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CHAPTER II.

OF EUROPE: ITS TOPOGRAPHY AND ETHNOLOGY.

ITS PRIMITIVE MODES OF THOUGHT, AND THEIR PROGRESSIVE VARIATIONS

MANIFESTED IN THE GREEK AGE OF CREDULITI.

Description of Europe : its Topography, Meteorology, and secular

Geological Movements.Their Effect on its Inhabitants. Its Ethnology determined through its Vocabularies. Comparative Theology of Greece; the Stage of Sorcery, the Anthro

pocentric Stage. -Becomes connected with false Geography and Astronomy.Heaven, the Earth, the Under World.--Origin, continuous Variation and Progress of Greek Theology.-It introduces Ionic

Philosophy. Decline of Greek Theology, occasioned by the Advance of Geography and

Philosophical Criticism.--Secession of Poets, Philosophers, Historians. -Abortive public Attempts to sustain it. - Duration of its Decline.Its Fall.

EUROPE is geographically a peninsula, and historically a dependency of Asia.

It is constructed on the western third of a vast mountain axis, which reaches in a broken and Description of irregular course from the Sea of Japan to the Europe. Bay of Biscay. On the flanks of this range, peninsular slopes are directed toward the south, and extensive plateaus to the north. The culminating point in Europe is Mont Blanc, 16,000 feet above the level of the sea. The axis of elevation is not the axis of figure; the incline to the south is much shorter and steeper than that to the north. The boundless plains of Asia are prolonged through Germany and Holland. An army may pass from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of more than six thousand miles, without encountering any elevation of more than a few hundred feet. The descent from Asia

Exterior and

into Europe is indicated in a general manner by the mean elevation of the two continents above the level of the sea ; that for Asia being 1132 feet, that for Europe 671. Through the avenue thus open to them, the Oriental The great

hordes have again and again precipitated thempath-zone. selves on the West. With an abundance of springs and head-waters, but without any stream capable of offering a serious obstacle, this tract has a temperature well suited to military movements. It coincides generally with the annual isothermal line of 50°, skirting the northern boundary beyond which the vine ceases to grow, and the limiting region beyond which the wild boar does not pass. Constructed thus, Europe is not only easily accessible

from Asia, a fact of no little moment in its interior acces- ancient history, but it is also singularly accessibility.

sible interiorly, or from one of its parts to another. Still more, its sea-line is so broken, it has so many intrusive gulfs and bays, that, its surface considered, its maritime coast is greater than that of any other continent. In this respect it contrasts strikingly with Africa. Europe has one mile of coast-line for every 156 square miles of surface, Africa has only one for every 623. This extensive maritime contact adds, of course, greatly to its interior as well as exterior accessibility.

The mean annual temperature of the European countries on the southern slope of the mountain axis is from 60° to 70° F., but of those to the north the heat gradually declines, until, at the extreme limit on the shores of Zembla, the ground is perpetually frozen. As on other parts of the globe, the climate does not correspond

to the latitude, but is disturbed by several

causes, among which may be distinguished the Europe. great Atlantic

current--the Gulf Stream coming from America---and the Sahara Desert. The latter gives to the south of Europe an unduly high heat, and the former to Ireland, England, and the entire west a genial temperature. Together they press into higher latitudes the annual isothermal lines. If in Europe there are no deserts, there are none of those impenetrable forests seen in tropical countries. From the westerly shores of

Distribution of heat in

Portugal, France, and Ireland, the humidity diminishes as we pass to the east, and, indeed, if we advance into Asia, it disappears in the desert of Gobi. There are no vast homogeneous areas as in Asia, and therefore there is no widespread uniformity in the races of men.

But not only is the temperature of the European continent elevated by the Gulf Stream and the south-west wind, its luxuriance of vegetation depends on them ; for luxuriance of vegetation is determined, among other things, by the supply of rain. A profusion of And the quanwater gives to South America its amazing forests; tity of rain. a want inflicts on Australia its shadeless trees, with their shrunken and pointed leaves. With the diminished moisture the green gardens of France are replaced in Gobi by ligneous plants covered with a gray down. Physical circumstances control the vegetable as well as the animal world.

