صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

to withdraw the attention fern the antiquities.

2. Drive.—1 mile to Colonos, the low white hill to the N. of Athens, scene of ono of the plays of Sophocles; and his birthplace. On an adjoining eminence there is a monument of white marble in memory of the German scholar and antiquary, K. O. Miiller, who died of fever in Greece, a victim to his zeal for classical research. There is a good view of Athens, with its plain, the Gulf, and the mountains, from the "white brow of Colonos." Thence drive through the neighbouring olive-groves of the Academy, watered by the Kephissus, and so to the Pass of Daphne. Then proceed to the Pirieus, and drive round by Ike tomb of ThemistocJes, and the harbours of Munychia and Phalerum. From the latter return straight to Athens.

3. Marathon (20 m.) and back; with a relay of horses, or in a carriage as far as Kephistia, a village at the foot of Pentelicus, and nearly holf-woy. Go by Vrana and return by tho village of Marathon. The best view of the plain is from the hill in descending to Vrana,

4. On this day one may go up either Pentelicus or Hymettus, or drive in a carriage to Megara and back. If you go up Pentelicus, you see the marble quarries, and enjoy a splendid view of EuVxca, the Euripus, Marathon, and all Attica. If you go up Hymettus, you have a good view of Athens, and of the threo plains of Attica. You can ride all the way up Pentelicus (in 4 hrs. from Athens), and nearly all the way up Hymettus. During the hot months ono may with advantage drive out to Pentelicus

after dinner, sleep at the monastery, where a clean, furnished room is kept for visitors, and ascend to the top of the mountain by sunrise next morning. One may thus bo back in Athens by 10 A.M.

Those who wish to see at a moderate expense of time and money what is best worth seeing, should then, if the dates bo suitable, take the steamer, which leaves tho Piraeus once a week for Nauplia and the ports of the Peloponnesus. It starts at 6 A.m. and reaches Nauplia in the afternoon, having called at several island ports—^igina, Poros, Hydra, and Spetzia.

As a steamer sets out on its return to the Piraeus early next morning, tho traveller, if returning by it, would only have time to see Nauplia and the fortress of Palomedes. The day of departure of tho steamer from tho Piraeus for Nauplia (1871) is Monday and if ono have 4 days at one's disposal, this time may be most advantageously spent by going from Nauplia in 2 days to Corinth, stopping over the intervening night at Nemea, and returning on the Thursday from Calamoki to tho Piraeus.* We can from our own experience most strongly recommend this excursion, which includes a visit to Tiryns, Argos, Larissa, Mykenre, tho temple of Nemea, and an ascent of the Acrocorinthus, as well as two delightful days' sailing. For details seo Routes "Corfu to Athens" and "Athens to Nauplia," &c. Tho 4 days' excursion from Athens, including cost of escort, may be made for about 51. each person for a party of three or four persons.

* This route may be reversed, the traveller going from the Pineus on "Wednesday night or on Sunday morning to Calanutkl, and returning by Nauplia, leaving that port on the following j Tuesday morning at 2 o'clock.


. Situation.—II. Hiitory.—HI. Divisions, extent, population, &c.—IV. Topography and general Survey of ttte Acropolis. (1. Temple of Victory—2. The Propyhea—3. The Parthenon—4. Tlte ErechOieum.)—V. Topography of the Arty (Soru). 1. The Horotogium of Andronicus Cyrrhestes, or " Temple of the Winds "—2. Gate of Athena Archegetis—3. Gymnasium of Hadrian— 4. Gymnasium of Ptolemy—5. The Ttieseum—6. Hill of the Nymplis—7. The Pnyx—S. The Agora—9. The Museum—10. The Fountain of Callirrhoe— 11. The Panathenaic Stadium—12. The Olympieum—13. Arch of lladrian— 14. The Choragic Monument of Lyticrates—15. Tlte Dionysiac Tlieatre— 16. The Odeum of Herodes or liegilla—17. The Areopagus—IS. The Keramicus, Academy, &c.—19. Other Monuments. Aqueduct of Hadrian, &c. —VI. Pirxus, and the Port Towns {Suburbs).—VII. Environs of Alliens.

