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not but believe he would rise elsewhere, and if anywhere, where so likely as in this spot, the only scene which could be congenial to his earlier stage of existence? To speak generally, the light thrown by the geography of Sicily on its early poetical character, cannot better be described than in a passage of Goethe, worth quoting in itself for its excellent delineation of the island; "With regard to Homer, a veil seems to have fallen from my eyes. The descriptions, the comparisons, come before us in a poetical form, yet are unspeakably natural; but delineated with a clearness and vividness which almost startles one. Even the most marvellous and purely imaginary events have a naturalness about them which I have never felt so much as in the vicinity of the objects
* * * * * * *.*
"Now all these coasts, gulfs, and creeks, islands and peninsulas, rocks and sand-banks, wooded hills, soft meadows, fertile fields, neat gardens, hanging grapes, cloudy mountains, constant cheerfulness of plains, cliffs and ridges, and the all surrounding sea with such manifold variety are all present in my mind; now is the Odyssey for the first time become to me a living word." (Gothe. Italienische Reise. May 17, 1787.)
These illustrations of Greek history might be carried on to almost any length. But enough has been said to show the general truth of the connexion between it and its topography. We will only add, that as the singular physical correspondence between Greece as compared with other countries, and Europe as compared with other continents, (Thirlwall's Greece, i. p. 1), remarkably agrees with the intellectual position which Greece occupied as a miniature Europe, so the station which it stills holds, geographically as well as morally, between Europe and Asia, may serve to shadow forth the destiny still perhaps in store for modern Greece, if she has ever strength in herself to attain to it,—a destiny of which a glimpse seems to have flashed across the mind of Constantine when he founded his first city on the shores of the Bosporus—viz. that as the Greeks were once the means of handing on the light of civilization from the East to the West, so they may yet. again, in however inferior a degree, become links in the chain by which the West may be called to repay her debt by re-awakening the civilization of the East. (See also Col. Leake, second edition, i. 450).
Such being the importance of the study of Greek topography, it may not be uninteresting to point out the basis on which it rests, and the expectations which we may form of its advance.
Now, in the first place, we must not look for help, either in the past or the present, to local traditions. Wonderful as has been the preservation of the Greek nation and language through so many centuries of degradation, yet as a general rule the historical link between themselves and their ancestors, has been as entirely severed as if they were two distinct, races. A few remarkable exceptions indeed are to be found, the enumeration of which will show their rarity. The church of St. Dionysius, on the slope of the Areopagus, is perhaps the only standing traditional witness to the identity of the scene of any fact (Leake's Ailiens, I. 165), besides what is afforded in the preservation of names, as at Athens of Academia (ib. l. 195), and Callirhoe (ib. i. 175). The names of towns have also been generally retained, as might be expected from a population so civic as the Greeks—and in some instances an ancient name is thus handed down to us, of which there is no direct mention in any extant Greek writers— as e.g. in the existing names of Palamedi (Leake's Morea, n. 358), Trachys, Coroni (ib. II. 457), and Cotroni (Leake's Athens, second edition, n. 21). And when the names have, through the process of time, become corrupted, it is always possible to detect them through their modern disguise. Some have suffered merely under the influence of the general decay of the Greek language— which it is not here within our purpose to consider—e. g. Leusina for Eleusis, Marusi for Amarusia, &c. &c. Others have been superseded by names formed out of the preposition els and the accusative, as if given by foreigners, who, receiving such an answer in reply to their inquiries as to the place to which they were going, had mistaken the whole sentence for a proper name. Of this,
Stamboul («r rrjv iroku/), Stalimene («s Tov Xi/icVa), 'OAu/Mruraoiir ay&vas
for Olympia, Satinas (fir 'AAjvar), which was in Wheler's time the common name for Athens, are obvious instances. And others have been slightly modified for the sake of giving them a meaning in the actually spoken language, of which Dr. Ulrichs has given a curious catalogue at the beginning of his tract on Crissa and Cirrha22.
