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people chose out of their own body two persons who were called tribunes. Their persons were made sacred, and any person who offered injury on their persons, were considered as traitors, and any one may kill with impunity.
5. In former times it was the opinion of the public that every citizen should be a landholder, and all lands which were public, were used to be divided among the persons who were newly raised to the right of citizenship. Now in Rome, there were many public lands which were undivided, and which consequently were occupied by the burghers, who tended their cattle in it, and paid a small tithe to the state as an acknowledgement that the state was the real proprietor, and the occupier the mere at will.
These occupiers would not allow themselves to be displaced from their possessions which they had long occupied, and which in a manner became their own property. But then in Rome there was a great need of a new division of public lands, as many citizens were reduced to beggary in the late wars, and could not support themselves. So Spurius Cassius proposed that the undivided public lands should be equally divided among the people who possessed no lands. His colleague Vir. ginius opposed him, and at the head of the aristocratical party, resolved to put a stop to his schemes. They began to traduce his character, and even the commons were deluded by this traducement of the burghers. But still the popular current was in his favour, and the senators were obliged to yield to the occasion, and so the Agrarian law was passed. But in the next year, when the consulship of Spurius went out of office, he was brought to trial before the Questors paucíori, and was convicted of treason. Accordingly he was put to death, and the burghers again became all powerful
6. The laws of the twelve tables were divided into the civil and the constitutional laws.
The civil laws related to persons, things and actions.
Under the head of the laws regarding persons, there were laws which regulated the conduct of a person towards his children, his wife, and his neighbours, and the law of inheritance. Under the head of things, there were laws which regulated the sales of different articles, and the forms which were required to confirm them. Under the head of actions there were five modes of action or modes of proceeding against a man in law.
The first consisted in staking a certain sum between the plaintiff and the defendant; the second, in the application to the magistrate to chose; the third, in serving the notice to the defendant, and the fourth and fifth, in the manner of regaining the property lost by the will of the creditor. Then came the obligations, and the public crimes, and the punishment for the latter.
The constitutional law regarded five points ; Ist appeal to the whole people; 2nd the judgment of the people in criminal cases ; 3rd absence of tortures; 4th the last decision of the people superceding all other former decisions; and 5th the equal consideration of the debtor and the person who remained before the law.
The twelve laws abolished the comitia of tribes and that of centuries; but established a general comitia of tribes for all the people; and in this comitia, the burghers, commons, freedmen, all voted; and it was by this comitia that the twelve tables were confirmed.
The Carthaginians governed their neighbours and their allies on the African coast with despotic sway. They did not allow their allies, that is, the native Africans, to become the citizens of Carthage ; while on the other hand Rome extended the rights of citizenship to all her allies. The Latins were allowed to become the citizens of Rome ; and all the other nations in Italy which afterwards became subjects to Rome were allowed to have the privilege.
It was perhaps owing to this circumstance,--that is, the absolute sway which the Carthaginians exercised over her subjects,—and allies, and the moderate government of the Roman towards their allies that the Romans became successful in the Punic wars. But it was more owing to the good fortune of Rome that she was placed among a people civilized like her own citizens, and that her policy; and the bad fortune of Carthage that she was placed among barbarians.
ELPHINSTONE's India, Vol. I.
Afternoon Paper. 1. The natural divisions of Hindoostan are the basin of the river Indus, that of the Ganges, and the central India. The tract through which Indus passes is in part fertile, and in part sandy; but the places on its shores are throughout productive. The upper part of the country through which Indus flows forms the fertile district of Punjab ; and the lower part, the district of Sinde.
The river Ganges flows through a table land of long extent. It is very fertile, and the soil near the mouths of the river is alluvial.
The central India is very rugged, and is traversed throughout its whole extent by mountains. The Vindia hills covers almost the whole extent of this portion, and gives rise to many rivers, which fertilize the soil.
The natural divisions of the Dekhan are the portions between the sea and the ghats, the table land between those very mountains and the river Nerbudda, and the portion between the river Nerbudda and the Vindia mountains.
Dekhan is watered by many rivers, and is on the whole, very fertile. It is subject to less rain than Hindoostan, owing to the ghats, which obstruct the clouds from forming over it.
