صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

To Leuctra from tho rains of Platroa is 2 hrs., across tbo hills which separate the plains of theso names, of which the former is celebrated for the victory obtained here by tho Thebans undpr Epnminondas over a very superior force of the Spartans, 371 B.C. The site is marked by a large tumulus.

To Lebadea there aro two roads from Leuctra, the lower 6 lirs., the upper 10 lira. The lower road passes by the hamlet of Erimokadro, the site of Thetpix, of which there are remains, and then falls in with the high road between Thebes and Lebadea, along the edge of the Copaic lake and under the jagged ridge of Helicon. The more picturesque route is the upper one, over tho ridges of Helicon.

The road lies along tho N.E. side of the mountain, and in about 2 hrs. froin the site of Leuctra roaches tho suppressed monastery of St. Nicholas. It is surrounded on all sides by tho mountain ridges, one small opening alone presenting a view of a tower upon an eminence in front. An inscription on a column found in a church near this spot gives interest to the place, by proving it to have been the Fountain of Aganippe, and the famous Hieron, or Sanctuary of tho Muses. From the grove of the Muses the road descends, and crosses a rivulet, and then ascends to the higher parts of Helicon. A narrow rugged path leads to the heights above /.agora, or Sacra, whence the mountain has received its modern appellation. Here is seen a part of the ancient causeway, leading from Thespiaj to Lebadea; the spot commands a fine panoramic view. E. by N. is the highest mountain of Eubcea; S.E. by E., Mount Pames; &.E., Mount Kithajron; the W. and S. parts are concealed by Helicon. The plain of Lebadea appears through two gaps.

Zagora is in a deep valley 2 hrs. distant from the grovo of tho Muses. A steep descent leads to the village, which is divided into two parts by a river. The lower part is in the plain,

and above tho upper town, in a most picturesque situation, is a Monastery of the Panaghia. Zagora probably occupies the site of Atcra, the residence of Hesiod, and is a corruption of that name. A conspicuous Hellenic tower also marks the spot.

On leaving Zagora the road ascends to a high point of Helicon, whence the eye ranges over the plains of Clueronea, Lebadea, and Orchomenus, and continues over magnificent scenery to Pamassus.

This part of the plain of Bcaotia supported of old a number of flourishing towns, of which four were eminent They stood in a semi-circular curve, at nearly equal intervals from each other, on rising grounds which skirt the plain. The first, at the N.E. verge of the plain, is Orchomenui; to tho W. of it, at the distance of 5 m., separated from it by the river Kcphissus, and placed upon a steep rock of gray granite, is the fortress of Clueronea. To the S. of Chaironea, at a similar distance, on tho northern declivity of Helicon, and on the left bank of tho Ilercyna, is tho citadel of Ijebadea, rising from a precipitous cliff, at tho eastern foot of which lies tho modern town. Passing from this to the S.E. for the same number of miles, and along the roots of Helicon, we arrive at the base of the crested summit of Coronea.

Having enjoyed this extended prospect, the traveller will descend from the higher ridges of Helicon till lie reaches

Kutomula, a village 2 hrs. distant from Zagora, and in beautiful scenery. Hence we descend towards the plain by tho ruins of Coronea, on an insulated hill, at the entrance of a valley of the Helicon range. Here are remains of a theatre, of a temple of Hera, and of an agora. There is a fine view from this hill over the Boeotian plain. Hence again descending, and passing two bridges over small streams, Lebadea soon appears in view, and having crossed the base of Helicon, which extends into tho plain, we, in 4 hrs, from Kutomula, reach

Lebadea.Tho ancient city stood on an isolated hill, at the point where the valley of the Herkyna opens into the plain of the Copaic Lake. This town, before the revolution, was the most flourishing of Northern Greece, and is said to have contained 1500 houses; it is situated on the bank of the Herkyna, a fine mountain-stream. Higher up the valley, occupying the site of the ancient Hieron, or sanctuary of Trophonius, the river rushes with great force from the rocks, which here contract the valley into a narrow gorge, with scenery of the samo character as that of Delphi. It is difticult to ascertain exactly the 2 springs of Mnenie and Lethe; there are either too few or too many to answer exactly the description of ancient writers. Immediately on the right of the gorge, the rock is full of vestiges of the oracle of Trophonius, of which the most remarkable are a basin, now overgrown with weeds (like that at Delphi, commonly called the Pythias bath), into which flows a small spring, several small niches in the face of the rock, a large niche 4 feet high, and 2 feet deep, and a small natural aperture scarcely of sufficient depth to answer the description in Pausanias of the oracular cave. This, according to the most reasonable conjecture, is yet to be discovered within the walls of the modern castle on the top of tho hill, where it may exist choked up with rubbish. The whole of the gorge is very striking, and contains several natural caverns of some

