Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/381

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SOLOMON, ODES OF— SOLOMON, PSALMS OF


hunting was formerly prevalent. The average lot of the women is that of slaves. In some cases there is belief in a good spirit inhabiting a pleasant land, and an evil spirit associated with a volcano; also in a future life. The language is of pure Melanesian type, though a number of dialects are spoken. The natives are good agriculturists. The Solomon Islands are, in the Pacific, the eastern limit of the use of the shield. The canoes are skilfully built of planks sewn together and caulked. The high carved prow and stern give the craft almost a crescent shape. These and the gunwale are tastefully inlaid with mother-of-pearl and wreathed with shells and feathers.

The British islands are under a resident commissioner, and have some trade in copra, ivory, nuts, pearl shell and other produce. Coco-nuts, pine-apples and bananas, with some cocoa and coffee, are cultivated on small areas. The German islands have a small trade in sandalwood, tortoise-shell, &c. The total population may be roughly estimated at 180,000.

History.—The Spanish navigator Alvaro Mendaña must be credited with the discovery of these islands in 1567, though it is somewhat doubtful whether he was actually the first European who set eyes on them. In anticipation of their natural riches he named them Islas de Salomon. The expedition surveyed the southern portion of the group, and named the three large islands San Cristoval, Guadalcanal and Ysabel. On his return to Peru, Mendaña endeavoured to organize another expedition to colonize the islands, but it was not before June 1595 that he, with Pedro Quiros as second in command, was able to set sail for this purpose. The Marquesas and Santa Cruz islands were now discovered; but on one of the latter, after various delays, Mendaña died, and the expedition collapsed.

Even the position of the Solomon Islands was now in uncertainty, for the Spaniards, fearing lest they should lose the benefits expected to accrue from these discoveries, kept secret the narratives of Mendaña and Quiros. The Solomon Islands were thus lost sight of until, in 1767, Philip Carteret lighted on their eastern shores at Gower Island, and passed to the north of the group; without, however, recognizing that it formed part of the Spanish discoveries. In 1768 Louis de Bougainville found his way thither. He discovered the three northern islands (Buka, Bougainville and Choiseul), and sailed through the channel which divides the two last and bears his name. In 1769 a French navigator, M. de Surville, was the first, in spite of the hostility of the natives, to make any lengthened stay in the group. He gave some of the islands the French names they still bear,[1] and brought home some detailed information concerning them which he called Terre des Arsacides (Land of the . Assassins); but their identity with Mendaña's Islas de Salomon was soon established by French geographers. In 1788 the English lieu- tenant Shortland coasted along the south side of the chain, and, supposing it to be a continuous land, named it New Georgia; and in 1792 Captain Edward Manning sailed through the strait which separates Ysabel from Choiseul and now bears his name. In the same year, and in 1793, d'Entrecasteaux surveyed portions of the coast-line of the large islands. Dumont d'Urville in 1838 continued the survey.

Traders now endeavoured to settle in the islands, and missionaries began to think of this fresh field for labour, but neither met with much success, and little was heard of the islanders save accounts of murder and plunder. In 1845 the French Marist Fathers went to Isabel, where Mgr Epaulle, first vicar-apostolic of Melanesia, was killed by the natives soon after landing. Three years later this mission had to be abandoned; but in 1881 work was again resumed. In 1856 John Coleridge Patteson, afterwards bishop of Melanesia, had paid his first visit to the islands, and native teachers trained at the Melanesian mission college subsequently established themselves there. About this date the yacht “Wanderer” cruised in these seas, but her owner, Mr Benjamin Boyd, was kidnapped by the natives and never afterwards heard of. In 1873 the “foreign-labour” traffic in plantation hands for Queensland and Fiji extended its baneful influence from the New Hebrides to these islands. In 1893 the islands Malaita, Marovo, Guadalcanar and San Cristoval with their surrounding islets were annexed by Great Britain, and the final delimitation of German and British influence in the archipelago was made by the convention of the 14th of November 1899.

