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him; but she calms and comforts him by telling him that his inability to embrace her arose from the absence of flesh and bones, and that it was a real yfrvx>j, and not at all (ovti) an etSwXov, which was before him. And yet Dr. Voelcker, echoed by Nitzsch and Niigelsbach, pronounce eiSa>\ov and V^X7? synonymous! The very thing which Homer tells us, if substituted for a yfri^ij would have been a sham, a trick, and a delusion, Dr. Voelcker triumphantly affirms, "conducts us to the right explanation ;" a sort of " explanation" which, if applied to the only other instance in which a-jra<pl<TKw is used by Homer,1 would lead us to the extraordinary conclusion that a disguised adulterer is a "synonyme" for a true husband; since Homer there expresses the relation between these two characters by the same word, which here denotes that of an eihoiXov to a yfrvx^- And yet Dr. V. is so well pleased with this "explanation," that he is disposed to appropriate the whole merit of the discovery to himself: "ei'SwXw," he says, — "a word which, with reference to this point, has hitherto been entirely neglected, and yet makes everything clear."
E'ihokov, then, was used simply in the way of comparison, to denote the physically unsubstantial nature of the yp-v^al. And so of the other similes, I)vt oveipos, aKid, rjvre Kottvo^, CKirj eiKeXos, by which the poet simply presents the departed soul a* destitute of material substance and physical force, but which these writers produce as evidence that they were "destitute of mental faculties" as they do also the epithets aKrjpuii, ufievrjva Kaprjva, d^paSee? vacpoi, which Dr. V. cites as proof of "the airy nature of these beings," but which Homer plainly uses as negations of physical qualities, indicating that the dead were destitute of bodily Kilp, fikvos, and eppeves (these terms being used of the living man, both in a physical and mental sense). They are so interpreted by Eustathius.2 To understand them as these writers have done, is a plain violation of the simplest laws of tropical lan
1 In the coll. form iiraipdu, Oil. 23, 216 coll. 217. Crusius dufiuc3 llins: iiroQiitkni, Utrujen, liinsclien, liinterythcn. a On Od. 11. 212, 13.
guage, by which Shakspeare must stand convicted of asserting that the human soul was nothing but air, since he makes Marcellus pronounce the ghost of Hamlet
"as the air invulnerable."
By such criticism, metaphors become strict definitions. In the sacred writers, " a shadow," " a flower," " a vain show," instead of being illustrations of the transitoriness of our earthly life in certain aspects, must be regarded as si)nonymes, "right explanations," "making everything clear," as to the nature and substance of man; and Isaiah and Peter may be cited as "confirmation strong," that the sole com. ponent and material of humanity is "grass."
The distinction between Teiresias and the other dead (which they also cite as an argument), certainly presents a graver difficulty. Kirke sends Odysseus and his companions to Hades,
*VX!7 XP1?<ro/a«'<n's ®rjf3aCov Tctpecnao,
Strabo, Lucian (cited by Dr. Samuel Clarke), and Eustathius2 considered the peculiarity of Teiresias to consist in the gift of prophecy. But this docs not seem fully to satisfy the language of the poet. The expression typeves ejvueSoi would seem to denote the retention of some physical vitality and substance; for cppeves, at once a bodily organ and mental faculties, is nowhere else predicated of the dead. But voov ireirvvo-^at forbids this restriction. Interpreted by itself, the passage would certainly convey the idea that Teiresias alone reretained his intelligence in the other world. But when we find the other souls talking quite as coherently, and some of them quite as wisely as Teiresias, we perceive that the poet must have meant something else than mere intelligence, or else that he here inadvertently used words the strict and separate construction of which would make this
passage a solitary exception to his general system. We do not think it necessary to resort to the easy remedy of supposing an interpolation or corruption, though it is far from improbable. This is one of the passages which Plato says he could have wished to blot from the Homeric poetry,1 a plain proof that he considered it not in the spirit of that poetry.
"The usage handed down in the language of explaining eiScoXop by ve<f>e\w would, of itself, be sufficient to attest that these forms were composed of air, even if expressions in Homer himself did not sufficiently demonstrate the point." Dr. Voelcker is put to a desperate shift for an argument. Homer compares a disembodied soul to an eftxokov. \ov was, some centuries after, " explained by vedxXrj" in the , Helen of Euripides and the Pythia of Pindar. This, Dr. V. denominates "a usage" "a usage handed down in the language ;" and he says it would, of itself be sufficient to attest that these forms" (i. e. the Homeric souls.) "were composed of air, even if expressions in Homer did not sufficiently demonstrate the point!" Whither would such criticism lead us? Not only are Homer's own similes to be received as synonymes, but the gravest theories about him are to be "attested" by the metaphors of poets who lived five hundred years after him ?3 With much better color of reason might Dr. Voelcker have cited the ridiculous phiJosophemes which Antisthenes and Chrysippus spun out of his necrology.
