Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/618

This page needs to be proofread.


BIBLICAL


548


BIBLICAL


these books were intended. Probably it was for

religious instruction; perhaps also to serve as models for artists. It is certain that they exercised a great influence in spreading a knowledge of the mysteries of Faith, affording themes for preachers and artists. At Hirschau in Swabia, the entire series of pictures is reproduced in stained glass.

Only a few manuscript copies of the " Biblia Pau- perum" are extant; they come from the school of John van Eyck (1366-1466). The block-book, or xylographic process, appeared early in the fifteenth century, and Sotheby counts seven editions made from these wooden slabs. Only one side of the paper was printed, two sheets being pasted together to make a leaf. Five copies are in the Bibliotheque Nationale: four have forty plates; one copy is coloured by hand; the fifth has fifty plates. The first edition from movable types was printed by Pfister at Bam- berg in 1462. The earlier editions have Latin texts; later they were printed in the vernacular. A Ger- man "Armenbibel" was published in 1470, and at Paris in 1503, A. V^rard published "Les Figures du Vieil Testament et du Nouveau". In some of the printed editions the original arrangement of pictures and texts was modified. In the latter half of the fifteenth century these books were very popular. As improved methods made it possible to issue the whole Bible with illustrations, the "Biblia" fell into disuse and disappeared. Several facsimile re- productions have appeared -nith historical and bibliographical introductions notably by Berjeau (1859); Camesina and Heider (Vienna, 1S63); Unwin (London, 1884), with introduction by Dean Stanley; Einsle (Vienna, 1890); Laib and Schwarz (1892) and P. Heitz (1902).

SoTHEBT, The Block-Books or Xylographic Delineations of Scripture History issued in Holland, France, and Germany (London, 1858). See also the introductions to the facsimile editions, Vigouroux, Diet, de la Bible, s. v.; Streber in Kir- chenlei,, s. v.; Chevalier, Rep, des sources hist, du moyen dge: Topo-bibl.

John Cohbett.

Biblical Antiquities. — This department of archse- ology has been variously defined and classified. Some scholars have included in it even Biblical chronology, geography, and natural history, but WTongly so, as these tlu'ee branches of Biblical science belong rather to the external environment of history proper. Archseologj', properly speaking, is the science of antiquities, and of those antiquities only which be- long more closely to the imier life and environment of a nation, such as their monumental records, the sources of their history, their domestic, social, re- ligious, and political life, as well as their manners and customs. Hence, history proper, geography, and natural history must be excluded from the domain of archaeology. So also the study of monumental records and inscriptions and of their historical inter- pretation must be left either to the historian, or to the sciences of epigraphy and numismatics. Ac- cordingly, Biblical .Ajcha-ology may be appropriately defined as: the science of I. Domestic, or Social, II. PoLiTic.\L, and III. Sacred, .^.ntiquities of the Hebrew nation.

Our principal sources of information are: (a) The Old Testament writings; (b) the archaeological dis- coveries made in Syria and Palestine; (c) the Assyro- Babylonian, Egyptian, and Canaanitish monuments; (d) the New Testament writings; (e) the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds; (f) comparative study of Semitic religions, customs, and institutions.

I. Do.MESTic Antiquities. — (1) Family and clan, — The Old Testament books present us the Hebrews as having passed through two stages of social develop- ment: the pastoral and the agricultural. The stories of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, picture


them as dwelling in tents and constantly moving from one pasture-ground to another. In course of time tents merged into huts, huts into houses, and these into settlements, villages, and cities, surrounded by cornfields, vineyards, oliveyards, and gardens. Flocks and herds became rarer and rarer till the time of the early monarchy and afterwards, when, with few exceptions, they gave way to commerce and trade. As among all nations of antiquity, a coalition of various members, or branches, of the same family constituted a clan which, as an organization, seems to have antedated the family. A coalition of clans termed a tribe which was governed by its own chiefs or leaders. Some of the Hebrew clans at the time of the settlement in Canaan seem to have been organ- ized, some to have been broken up and wholly or partially incorporated with other clans. A man's standing in his clan was so important that if he was cast out he became ipso facto an outlaw, unless, indeed, some other clan could be found to receive him. After the settlement, the Hebrew clan-system changed somewhat and slowly degenerated till the time of the monarchy, when it fell into the back- ground and became absorbed by the more compli- cated system of national and monarchical govern- ment.

(2) Marriage and the constitution of the family, — In ancient Hebrew times the family, as a social or- ganization, and as compared with the clan, must have held a secondary place. Comparative Semitic analogy and Biblical evidences seem to indicate that among the early Hebrews, as among other early Semitic nations, man lived under a matriarchate system, i. e. kinship was constituted by uterine ties, and descent was reckoned through female lines; the father's relation to his children being, if not ignored, certainly of little or no importance. Hence a man's kin were the relatives of his mother, not those of his father; and consequently all hereditary property descended in the female line. The position of woman during the early Hebrew period, although inferior to what it became later, was not as low and insig- nificant as many are inclined to believe. Many episodes in the lives of women like Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel, Deborah, Mary the sister of Moses, Delilah, Jephtah's daughter, and others are sufficient evi- dences. The duties of a woman, as such and as a wife and mother, were heavj' both physically and morally. The work in and about the home devolved upon her, even to the pitching of the tent, as also the work of the field with the men at certain seasons. The position of the man as father and as the head of the household was of course superior to that of the wife; upon him devolved the duty and care of the training of the children, when they had reached a certain age, as also the offering of sacrifices, which necessarily included the slaughtering of domestic animals, and the conduct of all devotional and ritualistic services. To these must be added the duty of maintaining the family, which presupposes a multitude of physical and moral obligations and hardships.

Polygamy was an acknowledged form of marriage in the patriarchal and post-patriarch"al periods, although in later times it was considerably restricted. The Jlosaic law everywhere requires a distinction to be made between the first wife and those taken in addition to her. Marriage between near relatives was common, owing to a desire to preserve, as far as possible, the family bond intact. As the family was subordinate to the clan, the whole social life of the people, marriage, and even property rights were under the surveillance of the same. Hence a woman was to marry within the same clan; but if she chose to marry without the clan, she should do so only upon such terms as the clan might permit by its customs or by its action in a particular case. So,