Images de page
PDF
ePub

SCALES OF NOTATION-SCALIGER.

sturgeon and the bony pike (Lepidosteus) have scales extent,' and that both the advantage and disof this nature, but the finest examples of these scales advantage diminish as we raise the scale. The are found in fossil fishes. Ctenoid scales (from kteis, selection of ten' as the ordinary scale is very preva comb) are generally of a rounded or oval form, alent, and was evidently suggested by the number with teeth or projections on their posterior margin. of fingers; but the scales of two, three, four, five, six, They are devoid of enamel, and present an imbricated and twenty have at various times been made use arrangement. The perch and many osseous fishes of by a few nations or tribes. The scale of 12 possess these scales. Cycloid scales (from the Gr. has long been generally employed in business kyklos, a circle) consist of concentric layers of horn among northern European nations, as is instanced or bone, without spinous margins, and not covered by such terms as gross,' signifying 12 times 12, and by enamel. They are soft and flexible, present a double gross, denoting 12 times 12 times 12; and variety of linear markings on their upper surface, it has also been largely introduced into the standard and usually exhibit an imbricated arrangement. measurements of quantity, as inches, pence, ounces The carp, herring, salmon, &c., possess these scales. troy, &c., causing a considerable amount of comIn Juany cases, two kinds of scales occur in the same plexity in calculation, as all abstract numerical fish, while in other cases the different species of a calculation follows the decimal system. To remedy single genus exhibit different kinds of scales. this acknowledged evil, it has been proposed to

For anatomical details regarding the structure and introduce the decimal system in toto, as has been mode of development of scales, the reader is referred done in France, Italy, Russia, &c., or else to do the to Professor Huxley's article .Tegumentary Organs' same with the duodecimal system. Those who · in the Cyclopædia of Anatomy and Physiology, and hold to the first proposal have the argument of conto Professor Williamson's Memoirs in the Philoso- formity in their favour; those who support the phical Transactions, 1849—1852. In their chemical ( latter do so on the ground, that 12 has in proportion composition, the scales of fishes approximate to far more aliquot parts than 10 has, and that on this the bones, except that they contain more organic account the number of fractions, and the size of each. matter. The brilliancy of tint exhibited by many numerator and denominator, would be diminished; fishes is due apparently to the phenomena of optical while both parties can bring overpowering argu. interference, rather than to the presence of colour.ments against the continuance of the present method, ing matter. Figures of Ctenoid and Ganoid Scales or rather want of method. See DECIMAL SYSTEM. are given in the articles CTENOID FISHES and SCALIGER. JULIUS CÆSAR. one of the most GANOID FISHES.

famous men of letters that have appeared since SCALES OF NOTATION are the various their revival, was born in 1484. In after-life, he radices' which determine, as explained under created for himself a noble pedigree, and made out NOTATION (q. v.), the form and digits of the number that he was descended from the princely family of expressing any numerical quantity. Thus, the num. the Scalas of Verona, and that his birthplace was ber 289, in the decimal or common system whose the castle of Riva, on the banks of the Lago di radix is 10, signifies 9 units, 8 tens, and 2 hundreds, Guarda. According to his own account, he was or 2 x 102 + 8 x 10 + 9. To express the same educated first under the famous Fra Giocondo; number in the quinary scale, for instance; we must was afterwards attached as a page to the Emgroup the 289 units into multiples and powers of peror Maximilian, whom he attended for 17 years 5; an operation which may be performed in either in peace and war; was next made a pensioner of two ways, as follows:

of the Duke of Ferrara; thereafter studied at 5)289

Bologna ; commanded a troop of cavalry at Turin

2124 (quinary) 289 5)57-4

under the French viceroy ; prosecuted his studies 10 103. (taking in 8, and

there in 5)11-2-4

11 carrying by 10)

