Imágenes de páginas

ties, which were disregarded at the time, but verified in the event. During the plunder of Troy, B. C. 1184, she took refuge in the temple of Minerva, where she was barbarously treated by Ajax. In the division of the spoil, she fell to the lot of Agamemnon, who brought her home, where she excited the jealousy of Clytemnestra. In consequence, Cassandra and Agamemnon were both murdered by Clytemnestra and her paramour. She is said to have been very beautiful, and to have had many suitors in the flourishing time of Troy.


DAUGHTER of Arabus, and wife of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, to whom she bore Andromeda. She dared to compare her daughter's beauty to that of the Nereides, who besought Neptune for vengeance. The god complied by laying waste the dominions of Cepheus by a deluge and a seamonster. In astronomy, Cassiopeia is a conspicuous constellation in the northern hemisphere.


WIFE of Caligula, emperor of Rome, was killed by Julius Lupus, A. D. 41, while weeping over the body of her murdered husband. When she saw the assassin approaching, and discovered his purpose, she calmly presented her breast to his sword, urging him to finish the tragedy his companions had begun. Her two daughters died by the same hand.


A VERY learned Grecian lady, who composed many pieces in prose and verse. One of her poems is entitled "Cromata." She is mentioned by Aristophanes.


DAUGHTER of Leotychides, and grand-daughter of Timoa, wife of Agis, king of Sparta, married Cleonymus, son of Cleomenes II., king of Sparta. Cleonymus was disliked by the Lacedæmonians, on account of his violent temper, and they gave the royal authority to Atreus, his brother's son. Chelidonis also despised him and loved Acrotatus, a very beautiful youth, the son of Atreus. Cleonymus left Lacedæmon in anger, and went to solicit Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, to make war against the Lacedæmonians. Pyrrhus came against the city with a large army, but was repulsed, The Spartans, on his approach, had resolved to send the women, by night, to Crete for safety; but Archidamia came, sword in hand, into the senate, complaining that they were thought capable of surviving the destruction of their country. The women laboured all night on the abutments, with the exception of Chelidonis, who put a rope around her neck, resolving not to fall alive into the hands of her husband. Acrotatus did wonders, and was received with acclamations on his return as a conqueror to the city, which was saved chiefly by the patriotism of the women, inspired by Chelidonis. She lived about 280 B. C


DAUGHTER of Leonidas, king of Sparta, B. C. 491, was the wife of Cleombrutus. Her father was deposed by a faction, who placed Cleombrutus on the throne in his stead. Chelonis refused to share her husband's triumph, and retired with her father into a temple in which he had taken sanctuary. Leonidas, some time after, was permitted to retire to Tagea, whither Chelonis accompanied him.

A change occurring in the feelings of the populace, Leonidas was restored, and Cleombrutus obliged to take refuge, in his turn, in the sanctuary. Chelonis now left her father for her husband. Leonidas repaired, with an armed force, to the sanctuary, and bitterly reproached Cleombrutus, who listened in silence, with the injuries he had received from him. The tears of Chelonis, who protested that she would not survive Cleombrutus, softened Leonidas, and he not only gave his son-in-law his life, but allowed him to choose his place of exile. To the entreaties of Leonidas that Chelonis would remain with him, she returned a resolute refusal; and, placing one of her children in her husband's arms, and taking the other in her own, she went with him into banishment.


THE heroic wife of Ortiagon, a Gaulish prince,

equally celebrated for her beauty and her chastity. During the war between the Romans and the Gauls, B. C. 186, the latter were entirely defeated on Mount Olympus. Chiomara, among many other ladies, was taken prisoner, and committed to the charge of a centurion. This centurion, not being able to overcome the chastity of the princess by persuasion, employed force; and then, to make her amends, offered her her liberty, for an Attic talent. To conceal his design from the other Romans, he allowed her to send a slave of her own, who was among the prisoners, to her relations, and assigned a place near the river where she could be exchanged for the gold.

