Page images
PDF
EPUB

way, or over

que per alienas tegulas venisse clanculum per impluvium. And of the snake, which we learn, Ter. Phorm. iv. 4. 47. per impluvium decidisse de tegulis. What Dr Lightfoot also observes out of the Talmud upon Mark ii. 4. will, by an alteration only of the preposition which answers to dia, farther vouch for this interpretation. For, as it is there cited, when Rabbi Honna was dead, and his bier could not be carried out through the door, which was too strait and nurrow, therefore they thought good to let it down (not through the roof, or through the way of the roof, as the Doctor renders it, but as in doze xipauwr, or diæ Th%), by the the roof, viz. by taking it upon the terrace, and letting it down by the wall that way into the street. We have a passage in A. Gellius x. 15. exactly of the same purport, where it is said, that if any person in chains should make his escape into the house : of the Flamen Dialis, he should be forthwith loosed, and that his fetters should be drawn up through the impluvium upon the roof or terrace, and from thence be let down into the highruay or the street.

" When the use then of these phrases, and the fashion of these houses, are rightly considered, there will be no reason to suppose that any breach was actually made in the tegula or xiquuoi, since all that was to be done in the case of the paralytic, was to carry him up to the top of the house, either by forcing their way through the crowd up the stair-case, or else by conveying him over some of the neighbouring terraces, and there, after they had drawn away the son or veil, to let him down along the side of the roof through the opening or impluvium into the midst of the court before Jesus.* ' See another account of this transaction, Paraph. and Comment. 633.

“ To most of these houses there is a smaller one annexed, which sometimes rises one story higher than the house, at other times it consists of one or two rooms only, and a terrace; whilst others that are built (as they frequently are) over the porch or gate-way, have (if we except the ground floor, which they have not) all the conveniences that belong to the house. There is a door of communication from them into the gallery of the house, kept open or shut at the discretion of the master of the family, besides ar.other door which opens immediately from a privy stairs down into the porch or street, without giving the least disturbance to the house. Their back-houses, as we may call them, are known by the name of Alee or Oleah, (for the house properly so called is Dar or Beet), and in them strangers are usually lodged and en-" tertained. In them the sons of the family are permitted to keep their concubines; whither likewise the men are wont to retire from the hurry and noise of their families, to be more at leisure for meditation or devotion, besides the use they are at other times put to, in serving for wardrobes and magazines,

“ The

[ocr errors]

“ The Toby of the Holy Scriptures being literally the same appellation with the Arabic Oleah, is accordingly so rendered in the Arabic version. We may suppose it then to have been a structure of the like contrivance. The little chamber, consequently, that was built by the Shunamite for Elisha, 2 Kings iv. 10. whither, as the text instructs us, he retired at his pleasure, without breaking in upon the private affairs of the family, or being in his turn interrupted in his devotions; the summer chamber of Eglon, which, in the same manner with these, seems to have had privy stairs belonging to it, through which Ehud escaped, after he had revenged Israel upon the king of Moab, Judg. iii. 20.; the chamber over the gate, whither for the greater privacy king David withdrew himself to weep for Absalom, 2 Sam. Xviii. 33.; and that upon whose terrace Ahaz for the same reason erected his altars, 2 Kings xxiii. 12.; the inner chamber likewise, (or, as it is better expressed in the original, 2 Kings ix. 2. à chamber within a chamber where the young man the prophet anointed Jehu, seem to have been all of them structures of the like nature and contrivance with these olees,

“ Besides, as 17 Sy or 7: Sy in the Hebrew text, and olee in the Arabic version, are expressed by útig won in the LXX. it may be presumed that the same word 'rigwov

, where it occurs in the New Testament, implieth the same thing. The upper chamber, therefore, or irigwas where Tabitha was laid after her death, Acts ix. 36. and where Eutychus also fell down from the third loft, Acts xx. 8, 9. were so many back-houses or olees, as they are indeed so called in the Arabic version.

