Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
618
INSCRIPTIONS

meadows and gardens; the brickmakers, quarrymen and artizans in still other cottages in the neighbourhood of the scenes of their activities. In addition to these groups of cottages, which constitute the majority of the buildings in the village, an infirmary for bedridden, excited and crippled patients is required, and a small hospital for the sick. All the inhabitants of the colony are under medical supervision. A laboratory for scientific researches forms a highly important part of the equipment. The colony is not looked upon as a refuge for the incurable; it is still a hospital for the sick, where treatment is carried on under the most humane and most suitable conditions, and wherein the perecentage of recoveries will be larger than in asylums and hospitals as now conducted. In respect of the establishment of colonies for the insane upon the plan outlined here, Germany has, as in the case of the psychopathic hospital, led the world. It has been less difficult for that country to set the example, because she had fewer of the conditions of the past to fight, and with her the progress of medical science and of methods of instruction in all departments of medicine has been more pronounced and rapid.

Among the German colonies for the insane, that at Alt-Scherbitz, near Leipzig, is the oldest and most successful, and is pre-eminent in its close approach to the ideal village or colony system. In 1899 Professor Kraeplin of Heidelberg stated (Psychiatrie, 6th edition) that the effort was made everywhere in Germany to give the exterior of asylums, by segregation of the patients in separate home-like villas, rather the appearance of hamlets for working-people than prisons for the insane, and he said, further, that the whole question of the care of the insane had found solution in the colony system, the best and cheapest method of support. “I have myself,” he writes, “had opportunity to see patients, who had lived for years in a large closed asylum, improve in the most extraordinary manner under the influence of the freer movement and more independent occupation of colony life.”

In America the colony scheme has been successfully adopted by the state of New York at the Craig Colony for Epileptics at Sonyea and elsewhere.

That the tendency nowadays, even outside of Germany, in the direction of the ideal standard of provision for the insane is a growing one is manifested in all countries by a gradual disintegration of the former huge cloister-like abodes. More asylums are built on the pavilion plan. Many asylums have, as it were, thrown off detached cottages for the better care of certain patients. Some asylums have even established small agricultural colonies a few miles away from the parent plant, like a vine throwing out feelers. What is called the boarding-out system is an effort in a similar direction. Patients suffering from mild forms of insanity are boarded out in families in the country, either upon public or private charge. Gheel is an example of the boarding-out system practised on a large scale. But the ideal system is that of the psychopathic hospital and the colony for the insane.

Authorities.—Sir J. B. Tuke, Dictionary of Psychological Medicine, (London and Philadelphia, 1892); W. P. Letchworth, The Insane in Foreign Countries (New York, 1889); Care and Treatment of Epileptics (New York, 1900); F. Peterson, Mental Diseases (Philadelphia, 1899); “Annual Address to the American Medico-Psychological Association,” Proceedings (1899).

(F. P.*)

INSCRIPTIONS (from Lat. inscribere, to write upon), the general term for writings cut on stone or metal, the subject matter of epigraphy. See generally Writing and Palaeography. Under this heading it is convenient here to deal more specifically with four groups of ancient inscriptions, Semitic, Indian, Greek and Latin, but further information will be found in numerous separate articles on philological subjects. See especially Cuneiform, Babylonia and Assyria, Sumer, Behistun, Egypt (Language and Writing), Ethiopia, Phoenicia, Arabia, Hittites, Sabaeans, Minaeans, Etruria, Aegean Civilization, Crete, Cyprus, Britain, Scandinavian Languages, Teutonic Languages, Central America: Archaeology, &c.

I. Semitic Inscriptions

Excluding cuneiform (q.v.), the inscriptions known as Semitic are usually classed under two main heads as North and South Semitic. The former class includes Hebrew (with Moabite), Phoenician (with Punic and neo-Punic), and Aramaic (with Nabataean and Palmyrene). The South Semitic class includes the Minaean and Sabaean inscriptions of South Arabia. In most of these departments there has been a very large increase of material during recent years, some of which is of the highest historical and palaeographical importance. The North Semitic monuments have received the greater share of attention because of their more general interest in connexion with the history of surrounding countries.

1. North Semitic.—The earliest authority for any North Semitic language is that of the Tel-el-Amarna tablets (15th century B.C.) which contain certain “Canaanite glosses,”[1] i.e. North Semitic words written in cuneiform characters. From these to the first inscription found in the North Semitic alphabet, there is an interval of about six centuries. The stele of Mesha, commonly called the Moabite Stone, was set up in the 9th century B.C. to commemorate the success of Moab in shaking off the Israelitish rule. It is of great value, both historically as relating to events indicated in 2 Kings i. 1, iii. 5, &c., and linguistically as exhibiting a language almost identical with Hebrew—that is to say, another form of the same Canaanitish language. It was discovered in 1868 by the German missionary, Klein, on the site of Dibon, intact, but was afterwards broken up by the Arabs. The fragments,[2] collected with great difficulty by Clermont-Ganneau and others, are now in the Louvre. Its genuineness was contested by A. Löwy (Scottish Review, 1887; republished, Berlin, 1903) and recently again by G. Jahn (appendix to Das Buch Daniel, Leipzig, 1904), but, although there are many difficulties connected with the text, its authenticity is generally admitted.

Early Hebrew inscriptions are at present few and meagre, although it cannot be doubted that others would be found by excavating suitable sites. The most important is that discovered in 1880 in the tunnel of the pool of Siloam, commemorating the piercing of the rock. It is generally believed to refer to Hezekiah’s scheme for supplying Jerusalem with water (2 Kings xx. 20), and therefore to date from about 700 B.C. It consists of six lines in good Hebrew, and is the only early Hebrew inscription of any length. The character does not differ from that of the Moabite Stone, except in the slightly cursive tendency of its curved strokes, due no doubt to their having been traced for the stone-cutter by a scribe who was used to writing on parchment. There are also a few inscribed seals dating from before the Exile, some factory marks and an engraved capital at al-Amwās, which last may, however, be Samaritan. Otherwise this character is only found (as the result of an archaizing tendency) on coins of the Hasmoneans, and, still later, on those of the first and second (Bar Kokhba’s) revolts.

The new Hebrew character, which developed into the modern square character, is first found in a name of five letters at ‘Arāq-al-amīr, of the 2nd century B.C. Somewhat later, but probably of the 1st century B.C., is the tombstone of the B’nē Ḥeẓīr (“Tomb of St James”) at Jerusalem. An inscription on a ruined synagogue at Kafr Bir’im, near Ṣafed, perhaps of about A.D. 300, or earlier, shows the fully developed square character.

Since the publication of the Corpus Inscr. Sem. it has been customary to treat papyri along with inscriptions, and for palaeographical reasons it is convenient to do so. Hebrew papyri are few, all in square character and not of great interest. The longest, and probably the earliest (6th century A.D.), is one now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, containing a private

  1. See Winckler in Schrader’s Keilinschr. Bibl. v. (Berlin, &c., 1896).
  2. A nearly complete text has been made from these with the help of a squeeze taken before its destruction. See the handbooks mentioned below.