תמונות בעמוד

religions of the surrounding countries. A Russian Jew would not have written Zijob instead of Kiow or Kioff. Such a mistake, as Chwolson says, could only be made by a copyist who had read falsely a word unknown to him. “We know,remarks the same scholar, “that about the middle of the tenth century Rabbinical envoys from Jerusalem came to the Crimea to propagate their peculiar opinions, and that they pointed the Biblical MSS., which were before without points."

The roll which Abraham ben Simchah alludes to above has, however, itself been discovered, and was described by Pinner in 1845. The inscription of Jehudah the Corrector, which it contains, is very curious and interesting, although abounding with anachronisms. We give it as translated by Prof. Chwolson, who has also given the original in his appendix, putting in italics the explanations added by Abraham ben Simchah in his copy of the same.

"I Jehudah Misrachi (i.e. the oriental), son of Mosheh, the Punctuator, son of Jehudah, the Strong, of the tribe of Naphtali, of the family of Shillem, which was exiled along with the exiles, which were carried away together with Hoshea, the king of Israel, together with the tribes of Simeon and Dan, and some families of the other tribes of Israel, which the enemy Shalmanezer had exiled from Shomron (Samaria) and its danghter cities to Chalach, and Chabor (i. e. Chabul), and Hara (i.e. Hirat), and Gozan (i.e. Gozna), to the places of exile of the sons of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, which Pilneser had exiled, and permitted to settle there, and from which they have been scattered towards the entire East even as far as the Chinese (''o, Isaiah xlix. 12?),—as I returned back from travelling about in the land of their exile, and from wandering in the settlements of the land of Kerim (Crimea), in the dwellings of the descendants of the families of Israel and Judah, the exiled from Jerusalem-who were led out, during the war against Shomron, from their cities, with Gedaliah the son of king Ahaz at their head, to the assistance of their brethren, but without being able to render such, as their burden (i. e. of sin) was already full, and whom Salmaneser, even before he had taken Shomron, took alive, and sent them into exile before himself to the cities of Media, in order to place them at a distance from their brethren, where they remained also even up to the days of Cambyses, the son of king Coresh (Cyrus)—Peace be to him. He (Cambyses) showed them favour, because they prepared themselves quickly for war in union with the Medes-since they lived in the neighbourhood of Scythia -in order to fight with the Queen Talmira and to avenge on her the blood of his father; and after that their troops bad conquered her, they took her alive and brought her to their king Cambyses, who slew her for the blood of his father and possessed her land. They (i.e. the Israelite and Median soldiers) demanded (this land) from him, and he gave it over to them for a possession, and established military posts therein. They returned in prosperity back (to their homes), and the Israelites and Medes who had returned from the war took their wives and their children, and their goods, and settled there : in Korshūn where his father Coresh (Cyrus) had erected for himself a monument and had gotten fame, and in Solchat, the Hebrew, which they had built, and in Onchat, the Greek, whose ruins they had restored, and called them (i. e. these two places) Kerim, and in the Jews-Rock (i.e. Tshufutkale), which they have fortified, and in the city Safarad (i.e. Kertsch) upon the sea of the Scythians, which (this sea) they navigate, and bring over their cattle (or their possessions) to the Grecian city Matarcha, to the place of residence of my father among the exiled through Titus. They, they are also our brethren, the Jews, the chosen among the exiled from Jerusalem, whom Titus carried away first to the Grecian cities, to Byzantium, and its neighbouring cities, from whence they have spread themselves, in the time of Julian (the Apostate) the friend of the Jews, the emperor of Byzantium, to the city Thirapiz (Trapezunt) and its neighbouring cities, even to the city Matarcha, wherefore they speak Greek up to the present day. When I returned back from this wandering, and when I arrived at my birth place, Shomache (Shemācha), the chief city of Shirwan, of the kingdom of Darius the Mede, I have, in the fifth year of the reign of the Lord Chūsrūdi, the Persian, 1300 after our Exile (i. e. A.D. 604) corrected this roll of the Pentateuch for our Lord Mordecai, the Chaber, the son of Shimeon who has accepted the Chabrūt (i. e. gone over to Rabbinism),-may his Creator and Redeemer preserve him-he will say : the Chabrut of the Babylonian followers of the Mishnah and Talmud-may he read herein, he and his posterity for evermore. May it be a good omen, Amen!"

We cannot now discuss the various points opened here, but enough has been given to show the very interesting character of these epigraphs. It may, however, be permitted us to add a few words upon the point which Abraham ben Simchah refers to, namely, the origin of the present Hebrew vocalization. It is well known how fierce were the contests in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries respecting the origin of the Hebrew vowel-points, and that most moderate men were wont to ascribe their invention to Ezra, and the learned men who assisted him in the restitution of the Jewish Church and Commonwealth. The opinion of Elias Levita, which was so boldly promulgated among Christians by Cappellus, and afterwards by Bishop Walton, the learned editor of the London Polyglot, is now found to be true; namely, that the vowel-points and accents are additions of uninspired origin. The wild notions of anti-punctuation scholars, like Parkhurst, &c., have, however, been by no means confirmed, as the present vocalization or punctuation undoubtedly preserves the true sound of the Hebrew language, and, in general, the correct reading of the Scripture

It has been, however, proved now with tolerable certainty,

that the full system of punctuation, inaugurated by Moses the Punctuator, was still further improved by his son, R. Judab the Corrector, and perhaps completed by the Karaite Acha of Irak. This system was the Babylonian or Assyrian, so called from its local origin. Some of the Karaite MSS. exhibit this punctuation, and more would no doubt have been preserved with it, had not the practice of substituting in its place in old MSS. the somewhat more modern and better system of the scholars of Palestine prevailed. The Babylonian vowel-signs were placed, for the most part, above the consonants, those of the Palestine Jews below. Pinsker has shown us that the system of vocalization adopted by the scholars of the Colleges at Ti. berias dates from about the year 570 of our era. Whether there exists any considerable difference of reading between the older Karaite MSS. and those we already are acquainted with, it is at present premature to say. But it is very probable that before either system of punctuation was adopted, other more rudimentary systems were in use, bearing somewhat of the same relation to the Palestine and Assyrian systems that the diacritic signs or points in Syriac do to the more developed vowel signs of Greek and Syriac origin, which are in common

C. H. H. W.


BURROWS' LECTURES ON CONSTITUTIONAL PROGRESS. Constitutional Progress. Seven Lectures delivered before the

University of Oxford. By Montagu Burrows, M.A., Chichele Professor of Modern History. London : John Murray. 1869.

