The New York Times from New York, New York on April 3, 1897 · Page 13
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The New York Times from New York, New York · Page 13

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Saturday, April 3, 1897
Page 13
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SATURDAY REVIEW OF BOOKS weighted: NEW YORK, 'SATURDAY, ''APRIL1 3, ' 1897. EIGHT" PAGES. 1".--- .r.'.jn-Mtiint:ir;,' The Mycenaean Age. CnXJEMANN'3 DISCOVERIES AND TUB KNOWIiEOGS ACQUIRED SINCE THEN, Prof. Manatt's flrit thought concerning this notable volume was merely to make it a translation of the very important work in which Dr. Tsountas (the Greek archaeol frtat,. .Who con Unued DT.hlJemann; work at Mycenae) tiad In 1833 brought together the fruit of hi toil for the benefit of the Greek public Upon consideration, however, it was found that much more than a translation was needed. Not only had three full - - years -of patient and 'brilliant-exploration added much hew mftter1aIto that contained in the Greek volume, but the requirements of a public far distant from the scene of action must- be met. Prof. Manatt accord ingly determined to revise Dr. Tsountas' s . book with-a free hand, bringing it down to date In the light of the latest research, rewriting parts of it, compressing other parts, adding original maiier, ana supplying" Red essary threads of connection. Thus, al though the bulk of the new volume must be ascribed to Dr. Tsountas, no very defl titte distinction can be made between the work of the two authors.' The whole Is en riched and decidedly enlivened by Dr. Ddrpfeld'a preface, written in bis native spirit of sturdy criticism, and the book. taken altogether, is one of absorbing in " terest io "students of the'HeroiePt""'"-' Prof. Manatt reminds us that it was. Just about twenty years ago that Dr. Schlle-mann made-his triumphant discovery of the royal tombs, with their strange and danling contents. One of the most Important results of this discovery has been the testimony , of the buried objects to the essential veracity of the Homeric descriptions. Cups and daggers, ornaments and armor cunningly wrought, paintings and pottery, show that the pictures of " much-golden" Mycenae were no figments of a poetic imagination, but plain fact, and the minute 4 e tails furnished by Dr. Tsountas reconstruct to a marvelous degree the shining background of the Homeric drama. One might say that all Greek history had been .reconstructed if one considers the changed point of view. Before Dr. Schllemann's discovery it was believed that the Achaean life of the Iliad" and the "Odyssey" was a r flection of the Homeric time, and that this time , marked the brilliant youth of Greek civilisation. It la now an accepted fact that the Homeric age was .an age of ren aissance preceded by national decadence. and that far back of It. across the gulf of Dorian invasion, lay the " bloom time " of Mycenaean culture, covering, according to the present writers, the period "approximately from the sixteenth to the twelfth century B. C.." but sending its influence down through many successive generations. The excavations have shown us to what a high level that culture attained, particularly in art Both Dr. Tsountas and Prof. Manatt entirely reject the idea of its having been a culture imported : " full grown," an exotic, struggling apart ; from the line of general development, and in Prof. Manatt' S concluding chapter on " The Mycenaean World and Homer" he makes an eloquent plea against this theory which has been " more or less promulgated.' He says: " Mycenaean culture was one of the strong central forces In the general move-ment of the agerOnee In possession of the metals, the Ureeks lwere armed for their great career In art, a career to which they unquestionably brought native endowments of a high order. That they would And their artistlo feeling and faculty profoundly influenced by the land In which they came to dwelt we cannot doubt The course - of trade would bring them in abundance the copper of -Cyprus, the gold of Asia Mihor. the Ivory of the tropics, even the amber of the Baltic often, no doubt, In the form of finished works of art . " Thus they would be supplied at once - with raw material, model, and process; but, whatever they , thus received. It is safe to say that they stamped their own impress on the works they wrought It is the Impress of a race but recently emerged from barbarism a- race independent and vigorous, still cherishing the passionate free spirit of their .Northern kinsmen, which makes them active and energetic, s.meiimes - even -to savagery! with --creative - geaiua still unfettered by1 types and conventions; . with minds that have not yet lost the profound interest, In and keen observation of nature. These are Achaean traits, and they are stamped unmistakably on the products of Mycenaean art It is not so