صور الصفحة
PDF

vices, it would not hold water. At tbe bottom of b and c were found fragments of ordinary ancient pottery. There appears to have been a low and narrow doorway through the foundation of the wall, dividing this portico from the temple, to the underground space or crypt, where these holes occur, and also some communication from above, through a slab rather different from the rest, in the pavement of the portico immediately over them."

Pausanias has not expressly mentioned any other objects as being in the Pandroseium, but we may presume that it contained a statue of Pandrosus, and an altar of Thallo, one of the Horae, to whom, he informs us elsewhere (ix. 35. § 1), the Athenians paid divine honours jointly with Pandrosus. He has also omitted to notice the otnovpos Ixpis, or

[graphic]

THE SALT-WELL OF THE EEECHTHEIUM.

Erechthonian serpent, whose habitation in the Erechtheium was called SpaxavKof, and to whom honey cakes were presented every month. (Aristoph. Lytittr. 759; Herod, viii. 41; Plut. Them. 10, Dem. 26; Hesych. s. v. OXttovpov, Soph. ap. EtymoL M. t. v. AodxauAoy.) We have no means of determining the position of this 6pducav\os.

The Erechtheium was surrounded on Aiost sides by a Temenos or sacred inclosure, separated from the rest of the Acropolis by a wall. This Temenos was on a lower level than the temple, and the descent to it was by a flight of steps close to the eastern portico. It was bounded on the cast by a wall, extending from this portico to the wall of the Acropolis, of which a part is still extant. On the north it was bounded by the wall of the Acropolis, and on the south by a wall extending from the southern portico towards tbe left wing of the Propylaea. Its limits to the west cannot be ascertained. In the Temenos, there were several statues mentioned by Pausanias, name y, that of the aged pries-toss Lysimacha, one cubit high (comp. Plin. xxxiv. 8. s. 19. §15); the colossal figures in brass of Erechtheus and Eumolpus, ready to engage in

combat; some ancient wooden statues of Athena in the half burnt state in which they had been left by the Persians; the hunting of a wild boar; Cycnus fighting with Hercules; Theseus finding the slippers and sword of Aegeus under the rock; Theseus and the Marathonian bull; and Cylon, who attempted to obtain the tyranny at Athens. In the Temenos, also, was the habitation of two of the four maidens, called Arrephori, with their sphaerestra, or place for playing at ball. These two maidens remained a whole year in the Acropolis; and on the approach of the greater Panethenaea they received from the priestess of Polias a burden, the contents of which were unknown to themselves and to the priestess. With this burden they descended into a subterraneous natural cavern near the temple of Aphrodite in the gardens, where they deposited the burden they brought, and carried back another burden covered up. (Pans. i. 27. § 3; Plut Vit. X. OraU p. 839; Harpocr., Snid., s. v. Atnrvotp6poi.') It is probable that the Arrephori passed through the Aglaurium in their descent to the cavern above mentioned. The steps leading to the Aglaurium issued from the Temenos; and it is not impossible, considering the close connexion of the worship of Aglaurus with that of her sister Pandrosus, that the Aglaurium may have been considered as a part of the Temenos of the Erechtheium.

(Respecting the Erechtheium in general, see Leake, p. 574, seq.; Wordsworth, p. 130, acq., Mflller, De Minervae Pvliadit sacrit et aede, Gotting. 1820; Wilkins, Prolusions Architectonicae, part I.; Bockh, Inter, vol. i. p. 261; In wood, The Ertchtheion of A them, London, 1827; Von Qnaest, Das Erechtheum zu A then, nach dem Wert det Hr. Imcood mit Verbett. <fc, Berlin, 1840; Forchhammcr, Hcllcnika, p. 31, Beq.; Thiersch, Vber doe Erechtheum auf der Atropolu ruAthen, Munich, 1849, in which it is maintained that the Erechtheum was the domestic palace of King Erechtheus; Botticher, Der J'oliastemprl alt Wohnhaut det Kbnigt Erechtheus nach der Annahme von Fr. Thiersch, Berlin, 1851, a reply to the preceding work; Tetaz, in Revue Archiotogiqye, for 1851, parts 1 and 2.)

