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BACCANCELD


189


BACCHYLUS


is exposed by his mother in a basket of bulrushes and pitch floating on the waters of the Euphrates; he is found by a water carrier and brought up as a gardener. This story cannot but remind us of Moses' birth.

(2) The Psalm. — This species of hterature, which formerly seemed almost limited to the Hebrew race, had a luxurious growTh on Babylonian soil. These songs to the gods or to some one god are indeed often either weird incantations or dreary litanies; and when after perusal of a good number of them one turns to the Hebrew Psalter, no fair-minded person will denj' the almost immeasurable superiority of the latter. On the other hand, naught but unreasoning prejudice would trouble to deny the often touching beauty and nobility of thought in some of these productions of the instinctive piety of a noble race. It is natural moreover that the tone of some Babylonian psalms should strongly remind tas of some .^ongs of Israel, where every psalmist boasted that he had as fore- father a Babylonian: Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees. Some of these psalms are ■nTitten in Sumerian with Semitic Babylonian interlinear trans- lations; others in Semitic Babylonian only. The}' show all sorts of technicalities in versification, paral- lelism, alliteration, and rhythm. There are acrostics and even double acrostics, the initial and final syllable of each line being the same. These psalms contain praise and supplication of the great gods, but, what is most remarkable, .some of them are penitential psalms, the sinner mourning his sin and begging restoration to favour. Moreover, there are a great number of "lamentations" not over personal but over national calamities; and a Bab3-lonian "prophet wept over the fall of Nippur many centiu-ies before Jeremias wrote his inspired songs of sorrow over the destruction of Jerusalem. Besides these there are numberless omen tablets, magical recipes for all sorts of ills, and rituals of temple service, but they belong to the historj- of religion and astrology rather than to that of literature.

(3) The Historical Xarrati^'e. — The Babylonians seemed to have possessed no ex professo historians, who, like a Herodotus, endeavoured to give a con- nected narrative of the past. We have to gather their history from the royal inscriptions on monu- ments and palace walls and state-cylinders, in which each sovereign records his great deefis in perpetuam rei memoriam. Whereas we fortunately possess an abundance of historical te.xts of the Assyrian kings, thanks to the discovery of Assurbanipal's library, we are as yet not so fortunate in the case of Baby- lonian kings; of the early Babylonian city-kings we have a number of shorter inscriptions on steles and boundarj' stones in true lapitlary style and longer historical records in the great cylinder inscriptions of Gudea of Lagash. Whereas we possess considerable historical texts of Hammurabi, we possess but very little of his many successors on the Babylonian throne until the Second Babylonian Empire, when long liistorical texts tell us the doings of Xabopolassar. Nabuchodonosor, and Nabonidus. They are all of a pompous grandeur that palls a little on a Western mind, and their self-adulation comes strange to us. They are in the style which popular imagination is wont to attribute to the utterances of His Celestial Majesty, the Emperor of China. They invariably begin with a long homage to the gods, giving lengthy lists of deities, protectors of the sovereign and state, and end with imprecations on those who destroy, mutilate, or disregard the inscription. The Baby- lonian royal inscriptions, as far as at present known, are almost without exception peaceful in tone and matter. Their ever recurring themes are the erec- tion, restoration, or adornment of temples and palaces, and the digging of canals. Even when at war, the Babylonian king thought it bad taste to


refer to it in his moniunental proclamations. No doubt the Babylonians must have despised Assyrian inscriptions as bloodtliirsty screeds. Because the genius of Babylon was one of culture and peace; therefore, though a world-centre a thousand years before Ninive, it lasted more than a thousand years after Ninive was destroyed.

In addition to literature given after article Assyria: Bos- CAWEN, The First of Empires t2d ed., London, 1905); Bezold, Ninive und Babylon (Leipzig. 1903); Pinches, The Old Testa- ment in the Light of the Historieal Records and Legends of Assj/ria and Babylonia (London. 1903); Savce, The Archirology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions (London, 1907); Jastrow, Die Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens (Giessen, I, 1905; II, 1907); Radac, Early Babylonian History (New York. 1900); La- grange, Historical Criticism and O. T. (London. 19061: Jere- mias, Das Alte Testament in Lichte des alien Orients (Leipzig, 1906); Delitzsch. Babel und Bibel (Leipzig and Stuttgart, 1905) for a collection of texts with immediate bearing on O. T.; WiNcKLER, Keilinschriftliches Textbuch zum Alten Testament (Leipzig, 1903).

J. P. Ahendzen.

Baccanceld (BAPCHiLD.near Sittingbourne, Kent), Synod of (694). This meeting was rather a icitena- gemol, or Parliament, than an ecclesiastical sJ^lod, presided over by Wihtred, Iving of Kent. There were present at its deliberations Brihtwald, Arch- bishop of Canterbury, Tobias, Bishop of Rochester,^ besides abbots, abbesses, priests, deacons, and lay lords. The chief enactments are embodied in a charter whose terms secured to the Church forever the donations and pri\Tleges bestowed on it by the laity, since "what had once been given to God might ne^•er be resumed to man's use". Moreover, on the death of prelates fitting successors were to be ap- pointed with the advice and approval of the arch- bishop, without any royal intervention; such action would nullifj- the election; and lay interference was expressly disclaimed a.s being outside the limits of the laity's rights. The cathedral churches of Canter- bury and Rochester were granted in perpetuity immunity from royal requisitions or tribute other- wise than voluntary, and these were never to create precedent; aU these privileges being secured under severe spiritual penalties for infringement. The interest and importance of this document rest on the fact that Spelman and others regard it as the most ancient English charter. Its authenticity has been called in question; but though different versions of it exist, there can be little doubt of the general genuineness of the terms common to all, as here summarized.

Cotton. MS. Domit. A., VIII; Anglo~Sa:[on Chronicle; Spel- man, Cone., I; Wake, State of the Church; Wilkins, Concilia; Hadd-ax and Stubbs, Eccl. Docts.

Henry Norbert Birt.

Bacchylus, Bishop of Corinth, whom Eusebius mentions among the prominent second-centiuy churchmen (H. E., V, xxii), is knomi only by the part he took in sustaining Pope Victor I in the Quar- todeciman controversy. When that pope, determin- ing to have the Roman paschal computation univers- ally accepted, wrote to secure the co-operation of influential churches, many sjmods were held and their presiding bishops vTote to Victor, all, with the ex- ception of the Asiatics, in support of his design. Among them was Bacchylus. According to a ninth- century witness (c. xiii in Hardouin, Acta Concil., V, 1495) he had held a provincial sjmod, about 195, with eighteen other bishops; and St. Jerome attests that his letter, qualified as elegantem librum, was written in the name of the bishops of Achaia (De vir. ill., c. xliv). Eusebius, however, who had perhaps seen the letter, distinguishes it from the synodical epistles by sajing that it was written in Bacchylus's own name (loc. eit., xxiii). It might be that Bac- chylus held a synod, but in WTiting gave his letter a personal rather than a collective form. No text of the letter is extant, the sources above referred to containing the only available data.