much technical mastery we admire In the artist as his vigor, his elasticity, his .dash, and ths un-trammeled spirit which never stoops to servile Imitation, but looks nature In the 1 face, and then registers In forms of art the natve Impression of it To name these equalities Is enough to demonstrate ths ab-. THB MYCENAEAN AOS. A Study of the ttoa-: omenta and Ctiltare of tr-Homerlo Or-r. :"'Br-1- 'Chreetae Taoolv EphpT'ef Anttqut-, " tw and Director of ttsc-avaumu st Mycenae, and J Irvine Manatt, Ph. D., LI. D.', Pro--'-fmnr- vtjirr - Litwat-m -anS-Htatnry- --tn -"Krown umversit. with an" Introduction "b " Ir. Dorpf.ld. Hoatns and NW lark! Uoucb- s is. jasi. surdity of the wholesale reference of Mycenaean art to an Oriental above all to a, demlUc-soiu-ce,::..,, In the chapter on - Anns and War a re- Droductlon. 6f a slcsre scene from a silver Tase -found in-one of the- graves ad inlSably demonstrates Prof. Manatt's argument The rush and fury of the battle are curiously felt In spite of the stiff outlines and Impossible anatomy. Prof. Manatt calls attention to tho-almot.iprclse.-correspondence;f ,the scene with that-wrought by HeRhaeat us on the shield of HeraMee, even to the figures of " the elders, hoar with age," who " i sembled stood without the gates.".- ..... . The chapters on the construction and ar rangement of the city, luroriWcatlons, pal aces, and tombs, read in connection wrth pr, Dorpfeld's Introduction, show vividly how Incessantly expert oolnlon has to be thrashed over before permanent conclusions Can be reached, and how unsafe it is for the Teader at large to Jump at any conclusions at all from the reading of one book, or even a dozen books,' on a subject demanding tech' nlcal Judgment. - - One interesting point of disagreement which closely concerns the general question of Mycenaean culture, Is found in the chapter on "The Private House and Domestic Life." Tr. Tsountas describes certain " two- story houses " In which the lower story la neither door nor window and was evidently not used as a dwelling place by the Inhab itants. " The lower rooms of these houses. he. says, "have no other flooring than" the earth, and in clearing them out the deeper layers of debris were found to be thickly strewn not only with potsherds,Jbutalso with the bones of various animals," and he adds: " It would seem from this that these upper-story people were not over-nice at ta ble. and habitually flung their leavings down stairs or through chinks in the floor." To this assumption Dr. Dttrpfeld takes excep tion, and offers the following explanation " Two kinds of houses are clearly to be distinguished. First we find such as were provided with "cellars, and thus, of course, had wooden floors. In these the cellars were accessible by stone or wooden stairways, and served for storing provisions and other goods. Secondly, there were nouses wunoui rollnm. and these had floors of beaten earth. with or without cement. The foundation walla of thn tatter new exnosed. but In an tiqulty lying underground Tsountas has taken ror tne clear wans or nis lower iu-ries. The bones, potsherds, and the like found in the earth between the foundation walls are earlier than these walls, and either must have been there before the houses were built or must have boen brougnt mere wun other rubbish for . filling In the course of the building." It is this sort of thing that emphasises Prof.' Manatt's statement that it Is y vir tue of hard knocks that science moves on. and her good soldiers are ever ready to give and take." A very interesting chapter, and one that specially invites the imagination is that upon Mycenaean writing. In spite of the brilliant discoveries made in Crete by Mr. Arthur J. Evans, Dr. Tsountas has main tained a more or less skeptical attitude toward the assumption that the Greeks of the Mycenaean Age were acquainted with any system of writing or owed any of their culture to the art. Later discoveries may, of course, alter this point of view. Prof. Manatt has already found It necessary to add a note containing the description of ths stone Inscribed with Mycenaean characters, which Is Mr. Evans's latest "find," and which was discovered In the great cave of Psychrav the fabled blrthptaoe of 'Cretan Zeus." It the letters cut upon It are, as Mr. Evans ' conjectures, part of a Mycenaean demcatfon7Tt wIir show thar the barbari ians " had .at least one use for a system of writing, and should the key to the mean ing of ' the Inscribed characters . ever be found by the archaeologists keen upon Its trackr we - shall - approach - cae great -step nearer to solving ths mighty riddle of the Mycenaean Age. ' The" problem that has stirred archaeolog ical controversy to its depths since Schllemann's discovery is the problem of race. Were the Mycenaeans of Hellenic origin or were they immigrants from the East? . The evidence -of the present volume Is all