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346 § 285. GyMNAstic sports.
with a portico. The eastern part of one of these piles of buildings was separated by a wall form the rest, and occupied more than half of the area, allotted for the erection of the whole. A range of porticos extended round three sides of the interiour of this part of the GYMNAsium ; but the fourth side was lined with a flight of chambers, some for bathing, some for anointing the body, and some to serve as wardrobes. The middle of these chambers was denominated £q m}siov, EPHEBIUM, [the place, where the ephebi or youth exercised, by which name the whole edifice was sometimes called. The AREA under the open air or the open court, including the porticos just mentioned, (one range of which, viz. that on the north side, was double) was denominated the PALAEstra, wal-totga, in which were witnessed games and exercises, dancing and wrestling, throwing the quoit, and the combat with the caestus. The whole edifice was sometimes called the PALAEstra. The western part of the Gymnasium was an oblong, and was surrounded by a portico, in which the athletae exercised in unpleasant weather. The porticos for this purpose are called čvoto?, Xysti, from which the other parts of the building denominated Évora, XYstA, differed in these particulars, viz.; they were surrounded with rows of trees, were not covered with a roof at the top, and were used, as places for promenading. At the end of the western part of the GYMNAsiuM, was the stadium. It was a large semicircle, an hundred and twenty five geometrical paces long, and was furnished with seats, which ran around it in a circuitous manner, and ascended gradually one above another for the accommodation of the spectators. The games, which were more particularly witnessed in the stadium, were races on foot, on horse back, and with chariots. The AthletAE, after the fourth century before Christ, went wholly naked, as they found the clothes, which they wore, were an impediment to celerity of motion. There was this exception merely, that those, who threw the quoit, or rode the chariot, wore a sort of very light garment, 1 Macc. 1: 16. Heb. 12:1. The CAEstus, to which an allusion is made in I Cor. 9:26. was a leather strap, bound by the athletae round the right hand and fingers. This strap was wide enough to receive a piece of iron or lead, which was rolled up in it, and was discharged, avy§ 285. GyMNAstic sports. 347
utlety, with all the strength of the combatant against his adversary. It became the one, against whom it was discharged, to be on the look out, and to avoid, if possible, the intended blow. The chARiot-RAce, which was run in the stadium, and from which Paul, in 1 Cor. 9: 24–27. 2 Tim. 4: 7, S. and Philip. 3: 11 –14. borrows certain illustrations, was, as follows. Four chariots started at the same time for the goal, which was at the further extremity of the stadium. The one, who reached it first, was the conqueror. Other competitors presented themselves, and the course was run again by four at a time, as in the first instance. The one, who successively gained the victory over all, that presented themselves, won the crown, which was woven of branches of various trees, and, though of small value in itself, was esteemed in the highest degree honourable. A crown of this kind, 3943siov, was given not only to those, who came off victors in the chariot race, but to those also, who succeeded in contests, whatever they might be, of a different kind, 1 Cor. 9: 54. Phil. 3: 14. Coloss. 3: 15. 2 Tim. 4: 8. Wherever the victor went, he received a branch of palm, Rev. 7: 9; he was robed in a splendid dress, and escorted with the highest honours to his city and his home. The exercises, in which the AthletAE engaged, were by no means trivial, or such as could be easily gone through. It was necessary, in order to secure to themselves an adequate degree of strength, that they should take a considerable quantity of nourishment, but their principal meal was in the evening. Their dinner was small, and they were not at liberty to eat of various kinds of food, according to their own choice. In addition to some coarse bread, they were allowed ten dried figs, nuts, soft cheese, and herbs. Indeed it appears, that, in progress of time, they were furnished with meat of the most nourishing sort, which was roasted, and eaten with coarse, unleavened bread; but they abstained altogether from wine, and were not permitted to have the slightest intercourse with the other sex, not even to look upon them. Certain regulations, in regard to the mode of conducting the contest, were entered into by them; and he, who violated them, though he was in fact the victor, could not receive the crown. Accordingly, as was indeed very necessary, there were judges of 348 $ 285. Gymnastic sports.
the games, who saw, that those regulations, which were made in respect to them, were observed, and determined, who came off conqueror, 2 Tim. 2: 5. 4:8. As the games, in which the ATHLETAE exerted their skill and physical ability, were extremely popular among the Greeks and Romans, it is not at all surprising, that they were objects of hatred in the sight of the greater part of the Jews. It was the fact, nevertheless, that there existed among the Jews themselves a sort of game, (different it is true, from those of the GYMNAsium,) which was practised in Palestine, so late as the time of Jerome, and
of which, a vestige may still be discovered in the Arabic word, 5 e , ****s. This game consisted in lifting a stone; the one, who
could lift it higher than all the rest, was the victor, Zech. 12: 3.
