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Title: In the Land of Temples
Author: Pennell, Joseph, 1857-1926
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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IN THE

LAND OF TEMPLES

BY JOSEPH PENNELL

[Illustration: colophon]

LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN



JOSEPH PENNELL’S PICTURES IN THE LAND OF TEMPLES



JOSEPH PENNELL’S

PICTURES OF
THE PANAMA CANAL.

_FIFTH EDITION._

Reproductions of a series of Lithographs made
by him on the Isthmus of Panama, together
with Impressions and Notes by the Artist.
Price 5s. net.

THE LIFE OF JAMES
MCNEILL WHISTLER

By E. R. and J. PENNELL.

Fifth and Revised Edition, with 96 pp.
of Illustrations. Pott 4to.
Price 12s. 6d. net.

LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN.

Copies of the lithographs reproduced in this
volume, limited to fifty proofs each, size 16 by 22 in.,
may be obtained through the Publisher, at
£3 3 0 net each.



JOSEPH PENNELL’S PICTURES IN THE LAND OF TEMPLES

REPRODUCTIONS OF A SERIES OF LITHOGRAPHS MADE BY HIM IN THE LAND OF
TEMPLES, MARCH-JUNE 1913, TOGETHER WITH IMPRESSIONS AND NOTES BY THE
ARTIST

[Illustration: colophon]

LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN PHILADELPHIA: J. B. LIPPINCOTT GO.

COPYRIGHT

LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN. 1915.

TO
R. M. DAWKINS

LATE DIRECTOR
OF THE BRITISH
SCHOOL AT ATHENS
WHO SHOWED ME
WHERE I SHOULD
FIND THE TEMPLES

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY B. CLAY AND SONS, LTD., BRUNSWICK STREET,
STAMFORD STREET, S.E., AND BUNGAY, SUFFOLK.



NOTES--ON MY LITHOGRAPHS IN THE LAND OF TEMPLES


I WENT to Greece for two reasons. First, because I wanted to see Greece
and what remained of her glory--to see if the greatest work of the past
impressed me as much as the greatest work of the present--and to try to
find out which was the greater--the more inspiring. And second, I went
because I was told by a Boston authority that I was nothing but a
ragtime sketcher, couldn’t see Greek art and couldn’t draw it if I did.

I have been there--and did what I saw in my own way. To me Greece was
wonderful and was beautiful, but anyone can see that--and can rave over
it with appropriate quotations from appropriate authors. I know no Greek
and have scarce read a translation. I say this regretfully--I wish I
had--I should have seen more. I know, however, if I had not before seen
the greatest art of the rest of Europe, I could not have been so moved
as I was by what I saw in the Land of Temples, the land whence we have
derived most of our ideas, ideals, and inspirations.

I drew the things that interested me--and it was, and is, a great
delight to me to be told by those who have, some of them, spent their
lives studying Greeks and Greece, that I have given the character of the
country. What impressed me most was the great feeling of the Greeks for
site in placing their temples and shrines in the landscape--so that they
not only became a part of it, but it leads up to them. And though the
same architectural forms were used, each temple was so placed that it
told from afar by sea or land, a goal for pilgrims--a shrine for
worshippers to draw near to--yet each had a character of its own--always
the same, yet ever differing. I know, I am sorry to say, little of
proportion, of scale, of heights, of lengths, but what I saw, with my
own eyes, was the way these monuments were part of the country--never
stuck about anyhow--always composed--always different--and they were
built with grand ideas of composition, impressiveness, and arrangement.
Has there been any change in the black forest before Aegina--the “wine
dark sea” at Sunium--the “shining rocks” at Delphi--the grim cliffs of
the Acropolis?--these prove in their various ways that the Greeks were
great artists.

These were the things I saw. Had I known more I might have seen
less--for it seems to me that most artists who have gone to Greece have
been so impressed with what they have been told to see, that--there are,
of course, great exceptions--they have looked at the land with a
foot-rule, a translation, and a dictionary, and they have often been
interfered with by these aids. I went ignorant of where to go--or what
to see. When I got to Athens I fell among friends, who answered my only
question that “I wanted to see temples that stood up.” They told me
where they were--and there they were. And for this information, which
resulted in my seeing these sites and making these lithographs, I want
to thank many people, but above all Mr. R. M. Dawkins, late Director of
the British School at Athens, who, now that he has seen the work, agrees
with others that it has something of the character and romance of the
country. If it has those qualities, they are what I went out to see--and
having seen them--and I have tried to express them--I know I can see
more, if I have the chance in the future in the Wonder of Work of my
time, for in our great works to-day we are only carrying on the
tradition of the great works of the past. I have seen both, and it is
so.

JOSEPH PENNELL.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

THE ILLUSTRATIONS START AT TAORMINA, PROCEED AROUND SICILY--THENCE TO
ITALY, AND ARE CONTINUED IN GREECE.

AETNA OVER TAORMINA I

THE THEATRE, SEGESTA II

THE TEMPLE OVER THE CAÑON, SEGESTA III

FROM TEMPLE TO TEMPLE, GIRGENTI IV

THE COLUMNS OF CASTOR AND POLLUX, GIRGENTI V

SUNRISE BEHIND THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD, GIRGENTI VI

THE TEMPLE BY THE SEA; TEMPLE OF CONCORD, GIRGENTI VII

THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD ON THE WALL FROM WITHIN, GIRGENTI VIII

THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD ON THE WALL FROM WITHOUT, GIRGENTI IX

COLUMNS OF THE TEMPLE OF JUNO, GIRGENTI X

THE TEMPLES ON THE WALL, GIRGENTI XI

THE TEMPLE OF JUNO FROM BELOW, GIRGENTI XII

PAESTUM. MORNING MIST XIII

PAESTUM. EVENING XIV

CORINTH TOWARDS THE GULF XV

ACRO-CORINTH FROM CORINTH XVI

OLYMPIA FROM THE HILLSIDE XVII

THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER. EVENING XVIII

THE ACROPOLIS FROM THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER, ATHENS XIX

THE WAY UP THE ACROPOLIS XX

DOWN FROM THE ACROPOLIS XXI

SUNRISE OVER THE ACROPOLIS XXII

STORM BEHIND THE ACROPOLIS XXIII

THE PROPYLAEA, ATHENS XXIV

THE PORTICO OF THE PARTHENON XXV

THE PARTHENON FROM THE GATEWAY XXVI

THE FAÇADE OF THE PARTHENON. SUNSET XXVII

THE FALLEN COLUMN, ATHENS XXVIII

THE LITTLE FÊTE, ATHENS XXIX

THE GREAT FÊTE, ATHENS XXX

THE TEMPLE OF NIKE, ATHENS XXXI

THE TEMPLE OF NIKE FROM MARS HILL, ATHENS XXXII

THE ODEON, ATHENS XXXIII

THE STREET OF THE TOMBS, ATHENS XXXIV

ELEUSIS. THE PAVEMENT OF THE TEMPLE XXXV

AEGINA XXXVI

AEGINA ON ITS MOUNTAIN TOP XXXVII

THE SHINING ROCKS, DELPHI XXXVIII

THE TREASURY OF ATHENS, DELPHI XXXIX

THE WINE DARK SEA. SUNIUM XL



INTRODUCTION.


