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ceived in the intermediate country of Palestine, was drawn up by Eusebius, Of these three editions, that of Lucian, as being freest from the interpolations of Origen; and as approaching the nearest to the venerable copy of the Septuagint, is deemed the most perfect: and it is now agreed among the learned, that a · MS. of this version rises in value and excellence, in proportion as it conforms to the edition of Lucian. The Hexaplar edition of Origen, with those of Lucian, Hesychius, and Eusebius, are the only sources, however remote, of all the MS. copies, or editions, which contain the old Greek version. An account of them therefore, is absolutely necessary, in order to understand the merits of any, publication on this subject; and we give it here for the satisfaction of our readers. Our editor, however, writing in a learned language, and for the use of learned divines, supposes his readers to be in some measure acquainted with these particulars; and therefore has not been at the trouble of writing a direct and satisfactory detail of them. Montfaucon, in his excellent edition of the Hexapla, has given a lucid narration of the origin of the Septuagint, and of its early editions, especially that which was altered by Origen: and we wish his example had been followed by Dr. Holmes. It is, however, but justice to the Dr. to remark, that, though he has declined an historical view of the subject, he has delivered many judicious obseryations respecting it.
(To be continued.)
Art. XXV. The History of the Orkney Islands : in which is comprc
hended an Account of their Present as well as their Ancient State ; together with the Advantages they possess for several Branches of Industry, and the Means by which they may be improved. By the Rev. George Barry, D. D. Minister of Shapinshay, 4to. pp. 518.
price tl. 1ļš. 6d. Longman and Co. 1805. FVERY situation in which we are placed by divine Provi.
I dence, presents objects, of which we could not, if otherwise situated, have acquired the knowledge: and would every man avail himself of local and temporary advantages, for the ats tainment of useful information, it might greatly augment the general store of human science. The resident clergy have usually the best means of obtaining topographical intelligence; and when they employ their talents, and their leisure from official engagements, in communicating the materials which they have such favourable opportunities of collecting, we consider them as rendering a valuable service to the commonwealth of letters. It is obvious likewise, that by a statement of the advanlages or disadvantages, by which their respective parishes, or vi
çinities, einities, are distinguished; they may suggest useful hints for general improvement, and excite that attention which is requisite to promote it in particular instances. · Dr. B.'s voluine may be considered both as a patriotic, and an instructive performance. While he furnishes general information, he avowedly aiins at the particular inelioration of the islands among which he resides. The former, of course, serves as the basis, on which he wishes to raise the latter. We shall therefore, first, attend to his descriptive accounts, and, then to his inferences and advice.
We cannot give a better summary of the contents of his work, than that which the author has included in his introduction.
" Book I. will contain, besides a general view of all the islands that compose the cluster, a short geopraphical description of each ; comprehending its respective productions, its figure, extent, and relative situation; its harbours, and such other objects as seem best calculated to gratify a laudable curiosity, or to serve the more important purposes of conveying useful information.
• Book II. will comprise an account of the earliest inhabitants; whatever is niost' remarkable in their manners, customs, and institutions; the transactions and character of those people that conquered and mingled with, or succeeded them; a description of some remaining monuments of both these races of people; of the changes of the islands in subsequent ages, under different rulers; and of the influence these seem evidently to have had in retarding their improvement.
Book III. will exhibit the present state of these islands, with respect to their mineral, vegetable, and animal productions ; their population, language, manners, customs; and the different species of industry that prevail at this time. Agriculture, in particular, on account of its importance, will occupy a considerable portion of this book; to which will naturally succeed, the consideration of manufactures, fisheries, and com. merce : the causes of their low state at present will be considered, and the means that might be employed for improving them to such a degree as could not fail to ameliorate the condition of the people, and at the same time contribute to the advantage of the state. pp. 3, 4.
