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THE PARTHENON FROM THE PROPYLÆA (EARLY MORNING) The pale golden light on the architraves within the Posticum is reflected from the east side of the west front of the Temple. The scarped rock to the right is the boundary of the precinct of Artemis Brauronia. The drum of a column in the right-hand corner of the drawing represents the southernmost column of the eastern portico of the Propylæa. For obvious artistic reasons the whole column could not be included in the drawing. The pedestal before the column is that of the statue of Athene Hygieia by the sculptor Pyrrhos. Two or three paces in front of it are the remains of a large free-standing altar.

THE PARTHENON FROM THE PROPYLÆA (EARLY MORNING)

The pale golden light on the architraves within the Posticum is reflected from the east side of the west front of the Temple. The scarped rock to the right is the boundary of the precinct of Artemis Brauronia. The drum of a column in the right-hand corner of the drawing represents the southernmost column of the eastern portico of the Propylæa. For obvious artistic reasons the whole column could not be included in the drawing. The pedestal before the column is that of the statue of Athene Hygieia by the sculptor Pyrrhos. Two or three paces in front of it are the remains of a large free-standing altar.

GREECE · PAINTED BY
JOHN   FULLEYLOVE,   R.I.
DESCRIBED  BY  THE  REV.
J. A. M‘CLYMONT, M.A., D.D.
PUBLISHED BY A. AND  C.
BLACK · LONDON ·MCMVI

colophon

{iv}

{v}

Author’s Note

AMONG the authorities consulted by the writer of the Text (who has had the advantage of a recent visit to Greece) special acknowledgments are due to Grote’s monumental History of Greece, and to J. G. Frazer’s lucid and searching Commentary on Pausanias’s Description of Greece.

Aberdeen, April 1906.

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Contents

PAGE
Introductory 1
CHAPTER I
The Ionian Islands and the “Odyssey” 7
CHAPTER II
Delphi and its Oracle 18
CHAPTER III
Olympia and its Games 34
CHAPTER IV
Arcadia and its Aborigines 51
CHAPTER V
Sparta and its Discipline 71
CHAPTER VI
Argolis and its Antiquities 94
CHAPTER VII
Corinth and its Canal{viii} 111
CHAPTER VIII
Athens and its Acropolis 124
CHAPTER IX
Athens and its Goddess 146
CHAPTER X
Athens and Eleusis 167
CHAPTER XI
Athens and its Democracy 183
CHAPTER XII
Athens—its Decay and its Revival 206
INDEX 229

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List of Illustrations

1. The Parthenon from the Propylæa Frontispiece
    FACING PAGE
2. The Acropolis from the Site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus 2
3. Corfu. The Old Fort from the West 8
4. Corfu. The Old Fort from the South 10
5. The Temple of Athena at Sunium 14
6. Sunset from the North-Eastern Corner of the Acropolis 16
7. Delphi from Itea 20
8. Delphi. The Castalian Gorge and Spring 24
9. Delphi. The Portico of the Athenians 28
10. The Ancient Quarries on Mount Pentelikon 32
11. Olympia. The base of the Kronos Hill with the remains of the Temple of Hera and the Philippeion 36
12. Olympia. The Palæstra and remains of the Temple of Zeus 40
13. The Temple of Hera at Olympia 44
14. The Bastion and Temple of Wingless Victory viewed from the ascent to the Propylæa 48
15. Colossal Head of Despoina 52
16. The Temple of Apollo at Bassæ in Arcadia, with distant view of Mount Ithome 54
17. Site of Megalopolis in Arcadia 58
18. Megalopolis in Arcadia{x} 62
19. Andritsæna. The resting-place for the Temple of Apollo at Bassæ 66
20. The Castle of Karytæna in Arcadia 70
21. Interior of the Temple of Apollo at Bassæ in Arcadia 72
22. The Laconian Gate of Messene 74
23. Kalamata on the Gulf of Messene 76
24. Mount Ithome from the Stadion of Messene 80
25. Triple Bridge over the Mavrozoumenos River 84
26. Sparta and Mount Taÿgetus 86
27. Mistra, near Sparta 90
28. Mistra and the Valley of the Eurotas 92
29. Argos and Larissa 96
30. The Acropolis of Mycenæ from South-West, with Mount Elias 100
31. Mycenæ, showing the site of the famous discoveries of Schliemann 104
32. Tiryns. The Gate of the Upper Castle 106
33. Nauplia and Tiryns from the Road to Argos 108
34. The Theatre of Epidaurus 110
35. The Temple at Corinth 114
36. The Temple of Athena at Sunium from the North 118
37. Off Cape Matapan 122
38. The Western End of the Acropolis seen from below the Pnyx 124
39. The Temple of Theseus from the South-West 128
40. The Temple of Theseus from the North-West 130
41. The Areopagus and the Theseum 132
42. The Battle-Field of Marathon from Mount Pentelikon 136
43. The Seaward End of the Plain of Attica looking towards Salamis 140
44. The Temple of Athena on the Island of Ægina 144
45. Vista of the Northern Peristyle of the Parthenon looking westward{xi} 146
46. The Western Portico of the Parthenon from the South 148
47. The Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus from the Hill Ardettos 150
48. The Parthenon from the Northern End of the Eastern Portico of the Propylæa 152
49. Mount Pentelikon and Lycabettos from the North-Eastern Angle of the Parthenon 154
50. The Propylæa from the Northern Edge of the Platform of the Parthenon 156
51. The Southern side of the Erechtheum, with the foundations of the earlier Temple of Athena Polias 158
52. The Caryatid Portico of the Erechtheum from the West 160
53. The Northern Portico of the Erechtheum 162
54. The Eastern Portico of the Erechtheum viewed from the Northern Peristyle of the Parthenon 164
55. The Dipylon at Athens 168
56. The Street of Tombs outside the Dipylon at Athens 172
57. Athens from the Road to Eleusis 174
58. Convent of Daphni 176
59. Sacred Way from Athens to Eleusis, looking towards Salamis 178
60. The Great Temple of the Mysteries, Eleusis 180
61. The Hall of the Great Temple of the Mysteries, Eleusis 182
62. The Acropolis from the base of the Philopappus Hill 184
63. The lower part of the Auditorium of the Theatre of Dionysos at Athens 188
64. The Cavern Chapel on the South Side of the Acropolis 190
65. The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates 194
66. The Pnyx; or Place of Assembly of the People 198
67. The Acropolis with Kallirrhoè in the Foreground{xii} 202
68. Athens. The Monument of Agrippa and the Pinacotheca 206
69. The Tower of the Winds 208
70. The Portico of Athena Archegetis 210
71. The Stoa of Hadrian 212
72. The Arch of Hadrian 216
73. Columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus from the North-West 220
74. The Square in front of the King’s Palace at Athens 222
75. The Stadion at Athens 226
Sketch Map at end of Volume.

The Illustrations in this Volume have been engraved and printed in England by
The Hentschel Colourtype, Limited.

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G R E E C E

INTRODUCTORY

MORE perhaps than any other country in Europe, Greece owes its charm to the traditions of a remote past. It has no lack of fine scenery, and there is much that is interesting in its modern life; but what chiefly distinguishes it from other countries is the rich and beautiful mythology which is reflected in its poetry, its art, and its philosophy, and was to a large extent the inspiration of its glorious history.

It will not be expected that any attempt should be made in these pages to give an adequate account of the artistic and architectural creations which, even in their ruins, form the chief attraction of the country. For detailed information on these matters, the reader must be left to consult such guide-books as Baedeker and Murray, or works specially devoted to archæology or art. The object of the present writer will be attained if he succeed in providing a congenial intellectual atmosphere for the scenes and objects to be presented by the artist. For this purpose it will be necessary, among other things, to recall many of the ancient{2} legends, as well as the historical events associated with the places referred to. The history cannot be understood apart from the mythology, for the latter is a key to the religious faith as well as to the patriotic sentiment of the nation.

Opinions may differ as to the right interpretation of many of the myths, but whatever explanation we may be disposed to give of them, whether we regard them as allegorical, semi-historical, or purely poetical, they are generally full of human interest, and they were very dear to the Greeks as the embodiment of their earliest thoughts and cherished memories. Embalmed in their poetry, consecrated by their temples, and signalised by many other monuments, the Greek mythology formed for centuries the chief intellectual wealth of the nation. Even when history and philosophy had begun to make their influence felt, the old stories, dramatised by the tragic poets, still continued to fill the imagination and to occupy the attention of all classes of the people. Though Plato had a good deal to say against some of them from an ethical point of view, he did not propose in his ideal Republic to do away with them altogether, he only wished them to be so corrected and purified as to promote the interests of a sound morality and a reasonable theology.

An important feature of Greek mythology was its close connection with the received genealogies. These nearly always terminated, at the upper end, in a god or a hero, after whom a family or a group of families was named, with the curious result, to our modern{3}



THE ACROPOLIS FROM THE SITE OF THE TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS The two detached colossal columns belong to the west end of the southern peristyle of the Temple. To the right is the Arch of Hadrian. The striking form of the masses of rock, which constitute the natural defence of the Acropolis on its eastern side, shows with great effect in this drawing.

THE ACROPOLIS FROM THE SITE OF THE TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS

The two detached colossal columns belong to the west end of the southern peristyle of the Temple. To the right is the Arch of Hadrian. The striking form of the masses of rock, which constitute the natural defence of the Acropolis on its eastern side, shows with great effect in this drawing.

mind, that the shorter the pedigree the more honour it conferred upon its living representative. The public genealogies were thus an incentive both to the piety and the pride of the more influential classes, and they help to account for the reverence in which the ancient mythology was so long held by such an enlightened nation as the Greeks.

With the exception of Palestine, there is probably no country that can compare with Greece for the influence it has exerted on the life and thought of the world, in proportion to its size and population. In area it was never so large as Scotland, and its population, which is now under two millions and a half, was probably never much greater.

How far the influence of ancient Greece was due to the racial characteristics of its inhabitants, which they brought with them from other parts of the world, and how far to the peculiarities of the country itself, is a question which it is not easy to determine. To some extent, no doubt, both causes operated. The inhabitants belonged to a good stock, the Indo-Germanic, while their geographical position and surroundings were well fitted to develop a high type of manhood. The beauty of the scenery, the purity of the atmosphere, the geniality of the climate, the fertility of the plains and valleys, the grandeur of the mountains,—more numerous and widespread than in any other part of Europe of similar extent except Montenegro,—the bracing influence of the sea, and the commercial advantages afforded by its coasts, which are more extensive{4} than those of any other country in proportion to its size, looking in the direction of Europe, Asia, and Africa—all these things no doubt helped to make the ancient Greeks the great nation that they were, though their comparative obscurity in modern times shows that something more is needed to produce a similar effect.

If we would form an adequate conception of the nation’s influence, we must take into account the numerous Greek colonies which were planted in Asia Minor and on the southern shore of the Black Sea, on the coast of Macedonia, along the Hellespont and Bosporus, and also in Sicily and Italy, where a new Greek world sprang up, which received the name of Magna Græcia. Hundreds of years before Athens reached the height of its glory, there was a Greek city in Italy, Cumæ (founded by colonists from Chalcis and Cymæ in Asia Minor), which held the first place in the peninsula for wealth and civilisation; while another Greek settlement was to be found as far west as Marseilles, which had been colonised from Phocæa in Asia Minor about 600 B.C.

The inhabitants of Greece in this wider sense not only spoke the same language (whose preservation was largely due to the influence of Homer), but were also bound together by fellowship in blood, in religion, and in manners. They were hardly more distinguishable from the rude and ignorant tribes of Europe than from the more civilised Orientals who practised human sacrifice, polygamy, and the mutilation of enemies. But perhaps the most marked characteristic of the{5} Greeks was their love of local autonomy, and their rooted aversion to anything like imperial rule, such as prevailed so widely in Asia. Their attachment to an individual city, as the capital of a small district, was doubtless due in great measure to the divided nature of the country, which is broken up by mountains and rivers and arms of the sea into numberless plains and valleys only a few miles in extent. While this had the effect of fostering a spirit of independence, combined with a sense of civic obligation, which helped to develop the energies and capacities of the individual, the proximity to each other of so many rival states bred a great amount of jealousy and strife, which frequently led to bloody and destructive wars. Such disintegrating tendencies were too much even for the consolidating force of a common language and literature, or of voluntary confederations for the purpose of worship or amusement. Occasionally a great national emergency, such as the Persian invasion, might force the Greeks to join together for the resistance of a common foe, but it was almost inevitable that sooner or later they should fall into the hands of a great military power, such as Macedonia, and lose the civic liberties of which they were so proud. The political decay of Greece, however, only widened the scope of its influence. As the dissolution of the Jewish polity was followed by the rapid spread of a religion which had its roots in the Jewish Scriptures, so the national degradation of the Greeks led to a still wider diffusion of their language, their literature, and their civilisation.

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CHAPTER I

THE IONIAN ISLANDS AND THE “ODYSSEY”

THE first place in Greece on which a traveller from the West usually sets foot is Corfu, one of the Ionian Islands, which were given up by Great Britain in 1864 to gratify the patriotic aspirations of the Greeks. The sacrifice was not without its compensations, as it relieved Britain from an annual outlay of £100,000, which had been the cost of administration.

The principal Ionian Islands are five in number, namely, Corfu (Corcyra), Santa Mauro (Leucas), Ithaca, Cephalonia (Cephallenia), and Zanté (Zacynthus). They represent a territory of more than 1000 square miles, with a population of about a quarter of a million, who are mainly dependent on shipping and on the trade in oil, wine, and currants.

A romantic interest attaches to the promontory of Leucas, which terminates in what is still known as Sappho’s Leap, in allusion to an old tradition which tells how the famous poetess, who shares with Alcæus the chief honours in Æolian lyric poetry, here put an end to her life to escape from the pangs of unrequited{8} affection. In Zacynthus we have an illustration of the historical accuracy of Herodotus in the existence of some curious springs on the south-west, from which the water comes out mingled with pitch.

From an antiquarian point of view, however, still greater interest attaches to Corcyra, Ithaca, and Cephallenia, as they have Homeric associations which carry us back to a still earlier period.

Corfu or Corcyra, although not the largest, is the most populous of the whole group. It is a beautiful island, with a beautiful situation, looking out on the blue waters of the Southern Adriatic, with the snowy mountains of Epirus in the distance. It has two commodious harbours, in which the shipping of many nations may be seen. The streets of the city are narrow and old-fashioned, but it has an interesting old fortress with a handsome esplanade. Near the harbour is the former residence of the British High Commissioner (an office once held by Mr. Gladstone), with beautiful public gardens in front of it. The environs of the city are charming, with orange-groves here and there glowing in the brilliant sunshine, amid a profusion of roses, geraniums, and other blooms almost growing wild, with miles on miles of olive-trees in the background.

From the earliest times the island was a place of importance to the shipping world, as the ancients, in sailing, liked to keep near to land, and generally put in to shore at night, unless they wished to take advantage of some favourable breeze which did not{9}



CORFU. THE OLD FORT FROM THE WEST To the left the Albanian Mountains.

CORFU. THE OLD FORT FROM THE WEST

To the left the Albanian Mountains.

rise till after sunset. In this way the island afforded convenient shelter for those who were sailing from the Peloponnesus to Italy, and facilitated Greek traffic with Epirus. It became the seat of a Corinthian colony in 734 B.C., when Syracuse was also founded, but it never showed much sympathy or affection for the mother-city. Indeed, the first sea-battle we read of in authentic history took place between the ships of Corinth and Corcyra (c. 665 B.C.), when the latter came off victorious. Before the Peloponnesian war broke out there were great complaints on the part of Corinth on account of due respect not being shown to her representatives at the public festivals in the daughter-city; and the subsequent action of the latter in putting herself under the protection of Athens, when she became involved in difficulties with Corinth and Epidamnus, was largely the cause of the great war which proved so injurious to the prosperity and power of Athens. In the course of its early history Corcyra was the scene of some terrible conflicts and cruel slaughters, almost without a parallel in any other part of Greece. Since that time it has passed through many vicissitudes under Roman, Byzantine, Crusading, Venetian, French, and British rule.

But the greatest interest of the place arises from the tradition which identifies it with the Phæacian island Scheria, on which Odysseus was cast after his stormy voyage from the island of Calypso. No remains have been found of the palace of Alcinous, where Odysseus met with such generous hospitality, but about two{10} miles from the esplanade at Canone (One-Gun Battery), near the end of a promontory, we get a view of the secluded bay or gulf (Lake of Kalikiopoulo) on which the weary voyager is said to have been cast ashore, at the mouth of a brook (Cressida), which falls into the lake, and where Nausicaa and her maidens were amusing themselves after their great washing was over. At a little distance from the shore lies the rocky islet of Ponticonisi (“Mouse-Island”), which tradition identifies with the Phæacian ship that was turned into stone by the wrath of Poseidon, as it was beginning its homeward voyage to Ithaca with Odysseus on board.

All this local tradition, however, is rejected by a recent explorer, M. Victor Bérard, who has taken enormous pains to investigate the matter. He is convinced that the palace of Alcinous and the whole scene described by Homer in connection with the visit of Odysseus lay on the western side of the island, near the Convent of Palæocastrizza, and he concludes from indications in the poem that the Phæacians had come from the ancient city of Cumæ (Hypereia), driven out by the Œnotrians (Cyclopes). But whatever view we may take on these points there can be little doubt that Corfu, which lay as it were on the outskirts of the ancient Greek world, and not far from Ithaca (to which Odysseus sailed from it in a night), is the island which Homer had in view when he described the home of the Phæacians.

Still more interesting, from a Homeric point of{11}



CORFU. THE OLD FORT FROM THE SOUTH

CORFU. THE OLD FORT FROM THE SOUTH

view, is the small island of Ithaca (about 37 square miles in extent), where the poet locates the home of his wandering hero and his wife Penelope, the one the early Greek ideal of practical sagacity, as Achilles is of martial impetuosity, and the other the model of conjugal devotion, as Nausicaa is of maidenly grace. The identity of the island has recently been called in question by an eminent archæologist (Dörpfeld), who regards Leucas as the island referred to in the Odyssey. But it would require strong evidence to overcome the presumption in favour of the island which now bears the name of Ithaca, and which corresponds to the poet’s description as well as we have any right to expect, considering the want of maps and guide-books at the time that he wrote. Perhaps its claim may yet receive fuller confirmation as the result of excavations; but in the meantime it is interesting to know that a terrace wall built of rough-hewn blocks has been discovered on the west coast, in the neighbourhood of a port to which the name Polis (City) is still applied, though there is no modern town to justify the name.

In this connection some interest also attaches to Cephallenia, the largest island of the group. There is a little village on its east coast, called Samos, from which the boat sails to Ithaca, and as an island called Samé is often mentioned in the Odyssey in connection with Ithaca, and the subjects of Odysseus are sometimes called Cephallenians, we are evidently not far from the scenes depicted by the great poet.

It would scarcely be possible to exaggerate the{12} influence which the Homeric poetry has exercised on the intellect and imagination of the Greeks, and it is impossible for any one to enter into the spirit of Greek history and literature without some acquaintance with it. Homer has often been called the “Bible of the Greeks,” and there is truth in the saying both from a religious and a literary point of view. Herodotus was mistaken when he said that Homer and Hesiod had created the religion of the Greeks, but they certainly did much to systematise it, and, by giving Jupiter a place of supremacy among the gods, they paved the way for the triumph of monotheism.

In course of time Homer came to be regarded by his countrymen as their chief authority, not only on religious subjects but in almost all matters of interest to a thoughtful and inquiring mind. The reading and hearing of his poetry was the chief means of education. It was no uncommon thing for a boy to be able to recite both the Iliad and the Odyssey from memory. Classical writers speak of Homer in terms not only of admiration but of reverence. Æschylus said that he had gathered up the crumbs from Homer’s table; and Sophocles was so much in sympathy with the Odyssey that he was spoken of as “the tragic Homer.” There was, therefore, nothing strange in the sentiment which led Alexander the Great to carry about with him in his eastern campaigns a copy of Homer, said to have been edited for him by his old tutor Aristotle, and kept in a precious Persian casket. About a third of the recently discovered Egyptian{13} papyri are inscribed with passages from the Iliad and the Odyssey.

While the oldest poetry of Greece, as of other countries, was probably of a lyric character, called forth by the joys and sorrows of common life or by the festive celebration of the seasons, the more stately epic, dealing with grander themes, and chanted rather than sung, with occasional accompaniment on the harp, found more favour with princes and their nobles, and attracted the most gifted authors to its service, till it reached the high stage of development which we find in the writings of Homer. These poems may be described as the oldest literature in existence, but they were doubtless the result of many previous efforts of a more archaic character, traces of which may be found in the older bards and legendary themes that are mentioned by Homer himself.

The Iliad and Odyssey show to what a high degree of civilisation and culture the Hellenic race had attained not much later than 1000 B.C. In the freeness of their spirit, combined with reverence for law, and in their vivid portraiture of the different members of the Pantheon, seen through the medium of a rich and sympathetic humanity, the poems present a pleasing contrast to all other heathen pictures of things human and divine. Their language is as admirable as the thought,—so rich and flexible, entirely free from the crudities that might have been expected in such primitive literature. Matthew Arnold sums up Homer’s characteristics from a literary point of view, as rapidity,{14} plainness of thought, plainness of style, and nobleness. These qualities give the poet as strong a hold on the sympathies of his readers as he assigns to the minstrel in the Odyssey, when he makes Eumæus say of his old master, now returned, but still in disguise: “Even as when a man gazes on a minstrel whom the gods have taught to sing words of yearning joy to mortals, and they have a ceaseless desire to hear him as long as he will sing, even so he charmed me, sitting by me in the halls.”

The controversy which has been going on for more than a hundred years regarding the authorship of the poems does not much affect their interest for the general reader. Similar questions were raised more than two thousand years ago. Even before Plato’s time there had been a sifting process by which a number of hymns and minor poems formerly attributed to Homer (as the whole book of Psalms used to be to David) were found to be the work of unknown authors of a later date. A century or two later there were Alexandrian critics who denied that the Iliad and the Odyssey could have come from the same author. But modern critics have assailed the integrity of the two great poems themselves. They have based their theories partly on the improbability of such long poems being composed and transmitted before writing had come into general use (an argument which has lost its force owing to recent discoveries of early writing), and partly on the apparent repetitions, interpolations, and discrepancies, which are supposed to have been{15}



THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA AT SUNIUM (CAPE COLONNA) Distant view over the hills.

THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA AT SUNIUM (CAPE COLONNA)

Distant view over the hills.

due either to the accidents of compilation or to the need for adaptation to suit the varying tastes of readers in different parts of the Greek world. Perhaps the strongest proof of composite authorship is to be found in the different stages of civilisation and religion which are discernible in different parts of the poetry, and the marked inconsistencies in certain of the leading characters. It is also very significant that Mount Olympus, the dwelling of the gods, is at one time the snow-clad mountain in the north which still bears that name, and in other and later passages is a bright and gladsome region, free from rain or snow or stormy wind. It is now generally agreed that the nucleus of the Iliad was a series of ancient lays concerning Achilles, derived from Northern Greece, and moulded by Æolic art, while the remainder of the poem and the bulk of the Odyssey were of a considerably later date, and came from an Ionic source. The poems as a whole were probably touched up and put into their present form by some one living on the coast of Asia Minor (perhaps at Smyrna, the meeting-place of Æolic and Ionic traditions), who sang of the glories of a by-gone age with the patriotic pride of a colonial. Whether his name was Homer is a different question, for it is quite possible the word may have been, as some maintain, a common term, meaning “compiler.” It is well to remember that the “blind bard who dwelt in rocky Chios,” so often identified with Homer since Thucydides set the example, is merely the description applied to himself by the writer of the Hymn to the Delian{16} Apollo, whom no one now believes to have been the author of the Iliad or the Odyssey. We know that the Great Unknown, whoever he may have been, was succeeded by the Homeridæ of Chios, and these again, by the Rhapsodes or professional reciters, whom we come across in the pages of Plato and Xenophon.

Another subject of controversy has been as to whether the Homeric narratives have a historic basis to rest upon. Some have gone so far as to doubt whether the Trojan War ever took place; and it has been suggested that many of the stories in the Iliad are due to solar myths. But the excavations of Schliemann at Ilium and Mycenæ have rather discredited such scepticism; and the recent explorer already mentioned (Bérard), who has sailed over the course which appears to have been taken by Odysseus,—extending from Troy to Gibraltar,—has found the topographical and maritime allusions so accurate as to come to the conclusion that the poet must have had the benefit of some ancient book of reference, corresponding to the Pilot’s Guide, and drawn up in all probability by the Phœnicians, who were masters of the Mediterranean before the Greeks. But while the main thread of the narrative in the Odyssey may be historical, the poet has worked into it many fanciful legends, like those to be found in the literature of many nations. Indeed the story of Odysseus’ adventures as a whole is perhaps no more historical than the tale of Robinson Crusoe, created by Defoe out of the experience of Alexander Selkirk on the island of Juan Fernandez.{17}



SUNSET FROM THE NORTH-EAST CORNER OF THE ACROPOLIS To the left, a bit of the east front of the Parthenon; to the right, the precipitous north side of the Acropolis; in the middle distance the Erechtheum, showing all three of its porticoes; in shadow, between the Parthenon and the Erechtheum, the upper part of the Propylæa

SUNSET FROM THE NORTH-EAST CORNER OF THE ACROPOLIS

To the left, a bit of the east front of the Parthenon; to the right, the precipitous north side of the Acropolis; in the middle distance the Erechtheum, showing all three of its porticoes; in shadow, between the Parthenon and the Erechtheum, the upper part of the Propylæa.

No criticism, however, can alter the fact that we have in the Odyssey some of the most charming pictures of social and domestic life that are to be found in any literature, touched up with a colouring of the strangest old-world romance, and deriving lustre from a religion which, however defective from an ethical point of view, was wedded to an imagination so rich and powerful as almost to efface in the mind of the reader the distinction between the natural and the supernatural.{18}

CHAPTER II

DELPHI AND ITS ORACLE

AFTER entering the Gulf of Corinth the first port at which the steamers touch is Patras, the largest city in the Peloponnesus, with about 40,000 inhabitants,—looking across to Missolonghi on the northern shore, where Byron died and where his heart is buried. The only notable thing about Patras in pre-Christian times was its inclusion in the Achæan League, that last outburst of the Hellenic love of independence. In modern times it has had the distinction to be the first city to raise the national flag in the War of Liberation (1821). Its patron saint is St. Andrew, who has a cathedral dedicated to him, with a crypt in which his bones are said to have their resting-place. It is a prosperous and well-built city, with a picturesque country behind it, rich in vines and olives, and in front of it the inland sea which is the great highway of Greek commerce. But its chief interest for the traveller is the fact that it is the place at which arrangements can best be made for visiting Delphi and Olympia, two of the most attractive spots in Greece.{19}

Delphi is situated on the mainland. To reach it the traveller has to sail across from Patras to Itea, a small port at the head of the famous Crisæan Gulf. The drive from Itea to Delphi on a fine April day is one of the finest in the world. For a few miles you hold northward along the plain, passing through a long forest of olive trees, with gnarled and twisted trunks, the fresh leaves glistening in the sun and changing colour in the breeze, shafts of glowing light shooting through the branches. In the distance rise hills on hills, crowned by the snowy summit of Parnassus. But it is not till you leave the plain and turn to the right, slowly ascending by a zigzag route to the village of Chryso, the ancient Crisa, that you begin to realise the sublimity of the surroundings. The solemn grandeur of the mountains is above you. Below lies the fertile plain, which was dedicated to Apollo and became the scene of the Pythian Games when they reached their full development. As you look down, the olive wood presents a new appearance and seems to wind, like a great river of oil, towards the sea, whose rock-bound coast, in the opening made by the bay at which you landed, shows the pink, white, and blue houses of Itea sparkling in the sun. The Gulf of Corinth, of which you can only catch glimpses now and then, might pass for a great lake, bordered by the hills of Achaia in the south, and surmounted in the far distance by the glittering summits of Erymanthus and Cyllene, which rise to a height of 7000 or 8000 feet. In the course of the journey you may often{20} come upon a mass of flowers, sometimes covering the slope on the roadside, sometimes running into the field and mingling with the ripe corn, which the rustics are reaping with the old-fashioned hook. The most conspicuous and abundant of all the flowers is the large scarlet poppy, which might be counted by the thousand, and often spreads over a great extent of ground. After passing Crisa, almost the only signs of life we saw on the way were flocks of black goats with their tinkling bells, and a long string of heavy-laden camels, with their young ones running by their side, moving along in solemn procession from the east.

As we approached Delphi, the view presented sterner outlines and a wider range, embracing the dales and gorges of the Pleistus valley, and the rugged hills of Cirphis on the south, as well as the mighty range of Parnassus, with its outlying spurs and precipices. Of these the most remarkable and the most celebrated are the Phædriadæ or shining peaks, overshadowing the ancient sanctuary of Apollo, which was for centuries the religious centre of the Greek world, as the Vatican was to mediæval Christendom. The world-wide influence exerted by the Delphian oracle is one of the most interesting facts in all history. It was characteristic of the Hellenic as compared with the Hebrew mind that the oracle should hold such a prominent place in the national religion: for it was a religion dominated by the imagination rather than the conscience. At the same time it should not be forgotten that, until its decadence, the oracle was more frequently consulted{21}



DELPHI FROM ITEA This drawing indicates in a general way the position of Delphi with regard to the plain of Cirrha below and the snowclad summit of Parnassos above. On the left is the opening of the gorge of the Pleistos. Just above where it disappears from view, to the right, the new village called Delphi is visible on the slope of the mountain in front of the great precipices of the Castalian Gorge. Ancient Delphi lies out of sight in the hollow immediately behind the new village, and between it and the Castalian cliffs.

DELPHI FROM ITEA

This drawing indicates in a general way the position of Delphi with regard to the plain of Cirrha below and the snowclad summit of Parnassos above. On the left is the opening of the gorge of the Pleistos. Just above where it disappears from view, to the right, the new village called Delphi is visible on the slope of the mountain in front of the great precipices of the Castalian Gorge. Ancient Delphi lies out of sight in the hollow immediately behind the new village, and between it and the Castalian cliffs.

for guidance in the practical affairs of life than merely to gratify curiosity as to future events. The Delphian oracle originated, no doubt, in the superstitious awe which the place inspired as the supposed centre of the earth, possessed of mysterious cavities by which it was believed possible to hold communication with the dead. In the earliest times it was connected with the worship of the earth-goddess Gæa or Gē, who sheltered the dead in her bosom. Later, the presiding deity was Themis, the goddess of law and order in the natural world. But during the whole historical period Apollo was the source of inspiration, the god of light and the highest interpreter of the divine will. During the three winter months Dionysus reigned, in the absence of Apollo.

The reverence in which the oracle was held, even in the most enlightened times, was largely due to the wisdom and prudence of the priests—five in number—who belonged to the noblest Delphian families and held office for life. They were brought into contact with leading men who came to consult the oracle from all parts of the Greek-speaking world,—men like Lycurgus and Solon and Socrates and Xenophon and Alexander the Great,—and they appear to have been on terms of intimacy with such national poets as Hesiod and Pindar and Æschylus. Pindar’s iron chair was carefully preserved in the sacred precincts, and the priest of Apollo cried nightly as he closed the temple, “Let Pindar the poet go in unto the supper of the gods.”

The priests put their own interpretations on the{22} ecstatic utterances of the prophetess, which she delivered in their hearing and in the presence of the inquirer after she had drunk the holy water, chewed the laurel-leaf, and mounted the tripod to inhale the narcotic vapour which arose from the chasm beneath. These interpretations they embodied in hexameter verses, generally disappointing from a poetical point of view, considering the auspices under which they were delivered, and frequently ambiguous in their terms, when it did not seem advisable for the oracle to commit itself to a definite opinion. One of the best known and most interesting cases of this sort was the answer given to Crœsus, King of Sardis, when he was deliberating whether he ought to go to war with Persia. Before inquiring on so important a point he resolved to test all the chief oracles, six in number, by asking each of them through a special messenger to say what he was doing on a specified day, on which the question was to be put. The oracle that best stood the test was Delphi, and Crœsus proceeded to ask advice on the momentous question about which he was so anxious, bestowing on the temple of Apollo at the same time magnificent gifts of solid gold and silver, and immense offerings for sacrifice. The answer was that if he went to war with Persia he would destroy a great empire, which he at once took in a favourable sense. He was defeated, however, and Cyrus became master of his city and kingdom, thus fulfilling the oracle in an unexpected sense. He would have been put to death by his conqueror had it not been that{23} when he lay bound upon a funeral pile, which had been already kindled, his exclamations led Cyrus to inquire what he was speaking of, and on hearing of Solon’s warning as to the instability of human greatness, which the fallen monarch had been calling to mind, Cyrus gave orders that Crœsus should be at once released. The flames had taken such hold of the wood, however, that he would still have perished if Apollo had not heard his prayers and sent a heavy shower of rain, which extinguished the fire. The disappointment of his hopes gave such a shock to Crœsus’ faith that, by the leave of Cyrus, he sent to Delphi the chains in which he had been bound to the pile, with a message asking if that was the way in which Apollo treated his faithful votaries. In the reply he was reminded that Apollo had saved his life, and was told that he had not been careful enough in his interpretation of the oracle, and that it had been impossible any longer to avert the doom which rested on him as the fifth in descent from an ancestor who had incurred the divine wrath by the murder of his master and the usurpation of his throne.

With one exception—the encouragement which it gave on certain rare occasions to human sacrifice—the general influence of the oracle was salutary, from a social and political as well as an ethical point of view. On the walls of the temple were inscribed some of the sayings of the wise men of Greece, such as “Know thyself,” “Nothing to excess.” The oracle did much for the protection of rights where no legal sanction was available. It checked blood-feuds, and gave its{24} sanction to the purification and pardon of those who had committed homicide under extenuating circumstances. It could even dispense with ritual observance altogether where there was no real guilt. For example, to a good man who had slain his friend in defending him against robbers, and had fled to the sanctuary in great distress of mind, its answer was: “Thou didst slay thy friend striving to save his life; go hence, thou art purer than thou wert before.” It confirmed the sanctity of oaths. Herodotus gives a striking instance of its high standard of morality when, in answer to an inquirer who asked whether by repudiating his oath he might claim a large sum of money which had been deposited with him, the prophetess declared that to tempt the god as he had done and to commit the crime was the same thing, and that the divine judgment would descend on him and on his house. For “there is a nameless son of Perjury, who has neither hands nor feet; he pursues swiftly, until he seizes and destroys the whole race and all the house.” It also rendered good service, as many inscriptions show, in connection with the emancipation of slaves, whose deposits it took care of, until a sufficient sum was available for the purchase of their freedom from their masters, who were interdicted from making any further claim upon their services. Besides the light and leading which the oracle afforded to some of the early lawgivers of Greece, and the wise counsels which it gave on questions of peace or war, it was specially useful in advising cities on all projects of colonisation.{25}



DELPHI, THE CASTALIAN GORGE AND SPRING The scarped vertical face of rock, which may be seen above the figure of the shepherd, shows the recently excavated site of the Place for the Lustration of Pilgrims, to which the water of the Castalian spring was carried by an artificial channel in the rock. The masonry to the left of the drawing is part of a modern reservoir.

DELPHI, THE CASTALIAN GORGE AND SPRING

The scarped vertical face of rock, which may be seen above the figure of the shepherd, shows the recently excavated site of the Place for the Lustration of Pilgrims, to which the water of the Castalian spring was carried by an artificial channel in the rock. The masonry to the left of the drawing is part of a modern reservoir.

It seems to have been almost the invariable practice for Greeks to consult the oracle before resolving to plant a colony, so much so that Delphi is declared to have been “the best-informed agency for emigration that any State has ever possessed.”

Its prestige declined owing to several causes. The priests were not always proof against bribery; and when it became known at any time that they had thus abused their office, it produced a deep feeling of indignation and distrust. There are several well-attested cases of corruption, chiefly on the part of Spartans. One of their kings, Cleomenes, procured the deposition of his brother-king Demaratus by bringing private influence to bear at Delphi. When the facts of the case came to light, the prophetess was deposed from her office, and her chief adviser at Delphi had to take to flight. Another Spartan king, Pleistoanax, who had been exiled for accepting bribes from Pericles, succeeded, after eighteen years’ residence in Arcadia (where, for safety, half of his dwelling-house was within the enclosure of a temple), in obtaining his recall to Sparta with great honour, owing to the injunctions to this effect, which were repeatedly given by the oracle as the result of bribes. Lysander, the great Spartan general, after he was deprived of his command, concerted a scheme with the authorities at Delphi for getting himself recognised as king through the publication of fabricated records, alleged to be of great antiquity, and only to be opened by a genuine son of Apollo. Such a pretender they secured, but the{26} scheme broke down owing to the timidity of one of the conspirators.

Another drawback was that the growing power of rival states rendered it increasingly difficult for the oracle to hold the balance with any fairness between them, and at the same time maintain its old and intimate relations with Sparta. Its dignity was also lowered when, instead of being open for consultation for a month once a year, more frequent opportunities were afforded and trivial questions entertained. But perhaps the most serious difficulty they had to contend with was the growing intercourse and correspondence of the different cities of Greece, both with one another and with foreign cities, and the general spread of knowledge, which tended to impair the reverence in which the oracle had been held, and deprived its priests of the monopoly of general information which they seem to have at one time virtually enjoyed. By the time the Christian era began, the Greek oracles had been practically superseded by the Chaldæan astrologers; and when Julian the Apostate in the fourth century tried to revive the glory of Delphi, he received the answer, “Tell the king the earth has fallen, the beautiful mansion; no longer has Phœbus a home, nor a prophetic laurel, nor a font that speaks: gone dry is the talking water.” It was finally suppressed by the Emperor Theodosius towards the end of the fourth century.

Like the still older sanctuary of Dodona (where revelations were supposed to be given through the{27} rustling of a sacred oak), Delphi was, alternately with Thermopylæ, the seat in historic times of an Amphictyony or union of states, which existed for the worship of the deity whose shrine they were pledged to defend, as well as for mutual friendship and protection. Unfortunately the history of the oracle, although a national institution, was marked at various times by deadly strife among the different Hellenic tribes whose interests were involved. At first the management of the oracle seems to have been in the hands of the people of Crisa, who were Phocians, but after the protracted war waged by the Amphictyony against the natives of Cirrha, the adjacent sea-port, on account of the extortions they practised on the pilgrims to the shrine and the outrages they sometimes perpetrated on them, the trust was committed by the federation to the inhabitants of Delphi, who were of Dorian extraction. Cirrha was laid waste, the whole Crisæan plain was dedicated to Apollo, and the spoils of Cirrha were used to establish the Pythian games on a more ambitious footing than had been possible when they were held in the limited space available at Delphi.

A second Sacred War, as it was called, broke out in 357 B.C., when the Amphictyonic Council, after imposing a fine on the Phocians at the instigation of their enemies the Thebans, which remained unpaid, proceeded to confiscate their territory. The Phocians offered a long and desperate resistance, asserting their old right to administer the affairs of the sanctuary. In the course of the war their leaders had recourse to the{28} treasures of the temple again and again, melting and coining the precious metals, and turning the brass and iron into arms. Altogether they are said to have appropriated no less than £2,300,000, which was required to keep up their large mercenary army.

The fabulous wealth of the place had often tempted the cupidity of foreign foes, but on every occasion the god had been found able to protect himself. When Xerxes sent a detachment of his huge army to despoil the shrine, his soldiers were thrown into a panic and put utterly to flight by great rocks tumbling down upon them from the cliffs of Parnassus in the midst of a terrible thunderstorm. The rocks were shown to Herodotus in the precincts of the temple of Athena,—perhaps the same as are still to be seen in the low ground to the south of the public road. A similar experience is said to have befallen the Gauls under Brennus about two hundred years afterwards. At an intermediate date (370 B.C.), when Jason of Pheræ, the powerful ruler of Thessaly, set out for Delphi with, as it was believed, a hostile intent, under colour of sacrificing to the god a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep, goats, and swine, he was suddenly cut off in the prime of life by a treacherous band of assassins.

There was yet a third Sacred War, a few years afterwards. The objects of Amphictyonic wrath on this occasion were not the Phocians but the Locrians of Amphissa (now Salona), who had taken possession of Cirrha and repeated the old offence of using part of the consecrated ground for their own secular purposes.{29}



DELPHI. THE PORTICO (STOA) OF THE ATHENIANS The wall of polygonal masonry to the right is part of the Heleniko, or terrace wall, of the Great Temple of Apollo. Three marble steps at the back of the Athenian portico, with two Ionic columns in place, stand in front of the wall. The “sacred way,” terminating at the east end of the Great Temple above, passes in front of this portico, and the row of marble seats along its farther side marks out its course. To the left of the drawing is seen the mountain slope of Kirphis leading down to the gorge of the river Pleistos.

DELPHI. THE PORTICO (STOA) OF THE ATHENIANS

The wall of polygonal masonry to the right is part of the Heleniko, or terrace wall, of the Great Temple of Apollo. Three marble steps at the back of the Athenian portico, with two Ionic columns in place, stand in front of the wall. The “sacred way,” terminating at the east end of the Great Temple above, passes in front of this portico, and the row of marble seats along its farther side marks out its course. To the left of the drawing is seen the mountain slope of Kirphis leading down to the gorge of the river Pleistos.

The sympathies of Greece were divided in this war, and the final outcome of the struggle was that Philip of Macedonia, who had been called in to finish the previous war, and had been admitted a member of the Amphictyony in place of the dispossessed Phocian tribe, now became master of Greece by reason of his victory over the combined forces of Athens and Thebes at the fateful battle of Chæronea in 338 B.C.