IT is a happy thing that the Greek race came into being, because they
showed the world once at least what is meant by a man. The ideal Greek
virtue σωφροσὑνη means, that all parts and faculties of the man are in
proportion, each trained to perfection and all under control of the
will: body, mind, and spirit, each has its due place. Elsewhere we see
one of these in excess. Thus the Indian philosopher soars in the highest
regions of speculation, and sees great truths, but they intoxicate him:
he does not bring them to the test of daily life, nor does he check them
by reason. The Hebrew prophet has his vision of one God, and in rapt
devotion prostrates himself below the dignity of manhood. The Roman
deals with practical politics and material civilisation; he has a genius
for organizing, and for combining the rule of the best with the freedom
and direct influence of all: he, however, despises the spirit and the
imagination. In our own day, what is called science arrogates almost
divine honours to the faculty for measuring and observing, and neglects
both the religious instinct and the philosopher’s theoric; nor is this
ideal less deadly than the Roman’s to imagination and the sense of
beauty. In modern times also, each person strives to excel in some one
specialty, mental or bodily; and if there is any feeling at all for
proportion it is the proportion of a group, while the members of the
group are περιττοἱ, excessive in one way and defective in the others.
But the Greek aimed at perfect proportion for the man; and his ideal
was, that the man’s will should use all the faculties to some worthy
end. His body is to be trained by music and gymnastic: the aim of the
first being grace and beauty; of the second, strength; of the whole,
health and joy in all bodily uses. His mind is to be trained by poetry,
oratory, and philosophy; his spirit by the worship of the gods, in which
all that was best in his life is concentrated into a noble ritual. Such
would be the life of the ordinary Greek; the greater intellects would
look beyond the ritual to the essence; and we have ample evidence to
show that their ideals were as high as any that have been known to other
peoples. Aeschylus dealt with the same problems that baffled the Hebrew
prophets, divine justice and mercy, and the immutable moral law;
Plato’s speculation took him into regions where logic and formal
philosophy had to be cast aside; Pheidias by his art added a new dignity
to godhead.[1]

Nowhere is the Greek σωφροσὑνη, their sense of restraint and proportion,
shown better than in their architecture: and this both in the method of
growth and in the final results. The Doric style has grown out of a
wooden building. When and how the first steps were taken, we do not
know, nor whether the Doric be directly descended from the Mycenæan
style, as Perrot and Chipiez will have it. There is this great
difference: that the Mycenæan and Cretan columns are like a Doric column
reversed, the thick end upmost, and they show none of the Greek
refinements to which we shall come later. A simpler origin is possible:
for to-day the traveller may see, in the verandah of some wayside
cottage (Homer’s α’ἱθουσα ἑρἱδουπος) a primitive Doric column, some bare
tree-trunk with a chunk of itself for capital, supporting a primitive
architrave of the same sort. In the Doric order, other traces of
woodwork are left in the stone, such as the triglyphs, or beam-ends,
with round pegs beneath, or the gouged flutings of the column itself.
And we have direct evidence in the history of the Olympian Heræum; where
we are told that the columns were once of wood, and that stone columns
were put in place of these as they decayed, one of the ancient oak
columns being preserved down to the time of Pausanias. The early
architects would seem to have been nervous as to how much weight stone
would bear, so that their columns are very thick and set close together;
in fact, less than one diameter apart. By degrees they learnt from
experience, but the changes were slow and careful. The plan of the
temple always remained the same, and there is little variation in the
number of pillars at each end, or in any of the general features. As in
statuary, here also they kept to their tradition as much as they could,
and got their effects with the least possible change. But what effects!
Compare the heavy masses of Corinth or Pæstum with the airy grace of the
Parthenon, and measure the infinite delicacy of the changes which
produce this effect. The builders found out that straight lines do not
look straight, and that if the lines of a building do not look straight,
the building looks as if it is going to topple over and fall. A column
which decreases upwards in straight lines looks to the eye concave; and
this illusion they tried to correct by making the columns bulge from the
top about one third down, and then decreased this curve towards the
bottom. The first attempts gave too much convex curving, but this again
was corrected until the architect found perfection: yet the differences
measured in inches are small. Again, each column was inclined slightly
inwards, because a column that stands quite straight looks as though it
were inclined out-wards; and the stylobate, upon which the columns
stand, is curved from each end upwards to the centre. Other adjustments
were necessary in the abacus and capital, to make all harmonious; and we
may say that there was hardly a straight line in the building. Sculpture
and ornament were adjusted to the eye in the same way; and it would seem
that the effect of the whole building also was judged not alone, but in
connection with the lines of the landscape--that background of hills,
always noble but never over-powering, which is found all over the Greek
world. For instance, in the Parthenon certain minute corrections were
made because of the way in which the sun’s rays fell on it. These
adjustments have been measured and tabulated--or at least a great many
of them, for there are doubtless many we do not notice, and the building
is a ruin--but they show a delicacy of sense which is nothing short of
miraculous. These builders, however, were not only artists with
miraculous keenness of sense, but members of a true trade-guild, with
its accumulated wisdom handed down from generation to generation, and
themselves were men who worked with their own hands. Neither could they
have built the Parthenon with books of logarithms in an office; nor can
we ever have noble buildings again so long as the architect and the
builder are not one. Every common workman must have had his share of
this traditional skill. Indeed, inscriptions lately discovered show that
the building of the Parthenon went on after Pheidias was banished; so
that the sculptures which are the wonder of the world must have been
done in part at least without their designer. But even without such
evidence, the perfection of every detail of building, the fitting of
the joints, the strength and finish of each part, is enough to show what
the Athenian workman was like.

  [1] Quintilian, Inst. Orat. xii., 10, 9. Olympium in Elide
      Jovem ... cuius pulchritudo adiecisse aliquid etiam receptæ relligioni
      videtur: adeo maiestas operis deum æquavit.

But we must remember also that the stones that remain are only ruins.
Even in these we may trace many of the perfections of the ancient
artist; but if we could see them as they were, we should see, not stones
bleached and weathered, but buildings resplendent with colour and gold.
Columns, capitals, architraves, all were a blaze of colour, decorated
with graceful patterns and painted to match the blue sea and the golden
sunlight. And now for us Sunium is a white ghost like the light of the
moon, the Parthenon a rose in decay.

