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Title: Studies of Travel - Greece
Author: Freeman, Edward Augustus, 1823-1892
Language: English
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Transcriber’s Note

This version of the text is unable to reproduce certain typographic
features. Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_.
Any text printed using “small capitals” was shifted to all upper-case.

Please see the transcriber’s notes at the end of this text for a more
complete account of any other textual issues and their resolution.



                                 Greece

[Illustration]

[Illustration: _The Parthenon_
               _South-west Corner_

               _From a drawing made by H. W. Williams in 1829_]



                           Studies of Travel

                                   by

                           Edward A. Freeman

                                 Greece

     “IN THE LIFE OF CITIES NOTHING PRESERVES LIKE EARLY OVERTHROW,
            NOTHING DESTROYS LIKE CONTINUOUS LIFE.”--P. 120

                          G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

                 NEW YORK                       LONDON
         27 & 29 West 23d Street        24 Bedford Street, Strand
                        The Knickerbocker Press

                            COPYRIGHT, 1893
                                   BY
                          G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
               _Entered at Stationers’ Hall, London_
                        BY G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

                  Electrotyped, Printed, and Bound by
                   The Knickerbocker Press, New York
                         G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

                             TO THE MEMORY
                                   OF
                            MARGARET EVANS,
                     THE COMPANION IN GREEK TRAVEL
                             OF HER FATHER,
                      THE WRITER OF THESE PAPERS,
                        THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED
                             BY HER SISTER



                                Preface


The papers that have been brought together in these small volumes are
the results of three several journeys made by my father in Greece
and Italy. He visited Greece for the first time in 1877, but of the
papers written in that year, which appeared in the _Saturday Review_,
only those on Corfu have been reprinted. They form part of the volume
of _Sketches from the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice_, in
the preface to which work the hope was held out that some out of
many papers on the more distant Greek lands might one day be put
together. It has been thought that these papers will not prove the
less welcome that they must now lack the re-casting that my father
would undoubtedly have given to them. Since his Greek journey was made,
fresh light has been thrown on many points by the German excavations at
Olympia as well as by those conducted by the Greeks themselves on the
Athenian Akropolis, at Eleusis and elsewhere.

The papers on the two Italian journies of 1881 and 1883 also stand as
they were written with the exception of a few verbal alterations which
have seemed needful in such a reproduction of what was originally
intended for the columns of a newspaper.

I have to thank the editors of the _Saturday Review_, the _Guardian_,
and the _Pall Mall Gazette_ for their courtesy in allowing the reprint
of these articles which have appeared in their pages.

                                            FLORENCE FREEMAN,

   ALICANTE:
January 17, 1893.



                                Contents


                                                              PAGE

  ROUND PELOPONNÊSOS                                             1

  THE ATHENIAN AKROPOLIS                                        16

  ATHENS BELOW THE AKROPOLIS                                    32

  MARATHÔN                                                      52

  THE SARONIC GULF                                              68

  TIRYNS                                                        85

  ARGOS                                                        106

  THE AKROPOLIS OF MYKÊNÊ                                      122

  THE TREASURIES AND TREASURES OF MYKÊNÊ                       140

  MYKÊNÊ TO CORINTH                                            162

  CORINTH                                                      183

  THE CORINTHIAN GULF                                          202

  CORINTH TO ELEUSIS                                           220

  SOUNION                                                      239

  OLYMPIA AND ITS CHURCH                                       257



                          Round Peloponnêsos.


