صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

athenaic Stadium, on the 1. bank of the Hissus, commenced by some private individuals in 1869, were, owing to their great cost, discontinued until the King of the Hellenes supplied funds for recommencing them, and for the purchase of the site. They were completed in 1870.

Tho Stadium was laid out by the orator Lycurgus (B.C. 340), who obtained the ground, which was well calculated by nature for the purpose, and from which he excavated a quantity of earth equivalent to 80,000 cubic metres, or 2,720,000 cubic feet.

The wealthy Athenian citizen, Herodes Atticua, whose name is preserved by the Odeum underneath the S.W. end of the Acropolis, was crowned in the games in the Stadium 500 years after its completion; and he promised on this occasion to the assembled spectators that when they next should witness the celebration of the Panathenaic games they should view them in a stadium of white marble—a promise fulfilled in four years. Pausanias can scarcely find words of praise to express his sense of the beauty of the dimensions and execution of the Stadium. "The Stadium," he says, "of white marble, is wonderful to behold; its magnitude is not very easily credited by those who only hear of it, but may be imagined from this: it is a bill rising from the Hissus, of a semicircular form in the upper part, and extending thence in two parallel right lines to the bank of the river."

The bridge of three arches wiiich led to the Stadium over the Hissus was seen by Stuart and Eevett. In 1774 it was destroyed by the Turks, who made use of the stones from it in constructing the Turkish wall of Athens. Only the abutments now remain. At 205 ft. from the Hissus were found fragments of a wall, supposed to have been that of a hall which closed this end of tho Stadium, and through an opening in which it was entered. To the E., at a considerably lower level, are the remains of a mosaic pavement, now no longer visible, and here and on the opposite side, it is supposed, were rooms for athletes.

Tho entire length of the course was 663 ft.; its width nearly 100 a As the present level of the base of the wall before referred to is much lower than that of the course, all trace of the site of the first goal is lost, and one can only calculate its position by a reference to that of the third, which was found in the centre of the semicircular inner end, the radii of which are 54 ft. 3 in. It may be supposed that the first goal was at a like distance from the entrance. In this case tho first and third goals must have been either 554 ft. 6 in., or 608 ft. 9 in., apart. "The racer started from tho lower extremity, and, having completed one course in a straight lino (Spifws, or Itt<£8io>>), turned round tho point of curvature (Kafatriip) at the higher extremity, and thus descended in a line parallel to that of his first ascent, till he arrived nt tho goal (/3oA/3is), which was a point a little to the E. of that from which he had started; thus he accomplished a double course (Siav\os)."Wordsworth.

The enclosed space, of the sumo breadth throughout, was bounded by a partition wall, whicli has only remained in fragments at tho semicircular end. This wall was composed of two rows of marble slabs, set ono above the other, without mortar, tho edges of the slabs of the upper range being rounded at the top. At the point where the semicircle meets tho straight line of the wall on the E. side was found an unfluted column, supposed to have been placed there to correspond with the goal (as in modern race-courses a pole is placed opposite tho goal for tho convenience of the judge). Drains were, throughout the edifice, constructed to carry oil' the water. Many portions of these aro preserved. One leads from the shaft of the column to tho third goal. It is composed of Piraic stone. The drain is almost 1 ft. broad, and 10 in. deep. At tho goal its direction changed, and ran, parallel to tho longer axis of tho course, to the Hissus, probably receiving other drains, which were covered with (slabs and earth, the utility of which would bo evident in case of rain. The level of the course was nearly a foot higher than that of the corridor, as shown by the " dressed" portion of the partition wall on the inside, and on the outer. The surface had a fall of 58J in. towards the river. A corridor, nearly D ft. 9 in. in width of passage, surrounded the course. It was paved with marble, of which some slabs were found. Beneath was ft drain made of bricks and mortar, to conduct water from the steps by openings in the pavement. Of these 8 were found in thi! semicircular part. The drain is almost wholly destroyed.

