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Title: Ruins of Ancient Cities (Vol. I of II)
Author: Bucke, Charles
Language: English
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  Fallen, fallen, a silent heap; their heroes all
  Sunk in their urns:--Behold the pride of pomp,
  The throne of nations fallen; obscured in dust
  Even yet majestical.--The solemn scene
  Elates the soul!










The reader is requested to observe, that, though the plan of this work
is entirely his own, the compiler of it does not put it forth as in any
way original in respect to language or description. It is, in fact, a
much better book, than if it had been what is strictly called original,
(which, indeed, must have involved an utter impossibility:) for it is a
selection of some of the best materials the British Museum could
furnish; sometimes worked up in his own language; and sometimes--and,
indeed, very frequently--in that of others: the compiler having, at an
humble distance and with unequal steps, followed the plan which M.
Rollin proposed to himself, when he composed his celebrated history of
ancient times.--"To adorn and enrich my own," says that celebrated
writer, "I will be so ingenuous as to confess, that I do not scruple,
nor am ashamed, to rifle whereever I come; and that I often do not cite
the authors from whom I transcribe, because of the liberty I take to
make some slight alterations. I have made the best use in my power of
the solid reflections that occur in the Bishop of Meaux's Universal
History, which is one of the most beautiful and most useful books in our
language. I have also received great assistance from the learned Dean
Prideaux's 'Connexion of the Old and New Testament,' in which he has
traced and cleared up, in an admirable manner, the particulars relating
to ancient history. I shall take the same liberty with whatever comes in
my way, that may suit my design, and contribute to its perfection. I am
very sensible, that it is not so much for a person's reputation to make
use of other men's labours, and that it is in a manner renouncing the
name and quality of author. But I am not over-fond of that title, and
shall be extremely well pleased, and think myself very happy, if I can
but deserve the name of a good compiler; and supply my readers with a
tolerable history, who will not be over-solicitous to inquire what hand
it comes from, provided they are but pleased with it."

Having followed this example,--the compiler wishes he could say with
equal effect,--he will be fully satisfied, should judicious readers feel
inclined to concede, that he has shown some judgment in selecting his
materials, and some taste in binding "the beads of the chain," that
connects them together. He disclaims, in fact, (as, in the present
instance, he is bound to do), all the "_divine honours_" of authorship;
satisfied with those of a selecter, adapter, and compiler; and happy in
the hope that he has here, by means of the superior writers, whose
labours he has used, furnished his readers with an useful, accurate, and
amusing work.

                                                               C. B.
  _London, January 1st, 1840._


        I. ABYDOS                  1
       II. ABYDUS                  5
      III. ÆGESTA                  7
       IV. ÆGINA                   8
        V. AGRIGENTUM             15
       VI. ALBA LONGA             22
      VII. ALCANTARA              23
     VIII. ALEXANDRIA             25
       IX. AMISUS                 50
        X. ANTIOCH                53
       XI. ARGOS                  57
      XII. ARIAMMENE              65
     XIII. ARSINOE                66
      XIV. ARTAXATA               69
       XV. ARTEMITA               70
      XVI. ATHENS                 74
     XVII. BABYLON               121
    XVIII. BALBEC                165
      XIX. BYZANTIUM             185
       XX. CAIRO (OLD)           200
      XXI. CANNÆ                 205
     XXII. CAPUA                 209
    XXIII. CARTHAGE              213
     XXIV. CATANEA               237
      XXV. CHALCEDON             240
     XXVI. CHÆRONEA              243
    XXVII. CORDUBA               247
   XXVIII. CORCYRA (CORFU)       249
     XXIX. CORINTH               252
      XXX. CTESIPHON             265
     XXXI. DELPHOS               274
    XXXII. ECBATANA              279
   XXXIII. ELEUSIS               294
    XXXIV. ELIS                  299
     XXXV. EPHESUS               301
    XXXVI. GERASA (DJERASH)      316
   XXXVII. GRANADA               321
  XXXVIII. GNIDOS                330
    XXXIX. HELIOPOLIS            333
       XL. HERCULANEUM           335
      XLI. HIERAPOLIS            352
     XLII. ISPAHAN               353
    XLIII. ITALICA               365
     XLIV. JERUSALEM             366
     XLVI. LAODICEA              407
    XLVII. LEUCTRA               410
   XLVIII. MAGNESIA              413
     XLIX. MANTINEA              415
        L. MARATHON              423
       LI. MEGALOPOLIS           428
      LII. MEGARA                430
     LIII. MEMPHIS               435



    Of chance or change, oh! let not man complain;
    Else shall he never, never, cease to wail;
    For from the imperial dome, to where the swain
    Rears his lone cottage in the silent dale,
    All feel the assault of fortune's fickle gale.
    Art, empire, earth itself, to change are doom'd;
    Earthquakes have raised to heaven the humble vale;
    And gulfs the mountains' mighty mass entomb'd;
  And where the Atlantic rolls wide continents have bloom'd.


This city stood on the Asiatic side of the Hellespont, now called the
Dardanelles, opposite to the city of Sestos, on the European side, the
distance from each other being about two miles. Abydos was built by the
Milesians, and became greatly celebrated from the circumstance that it
was here that Xerxes built his bridge over the Hellespont;--also for the
loves of Hero and Leander.

Philip, king of Macedon, laid siege to this city, and nothing of what is
generally practised in the assaulting and defending of cities was
omitted in the siege. No place, say the historians, was ever defended
with greater obstinacy, which might be said at length, on the side of
the besieged, to have risen to fury and brutality. Confiding in its own
strength, they repulsed, with the greatest vigour, the approaches of the
Macedonians. Finding, however, at last, that the outer wall of their
city was sapped, and that the Macedonians carried their mines under the
inner one, they sent deputies to Philip, offering to surrender the city
on certain conditions, one of which was, that all the free citizens
should retire whithersoever they pleased, with the clothes they then had
on. These conditions were not approved by Philip, he therefore sent for
answer, that the Abydonians had only to choose, whether they would
surrender at discretion or continue to defend themselves gallantly as
they had before done.

When the citizens heard this they assembled together, to consider what
they should do in so great an emergency; and here we have to record, not
in our own language but in that of others, for our pen would be unequal
to the description, circumstances scarcely to be paralleled in all
history! It is thus given by Rollin:--

They came to these resolutions; first, that the slaves should be set at
liberty, to animate them to defend the city with the utmost vigour;
secondly, that all the women should be shut up in the temple of Diana,
and all the children with their nurses in the Gymnasium; that this being
done, they then should bring into the great square all the gold and
silver in the city, and carry all the rest of the valuable effects into
the quadrireme of the Rhodians and the trireme of the Cyzicenians. This
resolution having passed unanimously, another assembly was called, in
which they chose fifty of the wisest and most ancient of the citizens,
but who at the same time had vigour enough left to execute what should
have been determined; and they were made to take an oath, in presence
of all the inhabitants, that the instant they saw the enemy master of
the inner wall they should kill the women and children, set fire to the
galleys laden with their effects, and throw into the sea all the gold
and silver which they had heaped together. Then, sending for their
priests, they took an oath either to conquer or die, sword in hand; and
after having sacrificed the victims, they obliged the priests and
priestesses to pronounce before the altar the greatest curses on those
who should break their oath. This being done, they left off
countermining, and resolved, the instant the wall should fall, to fly to
the breach and fight to the last. Accordingly, the inward wall tumbling,
the besieged, true to the oath they had taken, fought in the breach with
such unparalleled bravery, that though Philip had perpetually sustained
with fresh soldiers those who had mounted to the assault, yet, when
night separated the combatants, he was still doubtful with regard to the
success of the siege. Such Abydonians as marched first to the breach,
over the heaps of slain, fought with fury, and not only made use of
their swords and javelins, but after their arms were broken to pieces or
forced from their hands, they rushed furiously upon the Macedonians,
knocked down some, broke the long spears of others, and with the pieces
struck their faces and such parts of their bodies as were uncovered,
till they made them entirely despair of the event. When night had put an
end to the slaughter, the breach was quite covered with the dead bodies
of the Abydonians, and those who had escaped were so prodigiously
fatigued, and had received so many wounds, that they could scarce
support themselves. Things being brought to this dreadful extremity, two
of the principal citizens, unable to execute the dreadful resolution
that had been taken, and which at that time displayed itself to their
imaginations in all its horror, agreed that, to save their wives and
children, they should send to Philip by day-break all their priests and
priestesses, clothed in pontifical habits, to implore his mercy and open
their gates to him. Accordingly the next morning the city, as had been
agreed, was surrendered to Philip, during which the greatest part of the
Abydonians, who survived, vented millions of imprecations against their
fellow-citizens, and especially against the priests and priestesses, for
delivering up to the enemy those whom they themselves had devoted to
death with the most dreadful oaths. Philip marched into the city and
seized, without the least opposition, all the rich effects which the
Abydonians had heaped together in one place. But now he was greatly
terrified with the spectacle he saw. Among these ill-fated citizens,
whom despair had made furious and distracted, some were strangling their
wives and children; and others cutting them with swords to pieces; some
were running to murder them; some were plunging them into wells; whilst
others were precipitating them from the tops of the houses; in a word,
death appeared in a variety of horrors. Philip, pierced with grief, and
seized with horror at the spectacle, stopped the soldiers who were
greedy of plunder, and published a declaration, importing that he would
allow three days to all, who were resolved to lay violent hands on
themselves. He was in hopes that during this interval they would change
their resolution, but they had made their choice before. They thought it
would be degenerating from those, who had lost their lives in fighting
for their country, should they survive them. The individuals of every
family killed one another, and none escaped this murderous expedition
but those whose hands were tied, or were otherwise kept from destroying

Nothing now remains of the ancient town, but a few insignificant ruins
in the neighbourhood of the modern one[1].


Abydus, in Egypt, is now called Madfuneh, or the _Buried City_.
According to Pliny and Strabo it was a colony of Milesians. It is said
once to have nearly equalled Thebes in grandeur and magnificence; but it
was reduced to a village in the reign of Augustus, and is now only a
heap of uninhabited ruins.

In its neighbourhood, however, the celebrated tomb of Ismandes is still
found; he who built the temple of Osiris, into which no singers or
dancers were ever allowed to enter. Besides numerous tombs and
sepulchral monuments, that are continually found here, the remains of
two grand edifices, and other ruins, evince its former extent, and
justify the assertion of Strabo, that Abydus formerly held the first
rank after Thebes itself. One of those edifices was called the Palace of
Memnon; but it was, in reality, commenced by Osirei, and completed by
his son Remesis II., and from the peculiar nature of its plan, and the
structure of its roof, it is particularly interesting to the antiquary.
This last is formed of large blocks of stone placed from one architrave
to the other; not, as usual in Egyptian buildings, on their faces, but
on their sides; so that considerable thickness having been given to the
roof, a vault was afterwards cut in them, without endangering its
stability. The other building is the famous temple of Osiris, who was
reported to have been buried in Abydus, and who was worshipped there in
his most sacred character. There are many other places, says Plutarch,
where his corpse is said to have been deposited; but Abydus and Memphis
are mentioned in particular as having the true body; and for this reason
the rich and powerful of the Egyptians were desirous of being buried in
the former of these two cities, in order to lie, as it were, in the same
grave with Osiris himself. The fact, that the natives of other towns
also were buried at Abydus, is fully confirmed by modern discoveries;
and inscriptions, purporting that the deceased were from some distant
part of the country, are frequently found in the tombs of its extensive
cemetery. The temple of Osiris was completed by Remesis II., who
enriched it with a splendid sanctuary, rendered unusually conspicuous
from the materials used in its construction, being entirely lined with
oriental alabaster. He also added to the numerous chambers and courts
many elegant and highly-finished sculptures. One of these lateral
apartments contains the famous tablet of kings, discovered by Mr.
Bankes, and which, in an historical point of view, is one of the most
precious monuments hitherto met with among the ruins of Egypt. In the
cemetery to the northward are some other stone remains, among which is
one of the time of Remesis the Second, and another bearing the name of

The reservoir mentioned by Strabo, which was cased with stone, may be
traced on the east side of the ancient town; and in the mountain, to the
north-west, are some limestone quarries, and an inclined road leading to
a narrow grotto, in an unfinished state, and without sculpture.

The Arabs, in searching for treasure, have heaped up piles of earth and
rubbish; but there are no inhabitants[2].


The sterile country between Trapani and Alcamo (in Sicily) may render
the stranger better prepared to contemplate one of the finest of ancient
monuments--all that remains of Ægesta, celebrated for the temple of the
Erycinian Venus. This town, situated on a height at the base of Mount
Eryx, was deserted and almost in ruins at so early a period as the time
of Strabo.

All travellers, who have examined the temple, are unanimous in its
commendation. "The effect it produced at a distance," says Mons. Simon,
"increased as I approached. Such is the magic of its proportions, and
the beauty of its forms, that, at whatever side it may be viewed, it is
equally admirable. It has braved the influence of time--the edifice
stands entire, columns, entablature, pediment--all except the cella and
roof, which have disappeared. The columns, of the Ionic order, are about
seven feet in diameter at the base, tapering towards the top, and only
four diameters in height; but they form, with the front, a total height
of fifty-eight feet. The dimensions of the interior are about one
hundred and seventy-four feet by seventy-two."

This city was destroyed by Agathocles. At a subsequent time it was the
residence of the tyrant Æmilius Censorinus, who offered rewards to such
artists as were the most ingenious in the invention of instruments of


"We seated ourselves on a fallen column," says Mr. Williams, "and could
not but admire the scene before us: Attica, Peloponnesus, and the gulf
of Ægina, with their many points of attraction, addressing both the eye
and the mind! While we were enjoying the splendid view, two shepherds
stepped from the ruins, and passing their crooks from their right hand
to their left, pressed their hearts and foreheads, and kissed their
hands in a manner than which nothing could be more graceful. Their eyes
bespoke their curiosity to know what brought us there; and when we
looked across the gulf, they both exclaimed, 'Athenæ! Athenæ!' as if we
were desirous to know the name of the distant spot, that marked the site
of Athens."

Servius Sulpitius mentions Ægina in a very agreeable manner to Cicero,
who was then grieving for the loss of his daughter Tullia:--"Once," said
he, "when I was in distress, I received a sensible alleviation of my
sorrow from a circumstance, which, in the hope of its having the same
influence upon you, I will take this opportunity of relating. I was
returning from Asia; and as I was steering my course, I began to
contemplate the surrounding country. Behind me was Ægina; Megara in the
front; the Piræus occupied my right hand, and Corinth my left. These
cities, once flourishing, were now reduced to irretrievable ruin.
'Alas!' said I, somewhat indignantly, 'shall man presume to complain of
the shortness and the ills of life, whose being in this world is
necessarily short, when I see so many cities, at one view, totally
destroyed?' This reflection, my friend, relieved my sorrow."

Mr. Dodwell, when he was in Ægina, lodged at the house of the principal
Greek, who was acquainted with the leading particulars of its history;
and when he talked of its former grandeur, and compared it with its
present abject condition, the tears came into his eyes, and he
exclaimed--"_Alas! where is Ægina now?_"

The island of Ægina lies between Attica and Argolis, eighteen miles
distant from the coast of Athens and fourteen from Epidaurus. It does
not exceed nine miles in its greatest length, nor six miles in its
greatest breadth; its interior is rough and mountainous, and the
valleys, though they are made to bear corn, cotton, olive, and fruit
trees, are stony and narrow. Notwithstanding this, in ancient days,
through the blessings of commerce, this spot in the seas of Greece was
the residence of a numerous and most thriving population, who created
upon it such works as are still the admiration of the civilised world,
though they are now in ruins; the place, however, of those who built
them, is scantily occupied by an impoverished and degraded race of men.

The people of Ægina were the first who coined money to be subservient to
the uses of life, agreeably to the advice of Phidon, who considered that
a maritime commerce would best be promoted, where exchange and
accommodation became easy and familiar between the vendor and purchaser.

The place, too, had the advantage of security; an important point in the
earlier ages of Greece, when piracy was a common and honourable
profession. It lay deep within a gulf; nature had made access to its
shores difficult, by nearly encircling them with rocks and sand-banks;
and its industrious population added artificial defences. Its port also
was commodious, and well protected against the attacks of man. Here,
therefore, the goods procured, far and near, by the enterprising
inhabitants, could be lodged without fear of pillage, and the Greeks
would resort hither as to a general mart, where whatever they wanted
might be purchased. Wealth would thus flow into the island, and its
inhabitants, with their exquisite feeling for all that was beautiful,
would employ their wealth in cultivating the fine arts, and in covering
their barren rocks with grand and graceful edifices; and this was shown
by the ancient inhabitants of Ægina having had the honour of introducing
a style in sculpture superior to all that preceded, though inferior to
the ultimate perfection of the Athenian school.

Ægina was, originally, subject to kings; but it afterwards adopted the
republican form of government. It was at length reduced by the
Athenians, and continued subject to them, till, at the end of the
Macedonian war, it was declared free by the Romans. In the reign of
Vespasian, however, it underwent the same fortune as the other states of

A.D. 1536, it was subdued by the Turks, after an obstinate resistance;
the capital was plundered and burned; and, after a great slaughter of
the inhabitants, the rest were carried into slavery--not an unworthy
fate, had it occurred in ancient times, for a people, who were possessed
of 420,000 slaves!

The site of Ægina, the capital of the island, has long been forsaken.
Instead of the temples, mentioned by Pausanias, there are thirteen
lonely churches, all very mean, and two Doric columns supporting their
architrave. These stand by the sea-side toward the low cape; and, it has
been supposed, are a remnant of a temple of Venus, which was situated by
the port principally frequented. The theatre, which is recorded as
greatly worth seeing, resembled that of the Epidaurians, both in size
and workmanship. It was not far from the private port; the _stadium_,
which like that at Priene, was constructed with only one side, being
joined to it behind, and each structure mutually sustaining and propping
the other.

The most celebrated of its edifices was the temple of Jupiter
Panhellenius. "This temple," says Colonel Leake, "was erected upon a
large paved platform, and must, when complete, have been one of the most
remarkable examples in Greece of the majesty and beauty of its sacred
edifices, as well as of the admirable taste with which the Greeks
enhanced those qualities by an attention to local situation and
surrounding scenery. It is not only in itself one of the finest
specimens of Grecian architecture, but is the more curious as being, in
all probability, the most ancient example of the Doric order in Greece,
with the exception of the columns at Corinth." This temple is far from
any habitation, and is surrounded with shrubs and small pine-trees. No
ruin in Greece is more rich in the picturesque, as every point of view
has some peculiar charm:--"When I was at Ægina," says Mr. Dodwell, "the
interior of the temple was covered with large blocks of stone, and
overgrown with bushes. This circumstance produced a sort of confusion,
which, while it intermingled the trees and the architecture, made a
great addition to the picturesque effect of the interesting scene. The
place has since been cleared, the stones have been taken away, and the
trees cut down to facilitate the removal of the statues which were found
among the ruins. Though these changes may have made some deduction from
the pleasure with which the painter would have viewed the spot, yet they
have added greatly to the gratification of the classical traveller, by
whom all the architectural details may now be readily examined and
accurately discriminated."

This ruin Dr. Chandler considers as scarcely to be paralleled in its
claim to remote antiquity. The situation on a lonely mountain at a
distance from the sea has preserved it from total demolition, and all
the changes and accidents of numerous centuries[4].

Lusieri classes the architecture of the temple of the Panhellenian
Jupiter at Ægina with that of Pæstum in Lucania:--"In their buildings,"
says he, "the Doric order attained a pre-eminence which it never passed;
not a stone has been there placed without some evident and important
design; every part of the structure bespeaks its own essential utility.
Of such a nature were works in architecture, when the whole aim of the
architect was to unite grandeur with utility; the former being founded
on the latter. All then was truth, strength, and sublimity."

In 1811, several statues of Parian marble were discovered by two English
gentlemen and two Germans[5], the rivals in the style of which are said
nowhere to be found. They were excavated from the two extremities of the
temple below the tympana, from which they had fallen at some unknown
period. Mr. Dodwell has given the following account of them:--"I shall
not attempt," says he, "a minute description of these precious remains
of the Æginetic school; the discovery of which, in its importance, has
not been surpassed by any of the kind in modern times. They are supposed
by some to represent the principal heroes of the Iliad contending with
the Trojans for the body of Patroclus. Minerva, armed with her helmet,
is the principal figure; and from its superior size, is conjectured to
have stood in the centre of the tympanum, below which it was found. The
other figures are combatants in various costumes and attitudes; their
shields are circular, and their helmets crowned with the lophos. The
bodies of some are naked, while others are covered with armour or
leather; their attitudes are judiciously adapted to the four tympana,
and the places which they occupied. They were evidently made prior to
the introduction of the beautiful ideal in Grecian sculpture. The
muscles and the veins, which are anatomically correct, exhibit the soft
flexibility of life, and every motion of the body is in scientific
harmony with that of nature. The limbs are strong, though not Herculean,
and elegant without effeminacy; no preposterous muscular protuberance,
no unnatural feminine delicacy offends the eye. They are noble without
being harsh or rigid, and are composed with Doric severity mingled with
the airy grace of youthful forms; the perfection of the finish is quite
wonderful; every part being in a style worthy of the most beautiful
cameo. The extremities of the hands and feet merit more particular
admiration. Indeed, the ancients thought that elegant fingers and nails
were essential ingredients in the composition of the beautiful. The most
extraordinary circumstance, however, in these statues, is the want of
expression, and the sameness of countenance, which is to be observed in
all the heads. This approximation to identity is certainly not
fortuitous; for the artists, who were able to throw so much varied
beauty into the forms of the bodies, were, no doubt, fully able to
infuse a similar diversity of expression into the features. Their talent
was probably confined to one style of countenance by some religious
prejudice. Perhaps some ancient and much venerated statue served as a
model, from which it might not have been consistent with the feeling of
reverence, or with the state of opinion, to deviate. The formation and
posture of the bodies afforded a greater scope and a wider field for the
talent of the sculptor; for while the Doric severity of the early
Æginetic school is evidently diffused through the whole, yet a
correctness of muscular knowledge; and a strict adherence to natural
beauty, are conspicuously blended in every statue. An unmeaning and
inanimate smile is prevalent in all the faces; every one of the heroes,
who is mortally wounded, is supporting himself in the most beautiful
attitude, and smiling upon death! In short, the conquerors and the
conquered, the dying and dead, have all one expression, or rather none
at all. The high finish of the hair is particularly worthy of notice.
Some in curls, which hang down in short ringlets, are of lead, and still
remain. The helmets were ornamented with metallic accessories, and the
offensive weapons were probably of bronze; but they have not been found.
All the figures have been painted; the colour is still visible, though
nearly effaced. The colour on the ægis of Minerva is very
distinguishable; but the white marble, of which the statues are
composed, has assumed a yellow dye from the soil in which they were

Dr. Clarke tells us, that Lusieri found here both medals and vases in
such numbers, that he was under the necessity of dismissing the peasants
who amassed them, without purchasing more than half that were brought to
him; although they were offered for a very trifling consideration, and
were of very high antiquity[6].


The citadel of Agrigentum (Sicily) was situated on Mount Agragas; the
city in the vale below; forming a magnificent spectacle at a distance.
It was founded by a native of Rhodes, according to Polybius; but by a
colony from Ionia, according to Strabo; about one hundred and eighty
years after the founding of Syracuse. Thucydides, however, says that it
was founded by a colony from Gela. The government was at first
monarchical; afterwards democratical.

Phalaris, so well known for his superior talent and tyranny, usurped the
sovereignty, which for some time afterwards was under the sway of the
Carthaginians. In its most flourishing condition, it is said to have
contained not less than two hundred thousand persons, who submitted,
without resistance, to the superior authority of the Syracusans.

Some idea of the wealth of this city may be imagined, from what is
stated by Diodorus Siculus, of one of its citizens. At the time when
Exenetes, who had been declared victor in the Olympic games[7], entered
the city in triumph, he did so in a magnificent chariot, attended by
three hundred more, all drawn by white horses. Their habits were adorned
with gold and silver; and nothing was ever more splendid than their
appearance. Gellias, the most wealthy citizen of the place, erected
several apartments in his house for the reception and entertainment of
guests. Servants waited by his order at the gates of the city, to invite
all strangers to lodge at their master's house, whither they conducted
them. A violent storm having obliged one hundred horsemen to take
shelter there, Gellias entertained them all in his house, and supplied
them immediately with dry clothes, of which he had always a great
quantity in his wardrobe.

Though this gives us some notion of his wealth, there is another
description still more indicative of his humanity. He entertained the
people with spectacles and feasts; and, during a famine, prevented the
citizens from dying with hunger; he gave portions to poor maidens also,
and rescued the unfortunate from want and despair. He had houses built
in the city and the country, purposely for the accommodation of
strangers, whom he usually dismissed with handsome presents. Five
hundred shipwrecked citizens of Gela, applying to him, were bountifully
relieved; and every man supplied with a cloak and a coat out of his

Agrigentum was first taken by the Carthaginians. It was strongly
fortified. It was situated, as were Hymera and Selinuntum, on that coast
of Sicily which faces Africa. Accordingly, Hannibal, imagining that it
was impregnable except on one side, turned his whole force that way. He
threw up banks and terraces as high as the walls; and made use, on this
occasion, of the rubbish and fragments of the tombs standing round the
city, which he had demolished for that purpose. Soon after, the plague
infected the army, and swept away a great number of the soldiers. The
Carthaginians interpreted this disaster as a punishment inflicted by the
gods, who revenged in this manner the injuries done to the dead, whose
ghosts many fancied they had seen stalking before them in the night. No
more tombs were therefore demolished; prayers were ordered to be made
according to the practice of Carthage; a child was sacrificed to Saturn,
in compliance with a most inhumanly superstitious custom; and many
victims were thrown into the sea in honour of Neptune.

The besieged, who at first had gained several advantages, were at last
so pressed by famine, that all hopes of relief seeming desperate, they
resolved to abandon the city. The following night was fixed on for this
purpose. The reader will naturally imagine to himself the grief with
which these miserable people must be seized, on their being forced to
leave their houses, rich possessions, and their country; but life was
still dearer to them than all these. Never was a more melancholy
spectacle seen. To omit the rest, a crowd of women, bathed in tears,
were seen dragging after them their helpless infants, in order to secure
them from the brutal fury of the victor. But the most grievous
circumstance was the necessity they were under of leaving behind them
the aged and sick, who were unable either to fly or to make the least
resistance. The unhappy exiles arrived at Gela, which was the nearest
city in their way, and there received all the comforts they could expect
in the deplorable condition to which they were reduced.

In the meantime Imilcon entered the city, and murdered all who were
found in it. The plunder was immensely rich, and such as might be
expected from one of the most opulent cities of Sicily, which contained
two hundred thousand inhabitants, and had never been besieged, nor,
consequently, plundered before. A numberless multitude of pictures,
vases, and statues of all kinds, were found here, the citizens having an
exquisite taste for the polite arts. Among other curiosities, was the
famous bull of Phalaris, which was sent to Carthage.

At a subsequent period the Romans attacked this city, then in possession
of the Carthaginians; took it, and the chief persons of Agrigentum were,
by the consul's order, first scourged with rods, and then beheaded. The
common people were made slaves, and sold to the best bidder. After
this, Agrigentum is seldom mentioned in history; nor is it easy to
ascertain the precise time in which the old city was destroyed, and the
new one (_Gergenti_) was built. It was crushed in the general fall of
the Greek state, and its unfortunate inhabitants, expelled by the
Saracens, took refuge among the black and inaccessible rocks of

In ancient times, this city was greatly celebrated for the hospitality
and luxurious mode of living, adopted by its inhabitants. On one side of
the city there was a large artificial lake, about a quarter of a league
in circumference, dug out of the solid rock by the Carthaginian
captives, and to which the water was conveyed from the hills. It was
thirty feet deep; great quantities of fish were kept in this reservoir
for the public feasts; and swans and other fowls were kept upon it for
the amusement of the citizens; and the depth of its waters secured the
city from the sudden assault of an enemy. It is now dry, and converted
into a garden.

It is, nevertheless, a curious fact, that though the whole space within
the walls of the ancient city abounds with traces of antiquity, there
are no ruins which can be supposed to have belonged to places of public
entertainment. Yet the Agrigentines were remarkably fond of shows and
dramatic amusements; and their connexion with the Romans must have
introduced among them the savage games of the circus. Theatres and
amphitheatres seem peculiarly calculated to resist the outrages of time;
yet not a vestige of these are to be seen on the site of Agrigentum.
They appear, however, to have been quite alive to the pleasures to be
derived from sculpture and painting.

The Temple of Juno was adorned by one of the most famous pictures of
antiquity; which is celebrated by many of the ancient writers. Zeuxis
was determined to excel any thing that had gone before him, and to form
a model of human perfection. To this end, he prevailed on all the finest
women of Agrigentum, who were ambitious of the honour, to appear naked
before him. Of these he chose five for his models; and moulding all the
perfections of these beauties into one, he composed the picture of the
goddess. This was ever looked upon as his masterpiece; but was,
unfortunately, burnt when the Carthaginians took Agrigentum. At that
period, many of the citizens retired into this temple, as to a place of
safety; but as soon as they found the gates attacked by the enemy, they
agreed to set fire to it, and chose rather to perish in the flames, than
submit to the power of the conqueror. In the Temple of Hercules, there
was another picture by Zeuxis. Hercules was represented, in his cradle,
killing the two serpents; Alcmena and Amphitrion, having just entered
the apartment, were painted with every mark of terror and astonishment.
Pliny says, the painter looked upon this piece as invaluable; and,
therefore, could never be prevailed upon to put a price upon it; but
gave it as a present to the people of Agrigentum, to be placed in the
temple of Hercules.

The temples, also, were very magnificent. That of Æsculapius, two
columns and two pilasters of which now support the end of a farm-house,
was not less celebrated for a statue of Apollo. It was taken from them
by the Carthaginians, at the same time that the Temple of Juno was
burnt. It was carried off by the conquerors, and continued the greatest
ornament of Carthage for many years; but was, at last, restored by
Scipio, at the final destruction of the city. Some of the Sicilians
allege, but it is supposed without ground, that this statue was
afterward carried to Rome, and still remains there, the wonder of all
ages; and known to the whole world, under the name of the Apollo

An edifice of the Doric order, called the Temple of Concord, has still
its walls, its columns, entablature, and pediments, entire. In
proceeding from the Temple of Concord, you walk between rows of
sepulchres, cut in the rock, wherever it admitted of being excavated by
the hand of man, or was so already by that of nature. Some masses are
hewn into the shape of coffins; others drilled full of small square
holes, employed in a different mode of interment, and serving as
receptacles of urns. One ponderous piece of the rock lies in an
extraordinary position. By the failure of its foundation, or the shock
of an earthquake, it has been loosened from the general quarry, and
rolled down the declivity, where it now remains supine, with the
cavities turned upwards. There was also a temple dedicated to Ceres and
Proserpine; with the ruins was formed a church, which now exists; and
the road, leading to which, was cut out of the solid rock. In respect to
the temple of Castor and Pollux, vegetation has covered the lower parts
of the building, and only a few fragments of two columns appear between
the vines. Of the Temple of Venus, about one half remains; but the glory
of the place was the Temple of Jupiter Olympius, three hundred and forty
feet long, sixty broad, and one hundred and twenty in height. Its
columns and porticos were in the finest style of architecture; and its
bas-reliefs and paintings executed with admirable taste. On its eastern
walls was sculptured the Battle of the Giants; while the western
represented the Trojan War; corresponding exactly with the description
which Virgil had given of the painting in the Temple of Juno at

Diodorus Siculus extols the beauty of the columns which supported the
building; the admirable structure of the porticos, and the exquisite
taste with which the bas-reliefs and paintings were executed; but he
adds, that the stately edifice was never finished. Cicero, against
Verres, speaks of the statues he carried away. Mr. Swinburne says, that
it has remaining not one stone upon another; and that it is barely
possible, with the liberal aid of conjecture, to discover the traces of
its plan and dimensions. He adds, however, that St. Peter's at Rome
exceeds this celebrated temple more than doubly in every dimension;
being two hundred and fifteen feet higher, three hundred and thirty-four
longer, and four hundred and thirty-three wider.

Added to these, there is now remaining a monument of Tero, king of
Agrigentum, one of the first of the Sicilian tyrants. The great
antiquity of this monument may be gathered from this; that Tero is not
only mentioned by Diodorus, Polybius, and the more modern of the ancient
historians, but likewise by Herodotus, and Pindar, who dedicates two of
his Olympic Odes to him; so that this monument must be much more than
two thousand years old. It is a kind of pyramid, the most durable of
forms; and is surrounded by aged olive-trees, which cast a wild,
irregular shade over the ruin.

All these mighty ruins of Agrigentum, and the whole mountain on which it
stands, says Mr. Brydone, is composed of an immense concretion of
seashells, run together, and cemented by a kind of sand, or gravel, and
now become as hard, and perhaps more durable, than even marble itself.
This stone is white before it has been exposed to the air; but in the
temples and other ruins it is become "set," of a very dark brown. These
shells are found on the very summit of the mountain, which is at least
fourteen or fifteen hundred feet above the level of the sea.

The celebrated Empedocles was a native of this city; one of the finest
spirits that ever adorned the earth. His saying, in regard to his
fellow-citizens, is well known;--viz., that they squandered their money
so excessively every day, that they seemed to expect it could never be
exhausted; and that they built with such solidity and magnificence, as
if they thought they should live for ever[8].


It has been stated, or rather speculated upon, that the entire history
of this place is no other than a romance. By Dionysius of Halicarnassus,
however, it is said to have existed four hundred and eighty-seven years;
when, after having been the founder of thirty other Latin cities, it was
destroyed by the Roman power.

That it existed, is also attested by the ruins that now remain. Its
ancient characteristics are thus described by Dionysius:--it was so
built, with regard to its mountain and lake, that it occupied a space
between them, each serving like a wall of defence to the city.

It was long supposed to have been situated where Palazzuolo now is. Sir
W. Gell says, "On passing up the new road, running from the dry bed of
the river Albanus, where it crosses the Appian Way, near Bolerillæ, and
leading to the Villa Torlonia, or Castel Gandolfo, a few ancient tombs
were observed about half way up the ascent; and further examination
showed, that these tombs had once bordered an ancient road, now almost
obliterated. It was obvious, that such a road must have led from some
place on the plain, to another on the mountain. Toward the sea, the high
tower of Pratica (Lavinium) lay in the direct line of the road; and it
seemed certain that the city on the mountain, to which it led, could
have been no other than Alba Longa. Climbing upward among the bushes,
ponderous blocks of stone were discovered, evidently the remains of the
walls of this city. By a farther search, more were found. At a distance
a small cavern was discovered; and not only the remains of a well, but
part of a column of stone, two feet four inches in diameter. At a higher
point the shore was covered with ruins, consisting of large blocks of
rectangular stones, nearly buried in the soil, and scarcely discernible
among the bushes."

There is a tradition, that the palaces of the kings of Alba stood on a
rock; and so near to the edge of the precipice, that when the impiety of
one of its monarchs provoked Jupiter to strike it with his lightning, a
part of the mass was precipitated into the lake, carrying the impious
king along with the ruins of his habitation. This tradition is
apparently confirmed by a singular feature in a part of the remains of
this city; for, directly under the rock of the citadel, toward the lake,
and where the palace, both for security and prospect, would have been
placed, is a cavern, fifty feet in depth, and more than one hundred in
width; a part of the roof of which has evidently fallen in, and some of
the blocks still remain on the spot[9].


This town (in Spain) was built by the Moors, who gave it the name it
bears; which, in the Moorish language, signifies a bridge; and this
bridge shows that the original city belonged to the Romans in the time
of Trajan; for on one of the arches is this inscription:--

          GERM. DACICO.
      IMP. VI. COS. V. P.P.

Formerly there were four pieces of marble, fixed in the walls of the
bridge; in each of which there was an inscription, containing the names
of the several towns and districts, that contributed towards the expense
of making it. Three of these marbles are lost; but the fourth remains,
and bears the following inscription:--

        QVAE. OPVS.

At the entrance of the bridge there is a small temple, cut in the rock,
by the same person that built the bridge. The roof of this temple
consists of two large stones. In the temple there is an inscription to
the following effect:--"_It is reasonable to imagine, that every one,
that passes this way, would be glad to know the name of the person that
built this bridge and temple; and with what intent they were made, by
cutting into this rock of the Tagus, full of the majesty of the Gods,
and of Cæsar, and where art showed itself superior to the tough and
stubborn matter that resisted her. Know, then, that it was that noble
architect Lacer, who built this bridge, which will last as long as the
world. Lacer, having finished this noble bridge, made and dedicated this
new temple, with sacrifices, to the gods, in hopes of rendering them
propitious to him, for having honoured them after this manner. This
temple he dedicated to the gods of Rome, and to Cæsar; looking upon
himself to have been extremely fortunate, in having been able to make so
just and proper a sacrifice._[10]"


Of the several capitals of Egypt in successive ages[11], Thebes, or
Diospolis, was the most ancient. Next was Memphis; itself a city of the
most remote antiquity. Babylon seems to have been only the capital of a
part, retained by the Persians, after Cambyses had subdued Egypt; and
was, by all accounts, founded by the Persians. Alexandria succeeded
Memphis, and remained the chief city, till the Saracens founded

Alexander, in his way to the temple of Jupiter Ammon, observed, opposite
to the island of Pharos, a spot which he thought extremely well adapted
for the building of a city. He, therefore, set about drawing the plan of
one; in doing which he particularly marked out the several places where
temples and squares should be erected. The general execution he
committed to the architect who had rebuilt the temple of Diana at
Ephesus (Dinocrates). This city he called Alexandria, after his own
name; and being situated with the Mediterranean on one side, and one of
the branches of the Nile on the other, it soon drew all the commerce,
both of the east and west. It still remains, and is situate about four
days' journey from Cairo. The merchandises were unloaded at Portus
Muris[12], a town on the western coast of the Red Sea; whence they were
brought upon camels to a town of Thebais, called Copt, and conveyed down
the Nile to Alexandria, whither merchants from all parts resorted.

The trade of the East has at all times enriched those who carried it on.
Solomon received from one commercial voyage, no less a sum than three
millions two hundred and forty thousand pounds[13]. Tyre afterwards had
the trade. When the Ptolemies, however, had built Berenice, and other
ports on the western side of the Red Sea, and fixed their chief mart at
Alexandria, that city became the most flourishing of all the cities in
the world. "There," says Prideaux, "it continued for many centuries
after; and all the traffic which the western parts of the world from
that time had with Persia, India, Arabia, and the eastern coasts of
Arabia, was wholly carried on through the Red Sea, and the mouth of the
Nile, till a way was discovered of sailing to those parts by the Cape of
Good Hope."

Alexander was buried[14] in the city he had built; and as the
sarcophagus in which he was placed has now become an object of great
curiosity, by having been taken from the French, at Alexandria, where it
was found in the mosque of St. Athanasius, and placed in the British
Museum, we shall give (from Rollin) an account of his funeral; for never
had any monarch one so magnificent!

Alexander died at Babylon. Aridæus, having been deputed by all the
governors and grandees of the kingdom, to take upon himself the care of
his obsequies, had employed two years in preparing every thing that
could render it the most august funeral that had ever been seen. When
all things were ready for the celebration of this mournful ceremonial,
orders were given for the procession to begin. This was preceded by a
great number of pioneers and other workmen, whose office was to make all
the ways practicable, through which the procession was to pass. As soon
as these were levelled, the magnificent chariot, the invention and
design of which raised as much admiration as the immense riches that
glittered all over it, set out from Babylon. The body of the chariot
rested upon two alxetrees, that were inserted into four wheels, made
after the Persian manner; the naves and spokes of which were covered
with gold, and the rounds plated over with iron. The extremities of the
axletrees were made of gold, representing the mouths of lions biting a
dart. The chariot had four draught-poles, to each of which were
harnessed four sets of mules, each set consisting of four of those
animals; so that this chariot was drawn by sixty-four mules. The
strongest of those creatures, and the largest, were chosen on this
occasion. They were adorned with crowns of gold, and collars enriched
with precious stones and golden bells. On this chariot was erected a
pavilion of entire gold, twelve feet wide, and eighteen in length,
supported by columns of the Ionic order, embellished with the leaves of
acanthus. The inside was adorned with a blaze of jewels, disposed in the
form of shells. The circumference was beautified with a fringe of golden
net-work; the threads that composed the texture were an inch in
thickness, and to those were fastened large bells, whose sound was
heard to a great distance. The external decorations were disposed into
four relievos. The first represented Alexander seated in a military
chariot, with a splendid sceptre in his hand, and surrounded, on one
side, with a troop of Macedonians in arms; and on the other, with an
equal number of Persians, armed in their manner. These were preceded by
the king's equerries. In the second were seen elephants completely
harnessed, with a band of Indians seated on the fore part of their
bodies; and on the hinder, another band of Macedonians, armed as in the
day of battle. The third exhibited to the view several squadrons of
horse ranged in military array. The fourth represented ships preparing
for a battle. At the entrance into the pavilion were golden lions, that
seemed to guard the passage. The four corners were adorned with statues
of gold, representing victories, with trophies of arms in their hands.
Under the pavilion was placed a throne of gold of a square form, adorned
with the heads of animals, whose necks were encompassed with golden
circles a foot and a half in breadth; to these were hung crowns that
glittered with the liveliest colours, and such as were carried in
procession at the celebration of sacred solemnities. At the foot of the
throne was placed the coffin of Alexander, formed of beaten gold, and
half filled with aromatic spices and perfumes, as well to exhale an
agreeable odour, as for the preservation of the corpse. A pall of
purple, wrought with gold, covered the coffin. Between this and the
throne the arms of that monarch were disposed in the manner he wore them
while living. The outside of the pavilion was likewise covered with
purple, flowered with gold. The top ended in a very large crown of the
same metal, which seemed to be a composition of olive-branches. The
rays of the sun which darted on this diadem, in conjunction with the
motion of the chariot, caused it to emit a kind of rays like those of
lightning. It may easily be imagined, that, in so long a procession, the
motion of a chariot, loaded like this, would be liable to great
inconveniences. In order, therefore, that the pavilion, with all its
appendages, might, when the chariot moved in any uneven ways, constantly
continue in the same situation, notwithstanding the inequality of the
ground, and the shocks that would frequently be unavoidable, a cylinder
was raised from the middle of each axle-tree, to support the pavilion;
by which expedient the whole machine was preserved steady. The chariot
was followed by the royal guards, all in arms, and magnificently
arrayed. The multitude of spectators of this solemnity is hardly
credible; but they were drawn together as well by their veneration for
the memory of Alexander, as by the magnificence of this funeral pomp,
which had never been equalled in the world. There was a current
prediction, that the place where Alexander should be interred, would be
rendered the most happy and flourishing part of the whole earth. The
governors contested with each other, for the disposal of a body that was
to be attended with such a glorious prerogative. The affection,
Perdiccas entertained for his country, made him desirous that the corpse
should be conveyed to Æge, in Macedonia, where the remains of its kings
were usually deposited. Other places were likewise proposed, but the
preference was given to Egypt. Ptolemy, who had such extraordinary and
recent obligations to the king of Macedonia, was determined to signalise
his gratitude on this occasion. He accordingly set out with a numerous
guard of his best troops, in order to meet the procession, and advanced
as far as Syria. When he had joined the attendants on the funeral, he
prevented them from interring the corpse in the temple of Jupiter Ammon,
as they had proposed. It was therefore deposited, first, in the city of
Memphis, and from thence was conveyed to Alexandria. Ptolemy raised a
magnificent temple to the memory of this monarch, and rendered him all
the honours which were usually paid to demi-gods and heroes by Pagan

Freinshemius, in his supplement to Livy, relates, after Leo the
African[15], that the tomb of Alexander the Great was still to be seen
in his time, and that it was reverenced by the Mohammedans, as the
monument, not only of an illustrious king, but of a great prophet. [16]
The ancient city, together with its suburbs, was about seven leagues in
length; and Diodorus informs us that the number of its inhabitants
amounted to above 300,000, consisting only of the citizens and freemen;
but that, reckoning the slaves and foreigners, they were allowed, at a
moderate computation, to be upwards of a million. These vast numbers of
people were enticed to settle here by the convenient situation of the
place for commerce; since, besides the advantage of a communication to
the eastern countries by the canal cut out of the Nile into the Red Sea,
it had two very spacious and commodious ports, capable of containing the
shipping of all the then trading nations in the world.

The harbour, called Portus Eunostus, lay in the centre of the city; thus
rendering the ships secure, not only by nature but by art. The figure of
this harbour was a circle, the entrance being nearly closed up by two
artificial moles, which left a passage for two ships only to pass
abreast. At the western extremity of one of these moles stood the
celebrated tower called Pharos. The ruins of it are buried in the sea,
at the bottom of which, in a calm day, one may easily distinguish large
columns and several vast pieces of marble, which give sufficient proofs
of the magnificence of the building in which they were anciently

This light-house was erected by Ptolemy Philadelphus. Its architect was
Sostratus of Cnidos; its cost was 180,000_l._ sterling, and it was
reckoned one of the seven wonders of the world[17]. It was a large
square structure built of white marble, on the top of which a fire was
constantly kept burning, in order to guide ships by night. Pharos was
originally an island at the distance nearly of a mile from the
continent, but was afterwards joined to it by a causeway like that of

This Pharos was destroyed, and, in its stead, a square castle was built
without taste or ornament, and incapable of sustaining the fire of a
single vessel of the line: at present, in a space of two leagues, walled
round, nothing is to be seen but marble columns lying in the dust, and
sawed in pieces; for the Turks make mill-stones of them; together with
the remains of pilasters, capitals, obelisks, and mountains of ruins
heaped on each other.

Alexandria had one peculiar advantage over all others:--Dinocrates,
considering the great scarcity of good water in this country, dug very
spacious vaults, which, having communication with all parts of the city,
furnished its inhabitants with one of the chief necessaries of life.
These vaults were divided into capacious reservoirs, or cisterns, which
were filled, at the time of the inundation of the Nile, by a canal cut
out of the Canopic branch, entirely for that purpose. The water was, in
that manner, preserved for the remainder of the year; and being refined
by the long settlement, was not only the clearest, but the wholesomest
of any in Egypt. This grand work is still remaining; whence the present
city, though built out of the ruins of the ancient one, still enjoys the
benefactions of Alexander, its founder.

A street[18], two thousand feet wide, began at the Marine gate, and
ended at the gate of Canopus, adorned with magnificent houses, temples,
and public edifices. Through this extent of prospect the eye was never
satiated with admiring the marble, the porphyry, and the obelisks which
were destined hereafter to adorn Rome and Constantinople. This street
was indeed the finest the world ever saw.

Besides all the private buildings constructed with porphyry and marble,
there was an admirable temple to Serapis, and another to Neptune; also a
theatre, an amphitheatre, gymnasium, and circus. The materials had all
the perfection which the experience of one thousand years could afford;
and the wealth and exertions, not only of Egypt but of Asia. The place
was extensive and magnificent; and a succession of wise and good princes
rendered it, by means of Egyptian materials and Grecian taste, one of
the richest and most perfect cities the world has ever beheld.

The palace occupied one quarter of the city; but within its precincts
were a museum, extensive groves, and a temple containing the sepulchre
of Alexander.

This city was also famous for a temple erected to the God Serapis, in
which was a statue which the natives of Sinope (in Pontus) had bartered,
in a season of famine, for a supply of corn. The temple was called the
Serapion; and Ammianus Marcellinus assures us[19], that it surpassed all
the temples then in the world for beauty and magnificence, with the sole
exception of the Capitol at Rome.

Ptolemy Soter made this city the metropolitan seat of arts and sciences.
He founded the museum, the most ancient and most sumptuous temple ever
erected by any monarch, in honour of learning; he filled it with men of
abilities, and made it an asylum for philosophers of all descriptions,
whose doctrines were misunderstood, and whose persons were persecuted;
in whose unfeigned tribute of grateful praise he has found a surer road
to everlasting renown, than his haughty nameless predecessors, who
pretended to immortality, and braved both heaven and corroding time by
the solid structure of their pyramids.

He founded also a library, which was considerably augmented by Ptolemy
Philadelphus, and by the magnificence of his successors, was at length
increased to 700,000 volumes.

In Cæsar's time, part of this library,--that portion which was situated
in the quarter of the city called the Bruchion,--was consumed by fire; a
conflagration which caused the loss of not fewer than 400,000 volumes.

This library, a short time after, received the increase of 200,000
volumes from Pergamus; Antony having given that library to Cleopatra. It
was afterwards ransacked several times; but it was still a numerous and
very celebrated library at the time in which it was destroyed by the
Saracens, viz. A.D. 642; a history of which we shall soon have to

The manner in which this library was originally collected, may be judged
of, in no small degree, by the following relation:--All the Greek and
other books that were brought into Egypt were seized and sent to the
Museum, where they were transcribed by persons employed for that
purpose; the copies were then delivered to the proprietors, and the
originals were deposited in the library. Ptolemy Evergetes, for
instance, borrowed the works of Sophocles, Euripides, and Æschylus, of
the Athenians, and only returned them the copies, which he had caused to
be transcribed in as beautiful a manner as possible; and he likewise
presented them with fifteen talents, equal to fifteen thousand crowns,
for the originals, which he kept.

On the death of Cleopatra, Egypt was reduced into a province of the
Roman empire, and governed by a prefect sent from Rome. Alexander
founded the city in 3629; and the reign of the Ptolemies, who succeeded
him, lasted to the year of the world 3974.

The city, in the time of Augustus, must have been very beautiful; for
when that personage entered it, he told the natives, who had acted
against him, that he pardoned them all; first, out of respect to the
name of their founder; and, secondly, on account of the beauty of their
city. This beauty and opulence, however, were not without their
corresponding evils; for Quintilian informs us, that as Alexandria
improved in commerce and in opulence, her inhabitants grew so effeminate
and voluptuous, that the word Alexandrine became proverbial, to express
softness, indelicacy, and immodest language.

Egypt having become a province of Rome, some of the emperors endeavoured
to revive in it a love of letters, and enriched it by various
improvements. The emperor Caligula was inclined to favour the
Alexandrians, because they manifested a readiness to confer divine
honours upon him. He even conceived the horrid design of massacring the
chief senators and knights of Rome (A.D. 40), and then of abandoning the
city, and of settling at Alexandria; the prosperity and wealth of which
in the time of Aurelian was so great, that, after the defeat of Zenobia,
a single merchant of this city undertook to raise and pay an army out of
the profits of his trade!

The rapid rise of the power of the Moslems, and the religious discord
which prevailed in Egypt, levelled a death-blow at the grandeur of this
powerful city, whose prosperity had been unchecked from the time of its
foundation;--upwards of nine hundred and seventy years. Amrou, the
lieutenant of Omar, king of the Saracens, having entered Egypt, and
taken Pelusium, Babylon, and Memphis, laid siege to Alexandria, and
after fourteen months carried the city by assault, and all Egypt
submitted to the yoke of the Caliphs. The standard of Mahomet was
planted on the walls of Alexandria A.D. 640. Abulfaragius, in his
history of the tenth dynasty, gives the following account of this
catastrophe:--John Philoponus, a famous Peripatetic philosopher, being
at Alexandria when the city was taken by the Saracens, was admitted to
familiar intercourse with Amrou, the Arabian general, and presumed to
solicit a gift, inestimable in his opinion but contemptible in that of
the barbarians, and this was the royal library. Amrou was inclined to
gratify his wish, but his rigid integrity scrupled to alienate the least
object without the Caliph's consent. He accordingly wrote to Omar, whose
well-known answer was dictated by the ignorance of a fanatic.

Amrou wrote thus to his master, "I have taken the great city of the
West. It is impossible for me to enumerate the variety of its riches and
beauty; I shall content myself with observing, that it contains 4000
palaces, 4000 baths, 400 theatres or places of amusement, 12,000 shops
for the sale of vegetable food, and 40,000 tributary Jews." He then
related what Philoponus had requested of him. "If these writings of the
Greeks," answered the bigoted barbarian, his master, "agree with the
Koran, or book of God, they are useless, and need not be preserved; if
they disagree they are pernicious, and ought to be destroyed." This
valuable repository, therefore, was devoted to the flames, and during
six months the volumes of which it consisted supplied fuel to the four
thousand baths, which gave health and cleanliness to the city. "No
complaint," says a celebrated moralist (Johnson), "is more frequently
repeated among the learned, than that of the waste made by time among
the labours of antiquity. Of those who once filled the civilised world
with their renown nothing is now left but their names, which are left
only to raise desires that never can be satisfied, and sorrow which
never can be comforted. Had all the writings of the ancients been
faithfully delivered down from age to age, had the _Alexandrian
library_ been spared, and the Palatine repositories remained unimpaired,
how much might we have known of which we are now doomed to be ignorant,
how many laborious inquiries and dark conjectures, how many collations
of broken hints and mutilated passages might have been spared! We should
have known the successions of princes, the revolutions of empires, the
actions of the great, and opinions of the wise, the laws and
constitutions of every state, and the arts by which public grandeur and
happiness are acquired and preserved. We should have traced the progress
of life, seen colonies from distant regions take possession of European
deserts, and troops of savages settled into communities by the desire of
keeping what they had acquired; we should have traced the progress and
utility, and travelled upward to the original of things by the light of
history, till in remoter times it had glimmered in fable, and at last
been left in darkness."--"For my own part," says Gibbon, "I am strongly
tempted to deny both the fact and the consequences." Dr. Drake also is
disposed to believe, that the privations we have suffered have been
occasioned by ignorance, negligence, and intemperate zeal, operating
uniformly for centuries, and not through the medium of either concerted
or accidental conflagration[20].

The dominion of the Turks, and the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope,
in 1499, completed its ruin; and from that time it has remained in
decay. Its large buildings fell into ruins, and under a government which
discouraged even the appearance of wealth, no person would venture to
repair them, and mean habitations were constructed in lieu of them, on
the sea-coast. Since that dismal epoch Egypt has, century after century,
sunk deeper and deeper into a state of perfect neglect and ruin. In
recent times, however, it has been under the immediate despotic rule of
Mehemet Ali, nominally a pasha of the sultan of Constantinople, and a
man apparently able and willing to do much towards restoring
civilisation to the place of his birth.

The remains, in the opinion of some, have been greatly magnified. One
writer[21], for instance, states, "The present state of Alexandria
affords a scene of magnificence and desolation. In the space of two
leagues, inclosed by walls, nothing is seen but the remains of
pilasters, of capitals, and of obelisks, and whole mountains of
shattered columns and monuments of ancient art, heaped upon one another,
and accumulated to a height even greater than that of the houses."
Another writer[22] says, "Alexandria now exhibits every mark by which it
could be recognised as one of the principal monuments of the
magnificence of the conqueror of Asia, the emporium of the East, and the
chosen theatre of the far-sought luxuries of the Roman triumvirs and the
Egyptian queen."

According to Sonnini, columns subverted and scattered about; a few
others still upright but isolated; mutilated statues, fragments of every
species, overspread the ground which it once occupied. "It is impossible
to advance a step, without kicking, if I may use the expression, against
some of its wrecks. It is the hideous theatre of destruction the most
horrible. The soul is saddened on contemplating those remains of
grandeur and magnificence; and it is raised into indignation against the
barbarians, who dared to apply a sacrilegious hand to monuments, which
time, the most pitiless of destroyers, would have respected." "So
little," says Dr. Clarke, "are we acquainted with these valuable
remains, that not a single excursion for purposes of discovery has yet
been begun; nor is there any thing published with regard to its modern
history, excepting the observations that have resulted from the hasty
survey, made of its forlorn and desolated havens by a few travellers
whose transitory visits ended almost with the days of their

"On arriving at Alexandria," says Mr. Wilkinson, "the traveller
naturally enquires where are the remains of that splendid city, which
was second only to Rome itself, and whose circuit of fifteen miles
contained a population of three hundred thousand inhabitants and an
equal number of slaves; and where the monuments of its former greatness?
He has heard of Cleopatra's Needle and Pompey's Pillar, from the days of
his childhood, and the fame of its library, the Pharos, the temple of
Serapis and of those philosophers and mathematicians, whose venerable
names contribute to the fame of Alexandria, even more than the extent of
its commerce or the splendour of the monuments, that once adorned it,
are fresh in his recollection;--and he is surprised, in traversing
mounds which mark the site of this vast city, merely to find scattered
fragments or a few isolated columns, and here and there the vestiges of
buildings, or the doubtful direction of some of the main streets."

Though the ancient boundaries, however, cannot be determined, heaps
of rubbish are on all sides visible; whence every shower of rain, not to
mention the industry of the natives in digging, discovers pieces of
precious marble, and sometimes ancient coins, and fragments of
sculpture. Among the last may be particularly mentioned the statues of
Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus.

The present walls are of Saracenic structure. They are lofty; being in
some places more than forty feet in height, and apparently no where so
little as twenty. These furnish a sufficient security against the
Bedouins, who live part of the year on the banks of the canal, and often
plunder the cattle in the neighbourhood. The few flocks and herds, which
are destined to supply the wants of the city, are pastured on the
herbage, of which the vicinity of the canal favours the growth, and
generally brought in at night when the two gates are shut. "Judge," says
M. Miot, "by Volney's first pages, of the impression which must be made
upon us, by these houses with grated windows; this solitude, this
silence, these camels; these disgusting dogs covered with vermin; these
hideous women holding between their teeth the corner of a veil of coarse
blue cloth to conceal from us their features and their black bosoms. At
the sight of Alexandria and its inhabitants, at beholding these vast
plains devoid of all verdure, at breathing the burning air of the
desert, melancholy began to find its way among us; and already some
Frenchmen, turning towards their country their weary eyes, let the
expression of regret escape them in sighs; a regret which more painful
proofs were soon to render more poignant." And this recals to one's
recollection the description of an Arabic poet, cited by Abulfeda
several centuries ago.

    "How pleasant are the banks of the canal of Alexandria; when the
    eye surveys them the heart is rejoiced! the gliding boatman,
    beholding its towers, beholds canopies ever verdant; the lovely
    Aquilon breathes cooling freshness, while he, sportful, ripples up
    the surface of its waters; the ample Date, whose flexible head
    reclines like a sleeping beauty, is crowned with pendent fruit."

The walls to which we have alluded present nothing curious, except some
ruinous towers; and one of the chief remains of the ancient city is a
colonnade, of which only a few columns remain; and what is called the
amphitheatre, on a rising ground, whence there is a fine view of the
city and port. There is, however, one structure beside particularly
entitled to distinction; and that is generally styled Pompey's Pillar.

Pompey's Pillar, says the author of Egyptian Antiquities, "stands on a
small eminence midway between the walls of Alexandria and the shores of
the lake Mareotis, about three-quarters of a mile from either, quite
detached from any other building. It is of a red granite; but the shaft,
which is highly polished, appears to be of earlier date than the capital
or pedestal, which have been made to correspond. It is of the Corinthian
order; and while some have eulogised it as the finest specimen of that
order, others have pronounced it to be in bad taste. The capital is of
palm leaves, not indented. The column consists only of three pieces--the
capital, the shaft, and the base--and is poised on a centre stone of
breccia, with hieroglyphics on it, less than a fourth of the dimensions
of the pedestal of the column, and with the smaller end downward; from
which circumstance the Arabs believe it to have been placed there by
God. The earth about the foundation has been examined, probably in the
hopes of finding treasures; and pieces of white marble, (which is not
found in Egypt) have been discovered connected to the breccia above
mentioned. It is owing, probably, to this disturbance that the pillar
has an inclination of about seven inches to the south-west. This column
has sustained some trifling injury at the hands of late visiters, who
have indulged a puerile pleasure in possessing and giving to their
friends small fragments of the stone, and is defaced by being daubed
with names of persons, which would otherwise have slumbered unknown to
all save in their own narrow sphere of action; practices which cannot be
too highly censured, and which an enlightened mind would scorn to be
guilty of. It is remarkable, that while the polish on the shaft is still
perfect to the northward, corrosion has begun to affect the southern
face, owing probably to the winds passing over the vast tracts of sand
in that direction. The centre part of the cap-stone has been hollowed
out, forming a basin on the top; and pieces of iron still remaining in
four holes prove that this pillar was once ornamented with a figure, or
some other trophy. The operation of forming a rope-ladder to ascend the
column has been performed several times of late years, and is very
simple: a kite was flown, with a string to the tail, and, when directly
over the pillar, it was dragged down, leaving the line by which it was
flown across the capital. With this a rope, and afterwards a stout
hawser, was drawn over; a man then ascended and placed two more parts of
the hawser, all of which were pulled tight down to a twenty-four-pounder
gun lying near the base (which it was said Sir Sidney Smith attempted to
plant on the top); small spars were then lashed across, commencing from
the bottom, and ascending each as it was secured, till the whole was
complete, when it resembled the rigging of a ship's lower masts. The
mounting this solitary column required some nerve, even in seamen; but
it was still more appalling to see the Turks, with their ample trowsers,
venture the ascent. The view from this height is commanding, and highly
interesting in the associations excited by gazing on the ruins of the
city of the Ptolemies, lying beneath. A theodolite was planted there,
and a round of terrestrial angles taken; but the tremulous motion of the
column affected the quicksilver in the artificial horizon so much as to
preclude the possibility of obtaining an observation for the latitude.
Various admeasurements have been given of the dimensions of Pompey's
Pillar; the following, however, were taken by a gentleman who assisted
in the operation above described:--

                                                   Feet  In.
  Top of the capital to the astragal (one stone)    10     4
  Astragal to first plinth (one stone)              67     7
  Plinth to the ground                              20    11
  Whole height                                      98    10
  Measured by a line from the top                   99     4

    It will be remembered, however, that the pedestal of
    the column does not rest on the ground,

  Its elevation being                                4     6
  The height of the column itself is therefore      94    10
  Diagonal of the capital                           16    11
  Circumference of shaft (upper part)               24     2
                         (lower part)               27     2
  Length of side of the pedestal                    16     6

Shaw says, that in his time, in expectation of finding a large treasure
buried underneath, a great part of the foundation, consisting of
several fragments of different sorts of stone and marble, had been
removed; so that the whole fabric rested upon a block of white marble
scarcely two yards square, which, upon touching it with a key, sounded
like a bell.

All travellers agree that its present appellation is a misnomer; yet it
is known that a monument of some kind was erected at Alexandria to the
memory of Pompey, which was supposed to have been found in this
remarkable column. Mr. Montague thinks it was erected to the honour of
Vespasian. Savary calls it the Pillar of Severus. Clarke supposes it to
have been dedicated to Hadrian, according to his reading of a
half-effaced inscription in Greek on the west side of the base; while
others trace the name of Diocletian in the same inscription. No mention
occurring of it either in Strabo or Diodorus Siculus, we may safely
infer that it did not exist at that period; and Denon supposes it to
have been erected about the time of the Greek Emperors, or of the
Caliphs of Egypt, and dates its acquiring its present name in the
fifteenth century. It is supposed to have been surmounted with an
equestrian statue. The shaft is elegant and of a good style; but the
capital and pedestal are of inferior workmanship, and have the
appearance of being of a different period.

In respect to the inscription on this pillar, there are two different
readings:--It must, however, be remembered, that many of the letters are
utterly illegible.


Dr. Clarke's version is--


Now, since it is known that Hadrian lived from A.D. 76 to 130, it seems
clear that Pompey has no connexion with this pillar, and that it ought
no longer to bear his name. Some writers, however, are disposed to
believe that the inscription is not so old as the pillar, and this is
very likely to be the case.

This celebrated pillar has of late years been several times ascended.
The manner, as we have before stated, was this:--"By means of a kite, a
strong cord was passed over the top of the column, and securely fastened
on one side, while one man climbed up the other. When he had reached the
top, he made the rope still more secure, and others ascended, carrying
with them water of the Thames, of the Nile, and of one of the Grecian
Islands: a due supply of spirits was also provided, and thus a bowl of
punch was concocted; and the healths of distinguished persons were
drunk. This ascent was made when the British fleet was in Egypt, since
which time the ascents have been numerous; for, according to Mr.
Webster, the crew of almost every man-of-war which has been stationed in
the port of Alexandria have thought the national honour of British tars
greatly concerned in ascending the height of fame, or, in other words,
the famous height which Pompey's pillar affords. It is not unusual for a
party to take breakfast, write letters, and transact other matters of
business on this very summit; and it is on record that a lady once had
courage to join one of these high parties."

Besides this there are two obelisks. The first is of granite, and is
called Cleopatra's Needle, but it has become nearly certain that it was
removed hither from Heliopolis, and it is now, therefore, regarded as
the obelisk of Thothmes III. Its fallen companion also bears the name of
Thothmes, and, in the lateral lines of Remeses II, the supposed
Sesostris. One of these is still upright on its base; the other is
thrown down and almost entirely buried in the sand. "The former," says
Sonnini, "shows what the hand of man can do against time; the other what
time can do against the efforts of man."

They are both of red granite. According to a survey made by Dr. Clarke,
the base of the prostrate one measures seven feet square, and the length
is sixty-six feet. They are both covered with hieroglyphics cut into the
stone to the depth of two inches. These two monuments served to decorate
one of the entrances to the palace of the Ptolemies, the ruins of which
are contiguous[25].

Nothing[26], however, which remains in the vicinity of Alexandria
attests its greatness more satisfactorily than the catacombs on the
coast, near the Necropolis. Their size, although remarkable, is not so
striking as the elegant symmetry, and proportion of the architecture in
the first chamber, which is of the best Greek style, and not to be
equalled in any other part of Egypt.[27] They are at a short distance
from the canal, and are galleries, penetrating a prodigious way under
ground, or rather into the rock. They are supposed to have been at first
the quarries, which furnished stones for the construction of the
edifices of Alexandria; and, after having supplied the men of that
country with the materials of their habitations, while they lived, are
themselves become their last abode after death. Most of these
subterraneous alleys are in a ruinous state. In the small number of
those which it is possible to penetrate, are seen, on both sides, three
rows of coffins, piled on each other. At the entrance of some of these
galleries there are separate apartments, with their coffins; reserved,
no doubt, for the sepulture of particular families, or of a peculiar
order of citizens. These catacombs frequently serve as retreats for the
jackals, which abound in this part of Egypt, prowling in numerous
squadrons, and roaming around the habitations of man. These pernicious
animals are not afraid of advancing close up to the walls of the city.
Nay, more; they traverse its enclosure during the night; they frequently
spring over it by the breaches made in the walls; they enter the city
itself in quest of their prey, and fill it with howlings and cries. Dr.
Clarke says, that nothing so marvellous ever fell within his
observation[28]. Of the singular suburb styled the Necropolis or "city
of the dead," nothing remains. But about sixty yards east of some
excavations called the "Baths of Cleopatra," there is a little bay,
about sixty yards deep, with an entrance so nearly blocked up by two
rocks, that a boat only can obtain access[29]. At the bottom of this
bay, in the steep slope of the shore, there is a small hole, through
which it is difficult to pass: a passage of about thirty feet leads to
the first hall, in which the visitor can stand upright; on the right and
left are small square chambers, much filled up with sand, the ceiling
and cornice supported by pilasters. The former is vaulted, and covered
with a crystalized cement, on which are traced, in red, lines obviously
forming geometrical configurations on the subject of astronomy. A sun is
represented in the middle of the vault. The upright sides contain
vaulted niches; the hall is about twenty yards square. From this a door,
in the opposite side, leads to a larger hall, but the sand fills it up
from the floor to the ceiling at the further end, so that its dimensions
cannot be ascertained. Two small chambers, as before, are excavated on
two sides of this also; in the right-hand one there is an opening in the
wall, leading to a vast corridor, thirty-six feet long and twelve broad,
half choked up, three wells in the roof having probably served to admit
the rubbish. This leads to another fine apartment, with a portico on
each of its four sides, three of which have pilasters and cornice,
richly carved; the other parts of the wall are left quite plain, but
there are lines traced on the vaulted ceiling, indicating that it was
intended to have been cut into panels, with roses in the centres. From
this chamber you enter a beautiful rotunda, on the left, which appears
to be the principal object of the excavation; it is seven yards in
diameter, and about five high; it is regularly ornamented with pilasters
supporting a cornice, from which springs the cupola of the ceiling; nine
tombs, decorated like those first described, are seen around it. The
bottom is level with the sea; the water filters through, and is found a
short distance below the floor. This place is quite free from sand, so
that the whole of it can be seen; and the effect, when illuminated by
many torches, the light of which is reflected from the cement, is very
grand. The chamber preceding the rotunda also affords access to another
corridor, leading to various apartments, presenting similar appearances
to those already described. In one of them there is the springing of a
brick-arch running round it, intended, apparently, to support a gallery;
beneath is a hole, about half a yard square, which is the entrance to a
winding passage; but it is impossible to penetrate it far on account of
the sand and water. It is conjectured to have served for some religious
mystery, or for some imposition of the priests on the common people.
Through the centre portico of another chamber, similar to that before
described, but left unfinished, like many other parts of this
magnificent tomb, an apartment is entered, each side of which has three
ranges of holes for the reception of embalmed bodies, and pits of
various dimensions are dug in the floors of several of the rooms. There
is a great symmetry in the arrangement of all the apartments, so that
the plan of the excavation is regular. It was probably intended for a
royal cemetery, the bodies of the sovereigns being deposited in the
rotunda, and the other chambers serving as places of burial for their
relatives, according to their rank; and two large side chapels, with
collateral rooms, being appropriated to the religious rites of the
Goddess Hecate; as is rendered probable by the crescents which ornament
various parts of the place. Whatever was its destination, like all the
other cemeteries of Egypt it has been ransacked at some remote period,
and the bodies of its tenants removed.

Like all the other distinguished nations of antiquity, Egypt, after a
lengthened period of civil power, military glory, and dignified
learning, suffered a series of reverses of fortune, and finally sank
into a state of poverty and barbaric ignorance. Modern Cairo rose upon
the ruins of Alexandria, and has been enriched with its spoils; since
thither have been conveyed, at various times, not fewer than forty
thousand columns of granite, porphyry, and marble; erected in the
private dwellings and mosques. Its decay doubtless was gradual, but
fifteen centuries, during which it has declined, have evinced its
ancient opulence by the slowness of its fall.

In respect to its modern condition, among heaps of rubbish, and among
fine gardens, planted with palms, oranges, and citrons, are seen some
churches, mosques, and monasteries, with three small clusters of


This city was founded by a colony from Miletus and Athens, who preserved
their independence till they were conquered by the Persians. They
succeeded in maintaining their liberties under Alexander.

During a war with Mithridates, king of Pontus, Lucullus, the Roman
general, laid strong siege to this town; and while so engaged, his
troops murmured against him:--"Our general," said they, "amuses himself
with sieges, which, after all, are not worth the trouble he bestows upon
them." When Lucullus heard this, he replied: "You accuse me of giving
the enemy time to augment his army and regain his strength. That is just
what I want. I act in this manner for no other purpose; in order that
our enemy may take new courage, and assemble so numerous an army as may
embolden him to expect us in the field, and no longer fly before us. Do
you not observe, that he has behind him immense solitudes and infinite
deserts in which it is impossible for us to come up with or pursue him?
Armenia is but a few days march from these deserts. There Tigranes keeps
his court,--that king of kings, whose power is so great, that he subdues
the Parthians, transports whole cities of Greeks into the heart of
Media, has made himself master of Syria and Palestine, exterminated the
kings descended from Seleucus, and carried their wives and daughters
into captivity. This powerful prince is the ally and son-in-law of
Mithridates. Do you think, when he has him in his palaces, as a
suppliant, that he will abandon himself, and not make war against us?
Hence, in hastening to drive away Mithridates, we shall be in great
danger of drawing Tigranes upon our hands, who has long sought pretexts
for declaring against us, and who can never find one more specious,
legitimate, and honourable, than that of assisting his father-in-law,
and a king, reduced to the last extremity. Why, therefore, should we
serve Mithridates against ourselves; or show him to whom he should have
recourse for the means of supporting the war with us, by pushing him
against his will,--and at a time, perhaps, when he looks upon such a
step as unworthy his valour and greatness,--into the arms and protection
of Tigranes? Is it not infinitely better, by giving him time to take
courage and strengthen himself with his own forces, to have only upon
our hands the troops of Colchis, the Tibarenians, and Cappadocians, whom
we have so often defeated, than to expose ourselves to have the
additional force of the Armenians and Medes to contend with?"

Lucullus soon after this marched against Mithridates, and in three
engagements defeated him. Mithridates, however, escaped, and almost
immediately after sent commands to his two sisters and his two wives,
that they should die; he being in great fear that they would fall into
the hands of the enemy. Their history is thus related:--When the
officer, whose name was Bacchides, arrived where they were, and had
signified to the princesses the orders of their king, which favoured
them no further than to leave them at liberty to choose the kind of
death they should think most gentle and immediate; Monima taking the
diadem from her head, tied it round her neck, and hung herself with it.
But that wreath not being strong enough, and breaking, she cried
out--"Ah! fatal trifle, you might at least do me this mournful office."
Then, throwing it away with indignation, she presented her neck to
Bacchides. As for Berenice, she took a cup of poison; and as she was
going to drink it, her mother, who was with her, desired to share it
with her. They accordingly drank both together. The half of that cup
sufficed to carry off the mother, worn out and feeble with age; but was
not enough to surmount the strength and youth of Berenice. That
princess, therefore, struggled long with death in the most violent
agonies; till Bacchides, tired with waiting the effect of the poison,
ordered her to be strangled. Of the two sisters, Roxana is said to have
swallowed poison, venting reproaches and imprecations against
Mithridates. Statira, on the contrary, was pleased with her brother, and
thanked him, that being in so great a danger for his own person, he had
not forgot them, and had taken care to supply them with the means of
dying free, and of withdrawing from the indignities their enemies might
else have made them undergo. Their deaths afflicted Lucullus very
sensibly; for he was of a very gentle and humane disposition.

Lucullus, in the mean time, laid strong siege to Amisus. Mithridates had
given the conduct of the place to Callimachus, who was esteemed the
best engineer of his time. That officer held out for a long time very
skilfully, and with the utmost gallantry; but finding at last that the
town must surrender, he set fire to it, and escaped in a ship that
waited for him. Lucullus did all he could to extinguish the flames; but,
for the most part, in vain; and the whole city had undoubtedly been
burned, had not a rain fallen so violently, that a considerable number
of houses were thereby saved; and before he departed, the conqueror
caused those that had been burned, to be rebuilt; but so inveterate were
his soldiers, that all his efforts could not secure it from plunder.

It was afterwards the favourite residence of Pompey the Great, who
rebuilt the city, and restored the inhabitants to their liberties, which
were confirmed by Cæsar and Augustus. In subsequent times it was
included in the dominions of the Commeni emperors of Trebisond; and
finally subdued by the Turks in the reign of Mahomet the Second.

It is now surrounded by a decayed wall. Towards the sea may be traced
the remains of another wall; the ruins of these, in many parts, are
almost buried under the waves[31].


There are few cities whose immediate origin we know so well as that of

Antigonus had built a city at a small distance from the spot on which
Antioch was afterwards erected, and this he called after his own name,
Antigonia. After his death Seleucus, having made himself master of Upper
Syria, determined on founding a city. He, in consequence, demolished the
one Antigonus had built, and employed its materials in constructing his
own[32]. This he named after his son, Antiochus. He afterwards
transplanted all the citizens to the new capital; and he adorned it with
all the beauty and elegance of Grecian architecture.

Seleucus built several other cities in the same direction, amongst which
may be particularly noticed Apamea, which he named after his wife, the
daughter of Arbazus the Persian; and Laodicea, which he called after his
mother. Apamea was situated on the same river as Antioch, and Laodicea
in the southern part of the same quarter. What is rather remarkable is,
that in these cities he allowed the Jews the same privileges and
immunities as were enjoyed by the Greeks and Macedonians; more
especially at Antioch, where that people settled in such numbers that at
length they possessed as large a portion of the city as their countrymen
enjoyed at Alexandria.

In the Christian times it was the see of the chief patriarch of Asia. It
is often mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, and particularly wherein
it is said, that the disciples of Christ were here first called
Christians; and in the river Orontes, according to tradition, St. Paul
is said to have been baptised. The city, at various times, has suffered
severely from the rage of bigotry and superstition, inseparably attached
to the zealots of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the spirit
of enthusiasm, roused by designing priests, induced the powers of Europe
to attempt the reduction of Syria and the Holy Land.

Antioch has several times been subjected to the violence of earthquakes,
and several times been afflicted with great famine; and when Chosroes
invaded Syria, the city, disdaining the offers of an easy capitulation,
was taken by storm, the inhabitants slaughtered with unrelenting fury,
and the city itself delivered to the flames. It recovered, however,
after a time, and was again visited by earthquake, and the sword of the
conqueror. It was taken by the Crusaders A.D. 1098; and in 1262 all its
glory terminated; having been taken possession of by Bybaris, sultan of

It is now a ruinous town, the houses of which are built of mud and
straw, and exhibit every appearance of poverty and wretchedness. The
walls, however, of each quarter, as well as those which surrounded the
whole, are still remaining; but as the houses are destroyed, the four
quarters appear like so many inclosed fields.

It is said that this city, which was about four miles in circumference,
was built at four different times, and consisted in a manner of four
cities, divided from one another by walls. The first, as we have already
stated, was built by Seleucus Nicator; the second by those who flocked
thither after the building of the first; the third by Seleucus
Callinicus; and the fourth by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria. The
present town, which is a mile in circumference, stands in the plain, on
the north-west part of the old city; all the parts within the walls
being converted into gardens. The walls, which now exist, though much
ruined, mark the ancient boundaries of Antioch. They were built since
the introduction of Christianity; the form of them being nearly of a
rectangular figure.

There are, as we have already stated, very few remains within the city
of any ancient buildings. The principal works are the aqueducts, and
some grottoes cut in the mountain. There were once two temples of great
celebrity, one of which was dedicated to Apollo and the other to the
Moon. At this moment not a vestige of these is to be discovered.
"Formerly," says Lord Sandwich, "it had a port of considerable
importance on the north bank of the Orontes, and on the shores of the
Levant; but the harbour is choked up, and not a single inhabitant
remains. The sun of Antioch is set. The present city is a miserable
place, extending four hundred yards from the side of the river to the
bottom of a mountain, on the summit of which, and round the town, the
crusaders, during their being in possession of Syria, built a strong
wall. Nothing remains of its ancient grandeur besides some stupendous
causeways and massy gateways of hewn stone."

At a distance of about four or five miles was a place called Daphne.
There Seleucus planted a grove, and in the midst of it he erected a
temple, which he consecrated to Apollo and Diana. To this place the
inhabitants of Antioch resorted for their pleasures and diversions, till
at last it became so infamous, that "to live after the manner of Daphne"
was used proverbially to express the most voluptuous and dissolute mode
of living.

Antioch is said to have been once greater than Rome itself; but often
ruined, and finally razed by the Mamelukes, it is now only a small town,
known by the name of Antakia. Its climate is so agreeable, that we may
cite some observations, made in regard to it in a passage in Mr.
Robinson's tour in Palestine and Syria. "For the breadth and brilliancy
of the eastern landscape, there is no architecture equal to the
Oriental. The solemnity and grandeur of the Gothic are suited to our
climate of cloud and tempest. The severe or even the florid beauty of
Greek architecture belongs to a country where the spectator sees it
under the lights and shadows of a sky as picturesque as the hills and
valleys that it covers. But the magnitude, strong colourings, and yet
fantastic finish of Eastern architecture are made to be seen across its
vast plains under the unclouded sky; and glowing with the powerful
splendour with which the rising and the setting sun less illumine than
inflame the horizon. At a distance it has the dream-like beauty which we
habitually attach to the edifices of the Arabian Nights[33]."


Argos was founded in the 1856th year before the Christian era; that is,
in the time of Abraham. Its founder was Inachus. Euripides, however,
says, that the city was built by the Cyclops, who came from Syria. After
flourishing for about 550 years, it was united to the crown of Mycenæ.
According to Herodotus, Argos was the most famous of all the states,
comprehended under the general name of Greece. For a long time it was
the most flourishing city in Greece; and this chiefly from its being
enriched by the commerce of Assyria and Egypt. Its early history is
resplendent with illustrious names and shining achievements. Its
inhabitants conceived a hope of obtaining the sovereignty of all
Peloponnesus; but they became at length enfeebled and at last ruined by
intestine divisions.

There are many events exceedingly interesting in the history of Argos;
amongst which, these. A war broke out, in the reign of Theopompus[34],
between the Argives and Lacedemonians, on account of a little country
called Thyrea, that lay upon the confines of the two states, and to
which each of them pretended a right. When the two armies were ready to
engage, it was agreed, in order to spare the effusion of blood, that the
quarrel should be decided by three hundred of the bravest men on both
sides; and that the land in question should become the property of the
victors. To leave the combatants more room to engage, the two armies
retired to some distance. Those generous champions then, who had all
the courage of two mighty armies, boldly advanced towards each other,
and fought with so much resolution and fury, that the whole number,
except three men, two on the side of the Argives, and one on the side of
the Lacedemonians, lay dead on the spot; and only the night parted them.
The two Argives, looking upon themselves as the conquerors, made what
haste they could to Argos to carry the news; the single Lacedemonian,
Othryades by name, instead of retiring, stripped the dead bodies of the
Argives, and carrying their arms into the Lacedemonian camp, continued
in his post. The next day the two armies returned to the field of
battle. Both sides laid equal claim to the victory. The Argives, because
they had more of their champions left alive than the enemy had; the
Lacedemonians, because the two Argives that remained alive had fled;
whereas their single soldier had remained master of the field of battle,
and had carried off the spoils of the enemy: in short, they could not
determine the dispute without coming to another engagement. Then fortune
declared in favour of the Lacedemonians, and the little territory of
Thyrea was the prize of their victory. But Othryades, not able to bear
the thoughts of surviving his brave companions, or of enduring the sight
of Sparta after their death, killed himself on the same field of battle
where they had fought, resolving to have one fate and tomb with them.

At[35] a subsequent period, the inhabitants of Argos despatched
ambassadors to Pyrrhus and Antigonus to entreat them to withdraw their
troops, and not reduce their city into subjection to either of them, but
to allow it to continue in a state of friendship with both. Antigonus
readily consented, and sent his son as a hostage to the Argives.
Pyrrhus, also, promised to retire; but as he offered no security for
the fulfilment of his word, they began to suspect his sincerity; and,
indeed, with sufficient reason: for as soon as night appeared, he
advanced to the walls, and having found a door left open by Aristæus, he
had time to force his Gauls into the city; and so seize it without being
perceived. But when he would have introduced his elephants, he found the
gates too low; which obliged him to cause the towers to be taken down
from their backs, and replaced there when those animals had entered the
city. All this could not be effected amidst the darkness without much
trouble, noise, and confusion, which caused them to be discovered. The
Argives, when they beheld the enemy in the city, fled to the citadel,
and to those places that were most advantageous in their defence, and
sent a deputation to Antigonus, to press his speedy advance to their
assistance. He accordingly marched that moment, and caused his son, with
the other officers, to enter the city at the head of his best troops. In
this very juncture of time, King Areus also arrived at Argos, with a
thousand Cretans, and as many Spartans as were capable of coming. These
troops, when they had all joined each other, charged the Gauls with the
utmost fury, and put them into disorder. Pyrrhus hastened, on his part,
to sustain them; but the darkness and confusion was then so great, that
it was impossible for him to be either obeyed or heard. When day
appeared, he was not a little surprised to see the citadel full of
enemies; and as he then imagined all was lost, he thought of nothing but
a timely retreat. But as he had some apprehension with respect to the
city gates, which were much too narrow, he sent orders to his son,
Helenus, whom he had left without with the greatest part of the army, to
demolish part of the wall, that his troops might have a free passage
out of the city. The person to whom Pyrrhus gave this order in great
haste, having misunderstood his meaning, delivered a quite contrary
message; in consequence of which, Helenus drew out his best infantry,
with all the elephants he had left, and then advanced into the city to
assist his father, who was preparing to retire, the moment the other
entered the place.

Pyrrhus, as long as the place afforded him a sufficient extent of
ground, appeared with a resolute mien, and frequently faced about and
repulsed those who pursued him; but when he found himself engaged in a
narrow street, which ended at the gate, the confusion, which already was
very great, became infinitely increased by the arrival of the troops his
son brought to his assistance. He frequently called aloud to them to
withdraw, in order to clear the streets, but in vain; for as it was
impossible for his voice to be heard, they still continued to advance;
and to complete the calamity in which they were involved, one of the
largest elephants sank down in the middle of the gate, and filled the
whole extent in such a manner, that the troops could neither advance nor
retire. The confusion occasioned by this accident became then

Pyrrhus observing the disorder of his men, who broke forward and were
driven back, took off the glittering crest, which distinguished his
helmet, and caused him to be known, and then, confiding in the goodness
of his horse, he sprang into the throng of his enemies who pursued him;
and while he was fighting with an air of desperation, one of the adverse
party advanced up to him, and pierced his cuirass with a javelin. The
wound, however, was neither great nor dangerous, and Pyrrhus immediately
turned upon the man from whom he had received it, and who happened to be
only a private soldier, the son of a poor woman at Argos: the mother
beholding the contest from the top of a house, where she stood with
several other women. The moment she saw her son engaged with Pyrrhus,
she almost lost her senses, and chilled with horror at the danger to
which she beheld him exposed. Amidst the impressions of her agony, she
caught up a large tile, and threw it down upon Pyrrhus. The mass fell
directly upon his head, and his helmet being too weak to ward off the
blow, his hands dropped the reins, and he sank down from his horse
without being observed. But he was soon discovered by a soldier, who put
an end to his life, by cutting off his head.

There is another circumstance related of Argos, which it gives us great
pleasure in remarking. When Solon was at the court of Croesus, the
king asked him--"Who, of all those he had seen, was the next in felicity
to Tellus." Solon answered, 'Cleobis and Biton of Argos, two brothers,
who had left behind them a perfect pattern of fraternal affection, and
of the respect due from children to their parents. Upon a solemn
festival, when their mother, a priestess of Juno, was to go to the
temple, the oxen that were to draw her not being ready, the two sons put
themselves to the yoke, and drew their mother's chariot thither, which
was above five miles distant. All the mothers of the place, ravished
with admiration, congratulated the priestess on the piety of her sons.
She, in the transports of her joy and thankfulness, earnestly entreated
the goddess to reward her children with the best thing that Heaven can
give to man. Her prayers were heard. When the sacrifice was over, her
two sons fell asleep in the very temple, and there died in a soft and
peaceful slumber. In honour of their piety, the people of Argos
consecrated statues to them in the temple of Delphos.

