DYER, THOMAS HENRY, an English historian and biographer, born in London, May 4, 1804; died at Bath, January 30, 1888. He was privately educated. For some years he was employed in a

. West India house, but after the emancipation of the negroes, he established himself in London and adopted literature as a profession. He travelled extensively on the continent and particularly studied the topography and antiquities of Rome, Athens, and Pompeii. He was presented, in 1865, with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of St. Andrews. He published a Life of Calvin (1850); History of Modern Europe (1861); History of the City of Rome (1865); History of Pompeii (1867); History of the Kings of Rome (1868); Ancient Athens (1873), and Imitative Art, Its Principles and Progress (1882). He also published many articles in the Classical Museum and in Smith's Dictionaries of Biography and Geography.

Mrs. Oliphant, in her Victorian Age of English Literature, says: “Foreign history has never had very much attraction for English writers, but there have been a certain number of exceptions in our time. Thomas Henry Dyer is well known for his elaborate and conscientious History of Modern Europe, from the taking of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 to the close of the Crimean War. It is remarkable for the lucid manner in which it deals with the curious revolution that followed upon the establishment of the Turks in Europe, the exchange of the old religions for a new political unity, and the gradual building-up of our modern Europe and its ideas upon the balance of power, the explanation of which problem was Dyer's principal object.”


The first picture in the Pacilë represented the Athenians drawn up in order of battle, and preparing to engage the Lacedæmonians. Pausanias then proceeds to speak of the middle wall; whence we may conclude with Siebelis that the portico was closed on three sides, and that the middle wall, or that facing the entrance, was double the length of the side walls, as it appears to have contained two pictures, and the others only one. The first of the pictures on the centre wall represented Theseus and the Athenians combating the Amazons. The subject of the second picture was the Greeks and their kings debating about the outrage of Ajax on Cassandra after the capture of Troy. Here Ajax himself was represented, as well as Cassandra and other captive women.

The last of the paintings had for its subject the battle of Marathon. In the foreground the Athenians and Platæans--the only Greeks who aided them against the Persians--were seen engaged with the Persians in equal combat, the Platæans aided by Baotian dogs. Beyond these, in the middle ground, the barbarians were flying, and pushing one another into the marsh. This lake or marsh was that formed by the Charadras, under the hills of the isthmus of Rhamnus. In the extreme distance were the Phænician ships, and the Greeks slaying the barbarians who were attempting to get on board. In the picture were also represented the divinities and heroes who were thought to have aided the Athenians in the fight ; as the hero Marathon, son of Apollo, after whom the district was named; Theseus ascending through the earth as if from Hades, Athena and Hera. cles, the latter of whom the Marathonians claimed to have been the first to worship. Among the combatants most conspicuously represented were the Athenian polemarch Callimachus, Miltiades, one of the generals, and the hero Echetlus, or Echetlæus. This last, as Pausanias relates further on, was the man of rustic aspect who appeared in the battle, and, after slaying many of the barbarians with a ploughshare, suddenly vanished. To the Athenians who inquired about him, the oracle only replied that they must honor the hero Echetlæus. There was also in the picture a head of Butes, but only as far as the eyes, the rest of the figure being hid behind a mountain, whence, from being so easily painted, the proverb θάττον ή Βούτης. The picture of the battle of Marathon was, no doubt, that which most attracted the attention of the Athenians, as we may conclude from the copious notices which they have left us of it. - From Ancient Athens.


An historian of art has not hesitated to say that the Angels of Signorelli are more beautiful than those of Michelangelo.

This verdict will at least hold good if the comparison be restricted to Michelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgment. Horror is the key-note of that composition, and anything that might detract from it is almost entirely excluded. The motive is Christ in his wrath, one might almost say in his vengeance for sufferings on earth, the instruments of which are displayed above him—the cross, the nails, the crown of thorns, the column, the sponge, and the ladder. His figure has neither divine majesty, nor the bearing of a calm and equitable judge ; it is rather a stalwart mortal who is condemning with signs of fury those who have offended him. His words and gestures are so terrible that the Virgin mother, who sits beside him, turns aside with alarm and pity. The female figures are few, and they are purposely without the beauty which he was so capable of depicting, as shown by his Eve in the Fall. The same may be said of the male figures. Adam, who as the representative of the human race, stands on one side of the judgmentseat, and S. Peter, as the founder of Christianity, on the other, have not the dignity of the prophets in the ceiling of the chapel. The lower part of the picture, showing the approaching punishment of the damned, is perhaps the best. In mid-air are seen the Seven Angels of the Revelation, sounding their trumpets. Michelangelo has here introduced a characteristic trait. The Angel on the side of the wicked has an enormous volume full of their sins, whilst another on the side of the blessed holds but a small book of their good deeds. Below this group is the boat of Charon, who, striking with the oar his unhappy passengers, compels them to land on that desolate shore. Here they are received by Minos, a strange figure with ass's ears, and an enormous serpent coiled round his middle. According to Vasari, it is a portrait of Messer Biagio de Cesena, the Pope's Master of the Ceremonies, who had complained to him of the many nudities which Michelangelo had introduced. The Pope asked where the figure had been placed, and when told that it was in Hell, remarked that he had no power in the matter, though he could have released him from Purgatory.

Before this grand picture criticism stands as it were disarmed. The subject itself, as well as the genius of the artist who conceived it, are beyond the rules of ordinary art. It is said that there is but one step between the sublime and the ridiculous ; but Michelangelo seems to have been sometimes capable of placing himself in the middle of that step, so that we tremble with apprehension as to the side on which he will fall. In the judgment of this matter much will depend on the spectator's turn of mind. Burke has observed that in all the pictures he had seen of Hell he had been at a loss to determine whether the painter did not intend something ludicrous. Superstition rests on terror, its chief antidote is ridicule, by means of which Lucian went far to destroy the gods of paganism ; but ridicule is powerless where terror is overwhelming and absorbing.- From Imitative Art.


The great Roman highways did not exceed fifteen feet in breadth, and were sometimes a foot or two less. In constructing them, the earth was excavated till a solid foundation was obtained, or, in swampy places, a foundation was made by driving piles. Over this, which was called the gremium, four courses or strata were laid ; namely the statumen, the rudus, the nucleus, and the pavimentum. The statumen, which rested on the gremium, consisted of loose stones of a moderate size. The rudus or rubble-work, over this, about nine inches thick, was composed of broken stones, cemented with lime. The nucleus, half a foot thick, was made with pottery broken into small pieces, and also cemented with lime. Over all was the pavimentum, or pavement, consisting of large polygonal blocks of hard stone, and particularly in the neighborhood of Rome, of basaltic lava, nicely fitted together, so as to present a smooth surface. The road was somewhat elevated in the centre, to allow the water to run off, and on each side were raised footpaths covered with gravel. At certain intervals were blocks of stone, to enable a horseman to mount. Roads thus constructed were of such extraordinary durability, that portions of some more than a thousand years old are still in a high state of preservation.History of the City of Rome.

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