« السابقةمتابعة »
Irrita vox, eheu! captas pervenit ad aures,
Desine plura loqui, chordas nunc, Musa, coërce;
Narcissi; atque canit meeste super aura sepulcrum. In this poem we scarcely object to any part of the metre, except to nomine scripto ; but we miglit find instances of a similar position in our College prizes. Ac should not be placed before a word begiuning with a vowel.
JOURNAL OF A TOUR IN ASIA MINOR;
with comparative Remarks on the Ancient and Modern Geography of that country. By WILLIAM MARTIN LEAKE, F.R.S. &c. 8vo. Lond. 1824.
In tracing vestiges of Grecian art amidst that barbarism and desolation which have pervaded the Ottoman empire, a traveller finds peculiar difficulties opposed to his researches in Asia Minor, whilst this region offers a more fertile field of discovery
than any other Turkish province. Having noticed the hatred which Musulmans generally bear to Christians, our learned author adds:
In Asia Minor, among the impediments to a traveller's success may be especially reckoned, the deserted state of the country, which often puts the common necessaries and conveniences of travelling out of his reach; the continual disputes and wars among the persons in power; the precarious authority of the government of Constantinople, which rendering its protection ineffectual, makes the traveller's success depend upon the personal character of the governor of each district; and the ignorance and the suspicious temper of the Turks, who have no idea of scientific travelling-who cannot imagine any other motive for our visits to that country, than a preparation for hostile invasion, or a search after treasures among the ruins of antiquity-and whose suspicions of this nature are of course most strong in the provinces which, like Asia Minor, arc the least frequented by us. If the traveller's prudence or good fortune should obviate all these difficulties, and should protect him from plague, banditti, and other perils of a seini-barbarous state of society, he has still to dread the loss of health, arising from the combined effects of climate, fatigue, and privation, which seldom fails to check his career before he has completed his projected tour. Asia Minor is still in that · state in which a disguised dress, an assumption of the medical character, great patience and perseverance, the sacrifice of all European comforts, and the concealment of pecuniary means, are necessary to enable the traveller thoroughly to investigate the country, when otherwise qualified for the task by literary and scientific attainments, and by an intimate knowledge of the language and manners of the people." (Pref. p. iv.)
These remarks were written before the insurrection broke out in Greece: an event which has thrown many additional obstacles in the way of travellers. To Colonel Leake, therefore, our obligations are the greater for having given so much valuable information respecting a country where few will, probably, venture to extend their researches, for a considerable time.
In January, 1800, our author set out from Constantinople, in company with the late General Koehler, Sir Richard Fletcher, Professor Carlyle, and others, well armed and disguised as Tatar couriers, and with servants of different descriptions, forming a caravan of 35 horses. From Iskiodar or Skutári (in Greek ExOutáprov) they proceeded to Kartal, Pandíkhi (Ilavtixsov), and Ghebse. Near this place they niet a Mollah (or Turkish priest) travelling luxuriously in a Taktrevan (or covered litter), reclining on soft cushions, smoking the Narghilé (or water-pipe), and accompanied by attendants, mounted on horseback and splendidly dressed: his baggage consisted of mattresses and coverings for his sofas; valises containing his clothes; a large assortment of pipes,
<tables of copper ; cauldrons, saucepans, and a complete batterie de cuisine. Such a mode of travelling is undoubtedly very different from that which was in use among the Turks of Osman and Orkhan. The articles of the Mollah's baggage are probably for the most part of Greek origin, adopted from the conquered nation, in the same manner as the Latins borrowed the arts of the Greeks of a better age. In fact, it is in a great degree to Greek luxuries, with the addition of coffee and tobacco, that the present imbecile condition of these barbarians is to be ascribed; and “ Græcia capta ferum victorem cepit” applies as well to the Turk as it once did to the Roman; for though Grecian art in its perfection may be degraded by a comparison with the arts of the Byzantine Grecks, yet in the scale of civilisation, the Turks did not bear a higher proportion to these than the Romans did to the ancient Greeks. (P. 4.)
The first chapter conducts us from Ghebse to kizderwent (or the “Girl's Pass”), Lake Ascanius, Nicæa, Lefke, Shughut, Eski-Shehr (the ancient Dorylæum), Seid el Ghazi, Doganlu, Kosru Khan, Bulwudun, Isaklu, Ak-Shehr, llgún, Ladík, and Kónia. In the course of this journey our author remarks that the Turkish Isnik, wbich represents the Grecian Nicæa, was never so large as the ancient city, from the ruins of which it seems to have been almost wholly composed, its baths and mosques exhibiting numerous fragments of Greek temples and churches. (P. 11.) Of an extraordinary monument in the valley called Doganlú, an engraving is given from the sketch made by General Koehler, while Mr. Carlyle and Col. Leake copied the inscriptions. This monument appears to be a sepulchral chamber excavated in the rock, with an ornamented front rising more than 100 feet above the plain: the lower part resembles an altar, and probably conceals the entrance into a sepulchre where lie the remains of some personage in whose honor this magnificent monument was formed; for in some other parts of Asia Minor, especially at Telmissus, we have examples of the wonderful ingenuity with which the ancients sometimes defended the entrance into their tombs.” (P. 23.) A ruined fortification in the vicinity of this monument, our learned traveller is inclined to regard as indicating the site of Nacoleia, the chief fortress of this country in the time of Arcadius, and named by Strabo among the cities of Phrygia Epictatus. As to the sculptured monument, it may be supposed a work of the ancient Phrygians, who, like other nations of Asia Minor, in a state of independence before the Persian conquest, used an alphabet slightly differing from the Greek, and derived from the same Oriental origin. The characters of its inscriptions resemble the Archaic Greek in some respects, whilst in others they are manifestly semibarbarous.
