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CHARIOT—CHARITY AND CHARITIES

Cross station of the South-Eastern & Chatham railway, in the courtyard of which a fine modern cross has been erected within a few feet of the exact site. A popular derivation of the name connected it with Edward’s “dear queen” (chère reine), and a village of Cherringe or Charing grew up here later, but the true origin of the name is not known. There is a village of Charing in Kent, and the name is connected by some with that of a Saxon family, Cerring.


CHARIOT (derived from an O. Fr. word, formed from char, a car), in antiquity, a conveyance (Gr. ἅρμα, Lat. currus) used in battle, for the chase, in public processions and in games. The Greek chariot had two wheels, and was made to be drawn by two horses; if a third or, more commonly, two reserve horses were added, they were attached on each side of the main pair by a single trace fastened to the front of the chariot, as may be seen on two prize vases in the British Museum from the Panathenaic games at Athens. On the monuments there is no other sign of traces, from the want of which wheeling round must have been difficult. Immediately on the axle (ἄξων, axis), without springs of any kind, rested the basket or body (δίφρος) of the chariot, which consisted of a floor to stand on, and a semicircular guard round the front about half the height of the driver. It was entirely open at the back, so that the combatant might readily leap to the ground and up again as was necessary. There was no seat, and generally only room for the combatant and his charioteer to stand in. The pole ( ῥυμός, temo) was probably attached to the middle of the axle, though it appears to spring from the front of the basket; at the end of the pole was the yoke (ζυγὸν, jugum), which consisted of two small saddles fitting the necks of the horses, and fastened by broad bands round the chest. Besides this the harness of each horse consisted of a bridle and a pair of reins, mostly the same as in use now, made of leather and ornamented with studs of ivory or metal. The reins were passed through rings attached to the collar bands or yoke, and were long enough to be tied round the waist of the charioteer in case of his having to defend himself. The wheels and body of the chariot were usually of wood, strengthened in places with bronze or iron; the wheels had from four to eight spokes and tires of bronze or iron. This description applies generally to the chariots of all the nations of antiquity; the differences consisted chiefly in the mountings. The chariots of the Egyptians and Assyrians, with whom the bow was the principal arm of attack, were richly mounted with quivers full of arrows, while those of the Greeks, whose characteristic weapon was the spear, were plain except as regards mere decoration. Among the Persians, again, and more remarkably among the ancient Britons, there was a class of chariot having the wheels mounted with sharp, sickle-shaped blades, which cut to pieces whatever came in their way. This was probably an invention of the Persians; Cyrus the younger employed these chariots in large numbers. Among the Greeks and Romans, on the other hand, the chariot had passed out of use in war before historical times, and was retained only for races in the public games, or for processions, without undergoing any alteration apparently, its form continuing to correspond with the description of Homer, though it was lighter in build, having to carry only the charioteer. On two Panathenaic prize vases in the British Museum are figures of racing bigae, in which, contrary to the description given above, the driver is seated with his feet resting on a board hanging down in front close to the legs of his horses. The biga itself consists of a seat resting on the axle, with a rail at each side to protect the driver from the wheels. The chariot was unsuited to the uneven soil of Greece and Italy, and it is not improbable that these nations had brought it with them as part of their original habits from their former seats in the East. In the remains of Egyptian and Assyrian art there are numerous representations of chariots, from which it may be seen with what richness they were sometimes ornamented. The “iron” chariots in use among the Jews appear to have been chariots strengthened or plated with metal, and no doubt were of the form above described, which prevailed generally among the other ancient nations. (See also Carriage.)

The chief authorities are J. C. Ginzrot, Die Wagen and Fahrwerke der Griechen und Römer (1817); C. F. Grashof, Über das Fuhrwerk bei Homer und Hesiod (1846); W. Leaf in Journal of Hellenic Studies, v.; E. Buchholz, Die homerischen Realien (1871-1885); W. Helbig, Das homerische Epos aus den Denkmälern erläutert (1884), and the article “Currus” in Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionnaire des Antiquités.


