صور الصفحة
PDF
[graphic][ocr errors]

5. Pedestal of the Statue of Agrippa.

6. Quadriga.

7. Statue of Athena Proma h us.

8. Gigantomachla.

9. Temple of Rome and Augustus.

10. Temple of Artemis Brauronia.

A A. Southern or Cimonlan
Wall.

BB. Northern or Pelagic
Wall.

1. Parthenon.

2. Erechthelum.

3. Propylaea.

4. Temple of Nike Apterot: beneath Temple of Ge Curntrophu* and Demeter Chloe.

On the ascent to the Acropolis from the modern town our first attention is called to the angle of the Hellenic wall, west of the northern wing of the Propylaea. It is probable that this wall formed the exterior defence of the Acropolis at this point. Following this wall northwards, we come to a bastion, built about the year 1822 by the Greek general Odysseus to defend an ancient well, to which there is access within the bastion by an antique passage and stairs of some length cut in the rock. Turning eastwards round the corner, we come to two caves, one of which is supposed to have been dedicated to Pan; in these caves are traces of tablets let into the rock. Leaving these caves we come to the large buttress, after which the wall runs upon the edge of the nearly vertical rock. On passing round a salient angle, where is a small buttress, we find a nearly straight line of wall for about 210 feet; then a short bend to the south-east; afterwards a further straight reach for about 120 feet, nearly parallel to ^he former. These two lines of wall contain the remains of Doric columns and entablature, to which reference has already been made. A mediaeval buttress about 100 feet from the angle of the Erechtheium forms the termination of this second reach of wall. From hence to the north-east angle of the Acropolis, where there is a tower apparently Turkish, occur several large square stones, which also appear to have belonged to some early temple. The wall, into which these, as well as the before mentioned fragments, arr built, seems to be of Hellenic origin. The eastern face of the wall appears to have been entirely built in the Middle Ages on the old foundations. At the south-east angle we find the Hellenic masonry of the Southern or Cimonian wall. At this •pot 29 courses remain, making a height of 45 feet. Westward of this point the wall has been almost

[blocks in formation]

entirely cased in mediaeval and recent times, and is further supported by 9 buttresses, which, as well as those on the north and east sides, appear to be mediaeval. But the Hellenic masonry of the Cimonian wall can be traced all along as far as the Propylaea under the casing. The south-west reach of the Hellenic wall terminates westwards in a solid tower about 30 feet high, which is surmounted by the temple of Nike Apteros, described below. This tower commanded the unshielded side of any troops approaching the gate, which, there is good reason to believe, was in the same position as the present entrance. After passing through the gate and proceeding northwards underneath the west face of the tower, we come to the Propylaea. The effect of emerging from the dark gate ,and narrow passage to the magnificent marble staircase, 70 feet broad, surmounted by the Propylaea, must have been exceedingly grand. A small portion of the ancient Pekagic wall still remains near the south-east angle of the southern wing of the Propylaea, now occupied by a lofty mediaeval tower. After passing the gateways of the Propylaea we come upon the area of the Acropolis, of which considerably more than half has been excavated under the auspices of the Greek government. Upon entering the enclosure of the Acropolis the colossal statue of Athena Promachus was seen a little to the left, and the Parthenon to the right; both offering angular views, according to the usual custom of the Greeks in arranging the approaches to their public buildings. The road leading upwards in the direction of the Parthenon is slightly worked out of the rock; it is at first of considerable breadth, and afterwards becomes narrower. On the right hand, as we leave the Propylaea, and on the road itself, are traces of 5 votive altars, one of which is dedicated to Athena Hygieia. Further on, to the left of the road, is the site of ihc statue of Athena Promachui Northwards of this statue, we come to a staircase close to the edge of the rock, partly built, partly cut out, leading to the grotto of Aglaurus. This staircase pusses downwards through a deep cleft; in the rock, nearly parallel in its direction to the outer wall, and opening out in the face of the cliff a little below its foundation. In the year 1845 it was possible to creep into this passage, and ascend into the Acropolis; but since that time the entrance has been closed up. Close to the Parthenon the original soil was formed of made ground in three layers of chips of stone; the lowest being of the rock of the Acropolis, the next of Pentelic marble, and the uppermost of Peiraic stone. In the extensive excavation made to the east of the Parthenon there was found a number of drums of columns, in a more or less perfect state, some much shattered, others apparently rough from the quarry, others partly worked and discarded in consequence of some defect in the material. The ground about them was strewed with marble chips; and some sculptors' tools, and jars containing red colour were found with them. In front of the eastern portico of the Parthenon we find considerable remains of a level platform, partly of smoothed rock, and partly of Peiraic paving. North of this platform is the highest part of the Acropolis. Westwards of this spot we arrive at the area between the Parthenon and Erechtheium, which slopes from the former to the latter. Near the Parthenon is a small well, or rather mouth of a cistern, excavated in the rock, which may have been supplied with water from the roof of the temple. Close to the south, or Caryatid portico of the Erechtheium, is a small levelled area on which was probably placed one of the many altars or statues surrounding that temple.