Chaeronea.—The ruins of Chaeronea are about 6 m. (2 hra.) N. from Lebadea. On their site stands the village of Kaprena. The theatre of Chaeronea was one of the most ancient in Greece. The coilon is excavated in the rock; there is no trace of the marble covering of the seats. The Acropolis is above the theatre, and covers the top of a lofty precipice. Its remains present the usual mixture of Archaic and more recent Hellenic masonry. Near the theatre is an aqueduct, which supplied a beautiful antique fountain with

5 mouths. On the right hand of the aqueduct, near the theatre, is a subterranean passage, appearing to go under the theatre. The entrance is like that of a well, and is 12 feet deep. The passage was probably an aqueduct Near the fountain aro some remains of a small temple.

Chaeronea was famous as the birthplace of Plutarch, who here spent the later years of his life. Pausanias mentions that the principal object of veneration in his time was the sceptre of Zeus, once borne by Agamemnon, and which was considered to be the undoubted work of the god Hephaestus, or Vulcan. Chaeronea is not mentioned by Homer, but it is supposed by some writers to bo one with the Boeotian Ante, which has been identified by others with Coronea. The town itself does not appear to havo been ever of great importance; but it has obtained great celebrity from the battles fought in its neighbourhood. The position of the town, commanding as it docs tho entrance from Phokis into Boeotia, naturally made it the scene of military operations. In B.C. 447, an important battle, usually called after Coronea, was fought in tho plain between that place and Chaeronea, by the Athenians and Boeotians, when the former were defeated, losing the supremacy which they had previously exercised over Boeotia. A second and more memorable battle was fought at Chaeronea (August 7, B.C. 338), when Philip of Maeedon, by defeating the united Athenians and Boeotians, crushed tho liberties of Greece. The lion described below is a monument of this battle. The third great battle here fought was that in which Sulla defeated the generals of Mithridates, (B.C. 86), of which engagement there is a long account in Plutarch.

"In the village below (Chasronca) the little church of the Panaghia is still entire, with its white marble throne described by Dodwell, called by the learned of Capurna the throne of Plutarch. The dedicatory inscriptions, illustrative of the Egypto-Homan worship of Osiris, whicli have been repeatedly published, are also still in their places in the front wall of the building, and on those of the little court contiguous.

"About a mile, or little more, from tho Man, on the right side of the road towards Orchomonos, is the Sepulchre of the Boeotians who fell in the battle of Chceronea. At the period when this district was traversed by Leake, Dodwell, Gell, or any previous traveller to whose works I have had access, nothing was here visiblo but a tumulus. The lion, by which Pausanias describes it as having been surmounted, had completely disappeared. The mound of earth has since been excavated, and a colossal marble lion discovered deeply embedded in its interior. This noble piece of sculpture, though now strewed in detached masses about the sides and interior of the excavation, may still be said to exist nearly in its original integrity. It is evident, from the appearance of the fragments, that it was composed from the first of more than one block, although not certainly of so many as its remains now exhibit. Some of the fragments, however, seem to have been removed. The different pieces are so scooped out as to leave the interior of the figure hollow, with the twofold object, no doubt, of sparing material and saving expense of transport. I could obtain no authentic information as to the period and circumstances of this discovery. The story told on the spot was that the celebrated patriot chief Odysseus, when in occupation of this district, had observed a piece of marble projecting from the summit of the mound, which he further remarked, when struck, produced a hollow sound. Supposing, therefore, according to the popular notion, that treasure might be concealed in the interior of the tumulus, ho opened it up, and under the same impression broke the lion, which at that time was entire, into pieces, or, as the tradition goes, blew it up with gunpowder. Another account is, that the lion was first discovered by that patriarch among the present race of Hellenic archajologera, the Austrian consul Gropius, Odysseus being only entitled to the credit of having severed

it in pieces. That the government, during the 10 years of comparative tranquillity the country has now enjoyed, should have done nothing for its preservation, is another proof how little the regeneration of Greece has done for that of her monuments. It would appear that the marble, with the lapse of ages, had gradually embedded itself in tho soft material that formed its base, so as finally to have sunk, not only beneath the surface of the tumulus, but, to judge from the appearance of the excavation, even of the plain itself—a remarkable instance of the effect of time in concealing and preserving, as well as in destroying, monuments of ancient art.

