MONUMENT

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MONUMENT, in its widest sense, includes every thing by which the memoryof a person, period or event is perpetuated. Monuments of antiquity include writings as well as the productions of the fine and useful arts; for Homer's poems are equally a monument of his time, as the Pantheon or the domestic utensils found amongst the ruins of Pompeii. These monuments are of the greatest interest, leading us back into former ages, and presenting the manners, customs and institutions of the people. Some are valuable only in their character of memorials, that is, as preserving the memory of certain persons or events; others have an intrinsic value as works of the fine arts. (See Antiquity, Antique, &c.) The productions of sculpture and architecture, intended to transmit to posterity the memory of remarkable individuals or events, are most generally understood by the term monuments of antiquity. Such as ornament public places, gardens, &c, are chiefly in commemoration of great events. Among the monuments in honor of individuals are tombs and sepulchral edifices or columns. In all ages, and with every nation, we find this description of monument, from the first rude attempts of art to its greatest perfection. The most ancient known to us are the obelisks and pyramids of Egypt, and, perhaps, contemporary with these, the tombs of the Persian kings, which are still beheld with admiration in the ruins of Persepolis. These monuments command our awe by their grandeur and simplicity, in which they are, perhaps, superior to similar works of Grecian art, though the latter excel them in beauty. Hardly any country offered so great a number of monuments as Greece, where they were erected in honor of the victors in battle, and in the solemn games, and of other distinguished men, but were often also thrown away on the undeserving. The warrior had statues and trophies; the victor in the games had statues and. pillars. On the isthmus of Corinth, near the temple of Neptune, were statues of the victors in the Isthmian games; in the holy grove of Altis, near Olympia, were those of the victors in the Olympic games. There were also many trophies. Buildings were frequently erected in commemoration of distinguished persons or events, which differed greatly in form and splendor. Thus, in Athens, the choragic monuments were erected in honor of those who had received tne prizes as choragi in the theatrical and musical games. In these games it was customary for each of the ten guilds of Athens to select one choragus, who, at his own expense, undertook the regulation and superintendence of the games. Each endeavored to surpass the other; the con queror received a tripod of brass as the prize, which was usually the work of a great artist, and was regarded as an honor to his family. This prize was publicly placed on a small edifice or a single pillar, on which the name of the choragus and the date of the games were inscribed. A particular street in Athens was appropriated to these monuments, called the street of tiipods. Some of these have been preserved to our time. The most splendid of all, and the most ornamented, is the choragic monument of Lysicrates, usually called the lantern of Demosthenes ; next to this, the monument of Thrasyllus and Thrasycles, and some pillars. The Romans, who contended with the Greeks in the arts, were equally successful in monuments, of which one species is entirely theirsthe triumphal arch. (See Triumphal Arch.) The earliest tombs in Greece and Rome were either erected on the spot where the ashes of the deceased were deposited, or in some other place chosen at pleasure. These latter were termed cenotaphs. Both kinds were found in the cities or their vicinity, and scattered along the roads, which they ornamented. The rude stone was by degrees transformed into a noble pillar; subsequently, on a foundation of stone, two small pillars were erected, covered with a pediment, and the intermediate space was destined for the images of the deceased, inscriptions and bassreliefs. Small buildings in the form of temples followed, and these, in time, increased in magnificence. The greatest monument of this description was the (so called) mausoleum (see Artemisia), after which splendid sepulchres are still called mausoleums. Modern Europe presents monuments of both kinds. The public monuments commemorative of great events are principally in the capitals, and many of these are described and represented in Sturm's Architektonische Reiseanmerkungen. A tolerably good collection was given by the abbe tie Lubersae, in his Discours sur les Monumens publics de tous les Ages et detous les Peuples (Paris, 1776, folio). Many of the monuments of France are represented in Millin's Antiquites JYationales. The royal Academie des Inscriptions has contributed to turn the attention of the French artists to this subject.