philology, philosophy, and medicine ; 2-1-2-4 10

and in 1525 went to Agen, in France, with the carrying by 5) 2124

bishop of that diocese, a member of the Rovere

family, to whose household he became physician. 289

Tiraboschi's account, however, which is the more or 2124 (i.e., 2 x 53 + 1 x 52 + 2 x 5 + 4) in the probable, represents him as having been born at quinary scale represents the same numerical quan- | Padua, the sou of Benedict Bordoni, who was a geotity as 289 in the decimal scale. The following list grapher and miniature-painter of that city, and who, shews the same numerical quantity according to the either from the sign of his shop or the name of the scales having for their radices the first ll numbers street he lived in, assumed the surname Della Scala. after unity, and will partly indicate the advantages

Up to his 42d year, young Giulio Bordoni resided and disadvantages of each scale :

chiefly in Venice or Padua, engaging in the study

and practice of medicine, and appearing under his In the binary (radix 2) scale, . . 100,100,001

true name as an author. In 1525, he withdrew to 16 ternary

101,201 "I quaternary

10,201 Agen, either from some advantageous offer, or with quinary

2,124 a view to promote his fortune, and there fixed his senary 6) BI

1,201

abode. He became physician to the bishop of the septenary

562 octary

441

diocese, and in that capacity sought in marriage nonary (1 9 ) 10 .

351 Andietta de Roques-Lobejac, a young lady only 16 deciinal

289 years of age, and of noble and rich parentage. An undenary ( 11)

243

obstacle was thrown in the way of this alliance; and duodecimal 11

probably with the purpose of improving his position, It will be observed that the binary scale possesses and lessening the disparity in station between him. only two symbols, 0 and 1, the ternary has 3, while self and the object of his affections, he procured, in the undenary would require a symbol in addition to 1528, letters of naturalisation as a French subject, the 9 digits and zero to express 10, which is a under the name of Jules-César de Lescalle de digit in that scale, and the duodecimal scale two Bordonis. This was probably the occasion when he additional symbols for 10 and 11. A glance at the added Cæsar to his baptismal name of Julius. The above table shews at once that if the binary scale marriage took place in 1529, and was both hanny had been in ordinary use, great facility in the per- and fruitful. He died in 1558, leaving behind him formance of arithmetical operations would have a mass of publications on various subjects, and a been obtained at the cost of largely increasing their reputation for extent and depth of learning, which,

201

SCALIGER-SCALP.

considering the ripe age at which he made the support his father's genealogical fictions in his wellmajority of his acqairements, redounds to the credit known letter to Dousa on the splendour of the of his vigorous understanding and extraordinary Scaliger family. His writings abound with expresmemory. As a thinker, he was more independent sions of hatred and contempt towards his opponents, than sound; and as a man, was of violently irritable and he has enriched the vocabulary of learned temper and excessive vanity. His best known pub- abuse to an extent well nigh proverbial. He was, lications are-Commentarii in Hippocratis Librum however, a man of immense vigour of understandde Insomniis (Commentaries on the Hippocratic ing; and must be credited with having been the Treatise on Dreams); De Causis Linguce Latince first to lay down, in his treatise De Emenilatione Libri XVIII., celebrated as the first considerable Temporun (Paris, 1583), a complete system of work written in the Latin language in modern chronology formed upon fixed principles. It was times, and not without value even yet; his Latin this most learned achievement, and his invention of translation of Aristotle's History of Animals ; his the Julian period, that secured for him the title Exercitationum Exotericarum liber quintus decimus of the Father of Chronological Scienze. It was de Subtilitate ad Hieronym. Cardanum; his seven subjected to much emendatory criticism by censors books of Poetics (also in Latin, and on the whole like Petavius, and also by himself, its errors having his best work); his Commentaries on Aristotle and been partly corrected by him in his later work, the T'heophrastus; his two orations against Erasmus; Thesaurus Temporum, complectens Eusebii Pamphili bis Latin poems, &c.