The traveller who enters the older Hellenic world by way of Corfu,
and who leaves that island by an evening steamer, will awake the next
morning within a region which even modern geography and politics allow
to be wholly Hellenic. As long as light serves him, he still keeps
along the channel which divides free Corfu from enslaved Epeiros;
night cuts him off from the sight of the mouth of the Ambrakian
Gulf, and of the point where modern diplomacy has decreed that Greek
nationality shall, as far as diplomacy can affect such matters, come to
an end. The next morning’s dawn finds him off the mouth of the outer
Corinthian Gulf. To the east he is shown the position, on one side, of
Patras, the old Achaian city which St. Andrew a thousand years back
so manfully defended against Slave and Saracen, on the other side, of
Mesolongi, whose fame belongs wholly to our own day. We call up the
two sieges--the one where the civilian Mavrokordatos, the one hero
whom the Fanariot aristocracy gave to the cause of Greece, beat back
the Ottoman from its mud walls; the other made more famous still by
that fearful sally of the besieged, when, like the men of Ithômê or
Eira, they cut their way through the thickest bayonets of the Egyptian
invader. There may be some to whom the record of those great deeds may
be an unknown tale, but who may yet remember how Mesolongi saw the
last and worthiest days of the life of Byron. Of Patras, of Mesolongi,
however, we have hardly so much as a distant glimpse; we are told
where they are, and that is all. For a while, too, the Peloponnesian
coast itself is more distant and less attractive than the islands to
the west of it, now parts, no less than Peloponnêsos itself, of the
Hellenic realm. Yet we may remember that, as we pass by the Eleian
shore--Βουπράσιόν τε καὶ Ἤλιδα δῖαν, while we are shown where
lies the path to Olympia, we are now passing by the true _Morea_, the
land which once distinctively bore that name before it gradually spread
over the whole peninsula. The mainland as yet hardly attracts us. The
dawn has hardly given way to full sunlight as we see Ithakê fade away
in the distance, while Kephallênia lifts her bold height full before
us. Half the Odyssey rushes on our memory, and the memory of some may
be English enough to remember the happy description of our own Ælfred,
how Aulixes--his form of _Odysseus_--was king of two kingdoms, Ithakê
and something else, which he held under the _casere_ Agamemnôn. A
happy power of seeing the analogies between the institutions of his
own day and those of remote ages enabled the West-Saxon King who had
seen Rome in his childhood, the prince under whom English, Welsh, and
Danish rulers held their kingdoms, to understand the imperial position
of the lord of many islands and of all Argos better perhaps than it
was understood again till the light of comparative research broke on
our own age. We pass by, hoping for some future chance of prying into
the geographical difficulties of the Homeric Ithakê, but feeling at
all events that it is a stirring moment when we look on islands which
legend at least pictures to us as the realm of Odysseus, and in seeing
which we may take in a lesson of comparative politics from the noblest
ruler of our own people.

