Open main menu
This page has been validated.
260
CHODOWIECKI—CHOIR

his diminished forces. But the victory was dearly purchased by Poland. A few days before the siege was raised the aged grand hetman died of exhaustion in the fortress (Sept. 24th, 1621).

See Adam Stanislaw Naruszewicz, Life of J. K. Chodkiewicz (Pol.; 4th ed., Cracow, 1857–1858); Lukasz Golebiowski, The Moral Side of J. K. Chodkiewicz as indicated by his Letters (Pol.; Warsaw, 1854). (R. N. B.) 


CHODOWIECKI, DANIEL NICOLAS (1726–1801), German painter and engraver of Polish descent, was born at Danzig. Left an orphan at an early age, he devoted himself to the practice of miniature painting, the elements of which his father had taught him, as a means of support for himself and his mother. In 1743 he went to Berlin, where for some time he worked as clerk in an uncle’s office, practising art, however, in his leisure moments, and gaining a sort of reputation as a painter of miniatures for snuff-boxes. The Berlin Academy, attracted by a small engraving of his, entrusted to him the illustration of its yearly almanac. After designing and engraving several subjects from the story of the Seven Years’ War, Chodowiecki produced the famous “History of the Life of Jesus Christ,” a set of admirably painted miniatures, which made him at once so popular that he laid aside all occupations save those of painting and engraving. Few books were published in Prussia for some years without plate or vignette by Chodowiecki. It is not surprising, therefore, that the catalogue of his works (Berlin, 1814) should include over 3000 items, of which, however, the picture of “Jean Calas and his Family” is the only one of any reputation. He became director of the Berlin Academy in 1797. The title of the German Hogarth, which he sometimes obtained, was the effect of an admiration rather imaginative than critical, and was disclaimed by Chodowiecki himself. The illustrator of Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy, the painter of the “Hunt the Slipper” in the Berlin museum, had indeed but one point in common with the great Englishman—the practice of representing actual life and manners. In this he showed skilful drawing and grouping, and considerable expressional power, but no tendency whatever to the use of the grotesque.

His brother Gottfried (1728–1781) and son Wilhelm (1765–1803) painted and engraved after the style of Daniel, and sometimes co-operated with him.


CHOERILUS. (1) An Athenian tragic poet, who exhibited plays as early as 524 B.C. He was said to have competed with Aeschylus, Pratinas and even Sophocles. According to F. G. Welcker, however, the rival of Sophocles was a son of Choerilus, who bore the same name. Suidas states that Choerilus wrote 150 tragedies and gained the prize 13 times. His works are all lost; only Pausanias (i. 14) mentions a play by him entitled Alope (a mythological personage who was the subject of dramas by Euripides and Carcinus). His reputation as a writer of satyric dramas is attested in the well-known line

ἡνίκα μἑν βασιλεὑς ἡν Χοιρίλος ἐν Σατύοις.

The Choerilean metre, mentioned by the Latin grammarians, is probably so called because the above line is the oldest extant specimen. Choerilus was also said to have introduced considerable improvements in theatrical masks and costumes.

See A. Nauck, Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta (1889); F. G. Welcker, Die griechischen Tragödien, pp. 18, 892.

(2) An epic poet of Samos, who flourished at the end of the 5th century B.C. After the fall of Athens he settled at the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia, where he was the associate of Agathon, Melanippides, and Plato the comic poet. The only work that can with certainty be attributed to him is the Περσηίς or Περσικά, a history of the struggle of the Greeks against Persia, the central point of which was the battle of Salamis. His importance consists in his having taken for his theme national and contemporary events in place of the deeds of old-time heroes. For this new departure he apologizes in the introductory verses (preserved in the scholiast on Aristotle, Rhetoric, iii. 14), where he says that, the subjects of epic poetry being all exhausted, it was necessary to strike out a new path. The story of his intimacy with Herodotus is probably due to the fact that he imitated him and had recourse to his history for the incidents of his poem. The Perseis was at first highly successful and was said to have been read, together with the Homeric poems, at the Panathenaea, but later critics reversed this favourable judgment. Aristotle (Topica, viii. 1) calls Choerilus’s comparisons far-fetched and obscure, and the Alexandrians displaced him by Antimachus in the canon of epic poets. The fragments are artificial in tone.