Within the past few years French archæologists have done wonderful work at Delphi. By the removal of the modern village of Castri, the foundations of the temple and the remains of many of the surrounding buildings and monuments have been brought to light. As you pass along the “Sacred Way” you can identify many of the sites mentioned by Pausanias, in the very order in which he describes them. In most places the old pavement still remains, with grooves to keep the feet from slipping. Some of the most precious relics have been removed to the Museum, where there are also models of many of the most beautiful works of art that have perished. Among the former is the famous Omphalos or “Navel-stone,” on which Apollo is often represented as sitting. It marked the spot at which two eagles met, which had been sent out by Jupiter from extreme east and west, of equal speed in flight, to determine the exact centre of the earth. The marble stone which is now shown, although apparently identical with that seen by Pausanias,—for it was discovered on the same spot,—may be only an imitation of the original, like another which has also been recently discovered;{30} and the golden eagles which stood beside the Omphalos have also disappeared. The chasm in the temple floor, from which the vapour ascended that was supposed to inspire the prophetess, cannot now be found, having probably been filled up somehow; but a little way off there is a rock with a rift in it, on which the first Sibyl (mentioned by Plutarch) is supposed to have sat and prophesied. The rift may have been the lurking-place of the dragon which Apollo shot with his darts, when he came from Delos, the land of his birth, to inaugurate the ministry of the Cretan travellers, whom he had enlisted in the service of his new sanctuary. According to the legend the skin of the dragon was left to rot, giving rise to the ancient name Pytho, by which Delphi was known in the days of Homer. In the hymn to the Delphian Apollo the scene of the combat is laid in the gorge of the Phædriadæ, but the other conjecture is supported by the proximity to the Sibyl’s rock of an enclosure like a threshing-floor, which is supposed to be the place where the drama was enacted every fourth year.

A little way above the temple is an open-air theatre—one of the best preserved in Greece. It is in the usual horse-shoe form, with its sloping back, enclosing the sitting accommodation for the spectators, resting on a rising ground. The stadium is still higher, right under the cliffs of Parnassus on the north, and shut in by rising grounds on either side, but commanding a magnificent view to the south over valley and mountain. It was the ancient scene of the Pythian games, and is{31} still recognisable as such in almost every feature. Apollo was regarded as the leader of the Muses, and the Pythian festival was originally a musical, not an athletic contest. The prize of laurel wreath was given for the best song in honour of Apollo to the accompaniment of the lyre. At the conclusion of the first Sacred War, nearly 600 B.C., the chariot races (which are deprecated in the Homeric hymn) were inaugurated in the plain beneath. But the higher form of competition still continued, including even poetry and painting—a distinction of which no other pagan cult can boast. Deeply interesting as the ruins are from an archæological point of view, they bring home a sense of the transitoriness of early glory when one thinks how little remains of the thousand statues and trophies and votive offerings which once filled the spot with “the glory that was Greece.” Time has robbed it of the treasures of art which were to be seen in the days of Pliny, even after the ravages of Sulla and of Nero. Happily, one of the most interesting and beautiful of all the monuments has just been restored, namely the Treasury of the Athenians, which was built of Parian marble in the form of a small Doric temple, from the spoils taken on the field of Marathon. It seems to have been overthrown by an earthquake, but almost all the blocks of which it was constructed have been discovered among the ruins, and have been fitted together with such skill and success as to reproduce the old inscriptions engraved upon the walls, including several hymns to Apollo, with their musical notation.{32} The expense of the restoration has been mainly borne by the city of Athens.

A few hundred yards to the east is the Castalian spring, in the cleft between the lofty Phædriadæ. At one time it was believed to confer the gift of prophecy on those who drank of it; but its rock-hewn basin is now used by the village women for washing clothes. In ancient times its water was used for sacred purposes by the prophetess and her attendants and all who came to consult the oracle. That the purification sought was not merely that of the body may be inferred from a prophetic utterance which has been rendered as follows:—

To the pure precincts of Apollo’s portal,
Come, pure in heart, and touch the lustral wave:
One drop sufficeth for the sinless mortal;
All else e’en ocean’s billows cannot lave.

If the traveller pursue his journey a few hours farther to the east, passing the picturesque little town of Arachova, about 2000 feet above the sea, he will reach the ancient Cleft or Triple Way, in a scene of desolate grandeur at the end of a long, deep, narrow valley. It was there that Œdipus, seeking to escape the destiny which had just been announced to him by the oracle, and unaware of his true parentage, met his father Laius, King of Thebes, on his way to Delphi, and in a fit of anger at the unceremonious way in which he was jostled aside by the royal charioteer, slew the aged king and all his attendants save one,—a crime which was the beginning of those many sorrows in his{33}



THE ANCIENT QUARRIES ON MOUNT PENTELIKON Of extraordinary interest as the material source of the finest architecture and sculpture of Ancient Greece.

THE ANCIENT QUARRIES ON MOUNT PENTELIKON

Of extraordinary interest as the material source of the finest architecture and sculpture of Ancient Greece.

family history which were to be the theme of some of the greatest of the Greek tragedies. Pausanias mentions that the tomb of the murdered men, with unhewn stones heaped upon it, was to be seen at the middle of the place where the three roads met: the modern traveller finds a monument with an inscription which tells how Johannes Megas was killed on the same spot in 1856, in an encounter with a band of brigands, which he was seeking to extirpate.{34}

CHAPTER III

OLYMPIA AND ITS GAMES

OLYMPIA has been described by an ancient writer as the fairest spot in Greece. In so describing it, he must have had in view not only the natural scenery but also the beautiful buildings and statuary with which it was so richly adorned as the time-honoured seat of the Olympian games. The scenery is pleasing without being grand, presenting in this respect a striking contrast to the stern majesty of Delphi. It may be described as a peaceful and fertile plain, traversed by the river Alpheus, whose waters Heracles is said to have diverted from their course to cleanse the Augean stables. On either side, and also at its western end, the plain is shut in by hills, while far away to the east the mountains of Arcadia, where the Alpheus has its rise, can be dimly seen. In the immediate foreground, standing by itself, as if detached from the low range behind, there is a small conical hill, about 400 feet high, covered with pines and brushwood, and bearing a name (Cronius) which calls to mind the primeval deity who was dethroned by his son Zeus, the presiding god of Olympia.{35} Close to this hill, on the south, lies the Altis or sacred enclosure, originally a consecrated grove, which, in course of time, was overspread with altars and temples and other public buildings.

Thirty years ago there was scarcely any trace of this ancient glory to be seen. But within the last generation a great work of excavation and discovery has been carried on by German archæologists, at an expense of £40,000, generously defrayed by the German Government, on the understanding that all objects of interest brought to light should be allowed to remain in Greece. One can form some idea of the labour involved in the undertaking from the fact that the average depth of the débris, composed of the clay washed down from the Cronius hill and the alluvial deposits of the river Cladeus (which joins the Alpheus close to the Altis on the west), was fully sixteen feet.

Although associated, more than any other spot in Greece, with the worship of the “father of gods and men,” Olympia seems originally to have been devoted to the honour of his consort Hera, or possibly of both. The oldest architectural remains within the enclosure are those of a temple of Hera, to which Pausanias assigned an earlier date than we can give to any other sacred ruin in Greece, namely, about 1096 B.C. Its great antiquity is proved by the resemblance which it bears in some respects to the architecture of Mycenæ, and also by the fact that the existing columns (of which thirty-four out of the original forty have been more or less preserved) were evidently preceded by columns of{36} wood, one of which, made of oak, was still standing when Pausanias visited the place in the second century A.D. Wood seems to have been the material in which the Doric architecture was originally executed; and in this instance it was only as the wood of each column decayed that it was replaced with stone, the natural result being that the columns differ greatly from one another in thickness and style and the nature of their stone. Some of them must have been substituted for the wooden ones as early as the seventh century B.C., for their capitals are among the oldest specimens of Doric architecture that are anywhere to be found. Pausanias tells us that this temple contained rude images of both Zeus and Hera; and not far from the spot a head has been discovered, twice as large as life, which is supposed with great probability to belong to the latter. It is believed to date from the seventh or sixth century B.C., and is made of the same soft stone as the base still remaining, which could not have lasted so long unless it had been under cover. The eyes are large, the head is crowned, and the face wears a look of complacency, without much dignity or refinement. Hera seems to have had much the same prominence in Olympia as she had in Argolis, where the family of Pelops was also in the ascendant.

It was only gradually that Zeus obtained general recognition as the chief deity in the court of Olympus, becoming the centre of the Pan-Hellenic religion reflected in Homer, which was as powerful a bond of union among the ancient Greeks as Christianity has{37}



OLYMPIA. THE BASE OF THE KRONOS HILL, WITH THE REMAINS OF THE TEMPLE OF HERA AND THE PHILIPPEION At the foot of the hill, the columns of the north, south, and west sides of the Heræon still in situ are clearly shown, and also the cella wall on the west and south. The remains of the Philippeion, a circular building erected by Philip II. of Macedon (circ. 336 B.C.), are in the foreground, to the west of the Heræon. The base of one of the Ionic columns is in its place, and the marble steps which supported the colonnade are connected by a slab of marble with the circular sub-structure of the central mass of the building.

OLYMPIA. THE BASE OF THE KRONOS HILL, WITH THE REMAINS OF THE TEMPLE OF HERA AND THE PHILIPPEION

At the foot of the hill, the columns of the north, south, and west sides of the Heræon still in situ are clearly shown, and also the cella wall on the west and south. The remains of the Philippeion, a circular building erected by Philip II. of Macedon (circ. 336 B.C.), are in the foreground, to the west of the Heræon. The base of one of the Ionic columns is in its place, and the marble steps which supported the colonnade are connected by a slab of marble with the circular sub-structure of the central mass of the building.

proved to be in modern times in preserving the Greek nationality under the Turkish Empire. The supremacy which was given to Zeus in theory in other parts of the country was visibly realised at Olympia, where the chief sanctuary was a temple dedicated to his worship, more than 200 feet long and about 90 feet wide, surrounded by 134 columns, each of them about 34 feet high, dating probably from the fifth century B.C. It was a magnificent edifice, as we may still judge from the appearance of the columns and the decorations of the pediments and the frieze—although built of native conglomerate. On the east pediment of the gable there were twenty-one colossal and imposing figures, representing those interested in the chariot-race from Pisa to the isthmus of Corinth, by which Pelops gained the kingdom and the hand of the king’s daughter; while on the west there was a representation, in a similar style, of the legendary battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs. On the metopes of the frieze the Twelve Labours of Heracles were depicted, and along the sides of the roof gargoyles projected in the form of lions’ mouths. Many of these figures have been recovered, mostly in fragments, and are exhibited in the local museum. In the same place there is an exquisite statue of Hermes by Praxiteles, which was found under a covering of clay in front of the very pedestal in the temple of Hera where Pausanias mentions that he had seen it standing, and also a Niké of Pæonius, representing the goddess of Victory flying through the air to execute the behest of Zeus.{38}

But the crowning glory of Olympia, the masterpiece of Pheidias and of Greek art, is gone beyond recall. It was a colossal image of Jupiter, made of gold and ivory and ebony, about 40 feet high, and standing on a pedestal of bluish-black stone in the innermost part of the temple. Cicero expressed his admiration of it by saying that Pheidias had designed it not after a living model but after that ideal beauty which he saw with the inward eye alone. Dīo Chrysostom bore still more impressive testimony to its entrancing beauty when he said: “Methinks that if one who is heavy-laden in mind, who has drained the cup of misfortune and sorrow in life, and whom sweet sleep visits no more, were to stand before this image, he would forget all the griefs and troubles that are incident to the life of man.” It is uncertain whether the image perished in the fire which destroyed the temple in the beginning of the fifth century A.D., or was carried to Constantinople and consumed in a conflagration which took place there in 475 A.D.

Near the centre of the Altis has been found the foundation of the great altar of Zeus (which was made of ashes and rose to a height of 22 feet), and not far off an ancient altar of Hera, where an immense quantity of small bronzes and terra-cotta figures has been found. In the same neighbourhood has been traced the Pelopium, a precinct sacred to the memory of Pelops, where he was worshipped as a hero with a ritual of a sad and gloomy nature, directed to a pit as an emblem of the grave, and more akin to the primitive{39} worship of the Chthonian or infernal gods than to that of the deities who were enthroned on lofty Olympus.

The fame of Olympia may be said to have rested even more on its games than on its religious associations, though the secular and sacred were so bound up with one another, in ancient Greece, that it is scarcely possible to form a true conception of the one without the other. The Olympian games held the foremost place among those competitive exhibitions, which were so illustrative of the spirit of emulation characteristic of the Greeks, as well as of their ideal of a harmonious development of body and soul. There were three other foundations of the same kind: the Pythian, in honour of Apollo, likewise held every four years; the Nemean (under the care of Argos), every second year, in honour of Zeus; and the Isthmian (under Corinth), also held every second year, in honour of Poseidon. The prizes were respectively a wreath of bay, of pine, and of parsley, a palm-branch being also placed in the hand of the victor. The prize at Olympia was a wreath of olive, cut with a golden sickle by a boy, both of whose parents had to be alive—as among the Gauls the priest had to cut the sacred mistletoe with the same precious metal. At the three other places just mentioned the games dated practically from the first quarter of the sixth century B.C. But the register of victors in the Olympian games went back to 776 B.C., which is the first definite and reliable date (called the First Olympiad) in Greek chronology.

The origin of all these gatherings may probably be{40} traced to the funeral games mentioned in Homer and Hesiod, which were celebrated by a chief in honour of a departed friend or relative. According to one account the Olympian games were instituted by Heracles in honour of Pelops, grandfather of Agamemnon and brother of the ill-fated Niobe, who had come to Pisa from the Lydian kingdom of his father Tantalus—that presumptuous guest at the table of the gods whose name is immortalised for us in the English word which describes the nature of his penal sufferings. The traditional connection of Olympia with Asia Minor is borne out by the resemblance of the bronzes above mentioned to early Phrygian art, as well as by other circumstances; and there is no reason to doubt that Olympia was at one time in the hands of the Achæans.

The Dorian invasion of the Peloponnesus about 1100 B.C., eighty years after the fall of Troy, marked a new era in the history of Olympia. The Heracleids (whose shipbuilding for the voyage across the narrow straits of the Gulf is still commemorated in the name of the port Naupactus, on the northern side of the Gulf) are said to have rewarded the Ætolian exile Oxylus, who acted as their guide (answering to the oracular description of “a man with three eyes,” whom they were to find—being one-eyed and riding on a horse with two eyes), by confirming him in the possession of Elis, which in older times was known as Epeia, and is so referred to by Homer. For a long time the Eleans and the Pisatans seem to have superintended the games{41}



OLYMPIA. THE PALÆSTRA AND REMAINS OF THE TEMPLE OF ZEUS This view is taken from the western side of the Palæstra, and the standing columns in the foreground are part of the southern colonnade of that building. The platform (Krepidoma) of the great Temple (which was raised upon a mound and occupied the highest point of the Altis or sacred enclosure) is in the centre of the drawing. Many of the colossal drums and other architectural members of the Temple lie scattered about on the platform. Across the valley of the Alpheios are seen the Phellon Mountains, topped by splendid masses of cloud. This drawing is a record of a lovely spring day in the Western Peloponnesus.

OLYMPIA. THE PALÆSTRA AND REMAINS OF THE TEMPLE OF ZEUS

This view is taken from the western side of the Palæstra, and the standing columns in the foreground are part of the southern colonnade of that building. The platform (Krepidoma) of the great Temple (which was raised upon a mound and occupied the highest point of the Altis or sacred enclosure) is in the centre of the drawing. Many of the colossal drums and other architectural members of the Temple lie scattered about on the platform. Across the valley of the Alpheios are seen the Phellon Mountains, topped by splendid masses of cloud. This drawing is a record of a lovely spring day in the Western Peloponnesus.

jointly, with the support of the Dorian settlement at Sparta, whose great lawgiver, Lycurgus, was said to have put the institution on a new footing in concert with Iphitus, the king of Pisatis, the names of both being inscribed on a famous quoit of which Aristotle speaks. Pausanias tells us that the towns of Elis and Pisatis appointed sixteen women—eight from each state—to weave the festal robe (peplos) for the image of the Olympian Hera. The Pisatans, however, were afterwards displaced, and in 570 B.C. their city was destroyed, and Elis obtained the whole right of administration.

The first historic game was a foot-race, and it was only by degrees that other contests were at various times added. The pentathlon, during which the Pythian air was played on the flutes in honour of Apollo, consisted of running, jumping, throwing the disc or quoit, throwing the javelin, and wrestling. Finally came chariot-racing (in a hippodrome adjoining the Altis), which, though necessarily confined to men of wealth, added much to the spectacular attractions of the games.

The competitors had to strip naked for the athletic contests, this being a characteristic feature of the Greek games, obligatory on all without distinction of rank. There were games for boys as well as for men, and the celebrations, which at first were confined to a single day, extended ultimately to five days. The women had a festival of their own, with games for girls; but at the ordinary games married women were not allowed to be present. At the same time there was very little coarseness{42} or cruelty about them, compared with a Roman gladiatorial exhibition or a Spanish bull-fight—except in the pancratium, a combination of wrestling and boxing, in which the combatants were allowed to get the better of one another by any means in their power, provided they did not make use of any weapon, which was forbidden in all the contests. The conflict was sometimes attended with a fatal result. Pausanias mentions a case of this kind in which a dead man was proclaimed victor, and crowned with the olive wreath.

The stadium or race-course can be distinctly traced north-east of the Altis. The two parallel grooves in the stone pavement at the starting-point, the one a few inches in front of the other, were evidently intended to give the runner a secure footing. The course was 600 feet long, which became a recognised measure of distance, as the English furlong was derived from the length of a furrow. But the double race was soon introduced, which accounts for there being similar grooves at the other end, where the seats for the judges were, as the start would then have to be made from that end. In the same place you can also trace the sockets, about four feet apart, in which were fixed the wooden posts that marked off the space for each of the runners, who could be accommodated to the number of twenty.

There is a vaulted entrance to the stadium about a hundred feet high (one of the oldest examples of such work in cut stone, 350-300 B.C.), through which none could pass but the judges and heralds, and the competitors,{43} who must have gone through ten months’ training, and were lodged during the games at the public expense. Close to this entrance are still to be seen a large number of pedestals, on which stood at one time certain brazen images, well fitted to warn competitors against any infringement of the rules. They were called Zanēs in honour of Zeus, and they had all been placed there at the expense of persons who had been convicted of some violation of the rules. Giving or receiving bribes was the most common offence at Olympia, as it was indeed with the Greeks generally, even in the more serious game of politics. But there were others of a different nature. For example, Pausanias tells of a man of Alexandria who had come too late for the boxing match, and, finding that another had been adjudged the prize without a contest and was already wearing the olive wreath, put on the gloves as though for a fight and rushed at the victor, for which he was sentenced to pay a fine. In contrast to the penal erection of a statue to Zeus, the winner of a prize was allowed to put up a statue in commemoration of his victory, and the third time he thus distinguished himself he was at liberty to erect an image of himself. In this way Olympia became in course of time a great school of art as well as a gymnastic arena. In Homer there is no mention of statues of the gods, not even of wood, and the development of art in this line during the seventh and sixth centuries was very remarkable.

Xerxes or one of his princes is said to have expressed his astonishment that the Greeks should contend so{44} earnestly for the sake of an olive wreath. But in reality the wreath was only an emblem of the honour conferred upon the victor. In the days of Solon, before the games had reached the height of their popularity, a grant of 500 drachms was made to an Athenian when he was successful at Olympia, and 100 drachms if he carried off a prize at the Isthmian games. The reward offered by the Spartans to any of their sons who thus distinguished themselves was the privilege of fighting near their king. Success in the competitions was attended with many other advantages. The victor in the foot-race gave his name to the Olympiad which was then beginning; the name, parentage, and country of every successful competitor was publicly proclaimed before the whole assembly, which comprised deputies from the most important cities of Greece, frequently very distinguished men, who had been sent not only to do honour to Zeus but also to maintain the dignity of the community which they represented. For example, Alcibiades headed the deputation which Athens sent, after an interval of twelve years, during the Peloponnesian war. On that occasion there was a remarkable display of Athenian wealth and magnificence in connection with the public processions and sacrifices. Alcibiades himself entered as a competitor with seven chariots—each drawn by four horses—one of which gained a first prize and another a second. He gave a splendid banquet to signalise his triumph; and such was the impression made on the assembled visitors by what they had seen of Athenian greatness that Alcibiades{45}



THE TEMPLE OF HERA AT OLYMPIA A portion of the west front of the Temple, which stood upon a platform with two steps, is shown. Two columns on the east side and six on the north are seen in situ. These columns vary in size to a surprising extent. One of the enormous capitals, tilted up and standing upon the head of its abacus, should be noticed, behind the tall column in the centre of the drawing. The hill at the back of the Temple is the one to the west of the river Kladeos. In this Temple, said to be the most ancient in Greece, was found the Hermes of Praxiteles, the only extant work of sculpture of the finest period known to be from the chisel of a great master.

THE TEMPLE OF HERA AT OLYMPIA

A portion of the west front of the Temple, which stood upon a platform with two steps, is shown. Two columns on the east side and six on the north are seen in situ. These columns vary in size to a surprising extent. One of the enormous capitals, tilted up and standing upon the head of its abacus, should be noticed, behind the tall column in the centre of the drawing. The hill at the back of the Temple is the one to the west of the river Kladeos. In this Temple, said to be the most ancient in Greece, was found the Hermes of Praxiteles, the only extant work of sculpture of the finest period known to be from the chisel of a great master.

claimed, some years afterwards, to have done much on this occasion to restore the prestige of the city. A man in the position of Alcibiades could afford to give a banquet to celebrate his victory. But, in general, the feasts and processions were provided for the winners by their friends and admirers, and, on returning home, they received a great ovation and frequently had substantial benefits conferred upon them. We have an illustration of the interest taken in the contests even by distant colonies in the fact that when (408 B.C.) a native of Agrigentum in Sicily came off victorious, he was met, when he returned home, by three hundred of his richest countrymen, each driving a chariot drawn by two milk-white steeds. Sometimes a poem was written to commemorate victory, and the odes of Pindar, written for this purpose, have proved more imperishable than brass.[1]

{46}

From a physical point of view there can be no doubt that the games at Olympia and elsewhere had a salutary influence on the nation, and helped to develop that aptitude for military life which enabled them to repel the Persian invaders and to distinguish themselves so often in the field of war. But higher interests were also promoted. Although no prizes were offered for intellectual distinction, the opportunity was often afforded for the publication of literary works. Herodotus is said to have read aloud his history at Olympia, and to have thereby stirred the ambition of Thucydides. Dramatic performances were also sometimes given. It was the great ambition of Dionysius, the Tyrant of Syracuse, who had risen from a comparatively humble position to be the greatest potentate in the Grecian world, to distinguish himself as a dramatic poet. With this view he once sent to Olympia, along with a splendid embassy, a fully equipped company of the best actors of the day, to represent some plays which{47} he had written. They met with a very bad reception, which was no doubt partly owing to the personal unpopularity of their author; and it is said that when Dionysius heard that his verses had been laughed at, and that his representatives had been treated with contumely, he was so chagrined that he almost went out of his mind. A still worse effect was produced on him, however, some time afterwards by his success at the Lenæan festival in Athens, for the rejoicing and conviviality to which he abandoned himself when he heard that he had gained the first prize were largely the cause of his death.

Literature was not the only interest which was promoted side by side with gymnastic accomplishments. Such a gathering of Greeks from all parts of the world could not fail to have an educative influence from many points of view. Intellectually it afforded the most cultured men an opportunity for discussing subjects of common interest and for an exchange of views, while politically it tended to counteract the tendency to isolation on the part of the several states, and to foster unity of sentiment among the members of the great Hellenic race from Trebizond to Marseilles, and from Amphipolis to Cyrene. Occasionally great orations were heard at critical periods in the history of the nation, as when Lysias and Isocrates strove to rouse their countrymen to a sense of the dangers impending over them from the tyranny of Persia on the east and that of Syracuse on the west. Even commerce shared in the benefit, for it was a meeting-place{48} of merchants from far and near. As already indicated, the games had also a religious aspect. Many sacrifices were offered during the celebrations, and solemn oaths were taken. Near the entrance to the stadium there was an image of the god of Oaths holding a thunderbolt in each hand, before which competitors had to swear that they would conform to the rules laid down for them. For a fortnight before and after the celebrations (which took place at the first full moon after the summer solstice) a truce was proclaimed throughout the whole of Greece, to enable competitors from all parts to attend. So strictly was this enforced that the Spartans were excluded from the games on the same occasion on which Alcibiades was present, because they had despatched a thousand soldiers to the town of Lepreum after the truce had been proclaimed, to help the inhabitants to maintain their independence against the claims of the Eleans. In consequence of this exclusion Lychas, a wealthy Lacedæmonian, had to enter for the chariot-race in the name of the Bœotian federation. But he was so elated by the success of his chariot that he stepped into the lists and put a chaplet on the head of his driver, to show that the chariot was his, whereupon the attendants, regardless of his rank, made use of their staffs and drove him back to his proper place. On another occasion a Spartan king, Agis, was refused permission to sacrifice to or consult the oracle because he wished to pray for success in the war against Athens.

At the 104th Olympiad the peaceful solemnity of{49}



THE BASTION AND TEMPLE OF WINGLESS VICTORY VIEWED FROM THE ASCENT TO THE PROPYLÆA (EARLY MORNING) The northern face of the great Bastion or outwork of squared masonry, which guards the ascent to the Acropolis at its south-western point, occupies the left-hand half of the drawing. This Bastion is capped by a cornice of Pentelic marble, upon which formerly stood the famous parapet adorned with figures of winged Victories sculptured in low relief. The three steps of the exquisite little Temple would, therefore, originally have been hidden from view. Just below are the steps, still in situ, belonging to the stairs which ascended to the platform of the Temple. The pedestal, above the anta beside these stairs, supported a statue of one of the leaders of the Athenian Cavalry. The long flight of the steps, passing transversely across the drawing, is the modern ascent to the Propylæa. Far below, near the foot of the Acropolis, some of the upper arches of the massive façade of the theatre of Herodes Atticus rise into view; and, to the right, the scathed surface of the Museion Hill, with the monument of Philopappus on its top, slopes away from the eye in subtle curves. Farther to the right is the Bay of Phaleron and (closing the landscape above) the clearly seen ranges of the mountains of Argolis.

THE BASTION AND TEMPLE OF WINGLESS VICTORY VIEWED FROM THE ASCENT TO THE PROPYLÆA (EARLY MORNING)

The northern face of the great Bastion or outwork of squared masonry, which guards the ascent to the Acropolis at its south-western point, occupies the left-hand half of the drawing. This Bastion is capped by a cornice of Pentelic marble, upon which formerly stood the famous parapet adorned with figures of winged Victories sculptured in low relief. The three steps of the exquisite little Temple would, therefore, originally have been hidden from view. Just below are the steps, still in situ, belonging to the stairs which ascended to the platform of the Temple. The pedestal, above the anta beside these stairs, supported a statue of one of the leaders of the Athenian Cavalry. The long flight of the steps, passing transversely across the drawing, is the modern ascent to the Propylæa. Far below, near the foot of the Acropolis, some of the upper arches of the massive façade of the theatre of Herodes Atticus rise into view; and, to the right, the scathed surface of the Museion Hill, with the monument of Philopappus on its top, slopes away from the eye in subtle curves. Farther to the right is the Bay of Phaleron and (closing the landscape above) the clearly seen ranges of the mountains of Argolis.

Olympia was rudely broken by a sanguinary struggle in the sacred enclosure between the Eleans on the one hand and the Arcadians and their allies from Argos, who had taken possession of the Altis and planted a garrison on the adjoining hill. The Eleans fought bravely but were overpowered, and had the mortification of seeing the games carried out under the direction of the Pisatans, the original presidents of the festival. The outrage was aggravated by the fact that the Arcadians were not content with enriching themselves with the wealth of the Eleans, but went so far as to rob the temples and the treasuries of their precious contents. The ruins of some of these “treasuries,” as they were called, built against the side of the hill, are still to be seen. They bore the names of different Greek cities, chiefly colonies, and contained the various utensils and votive offerings that would be needed by their representatives in connection with the celebration of the games.

Even before this time (364 B.C.) the social standing of competitors in the games had begun to deteriorate, and a class of professionals had arisen who made it their sole object to develop their muscles so as to succeed in athletic contests. But even after the glory of Greece began to wane the Olympian games still held their ground. When Philip of Macedonia became supreme he sought to conciliate Hellenic sentiment and to prove himself a genuine Greek by dedicating a building in the Altis, to which his name was given. And when his son, Alexander the Great, issued a rescript, for political{50} reasons of his own, ordaining that all Greek cities should recall their exiled sons, it was at Olympia that the proclamation was made by the herald who had gained the prize for the loudest voice, in the hearing of 20,000 exiles who had gathered there knowing what they had to expect, and of hundreds of the leading men of Greece, among them the great Athenian orator, who had striven in vain to preserve the liberties of his country.

Nearly four centuries later we find Nero contending successfully in the games, and building a palace on the border of the Altis, the remains of which have been recently discovered. The institution was finally abolished by the Emperor Theodosius in 394 A.D., the last recorded victor being an Armenian knight, who carried off the prize in the previous year.{51}

CHAPTER IV

ARCADIA AND ITS ABORIGINES

ARCADIA held a unique place in the Peloponnesus, both as regards its physical features and the character of its inhabitants. It occupied the very centre of the peninsula, and was the only province that had no direct access to the sea. Its area was greater than that of any other, being about equal in extent to the county of Cumberland. The rural charms with which it was credited by the Latin poets, and by Sir Philip Sydney among ourselves, were largely the product of imagination, as the scenery is generally of a bleak and stern character, and the people, in consequence, are disposed to take life seriously. There are some smiling plains in the south and west, but the most of the country consists of rugged mountains and marshy valleys. A remarkable feature is the number of basins enclosed on all sides by the hills, where the streams can find no visible outlet, and either form a lake or take a subterranean course through some chasm or crevices in the porous limestone, in many cases never to reappear. The only river which forces its way through all obstacles{52} till it reaches the sea, and has a perennial supply of water, is the Alpheus, which we have already met at Olympia. It was believed by the ancient Greeks to hold on its course after it reached the sea, and to mingle its waters with the fountain of Arethusa at Syracuse. In proof of this it was said that a cup which had been thrown into the river had afterwards been discovered in the fountain!

In classical times the Arcadians had been so long settled in the land that they were generally believed to be indigenous, and their chief city, Lycosoura, was regarded as the oldest city in Greece. On its site some colossal heads have recently been discovered that are supposed to represent Despoina (that is, Persephone), who had a temple here, Demeter, Artemis, and Anytus the Titan. The city was close to Mount Lycæus, the fabled birthplace of the Arcadian Zeus; and perhaps this fact and the similarity of the names may account for the belief in its antiquity. Here, as on Mount Ithome, Zeus seems to have been worshipped in primitive fashion without temple or image. On Mount Lycæus Pelasgus was also believed to have been born, the reputed ancestor of the primitive race which was in possession of the country before the Achæans or the Dorians made their appearance. A story is told of his son, King Lycaon, which seems to reflect the memory of a time when human sacrifices were sometimes offered. It was said that Zeus had come to detect the royal family in their wickedness, and was received with reverence by the rest of the community,{53}



This illustration is from the colossal head of Despoina from Lykósoura in Arcadia, now in the Central Museum, Athens. The small figure is a Pan, also in the Museum.

This illustration is from the colossal head of Despoina from Lykósoura in Arcadia, now in the Central Museum, Athens.

The small figure is a Pan, also in the Museum.

but Lycaon, being sceptical of his guest’s divinity and wishing to put it to the test, caused his grandson Arcas to be cut up and served at his table, whereupon the indignant deity at once destroyed him, his sons, and his palace with a flash of lightning, and restored Arcas to life, to take possession of the throne and give his name to the country. There were other versions of the same story. According to Pausanias “Lycaon brought a human babe to the altar of Lycæan Zeus and sacrificed it, and poured out the blood on the altar; and they say that immediately after the sacrifice he was turned into a wolf.” Pausanias’ comments on it are interesting, as an illustration of the religious views of a well-informed Greek in the second century of the Christian era. “For my own part I believe the tale: it has been handed down among the Arcadians from antiquity, and probability is in its favour. For the men of that time, by reason of their righteousness and piety, were guests of the gods, and sat with them at table; the gods openly visited the good with honour and the bad with their displeasure. Indeed, men were raised to the rank of gods in those days, and are worshipped down to the present time.... So we may well believe that Lycaon was turned into a wild beast, and Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, into a stone. But in the present age, when wickedness is growing to such a height, and spreading over every land and every city, men are changed into gods no more, save in the hollow rhetoric which flattery addresses to power; and the wrath of the gods at the wicked is{54} reserved for a distant future, when they shall have gone hence.” By far the greater part of the observations made by this writer on Arcadia relate to its religious customs and traditions; and from the vague nature of the information he obtained regarding many of its deities and the peculiar rites with which they were worshipped, it is evident that Arcadia contained more distinct traces of the old Pelasgic religion, anterior to the theogony recognised by Homer and Hesiod, than almost any other part of Greece. It was difficult for a votary of the Hellenic religion like Pausanias to arrive at a definite conception of the names, the functions, and the outward symbols of not a few of the objects of Arcadian worship.

According to tradition Arcas had three sons, of whom the second, Apheidas, was the founder of Tegea, an aggregate of nine villages, and for a long time the most famous city in the district. He was the ancestor of Atalanta, immortalised by Euripides in connection with the Calydonian Hunt, which ranks with the Voyage of the Argonauts, the Siege of Thebes, and the Trojan War, as one of the heroic legends of Greece. It is the same Atalanta who is known to us by the story of her conquest in the foot-race by one of her suitors, Melanion, through the seductive influence of the golden apples of the Hesperides, which she stooped to pick up when he threw them in her path. After the hunt she was said to have brought home with her to Tegea the head and skin of the wild boar which Artemis had sent to ravage the Calydonian kingdom{55}



THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT BASSÆ IN ARCADIA, WITH DISTANT VIEW OF MOUNT ITHOME The front of the Temple faces the spectator, and looks to the north. The reason for the unusual orientation is evident from the conformation of the ground. The Temple is, in fact, built upon a ridge, and very extensive sub-structures would have been necessary if the usual orientation had been followed.

THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT BASSÆ IN ARCADIA, WITH DISTANT VIEW OF MOUNT ITHOME

The front of the Temple faces the spectator, and looks to the north. The reason for the unusual orientation is evident from the conformation of the ground. The Temple is, in fact, built upon a ridge, and very extensive sub-structures would have been necessary if the usual orientation had been followed.

on account of a slight offered to her in sacrifice. Whether genuine or not, the relics of the boar, in the form of a great hide, and tusks three feet long, were exhibited for centuries in the temple of Athena Alea, and a sculptured head of the boar has recently been found among the ruins, from the size of which it is calculated that the animal was six and a half feet long. The tusks were carried off to Rome by the Emperor Augustus, along with an ivory image of the goddess, but the well-worn skin was shown to Pausanias when he visited Tegea. He also saw a relief executed by the great sculptor Scopas, representing the famous hunt, on the pediment of the temple, which was rebuilt of marble after a fire, in 394 B.C., and was considered the most beautiful building of the kind in the Peloponnesus.

Echemus was another illustrious Tegean of prehistoric times, married, according to Hesiod, to a sister of Clytemnestra. He commanded the contingent of troops raised by the city to join the allied forces, Arcadian, Achæan, and Ionian, which came forth to repel the Heracleids when they were crossing the Isthmus for the purpose of invading the country. Instead of a general engagement it was agreed to settle the question by a single combat between Echemus and Hyllus, the eldest son of Heracles, from whom the challenge had come. In the encounter Hyllus was overcome and put to death, whereupon the Dorian invaders retraced their steps, and, in accordance with an agreement come to, did not again attempt the conquest{56} of the Peloponnesus for three generations. Even when victorious they left Arcadia alone, and it continued to retain its independence for many centuries afterwards.

The Arcadians, as known to us in history, have generally been distinguished by the rude simplicity of their manners and the sturdy vigour of their physique. Intensely conservative in their ways, they were always ready to do their duty bravely when called upon to defend their country; and, like the Swiss, whom they resembled in some other points, they supplied many neighbouring states with mercenary soldiers, who were always looked upon as a valuable force. It was one of the ambitions of the Spartans to reduce them to subjection. With this view they are said to have once consulted the Delphian oracle, which gave them an unfavourable answer as regards Arcadia generally, telling them that there were many acorn-eating men there, but appeared to encourage them to try their strength against Tegea, foretelling that they would dance there and measure out the plain with a rope. Taking this in a favourable sense they advanced against Tegea, but were utterly defeated, and many of them were taken prisoners and compelled to work in the fields, wearing the very chains which, with undue confidence, they had carried with them from Sparta for the purpose of securing their expected captives. Both Herodotus and Pausanias mention having seen these chains in the temple of Athena. In the same sanctuary there was also deposited the horse’s manger, made of brass, which was found in the tent of the Persian general Mardonius{57} by the Tegean troops who took part in the battle of Platæa, and who on that occasion claimed the place of honour next to the Lacedæmonians, on account of the signal services which had been rendered by their ancestor Echemus.

In his history (i. 67-8) Herodotus tells a curious story of the way in which the Spartans succeeded at a later time in getting the better of the Tegeans, with the help of the friendly oracle at Delphi. They were directed to bring back to Sparta the bones of Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, whose resting-place was enigmatically described. By the combined sagacity and good luck of a Spartan, named Lichas, the body, contained in a coffin measuring about seven cubits in length, was discovered in a blacksmith’s premises at Tegea, and was brought back to Sparta and buried there. The consequence was that the Spartans soon proved the stronger, compelling the Tegeans to become their allies for nearly two centuries, to which they were less averse than the rest of the Arcadians, owing to their liking for an oligarchic form of government. They still remained faithful to the general cause of Greek independence and sent 500 men to fight at Thermopylæ. For centuries after the loss of Greek liberty Tegea continued to be a place of importance. Strabo, writing in the first century A.D., speaks of it as the only city in Arcadia worth mentioning, and when Pausanias visited it he found it in a flourishing condition. There is now little to mark its site, save the scanty ruins of its famous temple and its theatre.{58} The foundations of the temple were discovered in 1879, buried deep underground, to the west of the Church of St. Nicholas, where many fragments of Doric columns of marble had long been lying exposed to view. The inner columns were Ionic and Corinthian. The workmanship, so far as any specimens of it exist, fully justifies the admiration expressed by Pausanias.

Thirteen or fourteen miles north of Tegea, on a somewhat lower level of the same great central plain, stood the city of Mantinea, long a rival to Tegea, and possessing more of a commercial character, with a consequent leaning to the democratic form of government. Originally built on the top of a low conical hill (Gourtsouli, or Ptolis), rather less than a mile to the north, it was constituted on its later site by the union of five villages, which were amalgamated by the Argives (who dwelt only a day’s journey to the east) for the purpose of counteracting the Spartan sympathies of Tegea. It was the scene of two great battles—the one fought and gained by the Spartans under King Agis, with the help of Bœotian and Corinthian troops, the other by Epaminondas at the head of the Theban confederacy. On the former occasion a striking proof was given of the value of Spartan discipline. Though taken by surprise when he found the enemy drawn up and ready for the conflict, Agis succeeded in gaining such a victory as went far to restore the prestige of his country, which had been tarnished by recent events in the Peloponnesian war. About thirty years later{59}



SITE OF MEGALÓPOLIS IN ARCADIA The west arm of the Theatre shows to the left, and the foreground is occupied by the remains of the Thersilion or Town Hall. The river Helisson sparkles in the distance, which is closed by the mountains of Arcadia. Sunset.

SITE OF MEGALÓPOLIS IN ARCADIA

The west arm of the Theatre shows to the left, and the foreground is occupied by the remains of the Thersilion or Town Hall. The river Helisson sparkles in the distance, which is closed by the mountains of Arcadia. Sunset.

(386 B.C.) Mantinea again incurred the hostility of Sparta and experienced its military skill. The river Ophis (so called from its circuitous windings farther north), which at that time ran through the city, was diverted from its course by the Spartan general Agesipolis, and so dammed up that its waters overflowed the brick-built walls, which soon gave way, compelling the inhabitants to surrender. The community was then dissolved into the five villages of which it had been composed, a high-handed act on the part of Sparta, which was characteristic of its policy when it thought its ascendency to be in danger. One of the first results of the great Theban victory achieved by Epaminondas at Leuctra (371 B.C.) was the reunion of the scattered population. But though the Mantineans were at first in sympathy with the policy of that great soldier and statesman in seeking to create an Arcadian federation for the defence of the country against Spartan aggression, the rise of a new capital at Megalopolis excited their jealousy, and it was partly owing to their defection that Epaminondas had to undertake his last campaign in the Peloponnesus. It was in a great battle fought in the immediate vicinity of Mantinea that he met his death. Never was there a more striking proof of the influence that may be exerted by a master-mind upon an army, than when Epaminondas was suddenly struck down while fighting with heroic energy at the head of his men. As soon as they knew that he had fallen, their victorious advance ceased, and the enemy were allowed to retire without suffering the usual penalties{60} of defeat. He was carried out of the field with a lance sticking in his breast; and a rising-ground is still pointed out (Scopas) from which he is said to have watched the close of the battle. He named two men to succeed him in the command of the forces; but, on learning that they had both fallen, he advised that peace should be concluded with the enemy. Having ascertained that his shield was safe, he ordered the javelin to be extracted, and as the blood rushed out he breathed his last. He was buried on the spot, and a monument was erected over his grave, of which no trace has yet been found.

Even if there were no such names in Greek history as Hesiod, Pindar, Pelopidas, and Plutarch, the memory of Epaminondas would be sufficient to redeem Bœotia from the reproach so often cast upon it as a land of dullards. He was not only a consummate general, whose name will always be associated with the irresistible phalanx which anticipated that of Macedonia,[2] but was in every respect a great man—the greatest of the Greeks, according to Cicero. Distinguished in music and philosophy, he was also a good speaker, and if he had had more opportunities for the practice of eloquence, he would probably have been found a match for the greatest orators of his day. We may judge of his readiness in debate from the answer he gave to Callistratus, the renowned Athenian orator, when the latter, pleading with the Arcadians to form an alliance with Athens rather{61} than with Thebes and Argos, sought to excite prejudice against these states by asking, “Were not Orestes and Alcmæon, who were both murderers of their mothers, natives of Argos? Was not Œdipus, who slew his father and married his mother, a native of Thebes?” “Yes, they were,” said Epaminondas, in his reply, “but Callistratus has forgotten to tell you that these men, while they lived at home, were innocent or were reputed to be so. As soon as their crimes became known they were banished; and then it was that Athens received them, stained with blood.” On another occasion, when he was accused by a demagogue of trying to emulate the glories of Agamemnon at the risk of his country, by sailing from Aulis to the Hellespont at the head of a great fleet, he replied, “By the help of Thebes I have already done more than Agamemnon. He with the forces of Sparta and all Greece besides, was ten years in taking a single city; while I, with the single force of Thebes and on the single day of Leuctra, have crushed the power of the Agamemnonian Sparta.” This was answering a fool according to his folly; but, in general, he was as remarkable for his modesty as for his great powers. It was said of him by one who had been in early life a companion of Socrates that he had never known any one who understood so much and spoke so little; and when he was reduced in rank, even after the great battle which deprived Sparta of its military supremacy, he did not disdain to serve his country for a time in a comparatively humble position. That the Spartans knew{62} how formidable he was as an adversary is evident from the honours which, as Plutarch tells us, they heaped on the man who slew him, even ordaining that his descendants in all time coming should be exempted from the payment of taxes. Like Aristides the “Just” and Delyannis, the recently-assassinated Premier of Greece, Epaminondas was so free from the love of money that he did not leave enough even to pay his funeral expenses.