Still the insular side is more prominent than the peninsular.
Zakynthos, Zante, the isle of flowers, the flower of the Levant, plays
no great part in Hellenic history, but as the height of Kephallênia
passes away, the beautiful island, with its hills, its valleys, its
city spread along the shore and climbing up the mountain-side, is the
chief object to draw the eye to itself as long as it remains in sight.
It is not till we have passed the curve of the Kyparissian gulf, not
till we have passed the great islands, that the coast itself becomes
the main object of study. For a study it is, whether in geography,
in history, or in simple contemplation of the grand coast-line with
the inland mountains soaring above all, and changing their seeming
geographical position with the various shiftings of the vessel’s
course. The snow-capped height of Pentedaktylos, once Ta getos, rises
over all, seen from this point and from that, but always suggesting
the same thought, and commonly bringing with its mention the same
answer--There lies Sparta. The shape of southern Peloponnêsos lends
itself well to a coasting survey of this kind. The three long fingers
in which the peninsula ends, and the two deep gulfs between them, allow
the whole country to be seen as in a map, and allow most objects to
be seen from several points, and therefore to assume several shapes.
From Zante to Cerigo--a name which can hardly be a corruption, but
which must have by some process supplanted the earlier Kythêra--the
coast-line is everything. Islands there are not a few, but they are
small islands near to the coast, entering into the general scenery
of the coast, and, near as they are, some of them were, like Cerigo
itself, part of the dominion of Venice and of the powers which stepped
into the place of Venice. Any map earlier than the cession of the
Ionian Islands to Greece will show a boundary passing between the
coast and several islands which seem to lie within a stone’s throw
of it. Along the whole line, the possessors of the mainland, first
Ottoman, then Greek, were hemmed in, and as it were blockaded, by a
series of floating outposts planted off their shores by the successive
possessors of the Seven Islands. One is apt, in using a map of the
days of “the Protection,” to mistake the odd-looking frontier drawn
in the sea for the probable course of the steamer. Now the frontier
is gone; the great islands and the tributary islets all form part of
the same kingdom as the mainland. All are now Hellenic in every sense,
yet the most striking object in the journey brings forcibly to the
mind how recent and artificial is the modern use of the Hellenic name.
Tainaros runs far into the sea, as it did when the temple of Poseidôn
crowned its height, and when the Helot refugee sought shelter under
his protection from his Spartan master. Behind it rises Pentedaktylos,
or rather Tainaros carries on Pentedaktylos into the sea. All the
folk of those heights called themselves Hellênes in the old days,
and all call themselves Hellênes now. But in those intermediate days
which are painted for us by the Imperial geographer, the name of
Hellênes was confined to a very narrow range indeed. The only Hellênes
whom Constantine knew, the only people who were so called by their
neighbours--for they do not seem to have borne that name on their own
tongues--were the men of Tainaros, the wild and, down almost to our
own day, unconquerable land which had in his time already got the name
of Maina. These, he tells us pointedly, were no Slaves, distinguishing
them from their Slavonic neighbours on Pentedaktylos itself. They
were called Hellênes, but it was not in distinction from the Slaves
that they were so called. They were, he says, descendants of the old
Romans. Let no one dream of colonists from the Palatine or even from
the Aventine. The “old Romans” of Constantine are what we should
call Greeks, Hellênes, in this particular case the Eleutherolakônes,
the people of the Lakonian towns set free under Roman patronage from
their subjection to Sparta. The Roman, the subject of the Empire, is
distinguished from the Slave, but these particular Romans bore the
Hellenic name because they, or at least their immediate forefathers,
clave to the Hellenic Gods. Late in the ninth century, till the
apostolic zeal of the first Basil brought them within the Christian
fold, the men of Maina still sacrificed to Poseidon and the other gods
of their fathers. Thus they were Hellênes, Hellênes in the sense which
the name bears in the New Testament, Hellênes in the sense in which
Jovianus of Korkyra despoiled the temples and altars of the Hellênes
to raise the church of the Panagia. No piece of nomenclature is more
instructive than this. The name of Hellên would have been an insult to
the Orthodox Roman of the purest Hellenic blood. It clave to the men
of Tainaros only because they clave to Hellenic idols. Yet, whether as
Eleutherolakônes, as Hellênes, or as Mainotes, the men of Tainaros have
for many ages continued to have a name of their own.

The most historic spot, however, in the whole voyage is reached some
while before we come to Tainaros. Pentedaktylos, the specially Slavonic
mountain of Constantine’s day, suggests its Hellenic neighbours, and
Pentedaktylos comes in sight before we have doubled the first of the
three great Peloponnesian promontories. Among the islands which lie
along the coast is one which at first sight is hardly known to be an
island. Sphagia keeps close watch over the haven of Navarino--watch
so close that the whole length of Sphagia has to be passed before we
see the narrow mouth which leads into the landlocked harbour which saw
the last great sea-fight fought in Hellenic waters. Sphagia is there;
Navarino is there; but some have ventured to doubt whether Sphagia is
Sphaktêria, and whether Navarino is Pylos. Some have held that, in the
changes of the coast, what was Sphaktêria has now become part of the
mainland, and that the island which we now see is not that where Sparta
endured her first great humiliation, where Kleôn and Dêmosthenês, in
the teeth of all expectation, of every seeming impossibility, brought
back “the men,” the Spartan captives, in triumph to the harbour of
Peiraieus. Such questions as this cannot be settled by one who sees the
sites only as the power of steam hurries him alongside of them. In this
general view the question is of no great moment. There is the coast,
whatever may be the exact spot, where the legend makes Nestor entertain
Têlemachos, and whence Têlemachos and Peisistratos drove a carriage
and pair in two days from Pylos to Sparta. Now whether Têlemachos
and Peisistratos be real men or mere creations of fancy, the road at
least is no creation of fancy. The poet would not have ventured to
make his heroes perform such a drive, as something perfectly easy and
usual unless Peloponnêsos had been better supplied with roads in his
day than it is in our own. Here then we get a kind of history out of
the legend. There again is the coast, whatever may be the exact spot,
where happened the most remarkable episode of the Peloponnesian war,
the occupation of Pylos-the Lacedæmonian Koryphasion-and all that came
of it. With yet more certain knowledge of the exact spot, we can point
to the harbour where the fetters of Greece were broken, and where the
might of Turk and Egyptian fell before the combined powers of Orthodox
Russia, Catholic France, and Protestant England.

