« السابقةمتابعة »
have boon built by Cimon, and to be I coeval with the completion of the Cimoirium. The sculptures, judging from the costume and arms, appear to represent the victories gained by the Athenians over the Persians, in which Cimon and his father Miltiades bore Bo great a share. We have already called attention to the absence of parallelism between this temple and the PropyUea—a fact which favours the supposition of its entire independence of that structure.
This temple is of the class called Amphiprostyle Tetrastyle, consisting of a cella with four fluted Ionic columns at either front, but with none on the sides. It is raised upon a stylobate of 3 steps, and is 27 ft. in length from E. to W., and 18 in breadth. The columns, including tho base and the capital, are 13} ft. high, and the total height of the temple to the apex of the pediment, including the stylobate, is 23 ft. The frieze, which runs round the whole exterior of tho building, is 1 ft. 6 in. high, and is adorned with sculptures in high > relief. It originally consisted of 14 pieces of stone, of which 12, or the fragments of 12, now remain. Several of these are so mutilated, that it is difficult to make out the subject, but some of them evidently represent a battle between Greeks and Persians, or other barbarians. It is supposed that the two long sides were occupied with combats of horsemen, and that the western end represented a battle of foot soldiers.
The recent history of this temple is curious: it was mentioned by Pausanias, and seen by Whelcr and Spon. as late as 1681, since which period no traveller had been able to discover a trace of it. At length, in 1835, some works were undertaken by the Greek Government for the purpose of clearing the approaches of the Propylssa to their proper level, by which the traces of the great flight of steps were brought to light, and tho columns disengaged from the incumbrance of the mediaeval and Turkish fortifications which had been built up between them. In these operations a Turkish battery, which
stood in front of the Propylam, was removed, and in doing so, fragments of columns of a sculptured frieze, exactly answering to four pieces in the British Museum brought over by Lord Elgin, and other ornamental architecture, were discovered in great quantity, and by and by the floor of an ancient temple, which, of course, was immediately recognised as that mentioned by Pausanins. The Government had the good taste to cause the fragments to be collected and reerected, without deviation from tho original foundations, under the superintendence of Boss and Schaubert. The work Whs finished with the help of funds subscribed in England in aid of the Archaeological Society of Athens. This restoration has been a most successful one. It docs not produce, as in the case of the partial restitution of some of the columns of the Parthenon, a patchy effect. Here the whole is of a piece, and at a distance looks much like a new building, with its white marble columns and walls glittering in the sun. In addition to the several sculptured fragments of tho frieze, several slabs were found 3 ft. 4 in. high, sculptured on one side in reliefs of surpassing beauty, representing winged Victories in various attitudes. They formed a continuous parapet between the temple and tho great flight of steps. There seems to havo been a railing of metal above them, and probably also a railing along the edge of the western wall. A careful description of this temple is given by Hansen, Schaubert, and Boss (' Acropolis von Athen.' Fol. Berlin, 1839). The Pedestal of Agrippa, over against tho temple of Nike Apteros, has been already described.
2. The PropyUea.—The erection of this magnificent buildin? wus entrusted by Pericles to. tlie architect Mnesicles. It was commenced in tho archonship of Euthymenes, B.C. 437, and completed in five years. The cost has been stated by late writers to have been 2000 talents, equal in weight to 400,000?.; but Leake has shown, by the data given by Thucydides (p. 4ti3 sq.\ that the whole of the ornamental works of Pericles, viz., the Odeum, the Parthenon, the Mystic Temple of Eleusis, and the Propylasa, were built for the sum of 2950 talents, of which he assigns 1000 talents to the coat of the Parthenon. Perhaps, then, wo shall not be far wrong in assuming that the Propylrea with its approaches cost 700 talents, which would represent in weight 161,000!., and in value about 480,0001'. of our money of the present day.
The building, constructed of Pcntelic marble, covered the whole of the western end of the Acropolis, which is there 170 ft. across, or rather was designed to have covered this space; for it seems that the extremity of the 8. wing was left incomplete. The plan of the Propylrea may be thus described:—A flight of about sixty steps, 71 ft. in width, led up to a portico 09 ft. broad, having 6 fluted Doric columns, 5 ft. in diameter and 29 ft. high. Two wings on the N. and 8. projected 24 ft. in front of the portico, and flanked the upper part of the staircase. The wings are 78 ft. apart, measured from the opposite columns. The fronts of these wings faced one another, and consisted each of a stoa or porch of 3 Doric columns in antis, that is, with columns ranged between the square pilasters, called anUe. The northern wing remains in a very perfect state. A porch, facing the b., 13 ft. deep, led to a hall 35 ft. by 30, usually called the Pinacotbeca. The paintings with which the walls were once adorned have been described. In this hall an interesting collection of architectural fragments and inscriptions has been placed. The southern wing is in a ruinous state, and is almost concealed by the lofty mediaeval tower which forms so conspicuous an object in all views of the Acropolis.* Two of the columns aro imbedded in its walls; the trace of
* Many persons will be glad to learn that there la a prospect of the building, generally known as " the Venetian tower," being ere long removed. 25(g. are needed for this purpose. and ■abacriptions may be paid to the credit of the "Acropolis Kcstorutiuu Fluid," Ionian
the position of the third is visible. It seems to have been simply a porch or guard-chamber 27 ft. by 16, and not to have communicated with anything beyond, although we must suppose that some additional chamber was intended in the design of Mnesicles to occupy the vacant space between tho wing, as found at present, and the Chin iniuni. Indeed, just sufficient room is left there to have completed this wing symmetrically with the northern; so that, although it is almost certain that tho wing was carried no farther than wo find it at present, wo may feel sure that tho anomaly was foreign to the original design of tho Propyhea. The wings had not pediments, as some have supposed, but were covered with "hip"roof8, i.e., roofs sloping down to the eaves on three sides. They were backed to the E. by a high wall. The outside walls were solid, as befitted a citadel, and were not pierced witli any openings. All the expression was reserved for the main portico and tho two stoa], which flanked the great staircase. The height of the columns of the store of the wings is about twothirds that of those of the main building; and the other proportions, with some exceptions, have nearly the same ratio. This subordination has an excellent effect in enhancing the dignity of the principal portico.