Very few remains of the ancient city of Mantinea are to be seen, but the lower courses of the encircling walls, measuring more than two and a half miles in circumference, are plainly visible, with eight different gates and more than 120 towers, separated by intervals of fully 80 feet, while the course of the Ophis can also be traced, which served apparently as a moat, with its two arms running round the city. In 1887 three marble slabs were discovered in the floor of a Byzantine church within the walls, with reliefs representing the musical contest between Marsyas and Apollo, which have been identified with those mentioned by Pausanias as adorning a pedestal supporting images of Latona and her children, by Praxiteles. In the present aspect of the place, which is very much of the nature of a swamp, there is little to justify its ancient reputation as the “lovely city” mentioned in Homer.

Tegea and Mantinea and another ancient city in the neighbourhood (Pallantion) are commemorated in the city of Tripoliza (or Tripolis, the threefold city), which was founded by the Turks about two hundred years ago.{63}



MEGALÓPOLIS IN ARCADIA The east ramp of the Theatre is in the foreground to the left, from which we see remains of the proscenium and colonnade. Beyond are a few drums of columns, probably belonging to the Thersilion or Town Hall. The river Helisson shows in the distance. Sunset.

MEGALÓPOLIS IN ARCADIA

The east ramp of the Theatre is in the foreground to the left, from which we see remains of the proscenium and colonnade. Beyond are a few drums of columns, probably belonging to the Thersilion or Town Hall. The river Helisson shows in the distance. Sunset.

Tripoliza is the only large town in Arcadia, having a population of more than 10,000, with a thriving trade. It is also the seat of a bishopric, and contains one of the handsomest modern churches in Greece, built of marble, with a lofty tower recently added. The elevation of the city, like that of the plain generally, is fully 2000 feet above the sea.

In the western plain of Arcadia, separated from that of Tegea and Mantinea by the Mænalus range, stood the “great city,” Megalopolis, which owed its existence to the genius and the determination of Epaminondas. He saw that Arcadia would never be secure against Spartan invasion until means could be found to unite its forces. The jealousy between Tegea and Mantinea rendered it impossible for either of these cities to be chosen as the capital, and another site was found by the banks of the Helisson, a tributary of the Alpheus. No fewer than forty small townships were merged in the new city, which was founded immediately after the battle of Leuctra. Several refused to join, and the inhabitants of one of them, called Trapezus, a very old settlement, rather than give up their independence, preferred to be put to the sword, those who escaped emigrating to their daughter-city of the same name, on the southern shore of the Black Sea. The name Megalopolis was not unsuitable, considering that the walls of the city were more than five and a half miles in circumference, and that the territory attached to it extended twenty-four miles on the north. Its stability was at various times endangered by internal discord, and{64} nothing but the watchful eye and strong arm of Thebes could have saved the union from a speedy dissolution.

Like most of the Greek cities, Megalopolis did not realise till too late what the gradual advance of the Macedonian power was to mean for Greece. In 347 B.C. the Athenian orator Æschines paid it a visit and spoke in its national assembly, the “Ten Thousand,” urging them to combine with other Powers against Philip; but without much effect, as might have been expected, considering that Æschines himself was soon to prove a traitor. Seventeen years later the city was delivered out of the hands of its Peloponnesian enemies by Antipater, the lieutenant of Alexander the Great; but it had to submit, like Argos and Athens, to the remodelling of its constitution, in order that its new master might put some of his own partisans into power to form an oligarchy. A hundred years later it fell into the hands of the Spartans under Cleomenes, who took it by a stratagem and levelled it to the ground. Most of the citizens escaped to Messene under the leadership of the brave Philopœmen, and the city was afterwards rebuilt, taking a leading part in the Achæan League, until the supremacy of Roman arms could no longer be disputed. Among its citizens at the beginning of the second century B.C., Megalopolis could boast of two of the greatest Greeks of their time, the gallant soldier just mentioned, who humbled the pride of Sparta and extorted the admiration of his Roman adversaries, and his young friend Polybius, the famous historian. The latter carried the urn containing the{65} ashes of the mighty dead in the imposing funeral procession described by Plutarch—the precursor of still higher honours, amounting to divine worship, that were afterwards to be paid to Philopœmen, whom Pausanias describes as the last benefactor of the Greeks.

To the modern traveller Megalopolis still presents features of interest. Its wide and open landscape embraces fertile plains and wooded hills and refreshing streams, which present a pleasing contrast to the dreary stretch of country on the eastern side of Arcadia. There are also some interesting ruins (excavated by the British School of Archæology in 1890-93), the best preserved of which is the theatre, described by Pausanias as the largest in Greece, and supposed to have been capable of accommodating nearly 20,000 persons. There is a distance of about 500 feet between the stage and the top of the hill, in the hollow of which the semicircular banks of stone benches are fixed; but such is the clearness of the atmosphere and the form of the enclosure that words spoken from the actor’s place can be distinctly heard by any one listening above. Another ruin of great interest is the Thersilium, a hall covering an area of 35,000 square yards, in which the Arcadian assembly held their meetings and carried on their fierce debates. It is connected with the theatre by a portico, which was at one time mistaken for a stage, but is now regarded as of an earlier date and built for a different purpose. If Dr. Dörpfeld’s theory be correct that until a comparatively late period the Greek actors spoke from the floor of the orchestra,{66} the only purpose which the portico could have served, so far as the theatre was concerned, was to form a background. Many old coins and vases have been picked up on the site of the ancient city by the inhabitants of the modern village of Sinanou, a little way to the south-east, and are preserved in their houses. Large fragments of marble are also to be seen scattered about.

The road from Megalopolis to Bassæ, by way of Andritsæna, takes the traveller through some of the finest hill-scenery in Arcadia, along one of those modern carriage-roads which are felt to be luxurious, compared with the mule-tracks by which many journeys have still to be taken in the Peloponnesus, as in the days of old, when there was comparatively little communication between the different parts of Greece except by sea. One of the most striking objects to be seen on the way is the village of Karytæna, with its mediæval fortress on the top of a hill nearly 2000 feet high. The castle is only approachable by a narrow passage, and even the town, now reduced to a population of about 1400, can only be reached from one side of the mountain, standing as it does in a corner between the summit crowned with the fortress and the neighbouring hill of St. Elias,[3] on which may be seen two Greek churches of Byzantine-Frankish architecture. Karytæna was the home of Kolokotronis, the highland chieftain who carried on guerilla operations with so much success during the War of Liberation. His{67}



ANDRITSÆNA: THE RESTING-PLACE FOR THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT BASSÆ. A giant plane-tree stands in the space opposite the church door, and supports the bells of the church.

ANDRITSÆNA: THE RESTING-PLACE FOR THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT BASSÆ.

A giant plane-tree stands in the space opposite the church door, and supports the bells of the church.

great achievement was the capture of Tripoliza in 1821, but his cruelty in putting to death nearly the whole Turkish population, and his self-seeking spirit generally, detracted greatly from his reputation. After the independence of Greece had been secured he was found guilty of conspiracy against the Government, and was sentenced to death; but the penalty was remitted and he was allowed to end his days in his castle at Karytæna. A prominent object in the neighbourhood, as the traveller’s carriage winds round the hill, is a handsome bridge with six arches, which recalls the wealth and importance of the place in former times.

Still more attractive, although less interesting from a historical point of view, is the little town of Andritsæna, with upwards of 2000 inhabitants, which is reached after crossing Mount Lycæus. It is built on the two sides of a mountain stream embroidered with trees; and in the main street, beside the village fountain, there is a wide-spreading plane-tree, under which the people gather for a friendly talk, giving the place a most genial aspect. From the top of an adjoining hill a magnificent view can be obtained, extending to Erymanthus on the north and even including a glimpse of some of the Ionian Islands, under a favourable evening light.

From Andritsæna to Olympia is a long day’s ride over a very bad road, and is not a journey to be undertaken by any one who is deficient either in nerve or physical endurance. But the rich and varied scenery through which you pass, as you traverse mountain sides bordering on precipitous gorges, and thread your way{68} through umbrageous forests and flowery though often thorny thickets, and ford rivers, and skirt vineyards and cornfields, with an occasional view of far-away summits white with snow glistening in the sun—makes the experience an interesting and vivid recollection.

The journey to Bassæ from Andritsæna is very similar, though too short to be laborious. It conducts to a scene of the most impressive solitude, at an elevation of nearly 4000 feet, commanding a magnificent view both of land and sea, including Mt. Ithome and the great Messenian plain. In the Temple of Bassæ, dedicated to Apollo in this secluded spot by the people of Phigalia, which was six miles distant, the beauty of art seems to vie with the grandeur of nature. The ruin is acknowledged by general consent to be the finest in the Peloponnesus, though for centuries it was known only to the shepherds in the neighbourhood. Designed by Ictinus, one of the architects of the Parthenon, the structure has weathered the storms of more than twenty-three centuries. Of the thirty-eight Doric columns which surrounded the temple only three are now wanting, and their architraves are almost intact. The frieze of the cella or inner chamber was discovered in 1812, and was purchased two years afterwards by the British Government for £19,000—to be preserved in the British Museum. On it are represented the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons, and the fight between the Lapiths and the Centaurs. The design is admirable, but the execution is so poor as to suggest that the work was done by local sculptors. Though the frieze is of{69} marble, the temple generally was built of grey limestone quarried in the neighbourhood. Unlike other Greek temples, which look to the east to greet the rising sun, that of Bassæ faces the north. This is accounted for by the fact that it was built over an older shrine, which, from the nature of the rocky ledge on which it stood, could not be extended any farther east and west. The old entrance, however, was still preserved, and the image of the god still faced to the east. Pausanias tells us of a bronze statue of Apollo, twelve feet high, which was removed from the temple to Megalopolis and set up in the market-place, but it has long since disappeared. The same writer conjectures that the temple was erected in honour of Apollo Epicourios for having averted from Phigalia the plague with which Athens was visited during the Peloponnesian War. But it is considered more likely to have been a general tribute to the god on account of the health-giving breezes which play over the spot, and which no doubt made it a favourite resort for the invalids of the district.

According to the ancient traveller just mentioned, the civilisation of Arcadia dates from the time of Arcas, who introduced cereal crops and taught his subjects to spin wool and weave cloth. Here, as elsewhere in Greece, it is no uncommon thing to see women spinning thread and herding sheep or goats at the same time, while indoors you may find them busy at the loom weaving cloth for family use, following the good example set of old both by Helen and Penelope. Unfortunately, women are also much in evidence in the{70} fields and on the country roads, doing work which in this country would be left to men—even such heavy work as breaking stones. The men seem to be much fonder of taking their ease than the other sex, and show more vanity in their dress. The Albanian costume, which is the uniform worn by the eight battalions of Riflemen, called Evzoni, who guard the frontier, is much affected by those who can afford it in the country towns. Its most conspicuous features are the fustanella kilt, made of a white linen of incredible length when stretched out to its full extent, the embroidered vest, and the red shoes with turned-up toes. The shepherds wear a sheepskin cloak without any pretensions to elegance, but they trim their hair with great care, ringlets frequently hanging over their brow. They wear a broad leathern belt with innumerable receptacles, and one of the first things they will show to a stranger who is curious to know what they carry about with them is a small hand-mirror. They often amuse themselves and their flocks by playing on the pipe, which they can make in a few minutes from a bamboo cut in the field or plucked out of the roofing of their hut.{71}



THE CASTLE OF KARYTÆNA, IN ARCADIA This is one of the most romantic scenes in the Peloponnesus, and is aptly quoted by Curtius as no less characteristic of mediæval Greece than Tiryns and Mycenæ are of the prehistoric age. The Castle covers the summit of a free-standing mass of rock, rising up into the air (almost like the central tower of a great English Cathedral) above a gorge with precipitous red cliffs. To the right of the Castle lies the modern town.

THE CASTLE OF KARYTÆNA, IN ARCADIA

This is one of the most romantic scenes in the Peloponnesus, and is aptly quoted by Curtius as no less characteristic of mediæval Greece than Tiryns and Mycenæ are of the prehistoric age. The Castle covers the summit of a free-standing mass of rock, rising up into the air (almost like the central tower of a great English Cathedral) above a gorge with precipitous red cliffs. To the right of the Castle lies the modern town.

CHAPTER V

SPARTA AND ITS DISCIPLINE

FOR centuries Sparta was the first military power in Greece. This position it owed partly to the Dorian vigour of its inhabitants, and partly to the strict discipline introduced by Lycurgus at a time when the other Greek states had not yet awakened to the importance of that military drill which was to contribute so largely to their influence. Of these two sources of Spartan greatness we seem to have a recognition in the fact mentioned by Pausanias that at the two bridges, on either side of the place where the youths were in the habit of engaging in their athletic contests, there was an image of Heracles and a statue of Lycurgus, the one being the emblem of bodily strength, the other of authority and rule.

Besides Sparta there were two other states whose ruling families could claim to be descended from Heracles, namely Argos and Messenia. For a long time Argos would admit no superiority on the part of any other Greek state, and at no time was it reduced to subjection to any; but within two hundred years{72} after the Lycurgean régime had been established at Sparta, Messenia had been virtually annexed to Lacedæmonian territory, and the bulk of its inhabitants reduced to a state of serfdom scarcely distinguishable from that of the helots who had been subjugated at the time of the Dorian invasion. From the first the Dorian conquerors of Messenia seem to have been on more friendly terms with their subjects than was the case with their kindred who settled in Argos and Laconia. Their racial characteristics were thus impaired, while their moral fibre was relaxed by the wealth of the country which fell to their lot; but it was not till after a number of severe struggles that Sparta obtained the mastery.

The condition of the Messenians after the first war (743-724) is thus described by Tyrtæus the poet, who took part in the second war (645-628):—

Like asses galled with heavy loads
To their masters bringing, by doleful necessity,
Half of all the fruit that the tilled land yields,
Themselves and their wives alike bewailing their masters
Whene’er death’s baneful lot has fallen on any.

The reference in the last two lines is to the fact that when Spartan kings or nobles died, men and women had to come from Messenia to attend their funeral, dressed in black. Their greatest warrior was Aristomenes, who is said to have twice offered to Zeus Ithomates the sacrifice called hekatomphonia, which could only be offered by any one after slaying a hundred of his enemies in battle. Rather than submit to the loss of their liberty many of the Messenians abandoned{73}



INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT BASSÆ IN ARCADIA On the left of the picture are shown some of the columns of the eastern side of the Temple, together with the attached columns of the cella, a peculiar architectural feature of this Temple. The front (north) part of the cella was hypæthral, so the floor below the opening in the roof was slightly hollowed out—as shown in the drawing—to collect the rain-water. Mount Ithome appears between the columns of the southern end of the Temple.

INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT BASSÆ IN ARCADIA

On the left of the picture are shown some of the columns of the eastern side of the Temple, together with the attached columns of the cella, a peculiar architectural feature of this Temple. The front (north) part of the cella was hypæthral, so the floor below the opening in the roof was slightly hollowed out—as shown in the drawing—to collect the rain-water. Mount Ithome appears between the columns of the southern end of the Temple.

their native land and settled at Naupactus, Cephallenia, and elsewhere, with the sympathy and help of the Athenians. But even from these places of refuge they were driven by the Spartans long afterwards, when the latter had recovered their ascendency, and were forced to seek new homes in Sicily and Italy (where they founded Messene and Rhegium) and in North Africa. In 464 B.C. a general rising of the subject population took place not only in Messenia but in the greater part of Laconia, partly occasioned by a destructive earthquake, which was regarded as a judgment of heaven on the Spartans for their sacrilegious cruelty to some slaves who had taken refuge in a temple of Poseidon on the coast. In this struggle, as at the close of the first war, the chief stronghold and rallying-point of the oppressed nationality was Mount Ithome, which rises to a height of 2600 feet, and was described at a later time as one of the horns of the Peloponnesus, Acro-Corinthus being the other. Nearly a hundred years afterwards the Messenians found a deliverer in Epaminondas. The great Theban not only invited the exiles to return, but also restored their enslaved countrymen at home to the enjoyment of their political rights and liberties. In order to secure their unity and independence he resolved to build a great city in the immediate vicinity of Ithome, with the summit for an acropolis. After elaborate sacrifices and solemn prayers, invoking the presence and protection of their ancient heroes, especially the valiant Aristomenes, the city was laid out and built with the help of some of the best architects and masons of the day, the labourers being{74} cheered in their work by the rival strains of the Bœotian and Argive flutes. Fortifications were erected, so strong, and planned on such scientific principles, that the remains of them, in the form of walls and towers and gates, are still the admiration and astonishment of military men. The territory which Epaminondas annexed to the city was by far the most fertile part of Greece, including the plain of Stenyclerus on the north and the still richer and more extensive plain watered by the river Pamisus on the south, to which the name of Macaria (“Blessed”) was given.

Notwithstanding these advantages, and although the returned exiles had preserved unimpaired their Dorian speech and sentiment, the new city was not destined to play any great part in the annals of Greece. The fear of its old enemy made it too ready to submit to the subtle encroachments of Philip, in spite of the warnings which Demosthenes, the great Athenian orator, on one occasion addressed in person to its assembly. A few years later the city fell into the hands of Alexander the Great and his subordinates, who robbed it of its liberties and paved the way for the dominion of Rome. The site is now almost uninhabited, and overgrown with vineyards and corn-fields. Excavations have brought to light the foundations of a theatre, a stadium, a market-place, and a fountain; but, apart from the fortifications, there are few remains of any great interest. The view from the top of the mountain is one of the finest in the Peloponnesus, commanding the Taygetus range of mountains on the east and the sea on the south{75}



THE LACONIAN GATE OF MESSENE The roadway coming up from the monastery of Vourkano to the village of Mavromati divides the foreground of the scene. In the middle distance we have before us the luxuriant valley of the Pamisus, and, in the far distance, the lofty upper ranges of Taÿgetus covered with snow. Under the boughs of the graceful olive, which flanks the finely squared masonry of the ruined gateway, we catch a glimpse of the gulf of Messene. The freshness and purity of colour of an April day in Southern Peloponnesus has here been happily caught.

THE LACONIAN GATE OF MESSENE

The roadway coming up from the monastery of Vourkano to the village of Mavromati divides the foreground of the scene. In the middle distance we have before us the luxuriant valley of the Pamisus, and, in the far distance, the lofty upper ranges of Taÿgetus covered with snow. Under the boughs of the graceful olive, which flanks the finely squared masonry of the ruined gateway, we catch a glimpse of the gulf of Messene. The freshness and purity of colour of an April day in Southern Peloponnesus has here been happily caught.

and west. Standing on the summit one has a sense of elevation and aloofness; and one can understand how it should have been chosen as a retreat by a wealthy citizen of Athens, who devoted himself to a life of prayer and meditation, only descending once a fortnight for a supply of necessary food—an illustration, in a new form, as Prof. Mahaffy remarks, of the tendency to human sacrifice which was early associated with the altar of Zeus Ithomates. There is a ruined chapel on the top, also traces of very ancient foundations, some of them probably connected with the defence of the fortress, others with the worship of Zeus. Nearly half-way up the mountain the traveller passes a Greek convent (Vourkano)—a quadrangle with an interesting little church in the centre, where he will meet with a kind reception if he pay a visit to the monks and partake of their simple hospitality.

The ascent of Mount Ithome is in some places rather difficult, and requires careful riding. Before he start, perhaps the traveller may witness a controversy between his dragoman and the natives who have been engaged to bring horses or mules for the journey. An excited crowd will gather, which will not be complete without the presence and peace-making counsels of the parish priest—usually a very sociable person, in close touch with the interests of his parishioners, and conspicuous for his long black beard, his tall rimless hat, and his long loose coat, lined with fur. Perhaps the traveller may have a servant told off to guide his beast, who rejoices in the illustrious name of Leonidas,{76} and is entrusted with a big leather bottle containing the copious supply of resinated wine intended not only for himself but for his fellow-servants. To refresh himself in his long climb under the rays of the sun pouring down upon him from a cloudless sky, Leonidas may help himself so liberally as to get excited and break out into song and story, imperilling the rider’s life, perhaps, by going off the main track and having to turn where the horse has difficulty in keeping its hind feet from slipping down the side of a precipice; or, perhaps, in descending the mountain he may pull the rope attached to the animal’s head with such force as to compel it to take a leap downwards, which might easily project the rider down the hill if he were not on the watch and determined to keep his seat under all circumstances. But Leonidas is an exceptional man, and the animals are so sure-footed that accidents very seldom occur.

About fifteen miles south-east of Messene, at the head of the gulf, is the thriving little town of Kalamata, with some silk manufactories and a large trade in currants and figs and other fruits. To the south-west, on the coast, about twenty-five miles from Messene, lies the traditional capital of Nestor’s kingdom, still retaining its old Homeric name of (sandy) Pylos. Kalamata is supposed to be the ancient Pheræ at which Telemachus and Nestor’s son, Peisistratus, halted for the night on their way to Sparta to visit Menelaus. The distances suit well enough for a two-days’ ride, but it has been pointed out by V. Bérard that there is no road{77}



KALAMATA, ON THE GULF OF MESSENE A well in the market-place.

KALAMATA, ON THE GULF OF MESSENE A well in the market-place.

across the Taygetus mountains by which travellers could have driven in a chariot to Sparta, as Homer represents the two young men to have done; and he concludes (as Strabo did) that the Pylos referred to must have been the place of the same name much farther north, from which a journey on wheels could be made all the way to Sparta. Even apart from the interest attaching to it as the supposed city of Nestor, Pylos, with the adjacent island of Sphacteria, has had an important place in Greek history, both in ancient and in modern times. In the seventh year of the Pelopennesian war it was the scene of one of the most memorable defeats ever sustained by the Spartans at the hands of the Athenians. Twenty-two centuries afterwards (1770 A.D.) its garrison of Greek insurgents was massacred by the Turks, who, in turn, suffered a similar calamity in 1821 at the outbreak of the War of Liberation, as the Greeks again did at the hands of the Egyptians in 1825; while in 1827 the naval battle of Navarino took place in its bay, resulting in the destruction of the Turkish fleet, with a loss of 6000 lives, in less than two hours, by the combined British, French, and Russian forces.

Sparta was the only Greek state that retained the regal form of government all through the period of Hellenic glory. Its government was not, strictly speaking, a monarchy, however, as there were two royal dynasties, descended from the twin sons of the Heracleid Aristodemus, which had continued unbroken in the male line for 500 years, forming a direct connection{78} with the heroic age. The two kings served as a check on one another’s ambition, preventing the growth of such tyranny as had been found intolerable in other states, and had there led to the adoption of an oligarchic or democratic form of government. The rights of the community were further conserved by the modification of two public bodies, dating from the heroic age, of which we often hear in Homer, namely, the Boulé or Senate and the Ecclesia or General Assembly. In Sparta the former received the name of Gerousia, and consisted of twenty-eight members above sixty years of age, presided over by the two kings; the latter was called Apella, and was periodically convened to consider any proposals submitted to it, and had the right to fill up vacancies in the Gerousia. But the most effectual safeguard against tyranny was found in the annual election, by the Apella, of five officials, named ephors, who came into existence about 750 B.C. and gradually acquired such control of public affairs both at home and abroad that the royal prerogative was virtually reduced to the command of the army in the field, the offering of public sacrifices, the charge of communications with the Delphian oracle, and some other matters of a ceremonial kind. Even in their capacity as commanders-in-chief the kings became subject to the decision of the Assembly as to the making of peace or war, and ultimately had even to take their directions from the ephors in the conduct of a campaign. Every month the kings and the ephors took an oath of fidelity, the former promising to rule in{79} accordance with the constitution, the latter to be loyal in their obedience, on the condition just mentioned. As in our own country, there was a continual tendency to make royalty a position of honour rather than of power, which was the more remarkable in Sparta, as the office was universally regarded as held by divine right, and as lying at the foundation of the nation’s tide to its territorial inheritance derived from Heracles.

The social system introduced by Lycurgus about the beginning of the eighth century B.C., under the direction, as was believed, of the Delphian oracle, was founded upon a species of communism to which only those were admitted who were full citizens of Sparta, and had sufficient property to contribute their appointed quota to the expenses of the common mess. All the citizens without exception had to conform with the utmost regularity to a rigorous code of discipline, which was fitted to produce habits of courage, strength, endurance, self-denial, and simplicity of life. The training of the boys for military service, to which citizens were liable from their twentieth to their sixtieth year, began when they were seven years old. They were not only trained to athletic exercises and feats of strength, but they had also to content themselves with the plainest food and the scantiest clothing. As they approached manhood it was considered to be in the interests of religion, and pleasing to the goddess Artemis Orthia in particular, that they should be severely scourged, and it was no uncommon thing for young lads to die under the operation without betraying any sign of suffering. To{80} be able to bear pain without flinching, and to become inured to the severest hardships and privations, was looked on as the chief end of a manly education.

The young women were also trained in gymnastic exercises, and enjoyed more freedom than in any other part of Greece. They boxed and wrestled, and ran races, sometimes even with the young men. The object of their education was to train them to be mothers of brave men, and their martial spirit comes out in some of the sayings addressed by Spartan mothers to their sons—“Return with your shield or upon it,” “If your sword is too short add a pace to it.” As a rule the women held a position of honour in the community and were frequently possessed of property, so much so that in the fourth century B.C. more than half the land in Laconia belonged to them. They were trained to suppress all emotions of tenderness and compassion, and to reserve their admiration and affection for the brave and strong. Nothing could have been more humiliating than the reception given to defeated soldiers who survived their comrades and returned home. No one would speak to them or associate with them in any way, and if they did not bear themselves with the greatest humility they were liable to be struck and insulted by any one who met them. Cowardice was the one sin for which there was no forgiveness. It is told of one of the men serving under Leonidas, who had allowed some complaint in his eyes to prevent him from joining his comrades at Thermopylæ, that when he went home to Sparta he was treated with the utmost scorn; no{81}



MOUNT ITHOME FROM THE STADION OF MESSENE At the base of the mountain, part of the village of Mavromati may be seen. The architectural fragments in the foreground lie near the entrance to the Stadion. Only the western side of the Stadion appears. Its site is indicated by two figures seated under a tree.

MOUNT ITHOME FROM THE STADION OF MESSENE

At the base of the mountain, part of the village of Mavromati may be seen. The architectural fragments in the foreground lie near the entrance to the Stadion. Only the western side of the Stadion appears. Its site is indicated by two figures seated under a tree.

one would give him even a light for his fire. A year afterwards the same man was foremost in the fight at the battle of Platæa, which completed the discomfiture of Persia. He thought by his heroic defiance of danger to wipe out the reproach which rested on him, and he perished nobly on the field. But for all that he was not considered worthy of the funeral honours that were bestowed upon his fallen comrades, who had been less reckless in the fight but had always done their duty.

In harmony with this contempt for cowardice was the deportment of soldiers’ relatives when news of battle reached them. The friends of those who had fallen, instead of being cast down with grief, went about with a proud and glad mien, as if they knew they were entitled to honour and respect, while the relatives of those who had allowed themselves to be taken prisoners or had made their escape were depressed and sad, as if they had reason to be ashamed in the presence of their neighbours. When tidings of the terrible disaster at Leuctra arrived at Sparta the whole community were engaged in the celebration of the festival of gymnopædia, and the chorus of grown men was at the moment performing in the theatre. But no suspension or interruption of the proceedings took place. The only thing done was to send information of their bereavement to those whose friends were reported as killed, and to enjoin the women to make no noise. Historians have contrasted this self-control of the Spartans with the weeping and wailing of the Athenians on the night on which the news arrived of the destruction of their{82} fleet at Ægospotami, which put an end for ever to their naval empire. But they also relate an incident which shows that Athenian women could be as fierce in their indignation as their Spartan sisters. In an expedition against Ægina the whole of the Athenian citizens engaged in it, except one, lost their lives. On his return the survivor was beset by the widows of his slain comrades, each demanding to know what had become of her husband; and before he could make his escape from the infuriate crowd he was pricked to death with their brooch-pins.

In contrast to the wonderful calmness shown by the Spartans in time of calamity was the demonstration of feeling which took place on one occasion when they received unexpected news of a great victory over the combined Arcadian and Argive forces, without the loss of a single Lacedæmonian. For some time they had been so accustomed to defeat that all who heard the news burst into tears, Agesilaus and the Ephors setting the example—so much more difficult is it to repress violent feelings of joy than of sorrow.

It was another peculiarity of Spartan training that to take advantage of people in the matter of property was regarded as a merit, if the dishonesty was not detected, and if it was not a breach of some special law or custom. In Xenophon’s Anabasis (iv. 6) there is a curious allusion to this trait of the Spartan character. The Greek army had come to a pass occupied by a hostile force. Instead of trying to carry it by direct assault Xenophon suggested that soldiers should be sent up{83} the shoulder of the hill to turn the position. “But,” he said, addressing his Spartan colleague Cheirisophus, “stealing a march upon the enemy is more in your line than mine. For I understand that you, the full citizens and peers of Sparta, practise stealing from your boyhood upwards, and that it is held no way base, but even honourable, to steal such things as the law does not distinctly forbid. And in order that you may steal with the greatest effect and take pains to do it in secret, the custom is to flog you if you are found out. Here, then, you have an excellent opportunity of displaying your skill. Take good care that we be not found out in stealing possession of the mountain now before us, for if we are found out we shall be well beaten.” To this pleasantry Cheirisophus rejoined: “Why, as for that, you Athenians also, as I learn, are capital hands at stealing the public money, and that, too, in spite of prodigious peril to the thief. Nay, your most powerful men steal most of all—at least if it be the most powerful men among you that are raised to official command. So that this is a time for you to exhibit your training as well as for me to exhibit mine.”

There was no place where the love of money was more prevalent than in Sparta, and that in spite of the fact that till a comparatively late period the possession of gold and silver by private individuals was forbidden. For a long time the only metal in circulation was iron, in such heavy pieces that it was impossible for any one to carry much money with him, or even to store it in his house. When Lysander brought home what was{84} left of the large amount of gold and silver he had received from Cyrus for the prosecution of his schemes, strong objection was taken to its admission by some of the Ephors, as being at variance with the principles laid down by Lycurgus. It was only on the understanding that the treasure was to be the property of the state, and not of any private individual, that their objections were overruled, though their scruples about accepting the money did not prevent them from withholding from their allies any share of the spoil. The Lycurgean system was doomed, owing to the change which had come over the views of the leading men, as the result of foreign travel, and the bribery to which they had become habituated, especially in their relations with Persia. The wealth and magnificence of their famous general, Lysander, who was the first Greek to receive divine honours in historic times, and who is the most typical representative of imperial Sparta, present a striking contrast to the severe simplicity of his forefathers. Even a greater evil than the personal self-seeking which began to prevail was the collective selfishness by which the Spartans had long been distinguished. As a rule, they were comparatively indifferent to the general interests of the Hellenic race, and on more than one occasion they showed that they were ready to sacrifice these interests for their own immediate advantage, currying favour with the Persians at the cost of the liberties of the Asiatic Greeks, and envying and grieving at the naval empire of Athens, while they failed to take advantage of their own opportunities{85}



TRIPLE BRIDGE OVER THE MAVRO-ZOUMENOS RIVER Near the village of Neochori, on the road from Ithome to Meligula.

TRIPLE BRIDGE OVER THE MAVRO-ZOUMENOS RIVER

Near the village of Neochori, on the road from Ithome to Meligula.

for building up an empire on land, in which they could have retained their supremacy without trampling on the rights and liberties of other Greek states. If Sparta had possessed a few more men of the type of Brasidas—men of a generous and catholic spirit as well as of consummate ability in war—its own life and the life of ancient Greece might have been indefinitely prolonged.

It was one of the penalties of the narrow discipline of Sparta that it produced so few really great men. The body was cultivated at the expense of the mind, and little or no importance was attached to intellectual pursuits. Music was almost the only form of art generally cultivated, and that chiefly because of its connection with military drill. The victory of Agis at Mantinea in 418 B.C., when he was taken by surprise, was largely due to the inspiring and regulative influence of the fifes and war-songs (which were as cheering and not so exciting as the speeches delivered on the other side), as well as to the superior mode of transmitting orders from the general, through the various gradations of rank (down to the enomotarch in charge of some twenty-five men), as compared with the public proclamation by a herald, which was customary elsewhere. Even for their music they are said to have been indebted to foreign teachers—to Tyrtæus, whose stirring strains raised their spirits at a most trying crisis in their history; to Terpander, who added three strings to the lyre, completing the octave; and to Alcman, the last to train a popular and voluntary chorus. Not only in their military drill, but also in their public processions{86} and choral dances, music played a great part in their civilisation. People of all ranks and classes (not excepting even the kings) and of all ages, were expected to undergo training at the hands of the chorus-master and take their allotted place in the public celebrations. To this day you may sometimes see on festive occasions well-dressed men and women joining with the children in a choral dance on the public road.

One great defect in the Spartan discipline was the want of a natural home-life for the growth of family affection and social culture. Their city was more like an armed camp in the midst of a hostile population than the capital of a civilised state. The military distinction to which they sacrificed everything else fostered a spirit of imperious pride, which became their ruling passion, as it was indeed their chief reward for their unsparing self-denial. For a long time they were regarded as practically invincible, so much so that when nearly 300 of them surrendered at Sphacteria to an immensely superior force of Athenians, it created quite a sensation throughout Greece. The description of them given by Demaratus to Xerxes, that Spartans must either conquer or die, expressed the character which they not only claimed for themselves but which was popularly attributed to them by the whole Hellenic race, and it procured for them an honourable reception wherever they appeared in time of peace. In war they had the support of the periœci, as they were called, the inhabitants of the country towns and more mountainous parts of Laconia, to whom they conceded{87}



SPARTA AND MOUNT TAŸGETUS The lower ranges of Taÿgetus above Sparta, strangely suggesting both in form and colour the front view of a line of gigantic elephants, afford a fine contrast to the sharp angles of the snowy heights above. The point of view is immediately in front of the new museum; and the houses at the foot of the mountain belong to the east end of new Sparta. A Græco-Roman sarcophagus of marble and architectural fragments are lying in the foreground.

SPARTA AND MOUNT TAŸGETUS

The lower ranges of Taÿgetus above Sparta, strangely suggesting both in form and colour the front view of a line of gigantic elephants, afford a fine contrast to the sharp angles of the snowy heights above. The point of view is immediately in front of the new museum; and the houses at the foot of the mountain belong to the east end of new Sparta. A Græco-Roman sarcophagus of marble and architectural fragments are lying in the foreground.

freedom but no political rights. In general, their relations with these people were friendly enough. It was owing to the need of providing an outlet for the surplus rural population and meeting their aspirations that the colony of Tarentum was founded in 707 B.C. The colonising of Thera (Santorin—which became in turn the mother of the Greek colony of Cyrene in North Africa), and the Dorian settlements in the south-west of Asia Minor, took place much earlier.

The number of fully qualified Spartan citizens was never very great, some 8000 or 9000, with a tendency to decrease owing to the subdivision of family property rendering them unable to contribute their quota to the public mess, debarred as they were from engaging in agriculture or other industry. They had constantly to guard against a revolt on the part of the helots or slave population, who were bound to the soil and cultivated the lands of their Spartan masters. They availed themselves of their services as light-armed troops, but so suspicious were they of them that they never hung up their shields without detaching their holding-rings from them, for fear they might be snatched up and used against them. Their treatment of the helots was frequently cruel and oppressive. They had a system of secret police, under which three hundred of their strongest young men were charged with the duty of detecting any signs of disloyalty among the serfs, and putting the suspected to death without a trial. At the time of the Peloponnesian war they were believed to have been guilty of an atrocity of this kind of a{88} peculiarly revolting character, when they were in great dread of a native insurrection. They announced that liberty was to be conferred on those who had distinguished themselves in the recent war, and invited all such to apply for their reward. A great many did so, and about two thousand of them were formally emancipated, and led in procession to the temples with wreaths upon their heads. But immediately afterwards they all disappeared, put to death in some mysterious way, which was never made public. This we have from Thucydides, a contemporary historian.

Such things were little fitted to make Sparta a “Liberator of the Greeks,” as she professed to be when seeking to crush the imperial power of Athens; and, as soon as her military power began to decline, she gradually lost her influence. Yet it should not be forgotten that after the battle of Ægospotami (404 B.C.), when the Athenian empire was shattered and its capital lay at the mercy of the Peloponnesian allies, the Spartans refused to assent to the proposal of Corinth and Thebes that Athens should be destroyed and its inhabitants sold into slavery—declaring that they could never be a party to such treatment of a city which had laid all Greece under obligations by its conduct at the time of the Persian invasion. It is also to the credit of Sparta that as late as 338 B.C. she, alone of all the Greek states, refused to submit to Philip, who ravaged her territory, but failed to take the city, as Epaminondas had also failed to do, when he occupied the country a generation before. A hundred years later an earnest{89} attempt was made by two Spartan kings, Agis IV. and Cleomenes III., to revive the ancient discipline and government; and some measure of immediate success was attained. But it was only the last flicker of the expiring flame. The battle of Sellasia in 221 B.C. put an end for ever to the Heracleid kingdom, and in the next generation Philopœmen abolished what was still left of the Lycurgean constitution. Thenceforth the greatness of Sparta was a thing of the past.

“These are the walls of Lacedæmon,” said Agesilaus on one occasion, as he pointed to the citizens in arms. The truth of his words was proved more than once, as we have just seen. But he might also have pointed to the mountain barriers by which the country was hemmed in on every side except towards the sea, where invaders were confronted by a dangerous and inhospitable coast. The city described by Thucydides lay on the western side of the river Eurotas, in a plain four or five miles in breadth and about eighteen miles in length. It presented the appearance of a number of adjoining villages, built on low hills; and in this respect it has been compared to ancient Rome. The situation is beautiful, especially as one looks west upon the grand range of Taÿgetus, its lower slopes and valleys clothed with the richest vegetation, while its serried peaks, extending for miles towards Cape Matapan on the south, rise into the region of perpetual snow. The site of the ancient city is for the most part covered over with olive-groves and corn-fields and other vegetation. Traces of a large theatre have been found,{90} and there is a massive stone structure which goes by the name of Leonidas’ tomb. There are a few other remains, but none of any great interest.

A short distance to the south-east of Sparta, where the river Magoula joins the Eurotas, on the top of steep cliffs, reaching in some places a height of more than 700 feet, and approaching close to the east bank of the Eurotas, lies the site of the ancient Therapne, which is now generally identified with the Homeric Sparta. If the supposition be correct, these heights were once the scene of palatial state and splendour, with which the historic Sparta even in its best days had nothing to compare. The foundations of a temple sacred to Menelaus and Helen have been traced, and a great many little figures of lead have been discovered, which served no doubt as votive offerings, while fragments of unglazed Mycenæan pottery have also been found in the immediate neighbourhood. According to tradition, there was here also a temple to the Dioscuri—Castor and Pollux, half-brother and brother of Helen; and here they were said to lie buried every alternate day, Pollux having declined the offer of immortality from his father Zeus, unless it were shared by his brother.

Two or three miles south of Sparta, on the west side of the river, in the midst of a country abounding in fine fruit trees and rich cereal crops, lay the ancient city of Amyclæ, which remained in the hands of the Achæans for centuries after the Dorian invasion. On the top of an adjoining hill the foundations of the{91}



MISTRA, NEAR SPARTA The eastern portico of the Pantanassa Church, with view over the valley of the Eurotas.

MISTRA, NEAR SPARTA

The eastern portico of the Pantanassa Church, with view over the valley of the Eurotas.

famous precinct of Apollo have been excavated, where the Hyacinthian festival was celebrated from an early period in memory of a beautiful youth whom Apollo was said to have accidentally killed in a game of quoits. His tomb is under the altar of Apollo, a fact to be explained perhaps by the worship of the Dorian Apollo having superseded the earlier rites, though the name of Hyacinthus still survived. This festival (connected with the vegetation of spring) and the Carnean celebration of Apollo, as the horned cattle god, are often mentioned in history as the cause of delay in military expeditions, no people being more punctilious than the Spartans in attending to religious ordinances, and paying heed to natural omens, such as earthquakes. On one occasion the attendance at the Hyacinthia of a few soldiers on service at Corinth cost the Spartan army the loss of a battalion which had been sent to convoy them part of the way home, and in returning was cut to pieces by the Athenian Iphicrates and his famous peltasts or slingers. The importance of the sanctuary at Amyclæ is seen in the fact that the treaty between Athens and Sparta in 421 B.C. was to be inscribed on a column there, and also in the temple of Athena on the Acropolis of Athens.

A walk or ride of a few miles to the west, through an exuberant country, brings you to the foot of a mountain called Mistra, which springs like an offshoot from the roots of Taÿgetus. It looks small compared with the giant range behind, but it is 2000 feet high, and commands one of the most charming views in Greece,{92} across the valley of the Eurotas and down towards the gorge opening on the sea. The mediæval buildings scattered over the mountain-side, and the well-cultivated fields and gardens and terraces all around and beneath it, present a pleasing contrast to the wild passes above, which include the famous Langada pass, leading into the plains of Messenia. On the top of the hill there is a citadel in a wonderfully good state of preservation, erected by the Frankish knight, William de Ville-hardouin, in the middle of the thirteenth century. Beneath it are the remains of a palace, once the residence of the Governor of the Morea (who ranked next to the Byzantine emperor), surrounded by a city which deprived Sparta of its importance until the present century. The city is now greatly decayed, and the buildings still in use are chiefly chapels and monasteries belonging to the Greek Church, which, here as elsewhere, has had to surrender to the Government much of its wealth to meet the educational needs of the country.