In favor of the HeUecJo stock, and in the nar. i wer uestroV"6rwfiatTSce r"rac among ths Greeks now known to history shall be accredited with the building up of wis saycenaean cavnisauon, vr. i sountas makes a striking argument resulting la the theory of a change of dynasty at the time that the Danaana, moving northward, and the Achaeans advancing southward, met at Mycenae, the Achaeans appearing as the master race about 1500 B, CU. This assumption. Prot Manatt points, ouV had already been ;mad. by Adler. and accepted by Per- rot.... , . ... ,' Ws cannof know' bow 'much of "what now' seems secure will be overturned by the re- suits of future research, but so long as we may be provided with books as candid. thorough, and Inspiring as the present com-' posits volume, we can feel that uncertainty MA, Jtt..charm, , A Coming Boston Sale. FIRST EDITIONS OF AMERICAN AND . ENGLISH AUTHORS, SOME OF THBM-CURJOUa Betwen-the dates-of-the sale of .thetwa. parts of the Bierstadt Library at Bangs Co.'s, Messrs. Libble of Boston will disperse another notable New York, collection of first editions. This collection, comprising nearly WOO Jots., was formed. by-MrC PRposy and has long been known to bibliophiles anc collectors as containing one of the most remarkable series of first editions both of English and American authors ever formed la this city. Like Mr. Bierstadt, Mr. Roos was a student of his books.- and Ills catalogue con tains many very Interesting notes. For instance., it will be news to most collectors te ' tea these . wsse two editions nf Whlttlers recently discovered Memoirs of James WUUams," a copy of the New York edttion of which was recently sold (as duly chronicled In Ths Tikkb) for $111. Mr. Roos possesses one published In Boston in the same year as the New York edition. Which Is the genuine first edition, or whether the two were contemporaneous re main a moot point In the catalogue .no attempt Is made to claim priority for either Issue., but MrItoos adds . the Interesting noter " Suppressed by the Anti-Slavery so ciety." The authority for this statement would be interesting.- Another curious volume is an English edi tion of Bryant s poems edited by Washing- ton Irving in 1832. Irving edited the "Song of Marion's Men," and politely arranged It so that Instead of the " British Soldier " R was an unclassified foe man who trembled "when Marion's name Is told." It will also be news to many persons who collect first editions to be told that Haw thorne's delightful "Snow Image" first appeared m a little "Memorial " volume written by ""Friends of the late Mrs. Os good." and edited by Mary E. Hewitt, in 1851. The volume. Is quite rare, and was published in New Tork. Besides the few items noted, the catalogue contains almost complete sets bf first editions of most of the leading American writers. English names -prominently rep resented are Dickens, Alnswortb, , Robert and Elisabeth Barrett Browning. George Eliot. Dr. Do ran. Kipling, Meredith, Ste venson, Tennyson, Thackeray. Ornlkahank. Ac The catalogue one of the most inter esting we have seen la some timev and wia doubtless be treasured for reference bjy many collectors. Pictures in Berlin. SOME BT NATIVE ARTISTS. OTHERS AMERICAN VERES TCUAQIN. - BERLIN, March 23. At the regular Berlin stands are few pictures to chronicle. The Winter's exhibit by the " Eleven " at GurUtt's Is much like that of the year before. Skarblna shows up as usual with clever water colors, and LetsUkow repre sents pretty much all there la hereabout suggestive of the symbolists of Paris. His touch Is sometimes a harsh one, however. and his. fancies can be crude, as well as rudely executed. One sees that he Is de termined to do things his own way, with out regard to the sniffs and snorts of the Berlin criticasters, who make up. In sever ity for what they lack in knowledge of the currents of art In the great outer worlds His eleven contributions to the Eleven comprise a number of. broadly painted water colors and oils showing canal scenes about Berlin, a dredger . at work. Spring land-. scapes, scenes from local parks. His meth- od this year Is less uneven, and if bis hand Is not so skillful as 8karblna's, who also gives one views of the Spree and pits of the old. fast vanishing Berlin,' his work contains mors freshness and nature. Arthur Kampf of Dusseldorf has a strong ly colored "Sunday." an old couple seated among their hollyhocks looking oat on a placid river, and bit of character, from the streets- of Amsterdam.- Haas Herrmann of Berlin has remained true to Holland, and shows five views from Dordrecht, which command attention. Lud wig Dill of Mun ich has a fins landscape, and Ludwlg Dett- maan of Berlin offers seven oils that show htm to be passing through a useful stage In which he Is stating facta la broad sim ple masses, with adequate thought for the values of colora ; No very powerful talent appears among the . Eleven . this year, unless we except Max Lisbermana, whose "Boys Bathing 1 Is. excellent . jwlthout Pftlng. JUv any way""greair'r " .