"The lion may, upon the whole, be pronounced the most interesting sepulchral monument in Greece, perhaps in Europe. It is the only one dating from the better days of Hellas, with the exception, perhaps, of the tumulus of Marathon, the identity of which is beyond dispute. It is also an ascertained specimen of the sculpture of the most perfect period of Greek art That it records the last decisive blow beneath which Hellenic independence sunk, never permanently to rise again, were in itself a sufficiently strong claim on our warmest sympathies. But the mode in which it records that fatal event renders the claim doubly powerful. For this monument possesses tho affecting peculiarity of being erected, not, as usual with those situated like itselfon a fieldof battle, to commemorate the victory, but the misfortune of the warriors whose bodies repose in tho soil beneath—the valour, not the success of their struggle for liberty. These claims are urged by Pausanias with his usual dry, quaint brevity, but with much simple force and pathos. * On approaching the city,' says he, 'is the tomb of the Boeotians, who fell in the battle with Philip. It has no inscription, but the figure of a lion is placed upon it, as an emblem of the spirit of these men. The inscription has been omitted, as I suppose, because the gods had willed that their fortune should not be equal to their prowess ' (Baeot. xl.). The word here rendered spirit

has no equivalent in our language; but it describes very happily the expression which the artist, with an accurate perception of the affecting speciality of tho case, has given to the countenance of the animal, and of which, for tho reasons Pauganias assigns, tho monument was to be the emblem rather than the record; that mixture, namely, of fierceness and of humiliation, of rage, sorrow, and shame, which would agitate the breasts of proud Hellenic freemen, on being constrained, after a determined struggle on a field bathed with the blood of their best citizens, to yield up their independence to tho overwhelming jwwer of a foreign and semi-barbarous enemy."—' Col. Muro's Tour in Greece,' 1842, vol. i. p. 218.

At a short distance W. of Kapurna, on the road to Davlia, are some remains of the ancient city of Panopeus (Aghios Vlasius).

From Chscronea, the traveller may proceed to Davlia, the ancient Daulis, a village at the E. foot of Famassus, beautifully situated among groves of pomegranate. On a hill above it are considerable remains of the walls and towers of the ancient Acropolis, of polygonal masonry, with mortar in the interior of the wall, which is the case with many of these ancient works, where it does not appear between the large stones of tho external facing. Daulis is celebrated in Mythology as the scene of those impious acts, in consequence of which Philomela was changed into a nightingale. The thickets round tho modern village still nliound with this "Daulian bird." From Davlia a road proceeds along the foot of Parnassus to Arachova and Delphi; hutin summer the former place may be reached by a very fino mountain pass. Commencing the ascent of Parnassus at Davlia, the traveller in about 2 hrs. enters a fine forest of spruce firs, and passing tho beautifully situated convent of Jerusalem, tho road continues for some way through the wild and picturesque forest, and afterwards between lofty and snow-clad cliffs commanding a splendid view to

the E. over tho rich plains of Lcbadea and Thebes; at the top of tho pass tho road lies across a small plain, whence the descent commences to tho village of Arachova.

Two hours' ride Bctosb the plain, and near tho Copaic lake, will bring the traveller, following an eastern direction, from Kaprena to Strip/a, that is, from the site of Chasronea to tho site of tho BoDotian Orchomenus. Tho well and fountain mentioned by Pausanias exist in a monastery here, which occupies tho Bite of the Hieron of the Graces, who chose Orchomenus for their residence in consequence of this Sanctuary. Here games were celebrated in their honour. Tho treasury of Minyas is a ruin close to the monastery, similar to that at Mykenro. A tumulus to the E. is probably the tomb of Minyas. There are many considerable and curious remains of the Acropolis of Orchomenus, of which Col. Leake gives a plan and description. The traveller who goes to Orchomenus ought not to omit the much more interesting rains of Abie, only about 5 English miles N. of Orchomenus. It is doscril>ed in the next Route. Close to Orchomenus, the river Melos or Marronero, deriving its name from the colour of its waters, issues from 2 katabothra, and flows into the Copaic lake.