On the way between Sparta and Mistra you pass the mouth of a cave opening downwards into the side of the mountain, which is pointed out as the place called Cæadas into which the Spartans were in the habit of casting criminals and weak or deformed children. It was here that Aristomenes, the Messenian hero, was believed to have made a miraculous escape from death. Along with fifty other Messenians he had been hurled into the yawning recess, but by good luck, or the favour of the gods as his friends asserted,{93}



MISTRA AND THE VALLEY OF THE EUROTAS This drawing was sketched at the residence of the Papa of the ancient metropolis church. On the higher slope of the mountain to the right is the Pantanassa Church; below, to the left, part of the mediæval defences of the town.

MISTRA AND THE VALLEY OF THE EUROTAS

This drawing was sketched at the residence of the Papa of the ancient metropolis church. On the higher slope of the mountain to the right is the Pantanassa Church; below, to the left, part of the mediæval defences of the town.

he reached the bottom unhurt. Seeing no outlet he had resigned himself to his fate, when his attention was attracted by a fox crawling among the dead. He succeeded in getting hold of its tail, and, defending himself from its bites as he best could with his cloak, he found himself at the opening by which the fox had entered, and, by enlarging it a little, contrived to make an exit for himself, reappearing safe and sound, to the amazement both of friends and foes.

Modern Sparta, which is now the recognised capital of Laconia under the Greek monarchy, lies a little to the south of the ancient site. It is a well-built town, embosomed in gardens and orchards, with wide and regular streets. There is a museum in it containing some venerable relics, though, as yet, Laconia has not received from the excavator the attention it deserves. The scenery is so beautiful, and there are so many historic and prehistoric associations connected with the district, that a few days may be spent in Sparta with great satisfaction, provided comfortable quarters can be secured.{94}

CHAPTER VI

ARGOLIS AND ITS ANTIQUITIES

A PECULIAR interest attaches to Argolis, whether we regard it from a historical or an archæological point of view. Its legendary history carries us back to a period long anterior to the Siege of Troy—according to some chronologists to the year 1860 B.C.—while the excavations at Mycenæ and Tiryns have brought to light innumerable relics of the Homeric or, rather, of a pre-Homeric age, and have confirmed the tradition of a pre-historic connection between Argolis and Egypt.

In the Argolic peninsula, which was at one time the chief seat of civilisation in Greece, there were a number of cities of great antiquity. The oldest of these was Argos, which lay (like the modern town of 10,000 inhabitants) in the south-west of the plain, about four and a half miles from the coast. In its immediate neighbourhood is the Larissa, or acropolis, a conical hill nearly 1000 feet high, which is now crowned with a mediæval citadel.

The oldest name associated with the place is Inachus. It is still borne by the chief river, and its application to{95} a mythical personage is probably due to the agency of the river in the formation of the land by its alluvial deposits. A later tradition tells of the arrival of a family of immigrants from Egypt, the daughters of one Danaus, who exerted such an influence on the life of the community that their descendants share with the Argives the honour of being frequently mentioned in the pages of Homer as the chief representatives of Greece. The story of the enforced marriage of the Danaids with their fifty cousins, the sons of Ægyptus, whose heads they cut off on the bridal night, seems to have had its origin in some new system of irrigation at the expense of the mountain springs and torrents which flow into the plain. For their crime the Danaids are said to have been condemned to pour water, in Hades, into leaky vessels—to which we may see something analogous at the present day in the labours of the women employed to water the fields of “thirsty Argos.” The next great name that meets us is that of Perseus, who gained immortal fame by bringing home the head of Medusa, which turned all who looked upon it into stone. With the help of the Lycian Cyclopes Perseus was believed to have built the fortifications of Tiryns and Mycenæ, and his son of the same name was credited by Herodotus with being the founder of the royal dynasty of Persia.

As we approach the historic age, the figure of Adrastus comes prominently into view. His fame was chiefly derived from the famous Siege of Thebes, which he undertook for the purpose of restoring his son-in-law{96} Polyneices to the throne of his father Œdipus. After his death Adrastus became an object of worship in Argos and the cities which owned its suzerainty. We have an illustration of the close connection which then subsisted between religion and politics in the fact that when Cleisthenes, the “Tyrant” of Sicyon, wished to assert his independence of Argos, he applied to Thebes for an image of Melanippus, the ancient and powerful foe of Adrastus, so that, being introduced into the citadel of Sicyon, he might put the other hero-god to flight. The same ruler also paid a tribute to the influence of poetry when he forbade Homer to be recited in Sicyon, because the great bard said too much about the glory of Argos.

The most noted ruler of Argos in historic times was Pheidon (c. 750 B.C.), whose dominion extended over Sicyon, Phlius, Trœzen, Epidaurus, and Ægina. He left his mark on the Peloponnesus by introducing coinage in electrum and silver, and a new system of weights and measures, apparently borrowed from the Phœnicians, which received the name of Æginetan from its chief commercial centre, in the same way as the system in vogue among the Ionian Greeks received the name of Eubœic. According to Herodotus the Argolic territory at one time included all the eastern coast, down to Cape Malea. But the Spartans gradually encroached upon it, till their country became the premier state of Greece, of which we have one of the earliest indications in the fact that it was to Sparta Crœsus made his appeal for support in 547 B.C.{97}



ARGOS AND LARISSA To the left the principal church of the modern town of Argos. Behind the town rises the splendid mass of Larissa, the Acropolis of the ancient city, with mediæval fortifications on its summit. Half-way up lies the romantically situated convent of the Panagia.

ARGOS AND LARISSA

To the left the principal church of the modern town of Argos. Behind the town rises the splendid mass of Larissa, the Acropolis of the ancient city, with mediæval fortifications on its summit. Half-way up lies the romantically situated convent of the Panagia.

Argos played an ignoble part at the time of the Persian invasion. It refused to make common cause with Sparta, unless a thirty years’ truce were concluded between the two states, and the honour of commanding the allied forces were shared equally between them—a demand to which Sparta could not accede, though willing to admit the king of Argos to an equality with her own two kings. In spite of the abstention of Argos the two neighbouring cities of Mycenæ and Tiryns each sent a contingent to Thermopylæ and Platæa, and it was partly in revenge for this that Argos in 468 B.C. took possession of these cities and deprived them of their liberties. The comparative insignificance of Mycenæ from this time forward accounts for Argos being so often substituted for it by the friendly dramatists of Athens, as the scene of the great tragedies in the family of Agamemnon. With all its pride in its mythical glory, Argos never produced any great man after Pheidon—unless we give it credit for its remote connection with Alexander the Great, who claimed to be descended from an Argive exile who settled in Macedonia. Argos had the opportunity more than once of becoming the head of a league against Sparta, and at one time it had a strong military force in its “Thousand,” a highly trained and well-equipped regiment composed of young men belonging to its best families; but it was weakened by internal dissensions between the oligarchic and democratic parties, and never enjoyed more than a very brief ascendency. At one time its citizens made an attempt, with the help of Alcibiades and the{98} Athenians, to connect the city with the sea by means of long walls like those of Athens, but the Spartans interfered and soon put a stop to the work.

In its wars with Sparta Argos sought more than once to take advantage of the religious scruples of the enemy. This happened especially in connection with the festival of Carnean Apollo (a deity worshipped by them both), the date of which the Argives varied to suit their own convenience, alleging the celebration of it as a reason why military operations should be suspended. To guard against such strategy, Agesipolis, the Spartan king, on one occasion obtained authority from the oracles of Delphi and Olympia to disregard such a fictitious claim. Having crossed the border he was challenged by two heralds wearing the insignia of their office, on the ground that it was a time of holy truce; to which Agesipolis replied that he had the warrant of the gods to disobey their commands. The same evening there was a shock of earthquake, whereupon the Spartans sang the pæan to Apollo and expected an order to retreat; but the king declared that as the earthquake had not happened till after he had crossed the frontier he regarded it as a favourable omen. He proceeded to ravage the country, and had reached the gates of Argos when a flash of lightning killed several of his men, whereupon he at once beat a retreat.

In the previous century a great outrage upon religion had been committed by a Spartan king, Cleomenes, who afterwards went mad and committed suicide. Having driven 6000 Argive troops into the sacred grove of{99} Apollo, close to the city, he set fire to the grove and put the 6000 men to death, inducing many of them to quit their place of refuge on the understanding that their lives would be spared. He then went with a thousand men to the temple of Hera, a few miles distant, and insisted on sacrificing to the goddess in spite of the rule of the sanctuary, by which it was forbidden to strangers; and when admission was refused he caused the priest to be dragged from the altar and scourged. To the great displeasure of his countrymen, however, he carried the war against Argos no farther, alleging as his reason that the light on the altar had flashed upon him from the bosom of the statue of the goddess, not from her head.

Although the chief Dorian temple in the district was that on the summit of Larissa in honour of Apollo, the Heræum, just referred to, was a much more ancient sanctuary, and was probably the original seat of the worship of Hera in Greece. Of this we have a token in the discovery among its ruins of an Egyptian scarab with cartouche, supposed to be of Thothmes III. (fifteenth century B.C.). Thucydides reckoned the date of the Peloponnesian war by the priestly registers in this temple, which seem to have been even older than the Olympian lists. The earliest priestess is said to have been Io, identified with the moon, whom Zeus transformed into a cow, and whose wanderings, imposed upon her by the jealous goddess, extended to the crossing of the Thracian straits, thence called Bosporus (Ox-ford or Cow-ford).{100}

During the priesthood of Chryso, about a thousand years later (423 B.C.), the temple was destroyed by fire owing to the upsetting of a lamp by the aged priestess while she was asleep. A splendid new temple was soon erected on an adjacent site, but only the foundations of it can now be traced, with some remains also of the older building at a still lower level. Another priestess was Cydippe, whose two sons, Cleobis and Beiton, in the absence of oxen, drew her in a cart all the way from Argos to the Heræum, a distance of seven miles. In the joy and pride of her heart the mother prayed the goddess to give her sons the best gift that could fall to the lot of man. The consequence was that the young men, having fallen asleep in the sanctuary after sacrificing and feasting, awoke no more, the goddess thus signifying that death was better than life. Pausanias tells us that the temple contained a wooden image of Hera, which had been removed from the conquered city of Tiryns, and also an image of the goddess in gold and ivory, the work of Polycleitus. A good many fragments of the ancient sculpture have been brought to light, and not a few of them are built into Christian churches and other edifices in the neighbourhood, especially a church dedicated to the Virgin, which is worth a visit on this account.

The Heræum will always have a charm for the classical scholar as the spot where Agamemnon was solemnly acknowledged as their leader by the assembled Greeks before setting out for Troy. It is significant that Hera is represented as devoted to the Greeks all{101}



THE ACROPOLIS OF MYCENÆ FROM THE SOUTH-WEST, BACKED BY THE IMPOSING FORM OF MOUNT ELIAS The gorge to the right is the valley which served as a defence for the Acropolis on the south side. The piece of road to the left is within a few paces of the famous bee-hive tomb known as the Treasury of Atreus.

THE ACROPOLIS OF MYCENÆ FROM THE SOUTH-WEST, BACKED BY THE IMPOSING FORM OF MOUNT ELIAS

The gorge to the right is the valley which served as a defence for the Acropolis on the south side. The piece of road to the left is within a few paces of the famous bee-hive tomb known as the Treasury of Atreus.

through the Trojan war, and even before it; and perhaps the proximity of her shrine to Mycenæ, which was only a few miles distant, may help to account for the prominence of that city and its prince in the story of the war.

After being depopulated by the Argives, Mycenæ seems to have been for a long time comparatively deserted, and even now it presents very much the same appearance as it did when seen by Pausanias nearly eighteen hundred years ago. Nowhere has the spade achieved greater triumphs than in this venerated spot. The story of Schliemann’s excavations, both here and at Troy, is one of the romances of the nineteenth century. From his childhood everything mysterious had a fascination for him, and he was possessed with a passionate admiration for the heroes of the Iliad. Though he was early thrown upon his own resources to earn a livelihood, and had a hard struggle for many years, he found time for the study of Greek and other languages, which he mastered chiefly by committing whole books to memory. Having succeeded in amassing wealth he devoted the remainder of his life to the interests of Greek archæology, cherishing his faith in the Homeric legends in spite of much ridicule, poured upon him sometimes by men of the greatest learning, until at length he was rewarded by discoveries which surpassed his fondest expectations. His conclusions may not all be sound. For example, it is the opinion of Zountas, the eminent Greek archæologist, in view of all the facts which have{102} come to light, that the bodies found in the shaft-graves within the citadel were not, as Schliemann supposed, the remains of Agamemnon and other members of the house of Pelops, to whose graves Pausanias alludes, but those of an earlier Perseid dynasty, and that the beehive tombs found outside the citadel are those of Agamemnon and other Atreidan kings, being similar to a considerable number of other tombs found on the eastern side of Greece as far north as Thessaly. With this agrees the fact that the famous lion-gate and the adjoining part of the wall are not built in the same Cyclopean style as the rest of the wall, the latter being composed of rough blocks piled one upon another without order, and kept in position by means of small stones and clay inserted between them, while the portions above referred to are composed of carefully-hewn stones of a polygonal shape, fitting into one another.

A prodigious quantity of pottery and other productions of art in gold, bronze, stone, and other materials, has been discovered in the graves and elsewhere at Mycenæ. Such variety do the treasures now stored in the Museum at Athens display that they are supposed to represent a period of artistic development extending from about 1600 to 1100 B.C. Among other things found were an ostrich egg, articles made of ivory, and a great number of amber beads, proving a connection both with Africa and the Baltic. Some of the artistic designs, too, such as those in which the papyrus and the lotus appear, show traces of intercourse with Egypt,{103} which might also be inferred from the discovery of Mycenæan pottery at Thebes in that country. It is at Hissarlik (Troy), however, and in certain islands in the Ægean Sea, especially Crete, that the chief evidence of a civilisation like that of Mycenæ has been discovered. It is the opinion of experts that its origin may go as far back as 2500 B.C., and that its development in Crete may have been contemporaneous with the maritime empire which was associated with the name of Minos, whose influence extended as far as Sicily on the west, and which could hardly fail to be in touch with Asia Minor, Phœnicia, and Egypt. Whether the Mycenæan civilisation was due to the Achæan race of warriors described in Homer, or to Pelasgians, or to the Phœnicians, has not yet been fully determined. In some respects it does not tally with the conditions of the heroic age, of which Homer sings. For example, very few traces of iron have been found compared with what we might have expected from the number of allusions to it in Homer. The same is the case as regards the safety-pins for fastening the seamless garments which the Achæans wore. Moreover, Homer represents burning, not burial, as the usual mode of disposing of the dead. But it is possible that these differences may have belonged to different stages in the history of the Achæan civilisation, which was probably in a state of decadence when Homer wrote. In any case the places to which he gives prominence are generally found to have been centres of the civilisation in question. With regard to Mycenæ in particular,{104} the epithets applied to it by the poet—“abounding in gold” and a “well-built city”—are singularly appropriate. Apart from its legendary dignity as the capital city of the “king of men,” there can be no doubt that Mycenæ was a place of great wealth and importance, partly owing to its trade in pottery and other works of art, but chiefly, perhaps, to its commanding position on the highway of commerce between Nauplia and Corinth—in other words, between the Argolic Gulf on the south and the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs on the north. The latter point is emphasised by a recent writer in the Edinburgh Review, who says: “Mycenæ is on the flank of the hills, and possesses good springs, that great treasure in the thirsty plains of Argolis. Its fine military position is guarded by rocky defiles. Its watch-towers command every vale from which a land force could attack, and every space of sea-coast that might reveal a pirate’s raid. It is the very gate of the pass that leads from the plain of Argos to the beach of Corinth, and to this day the train takes travellers past its portals from Nauplia to the north-western gulf. Such land passages as this, from one sea to another, were of the highest importance to merchant-shipping in the old days of small light vessels, and continued to be so until comparatively recent times. The riches of the barons of Mycenæ were solely due to the fact that they could levy toll on passing caravans of merchandise without fear of an overlord. It was to guard the fortune thus amassed that the ramparts were constructed, which the astonished{105}



MYCENÆ, SHOWING THE SITE OF THE FAMOUS DISCOVERIES OF SCHLIEMANN The mass of so-called cyciopean masonry, on the right, buttresses the upper part of the Acropolis of Mycenæ. The wall at right angles to it contains the Lion Gate, and the large triangular stone above the lintel is the back of the well-known relief of lions or lionesses regardant, probably the most ancient piece of sculpture in Greece. In the foreground is shown the singular double wall and gateway of the enclosure, called by Schliemann the Agora, within which he found the treasures of Mycenæan art now in the Central Museum in Athens.

MYCENÆ, SHOWING THE SITE OF THE FAMOUS DISCOVERIES OF SCHLIEMANN

The mass of so-called cyciopean masonry, on the right, buttresses the upper part of the Acropolis of Mycenæ. The wall at right angles to it contains the Lion Gate, and the large triangular stone above the lintel is the back of the well-known relief of lions or lionesses regardant, probably the most ancient piece of sculpture in Greece. In the foreground is shown the singular double wall and gateway of the enclosure, called by Schliemann the Agora, within which he found the treasures of Mycenæan art now in the Central Museum in Athens.

antiquarian (who could not see over them) describes as ‘built for the love of building.’ ”

The modern traveller can hardly fail to be struck, as Thucydides was, with the limited dimensions of a city which is said to have sent a hundred ships to Troy, besides providing sixty for the Arcadians, while Athens only sent fifty. But it is evident from the ruins that the city was not confined within the walls; and, after all, the size of a city, like that of a country, is not always a safe criterion of its wealth and influence. According to Pausanias, the only genuine work of Hephæstus that was to be seen in his day was the sceptre which that divine artificer presented to Zeus, and which Zeus gave to Hermes, and Hermes to Pelops, and Pelops to Atreus, and Atreus to his brother Thyestes, and Thyestes to Agamemnon, that he might “have dominion over many islands and over all Argos.”

A still older and better preserved specimen of the Homeric citadel and palace is to be seen at Tiryns, the fabled residence of Heracles, which lies about a mile from the sea, near the marshy land in which the famous steeds of Argos probably found pasture. It is situated on a long rocky hillock, less than 100 feet above the level of the sea, which was no doubt once an island, before the alluvial deposits from the mountain sides had encroached so far on the domain of Poseidon. Its walls, to which Homer alludes, form one of the most striking monuments of the heroic age. They are in some places considerably over fifty feet thick, and the{106} stones of which they are composed are of great size, from six to ten feet long, and about three feet in height and in thickness. But though the stones are larger than those of Mycenæ they show more signs of hewing, and were originally held together by clay mortar. In the palace at the southern end, of which the ground plan can be distinctly traced, one can recognise a general similarity to the Homeric palace. In the chief entrance, which is evidently the archetype of the propylæa at Athens, one can see the hole in the door-post and the adjoining wall, into which the great wooden bar was shot when the door was open. After passing through a spacious circular court with an altar of Zeus in the centre, you enter through a portico into the chief apartment or hall. Round the hearth in the centre stood the four pillars which supported the roof. It was against one of these pillars that Odysseus was told he would find the queen Areté sitting in the palace of Alcinous, spinning purple wool in the light of the fire. You can also identify the bathroom, with its solid limestone floor, and can even see a terra-cotta fragment of the well-polished tubs referred to by the great minstrel, with receptacles in the wall, probably intended for the oil which was considered indispensable after the bath. Wall-paintings have also been discovered and specimens of a frieze of a bluish colour, supposed to be the kuanos referred to in Homer as adorning the walls of the Phæacian palace. With the exception of the lower parts, a few feet high, the walls were evidently built of wood or clay, and appear to have been destroyed{107}



TIRYNS. THE GATE OF THE UPPER CASTLE The gate post to the left (west) 10½ feet high, is complete, with the rebate and the hole for the insertion of the strong bar to secure the gate. Only half of the right (eastern) post remains. Over it we see the massive outer rampart between the main gate and the gate of the Upper Castle.

TIRYNS. THE GATE OF THE UPPER CASTLE

The gate post to the left (west) 10½ feet high, is complete, with the rebate and the hole for the insertion of the strong bar to secure the gate. Only half of the right (eastern) post remains. Over it we see the massive outer rampart between the main gate and the gate of the Upper Castle.

by fire, of which the stone shows traces. At a lower level the foundations of a still older building can be seen. Among other things found among the ruins were many little figures of cows in terra-cotta, supposed to have been connected with the worship of Hera, who is often styled Cow-faced (Bo-opis) in Homer.

About two and a half miles from Tiryns, on a small peninsula which juts out into the sea, there is now a thriving little town of 6000 inhabitants, called Nauplia. According to Pausanias its original inhabitants came from Egypt, and its name would lead one to suppose that they were known as seafaring people. In historic times they were driven out by the Argives and took refuge in Mothone, which was granted to them by the Spartans. Nauplia then became the general harbour for the people of Argolis. Its military importance was recognised in later times by the Byzantines, the Venetians, and the Turks, who have successively left their mark upon its fortifications. The capture of Nauplia from the Turks in 1822 was a great encouragement to the insurgent Greeks. It became the capital of the country under the first Greek government, and was also the scene of the assassination of its first president, Capodistrias. It was at Nauplia that Otho made his entry into Greece in 1833 as the sovereign-elect, and it was among the soldiers of its garrison that the revolt began which compelled him to resign his crown, about thirty years later. The modern name of the city, Napoli de Romania (Naples of Greece), betokens the beauty of its situation. There are few more{108} pleasing views in Greece than is seen in fine weather from the top of the rocky hill which rises in the neighbourhood to a height of 700 feet, and which is supposed to owe its name (Palamidi) to the heroic Palamedes, son of Nauplius, who is credited in the Iliad with being the author of so many inventions.

To the north-east of Nauplia lies one of the most attractive spots in the Argolid, namely Epidaurus. The town of that name was close to the coast, opposite to Ægina, which was once tributary to it. But the ruins of the greatest interest are some five miles inland, in the precinct sacred to Asclepios, the god of healing, who was said to have been born in this neighbourhood as the child of Apollo and a nymph, and to have been suckled by a goat on Mount Titthion. Epidaurus thus became the headquarters of the healing art for all the votaries of Asclepios, both in Greece and Asia Minor. The sacred precinct or Hieron was of great extent. Besides the temple, it contained almost everything that could be desired in a health resort, such as a music-hall, a theatre (which is still in a wonderful state of preservation and is the finest in Greece), a hospital and baths, a gymnasium and a race-course. Part of the sanctuary was set apart for the patients seeking the aid of the god, who was generally supposed to communicate with them in their sleep. There were many votive offerings and inscriptions telling of wonderful cures, and when we take into account the influence of religious faith in such a case, and the salutary air of a fine hill-country, we can{109}



NAUPLIA AND TIRYNS FROM THE ROAD TO ARGOS The great headland to the right, crowned by the fortress of Palamidi, overlooks the town of Nauplia. The golden-brown hill to the left is the ancient acropolis or fortress of Tiryns, the exploration of which by Dr. Schliemann was an event of hardly less importance than his famous discoveries at Mycenæ.

NAUPLIA AND TIRYNS FROM THE ROAD TO ARGOS

The great headland to the right, crowned by the fortress of Palamidi, overlooks the town of Nauplia. The golden-brown hill to the left is the ancient acropolis or fortress of Tiryns, the exploration of which by Dr. Schliemann was an event of hardly less importance than his famous discoveries at Mycenæ.

hardly wonder at the great hygienic reputation of the place. The dog and the serpent are almost always associated with Asclepios in pictorial representations, the serpent entwined around his staff, and both animals figure prominently in the stories of miraculous cure, the dog sometimes licking the sores of the patient. How the serpent was so highly esteemed is not very clear. But it became the great emblem of the healing art, perhaps owing to the silence and subtlety of its movements and its connection with the underground world. The Epidaurians always took it with them when they went to found a colony; and on one occasion, when ambassadors, in obedience to an oracle, came from Rome in a time of pestilence, seeking the help of the god, the serpent was sent back with them as his representative.

One of the most interesting ruins of the place is the Tholos, a kind of rotunda, more than 100 feet in diameter, of which only the ground parts are standing. These consist of six concentric walls, the three innermost of which supported a circular floor or platform, paved with black and white marble, with a hole in the centre, the purpose of which is not very clear, whether for offering sacrifice, which is suggested by the name of Thumela applied to the building, or for drawing water from beneath. The fourth of the circular walls just mentioned, counting from the centre, supported fourteen Corinthian pillars of marble, the fifth a wall above the ground, the sixth an exterior colonnade with twenty-six columns. The three underground walls{110} nearest the centre, forming a vault, have doors in them by which you can pass from one to the other, but so arranged as to form a labyrinth. An inscription shows that the building was erected by contract and took twenty-one years to finish. The contract was in the hands of two sets of commissioners, the one having charge of giving it out, the other being entrusted with the duty of seeing that the work was properly done. The list of contractors shows that many different cities had an interest in the undertaking.{111}



THE THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS Presumably the work of the younger Polykleitos; the auditorium (koilon) hollowed out of the side of the hill, as is usual in Greek theatres. In the diazoma, or horizontal gangway, half-way up the side of the auditorium, are thrones or seats of honour. The orchestra, marked by a circle of white marble, is clearly shown, and also the foundations of the stage buildings. By an act of barbarism, which has sadly ruined the artistic interest of this, the most beautiful ancient Greek theatre, the marble proscenium decorated with engaged Ionic columns has been removed, as not being part of the original design of the building. One of the great gateways opening into the passage (parados) leading to the orchestra occupies the lower middle part of the drawing.

THE THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS

Presumably the work of the younger Polykleitos; the auditorium (koilon) hollowed out of the side of the hill, as is usual in Greek theatres. In the diazoma, or horizontal gangway, half-way up the side of the auditorium, are thrones or seats of honour. The orchestra, marked by a circle of white marble, is clearly shown, and also the foundations of the stage buildings. By an act of barbarism, which has sadly ruined the artistic interest of this, the most beautiful ancient Greek theatre, the marble proscenium decorated with engaged Ionic columns has been removed, as not being part of the original design of the building. One of the great gateways opening into the passage (parados) leading to the orchestra occupies the lower middle part of the drawing.

CHAPTER VII

CORINTH AND ITS CANAL

BY its geographical position Corinth seems to have been predestined to commercial greatness. While it commanded the land route from the Peloponnesus to continental Greece, its two harbours on either side of the isthmus, opening, the one on the Corinthian, and the other on the Saronic Gulf, made it a natural emporium for East and West. There was no reason indeed why its military power should not have been as distinguished as its opulence. Its great acropolis (Acro-Corinthus, as it was called), a precipitous mountain nearly 1900 feet high, rising abruptly out of the plain and commanding a view of nearly the half of Greece, with a plateau on its summit large enough to accommodate thousands of men, was marked out by nature as an impregnable fortress. But, whether owing to the Phœnician element in the population or to the peace-making tendencies of its commercial pursuits, Corinth was never of very much account in war, though it was the first city in Greece to build a navy.

One of the most famous of its early kings was{112} Sisyphus, whose name is supposed to have been a reduplication of the Greek word sophos. His wisdom, however, seems to have been of a mean and sinister kind, better described as cunning, if we may judge from some of the illustrations of it which have come down to us. According to a well-known tradition he was condemned by Zeus to the hopeless and never-ending task, in Hades, of pushing a stone up the side of a mountain, from which it always rolled back before he could place it securely on the summit—an appropriate enough punishment for a man who had been guilty of murdering travellers as they crossed the isthmus by rolling down great stones upon them from the mountains.

His beautiful grandson, Bellerophon, was a man of a different type. His incorruptible virtue, when tempted by the queen of Argos, and the divine protection granted to him in all the perils to which, like Joseph in Egypt, he was exposed—culminating in his marriage to the King of Lycia’s daughter with half the kingdom for a dowry—formed a pleasing theme for ancient poets and moralists. According to one tradition, it was the hoof of his winged horse Pegasus that struck the first water from the fountain Peirene, on the top of Acro-Corinthus. According to another account the spring was a gift to Sisyphus from the river Asopus, for having given information against Zeus in a matter affecting his family welfare.

Another famous name was that of Creon, King of Corinth, whose daughter Glauké came to such a tragic{113} end. According to the common version of the story, Jason had come to Corinth with his wife Medea, by whose aid he had succeeded in bringing back the Golden Fleece from Colchis. Forgetful of his vows, he fell in love with Glauké and was about to marry her, when the enraged Medea, who was skilled in the magical arts of the East, sent the bride a beautiful undergarment, which, as soon as it was put on, set fire to the wearer. Pausanias mentions a fountain into which Glauké threw herself in her agony, and within the last few years the enclosed well referred to has been brought to light.

After a long line of kings the Bacchiadæ are said to have come into power, ruling jointly, with one of their number as president, until the government was usurped by Cypselus, one of those “tyrants” who figure so prominently in Greek history during the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. Among the finest votive offerings at Olympia was an elaborately-carved chest dedicated by his descendants, the Cypselids, to commemorate the preservation of his life while he was an infant. His birth had been heralded by oracles which portended destruction to the ruling clan, from which his mother was sprung, and messengers were sent to Petra, where his parents lived, to take the child’s life. They had arranged that the first of them who should receive the child in his arms should dash it to the ground. But when the unsuspecting mother put it into the hands of one of them, he was so touched by a smile on the face of the infant that he passed it on to the second, and so{114} on, till they had all failed to carry out their cruel design. On leaving the house they began to reproach one another for their weakness of purpose, and agreed to go in again and all take a share in the deed. But the mother had overheard the conversation, and succeeded in saving the child’s life by concealing it in a chest, for which reason it was called Cypselus.

Cypselus was succeeded by his son Periander, who ruled with a rod of iron, but brought the country to a still higher degree of prosperity than it had ever attained before. According to Herodotus, his cruel policy of destroying men of light and leading among his subjects had been learned from Thrasybulus of Miletus, to whom he sent a deputy for advice as to the best means of securing his position. Thrasybulus said nothing, but took his visitor into a corn-field, and as they passed along cut down all the high and heavy stalks which attracted his attention. According to Aristotle, however, Periander was the teacher of this lesson, not the learner. He was succeeded by a son, who was soon driven from the throne. A democratic government was then established, which continued, with the occasional rise of an oligarchy, for several centuries. So deep was the impression made on the Corinthians by the cruelty of their despots, that when a conference was held at Sparta some time afterwards for the purpose of considering a proposal to restore the Peisistratid dynasty to Athens, the Corinthian deputy made a strong and eloquent protest against it, and the design had to be abandoned.{115}



THE TEMPLE AT CORINTH The five columns to the right belong to the Western Peristyle, and the two columns in front of us to the Southern Peristyle. These columns are all monolithic. The remains of the Temple at Corinth are amongst the most ancient existing monuments of Doric architecture. Above the Temple to the right is the lofty Acropolis of Corinth (the Acro-Corinthus), with the mediæval fortifications on its summit. Careful observers will notice that the capital of the near column has been turned round on its shaft, no doubt owing to the action of earthquakes.

THE TEMPLE AT CORINTH

The five columns to the right belong to the Western Peristyle, and the two columns in front of us to the Southern Peristyle. These columns are all monolithic. The remains of the Temple at Corinth are amongst the most ancient existing monuments of Doric architecture. Above the Temple to the right is the lofty Acropolis of Corinth (the Acro-Corinthus), with the mediæval fortifications on its summit. Careful observers will notice that the capital of the near column has been turned round on its shaft, no doubt owing to the action of earthquakes.

The unhappy relations of Corinth to her colony Corcyra have already been alluded to (p. 9). On the other hand, there are few brighter pages in the annals of Greece than the story of the deliverance of Syracuse, another of her colonies, from the tyranny of Dionysius by Timoleon, one of the best and greatest of her sons. Timoleon had lived in retirement for twenty years, owing to a crushing sorrow which had befallen him in connection with the death of his brother Timophanes, who had sought to make himself master of the city. Timoleon went up to the citadel with one or two other patriotic men to remonstrate with the new despot, who was bringing in a reign of terror. Timophanes was obdurate, and from angry words the parties came to blows, with the result that the usurper was slain. Timoleon himself took no part in the affray, his heart being torn with conflicting emotions, owing to his love for his brother, whose life he had once heroically saved in battle. His position excited general sympathy, but in some quarters he was blamed for his brother’s death, and his mother was inexorable in her bitter grief, refusing ever to look upon his face again. After his long and sad seclusion he was now called by the voice of the assembled people to take command of the expedition to Sicily, the task having been declined by many of the leading men. He accepted the commission; and with such signal success did he execute it, with very limited means at his command, that his achievements were universally attributed to the favour of the gods. He was equally eminent for courage and{116} sagacity. On one occasion, when he was about to encounter a Carthaginian army many times greater than his own, he met some mules carrying burdens of parsley, which was generally used for putting on tombstones. The evil omen struck the imagination of his soldiers and their hearts were beginning to sink, when Timoleon, seizing some of the parsley, made a wreath of it and put it on his head, exclaiming that it was their Corinthian emblem of victory which fortune was now putting in their way. His officers followed his example, the result being that the spirits of the army rose, and they went forward to a glorious victory. As soon as he had restored freedom and order throughout the island he invited the citizens of Syracuse to join with him in pulling down the tyrant’s stronghold, setting up courts of justice in its place. He then resigned his commission, refusing to accept any official position in the state, of which he had been virtually the restorer. But so deep was the impression made on the community by his great and disinterested services that whenever there was a serious difference of opinion on any public question he was called in as umpire. He lost his eyesight towards the end of his life, and Cornelius Nepos gives a touching picture of the acclamation with which he would be greeted by the assembly when he was led into the hall seated on his car, from which the mules had been unyoked, to hear some question referred to him, and of the profound respect with which his judgment would be received. One of the results of Timoleon’s mission to Sicily was that the dethroned{117} Dionysius was brought over to Corinth, and spent the remainder of his life there in very humble circumstances. He made a livelihood by teaching reading and singing, and for a while he was as great an object of interest in the city as Napoleon the Great would have been if he had been sent to London instead of St. Helena.

Owing to its geographical position Corinth was frequently the scene of conference between different Greek states. In 337 B.C. a general congress was summoned by Philip for the purpose of obtaining approval of his scheme for the invasion of Persia in his new rôle as the head of Greece. The desired assent was given (Sparta alone withholding it), but the scheme was never carried out, owing to the assassination of Philip by an aggrieved member of his bodyguard. In the midst of splendid festivities to celebrate his daughter’s marriage to the King of Epirus and the birth of a son to himself by his new wife, the exultant king, clothed in white, was about to enter the crowded theatre at the end of a solemn procession, in which statues of the twelve great divinities of Olympus were followed by an image of himself—when, suddenly, the fatal blow was struck that put an end for ever to his hope of further conquest. Within two months after the death of his father, Alexander was marching with an army through Greece, and at another congress held in Corinth he had the same honours voted to him as his father had received. The following year (335 B.C.) Alexander was again at Corinth, seeing Greece for the{118} last time, although he was only twenty-one years old. It was on this occasion that he was so taken with the amazing self-sufficiency of the cynical philosopher who had nothing better to ask of the young potentate, when he was honoured with a visit, than to request him to stand out of his sunshine. “If I were not Alexander,” exclaimed the monarch, “I would be Diogenes.”

At a later time Corinth played a prominent part in connection with the Achæan League. The story of the capture of Acro-Corinthus from the Macedonians by Aratus on a moonlit night, so graphically told by Plutarch, is one of the most interesting passages in any of his biographies. A hundred years afterwards (146 B.C.) the forwardness of Corinth in an attempt to throw off the Roman yoke led to its complete destruction and depopulation by the Roman consul, L. Mummius. In the next century, however, Julius Cæsar saw the vast capabilities of the site, and planted on it a Roman colony, which led to such a development of trade that in the first century of the Christian era it was again one of the most flourishing cities of Greece.

Of its wealth and magnificence very slight traces now remain. The most imposing ruin is that of a Dorian temple of Apollo, dating from the sixth or seventh century B.C. Seven of its columns, with a portion of the architrave, have braved the storm for 2600 years and escaped the hand of the destroyer. These monoliths, about 23½ feet high and fully 5½ feet thick, tapering upwards, form a most impressive monument. Two other columns have recently been discovered{119}



THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA AT SUNIUM (CAPE COLONNA) FROM THE NORTH An encampment on the site of the cella of the Temple.

THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA AT SUNIUM (CAPE COLONNA) FROM THE NORTH

An encampment on the site of the cella of the Temple.

below ground by the American School of Archæology, to which we are also indebted for the identification of the fountain of Glauké, already mentioned, and that of the lower Peirene, with the masonry surrounding them. Marble propylæa, leading to the market-place, and a theatre have also been uncovered. On the top of Acro-Corinthus there was a temple of Aphrodité, with a ritual borrowed from that of the Phœnician Astarté, but scarcely any trace of it has been discovered, the remains being principally those of fortifications, including some of such a primitive and massive construction that the name of Cyclopean may be applied to them.

Scarcely anywhere do we find any sign of the “Corinthian” column, though the acanthus or thistle, which is said to have suggested that style of decoration to Callimachus, may frequently be seen in the bare and arid plain which forms the southern part of the isthmus. According to Vitruvius, the Latin writer on architecture, the idea occurred to Callimachus on seeing the acanthus growing over a basket which had been placed by her old nurse on the grave of a young lady who had died on the eve of her marriage. In the basket were deposited a number of little things which had been dear to the lady in her childhood, and on the top the nurse had placed a square flat tile to keep out the rain. When the spring came round, a hidden acanthus root put forth its leaves, which crept up the sides of the basket and coiled round the corners of the tile like volutes; and it was in imitation of the beautiful{120} appearance thus presented that Callimachus designed the style of capital which afterwards became famous as the Corinthian order.

Northward from the propylæa the road leads to the harbour of Lechæum, about a mile and a half distant, and alongside of it traces of the two long walls can still be seen. The harbour is now a lagoon, and that on the eastern side of the isthmus at Cenchreæ is also desolate—a state of things which contrasts sadly with what might have been seen as early as 700 B.C., when Corinth was famous for its shipping, and had just built four triremes (full-deckers, with triple banks of oars) for the people of Samos, who had never possessed such ships before. To many minds, however, Cenchreæ suggests other thoughts, for it was there that Phœbe, the prototype of Christian deaconesses, dwelt, whom St. Paul commended to the Christians at Rome as “our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchreæ.” Another thing that reminds us of St. Paul is a fragment of marble in the local museum bearing the letters ... αγωγη εβ ..., the original having evidently been συναγωγη εβραιων, recalling the fact mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles that Paul spent a year and a half in Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla, in a house adjoining the synagogue. At the little railway station of New Corinth we had a proof how much more lasting may be the influence of the pen than of the sword when we were offered a copy of the New Testament in Greek, issued by the British and Foreign Bible Society. New Corinth lies to the north-west of the ancient city,{121} not very far from the Lechæan harbour. It is a well-built little town of about 4000 inhabitants, and was founded fifty years ago, when the old town was destroyed by an earthquake—the third time that such a calamity had happened to it during the Christian era. At no great distance are the traces of the walls by which the Peloponnesian states at various periods attempted to secure themselves against invasion from the north. Some remains have also been found of the diolkos or tramway, running across the narrowest and lowest part of the isthmus, by which it was customary to transport not only the freight of vessels but the vessels themselves, while the passengers frequently walked across to the port on the other side.

The idea of cutting a canal is said to date as far back as the reign of Periander, already mentioned, who was accounted one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. It was entertained by Demetrius Poliorcetes and Julius Cæsar, but Nero was the first to make any serious attempt to carry it out. “A great multitude of soldiers and prisoners, including apparently 6000 Jews sent by Vespasian from Judæa, were assembled at the isthmus, and operations were begun with much solemnity, apparently about the end of 67 A.D. The emperor himself, after chanting hymns in honour of the marine deities, set the example by giving a few strokes with a golden pickaxe, which the governor of Greece formally handed to him. Then the multitude fell to work in earnest, the soldiers turning up the earth, and the prisoners hewing at the rocks. A beginning was made{122} on the western side of the isthmus, but excavations had been carried for a distance of only about four furlongs when they were suddenly suspended in consequence of evil tidings which Nero received of conspiracies at Rome and disaffection among the armies of the West.”[4]

The modern canal, which was undertaken by a French Company in 1881, was completed by a Greek Company in 1893. To one sailing through it has a much more striking appearance than the Suez Canal, owing to the height of its banks on either side, for the most part cut out of sandy or alluvial soil, and rising like walls to a height of more than 100 feet. At one point the railway passes over it at a height of about 170 feet above the water. The canal is about three and a half miles long. It reduces the voyage from the Ionian Islands to Athens to about half the distance involved in sailing round Cape Matapan, but unfortunately it is too narrow (only about 75 feet wide) to be of much use for the larger ships. As a rule it is only the Greek coasting vessels that take advantage of it, and there is little or no prospect of its ever becoming one of the great highways to the East.

Not far from the eastern end of the canal is the precinct that was sacred to Poseidon, where the Isthmian Games were held every second year. The stadium can still be traced, memorable, among other things, as the scene of the inauguration of Alexander the Great as the acknowledged prince of Greece, and of the proclamation of liberty to the Greeks, one hundred and forty years{123}



OFF CAPE MATAPAN, SOUTHERN GREECE Sketch from the Messageries steamer Nerthe.

OFF CAPE MATAPAN, SOUTHERN GREECE

Sketch from the Messageries steamer Nerthe.

afterwards, by the Roman Consul Flamininus. A little way south, on a plateau about 300 feet high, are extensive remains of a city built out of the rock, which may have been the prehistoric city of the isthmus, referred to by Homer as “wealthy Ephyra.” Some twenty miles to the south-west, on the way to Mycenæ, lies the secluded vale of Nemea, where games were also celebrated every second year, consecrated by the erection of a temple of Zeus, of which a number of beautiful columns are still standing, while others lie prostrate on the ground. It was in this woody district that the lion which Heracles slew, as the first of the Twelve Labours imposed upon him by Eurysthenes, was supposed to have had his lair.{124}

CHAPTER VIII

ATHENS AND ITS ACROPOLIS

NOWHERE in Greece, nowhere perhaps in the ancient world, were the geographical conditions more favourable to the growth of a genial, intelligent, and energetic community than in Athens. The sky was bright, the air pure, and the climate temperate. The soil, while not so rich as to demoralise the inhabitants or to offer much inducement to an invader, yielded its cultivators the means of subsistence in the form of figs, olives, corn, and wine. At the same time the city enjoyed the advantage of easy communication with other countries both by land and sea, being situated on a plain which formed part of the continent of Europe, and having on its projecting coast three safe and commodious harbours, which gave it facilities for traffic in many different directions. For the purpose of defence, its Acropolis, facing the sea a few miles off, and backed at a considerable distance by a well-defined mountain frontier, provided it with a natural stronghold in case of attack.