"If Athens," says Dr. Clarke, "by arts, by military talents, and by
costly solemnities, became _one of the eyes of Greece_, there was in
the humanity of Argos, and in the good feeling displayed by its
inhabitants, a distinction which comes nearer to the heart. Something
characteristic of the people may be observed even in a name given to one
of their divinities; for they worshipped a 'God of Meekness.' It may be
said, perhaps, of the Argive character, that it was less splendid than
the Athenian, and less rigid than the Lacedæmonian; but it was less
artificial, and the contrast it exhibited, when opposed to the infamous
profligacy of Corinth, where the manners of the people, corrupted by
wealth and luxury, were further vitiated by the great influx of
foreigners, rendered Argos, in the days of her prosperity, one of the
most enviable cities of Greece. The stranger, who visited Athens, might,
indeed, regard, with an eager curiosity, the innumerable trophies every
where suspended of victors in her splendid games; might admire her
extensive porticoes crowded with philosophers; might gaze with wonder at
the productions of her artists; might revere her magnificent temples:
but feelings more affecting were drawn forth in beholding the numerous
monuments of the Argives, destined to perpetuate the memory of
individuals who had rendered themselves illustrious by their virtues."

Argos was taken, A.D. 1397, by Bajazet. It was then totally deserted,
and its walls destroyed. It was rebuilt by the Venetians, from whom, in
1463, it was taken by the Turks; and after being retaken by the
Venetians, it was again recovered by the Turks in the same year.

"But where is Argos?" inquires La Martine; "a vast naked plain,
intersected with marshes extending in a circular form at the bottom of
the gulf. It is bounded on every side by chains of grey mountains; at
the end of the plain, about two leagues inland, we perceive a mound,
with some fortified walls on its summit, and which protects, by its
shade, a small town in ruins--this is Argos. Close by is the tomb of

The antiquities of Argos, once so numerous, may now be comprised within
a very short list. Those seen by Pausanias were the temples of Apollo,
of Fortuna, of Jupiter, and of Minerva; sepulchres and cenotaphs; a
theatre, a forum, a gymnasium, a stadium, a subterranean edifice, &c.,
formed of earth.

Of these now remaining[36], are the ruins of the theatre[37], which was
a remarkable structure, having been entirely an excavation in the rock,
and having the appearance of three theatres instead of one. Opposite to
this are the remains of a large edifice, built entirely of tiles. Above
the theatre are those of the Hieron of Venus, within whose temple was a
statue of the poetess Telesilla, who, at the head of a band of heroines,
repulsed from the walls the enemies of her country, when it was attacked
by the Lacedæmonians. She was represented, says Pausanias, standing upon
a pillar, with the books of her poetry scattered at her feet, in the act
of regarding her helmet, which she was about to put upon her head.

On the sides and lower part of the modern fortress are still seen the
remains of Cyclopian architecture, as ancient as the citadel of Tiryns,
and built in the same style[38].

"This structure," says Dr. Clarke, "is mentioned by Pausanias[39], where
he states that the inhabitants of Mycenæ were unable to demolish the
walls of the Argives, built, like those of Tiryns, by the Cyclops. These
Cyclopian walls, as well as the towers of Argos, are noticed by
Euripides, Polybius, Seneca, Strabo, and Statius. They are also hinted
at by Virgil. At the front of the Acropolis, we found one of the most
curious tell-tale remains, yet discovered among the thirty temples of
pagan priestcraft. It was nothing less than one of the oracular shrines
of Argos, alluded to by Pausanias, laid open to inspection like the toy
a child has broken, in order that he may see the contrivance whereby it
was made to speak. A more interesting sight for modern curiosity can
hardly be conceived to exist among the ruins of any Grecian city. In its
original state, it has been a temple; the farther part from the entrance
where the altar was, being an excavation of the rock, and the front and
roof constructed of baked tiles. The altar yet remains, and part of the
fictile superstructure; but the most remarkable part of the whole is a
secret subterraneous passage, terminating behind the altar, its entrance
being at a considerable distance towards the right of a person facing
the altar, and so cunningly contrived, as to have a small aperture
easily concealed, and level with the surface of the rock. This was
barely large enough to admit the entrance of a single person, who,
having descended in the narrow passage, might creep along until he
arrived immediately behind the centre of the altar; where being hid by
some colossal statue, or other screen, the sound of his voice would
produce a most imposing effect among the humble votaries prostrate
beneath, who were listening in silence upon the floor of the sanctuary."

There was also in Argos a statue of Jupiter, which had three eyes, one
of which was in the middle of the forehead. It is not impossible but
this statue may, one day, be found among the ruins under the soil.

Argos was consecrated to Juno[40]; it was subject to different forms of
government; its people were brave; they cultivated the arts, but
neglected the sciences. Their memory may well be cherished; for they
were, both in precept and in practice, the kindest and most humane of
all the citizens of Greece[41].


This city was situate on the banks of the Araxes. It is now called
Esqui-Julfa; and Chardin, Cartwright, and Sir W. Ouseley, we believe,
are almost the only travellers who have given any description of it.
"They called it Old Julfa," says Chardin, "to distinguish it from the
Julfa which is a suburb of Ispahan; and not without reason is it so
called, since it is totally ruined and demolished. There is nothing
further to be known of it, except the grandeur which it once enjoyed.
There are nothing but holes and caverns made in the mountains, fitter
for beasts then men. I do not believe there is in the world a more
barren and hideous place than that of Old Julfa, where there is neither
tree nor grass to be seen. True it is, that in the neighbourhood there
are some places more happy and fertile; yet, on the other side it is as
true, that never was any city situated in a more dry and stony
situation. There are not more than thirty families in it, and those

Julfa was ruined by Abbas the Great, and all that art had contributed to
its fortification; and this he did in order to prevent the Turkish
armies from getting supplies of provisions during their incursions into
Persia. To this end he transplanted the inhabitants and their cattle to
other places, ruined all their houses, fired the whole country, burnt up
all the turf and trees, and even poisoned their springs.

Sir John Cartwright visited this place about two hundred years ago, and
he stated the number of houses to be two thousand, and the inhabitants
ten thousand. When Chardin was there (in 1675), however, as we have
already stated, there were not more than thirty families. Sir W. Ouseley
says, that there were only forty-five families in 1812, and those,
apparently, of the lowest class. "Several steep and lofty mountains,"
says he, "offer very extraordinary aspects. Many huge masses of rock had
lately fallen during earthquakes; and the whole country round bespeaks
some ancient and tremendous commotion of nature[42]."


Arsinoe was situated near the lake of Moeris, on the west shore of the
Nile, where the inhabitants paid the highest veneration to crocodiles.
They nourished them in a splendid manner, embalmed them after they were
dead, and buried them in the subterranean cells of the Labyrinth; thence
the city was called, in ancient times, Crocodilopolis[43]. When the
Greeks conquered Egypt they altered its name to Arsinoe.

This name it retained in the time of Adrian, and Greek medals were
struck here in honour of that emperor as well as of Trajan. Its ruins
are thus described by Belzoni:--"On the morning of the 7th I went to see
the ruins of the ancient Arsinoe; it had been a very large city, but
nothing of it remains except high mounds of all sorts of rubbish. The
chief materials appear to have been burnt bricks. There were many stone
edifices, and a great quantity of wrought granite. In the present town
of Medinet I observed several fragments of granite columns and other
pieces of sculpture, of a most magnificent taste. It is certainly
strange that granite columns are only to be seen in this place and near
the Pyramids, six miles distant. Among the ruins at Arsinoe I also
observed various fragments of statues of granite, well executed, but
much mutilated; and it is my opinion that this town has been destroyed
by violence and fire. It is clearly seen that the new town of Medinet is
built out of the old town of Arsinoe, as the fragments are to be met
with in every part of the town. The large blocks of stone have been
diminished in their sizes, but enough is left to show the purposes for
which they originally served. About the centre of the ruins I made an
excavation in an ancient reservoir, which I found to be as deep as the
bottom of the Bahr-Yousef, and which was, no doubt, filled at the time
of the inundation, for the accommodation of the town. There are other
similar wells in these ruins, which prove that this was the only mode
they had of keeping water near them, as the river is at some distance
from the town. Among these mounds I found several specimens of glass, of
Grecian manufacture and Egyptian workmanship, and it appears to me,
that this town must have been one of the first note in Egypt."

Near this city was the Labyrinth, so greatly celebrated in ancient
times, that Pliny regarded it as the most astonishing effort of human
genius. Herodotus saw it, and assures us that it was still more
surprising than the Pyramids. It was built at the southernmost part of
the lake of Moeris. It was not so much one single palace as a
magnificent pile, composed of twelve palaces, regularly disposed, which
had a communication with each other. Fifteen hundred rooms, interspersed
with terraces, were ranged round twelve halls, and discovered no outlet
to such as went to see them. There were the like number of buildings
under ground. Those subterraneous structures were designed for the
burying-place of the kings; "and who," says Rollin, "can say this
without confusion, and without deploring the blindness of man, for
keeping the sacred crocodiles, which a nation, so wise in other
respects, worshipped as gods?" In order to visit the rooms and halls of
the Labyrinth, he continues, it was necessary, as the reader will
necessarily suppose, for people to take the same precaution as Ariadne
made Theseus use, when he was obliged to go and fight the Minotaur in
the labyrinth of Crete. Virgil describes it in this manner:--

  And in the Cretan labyrinth of old,
  With wandering ways, and many a winding fold,
  Involved the weary feet without redress,
  In a round error, which denied recess;
  Not far from thence he graved the wondrous maze;
  A thousand doors, a thousand winding ways.

Of this monument no more is now to be found than amid the ruins of Babel
Caroan and Casr Caroan. "Hereafter," says Savary, "when Europe shall
have restored to Egypt the sciences it received thence, perhaps the
sands and rubbish, which hide the subterranean part of the Labyrinth
will be removed, and precious antiquities obtained. Who can say that
the discoveries of the learned were not preserved in this asylum,
equally impenetrable to the natives and foreigners? If the dust of
Herculaneum, an inconsiderable city, has preserved so many rarities and
instructive remains of art and history, what may not be expected from
the fifteen hundred apartments in which the archives of Egypt were
deposited, since the governors assembled here to treat on the most
important affairs of religion and state[44]?"


The ruins of this city are seen at a place called Ardachar, or, as it is
more frequently called in the East, Ardechier; sometimes Ardesh. The
city rose above the plain with fortress, palaces, and temples; and two
more splendid than the rest, one dedicated to Anaites or Armatea, the
other, a magnificent structure to Apollo. Statues were raised in all.

Artaxata was the capital of Armenia, and the residence of the Armenian
kings. It was situate on a plain, upon an elbow of the Araxes, which
formed a peninsula, and surrounded the town, except on the side of the
isthmus. This isthmus was defended by a broad ditch and rampart.

It was built by Artaxias in consequence of Hannibal's having recommended
the spot as a fit place for the king's capital; and there Artaxias'
successors resided for many generations.

Lucullus having defeated the Armenians, under their king Tigranes, did
not venture to lay siege to this place, because he considered it
impregnable. The gates were, however, thrown open to the Roman general
Corbulo, but the city itself was burnt and razed. It was afterwards
called Neronia, in compliment to the emperor Nero, who commanded
Tiridates to rebuild it. A few families, of the poorest order of
people, are now the sole occupants of this once famous city.

"On reaching the remains of Ardisher," says Sir Robert Ker Porter, "I
saw the earth covered to an immense extent, and on every side, with that
sort of irregular hillocks, which are formed by Time over piles of
ruins. These, with long dyke-like ridges, evidently by the same
venerable architect, and materials connecting them in parts, told me at
once I was entering the confines of a city, now no more. It is not in
language to describe the effect on the mind in visiting one of these
places. The space over which the eye wanders, all marked with the
memorials of the past, but where no pillar or dome, nor household wall
of any kind, however fallen, yet remains to give a feeling of some
present existence of the place, even by a progress in decay. All here is
finished; buried under heaps of earth; the graves, not of the people
above, but of their houses, temples, and palaces; all lying in
death-like entombment. At Anni I found myself surrounded by a superb
monument of Armenian greatness; at Ardechier I stood over its grave. Go
where one will for lessons of Time's revolutions, the brevity of human
life, the nothingness of man's ambition, they nowhere can strike upon
the heart like a single glance cast on one of these motionless
life-deserted 'cities of the silent[45].'"


Artemita was a large town in Mesopotamia, according to Pliny the
naturalist; but Strabo, more correctly, places it in Babylonia, five
hundred stadia east of Seleucia, on the banks of the lake Arsissa, now
called Argish.

Though Chosroes was undoubtedly sovereign of Ctesiphon and built the
splendid palace, of which the remains are visible; he did not approach
the gates of that city for nearly four-and-twenty years. His favourite
residence was Dustegerd (Artemita), situate on the Tigris, not less than
sixty miles north of Ctesiphon; and here, since the length of his
residence at Ctesiphon has not been clearly ascertained, and with a view
of giving the reader some idea with respect to the power and splendour
of this prince, we will cite the description that has been given of the
wealth and magnificence for which his name has been rendered remarkable
to all posterity. "The adjacent pastures were covered with flocks and
herds; the paradise or park was replenished with pheasants, peacocks,
ostriches, roebucks, and wild boars; and the noble game of lions and
tigers were sometimes turned loose for the bolder pleasures of the
chase. Nine hundred and sixty elephants were maintained for the use and
splendour of the great king; his tents and baggage were carried into the
field by twelve thousand great camels and eight thousand of a smaller
size; and the royal stables were filled with six thousand mules and
horses, among which the names of Shebdiz and Barid were renowned for
their speed and beauty." The treasure, which consisted of gold, silver,
gems, silk, and aromatics, were deposited in one hundred subterranean
vaults; and his palace walls are described as having been hung with
thirty thousand rich hangings, and thousands of globes of gold were
suspended in the dome to imitate the planets and constellations of the
firmament. When this palace was sacked by Heraclius, the conqueror found
in it, as we are informed by Cedrenus, sugar, ginger, pepper, silk robes
woven, and embroidered carpets; aloes, aloes-wood, mataxa, silk, thread,
muslins, muslin garments without number, and a vast weight of gold

Dustegerd stood upon the spot where now are seen the vast ruins of
Kesra-Shirene. These have been described by Sir R. Ker Porter. "We are
told, that the city of Dustegerd was the most stationary residence of
Khosroo Purviz, and that it contained his most superb palace, treasury,
and public buildings. There he passed his winters, with the beautiful
object of his idolatry[46]; and thence he flew with her from the
conquering arms of the emperor Heraclius. We entered upon a chain of
hills, amongst which our road led in the most circuitous and intricate
mazes I had ever trod; heights and depths, ravines, dry or water
courses, rugged promontories, short stony plains, in short, every
species of mountain difficulties, diversified our path for full fifteen
miles, till we arrived at a once formidable barrier, not far from which
we caught a view of the meandering river Zohaub. All along the alpine
bridge we mounted, runs a massy wall of large hewn stone, which, in many
places, like a curtain, closes the openings left by nature in the rocky
bulwarks of the country. It had evidently been intended for a defence
against any hostile approach from the eastward, and, on passing it, we
went through what had formed one of its gates."

Journeying on a mile or two further, the traveller came to a second
wall, still higher and stronger, and from that ran a third wall, which
partly enclosed a large angular space. On various spots lay large stones
of a great length, and hollowed in the middle, as if they were the
remains of some ancient covered channel to convey water. This is still
called the aqueduct of Khosroo Purviz; and the natives told Sir Robert,
that it was one of the works constructed by that prince to win the
smiles of his beloved Shirene.

Numerous fragments and continuations of the great rampart wall tracked
their way, till they came to the ruins of another wall, the position and
extent of which seemed to declare it to have been one side of the
battlements of some large and ancient city. This they were informed was

They passed under a gateway of simple construction, formed of hewn
stones, twelve feet high and about six in thickness. The wall ran to a
considerable distance, then disappeared, and then started up in massy
fragments; the whole seeming to have formerly enclosed an area of
several miles, and likely to have been occupied by the streets, courts,
and public buildings of a very noble city. "The first ruined edifice we
approached," continues Sir Robert, "was built of stone, and consists of
long ranges of vaulted rooms, nearly choked up with the fallen masses of
what may have been its magnificent superstructures. A little onward, we
came to the remains of some place of great magnitude. It is a square
building of nearly a hundred feet along each side; four entrances have
led into the interior, and the arches of these portals, which are
falling to the last stage of decay, cannot be less than from thirty to
forty feet in height. The walls are of equal elevation, and of a more
than ordinary thickness for any structure to stand the brunt of war,
being twelve feet in solidity. The interior of the place, which seems to
have been one enormous chamber or hall, is covered with lime, stones,
and other fragments of masonry. No remnant of any sculptural ornaments
or inscription was to be seen. At the southern angle of the great arch
within the city walls, on a commanding rise of ground, stands a ruin of
a stronger character; the massiveness and form of the work proving it to
be the remains of a fortress. The building is of stone and brick; the
latter being of a large square surface, but not very thick. Various
lofty arched chambers, as well as deep subterraneous dungeons, compose
this noble ruin. In ranging over the rest of the ground, contained
within the circuit of the great interior walls, we found it covered with
every indication that there had once stood the busy streets of a great
and populous city[47].


  "Look! on the Ægean shore a city stands,
  Built nobly, pure the air and light the soil.
  Athens! the eye of Greece, mother of arts
  And eloquence, native to famous wits,
  Or hospitable in her sweet recess.
  City or suburban studious walks and shades!
  See there the olive groves of Academe,
  Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
  Thrills her thick-warbled notes the summer long.
  There, flowery hill, Hymettus, with the sound
  Of bees, industrious murmur, oft invites
  To studious musing; there Ilissus rolls
  His whispering stream. Within the walls then view
  The schools of ancient sages; his who bred
  Great Alexander to subdue the world.
  Lyceum there and painted Stoa next."--MILTON.

The Athenians thought themselves the original inhabitants of Attica; for
which reason they were called "Sons of the Earth;" and "grasshoppers."
They sometimes, therefore, wore golden grasshoppers in their hair, as
badges of honour, to distinguish themselves from the people of later
origin and less noble extraction; because these insects are supposed to
be sprung from the ground. "Our origin," said Socrates, "is so
beautiful, that none of the Greeks can give such pure appellations to
their country as we can. We can truly style the earth on which we tread
our nurse, our mother, our father."

[Illustration: ATHENS]

It was governed by seventeen kings, in the following order:--

After a reign of fifty years, Cecrops was succeeded by

  Cranaus        1506
  Amphictyon     1497
  Ericthonius    1487
  Pandion        1437
  Erictheus      1397
  Cecrops II.    1347
  Pandion II.    1307
  Ægeus          1283
  Theseus        1235
  Menestheus     1205
  Demophoon      1282
  Oxyntes        1149
  Aphidas        1137
  Thymoetes      1336
  Melanthus      1128
  Codrus         1091

The history of the first twelve monarchs is, for the most part,

Athens was founded by Cecrops, who led a colony out of Egypt, and built
twelve towns, of which he composed a kingdom.

Amphictyon, the third king of Athens, procured a confederacy between
twelve nations, who met every year at Thermopylæ, there to consult over
their affairs in general, as also upon those of each nation in
particular. This convention was called the assembly of the Amphictyons.

The reign of Ægeus is remarkable for the Argonautic expedition, the war
of Minos, and the story of Theseus and Ariadne.

Ægeus was succeeded by his son, Theseus, whose exploits belong more to
fable than to history.

The last king was Codrus, who devoted himself to die for his people.

After Codrus, the title of king was extinguished among the Athenians:
his son was set at the head of the commonwealth, with the title of
Archon, which after a time was declared to be an annual office.

After this Draco was allowed to legislate, and then Solon. The laws of
the former were so severe, that they were said to be written in blood.
Those of the latter were of a different character. Pisistratus acquired
ascendancy; became a despot, and was assassinated: whereon the Athenians
recovered their liberties, and Hippias, the son of Pisistratus, in vain
attempted to re-establish a tyranny. The Athenians, sometime after,
burnt Sardis, a city of the Persians, in conjunction with the Ionians;
and, to revenge this, Darius invaded Greece, but was conquered at
Marathon by Miltiades.

Xerxes soon after invaded Attica, and the Athenians having taken to
their "wooden walls," their city was burnt to the ground.

After the victory, gained over the Persians at Salamis, the Athenians
returned to their city, but were obliged to abandon it again; Mardonius
having wasted and destroyed every thing in its neighbourhood. They
returned to it soon after their victory at Platæa. Their first care,
after returning to their city, was to rebuild their walls. This measure
was opposed by the Lacedemonians, under the pretence of its being
contrary to the interest of Greece, that there should be strong places
beyond the isthmus. Their real motive, however, was suspected to be an
aversion to the rising greatness of the Athenians. Themistocles
conducted himself with great art in this matter[48]. He got himself
appointed ambassador to Sparta; and before setting out he caused all the
citizens, of every age and sex, to apply themselves to the task of
building the walls, making use of any materials within their reach.
Fragments of houses, temples, and other buildings, were accordingly
employed, producing a grotesque appearance, which remained to the days
of Plutarch. He then set out for Sparta; but, on various pretences,
declined entering on his commission, till he had received intelligence
that the work he had set on foot was nearly completed. He then went
boldly to the Lacedemonian senate, declared what had been done, and
justified it, not only by natural right of the Athenians to provide for
their own defence, but by the advantage of opposing such an obstacle to
the progress of the barbarians. The Lacedemonians, sensible of the
justice of this argument, and seeing that remonstrance would now avail
nothing, were fain to acquiesce.

No city in the world can boast, in such a short space of time, of such a
number of illustrious citizens, equally celebrated for their humanity,
learning, and military abilities. Some years after the Persian defeat,
Athens was visited by a very terrible calamity, insomuch that its
ravages were like what had never been before known. This was a plague.
We now adopt the language of Rollin. "It is related, that this scourge
began in Ethiopia, whence it descended into Egypt, from thence spread
over Libya, and a great part of Persia; and at last broke at once like a
flood upon Athens. Thucydides, who himself was seized with that deadly
disease, has described very minutely the several circumstances and
symptoms of it; in order, says he, that a faithful and exact relation of
this calamity may serve as an instruction to posterity, in case the like
should ever happen. This pestilence baffled the utmost efforts of art;
the most robust constitutions were unable to withstand its attacks; and
the greatest care and skill of the physicians were a feeble help to
those who were infected. The instant a person was seized, he was struck
with despair, which quite disabled him from attempting a cure. The
assistance that was given them was ineffectual, and proved mortal to all
such of their relations as had the courage to approach them. The
prodigious quantity of baggage, which had been removed out of the
country into the city, proved very noxious. Most of the inhabitants, for
want of lodging, lived in little cottages, in which they could scarcely
breathe, during the raging heat of the summer; so that they were seen
either piled one upon the other, the dead as well as those who were
dying, or else crawling through the streets; or lying along by the side
of fountains, to which they had dragged themselves, to quench the raging
thirst which consumed them. The very temples were filled with dead
bodies, and every part of the city exhibited a dreadful image of death;
without the least remedy for the present, or the least hopes with regard
to futurity.

"The plague, before it spread into Attica, had, as we have before
stated, made wild havoc in Persia. Artaxerxes, who had been informed of
the mighty reputation of Hippocrates of Cos, the greatest physician of
that or any other age, caused his governors to write to him, to invite
him into his dominions, in order that he might prescribe for those who
were infected. The king made him the most advantageous offers; setting
no bounds to his rewards on the side of interest, and, with regard to
honours, promising to make him equal with the most considerable persons
in his court. This great physician sent no other answer but this:--that
he was free from either wants or desires; and he owed all his cares to
his fellow-citizens and countrymen; and was under no obligation to the
declared enemies of Greece.--Kings are not used to denials. Artaxerxes,
therefore, in the highest transports of rage, sent to the city of Cos,
the native place of Hippocrates, and where he was at that time;
commanding them to deliver up to him that insolent wretch, in order that
he might be brought to condign punishment; and threatening, in case they
refused, to lay waste their city and island in such a manner, that not
the least footsteps of it should remain. However, the inhabitants of Cos
were not under the least terror. They made answer, that the menaces of
Darius and Xerxes had not been able to prevail with them to give them
earth and water, or to obey their orders; that Artaxerxes' threats
would be equally impotent; that, let what would be the consequence, they
would never give up their fellow citizens; and that they depended upon
the protection of the gods.

"Hippocrates had said in one of his letters, that he owed himself
entirely to his country. And, indeed, the instant he was sent for to
Athens, he went thither, and did not once stir out of the city till the
plague had ceased. He devoted himself entirely to the service of the
sick; and, to multiply himself, as it were, he sent several of his
disciples into all parts of the country, after having instructed them in
what manner to treat their patients. The Athenians were struck with the
deepest sense of gratitude for this generous care. They therefore
ordained, by a public decree, that Hippocrates should be initiated in
the most exalted mysteries, in the same manner as Hercules the son of
Jupiter; that a crown of gold should be presented him, of the value of a
thousand staters[49], and that the decree by which it was granted him,
should be read aloud by a herald in the public games, on the solemn
festival of Panathenæa: that the freedom of the city should be given
him, and himself be maintained at the public charge, in the Prytaneum
all his lifetime, in case he thought proper: in fine, that the children
of all the people of Cos, whose city had given birth to so great a man,
might be maintained and brought up in Athens, in the same manner."

In the time of Agis and Pausanias, kings of Lacedemonia, Lysander was
sent to besiege Athens. He arrived, therefore, at the Piræus, with a
fleet of one hundred and fifty sail, and prevented all other ships from
coming in or going out. The Athenians, besieged by land and sea, without
provisions, ships, hope of relief, or any resources, sent deputies to
Agis, to propose a treaty with Sparta, upon condition of abandoning all
their possessions, the city and port only excepted. He referred the
deputies to Lacedemon, as not being empowered to treat with them. When
they arrived at Salasia, upon the frontier of Sparta, and had made known
their commission to the Ephori, they were ordered to retire, and to come
with other proposals, if they expected a peace. The Ephori had demanded,
"that one thousand two hundred paces of the wall on each side of the
Piræus should he demolished;" but an Athenian, for venturing to advise a
compliance, was sent to prison, and prohibition made against proposing
any thing of that kind for the future.

The Corinthians and several other allies, especially the Thebans,
insisted that it was absolutely necessary to destroy the city without
hearkening any further to a treaty. But the Lacedemonians, preferring
the glory and safety of Greece to their own grandeur, made answer, that
they would never be reproached with having destroyed a city that had
rendered such great services to all Greece; the remembrance of which
ought to have much greater weight with the allies than the remembrance
of private injuries received from it. A peace was, therefore, concluded
under these conditions:--"that the fortifications of the Piræus, with
the long wall that joined that port to the city, should be demolished;
that the Athenians should deliver up all their galleys, twelve only
excepted; that they should abandon all the cities they had seized, and
content themselves with their own lands and country." The deputies, on
their return, were surrounded by an innumerable throng of people, who
apprehended that nothing had been concluded; for they were not able to
hold out any longer, such multitudes dying of famine. The next day they
reported the success of their negociation; the treaty was ratified, and
Lysander, followed by the exiles, entered the port. It was on the very
day the Athenians had formerly gained the famous battle of Salamis. He
caused the works to be demolished to the sound of flutes and trumpets,
as if all Greece had that day regained its liberty. Thus ended the
Peloponnesian war, after having continued during the space of
twenty-seven years.

The walls, thus demolished, were rebuilt by Conon. He did more; he
restored Athens to its former splendour, and rendered it more formidable
to its enemies than it had ever been before.

Philip[50] having gained the battle of Cheronæa, Greece, and above all,
Athens, received a blow from which she never recovered. It was generally
expected, that Philip would avail himself of this opportunity of
entirely crushing his inveterate enemy. That prudent prince, however,
foresaw that powerful obstacles were yet to be encountered, and that
there was still a spirit in the Athenian people which might render it
difficult to hold them in subjection. It would appear, also, says an
elegant writer, as if the genius and fame of Athens had, in the hour of
her calamity, thrown a shield over her: for Philip is reported to have
said, "Have I done so much for glory, and shall I destroy the theatre of
that glory?" A treaty, in consequence, was entered into; and thus the
Athenians, though reluctant to exist by Philip's clemency, were
permitted to retain the whole Attic territory.

The number of men able to bear arms at Athens, in the reign of Cecrops,
was computed at twenty thousand; and there appears to have been no
considerable augmentation in the more civilised age of Pericles; but in
the time of Demetrius Phalareus, there were found twenty-one thousand
citizens, ten thousand foreigners, and forty thousand slaves.

Philip[51], son of Demetrius of Macedon, seems to have been one of the
most inveterate enemies by whom Athens was ever ravaged. With unsparing
cruelty he destroyed almost every thing which had either escaped the
Persian invaders, or which had been erected after their final expulsion.
Livy tells us, that, not content with burning and destroying the temples
of the gods, he ordered that the very stones should be broken into small
pieces, that they might no longer serve to repair the buildings; and
Diodorus Siculus asserts, that even the inviolability of the sepulchres
could not command his respect, or repress his violence.

Athens, however, still recovered some portion of its power; for when
Sylla arrived before the Piræus, he found the walls to be sixty feet
high, and entirely of hewn stone. The work was very strong, and had been
raised by order of Pericles in the Peloponnesian war: when, the hopes of
victory depending solely upon this port, he had fortified it to the
utmost of his power.

The height of the walls did not deter Sylla. He employed all sorts of
engines in battering them, and made continual assaults. He spared
neither danger, attacks, nor expense, to hasten the conclusion of the
war. Without enumerating the rest of the warlike stores and equipage,
twenty thousand mules were perpetually employed in working the machines
only. Wood happening to fall short, from the great consumption made of
it in the machines, which were often either broken or spoiled by the
vast weight they carried, or burned by the enemy, he did not spare the
sacred groves. He cut down the trees in the walks of the Academy and
Lycæum, which were the finest and best planted in the suburbs, and
caused the high walls that joined the port to the city to be demolished,
in order to make use of the ruins in erecting his works, and carrying on
his operations.

Notwithstanding all disadvantages, the Athenians defended themselves
like lions. They found means either to burn most of the machines erected
against the walls, or by undermining them, to throw them down and break
them to pieces. The Romans, on their side, behaved with no less vigour.
Sylla, discouraged by so obstinate a defence, resolved to attack the
Piræus no longer, and confined himself to reduce the place by famine.
The city was now at the last extremity; a bushel of barley having been
sold in it for a thousand drachms (about 25_l._ sterling). In the midst
of the public misery, the governor, who was a lieutenant of Mithridates,
passed his days and nights in debauch. The senators and priests went to
throw themselves at his feet, conjuring him to have pity on the city,
and to obtain a capitulation from Sylla; he dispersed them with
arrow-shot, and in that manner drove them from his presence.

He did not demand a cessation of arms, nor send deputies to Sylla, till
reduced to the last extremity. As those deputies made no proposals, and
asked nothing of him to the purpose, but ran on in praising and
extolling Theseus, Eumolpus, and the exploits of the Athenians against
the Medes, Sylla was tired of their discourse, and interrupted them by
saying,--"Gentlemen haranguers, you may go back again, and keep your
rhetorical flourishes to yourselves. For my part, I was not sent to
Athens to be informed of your ancient prowess, but to chastise your
modern revolt."

During this audience, some spies having entered the city, overheard by
chance some old men talking of the quarter called Ceramicus (the public
place at Athens), and blaming the tyrant exceedingly for not guarding a
certain part of the wall that was the only place by which the enemy
could scale the walls. At their return into the camp, they related what
they heard to Sylla. The parley had been to no purpose. Sylla did not
neglect the intelligence given him. The next night he went in person to
take a view of the place; and finding the wall actually accessible, he
ordered ladders to be raised against it, began the attack there, and,
having made himself master of the wall, after a weak resistance, entered
the city. He would not suffer it to be set on fire, but abandoned it to
be plundered by his soldiers, who, in several houses, found human flesh,
which had been dressed to be eaten. A dreadful slaughter ensued. The
next day all the slaves were sold by auction, and liberty was granted to
the citizens who had escaped the swords of the soldiers, who were a very
small number. He besieged the citadel the same day, where Aristion and
those who had taken refuge there, were soon so much reduced by famine,
that they were forced to surrender themselves. The tyrant, his guards,
and all who had been in any office under him, were put to death. Some
ten days after, Sylla made himself master of the Piæaus, and burned all
its fortifications.

The reputation for learning, military valour, and polished elegance,
which Athens enjoyed during the splendid administration of Pericles, was
tarnished by the corruption which that celebrated person introduced.
Prosperity was the forerunner of luxury and universal dissipation; every
delicacy was drawn from distant nations; the wines of Cyprus, and the
snows of Thrace, garlands of roses, perfumes, and a thousand arts of
buffoonery, which disgraced a Persian court, were introduced; instead of
the coarse meals, the herbs and plain bread, which the laws of Solon
had recommended, and which had nourished the heroes of Marathon and

Sylla's assault was the final termination of the power and greatness of
Athens; she became a portion of the Roman empire; but in the reign of
Hadrian and the Antonines, she resumed, at least in outward appearance,
no small portion of her former splendour. Hadrian built several temples,
and, above all, he finished that of Jupiter Olympius, the work of
successive kings, and one of the greatest productions of human art. He
founded, also, a splendid library; and bestowed so many privileges, that
an inscription, placed on one of the gates, declared Athens to be no
longer the city of Theseus, but of Hadrian. In what manner it was
regarded too in the time of Trajan, may be gathered from Pliny's letter
to a person named Maximus, who was sent thither as governor.

"Remember," said he, "that you are going to visit Achaia, the proper and
true Greece; that you are appointed to govern a state of free cities,
who have maintained liberty by their valour. Take not away any thing of
their privileges, their dignity; no, nor yet of their presumption; but
consider it is a country that hath of long time given laws, and received
none; that it is to Athens thou goest, where it would be thought a
barbarous cruelty in thee to deprive them of that shadow and name of
liberty which still remaineth to them."

The Antonines trod in the steps of Hadrian. Under them Herodes Atticus
devoted an immense fortune to the embellishment of the city and the
promotion of learning.

But when the Roman world felt the wand of adversity, and her power began
to decline, Athens felt her share; she had enjoyed a long respite from
foreign war, but in the reign of Arcadius and Honorius a dreadful
tempest burst upon her.

Alaric, after over-running the rest of Greece, advanced into Attica, and
found Athens without any power of defence. The whole country was
converted into a desert; but it seems uncertain, whether he plundered
the city, or whether he accepted the greater part of its wealth as a
ransom. Certain, however, it is, that it suffered severely, and a
contemporary compared it to the mere skin of a slaughtered victim.

It is reported that, during their stay in the city, the barbarians,
having collected all the libraries of Athens, were preparing to burn
them; but one of their number diverted them from their design, by
suggesting the propriety of leaving to their enemies what appeared to be
the most effectual instrument for cherishing and promoting their
unwarlike spirit.

After the devastations of Alaric, and, still more, after the shutting up
of her schools, Athens ceased almost entirely to attract the attention
of mankind. These schools were suppressed by an edict of Justinian; an
edict which excited great grief and indignation among the few remaining
votaries of Grecian science and superstition. Seven friends and
philosophers,[52] who dissented from the religion of their sovereign,
resolved to seek in a foreign land the freedom of which they were
deprived in their native country. Accordingly, the seven sages sought an
asylum in Persia, under the protection of Chosroes; but, disgusted and
disappointed, they hastily returned, and declared that they had rather
die on the borders of the empire than enjoy the wealth and favour of the
barbarian. These associates ended their lives in peace and obscurity;
and as they left no disciples, they terminate the long list of
philosophers who may be justly praised, notwithstanding their defects,
as the wisest and most virtuous of their times[53].

After the taking of Constantinople by the Latins, in the beginning of
the thirteenth century, the western powers began to view Greece as an
object of ambition. In the division of the Greek empire, which they made
among themselves, Greece and Macedonia fell to the share of the Marquis
of Montferrat, who bestowed Athens and Thebes on one of his followers,
named Otho de la Roche. This prince reigned with the title of Duke of
Athens, which remained for a considerable time[54].

It was afterwards seized by a powerful Florentine family, named
Acciaioli, one of whom sold it to the Venetians; but his son seized it
again, and it remained in that family till A.D. 1455, when it
surrendered to Omar, a general of Mahomet II., and thus formed one of
the two hundred cities which that prince took from the Christians. He
settled a colony in it, and incorporated it completely with the Turkish
empire. What has occurred of late years has not been embodied in any
authentic history; but the consequences of the tumults of Greece may be
in some degree imagined, from what is stated by a recent traveller in
regard to Athens[55]. "When I sallied forth to explore the wonders of
Athens, alas! they were no longer to be seen. The once proud city of
marble was literally a mass of ruins--the inglorious ruins of mud-houses
and wretched mosques forming in all quarters such indistinguishable
piles, that in going about I was wholly unable to fix upon any
peculiarities of streets or buildings, by which I might know my way from
one part of the capital to another. With the exception of the remains of
the Forum, the temple of Theseus, which is still in excellent
preservation, the celebrated columns of the temple of Jupiter Olympius,
and the Parthenon, nothing now exists at Athens of all the splendid
edifices with which it was so profusely decorated in the days of its

It has been well observed, that, associated in the youthful mind with
all that is noble in patriotism, exalted in wisdom, excelling in art,
elegant in literature, luminous in science, persuasive in eloquence, and
heroic in action, the beautiful country of Greece, and its inhabitants,
must, under every circumstance, even of degradation, be an interesting
object of study. "We can all feel, or imagine," says Lord Byron, "the
regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capital of empires, are
beheld. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very
best virtues, of patriotism to exalt and of valour to defend his
country, appear more conspicuous than in the record of what Athens once
was, and the certainty of what she now is."

The former state of Athens is thus described by Barthelemy. "There is
not a city in Greece which presents so vast a number of public buildings
and monuments as Athens. Edifices, venerable for their antiquity, or
admirable for their elegance, raise their majestic heads on all sides.
Masterpieces of sculpture are extremely numerous, even in the public
places, and concur with the finest productions of the pencil to
embellish the porticoes of temples. Here every thing speaks to the eyes
of the attentive spectator."

To describe Athens entire would be to fill a volume. We shall,
therefore, only give an account of the chief monuments of antiquity as
they existed till very lately; the rest, as they give one little or no
sort of idea of their ancient magnificence, were better omitted than

The Piræus[56] is one of the finest ports in Greece, and, being bounded
by rocks, has experienced hardly any change in its form or dimensions.
The sea, however, appears to have encroached a little, as some ruins are
seen under water. The general depth of the port is from two to ten
fathoms, in some places twenty. The Piræus was decorated with a theatre,
several temples, and a great number of statues. As the existence of
Athens depended on the safety of this harbour, Themistocles secured it
against sudden attack by building a wall, sixty stadia in length, and
forty cubits high. As to its thickness, it was greater than the space
occupied by two waggons. It was built of huge square stones, fastened
together on the outside by iron and leaden cramps. Without the gate was
a cenotaph, erected in honour of Euripides, on which was inscribed "The
glory of Euripides has all Greece for a monument."

The old city of Athens was seated on the top of a rock in the midst of a
pleasant plain, which, as the number of inhabitants increased, became
full of buildings, which induced the distinction of Acro and Catapolis,
_i. e._, of the upper and lower city.

The inside of the citadel was adorned with a multitude of edifices. The
flat space on the rock of the Acropolis is not more than eight hundred
feet in length, and about four hundred feet in breadth,--a small extent
for the site of the primitive city of the Athenians; but an area of
great size, when considered as the base only of temples and marble
palaces, containing not a single structure which might not be
denominated a masterpiece of art[57]. The most remarkable of these were
a magnificent temple of Minerva, styled Parthenon, because that goddess
was a virgin--this the Persians destroyed, out it was rebuilt with still
greater splendour by Pericles--the temple of Neptune and Minerva
jointly; a temple dedicated to Victory, adorned with paintings,
principally the work of Polygnotus, and constructed of white marble.
Within the citadel, also, was an immense number of statues, erected by
religion and gratitude, on which the chisels of Myron, Phidias,
Alcamenes, and other artists of renown, seemed to have bestowed
animation. Of these statues, some were those of famous Athenian
generals; such as Pericles, Phormio, Iphicrates, and Timotheus; and
others, those of the gods.

It appears surprising that so many temples should have been crowded
together within the narrow compass of the Athenian Acropolis; but the
Roman Capitol, though not much more spacious, contained at least thirty

"In its pride and glory," says Chandler, "the Acropolis appeared as one
entire offering to the deity, surpassing in excellence, and astonishing
in richness. Heliodorus employed on it fifteen books. The curiosities of
various kinds, with the pictures, statues, and pieces of sculpture, were
so many and so remarkable, as to supply Polemo Periegetes with matter
for four volumes; and Strabo affirms, that as many more would be
required in treating of Athens and of Attica.

As the stranger draws near to the present entrance of the citadel, he
passes before the façade of the Propylea; the old entrance to the
Acropolis, between its Doric pillars, being walled up. Pausanias says,
"There is only one entrance to the Acropolis of Athens; it being in
every remaining part of its circuit a precipice, and fortified by strong
walls. This entrance was fronted by a magnificent building, called the
Propylea, covered with roofs of white marble, which surpassed, for
beauty and the dimensions of the marble, all that I have seen." This is
now in ruins.

This was the most expensive work undertaken by Pericles, and is said to
have cost 2,500 talents (£452,700). It took five years in building, and
was completed B.C. 437.

"To a person who has seen the ruins of Rome," says Dr. Clarke, "the
first suggestion, made by a sight of the buildings in the Acropolis, is
that of the infinite superiority of the Athenian architecture. It
possesses the greatness and majesty of the Egyptian or of the ancient
Etruscan style, with all the elegant proportion, the rich ornaments, and
the discriminating taste of the most splendid era of the arts." Its
present condition is thus described by Mr. Williams. "The scene of
desolation in the Acropolis is complete; the heaps of ruins of wretched
houses, and various buildings, are constructed part with clay and
marble, the marble looking doleful through the mud. On entering the
temple one is struck by the worn steps, and curved or circular marks of
the great doors of old; the pavement, too, that had been trodden by the
luminaries of Greece."

The walls of the Acropolis[59] exhibit three distinct periods of
construction; that is to say, the masonry of _modern_ times in the
repairs,--a style of building which can only be referred to the age of
_Cimon_, or of _Pericles_;--and the ancient _Pelasgic_ work, as
mentioned by Lucian. The _modern_ walls of the city are about ten feet
high, and not two in thickness. They were constructed about the year
1780, as a defence against pirates and hordes of Arnauts, who sometimes
entered the town at night, and threatened to pillage it. The walls
embrace a circuit of nearly three miles, and enclose not only the town
and citadel, but also some open spaces for cattle. They were built in
seventy-five days, all hands being employed night and day. All kinds of
materials which were at hand were employed in their construction, and in
some places they exhibit large blocks of stone and marble, and several
fragmental inscriptions[60].

The lower city had thirteen gates, and among the principal edifices
which adorned it were, 1. The Olympian temple, erected in honour of
Athens and all Greece. 2. The Pantheon, dedicated to all the gods; a
noble structure, supported by one hundred and twenty marble pillars, and
having over its great gateway two horses, carved by Praxiteles. 3. The
temple of Theseus; a noble structure, of Pentelic marble.

The Gymnasia of Athens were many, but the most remarkable were the
Lyceum, Academia, and Cynosarges. The Lyceum stood on the banks of the
Ilissus; some say it was built by Pisistratus; others by Pericles;
others by Lycurgus.

The Academy was so called from Academus. The Cynosarges was a place in
the suburbs, not far from the Lyceum.

The Areopagus is situated a few hundred feet west of the Acropolis. It
consists of an insulated rock, precipitous, and broken towards the
south; on the north side it slopes gently down towards the temple of
Theseus, and is rather lower than the Acropolis. "Higher up, ascending
a hill covered with thistles and red pebbles, you arrive," says M. La
Martine, "at the Pnyx; the scene of the stormy assemblies of the people
of Athens, and of the fluctuating triumphs of its orators or its
favourites; enormous masses of black stone, some of which measure twelve
or thirteen cubic feet, lie upon one another, and support the terrace,
upon which the people collected. Still higher up, at the distance of
about fifty paces, we perceive a huge square block, wherein steps have
been cut, which probably served for the orator to mount his tribunal,
which thus overlooked the people, the city, and the sea. This possesses
not the character of the people of Pericles, but seems Roman. The
recollections it inspires are, however, delightful. Demosthenes spoke
from thence, and roused or calmed that popular sea, more stormy than the
Ægean, which he could also hear roll behind him."

"From the odeum of Regilla," says Dr. Clarke, "we went to the Areopagus,
wishing to place our feet upon a spot where it is so decidedly known
that St. Paul had himself stood; and to view with our own eyes the same
scene which he beheld, when he declared unto the Athenians the nature of
the UNKNOWN GOD, whom they so ignorantly worshipped. * * * We ascended
to the top by means of steps cut within the natural stone, which is of
breccia. The sublime scene here exhibited is so striking, that a brief
description of it may prove how truly it offers to us a commentary upon
St. Paul's words, as they were delivered upon the spot. Before him there
was spread a glorious prospect of mountains, islands, seas, and skies;
behind him towered the lofty Acropolis, crowned with all its marble
temples. This very object, whether in the face of nature, or among the
works of art, conspired to elevate the mind, and to fill it with
reverence towards that BEING, 'who made and governs the world;' who
sitteth in that light which no mortal eye can approach, and yet is nigh
unto the meanest of his creatures; 'in whom we live, and move, and have
our being.'"

Near the Piræan gate is still to be seen, in a state of admirable
preservation, the ground-plot and entire town of the Pnyx, or place of
_parliament_ of the Athenians, as it was appropriated by Solon to the
use of the citizens. Nearly the whole of it is an excavation of the
rock, and the several parts of it were carved in stone of one solid
mass, with the exception only of the semi-circular area, the farthest
part of which consists of masonry. "To approach the spot," says Dr.
Clarke, "once dignified by the presence of the greatest Grecian orators,
to set our feet where they stood, and actually to behold the place where
Demosthenes addressed 'the men of Athens,' calling to mind the most
memorable examples of his eloquence, is a gratification of an exalted
nature. But the feelings excited in viewing the Pnyx, peculiarly affect
Englishmen: that holy fire, so much dreaded by the Athenian tyrants, and
which this place had such a remarkable tendency to agitate, burns yet in
Britain; it is the very soul of her liberties, and it strengthens the
security of her laws; giving eloquence to her senate, heroism to her
armies, extension to her commerce, and freedom to her people: although
annihilated in almost every country of the earth, it lives in England,
and its extinction there, like the going out of the sacred flame in the
temple of Delphi, would be felt as a national calamity."

Among the loose fragments, dispersed in the Acropolis, has been found a
small piece of marble, with an inscription, but in so imperfect a state,
that Dr. Clarke considered it only worth notice as a memorial of the
place where it was found, and in its allusion to the Prytaneum, which is
the only legible part of it.

The Prytaneum, where the written laws of Solon were kept, however, was
not in the Acropolis, but in a lower part of the city. The Gymnasium of
Ptolemy, which stands near the temple of Theseus, is greatly
dilapidated, and, in no small degree, concealed by dwellings[61]. The
Erectheum is situated about one hundred and fifty feet to the north of
the Parthenon. This structure consisted of two contiguous temples; that
of Minerva Polias, with its portico towards the east; and that of
Pandrosus towards the west, with its two porticoes standing by the north
and south angles, the entrance to the Pandroseum being on the northern
side. The Turks made a powder-magazine of one of the vestibules of this
building, which contains one of the finest specimens of Ionian
architecture now existing; and it has been judiciously remarked of the
sculpture, every where displayed in this edifice, that it is difficult
to conceive how marble has been wrought to such a depth, and brought to
so sharp an edge, the ornaments having all the delicacy of works of

In that portion of the Erectheum which was dedicated to Minerva Polias,
the columns of the front porch are standing, but without any part of
their entablature. The marble[62] of this ruin is of virgin whiteness;
and the workmanship, as the structure is very diminutive in comparison
with the specimens of the Parthenon, is a still more exquisite example
than that temple, of the polish and edge which were given to all the
parts of Grecian architecture. The line of no pencil can excel the
delicate accuracy of contour in the swell of the torus, and the
ornaments of the base; and the hand, in passing repeatedly over the
marble, seeks in vain for the slightest inequality or even roughness on
the surface.

A bluish-grey limestone[63] seems to have been used in some of the
works; particularly in the exquisite ornaments of the Erectheum, where
the frieze of the temple and of its porticoes are not of marble like the
rest of the building, but of this sort of slate-limestone. This
resembles the limestone employed in the walls of the cella at the temple
of Ceres, at Eleusis, and in buildings before the use of marble was
known for purposes of architecture: such, for example, is the sort of
stone employed in the temple of Apollo at Phigalia, and in other
edifices of equal antiquity; it effervesces briskly in acids, and has
all the properties of common compact lime, except that it is hard enough
to cut glass, and, of course, is susceptible of a fine polish,
exhibiting a flat conchoidal fracture, which is somewhat splintery. We
could not discover a single fragment of porphyry; which was remarkable,
as this substance was almost always used by the ancients in works of
great magnificence.

The temple of ANCHESMIAN JUPITER stood upon a commanding eminence. The
pagan shrine has been succeeded by a small Christian sanctuary. Of the
scene from the top of this steep and craggy rock, Wheler speaks in a
style of enthusiasm, rather unfrequent with him:--"I wish I could make
you taste the same satisfaction, while I describe the prospect, that I
then did, and still do, when I consider it. Here, either a Democritus
might sit and laugh at the pomps and vanities of the world, whose
glories so soon vanish; or a Heraclitus weep over the manifold
misfortunes of it, telling sad stories of the various changes and events
of life. This would have been a place to inspire a poet, as the brave
actions, performed within his view, have already exercised the pens of
great historians. Here, like Virgil, he might have sate, and interwoven
beautiful descriptions of the rivers, mountains, woods of olives, and
groves of lemons and oranges, with the celebrated harbours on the shores
and islands, all lying before him, as on a map, which I was content to
do only in contemplation; and with a sea-compass to mark out the most
considerable places on paper."

The Odeum of Regilla stands at the foot of the rock of the Acropolis.
The remains of this edifice are those which Wheler and all former
travellers, excepting Chandler, have described as the theatre of
Bacchus[64]. Of the _theatre_ of _Bacchus_, nothing remains except the
circular sweep for the seats; as in the earliest ages of dramatic
representation, it was universally formed by scooping the sloping side
of a rock[65]. The[66] passion of the Athenians for the theatre is not
conceivable. Their eyes, their ears, their imagination, their
understanding, all shared in the satisfaction: nothing gave them so
sensible a pleasure in dramatic performances, either tragic or comic,
as the strokes which were aimed at the affairs of the public, whether
some chance occasioned the application, or the address of the poets, who
knew how to reconcile the most remote subjects with the transactions of
the republic. They entered by this means into the interests of the
people, took occasion to soothe their passions, authorise their
pretensions, justify, and sometimes condemn their conduct, entertain
them with agreeable hopes, instruct them in their duty in certain nice
conjunctures; in effecting which they often not only acquired the
applauses of the spectators, but credit and influence in the public
affairs and councils: hence the theatre became so grateful, and so much
the concern of the people[67].

The temple, dedicated to Augustus, consists of four Doric pillars of
white marble, fluted, and, like those of all the other buildings of this
order, without plinths or bases; they still support their architrave
with the pontoon, on the top of which is a square piece of marble,
seeming to have been placed there as the pedestal to some statue. There
seems, also, to be some inscription on it, but by reason of the height,
unintelligible. It is impossible to give a plan of the whole; the
remains of it affording but little light towards discovering what form
it was of.

Of the remains of the Stadium Panathenaicum, the most wonderful of all
the works of Herodes Atticus:--"It has been usual to say of this," says
Dr. Edward Clarke, "that nothing now remains of its former magnificence.
To our eyes, every thing necessary to impress the mind with an accurate
idea of the object itself, and of its grandeur, and of the prodigious
nature of the work, seemed to exist, as if it had been in its perfect
state. The marble covering of the seats, indeed, no longer appears; but
the lines are visible of the different ranges; and perhaps a part of the
covering itself might be brought to light by a removal of the soil."

This memorial of Attic splendour, and of the renown of a private citizen
of Athens, became ultimately his funeral monument; and a very curious
discovery may be reserved for future travellers in the majestic
sepulchre of Herodes himself, who was here interred with the highest
obsequies and most distinguished honours a grateful people could
possibly bestow upon the tomb of a benefactor, who spared no expense for
them while he was living, and every individual of whom participated in
his bounty[68] at his death[69].

Beneath the arch of Hadrian persons are conducted from the old city of
Theseus to the new Athens, built by Hadrian. The stones are put together
without cement; but the work is adorned with a row of Corinthian
pilasters and columns, with bases supporting an upper tier in the same
style of architecture. It was erected commemorative of Hadrian's return
to Athens. A new city had arisen under his auspices. Magnificent
temples, stately shrines, unsullied altars, awaited the benediction of
this sacerdotal monarch; and it would, indeed, have been marvellous if
the Athenians, naturally prone to adulation, neglected to bestow it on a
benefactor so well disposed for its reception. The triumphal arch was of
course prepared, and lasting characters thereon inscribed have
proclaimed to succeeding ages, that "The Athens of Hadrian eclipsed the
city of Theseus[70]."

Besides this arch, there are other remnants of structures erected in
honour of Hadrian. Of these are the stupendous pillars which bear his
name. In the time of Pausanias, there were one hundred and twenty
pillars of Phrygian marble. Of these, sixteen columns of white marble,
each six feet in diameter, and sixty feet in height, now remain; all of
the Corinthian order, beautifully fluted, and of the most exquisite
workmanship. "Certainly," says Wheler, "this was a work alone that may
justify the liberality of Hadrian, and the great care he took to adorn
the city; for this must needs have been a wonderful portico, both for
beauty, use, and grandeur." Pausanias says, that it was enclosed with a
cloister, in which were built rooms of the same stone, only the roofs of
alabaster, gilded with gold, and the whole excellently adorned with
statues and pictures. He founded also a library and a gymnasium.

The Tower or Temple of the Winds[71] is more attractive by its
singularity than its beauty. It was the water-clock, the chronometer,
and the weather guide of Athens. It was built by Andronicus
Cyrrhestes[72]. On the top stood a brazen Triton, contrived so as to
turn round with the wind, and with a wand, that he held in his hand, to
point to the figure of the wind which blew. The Triton is now wanting;
the rest remains entire. It is a small octagon tower; the roof is built
pyramidically. On every side is represented the figure of a wind, with
proper attributes, characterising the nature of it, in very good _basso
rilievo_, and their names written above them in Greek characters. The
god Zephyrus is represented as a beautiful young man, gliding gently
along with an imperceptible motion, with his bosom full of flowers. They
are all drawn with wings, and flying on with more or less rapidity,
according to the violence of each wind in those parts. This structure is
known to be the same which Vitruvius mentions, but it is entirely
unnoticed by Pausanias[73]. Some suppose that it was one of the sacred
structures of the ancient city, and that, as a place of religious
worship, it answered other purposes than that of merely indicating the
direction of the winds, the seasons, and the hours.

As Dr. Clarke drew near to the walls, he beheld the vast Cecropian
citadel, crowned with temples, that originated in the veneration, once
paid to the memory of the illustrious dead, surrounded by objects,
telling the same theme of sepulchral grandeur, and now monuments of
departed greatness, mouldering in all the solemnity of ruin. "So
paramount is this funereal character in the approach to Athens from the
Piræus," says he, "that as we passed the hill of the Museum, which was,
in fact, an ancient cemetery of the Athenians, we might have imagined
ourselves to be among the tombs of Telmessus, from the number of
sepulchres hewn in the rock, and from the antiquity of the workmanship,
evidently not of later date than any thing of the kind in Asia Minor. In
other respects, the city exhibits nearly the appearance so briefly
described by Strabo, eighteen centuries before our coming; and perhaps
it wears a more magnificent aspect, owing to the splendid remains of
Hadrian's temple of Olympian Jove, which did not exist when Athens was
visited by the disciple of Xenacchus."

"The first monument," says La Martine, "which attracts your attention,
is the temple of Olympian Jupiter, the magnificent columns of which rise
alone upon a deserted naked spot, on the right of what was Athens--a
worthy portico of a city in ruins." This temple[74] was pretended by the
Athenians to have been originally founded in the time of Deucalion, and
to have subsisted nine hundred years; but in the end falling into ruin,
it began to be rebuilt by Pisistratus, and having received additions
from several hands during the space of seven hundred years, was
completely finished by the Emperor Hadrian, and dedicated to Jupiter
Olympus, to whose honour the same prince erected a colossal statue of
immense value, both on account of the richness of its materials and the
beauty of its workmanship. Nothing in all Greece, nor even in the whole
world, was equal to the magnificence of this temple. Its area was
computed to be four stadia. The inside was embellished with statues by
the best hands, placed between each column, which were gifts from all
the cities of Greece, that were desirous of paying their court to the
Emperor; among whom the Athenians distinguished themselves by the
colossus, erected by them in honour of the monarch himself. It is
impossible from the remains to collect the plan of the whole building;
there being nothing left but ten beautiful Corinthian pillars, with
their friezes, architraves, and cornices, two fluted, the remaining
eight plain. Close behind the eight, which stand in one rank, is a wall
of white marble, the same as the columns, and, at the south end, the two
that project, being fluted, and on a different line from the others,
seem to have formed the entrance of the temple[75].

The solitary grandeur of these marble ruins[76] is, perhaps, more
striking than the appearance presented by any other object at Athens;
insomuch that the Turks themselves seem to regard them with an eye of
respect and admiration; large parties of them being frequently seen
seated on their carpets, in the long shade of the columns. "Rome," says
Chandler, "afforded no example of this species of building. It was one
of the four marble edifices, which had raised to the pinnacle of renown
the architects who planned them; men, it is said, admired in the
assembly of the gods for their wisdom and excellence."

Of this temple seventeen columns were standing in 1676; but, a few years
before Chandler arrived at Athens, one was thrown down, for the purpose
of building a new mosque in the market-place.

Some of the columns still support their architraves, as we have before
stated, one of which was found to equal three feet in width, and
although of one entire piece of marble, it extended in length twenty-two
feet six inches. On the top of the entablature is shown the dwelling of
a hermit, who fixed his abode upon this eminence, and dedicated his life
entirely to the contemplation of the sublime objects by which his
residence was on all sides surrounded.

The beauty of the temple of Theseus[77] is not at all prejudiced by its
littleness; but still remains a masterpiece of architecture, not easy to
be paralleled, much less exceeded. Much of the history of Theseus is
expressed in relievo, on the pronaos of the front and west end, where
all the tricks and art of wrestling seem well expressed. There are,
also, some in women's habits, to express the war of the Amazons.

This elegant building[78] is supposed to have furnished the model of the
Parthenon, which resembles it in the most essential points, though it is
nearly of double the size. Indeed, the Theseion impresses the beholder
more by its symmetry than its magnitude. It is now converted into a
Christian church. "On approaching the temple of Theseus," says La
Martine, "though convinced by what I had read of its beauty, I was
astonished to find myself quite unmoved; my heart sought to bestir
itself; my eye sought to admire; but in vain. I felt what one always
feels at the sight of a work without faults,--a negative pleasure,--but
as to a real, strong impression, a sense of powerful or involuntary
delight, I experienced nothing. This temple is too small; it is a kind
of sublime plaything of art. It is not a monument for the gods; nor even
for men for ages. I felt but one instant of ecstacy, and that was when,
seated at the western angle of the temple, on its last steps, my eye
embraced, at one glance, the magnificent harmony of its forms, the
majestic elegance of its columns, the empty and more sombre space of its
portico; and on its internal frieze, the combats of the Centaurs and the
Lapithæ; and above, through the opening of the centre, the blue and
resplendent sky, shedding a serene and mystical light on the cornices
and the projecting slopes of the bassi-rilievi, which seem to live and
to move." All this seems rather extraordinary.

"On your way from Piræum to the city of Athens," says Lord Sandwich,
"you pass all along the ruins of Themistocles' wall. The road is in the
middle of a beautiful plain, covered with vineyards and olive trees,
which, being bounded on one side by mountains, and on the other by the
sea, affords a most delightful prospect. Before your entrance into the
city, the first monument of antiquity that presents itself to your view,
is the temple of Theseus, built by the Athenians, in honour of that
hero, soon after the battle of Marathon. This temple was allowed the
privilege of being a sanctuary for all fugitives, in memory that
Theseus, in his lifetime, protected the distressed. It cannot be too
much commended, both on account of the beauty of the materials and
regularity of the architecture; besides which, it has the advantage of
being in a manner entire, there being nothing wanting to it but a small
part of the roof."

In spite of its beauty, what says Monsieur La Martine? "No; the temple
of Theseus is not worthy of its fame; it cannot be said to live as a
monument. It is not suggestive of what it ought to be. It is beautiful,
no doubt; but it is a kind of frigid, dead beauty, of which the artist
alone ought to go and shake the shroud, and wipe the dust. As for me, I
admired unquestionably; but quitted it without any desire to see it
again. The beautiful stones of the columns of the Vatican, the majestic
colossal shadows of St. Peters at Rome, never suffered me to leave them
without regret, or the hope of return." Can all this be real? or is it
merely an affectation?

"During our residence of ten weeks," says Sir John Hobhouse, "there was
not, I believe, a day of which we did not devote a part to the
contemplation of the noble monuments of Grecian genius, that have
outlived the ravages of time, and the outrage of barbarous and
antiquarian despoilers. The temple of Theseus, which was within five
minutes' walk of our lodgings, is the most perfect ancient edifice in
the world. In this fabric, the most enduring stability, and a simplicity
of design peculiarly striking, are united with the highest elegance and
accuracy of workmanship, the characteristics of the Doric style; whose
chaste beauty is not, in the opinion of the first artists, to be
equalled by the graces of any of the other orders."

"That the Theseion was originally a tomb," says Dr. Clarke, "like other
Grecian temples, is scarcely to be doubted. The building is believed to
bear date from the event mentioned by Plutarch, when, after the conquest
of Scyros, the son of Miltiades arrived in Athens, bearing the
mouldering bones and weapons he had discovered. This occurred during the
archonship of Apsepion; so that the Theseion has now braved the attacks
of time, of earthquakes, and of barbarians, during a lapse of
considerably above two thousand years."

This beautiful Doric temple[79], more resembling in the style of its
architecture the temples of Pæstum, than that of Minerva in the
Acropolis, and the most entire of any of the structures of ancient
Greece, were it not for the damage which the sculpture has sustained,
may be considered as still perfect. The ruined state of the metopes and
frieze has proved a very fortunate circumstance; for it was owing solely
to this that the building escaped the ravages which were going on in the
Parthenon. The entire edifice is of Pentelican marble. It stands east
and west, the principal front facing the east; and it is that kind of
building which was called by ancient architects, as it is expressed in
the language of Vitruvius and explained by Stuart, a Peripteros; that is
to say, it has a portico of six columns in each front, and on each side
a range of eleven columns, exclusive of the columns on the angles. All
these columns remain in their original position, excepting two, that
separated the portico from the pronaos, which have been demolished. Like
all pillars raised according to the most _ancient_ Doric style of
buildings, they are without bases or pedestals; standing with
inexpressible dignity and simplicity upon the pavement of the covered
walk around the cell of the temple. Some of the metopes represent the
labours of Hercules; others the exploits of Theseus; and there are some
which were never adorned with any sculpture. Above the antæ of the
pronaos is a sculptured frieze, the subject of which cannot now be
determined; and the battle of the Centaurs and Lapithæ is represented
upon a similar frieze of the porticoes. In the tympanum of the pediment,
over the eastern front, Stuart observed several holes in the marble,
where metal cramps had been fixed for sustaining sculpture in entire
relief, as over the eastern entrance to the Parthenon. The action of the
atmosphere in this fine climate upon the marble has diffused over the
whole edifice, as over the buildings in the Acropolis, a warm ochreous
tint, which is peculiar to the ruins of Athens. It bears no resemblance
to the black and dingy hue, which is acquired by all works in stone and
marble, when they have been exposed to the open air in the more
northern countries of Europe, and especially in England. Perhaps to this
warm colour, so remarkably characterizing the remains of ancient
buildings at Athens, Plutarch alluded in that beautiful passage, cited
by Chandler, when he affirmed that the structures of Pericles possessed
a peculiar and unparalleled excellence of character. "A certain
freshness bloomed upon them," says he, "and preserved their faces
uninjured, as if they possessed a never-fading spirit, and had a soul
insensible to age."

The monument of THRASYLLUS,--an elegant little fabric,--was erected 318
B.C. It is a structure of Pentelic marble, simple, yet highly finished.
Its entire height is twenty-nine feet five inches.

"How majestic, and how perfect in its preservation," says Dr. Clarke,
"rises the Choragic monument of Thrasyllus; and how sublime the whole
group of objects with which it is associated. At the time of our visit,
and before the work of dilapidation had commenced, the ancient sun-dial,
the statue of the god, the pillars for the tripods, the majestic
citadel;--the last of these has, indeed, defied the desolating ravages
of barbaric power; but who shall again behold the other objects in this
affecting scene as they then appeared? or in what distant country and
obscure retreat may we look for their mutilated fragments?"

The monument of PHILOPAPPUS[80] stands upon the hill of Musæus, where
that celebrated poet is said to have been buried. It is within the walls
of the ancient city, though at some distance from those of the modern
one; and the view from it of the citadel of Athens and the neighbouring
territories is very striking; for, looking towards the sea, the eye
commands the ports of the Piræus, Munychia, and Phalerus; the isles of
Salamis and Ægina, and the mountains of Peloponnesus, as far as the
gulf of Argos. It originally consisted of three compartments between
four Corinthian pilasters; that is to say, of an arched recess,
containing a central sitting figure, having a square niche on each side
of it. Below these appeared three superb sculptures in relief. That in
the centre, beneath the sitting statue, exhibits Trajan in a car, drawn
by four horses, as he is represented on many monuments of that emperor.
On either side, in square compartments, were seen the attendants,
preceding and following the triumphal car.

Philopappus' monument, says Mr. Dodwell, has its faults and
deficiencies; but it is an elegant and imposing object. In the interior
of the basement are some blocks of the grey Hymettian marble, and the
soft stone from the Piræus. The superstructure is of Pentelic marble.

It is a structure of white marble, says another writer, built a
proportionable height, something circular. In the middle was a large
niche, with a figure of marble sitting in it, and under his feet, in
large letters,--"Philopappus, son of Epiphanes of Besa." Wheler found a
still longer inscription, in Latin, which he thus translates:--

_Caius, Julius, Philopappus, son of Caius, of the tribe of Fabia,
Consul, Frater Arvalis, chosen among the Prætors by the most good and
august Emperor Cæsar, Nerva, Trajanus, who conquered the Germans and

Among the inscriptions in this city may be noted one on a large marble
stone, standing on end, in the wall of a private house, relating to the
sale of oil; and as it teaches many things we shall cite it, as
translated by Wheler:--

_The law edict of the God-like Hadrian._

"'Let those that cultivate the oyl bring the third part to the office,
or those that possess the ground of the Proconsul, which the ... has
sold, their eighth part, for they only have that right. But let them
bring it at the same time. * * * (Thence eight lines are imperfect, and
then it followeth:--) 'Let it be taken upon oath, how much hath been
gathered in all, as well by his slaves as by his freemen; but if he
selleth the fruit, the landlord or the tenant, or the buyer of the crop,
shall be written with them; and he that has sold it for transportation
shall give an account how much he has sold it for, and to whom and
whither bound. And let the merchant write what he hath embarked, and of
whom, and whither he is bound. * * * But he that shall be found to give
false accounts, either of the receipt of transportation, or concerning
the country, their freight shall be confiscated; still those possessing
the lands of the proconsul excepted if they bring their ... part.'"
(Here half a dozen lines are defaced, and, then he proceeds again:--)
"'Let him retain the half. But if he doth not receive half, let the
public take half. * * * And let the merchant write what he hath
transported, and how much of every body. But if he shall be apprehended
not to have given his account, let him be stopped; or if he sail away,
let his merchandise be forfeited. But if he shall avoid it by hoisting
sails, let them write to his country, or to me, under the testimony of
the commons; if any of the ship shall allege it necessary, the prætor
shall convocate the senate the next day; but if the matter shall exceed
fifty amphoræ, let it be brought to the congregation, and half given to
the discoverer. But if any one shall yet appeal to me or my proconsuls,
let the commons choose syndics, that all things which are done against
evil doers may be executed without reproof.'" Some lines more yet
remain, which are less preserved.

The majority of the Athenian churches[81] are built upon the ruins of
ancient temples, and are composed of blocks of stone and marble, with a
great number of inscriptions, altars, pedestals, and architectural
ornaments. "As we passed through the town," says Dr. Clarke, "there was
hardly a house, that had not some little marble fragments of ancient
sculpture stuck in its front, over its door."

At Athens four ancient buildings[82] have been entirely destroyed within
these few years; a small Ionic temple in the Acropolis; another temple,
supposed to be of Ceres, near the Ilissus, or bridge over that stream,
and the aqueduct of Antoninus Pius. Part also of the propylæan columns
have been thrown down, with a mass of the architrave on the western
front of the Erectheion, and one of the columns of the Olympeion. In
fact, more than forty of the temples and public buildings[83], which are
mentioned by Pausanias, have so totally disappeared, as not to leave a
trace, by which it is possible to identify their situation: and this
leads us to the Parthenon, which we have purposely left to the last,
because the wrong done to it of late years, by a nobleman of Scotland,
has been the means of introducing to our own country a taste for the
elegant and beautiful, which it never enjoyed before.

"The Parthenon," says Mr. Dodwell, "at first sight rather disappointed
my expectations, and appeared less than its fame. The eye, however, soon
becomes filled with the magnitude of its dimensions, the beauty of its
materials, the exquisite perfection of its symmetry, and the harmonious
analogy of its proportions. It is the most unrivalled triumph of
sculpture and architecture that the world ever saw. The delight which it
inspires on a superficial view is heightened in proportion as it is
attentively surveyed. If we admire the whole of the glorious fabric,
that admiration will be augmented by a minute investigation of all the
ramified details. Every part has been finished with such exquisite
purity, that not the smallest instance of negligence can be discovered
in the execution of those particulars, which are the least exposed to
observation: the most concealed minutiæ of the structure having been
perfected, with a sort of pious scrupulosity."

"I pass delicious hours," says M. La Martine, "recumbent beneath the
shade of the Propylæa: my eyes fixed on the falling pediment of the
Parthenon, I feel all antiquity in what it has produced of divine; the
rest is not worth the language that has described it. The aspect of the
Parthenon displays, better than history, the colossal grandeur of a
people. Pericles ought not to die. What superhuman civilization was that
which supplied a great man to command, an architect to conceive, a
sculptor to decorate, statuaries to execute, workmen to cut, a people to
pay, and eyes to comprehend and admire such an edifice! Where shall we
find such a people, or such a period? No where!"

"Let us, in idea, rebuild the Parthenon," continues the same writer; "it
is easily done; it has only lost its frieze, and its internal
compartments. The external walls, chiselled by Phidias, the columns, and
fragments of columns, remain. The Parthenon was entirely built of
Pentelic marble, so called from the neighbouring mountain of that name,
whence it was taken. It consists of a parallelogram, surrounded by a
peristyle of forty-six Doric columns; one column is six feet in diameter
at the base, and thirty-four feet high. The columns are placed on the
pavement of the temple itself, and have no bases. At each extremity of
the temple exists, or did exist, a portico of six columns. The total
length of the edifice is two hundred and twenty-eight feet; its width,
two hundred feet; its height, sixty-six feet. It only presents to the
eye the majestic simplicity of its architectural lines. It was, in fact,
one single idea expressed in stone, and intelligible at a glance, like
the thoughts of the ancients."

This recalls to our recollection what Plutarch says in respect to
Pericles. "The Parthenon was constructed with such admirable judgment,
such solidity of workmanship, and such a profound knowledge of the
architectural art, that it would have indefinitely defied the ravages of
time, if they had not been assisted by the operations of external
violence. It is an edifice that seems to have been constructed for
eternity. The structures which Pericles raised are the more admirable,
as, being completed in so short a time, they yet had such a lasting
beauty; for, as they had, when new, the venerable aspect of antiquity,
so, now they are old, they have the freshness of a modern work. They
seem to be preserved from the injuries of time by a kind of vital
principle, which produces a vigour that cannot be impaired, and a bloom
that will never fade."

These words of Plutarch were applicable to the Parthenon little more
than a century ago, and would still have been so, if it had not found
enemies in the successive bigotry of contending religions, in the
destruction of war, and the plundering mania of artists and amateurs.
The high preservation of those parts, which are still suffered to
remain, is truly astonishing! The columns are so little broken, that
were it not for the venerable reality of age, they would almost appear
of recent construction.

These observations naturally carry us back to the period in which the
Parthenon was built. That which was the chief delight of the Athenians,
and the wonder of strangers, was the magnificence of their edifices; yet
no part of the conduct of Pericles moved the spleen of his adversaries
more than this. They insisted that he had brought the greatest disgrace
upon the Athenians, by removing the treasures of Greece from Delos, and
taking them into his own custody; that he had not left himself even the
specious apology of having caused the money to be brought to Athens for
its greater security, and to keep it from being seized by the
Barbarians; that Greece would consider such an attempt as a manifest
tyranny; that the sums they had received from them, upon pretence of
their being employed in the war, were laid out by the Athenians in
gilding and embellishing their city, in making magnificent statues, and
raising temples that cost millions. Nor did they amplify in the matter;
for the Parthenon alone cost £145,000. Pericles,[84] on the contrary,
remonstrated to the Athenians, that they were not obliged to give the
allies an account of the money they had received; that it was enough
they defended them from the Barbarians, whilst the allies furnished
neither soldiers, horses, nor ships. He added, that as the Athenians
were sufficiently provided with all things necessary for war, it was but
just that they should employ the rest of their riches in edifices and
other works, which, when finished, would give immortal glory to their
city, and the whole time they were carrying on give bread to an infinite
number of citizens: that they themselves had all kinds of materials, as
timber, stone, brass, ivory, gold, ebony, and cypress wood; and all
sorts of artificers capable of working them, as carpenters, masons,
smiths, stone-cutters, dyers, goldsmiths; artificers in ebony, painters,
embroiderers, and turners; men fit to conduct their naval affairs, as
merchants, sailors, and experienced pilots; others for land carriage, as
cartwrights, waggoners, carters, rope-makers, paviors, &c. &c.: that it
was for the advantage of the state to employ these different artificers
and workmen, who, as so many separate bodies, formed, when united, a
kind of peaceable and domestic army, whose different functions and
employments diffused gain and increase throughout all ages and sexes:
lastly, that, whilst men of robust bodies, and of an age fit to bear
arms, whether soldiers or mariners, and those who were in the different
garrisons, were supported with the public moneys, it was but just that
the rest of the people who lived in the city should also be maintained
in their way: and that as all were members of the same republic, they
should all reap the same advantages, by doing it services, which, though
of a different kind, did, however, all contribute to its security or
ornament. One day as the debaters were growing warm, Pericles offered to
defray the expense of all these things, provided it should be declared
in the public inscriptions, that he only had been at the charge of them.
At these words, the people, either admiring his magnanimity, or fired
with emulation, and determined not to let him engross that glory, cried,
with one voice, that he might take out of the public treasury all the
sums that were necessary for his purpose.

Historians expatiate greatly on the magnificent edifices and other
works; but it is not easy to say whether the complaints and murmurs
raised against him were ill-founded or not. According to Cicero, such
edifices and other works only are worthy of admiration as are of use to
the public, as aqueducts, city walls, citadels, arsenals, sea-ports; and
to these must be added the work, made by Pericles, to join Athens to the
port of Piræus.

Mons. de La Martine speaks of the only two figures that now adorn the
Parthenon thus:--"At the Parthenon there remain only the two figures of
Mars and Venus, half crushed by two enormous fragments of cornice,
which have glided over their heads; but these two figures are to me
worth more than all I have seen in sculpture in my life. They live as no
other canvas or marble has ever lived. One feels that the chisel of
Phidias trembled, burned in his hand, when these sublime figures started
into being under his fingers."

The following observations in regard to colour are by Mr.
Williams:--"The Parthenon, in its present corroded state, impresses the
mind with the idea of its thousands of years. The purity of marble has
disappeared; but still the eye is charmed with the varied livery of
time. The western front is rich in golden hues, and seems as if it had
absorbed the evening beams[85]; little white appears, except the
tympanum and part of the entablature. But the brightest orange colour,
and grey and sulphury hues, combine in sweetest harmony. The noble
shafts of the huge columns are uniformly toned with yellow, of a
brownish cast, admitting here and there a little grey. Casting the eye
to the inner cell, we see dark hues of olive mixed with various tints,
adorning the existing frieze and pillars; and these, opposed to
brilliant white, afford a point and power of expression, which never
fails to please."

Sir J. C. Hobhouse says, Lord Elgin's injuries were these; the taking
off the metopes, the statue over the theatre of Bacchus, and the statues
of the west pediment of the Parthenon; and the carrying away one of the
Caryatides, and the finest of the columns of the Erectheum. "No other,"
continues Sir John, "comes, I believe, within the limits of censure--no
other marbles were detached."

The monuments, now called the Elgin marbles, were chiefly obtained from
the Erectheum, the Propylæa, and the Parthenon, more especially the
last. We must here give room to the observations, vindicative of this
proceeding:--"Perhaps one of the most judicious measures of government,
with reference to the advancement of the arts in this country, was the
purchase of these remains. We may go farther, and add, that the removal
of them from Athens, where their destruction was daily going forward, to
place them where their merits would be appreciated, and their decay
suspended, was not only a justifiable act, but one which deserves the
gratitude of England and of the civilised world. The decay of the
Athenian monuments may be attributed to various causes. 'Fire and the
barbarian' have both done their work. Athens has seen many masters. The
Romans were too refined to destroy the monuments of art: but the Goths
had a long period of spoliation; and then came the Turks, at once proud
and ignorant, despising what they could not understand. The Acropolis
became a garrison in their hands, and thus, in 1687, it was bombarded by
the Venetians, whose heavy guns were directed against the porticoes and
colonnades of the ancient temples. But the Turks still continued to hold
their conquests; and the business of demolition went steadily on for
another century and a half. Many travellers who visited Athens about a
hundred years ago, and even much later, describe monuments of sculpture
which now have no existence. The Turks pounded the marble into dust to
make lime; one traveller after another continued to remove a fragment.
The museums of Egypt were successively adorned with these relics; at
last, when, as column after column fell, the remains of Athens were
becoming less and less worthy of notice, covered in the dust, or carted
away to be broken up for building, Lord Elgin, who had been ambassador
at Constantinople in 1799, obtained, in 1801, an authority from the
Turkish government, called a firmaun, which eventually enabled the
British nation to possess the most valuable of the sculptures of which
any portion was left. The authority thus granted empowered Lord Elgin to
fix scaffolding around the ancient temple of the Idols 'to mould the
ornamental and visible figures thereon in plaster and gypsum;' and,
subsequently, 'to take away any pieces of stone with old inscriptions or
figures thereon.' For several years the intentions of Lord Elgin were
carried into effect at his private risk, and at a cost which is stated
to have amounted to 74,000_l_, including the interest of money. In 1816,
the entire collection was purchased of Lord Elgin by act of parliament
for 35,000_l._ It is unnecessary for us to go into the controversy,
whether it was just to remove these relics from their original seats.
Had the Greeks been able to preserve them, there can be no doubt of the
injustice of such an act. The probability is, that if foreign
governments had not done what Lord Elgin did as an individual, there
would not have been a fragment left at this day to exhibit the grandeur
of the Grecian art as practised by Phidias. The British nation, by the
purchase of these monuments, has secured a possession of inestimable

From these observations, it would appear that the spoliation of the
Parthenon may be vindicated on the ground, that neither the Turks nor
the citizens cared any thing about them, and that if they had not been
taken away, they would, in a short time, have been destroyed.
Respectable testimony, however, is opposed to this: most travellers have
inveighed against the spoliation; and two, highly qualified, have given
a very different account from what the above statement implies. These
are Dr. Clarke and Mr. Dodwell. We shall select the testimony of the
latter in preference to that of Dr. Clarke, only because he was at
Athens at the very time in which the spoliation was going on. "During my
first tour to Greece," says he, "I had the inexpressible mortification
of being present when the Parthenon was despoiled of its finest
sculpture, and when some of its architectural members were thrown to the
ground." * * * "It is, indeed, impossible to suppress the feelings of
regret which must arise in the breast of every traveller, who has seen
these temples before and since their late dilapidation! Nor have I any
hesitation in declaring, that the Athenians in general, nay, even the
Turks themselves, did lament the ruin that was committed; and loudly and
openly blamed their sovereign for the permission he had granted! I was
on the spot at the time, and had an opportunity of observing, and,
indeed, of participating, in the sentiment of indignation, which such
conduct universally inspired. The whole proceeding was so unpopular in
Athens, that it was necessary to pay the labourers more than their usual
profits, before any one could be prevailed upon to assist in this work
of profanation."

"Such rapacity is a crime against all ages and all generations," says
Mr. Eustace; "it deprives the past of the trophies of their genius and
the title-deeds of their fame; the present of the strongest inducements
to exertion, the noblest exhibitions that curiosity can contemplate; and
the future of the master-pieces of art, the models of imitation. To
guard against the repetition of such depredations is the wish of every
man of genius, the duty of every man in power, and the common interest
of every civilised nation."

"That the Elgin marbles will contribute to the improvement of art in
England," says Mr. Williams, "cannot be doubted. They must, certainly,
open the eyes of the British artists, and prove that the true and only
road to simplicity and beauty is the study of nature. But had we a right
to diminish the interest of Athens for selfish motives, and prevent
successive generations of other nations from seeing those admirable
structures? The temple of Minerva was spared as a beacon to the world,
to direct it to the knowledge of purity and of taste. What can we say to
the disappointed traveller, who is now deprived of the rich satisfaction
that would have compensated his travel and his toil? It will be little
consolation to him to say, he may find the sculpture of the Parthenon in


Babylon and Nineveh appear to have resembled each other, not only in
form but in extent and population. Quintus Curtius asserts, that Babylon
owed its origin to Semiramis. In the Bible, however, it having been
stated, that one of the chief cities of Nimrod was Babel; many authors
have given into the idea, that Babylon was built by Nimrod. If we attend
strictly to the words of Moses, however, we shall find that to have been
an impossible circumstance.

Moses states, that Nimrod had four large cities[88]. Those were Babel,
Erech, Accad, and Calneth. Nimrod was a descendant of Ham; but the
temple of Babel, on the establishment of which depends the origin of
Babylon, was built by the descendants of Shem:--at least, we have the
right to believe so; for Moses mentions the descendants of Shem last,
and then goes on to say:--"The whole earth was of one language and of
one speech: and it came to pass, as they journeyed from the East, that
they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there."

When they had dwelt there some time, they said to one another, "Go to,
let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for
stone, and slime had they for mortar." This was the first of the
subsequent town. They had not yet aspired to any particular distinction.
At length they said to themselves, "Let us build a city and a tower; and
let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the
whole earth." They were interrupted in their design, and "they left off
building the city." There is, however, no account of its having been
destroyed; nor any in regard to the destruction of the temple. The
people, however, were scattered[89].

This city was, subsequently, called Babel; and the temple of Belus being
the oldest temple recorded in history, it has been generally supposed,
that it was no other than the tower, the family of Shem had endeavoured
to build. This, however, is far from being certain; for Josephus, who,
in this case is not without his weight, relates that the tower was
thrown down by an impetuous wind or violent hurricane; and that it never
was rebuilt.

The fact is, that the real origin of Babylon is lost in the depth of
history; and all that can be stated, with any degree of certainty, is,
that Nineveh and Babylon were founded much about the same time, and that
Ninus, Semiramis, Ninyas, and Sardanapalus were sovereigns, though not
during their whole lives, of both cities. This appears to us to be the
only way in which we can understand the history of the first Assyrian

We have no space to enter into the particular history of this most
celebrated of all cities; neither does the plan of our work admit of it:
our province only being to record its origin, to describe its ancient
state, to give an account of its destruction, and then describe, from
the pages of authentic travellers, the ruins which still remain.

Having given some account of its origin, we proceed to describe the
height to which it was exalted. "The Assyrians," says Herodotus, "are
masters of many capital towns; but their place of greatest strength and
fame is Babylon[90]; where, after the destruction of Nineveh, was the
royal residence. It is situated on a large plain, and is a perfect
square; each side, by every approach is, in length, one hundred and
twenty furlongs; the space, therefore, occupied by the whole, is four
hundred and eighty furlongs: so extensive is the ground which Babylon
occupies. Its internal beauty and magnificence exceeds whatever has come
within my knowledge. It is surrounded by a trench, very wide, deep, and
full of water; the wall beyond this is two hundred royal cubits
high[91], and fifty wide; the royal exceeds the common cubit by three
digits[92]." "It will not be foreign to my purpose," continues the
historian, "to describe the use to which the earth dug out of the trench
was converted, as well as the particular manner in which they
constructed the wall. The earth of the trench was first of all laid in
heaps, and when a sufficient quantity was obtained, made into square
bricks, and baked in a furnace. They used, as cement, a composition of
heated bitumen, which, mixed with the tops of reeds, was placed between
every thirtieth course of bricks. Having thus lined the sides of the
trench, they proceeded to build the wall in a similar manner; on the
summit of which, and fronting each other, they erected small watchtowers
of one story, leaving a space betwixt them, through which a chariot and
four horses might pass and turn. In the circumference of the wall, at
different distances, were a hundred massy gates of brass[93], whose
hinges and frames were of the same metal. Within eight days' journey
from Babylon is a city called Is, near which flows a river of the same
name, which empties itself into the Euphrates. With the current of this
river, particles of bitumen descend towards Babylon, by means of which
its walls are constructed. The great river Euphrates, which, with its
deep and rapid streams, rises in the Armenian mountains, and pours
itself into the Red Sea[94], divides Babylon into two parts. The walls
meet and form an angle at the river at each extremity of the town, where
a breast-work of burnt bricks begins, and is continued along each bank.
The city, which abounds in houses from three to four stories in height,
is regularly divided into streets. Through these, which are parallel,
there are transverse avenues to the river opened through the wall and
breast-work, and secured by an equal number of little gates of brass."