5. Other Monuments on the Acropolis.

The Propylaea, the Parthenon and the Erechtheium were the three chief buildings on the Acropolis; but its summit was covered with other temples, altars, statues and works of art, tbe number of which was so great as almost to excite our astonishment that space could be found for them alL Of these, however, we can only mention the most important.

(i.) The Statue of Athena Promachut, one of the most celebrated works of Pheidias, was a colossal bronze figure, and represented the goddess armed and in the very attitude of battle. Hence it was distinguished from the statues of Athena in the Parthenon and the Erechtheium, by the epithet of Promachus. This Athena was also railed "The Bronze, the Great Athena" (Ji x**^ V fi*y<&n 'Affnea, Dem. de Fait. Leg. p. 428.) Its position has been already described. It stood in the open air nearly opposite the Propylaea, and was one of the first objects seen after passing through the gates of the latter. It was of gigantic size. It towered even above the roof of the Parthenon; and the point of its spear and the crest of its helmet were visible off the promontory of Sunium to ships approaching Athens. (Pans.128. §2; comp.Herod.T. 77.) With its pedestal it mast have stood about 70 feet high. Its position and colossal proportions arc shown in an ancient coin of Athens figured below [p. 286], containing a rude representation of the Acropolis. It was still standing in A. D. 395, and is said to have frightened away Alaric when he came to sack the Acropolis. (Zosim. T. 6.) The exact site of this statue is now well ascertained, since the foundations of its pedestal hare been discovered.

(ii.) A brazen Quadriga, dedicated from the spoils of Chalcis, stood on the left hand of a person, as he entered the Acropolis through the Propylaea. (Herod, v. 77; Pans. i. 28. § 2.)

(iii.) The Gigantomachia, a composition in sculpture, stood upon the southern or Cimonian wall, and just above the Dionysiac theatre; for Plutarch relates that a violent wind precipitated into the Dionysiac theatre a Dionysus, which was one of the figures of the Gigantomachia. (Pans. L 25. § 2; Plat Ant. 60.) The Gigantomachia was one of four compositions, each three feet in beifht, dedicated by Attains, the other three representing the battle of the Athenians and Amazons, the battle of Marathon, and the destruction of the Gaols by Attains. (Pans. I. c.) If the Gigantomachia stood towards the eastern end of the southern wall, we may conclude that the three other compositions were ranged in a similar manner upon the wall towards the west, and probably extended as far as opposite the Parthenon. Mr. Penrose relates that south-east of the Parthenon, there has been discovered upon the edge of the Cimonian wall a platform of Piraic stone, containing two plain marble slabs, which are perhaps connected with these sculptures.

(iv.) Temple of Artemit Brauronia, standing between the Propylaea and the Parthenon, of which the foundations have been recently discovered. (Paus. i. 23. § 7.) Near it, as we learn from Pausanias, was a brazen statue of the Trojan horse (Tmrot 8ot<0«u>s), from which Menestheus, Teucer and the Sods of Theseus were represented looking out (urtptnnnoiKTi). From other authorities we learn that spears projected from this horse (Hesych. t. v. Sobpios Tnos; comp. Soirpttos Imos, Kpvn6v A/iT.tTx^v Sopv, Eurip. Troad. 14); and also that it was of colossal size (itwmv vs6mwv fityeSos itrov i loiptos, Aristoph. Av. 1128; Hesych. I. v. Kptos aetKyAittpas). The basis of this statue has also been discovered with an inscription, from which we learn that it was dedicated by Chaeredemus, of Coele (a quarter in the city), and that it was made by Strongylion. (XaipeSrifios EvayyiKov 4k KolAijr ayHhiKtv. ZTpoTTvAiow tuolntm Zeittchrift fur die Alterthumtwissenschaft, 1842, p. 832.)