Chronicon cum Isagogicis Chronologice Canonibus SCALIGER, JOSEPH JUSTUS, the tenth son of (Amst. 1658, 2 vols. fol.). Among the classical J. C. Scaliger and Andietta de Roques-Lobejac, and authors whom he criticised and annotated are Theo mush his father's superior in learning, was born in critus, Seneca (the tragedies), Varro, Ausonius, 1540 at Agen, whence, at the age of 11, he was Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Manilius, and Festus. sent, along with two of his brothers, to the college His other works are De Tribus Sectis Judæorum; of Bordeaux, where for three years he studied Latin. Dissertations on Subjects of Antiquity; Poemata ; A pestilence breaking out in the town, he was Epistolæ ; a translation into Latin of two centuries recalled by his father, who supplemented the scanty' of Arabian proverbs, &c. He numbered among his knowledge which his son brought home with him friends the most illustrious scholars of the time, by making him write a Latin declamation every such as Lipsius, Casaubon, Grotius, Heinsius, the day upon any subject he chose. Under this train. Dupuys, Saumaise, Vossius, Velser, P. Pithon ; and ing, he soon attained great proficiency as a Latinist; interesting notices of him are preserved in such and in his 19th year, on the death of his father, he works as the Huetiana, and above all, in the two went to Paris, where he studied Greek under the vols. of Scaligerana, which embody his conversafamous Turnebus. He was less indebted, however, tions, and which were collected and published after to any master than to himself; and finding that his his death. progress was slow under his great preceptor, he SCALLOP, more commonly ESCALLOP (q. v.), closeted himself alone with Homer, and in 21 days in Heraldry, a species of shell. It has been conread him through, with the aid of a Latin transla- sidered the badge of a pilgrim, and a symbol of tion, and committed him to memory. In less than the apostle St James the Greater, who is usually four months, he had mastered all the Greek poets. represented in the garb of a pilgrim. Next, Hebrew, Syriac, Persian, and the most of the

SCALLOP-SHELL. See PECTEN. modern European languages succumbed in rapid succession to his industry, while at the same time SCALP, THE, is the term employed to designate he was assiduous in his composition of verses both the outer covering of the skull or brain-case. in Latin and Greek. About this time, he boasted Except in the fact, that hair in both sexes grows that he could speak 13 languages, ancient and more luxuriantly on the scalp than elsewhere, the modern; and such was his ardour in study, that he skin of the scalp differs so slightly from ordinary allowed himself only a few hours' sleep at night, and skin that it is unnecessary to enter into any details would frequently pass whole days without rising on this point. But besides the skin, the scalp is from his books even for meals. His proficiency in composed of the expanded tendon of the occipitoliterature, especially in the history, chronology, and frontal muscle, and of intermediate cellular tissue antiquities of Greece and Rome, secured him, in and blood-vessels. Injuries of the scalp, however 1583, an honourable engagement from Louis de la slight, must be watched with great caution, for Roche Pozay, at that time French ambassador at they may be followed by erysipelas, or by inflammathe pontifical court. The year before, however, he tion and suppuration under the occipito-frontal had become a Protestant, which rendered it diffi- muscle, or within the cranium, or by suppuration of cult for him to retain an appointment in France. the veins of the cranial bones, and general pyæmia Except that he travelled a good deal, at the gene that may easily prove fatal.'-Druitt's Surgeon's rous instance of his patron, and visited the chief Vade Mecum, 8th edition, p. 332. In the treatuniversities of France and Germany, and even found mėnt of a wound of this region, no part of the his way to Scotland, we know little of his life scalp, however injured it may be, should be cut between 1565 and 1593. He is conjectured to have or torn away; and, if possible, the use of stitches travelled in Italy, and to have gone as far as Naples. should be avoided, as plasters and bandages will Certain it is, however, that in the year last named generally suffice to keep the separated parts in he complied with an invitation of the Dutch govern apposition. The chance of suppuration may be prement, and went to fill the chair of Literature, vented by coagulating the blood externally, by vacatcd by Lipsius in Leyden University, where he dressing the wound with lint, saturated with Friars' spent the residue of his days. His labour now con- Balsam (Tinctura Benzoin. Comp.), so as to seal up sisted chiefly in interpreting and illustrating the the injured part from the access of air. The patient classical authors. He died of dropsy on the 21st should be confined to the house (and in severe cases January 1609, and was never married. We have to bed), should be moderately purged, and fed upon said that he far excelled his father in learning ; but non-stimulating, but not too low diet. it should be added that he was not a whit less Burns of the scalp are very liable to be followed by irritable, arrogant, or vain ; that he fully shared the erysipelas and diffuse inflammation, but the brain is paternal pride of pedigree, spurious as he probably comparatively seldom affected in these cases. knew his own to be; and that he endeavoured to! Tumours of the scalp are not uncommon, the most SCAMANDER-SCANDERBEG.

