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To Ptolemy we are also indebted for a work on Geography ased in European schools as late as the fifteenth century. The known world to him was from the Canary Islands His geogra- eastward to China, and from the equator northphy. ward to Caledonia. His maps, however, are very erroneous ; for, in the attempt to make them correspond to the spherical figure of the earth, the longitudes are too much to the east; the Mediterranean Sea is twenty degrees too long. I tolemy's determinations are, therefore, inferior in accuracy to those of his illustrious predecessor Eratosthenes, who made the distance from the sacred promontory in Spain to the eastern mouth of the Ganges to be seventy thousand stadia. Ptolemy also wrote on Optics, the Planisphere, and Astrology. It is not often given to an author to endure for so many ages; perhaps, indeed, few deserve it. The mechanism of the heavens, from his point of view, has however, been greatly misunderstood. Neither he nor Hipparchus ever intended that theory as anything more than a geometrical fiction. It is not to be regarded as a representation of the actual celestial motions. And, as might be expected, for such is the destiny of all unreal abstractions, the theory kept advancing in complexity as facts accumulated, and was on the point of becoming altogether unmanageable, when it was supplanted by the theory of universal gravitation, which has ever exhibited the inalienable attribute of a true theory-affording an explanation of every new fact as soon as it was discovered, without requiring to be burdened with new provisions, and prophetically foretelling phenemona which had not as yet been observed.
From the time of the Ptolemies the scientific spirit of the Alexandrian school declined; for though such mathematicians as Theodosius, whose work on Spherical Geometry was greatly valued by the Arab geometers; and The Loser Pappus, whose mathematical collections, in eight Alexandrian books, still for the most part remain ; and Theon, ge meters. doubly celebrated for his geometrical attainments, and as being the father of the unfortunate Hypatia, A.D. 415, lived in the next three centuries, they were not men like their great predecessors. That mental strength which gives birth to original discovery had passed away
The commantator had succeeded to the philosopher. No new development illustrated the physical sciences; they were destined long to remain stationary. Mechanics could boast of no trophy like the proposition of Archimedes on the equilibrium of the lever; no new and exact ideas like those of the same great man on statical and hydrostatical pressure; no novel and clear views like those developed in his treatise on floating bodies; no mechanical invention like the first of all steam-engines—that of Hero. Natural Philosophy had come to a stop. Its great, and hitherto successfully cultivated department, Astronomy, exhibited no farther advance. Men were content with Decline of the what had been done, and continued to amuse Greek age of themselves with reconciling the celestial pheno- Reison. mena to a combination of equable circular motions. To what are we to attribute this pause? Something had occurred to enervate the spirit of science. A gloom had settled on the Museum.
There is no difficulty in giving an explanation of this unfortunate condition. Greek intellectual life had passed the period of its maturity, and was entering on old age. Moreover, the talent which might have been devoted to the service of science was in part allured to another pursuit, and in part repressed. Alexandria had sapped Athens, and in her turn Alexandria was sapped by Rome. Causes of that From metropolitan pre-eminence sto nad sunk to decline. be a mere provincial town. The great prizes of life were not so likely to be met with in such a declining city as in Italy or, subsequently, in Constantinople. Whatever affected these chief centres of Roman activity, necessarily influenced her; but, such is the fate of the conquered, she must await their decisions. In the very institutions by which she had once been glorified, success could only be attained by a conformity to the manner of thinking fashionable in the imperial metropolis, and the best that could be done was to seek distinction in the path so marked out. Yet even with all this restraint Alexandria asserted her intellectual power, leaving an indelible impress on the new theology of her conquerors. During three centuries the intellectual atmosphere of the Roman empire had been changing. Men were unable to resist the steadily increasing pressure. Tranquillity could only be secured by passiveness. Things had come to such a state that the thinking of men was to be done for them by others, or, if they thought at all, it must be in accordance with a prescribed formula or rule. Greek intellect was passing into decrepitude, and the moral condition of the European world was in antagonism to scientific progress.
CHAPTER VII. THE GREEK AGE OF INTELLECTUAL DECREPITUDE.
THE DEATH OF GREEK PHI.OSOPHY. Decline of Greek Philosophy: it becomes Retrospective, and in Phila
the Jew and Apollonius of Tyana leans on Inspiration, Mysticism,
Miracles. NEO-PLATONISM founded by Ammonius Sacc118, followed by Plotinus,
Porpnyry, Iamblicus. Proclus.—The Alexandrian Trinity.- Ecstasy.
-Alliance with Magic, Necromancy. The Emperor Justiniun closes the philosophical Schools. Summary of Greek Philosophy. - Its four Problems: 1. Origin of the
World ; 2. Nature of the Soul ; 3. Existence of God; 4. Criterion of Truth.-Solution of these Problems in the Age of Inquiry-in that of
Faith—in that of Reason—in that of Decrepitude. Determination of the Law of Variation of Greek Opinion. — The
Development of National Intellect is the same as that of Individual. Determination of the final Conclusio 18 of Greek Philosophy as to God,
the Worlu, the Soul, the Criterion of Truth. — Illustrations and Criticisms on each of these Points.
In this chapter it is a melancholy picture that I have to
W Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
He is full of admiration for the past and of contemptuous disgust at the present; his thoughts are wandering to the things that occupied him in his youth, and even in his infancy. Like those who are ready to die, he delivers himself up to religious preparation, without any farther concern whether the things on which he is depending are intrinsically true or false.
In this, the closing scene, no more do we find the vivid faith of Plato, the mature intellect of Aristotle, the manly self-control of Zeno. Greek philosophy is ending in garrulity and mysticism. It is leaning for help on the conjurer, juggler, and high-priest of Nature.
There are also new-comers obtruding themselves on the stage. The Roman soldier is about to take the place of the Greek thinker, and assert his claim to the effects of the intestate---to keep what suits him, and to destroy what he pleases. The Romans, advancing towards their age of Faith, are about to force their ideas on the European world.
Under the shadow of the Pyramids Greek philosophy was born ; after many wanderings for a thousand years round the shores of the Mediterranean, it came back to its native place, and under the shadow of the Pyramids it died.
From the period of the New Academy the decline of Greek philosophy was uninterrupted. Inventive genius no longer existed; its place was occupied by the commentator. Instead of troubling themselves with inquiries It becomes after absolute truth, philosophers sought supretrospective. port in the opinions of the ancient times, and the real or imputed views of Pythagoras, Plato, or Aristotle were received as a criterion. In this, the old age of philosophy, men began to act as though there had never been such things as original investigation and discovery among the human race, and that whatever truth there was in the world was not the product of thought, but the remains of an ancient and now all but forgotten revelation from heaven-forgotten through the guilt and fall of man. There is something very melancholy in this total cessation of inquiry. The mental impetus, which one would have expected to continue for à season hy