(v.) Temple of Rome and Augustus, not mentioned by Pausanias, stood about 90 feet before the eastern front of the Parthenon. Leake observes (p. 353, seq.) that from a portion of its architrave still in existence, we may infer that it was circular, 23 feet in diameter, of the Ionic or Corinthian order, and about 50 feet in height, exclusive of a basement. An inscription found upon the site informs us that it was dedicated by the Athenian people dtf 'Pduy Kal 2«€a£TTy Koiirapi. It was dedicated to Rome and Augustus, because this emperor forbade the provinces to raise any temple to him, except in conjunction with Rome. (Suet. Aug. 52.)

In following Pausanias through the Acropolis, we must suppose that he turned to the right after

passing through the Propylaea, and went straight to the Parthenon; that from the Parthenon he proceeded to the eastern end of the Acropolis; and returned along the northern side, passing the Erechtheium and the statue of Athena Promachus.

DC Topography Of The Asty.

Before accompanying Pausanias in his route through the city, it will be convenient to notice the various places and monuments, as to the site of which there can be little or no doubt. These are the hills Areiopagus, Pnyx, of the Nymphs and Museium; the Diunysiac theatre, and the Odeium of Herodes on the southern side of the Acropolis; the cave of Apollo and Pan, with the fountain Clepsydra, and the cave of Aglaurus on the northern side ef the Acropolis; the temples of Theseus and of Zeus Olympins; the Horologium of Andronicus Cyrrhestes; the Choragic monument of Lysicratcs; the Stadium; the gateway and the aqueduct of Hadrian; and, lastly, the Agora and the Cerameicus.

A. Placet and Monument*, as to the lite of which there it little or no doubt

I. The Areiopagus.

The Areiopagus (6 "Aptios wet-yoj), or Hill of Ares, was the rocky height opposite the western end of the Acropolis, from which it was separated only by some hollow gronnd. Of its Bite there can be no doubt, both from the description of Pausanias, and from the account of Herodotus, who relates that it was a height over against the Acropolis, from which the Persians assailed the western extremity of the Acropolis. (Paus. i. 28. § 5; Herod, viii. 52; see above, p. 266, a.) According to tradition it was called the Hill of Ares, because Ares was brought to trial here before the assembled gods by Poseidon, on account of his murdering Halirrhothius, the son of the latter. The spot is memorable as the place of meeting of the Council of Areiopagus (?) iv Aptly Trdya fiov\H), frequently called the Upper Council (r) aru fiovkif), to distinguish it from the Council of Five Hundred, which held its sittings in the valley below the hill. The Council of Areiopagus met on the south-eastern summit of the rock. There are still sixteen stone steps cut in the rock, leading np to the hill from the valley of the Agora; and immediately above the steps is a bench of stones excavated in the rock, forming three sides of a quadrangle, and facing the south. Here the Areiopagites sat, as judges, in the open air (JnalBpioi iiutir(otno, Pollux, viii. 118). On the eastern and western sides is a raised block. Wordsworth supposes these blocks to be the two rude stones which Pausanias saw here, and which are described by Euripides as assigned, the one to the accuser, the other to the criminal, in the causes which were tried in this court:—

i>t 6" (Is "kfxiov ix8o» Ijicov Is Hkjiv T"
Z(ttt)v, tya> fiiv Sdrtpov AaSd-i* f$d6pov,
To 5* &AAo TptaStip' fintp 'Epivwov.

(Eurip. Iph. T. 961.) Of the Council itself an account has been given elsewhere. (Diet, of Ant s. v.) The Areiopagns possesses peculiar interest to the Christian as the spot from which the Apostle Paul preached to the men of Athens. At the foot of the height on the north-eastern side there sat ruins of a small church, dedicated to S. Dionysins the Areiopagite, and commemorating his conversion here by St Paul. (Act A pott. xvii. 34.)