The Acropolis is only one of a number of heights{125}



THE WESTERN END OF THE ACROPOLIS SEEN FROM BELOW THE PNYX The position of the Propylæa, the magnificent gatehouse of Pentelic marble designed by the architect Mnesicles, is admirably shown in this drawing. All the five doorways, which were closed by doors of bronze, are seen against the sky. Immediately to the left is the north wing (the Pinacotheca); to the right the bastion surmounted by the little Niké Temple. High above all rises the Parthenon. Coming down to the foreground, we may note, on the right, the great supporting wall of the Theatre of Herodes Atticus with the blue Hymettos behind it; and, to the left, the pinkish coloured rock of the Areopagus, with Lycabettos above.

THE WESTERN END OF THE ACROPOLIS SEEN FROM BELOW THE PNYX

The position of the Propylæa, the magnificent gatehouse of Pentelic marble designed by the architect Mnesicles, is admirably shown in this drawing. All the five doorways, which were closed by doors of bronze, are seen against the sky. Immediately to the left is the north wing (the Pinacotheca); to the right the bastion surmounted by the little Niké Temple. High above all rises the Parthenon. Coming down to the foreground, we may note, on the right, the great supporting wall of the Theatre of Herodes Atticus with the blue Hymettos behind it; and, to the left, the pinkish coloured rock of the Areopagus, with Lycabettos above.

rising out of the plain in the neighbourhood of Athens, including Lycabettus, Areopagus, Pnyx, and Museum Hill. Though not nearly so high as Lycabettus, the Acropolis was better fitted for defence, as it was almost inaccessible from all sides except the west, and had a flat summit of considerable extent. In itself it is not equal to the Castle Rock of “modern Athens,” being only 150 feet high, 1150 long, and about 500 in breadth. But it is a far more striking object from many points of view, partly owing to its position on a rising ground, partly because it is crowned with the noble ruins of the Parthenon. Many traces still remain of its original fortifications, which were of a Cyclopean character, and were attributed to the Pelasgian race. This name, indeed, survives in the Pelasgicon (otherwise called Pelargicon), an elaborate outwork consisting of a series of terraced battlements with nine gates (Enneapylon), of which some remains can still be made out. On the eastern side there can also be seen the lower courses of a wall which had been built to fill up a depression in the hill.

Although Attica is not much more than half the size of Cornwall, there was a time when its inhabitants were divided into many different communities, practically independent of each other. The city of Athens was then confined to the Acropolis and a small extent of ground in its immediate neighbourhood on the south-east. According to tradition it was Theseus who welded together the various demes or townships into one organised community under his single rule; and in commemoration{126} of this rare achievement in Greek history the festival of Synœcia long continued to be celebrated. Theseus is mentioned both in the Iliad and the Odyssey, and his two sons fought in the Trojan war, yet it was not he but his successor Menestheus who commanded the Athenian forces in the war, owing to certain impieties committed by him which entailed upon him the loss of his crown. No hero was credited with more wonderful performances than Theseus both by land and sea, and even in the underground world, though his efforts there were not so successful. His most memorable exploit in the eyes of the Athenians was the destruction of the Minotaur, a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull, which was kept at Knossus, the capital of the Cretan empire of Minos, and to which Athens had to devote a sacrifice of seven youths and seven maidens every nine years. When the time came round Theseus volunteered to accompany the victims, in order to deliver them; and with the help of Ariadne, the king’s daughter, who furnished him with a clue to the labyrinth in which the monster was confined and a sword, he succeeded in his perilous mission, and brought back his young companions safe and sound. He had arranged with his father Ægeus that in that event he would hoist a white sail instead of the usual black one; but unfortunately he omitted to give the sign, and the aged king, who was looking out from the Acropolis, where the temple of Niké now stands, being overcome with grief at the apparent failure of his son’s heroic undertaking, threw himself down among the rocks and{127} perished. According to another version of the story, he was waiting on the shore and threw himself into the sea. To commemorate the event embodied in this tradition the Athenians were in the habit of sending a ship to Delos every year to offer to Apollo a sacrifice of a less distressing nature. During the month in which this took place, no public act was permitted that was considered to be out of keeping with it, such as the execution of a criminal; and it was owing to this that Socrates was so long confined in prison after sentence of death had been passed upon him.

Theseus was believed to have given the Athenians his countenance and aid at the battle of Marathon, and a few years afterwards they were commanded by the Delphian oracle to bring back his bones from the island of Scyros, where he had met a violent death. The injunction was obeyed in 469 B.C. by Cimon, the son of Miltiades, who discovered a gigantic skeleton, and brought it to Athens amid great rejoicing. It was then reinterred in a sanctuary devoted to Theseus’ memory, which is often mentioned by subsequent Greek writers, and afforded a refuge within its spacious precincts to the poor and oppressed, whether bond or free, who felt themselves to be in danger. Unfortunately the historical references to this sanctuary, as well as the fact that it was in honour of a hero, not of a god, forbid us to identify it with the noble Doric temple standing between the Areopagus and the Agora or Market-place, which is now commonly known as the Theseum. The probability is that the latter building{128} was a temple in honour of Hephæstus or of Hephæstus and Athena. It is built of white Pentelic marble, with thirty-four columns in all, the sculptures on it being of Parian marble, and is second only to the Parthenon in majestic beauty. Traces of the bright red and blue colouring, which was used even in the decoration of marble, can be distinctly seen; and part of the coffered roof is still in position, adorned with painted stars. During the Middle Ages it was turned into a church dedicated to St. George, and it is doubtless owing to this cause that it still survives in such an excellent state of preservation.

For centuries before the time of Theseus the Acropolis had been the seat of a civilisation not much inferior to that of Mycenæ. Homer speaks of a “well-built house of Erectheus” to which Athena used to repair; and on the Acropolis, under what is believed to have been the earliest temple of Athena, part of the foundations of a palace, apparently similar in plan to those of Mycenæ and Tiryns, has been discovered. The fortifications, too, are very similar, and there is a long inner staircase leading to a postern in the northern wall that corresponds to those found in the ancient structures referred to. There is another prehistoric name with which tradition connects the primitive history of Athens, and on account of which it was sometimes called Cecropia. According to some, Cecrops came from Egypt; according to others he was autochthonous (as the Athenians claimed to be), and had the appearance of being half man and half serpent.{129}



THE TEMPLE OF THESEUS FROM THE SOUTH-WEST The mountain dominating the Temple, to the right (east), is Lycabettos; the distant mountain to the left is Pentelikon.

THE TEMPLE OF THESEUS FROM THE SOUTH-WEST

The mountain dominating the Temple, to the right (east), is Lycabettos; the distant mountain to the left is Pentelikon.

Amid these conflicting mythical traditions it was generally agreed that the last king of Athens was Codrus, who was said to be a descendant of Ion, the head of the Ionic branch of the Hellenic race, the latter name being derived from Hellen, the grandfather of Ion. When the Dorians invaded Attica, after taking possession of the Peloponnesus, they were informed by a Pythian oracle that if the life of Codrus were spared they would gain possession of the country. Codrus became aware of this, and in order to save his country he went out one day in disguise and provoked a quarrel with some of the enemy, who put him to death. As soon as this became known to the Dorians they abandoned the hope of conquest, and contented themselves with annexing Megara. By a strange process of reasoning the grateful subjects of the self-sacrificing king straightway abolished the monarchy, on the ground that it would be impossible to find any one worthy to sit on the throne of so noble a sovereign! The name of Codrus was not the only name in the early history of Athens that was associated with patriotic self-devotion. Long before, one of the three daughters of Cecrops, Agraulos, was said to have leapt from the Acropolis as a voluntary sacrifice, when it was declared by the oracle that there was no other means of bringing a war which had been long going on to a successful issue. Her name was given to a grotto on the north, near the spot on which she met her death; and it was there that the Athenian youth, when they reached manhood, offered sacrifice and swore to be faithful to their country even unto death.{130}

After the death of Codrus the office of archon was instituted as an office for life, tenable by the leading member of the royal family. The late king’s two sons, Medon and Neileus, quarrelled about the succession, and the latter emigrated with a large portion of the population to Asia Minor, where he founded the Ionic Amphictyony of twelve cities, extending from Miletus to Phocæa. For about 300 years the archonship continued to be held for life; but after that the tenure of office was changed to ten years, and at a still later period it became an annual appointment, and was thrown open to the eupatrids or nobles. Ultimately it became a collegiate charge, being held by nine men simultaneously, who divided the functions of government among them.

Towards the end of the seventh century B.C. a legislator came upon the scene in the person of Draco, whose name has become a synonym for severity, though it would seem that what he did was to codify existing laws and customs rather than to introduce new regulations. Even at an earlier period laws had been reduced to writing among the Epizephyrian Locrians of Italy by Zaleucus at the bidding of the Delphian oracle, for the purpose of restoring order in the state. The system adopted was of the nature of the lex talionis. Severe measures were doubtless needed, for it was these Locrians who got the better of the natives by taking a mutual oath with them to the effect that the two peoples should be allowed to enjoy the land in common, so long as they stood upon this earth (such were the terms of the oath) and had heads on their{131}



THE TEMPLE OF THESEUS FROM THE NORTH-WEST (MORNING LIGHT) This drawing shows very well the seating of the Temple on its site, Kolonos Agoraios—the Market Hill.

THE TEMPLE OF THESEUS FROM THE NORTH-WEST (MORNING LIGHT)

This drawing shows very well the seating of the Temple on its site, Kolonos Agoraios—the Market Hill.

shoulders. In order that they might be able to destroy the validity of the covenant, they had put earth into their shoes and concealed heads of garlic on their shoulders, believing that as soon as these things were removed the oath would lose its binding force. In order to discourage rash attempts at legislation the same people enacted that any one proposing a new law should appear before the assembly with a rope round his neck, which was to be immediately tightened if he failed to get his proposal adopted!

About this time an attempt was made by Cylon, a wealthy and distinguished citizen of Athens, to obtain supreme power, with the help of his father-in-law, the ruler of Megara. He succeeded in taking possession of the Acropolis, but the citizens rose against him and compelled him to flee the country. His followers, who were left in the citadel, took refuge in the temple of Athena, but they were induced to quit the sanctuary by a promise that their lives would be spared. As an additional security, however, they fastened a cord to the image of the goddess and kept hold of it as they withdrew from the Acropolis. Unfortunately the cord broke before they had gained a place of safety; and the citizens, regarding this as a token that Athena had deserted the fugitives, attacked and slew them. The outrage was aggravated by the fact that some of them were put to death in the sanctuary of the Eumenides at the side of the Areopagus. The archon who was chiefly responsible for the perfidious and profane slaughter was Megacles, the head of the Alcmæonid{132} family, which was in consequence regarded as polluted. A pestilence from which the city afterwards suffered was popularly attributed to the displeasure of the gods on this account. In order to remove the curse the members of the family who were still alive were banished, and the bones of those who had since died were dug up and transported beyond the frontier. Epimenides, the diviner, was also sent for from Crete, and under his direction new sanctuaries were erected, and new rites of purification introduced.

There was now a general feeling that means should be taken to put the civil and political affairs of the country on a better footing. Fortunately a man appeared who was eminently fitted to do the work of a reformer. Although belonging to an illustrious house, Solon was at the same time possessed of broad sympathies and democratic views, which he is supposed to have derived from his experience as a traveller and his interest in commercial pursuits. His patriotism was equal to his wisdom, and the first thing that won for him the admiration and affection of his fellow-citizens was the fearless enthusiasm with which he appealed to them to make a fresh attempt to regain Salamis from the Megarians. The island had been so completely abandoned by the Athenians that they had decreed the penalty of death against any one who should attempt to rekindle the war, which had proved disastrous. The success which attended Solon in this movement doubtless added to his reputation, and disposed the citizens to give a favourable reception to his legislative{133}



THE AREOPAGUS AND THE THESEUM The craggy mass to the left is the Areopagus (Mars Hill), with the cleft of the Eumenides. Behind the Temple of Theseus stretch the famous olive groves of Athens, nourished by the water of the subterranean Kephissus. The mountain range is that of Ægaleos, with the Pass of Daphni.

THE AREOPAGUS AND THE THESEUM

The craggy mass to the left is the Areopagus (Mars Hill), with the cleft of the Eumenides. Behind the Temple of Theseus stretch the famous olive groves of Athens, nourished by the water of the subterranean Kephissus. The mountain range is that of Ægaleos, with the Pass of Daphni.

proposals. Among other changes which he introduced was the abolition of a cruel law by which insolvent debtors were liable to be enslaved along with their families; and in the political sphere he laid the foundations of the democratic constitution which was destined to contribute so largely to the greatness of Athens. He resisted all temptations to take power into his own hands—to the surprise of some, who thought he “should have hauled up the net when he had the fish enmeshed in it.” Unfortunately his self-denying spirit was not shared by all his countrymen, and he had the mortification of seeing his work to a great extent frustrated by one of his own friends, Peisistratus by name, whose success as a usurper was as much due to guile as to force. Posing as a friend of the people he presented himself one day in the market-place bleeding from self-inflicted wounds, which he pretended he had received at the hands of his political enemies, whereupon one of his partisans appealed for a bodyguard of fifty men to protect him, which was granted. With their assistance he soon made himself master of the Acropolis, and, by a stratagem, deprived the citizens of their arms. Although his rule was comparatively mild, and was signalised by some useful public enterprises, he was twice driven from the country. After his second restoration he held his position for about fourteen years. On his death his three sons carried on the government for some years, but at length a plot was formed for their assassination by two young men, partly on public and{134} partly on private grounds. The plot was not altogether successful, two of the despots being untouched. One of the assassins, Harmodius, was at once overpowered and put to death, and the other, Aristogeiton, also forfeited his life after being subjected to torture in the hope that he would betray the names of their accomplices. The dynasty became more unpopular than ever, owing to its increasing severity, and in a few years the surviving members of it were driven into exile. So highly was the conduct of the two tyrannicides, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, appreciated that their statues in bronze were erected in a prominent place between the Agora and the Acropolis, and for a long time it was forbidden to erect any others in the same place. The statues were carried off by Xerxes in the next century, but they were soon replaced by others of a similar kind; and after the earlier ones were recovered, the two groups stood side by side. Another monument of the conspiracy was to be seen in the Acropolis in the form of a tongueless lioness, representing a woman named Leæna, who had been suspected of being in the plot, and was put to the torture, without divulging any name.

Within a generation afterwards the Athenians’ love of liberty and their readiness to die for it was demonstrated on a much grander scale, in their resistance of the Persian invader. It is said that the first time Darius heard of the Athenians was after the burning of Sardis, in which they rendered assistance to the Asiatic Ionians. On their name being mentioned to him{135} Darius asked who they were, and, being told, he shot an arrow to the sky, and exclaimed, “O Zeus, grant me to revenge myself on these Athenians,” at the same time bidding an attendant to repeat in his hearing every day at dinner the words, “Remember the Athenians.” His generals, Datis and Artaphernes, now landed on the Attic shore with about 100,000 men, under the guidance of Hippias, who had accompanied his father Peisistratus by the same route to Athens nearly fifty years before, when he was returning from exile the second time to take possession of the city. But Athens was a very different community now from what it was then. It had enjoyed more than twenty years of self-government, and its citizens were now united as one man in the determination to resist the eastern despot to the uttermost. Seldom has a more heroic stand been taken by any nation in defence of its liberties. The Persians had hitherto been regarded as invincible, and their numerical superiority was overwhelming. But the Athenians did not for a moment hesitate. They at once despatched a swift messenger to Sparta appealing for assistance, who is said to have accomplished the journey of 150 miles in forty-eight hours. But the Spartans were slow to move, owing to their superstitious dependence on the full moon, for which they had to wait five days. No other Greeks shared in the glory of the occasion, except 1000 soldiers from Platæa, whose generous and timely succour won the undying gratitude of the Athenians, and was annually mentioned at the anniversary services which{136} were regularly held to celebrate the victory. Of the ten Athenian generals who were in command of the forces it fell to Miltiades to act as chief. If his advice had been taken by the Ionians who were left in charge of the bridge which they had built over the Danube for Darius shortly before, the invasion of Greece would have been averted. The sixty days during which Darius had ordered them to preserve the bridge for his return had expired, and Darius was beset with difficulties in Scythia, which would soon have overwhelmed him; but the Ionian leaders refused to destroy the bridge, as Miltiades advised—for the selfish reason that their tenure of power in their respective cities depended on Persian support. Darius was thus saved, and his cruel conquest of Eretria was the result—the prelude, as it seemed, of a like fate for Athens and for all Greece.

The distance from Athens to Marathon is about 25 miles, by the road taken by the troops, which was the same as is followed by the modern traveller. The length of the plain is about six miles and its breadth a mile and a half, with a marsh at each end. The Persians had disembarked and were drawn up in the plain at a considerable distance from the shore. The Greeks appear to have taken up a position a little in front of the amphitheatre of rocky hills which encloses the plain on the north and west. It was the first time the Athenians had ever met the dreaded Medes in battle array; but throwing aside all fear they raised the war-cry and set off at a run, which was facilitated by the slight declivity of the ground, bearing down upon{137}



THE BATTLE-FIELD OF MARATHON, FROM MOUNT PENTELIKON The plain of Marathon and the long spit of Kynosura are well shown; but the sickle shape of the famous bay is obscured by the intervening summit of Mount Agrieliki. Across the blue gulf of Petali we see the splendid chain of the Eubœan Mountains.

THE BATTLE-FIELD OF MARATHON, FROM MOUNT PENTELIKON

The plain of Marathon and the long spit of Kynosura are well shown; but the sickle shape of the famous bay is obscured by the intervening summit of Mount Agrieliki. Across the blue gulf of Petali we see the splendid chain of the Eubœan Mountains.

the enemy with such force as to compel them to give way at both wings, where their ranks were weakest and those of the Greeks strongest. Instead of pursuing the fugitives the victorious wings supported their own centre by attacking the enemy from the flanks and rear, putting them into confusion and causing a panic. The whole Persian host was soon in full flight to their ships, but in their ignorance of the country many of them were caught in the marshes and never reached the shore. According to Herodotus more than 6000 of them lost their lives. Comparatively few prisoners were taken, as the attempts of the Greeks to capture or burn the ships were attended with little success; but rich spoils, in the form of tents and other equipments, fell into their hands. As the fleet was sailing away towards Cape Sunium a flashing shield was seen on a height above the plain, which was supposed to be a traitorous signal given to the Persians to sail round to Athens and take possession of the city in the absence of its defenders. Miltiades was equal to the occasion. By dint of the most strenuous exertions he and his troops reached Athens before the enemy could carry out his plan, and the fleet soon set sail for the Cyclades. Next day the Athenians went out again, to bury their dead comrades—192 in number—and erected a tumulus over them, which may still be seen, along with a separate mound for the Platæans, and one for the slaves who had served as unarmed or half-armed attendants. Ten columns were afterwards set up, bearing the names of the dead, according to their{138} several tribes, with a special monument to Miltiades; and Pausanias, who lived 600 years later, mentions having read the names. It would scarcely be possible to over-estimate the importance of the battle of Marathon in Greek history. It virtually saved the country from being overrun by oriental barbarism, and gave the world a signal proof for all time that the military strength of a people depends more on their animating spirit than on their numbers, and that it is possible for a comparatively small nation to preserve its independence if its citizens be united and resolute in devotion to the common cause. The event must have made an enormous impression, when even such an illustrious poet as Æschylus regarded it as the greatest honour of his life that he had fought at Marathon, and left directions that that fact, and no other, should be recorded on his tomb.

Ten years later the same peril reappeared in a still more threatening form, and again the men of Athens covered themselves with glory. It might have been expected that when Xerxes and his immense host approached the city they would have prepared for a siege. But the numbers of the enemy were so immense that, if they had remained within the walls, it would only have been a question of time when they would have had to surrender. In their distress they appealed to the Delphian oracle for advice, but the first response was of a most depressing nature. They were told to quit their “wheel-shaped city” and flee to the ends of the earth. A second appeal,{139} which they made in the form of suppliants, elicited the assurance that when everything else in the land of Cecrops was taken, Zeus would grant to Athena the preservation of a wooden wall to be a sure defence to the Athenians and their children. Under the astute guidance of Themistocles they came to the conclusion that it was their ships that were referred to. A few of them, however, mostly too old or too poor to have much prospect of a welcome elsewhere, put a different construction on the oracle, and took refuge in the Acropolis, strengthening its defences by the erection of wooden palisades. They succeeded in holding the fortress for a time, in spite of the arrows with burning tow attached which the Persians poured in upon them from their position on the Areopagus. The assailants found it impossible to force their way up against the great stones which were rolled down upon them from the western entrance, and it was not till they discovered a secret ascent on the north side of the rock that they got the better of the defenders by taking them unawares, and became masters of the fortress. A remorseless work of destruction then ensued, involving the temples and other buildings on the Acropolis in the same fate as had befallen, or was soon to befall, the best of the houses in the city, and its walls. It seemed to the Athenians a terrible calamity at the time, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise, for it led to the restoration of the city on a scale of grandeur unknown before, and made the Acropolis one of the wonders of the world. The naval operations, also, to{140} which they were obliged to have recourse, crowned as these were by the glorious victory at Salamis, opened their eyes to the possibility of a great naval empire, and led them to turn to account the advantages to be derived from their harbours at the Piræus, by not only equipping them with docks but also fortifying them and connecting them with Athens by means of the long walls, completed in the next generation by Pericles.

Most of the Athenians had taken refuge in the adjoining island of Salamis (the ancient home of Ajax), partly owing to an allusion to it in the second Delphian oracle. “Divine Salamis,” it was said, “would destroy many sons of women”; and this, Themistocles held, could only refer to a slaughter of the enemy. Although almost all the powers in southern Greece were acting in concert with Athens in resisting Xerxes, the Peloponnesians were disposed to fall back on their line of defence at the isthmus of Corinth; and it was with the greatest difficulty that Themistocles prevailed on them to take part in the engagement at Salamis. When it seemed that nothing else would serve his purpose he sent a secret message to Xerxes, as if he were turning traitor to his country, urging him to prevent the escape of the Greeks when he had them at his mercy. The ruse succeeded. During the night the Persians stationed ships at the two ends of the straits to prevent the egress of the Greeks, and also landed a body of men on the small island of Psyttaleia, at the south-eastern outlet, in case the enemy should{141}



THE SEAWARD END OF THE PLAIN OF ATTICA LOOKING TOWARDS SALAMIS The view is bounded to the left by the foot of the Acropolis, with part of Beulé’s gate; below, to the right of this, we overlook the whole of the ancient Assembly Place of the Athenian people (the Pnyx), with its retaining wall of colossal masonry below, and its scarped-rock boundary and bēma above. Farther away the famous olive groves, following the course of the Kephissus, stretch along the plain.

THE SEAWARD END OF THE PLAIN OF ATTICA LOOKING TOWARDS SALAMIS

The view is bounded to the left by the foot of the Acropolis, with part of Beulé’s gate; below, to the right of this, we overlook the whole of the ancient Assembly Place of the Athenian people (the Pnyx), with its retaining wall of colossal masonry below, and its scarped-rock boundary and bēma above. Farther away the famous olive groves, following the course of the Kephissus, stretch along the plain.

seek a refuge in what proved to be their own tomb. In the morning the two fleets confronted each other, the Greek vessels lying under the crescent-shaped coast of the island of Salamis, to the number of more than 300, while the Persian ships, about three times as numerous, took up their position along the Attic coast. Behind the latter their army was drawn up near the shore to enjoy a sight of the expected victory, while Xerxes himself, for the same purpose, occupied a rising ground, which is still known as Xerxes’ Seat, sitting on a silver-footed throne, which was captured by the enemy and afterwards exhibited on the Acropolis. On this occasion the courage was not all on the part of the Greeks, for they were very cautious for a while, and many of the Persians and their Phœnician and Ionic allies fought bravely. But partly owing to the want of concert among the invaders, and the unwieldiness of their immense fleet in the narrow waters, which soon led to confusion, and partly to the superior naval skill of the Greeks, the great king had the mortification of beholding the destruction of about 200 of his ships of war and the capture or flight of many more, while the Greeks escaped with the loss of forty ships. Xerxes was so completely unmanned by the unexpected defeat, and so afraid that the bridge over the Hellespont might be destroyed before he got across, that he immediately took his departure. But in quitting Europe he sent back his general Mardonius with 300,000 men to effect the conquest of Greece. Attica was again ravaged, and the destruction{142} of Athens was rendered still more complete. Tempting overtures were made to the Athenians by the Persian general for their submission, and great alarm was felt in Sparta and elsewhere lest these overtures should be accepted. But the Athenians did not for a moment entertain them. “Tell Mardonius,” was their memorable answer, “that as long as the sun shall continue in his present path, we will never contract alliance with Xerxes: we will encounter him in our own defence, putting our trust in the aid of those gods and heroes to whom he has shown no reverence, and whose houses and statues he has burned.” Their faith was soon justified by the victory of the allied forces at Platæa and the naval success which was achieved the same day at Mycale. All fears of Persian conquest were dispelled; and the Athenians returned from their temporary exile, to devote themselves to the restoration of their city with a spirit and an energy which betokened the great future in store for them.

Beyond Salamis, about twenty miles south from Piræus, lies the island of Ægina, one of the many interesting features in the view from the Acropolis. It was revered as the ancient seat of Æacus, the grandfather of Achilles and Ajax, who was accounted in his day to be the most pious of mankind. In historical times it was inhabited chiefly by a Dorian colony from Epidaurus. Up to the time of the Persian invasion Corinth was its only rival in Greece as a naval and commercial centre; but it played an ignoble part in complying with Darius’ demands for{143} earth and water when Athens and Sparta received the insulting message with such indignation as to put the Persian envoys to death. On the approach of Xerxes the Æginetans had endeavoured to redeem their character by joining in the preparations for resistance; and in the battle of Salamis they had taken such a distinguished part as to be awarded the first prize for valour, the second prize going to the Athenians. On that occasion two prizes were also given for the greatest skill and wisdom; and it illustrates the self-esteem and love of honour of which the Greeks seem to have had more than an ordinary share, that when the votes were examined it was found that each of the leaders had put down his own name for the first prize, and that of Themistocles for the second!

Pericles described Ægina as the “eyesore of the Piræus,” and the history of the relations between the two powers for many years after the battle of Salamis, as well as for a few years before it, amply justifies the observation. After many fierce struggles Ægina was reduced to subjection, its fleets confiscated, and its fortifications destroyed. On the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war the Athenians, in order to guard against the possibility of the island being used by the enemy, expelled its inhabitants, who found a refuge in Thyrea, which was placed at their disposal by the Spartans. Even there, however, they were not left in peace. For in the eighth year of the war the place was attacked and captured by the Athenians, and the inhabitants were taken to Athens, where they were put to death as{144} prisoners of war. According to Herodotus the sad reverses which thus befell the Æginetans were due to an impiety of which they had been guilty many years before. The solitary survivor of a band of conspirators had fled for refuge to the temple of Demeter and succeeded in laying hold of the handle of the door before he was overtaken. His pursuers did not dare to slay him while he was thus in contact with the sanctuary, but in order to sever his connection with it and deprive him of the protection of the goddess, they cut off his arm at the wrist and then killed him, leaving the hand still grasping the handle, where it long remained. With this we may compare the conduct of the Spartans when Pausanias, the commander at Platæa, was called to account for the treasonable designs into which, in his overweening pride, he had entered with Persia. He took refuge in the temple of Athena Chalciœcus, on learning that a confidential slave had betrayed him. The ephors immediately built up the doors and took off the roof, keeping watch over the refugee, and carrying him out at the last moment, that the sacred precinct might not be polluted by his death. Both cases are curious illustrations of the way in which men will try at times to evade their religious obligations without giving up their form of godliness. The divine anger in the case of the Spartans was only appeased by the dedication of two bronze statues to Athena in obedience to the Delphian oracle.

On the break-up of the Athenian empire, after the battle of Ægospotami, a remnant of the former Dorian{145}



THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA ON THE ISLAND OF ÆGINA The Temple, which is magnificently situated on the top of one of the hills near Mount Elias, in the southern part of the island, looks eastward towards Cape Colonna, over the blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. The coast seen above the sea is part of the west coast of Attica running down to Sunium. The drawing includes five out of the six columns of the east front of the Temple, and five out of the twelve columns of the north side, also two columns of the pronaos, together with the architraves. These columns are of limestone, still partly covered with their marble stucco.

THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA ON THE ISLAND OF ÆGINA

The Temple, which is magnificently situated on the top of one of the hills near Mount Elias, in the southern part of the island, looks eastward towards Cape Colonna, over the blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. The coast seen above the sea is part of the west coast of Attica running down to Sunium. The drawing includes five out of the six columns of the east front of the Temple, and five out of the twelve columns of the north side, also two columns of the pronaos, together with the architraves. These columns are of limestone, still partly covered with their marble stucco.

inhabitants of Ægina was brought back by the Spartans, and the Athenian settlers were expelled. But in spite of the occasional success of their naval strategy, by which they took the Piræus once or twice completely by surprise, the Æginetans never recovered any considerable degree of their former prosperity.

At the present day the chief attraction which Ægina has to offer to the traveller, over and above the pleasant sail from the Piræus, with its interesting points of view, is a Doric temple of the sixth century or even earlier, standing in solitary grandeur, on the summit of a hill which commands a beautiful view of the plain of Attica on the north and the Argolic peninsula on the west. It was once thought to be the temple of Zeus described by Pausanias, but latterly it has been identified as the temple of Athena mentioned by Herodotus. Within the last few years, however, a new theory has been put forth by Professor Fürtwangler, who holds it to be the temple of Aphæa mentioned by Pausanias, a goddess nearly related to Artemis as a protector of women. In any case the twenty columns still standing form an imposing monument, and are well worthy of a visit, though the sculptures on the pediments are no longer to be seen, having been purchased by the King of Bavaria and deposited in the museum at Munich.{146}

CHAPTER IX

ATHENS AND ITS GODDESS

AMONG the influences which contributed to the greatness and glory of Athens the worship of the goddess Athena must be assigned a principal place. In her fully developed character she represented the highest ideal of the Greek mind, and formed the noblest figure in the Greek pantheon. She may be described as the impersonation of wisdom, courage, and energy—equally powerful as the patron goddess of the arts of peace and of the exploits of war. The mythical account of her birth, which represented her as sprung from the head of Zeus after he had swallowed her mother Metis (“Counsel”), betokened her affinity with the highest faculties of the supreme Ruler; and in harmony with this is the etherial nature which was commonly ascribed to her by Homer and other early writers. Her home was supposed to be in the upper regions, the ether being regarded as her proper element. Hence the clearness and brightness which were commonly attributed to her, as well as the keen, rapid, energetic character by which she was also distinguished.{147}



VISTA OF THE NORTHERN PERISTYLE OF THE PARTHENON, LOOKING WESTWARD Out of the seventeen columns of the northern peristyle the remains of fourteen, more or less perfect, may be counted on the right. Six of them, which have stood unmoved for more than twenty-two centuries, are distinguished by their splendid colour, almost matching in this respect the second column of the west front, which is also visible. The remains of the north cella wall are seen to the left. The two drums of columns in shadow in the foreground reflect the pure blue of the early morning sky. Over their tops may be seen part of the Propylæa, and the mountains of Daphni and Megara.

VISTA OF THE NORTHERN PERISTYLE OF THE PARTHENON, LOOKING WESTWARD

Out of the seventeen columns of the northern peristyle the remains of fourteen, more or less perfect, may be counted on the right. Six of them, which have stood unmoved for more than twenty-two centuries, are distinguished by their splendid colour, almost matching in this respect the second column of the west front, which is also visible. The remains of the north cella wall are seen to the left. The two drums of columns in shadow in the foreground reflect the pure blue of the early morning sky. Over their tops may be seen part of the Propylæa, and the mountains of Daphni and Megara.

Athena appears to have been worshipped as a powerful and beneficent deity in many places, but it was at Athens that the more intellectual aspects of her nature were brought into the greatest prominence. How she came to be so closely associated with Athens as to give her name to the city (previously known as “Cecropia”) is a question that is not easily answered. According to the Attic mythology it was the result of a contest between her and Poseidon for local supremacy. In support of his claim Poseidon is said to have struck with his trident the rocky summit of the Acropolis, the result being that a salt-water spring appeared, from which there emerged a horse (supposed to be sacred to Poseidon from its resemblance to a rushing wave); and this gift the lord of the ocean set before the assembled jury of the gods as a token of the benefits which he had to confer. Athena then caused an olive-tree to spring up as the symbol of her beneficence, which secured from Zeus Polieus a judgment in her favour. Perhaps the story may have had its origin in the gradual retreat of the sea from the Attic plains; but there is evidently a reference in it to the comparative value of land and water interests, the former being represented by Athena, and the latter by Poseidon. In their early days the Athenians had no idea of the importance of the sea as the destined scene of their naval supremacy; and of all the products of their country the olive was no doubt the most indispensable to them. For its cultivation some knowledge was required, and perhaps also the nature of its oil, with which the lamps{148} were fed, may have helped to make the olive an appropriate emblem of the brilliant goddess. The whole history of Athens, from the rude beginnings of her civilisation till the age of her imperial glory, may be seen reflected, after a symbolic fashion, in the gradual transition of her worship from the wooden image of Athena Polias, which was said to have fallen from heaven, to the magnificent statue of gold and ivory which Pheidias made for the Parthenon; and one of the most interesting studies in art is to be found in tracing the successive stages through which the majestic virgin-goddess was evolved.

As already mentioned, the earliest temple of Athena was connected with the palace of Erechtheus. A little south of the present Erechtheum the foundations of a temple have been discovered, made of Acropolis rock, and corresponding in their length to the name Hecatompedon (“Hundred-Foot”), which was afterwards applied to a portion of the Parthenon. Traces have also been found of a peristyle, which Peisistratus is supposed to have erected, consisting of six columns at each end and ten at each side, made of Kara stone taken from the foot of Hymettus. Various fragments have been unearthed, and in the north-west wall of the Acropolis pieces of the architrave and cornice, with metopes of white Parian marble, are still to be seen, having been built into it by Cimon as a reminder of the destruction wrought by the Persians. Whether the ancient temple of Athena Polias (guardian of the City), which is mentioned in inscriptions and elsewhere, is to be identified{149}



THE WESTERN PORTICO OF THE PARTHENON FROM THE SOUTH The timber scaffolding, here shown, has been erected for the purpose of examining the condition of the architrave supporting the western frieze. The columns to the right are those of the inner row. The marvellous way in which the marble of the Parthenon takes colour is in no way exaggerated in this drawing. The second column of the northern peristyle (the column across which one of the beams of the scaffolding passes transversely) should be specially noticed. The time of day is towards noon.

THE WESTERN PORTICO OF THE PARTHENON FROM THE SOUTH

The timber scaffolding, here shown, has been erected for the purpose of examining the condition of the architrave supporting the western frieze. The columns to the right are those of the inner row. The marvellous way in which the marble of the Parthenon takes colour is in no way exaggerated in this drawing. The second column of the northern peristyle (the column across which one of the beams of the scaffolding passes transversely) should be specially noticed. The time of day is towards noon.

with this recently discovered building, or with the Erechtheum, which (in the form in which it was restored after the Persian invasion) still forms one of the chief ornaments of the Acropolis, is a question on which there is a considerable difference of opinion; but the weight of probability seems to be in favour of the latter supposition.

The age of Peisistratus was distinguished by wonderful advances both in art and literature, largely owing to the encouragement which he gave to sculptors, painters, architects, poets and dramatists, many of whom he brought from other parts of Greece and from Asia Minor. The capitals and drums of columns and the specimens of decorative sculpture which have come to light on the Acropolis, show what progress had been made in this direction since the beginning of the sixth century, when Athenian art was still in its infancy. One of the most interesting discoveries in this connection was that of a number of female figures in marble (in 1886) which were found buried in a grave on the Acropolis, the Athenians having, apparently, felt that this was the most reverent way to dispose of them, seeing they were so mutilated as to be no longer suitable as votive offerings. They bore the name of “Maidens,” and were probably the images of priestesses or other officials connected with the worship of Athena. Most of them are represented as wearing the Ionic chiton without brooches, the old Doric garment having been forbidden some time previously on account of the tragic use which had been made of their pins{150} by the Athenian women on the occasion referred to at p. 82. There are fourteen of these figures, called by the Germans “die Tanten,” and their importance in connection with the study of sixth-century art can hardly be overestimated. The effect of their varied colouring is particularly interesting.

It was part of the policy of Peisistratus to harmonise the different religious cults of the state, and for this purpose he erected temples to Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus and other deities. The temple of Zeus, in particular, seems to have been designed on a grand scale (though never completed), for some of the drums of its columns, discovered among the foundations of the temple afterwards erected by Hadrian on the same site beside the Ilissus, have a diameter of seven feet ten inches, which exceeds anything of the same period to be found in Greece. Peisistratus’ chief care, however, was bestowed upon the Acropolis, where he sought to invest the worship of Athena with such splendour and beauty as to maintain her ascendency. For this purpose he added greatly to the magnificence of the Pan-Athenaic games, which he almost raised to a Pan-Hellenic rank, and the celebration of which was chosen as the occasion for the opening of the Parthenon. The beautifully embroidered peplos, which was annually prepared as a covering for the wooden image of the goddess, formed the chief ornament in the great procession to the Acropolis, and the interest of the proceedings culminated in the solemn dedication of the gift. It is also significant that it was under Peisistratus{151}



THE ACROPOLIS AND THE TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS, FROM THE HILL ARDETTOS The boundary wall of the enclosure (temenos) of the Temple is very clearly marked. The clustered group of lofty columns is the remains of the south-east corner of the Temple itself. North-west of them is the Arch of Hadrian. The walls of the Acropolis make a splendid contrast to the rugged bosses of the rocks which support them. The Parthenon above is seen almost down to the stylobate, and masses finely from this point of view. The mountains are those of Daphni.

THE ACROPOLIS AND THE TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS, FROM THE HILL ARDETTOS

The boundary wall of the enclosure (temenos) of the Temple is very clearly marked. The clustered group of lofty columns is the remains of the south-east corner of the Temple itself. North-west of them is the Arch of Hadrian. The walls of the Acropolis make a splendid contrast to the rugged bosses of the rocks which support them. The Parthenon above is seen almost down to the stylobate, and masses finely from this point of view. The mountains are those of Daphni.

that coins were first struck with the head of Athena on one side, and on the other the likeness of an owl—an emblem which is still worn in their caps by the schoolboys of Greece, and in which there may be a reference to the supposed power of the owl to see in the dark, a power associated, in an intellectual sense, with glaukopis Athena. It was to the goddess that Peisistratus seems to have attributed his success in regaining power on his return to Athens after his temporary exile. In order to give the Athenians the impression that their guardian deity favoured his return, he is said to have got a tall and stately woman to assume the guise of Athena and sit by his side in the chariot which drew him up to the Acropolis, his partisans at the same time crying out that Athena bade the city welcome her protégé to the seat of authority. The supposed goddess was said to have been only a flower-seller, Phya by name, who afterwards married one of Peisistratus’ sons.

Before the Persians quitted Athens they reduced to ruins or to ashes the temples and most of the other buildings of any value, and many years were required for the work of restoration. Fully a generation passed before any of the three temples on the Acropolis which excite so much admiration—the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, and the Niké—were ready for dedication. This delay was partly owing to the more pressing need for attending to the renewal of the city walls and other fortifications, partly to the alteration which was made on Cimon’s plan for the erection of the Parthenon.{152} His name is associated not only with the massive wall on the southern side of the Acropolis but also with an enormous substructure intended to level up the sloping rock of the Acropolis and fill up the vacant space within the wall. This substructure was evidently intended to be the basis for a longer and narrower temple than the existing Parthenon, as it projects about fifteen feet at the east end, and bears traces of having had an addition of a few feet made to its breadth.

It was not till 447 B.C., when Pericles was at the height of his power, that the building of the temple was actually commenced; and it took about ten years to finish. Pericles had previously made an appeal to other Greek cities to unite with Athens in some such commemoration of their victory over the Persians, but the response was disappointing. Fortunately, however, other means were available, owing to many of the states allied with Athens in the Delian League commuting into money-payments the obligations they were under to contribute ships to the defensive navy of which Athens was the head. It was this Delian fund mainly which enabled Pericles to carry out his great project for glorifying the Acropolis as the throne of Athena and the rallying-point of Hellenic patriotism. Of all the architectural monuments of the Periclean age the Parthenon is by far the grandest, producing a wonderful impression of strength and dignity and grace. There is a charm in the subtle harmony of its proportions quite apart from the rich decoration of frieze and pediment. The perfect unity of plan which it{153}



THE PARTHENON FROM THE NORTH END OF THE EASTERN PORTICO OF THE PROPYLÆA (EVENING LIGHT) The local colour of the rocky surface of the Acropolis intensifies the long blue shadows. The effect of the golden-brown weathering of the surface of the marble on the west front of the Parthenon is faithfully given.

THE PARTHENON FROM THE NORTH END OF THE EASTERN PORTICO OF THE PROPYLÆA (EVENING LIGHT)

The local colour of the rocky surface of the Acropolis intensifies the long blue shadows. The effect of the golden-brown weathering of the surface of the marble on the west front of the Parthenon is faithfully given.

exhibits was no doubt due to the genius of Pheidias, assisted by the architectural skill of Ictinus and Callicrates, while the mechanical precision and careful finish in the execution prove the competency of the sculptors and masons who were employed under their supervision. It is surprising how much attention was paid to nice optical considerations, which must have been very difficult to calculate, though they enhance greatly the general effect. For example, there is scarcely a straight line in the whole edifice, quadrangular as it is. There is a slight convex curve on the line of the steps and of the substructure, and the same is the case with the architrave. There is a gentle swelling of the columns towards their centre, and the axes of the columns incline slightly inwards.

