صور الصفحة

luxuriant foliage, is considered with probability to occupy the site of the garden of Laertes (Od., xxiv. 204). One way of visiting this district is to pass by the village of Anoge, alluded to above; but perhaps the best way ii to go in a boat from Bathy to the little port of Frikes at the N.E. end of the island, whence it is but a short walk to the "School of Homer." Thence the traveller reaches in balfan-hour the large village of Stavros (2Tavf><js), t. e. Cross,—as common a name in Greek as in English topography. If he have taken the precaution to send on horses to this place, he may return to the capital easily in 3 hrs. by an excellent bridlepath, which is the only communication by land between the N. and S. of the island. After leaving Bathy, it sweeps round the great harbour, crosses the isthmus obliquely, and then hangs like a cornice on the side of Mount Neritos, high over the channel of Cephalonia, commanding glorious views of the opposite island. Some traces of the ancient road may be discerned in this rocky path.

Below the village of Stavros are some ancient remains near the little port of Polis on tho western coast of the island. Though the fortress and royal residence of the Ithacans may be identified with what is now called the Castle of Ulysses, and though its excellent harbour makes it proliable that there was also a town on, the site of the modern Bathy,—still it seems evident that the Homeric oapital was at Polis. For the poet represents the suitors as lying in wait for Tclemachus on his return from the Peloponnesus at Asteris, "a small island in the channel between Ithaca and Samos,"* where

* Od, iv. 844. 'Eon At Tk Vt)<t<k ntffaji iXl vtrpr^twa Mccrcryyvf re Zofuxo' Tt jrauraAoco'aijf,

ATrcptt, ov jAryaAij* AifieVec 6' cvi vavAoxOi

'A*u^'5unoi* rn Tov yt fiivov 'A^atou' It is true that tho little rock of Dnscalion has not now a port with two entrances; but, « Strabo observes, earthquakes and other physical causes may have materially changed tti form since the tune of Homer. Aoo-coAto?

the only island is the rock now called Dascalion, situated exactly opposite tho entrance to Port Polis. It is therefore perfectly adapted to the purposes of the suitors if the capital was at Polis; indeed there is no other harbour, nor any other island, with which the poet's narrative can be made to accord. Colonel Leake further remarks that the traditional name Polis is ono strong argument that the town, of which the remains are still visible here, was that which i Scylax,* and still more expressly Ptolemy,t mention as having borne the same namo as tho island. We may readily believe that in every age, ^ wdAij, or the city, was among the Ithacans tho most common designation of their chief town.

If the Homeric capital of Ithaca was at Polis, it will follow that Mount Neium, under which it stood (Od., iii. 81), was the mountain of Exogo at the northern extremity of the island, and that ono of its summits was tho hill of Hermes, from which Eumajus saw the ship of Telemachus entering the harbour (Od., xvi. 471). It becomes probable also that the harbour Keithrum, which was under Neium, but opart from the city (Od., i. 185), may be identified with either of the neighbouring bays of Afales or Frikes. Crocyleia and ^gilips, enumerated by Homer among the subjects of Ulysses (It, ii. 633), were perhaps towns of Ithaca. The rugged rocks around the modern village of Anoge, scarcely accessible except to goat$, lead to the conjecture that it may occupy the site of jEgilips. Strabo, however, is inclined to place Crocyleia and ^Egilips in Leucadia; while K. O. Miiller is inclined to identify them respectively

doubtless is a contraction of AioWjraAcioi', and derives its name from having been at some time or other the residence of a monk who acted as a 6toao-KoAot. The name of Asteris would seem to imply that the Homeric island was a mere starlike rock.

* injaos 'Wflunj Kat iroAic xal ALfiyv. Scylax in Acarnania.

T 'I0d«i), iv ji iroAi? ofUMtrpot^-Ptolem. UL y*-"

14. Cf. Leake's "Travels in Northern Greece." chap. ^«1i

with Arcudi and Atoko, two small islets between Ithaca aud Leucadia.

