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ANF02. Fathers of the Second Century: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, and Clement of Alexandria (Entire)
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Chapter XVI.—That the Inventors of Other Arts Were Mostly Barbarians.

And barbarians were inventors not only of philosophy, but almost of every art. The Egyptians were the first to introduce astrology among men. Similarly also the Chaldeans. The Egyptians first showed how to burn lamps, and divided the year into twelve months, prohibited intercourse with women in the temples, and enacted that no one should enter the temples19761976    [Elucidation XI. infra; also p. 428, infra.] from a woman without bathing. Again, they were the inventors of geometry. There are some who say that the Carians invented prognostication by the stars. The Phrygians were the first who attended to the flight of birds. And the Tuscans, neighbours of Italy, were adepts at the art of the Haruspex. The Isaurians and the Arabians invented augury, as the Telmesians divination by dreams. The Etruscans invented the trumpet, and the Phrygians the flute. For Olympus and Marsyas were Phrygians. And Cadmus, the inventor of letters among the Greeks, as Euphorus says, was a Phœnician; whence also Herodotus writes that they were called Phœnician letters. And they say that the Phœnicians and the Syrians first invented letters; and that Apis, an aboriginal inhabitant of Egypt, invented the healing art before Io came into Egypt. But afterwards they say that Asclepius improved the art. Atlas the Libyan was the first who built a ship and navigated the sea. Kelmis and Damnaneus, Idæan Dactyli, first discovered iron in Cyprus. Another Idæan discovered the tempering of brass; according to Hesiod, a Scythian. The Thracians first invented what is called a scimitar (ἅρπη),—it is a curved sword,—and were the first to use shields on horseback. Similarly also the Illyrians invented the shield (πέλτη). Besides, they say that the Tuscans invented the art of moulding clay; and that Itanus (he was a Samnite) first fashioned the oblong shield (θυρέος). Cadmus the Phœnician invented stonecutting, and discovered the gold mines on the Pangæan mountain. Further, another nation, the Cappadocians, first invented the instrument called the nabla,19771977    νάβλα and ναυλα, Lat. nablium; doubtless the Hebrew נִבֶל
   (psaltery, A. V.), described by Josephus as a lyre or harp of twelve strings (in Ps. xxxiii. it is said ten), and played with the fingers. Jerome says it was triangular in shape.
and the Assyrians in the same way the dichord. The Carthaginians were the first that constructed a trireme; and it was built by Bosporus, an aboriginal.19781978    ἀυτὀχθων, Eusebius. The text has αὐτοσχέδιον, off-hand. Medea, the daughter of Æetas, a Colchian, first invented the dyeing of hair. Besides, the Noropes (they are a Pæonian race, and are now called the Norici) worked copper, and were the first that purified iron. Amycus the king of the Bebryci was the first inventor of boxing-gloves.19791979    Literally, fist-straps, the cæstus of the boxers. In music, Olympus the Mysian practiced the Lydian harmony; and the people called Troglodytes invented the sambuca,19801980    σαμβύκη, a triangular lyre with four strings. a musical instrument. It is said that the crooked pipe was invented by Satyrus the Phrygian; likewise also diatonic harmony by Hyagnis, a Phrygian too; and notes by Olympus, a Phrygian; as also the Phrygian harmony, and the half-Phrygian and the half-Lydian, by Marsyas, who belonged to the same region as those mentioned above. And the Doric was invented by Thamyris the Thracian. We have heard that the Persians were the first who fashioned the chariot, and bed, and footstool; and the Sidonians the first to construct a trireme. The Sicilians, close to Italy, were the first inventors of the phorminx, which is not much inferior to the lyre. And they invented castanets. In the time of Semiramis queen of the Assyrians,19811981    “King of the Egyptians” in the mss. of Clement. The correction is made from Eusebius, who extracts the passage. they relate that linen garments were invented. And Hellanicus says that Atossa queen of the Persians was the first who composed a letter. These things are reported by Scamo of Mitylene, Theophrastus of Ephesus, Cydippus of Mantinea, also Antiphanes, Aristodemus, and Aristotle; and besides these, Philostephanus, and also Strato the Peripatetic, in his books Concerning Inventions. I have added a few details from them, in order to confirm the inventive and practically useful genius of the barbarians, by whom the Greeks profited in their studies. And if any one objects to the barbarous language, Anacharsis says, “All the Greeks speak Scythian to me.” It was he who was held in admiration by the Greeks, who said, “My covering is a cloak; my supper, milk and cheese.” You see that the barbarian philosophy professes deeds, not words. The apostle thus speaks: “So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue a word easy to be understood, how shall ye know what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kind of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.” And, “Let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.”19821982    1 Cor. xiv. 9, 10, 11, 13.