Nowhere, perhaps, is the fineness of the workmanship more apparent than in the joining of the drums composing each column, generally twelve in number, and rising to a height of thirty-four feet. They fit so closely and exactly that they almost look as if they had grown together. In this respect there is a marked difference between the columns which have never been disturbed and those which have been restored by the collection of fallen drums. The smoothing of the flat surfaces of the drum was mainly done in the quarry, the part near the centre being left rough and slightly hollow. There was a hole in the centre for a wooden plug, into which a cylindrical peg was inserted for the purpose of securing an exact correspondence in the position of the drums. The fluting—each column{154} has twenty flutes—was done after the drums were in position, with the exception of a beginning that was previously made on the stones intended for the top and bottom of the column.

Of the outer colonnade, comprising eight columns at each end, and fifteen others at each side, with an inner row of columns at each end, the greater number are still in position, though in some cases in a fragmentary form; the chief gaps are about the middle of the sides. There is hardly any trace of the sculptures on the pediments. Part of those which stood at the east end, representing the birth of Athena, are to be found in the British Museum. Those of the west gable, representing the contest between Athena and Poseidon, have entirely disappeared. Great part of the outer Doric frieze still remains, including forty-one of the original ninety-two metopes, on which were depicted various mythical battle scenes. The best remaining, both as regards workmanship and condition, are those on the south side, representing the struggles of the Lapiths and Centaurs. The inner frieze, running round the top of the temple walls, and surmounting the inner columns, represented the great Pan-Athenaic festival, including figures, in low relief, of knights and chariots, magistrates and maidens, priests and victims, and terminating in an assembly of the gods at the east end. The most of this frieze and fifteen of the metopes are preserved in the British Museum. They had been carried off by Lord Elgin at the beginning of the nineteenth century, with the consent of the{155}



MOUNT PENTELIKON AND LYCABETTOS FROM THE NORTH-EASTERN ANGLE OF THE PARTHENON (EARLY MORNING LIGHT) The drums of columns, and other fragments of the Parthenon lying in the foreground, make of themselves a very fine subject, irrespective of the delicate beauty of the distant outline of Pentelikon, which shows itself here with special appropriateness as the mountain from the sides of which the marble of the Parthenon was quarried.

MOUNT PENTELIKON AND LYCABETTOS FROM THE NORTH-EASTERN ANGLE OF THE PARTHENON (EARLY MORNING LIGHT)

The drums of columns, and other fragments of the Parthenon lying in the foreground, make of themselves a very fine subject, irrespective of the delicate beauty of the distant outline of Pentelikon, which shows itself here with special appropriateness as the mountain from the sides of which the marble of the Parthenon was quarried.

Turkish government, and were purchased from him at a cost of £35,000.

The almost total disappearance of the bright and varied colouring which enhanced the beauty of certain parts of the building, and the loss of so many of the wonderful sculptures, as well as the gaps in the walls and colonnade, detract greatly from the ancient glory of the building. But time has added a golden tinge to the Pentelic marble of which it is composed, and the whole exterior wears a rich and mellow aspect,—especially when seen under the light of the rising or the setting sun,—which affords some compensation for the damage sustained in other respects. Very beautiful, too, the temple seems in the light of a full moon, when the soft radiance lends an etherial look to it, standing as it does between heaven and earth, and harmonises well with the virgin purity which the very name Parthenon denotes.

The full length of the temple is about 230 feet, and its breadth about 100 feet. It consisted of a pronaos or foretemple, for the reception of votive offerings; the cella proper, forming the new hecatompedon, and divided into three long aisles by two rows of Doric columns; the parthenon, a name afterwards extended to the whole building, but originally applied to a chamber towards the west; and the opisthodomos, enclosed (like the pronaos) with high railings between the columns. The two last-mentioned chambers were used as treasuries, but in the middle aisle of the hecatompedon stood the most precious thing of all, namely the chryselephantine{156} image of the virgin-goddess, facing the doorway in the east, so as to catch the rays of the rising sun. The face, hands and feet were covered with ivory, the pupils of the eyes were of precious stone, while the rest of the image was embossed or inlaid with gold—amounting to upwards of forty talents (about £150,000)—which could be taken off when required. The statue was about thirty feet in height and stood on a pedestal about eight feet high, the position of which can easily be recognised from the setting of dark stone in the marble pavement. The line of the parapet in front is also quite distinct. Several descriptions of the statue have come down to us, and also some copies of it in miniature (especially the Varvakeion and Lenormant models, both found in Athens), which, however, give us a very inadequate conception of its beauty and grandeur. It was intended to be an embodiment of the energy, freedom and dignity characteristic of Athena as the representative of the genius of the young Athenian empire. She stood upright, resting her weight upon her right foot, having on her head a helmet with a triple crest, supported by a sphinx, and wearing on her shoulders and breast her scaly ægis with the Gorgon’s head in the centre. Her left hand held a spear, which she rested on the rim of her embossed shield. On the inner side of the shield appeared the sacred serpent, the symbol of Erichthonius, her adopted ward. In her extended right hand she held a beautiful winged Victory. So lavish was the artist of his skill and labour in the construction of the statue that even the soles of Athena’s{157}



THE PROPYLÆA FROM THE NORTHERN EDGE OF THE PLATFORM (STYLOBATE) OF THE PARTHENON The steps of the stylobate below run in perspective along the left-hand side of the drawing. Over the drums of the fallen columns of the Parthenon, which strew the ground to the right, we see the whole east side of the Propylæa; above it are the olive groves of the Kephissus and the mountains of Daphni, with a glimpse of the Bay of Salamis.

THE PROPYLÆA FROM THE NORTHERN EDGE OF THE PLATFORM (STYLOBATE) OF THE PARTHENON

The steps of the stylobate below run in perspective along the left-hand side of the drawing. Over the drums of the fallen columns of the Parthenon, which strew the ground to the right, we see the whole east side of the Propylæa; above it are the olive groves of the Kephissus and the mountains of Daphni, with a glimpse of the Bay of Salamis.

sandals were embellished with carving. On the front of the pedestal also there was a picture of the mythical creation of Pandora in the presence of twenty divinities. The statue expressed the Hellenic aspirations of Pheidias as an artist and of Pericles as a statesman; and, as if to commemorate their harmonious influence, the great sculptor covertly introduced into the relief on the outside of Athena’s shield his own portrait and that of his friend—the former in the guise of a bald-headed old man lifting up a stone with both hands, the latter as a warrior fighting with an Amazon, his face partially concealed by his raised hand holding a spear. On this account some of Pheidias’ enemies brought against him a charge of impiety, founded upon an old law which forbade the setting up in sacred places of the images of living men. They had previously tried to ruin him by accusing him of embezzling part of the gold entrusted to him, but the charge had been triumphantly refuted by the actual weighing of the gold on the image, which was found to correspond exactly to the amount assigned for this object. Unfortunately the charge of impiety could not be so easily refuted, and, in spite of Pericles’ advocacy, Pheidias was compelled to pay a heavy fine and was thrown into prison, from which he does not appear to have been ever set free.

No monument seems ever to have been erected in honour of Pheidias, but for more than 2000 years the Parthenon, which will always be associated with his memory, retained the beauty of its exterior unimpaired. On the official abolition of the Greek religion by the{158} Emperor Justinian in the end of the sixth century A.D. it was converted into the church of the “Virgin Mother of God,” which necessitated considerable changes on its interior to fit it for Christian worship. At a later time it was turned into a Turkish mosque, a minaret being added to it. In 1687 it was used as a powder magazine by the Turks, in their endeavours to hold the Acropolis against the Venetians under Morosini, who had already taken the city. This use of it became known to the besiegers, and by a well-directed shot a bomb was thrown into the magazine, causing a terrific explosion which blew out the roof and the two sides of the building—the combatants little realising what an irreparable loss had thus been inflicted on the interests of civilisation and art. Morosini would fain have carried off to Venice the chief figures on the west pediment, but, owing to the awkwardness of the workers employed, the precious sculptures fell to the ground and were broken to pieces.

There was on the Acropolis another colossal image of Athena—referred to by Demosthenes as “the great bronze Athena”—which had been set up as a memorial of Athenian valour in the Persian war from funds contributed by the rest of the Greeks. The base of its pedestal is still shown on the Acropolis between the Propylæa and the Erechtheum. Pausanias tells us that the gleaming crest of the helmet and tip of the spear could be seen by ships sailing from Cape Sunium to Athens. There is good reason for identifying this Athena Promachos (“Champion”), as it came to be called{159}



THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF THE ERECHTHEUM, WITH THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARLIER TEMPLE OF ATHENA POLIAS The Caryatid portico and south wall of the Erechtheum show very delicate opalescent colours, due chiefly to reflected light from the large slabs and drums of marble lying on the ground north of the Parthenon. The dark Caryatid is a terra-cotta substitute for the original, one of the greatest treasures of the British Museum. The sub-structures in the foreground are the foundations of the archaic Temple; to the right, in the background, Pentelikon, and, in front of it, Lycabettos brilliantly illuminated by the setting sun.

THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF THE ERECHTHEUM, WITH THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARLIER TEMPLE OF ATHENA POLIAS

The Caryatid portico and south wall of the Erechtheum show very delicate opalescent colours, due chiefly to reflected light from the large slabs and drums of marble lying on the ground north of the Parthenon. The dark Caryatid is a terra-cotta substitute for the original, one of the greatest treasures of the British Museum. The sub-structures in the foreground are the foundations of the archaic Temple; to the right, in the background, Pentelikon, and, in front of it, Lycabettos brilliantly illuminated by the setting sun.

in later times, with an image of Athena which was destroyed in a riot at Constantinople in 1203 A.D., and about which the Byzantine historian Nicetas gives us the following particulars: “It was of bronze, thirty feet high. The goddess was portrayed standing upright, clad in a tunic which reached to her feet, and was drawn in by a girdle at the waist. On her breast was a tight-fitting ægis with the Gorgon’s head. On her head she wore a helmet with a nodding plume of horse-hair. Her tresses were plaited and fastened at the back of her head, but some locks strayed over her brow from beneath the rim of the helmet. With her left hand she lifted the folds of her garment; her right hand was stretched out in front of her, and her face was turned in the same direction, as if she were beckoning to some one. There was a sweet look, as of love and longing, in the eyes, and the lips seemed as if about to part in honeyed speech. The ignorant and superstitious mob smashed the statue because, after the first siege and capture of Constantinople by the Crusaders, they fancied that the outstretched hand of the statue had summoned the host of the invaders from out of the West.”[5]

There was on the Acropolis a third image of the goddess by the great artist—known as the “Lemnian Athena”—in which she was represented in a mild and peaceful aspect. Pausanias speaks of it as the best worth seeing of the works of Pheidias; and with this harmonises a reference to it in one of the Dialogues of{160} Lucian, who is the only other ancient writer that mentions it. Referring to a proposal that a perfect type of feminine beauty should be formed by combining the best features of the most famous statues, the Lemnian statue is mentioned as one that might supply the outline of the face with soft cheeks and shapely nose. Unfortunately no authentic copies of it have yet been discovered. Pausanias also mentions a statue dedicated to Athena Hygieia (“Health”) on the Acropolis, and Plutarch tells a story of its having been set up by Pericles in gratitude for a revelation made to him by the goddess in a dream regarding a medicinal herb which would cure a favourite slave of his, who had been injured by a fall while engaged in building operations. According to Pliny, the herb was known ever afterwards by the name of parthenium, but he connects the story with a statue of a slave. Another aspect in which Athena was worshipped was as Ergané the goddess of arts and industries; and no less than five inscriptions have been found on the Acropolis in honour of Athena under this title. Homer represents her as weaving her own robe, and according to Pindar the ship Argo was built under her direction. Close to the Lemnian image there stood a statue of Pericles, the chief maker of imperial Athens. It faced the Propylæa and was much admired, being regarded as a proof how “art can add to the nobility of noble men.”

The two other temples which still adorn the Acropolis are of the Ionic order. They are much smaller and less imposing than the Parthenon, but{161}



THE CARYATID PORTICO OF THE ERECHTHEUM FROM THE WEST On the extreme right show two columns of the north-east angle of the Parthenon; in the distance is Mount Hymettos.

THE CARYATID PORTICO OF THE ERECHTHEUM FROM THE WEST

On the extreme right show two columns of the north-east angle of the Parthenon; in the distance is Mount Hymettos.

in some respects they may be regarded as even more beautiful. With regard to the Erechtheum, whatever may have been the case before the destruction of the sacred buildings by the Persians, it was the temple which now bears this name that was subsequently recognised by the state as the official place of worship, in which were preserved the ancient wooden image of Athena Polias (carefully removed to Salamis on the approach of the Persians) and the golden lamp which was never allowed to go out. Its erection a few years after the dedication of the Parthenon was probably due to the conservative tendencies in the state, of which Nicias was the exponent, in opposition to the bolder and more progressive policy of Pericles. There seems to have been considerable delay in the process of building, owing to the Peloponnesian war, and it was not till 408 B.C. that the work was complete. Nothing could be more exquisitely beautiful than the Ionic columns of the porch at the eastern end, and the Caryatidæ, or “Maidens,” supporting the architrave of the portico on the southern side. Originally there were six of the former, but one of them was removed by Lord Elgin, and is now in the British Museum. The same fate befell one of the Caryatidæ, which has been replaced with a terra-cotta cast, while another bears the marks of modern reconstruction. On the northern side of the temple, projecting a little beyond the west end, and at a considerably lower level than the parts already mentioned (the difference of height amounting to nine feet), there is a beautiful entrance, with four columns{162} in front and one on either side. The doorway is regarded as the finest thing of the kind in existence. It leads into the Erechtheum proper. As already indicated, Erechtheus is one of the oldest names in Attic mythology. According to Hesiod, his daughter Creüsa married Xuthus, son of Hellen and brother of Æolus and Dorus, the heads of the Æolian and Dorian branches of the Hellenic race; and, through his grandsons, Achæus and Ion, Erechtheus became the progenitor of the Achæans and Ionians. Homer again tells us that Erechtheus was worshipped in the temple of Athena (Il. ii. 549-551), and we learn from Pausanias that sacrifices were offered to him on the altar of Poseidon, by command of the oracle. The peculiar construction of the temple was doubtless due to the fact that it was intended for the accommodation of more than one deity. Under the lower chambers were shown (as they still are!) the marks of Poseidon’s trident and the sea-spring (now a great covered cistern) through which the noise of the waves could be heard when the wind was blowing from the south.

Immediately to the west of the temple was the Pandroseum, a precinct sacred to Pandrosus, one of the daughters of Cecrops, who obeyed the injunction of Athena when her two sisters gratified their curiosity by opening the box entrusted to them, the result being that they went mad when they saw disclosed the serpent-like Erichthonius whom Athena had taken under her charge. Somewhere in this neighbourhood was the Cecropium, probably a shrine over the tomb of Cecrops, and{163}



THE NORTHERN PORTICO OF THE ERECHTHEUM Four out of the six pillars of the portico appear in this drawing, which includes not only the great doorway so famous for its beauty and for the interesting problems it has given rise to, but also the small doorway leading to the Pandroseion. The rough masonry behind the two right-hand columns is the great wall below the site of the archaic temple of Athena Polias. To the right of the drawing we have the east portico and part of the north wing of the Propylæa.

THE NORTHERN PORTICO OF THE ERECHTHEUM

Four out of the six pillars of the portico appear in this drawing, which includes not only the great doorway so famous for its beauty and for the interesting problems it has given rise to, but also the small doorway leading to the Pandroseion. The rough masonry behind the two right-hand columns is the great wall below the site of the archaic temple of Athena Polias. To the right of the drawing we have the east portico and part of the north wing of the Propylæa.

here also may have been the den of the serpent which appears coiled beside Athena’s shield. Within the Pandroseum there grew the sacred olive-tree, of which we are told by Herodotus that, having been burnt down when the Persians devastated the Acropolis, it put forth a fresh shoot of a cubit’s length within two days—a presage of the speedy recovery of Athens from her crushing adversity. Under the olive-tree was the altar of Zeus Herkëus, which was, perhaps, originally included in the court of the palace of Erechtheus. At no great distance may also be seen the rocky elevation (a few feet in height) which is supposed to have been the primitive altar on which sacrifices were first offered to Athena. Like the Parthenon, the Erechtheum has passed through strange vicissitudes, having been at one time used as a Christian church and at another time as the residence for the wives of a Turkish governor of Athens—considerable alterations being made upon it in both cases.

The temple of Niké Apteros (“wingless victory”) stands on the edge of the Acropolis to the south of the Propylæa. The term “wingless” has reference to the fact that Victory was generally represented as a winged woman, and Pausanias explains the want of wings on the statue of the goddess in this temple as expressing the faith of the Athenians that Victory would never desert their city. A more natural explanation is to be found in the fact that Victory is here represented under the guise of Athena, who was never depicted as having wings. The temple seems to have{164} been erected some years before the Erechtheum, and about the same time as the Propylæa and the Parthenon. Its history is in some respects even more remarkable than that of either of the other temples. It was demolished by the Turks in 1687 in order to afford materials for the construction of a bastion. In 1835, after the Greeks had regained their independence, the bastion was taken down, the result being that nearly all the fragments of marble were recovered and the temple restored very much in its original form. When it is closely examined the joints and patches betray its second-hand character (as do also some terra-cotta figures in the frieze, the originals having been removed some time before the restoration to the British Museum), but when it is seen from a little distance it presents a charming appearance. It is a very small temple, consisting of a cella sixteen feet long, with four Ionic columns in front and rear. Each of the column-shafts is made out of a single block of Pentelic marble, and has twenty-four flutes. There is a beautiful frieze with sculptures in high relief. On the eastern front is a representation of various divinities, while the subjects depicted on the three other sides are appropriate to the views seen in the several directions. The northern side looks towards Marathon, the southern towards Salamis, and on both these sides we see a representation of battles between Greeks and Persians; but on the western side, which looks towards Cithæron, there is a picture of a conflict between Greeks and Greeks, the Thebans having allied themselves with the{165}



THE EASTERN PORTICO OF THE ERECHTHEUM, VIEWED FROM THE NORTHERN PERISTYLE OF THE PARTHENON The column to the right, with its strong golden-brown local colour, warmed by the full morning summer sun, is the third column counting from the north-east corner of the Parthenon. The blocks of marble which conceal the lower part of the column form part of the pronaos wall. The east portico of the Erechtheum is seen below to the left; behind are the mountains of Daphni.

THE EASTERN PORTICO OF THE ERECHTHEUM, VIEWED FROM THE NORTHERN PERISTYLE OF THE PARTHENON

The column to the right, with its strong golden-brown local colour, warmed by the full morning summer sun, is the third column counting from the north-east corner of the Parthenon. The blocks of marble which conceal the lower part of the column form part of the pronaos wall. The east portico of the Erechtheum is seen below to the left; behind are the mountains of Daphni.

Persians at the battle of Platæa. Round three sides of the temple there was a parapet, breast-high, made of upright marble slabs, some of which have been recovered from the débris. They are adorned with female figures representing Winged Victories, which display wonderful freedom and ease in execution, especially as regards the drapery. There is a beautiful view from the Niké, looking west and south, which has been finely described by Byron in “The Corsair”:—

Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be run,
Along Morea’s hills the setting sun:
Not, as in Northern climes, obscurely bright,
But one unclouded blaze of living light!
O’er the hush’d deep the yellow beam he throws
Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it glows.
On old Ægina’s rock and Idra’s isle,
The god of gladness sheds his parting smile;
O’er his own regions lingering, loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast the mountain shadows kiss
Thy glorious gulf, unconquer’d Salamis!
Their azure arches through the long expanse
More deeply purpled meet his mellowing glance,
And tenderest tints, along their summits driven,
Mark his gay course, and own the hues of heaven;
Till, darkly shaded from the land and deep,
Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.

In keeping with the splendour of the temples on the summit of the Acropolis was the Propylæa, or great entrance, already mentioned. The magnificent marble staircase, 72 feet wide, which now leads up to it, was of later construction, under the Romans. But{166} the porticoes of Pentelic marble at the top, with their rows of Doric and Ionic columns, supporting a marble roof, adorned with golden stars, and the adjoining chambers, one of which was used as a picture-gallery (pinacotheca), were built in the time of Pericles at a cost of more than £400,000, and were justly regarded as one of the chief glories of Athens, as their ruins still are of the modern city.

Within a few hundred yards of the Acropolis lies the small rocky hill called Areopagus. Although associated with the God of War in name and story, it was also the traditional scene of one of Athena’s greatest triumphs, when she held the scales of justice so wisely between the grief-stricken matricide Orestes and the avenging Erinyes or Furies who had dogged his steps all the way from Argos to Delphi and from Delphi to Athens. In the rocky cleft at the side of the hill was the awful shrine in which the relentless pursuers, otherwise called the Eumenides (“Gracious Ones”), found their quietus—the Areopagus becoming thenceforward the authorised tribunal for the trial of all cases of homicide, and superseding the savage law of blood-feud. It was on this same Mars’ Hill that the apostle of a higher faith pled with the Athenians for the recognition of the risen Christ, whom he proclaimed as the appointed representative of the “Unknown God,” whose altar he had observed in the adjacent market-place.{167}

CHAPTER X

ATHENS AND ELEUSIS

FROM Athens to Eleusis is a journey of about twelve miles by a road which follows very much the line of the Sacred Way, along which the great procession went for the celebration of the Mysteries. The starting-point was close to the Dipylon Gate, of which there are still sufficient remains to enable us to understand its structure. It was the most strongly fortified point in the city wall, being the part most exposed to attack; and it was there that the city was taken by the Roman general Sulla, who had recourse to the erection of a mound in the neighbourhood. The gate was a double one, as its name implies, not merely in the sense of being a divided gate with a pillar in the centre, but as a combination of two separate gates with a walled court between them, so that an enemy who forced his way through the outer gate would find himself (as Philip V. of Macedonia once did) exposed to attack not only in front but also from the sides, and would be glad to make good his retreat from such an untenable position.

For miles from this point the Sacred Way was lined{168} with tombs, especially in the immediate neighbourhood of the gate. A number of the ancient tombstones are still standing in their original place, but many have sunk out of sight, and not a few were used as materials for fortification after the Persian war, and again after the battle of Chæronea. Indeed, some of them are still to be seen built into portions of the wall. It was outside the Dipylon that the bones of those who had died in battle were interred. One of the most sacred obligations of a Greek army after an engagement was to recover the bodies of its dead, and whenever a truce for this purpose was asked by the defeated side it could not be refused without a breach both of honour and of religion. At the interment it was customary for a funeral oration to be delivered in praise of those who had given their lives for their country. On one of these occasions, as Thucydides tells us, when Pericles was the speaker, he gave such a noble address that the women mourners in their gratitude and enthusiasm crowned him with wreaths, as if he had been a conqueror.[6] Funeral honours paid to the brave dead were not a mere expression of sentiment, for provision was at the same time made out of the public funds for the support of their children till they came of age.

The existing tombstones, as a rule, depict scenes illustrative of the life of the departed, or else they{169}



THE DIPYLON (GATE) AT ATHENS The central block of the outer side of the gate is in the foreground; in front of it the marble base of a statue with a low bench, also in marble. In the distance is seen the Acropolis, with the Propylæa at the right hand.

THE DIPYLON (GATE) AT ATHENS

The central block of the outer side of the gate is in the foreground; in front of it the marble base of a statue with a low bench, also in marble. In the distance is seen the Acropolis, with the Propylæa at the right hand.

represent in a simple and impressive way the last farewell, by the mutual clasp of the hands, or by figuring the deceased as in the act of going on a journey. It was different, however, with the earthenware vases, called lecythi, which were placed within the tomb, for they had usually depicted on them a funeral scene of some kind, either borrowed from real life or having reference to the unseen world, Charon and his boat being frequently introduced in this connection. In some few cases the dead man is represented as partaking of a banquet, suggesting the idea that he still survived to claim the ministrations of his friends as a hero or demi-god. There was one form of large, two-handled vase in particular, generally of marble, which when deposited on a tomb indicated that the person interred there had died unmarried. As its name, loutrophoros, signifies, it was the jar used for carrying water from the spring Callirhoe for the bridal bath, and its presence on the tomb symbolised the belief that a marriage with Hades (Pluto) awaited those who had died in their virginity.

The ground, both inside and outside of the Dipylon Gate, was called Cerameicus (“Inner” and “Outer”), its name being derived from the fine red clay which for two or three thousand years has yielded material for one of the chief branches of industrial art in Athens. The Dipylon vase was well-known as early as the eighth or seventh century B.C. Its style of decoration was geometrical, with varieties of the “key pattern.” The men and horses depicted on it are conventional{170} and angular; and from an artistic point of view it is inferior to the earlier style. Towards the end of the seventh century it gave way to the “Phalerum” vase, which was smaller and more delicate, with some oriental features, borrowed apparently from the woven fabrics of the east. In the sixth century Attic pottery underwent great improvements, both as regards the preparation of the clay and the decoration of its surface. It became famous all over the western world, and thousands of specimens have been found in the cemeteries of Etruria, as well as in the Cerameicus and elsewhere. Instead of the figuring being in black on the red ground, the terra-cotta began to be reserved for the figures, which were thus rendered much more attractive. Though so largely used for funeral purposes the fact that so many vases have been found on the Acropolis among the ruins left by the Persian invasion shows that that was not their only use—otherwise they would not have been suitable for dedication to the gods. Many of them seem to have been placed on the grave-mound, or near it, as useful and ornamental articles, which might supply the wants of the departed. The lecythi, which, as already mentioned, were specially intended for funeral purposes, were generally decorated with black silhouette figures on a fine white ground. Some of the vases placed on tombs had no bottom, so that when a libation was poured into them it sank into the grave.

From an early period there was a tendency to extravagance in connection with funerals. In Solon’s time it{171} seems to have been excessive demonstrations of grief that needed to be restrained; but before long a law was passed that “no tomb should be built with more elaboration than could be effected by ten men in three days.” In the beginning of the fourth century Demetrius of Phalerum, who was then in power at Athens, forbade the erection of anything more than a mound of earth with a column not exceeding three cubits high, or a simple slab, or a water-vessel. We can judge of the extravagance which occasioned such regulations from the fact that Harpalus, to whose care Alexander the Great confided his treasures before invading India, had recently erected a tomb on the Eleusinian way in memory of his wife Pythionice, who was originally a slave, at an expense of more than £6000, which, Pausanias tells us, was the tomb best worth seeing in Greece. The same man built a still grander memorial to his wife at Babylon, at a cost of about £36,000. Even this was a trifle, however, compared with the two or three millions of pounds expended by Alexander himself on the funeral obsequies of his friend Hephæstion, shortly before his own death—which was brought on by the fierce intemperance in which he sought to drown his grief. A more precious tribute of affection was paid to the remains of the statesman Phocion by his widow. As the Athenians in a frenzy of excitement had found him guilty of treason, he could not be buried in his own country, and his body was therefore carried into the adjoining territory of Megara and burned there. His wife brought back the bones in her bosom by night, and{172} laid them near her own hearth, with the prayer: “Beloved Hestia” (the Goddess of the Hearth), “I confide to thee these relics of a good man. Restore them to his own family vault, as soon as the Athenians shall come to their senses.” Before long the prayer was fulfilled, for the Athenians ordained a public funeral in honour of the condemned man, and erected a statue to his memory.

Besides the road westward to Eleusis, there were two other ways from the Dipylon Gate, the one leading in a north-westerly direction to the Academy, the other south-west to the Piræus. On the latter road were the tombs of some famous men, including Socrates, Euripides, and Menander, but the way to the Academy was the favourite place for monuments in honour of those who had fallen in war or had otherwise distinguished themselves in the service of their country. Cicero, who, like so many of his countrymen, studied at Athens, speaks with admiration of these monuments; and we can imagine that a walk in the neighbourhood must have been as interesting and inspiring to an Athenian as a visit to Westminster or St. Paul’s is to a modern Briton. Many of the monuments were in honour of large bodies of men who had lost their lives in battle; but, as Pausanias tells, there were also to be seen the tombs of great statesmen like Solon, Cleisthenes, and Pericles; great warriors like Chabrias, Phormio, and Conon; great benefactors like Thrasybulus and Lycurgus; and great philosophers like Zeno and Plato.{173}



THE STREET OF TOMBS OUTSIDE THE DIPYLON (GATE) AT ATHENS One of the most remarkable tombs is that surmounted by a colossal bull in the act of charging. This statue has undergone a good deal of restoration, but it is a singularly effective piece of work when seen relieved against the sky in such a climate as that of Athens. Between this tomb and the tall shaft (stelé) surmounted by an acroterion we get a view of the Parthenon, with a storm approaching from the East.

THE STREET OF TOMBS OUTSIDE THE DIPYLON (GATE) AT ATHENS

One of the most remarkable tombs is that surmounted by a colossal bull in the act of charging. This statue has undergone a good deal of restoration, but it is a singularly effective piece of work when seen relieved against the sky in such a climate as that of Athens. Between this tomb and the tall shaft (stelé) surmounted by an acroterion we get a view of the Parthenon, with a storm approaching from the East.

The Academy was about three-quarters of a mile from the gate. No remains of the ancient buildings have been found, but there are still trees to remind us of—

the olive grove of Academe
Plato’s retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbl’d notes the summer long.

Its name had originally no flavour of learning, being derived from an early owner, Academus, whose greatness was of a vague and mythical character. The place was of considerable extent. It was first enclosed by Hipparchus, the son of Peisistratus, and was afterwards planted and laid out by Cimon. It was famous for its great plane-trees, and Aristophanes speaks of “the plane-tree whispering to the elm.” But there were twelve ancient olive-trees which were still more highly prized. They were called Moriai, in allusion to some legend connected with them, and were believed to be offshoots from the sacred olive in the Acropolis. It was at one time a capital offence to injure these olive-trees in any way; and the oil derived from them was preserved in the Acropolis, and jars of it given to the victors in the Pan-Athenaic games. In the neighbourhood there was an altar of Prometheus—that much-enduring Titan, who suffered for his sin in stealing fire from heaven for the material welfare of the human race. This altar, with its sacred fire, was the starting-point for one of the most famous contests in the Athenian games, namely, the torch race. It was a race that was sometimes run by individual competitors,{174} sometimes by companies. In the former case the prize was won by the man who first reached the goal with his torch still burning. When it was a contest of parties, the object was to pass the lighted torch from one member of the party to another, till at length it reached the man stationed farthest ahead, who carried it forward to the goal, the prize being awarded not to the individual who came in first but to the company to which he belonged. No doubt it is this form of the game that has given rise to the popular metaphor about handing on the torch of truth. Funeral games were also held in the Academy in honour of the soldiers buried in the neighbourhood, and there was a sacrificial pit, at which worship was offered to them as heroes. There was also a gymnasium, and so much open ground that a cavalry parade was occasionally held in it. Plato dedicated a shrine to the Muses in it, and it was his favourite haunt for about forty years, though he was advised to quit it on account of its low and unhealthy situation; it also continued to be the headquarters of his school for several generations. He was buried in it, or very near it, by the Athenians with great pomp, and the following was said to be his epitaph: “Apollo created the two—Asclepios and Plato: Asclepios, that he might save the body; Plato, that he might save the soul.”

A few hundred yards off, rather more to the east, lies Colonus, a knoll some fifty feet high. There is little about it to remind one of the description of it{175}



ATHENS FROM THE ROAD TO ELEUSIS The hills running across the middle distance are a portion of the chain which divides the Attic plain into its two main parts. To the left we have the picturesque outline of Lycabettos, then the rolling hills above the Ilissus, next the rectangular form of the Acropolis, and to the right the Museion or Philopappus Hill. Behind this chain of hills and rocky eminences arises the great mass of Mount Hymettos.

ATHENS FROM THE ROAD TO ELEUSIS

The hills running across the middle distance are a portion of the chain which divides the Attic plain into its two main parts. To the left we have the picturesque outline of Lycabettos, then the rolling hills above the Ilissus, next the rectangular form of the Acropolis, and to the right the Museion or Philopappus Hill. Behind this chain of hills and rocky eminences arises the great mass of Mount Hymettos.

given by Sophocles, which has been thus translated by Prof. Lewis Campbell—

Gleaming Colonus, where the nightingale
In cool, green covert warbleth ever clear,
True to the deep-flushed ivy and the dear
Divine, impenetrable shade,
From wildered boughs and myriad fruitage made,
Sunless at noon, stormless in every gale.

But you have only to go a short distance to the west and you will find the olive woods, rich in all their ancient charms. For the Greek scholar Colonus will always have a strong attraction as the birthplace of Sophocles, and as the scene of his Œdipus Coloneus; but the ordinary traveller will perhaps find his best reward for the excursion in the very beautiful view which it affords of Athens and the Acropolis.

Soon after leaving the Dipylon Gate, on the way to Eleusis, the road passes through the olive grove already mentioned, which borders the course of the Cephisus for several miles, though the bed of the river is often dry owing to the water being diverted from its course for purposes of irrigation. It was at this point that a strange play of abusive wit usually took place between the returning celebrants of the Mysteries as they crossed the bridge, and the crowd of spectators. A little farther on the spot is passed where Demeter is said to have presented Phytalus with the first fig-tree. About midway between Athens and Eleusis, at the top of the pass over Mt. Ægaleos, from which you have a charming view of the city as you look back,{176} there is a deserted monastery dating from the thirteenth century, the work of one of the Burgundian Dukes of Athens. It is built on the site of an ancient temple of Apollo, and has inherited the name of Daphni, Apollo’s favourite, while its walls are also enriched with marbles from the ancient edifice, though it was deprived of three fine Ionic columns, which were transferred by Lord Elgin to the British Museum. About a mile farther, where a stone has been discovered bearing the letters Ζ ex asteos (i.e. Seven miles from the City), there are some scanty remains of a temple of Aphrodité, and behind it a rocky wall with niches for votive offerings, some of which have been recovered, especially doves in marble and bronze. It is about this point that the bay of Eleusis comes into view, looking like a lake, with Salamis, of glorious memory, enclosing it on the south-west. A mile or two farther on there are salt springs quite close to the road, called Rhiti, whose waters have been dammed up so as to form pools in which there is said to be good fishing, once the exclusive property of the priests of Demeter. The Thriasian plain is now seen on the right, and by and by Eleusis itself is reached, an unattractive and unhealthy village with about 1200 (Albanian) inhabitants, which would have no interest for the visitor except as the birthplace of Æschylus, if it were not for the sacred and venerable ruins on the adjoining hill.

It is a remark of Pausanias that “there is nothing on which the blessing of God rests in so full a measure{177}



CONVENT OF DAPHNI First mentioned in 1263, the site anciently occupied by a temple of Apollo.

CONVENT OF DAPHNI

First mentioned in 1263, the site anciently occupied by a temple of Apollo.

as the rites of Eleusis and the Olympian games.” These two institutions may be said to have been in some respects the counterpart of one another, the one being the celebration of what is commonly called life, the other of what is known as death; the one sacred to the god who rules in heaven, the other to the infernal or Chthonian deities.

Of the myth on which the Eleusinian rites were based the earliest account is to be found in what is called the Homeric hymn to Demeter, though it is known to be the work of a later writer. According to this tale, Cora, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (“Earth-Mother”)—otherwise called Persephone or Proserpine—was carried off by Hades while she was playing with her companions in a flowery meadow. Her mother sought her for nine days and nights with the aid of torches, but without success. Overcome with grief and deeply offended that Zeus should have permitted such an outrage, she withdrew from the society of the gods of Olympus. In her wanderings she came, in the guise of an old woman, to Eleusis, where she was kindly received by the ruler Celeus and his family. For a time she acted as nurse to his infant son Demophoon, and would have conferred upon him immortality, had not his mother, Metaneira, been terrified one night to see her plunging him in fire, as she was in the habit of doing to purify him from the elements of corruption. The goddess, incensed at the mother’s interference, revealed her divine rank, and commanded the family to build a temple for her on{178} the hill, which they did; and there she dwelt for a year, during which the earth was visited with barrenness. At length Zeus consented to restore Cora to her mother, on condition that she should return to Hades every year and remain with her husband in the underworld for four months while the seed was in the ground. Before leaving Eleusis, Demeter revealed to Celeus and three others, in whose families they were to remain, the secret rites which she wished to be celebrated every year in her temple.

According to a later addition to the tale, the goddess also taught Triptolemus how to grow corn, an art which had hitherto been unknown among men, and was first practised in the Thriasian plain. This version was current among the Athenians, who, although not mentioned in the hymn, ultimately assumed the chief responsibility for the celebration of the rites, and introduced various modifications, in which Dionysus and Iacchus had a prominent place. For hundreds of years before, the “Mysteries” were entirely in the hands of the people of Eleusis, which was then as independent of Athens on the east as it was of Megara on the west.

The rites were of a mystical nature, and consisted largely of a dramatic representation of the myth above referred to. They grew in popularity and importance as faith in the traditional theology declined; and even the philosopher found in them an aid to natural religion. So great, indeed, was the importance attached to them that, at a later time, the Christian apologists (to whom we are chiefly indebted for information{179}



SACRED WAY FROM ATHENS TO ELEUSIS LOOKING TOWARDS SALAMIS On the right are the remains of a temple of Aphrodité. The Island of Salamis is on the left—middle distance—looking over the Bay of Eleusis.

SACRED WAY FROM ATHENS TO ELEUSIS LOOKING TOWARDS SALAMIS

On the right are the remains of a temple of Aphrodité. The Island of Salamis is on the left—middle distance—looking over the Bay of Eleusis.

regarding them) felt it necessary to combat the idea that they embodied the essential truths of Christianity.

After Eleusis was incorporated with Attica the Mysteries were celebrated with a pomp and splendour unknown in any other religious service in the Hellenic world—music, painting, sculpture, architecture, and dancing being all laid under tribute for the purpose of rendering them attractive and imposing. To heighten the expectations and deepen the impressions of the worshippers there was a preliminary initiation into the Lesser Mysteries in February at Agræ, a suburb of Athens, before the chief celebration in autumn at Eleusis; and a year had to elapse after participation in the latter before one could be admitted to full communion. On the first day there was a great assembly at Athens; next day they bathed in the sea; the third day they offered sacrifice; the fourth day they marched in procession along the Sacred Way to Eleusis, which they reached at sunset. During the night they wandered about the shore with torches, looking for the lost Persephone. At length they were admitted in a state of excitement, intensified by their long fast, into a brilliantly lighted hall called the Telesterium, which has been recently excavated. In this hall the strange events which had for some days absorbed their attention were dramatically exhibited before them on two nights, amid profound silence, the divinities concerned being personally represented in appropriate costume. Certain sacred relics which Demeter had shown to the daughters of Celeus were{180} produced, to be handled and kissed by the worshippers, who repeated the solemn formula of initiation. Everything was fitted to awaken feelings of reverence and awe, and the whole celebration seems to have held a similar place in the religion of the Greeks to what the Mass has among Roman Catholics, the Communion among Protestants, and the Easter Eve ceremonial among the members of the Greek Church. While the sorrows of bereavement, the pangs of inevitable death, and the mysterious gloom of the underworld could hardly fail to be impressed on the minds of the celebrants, the return of Persephone to her mother in spring seems to have inspired a hope of immortality, for we are told that the culminating point in the service in the Telesterium was the mowing down of a ripe ear of corn. It requires no stretch of imagination to believe that it conveyed to the devout worshipper something of the thought which Jesus Christ expressed on the eve of His death to certain Greeks who came desiring to see Him, when He said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” The same thought is echoed by St. Paul in writing to the Corinthians on the subject of the Resurrection, when he says, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.” This view of the Mysteries is confirmed by the statement made by Cicero, who had himself been initiated, that they taught men “not only to live happily but also to die with a fairer hope.”

Like all symbolic rites, however, they depended for{181}



THE GREAT TEMPLE OF THE MYSTERIES, ELEUSIS. LOOKING NORTH-EAST On the left, in the immediate foreground, is part of the early girdle wall of the sacred precincts, above which is the edge of the Acropolis rock, with a chapel of the Panagia, and belfry above. To the right are bases of votive offerings. In the distance are the mountains of Attica.

THE GREAT TEMPLE OF THE MYSTERIES, ELEUSIS. LOOKING NORTH-EAST

On the left, in the immediate foreground, is part of the early girdle wall of the sacred precincts, above which is the edge of the Acropolis rock, with a chapel of the Panagia, and belfry above. To the right are bases of votive offerings. In the distance are the mountains of Attica.

their efficacy on the susceptibilities of the worshipper. Plutarch says that it required a philosophical training and a religious frame of mind to comprehend them, and Galen maintained that “the study of Nature, if prosecuted with the concentrated attention given to the Mysteries, is even more fitted than they are to reveal the power and wisdom of God, as these truths are less clearly expressed in the Mysteries than in Nature.”

There is no evidence that metempsychosis or transmigration of souls had any place in the rites, and they appear to have been free from the grossness of the Orphic and Phrygian Mysteries, as well as from the superstition associated with Pythagoreanism. It has been suggested that they may have been of Egyptian origin, and recently this theory has derived some support from the discovery of three Egyptian scarabs in the grave of a woman, who appears to have been a priestess, as more than sixty vases of various kinds were found buried with her, besides a great quantity of female jewellery, in gold and silver and bronze and iron.

The Eleusinian rites breathed quite a different spirit from the ordinary religion of the Greek, and as soon as they were over he resumed his enjoyment of the present world. There were games and theatrical performances on the last day before leaving Eleusis, and on the way back to Athens there were many ebullitions of mirth and wit, owing to the reaction from the unwonted solemnity and gloom.

We have a token of the sacredness attaching to the{182} rites in the fact that one of the most solemn oaths which could be taken was in the name of Demeter and her daughter. It was regarded as an extreme aggravation of the guilt of Calippus, the Syracusan, who compassed the death of Dion, Plato’s friend, that, when he was suspected of a hostile design and challenged by Areté, Dion’s wife, he denied with an oath and went into the sacred grove, touching the purple robe of the goddess, and taking a lighted torch in his hand. To make the crime still worse, it was perpetrated on the very day sacred to these goddesses when the Coreia were celebrated, and it was through their initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries that the two men had become acquainted—showing how little impression may be made on some minds by the most solemn rites of religion. The Mysteries were open to women as well as to men, but not to slaves or Persians, or infamous persons such as murderers whose guilt had not been expiated.{183}



THE HALL OF THE GREAT TEMPLE OF THE MYSTERIES, ELEUSIS In the distance is the island of Salamis, looking on the Bay of Eleusis. In the foreground are remains of shafts of columns which supported an upper story over the Great Hall.