The westerly regions of Europe, through the influence of the south-west wind, the Gulf Stream, and their mountain ranges, are supplied with abundant rains, and have a favourable mean annual temperature; but as we pass to the eastern confines the number of rainy days diminishes, the absolute annual quantity of rain and snow is less, and the mean annual temperature is lower. On the Atlantic face of the mountains of Norway it is perpetually raining : the annual depth of water is there 82 inches; but on the opposite side of those mountains is only 21 inches. For similar reasons, Ireland is moist and green, and in Cornwall the laurel and camellia will bear a winter exposure.

There are six maximum points of rain-Norway, Scotland, South-western Ireland and England, Portugal, North-eastern Spain, Lombardy. They respectively correspond to mountains. In general, the amount of rain diminishes from the equator toward the poles ; but it is greatly controlled by the disturbing influence of elevated ridges, which in many instances far more than compensate for the effects of latitude. The Alps exercise an influence over the meteorology of all Europe.

Not only do mountains thus determine the absolute quantity of rain, they also affect the number of rainy days

in a year. The occurrence of a rainy season depends on the amount of moisture existing in the air; and hence its frequency is greater at the Atlantic sea-board than in the interior, where the wind arrives in a drier state, much of its moisture having been precipitated by the mountains The number forcing it to a great elevation. Thus, on the of rainy days; eastern coast of Ireland it rains 208 days in a year; in England, about 150; at Kazan, 90; and in Siberia only 60 days.

When the atmospheric temperature is sufficiently low, the condensed water descends under the form of snow. In general, the annual depth of snow and the number of snowy days increase toward the north. In Rome the and of snowy snowy days are 1}; in Venice, 51; in Paris, 12; days. in St. Petersburgh, 171. Whatever causes interfere with the distribution of heat must influence the precipitation of snow; among such are the Gulf Stream and local altitude. Hence, on the coast of Portugal, snow is of infrequent occurrence; in Lisbon it never snowed from 1806 to 1811.

Such facts teach us how many meteorological contrasts Europe presents, how many climates it contains. Necessarily it is full of modified men.

If we examine the maps, of monthly isothermals, we Vibrations of

observe how strikingly those lines change, bethe isother- coming convex to the north assummer approaches,

and concave as winter. They by no means observe a parallelism to the mean, but change their flexures, assuming new sinuosities. In their absolute transfer they move

with a variable velocity, and through spaces far from insignificant. The line of 50° F., which in January passes through Lisbon and the south of the Morea, in July has travelled to the north shore of Lapland, and incloses the White. Sea. As in some grand musical instrument, the strings of which vibrate, the isothermal lines of Europe and Asia beat to and fro, but it takes a

year

for them to accomplish one pulsation. All over the world physical circumstances control the human race. They make the Australian a savage; incapacitate the negro, who can never invent an alphabet or an arithmetic, and whose theology never passes beyond

mal lines.

modified men.

the stage of sorcery. They cause the Tartars to delight in a diet of milk, and the American Indian to Europs is full abominate it. They make the dwarfish races of of meteoroEurope instinctive miners and metallurgists. An . Aconartificial control over temperature by dwellings, therefore of warm for the winter and cool for the summer; variations of clothing to suit the season of the year, and especially the management of fire, have enabled man to maintain himself in all climates. The invention of artificial light has extended the available term of his life; by giving the night to his use, it has, by the social intercourse it encourages, polished his manners and refined his tastes, perhaps as much as any thing else has aided in his intellectual progress. Indeed, these are among the primary conditions that have occasioned his civilization. Variety of natural conditions gives rise to different national types, artificial inventions occasion renewed modifications. Where there are many climates there will be many forms of men. Herein, as we shall in due season discover, lies the explanation of the energy of European life, and the development of its civilization.

Would any one deny the influence of rainy days on our industrial habits and on our mental condition even in a civilized state? With how much more force, then, must such meteorological incidents have acted on the ill-protected, ill-clad, and ill-housed barbarian! Would any one deny the increasing difficulty with which life is maintained as we pass from the southern peninsulas to the more rigorous climates of the north? There is a relationship between the mean annual heat of a locality and the instincts of its inhabitants for food. The Sicilian is satisfied with a light farinaceous repast and a few fruits ; the Norwegian requires a strong diet of flesh; to the Laplander it is none the less acceptable if grease of the bear, or train oil, or the blubber of whales be added. Meteorology to no little extent influences the morals; the instinctive propensity to drunkenness is a function of the latitude. Food, houses, clothing, bear a certain relation to the isothermal lines.

For similar reasons, the inhabitants of Europe each year tend to more complete homogeneity. Climate and meteorological differences are more and more perfectly

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