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the gems found in Cyprus, we noticed intagliated scarabæi with similiar symbols; and obtained one whereon Isis was exhibited holding the quadruped, precisely according to the appearance presented by the statue discovered at Larneca. Since these antiquities were found, the inhabitants have also dug up a num. ber of stone coffius, of an oblong rectangular form. Each of these, with the exception of its cover, is of an entire mass of stone. One of them contained a small vase of terra cotta, of the rudest workmanship, destitute of any glazing or varnish.* Several intaglios were also discovered, and brought to us for sale. We found it more difficult to obtain ancient gems in Larneca thau in the interior of the island, owing to the exorbitant prices set upon them. At Nicotia, the goldsmiths part with such antiquities for a few parâs. The people of Larneca are more accustomed to intercourse with strangers, and expect to make a harvest in their coming. Among the ring stones we left in that town, was a beautiful intaglio representing Cupid whipping a butterfly: a common method among ancient lapi. daries, of typifying the power of love over the soul. Also an onyx, which there is every reason to believe one of the Ptolemies had used as a signet. It contained a very curious mono. gram, expressing all the letters of the word nтOALMAIOT, ac cording to the manner here represented:


The use of such instruments for signature is recorded in the books of Moses, seventeen hundred years before the christian æra; and the practice has continued in eastern countries, with little variation, to the present day. The signets of the Turks are of this kind. The Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, had the same custom; indeed, almost all the ancient intaglios were so employed. In the thirty-eighth chapter of Genesis, it is related that Tamar demanded the signet of Judah; and above three thousand years have passed since the great lawgiver of

*It is now in the author's possession.

the Jews was directed* to engrave the names of the children of Israel upon onyx-stones, "like the engravings of a signet ;" that is to say, (if we may presume to illustrate a text so sacred, with reference to a custom still universally extant,) by a series of monograms, graven as intaglios, to be set in ouches of gold, for the shoulders of the ephod." That the signet was of stone, set in metal, in the time of Moses, is also clear from this passage of sacred history: "With the work of an engra ver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones. Thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold." Signets without stones, and entirely of metal, did not come into use, according to Pliny, until the time of Claudius Cæsar. The most ancient intaglios of Egypt were graven upon stones, having the form of scarabæi.t This kind of signet was also used by the Phoenicians, as will further appear. The characters upon them are therefore either in hieroglyphical writing, Phoenician letters, or later monograms derived from the Greek alphabet. Alexander, at the point of death, gave his signet to Perdiccas; and Laodice, mother of Seleucus, the founder of the Syro Macedonian empire, in an age when women, profiting by the easy credulity of their husbands, apologized for an act of infidelity by pretending an intercourse with Apollo, exhibited a signet found in her bed, with a symbol afterward used by all the Seleucida.f The introduction of sculptured animals upon the signets of the Romans was derived from the sacred symbols of the Egyp tians hence the origin of the sphinx for the signet of Augustus. When the practice of deifying princes and venerating heroes became general, portraits of men supplied the place of more ancient types. This custom gave birth to the camachuia, or caméo; a later invention. merely exhibiting a model of the impression or cast yielded to a signet. The use of the caméo does not, in my opinion, bear date anterior to the period of the Roman power. The remains of these are rarely found in Greece; and even when discovered, with the exception of the remarkable stone found at Thebes, representing a female Centaur suckling its foal,** the workmanship is bad."

Exod. xxviii. 9, 10, 11.

f Hist. Nat. lib. xxxiii. c. 1.

1 See a former note in this chapter, for the history of the ancient superstition con cerning the scarabæus.

Justin. lib. xii.

Ibid. iib xv. c. 4.

**This celebrated caméo has been long known to all travellers who have visited Greece. It belonged to a peasant, who esteemed it beyond all price, from its ima