"When Achilles desired to embrace the form of Patroclus, which had appeared to him out of the lower world, it sunk into the earth like smoke." Thus Dr. Voelcker has translated
Kara \9 ovb t r/vrt Kairvbs
'Rop 111. beg.
2 And observe how Dr. V. annotates on his own text: "In these passages of Euripidi's indeed, ttSatKov no longer denotes an airy image; but that it can neverthrlegs be called yt(pt\-n shews of what kind we are to suppose the Uomeric cidola to he. since the expression v«pt\ri was justified by the usage of the language!" p. 49 (E. T.) note. Thus his note demolishes " the airy fabric " of his own " vision" and " leaves not a rack behind."
"a further confirmation" he thinks, of "the airy nature of these beings." Was then the soul of man, according to Homer, " composed of" air, cloud, or smoke? For in the theory of Dr. Voclcker, "each seems either." But let us try this construction of a simile elsewhere. Homer has used surprisingly similar language in describing and illustrating the movements of divine persons. Thetis, coming to the interview with her son,
— aviSv 7roXi^s akbs, r/vr 6 /a t ^ X 57.'
Must we conclude, then, that she was an "airy being," "composed of" "fog," a "mere phantom," a "deceptive appearance," "destitute of mental faculties?" Athene
— o p v i s ws avonaia 8 i km ar o. 2
Does this indicate what she was " composed of?" Or was the expression in each case, whether used of a god or a human soid, a mere similitvdo ex levitate et celeritate? By Dr. Voelcker's critical process, Aias must at once, have been "composed of" mason-work and brute matter and nature; for Homer has, on different occasions, likened him to a tower, a lion, and an ass.
"Among the expressions in the Iliad and Odyssey," says Dr. Voelcker, " for the animating and spiritual principle in man, the most important, are frrop, arij^os, /cpaSw/and <ppeve<i. They denote different localities of the vital powers in the body; and as in all languages, for reasons easy to be understood, usage mostly unites the animating and the spiritual in the same expression, they comprehend the mental part in their signification; but being organs of the body which are annihilated with it, they cannot pass into Hades."
It can hardly be that Dr. Voelcker intended this as an argument for his materialistic theory of Homer. ^Hrop, KpaSli], and (f>peve<; undoubtedly signify (like the reins in Hebrew, the brain in English, and the heart in all languages) at once bodily organs and mental or spiritual faculties. "They can
II. 1. 359.
* Od. 1. 320.
not pass into Hades." Of course not. This impossibility is common to Homer with all writers and all languages. The laws of speech and of thought would not allow it to be said of a dead man that his breast, reins, heart, or brain had departed to the invisible world. These terms represent spiritual faculties in the case of the living man, but not of the dead; because the very ground of the metaphor lies in the intimate connection supposed to exist between certain mental faculties and bodily organs, and is lost when that connection ceases in death.
But why does Dr. V. pronounce these " the most important expressions for the animating and spiritual principle in man?" Probably they enjoy this distinction in his scale, because they are borrowed from the body, and their spiritual sense is supposed to be only secondary; thus deriving from his classification a little aid to his theory of the materialistic and mortal nature of the soul. Few readers of Homer will agree with Dr. V., that these dfuptftoXa are "the most important "m Homeric terms for the mind and its operations. STtfios, in Homer, never signifies "the animating and spiritual principle" at all. It is simply a bodily seat or locality of the mind or feelings, nothing more. 6>t//ios, fyrop, voot evl <nr'fise<r<Ti are of constant occurrence, but never trrtf^ot as itself an "expression for the animating aud spiritual principle.1
The remaining terms on which the Homeric psychology turns cardinally are ^17x09, voot, and pivot. As these writers have decreed the extinction of the ^17x0?, they can afford to exalt it at the expense of the •ty'vyf). Niigelsbach (as we have seen) makes it " the spiritual soul," " correlate to the animal soul, i/rux'/-" ^ ne 's r'ght, it is the spiritual soul which prompts a man to drink (irieiv ore &v/to? avor/01? It is I he spiritual soul which finds satisfaction in a hearty dinner (ovSe Ti^vfibi eSevero Bairbt eiarjt).3 It is the spiritual soul
1 Niigelsbach defines it more correctly. St^oj ist ledi^lich das* ansseriiche Beliiiltniss dcr Seclenkriifte. p. 339, n. So Unmra. and Crusius. In the singular, it is only the material breast.
a II. 4. 2G3. 8 11.1.468.