" That órego denotes such a private apartment as one of these olees, (for garrets from the flatness of the roofs are not known in these climates) seems likewise probable from the use of the word among the classic authors. For the 'Tigenow where Mercury and Mars carried on their amours, (Iliad 11. ver. 184. B. ver. 514.) and where Penelope kept herself with the young virgins at a distance from the solicitations of their wooers, (Odyss. O. ver. 515.) Ppear to carry along with them circumstances of greater privacy and retirement than are consistent with chambers in any other situation. Nay farther, that niyy, olee, or úniqwer, cannot barely signify a single chamber, cænaculum, or dining-room, but one of these contiguous or back-houses, divided into several apartments, seems to appear from the circumstance of the altars which Ahaz crected upon the top of his nyy. For besides the supposed privacy of his idolatry, which, upon account of the perpetual view and observation of the family, could not have been carried on undiscovered in any apartment of the house ; I say, if this his olee had been only one single chamber of the (1) house, the roof of it would have been ascribed to the house, and not to the olee, which on this supposition could only make one chamber of it.

А

A circumstance of the like nature may probably be collected from the Arabic version of irsewor, Acts ix. 39, where it is not rendered olee, as in ver. 37. but girfat ; intimating, perhaps, that particular chamber of the olee where the damsel was laid. - The falling likewise of Eutychus from the third loft (as the context seems to imply) of the imagwor, there being no mention made of an house, may likewise be received as a farther proof of what I have been endeavouring to explain. For it has been already ob, served, that these olees are built in the same manner, and with the like conveniences, as the house itself; consequently, what position soever the yniewow may be supposed to have, from the seening etymology of the name, will be applicable to the olee, as well as to the house.

“ The word iniqwor will likewise admit of another interpretation in our favour, inasmuch as it denoteth, not so much a chamber, remarkable for the high situation of it, (as Eustathius and others after him give into) but such a building as is erected upon or beyond the walls or borders of another ; just as these olees are actually contrived with regard to the na or house. Neither will this interpretation interfere with the high situation that üvegwon may be supposed to have, in being frequently joined with the words ameney or ratu usrEAN. Because the going out or în of the nor house, whose ground-floor lies upon the same level with the street, could not be expressed by words of such import, whereas the olees being usually situated over the porch or gate-way, a small stair-case is to be previously mounted, before we can be said properly to enter them, and, consequently, rabanner and metablesvern are more applicable to structures in such a situation, than toth e house properly so called.

“ This method of building may farther assist us in accounting for the particular structure of the temple or house of Dagon, Judg. xvi. and the great number of people that were buried in the ruins of it, by pulling down the two principal pillars that support ed it. We read, ver. 27. that about three thousand pera sons were upon the roof to hehold while Samson made sport, viz. to the scoffing and deriding Philistines. Samson therefore must have been in a court or area below ; and consequently the temple will be of the same kind with the ancient sepeern, or sacred inclosures, which were only surrounded either in part or on all sides with some plain or cloistered buildings.

“Several palaces and dow-wanas, as the courts of justice are called in these countries, are built in this fashion ; where, upon their public festivals and rejoicings, a great quantity of sand is strewed upon the area for the peliowanes or wrestlers to fall upon, whilst the roofs of these cloisters are crowded with spectators to admire their strength and activity. I have often seen numbers of people diverted in this manner, upon the roof of the dey's

palace palace at Algiers, which, like many more of the same quality and denomination, has an advanced cloister over against the gate of the palace, Esth. v. 1. made in the fashion of a large penthouse, supported only by one or two contiguous pillars in the front, or else in the centre. In such open structures as these, the bashaws, kadees, and other great officers, distribute justice, and transact the public affairs of their provinces. Here likewise they have their public entertainments, as the lords and others of the Philistines had in the house of Dagon, Upon a supposition therefore, that in the house of Dagon there was a cloistered building of this kind, the pulling down the front or centre pillars, which supported it, would alone be attended with the like catastrophe that happened to the Philistines.”