Nay more, it was late before the teaching and writing of discourses reached Greece. Alcmæon, the son of Perithus, of Crotona, first composed a treatise on nature. And it is related that Anaxagoras of Clazomenæ, the son of Hegesibulus, first published a book in writing. The first to adapt music to poetical compositions was Terpander of Antissa; and he set the laws of the Lacedæmonians to music. Lasus of Hermione invented the dithyramb; Stesichorus of Himera, the hymn; Alcman the Spartan, the choral song; Anacreon of Teos, love songs; Pindar the Theban, the dance accompanied with song. Timotheus of Miletus was the first to execute those musical compositions called νόμοι on the lyre, with dancing. Moreover, the iambus was invented by Archilochus of Paros, and the choliambus by Hipponax of Ephesus. Tragedy owed its origin to Thespis the Athenian, and comedy to Susarion of Icaria. Their dates are handed down by the grammarians. But it were tedious to specify them accurately: presently, however, Dionysus, on whose account the Dionysian spectacles are celebrated, will be shown to be later than Moses. They say that Antiphon of Rhamnusium, the son of Sophilus, first invented scholastic discourses and rhetorical figures, and was the first who pled causes for a fee, and wrote a forensic speech for delivery,19831983    By one or other of the parties in the case, it being a practice of advocates in ancient times to compose speeches which the litigants delivered. as Diodorus says. And Apollodorus of Cuma first assumed the name of critic, and was called a grammarian. Some say it was Eratosthenes of Cyrene who was first so called, since he published two books which he entitled Grammatica.The first who was called a grammarian, as we now use the term, was Praxiphanes, the son of Disnysophenes of Mitylene. Zeleucus the Locrian was reported to have been the first to have framed laws (in writing). Others say that it was Menos the son of Zeus, in the time of Lynceus. He comes after Danaus, in the eleventh generation from Inachus and Moses; as we shall show a little further on. And Lycurgus, who lived many years after the taking of Troy, legislated for the Lacedæmonians a hundred and fifty years before the Olympiads. We have spoken before of the age of Solon. Draco (he was a legislator too) is discovered to have lived about the three hundred and ninth Olympiad. Antilochus, again, who wrote of the learned men from the age of Pythagoras to the death of Epicurus, which took place in the tenth day of the month Gamelion, makes up altogether three hundred and twelve years. Moreover, some say that Phanothea, the wife of Icarius, invented the heroic hexameter; others Themis, one of the Titanides. Didymus, however, in his work On the Pythagorean Philosophy, relates that Theano of Crotona was the first woman who cultivated philosophy and composed poems. The Hellenic philosophy then, according to some, apprehended the truth accidentally, dimly, partially; as others will have it, was set a-going by the devil. Several suppose that certain powers, descending from heaven, inspired the whole of philosophy. But if the Hellenic philosophy comprehends not the whole extent of the truth, and besides is destitute of strength to perform the commandments of the Lord, yet it prepares the way for the truly royal teaching; training in some way or other, and moulding the character, and fitting him who believes in Providence for the reception of the truth.19841984    [Elucidation XII., infra.]


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