Travellers who wish to go direct from Lebadea to Thermopylae, and return hence to Delphi, &c, will also derive assistance from the next Rte. They will proceed from Lebadea by Chscronea, or by Orchomenus to Abx, about 5 hrs. either way: thence by the small villageof Fooddno(Hyampolis) } hour beyond Abas, to JJrachmdno (Elatea), 0 hrs. from Aba). Thence, crossing Mt. Cnemis, immediately beyond Drachmdno, the view of Parnassus is remarkably fine, particularly to the traveller who reverses this route, and comes upon it first from the northward. About 7 or 8 hrs. from Drachmano is Molo, and Tltermopylm is 1J or % hrs. beyond it. (See next lite.)

Turning his back on the rich plain of Boeotia, and its many ancient ruins, the traveller now proceeds from Lebadea to Chryso in 8J hra. For 3 hrs. the road lies along the ridge of hills which separates Phokis from Boeotia, whence there is a splendid Tiew of Parnassus. The road then descends into the valley, which extends to the foot of Parnassus. On the right are two immense rocks, towering above the road. On the top of the highest is a remarkable ruin. Thence the road from Daulis to the S.W. leads along a rugged valley towards Delphi, and hero falls in with another from Ambrysos {Distorno) on the S. at a point half-way between the two. This place was called <rx'<rri) Ms, or the Divided Way; and the Tpio&os, or Triple Rood. It was often crowded by the pilgrims and worshippers on their way to Delphi, and tho narrowness and difficulty of tho path make it the apt scene of such a collision as that of CEdipus and his father. In short, this spot agrees in nil respects with tho description in Pausanias, of the place where CEdipus slew his father, which happened on a spot where the roads from Daulis, Ambrysos, and Delphi met, just before entering the defile of Parnassus called Schiste.

Tho pass of Schiste between lofty precipices begins tho ascent to Parnassus. The remains of tho Via Sacra are seen in some places. Very high in tho rock are several caverns in the defile. At 6 hrs.' distance from Lebadea the road begins to descend. Precipices are on all sides, except whore the view extends through valleys and broken cliffs towards Delphi.

Chryso. See Bte. 13.

The mountain pass from Chryso along the W. side of Parnassus, by Salona to Gravia, presents some grand scenery; it occupies almost 4 hours. From Gravia tho traveller may proceed to Thermopylae or by Dadi to Lebadea. This route is the shortest way from Lamia to Delphi and the Gulf of Corinth. Leaving Lamia in tho morning, tho traveller

can cross the plain of the Spcrchius, and visit the pass of Thermopylae; thence, retracing his steps for a short distance, he can cross tho ridge of. CEta, by the Anopxa, or path chosen by the Persians—and sleep the same night in the little khan of Gravia, in Doris. The second day he may proceed from Gravia along the W. side of Parnassus, and through the village of Topolia (leaving Salona a little to the right) to Delphi; or he may pass through Salona to Galaxidi, and there embark for Patras or Vostitza.

Chryso to Delphi, 1} hr. Rto. 13.

Arachova, 2 hrs. Bte. 13.

Arachova to the summit of Parnassus. Bte. 13.

From the summit of Parnassus to the Monastery of the Virgin is 4J hrs. This descent is on the N.W. side of the mountain, and subsequently bears to the E. It is steep and rugged. Tho Monastery of tho Virgin is threefourths of the journey down, and is beautifully embowered in pine-groves, overlooking tho mountains of Ixwri and Dryopes, and tho plains watered by the Kephissus.

From the Monastery of tho Virgin to Naghia Marina is 1J hr. The descent continues for I hr., and then the road lies along the base of Parnassus.

From Haghia Marina to Velitza is 1 hr. The road passes two large pits with a tumulus on the edge, and l>eyond them is tho foundation of a large building constructed with great masses of stone. After passing a torrent, several sepulchres are seen hewn in the rock.

Velitza contains fine remnins of tho ancient walls and towers of Tithorea. From this place, which is at the foot of a precipice of Parnassus thero is a very fine view of the peaks of that mountain. Above the ruins of tho city, in the precipice, is a cavern, to which tho approach is difficult. Here torrents sometimes rush down. The remains of the Agora, a square struo

« السابقةمتابعة »