See H. B. Guppy, The Solomon Islands (London, 1887), where full references to earlier works are given; C. Ribbe, Zwei Jahre unlet den Kannibalen der Salomon-Inseln (Dresden, 1903).


SOLOMON, ODES OF, a collection of 42 hymns, probably dating from the end of the 1st century, known to the early Christian Church (as is proved by the quotations and comments in the 3rd century gnostic book, Pistis Sophia, and a short extract in the Institutes of Lactantius). They were recovered by Dr Rendel Harris in 1908 from a 16th-century Syriac manuscript (containing also the Psalms of Solomon, see below) in his possession. The first, second, and part of the third odes are missing, but the first has been restored from the Pistis Sophia. Of their authorship nothing is known, “Solomon” being a recognized pseudonym. While there are thoughts and expressions which lend themselves to gnostic use, there is nothing in the odes which is of distinctively gnostic origin. Many of them, indeed, are unmistakably Christian, and the writer of the Pistis Sophia seems to have regarded them as almost if not quite canonical, a fact which secures at latest a 2nd-century origin. Dr Harris indeed would date several of them between a.d. 75 and 100. They contain few traces of the New Testament, and the words “gospel” and “church” are not found. Here and there a Johannine atmosphere is detected, though not sufficiently to justify the assumption that the author knew the writer, of the Fourth Gospel. References to the life and teaching, of Christ are rare, though the Virgin Birth is alluded to in Ode 19 in a passage marked by legendary embellishment, and the descent into Hades is spoken of in quite the apocryphal style in Ode 42. These odes are probably among the latest in the book. There are no clear allusions to baptism and none at all to the eucharistic celebration. One passage speaks of ministers (perhaps=deacons) who are entrusted with the water of life to hand to others; the word “priest” occurs once, at the beginning of Ode 20, “I am a priest of the Lord, and to Him I do priestly service, and to Him I offer the sacrifices of His thought,” The odes, which are perhaps the product of a school of writers, and were originally written in Greek, vary in execution and spiritual tone, but are generally characterized by a buoyant feeling of Christian joy. Harnack considers that they form a Jewish Grundschrift, with a number of Christian interpolations; only two are “purely Christian,” while several “colourless” ones are more likely Jewish. He finds in them a link between the piety and theology of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and that of the Johannine gospel and epistles.

See J. Rendel Harris, The Odes and Psalms of Solomon (1909); An Early Christian Psalter (1909) ; Joh. Flemming and A. Harnack, Ein jüdisch-christliches Psalmbuch aus dem ersten Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1910) ; The Times (April 7, 1910) ; W. E. Barnes, in Journ. of Theol. Studies, xi. 615, and The Expositor (July 1910); F. Spitta, in Zeitschrift für N.T. Wissenschaft, xi. 193.


SOLOMON, PSALMS OF. These psalms, eighteen in all, enjoyed but small consideration in the early Christian Church; for only six direct references to them are found in early Christian literature, though in the Jewish Church they must have played an important role; for they were used in the worship of the synagogue.

They were of course not written by Solomon, but were subsequently ascribed to him. The fact that they do not contain a single reference to Solomon is in favour of their having been first published anonymously. On the other hand, their author (or authors) may have placed over them the superscription “Psalms of Solomon” in order to gain currency for this new collection under the shelter of a great name of the past.

MSS. and Texts.—Before the publication of Swete's second edition and the edition of von Gebhardt, only five MSS., A, H, V, M, P, (of which H represents the Copenhagen MS.) were known, and these were utilized to the full in the splendid edition of Ryle and James (*a\juo£ XokonUvras , Psalms of the Pharisees commonly called the Psalms of Solomon, the Text newly revised from all the MSS., 1891). In Swete's edition (The Old Testament in Greek,2 1894)

there was given in addition to the above a collation of the Vatican
  1. He called Gower, Inattendue; Ulava, Contrarieté; and named Port Praslin, the harbour at the north-west of Ysabel.