Of all the small islands lying along the western const of Aearnania the largest is Calamos, anciently called Carnus, containing more than a hundred families, who grow a good deal of com, and cultivate vines and olives. There is a flourishing village near the S.E. extremity of the island, which boasts elsewhere some Hellenic and medinjval remains. The sail through the narrow strait which separates Calamos from the mainland presents very striking sce nery. Mylika is tho nearest Acarnanian village. During the Greek war of Independence, (jalamos was made a place of refuge for many of the families of the insurgents, who were protected by a guard of English soldiers. This as well as Kastus, Atoko, and a few other small islets hard by, were inhabited of old by the Taphians, or Teleboic, as they are also called, who are celebrated by Homer as a maritime people, addicted to piracy.* The whole group of tho Echinades, most of which are mere barren rocks, derive their name from the resemblance of their pointed, and, as it were, prickly outline, to the back of the Echinut, or sea hedgehog, common on these shorcs.f By the Venetians they were known as the islands of Kurzohiri, a nunie lielongiug properly to the high i>eninsular hill at the mouth of the Achelous. A week may be spent delightfully in cruising among the islets which lie between Leucadia aud Ithaca and the opposite coast of Acarnania. There are numerous excellent harbours for yachts, the l>ort of PeUUa, the beautiful bay of Vliko in Leucadia, of Bulky in Megnne'si, of Vragomettre, and many others.

Both ancient aud modern critics have

* Od., XV. 426, Sc., ivl. 426, Ac. These seas continued to be infamous for their piracies down h> the time of Sir Thomas Maitland and Ali I'asha of Joannlua, who finally put an end to them.

t The rocks at the mouth of the Aehclous, forming part of the h'chinades, arc called from their jagged and ihai-p outline, 'Of«ai. The epithet ©oat applied to them by Homer has l>een interpreted as synonymous with 'Ofriac; or it may be dprived from 'I huas, the ancient name of the Achelous, us we learu from Strabo.

been puzzled as to the site of Dulichium. But Strabo (x. 2) insists that it was one of the Echinades, and, as his opinion is in perfect conformity with Homer (//., ii. (!'2o), there seems no gond reason for doubting that Dulichium was the head of an insular state, which, like Hydra and other Greek islands, in modern times, may have attained by maritime commerce, not unmixed, perhaps, with piracy, a high degree of populousness and opulence, far out of proportion with its natural resources and dimensions. It furnished forty ships to the Trojan expedition (//., ii. 030). " Petals," says Col. Leake, "being the largest of the Echinades. and possessing the advantage of two well-sheltered harbours, seems to have the best claim to be considered the ancient Dulichium." * It is a mere rock, but so is Hydra, whose navyswept the Turks from the ..Egean during the War of Independence. Moreover, as Pctalii is separated by a strait only a hundred yards across from the fertile alluvial plains at the mouth of the Aehclous, its natural deficiencies may have there been supplied, and the epithets of gratty and abounding in wheat, which Homer applies to Dulichium (.Od., xvi.:!%), may be referred to that part of its territory. From Petala an easy and interesting excursion may be made to the extensive aud singularly picturesque ruins of G^nia, or tho city of G2uiada) (under which latter name it always occurs in history), situated on an eminence on the right or Acarnanian bank of the Achelous. The surrounding scenery is as grand in all its natural features as in its classical associations;—this city, as the most important fortress in Western Greece, having often Ijcen the object of many u hard struggle. (See Section II., Part I.)

The barren rocks at the mouth of the Achelous derive an interest from

• Travels In Northern Greece, chap. xxli. We are inclined to adopt a suggestion which l^eake makes elsewhere, vii. that Dulichium Is to he found in the long narrow Island near Petala, which Is now called iMacrl (Maxpij). The etymology of lliese two nanus (fiaicpof and 6oi>Mx<*) would appear to be simihir.

the fact that Lord Byron, during his perilous voyage from Cephalonia to Mesolonghi in January, 1824, was three times obliged to take refuge among them, twice by the sudden storms so common in these sens, and once to escape from a Turkish cruiser. The hardships and exposure which he then endured for several days in a small Ionian boat were probably in part the origin of the illness which cut him oft" prematurely in the following April. His enthusiasm for the noble cause to which he devoted his life and fortune, though deep, was not nighty, like that of many Philhellenes; his zeal, gallantry, and generosity are not more admirable than his calm good sense, moderation, humanity, and the remarkable clearness of vision with which he at once saw through the difficulties of his own position, and the character of the people with whom he had to deal.* Had he lived longer among them, his excellent counsels and personal weight would have exercised an important influence on their future destiny. This was not to be: still Lord Byron has had the reward which he would have himself desired. He sank into the grave amid the tears and blessings of a grateful nation; and his name, liko that of Lord Gnilford, will never be forgotten in Oreece.t

It was off the Echinades also.J and n«t within the gulf of Corinth, as might be imagined from the name of Lepanto (so the Venetians enlled Naupactus) having been generally applied to it, that was fought, on October 6, 1571, the most important naval engagement of modern times. Thoroughly alarmed by the recent fall of Cyprus

• See Moore'* 'Life and Works of Byron,' vol. vl. p. 3. "Of all those who came to help the Greeks," saya Sir Charles Napier (a per*in himself most qualified to judge, as well from local knowledge as from the acute, straightforward cast of his own mind), " 1 never knew "oe,except Lord Byron and General Gordon, that fc^med to have justly estimated their character."

t See Moore's * Life and Works of Byron,' vol. vt.. for Lord Byron's Letters and Conversations on Greek Affairs. Compare also Finla/s or Gordon's ' History of the Greek Revolution.'