frequent being the cutaneous cysts popularly is superseded by the ample remedies of Criminal known as Wens (q. v.), and vascular tumours.

Information (q. v.), indictment, or action. A some. SCAMANDER. the ancient name of a river in what similar offence in Scotland is called Leasingthe Troad (see TROY), which, according to Homer, making (q. V.). was also called Xanthus (Gr. yellow) by the SCANDERBEG (properly, Iskander-beg, 'the gods, and as a divinity took an important part in Prince Alexander,' the name given him by the The Trojan war, its destructive floods doing serious Turks), the famous patriot chief of Epirus, was injury to one party, and thus materially assisting born in that country in 1414. His real name was the other. The S. rose in Mount Ida (q. v.), and, George Castriota, and his father, John Castriota, flowing west and north-west, discharged itself into was one of the great lords of Epirus, his mother, the Hellespont, after being joined by the Simois, Voisava, being a Servian princess. In 1423, he was about two miles from its mouth: the two rivers, given as one of the hostages for the obedience of the however, since the 1st C. A. D., have had separate Albanian chiefs, and his physical beauty and intellicourses. There has been much controversy as to gence so pleased Amurath II., that he was lodged in what modern river corresponds to the ancient the royal palace, and subsequently circumcised and S.; Mr C. Maclaren, however, in his Plains of Troy, brought up in Islamism, being also put under the has clearly identified it with the Mendere.

tuition of skilful masters in the Turkish, Arabic, SCAMI'LLUS, a small plinth below the bases of

Slav, and Italian languages. In 1433, he greatly

| distinguished himself in Asia as a Turkish pasha Ionic, Corinthian, and other columns.

(of one tail); but being offended at the confiscation SCAMMONY is a gum-resin of an ashy-gray of his paternal domains, and being solicited by colour, and rough externally, and having a resinous, some Epirote friends to return to his native country splintering fracture. Few drugs are so uniformly to aid in the restoration of its independence, he adulterated as scammony, which, when pure, con. watched an opportunity of withdrawing from the tains from 81 to 83 per cent. of resin (which is the Turkish army.* *He had not long to wait, for. the active purgative ingredient), 6 or 8 of gum, with a generous and unsuspicious sultan, who had caused little starch, sand, fibre, and water. The ordinary him to be brought up as if he had been his own son, adulterations are chalk, flour, guaiacum, resin, and gave him the command of a large division of the gum tragacanth.

army which was destined to act against the Hun. Scammony, when pure, is an excellent and trust. garian invaders. S., having concerted his plans with worthy cathartic of the drastic kind, well adapted | 300 of his fellow-countrymen in the Turkish army, for cases of habitual constipation, and as an active deserted during the confusion of the first battle purgative for children. The resin of scammony, (1443), and having previously compelled Amurath's which is extracted from the crude drug by rectified secretary (whom he afterwards murdered to avoid spirit, possesses the advantage of being always of a detection) to prepare an order investing him with nearly uniform strength, and of being almost taste- the government of Croia (now Ak-nissar), the less. The Scammon , Mixture, composed of four capital of Epirus, he and his companions fled thither grains of resin of scammony, triturated with two with all possible speed. The unsuspecting governor ounces of milk, until a uniform emulsion is obtained, I at once resigned the town into his hands, and was forms an admirable purgative for young children massacred along with the garrison. At the news in doses of half an ounce or more. According to of S.'s success, the whole country rose in Christison, 'between 7 and 14 grains of resin, in the

