페이지 이미지

its value in the foreign schools, by repeated translations into the French and other European languages. It has, however, recently been found to be no longer adapted to the present enlarged field of classical criticism. Something new and more ample was wanted; and the want has been supplied by the dictionaries of Dr. Smith. We are not disposed in this, or any similar case, to risk our credit by an unqualified expression of opinion, that these volumes have so exclusively occupied the ground as to leave no arena whatever to future competitors. Such pretensions to permanent popularity have probably been advanced in their day in favour of other works which have long since been laid on the shelf. But with the best wishes for the future progress of critical archæology, we see little reason to apprehend a similar fate for Dr. Smith's volumes. In their present integrity, they are about as complete and critical a digest of the whole range of subjects which they treat, as could reasonably be expected from even the strong phalanx of able contributors which the learned and accomplished editor has united for his undertaking. Room, no doubt, has been left for change or improvement; but the basis of the compilation appears sufficiently broad and firm to admit of its easily incorporating the results of future researches in the subsequent editions which will in the progress of years be required. One of the bulkiest of the five published volumes has already been re-edited in an amended form. As what has here been said of the compilation of Dr. Smith applies in a great measure to that of Professor Pauly, it will, in order to a just critical estimate of either, be desirable to consider the two conjointly. Having therefore paid a well-merited tribute to their general value, we shall point out in a few special remarks on their respective plan and contents, what have occurred to us as the more prominent merits or defects of detail in each, whether in itself, or in comparison with its foreign rival.

The German scholars were here again the first in the field. The opening volume of the Realencyclopädie appeared early in 1839, the last in 1852, the publication having been carried steadily on in bimestral parts during the intermediate period The editor was assisted by fifty-seven contributors. His scheme embraces the whole range of classical archæology,-mythology, historical biography, geography, and miscellaneous antiquities, in one alphabetical series of seven 8vo. volumes, averaging 1560 pages each.

A different plan has been adopted by Dr. Smith. He divides his entire subject into three separate dictionaries, each with its own alphabetical arrangement: I. Antiquities, one volume, pub

lished in 1842 (2nd edition, 1851); II. Biography and Mythology, three volumes, published in 1851; and III. Geography. The four volumes of antiquities and biography average each 1250 pages, in 2500 columns. The third subdivision is not yet finished, but judging from the parts already issued, it will form at least two volumes of the same average size; so that the whole set, when complete, will consist of six volumes, and about 7500 pages. Each of these pages contains, in double columns, about four times as much matter as an octavo page of ordinary size and type, and about twice as much as the page of the Realencyclopädie; so that Dr. Smith's six volumes will contain about a fourth more text than the seven of the German compilation. The excess in the former consists mainly in the extension given to the articles on Ecclesiastical and later Byzantine biography.

Upon the whole, we prefer the plan of combining all parts of the subject in one alphabetical series. This preference we rest more on practical than technical grounds, having been in the habit of using both works, and having been led to a similar opinion from past experience in parallel cases. The only apparent advantage of a division is, that in regard to such voluminous publications, it might be an object with a student to possess one without the other; or, when in possession of the whole, to carry one part with him for special use when absent from his own library. This advantage, however, in incidental cases, can hardly compensate for the trouble to which he is habitually subjected in shifting from one part to the other, amid the uncertainty which frequently arises as to the particular division in which certain articles are to be found; whether, for instance, heads of subjects appertaining to that subordinate branch of geography entitled topography,-sites of temples or sanctuaries, public buildings, places of assembly, &c., are to be sought in the volumes of geography or in that of antiquities. The separation also involves at times an inconvenient disconnexion of parts of the same subject, as, for example, in those chapters of mythology where the history of regions is so closely linked with those of races and of eponymous heroes. It must certainly be more convenient for the student who wishes to master the knotty questions comprised under such titles as Hellas, Hellen, Helli, Hellenes; Pelasgus, Pelasgi, Pelasgia; Rome, Romulus, Remus, to find those sets of names in contiguous pages, than to hunt for them in separate works. In several instances the same subject will be found, owing to this double arrangement, to be treated more than once. The Areopagus and Pnyx of Athens are described both in the Antiquities and the Geography; the Pandects and Novellæ are discussed at full length in the article


Justinian of the Biography, and again in similar detail under their own names in the Dictionary of Antiquities. It may however be remarked, that in a first edition of a compilation of so great extent, and so much needed, there was this benefit attending a division of subjects, that integral portions of the whole might be, and were in the case of Dr. Smith's volumes, much earlier completed and brought into general use, than the entire body of the text, on the other plan, could possibly have been. The Dictionary of Biography, for example, was finished between the years 1844 and 1851; the Dictionary of Antiquities in a shorter space; and the Dictionary of Geography will apparently, be concluded-within the fourth year from its commencementin 1856. The German work, on the other hand, was thirteen years in reaching maturity.

Dr. Smith's compilations have the advantage of being provided with copious chronological and genealogical tables, also with tables of coins, weights, and measures. These are always valuable appendages to such works, as conveying, in a compact and connected form, much important information, which the student could not extract for himself from the general body of the text but at the expense of much unnecessary time and trouble.