The historian then proceeds to describe the fortifications and the
temple of Belus. "The first wall is regularly fortified; the interior
one, though less in substance, is of about equal strength. Besides
these, in the centre of each division of the city, there is a circular
space surrounded by a wall. In one of these stands the royal palace,
which fills a large and strongly-defended place. The temple of Jupiter
Belus[95] occupies the other, whose huge gates of brass may still be
seen. It is a square building, each side of which is of the length of
two furlongs. In the midst, a tower rises of the solid depth and height
of one furlong, upon which, resting as a base, seven other turrets are
built in regular succession. The ascent is on the outside; which,
winding from the ground, is continued to the highest tower; and in the
middle of the whole structure there is a convenient resting-place. In
the last tower is a large chapel, in which is placed a couch
magnificently adorned, and near it a table of solid gold; but there is
no statue in the place." Herodotus, however, states, that in another
part of the temple there was a statue of Jupiter, in a sitting posture,
with a large table before him; and that these, with the base of the
table and the seat of the throne, were all of the purest gold, and were
estimated in his time, by the Chaldeans, at not less than eight hundred

We may here give place to a passage in a modern poem, highly descriptive
of its ancient state.

                                Those walls, within
  Whose large inclosure the rude hind, or guides
  His plough, or binds his sheaves, while shepherds guard
  Their flocks, scure of ill: on the broad top
  Six chariots rattled in extended front.
  For there, since Cyrus on the neighbouring plain,
  Has marked his camp, th' enclosed Assyrian drives
  His foaming steeds, and from the giddy height
  Looks down with scorn on all the tents below.
  Each side in length, in height, in solid bulk,
  Reflects its opposite; a perfect square;
  Scarce sixty thousand paces can mete out
  The vast circumference. An hundred gates
  Of polished brass lead to that central point,
  Where through the midst, bridged o'er with wondrous art,
  Euphrates leads a navigable stream,
  Branch'd from the current of his roaring flood.

                                  DR. ROBERTS, _Judah Restored_.

Thus we find the walls to have extended to a vast circumference--from
forty-eight to sixty miles; but we are not to suppose them to have been
entirely filled up with houses;[96] but, as in the old city of Moscow,
to have been in no small part taken up with gardens and other cultivated

In regard to the size of some ancient Eastern cities, Mr. Franklin has
made some very pertinent remarks, in his inquiry concerning the site of
the ancient Palibothra:--"For the extent of the city and suburbs of
Palibothra, from seventy-five to eighty miles have been assigned by the
Puranas; a distance, said to be impossible for the space occupied by a
single city. So, indeed, it might, were we to compare the cities of Asia
with those of Europe. The idea of lofty houses of brick and stone,
consisting of many stories, with a number of inhabitants, like those of
London, Paris, Vienna, and many others, must not be compared with the
nature of the Asiatic cities. To look in them for regularly-built
squares, and spacious and paved streets, would be absurd."

Herodotus gives the extent of the walls of Babylon at one hundred and
twenty stades on each side, or four hundred and eighty stades in
circumference. Diodorus three hundred and sixty stades in circumference.
Clitarchus, who accompanied Alexander, three hundred and sixty-five.
Curtius states it at three hundred and sixty-eight; and Strabo at three
hundred and eighty-five stades. The general approximation of these
measurements would lead us to suppose that the same stade was used by
the different reporters; and if this was the Greek itinerary stade, we
may estimate the circumference of the great city at twenty-five British
miles[97]. "The lines, drawn on maps, are often only used to divide
distant mounds of ruin. Accumulations of pottery and brickwork are met
with occasionally over a great tract; but the connection, supposed
between these and the corn-fields and gardens, within the common
precincts of a wall, is gratuitous in the extreme. Imagine London and
Paris to be levelled, and the inhabitant of some future city to visit
their ruins, as those of then remote antiquity; if, in the one instance,
Sèvres, Mont Rouge, and Vincennes, or, in the other, Greenwich,
Stratford-le-Bow, Tottenham, Highgate, Hammersmith, Richmond, and
Clapham, be taken in as boundaries, or identified respectively as the
ruins of Paris and London, what a prodigious extent would those cities
gain in the eyes of futurity[98]!"

Babylon, as we have already stated, stood upon the Euphrates, as Nineveh
did upon the Tigris. A branch of it ran entirely through the city from
north to south; and on each side was a quay, walled towards the river,
of the same thickness as the city walls. In these, also, were gates of
brass, from which persons descended to the water by steps; whence, for a
long time, they crossed to the other side in boats; that is, until the
building of a bridge. These gates were open always in the day, but shut
at night. A bridge was at length erected; and this bridge was equally
celebrated with the other great buildings; for it was of vast size; but
Diodorus would seem to make it to have been much larger than it really
was. He says it was five furlongs in length. Now as the Euphrates, at
the spot, was only one furlong wide, this would be impossible; so we
suppose that there must have been a causeway on each side of the bridge;
and that Diodorus included the two causeways, which were, probably,
merely dry arches, as we find in a multitude of modern bridges. It was,
nevertheless, thirty feet in breadth, and built with great skill. The
arches were of hewn stone, fastened together with chains of iron and
melted lead. To effect the building with the greater care and safety,
they turned the course of the river[99], and laid the channel dry. While
one part of the workmen were doing this, others were shaping the
materials for the quays, so that all were finished at the same time.

During a certain portion of the year (viz., June, July, and August) the
Euphrates overflows its banks, as the Nile does in Egypt, the Ganges in
India, and the Amazon in South America. To remedy the manifold
inconveniences arising from this, two large canals were cut to divert
the superabundant waters into the Tigris, before they could reach
Babylon[100]; and to secure the neighbouring country still the better,
they raised artificial banks,--as the Dutch have done in Holland,--of a
vast size, on both sides the river; not built, however, of earth, as in
Holland, but of brick cemented with bitumen, which began at the head of
the canals, and extended for some distance below the city. To effect all
this, the Euphrates, which had been turned one way, in order to build
the bridge, was turned another to build the banks. To this end they dug
a vast lake, forty miles square, and one hundred and sixty in compass,
and thirty-five feet deep. Into this lake the river was diverted, till
the banks were finished; after which it was re-diverted into the former
channel. The lake was, however, still preserved as a reservoir[101].

Perhaps some of our readers may be curious to know how long it would
take to fill this lake up. It is thus stated in the Edinburgh
Review[102]:--"Taking it at the lowest dimensions of a square of forty
miles, by thirty feet deep; and supposing the Euphrates to be five
hundred feet wide, ten deep, and to flow at the rate of two miles an
hour, it would require one thousand and fifty-six days to fill the lake,
allowing no absorption to the sides; but if absorption and evaporation
are taken into the account, we may put the time at four years, or
thereabouts; which, no doubt, would be sufficient, considering the
number of hands employed, to complete the embankment[103]."

This lake, the bridge, and the quays of the river are ascribed to
Nitocris, by Herodotus; but most of the other wonders of Babylon are
ascribed by Josephus to Nebuchadnezzar, her father-in-law. "Perhaps,"
says one of the historians, "Nitocris might only finish what her father
had left imperfect at his death, on which account the historian might
give her the honour of the whole undertaking."

We are now called upon to describe other wonders. These are the palaces
and hanging gardens. At each end of the bridge stood a palace; and those
two palaces had a communication each with the other by means of a
passage under the bed of the river, vaulted at the time in which it was
laid dry[104]. The _old_ palace, which stood on the east side of the
river, was three miles and three quarters in compass. It stood near the
temple of Belus. The _new_ palace stood on the west side. It was much
larger than the old one; being seven miles and a half in compass[105].
It was surrounded with three walls, one within the other, with
considerable spaces between; and these, with those at the other palace,
were embellished with an infinite variety of sculptures, representing
all kinds of animals to the life; amongst which was one more celebrated
than all the rest. This was a hunting piece, representing Semiramis on
horseback throwing a javelin; and Ninus, her husband, piercing a lion.

Near the old palace stood a vast structure, known from all antiquity,
and celebrated in every age as the most wonderful structure ever yet
built; viz., the temple of Belus. We have given some account of it from
Herodotus already. A tower of vast size stood in the middle of it. At
its foundation it was a square of a furlong on each side; that is, half
a mile in its whole compass, and the eighth part of a mile in height. It
consisted of eight towers, built one above another, gradually decreasing
in size to the top. Its height exceeded that of the largest of the
pyramids[106]. It was built of bricks and bitumen. The ascent to the top
was on the outside, by means of stairs, winding, in a spiral line, eight
times round the tower from the bottom to the top. There were many large
rooms in the different stories, with arched roofs, supported by pillars.
On the top was an observatory, the Babylonians having been more
celebrated than any other people of ancient times for their knowledge of

Notwithstanding the opinions of many, that this tower was built
expressly for astronomical purposes, it appears certain that it was used
as a temple also; for the riches of it were immense; consisting of
statues, tables, censers, cups, and other sacred vessels, all of massy
gold. Among these was a statue, weighing a thousand talents of Babylon,
forty feet high. Indeed, so rich was this temple, that Diodorus does not
hesitate to value all it contained at not less than six thousand three
hundred Babylonian talents of gold; which implies a sum equivalent to
twenty-one millions of pounds sterling! Surely some error must have
crept into the MS.

This temple stood till the time of Xerxes. On the return of that prince
from Greece he plundered it; and then caused it to be entirely
demolished. When Alexander returned from India, he formed the design of
rebuilding it upon the ancient plan; and probably, had he lived, he
would have accomplished his wish. Ten thousand men were put to work to
clear away the rubbish; but he died in the midst of his preparation.

Many of the chief erections in this city were planned and executed by
Semiramis. When she had finished them, she made a progress through the
various divisions of her empire; and wherever she went left monuments of
her magnificence, by many noble structures, which she erected, either
for the convenience or the ornament of her cities[108]. She was the best
political economist of ancient times, and may truly be styled the first
utilitarian: for she applied herself to the formation of causeways, the
improvement of roads, the cutting through mountains, and the filling up
valleys. She applied herself, also, most particularly, to the forming of
aqueducts, in order that water might be conveyed to such places as
wanted it: in hot climates desiderata of the first importance.

Valerius Maximus[109] records a circumstance of her, which paints the
influence she possessed over her people in a very striking manner. One
day, as she was dressing herself, word was brought that a tumult was
raging in the city. Without waiting to dress herself, she hurried from
her palace with her head half dressed, and did not return till the
disturbance was entirely appeased[110].

We now pass on to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, because the
accomplishment of that dream is connected with the splendid state of
Babylon in the time of its glory. This dream was, that[111] "he saw a
tree in the midst of the earth, whose height was great: the tree grew,
and was strong, and the height of it reached unto heaven, and the sight
thereof to the end of the earth. The leaves were fair, and the fruit
much; and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow
under it, and the fowls of heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all
flesh was fed of it. I saw the visions of my head on the bed, and,
behold, a watcher, and an holy one, came down from heaven; he cried
aloud, and said thus:--'Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches,
shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit; let the beasts get away
from under it, and the fowls from his branches. Nevertheless, leave the
stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in
the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let
his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given to
him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand of the
word of the holy ones, to the intent that the living may know, that the
Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth to whomsoever he
will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.'"

This dream was expounded by Daniel. "Let the dream be to them, O king,
that hate thee; and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies." The
prophet then declared, "that the king should be driven from the company
of men for seven years; should be reduced to the fellowship of the
beasts of the field, and feed upon grass like oxen; that his kingdom
should, nevertheless, be preserved for him, and he should repossess his
throne, when he should have learnt to know and acknowledge, that all
power is from above, and cometh from heaven."

At the end of twelve months, as Nebuchadnezzar was walking in his
palace, and admiring the beauty and magnificence of his buildings, he
became so elated at the sight of the structures he had erected, that he
exclaimed--"Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house
of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my
majesty?" In an instant, a voice came from heaven declaratory of his
fate, and his understanding was taken from him. He was driven from men,
and did eat grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of
heaven; till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails
like birds' claws.

At the expiration of seven years he recovered his intellectual powers.
He was restored to his throne, and became more powerful than he had been
before. At this period he is supposed to have built the hanging gardens,
which have been so celebrated in every age. Amytis, his wife, having
been bred in Media,--for she was the daughter of Astyages, king of that
country,--had been much taken with the mountains and woody parts of her
native country, and therefore desired to have something like it at
Babylon. To gratify this passion, the king, her husband, raised the
hanging gardens. Diodorus, however, ascribes them to Cyrus; and states
that he built them to gratify a courtezan.

They are thus described by Quintus Curtius:--"Near the castle are those
wonders, which are so often celebrated by the Greek poets; gardens
elevated in the air, consisting of entire groves of trees, growing as
high as the tops of the towers, marvellously beautiful and pleasant from
their height and shade. The whole weight of them is sustained and borne
up by huge pillars, upon which there is a floor of square stone, that
both upholdeth the earth, that lies deep on the pillar, and also the
cisterns with which it is watered. The trees that grow upon this are
many of them eight cubits in circumference, and every thing is as
fruitful as if they grew on the natural ground; and, although process of
time destroys things made by mortal hands, and also even the works of
nature, yet this terrace, although oppressed with the weight of so much
earth, and so great a multitude of trees, still remains unperished,
being held up by seventy broad walls, distant from each other about
eleven feet. When these trees (concludes Curtius), are seen afar off,
they seem to be a wood growing upon a mountain." This may well be, since
they comprised a square of about four hundred feet on every side, and
were carried up into the air in the manner of several large terraces,
one above another, till the highest equalled the height of the walls of
the city. The floors were laid out thus[112]:--On the top of the arches
were first laid large flat stones, sixteen feet long, and four feet
broad; and over them a layer of reed, mixed with a great quantity of
bitumen; over which were two rows of bricks, closely cemented by
plaister; and then, over all, were laid thick sheets of lead; and,
lastly, upon the lead a vast quantity of mould. The mould was of
sufficient depth to let grow very large trees, and such were planted in
it, together with other trees, and every description of plant and
flower, that was esteemed proper for shrubberies and flower-gardens. To
improve all this, there was, on the highest of the terraces, a
water-engine, to draw the water out of the river below, wherewith to
water the whole garden[113].

Besides all this, there were magazines for corn and provision, capable
of maintaining the inhabitants for twenty years; and arsenals, which
supplied with arms such a number of fighting men, as seemed equal to the
conquest or defence of the whole monarchy.

If Babylon was indebted to Nebuchadnezzar for many great buildings, it
was still more so to his daughter Nitocris. She erected a great
multitude; and amongst the rest, one of the gates. On this gate she
caused to be inscribed a command to her successors, that, when she
should be buried under it, none of them should open the tomb to touch
the treasure which laid there, unless impelled by some great and
overwhelming necessity. Many years passed away, and no one opened it. At
length Darius came to the city. Reading the inscription, he caused the
tomb to be opened; but alas! instead of finding the vast treasures he
had expected, he beheld only this inscription:--_"If thou hadst not an
insatiable thirst for money, and a most sordid avaricious soul, thou
wouldst never have broken open the monuments of the dead."_

Astyages, king of the Medes, was succeeded by Cyaxares, uncle to Cyrus.
Cyaxares, learning that the king of Babylon had made great preparations
against him, sent for Cyrus, son of Cambyses, king of Persia, and placed
him at the head of his army. Before marching, Cyrus addressed those
officers who had followed him from Persia, in the following manner. "Do
you know the nature of the enemy you have to deal with? They are soft,
effeminate, enervated men, already half conquered by their own luxury
and voluptuousness; men not able to bear either hunger or thirst;
equally incapable of supporting either the toil of war, or the sight of
danger: whereas you, that are inured, from your infancy, to a sober and
hard way of living; to you, I say, hunger and thirst are but as sauce,
and the only sauce, to your meals; fatigues are your pleasure; dangers
are your delight; and the love of your country, and of glory, your only
passion. Besides, the justice of our cause is another considerable
advantage. They are the aggressors. It is the enemy that attacks us; and
it is our friends and allies that require our aid. Can any thing be
more just than to repel the injury they would bring upon us? Is there
any thing more honourable, than to fly to the assistance of our friends?
But what ought to be the principal motive of your confidence is, that I
do not engage in this expedition without having first consulted the
gods, and implored their protection; for you know it is my custom to
begin all my actions, and all my undertakings, in that manner."

Cyrus, after several battles, laid siege to Babylon. It was in the days
of Belshazzar. That prince was absorbed in luxury and sloth. A great
festival was to be held within the palace, and Cyrus heard of it. He
prepared himself, therefore, and all his army. The court, in the
meantime, was rife in every species of dance, feast, and revelry. In the
pride of his heart, Belshazzar ordered all the gold and silver vessels,
which had been taken from the temple of Jerusalem, to be brought to the
banqueting-room; and he and his officers, and his wives and his
concubines, drank out of them. No sooner was this done, than the fingers
of a man's hand came out from the wall, and wrote over the candlestick
upon the plaster.

The king saw the hand; and when he saw it "his countenance was changed,
and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were
loosed, and his knees smote one against another."

He summoned the magi, and made proclamation. "Whoever shall read this
writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with
scarlet, and have a chain about his neck, and shall be the third ruler
in the kingdom." Daniel, the prophet, interpreted this writing. "This is
the writing that was written: MENE MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the
interpretation of the thing. MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and
finished it. TEKEL; thou art weighed in the balances, and found
wanting. PERES; thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and

Notwithstanding this interpretation, Belshazzar continued the feast, and
to grace it the more, performed his promise. He commanded, and "they
clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and
made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler of
the kingdom."

In the meantime, Cyrus, well aware of the riot and luxury prevailing in
the king's palace, entered the city by the river, the waters of which he
had managed to be drawn dry, by means of the sluices. He and his army
entered through the gates of brass, which opened on the quays. This they
did in two divisions; then they proceeded through the city; met before
the palace; slew the guards; and some of the company having come out to
see what was the cause of the noise they heard, the soldiers rushed in
and immediately made themselves masters of the palace. The king,
however, in this last extremity, acted in a manner more worthy than
might have been expected. He put himself at the head of those who were
inclined to support him; but he was quickly despatched, and all those
that were with him. Thus terminated the Babylonian empire, after a
duration of two hundred and ten years, from the beginning of the reign
of Nebuchadnezzar, who was its founder; and the fate of which had been
so truly foretold.

"Babylon, the glory of kingdoms," says Isaiah, "and the beauty of the
Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
It shall never be inhabited: neither shall it be dwelt in from
generation to generation; neither shall the Arabians pitch their tent
there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there; but wild
beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of
doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance
there; and the wild beasts of the island shall cry in their desolate
houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces. I will also make it a
possession for the bittern and pools of water; and I will sweep it with
the besom of destruction." Events answered the prophecy, though not
precisely at this time[115].

From this period Babylon belonged to the Persian kings: but having
become greatly affronted by the transference of the royal court to Susa,
the inhabitants revolted. By this insult, they drew upon themselves the
whole force of the Persian empire. The inhabitants had provided
themselves with every necessary to support a siege. But lest it might
last longer than they anticipated, they put the most barbarous act in
practice that ever had then been heard of from the creation of the
world. They assembled all their wives and children, and strangled them;
no man being allowed to preserve more than one wife and a servant to do
the necessary business of his house. The siege lasted eighteen months.
Darius himself began to despair.

Some friends having taken the liberty, one day, to propose the question
to Darius, who was then holding a pomegranate in his hand:--"What good
is there you would wish to multiply as often as that fruit contains
seeds?" "Such friends as Zopyrus," answered the king, without
hesitation. This answer threw Zopyrus into one of those paroxysms of
zeal, which can only be justified by the sentiment that gives them

One morning the king observed one of his courtiers make his appearance
before him, bathed in blood, with his ears and nose entirely cut off,
and his whole body wounded in many places. When Darius saw this, he
started from his throne, advanced to the wounded person, and eagerly
inquired of him who had treated him in so terrible a manner? "You,
yourself, O king!" answered Zopyrus. "My wish to render you a service
has put me in this condition. As I was persuaded that you would never
have consented to this method, I have consulted none but the zeal I have
for your service." He then told the king that he had formed the plan of
going over to the enemy in that condition.

His plan will be explained in the result. He left the camp, and
proceeded to the walls of Babylon. When he arrived before the gates, he
told the Babylonians who he was. He was immediately admitted and carried
before the governor. There he complained of Darius, accusing him of
having reduced him to such an unfortunate condition: and that because he
had advised him to give up the siege. Saying this, he offered his
services to the governor and people of Babylon: stating that his revenge
would be a sufficient stimulus and reward for his exertions; and that he
would be found fully adequate to cope with the enemy, since he was well
acquainted with all the arts, and discipline, and stratagems of the

When the Babylonians heard all this, and saw the dreadful condition in
which Zopyrus was, they gave him the command of as many troops as he
desired. With these he made a sally, and cut off more than a thousand of
the enemy: Darius having previously concerted with him. In a few days he
made another sally, when he cut off double the number. In a third he
destroyed not less than four thousand. "Nothing," say the historians,
"was now talked of but the condition and success of Zopyrus." This was,
indeed, so much the case, that he was at length appointed
commander-in-chief. The whole matter, as we have stated before, was a
stratagem between Zopyrus and Darius. Now, then, as Zopyrus had become
master of the forces, he sent intelligence to the king. The king
approached with his army. Zopyrus opened the gates, and the city was
delivered into the king's hands.

No sooner did Darius find himself master of the town, than he ordered
its hundred gates to be pulled down, and its walls to be partly
demolished[116]: but, in order to keep up the population, he caused
fifty thousand women to be brought from the several provinces of his
empire to supply the place of those the inhabitants had so cruelly
destroyed at the beginning of the siege; and for having perpetrated
that horrific act, he caused three thousand of the most distinguished
of the nobility to be crucified[117].

Babylon remained in the possession of the kings of Persia for several
generations[118]. But it soon ceased to be a royal residence, the
sovereigns having chosen to reside either at Shusan, Ecbatana, or
Persepolis; and, the better to reduce it to ruin, they built Seleucia in
its neighbourhood, and caused the chief portion of its inhabitants to
remove to Ctesiphon.

The course of our subject now descends to the time, when Darius
Codomanus became sovereign of Babylon, in right of being king of Persia.
This prince was conquered at the Granicus by Alexander. Not long after,
he lost another battle; viz. that of Arbela: after which the conqueror
made what is called his "triumphant entry" into Babylon. He entered, we
are told, at the head of his army, as if he had been marching to a
battle. "The walls," says the historian, "were lined with people,
notwithstanding the greatest part of the citizens were gone out before,
from the impatient desire they had to see their new sovereign, whose
renown had far outstripped his march. The governor and guardian of the
treasure strewed the street with flowers, and raised on both sides of
the way silver altars, which smoked not only with frankincense, but the
most fragrant perfumes of every kind. Last of all, came the presents,
which were made to the king; viz. herds of cattle and a great number of
horses; also lions and panthers, which were carried in cages. After
these the magi walked, singing hymns after the manner of their country;
then the Chaldæans, accompanied by the Babylonian soothsayers and
musicians. It was customary for the latter to sing the praises of their
king to their instruments; and the Chaldæans to observe the motion of
the planets and the vicissitudes of seasons." "The rear," continues the
author, from whom we quote, "was brought up by the Babylonish cavalry,
which, both men and horsemen, were so sumptuous, that imagination can
scarce reach their magnificence." The king caused the people to walk
after his infantry, and, himself surrounded by his guards, and seated on
a chariot, entered the city, and from thence rode to the palace. On the
next day he took a survey of all Darius' money and movables. These,
however, he did not keep to himself. He distributed a large portion of
it to his troops: giving to each Macedonian horseman fifteen pounds; to
each mercenary horseman about five pounds; to every Macedonian
foot-soldier five pounds; and to every one of the rest two months of
their ordinary pay. Nor did he stop there. He gave orders, that all the
temples which had been thrown down by the order of Xerxes should be
rebuilt; most especially that of Belus.

On his second visit to this city, he was met some miles from the town by
a deputation of old men, who told him that the stars had indicated that,
if he ventured into the city, some signal misfortune would befal him. At
first the king was greatly alarmed and perplexed. But having consulted
some Greek philosophers who chanced to be in his army, they threw such
contempt on astrology in general, and the Babylonish astrologers in
particular, that he resolved to continue his march, and the same day
entered the city with all his army.

Soon after this, designing to raise a monument to his friend Hephæstion,
he caused nearly six furlongs of the city wall to be beat down; and
having got together a vast number of skilful workmen, he built a very
magnificent monumental structure over the part he had caused to be

That the reader may have a distinct idea of the grandeur of this
structure, it is necessary to admit a full account of it. It is thus
given in Rollin's "History of Alexander":--"It was divided into thirty
parts, in each of which was raised a uniform building, the roof of which
was covered with great planks of palm-tree wood. The whole formed a
perfect square, the circumference of which was adorned with
extraordinary magnificence. Each side was a furlong, or an hundred
fathoms in length. At the foot of it, and in the first row, there was
set two hundred and forty-four prows of ships gilded, on the buttresses
or supporters whereof the statues of two archers, four cubits high, with
one knee on the ground, were fixed; and two other statues, in an upright
posture, completely armed, bigger than the life, being five cubits in
height. The spaces between the rows were spread and adorned with scarlet
cloth. Over these prows was a colonnade of large flambeaux which, ending
at top, terminated towards eagles, which, with their heads turned
downwards, and extended wings, served as capitals. Dragons fixed near,
or upon the base, turned their heads upwards towards the eagles. Over
this colonnade stood a third, in the base of which was represented, in
relievo, a party of hunting animals of every kind. On the superior
order, that is, the fourth, the combat of Centaurs was represented in
gold. Finally, on the fifth, golden figures, representing lions and
bulls, were placed alternately. The whole edifice terminated with
military trophies after the Macedonian and Babylonian fashion, as so
many symbols of the victory of the former, and the defeat of the latter.
On the entablatures and roofs were represented Syrens, the hollow
bodies of which were filled, but in an imperceptible manner, with
musicians, who sang mournful airs and dirges in honour of the deceased.
This edifice was upwards of one hundred and thirty cubits high; that is,
one hundred and ninety-five feet. The beauty and the design of this
structure," concludes our author, "the singularity and magnificence of
the decorations, and the several ornaments of it, surpassed the most
wonderful productions of fancy, and were all in exquisite taste. The
designer and architect of the whole, was Stasicrates; he who offered to
cut Mount Athos into the shape of a man. The cost of this monument was
no less than twelve thousand talents; that is, more than one million
eight hundred thousand pounds!"

Alexander resided at Babylon more than a year. During this time he
planned a multitude of things; amongst which, we are told that, finding
Babylon to surpass in extent, in conveniency, and in whatever can be
wished, either for the necessities or pleasures of life, all the other
cities of the East, he resolved to make it the seat of his empire[119].
With this view he planned many improvements, and undertook some; and
would have, doubtless, accomplished much that he intended, for he was
still but a very young man, when death cut him short in the midst of his

  Leaving a name, at which the world grew pale,
  To point a moral, or adorn a tale[120].

And this calls to our recollection the prophecies which had been
uttered:--"I will cut off from Babylon the name and remnant." "I will
make it a possession for the bittern." "I will sweep it with the besom
of destruction." "It shall never be inhabited; neither shall it be dwelt
in from generation to generation."

Such was the fate of this city; insomuch that, in process of time it
became entirely forsaken, and the Persian kings made a park among its
ruins, in which they kept wild beasts for hunting. Instead of citizens,
there were boars, leopards, bears, deer, and wild asses. Nothing
remained but portions of its walls, a great part even of these at last
fell down. They were never repaired, and for many ages, so great was the
ruin, that even the remains of it were supposed to have been swept from
the face of the earth[121].

A short time after the death of Alexander, Babylon became a theatre for
hostility between Demetrius and Seleucus. Seleucus had got possession of
the city. When Antigonus learned this, he sent his son, Demetrius, with
an army to drive him out of it. Demetrius, according to his father's
order, gathered all the force he could command at Damascus, and marched
thence to Babylon; where, finding that Seleucus had gone into Media, he
entered the city without opposition; but, to his great surprise and
mortification, he found it in great part deserted. The cause was this:
Seleucus had left the town under the charge of a governor named
Patrocles. When Demetrius was within a short distance, this governor
retreated out of the walls into the fens, and commanded all persons to
fly from the city. This multitudes of them did; some into the deserts,
and others beyond the Tigris. Demetrius, finding the town deserted, laid
siege to the castles; for there were two, both well garrisoned and of
large extent. One of these castles he took; and, having plundered not
only the city, but the whole province, of every thing he could lay his
bands on, he returned to his father, leaving a garrison. The robbery,
however, did not go unpunished; for the Babylonians were so grievously
offended at it, that, at the return of Seleucus, they received him with
open arms; and thus began the true reign of Seleucus. That prince,
however, did not long make Babylon his capital. He built Seleucia on the
western bank of the Tigris, forty miles from Babylon, over against the
spot where now stands the city of Bagdad. To this new city, Seleucus
invited the Babylonians generally to transplant themselves. This they
did, and Babylon became, in process of time, so desolate, that Strabo
assures us[122] that, in his time, Babylon, "once the greatest city that
the sun ever saw," had nothing left but its walls. The area had been

In the fourth century St. Jerome notes, that Babylon was become a park
for the Parthian and afterwards for the Persian kings to keep their wild
beasts for hunting in; the walls being kept up to serve for a fence for
the enclosure. No writer for several hundred years has been found to
mention this city from this time, till Benjamin of Tudela[123] (in
Navarre) visited the spot, and related, on his return, that he had stood
where this old city had formerly stood; and that he had found it wholly
desolated and destroyed. "Some ruins," said he, "of Nebuchadnezzar's
palace remain; but men are afraid to go near them on account of the
multitude of serpents and scorpions there are in the place."

It was afterwards visited by the celebrated Portuguese traveller,
Texeira, who says, "That there was, in his time, only a few footsteps of
this famous city; and that there was no place in all that country less
frequented." In 1574 it was visited by a German traveller, Rauwolf. "The
village of Elugo," says he, "lieth on the place where formerly old
Babylon, the metropolis of Chaldea, did stand. The harbour lieth a
quarter of a league off, where-unto those use to go that intend to
travel by land to the famous city of Bagdad, which is situated further
to the east on the river Tigris, at a day and a half's distance. This
country is so dry and barren that it cannot be tilled, and so bare that
I should have doubted very much, whether this potent and powerful city
(which once was the most stately and famous one of the world, situated
in the pleasant and fruitful country of Sinar,) did stand there; if I
had not known it by its situation, and several ancient and delicate
antiquities, that still are standing hereabout in great desolation[124].
First, by the old bridge, which was laid over the Euphrates, whereof
there are some pieces and arches still remaining, built of burned brick,
and so strong, that it is admirable. Just before the village of Elugo is
the hill whereon the castle did stand, in a plain, whereon you may still
see some ruins of the fortification, which is quite demolished and
uninhabited. Behind it, and pretty near to it, did stand the tower of
Babylon. This we see still, and it is half a league in diameter; but so
mightily ruined and low, and so full of venomous reptiles, that have
bored holes through it, that one may not come near it within half a
mile, but only in two months in the winter, when they come not out of
their holes[125]."

The next traveller that visited Babylon appears to have been Della Valle
(A.D. 1616). When at Bagdad he was led, by curiosity rather than
business, to visit Babylon, which, says he, was well known to the people
in that city, as well by its name of Babel, as by the traditions
concerning it. "He found," says Rennell, "at no great distance from the
eastern bank of the Euphrates, a vast heap of ruins, of so heterogeneous
a kind, that, as he expresses it, he could find nothing whereon to fix
his judgment as to what it might have been in its original state. He
recollected the descriptions of the tower of Belus, in the writings of
the ancients, and supposed that this might be the ruins of it." He then
proceeds to give measurements; but better accounts have been received

The remains of Babylon have been visited in our times by several
accomplished travellers, amongst whom may be especially noted Mr. Rich
and Sir Robert Ker Porter. The former of these travellers has given the
most distinct and circumstantial account; but, before we state what he
has afforded us, we afford space for that passage of Sir Robert, in
which he describes his first entry into the scene.

"We now came to the north-east shore of the Euphrates, hitherto totally
excluded from our view by the intervening long and varied lines of ruin,
which now proclaimed to us, on every side, that we were indeed in the
midst of what had been Babylon. From the point, on which we stood, to
the base of the Mujelibé, large masses of ancient foundations spread on
our right, more resembling natural hills in appearance, than mounds
covering the remains of former great and splendid edifices. The whole
view was particularly solemn. The majestic stream of the Euphrates
wandering in solitude, like a pilgrim monarch through the silent ruins
of his devastated kingdom, still appeared a noble river, even under all
the disadvantages of its desert-tracked course. Its banks were hoary
with reeds, and the grey osier willows were yet there, on which the
captives of Israel hung up their harps, and, while '_Jerusalem was
not_,' refused to be comforted. But how is the rest of the scene changed
since then! At that time, these broken hills were palaces; those long,
undulating mounds, streets; this vast solitude, filled with the busy
subjects of the proud daughter of the East! now, '_wasted with misery_,'
her habitations are not to be found; and, for herself, '_the worm is
spread over her_.' The banks of the Euphrates are, nevertheless, still
covered with willows, as they were in ancient times[126]."

For the following particulars we are, principally, indebted to Mr. Rich,
several years British minister at Bagdad. "The town of Hillah, enclosed
within a brick wall, and known to have been built in the twelfth
century, stands upon the western banks of the Euphrates (latitude
thirty-two degrees, twenty-eight minutes). It is forty-eight miles south
of Bagdad. The country, for miles around, is a flat, uncultivated
waste; but it is traversed, in different directions, by what appear to
be the remains of canals, and by mounds of great magnitude; most of
which, upon being excavated, are found to contain bricks, some of which
were evidently dried in the sun, others baked by a furnace, and stamped
with inscriptions in a character now unknown." "The soil of the plains
of ancient Assyria and Babylonia," says Major Keppell, "consists of a
fine clay, mixed with sand, with which, as the waters retire, the shores
are covered. This compost, when dried with the heat of the sun, becomes
a hard and solid mass, and forms the finest materials for the beautiful
bricks for which Babylon was celebrated." Hillah is built of such
bricks; but there are others of more ancient appearance, which, no
doubt, belonged to ancient Babylon; since they are stamped with
characters, which have been ascribed to the Chaldeans. Hillah, then,
stands upon the site of ancient Babylon: that is, a portion of it.

Though this is certainly the case, there are no ruins at Hillah; the
nearest being at a distance of two miles to the north, and upon the
eastern side of the river. The first of these remains consists of a vast
mound of earth, three thousand three hundred feet long, by two thousand
four hundred feet broad, at its base, curved, at the south side, into
the form of a quadrant. Its height is sixty feet at the highest part:
and the whole appears to have been formed by the decomposition of
sun-dried bricks, channelled and furrowed by the weather; and having the
surface strewed with pieces of pottery, bricks, and bitumen. This mound
is called Amran.

On the north of this mound is another square, of two thousand one
hundred feet, having one of its angles,--to the south-west,--connected
with the other by a ridge, three hundred feet broad, and of
considerable height. The building, of which this is a ruin, seems to
have been finished in a very particular manner, for the bricks are of
the finest description. "This is the place," says Mr. Rich, "where
Beauchamp made his observations, and it is certainly the most
interesting part of the ruins of Babylon. Every vestige discoverable in
it declares it to have been composed of buildings far superior to all
the rest, which have left traces in the eastern quarter: the bricks are
of the finest description; and notwithstanding this is the grand
storehouse of them, and that the greatest supplies have been, and are
now, constantly drawn from it, they appear still to be abundant."

To the north of this ruin is a ravine, hollowed out by brick-searchers,
about three hundred feet long, ninety wide, and one hundred and twenty
feet deep. At the north end of this ravine an opening leads to a
subterranean passage, floored and walled with large bricks, laid in
bitumen, and roofed with single slabs of sand-stone, three feet thick,
and from eight to twelve long. In this passage was found a colossal
piece of sculpture, in black marble. "There I discovered," says Mr.
Rich, "what Beauchamp saw imperfectly, and understood from the natives
to be an idol[127]. I was told the same thing[128], and that it was
discovered by an old Arab in digging, but that, not knowing what to do
with it, he covered it up again." On sending for the old man, and he
having pointed out the spot, Mr. Rich set a number of men to work, and,
after a day's hard labour, they laid open enough of the statue to show
that it was a lion of colossal dimensions, standing on a pedestal. Its
material was a gray granite, and it was of rude workmanship.

The mound, last described, is called by the natives the palace (_El
Kasr_)[129]. The walls are eight feet thick, ornamented with niches, and
strengthened by pilasters and buttresses, all built of fine brick, laid
in lime cement of such tenacity, that it cannot be separated without
breaking. Hence it is, that so much of it remains perfect. This
remarkable ruin is visible from a considerable distance, and is so
fresh, that it is only upon minute inspection, that Mr. Rich became
satisfied, that it is really a Babylonian remain. Near this are several
hollows, in which several persons have lost their lives; so that no one
will now venture into them, and their entrances are, therefore, become
choked with rubbish.

There are two paths near this ruin, made by the workmen, who carry down
their bricks to the river side, whence they are transported to Hillah;
and at a short distance to the north-north-east the celebrated tree
stands, which is called by the natives Athelè, and which they assert to
have once flourished in the hanging gardens; and which they as
religiously believe God purposely preserved, that it might afford
Mahomet a convenient shade, beneath which to tie up his horse, after the
battle of Hillah! It is an evergreen, of the lignum-vitæ species. "Its
trunk has been originally enormous; but at last, worn away by time, only
part of its original circumference, hollow and shattered, supports the
whole of its yet spreading and evergreen branches. They are particularly
beautiful, being adorned with long tress-like tendrils, resembling
heron-feathers, growing from a central stem. These slender and delicate
sprays, bending towards the ground, gave the whole an appearance of a
weeping-willow, while their gentle waving in the wind made a low and
melancholy sound. This tree is revered as holy by the Arabs, from a
tradition among them, that the Almighty preserved it here, from the
earliest time, to form a refuge in after ages for the Caliph Ali; who,
fainting with fatigue from the battle of Hillah, found a secure repose
under its shade. The battle adverted to was fought within so short a
period after the death of Mahomet, that, if any credit is to be given to
the rest of the tale, the age of the tree must already have extended to
a thousand years!"

When Mr. Kinneir visited Hillah the girth of the tree was, two feet from
the ground, four feet seven inches. Its height twenty feet.

Nine hundred and fifty yards from the side of the river, and about a
mile to the north of what is called the palace, stands the most
remarkable ruin of the eastern division. This is called Mukallibè, a
word signifying "overturned." This was visited, in 1616, by Della Valle,
who determined it to be the tower of Belus; and this opinion has been
adopted, erroneously, by Rennell and other writers. It is of an oblong
shape, irregular in its height and the measurement of its sides, which
face the cardinal points; the northern side being two hundred yards in
length; the southern side, two hundred and nineteen; the eastern, one
hundred and eighty-two; and the western, one hundred and thirty-six. The
elevation of the highest angle, one hundred and forty-one feet. This
mound is a solid mass. Near its summit appears a low wall, with
interruptions, built of unburnt bricks, laid in clay mortar of great
thickness, having a layer of reeds between every layer of bricks. On the
north side are vestiges of a similar wall. The south-west angle, which
is the highest point, terminates in a turret; or, rather, heaps of
rubbish, in digging into which, layers of broken burnt brick, cemented
with mortar, are discovered, and whole bricks, with inscriptions on
them, are here and there found. The whole is covered with innumerable
fragments of brick, pottery, pebbles, bitumen, vitrified scoria, and
even shells, bits of glass, and mother-of-pearl! When Mr. Rich saw all
these, he inquired of the Turk, that acted as guide, how he imagined the
glass and mother-of-pearl came there?--"They were brought here by the
deluge," answered the Turk.

In describing this mound, Major Keppell says, that he found it full of
large holes. "We entered one of them, and found them strewed with the
carcases and skeletons of animals recently killed. The ordure of wild
beasts was so strong, that prudence got the better of curiosity; for we
had no doubt as to the savage nature of the inhabitants. Our guides,
indeed, told us, that all the ruins abounded in lions and other wild
beasts." Mr. Rich found, also, quantities of porcupine quills; and most
of the cavities, he says, are peopled with bats and owls.

The pile on the Mujelibé is called Haroot and Maroot, by the Arabs; and
they believe that, near the foot of the pyramid, there still exists,
though invisible to mankind, a well, in which those two wicked angels
were condemned by the Almighty to be suspended by the heels until the
end of the world, as a punishment for their vanity and presumption.[130]

In another part of the ruins were found a brass pike and some earthen
vessels (one of which was very thin, and had the remains of fine white
varnish on the outside);--also a beam of date-tree wood. Continuing the
work downwards, the men arrived at a passage, in which they discovered a
wooden coffin; opening which they found a skeleton, perfect in all its
parts. Under the head was placed a round pebble, and a brass ornament
was attached to the skeleton. On the outside, another brass ornament was
found, representing a bird: and a little farther on, they discovered the
skeleton of a child. No skulls were found, either here or in the
sepulchral urns that were at the bank of the river.

Mr. Rich, also, found a number of urns, in the bulwark on the banks of
the river. These contained ashes, and bones in small fragments.
Comparing these remains with the skeletons found in the Mujelibé, he
judiciously remarks, that the two modes of sepulture decidedly prove
what people they were who were so interred. "There is, I believe," he
adds, "no reason to suppose that the Babylonians burnt their dead: the
old Persians, we know, never did." It was the common usage with the
Greeks. "From this he infers," says Porter, "that the skeletons in the
Mujelibé were the remains of the ancient people of Babylon; and the urns
in the embankment contained the ashes of Alexander's soldiers."

From the south-east angle of the Mujelibé, a mound extends in a circular
direction, and joins the Amran at its south-east angle, the diameter of
the sweep being two miles and a half. This is supposed to have been the
fortified enclosure that is described by Herodotus as encircling the

To the north of the Mujelibé there are no ruins of any importance. A few
low mounds, however, are observed, occurring at intervals, on each side
of the road from Hillah to Bagdad; but they are of an insignificant
character, and, from their situation, they are supposed to have been
burying-places outside the city, rather than buildings within its walls.

The Mujelibé is supposed to have been a Babylonian mausoleum, rather
than a temple of worship. In respect to the other ruins, it is probable
that the Kasr and adjacent mounds are the remains of the royal palace,
with its hanging gardens, enclosed with the circular mound, which formed
the outer wall of the palace mentioned by Herodotus, and described more
in detail by Diodorus.

Two or three miles upwards from the river, are the remains of what have,
hitherto, been considered remains of canals. A recent traveller[131],
however, seems inclined to believe, that they are the remains of
streets. His reasoning is probable. Canals would go all one way; but
most of these cross each other at right angles, with immense spaces of
open and level ground on each side of them.

We are now to note something in regard to what appears on the west side
of the Euphrates. "The loose and inaccurate accounts of some modern
travellers," says Mr. Rich, "have misled D'Anville and Rennell into the
belief of there being considerable ruins on the western side of the
river, similar to those on the eastern." This, however, does not appear
to be the case; that is, near to the river. But although there are none
in the immediate neighbourhood, by far the most stupendous and
surprising mass of all the ruins of Babylon is situated on this side,
about six miles from Hillah. This is the tower of Babel, otherwise the
temple of Belus. It is called by the Arabs, _Birs Nemroud_; by the Jews
Nebuchadnezzar's Prison. The shape of this vast ruin is oblong, having
the appearance of a fallen or decayed pyramid. It is two thousand two
hundred and eighty-six feet in compass at the base; and, on the west
side, it rises conically to the height of one hundred and ninety-eight
feet. "I visited the Birs," says Mr. Rich, "under circumstances
peculiarly favourable to grandeur of effect. The morning was at first
stormy, and threatened a severe fall of rain; but, as we approached the
object of our journey, the heavy clouds separating, discovered the Birs
frowning over the plain, and presenting the appearance of a circular
hill, crowned by a tower, with a high ridge extending along the foot of
it. It being entirely concealed from our view, during the first part of
our ride, prevented our acquiring the gradual idea, in general so
prejudicial to effect, and so particularly lamented by those who visit
the pyramids. Just as we were within the proper distance, it burst at
once upon our sight, in the midst of rolling masses of thick black
clouds, partially obscured by that kind of haze whose indistinctness is
one great cause of sublimity; whilst a few strong catches of stormy
light, thrown upon the desert in the back ground, served to give some
idea of the immense extent, and dreary solitude, of the wastes in which
this remarkable ruin stands."

Two stages of building are visible on the eastern side. The lowest is
sixty feet high, and is broken in the middle by a deep ravine, and
intersected on all sides by channels, made by the winter rains. The
summit of this first stage was once flat; but it is no longer so; its
margin having crumbled down so as to give this side the appearance of a
cone. The second stage rises above the first, also, in a conical form,
but much more steep; the summit being marked by a perpendicular fragment
of brick work; which is probably the base of the third stage.

On the west side, the structure rises at once from the plain like a
pyramid; the face being broken in different directions, partly by the
torrents, and partly by what seems to have been some convulsion of
nature. At the foot of the northern side, vast masses of solid
brick-work are scattered over the rubbish. The building is seen to most
advantage to the south; for on that side it is by far the most perfect.
The tower there rises by high and distinct stages (four), receding one
within another, in proportion to their respective elevations. "Here is a
ruin," says an elegant writer, "corresponding, in a most surprising
degree, with the tower of Belus, as described by Herodotus. The total
circumference of the base is two thousand two hundred and eighty-six
feet instead of one thousand nine hundred and sixty, the square of a
stadium. The east and west sides remain of the original breadth nearly,
and a greater portion of rubbish from the top crumbled down upon their
sides, the north and south are thereby elongated; the present height of
the ruin, to the top of the wall, is two hundred and thirty-five
feet--less than one-half of the original height--consequently the
_débris_ round the base might be expected to be much more considerable,
so as to make the circumference of the base greater than it appears to
be. But it must be remembered, that Alexander the Great, when he took
possession of Babylon, after the defeat of Darius, employed ten thousand
men for two months in removing the rubbish, preparatory to removing the
tower[132]. It is probable they had only cleared the south side, before
the work was abandoned; which would account for the south face being
more perfect than any of the others. If we add to this, that vast
quantities of the bricks have been taken away by the natives of the
country, for building modern towns, the circumstance that the base so
little exceeds the dimensions, given by Herodotus, will no longer appear

On Sir Robert Ker Porter's second visit to the Birs Nimrod, his party
descried several dark objects moving along the summit of its hill, which
they construed into dismounted Arabs on the look out, while their armed
brethren were lying concealed under the southern brow of the mound.
"Thinking this very probable," says Sir Robert, "I took out my glass to
examine, and soon distinguished that the causes of our alarm were two or
three majestic lions, taking the air upon the height of the pyramid.
Perhaps I had never seen so sublime a picture to the mind, as well as to
the eye. They were a species of enemy which my party were accustomed to
dread without any panic fear; and while we continued to advance, though
slowly, the hallooing of the people made the noble beasts gradually
change their position, till, in the course of twenty minutes, they
totally disappeared." The party then rode close to the ruins, every now
and then observing the broad prints of feet the lions had left in the
soil. This naturally brought to Sir Robert's recollection that part of
the scriptures, wherein it is said, "Wild beasts of the desert shall be

At a short distance from the Birs, and parallel with its eastern face,
is a mound, not inferior to that of the Kasr in elevation, but much
longer than it is broad. "On the top of it are two oratories," says Mr.
Rich. "One, called Mekam Ibrahim Khalib, and said to be the place where
Ibrahim was thrown into the fire by order of Nemroud, who surveyed the
scene from the Birs; the other, which is in ruins, Makam Saheb Zeman;
but to what part of Mehdy's life it relates, I am ignorant."

"They call it," says Sir R. Ker Porter, "'Babylon, the glory of
kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency. The lady of kingdoms,
given to pleasure, that dwelleth carelessly, and sayeth in her heart, _I
am,_ and there is none else beside me!' But now, in the same expressive
language, we may say, 'She sits as a widow on the ground. There is no
more a throne for thee, O daughter of the Chaldeans!' And for the
abundance of the country, it has vanished as clean away as if 'the besom
of desolation' had, indeed, swept it from north to south; the whole
land, from the outskirts of Bagdad to the farthest stretch of the sight,
lying a melancholy corpse."

Round the Birs are traces of ruins to a considerable extent; and near
the town of Hillah there are several remarkable places; but as they do
not bear any very particular relation to Babylon, we here close our
account, entirely agreeing with Mr. Rich, that it is evident, from what
remains of that celebrated city, and even from the most favourable
account handed down to us, that the public edifices which adorned it
were remarkable more for vastness of dimensions than elegance of design,
and solidity of fabric than beauty of execution.

Though Babylon has universally been considered as the largest city that
ever existed on the earth, there are some and even very good reasons to
believe, that it was never so large as Nineveh. "It was intended,
indeed," says one of the historians, "that Babylon should have exceeded
Nineveh in every thing; but Nebuchadnezzar did not live long enough, nor
the Babylonish empire last long enough, to finish the scheme that had
been drawn of it." The houses were not contiguous, but all built with a
void space on each side between house and house, so that the larger part
was not built upon. The houses of Nineveh, however, were contiguous.
Nineveh, also, had a greater population; for, in the time of Jonah, it
had one hundred and twenty thousand souls, "who could nor did not know
their right hand from their left." That is, one hundred and twenty
thousand infants[133]. But though Nineveh was the oldest city and the
largest, Babylon has in all subsequent ages enjoyed the greatest

[Illustration: Balbec.]


  Those ruined shrines and towers, that seem
  The relics of a splendid dream;
    Amid whose fairy loveliness
  Nought but the lapwing's cry is heard;
  Nought seen but (when the shadows, flitting
  Fast from the moon, unsheath its gleam)
  Some purple-winged SULTANA[135] sitting
    Upon a column motionless,
  And glittering like an idol bird.

       *       *       *       *       *

  But nought can charm the luckless Peri;
  Her soul is sad--her wings are weary--
  Joyless she sees the sun go down
  On that great temple, once her own[136];
  Whose lonely columns stand sublime,
    Flinging their shadows from on high,
  Like dials, which the wizard, Time,
    Had raised to count his ages by.

These lines lead us to some beautiful observations by Sir John

"Among the traces of a great nation's former glory," says he, "there is
none upon which the mind dwells with more serious thought than on the
magnificent ruins of its ancient palaces. How forcibly are we reminded
of our condition, when told that an edifice, in the erection of which a
kingdom's wealth had been exhausted; which was adorned with every
ornament that the art of the world could supply, and whose history was
engraven on the imperishable rocks with which it was constructed, was
not only fallen into decay, but that its founder was unknown, and the
language in which its history was inscribed was no longer numbered among
the tongues of man!" These observations are peculiarly applicable to the
present state of Balbec.

This city stood in the road between Tyre and Palmyra; its history is,
nevertheless, so lost in obscurity, that, considering the splendour and
magnificence of its remains, we are astonished! Scarcely any thing of
its history is known; and even its existence appears to have been
unknown for many centuries to the Romans.

Tradition states that it was built by Solomon; and for the truth
of this the Jews quote the following passage from the Book of
Chronicles[137]:--"Also he (Solomon) built Beth-horon the upper, and
Beth-horon the nether, fencied cities, with walls, gates, and bars; and

For the greater confirmation, it is thought that Balbec is meant when
Solomon says--"the tower of Lebanon, that looketh towards Damascus." The
Arabs go even so far as to assert, that this city was built by the king
as a residence for the Queen of Sheba; and Sir William Ouseley quotes a
passage, wherein it is mentioned that a tradition in Persian implies,
that Solomon often passed his day at Balbec, and his night at Istakr.

The names Heliopolis and Balbec are words of different languages, which
have nearly the same signification. The sun was worshipped by the
ancient inhabitants of the country, under the name of Baal. Balbec
signifies the vale of Baal; and Heliopolis the city of the sun.

That Balbec derived, not only its religion, but its very name, from
Heliopolis in Egypt, is rendered certain by a passage in Macrobius:--"In
the city called Heliopolis, the Assyrians worship the sun with great
pomp, under the name of the Heliopolitan Jove; and the statue of this
god was brought from a city in Egypt, also called Heliopolis, where
Senumens or Senepos reigned over the Egyptians, by Opios, ambassador
from Delebor, king of the Assyrians, together with some Egyptian
priests, of whom Partemetis was the chief, and it remained long among
the Assyrians before it was removed to Heliopolis."

The same author adds, "that he declines giving the reason for this fact,
or telling how the statue was afterwards brought to the place, where in
his time it was worshipped, more according to the Assyrian than the
Egyptian rites, as circumstances foreign to his purpose."

As Balbec has never been the seat of a monarch, antiquaries are greatly
at a loss to conceive how the expense of these magnificent structures
could have been supplied by private or municipal liberality. The
orientals, however, explain the prodigy by a never-failing
expedient,--they were constructed by the fairies or genii!

That these temples did not exist when Pompey went through Heliopolis to
Damascus is probable, because the writers of that time, who mention less
remarkable structures with admiration, take no notice of any such
building; and it is certain that they did exist in the time of
Caracalla; because Heliopolis is to be seen on many of his coins; and
vows in favour of him and his empress are recorded in two inscriptions,
the remains of which are still to be seen on the pedestals of the
columns of the great portico of the temple.

That Heliopolis was constituted a colony by Augustus Cæsar, is rendered
probable, by some medals which still remain, and in which it is called,
"Colonia Julia Augusta;" but it was not till the time of Septimius
Severus that the temple was impressed on the reverse of the coins.

When we consider the extraordinary magnificence of the temple of Balbec,
we cannot but be greatly surprised at the silence of the Greek and Roman
authors in respect to it. Mr. Wood, who has carefully examined all the
ancient authors, has found no mention of it, except in a fragment of
John of Antioch, surnamed Malala, who attributes the building of it to
Antoninus Pius. His words are:--"Ælius Antoninus Pius[138] built a great
temple at Heliopolis, near Libanus, in Phoenicia, which was one of the
wonders of the world." Some Roman medals also have been found, upon the
reverse of which is a representation something similar to those temples,

One circumstance, however, militates against the idea that Antoninus
Pius was the builder of these temples; viz., that Julius Capitolinus
says nothing about them, though he gives a list of that emperor's
buildings, and speaks of others of much less consideration. It must,
however, be remembered, that the work of Julius Capitolinus is known to
be so extremely defective, that though Antoninus reigned one-and-twenty
years, and transmitted to posterity the character of one of the best
princes that ever ruled, yet the particulars, that merited such
extraordinary praise, are utterly unknown.

Gibbon thus remarks upon the different fortunes of Balbec and
Emesa:--"Among the cities which are enumerated by Greek and oriental
names in the geography and conquest of Syria, we may distinguish EMESA
and HELIOPOLIS; the former as a metropolis of the plain; the latter as
the metropolis of the valley. Under the last of the Cæsars they were
strong and populous; the turrets glittered from afar; an ample space was
covered with public and private buildings; and the citizens were
illustrious by their spirit, or at least by their pride; by their
riches, or at least by their luxury. In the days of paganism, both Emesa
and Heliopolis were addicted to the worship of Baal, or the sun: but the
decline of their superstition or splendour has been marked by a singular
variety of fortune. Not a vestige remains of the temple of Emesa, which
was equalled in poetic style to the summits of Mount Libanus; while the
ruins of Balbec, invisible to the writers of antiquity, excite the
curiosity and wonder of European travellers."

In the reign of Heraclius its garrison was strengthened, that it might
be enabled to withstand the Arabs; and when Christianity gained the
ascendancy under Constantine, he shut up many pagan temples; but it was
Theodosius, who converted its temple into a Christian church, the walls
of which are still standing. The conversion of it into a fortress was
the work of the Caliphs, when this part of the world fell under the
government of the Caliphs, called the Ommiades; an incurious and
therefore an ignorant race, during whose time nothing is recorded of
Balbec, although it was then a considerable city. The ancient name,
Balbec, during this time was restored, instead of Heliopolis, which was
probably a translation of Balbec, or at least substituted for it, when
it passed out of the possession of its own native oriental inhabitants.

In Ebn Haukal's[139] oriental geography, Balbec is mentioned
thus:--"Beyond the borders of Demeshk is Baalbek, situated on an
eminence. Here are the gates of palaces, sculptured in marble; and lofty
columns, also of marble. In the whole region of Syria there is not a
more stupendous or considerable edifice than this[140]."

The approach to this ruined city is thus described by Mr. Bruce:--"The
form of Mount Libanus, as seen from the plain of Bekka, is this: first,
a range of mountains, extremely proper for culture, and of no
considerable height, sloping easily to the plain, and covered with trees
that are not very thickly planted. On the other side of these rises a
chain of mountains of an extraordinary height, bare for the most part,
and stony, cut in every rain, and covered with snow, except in summer.
Thus they continue till they descend much more steeply on the other side
towards the sea. The valleys within this high chain of mountains, which
on one side run parallel with the sea-coast, and on the other form the
east side of the plain of Bekka, are mostly narrow; but abundantly
fertile, were they in the hands of better people, under a better
government; industry being here always followed by oppression."

Mr. Carne describes his arrival thus:--"The sun set on the vast temple,
and the mountains around it, with indescribable grandeur; the chain of
Anti-Libanus, in front, was covered with snow; and the plain, wild and
beautiful, stretched at its feet farther than the eye can reach: the
pigeons, of many-coloured plumage, flew in clusters round the ruined
walls, at whose feet were a variety of trees and flowers, amidst which
ran a clear and rapid stream."

We now pass to Mons. La Martine:--"On reaching the summit of the breach,
we knew not where to fix our eyes. On every side we beheld marble doors
of prodigious dimensions, windows and niches, bordered with exquisite
sculpture, richly ornamented arches, fragments of cornices,
entablatures, and capitals. The master-work of art; the wrecks of ages,
lay scattered as thickly as the grains of dust beneath our feet. All was
mystery, confusion, inexplicable wonder. No sooner had we cast an
admiring glance on one side, than some new prodigy attracted us on the
others. Every attempt, we made to interpret the religious meaning of the
monuments, was immediately defeated by some newly-discerned object. We
frequently groped about in this labyrinth of conjecture. One cannot
restrict, in one's fancy, the sacred edifices of an age, or a people of
whose religion or manners nothing certain can be known. Time carries his
secrets away with him, and leaves his enigmas as sports for human
knowledge. We speedily renounced all our attempts to build any system
out of these ruins; we were content to gaze and admire, without
comprehending any thing beyond the colossal power of human genius; and
the strength of religious feeling, which had moved such masses of stone,
and wrought so many master-pieces."

The ruins of Balbec do not present a crowd of fallen edifices, spread
over a large extent, like those of Palmyra; they consist only of three
distinct buildings, which stand not far from each other, in a plain at a
short distance from the inhabited part of the town. As in the instance
of Palmyra, where we shall have to make a similar remark, it is
impossible to convey an adequate idea of these works of art, without the
accompaniments of plates[141]. We adopt, therefore, an abstract of the
account of M. Volney, since his description is, perhaps, the best that
we have:--"In entering the principal gate, which faces the mountain on
the east, we come to an hexagonal court, which is one hundred and eighty
feet in diameter. This is strewed with broken columns, mutilated
capitals, and the remains of entablatures and cornices. Around it is a
row of ruined edifices, which display all the ornaments of the richest
architecture. On passing through this court towards the west, we enter a
large square, three hundred and fifty feet wide, and three hundred and
thirty-three in length. Along each side of this court runs a sort of
gallery, divided into various compartments, seven of which may be
reckoned in each of the principal wings. It is not easy to conceive the
use of this part of the structure; but it does not diminish our
admiration at the beauty of the pilasters, and the richness of the
frieze and entablature; neither is it possible to avoid remarking the
singular effect which results from the mixture of the garlands, the
large foliage of the capitals, and the sculpture of wild plants, with
which they are every where ornamented. At the west end of this court
stand six enormous columns, which appear to be totally unconnected with
the rest of the building. On a more attentive examination, however, we
discover a series of foundations, which seem to mark out the peristyle
of a grand temple, to which these columns belonged. Pococke supposes
this temple never to have been finished. We must examine them narrowly
before we can conceive all the boldness of the elevation, and the
richness of their workmanship. Their shafts are twenty-one feet eight
inches in circumference, and fifty-eight high; so that the total height,
including the entablature, is from seventy-one to seventy-two feet.
These six pillars are all that now remain of twenty-four[142].

The southern side of the grand temple has, at some distant period, been
blocked up to build a smaller one, the peristyle and walls of which are
still remaining. This temple presents a side of thirteen columns by
eight in front, which, like all the rest of the ruins, are of the
Corinthian order[143]. To reach the smaller temple from the larger one,
you must cross trunks of columns, heaps of stone, and a ruinous wall.
After surmounting these obstacles, you arrive at the gate, where you may
survey the enclosure, which was once the habitation of a god; but
instead of the awful scene of a prostrate people, and sacrifices offered
by a multitude of priests, the sky, which is open from the falling in of
the roof, only lets in light to show a chaos of ruins covered with dust
and weeds. The walls, which supported the roof, are thirty-one feet
high, and without a window. There are tablets in the form of lozenges,
on which are represented Jupiter seated on his eagle, Leda caressed by
the swan, Diana with her bow and crescent, and several busts which seem
to be figures of emperors and empresses.

The number of lizards to be seen is so great, that Mr. Bruce says, that
those he saw one day in the great court of the temple of the sun
amounted to many thousands; the ground, the walls, and stones of the
ruined buildings being covered with them. Besides these two, there is a
smaller temple of very great beauty. The building itself, exclusive of
the pillars, by which it is surrounded, is only thirty-two feet in
diameter; and the height is divided into two parts, in the lower of
which the architecture is Ionic, and in the higher Corinthian. The grace
and lightness of the exterior of this edifice has induced several
competent critics to call it "a perfect gem of art."

In respect to the six columns, "In order to reach them," says M. de La
Martine, "we had to pass external boundary walls, high pedestals,
terraces, and foundations of altars. At length we arrived at the feet of
the columns. Silence is the only language of man, when what he feels
outstrips the ordinary measure of his impressions. We stood in mute
contemplation of these six columns, and scanning with our eyes their
diameter, their elevation, and the admirable sculpture of their
architraves and cornices. Their diameter is six feet, and their height
upwards of seventy-two. They are formed out of two or three blocks,
which are so perfectly joined together, that the junction lines are
scarcely discernible[144]. They are composed of light yellow stone,
presenting a sort of medium between the polish of marble and the
deadness of turf. When near them, the sun lighted them only on one side,
and we sat down for a few moments in their shade. Large birds, like
eagles, scared by the sound of our footsteps, fluttered above the
capitals of the columns, where they have built their nests; and
returning, perched upon the acanthus of the columns, striking them with
their beaks, and flapping their wings like living ornaments, amidst
these inanimate wonders, all of which appear to resemble works of

Branching off to the southward of the _avenue_, you come to the stumps
of some fluted columns sticking above the sand on either side of a small
simple gateway; and a few paces to the westward, on an eminence, are the
ruins of the small temple just now mentioned; and from thence is enjoyed
the magnificent _coup-d'oeil_ of all the ruins and the vast desert.

Beyond the circular colonnade lie the prostrate remains of a very
magnificent building, constructed of a species of marble superior to the
generality of that used in these ruins. The walls are constructed of
large single stones, nicely fitted one above another. Richly ornamented
windows extend around the walls, and some columns of one entire piece,
twenty-two feet in length and about nine in circumference, lie prostrate
on the ground.

"About fifty yards distant from the temple," says Mr. Maundrell, "is a
row of Corinthian pillars, very great and lofty, with a most stately
architrave and cornice at the top. This speaks itself to have been part
of some very august pile; but what one now sees of it is but just enough
to give a regret, that there should be no more remaining. Here is
another curiosity of this place, which a man need be well assured of his
credit, before he ventures to relate, lest he should be thought to
strain the privilege of a traveller too far. That which I mean is a
large piece of an old wall, which encompasses all these structures last
described. A wall made of such monstrous great stones, that the natives
hereabouts, (as it is usual in things of this strange nature,) ascribe
it to the architecture of the devil. Three of the stones, which were
larger than the rest, we took the pains to measure. We found them to
extend sixty-one yards in length; one twenty-one; the other two each
twenty yards; and in the breadth of the same dimensions. These three
stones lay in one and the same row to the end; the rest of the wall was
made also of great stones, but none I think so great as these. That
which added to the wonder was, that these stones were lifted up into the
wall more than twenty feet from the ground."

Besides these ruins, there are several very large subterraneous
passages, which lead under the great citadel, immense vaults of very
massive architecture, constructed in a very beautiful manner. Some of
these, no doubt, were tombs; and this leads us to remember, that Mr.
Browne says[145], that when he was at Zahhlé, he met with a young man, a
Druse, who told him, that near Balbec, a few years ago, in digging, the
body of a man was found interred in a kind of vault, having a piece of
unstamped gold in his mouth; near him a number of leaden plates marked
with characters, to them unknown. These were sold and melted. La Martine
says, that not far from Balbec, in a valley of the Anti-Libanus, human
bones of immense magnitude have been discovered; and that this fact is
so confidently believed among the neighbouring Arabs, that the English
consul in Syria (Mr. Farren), a man of extensive information, proposes
to visit those mysterious sepulchres.

The walls of the ancient Heliopolis are traceable in many directions,
and show that the city must have been of a very considerable extent.
"These walls," says Mr. Wood, "like most of the ancient cities of Asia,
appear to be the confused patch-work of different ages. The pieces of
capitals, broken entablatures, and, in some places, reversed Greek
inscriptions, which we observed in walking round them, convinced us that
their last repairs were made after the decline of taste, with materials,
negligently collected as they lay nearest to hand, and hastily put
together for immediate defence."

The stone of which the temple is built was brought from the neighbouring
quarry, at the bottom of which there is a single stone lying seventy
feet in length, fourteen in breadth, and fourteen feet six inches in
thickness. Its weight, according to these dimensions, must be above 1130
tons! It would require, we are told, the united strength of sixty
thousand men of our time to raise this single stone!

The stones used at Balbec are the largest that have ever been moved by
human power. The largest in the pyramids of Egypt do not exceed eighteen
feet. But here, of those that compose the sloping wall, which surrounds
the temple on the west and north, three occupy a space of one hundred
and seventy-five feet and a half; viz., the 1st, fifty-eight feet seven
inches; the 2nd, fifty-eight feet eleven inches; and the 3rd, exactly
fifty-eight feet long; and each of these is twelve feet thick.

"When it is considered," says La Martine, "that some of these blocks of
hewn granite are raised one above another to the height of twenty or
thirty feet from the ground;--that they have been brought from distant
quarries, and raised to so vast a height to form the pavement of the
temple;--the mind is overwhelmed by such an example of human power. The
science of modern times cannot help us to explain it, and we cannot be
surprised, therefore, that it is referred to the supernatural."

"The shades of evening," continues this accomplished traveller, "which
slowly descended the mountains of Balbec, and obscured, one by one, the
columns and the ruins, imparted an additional air of mystery to the
picturesque and magical effect of these wonderful works of man and time.
We felt the full insignificance of human nature; and while contemplating
the mass and eternity of these monuments, we compared man to the
swallows, which build their nests for a season in the interstices of
these stones, without knowing for whom, or by whom, or for what purpose,
they were collected together. The power which moved these masses, and
accumulated these blocks, is unknown to us. The dust of the marble,
which we trod under our feet, knows more than we do, but can tell us
nothing; and in a few centuries to come, the generations who may, in
their turn, visit the wrecks of our monuments now existing, will ask,
without being able to answer, why we laboured without being able to
build and carve. The works of man are more durable than his thoughts;
movement is the law of the human mind; the definite is the dream of
man's vanity and ignorance; God is an object which incessantly recedes
from us, as we endeavour to approach him. We are continually advancing,
but we never arrive. The Deity, whose divine figure man seems to embody
in his imagination, and to enshrine in his temples, continually
enlarges, and exceeds the narrow boundaries of our minds, and our
edifices; leaves the temples and the altars to crumble into dust; and
summons man to seek him where he is most plainly manifested, viz., in
intelligence, in virtue, in nature, and in eternity."

We now give place to observations, made by travellers on the relative
merits of the architecture, employed in these magnificent edifices.
"When we compare the ruins of Balbec," says Mr. Wood, "with those of
many ancient cities, which we visited in Italy, Greece, and Egypt, and
in other parts of Asia, we cannot help thinking them the remains of the
boldest plan we ever saw attempted in architecture."

"The enormity of the scale," says Mr. Buckingham, "and the magnificence
of design, seen throughout the whole of the architecture, with the
boldness of the drawing, and the exquisite finish of the sculpture,
impressed me with an idea of a labour more than human. I should conceive
that in no country was to be found so superb a monument of the
inimitable perfection of ancient architecture. The temples and the tombs
of Egypt were here equalled in the enormity of the masses, that composed
them; and the chamber of the Pyramids rivalled in the closeness of the
masonry; while the monuments of Athens itself, in the age of Pericles
and Praxiteles, were at least equalled in the richness and beauty of the
sculptured ornaments, that adorned them. It appeared to me, that the
temples of Edfou, Tentyris, and Thebes, fell far short of this, as a
whole; for here the ponderous strength of the Egyptian, and the
chastened elegance of the Grecian school, are both most happily

Mr. Addison appears to have entertained a different opinion:--"Those
ruins," says he, "though so striking and magnificent, are yet, however,
quite second rate, when compared with the Athenian ruins; and display,
in their decorations, none of the bold conceptions and the genius which
characterise the Athenian architecture. There is a peculiar sameness in
the decorations of the figures, entablatures, and cornices. The
ornaments are all alike, and the festoons of grapes, and vine-leaves
hung on goats' and horses' heads, the pendent bunches of grapes and
Cupids, however rich in appearance, and beautifully chiselled, can never
excite such feelings, as one small portion of the Panathenian frieze of
the Parthenon, or one of the Metopes, representing a battle between a
Centaur and a Lapithæ. There is a genius in these latter, a combination
of talent, a soul, fire, and spirit, which are looked for in vain in the
Balbec remains. The great Panathenian frieze of the Parthenon, which
extended all around that temple, with its hundreds of horses and
warriors, its spirited grouping, and faithful delineation of forms and
attitudes; and above it the wars of the Centaurs and Lapithæ, possessed
a most exciting interest. The vine-branches and wheat ears of the temple
of Balbec, although unquestionably very beautiful, yet appear tame in
comparison; and cannot certainly be put in competition with these
master-pieces of architectural decoration."

"Several artists have observed," says Mr. Wood, "a similitude between
some European buildings, and some parts of the ruins of Palmyra and
Balbec; from which they have, perhaps, too hastily concluded, that the
former were copied from the latter. The portico of the Louvre at Paris
has been compared in this light to the ruins of Palmyra; as also with
the portico at Balbec; but we cannot discover any foundation for
inferences so injurious to the memory of the architect, who built that
noble structure, which is as justly admired as it is unaccountably

We now return to the page of M. de La Martine:--"Round this platform is
ranged a series of chapels, decorated with niches, admirably
sculptured, friezes, cornices, and vaulted arches; all displaying the
most finished workmanship, but evidently belonging to a degenerate
period of art. But this impression can only be felt by those whose eyes
have been previously exercised by the contemplation of the pure
monuments of Athens and Rome. Every other eye would be fascinated by the
splendour of the forms and the finish of the ornaments. The only fault
is too much richness; the stone groans beneath the weight of its own
luxuriance, and the walls are overspread with a lace-work of marble."

The town is, at present, so ruined, that there are not counted more than
fifty habitable dwellings in it; though the whole number within the
walls may be estimated at five hundred.

The state of the city is deplorable. The emirs of the house of Harfoushe
had already greatly impaired it, when an earthquake, in 1759, completed
its destruction; insomuch, that though in 1751 there were five thousand
inhabitants, not twelve hundred are remaining; and all these poor,
without industry or commerce, we are told, and cultivating nothing but a
little cotton, some maize, and a few watermelons.

Even the ruins are altering every day. Dawkins and Wood found nine large
columns standing; but Volney, in 1784, found only six. They reckoned
twenty-nine at the lesser temple; but now there are only twenty. There
were, originally, thirty-four,--eight in front, and thirteen along each
of the sides. The others were overthrown by an earthquake. Nature alone,
however, has not effected this devastation. The Turks have had their
share in the destruction of the columns; the motive for which was merely
that of procuring the iron cramps, which served to join the several
blocks of which each column is composed. Famine, the pestilence, and
the sword, gradually thinned the inhabitants. The population of five
thousand, which the town contained in 1751, has now dwindled down to
barely two hundred persons: nor does each house continue to possess, as
it did in the time of Maundrell, "ten or fifteen cows, besides goats and
sheep, the goats being of an uncommon species, worth from 30_l._ to
35_l._ a piece!" The description left by Maundrell was faithful at the
time he visited those ruins; but since that period several important
parts have been destroyed, and even the place of the temple at the end
of the great court, which was probably the principal edifice of the
whole, cannot at this day be made out[146].

The hands of the natives have, no doubt, committed many ravages.
Faccardine, prince of the Druses, destroyed or injured several parts of
these ruins; but when he afterwards visited Italy, and contracted a
taste for its architecture, he is said to have bitterly lamented the
sacrilege he had committed at Balbec[147]. "It is in fact man, not
nature," says an elegant writer, "that has wrought this change. No
blight has seared the soil, or poisoned the air, but a degrading
despotism has as effectually dried up the sources of social prosperity,
as if some elementary convulsion had suddenly turned the clime of beauty
cold and dark, and struck the teeming earth with hopeless barrenness.
Indeed, Turkish oppression has done what no unkindness of nature could
have effected. The splendours of Palmyra rose, under the breath of a
free commerce, in the midst of a sandy desert; but nothing has been able
to preserve that and many other great cities from crumbling into heaps
of ruins, at the death-touch of the gloomy tyranny, that now hangs like
a pall over the land."

We must now give place to what Mons. de La Martine says, in regard to
the Bishop of Balbec:--"We proceeded very little farther that day. The
road diverged from these ruins, and led us to others. We passed over
some vaults, and arrived at a small house. This was the palace of the
Bishop of Balbec, who, clothed in his violet-coloured pelisse, and
attended by some Arab peasants, advanced to meet us, and conducted us to
his humble door. The poorest peasant's cottage in Burgundy, or Auvergne,
possesses greater luxury and elegance than the palace of the Bishop of
Balbec. It was an ill-built hut, without either window or door, and
through the decayed roof the rain worked its way, and dropped on the mud
floor. This was the bishop's dwelling! But at the further end of the
yard, which adjoined the house, a neat wall, newly built of blocks of
stone, and a door and window in ogives of Moorish architecture, each
ogive being constructed of finely-sculptured stones, attracted my
attention. This was the church of Balbec, the cathedral of that town, in
which other gods have had splendid temples; the chapel in which the few
Arab Christians, who live here amidst the wrecks of so many different
faiths, worship, under a purer form, the universal Creator."

The bishop was a fine old man with hair and beard of silver, a grave and
benevolent cast of features, and a sweet and well-modulated voice. He
was the perfect image of a priest of poetry or romance, says the
traveller; and his aspect, which denoted peace, resignation, and
charity, was well suited to the scene of ruins and meditation in which
he lived.

The traveller afterwards describes a delightful scene. He and his
friends were sitting by moonlight near the bishop's hut. "We were
silent. Suddenly a soft plaintive strain, a slow modulated murmur stole
through the grotesque ogives of the ruined wall of the bishop's house.
This vague and confused sound swelled higher and higher, until we
distinguished it to be a chant from the united voices of choristers; a
monotonous, melancholy strain, which rose, fell, and died away, and was
alternately revived and re-echoed. This was the evening prayer, which
the Arab bishop was chanting with his little flock, in the skeleton of
that which once had been his church; viz., a heap of ruins piled up by a
heap of idolaters. We were totally unprepared for music of this sort,
where every note was, in fact, a sentiment or a sign from the human
breast. How little did we expect it in this solitude, in the bosom of
the desert, issuing, as it were, from mute stones, strewed about by the
combined influence of earthquakes, barbarous ignorance, and time! A
hallowed emotion inspired us, and we joined with religious fervour in
the sacred hymn, until the last sighs of the pious voices had died away,
and silence again reigned over the venerable ruins."

We conclude with the words which Seller in his history of Palmyra adopts
from Cicero: "Whenever we see such remains of venerable antiquity, such
lasting records of the names and achievements of great persons, we are
admonished to take care so to regulate our actions, that we may convince
the world we have settled our prospect upon the rewards of future ages,
and not on the flatteries of the present; and so remember, that
monuments being erected to the memory of those who have lived well in
this world before they left it, put us in mind, that there is nothing
here permanent and immutable; and that it is the duty of considering man
to aspire towards immortality[148]."


"On which side soever," says an elegant traveller, "you approach
Constantinople, whether ascending by the Dardanelles and the sea of
Marmora, or descending from the Black Sea by the Bosphorus; whether you
arrive by crossing the plain of Thrace, or come in sight from the
opposite hills of Asia, she presents herself, indeed, like 'the queen of

The history of this city being that of an empire, we shall confine
ourselves to a few particulars, and then pass on to give some account of
its monumental antiquities. We do this the more readily, since those
antiquities are far from being of the first order.

According to Ammianus, Byzantium was founded by the Athenians; according
to Justin, by the Lacedæmonians; according to Paterculus, by the
Milesians; according to others, by a colony of Megara, under the conduct
of Byzas, 658 B.C.

Byzantium received a great accession of inhabitants in consequence of a
decree passed, in gratitude to the Athenians, for having compelled
Philip of Macedon to raise the siege of their city[149].

In subsequent times Constantine the Great (from whom it was called
Constantinople), seeing its proud situation, created it into a capital
jointly with Rome; from which time the Roman empire was distinguished by
the titles Eastern and Western. In this position it stood, till the city
was sacked by the Turks under the guidance of Mahomet the Second.

The manner in which the Turks first gained a footing in Europe is thus
described in Bucke's Harmonies of Nature:--"Orcan having made himself
master of the shore skirting the sea that separated Asia from Europe,
his son Solyman resolved, if possible, to gain the castle of Hanni
(Sestos), then considered the key of Europe: but the Turks had neither
pilot, ships, nor boats. Solyman stood meditating on the beach, one fine
moonlight night, for some time. He had come thither with about eighty
followers on a hunting expedition. Beholding the towers of Hanni rising
over the opposite shore, he resolved to secure them for his father and
himself. He communicated his thoughts to his followers. Wondering at his
resolution, they regarded him as frantic. He persisted;--and they made
three rafts fastened on corks and bladders of oxen. When the party had
finished their task, they committed themselves to the waters; and with
poles instead of oars, succeeded in gaining the opposite shore: the moon
shining brilliantly as they stepped off the rafts, almost immediately
under the walls of Hanni. As they marched along the beach, they met a
peasant going to his work, it being now morning. This man hated his
prince; and being bribed by a sum of money, he told Solyman of a
subterranean passage leading into the castle. The little band availed
themselves of this information, and quietly entered the walls. There was
no regular garrison, and the few inhabitants were still asleep. They
fell an easy prey, therefore, to the adventurers. Having thus gained the
first object of their enterprise, they assembled the pilots and
vessel-owners of the town; and, offering them considerable sums of
money, induced them to steer their vessels to the opposite shore. Some
thousand men were then embarked, and in a few hours they were wafted
under the castle walls. This was the first landing of the Turks in
Europe: they ever after kept possession of this castle: ninety-six years
after, they sacked the city of Constantinople."

Mahomet II.[150], surnamed "the Great," was born at Adrianople in the
year 1430, and was, in the thirteenth year of his age, called to the
throne by the voluntary abdication of his father, Amurath II. On his
accession, Mahomet renewed the peace with the Greek emperor Constantine,
to whom he, at the same time, agreed to pay a pension for the expenses
and safe custody of his uncle Orcan, who had, at a previous period,
withdrawn to the court of Constantinople for safety. The carelessness of
the sultan in the observance of this clause of the treaty excited the
complaints of the emperor, with the imprudent threat that, unless the
pension was regularly paid, he would no longer detain Orcan. This threat
afforded the sultan a pretext for rekindling the war. Mahomet determined
to complete the conquest of the feeble empire by the capture of
Constantinople; and to terminate, by one terrible catastrophe, the
strife of many ages between the Moslems and the Greeks. Every
preliminary measure having been completed, Mahomet at length appeared
before Constantinople, on the 2d of April, 1453, at the head of three
hundred thousand men; supported by a formidable artillery, and by a
fleet of three hundred and twenty sail, mostly store-ships and
transports; but including eighteen galleys of war, while the besieged
could not muster more than ten thousand effective soldiers for the
defence. This vast disparity of force leaves little room for admiring
the prowess and military skill of the victorious party. The besieged
made, however, so obstinate a defence, under the brave emperor,
Constantine Palæologus, that for fifty-three days all the efforts of the
assailants were unavailing. The defenders of the city had drawn strong
iron chains across the entrance of the port; and Mahomet saw, that
unless he could get some of his vessels into the Golden Horn, his
success was doubtful, and that, at best, the defence might be greatly
protracted. He, therefore, contrived to conduct a part of his fleet, for
ten miles, over the land on a sort of railway, from the Bosphorus into
the harbour, and caused a floating battery to be constructed and
occupied with cannon. This sealed the fate of the imperial city.

On the day of the last assault, Mahomet said to his soldiers:--"I
reserve to myself only the city; the gold and women are yours." The
emperor (Constantine) accomplished all the duties of a general and a
soldier. The nobles, who fought around his person, sustained, till their
last breath, the honourable names of Palæologus and Cantacuzene. His
mournful exclamation was heard--"Cannot there be found a Christian to
cut off my head?" and his last fear was, lest he should fall alive into
the hands of his enemies. He threw away his imperial dress, rushed into
the thickest of the fight, fell by an unknown hand, and his body was
buried under a mountain of the slain: nor was it afterwards recognised.

The houses and convents were deserted; and the trembling inhabitants
flocked together in the streets, like a herd of timid animals. From
every part of the city they rushed into the church of St. Sophia. In the
space of an hour the sanctuary, the choir, the nave, the upper and lower
galleries, were filled with the multitude of fathers and husbands, of
women and children, of priests, monks, and religious virgins; the doors
were barred on the inside, and they sought protection from the sacred
dome, which they had so lately abhorred as a profaned and polluted

The doors were, soon after, broken with axes; and the Turks encountering
no resistance, their bloodless hands were employed in selecting and
securing the multitude of their prisoners. Youth, beauty, and the
appearance of youth, attracted their choice. In the space of an hour,
the male captives were bound with cords, the females with their veils
and girdles. The senators were linked with their slaves; the prelates
with the porters of their church; and young men of a plebeian class with
noble maids, whose faces had been invisible to the sun and their nearest

In this common captivity the ranks of society were confounded; the ties
of nature were cut asunder; and the inexorable soldier was careless of
the father's groan, the tears of the mother, and the lamentations of the
children. The loudest in their wailings were the nuns, who were torn
from the altars with naked bosoms, outstretched hands, and dishevelled
hair. At a similar hour, a similar rapine was exercised in all the
churches and monasteries; in all the palaces and habitations of the
capital. The male captives were bound with cords, and the females with
their veils and girdles, and driven, to the number of sixty thousand,
from the city to the camp or fleet, where those, who could not obtain
the means of purchasing their ransom, were exchanged, or sold, according
to the caprice or interest of their masters.

The disorder and rapine lasted till the sultan entered in triumph
through the gate of St. Romanus. He was attended by his vizirs, his
bashaws, and guards. As he rode along, he gazed with satisfaction and
wonder on the strange, though splendid, appearance of the domes and
palaces, so dissimilar to the style of oriental architecture. He
proceeded to the church of St. Sophia; where, observing a soldier in the
act of breaking up the marble pavement, he admonished him with his
scymetar, that if the spoil and captives were granted to the soldiers,
the public and private buildings had been reserved for the prince.

From St. Sophia he proceeded to the august, but desolate, mansion of a
hundred successors of the first Constantine; but which, in a few hours,
had been stripped of the pomp of royalty. A melancholy reflection on the
vicissitudes of human greatness forced itself upon his mind, and he
repeated an elegant distich of Persian poetry:--"The spider has wove his
web in the imperial palace; and the owl hath sung her watch-song on the
towers of Afrasiel[151]."

"The finest point from which Constantinople can be viewed," says M. de
La Martine, "is from a belvidere, built by M. Truqui, on the terrace
roof of his house. This belvidere commands the entire group of the hills
of Pere-Galata, and the little hillocks which surround the port on the
front side of the water. It is the eagle's flight over Constantinople
and the sea. Europe, Asia, the entrance of the Bosphorus, and the sea of
Marmora, are all under the eye at once. The city lies at the feet of
the spectator. If (continues Mons. de La Martine) we were allowed to
take only one point of the earth, this would be the one to choose.
Whenever I ascend to the belvidere to enjoy this view (and I do so
several times a day, and invariably every evening), I cannot conceive
how, of the many travellers who have visited Constantinople, so few have
felt the beauty which it presents to my eye and to my mind. Why has no
one described it? Is it because words have neither space, horizon, nor
colours, and that painting is only the language of the eye? But painting
itself has never portrayed all that is here. The pictures, I have seen,
are merely detached scenes, consisting of a few lines and colours
without life: none convey any idea of the innumerable gradations of
tint, varying with every change of the atmosphere, and every passing
hour. The harmonious whole, and the colossal grandeur of these lines;
the movements and the intertwinings of the different horizons; the
moving sails, scattered over the three seas; the murmur of the busy
population on the shores; the reports of the cannon on board the
vessels, the flags waving from the mast-heads; the floating caiques; the
vaporous reflection of domes, mosques, steeples, and minarets in the
sea; all this has never been described;"--nor ever can be!

The whole circuit of Constantinople, however, calculated at somewhat
more than twelve miles, present, even to diligent research[152], very
few remains of antiquity. The truth is, the Turks have availed
themselves of the marbles and fragments of the Greeks in the
construction of their own public edifices; and the antiquities of
Constantinople are re-produced to the eye under entirely different forms
and constructions, in the mosques and minarets, the fountains and
cemeteries of the Osmandys. Many a beautiful work, of the ancient Greek
chisel, has thus been embedded in a wall, or cut down and defaced to
make a Turkish tombstone; and many an edifice, constructed in accordance
with the pure styles of architecture, has been levelled and used as a
quarry. But still, it must be confessed that some of the Turkish
buildings, and more particularly some of the imperial mosques which have
risen in their places, are distinguished by grandeur and beauty. Of
these imperial mosques there are fourteen, each lofty, and magnificent
in its general dimensions, and built from base to dome with excellent
and enduring materials; chiefly of white marble, tinged with grey.
Besides these, there are sixty ordinary mosques, varying in size and
beauty, but all considerable edifices; and then two hundred and more
inferior mosques and messdgids[153].