[merged small][table][merged small]

name, Lycaliettus. This hill is to tho Grecian capital what Vesuvius is to Naples, or Arthur's Seat to Edinburgh; from its summit Athens and its neighbourhood lie unrolled before the eye as in a map. To the S.W. of Lycabettus are four eminences, nil of which wore included in ancient Athens. Of these the nearest to Lycabettus is the Acropolis, a rock rising to a height of about 350 feet above the plain, with a flat summit more or less 1000 ft. long from E. to W., by 500 broad from N. to S. Immediately W. by N. of the Acropolis is a lower eminence of irregular form, the Areopagus. The hill to the W. by S. is tho Pnyx, and to the S.W. is a fourth hill, the Museum. On the S.E. of the city runs tho Ilissus, and on the W. tho Kephisub, rivulets which become nearly dry in summer. They fall into tho Suronic Gulf, near the throe ancient ports, Piraaus, Munychia, and Phalerum, or are swallowed up by marshes.

Tho Athenian soil and climate exercised a very important influence upon the buildings of tho city and on tho . manners of its inhabitants. Hence we may account for the meanness of their houses, and the defects of their streets and domestic architecture; hence it was that the Athenian people worshipped, legislated, and witnessed dramatic representations, under tho open sky. The clearness and brilliant colouring of the atmosphere, the flood of firo with which tho marble columns, tho

mountains, and the sea are bathed by an Athenian sunset, the violet hue which Hymettus assumes in the evening sky, in contrast to the glowing rock of Lycabettus and the rosy Pentelieus, have been felt and admired by ancient and modern poets. Euripides describes his countrymen as "ever lightly tripping through an ether of surprising brightness" {Medea, 825); and Milton thus sums up (' Paradise Regained,' lib. iv.) tho characteristics of tho climate and scenery, as well as many of the immortal associations, of Athens:—

Where on the JE&an shorn a city stands.
Built nobly, pure the air, and light the toil;
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arte
And eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess.
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the Hummer long;
There flowery hill Hyniettus, with the sound
C>f bees' industrious murmur, oft invites
To studious musing; there llissus rolls
His whispering stream within the walls; there

The schools of ancient sages; his, who bred
Great Alexander to subdue the world,
Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
There shalt thou hear and learn the secret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand; and various-measured verse,
.ittolian charms and Dorian lyric odes.
And his who gave them breath, but higher sung.
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer called,
Whose poem Phcebus challenged for his own:
Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught
In Chorus or Iambic, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight received
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life.
High actions and high passions best describing:
Thence to the famous orators repair,
Those ancients, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that tierce democratic.
Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne:
To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
From heaven descended to the low-roofed house
Of Socrates; see there his tenement.
Whom well-inspired the oracle pronounced
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
Mellifluous streams, that watered all the schools
Of Academies old and new, with those
Sumamed Peripatetics, and the sect
Epicurean, and the Stoic severe.

A quotation from one English poet suggests others, and the followiug lines will bo read witli interest at Athens, as conveying an accurate picture of a sunset there:—

Slow sinks, more lovely ere his race be ran
Along Morea's hills the setting sun;
Not, as in northern climes, obscurely bright.
But one unclouded blaze of living light!
O'er the hushed deep the yellow beam he throws
Gilds the green wave, that trembles as it glows.
On old JCgina's rock, and Hydra's isle,
The God of Gladness sheds his parting smile;
O'er bis own regions lingering, loves to shine,
Though there his altars are no more divine.
Descending fast the mountain shadows kiss
Thy glorious gulf, unoonquered Salamis I
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 deeply shaded from the land and deep.
Behind his Delphian cliff he sinks to sleep.