We may not now feel the want of what is lost. The hills once covered
with forest trees are bare, the countryside is untilled and empty, and
these ruins are invested with a sentimental charm in the thought of what
has been lost. The traveller is in the mood of Sulpicius as he consoles
Cicero for his daughter’s death. “Returning from Asia, as my voyage took
me from Aegina towards Megara, I began to survey the regions round
about: behind me was Aegina, before me Megara, to the right Peiraeus, to
the left Corinth, all cities at one time prosperous and flourishing, but
now they lay prone and ruined before my eyes. And I began thus to ponder
within myself: ‘Ah! shall we frail creatures resent the death of one of
ourselves, seeing that our life must needs be full short, when in one
place so many dead cities lie before us?’” Indeed the Greek cities are
most aptly compared to humanity. There never was anything grandiose
about them, nothing monstrous like the empire of China, no desire to
thrust Greek manners or religions upon the rest of the world, no attempt
to monopolize trade even by honest methods. They wished to live and let
live, loved and hated fiercely, but like men; and if they must die they
did not whine about it--indeed, for their country’s sake they held it
glorious to die. And now they are gone, and their place knows them no
more, no one can feel that touch of triumph that Shelley felt over his
Ozymandias. They have left behind them everywhere a poignant regret,
such as one feels for a very dear friend gone for ever. Most strong is
this feeling when our steps wander over some desolate spot, once a
populous city, such as Pæstum or Myndos. I mention Myndos because there
the contrast is most vividly brought out by the second idyll of
Theocritus. There is the old harbour, there is the ring of the city
walls a mile across, and the whole space between is brushwood and
stones. Yet from this city sailed to Cos opposite the hot-blooded youth
whom Simaitha loved, whose story is told in the poet’s words of passion.
And these cities, once so full of life and happiness, are a desert now.
Even the new Greece, which rose from the ashes of the old not a hundred
years ago, which has sprung into new life and honour within the last few
months, cannot console us for the Greece that is gone. The quick
intelligence is still here, the courage, the idealism; but Greece can
hardly escape the corruption of the modern world, with its grasping
after wealth; and the sincerity of the ancient spirit exists chiefly
amongst peasants and fishermen. A false and pedantic way of thought is
spreading from the schools and the newspapers, which must spoil the
people unless the efforts of a few wise and longsighted men shall
prevail.

The pictures in this volume follow roughly the history of the Doric
style. In Olympia lies the floor of the Heræum, most ancient of all
existing Greek temples, built before 1000 B.C. Unhappily this view tells
us nothing of what it looked like: earthquake and flood, and the hand of
man, have done all they could to destroy. The temples in Sicily and
Magna Græcia, with Corinth, belong to the earliest stage known to us.
Corinth was built about 650; the temples of Athena at Syracuse, now the
cathedral, and of Zeus at Selinus (which are not represented here) are
as old or older. Segesta comes next, in the early sixth century; and in
the same century temples at Girgenti (Agrigentum), Aegina, and Pæstum.
The temple of Zeus at Olympia was built between 469 and 457, the
Parthenon 454-438, Sunium and Eleusis about the same time, and two
buildings at Pæstum. The theatres belong to a later date, and the
Corinthian temple of Zeus Olympian at Athens, begun by Peisistratus, was
not finished until the time of Hadrian.

Olympia is the epitome of the Greek race, as the forum is of the Roman
dominion: the Roman ideal being law, order, and government; the Greek,
all the powers of man at their best, used and enjoyed in the holy
precinct of their great God. The difference is shown at once, in that
the Olympian assembly was enforced by no lawgiver, but the voluntary
gathering of men of one blood, who for a set time laid aside all their
quarrels, and remembered that they were marked off by a great gulf from
all other men. They came for no material gain: their prize was not
dominion and power, nor wealth and trade, but the crown of wild olive
and glory incorruptible. Elis, a state small and insignificant
politically, had the honour of presiding over these games; no man might
compete save those of pure Hellenic blood, and no woman might approach
them. And here, every four years, from a time before the beginning of
history, the men of Greece met, kings and potentates competing with
private men, high and low, rich and poor, all acknowledging the one tie
greater than all others. The celebrations lasted all through the
glorious days of Greece, and until the glory of Greece had long
departed, and they were abolished for ever in 394 A.D. by Theodosius.
Art and literature formed no part of the contests, which were nearly all
athletic; but painters and other artists exhibited their works there,
and it was common for orators and philosophers to recite: Herodotus is
said to have read his history at the festival.

The picture is taken from the small hill of Kronos: we look over the
site of Hera’s temple to the great temple of Zeus. To the left, out of
sight, is the entrance to the racecourse. Just beneath us, under the
hill, is a row of small shrines called Treasuries, which mighty states
and monarchs had built to contain their own chief offerings. In the
distance is the river Alpheius. We cannot imagine how this plain looked
when it was the encampment of thousands, covered with booths, and full
of goodly men and horses; the crowds, the processions, the feastings,
litany and sacrifice; but every man must feel the same thrill as when he
stands in Westminster Hall, or St. Sophia at Constantinople: for here
have passed all the great men of the Greek race.

If the games show the physical side of the Greeks, the theatre above all
shows the intellectual. While they invented, and perfected, nearly all
kinds of literary art, it is the theatre that touched their life most
closely, and most fully gave scope for their genius. This also grew out
of religion, and was always a part of their religion. But the Greek gods
were no puritans. They exacted awe and worship, and they punished the
impious; but they were genial good fellows, who might be thought,
without blasphemy, to share in the happiness of their people--indeed,
took it in good part when they were the subject of rollicking jests. In
the theatre, Aeschylus found room for his profound religious feeling,
Euripides for his scepticism, Sophocles for a mirror of the mind of man,
Aristophanes for his political and social satire and his merry fun.
Every town and even hamlet must have its theatre. A suitable place could
be found almost anywhere in the hill country--that is, in almost all
parts of Greece proper--before any buildings needed to be put up. Then
the hillsides were cut into seats, as at Argos and Segesta, or seats
ranged around in a semicircle, and carried on when it was necessary by
means of retaining walls. Below them was a round space for dancing, and
beyond this the stage. There is a controversy whether the Greeks ever
used a raised stage before the Roman conquest; probably they did, but at
any rate all existing theatres had them. Vitruvius (who wrote about 20
A.D.) says that the Greek stage was higher and narrower than the Roman;
and the stage at Taormina has been built, or rebuilt, in the Roman way.

It is proper to say this, but the onlooker will think little now of the
stage, or indeed of the actors and the play, in view of one of those
scenes which can never be forgotten. The sight of Etna over the stage,
with his rolling steam, absorbs the whole force of imagination. Etna is
tremendous. Beneath Etna Hephaistos had one of his forges, as at Lipara,
Imbros, and Lemnos; and that smoke you see shows that his workmen are
forging the thunder-bolts of Zeus. The very name of Volcano is
Hephaistos himself. Or is it the giant Typhoeus, defeated by Zeus in the
battle of gods and giants, and buried beneath the mountain, who by his
struggles causes the earth thus to heave, and these fiery streams to
pour forth? What wonder that the pious made offerings of incense at the
top! Was it really true that Empedocles, that great philospher and
healer, whose intellectual pride seems almost to claim divine honours,
cast himself into the crater, that he might seem to have been swept away
by the gods? Probably it was not true: but the story shows how the
mountain worked on men’s imaginations.

If the theatre of Segesta has no Etna behind it, the surroundings to the
eye are in other ways grand. It is seated upon the acropolis hill,
whence a view can be taken at once of that corner of Sicily which was
held by the mysterious Elymians, with their citadel and sanctuary of
Eryx. Segesta was founded by a people who wanted protection, and feared
the sea. But, like the rest of Sicily, it came under Greek influence;
and its buildings, the two temples and the theatre, are Greek. This
small town has played a part in history: it was the bone of contention
which led Athens to interfere with Syracuse, and so on to her ruin. The
columns of the temple are unfinished, the fluting has never been done.
There is something that moves the sympathy in these unfinished places.
No doubt the city was overwhelmed in some catastrophe, which perhaps
left it quite desolate in the old cruel way. So the blocks of the
Pinacotheca on the Athenian acropolis still keep the knobs which were
used in mounting them; they were never cut off, for Athens fell. So,
most striking of all, there lies in the quarry near Baalbek an enormous
block of stone, seventy-seven feet long by fifteen and fourteen, squared
and ready, one end tilted for moving; but it was never moved: there it
has lain perhaps for three thousand years, and there it will lie till
the world ends.

