable figures drawn from contemporary life; and though both appear only once, and are quite unimportant in the drama, the innovation is most significant, and especially as adopted by Aeschylus.

It remains to say a word on two more points, the religious ideas of Aeschylus and some of the main characteristics of his poetry.

The religious aspect of the drama in one sense was prominent from the first, owing to its evolution from the choral celebration of the god Dionysus. But the new spirit imported by the genius of Aeschylus into the early drama was religious in a profounder meaning of the term. The sadness of human lot, the power and mysterious dealings of the gods, their terrible and inscrutable wrath and jealousy (aga and pthonos), their certain vengeance upon sinners, all the more fearful it delayed.—-Such are the poet's constant themes, delivered with strange solemnity and impressiveness in the the songs, especially in the Oresteia. And at times, particularly in the Trilogy, in his reference to the divine power of Zeus, he almost approaches a stern and sombre monotheism. "One God above all, who directs all, who is the cause of all'' (Ag. 163, 1485); the watchfulness of this Power over human action (363-367), especially over the punishment of their sins; and the mysterious law whereby sin always begets new sin (Ag. 758-760):—-these are ideas on which Aeschylus dwells in the Agamemnon with peculiar force, in a strain at once lofty and sombre. One specially noteworthy point in that play is his explicit repudiation of the common Hellenic view that prosperity brings ruin. In other places he seems to share the feeling; but here (Ag. 730) he goes deeper, and declares that it is not olbos but always wickedness that brings about men's fall. All through there is a recurring note of fear in his view of man's destiny, expressed in vivid images—-the "death that lurks behind the wall'' (Ag. 1004), the "hidden reef which wrecks the bark, unable to weather the headland'' (Eum. 561-565). In one remarkable passage of the Eumenides (517-525) this fear is extolled as a moral power which ought to be enthroned in men's hearts, to deter them from impious or violent acts, or from the pride that impels them, to such sins.

Of the poetic qualities of Aeschylus' drama and diction, both in the lyrics and the dialogue, no adequate account can be attempted; the briefest word must here suffice. He is everywhere distinguished by grandeur and power of conception, presentation and expression, and most of all in the latest works, the Prometheus and the Trilogy. He is pre-eminent in depicting the slow approach of fear, as in the Persae; the imminent horror of impending fate, as in the broken cries and visions of Cassandra in the Agamemnon (1072-1177), the long lament and prayers to the nether powers in the Choephoroe (313-478), and the gradual rousing of the slumbering Furies in the Eumenides (117-139). The fatal end in these tragedies is foreseen; but the effect is due to its measured advance, to the slowly darkening suspense which no poet has more powerfully rendered. Again, he is a master of contrasts, especially of the Beautiful with the Tragic: as when the floating vision of consoling nymphs appears to the tortured Prometheus (115-135); or the unmatched lyrics which tell (in the Agamemnon, 228-247) of the death of Iphigenia; or the vision of his lost love that the night brings to Menelaus (410-426). And not least noticeable is the extraordinary range, force and imaginativeness of his diction. One example of his lyrics may be given which will illustrate more than one of these points. It is taken from the long lament in the Septem, sung by the chorus and the two sisters, while following the funeral procession of the two princes. These laments may at times be wearisome to the modern reader, who does not see, and imperfectly imagines, the stately and pathetic spectacle; but to the ancient feeling they were as solemn and impressive as they were ceremonially indispensable. The solemnity is here heightened by the following lines sung by one of the chorus of Theban women (Sept. 854-860):—