At the opposite or south-eastern angle of the hill, 45 or 50 yards distant from the steps, there is a wide chasm in the rocks, leading to a gloomy recess, within which there is a fountain of very dark water. This was the sanctuary of the Eumcnides, commonly called by the Athenians the Semnae (oi ^tfwal), or Venerable Goddesses. (Pans. L 28. § 6: iruepicTiKii! T4s 2invas etas 4r 'Aptttp *aytp, Dinarch. c. Dem. p. 35, Reiske.) The cavern itself formed the temple, with probably an artificial construction in front. Its position is frequently referred to by the Tragic poets, who also speak of the chasm of the earth (vayov •trap1' airrbv x^ffMa aovrai x0o"<Sr, Eur. Elect. 1271), and the subterranean chamber (Sdhapot .... Kara 77/s, Aesch. Kumen, 1004, seq.). It was probably in consequence of the subterranean nature of the sanctuary of these goddesses that torches were employed in their ceremonies. "Aeschylus imagined the procession which escorted the Kumenidcs to this their temple, as descending the rocky steps above described from the platform of the Areiopagus, then winding round the eastern angle of that hill, and conducting them with the sound of music and the glare of torches along this rocky ravine to this dark enclosure." (Wordsworth.) Within the sacred enclosure was the monument of Oedipus, (l'aus. i. 28. § 7.)

Between the sanctuary of the Semnae and the Icwest gate of the Acropolis stood the heroum of Hesychus, to whom a ram was immolated before the sacrifices to the Kumenides. (Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 489.) His descendants, the Hesychidae, were the hereditary priests of these goddesses. (Comp, Mtiller, Kumenides, p. 206, seq., Engl. Trans.) Near the same spot was the monument of Cylon, erected on the spot where he was slain. (Leake, p. 358.)

2. The Pnyx.

The Pnyx (IIi^{), or place of assembly of the Athenian people, formed part of the surface of a low rocky hill, at the distance of a quarter of a mile from the centre of the Areiopagus hill. '• The Pnyx may be best described as an area formed by the segment of a circle, which, as it is very nearly equal to a semicircle, for the sake of conciseness, we shall assume as such. The radius of this semicircle varies from about 60 to 80 yards. It is on a sloping ground, which shelves down very gently toward the hollow of the ancient agora, which was at its foot on the NE. The chord of this semicircle is the highest part of this slope; the middle of its arc is the lowest; and this last point of the curve is cased by a terras wall of huge polygonal blocks, and of about 15 feet in depth at the centre: this terras wall prevents the soil of the slope from lapsing down into the valley of the agora beneath it. The chord of this semicircle is formed by a line of rock, vertically hewn, so as to present to the spectator, standing in the area, the face of a flat wall.* In the middle point of this wall of rock, and projecting from, and applied to it, is a solid rectangular block,

* Hence it is aptly compared by Mure to a theatre, the shell of which, instead of curving upwards, slopes downwards from the orchestra.

hewn from the same rock." (Wordsworth.) This is the celebrated Bema (jsthui), or pulpit, often called " the Stone" (A At'ftoi, comp. ir hyopa rpbs r$ \(8$>, Plut Solon, 25), from whence the orators addressed the multitude in the semicircular area before them. The bema looks towards the NE., that is, towards the agora. It is 11 feet broad, rising from a graduated basis: the summit is broken; but the present height is about 20 feet. It was accessible on the right and left of the orator by a flight of steps. As the destinies of Athens were swayed by the orators from this pulpit, the term " the stone" is familiarly used as a figure of the govern

[graphic]

ment of the state; and the " master of the stone" indicates the ruling statesman of the day (8o"rit Kparei vw rov \i$ou rou V Tp Tvkvi, Aristoph. Pax, 680; comp. A charn, 683, Thetmoph. 528, seq.) The position of the bema commanded a view of the Propylaea and the other magnificent edifices of the Acropolis, while beneath it was the city itself studded with monuments of Athenian glory. The Athenian orators frequently roused the national feelings of their audience by pointing to "that Propylaea there," and to the other splendid buildings, which they had in view from the Pnyx. (XlparvXata raira, Hesych. 1. v.; Dem. c. AndroU pp. 597, 617; Aesch. dt Fait. Leg. p. 253.)