The central hall, or vestibule, behind the hexastyle portico, was 60 ft. broad, 44 in depth, and 39 high.. It was covered with a panelled ceiling of marble, richly painted and gilt. Tho panels were supported on marble beams of great size, which especially attracted the notice of Pausanias; much more may their fallen remains surprise tho modern traveller, little accustomed to constructions of such solidity. These beams, more than 20 ft. in length, were supported by two rows of three Ionic columns each, ranging with tho two central Doric columns of tho external portieo. Tho intercolumniation between these latter was made wider than ordinary by an additional metope and triglyph, in order to give sufficient width to the enrriage-way, already described, which passed between thorn. The entire clear width so obtained was 12 ft. 9 in. This hall was bounded eastwards by a wall built upon a solid plinth of tho black marble of Eleusis, which served as a threshold for the four smaller of the five doorways with which the wall itself was pierced. The central opening, 13 ft. wide and 24 high, admitted the carriage-way, of which some portions remain, with wheel-ruts distinctly visible. Tho doors next to the centre wero 9J ft., the two outermost 5 ft., wide, and the heights varied in liko proportion. Tho pavement of tho eastern portico of the Propylaja, following the natural rise of the ground, was raised 4} ft. above that of tho western vestibule. The portico was 19 ft. in depth, and had the same width as the other. Tho columns were 28 ft. high. The height to the ceiling within the portico was 37 ft.
There can be no doubt that the whole of the walls and ceilings of this exquisite building wero adorned with paintings, historical and decorative* Much use has been made in its construction of the Eleusinian black marble. Not only is the threshold of the doorways formed of it, but it forms a plinth 4J ft. high, at the bottom of the walls of the great vestibule; and the same material is usod for one of the steps under tho stoa) of the wings, and distinguishes them from the steps of the ascending flight.
The Propylsea was the building of all others most admired by the Greeks. No description can in any way do justice to tho refined boldness with which it was composed. A hypercritical eye might perhaps ask for something more artificial in the junction of the two different levels than that which we find on the N. side (within the Acropolis), where the lines of tho E. and W. porticoes meet together without any adaptation. One might answer that their junction is only seen from a very confined spot. But the triumphant success of tho
* At the foot of the steps leiuling to the Propyhea. within the W. gate, to the south, may lie seen a specimen of red painting, a specimen which will, unfortunately, ere long disappear, owing tu the habit of picking oil fragments of the plaster.
Virgin ('aatji's IlipBfvos), also called the Hecatompedon, from the use of 100 ft. in one of its leading dimensions, probably the breadth.
It should be bome in mind that the Pronaos, B, is to the E., and the Postieum, C, is at the W., so that on entering the Acropolis, the traveller first sees the Postieum.
The Parthenon is, as the Bishop of Lincoln well calls it, " the finest edifice on the finest site In the world, hallowed by the noblest recollections that can stimulate the human heart."
In this temple an architecture which had gone on through centuries of refinement, until it culminated there, was combined with the work of the greatest sculptor the world ever produced; and unless we take into consideration this perfect unison of these two arts, we cannot do justice to the Parthenon. Painting also was there, and although we cannot thoroughly realize the part it played in the magnificent diapason of the 3 sister arts, we dare not question its propriety. Our present object, however, is chiefly with the architecture; for the remains of the painting are almost evanescent, and the sculpture, although some mention of it must be made, is no longer there, with the exception at least of a very small portion. But may we not hope that so much of it as, by its removal to England, was saved from the fire of the Turkish and Greek cannon in the War of Independence may be yet restored to its proper shrine? •* This," to quote Sir Charles Trevelyan, "would be an act worthy of England, and the sculptures would exercise a greater influence, even upon the taste of the English people, in their glorious original position, than they do now in a dark room in the British Museum. There is less justification for the retention of the treasure than there was for its original abstraction, for wo aro now no longer able to plead tho importance of protecting it from untrustworthy guardians."