Before quitting the general plan of the Acropolis, Mr. Penrose calls attention to the remarkable absence of parallelism ■ among the several buildings. "Except the Propylaea and Parthenon, which were perhaps intended to bear a definite relation to one another, no two are parallel. This asymmetria is productive of very great beauty; for it not only obviates the dry uniformity of too many parallel lines, hut also produces exquisite varieties of light and shade. One of the most happy instances of this latter effect is in the temple of Nike Apteros, in front of the southern wing of the Propylaea. The facade of this temple and pedestal of Agrippa, which is opposite to it, remain in shade for a considerable time after the front of the Propylaea has been lighted up; and they gradually receive every variety of light, until the sun is sufficiently on the decline to shine nearly equally on all the western faces of the entire group." Mr. Penrose observes that a similar want of parallelism in the separate parts is found to obtain in several of the finest mediaeval structures, and may conduce in some degree to the beauty of the magnificent Piazza of St. Marc at Venice.

2 The Propyl tea.

The road up the western slope of the Acropolis led from the agora, and was paved with slabs of Pentelic marble. (Ross, in the KututbhUt, 1836, No. 60.) At the summit of the rock Pericles caused a magnificent building to be constructed, which might serve as a suitable entrance (Upoirv. Acua) to the wonderful works of architecture and sculpture within: —

[ocr errors][graphic]

GROUND FLA2I OF TUB PROPTl-AKA.

A. rinacotheca- B. Temple of Nike Apteroa.

C. Pedestal of Agrippa.

The architect of the Propylaea was Mnesicles. It was commenced in the archonship of Euthymenes, B. o. 437, and was completed in the short space ot five years. (Plut. Pericl 13.) It cost 2000 talents (Harpocrat. s. v. T\pow£\aia), or 460,0001. The building was constructed entirely of Pentelic marble, and covered the whole of the western end of the Acropolis, which was 168 feet in breadth. The central part of the building consisted of two Doric hexa»tyle porticoes, covered with a roof of white marble, which attracted the particular notice of Puusanias (i. 22. § 4). Of tlie.se pirtieoes the western faced the city, and the eastern the interior of the Acropolis; the latter, owing to the rise of the ground, being higher than the former. They were divided into two unequal halves by a wall, pierced by five gates or doors, by which the Acropolis was entered. The western portico was 43 feet in depth, arid the eastern about half this depth $ and they were called Propylaea from their forming a vestibule to the five gates or doors just mentioned Each portico or vestibule consisted of a front of six fluted iJoric columns, supporting a pediment, the columns being 4$ feet in diameter, and nearly 29 feet in height. Of the five gates the one in the centre was tlie largest, and was equal in breadth to the space between the two central columns in the portico in front, ft was by this gate that the carriages and horsemen entered the Acropolis, and the marks uf the chariotwheels worn in the rock nre still visible. The doors on either side of the central one were much smaller both in height and breadth, and designed fnr the admission of foot passengers only. The roof of the western portico was supported by two rows of three Ionic columns each, between which was the road to the central gate.

The central part of the building which we have bven describing, was 58 feet in breadth, and consequently did not cover the whole width of the rock: the remainder was occupied by two wings, which projected 26 feet in front of the western portico. Each of these wings was built in the form of' Doric temples, and communicated with the adjoining angle of the great portico. In the northern wing (on the left hand to a person ascending the Acropolis) a porch of 12 feet in depth conducted into a chamber

of 35 feet by 30, usually called the Pitiacot/teca, from its walls being covered with paintings (ofrwm t\ov ypatpds, Paus. i. 22. § 6). The southern wing (on the right hand to a person ascending the Acropolis) consisted only of a porch or open gallery of 26 feet by 17, which did not conduct into any chamber behind. On the western front of this southern wing stood the small temple of Nike Apteros (Nimj "Awrepos), the Wingless Victory. (Paus. i. 22. § 4.) The spot occupied by this temple commands a wide prospect of the sea, and it was here that Acgeus is said to hare watched his son's return from Crete. (Paus. /. c.) From this }»art of the rock he threw himself, when he saw the black sail on the mast of Theseus. Later writers, in order to account for the name of the Aegaean sea, relate that Aegeus threw himself from the Acropolis into the sea, which is three miles off.'

