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Hesiod, the Grecian poet, if not the most ancient of all writeërs whose worksare preserve'd, is, unquestionablely, the next to Homer, whom, however, he is generally thought to have precedeëd.* He flourish'd about 945 years before the commencement of the christian aera ;
* It may be infer'd, perhap, from the Theogony of Hefiod, that he was wel acquainted with the writeings of Homer; since he mentions the names of Peleus, Thetis, An. chises, Aeneas, Circe, Ulysses, and Calypso; imaginary deitys or heros, which, in all probability, made their first appearance in the Iliad or Odyssey. According to Aulus Gellius," writeërs are not agree'd concerning the ageës of Homer and Hefiod. Some affirm, that Homer was more an. cient than Hefiod, among whom are Philochorus and Xena
and says, concerning the origin of man, a subject not touch'd upon by Homer,
“ Soon as the deathless gods were born, and man, A mortal race, with voice endow'd, began The heavenly powers from high their work behold, And the first age they stile an age of gold."* Ocellus Lucanus, a Greek philosopher, nearly of the time of, if not contemporary with, Pythagoras, and, peradventure, his pupil, or of that school,t wrote a treatife, itil extant; and frequently
phanes ; others think him younger, as L. Accius, the poet, and Ephorus, the historian : but Marcus Varro, in his firft book de imaginibus, fays, “ It is by no means evident which was the more ancient; but there can be no doubt but that they live'd partly in the same period, which appears from an epigram infcribe'd on a tripodwhich is fay'd to have been depofited by Hesiod on mount Helicon. Accius, in the first of his Didascalicks, useës some trite arguments to prove that Hefiod was the older. Homer," says he, “ whileft in the begining of his poem he asserts that Aebilles was the fon of Peleus, has not aded who Peleus was, which he doubtless would have done, if it had not appear'd to have been allready mention'd by Hefiod: of the Cyclops," allso, he ads, " and particularly that he had but one eye, he would not have pass’d over so remarkable a thing, if it had not been allready declared in the verseës of Hefiod." (B. 3, C. 11.)
* Works and days, B. 1. The Tbeogony, or generation of the gods, is a different poem.
+ At any rate he is mention'd by Plato and Diogenes Laërtius.
printed, to prove that the universe, and every thing therein contain'd, are eternal and imperishable. * “ Nor, in: truth,” says he, ".is the begining of the human species, nor, in like manner, that of other animals, but the attributes and dispofition of the world, as it allways exists, fo, likewise, is it necessary that those things which are contain'd and digested therein should allways exist, inasmuch as the world, in the first place, all ways remains ; for which reason its parts are to be placed along with it; its parts, i say, heaven, earth, and those things which are placed therein; for not without them, but with them, and out of them, is the world compose'd : but, as the parts exist at the fame time, they are place'd along with them, as with heaven, the sun, moon and stars, as wel infix'd in certain placeës as wandering ; with the earth, animals, roots, and plants, gold and silver ; with the sublime and aërial region, the airs and winds; moreover, allso, the change into warmer or colder power consists : for, that is the property of heaven itsself, that it may have those things within itsfelf which its compass embraceës : of
IIepi tñs tê TAYTOS Qurews, five, De univerfi natura, in Gales. Opuscula mytbologica, &c. Can. 1671.
the earth, that it may sustain the plants, which grow out of it, and the animals, which take from it their food. The sublime and aërial part challengeës this for itsself, that those things which can be made therein may be made accordingly. Since, therefor, in every part of the world is place'd some fupereminent species of animals, for instance, in heaven the gods, upon the earth men, below daemons, it is necessary that the human race should be perpetual.”* Pythagoras himself, as wel as Archytas of Tarentum, is say'd to have held the same opinion.f
“ The Aegyptians,” according to Herodotus, 6 who live'd before the reign of Pfammetichus, thought themselves the most ancient people of all the world : til they were confuteëd by a stratagem of that monarch; which, being perfe&tly fabulous and absurd, is unnecessary to be describe'd. For my own part, ads he, i am not of opinion that the Aegyptians are precisely coaetaneous with the country which the lonians call Delta ; but that they allways were, since men, have been.”! In another passage he mentions a space of “ seventeen thousand years before the reign of Amasis ;' and has, elsewhere, a calcu
* Ibi, B. 3..
+ Ibi, P. 3.