The vegetable productions of India are rice, corn of all sorts, indigo, tobacco, opium, cotton, silk, sago, sugar-cane, &c. Its forest produces very large trees, among which teak for building the masts of ships is very useful. The other large trees are the banyan, the babul, the sissoo, &c.
The minor productions of India are salt, saltpetre, gold &c.
2. From the accounts which the Greeks left to us it would appear that there was an extensive commerce carried on between India and the European countries, but the Indians had very little hand in it. The Arabs were the persons who transferred the articles from India to Egypt by the Indian ocean and the Red
sea. But from a passage in the text of Menu, it would appear that the Indians had formerly sea voyages; for it is expressly said that the interest on money lent to those who went in sea should be greater than the ordinary rate of interest.
f'rentzen ole; and
But this is not verified in any manner by the accounts which the Greeks have transmitted to us. It is true that small fishing-boats were to be occasionally seen in the Persian Gulf and in the Red Sea, but no Indian ship of commerce was ever seen by the Greeks in those seas. Nearchus says that Alexander was obliged to build ships in the Indus in order to transport his army and to man them with pilots from countries beyond the Indus. From all these accounts it would be manifest that the Indians possessed no active hands in the commerce which was used to be carried on in ancient times between the western coasts of India, and the European countries. It was left entirely in the hands of the Arabs, but still there was a coasting trade which was carried on by the Indians. The Indians took all the articles into their boats from the ships on the sea, and went with them along the river into the interior of the country.
But such was not the case in the coast of Coromandel. There was an active trade carried between the inhabitants of Bengal and the Deckan by sea. The rich productions of Bengal early attracted the notice of the inhabitants of the Deckan. The chief exports of India were cotton, muslin, chintz of all kinds, indigo and dies of all sorts, rice, opium, silk, saltpetre, &c. The chief imports were coarse and woolen cloth, tin, lead, copper, emerald and some others.
The circumstances which tend to shew that the Indians were formerly used to cross the Bay of Bengal are that the Hindu colonies in Sumatra and Java; and that there are many Chinese accounts which say that the early Hindoos were used to cross the Bay of Bengal, and carry men from one part to another.
3. The principal changes of caste since the time of Menu are that the Brahmins now do not lead the four-fold division of life which is mentioned in the code of Menu; that they now carry on trades on their own account; that they now enter as soldiers in the army ; that monastic orders had taken their rise since that time; and that there no longer exists a servile class.
Of these the rise of the monastic orders and the extinction of the servile class are very important. Also the Brahmins now deny the existence of the military and the industrious classes. But the Rajpoots still claim a descent from them, and many of the people of the other states claim a descent from the original Veisas.
The class of Sudras is said to be now extinct. But still there are many agricultural classes who are said to be descended from the original Sudras. The Mahrattas are said to be of that class.
4. There are many works of Sanscrit literature extant which shew the great improvement which the ancient Hindus made in literature. Their dramas, particularly deserve the attention of all noble scholars. They rise to a high pitch of excellence. They are very few indeed owing to the manner in which the Hindu dramas were represented in courts, but still these possess an interest which will not be overlooked as long as the taste for literature exists. It is true that there are no tragedies among the number, but still there is such a variety of subjects and characters, that they fully make up this deficiency.
There is no unity of time nor that of place; but that of action, which consists the main thing in a drama, is preserved in all their works.
The best writers in drama are Kalidas, and Bhababutty. The first excels in tenderness and delicacy; and the second, possessing those qua
lities, further possesses a manly tone, and an energetic language. The
The Hindoos take a great delight in description. They are unlike
The Hindoos also possess many other writings. Their works on heroic poetry are not the least among the number. The Ramayan and the Maha Bharut are the chief of the last mentioned sort of writing. These possess an elegant language and a great simplicity. Among the descriptive poetry of the Hindoos, we have the Megb-dut, a work deserving much praise.
There are also fables and tales among the Hindoos, and the Arabians are said to have copied from them.