The walls of Byzantium[154] were built of large square stones, so joined
as, apparently, to form one single block. They were much loftier on the
land side than towards the water, being naturally defended by the waves,
and in some places by the rocks they are built on, which project into
the sea.

They were of Cyclopian structure[155]; and of the workmanship, from what
Herodian has said of them, the masonry was greatly superior to any of
the workmanship now visible in the fortifications. It was surrounded by
a wall, made of such immense quadrangular masses of stone, and so
skilfully adjusted, that the marvellous masonry, instead of disclosing
to view the separate parts of which it consisted, seemed like one entire
mass. "The very ruins," says Herodian, "show the wonderful skill, not
only of the persons who built it, but of those, also, by whom it was

The wall of Theodosius begins at the castle of Seven Towers, whence it
traverses the whole western side of the city. This is the only part of
the general wall of the city worth seeing. It is flanked into a double
row of mural towers, and defended by a fosse about eight yards wide. The
same promiscuous mixture of the works of ancient art--columns,
inscriptions, bas-reliefs, &c.--seen in the walls of all the Greek
cities, is here remarkably conspicuous. But the ivy-mantled towers, and
the great height of this wall, added to its crumbling ruinous state,
give it a picturesque appearance, exhibited by no other city in the
Levant: it resembles a series of old ruined castles extending for five
miles from sea to sea[156].

Of the eighteen gates, which once existed on the west side of the city,
only seven now remain. The site of the two temples erected by Justinian,
as _safeguards_ of the city, may still be ascertained by their vestiges;
but these have almost disappeared.

The walls, which are well built, are still standing, and consist of
stone terraces from fifty to sixty feet high, and occasionally from
fifteen to twenty feet thick, covered with freestone of a greyish-white
colour; but sometimes of pure white, and seeming fresh from the chisel
of the mason. At the feet of the walls are the ancient fosses filled
with rubbish and luxuriant loam, in which trees and pellitories have
taken root ages ago, and now form an impenetrable glacis. The summit of
the wall is almost everywhere crowned with vegetation, which overhangs
and forms a sort of coping, surmounted by capital and volute of climbing
plants and ivy. These walls are so noble, that La Martine says that,
next to the Parthenon and Balbec, they are the noblest existing
memorials of ruined empires.

"There is nothing either grand or beautiful in the remains of the
brazen column, consisting of the bodies of three serpents twisted
spirally together. It is about twelve feet in height, and being hollow,
the Turks have filled it with broken tiles, stones, and other relics.
But in the circumstances of its history, no critique of ancient times
can be more interesting. For it once supported the golden tripod at
Delphi, which the Greeks, after the battle of Platæa, found in camp of

Near the Valide is a COLUMN of PORPHYRY[158], generally supposed to have
supported the statue of CONSTANTINE. It is composed of eight pieces,
surrounded by as many wreaths or garlands of the same marble. Not long
since it gained the name of Colonna Brugiata, or burned pillar, having
been very much defaced by the many conflagrations to which this vast
city has been subject.

Near Mesmer-Kiosch[159] is a view of the summit of the Corinthian pillar
of white marble, fifty feet high, in the gardens of the seraglio, with
the inscription--


This has been erroneously supposed the column of Theodora. Pococke
mentions that it was taken from some other part of the town to the
seraglio gardens. It is supported by a handsome capital of verd antique.

This building[160], the mosque of St. Sophia (formerly of much larger
extent), owes its foundation to the emperor Justinian, who lived also to
see it finished, A.D. 557. It was dedicated by him to the wisdom of
God. This fabric is entirely Gothic.

"In the time of Procopius[161] its dome might have seemed suspended by a
chain from heaven; but at present it exhibits much more of a
subterranean than of an aerial character. The approach to the Pantheon
at Rome, as well as to the spacious aisle and dome of St. Peter's, is by
ascending; but in order to get beneath the dome of St. Sophia, the
spectator is conducted down a flight of stairs. * * * The more we saw of
the city, the more we had reason to be convinced that it remains as it
was from its conquest by the Turks. The interior of St. Sophia
manifestly proves the indisposition of the Turks towards the decoration
of the buildings they found. * * * There is so much of littleness and
bad taste in the patchwork of its interior decorations, and of confusion
in the piles and buttresses about it, when viewed externally, that we
hardly considered it more worth visiting than some other mosques,
especially those of sultan Solyman and sultan Achmet."

This is one of the largest edifices ever built for the purpose of
Christian worship; but though built by Constantine, it is evident, from
the barbarous style of art which pervades the mass of stone, that it is
the production of a vitiated and declining age. It is a confused
memorial of a taste which no longer exists. "In its present state," says
La Martine, "St. Sophia resembles an immense caravansary of God; for
there are the columns of the temple of Ephesus and the figures of the
apostles, encircled with gilded glories, looking down upon the hanging
lamps of the Iman."

In the mosques, called Osmanic, are pillars of Egyptian granite,
twenty-two feet high and three feet in diameter; and near it is the
celebrated sarcophagus of red porphyry, called the _Tomb of
Constantine_, nine feet long, seven feet wide, and five feet thick, of
one entire mass. In the mosque of sultan Achmet are columns of verde
antico, Egyptian granite, and white marble. Several antique vases of
glass and earthenware are also there suspended, exactly as they were in
the temples of the ancients with the votive offerings.

Near the mosque of sultan Achmet[162], which is one of the finest
buildings in Constantinople, stands the Hippodrome, called by the Turks
Etmeidon, which is no other than a translation of the ancient name; it
being made use of at present for exercising cavalry.

It is a space of ground five hundred and seventy-four yards in length,
and one hundred and twenty-four in breadth, and at one end are two
obelisks, the one of granite fifty-eight feet high, on which are
inscribed many Egyptian hieroglyphics. The pedestal is adorned with
bas-relievos of but ordinary sculpture, representing different actions
of the emperor Theodosius in relation to the races that were performed
in the Hippodrome. In one place, particularly, he is to be seen crowning
a figure who is supposed to be the person that had carried off the

The other obelisk is composed of several pieces of stone, and seems, by
many cavities between the stones, to have been covered with brass
plates; which, together with its height, must have rendered it superior
to the former in magnificence. Between these obelisks is the Delphic

The aqueduct of the Roman emperors still remains[163]. It was first
erected by Hadrian: it was called by his name; subsequently it bore that
of Valens, and of Theodosius. Being ruined by the Avans in the reign of
Heraclius, it was repaired by one of the Constantines. In a later period
Solyman, called the Magnificent, finding it gone to decay, caused it to
be restored. It consists of a double line of arches, built with
alternate layers of stone and brick.

Within the walls of Constantinople[164] the Greek emperors had formed,
by excavation, a number of immense cisterns, or reservoirs, which were
always to be kept full, and which might supply the capital in case of
siege. One of them, though no longer performing the office for which it
was intended, is still one of the curiosities of Constantinople, to
which all travellers are conducted. It is a vast subterranean edifice,
whose roof is supported by an immense number of columns, each column
being curiously formed of three pillars placed one on the top of
the other. The Turks call it the place of the "thousand and one
columns"--not that the columns are really so numerous--but because it is
the favourite number of the oriental nations. Though the earth has, in
part, filled it up, it is still of great depth.

The whole cavity, according to Dr. Walsh, is capable of containing
1,237,939 cubit feet of water when full. It is now, however, dry; and a
number of silk-twisters have taken possession of it, and ply their trade
at the bottom in almost utter darkness. There is another, also, which
still exists as a cistern; which Dr. Walsh, who first gave us any
account of it, describes as being a subterraneous lake, extending under
several streets, with an arched roof that covers and conceals it,
supported on three hundred and thirty-six magnificent pillars.

Some remains of a large antique structure are seen on the side of the
Hippodrome; and it has been conjectured that this was the palace of the
emperors; others suppose it to have been part of the Basilica, the form
of which Gyllius believes to have been quadrangular; in opposition to
those who had described it as an octagon. The Basilica was a college for
the instruction of youth. In the reign of Basilicus there happened a
great fire, and which consuming whole streets, with many stately
edifices, wholly destroyed the Basilica, together with its library,
containing six hundred thousand volumes. Amongst these curiosities there
was a MS. of the Iliad and Odyssey, written in letters of gold; upon a
serpents gut, one hundred and twenty feet in length.

Wheler says that the Seven Towers do not look strong enough for a
castle; but sufficiently so for a prison; which was the employment to
which it was put for great men, or great malefactors, like the Tower of
London. He was not permitted to enter into it; but he observed that one
of the gateways was adorned with bassi-relievi, or oblong tablets of
white marble. One of these represented the fall of Phaeton; another
Hercules fighting with a bull; another Hercules combating with Cerberus;
and another, Venus coming to Adonis during the time in which he is

The appearance of these walls, says Hobhouse, (the work of the second
Theodosius), is more venerable than any other Byzantine antiquity; their
triple ranges rise one above the other in most places nearly entire, and
still retaining their ancient battlements and towers, which are shaded
with large trees, which spring from the fosse, and through the
rents of repeated earthquakes.

The intervals between the triple walls, which are eighteen feet wide,
are in many places choked up with earth and masses of the fallen
rampart; and the fosse, of twenty-five feet in breadth, is cultivated
and converted into gardens and cherry orchards, with here and there a
solitary cottage. Such is the height of the walls, that to those
following the road under them on the outside, none of the mosques or
other buildings of the capital, except the towers of Tekkun-Sana, are
visible; and as there are no suburbs, this line of majestic ramparts,
defenceless and trembling with age, might impress upon the mind the
notion, that the Ottomans had not deigned to inhabit the conquered city,
but, carrying away its people into distant captivity, had left it an
unresisting prey to the desolations of time.

The Seven Towers reminded La Martine of the death of the first sultan,
who was immolated by the Janissaries. Othman was allured by them into
the castle, and perished two days afterwards by the hand of the vizir
Daoud. Shortly after, the vizir himself was conducted to the Seven
Towers. His turban was torn off his head; he was made to drink at the
same fountain where the unfortunate Othman had slaked his thirst; and he
was strangled in the same chamber in which he had strangled his master.
"I have seen the ruins of Athens, of Ephesus, and Delphi," says Lord
Byron; "I have traversed great part of Turkey; and many other parts of
Europe, and some of Asia; but I never beheld a work of nature or art,
which yielded an impression like the prospect, on each side, from the
Seven Towers to the Golden Horn."


This city is said, by some, to have been founded by Semiramis, when she
invaded Egypt; others suppose it to have been erected by the Persians
under Cambyses in the place where Latopolis formerly stood. Strabo,
however, asserts, that it was built by some barbarians who had retired
thither by permission of their sovereign; and that in his time the
Romans kept in garrison there one of the three legions that were kept in

It is now called Fostat, and is situate between Grand Cairo and the
Nile. It succeeded Memphis as the capital of Egypt; the history,
therefore, of this place merges in the general one of Egypt.

According to Elmanim in his history of the Arabs, Amrou, son of Eleas,
built Masr Fostat on the spot where he had formed his camp previously to
his besieging Alexandria. The governors sent by the caliphs afterwards
made it their place of residence. The situation on the banks of the
Nile, and near to land that communicated with the Red Sea, soon made it
very flourishing.

It was about two leagues in circumference, when, five hundred years
after its foundation, it was delivered up by Schaonar, king of Egypt, in
order to prevent its falling under the French (during the crusades), who
set fire to it. The conflagration lasted fifty-four days. The
unfortunate inhabitants quitted the ashes, and took refuge in New Cairo,
which then assumed the name of Masr, and the former one of Fostat was

Its environs are now scattered over with ruins, which indicate its
ancient extent; and which, were history defective, would sufficiently
attest it to be comparatively modern. They want the majestic character
the Egyptians gave to their edifices, and the impression of which time
cannot efface. Neither sphynx, column, nor obelisk, can be found among
those heaps of rubbish.

At this place, however, are still to be seen Joseph's granaries; if this
appellation may be given to a large space of ground, surrounded by walls
twenty feet high, and divided into courts, without any roof or covering.
But the only things worth seeing in the ancient Cairo are the castle,
and the aqueduct that conveys the water of the Nile into the castle. It
is supported by three hundred and fifty narrow and very lofty arcades.

These are thus described by Rollin:--The castle of Cairo is one of the
greatest curiosities in Egypt. It stands on the hill without the city,
has a rock for its foundation, and is surrounded with walls of a vast
height and solidity. You go up to the castle by a way hewn out of the
rock, and which is of so easy ascent, that loaded horses and camels get
up without difficulty. The greatest rarity in this castle is Joseph's
Well; so called, either because the Egyptians are pleased with ascribing
their most remarkable particulars to that great man, or because there is
really such a tradition in the country. This is a proof, at least, that
the work in question is very ancient; and it is certainly worthy the
magnificence of the most powerful kings of Egypt. This well has, as it
were, two stories, cut out of a rock to a prodigious depth. One descends
to the reservoir of water between the two wells by a staircase seven or
eight feet broad, consisting of two hundred and twenty steps, and so
contrived, that the oxen employed to throw up the water, go down with
all imaginable ease; the descent being scarcely perceptible. The well is
supplied by a spring, which is almost the only one in the whole country.
The oxen are continually turning a wheel with a rope, to which buckets
are fastened. The water thus drawn from the first and lowermost well is
conveyed by a little canal into a reservoir which forms the second well,
from whence it is drawn to the top in the same manner, and then conveyed
by pipes to all parts of the castle.

The remains of Egyptian Babylon merit attention, says Mr. Wilkinson;
and, among other objects shown by the monks, who live there, is a
chamber of the Virgin, the traditions concerning which have been treated
by the credulous with the same pious feelings as the tree at Heliopolis.
The station of Babylon is evidently of Roman construction, and probably
the same that is mentioned by Strabo, in which one of the three Roman
legions was quartered. It formed part of the town of Fostat, built by
Amer, near the ruins of Babylon, and the mosque, called after him, marks
the spot of his encampment, which subsequently became the centre of the
city he had founded. The exterior of the Roman station still reminds us
of its former strength, which defied the attacks of the Arab invaders
for seven months, and its solid walls still contain a village of
Christian inhabitants. Over the triangular pediment of the doorway,
which is on the south side, appears to have been an inscription, long
since removed; and in an upper chamber above one of the bastions of this
now-closed entrance, is an old Christian record, sculptured on wood, of
the time of Dioclesian, which is curious from its material and the state
of its preservation.

Near Cairo are some ancient catacombs. These are situated beneath a
mound in the middle of a plain, adjoining the pyramids of Saccara, which
lies beneath the sandy surface. Dr. Clarke ascended into them by means
of a rope-ladder. "The first chamber he entered contained scattered
fragments of mummies, which had originally been placed on a shelf cut
out of the rock, and extending breast-high the whole length of this
apartment: there are two tiers or stories of these chambers, one above
the other, all presenting the same appearance of violation and disorder,
and smelling very offensively. At some distance from these, which were
apparently appropriated to man, are those in which the sacred birds and
animals were deposited; one apartment of which Dr. Clarke found filled
with earthen jars entire, laid horizontally in tiers on one another,
something like bottles in a wine-bin. They were about fourteen inches
long, and conical in form, the cover being fixed on by some kind of
cement; when opened, they were found to contain the bodies of birds (the
ibis), with white feathers tipped with black, or the heads of monkeys,
cats, and other animals, all carefully bandaged up in linen.

Old Cairo sustained all the evils of a great famine in the year of
Christ 597. We adopt the account given of this calamity from the
Encyclopædia Londinensis:--"Of the number of poor who perished with
hunger," says Abtollatiph, "it is impossible to form any probable
estimate; but I will give the reader some information on this subject,
whence he may form a faint idea of the mortality with which Egypt was
then afflicted. In Mesr, and Cairo, and their confines, wherever a
person turned he could not avoid stumbling over some starved object,
either already dead, or in the agonies of death."

From Cairo alone nearly five hundred were daily carried out to the
burying-ground; and so great was the mortality in Mesr, that the dead
were thrown out without the walls, where they remained unburied.

But afterwards, when the survivors were no longer able to throw out the
dead bodies, they were left wherever they expired, in the houses,
shops, or streets. The limbs of the dead were even cut in pieces, and
used for food; and instead of receiving the last offices from their
friends, and being decently interred, their remains were attended by
persons who were employed in roasting or baking them.

In all the distant provinces and towns the inhabitants became entirely
extinct, except in the principal cities, and some of the large towns,
such as Kous Ashmunein, Mahalla, &c., and even there but a few survived.

In those days a traveller might pass through a city without finding in
it one human creature alive. He saw the houses open, and the inhabitants
dead on their faces, some grown putrid, and others who had recently
expired. If he entered into the houses, he found them full of goods, but
no one to make use of them; and he saw nothing wherever he turned, but a
dreadful solitude, and a universal desolation. This account rests not on
the information and authority of a single person, but of many, whose
several assertions mutually confirmed each other. One of these gave
information in the following words:--"We entered a city, where no living
creature was to be found; we went into the houses, and there we saw the
inhabitants prostrate and dead, all lying in a wretched group on the
ground,--the husband, the wife, and the children. Hence we passed into
another city, which contained, as we had heard, four hundred shops of
weavers: it was now a desert like the former,--the artificer had expired
in his shop, and his family lay dead around him. A third city, which we
afterwards visited, appeared like the former,--a scene of death and
desolation. Being obliged to reside in this place for some time, for the
purpose of agriculture, we ordered persons to throw the bodies of the
dead into the hole at the rate of ten for a diakem. Wolves and hyenas
resorted here in great numbers to feed on the corpses[166]."


Cannæ is a small village of Apulia, near the Aufidus, famous for a
battle between Hannibal and the Romans; and as the spot where the battle
was fought is still pointed out by the inhabitants, and is still
denominated "the field of blood," we shall refresh the memories of our
readers with an account of it. Both armies having often removed from
place to place, came in sight of each other near Cannæ. As Hannibal was
encamped in a level open country, and his cavalry much superior to that
of the Romans, Æmilius did not think proper to engage in such a place.
He was for drawing the enemy into an irregular spot, where the infantry
might have the greatest share of the action. But his colleague, who was
wholly inexperienced, was of a contrary opinion. The troops on each side
were, for some time, contented with skirmishes; but, at last, one day
when Varro had the command, for the two consuls took it by turns,
preparations were made on both sides for battle. Æmilius had not been
consulted; yet, though he extremely disapproved the conduct of his
colleague, as it was not in his power to prevent it, he seconded him to
the utmost. The two armies were very unequal in numbers. That of the
Romans, including the allies, amounted to eighty thousand foot, and
about six thousand horse; and that of the Carthaginians consisted but of
forty thousand foot, all well disciplined, and of ten thousand horse.
Æmilius commanded the right wing of the Romans; Varro the left; and
Servilius was posted in the centre. Hannibal, who had the art of taking
all advantages, had posted himself so as the south wind should blow
directly in the faces of the Romans during the fight[167], and cover
them with dust. Then keeping the river Aufidus on his left, and posting
his cavalry on the wings, he formed his main body of the Spanish and
Gallic infantry, which he posted in the centre, with half the African
heavy armed foot on the right, and half on their left, on the same line
with the cavalry. His army being thus drawn up, he put himself at the
head of the Spanish and Gallic infantry, and having drawn themselves out
in a line, advanced to begin the battle, rounding his front as he
advanced near the enemy. The fight soon began, and the Roman legions
that were in the wings, seeing their centre firmly attacked, advanced to
charge the enemy in flank. Hannibal's main body, after a brave
resistance, finding themselves furiously attacked on all sides, gave
way, being overpowered in numbers. The Romans having pursued them with
eager confusion, the two wings of the African infantry, which was fresh,
well armed, and in good order, wheeled about on a sudden towards that
void space in which the Romans had thrown themselves in disorder, and
attacked them vigorously on both sides without allowing them time to
recover themselves, or leaving them ground to draw up. In the mean time,
the two wings of the cavalry having defeated those of the Romans, which
were much inferior to them, advanced and charged the rest of the Roman
infantry, which being surrounded at once on every side by the enemy's
horse and foot, was all cut to pieces, after having fought with great
bravery. Æmilius being covered with wounds, he received in the fight,
was afterwards killed by a body of the enemy to whom he was not known.
Above seventy thousand men fell in this battle; and the Carthaginians,
so great was their fury, did not give over the slaughter till Hannibal,
in the very heat of it, cried out to them several times, "Stop,
soldiers, spare the vanquished." Ten thousand men, who had been left to
guard the camps, surrendered themselves prisoners of war after the
battle. Varro, the consul, retired to Venusia with only seventy horse;
and about four thousand men escaped into the neighbouring cities.
Hannibal remained master of the field, he being chiefly indebted for
this, as well as for his former victories, to the superiority of his
cavalry over the Romans. Maherbal, one of the Carthaginian generals,
advised Hannibal to march directly to Rome, promising him that within
five days they should sup in the capital. Hannibal, answering, that it
was an affair that required mature examination--"I see," replies
Maherbal, "that the gods have not endowed the same men with all talents.
You, Hannibal, know how to conquer, but not to make the best use of a
victory." It is pretended that this delay saved Rome and the empire.
Many authors, and among the rest Livy, charge Hannibal on this occasion
as if guilty of a capital error. But others, more reserved, are not for
condemning without evident proofs, so renowned a general, who, in the
rest of his conduct, was never wanting either in prudence to make choice
of the best expedient, or in readiness to put his designs in execution.
They, besides, are inclined to judge favourably of him from the
authority, or, at least, the silence of Polybius, who, speaking of the
memorable consequences of this celebrated battle, says, "That the
Carthaginians were firmly persuaded, that they should possess themselves
of Rome at the first assault:" but then he does not mention how this
could possibly have been effected; as that city was very populous,
warlike, strongly fortified, and defended with a garrison of two
legions; nor does he anywhere give the least hint that such a project
was feasible, or that Hannibal did wrong, in not attempting to put it in

Soon after the battle of Cannæ, Hannibal despatched his brother to
Carthage with the news of his victory; and at the same time to demand
succours, in order that he might be enabled to put an end to the war.
Mago being arrived, made, in full senate, a lofty speech, in which he
extolled his brother's exploits, and displayed the great advantages he
had gained over the Romans. And to give a more lively idea of the
greatness of the victory, by speaking in some measure to the eye, he
poured out in the middle of the senate a bushel of gold rings which had
been taken from such of the Roman nobility as had fallen in the battle.

A ridge of low hills[168], bare of wood, and laid out in grass or corn
land, confines the river for four miles, at the end of which, bounded by
knolls, stood the city of Cannæ. The traces of the town, however, are
very faint, consisting of fragments of altars, cornices, gates, walls,
vaults, and under-ground granaries. "My eyes ranged at large over the
vast expanse of unvariegated plains," says Mr. Swinburne: "all was
silent; not a man, not an animal, appeared to enliven the scene. We
stood on ruins and over vaults; the banks of the river were desert and
wild. My thoughts naturally assumed the tint of the dreary prospect, as
I reflected on the fate of Carthage and of Rome. Rome recovered from the
blow she received in these fields; but her liberty, her fame, and
trophies, have long been levelled in the dust. Carthage lies in ruins
less discernible than those of the paltry walls of Cannæ; the very
traces of them have almost vanished from the face of the earth. The
daring projects, marches, and exploits of her hero, even the victory,
obtained upon this spot, would, like thousands of other human
achievements, have been long buried in oblivion, had not his very
enemies consigned him to immortality; for the annals of Carthage exist
no more."

The peasants showed Mr. Swinburne some spurs and heads of lances, which
had been turned up by the plough a short time before he visited the
spot, and told him, that horse-loads of armour and weapons had been
found and carried away at different times[169].


Capua, once the chief city of Campania, was founded by Capys, who is
described as having been the father, or rather the companion, of
Anchises. It was at one time so opulent, that it was called "the other

Perhaps our readers will have no objection to have their memories
refreshed by an allusion to the mistake, committed at this place by
Hannibal. The details of it will give some variety to our page. It is
thus related by Rollin, from the luminous page of Livy:--"The battle of
Cannæ subjected the most powerful nations of Italy to Hannibal, drew
over to his interest Græcia Magna; also wrested from the Romans their
most ancient allies, amongst whom the Capuans held the first rank. This
city, by the fertility of its soil, its advantageous situation, and the
blessings of a long peace, had risen to great wealth and power. Luxury,
and a flow of pleasures, the usual attendants on wealth, had corrupted
the minds of all the citizens, who, from their natural inclination, were
but too much addicted to voluptuousness and all excesses. Hannibal made
choice of this city for his winter-quarters. There it was that his
soldiers, who had sustained the most grievous toils, and braved the most
formidable dangers, were overthrown by delights and a profusion of all
things, into which they plunged with the greater eagerness as they, till
then, had been entire strangers to them. Their courage was so enervated
in this bewitching retirement, that all their after-efforts were owing
rather to the fame and splendour of their former victories than to their
present strength. When Hannibal marched his forces out of the city, one
would have taken them for other men, and the reverse of those who had so
lately marched into it. Accustomed, during the winter season, to
commodious lodgings, to ease and plenty, they were no longer able to
bear hunger, thirst, long marches, watchings, and the other toils of
war; not to mention that all obedience, all discipline, were laid

Livy thinks that Hannibal's stay at Capua is a reproach to his conduct;
and pretends that he there was guilty of an infinitely greater error
than when he neglected to march directly to Rome after the battle of
Cannæ:--"For this delay," says Livy, "might seem only to have retarded
his victory; whereas this last misconduct rendered him absolutely
incapable of ever defeating the enemy. In a word, as Marcellus observed
judiciously afterwards, Capua was to the Carthaginians and their
general, what Cannæ had been to the Romans. There their martial genius,
their love of discipline, were lost; there their former fame, and their
almost certain hopes of future glory, vanished at once, and, indeed,
from thenceforth, the affairs of Hannibal advanced to their decline by
swift steps; fortune declared in favour of prudence, and victory seemed
now reconciled to the Romans." It is doubted, however, whether Livy has
reason to impute all these fatal consequences to the agreeable abode at
Capua. It might, indeed, have been one cause, but this would be a very
inconsiderable one; and the bravery with which the forces of Hannibal
afterwards defeated the armies of consuls and prætors; the towns they
took even in sight of the Romans; their maintaining their conquests so
vigorously, and staying fourteen years after this in Italy in spite of
the Romans; all these circumstances may induce us to believe that Livy
lays too much stress on the delights of Capua. In fact, the chief cause
of the decay of Hannibal's affairs was his want of necessary supplies
and succours from Carthage.

The revolt of Capua to the Carthaginians proved its ruin; for when taken
by the consuls Fulvius and Claudius, it was punished for its perfidy.
Genseric, the Vandal, however, was more cruel than the Romans had been;
for he massacred the inhabitants and burned the town to the ground.
Narses rebuilt it; but in 841 it was totally destroyed by an army of
Saracens, and the inhabitants driven to the mountains[170]. Some time
after the retreat of these savage invaders, the Lombards ventured down
again into the plain; but not deeming their force adequate to the
defence of so great a circuit as the large city, they built themselves a
smaller one on the river, and called it Capua.

In 1501 this new city was taken by storm by the French, who, according
to Guicciardini and Giannone, committed the most flagitious acts of
rapine, lust, and enormity.

"The amphitheatre of Old Capua," says Mr. Forsyth, "recals to us the
sublime image of Spartacus. It resembles the Coliseum in its form and in
its fate. Both were raised on magnificent designs--negligently executed.
Both have suffered from barbarians and from modern builders; but the
solitude of the Campanian ruin has exposed it to greater dilapidation
than the Roman has yet undergone. Part of its materials has emigrated to
modern Capua; a part is buried in its own arena. The first order of
columns is half interred; the second has none entire."

Though much defaced by the loss of its marble[171], this structure
offers many ornaments peculiar to itself. It is considerably smaller
than the Flavian amphitheatre at Rome; but worthy of the first among the
second cities of the empire: the monuments still to be seen on the spot
are certainly of a date long posterior to Capua's independence, and even
to that of Roman liberty. The lower order of the amphitheatre is Tuscan;
the second Doric. What the upper ones were cannot be ascertained: on the
keystone of each arcade was the bust of a deity of a colossal size and
coarse execution, much too massive for the rest of the work. It had four
entrances, and was built of brick, faced with stone or marble. The
little value set upon brick has preserved it; while the other materials
have been torn down to mend roads and build cottages.

"From Caserta," says Mr. Forsyth, "it is but half an hour's ride to the
remains of ancient Capua[172]. Some tombs on the road, though ruined and
encumbered with bushes, display a variety of sepulchral forms, unknown
during the Roman republic. Most of the Campanian tombs, anterior to
Cæsar, had been demolished by his soldiers, while searching for painted
vases; for Capua, though late in learning the ceramic art, was more
productive than the rest of Campania." Vases have lately been discovered
here in great variety, and antiquaries find out purposes for them all;
either in the form, or the size, or the painting, or their own


Carthage was founded by the Tyrians about the year of the world 3158,
and 846 before Christ; that is, at the period in which Joash was king of
Judah. Its empire lasted about seven hundred years.

The Carthaginians were indebted to the Tyrians not only for their
origin, but their manners, customs, laws, religion, and their general
application to commerce. They spoke the same language with the Tyrians,
and these the same with the Canaanites and Israelites; that is, the
Hebrew; or at least a language entirely derived from it.

The strict union, which always subsisted between the Phoenicians and
Carthaginians, is remarkable. When Cambyses had resolved to make war
upon the latter, the Phoenicians, who formed the chief strength of his
fleet, told him plainly, that they could not serve him against their
countrymen: and this declaration obliged that prince to lay aside his
design. The Carthaginians, on their side, were never forgetful of the
country from whence they came, and to which they owed their origin. They
sent regularly every year to Tyre a ship freighted with presents, as a
quit-rent or acknowledgment, paid to their ancient country; and its
tutelar gods had an annual sacrifice offered to them by the
Carthaginians, who considered them as their protectors. They never
failed to send thither the first fruits of their revenues, nor the tithe
of the spoils taken from their enemies, or offerings to Hercules, one of
the principal gods of Tyre and Carthage.

The foundation of Carthage is ascribed to Elisa, a Tyrian princess,
better known by the name of Dido. She married her relation, whose name
was Sichæus. Her brother was Pigmalion, king of Tyre. Sichæus being
extremely rich, Pigmalion put him to death in order to seize upon his
wealth; but the plan did not succeed; for Dido managed to elude his
avarice, by withdrawing from the city with all her husband's
possessions. Taking all these out to sea, she wandered about for some
time; till, coming to the gulf, on the borders of which Utica stood,
about fifteen miles from Tunis, then but too well known for its
corsairs, she landed for the purpose of considering what plan it would
be proper to pursue. Invited by the hope of profit, the people of the
neighbouring country soon began to frequent the new settlement; and
those brought others from more distant parts, and the town soon began to
wear an air of importance.

Utica having also been raised by a colony from Tyre, its inhabitants
entered into friendship with the new comers. They deputed envoys with
considerable presents and exhorted them to build a city. This
exhortation was seconded by the natives of the country. All things
conspiring to so great an object, Dido immediately entered into a treaty
with the natives for a certain portion of land, and having agreed to pay
an annual tribute to the Africans for the ground on which the town was
to stand, she built that celebrated city, so universally known, and gave
it the name of Carthada, or Carthage, a word signifying the "New

Dido was soon sought in marriage by the king of Getulia, named Iarbus.
Having determined on never marrying again, out of compliment to her lost
husband, Sichæus, she desired time for consideration. We must now follow
the true history, and neglect the false one; that is, we must follow
Justin, and altogether disregard Virgil; since, to answer the purposes
of his poem, as well as those of a political nature, he has fixed the
building of Carthage no less than three hundred years before the period
in which it actually occurred.

Justin's account is this[175]:--"Iarbus, king of the Mauritanians,
sending for ten of the principal Carthaginians, demanded Dido in
marriage, threatening to declare war against her in case of refusal. The
ambassadors, being afraid to deliver the message of Iarbus, told her,
with punic honesty, that he wanted to have some person sent him, who was
capable of civilizing and polishing himself and his Africans; but there
was no possibility of finding any Carthaginian, who would be willing to
quit his native place and kindred, for the conversation of barbarians,
who were as savage as the wildest beasts. Here the queen, with
indignation, interrupted them, asking if they were not ashamed to refuse
living in any manner which might be beneficial to their country, to
which they owed their lives. They then delivered the king's message, and
bade her set them a pattern, and sacrifice herself to her country's
welfare. Dido, being thus ensnared, called on Sichæus, with tears and
lamentations, and answered that she would go where the fate of her city
called her. At the expiration of three months she ascended the fatal
pile, and with her last breath told the spectators, that she was going
to her husband, as they had ordered her."

The first war made by the Carthaginians was against the Africans, in
order to free themselves from the tribute they had engaged to pay. In
this, however, they were foiled. They afterwards carried their arms
against the Moors and Numidians, and won conquest from both. They had
then a dispute with Cyrene, on account of their respective limits. This
quarrel was settled without much trouble. They soon after conquered
Sardinia, Majorca, and Minorca. Then they added many cities in Spain to
their conquests; though it is not known at what period they entered
that country, nor how far they extended their conquests. Their conquests
were slow at the first; but in the process of time, they subjugated
nearly the whole country. They became soon after masters of nearly all
Sicily. This excited the jealousy of the Romans; and Sicily became an
arena for the trial of their respective strength. "What a fine field of
battle," said Pyrrhus, as he left that island, "do we leave the
Carthaginians and Romans!"

The wars between Rome and Carthage were three, and they are called, in
the history of the former city, "Punic" wars. The first lasted
twenty-four years; then there was an interval of peace, but that expired
at the end of twenty-four years more. The second Punic war took up
seventeen years; and then ensued another interval of forty-nine years;
followed by the third Punic war, which terminated, after a contest of
four years and some months, in the total destruction of Carthage.

The first was terminated in a treaty to the following effect[176], that
"there shall be peace between the Carthaginians and Romans, on the
following conditions:--The Carthaginians shall evacuate all Sicily;
shall no longer make war against the Syracusans or their allies; shall
restore to the Romans, without ransom, all the prisoners whom they shall
have taken from them; pay one thousand talents of silver immediately;
and two thousand two hundred talents of silver within the space of ten
years; and, also, depart out of all the islands situated between Italy
and Sicily." Sardinia was not comprehended in this treaty; but they gave
it up in a treaty some years after. This was the longest war that had
then been known in any country; it having lasted four-and-twenty years.
"The obstinacy in disputing for empire," says the historian, "was equal
on both sides; the same resolution, the same greatness of soul, in
forming as well as in executing of projects being equal on both sides.
The Carthaginians had the superiority over the Romans, with regard to
naval affairs; the strength and swiftness of their vessels; the working
of them; the skill and capacity of their pilots; the knowledge of
coasts, shallows, roads and winds; and in the inexhaustible fund of
wealth which furnished all the expenses of so long and obstinate a war.

The qualities and capabilities of the Romans were of a different
character. They had none of the advantages above stated; but their
courage, and regard for the public good, are said to have supplied all
of them; and their soldiers were greatly superior to those of Carthage,
not only in skill but in courage.

The Carthaginians had scarcely closed the war with the Romans, than they
were engaged in another against the mercenaries who had served under
them in Sicily. This was a short but a very sanguinary war. These
mercenaries being returned to the neighbourhood of Carthage, were
unjustly treated, in not being paid the wages they had earned by the
assistance they had given. Complaints, seditious and insolent murmurs,
were heard on every side. These troops being composed of different
nations, who were strangers to one another's language, were incapable of
hearing reason when they once mutinied. They consisted of Gauls,
Ligurians, Spaniards, and natives of the Balearic islands; a great
number of Greek slaves and deserters; and a large number of Africans.

These troops having been trifled with by the Carthaginian government,
the members of which attempted to defraud them of no small share of what
they had earned, broke out into ungovernable fury, and being twenty
thousand strong, marched towards Carthage, and encamped at Tunis, a city
not far from the metropolis.

The insurgents now began to act the part their employers had set them
the example of. They rose in their demands far above what was due to
them; and the Carthaginians at length saw the error of having given way
to a dishonest policy. The points at issue, however, were at last, in a
great measure, arranged, when two soldiers among the mercenaries found
means to raise the whole of their comrades into mutiny, and engaged
several cities to take up their cause. Their army amounted, after a
while, to seventy thousand men. Carthage had never been in such urgent
danger before. The command of the army was given to Hanno. Troops were
levied by land and sea; horse as well as foot. All the citizens capable
of bearing arms were mustered; all their ships were refitted; and
mercenaries were enlisted from all parts. On the other hand, the
insurgents harassed them with perpetual alarms, advancing to their walls
by night as well as by day.

When the mercenaries, who had been left in Sardinia, heard of what their
comrades had effected in Africa, they shook off their yoke in
imitation, murdered the general who commanded them, and all the
Carthaginians who served under him; and a successor, who was sent from
Carthage, also the forces which had accompanied him, went over to the
rebels. They hung the new general on a cross, and put all the
Carthaginians then in Sardinia to the sword, after making them suffer
inexpressible torments. They then besieged all the cities one after
another, and soon got possession of the whole country.

When they had effected this, they quarrelled among themselves; and the
natives taking advantage of that, became soon enabled to drive them out
of the island. They took refuge in Italy, where, after some scruples on
the part of the Romans, they induced that people to sail over to
Sardinia, and render themselves masters of it. When the Carthaginians
heard of this, they were highly indignant; and the matter terminated, at
length, in what is called the Second Punic war.

This war had many remote causes besides the one we have just stated: but
for these, as well as its astonishing variety of incidents and fortunes,
we must refer to the various histories of the two states. We can only
state the issue. We cannot, however, deny ourselves the satisfaction of
quoting what Rollin says with regard to the general subject:--"Whether
we consider the boldness of the enterprises; the wisdom employed in the
execution; the obstinate efforts of the two rival nations, and the ready
resources they found in their lowest ebb of fortune; the variety of
uncommon events, and the uncertain issue of so long and bloody a war;
or, lastly, the assemblage of the most perfect models in every kind of
merit; we cannot but consider them as the most instructive lessons that
occur in history, either with regard to war, policy, or government.
Neither did two more powerful, or, at least, more warlike states or
nations make war against each other; and never had those in question
seen themselves raised to a more exalted pitch of power and glory."

Though, as we have already hinted, there were many remote causes for
this war, the more immediate one was the taking of Saguntum by the
Carthaginian general, Hannibal. We shall speak of the fall of this city
when we come to describe its ruins, which still remain.

Words, we are told, could never express the grief and consternation with
which the news of the taking of Saguntum was received at Rome. The
senate sent immediately deputies to Carthage to inquire whether Saguntum
had been besieged by order of the republic; and, if so, to declare war:
or, in case the siege had been undertaken solely by the authority of
Hannibal, that he should be delivered up to the Romans. The senate not
giving any answer to this demand, one of the deputies took up the folded
lappet of his robe, and said in a proud voice, "I bring here either
peace or war; the choice is left to yourselves." To this the senate
answered, "We leave the choice to you." The deputy then declared, "I
give you war then." "And we," answered the senate, "as heartily accept
it; and we are resolved to prosecute it with the same cheerfulness."
Such was the beginning of the second Punic war.

During this war Hannibal made his celebrated march over the Alps. He
entered Italy, and fought the battles of Ticinus, Trebia, Thrasymene,
and Cannæ. He besieged Capua, and then Rome. In the mean time Scipio
conquers all Spain; and having been appointed consul, he sets sail for
Africa, and carries the war into the bosom of the Carthaginian state.
Success attended him every where.

When the council of "one hundred" found this, they deputed thirty of
their body to the tent of the Roman general, when they all threw
themselves prostrate upon the earth, such being the custom of the
country, spoke to him in terms of great submission, and accused Hannibal
of being the author of all their calamities, and promised, in the name
of the senate, implicit obedience to whatever the Romans should be
pleased to ordain.

Scipio answered, that though he was come into Africa for conquest, and
not for peace, he would, nevertheless, grant them one, upon condition,
that they should deliver up all the Roman prisoners and deserters; that
they should recal their armies out of Gaul and Italy; that they should
never set foot again in Spain; that they should retire out of all the
islands between Italy and Africa; that they should deliver up all their
ships except twenty; give the Romans five hundred thousand bushels of
wheat; three hundred thousand of barley; and, moreover, pay to the
Romans fifteen thousand talents.

These terms the Carthaginians consented to; but their compliance was
only in appearance: their design being to gain time to recal Hannibal.
That general was then in Italy. Rome was almost within his grasp. He
had, perhaps, seized it, had he marched thither immediately on gaining
the battle of Cannæ. The order to return home overwhelmed him with
indignation and sorrow. "Never banished man," says Livy, "showed so much
regret at leaving his native country as Hannibal did in going out of
that of an enemy." He was exasperated almost to madness to see himself
thus forced to quit his prey. Arriving in his own country--for we must
hasten our narrative--that celebrated meeting between the two generals
at Zama took place, which makes so conspicuous a figure in Roman and
Carthaginian history.

The issue of this meeting was a battle, in which the Carthaginians,
after an obstinate engagement, took to flight, leaving ten thousand men
on the field of battle. Hannibal escaped in the tumult, and entering
Carthage, owned that he was overthrown; that the disaster was
irrecoverable; and that the citizens had no other choice left but to
accept whatever terms the conqueror chose to impose.

After some difficulty and opposition in the Carthaginian senate, peace
was agreed upon. The terms were exceedingly hard. They were these:--that
the Carthaginians should continue free and preserve their laws,
territories, and the cities they possessed in Africa during the war.
That they should deliver up to the Romans all deserters, slaves, and
captives belonging to them; all their ships, except ten triremes; all
their tame elephants; and that they should not train up any more for
war. That they should not make war out of Africa, nor even in that
country, without obtaining leave for that purpose of the Roman people;
should restore to Masinissa all they had dispossessed either him or his
ancestors of; should furnish money and corn to the Roman auxiliaries,
till their ambassadors should be returned from Rome; should pay to the
Romans ten thousand Euboic talents[177] of silver in fifty annual
payments, and give one hundred hostages, who should be nominated by

These were hard terms indeed; and when Scipio burnt all the ships, to
the amount of five hundred in the harbour of Carthage, these ships which
had been the cause of all the power of Carthage, Carthage appeared to
its inhabitants as if it never could recover; nor, indeed, did it ever
do so. The blow was fatal.

This war lasted seventeen years: the peace which succeeded, fifty[178].
Twenty-five years after it was concluded, Hannibal poisoned himself at
the court of Prusias.

We must now pass to the war, which soon after occurred between the
Carthaginians and Masinissa, king of Numidia. In this war the
Carthaginians were, in the end, worsted. Scipio the younger, who
afterwards destroyed Carthage, was present at the battle. He had been
sent by Lucullus, who commanded in Spain, to Masinissa to desire some
elephants. During the whole engagement, he is represented as standing
upon a neighbouring hill; and was greatly surprised to see Masinissa,
then eighty-eight years of age, mounted, agreeably to the custom of his
country, on a horse without a saddle, flying from rank to rank like a
young officer, and sustaining the most arduous toils. The fight was very
obstinate, and continued all day; but at last the Carthaginians gave
way, and Masinissa afterwards turned their camp into a blockade, so that
no provisions could reach them. A famine ensued, and then the plague.
They were, in consequence, reduced to agreeing to the king's terms,
which were no other than these:--to deliver up all deserters; to pay
five thousands talents of silver in fifty years, and restore all
exiles. They were, also, made to suffer the ignominy of passing under
the yoke; and dismissed with only one suit of clothes for each. Nor did
their misfortunes terminate here. Gulussa, the son of Masinissa, whom
the Carthaginians had treated in a disrespectful manner, intercepted
them with a body of cavalry. They could neither resist nor escape. The
consequence of which was, that out of fifty-eight thousand men only a
very few returned to Carthage.

During the latter part of the second Punic war, it was stated in the
Roman senate, that Rome could never be in safety while Carthage was
permitted to exist:--"Carthage," said Cato, at the close of all his
speeches, "must be destroyed." The time soon came, in which the threat
was to be carried into execution: and this brings us to the commencement
of the third and last Punic war. It lasted only four years; and yet it
terminated in the total ruin and destruction of Carthage.

This war arose out of that which the Carthaginians had waged against
Masinissa; that prince being an ally of the Romans. The vanquished party
sent to Rome to justify their proceedings. When the matter came to be
debated in the senate, Cato and Scipio were of different opinions.
Nasica desired the preservation of Carthage, in order that the people
might, who were grown excessively insolent, have something to fear.
Cato, on the other hand, thought, that as the people had become what
Nasica represented them, it was highly dangerous that so powerful an
enemy as Carthage should be allowed to remain. "They may one day conquer
us, so great is our prosperity." He was but lately returned from Africa;
and he represented in the senate, that he had not found Carthage
exhausted either of men or money. On the contrary, that it was full of
vigorous young men, and abounded with immense quantities of gold and
silver, and prodigious magazines of arms and all warlike stores; and
was, moreover, so haughty and confident on account of all this, that
their hopes and ambition had no bounds. On saying this, he took from the
lappet of his coat a few figs, and, throwing them on the table, and the
senators admiring them--he called out, "Know, this; it is but three days
those figs were gathered; so short is the distance between the enemy and

The Carthaginians not having made good their cause in regard to their
conduct towards Masinissa, war was declared against them, and the
generals[179], who were charged with the command, received strict
injunctions not to end the war but with the destruction of Carthage.

These instructions the Carthaginians did not become acquainted with till
some time after. They, therefore, sent deputies to make all manner of
submission. They were even instructed to declare, if necessity required,
that they were willing to give themselves up, with all they possessed,
to the will and pleasure of the Romans. On arriving at Rome, the
deputies found that the war had been, before their arrival, already
proclaimed, and that the army had actually sailed. They therefore
returned to Carthage with certain proposals, in complying with which the
Romans declared they would be satisfied. Amongst the terms demanded were
three hundred hostages, the flower and the last hopes of the noblest
families in Carthage. No spectacle, we are told, was ever more moving:
nothing was heard but cries; nothing seen but tears; and all places
echoed with groans and lamentations. Above all, the unhappy mothers,
bathed in tears, tore their dishevelled hair, beat their breasts, and
expressed their grief in terms so moving, that even savage beasts might
have been moved to compassion. But the scene is stated to have been much
more moving when the fatal moment arrived when, after having accompanied
their children to the ship, they bade them a long and last farewell,
persuaded that they should never see them again. They wept a flood of
tears over them, embraced them with the utmost fondness, clasped them
eagerly in their arms, and could not be prevailed upon to part with
them, till they were forced away.

When the hostages arrived at Rome, the deputies were informed that when
they should arrive at Utica, the consuls would acquaint them with the
orders of the republic. The deputies, therefore, repaired to Utica,
where they received orders to deliver up, without delay, all their arms.
This command was put immediately in execution; and a long train of
waggons soon after arrived at the Roman camp, laden with two hundred
thousand complete sets of armour, a numberless multitude of darts and
javelins, with two thousand engines for shooting darts and stones. Then
followed the deputies, and a great number of the most venerable senators
and priests, who came with the hope of moving the Romans to compassion.
When they arrived, Censorinus addressed them in the following
manner:--"I cannot but commend the readiness with which you execute the
orders of the senate. They have commanded me to tell you, that it is
their will and pleasure, that you depart out of Carthage, which they
have resolved entirely to destroy; and that you remove into any other
part of your dominions you shall think proper, provided it be at the
distance of eight stadia (twelve miles) from the sea."

The instant the consul had pronounced this fulminating decree, nothing
was heard among the Carthaginians but shrieks and howlings. Being now in
a manner thunderstruck, they neither knew where they were, nor what
they did; but rolled themselves in the dust, tearing their clothes, and
unable to vent their grief any otherwise but by broken sighs and deep
groans. Being afterwards a little recovered, they lifted up their hands
with the air of suppliants, one moment towards the gods, and the next
towards the Romans, imploring their mercy and justice with regard to a
people, who would soon be reduced to the extremities of despair. But as
both the gods and men were deaf to their fervent prayers, they now
changed them into reproaches and imprecations; bidding the Romans call
to mind, that there were such beings as avenging deities, whose severe
eyes were ever open on guilt and treachery. The Romans themselves could
not refrain from tears at so moving a spectacle: but their resolution
was fixed. The deputies could not even prevail so far as to get the
execution of the order suspended, till they should have an opportunity
of presenting themselves again before the senate, if possible, to get it
revoked. They were forced to set out immediately, and carry the answer
to Carthage.

The people waited for their return, with such an impatience and terror,
as words can never express. It was scarcely possible for them to break
through the crowd that flocked around them, to hear the answer which was
but too strongly painted in their faces. When they were come into the
senate, and had declared the barbarous orders of the Romans, a general
shriek informed the people of their too lamentable fate; and from that
instant nothing was seen or heard in every part of the city but howling
and despair, madness and fury. The consuls made no great haste to march
against Carthage; not suspecting they had reason to be under
apprehension from that city, as it was now disarmed. However, the
inhabitants took advantage of this delay to put themselves in a posture
of defence, being all unanimously resolved not to quit the city. They
appointed, as a general, without the walls, Asdrubal, who was at the
head of twenty thousand men; and to whom deputies were sent accordingly,
to entreat him to forget, for his country's sake, the injustice which
had been done to him, from the dread they were under of the Romans. The
command of the troops, within the walls, was given to another Asdrubal,
grandson to Masinissa. They then applied themselves to making arms with
considerable expedition. The temples, the palaces, the open markets and
squares, were all changed into so many arsenals, where men and women
worked day and night. Every day were made one hundred and forty shields,
three hundred swords, five hundred pikes or javelins, a thousand arrows,
and a great number of engines to discharge them; and because they wanted
materials to make ropes, the women cut off their hair, and abundantly
supplied their wants on this occasion.

The combat, which was carried on from the tops of the houses, continued
six days, during which a dreadful slaughter was made. To clear the
streets, and make way for the troops, the Romans dragged aside with
hooks the bodies of such of the inhabitants as had been slain, or
precipitated headlong from the houses, and threw them into pits, the
greatest part of them being still alive and panting.

There was still reason to believe that the siege would last much longer,
and occasion a great effusion of blood. But on the seventh day there
appeared a company of men, in a suppliant posture and habit, who desired
no other conditions, but that the Romans would be pleased to spare the
lives of all those who should be willing to leave the citadel; which
request was granted them. The deserters only were excepted.
Accordingly, there came out fifty thousand men and women, who were sent
into the fields under a strong guard. The deserters were about nine
hundred. Finding they would be allowed no quarter, they fortified
themselves in the temple of Æsculapius, with Asdrubal, his wife, and two
children; where, though their number was but small, they might have held
out a long time, because the temple stood on a very high hill, upon
rocks, to which the ascent was by sixty steps. But, at last, exhausted
by hunger and watchings, oppressed with fear, and seeing their
destruction at hand, they lost all patience, when, abandoning the lower
part of the temple, they retired to the uppermost story, and resolved
not to quit it but with their lives.

In the mean time, Asdrubal, being desirous of saving his own life, came
down privately to Scipio, carrying an olive-branch in his hand, and
threw himself at his feet. Scipio showed him immediately to the
deserters, who, transported with rage and fury at the sight, vented
millions of imprecations against him, and set fire to the temple. Whilst
it was lighting, we are told that Asdrubal's wife, dressing herself as
splendidly as possible, and placing herself and her two children in
sight of Scipio, addressed him with a loud voice:--"I call not down,"
says she, "curses on thy head, O Roman, for thou only takest the
privilege allowed by the laws of war: but may the gods of Carthage, and
thou, in concert with them, punish, according to his deserts, the false
wretch who has betrayed his country, his gods, his wife, his children!"
Then directing herself to Asdrubal, "perfidious wretch!" says she, "thou
basest of creatures! this fire will presently consume both me and my
children; but as to thee, too shameful general of Carthage,--go,--adorn
the gay triumph of thy conqueror,--suffer, in the sight of all Rome, the
tortures thou so justly deservest!" She had no sooner pronounced these
words, but, seizing her children, she cut their throats, threw them into
the flames, and afterwards rushed into them herself; in which she was
imitated by all the deserters. With regard to Scipio, when he saw this
famous city, which had flourished seven hundred years, and might have
been compared to the greatest empires on account of the extent of its
dominions both by sea and land, its mighty armies, its fleets,
elephants, and riches, and that the Carthaginians were even superior to
other nations, by their courage and greatness of soul, as,
notwithstanding their being deprived of armies and ships, they had
sustained, for three whole years, all the hardships and calamities of a
long siege; seeing, I say, this city entirely ruined, historians relate,
that he could not refuse his tears to the unhappy fate of Carthage. He
reflected that cities, nations, and empires, are liable to revolutions
no less than particular men; that the like sad fate had attended Troy,
anciently so powerful; and in latter times, the Assyrians, Medes, and
Persians, whose dominions were once of so great an extent; and lastly,
the Macedonians, whose empire had been so glorious throughout the world.
Full of these mournful ideas, he repeated the following verses of

  The day shall come, that great avenging day,
  Which Troy's proud glories in the dust shall lay;
  When Priam's powers, and Priam's self shall fall,
  And one prodigious ruin follow all.

Thereby denouncing the future destiny of Rome, as he himself confessed
to Polybius, who desired Scipio to explain himself on that occasion.
Carthage being taken in this manner, Scipio gave the plunder of it (the
gold, silver, statues, and other offerings which should be found in the
temples excepted) to his soldiers for seven days. After this, adorning a
very small ship with the enemy's spoils, he sent it to Rome, with the
news of the victory. At the same time he ordered the inhabitants of
Sicily to come and take possession of the pictures and statues, which
the Carthaginians had plundered them of in former wars.

When the news of the taking of Carthage was brought to Rome, the people
abandoned themselves to the most immoderate transports of joy, as if the
public tranquillity had not been secured till that instant. All ranks
and degrees of men emulously strove who should show the greatest
gratitude towards the gods; and the citizens were, for many days,
employed wholly in solemn sacrifices, in public prayers, games, and

After those religious duties were ended, the senate sent ten
commissioners into Africa, to regulate, in conjunction with Scipio, the
fate and condition of that country in times to come. Their first care
was to demolish whatever was still remaining of Carthage: and we may
guess at the dimensions of this famous city by what Florus says, viz.,
that it was seventeen days on fire before it could be all consumed.
Rome, though mistress of almost the whole world, could not believe
herself safe as long as even the name of Carthage was in being. Orders
were given that it should never be inhabited again; and dreadful
imprecations were denounced against those, who, contrary to this
prohibition, should attempt to rebuild any parts of it. In the mean
time, every one, who desired it, was admitted to see Carthage; Scipio
being well pleased to have people view the sad ruins of a city, which
had dared to contend for empire with the majesty of Rome.[180]

Commerce, strictly speaking, was the occupation of Carthage, the
particular object of its industry, and its peculiar and predominant
characteristic. It formed the greatest strength and the chief support of
that commonwealth. In a word, it may be affirmed, that the power, the
conquests, the credit, and the glory of the Carthaginians, all flowed
from trade.

This gives Mr. Montague an opportunity of comparing Carthage with
England:--"To the commercial maxims of the Carthaginians, we have added
their insatiable lust of gain, without their economy, and contempt of
luxury and effeminacy. To the luxury and dissipation of the Romans, we
have joined their venality, without their military spirit: and we feel
the pernicious effects of the same species of faction, which was the
great leading cause to ruin in both those republics. The Roman
institution was formed to make and to preserve their conquests. Abroad
invincible, at home invulnerable, they possessed within themselves all
the resources requisite for a warlike nation. The military spirit of
their people, where every citizen was a soldier, furnished inexhaustible
supplies for their armies abroad, and secured them at home from all
attempts of invasion. The Carthaginian was better calculated to acquire
than to preserve. They depended upon commerce for the acquisition of
wealth, and upon their wealth for the protection of their commerce. They
owed their conquests to the venal blood and sinews of other people; and,
like their ancestors the Phoenicians, exhibited their money bags as
symbols of their power. They trusted too much to the valour of
foreigners, and too little to that of their own natives. Thus while they
were formidable abroad by their fleets and mercenary armies, they were
weak and defenceless at home. But the great event showed how dangerous
it is for the greatest commercial nation to rely on this kind of
mercantile policy; and that a nation of unarmed undisciplined traders
can never be a match, whilst they are so circumstanced, for a nation of

Notwithstanding the denunciations of the senate against all who should
attempt to rebuild Carthage, the senators were induced, in a very short
period, themselves to sanction the undertaking.

When Marius took refuge in Africa, outcast and deserted, he is said to
have dwelt in a hovel amidst the ruins of Carthage. The answer of Marius
to the prætor of Africa, is one of the finest indications of a strong
mind recorded in history. Oppressed with every species of misfortune,
Marius, after escaping many dangers, arrived at length in Africa; where
he hoped to have received some mark of favour from the governor. He was
scarcely landed, however, when an officer came to him, and addressed him
after the following manner:--"Marius, I am directed by the prætor to
forbid your landing in Africa. If, after this message, you shall persist
in doing so, he will not fail to treat you as a public enemy." Struck
with indignation at this unexpected intelligence, Marius, without making
any reply, fixed his eyes, in a stern menacing manner, upon the officer.
In this position he stood for some time. At length, the officer desiring
to know whether he chose to return any answer;--"Yes," replied Marius,
"go to the prætor, and tell him that thou hast seen the exiled Marius,
sitting among the ruins of Carthage[181]."

Twenty-four years after the victory of Æmilianus (B.C. 142), the
sedition of Tiberius Gracchus began to be formidable to the patricians,
since he was supported by the great body of the people in his endeavours
to pass an Agrarian law. Gracchus, finding himself unable to accomplish
his purpose, was probably not unwilling to accept the offer, made to
him by the senate, of becoming the leader of six thousand citizens to
the site of Carthage, for the purpose of its restoration. From this,
however, he was terrified by a dream.

It seems probable, nevertheless that a few buildings began to spring up
among the ruins. Julius Cæsar determined on rebuilding it, in
consequence of having beheld, in a dream, a numerous army, weeping at
the fate of Carthage. His death prevented the fulfilment of his purpose.
Augustus, however, sent three thousand Romans thither, or rather, within
a short distance of it, who were joined by the inhabitants of the
neighbouring country.

From this time it appears to have increased in beauty, convenience, and
the number of its inhabitants.

In the early part of the fifth century, however, Genseric having invaded
Africa, the whole of the fruitful provinces, from Tangier to Tripoli,
were in succession overwhelmed, and Carthage was surprised, five hundred
and eighty-five years after its destruction by the younger Scipio.

At this time, we are told[182], Carthage was considered as the "Rome" of
the African world. It contained the arms, the manufactures, and the
treasures of six provinces; schools and gymnasia were instituted for the
education of youth; and the liberal arts were publicly taught in the
Greek and Latin languages.

The buildings were uniform and magnificent; a shady grove was planted in
the midst of the city; the new port, a secure and capacious harbour, was
subservient to the commercial industry of citizens and strangers; and
the splendid games of the circus and the theatre were exhibited.

After Genseric had permitted his licentious troops to satiate their rage
and avarice, he promulgated an edict, which enjoined all persons to
deliver up their gold, silver, jewels, and valuable furniture and
apparel, to the royal officers; and the attempt to secrete any part of
their patrimony was punished with torture and death, as an act of
treason against the state.

Carthage never recovered this blow, and it fell gradually into such
insignificance, that it disappeared altogether from the records of

We now select a few passages from Mons. Chateaubriand and Sir George
Temple, in respect to its present condition.

"The ship in which I left Alexandria," says the former, "having arrived
in the port of Tunis, we cast anchor opposite to the ruins of Carthage.
I looked at them, but was unable to make out what they could be. I
perceived a few Moorish huts, a Mahommedan hermitage at the point of a
projecting cape; sheep browsing among the ruins--ruins so far from
striking, that I could scarcely distinguish them from the ground on
which they lay--this was Carthage. In order to distinguish these ruins,
it is necessary to go methodically to work. I suppose then that the
reader sets out with me from the port of Goltetha, standing upon the
canal by which the lake of Tunis discharges itself into the sea. Riding
along the shore in an east-north-east direction, you come in about half
an hour to some salt-pits of the sea. You begin to discover jetties
running out to a considerable distance under water. The sea and jetties
are on your right; on your left you perceive a great quantity of ruins
upon eminences of unequal height, and below these ruins is a basin of
circular form and of considerable depth, which formerly communicated
with the sea by means of a canal, traces of which are still to be seen.
This basin must be, in my opinion, the Cothon or inner port of
Carthage. The remains of the immense works, discernible in the sea,
would, in this case, indicate the site of the outer mole. If I am not
mistaken, some piles of the dam, constructed by Scipio, for the purpose
of blocking up the port, may still be distinguished. I also observed a
second inner canal, which may have been the cut, made by the
Carthaginians when they opened a new passage for their fleet."

At the foot of the hill at Maallakah[183] are the foundations of an
amphitheatre, the length of which appears to have been about three
hundred feet by two hundred and thirty, and the dimensions of the arena
one hundred and eighty by one hundred.

There are, also, the ruins of a very extensive edifice, supposed to have
been the temple of Ceres.

Some trifling fragments of edifices, and the traces of its triple walls,
are all that remain of the Byrsa's splendid fanes and palaces; though
many pieces of rare marbles have been found, as serpentine, giallo,
rosso, and porphyry. Nor is there any remain of the famous temple of
Æsculapius, the approach to which was by a magnificent flight of steps,
and rendered so interesting from having been the place in whose flames
Asdrubal's wife destroyed herself, her children, and nine hundred Roman
deserters, rather than submit to the yoke of the haughty vanquishers of
her country.

Sir George Temple's observations are very beautiful:--"Early in the
morning, I walked to the site of the great Carthage--of that town, at
the sound of whose name mighty Rome herself had so often trembled--of
Carthage, the mistress of powerful and brave armies, of numerous fleets,
and of the world's commerce, and to whom Africa, Spain, Sardinia,
Corsica, Sicily, and Italy herself, bowed in submission as to their
sovereign;--in short, 'Carthago, dives opum, studiisque asperrima
belli.' I was prepared to see but few vestiges of its former grandeur;
it had so often suffered from the devastating effects of war, that I
knew many could not exist: but my heart sunk within me, when, ascending
one of its hills, (from whose summit the eye embraces a view of the
whole surrounding country to the edge of the sea,) I beheld nothing more
than a few scattered and shapeless masses of masonry[184]. Yes, all the
vestiges of the splendour and magnificence of the mighty city had,
indeed, passed away, and its very name is now unknown to the present


This city, situated at the foot of Mount Etna, was founded by a colony
from Chalcis, seven hundred and fifty-three years before the Christian
era; and soon after the settlement of Syracuse. There have not been
wanting some, however, to assert that ancient Catanea was one of the
oldest cities in the world.

It fell into the hands of the Romans, and became the residence of a

It was then adorned with sumptuous buildings of all kinds. It was
destroyed, however, by Pompey; and restored by Augustus with greater
magnificence. It was large and opulent. Being so contiguous to Mount
Etna, it is rendered remarkable for the fatal overthrows to which it
has been subjected by the eruptions of that mountain; in some of which
it has been known to discharge a stream of lava four miles broad and
fifty feet deep, and advancing at the rate of seven miles in a day.

The number of eruptions from the page of history are 81.

  From the time of Thucydides (B.C. 481)      3
           In the year B.C.                   1
           In A.D. 44                         1
           A.D. 252                           1
           During the 12th century            2
                      13th                    1
                      14th                    2
                      15th                    4
                      16th                    4
                      17th                   22
                      18th                   32
  Since the commencement of the 19th cent.    8
                                             --81 total.

In 1693 Catanea was entirely destroyed by an earthquake, so that hardly
one stone remained upon another. It began on the 9th January, and on the
11th the earth opened in several places. Almost in a moment 11,000
persons, who had fled to the cathedral for shelter, perished by its
fall; the canon, with the ministers at the altar, and about one hundred
persons, being all that escaped. The undulations of this shock were
felt, it is said, in Germany, France, and even in England. Fifty-four
towns of some magnitude were, more or less, sufferers by this
earthquake, and the total loss of human life, it is supposed, amounted
to nearly one hundred thousand.

"The present town," says Malte Brun, "is well built. Its fine edifices
are so many proofs, not of its prosperity, but of its misfortunes; for,
in Catanea, houses never become old; they give way either to lava or
volcanic shocks. It is to the earthquakes of 1693 and 1783 that it owes
its magnificence; almost wholly destroyed, it was rebuilt with greater
regularity. Most of its edifices, however, have been injured by the
shocks in 1819."

A great many antiquities are contained in the Biscari Museum, which was
founded by a wealthy noble of the same name, who spent his fortune in
exploring or digging for antiquities in the territory of Catanea. The
ancient theatre and amphitheatre, the old walls, baths, and temples,
were buried under several layers of lava and alluvial deposits, that
were removed by the same individual; lastly, the town is indebted to him
for several ancient statues.

"There are many remains of antiquity," says Mr. Brydone, "but most of
them are in a very ruinous state. One of the most remarkable is an
elephant of lava, with an obelisk of Egyptian granite on his back. There
are also considerable remains of a great theatre, besides that belonging
to the prince of Biscaris, a large bath, almost entire; the ruins of a
great aqueduct eighteen miles long; the ruins of several temples, one of
Ceres; another of Vulcan. The church, called Bocca di Fuoco, was
likewise a temple. But the most entire of all is a small rotunda, which,
as well as the rotunda at Rome, and some others to be met with in Italy,
demonstrates that form to be the most durable of any."

There is also a well at the foot of the old walls, where the lava, after
running along the parapet, and and then falling forwards, produced a
very complete and lofty arch over the spring.

Through the care, and at the expense of prince Biscaris, many other
monuments of ancient splendour and magnificence have been recovered by
digging down to the ancient town, which, on account of the numerous
torrents of lava that have flowed out of Mount Etna for the last
thousand years, is now to be sought for in dark caverns many feet below
the present surface of the earth.

Mr. Swinburne states, that he descended into baths, sepulchres, an
amphitheatre, and a theatre, all very much injured by the various
catastrophes that have befallen them. He found, too, that these
buildings were erected not on the solid ground and with brick or stone,
but on old beds of lava, and with square pieces of the same substance,
which, in no instance, appears to have been fused by the contact of new
lavas: the sciarra or stones of old lava having constantly proved as
strong a barrier against the flowing torrent of fire as any other stone
could have been, though some authors have been of opinion, that the hot
matter would melt the whole mass, and incorporate itself with it.

There was a temple at Catanea, dedicated to Ceres, in which none but
women were permitted to appear[186].


This place, which stands opposite Byzantium, was built by a colony from
Megara, some years before Byzantium, viz. B.C. 685. Its position was so
imprudently selected, that it was called the city of blind men[187]; by
which was intimated the inconsiderate plan of the founders. It was built
on a sandy and barren soil, in preference to the rich one on the
opposite side of the Bosphorus, on which Byzantium was afterwards

Chalcedon, in the time of its prosperity, was considerable; not only on
account of its buildings, but the wealth of its inhabitants, who
enriched themselves greatly by commerce; more especially by the
exportation of purple dye, which was found in great quantities upon its

In ancient times it underwent many revolutions; being first subdued by
Otanes, general of the Persians, whose father Sisanes, one of the judges
of the Persian empire, having pronounced an unjust sentence, was flayed
alive by the order of Cambyses. Not long after this the Lacedemonians
made themselves masters of it, but were obliged to give place to the
Athenians, who contented themselves with imposing upon the inhabitants
an annual tribute, which they in time neglecting to pay, were again
reduced to obedience by Alcibiades. Afterwards, with the rest of the
world, it passed under the dominion of the Romans, who were succeeded by
the Greek emperors, under whose administration it became famous by a
celebrated council of the church (A.D. 327), which is recorded under the
name of the council of Chalcedon.

A tribunal also was here erected by the Emperor Julian, to try and
punish the evil ministers of his predecessor, Constantius. "We are now
delivered," said Julian, in a familiar letter to one of his most
intimate friends, "we are now surprisingly delivered from the voracious
jaws of the hydra. I do not mean to apply that epithet to my brother,
Constantius. He is no more;--may the earth lie light on his head! But
his artful and cruel favourites studied to deceive and exasperate a
prince, whose natural mildness cannot be praised without some efforts of
adulation. It is not my intention, however, that these men should be
oppressed; they are accused, and they shall enjoy the benefit of a fair
and impartial trial." The executions of some of these men, one of whom
(Paulus) was burned alive, were accepted, says the historian, as an
inadequate atonement by the widows and orphans of so many hundred
Romans, whom those legal tyrants had betrayed and murdered.

Persians, Greeks, Goths, Saracens, and Turks, by turns, despoiled
Chalcedon. The walls were razed by Valens, and much of the materials was
employed in the aqueduct of Constantinople that bears his name, and
which was, by a singular coincidence, repaired by Soliman II., from the
remaining ruins of this devoted city.

Here it was that the infamous Rufinus, so justly stigmatised by
Claudian, built a magnificent villa, which he called the Oak[188]. He
built, also, a church; and a numerous synod of bishops met in order to
consecrate the wealth and baptise the founder. This double ceremony was
performed with extraordinary pomp.

A.D. 602, Chalcedon became remarkable for the murder of the Emperor
Maurice and his five sons; and afterwards for that of the empress, his
widow, and her three daughters[189]. The ministers of death were
despatched to Chalcedon (by Phocas). They dragged the emperor into his
sanctuary; and the five sons of Maurice were successively murdered
before the eyes of their agonised parent. At each stroke, which he felt
in his heart, he found strength to rehearse a pious ejaculation:--"Thou
art just, O Lord! and thy judgments are righteous."

It is now a small place, known to the Turks by the name of Cadiaci; but
the Greeks still call it by its ancient name. It is a miserable village,
inhabited by a few Greeks, who maintain themselves by their fishery, and
the cultivation of their lands. Wheler found an inscription, importing
that Evante, the son of Antipater, having made a prosperous voyage
towards the Abrotanians and the islands Cyaneæ, and hence desiring to
return by the Ægean Sea and Pontus, offered cakes to the statue he had
erected to Jupiter, who had sent him good weather as a token of a good

Pococke says, "There are no remains of the ancient city, all being
destroyed, and the ground occupied by gardens and vineyards." "We
visited the site of Chalcedon," says Dr. Clarke, "of which city scarcely
a trace remains; landing also upon the remarkable rock, where the
light-house is situate, called the tower of Leander. The Turks call it
the 'Maiden's Castle;' possibly it may have been formerly used as a
retreat for nuns, but they relate one of their romantic traditions
concerning a princess, who secluded herself upon this rock, because it
had been foretold she should die by the bite of a serpent, adding, that
she ultimately here encountered the death she sought to avoid[190]."


A city in Boeotia, greatly celebrated on account of a battle fought near
it between Philip of Macedon and the Athenians.

The two armies encamped near Chæronea. Philip gave the command of his
left wing to his son Alexander, who was then but sixteen. He took the
right wing upon himself. In the opposite army the Thebans formed the
right wing, and the Athenians the left. At sunrise the signal was given
on both sides. The battle was bloody, and the victory a long time
dubious; both sides exerting themselves with astonishing valour. At
length Philip broke the sacred band of the Thebans[191], which was the
flower of their army. The rest of the troops being raw, Alexander,
encouraged by his example, entirely routed.

The conduct of the victor after this victory shows that it is much
easier to overcome an enemy than to conquer one's self. Upon his coming
from a grand entertainment which he had given his officers, being
equally transported with joy and wine, he hurried to the spot where the
battle had been fought, and there, insulting the dead bodies with which
the field was covered, he turned into a song the beginning of the
decree, which Demosthenes had prepared to excite the Greeks to war, and
sang thus, himself beating time; "Demosthenes the Peanian, son of
Demosthenes, has said." Everybody was shocked to see the king dishonour
himself by this behaviour; but no one opened his lips. Demades, the
orator, whose soul was free, though his body was a prisoner, was the
only person who ventured to make him sensible of the indecency of this
conduct, telling him--"Ah, sir, since fortune has given you the part of
Agamemnon, are you not ashamed to act the part of Thersites?" These
words, spoken with so generous a liberty, opened his eyes, and made him
turn inward; and so far from being displeased with Demades, he esteemed
him the more for them, treated him with the utmost respect, and
conferred upon him all possible honours.

The bones of those slain at Chæronea were carried to Athens; and
Demosthenes was charged with composing a eulogium, for a monument
erected to their memory:--

  This earth entombs those victims to the state,
  Who fell a glorious sacrifice to zeal.
  Greece, on the point of wearing tyrant-chains,
  Did, by their deaths alone, escape the yoke.
  This Jupiter decreed: no effort, mortals,
  Can save you from the mighty will of fate.
  To gods alone belongs the attribute
  Of being free from crimes with never-ending joy.

According to Procopius, Chæronea and other places in Boeotia (also of
Achaia and Thessaly) were destroyed by an earthquake in the sixth

The Acropolis[192] is situated on a steep rock, difficult of access; the
walls and square towers are, in some places, well preserved; and their
style, which is nearly regular, renders it probable, that they were
constructed not long before the invasion of the Macedonians.

The ancient Necropolis is on the east side of the Acropolis, behind the
village: the remains of several tombs have been uncovered by the rains.
The church of the Holy Virgin contains an ancient chair of white marble,
curiously ornamented. It is called by the villagers the throne of

There are two ancient circular altars with fluted intervals, in the
manner of an Ionic or Corinthian column. Altars of this kind were placed
on the road side. They were unstained with fire and blood, being set
apart for exclusive oblations of honey, cakes, and fruit. These altars
are common in Greece, and generally formed of coarse black stone; those
of Chæronea, however, are of white marble. They are frequently found in
Italy, and are at present used as pedestals for large vases, their
height being in general about three feet. They are never inscribed, and
sometimes not fluted; and are frequently represented on painted
terra-cotta vases.

Some Ionic fragments of small proportions are scattered among the ruins.
On the rock there was anciently a statue of Jupiter; but Pausanias
mentions no temple. The theatre stands at the foot of the Acropolis, and
faces the plain. It is the smallest in Greece, except one at
Mesaloggion; but it is well preserved. Indeed, nothing is better
calculated to resist the devastations of time than the Grecian theatres,
when they are cut in the rock, as they generally are.

"The sole remains of this town," says Sir John Hobhouse, "are some large
stones six feet in length, and the ruins of a wall on the hill, and part
of a shaft of a column, with its capital; the seats of a small
amphitheatre, cut out of the rock, on the side of the same hill; in the
flat below, a fountain, partly constructed of marble fragments,
containing a few letters, not decipherable; some bits of marble pillars,
just appearing above ground, and the ruins of a building of Roman

Two inscriptions have, we understand, lately been discovered at this
place; one relative to Apollo, the other to Diana. Several tombs have
been also discovered and opened.

Though a respectable traveller asserts, that the battle of Chæronea, by
putting an end to the turbulent independence of the Grecian republics,
introduced into that country an unusual degree of civil tranquillity and
political repose, we cannot ourselves think so; we therefore subjoin,
from Dr. Leland, a short account of the conqueror's death.

"When the Greeks and Macedonians were seated in the theatre, Philip came
out of his palace, attended by the two Alexanders, his son and
son-in-law. He was clothed in a white flowing robe, waving in soft and
graceful folds, the habiliment in which the Grecian deities were usually
represented. He moved forward with a heart filled with triumph and
exultation, while the admiring crowds shouted forth their flattering
applause. His guards had orders to keep at a considerable distance from
his person, to show that the king confided in the affections of his
people, and had not the least apprehensions of danger amidst all this
mixed concourse of different states and nations. Unhappily, the danger
was but too near him. The injured Pausanias had not yet forgot his
wrongs, but still retained those terrible impressions, which the sense
of an indignity he had received, and the artful and interested
representations of others, fixed deeply in his mind. He chose this fatal
morning for the execution of his revenge, on the prince who had denied
reparation to his injured honour. His design had been for some time
premeditated, and now was the dreadful moment of effecting it. As Philip
marched on in all his pride and pomp, this young Macedonian slipped
through the crowd, and, with a desperate and malignant resolution,
waited his approach in a narrow passage, just at the entrance into the
theatre. The king advanced towards him: Pausanias drew his poniard;
plunged it into his heart; and the conqueror of Greece, and terror of
Asia, fell prostrate to the ground, and instantly expired[194].


"Are we at Cordova?" says a modern writer. "The whole reign of the
Omniad Caliphs passes, in mental review, before us. Once the seat of
Arabian art, gallantry, and magnificence, the southern kingdom of Spain
was rich and flourishing. Agriculture was respected; the fine arts
cultivated; gardens were formed; roads executed; palaces erected; and
physics, geometry, and astronomy, advanced. The inhabitants were active
and industrious; accomplishments were held in esteem; and the whole
state of society formed a striking contrast to that of every other in

It was situated in Hispanic Boetica, having been built by Marcellus. It
was the native place of both the Senecas, and Lucan. Indeed, it
produced, in ancient times, so many celebrated characters, that it was
styled the "mother of men of genius." Its laws were written in verse;
and its academy was partly distinguished for its cultivation of the
Greek language, as well as for rhetoric and philosophy. It became
celebrated, also, under the Moors.

Of its ancient grandeur, however, Cordova has preserved nothing but a
vast inclosure, filled with houses, half in ruins. Its long, narrow, and
ill-paved streets are almost deserted; most of the houses are
uninhabited; and the multitude of churches and convents which it
contains, are besieged by a crowd of vagabonds, covered with rags. The
ancient palace of the Moors has been converted into stables, in which,
till within these few years, one hundred Andalusian horses were usually
kept. Their genealogy was carefully preserved; and the name and age of
each written over the stall in which he stood. In the place appropriated
to bathing, is part of a Cufic inscription.

Cordova was called at first Corduba, and afterwards Colonia Patricia, as
appears from inscriptions on the numerous medals which have been
discovered in this city and neighbourhood.

From the Romans it passed successively under the dominion of the Goths
and Arabs; and, while the latter swayed the sceptre of Spain, Cordova
became pre-eminently distinguished, as we have just stated, as the seat
of arts, sciences, and literature.

About ten miles from this place is a small town, called by the ancients
Obubea[195]; and we mention it here merely because it reminds us that
Julius Cæsar came thither to stop the progress of Pompey's sons, who had
a little before entered Spain in twenty-seven days[196].


Corcyra is an island in the Ionian Sea, on the coast of Epirus: it is
now called Corfu; was first peopled by a colony from Colchis, B.C.
1349, and afterwards by a colony from Corinth, who, with Chersicrates at
their head, came to settle there, on being banished from their native
city 703 years before the Christian era. Homer calls it Phæacia;
Callimachus, Drepane.

Ancient authors give glorious descriptions of the beautiful gardens of
this island belonging to Alcinous; but, at present, no remains of them
are to be found. It was famous for the shipwreck of Ulysses.

The air is healthy, the land fertile, the fruit excellent. Oranges,
citrons, honey, wax, oil, and most delicious grapes, are very abundant.

The war between this people and that of Athens was called the Corcyrean;
and operated as an introduction to the Peloponnesian war. Corcyra was
then an independent power, which could send out fleets and armies; and
its alliance was courted by many other states.

Thucydides gives a frightful account of a sedition which occurred in
this city and island during the Peloponnesian war: some were condemned
to die under judicial sentences; some slew one another in the temples;
some hung themselves upon the trees within its verge; some perished
through private enmity; some for the sums they had lent, by the hands of
the borrowers. Every kind of death was exhibited. Every dreadful act,
usual in a sedition, and more than usual, was then perpetrated. For
fathers slew their children; some were dragged from altars; and some
were butchered at them; and a number died of starvation in one of the

Corcyra, when in the possession of the Romans, became a valuable station
for their ships of war, in their hostilities against the cities of Asia.
Septimius Severus and his family appear to have been great benefactors
to it; for, about 150 years ago, there was found a number of medals, not
only of Septimius, but of his wife Julia Domna; Caracalla, his eldest
son, and his wife Plankilla; also of Geta, his youngest son.

Two hundred years ago, Corfu consisted of nothing but one old castle and
a village. It is now a considerable town. It stands projecting on a rock
into the sea; and, from the fortifications guarding it, is a place of
strength. The fortresses are completely mined below; and the roads to
the gates of some of them are narrow and precipitous. By an accidental
explosion of a powder-mill, one of the fortresses, in the early part of
the last century, 2000 people were killed and wounded; and by a singular
catastrophe, in 1789, 600 individuals lost their lives; ten galleys and
several boats were sunk in the harbour; and many houses in the town
greatly damaged.

Wheler visited the ruins of Paloeopoli, the ancient metropolis of the
island. "It stood," says he, "on a promontory to the south of the
present city, separated from it by a little bay, of about a mile or two
over. The abundance of ruins and fortifications, which are to be seen
there, do sufficiently prove it to have been so." Abundance of
foundations, he goes on to observe, have been dug up there; and of
arches and pillars, many of which have been employed to build the
foundations of the present city.

There are also the remains of an old place of worship; the architecture
of which is sustained by Corinthian columns of white marble, with an
inscription, showing that it was built by the Emperor Jovian, after he
was converted to the Christian faith and had destroyed the heathen

"_I Jovian, having received the faith, established the kingdom of my
power; and having destroyed the heathen temples and altars, have built
to thee, O thou blessed and most high King, a holy temple, the gift of
an unworthy hand._"

Mr. Dodwell visited this place some years ago, and he says that nothing
is now seen above ground of the remains of the ancient city, except some
frusta of large columns, which from having flutings without intervals,
were evidently of the Doric order. They have a large square, which forms
but one mass with a column, which is a singularity, it is said, of which
there is no other example.

Corcyra was celebrated, as we have before stated, for having been the
island on which Ulysses is represented in the Odyssey as having been
entertained by Alcinous, king of Phæacia. It is also the place where
Cicero and Cato met after the battle of Pharsalia; and where Cato, after
having intrusted Cicero to take the command of the last legions which
remained faithful to the republic, separated from him to lose his life
at Utica, while Cicero went to lose his head to the triumvirate. To this
place Aristotle was once exiled; and it is well known as having been
visited by the youthful Alexander; as the place where the tragical
nuptials of Antony and Cleopatra were celebrated; and as that where
Agrippina touched, bringing from Egypt the body of the murdered
Germanicus in the midst of winter[197].


  Whose gorgeous fabrics seem'd to strike the skies,
  Whom, though by tyrant victors oft subdued,
  Greece, Egypt, Rome, with awful wonder view'd.
  Her name, for Pallas' heavenly art renown'd,
  Spread like the foliage which her pillars crown'd;
  But now in fatal desolation laid,
  Oblivion o'er it draws a dismal shade.

This city was situated at the foot of a hill, on which stood the
citadel. To the south it was defended by the hill itself, which is there
extremely steep. Strong and lofty ramparts protected it on three sides.
Corinth was at first subject to the kings of Argos and Mycenæ; at last
Sisyphus made himself master of it. But his descendants were
dispossessed of the throne by the Heraclidæ, about ten years after the
siege of Troy. The regal power, after this, came to the descendants of
Bacchis, under whom the monarchy was changed into an aristocracy; that
is, the reins of government were in the hands of the elders, who
annually chose from amongst themselves a chief magistrate, whom they
called Prytanis. At length Cypselus, having gained the people, usurped
the supreme authority, which he transmitted to his son Periander.

The most celebrated of the Corinthians was a person, who though a
tyrant, was reckoned one of the seven wise men (Periander). When he had
first made himself master of the city, he wrote to Thrasybulus, tyrant
of Miletus, to know what measures he should take with his newly-acquired
subjects. The latter, without any answer, led the messenger into a field
of wheat; where, in walking along, he beat down with his cane all the
ears of corn that were higher than the rest. Periander perfectly well
understood the meaning of this enigmatical answer, which was a tacit
intimation to him, that, in order to secure his own life, he should cut
off the most eminent of the Corinthian citizens. Periander, however, did
not relish so cruel an advice.

He wrote circular letters to all the wise men, inviting them to pass
some time with him at Corinth, as they had done the year before at
Sardis with Croesus. Princes in those days thought themselves much
honoured when they could have such guests in their houses. Plutarch
describes an entertainment which Periander gave these illustrious
guests, and observes, at the same time, that the decent simplicity of
it, adapted to the taste and humour of the persons entertained, did him
much more honour than the greatest magnificence could have done. The
subject of their discourse at table was sometimes grave and serious, at
other times pleasant and gay. One of the company proposed this
question;--Which is the most perfect popular government? That, answered
Solon, where an injury, done to any private citizen, is such to the
whole body: That, said Bias, where the law has no superior: That, said
Thales, where the inhabitants are neither too rich nor too poor: That,
said Anacharsis, where virtue is honoured, and vice detested: Says
Pittacus, where dignities are always conferred upon the virtuous, and
never upon the wicked: Says Cleobulus, where the citizens fear blame,
more than punishment: Says Chilo, where the laws are more regarded, and
have more authority, than the orators. From all these opinions Periander
concluded, that the most perfect popular government would be that which
came nearest to aristocracy, where the sovereign authority is lodged in
the hands of a few men of honour and virtue.

This city standing between two seas, an attempt was made by Periander,
and afterwards by Alexander, Demetrius, Julius Cæsar, Caligula, Nero,
and Herodes Atticus, to unite them; but they all failed in the attempt.

Strabo was in Corinth after its restoration by the Romans. He describes
the site, and says, that its circuit occupied five miles. From the
summit of the Sisyphéum, he continues, is beheld to the north Parnassus
and Helicon, lofty mountains covered with snow; and below both, to the
west, the Crissæan gulf, bounded by Phocis, by Boeotia and the Megaris,
and by Corinthia and Sicyonia. Beyond all these are the Oneian
mountains, stretching as far as Cithæron.

Corinth had temples dedicated to the Egyptian Isis, to Serapis, and
Serapis of Canopus. Fortune, also, had a temple, and her statue was made
of Persian work; and near this temple was another, dedicated to the
mother of all the gods.

Besides the citadel, built upon the mountain, the works of art, which
chiefly displayed the opulence and taste of the people, were the
grottoes, raised over the fountain of Pyrene, sacred to the Muses, and
constructed of white marble. There were, also, a theatre and stadium,
built of the same materials, and decorated in the most magnificent
manner; also a temple of Neptune, containing the chariots of the god,
and of Amphitrite, drawn by horses covered over with gold, and adorned
with ivory hoofs.