This arrangement is well adapted to the subjects under discussion; and demonstrates its propriety, by precluding, in most cases, occasions of tautology, throughout the book. A regular abstract of the various matter thus distributed, would exceed our limits; and would likewise include much that our readers may find elsewhere. We shall, therefore, restrict our notice to those articles which appear to be either new, or of principal importance, or which we apprehend may require animadversion.
The Orkneys are 66 in number, but 28..only are inhabited; and several of these are so small as merely to support one family. Among them, Pentland Skerry, or Rock, is now reckoned; on account of the light-house lately erected on it, for the security of vessels in passing between ihe islands, and the north coast
of Britain. This was greatly wanted : and we are glad to learn that a similar preservative will soon be supplied to the opposite extremity of the group. The rest are small Holmes, occasionally used for pasturage. The principal island, or Mainland, is less than 30 miles in length; and very irregular in breadth,-from two miles to fifteen. The next in size, Hoy, (which Dr. B. improperly reckons as two islands,) has not more than one-third of that extent. It contains the highest ground of any in the cluster; but is reckoned by our author to rise not more than 1200 feet above the sea. The eastern islands are low; and those to the north are composed of loose sand. Sand-stone, also, forms the principal stratum of the rock, which serves as a basis to the whole. The soil, though shallow, is mostly fertile; but like other northern British islands, has from time immemorial been destitute of wood. Here, however, as in the Isle of Man, large trees are found beneath the surface. Peat moss, in abundance, supplies the inhabitants with fuel. Appearances indicate that these islands have been severed from Britain, and from each other, by some convulsion of the earth.
The earliest mention of the Orkneys appears to have been made by Roman writers, in the first century of the christian æra; although Diodorus Siculus had, in the preceding century, spoken of the northernmost promontory of Britain, by the title of Orcas. Hence, probably, the Romans named these islands ORCADES, a, denomination equally unknown on the spot, for many ages afterwards: as the terms German and Dutch still are to the nations which we call by those names. It is remarkable, that from the first notice of these islands, their number has been accounted nearly the same with that which we have assigned to the inhabited places. Solinus, indeed, is handed down to us, with a very differei t account: but to his numero tres, we should take the liberty of adding, with Orosius and Isidorus, et triginta. He represents them as uninhabited; whereas Tacitus says of Agricola, Orcadas invenit, domuitque. The conquest, if made, must doubtless have been nearly as transient as this account of it: but it implies, that there were some inhabitants at that time, who possibly, (though not probably,) might have deserted them when Solinus wrote. The learned Icelander Torfæus, who composed from the traditions of his country, a history of the Orkneys, stales them to have been inhabited 260 years before the christian æra. We think, no withstanding, that the particular information of the Hebudes, which Solinus has given in immediate connexion with his account of the Orkneys, entitles the latter to greater credit, than Di. B. is willing to allow. In this instance, he opposes also the judgement of Mr. Pinkerton; which, in gen' ral, he seeins implicitly to adopt. Of that gentleman's historical labours, our opinion is similar to that which we formerly
expressed of his Geography. To applause for indefatigable. research, he has an indisputable claim; but he often mistakes bare probability, and sometimes wild conjecture for historic truth. Among the few parts of Dr. B.'s volume which might be spared, we do not hesitate to class his speculation on the supposed progress of the Orkneian Picts, and most of his general dissertation on that people.
The earliest positive information that he adduces of the inhabitants of Orkney, relates to their reception of christianity, in the sixth century, from Cormac, one of the renowned disciples of St. Colum. This seems to us very likely to have occurred: as it appears that those zealous missionaries extended their visits even to Iceland. The pagan Norwegians, under Harold Harfager, three centuries afterwards, exterminated the inhabitants of the Orkneys, and effaced every vestige of their religion. We quote a brief account of this event. from the old translation of a MS. bearing date 1403, which Dr. B. has inserted, with the Latin original, in his Appendix.