Girgenti, Agrigentum, Akragas, called by Pindar καλλἱστα βροτεἁν πολἱων,
fairest of mortal cities; lofty Akragas, in Virgil’s words, spreading
her walls so wide, mother of high-spirited horses--

    “Arduus inde Acragas ostentat maxima longe
     Moenia, magnanimum quondam generator equorum”--

although late founded in Greek history (B.C. 582), is set on a hilltop
like some primaeval acropolis. Two rocky hills, with a space of level
land between, were enclosed within a wall six miles round; below this
the land slopes gently to the sea; the whole lies between two rivers.
The existing remains, and the modern town, lie on one of the two hills.
Akragas calls up only one name from the memory. Phalaris the Tyrant and
his brazen bull. But Empedocles was born here. The great temple of Zeus
Polieus, which Phalaris was said to have built, has perished, and those
that remain cannot be certainly identified. One is called after Concord,
but the Latin name cannot have properly belonged to it. The pictures
here show some of the wonderful effects, which vary from hour to hour
in this land of colour and sunlight. But the glory of Girgenti is the
grouping of its remains: wall, temples, and rocks. If we could see the
city as it was, it may well have been καλλἱστα βροτεἁν πολἱων. But in
406, the Carthaginians descended upon it, and starved out the people.
All who could go migrated to Gela; the rest were massacred, and the city
sacked. From this blow it never recovered, although it was afterwards
inhabited.

Pæstum, the Greek Poseidonia, is one of those cities that have no
history; at least, this city played no great part in ancient history and
gave the world no great men. But Pæstum was not happy. It had its day,
from the foundation in the seventh century for some two hundred years;
but it fell early into the hands of the barbaric Lucanians. After this
it existed, but it never became great. We know Pæstum for its roses,
_biferi rosaria Pæsti_, which flower twice a year in May and November;
and until lately, for its loneliness and desolation. Not a living soul
was there in the circuit of the city walls, nothing but a bare plain
with hundreds of flowering grasses, and the great temples in their
grandeur. All its charm is gone now: a factory stains the sky with its
smoke, and the modern world, whose god is its belly, has put its foul
mark upon the quietude of Pæstum. Those who saw Pæstum when it was one
of the most impressive sights in the world, will be careful not to go
thither again.

Corinth, on the other hand, takes us back to the heart of the ancient
world. From time immemorial Corinth was a great place. It lay on the
high-road of the seas, in the time when voyagers hugged the coasts.
Traders from Asia and Phœnicia would not ply to Italy and Spain along
the open sea when they could go from island to island and along the
sheltered waters of the two gulfs: all these must ship their goods
across the Isthmus, and the Isthmus was dominated by the impregnable
rock of Corinth. Thus the masters of Corinth could levy tolls on all
commerce: they grew rich, as in older days Troy did, and later
Constantinople, because they lay across a trade route. Here was built
the first Greek navy of war-ships: here were the rich and powerful
tyrants; here was worshipped Poseidon, with his famous Isthmian games,
and Phoenician Aphrodite. A few years ago, the precinct of Poseidon was
dug out, and there appeared a mass of votive tablets, on which we may
see the daily life of Corinth in the seventh century before Christ.
Pre-eminent amongst all the scenes are those of the potter’s trade: the
pottery is seen being made on the wheel, baked in the furnace, and
loaded into the ships for export to Italy and elsewhere. Corinth reminds
us of some of the best stories of Herodotus: Cypselus and his chest,
Arion and the dolphins, and that attractive scatterbrain Hippocleides,
who at Sicyon hard by danced away his marriage, and did not care one
jot. No great man of letters ever came out of Corinth, no poet and no
orator; but Corinthian bronze was famous, and the city was full of works
of art. When Mummius sacked Corinth and left it desolate, he made his
famous bargain with the contractors who removed the spoil: if they
damaged any of the works of art, they were to replace them with others
as good. Corinth was afterwards rebuilt; all will remember St. Paul’s
connection with the city, and the riot when Gallic was governor of
Achaia.

The Acrocorinthus is one of the most magnificent sights in the world: it
has the common quality of the Greek mountains, grandeur without
excessive size; but standing as it does isolated from other hills, and
visible everywhere, from Athens to Parnassus, its effect on the
imagination is never to be forgotten. Its height is not far short of
2000 feet, and it is crowned with a fortress as it has been all through
history. From the summit we see the whole centre of Greece; even the
Parthenon itself, the centre of Greek artistic achievement. Here too is
the sacred spring Peirene, struck out by the hoof of Pegasus.

The view here given towards the gulf shows Parnassus in the distance,
like a ghost.

Athens is the heart of Greece, and Greece is the soul of mankind. No man
who loves what is beautiful, or who admires what is noble, can fail to
feel at home in Athens. Here in this little plain, girt with purple
mountains, lived those men who discovered human reason, who showed how
to express man’s greatest ideas, who pitted courage and intellect
against brute force, who for a few short years lived the fullest life
possible for mankind: we have lived on their thoughts ever since.

The beauties of the place have been often sung: they are summed up in
one immortal phrase, “city of the violet crown.” The continued changes
of colour, especially towards evening, in that clear air, with sea and
cloud and mountain, make the scene a continual delight. In the midst of
this fertile plain rises the sharp peak of Lycabettus, and beside it the
buttressed Acropolis, from which the temples grow like flowers. And from
every side this is a landmark: whether from Aegina opposite, or from
some frontier fortress like Phyle, or even from Acrocorinth, this rock,
not high in itself, stands out to the view, and makes us remember
Athens. Here, more easily than anywhere, can we see how the Greek
architect saw each building as part of a whole. I have already spoken of
the refinements of the Parthenon, and how it is set with regard to the
sunlight: but the Parthenon is only one of a group of temples. There yet
remain a great part of the Erechtheum, the oldest shrine on the
Acropolis, and site of the King’s house before history began: and a
little shrine of Victory, built on a bastion of the rock. But there were
others; and the whole precinct was entered by the Propylaea, which also
remains in part, to which led a flight of steps. The idea of this
gateway was a stroke of genius. The visitor entering by it saw the whole
mass of buildings as it were framed by the marble pillars and
architrave; and if he turned, he looked out through the same frame upon
the plain and the sea, the strait of Salamis, with the island beyond it.
The rock falls steep under the gate, so there is nothing to bar this
view, which must have reminded the Athenian of the great past every time
he looked forth from it. To the right, as one looks out of this gateway,
lies the spur of the Areopagus, seat of that most ancient court and
council, upon which place St. Paul told the Athenians of the Unknown
God. To the left, but not visible, is the precinct of Dionysus, with the
theatre. Straight ahead, the ancient Athenian would see the long walls
joining his city to Peiraeus and the sea, where in fortified harbours
lay his mighty fleets. Over the market-place westward he could see the
Dipylon Gate with its place of tombs, and the sacred way leading to
Eleusis and the Mysteries. Eastward lies Hymettus with its honey-bees;
northwards Lycabettus, where the Persian host was first sighted pouring
over the hillside, and beyond it Pentelicon, that looks down on Marathon
plain; north-westwards are the hills of Acharnae, where the fires of the
invading Spartans were first seen in that war which ended the greatness
of Athens. And all round about are caves and clefts and shrines that
belonged to the immemorial religion of the place, each linked with
memories, many with immortal works of literature. We can no longer know
the magnificence of the past; but we can name many of the things that
were seen there, from the description of Pausanias which has come down
to us.

