صور الصفحة
PDF

spectators sat in the open air, but probably protected from the rays of the sun by an awning, and from their elevated seat* they had a distinct view of the sea and of the peaked hills of Salamis in the horizon. Above them rose the Parthenon, and the other buildings of the Acropolis, so that they sat under the shadow of the ancestral pods of their country. The position of the spectators, as sitting under the temple of Athena, and the statue of the Zeus of the Citadel (Z*hs IIoAtcus, Pans. i. 24. § 4), is evidently alluded to by Aeschylus (Eumen. 997, scq.), to which passage Wordsworth has directed atten

* I 1

MONTMKNT OF THRASYLLUS,

Above the upper seats of the theatre and the Cimoni&n wall of the Acropolis is a grotto (rw^Aaior), which was converted into a small temple by ThrasyUns, a victorious choragus, to commemorate the victory of his chorus, B. c. 320, as we learn from an inscription upon it. Hence it is usually called the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllus. Within the cavern were statnes of Apollo and Artemis destroying the children of Niobe; and upon the entablature of the temple was a colossal figure of Dionysus. This figure is now in the British Museum; but it has lost its head and arms. Pausanias (i. 21. § 3), in his description of the cavern, speaks of a tripod above it, without mentioning the statue of Dionysus; but there is a hole sunk in the lap of the statue, in which

tion is not only unnecessary, but is exceedingly improbable, because Odea were very rare in Greece at the time when Dicaearchus wrote. The word may have been introduced by the excerptor to indicate that the theatre described by Dicaearchus was not in existence in his time; or it may have been used by Dicaearchus himself instead of ivr\ according to a well-known ■M of the Attic writers. (See Fuhr, ad loc.)

was probably inserted the tripod. The custom of supporting tripods by statues was not uncommon. (Leake, p. 186; Vaux, Aniiq. in British Museum, p. 114.) This cavern was subsequently converted into the church of Panaghla Spili<Stissa, or the Holy Virgin of the Grotto; and was used as such when Dodwell visited Athens. It is now, however, a simple cave; and the temple and the church are both in ruins. A large fragment of the architrave of the temple, with a part of the inscription upon it, is now lying upon the slope of the theatre: it has been hewn into a drinking trough. (Wordsworth, p. 90.) The cave is about 34 feet in length, with an average breadth of 20 feet. The entire height of the monument of Thrasyllus is 29 feet 5 inchea (Stuart.)

Above the monument are two columns, which evidently did not form part of the building. Their triangular summits supported tripods, dedicated by choragi who had gained prizes in the theatre below. A little to the west of the cave is a large rectangular niche, in which no doubt a statue once stood.

[graphic]

THEATRE OF DIONYSUS, FROM COIN.

A brass coin of Athens in the British Museum gives a representation of the Dionysiac theatre viewed from below. The seats for the spectators are distinctly seen, together with the Cimonian wall of the Acropolis; and above, the Parthenon in the centre, with the Propylaea on the left. The artist has also represented the cave between the theatre and the wall of the Acropolis, described alwve, together with other smaller excavations, of which traces still exist. The same subject is also represented on a vase found at Aulis, on which appear the theatre, the monument of Thrasyllus, the tripodial columns, and above them the polygonal walls of the Acropolis, crowned by the

[graphic][merged small]
[ocr errors][graphic]

Parthenon. It seems that this point of view was greatly admired by the ancients. Dicaearcbus alludes to this view, when he speaks (/. c.) of " the magnificent temple of Athena, called the Parthenon, rising above the theatre, and striking the spectator with admiration." (Leake, p. 183, seq.; Dodwell, voL i. p. 299; Wordsworth, p. 89, seq.)

6. The Odewm of Eerodes or Regilla, The CMeium or Music-theatre* of Eegilla also lay beneath the southern wall of the Acropolis, but at its western extremity. It was built in the time of the Antonines by Herodes Atticus, who called it the Odeium of Regilla in honour of his deceased wife. It is not mentioned by Pausanias in his description of Athens, who explains the omission in a subsequent part of his work by the remark tliat it was not commenced at the time he wrote his first book. ( Paus. vii. 20. § 3.) Pausanias remarks (/. c.) that it surpassed all other Odeia in Greece, as well in dimensions as in other respects; and its roof of cedar wood was particularly admired. (Philostr. ViL Soph. ii. 1. § 5.) The length of its diameter within the walls was about 240 feet, and it is calculated to have furnished accommodation for about 6000 persons. There are still considerable remains of the building; but, u in spite of their extent, good preservation, and the massive material of which they are composed, they have a poor appearance, owing to the defects of the Roman style of architecture, especially of the rows of small and apparently useless arches with which the more solid portions of the masonry are perforated, and the consequent number of insignificant parts into which it is thus subdivided." (Mure, vol. ii. p. 91.) It is surprising that Stuart should have supposed the remains of this comparatively small Roman building to be those of the great Dionysiac theatre, in which the dramas of the Athenian poets were performed.

