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THENS (AGoval, ATHENAE) was the name of as many A as nine towns in various parts of the Grecian world, among which Athenae Diades, in the N.W. of Euboea, a town belonging to the Athenian confederation, is worthy of mention. But it was the capital of Attica which invested the name of Athens with an undying charm for the poet, the artist, the philosopher, the historian, for all time. It is situated in long. 23° 44' E., lat. 37° 58' N., towards the south of the central plain (trečíov) of Attica, about 4} miles from the harbour of Piraeeus, and nearly 4 from the Bay of Phalerum. The survey of Pausanias (i. 2–30), when compared with existing remains, and supplemented by the numerous incidental notices of ancient authors, enables us to form a more perfect conception of the topography of ancient Athens than of any other Greek city. Recent excavations have added greatly to our knowledge of it, and the literature of the subject is very extensive (see p. 11, infra). Our object in this article will be to treat of the topography of Athens from an historical point of view, and to show how the rise, the greatness, the decline of the city may be read in the history of its buildings.
There seems little reason to doubt that the earliest settlement on Athenian soil was upon the cliff afterwards famous as the Acropolis. Such is the express statement of Thucydides (ii. 15), who observes that the Acropolis was commonly termed at Athens à têAts, much as the oldest part of London is styled “The City.” The earliest inhabitants appear to have been Pelasgians; and though it was the boast of the Athenians that they alone of all Greek states were indigenous (airóx60wes), yet their town would from the first have received accessions from various parts of the continent, the peaceful poverty of Attica affording a welcome refuge in those early and unsettled times (Thucyd., i. 2). The most accessible portion of the Acropolis is the western side, where it is joined by a neck of hill to the Areopagus. On this side there existed down to later times the remains of fortifications built by the earliest inhabitants, with nine doorways, one within the other, called to IIexaoyuków, or rö 'Evved rv\ov. This fort protected the only entrance to the citadel, which was surrounded by a wall, and artificially levelled for the reception of buildings. Within this fortified enclosure stood the shrine of Athena Polias (Homer, Iliad, ii. 449; Odyssey,
vii. 81), afterwards known as the Erechtheium,_and an altar of Zeus Polieus, where the strange sacrifices of the Dipolia were celebrated. A Prytaneium, containing the hearth-fire of the state, and serving as the residence of the king, would be another indispensable feature in the primitive town. But while the king and some of the most sacred families probably had dwellings within the fortress itself, Thucydides (ii. 15) points out that a great part of the early population dwelt outside its walls, under the south side of the cliff, probably without fortification, but retiring to the citadel in times of peril. In this quarter, towards the Ilissus, stood the oldest Athenian sanctuary of Dionysus, in a region called Aiuval, from having been literally a marsh in early times. Not far off, and nearer the stream, stood the temple of Zeus Olympius, said to be founded by Deucalion (Pausan, i. 18), of which more will be said presently, the precinct of Gaea Olympia, and other sacred places. Here also was the fountain of Callirrhoe, afterwards ornamented by the Pisistratids, and called Enneacrunus, the water of which was sought for sacred purposes. long after the city had outgrown these early limits (Thucyd., ii. 15). The region we have been describing formed the nucleus of the later city, and therefore, at the subdivision of all Attica into demes, this quarter was distinguished by the name Kvěaðvalov. To the west of the Acropolis there extends from N. to S. a range of hills, the three most prominent heights of which are commonly known respectively as the Hill of the Nymphs, the Pnyx, and the Museium,_the Nymphs' Hill being separated from the Acropolis by the Areopagus,
which intervenes between. Everywhere upon the slopes Early rock. of the hills just mentioned traces have lately been dis-dwellings.
covered of ancient dwellings hewn out of the solid rock. But while all these rock-dwellings are extremely ancient, yet some appear less primitive than others; it is remarked that those which exist on the Areopagus and on the hillsides nearest to the Acropolis are of a smaller and ruder type, those more distant from the citadel being somewhat more convenient in plan and extent. Legend declares the Athenians to have originally dwelt in rock-hewn caves (Dyer's Athens, ch. i.), and it would seem that primitive Athens gradually extended itself from the Acropolis in this W. and S.W. direction. This quarter was afterwards III. — I