There were a multitude of statues, also; amongst which were those of
Bacchus, and Diana of Ephesus. These were of wood; others were of
bronze; amongst which were those of Apollo Clarius; a Venus by
Hermogenes of Cythera; two Mercuries; three statues of Jupiter; and a
Minerva. This last was mounted on a pedestal, the basso-relievos of
which represented the Nine Muses.

Such, indeed, were its wealth, magnificence, and excellent situation,
that it was thought by the Romans equally worthy of empire with Carthage
and Capua; and this induces me to say a few words in regard to its war
with the Romans.

Metellus[198] having received advice in Macedonia of the troubles in
Peloponnesus, departed thither with Romans of distinction, who arrived
in Corinth at the time the council was assembled there. They spoke in it
with abundance of moderation, exhorting the Achaians not to draw upon
themselves, by imprudent levity and weakness, the resentment of the
Romans. They were treated with contempt, and ignominiously turned out of
the assembly. An innumerable crowd of workmen and artificers rose about
them, and insulted them. All the cities of Achaia were at the time in a
kind of delirium; but Corinth was far more frantic than the rest, and
abandoned themselves to a kind of madness. They had been persuaded that
Rome intended to enslave them all, and absolutely to destroy the Achaian

The Romans, having chosen Mummius for one of the consuls, charged him
with the management of the Achaian war. When Mummius had assembled all
his troops, he advanced to the city, and encamped before it. A body of
his advanced guard being negligent of duty upon their post, the besieged
made a sally, attacked them vigorously, killed many, and pursued the
rest almost to the entrance of their camp. This small advantage very
much encouraged the Achaians, and thereby proved fatal to them. Diæus
offered the consul battle. The latter, to augment his rashness, kept his
troops within the camp, as if fear prevented him from accepting it. The
joy and presumption of the Achaians rose in consequence to an
inexpressible height. They advanced furiously with all their troops,
having placed their wives and children upon the neighbouring eminence,
to be spectators of the battle, and caused a great number of carriages
to follow them, to be laden with the booty they should take from the
enemy; so fully did they assure themselves of the victory.

Never was there a more rash or ill-founded confidence. The faction had
removed from the service and councils all such as were capable of
commanding the troops, or conducting affairs; and had substituted others
in their room, without either talents or ability, in order to their
being more absolutely masters of the government, and ruling without
opposition. The chiefs, without military knowledge, valour, or
experience, had no other merit than a blind and frantic rage. They had
already committed an excess of folly in hazarding a battle, which was to
decide their fate, without necessity, instead of thinking of a long and
brave defence in so strong a place as Corinth, and of obtaining good
conditions by a vigorous resistance. The battle was fought near
Leucopetra, and the defile of the isthmus. The consul had posted part of
his horse in ambuscade, which they quitted at a proper time for charging
the Achaian cavalry in flank; who, surprised by an unforeseen attack,
gave way immediately. The infantry made a little more resistance; but,
as it was neither covered, nor sustained by the horse, it was soon
broken and put to flight. Diæus, upon this, abandoned himself to
despair. He rode full speed to Megalopolis, and having entered his
house, set fire to it; killed his wife, to prevent her falling into the
hands of the enemy; drank poison; and in that manner put an end to his
life, worthy of the many crimes he had committed.

After this defeat, the inhabitants lost all hope of defending
themselves; so that all the Achaians who had retired into Corinth, and
most of the citizens, quitted it the following night, to save themselves
how they could. The consul having entered the city, abandoned it to be
plundered by the soldiers. All the men who were left in it were put to
the sword, and the women and children sold; and after the statues,
paintings, and richest moveables were removed, in order to their being
carried to Rome, the houses were set on fire, and the whole city
continued in flames for several days. From that time the Corinthian
brass became more valuable than ever, though it had been in reputation
long before. It is pretended that the gold, silver, and brass, which
were melted, and ran together in this conflagration, formed a new and
precious metal. The walls were afterwards desolated, and razed to their
very foundations. All this was executed by order of the Senate, to
punish the insolence of the Corinthians, who had violated the law of
nations, in their treatment of the ambassadors sent to them by Rome.

The booty taken at Corinth was sold, and considerable sums raised from
it. Amongst the paintings there was a piece drawn by the most celebrated
hand in Greece, representing Bacchus, the beauty of which was not known
to the Romans, who were at that time entirely ignorant of the polite
arts. Polybius, who was then in the country, had the mortification to
see the painting serve the soldiers for a table to play at dice upon. It
was afterwards sold to Attalus for £3625 sterling. Pliny mentions
another picture by the same painter, which the same Attalus purchased
for 110 talents. The consul, surprised that the price of the painting in
question should rise so high, interposed his authority, and retained it
contrary to public faith, and notwithstanding the complaints of Attalus,
because he imagined there was some hidden virtue in the prize, unknown
to him. He did not act in that manner for his private interest, nor with
the view of appropriating it to himself, as he sent it to Rome, to be
applied in adorning the city. When it arrived at Rome, it was set up in
the temple of Ceres, whither the judges went to see it out of curiosity,
as a masterpiece of art; and it remained there till it was burned with
that temple.

Mummius was a great warrior, and an excellent man; but he had neither
learning, knowledge of arts, nor taste for painting or sculpture. He
ordered particular persons to take care of transporting many of the
paintings and statues of the most excellent masters to Rome. Never had
loss been so irreparable, as that of such a deposite, consisting of the
masterpieces of those rare artists, who contributed almost as much as
the great captains, to the rendering of their age glorious to posterity.
Mummius, however, in recommending the care of that precious collection
to those to whom he confided them, threatened them very seriously, that
if the statues, paintings, and other things with which he charged them,
should be either lost or destroyed by the way, he would oblige them to
find others at their own cost[199];--a saying deservedly ridiculed by
all persons of sense, as a most egregious solecism in taste and

It is amusing to observe the difference between Mummius and Scipio;--the
one the conqueror of Corinth, the other of Carthage; both in the same
year[201]. Scipio, to the courage and virtue of ancient heroes, joined a
profound knowledge of the sciences, with all the genius and ornaments of
wit. His patronage was courted by every one who made any figure in
learning. Panætius, whom Tully calls the prince of the Stoics, and
Polybius the historian, were his bosom friends, the assisters of his
studies at home, and the constant companions of his expeditions abroad.
To which may be added, that he passed the more agreeable hours of his
life in the conversation of Terence, and is even thought to have taken
part in the composition of his comedies.

The period in which the Isthmian games were to be celebrated being at
hand, the expectation of what was to be transacted drew thither an
incredible multitude of people, and persons of the highest rank. The
conditions of peace, which were not yet entirely made public, were the
topic of all conversations, and various constructions were put upon
them; but very few could be persuaded that the Romans would evacuate all
the cities they had taken. All Greece was in this uncertainty, when the
multitude being assembled in the stadium to see the games, a herald
comes forward, and publishes with a loud voice:--"The senate and people
of Rome, and Titus Quintius the general, having overcome Philip and the
Macedonians, ease and deliver from all garrisons and taxes and imposts,
the Corinthians, the Locrians, the Phocians, the Euboeans, the Phthiot
Achaians, the Magnesians, the Thessalians, and the Perrhoebians; declare
them free, and ordain that they shall be governed by their respective
laws and usages."

At these words all the spectators were filled with excessive joy. They
gazed upon and questioned one another with astonishment, and could not
believe either eyes or ears; so like a dream was what they saw and
heard. But being at last assured of their happiness, they abandoned
themselves again to the highest transports of joy, and broke out into
such loud acclamations, that the sea resounded them to a distance; and
some ravens, which happened to fly that instant over the assembly, fell
down into the stadium; so true it is, that of all the blessings of this
life, none are so dear as that of liberty!

Corinth, nevertheless, remained after this in a ruined and desolate
state many years. At length, Cæsar, after he had subdued Africa, and
while his fleet lay at anchor at Utica, gave order for rebuilding
Carthage; and soon after his return to Italy, he likewise caused Corinth
to be rebuilt. Strabo and Plutarch agree in ascribing the rebuilding of
Carthage and Corinth to Julius Cæsar; and Plutarch remarks this singular
circumstance with regard to these cities, viz.--that as they were taken
and destroyed in the same year, they were rebuilt and repeopled at the
same time.

Under the eastern emperors, Corinth was the see of an archbishop,
subject to the patriarch of Constantinople. Roger, king of Naples,
obtained possession of it under the empire of Emanuel. It had,
afterwards, its own sovereign, who ceded it to the Venetians; from whom
it was taken by Mahomet II., A.D. 1458. The Venetians retook it in
1687, and held it till the year 1715, when they lost it to the Turks,
in whose possession it remained till, a few years since, Greece was
erected into an independent state. The grand army of the Turks[202] (in
1715) under the prime vizier, to open themselves a way into the heart of
the Morea, attacked Corinth, upon which they made several attacks. The
garrison being weakened, and the governor, seeing it was impossible to
hold out against a force so superior to their own, beat a parley; but
while they were treating about the articles, one of the magazines in the
Turkish camp, wherein they had 600 barrels of powder, blew up by
accident, whereby between 600 and 700 men were killed; which so enraged
the infidels, that they would not grant any capitulation, but stormed
the place with so much fury that they took it, and put most of the
garrison, with the governor, Signior Minotti, to the sword. The rest
they made prisoners of war. This subject formed the foundation of Lord
Byron's poem of the Siege of Corinth.

The natural consequences of an extensive commerce were wealth and
luxury. Fostered in this manner, the city rose in magnificence and
grandeur; and the elegant and magnificent temples, palaces, theatres,
and other buildings, adorned with statues, columns, capitals, and bases,
not only rendered it the pride of its inhabitants and the admiration of
strangers, but gave rise to that order of architecture which still bears
its name.

Corinth has preserved but few monuments of its Greek or Roman citizens.
The chief remains are at the southern corner of the town, and above the
bazaar; eleven columns, supporting their architraves, of the Doric
order, fluted, and wanting in height near half the common proportion to
the diameter. Within them, to the western end, is one taller, though
entire, which, it is likely, contributed to sustain the roof. They are
of stone. This ruin is probably of great antiquity, and a portion of a
fabric, erected mostly before the Greek city was destroyed, but before
the Doric order had attained to maturity.

Mr. Dodwell, nevertheless, observed no remains of the order of
architecture which is said to have been invented at Corinth, nor did he
perceive in any part of the isthmus the acanthus plant, which forms the
principal distinctive character of the Corinthian capital.

Corinth*, says Mr. Turner, contains, within its walls, remains of
antiquity, but some small masses of ruined walls and seven columns, with
part of the frieze of a temple, of which some columns were pulled down
to make room for a Turkish house to which it joins.

As there is nothing approaching to an intelligible building of
antiquity, we may exclaim with the poet--

  Where is thy grandeur, Corinth! shrunk from sight,
  Thy ancient treasures, and thy ramparts' height,
  Thy god-like fanes and palaces! Oh where,
  Thy mighty myriads and majestic fair!
  Relentless war has poured around thy wall,
  And hardly spared the traces of thy fall.

There are several shapeless and uninteresting masses of Roman remains
composed of bricks, one of which seems to have been a bath, resembling,
in some respects, that of Dioclesian at Rome, but little more than the
lower walls and foundations are remaining. The only Grecian ruin which,
at present, remains at Corinth, is that of a Doric temple. When Du Loir
travelled there (1654), there were twelve columns of this temple
standing. In the time of Chandler there were also eleven; but now there
are only seven. To what god this temple was dedicated is unknown. The
columns are each composed of one black calcareous stone, which being of
a porous quality, were anciently covered with stucco of great hardness
and durability. From its massive and inelegant proportions, Mr. Dodwell
is disposed to believe, that this ruin is the most ancient remaining in

In the narrowest part of the isthmus, about three miles from Corinth,
and therefore probably in the place where the games were celebrated, are
seen the spacious remains of a theatre and stadium; and less than a mile
from Corinth, in the same direction, the circuit and arena are still

The Acropolis, however, is one of the finest objects in Greece, and
before the introduction of artillery, it was deemed almost impregnable,
and had never been taken except by treachery or surprise. In the time of
Aratus it was defended only by four hundred soldiers, fifty dogs, and
fifty keepers. It shoots up majestically from the plain to a
considerable height, and forms a conspicuous object at a great distance;
as it is clearly seen from Athens, from which it is not less than
forty-four miles in a direct line. From its summit is a glorious
prospect. Strabo thus describes it:--"From the summit of the Acropolis,
Parnassus and Helicon are seen covered with snow. Towards the west is
the gulf of Krissa, bordered by Phocis, Boeotia, Megaris, Corinthia, and
Sicyonia. Beyond are the Oneian mountains, extending to Boeotia and
Mount Cithæron." The entire view forms, on the whole, a panorama of the
most captivating features, and of the greatest dimensions, comprehending
six of the most celebrated states of Greece;--Achaia, Locris, Phocis,
Boeotia, Attica, and Argolis[203].

The Corinthian order having been invented at Corinth, we cannot refuse
ourselves the satisfaction of quoting a passage from Dr. Brewster's
treatise on Civil Architecture:--"The artists of Græcia Proper,
perceiving that in the Ionic order the severity of the Doric had been
departed from, by one happy effort invented a third, which much
surpassed the Ionic in delicacy of proportion and richness of
decorations. This was named the Corinthian order. The merit of this
invention is ascribed to Callimachus of Athens, who is said to have had
the idea suggested to him by observing acanthus leaves growing round a
basket, which had been placed with some favourite trinkets upon the
grave of a young lady; the stalks which rose among the leaves having
been formed into slender volutes by a square tile which covered the
basket. It is possible that a circumstance of this nature may have
caught the fancy of a sculptor who was contemporary with Phidias; and
who was, doubtless, in that age of competition, alive to every thing
which promised distinction in his profession. But in the warmth of our
devotion for the inspiration of Greek genius, we must not overlook the
facts, that, in the pillars of several temples in Upper Egypt, whose
shafts represent bundles of reeds or lotus, bound together in several
places by fillets, the capitals are formed by several rows of delicate
leaves. In the splendid ruins of Vellore in Hindostan, the capitals are,
also, composed of similar ornaments; and it is well known, that the
Persians, at their great festivals, were in the habit of decorating with
flowers the tops of their pillars which formed the public apartments. It
is, therefore, not improbable, that these circumstances, after so much
intercourse with other countries, might have suggested ideas to
Callimachus, which enabled him to surpass the capital of Ionia[204]."

At Corinth, too, the art of portrait painting is said to have been first

  "Blest be the pencil! whose consoling power,
  Soothing soft Friendship in her pensive hour,
  Dispels the cloud, with melancholy fraught,
  That absence throws upon her tender thought.
  Blest be the pencil! whose enchantment gives
  To wounded Love the food on which he lives.
  Rich in this gift, though cruel ocean bear
  The youth to exile from his faithful fair,
  He in fond dreams hangs o'er her glowing cheek,
  Still owns her present, and still hears her speak.
  Oh! LOVE, it was thy glory to impart
  Its infant being to this sweetest art!
  Inspired by thee, the soft Corinthian maid,
  Her graceful lover's sleeping form portray'd;
  Her boding heart his near departure knew,
  Yet long'd to keep his image in her view.
  Pleased she beheld the steady shadow fall,
  By the clear lamp upon the even wall.
  The line she traced, with fond precision true,
  And, drawing, doted on the form she drew:
  Nor, as she glow'd with no forbidden fire,
  Conceal'd the simple picture from her sire.
  His kindred fancy, still to nature just,
  Copied her line, and form'd the mimic bust.
  Thus from thy inspiration, LOVE, we trace
  The modell'd image, and the pencill'd face!"[205]


The Parthian monarchs delighted in the pastoral life of their Scythian
ancestors; and the royal camp was frequently pitched in the plain of
Ctesiphon, on the eastern bank of the Tigris, at the distance of only
three miles from Seleucia. It was, then, no other than a village. By the
influx of innumerable attendants on luxury and despotism, who resorted
to the court, this village insensibly swelled into a large city; and
there the Parthian kings, acting by Seleucia as the Greeks, who built
that place, had done by Babylon, built a town, in order to dispeople and
impoverish Seleucia. Many of the materials, however, were taken from
Babylon itself; so that from the time the anathema was pronounced
against that city, "it seems," says Rollin, "as if those very persons,
that ought to have protected her, were become her enemies; as if they
had all thought it their duty to reduce her to a state of solitude, by
indirect means, though without using any violence; that it might the
more manifestly appear to be the hand of God, rather than the hand of
man, that brought about her destruction."

This city was for some time assailed by Julian[206], who fixed his camp
near the ruins of Seleucia, and secured himself by a ditch and rampart,
against the sallies and enterprising garrison of Coche. In this fruitful
and pleasant country the Romans were supplied with water and forage; and
several forts, which might have embarrassed the motions of the army,
submitted, after some resistance, to the efforts of their valour. The
fleet passed from the Euphrates in an artificial diversion of the river,
which forms a copious and navigable stream into the Tigris, at a small
distance _below_ the great city. Had they followed this royal canal,
which bore the name of Nahar-Malcha[207], the immediate situation of
Coche would have separated the fleet and army of Julian; and the vast
attempt of steering against the current of the Tigris, and forcing
their way through the midst of a hostile capital, must have been
attended with the total destruction of the Roman army. As Julian had
minutely studied the operations of Trajan in the same country, he soon
recollected that his warlike predecessor had dug a new and navigable
canal, which conveyed the waters into the Tigris, at some distance above
the river. From the information of the peasants, Julian ascertained the
vestiges of this ancient work, which were almost obliterated by design
or accident. He, therefore, prepared a deep channel for the reception of
the Euphrates: the flood of waters rushed into this new bed; and the
Roman fleet steered their triumphant course into the Tigris. He soon
after passed, with his whole army, over the river: sending up a military
shout, the Romans advanced in measured steps, to the animating notes of
military music; launched their javelins, and rushed forwards with drawn
swords, to deprive the barbarians, by a closer onset, of the advantage
of their missile weapons. The action lasted twelve hours: the enemy at
last gave way. They were pursued to the gates of Ctesiphon, and the
conquerors, says the historian from whom we have borrowed this account,
might have entered the dismayed city, had not their general desired them
to desist from the attempt; since, if it did not prove successful, it
must prove fatal. The spoil was ample: large quantities of gold and
silver, splendid arms and trappings, and beds, and tables of massy
silver. The victor distributed, as the reward of valour, some honourable
gifts civic and mural, and naval crowns: and then considered what new
measures to pursue: for, as we have already stated, his troops had not
ventured to attempt entering the city. He called a council of war; but
seeing that the town was strongly defended by the river, lofty
walls[208], and impassable morasses, he came to the determination of not
besieging it; holding it a fruitless and pernicious undertaking. This
occurred A.D. 363.

In this city Chosroes, king of Persia, built a palace; supposed to have
been once the most magnificent structure in the East.

In process of time Seleucia and Ctesiphon became united, and identified
under the name of _Al Modain_, or the two cities. This union is
attributed to the judgment of Adashir Babigan (the father of the
Sassanian line). It afterwards continued a favourite capital with most
of his dynasty, till the race perished in the person of Yezdijerd; and
Al Modain was rendered a heap of ruins, by the fanatic Arabs, in the
beginning of the seventh century.

At that period (A.D. 637), those walls, which had resisted the battering
rams of the Romans, yielded to the darts of the Saracens. Said, the
lieutenant of Omar, passed the Tigris without opposition; the capital
was taken by assault; and the disorderly resistance of the people gave a
keener edge to the sabre of the Moslems, who shouted in religious
transport, "This is the white palace of Chosroes: this is the province
of the apostle of God."

"The spoils," says Abulfeda, "surpassed the estimate of fancy, or
numbers;" and Elmacin defines the untold and almost infinite mass by the
fabulous computation of three thousands of thousands of thousands of
pieces of gold[209].

One of the apartments of the palace was decorated with a carpet of silk,
60 cubits in length, and as many in breadth; a paradise, or garden, was
depicted on the ground; the flowers, fruits, and shrubs, were imitated
by the figures of the gold embroidery, and the colours of the precious
stones; and the ample square was encircled by a verdant and variegated
border. The conqueror (Omar) divided the prize among his brethren of
Medina. The picture was destroyed; but such was the value of the
material, that the share of Ali was sold for 20,000 drachms. The sack
was followed by the desertion and gradual decay of the city. In little
more than a century after this it was finally supplanted by Bagdad under
the Caliph Almanzor.

"The imperial legions," says Porter, "of Rome and Constantinople, with
many a barbaric phalanx besides, made successive dilapidation on the
walls of Seleucia and Ctesiphon; but it was reserved for Omar and his
military fanatics to complete the final overthrow. That victorious
caliph founded the city of Kufa on the western shore of the Euphrates;
whilst the defeat, which the Persians sustained from one of his best
generals in the battle of Cadesia, led to the storming of Al-Maidan, and
an indiscriminate massacre of all its Guebre inhabitants. In after times
the caliph Almanzor, taking a dislike to Kufa, removed the seat of his
government to Bagdad; the materials for the erection of which he brought
from the battered walls of the Greek and Parthian city; so as Babylon
was ravaged and carried away for the building of Seleucia and Ctesiphon,
in the same manner did they moulder into ruin before the rising
foundations of Bagdad." Little more remains of Seleucia but the ground
on which it stood; showing, by its unequal surface, the low moundy
traces of its former inhabitants. Small as these vestiges may seem, they
are daily wasting away, and soon nothing would be left to mark the site
of Seleucia, were it not for the apparently imperishable canal of
Nebuchadnezzar, the Nahar Malcha, whose capacious bosom, noble in ruins,
open to the Tigris, north of where the city stood."

What remains of the palace of Chosroes is thus described by the same
hand. "Having passed the Diala, a river which flows into the Tigris, the
lofty palace of Chosroes, at Modain, upon the site of the ancient
Ctesiphon, became visible to us; looking exceedingly large through the
refracting atmosphere of the southern horizon, above the even line of
which it towered as the most conspicuous object any where to be seen
around us. It looked from hence much larger than Westminster Abbey, when
seen from a similar distance; and in its general outline it resembled
that building very much, excepting only in its having no towers. The
great cathedral of the Crusaders, still standing on the ancient
Orthosia, on the coast of Syria, is a perfect model of it in general
appearance; as that building is seen when approaching from the
southward, although there is no one feature of resemblance between those
edifices in detail."

On the northern bank of the Diala, Mr. Buckingham saw nothing but some
grass huts, inhabited by a few families, who earned their living by
transporting travellers across the river; and to the westward, near the
Tigris, a few scattered tents of Arab shepherds. On the south bank a few
date-trees were seen; but, besides these, no other signs of fertility or
cultivation appeared.

When Mr. Buckingham reached the mounds of Ctesiphon, he found them to be
of a moderate height, of a light colour, and strewed over with fragments
of those invariable remarks of former population, broken pottery. The
outer surface of the mounds made them appear as mere heaps of earth,
long exposed to the atmosphere; but he was assured by several well
acquainted with the true features of the place, that on digging into the
mounds, a masonry of unburnt bricks was found, with layers of reed
between them, as in the ruins at Akkerhoof and the mounds of Meklooba at
Babylon. The extent of the semicircle formed by these heaps, appears to
be nearly two miles. The area of the city, however, had but few mounds
throughout its whole extent, and those were small and isolated; the
space was chiefly covered with thick heath, sending forth, as in the
days of Xenophon, a highly aromatic odour, which formed a cover for
partridges, hares, and gazelles, of each of which the traveller saw
considerable numbers.

After traversing a space within the walls, strewed with fragments of
burnt bricks and pottery, he came to the tomb of Selman Pauk. "This
Selman Pauk[210]," says Mr. Buckingham, "was a Persian barber, who, from
the fire-worship of his ancestors, became a convert to Islam, under the
persuasive eloquence of the great prophet of Modain himself; and, after
a life of fidelity to the cause he had embraced, was buried here in his
native city of Modain. The memory of this beloved companion of the great
head of their faith is held in great respect by all the Mahometans of
the country; for, besides the annual feast of the barbers of Bagdad, who
in the month of April visit his tomb as that of a patron saint, there
are others who come to it on pilgrimage at all seasons of the year."

The large ruin, which forms the principal attraction of this place, is
situated about seven hundred paces to the south of this tomb. It is
called by the natives Tauk Kesra (the Arch of Kesra). It is composed of
two wings and one large central hall, extending all the depth of the
building. Its front is nearly perfect; being two hundred and sixty feet
in length, and upwards of one hundred feet in height. Of this front the
great arched hall occupies the centre; its entrance being of an equal
height and breadth with the hall itself. The arch is thus about ninety
feet in breadth, and rising above the general line of the front, is at
least one hundred and twenty feet high, while its depth is at least
equal to its height. "The wings leading out on each side of the central
arch," continues Mr. Buckingham, "to extend to the front of the
building, are now merely thick walls; but these had originally
apartments behind them, as may be seen from undoubted marks that remain,
as well as two side doors leading from them into the great central
hall." The walls which form these wings in the line of the front were
built on the inclined slope, being in thickness about twenty feet at the
base; but only ten at the summit. The masonry is altogether of burnt
bricks, of the size, form, and composition of those seen in the ruins of
Babylon; but none of them have any writing or impression of any kind.
The cement is white lime, and the layers are much thicker than is seen
in any of the burnt brick edifices at Babylon; approaching nearer to the
style of the Greek and Roman masonry found among the ruins of
Alexandria, where the layers of lime are almost as thick as the bricks
themselves. At Babylon the cement is scarcely perceptible. The symmetry
of the work bears considerable resemblance, however, both to the Birs
and the fine fragments of brick-masonry of the age of the Caliphs, still
remaining at Bagdad.

The wings, though not perfectly uniform, are similar in their general
construction; "but the great extent of the whole front," says our
accomplished traveller, "with the broad and lofty arch of its centre,
and the profusion of recesses and pilasters on each side, must have
produced an imposing appearance, when the edifice was perfect; more
particularly if the front was once coated, as tradition states it to
have been, with white marble; a material of too much value to remain
long in its place after the desertion of the city." The arches of the
building are described to be all of a Roman form, and the architecture
of the Roman style, though with less purity of taste; the pilasters
having neither capital nor pedestal, and a pyramidal termination is
given to some of the long narrow niches of the front.

There is a circumstance, in regard to the position of this pile, very
remarkable. The front of it, though immediately facing the Tigris, lies
due east by compass; the stream winding here so exceedingly, that this
edifice, though standing on the _west_ of that portion of the river
flowing before it, and facing the _east_, is yet on the _eastern_ side
of the Tigris, in its general course. Another curiosity of the same kind
is exhibited; that in regard to the sailing of boats, the stream being
so serpentine, that those which are going _up_ by it to Bagdad are seen
steering south-south-west through one reach, and north-west through
another above it. Nor ought we to close here. Sir R. K. Porter furnishes
a beautiful anecdote. "The history of Persia, from the Royut-ul-Suffa,"
says he, "gives an interesting anecdote of this palace. A Roman
ambassador, who had been sent to Chosroes with rich presents, was
admiring the noble prospect from the window of the royal palace, when he
remarked a rough piece of ground; and making inquiry why it was not
rendered uniform with the rest, the person to whom he spoke replied, 'It
is the property of an old woman, who, though often requested to sell it
to the king, has constantly refused; and our monarch is more willing to
have his prospect spoiled, than to perfect it by an act of violence.'
'That rough spot,' cried the Roman, 'consecrated by justice, now
appears to me more beautiful than all the surrounding scene'."[211]


Casting the eye over the site of ancient Delphos[212], one cannot
imagine what has become of the walls of the numerous buildings, which
are mentioned in the history of its former magnificence. With the
exception of a few terraces, nothing now appears. We do not even see any
swellings or risings in the ground, indicating the graves of the temple.
All, therefore, is mystery; and the Greeks may truly say,--"Where stood
the walls of our fathers? Scarce their mossy tombs remain!" But

  Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot,
    And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave,
  Some gentle spirit still pervades the spot,
    Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave,
    And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.

Delphos is now sunk into a village,--a village of wretchedness,--known
by the name of Castri.

Delphos was built in the form of a kind of amphitheatre, and was divided
into three parts; one rising, as it were, above the other. It was
universally believed by the ancients to be situated in the middle of the
earth; in consequence of which it was called the "navel of the world."

It stood under Parnassus. It was not defended by walls, but by
precipices, which environed it on all sides. It had temples dedicated to
Latona, Diana, and Minerva Providence; also one dedicated to Apollo.
This edifice was built, for the most part, of a very beautiful stone;
but the frontispiece was of Parian marble, and the vestibule was
decorated with paintings. On the walls were moral sentences. In the
interior was a statue of the god, and such a multitude of precious
things, that it is impossible to describe them. We must refer to
Plutarch, Strabo, Pausanias, and other ancient writers; and more
particularly to Barthelemy's "Travels of Anacharsis," since he has
collected all the principal circumstances in regard to it. Our business
is to state the condition to which it is reduced. Before we do this,
however, we must admit something of what has been written of this
celebrated place.

Delphos was an ancient city of Phocis, in Achaia. It stood upon the
declivity, and about the middle of the mountain Parnassus, built upon a
small extent of even ground, and surrounded by precipices, which
fortified it without the aid of art. Diodorus says, that there was a
cavity upon Parnassus, whence an exhalation arose, which made the goats
skip about, and intoxicated the brain. A shepherd having approached it,
out of a desire to know the causes of so extraordinary an effect, was
immediately seized with violent agitations of the body, and pronounced
words which indicated prophecy. Others made the same experiment, and it
was soon rumoured throughout the neighbouring countries. The cavity was
no longer approached without reverence. The exhalation was concluded to
have something divine in it. A priestess was appointed for the reception
of its inspirations, and a tripod was placed upon a vent, from whence
she gave oracles. The city of Delphos rose insensibly round about the
cave, where a temple was erected, which at length became very
magnificent. The reputation of this oracle very much exceeded that of
all others.

The temple being burned about the fifty-eighth Olympiad, the Amphyctions
took upon themselves the care of rebuilding it. They agreed with the
architect, for three hundred talents. The cities of Greece were to
furnish that sum. The Delphians were taxed a fourth part of it, and made
gatherings in all parts, even in foreign nations, for that purpose.

Gyges, king of Lydia, and Croesus, one of his successors, enriched the
temple of Delphos with an incredible number of presents. Many other
princes, cities, and private persons, by their example, in a kind of
emulation of each other, had heaped up in it tripods, vessels, tables,
shields, crowns, chariots, and statues of gold and silver of all sizes,
equally infinite in number and value. The presents of gold which Croesus
alone made to this temple amounted, according to Herodotus, to upwards
of 254 talents (about 35,500_l._ sterling); and perhaps those of silver
to as much. Most of those presents were in being in the time of
Herodotus. Diodorus Siculus, adding those of other princes to them,
makes the amount 10,000 talents (about 1,300,000_l_).

It is not less surprising than true[213], that one of the most
celebrated edifices in the world has been so entirely destroyed, that
sufficient traces are scarcely left by which the traveller can form even
a conjecture as to its position.

During the Sacred war, the people of Phocis seized from it 10,000
talents to maintain their armies against their powerful opponents. Sylla
plundered it; and Nero carried away no less than five hundred statues of
brass, partly of the gods, and partly of the most illustrious heroes. It
had been plundered no less than eleven times before.

It is not known when this celebrated oracle ceased. Lucian says that
answers were given in his time: but most of the Grecian oracles were
annihilated when Constantine relinquished the errors of polytheism.
Indeed Constantine the Great proved a more fatal enemy to Apollo and
Delphos, than either Sylla or Nero: he removed the sacred tripods to
adorn the hippodrome of his own city. Afterwards Julian sent Oribesius
to restore the temple, but he was admonished by an oracle to represent
to the emperor the deplorable condition of the place. "Tell him, the
well-built court is fallen to the ground. Phoebus has not a cottage; nor
the prophetic laurel; nor the speaking fountain (Cassotis); but even the
beautiful water is extinct."

The temple was situated in a very romantic situation; rendered still
more striking by the innumerable echoes, which multiplied every sound,
and increased the veneration of superstitious visitants. But even its
form is unknown; though painters, for the most part, have delineated it
as circular, amongst whom may be mentioned Claude Lorrain, and Gaspar

The Apollo Belvidere is supposed to be a copy from the statue in this

The Castalian spring, however, still exists, and equally clear as in
ancient times. It is ornamented with ivy, and overshadowed by a large
fig-tree, the roots of which have penetrated the fissures of the rock.
At the front is a majestic plane-tree.

The remains of the town wall are a little to the east of the Castalian
spring; but no part of it is left but the interior mass, which consists
of an exceedingly hard composition of small stones and mortar.

When Pausanias visited Delphos, there were four temples and a gymnasium
in the vicinity of the eastern gate; and several ruins and fragments may
now be seen: some fine blocks of marble, some with inscriptions, a
marble triglyph, and other Doric remains. There are none, however, of
the hippodrome; in which ten chariots are said to have been able to
start at the same moment.

The temple has vanished like a dream, leaving not a trace behind;
insomuch, that Mr. Dodwell's opinion is, that the site of this far-famed
edifice must be sought for under the humble cottages of Castri, as the
whole village probably stands within its ancient peribolos. In some
places, however, are blocks of considerable magnitude; and some ancient
foundations, supposed to be those of the Lesche, which contained the
paintings of Polygnotus; and near the Aga's house are several remains of
some fluted marble columns, of the Doric order, and of large dimensions.
Some inscriptions, too, have been observed. One in marble is in honour
of the Emperor Hadrian: "_The council of the Amphictyons, under the
superintendence of the priest Plutarch, from Delphi, commemorate the
Emperor_." Another: "_The council of Amphictyons and Achaians, in honour
of Polycratea, high priestess of the Achaian Council, and daughter of
Polycrates and Diogeneia_." Another states that "_The father and mother
of Amarius Nepos, honoured by the Senate of Corinth with rewards, due to
him as senator and overseer of the Forum, put their son under the
protection of the Pythian Apollo_."

The remains of the gymnasium are principally behind the monastery. The
foundations were sustained by an immense bulwark of hewn stone. There is
also some part of a stadium. The marble posts remain. Its length is 660
feet. "I was surprised," says Mr. Dodwell, "to find few fragments of
marble among the ruins of Delphos. The town was small; but it was a
concentration of great opulence and splendour. What can have become of
the materials which adorned its public edifices? Several curiosities are
no doubt buried below the village: though the soil is in general so thin
and so rocky, that great masses cannot be concealed beneath the
superficies." They have, no doubt, crumbled away. The fate, however, of
Delphos has been greatly aggravated of late years; for in consequence of
some dispute between the agents of Ali Pacha and the inhabitants of
Castri, the Pacha laid the village under contribution to pay him the sum
of 15,000 piastres. This they were unable to do; in consequence of which
everything was taken from them; and this serves to explain the ruined
state of the place. "In its present condition," says Dr. Clarke, "there
is not in all Lapland a more wretched village than Castri[214]."


This city, which Heraclius says was as large as Athens, was founded by
one of the most illustrious princes that ever adorned the
earth--Dejoces, King of the Medes. Not that we mean to vindicate or
approve all that he did; but, "taking him for all in all," history has
but few characters that can be placed in competition with him.

It is not our intention to write the history of this celebrated prince
anew, his story being almost unanimously allowed: we have only to copy.
We shall, therefore, select the account, compiled by Rollin, from the
testimony of Herodotus; ours being an abstract.

The Medes were a people divided into tribes. They dwelt almost entirely
in villages; but Dejoces, finding with how great an inconvenience such a
mode of life was attended, erected the state into a monarchy. The
methods he took to accomplish this, exhibited the consummate wisdom with
which his mind was endowed. When he formed the design, he laboured to
make the good qualities that had been observed in him more conspicuous
than ever; and he succeeded so well, that the inhabitants of the
district in which he lived, made him their judge. His conduct fully
answered the expectation of those who elected him. He brought the
association into a regular mode of life; and this being observed by a
multitude of other villages, they soon began to make him arbitrator for
them, as he had been for the first. "When he found himself thus
advanced," says the historian, "he judged it a proper time to set his
last engines to work for compassing his point. He, therefore, retired
from business, pretending to be over-fatigued with the multitude of
people that resorted to him from all quarters; and would not exercise
the office of judge any longer, notwithstanding all the importunity of
such as wished well to the public tranquillity. When any person
addressed themselves to him, he told them, that his own domestic affairs
would not allow him to attend to those of other people."

The consequence of this withdrawal was, that the various communities
relapsed into a worse state than they had been before; and the evil
increased so rapidly, from day to day, that the Medes felt themselves
constrained to meet, in order to endeavour to find some remedy for it.
This was what Dejoces had foreseen. He sent emissaries, therefore, to
the assembly, with instructions in what manner to act. When the turn
came for those persons to speak, they declared their opinion, that
unless the face of the republic was entirely changed, the whole country
would be entirely uninhabitable. "The only means," said they, "left for
us is, to elect a king. Having elected a sovereign, with authority to
restrain violence, and make laws, every one can prosecute his own
affairs in peace and security." This opinion was seconded by the consent
of the whole assembly. All that remained then was to find out a proper
person. This did not require much time. Dejoces was the man to whom all
eyes were instantly turned. He was, therefore, immediately elected king
with the consent of all present. "There is," says the author from whom
we borrow, "nothing nobler or greater, than to see a private person,
eminent for his merit and virtue, and fitted by his excellent talents
for the highest employments, and yet, through inclination and modesty,
preferring a life of obscurity and retirement; thus to see such a man
sincerely refuse the offer made to him of reigning over a whole nation,
and at last consent to undergo the toil of government upon no other
motive than that of being useful to his fellow citizens. Such a governor
was Numa at Rome, and such have been some other governors, whom the
people have constrained to accept the supreme power. But," continues he
in a strain of great wisdom, "to put on the mask of modesty and virtue,
in order to satisfy one's ambition, as Dejoces did; to affect to appear
outwardly what a man is not inwardly; to refuse for a time, and then
accept with a seeming repugnancy what a man earnestly desires, and what
he has been labouring by secret, underhand, practices to obtain; this
double dealing has so much meanness in it, that it goes a great way to
lessen our opinion of the person, be his talents never so great or

The method by which Dejoces gained his ambition to be king, greatly
disenchants us of his merits. But having attained it, he acted in a
manner few men have been found to adopt, even when they have arrived at
the throne by the most legitimate of methods. He set himself to civilise
and polish his subjects; men who, having lived perpetually in villages,
almost without laws and without polity, had contracted rude manners and
savage dispositions.

Thus animated, he selected a hill, the ascent of which was regular on
every side, and having marked out, with his own hands, the circumference
of the walls, he laid the foundation of a city, which became the capital
of the dominions of which he had been elected sovereign. When he had
done this, he constructed walls after the following manner. Their number
was seven; all disposed in such a manner, that the outermost did not
hinder the parapet of the second from being seen; nor the second that of
the third, and so of all the rest. Within the last and smallest
inclosure he erected his own palace; and there he kept all his
treasures. The first and largest inclosure is supposed to have been of
about the size of Athens, when at its greatest height. The palace was at
the foot of the citadel, and about seven furlongs in circumference. The
wood-work was of cedar or cypress; the beams, the ceilings, the columns
of the porticoes, and the peristyles, were plated with either gold or
silver; the roofs were covered with silver tiles.

This city the founder called ECBATANA[215]. The aspect of it was
beautiful and magnificent; and, having completed it to his satisfaction,
he employed himself in composing laws for the good of the community. In
order to do this with greater effect, and with a view to keep up the
respect which nearness of view is apt to impair with rude and ignorant
persons, he secluded himself almost entirely from the people at large.
All was done through the medium of agents and servants. He knew all
that was passing. He made a multitude of wise laws. He became literally
the true father of his people; for so entirely did he give himself up to
the contemplation of their benefit, that though he reigned not less than
fifty-three years, he had no reason to complain of any of the
neighbouring kingdoms; and so satisfied was he of the good belonging to
his own fortune, that he never once engaged in any enterprise against

Dejoces was succeeded by his son Phraortes, of whom it is not necessary
to say more than that he enlarged the city his father had built. He was
succeeded by Cyaxares I., who reigned forty years. He made himself
master of all the cities of the kingdom of Assyria, except Babylon and
Chaldæa. Astyages was the next king of the Medes, he who is called in
scripture Ahasuerus.[216] He married his daughter, Mandana, to Cambyses
king of Persia; and thereby became grandfather to the great Cyrus, one
of the most remarkable princes in all history. He was succeeded by
Cyaxares II., called in scripture Darius the Mede; who, under the
generalship of Cyrus, having taken Babylon, Cyrus, on the death of his
father Cambyses, and his uncle, whom he had made governor of Babylon,
united the empires of the Medes and Persians under one and the same
authority. Ecbatana, therefore, from that time ceased to be the chief
seat of authority[217].

Diodorus Siculus relates, that when Semiramis came to Ecbatana, "which,"
says he, "is situated in a low and even plain," she built a stately
palace there, and bestowed more care upon that city than she had done
upon any other. For the city wanting water (there being no spring near
it), she plentifully supplied it with such as was good, which she
brought thither in this manner. There is a mountain called Orontes,
twelve furlongs distant from the city, exceedingly high and steep for
the space of twenty-five furlongs up to the top. On the other side of
this mount there is a large mere, or lake, which empties itself into the
river. At the foot of this mount she dug a canal fifteen feet in breadth
and forty in depth, through which she conveyed water to the city in
great abundance[218].

Alexander being in pursuit of Darius, came within three days' march of
Ecbatana, where he was met by the son of Ochus, who informed him that
Darius had left that city five days before, carrying with him five
thousand talents (about one million five hundred thousand pounds), from
the Median treasury. When Alexander took possession of the city, he laid
up all the treasure he had got from Persis and Susiana. It was in this
city that Darius made the following remarkable speech to the principal
officers of his army. He had lost Persepolis and Pasagarda:--"Dear
companions, among so many thousand men who composed my army, you only
have not abandoned me during the whole course of my ill-fortune; and, in
a short time, nought but your fidelity and constancy will be able to
make me fancy myself a king. Deserters and traitors now govern in my
cities. Not that they are thought worthy of the honour bestowed upon
them; but rewards are given them only in the view of tempting you, and
staggering your perseverance. You still chose to follow my fortune
rather than that of the conqueror; for which you certainly have merited
a recompense from the gods; and I do not doubt but they will prove
beneficent towards you, in case that power is denied me. With such
soldiers and officers I would brave, without the least dread, the enemy,
how formidable soever he may be. What! would any one have me surrender
myself up to the mercy of the conqueror, and expect from him, as a
reward of my baseness and meanness of spirit, the government of some
province which he may condescend to leave? No! It never shall be in the
power of any man, either to take away, or fix upon my head, the diadem I
wear. The same power shall put a period to my reign and life. If you
have all the same courage and resolution, which I can no longer doubt, I
assure myself that you shall retain your liberty, and not be exposed to
the pride and insults of the Macedonians. You have in your own hands the
means either to revenge or terminate all your evils." Having ended this
speech, the whole body replied with shouts, that they were ready to
follow him in all fortunes.

Nabarzanes and Bessus soon showed the unfortunate king how little
confidence is to be placed in man. They and other traitors seized upon
Darius, bound him in chains of gold, placed him in a covered chariot,
and set out for Bactriana, with the design of delivering their master up
to Alexander. They afterwards murdered him.

Plutarch says of Alexander, that he traversed all the province of
Babylon, which immediately made its submission; and that in the district
of Ecbatana, he saw a gulf of fire, which streamed continually, as from
an inexhaustible source. He admired, also, a flood of naphtha, not far
from the gulf, which flowed in such abundance that it formed a lake. The
naphtha, in many respects, resembles the bitumen, but is much more
inflammable. Before any fire touches it, it catches light from a flame
at some distance, and often kindles all the immediate air. The
barbarians, to show the king its force, and the subtlety of its nature,
scattered some drops of it in the street, which led to his lodging; and
standing at one end, they applied their torches to some of the first
drops; for it was night. The flame communicated itself swifter than
thought, and the street was instantaneously all on fire.

On his arrival, Alexander offered magnificent sacrifices to the deities,
in thanksgiving for the success that had crowned his arms. Gymnic games
and theatrical representations succeeded, and universal festivities
reigned in the Grecian army. But in the midst of these rejoicings, the
king had the misfortune to lose the friend he loved the most. He was
engaged in presiding at the games, when he was suddenly and hastily sent
for; but before he could reach the bed-side of Hephæstion, his friend
had expired.

The king gave himself up to sorrow many days. At length, when he had
recovered his self-command, he gave orders for a magnificent funeral,
the expense of which is said to have amounted to not less than 10,000
talents, that is, about two millions! All the Oriental subjects were
charged to put on mourning; and it is even affirmed, that, to gratify
Alexander's affection, several of his companions dedicated themselves
and arms to the deceased favourite. The folly of Alexander went even
farther. He wrote to Cleomenes, his governor in Egypt, a person of an
inordinate bad character, commanding him to erect two temples to
Hephæstion; one at Alexandria, and another in the island of Pharos: "If
I find these temples erected, when I return into Egypt, I will not only
forgive all thy past deeds, but likewise all thou mayest hereafter

Plutarch says:--When he came to Ecbatana, in Media, and had despatched
the most urgent affairs, he employed himself in the celebration of
games, and other public solemnities; for which purpose 3000 artificers,
lately arrived from Greece, were very serviceable to him. But,
unfortunately, Hephæstion fell sick of a fever in the midst of this
festivity. As a young man and a soldier, he could not bear to be kept to
strict diet; and taking the opportunity to dine when his physician
Glaucus was gone to the theatre, he ate a roasted fowl, and drank a
flagon of wine, made as cold as possible; in consequence of which he
grew worse, and died a few days after.

Plutarch and Quintus Curtius relate, that when Darius offered Alexander
all the country which lies on the west of the Euphrates, with his
daughter Statira in marriage, and a portion of 10,000 talents of gold,
Parmenio having been present at this offer, and having been required to
state his opinion in regard to it, answered, that if it were he, he
would accept it; "so would I," answered Alexander, "were I Parmenio."

Sometime after this, the life of this excellent friend and consummate
general, as well as that of his son, was sacrificed to a mean and wanton
accusation made against him of treason against his master's person;
dying in the height of his prosperity, in the 70th year of his age. At
Ecbatana, it was commonly observed in the army to which he belonged,
that Parmenio had gained many victories without Alexander, but that
Alexander had gained none without Parmenio.

Ecbatana is supposed to have been situated where the modern Hameden now
stands; that is, in the province of Irac-Agemi, winding between Bagdad
and Ispahan, 240 miles from each. It stands at the foot of a mountain,
whence issue streams, that water the country. The adjacent parts are
fertile, and productive of corn and rice. The air is healthy, but the
winter is said to be intense. Its climate, however, was so fine in
ancient times, that the Persian kings preferred it to Ispahan or Susa;
hence It acquired the title of the "Royal City."

"Ecbatana," says Rennell, "was unquestionably on, or near, the site of
Hameden in Al Jebel. A great number of authorities concur in proving
this; although many refer to Tauris, or Tebriz, in Aderbigian; Mr.
Gibbon and Sir William Jones among the rest. The authorities are too
numerous to be adduced here. We shall only mention that Isidore of
Charax places it on the road from Seleucia to Parthia; that Pliny says
Susa is equi-distant from Seleucia and Ecbatana; and that Ecbatana
itself lies in the road from Nineveh to Rages or Ray." "The situation of
Hameden," says Mr. Morier, "so much unlike that of other Persian cities,
would of itself be sufficient to establish its claim to a remote origin,
considering the propensity of the ancients to build their cities on
elevated positions. Ispahan, Schiraz, Teheran, Tabris, Khoi, &c., are
all built on plains; but Hameden occupies a great diversity of surface,
and, like Rome and Constantinople, can enumerate the hills over which it
is spread. Its locality, too, agrees with that of Ecbatana, built on the
declivity of the Orontes, according to Polybius[219], and is also
conformable to Herodotus[220]; who, in describing the walls, rising into
circles one above another, says, 'this mode of building was favoured by
the situation of the place.'"

"I had not expected to see Ecbatana," says Sir Robert Ker Porter, "as
Alexander found it; neither in the superb ruin, in which Timour had
left it; but, almost unconsciously to myself, some indistinct ideas of
what it had been floated before me; and when I actually beheld its
remains, it was with the appalled shock of seeing a prostrate dead body,
where I had anticipated a living man, though drooping to decay. Orontes,
indeed, was there, magnificent and hoary-headed; the funeral remnant of
the poor corpse beneath." The extensive plain of Hameden stretched
below, and the scene there was delightful. Numberless castellated
villages, rising amidst groves of the noblest trees. The whole tract
appeared as a carpet of luxuriant verdure, studded by hamlets and
watered by rivulets. "If the aspect of this part of the country,"
thought the traveller, "now presents so rich a picture, when its palaces
are no more, what must it have been when Astyages held his court here;
and Cyrus, in his yearly courses from Persepolis, Susa, and Babylon,
stretched his golden sceptre over this delicious plain? Well might such
a garden of nature's bounties be the favourite seat of kings, the
nursery of the arts, and all the graceful courtesies of life."

The site of the modern town, Sir Robert goes on to observe, like that of
the ancient, is on a gradual ascent, terminating near the foot of the
eastern side of the mountain. It bears many vestiges of having been
strongly fortified. The sides and summits are covered with large
remnants of great thickness, and also of towers, the materials of which
were bricks, dried in the sun.

When it lost the name of Ecbatana in that of Hameden, it seems to have
lost its honours too; for while it preserved the old appellation of the
capital, whence the great kings of the Kaianian race had dictated their
decrees; and where "Cyrus, the king, had placed, in the house of the
rolls of its palace, the record wherein was written his order for the
rebuilding of Jerusalem," it seems, with the retention of its name, to
have preserved some memory of its consequence, even so far into modern
times as three centuries of "the Christian era." "It was then,"
continues our accomplished traveller, "that Tiridates attempted to
transfer its glories to his own capital; and, according to Ebn Haukel,
the gradual progress of six hundred years mouldered away the
architectural superiority of the ancient city. Towards the end of the
fourteenth century, Tamerlane sacked, pillaged, and destroyed its
proudest buildings, ruined the inhabitants, and reduced the whole, from
being one of the most extensive cities of the East, to hardly a parsang
in length and breadth[221]. In that dismantled and dismembered state,
though dwindled to a mere day-built suburb of what it was, it possessed
iron gates, till within these fifty years; when Aga Mahomed Khan, not
satisfied with the depth of so great a capital's degradation, ordered
every remain of past consequence to be destroyed." The result? "His
commands were obeyed to a tittle. The mud alleys, which now occupy the
site of ancient streets or squares, are narrow, interrupted by large
holes or hollows, in the way, and heaps of the fallen crumbled walls of
deserted dwellings. A miserable bazaar or two are passed through in
traversing the town; and large lonely spots are met with, marked by
broken low mounds over older ruins; with here and there a few poplars or
willow trees, shadowing the border of a dirty stream, abandoned to the
meanest uses; which, probably, flowed pellucid and admired, when these
places were gardens, and the grass-grown heap some stately dwelling of

In one or two spots may be observed square platforms of large stones,
many of which are chiselled over with the finest Arabic characters.
These, however, are evidently tomb-stones of the inhabitants during the
caliphs' rule; the register of yesterday. "As I passed through the
wretched hovelled streets, and saw the once lofty city of Astyages,
shrunk like a shrivelled gourd, the contemplation of such a spectacle
called forth more saddening reflections than any that had awakened in me
on any former ground of departed greatness. In some I had seen
mouldering pomp, or sublime desolation; in this, every object spoke of
neglect, and hopeless poverty. Not majesty in stately ruin, pining to
find dissolution on the spot where it was first blasted; but beggary,
seated on the place which kings had occupied, squalid with rags, and
stupid with misery. It was impossible to look on it and not exclaim, "O
Ecbatana, seat of princes! How is the mighty fallen, and the weapons of
war perished!"

Sir Robert saw, not far from the remains of a fortress to the south, the
broken base and shaft of a column; which, on examination, proved to him
that the architecture of Persepolis and Ecbatana had been the same.

Hameden is to be seen for several miles before reaching Surkhahed, for
several stages. Mr. Morier saw nothing in Persia that wore such an
appearance of prosperity; for the plain, about nine miles in breadth and
fifteen in length, was one continued series of fields and orchards.
Hameden itself is one of the best watered places in Persia. All the
habitations are interspersed with trees. The most conspicuous building
is a large mosque, called Mesjed Jumah, now falling into decay; and
there was to be seen, every morning, before the sun rises, a numerous
body of peasants, with spades in their hands, waiting to be hired for
the day, to work in the surrounding fields.[222] Near the Mosque, in a
court, filled with tents, stands a building, called the sepulchre of
Esther and Mordecai. It is of an architecture of the earliest ages of
Mohammedism. It was erected in the year of the Creation 4474, by two
devout Jews of Kasham.

  _Translation of the inscription on the marble slab in the
  sepulchre of Esther and Mordecai._

    "Mordecai, beloved and honoured by a king, was great and good. His
    garments were those of a sovereign. Ahasuerus covered him with
    this rich dress, and also placed a golden chain around his neck.
    The city of Susa rejoiced at his honours, and his high fortune
    became the glory of the Jews."

On a steep declivity of the Orontes are to be seen two tablets, each of
which is divided into three longitudinal compartments, inscribed by the
arrow-headed character of Persepolis. In the northern skirts of the
city, Mr. Morier found another monument of antiquity. This is the base
of the column, which we noticed just now; and this, Mr. Morier is
equally certain with Sir Robert, is of the identical order of the
columns of Persepolis, and of the same sort of stone. This, says Mr.
Morier, led to a discovery of some importance; for, adjacent to this
fragment is a large but irregular terrace, evidently the work of art,
and perhaps the ground-plan of some great building; of the remains of
which its soil must be the repository. Mr. Morier is induced to believe,
that the situation of this spot agrees with that Polybius[223] would
assign to the palace of the kings of Persia, which, he says, was below
the citadel.

Besides these, there are many other antiquities; but as they all belong
to Mohammedan times, they do not come within the sphere of our subject.
There are some hopes that this city may, one day, assume a far different
rank than what it now holds;[224] for, within a few years, it has been
created a royal government, and committed to the care of Mohammed Ali
Mirza. Palaces, therefore, have been erected, and mansions for his
ministers, new bazaars and mercantile caravanserais.

We shall close this account with Sir Robert's description of the view
that is to be seen from Mount Orontes, now called Mount Elwund. "It is
one of the most stupendous scenes I had ever seen! I stood on the
eastern park. The apparently intermediate peaks of the Courdistan
mountains spread before me far to the north-west; while continued chains
of the less towering heights of Louristan stretched south-east; and
linking themselves with the more lofty piles of the Bactiari, my eye
followed their receding summits, till lost in the hot and tremulous haze
of an Asiatic sky. The general hue of this endless mountain region was
murky red; to which in many parts the arid glare of the atmosphere gave
so preternatural a brightness, that it might well have been called a
land of fire. From the point on which I stood, I beheld the whole mass
of country round the unbroken concave:--it was of enormous expanse; and
although, from the clearness of the air, and the cloudless state of the
heavens, no object was clouded from my sight; yet, from the immensity of
the height whence I viewed the scene, the luxuriancy of the valleys was
entirely lost in the shadows of the hills; and nothing was left to the
beholder from the top of Elwund, but the bare and burning summits of
countless mountains. Not a drop of water was discernible of all the many
streams, which poured from the bosom into the plains below. In my life I
had never beheld so tremendous a spectacle. It appeared like standing
upon the stony crust of some rocky world, which had yet to be broken up
by the Almighty word, and unfold to the beneficent mandate the
fructifying principles of earth and water, bursting into vegetation and
terrestrial life[225]."


This was a town of Attica, equally distant from Megara and the Piræus;
greatly celebrated for the observance, every fifth year, of the greatest
festival in Greece, called the Eleusinian; a festival sacred to Ceres
and Proserpine; every thing appertaining to which was a secret, or
mystery; to divulge any of which was supposed to call down an immediate
judgment from heaven.

"Ceres," says an Athenian orator, "wandering in quest of her daughter
Proserpine, came into Attica, where some good offices were done her,
which it is unlawful for those who are not initiated to hear. In return,
she conferred two unparalleled benefits:--the knowledge of agriculture,
by which the human race is raised above the brute creation; and the
mysteries, from which the partakers derive sweeter hopes than other men
enjoy, both in the present life and to eternity."

There is nothing in all the Pagan antiquity more celebrated than the
mysteries and feasts of Ceres Eleusina[226]. Their origin and
institution are attributed to Ceres herself, who in the reign of
Erechtheus, coming to Eleusis, a small town of Attica, in search of her
daughter Proserpine, whom Pluto had carried away, and finding the
country afflicted with a famine, she not only taught them the use of
corn, but instructed them in the principles of probity, charity,
civility, and humanity. These mysteries were divided into the less and
the greater, of which the former served as a preparation for the latter.
Only Athenians were admitted to them; but of them each sex, age, and
condition had a right to be received. All strangers were absolutely
excluded. We shall consider principally the greater mysteries, which
were celebrated at Eleusis.

Those who demanded to be initiated into them, were obliged, before their
reception, to purify themselves in the lesser mysteries, by bathing in
the river Ilissus, by saying certain prayers, offering sacrifices, and,
above all, by living in strict continence during an interval of time
prescribed them. That time was employed in instructing them in the
principles and elements of the sacred doctrine of the great mysteries.

When the time for their initiation arrived, they were brought into the
temple; and to inspire the greater reverence and terror, the ceremony
was performed in the night. Wonderful things passed upon this occasion.
Visions were seen, and voices heard, of an extraordinary kind. A sudden
splendour dispelled the darkness of the place; and disappearing
immediately, added new horrors to the gloom. Apparitions, claps of
thunder, earthquakes, improved the terror and amazement; whilst the
person admitted, stupified, sweating through fear, heard trembling the
mysterious volumes read to him. These nocturnal rites were attended with
many disorders, which the severe law of silence, imposed on the persons
initiated, prevented from coming to light. The president in this
ceremony was called a Hierophant. He wore a peculiar habit, and was not
admitted to marry. He had three colleagues; one who carried a torch;
another, a herald, whose office was to pronounce certain mysterious
words; and a third, to attend at the altar.

Besides these officers, one of the principal magistrates of the city was
appointed to take care that all the ceremonies of this feast were
exactly observed. He was called the king, and was one of the nine
Archons. His business was to offer prayers and sacrifices. The people
gave him four assistants. He had, besides, ten other ministers to assist
him in the discharge of his duty, and particularly in offering

The Athenians initiated their children of both sexes very early into
these mysteries, and would have thought it criminal to have let them die
without such an advantage.

It was regularly celebrated every fifth year; that is, after a
revolution of four years: and history records, that it was never
interrupted, except upon the taking of Thebes by Alexander the Great. It
was continued down to the time of the Christian emperors; and
Valentinian would have abolished it, if Prætextatus, the proconsul of
Greece, had not represented in the most lively and affecting terms the
universal sorrow which the abrogation of that feast would occasion among
the people; upon which it was suffered to subsist. It is supposed to
have been finally suppressed by Theodosius the Great.

At this place there were several sacred monuments, such as chapels and
altars; and many rich citizens of Athens had pleasant and beautiful
villas there[227]. The great temple at Eleusis was plundered by the
Spartan king Cleomenes, and it was burnt by the Persians, in their
flight after the battle of Platæa. It was afterwards rebuilt by Iktinos;
but nearly entirely destroyed by Alaric. After this Eleusis became an
inconsiderable village. It is now inhabited by a few poor Albanian
Christians. The temple of Ceres and Proserpine was built under the
administration of Pericles. It was of the marble of Pentelicus. It was
equally vast and magnificent. Its length, from north to south, was about
three hundred and eighty-six feet, and its breadth about three hundred
and twenty-seven; and the most celebrated artists were employed in its
construction and decoration.

"In the most flourishing times of Athens," says Wheler, "Eleusis was one
of their principal towns, but is now crushed down under their hard
fortune, having been so ill treated by the Christian pirates, more
inhuman than the very Turks, that all its inhabitants have left it;
there being now nothing remaining but ruins. The place is situated upon
a long hill, stretched out near to the sea, north-east and north-west,
not far distant from the mountain Gerata. The whole hill seems to have
been built upon, but chiefly towards the sea, where the first thing we
came to was the stately temple of Ceres, now prostrate upon the ground;
I cannot say, 'not having one stone upon another,' for it lieth all in a
confused heap together, the beautiful pillars buried in the rubbish of
its dejected roof and walls, and its goodly carved and polished cornices
used with no more respect than the worst stone of the pavement. It lies
in such a rude and disorderly manner, that it is not possible to judge
of its ancient form; only it appeared to have been built of most
beautiful white marble, and no less admirable stone."

There are also remains of several old sepulchres; and among these was
lately found an inscription relative to something dedicated to Ceres and
her daughter, by Fabius, the Dadouchos. Another is in the wall of a
cottage, and is relative to a member of the Areopagus, who erected a
statue to his wife.

The temple of Neptune is supposed to have been near the sea, where
traces now remain, composed of dark Eleusinian marble. The foundations
of the ancient tombs are still visible; but there are no remains of the
city walls; but a long wall, which united it with the port, may be still
traced with little interruption.

The temple of Venus, which was of the Doric order, is now a mass of
rubbish, among which have been found several marble doves of the natural

Many fragments, says Mr. Dodwell, have probably been removed, owing to
its propinquity to the sea, and the consequent facility of exportation.
The church of St. Zacharias is almost entirely composed of ancient
fragments. This is probably the situation of the temple of Diana; and of
a large ancient well he supposes to be that mentioned by Pausanias,
round which the women of Eleusis danced in honour of the goddess.

There were also temples dedicated to Triptolemus and Neptune, the
father; but of these not a fragment remains[228].


Elis was formed, like many of the Grecian cities, more especially in the
Peloponnesus, by the union of several hamlets.

It was a large and populous city in the time of Demosthenes; but in that
of Homer it did not exist.

Elis was originally governed by kings, and received its name from Eleus,
one of its monarchs. It was famous for the horses it produced, whose
celebrity was so often tried at the Olympic games.

"On our arrival at Elis," says Anacharsis, "we met a procession on its
way to the temple of Minerva, and that made part of a ceremony, in which
the youth of Elis contended for the prize of beauty. The victor was led
in triumph; the first, with his head bound with ribands, bore the
weapons to be consecrated to the goddess; the second conducted the
victim; and the third carried the other offerings. I have often seen
similar contests in Greece, for the young men; as well as for the women
and girls. Even among distant nations, I have seen women admitted to
public competitions; with this difference, however, that the Greeks
decree the prize to the most beautiful, and the barbarians to the most

This city was once ornamented with temples, sumptuous edifices, and a
number of statues. Among these was particularly distinguished the group
of the Graces, in a temple dedicated to them. They were habited in a
light and brilliant drapery;--the first held a myrtle branch in honour
of Venus; the second, a rose, to denote the spring; the third, a die,
the symbol of infant sports.

The chief curiosity at Elis, however, was a statue of Jupiter, formed by
Phidias[229]. The serene majesty and beauty of this piece of sculpture
ranked it among the wonders of the world. Jupiter was represented
sitting upon a throne, with an olive wreath of gold about his temples;
the upper part of his body was naked; a wide mantle, covering the rest
of it, hung down in the richest folds to his feet, which rested on a
footstool. The naked parts of the statue were of ivory; the dress was of
beaten gold, with an imitation of embroidery, painted by Panænus,
brother of Phidias. In the right hand stood the goddess Victoria,
turning towards the statue, and carved, like it, out of ivory and gold;
she was holding out a band, with which she appeared desirous to encircle
his olive crown. In his left hand the divinity held a parti-coloured
sceptre, made of various metals skilfully joined, and on the sceptre
rested an eagle. Power, wisdom, and goodness, were admirably expressed
in his features. He sat with the air of a divinity, presiding among the
judges of the games, and dispensing the laurel wreaths to the victors,
calm in conscious dignity. The statue was surrounded with magnificent
drapery, which was drawn aside only on particular occasions, when the
deity was to be exhibited. A sense of greatness and splendour
overwhelmed the spectator, the height of the figure being about forty

The structures of Elis[230] seem to have been raised with materials far
less elegant and durable than the produce of the Ionian and Attic
quarries. The ruins are of brick, and not considerable; consisting of
pieces of ordinary wall, and an octagon building with niches, which, it
is supposed, was the temple, with a circular peristyle. These stand
detached from each other, ranging in a vale southward from the wide bed
of the river Peneus, which, by the margin, has several large stones,
perhaps the relics of the gymnasium.

The ruins of Elis, says Mr. Dodwell, are few and uninteresting. Of
Grecian remains nothing is seen but a confused wreck of scattered
blocks. There are some masses of brick-work, and an octagon tower of the
same materials, which appears to be of Roman origin. It is surprising
that there should be so few remains of the temples, porticoes, theatres,
and other edifices, which embellished the town at the time of Pausanias;
but some suppose that much is covered by the earth; since it is
considerably higher than its original level[231].


This city was once reputed the metropolis of Asia; and thence it was
styled Epiphanestata, a name signifying "Monstrous." It was at first not
merely a village, but a small village; yet, in the time of Strabo, it
was the largest and most frequented emporium of all that continent. It
was situated in Ionia, about 50 miles south of Smyrna, near the mouth of
the river Cayster. Pliny tells us, that before his age, it had been
known by various names. In the time of the Trojan war, it was called
Alopes; soon after, Ortygia, and Morges; then it took the name of
Smyrna; then Samornium, and Ptelea. "It is mounted on a hill," says he,
"and hath the river Cayster under it, which cometh out of the Cilbian
hills, and brings down with it the waters of many other rivers; but is
principally maintained and enriched by the lake Pegaseum, which
discharges itself by the river Phyrites, that runs into it. A large
quantity of mud is brought down, which increases the land; for already,
a good way within the land, is an island called Phyrie, nearly joined to
the continent."

Pliny, and several other ancient writers, assert that this city was
founded by the Amazons; but others, with greater probability, ascribe
that honour to a party emigrating from Athens. As this emigration was
important, we shall pause a little upon it. It is called the Ionic
emigration. It was led from Athens by two young men, named Neleus and
Androcles, the younger sons of Codrus the king. Multitudes followed
them, especially certain Ionian and Messenian families, who had taken
refuge in that city after the Dorian conquest. On landing, they seized
upon four hundred miles[232] of Asia Minor, together with the islands of
Samos and Chios; and having driven out the Carians and Segetes, founded
twelve cities. Of these Ephesus was one[233]. Neleus settled at Miletus;
but Androcles, the elder brother, at Ephesus. Strabo relates, that the
authority of Androcles was at first acknowledged over all the cities;
but that a republican government was soon after established, and that
the municipality of each city claimed sovereign authority; the whole
being, nevertheless, united by confederacy; having, for considering
their common affairs, a general council. This council was called

This form of government continued to the time of Pythagoras, who lived
before Cyrus the Great, and was one of the most savage tyrants of whom
history makes mention. He was succeeded by Pyndarus, who ruled with a
less absolute and cruel sway; in whose time Ephesus was besieged by
Croesus, king of Lydia. That prince advised the inhabitants to dedicate
their city to Diana; and they having resolved to follow his advice, he
treated them with kindness, and restored them to their former liberty.
The other tyrants, mentioned in Ephesian history, were, Athenagoras,
Comes, Aristarchus, and Hegesias. The last of these governed under the
patronage of Alexander[234]. That conqueror, however, at length expelled
him; and, having done so, bestowed upon the temple of Diana, after
having defeated the Persians on the banks of the Granicus,--all the
tributes which the Ephesians had been accustomed to pay to the Persian
kings. He also established a democracy in the city.

Ephesus was greatly assisted, also, by Lysander the Lacedemonian.
Plutarch relates, that when that person went to Ephesus, he found that
city well disposed to the Lacedemonians, but in a bad condition as to
its internal policy, and in danger of falling into the hands of the
Persians; because it was near Lydia, and the king's lieutenants often
visited it. Lysander, therefore, having fixed his quarters there,
ordered all his store-ships to be brought into the harbour, and built a
dock for his galleys. By these means he filled the ports with merchants,
their markets with business, and their houses and shops with money. So
that from that time, and from his services, continues Plutarch, Ephesus
began to conceive hopes of that greatness and splendour in which it
afterwards flourished.

We must now describe the temple at this place, dedicated to Diana. It
was in part built by the hands of kings. It was four hundred and
twenty-five feet long and two hundred feet broad, and not only adorned
with the choicest paintings and statues, but with whatever the hand of
art or genius could produce in that day of superior execution and
magnificence. The roof was supported by one hundred and twenty-seven
columns, sixty feet high. Of these, thirty-six were carved in a most
exquisite manner: nor was it entirely completed till two hundred and
twenty years after its first foundation. Its architect was Ctesiphon.
The riches placed in this temple were very great, and the goddess was
represented as crowned with turrets, holding in her arms lions; while a
number of beasts seemed to indicate the fertility and resources of the
earth, or of nature. It was formed of ebony; and Pliny states, that
though the staircase, which led up to the top of this edifice, was not
very narrow, it was formed out of the trunk of one single vine.

This temple was destroyed on the day on which Alexander was born. It was
burnt by an Ephesian, who thus desired to immortalise his name. In order
to frustrate the accomplishment of this desire, the Ephesians enacted a
law, that no one should even be guilty of mentioning his name. The name
of Eratostratus, nevertheless, has descended to posterity.

Such is the account left us by Plutarch and Valerius Maximus. On this
occasion, Hegesias, the Magnesian, "uttered a conceit," says Plutarch,
"frigid enough to have extinguished the flames." "It is no wonder," said
he, "that the temple of Diana was burnt, when she was at a distance
employed in bringing Alexander into the world."[235]

All the Magi, continues Plutarch, who were then at Ephesus, looked upon
the fire as a sign which betokened a much greater misfortune;--they ran
about the town beating their faces, and crying, "that the day had
brought forth the greatest scourge and destroyer of Asia."

Barthelemy makes Anacharsis visit Ephesus some few years after this
calamity. Nothing then remained of this superb temple but the four walls
and some columns in the midst of ruins. The fire had consumed the roof
and the ornaments which decorated the nave. Alexander offered to rebuild
this edifice; but the offer being accompanied by the condition, that the
Ephesians should inscribe his name upon it as that of the benefactor;
the Ephesians refused to accept his offer. They, nevertheless, refused
in a manner that gave him, no doubt, a superior satisfaction. It was,
that one deity ought not to raise a temple to another!

At the time Barthelemy has named, the temple was beginning to be
rebuilt[236]. All the citizens had contributed, and the women had
sacrificed their jewels. No change was made in the form of the goddess'
statue; a form anciently borrowed from the Egyptians, and which was
found, also, in the temples of several other Greek cities. The goddess
bore on her head a tower; two iron rods supported her hands; and the
body terminated in a sheath, encircled with symbols and the figures of

Thirty-six of the columns were carved by Scopas, of the school of
Praxiteles[237], and it was in this temple that the Ionic order in
architecture was first employed; and every column contained one hundred
and ten tons of marble[238].

In the war between the Romans and Mithridates, the Ephesians took part
with the latter; and by his command went even so far as to massacre all
the Romans in their city[239]. For this atrocity they were severely
fined, and reduced almost to beggars.

Whoever might have originally founded this city, certain it is that the
town, which in the Roman times was the metropolis of Asia, was founded
by Lysimachus; he having caused the first city to be destroyed. When he
had effected that, he rebuilt it in a more convenient place.

This new city became very splendid in process of time; but it was
greatly damaged in the reign of Tiberius by an earthquake. On this
Tiberius ordered it to be repaired and adorned with many stately
buildings; and of that city the ruins which are now visible are the

Ephesus was in subsequent times sacked by the Goths, and the temple of
Diana again burnt to the ground. The ruin of the temple is thus
described by Gibbon:--"In the general calamities of mankind, the death
of an individual, however exalted, the ruin of an edifice, however
famous, are passed over with careless inattention. Yet, we cannot forget
that the temple of Diana at Ephesus, after having risen with increasing
splendour from seven repeated misfortunes[240], was finally burnt by the
Goths in their third naval invasion. The arts of Greece, and the wealth
of Asia, had conspired to erect that sacred and magnificent structure.
It was supported by one hundred and twenty-seven marble columns of the
Ionic order. They were the gifts of devout monarchs, and each was sixty
feet high. The altar was adorned with the masterly sculpture of
Praxiteles, who had, perhaps, selected from the favourite legends of the
place, the birth of the divine children of Latona, the concealment of
Apollo after the slaughter of the Cyclops, and the clemency of Bacchus
to the vanquished Amazons[241]. Yet the length of the temple of Ephesus
was only four hundred and twenty-five feet; about two-thirds of the
measurement of the church of St. Peter's at Rome[242]. In the other
dimensions it was still inferior to that sublime production of modern
architecture. The spreading arms of a Christian cross require a much
greater breadth than the oblong temples of the pagans; and the boldest
architect of antiquity would have been startled at the proposal of
raising in the air a dome of the size and proportions of the Pantheon.
The temple of Diana was, however, admired as one of the wonders of the
world. Successive empires, the Persian, Macedonian, and the Roman, had
revered its sanctity, and enriched its splendour. But the rude savages
of the Baltic were destitute of a taste for the elegant arts, and they
despised the ideal terrors of a foreign superstition[243]."

In regard to this temple, some have supposed that the subterranean
arches still existing are the remains of it. This, however, cannot be
allowed. "A Sybilline oracle," says Sir John Hobhouse, "foretold, that
the earth would tremble and open, and that this glorious edifice would
fall headlong into the abyss; and present appearances might justify the
belief, that it was swept from the face of the earth by some
overwhelming catastrophe." "It is easier to conceive," he goes on to
observe, "that such an event, although unnoticed, did take place, than
that a marble temple, four hundred and twenty feet long, and two hundred
and twenty feet broad, whose columns (one hundred and twenty-seven in
number) were sixty feet high, should have left no other vestige than two
fragments of wall, some brick subterraneous arches, and four granite
pillars." Certain it is that large portions of this city were carried
away at various times to assist in building or adorning other cities,
more especially Constantinople. "It is probable," says Hobhouse, "that
Christian zeal accelerated the devastations of time; and that the
Ephesians, in order to prevent the punishment denounced against the
seven churches of Asia, may have been eager to demolish this monument of
their glory and their shame. The cedar roofs, the cypress doors, the
vine staircase, the sculptured column of Scopas, the altar adorned by
Praxiteles, the paintings of Parrhasius and Apelles, and the ebony image
of the goddess, may have fallen before the enemies of pagan idolatry;
and the piety of the priests might have been more injurious to Diana
than the rapacity of the Goths; but neither the cupidity nor audacity of
the reformers, against whom the sophist Libanius,--an eye-witness of
their progress,--so forcibly exclaims, could have destroyed, although
they might have defaced, the vast fabric of the Artemisium itself."

Under the reign of Alexius, father of the celebrated Anna de Comnena,
Ephesus fell under the dominion of the Mahometans. In A.D. 1206, the
Greeks retook it; but seventy-seven years after they lost it again. At
the commencement of the fourteenth century, it became a part of the
Turkish dominions, and has remained so ever since.

Ephesus is greatly distinguished in ecclesiastical history. "First,"
says Rees, "it may be considered as the abode of many Jews, who obtained
the privilege of citizens; and afterwards as the place where the first
Paul took up his residence for three years[244]; where he wrought
miracles[245], and was resisted by the Jews[246]; and where Timothy was
bishop; and where John resided; and moreover, as containing one of the
seven churches whose character and doom are recorded by that evangelist
in the book of the Revelation[247]."

We now pass to the times in which we live; and shall present
descriptions of the ruins of this once noble city, in the language of
those who have visited them.

Aiasaluck is situated about thirteen or fourteen hours from Smyrna. It
is now a small village, inhabited by a few Turkish families, standing
chiefly on the south of a hill, called the Castle-hill, among bushes and
ruins. Near a caravanserai is a marble sarcophagus, which serves as a
water-trough to a well before it. It bears an inscription; and from that
is learnt, that it once contained the bodies of the commander of a Roman
trireme named the Griffin, and his wife. "We sat near this sarcophagus,"
says Dr. Chandler, "in the open air, while our supper was preparing;
when suddenly fires began to blaze up among the bushes, and we saw the
villagers collected about them in savage groups, or passing to and fro
with lighted brands for torches. The flames, with the stars and a pale
moon, afforded us a dire prospect of ruin and desolation. A shrill owl,
named Cucuvaia from its note, with a night-hawk, flitted near us; and a
jackal cried mournfully, as if forsaken by his companions on the
mountain." Such was the scene where Ephesus had been! "We retired,"
continues this elegant and accomplished traveller, "early in the evening
to our shed; not without some sensations of melancholy, which were
renewed at the dawn of day. We had then a distinct view of a solemn and
most forlorn spot; a neglected castle, a grand mosque, and a broken
aqueduct, with mean cottages, and ruinous buildings, interspersed among
wild thickets, and spreading to a considerable extent. Many of the
scattered structures are squares, with domes, and have been baths. Some
gravestones occurred, finely painted and gilded, as the Turkish manner
is, with characters in relievo. But the castle, the mosque, and the
aqueduct, are alone sufficient evidences, as well of the former
greatness of the place, as of its importance."

The castle is a large and barbarous edifice, with square towers. You
ascend to it over heaps of stones, intermixed with scraps of marble. "An
outwork," continues Dr. Chandler, "which secured the approach, once
consisted of two lateral walls from the body of the fortress, with a
gateway. This is supported on each side by a huge and awkward buttress,
constructed chiefly with the seats of a theatre, or stadium, many marked
with Greek letters. Several fragments of inscriptions are inserted in
it, or lie near. Over the arch are four pieces of ancient sculpture. Two
in the middle are in alto-relievo, of most exquisite workmanship, and
parts of the same design; representing the death of Patroclus, and the
bringing of his body to Achilles." A third is in basso-relievo. "The
figures are, a man leading away a little boy, a corpse extended, two
women lamenting, and soldiers bearing forth the armour and weapons of
the deceased, to decorate his funeral pile." This referred to the story
of Hector. The fourth is much injured, but sufficient remains to show
boys and vine-branches. The gateway faces the sea. Within the castle
were a few huts, an old mosque, and a great deal of rubbish. "If you
move a stone, it is a chance but you find a scorpion under it."

The grand mosque is situated beneath the castle. The side next the foot
of the hill is of stone; the rest of polished marble, veined. In front
is a court, having a large fountain; there are, also, broken
columns--remains of a portico. The fabric was raised with old materials;
and the large granite columns which sustain the roof, as well as all the
marbles, are remains of what were long supposed to constitute ancient

In regard to the aqueduct, the piers are square; not large, but many,
with arches formed with brick. These are constructed with inscribed
pedestals, on one of which is the name of Herodes Atticus, whose statue
it once supported. These ruins abound in snakes. Chamelions and lizards,
also, are frequently seen basking in the sun. "The marbles, yet
untouched, would form a copious and curious harvest, if accessible. The
downfall of some may be expected continually, from the tottering
condition of the fabric; and time and earthquakes will supply the place
of ladders; for which the traveller wishes in vain at a place, where, if
a tall man, he may almost overlook the houses."

And yet these ruins, strictly speaking, are in Dr. Chandler's opinion
not those of Ephesus: those lie nearer the sea; and are visible from the
castle hill. The ruins of Aiasaluck are those of a town, built in great
part, if not entirely, of Ephesian ruins; and it may be supposed, by the
Mahometan potentate, Mantakhia, who conquered Ephesus and all Caria, in
the year 1313.

The site of Ephesus is to be sought for in the way from Aiasaluck to a
square tower of white marble, which stands on a ridge, projecting from
the chain of Corissus, the southern boundary of the plain of the
Cayster. For about half a mile from the village the route is over a
flat, interspersed with thickets of tamarinds, agnus-castus, and other
shrubs; it then arrives at a low round hill which extends to the
north-east from the high range of Corissus. All the inhabitants of the
once famous Ephesus, the chief of this part of Asia, as the mistress
governing the rest, by the residence of the proconsul here, amount now
not to above forty or fifty families of Turks, living in poor thatched
cottages, without, says Wheler, one Christian among them. They lie in a
knot together, on the south side of the castle. "Within the gate, on the
castle wall," continues he, "we saw a marble, whereon is cut a face,
representing the moon, with two snakes; one on one side of the head, and
the other on the other; joining their heads in the middle of the crown,
and their tails pointing outwards; with each of them a circle in such
shape, they both represent a bow. This was to represent the deity Hecate
triformis; the moon in the heavens, represented by the large round
visage; Proserpine in Hell, represented by the snakes; and Diana upon
earth by the bow."

All the principal part of the ruins are on the side of the hill, lately
mentioned, and in a flat recess between the west side of it and the high
mountains. On the slope of the hill which is called Pion, or Prion
(sometimes Lepre Acte), is a large arch of white marble, built, like the
aqueduct before mentioned, from ancient ruins. On another part of the
hill are two arches and vestiges of a theatre. This was, doubtless, the
theatre into which the people rushed, shouting, "Great is Diana!" when
St. Paul, by his preaching, produced a tumult at Ephesus. In both wings
of this theatre, the seats and the ruins of the proscenium of which are
removed, are several architectural fragments; and over an arch, once one
of the avenues, is an inscription, enjoining the reader: "_If he did not
think proper to approach the festive scene, at least to be pleased with
the skill of the architect, who had saved a vast circle of the theatre;
all-conquering time having yielded to the succour he had contrived._"

Coming to a narrow valley, broken columns and pieces of marble are
observed, with vestiges of an Odeum, or music-room; this is stripped of
the seats, and is naked. Beyond this are the remains of a large edifice,
greatly resembling the one with an arcade at Troas. The top of one of
the niches is painted with waves and fishes; and amongst the fragments
lying in the front are two trunks of statues, of great size, without
heads and almost buried; the drapery of which is both the same, alike
remarkable. This was the gymnasium. "We pitched our tents," says Dr.
Chandler, "among the ruins of this huge building, when we arrived from
Claros, and employed on it three days in taking a plan and view. We
found the area green with corn, and the site in general overrun with
fennel, in seed, the stalks strong and tall."

At the entrance from Aiasaluck is a street, and from the remains still
existing, it must have been a noble one. The edifices must have been,
also, ample ones, with colonnades. There are many bases and pedestals of
columns; and the vaulted substructions of the fabrics are still entire.

Turning towards the sea, the traveller is greeted with the sight of a
prostrate heap, once forming a temple. The cell, or nave, was
constructed of large, coarse stones. This temple had four columns
between the antæ. Their diameter is about four feet six inches; their
length about thirty-two feet; but, including the base and capital,
forty-six feet and about seven inches. Though the dimensions of these
pillars was so great, the shafts are fluted. The most entire of them,
however, are broken into two pieces. The ornaments were rich; but "of
inferior taste, and the mouldings ill proportioned[248]." This temple is
supposed to be the remains of that erected at Ephesus, by permission of
Augustus, to the god Julius. Some, however, have imagined that it might
have been that dedicated to Claudius Cæsar on his apotheosis.

About a mile from this are the remnants of a sumptuous edifice; among
the bushes beneath which are altars of white marble. These stand upon an
eminence; and from that is beheld a lovely prospect of the river
Cayster, which there crosses the plain from near Gellesus, into a small
but full stream, and with many luxuriant windings.

Mount Prion, according to Chandler, is among the curiosities of Ionia
enumerated by Pausanias. It has served as an inexhaustible magazine of
marble, and contributed largely to the magnificence of the city. "The
Ephesians, it is related, when they first resolved to provide an edifice
worthy of Diana, met to agree on importing materials. The quarries, then
in use, were remote, and the expense, it was foreseen, would be
prodigious. At this time a shepherd happened to be feeding his flock on
mount Prion[249], and two rams fighting, one of them missed his
antagonist, and, striking the rock with his horn, broke off a crust of
very white marble. He ran into the city with this specimen, which was
received with excess of joy. He was highly honoured for this accidental
discovery; the Ephesians changing his name from Pixodorus to Evangelus,
_the good messenger_, and enjoining their chief magistrate, under a
penalty, to visit the spot, and to sacrifice to him monthly." This
custom continued to be observed, even so late as the time of Augustus

Not far from the gymnasium, are cavities with mouths, like ovens,
forming burial-places, made to admit bodies, which were thrust in. This
was supposed to have belonged to the oratory or church of St. John,
rebuilt by Justinian. Near the city, also, are quarries in the bowels of
the mountain, with numberless mazes, and vast, silent, dripping caverns.
In many parts of this, Dr. Chandler informs us, are chippings of marble
and marks of tools. He found chippings, also, which supplied marble for
the city wall, and huge pieces lying among the bushes at the bottom.

The Ephesians, at the time in which the learned traveller to whom in
this account we have so frequently referred, were a few Greek peasants,
living in extreme wretchedness, dependence, and insensibility; "the
representatives of an illustrious people, and exhibiting the wreck of
their greatness; some, the substructions of the glorious edifices which
they raised; some beneath the vaults of the stadium, once the crowded
scene of their diversions; and some by the abrupt precipice, in the
sepulchres, which received their ashes."

These ruins were visited by Sir John Hobhouse. "The desolate walls of
the mosque of St. John, and the whole scene of Aiasaluck," says he,
"cannot but suggest a train of melancholy reflections. The decay of
these religions is thus presented, at one view, to the eye of the
traveller! The marble spoils of the Grecian temple adorn the mouldering
edifice, over which the tower of the Mussulman, the emblem of another
triumphant worship, is itself seen to totter, and sink into the
mouldering ruins." Not a single inhabitant, not even a shepherd's hut,
was to be seen on the actual site of this once resplendent city! "Its
streets are obscure and overgrown," says Chandler. "A herd of goats was
driven to it for shelter from the sun at noon; and a noisy flight of
crows from the quarries seemed to insult its silence. We heard the
partridge call in the area of the theatre, and of the stadium. The
glorious pomp of its heathen worship is no longer remembered; and
Christianity, which was there nursed by apostles, and fostered by
general councils, until it increased in fulness of stature, barely
lingers on in an existence hardly visible."

Since this, the state of Christianity there has fallen still lower. In
1812, one Greek, who was a baker, living at Aiasaluck, and three or four
fishermen, who lived in sheds near the river, were the only Christians
to be found in the city of Ephesus[250].


This city is placed among those of the Decapolis, in Matthew, vii. 28;
and it is from a rock near it, from which the swine are described as
having ran down into the Dead Sea. By some it is included in Coelosyria;
by others in Arabia.