Both in the resemblance and dissimilitude, therefore, they accord with what we should expect of the dialect of the Phrygians, whose connexion with Greece is evident from many parts of their early history; at the same time that the distinction between the two nations is strongly marked by Herodotus, who gives to the Phrygians the appellation of barbarians. (P. 27.)
In ove of the inscriptions Col. L. discovered the words MIAAI FANAKTEI “to King Midas;" furnishing an immediate presumption that this monument was constructed in honor of some Phrygian monarch of the Midaian family. This opinion is supported with our author's wonted erudition and ability, and he recommends, as we sincerely do, that future travellers should devote some time to a more complete examination of this highly interesting object than circumstances allowed to himself. The second chapter illustrates in a very masterly manner the ancient Geography of the central part of Asia Minor, establishing the sites of many cities respecting which we have hitherto been almost wholly ignorant. And the third chapter continues the author's route from Konia through various places, until his arrival at the sea-coast, where he embarked and landed at Tzerina or Cerina, in the island of Cyprus, near which are some catacombs, the only remains of ancient Ceryneia. (P. 118.) Here he remarks that --the natural formation of the eastern part of the north side of Cyprus is very singular: it consists of a high, rugged ridge of steep rocks, running in a straight line from east to west, which descend abruptly on the south side into the great plain of Lefkosía, and terminate to the north in a narrow plain bordering the coast. Upon several of the rocky summits of the ridge are castles which seem almost inaccessible. The slope and maritime plain at the foot of the rocks on the north possess the finest soil and climate, with a plentiful supply of water; it is one of the most beautiful and best cultivated districts I have seen in Turkey. (P. 119.)'
Among various interesting, curious, and useful remarks, which our author, as usual, intersperses throughout his works, we shall notice one, in P. 124, showing, that from a comparison of some computed measurements with the real distances on the map, a Greek mile may be estimated at about two-thirds of the geographical; and as the word uiro was borrowed from the Latin, Col. Leake concludes that the measure must have been originally the same as the Roman mile, though it is now shorter; the distance however is merely computed, not measured, and he never could obtain an accurate definition of it from the Greeks. The ruins of Assus, opposite to Molivo, (the ancient Methymna) in Mitylene, afford numerous remains, furnishing perhaps the most perfect idea of a Greek city that anywhere existstemples, sculptured figures, walls and towers. a gate in complete preservation, a cemetery with gigantic Sarcophagi, an ancient causeway, and architraves with inscriptions. On one of these we read.... ΙΕΡΕΥΣ ΤΟΥ ΔΙΟΣ.... ΚΑΙΣΑΡΙ ΣΕBASTNI. Another records the name of one who had bequeathed lands for restoring the city, and from the profits of which the temple had been rebuilt. Ex ans aporodou Twy ayowy, ων απελιπεν εις επισκευης της πολεως Κλεοστρατος υιος πολεως, φυσει δε Τελλικoντoς, επισκευασθη. (Ρ. 128.)
The fourth chapter treats of ancient places on the road from Adalia to Shughut, with remarks on the comparative geography of the adjacent country.
We shall here direct the inquisitive reader to our learned author's observations on the site of Apameia, respecting which he examines the ancient evidences,
Because it is a point of great importance to the ancient geography of the western part of Asia Minor; not less so than Tyana is to the eastern; and because, adds he, in regard to both these places, I have the misfortune to differ from the author, in whose opinion the public is justly in the habit of placing the highest confidence. P. 163. It is scarcely necessary to mention that Col. Leake here alludes to the celebrated geographer Major Rennell.
The fifth chapter relates to ancient places on the southern coast of Asia Minor; and here a due compliment is paid to Captain Beaufort's excellent work on Karamania, a country now poor and deserted, but appearing, from the numerous remains of antiquity that it exhibits, to have been one of the most populous and florishing regions of the ancient world (p. 171.)
In chapter vi. we have remarks on the comparative geography of the western and northern parts of Asia Minor; on the principal places in Peræa Rhodia, in Doris, in Caria, in the valley of the Mæander, in the valleys of the Caystrus, on the coast of Ionia, in the vallies of the Hermus and Caicus, and in the adjacent country, in Troas, in Bithynia, and in Paphlagonia. Here (p. 240.) our author gives a very remarkable inscription from Branchidæ, in the Boustrophedon manner of writing; it was copied by Sir William Gell from the chair of a sitting statue on the Sacred Way, or road leading from the sea to the temple of Apollo Didymæus. This road, which on either side was bordered with statues on chairs formed of single blocks of stone, the feet close together and the hands placed on the knees, is an exact imitation of the avenues to Egyptian temples.