We pass on from promontory to promontory, the gulfs taking different
shapes and bringing different objects into sight at every moment. At
last

          Slow sinks, more lovely ere his work is done,
          Behind Morea’s hills the setting sun.

Pentedaktylos and Tainaros are lighted up, as the sun, in Greek phrase,
reigns (βασιλεύει) over the heavens from which he is about to sink
into his golden cup. Cerigo and Malea are seen only by the help of the
lesser lights, but we can still see the long harbourless coast of
Lakonia stretching away to the Argolic lands, and we have found out
too the site of the Lakonian Epidauros, more famous in later days as
Monembasia. As we woke one morning about the islands of the West, so we
wake the next along the islands of the Ægæan. Tênos, Andros, Mykonos,
Mêlos, Naxos, Dêlos itself, come into view at different points, till we
stand before the haven which has in modern times made itself the centre
of the commerce and navigation of these seas. The isle of Syros stands
before us, bleak and barren. There is the steep conical hill, covered,
every inch of it, with houses rising up to the church of St. George,
the cathedral church of Latin Syra, the mediæval city, the city of
refuge in days when men were driven to fall back on the hill-fortresses
of the earliest day. On the shore, on the site of ancient Syros, but
spreading over the adjoining hills, is the modern Hermoupolis, the busy
mart of all the islands. Another night, a fair starry night, on the
deep, and we reach the goal of the whole pilgrimage. Day has hardly
dawned enough to see clearly Sounion and its marble columns, but there,
however dimly seen, is the shore of Attica, and the thought comes that
came into the heart of the sailors of Salaminian Aias, that before long

                         προσείποιμ’ αν Ἀθάνας.



                        The Athenian Akropolis.


It may not seem easy to say anything new on so well-worn a subject as
Athens and her Akropolis, but of all subjects in the world there is
none which has been more steadily looked at from a single inadequate
point of view. It is moreover a subject whose history is not yet ended,
and which supplies new points of view by the fact that new pages in
its history are still happening. Nowhere is the unity of history more
needed to be taught as a practical lesson than on the spot where we
may fairly say that the political history of the world begins. There,
on the spot whose history begins before the beginning of recorded
history, we feel perhaps more keenly than anywhere else how blind
and narrow is the way in which the history of that spot has been so
commonly looked at, how large a part of the true interest, the true
life, of the spot is lopped away, if we look only at some two or three
centuries of its long and varied history. In the city of Athens, as
a whole, we are painfully struck by the glaring contrast of extreme
antiquity and extreme newness. There are buildings of yesterday; there
are buildings of a thousand years back; there are buildings of two
thousand years back, but the three classes stand out in marked and
indeed unpleasant contrast to one another. There are no intermediate
links such as there are at Rome, binding the great classes of objects
together, and making them all fit into their places as members of one
unbroken series. Hence, while at Rome we never forget that we are at
Rome, at Athens we may sometimes forget that we are at Athens, That
so it is no fault of the Athenians, old or new. It comes of the fact
that the Turk once ruled in Athens, and therefore had to be driven out
of Athens; while, as the Turk never ruled in Rome, he never had to be
driven out of Rome. If this is true of the city in general, it is far
less true of the Akropolis. There we can never forget that we are in
Athens; and, if we use our eyes aright, we can never forget that the
Athens in which we stand did not exist, as some seem to fancy, only
for two or three centuries two thousand years back, but that its long
history spans the whole range from our first glimpses of civilized
Europe down to the warfare in which men still living have borne a
part. It is but a narrow view of the Akropolis of Athens to look on it
simply as the place where the great works of the age of Periklês may
be seen as models in a museum. A truer and a wider view will begin
earlier and will go on later. The Parthenôn and the Propylaia are but
the records of one stage, though doubtless the most brilliant stage, in
the history of a city which ought equally to number among its records
the primæval wall which was venerable and mysterious in the days of
Thucydides and the bulwarks which were raised by the last Odysseus in
warfare with the Turkish oppressor. In the eye of the true historian
those earliest and those latest records, and the records of the long
ages which passed between them, all have, perhaps not all an equal
value, but at least value enough to stamp them all as alike parts of
the history of the city, all alike entitled to respect and veneration
from every one in whose eyes the history of the city is precious.
On the hill of the Akropolis and its buildings the whole history
of Athens, from its earliest to its latest days, has been clearly
written, and there it may still be clearly read wherever the barbarism
of classical pedantry has not wiped out the record. The primæval wall,
the wall of Themistoklês, the wall of Kimôn, all come within the
charmed period. No one is likely to damage them. It needs, however,
a wider view than that of the mere student of the writings, the mere
admirer of the art, of two or three arbitrarily chosen centuries, to
take in the full meaning even of the works of those arbitrarily chosen
centuries. Those remains of the earliest masonry, for which we have to
search behind the great buildings of the days of the democracy, those
stones which rival aught at Argos or at Tiryns, have a tale to tell
such as Argos and Tiryns cannot tell. Why was Athens Athens? How came
that one city to fill that particular place in the world’s history
which no other city ever did fill? In the Homeric catalogue Athens
stands alone; all Attica is already Athens, while every other part of
the catalogue is crowded with the names of those smaller towns many of
which passed away before recorded history begins. Marathon and Eleusis
find no place in the great record. The work had already been done, be
the name of the doer of it Thêseus or any other, which made Athens all
that Athens was--which fused together into one commonwealth the largest
extent of territory, the largest number of citizens which, according
to Greek political ideas, could act together as members of a single
commonwealth. Athens could become all that she did become, because, in
an unrecorded age, in an age of which those rude stones at least are
the only record, all Attica became Athens. To that great revolution,
none the less certain because in its own nature unrecorded, it is
alike owing that Athens in one age could rear the trophy of Marathôn,
and that in another she was chosen to be the head of regenerate Greece.
The oldest wall--we may call it the wall of Thêseus--and the latest
wall of Odysseus are but the earliest and the latest pages of one
story, bound together by the direct tie of cause and effect.