rection, and in 30 days he had driven every Turk, form of this emulsion, constitute a safe and effectual

except the garrison of Sfetigrad, out of the country. purgative' for adults. Another popular form for In order to strengthen himself in his new position, the administration of scammony is the Compound he invited a number of the neighbouring princes and Powder of Scammony, composed of scammony, Albanian chiefs to a conference, at which it was jalap, and ginger, the dose for a child being from unanimously agreed to make no terms with the 2 to 5 grains, and for an adult from 6 to 12 grains. Turks, and to obey S. implicitly as their leader. S. Scammony is frequently given surreptitiously in the then raised an army of 15,000 men, with which he form of biscuit to children troubled with thread. completely scattered (1444) the 40,000 Turks whom worms.

the indignant sultan had sent against him, killing The plant which produces this valuable drug is an immense number of them, and taking a few Convolvulus Scammonia (see CONVOLVULUS), a prisoners. Three other Turkish armies shared the native of the Levant. It is a perennial, with a same fate, and the 'animus' with which the contest thick fleshy tapering root, 3–4 feet long, and 3–4| | was carried on may be imagined, when we consider inches in diameter, which sends up several smooth that the number of prisoners taken in the last slender twining sterns, with arrow-head-shaped (1448) of these three battles amounted to seventyleaves on long stalks. The root is full of an acrid two. 'Amurath himself in 1449 took the field, and milky juice, which indeed pervades the whole plant. stormed many of the principal fortresses, but being The scammony plant is not cultivated, but the drug then ill of his fatal malady, he retired from before is collected from it where it grows wild. The ordi- | Croia, to die at Adrianople (1450). S.'s splendid nary mode of collecting scammony is by laying bare successes brought in congratulations from the pope the upper part of the root, making incisions, and and the sovereigns of Italy and Aragon, but many placing shells or small vessels to receive the juice as of the Epirote chiefs were becoming wearied of the it flows, which soon dries and hardens in the air. continual strife, and fell off from him, some of them

The name French or Monpelier Scammony is given even joining the Turks. S.'s career was ruw, in to a substance which is prepared in the south of

consequence, of a more chequered character, but in France, chiefly from the juice of Cynanchum Mons spite of occasional defeats, he stoutly refused all the peliacum, a plant of the natural order Asclepiacere. liberal and fair proposals of the sultan, Mohammed It is a violent purgative.

II., who had a profound admiration for him, and SCA'NDALUM MAGNATUM. This offence sheltered by the mountainous nature of the country, was committed in speaking words in derogation of a carried on an unceasing warfare. At last an armed peer, judge, or great officer of the realm, and a convention was agreed to in 1461, and S. profited by special action was brought for such words, the this leisure to pay off his debt to the pope and the punishment being damages and imprisonment. But king of Aragon (both of whom had supplied him now this proceeding, though not expressly abolished, with material assistance during his greatest need) SCANDINAVIA-SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE.