But during the long course of degradation and slavery which Greece has undergone for the last three centuries, it is not surprising that the scanty knowledge which existed in the barbarism of the preceding six centuries should have entirely vanished. Rivers and mountains, which in most countries retain their names through all political convulsions, have here lost them almost universally. With regard to rivers, the only exceptions which occur to us at the moment, are the Glaucus in Achaia, whose name still appears in the form of Leucus, and the Alpheus at Olympia: the appellation of the river itself has usually been merged in the general appellation of the district through which it flows; of which perhaps the most striking instance is the Sperchius, in whose name of "EXXafia, thus returning to the same narrow limits within which it was originally confined, was, for some centuries, to be found the only trace of the glorious name of Hellas. The mountains, always comparatively uninhabited, would naturally lose their distinctive .names, when the vocabulary of the people who dwelt at their feet became gradually more and more limited, and their attention fixed more and more exclusively on the objects immediately within their reach. Whether the present name of Hymettus "Trelo Vouni" (the Turkish words for "Mad Mountain") originated in the Italian corruption of "Mont' Imetto" into "Monte Matto" depends on a question which seems not quite settled, as to whether "Trelo Vouni" or "Monte Matto" be the earlier in point of time. But most, of the other names of mountains are not corruptions of the original- names, but totally new ones, derived, as would be expected, from a half-civilized people living in villages, either from some external peculiarity, or from some adjacent town or village. Of the first kind, "Elatea" (the mountain of pines), as applied to Cithaeron, or Zagaro Vouni (camel's hunch), as applied to Helicon, are instances ;—of the second, Liacura, as applied to Parnassus, from the ancient village of Lycorea, which has itself perished; Pani, as applied to the western part of Hymettus, apparently from the sanctuary of Pan, near Anaphlystus, (Leake's Athena, second edition, n. 61). And the beginning of the process is to be discerned in the name Pentelicus, still preserved in the modern 23 Mentele, which as early as the time of Pausanias had begun to supplant the earlier and only classical name of that mountain—Brilessus. The only instance which occurs to us of the name having been preserved entire, is in the case of mount Parthenium in Arcadia; where, however, its preservation is partly to be attributed to the mistaken notion of the inhabitants, that it is connected with a church of the Virgin, which, however, as Leake (Morea, n. 330) well observes, would have been called,
"x«^a'°" has thus been altered into ay/caXij; Athens into ij 'Avdijva; ^Igina into ij ESyeyff; Naxos into if 'Agia; Ios into rj Neos; Astypalsea into »j Atnpoira\ia; Fhinius into o •bovias; Crissa into To Xpvad;—to which we may add, from Wordsworth (Athens, 260), Psyttalia into AnffoKouTaXia. The same tendency to naturalize names which they did not
understand, by a slight alteration which would give them a meaning in their own language, appears in the Greeks of earlier times. Thus, the Hebrew word Kidron (dark) is altered into ILeSpmv, as if "of Cedars;" and Kison (hard) into KtVonoi/, as if " of ivy;" and in Italy Trasimenus, into Qpaavfievos,
not "Ayut B.ap6evos, but "Ayui QeoroKos, Or narayia. One of the cases
where tradition is thought to be of the most weight in Greek topography, is to be found in the common notion, that the Greek Christians selected for the churches of particular saints the temples of those gods who either in name or character seemed to them their fittest predecessors. That the same position which was in pagan times occupied by a temple, would in Christian times be occupied by a church, is probable not only from the natural inducements which the place and the materials would hold out, but also from the analogy of Italy, where the change of temples into churches was almost universal, and from the appearance of its having been the case in Greece wherever we have means of judging. It would also follow that there would generally be a coincidence of situation on the sea-coast between temples of the sea-god and churches in honour of the patron-saint of sailors, St. Nicholas— between temples of any God on "high places," and churches dedicated to Elijah, which are naturally almost always to be found on the tops of hills. And, further, if there was any striking,
!S The change of P into M is such as we see also in "Pindarus" and "Mindarus."
though only superficial, similarity either of name or external attribute, between the saint and the ancient worship, it is probable that the connexion would be preserved; and hence Dr. Wordsworth's conjecture, that the dedication of the church on the shore of Oropos to the ayioi 'A7ro'oroXoi, is an indication of its having been the harbour of Oropos (affooroXos), seems not without ground (Athens, 23); the rude paintings of St. George mounted on his horse, on the walls of one of the chapels at Colonos, may perhaps suggest a connexion with the anrora KoXcoi/oO of Sophocles; and whilst the name of Artemis has perished, her epithet, Amarusia, is still preserved in Attica, in the name of the village Marusi, as that of iwreipa is retained, we have been told, in a church or village near Troezen. But beyond this it seems useless to venture. Even the dedication of the Parthenon to the Panaghia, and the temple of Theseus to St. George, which are generally adduced in support of the universal connexion of ideas in the succession of saints to pagan deities, seems accounted for adequately by the consideration that the two most remarkable edifices at Athens would naturally be dedicated to the most remarkable objects of Greek Hagiography; and it is surely unwarrantable, with Dr. Wordsworth, to seek for a confirmation of the supposed site of the temple of the Panhellenian Jupiter in iEgina, in the similarity of certain details between the history of Elijah and the legend of iEacus (Wordsworth's Athens, 270), or to imagine that an inland chapel of St. Nicholas must have of necessity succeeded to a temple of Poseidon, as at Colonos. (ib. 236.)
As a general rule, therefore, but little is to be learned from local tradition. The same ignorance which prevailed in Italy with regard to the monuments of antiquity, must have prevailed much more deeply here during the middle ages; and as the name of the Forum was lost first in that of Tria Fata, from the three statues which so long remained there, and afterwards in that of the Campo Vaccino; so the most famous places and objects in Greece received their appellations from some accidental circumstance, such as would naturally fix itself in barbarian minds, to the expulsion of the older names, which had ceased to have any meaning to them. The Piraeeus became Port Draco, from the lion which lay on its shore; Munychia, Port Fanari, probably from the