The position and form of the remains that have been just described agree so perfectly with the statements of ancient writers respecting the Pnyx (see authorities quoted by Leake, p. 179), that it is surprising that there should ever have been any doubt of their identity. Yet Spon took them for those of the Areiopagus. Whelcr was in doubt whether they belonged to the Areiopagus or the Odeium, and Stuart regarded them as those of the theatre of Regilla. Their true identity was first pointed out by Chandler; and no subsequent writer has entertained any doubt on the subject.

The Pnyx appears to have been under the especial protection of Zeus. In the wall of rock, on either side of the bema, are several niches for votive offerings. In clearing away the earth below, several of these offerings were discovered, consisting of bas-reliefs representing different parts of the body in white marble, and dedicated to Zeus the Supreme (Ait "T+fffTei). Some cf them ire now in the British Museum. (Leake, p. 183; Dodwell, Toi. i. p. 402.)

The area of the Pnyx contained about 12,000 square yards, and could therefore easily accommodate the whole of the Athenian citizens. The remark of an ancient grammarian, that it was constructed with the simplicity of ancient times (koto Tv xuAaiaf arAorirra, Pollux, viii. 132), is borne oat by the existing remains. We know moreover that it was not provided with seats, with the exception of a few wooden benches in the first row. (Aristoph. Ackam, 25.) Hence the assembled citixens either stood or sat on the bare rock (^a^ai, Aristoph. Vesp. 43); and accordingly the Sausageseller, when he seeks to undermine the popularity of Cleon, offers a cushion to the demus. (Aristoph Eqvti. 783.) It was not provided, like the theatres, with any species of awning to protect the assembly man the rays of the san; and this was doubtless one reason why the assembly was held at day-break. (More, vol ii. p. 63.)

It has been remarked that a traveller who mounts the bema of the Pnyx may safely say, what perhaps cannot be said with equal certainty of any other spot, and of any other body of great men in antiquity: Here have stood Demosthenes, Pericles, Theraistocles, Aristides, and Solon This remark, however, would not be true in its full extent if we were to give cre

dence to a passage of Plutarch {Them. 19), to which allusion has been already made. Plutarch relates that the bema originally looked towards the sea, and that it was afterwards removed by the Thirty Tyrants so as to face the land, because the sovereignty of the sea was the origin of the democracy, while the pursuit of agriculture was favourable to the oligarchy But from no part of the present Pnyx could the sea be seen, and it is evident, from the existing remains, that it is of much more ancient date than the age of the Thirty Tyrants. Moreover, it is quite incredible that a work of such gigantic proportions should have been erected by the Thirty, who never even summoned an assembly of the citizens. And even if they had effected such a change in the place of meeting for the citizens, would not the latter, in the restoration of the democracy, have returned to the former site? We have therefore no hesitation in rejecting the whole story along with Forchhammer and Mure, and of regarding it with the latter writer as one of the many anecdotes of what may be called the moral and political mythology of Greece, invented to give zest to the narrative of interesting events, or the actions and characters of illustrious men.