In this volume, which consists of Lectures originally delivered at Oxford in the autumn of 1863, and the succeeding autumns down to that of 1868 inclusive, Professor Burrows has laid before his readers a very varied intellectual repast. With the exception of the third and fourth (which were delivered in the same year), and the last in the series, these Lectures appear to have been composed irrespectively of each other, and without any view to their ultimate combination under the form in which they are now presented to the public. Hence their union under a common name could only be effected by the adoption of such a title as, to adopt the words of the author himself, should rather express an idea which ran more or less through each Lecture than describe any connection between them. With regard to the title which has been actually selected, we may remark that, after dissociating the two words which compose it from the euphemistic sense in which they are usually understood, it is perhaps, on the whole, the most apt which could have been chosen to designate the Lectures in their aggregate form. But we find one prominent characteristic appearing, in a greater or less degree, in all of them, of which it affords no indication. It in no way prepares us for the religious and ecclesiastical point of view from which Professor Burrows has invariably regarded the different political transactions and events which have passed under his survey, and has traced their progressive or retrograde tendencies. That this should be the case in the three Lectures which we have mentioned as forming exceptions to the want of connection between the different members of the series-treating, as those three Lectures professedly do, of the relations between Church and State-was a matter of course; but the same feature, if less prominently, is yet no less distinctly, discernible in the other four Lectures. And it is the presence of this feature which, as we think, gives a peculiar value to the book at a time when, whatever be the convictions of the numerical majority amongst us, we cannot shut our eyes to the fact, that there is a powerful and influential section in our midst who are desirous, alike in politics and morality, in science and education, of separating the secular from the religious, the material from the spiritual.

Of the first and second Lectures in the volume, we must be content with a very brief survey. The first is entitled, “The Chief Architect of the English Constitution ;” a designation applied by Professor Burrows to Edward I., of whose character and administration the Lecture is a review. In his estimate of the character of that monarch, the Professor endorses, though with certain reservations, the opinion expressed by the author of “ The Greatest of all the Plantagenets.” Whatever may be thought of the appropriateness of the title of Chief Architect to one who, as appears from the remarks of our author himself, exhibited his wisdom rather in regulating than in initiating the course of legislation by which his reign was signalised, the importance of that reign as an era in the constitutional history of our country can hardly be overstated. Not to mention the settlements of our judicial procedure, of the principles of national finance and of the tenure of land, which we owe to that period—settlements which have left their mark on our institutions even to the present day,—the enforced taxation of the clergy, the restriction of ecclesiastical control over the personal property of deceased persons, and the enactment of those laws which were afterwards developed into the statutes of Præmunire and Mortmain, inflicted in the reign of Edward I. upon the ecclesiastical and spiritual domination of Rome in this country the most decided blows to which it was subjected during any reign

between the Conquest and the Reformation. By his observa. tions.on these important modifications in the relations of the Church to the State in this country, Professor Burrows gives us a foretaste of the subject of his third and fourth Lectures, to which this Lecture thus forms a fitting, though undesigned, introduction.

In his second Lecture, the subject of which is “Ancient and Modern Politics,” Professor Burrows insists on the political lessons which we may derive from the study of ancient history; and, by way of illustration, draws two or three very interesting parallels between the course of events in ancient Greece and in the Europe of the last and present oenturies. With the first of these parallels we confess that we do not entirely sympathize. Instead of comparing the Peloponnesian War to the struggle of the allied European nations against Republican and Imperial France, we should rather be inclined to trace a correspondence between the zeal of Sparta and her allies in forwarding the revolt of the Athenian dependencies against their mother city, and the ardour with which France embraced the cause of our own seceding colonies in America. There is surely a far greater resemblance to the maritime empire of Athens, in the extension of our own colonies in the eighteenth century than in the mushroom growth of the French power under the first Napoleon. This latter appears to us rather to find its prototype in the shortlived ascendancy enjoyed by Sparta over the other members of the Hellenic community, after the close of the Peloponnesian war. In his comparison of William Pitt with Pericles, Professor Burrows has been more happy; and we readily admit the lessons which our politicians of the present day might learn from the course of the party struggles and the downward democratic tendency of Athens after she had lost the guidance of her great statesman. With the exception of the last years of the Roman Republic, in which the elements of foreign dominion and domestic luxury are more prominent than in the Grecian type, we know of no political situation in ancient times which appears to afford a inore exact parallel to our own, than that of Athens between the death of Pericles and (absit omen) her overthrow by the Doric confederacy. The ruin of Athens was effected, not from without, but from within ; not by the strength of her foes, but by the ignorance and errors of her own statesmen; and it is a serious question whether we are not exposing ourselves to a similar risk by the extension of political power as far beyond the classes which possess sufficient education to wield it aright as it formerly fell short of embracing them. Professor Burrows points out the only available means of avoiding this risk. Since the restricVol. 68,--No.379.

3 U

« הקודםהמשך »