Up this slope, once in every four years, after the games, came the great
procession of the Panathensæ, which is portrayed for us on the frieze of
the Parthenon itself. Was there ever such a picture of beauty and
strength and life? There went the victors, crowned and rejoicing; the
flower of the Athenian cavalry, such men and such horses as the world
can show no finer (see them on the Parthenon frieze!), all the chief
soldiers and statesmen, elders bearing branches of olive, the fairest of
Athenian women with baskets upon their heads, and the sacred robe to be
offered to the most ancient and reverend image of Pallas, borne as the
sail of the Panathenaic ship. The whole scene is portrayed upon the
sculptured frieze of the Parthenon. One of the plates in this book
represents the modern idea of a religious festival, and the hundreds of
dotted figures give a far-away notion what this great day must have
looked like. But how faint! These dark-clad forms have not a hint of the
gorgeous colour of the ancient world. On the Acropolis, too, was held
the feast of Brauronian Artemis, when the little Athenian maidens
dressed up in bearskins for some mysterious ceremony. Here was the mark
of Poseidon’s trident, under the Erechtheum; here was Athena’s sacred
olive-tree, and her snakes. And the whole place crowded with statues and
offerings, and inscriptions carved on stone, treaties of peace, and
records of honour--the history of Athens open for all to read.

The story of the Athenian Acropolis is unique amongst its fellows, while
at the same time it sums up the history of the Greek states. It is
unique, because here alone, it seems, a state existed from the beginning
to the end without violent interference. Many Greek sites were occupied
in the Pelasgian age, when Crete was mistress of the Aegean, and later
when its place was taken by Mycenæ and the cities of the mainland: but
the country was swept later by the Achaeans, and after them by the
Dorians, who naturally chose the more fertile and wealthy places to stay
in. So the Acropolis was the site of a royal palace and a Pelasgian
settlement; but the ancient population was here never displaced, it was
only added to and changed gradually. Attica did not tempt the invader as
other plains did; nor did her rulers grow too rich and destroy each
other for greed; but her land was the refuge of strangers. Her ancient
civilisation and art remained untouched by the ravages of war, and her
people always prided themselves on being αὑτὁχθονες--born of the very soil.
Perhaps this unbroken tradition explains the prominence of Athens in the
arts. Here too, the worship of Athena joined the older worship of
Poseidon, without rooting it up, and both flourished side by side. Then
came the great dynasty of the tyrants, Peisistratus and his family, who
made the city magnificent with buildings and engineering works, and
attracted to their court the finest intellects of their day. The huge
underground aqueduct which has lately been dug out belongs to this time,
the sixth century before Christ. Peisistratus is followed by Solon and
the reign of law: and when the barbarian came, it was Athens who barred
his path and drove him back at Marathon and at Salamis. Xerxes burnt the
city, but he did not destroy Athens, for the people had left it for the
time; and when they returned, they built up their fortifications with
the ruins of their temples and monuments, as they may still be seen
piled slab on drum by the visitor of to-day. Xerxes burnt all he found,
but he only cleared the ground for a finer art, which at once filled the
empty spaces with buildings and monuments of a nobler kind, the remains
of which we now see. Great names now stand out in plenty, Miltiades,
Themistocles and Aristeides, Pericles and Pheidias and Ictinus; Plato
over yonder in the olive groves of Academeia, Aeschylus and Sophocles,
Euripides and Aristophanes in the theatre or the winepress; Socrates
walking the streets, or conversing in agora or gymnasium; Demosthenes
moving men’s minds in the Pnyx. When Athens fell, her conqueror spared
her with a generosity not usual in those days; so it came about that her
buildings remained for many hundreds of years, and the Parthenon even
lasted through the devastating ruin of the Turks, until a Venetian shell
dropped upon it and blew it up (1687). There is no use in trying to
record what the Acropolis of Athens calls to mind: it is the best of
what educated men know.

Fair and goodly in life, the Athenians were also fair in death. Without
the gate, on the sacred road to Eleusis, lies the place of tombs. Not
bare slabs are these, nor broken columns; here are no wreaths of
artificial flowers, no ugliness and gloom, for the tombs are monuments
of grace. Many, indeed, are quite simple, in shape of vases or the like;
but others show delicate reliefs, with the dead in their habit as they
lived--the woman at her toilet, the warrior on his horse, or one seated
in a chair and clasping hands with his friends as they say, Fare you
well! The inscriptions are as simple as they can be: no sentiment and no
preaching, but a manly acceptance of fate, an honest regret for life, or
the bare name. The reader who wishes to learn how the Greek looked on
death, would do well to read the epitaphs in the Greek anthology. Here
in the place of tombs we cannot fail to remember that scene which
Thucydides describes: how in each year of the war the bodies of those
slain were buried with public honour, and Pericles or some notable man
pronounced their eulogy; and in that speech of Pericles we may read in
brief the ideal of the Athenian.

From this place led forth the Sacred Way, over the hills to Eleusis,
where perhaps more than anywhere else in the Greek world those higher
emotions were aroused which we associate with religion. In the ritual
these were lacking; and philosophy was sceptical rather than religious,
except with a rare soul now and then, a Socrates or a Plato, with whom
feeling and intellect seem to be fused into one force. But the
Eleusinian mysteries gave what both philosophy and ritual lacked. They
were mysteries in so far that no one might reveal them unlawfully; but
not in the sense of a riddle or a concealment, for all Greeks might
qualify for admission. The ancient mysteries recall more the Freemasons
than anything else we know. Their origin is lost in darkness, and they
lasted long after all else in Greece was dead, when Alaric the Goth in
396 did what Goths do in all ages--destroyed, but built not up. There
were rites of purification, and two stages of initiation; first, usually
as a child, and later into the higher grades as a man or woman. There
were two Mysteries: the Lesser, celebrated by the Ilissos bank and close
under the Acropolis, being usually a preliminary to the Greater at
Eleusis. What the mysteries were, we know not: the secret has been kept,
although Clement of Alexandria was initiated before he became a
Christian, and he tells us whatever he thinks will discredit them.
Undoubtedly, they included dramatic representations, which struck awe
and admiration into the observers; but the inner meaning of these was
known only to the Hierophant, who revealed it to those whom he thought
fit to receive it. And now the gorgeous ceremony is over, priests and
worshippers have for ever gone, and nothing remains but the pavement of
the temple, with a tiny church of the Virgin perched on a bluff above
it.