7. Cave of Apollo and Pan, and Fountain of Clepsydra.

The Cave of Apollo and Pan, more usually called the Cave of Pan, lay at the base of the NW, angle of the Acropolis. It is described by Herodotus (vi. 105) as situated below the Acropolis, and by Pausanias (i. 28. § 4) as a little below the Propylaea, with a spring of water near it. The worship of Apollo in this cave was probably of great antiqnity. Here he is said to have had connection with Creusa, the mother of Ion; and hence the cave is frequently mentioned in the " Ion" of Euripides. (Paus. Lc; Eurip. Ion, 506, 955, &c.) The worship of Pan in this cave was not introduced till after the battle of Marathon, in consequence of the services which he rendered to the Athenians on that occasion. His statue was dedicated by Miltiades, and Simonides wrote the inscription for it. (Simonid. Reliqu. p. 176, ed. Schneidewin.) A statue of Pan, now in the public library at Cambridge, was discovered in & garden a little below the cave, and may possibly be

* An Odeium (iSetoy) was, in its fo:-m and arrangements, very similar to a theatre, from which it differed chiefly by being roofed over, in order to retain the sound. It appears to have been originally designed chiefly for musical rehearsals, in subordination to the great choral performances in the theatre, and consequently a much smaller space was required for the audience.

the identical figure dedicated by Miltiades. The cave measures about 18 feet in length, 30 in height, and 15 in depth. There are two excavated ledges cut in the rock, on which we may suppose statues of the two d itics to have stood, and also numerous niches and holes for the reception of votive offerings.

The fountain near the cave, of which Pausanias does not mention the name, was called Clepsydra (KAei^uSpa), more anciently Empedo ('EpTe&r). It derived the name of Clepsydra from its being supposed to have had a subterraneous communication with the harbour of Phalerum. (Aristoph. Lysixtr. 912, SchoL ad he., ad Vesp. 853, Av. 1694; Hesych. A. w. KAfiJwSpa, KXttytjifrvTov, IU'Sai.) ** The only access to this fountain is from the enclosed platform of the Acropolis above it. The approach to it is at the north of the northern wing of the Propylaea. Here we begin to descend a tiight of fortyseven steps cut in the rock, but partially cased with slabs of marble. The descent is arched over with brick, and opens out into a small subterranean chapel, with niches cut in its sides. In the chapel U a well, surmounted with a peristomium of marble: below which is the water now at a distance of about 30 feet," (Wordsworth.) This flight of steps is seen in the annexed coin from the British Museum, in which the cave of Pan is represented at the foot, and the statue of Athena Promaehus and the Parthenon at the summit The obverse is the size of the coin: the reverse is enlarged.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

eastward of the grotto of Pan. [See above, p. 266, k] It is said to hare been the spot from which Aglaurus and her sister Herse threw themselves from the rocks of the Acropolis, upon opening the chest which contained Erichthonius (Paus. i. 18. § 2); and it was also Dear this sanctuary that the Persians gained access to the Acropolis. (Herod, viii. 35.) We learn from Pausanias that the cave was situated at the steepest part of the hill, which is also described by Herodotus as precipitous at this point. At the distance of about 60 yards to the east of the cave of Pan and at the base of a precipice is a remarkable cavern; and 40 yards further in the same direction, there is another cave much smaller, immediately under the wall of the citadel, and only a few yards distant from the northern portico of the Ereehtheium. In the latter there are thirteen niches, which prove it to have been a consecrated spot; and there can be no doubt that the larger was also a sanctuary, though niches are not equally apparent, in consequence of the surface of the rock not being so well preserved as in the smaller cavern. One of these two caves was undoubtedly the Aglaurium. Leake conjectured, from the account of a stratagem of Peisistratus, that there was a communication from the Aglaurium to the platform of the citadeL After Peisistratus had seized the citadel, his next object was to disarm the Athenians. With this view he summoned the Athenians in the Anaceium, which was to the west of the Aglaurium, While he was addressing them, they laid down their arms, which were seized by the partisan* of Peisistratus and conveyed into the Aglaurium, apparently with the view of being carried into the citadel itself. (Polyaen. i. 21.) Now this conjecture has been confirmed by the discovery of an ancient flight of stairs near the Ereehtheium, leading into the cavern, and from thence passing downwards through a deep cleft in the rock, nearly parallel in its direction to the outer wall, and opening out in the face of the cliff a little below the foundation. [See above, p. 268, a.] It would therefore appear that this cave, the smaller of the two aWe mentioned, was the Agraulium, the access to which from the Acropolis was close to the northern portico of the Ereehtheium, which led into the sanctuary of Pandrosus, the only one of the three daughters of Cecrops who remained faithful to her trust. Leake conjectures that the Aglaurium, which is never described as a temple, but only as a sanctuary or sacred enclosure, was used in a mare extended signification to comprehend both caves, one being more especially sacred to Aglaurus and the other to her sister Herse. The position of the Aglaurium, as near the cave of Pan, and in front of the Ereehtheium and Parthenon (wpb TlaXXdZoi vaujK), is clearly shown in the following passage of Euripides (/on, 506, seq.), where the fLvxwlkis fiaxpal probably refer to the flight cf steps:—