Sir Henry Holland thus describes Athens of tho year 1819:—■;

"Those who expect to see in Athens only the more splendid and obvious testimonies of its former state, will bo agreeably disappointed. The Parthenon, the Temple of Theseus, the Propylsoa, are individually the most striking objects; yet it may perhaps be added that they have been less interesting singly than in their combined relation to that wonderful grouping of nature and art which gives its peculiarity to Athens, and renders tho scenery of this spot something which is ever unique to the eye and recollection. Here, if anywhere, there is a certain genius of the place, which unites and gives a character and colouring to the whole; and it is further worthy of remark, that this genius loci is one which strikingly connects tho modern Athens with tho city of former days. Every part of the surrounding landscape may be recognised as harmonious and beuutiful in itself, and at tho same time as furnishing those features which are consecrated by ancient description, by the history of heroic actions, and still more as tho sceno of those celebrated schools of philosophy which have transmitted their influence to every succeeding age. The stranger who is unable to appreciate the architectural beauties of the temples of Athens, yet can adiniro the splendid assemblage they form in their position, outline, and colouring, can trace out the pictures of the poets in the vale of Cephissus, the hill of Colonos, and the ridge of Hymettus,

can look on one side on the sea of Solamis, on the other on the heights of Phyla). Nowhere is antiquity so well substantiated as at Athens, or its outline more completely filled up, to the eye and to the imagination."

In Athenian landscape simplicity of outline and colouring combines with magnificence of form and extent. It cannot be called rich scenery, for, with the exception of the olivegrove of the plain, the landscape is devoid of wood. An air of repose is one of its chief characteristics; the form of the hills, and the plain terminating in the Bay of Salamis, contribute to produce this effect, which is, however, to be ascribed moro particularly to the eye always finding a resting-place on the Acropolis, and the ruins covering its summit

II. History.—The political history of Athens forms the most prominent feature in the history of Greece, but is beyond the scope of the present work. All that can be here attempted is a sketch of the fortunes of the City.

The most ancient part of Athens, the Acropolis, is said to have been built by the mythical Oecrops, but the city is supposed to have owed its origin to Theseus, who united the independent tribes of Attica into one state, and made Athens the capital. In historical times, the first attempt to embellish the city was made by Pisistratus and his sons (b.c. 560-514), who, like many despots, erected temples and other public buildingB. A new era begins with the Persian war. Athens was reduced to ashes by Xerxes, but was soon rebuilt and fortified under the administration of Themistocles, and was adorned with public buildings by Cimon, and especially by Pericles, in whose time (b.c. 460-429) it reached its greatest Bplendour. By the proceeds of the spoils acquired in the Persian war; by the contributions of the subject states; and by the still more important assistance of Phidias, and a group of the greatest sculptors and architects whom the world has known, Pericles was enabled to carry his noble

designs into execution, and to bequeath to his country monuments which have been the admiration of succeeding ages. These have suffered cruelly from earthquakes and war, and from centuries of injury and spoliation, but they still continue the grandest, the most interesting, and some of them the most perfect, relics of antiquity that exist, and bear testimony to the superiority of the Athenians in taste and genius over every other people.