The Parthenon was built under the administration of Pericles. Ictinus and Callicrates were thu architects. The
former, however, seems to have held the chief position, and wrote a book descriptive of it. The general superintendence was intrusted to Phidias. It was finished B.C. 438. The exact date of its commencement is not known, but as tho Propylsea, we know, took five years, we must allow a somewhat longer period to the Parthenon. The cost of tho building is supposed by Leake to have been 1000 talents, about equal in value to 700,000*. at the present day. It was built entirely of Pentelic marble, except the tiles of the roof, which were Parian. The eastern end of the temple occupies nearly the highest point of the Acropolis. • At tho N.E. anglo of the temple, the steps which form the proper basis or ttylobate (i. e. the platform on which the Otuaoi or columns stand) rise immediately from a levelled bed cut on the rock. The stylobate consists of three solid steps of Pentelic marble, about 1 ft. 9 in. high, set upon a sort of plinth, a foot high, of the same material. On tho N. and W. sides, below the plinth, is a foundation wall of Piraio limestone, and on the S. side a sub-basement of the samo material, supporting a terrace about 5J ft. wide. On the N. and W. the foundadation wall was concealed by a pavement, probably of marble, immediately under the plinth of which we have spoken; but which pavement has now disappeared. On the S. side, the limestone sub-basement was exposed. There is little doubt that thiB, as well as the greater part of the foundation wall on tho W., formed the finished substructure to the older temple of Minerva on the same site. The stones are rectangular, and are carefully worked in rusticated courses, and their junction with the newer foundations required by tho enlarged Parthenon is visible on the W. end, under the column next to the N.W. angle column, and on the S. side under tho S.E. angle column itself.
The Doric order of architecture, used in the temple, preserves in the forms of many of its features, not an imitation, but the tradition of the original wooden buildings of the infancy of tho nation, happily blended, as it would seem, with some of the sterner churacter of the stone architecture of Egypt—the whole moulded into one by considerations of the due balance of light and shade, support and load, and plain surface and ornament, until every line was refined to the highest degree. The temple is peripteral and octastyle, that is, it consists of a portico at each end of eight columns, and has a colonnade on each flank of seventeen, reckoning the angle columns twice, forty-six in all. Of these thirty-two are standing; not reckoning some attempts at restoration on the N. side. The entire length of the temple on the upper step is 228 ft., the breadth 101. The columns are fluted, 6J ft. in diameter and 3i\ high. The architrave above these was adorned with gilded shields of bronze, placed beneath the metopes. Between the shields were inscribed the names of the dedicators. The impressions left upon the parts covered by the shields are visible upon the architraves; the shields themselves, together with the gold of the statue of the goddess, were carried off by Lachares, when Demetrius was besieging Athens. There were also upon the architraves bronze nails or pegs, upon which festoons were hung on days of festival. The 92 metopes of the frieze were filled with sculptures in high relief: of which only one remains in good preservation (that on tho S. side over the westernmost intercolumniation; the rest are either gone or are so much mutilated as to be nearly unintelligible). The pediments or aetoi were rilled with sculptures, of a size much greater than life; those of the eastern portico relating to the birth of Athene, those at the western to the contests of AthenS and Poseidon for the soil of Attica. All are now gone, excepting three horses' heads in the corners of the eastern, and a single group on the western pediment, supposed to represent Oecrops and Agraulos, of which all the finer parts Mo much obliterated. The height to the apex of the pediment, exclusive of the ornament, or acroterium, which there must have been at tho top, was 5U ft. above the
upper step, or, with the addition of the stylobate, G4. The level of the pavement of the temple was only about ti ft. below tho ridge of the roof of the Propylam, and was raised high above all the platforms in the Acropolis.
"Such was the simple structure of this magnificent building, which, by its united excellences of materials, design, and decorations, was the most perfect ever executed. Its dimensions, of 228 ft. by 101, with a height of GO ft. to the top of the pediment, were sufficiently great to give an appearance of grandeur and sublimity; and this impression was not disturbed by any obtrusive subdivision of parts, such as is found to diminish the effect of many larger modem buildings, where tho same singleness of design is not apparent. In the Parthenon there wus nothing to divert tho spectator's contemplation from the simplicity and majesty of mass and outline, which forms the first and most remarkable object of admiration in a Greek temple; for the statues of the pediments, tho only decoration which was very conspicuous by its magnitude and position, having been inclosed within frames which formed an essential part of tho designs of either front, had no more obtrusive effect than an ornamented capital to an unadorned column."— Leake.
The view from tho western steps arrests attention. They command an extensive prospect over the Saronic Gulf; we see tho S. extremity of Hydra, and Trcczene on tho Argolic promontory, with the top of Parnou in Laconia; Mgina, no longer an "eyesore," as the Athenians called it, on account of its commercial rivalry— with the volcanic peaks of Methana behind it; Epidaurus, and Mount Arachne ovor it, one of tho beacon heights along which tho news of tho fall of Troy was transmitted to tho Peloponnesus. Thence the eye traverses Salamis, and surveys its straits; and beyond the depression between tho island and the mainland discovers the distent Acrocoriuthus, ne-stled beneath