The first, which may be called "Ancient or Heathen Art," to comprehend all those styles which prevailed in the old world from the dawn of history in Egypt till the disruption of the Roman Empire by the removal of the capital from Rome to Constantinojde in the fourth century.
The second to be called either "Mediæval," or more properly "Christian Art." This again subdivides itself into three easily-understood divisions. 1. The Romanesque, or Transitional style, which prevailed between the ages of Constantine and Justinian; 2. The Gothic, or Western Christian; and 3. The Byzantine, or Eastern Christian style. Either of these two last might be taken first without incongruity; but on the whole, it will be convenient, first to follow the thread of the history of Gothic art, and return to take up that of the Byzantine afterwards. The Western styles form a complete and perfect chapter in themselves, based directly on the Romanesque, but borrowing very little and lending less to any other style during their existence. They also perished earlier, having died out in the 16th century, while the Byzantine continued to be practised within the limits of the present century in Russia and other Eastern countries.
Another reason for taking the Gothic styles first is that the Saracenic spring directly from the Byzantine, and according to this arrangement would follow naturally after it.
The third great division of the subject I would suggest might conveniently be denominated "Pagan." It would comprise all those minor miscellaneous styles not included in the two previous divisions. Commencing with the Saracenic, it would include the Buddhist, Hindu, and Chinese styles, the Mexican and Peruvian, and lastly that mysterious group which for want of a better name I have elsewhere designated as "Rude Stone Monuments." No very consecutive arrangement can be formed of these styles. They generally have little connection with each other, and are so much less important than the others that their mode of treatment is of far less consequence. Nor is it necessary to attempt any exact classification of these at present, as, owing to the convenience of publication, it has been determined to form the Indian and allied Eastern styles into a separate volume, which will include not only the Buddhist and Hindu styles, but the Indian Saracenic, which, in a strictly logical arrangement, ought to be classified with the Western style bearing the same name.
- The derivation of the two words Heathen and Pagan seems to indicate the relative importance of these two terms very much in the degree it is here wished to express. Heathen is generally understood to he derived from έθνος, a nation or people; and Pagan from Pagus, Pagani, a village, or villagers. Both are used here not as terms of reproach, but as indicative of their being non-Christian, which is what it is wished to express, and was the original intention of the term.
- "Rude Stone Monuments," 1 vol. 8vo. Murray, 1872.