G. Kinkel, Epicorum Graecorum Frag. i. (1877); for another view of his relations with Herodotus see Müder in Klio (1907), 29-44.

(3) An epic poet of Iasus in Caria, who lived in the 4th century B.C. He accompanied Alexander the Great on his campaigns as court-poet. He is well known from the passages in Horace (Epistles, ii. 1, 232; Ars Poëtica, 357), according to which he received a piece of gold for every good verse he wrote in celebration of the glorious deeds of his master. The quality of his verses may be estimated from the remark attributed to Alexander, that he would rather be the Thersites of Homer than the Achilles of Choerilus. The epitaph on Sardanapalus, said to have been translated from the Chaldean (quoted in Athenaeus, viii. p. 336), is generally supposed to be by Choerilus.

See G. Kinkel, Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, i. (1877); A. F. Näke, De Choerili Samii Aetate Vita et Poësi aliisque Choerilis (1817), where the above poets are carefully distinguished; and the articles in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, iii. 2 (1899).


CHOEROBOSCUS, GEORGIUS (c. A.D. 600), deacon and professor at the oecumenical school at Constantinople. He is also called chartophylax either as the holder of some ecclesiastical office or as superintendent of the university library. It is not known whether “Choeroboscus” (Gr. for “swineherd”) is an allusion to his earlier occupation or an inherited family name. During his tenure of office he delivered a course of lectures on grammar, which has come down to us in the shape of notes taken by his pupils. He drew from the best authorities—Apollonius Dyscolus, Herodian, Orion, Theodosius of Alexandria. The lectures are written in simple style, but suffer from diffuseness. They were much used by Constantine Lascaris in his Greek grammar and by Urban of Belluno (end of 15th cent.). The chief work of Choeroboscus, which we have in its complete form, is the commentary on the canons of Theodosius on Declension and Conjugation. Mention may also be made of a treatise on orthography, of which a fragment (on Quantity) has been preserved; a tract on prosody; commentaries on Hephaestion and Dionysius Thrax; and grammatical notes on the Psalms.

See C. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (1897); A. Hilgard, Grammatici Graeci, iv. (1889–1894), containing the text of the commentary on Theodosius, and a full account of the life and writings of Choeroboscus; L. Kohn in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, iii. 2 (1889); Reitzenstein, Etymologika, 190, n. 4.


CHOIR (O. Fr. cuer from Lat. chorus; pronounced quire, and until the end of the 17th century so spelt, the spelling being altered to agree with the Fr. chœur), the body of singers who perform the musical portion of the service in a church, or the place set apart for them. Any organized body of singers performing full part choral works or oratorios is also called a choir.

In English cathedrals the choir is composed of men (vicars-choral or lay clerks) and boys (choristers). They are divided into two sets, sitting on the north and south sides of the chancel respectively, called cantoris and decani, from being on the same side as the cantor (precentor) or the decanus (dean). This arrangement, together with the custom of vesting choirmen and choristers in surplices (traditional only in cathedrals and collegiate churches), has, since the middle of the 19th century, been adopted in a large number of parish and other churches. Surpliced choirs of women have occasionally been introduced, notably in America and the British colonies, but the practice has no warrant of traditional usage. In the Roman Catholic Church the choir plays a less conspicuous rôle than in the Church of England, its members not being regarded as ministers of the church, and non-Catholics are allowed to sing in it. The singers at Mass or other solemn services are usually placed in a gallery or some other inconspicuous place. The word “choir,” indeed, formerly applied to all the clergy taking part in services of the church, and the restriction of the term to the singing men and boys, who were in their origin no more than the representatives