Wordsworth, however, accepts Plutarch's story, and points out remains which he considers to be those of the ancient Pnyx a little behind the present bema. It is true that there is behind the existing bema, and

[graphic][merged small]

on the summit of the rock, an esplanade and terrace, which has evidently been arti6cially levelled; and Mv one of its extremities are appearances on the ground which have been supposed to betoken the existence of a former bema. It has been usually itated, in refutation of this hypothesis, that not even from this higher spot could the sea be seen, because the city wall ran across the top of the hill, and would have effectually interrupted any view of the sea; but this answer is not sufficient, since we have brought forward reasons for believing that this was not the direction of the ancient wall. This esplanade, howe?er, is so mnch smaller than the present Pnyx, that it is impossible to believe that it could ever have been used as the ordinary assembly of the citizens; and it is much more probable that it served for purposes connected with the great assembly in the Pnyx below, being perhaps covered in part with buildings or booths for the convenience of the Prytanes, scribes, and other public functionaries. Mure calls attention to a passage in Aristophanes, where allusion is made to such appendages (tv IXvxva. iracav Ko! ras VKTfvat Kcll ra$ Sto'Sou; 8ia0^o*oi, Thtsm. 659); and though the Pnyx is here used in burlesque application to the Thesmophorium, where the female assemblies were held, this circumstance does not destroy the point of the allusion. (Mure, vol. ii. p. 319.)

The whole rock of the Pnyx was thickly inhabited in ancient times, as it is flattened and cut in

all directions. We have already had occasion to point out [see above, p. 261, b.] that even the westem side of the hill was covered with houses.

3 Bill of the Nymphs.

This hill, which lay a little to the NW. of the Pnyx, used to be identified with the celebrated Lycabettus, which was situated on the other side of the city, outside the walls; but its proper name has been restored to it, from an inscription found on its summit. (Bockh, Jnscr. no. 453; Ross, in KunsU blatt, 1837, p. 391.)

4. The Muselum,

The Museium (to Mooo'eio*') was the hill to the SW. of the Acropolis, from which it is separated by an intervening valley. It is only a little lower than the Acropolis itself. It is described by Pansamas (i. 25. § 8) as a hill within the city walls, opposite the Acropolis, where the poet Musaeus was buried, and where a monument was erected to a certain Syrian, whose name Pausanias does not menti:*. There are still remains of this monument, from the inscriptions upon which we learn that it was the monument of Philopappus, the grandson of Antiochus, who, having been deposed by Vespasian, came to Rome with his two sons, Epiphanes and Callinicus. [Diet, of Biogr. vol. I. p. 194.] Epiphanes was the father of Philopappus, who had become an Attic citizen of the demus Besa, and he is evidently the Syrian to whom Pausanias illndes. "This monument was built in a form slightly concave towards the front. The chord of the curve was about 30 feet in length: in front it presented three niches between four pilasters; the central niche was wider than the two lateral ones, concave and with a semicircular top; the others were quadrangular. A seated statue in the central niche was obviously that of the person to whom the monument was erected. An inscription below the niche shows that he was named Philopappus, son of Epiphanes, of the demos Besa (tiAoVamros 'Zimpdvovs BTjtraxcifo). On the right hand of this statue was a king Antiochus, son of a king Antiochus, as we learn from the inscription below it (/9o<nAci>s 'Amloxos $aal\tws 'AyruiXov). In the niche on the other Bide was seated Seleucns Nicator (flo<ri\fi>i XiMmos 'Ami6xov Nucdrotp). On the pilaster to the right of PbUopappus of Besa is the inscription c.rv'Livs c. F.fab (i. e. Cains Julius, Caii filius, Fabia) Asnocirvs

PHILOPArrVB, COS. FRATP.lt ARVAIJS, ALLECTVS INTER rKAETORIOa AB IMP. CABS ARK NEKTA TKAIANO OPTVMO AVOVSTO GERMANICO DACICO.

