ANTIQUITY

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ANTIQUITY. The word antiquity, old time, in opposition to new, is in itself indeterminate, but is, in general, applied to the time which elapsed between the creation of the world and the irruption of the barbarians into the Roman empire, which, in connexion with the wide spread of Christianity, makes a great epoch in the history of the human race. In a narrower sense, it is applied to the two principal nations of former times, Greece and Rome, or to the early age of any nation. The name antiquities is given to the remains of ancient art. The phrase is used in a wider sense, to signify all which belongs to a knowledge of the politics, manners, religion, literature and arts of the nations of antiquity, or of the modern nations, until the existing order of things commenced. We have no single work giving such a general picture of nations and states, but only separate treatises on the antiquities of the Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Etrurians, Gauls, Germans, Britons, &c. The want of a knowledge of antiquities was first felt in the 15th century, when the zeal for classical learning began to revive. In the earlier works on this subject, one finds extensive learning, but no fixed plan, no critical division of the time and subjects. In the 18th century, the rich collections of materials, which had formerly been made, were critically examined and systematically distributed. The Bibliographia Antiquaiia of Fabricius (Hamburg, 1713-1716) contains valuable information, especially the new edition by Schaffshausen (1740), to which it is desirable that some additions should be made. Among the principal works treating of Grecian and Roman antiquities are, Thesaurus Antiquitatum Grcecarum, by Gronovius (Leyden, 1697- 1703, 13 vols.); Thesaurus Antiquitatum Romanarum, by Graevius (Utrecht, 1694- 99, 12 vols.); Novus Thesaurus Antiqu. Roman, by Sallengre (Hague, 1716-19, 3 vols.); and Poleni Utriusque Thes. nova Supplem. (Venice, 1737, 5 vols, fol.) Burmann has left a Catalogus LAbrorum qui in Thes. Rom., Grcec, Italico et Siculo continentur (Leyden, 1725;. The information collected by these antiquaries has been revised and arranged by later scholars. A very useful work on Roman antiquities is Sa?n. Pitisci Lexicon Antiquit. Roman, (Leyden, 1713; Venice, 1719, 3 vols.; Hague, 1737, 3 vols.), an edition of which appeared at Berlin, 1793. The assistance which these works afforded to the scholar, desirous of obtaining a just idea of Grecian and Roman literature and history, stimulated the students of the Oriental languages to similar labors. Their attention was directed to Hebrew antiquities, on account of the connexion between Hebrew literature and customs and the evidences of Christianity. On the subject of Hebrew antiquities, Iken, Faber, Warnekros, Bellermann, Jahn and others, have given us books as useful as they are interesting. On the antiquities of the other nations of the East, the Asiatic Researches, and the labors of Goguet, furnish valuable information. Sir William Jones, Anquetil du Perron, A. W. von Schlegel and others, have thrown light on the antiquities of India; Zoega, Denon and others, on those of Egypt; von Hammer, Rhode, Gorres, on those of Persia. Many collections exist, which treat of the antiquities of the modern nations of Europe. The Italians have very rich ones by Muratori, Donati, Maffei and others; the French, those of Montfaucon, Millin; and the English, the Archceologia Britannica. They are found also among the Germans and other northern nations. Since the beginning of the 18th century, the arts have been made a separate branch of antiquarian research.