Aegina, like all else in Greece, is small, only about forty square
miles; yet Aegina has left her mark on history. Here, according to the
tradition, Pheidon, tyrant of Argos, first struck coins in Greece.
Whether it was so or not, Aegina was a centre of trade very early, and
founded a famous city, Naucratis, in North Africa, Cydonia in Crete, and
another in Umbria: the Aeginetan tortoise, the Athenian owl, and the
Corinthian horse were the three types of coins best known to the Greek
world, passing everywhere as good. Aegina was also famous for the arts,
especially sculpture. Before the Persian wars Aegina came into conflict
with Athens: Pericles called it the eyesore of the Peiraeus, before it
was conquered and colonised by Athenian settlers. The temple which still
remains, was not in the chief town, but in a lonely spot amidst the wild
woods. It was sacred to Aphaia, not to Zeus--so Furtwängler infers from
inscriptions found there--but we know nothing of its building. The
pediments, which appear to represent scenes from the Trojan wars, are
remarkable in the history of sculpture; they are now at Munich. Close by
the beach at which we land is a small rocky islet, upon which lives a
lonely hermit in a hut made with his own hands. If at Eleusis we think
of exalted religious emotion, Delphi puts every man in awe. Well was the
spot chosen for the most famous oracle of antiquity: it needs no help of
man to show the powrer of God. But here, as everywhere in Greece, the
awe is not too great for humanity to bear: it is not the crushing sense
of impotence in the face of natural forces that one feels in the Alps or
the Himalayas, it is the awe that may be felt for a being both mighty
and kindly. Human beings may live here and be happy; they may mount
above the cleft and the shining rocks, and still live and be
happy--indeed, those uplands were the scene of many a merry revel when
the Greeks worshipped their gods. But the great black rocks above
Delphi, themselves only the foot of the approach to Parnassus, are awful
enough to make them a fit habitation for a god. I shall never forget my
first visit to Delphi. It was winter: I rode from Lebadeia to Arachova
over the rocky and precipitous paths, and past the Cloven Way where
Œdipus slew Laius, through a blinding storm of rain and snow. Next
morning the sky was clear as in springtime, and a bright sun shining,
and a short ride brought us to the top of the valley, whence could be
seen a plain covered with olive trees which seemed from that height like
a flood rolling up the valley from the plain. But Delphi’s rock was grim
and gloomy as ever over this bright scene. In Delphi was an oracle from
time immemorial; the legends told of it show that the Greeks found one
already on the spot. According to the Homeric Hymn, which we may
rationalise if we like, Apollo found the place possessed by a huge
serpent, which he slew, and as the body rotted (πὑθειν) the place got
the name of Pytho. Here was the Omphalos, or navel-stone, marking the
centre of the earth; and the sacred spring Castalian rose between the
cleft rocks. The Pythia, or priestess, would seat herself on a tripod
over a chasm within the temple, and her ravings contained the god’s
answer; but it must be interpreted by the prophet, who stood by her
side. Since the oracle was consulted by great and small, the priests
were able to exercise a strong influence on politics; and their
influence was generally for good, until the mind, of Greece outgrew
oracles. Recorded answers do not explain the repute of the oracle, or
its influence; and the tablets that have actually been found here and at
Dodona are mostly questions on personal or trivial subjects. Perhaps
that was the most far-reaching of its behests when Sparta was commanded
to free Athens from her tyrants; and its most noteworthy revelation,
that Socrates was the wisest of men. One of Herodotus’s best stories
tells how Crœsus consulted the oracle, and what came of it. Twice
Delphi was miraculously saved from pillage: once when the army of Xerxes
was driven back by falling rocks, and once when a storm beat off the
Gauls. Philip made it a pretext for interfering in the affairs of
Greece; but then he would have found a pretext somewhere in any case.
The Pythian Games were celebrated here every two years. Sulla plundered
the treasures, and so did Nero; Constantine carried off what he could
find to Constantinople, where one still stands: the base of the golden
tripod dedicated after the defeat of the Persians, three bronze snakes
intertwining, and engraved with the names of Greek tribes who took part.
The oracle lost its high standing about the time of the Peloponnesian
War, but it continued to be consulted, until it was silenced by
Theodosius.

Pausanias gives a description of the chief things to be seen in this
holy place. Before the excavations, a Greek village covered the site;
but now this has been removed, we can tread on the ancient pavement, and
see the places where many of the objects once stood. Here, as at
Olympia, the great states had their treasuries, one of which has been
built up out of its fragments.

High above Delphi, on a mountain that rises out of the uplands, not far
from the peaks of Parnassus, is the Corycian cave, famous in legend,
sacred to Pan and the Nymphs; here and hereabouts were celebrated the
revels of Dionysus, which readers of the Ion will remember.

The temple of Olympian Zeus at Athens was begun by Peisistratus, and
partly built, but it was never finished in its original Doric style.
Antiochus Epiphanes planned it afresh, and a Roman architect, Cossutius,
partly built it in the Corinthian style. Probably the columns that now
stand were put up by him; some of the remains of this earlier building
are used as foundations for these. When Antiochus died (B.C. 164), it
was left again unfinished, until Hadrian finished it. These columns are
regarded as the finest specimens of the Corinthian style. Rich as the
effect of this style is, it does not satisfy eye and mind as the Doric
does, or indeed the Ionic: of all things, leaves are least suitable to
the nature of stone.

Sunium, founded in the Peloponnesian War to protect the corn-ships, was
near the silver-mines; it was an important fortress, but its prosperity
did not last long. The temple was dedicated to Athena. Here the salt sea
winds have made the columns white, in contrast to the rose-pink of the
Parthenon.



I

AETNA OVER TAORMINA

I AETNA OVER TAORMINA

FOR years I wanted to make this drawing--and for days after I reached
Taormina I had to wait before I could make it: for a curtain of mist
hung over the sea and land. Then suddenly in all its glory the great
white, snowy cone, borne on clouds, came forth above the sea and shore.
And Hiroshige and Claude and Turner never imagined or dreamt of anything
so glorious--and I had it all to myself, for it was tea-time.

[Illustration]



II

THE THEATRE, SEGESTA

II THE THEATRE, SEGESTA

NOTHING, not even Taormina, is more magnificent than the set scene of
the Theatre; how poor and mean must have been the forgotten mummers! The
scene will exist till the end of time--even though scarce anyone climbs
the mountain-side and, fagged out, drops in one of the thousands of
empty seats hewn in the living rock, which will never again be filled.

[Illustration]



III

THE TEMPLE OVER THE CAÑON, SEGESTA

III THE TEMPLE OVER THE CAÑON, SEGESTA

EVERYONE advised me to go to Segesta, and I am glad I went; but I should
never have known how wonderfully the Greeks made architectural
compositions if I had not seen the Grand Cañon. There I saw Nature’s
compositions: here was one made by man--finer, though not so big--for
bigness has nothing to do with art.

[Illustration]



IV

FROM TEMPLE TO TEMPLE, GIRGENTI

IV FROM TEMPLE TO TEMPLE, GIRGENTI

NOT only are the lines of the hills, looking toward the sea, perfect,
but the builders of these, as of all the temples, took advantage of the
lines in the landscape, making the temple the focus of a great
composition; an art no longer practised; but the temples of the gods of
Greece were more important than the notions of local politicians and
land-owners and architects.

[Illustration]



V

THE COLUMNS OF CASTOR AND POLLUX, GIRGENTI

V THE COLUMNS OF CASTOR AND POLLUX, GIRGENTI

THIS is not a restoration, but a re-building. The rebuilders worked
better than they knew, and made a delightful--and popular--subject for
every artist who goes to Girgenti.