She was carried there the next night by the centurion, and found there two relations of her own, with the gold. While the centurion was weighing it, Chiomara, speaking in her own tongue, commanded her friends to kill him, which they did. Then cutting off his head herself, she carried it under her robe to her husband, Ortiagon, who had returned home after the defeat of his troops. As soon as she came into his presence she threw the head at his feet. Surprised, as he might well be, at such a sight, he asked whose head it was, and what had induced her to do a deed so uncommon with her sex? Blushing, but at the same time expressing her fierce indignation, she declared the outrage that had been done her, and the revenge she had taken. During the remainder of her life, she strenuously retained her purity of manners, and was treated with great esteem.


ONE of the Roman virgins given as a hostage to Porsenna, when he came to restore the Tarquins,

[blocks in formation]


Was the eldest daughter of Ptolemy Auletes, king of Egypt. On his death, B. C. 51, he left his crown to her, then only seventeen years old, and her eldest brother Ptolemy, who was still younger, directing them, according to the custom of that family, to be married, and committing them to the care of the Roman Senate. They could not agree, however, either to be married or to reign together; and the ministers of Ptolemy deprived Cleopatra of her share in the government, and banished her from the kingdom. She retired to Syria, and raised an army, with which she approached the Egyptian frontier. Just at this time, Julius Cæsar, in pursuit of Pompey, sailed into Egypt, and came to Alexandria. Here he employed himself in hearing and determining the controversy between Ptolemy and Cleopatra, which he claimed a right to do as an arbitrator appointed by the will of Auletes; the power of the Romans being then vested in him as dictator. But Cleopatra laid a plot to attach him to her cause by the power of those charms which distinguished her in so peculiar a manner. She sent word to Cæsar that her cause was betrayed by those who managed it for her, and begged to be allowed to come in person and plead it before him. This being granted, she came secretly into the port of Alexandria in a small skiff, in the dusk of the evening; and to elude her brother's officers, who then commanded the place, she caused herself to be tied up in her bedding and carried to Caesar's apartment on the back of one of her slaves. She was then about nineteen; and though, according to Plutarch, not transcendently beautiful, yet her wit and fascinating manners made her quite irresistible. Her eyes were remarkably fine, and her voice was delightfully melodious, and capable of all the variety of modulation belonging to a musical instrument. She spoke seven different languages, and seldom employed an interpreter in

her answer to foreign ambassadors. She herself gave audience to the Ethiopians, the Troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes, and Parthians. She could converse on all topics, grave or gay; and put on any humour, according to the purpose of the moment. So many charms captivated Cæsar at once; and the next morning he sent for Ptolemy and urged him to receive Cleopatra on her own terms; but Ptolemy appealed to the people, and put the whole city in an uproar. A war commenced, in which Cæsar proved victorious; and Ptolemy, while endeavouring to escape across the Nile in a boat, was drowned. Cæsar then caused Cleopatra to marry her younger brother, also named Ptolemy, who, being a boy of eleven, could only contribute his name to the joint sovereignty. This mature statesman and warrior, who had almost forgotten ambition for love, at length tore himself from Cleopatra, who had borne him a son, Cæsarion, and went to Rome.

After his departure, Cleopatra reigned unmolested; and when her husband had reached his fourteenth year, the age of majority in Egypt, she poisoned him, and from that time reigned alone in Egypt. She went to Rome to see Cæsar, and while there lodged in his house, where her authority over him made her insolence intolerable to the Romans. His assassination so alarmed her that she fled precipitately to her own country, where, out of regard to the memory of Cæsar, she raised a fleet to go to the assistance of the triumvirs, but was obliged by a storm to return.

After the battle of Philippi, Antony visited Asia, and, on the pretext that Cleopatra had furnished Cassius with some supplies, he summoned her to appear before him at Tarsus, in Cilicia. Cleopatra prepared for the interview in a manner suited to the state of a young and beautiful eastern queen. Laden with money and magnificent gifts, she sailed with her fleet to the mouth of the Cydnus. There she embarked in a vessel whose stern was of gold, sails of purple silk, and oars of silver that kept time to a concert of several instruments. She herself was lying under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed like Venus rising out of the sea; about her were lovely children like Cupids fanning her; the handsomest of her women, habited like Nereids and Graces, were leaning on the sides and shrouds of the vessel; the sweets that were burning perfumed the banks of the river, which were covered by crowds of people, shouting, that "the goddess Venus was come to visit Bacchus for the happiness of Asia;" while Antony sat alone and unattended.