Pag. 220. “ Having thus described the several buildings pecular to the cities and towns of this country, let us now take a view of the habitations of the bedoweens and kabyles. Now the bedoweens, as their great ancestors the Arabians did before them, Isa. xii. 20. live in tents called Hhymas, from the shelter which they afford the inhabitants; and Beet el Shaar, i. e. Houses of hair, from the materials or webs of goats hair whereof they are made. They are the very same which the ancients called Mapalia's and being then, as they are to this day, secured from the weather by a covering oniy of such hair-cloth as our coalsacks are made of, might very justly be described by Virgil to have (rara tecta) thin roofs. The colour of them is beautifully alluded to, Cant. i. 5. I am black, but comely as the tents of Kedar. For nothing certainly can afford a more delightful prospect, than a large extensive plain, whether in its verdure, or even scorched up by the sun-beams, with these inoveable habitations pitched in circles upon it. When we find any nuniber of these tents together, (and I have seen from three to three hundred), they are usually placed in a circle, and constitute a Dor-war. The fashion of each tent is of an oblong figure, not unlike the bottom of a ship turned upside down, as Sallust has long ago de. seribed them, Beil. Jugurth. 921. However they differ in bigness according to the number of people who live in them; and are accordingly supported, some with one pillar, others with two or three; whilst a curtain or carpet, let down upon occasion from each of these divisions, turns the whole into so many separate apartments. These tents are kept firm and steady, by bracing or stretching down their eves with cords tied to crooked pins well pointed, which they drive into the ground with a mallet; one of these pins answering to the nail, as the mallet does to the hammer, which Jael used in fastening to the ground the temples of Sisera, Judges iv. 21. The pillars which I have mentioned are strait poles, eight or ten feet high, and three or four inches in thickness, serving not only to support the tent itself, but being full of hooks fixed there for the purpose, the Arabs bang upon them their clothes, baskets, saddles, and accoutrements of war. Holofernes, as we read Judith xiii, 16. made the like use of the pillar of his tent, by hanging his faulchion upon it; where it is called the pillar of the bed, from the custom perhaps that has always prevailed in these countries, of having the upper end of the carpet, mattrass, or whatever else they lie upon, turned from the skirts of the tent towards the centre of it. But xavotilov, the cas, nopy, as we render it ver. 9. should, I presume, be rather called the gnat, or muskeeta net, which is a close curtain of gauze, or, fine linen, used all over the East by people of better fashion, to keep out the flies. But the Arabs have nothing of this kind , who, in taking their rest, lie stretched out upon the ground, without bed, mattrass, or pillow, wrapping themselves up only in their hykes, and lying as they find room upon a mat or carpet in the middle or in the corner of the tent. Those indeed who, are married, have each of them a portion of the tent to themselves, cantoned off with a curtain; the rest accommodate themselves as conveniently as they can in the manner I have described. The descriptions which Mela and Virgil have left us of the manDer of living, and of the decampments among the Libyan shepherds, even to the circumstance of carrying along with them their faithful domestic animals, are as justly drawn up, as if they had made their observations at this time.

full before

Quid tibi pastores Libyæ, quid pascua versu
Prosequar, et raris habitata mapalia tectis ?
Sæpe diem, noctemque, et totum ex ordine mensem
Pascitur, itque pecus longa in deserta sine ullis
Hospitiis : tantum campi jacet : omnia secum
Armentarius Afer agit, tectumque, laremque,
Armaque, Amyclæumque canem, Cræssamque pharetram.

GEORG. jii. vér. 339. « From the Dou-wars of the Bedoweens, who live chiefly in the plains, we are to ascend to the mountainous Dashkras of the Kabyles, which consist of a number of Gurbies, as the Dou-wars do of Hhymas or tents. These Gurbies are generally raised either with hurdles daubed over with mud, or else they are built out of the materials of some adjacent ruins, or else with square cakes of clay baked in the sun. The roofs are covered with straw or turf, supported by reeds or branches of trees. There is rarely more than one chamber in the largest of them, which serves for a kitchen, dining-room, and bed-chamber; besides one corner of it which is réserved, as I should have mentioned also in the Hhymas, for their foals, calves, and kids. As these hovels are always fixed and immoveable, they are undoubtedly, what the ancients called Magalia. And therefore Carthage itself,

« PreviousContinue »