The ruins of this city were discovered by the well known traveller, M.
Seetzen (Conseiller d'Ambassade de S. M. l'Empereur de Russie). His
letters were addressed to M. von Zach, Grand Marshal of the court of
Saxe Gotha, and part of them appeared, at different times, in the
Moniteur. Some members of the National Institute sent over these papers
to Sir Joseph Banks, by whom they were forwarded to the Palestine

One of the most interesting portions of this journal is that, which
comprises the account of the ruins of Jerrash, situated in about the
centre of the Holy Land, the dilapidated buildings of which had, till
then, escaped the notice of its lovers of antiquity, and which, for
beauty and importance, may be compared to those of Palmyra and Balbec.

"_Jerrash_," says our journalist, "is situated in an open and tolerably
fertile plain, through which a river runs. Before entering the town, I
found several sarcophagi, with very beautiful bas-reliefs, among which I
remarked one, on the edge of the road, with a Greek inscription. The
walls of the town are mouldered away, but one may yet trace their whole
extent, which may have been three-quarters of a league, or a whole one.
These walls were entirely built of hewn marble. The ground within it is
of unequal heights, and falls towards the river. Not a single private
house remains entire; but on the other hand, I observed several public
buildings which were distinguished by a very beautiful style of
architecture. I found two superb amphitheatres, solidly built of marble,
with columns, niches, &c. the whole in good preservation. I found also
some palaces, and three temples, one of which has a peristyle of twelve
grand columns of the Corinthian order, eleven of which are still
upright. In another of these temples, I saw a column on the ground, of
most beautiful polished Egyptian granite. I also found a handsome gate
of the city, well preserved, formed of three arcades, and ornamented
with pilasters.

"The most beautiful thing I discovered was a long street, crossed by
another, and ornamented on both sides with a row of marble columns of
the Corinthian order, and one of whose extremities terminated in a
semicircle, that was set round with sixty pillars, of the Ionic order.
At the points where the two streets cross, in each of the four angles, a
large pedestal of hewn stone is visible, on which probably statues were
formerly set. A part of the pavement remains, formed of hewn stones.

"To speak generally, I counted about two hundred columns, which yet
partly support their entablatures, but the number of those overthrown is
infinitely more considerable: I saw indeed but half the extent of the
town, and a person would probably still find in the other half, on the
opposite side of the river, a quantity of remarkable curiosities.

"Jerrash can be no other than the ancient Geresa, one of the Decapolitan
towns. It is difficult to conceive that so much ignorance of its real
situation should exist, as would allow Monsieur Paulus, in his map, to
have placed it to the _north_-east of the northern extremity of the Lake
of Tiberias. I do not know whether any ancient geographer has made the
same mistake. From a fragment of a Greek inscription, which I copied, I
am led to conclude, that several of the buildings of this town were
erected under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. The Roman history
may, perhaps, furnish some data in corroboration of this conjecture. It
is, at all events, certain, that the edifices of this town are of the
age of the most beautiful Roman architecture."

Gerasa has been since visited by other travellers, from whose report we
learn, that the principal curiosities of antiquity are, a temple adorned
in front with a double row of six columns in each row, of which nine are
standing; and on each side of the temple there remains one column
belonging to the single row of pillars, that surrounded the temple on
every side except the front. Of these eleven columns are entire, and two
are without capitals. They are of the Corinthian order; their capitals
being beautifully ornamented with the acanthus leaf. The interior of
this temple is choked with the ruins of the roof. The number of columns
which originally adorned the temple and its area, was not less than from
200 to 250. "The whole edifice," says Burckhardt*, "seems to have been
superior in taste and magnificence to every public building of the kind
in Syria,--the temple of the Sun at Palmyra excepted."

To the west of this, at about two hundred yards distance, are the
remains of a small temple, with three Corinthian pillars, still
standing. Not far from this are two colonnades, of which thirty broken
shafts are yet standing, and two entire columns, but without capitals;
and opposite to these are five columns, with their capitals and
entablatures. Originally there were about fifty.

At a short distance from these there are other columns, much larger; and
still farther on seventeen Corinthian, all of which are united by their
entablature. Some of these are twenty-one, some twenty-five, and others
thirty feet high. Their entablatures are slightly ornamented with
sculptured bas-reliefs.

In other parts of the ruins are other columns; and a large open space is
enclosed by a magnificent semicircle of columns in a single row;
fifty-seven columns are yet standing; originally, it is supposed, there
were sixty. On entering the forum there are four, and then twenty-one,
united by their entablatures. To the left, five, seven, and twenty,
united in the same manner. They are of the Ionic order; thus differing
from all the others.

At the end of a semicircle are several basins, which seem to have been
reservoirs of water; and remains of an aqueduct are still visible. To
the right and left are some other chambers. From this spot the ground
rises; and on mounting a low but steep hill, Mr. Burckhardt found on its
top a beautiful temple, commanding a view over the greater part of the
town. Not far from this are the remains of a theatre. It fronted the
town; so that the spectators, seated on the highest row of benches,
enjoyed the prospect of all its buildings and quarters. At the back runs
the town wall.

In another part of the town are found in every direction columns of
considerable height, some still standing, others lying prostrate, some
having inscriptions on their pedestals. In many parts, the streets are
absolutely rendered impassable from fragments; indeed we have not space
to describe all that is to be seen among these splendid remains. There
are 190 columns still standing, and 100 half columns. In respect to
private habitations, there are none in a state of preservation; but the
whole of the area within the walls is covered with their ruins.

In one of the temples Mr. Irby noticed a curious singularity, viz.--a
chamber under ground, below the principal hall of one of the temples,
with a bath in the centre. "There are numerous inscriptions in all
directions," says Mr. Irby, "chiefly of the time of Antoninus Pius; most
of them much mutilated. On the whole, we hold Djerash to be a much finer
mass of ruins than Palmyra. This city has three entrances of richly
ornamented gateways; and the remains of the wall, with its occasional
towers, are in wonderful preservation.

"Gerasa," says Mr. Robinson, "was nearly square, each side something
less than a mile, the walls crossing the river in two places at right
angles; the other two sides being parallel to each other on opposite
sides of the hill. The greater part of the inclosed space is covered
with the ruins of houses, forming a deep contrast with the elegant
specimens of art, whichever way the eye is turned. From the triumphal
arch on the south-west side to the wall inclosing the north-east, along
both sides of the stream, the whole space is covered; also east and west
of it, up the sides of the hill. There are several small eminences
within the walls, from one of which, near the northern theatre, the view
of columns seems interminable, and that of the rest of the ruins is
beyond every thing attractive from this spot;--it is indeed a perfect
gallery of art."

The smaller theatre, Mr. Robinson is inclined to believe, was used for
purposes different from the other; the area below the seats being more
extensive, and furnished with a suite of dark, arched chambers, opening
into it. The latter was, probably, used to confine the wild beasts
destined to combat in the arena; such exhibitions being in vogue at the
time Gerasa may be supposed to have flourished[251].


The city of Granada[252] has twelve gates; and is about eight miles
round, defended by high walls, flanked with a multitude of towers. Its
situation is of a mixed kind; some parts of it being upon the mountain,
and other parts in the plain. The mountainous part stands upon three
small eminences; the one is called Albrezzin; which was inhabited by the
Moors that were driven out of Baezza by the Christians. The second is
called Alcazebe; and the third Alhambra. This last is separated from the
other parts by a valley, through which the river Darro runs; and it is
also fortified with strong walls, in such a manner as to command all the
rest of the city. The greatest part of this fortified spot of ground is
taken up with a most sumptuous palace of the Moorish kings. This palace
is built with square stones of great dimensions; and is fortified with
strong walls and prodigious large towers; and the whole is of such an
extent as to be capable of holding a very numerous garrison. The outside
has exactly the appearance of an immense romantic old castle; but it is
exceedingly magnificent within.

But before we enter, we must take notice of a remarkable piece of
sculpture over the great gate; there is the figure of a large key of a
castle-gate, and at some distance above it, there is an arm reaching
towards it; and the signification of this emblematical marble
basso-relief is this:--that the castles will never be taken till the arm
can reach the key.

Upon entering, not only the portico is of marble, but the apartments
also are incrusted with marble, jasper, and porphyry, and the beams
curiously carved, painted, and gilt; and the ceilings ornamented with
pieces of foliage in stucco. The next place you come to is an
oblong-square court, paved with marble, at each angle of which there is
a fountain, and in the middle there is a very fine canal of running
water. The baths and chambers, where they cooled themselves and reposed,
are incrusted with alabaster and marble. There is an exceeding venerable
tower, called La Toure Comazey; in which are noble saloons, and fine
apartments; and all perfectly well supplied with water. In the time of
the Moors, there was a kind of espalier, or cut hedge of myrtle,
accompanied with a row of orange trees, which went round the canal.

From thence you pass into an exceeding fine square, which is called the
Square of Lions, from a noble fountain, which is adorned with twelve
lions cut in marble, pouring out a vast torrent of water at its mouth;
and when the water is turned off, and ceases to run, if you whisper ever
so low at the mouth of any one of them, you may hear what is said by
applying your ear to the mouth of any one of the rest. Above the lions,
there is another basin, and a grand jet-d'eau. The court is paved with
marble, and has a portico quite round it, which is supported by one
hundred and seventeen high columns of alabaster. In one of the saloons,
if you whisper ever so low, it will be distinctly heard at the further
end; and this they call the Chamber of Secrets. This sumptuous palace
was built by Mahomed Mir, king of Granada, in 1278.

"There is no part of the edifice," says Washington Irving, "that gives
us a more complete idea of its original beauty and magnificence, than
the Hall of Lions, for none has suffered so little from the ravages of
time. In the centre stands the fountain, famous in song and story. The
alabaster basins still shed their diamond drops; and the twelve lions,
which support them, cast forth their crystal streams as in the days of
Boabdil. The court is laid out in flower-beds, surrounded by high
Arabian arcades of open filagree work, supported by slender pillars of
white marble. The architecture, like that of all the other parts of the
palace, is characterised by elegance rather than grandeur; bespeaking a
delicate and graceful taste, and a disposition to indolent enjoyment.
When one looks upon the fair tracery of the peristyles, and the
apparently fragile fretwork of the walls, it is difficult to believe
that so much has survived the wear and tear of centuries, the shock of
earthquakes, the violence of war, and the quiet and no less baneful
pilfering of the tasteful traveller.

There is a Moorish tradition, that a king who built this mighty pile was
skilled in the occult sciences, and furnished himself with gold and
silver for the purpose by means of alchymy; certainly never was there an
edifice accomplished in a superior style of barbaric magnificence; and
the stranger who, even at the present day, wanders among its silent and
deserted courts and ruined halls, gazes with astonishment at its gilded
and fretted domes and luxurious decorations, still retaining their
brilliancy and beauty in spite of the ravages of time.

The Alhamr[=a], usually, but erroneously, denominated the Alhambra, is a
vast pile of building about two thousand three hundred English feet in
length; and its breadth, which is the same throughout, is about six
hundred feet. It was erected by M[=u]hammed Ab[=u] Abdill[=a]h, surnamed
Algh[=a]lib Bill[=a]h, who superintended the edifice himself, and, when
it was completed, made it the royal residence.

Although the glory and prosperity of Granada may be said to have
departed with its old inhabitants, yet, happily, it still retains, in
pretty good preservation, what formed its chief ornament in the time of
the Moors. This is the Alhambra, the royal alcazar, or fortress and
palace, which was founded by M[=u]hammed Ab[=u]. Abdill[=a]h Ben Nasz,
the second sovereign of Granada, defrayed the expense of the works by a
tribute imposed upon his conquered subjects. He superintended the
building in person, and when it was completed, he made it a royal
residence[253]. The immediate successors of this prince also took
delight in embellishing and making additions to the fabric. Since the
conquest of Granada by the Christians, the Alhambra has undergone some
alterations. It was for a time occasionally inhabited by the kings of
Spain. Charles the Fifth caused a magnificent palace to be commenced
within the walls; but owing to his wars and frequent absences from
Spain, or, as some accounts say, to repeated shocks of earthquakes, a
splendid suite of apartments, in the Spanish style, is all that resulted
from an alleged intention to eclipse the palace of the Moslem kings.
Like the rest of the Alhambra, it is falling rapidly to decay through
neglect. At present the walls are defaced, the paintings faded, the
wood-work is decayed, and festoons of cobwebs are seen hanging from the
ceiling. In the works of the Arabs, on the contrary, the walls remain
unaltered, except by the injuries inflicted by the hand of man. The
beams and wood-work of the ceiling present no signs of decay; and
spiders, flies, and all other insects, shun their apartments at every
season. The art of rendering timber and paints durable, and of making
porcelain, mosaics, arabesques, and other ornaments, began and ended in
western Europe with the Spanish Arabs.

The palace has had no royal residents since the beginning of the last
century, when Philip the Fifth was there for a short time with his

The Alhambra is generally spoken of as a palace, but it is to be
understood, that, in the extensive sense, the name applies to a
fortress, a sort of city in itself.

The palace, situated upon the northern brow of a steep hill, overlooks
the city of Granada on one side, and on the other commands an extensive
view over a most charming country. All the wonders of this palace lie
within its walls. Externally, according to the account of Swinburne, it
appears as a large mass of irregular buildings, all huddled together
without any apparent intention of forming _one_ habitation. The walls
are entirely unornamented, of gravel and pebbles coarsely daubed over
with plaster. We cannot trace the successive courts and apartments,
through which the visiter passes as he penetrates to the interior, or
attempt to enumerate their separate claims to notice.

The general arrangement of the buildings which compose the palace is
exceedingly simple. The courts, for instance, which in our mansions are
dull and uninteresting, are here so planned, as to seem a continuation
of a series of apartments; and as the whole is on the same level
throughout, the prospect through the building, in its perfect state,
must have been like a scene of enchantment or a dream; halls and
galleries, porticoes and columns, arches, mosaics, with plants and
flowers of various hues, being seen in various extensive views, through
the haze arising from the spray of the fountains. In every part of the
palace its inmates had water in abundance, with a perfect command over
it, making it high, low, visible, or invisible, at pleasure.

In every department two currents of air were continually in motion.
Also, by means of tubes of baked earth placed in the walls, warmth was
diffused from subterranean furnaces; not only through the whole range of
the baths, but to all the contiguous upper apartments where warmth was
required. The doors were large, but rather sparingly introduced; and,
except on the side towards the precipice, where the prospect is very
grand, the windows are so placed as to confine the view to the interior
of the palace. The object of this is declared in an inscription in one
of the apartments, which says--"My windows admit the light, but exclude
the view of external objects, lest the beauties of Nature should divert
attention from the beauties of my work."

In this mansion the elaborate arabesques and mosaics which cover the
ceilings, walls, and floor, give a consequence and interest even to the
smallest apartment. Instead of being papered and wainscoted, the walls
are provided with the peculiar ornament which, from the Arabs, has been
denominated "arabesque." The receding ornaments are illuminated in just
gradation with leaf-gold, pink, light blue, and dusky purple: the first
colour is the nearest, the last is the most distant, from the eye; but
the general surface is white. The domes and arcades are also covered
with ornamented casts, which are as light as wood, and as durable as

Besides the inscriptions above alluded to, there are various others. In
the king's bath, and in various other parts of the Alhambra, is, "There
is no conqueror but God;" and "Glory to our Lord, Sultan Ab[=u]

Over the principal door of the golden saloon, or hall of ambassadors:
"By the sun and its rising brightness; by the moon, when she followeth
him; by the day, when he showeth his splendour; by the night, when it
covereth him into darkness; by the heaven, and Him who created it; by
the earth, and Him who spread it forth; by the soul, and Him who
completely formed it: there is no other God but God."

The gate of judgment was erected by Sultan Abu Yusuff, A.H. 749. or A.D.
1348, as appears from an Arabic inscription over it. On each side of
that inscription is a block of marble, containing (in Arabic) "Praise be
to God. There is no God but God, and Mahomet is his prophet. There is no
strength but from God."

In one of the windows on the right hand of the saloon are the following
verses, descriptive of its elegance:--

    "I am the ornamented seat of the bride, endowed with beauty and

    "Dost thou doubt it? Look, then, at this basin, and thou wilt be
    fully convinced of the truth of my assertion.

    "Regard, also, my tiara; thou wilt find it resembling that of the
    crescent moon.

    "And Ibn Nasr is the sun of my orb, in the splendour of beauty.

    "May he continue in the (noon-tide) altitude of glory, secure
    (from change) whilst the sun sets and disappears."

At the entrance of the tower of Comares: "The kingdom is God's;" "The
tower is God's;" "Durability is God's."

In the middle of the golden saloon: "There is no God but God, the
Sovereign, the True, the Manifest. Muhamud is the just, the faithful
messenger of God. I flee to God for protection from Satan: the pelted
with stones.. In the name of God the merciful, the forgiving; there is
no God but He, the living, the eternal; sleep nor slumber seizeth Him.
To Him (belongeth) whatever is in the heavens, and whatever is in the
earth; who is there who shall intercede with him except by His
permission? He knoweth what is before them, and what is behind them; and
they comprehend not His wisdom, except what he pleaseth. He hath
extended His throne, the heavens, and the earth; the protection of which
incommodeth Him not; and he is the exalted, the great! There is no
forcing in the faith. Truly, righteousness is distinguished from error.
He, therefore, who disbelieveth in (the idol) T[=a]g[=u]t, and believeth
in God, hath taken hold of a sure handle, that cannot be broken. God
heareth, knoweth the truth of God."

The walls of the alcoves in the Court del Aqua, present, also, various
effusions of the Muse, which have been inscribed by various travellers;
amongst which this:--

  "When these famed walls did Pagan rites admit,
  Here reigned unrivalled breeding, science, wit.
  Christ's standard came, the prophet's flag assailed,
  And fix'd true worship where the false prevailed:
  And, such the zeal its pious followers bore,
  Wit, science, breeding, perished with the Moor."

"On looking from the royal villa or pleasure-house of Ál Generalife,"
says Mr. Murphy, "the spectator beholds the side of the Alhambra that
commands the quarter of the city called the Albrezzin. The massive
towers are connected by solid walls, constructed upon the system of
fortification, which generally prevailed in the middle ages. Those walls
and towers follow all the turnings and windings of the mountain; and
previously to the invention of gunpowder and artillery, this fortress
must have been almost impregnable. The situation of this edifice is the
most delightful and commanding that can be conceived. Wherever the
spectator may turn his eyes, it is impossible for him not to be struck
with admiration at the picturesque beauty and fertility of the
surrounding country. On the north and west, as far as the eye can reach,
a lovely plain presents itself, which is covered with an immense number
of trees laden with fruit and blossoms; while, on the south, it is
bounded by mountains, whose lofty summits are crowned with perpetual
snows, whence issue the springs and streams that diffuse both health and
coolness through the city of Granada."

"But," in the language of Mr. Swinburne, "the glories of Granada have
passed away; its streets are choked with filth; its woods destroyed; its
territory depopulated; its trade lost. In a word, everything, except
the church and the law, is in the most deplorable condition[254]."


This was a maritime city of Asia Minor, founded by the Dorians, and much
known on account of a victory, which Conon gained over the
Lacedemonians. Conon was an Athenian, having the command of the Persian
fleet; Pisander, brother-in-law of Agesilaus, of the Lacedemonian.
Conon's fleet consisted of ninety galleys; that of Pisander something
less. They came in view of each other near Gnidos. Conon took fifty of
the enemy's ships. The allies of the Spartans fled, and their chief
admiral died fighting to the last, sword in hand.

Gnidos was famed for having produced the most renowned sculptors and
architects of Greece; amongst whom were Sostratus and Sesostris, who
built the celebrated light-tower on the isle of Pharos, considered one
of the seven wonders of the world, and whence all similar edifices were
afterwards denominated.

Venus, surnamed the Gnidian, was the chief deity of this place, where
she had a temple, greatly celebrated for a marble statue of the goddess.
This beautiful image was the masterpiece of Praxiteles, who had infused
into it all the soft graces and attractions of his favourite Phryne; and
it became so celebrated, that travellers visited the spot with great
eagerness. It represented the goddess in her naked graces, erect in
posture, and with her right hand covering her waist; but every feature
and every part was so naturally expressed, that the whole seemed to be

"We were shown, as we passed by," says Anacharsis, "the house in which
Eudoxus, the astronomer, made his observations; and soon after found
ourselves in the presence of the celebrated Venus of Praxiteles. This
statue had just been placed in the middle of a small temple, which
received light by two opposite doors, in order that a gentle light might
fall on it on every side. But how may it be possible to describe the
surprise we felt at the first view, and the illusions, which quickly
followed! We lent our feelings to the marble, and seemed to hear it
sigh. Two pupils of Praxiteles, who had lately arrived from Athens to
study this masterpiece, pointed out to us the beauties, of which we felt
the effect without penetrating the cause. Among the by-standers, one
said,--'Venus has forsaken Olympus, and come down to dwell among us.'
Another said,--'If Juno and Minerva should now behold her, they would no
more complain of the judgment of Paris:' and a third exclaimed,--'The
goddess formerly deigned to exhibit her charms without a veil to Paris,
Anchises, and Adonis. Has she been seen by Praxiteles?'"

Mounting the rocks extending along the sea-shore, Mr. Morritt came in
view of the broken cliffs of the Acropolis, and its ruined walls. The
foundation and lower courses of the city walls are still visible; these
extend from those of the Acropolis to the sea, and have been
strengthened by towers, now also in ruins. He found also a building, the
use of which he could not understand. It was a plain wall of brown
stone, with a semicircle in the centre, and a terrace in front,
supported by a breast-work of masonry, facing the sea. The walls were
about ten or twelve feet in height, solidly built of hewn stone, but
without ornament. There was anciently a theatre; the marble seats of
which still remain, although mixed with bushes and overturned. The
arches and walls of the proscenium are now a heap of ruins on the

A large torso of a female figure with drapery, of white marble, lies in
the orchestra. It appears to have been, originally, of good work; but is
so mutilated and corroded by the air, as now to be of little or no
consequence. Near this are foundations and ruins of a magnificent
Corinthian temple, also of white marble; and several beautiful fragments
of the frieze, cornice, and capitals, lie scattered about; the few bases
of the peristyle remaining in their original situation, so ruined, that
it appears impossible to ascertain the original form and proportion of
the building. In another part is seen a large temple, also in ruins, and
still more overgrown with bushes. The frieze and cornice of this temple,
which lie amongst the rubbish, are of the highest and most beautiful
workmanship. A little to the north of this stood a smaller temple, of
grey veined marble, whereof almost every vestige is obliterated.

Several arches of rough masonry, and a breast-work, support a large
square area, in which are the remains of a long colonnade, of white
marble, and of the Doric order, the ruins of an ancient stoa. Of the
Acropolis nothing is left but a few walls of strong brown stone[256].

Besides these there are the remains of two aqueducts; undistinguishable
pieces of wall, some three, some five, eight, ten feet from the ground;
columns plain, and fluted; a few small octagon altars, and heaps of
stones. Along the sea-shore lie pieces of black marble[257].

Whenever the ground is clear[258], it is ploughed by the peasantry
around, who frequently stop here for days together, in chambers of the
ruins and caves of the rocks. The Turks and Greeks have long resorted
thither, as to a quarry, for the building materials afforded by the

The British consul at Rhodes states, that a fine colossal statue of
marble is still standing in the centre of the orchestra belonging to the
theatre, the head of which the Turks have broken off; but he remembers
it when in a perfect state. Mr. Walpole brought away the _torso_ of a
male statue, and which has since been added to the collection of Greek
marbles at Cambridge[259].


This city was situated in that part of Egypt which is called the Delta.
It was named Heliopolis, city of the sun, from the circumstance of there
being a temple dedicated to the sun there; and here, according to
historians, originated the tale in respect to the phoenix.

At this place, Cambyses, king of Persia, committed a very great
extravagance; for he burned its temple, demolished all the palaces, and
destroyed most of the monuments of antiquity that were then in it. Some
obelisks, however, escaped his fury, which are still to be seen; others
were transported to Rome.

In this city[260] Sesostris built two obelisks of extreme hard stone,
brought from the quarries of Syene, at the extremity of Egypt. They were
each 120 cubits high; that is, 30 fathoms, or 180 feet. The emperor
Augustus, having made Egypt a province of the Roman empire, caused these
two obelisks to be transplanted to Rome, one of which was afterwards
broken to pieces. He durst not venture upon a third, which was of
monstrous size. It was made in the reign of Rameses; and it is said
that 20,000 men were employed in the cutting of it. Constantius, more
daring than Augustus, ordered it to be removed to Rome. Two of these
obelisks are still to be seen; as well as another of 100 cubits, or 25
fathoms high, and 8 cubits, or 2 fathoms in diameter. Caius Cæsar had it
taken from Egypt in a ship of so odd a form, that, according to Pliny,
the like had never been seen.

At Heliopolis, there remains only a solitary sphinx and an obelisk, to
mark the site of the city of the sun, where Moses, Herodotus, and Plato,
are said to have been instructed in the learning of the Egyptians; whose
learning and arts brought even Greece for a pupil, and whose empire,
says Bossuet, in regard to Egypt in general, had a character distinct
from any other.

"This kingdom (says Rollin) bestowed its noblest labours and finest arts
on the improving of mankind; and Greece was so sensible of this, that
its most illustrious men,--as Homer, Pythagoras, Plato, even its great
legislators, Lycurgus and Solon, with many more,--travelled into Egypt
to complete their studies, and draw from that fountain whatever was most
rare and valuable in every kind of learning. God himself has given this
kingdom a glorious testimony, when, praising Moses, he says of him, that
'he was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.' Such was the desire
for encouraging the growth of scientific pursuits, that the discoverers
of any useful invention received rewards suitable to their skill and
labour. They studied natural history, geometry, and astronomy, and what
is worthy of remark, they were so far masters of the latter science, as
to be aware of the period required for the earth's annual revolutions,
and fixed the year at 365 days 6 hours--a period which remained
unaltered till the very recent change of the style. They likewise
studied and improved the science of physic, in which they attained a
certain proficiency. The persevering ingenuity and industry of the
Egyptians are attested by the remains of their great works of art, which
could not well be surpassed in modern times; and although their working
classes were doomed to engage in the occupations of their fathers, and
no others, as is still the custom in India, society might thereby be
hampered, but the practice of handicrafts would be certainly improved.
The Egyptians were also the first people who were acquainted with the
process of communicating information by means of writing, or engraving
on stone and metal; and were, consequently, the first who formed books
and collected libraries. These repositories of learning they guarded
with scrupulous care, and the titles they bore, naturally inspired a
desire to enter them. They were called the "Office for the Diseases of
the Soul," and that very justly; because the soul was there cured of
ignorance, which, it will be allowed, is the source of many of the
maladies of our mental faculties[261]."


"It is characteristic of the noblest natures and the finest
imaginations," says an elegant writer[262], "to love to explore the
vestiges of antiquity, and to dwell in times that are no more. The first
is the domain of the imaginative affections alone; we can carry none of
our baser passions with us thither. The antiquary is often spoken of as
being of a peculiar construction of intellect, which makes him think and
feel differently from other people. But, in truth, the spirit of
antiquarianism is one of the most universal of human tendencies. There
is, perhaps, scarcely any person, for example, not utterly stupid or
sophisticated, who would not feel a strange thrill come over him in the
wonderful scenes these volumes describe. Looking round upon the long
ruined city, who would not, for the moment, utterly forget the seventeen
centuries that had revolved since Herculaneum and Pompeii were part and
parcel of the world, moving to and fro along its streets! It would not
be deemed a mere fever of curiosity that would occupy the mind,--an
impatience to pry into every hole and corner of a scene at once so old
and so new. Besides all that, there would be a sense of the actual
presence of those past times, almost like the illusion of a dream. There
is, in fact, perhaps no spot of interest on the globe, which would be
found to strike so deep an impression into so many minds."

Herculaneum is an ancient city of Italy, situated in the Bay of Naples,
and supposed to have been founded by Hercules, or in honour of him, 1250
years before the Christian era.[263] "This city," says Strabo, "and its
next neighbour, Pompeii, on the river Sarnus, were originally held by
the Osci, then by the Tyrrhenians and Pelasgians, then by the Samnites,
who, in their turn, took possession of it, and retained it ever after."

The adjacent country[264] was distinguished in all ages for its romantic
loveliness and beauty. The whole coast, as far as Naples, was studded
with villas, and Vesuvius, whose fires had been long quiescent, was
itself covered with them. Villages were also scattered along the shores,
and the scene presented the appearance of one vast city, cut into a
number of sections by the luxuriant vegetation of the paradise in which
it was embosomed.

The following epigram of Martial gives an animated view of the scene,
previous to the dreadful catastrophe, which so blasted this fair page of
Nature's book:--

  Here verdant vines o'erspread Vesuvius' sides;
  The generous grape here pour'd her purple tides.
  This Bacchus loved beyond his native scene;
  Here dancing satyrs joy'd to trip the green.
  Far more than Sparta this in Venus' grace;
  And great Alcides once renown'd the place;
  Now flaming embers spread dire waste around,
  And gods regret that gods can so confound.

The scene of luxurious beauty[265] and tranquillity above described was
doomed to cease, and the subterranean fire which had been from time
immemorial extinct in this quarter, again resumed its former channel of
escape. The long period of rest, which had preceded this event, seems to
have augmented the energies of the volcano, and prepared it for the
terrible explosion. The first intimation of this was the occurrence of
an earthquake, in the year 63 after Christ, which threw down a
considerable portion of Pompeii, and also did great damage to
Herculaneum. In the year following, another severe shock was felt, which
extended to Naples, where the Roman emperor Nero was at the time
exhibiting as a vocalist. The building in which he performed was
destroyed, but unfortunately the musician had left it. These presages of
the approaching catastrophe were frequently repeated, until, in A.D. 79
(Aug. 24), they ended in the great eruption. Fortunately we are in
possession of a narrative of the awful scene, by an eye-witness;--Pliny
the younger, who was at the time at Misenum, with the Roman fleet,
commanded by his uncle, Pliny the elder. The latter, in order to obtain
a nearer view of the phenomena, ventured too far, and was suffocated by
the vapours. His nephew remained at Misenum, and describes the appalling
spectacle in a very lively manner.

"You ask me the particulars of my uncle's death," says he, in a letter
to Tacitus, "in order to transmit it, you say, with all its
circumstances, to posterity. I thank you for your intention. Undoubtedly
the eternal remembrance of a calamity, by which my uncle perished with
nations, promised immortality to his name; undoubtedly his works also
flattered him with the same. But a line of Tacitus ensures it. Happy the
man to whom the gods have granted to perform things worthy of being
written, or to write what is worthy of being read. Happier still is he
who at once obtains from them both these favours. Such was my uncle's
good fortune. I willingly therefore obey your orders, which I should
have solicited. My uncle was at Misenum, where he commanded the fleet.
On the 23d of August, at one in the afternoon, as he was on his bed,
employed in studying, after having, according to his custom, slept a
moment in the sun and drunk a glass of cold water, my mother went up
into his chamber. She informed him that a cloud of an extraordinary
shape and magnitude was rising in the heavens. My uncle got up and
examined the prodigy; but without being able to distinguish, on account
of the distance, that this cloud proceeded from Vesuvius. It resembled a
large pine-tree: it had its top and its branches. It appeared sometimes
white, sometimes black, and at intervals of various colours, according
as it was more or less loaded with stones or cinders.

"My uncle was astonished; he thought such a phenomenon worthy of a
nearer examination. He ordered a galley to be immediately made ready,
and invited me to follow him; but I rather chose to stay at home and
continue my studies. My uncle therefore departed alone.

"In the interim I continued at my studies. I went to the bath; I lay
down, but I could not sleep. The earthquake, which for several days had
repeatedly shaken all the small towns, and even cities in the
neighbourhood, was increasing every moment. I rose to go and awake my
mother, and met her hastily entering my apartment to awaken me.

"We descended into the court, and sat down there. Not to lose time, I
sent for my Livy. I read, meditated, and made extracts, as I would have
done in my chamber. Was this firmness, or was it imprudence? I know not
now; but I was then very young![266] At the same instant one of my
uncle's friends, just arrived from Spain, came to visit him. He
reproached my mother with her security, and me with my audacity. The
houses, however, were shaking in so violent a manner, that we resolved
to quit Misenum. The people followed us in consternation.

"As soon as we had got out of the town we stopped. Here we found new
prodigies and new terrors. The shore, which was continually extending
itself, and covered with fishes left dry on it, was heaving every
moment, and repelling to a great distance the enraged sea which fell
back upon itself; whilst before us, from the limits of the horizon,
advanced a black cloud, loaded with dull fires, which were incessantly
rending it, and darting forth large flashes of lightning. The cloud
descended and enveloped all the sea, it was impossible any longer to
discern either the isle of Caprea, or the promontory of Misenum. 'Save
yourself, my dear son,' cried my mother; 'save yourself; it is your
duty; for you can, and you are young: but as for me, bulky as I am, and
enfeebled with years, provided I am not the cause of thy death, I die
contented.'--'Mother, there is no safety for me but with you.'--I took
my mother by the hand, and drew her along.--'O my son,' said she in
tears, 'I delay thy flight.'

"Already the ashes began to fall; I turned my head; a thick cloud was
rushing precipitately towards us.--'Mother,' said I, 'let us quit the
high road; the crowd will stifle us in that darkness which is pursuing
us.' Scarcely had we left the high road before it was night, the
blackest night. Then nothing was to be heard but the lamentations of
women, the groans of children, and the cries of men. We could
distinguish, through the confused sobs and the various accents of grief,
the words, _my father!_--_my son!_--_my wife!_--there was no knowing
each other but by the voice. One was lamenting his destiny; another the
fate of his relations: some were imploring the gods; others denying
their existence; many were invoking death to defend them from death.
Some said that they were now about to be buried with the world, in that
concluding night which was to be eternal:--and amidst all this, what
dreadful reports! Fear exaggerated and believed everything.

"In the mean time a glimmering penetrated the darkness; this was the
conflagration which was approaching; but it stopped and extinguished;
the night grew more intensely dark, and the shower of cinders and stones
more thick and heavy. We were obliged to rise from time to time to shake
our clothes. Shall I say it? Not a single complaint escaped me. I
consoled myself, amid the fears of death, with the reflection that the
world was about to expire with me.

"At length this thick and black vapour gradually vanished. The day
revived, and even the sun appeared, but dull and yellowish, such as he
usually shows himself in an eclipse. What a spectacle now offered
itself to our yet troubled and uncertain eyes! The whole country was
buried beneath the ashes, as in winter under the snow. The road was no
longer to be discerned. We sought for Misenum, and again found it; we
returned and took possession; for we had in some measure abandoned it.
Soon after, we received news of my uncle. Alas! we had but too good
reason to be uneasy for him.

"I have told you, that, after quitting Misenum, he went on board a
galley. He directed his course towards Retina, and the other towns which
were threatened. Every one was flying from it; he however entered it,
and, amidst the general confusion, remarked all the phenomena, and
dictated as he observed. But already a cloud of burning ashes beat down
on his galley; already were stones falling all around, and the shore
covered with large pieces of the mountain. My uncle hesitated whether he
should return from whence he came, or put out to sea. _Fortune favours
courage_ (exclaimed he), _let us turn towards Pomponianus_. Pomponianus
was at Stabiæ. My uncle found him all trembling: embraced and encouraged
him, and to comfort him by his security, asked for a bath, then sat down
to table and supped cheerfully; or, at least, which does not show less
fortitude, with all the appearance of cheerfulness.

"In the mean time Vesuvius was taking fire on every side, amid the thick
darkness. 'It is the villages which have been abandoned that are
burning,' said my uncle to the crowd about him, to endeavour to quiet
them. He then went to bed, and fell asleep. He was in the profoundest
sleep, when the court of the house began to fill with cinders; and all
the passages were nearly closed up. They run to him; and were obliged to
awaken him. He rises, joins Pomponianus, and deliberates with him and
his attendants what is best to be done, whether it would be safest to
remain in the house or fly into the country. They chose the latter

"They departed instantly therefore from the town, and the only
precaution they could take was to cover their heads with pillows. The
day was reviving everywhere else; but there it continued night; horrible
night! the fire from the cloud alone enlightened it. My uncle wished to
gain the shore, notwithstanding the sea was still tremendous. He
descended, drank some water, had a sheet spread, and lay down on it. On
a sudden, violent flames, preceded by a sulphureous odour, shot forth
with a prodigious brightness, and made every one take to flight. My
uncle, supported by two slaves, arose; but suddenly, suffocated by the
vapour, he fell[267],--and Pliny was no more[268]."

If this visitation affected Misenum in so terrible a manner, what must
have been the situation of the unfortunate inhabitants of Pompeii and
Herculaneum, so near its focus? The emperor Titus here found an
opportunity for the exercise of his humanity. He hastened to the scene
of affliction, appointed curatores[269], persons of consular dignity, to
set up the ruined buildings, and take charge of the effects. He
personally encouraged the desponding, and alleviated the misery of the
sufferers; whilst a calamity of an equally melancholy description
recalled him to Rome; where a most destructive fire, laying waste nearly
half the city, and raging three days without interruption, was succeeded
by a pestilence, which for some time carried off ten thousand persons
every day!

Herculaneum and Pompeii rose again from their ruins in the reign of
Titus; and they still existed with some remains of splendour under
Hadrian[270]. The beautiful characters of the inscription, traced out on
the base of the equestrian statue of Marcus Nonius Balbus, son of
Marcus, are an evident proof of its existence at that period. They were
found under the reign of the Antonines. In the geographical monument,
known under the name of Peutinger's chart, which is of a date posterior
to the reign of Constantine, that is to say in the commencement of the
4th century, Herculaneum and Pompeii were still standing, and then
inhabited; but in the Itinerary, improperly ascribed to Antoninus,
neither of these two cities is noticed; from which it may be
conjectured, that their entire ruin must have taken place in the
interval between the time when Peutinger's chart was constructed, and
that when the above Itinerary was composed.

The eruption, which took place in 471, occasioned the most dreadful
ravages. It is very probable that the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii
disappeared at that period, and that no more traces of them were left.

It appears, by the observation of Sir W. Hamilton[271], that the matter,
which covers the ancient town of Herculaneum, is not the produce of one
eruption only; but there are evident marks that the matter of six
eruptions has taken its course over that which lie immediately above the
town; and which was the cause of its destruction. These strata are
either of lava or burnt matter, with veins of good soil between them.
The stratum of erupted matter that immediately covers the town, and with
which the theatre and most of the houses were filled, is not of that
sort of vitrified matter, called lava, but of a sort of soft stone
composed of pumice, ashes, and burnt matter. It is exactly of the same
nature with what is called the Naples stone. The Italians call it tufa;
and it is in general use for building.

HERCULANEUM was covered with lava; Pompeii with pumice stone; yet the
houses of the latter were built of lava; the product of former

All memorials of the devoted cities were lost[272]; and discussions,
over the places they had once occupied, were excited only by some
obscure passages in the classical authors. Six successive eruptions
contributed to lay them still deeper under the surface. But after that
period had elapsed, a peasant digging a well beside his cottage in 1711,
obtained some fragments of coloured marble, which attracted attention.
Regular excavations were made, under the superintendence of Stendardo,
an architect of Naples; and a statue of Hercules, of Greek workmanship,
and also a mutilated one of Cleopatra, were drawn from what proved to be
a temple in the centre of the ancient Herculaneum.

It may be well conceived with what interest the intelligence was
received, that a Roman city had been discovered, which, safely entombed
under-ground, had thus escaped the barbarian Goths and Vandals, who
ravaged Italy, or the sacrilegious hands of modern pillagers.

The remains of several public buildings have been discovered[273], which
have possibly suffered from subsequent convulsions. Among these are two
temples; one of them one hundred and fifty feet by sixty, in which was
found a statue of Jupiter. A more extensive edifice stood opposite to
them; forming a rectangle of two hundred and twenty-eight feet by one
hundred and thirty-two, supposed to have been appropriated for the
courts of justice. The arches of a portico surrounding it were supported
by columns; within, it was paved with marble; the walls were painted in
fresco; and bronze statues stood between forty columns under the roof. A
theatre was found nearly entire; very little had been displaced; and we
see in it one of the best specimens extant of the architecture of the
ancients. The greatest diameter of the theatre is two hundred and
thirty-four feet, whence it is computed, that it could contain ten
thousand persons, which proves the great population of the city.

This theatre was rich in antiquities[274], independent of the ornamental
part. Statues, occupying niches, represented the Muses; scenic masks
were imitated on the entablatures; and inscriptions were engraven on
different places. Analogous to the last were several large alphabetical
Roman characters in bronze; and a number of smaller size, which had
probably been connected in some conspicuous situation. A metallic car
was found, with four bronze horses attached to it, nearly of the natural
size; but all in such a state of decay, that only one, and the spokes of
the wheels, also in metal, could be preserved. A beautiful white marble
statue of Venus, only eighteen inches high, in the same attitude as the
famous Venus de Medicis, was recovered; and either here, or in the
immediate vicinity, was found a colossal bronze statue of Vespasian,
filled with lead, which twelve men were unable to move.

Besides many objects entire, there were numerous fragments of others,
extremely interesting; which had been originally impaired, or were
injured by attempts to remove them.

When we reflect, that sixteen hundred years have elapsed since the
destruction of this city[275], an interval which has been marked by
numerous revolutions, both in the political and mental state of Europe,
a high degree of interest must be experienced in contemplating the
venerable remains, recovered from the subterraneous city of Herculaneum.
Pliny, the younger, in his letters, brings the Romans, their
occupations, manners, and customs, before us. He pictures in feeling
terms the death of his uncle, who perished in the same eruption as the
city we now describe; and that event is brought to our immediate notice
by those very things which it was the means of preserving. Among these
we see the various articles which administered to the necessities and
the pleasures of the inhabitants, the emblems of their religious
sentiments, and the very manners and customs of domestic life.

These curiosities consist not only of statues, busts, altars,
inscriptions, and other ornamental appendages of Grecian opulence and
luxury; but also comprehend an entire assortment of the domestic,
musical, and surgical instruments; tripods of elegant form and exquisite
execution; lamps in endless variety; vases and basins of noble
dimensions; chandeliers of the most beautiful shapes, looking-glasses of
polished metal; coloured glass, so hard, clear, and well stained, as to
appear like emeralds, sapphires, and other precious stones; a kitchen
completely fitted up with copper pans lined with silver, kettles,
cisterns for heating water, and every utensil necessary for culinary
purposes; also specimens of various sorts of combustibles, retaining
their form though burnt to a cinder. By an inscription, too, we learn
that Herculaneum contained no less than nine hundred houses of
entertainment, such as we call taverns. Articles of glass, artificial
gems, vases, tripods, candelabra, lamps, urns, dice, and dice-boxes;
various articles of dress and ornaments; surgical instruments, weights
and measures, carpenters' and masons' tools; but no musical instruments
except the sistrum, cymbals, and flutes of bone and ivory.

Fragments of columns of various coloured marble and beautiful mosaic
pavements were also found disseminated among the ruins; and numerous
sacrificial implements, such as pateræ, tripods, cups, and vases, were
recovered in excellent preservation, and even some of the knives with
which the victims are conjectured to have been slaughtered.

The ancient pictures of Herculaneum[276] are of the utmost interest; not
only from the freshness and colour, but from the nature of the subjects
they represent. All are executed in fresco; they are exclusively on the
walls, and generally on a black or red ground. Some are of animated
beings large as life; but the majority are in miniature. Every different
subject of antiquity is depicted here; deities, human figures, animals,
landscapes, foreign and domestic, and a variety of grotesque beings;
sports and pastimes, theatrical performances, sacrifices, all enter the

In regard to the statues found[277], some are colossal, some of the
natural size, and some in miniature; and the materials of their
formation are either clay, marble, or bronze. They represent all
different objects, divinities, heroes, or distinguished persons; and in
the same substances, especially bronze, there are the figures of many

It is not probable that the best paintings of ancient Greece and
Italy[278] were deposited in Herculaneum or Pompeii, which were towns
of the second order, and unlikely to possess the master-pieces of the
chief artists, which were usually destined to adorn the more celebrated
temples or the palaces of kings and emperors. Their best statues are
correct in their proportions, and elegant in their forms; but their
paintings are not correct in their proportions, and are, comparatively,
inelegant in their forms.

A few rare medals also have been found among these ruins, the most
curious of which is a gold medallion of Augustus, struck in Sicily in
the fifteenth year of his reign.

Nor must we omit one of the greatest curiosities, preserved at
Portici[279]. This consists of a cement of cinders, which in one of the
eruptions of Vesuvius surprised a woman, and totally enveloped her. This
cement, compressed and hardened by time around her body, has become a
complete mould of it, and in the pieces here preserved, we see a perfect
impression of the different parts to which it adhered. One represents
half a bosom, which is of exquisite beauty; another a shoulder, a third
a portion of her shape, and all concur in revealing to us that this
woman was young; that she was tall and well made, and even that she had
escaped in her chemise, for some of the linen was still adhering to the

Though the city was destroyed[280] in the manner we have related,
remarkably few skeletons have been found, though many were discovered in
the streets of Pompeii; but one appears under the threshold of a door
with a bag of money in his hand, as if in the attitude of escaping,
leaving its impression in the surrounding volcanic matter.

These and other valuable antiquities are preserved in the museum at
Portici, which occupies the site of ancient Herculaneum, and in the
Museo Borbonico at Naples. For details in respect to which, we must
refer to the numerous books that have described them.

One of the most interesting departments of this unique collection is
that of the Papyri, or MSS., discovered in the excavation of
Herculaneum. The ancients did not bind their books (which, of course,
were all MSS.) like us, but rolled them up in scrolls. When those of
Herculaneum were discovered, they presented, as they still do, the
appearance of burnt bricks, or cylindrical pieces of charcoal, which
they had acquired from the action of the heat contained in the lava,
that buried the whole city. They seemed quite solid to the eye and
touch; yet an ingenious monk discovered a process of detaching leaf from
leaf, and unrolling them, by which they could be read without much
difficulty. It is, nevertheless, to be regretted, that so little success
has followed the labours of those who have attempted to unrol them. Some
portions, however, have been unrolled, and the titles of about 400 of
the least injured have been read. They are, for the most part, of little
importance; but all entirely new, and chiefly relating to music,
rhetoric, and cookery. The obliterations and corrections are numerous,
so that there is a probability of their being original manuscripts.
There are two volumes of Epicurus "on Virtue," and the rest are, for the
most part, productions of the same school of writers. Only a very few
are written in Latin, almost all being in Greek. All were found in the
library of one individual, and in a quarter of the town where there was
the least probability of finding anything of the kind.

The following is a list of the most important works that have been

    1. Philodemus, on the Influence of Music on the Human Constitution.
    2. Epicurus upon Nature.
    3. Philomedes on Rhetoric.
    4.     Id.    on the Vices.
    5.     Id.    on the Affinities of the Vices and the Virtues.
    6.     Id.    on the Poets.
    7.     Id.    some Philosophical Fragments.
    8.     Id.    on Providence.
    9. Democritus, some Geometrical Fragments.
   10. Philostratus on Unreasonable Contempt.
   11. Carnisirus on Friendship.
   12. Cotothes on Plato's Dialogue of Isis.
   13. Chrysippus on Providence.

We shall give the reader a specimen, in a fragment of a poem on the
Actian war, copied from a manuscript taken from Herculaneum; supposed to
be written by C. Rabirius:--


  ... XIM......... AEL .. TIA· ...........
  .. CESAR . FA .. AR . HAR . IAM. ..... G ...
  .. RT.·HIS·ILLE .. NATO . CVM ..... ELIAPOR ..
  QVEM IVVENES; gRANdAeVOS·ERAT·pEr cVNcTA seguntus[281]
  Adsiliens muriS·NEC·DEFVit IMPETVS·ILLIS.


  funeraque adCEDVNT·PATRiis deforMIA·TerRIS
  et foedA Illa mAGIS·QVAM·Si NOS geSTA LATEReNT
  _vix_ ERAT·IMperIIS·ANIMOs COHlberE SVorVM;
  QuID·cAPITIS Iam caPTA IACENt QVAE praemia belli?


  fas et ALeXANDRO thAlaMOS iNtRaRE DEoRVM


  .................... EN .................
  QVA fuGITVr lux, erro: TameN NVNC·QVAErere caVSAS,
  Hic iGItur pARTIS aniMVM DIDVctuS IN oMnIS


  delectVMQue foruM Quo noXIA TVRBA COiRET,


  hic cAdit absumtus fERRO·TumeT·IlLE·VENeno,


  A ............ LIA .. NO ................


  obtereRE·adnisi PORtarVm clAVSTRa pEr VRBEM·,


This was a town in Syria, near the Euphrates, deriving its name from the
number of its temples[283]. It abounded in hot springs; and those gave
origin to the following fable: "The shepherd poet relates, after
mentioning a case in Phrygia, sacred to the nymphs, that near these
springs Luna had once descended from the sky to Endymion, while he was
sleeping by the herds; that marks of their bed were then extant under
the oaks; and in the thickets around it the milk of cows had been spilt,
which man still beheld with admiration (for such was the appearance if
you saw it afar off); but that from thence flowed clear and warm water,
which in a little time concreted round the channel, and formed a stone

The deity most worshipped in ancient times in this city, and indeed
throughout all Phoenicia, was the goddess Astarte, called in Scripture
the Queen of Heaven and the goddess of the Sidonians.

Dr. Chandler and his friend Mr. Revett ascended to the ruins, which are
in a flat, passing by sepulchres with inscriptions, and entering from
the east. They had soon the theatre on the right hand; and opposite to
it, near the margin of the cliff, are the remains of an ancient
structure, once perhaps baths, or as was conjectured, a gymnasium; the
huge vaults of the roof striking horror as they rode underneath. Beyond
is the mean ruin of a modern fortress; and farther on are massive walls
of edifices, several of them leaning from their perpendicular, the
stones disjointed, and seeming every moment ready to fall--the effects
and evidences of repeated earthquakes.

In a recess of the mountain, on the right side, is the area of a
stadium. Then again sepulchres succeed; some nearly buried in the
mountain side, and one, a square building, with an inscription with
large letters.

The theatre appears to have been a very large and sumptuous structure:
part of the front is still standing. In the heap, which lies in
confusion, are many sculptures, well executed in basso-relievo, with
pieces of architecture inscribed, but disjoined, or so incumbered with
massive marbles, that no information could be gathered from them. The
character is large and bold, with ligatures. The marble seats are still
unremoved. The numerous ranges are divided by a low semicircular wall,
near the midway, with inscriptions, on one of which Apollo Archegetes
(or the Leader) is requested to be propitious. In another compartment,
mention is made of the city by its name; and a third is an encomium, in
verse. "Hail, golden city, Hierapolis, the spot to be preferred before
any in wide Asia; revered for the rills of the nymphs; adorned with
splendour." In some of the inscriptions the people are styled "the most
splendid," and the senate "the most powerful."

Hierapolis was not so magnificent as Laodicea; but still it was a
splendid place; and, like its neighbour city, is now almost "an utter


"_In the territory of Istakhar is a great building, with statues carved
in stone; and there, also, are inscriptions and paintings. It was said
that this was a temple of Solomon, to whom be peace! and that it was
built by the Dives, or Demons: similar edifices are in Syria, and
Baalbeck, and in Egypt._"--EBN HAWKEL; OUSELEY.

The origin of Isfahan is not to be traced with any certainty. It is,
however, for the most part, supposed to have arisen from the ruins of
Hecatompylos,[285] the capital of Parthia. This city was the royal
residence of Arsaces, and it was situated at the springs of the Araxes.
Whatever may have been the origin of this city, it is universally
admitted that the situation of it, topographically, and centrically with
regard to the empire, is admirably adapted for a royal residence and
capital[286]. It stands on the river Zeinderood; and has been celebrated
as a city of consequence from the time in which it was first noted in
history[287]; and that is, we believe, at the period in which it was
taken possession of by Ardisheer, who, soon after, was proclaimed king
of Persia; and was considered by his countrymen as the restorer of that
great empire, which had been created by Cyrus and lost by Darius.

This prince was so great a sovereign, that it gives pleasure to note
some of his sayings:--"When a king is just, his subjects must love him,
and continue obedient: but the worst of all sovereigns is he whom the
wealthy, and not the wicked, fear." "There can be no power without an
army; no army without money; no money without agriculture; no
agriculture without justice." "A furious lion is better than an unjust
king: but an unjust king is not so bad as a long and unjust war."
"Never forget," said he, on his death-bed, to his son, "that, as a king,
you are at once the protector of religion and of your country. Consider
the altar and throne as inseparable; they must always sustain each
other. A sovereign without religion is a tyrant; and a people who have
none may be deemed the most monstrous of all societies. Religion may
exist without a state; but a state cannot exist without religion; and it
is by holy laws that a political association can alone be bound. You
should be to your people an example of piety and of virtue, but without
pride or ostentation." After a few similar lessons, he concluded in the
following manner:--"Remember, my son, that it is the prosperity or
adversity of the ruler, which forms the happiness or misery of his
subjects; and that the fate of the nation depends upon the conduct of
the individual who fills the throne. The world is exposed to constant
vicissitudes: learn, therefore, to meet the frowns of Fortune with
courage and fortitude, and to receive her smiles with moderation and
wisdom. To sum up all:--May your administration be such as to bring, at
a future day, the blessings of those whom God has confided to our
paternal care, upon both your memory and mine."

A.D. 1387, Isfahan surrendered to Timour. The moment he pitched his
camp before it, it yielded. Satisfied with this ready submission, Timour
commanded that the town should be spared, but that a heavy contribution
should be levied on the inhabitants. This had been almost entirely
collected, when a young blacksmith, one under age, beat a small drum for
his amusement. A number of citizens, mistaking this for an alarm,
assembled, and became so irritated from a communication to each other of
the distress they suffered, that they began an attack upon those whom
they considered the immediate cause of their misery; and, before
morning, nearly 3000 of the Tartars, who had been quartered in the city,
were slain. The rage of Timour, when he heard of this, exceeded all
bounds. He would therefore listen to no terms of capitulation. He doomed
Isfahan to be an example to all other cities. The unfortunate
inhabitants knew what they had to expect, and made all the resistance
they could; but in vain. The walls were carried by storm; and the cruel
victor did not merely permit pillage and slaughter, but commanded that
every soldier should bring him a certain number of heads. Some of those,
more humane than their master, purchased the number allotted, rather
than become the executioners of unresisting men. It was found impossible
to compute all the slain; but an account was taken of 70,000 heads,
which were heaped in pyramids that were raised in monuments of this
horrid revenge.[288]

Isfahan attained its highest pitch and magnitude in the time of Shah
Abbas. It became the great emporium of the Asiatic world; and during his
reign nearly a million of people animated its streets, and the equally
flourishing peasantry of more than 1400 villages in its neighbourhood,
supplied by their labour the markets of this abundant population.[289]
Industry, diligence, activity, and negotiations, were seen and heard
everywhere. The caravans even were crowded with merchants, and the shops
with the merchandise of Europe and Asia; while the court of the great
Shah was the resort of ambassadors from the proudest kingdoms, not only
of the East but of the West. Travellers thronged thither from every
part, not only on affairs of business, but to behold the splendour of
the place.

In fact, it owes most of the glory it now possesses to Shah Abbas, who,
after the conquest of Lar and Ormus, charmed with its situation, made it
the capital of his empire between 1620 and 1628; for the fertility of
the soil, the mildness of the seasons, and the fine temperature of the
air, conspire, it is said, to make Isfahan one of the most delightful
cities in the world. The waters of its two rivers, also, are so sweet,
pleasant, and wholesome, as to be almost beyond comparison.

The splendours of Isfahan are described by Pietro Della Velle[290] and
Chardin.[291] What they were would occupy too large a space; but we may
judge of the extent and nature of the public works by the causeway[292]
this prince formed across the whole of Mazenderen, so as to render that
difficult country passable for armies and travellers at all seasons of
the year. He threw bridges over almost all the rivers of Persia. He
studied, we are told, beyond all former sovereigns, the general welfare
and improvement of his kingdom. He fixed on the city of Ispahan as the
capital of his dominions; and its population was more than doubled
during his reign. Its principal mosque, the noble palace of
Chehel-Setoon, the beautiful avenues and porticoes called Châr Bagh, and
several of the finest palaces in the city and suburbs, were all built by
this prince.

In 1721 there was a great rebellion. A celebrated traveller, who was on
the spot, assures us, that the inhabitants of one of the suburbs (Julfa,
an Armenian colony), not many years before, amounted to thirty thousand
souls. He says, that some of the streets were broad and handsome, and
planted with trees, with canals, and fountains in the middle; others
narrow and crooked, and arched at top; others again, though extremely
narrow, as well as turning and winding many ways, were of an incredible
length, and resembled so many labyrinths; that at a small distance from
the town there were public walks adorned with plane-trees on either
hand, and ways paved with stones, fountains and cisterns: that there
were one hundred caravanserais for the use of merchants and travellers,
many of which were built by the kings and prime nobility of Persia. He
goes on to state, that there was a castle in the eastern part of the
town, which the citizens looked upon as impregnable, in which the public
money and most of the military stores were kept: but that,
notwithstanding the number of baths and caravanserais were almost
innumerable, there was not one public hospital. All this was in the
suburb of Julfa only. In what condition is that suburb now?

A.D. 1722, Mahmoud, chief of the Afghans, invaded Persia, and laid
siege to Isfahan. He was at first repulsed and compelled to fall back;
in consequence of which he made overtures. These the citizens
unfortunately rejected. Mahmoud, in consequence, determined on laying
waste the whole of the neighbouring country. Now the districts
surrounding Ispahan were, perhaps, the most fruitful in the world, and
art had done her utmost to assist nature in adorning this delightful
country. This fairest of regions was doomed by Mahmoud to complete ruin!
The task occupied his army more than a month; but the lapse of nearly a
century has not repaired what their barbarity effected in that period;
and the fragments of broken canals, sterile fields, and mounds of
ruins, still mark the road with which they laboured in the work of

A famine ensued in consequence of this, and the inhabitants of Isfahan
were reduced to despair. The flesh of horses, camels, and mules, became
so dear[293], that none but the king, some of the nobles, and the
wealthiest citizens, could afford to purchase. Though the Persians abhor
dogs as unclean, they ate greedily of them, as well as of other
forbidden animals. When these supplies were exhausted, they fed not only
upon the leaves and bark of trees, but on leather, which they softened
by boiling; and when this was exhausted too, they began to devour human
flesh. Men, we are told, with their eyes sunk, their countenances livid,
and their bodies feeble and emaciated with hunger, were seen in crowds,
endeavouring to protract a wretched existence by cutting pieces from the
bodies of those who had just expired. In many instances the citizens
slew each other, and parents murdered their children to furnish the
horrid meal. Some, more virtuous, poisoned themselves and families, that
they might escape the guilt of preserving life by such means. The
streets, the squares, and even the royal gardens, were covered with
carcases; and the river Zainderand, which flowed through the city,
became so corrupted by dead bodies[294], that it was hardly possible to
drink of its waters[295]. Overpowered with his misfortunes, Shah Husseyn
abdicated his throne in favour of his persecutor.

These events are related in Bucke's Harmonies of Nature, thus:--During
the reign of Shah Husseyn, Isfahan was besieged by Mahmoud, chief of the
Afghans; when the besieged, having consumed their horses, mules, camels,
the leaves and bark of trees, and even cloth and leather, finished,--so
great was the famine,--with not only eating their neighbours and
fellow-citizens, but their very babes. During this siege more human
beings were devoured than was ever known in a siege before. Mahmoud
having at length listened to terms of capitulation, Husseyn clad himself
in mourning; and with the Wali of Arabia, and other officers of his
court, proceeded to the camp of his adversary, and resigned the empire.
The Afghan chief, in receiving his resignation, exclaimed, "Such is the
instability of all human grandeur! God disposes of empires, as he
pleases, and takes them from one to give to another!" This occurred in
the year 1716.

Mahmoud was now king of Persia. But, some time after, fearing a revolt
of the people of Isfahan, he invited all the nobles of the city to a
feast, and the moment they arrived, a signal was given, and they were
all massacred. Their amount was three thousand! not so many as one
escaped. Their bodies were exposed in the streets, that the inhabitants
might behold and tremble. But an equal tragedy was yet to be performed.
He had taken three thousand of the late king's guards into his pay.
These men he directed to be peculiarly well treated; and, as a mark of
favour, he commanded that a dinner should be dressed for them in one of
the squares of the palace. The men came; sat down; and the moment they
had done so, a party of the tyrant's troops fell upon them, and not a
single soul was allowed to escape!

This, however, was not the close of things, but the beginning. A
general order was now issued, to put every Persian to death, who had in
any way served the former government. The massacre lasted 15 days! Those
who survived were made to leave the city, with the sole exception of a
small number of male youths, whom the tyrant proposed to train in the
habits and usages of his own nation.

Nor does this terminate the history of his atrocities. He soon after
massacred all the males of the royal family. These victims he caused to
be assembled in one of the courts of the palace; when attended by two or
three favourites, he commenced, with his own sabre, the horrid massacre.
Thirty-nine princes of the blood were murdered on this dreadful
occasion. The day of punishment, however, was at hand. He soon after
died in a state of horrific insanity! His body was buried in a royal
sepulchre; but when Nadir Shah afterwards took Isfahan, he caused it to
be taken from the sepulchre and abandoned to the fury of the populace;
and the place where he had been interred was converted into a common
sewer to receive the filth of the city. This was in the year 1727.

Isfahan never recovered these dreadful events. Mr. Hanway tells us, that
in the time he visited it, a Persian merchant assured him, that in all
Isfahan there were not more than five thousand inhabited houses. It has
been, since, several times taken and retaken by tyrants and revolters.
It was last taken by Aga Mohamed Khan (A.D. 1785); who dismantled the

Its present condition is thus described by Sir Robert Ker Porter:--"The
streets are everywhere in ruin; the bazaars silent and abandoned; the
caravanserais are equally forsaken; its thousand villages hardly now
counting two hundred; its palaces solitary and forlorn; and the
nocturnal laugh and song, which used to echo from every part of the
gardens, succeeded by the yells of jackals and shouts of famishing

Sir Robert afterwards gives an account of the ruins. From one end of the
city to the other, under avenues old and new, through the gardens, and
round their delightful "paradises," of shade and fountain, he hardly saw
a single creature moving. If, says he, "Isfahan continues fifty years so
totally abandoned of its sovereign's notice as it is now, Isfahan will
become a total ruin, amidst the saddest of wildernesses."

The name of this city is said to have been Sepahan, which it received
from the Persian kings, in consequence of its having been the general
place of rendezvous for their armies. "This famous city," says Mr.
Kinneir[296], "has been so minutely described, even when at the height
of its glory, by many travellers, and particularly by Chardin, that it
will only be necessary to state the changes that have taken place since
the period in which he wrote. The wall, which then surrounded the city,
was entirely destroyed by the Afghans, who have left many striking marks
of their savage and barbarous habits in every part of the kingdom. The
suburb of Julfa has been reduced from twelve thousand to six hundred
families; most of the others have shared the same fate; and a person may
ride ten miles amidst the ruins of this immense capital. The spacious
houses and palaces, which opened to the Royal Avenue, are almost all
destroyed. The first view, however," continues Mr. Kinneir, "which the
traveller has, on coming from Shirauz, of this great metropolis, is from
an eminence, about five miles from the city, when it bursts at once upon
his sight, and is, perhaps, one of the grandest prospects in the
universe. Its ruinous condition is not observable at a distance; all
defects being hid by high trees and lofty buildings; and palaces,
colleges, mosques, minarets, and shady groves, are the only objects that
meet the eye."

The bazaars, constructed by Shah Abbas, which were covered in with
vaults, and lighted by numerous domes, are of prodigious extent, and
proclaim the former magnificence of the city. They extend considerably
more than a mile.

The palaces of the king are enclosed in a fort of lofty walls, which
have a circumference of three miles. The palace of the Chehel Sitoon, or
"forty pillars," is situated in the middle of an immense square, which
is intersected by various canals, and planted in different directions
with the beautiful chenar tree. The palace was built by Shah Abbas.
Under the great room are summer apartments, excavated in the ground,
which, in their season, must be delightful retreats. They are also
wainscoted, and paved with marble slabs; and water is introduced by
cascades, which fall from the ground floor, and refresh the whole range.
The Ali Capi gate forms the entrance. This gate, once the scene of the
magnificence of the Seffi family, the threshold of which was ever
revered as sacred, is now deserted, and only now and then a solitary
individual is seen to pass negligently through. The remains of that
splendour, so minutely and exactly described by Chardin, are still to be
traced; the fine marble remains, and the grandeur and elevation of the
dome, are still undemolished.[297] At the Ala Capi gate of the old
palaces, which is described as one of the most perfect pieces of
brick-work to be found in Persia, used to sit Shah Abbas, and thence
review his cavalry, galloping and skirmishing, or witnessed the combats
of wild animals[298]. In former times this view from the spot was
undoubtedly splendid; but, at present, with the exception of the
palaces in the gardens, the whole mass below is one mouldering
succession of ruinous houses, mosques, and shapeless structures, which
had formerly been the mansions of the nobility, broken by groups or
lines of various tall trees, which once made part of the gardens of the
houses now in ruins. The freshness of all the buildings is said to be
particularly striking to an European, or the inhabitants of any
comparatively humid country, in which the atmosphere cherishes a
vegetation of mosses, lichens, and other cryptogamous plants, which we
particularly associate in our minds with the spectacle of decay.

Sir W. Ouseley says, "I explored the ruins of villages, scattered over
the plain in all directions near our camp; and some must have been
considerable in size and respectability from the handsome houses which
they contained. Although pillaged and depopulated by the Afghans almost
a century ago, many of their chambers yet remain, with vaults and
staircases but little injured; yet no human being is ever seen within
their walls, except some traveller, who wonders at finding himself alone
in places, which might be easily rendered habitable, situate not above a
mile from the walls of a great metropolis. It must be confessed, that
these ruins, composed of sun-dried brick and mud, appear, like many
edifices in Persia, to much greater advantage on paper than in reality."

Morier, in his second journey into Persia, says:--"The great city of
Isfahan, which Chardin has described, is twenty-four miles in
circumference, were it to be weeded (if the expression may be used) of
its ruins, would now dwindle to a quarter that circumference. One might
suppose that God's curse had extended over part of this city, as it did
over Babylon. Houses, bazaars, mosques, palaces, whole streets, are to
be seen in total abandonment; and I have rode for miles among its ruins
without meeting with any living creature, except, perhaps, a jackal
peeping over a wall, or a fox running to its hole.

"In a large tract of ruins," Mr. Morier goes on to observe, "where
houses, in different stages of decay, were to be seen, now and then an
inhabited house may be discovered, the owner of which may be assimilated
to Job's forlorn man, '_dwelling in desolate cities, and which no man
inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps_[299].' Such a remark as
this must have arisen from scenery similar to those which parts of
Isfahan present; and unless the particular feeling of melancholy which
they inspire has been felt, no words can convey any idea of it[300]."


This city (in Spain) is supposed to have been founded by the
Phoenicians, who give it the name of Hispalis. It was afterwards
colonized by the wounded soldiers of Scipio. It was then called Julia,
and at last, after a variety of corruptions, Sebilla or Sevilla, la

The Romans embellished it with many magnificent edifices, but of which
scarcely any vestige now remains.

In regard to the new city, the Gothic kings for some time made it their
residence; but it was taken by storm soon after the victory obtained at
Xeres, over the Gothic king Rodrigo. It at last fell before Ferdinand
III., after a year's siege; and three hundred thousand Moors were
compelled to quit the place; notwithstanding which it became the most
magnificent city in all Spain, a little after the discovery of America;
all the valuable commodities of the West Indies being carried thither.

An old Spanish writer thus speaks of this place:--"Not far from hence
one sees the _ruins of an ancient city_; and of an amphitheatre, great
part of which remains; but many of the great parts lie in such
confusion, as if it had been thrown into disorder by an earthquake. The
people call this place Sevilla la Vieja, or Old Seville; but the learned
take it to be the ancient Italica, the birth-place of the emperor Adrian
and Silius Italicus; there having been found a sufficient number of
ancient medals and inscriptions to justify that opinion; and amongst
others, they found a medal of Tiberius, with the following legend upon
it: DIVI. AVG. MVNIC. ITALIC. PERM. And in the time of Fernando el
Santo, the conqueror of Seville (which was in the year 1248), this place
retained some traces of its ancient name; for it was called Talca. Some
of the ruins appear to have been the remains of a temple, and a bath. In
the spot near which many of these ruins are to be seen, there is a
monastery of St. Isidore; and in the church there is an altar of
alabaster, which can scarce be matched in Europe[301]."


  "How doth the city solitary sit, she that was full of people!
  How is she become a widow, that was great among the nations!
  Princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
  She weepeth sore in the night, and her tear is upon her cheek:
  She hath none to comfort her, among all her lovers:
  All her friends have betrayed her, they became her enemies."

                                               _Lamen._ i. 1, 2.

"In the whole universe," says Mr. Eustace, "there were only two cities
interesting alike to every member of the great Christian commonwealth,
to every citizen of the civilised world, whatever may be his tribe or
nation--Rome and Jerusalem. The former calls up every classic
recollection; the latter awakens every sentiment of devotion; the
one brings before our eyes all the splendour of the present world; the
other all the glories of the world to come."

[Illustration: JERUSALEM.]

Palestine, or the land of Canaan, originally extended in length from
north to south, near two hundred miles, and from eighty to fifteen in
breadth, from east to west. Its southern boundary was formed by the
desert of Beersheba, the Dead Sea, the river Arnon, and the river of
Egypt, or the Siehor; to the north, it was bounded by the mountainous
ridge called Antilibanus; to the east by Arabia, and to the west by the
Mediterranean. Though rocky and mountainous, it was one of the most
fertile provinces of the temperate zone; a land, according to the
authority of the sacred penman, of brooks of waters, of fountains, and
depths, that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and
barley, and vines, and fig-trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive-oil,
and honey; a land wherein bread might be eaten without scarceness, whose
stones were iron, and out of whose hills might be dug brass.

In the midst of this highly favoured region stood the city of Jerusalem,
which, according to the Jewish chronology, was founded by their high
priest Melchizedec, in the year of the world 2032. It was then called
Salem, a word signifying _peace_.[302]

Joshua is supposed to have destroyed Jerusalem; that town, though not
mentioned, being considered to have been one of those that fought
against Gibeon, the king of which was Adoni-zedek[303].

The city was afterwards rebuilt by David, and surrounded with
fortifications, extending inwards from the low grounds, called Millo, to
the summit of the mountain, on which he erected a citadel, destined
alike to be the great fortress of the nation, and the sumptuous
residence of its kings. The rich work of the tabernacle, and the
splendour which characterised many of their ceremonies, had long tended
to inspire the Israelites with a taste for the elegant arts. David's
palace, we accordingly find, was a palace of cedar. In raising this
structure, the timber of Tyre and the superior skill of its artificers
were employed to secure its beauty and stability. When completed, the
grace and majesty of the pile reminded the monarch that, in taking up
his abode in such a building, he should be more splendidly lodged than
the ark and visible emblem of Jehovah itself. With this idea in his
mind, he resolved upon erecting a building for the service of God, which
should be as worthy of its destination as the ability and piety of man
could make it.

This design, David not living to carry into execution, was followed up
and completed by Solomon his son. From the reign of Solomon to the final
destruction of the city, it underwent many vicissitudes, some of which
we shall recite. In the fourth year of Solomon's son, Rehoboam (B.C.
971), it was besieged and taken by Sesac, king of Egypt, who carried
away the treasures of the temple, as well as those of the royal palace.

In 826 B.C. the temple and palace were plundered by Jehoash, and the
walls demolished. In 608 B.C. Jerusalem was taken by Nechao, king of
Egypt. It was next besieged by Sennacherib, king of Nineveh. That prince
having returned from Egypt, which he had ravaged, and taken a great
number of prisoners, laid siege to it with a vast army. The city
appeared to be inevitably lost: it was without resource, and without
hope from the hands of men. It had, however, says the historian, "a
powerful protector in Heaven, whose jealous ears had heard the impious
blasphemies uttered by the king of Nineveh against his sacred name. In
one single night 185,000 men of his army perished by the sword of the
destroying angel."

Jerusalem was soon after besieged by Nebuchadonosser and taken; when the
conqueror caused Jehoiakim to be put in chains with the design of having
him carried to Babylon; but, being moved with his affliction, he
restored him to his throne. Great numbers, however, of the Jews were
carried captives to Babylon, whither all the treasures of the king's
palace and a part of the temple were likewise transported. From this
famous epoch we are to date the captivity of the Jews at Babylon.

They having afterwards rebelled, the king came from Babylon and besieged
them anew. The siege lasted nearly a year. At length the city was taken
by storm, and a terrible slaughter ensued. Zedekiah's two sons were, by
Nebuchadnezzar's orders, killed before their father's face, with all the
noblemen and principal men of Judah. Zedekiah himself had both his eyes
put out, was loaded with fetters, and carried to Babylon, where he was
confined in prison as long as he lived. As to the city and temple, they
were both pillaged and burned, and all their fortifications demolished.

The kings of Persia soon after permitted the Jews to rebuild the
temple;[304] but not the walls. Artaxerxes Epiphanes, however, issued an
edict that they might rebuild their walls; and Nehemiah, as governor of
Judea, was appointed to put this edict in execution; and, in order to do
him higher honour, the king ordered a body of horse to escort him
thither. He likewise wrote to all the governors of the provinces on this
side the Euphrates, to give him all the assistance possible in
forwarding the work for which he was sent. This pious Jew did not fail
to execute every part of his commission with great activity and zeal.

After the time of Nehemiah, Jerusalem enjoyed peace till the year B.C.
332, when Alexander, having taken Tyre, demanded assistance of the Jews,
and being refused by the high-priest, who pleaded an oath, made to
Darius, not to take part with his enemies; the Macedonian was incensed,
and repairing to Jerusalem, determined to be avenged on the city and its
inhabitants; but being met by a multitude of people, dressed in white,
the priests arrayed in their robes, and the high priest in a garment of
purple and gold, having on his head a tiara, on which was inscribed the
name of the Lord, his passion subsided; and, approaching the
high-priest, he offered his adoration to God, and saluted all the

We pass over Alexander's entry into the city, because enough will be
said of that vain-glorious person, in other pages of our work; also the
siege which Ptolemy made it sustain, to the time when Antiochus
Epiphanes took it by storm; and during three days abandoned it to the
fury of his soldiers. He caused no less than 80,000 of its inhabitants
to be inhumanly butchered. Forty thousand men, also, were taken
prisoners, and the like number sold to the neighbouring nations. He
committed, also, a thousand other atrocities.

We now come to the period in which it was besieged by another Antiochus,
viz. Antiochus Sidetes. Hircanus having been, by the death of Simon,
appointed high-priest and prince of the Jews, Antiochus marched with all
possible haste, at the head of a powerful army, to reduce Judea, and
unite it to the empire of Syria. Hircanus shut himself up in the city,
where he sustained a long siege with incredible valour. At length he was
compelled, by the extremity of his necessities, to make proposals of
peace. Several of the king's councillors, however, advised him not to
listen to any proposals of that nature. "The Jews," said they, "were
driven out of Egypt, as impious persons, hated by the gods, and abhorred
by men. They are enemies to all the rest of mankind. They have no
communication with any but those of their own persuasion. They will
neither eat nor drink nor have any familiarity with other people; they
do not adore the gods that we do; their laws, customs, manners, and
religion, are entirely different from those of all other nations; they
therefore deserve to be treated by all the nations with equal contempt;
to receive hatred for hatred; and to be utterly extirpated."

Such was the language addressed to Antiochus; and had he not been devout
and generous, says Diodorus, this advice had been followed. He
listened, however, to milder counsels, and agreed that the besieged
should have leave to surrender their arms; and that their fortifications
being demolished, a peace should be granted. All this was done.

Some years after this, Jerusalem was taken possession of by the Romans
under the command of Pompey the Great, and the temple carried by storm.
There were two parties in the city. One, the adherents of Hircanus,
opened the gates; the other retired to the mountain where the temple
stood, and caused the bridges of the ditch and valley which surrounded
it to be broken down. Upon this, Pompey, who was already master of the
city, ventured to besiege the temple. The place held out three months,
and might, perhaps, have done so for three months longer, and perhaps
even obliged the Romans to abandon their enterprise, but for the rigour
with which the besieged thought proper to observe the sabbath. They
believed, indeed, that they might defend themselves when attacked; but
not that they might prevent the works of the enemy, or make any for
themselves. The Romans knew how to take advantage of this inaction on
sabbath-days. They did not attack the Jews upon them; but filled up the
fosses, made their approaches, and fixed their engines without
opposition. At length, being able to make a breach in the walls, the
place was carried by the sword, and not less than 12,000 persons were
slain. The victors entered the temple; and Pompey went even so far as to
penetrate to the Holy of Holies, and altered the name of Jerusalem (then
called Hierosolyma) to Hierosolymarius. Not long after, Crassus,
marching against the Parthians, entered the temple, the treasures of
which Pompey held sacred, and rifled it of a sum equivalent, in our
money, to £1,500,000.

Pompey caused the walls to be demolished: Cæsar afterwards caused them
to be rebuilt; and Antipater, executing that commission, soon put the
city into as good a position of defence as it had been before the
demolition. Notwithstanding this, Jerusalem became subject to another
siege by the Romans, acting in behalf of Herod, with 60,000 men. The
place held out many months with great resolution; and if the besieged
had been as expert in the art of war and the defence of places, as they
were brave and resolute, it would not, perhaps, have been taken. But the
Romans, who were much better skilled in those things than they, carried
the place, after a siege of more than six months. They entered, made
themselves masters, plundered and destroyed all before them, and filled
every part of the city with blood. The crown of all Judea was soon after
placed in the hands of a stranger,--an Idumean--(Herod); in whose reign
Jesus Christ was born.

During the reign of Herod the Great, Jerusalem was much enlarged and
embellished. He erected a superb palace, a theatre, and an amphitheatre.
He, also, projected the design of enlarging the temple,[305] which had
been erected after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity;
and, having begun the work in the eleventh year of his reign, he
completed it in eight years.

Tacitus call this erection "_immensæ opulentiæ templum_;" and Josephus
says, "it was the most astonishing temple he had ever seen, as well on
account of its architecture as its magnitude; the richness and
magnificence of its various parts, and the reputation of its sacred
appurtenances." This temple Herod began to build about sixteen years
before the birth of Christ. It was so far completed in nine years and a
half, as to be fit for divine service: and what is very remarkable, it
was afterwards destroyed by the Romans, in the same month and day of
the month, in which Solomon's temple had been destroyed by the

In its most flourishing state Jerusalem was divided into four parts,
each separated by a wall, viz. 1. The old city of J[=e]bus, standing on
Mount Zion, where David built a magnificent palace and castle. This part
was called the city of David. 2. The lower city; called the Daughter of
Zion, in which part Solomon built two magnificent palaces, for himself
and his queen; and which contained that of the Maccabean princes; and
the amphitheatre of Herod. Also the citadel of Antiochus; and lastly the
citadel built by Herod, upon a high rock, and thence called Antonia. 3.
The "New City;" mostly inhabited by merchants, tradesmen, and mechanics.
4. Mount Moriah; on which Solomon built his temple.

The height of the temple thus repaired is said to have been one thousand
two hundred feet. The stones of which it was built were all of marble,
forty cubits long, twelve thick, eight high, and so exquisitely joined
that they appeared to be of one combined piece. There were one thousand
four hundred and fifty-three columns of Parian marble, and two thousand
nine hundred and six pilasters, of such thickness, that three men could
hardly embrace them; and their height and capital proportionable, and
all of the Corinthian order.[306] All the materials of the original
fabric were, as it is well known, finished and adapted to their several
ends before they were brought to Jerusalem: that is, the stones in their
quarries, and the cedars in Lebanon; so that there was no noise of axe,
hammer, or any other tool, heard in the rearing of it. There were no
less than one hundred and sixty-three thousand men employed in this
work; and yet it took nine years in the building.

The expense of building this wonderful structure was prodigious: the
gold and silver employed for this purpose, amounted to 800,000,000_l._
sterling, which, according to Prideaux's calculation, was a sum equal to
have built the whole of solid silver; but it can scarcely be questioned,
we think, that some error has crept into the account[307]: There could
not have been so much bullion, much less coin, at that time in the

In ancient Jerusalem there were ten gates and four towers. Its extent
was about one mile. In Solomon's time, this extent appears to have been
twice, if not thrice, more. In the time of Titus it was four miles 125
paces. Eusebius lays the circumference at 2550 toises.

We must now proceed to give some account of the destruction of the city
by Titus[308]: and in doing so we shall adopt the description presented
by the author of--"On the Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of

"The war began in the month of May, A.D. 66; and the siege left to the
management of Titus, April 14, A.D. 70. Previous to the siege, the city
was a prey to the most intolerable anarchy; robbers having broken into
it, and filled almost every house with thieves, assassins, and broilers,
of every description. The best citizens were thrown into prisons, and
afterwards murdered, without even a form of trial. At this time Titus
appeared before the gates--a vast multitude having previously arrived in
the city to celebrate the feast of the passover. During this celebrated
siege, there were no less than three earthquakes; and an aurora borealis
terrified the inhabitants with forms, which their fears and astonishment
converted into prodigies of enemies fighting in the air, and flaming
swords hanging over their temple. They were visited with a plague, so
dreadful, that more than one hundred and fifty thousand persons were
carried out of the city, at the public charge, to be buried; and six
hundred and fifty thousand were cast over the walls, and out of the
gates. A famine ensued; and so horrible was the want, that a bushel of
corn sold for six hundred crowns. The populace were reduced to the
necessity of taking old excrement of horses, mules, and oxen, to satisfy
their hunger; and a lady of quality even boiled her own child and ate
it--a crime so exquisite, that Titus vowed to the eternal Gods, that he
would bury its infamy in the ruins of the city. He took it soon after by
storm; the plough was drawn over it; and with the exception of the west
walls, and three towers, not one stone remained above another. Ninety
thousand persons were made captives; and one million one hundred
thousand perished during the siege. Those made captives being sold to
several nations, they were dispersed over a great portion of the ancient
world; and from them are descended the present race of Jews, scattered
singly, and in detached portions, in every province of Europe, and in
most districts of Africa and Asia. Thus terminated this memorable
siege--a siege the results of which meet the eye in every Jew we meet."

The Jews having, in the reign of Adrian, given way to a turbulent
disposition, that emperor resolved to level all things to the
ground--that is, those buildings which the Jews had erected to destroy
the towers, that were left by Titus for the convenience of the Roman
garrison; and to sow salt in the ground on which the city had stood.
Thus did Adrian literally fulfil the prophecy, that neither in the city,
nor in the temple, should one stone be left upon another. This final
destruction took place forty-seven years after that of Titus.

A new city, under the name of Ælia Capitolina, was soon after built,
where the presence of the Jews was absolutely prohibited. In this new
city, the Christians were sometimes persecuted, and sometimes
protected, by the Roman emperors, till the time when the empress Helena
came to visit the city; when, finding it in a most forlorn and ruinous
condition, she formed the design of restoring it to its ancient lustre;
and her son, Constantine, having embraced the Christian doctrine, he
issued an edict, that the old name of Jerusalem should be employed when
speaking of the city.

A few years after, an attempt was made to rebuild the temple by the
emperor Julian, an attempt which is recorded as having proved abortive,
from fiery eruptions escaping out of the earth, and dispersing the

In the reign of Justinian, that emperor built a magnificent church at
Jerusalem; the foundation being formed by raising part of a deep valley.
The stones of a neighbouring quarry were hewn into regular forms; each
block was fixed on a peculiar carriage drawn by forty of the strongest
oxen, and the roads were widened for the passage of such enormous
weights. Lebanon furnished her loftiest cedars for the timbers of the
church; and the seasonable discovery of a vein of red marble supplied
its beautiful columns;--two of which, the supporters of the extensive
portico, were esteemed the largest in the world.

In 613, Jerusalem was taken by Chosroes, king of Persia. The sepulchre
of Christ and the stately churches of Helena and Constantine were
consumed; the devout offerings of three hundred years were rifled, "the
true cross" was transported into Persia; and the massacre of ninety
thousand Christians is imputed to the Jews and Arabs, who swelled the
disorder of the Persian march.

It was recaptured by Heraclius in 627. This emperor banished all the
Jews, and interdicted them from coming nearer to it than three miles.

Nine years after this, Jerusalem was taken by Khaled, one of Omar's
generals. Omar being apprised of this success of his arms, immediately
set out to visit the Holy City. He was attended in his journey by a
numerous retinue. He rode upon a red camel, and carried with him two
sacks of provision and fruits. Before him he had a leather bottle
containing water, and behind him a wooden platter, out of which many of
his retinue ate in common with himself. His clothes were made of camels'
hair, and were in a very tattered condition; and the figure he made was
mean and sordid to the last degree. On the morning after his arrival, he
said prayers and preached to his troops. After the conclusion of his
sermon, he pitched his tent within sight of the city. There he signed
the articles of capitulation; by which the inhabitants were entitled to
the free exercise of their religion, the possession of their property,
and his protection.

It continued under the caliphs of Bagdad till A.D. 868, when it was
taken by a Turkish sovereign of Egypt; during the space of two hundred
and twenty years it was subject to several masters, Turkish and
Saracenic; and in 1099, it was taken by the crusaders under Godfrey of
Bouillon, who was elected king. He was succeeded by his brother Baldwin,
who died A.D. 1118, and having no son, his eldest daughter, Melisandra,
conveyed the kingdom into her husband's family. In A.D. 1188, Saladin,
sultan of the East, captured the city, assisted by Raymond, count of
Tripoli, who was found dead in his bed on the morning of the day on
which he was to have delivered up the city. It was restored in 1242 to
the Latin princes by Salah Ismael, emir of Damascus. They lost it in
1291 to the sultans of Egypt, who held it till 1382.

Selim, the Turkish sultan, reduced Egypt and Syria, including Jerusalem,
in 1517, and his son Solyman built the present walls in 1534. It
continues to the present day under the Turkish dominion, fulfilling the
prophecy, that it "should be trodden down of the Gentiles." It is not,
therefore, only in the history of Josephus, and in other ancient
writers, that we are to look for the accomplishment of Christ's
prediction; we see them verified at this moment before our eyes, in the
desolate state of this once celebrated city and temple, and in the
present condition of the Jewish people; not collected together into any
one country, into one political society, and under one form of
government, but dispersed into every region of the globe, and everywhere
treated with contumely and scorn.