Cleopatra succeeded in her object; Antony became her captive; and the impression her beauty and splendour had made on him was completed and rendered durable by the charms of her society. Her influence over him became unbounded, and she abused it to the worst purposes. At her request, her younger sister, Arsinoe, was assassinated; and she scrupled no act of injustice for the aggrandizement of her dominions. After Antony had spent a winter with her at Alexandria, he went to Italy, where he married Octavia. Cleopatra's charms, however, drew him back to


Egypt; and when he had proceeded on his expe- | thirty-ninth year at the time of her death; she dition against Parthia, he sent for her into Syria, left two sons and a daughter by Antony, whom where she rendered him odious by the cruelties she had married after his divorce from Octavia, and oppressions she urged him to practice. After besides her son by Cæsar, whom Octavianus put his return, he bestowed upon her many provinces, to death as a rival. With her terminated the by which he incurred the displeasure of the Roman family of Ptolemy Lagus, and the monarchy of people. When the civil war broke out between Egypt, which was thenceforth a Roman province. Antony and Octavianus, afterwards Augustus Cæ- Cleopatra was an object of great dread and abhorsar, emperor of Rome, Cleopatra accompanied rence to the Romans, who detested her as the Antony, and added sixty ships to his navy. It cause of Antony's divorce from Octavia, and the was by her persuasion that the deciding battle subsequent civil war. Her ambition was as unwas fought by sea, at Actium. She commanded bounded as her love of pleasure; and her usual her own fleet; but her courage soon failed her, oath was, "So may I give law in the capitol." and before the danger reached her she fled, fol- Her temper was imperious, and she was boundlowed by the whole squadron and the infatuated lessly profuse in her expenditures; nor did she Antony, who, however, was very angry with Cleo- ever hesitate to sacrifice, when it suited her own patra on this occasion, and remained three days interest, all the decorums of her rank and sex. without seeing her. He was at length reconciled But we must remember, also, that she lived in an to her, and, on the approach of Octavianus, they age of crime. She was better than the men her both sent publicly to treat with him; but, at the subtle spirit subdued, for she was true to her same time, Cleopatra gave her ambassadors pri- country. Never was Egypt so rich in wealth, vate instructions for negotiating with him sepa- power and civilization, as under her reign. She rately. Hoping to secure the kingdom of Egypt reconstructed the precious library of her capital; for herself and her children, she promised to put and when the wealth of Rome was at her comit into the hands of Octavianus; and, as a pledge mand, proffered by the dissolute Antony, who for the performance, she delivered up to him the thought her smiles cheaply bought at the price of important city of Pelusium. the Roman empire, Cleopatra remarked,-"The treasures I want are two hundred thousand volumes from Pergamus, for my library of Alexandria."

Near the temple of Isis she had built a tower, which she designed for her sepulchre; and into this was carried all her treasures, as gold, jewels, pearls, ivory, ebony, cinnamon, and other precious woods; it was also filled with torches, faggots, and tow, so that it could be easily set on fire. To this tower she retired after the last defeat of Antony, and on the approach of Octavianus; and when Antony gave himself the mortal stab, he was carried to the foot of the tower, and drawn up into it by Cleopatra and her women, where he expired in her arms.