THE HALL OF THE GREAT TEMPLE OF THE MYSTERIES, ELEUSIS

In the distance is the island of Salamis, looking on the Bay of Eleusis. In the foreground are remains of shafts of columns which supported an upper story over the Great Hall.

CHAPTER XI

ATHENS AND ITS DEMOCRACY

THE history of Athens is scarcely less interesting from a political than from an artistic and architectural point of view. It affords the first example of a thoroughly organised democracy, and as such it has much to teach the nations of modern Europe, both in the way of encouragement and warning.

Reference has already been made to what was done by Solon in the beginning of the sixth century B.C. to establish a constitutional form of government, in which all classes of the population, slaves only excepted, should have some degree of representation. The form of government which Solon introduced has been called a timocracy—property, not birth or rank, being the standard of political power. He divided the population into four classes, the highest consisting of citizens who possessed 500 medimni of corn. It was from this last class alone that the nine archons—Ministers of State in a restricted sense—and the strategoi or generals had to be chosen. All other offices were open to the whole population—the lowest class or Thetes alone excepted, whose{184} eligibility was confined to serving as dicasts or jurymen, and who were exempted from the graduated income-tax imposed on the three higher classes. All citizens had a right of membership in the Ecclesia or popular assembly, to which the Boulé or Council of 400, selected by lot, had to submit any proposals of a legislative character. A special benefit was at the same time conferred upon the distressed agriculturists by a measure called Seisachtheia, for relieving them more or less from the burdens which their costly mortgages had entailed upon them.

Still more democratic measures were introduced, nearly a century later, by Cleisthenes, a member of the Alcmæonid family. He abolished all class distinctions, with the single exception that the office of archon was still confined to the highest of the four classes recognised by Solon. He also divided the community into ten tribes; increased the number of the Boulé to 500, 50 being chosen from each tribe; and gave to the general Assembly, of which all citizens above eighteen years of age were members, a more definite and secure place in the constitution. No one was eligible for public office till he was thirty years of age. From each of the ten tribes 600 dicasts were annually appointed by lot, 5000 of the total number being required for service in the law courts, and the remaining 1000 for revision of the laws. It was also with Cleisthenes that the measure known as Ostracism originated. It gave the assembly power in any political emergency to banish from the country for ten years (later the period was changed to five years){185}



THE ACROPOLIS FROM THE BASE OF THE PHILOPAPPUS HILL Over the talus of the débris from the excavations on the south side of the Acropolis we see the front of the Theatre of Herodes Atticus, with the long portico connecting it with the Theatre of Dionysos. On the Acropolis itself, if we proceed from left to right, are Beulé’s gate, the Propylæa and neighbouring remains, the Erechtheum and the Parthenon. Towering above the east end of the Acropolis is Lycabettos, with the chapel on its summit catching the sunlight. This drawing is intended to convey some idea of the glitter of sunlight upon the splendid series of marble temples and monuments of the Athenian Acropolis.

THE ACROPOLIS FROM THE BASE OF THE PHILOPAPPUS HILL

Over the talus of the débris from the excavations on the south side of the Acropolis we see the front of the Theatre of Herodes Atticus, with the long portico connecting it with the Theatre of Dionysos. On the Acropolis itself, if we proceed from left to right, are Beulé’s gate, the Propylæa and neighbouring remains, the Erechtheum and the Parthenon. Towering above the east end of the Acropolis is Lycabettos, with the chapel on its summit catching the sunlight. This drawing is intended to convey some idea of the glitter of sunlight upon the splendid series of marble temples and monuments of the Athenian Acropolis.

any one whose presence seemed to endanger the safety of the state. When a vote of this nature was taken, each of the citizens could nominate for banishment any one he chose; but unless 6000 votes were recorded the whole proceedings fell to the ground. The measure seems a strange one, but it provided a safety-valve for political feeling on critical occasions before the institutions of the country had become firmly established. In the course of the fifth century ten politicians were ostracised, the first being Cleisthenes himself, and the last (417 B.C.) Hyperbolus, who was made a scape-goat for Alcibiades and Nicias, the two rival leaders of the day. By another singular enactment, directed against movements of a factious or seditious character, it was obligatory on every citizen, when civil commotions arose, to range himself either on one side or the other—neutrality in such circumstances being regarded as treason to the state.

The constitution established by Cleisthenes remained in force as long as Athens continued to be a free state, with a few additional reforms, which gave it a still more democratic character. The restriction of the archonship to men of wealth was abolished, and the power of the Areopagus, the oldest and most venerable body in Athens, embracing in its membership all who had previously held the office of archon, was reduced to little more than the right of adjudicating in cases of alleged homicide. In the days of Pericles provision was made for the payment of citizens officiating as dicasts or jurymen, and a “Theoric Fund” was also{186} created for the purpose of defraying the expenses of public festivals, and bestowing on each citizen the price of admission to the theatre on such occasions. In course of time this was followed by the payment of citizens for attendance at the meetings of the general assembly.

In the age of Pericles the greatness of Athens reached its culminating point, and never before had democracy been so justified by its results. In the funeral oration delivered by Pericles on one occasion (p. 168) we have an attractive picture of the state whose fortunes he was guiding:—

“From the magnitude of our city, the products of the whole earth are brought to us, so that our enjoyment of foreign luxuries is as much our own and assured as those which we grow at home.... We combine elegance of taste with simplicity of life, and we pursue knowledge without being enervated: we employ wealth not for talking and ostentation, but as a real help in the proper season. The magistrates who discharge public trusts fulfil their domestic duties also—the private citizen, while engaged in professional business, has competent knowledge on public affairs: for we stand alone in regarding the man who keeps aloof from these latter not as harmless but as useless. In fine, I affirm that our city, considered as a whole, is the schoolmistress of Greece.”—Thuc. ii. 40.

The continuity of the Athenian democracy was rudely broken by the Spartans the year after the fateful battle of Ægospotami. Having demolished the walls of the city (which was starved into surrender) amid the flute-playing and dancing of women crowned{187} with wreaths, the Spartans set up the tyranny of the “Thirty,” which gave the Athenians a more bitter experience of injustice, oppression and cruelty than they had experienced even in the closing years of the Peisistratid dynasty. A remarkable proof of the intense hatred of political tyranny which prevailed at Athens nearly half a century later was afforded by the reception given to two young Thracian Greeks, who had at one time studied under Plato, when they repaired to Athens after assassinating Cotys, the tyrant of their country. Partly on general grounds, partly because Cotys had been a dangerous enemy of Athens, they were received with the greatest honour, being admitted to the freedom of the city and presented with golden wreaths. So glowing were the eulogies passed upon them in the Assembly that one of the two felt constrained to declare, “It was a god who did the deed; we only lent our hands.” The feeling against despotic power was scarcely less strong in Magna Græcia, where the iron entered into the soul of many communities under the usurpation of Dionysius of Syracuse, about the beginning of the fourth century B.C. His request for a wife from the city of Rhegium, which was accompanied with a promise of benefactions to the city, was rejected; and in the public discussion of the subject one of the speakers remarked that the daughter of the public executioner would be the only suitable wife for him. Dionysius fared better at Locri, where he obtained the hand of a lady named Doris, the daughter of an eminent citizen, but not till after another citizen,{188} a friend of Plato, had refused his daughter, saying that he would rather see her dead than wedded to a despot. Doris, it is interesting to learn, made her voyage to Syracuse in a magnificent new ship with five banks of oars, and on landing was conveyed to the tyrant’s house in a beautiful chariot drawn by four white horses. The same day Dionysius also married one of his own subjects, and, strange to say, the two ladies were treated with equal respect, and sat with dignity at the same table.

At Athens the drama was one of the most powerful educative influences in the community. The remains of what was no doubt in its time the chief Dionysiac theatre may be seen in the neighbourhood of the Acropolis—part of the southern face of the rock having been scarped to form the back of the theatre. Plato speaks of it as accommodating 30,000 people, but this is probably an exaggeration, 20,000 being nearer the mark. The front seats running round part of the orchestra are in the form of marble thrones, adorned with reliefs on their fronts and sides, and bearing the names of priests and other dignitaries for whom they were intended. These seats probably formed part of the original stone theatre, but the latest inscriptions date from the time of Hadrian. The Emperor’s throne seems to have stood on an elevation (still to be seen) in a central position behind the front row of seats, and images of him were set up in various parts of the theatre—a departure from the example of Lycurgus, who set up statues of the great dramatists, the bases of some of which are still in{189}



THE LOWER PART OF THE AUDITORIUM OF THE THEATRE OF DIONYSOS AT ATHENS Beginning at the left hand below, we notice first the breast-wall dividing the orchestra from the auditorium, and below it again the partially covered channel for rain-water. In the foremost row of marble seats or thrones, the third seat to the right is that of the Priest of Dionysos, distinguished by the exquisite relief, on the arm of the throne, of Eros engaged in cock-fighting. Higher up in the auditorium are pedestals for honorary statues.

THE LOWER PART OF THE AUDITORIUM OF THE THEATRE OF DIONYSOS AT ATHENS

Beginning at the left hand below, we notice first the breast-wall dividing the orchestra from the auditorium, and below it again the partially covered channel for rain-water. In the foremost row of marble seats or thrones, the third seat to the right is that of the Priest of Dionysos, distinguished by the exquisite relief, on the arm of the throne, of Eros engaged in cock-fighting. Higher up in the auditorium are pedestals for honorary statues.

existence. Immediately in front of the seats is a circular wall, which appears to have been erected as a protection from wild beasts in the time of the Roman gladiatorial exhibitions. On the other side of the orchestra, facing the auditorium, are the remains of a stage with figures in relief, representing the birth of Dionysus and other cognate subjects, and a crouching Silenus supporting the stage. These were probably not set up in their present form before the third century A.D., though the marbles themselves may date from the time of Nero. Farther back there are the foundations of other stages of an earlier date, with a stoa or colonnade, intended as a shelter for the people in case of rain. Traces have also been found, partly beneath the present orchestra, of the primitive enclosure which served as an orchestra before the construction of the theatre. It was probably here that the most famous Greek tragedies were exhibited, though it appears to have been at a different spot, in the Agora, that the first play of Æschylus was enacted, when the scaffolding on which the people sat gave way, rendering it necessary that some new arrangement should be provided. At first a cart or table is said to have served as a stage for the actor, a booth being provided at a later time as a background and dressing-room, with some kind of platform for a stage, in the neighbourhood of a spot suitable for dancing and overlooked by a rising ground from which the spectators might be able to hear and see what was going on. It was probably not till about 330 B.C., in the days of Lycurgus, that the elaborately constructed theatre was{190} erected, whose ruins still excite so much interest and admiration. Immediately to the west of the theatre are the remains of a colonnade—the Stoa of Eumenes—which led from the theatre to the Odeum of Herodes Atticus, one of the most munificent of the Roman benefactors of Athens in the second century A.D. The Odeum was built in memory of his wife Regilla, and though the marble-covered seats and cedar roof are gone, its arches form an imposing ruin.

Historically speaking, Greek tragedy, the flower and crown of Greek poetry, had a very humble origin. It was developed from the dithyramb, a lyric hymn in honour of Dionysus (Bacchus), which seems to have been derived from Thrace, and was of a wild, impassioned, semi-oriental character. Hence the theatre stood within the precincts sacred to Dionysus: and the foundations of a shrine, as well as of a larger temple in which the image of the god in gold and ivory was preserved, have been discovered in the immediate neighbourhood of the theatre. About 600 B.C. the dithyramb entered on a new phase in the hands of Arion of Methymna in Lesbos, who found Corinth a congenial scene for such revelry. He organised a chorus of fifty members in the form of satyrs[7] (whence the name of{191}



THE CAVERN CHAPEL (PANAGIA SPELIOTISSA) ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE ACROPOLIS This is the site of the Choragic monument of Thrasyllus. The square opening is cut in the scarped face of the Acropolis rock at the top of the Theatre of Dionysos. Above stand two columns, which supported tripods dedicated to the god.

THE CAVERN CHAPEL (PANAGIA SPELIOTISSA) ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE ACROPOLIS

This is the site of the Choragic monument of Thrasyllus. The square opening is cut in the scarped face of the Acropolis rock at the top of the Theatre of Dionysos. Above stand two columns, which supported tripods dedicated to the god.

tragedy or “goat song”), who danced around the altar or image of the wine-god. Half a century later this performance was introduced at Athens, and became a feature of the greater Dionysia which were instituted by the “Tyrant” Peisistratus. By and by, at one of these celebrations, Thespis, in order to give a rest to the chorus, came forward as a reciter of poetry, which he seems to have addressed not to the chorus, but to a person who was described as hypocritēs (“answerer”), which became the name for an actor. The dramatic element thus introduced was strengthened a few years later by Æschylus, who provided employment for two actors and gave dialogue a more important place, though the entertainment was still largely of a lyrical character. A farther step was taken by Sophocles (who gained a victory over the great founder of Greek tragedy in 468 B.C.) by the addition of a third actor and the adoption of scene-painting. Sophocles arranged his plays in trilogies or sets of three, frequently choosing subjects that had no connection with each other, instead of the tetralogy (set of four), which had formerly been the fashion. As a result of this change the number of the chorus was increased to fifteen instead of twelve, which had been approximately the fourth part of Arion’s chorus of fifty.

What strikes a western mind as the most remarkable thing about Greek tragedy is its high moral and{192} religious character, notwithstanding its association with the worship of Bacchus and the prominence assigned to dancing. Its subjects were almost always of a heroic nature, drawn from the national mythology, and the problems of human sin and suffering were treated from a deeply religious point of view. As Prof. J. S. Blackie says in his translation of Æschylus (vol. i. pp. xxxviii-xxxix):—

“Our modern Puritans, who look upon the door of a theatre (according to the phrase of a famous Edinburgh preacher) as the gate of hell, might take any one of these seven plays which are here presented in an English dress, and, with the simple substitution of a few Bible designations for heathen ones, find, so far as moral and religious doctrine is concerned, that, with the smallest possible exercise of the pruning-knife, they might be exhibited in a Christian church, and be made to subserve the purposes of practical piety as usefully as many a sermon. The following passage from the Agamemnon is not a solitary gem from a heap of rubbish, but the very soul and significance of the Æschylean drama:—

For Jove doth teach men wisdom, sternly wins
To virtue by the tutoring of their sins;
Yea! drops of torturing recollection chill
The sleeper’s heart; ’gainst man’s rebellious will
Jove works the wise remorse:
Dread Powers, on awful seats enthroned, compel
Our hearts with gracious force.”

And again (p. xlviii):—

“The lyrical tragedy of the Greeks presents, in a combination elsewhere unexampled, the best elements of our serious drama, our opera, our oratorio, our public worship, and our festal recreations. The people who prepared and enjoyed such an{193} intellectual banquet were not base-minded. Had their stability been equal to their susceptibility, the world had never seen their equal.”

The religious element is not so prominent in the poetry of Sophocles, who brought his compositions to the highest perfection of art; and the rationalising element is still more apparent in Euripides, with whom philosophy may be said to have gained the ascendency. In his hands the Athenian drama lost to a large extent its ideal and heroic character, becoming realistic in its mode of thought, and showing the same speculative tendencies as the Sophists had begun to indulge in. Euripides represents a period of decline; but for intellectual keenness and subtlety, for humane sentiment and tender pathos, he is generally regarded as the greatest of the three. It gives us some idea of the marvellous intellectual wealth of Athens at this period in her history when we remember that the great poets we have mentioned were sometimes defeated by competitors, whose writings have unfortunately perished.

Side by side with the later developments of Greek tragedy, Attic comedy reached its culminating point in the writings of Aristophanes, whose plays, eleven in number (dating from 427 B.C. onwards), are all that exist of the comic literature of this period. It originated in the droll procession, with merry song and rude comments on public affairs, which formed one of the features of the “Greater Dionysia”—borrowed no doubt from the rustic celebrations at vintage and harvest which are usually attributed to the Dorian genius.{194} At first voluntary, the procession afterwards became a recognised part of the Athenian festival, and was subsidised by the state, the result being that it assumed a dramatic character in the hands of the poet Cratinus. While fun and laughter were the primary objects it was intended to serve, it found room for an infusion of beautiful lyric poetry; and the chorus became the mouth-piece of the poet for expressing his mind on the questions of the day, and satirising the vices and follies of politicians and other public men. Unfortunately Aristophanes did not spare even such a salutary teacher as Socrates, whom we find caricatured in the Clouds. Though the comic poets were generally conservative in their instincts and bitterly opposed to philosophic radicalism, they owed their right of criticism very largely to the free spirit of the Athenian democracy; and they soon gave up their scathing personalities when power passed out of the hands of the people. Moreover the revelry associated with the worship of Dionysus seemed to justify the licence which they claimed; and when the old religion lost its hold on the mind of the nation they lost their courage and independence as public censors. In Menander and others the “New Comedy” became little more than an amusing reflection of the social life of the day.

The plays in the theatre were only part of the Dionysiac festival, which was celebrated with great magnificence by a public procession and sacrifices. During the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., when the Greek drama was at its best, the responsibility of{195}



THE CHORAGIC MONUMENT OF LYSICRATES Behind it rises the grand mass of the eastern end of the Acropolis rock; along the southern front of the Acropolis walls are seen the two votive columns which bore votive tripods, similar to the one for which the “Monument of Lysicrates” served as a support.

THE CHORAGIC MONUMENT OF LYSICRATES

Behind it rises the grand mass of the eastern end of the Acropolis rock; along the southern front of the Acropolis walls are seen the two votive columns which bore votive tripods, similar to the one for which the “Monument of Lysicrates” served as a support.

producing a play was generally undertaken by some rich man who was called the choregus, it being his duty to provide the chorus and furnish its members with suitable dresses. In the event of the play being successful in the competition, the choregus received a prize in the form of a tripod, which it was customary for him to set up in the precincts of Dionysus’ temple, or in an adjoining street. Fortunately one such monument has been preserved, which had been erected (as the inscription tells) by Lysicrates in 335 B.C.—surmounted by a bronze tripod, which has disappeared. Apart from its historical interest the monument has considerable value from an architectural point of view, as it is one of the earliest and finest specimens of the Corinthian order. It is in the form of a small circular temple of Pentelic marble, fully 20 feet high, standing on a high square pediment of Piræic limestone 13 feet high, with a cornice of Hymettus marble. It is beautifully decorated in a chaste and delicate style, the roof consisting of a single leaf-shaped block of marble, and the frieze being ornamented with scenes in the mythological history of Dionysus. For many years it served as the library of a Capuchin convent which was built round it. The convent was a favourite residence for Englishmen at Athens, and Lord Byron is said to have used the interior of the monument for a study.

The theatre was often used for public meetings. It was there that it was proposed to honour Demosthenes with a golden wreath in acknowledgment of the signal service he had rendered to his countrymen in reviving{196} their courage and persuading the Thebans to join with them in resisting the victorious advance of Philip. It was a great contrast to the treatment he had experienced in the same place many years before, when a wealthy Hipparch named Meidias attacked him with his fists at the very time he was acting as choregus for his tribe Pandionis. In general, great decorum was observed in the theatre. It was not even permitted to the officials who were responsible for maintaining order to inflict a blow on any disorderly person, though it might be their duty to remove him by force. That same year Demosthenes and some other leading Athenians paid a visit to the court of Philip at Pella. Among other entertainments which the king provided for them, his son Alexander, then a boy of ten years of age, recited a dialogue, along with a companion, from one of the great tragic poets of Athens. The taste for this kind of literature never left the great prince, though his interest in natural science was also shown by a grant of 800 talents to his former tutor, Aristotle, for the purpose of carrying on zoological researches. When he asked Harpalus to send him something to read during his stay in Upper Asia, the works of Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were among the few books selected. Again, when he returned from the conquest of Egypt to Phœnicia, after he had been saluted as the son of Zeus by the priest of Jupiter-Ammon in the Libyan desert, dramatic representations formed an important part of the festivals which were got up in his honour; and the princes of Cyprus were conspicuous{197} for the zeal and liberality with which they acted the part of choregi in competitions modelled on those of Athens. Of the popularity of the tragic poets with Greek soldiers we have a remarkable evidence in the fact that when, a century before, the Athenian army which had been sent for the invasion of Sicily was utterly destroyed, a number of men who escaped capture and wandered about the country, and also some of those who had been reduced to slavery, won the hearts of their conquerors by reciting passages of Euripides which they happened to know by heart. In this connection it may be mentioned that all free-born children in Athens were taught to read and write, while the recitation of selected passages from great authors, and the practice of music on the lyre or flute, along with gymnastics for the training of the body, were always included in a liberal education.

Another great educative influence in democratic Athens was the practice and the love of oratory. In the beginning of the sixth century B.C. we find Solon employing verses on political subjects for the persuasion of his countrymen, while at the same time condemning the incipient drama of Thespis, when he saw him acting, as tending to falsehood—emphasising his opinion, we are told, by striking his stick on the ground. It was not till nearly a century later that the cultivation of prose rhetoric became common in Greece. The Ionic philosophers of Asia Minor, and their successors in Magna Græcia, who had tried to grapple with the problems of the universe, gave place to the sophists{198} who abandoned the quest for abstract truth and devoted themselves to studies which had a direct bearing on the practical interests of life. They naturally gravitated to Athens as the intellectual capital of Greece, and found many young men who were eager to acquire the arts and accomplishments they professed to impart. Socrates has been called the greatest of the sophists, but, apart from deeper points of difference, he was distinguished from them by the facts that he gave no instruction in public speaking (for which he had no taste), and that he accepted no fee from his disciples. On the latter point, however, the sophists do not seem to have been so mercenary as is sometimes alleged, if we may judge from the example of Protagoras, who is represented by Plato as stating that he made no bargain with his pupils beforehand, and that if they thought on leaving that he was asking too much he allowed them to name a smaller figure, on condition that they went into a temple and declared on oath that they considered it a more just remuneration.

The fact that every citizen who had a case in the law courts of Athens was obliged to plead his cause in person before a court consisting of about 500 jurors, gave a great impetus to the cultivation of oratory. Not only was the preparation of the speeches often entrusted to professional rhetoricians, but their services as teachers of elocution were also called into requisition by those who were anxious to do justice to their cause by means of an effective delivery. The general Assembly offered a still larger field for the practice of{199}



THE PNYX; OR, PLACE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE ATHENIAN PEOPLE At the junction of the converging lines of scarped rock is the bēma, or altar, of the Pnyx, with a platform in front, from which, it is believed, the orators addressed the people. It will be seen that the steps, at the side of the cubical mass of rock, which has been called an altar, ascend right up to the top of it; and it seems probable that we have here rather the basis of the altar than the altar itself. The latter may very well have been movable. Above the bēma will be seen the remains of a semicircular row of seats, apparently the seats of the Prytanes, facing the people. In the middle distance of the drawing the Acropolis rises majestically, and is finely opposed by the long line of Mount Hymettos.

THE PNYX; OR, PLACE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE ATHENIAN PEOPLE

At the junction of the converging lines of scarped rock is the bēma, or altar, of the Pnyx, with a platform in front, from which, it is believed, the orators addressed the people. It will be seen that the steps, at the side of the cubical mass of rock, which has been called an altar, ascend right up to the top of it; and it seems probable that we have here rather the basis of the altar than the altar itself. The latter may very well have been movable. Above the bēma will be seen the remains of a semicircular row of seats, apparently the seats of the Prytanes, facing the people. In the middle distance of the drawing the Acropolis rises majestically, and is finely opposed by the long line of Mount Hymettos.

eloquence, on the part of those who were ambitious of a political career, and it was open to all citizens who chose to attend. The result was that the Athenians became as pre-eminent in their power of expression in language as in the visible forms of art. One of the most interesting spots in Athens is the Pnyx, where the Assembly usually met—“that angry, waspish, intractable, little old man, Demos of Pnyx”—to quote the words of Aristophanes. The place of meeting was a semicircular space on the face of a low rocky hill, a quarter of a mile west of the Acropolis. Where the diameter of the circle would be, but forming an obtuse angle, is a wall of hewn rock, fifteen feet high at its central part, but getting lower towards the sides. In front of this wall, about where the centre of the circle would be, there is a block of stone eleven feet long and as many broad, resting on a platform of three steps about thirty feet wide at its front base, cut out of the natural rock. This is believed to have been the bēma (“stone in the Pnyx”) from which the speakers in the Assembly sometimes addressed 6000 or 7000 citizens chiefly resident in Athens or the immediate neighbourhood and belonging to the middle or lower classes. Round part of the semicircle, retaining-walls can still be traced, which appear to have been originally much higher, so that the enclosure would slope down towards the bema or platform, and thus bring the speaker within sight and hearing of the whole Assembly.

It was in the Pnyx that the great debates took place which determined the policy of Athens and influenced{200} the destiny of all Greece. Here might be heard the demagogue Cleon, who knew how to play on the passions and prejudices of the mob. By the strange working of the Athenian constitution, he found himself on two important occasions at the head of the army, first at Sphacteria, when the forces under his command inflicted on Sparta one of the greatest humiliations which it ever suffered at the hands of Athens, and again at Amphipolis, when the Spartan general Brasidas gained the victory, though at the cost of his own life, Cleon also being slain by a spear-wound in the back when he was fleeing from the field. Here too Phocion delivered his opinions, the plain, blunt, warm-hearted soldier who studied brevity and candour in all his utterances, never condescending to flatter or even to please his audience. On one occasion, when some remark he had made was loudly applauded, he turned round to a neighbour and inquired whether he had said anything very much amiss! His wisdom was not always equal to his honesty and courage, but his career was long and honourable, as he was forty-five times elected general for a year, and on many occasions rendered signal service to his country. The conduct of the citizens, assembled in the theatre, in refusing him a hearing (an old man of eighty-four years) before condemning him to death as a traitor, will always be a blot on the history of the Athenian democracy.

In the Pnyx, as well as in the law courts, might be heard the consummate orator, whose extant speeches are pronounced by general consent to be the finest{201} specimens of parliamentary and forensic eloquence in ancient or in modern times. The power of Demosthenes in delivery seems to have been equal to his skill in argument and his clearness and felicity of expression—the result of marvellous patience and perseverance in the face of difficulties which would have seemed to most men to be insuperable, arising from defective articulation, a weak voice, short breath and an awkward manner. His devotion to his country was equal to his enthusiasm as an orator; and if it had been still possible to teach the democracy wisdom and preserve the liberties of Athens, Demosthenes would have been the man to do so. But his lot fell in evil times, and fate was against him. His end, like that of many of the great men of antiquity, was a very sad one. In 324 B.C., six years after delivering his great speech De Corona, which has been fitly called “the funeral oration of Greek liberty,” he was thrown into prison on a charge of conspiring against the Macedonian authority. He made his escape and took refuge in the Peloponnesus, where he was living at the time of the death of Alexander the Great—an event which kindled in the breasts of patriotic Greeks a fresh hope of regaining their liberties. Demosthenes took the lead in the movement for liberation and secured for his countrymen the help of Peloponnesian allies in a last effort to throw off the Macedonian yoke. On landing at Piræus he received a magnificent welcome from all classes of his fellow-citizens. But the rising was soon suppressed. Antipater compelled the city to surrender{202} at discretion; and within a year Demosthenes was again a fugitive under sentence of death, passed against him by the remnant of citizens who were still permitted to abide at Athens. In his extremity he took refuge in a temple of Poseidon at Calauria, which had been an inviolable asylum from time immemorial. The Athenian who was at the head of the Thracian force sent by Antipater to take him was afraid to desecrate the sanctuary, and tried to entice him beyond its precincts by promising that his life would be spared. But Demosthenes knew how little faith was to be put in such a promise. He knew that even if his life were spared he might have his tongue cut out, like other orators who had done what they could to warn their countrymen against Macedonian aggression. Despairing of being able to render any further service to his country he resolved to put an end to his life by swallowing the poison which he had secreted about his person to meet such an emergency. As soon as he felt the poison begin to work he arose and walked slowly out of the sanctuary, calling for support to his tottering steps, in order to save the temple from being desecrated by his death.

A few words may be added regarding another aspect of Athenian greatness during the period of the democracy, which has already been incidentally mentioned. The latter half of the fifth century B.C., which was the golden age of the sophists, also saw the rise of a new intellectual movement, which was destined to secure for Athens a position of supremacy in the department{203}



THE ACROPOLIS, WITH KALLIRRHOÈ IN THE FOREGROUND The worn and polished bed of the Ilissus, down which trickles the water of the fountain of Kallirrhoè, is richly coloured with blue and purple, owing to reflected light from the blue sky of a brilliant early morning in summer. The Acropolis, with the Parthenon (divided into two masses from this point of view), is relieved against the sky. To the right are some of the lofty columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the little café or refreshment house giving scale to them.

THE ACROPOLIS, WITH KALLIRRHOÈ IN THE FOREGROUND

The worn and polished bed of the Ilissus, down which trickles the water of the fountain of Kallirrhoè, is richly coloured with blue and purple, owing to reflected light from the blue sky of a brilliant early morning in summer. The Acropolis, with the Parthenon (divided into two masses from this point of view), is relieved against the sky. To the right are some of the lofty columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the little café or refreshment house giving scale to them.

of philosophy for hundreds of years after it had sunk into political insignificance, and even after the sceptre in the realm of literature had passed to Alexandria. The man to whom this new departure was chiefly due was Socrates, a brave soldier, a genial friend, and an incorruptible citizen, as well as an original thinker. Greatly to his own astonishment, he was declared by the Delphian oracle to be the wisest of men—a statement which he could only credit in the sense that he was wiser than others inasmuch as he was aware of his own ignorance. He not only imparted a higher moral tone to the teaching of Greek philosophy than it ever had before, but also laid the foundation of the Logic of Definition, and anticipated in the sphere of ethics the principle of Induction on which Aristotle acted in the next century in various departments of his encyclopædic studies, and which was to be fully applied by Lord Bacon in the natural world nearly 2000 years afterwards. Before the days of Socrates the greatest, or at least the most ambitious, thinkers had made vain attempts to unveil the secrets of the physical universe, and in doing so had either ignored the traditional theology, or else explained it away, like Xenophanes, who held that the gods were the creation of human imagination, and that if oxen or lions were to become religious they would likewise make for themselves gods in their own image. With such impiety Socrates could have no sympathy, as we may judge from the fact that he even condemned the presumption of Anaxagoras in treating Helios and Selené (sun and moon) as if they{204} were material bodies, whose motions and magnitudes could be ascertained by the intellect of man.

In Plato, the disciple and exponent of Socrates, Greek speculation may be said to have reached its culminating point. How greatly his thoughts have influenced the course of philosophy in subsequent times, even to our own day, may be judged from the following words of the late Professor Jowett in his introduction to the Republic, which is generally acknowledged to be the greatest and most suggestive of the numerous works of Plato:—

“He (Plato) was the greatest metaphysical genius whom the world has seen; and in him, more than in any other ancient thinker, the germs of future knowledge are contained. The sciences of logic and psychology, which have supplied so many instruments of thought to after-ages, are based on the analyses of Socrates and Plato. The principles of definition, the law of contradiction, the fallacy of arguing in a circle, the distinction between the essence and accidents of a thing or notion, between means and ends, between causes and conditions; also the division of the mind into the rational, concupiscent and irascible elements, or of pleasures and desires into necessary and unnecessary—these and other great forms of thought are all of them to be found in the Republic, and were probably first invented by Plato. The greatest of all logical truths, and the one of which writers on philosophy are most apt to lose sight, the difference between words and things, has been most strenuously insisted on by him.... In the Republic is to be found the original of Cicero’s De Republica, of St. Augustine’s City of God, of the Utopia of Sir Thomas More, and of the numerous other States which are framed upon the same model.... The Republic of Plato is also the first treatise upon education, of which the{205} writings of Milton and Locke, Rousseau, Jean Paul, and Goethe are the legitimate descendants. Like Dante or Bunyan, he has a revelation of another life; like Bacon, he is profoundly impressed with the unity of knowledge; in the early Church he exercised a real influence on theology, and at the revival of literature on politics.... He is the father of idealism in philosophy, in politics, in literature; and many of the latest conceptions of modern thinkers and statesmen, such as the unity of knowledge, the reign of law, and the equality of the sexes, have been anticipated in a dream by him.”

{206}

CHAPTER XII

ATHENS—ITS DECAY AND ITS REVIVAL

WITHIN a few years after the death of Demosthenes a striking evidence was afforded of the sad change which had come over the city of Athens. The restoration of its political freedom for a brief period by Demetrius Poliorcetes (307 B.C.) in the name of his father Antigonus, one of the successors (diadochoi) of Alexander the Great, was the occasion for an exhibition of servility and impiety which showed that the manly spirit of those who fought at Marathon and Salamis had utterly forsaken their descendants. Not only were Demetrius and his father acknowledged as kings, but they were also exalted to the rank of divinities, orders being given by the authorities that their pictures and achievements should be wrought into the sacred robe which figured so prominently at the Pan-Athenaic festival, along with those of Zeus and Athena. A few years afterwards the shameful profanation was carried still further by the admission of Demetrius to the Parthenon as the guest of the goddess, and by the issue of a licentious decree that whatever he commanded was to be regarded as holy and just. How{207}



ATHENS. THE MONUMENT OF AGRIPPA AND THE PINACOTHECA Behind the lofty pedestal of the monument of Agrippa is the temple of Theseus; to the right the sub-structures and part of the north wing of the Propylæa (the Pinacotheca). To the left we have the wall of the terrace or bastion of the Temple of Wingless Victory. The distant view gives the plain of the Kephissus and the mountains of Daphni.

ATHENS. THE MONUMENT OF AGRIPPA AND THE PINACOTHECA

Behind the lofty pedestal of the monument of Agrippa is the temple of Theseus; to the right the sub-structures and part of the north wing of the Propylæa (the Pinacotheca). To the left we have the wall of the terrace or bastion of the Temple of Wingless Victory. The distant view gives the plain of the Kephissus and the mountains of Daphni.

little sincerity there was in all this obsequious homage became evident the following year, when fortune turned against Demetrius at the battle of Ipsus. He set sail from Ephesus for Athens, but was refused admission.

Various causes may be assigned for the decline and fall of the Athenian state. From a political point of view the more immediate cause was its overweening pride and unbridled ambition—typified by the character of Alcibiades, who has been well described as the evil genius of his country at a most critical period of its history. Hence arose the terrible disasters which befell it in Sicily, and the subsequent dissolution of its naval empire. If the imperial capital had paid more respect to the claims of other Greek states associated with it in the Delian confederacy, its fate might have been very different. But while incurring the jealousy of Sparta and other rival powers it failed to gain the confidence of the minor states allied to it. Its imperial policy when at the height of its power may be contrasted with that of Great Britain, regarding which it has been recently said by Sir Wilfred Laurier, the Prime Minister of Canada: “The British Empire means freedom, decentralisation, and autonomy. It will live and live for ever.”

But Athens suffered from other causes besides its own imperial pride and the enmity of other Greek states. As Æschylus is said to have foreseen, the virtual abolition in a political sense of the court of Areopagus, the great representative of traditional authority, and the failure to provide any other adequate safeguards against{208} democratic excesses, could not fail sooner or later to be attended with evil consequences. That the appointment to public offices should have been made by lot, as a general rule, and that no one, however eminent for ability and experience, should have been eligible as a member of the Council more than twice, shows how the public interests of the state were sacrificed to the theory of personal equality among the citizens. Even the high level of culture at Athens could not justify such a disregard for the inevitable diversity of natural gifts and acquired habits in every community. Moreover, the love of wealth and the taste for luxury, which resulted from the increasing prosperity of the city, tended to the deterioration of character both among the leading men, who were too open to bribes from foreign powers, even those at war with their country, and among the citizens at large, who were apt to become demoralised by their wholesale payment as dicasts, and were not content with largess at the Dionysiac festivals only. The self-denial which led the citizens in the time of Themistocles to forgo their claim on the proceeds of the silver mines of Laurium, amounting to ten drachms per head, in order that an addition might be made to their naval armament, would not have been so readily found at the close of the fourth century, when the “Theoric Fund” had come to be spoken of as “the cement of the democracy.”

While there are scarcely any monuments of the Macedonian period now to be seen in Athens, it is different as regards the age of Roman supremacy.{209}



THE TOWER OF THE WINDS To the left, part of the aqueduct which supplied the water-clock; in the background, the north side of the Acropolis, surmounted by the wall of Themistocles.

THE TOWER OF THE WINDS

To the left, part of the aqueduct which supplied the water-clock; in the background, the north side of the Acropolis, surmounted by the wall of Themistocles.

One of the oldest of the tributes of respect then paid by foreigners to the famous but decaying city, is the stoa of Attalus, erected by the second king of Pergamus of that name (159-138 B.C.). The Stoa, which formed part of the eastern boundary of the Market-place (by that time commonly called the Cerameicus), consisted of two stories, the lower façade having a row of forty-five Doric columns in front, with an inner row of twenty-two Ionic columns. The latter divided the enclosed space into two aisles, where buying and selling went on, while farther in, behind the inner aisle, there were rooms for storing goods. The upper story did not extend so far back, and had only one row of Doric columns, connected by a lattice balustrade of Pentelic marble—the material of which the columns were also made.

In the same neighbourhood may be seen one of the best preserved monuments in Athens. It is an octagonal marble building, called the Tower of the Winds, standing fully 40 feet high, with a diameter of 26 feet. On each of its eight sides there is an emblematic figure, representing the wind which blows in that direction. On the top of the tower there was once a bronze Triton, which pointed to the picture of the wind that was blowing at the time. Under each figure is a sun-dial, and there was also an ingenious system of waterworks within the tower, to show the time in any weather, by night or by day. The tower was erected in the first century B.C. by a Syrian named Andronicus.

A little farther east stands a great gate or portico, consisting of four Doric columns, 26 feet high, with{210} a massive architrave and pediment. An inscription on the architrave tells that it was erected in honour of Athena Archegetis (“Foundress Athena”) by the people of Athens, from funds bestowed on them by Julius Cæsar and the Emperor Augustus. It was once supposed to be part of a temple, but excavations have proved that it led into a great market-place, which was surrounded by an Ionic colonnade, and was chiefly used (judging from an inscription found in the neighbourhood) for the sale of olive-oil, the great gift of Athena. In the pediment of the gate there was originally a statue of Lucius, the adopted son of Augustus. His son-in-law Agrippa was also held in honour in Athens; and on the Acropolis a pedestal can still be seen, close to the Propylæa, on which his statue rested, with an inscription in which he is styled a benefactor of the city.

On the Museum or Observatory Hill there is a marble structure called the Monument of Philopappus, erected in the beginning of the second century A.D., in honour of a generous Athenian citizen of that name, who was the last hereditary king of Commagene, in Asia Minor. Above the frieze are three niches, two of which contain statues of Philopappus and his grandfather Antiochus Epiphanes, while in the third, on the right, there once stood the figure of Seleucus Nicator, the founder of the dynasty. On the north-east side of the hill there are three rock-hewn chambers, no doubt originally tombs, though they are now called (apparently without any justification) the Prison of Socrates.

Among all the Roman emperors Hadrian was the{211}



THE PORTICO OF ATHENA ARCHEGETIS AT ATHENS The entrance to the market-place, built in the time of Augustus. On the side of the cliff of the Acropolis we see the caves of Pan and Apollo beneath the north wing of the Propylæa.

THE PORTICO OF ATHENA ARCHEGETIS AT ATHENS

The entrance to the market-place, built in the time of Augustus. On the side of the cliff of the Acropolis we see the caves of Pan and Apollo beneath the north wing of the Propylæa.

greatest admirer of Athens, and conferred most benefits on the city, both in the way of architectural adornment and otherwise. He erected a number of magnificent buildings in the heart of the city, one of which (as Pausanias tells us) had a hundred columns of Phrygian marble, another a hundred columns of Libyan marble, while a third, which was used as a library, was adorned with a gilded roof and alabaster. Part of a rich colonnade has been preserved, and is known as the Stoa of Hadrian. But the emperor’s greatest monument was the Olympieum, or temple of Olympian Zeus, situated to the south-east of the Acropolis, on the right bank of the Ilissus. The foundation of the temple had been laid by Peisistratus nearly 700 years before, and the work had been considerably advanced by Antiochus Epiphanes nearly 400 years later; but it was reserved to Hadrian to complete the great undertaking, which he did in a munificent style. Unfortunately only fifteen of the hundred or more Corinthian columns of Pentelic marble are now standing, occupying but a small part of the vast platform (about 2200 feet in circumference) on which the temple stood. But such is the grandeur of the columns, rising to a height of nearly 57 feet and fully 5½ feet in diameter, that they form one of the most imposing ruins in the world. Even before the commencement of the temple of Peisistratus, the place was regarded with peculiar veneration as the traditional site of a temple erected by Deucalion, the survivor of the Flood; and in the days of Pausanias a cleft was to be seen in the ground, into which the subsiding waters{212} were said to have sunk, and where, every year, the people cast in wheaten meal kneaded with honey, probably in memory of those who perished in the Deluge.

Somewhere in this neighbourhood—though the exact locality has not been determined—was the Lyceum, a gymnasium named after an old temple of Lycean Apollo, in the midst of spacious grounds, where military reviews were sometimes held, but chiefly famous as the place where Aristotle and his followers had their daily walk and conversation, on account of which they received the name of Peripatetics.

Between the Acropolis and the Olympieum, probably in the line of the old city wall, stands the Arch of Hadrian, a handsome structure of Pentelic marble, almost 60 feet high, with an archway 20 feet wide. On one side of the entablature, facing the city, are inscribed the words, “This is Theseus’ Athens, the old city,” and on the other side, “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus.” The emperor’s hope of a new city of Athens has been fulfilled in modern times, but the extension has not taken place in the direction of Hadrianopolis, but rather to the north.