We now proceed to give some account of the city, as it now stands, from
various travellers who have visited it; confining ourselves, however,
almost entirely to what may be called its antiquities.

The following particulars in regard to the approach to Jerusalem are
from the pen of Mr. Robinson.

"As we approach Jerusalem, the road becomes more and more rugged, and
all the appearance of vegetation ceases; the rocks are scantily covered
with soil, and what little verdure might have existed in the spring, is
in the autumn entirely burnt up. There is a like absence of animal life;
and it is no exaggeration to say, here man dwelleth not; the beast
wandereth not; the bird flieth not; indeed, nothing indicates the
approach to the ancient metropolis of Judea, unless it be the apparent
evidences of a curse upon its soil, impressed in the dreadful characters
just mentioned, whilst the 'inhabitants thereof,' are 'scattered
abroad.' Oftentimes on the road was I tempted to exclaim, like the
stranger that was come from a strange land, 'Wherefore hath the Lord
done this unto the land? what meaneth the heat of this great

Dr. Clarke, however, was nevertheless struck with its grandeur. He says
that, instead of a wretched and ruined town, as he had expected, he
beheld a flourishing and stately metropolis, domes, towers, palaces, and
monasteries, shining in the sun's rays with inconceivable splendour.
"Like many other ancient places," says a French commentator on this
account, "it no doubt presents two aspects; a mixture of magnificence
and paltriness."

To the southward of the site of Bethlehem stands the city castle[310].
It is composed of towers connected by curtains, which form two or three
enclosures, the interior successively commanding the exterior. A few old
guns, mounted on broken carriages, are planted on its walls to keep the
Arabs in awe. The castle is sometimes called the castle of Daniel; and
sometimes of the Pisans, having been erected by that people when the
city was in the hands of the Christians. From one of the windows looking
north, travellers are shown the site of the house of Uriah; and a piece
of ground attached to it, and just within the walls, an old tank, called
Bathsheba's bath. But the place where the latter was bathing, when seen
by the amorous monarch, was more probably the great basin lying in the
ravine to the south of the castle at the foot of Mount Zion, and called
the lower pool of Gihon.

The sides of the hill of Zion have a pleasing appearance; as they
possess a few olive-trees and rude gardens, and a crop of corn was
growing there when Mr. Carne visited it. On its southern extremity is
the mosque of David, which is held in the highest reverence by the
Turks, who affirm that the remains of that monarch, and his son Solomon,
were interred there.

The palace of Pilate is now a Turkish residence, and stands near to the
gateway by which Christ was led thence to Calvary, to be crucified. Here
is pointed out the spot on which Pilate presented Jesus to the
people, declaring he could find no guilt in him; the place on which he
fainted under the weight of the cross, and where the Virgin swooned,
also, at the sight; the spot where Veronica gave him her handkerchief to
wipe his forehead; and lastly, where the soldiers compelled Simon of
Cyrene to bear his cross. In the palace the monk points out the room
where Christ was confined before his trial; and at a short distance is a
dark and ruinous hall, shown as the arch where Christ stood till his
judge exclaimed "Behold the man[311]!"

One of the streets is said to be the same where Christ made his first
appearance after his resurrection; and in the same street stands an
Armenian convent, erected over the spot on which James, the brother of
John, was beheaded. This is one of the finest buildings in
Jerusalem[312]. At a short distance is a small church, said to be
erected on the spot where formerly stood the house of the high-priest
Annas; and, a little farther on, another which marks the house of
Caiaphas; while, just beyond the gate, the attention is directed to a
mosque, where the house stood in which Christ ate his last supper.

The mosque of Omar, which occupies the site of the Jewish temple, loses
nothing of its grandeur or beauty on a near approach. The spacious paved
courts, the flights of steps, and surrounding arcades, the dark tall
cypress-trees and running fountains, and the large octagonal body of the
mosque, with its surrounding domes, produce altogether the finest
effect, and increase the desire to enter its forbidden walls. It is said
to be the most magnificent piece of architecture in the Turkish empire;
far superior to the mosque of St. Sophia in Constantinople. By the sides
of the spacious area in which it stands are several vaulted remains; and
evidence is said to be capable of proving, that they belonged to the
foundation of Solomon's temple[313].

Chateaubriand says, that he was strongly tempted to find some mode of
penetrating to the interior of the mosque; but was prevented by the
fear, that he might thereby involve the whole Christian population of
Jerusalem in destruction. Dr. Richardson, however, succeeded in
gratifying a similar curiosity, which he shared in common with a host of
other travellers.

The Tomb of Zacharias is square, with four or five pillars, and is cut
out of the rock. Near this is a sort of grotto, hewn out of the elevated
part of the rock, with four pillars in front, which is said to have been
the apostles' prison at the time they were confined by the rulers.

At a small distance within the gates of St. Stephen, that fronts Olivet,
is the pool of Bethesda, said to be the scene of one of Christ's most
striking miracles. The pool is at present dry, and its bed nearly filled
up with earth and rubbish. Wild tamarisk bushes and pomegranate trees
spread their foliage round it; but, according to Chateaubriand, the
mason-work of the sides, composed of large stones, joined together by
iron cramps, may still be traced; making the measurement of this
reservoir to have been in width 40 feet, and in length 150. At its
eastern end are some arches dammed up. It is evidently the most ancient
work in Jerusalem, and, as such, is an interesting specimen of the
primitive architecture of its inhabitants. All travellers seem to agree
that this was the pool of Bethesda, memorable in the Gospel history as
the scene of the paralytic, related in St. John. It was here, perhaps,
that the sheep were marked, preparatory to the sacrifices of the

"At about two-thirds of the ascent of the Mount of Olives," says Mr.
Robinson, "we were shown the place where our Lord, looking down upon the
city, wept over its impending fate. 'Seest thou these great buildings?
There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown

"From the summit," says Mr. Carne, "you enjoy an admirable view of the
city. It is beneath, and very near, and looks, with its valleys around
it, like a panorama. This noble mosque of Omar, and large area, planted
with palms, its narrow streets, ruinous places and towers, are all laid
out before you, as you have seen Naples and Corfu in Leicester-square.
On the summit are the remains of a church, built by the empress Helena;
and in a small edifice, containing one large and lofty apartment, is
shown the print of the last footsteps of Christ, when he took his leave
of earth."

"About forty years," says Dr. Clarke, "before the idolatrous profanation
of the Mount of Olives by Solomon, his afflicted parent, driven from
Jerusalem by his son Absalom, came to this eminence to present a less
offensive sacrifice, and, as it is beautifully expressed by Adichomius,
'flens et nudis pedibus adoravit,' what a scene does the sublime
description, given by the prophet, picture to the imagination of every
one who has felt the influence of filial piety, but especially of the
traveller, standing upon the very spot where the aged monarch gave to
heaven the offering of his wounded spirit. "And David went up by the
ascent of Mount Olives, and wept as he went up, and had his head
covered, and he went barefoot, and all the people that was with him
covered every man his head; and they went up weeping."

On the top of the mount are the remains of several works, the history of
which has been lost. Among these are several subterraneous chambers. One
of them has the shape of a cone, of very large size. It is upon the very
pinnacle of the mountain.

"The Mount of Olives," says Mons. La Martine, "slopes suddenly and
rapidly down to the deep abyss, called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which
separates it from Jerusalem. From the bottom of this sombre and narrow
valley, the barren sides of which are everywhere paved with black and
white stones, the funereal stones of death, rises an immense hill, with
so abrupt an elevation, that it resembles a fallen rampart: no tree here
strikes its roots; no moss even can here fix its filaments. The slope is
so steep that the earth and stones continually roll from it, and it
presents to the eye only a surface of dry dust, as if powdered cinders
had been thrown upon it. From the heights of the city, towards the
middle of this hill, or natural rampart, rise high and strong walls of
large stones, not externally sawed by the mason, which conceal their
Hebrew and Roman foundations beneath the same cinders, and are here from
fifty to one hundred, and further on, from two to three hundred feet in
height. The walls are here cut by three city gates, two of which are
fastened up, and the only one open before us seems as void and as
desolate as if it gave entrance to an uninhabited town. The walls,
rising again beyond this gate, sustain a large and vast terrace, which
runs along two-thirds of the length of Jerusalem, on the eastern side;
and, judging by the eye, may be a thousand feet in length, and five or
six hundred in breadth. It is nearly level, except at its centre, where
it sinks insensibly, as if to recall to the eye the _valley of little
depth_, which formerly separated the hill of Sion from the city of
Jerusalem. This magnificent platform, prepared no doubt by nature, but
evidently finished by the hand of man, was the sublime pedestal upon
which arose the temple of Solomon. It now supports two Turkish mosques."

Acra Hill[316] rose to the north of Sion, the east side facing mount
Moriah, on which the temple was situated, and from which this hill was
separated only by a chasm, which the Asmoneans partly filled up by
lowering the summit of Acra. As we are informed by Josephus, Antiochus
Epiphanes erected a fortress upon it to overawe the city and the temple;
which fortress, having a Greek or Macedonian garrison, held out against
the Jews till the time of Simon, who demolished it, and at the same time
levelled the summit of the hill.

The east side of Mount Moriah[317] bordered the valley of Kedron,
commonly called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which was very deep: the
south side, overlooking a very low spot, (the Tyropoeon,) was faced,
from top to bottom, with a strong wall, and had a bridge going across
the valley for its communication with Sion. The east side looked towards
Acra, the appearance of which from the temple is compared by Josephus to
a theatre; and on the north side an artificial ditch, says the same
historian, separated the temple from a hill named Begetha, which was
afterwards joined to the town, by an extension of its area.

The loftiest, the most extensive, and in all respects the most
conspicuous eminence, included within the site of the ancient city, was
that of Sion, called the Holy Hill, and the citadel of David. This we
have positive authority for fixing on the south of the city. David
himself saith, "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is
Mount Zion; on the sides of the north the city of the great King[318]."

"On its summit," says La Martine, "at some hundred paces from Jerusalem,
stands a mosque and a group of Turkish edifices, not unlike an European
hamlet, crowned with its church and steeple. This is Sion! the palace,
the tomb of David! the seat of his inspiration and of his joys, of his
life and his repose! A spot doubly sacred to me, who have so often felt
my heart touched, and my thoughts rapt by the sweet singer of Israel,
the first poet of sentiment, the king of lyrics. Never have human fibres
vibrated to harmonies so deep, so penetrating, so solemn; all the most
secret murmurs of the human heart found their voice and their note on
the lips and the heart of this minstrel! and if we revert to the remote
period when such chants were first echoed on the earth; if we consider
that at the same period the lyric poetry of the most cultivated nations
sang only of wine, love, and war, and the victories of the muses, or of
the coursers at the Eleian games, we dwell with profound astonishment on
the mystic accents of the prophet king, who addresses God the Creator,
as friend talks to friend, comprehends and adores his wonders, admires
his judgments, implores his mercies, and seems to be an anticipating
echo of the evangelic poetry, repeating the mild accents of Christ,
before they had been heard. Prophet or poet, as he is contemplated by
the philosopher or christian, neither of them can deny the poet king an
inspiration, bestowed on no other man! Read Horace or Pindar after a
Psalm? For my part I cannot!"

Near Jerusalem is a spot called Tophet, which is a ravine, which
contains several ancient tombs, marked with Hebrew and Greek
inscriptions. This valley is remarkable for the barbarous worship here
paid to Moloch; to which deity parents often sacrificed their offspring
by making them pass through the fire. To drown the lamentable shrieks of
the children[319] thus immolated, musical instruments were played. After
the captivity the Jews regarded this spot with abhorrence, on account of
the abominations which had been practised there; and following the
example of Josiah[320], they threw into it every species of filth, as
well as the carcases of animals, and the dead bodies of malefactors; and
to prevent the pestilence which such a mass would occasion, if left to
putrefy, constant fires were maintained in the valley in order to
consume the whole; hence the place received the appellation of Gehenna.

All round the hill of Sion[321], and particularly on that facing the
Valley of Hinnom, are numerous excavations which may have been
habitations of the living, but are more generally taken for sepulchres
of the dead. They are numerous and varied, both in their sizes and
forms; and are supposed to have been the tombs of the sons of Heth, of
the kings of Israel, of Lazarus, and of Christ.

The modern sepulchres of the unfortunate Jews are scattered all around.
The declivities of Sion and Olivet are covered with small and ill-shaped
stones, disposed with little order:--Here are the tombs of their

The sepulchres of the kings of Judah consist of a series of subterranean
chambers, extending in different directions, so as to form a sort of
labyrinth, resembling the still more wonderful example, lying westward
of Alexandria, in Egypt, by some called "the Sepulchres of the
Ptolemies." Each chamber contains a certain number of receptacles for
dead bodies, not being much larger than our coffins. The taste,
manifested in the interior of these chambers, denotes a late period in
the history of the arts. The skill and neatness visible in the carving
is admirable, and there is much of ornament in several parts of the
work. There are, also, slabs of marble, exquisitely sculptured. These
sepulchres are not those of the kings of Judah. Some suppose they may
have been constructed by Agrippa, who extended and beautified this
quarter of the city; but the most current opinion is, that they were the
work of Helena, queen of Aliabene, and her son Izatus.

The Sepulchres of the Patriarchs face that part of Jerusalem where the
Temple of Solomon was formerly erected. The antiquities which
particularly bear this name, are four in number: these are the
sepulchres of Jehoshaphat, of Absalom, the cave of St. James, and the
sepulchre of Zechariah. These tombs display an alliance of the Egyptian
and Grecian taste, "forming, as it were," says Chateaubriand, "a link
between the Pyramids and the Parthenon." "In order to form the
sepulchres of Absalom and Zechariah," says Dr. Clarke, "the solid
substance of the mountain has been cut away; sufficient areas being
thereby excavated, two monuments of prodigious size appear in the midst;
each seeming to consist of a single stone, although standing as if
erected by an architect, and adorned with columns, appearing to support
the edifice, whereof they are, in fact, integral parts; the whole of
each mausoleum being of one entire block of stone. These works may,
therefore, be considered as belonging to sculpture, rather than to
architecture: for, immense as these are, they appeared sculptured
instead of being built. The columns are of that ancient style and
character, which yet appear among the works left by Ionian and Dorian
colonies, in the remains of their Asiatic cities."

The sepulchre of Absalom, and the cave of St. James, are smaller works,
but of the same nature as those above. All of them contain apartments
and receptacles for the dead, hewn in the same curious manner.

A few paces to the north of the grot,[322] is a substantial stone
building, resembling the dome of a church, almost even with the ground,
having a pointed gothic doorway. It covers the reputed tomb of the
blessed Virgin; and its construction, like other great monuments of this
country, is attributed to the pious mother of Constantine. The descent
to it is by a broad and handsome flight of forty-six stone steps. On the
right-hand side, about half way down, is shown the cenotaph, erected to
the memory of Joahim and Anne, the father and mother of Mary; and, in a
recess on the opposite side, that of Joseph her husband. A further
descent leads into a subterraneous chapel, lit up with lamps, which are
kept continually burning. In the centre, a little to the right, is an
altar, erected over the sacred tomb, which is an excavation in the rock.
Behind, in the curve of the chapel, is an altar, at which mass is
occasionally said.[323]

"The tomb of the Virgin," says Dr. Clarke, "is the largest of all the
cryptæ. Near Jerusalem, appropriate chapels, within a lofty and spacious
vault, distinguish the real or imaginary tombs of the Virgin Mary, of
Joseph, of Anna, and of Caiaphas. Struck with wonder, not only in
viewing such an extraordinary effort of human labour, but in the
consideration that history affords no light whatever as to its origin,
we came afterwards to examine it again, but could assign no probable
date for the era of its construction. It ranks among those colossal
works, which were accomplished by the inhabitants of Asia Minor, of
Phoenicia, and of Palestine, in the first ages;--works, which differ
from those of Greece, in displaying less of beauty, but more of arduous
enterprise; works, which remind us of the people rather than the artist;
which we refer to as monuments of history, rather than of taste."

The circumstance[324] that perplexes every traveller, is to account for
Mount Calvary having been formerly _without_ the city, whereas it is, at
present, not a small way _within_; and in order to shut it out, the
ancient walls must have made the most extraordinary and unnecessary
curve imaginable. But tradition could not err in the identity of so
famous a spot; and the smallest scepticism would deprive it of its
principal charm.

The street leading to Calvary is called by the Christians Via Dolorosa,
or "Dolorous Way," in commemoration of the sufferings of Christ, in the
carrying of the cross to the place of execution. It rises with a gradual
ascent as it approaches Calvary, where it terminates. There are many
interesting spots in this way; and Mr. Robinson thus describes them:--

(1.) "An archway across the street, designated the Arch of the Ecce
Homo, over which there is a double window, separated by a column. Here
Pilate brought the Lord forth to the people, saying,--'Behold the
Man!'--(John xix. 6).

(2.) "The place where Christ turned round to the women, who followed him
with their lamentations, and, moved by the tears of his countrymen, he
addressed them in the language of consolation; 'Daughters of Jerusalem,
weep not for me.'--(Luke xxiii. 28.) Where the Virgin, witness of the
trying scene, and overcome by the feelings of a mother, fell into a

(3.) "Where Christ, falling down under the weight of the cross, the
soldiers compelled Simon the Cyrenian to assist him,--(Luke xxiii. 26);
it is marked out by the broken shaft of a column, just where the lower
city terminates.

(4.) "The dwelling of Lazarus.

(5.) "The dwelling of the rich man.

(6.) "The house from which Veronica, or Berenice, issued, to present our
Lord with a handkerchief, to wipe his bleeding brows.

(7.) "The gate of judgment, formerly the boundary of the city.

"And finally, Calvary, the scene of his crucifixion."

The church, which is regarded as marking the site of the Holy Sepulchre,
in Dr. Clarke's opinion, exhibits nowhere the slightest evidence which
can entitle it to either of these appellations. He is, therefore,
disposed to believe, that the crucifixion took place upon the opposite
summit, now called Mount Sion.

Dr. Clarke says, in reference to another cavern: "There was one, which
particularly attracted our notice, from its extraordinary coincidence
with all the circumstances attaching to the history of our Saviour's
tomb. The large stone which once closed its mouth had been, perhaps for
ages, rolled away. Stooping down to look into it, we observed within a
fair sepulchre, containing a repository upon one side only for a single
body: whereas, in most of the others, there were two, and in many of
them more than two. It is placed exactly opposite to that which is now
called Mount Sion. As we viewed the sepulchre, and read upon the spot
the description given of Mary Magdalene and the disciples coming in the
morning,[325] it was impossible to divest our minds of the probability,
that here might have been the identical tomb of Jesus Christ; and that
up the steep, which led to it, after descending from the gate of the
city, the disciples strove together,[326] when "John did out-run Peter,
and came first to the sepulchre."[327]

"On leaving the Church of the Holy Sepulchre," says Mons. la Martine,
"we followed the Via Dolorosa, of which M. de Chateaubriand has given so
poetical an itinerary. Here is nothing striking, nothing verified,
nothing even probable. Ruined houses, of modern construction, are
everywhere exhibited to the pilgrims by the monks as incontestible
vestiges of the various stations of Christ. The eye cannot even doubt;
all confidence in these local traditions is annihilated beforehand by
the history of the first years of Christianity, where we read that
Jerusalem no longer retained one stone upon another, and that Christians
were for many years exiled from the city. Some pools, and the tombs of
her kings, are the only memorials Jerusalem retains of her past eventful
story; a few sites alone can be recognised--as that of the Temple,
indicated by its terraces, and now bearing the large and magnificent
mosque of Omar al Sakara; Mount Sion occupied by the Armenian convent,
and the tomb of David; and it is only with history in one's hand, and
with a doubting eye, that the greater part of these can be assigned with
any degree of precision. Except the terraced walls in the valley of
Jehoshaphat, no stone bears its date in its form or colour;--all is in
ashes, or all is modern. The mind wanders in uncertainty over the
horizon of the city, not knowing where to rest; but the city itself,
designated by the circumscribed hill on which it stood, by the different
valleys which encircled it, and especially by the deep valley of Cedron,
is a monument which no eye can mistake. There, truly, was Sion seated; a
singular and unfortunate site for the capital of a great nation. It is
rather the natural fortress of a small people, driven from the earth,
and taking refuge, with their God and their Temple, on a soil that none
could have any interest in disputing with them; on rocks which no roads
can render accessible; amidst valleys destitute of water; in a rough and
sterile climate; its only prospect mountains, calcined by the eternal
fires of volcanoes; the mountains of Arabia and Jericho; and an
infectious lake, without shore or navigation--the Dead Sea."

The Garden of Gethsemane[328] is, not without reason, shown as the scene
of our Saviour's agony, the night before his crucifixion, both from the
circumstance of the name it still retains, and its situation in regard
to the city. Titus, it is true, cut down all the wood in the
neighbourhood of Jerusalem; and were this not the case, no reasonable
person would regard it as a remnant of so remote an age, notwithstanding
the story of the olive shown in the citadel of Athens, and supposed to
bear date from the foundation of the city. But, as a spontaneous
produce, uninterruptedly resulting from the original growth of the
mountain, it is impossible to view even those with indifference.

In the upper end of the garden is a naked ledge of rocks[329], where
Peter, James, and John slept. The exact limits of this, the most
interesting and hallowed of all gardens, are not known, nor is it
necessary to know them; but as we read that "Christ went forth with his
disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden" (John xviii.
1), and that this garden was in the Mount of Olives, "we felt
satisfied," says Mr. Robinson, "that we stood on the ground whereon the
Saviour had stood before; and that the aged trees, which now afforded us
shade, were the lineal descendants of those under which he often
reposed; but more particularly on the night of his ascent. The grot, to
which he retired on this occasion, and where, "falling down to the
ground," in the agony of his soul, and "sweating," as it were, "great
drops of blood," he was comforted by an angel (Luke xxii. 43, 44), is
still shown, and venerated as such. It is excavated in the live rock,
and the descent to it is by a flight of rudely cut steps; the form of
the interior is circular, about fifteen feet in diameter, and the roof,
which is supported by pilasters, perforated in the middle to admit
light: there are some remains of sepulchres in the sides.

The cave of Gethsemane is in the valley of Jehoshaphat:--"It was to this
cavern," says La Martine, "at the foot of the Mount of Olives, that
Christ retired, according to tradition, to escape sometimes from the
persecution of his enemies and the importunities of his disciples; it
was here he communed with his own divine reflections, and that he
implored his Father, that the bitter cup that he had filled for himself,
and which we fill for ourselves, should pass from his lips. It was here
that he enjoined his three disciples to watch and pray, the evening
before his death, and not to sleep--and that three times he returned and
awakened them, so prone is human zeal and charity to slumber. It was
here he passed the terrible hours of his agony--the ineffable struggle
between life and death--between instinct and will--between the soul that
wishes to be free, and matter, which resists because of its blindness.
It was here he sweated blood and water, and that, weary of combating
with himself, without obtaining that victory of his intellect, which
would give peace to his thoughts, he uttered those words, which sum up
all human godliness; those words which are become the wisdom of the
wise, and which ought to be the epitaph of every life, and the sole
aspiration of every created being; 'My father, not my will, but thine,
be done!'"

The Valley of Jehoshaphat[330] was a deep and narrow valley, enclosed on
the north by barren heights, which contained the sepulchres of kings,
shaded on the west by the heavy and gigantic walls of a pre-existing
city; covered at the east by the summit of the Mount of Olives, and
crossed by a torrent which rolled its bitter and yellow waves over the
broken rocks of the valley of Jehoshaphat. At some paces distant, a
black and bare rock detaches itself like a promontory from the base of
the mountain, and, suspended over Cedron and the valley, bears several
old tombs of kings and patriarchs, formed in gigantic and singular
architecture, and strikes like the bridge of death over the valley of

The fountain of Siloam[331] rises about half way down Mount Sion, and
gushes from beneath a little arch, nearly ten feet below the surface,
into a small pool about two feet deep; this is quite open, and the rocky
sides of the spot are cut smooth. On the south side a flight of steps
leads down to it: the water is clear and cold, and flows down the mount
into the valley beneath, to a considerable distance. At this stream the
women of the city generally come to wash their linen; and its banks are
in some parts shaded with trees[332].

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has the external appearance of a Roman
Catholic church. Over the door is a bas-relief, executed in a style of
sculpture which at first sight implies an antiquity higher than that of
any Christian place of worship; but, upon a nearer view, is recognized
the history of the Messiah's entry into Jerusalem. Dr. Clarke is,
therefore, disposed to think, that it offers an example of the first
work in which Pagan sculptors represented a Christian theme. The
interior of this fabric is divided into two parts; and in the
anti-chapel is shown the mouth of what is called the sepulchre, the
stone whereon the angel sat: this is a block of white marble[333].

The Stone of Unction is covered by a slab of polished marble in the
floor of the entrance hall of the Holy Sepulchre. On this the body of
Christ was washed, anointed, and prepared for the tomb. (St. John, xix.
39.) It is surrounded by a low rail; and several rich lamps are hung
suspended over it. Advancing a few paces to the left, we come into that
part of the church, properly denominated the nave. It is an open space
in the form of a circle, about thirty-five paces in diameter, and
surrounded by sixteen pillars, supporting galleries, and covered in by a
dome, not unlike that of the Pantheon at Rome. In the centre of this
area, and immediately under the aperture through which the light is
admitted, rises a small oblong building of marble, twenty feet in
length, by ten in breadth, and about fifteen feet in height, surmounted
by a small cupola, standing upon columns; this covers the supposed site
of the Saviour's tomb. It is approached by steps leading into an
anti-room, or chapel[334].

The following account is given by Dr. Richardson:--"Having passed within
these sacred walls," says he, "the attention is first directed to a
large flat stone in the floor, a little within the door; it is
surrounded by a rail, and several lamps hang suspended over it. The
pilgrims approach it on their knees, touch and kiss it, and, prostrating
themselves before it, offer up their prayers in holy adoration. This is
the stone, it is said, on which the body of our Lord was washed and
anointed, and prepared for the tomb. Turning to the left, and proceeding
a little forward, we came into a round space immediately under the dome,
surrounded with sixteen large columns which support the gallery above.
In the centre of this space stands the Holy Sepulchre; it is enclosed in
an oblong house, rounded at one end, with small arcades, or chapels for
prayer, on the outside of it. These are for the Copts, the Abyssinians,
the Syrian Maronites, and other Christians, who are not, like the Roman
Catholics, the Greeks, and Armenians, provided with large chapels in the
body of the church. At the other end it is squared off, and furnished
with a platform in front, which is ascended by a flight of steps, having
a small parapet wall of marble on each hand, and floored with the same
material. In the middle of this small platform, stands a block of
polished marble, about a foot and a half square; on this stone (it is
said) sat the angel, who announced the blessed tidings of the
resurrection to Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of
James. Advancing, and taking off our shoes and turbans at the desire of
the keeper, he drew aside the curtain, and stepping down, and bending
almost to the ground, we entered by a low narrow door into this mansion
of victory, where Christ triumphed over the grave, and disarmed Death of
all his terrors. Here the mind looks on Him, who, though He knew no sin,
yet entered the mansion of the dead to redeem us from death, and the
prayers of a grateful heart ascend with a risen Saviour to the presence
of God in heaven."

"Christians," says Mons. Chateaubriand, "will inquire, perhaps, what my
feelings were on entering this holy place? I really cannot tell. So many
reflections rushed at once into my mind, that I was unable to dwell upon
any particular idea. I continued near half an hour upon my knees, in the
little chamber of the Holy Sepulchre, with my eyes riveted upon the
stone, from which I had not the power to turn them. One of the two
monks, who accompanied me, remained prostrate on the marble by my side;
while the other, with the Testament in his hand, read to me, by the
light of the lamps, the passages relating to the sacred tomb. All I can
say is, that when I beheld this triumphant sepulchre, I felt nothing but
my own weakness; and that when my guide exclaimed, with St. Paul, 'O
Death, where is thy victory? O Grave, where is thy sting?' I listened,
as if Death was about to reply, that he was conquered, and enchained in
this monument[335]."


Leliæ, the first king of Laconia, began his reign about 1516 years
before the Christian era. Tyndarus[336], the ninth king of Lacedæmon,
had, by Leda, Castor and Pollux, who were twins, besides Helena, and
Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon, king of Mycenæ. Having survived his
son, he began to think of choosing a successor, by looking out for a
husband for his daughter Helena. All the pretenders to this princess
bound themselves by oath, to abide by, and entirely submit to, the
choice which the lady herself should make, who determined in favour of
Menelaus. She had not lived above three years with her husband, before
she was carried off by Paris, son of Priam, king of the Trojans, which
rape was the cause of the Trojan war. The Greeks took Troy after a siege
of ten years, about the year of the world 2820, and 1184 before Christ.

Eighty years after the taking of this city, the Heraclidæ re-entered the
Peloponnesus, and seized Lacedæmon; when two brothers, Eurysthenes and
Procles, sons of Aristodemus, began to reign together, and from their
time the sceptre always continued jointly in the hands of the
descendants of those two families.

Many years after this, Lycurgus instituted that body of laws, which
rendered both the legislature and the republic so famous in history: and
since the constitution of Lycurgus seems to have been the true
groundwork of our own, we insert some few particulars in respect to it;
for the ruins of institutions are even more important subjects of
contemplation than those of the walls in which they were engendered. The
following account is taken from Rollin. We have not space, however, for
the whole of his observations; we shall select, therefore, only the most
important ones. Of all the institutions, made by Lycurgus, the most
considerable was that of the senate; which, by tempering and balancing
the too absolute power of the kings by an authority of equal weight and
influence with theirs, became the principal support and preservation of
the state. For whereas, before, it was ever unsteady, and tending one
while to tyranny, by the violent proceedings of the kings; at other
times towards democracy, by the excessive power of the people, the
senate served as a kind of counterpoise to both; which kept the state in
a due equilibrium, and preserved it in a firm and steady situation; the
twenty-eight senators, of which it consisted, siding with the king, when
the people were aiming at too much power; and, on the other hand,
espousing the interests of the people whenever the kings attempted to
carry their authority too far.

Lycurgus having thus tempered the government, those that came after him
thought the power of the senate too absolute; and, therefore, as a check
upon them, they devised the authority of the Ephori. These were five in
number, and remained but one year in office. They were all chosen out of
the people, and in that respect considerably resembled the tribunes of
the people among the Romans. Their authority extended to the arresting
and imprisoning the persons of their kings. This institution began in
the reign of Theopompus, whose wife reproached him, that he would leave
his children the regal authority in a worse condition than he had
received it. "No!" said he, "on the contrary, I shall leave it them in a
much better condition; as it will be more permanent and lasting." The
Spartan government then was not purely monarchical. The nobility had a
share in it, and the people were not excluded. Each part of this body
politic, in proportion as it contributed to the public good, found in it
their advantage.

The second institution of Lycurgus was the division of the lands, which
he looked upon as absolutely necessary for establishing peace and good
order in the commonwealth. The major part of the people were so poor,
that they had not one inch of land of their own, whilst a small number
of particular persons were possessed of all the lands and wealth of the
country. In order to banish insolence, envy, fraud, luxury, and two
other distempers of the state, still greater and more ancient than
those, excessive poverty and excessive wealth, he persuaded the citizens
to give up all their lands to the commonwealth, and to make a new
division of them.

This scheme, as extraordinary as it was, was immediately executed.
Lycurgus divided the lands of Laconia into thirty thousand parts, which
he distributed among an equal number of citizens. It is said that, some
years after, as Lycurgus was returning from a long journey, and passing
through the lands of Laconia, in the time of harvest, and observing, as
he went along, the perfect equality of the reaped corn, he turned
towards those who were with him, and said smilingly, "Does not Laconia
look like the possession of several brothers, who have just been
dividing their inheritance among them?"

After having divided their immoveables, he undertook likewise to make
the same equal division of all their moveable goods and chattels, that
he might utterly banish all manner of equality from among them. But
perceiving that this would go against the grain, if he went openly about
it, he endeavoured to effect it by sapping the very foundations of
avarice. For first he cried down all gold and silver money, and ordained
that no other should be current than that of iron; which he made so very
heavy, and fixed at so low a rate, that a cart and two oxen were
necessary to carry home a sum of ten minas (about 20_l._), and a whole
chamber to keep it in.

Being desirous to make a yet more effectual war upon luxury, and utterly
to extirpate the love of riches, Lycurgus made a third regulation, which
was that of public meals. That he might entirely suppress all the
magnificence and extravagance of expensive tables, he ordained, that all
the citizens should eat together of the same common victuals, which the
law prescribed, and expressly forbade all private eating at their own
houses. The tables consisted of about fifteen persons each; where none
could be admitted but with the consent of the whole company. Each person
furnished, every month, a bushel of flour, eight measures of wine, five
pounds of cheese, two and a half pounds of figs, and a small sum of
money for preparing and cooking the food. The very children ate at these
public tables, and were carried thither as to a school of wisdom and
temperance. Nay, they were sure to see nothing but what tended to their
instruction and entertainment. The conversation was often enlivened with
ingenious and sprightly raillery, but never intermingled with any thing
vulgar or shocking; and if their jesting seemed to make any person
uneasy, they never proceeded any farther. Here their children were
likewise trained up, and accustomed to great secrecy; as soon as a young
man came into the dining-room, the oldest of the company used to say to
him, pointing to the door, "Nothing spoken here must ever go out there."

Lycurgus looked upon the education of youth as the greatest and most
important object of a legislator's care. His grand principle was, that
children belonged more to the state than to their parents; and,
therefore, he would not have them brought up according to their humours
and fancies; he would have the state intrusted with the general care of
their education, in order to have them formed upon correct and uniform
principles, which might inspire them betimes with the love of virtue and
of their country.

The most usual occupation of the Lacedæmonians was hunting, and other
bodily exercises. They were forbidden to exercise any mechanic art: the
Elotæ, a sort of slaves, tilled their land for them; for which they were
paid a certain revenue by way of wages. Lycurgus would have his citizens
enjoy a great deal of leisure: they had common halls, where the people
used to meet to converse together; and though their discourses chiefly
turned upon grave and serious topics, yet they seasoned them with a
mixture of wit and facetious humour, both agreeable and instructive.
They passed little of their time alone; being accustomed to live like
bees, always together, always about their chiefs and leaders. The love
of their country and of the public good was their predominant passion;
and they did not imagine they belonged to themselves but to their

The end Lycurgus proposed was the public happiness: convinced that the
happiness of a city, like that of a private person, depends upon virtue,
and upon being well within himself. He regulated Lacedæmon so as it
might always suffice to its own happiness, and act upon principles of
wisdom and equity. From thence arose that universal esteem of the
neighbouring people, and even of strangers, for the Lacedæmonians, who
asked them neither money, ships, nor troops; but only that they should
lend them a Lacedæmonian to command their armies; and when they had
obtained their request, they paid him certain obedience, with every kind
of honour and respect.

There were a multitude of other regulations, some of which were,
doubtless, of a very imperfect tendency; but it is certain that the
declension of Sparta began with the violation of Lycurgus's laws. No
sooner had the ambition of reigning over all Greece inspired them with
the design of having naval armies and foreign troops, and that money was
necessary for the support of those forces, than Lacedæmon, forgetting
her ancient maxims, saw herself reduced to have recourse to the
Barbarians, which, till then, she had detested, and basely to betray her
court to the kings of Persia, whom she had formerly vanquished with so
much glory; and that only to draw from them some aids of money and
troops against their own brethren; that is to say, against people born
and settled in Greece, like themselves. Thus had they the imprudence and
misfortune to recal, with gold and silver, all the vices and crimes
which the iron money had banished; and to prepare the way to the changes
which ensued, and were the causes of their ruin. And this infinitely
exalts the wisdom of Lycurgus, in having foreseen at such a distance
what might strike at the happiness of his citizens, and provided
salutary remedies against it in the form of government he established at

Ancient Sparta is thus described by Polybius:--"It is of a circular
form, and forty-eight stadia in circumference, situated in a plain, but
containing some rough places and eminences. The Eurotas flows to the
east, and the copiousness of its waters renders it too deep to be forded
during the greater part of the year. The hills, on which the Menelaion
is situated, are on the south-east of the city, on the opposite side of
the river. They are rugged, difficult of ascent, and throw their shadows
over the space which is between the city and the Eurotas. The river
flows close to the foot of the hills, which are not above a stadium and
a half from the city." Its former condition is thus described by
Anacharsis:--"The houses at Lacedæmon are small, and without ornament.
Halls and porticos have been erected, to which the citizens resort to
converse together, or transact business. On the south side of the city
is the hippodromus, or course for foot and horse races; and at a little
distance from that, the platanistas, or place of exercise for youth,
shaded by beautiful plane-trees, and inclosed by the Eurotas on one
side, a small river which falls into it, and a canal, by which they
communicate, on the other. It is entered by two bridges, on one of which
is the statue of Hercules, or 'All-subduing Force;' and on the other
that of Lycurgus, or 'All-regulating Law.'"

In what condition is this celebrated city at present? "Passing over the
Eurotas," says Mr. Dodwell, "we viewed the first remains of the
Lacedæmonian capital, now called Palaio-Kastro, consisting of uncertain
traces and heaps of large stones, tossed about in a sort of promiscuous
wreck. In a few minutes we reached the theatre, which is of large
dimensions. The Koilon is excavated in the hill, which rose nearly in
the middle of the city, and which served as an Acropolis. The theatre
appears of Roman construction, and the walls of the proscenium are
principally of brick. The white marble, of which, Pausanias says, it was
composed, has disappeared. Near the theatre are the remains of a Roman
brick tower. Sparta was originally without walls, and Lycurgus
prohibited their erection. Justin asserts that the Spartans first
surrounded their capital with walls, when Cassander entered the
Peloponnesus; according to Livy, they were built by the tyrant; and
Plutarch says they were destroyed by Philopoemen. Pausanias asserts,
that the walls were constructed with precipitate haste, when Demetrius
and Pyrrhus besieged Sparta. They were afterwards strongly fortified by
the tyrant Nabis, and destroyed by the Achæans, by whom, it appears,
they were afterwards rebuilt.

A fine sepulchral chamber, of a square form, regularly constructed with
large blocks, is situated nearly opposite the theatre, and a short
distance from it. It has been opened, and the interior is found to be
composed of brick-work. Many other ruins are dispersed in this
direction, some of which are of Roman origin. They appear to have
suffered more from sudden violence than from gradual decay; and have, no
doubt, been torn to pieces to supply materials for the modern town of
Misithra. Several inscriptions have also been found. From all this, it
will appear, that Chateaubriand is not quite correct, when he asserts,
that "SPARTA is occupied by the single hut of a goat-herd, whose wealth
consists in the crop, that grows upon the graves of Agis and


This city was long an inconsiderable place; but it increased towards the
age of Augustus. The fertility of the soil, and the good fortune of some
of its citizens, raised it to greatness. Several persons bequeathed
large sums to it; amongst whom may be particularly mentioned, Hiero,
Zeno the rhetorician, and Polemo his son. The first bequeathed it no
less than 2000 talents.

In ancient times Laodicea collected a very considerable revenue from its
flocks of sheep, celebrated for the fineness of their wool. "Under the
reign of the Cæsars," says an elegant writer, "the proper Asia alone
contained five hundred populous cities, enriched with all the gifts of
nature, and adorned with all the refinements of art. Eleven cities of
Asia had once disputed the honour of dedicating a temple to Tiberius,
and their respective merits were examined by the senate. Four of them
were immediately rejected, as unequal to the burthen; and among these
was Laodicea, whose splendour is still displayed in its ruins, and had
received, a little before the contest, a legacy of above 400,000_l._ by
the testament of a generous citizen. If such was the poverty of
Laodicea, what must have been the wealth of those cities whose
pretensions were admitted?"

It was first called Ramitha; but being, in process of time, greatly
embellished by Seleucus Nicator, he took advantage of his benefaction,
and called it Laodicea in honour of his mother. Cæsar afterwards named
it Juliopolis. It was in process of time included in the empire of
Saladin, conquered by Sultan Selim, and not long after nearly destroyed
by an earthquake.

It was rebuilt by a Turkish Aga. "It is thus a curiosity in its way,"
says a French Geography, "being indebted for its revival to a race of
people who usually confine their exertions to the work of destruction."

The ruins of this city have been described by several travellers. We
shall select the details left by Dr. Chandler and Mr. Kinneir. The first
ruin, says the former, is the remains of an amphitheatre, of an oblong
form, the area of which is about one thousand feet in extent, with many
seats remaining. At the west end is a wide vaulted passage, about one
hundred and forty feet long, designed for the horses and chariots; near
it is an arch, with an inscription on the mouldings, in large Greek
characters, "_To the Emperor Titus Cæsar Augustus Vespasian, seven times
consul, son of the Emperor, the God, Vespasian; and to the people_," &c.

By another ruin is a pedestal, with an inscription: "_The senate and
people have honoured Tatia, daughter of Nicostratus, son of Pericles, a
new heroine, both on account of the magistracy and ministries and public
works of her father, and on account of her great uncle, Nicostratus, who
lately, besides his other benefactions, was priest of the city, and
changed the stadium into an amphitheatre._"

On the north side of the amphitheatre is the ruin of an ample edifice.
In consists of many piers, and arches of stone, with pedestals and
marble fragments. On the west side lies a large stone with an
inscription: The city "_has exalted Ased, a man of sanctity and piety,
recorder for life; on account of the services he has performed to his

There are remains also of an Odeum. The seats remain in the side of the
hill. The whole was of marble. The proscenium lies a confused heap of
ruins. Sculpture had been lavished upon it, and the style savoured less
of Grecian taste than of Roman magnificence.

Beyond the Odeum are seen some marble arches, of, it is supposed, a
gymnasium. Westward are three other marble arches, crossing a dry
valley, as a bridge. There are also traces of the city walls, with
broken columns and pieces of marble. Within, the whole surface is filled
with pedestals and columns.

According to Mr. Kinneir, the greatest ornament is a triumphal arched
structure, of a square plan, between thirty and forty feet in height,
and encircled near the top with a handsome entablature. The arches, four
in number, are in the Roman style of architecture, supposed to have been
erected in honour of Cæsar, the patron of the city; or Germanicus, who
died at Daphne, and was greatly beloved by the Syrians. The corners are
adorned with handsome pilasters of the Corinthian order, and one of its
fronts exhibits a basso-relievo with martial instruments; hence another
traveller is inclined to suppose that it formed part of a temple
dedicated to Mars. At no great distance from this, stands a mosque,
evidently built from the ruins of another ancient edifice, of which
several columns of a portico still stand; and amidst rocks and crags
along the sea-shore may be observed a prodigious number of small
catacombs, Dr. Shaw mentions several rows of porphyry and granite

We cannot close this account without citing what has been recently said
of the inhabitants and environs of this city:--"The environs of Ledikea
having many olive grounds, gardens, little country retreats, and places
of pleasure, the inhabitants are all fond of rural recreation; and those
who cannot find time for a longer excursion, seat themselves along the
sides of the public roads, both in the morning and in the evening, to
enjoy the freshness of the air, and, as they themselves say, to lengthen
out their days by delight[338]."


This city (in Boeotia) is famous for having been the scene of a great
battle between the Thebans and the Lacedæmonians, July 8, B.C. 371.

The two armies were very unequal in number[339]. That of the
Lacedæmonians consisted of twenty-four thousand foot, and sixteen
hundred horse. The Thebans had only six thousand foot, and four hundred
horse; but all of them choice troops, animated by their experience of
the war, and determined to conquer or die. The Lacedæmonian cavalry,
composed of men picked up by chance, without valour, and ill
disciplined, was as much inferior to their enemies in courage as
superior in number. The infantry could not be depended on, except the
Lacedæmonians; their allies having engaged in the war with reluctance,
because they did not approve the motive of it, and were besides
dissatisfied with the Lacedæmonians.

Upon the day of battle, the two armies drew up on a plain. Cleombrotus
was upon the right, consisting of Lacedæmonians, on whom he confided
most. To take the advantage which his superiority of horse gave him in
an open country, he posted them in the front of the Lacedæmonians.
Archidamus, Agesilaus' son, was at the head of the allies, who formed
the left wing.

The action began by the cavalry. As that of the Thebans were better
mounted, and braver troops than the Lacedæmonian horse, the latter were
not long before they were broke, and driven upon the infantry, which
they put into some confusion. Epaminondas following his horse close,
marched swiftly up to Cleombrotus, and fell upon his phalanx with all
the weight of his heavy battalion. The latter, to make a diversion,
detached a body of troops with orders to take Epaminondas in flank, and
to surround him. Pelopidas, upon the sight of that movement, advanced
with incredible speed and boldness at the head of the second battalion
to prevent the enemy's design, and flanked Cleombrotus himself, who, by
that sudden and unexpected attack, was put into disorder. The battle was
very rude and obstinate; and whilst Cleombrotus could act, the victory
continued in suspense, and declared for neither party. When he fell dead
with his wounds, the Thebans, to complete the victory, and the
Lacedæmonians, to avoid the shame of abandoning the body of their king,
redoubled their efforts, and a great slaughter ensued on both sides. The
Spartans fought with so much fury about the body, that at length they
gained their point, and carried it off. Animated by so glorious an
advantage, they prepared to return to the charge, which would perhaps
have proved successful, had the allies seconded their ardour. But the
left wing, seeing the Lacedæmonian phalanx had been broke, and believing
all lost, especially when they heard that the king was dead, took to
flight, and drew off the rest of the army along with them. Epaminondas
followed them vigorously, and killed a great number in the pursuit. The
Thebans remained masters of the field of battle, erected a trophy, and
permitted the enemy to bury their dead.

The Lacedæmonians had never received such a blow. The most bloody
defeats till then had scarce ever cost them more than four or five
hundred of their citizens. They had been seen, however, animated, or
rather violently incensed against several hundred of their citizens, who
had suffered themselves to be shut up in the little island of
Sphacteria. Here they lost four thousand men, of whom one thousand were
Lacedæmonians, and four hundred Spartans, out of seven hundred who were
in the battle. The Thebans had only three hundred men killed; among whom
were few of their citizens.

The city of Sparta celebrated at that time the gymnastic games, and was
full of strangers, whom curiosity had brought thither. When the couriers
arrived from Leuctra with the terrible news of their defeat, the Ephori,
though perfectly sensible of all the consequences, and that the Spartan
empire had received a mortal wound, would not permit the representations
of the theatre to be suspended, nor any changes in the celebration of
the festival. They sent to every family the names of their relations who
were killed, and stayed in the theatre to see that the dances and games
were continued without interruption to the end.

The next day in the morning, the loss of each family being known, the
fathers and relations of those who had died in the battle, met in the
public place, and saluted and embraced each other with great joy and
serenity in their looks; whilst the others kept themselves close in
their houses; or, if necessity obliged them to go abroad, it was with a
sadness and dejection of aspect, which sensibly expressed their profound
anguish and affliction. That difference was still more remarkable in the
women. Grief, silence, tears, distinguished those who expected the
return of their sons; but such as had lost their sons were seen
hurrying to the temples, to thank the gods, and congratulating each
other upon their glory and good fortune[340].

All that remains of this city, so celebrated and so universally known by
the battle just described, and in which the Lacedæmonians forfeited for
ever the empire of Greece, after possessing it for three centuries, are
a few remains near the village of Parapongi, and a few blocks of


This city, situate on the Mæander, about fifteen miles S. E. of Ephesus,
was founded by a colony from Magnesia in Thrace, united with the
Cretans. It was one of the cities given to Themistocles by the king of
Persia. The Turks call it "Guzel-Hisar," or the beautiful castle.

A great battle was fought here between the Romans and Antiochus, king of
Syria. The forces of the former consisted of thirty thousand men; those
of Antiochus to seventy thousand foot and twelve thousand horse. The
Syrians lost fifty thousand foot and four thousand horse; and the Romans
only three hundred foot and twenty-five horse. This disproportion of
loss, however, is incredible.

Magnesia is rendered remarkable by the circumstance of its having been,
as we have before stated, the place assigned by Artaxerxes for the
residence of Themistocles. The whole revenues of the city, as well as
those of Lampsacus and Myunte, were settled upon him[342]. One of the
cities was to furnish him with bread, another with wine, and a third
with other provisions[343].

The temple of Diana at Magnesia was constructed under the direction of
Hermogenes, of whom Vitruvius speaks with great veneration.

"The situation of Magnesia," says Pococke, "is delightful; for it
commands a view of the fine plain of the Mæander, which is broad towards
the west. The view extends to the sea, and from the height I saw the
Agathonisa islands, which are near Patmos. Mount Thorax to the north is
covered with snow. What adds to the prospect, is a most beautiful
inclosed country to the south and west, and the fields are planted with
the fig and almond trees. The modern city, also, adds to the beauty of
the view; which being large, and there being courts and gardens to the
houses, improved by cypress and orange trees, and some of the streets
planted with trees, it makes it appear like a city in a wood."

Chandler visited this place in 1774. According to him, Magnesia
surrendered to the Romans immediately after the decisive battle between
Scipio and Antiochus. It was a free city in the time of Tiberius. It was
selected as a place of security, in 1303, by the Emperor Michael, who at
length was compelled to escape from it in the night. In 1313 it ranked
among the acquisitions of Sarkhan, afterwards sultan of Ionia. In 1443,
Amurath II. selected it as a place of retreat, when he resigned his
empire to his son Mahomet II.

There are signs of many great buildings all over the city; but they are
ruined in such a manner, that, except two or three, it is difficult to
judge of what nature they were. Pococke speaks, however, of there having
been in his time very great ruins to the east, which appeared to be
remains of some "magnificent large palace." On the north, too, he
observed the ruins of a very grand temple, which he thinks must have
belonged to that of Diana Leucophryne, the largest in Asia after the
temples of Ephesus and Didymi; and though it yielded to that of Ephesus
in its riches, yet it exceeded it in its proportions, and in the
exquisiteness of its architecture.

In the Ionic temple[344] at Magnesia, designed by that Hermogenes whose
merits are highly extolled by Vitruvius, the general dimensions are the
same as the dipteros; but having, in order to obtain free space under
the flank porticoes, omitted the inner range of columns, he thereby
established the pseudo-dipteros; but unless he continued the wooden
beams of the roof over the increased space, this mode was impracticable,
unless when the quarries afforded marble of very large dimensions.

A Persian writer says of this place:--"It is situated at the skirt of a
mountain; and its running streams afford water of the utmost purity; and
its air, even in winter, is more delightful than the breath of


A city of the Peloponnesus, well known for a famous battle fought near
it between the Lacedæmonians and Thebans. The Greeks had never fought
among themselves with more numerous armies. The Lacedæmonians consisted
of twenty thousand foot, and two thousand horse; the Thebans of thirty
thousand foot, and three thousand horse.

The Theban general, Epaminondas, marched in the same order of battle in
which he intended to fight, that he might not be obliged, when he came
up with the enemy, to lose, in the disposition of his army, a time
which cannot be too much saved in great enterprises[346].

He did not march directly, and with his front to the enemy, but in a
column upon the hills, with his left wing foremost, as if he did not
intend to fight that day. When he was over against them at a quarter of
a league's distance, he made his troops halt and lay down their arms, as
if he designed to encamp there. The enemy in effect were deceived by
that stand; and reckoning no longer upon a battle, they quitted their
arms, dispersed themselves about the camp, and suffered that ardour to
extinguish, which the near approach of a battle is wont to kindle in the
hearts of the soldiers. Epaminondas, however, by suddenly wheeling his
troops to the right, having changed his column into a line, and having
drawn out the choicest troops, whom he had expressly posted in front
upon his march, he made them double their files upon the front of his
left wing, to add to its strength, and to put it into a condition to
attack in a point the Lacedæmonian phalanx, which, by the movement he
had made, faced it directly.

He expected to decide the victory by that body of chosen troops which he
commanded in person, and which he had formed in a column to attack the
enemy in a point like a galley, says Xenophon. He assured himself, that
if he could penetrate the Lacedæmonian phalanx, in which the enemy's
principal force consisted, he should not find it difficult to rout the
rest of their army, by charging upon the right and left.

After having disposed his whole army in this manner, he moved on to
charge the enemy with the whole weight of his column. They were
strangely surprised when they saw Epaminondas advance towards them in
this order, and resumed their arms, bridled their horses, and made all
the haste they could to their ranks.

Whilst Epaminondas marched against the enemy, the cavalry that covered
his flank on the left, the best at that time in Greece, entirely
composed of Thebans and Thessalians, had orders to attack the enemy's
horse. The Theban general, whom nothing escaped, had artfully bestowed
bowmen, slingers and dartmen, in the intervals of his horse, in order to
begin the disorder of the enemy's cavalry, by a previous discharge of a
shower of arrows, stones, and javelins, upon them. The other army had
neglected to take the same precaution, and had made another fault, not
less considerable, in giving as much depth to the squadrons as if they
had been a phalanx. By this means their horse were incapable of
supporting long the charge of the Thebans. After having made several
ineffectual attacks with great loss, they were obliged to retire behind
their infantry.

In the mean time, Epaminondas, with his body of foot, had charged the
Lacedæmonian phalanx. The troops fought on both sides with incredible
ardour; both the Thebans and Lacedæmonians being resolved to perish
rather than yield the glory of arms to their rivals. They began by
fighting with the spear; and those first arms being soon broken in the
fury of the combat, they charged each other sword in hand. The
resistance was equally obstinate, and the slaughter very great on both

The furious slaughter on both sides having continued a great while
without the victory's inclining to either, Epaminondas, to force it to
declare for him, thought it his duty to make an extraordinary effort in
person, without regard to the danger of his own life. He formed,
therefore, a troop of the bravest and most determined about him, and
putting himself at the head of them, he made a vigorous charge upon the
enemy, where the battle was most warm, and wounded the general of the
Lacedæmonians with the first javelin he threw. His troop, by his
example, having wounded or killed all that stood in their way, broke and
penetrated the phalanx. The gross of the Theban troops, animated by
their general's example and success, drove back the enemy upon his right
and left, and made a great slaughter of them. But some troops of the
Spartans, perceiving that Epaminondas abandoned himself too much to his
ardour, suddenly rallied, and returning to the fight, charged him with a
shower of javelins. Whilst he kept off part of those darts, shunned some
of them, fenced off others, and was fighting with the most heroic
valour, to assure the victory to his army, a Spartan, named Callicrates,
gave him a mortal wound with a javelin in the breast across his cuirass.
The wood of the javelin being broken off, and the iron head continuing
in the wound, the torment was insupportable, and he fell immediately.
The battle began around him with new fury; the one side using their
utmost endeavours to take him alive, and the other to save him. The
Thebans gained their point at last, and carried him off, after having
put the enemy to flight.

Epaminondas was carried into the camp. The surgeons, after having
examined the wound, declared that he would expire as soon as the head of
the dart was drawn out of it. Those words gave all that were present the
utmost sorrow and affliction, who were inconsolable on seeing so great a
man about to die, and to die without issue. For him, the only concern he
expressed, was about his arms, and the success of the battle. When they
showed him his shield, and assured him that the Thebans had gained the
victory; turning towards his friends with a calm and serene air; "Do not
regard," said he, "this day as the end of my life, but as the beginning
of my happiness, and the completion of my glory. I leave Thebes
triumphant, proud Sparta humbled, and Greece delivered from the yoke of
servitude. For the rest, I do not reckon that I die without issue;
Leuctra and Mantinea are two illustrious daughters, that will not fail
to keep my name alive, and to transmit it to posterity." Having spoken
to this effect, he drew the head of the javelin out of his wound, and

Mantinea is also famous for another great battle, viz., that between
Philopoemen and Machanidas, tyrant of Sparta[347]. The time for
beginning the battle approaching and the enemy in view, Philopoemen,
flying up and down the ranks of the infantry, encouraged his men in few
but very strong expressions. Most of them were even not heard; but he
was so dear to his soldiers, and they reposed such confidence in him,
that they wanted no exhortations to fight with incredible ardour. In a
kind of transport they animated their general, and pressed him to lead
them on to battle.

Machanidas marched his infantry in a kind of column, as if he intended
to begin the battle by charging the right wing; but when he was advanced
to a proper distance, he on a sudden made his infantry wheel about, in
order that it might extend to his right, and make a front equal to the
left of the Achæans; and, to cover it, he caused all the chariots laden
with catapults to advance forward. Philopoemen plainly saw that his
intention was to break his infantry, by overwhelming it with darts and
stones: however, he did not give him time for it. The first charge was
very furious. The light-armed soldiers advancing a little after to
sustain them, in a moment the foreign troops were universally engaged on
both sides; and, as in this attack they fought man to man, the battle
was a long time doubtful. At last the foreigners in the tyrant's army
had the advantage; their numbers and dexterity, acquired by experience,
giving them the superiority. The Illyrians and cuirassiers, who
sustained the foreign soldiers in Philopoemen's army, could not
withstand so furious a charge. They were entirely broken, and fled with
the utmost precipitation towards Mantinea, about a mile from the field
of battle.

Philopoemen seemed now lost to all hopes. "On this occasion," says
Polybius, "appeared the truth of a maxim, which cannot reasonably be
contested, That the events of war are generally successful or
unfortunate, only in proportion to the skill or ignorance of the
generals who command in them. Philopoemen, so far from desponding at the
ill success of the first charge, or being in confusion, was solely
intent upon taking advantage of the errors which the enemy might
commit." Accordingly, they were guilty of a great one. Machanidas, after
the left wing was routed, instead of improving that advantage, by
charging in front that instant with his infantry the centre of that of
the enemies, and taking it at the same time in flank with his victorious
wing, and thereby terminating the whole affair, suffers himself, like a
young man, to be hurried away by the fire and impetuosity of his
soldiers, and pursues, without order or discipline, those who were

Philopoemen, who had retired to his infantry in the centre, takes the
first cohorts, commands them to wheel to the left, and at their head
marches and seizes the post which Machanidas had abandoned. By this
movement he divided the centre of the enemies' infantry from his right
wing. He then commanded these cohorts to stay in the post they had just
seized, till further orders; and at the same time directed a
Megalapolitan to rally all the Illyrians, cuirassiers, and foreigners,
who, without quitting their ranks, and flying as the rest had done, had
drawn off, to avoid the fury of the conqueror; and with these forces to
post himself on the flank of the infantry in his centre, to check the
enemy in their return from the pursuit.

This Megalapolitan was named Polyinus; but not the historian, as many
writers have imagined.

The Lacedæmonian infantry, elated with the first success of their wing,
without waiting for the signal, advanced with their pikes lowered
towards the Achæans, as far as the brink of the ditch. This was the
decisive point of time for which Philopoemen had long waited, and
thereupon he ordered the charge to be sounded. His troops levelling
their pikes, fell with dreadful shouts on the Lacedemonians. These, who
at their descending into the ditch, had broken their ranks, no sooner
saw the enemy above them, but immediately fled.

To complete the glory of this action, the business now was to prevent
the tyrant from escaping the conqueror. This was Philopoemen's only
object. Machanidas, on his return, perceived that his army fled; when,
being sensible of his error, he endeavoured, but in vain, to force his
way through the Achæans. His troops, perceiving that the enemy were
masters of the bridge which lay over the ditch, were quite dispirited,
and endeavoured to save themselves as well as they could. Machanidas
himself, finding it impossible to pass the bridge, hurried along the
side of the ditch, in order to find a place for getting over it.
Philopoemen knew him by his purple mantle, and the trappings of his
horse: so he passed the ditch, in order to stop the tyrant. The latter
having found a part of the ditch which might easily be crossed, clapped
spurs to his horse, and sprang forward in order to leap over. That very
instant Philopoemen threw his javelin at him, which laid him dead in the
ditch. The tyrant's head being struck off, and carried from rank to
rank, gave new courage to the victorious Achæans. They pursued the
fugitives with incredible ardour as far as Tegea, entered the city with
them, and, being now masters of the field, the very next day they
encamped on the banks of the Eurotas. The Achæans did not lose many men
in this battle, but the Lacedemonians lost four thousand, without
including the prisoners, who were still more numerous. The baggage and
arms were also taken by the Achæans.

The conquerors, struck with admiration at the conduct of their general,
to whom the victory was entirely owing, erected a brazen statue to him
in the same attitude in which he had killed the tyrant; which statue
they afterwards placed in the temple of Apollo at Delphos.

Mantinea[348] was richly decorated with public edifices. It had eight
temples, besides a theatre, a stadium, and hippodrome, and several other
monuments; many of which are enumerated by Pausanias.

Some imperfect remains of the theatre are still visible; the walls of
which resemble those round the town. But none of the sites of the
temples or of the other structures can be identified; and everything,
except the walls which enclose the city, is in a state of total

These walls were composed of unbaked bricks, which resisted, even better
than stone, the impulse of warlike engines; but were not proof against
the effects of water. For one of the kings of Sparta, forming a ditch
round the town, and carrying the river Ophis to flow into it, dissolved
the fabric of the walls. They enclose a circle, in which the city stood.
They are fortified with towers, most of which are square; others are of
circular forms. The whole exhibits an interesting and very perfect
example of Grecian fortification. There were eight gates; not one of
which, however, retains its lintel. The walls are surrounded by a
fosse, which is still supplied by the Ophis[349].


Marathon, which was originally one of the four cities, founded by an
Attic king, who gave it his name, is now little better than a village.
The plain in which it is situated is, says Mr. Dodwell, "one of the
prettiest spots in Attica, and is enriched with many kinds of
fruit-trees: particularly walnuts, figs, pomegranates, pears, and
cherries. On our arrival, the fine country girls, with attractive looks
and smiling faces, brought us baskets of fruit. Some of them appeared
unwilling to accept our money in return; and the spontaneous civility
and good-humour of the inhabitants soon convinced us that we were in
Attica, where they are more courteous to strangers than in other parts
of Greece."

This city was but a small one, indeed it was often called a village; yet
a deathless interest is attached to it; for just beside it was fought
the battle between the Persians and the Athenians, which is, even at
this day, more known and respected than any other recorded in history.
We shall, therefore, give an abstract of the account of the battle, as
it is stated in Rollin, and then show in what condition the city is at
the present time.

Miltiades, like an able captain, endeavoured, by the advantage of the
ground, to gain what he wanted in strength and number. He drew up his
army at the foot of a mountain, that the enemy should not be able to
surround him, or charge him in the rear. On the two sides of his army he
caused large trees to be cut and thrown down, in order to cover his
flanks, and render the Persian cavalry useless. Datis, their commander,
was sensible that the place was not advantageous for him: but, relying
upon the number of his troops, which was infinitely superior to that of
the Athenians, he determined to engage. The Athenians did not wait for
the enemy's charging them. As soon as the signal for battle was given,
they ran against the enemy with all the fury imaginable. The Persians
looked upon this first step of the Athenians as a piece of madness,
considering their army was so small, and utterly destitute both of
cavalry and archers; but they were quickly undeceived. Herodotus
observes, that "this was the first time the Grecians began an engagement
by running in this manner." The battle was fierce and obstinate.
Miltiades had made the wings of his army exceedingly strong, but had
left the main body more weak, and not deep; the reason of which seems
manifest enough. Having but ten thousand men to oppose to such a
numerous army, it was impossible for him either to make a large front,
or to give an equal depth to his battalion. He was therefore obliged to
take his choice; and he imagined that he could gain the victory in no
other way than by the efforts he should make with his two wings, in
order to break and disperse those of the Persians; not doubting, but
when his wings were once victorious, they should be able to attack the
enemy's main body in flank, and complete the victory without much
difficulty.[350] The Persians then attacked the main body of the Grecian
army, and made their greatest effort particularly upon their front. This
was led by Aristides and Themistocles, who supported it a long time with
an intrepid courage and bravery, but were at length obliged to give
ground. At that very instant came up their two victorious wings, which
had dispersed those of the enemy, and put them to flight. Nothing could
be more seasonable for the main body of the Grecian army, which began
to be broken, being quite borne down by the number of the Persians. The
scale was quickly turned, and the barbarians were entirely routed. They
all betook themselves to their heels and fled; not towards their camp,
but to their ships, that they might escape. The Athenians pursued them
thither, and set their ships on fire. They took, also, seven of their
ships. They had not above two hundred men killed on their side in this
engagement; whereas, on the side of the Persians, above six thousand
were slain, without reckoning those who fell into the sea, as they
endeavoured to escape, or those that were consumed with the ships set on
fire. Immediately after the battle, an Athenian soldier, still reeking
with the blood of the enemy, quitted the army, and ran to Athens to
carry his fellow-citizens the happy news of the victory. When he arrived
at the magistrate's house, he only uttered two or three
words:--"Rejoice, rejoice, the victory is ours!" and fell down dead at
their feet.

In an excavation, made in one of the tumuli, some years ago, were found
a number of busts;--of Socrates, Lucius Verus, and Marcus Aurelius, with
another of an unknown person, sculptured with great care, and happily

The unknown bust is supposed to be that of Herodes Atticus, a native of
this city, and greatly distinguished. His history is exceedingly
curious. We take it from Sir George Wheler.

"He flourished about the time of the emperors Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus
Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. His grandfather Hipparchus, or as Suidas has
it, Plutarchus, was well to pass in the world, but having been accused
of some tyrannical practices, used towards the people, the emperor
confiscated all his estates; so that his son, Atticus, father of this
Herod; lived afterwards in Athens in a mean condition; until, having
found a great hidden treasure in his own house, near the theatre, he
became on a sudden very rich. He was not more fortunate in lending it,
than prudent in getting it confirmed on himself; for well knowing,
should it come to be discovered, he should be obliged to give an account
of it to the emperor, he wrote thus:--'My liege, I have found a treasure
in my house; what do you command that I should do with it?' The emperor
answered him, 'That he should make use of what he had found.' But
Atticus, yet fearing that he might be in danger of some trouble, when
the greatness of the treasure should come to be known, wrote a second
time to the emperor, professing ingenuously, that the treasure he had
written to him about was too great a possession for him, and exceeded
the capacity of a private man. But the emperor answered him again with
the same generosity, 'Abuse, also, if thou wilt, the riches thou hast so
accidentally come by; for they are thine.' By this means, Atticus became
again extremely rich and powerful, having married a wife also that was
very rich, whence it came to pass that his son and heir Herodes far
surpassed his father both in wealth and magnificence, and became the
founder of many stately edifices in sundry parts of Greece; and, dying,
left by his will ten crowns to every citizen of Athens. Neither did he
partake less of virtue and merit than he did of fortune; being very
learned, and so eloquent, that he was called the tongue of Athens;
having been the disciple of the famous Phavorinus. Marcus Aurelius and
Lucius Verus, emperors of his time, made it their glory that they had
been his auditors. His entire name was Tiberius Claudius Atticus
Herodes; as I prove by an inscription that is at Athens, in the house of
Signor Nicoli Limbonia."--Thus far, Sir George Wheler. Chandler goes on
to observe, that Herodes Atticus directed his freed-men to bury him at
Marathon; where he died, at the age of seventy-six. But the Ephebi, or
young men of Athens, transported his body on their shoulders to the
city, a multitude meeting the bier, and weeping like children for the
loss of a parent.

The antiquities of this plain resolve themselves into the tomb of the
Athenians, the monument of Miltiades, and the tomb of the Platæans. Dr.
Clarke found also many interesting relics, for an account of which we
must refer to his Travels, in order that we may find space for some
beautiful remarks, with which he closes his very agreeable account. "If
there be a spot upon earth, pre-eminently calculated to awaken the
solemn sentiments, which such a view of nature is fitted to make upon
all men, it may surely be found in the plain of Marathon; where, amidst
the wreck of generations, and the graves of ancient heroes, we elevate
our thoughts towards HIM, 'in whose sight a thousand years are but as
yesterday;' where the stillness of Nature, harmonizing with the calm
solitude of that illustrious region, which once was a scene of the most
agitated passions, enables us, by the past, to determine of the future.
In those moments, indeed, we may be said to live for ages;--a single
instant, by the multitude of impressions it conveys, seems to anticipate
for us a sense of that eternity 'when time shall be no more;' when the
fitful dream of human existence, with all its turbulent illusions, shall
be dispelled; and the last sun having set, in the last of the world, a
brighter dawn than ever gladdened the universe, shall renovate the
dominions of darkness and of death."[351]


This city, situated in Arcadia, had one of the most illustrious persons
of ancient times for its founder, Epaminondas. Its population was
collected from various small cities and towns of Arcadia.

Soon after its establishment, the inhabitants sent to Plato for a code
of laws. The philosopher was much pleased with so flattering an offer;
but he ultimately declined sending them one, because he learned from a
disciple, whom he had sent to Megalopolis, that the inhabitants would
never consent to an equality of property.

In 232 B.C., Megalopolis joined the Achaian league, and was taken and
ruined by Cleomenes. At that period it was as large a city as Sparta.
Its most valuable paintings and sculptures were conveyed to the Laconian
capital, and great part of the city destroyed.

The Athenians, soon after, beginning to see the impropriety of not
keeping up the balance of power in Greece, Demosthenes signalised
himself greatly in endeavouring to persuade them to take part with the
Megalopolitans. "It has been a perpetual maxim with us," said he, "to
assist the oppressed against the oppressor. We have never varied from
this principle. The reproach of changing, therefore, ought not to fall
upon us, but upon those whose injustice and usurpation oblige us to
declare against them."

"I admire the language of politicians," says Rollin. "To hear them talk,
it is always reason and the strictest justice that determine them; but
to see them act, makes it evident that interest and ambition are the
sole rule and guide of their conduct. Their discourse is an effect of
that regard for justice, which nature has implanted on the mind of man,
and which they cannot entirely shake off. There are few that venture to
declare against that internal principle in their expressions, or to
contradict it openly. But there are also few who observe it with
fidelity and constancy in their actions. Greece never was known to have
more treaties of alliance than at the time we are now speaking of, nor
were they ever less regarded. This contempt of religion, of oaths in
states, is a proof of their decline, and often denotes and occasions
their approaching ruin." The Athenians, moved by the eloquent discourse
of Demosthenes, sent three thousand foot and three hundred horse to the
aid of Pamanes. Megalopolis was reinstated in its former condition; and
the inhabitants, who had retired into their own countries, were obliged
to return.

Anacharsis, from whose travels we have gleaned so many interesting
anecdotes, says:--"A small river, called the Helisson, divides the city
into two parts, in both of which houses and public edifices have been
built, and are still building. That to the north contains a tower,
enclosed by a stone balustrade, and surrounded by some edifices and
porticoes. A superb bronze statue of Apollo, twelve feet high, has been
erected facing the temple of Jupiter. This statue is a present from the
Philagians, who contributed with pleasure to the embellishments of the
new city. Some private individuals have done the same. One of the
porticoes bears the name of Aristander, who caused it to be built at his
own expense. In the part to the south we saw a spacious edifice, in
which is held the assembly of the ten thousand deputies, appointed to
conduct the important affairs of the state. The city contains a great
number of statues; among others, we saw the work of two Athenian
artists, Cephisodorus and Xenophon, consisting of a group, in which
Jupiter is represented, seated on a throne, with the city of Megalopolis
in his right hand, and Diana Conservatrix on his left. The marble of
which it is made is the production of the quarries of Mount Pentelicus,
near Athens.

The theatre at Megalopolis was the largest in Greece. The circular part
still remains; but the seats are covered with earth and overgrown with
bushes. Part of the walls of the proscenium are also seen facing the
Helisson, a small but rapid river, which flows a few yards to the east.

The remains of the temples are dubious; some masses of walls and
scattered blocks of columns indicate their situations; without
indicating the divinities to whose worship they were consecrated. The
soil being much raised, Mr. Dodwell thinks that it may conceal several
remains of the city.

There are several other ruins at the distance of a few miles from
Megalopolis, which recent travellers have not been able to visit on
account of the troubles which have lately prevailed in almost every part
of the Morea[352].


Megara, a city of Achaia, formerly possessed such a multitude of objects
for a stranger to see, that Pausanias, in his description of Greece,
occupies no less than six chapters in the mere enumeration of them.

Megara was founded 1131 B.C. It is situate at an equal distance from
Athens and Corinth, and is built on two rocks. Its founder has been
variously stated. Some have insisted that it was called after Megareus,
the son of Apollo; some after Megarius, a Boeotian chief; and others
after Megara, a supposed wife of Hercules. However this may be, certain,
we believe, it is, that, under the reign of Codrus, the Peloponnesians
having declared war against the Athenians, and miscarried in their
enterprise, returned and took possession of Megara, which they peopled
with Corinthians. It was originally governed by twelve kings, but
afterwards became a republic. The ancient Megareans are said to have
excelled in nothing but naval affairs. They were reckoned the worst
people of Greece, and were generally detested as fraudulent and
perfidious[353]. Their military acts were few, and not brilliant. They
were bandied about by the Athenians and Corinthians, and had all the bad
qualities of insolent slaves, or servile and dependent friends. Such
having been the case, we are not surprised at what Tertullian says of
the Megareans; viz., that they ate as if they were to die the next day,
and built as if they were to live for ever. Megara, however, was not
without some redeeming qualities, for it had at one time a school for
philosophy, so highly distinguished, that Euclid was at the head of it.

Megara has been greatly distinguished from the circumstance of Phocion
having been buried in its territories. The enemies of Phocion, not
satisfied with the punishment they had caused him to suffer, and
believing some particulars were still wanting to complete their triumph,
obtained an order from the people, that his body should be carried out
of the dominions of Attica, and that none of the Athenians should
contribute the least quantity of wood to honour his funeral pile: these
last offices were therefore rendered to him in the territories of
_Megara_. A lady of the country, who accidentally assisted at his
funeral with her servants, caused a cenotaph, or vacant tomb, to be
erected to his memory on the same spot; and, collecting into her robe
the bones of that great man, which she had carefully gathered up, she
conveyed them into her house by night, and buried them under her hearth,
with these expressions: "Dear and sacred hearth, I here confide to thee,
and deposit in thy bosom, these precious remains of a worthy man.
Preserve them with fidelity, in order to restore them hereafter to the
monument of his ancestors, when the Athenians shall become wiser than
they are at present."

Megara still retains it name: it has been greatly infested by corsairs;
insomuch that in 1676, the inhabitants were accustomed, on seeing a boat
approaching in the daytime, or hearing their dogs bark by night,
immediately to secrete their effects and run away. The Vaiwode, who
lived in a forsaken tower, above the village, was once carried off.

Besides two citadels, Megara had several magnificent structures and
ornaments. One was an aqueduct, distinguished for its grandeur and
beauty; another for a statue of Diana, the protectress; and to these
were added statues of the twelve great gods, of so much excellence, that
they were ascribed to Praxiteles;--a group, consecrated to Jupiter
Olympius, in which was a statue of that deity, with its face of gold and
ivory, and the rest of the body of burnt earth. There were also a temple
of Bacchus, and another of Venus; a third of Ceres, a fourth of Apollo,
a fifth of Diana, and a sixth of Minerva; in which last was a statue of
the goddess, the body of which was gilt, and the face, feet, and hands
of ivory. There was, also, a chapel dedicated to the Night. Pausanias
speaks, also, of several tombs; especially those of Hyllus, Alcmenes,
Therea, and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons.

In Wheler's time, Megara was a collection of pitiful cottages, whose
walls were sometimes only the broken stones of her ruins, or clay dried
in the sun, covered only with faggots; and these again spread over with
earth above them*.

Chandler describes the site of Megara as covered with rubbish, amongst
which were standing some ruinous churches; some pieces of ancient wall,
on which a modern fortress has been erected. The village consisting of
low, mean cottages, pleasantly situated on the slope of an eminence,
indented in the middle. Nearly the whole site of the ancient city he
found green with corn, and marked by heaps of stones, and the rubbish of
buildings. A few inscriptions, too, were seen: one of which relates to
Herodes Atticus, signalising the gratitude of the Megareans, for his
benefactions and good will. There was another on a stone:--"_This, too,
is the work of the most magnificent Count Diogenes, the son of
Archelaus, who, regarding the Grecian cities as his own family, has
bestowed on that of the Megarensians 100 pieces of gold towards the
building of their towers; and also 150 more, with 2200 feet of marble,
toward re-edifying the bath; deeming nothing more honourable than to do
good to the Greeks, and to restore their cities._"

The person here signalised was one of the generals of the emperor
Anastasius, who employed him on a rebellion in Isauria, A.D. 494.

Wheler also gives an inscription in "honour of Callimachus, Scribe and
Gymnasiarch," and several others. Dr. Clarke also saw one, setting forth
that, "_under the care of Julius, the proconsul, and the prætorship of
Aiscron, this (monument or statue) is raised by the Adrianidæ to

Several other inscriptions have been found; one in honour of the Empress
Sabina; and others in praise of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. There
is another, too, in honour of a person, who had been several times
conqueror in almost all the public games in Greece and Italy. There was,
also (formerly), another inscription, still more honourable. This was on
the tomb of a person named Choræbus, in which was related, in elegiac
verse, the history of his having devoted himself to death, in order to
free his native country (Thebes) from the evils of a pestilence[354].

The Earl of Sandwich mentions two statues of women, about eight feet
high, without heads; and having no attributes to show for what they were

Clarke says, that Ionic and Doric capitals, some of which are of
limestone, and others of marble, lie scattered among the ruins, and in
the courts of some of the houses. He procured, also, a few fragments of
terra-cotta, of a bright red hue, beautifully fluted.

Chandler speaks of the remains of a temple of Minerva, near a large
basin of water; on the sides of which are the remains of a bath,
remarkable for its size and ornaments, and for the number of its

The stone of Megara was of a kind unknown any where else in Hellas; very
white, and consisting entirely of cockle shells; which, not being hard,
may be reckoned among the causes of the destruction of Megara.

Another cause of destruction may be supposed to have originated in its
locality; it being the great road leading to and from the peninsula, as
well as its immediate situation between the two powerful enemies,--the
Athenians and Corinthians,--with whom the Megareans had frequent
contests concerning the boundaries of their respective territories. If
its situation, however, was the cause of its destruction, it was, also,
the one great cause of its consequence[355].

Megara is well known from the following anecdote. The city of _Megara_
being taken by Demetrius, the soldiers demanded leave to plunder the
inhabitants; but the Athenians interceded for them so effectually, that
the city was saved. Stilpon, a celebrated philosopher, lived in that
city, and was visited by Demetrius, who asked him if he had lost any
thing?--"Nothing at all," replied Stilpon, "for I carry all my effects
about me;" meaning by that expression, his justice, probity, temperance,
and wisdom; with the advantage of not ranking any thing in the class of
blessings that could be taken from him[356].


There are said to be in Upper Egypt thirty-four temples, still in
existence, and five palaces. The most ancient have been constructed
chiefly of sand-stone, and a few with calcareous stone. Granite was only
used in obelisks and colossal statues. After the seat of empire was
removed to Memphis, granite was made use of.

Memphis, according to Herodotus, was built (eight generations after
Thebes) by Menes; but Diodorus attributes its origin to Uchoreus, one of
the successors of Osymandyas, king of Thebes. To reconcile this want of
agreement, some authors ascribe the commencement to Menes, and its
completion and aggrandisement to Uchoreus, who first made it a royal

The occasion of its having been erected, is thus stated[357]:--A king of
Egypt having turned the course of the Nile, which diffused itself over
the sands of Lybia, and the Delta being formed from the mud of its
waters, canals were cut to drain Lower Egypt. The monarchs, who till
then had resided at Thebes, removed nearer the mouth of the river, to
enjoy an air more temperate, and be more ready to defend the entrance of
their empire. They founded the city of Memphis, and endeavoured to
render it equal to the ancient capital; decorating it with many temples,
among which that of Vulcan drew the attention of travellers: its
grandeur and sumptuousness of rich ornaments, each excited admiration.
Another temple beside the barren plain was dedicated to Serapis, the
principal entrance to which had a sphinx avenue. Egypt has always been
oppressed with sands, which, accumulating here, half buried some of the
sphinxes, and others up to the neck, in the time of Strabo; at present
they have disappeared. To prevent this disaster, they built a large
mound on the south side, which also served as a barrier against the
inundations of the river, and the encroachments of the enemy. The palace
of the kings and a fortress built on the mountain, defended it on the
west; the Nile on the east; and to the north were the lakes, beyond
which were the plain of mummies, and the causeway which led from Busiris
to the great pyramids. Thus situated, Memphis commanded the valley of
Egypt, and communicated by canals with the lakes Moeris and Mareotis.
Its citizens might traverse the kingdom in boats; and it therefore
became the centre of wealth, commerce, and arts; where geometry,
invented by the Egyptians, flourished. Hither the Greeks came to obtain
knowledge, which, carrying into their own country, they brought to
perfection. Thebes, and her hundred gates, lay forgotten, and on the
hill near Memphis, rose those proud monuments, those superb mausoleums,
which alone, of all the Wonders of the World, have braved destructive
time, and men still more destructive.

Strabo says, that in this city there were many palaces, situated along
the side of a hill, stretching down to lakes and groves, forty stadia
from the city. "The principal deities of Memphis," says Mr. Wilkinson,
"were Pthah, Apis, and Butastis; and the goddess Isis had a magnificent
temple in this city, erected by Amasis, who also dedicated a recumbent
colossus, seventy-five feet long, in the temple of Pthah or Vulcan.
This last was said to have been founded by Menes, and was enlarged and
beautified by succeeding monarchs. Moeris erected the northern
vestibule; and Sesostris, besides the colossal statues, made
considerable additions with enormous blocks of stone, which he employed
his prisoners of war to drag to the temple. Pheron, his son, also
enriched it with suitable presents, on the recovery of his sight; and on
the south of the temple of Palain, were added the sacred grove and
chapel of Proteons. The western vestibule was the work of Rhampsinetus,
who also erected two statues, twenty-five cubits in height; and that on
the east was Asychis. It was the largest and most magnificent of all
these propyla, and excelled as well in the beauty of its sculpture as
its dimensions. Several grand additions were afterwards made by
Psamaticus, who, besides the southern vestibule, erected a large
hypæthral court, where Apis was kept, when exhibited in public. It was
surrounded by a peristyle of figures, twelve cubits in height, which
served instead of columns, and which were no doubt similar to those in
the Memnonium at Thebes."

Diodorus and Strabo speak highly of its power and opulence:--"Never was
there a city," observes the former of these, "which received so many
offerings in silver, gold, obelisks, and colossal statues."

The first shock this city received was from the Persians[358]. Cambyses,
having invaded Egypt, sent a herald to Memphis, to summon the
inhabitants to surrender. The people, however, transported with rage,
fell upon the herald, and tore him to pieces, and all that were with
him. Cambyses, having soon after taken the place, fully revenged the
indignity, causing ten times as many Egyptians of the prime nobility,
as there had been of his people massacred, to be publicly executed.
Among these was the eldest son of Psammenitus. As for the king himself,
Cambyses was inclined to treat him kindly. He not only spared his life,
but appointed him an honourable maintenance. But the Egyptian monarch,
little affected by this kind usage, did what he could to raise new
troubles and commotions, in order to recover his kingdom; as a
punishment for which he was made to drink bull's blood, and died
immediately. His reign lasted but six months; after which all Egypt
submitted to the conqueror.

When the tyrant came back from Thebes, he dismissed all the Greeks, and
sent them to their respective homes; but on his return into the city,
finding it full of rejoicing, he fell into a great rage, supposing all
this to have been for the ill success of his expedition. He therefore
called the magistrates before him, to know the meaning of these
rejoicings; and upon their telling him that it was because they had
found their god, Apis, he would not believe them; but caused them to be
put to death, as impostors, that insulted him in his misfortunes. And
when he sent for the priests, who made him the same answer, he replied,
that since their god was so kind and familiar as to appear among them,
he would be acquainted with him, and therefore commanded him forthwith
to be brought to him. But when, instead of a god be saw a calf, he was
strangely astonished, and falling again into a rage, he drew out his
dagger, and run it into the thigh of the beast; and then upbraiding the
priests for their stupidity in worshipping a brute for a god, ordered
them to be severely whipped, and all the Egyptians in Memphis, that
should be found celebrating the feast of Apis, to be slain. The god was
carried back to the temple, where he languished for some time and then
died. The Egyptians say, that after this fact, which they reckon the
highest instance of impiety that ever was committed among them, Cambyses
grew mad. But his actions show that he had been mad long before.

The splendour of Upper Egypt terminated with the invasion of Cambyses.
He carried with him not only conquest, but destruction. His warfare was
not merely with the people, but with their palaces and temples.

At a subsequent period, Memphis was taken by Alexander. The account we
give of that event is from the same author[359]. As soon as Alexander
had ended the siege of Gaza, he left a garrison there, and turned the
whole power of his army towards Egypt. In seven days' march he arrived
before Pelusium, whither a great number of Egyptians had assembled, with
all imaginable diligence, to recognize him for their sovereign. The
hatred these people bore to the Persians was so great, that they valued
very little who should be their king, provided they could but meet with
a hero, to rescue them from the insolence and indignity with which
themselves, and those who professed their religion, were treated. Ochus
had caused their god Apis to be murdered, in a manner highly injurious
to themselves and their religion; and the Persians, to whom he had left
the government, continued to make the same mock of that deity. Thus
several circumstances had rendered the Persians so odious, that upon
Amyntas's coming a little before with a handful of men, he found them
prepared to join, and assist him in expelling the Persians.

This Amyntas had deserted from Alexander, and entered into the service
of Darius. He had commanded the Grecian forces at the battle of Issus;
and having fled into Syria, by the country lying toward Tripoli, with
four thousand men, he had there seized upon as many vessels as he
wanted, burned the rest, and immediately set sail towards the island of
Cyprus, and afterwards towards Pelusium, which he took by surprise. As
soon as he found himself possessed of this important city, he threw off
the mask, and made public pretensions to the crown of Egypt; declaring
that the motive of his coming was to expel the Persians. Upon this, a
multitude of Egyptians, who wished for nothing so earnestly as to free
themselves from these insupportable tyrants, went over to him. He then
marched directly to Memphis, when, coming to a battle, he defeated the
Persians, and shut them up in the city. But, after he had gained the
victory, having neglected to keep his soldiers together, they straggled
up and down in search of plunder, which the enemy seeing, they sallied
out upon such as remained, and cut them to pieces, with Amyntas their
leader. This event, so far from lessening the aversion the Egyptians had
for the Persians, increased it still more; so that the moment Alexander
appeared upon the frontiers, the people, who were all disposed to
receive that monarch, ran in crowds to submit to him. His arrival, at
the head of a powerful army, presented them with a secure protection,
which Amyntas could not afford them; and, from this consideration, they
all declared openly in his favour. Mazæus, who commanded in Memphis,
finding it would be to no purpose for him to resist so triumphant an
army, since Darius, his sovereign, was not in a condition to succour
him, set open the gates of the city to the conqueror, and gave up eight
hundred talents, (about £140,000,) and all the king's furniture. Thus
Alexander possessed himself of all Egypt, without the least opposition.