-. . . Ths mors frequented gallery of Bcnulta on, Lie Lindens Is really mors modern la Its appearance than Gurlltfs, where now eltles have beea commoner In the past, be- cans several pleia-airlat fcavebeon to-t stalled such as Schmidt-Micheljwn of BeM V- -.jiie.O -.""' .i,i-''""-";v je'iJ:;V- ' --; , i -.ia- i-r-v-v - . Un and Arthur Kampf of DusseldorQ Though both belong to . this year's Eleven they have sent their mors vivid works tsl the hail of the PhlUstlnea . - .alsotheitn..iheperBon.of Herr Leo Putas. whose Mirror of A Life Is a woman writhing' nude on a snow-white) - bed, her dark red hair Almost flowing out) beyond, the frame of the picture,,, while tits background contains, it. may be. the oM fortunate- one's dream.-At any Tate; thtre Is a blg female face f honor surrounded bjj . a wheel to which nude female and male fig' ores are bound perhaps a moultn rougej Herr A. von Brandts has an uncomfortable r . long "Marriage at Cans," In which the . seated Christ is like the Christ -of Munkacsw1- and the other figures are so typically Cer- man of the German stage as to 'raise at avails. -.,rr-, . , Herr C. Runglus has been to the Yellow-i stone, and reports the wonders ef thej canons in paint, also the American wapltf, moose, and antelope ia clear and compree henaive panels " which are more thanl ' sketches and less than art. An English artist CharlesJEL BorefaU. shows some" smoothly painted but distinguished looklna - portralta Uerr AAtoa.Wsberbaa ..a .Uke-tr nes of the Rev. Mr. Dickie, pastor of the American Church. r ' v ' At GurUtt's "art gallerleal where the Bcr Unese are accustomed to gaxe stolidly upc a British and other foreign art. the American painter John Leslie Breck Is about to ex' -hlblt various plein-air landscapes, some ef which were made at Glverny. under the id-i spiring example of that tremendous workeS Claude Monet, others In the United States. Mr. Breck Is known to New Tork througll contributions to various exhibitions of thi Society' of American' ArtistsT here his plct ures come before s public but little-aceus-. tomed as yet to the sunny and atmospherld effects of the open-air school. - Anothef American painter here Is Mr. Charles F. Ul . rich, who has deserted Venice' and Munioll - for a time to paint the likenesses of princely! Arenbergs and Hohlenlobea. ' " Vassili Verestcaagln has beea harlnsT much newspaper notice lately, by reason) of bis exhibition In the old Reichstag Build ing, and Michael de Mnnkacsy la shewing his Ecce Homo " in a gallery bf the Royal Art Academy. '. The' Russian traveler has added to his stock of curious and Interesting - ' types from Central Asia and India, as well as from his own hugs country; ae aas also' - other pictures from the Napoleonld era, besides those he showed m New Tork,-large striking scenes that quite take the yubllo off 1U feet '. In dealing with Napoleon, the. Jtussiaa ts again the ally of the North German, and the latter regards with grim , satisfaction rhe Very miserable plight ' in which the French army and Its detested chief are to be seen. '; There Is a racial as well as politlcaj. sympathy betweew North ern Germans and Russians which Southern Germans may not share J this shows Itself often la the teeth of dlplomaUo arrange- ments and artlfloial combinaUons ea the European eckerboard There la. "as it were, an insUnotlve affiliation between the . governing and official classes ef Russia ; and Prussia, because many of the problems before them an the same, and, after all. taeTT blood is not very different, either.' ; Whatever n-ay be the steps taken by each of these -twa countries to free Itself of In dividuals belonging to the other, the appsr : classes sj ways . meet r on . ths moat cordial . terms. Verestchagia geU -the benedt of this natural sympathy. ; ' The Records Bayard Got for WHAT TIIET ARK AND THEIR RB. MARKABLE HISTORT SINCE BRAD-. FORD WROTE THEM. Historians and scholars particularly ae Qualnted wltk NewEngland and the erlrW- nal sources of our Information have been - considerably amused recently over maay of . the published statements regarding the so-called M logbook". of ths Mayflower, which the Diocese of London, through Mr. Bayard. the American Ambassador, recently offered -to restore to America. The history of this remarkable manuscript ts a most interesting; one, ana should be better understood bx Americans, now that the precious document ts to find a permanent resting place la the land from whence, It emanated- v -.-',,-, . -j . Ia ths first place', it may be .well to under stand that It Is not a " logbook at all. but ;Oo.tR'JStttam:rixacff Fiymoutn plantation. It was written froa Urns to time while he was Governor of rr' i

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