Octavianus, who feared lest Cleopatra should burn herself and all her treasures, and thus avoid falling into his hands and gracing his triumphal entry into Rome, sent Proculus to employ all his art in obtaining possession of her person; which he managed to do by stealing in at one of the windows. When Cleopatra saw him, she attempted to kill herself; but Proculus prevented her, and took from her every weapon with which she might commit such an act. She then resolved to starve herself; but her children were threatened with death if she persisted in the attempt. When Octavianus came to see her, she attempted to captivate him, but unsuccessfully; she had, however, gained the heart of his friend, Dolabella, who gave her private notice that she was to be carried to Rome within three days, to take a part in the triumph of Octavianus. She had an asp, a small serpent, whose bite is said to induce a kind of lethargy and death without pain, brought to her in a basket of figs; and the guards who were sent to secure her person, found her lying dead on a couch, dressed in her royal robes, with one of her women dead at her feet, and the other expiring. The victor, though greatly disappointed, buried her, with much magnificence, in the tomb with Antony, as she had requested. She was in her

Her children, by Antony, were carried to Rome, to grace the triumph of Octavianus. Octavia, Antony's repudiated wife, took charge of them : and Cleopatra, the daughter, was afterwards married to Juba, king of Mauritania.


WAS the daughter of Tyndarus, king of Sparta, and Leda, and twin-sister of Helen. She bore her husband, Agamemnon, two daughters, Sphigenia and Electra, and one son, Orestes. During the absence of Agamemnon, in his wars against Troy, she became enamoured of Ægisthus, and assisted him to murder Agamemnon on his return. She then, together with Ægisthus, governed Mycene for seven years. Orestes, at length, killed them both.


A POETESS, to whom the Greeks gave the appellation of the Lyric Muse, was a native of Tanagra, in Boeotia. She flourished in the fifth century B. C., and was a contemporary of Pindar, from whom she five times won the prize in poetical contests. Her fellow-citizens erected a tomb to her in the most frequented part of their city. Only a few fragments of her works are extant. She did justice to the superiority of Pindar's genius, but advised him not to suffer his poetical ornaments to intrude so often, as they smothered the principal subject; comparing it to pouring a vase of flowers all at once on the ground, when their beauty and excellence could only be observed in proportion to their rarity and situation. Her glory seems to have been established by the public memorial of her picture, exhibited in her native city, and

[ocr errors]

adorned with a symbol of her victory. Pausanias,
who saw it, supposes her to have been one of the
most beautiful women of her age; and observes
that her personal charms probably rendered her
judges partial,-a very masculine idea.


Of the Isle of Telos, lived about B. C. 610. She wrote a fine poem in the Doric language, consisting of three hundred verses. Her style is said to have resembled that of Homer. She died at the age of nineteen.

had imbibed the heroic, or ambitious spirit of the age. She is said to have made remarks to her sons which seemed to spur them on more rapidly in their public career. The result was not very fortunate. For though her sons sustained the highest name for purity of character; though they have come down to us, distinguished as the Gracchi, and though they were associated with the popular cause, yet their measures were so revolutionary and violent, that they were both destroyed in popular tumults.

Cornelia survived the death of her sons, which
she bore with great magnanimity. They had been
killed on consecrated ground, and of these places
she said, that "they were monuments worthy of
them." She lived subsequently a life of elegant
and hospitable ease, surrounded by men of letters,
and courted by the great. We cannot have a bet-
ter idea of the close of her life, and of the high
estimation in which she stood, than by the very
words of Plutarch. This writer closes the lives of
the Gracchi with the following account of Cornelia :

"She took up her residence at Misenum, and
made no alteration in her manner of living. As
she had many friends, her table was always open
for the purpose of hospitality. Greek, and other
men of letters she had always with her, and all
the kings in alliance with Rome expressed their
regard by sending her presents, and receiving the
like civilities in return. She made herself very
agreeable to her guests, by acquainting them with
many particulars of her father Africanus, and of
his manner of living. But what they most ad-
mired in her was, that she could speak of her sons
without a sigh or a tear, and recount their actions
and sufferings as if she had been giving an account
of some ancient heroes. Some therefore imagined
that age and the greatness of her misfortunes had
deprived her of her understanding and sensibility.
But those who were of that opinion seem rather
to have wanted understanding themselves; since
they know not how much a noble mind may, by a
liberal education, be enabled to support itself
against distress; and that though, in the pursuit
of rectitude, Fortune may often defeat the pur-
poses of Virtue, yet Virtue, in bearing affliction,
can never lose her prerogative."


