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HESIOD, the Grecian poet, if not the most ancient of all writeërs whofe works are preferve'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 àera;
* It may be infer'd, perhap, from the Theogony of Hefiod, that he was wel acquainted with the writeings of Homer; fince he mentions the names of Peleus, Thetis, Anchifes, Aeneas, Circe, Ulysses, and Calypfo; imaginary deitys or heros, which, in all probability, made their first appearance in the Iliad or Odysfey. According to Aulus Gellius, "writeërs are not agree'd concerning the agees of Homer and Hefiod. Some affirm, that Homer was more ancient than Hefiod, among whom are Philochorus and Xeno
and fays, concerning the origin of man, a subject not touch'd upon by Homer,
"Soon as the deathlefs gods were born, and man, A mortal race, with voice endow'd, began
The heavenly powers from high their work behold,
Ocellus Lucanus, a Greek philofopher, nearly of the time of, if not contemporary with, Pythagoras, and, peradventure, his pupil, or of that school,† wrote a treatise, ftil 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 fame period, which appears from an epigram infcribe'd on a tripod, which is fay'd to have been depofited by Hefiod on mount Helicon. Accius, in the first of his Didascalicks, ufees fome trite arguments to prove that Hefiod was the older. (c Homer," fays he, "whileft in the begining of his poem he asferts that Achilles was the son 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," allfo, 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 declare'd in the verfees of Hefiod." (B. 3, C. 11.)
*Works and days, B. 1. The Theogony, 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 univerfe, and every thing therein contain'd, are eternal and imperishable.* "Nor, in truth," fays he, "is the begining of the human fpecies, nor, in like manner, that of other animals, but the attributes and' dispofition of the world, as it allways exifts, fo, likewife, is it necessary that those things which are contain'd and digefted therein fhould allways exift, inasmuch as the world, in the first place, allways remains; for which reafon its parts are to be place'd along with it; its.. parts, i fay, heaven, earth, and those things. which are place'd therein; for not without them, but with them, and out of them, is the world compose'd: but, as the parts exift at the fame time, they are place'd along with them, as with heaven, the fun, moon and stars, as wel infix'd in certain placeës as wandering; with the earth, animals, roots, and plants, gold and filver; with the fublime and aërial region, the airs and winds; moreover, allfo, the change into warmer or
colder power confifts: for, that is the property of heaven itsfelf, that it may have those things within itsfelf which its compafs embraceës: of
* ПIɛpt Tys To Tarròs quoews, five, De univerfi natura, in Gales Opuscula mythologica, &c. Canı. 1671.
the earth, that it fustain the plants, which grow out of it, and the animals, which take from it their food. The fublime 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 fome fupereminent fpecies of animals, for inftance, in heaven the gods, upon the earth men, below daemons, it is necesfary that the human race fhould be perpetual."* Pythagoras himself, as wel as Archytas of Tarentum, is say'd to have held the fame opinion.†
"The Aegyptians," according to Herodotus, "who live'd before the reign of Pfammetichus, thought themselves the most ancient people of all the world: til they were confuteed by a ftratagem of that monarch; which, being perfectly fabulous and abfurd, is unnecessary to be defcribe'd. For my own part, ads he, i am not of opinion that the Aegyptians are precifely coaetaneous with the country which the Ionians call Delta; but that they allways were, fince men, have been." In another pasfage he mentions afpace of feventeen thousand years before the reign of Amafis ;" and has, elsewhere, a calcu
* Ibi, B. 3... ↑ Ibi, P. 3.