Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/38

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
24
POLYGENISTS—POLYGON

African tribes, and is common among those of Australia and Polynesia. In China, however, only one wife is lawful. In many polygamous countries the practical obstacle of expense prevents men from taking advantage of their privileges. While polygamy was the rule in biblical days among the ancient Jews, and was permitted and even enjoined in certain cases by the Mosaic law, the Christian Church, though it is nowhere forbidden, except for “bishops,” in the New Testament, has always set its face against it. There have, however, been divines who dissented from this general disapproval. The Anabaptists insisted on freedom in the matter, and Bernardino Ochino conditionally defended plurality of wives. When in 1540 Philip the Magnanimous, the reforming Landgrave of Hesse, determined (with his wife's approval, she being a confirmed invalid) to marry a second wife, Luther and Melanchthon approved “as his personal friends, though not as doctors of theology”; while Martin Bucer assisted at the marriage. In later times the Mormons (q.v.) in America provide the most notable instance of the revival of polygamy.


POLYGENISTS, the term -applied to those anthropologists who contend that the several primary races of mankind are separate species of independent origin. (See Monogenists.)


POLYGLOTT (Gr. πολύς, many, and γλῶττα, tongue), the term for a book which contains side by side versions of the same text in several different languages; the most important polyglot ts are editions of the Bible, or its parts, in which the Hebrew and Greek originals are exhibited along with the great historical versions, which are of value for the history of the text and its interpretation. The first enterprise of this kind is the famous Hexapla of Origen in which the Old Testament Scriptures were written in six parallel columns, the first containing the Hebrew text, the second a transliteration of this in Greek letters, the third and fourth the Greek translations by Aquila and Symmachus, the fifth the Septuagint version as revised by Origen, the sixth the translation by Theodotion. Inasmuch, however, as only two languages, Hebrew and Greek, were employed the work was rather diglott than polyglot in the usual sense. After the invention of printing and the revival of philological studies, polyglot ts became a favourite means of advancing the knowledge of Eastern languages (for which no good helps were available) as well as the study of Scripture. The series began with the Complutensian printed by Arnaldus Guilielmus de Brocario at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes at the university at Alcala de Henares (Complutum). The first volume of this, containing the New Testament in Greek and Latin, was completed on the 10th of January 1514. In vols. ii.–v. (finished on July 10, 1517) the Hebrew text of the Old Testament was printed in the first column of each page, followed by the Latin Vulgate and then by the Septuagint version with an interlinear Latin translation. Below these stood the Chaldee, again with a Latin translation. The sixth volume containing an appendix is dated 1515, but the work did not receive the papal sanction till March 1520, and was apparently not issued till 1522. The chief editors were Juan de Vergara, Lopez de Zuniga (Stunica), Nuñez de Guzman (Pincianus), Antonio de Librixa (Nebrissensis), and Demetrius Ducas. About half a century after the Complutensian came the Antwerp Polyglott, printed . by Christopher Plantin (1569–1572, in 8 vols. folio). Of this the principal editor was Arias Montanus aided by Guido Fabricius Boderianus, Raphelengius, Masius, Lucas of Bruges and others. This work was under the patronage of Philip II. of Spain; it added a new language to those of the Complutensian by including the Syriac New Testament; and, while the earlier polyglot had only the Targum of Onkelos on the Pentateuch, the Antwerp Bible had also the Targum on the Prophets, and on Esther, Job, Psalms and the Salomonic writings. Next came Le Jay's Paris Polyglott (1645), which embraces the first printed texts of the Syriac Old Testament (edited by Gabriel Sionita, a Maronite, but the book of Ruth by Abraham Ecchelensis, also a Maronite) and of the Samaritan Pentateuch and version (by Morinus). It has also an Arabic version, or rather a series of various Arabic versions. The last great polyglot is Brian Walton's (London, 1657), which is much less beautiful than Le Jay's but more complete, in various ways, including, among other things, the Syriac of Esther and of several apocryphal books for which it is wanting in the Paris Bible, Persian versions of the Pentateuch and Gospels, and the Psalms and New Testament in Ethiopic. Walton was aided by able scholars, and used much new manuscript material. His prolegomena, too, and collections of various readings mark an important advance in biblical criticism. It was in connexion with this polyglot that E. Castell produced his famous Heptaglott Lexicon (2 vols. folio, London, 1669), an astounding monument of industry and erudition even when allowance is made for the fact that for the Arabic he had the great MS. lexicon compiled and left to the university of Cambridge by the almost forgotten W. Bedwell. The liberality of Cardinal Ximenes, who is said to have spent half-a million ducats on it, removed the Complutensian polyglot from the risks of commerce. The other three editions all brought their promoters to the verge of ruin. The later polyglot ts are of little scientific importance, the best recent texts having been confined to a single language; but every biblical student still uses Walton and, if he can get it, Le Jay. Of the numerous polyglot editions of parts of the Bible it may suffice to mention the Genoa psalter of 1516, edited by Giustiniani, bishop of Nebbio. This is in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Chaldee and Arabic, and is interesting from the character of the Chaldee text, being the first specimen of Western printing in the Arabic character, and from a curious note on Columbus and the discovery of America on the margin of Psalm xix.  (A. W. Po.) 


POLYGNOTUS, Greek painter in the middle of the 5th century b.c., son of Aglaophon, was a native of Thasos, but was adopted by the Athenians, and admitted to their citizenship. He painted for them in the time of Cimon a picture of the taking of Ilium on the walls of the Stoa Poecile, and another of the marriage of the daughters of Leucippus in the Anaceum. In the hall at the entrance to the Acropolis other works of his were preserved. The most important, however, of his paintings were his frescoes in a building erected at Delphi by the people- .of Cnidus. The subjects of these were the visit to Hades by Odysseus, and the taking of Ilium. Fortunately the traveller Pausanias has left us a careful description of these paintings, figure by figure (Paus. x. 25–31). The foundations of the building have been recovered in the course of the French excavations at Delphi. From this evidence, some modern archaeologists have tried to reconstruct the paintings, excepting of course the colours of them. The best of these reconstructions is by Carl Robert, who by the help of vase-paintings of the middle of the fifth century has succeeded in recovering, both the perspective of Polygnotus and the character of his figures (see Greek Art, fig. 29). The figures were detached and seldom overlapping, ranged in two or three rows one above another; and the farther were not smaller nor dimmer than the nearer. The designs are repeated in Frazer's Pausanias, v. 360 and 372. It will hence appear that paintings at this time were executed on almost precisely the same plan as contemporary sculptural reliefs. We learn also that Polygnotus employed but few colours, and those simple. Technically his art was primitive. His excellence lay in the beauty of his drawing of individual figures; but especially in the “ethical” and ideal character of his art. The contemporary, and perhaps the teacher, of Pheidias, he had the same grand manner. Simplicity, which was almost childlike, sentiment at once noble and gentle, extreme grace and charm of execution, marked his works, in contrast to the more animated, complicated and technically superior paintings of a later age.  (P. G.) 


POLYGON (Gr. πολύς, many, and γωνία, an angle), in geometry, a figure enclosed by any number of lines-the sides which intersect in pairs at the corners or vertices. If the sides are coplanar, the polygon is said to be “plane”; if not, then it is a “skew” or “gauche” polygon. If the figure lies entirely to one side of each of the bounding lines the figure is “ convex ”; if not it is “re-entrant ” or “concave.” A “regular” polygon has all its sides and angles equal, i.e. it is equilateral and equiangular; if the sides and angles be not equal the polygon is “irregular.” Of polygons inscriptible in a circle an equilateral