Few cities in the Old World have made such rapid progress as Athens has done since the liberation of Greece three-quarters of a century ago. In 1834, when it became the capital of the new kingdom, it had only a population of a few hundreds, while Piræus was scarcely inhabited at all. The population of Athens is now approaching 150,000, and that of Piræus is about 50,000. The wealth of both has kept pace with the population.{213}



THE STOA OF HADRIAN AT ATHENS The remains visible are part of the western side of the Stoa (exterior), including the one remaining pillar of the entrance porch. Above we have part of the north side of the Acropolis.

THE STOA OF HADRIAN AT ATHENS

The remains visible are part of the western side of the Stoa (exterior), including the one remaining pillar of the entrance porch. Above we have part of the north side of the Acropolis.

Piræus is a prosperous and well-built town, whose trade has outstripped that of every other port in Greece, while Athens is incomparably the finest city in the kingdom, containing many beautiful modern buildings, both public and private, and some handsome streets, with shops that would do credit to London or Paris.

The growth of Athens is chiefly due to its political importance as the capital of the country and the residence of the king. Politics is the chief occupation of its educated citizens—dust and politics, indeed, are said to be its two plagues. The whole of Greece is remarkable for its consuming interest in politics; and, next to the daily newspapers, of which some thirteen are published in Athens, history is the favourite reading of the people. Unfortunately for the welfare of the country, the interest in politics does not arise so much from zeal for rival principles as from party struggles for place and power. In these struggles it is not merely the professional politicians whose personal interests are affected, but also the public officials of the country, most of whom are liable to dismissal or translation every time there is a change of Government—an event of much more frequent occurrence in Greece than in Great Britain. There is only one legislative chamber, the Boulé or Council, the number of whose members varies, but can never be less than 150. They are elected on a basis of manhood suffrage, and receive a salary of from £50 to £100 a year, according to the length of the session. The Government consists of seven members, who receive each{214} £300 a year, with an additional £150 for the Prime Minister.[8]

Closely associated with the politicians are the barristers, of whom there are about 800 in Athens, besides a great many others scattered through the country. The highest court of appeal, both for civil and criminal cases, bears the time-honoured name of Areopagus, and consists of eighteen judges. Of inferior judges there are nearly 600 in the whole country, most of whom are removable on a change of Government—an evil in some degree mitigated by the fact that all candidates for judicial posts must have passed a series of examinations in law. The medical profession is said to be also overstocked, though the legal fees chargeable for medical attendance would not be thought tempting in this country. With regard to the clergy, comparatively few of them receive their education in Athens or pass through the University. Their average culture is very low—but not lower than their remuneration—and the consequence is that any influence the Church exerts on the life of the nation is of a superficial kind, and finds its chief support in the festive celebration of the numerous Saints’ Days. The services in the churches are of a ritualistic order, and sermons are seldom heard except in Lent. The kissing of an eikon or the lighting of a taper appears to be with many worshippers a mere formality, while,{215} at the same time, there is a large amount of ignorance and superstition in the country districts.

Of late there has been a considerable diminution in the number of students at the University, notwithstanding the liberal subsidies which have been granted to it by Government; and pursuits of an industrial nature are attracting more attention. The opinion is gaining ground that education of a literary character has been overdone, with the result that a large proportion of those who have received an academic training fail to find suitable employment and become idlers and hangers-on, spending their time largely in talking politics in the neighbourhood of the Boulé or the cafés of Constitution Square. In a political sense great importance is attached by many to the fact that about a third of the students at the University (say 200 freshmen every year) come from “Outer Greece,” and are expected on their return home to do much in the way of fostering enthusiasm for the great hope of a reunited Greece, to embrace Macedonia, Epirus, Crete, and the Levant. This hope has been somewhat damped by the favour recently shown by Russia to Bulgaria, the other likely claimant to Macedonia when the Turkish Empire is dissolved; and it is to Great Britain and France that the Greeks now chiefly look for countenance and support in their national aspirations. Their debt of gratitude to this country finds visible acknowledgment in the fine monument to Byron near the Arch of Hadrian, and in the statue of Gladstone in front of the University.

There is abundance of patriotic sentiment in Greece,{216} which shows itself not only in eloquent speech but in voluntary contributions made in school and through national lotteries for the purpose of providing a more adequate navy. But what is most needed for the wellbeing of the country is a more steady and efficient administration of its own affairs, and greater energy and perseverance in developing its commercial and agricultural resources. For many years emigration to the United States of America has been going on at an alarming rate, especially from the Peloponnesus, including some of its most fertile provinces. The home-affection of the emigrants is shown by their generous remittances to their friends in the old country; and one of the most hopeful features in the life of modern Greece is to be found in the frequency with which her sons who have succeeded abroad devote their wealth to the founding of educational and philanthropic institutions at Athens or elsewhere. They are rewarded with the proud name of “national benefactors,” which is as much prized in democratic Greece as titles of nobility in Great Britain. One of the most recent of such benefactions is that of M. Averof (of Alexandria), who has restored the Stadium at a cost of a million and a half of francs, fitting it up with seats of marble from the quarries of Pentelicus (as Herodes Atticus did in the second century A.D.), to accommodate upwards of 50,000 people.

In the Archæological Congress held at Athens in 1905, which was attended by visitors and delegates from all parts of Europe, one of the most interesting{217}



THE ARCH OF HADRIAN The side towards the town (north-western aspect). This arch divided the ancient “City of Theseus” from the new quarter founded by Hadrian.

THE ARCH OF HADRIAN

The side towards the town (north-western aspect). This arch divided the ancient “City of Theseus” from the new quarter founded by Hadrian.

events was a public representation of Sophocles’ Antigoné in the Stadium. It may be questioned how far its language would be understood even in Athens by the less educated classes. Probably the proportion of citizens who understood it thoroughly was not much greater than in Oxford when similar plays were put on the stage in that city some years ago. In the days of Sophocles the whole community virtually spoke the same language, so that his plays would be understood by the masses as well as the classes. It would seem that even the peculiarities of his Ionic dialect did not prevent Herodotus from being understood by the Greeks assembled at Olympia when he recited his History to them before it was published as a book. Nowadays the style and vocabulary of the ancient classical authors are foreign to a large section of the Greek nation. Hence it has been found that when the plays of Aristophanes are turned into the colloquial speech and so presented on the stage at Athens, they are attended with far greater success than in their original form.

In closing, a few words may be said on what may be described as one of the burning questions of the day. For more than a century there has been a tendency in high quarters to approximate as much as possible to classical Greek. Especially during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, there has been a strenuous attempt on the part of the educated classes, backed by the authorities in Church and State, to mould the written language according to classical forms, by restoring the old orthography and grammatical{218} inflexions and by expressing new ideas and inventions in ancient terms, frequently compounded in a curious fashion. The ideal cherished by many educated Greeks was expressed by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Athens when he said that he hoped the time was not far distant when they would be using the language of Xenophon, and that if the newspapers would introduce but one new classical word a day, they would add 70,000 words to the language in the course of twenty years. The archaic style has been adopted by the Government in all public documents and in the system of education; it dominates the speeches delivered in Parliament, except when passion gets the better of the speakers; it is approved by the Church, and is cultivated by the newspapers and journals, and the vast majority of authors. Hence the most of the Greek which one reads in current literature bears a strong resemblance to that of the classical authors studied at school and college, and a good Greek scholar has no great difficulty in reading an Athenian newspaper, if he make himself acquainted with a few modern particles of frequent occurrence, and have patience to make out the meaning of the new combinations that have been devised to meet the requirements of modern civilisation.

But side by side with this artificial language, which, though classical upon the surface, is generally modern in style and construction, bearing the stamp, especially, of French and English idioms—there is what may be called the vernacular Greek, spoken more or less by all classes when they are not on ceremony, and understood{219} in all parts of Greece, and in the Levant. The difference between the two does not lie merely in pronunciation, or grammatical forms, or the occasional use of peculiar words, such as are found in the local dialects of almost all languages; it shows itself in the employment of different words to express the commonest things in daily life, such as water, bread, wine. You may see such things called by their classical names on the merchant’s signboard, and yet if you wish to be understood when you go into the shop you must use the popular equivalents.

The relation between the spoken and the written Greek is often compared to that of Italian and mediæval Latin. Italian had to struggle for a literary existence before it gained a secure position as the national tongue in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. But unfortunately for Greek as a living language, ever since the days of Dionysius of Halicarnassus it has had to contend repeatedly against a persistent effort to go back, as far as possible, to the golden age of Athenian literature in the fifth century B.C. Its capacity for literary purposes has never been properly recognised, although it has preserved more of the original language than the Italian has of Latin. This fact is now forcing itself on the attention of the nation; and just as the descendants of the ancient Romans have practically given up the use of Latin, so there is an increasing party in Greece, supported by distinguished grammarians in other lands, who hold that the intellectual and moral life of the nation will never get fair-play and have full{220} scope for its energies until the Atticising pedantry which has so long been the fashion both in Athens and in Constantinople shall be given up, and the popular speech be recognised as a suitable instrument for literary purposes as well as for the intercourse of common life. But those who are of this opinion will have a great battle to fight before they can hope to see their views prevail. A few years ago (in 1901) the world was startled by serious disturbances in Athens over a translation of the New Testament into the vulgar tongue, which showed what strong passions lie at the bottom of this linguistic controversy. A scholarly Greek merchant resident in Liverpool (Mr. Alexander Pallis), who has brought Homer within the reach of all classes of his countrymen by a translation into the language of the common people, set about rendering to them a similar service in the case of the New Testament. His version of the Gospel according to Matthew appeared in the Acropolis, one of the Athenian newspapers. It called forth a letter from the Patriarch of Constantinople to the Holy Synod of Greece, lamenting the degradation to which the sacred book was being subjected. Then followed a great outburst of indignation on the part of the educated classes, especially the “noble student youth” of the University. A demand was made for the excommunication of the translator and the banning of his work. But the ecclesiastical authorities were not in a position to proceed to this extremity. For the question was complicated by the fact that a popular version of{221}



COLUMNS OF THE TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS FROM THE NORTH-WEST The delicate, rosy tint is characteristic of Hymettos at sunset. The hill in front of Hymettos is Ardettos, above the Stadion. The time of year is late in June.

COLUMNS OF THE TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS FROM THE NORTH-WEST

The delicate, rosy tint is characteristic of Hymettos at sunset. The hill in front of Hymettos is Ardettos, above the Stadion. The time of year is late in June.

the New Testament, not quite so familiar perhaps in its style as that of Mr. Pallis, had been prepared shortly before by a learned lady at the instance of the Queen of Greece, who had found that many of the inmates of the gaols and hospitals which she visited were almost destitute of Christian knowledge, and were incapable of understanding the Greek of the New Testament. This translation had been revised by a learned Commission, and had been commended by the Metropolitan, Procopius. The excitement rose to such a height that nothing but a general excommunication of all modern Greek translations of the New Testament would satisfy the public. This demand not being granted, an indignation meeting, attended by more than 30,000 people, was held around the columns of Olympian Jupiter, and the feeling of the crowd was voiced by a student, who declared that during the centuries of Turkish oppression no such deadly injury had been inflicted on the nation with the sword as that which had now been perpetrated with the pen. The meeting was followed by riots in the streets, in which a collision took place between the crowd and the military, attended with serious and in some cases fatal results. Before the night was over, the Chief of the Police and the Commander of the Garrison had resigned their posts; a similar step had to be taken even by the Archbishop, who was conducted to the King’s palace in the middle of the night by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Instruction; and within a few days the Ministry itself had to relinquish office.{222}

The whole occurrence was a striking proof of the passionate pride that is latent in the Greek character in any matter that affects its reputation and self-esteem. Although the question came to assume a semi-religious, semi-political aspect, the real offence lay in the fact that the language used in the translation was the vulgar tongue, which the University authorities desired to suppress, so far as its use for literary purposes was concerned. If the translation had been allowed to get a footing at home or in school it would have acquired a place in the affections of the people. To avoid this danger the ecclesiastical authorities issued an edict forbidding the use of all translations or any departure from the original text—and this notwithstanding the fact that there were thousands of the members of their Church who could derive little or no benefit from the New Testament without the help of a translation. It is easy to understand, from the feelings with which many devout people in this country received the changes made on the English Revised Version about thirty years ago, that the Greeks would be very sensitive to any alteration on the New Testament, which had been the cherished symbol of their nationality under the dominion of the Turk. But in this case there was no alteration of the sense; and no one was compelled to use the translation unless he pleased, nor was there any attempt to supersede the reading of the original text in church. No doubt the language of Mr. Pallis’ translation was sometimes of a very homely character. But to talk of its being a “profanation of the Gospel”{223}



THE SQUARE IN FRONT OF THE KING’S PALACE AT ATHENS Mount Hymettos behind and the dust-laden cypress trees in front of the Palace, ruddy in the last rays of a June sunset.

THE SQUARE IN FRONT OF THE KING’S PALACE AT ATHENS

Mount Hymettos behind and the dust-laden cypress trees in front of the Palace, ruddy in the last rays of a June sunset.

was quite a misrepresentation, and seems almost ridiculous in view of the fact—which the discovery of Egyptian papyri has been bringing home to us of late—that the language of the New Testament was, at the time it was written, the language in every-day use among the masses of the people for whom it was intended, which the learned men of the day would have disdained to employ for literary purposes. No such outcry was raised in this country when a Scots translation of the Psalms was issued by the late Dr. P. H. Waddell, though it might have been more reasonably objected to as serving no practical purpose. But there was no jealousy of the Scots dialect on the part of the Church or the educated classes—hence it was simply regarded as a literary curiosity.

Equally groundless was the notion that the issue of translations was part of a scheme to which the Queen (a Russian princess) was supposed to be accessory, for the purpose of playing into the hands of the Russians in Macedonia, by leading the Greek population to surrender their birthright as the lawful heirs of the New Testament. To understand this suspicion we must remember that the Greeks had long prided themselves on the fact that they and they alone could read the very words of the New Testament in their own tongue, and they were afraid that they would forfeit this distinction and be reduced to a level with their Slavonic neighbours, if the need for a translation were admitted.[9]

{224}

However inconsistent it may seem, this attachment to the Greek of the New Testament is only another phase of the same pride of ancestry that is seen in the straining after classical Greek.[10] The desire to pose before the world as the descendants of the nation which produced Homer and Æschylus and Pericles and Plato and Demosthenes has led them to sacrifice in some measure the real interests of the nation to the glamour of a remote and glorious past. Just as they have been ashamed of some mediæval monuments which reminded them of humiliating epochs in their history, so they have tried to get rid of words and forms which bore the stamp of foreign ascendency. But such affectation cannot alter facts, and is bad for the morale of a nation. The pride of birth, when carried to excess, may hurt the character of a people no less than of an individual, and foster a theatrical and pretentious spirit. It is easy to see that in the education of the young it cannot be favourable to vigour or spontaneity of thought if the pupil is denied the use of the words to which he has been accustomed from his earliest years. With such a discord between experience and expression, it is no wonder that the Greek people have produced so little native literature{225} during the last two thousand years, and that they are so largely dependent at the present time on foreign authorship, especially Russian, English, and French. The loss sustained in almost all the practical departments of the national life, both sacred and secular, is alleged to be scarcely less serious. It can hardly be otherwise, indeed, if the language employed in public documents is only partially or with difficulty understood by a large proportion of the people for whom it is intended. Moreover, it cannot be good for the nation to be divided, intellectually speaking, into two more or less antagonistic camps, corresponding roughly to the educated and the uneducated.

Of recent years there have been signs of a strong reaction. Largely owing to the ability and zeal of Professor Psichari, a son-in-law of the late M. Renan, the Atticising tendency is not nearly so prevalent as it was twenty years ago, and a considerable native literature is now making its appearance not only in poetry (in which it has always been strong) but also in novels, dramas, journals, newspapers, and even in the publication of grammars. This literature is no longer confined, as it used to be, with few exceptions, to the Ionian Islands (where Salomos of Zanté and Valaoritis of Leucas sang) and Crete (where Cornaro, of Venetian extraction, produced his great epic Erotokritos, which procured for him the title of the “Homer of the People”). Even Constantinople is beginning to breathe the new spirit; and there is reason to hope that a compromise between the two extremes may yet be effected, by which the{226} nation may realise its essential unity amid diversity, remaining true to its illustrious ancestry, without ignoring or suppressing the other elements—Roman, Byzantine, Turkish—which have contributed to its development. Its scholars are beginning to see that the idea of classical Greek ever becoming a universal language for men of culture is a vain dream, and that a nation’s speech, like its life, must undergo continual modification. Such modification, though it may appear to the pedant to be corruption, is evolution to the philosopher and man of sense. The history of the Russian and Czech languages, which have adapted themselves to literary purposes with such success during the last two hundred years, encourages the hope that the language now spoken by the common people of Greece may go through a similar process of development, borrowing from the ancient Greek what it requires in order to meet the needs of science and philosophy, while holding its ground as the essential basis of the national speech.[11]

Akin to this controversy is the question as to the proper pronunciation of Greek. So different is the pronunciation now current among the Greeks from that which is in vogue in this country that, even without any difference in vocabulary or grammar, a Western scholar trained in the Erasmian system would find the greatest difficulty in understanding or making himself{227}



THE STADION AT ATHENS The line of sight is in the direction of the axis of the Stadion. The hills sloping right and left show the line of the seats for spectators. The stones projecting from the side of the hill to the left are part of the masonry which faced the eastern limb of the Stadion on its southern side. In the foreground is the modern bridge over the Ilissus leading to the Stadion.

THE STADION AT ATHENS

The line of sight is in the direction of the axis of the Stadion. The hills sloping right and left show the line of the seats for spectators. The stones projecting from the side of the hill to the left are part of the masonry which faced the eastern limb of the Stadion on its southern side. In the foreground is the modern bridge over the Ilissus leading to the Stadion.

understood by a modern Greek, who allows the accentuation to supersede the vowel-quantity and reduces the diphthong to a simple sound. How different, for example, Peloponnēsos sounds when it is pronounced Pelopónnĭssos, or ta-nephē (τἁ νἑφη) when pronounced ta-néphī. The difference is still more marked when you hear a modern Greek read Homer, for he seems to do away with the metre altogether. Till lately the Greeks were inclined to smile at our rendering of the quantities. But recently they have been learning from one who is perhaps their highest authority on such questions (G. Chatzidakis) that ancient inscriptions and transcriptions show that their living language has not stood still in the matter of pronunciation any more than in other respects. It does not follow from this, however, that the Erasmian pronunciation, though older and more correct as to quantity than is now current among the Greeks, is in all respects the same as would have been heard in the streets of Athens in the days of Socrates.{228}

{229}

Index

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Z

Academy, 172
Acanthus, 119
Achæan League, 18, 118
Achæans, 40, 52, 55, 103, 162
Achilles, 11, 142
Acro-Corinthus, 73, 111 f., 118
Acropolis, 124 seq., 152, 166, 170, 173, 188, 199
Adrastus, 95 f.
Ægaleus (Mt.), 175
Ægeus, 126
Ægina, 82, 96, 108, 142 seq.
Æginetans, 143 ff.
Ægospotami, 82, 88, 144, 186
Æolian, 7, 15, 162
Æschines, 64
Æschylus, 21, 138, 176, 189, 191 f., 196, 207, 224
Africa, 73, 87, 102
Agamemnon, 40, 58, 61, 97, 100, 102, 105, 192
Agesilaus, 82, 89
Agesipolis, 59, 98
Agis, 58, 85, 89
Agraulos, 129
Agrippa, 210
Ajax, 140, 142
Alcæus, 7
Alcibiades, 48, 97, 185, 207
Alcinous, 9, 106
Alcmæon, 61
Alcmæonid, 131
Aleman, 85
Alexander the Great, 12, 21, 49, 64, 74, 97, 117, 122, 171, 196, 201
Alpheus, 34, 52, 63
Amazons, 68, 157
Amphictyony, 27, 130
Amyclæ, 90, 91
Anaxagoras, 203
Andritsæna, 67
Antipater, 64, 201 f.
Aphæa, 145
Aphrodité, 119, 176
Apollo, 16, 20 seq., 41, 62, 68 f., 91, 98, 108, 118, 127, 174, 176
Aratus, 118
Arcadia, 51 seq., 82, 105
Archæology (schools of), 29, 35, 65, 119
Areopagus, 125, 127, 139, 166, 185, 207, 214
Areté, 106, 182
Arethusa, 52
Argive, 74, 82, 97
Argives, 58, 95, 98, 101, 107
Argolic, 104
Argolid, 108
Argolis, 36, 94 seq.
Argonauts, 54
Argos, 49, 61, 64, 71, 94, 112
Ariadne, 125
Arion, 190 f.
Aristides, 62
Aristodemus, 77
Aristogeiton, 134 f.
Aristomenes, 72 f., 92
Aristophanes, 173, 193 f., 199, 217
Aristotle, 12, 41, 196, 203, 212
Art (development of), 43, 148 f.
Artemis, 52, 54, 79, 145
Asclepios, 108 f., 174{230}
Asia Minor, 40, 87, 103, 130, 134, 149, 197
Atalanta, 54
Athena, 28, 55, 91, 128, 131, 139, 144 f., 146 seq., 210
Athens, 9, 29, 32, 60, 61, 64, 75, 84, 88, 97, 102, 105, 114, 122, 124 seq.
Athens (modern), 212 seq.
Attalus (stoa of), 209
Attica, 125
Atreus, 105
Autonomy (love of), 5. Vide Tyranny

Bacchiadæ, 113
Bacchus (Dionysus), 192
Baltic, 102
Bassæ, 66, 68 f.
Bellerophon, 112
Bérard (Victor), 10, 16, 76
Blackie (Prof. J. S.), 192
Bœotia, 48, 58, 60, 74
Bosporus, 99
Boulé (Council), 78, 184, 208
Brasidas, 85, 200
Brennus, 28
Bribery, 25, 43, 84
British and Foreign Bible Society, 120
British Museum, 68, 154, 161, 176
Burial, 102 f., 137, 168, 172
Byron, 18, 165, 195, 215
Byzantine, 62, 66, 68, 92, 107, 159, 226

Callicrates, 153
Callimachus, 119
Callirhoe, 169
Callistratus, 60 f.
Calydonian Hunt, 54 f.
Calypso, 9
Canal (Corinth), 121 f.
Capodistrias, 107
Caryatidæ, 149, 161
Castalian Spring, 32
Cecropia, 128, 147
Cecrops, 128 f., 139, 162
Celeus, 177-179
Cenchreæ, 120
Centaur, 37, 68, 154, 190
Cephallenia (Cephalonia), 7, 73
Cephisus, 175
Cerameicus, 169 f., 209
Chæronea, 29, 168
Charon, 169
Chatzidakis (G.), 227
Choregus, 195 ff.
Chrysostom (Dio), 38
Chthonian, 39, 177
Cicero, 38, 60, 172, 180
Cimon, 127, 145, 173
Cirphis, 20
Cirrha, 27
Cladeus, 35
Cleisthenes, 96, 172, 184 f.
Cleomenes, 25, 64, 89, 98
Clergy (Greek), 75, 214
Climate, 3, 124
Clytemnestra, 55
Codrus, 129
Colchis, 113
Colonies (Greek), 4, 24 f., 47, 49
Colonus, 174 f.
Comedy. Vide Drama
Conon, 172
Constantinople, 38, 158, 220, 225
Cora, 177
Coreia, 182
Corfu (Corcyra), 7 ff., 114
Corinth, 9, 88, 104, 111 seq., 140, 142, 190
Cornaro, 225
Cornelius Nepos, 116
Cotys, 187
Cowardice (contempt for), 80 ff.
Cratinus, 194
Creon, 112
Crete, 30, 103, 126, 132
Creüsa, 162
Crisa, 19
Crœsus, 22, 96
Cronius, 34
Crusaders, 86
Cumæ (Hypereia), 10
Cyclopean, 102, 119, 125
Cyclopes, 85
Cyllene, 19
Cylon, 131
Cypselus, 113
Cyrene, 87
Cyrus, 22, 84

Danaids, 95
Danaus, 95
Daphni, 176
Darius, 134 ff., 142
Delian League, 152, 207{231}
Delos, 30, 127
Delphi, 18 seq.
Delphian Oracle, 20 seq., 56 f., 78 f., 98, 127-130, 138, 140, 144
Delyannis, 62
Demaratus, 25, 86
Demeter, 52, 144, 175 ff.
Demetrius of Phalerum, 117
Demetrius Poliorcetes, 121, 206 f.
Democracy, 183 seq., 206 ff.
Demosthenes, 74, 158, 195, 201 ff., 224
Despoina, 52
Deucalion, 211
Diogenes, 118
Dion, 182
Dionysia, 191, 193
Dionysius, 21, 46, 115, 117, 187 f.
Dionysus (Bacchus), 189 f., 194, f.
Dioscuri, 90
Dipylon, 168 f., 175
Dodona, 26
Dorian or Doric, 31, 40 f., 55, 68, 71, 74, 87, 90, 99, 129, 142, 144, 193
Draco, 130
Drama, 46 f., 92, 188 seq., 217
Dress, 70, 103, 149

Ecclesia, 78, 184
Education, 197, 218
Egypt, 94, 102 f., 107, 128, 196
Egyptian, 99, 181
Eleusis, 167 seq.
Elgin, Lord, 154, 161, 176
Elis, 40, 41
Emigration, 216
Empire (Athenian), 88, 207
Enneapylon, 125
Epaminondas, 58 f., 62, 73 f., 88
Epeia, 40
Ephors, 78, 82
Ephyra, 123
Epidamnus, 9
Epidaurus, 96, 108, 142
Epimenides, 132
Epizephyrian, 130
Erechtheum, 145, 160 seq.
Erechtheus, 128, 145, 162
Erichthonius, 156
Erinyes, 166
Erymanthus, 19, 67
Eumæus, 14
Eumenes, 190
Eumenides, 131, 166
Euripides, 54, 172, 193, 196 f.
Eurotas, 89 f., 92
Evzoni, 70

Flamininus, 123
Furies, 165
Fürtwangler, Prof., 145

Gæa or Gē, 21
Galen, 181
Geography, 3, 124
Gerousia, 78
Gladstone, 8, 215
Glauké, 112 f.
Gorgon, 156, 159
Greece (characteristics of), 3 ff.
Gymnopædia, 81

Hades, 95, 112, 169
Hadrian, 188, 211 f., 215
Harmodius, 134 f.
Harpalus, 171, 196
Helen, 69, 90
Helisson, 63
Hellen, 129, 162
Hellenic, 20, 36, 47, 84, 86, 129, 152, 157, 162, 179
Hellespont, 61, 141
Helots, 87 f.
Hephæstion, 171
Hephæstus, 105, 128
Hera, 35, 41, 99 f., 107
Heracleids, 40, 55, 77, 89
Heracles, 34, 37, 40, 55, 71, 79, 105, 123
Heræum, 99 f.
Hermes, 37, 105
Herodes-Atticus, 190, 216
Herodotus, 24, 46, 56, 95 f., 113 f., 144, 163, 217
Hesiod, 21, 40, 54, 60, 162
Hesperides, 54
Hipparchus, 173
Hippias, 135
Hissarlik, 103
Homer, 4, 10 seq., 40, 43, 54, 62, 77 f., 95 f., 103, 105 f., 123, 128, 148, 224, 227
Homeridæ of Chios, 16
Homicide, 24{232}
Honour (love of), 143
Human sacrifice, 23, 75
Hyacinthia, 91
Hyllus, 55
Hymettus, 148
Hyperbolus, 185

Ictinus, 68, 153
Iliad, 12 seq., 101, 108, 126
Ilissus, 150
Ilium, 16
Io, 99
Ion, 129
Ionian Islands, 7 seq., 122
Ionian and Ionic, 58, 129, 134, 136, 176, 197
Iphicrates, 91
Iphitus, 41
Isocrates, 47
Isthmian games, 39, 122
Itea, 19
Ithaca, 7
Ithome (Mt.), 68, 73, 75

Jason of Pheræ, 28
Jesus Christ, 166, 180
Julian the Apostate, 26
Julius Cæsar, 118, 121, 210
Jupiter (vide Zeus), 29, 38, 221
Justinian, 157

Kalamata, 76
Karytæna, 66
Knossus, 126
Kolokotronis, 66

Laconia, 72, 80, 86, 93
Laius, 32
Langada, 92
Language question, 217 seq.
Lapiths, 37, 68, 154
Larissa, 94, 99
Latona, 62
Laurium, 208
Lawyers (modern Gr.), 214
Leæna, 134
Lechæum, 120
Lenæan festival, 47
Lenormant statue, 157
Leonidas, 75, 80, 90
Lepreum, 48
Leucas, 11
Leuctra, 59, 61, 81
Liberation (of Greece), 18, 66, 77, 212
Locrians, 28, 130
Lucian, 160
Lycabettus, 125
Lycæus, 52, 67
Lycaon, 52
Lyceum, 212
Lycia, 112
Lycosura, 52
Lycurgus, 21, 41, 71, 79, 84
Lycurgus (of Athens), 172, 188
Lysander, 25, 83 f.
Lysias, 47
Lysicrates, 195

Macedonia, 64, 97, 118, 201, 205, 223
Mænalus (range), 63
Magna Græcia, 4, 187, 197
Mahaffy (Prof.), 75
Malea (Cape), 96
Mantinea, 58, 62, 85
Marathon, 31, 127, 136 ff., 164
Mardonius, 56, 141 f.
Marsyas, 62
Matapan (Cape), 89, 122
Medea, 113
Medes, 136
Medical profession, 108 f., 214
Mediterranean, 16
Medusa, 95
Megacles, 131
Megalopolis, 59, 63 ff., 69
Megara, 129, 131 f., 171, 178
Melanippus, 96
Menander, 172, 194
Menelaus, 76, 90
Menestheus, 126
Messene, 64, 73 ff.
Messenia, 71 ff., 92
Metaneira, 177
Miletus, 114, 130
Miltiades, 127, 136 ff.
Minos, 103, 126
Minotaur, 126
Mistra, 91 f.
Morea, 92
Morosini, 158
Mummius, 118
Music, 31, 46, 74, 85 f.
Mycale, 142{233}
Mycenæ, 16, 35, 94, 97, 101 ff., 105, 123, 128
Mysteries, 175, 177 seq.
Mythology, 1 ff.

Naupactus, 40, 53, 73
Nauplia, 103, 107
Nausicaa, 11
Navarino, 77
Navel-stone, 29
Nemea, 39, 123
Nero, 31, 50, 121, 189
Nestor, 76
New Testament, 120, 220 seq.
Nicetas, 159
Nicias, 161, 185
Niké, 37, 126, 164
Niobe, 40

Oaths, 48, 130 f.
Odysseus, 9 f., 14, 106
Odyssey, 12 seq., 126
Œdipus, 32, 61, 96
Olympia, 18, 34 seq., 98, 217
Olympiad, 39
Olympian Games, 34 seq., 177
Olympieum, 211, 221, cf. 150
Olympus (Mt.), 15, 39, 117, 177
Omens, 28, 98 f., 116
Omphalos, 29
Ophis (river), 59, 62
Oracle. Vide Delphian
Oratory, 197 seq.
Orestes, 57, 61, 166
Otho, 107
Oxylus, 40

Pæonius, 37
Palace (Homeric), 105
Palæocastrizza, 10
Palamidi, 108
Pallis (Alexander), 220 seq.
Pan, 190
Pan-Athenaic (games), 150, 154, 173, 206
Pancratium, 42
Pandora, 157
Pandroseum, 162 f.
Parnassus, 19 seq.
Parthenon, 151 seq., 206
Patras, 18
Paul (St.), 120, 180
Pausanias, 53, passim
Pegasus, 112
Peirene, 112, 119
Peisistratus, 76, 133 ff., 149 ff., 173, 191, 211
Pelasgian, 54, 103, 125
Pelasgicon, 125
Pelasgus, 52
Pelopides, 60
Pelopium, 38
Peloponnesian war, 9, 58, 69, 77, 87, 99, 143
Peloponnesus (Heracleid invasion of), 40, 55
Pelops, 36, 38, 102, 105
Penelope, 11, 69
Pentathlon, 41
Pentelicus, 126, 216
Periander, 114, 121
Pericles, 25, 140, 143, 152, 157, 160, 166, 168, 172, 185 f., 224
Periœci, 86
Persephone, 52, 177, 179
Perseus, 95, 102
Persia, 22, 47, 81, 84, 95, 117
Phæacian Island, 9, 106
Phædriadæ, 20, 32
Phalerum, 170 f.
Pheidias, 38, 145, 153, 157
Pheidon, 96, 97
Pheræ, 76
Phigalia, 68
Philip (of Macedonia), 27, 49, 60, 74, 88, 117, 167, 196
Philopappus, 210
Philopœmen, 65, 89
Philosophy, 197, 203 ff.
Phlius, 96
Phocæa, 130
Phocians, 27
Phocion, 171, 200
Phœbe, 120
Phœnicia, 16, 52, 96, 103, 111, 141, 196
Phormio, 172
Phrygian art, 40
Phytalus, 175
Pindar, 41, 45, 60
Piræus, 140, 142 f., 145, 172, 201
Pisa (Pisatis), 37, 40 f.
Platæa, 57, 81, 97, 135, 137, 142, 144, 164{234}
Plato, 174, 187 f., 198, 203, 224
Pleistoanax, 25
Pleistus, 20
Pliny, 31, 160
Plutarch, 30, 60, 62, 118, 181
Pluto, 2, 16, 169, 174
Pnyx, 125, 199 f.
Poetry (ancient), 13
Polis, 11
Politics (modern), 213 ff.
Polycleitus, 100
Ponticonisi, 10
Poseidon, 10, 73, 105, 122, 145, 162, 202
Pottery, 103 f., 169 f.
Praxiteles, 37, 62
Priscilla, 120
Prometheus, 173
Pronunciation (Greek), 226 f.
Propylæa, 158, 160, 163, 165 f.
Proserpine, 52, 177
Protagoras, 198
Psichari, 225
Psyttaleia, 140
Pylos, 76 f.
Pythian (air), 41
Pythian games, 19, 27, 39
Pythian oracle. Vide Delphi
Pytho, 30

Queen (of Greece), 221, 223

Ramsay (Prof. W. M.), 190 f.
Reformers (political), 130, 132, 183 seq.
Rhegium, 73
Roman (period), 55, 118, 121 ff., 208 seq.

Sacred Wars, 27 ff.
Sacred Ways, 29, 179
St. Elias, 66
St. George, 128
Salamis, 132, 140, 164, 176
Salomos, 225
Samos, 120
Sanctuary (desecration of), 49, 99, 131 f., 144
Santa Mauro, 7
Sappho’s Leap, 7
Satyr, 190
Scheria, 9
Schliemann, 16, 101 f.
Scopas, 55
Sellasia, 89
Sibyl, 30
Sicily, 73, 115 f., 197
Sicyon, 96
Silenus, 189
Sisyphus, 112
Slaves, 24, 72, 73, 87 f.
Socrates, 21, 61, 127, 172, 194, 198, 203, 210, 227
Solon, 21, 132 f., 172, 183 f., 196
Sophists, 193, 197 f., 202
Sophocles, 175, 191, 193, 196, 217
Sparta, 25, 56 f., 61, 71 seq., 97 f., 107, 114, 117, 135, 142 ff., 186 f., 200
Sphacteria, 77, 86, 200
Stadium of Athens, 216 f.
Stenyclerus, 74
Strabo, 77
Sulla, 31, 167
Sunium, 137, 158
Sydney (Sir Philip), 51
Synœcia, 125
Syracuse, 9, 46 f., 115 f., 188

Tantalus, 40
Tarentum, 87
Taygetus, 74, 77, 89, 91
Tegea, 54 seq., 62
Telemachus, 76
Terpander, 85
Thebes, 29, 54, 61, 64, 88, 95 f., 103
Themis, 21
Themistocles, 139 seq., 208
Theodosius, 26, 50
Theoric Fund, 185 f., 208
Thera, 89
Therapne, 90
Thermopylæ, 27, 57, 80, 97
Thersilium, 65
Theseum, 127 f.
Theseus, 125 seq., 212
Thespis, 197
Thetes, 183
Thrasybulus, 114, 172
Thriasian (plain), 176, 178
Thothmes III., 99
Thucydides, 15, 46, 88 f., 99, 105, 168
Thyestes, 105
Thyrea, 142
Timoleon, 115 f.
Tiryns, 94, 97, 100, 105 ff., 128{235}
Titthion (Mt.), 108
Torch races, 173 f.
Tower of the Winds, 209
Tragedy. Vide Drama
Trapezus, 63
Treasuries, 49, 155
Treasury of the Athenians, 31
Tripoliza, 62, 66
Triptolemus, 177
Trœzen, 96
Troy, 16, 40, 94, 100 f., 105
Turks, 62, 77, 107
Tyranny (hatred of), 115, 133 f., 187 f.
Tyrtæus, 72, 85

University (of Athens), 215, 220 f.

Valaoritis, 225
Varvakeion, 156
Vases, 169 f.
Venetians, 107, 158
Vespasian, 121
Ville-hardouin, 92
Vitruvius, 119
Vourkano, 75

Women, 11, 41, 69 f., 80 f., 149 f.

Xenophanes, 203
Xenophon, 16, 21, 82
Xerxes, 43, 86, 134, 138 seq.

Zaleucus, 130
Zanes, 43
Zanté (Zacynthus), 7
Zeno, 172
Zeus, 34, 38 seq., 52, 72, 75, 90, 99, 105 f., 112, 123, 139, 146 f., 150, 163, 177, 196
Zountas, 101

THE END

Printed by R. & R. Clark, Limited, Edinburgh.

{236}

{237}



Sketch Map of GREECE MAP ACCOMPANYING “GREECE,” BY JOHN FULLEYLOVE, R.I., AND REV. J. A. M‘CLYMONT, D.D. (A. AND C. BLACK, LONDON)

Sketch Map of GREECE

MAP ACCOMPANYING “GREECE,” BY JOHN FULLEYLOVE, R.I., AND REV. J. A. M‘CLYMONT, D.D. (A. AND C. BLACK, LONDON)

FOOTNOTES:

[1] It may interest the reader to have a specimen of these famous odes. The translation is that of Ernest Myers.

FOR ASOPICHOS OF ORCHOMENOS, WINNER IN THE BOYS’ SHORT FOOT-RACE

[This ode was to be sung, probably by a chorus of boys, at the winner’s city, Orchomenos, and most likely in the temple of the three Charites or Graces—Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia—though sometimes the odes were sung at a banquet or at the door of the victor’s house. The date of the victory is 476 B.C.]

O Ye who haunt the land of goodly steeds that drinketh of Kephisos’ waters, lusty Orchomenos’ queens renowned in song; O Graces, guardians of the Minyai’s ancient race, hearken, for unto you I pray. For by your gift come unto men all pleasant things and sweet, and the wisdom of a man and his beauty, and the splendour of his fame. Yea even gods without the Graces’ aid rule never at feast or dance; but these have charge of all things done in heaven, and beside Pythian

Apollo of the golden bow they have set their thrones, and worship the eternal majesty of the Olympian Father.

O Lady Aglaia, and thou Euphrosyne, lover of song, children of the mightiest of the gods, listen and hear, and thou Thalia, delighting in sweet sounds, and look down upon this triumphal company, moving with high light step under happy fate. In Lydian{*} mood of melody, concerning Asopichos am I come hither to sing, for that through thee, Aglaia, in the Olympic games the Minyai’s home is winner.

{* The Lydian “mood” was sung to the accompaniment of the flute, and was tender, sometimes even plaintive. The Dorian mode was stronger, the Æolian more bright and animated, generally accompanied with the lyre or the flute, sometimes both. The metres of the different odes exhibit great variety.}

Fly, Echo, to Persephone’s dark-walled home, and to his father bear the noble tidings, that seeing him thou mayest speak to him of his son, saying that for his father’s honour in Pisa’s famous valley he hath crowned his boyish hair with garlands from the glorious games.

[2] Philip of Macedonia probably owed much of his success to the education he received at Thebes from his fifteenth till his eighteenth year.

[3] A name borne by many other hills in Greece owing to their resemblance to Helios, “the sun.”

[4] Frazer’s Pausanias, vol. iii. p. 7.

[5] Frazer’s Pausanias, vol. ii. p. 350.

[6] To this day speeches are often delivered in the cemetery, especially at the funeral of a person of note. Before being taken to the place of burial, the body, fully dressed, is carried in an open coffin to the church, where a religious service is held, of which an address sometimes forms part.

[7] “The conception of the Satyr, a half-human, half-bestial form, belongs originally to Asia Minor, and was developed, first in Ionian, and then in general Greek art. The more strictly Greek conceptions of Thessalian Centaur and Arcadian Pan are fundamentally the same in character. The Satyr-type varies between human mixed with horse and human mixed with goat, while the Centaur is only of the first kind and Pan only of the second. Silenus is a similar idea, of Anatolian origin probably, but developed in art more on the human side. The idea in all these figures is that of rude, free, natural life, untrained, unfettered by conventions and ideas of merely human origin.”—Prof. W. M. Ramsay’s “Religion of Greece” in Hastings’ D. B. (extra volume).

[8] A great amount of detailed information regarding the affairs of modern Greece will be found in W. Miller’s Greek Life in Town and Country (Newnes, 1905).

[9] The following is Mr. Pallis’ translation of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. vi. 9-13):—Πατέρα μας ἐσὺ μεσ' στὰ οὐράνια, ἅγιο ἄς εἶναι τ' ὄνομά σου, ἄς ἔρθει ἡ βασιλεία σου, ἃς γίνει τὸ θέλημά σου, ὄπως στὸν οὐρανὸ (ἔτσι) καὶ στὴ γῆ· τὸ ψωμί μας ὅσο μᾶς πέφτει δῶσε μας σήμερα, καὶ χάρισέ μας τὰ χρέη μας ὅπως κι' ἐμεῖς χαρίσαμε σ' ὅσους μᾶς χρωστοῦν· καὶ μὴ μᾶς βάλεις σὲ πειρασμὸ, μόνε γλύτωσέ μας ἀπὸ τὸν κακό.

[10] We have a proof of this in the fact that a students’ riot took place in 1903 when a modern Greek version of the Oresteia of Æschylus was put upon the stage, but had to be vetoed by the Government.

[11] The reader who wishes to go more fully into this subject will find it ably treated by K. Krumbacher in his Festrede on “Das Problem der neugriechischen Schriftsprache” (München, 1903).


				


				

				

				

				

Hellenica World

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