and crossing over to Italy, he routed the partisans either as the Dönsk túnga, Danish tongue,' or of Anjou, and restored the kingdom of Naples to the as the Norræna, •Norse.' We never hear of the latter of his benefactors, returning home laden with Swedish' or 'Gothic tongue,' and although different honours and benedictions. At the instigation of the dialects no doubt existed, from a very early period, pope, who bad tried in vain to raise the other ainong the Scandinavian people, it is certain that Christian princes of Europe against the Turks, S. substantially the same language was spoken by the broke the armed truce in 1464, and repeatedly Northmen generally till the ilth century. Accord. defeated the Turks; but Mohammed becoming ing to recent inquirers, the race of the Northmen, furious at these unprovoked aggressions, equipped before their settlement in Sweden and Norway, two mighty armies, the first of which invested was divided into an eastern and western branch, the Croia, and the second, under his own leadership, former of which is supposed to have used the old advanced more leisurely. The first army was, after language of Norway and Iceland, and the latter the a desperate contest, defeated by S. in 1466; but the Swedish and Danish dialects. These two divisions restless and indomitable chief, worn out with the of the race had entered Scandinavia by different incessant toil of 24 years, died at Alessio, 17th routes, the eastern having passed along the Gulf of January 1467. The war continued to rage some Bothnia, through the country of the Finns and time longer, but the great mainstay of the country Lapps, while the western branch had crossed from was now wanting, and before the end of 1468, the Russia to the Aland Islands, and spread from Turkish standard floated undisturbed over Epirus. thence southward and westward ; and it seems Barlesio, a fellow-countryman of S., who has written natural to infer that in their respective lines of his biography (De Vita et Moribus ac rebus gestis migration they may have incorporated into their Geo. Custrioti, Rome, 1537), remarks his sobriety, own speech some of the special characteristics the purity of his manners, and the strictness of his that belonged to the language of the peoples with religious belief. He had vanquished the Turks in whom they came in contact. But the differences 22 pitched battles.

thus introduced could not have been important, for SCANDINAVIA, a large peninsula in the north

we find the same language employed in the several of Europe, bounded on the N. by the Arctic Ocean ; |

most ancient laws of the different people of Scanon the w. by the Atlantic, North Sea, Skager Rack,

dinavia, while the two Eddas (q. v.)—the oldest Cattegat, and Sound; and on the S. and E. by the

monuments of Scandinavian speech-which were Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia and Finland, with which

compiled in Iceland, whither the Northmen had

carried their language on their settlement in the it is connected on the north-east by an isthmus 325 miles wide. This peninsula comprises the two

island in the 9th c., give evidence of an almost kingdoms, Norway iq. v.) and Sweden (q. v.); is

complete identity of local and personal names.

This unity of language is further proved by the 1240 miles long, from 230 to 460 miles broad, area 300,000 sq. miles. The ridge of mountains which

ñ agreement which is found to exist in all runic traverses the peninsula in the direction of its length

inscriptions, from Slesvig to the northern parts of gives character to the whole conformation. The

Sweden, and from Zealand to the western shores western division of the Scandinavian peninsula is |

of Iceland. All monuments of this old Northern

tongue would, however, have been lost to us, had covered with mountains ; the eastern half, Sweden,

not the Norræna or Norwegian form of it been care. consists principally of low-lying country. The

fully preserved and cultivated in Iceland through mountains of S. extend from Waranger Fiord, in the

the short songs (hljod or quida) relating to the extreme north-east, to the promontory of the Naze, in the extreme south-west, with an average breadth

i deeds of the gods and heroes of the north, which of 180 miles. They consist principally of gneiss

had existed as early probably as the 7th C., and and micaceous schist, sometimes, but rarely, of

had passed with the religion and usages of Norway

to the new colony. After the introduction of Chrisporphyry, syenite, granite, and chalk ; salt is not

tianity into Iceland in the year 1000, schools were found ; silver, copper, and iron abound. The Scandinavian Mountains, though forming in reality

founded there, classic literature was cultivated, and one great range, are considered as forming four

Roman characters were adopted for the writing of sections--the Lapland Mountains, in the north,

the national tongue, but this did not interfere with from 1000 to 2060 feet high; the Kjolen Mountains,

the zeal with which the national laws and poems from 1500 to 2575 feet high; the Dovre Fjelde, from

were collected and studied by native scholars. This 2500 to 3600 feet high; and lastly, the Southern

on literary activity continued unabated till the 13th Fjelde, 4000 to 5150 feet high. Though of incon-19