THE mother of the Gracchi. In this lady every circumstance of birth, life, and character, conspired to give her a glowing and ever-living page in history. Two thousand years have passed away, and yet her name stands out as freshly, as if she had been cotemporaneous with Elizabeth and Mary. She was the daughter of Scipio Africanus, the conqueror of Hannibal. Such descent could hardly have received an addition of glory or distinction. But, such was the life of Cornelia, that even the fame of Scipio received new lustre. She was married to a man, who, though he filled many high Roman offices, yet derived still greater dignity from her virtues. This was Tiberius Gracchus, the grandson of Sempronius, who was eulogized by Cicero for wisdom and virtue: He was thought worthy of Cornelia, and the event proved that one was as remarkable as the other, for what in that age of the world must have been deemed the highest excellencies of the human character. Tiberius died, leaving Cornelia with twelve children. Her character was such, that Ptolemy king of Egypt paid his addresses to her, but was rejected. She devoted herself to the care of her house and children; in which she behaved with the sweetest sobriety, parental affection, and greatness of mind. During her widowhood, she lost all her children except three, one daughter, who was married to Scipio the younger, and two sons, Tiberius and Caius Gracchus. Plutarch remarks, that "Cornelia brought them up with so much care, that though they were without dispute of the noblest family, and had the happiest geniuses of any of the Roman youth, yet education was allowed to have contributed more to their perfections than nature." This remark may show in forcible colours the vast influence of mothers in the education of youth. It is certain that there is no natural genius which may not be improved by education, and it is equally certain that no human being can have as much influence on that education as the mother. When a Campanian lady once displayed her jewels before Cornelia, requesting to see hers in return, Cornelia produced her two sons, saying, "These are all the jewels of which I can boast."

She also gave public lectures on philosophy in Rome, and was more fortunate in her disciples than her sons. Cicero says of her, that, "Cornelia, had she not been a woman, would have deserved the first place among philosophers." Cornelia, like all the leading women of Rome,

The whole life of Cornelia presents a beautifu
character; and from the facts which have come
down to us we may draw these inferences: 1. Cor-
nelia must have been educated in a very superior
manner by her father. For in no other manner
can we account for her knowledge and love of lite-
rature; nor for the fact, that while yet young she
was regarded as worthy of the most virtuous and
noble men of Rome. 2. She must have been,
from the beginning, a woman of fixed principles and
undaunted courage; for, in no other manner can
we give a solution to her rejection of the king of
Egypt, her unremitting care of her family, the
high education of her sons, and the great influence
she held over them. 3. She must have cultivated
literature and the graces of conversation; for, how
else could she have drawn around the fireside of
a retired widow, the men of letters, and even the
compliments of distant princes?

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


old to su od 978-qque ji was odd oronto Lan joge od 20 euro futingod te m


DAUGHTER of Pythagoras, the philosopher, was one of his favourite disciples, and was initiated by him into all the secrets of his philosophy. Her father entrusted to her all his writings, enjoining her not to make them public. This command she strictly obeyed, though tempted with large offers, while she was struggling with the evils of poverty, She lived single, in obedience to her father's wishes, and exhorted other young women, whose education she took charge of, to do the same. She was born at Crotona, in Italy, and lived about B. C., 500 vids afhosari odi to rodiom aut