5. One of the generals engaged in the great war of Maha Bharut was Sahadeb, king of Mugud. The thirty-first from him was Agit Sutur, in whose reign, Goutoma is said to have flourished : and the fifth from Agit Sutur was Chandragupta. Now if Chandragupta and Sandra. cottus be the same person, we have by counting 25 years for the average length of each reign the date of Maha Bharut to be 900 years before the reign of Sandracottus, whose date is again fixed in the accounts of the Greeks. The probable age of the Vedas is the fourteenth century before the Christian era. This is deduced from the coincidence of the heavenly observations recorded in the Vedas with those of the observations of the fourteenth century. Also the place assigned to the solisticial colure in those books is the same as that occupied by it in the fourteenth century.
The date of Menu is deduced from that of the Vedas. By comparing the change in the dialect of India from the compilation of the Vedas to the Code of Menu, with that from the code to the time of Alexander, it appears, that the supposed Menu must have lived half-way between the Vedas and Alexander, which would give the ninth century for its probable age.
6. The prominent claims to originality in Hindu science, specially in Algebra and Astronomy are that the other nations at the time when the Hindu science took its rise, were more immersed in ignorance than the Hindus, and the Hindus employ a peculiar manner in their calculation and their observations, which is different from any of the existing modes of the present time, and from those employed by the early Greeks and the Arabs. Also Aeia Bhutta, the celebrated algebraist of the Indians, is said to have been contemporary with Diophantus, the inventor of Algebra among the Greeks. Now Aeia Bhutto could not have made such great progress in Algebra, unless there had been some rudiments of the science already in existence; and this proves that the Hindoos had a knowledge in those sciences previous to that of any other ancient nation.
The principal reasons for supposing that the Egyptians are indebted to India for their knowledge in Astronomy and Algebra than the reverse are the many points in the sciences of both the nations are common, which could not have been the case, had there not been a communication; and since the Hindoos were acquainted earlier with those
sciences than the Egyptians, it is probable that the latter nation borrowed those common points from the Hindoos; also we know that knowledge travelled in a westernly direction, and not in an eastern.
7. Mahomed Ghaznavi made twelve expeditions into India, and in these reached as far as the river Ganges.
In these expeditions he destroyed many temples, and took away many valuable things out of India. He took Delhi, Canouge, Muttra and many other cities in the course of his expeditions ; but he left all these behind him, as soon as he could get his plunder, and returned to his own dominions. His conquests in India was limited only to Panjab and Moultan. These only he joined to his dominions. On the northern side his dominion extended to the interior of Transoxinia, and on the western, to the whole of Persia. His governors ruled over Khorasan, Bokhara, Persia, Ghore, Panjab and Moultan.
8. Mohamed is known by the Europeans and the Hindoos as a very avaricious and a bigoted person. The first charge is true, but the second is unfounded. He did not kill men for the sake of his religion. It is said that he was not scrupulous to kill men even of his own religion, which proves that religion did not exercise so great an influence as to make him forget his other principles.
He was not cruel. The only persons who fell by his sword were those who were killed in war. He was brave, active, persevering, and energetic. He loved justice so much that he is said to have killed an unlawful violator of the bed of another by his own hand. There is another story connected with him which says that a woman came to him, and demanded him to requite her of the goods which her son lost in passing a desert in his dominions. When Mohamed refused this, she used an insulting language, but Mohamed suf
ed it, and thence set different governors to different parts of his dominion to take care of it.
He loved literature, but his avarice withheld him from enjoying the friendship of Ferdusui, the great poet of his time.
9. The causes which prevented the Arabs from effecting the conquest of India in a similar manner to that of Persia are that the Persians had no fit head among them, that their religion was not such as to bind them in one common interest; whereas the Hindus possessed a powerful military force in the Rajpoots, they had a religion which supported the Government in many points.
The Persians had no notion of the true Godhead, so when the Arabs preached up to them the Mahomedan religion which contained many truths, they greedily embraced it, and followed the banners of the Arabs. But in India, there was a mighty priesthood, which ruled the conscience of all men, and which obliged every person to serve the governments with all his powers. Besides the religion of the Hindoos contained many true notions of the Godhead, and so the Arabs could not persuade them to set aside their old religion and embrace a new one. SREENATH Doss, Senior Scholar, First Class,
Third Year, Hindu College.