C., when the republic of Iceland, after having long siderable height, yet the numerous glaciers and

been distracted by the dissensions of the rival aristosnow-fields of the mountains of S. impart to this

cratic families of the island, was conquered by Hakon range almost an Alpine character. The climate of

VI., king of Norway. Since 1380, Iceland has S. is much milder on the west than on the east side,

formed part of the Danish dominions, and although a fact to be ascribed probably to the influence of

since that period the colonists have partly sucthe Gulf Stream. The character of the country, its

cumbed to the cramping influences of the suborphysical features, industries, &c., are given under the

dinate and dependent conditions in which they articles NORWAY and SWEDEN.

have been placed; the distance from the motherThe ancient Scandia, or S., included Northern

country, and the tenacity with which the people Denmark, as well as the peninsula that still retains

cling to all memorials of their former history, have the name. It is first mentioned by Pliny, who,

enabled them to preserve their language so ununaware that the peninsula was attached to Finland |

changed, that the Icelander of the present day can on the north, considered S. as an island.

read the sagas of a thousand years since, and still

writes in the same phraseology that his forefathers SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGE AND used ages ago. But while the old Scandinavian LITERATURE. The language which was spoken tongue was thus preserved in the far distant colony, during the heathen ages in all the northern or it had undergone great changes in Norway; and Scandinavian lands, and which, in accordance with when, by the union of Calmar in 1380, the latter traditionary belief, had been introduced by Odin and country was united to Denmark, the Danish form his companions, when the Gothic tribes supplanted of speech, that had in the meanwhile been changing the more ancient races of the Finns and Lapps, under the modifying influences due to the introduce is always referred to by the oldest authorities tion of Latin and to contact with other nations, SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE.

supplanted the Norwegian language, which thence- which the latter has reached us. In the 9th and 10th forth being banished from the pulpit, the law courts, centuries the ancient epic and the simple songs of and from literature, split up into numerous dialects the older poets gave place to the artificial poetry of peculiar to special valleys and fijords, but unknown the skalds, which, from its earliest development, in the larger towns.

manifested' a realistic tendency, and made the real When we come to examine the Icelandic or ancient adventures of living men the subject of their composiScandinavian, which is closely allied to its sister tions. Many of these compositions, as the Eiriksmai, Teutonic languages, and like them betrays its eastern or the Death and Apotheosis of King Eric Blood origin, we find that it differs from the latter in several axe, who died in 952; the Hakonar-mal, or Fall of important points. It has this striking peculiarity, Hakon the Good; and several poems by the famous that the definite article, instead of coming before Icelandic skald 'Egill Skalagrimson, while they the noun, is appended as a termination to the end afford valuable materials for the early history of the of the word. The adjective, moreover, which in north, are among the latest of the skaldic producits indefinite form is subject to inflections, for all tions that preceded the more degenerate periods of genders and cases, undergoes, when in its definite the art. To the 11th and 12th centuries belong the

