Imatges de pàgina

of Moslem architecture the Moorish palace of Alhamrå at Granada, and which have been so exquisitely drawn and engraved in Mr. Murphy’s “Arabian Antiquities of Spain.” Their ceilings were of wood, and pannelled; and the sides of the walls were wainscotted, and sometimes covered with costly hangings. (Jer. xxii. 14. Hagg. i. 4.) In Barbary, the hills and vallies in the vicinity of Algiers are beautified with numerous country-seats and gardens, whither the opulent resort during the intense heats of summer. In all probability, the summer-houses of the Jews, mentioned by the prophets Jeremiah §: 22.) and Amos o: 15.), were of this description ; though ese have been supposed to mean different apartments of the same house, the one exposed to a northern and the other to a southern aspect. It was common, when any person had finished a house, and entered into it, to celebrate the event with great rejoicing, and to perform some religious ceremonies, to obtain the divine blessing and protection. The dedication of a newly-built house was a ground of exemption from military service. #. xxxth Psalm, as appears from the title, was composed on occasion of the dedication of the house of David; and this devout practice obtained also among the antient Romans. •. III. The furniture of the oriental dwellings, at least in the earliest ages, was very simple: that of the poorer classes consisted of but few articles, and those such as are absolutely necessary. Instead of chairs, they sat on mats or skins; and the same articles, on which they laid a mattress, served them instead of bedsteads, while their upper garment served them for a covering. o: xxii. 25, 26. Deut. xxiv. 12.) This circumstance accounts for our Lord's commanding the paralytic to take up his bed and go unto his house. (Matt. ix. 6.) The more opulent had (as those in the East still have) fine carpets, couches, or divans, and sofas, on which they sat," lay, and slept. (2. Kings iv. 10. 2 Sam. xvii. 28.) . In later times their couches were splendid, and the frames inlaid with ivory (Amos vi. 14.), and the coverlids rich and perfumed. (Prov, vii. 16, 17.) On these sofas, in the latter ages of the Jewish state, (for before the time of Moses, it appears to have been the custom to sit at table, Gen. xliii. 33.) they universally reclined, when taking their meals (Amos vi. 4. Luke vii. 36–38.): resting on their side with their heads towards the table, so that their feet were accessible to one who came behind the couch, as in the annexed diagram :

[ocr errors]

1 A . in Jeremiah xiii.22, may in some degree be o: by the oriental mode of sitting—For the greatness of thine iniquity, are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. “f have often been struck," says Mr. Jowett, “ with the manner in which a great man sits : for example, when I visited the Bashaw, I never saw his feet : they were entirely drawn up under him, and covered by his dress. This was dignified. To see his feet, his skirts must have been discovered: still more so, in order to see the heels, which often serve as the actual seat of an oriental"—Jowett's Christian Researches, p. 169. -

[ocr errors]