- Swa we find, was the first, that in the time of Harold Comate, first king of Norwege, quhilk jasit (enjoyed) the haill kingdome, this land, or cuntre insulare of Orcadie, was inhabitat and manurit be twa nations, callit Peti and Pape, quhilk twa nations, indeid, was all wterlie and clanlie destroyit be the Norwegenss, of the clan or tribe of the maist stowt Prince Rogoald ; quhilks Norwegenss swa passit on (assaulted) the said nations of Peti and Pape, that the posteritie of thame after re. mained nocht: but true it is that the land was not callit Orchadie, but the Land of the Pets.' p. 409.
These Peti were, doubtless, the Picts: the Pape are supposed by Mr. Pinkerton and Dr. B. to have been the Pape, or christian clergy from Scotland or Ireland. The invasion and extirpation thus perpetrated, are ascribed to Harold's resentment of the piracies committed by many of his subjects, who had fled from his tyranny to these islands. We apprehend that the Vickingr, and petty Norwegian chiefs, whom Harold had reduced to subjection, are meant by Torfæus : but the document which we have cited, makes no mention of these refugees, 'among the inhabitants. The event is dated, A. D. 876, at the important crisis when the Danes were wresting England, for a short time, from the hand of our great Alfred.
To the obscure age of the Orkneian history succeeded one which may be terined the heroic. Harold subdued not only Orkney and Shetland, but likewise the Hebrides, and even the Isle of Man; leaving in all these places, some of his followers ; who were at times united under the governors of Orkney, but more frequently ruled by independent chiefs. Orkney and Shetland usually formed one principality, nominally dependent
on Norway; but even these small groups were sometimes divided among several contending chiefs. They overran, and mostly possessed, also, the northernmost counties of Scotland.
This military and piratical people adopted the profession of christianity, before the close of the tenth century, in a manner more congenial to their own character, than to that of the gospel. The celebrated Olaus, King of Norway, who, while on a predatory expedition, had been converted by a herinit of the Isles of Scilly, touching with a fleet at the Orkneys, invited on board of his ship, Earl Sigurd, who then governed the islands; and imposed on him the alternative of establishing christianity in his dominions, or suffering death, with his family, for refusing to do so. No great change of manners was speedily to be expected from a religion thus introduced : but in the course of the twelfth century, we find two Earls of Orkney, Magnus and Ronald, sanctified in the Roman calendar; the latter of whom erected, to the honour of the former, the cathedral at Kirkwall, which still bears the name of St. Magnus. We are not informed; whether these princely saints had qualified themselves for such an apotheosis, by the performance of miracles during their reigns ; but supernatural appearances at their tombs were not wanting. Both having shared a fate common to the chiefs of Orkney, being assassinated by their rivals in ambition, they were enrolled, not only as saints, but as martyrs. It is not till the commencement of the latter century, that we hear of a bishop residing in these islands; and we do not learn that any individual of that character attained to the honours of the calendar. They were, however, given to a bishop of Caithness, whose extortion is said to have provoked the populace to murder him. Such were the manners, civil and ecclesiastical, of that barbarous age!
The cession of Orkney and Shetland, by way of mortgage, from Denmark to Scotland, A. D. 1468, is so well known, that we need not trace its progress. That event terminates an agitated period of history, in the perusal of which, the conflicts of the petty republics of ancient Greece, and those of the infant monarchy of Rome, have been recalled to our minds, as similar, and only more important by having involved either the immediate interests of literature, or the ultimate fate of empires. The abstract which Dr. B. has given from Torfæus, of the revolutions of Orkney, not only augments the entertainment to be derived from his volume; but serves to correct several errors of his predecessor Wallace, who had not the same sources of information, when he published his account of these islands, more than a century ago. Our author should have adverted to these variations, and likewise to those transactions in Scotland, which were connected with his subject. He does not even mention the accession of Kenneth III. to the entire monarchy of Scotland, which preceded the Nor