There are still considerable remains of the Propy laea. The eastern portico, together with the adjacent parts, was thrown down about 1656 by an explosion of gunpowder which had been deposited in that place; but the inner wall, with its five gateways, still exists. The northern wing is tolerably perfect; but the southern is almost entirely destroyed two columns of the latter are seen imbedded in th» adjacent walls of the mediaeval tower.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Temple of Nike. Apteros requires a few *ords. In the time of Pericles, Nike or Victor}' was figured as a young female with golden wings (Nf«7j Terrroi vrtpvyotv xpwraiV, Aristoph. A v. 574); but the more ancient statues of the goddess are said to have been without wings. (Schol. ad Aristoph. I. c.) Nike Apteros was identified with Athena, and was called Nike Athena. (sikij 'Aftpv, HeUodor. ftp. Harpocrat. SuULs. r.) Standing as she did at the exit from the Acropolis, her aid was naturally implored by persons starting on a dangerous enterprise. (Ntrif T' 'A0aVa no\ia?, y au£u u ail, Soph. PMloct. 134.) Hence, the opponents of Lysistrata, upon reaching the top of the ascent to the Acropolis, invoke Nike (ftftnroiva Nf*Tj {iryyeroi'), before whose temple they were standing. (Aristoph. Lj/sigtr. 318; from Wordsworth, p. 107, seq.) This temple was still in existence when Spon and Wlwlcr

visited Athens in 1676; but in 1751 nothing re mained of it but some traces of the foundation and fragments of masonry lying in the neighbourhood of its former site. There were also found in a neighbouring wall four slabs of its sculptured frieze, which are now in the British Museum. It seemed that this temple had perished utterly; but the stones of which it was built were discovered in the excavations of the year 1835, and it has been rebuilt with the original materials under the auspices of Ross and Schaubcrt. The greater part of its frieze was also discovered at the same time. The temple now stands on its original site, and at a distance looks very much like a new building, with its white marble columns and walls glittering in the sun.

This temple is of the class called Amphiprostylus Tctrastylus, consisting of a cella with four Ionic columns at either front, but with none un the sides. It is raised upon a stylobate of 3 feet, and is 27 feet in length from east to west, and 18 feet in breadth. The columns, including the base and the capital, are 13£ feet high, and the total height of the temple to the apex of the pediment, including the stylobate, is 23 feet. The frieze, which runs round the whole of the exterior of the building, is I foot 6 inches high, and is adorned with sculptures in high relief. It originally consisted of fourteen pieces of stone, of which twelve, or the fragments of twelve, 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 Oriental 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. This building must have been erected after the battle of Salamia, since it could not have escaped the Persians, when they destroyed every thing upon the Acropolis; and the style of art shows that it could

not have been later than the age of Pericles. But, as it is never mentioned among the buildings of this statesman, it is generally ascribed to Cimon, who probably built it at the same time as the southern wall of the Acropolis. Its sculptures were probably intended to commemorate the recent victories of the Greeks over the Persians. {Die Akropolis von A then: 1 Abth. Der Tempel der Nike Apteros, von Ross, Schaubert und Hansen, Berl. 1839; Leake, p. 529, seq.)

Pedestal of Agrippa.—On the western front of the northern wing of the PropylaeA there stands at present a lofty pedestal, about 12 feet square and 27 high, wlm-h supported some figure or figures, as is clear from the holes for stanchions on its summit Moreover we may conclude from the size of the pedestal that the figure or figures on its summit were colossal or equestrian. Pausanias, in describing the Propylaea, speaks of the statues of certain horsemen, respecting which he was in doubt whether they were the sons of Xenophon, or made for the sake of orna

[graphic][ocr errors]

meut {is *vTpiir*ia.v)\ and as in the next clause he proceeds to speak of the temple of Nike on the right hand (or southern wing) of the Propylaea, we may conclude that these statues stood in front of the northern wing. (Paus. i. 22. § 4.) Now, it has been well observed by Leake, that the doubt of Pausanias, as to the persons for whom the equestrian statues were intended, could not have been sincere; and that, judging from his manner on other similar i ccasions, we may conclude that equestrian statues of Gryllus and Diodorus, the two sons of Xenophon, had been converted, by means of new inscriptions, into those of two Romans, whom Pausanias has not named. This conjecture is confirmed by an inscription on the base, which records the name of M. Agrippa hi bis third consulship; and it may be that the other Roman was Augustus himself, who was the colleague of Agrippa in his third consulship. It appears that both statues .-stood on the same pedestal, and accordingly they are so represented in the accompanying restoration of the Propylaea.