£ Tlavbs bauctifutra na\
■wapau\tQ>vca irirpa.

fi.VX<0&*Vl flOKpCUS,

iya x<*pous artiSowrt iroSo7y

'AypavKov tt6pai rpiyovoi

ardSta x\o(pa wpb TlaWd&os yaw v.

Wordsworth (p. 87) conjectures, with some probability, that it may have been by the same secret communication that the Persians got into the Acropolis.

According to one tradition Aglaurus precipitated herself from the Acropolis, as a sacrifice, to save

her country; and it was probably on this account that the Athenian epbebi, on receiving their first suit of armour, were accustomed to take an oath in the Aglaurium, that they would defend their country to the last. (Dcm. de Fab. Leg. p. 438; Pollux, viii. 105; Phiketr. Pit Apoll. iv. 21; Hermann, Griech. Slaatsalterth. § 123. n. 7.)

9. The Theeeium.

The Theseium (tonattov), or temple of Theseus, is the best preserved of all the monuments of ancient Athens. It is situated on a height in the NW. of the city, north of the Areiopagus, and near the gymnasium of Ptolemy. (Paus. i. 17. § 2; Plut. The*. 36.) It was at the same time a temple and a tomb, having been built to receive the bones of Theseus, which Cimon had brought from Scyros to Athens in B. c. 469. (Thuc. i. 98; Plut, Cim. 8, The*. 36; Diod. iv. 62; Paus. I c.) The temple appears to have been commenced in the same year, and, allowing five years for its completion, was probably finished about 465. It is, therefore, about thirty years older than the Parthenon. It possessed the privilege of an asylum, in which runaway slaves, in particular, were accustomed to take refuge. (Diod. L c; Plut. Thee. I. c, de ExiL 17; Hesych., Etym. M. $. v. 0ij<rclb»\) Its sacred enclosure was so large as to serve sometimes as a place of military assembly. (Thuc vi. 61.)

The Temple of Theseus was built of Pentelic marble, and stands upon an artificial foundation formed of large quadrangular blocks of limestone. Its architecture is of the Doric order. It is a Peripteral Hexastyle, that is, it is surrounded with columns, and has six at each front. There are thirteen columns on each of the flanks, including those at the angles, which are also reckoned among those of the front, so that the number of columns surrounding the temple is thirty-four. The stylobate is two feet four inches high, and has only two steps, instead of three, a fact which Stuart accounts for by the fact of the temple being an heroum. The total length of the temple on the upper step of the stylobate is 104 feet, and its total breadth 45 feet, or more accurately 104*23 and 45*011 respectively. (Penrose.) Its height from the bottom of the stylobate to the summit of the pediment is 33} feet. It consists of a eel la having a pronaos or prodomus to the east, and an opisthodomns or posticum to the west. The pronaos and opisthodomns were each separated from the ambulatory of the peristyle by two columns, and perhaps a railing, which may have united the two columns with one another, and with the antae at the end of the prolongation of the walls of the cella. The cella is 40 feet in length, the pronaos, including the eastern portico, 33 feet, and the opisthodomns, including the western portico, 27 feet. The ambulatory at the sides of the temple is six feet in breadth. The columns, both of the peristyle and in the two vestibules, are three feet four inches in diameter at the base, and nearly nineteen feet high.