in the German tongues the verb in the infinitive were composed in imitation of the ancient composi. ends in a consonant, in the old Scandinavian tions, and consist of moral and didactic maxims, the it invariably terminates in a vowel. The old former conceived from an assumed heathen, and Scandinavian language has a passive form of the the latter from a Christian point of view. In the verb unknown to its Gothic sister tongues; and 13th c., the skaldic art thoroughly declined, and while in German the third person of the present gave place, in Iceland, to a puerile literature, based tense differs from the second person, such is not the upon Biblical stories and saints' legends. In case in Old Northern. In the latter, the vowel Scandinavia Proper, a more modern form of national sounds are greatly modified by a very perfect sys. literature was in the meanwhile being gradually tem of combinations, indicated by dots or accents ; developed by means of oral transmission, whence and in addition to the consonants of the Gothic arose the folk-lore and popular songs of Norway languages, it has an aspirated d and to It possesses, and Sweden, and the noble Danish ballads known moreover, a flexibility and richness of construction, as the Kæmpe viser, whose composition in the Old which admit of favourable comparison with those Northern or Icelandic tongue may probably be of the ancient classical languages, while in regard referred to the 14th century. The earliest Icelandio to the number and comprehensiveness of its words, prose belongs to the beginning of the 12th c., when and its consequent independence of foreign deri: Ari 'hinns Frode,' or the Wise, composed a history vates, it presents a character of regularity and unity of his native island and its population in the which is wanting to the other Germanic languages. Islendinga-bok and Landnåma-bok, the latter of Its mode of construction is simple in prose, and in which was continued by others. He was the first the earlier forms of poetry, although in the later northern writer who attempted to assign fixed periods of the Skalds (q. v.) it degenerated into a dates to events by reference to a definite chronology, state of artificial complexity. The chief feature of and his work is remarkable as the earliest historical the metrical system employed in Old Northern composition written in the old Danish or Norse, as poetry was alliteration (q. v.). The alliterative it still remains in the living language of Iceland. method was continued after the introduction of ter. These works, which have since perished, entered minal rhyme, but the simplicity of the ancient lay largely into the composition of the annals of the gave way in the 10th c. to the most artificial com- early kings of Norway, compiled a century later by plexity of versification in the metres invented by the Snorri Sturlesson under the title of the Heimsskalds. Besides these skaldic measures, of which 106 kringla. Throughout the middle ages the literature are enumerated in the Hattalykli, or Key of Metres, of Iceland was enriched with numerous national and drawn up in the 13th c. by the Icelander, Snorri other sagas, the materials of which were drawn Sturlesson (q. v.), the skalds were required to know from skaldic songs, folk-lore, local traditions and the Kenningar, or poetic synonyms, of which there family histories ; and in its later stages of developwere an enormous number; some words, as Odin, ment included among its subjects the mythic cycle

ture of the system was that nothing must be called Charlemagne, &c. The compilation of the laws of by its right name: thus a ship was a beast of the the island attracted the attention of the Icelanders sea, a serpent of the waters, a dragon of the ocean, at an early period ; and in 1118 a complete coile, &c. ; a woman was a graceful tree, a fair pearl, &c.; known as the Gragas, which had been derived froni a wife was her husband's Rune (q.v.), or his con- the ancient Norse law, was submitted to the Allfidential and intimate friend, &c.

thing or popular assembly, and a few years later The fragments of Old Northern poetry that have the canons of the church, or the Kristinrettr, were come down to us in the Eddas, belong for the most settled and reduced to writing. A collection of part to the 8th c., or even perhaps to the 7th c.; and those enactments in the ancient and subsequent

either mystic, didactic, mythic, or mytho-historic in made by Stephensen and Sigurdsson (Copen. 1853), their character. See EDDA. It is supposed that under the title of Lagasafn handa Islandi; while some of these compositions, and several of the the ancient Norse laws, beginning with the Gulapoems which celebrate the adventures of the gods, things-lôg and the Hirdskra of Hakon the Good, giants, and elves, were composed prior to the immi- which date from the 10th c., have been ably and gration into Scandinavia of Odin and his followers; critically edited in Norway under the title of Norges while, on the other hand, the local colouring of gamle Love (Christ. 1846--1849). The study of others sufficiently proves their northern origin. In the Old Northern language and literature, which was addition to the subjects belonging to the Odinic successfully inaugurated by the native scholars of mythology, we have in the mytho-historic lays, Iceland in the 17th c., was soon prosecuted with known as the songs of the famous Smith Völundr, equally happy results in Denmark and Sweden, and or the Völundar-quida, a cyclus of heroic poems within the last 25 years in Norway, where the similar to the Old German epic the Nibelungenlied, subject forms a necessary introduction to the (q.v.); but Luuch more ancient in form than that in investigation of the language and history of the

« PrécédentContinuer »