B — In which A denotes the table, and c, c, c, the couches on which the guests reclined. B is the lower end, open for servants to enter and supply the guests. The knowledge of this custom enables us to understand the manner in which John leaned on the bosom of his master, (John xiii. 23.) and Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. Antiently, splendid hangings were used in the palaces of the eastern monarchs, and ample draperies were suspended over the openings in the sides of the apartments, for the twofold purpose of affording air, and of shielding them from the sun. Of this description were the costly hangings of the Persian sovereigns mentioned in Esther i. 6. , which passage is confirmed by the account given by Quintus Curtius of their superb palace at Persepolis. Other articles of necessary furniture were, at least in the more an: tient periods, both few and simple. The principal were a hand-mill, with which they ground their corn, a kneading-trough, and an oven. The hand-mill resembles the querns, which, in early times, were in general use in this country, and which still continue to be used in some of the more remote northern islands of Scotland. So essential were these domestic utensils, that the Israelites were forbidden to take them in pledge. (Deut. xxiv. 6.) The kneading-troughs (at least those which the Israelites carried with them out of Egypt. Exod. xii. 34.) were not the cumbersome articles now in use among us, but comparatively small wooden bowls, like those of the modern Arabs, who, after kneading their flour in them, make use of them as dishes out of which they eat their victuals. The oven was sometimes only an earthen pot in which fire was put to heat it, and on the outside of which the batter or dough was spread, and almost instantly baked. Besides these two articles, they must have had different kinds of earthen-ware vessels, especially pots, to hold water for their various ablutions. While exploring the ruins of Cana in Galilee, Dr. Clarke saw several large massy stone water-pots, answering the description given of the antient vessels of the country (John ii. 6.); not preserved nor exhibited as reliques, but lying about, disregarded by the present inhabitants, as antiquities with whose original use they were unacquainted. From their appearance, and the number of them, it was quite evident that the practice of keeping water in large stone pots, each holding from eighteen to twenty-seven gallons, was once common in the country. Cups and drinking vessels of gold and silver, it appears from 1 Kings x. 21. were used in the courts of princes; but the modern Arabs, as the Jewish people antiently did, keep their water, milk, wine, and other liquors, in bottles made of skins. These bottles, when old, are frequently rent, but are capable of being repaired, by being bound up or pieced in various ways. Of this description, were the wine bottles of the Gibeonites, old and rent, and bound up. (Josh. ix. 4.) As new wine was liable to ferment, and consequently would burst the old skins, all prudent persons would put it into new skins. To this usage our Lord alludes in Matt. ix. 17. Mark ii. 22. and Luke v. 37, 38. Bottles of skin, it is well known, are still in use in Spain, where they are called Borrachas." As the Arabs make fires in their tents, which have no chimnies, they must be greatly incommoded by the smoke, which blackens all their utensils, and taints their skins. David, when driven from the court of Saul, compares himself to a bottle in the smoke. (Psal. cxix. 83.) He must have felt acutely, when he was driven from the vessels of gold and silver, in the palace of Saul, to live like an Arab, and drink out of a smoky leathern bottle. His language is, as if he had said, “My present appearance is as different from what it was when I dwelt at court, as the furniture of a palace differs from that of a poor Arab's tent.” IV. In progress of time, as men increased upon the earth, and found themselves less safe in their detached tents, they began to live in society, and fortified their simple dwellings by surrounding them with a ditch, and a rude breast-work, or wall, whence they could hurl stones against their enemies. Hence arose villages, towns, and cities, of which Cain is said to have been the first builder. In the time of Moses, the cities of the Canaanites were both numerous and strongly fortified. (Numb. xiii. 28.) . In the time of David, when the number of the Israelites was greatly increased, their cities must have proportionably increased; and the vast population, which (we have already seen) Palestine maintained in the time of the Romans, is a proof both of the size and number of their cities. The streets, in the Asiatic cities, do not exceed from two to four cubits in breadth, in order that the rays of the sun may be kept off; but it is evident that they must have formerly been wider, from the fact that carriages were driven through them, which are now very seldom, if ever, to be seen in the East. The houses, however, rarely stand together, and most of them have spacious gardens annexed to them. It is not to be supposed that the almost incredible tract of land, which Nineveh and Babylon are said to have eovered could have been filled with houses closely standing together: antient writers, indeed, testify that almost a third part of Babylon was occupied by fields and gardens. In the early ages of the world, the Markets were held in the Gates of the Cities (which, we have already seen," were the seats of justice), generally within the walls, though sometimes without them. Here commodities were exposed to sale, either in the open air or in tents (2 Kings vii. 18. 2 Chron. xviii. 9. Job xxix. 7.) : but in the time of Christ, as we learn from Josephus, the markets were enclosed in the same manner as the modern eastern bazaars, which are closed at night, and where the traders' shops are disposed in rows or streets; and (in large towns) the dealers in particular commodities are confined to particular streets. The Gates of the Cities, and the vacant places next adjacent to them, must have been of considerable size : for we read that Ahab king of Israel assembled four hundred false prophets before himself and Jehoshaphat king of Judah, in the Gate of Samaria. (1 Kings xxii. 10.) And, besides these prophets, we may readily conclude that each of these monarchs had numerous attendants in waiting.

1 Harmer's Qbservations, vol. i. p. 217. See also vol. ii. pp. 135–138. for various remarks illustrative of the nature of the drinking-vessels antiently in use among the Jews


1 See p. 107. supra




I. Dress in the early .1ges.—Upper Garments.-II. Tunic.—III. Dress of the Women.—IV. Distinction between the ‘Iparlov or upper Garment and the Xirov or Tunic.—Mode of dressing the Tair.—WI. Sandals.-VII. Some articles of Female Apparel elu, cidated.—Completion of the Women.—VIII. Rending of Garments, a sign of mourning.—IX. Numerous changes of .dpparél, deemed a necessary part of their treasures. I. IN the early ages, the dress of mankind was very simple. Skins of animals furnished the first materials, which, as men increased in numbers and civilisation, were exchanged for more costly articles, made of wool and flax, of which they manufactured woollen and linen garments (Levit. xiii. 47. Prov. xxxi. 13.); afterwards fine linen, and silk, dyed with purple, scarlet, and crimson, became the usual apparel of the more opulent. (2 Sam. i. 24. Prov. xxxi. 22. Luke xvi. 19.) In the more early ages, garments of various colours were in great esteem : such was Joseph's robe, of which his envious brethren stripped him, when they resolved to sell him. (Gen. xxxvii. 23.) The daughters of kings wore richly embroidered vests. (Psal. xlv. 13, 14.) f appears that the Jewish garments were worn pretty long; for it is mentioned as an aggravation of the affront done to David's ambassadors by the king of Ammon, that he cut off their garments in the middle even to their buttocks. (2 Sam. x. 4.) The dress of the Jews, in the ordinary ranks of life, was simple and nearly uniform. John the Baptist had his raiment of camels' hair-not of the fine hair of that animal which is wrought into camlets (in imitation of which, though made of wool, is the English camlet), but of the long and shaggy hair of camels, which in the East is manufactured into a coarse stuff like that antiently worn by monks and anchorets." Dr. Shaw, whose critical observation and long residence in the East, eminently qualified him for illustrating the sacred records, has given an interesting account of the oriental dress, which elucidates many passages in a very pleasing manner. He observes that the Barbary women are employed in making hykes or blankets, as Andromache and Penelope were of old, and that they do not use the shuttle, but conduct every thread of the woof with their fingers. He informs us that the usual size of the hyke is six yards long, and five or six feet broad, serving the Kabyle or Arab for a complete dress in the day: and, as they sleep in their raiment, as the Israelites did of old (Deut. xxiv. iS.), it likewise serves for his bed and

1 On this subject see Capt. Light's Travels in Egypt, &c. pp. 135, and Mr. Motier's Second Journey in Persia, p. 44

« AnteriorContinua »