A defect more or less common to both works is the undue proportion of space allotted to particular articles. It is one not perhaps easily avoided in the case of a number of contributors, each specially skilled in some favourite department, and, when warmed with his subject, naturally disposed to ride his hobby with an ardour which the leader of the cavalcade may at times find it difficult or impolitic to restrain. In rare instances, if any, ought the articles of such a work to assume the form or bulk of elaborate treatises. While containing copious references to such more ample authorities, their own dimensions ought not


*Mr. Charles Knight, in a recently published little book, 'The Old Printer and Modern Press,' which abounds in curious facts upon the history of books, states that no work that occupied more than four or five years in its completion was ever successful in this country.' The sale of the Penny Cyclopædia,' of which the publication occupied eleven years, or two years less than the Realencyclopädie, gradually fell from 50,000 to 20,000--more than half the original, subscribers preferring to sacrifice their previous outlay to waiting any longer for the final articles of the alphabet, which were as frequently required for reference as the earlier portion. Mr. Knight, in an improved edition of the work, which he is issuing under the title of the English Cyclopædia,' has consequently found it expedient to break up the former single series into four divisions, for the purpose of bringing each to a speedier completion. It must therefore in fairness be added that we probably owe the elaborate fullness of Dr. Smith's Dictionaries to the present plan of publication, and that if the various compartments had been fused together the completeness and utility of the work must have been in great degree sacrificed to the commercial necessity for economising space and time.


to exceed the bounds of well-digested summaries. If this be true as a general rule, undue prolixity ought above all to be avoided in subjects of the least general interest or practical utility. We cannot approve, therefore, of the large amount of space bestowed in the Dictionary of Antiquities on the technicalities of Roman law, a subject which, while coming strictly within the terms of the above definition, occupies some 216 pages of that volume, being more than a sixth part of its text, and equal to about 850 pages of ordinary octavo type. With the quality of the articles we have no fault to find. Like the great body of others in the compilation, they do ample justice, both as regards learning and acuteness, to the subjects treated. We object merely to the quantity. The whole, if brought together in an integral form, would equal or exceed in mass many of the best modern compendia of the Corpus juris, and that, too, without reckoning numerous other copious disquisitions on the higher constitutional elements of Roman legislation. This superabundance of juridical matter reflects, like some other features of Dr. Smith's compilation, those Germanic influences which, partly for good, partly for evil, have lately held sway in our own schools of classical criticism. It has been justified accordingly in the Editor's preface, on the ground of the little attention hitherto paid to the literature of Roman law by our native scholars, as compared with the zealous labours, in the same field, of the Savignys, Mackeldeys, Hugos, and other eminent German jurists. We claim to be impartial in this matter, having in early youth studied this branch of science at the foot of some of these same Gamaliels, and being, therefore, the more able and willing to appreciate their talents and services. But we do not admit that the practice of the Germans here necessarily supplies a precedent for ourselves. The whole law of Germany, its usage and phraseology, are founded even to servility on the Roman codes. Every country Amtmann or village Schultheiss requires to have some smattering of the Pandects or Institutes. A course of law study being also required in that country to qualify for offices where no such obligation exists with us, the number of law students in the German seats of learning greatly outnumbers those in our own. In England, on the other hand, the technical jurisprudence of Rome is to all practical purposes a dead letter; while the element of it, which in theory may yet be recognised in some of our courts, is comparatively trifling. But even were the circumstances of the two countries identical in this respect, we should still question the propriety of incorporating an entire course of civil law in a Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. All that can there properly


be required is a concise exposition of such broader features of the legislation either of Rome, Athens, or other ancient states, as more immediately tends to illustrate their political constitution, or the peculiarities of their national character and manners. Beyond this, law is a science of technical detail, like medicine or chemistry; and the small body of Dr. Smith's readers who are likely to derive benefit from so voluminous a series of articles on its abstruser mysteries, have no better right to be so favoured at the expense of the remainder, than the equally small number of classically-minded medical students who may form part of that residue, have to be indulged with an equally minute digest of the doctrines and practice of Hippocrates and Galen.

This accumulation of what we must consider extraneous matter in the Dictionary of Antiquities is the more to be regretted, that the space so occupied might have been better bestowed on other subjects, the neglect, or entire omission of which forms a defect of that volume. The important head of Education, in the sense that is of literary training, is overlooked. We have been unable to find any article devoted to it under the various titles of Education, School, Pædagogue, &c. Similar is the neglect of Trade, Commerce, Manufactures, and, in our own department, of Literary History. We looked in vain for some little assistance in 'getting up' our present article, from the titles Lexicon, Glossarium, Onomasticon, which, in the Realencyclopädie, are treated at some detail. There is also generally in this dictionary a want of notices of the several styles or orders of literature in prose and verse. We miss, for example, the titles Epica poesis, Cyclus epicus, Homeridæ, Elegia, Iambographi, Bucolica, Epinicia, Scolia, Anthologia, Epigramma, Grammatica, Geographia, Sophistæ, &c., all, or most of which are found in the Real-encyclopädie. We also miss the following subjects: Pyramides, Inscriptiones, Hieroglyphics, Gemma, Mythologia, Pauperes, Polizey, Zeitung, Postwesen, and some others, which, as treated in more or less detail in Pauly, form valuable elements of completeness in a Thesaurus of classical archæology.

In illustration of our previous remark on the tendency of contributors to run riot on their favourite topics, we may mention, that the article Education, omitted in the Dictionary of Antiquities, is swelled out in the Real-encyclopädie to a most elaborate treatise, comprising a great many details altogether foreign to the purpose, by a writer who has published a similarly learned and prolix separate volume on the same subject.

The disproportions of length in the biographical articles of both works are also remarkable. To Cicero 76 columns are allotted


« 이전계속 »