Nay, with the wafting gale of your sighs, my sisters, Beat on your heads with your hands the stroke as of oars, The stroke that passes ever across Acheron, Speeding on its way the black-robed sacred bark,— The bark Apollo comes not near, The bark that is hidden from the sunlight— To the shore of darkness that welcomes all! AUTHORITIES.—-The chief authority for the text is a single MS. at Florence, of the early 11th century, known as the Medicean or M., written by a professional scribe and revised by a contemporary scholar, who corrected the copyist's mistakes, added the scholia, the arguments and the dramatis personae of three plays (Theb., Agam, Eum.), and at the end the Life of Aeschylus and the Catalogue of his dramas. The MS. has also been further corrected by later hands. In 1896 the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction published the MS. in photographic facsimile, with an instructive preface by Signor Rostagno. Besides M. there are some eight later MSS. (13th to 15th century), and numerous copies of the three select plays (Sept., Pers., Prom.) which were most read in the later Byzantine period, when Greek literature was reduced to gradually diminishing excerpts. These later MSS. are of little value or authority. The editions, from the beginning of the 15th century to the present are very numerous, and the text has been further continuously improved by isolated suggestions from a host of scholars. The three first printed copies (Aldine, 1518; Turnebus and Robortello, 1552) give only those parts of Agamemnon found in M., from which MS. some leaves were lost; in 1557 the full text was restored by Vettori (Victorius) from later MSS. After these four, the chief editions of He seven plays were those of Schutz, Porson, Burler, Wellauer, Dindorf, Bothe, Ahrens, Paley, Hermann, Hartung, Weil, Merkel, Kirchhoff and Wecklein. Besides these, over a hundred scholars have thrown light on the corruptions or obscurities of the text, by editions of separate plays, by emendations, by special studies of the poet's work, or in other ways. Among recent writers who have made such contributions may be mentioned Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, Enger, Conington, Blaydes, Cobet, Meineke, Madvig, Ellis, W. Headlam, Davies, Tucker, Verrall and Haigh. The Fragments have been edited by Nauck and also by Wecklein. The Aeschylean staging is discussed in Albert Muller's Lehrbuch der griechischen Buhnenalterhumer; in "Die Buhne des Aeschylos,'' by Wilamowitz (Hermes, xxi.); in Smith's Dict. of Antiquities, art. "Theatrum'' (R. C. Jebb); in Dorpfeld and Reisch (Das griechische Theater), Haigh's Attic Theatre, and Gardner and Jevons' Manual of Greek Antiquities. English Verse Translations: Agamemnon, Milman and R. Browning; Oresteia, Suppliants, Persae, Seven against Thebes, Prometheus Vinctus, by E. D. A. Morshead; Prometheus, E. B. Browning; the whole seven plays, Lewis Campbell. (A. SI.)

1 The Eumenides is quoted as a parallel, because there the establishment of this worship at Athens concludes the whole trilogy; but it is forgotten that in Eumenides there is much besides—the pursuit of Orestes, the refuge at Athens, the trial, the acquittal, the conciliation by Athena of the Furies; while here the story would be finished before the last play began.

AESCULAPIUS (Gr. 'Asklepios), the legendary Greek god of medicine, the son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis. Tricca in Thessaly and Epidaurus in Argolis disputed the honour of his birthplace, but an oracle declared in favour of Epidaurus. He was educated by the centaur Cheiron, who taught him the art of healing and hunting. His skill in curing disease and restoring the dead to life aroused the anger of Zeus, who, being afraid that he might render all men immortal, slew him with a thunderbolt (Apollodorus iii. 10; Pindar, Phthia, 3; Diod. Sic. iv. 71). Homer mentions him as a skilful physician, whose sons, Machaon and Podalirius, are the physicians in the Greek camp before Troy (Iliad, ii. 731). Temples were erected to Aesculapius in many parts of Greece, near healing springs or on high mountains. The practice of sleeping (incubatio) in these sanctuaries was very common, it being supposed that the god effected cures or prescribed remedies to the sick in dreams. All who were healed offered sacrifice—-especially a cock—-and hung up votive tablets, on which were recorded their names, their diseases and the manner in which they had been cured. Many of these votive tablets have been discovered in the course of excavations at Epidaurus. Here was the god's most famous shrine, and games were celebrated in his honour every five years, accompanied by solemn processions. Herodas (Mimes, 4) gives a description of one of his temples, and of the offerings made to him. His worship was introduced into Rome by order of the Sibylline books (293 B.C.), to avert a pestilence. The god was fetched from Epidaurus in the form of a snake and a temple assigned him on the island in the Tiber (Livy x. 47; Ovid, Metam. xv. 622). Aesculapius was a favourite subject of ancient artists. He is commonly represented standing, dressed in a long cloak, with bare breast; his usual attribute is a club-like staff with a serpent (the symbol of renovation) coiled round it. He is often accompanied by Telesphorus, the boy genius of healing, and his daughter Hygieia, the goddess of health. Votive reliefs representing such groups have been found near the temple of Aesculapius at Athens. The British Museum possesses a beautiful head of Aesculapius (or possibly Zeus) from Melos, and the Louvre a magnificent statue.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—L. Dyer, The Gods in Greece (1891); Jane E. Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (1903); R. Caton, Examples and Ritual of A. at Epidaurus and Athens (1900); articles in Pauly-Wissowa's Real-Encyclopadie, Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie; T. Panofka, Asklepios und die Asklepiaden (1846); Alice Welton, "The Cult of Asklepios,'' in Cornell Studies in Classical Philology, iii. (New York, 1894); W. H. D. Rouse, Greek Votive Offerings (1902).