[Illustration]



VI

SUNRISE BEHIND THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD, GIRGENTI

VI SUNRISE BEHIND THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD, GIRGENTI

THE Land of Temples is the land of effects--and they must be seized when
they are seen. I had no idea of making this drawing; but as I reached
the temple, the sun rose behind it, and I never saw it so huge, so
mighty, as that morning. So I drew it--or tried to--while the effect
lasted.

[Illustration]



VII

THE TEMPLE BY THE SEA--TEMPLE OF CONCORD, GIRGENTI

VII THE TEMPLE BY, THE SEA--TEMPLE OF CONCORD, GIRGENTI

I HAVE never seen long, level lines of temple, land, and sea so
harmonise and work into a great composition as at Girgenti.

[Illustration]



VIII

THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD ON THE WALL FROM WITHIN, GIRGENTI

VIII THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD ON THE WALL FROM WITHIN, GIRGENTI

HOW it piles up! What a perfect goal for the pilgrim; so noble is the
sight, he must in awe have mounted to it on his knees.

[Illustration]



IX

THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD ON THE WALL FROM WITHOUT, GIRGENTI

IX

THE TEMPLE OF CONCORD ON THE WALL FROM WITHOUT, GIRGENTI

WHEN the glow of the sunset falls on it, and when the shadows block out
the great rifts in the walls--walls which are like cliffs--and when the
tourists and archaeologists have gone to dress for dinner and left one
alone, one learns in the silence that the Greeks were divine artists.

[Illustration]



X

COLUMNS OF THE TEMPLE OF JUNO, GIRGENTI

X

COLUMNS OF THE TEMPLE OF JUNO, GIRGENTI

AS the sun sinks into the silent sea, these battered, beaten columns
take on a dignity which proves how impressive this temple was when their
art was a living thing. Only from within comes a voice, in English or
American, which proves that art is dead--Greek art.

[Illustration:]



XI

THE TEMPLES ON THE WALL, GIRGENTI

XI THE TEMPLES ON THE WALL, GIRGENTI

THERE they stand on the outer walls, the long line of them--and there
are more than I have drawn; but how magnificently they stand--these
everlasting monuments to great art.

[Illustration]



XII

THE TEMPLE OF JUNO FROM BELOW, GIRGENTI

XII THE TEMPLE OF JUNO FROM BELOW, GIRGENTI

OUT of the dark river-bed and the huge boulders: some real, some blocks
that have fallen from the wall above, slid down the high scarred hill
and come to rest in confusion at the bottom. Above the shattered wall
silently stand in the pale morning light the long line of pillars of the
temple. And all the while I drew, the Sicilian glared at me from behind
the great rocks, and I was glad when I had finished and could come
away.

[Illustration]



XIII

PAESTUM. MORNING MIST

XIII PAESTUM. MORNING MIST

WHEN, after a night of horrors at the inn of Pæstum, I rose before day,
the temples were veiled in mist; the fences were lost; the factory
chimney had vanished--the guardians were asleep--the place seemed far
away; but soon a motor hooted and an engine whistled, the mists
vanished, the guardians came out, the tourists flocked in; the sadness,
the loneliness of Pæstum are gone with the malaria and the
buffaloes--only the mosquitoes remain.

[Illustration]



XIV

PAESTUM. EVENING

XIV PAESTUM. EVENING

ONLY in the mists of the morning and the glow of the evening is Pæstum
impressive any more. It is dignified, but the mystery and melancholy
have gone.

[Illustration]



XV

CORINTH TOWARDS THE GULF

XV CORINTH TOWARDS THE GULF

HERE the builders had tried for a wonderful scheme, and worked it out
wonderfully, light against light--the glittering temple against the
gleaming sea--the rigid, solid lines of the building telling against the
faint, far-away, half-revealed, half-concealed silhouettes in form and
colour of the mountains; over whose sides the cloud-shadows slowly
moved. On one side my countrymen have built a shanty where they lived
while excavating; on the other is a bare barrack, in which they have
stored the stuff they have found. From the village Square, this museum
completely hides the temple; but Greece was so much finer before it was
discovered by archaeologists--or by most of them--for most of them have
no feeling at all for the art they have dug up.

[Illustration]



XVI

ACRO-CORINTH FROM CORINTH

XVI ACRO-CORINTH FROM CORINTH

THE way the great mountains pile up behind the great temple is most
impressive.

[Illustration]



XVII

OLYMPIA FROM THE HILLSIDE

XVII OLYMPIA FROM THE HILLSIDE

THE Olympian groves are a fraud; they are mere bushes and only hide the
temples amid which they sprout; but by dodging around the hillside one
can see how finely the temples were placed and how lovely were the lines
of the meandering river backed by the beautiful, ever-changing coloured
mountains.

[Illustration]



XVIII

THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER. EVENING

XVIII THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER. EVENING

NIGHT was falling as I was coming back from drawing by the river
Ilissos. The subject was the most impressive I saw in the Land of
Temples, and in the gathering darkness I drew it as well as I could.

[Illustration]



XIX

THE ACROPOLIS FROM THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER, ATHENS

XIX THE ACROPOLIS FROM THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER, ATHENS

THERE is as much charm in the clearness of the day as in the mystery of
the night, in the Land of Temples. And though I only moved from one side
of the columns to the other, when I drew the Temple of Jupiter, Evening,
the composition is as different as the effect.

[Illustration]



XX

THE WAY UP TO THE ACROPOLIS

XX THE WAY UP TO THE ACROPOLIS

THE fragment of the steps that is left shows how imposing the whole must
have been. In making this lithograph I could not help noting--though I
did not put them in--the endless races that mounted; and although the
costume of each group changed, and often the nationality and language,
there was almost always someone amongst them who could read the ancient
Greek of the tablets built into the wall; and always the whole party
seemed to under-stand it. But the modern Greek is, I imagine, the
greatest reader in the world--at any rate of newspapers.

[Illustration]



XXI

DOWN FROM THE ACROPOLIS

XXI DOWN FROM THE ACROPOLIS

BETWEEN Athens, the pavement of the Temple of Nike, and the roof of the
Temple of Theseus, there is a great gulf fixed, and this gives an
amazing idea of height and depth; and beyond, stretching to the
mountains, with the feeling of the sea beyond that, is the sacred way.
It is the way to Eleusis and the Sea. From the road, as it mounts the
distant hills, the way leads straight to the Acropolis, which grows more
and more impressive and imposing as you approach, till modern Athens
hides it.

[Illustration]



XXII

SUNRISE OVER THE ACROPOLIS

XXII SUNRISE OVER THE ACROPOLIS

EVERY morning the sun, coming in at my bedroom window, woke me when it
touched the topmost part of the Parthenon; and then the light spread
down to the battlements, then to the cliffs, showing the horrid caves
and strong ribs over and upon which the fortress temples stand; and by
the time the sun had reached the forum, the forum woke up and all the
beauty fled--till another day.

[Illustration]



XXIII

STORM BEHIND THE ACROPOLIS

XXIII STORM BEHIND THE ACROPOLIS

AND when the clouds of a spring afternoon gather behind the Acropolis,
you realise why it was built on that barren rock: because the builders
saw it would be the most impressive shrine on this earth.