A wall 5 ft. 3 in. in height, witli base and entablature, formed the substructure of the first row of seats, this height being necessary to enable the s])ectators to see into the interior. Tiie first row of seats was removed far more inwardly, to allow a free passage. Steps, 2 ft. 7 in. in height, led from the corridor to the seats, of which thero wore seven rows at the semicircular end, and eleven on either of the straight sides of the Stadium. Tho rows were of similar construction to those of the Dionysiac theatre, with the difference that each one of these is supposed to have been decorated at the ends near the steps with an owl. Not a single row was found complete, but their position was defined by the cuttings on tiie hill, and three have been restored. It is supposed that 50,000 persons could be accommodated in the Stadium, and for the convenience of so many it is farther believed that admission to the space allotted to the spectators was attained from abovo, from the fact of there being traces of a wide gangway at the top. It is probable that wido steps led up tho front walls to this gangway, but there are no indications of a corridor running lengthwise round the spectators' space. At tiie further end of this portion of the Stadium are remains of a Doric stoa. 104 ft. in length and 32 ft. in breadth. It is of rough execution, and from this stoa having occupied the best position for seeing from, it is supposed that the judges sat here. On the E. side of the semicircle a

passage, 15J ft. wido and 23 ft. long, led from the corridor and terminated in two steps, where is a threshold, on which traces of door-posts were found, and which led into a subterranean vaulted passage, 12 ft. 6 in. wide. Its state of ruin gives it the appearance of a natural cavern, but close observation shows it to have been artificial. Opposite the rounded end of the Stadium are traces of a semicircular wall, which converted this portion into an amphitheatre; this wall was not composed of marble, but of rough stone and bad mortar, and was apparently only 1 ft. 7 in. in height. It is possible that this construction was merely provisional, and erected in the time of Hadrian. Spartian relates of this emperor that when ho

Eresided at the l'anathenaic games e presented 1000 wild beasts to bo hunted in tho Stadium. Further indications of tho Stadium having been so used latterly are also found in the holes which arc apparent on tho rounded top of the inclosing wall, the purpose of which is considered to have been the insertion of iron latticework, for the security of the spectators. In the centre of the semicircular end a double-headed Hermes was found, dating apparently from the 2nd or 3rd centy. B.c. The execution is rough. The older end. according to C. Curtius, represents Dionysus, and tho younger Apollo; the latter is in good preservation, owing to its having been laid undermost, whereas the other is damaged about the nose. This statuo is now at the eastern private entranco of King George's palace.

Destruction of the Stadium.—Blocks of marble from the Stadium may have been employed in the construction of many buildings, but that some at least of the marble was burnt for mortar on the spot was proved by three kilns being found in the Stadium, one at the entrance of the course, and two on the rt. of the course. Near one of them a fragment of a femalo head and part of the breast was found. Accounts dating from the 15th centy. lead to the conclusion that the Stadium was then much the samo aa it was described to be by Wordsworth, and as it remained until the date of the recent excavation. On the top of the hill to W. of the Stadium the foundations of a temple of Tyche (Fortune) are visible, but no other remains are found, excepting small fragments of fluted Ionic columns. Exactly opposite to S.E. of Stadium was the so-called monument of Herodes Atticus. Nothing of it remains but traces of the foundations. TheBe two monuments, the front wall of the Stadium, and tho bridge, all indicating similar construction, and having been executed of similar materials, lead to the supposition that all of them were of tho samo date. For the exploration of this remnant of old Athens the world is indebted to the public spirit of King George, whose liberality enabled Herr Ernst Ziller to carry out the work, his description of which is abbreviated above.

On the side of the Ilissus opposite to that where was the Stadium were the Gardens and the Aphrodisium, or sanctuary of Venus. We have now completed our survey in the eastern direction, and return to

12. The Olympieum.—Athough the Corinthian order cannot in itself be compared in grandeur with the Doric, there is perhaps, nevertheless, among the remains of antiquity, no ruin more impressive than that before us, alluded to in the well-known lines—

M Here let me Bit upon this mossy stone,
The marble column's yet unshaken base;,
Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav'rite throne:
Mightiest of many such ! hence let me trace
The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place."

It stands quite alone, and although only 15 columns are now erect (there were 16 until the storm of Oct. 26, 1852), out of the 124 which formed the porticoes and peristyles of the temple, yet their happy disposition conveys to the spectator no inadequate idea of the original size of the building. The fallen column was the middle one of the row of three at the western extremity. Although its [Greece.]

loss detracts much from tho grouping, especially in distant views, its vast fragments serve to give a scale to tho rest.