The Peloponnesian War put a stop to the embellishment of Athens. On the capture of the city in B.c. 404, the fortifications and Long Walls were destroyed by the Lacedsemonians; but they were restored by Conon in B.C. 31)3, after his great victory off Cnidus. The public buildings were repaired and beautified after this period; and though its suburbs were ravaged in B.C. 200 by tho last Philip of Macedon, Athens continued under tho Macedonians and under the Romans to be a great and nourishing city Having espoused the cause of Mithridates, it was captured by Sulla B.c. 86, when its fortifications were levelled with the ground, and its privileges greatly curtailed. At that period, however, and during the early centuries of the Christian era, it continued to be the chief seat of learning in the ancient world, and tho Bomans were accustomed to send their sons thither, as to an University. Hadrian frequently resided in the city, and adorned it with many new buildings (a D. 120-128); and his example was followed by Herodes Atticus, a wealthy citizen, who lived in tho reigns of Antoninus and of Marcus Aurelius. Athens was never moro splendid than in the time of the Autonincs, when it was visited by Pausanias. The great works of tho age of Pericles were then still in freshness and perfection; nor do they appear to have suffered materially until the incursions of the Goths under Alaric in A.d. 396. The pagan religion and tho schools of philosophy continued to flourish at Athens until the time of Justinian in tho sixth century, when they wore finally abolished. At that period many of the temples were converted into churches. The temple of the Virgin-Goddess became a church consecrated to the VirginMother; whilst the temple of the pagan warrior Theseus was dedicated to tho Christian warrior St. George.

A compendium of the history of the city will be found in Leake's Introduction to his 'Topography of Athens,' the following extracts from which will be read with especial interest:—

"Homer, the earliest of Greek historians, has left us a strong confirmation of the reality of those facts, which are not obviously fabulous, in tho history of the two great heroes of ancient Attic story, Erechtheus and Theseus. He notices the temple of Erechtheus, and those periodical sacrifices of an ox and a sheep (II., ii. 546), which we know to have been performed to a very late period of Athonian superstition; and, in confirmation of the political reforms of Theseus, instead of naming all tho cities of Attica, as he has done in the other provinces of Greece, he speaks of Athens alone, and of the people of Erechtheus, that terrible Arj/ios, whose first specimen of tyranny and ingratitude was the banishment of their great benefactor himself, whom they left to die in exile in the island of

Seyms During the six or seven

centuries which elapsed between the Trojan war and tho reign of Pisistratus, the Athenians seem to have been not more engaged in foreign wars or internal commotions than was sufficient to maintain their martial spirit and free government, both of which were essential to tho progress made by them in civilization, commerce, and a successful cultivation of the arts. Tho change of chief magistrate from king to archon for life, then to decennial and to annual archon, indicates that gradual increase first of aristocratical, and then of popular authority, which ended in a purely democratieal government . . . J hiring the ages which elapsed between the reigns of Theseus and Pisistratus,

we may suppose that the advance of art caused the altars of the several deities, whose worship had been established, to be converted into temples, or their temples to be renewed upon a larger and more elegant plan. A body of the Pelasgic nation, distinguished as Pelasgi, Tyrrheni, or Tyrseni, sought refuge in Attica from their enemies, and were employed by tho Athenians to fortify the Cecropian


"By establishing a public library, and by editing tho works of Homer, Pisistratus and his sons fixed tho Muses at Athens ; while by raising the quadrennial revolution of tho Panathenaic festival to a footing of equality with the other similar assemblies, and by upholding it during their united reigns of about 30 years, they greatly advanced tho dignity of tho republic among the states of Greece. .... Hitherto, however, the progress of tho useful and ornamental arts had scarcely been so great at Athens as in somo other parts of Greece, as at Sicyon, Corinth, iEgina, Argos, Thebes, and Sparta. Still less was sho ablo to bestow that encouragement upon the arts which they received in tho opulent republics of Asia; for, although her territory was more extensive, and her resources already greater than those of any of the stotes of Greece Proper, except Sparta, they were still insufficient to bestow adequate ornament upon a city which was already the most populous in Greece. It was to an event the most unlikely to produce such a result, that Athens was indebted for a degree of internal beauty and splendour, which no other Grecian city ever attained. The King of Persia, in directing against Greece an expedition of a magnitude unparalloled in the operations of one nation against another, made the capture of Athens his principal object. His success was most fortunate for the Athenians; for by forcing them to concontrate all their exertions in their fleet, in which they were as superior in numbers to ony of tho other states of Greece as they were in skill to the Persians, it led to thoir acquisition of the chief

« السابقةمتابعة »