On the founding of Alexandria by the Macedonian conqueror, Memphis lost
the honour of being the metropolis of Egypt; and its history became so
obscure, that little knowledge of it is preserved in history. We must,
therefore, now content ourselves with stating to what a condition it is
now reduced.

Of this celebrated city, which, according to Diodorus Siculus, was not
less than seven leagues in circumference, and contained a multitude of
beautiful temples, not one stone remains to tell the history; even the
site on which it stood being disputed. "Is it not astonishing," says
Savary, "that the site of the ancient metropolis of Egypt, a city
containing magnificent temples and palaces, which art laboured to render
eternal, should at present be a subject of dispute among the learned?
Pliny removes the difficulty of past doubts--the three grand pyramids,
seen by the watermen from all parts, stand on a barren and rocky hill,
between Memphis and Delta, one league from the Nile, two from Memphis,
and near the village of Busiris." Rennell, however, says, that Memf is
on the site of Memphis; since Abulfeda describes it as being a _short_
day's journey from Cairo: Memf being only fourteen road miles from that
city. M. Maillet says, "The most probable opinion is, that this superb
city was built at the entrance of the town of mummies, at the north of
which the pyramids are placed: the prodigious ruins which present
themselves in this spot will serve for a long time as proofs of the
greatness of that city, of which they are remains, and the incontestible
evidences of its true position." Again, he says, that "out of so many
superb monuments, &c., there remain only at present some shapeless ruins
of broken columns of ruined obelisks, and some other buildings fallen to
decay, which one still discovers at the bottom of the lake, when the
increase of the Nile is too small to furnish it with its usual supply of
water. This circumstance has twice happened during my seventeen years'
consulship, particularly in the year 1677, when the surface of the lake
sank between eight and nine feet, and discovered at the bottom of this
vast reservoir a kind of city, which excited the admiration of every
one. This lake can never be dried up, or drawn off again as before;
because they have neglected to keep up the canal which served to drain
off the water. There are, also, some heaps of ruins in the plain of
three leagues in width, that separates the northern from the southern
pyramids, and in which this ancient city extended from the borders of
the lake towards the Nile eastward. These are the faint traces of so
much magnificence."

Dr. Shaw is of opinion that Djizeh, or Giseh, now occupies the site of
Memphis; and that the city is entirely buried in soil. Other
authorities, however, place it, and perhaps with greater probability,
near the village of Menshee or Dashoo. Norden says: "If we give credit
to some authors, the city of Memphis was situated in the place where at
present stands the village of Gize, and I own that this opinion does not
want probability. But if we attend to it carefully, we shall find it
necessary to strike off a great deal of grandeur of that ancient capital
of Egypt, or else raise extremely all the plains about it. In effect,
Gize does not occupy half the space of Old Cairo, and the plains that
extend all round never fail to be deluged at the time of the overflowing
of the waters of the Nile. It is incredible, that they should have built
a city, so great and famous, in a place subject to be under water half
of the year; still less can it be imagined that the ancient authors have
forgotten so particular a place."

Mr. Browne says: "I visited the pleasant site of the ancient Memphis on
the left bank of the Nile, about two hours to the south of Kahira, in a
plain about three miles broad, between the river and the mountains. The
land is now laid down in corn, with date-trees toward the mountains.
Nothing remains except heaps of rubbish, in which are found pieces of
sculptured stone. The spot has been surrounded by a canal. Its extent
might be marked by that of the ground where remains are dug up, and
which is always overgrown with a kind of thistle, that seems to thrive
among the ruins. None of the fine marbles, which are scattered so
profusely at Alexandria, are discoverable here; whether it be that they
were never used, or were carried away to adorn other cities."[360]

But though the site of the city is not absolutely known, certain it is,
that many wonderful erections in its neighbourhood denote its former
grandeur, power, and magnificence. These are the Catacombs, the Sphinx,
the lake of Moeris, and the Pyramids.

"The entrances into the Catacombs," says the Earl of Sandwich, "where
the inhabitants of the neighbouring city of Memphis entombed their
embalmed bodies, are near the last Pyramid of Sakara. The greatest part
of the plain of Sakara is hollowed into subterraneous cavities, all cut
out of the solid rock; not of a hard nature, but yielding to the least
violence. The entrances are many in number; and are in form a square of
three feet, and about twenty feet deep. The vaults contain embalmed
bodies, scattered in confusion, and many of them broken in pieces. These
have been taken out of their chests or coffins; and after having been
ransacked in search of any idol of value, which are frequently found
within the bodies, thrown aside by persons, who would not be at the
trouble of carrying them away. The farther the recesses are penetrated,
however, the bodies are much more entire, and everything less
disturbed. These subterraneous passages are divided into many different
chambers; in the sides of which are to be seen a multitude of
perpendicular niches, of sufficient height to contain the bodies

A little to the east of the second pyramid, is the SPHINX, cut out of
the same rock upon which the pyramids are built. The length is about
twenty-five feet; and its height, from the knees to the top of the hand,
thirty-eight feet.

"The sphinx," says Mr. Wilkinson, "stands nearly opposite the south end
of the pyramid Cephren: between its paws were discovered an altar and
some tablets; but no entrance was visible. Pliny says, they suppose it
the tomb of Amasis;--a tradition which arose, no doubt, from the
resemblance of the name of the king, by whose order the rock was cut
into this form. But one author has gone farther, and given to Amasis the
pyramids themselves. The cap of the sphinx, probably the pshent, has
long since been removed; but a cavity in the head, attests its former
position, and explains the mode in which it was fixed. The mutilated
state of the face, and the absence of the nose, have led many to the
erroneous conclusion, that the features were African; but by taking an
accurate sketch of the face, and restoring the Egyptian nose, any one
may convince himself, that the lips, as well as the rest of the
features, perfectly agree with the physiognomy of a Pharaoh; for the
reader must be aware, that this, and all other sphinxes, are emblematic
representations of Egyptian kings."

Between the paws of the sphinx, a perfect temple was discovered, a few
years ago, by the intrepid traveller Belzoni, on clearing away the sand
by which it had been choked up for ages.

This figure was[361], a few years ago, at an expense of 800 or 900_l._
(contributed by some European gentlemen,) cleared from the sand which
had accumulated in front of it, under the superintendence of Captain

The noblest and most wonderful of all the structures[362] or works of
the kings of Egypt, was the lake of Moeris; accordingly, Herodotus
considers it as vastly superior to the pyramids and labyrinth. As Egypt
was more or less fruitful in proportion to the inundations of the Nile;
and as, in these floods, the first general flow or ebb of the waters
were equally fertile to the land; King Moeris, to prevent these two
inconveniences, and correct, as far as lay in his power, the
irregularities of the Nile, thought proper to call art to the assistance
of nature; and so caused the lake to be dug, which afterwards went by
his name. This lake was several thousand paces long, and very deep. Two
pyramids, on each of which stood a colossal statue, seated on a throne,
raised their heads to the height of three hundred feet, in the midst of
the lake, whilst their foundations took up the same space under the
waters; a proof that they were erected before the cavity was filled; and
a demonstration that a lake of such vast extent, was the work of man's
hands, in one prince's reign. This is what several historians have
related concerning the Lake Moeris, on the testimony of the inhabitants
of the country. This lake had a communication with the Nile, by a great
canal, four leagues long, and fifty feet broad. Great sluices either
opened or shut the canal and lake, as there was occasion.

When it is considered, that the object of this work was the advantage
and comfort of a numerous people, all must agree, with M. Savary, that
Moeris, who constructed it, performed a far more glorious work than
either the labyrinth or the pyramids.

At present, this lake is of a much smaller extent: but this by no means
proves that Herodotus and other writers were deceived in their
calculations; for, considering the revolutions to which Egypt has been
subject for a series of two thousand years, it might have undergone
still greater changes.

For the period of nearly one thousand two hundred years, since which
Egypt has fallen into the hands of barbarous nations, they have either
destroyed, or suffered to perish, the chief part of this lake, and the
canal belonging to it. The Moereotis is dried up, the canal of
Alexandria is no longer navigable, and the Moeris is only fifty leagues
in circumference. "If," says an enlightened writer, "the Canal of Joseph
was cleared out, where the mud is raised up to a vast height; if the
ancient dykes were re-established; and the sluices of the canals of
Tamich and Bouch restored; Lake Moeris would still serve the same
purposes. It would prevent the devastation of the too great swellings of
the rivers, and supply the deficiency of those that are inadequate. We
should see it, as on former occasions, extending itself from Nesle and
Arsinoe, to the Lybian mountains, and offering to astonished travellers
what is no where else to be seen;--a sea formed by the hand of man."

The annihilation of Memphian palaces and temples indeed is almost
compensated by the existence of the pyramids, which alone are sufficient
to engage the attention of mankind. The three largest are situated at
Gees, or Ghesa, and named from their founders, CHEOPS, CHEPHREN, and
MYCERINES; of these only we shall speak.

1. That of CHEOPS, the largest, is four hundred and forty-eight feet in
height, and seven hundred and twenty-eight on each side of the base:
that is, forty feet higher than St. Peter's, at Rome; and one hundred
and thirty-three feet higher than St. Paul's, in London.

This pyramid, like the rest, was built on a rock, having a square base,
cut on the outside as so many steps, and decreasing gradually quite to
the summit. It was built with stones of a prodigious size, the least of
which were thirty feet, wrought with wonderful art, and covered with
hieroglyphics. According to several ancient authors, each side was eight
hundred feet broad, and as many high. The summit of the pyramids, which,
to those who viewed it from below, seemed a point, was a fine platform,
composed of ten or twelve massy stones, and each side of that platform
sixteen or eighteen feet long.

It is also remarkable that the four sides of this, and indeed of all the
pyramids, face the cardinal points. The inside contained numberless
rooms and apartments. There were expressed on the pyramid, in Egyptian
characters, the sums it cost only in garlic, leeks, onions, and the
like, for the workmen; and the whole amounted to sixteen hundred talents
of silver; from whence it was easy to conjecture what a vast sum the
whole must have amounted to.

Herodotus ascribes this pyramid to Cheops, a tyrannical and profligate
sovereign. He barred the avenues to every temple, and forbade the
Egyptians to offer sacrifice to their gods; after which he compelled the
people at large to perform the work of slaves. Some he condemned to hew
stones out of the Arabian mountains, and drag them to the banks of the
Nile; others were stationed to receive the same in vessels, and
transport them to the edge of the Libyan Desert. In this service a
hundred thousand men were employed, who were relieved every three
months. Ten years were spent in the hard labour of forming the road on
which these stones were to be drawn,--a work of no less difficulty and
fatigue than the erection of the pyramid itself. This causeway is five
stadia in length, forty cubits wide, and its greatest height thirty-two
cubits; the whole being composed of polished marble, adorned with the
figures of animals. Ten years were consumed in forming this pavement, in
preparing the hill on which the pyramids are raised, and in excavating
chambers under the ground. The burial-place which he intended for
himself, he contrived to insulate within the building, by introducing
the waters of the Nile. The pyramid itself was a work of twenty years;
it is of a square form, every side being eight plethra in length and as
many in height. The stones are very skilfully cemented, and none of them
of less dimensions than thirty feet. Such is the account of Herodotus.

Pliny and Diodorus Siculus agree in stating that not less than three
hundred and sixty thousand men were employed in the work[363].

The pyramid next in size was erected by Cephrenus, and is thence called
CEPHREN: he was the son of Cheops. These two princes, who were truly
brothers by the similitude of their manners, seem to have striven which
of them should distinguish himself most, by a barefaced impiety towards
the gods, and a barbarous inhumanity to men. Cheops reigned fifty years,
and his son Cephrenus fifty-six years after him. They kept the temples
shut during the whole time of their long reigns, and forbade the
offering of sacrifices under the severest penalties. On the other hand,
they oppressed their subjects, by employing them in the most grievous
and useless works; and sacrificed the lives of numberless multitudes of
men, merely to gratify a senseless ambition of immortalising their names
by edifices of an enormous magnitude and a boundless expense. It is
remarkable, that those stately pyramids which have so long been the
admiration of the whole world, were the effect of the irreligion and
merciless cruelty of those princes.

The magnificent prospect from the top of this pyramid has been described
by the French traveller, Savary, who visited Egypt in 1770, in glowing
terms. After occupying seven hours in ascending to its summit, "the
morning light," says he, "discovered to us every moment new beauties:
the tops of gilded minarets, and of date-tree and citron groves, planted
round the villages and hills; anon the herds left the hamlets; the boats
spread their light sails, and our eyes followed them along the vast
windings of the Nile. On the north appeared sterile hills and barren
sands; on the south, the river and waving fields, vast as the ocean; to
the west, the plain of Fayum, famous for its roses: to the east, the
picturesque town of Gizeh, and the towers of Fostat, the minarets of
Cairo, and the castle of Saladin, terminated the prospect. Seated on the
most wonderful of the works of man, as upon a throne, our eyes beheld by
turns a dreadful desert; rich plains in which the Elysian fields had
been imagined; villages; a majestic river; and edifices which seemed the
work of giants. The universe contains no landscape more variegated, more
magnificent, or more awful."

The ancients knew little of the interior structure of these giant
piles.[364] Herodotus, who lived 445 years before Christ, merely speaks
of an entrance leading to the interior, by hearsay from the priests,
who informed him that there were secret vaults beneath, hewn out of the
natural rock. Strabo, who lived after the Christian era, only describes
a single slanting passage which led to a chamber in which was a stone
tomb. Diodorus Siculus, who lived forty-four years before Christ, agrees
with this; and Pliny, who lived A.D. 66, adds, that there was a well in
the Great Pyramid, eighty cubits deep. This is all the ancients have
said about the interior.

"The Egyptian priests, indeed, assured Aristides, a Greek traveller
about two centuries before Christ, that 'the excavations beneath were as
great as the height above.' And Ebn Abd Alkokim, an Arabic writer of the
ninth century, says, that the builders 'constructed numerous excavated
chambers, with gates to them, forty cubits under ground.' Other Arabian
writers say, that these chambers contain chests of black stone, in which
were deposited the sacred archives of king Saurid, who built the
pyramid. Many discoveries (perhaps a burial-place under ground)
obviously remain to be made.

"The same Arab historian, Alkokim, gives an account of the opening of
this building under the Caliphate, from which time it has remained in
the condition seen and described by all modern travellers, to the time
of the Italian traveller Caviglia, who made a discovery of a new chamber
and passages about ten years ago. 'After that, Almamon the Caliph (A.D.
820) entered Egypt, and saw the Pyramids: he desired to know what was
within, and therefore would have them opened. He was told it could not
possibly be done. He replied, I will have it certainly done. And that
hole was opened for him, which stands open to this day, with fire and
vinegar. Two smiths prepared and sharpened the iron and engines, which
they forced in: and there was a great expense in the opening it; and the
thickness of the wall was found to be twenty cubits. Within they found a
square well, and in the square of it there were doors: every door of it
opened into a house (or vault), in which there were dead bodies wrapped
up in linen. Towards the upper part of the pyramid, they found a
chamber, in which was a hollow stone; in it was a statue of stone, like
a man, and within it a man, upon whom was a breast-plate of gold, set
with jewels, and on him were written characters with a pen, which no man
can explain.'

"Greaves, an Englishman, who visited the Great Pyramid in 1648,
described the passages thus opened, and then open, very accurately, and
suspected that at the bottom of a well in the pyramid was the passage to
those secret vaults mentioned by Herodotus; but he made no new
discovery. Davison, who visited it in the middle of the eighteenth
century, discovered some secret chambers and passages connecting the
largest gallery with the central room, and an apartment four feet high
over it. He descended the well 155 feet, but found farther progress
blocked up. Caviglia was the first to discover the above suspected
passage. After much trouble in clearing the narrow opening at the end of
the first or entrance gallery of the pyramid, he found that it did not
terminate at that point, as hitherto supposed, but proceeded downwards
to the distance of two hundred feet. It ended in a doorway on the right,
which was found to communicate with the bottom of the well. But the new
passage did not terminate here: it went beyond the doorway twenty-three
feet, and then took a horizontal direction for twenty-eight more, where
it opened into a spacious chamber immediately under the central room.

"This new chamber is twenty-seven feet broad, and sixty-six feet long.
The floor is irregular; nearly one half of the length from the eastern,
or entrance end, being level, and about fifteen feet from the ceiling;
while, in the middle, it descends five feet lower, in which part there
is a hollow space bearing all the appearance of the commencement of a
well, or shaft. From thence it rises to the western end, so that there
is scarcely room between the floor and the ceiling to stand upright.

"On the south of this chamber is a passage hollowed out, just high and
wide enough for a man to creep along upon his hands and knees, which
continues in the rock for fifty-five feet, and then suddenly ends.
Another at the east end commences with a kind of arch, and runs about
forty feet into the solid body of the pyramid.

Mr. Salt, the late intelligent British Consul to Egypt, was so struck by
this discovery, as to express his belief that the under-ground rooms
were used for 'the performance of solemn and secret mysteries.'

"As to the second pyramid of Gizeh, the ancients knew less about it than
they did of the first. Herodotus says it has no under-ground chambers,
and the other ancient authorities are silent. But the enterprising
Belzoni found its entrance, in the north front, in 1818, and discovered,
at the same time, that it had been previously forced open by the Arabian
Caliph, Ali Mehemet, A.D. 782, more than a thousand years before. After
forcing an entrance, and advancing along a narrow passage, one hundred
feet long, he found a central chamber, forty-six feet long by sixteen
wide, and twenty-three high, cut out of the solid rock. It contained a
granite sarcophagus, (a tomb,) half sunk in the floor, with some bones
in it, which, on inspection by Sir Everard Home, proved to be those of a
cow. An Arabic inscription on the walls implies that it had been opened
in the presence of the Sultan Ali Mehemet[365]."

This pyramid was, as has been already said, opened by Belzoni. We shall
select another account of this enterprise.

"According to Herodotus, (whose information has generally been found
correct,) this pyramid was constructed without any internal chambers. M.
Belzoni, however, believed the fact might be otherwise; and having
reasons of his own for commencing his operations at a certain point, he
began his labours, and with so much foresight as actually to dig
directly down upon a forced entrance. But, even after this success, none
but a Belzoni would have had the perseverance to pursue the labour
required to perfect the discovery. It was by attending to the same kind
of indications, which had led him so successfully to explore the six
tombs of the kings in Thebes, that he was induced to commence his
operations on the north side.

"He set out from Cairo on the 6th of February, 1818, went to the Kaia
Bey, and gained permission; the Bey having first satisfied himself that
there was no tilled ground within a considerable distance of Ghiza. On
the 10th of February he began with six labourers in a vertical section
at right angles to the north side of the base, cutting through a mass of
stones and lime which had fallen from the upper part of the pyramid, but
were so completely aggregated together as to spoil the mattocks, &c.
employed in the operation. He persevered in making an opening fifteen
feet wide, working downwards, and uncovering the face of the pyramid.
During the first week there was but little prospect of meeting with
anything interesting; but on the 17th, one of the Arabs employed called
out with great vociferation that he had found the entrance. He had, in
fact, come upon a hole into which he could thrust his arm and a djerid
six feet long. Before night they ascertained that an aperture was there,
about three feet square, which had been closed irregularly with a hewn
stone. This being removed, they reached a larger opening, but filled
with rubbish and sand. M. Belzoni was now satisfied that this was not a
real, but a forced passage. Next day they had penetrated fifteen feet,
when stones and sand began to fall from above; these were removed, but
still they continued to fall in large quantities, when, after some more
days' labour, he discovered an upper forced entrance, communicating with
the outside from above. Having cleared this, he found another opening
running inward, which proved, on further search, to be a continuation of
the lower horizontal forced passage, nearly all choked up with rubbish.
This being removed, he discovered, about half way from the outside, a
descending forced passage, which terminated at the distance of forty
feet. He now continued to work in the horizontal passage, in hope that
it might lead to the centre, but it terminated at the depth of ninety
feet; and he found it prudent not to force it further, as the stones
were very loose over-head, and one actually fell, and had nearly killed
one of the people. He therefore now began clearing away the aggregated
stones and lime to the eastward of the forced entrance; but by this time
his retreat had been discovered, and he found himself much interrupted
by visitors.

"On the 28th of February he discovered, at the surface of the pyramid, a
block of granite, having the same direction as that of the passage of
the first pyramid, that of Cheops; and he now hoped that he was not far
from the true entrance. Next day he removed some large blocks, and on
the 2d of March he entered the true passage, an opening four feet high,
and three feet and a half wide, formed by blocks of granite, and
continued descending at an angle of about twenty-six degrees to the
length of one hundred and four feet five inches, lined all the length
with granite. From this passage he had to remove the stones with which
it was filled, and at its bottom was a door or portcullis of granite,
(fitted into a niche also made of granite,) supported at the height of
eight inches by small stones placed under it. Two days were occupied in
raising it high enough to admit of entrance. This door is one foot three
inches thick, and, with the granite niche, occupies seven feet of the
passage, where the granite work ends, and a short passage, gradually
ascending twenty-two feet seven inches towards the centre, the
descending commences; at the end of which is a perpendicular of fifteen
feet. On the left is a small forced passage cut in the rock; and above,
on the right, a forced passage running upward, and turning to the north
thirty feet, just over the portcullis. At the bottom of the
perpendicular, after removing some rubbish, he found the entrance of
another passage, which inclined northward. But, quitting this for the
present, he followed his prime passage, which now took a horizontal
direction; and at the end of it, one hundred and fifty-eight feet eight
inches from the above-mentioned perpendicular, he entered a chamber
forty-six feet three inches long, sixteen feet three inches wide, and
twenty-three feet six inches in height, for the greater part cut out of
the rock; and in the middle of this room he found a SARCOPHAGUS of
granite, eight feet long, three feet six inches wide, and two feet three
inches deep inside, surrounded by large blocks of granite, as if to
prevent its being removed. The lid had been opened, and he found in the
interior a few bones, which he supposed to be human; but some of them
having been since carried to England by Captain Fitzclarence, who was
afterwards in this pyramid, and one of them (a thigh-bone) having, on
examination by Sir Everard Home, been found to have belonged to a cow,
it has been doubted whether any of them ever belonged to a human
subject: but such a suspicion is premature, and without any solid
foundation; since it appears, from an Arabic inscription on the west
wall of this chamber, that this pyramid was opened by architects named
Mahomet El Aghar and Othman, and inspected in the presence of the Sultan
Ali Mahomet, the first Ugloch (a Tartaric title, as Uleg Bey, &c.). The
length of time the pyramid remained open is not known; and it indeed
appears to have been closed only by the fall of portions of the
structure, and by the collecting of the sands of Libya. From this, and
from the lid of the sarcophagus having been opened, and the remains of
other animals being also found in the same sarcophagus, as is stated in
other accounts, such an opinion does not even appear to be probable. On
other parts of the walls are some inscriptions, supposed by M. Belzoni
to be in Coptic.

"He now returned to the descending passage at the bottom of the
above-mentioned perpendicular. Its angle is about twenty-six degrees. At
the end of forty-eight feet and a half it becomes horizontal, still
going north fifty-five feet; in the middle of which horizontal part
there is a recess to the east eleven feet deep, and a passage to the
west twenty feet, which descends into a chamber thirty-two feet long,
nine feet nine inches wide, and eight and a half high. In this room were
only a few small square blocks of stone, and on the walls some unknown
inscriptions. He now returned to the horizontal part and advanced north,
ascending at an angle of sixty degrees; and in this, at a short distance
from the horizontal part, he met with another niche, which had been
formerly furnished with a granite door, the fragments of which were
still there. At forty-seven feet and a half from this niche the passage
was filled with large stones, so as to close the entrance, which issues
out precisely at the base of the pyramid. All the works below the base
are cut in the rock, as well as part of the passages and chambers.

"By clearing away the earth to the eastward of the pyramid, he found the
foundation and part of the walls of an extensive temple which stood
before it at the distance of forty feet, and laid bare a pavement
composed of fine blocks of calcareous stone, some of them beautifully
cut and in fine preservation. This platform probably goes round the
whole pyramid. The stones composing the foundation of the temple are
very large: one, which he measured, was twenty-one feet long, ten high,
and eight in breadth[366]."

The pyramid of MYCERINUS is one hundred and sixty-two feet in height,
and two hundred and eighty on each side of the base. "If," says Diodorus
Siculus, "it is less in size and extent than the others, it is superior
to them in the costliness of the materials and excellence of the

Of Mycerinus historians write in the following manner:--He was the son
of Cheops, but of a character opposite to that of his father. So far
from walking in his steps, he detested his conduct, and pursued quite
different measures. He again opened the temples of the gods, restored
the sacrifices, did all that lay in his power to comfort his subjects,
and make them forget their past miseries; and believed himself set over
them for no other purpose but to exercise justice, and to make them
taste all the blessings of an equitable and peaceful administration. He
heard their complaints, dried their tears, eased their misery, and
thought himself not so much the master as the father of his people. This
procured him the love of them all. Egypt resounded with his praises, and
his name commanded veneration in all places.

"Men," says one writer, "have very justly reckoned these prodigious
masses of earth and stone among the wonders of the world; nevertheless
their use appears to us very trivial, or is unknown. The Egyptians seem
to have been more desirous of exciting wonder, than of communicating
instruction."--"The most probable opinion respecting the object of these
vast edifices," says another writer, "is that which combines the double
use of the sepulchre and the temple, nothing being more common in all
nations than to bury distinguished men in places consecrated by the
rites of divine worship. If Cheops, Suphis, or whoever else was the
founder of the Great Pyramid, intended it only for his tomb, what
occasion, says Dr. Shaw, for such a narrow sloping entrance into it, or
for the well, as it is called, at the bottom;--or for the lower chamber
with a large niche or hole in the eastern wall of it;--or for the long
narrow cavities in the sides of the large upper room, which likewise is
incrusted all over with the finest marble;--or for the two ante-chambers
and the lofty gallery, with benches on each side, that introduce us into
it? As the whole of the Egyptian theology was clothed in mysterious
emblems and figures, it seems reasonable to suppose that all these
turnings, apartments, and secrets in architecture, were intended for
some nobler purpose;--for the catacombs or burying-places are plain
vaulted chambers hewn out of the natural rock;--and the deity rather,
which was typified in the outward form of this pile, was to be
worshipped within."

"If thoughtlessness should condemn the immense and apparently useless
labours of ancient Egypt," says a third, "so are they easily condemned,
under the use of the ever-acceptable term tyranny, the ever-ready word
of him who abuses all the power which he can command. Yet he who would
eat must labour: it is the unvarying law, not of God alone, but of human
society; the bond by which it is held together. The soil of Egypt was
the possession of its singular government, and the labour of the people
was the only manner in which they could demand or acquire a share of the
produce: it was the only mode in which they ought to have possessed
their portions. There is reason to believe that the soil had
appropriated all the labour applicable to it; and commercial industry,
as it then was, had probably done the same. An artificial invention to
occupy labour became, therefore, imperiously necessary; and through this
was Egypt peopled to an extent which seems to have been very great. The
bearing of this fact on other cases, where, under a general law
pervading all creation, conditions of labour have been attached to
possession, must be obvious; and though tyranny had been the immediate
cause, even thus does the Deity often direct the wickedness of man to
his own good ends."

"I should, however," says a fourth, (Maupertuis,) "have been much better
pleased had the kings of Egypt employed the millions of men who reared
these pyramids in the air, in digging cavities in the earth of a depth
answerable to the marvellous we find in the works of those
princes."--"There have been many opinions expressed by learned men as to
the object of these structures," says a fifth. One is, that they were
the granaries of Joseph. This may be confuted by the smallness of the
rooms, and the time required in building. Another, that they were
observatories; which is accusing the builders of great absurdity, since
the neighbouring rocks were better calculated for the purpose. The
Arabians generally think that they were built by king Saurid, before the
Deluge, as a refuge for himself and the public records from the Flood;
but this opinion requires no answer. Josephus, the Jewish historian, who
wrote A.D. 71, ascribes them to his countrymen, during the captivity in
Egypt. As sun-dials, they would have failed. Shaw and Bryant, who wrote
in the middle of the last century, believed them to be temples, and the
stone chest, a tank for holding water used for purification. Pauw, who
lived at the same time with Shaw and Bryant, considers the Great Pyramid
as the tomb of Osiris; and that Osiris having fourteen tombs for various
parts of his dismembered body, fourteen pyramids must have been devoted
to them, and the annual funeral mysteries connected with his death and
resurrection. But the greater number of writers, ancient and modern,
believe it to be the tomb of Cheops, the alleged builder. Improving on
this notion, Maillet (1760) supposed that the chambers were built for
the purpose of shutting up the friends of the deceased king with the
dead body; and that the holes on each side of the central chamber of the
Great Pyramid were the means by which they were to be supplied with
food, &c: an opinion which would have appeared sufficiently ludicrous,
if it had not been exceeded by that expressed by an old Moulah to
Buonaparte, when in Egypt (1799), that the object was to keep the buried
body undecayed, by closely sealing up all access to the outward air.
Another ingenious theory ascribes them to the shepherd kings, a foreign
pastoral nation which oppressed Egypt in the early times of the
Pharaohs. However, this is, after all, but conjecture. The utmost
uncertainty exists in all that concerns these gigantic, unwieldy, and
mysterious buildings. Their builders, origin, date, and purposes, are
entirely lost in the night of ages. As the sides of all the pyramids
face the cardinal points, and of course give the true meridian of the
places where they are situated, it would seem that their builders had
made some progress in _scientific_ knowledge; and the buildings
themselves, under all circumstances, notwithstanding their plain
exterior, clearly show the advanced state of art in those very early

When the traveller approaches[367] those vast monuments of human labour,
the imagination seems to burst, as it were, the bands of ages, and the
mind appears as if it had lived a thousand years. When the French were
at Thebes, the whole army stopped among the ruins, and clapped their
hands with delight: and when Buonaparte was about to engage the
Mamelukes, who were advancing with loud cries, superbly accoutred, he
called out to his army, "Behold! Yonder are the Pyramids; the most
ancient of the works of men. From the summits of those monuments forty
ages are now beholding us." The battle which ensued laid all Egypt at
the feet of the French general.

We shall finish this account by selecting a passage from Rollin:--"Such
were the famous Egyptian Pyramids, which, by their figure as well as
size, have triumphed over the injuries of time and the barbarians. But
what efforts soever men may make, their nothingness will always appear.
These pyramids were tombs; and there is still to be seen in the middle
of the largest, an empty sepulchre, cut out of one entire stone, about
three feet deep and broad, and a little above six feet long[368]. Thus
all this bustle, all this expense, and all the labours of so many
thousand men, ended in procuring a prince, in this vast and almost
boundless pile of building, a little vault six feet in length. Besides,
the kings who built these pyramids had it not in their power to be
buried in them, and so did not enjoy the sepulchre they had built. The
public hatred which they incurred, by reason of their unheard-of
cruelties to their subjects, in laying such heavy tasks upon them,
occasioned their being interred in some obscure place, to prevent their
bodies from being exposed to the fury and vengeance of the populace.

"This last circumstance, which historians have taken particular notice
of, teaches us what judgment we ought to pass on these edifices, so much
boasted of by the ancients. It is but just to remark and esteem the
noble genius which the Egyptians had for architecture; a genius that
prompted them from the earliest times, and before they could have any
models to imitate, to aim in all things at the grand and magnificent,
and to be intent on real beauties, without deviating in the least from a
noble simplicity, in which the highest perfection of the art consists.
But what idea ought we to form of those princes, who considered as
something grand, the raising, by a multitude of hands and by the help of
money, immense structures, with the sole view of rendering their names
immortal, and who did not scruple to destroy thousands of their subjects
to satisfy their vain-glory! They differed very much from the Romans,
who sought to immortalise themselves by works of a magnificent kind,
but, at the same time, of public utility.

"Pliny gives us, in few words, a just idea of these pyramids, when he
calls them a foolish and useless ostentation of the wealth of the
Egyptian kings--_Regum pecuniæ otiosa ac stulta ostentatio_,--and adds,
that, by a just punishment, their memory is buried in oblivion."[369]




[1] Plutarch; Diodorus; Rollin; Sandwich.

[2] Pliny; Strabo; Plutarch; Diodorus; Wilkinson.

[3] Simon; Count Fedor de Karacray; Malte-Brun.

[4] "Ægina abounds," says Wheler, "with a sort of red-legged partridge,
against which, by order of the Epitropi, or the chief magistrate of the
town, all, both young and old, go out yearly, as the pigmies of old did
against the cranes, to war with, and to break their eggs before they are
hatched; otherwise, by their multitudes, they would so destroy and eat
up the corn, that they would inevitably bring a famine every year upon
the place."

[5] Mr. C. R. Cockerell and Mr. John Foster; W. Linckh and Baron Haller.

[6] Wheler; Chandler; Barthélemi; Sandwich; Lusieri; Clarke; Dodwell;
Williams; Leake.

[7] Rollin.

[8] Livy, Cicero, Diodorus Siculus, Rollin, Brydone; Encyl. Lond.,
Brewster's Encyl.

[9] Dionysius of Halicarnassus;--Sir W. Gell.

[10] Jose Almana.

[11] Browne.

[12] Myos Hormos.

[13] Four hundred and fifty talents of gold. See 2 Chron. viii. 18.
This, we may suppose, was the gross sum received; not the profit.

[14] A.M. 3685. Ant. J. C. 321. Diod. lib. xviii. p. 608, 610.

[15] This author lived in the fifteenth century.

[16] Earl of Sandwich.

[17] Some have commended Ptolemy for permitting the architect to put his
name in the inscription which was fixed on the tower, instead of his
own. It was very short and plain, according to the manner of the
ancients. _Sostratus Cnidius Dexiphanis F. Diis Servatoribus pro
navigantibus_, _i. e._, "Sostratus the Cnidian, son of Dexiphanes, to
the protecting deities, for the use of sea-faring people." But certainly
Ptolemy must have very much undervalued that kind of immortality which
princes are generally very fond of, to suffer that his name should not
be so much as mentioned in the inscription of an edifice so capable of
immortalising him. What we read in Lucian, concerning this matter,
deprives Ptolemy of a modesty, which indeed would be very ill-placed
here. This author informs us that Sostratus, seeing the king determined
to engross the whole glory of that noble structure to himself, caused
the inscription with his own name to be carved in the marble, which he
afterwards covered with lime, and thereon put the king's name. The lime
soon mouldered away: and by that means, instead of procuring the king
the honour with which he had flattered himself, served only to discover
to future ages his unjust and ridiculous vanity.--ROLLIN.

[18] Savary.

[19] Lib. xxii. c. 16.

[20] See his observations on the supposed conflagration of the
Alexandrian library, with a commentary on the 5th and 6th sections of
the first chapter of the tenth book of Quintilian.

[21] Rees.

[22] Browne.

[23] A very curious instance is afforded by Bruce, who wrote an account
of Alexandria, and, literally, did not spend one entire day in the city.
He was at sea on the morning of the 20th of June, 1768, previously to
his landing in Alexandria, (see Bruce's Travels, v. i. p. 7,) and in the
afternoon he left that city for Rosetta.--CLARKE.

[24] Browne.

[25] After the English were in possession of Alexandria, a subscription
was opened by the military and naval officers for the purpose of
removing the prostrate obelisk to England. With the money so raised they
purchased one of the vessels, sunk by the French in the old port of
Alexandria: this was raised, and prepared for the reception of the
obelisk. The French had already cleared away the heaps of rubbish which
enveloped it, and the English turned it round, and found it in a fine
state of preservation. It was moved towards the vessel, when an order
arrived from the Admiralty, prohibiting the sailors from being employed
at this work. No further attempts have been made to remove this fine
monument to Europe.--ANON.

[26] Wilkinson.

[27] Sonnini.

[28] He gives a full description of them.--Part iv. p. 285, 4to.

[29] Sat. Mag.

[30] Diodorus Siculus; Quintilian; Ammianus Marcellinus; Abulfaragius;
Prideaux; Rollin; Shaw; Harris; Gibbon; Johnson; Drake; Savary; Sonnini;
Sandwich; Rees; Miot; Clarke; Wilkinson; Browne; Parker; Knight.

[31] Rollin; Sandwich.

[32] A.M. 3604, A.C. 300.

[33] Wheler; Pococke; Chandler; Rees; Sandwich; Porter; Kinneir;
Buckingham; Carne; Robinson; Walpole.

[34] Rollin.

[35] Rollin.

[36] Clarke.

[37] The devastations of time and war have effaced the old city. The
stranger in vain inquires for vestiges of its numerous edifices, the
theatre, the gymnasium, the temples, and the monuments it once boasted,
contending even with Athens in antiquity and in favours conferred by the

[38] See Tiryns.

[39] Lib. vii.

[40] The district of Argol is first received colonies, who introduced
civilisation into Greece. It has been reckoned the cradle of the Greeks,
the theatre of events, which distinguished their earliest annals, and
the country which produced their first heroes and artists. It was
accordingly in the temple of Juno at Argos where the Doric order first
rose to a marked eminence, and became the model for the magnificent
edifices afterwards erected in the other cities, states, and

[41] Rollin; Rees; Clarke; La Martine.

[42] Chardin; Cartwright; Ouseley.

[43] Every nation had a great zeal for their gods. "Among us," says
Cicero, "it is very common to see temples robbed, and statues carried
off; but it was never known, that any person in Egypt ever abused a
crocodile; for its inhabitants would have suffered the most extreme
torments, rather than be guilty of such sacrilege." It was death for any
person to kill one of these animals voluntarily.

[44] Herodotus; Rollin; Savary; Belzoni; Rees.

[45] Strabo; Rees; Porter

[46] For the loves of Chosroes and Shirene, see D'Herbelot, and the
Oriental collections.

[47] Rees; Sir Robert Ker Porter.

[48] Brewster.

[49] The Attic stater was a gold coin weighing two drachms.

[50] Brewster.

[51] Dodwell.

[52] Diogenes, and Hermias; Eulalicus, and Priscian; Damaschius;
Isidore, and Simplicius.

[53] Anon.

[54] Hence Shakspeare, confounding dates, talks of Theseus, "Duke of

[55] Quin's Voyage down the Danube.

[56] Dodwell.

[57] Hobhouse.

[58] Dodwell.

[59] Clarke.

[60] Dodwell.

[61] Clarke.

[62] Hobhouse, p. 343.

[63] Clarke.

[64] Clarke.

[65] The theatre of the ancients was divided into three principal parts;
each of which had its peculiar appellation. The division for the actors
was called in general the _scene_, or _stage_; that for the spectators
was particularly termed the _theatre_, which must have been of vast
extent, as at Athens it was capable of containing above thirty thousand
persons; and the _orchestra_, which, amongst the Greeks, was the place
assigned for the pantomimes and dancers, though at Rome it was
appropriated to the senators and vestal virgins.

The theatre was of a semicircular form on one side, and square on the
other. The space contained within the semicircle was allotted to the
spectators, and had seats placed one above another to the top of the
building. The square part, in the front of it, was the actors' division;
and in the interval, between both, was the orchestra.

The great theatres had three rows of porticoes, raised one upon another,
which formed the body of the edifice, and at the same time three
different stories for the seats. From the highest of those porticoes the
women saw the representation, covered from the weather. The rest of the
theatre was uncovered, and all the business of the stage was performed
in the open air.

[66] Boindin; Rollin.

[67] Plutarch, in his inquiry whether the Athenians were more eminent in
the arts of war or in the arts of peace, severely censures their
insatiable fondness for diversions. He asserts, that the money, idly
thrown away upon the representation of the tragedies of Sophocles and
Euripides alone, amounted to a much greater sum than had been expended
in all their wars against the Persians, in defence of their liberty and
common safety. That judicious philosopher and historian, to the eternal
infamy of the Athenians, records a severe but sensible reflection of a
Lacedæmonian, who happened to be present at these diversions. The
generous Spartan, trained up in a state where public virtue still
continued to be the object of public applause, could not behold the
ridiculous assiduity of the Choragi, or magistrates who presided at the
public shows, and the immense sums which they lavished in the
decorations of a new tragedy, without indignation. He therefore frankly
told the Athenians, that they were highly criminal in wasting so much
time, and giving that serious attention to trifles, which ought to be
dedicated to the affairs of the public. That it was still more criminal
to throw away upon such baubles as the decorations of a theatre, that
money which ought to be applied to the equipment of their fleet, or the
support of their army. That diversions ought to be treated merely as
diversions, and might serve to relax the mind at our idle hours, or when
over a bottle; if any kind of utility could arise from such trifling
pleasures. But to see the Athenians make the duty, they owed to their
country, give way to their passion for the entertainments of the
theatre, and to waste unprofitably that Footnote: time and money upon
such frivolous diversions, which ought to be appropriated to the affairs
and the necessities of the state, appeared to him to be the height of

[68] He bequeathed to every Athenian a sum nearly equivalent to 3_l._ of
our money.

[69] The funeral of Herodes Atticus must have afforded one of the most
affecting solemnities of which history makes mention. He was seventy-six
years old when he died; and in the instructions which he left for his
interment, he desired to be buried at Marathon, where he was born; but
the Athenians insisted upon possessing his remains; and they caused the
youth of their city to bear him to the Stadium Panathenaicum, which he
had built; all the people accompanying, and pouring forth lamentations
as for a deceased parent.--CLARKE.

[70] Clarke.

[71] Dodwell.

[72] Sandwich.

[73] Clarke.

[74] Lord Sandwich.

[75] Sandwich.

[76] Hobhouse.

[77] Wheler.

[78] Dodwell.

[79] Clarke.

[80] Clarke.

[81] Dodwell.

[82] Dodwell.

[83] Idem.

[84] Rollin.

[85] "It is generally supposed," continues Mr. Williams, "the marble
temples are white; but, with the exception of the temple of Minerva at
Cape Colonna, (which is built of Parian marble,) this is not the case.
The marble of Pentelicus, with which all the temples at Athens were
built, throws out an oxide of iron of the richest yellow, and this
certainly makes them infinitely more picturesque than if they were
purely white."

[86] "The two principal statues among the Elgin marbles are those of
Theseus, the Athenian hero, and a recumbent figure, supposed to be the
river-god Ilissus (numbered in the Synopsis 93 and 99). They are
executed in a style of extraordinary breadth and grandeur. Theseus is
represented half reclined on a rock, covered with the skin of a lion,
and appears to be resting after some mighty labour. The figure of the
Ilissus is less robust: all his contours flow in lines of undulating
elegance. But in both these statues, that which chiefly strikes us, in
spite of the dilapidations which they have suffered, is the vitality
which seems to pervade them. In these, not only the office and
appearance of the muscles, whether in action or at rest, but the
bearings of the skeleton, are expressed with an accuracy which could
only have resulted from the most profound science, added to an acute and
perpetual observation of nature. The statue of the Ilissus is especially
remarkable for its graceful flexibility; and we would observe, without
going too technically into the subject, how different is the
indentation, formed by the lower line of the ribs in this figure, so
admirably expressing its position, from that geometrical arch by which
this part of the body is designated in the ordinary antique statues, and
which is so rarely accommodated to the action represented. The
principle, pointed out in this instance, may be traced throughout the
Elgin marbles, in which true art is never superseded by conventional
style. We believe that in the opinion of the majority of connoisseurs,
the statue of Theseus is considered superior to that of the Ilissus.
Canova, however, preferred the latter; and Raffaelle, who imported
designs from Greece, has adapted this figure to that of the fallen
Commander, in his picture of Heliodorus. It is well known that the
Ilissus was a small stream which ran along the south side of the plain
of Athens. The statue in which it is here personified occupied the left
angle of the west pediment of the Parthenon, and that of Theseus was
placed opposite to it on the east pediment next to the horses of

[87] Herodotus; Thucydides; Pliny, the younger; Plutarch; Pausanias;
Wheler; Rollin; Chandler; Stuart; Barthelemy; Sandwich; Montague;
Brewster; Rees; Byron; Dodwell; Clarke; Hobhouse; Eustace; Quin;
Williams; De la Martine.

[88] Gen. c. x. v. 10.

[89] Gen. xi. v. 4.--"The schemes that men of coarse imaginations have
raised from a single expression in the Bible, and sometimes from a
supposition of a fact no where to be found, are astonishing. If you
believe the Hebrew doctors, the language of men, which, till the
building of Babel, had been one, was divided into seventy languages. But
of the miraculous division of the languages there is not one word in the
Bible."--"Dissertation on the Origin of languages," by DR. GREGORY
SHARPE, 2nd Ed. p. 24.

[90] The greatest cities of Europe give but a faint idea of the grandeur
which all historians unanimously ascribe to the famous city of

[91] "It is conceivable," says an elegant writer on civil architecture,
"that walls of the height of the London monument might have, during the
long existence of a great empire, been raised to protect so great a city
as Nineveh; but it requires a much greater stretch of thought to
conceive them, as in the case of Babylon, to be raised to a height equal
to that of the cross which terminates the dome or cupola of St. Paul's
cathedral in London. Yet, when we recollect that Nebuchadnezzar was
intoxicated with conquest, in possession of unbounded power and riches,
and ambitious of erecting a metropolis for all Asia, upon a scale which
should surpass every city the world had seen, we shall hesitate in
condemning as improbable even the descriptions of Herodotus."

[92] It must be confessed, indeed, that in the comparison of ancient and
modern measures, nothing certain has been concluded. According to vulgar
computation, a cubit is a foot and a half; and thus the ancients also
reckoned it; but then we are not certainly agreed about the length of
their foot.--MONTFAUCON.

The doubt expressed by Montfaucon appears unnecessary; these measures
being taken from the proportions of the human body, are more permanent
than any other. The foot of a moderately-sized man, and the cubit--(that
is, the space from the end of the fingers to the elbow), have always
been twelve and eighteen inches respectively.--BELOE.

[93] Thus, saith the Lord, to his anointed, to Cyrus, I will go before
thee; I will break in pieces the gates of brass.--ISAIAH.

[94] The original Erythræan, or Red Sea, was that part of the Indian
ocean, which forms the peninsula of Arabia; the Persian and Arabian
gulfs being branches of it.--BELOE.

[95] It is necessary to bear in mind, that the temples of the ancients
were altogether different from our churches. A large space was inclosed
by walls, in which were courts, a grove, pieces of water, apartments
sometimes for the priests; and, lastly, the temple, properly so called,
and where, most frequently, it was permitted the priests alone to enter.
The whole inclosure was named [Greek: to hieron]: the temple, properly
so called, or the residence of the deity, was called [Greek: naos]
(_naos_) or the cell.--HARVEY.

[96] The streets crossed each other, and the city was cut into six
hundred and seventy-six squares, each of which was four furlongs and a
half on every side; viz., two miles and a quarter in circumference.

[97] Porter.

[98] Anon.

[99] This is said to have been done at the building of old London

[100] These canals having been suffered to decay, the water of the river
is much greater now than formerly.

[101] Herodotus. Megathenes says seventy-five feet. "We relate the
wonders of Babylon," says Rollin, "as they are delivered down to us by
the ancients; but there are some of them which are scarce to be
comprehended or believed; of which number is the lake. I mean in respect
to its vast extent."

[102] Vol. xlviii. 199.

[103] The reviewer then goes on to say:--"By way of comparing this with
a work of modern times, we may notice, that the Bristol ship canal, one
of the late projects, was intended to have been eighty miles long, one
hundred feet wide, and thirty feet deep; and the estimated cost was four
millions sterling. To be sure, labour was cheaper at Babylon than in
London, and well it might be; for if the Babylonian lake were to be made
now in England, it would cost the trifling sum of four thousand two
hundred and twenty-one millions sterling!"

[104] The reader will naturally be reminded of the tunnel now
constructing under the Thames; a much more difficult and extensive

[105] Going in and out, we should suppose, with every angle. Should any
one do this with a rule at St. Paul's Cathedral, it is probable he might
compass a mile.

[106] The largest pyramid is 110 feet higher than St. Paul's, with a
base occupying about the same area as Lincoln's Inn Fields.

[107] The advantageous situation of Babylon, which was built upon a
wide, extended, flat country, where no mountains bounded the prospect;
the constant clearness and serenity of the air in that country, so
favourable to the free contemplation of the heavens; perhaps, also, the
extraordinary height of the tower of Babel, which seems to have been
intended for an observatory; all these circumstances were strong motives
to engage this people to a more nice observation of the various motions
of the heavenly bodies, and the regular course of the stars.--ROLLIN.

[108] Diodorus states, that in his time many monuments still remained
with inscriptions upon them.

[109] Val. Max. ix. c. 3.

[110] A statue was erected in memory of this action, representing her in
that very attitude, and the undress, which had not prevented her from
flying to her duty.

[111] Daniel, c. iv.

[112] Diodorus; Prideaux.

[113] "The hanging gardens," says Major Rennell, "as they are called,
had an area of about three acres and a half, and in them were grown
trees of considerable size; and it is not improbable, that they were of
a species different from those of the natural growth of the alluvial
soil of Babylonia. These trees may have been perpetuated in the same
spot where they grew (or seeds from them), notwithstanding that the
terraces may have subsided, by the crumbling of the piers and walls that
supported them; the ruins of which may form the very eminences, spoken
of by M. Niebuhr, and which are covered with a particular kind of
trees." That is, with trees different from any that grow between the
ruins and the Persian gulf, in which space no other trees are to be
found but date and other fruit trees.

[114] Daniel, ch. v., ver. 25.

[115] Isaiah xiii. 19, 22; xiv. 23, 24.--It has been well observed by
Bishop Newton, that it must afford all readers of an exalted taste and
generous sentiments, a very sensible pleasure to hear the prophets
exulting over such tyrants and oppressors as the kings of Assyria. "In
the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah," continues he, "there is an Epinikion,
or a triumphant ode upon the fall of Babylon. It represents the infernal
mansions as moved, and the ghosts of deceased tyrants as rising to meet
the king of Babylon, and congratulate his coming among them."--"It is
really admirable for the severest strokes of irony as well as for the
sublimest strains of poetry. The Greek poet Alcæus, who is celebrated
for his hatred to tyrants, and whose odes were animated with the spirit
of liberty no less than with the spirit of poetry, we may presume to
say, never wrote any thing comparable to it."

[116] Partly, not entirely. "Herodotus states that Darius Hystaspes, on
the taking of Babylon by the stratagem of Zopyrus, 'levelled the walls
and took away the gates, neither of which Cyrus had done.' But let it be
remarked that Darius lived a century and a half before Alexander, in
whose time the walls appear to have been in the original state; or, at
least, nothing is said that implies the contrary; and it cannot be
believed, if Darius had taken the trouble to level thirty-four miles of
so prodigious a rampart as that of Babylon, that ever it would have been
rebuilt in the manner described by Ctesias, Clitarchus, and others, who
describe it at a much later period. Besides, it would have been quite
unnecessary to level more than a _part_ of the wall; and in this way,
probably, the historian ought to be understood."--RENNELL.

[117] Herod. Thalia. c. v. ch. ix.

[118] Cyrus; Cambyses; Smerdis Magus; Darius the son of Hystaspes;
Xerxes I.; Artaxerxes Longimanus; Xerxes II.; Sogdianus; Darius Nothus;
Artaxerxes Mnemon; Artaxerxes Ochus; Arses; and Darius Codomanus.

[119] "Babylon was designed by Alexander to be not only the capital of
his empire, but also a great port and naval arsenal. To contain his
fleet, he ordered a basin to be excavated, capable of admitting a
thousand sail, to which were to be added docks and magazines for stores.
The ships of Nearchus, as well as others from Phoenicia, were already
arrived. They had been taken to pieces on the Mediterranean coast, and
conveyed overland to Thapsacus, where they had been put together, and
then navigated down the Euphrates." The object of all this was to enable
him to invade Arabia.

[120] Sir John Malcolm says, that many traditions still exist in Persia,
in regard to this wonderful person. Amongst others, this:--"The
astrologers had foretold, that when Alexander's death was near, he would
place his throne where the earth was of iron and the sky of gold. When
the hero, fatigued with conquest, directed his march towards Greece, he
was one day seized with a bleeding at the nose. A general who was near,
unlacing his coat of mail, spread it for his prince to sit on; and, to
defend him from the sun, held a golden shield over his head. When
Alexander saw himself in this situation, he exclaimed, 'The prediction
of the astrologers is accomplished, I no longer belong to the living!
Alas! that the work of my youth should be finished! Alas! that the plant
of the spring should be cut down like the ripened tree of autumn!' He
wrote to his mother, saying, he should shortly quit the earth and pass
to the regions of the dead. He requested that the alms given at his
death should be bestowed on such as had never seen the miseries of the
world, and who had never lost those who were dear to them. In conformity
to his will, his mother sought, but in vain, for such persons. All had
tasted the woes and griefs of life; all had lost those whom they loved.
She found in this a consolation which her son had intended, for her
great loss. She saw that her own was the common lot of humanity."

[121] In describing the overthrow, the prophet is admirable; rising by a
judicious gradation into all the pomp of horror. _q. d._ "Now, indeed,
it is thronged with citizens; but the hour is coming, when it shall be
entirely depopulated, and not so much as a single inhabitant left.--Lest
you should think, that in process of time it may be re-edified, and
again abound with joyful multitudes, it shall never be inhabited more;
no, never to be dwelt in any more, from generation to generation; but
shall continue a dismal waste, through all succeeding ages.--A waste so
dismal, that none of the neighbouring shepherds shall make their fold,
or find so much as an occasional shelter for their flocks; where kings,
grandees, and crowds of affluent citizens were wont to repose themselves
in profound tranquillity. Even the rude and roving Arabian shall not
venture to pitch his tent, nor be able to procure for himself the poor
accommodation of a night's lodging; where millions of polite people
basked in the sunshine of profuse prosperity.--In short; it shall
neither be habitable, nor accessible! but a dwelling place for dragons,
and a court for owls; an astonishment, and a hissing. What was once the
golden city, and the metropolis of the world, shall be an everlasting
scene of desolation, a fearful monument of divine vengeance, and an
awful admonition to human pride."

[122] About the middle of the second century, when Strabo was there, the
walls were reduced to fifty cubits in height, and twenty-one in breadth.

[123] About the year 1169.

[124] The soil of Babylonia, in the time of Herodotus, may be in no
small degree judged of by what that historian states:--"Of all
countries, which have come under my observation, this is far the most
fruitful in corn. Fruit-trees, such as the vine, the olive, and the fig,
they do not even attempt to cultivate; but the soil is so particularly
well adapted for corn, that it never produces less than two-hundredfold;
in seasons which are remarkably favourable it will sometimes produce
three hundred; the ear of their wheat as well as barley is four digits
in size. The immense height to which millet will grow, although I have
witnessed it myself, I know not how to mention. I am well aware that
they who have not witnessed the country will deem whatever I may say
upon the subject, a violation of probability."--CLIO, CXCIII.

[125] There is a copy of Rauwolf's work in the British Museum, enriched
by a multitude of MS. notes by Gronovius, to whom it would seem the copy
once belonged.

[126] By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; yea, we wept, when we
remembered Zion.

2. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

3. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song;
and they, that wasted us, required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of
the songs of Zion.

4. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?--PSALM cxxxvii.

[127] The words of Beauchamp are:--"I employed two men for three hours
in clearing a stone, which they supposed to be an idol. The part, which
I got a sight of, appeared to be nothing but a shapeless mass: it was
evident, however, that it was not a simple block, as it bore the marks
of a chisel, and there were pretty deep holes in it." Sir Robert Ker
Porter says, it is a common idea with the Turks, that the real object
with Europeans, in visiting the banks of the Euphrates, is not to
explore antiquities, as we pretend, but to make a laborious pilgrimage
to these almost shapeless relics of a race of unbelievers more ancient
than ourselves; and to perform certain mysterious religious rites before
them, which excite no small curiosity amongst the Faithful to inquire

[128] It is probable, that many fragments of antiquity, especially of
the larger kind, are lost in this manner. The inhabitants call all
stones, with inscriptions or figures on them, idols.--RICH.

[129] "The mass on which the Kasr stands," says Sir R. K. Porter, "is
above the general level full seven hundred feet. Its length is nearly
four hundred yards; its breadth six hundred; but its form is now very
irregular. Much of the _débris_, which this interesting spot presented
to the Abbé Beauchamp and Mr. Rich in 1811, have now totally
disappeared; the aspect of the summit and sides suffering constant
changes from the everlasting digging in its apparently inexhaustible
quarries for brick of the strongest and finest material.

[130] For the story of Haroot and Maroot, see D'Herbelot and Richards'
Persian Dictionary; also Kinneir's Geographical Memoir of the Persian

[131] Buckingham.

[132] Justin. iii. c. 16.

[133] The Hebrew Scriptures; Herodotus; Xenophon; Valerius Maximus;
Diodorus Siculus; Plutarch; Arrian; Quintus Curtius; Justin; Texeira;
Rauwolf; Delle Valle; Prideaux; Rollin; Bp. Newton; Beloe; Rennell;
Beauchamp; Kinneir; Porter; Malcolm; Franklin; Rich; Buckingham.

[134] Since this was written, the following account has appeared in one
of the journals (The Saturday Magazine):--"The present population of
Hillah, which may average from six to seven thousand souls, consists
chiefly of Arabs, who have their own Sheik, but the Mutsellim, or
governor of the place, is under the pacha of Bagdad, and resides in a
fortress within the town. There are bazaars and markets on both sides of
the river. The shopkeepers are chiefly Armenians, Turks, and Jews. A
most important fact connected with these traders is, that Manchester and
Glasgow goods that were taken out by the Euphrates expedition as
samples, were eagerly bought by them, at a profit to the sellers of one
hundred per cent. There is much trade carried on in the town, both by
camels from the interior, and by boats laden with rice, dates, tobacco,
and other articles most in demand among the desert tribes. It would be
curious if, in the progress of commerce and civilisation, the
neighbourhood of Babylon should again become the scene of princely
mercantile traffic; it is described in the Revelations as having once
been (xviii. 12, 13), "The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious
stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and
scarlet, and all thyme wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all
manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and
marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and
wine, and oil, and flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses,
and chariots," &c.

[135] That beautiful bird, with plumage of the finest shining blue, with
purple beak and legs, the natural and living ornament of the temples and
porticoes of the Greeks and Romans, which, from the stateliness of its
port, as well as the brilliancy of its colours, has obtained the title
of Sultana.--SONNINI.

[136] The temple of the sun at Balbec.

[137] Chap. viii. verses 5, 6.

[138] Hist. Chron. lib. ii.

[139] An Arabian traveller in the tenth century.

[140] Ouseley.

[141] For these the curious reader may turn to the fine work of Messrs.
Daukins and Wood. There are several plates of these ruins, also, in
Pococke's and Bruce's travels. When at Balbec the latter made numerous
drawings; all of which he presented to George the Third. "These," says
he, "are the richest offering of the kind that were ever presented to a
sovereign by a subject."

[142] "The entry to the great Temple of the Sun is from the east,
through a noble portico of twelve circular columns; and the first
apartment in which the visiter finds himself is a magnificent hexagonal
hall, one hundred and eighty feet in diameter, exhibiting on all sides
the remains of an architectural beauty and magnificence of the richest
character, in the columns and other ornaments of a circle of chambers
which run around it. Beyond this is a still larger court, of nearly a
square form, being three hundred and seventy-four feet in one direction,
by three hundred and sixty-eight feet in another, and at the farther
extremity of that is the far-stretching pillared structure forming the
proper temple. As may be observed from the view, nine of the lofty
columns, which had composed this part of the edifice, are still to be
seen standing together. There had been originally fifty-six in all,
namely, ten at each end, and eighteen others along each of the sides.
The entire length of the space which they include is two hundred and
eighty-five feet, and its breadth is one hundred and fifty-seven feet.
The height, including the plinth, is eighty-seven feet."--ANON.

[143] The effect of the Corinthian order depends as much on the
execution of the sculptured details as in the harmony and correctness of
the proportion; and the miserable specimens we have about London, with a
stunted capital, and a few cramped projections, called acanthus leaves,
would not be known as the same order of architecture by the side of
these bold, free, airy, and majestic masses of building.--ADDISON.

[144] No cement or mortar is used in their construction, but the large
square stones are neatly adjusted, and so closely fitted, as to render
the joining almost invisible.

[145] Travels in Africa, Egypt, and Syria, p. 406, 7, 4to.

[146] Buckingham.

[147] Carne.

[148] Chronicles; Diodorus; Macrobius; Maundrell; Bruce; Seller; Dawkins
and Wood; Volney; Browne; Malcolm; Ouseley; Buckingham; Carne; La
Martine; Addison.

[149] The substance of this decree was as follows:--"Inasmuch as in
times past the continual benevolence of the people of Athens towards the
Byzantines and Perinthians, united by alliance and their common origin,
has never failed upon any occasion; that this benevolence, so often
signalised, has lately displayed itself, when Philip of Macedon, who had
taken up arms to destroy Byzantium and Perinthus, battered our walls,
burned our country, cut down our forests; that in a season of so great
calamity, this beneficent people succoured us with a fleet of a hundred
and twenty sail, furnished with provisions, arms, and forces; that they
saved us from the greatest danger; in fine, that they restored us to the
quiet possession of our government, our laws, and our tombs: the
Byzantines grant, by decree, the Athenians to settle in the countries
belonging to Byzantium; to marry in them, to purchase lands, and to
enjoy all the prerogatives of citizens; they also grant them a
distinguished place at public shows, and the right of sitting both in
the senate and the assembly of the people, next to the pontiffs: and
further, that every Athenian, who shall think proper to settle in either
of the two cities above mentioned, shall be exempted from taxes of any
kind: that in the harbours, three statues of sixteen cubits shall be set
up, which statues shall represent the people of Athens crowned by those
of Byzantium and Perinthus: and besides, that presents shall be sent to
the four solemn games of Greece, and that the crown we have decreed to
the Athenians shall there be proclaimed; so that the same ceremony may
acquaint all the Greeks, both with the magnanimity of the Athenians, and
the gratitude of the Byzantines."

[150] Gibbon.

[151] Gibbon.

[152] Chambers.

[153] Chambers.

[154] Clarke.

[155] Barthelemy.

[156] The whole circumference of the walls measures eighteen miles; the
number of mural towers is four hundred and seventy-eight.

[157] "This fact," continues Dr. Clarke, "has been so well ascertained,
that it will, probably, never be disputed." "The guardians of the most
holy relics," says Gibbon, "would rejoice if they were able to produce
such a chain of evidence as may be alleged on this occasion." The
original consecration in the temple of Delphi is proved from Herodotus
and Pausanias; and its removal by Zosimus, Eusebius, Socrates,
Ecclesiasticus, and Sozomen.

[158] Lord Sandwich.

[159] Hobhouse.

[160] Sandwich.

[161] Clarke.

[162] Lord Sandwich.

[163] Clarke.

[164] Chambers.

[165] Barthélemi; Wheler; Gibbon; Sandwich; Hobhouse; Byron; Clarke; La
Martine; Chambers; Parker.

[166] Elmanim; Sonnini; Browne; Brewster; Clarke; Encyclop. Londinensis;
Rees; Wilkinson.

[167] Rollin.

[168] Swinburne.

[169] Rollin; Swinburne.

[170] Swinburne.

[171] Swinburne.

[172] Forsyth.

[173] Livy; Rollin; Swinburne; Forsyth.

[174] The tale about purchasing so much land as an ox's hide would
cover, being a mere poetical fiction, is of course omitted.

[175] Lib. xxiii. ch. 6.

[176] Polybius has transmitted to us a treaty of peace concluded between
Philip, son of Demetrius, king of Macedon, and the Carthaginians, in
which the great respect and veneration of the latter for the deity,
their inherent persuasion that the gods assist and preside over human
affairs, and particularly over the solemn treaties made in their name
and presence, are strongly displayed. Mention is therein made of five or
six different orders of deities; and this enumeration appears very
extraordinary in a public instrument, such as a treaty of peace
concluded between two nations. We will here present our reader with the
very words of the historian, as it will give some idea of the
Carthaginian theology. "This treaty was concluded in the presence of
Jupiter, Juno, and Apollo; in the presence of the dæmon or genius
([Greek: daimonos]) of the Carthaginians, of Hercules and Iolaus; in the
presence of Mars, Triton, and Neptune; in the presence of all the
confederate gods of the Carthaginians; and of the sun, the moon, and the
earth; in the presence of the rivers, meads, and waters, in the presence
of all those gods who possess Carthage."--ROLLIN.

[177] 1,750,000_l._; that is. 35,000_l._ annually.

[178] Polybius acquaints us, that the ratification of the articles of
agreement between the Romans and the Carthaginians, was performed in
this manner: the Carthaginians swore by the gods of their country; and
the Romans, after their ancient custom, swore by a stone, and then by
Mars. They swore by a stone thus:--

"If I keep my faith, may the gods vouchsafe their assistance, and give
me success; if, on the contrary, I violate it, then may the other party
be entirely safe, and preserved in their country, in their laws, in
their possessions, and, in a word, in all their rights and liberties;
and may I perish and fall alone, as now this stone does:" and then he
lets the stone fall out of his hands.

Livy's account of the like ceremony is something more particular; yet
differs little in substance, only that he says the herald's concluding
clause was, "otherwise may Jove strike the Roman people, as I do this
hog;" and accordingly he killed a hog that stood ready by, with the
stone which he held in his hand.--KENNETT.

[179] M. Manilius and L. Marcius Censorinus.

[180] Rollin.

[181] Harmonies of Nature.

[182] Gibbon.

[183] Clarke.

[184] "A company, formed at Paris, for exploring the ruins of Carthage,
has already met with great success. A large house has been discovered on
the margin of the sea, near Bourj-Jedid. Paintings in fresco, similar to
those at Pompeii, adorn many of the rooms, and beautiful mosaics,
representing men, women, and nymphs, fishes of various kinds, tigers,
gazelles, &c. have been found. Fifteen cases with these precious relics
have arrived at Toulon."--_Literary Gazette, May 19, 1838._

[185] Polybius; Livy; Cicero; Justin; Rollin; Kennett; Gibbon; Montague;
Chateaubriand; Clarke; Sir George Temple.

[186] Swinburne; Brydone; Malte Brun; Encyclop. Londinensis.

[187] By Pliny, Strabo, and Tacitus.

[188] Quercus.

[189] Zonaras, apud Gyll.

[190] Julian; Barthelemy; Gibbon; Pococke; Clarke.

[191] The _sacred_ battalion was famous in history. It consisted of a
body of young warriors, brought up together, at the public expense, in
the citadel. Their exercises and even their amusements were regulated by
the sounds of the flute, and in order to prevent their courage from
degenerating into blind fury, care was taken to inspire them with the
noblest and most animated sentiments. Each warrior chose from the band a
friend to whom he remained inseparably united. These three hundred
warriors were anciently distributed in troops at the head of the
different divisions of the army.

Philip destroyed this cohort at the battle of Chæronea, and the prince
seeing these young Thebans stretched on the field of battle covered with
honourable wounds, and lying side by side on the ground on which they
had been stationed, could not restrain his tears.--BARTHELEMY.

[192] Dodwell.

[193] Ibid.

[194] Rollin; Barthelemy; Leland; Hobhouse; Dodwell; Leland.

[195] Obubea changed its name to Porcuna; and this, it is supposed, from
the circumstance of a sow having had thirty pigs at one litter; in
memory of which her figure was cut in stone with the following
inscription underneath:--

     C. CORNELIVS. C. F.
      C. N. GAL. CAESO.
      C. CORN. CAESO. F.
            D. D.

[196] Jose.

[197] Thucydides; Rollin; Wheler; Dodwell; Williams.

[198] Rollin.

[199] Rollin.


  Demens! qui nimbos et non imitabile fulmen,
  Ære et cornipedum cursu simulâret squorum.--VIRG.

[201] Kennet.

[202] History of the Turks.

[203] Dodwell.

[204] Herodotus; Pliny the Nat.; Du Loir; Rollin; Kennet; Knowles;
Wheler; Chandler; Barthelemy; Stuart; Dodwell; Quin; Turner.

[205] The story of the maid of Corinth may be found in Pliny, lib.
xxxv.; and in Athenagoras, with this additional circumstance, that the
lover, while his outlines were taken, is described to have been asleep.

[206] Gibbon.

[207] The royal canal (Nahar-Malcha) might be successively restored,
altered, divided, &c. (Cellarius Geograph. Antiq. tom. ii. p. 453): and
these changes may serve to explain the seeming contradictions of
antiquity. In the time of Julian, it must have fallen into the
Euphrates, _below_ Ctesiphon.

[208] These works were erected by Orodes, one of the Arsacidæan kings.

[209] "I suspect," says Mr. Gibbon, "that the extravagant numbers of
Elmacin may be the error, not of the text, but of the version. The best
translators from the Greek, for instance, I find to be very poor

[210] Selman the Pure.

[211] Rollin; Gibbon; Porter; Buckingham.

[212] Williams.

[213] Dodwell.

[214] Rollin; Barthélemi; Chandler; Clarke; Dodwell; Williams.

[215] In Judith, Dejoces is called Arphaxad:--"1. In the twelfth of the
reign of Nabuchodonosor, who reigned in Nineveh, the great city; in the
days of Arphaxad, which reigned over the Medes in Ecbatana.

2. And built in Ecbatana walls round about of stones hewn, three cubits
broad and six cubits long, and made the height of the walls seventy
cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits.

3. And set the towers thereof upon the gates of it, an hundred cubits
high, and the breadth thereof in the foundation thereof three score

4. And he made the gates thereof, even gates that were raised to the
height of seventy cubits, and the breadth of them was forty cubits, for
the going forth of his mighty armies, and for the setting in array of
his footmen."

[216] It is said, in Esther, that Ahasuerus reigned over one hundred and
twenty-seven princes; from India to Ethiopia.

[217] According to Herodotus, the reign of

  Dejoces was      53 years
  Phraortes        22  ----
  Cyaxares         12  ----
  The Scythians    28  ----
  Astyages         35  ----
       Total      150

[218] Some authors have made a strange mistake: they have confused this
city with that of the same name in Syria, at the foot of Mount Carmel;
and still more often with that which was called the "City of the Magi."

[219] Lib. x. 24.

[220] Clio, 98.

[221] Ecbatana was taken by Nadir Shah. Nadir marched against the Turks
as soon as his troops were refreshed from the fatigues they had endured
in the pursuit of the Afghauns. He encountered the force of two Turkish
pachas on the plains of Hameden, overthrew them, and made himself
master, not only of that city, but of all the country in the
vicinity.--Meerza Mehdy's Hist. Sir William Jones's works, vol. v. 112;
Malcolm's Hist. of Persia, vol. ii. 51. 4to.

[222] "This custom," says Mr. Morier, "which I had never seen in any
other part of Asia, forcibly struck me as a most happy illustration of
our Saviour's parable of the labourer in the vineyard; particularly when
passing by the same place, late in the day, we still found _others
standing idle_, and remembered his words, '_Why stand ye here all the
day idle?_' as most applicable to their situation; for in putting the
question to them, they answered '_Because no one has hired us._'"

[223] Lib. x. c. 24.

[224] "The habitations of the people here (at Hameden) were equally mean
as those of the villages through which we had passed before. The
occupiers of these last resembled, very strongly, the African Arabs, or
Moors, and also the mixed race of Egypt, in their physiognomy,
complexion, and dress. The reception, given by these villagers to my
Tartar companions, was like that of the most abject slaves to a powerful
master; and the manner in which the yellow-crowned courtiers of the
Sublime Porte treated their entertainers in return, was quite as much in
the spirit of the despotic sultan whom they served."--_Buckingham's
Travels in Mesopotamia_, vol. ii. p. 18.

[225] Herodotus; Diodorus Siculus; Plutarch; Arrian; Quintus Curtius;
Rollin; Rennell; Morier; Sir R. Ker Porter; Buckingham.

[226] Rollin.

[227] Dodwell.

[228] Rollin; Barthelemy; Wheler; Chandler; Sandwich; Clarke; Hobhouse;

[229] Gillies.

[230] Chandler.

[231] Pausanias; Plutarch; Barthelemy; Chandler; Dodwell; Rees; Gillies.

[232] Breadth scarcely anywhere exceeding forty miles.

[233] The others were, Miletus, Myus, Lebedos, Colophon, Priene, Teos,
Erythræ, Phocæa, Clazomenæ, Chios, and Samos.

[234] Polyen. Strat. vi.

[235] Diana was the patroness of all women in labour, as well as of the
children born.

[236] The Ephesians have a very wise law relative to the construction of
public edifices. The architect whose plan is chosen enters into a bond,
by which he engages all his property. If he exactly fulfils the
condition of his agreement, honours are decreed him; if the expense
exceeds the sum stipulated only by one quarter, the surplus is paid from
the public treasury; but if it amounts to more, the property of the
architect is taken to pay the remainder.--BARTHELEMY, vol. v. 394, 5;
from Vitruvius Præf., lib. x. 203.

[237] We often see this temple represented upon medals with the figure
of Diana. It is never charged with more than eight pillars; and
sometimes only with six, four, and now and then only with two.

[238] The columns being sixty feet high, the diameter, according to
rule, must be six feet eight inches; that is, one-ninth part. Thus,
every column would contain one hundred and ten tons of marble, besides
base and capital!--WREN'S PARENTALIA, p. 361.

[239] Mithridates caused 150,000 Romans in Asia to be massacred in one

[240] Hist. August, p. 178; Jornandes, c. 20.

[241] Strabo, 1. xiv. 640; Vitruvius, 1. i. c. 1; Præf. 1. vii.; Tacitus
Annal. iii. 61; Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxvi. 14.

[242] The length of St. Peter's is 840 Roman palms; each palm is very
little short of nine English inches.

[243] They offered no sacrifices to the Grecian gods.

[244] Acts xx. 31.

[245] Acts xix. 11; 1 Cor. xv. 9.

[246] Acts xx. 19.

[247] Ch. ii.

[248] Revett's MS. notes.

[249] On this passage Mr. Revett has left the following observation in a
MS. note: "Upon what authority? Vitruvius, though he relates the story,
does not give us the name of the mountain on which it happened. If mount
Prion consists of white marble, it is very extraordinary it was not
discovered sooner; part of the mountain being included in the city."

[250] Diodorus Siculus; Vitruvius; Plin. Nat. Hist.; Plutarch; Polyænus;
Wren's Parentalia; Barthelemy; Gibbon; Wheler; Chandler; Revett; Clarke;
Hobhouse; Brewster; Rees.

[251] Seetzen; Burckhardt; Irby; Robinson.

[252] From a work published in 1778.

[253] Anon.

[254] Hippolyto de Jose; Swinburne; Wright; Murphy; Washington Irving.

[255] Lempriere.

[256] Morritt.

[257] Turner.

[258] Turner; Clarke.

[259] Barthelemy; Lempriere; Rees; Mitford; Clarke; Walpole; Morritt;

[260] Rollin.

[261] Bossuet; Rollin; Encyclop. Metropolitana; Denon.

[262] Eustace.

[263] Dionysius of Halicarnassus makes it sixty years before the fall of
Troy; or 1342 B.C.

[264] Chambers.

[265] Chambers.

[266] He was then only eighteen.

[267] The death of this celebrated naturalist was probably occasioned by
carbonic acid gas. This noxious vapour must have been generated to a
great extent during the eruption. It is heavier than common air, and, of
course, occupies in greater proportion the substrata of that
circumambient fluid. The supposition is greatly strengthened by the
fact, that the old philosopher had lain down to rest; but the flames
approaching him, he was compelled to rise, assisted by two servants,
which he had no sooner done than he fell down dead.

[268] It is a remarkable circumstance that some naturalists walking amid
the flowers, on the summit of Vesuvius, the very day before this
eruption, were discussing whether this mountain was a volcano.

[269] Gandy, 53.

[270] Mons. Du Theil.

[271] Rees.

[272] Brewster.

[273] Ibid.

[274] Brewster.

[275] Brewster.

[276] Brewster, 741.

[277] Ibid, 740.

[278] Rees.

[279] Dupaty.

[280] Brewster.

[281] The letters in the smaller type were inserted by Ciampitti; as
those he considered appropriate for filling up passages which could not
be deciphered.

[282] Pliny the younger; Encycl. Rees, Metrop.; Brewster; Dupaty;

[283] Plin. v. c. 26. Ptolem. v. c. 15.

[284] Ptolemy; Pliny; Pococke; Chandler.

[285] This was an epithet given to Crete, from the 100 cities which it
once contained: also to Thebes in Egypt, on account of its 100 gates.
The territory of Laconia had the same epithet for the same reason that
Thebes had; and it was the custom of these 100 cities to sacrifice a
hecatomb every year.

[286] Sir John Malcolm.

[287] The boundaries of Iran, which Europeans call Persia, have
undergone many changes. The limits of the kingdom in its most prosperous
periods may, however, be easily described. The Persian Gulf, or Indian
Ocean, to the south; the Indies and the Oxus to the east and north-east;
the Caspian Sea and Mount Caucasus to the north; and the river Euphrates
to the west. The most striking features of this extensive country, are
numerous chains of mountains, and large tracts of desert; amid which are
interspersed beautiful valleys and rich pasture lands.--SIR JOHN

[288] I conquered the city of Isfahan, and I trusted in the people of
Isfahan, and I delivered the cattle in their hands. And they rebelled;
and the darogah whom I had placed over them they slew, with 3000 of the
soldiers. And I also commanded that a general slaughter should be made
of the people of Isfahan.--TIMOUR'S Institutes, p. 119. MALCOLM'S Hist.
Persia, vol. i. 461.

[289] Porter.

[290] Lett. ii. 1. 3.

[291] vii. 273, 486. viii. 2, 144.

[292] Sir John Kinneir says of this causeway: "It is in length about 300
miles. The pavement is now nearly in the same condition as it was in the
time of Hanway; being perfect in many places, although it has hardly
ever been repaired."

[293] At one time a horse's carcase sold for one thousand crowns.

[294] Malcolm, Hist. Persia from Murza Mahdy.

[295] The horrors of this siege, equal to any recorded in ancient
history, have been described by the Polish Jesuit Krurinski, who
personally witnessed them (see his History of the Revolution of Persia,
published by Père du Cerceau); and they are noticed in the "Histoire de
Perse depuis le commencement de ce siècle" of M. la Marnya Clairac, on
authorities that cannot be disputed.--OUSELEY'S Trav.

[296] Geog. Mem. of Persia.

[297] Morier.

[298] Malte-Brun.

[299] Job, chap. xv. ver. 28.

[300] Ferdousi; Ebn Hakekl; Della Valle; Chardin; Kinneir; Porter;
Malcolm; Malte-Brun; Ouseley.

[301] Hippolito de Jose.

[302] From the time that Solomon, by means of his temple, had made
Jerusalem the common place of worship to all Israel, it was
distinguished from the rest of the cities by the epithet Holy, and in
the Old Testament was called Air Hakkodesh, _i. e._, the city of
holiness, or the holy city. It bore this title upon the coins, and the
shekel was inscribed Jerusalem Kedusha, _i. e._, Jerusalem the Holy. At
length Jerusalem, for brevity's sake, was omitted, and only Kedusha
reserved. The Syriac being the prevailing language in Herodotus's time,
Kedusha, by a change in that dialect of sh into th, was made Kedutha;
and Herodotus, giving it a Greek termination, it was writ [Greek:
Kadytis], or Cadytis.--PRIDEAUX'S Connexion of the Old and New
Testament, vol. i. part i. p. 80, 81, 8vo. edit.

[303] And Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south,
and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings; he left none
remaining; but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of
Israel commanded.--Joshua, ch. x. ver. 40.

[304] --The emotions which filled the minds of those who witnessed the
laying of the foundation of the temple were strangely mingled. All gave
thanks to the Lord; and the multitude shouted with a great shout when
the foundations were laid; but, "many of the priests and Levites, and
chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first
house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes,
wept with a loud voice."--EZRA, iii. 12.

[305] Besides this, he built another temple.

[306] Some have thought that this description, which is from Josephus,
applies rather to the temple of Herod.

[307] It is remarkable that the sum mentioned is equal to the British
national debt.

[308] "Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and
with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore shalt
thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in
hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and
he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the
earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt
not understand; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard
the person of the old, nor show favour to the young: and he shall eat
the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be
destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or
the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have
destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy
high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all
thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy
land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the
fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters,
which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the
straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: so that the man
that is tender among you and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward
his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of
his children which he shall leave: so that he will not give to any of
them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath
nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine
enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate
woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot
upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil
toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her
daughter, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall
eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness
wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates."--DEUT. xxviii.

[309] Deut. xxix. 22, 24, 27.

[310] Robinson.

[311] Buckingham.

[312] The patriarch, says an accomplished traveller, makes his
appearance in a flowing vest of silk, instead of a monkish habit, and
every thing around him bears the character of Eastern magnificence. He
receives his visitors in regal stateliness; sitting among clouds of
incense, and regaling them with all the luxuriance of a Persian court.

[313] Dr. Clarke.

[314] Robinson.

[315] Matt. xiii. 2.

[316] D'Anville.

[317] Id.

[318] Buckingham.

[319] 2 Kings xxiii. 10, 12. 2 Chron. xxvii. 3.

[320] 2 Kings xxiii. 10.

[321] Brewster.

[322] Robinson.

[323] Id.

[324] Carne.

[325] John xx.

[326] Ib. v. 4.

[327] Ib. v. 5, 11.

[328] Clarke.

[329] Robinson.

[330] La Martine.

[331] Carne.

[332] Id.

[333] Robinson.

[334] Id.

[335] Josephus; Tacitus; Prideaux; Rollin; Stackhouse; Pococke;
D'Anville; Gibbon; Rees; Brewster; Clarke; Eustace; Chateaubriand;
Buckingham; Robinson; La Martine; Carne.

[336] Rollin.

[337] Polybius; Plutarch; Rollin; Titler; Barthelemy; Chateaubriand;

[338] Shaw; Chandler; Kinneir; Malte-Brun; Buckingham; Porter.

[339] Rollin.

[340] Rollin.

[341] Turner.

[342] Those of Magnesia amounted to fifty talents every year, a sum
equivalent to 11,250_l._ sterling.

[343] Such was the custom of the ancient kings of the East. Instead of
settling pensions on persons they rewarded, they gave them cities, and
sometimes even provinces, which, under the name of bread, wine, &c, were
to furnish them abundantly with all things necessary for supporting, in
a magnificent manner, their family and equipage.--ROLLIN.

[344] Civil Architecture, 617.

[345] Pococke; Chandler; Encycl. Metrop.

[346] Rollin.

[347] Rollin.

[348] Dodwell.

[349] Rollin; Dodwell; Williams.

[350] This was the same plan as Hannibal followed afterwards at the
battle of Cannæ.

[351] Rollin; Wheler; Barthelemy; Clarke; Dodwell.

[352] Barthelemy; Rollin; Rees; Dodwell.

[353] Thucydides; Dodwell.

[354] This story is told at length in Statius's Thebaid.

[355] Dodwell.

[356] Thucydides; Pausanias; Plutarch; Rollin; Wheler; Chandler;
Barthelemy; Dodwell.

[357] Savary.

[358] Rollin.

[359] Rollin.

[360] Alexandria may be supposed to have been partly built with its

[361] Malte-Brun.

[362] Rollin.

[363] The London and Birmingham Railway is unquestionably the greatest
public work ever executed, either in ancient or modern times. If we
estimate its importance by the labour alone which has been expended on
it, perhaps the Great Chinese Wall might compete with it; but when we
consider the immense outlay of capital which it has required,--the great
and varied talents which have been in a constant state of requisition
during the whole of its progress,--together with the unprecedented
engineering difficulties, which we are happy to say are now
overcome,--the gigantic work of the Chinese sinks totally into the

It may be amusing to some readers, who are unacquainted with the
magnitude of such an undertaking as the London and Birmingham Railway,
if we give one or two illustrations of the above assertion. The great
pyramid of Egypt, that stupendous monument which seems likely to exist
to the end of all time, will afford a comparison.

After making the necessary allowances for the foundations, galleries,
&c., and reducing the whole to one uniform denomination, it will be
found that the labour expended on the great _pyramid_ was equivalent to
lifting fifteen thousand seven hundred and thirty-three million cubic
feet of stone one foot high. This labour was performed, according to
Diodoras Siculus by three hundred thousand, to Herodotus by one hundred
thousand men, and it required for its execution twenty years.

If we reduce in the same manner the labour, expended in constructing the
London and Birmingham Railway, to one common denomination, the result is
twenty-five thousand million cubic feet of material (reduced to the same
weight as that used in constructing the pyramid) lifted one foot high,
or nine thousand two hundred and sixty-seven million cubic feet more
than was lifted one foot high in the construction of the pyramid; yet
this immense undertaking has been performed by about twenty thousand men
in less than five years.

From the above calculation have been omitted all the tunnelling,
culverts, drains, ballasting, and fencing, and all the heavy work at the
various stations, and also the labour expended on engines, carriages,
wagons, &c. These are set off against the labour of drawing the
materials of the pyramid from the quarries to the spot where they were
to be used--a much larger allowance than is necessary.

As another means of comparison, let us take the cost of the railway and
turn it into pence, and allowing each penny to be one inch and
thirty-four hundredths wide, it will be found that these pence laid
together, so that they all touch, would more than form a continuous band
round the earth at the equator.

As a third mode of viewing the magnitude of this work, let us take the
circumference of the earth in round numbers at one hundred and thirty
million feet. Then, as there are about four hundred million cubic feet
of earth to be moved in the railway, we see that this quantity of
material alone, without looking to any thing else, would, if spread in a
band one foot high and one foot broad, more than three times encompass
the earth at the equator.--LECOUNT.

[364] Saturday Magazine.

[365] Saturday Magazine.

[366] Monthly Magazine.

[367] Harmonies of Nature.

[368] Strabo mentions the sepulchre, lib. xvii. p. 808.

[369] Herodotus; Diodorus; Strabo; Pliny; Plutarch; Arrian; Quintus
Curtius; Rollin; Maupertuis; Montague; Maillet; Pococke; Shaw; Savary;
Norden; Sandwich; Browne; Denon; Belzoni; Salt; Clarke; Wilkinson;

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the closest
paragraph break.

3. Footnotes have been renumbered and moved from the end of pages to the
end of this text.

4. The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version
these letters have been replaced with transliterations.

5. Certain words use oe ligature in the original.

6. In this etext letters with overhead macron are represented within
square brackets preceded by equals sign. For instance, [=a] is used to
represent letter 'a' with macron above it.

7. Other than that, printer's inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation,
and hyphenation have been retained.

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