1 J

9-ul wou bonio, DEBORAH




From all this we may draw the conclusion that | enincem.I protola 191Ɗp lodiya s diw boarobe it is quite possible for a lady to be a woman, of letters, and yet a good housekeeper, a good mother, a very agreeable companion, and a useful member of society. It is true, that all women cannot have the same early advantages, the same parental care, the same rich opportunities, and the same splendid line of life. Yet how few are they who have improved, to the same advantage, the talents, with which they have really been endowed! And, yet more, how few are the fathers and mothers who think these riches of the immortal mind at all equivalent to the petty accomplish ments of fashion? Yet it is these high qualities of mind alone which remain, like the eternal laws of nature, after all the modes of fashion and the Tour dɔDAMOPHILA, orien revolutions of time. From this living fountain opng quivi nove ling quryoiga qod vringa í sulge flows all the bubbling, sparkling, running waters WIFE of Damophilus, the Grecian philosopher, of life. It overflows beyond the boundaries of was the contemporary, relation, and rival of life, and enriches every territory of distant pos- Sappho She, composed a poem on Diana, and a terity. do ratuur ebIT variety of odes How to " to skrow on subjects connected with the In her lifetime a statue was raised to her, with passion of love. She is mentioned by Theophilus, this inscription: Cornelia mater Gracchorum. She in his life of Apollonius Thayneus. She flourished died about 230 years before Christ., slut about B, C. 610 dt enw doua tra noitoniteib # 268 In+ model antal your fad da silt neve tat By far act? CORNELIA, pung alt 462 bat ad ilumont puma of TIPHI_ -LW 9:14 A PROPHETESS and judge in Israel, and the most pr who foul bife Protol to 09 A DAUGHTER of Metellus Scipio, who married extraordinary woman recorded in the Old TestaPompey, after the death of her first husband, P. ment. She lived lived about a hundred and thirty years Crassus. She was an eminently virtuous woman, after the death of Joshua. The Israelites were in and followed Pompey in his flight to Egypt, after subjection to Jabin, king of the Canaanites, who his defeat by Cæsar at Pharsalia, B. C. 48; and for twenty years had "mightily oppressed" them. saw him murdered on his landing. She attributed Josephus says, "No bumiliation was saved them; all his misfortunes to his connection with her, and this was permitted by God, to punish them for their pride and obstinacy;" according to the Bible, for their "idolatry and wickedness. In Povle this miserable and degraded condition th they were when Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth," was raised up to be the "judge" and deliverer of her people. By the authority God had sanctioned, in giving her superior spiritual insight and patriotism, she called and commissioned Barak to take 10,000 men of the children of Naphthali and of Zebulun, and go against Sisera and his host. According to Josephus, this armed host of Canaanites consisted of 300,000 infantry, 10,000 cavalry, and 3000 chariots; the Bible does not give the number, but names "nine hundred chariots of iron," and the army as "a multitude.” Barak seems to have been so alarmed at the idea of defying such a host of enemies, or so doubtful of succeeding in gathering his own army, that he refused to go, unless Deborah would go with him. Here was a new and great call on her energies. She had shown wisdom in counsel, superior, we must infer, to that of any man in Israel, for all the people "came up to her for judgment;"-but had she courage to go out to battle for her country? The sequel showed that she was brave as wise; and the reproof she bestowed on Barak for his cowardice or want of faith, is both delicate and dignified. She had offered him the post of military glory; it belonged to him as a man; but since he would not take it, since he resolved to drag a woman forward to bear the blame of the insurrection, should the patriot effort fail; the "honour"



[ocr errors]

1 it d et fettro daie a tro.bla CORNELIA,vy drollo Ins Poored troibits smo l DAUGHTER of Cinna, and first wife of Julius Cæsar. She became the mother of Julia, Pompey's wife, and was so beloved by her husband that he pronounced a funeral oration over her corpse. For your wad to I [zub


[ocr errors]


A QUEEN of Sicyon, celebrated for her valour, after the death of her husband, Alexander, B. C. 314.

jor god of 2020 1 2




It fo

DAUGHTER of Priam, king of Troy, and of Hecuba his wife, married Eneas, by whom she had Ascanius. When Troy was taken, B. C. 1184, she fled in the night with her husband; but in the confusion they were separated, and Eneas could not recover her. Some assert that Cybele saved her, and that Creusa became a priestess in her temple. f Lear we going CYNISCA,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

DAUGHTER of Agesilaus, king of Sparta, B. C. 400, was celebrated by the Lacedæmonians for excelling in the Olympic games. Her brother, to show his contempt for these exercises, with difficulty persuaded her to enter the lists; for he thought those amusements would not be held in estimation, if a woman could obtain the prize.

« AnteriorContinuar »