The eastern front of the temple was the principal one. This is shown not only by the depth of the pronaos, but still more decisively by the sculptures. The ten metopes of the eastern front, with the four adjoining on either side, are exclusively adorned with sculpture, all the other metopes having been plain. It was not till the erection of the Parthenon that sculpture was employed to decorate the entire frieze of the peristyle. The two pediments of the porticoes were also filled with sculptures. On the eastern pediment there are traces in the marble of metallic fastenings for statues: it is usually stated that the western pediment did not contain any figures, but Penrose, in his recent examination of the temple, has discovered clear indications of the positions which the sculptures occupied. Besides the pediments, and the above-mentioned metopes, the only other parts of the temple adorned with sculpture are the friezes over the columns and nntae of the pronaos and opisthodomns. These friezes stretch across the whole breadth of the cells and the ambulatory, and are 38 feet in length.

[table][merged small]

Although the temple itself is nearly perfect, the sculptures have sustained great injury. The figures in the two pediments have entirely disappeared; and the metopes and the frieze have been greatly mutilated. Enough, however, remains to show that these sculptures belong to the highest style of Grecian art The relief is bold and salient, approaching to the proportions of the entire statue, the figures in some instances appearing to be only slightly attached to the table of the marble. The sculptures, both of the metopes and of the friezes, were painted, and still preserve remains of the colours. Leake observes that "vestiges of brazen and golden-coloured arms, of a blue sky, and of blue, green, and red drapery, arc still very apparent. A painted foliage and maeander is seen on the interior cornice of the peristyle, and painted stars in the laennaria." In the British Museum there are casts of the greater portion of the friezes, and of three of the metopes from the northern side, being the first, second, and fourth, commencing from the north-east angle. They were made at Athens, by direction of the Earl of Elgin, from the sculptures which then existed upon the temple, where they still remain.

The subjects of the sculptures are the exploits of Theseus and of Hercules; for the Theseium was not only the tomb and heroum of Theseus, but also a monument in honour of his friend and companion

Hcrcnles. The intimate friendship of these two heroes is well known, and is illustrated by the statement of an ancient writer that, when Theseus had been delivered by Hercules from the chains of Aidoneus, king of the Molossi, he conducted Hercules to Athens, that he might be purified from the murder of his children: that Theseus then not only shared his property with Hercules, but resigned to the latter all the sacred places which had been given him by the Athenians, changing all the Theseia of Attica, except four, into Heracleia. (Philochorus, ap. Plut. Thes. 35.) The Hercules Furens of Euripides seems, like the Theseium, to have been intended to celebrate unitedly the deeds and glory of the two friends. Hence this tragedy has been called a Temple of Theseus in verse. Euripides probably referred to this Theseium, among other buildings of Athens, in the passage beginning {Here. Fur. 1323):—

f-nov fyi' Tiihv wpbs iro'Aur/ja TlaAAdoor,
ilcti x^pas oks ayvlaas fudfffiaros,
86pous r( ddjacv, xpVf*6Tav T* Ijtav fiipos.

In the sculptural decorations of his temple Theseus yielded to his friend the most conspicuous place. Hence the ten metopes in front of the temple are occupied by the Labours of Hercules, while those on the two flanks, only eight in all, relate to the exploits of Theseus. The frieze over the opisthodomns represents the combat of the Centaurs and Lapithae, in which Theseus took part; but the subject of the frieze of the pronaos cannot be made out, in consequence of the mutilated condition of the sculptures. Stuart (vol. iii. p. 9) supposes that it represents part of the battle of Marathon, and especially the phantom of Theseus rushing upon the Persians; MtiUer (Derikmaler der altcn Kunst, p. 11), that the subject is the war of Theseus with the Pallantidae, a race of gigantic strength, who are said to have contended with Theseus for the throne of Athens; Leake (p. 504), that it represented the battle of the giants, who were subdued mainly by the help of Hercules. Leake urges, with great probability, that as the ten metopes in front of the building were devoted to the exploits of Hercules, and eight, less conspicuously situated, to those of Theseus; and that as the frieze over the opisthodomus referred to one of the most celebrated exploits of Theseus, so it may be presumed that the corresponding panel of the pronaos related to some of the exploits of Hercules.