CHARISIUS, FLAVIUS SOSIPATER, Latin grammarian, flourished about the middle of the 4th century A.D. He was probably an African by birth, summoned to Constantinople to take the place of Euanthius, a learned commentator on Terence. The Ars Grammatica of Charisius, in five books, addressed to his son (not a Roman, as the preface shows), has come down to us in a mutilated condition, the beginning of the first, part of the fourth, and the greater part of the fifth book having been lost. The work, which is merely a compilation, is valuable as containing excerpts from the earlier writers on grammar, who are in many cases mentioned by name—Q. Remmius Palaemon, C. Julius Romanus, Cominianus.

The best edition is by H. Keil, Grammatici Latini, i. (1857); see also article by G. Götz in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, iii. 2 (1899); Teuffel-Schwabe, Hist. of Roman Literature (Eng. trans.), § 419, I. 2; Fröhde, in Jahr. f. Philol., 18 Suppl. (1892), 567-672.


CHARITON, of Aphrodisias in Caria, the author of a Greek romance entitled The Loves of Chaereas and Callirrhoë, probably flourished in the 4th century A.D. The action of the story, which is to a certain extent historical, takes place during the time of the Peloponnesian War. Opinions differ as to the merits of the romance, which is an imitation of Xenophon of Ephesus and Heliodorus.

Editions by J. P. D’Orville (1783), G.A. Hirschig (1856) and R. Hercher (1859); there is an (anonymous) English translation (1764); see also E. Rohde, Der griechische Roman (1900).


CHARITY AND CHARITIES. The word “charity,” or love, represents the principle of the good life. It stands for a mood or habit of mind and an endeavour. From it, as a habit of mind, springs the social and personal endeavour which in the widest sense we may call charity. The two correspond. Where the habit of mind has not been gained, the endeavour fluctuates and is relatively purposeless. In so far as it has been gained, the endeavour is founded on an intelligent scrutiny of social conditions and guided by a definite purpose. In the one case it is realized that some social theory must be found by us, if our action is to be right and consistent; in the other case no need of such a theory is felt. This article is based on the assumption that there are principles in charity or charitable work, and that these can be ascertained by a study of the development of social conditions, and their relation to prevalent social aims and religious or philosophic conceptions. It is assumed also that the charity of the religious life, if rightly understood, cannot be inconsistent with that of the social life.

Perhaps some closer definition of charity is necessary. The words that signify goodwill towards the community and its members are primarily words expressive of the affections of family life in the relations existing between parents, and between parent and child. As will be seen, the analogies underlying such phrases as “God the Father,” “children of God,” “brethren,” have played a great part in the development of charitable thought in pre-Christian as well as in Christian days. The germ, if we may say so, of the words φιλία, ἀγάπη, amor, love; amicitia, friendship, is the sexual or the parental relation. With the realization of the larger life in man the meaning of the word expands. Caritas, or charity, strikes another note—high price, and thus dearness. It is charity, indeed, expressed in mercantile metaphor; and it would seem that it was associated in thought with the word χάρις, which has also a commercial meaning, but signifies as well favour, gratitude, grace, kindness. Partly thus, perhaps, it assumed and suggested a nobler conception; and sometimes, as, for instance, in English ecclesiastical documents, it was spelt charitas. Άγάπη, which in the Authorized Version of the Bible is translated charity, was used by St Paul as a translation of the Hebrew word hēsēd, which in the Old Testament is in the same version translated “mercy”—as in Hosea vi. 6, “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.” This word represents the charity of kindness and goodness, as distinguished from almsgiving. Almsgiving, şedāqāh, is translated by the word ἐλεημοσύνη in the Septuagint, and in the Authorized Version by the word “righteousness.” It represents the deed or the gift which is due—done or made, not spontaneously, but under a sense of religious obligation. In the earlier Christian period the word almsgiving has this meaning, and was in that sense applied to a wide range of actions and contracts, from