Note. The theatre, which was introduced by Herod and his sons into Palestine, was an edifice, constructed in such a manner, as to describe the larger half of a circle. The games were exhibited in that part of it, where a line would have passed to enclose precisely a semicircle.
Amphi-theatres may be described by saying, that they were two theatres united ; they were, of course, oblong in point of form, and the games were exhibited in the centre of them. The seats, which extended round the interiour of both theatre and amphitheatre, ascended gradually, one above another. These edifices were left open at the top, except in the later periods of the Roman empire, when there was some change in the style of their architecture. In case of great heat or of rain, the opening above was enclosed by means of a piece of cloth of a close texture, extended over it.
In theatres of this kind, comedies and tragedies were acted ; assemblies of the people were held, and ambassadours were received, Acts 12:20. 19:29. Among the Romans, sports also of various kinds were exhibited. They were mostly gymnastic exercises, but some of them in truth were of a very bloody character. Since criminals, who had been condemned by the laws of the country, and enemies, who had been captured in war, were compelled to fight, till they lost their life, either with wild beasts, or, (in order to gratify the spectators with the mimic representa§ 286. of EncAMPMENTs. 349
tion of a battle,) with one another. Compare 1 Cor. 4:9, and Heb. 10: 33.
§ 286. Of ENcAMPMENts.
The art of laying out an encampment, born, n5:rin, H:rio, appears to have been well understood in Egypt, long before the departure of the Hebrews from that country. It was there, that Moses became acquainted with that mode of encamping, which, in the second chapter of Numbers, is prescribed to the Hebrews.
In the encampment of the Israelites, to which we have alluded, it appears, that the holy tabernacle occupied the centre. In reference to this circumstance, it may be remarked, that it is the common practice in the East for the prince or leader of a tribe to have his tent pitched in the centre of the others, and it ought not to be forgotten, that God, whose tent or palace was the holy tabernacle, was the prince, the leader of the Hebrews. The tents, nearest to the tabernacle, were those of the Levites, whose business it was to watch it, in the manner of a pretorian guard. The family of Gershom pitched to the West, that of Kohath to the South, that of Merari to the North. The priests occupied a position to the East, opposite to the entrance of the tabernacle, Num. 1:53. 3: 21–38. At some distance to the East, were the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun ; on the South were those of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad ; to the West were Ephraim, Manas. seh, and Benjamin ; to the North, Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. The people were thus divided into four divisions, three tribes to a division; each of which divisions had its separate standard, $37. Each of the large family associations likewise, of which the different tribes were composed, had a separate standard, termed, in contradistinction from the other, nix; and every Hebrew was obliged to number himself with his particular division, and follow his appropriate standard. The Israelites, probably, in forming their encampment at this time, imitated the method of the Nomades, and formed it in such a way, as to exhibit a circular appearance. There does not appear to be any proof, that this mode of encampment was especially followed, at any subsequent period.
We learn from 2 Sam. 16:5, et seq. that there were no sentinels stationed during the night in the encampment of Saul; which 350 § 287. on Military MARches.
was done, as we learn, in other instances, in case there was any danger, the sentinels relieving each other at stated intervals, Judg. 7: 19. 1 Sam. 14: 16. 26:14–17. In respect to this point, we may infer, moreover, from the fact of sentinels being kept perpetually upon the walls of the city in subsequent periods of the monarchy, that they certainly were not wanting in the camps. Fires also were kept burning before encampments during the night. Fires of this kind were not the same thing, as some undertake to say, with the pillar of fire, which went before the Israelites in Arabia Petrea. See Num. 9: 15–23. Moses gives the following regulations in respect to the encampment in the wilderness, Num. 5: 1–4. Deut. 23: 10–15. I. That every unclean person shall live out of it. II. [The second regulation, to which reference is here made, stands in the English version, as follows.] “Thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig there with and turn back, and cover that, which cometh from thee. For the Lord, thy God, walketh in the midst of thy camp to deliver thee and to give up thine enemies before thee,” &c. A practice of this kind is observed to this day among the Ottomans. See the third Epistle of Busbeque, p. 250.
§ 2S7. ON Military MARches.
The same order was observed by the Hebrews in the wilderness, when on their march, which was practised by them, when forming their encampment. As soon as the cloud ascended over the tabernacle, the priests sounded with the silver trumpets no-sixts, Num. 9:15–23. a warning which is expressed in Hebrew by the phrases Hyann on and Hyo-in spr.
Immediately Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun on the East set forward. At the second sound of the trumpets, Reuben, Simeon, and Gad on the South followed. The march was next commenced by the Levites, who bore the parts of the tabernacle, and the ark of the covenant. They were followed, at the third sound of the trumpets, by Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin from the West, and, at the fourth, by Dan, Asher, and Naphtali from the North, who