1 Daru,' llistoirc de Venise,' xxvii. 16. Marmora, ' istoria dl Corfu,' lib. vi.

and by the rapid progress on all sides of the Ottoman arms,* the Venetians, who trembled for their possessions in the Adriatic,—Philip II. of Spain, whose Italian dominions were in imminent danger, and Pope Pius V., the soul of the whole enterprise,—entered into a league n gainst the Infidels. The chief command of the Christian armament was intrusted to Don John of Austria, an illegitimate son of the Emperor Charles V.—and then younger even thnn Alexander when he conquered the East, or than Napoleon when, in the campaign of 179fi, he hurled the Austrians from Italv. The Turkish fleet of 230 galleys was encountered almost within sight of the waters of Actium, where the empire of the world had been lost and won 1600 years before. The force was nearly equal on both sides; and the battle was long, fierce, and bloody. Then were aroused the fiercest passions which can agitate the heart of man,—religious and political hatred, the love of glory, the hope of conquest, the dread of slavery ;—then were employed the chief instruments of war of ancient and modern invention, arrows, javelins, fire-balls, grapplingirons, cannon, muskets, swords, and spears. The foemen fought hand to hand in the galleys, as on a field of battle. Ali, tho Turkish admiral, and Don John, each surrounded by a band of champions, maintained a close contest for three hours. At last the Ottoman leader fell, his galley was taken, and the banner of the Cross was displayed from its mainmast. The cry of "Victory" resounded through the Christian fleet, and the Infidels gave way on every side. The loss of the allies was very great, but near 200 of the Ottoman galleys were either captured or destroyed; above 25,000 Turks fell in the conflict, and 15,000 Christian slaves found chained to the oars, were set at liberty. On that great day tho Turkish fleet re

• See Russell's ■ Modern Europe,' part i. leltf r In; and the authorities there quoted. Cervanun", the author of 'Don l}ulxote,' was sevja-"" wounded at lepanto, but survived to Spain's chivalry away."

eoived, like the Turkish army before Vienna in 1863, a blow from which it has never recovered.

6. ZAKTB (zacyntbxs).

The history of Zacynthus is soon told, Pliny affirms that the island was in the earliest times called Hyrie,— perhaps a name of Phoenician origin, like Scheria, the Homeric appellation of Corcyra. But Zacynthus is the term constantly used by Homer; it is said to be derived from the founder of the chief city, an Arcadian chieftain. A very ancient tradition ascribed to this samo Zacynthus the foundation of Saguntum in Spain, one of the very few commercial stations which the Phoenicians allowed their hated rivals to establish on the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. "Much has been said" (to quote the Bishop of Lincoln) "concerning the origin of the name of Zacynthus; and, as is usually the cose, heroes have been created at will from whom that appellation has been derived. But names of places are generally assigned in consequence of somo peculiarity existing in the sites themselves. It may be shown from numerous examples—such as Mount Cynthus in Delos, and Ara-cynthus, the mountain of JE&olm,—that Cynthus in the early Greek languago was .i general term for a hill. Looking therefore at these two hills before us (Mount Skopos and the Castlehill), and tho town placed between them, we prefer to go no further than the immediate neighbourhood of Zacynthus for what it so well supplies, namely, tho reason of its own designation, which wo may compare with that of Za-longos, a woody mountain of Epirus between Nicopolis and Arta."

Thucydides (ii. 66) acquaints us that at a later period Zacynthus received a colony of Achieans from the Peloponnesus. Herodotus (vi. 70) relates that Demaratus, the exiled king of Sparta, took refuge here from the persecution of his enemies, who crossing over from the mainland, seized