3. The PartJienon.

The Parthenon (TlapBcvwv, i. e. the Virgin's House) was the great glory of the Acropolis, and the

most perfect production of Grecian architecture. It derived its name from its being the temple of Athena Parthenos {'Adripa TldpBtvos), or Athena the Virgin, a name given to her as the invincible goddess of war. It was also called Hecatompedos or //ecatompedon, the Temple of One Hundred Feet, from its breadth ('E«<iTdViire5oy, sc. y«d>s, 'EKorrfjuireSoi', Etym. M. p. 321, 21; Harpocrat. Suid. s. p.); and sometimes Parthenon ffecatompedox. (Plut. PericL 13, de Glor. Athen. 7.) It was built under the administration of Pericles, and was completed in B. C. 438. (Philochor. ap. Schol ad Aristoph. Pac. 604.) We do not know when it was commenced; but notwithstanding the rapidity with which all the works of Pericles were executed (Plut. I. c), its erection could not have occupied less than eight years, since the Propylaea occupied five. The architects, according to Plutarch (/. c), were Callicrates and Ictinus. • other writers generally mention Ictinus alone. (Stnu,. ix. p. 396; Paus. viii. 41. § 9.) Ictinus wrote a work upon the temple. (Vitruv. vii. Praef.*) The general superintendence of the erection of the whole building was entrusted to Pheidias.

The Parthenon was probably built on the site of an earlier temple destroyed by the Persians. This is expressly asserted by an ancient grammarian, who i tates that the Parthenon was 50 feet greater than the temple burnt by the Persians (Hcsycli. s. v. *E»caTduT<3oj), a measure which must have reference to the breadth of the temple, and not to its length. The only reason for questioning this statement is the silence of the ancient writers respecting an earlier Parthenon, and the statement of Herodotus (vii. 53) that the Persians set fire to the Acropolis, after plundering the temple (to Toby), as if there had been only one; which, in that case, must have been the Krechthemm, or temple of Athena Polias. But, on the other hand, we find under the stylobate of the present Parthenon the foundations of another and much older building (Penrose, p. 73); and to this more ancient temple probably belonged the portions of the columns inserted in the northern wall of the Acropolis, of which we have already spoken.

The Parthenon stood on the highest part of the Acropolis. Its architecture was of the Doric order, and of the purest kind. It was built entirely of Pentelic marble, and rested upon a rustic basement of ordinary limestone. The contrast between the limestone of the basement and the splendid marble of the superstructure enhanced the beauty of the

latter. Upon the basement stood the stylobate or platform, built of Pentelic marble, five feet and a half in height, and composed of three steps. The temple was raised so high above the entrance to the Acropolis, both by its site and by these artificial means, that the pavement of the peristyle was nearly on a level with the summit of the Propyluca. The dimensions of the Parthenon, taken from the upper step of the stylobate, were about 228 feet in length, 101 feet in breadth, and 66 feet in height to the top of the pediment. It consisted of a (tt}k6s or cella, surrounded by a peristyle, which had eight columns at either front, and seventeen at either side (reckoning the corner columns twice), thus containing forty-six columns in all. These columns were 6 feet 2 inches in diameter at the base, and 34 feet in height. Within the peristyle at either end, there was an Ulterior range of six columns, of 5,1 feet in diameter, standing before the end of the cella, and forming, with the prolonged walls of the cella, an apartment before the door. These interior columns were on a level with the floor of the cellar, and were ascended by two steps from the peristyle. The cella was divided into two chambers of un

[graphic][graphic][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

western chamber there were four columns, the position of which is marked by four large "labs, symmetrically placed in the pavement. These columns were about four feet in diameter, and were probably of the Ionic order, as in the Propylaea. Technically the temple is called Peripteral Octastyle

"Such was the simple structure of this magnificent building, which, by its united excellencies of materials, design, and decorations, was the most perfect ever executed. Its dimensions of 228 feet by 101, with a height of 66 feet to the top of the pediment, were sufficiently great to give a appear ance 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 modern buildings, where the same singleness of design is not apparent. In the Parthenon there was nothing to divert the 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; tot the statues of the pediments, the only daouraUM

« السابقةمتابعة »