[Illustration]



XXIV

THE PROPYLAEA, ATHENS

XXIV THE PROPYLAEA; ATHENS

THIS is pure architecture; it interested me. I tried to draw it, as it
looked to me; but no draughtsman--no painter, either--will ever get that
wondrous warm glow which seems to come from within the walls and suffuse
them with light and colour.

[Illustration]



XXV

THE PORTICO OF THE PARTHENON

XXV THE PORTICO OF THE PARTHENON

THIS is the greatest architectural art in the world.

[Illustration]



XXVI

THE PARTHENON FROM THE GATEWAY

XXVI THE PARTHENON FROM THE GATEWAY

DID these temples always grow out of the bare rock as now, or was the
rock, too, overlaid with marble pavements? It must have been, for it is
incredible that people with such a sense of beauty should have built
such beautiful things on a stone pile.

[Illustration]



XXVII

THE FAÇADE OF THE PARTHENON. SUNSET

XXVII THE FAÇADE OF THE PARTHENON. SUNSET

JUST as the bell rings at sunset, from between a rift in the clouds of
the spring evening the last ray of the setting sun strikes the pediment
of the Parthenon. And against the black clouds over the mountains, it is
transfigured, and then slowly one leaves--turning from the wonder of
man’s work to the wonder of God’s sunset, and the wonder of the
afterglow over Eleusis.

[Illustration]



XXVIII

THE FALLEN COLUMN, ATHENS

XXVIII THE FALLEN COLUMN, ATHENS

ON either side of the Parthenon the columns thrown down by the explosion
of a powder magazine within, are lying, not as they fell, but each
section carefully rolled into its proper place. The disorder at Olympia,
when earthquakes destroyed the temples, is far more convincing and
impressive, for there the columns lie in confusion, here in
archaeological order.

[Illustration]



XXIX

THE LITTLE FÊTE, ATHENS

XXIX THE LITTLE FÊTE, ATHENS

A LITTLE fête of some sort was being held at the little church by the
little river, and the way to it was lined with them that sold things;
beyond was the rocky river-bed; then the Temple of Jupiter; and away
above all, the Acropolis--framed in by the black trees, the most
romantic subject I ever saw.

[Illustration]



XXX

THE GREAT FÊTE, ATHENS

XXX THE GREAT FÊTE, ATHENS

ON the afternoon of St. George’s Day I wandered out of the city up to
the Acropolis, and found the whole plain and the approaches crowded;
while the stairs were black with people, and so were the lofty
platforms. The fête that afternoon, as I saw it from Mars Hill, was more
real than any restoration or imaginations.



XXXI

THE TEMPLE OF NIKE, ATHENS

XXXI THE TEMPLE OF NIKE, ATHENS

ONE has but to cross to the other side of the Propylaea from the top of
the steps--from the great platform and altar before the wall, to find an
equally inspiring--or inspired--arrangement. For there is no accident in
these compositions. The way the line of the sea cuts blue against the
white temple walls and shows through the columns at either end, and the
way the nearer hill of Lycabettus piles up dark against the shining base
on which the temple stands and that is accented, too, by the one dark
note of the theatre--though it is later that one sees these arrangements
were not accidents. These things were all thought out by the builders of
Temples.

[Illustration]



XXXII

THE TEMPLE OF NIKE FROM MARS HILL, ATHENS

XXXII THE TEMPLE OF NIKE FROM MARS HILL, ATHENS

THIS is the grandest grouping of the Acropolis. The way in which the
whole, in solemn square masses, piles up--the temple dominating all--is
marvellous. It is finer, I am sure, in ruin, than ever it was in
perfection.

[Illustration]



XXXIII

THE ODEON, ATHENS

XXXIII THE ODEON, ATHENS

LOOKING down from the Acropolis, one sees the theatre--even the Greeks
mostly placed the theatre before the temple. But what I saw that
afternoon was a school of small Greek boys studying and reciting in the
Odeon, because the school had been taken for barracks. But as a soldier
said to me, Mars was more real to him than the Turks he had been
fighting.

[Illustration]



XXXIV

THE STREET OF THE TOMBS, ATHENS

XXXIV THE STREET OF THE TOMBS, ATHENS

TO be buried under the shadow, or in sight of the Acropolis must have
been glorious. Nowhere else is there such a decorative arrangement of
death.

[Illustration]



XXXV

ELEUSIS: THE PAVEMENT OF THE TEMPLE

XXXV ELEUSIS: THE PAVEMENT OF THE TEMPLE

SWEPT away is everything, mysteries and all--all that remains is the
great pavement on which stand the stumps of columns; yet I doubt if it
was finer ever. And the long drive out over the sacred way, the long,
quiet day; and the long drive back, with the Acropolis growing more and
more majestic in the twilight, were perfect.

[Illustration]



XXXVI

AEGINA

XXXVI AEGINA

ONLY at Aegina, so far as I have seen, is there a real--yet it is so
beautiful it seems unreal--forest in Greece. Nowhere in the world do the
trees in dense, deep shade so cover the slopes that lead down, almost
black, to the deep blue sea; and where have I ever seen such a contrast
between the bosky woods and the barren cliffs that tower above them? And
all this is but a background for one of the most beautiful temples in
this beautiful land, placed perfectly, by the greatest artists of the
past, in the most exquisite landscape. Yet the guardian told me I was
the third person who had visited Aegina between January and April last
year.

[Illustration]



XXXVII

AEGINA ON ITS MOUNTAIN TOP

XXXVII AEGINA ON ITS MOUNTAIN TOP

AS, after the long ride across the island, ever climbing, one comes from
the dense wood, suddenly in front is the splendid pile, on either side
the forest, beyond the sea; and in the airy distance, Athens and the
Acropolis.

[Illustration]



XXXVIII

THE SHINING ROCKS, DELPHI

XXXVIII THE SHINING ROCKS, DELPHI

AFTER I had made this drawing, after I had had it transferred to stone
and printed, I showed it to the Director of the Greek School, and he
said: “Why, you have drawn the Shining Rocks.” All I tried to do was to
draw Delphi and the rocks behind the ruins. That in the light the rocks
did shine was nothing to me, save that they showed the way the cliffs
were built up. I have since learned, however, that I have shown one the
great things of Greece.

[Illustration]



XXXIX

THE TREASURY OE ATHENS, DELPHI

XXXIX THE TREASURY OF ATHENS, DELPHI

THE Treasury is a restoration; but, even so, it is charming, standing by
the rough paved way, which is bordered by the semi-circular seats,
placed always with the most wonderful views before them, and backed by
the black mountains, up whose sides wind trails leading, in the spring,
to the clouds. The loneliness of the land, and the hugeness of the
temples and theatres built to hold the people who are no longer there,
was intensified last year when all the able-bodied men had gone to the
war, and the land was desolate,

[Illustration]



XL

THE WINE-DARK SEA, SUNIUM

XL THE WINE-DARK SEA, SUNIUM

FROM without and from within, either bright against the dark waters, or
dark against the bright sea, the Temple of Poseidon piles up. One could
stay on that mud-swept, sun-beaten headland for months; but without a
camp, one can only stay a day.

[Illustration]





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