Das Keltische Britannien Bis Zu Kaiser Arthur. Von Ernst Windisch. Abhandlungen der philol. histor. Klasse der kgl. sächs. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, xxix, 6. 302 pp. Leipzig: Teubner. 9 Mk

F. Haverfield
1913 Journal of Roman Studies  
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more » ... ies. All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS. NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS. With sufficient subtlety to be agreeable, and with not so much as to be teasing and puerile, he has drawn the parallels suggested by that odd world which is so utterly different from the mixed quiet and depth of the middle ages, from the furor poeticus et politicus of the renaissance, and from the comfortable wisdom of the eighteenth century -so like our modern measles and dyspepsia and silliness, but, as in our case, not without some " clever-silliness " to dash the cocktail. The " love of encyclopaedias "-one of Professor Phillimore's very pretty touches; the earlier equivalents of our pragmatism and pluralism and other ingeniously jargoned fashions of evading questions which one cannot answer; the "broad-minded" eclecticism, which is simply a symptom of a mental physique too weak to have a backbone, and too narrow to have a definite bulkall these things were in the days of Philostratus, and he has shown them in this enigmatic production " to " Apollonius. Of what the " to" means; whether Apollonius ever existed; whether (here Professor Phillimore is less Socratic and more positive than usual) the book is a romance, as he thinks, or whether it is something more or less; what its relation is to Christian categorics or apologetics-on all these he speaks generally as has been said, Socratically, always learnedly and not seldom with a pungency rather Lucianic than Philostratean. Of course the exposition is sometimes, if not usually, a masked battery; but that makes the perusal of it all the livelier. That the Apollonius is neither an attack on Christianity nor a definite attempt to substitute scmething for it, may be taken as tolerably certain; that it is an expression of the general feeling, " Wanted, a religion," is still more so. But the want is superficial, dilettante, fashionable; and that, as such, it comes again nearer and ever nearer to modern discussions, not merely about actual religion but about social reform, rights if not of man yet of sexes, classes, quasi-national groups and so on, is clearest of all. Its obvious, if mainly unconscious, insincerity; its saturation with the written, if not the printed, book; its character of the novel (perhaps " romance " is too high a word for it), all complete the resemblance, and, to those who have eyes to see, intensify the interest. Yet it is Philostratus who gives us the only definition of imagination that we get till Shakespeare; it is Philostratus who, in his portraits more or less favourable of sages Indian and African, of the Tyanean himself, an'd of that very puzzling and very amusing " Damis " who suggests now Boswell and now Mirabeau's fils adoptif, is almost a modern charactermonger. He has not Lucian's all-dissolving irony, nor his marvellous style, nor that resistless and almost diabolic quality of "possessing " every subject he touches, which distinguishes the Samosatan. But if he is less universal he is more particular; he is more like an actual inhabitant (a very respectable and cultivated inhabitant) of the Roman empire than a criticising visitor from some planet, probably Mercury. And so, quite independently of the interesting minor problems which to some extent beset even his identity and date, and to a still greater extent the attribution of other works to him, he is more than well worth reading to-day. And those who cannot or, if they can, will not read him in his own language, may be congratulated on having the chance of doing so in this present translation: while those who have read him in the original should certainly read him again here, and devote no little attention to the introductory matter, which perhaps they only are quite in a position to appreciate, but which no intelligent person, however little of a technical scholar, can read without enjoyment and profit. GEORGE SAINTSBURY. DAS KELTISCHE BRITANNIEN BIS ZU KAISER ARTHUR. Von ERNST WINDISCH. Abhandlungen der philol. histor. Klasse der kgl. sachs. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, xxix, 6. 302 pp. Leipzig: Teubner. 9 Mk.
doi:10.2307/296030 fatcat:334xceutufecpn3q7yt5leqspm