There is something mysterious in the history of this temple: begun by the Athenians in tho first burst of their greatness, and carried on by tho Greek princes of Asia, it was left still uncompleted by Augustus; and although, 650 years after its commencement, it was at last perfected and dedicated by Hadrian, this was not until the worship of Jupiter had ceased to be real, and had in a great measure fallen into contempt. Tho destruction of the templo probably commenced at an early period, as it does not seem to have suffered like tho Parthenon from any sudden catastrophe, but to have supplied from time to time building materials to the inhabitants of Athens during the dark ages. The other temples wero preserved by being converted into churches. This was too vast for such a use. However, when the templo was already partly ruinous, the small church of St. John, orals Ko\6vtcus, was built among the ruins, of which church tho recently demolished rubble construction above the architrave of the two westernmost columns of the principal group formed a part. The measurements of the columns were given for the first time in the 'Principles of Athenian Architecture,' to which the reader is referred for further details. The temple was decastyle, dipteral, and hypaithral. Its length on the upper step was 354 ft., and its breadth 171. The diameter of the columns at the base was 6 ft. 4 in., and the height from the pavement to the top of tho capitals 55$ ft. The capitals are exceedingly well carved. The abacus, or upper part of the capital, is 8J ft. square. The stones composing the architrave are of enormous size: one of them weighs about 23 tons. The foundations of this templo were laid by Pisistratus, and it is remarkable that they aro planned on the curvilinear principle mentioned in our description of the Parthenon. The Pisistratidte made great progress with the work, but after their expulsion it waa neglected for about 400 years, and was resumed about B.c. 174, by Antioehus Epiphanes. Although he did not live to finish it, it seems to havo been completed according to the design of his architect, whom Vitruvius calls Oossutius. Sylla is said to have taken to Home some of the columns prepared for the temple. These, it is probable, were not the columns of the peristyles, but smaller, und monolitli columns of rare marbles intended for the interior. Under Augustus the work was resumed with great zeal by the Greek princes of Asia, and it is most likely that the columns which remain were either of that period or of that of Antioehus; tho stylo of work is too good for Hadrian's time. Tho temple was surrounded by a large peribolus, of which tho southern retaining wall remains, and the other limit can be well made out. It was crowded with statues in honour of Hadrian. A fino view of the temple of Jupiter Olympius, and of tho peribolus, may be obtained from the hill over against it, above the Grotto of the Nymphs.

Tho entrance to the peribolus seems to have been through the gate of Hadrian, at the N.W. corner, and presented to the spectator the same kind of angular view that he obtained of tho Parthenon as ho entered the Acropolis. A similar approach has been noticed in other Greek temples. See Leake, p. 516.

13. The Arch of Hadrian is a building of no great interest, although not altogether devoid of merit or elegance. Tho archway is 20 feet wide: tho entire height about 56 feet. The inscriptions upon either side of tho frieze, abovo the centro of the arch, describe it as dividing "Athens, the city of Theseus," from the "city of Hadrian." On tho side towards the Acropolis, ATS' tW 'AVyvcu Brifffas >j irplv *6\ts. Towards the Olympieuin, AtS' eic* 'Aipiavov itoirxt ®TJ<r4ws ir6\is.

14. The Choragic Monument of Lyticratet is between the arch of Hadrian and the Acropolis, a littlo nearer to

the latter. This monument, though small, is of the greatest interest : it is the earliest authentic instance of Corinthian architecture. It was built, according to an inscription on tho architrave, to commemorate that" Lysicrates, son of Lysitheides, led the chorus when the boys of the tribe of Acamantis were victorious .... when Evametus was archon, i. e. the same year that Alexander the Great invaded Persia " (b.o. 335-4). The building is circular and about 8 feet in diameter outside the columns. It is raised on a square basement: the whole height is 34 feet. There was no access to the interior. The basreliefs upon the frieze represent the destruction of the Tyrrhenian pirates by Dionysus (Bacchus). Tho building has been barbarously used, but was very carefully drawn and measured by Stuart while in a more perfect stato than at present. Until lately it was imbedded in a monastic edifice. Woods thus describes it:—" In rambling about to find a lodging, I passed by the monument of Lysicrates. the exquisite beauty of whose proportions and details are sadly spoilt by its present situation, where the wall of the courtyard of the monastery joins that of the monastery itself, so that one bit of it is seen in tho street, one within tho court, and another in the inside of the house: you may imagine how this must spoil a monument 7 feet in diameter. Pausanias tells us, "There is a street leading from the Prytaneum called Tripodes: the place is so named because there are certain temples of the gods, upon which stand great tripods of brass, which, for the most part, contain works worthy of mention f a satyr of Praxiteles is mentioned in one of them. The victorious Choragi used to dedicate the tripods they had won, either in the neighbourhood of the theatre, or in shrines built along the street which led from tho Lenseum, or Sanctuary of Bacchus, round the eastern slopes of the Acropolis to the Prytaneum, a building of which no traces are known, but which must have stood nearly N.E. of the N.E. angle of the Acropolis, and from