Concerning the Theban gem, it can perhaps be proved that the subject thereon exhibited was originally derived from a very popular picture painted by Zeuxis; and as its execution is by no means uniformly excellent, there is reason to conclude that the work is not of remote antiquity. Every traveller who has visited Italy may have remarked a practice of representing, both by caméos and intaglios, the subjects of celebrated pictures; such, for example, as those of the Danae and the Venus by Titian, and many other. Copies of this kind were also known among the Romans,* and perhaps at an earlier period, taken from the works of Grecian painters. The first style of imitating such pictures by engraving was probably that exhibited by the intaglio, from whose cast the caméo was made. Gems of this kind, executed by the lapidaries of Greece, even so long ago as the age of Zeuxis, may have given origin to the Theban stone. That it does exhibit a subject nearly coinciding with an ancient description of one of his pictures, is manifest from a Greek Commentary upon Gregory Nazianzén, discovered by the late professor Porson, in a manuscript of that author brought by me from the library of the monastery of the Apocalypse in the Isle of Patmos. The commentary would perhaps have been illegible to other eyes than those of the learned professor. I shall therefore subjoin an extract from his own copy of this very curious marginal illustration,§ as authority

ginary virtue in healing diseases. Many persons in vain endeavoured to purchase it. The earl of Elgin, ambassador at the Porte, at last found the means of inducing its Owner to part with it.

*The famous Mosaic picture of the vase and pigeons, found in the Villa of Me cænas, and lately in the capitol at Rome, exhibits a subject frequently introduced upon the ancient gems of Italy.

The writing both of the commentary and of the text, in that manuscript, was deemed, by the learned professor, as ancient as that of Plato from the same place, now with the copy of Gregory in the Bodleian library.

It is impossible to give an idea of the difficulty thus surmounted, without exhibiting the manuscript itself. Above two thirds of every letter in the beginning of the note had been cut off; these the professor restored, from their reliques, and from the context: and the abbreviated style of the whole is such as would baffle all but Porso

nian acumen.

§ Ζευξις ἐκεῖνος αριςτος, συγγραφέων γενόμενος, τὰ μὲν δημώδη καὶ κοινὰ οὐκ ἔγραφέν, ἤ ὅσα τάνυ ὀλίγα· αεὶ δὲ καινοτομεῖν ἐπειρᾶτο, καί τι ξένον καὶ αλλόκοτον ἐπινοήσας, ἐπ' ἐκεῖνο τὴν τῆς τέχνης ακρίβειαν ἐπεδεικνυτο· θήλειαν οὖν ἱπποκένταυρον Ζεύξις ἐποίησεν ανατρέφεσαν προσέτι παι δίω ἱπποκενταύρω διδύμω κομιδὲ νηπίω· τῆς εἰκόνος ταύτης αντίγραφον Αθήνησι γέγονε πρὸς αὐτὴν ἐκείνην ἀκριβεῖ τῆι σταθμῆι· τὸ γὰρ ἀρχέτυπον ὁ Σύλλας ὁ Ῥωμαίων στρατηγὸς μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων σκύλων εἰς Ιταλίας απέςτειλεν· εἶτα περι Μαλέαν καταδύσει τῆς ὁλκάδος πάντα καὶ τὴν γρα φὴν ἀπολέσθαι· λέγεται μόλις δὲ γράφους Καλλίμαχος καὶ Καλαίσης (εἰς fortasse Καλάκης) τὴν είκονα τῆς (excide fortasse vox αρχαίας) εἰκόνος οὕτως. Ἐπὶ χλόης εὐθαλοὺς Κένταυρος αὐτὴ πεποίηται ὅλης μὲν τῶν ἵππων καμάκι

for the following translation.* "That same Zeuxis, the best painter that ever lived, did not paint vulgar and common subjects, or certainly but a very few; but was always endeavouring to strike out something new; and employed all the accuracy of his art about some strange and heterogeneous conceit. He painted, for instance, a female Hippocentaur, nursing two infant Hippocentaurs. A copy of this picture, very accurately taken, existed at Athens : for the original, Sylla, the Roman general, sent away, with the rest of the plunder, to Italy; and it is said that the ship, having foundered off the Malean Promontory, the whole cargo, and with it this picture, was lost. The copy of the original painting is thus with some difficulty described by Callimachus and Callæses (or Callaces.) "The female centaur herself is painted as reclining upon a rich verdure, with the whole of her horse's body on the ground, and her feet extended backwards; but as much of her as resembles a woman, is gently raised, and rests on her elbow. Her fore feet are not stretched out, like her hind ones, as if she were lying on her side, but one of them is bent, and tire hoof drawn under, as if kneeling, while the other is erect, and laying hold of the ground, us horses do when endeavouring to spring up. One of the two infants she is holding in her arms, and suckling, like a human creature, giving it her teat, which resembles that of a roman; but the other she suckles at her mare's teat, after the manner of a foal. In the upper part of the picture, a male Hippocentaur, intended to represent the husband of her who is nursing the