The Theseium was for many centuries a Christian church dedicated to St. George. "When it was converted into a Christian church, the two interior columns of the pronaos were removed to make room for the altar and its semicircular enclosure, customary in Greek churches. A large door was at the same time pierced in the wall, which separates the cella from the opisthodomns; when Athens was taken by the Turks, who were in the habit of riding into the churches on horseback, this door was closed, and a small one was made in the southern wall. The roof of the cella is entirely modem, and the greater part of the ancient beams and lacunaria of the peristyle are wanting. In other respects the temple is complete." (Leake.) The building is now converted into the national Museum of Athens, and has been restored as nearly as possible to its original condition. The vaulted roof of the cella has been replaced by one in accordance with the original design of the building.

The three interior walls of the Theseium were decorated with paintings by Micon. (Paus. I c.) The *tucco opon which they were painted is still apparent, and shows that each painting covered the entire wall from the roof to two feet nine inches abort of the pavement. (Leake, p. 512.)

The identification of the church of St. George with the temple of Theseus has always been considered one of the most certain points in Athenian topoenphy; but it has been attacked by Boss, hi a pamphlet written in modern Greek (t! Bnattov Koi i rois Tos 'Apjius, Athen. 1838), in which it is maintained that the building usually called the Theaiam is in reality the temple of Ares, mentioned bjPausanias (i. 8. § 4). Ross argues, 1. That the temple of Theseus is described by Plutarch as situated in the centre of the city (Jv neari vp irifAei, Tha. 36), whereas the existing temple is near the western extremity of the ancient city. 2. That it appears, from the testimony of Cyriacus of Ancotta, who travelled in Greece in 1436, that at that time the edifice bore the name of the temple of Ares. 3. That there have been discovered immediately

below the building a row of marble statues or Caryatids, representing human figures, with serpents' tails for their lower extremities, which Ross considers to be the eponymous heroes of the Attic tribes mentioned by Pausanias as in the immediate neighbourhood of the temple of Ares. 4. The fact of the sculptures of the temple representing the exploits of Theseus and Hercules Ross does not consider sufficient to prove that it was the Theseium; since the exploits of these two heroes are exactly the subjects which the Athenians would be likely to select as the most appropriate decorations of the temple of the god of war.

An abstract of Ross's arguments is given by Mure (vol. ii. p. 316) and Westcrmann (in Jahnta Jakrbitcher, vol. xli. p. 242); but as his hypothesis has been generally rejected by scholars, it is unnecessary to enter into any refutation of it. (Comp. Pittakis, in Athen. Archaol Tirana, 1838,Febr.and March; Gerhard, Hall. Lit. Ze.it. 1839, No. 159, Ulrichs, in Amtal. d. Inst. Archaol. 1842, p.74,foil; Curtius, Archaol. Zeitschrift, 1843, No. 6.)

[graphic]

10. The Olpitpieium.

The site of the Olympieium ('OXu/nritwi'), or Temple of Zeus Olympius, is indicated by sixteen gigantic Corinthian columns of white marble, to the south-east of the Acropolis, and near the right bank of the riifisus. This temple not only exceeded in magnitude all other temples in Athens, but was the greatest ever dedic ated to the supreme deity of the Greeks, and one of the four most renowned examples of architecture in marble, the other three being the temples of Ephesus, Branchidae, and Eleusis. (Vitruv. vii. Praef.) It was commenced by Peisistratus, and finished by Hadrian, after many suspensions and interruptions, the work occupying a period of nearly 700 years. Hence it is called by Philostratus 41 a great struggle with time" (xpoVou i*eya aytitiaim, Vit. Soph. L 25. § 3). The original founder of the temple is said to have been Deucalion. (Paus. i. 18. § 8.) The erection of the temple was entrusted by Peisistratus to four architects, whose

names arc recoraed by Vitruvius (I. c), and oy whom it appears to have been planned in all its extent and magnitude. The work was continued by the sons of Peisistratus; but after their expulsion from Athens it remained untouched for nearly 400 years. It is not impossible, as Mure has remarked, that prejudice against the Peisistratidae may have operated against the prosecution of their unfinished monuments, although no allusion occurs in any writer to such a motive for the suspension of the work.

The Peisistratidae must have made considerable progress in the work, since ancient writers speak of it in its unfinished state in terms of the highest admiration. It also appears from these accounts to have suffered little from the Persian invasion, probably from its only consisting at that time of solid masses of masonry, which the Persians would hardly have taken the trouble of demolishing. Dicaearchus, who visited Athens prior to any renewal of I the work, describes it, " though half finished, as ex

« السابقةمتابعة »