300 to 400 feet distant, on ground comparatively elevated. The building dated from the time of Solon, nnd served for the deposit of the written laws of the state. Here, according to Pausanias, were images of Peace and Vesta, and statues of Miltiades and Themistocles, of which the names had been changed into those of a Thracian and a Roman. The Prytaneum was one of the ten courts of Justice of Athens. Here instruments which had been the cause of death were judged, and condemned to be ejected from the soil of Attica.

A little westward of the monument of Lysicrates waa the Lenseum, or inclosure sacred to Bacchus, which contained the Dionysiac Theatre and the Odeum of Pericles, and extended to some distance into the low ground. The Odeum was one of the earliest of the works of Pericles, used, as the name imports, for recitation of song, tfSil : it was to the £. of the theatre and adjacent to it, and was remarkable for the numerous columns which gupported its gallery and roof. The roof was formed of masts and spars taken from the Persian galleys, and is described as a high-peaked structure resembling the tent of Xerxes. It was destroyed by Aristion when defending the Acropolis against Sylla, lest the timbers should be used for works against the citadel. No vestiges remain of the Odeum nor of the Stoa of Eumenes, mentioned by Vitruvius, which was probably on the western side of the LenaDum. But the remains of

15. The Dionytiac Theatre form one of the most interesting points in the topography of Athens. Down to a very recent period the site, though well ascertained by the researches of Leake and others, was so completely covered up by an accumulation of soil that no idea of the plan of the theatre could be formed, and all that was known was derived from a representation of it on an Athenian coin of the Roman period, of which an engraving is annexed, and which now exists in the British Museum. In 1862, the Society of German Antiquaries (of which MM.

Curtius, Botticher, and Strach deservo especial notice) which visited Athens for the purpose of exploring its architectural and artistic remains, commenced the excavations which havo laid bare tho ruins now visible.

The E. comer of the S. slope of tho Acropolis under the Cimonian wall, affording, as it docs, a natural position, admirably adapted both for spectator and actor, may very probably havo been the earliest scene of the rude representations of tho Thespian dranui in honour of Dionysus, to whom tho whole neighbourhood was in some senso sacred. But it was in tho year 500 B.C., at the exhibition of the first tragedy of iEschylus, that tho fall of the wooden scaffolding, which had hitherto served for a stage, led to the commencement of a stone theatre. The edifice, however, was not completed till the period of tho orator Lycurgus, B.c. 340, when the great masters of tho Athenian drama had nil passed away, and its glories had waned into the period of Menander, and tlie new comedy—a rtrange illustration of the aphorism that " art is tho bloom of decay." Still, it is more than probable that the general distribution of tho theatre on which tho dramas of Mschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes, and Aristophanes were exhibited was substantially the same as that of the completed structure of Lycurgus; and it is said to have formed the model of tho numerous other theatres which sprung up throughout the Hellenic world, in the interval between ^schylus and Menander. The coin, of which an engraving is'annexed, probably represents tho theatre of Lycurgus. Of what befel it during the next four centuries we know nothing. Like tho rest of the city, it no doubt suffered from the violence of Sulla; but it appears to have been restored, as well as altered and adomed, by the munificence of Hadrian (a.d. 117-138), nnd the remains we now see belong, in all probability, mainly to the late period of tho second founder of Athens. This is concluded, not only from tho character of the inscriptions and theremains of several altars bearing tlionamo

« السابقةمتابعة »