κειμένη, καὶ αποτέτανται εἰς τοὐπίσω οἱ πόδες· τὸ δὲ γυναικεῖον ὅσον αὐτῆς. ἠρέμα ἐπεγήγερται καὶ ἐπ ̓ αγκῶνός ἐστιν· οἱ δὲ πόδες οἱ ἐμπρὸςθην οὐκετὶ καὶ αὐτοὶ αποτάδην οἷον ἐπίπλευρον κειμένης· ἀλλ ̓ ὁ μὲν ὀκλάζοντι ἔοικε καμπύλος ὑπεςταλμένηι τῆς ὁπλῆι· ὁ δὲ πάλιν ἐπανὶσταται καί τοὐδάφους αντιλαμβάνεται, οἷοι εἰσὶν οἱ ἵπποι πειρωμενοι ἀναπηδαῖν· τοῖν νεογνοῖν δὲ τὸ μὲν ἔχει ταῖς αγκάλαις καὶ τρέφει ανθρωπικῶς, ἐπέχεσα τὸν γυναι κεῖον μασθόν· τὸ δὲ ἕτερον ἐκ τῆς ἵππου θηλάζεὶ εἰς τὸν πωλικόν τρόπον· ενω δὲ τῆς εἰκόνος, οἵον ως από τινος ςκοπῆς ἱπποκένταυρος, ανὴρ ἐκείνης δελαδὴ τῆς τα βρέφη τιθηνουμένης επικύπτει γελῶν· οὐχ όλος φαινόμενος, ἀλλ ̓ εἰς μέσον, λέοντος ςκύμνον ἔχων ἐν τῆι δεξιᾶι, ως δεδίξαιτο τα βρέφη Τὸ δὲ θαυμας τὸν τοῦ Ζεύξιδος, ὅτι τὸ ποικίλον τῆς τεχνης ἐν μιᾶς ὑποθέσει ἐπεδείξατο ἵππον σοβαρὸν, αγριον, κωμιδῆ λάσιον τῆι χαίτηι στέρνον τε καὶ ὤμους, ὄμμα θεριώδες καὶ ἄγριον· τὴν δὲ ἵππον, εἶμι τῶν Θετταλών ανε πίβατοι, αδμῆτες ἔτι καθύπερθεν ἡμὶτομον γυναικός· ὅσα δὲ τῶν νώτων έξω, σατυρώδη· καὶ μίξις τις καὶ ἁρμογὴ τῶν σωμάτων.

Antiquissimo in Commentario Gregor. Nazianzen. Cod. MS. The merit of this translation is entirely due to the Rev. Charles James Blom feld, M. A. of Trinity College; the learned editor of the Prometheus of Eschylus, printed at the university press in 1810; whose illustrious acquirements peculiarly qualify him to supply a version suited to the style of interpretation adopted by pro fessor Porson.

children, is leaning over an eminence as it were, and laughing; not being wholly in sight, but only half way down, and holding a lion's whelp in his right hand, to frighten the children. The admirable skill of Zeuxis consists in displaying all the va riety of the art in his treatment of one and the same subject: Kere we have a horse proud, spirited, a shaggy mane over his chest and shoulders, a wild and fierce eye; and a female, like the Thessalean mares, never to be mounted nor tamed; the upper half a woman, but all below the back like a satyr ; and the different bodies fitted, and, as it were, blended together."

The signet stones of Cyprus, althought cut in a variety of substances, were more frequently of red carnelian than of any other mineral. Some of the most diminutive size were finely executed in red garnet, the carbuncle of the ancients. Others were formed of plasma, onyx, bloodstone, topaz, jasper, and even of quartz. Of all these, the most ancient had the scarabæan form. Two very interesting examples are here represented.

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The first is of the most remote antiquity. It was found among the ruins whence the idols recently alluded to were discovered. The substance of it is an onyx, in a very advanced state of decomposition. The characters are evidently Phoenician, and correspond with those exhibited by inscriptions found upon the same spot, and published by Pococke.* The subject represented appears to be the dove, a very ancient symbol of Venus; but whether the figure placed before the bird be a grain of the bearded wheat so common in Cyprus,

* See Pococke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 213

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