On tliat to the left of Philopappus was inscribed BaffiAffrs 'Arrloxos tiA^rartaf, &aaiKtw$ 'et(<pdvov?t rov *Ayri6xov. Between the niches and the base of the monument, there is a representation in high relief of the triumph of a Roman empemr

[graphic][merged small]

nimilar to that on the arch of Titus at Rome. The part of the monument now remaining consists of the central and eastern niches, with remains of the two pilasters on that side of the centre. The statues in two of the niches still remain, but without heads, and otherwise imperfect; the figures of the triumph, in the lower compartment, are not much better preserved. This monument appears, from Spon and Wheler, to have been nearly in the same state in 1676 as it is at present; and it is to Ciriaco d'Ancona, who visited Athens two centuries earlier, that we are indebted for a knowledge of the deficient parts of the monument." (Leake, p. 494, seq.; comp. Stuart, vol. iii. c. 5; Prokesch, Denkwurdiglceilen, vol. ii. p. 383; Bikkh, Inter, no. 362; Orelli, Inscr. no. 800.)

Of the fortress, which DemetriusPoliorcetes erected on the Museium in B. c. 22D (Paus. i. 25. § 8; Plut. Dcmetr. 34), all trace has disappeared.

There must liavo been many nouses on the Museium, for the western side of the hill is almost

covered with traces of buildings cnt in the rocks and the remains of stairs are visible in several places, — another proof that the ancient city wall did not run along the top of this hill. [See above, p. 261 .J There are also found on this spot some wells and cisterns of a circular form, hollowed out in the rock, and enlarging towards the base. At the eastern foot of the hill, opposite the Acropolis, there are three ancient excavations in the rock; that in the middle is of an irregular form, and the other two are eleven feet square. One of them leads towards another subterraneous chamber of a circular form, twelve feet in diameter at the base, and diminishing towards the top, in the shape of a bell. These excavations are sometimes called ancient baths, and sometimes prisons: hence one of them is said to have been the prison of Socrates.

5. The Dionytiac Theatre.

The stone theatre of Dionysus was commenced in B. c. 500, but was not completely finished till B. C 340, during the financial administration of Lycurgus. (Paus. i. 29. §16; Plut. ViLX.Orat. pp.841,852.) A theatre, however, might, as a Gothic church, be used for centuries without being quite finished; and there can be no doubt that it was in the stone theatre that all the great productions of the Grecian drama were performed. This theatre lay beneath the southern wall of the Acropolis, near its eastem extremity. The middle of it was excavated out of the rock, and its extremities were supported by solid piers of masonry. The rows of seats were in the form of curves, rising one above another; the diameter increased with the ascent. Two rows of seats at the top of the theatre are now visible; but the rest are concealed by the accumulation of soil. The accurate dimensions of the theatre cannot now be ascertained. Its termination at the summit is evident; but to what extent it descended into the valley cannot be traced. From the summit to the hollow below, which may, however, be higher than the ancient orchestra, the slope is about 300 feet in length. There can be no question that it must have been sufficiently large to have accommodated the whole body of Athenian citizens, as well as the strangers who flocked to the Dionysiac festival. It has been supposed from a passage of Plato, that the theatre was capable of containing more than 30,000 spectators, since Socrates speaking of Agathon's dramatic victory in the theatre says that "his glory was manifested in the presence of more than three myriads of Greeks" (fn<p<w})S iyivtro iv fidprwrt Twv 'ewjjvwp T\jov f) rpurpLvpio.s, Plat. Symp. p. 175, e.) It may, however, be doubted whether these words are to be taken literally, since the term "three myriads" appears to have been used as a round number to signify the whole hody of adult Athenian citizens. Thus Herodotus (v. 97) says that Aristagoras deceived three myriads of Athenians, and Aristophanes (Eccl. 1132) employs the words vo\trS)v uKuov f) rpur^ivpluv exactly in the same sense.

The magnificence of tho theatre is attested by Dicaearchus, who describes it as "the most beautiful theatre in tho world, worthy of mention, great and wonderful" (a>5e Twv iv Ttj olKov^ivn xd\Aio-tof eiaTpov, Qi6\<ryov, picya nal 6avtuurr6y, Dicaearcb. Bios rijt 'EAActSot, p. 140.) * The

* Many writers, whom Wordsworth has followed, have changed uSt into wiuov; but this emend*

« السابقةمتابعة »