him and his retinue; when the Zacynthians, with a hospitality which still distinguishes these islanders, refused to deliver him up, and enabled him to make good his escape to tho court of Persia. Not long before the Peloponnesian war, the island was reduced by the Athenian general Tolmides, from which period we find Zacynthus, like most other states of Ionian race, generally allied with, or rather, dependent upon, Athens. It was attacked by the Peloponnesians, but unsuccessfully (Thucyd., ii. 66; vii. 57). At a much later period it fell into the hands of Philip in.. King of Macedonia (Polyb., v. 4); and during the second Punic War it was occupied by the Romans. On this occasion the chief town, bearing the same name with the island, was captured, with the exception of the citadel, called Psophis, probably after an Arcadian city, of which the reputed founder, Zacynthus, was a native. It is likely that this citadel occupied the site of the modern Castle. Diodorus (xv. 362) mentions another fort called Arcadia in- the island. Zacynthus was, however, afterwards restored to Philip, and he placed there as governor Hierocles of Agrigentum, who sold the island to the Achreans, who were anxious, perhaps, to recover their old colony. On its being claimed by the Romans, the Achieans, after somo demur, gave it up, B.C. 191, and Zacynthus henceforward seems to have followed the fortunes of the Roman Empire (Livy, xxxvi. 31, 32). There is an improbable story, founded on an inscription said to have been discovered on an ancient sepulchre, that this island was the burial-place of Cicero.

The beauty and fertility of Zacynthus, and the picturesque situation of its capital on the margin of its semicircular bay, have been celebrated in all ages, from that of Theocritus {Idyl., iv. 32) to that of the modern Italian proverb which pronounces the island to be "the Flower of the Levant:"

"Zante, Zante,
Fior dl Levante."

Pliny and Strabo have also expatiated on the richness of its woods and harvests, and on the magnificence of its city. The former writer estimates the circumference of the island at 3t> Roman miles; the latter at only ICO stadia. Perhaps Strabo's measurements seem so frequently erroneous, owing to mistakes having arisen in transcribing the letters of the Greek alphabet which represented his numbers.

If we except a few columns and inscriptions, discovered at various periods, nothing now remains of the ancient splendour of Zacynthus; as indeed is often the case wherever a modern town has sprung up, the remains of antiquity having been used as a quarry for the more recent buildings. But the celebrated Pitch WeUs are a natural phenomenon, which may be regarded as among the antiquities of the island, since they are mentioned by Herodotus, Fausanias, Pliny, and other ancient authors. During the constant changes of men and states around. Nature still asserts her identity here; and the description of Herodotus (iv. 195), written 2300 years ago, ia not inappropriate at the present day: "In Zacynthus I myself have seen pitch springing up continually out of a pool of water. Now there are several pools in this place; the largest being 70 ft. in circumference, and 2 fatnoms in depth. Into this the people let down a pole with a branch of myrtle fastened at its end; and so they bring up the pitch. It has a bituminous smell, but in all other respects is better than the pitch of Pieria. They pour it into a trench dug near the pool, and when they have collected a considerable quantity they remove it from the trench into jars. Whatever falls into the pool passes underground, and is again seen in the sea, which is at the distance of 4 furlongs."

These Pitch Wells are situated near the shore of the Bay of Chieri, about 12 m. from the town. They are now the great resort of pic-nic parties. For the first 6 m. an excellent carriage road crosses the plain; the re

mainder of the journey is by a bridlepath through olive-groves and vineyards. In a little marshy valley, far from any dwelling of man, the springs are found. They are two; the principal surrounded by a low wall;— here the pitch is seen bubbling up under the clear water, which is about a foot deep over the pitch itself, with which it comes out of the earth. The pitch-bubbles rise with the appearance of an India-rubber bottle until the air within bursts, and the pitch falls back and runs off. It produces about 3 barrels a day, and can be used when mixed with pine-pitch, though in a pure state it is comparatively of no value. The other spring is in an adjoining vineyard; but the pitch does not bubble up, and is, in fact, only discernible by the ground having a burnt appearance, and by the feet adhering to the surface as one walks over it. Tho demand for the pitch of Zante is now very small; vegetable pitch being preferable.

In another part of the island there is a small cave on tho sea-shore, from the sides of which drips an unctuous oily matter, which, running into tho water, gives it the name of tho Tallow Well, or Grease Spring. A full, scientific account of these curious natural phenomena will be found in Dr. Davy's 'Notes,' &c, vol. i. chap. 4. Tho pitch wells are, perhaps, a sign of the volcanic agency so continually at work in the Ionian Islands and in the same latitudes of Italy and Sicily. It would appear that severe earthquakes recur in Zanto about once in 20 years. That of December 29, 1820, was the most serious within living memory; tho walls of the most solid buildings were then shattered, and every quarter of the town was filled with ruins: 80 houses were almost totally destroyed, nearly 1000 were more or less injured; and from 30 to 40 persons were killed or maimed. Again, on October 30, 1840, the island suffered from a severe shock, by which 8 persons lost thenlives.

With regard to the modern annals of Zante there is little to say, except

« السابقةمتابعة »