AESERNIA (mod. Isernia), a Samnite town on the road from Beneventum to Corfinium, 58 m. to the north-east of the former, at the junction of a road going past Venafrum to the Via Latina. These routes are all followed by modern railways—-the lines to Campobasso, Sulmona and Caianello. A Roman colony was established there in 263 B.C. It became the headquarters of the Italian revolt after the loss of Corfinium, and was only recovered by Sulla at the end of the war, in 80 B.C. Remains of its fortifications are still preserved—-massive cyclopean walls, which serve as foundation to the walls of the modern town and of a Roman bridge, and the subterranean channel of an aqueduct, cut in the rock, and dating from Roman times.

AESOP (Gr. Aisopos), famous for his Fables, is supposed to have lived from about 620 to 560 B.C. The place of his birth is uncertain—-Thrace, Phrygia, Aethiopia, Samos, Athens and Sardis all claiming the honour. We possess little trustworthy information concerning his life, except that he was the slave of Iadmon of Samos and met with a violent death at the hands of the inhabitants of Delphi. A pestilence that ensued being attributed to this crime, the Delphians declared their willingness to make compensation, which, in default of a nearer connexion, was claimed and received by Iadmon, the grandson of his old master. Herodotus, who is our authority for this (ii. 134), does not state the cause of his death; various reasons are assigned by later writers—his insulting sarcasms, the embezzlement of money entrusted to him by Croesus for distribution at Delphi, the theft of a silver cup.

Aesop must have received his freedom from Iadmon, or he could not have conducted the public defence of a certain Samian demagogue (Aristotle, Rhetoric, ii. 20). According to the story, he subsequently lived at the court of Croesus, where he met Solon, and dined in the company of the Seven Sages of Greece with Periander at Corinth. During the reign of Peisistratus he is said to have visited Athens, on which occasion he related the fable of The Frogs asking for a King, to dissuade the citizens from attempting to exchange Peisistratus for another ruler. The popular stories current regarding him are derived from a life, or rather romance, prefixed to a book of fables, purporting to be his, collected by Maximus Planudes, a monk of the 14th century. In this he is described as a monster of ugliness and deformity, as he is also represented in a well-known marble figure in the Villa Albani at Rome. That this life, however, was in existence a century before Planudes, appears from a 13th-century MS. of it found at Florence. In Plutarch's Symposium of the Seven Sages, at which Aesop is a guest, there are many jests on his original servile condition, but nothing derogatory is said about his personal appearance. We are further told that the Athenians erected in his honour a noble statue by the famous sculptor Lysippus, which furnishes a strong argument against the fiction of his deformity. Lastly, the obscurity in which the history of Aesop is involved has induced some scholars to deny his existence altogether.

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