If then, fully to take in the historic greatness of the Athenian
Akropolis, we must look to facts and their records alike far earlier
and far later than the days of Periklês, the works of the days of
Periklês lose half their value if we look at them simply as the
works of the age of Periklês, and do not bear in mind the long ages,
the stirring events, of their later history. The house of Athênê is
emphatically the _Parthenôn_. When Dêmêtrios the Besieger was lodged
in its _opisthodomos_, the satirical remark was made that he and his
following were by no means fitting guests for its virgin owner. It
should, however, be remembered that that ancient temple has remained
the house of the Virgin under three distinct forms of worship. The
classical purist might disdain to notice---or, if he noticed, he might
be eager to wipe out such a memory--that on the walls of the _cella_
may still be seen the paintings, the εἰκόνες of another creed,
another form of art, from those of Pheidias and Iktinos. Yet those
painted forms tell us of one of the great moments in the history of
South-Eastern Europe--one might rather say one of the great moments
in the history of the world. It speaks of the day when the New Rome
was again queen of all the nations, from Crete to the Danube, from the
Euphrates to the Bay of Naples, when the Slayer of the Bulgarians, in
the moment of his triumph, chose, out of all the holy places of his
Empire, the church of the Panagia on the rock of Athens as the scene
of his thanksgiving for the great salvation which his arms had wrought.
We stand on the rock, and run over in our minds the long ages between
Periklês returning from the recovery of Samos, and Basil returning from
the recovery of Ochrida. We look down upon the lands which endured the
ravages of the last Philip in the cause of Rome, on the city which
endured the storm of Sulla in the cause of Mithridatês. We look down
on the works of Hadrian and the works of Hêrôdês, and the eye wanders
to a spot where the monument of a Syrian prince is the most prominent
object on an Athenian hill. We think how long Athens remained the
school of Rome, how the Goth turned away from her walls, how Justinian
at once strengthened her as a fortress and took away from her her crown
as the seat of heathen philosophy and heathen worship. Yet we mark
the slight lingering of ancient memories which, in re-dedicating her
ancient temples to the new faith, still kept a certain analogy between
their older and their newer functions. We mark how the Parthenôn still
remained the Parthenôn; how the temple of the heathen warrior Thêseus
became the church of the Christian warrior George. We think--Athens
is not expressly mentioned in the tale, but she can hardly be deemed
to have lagged behind her fellows--how the Greeks, the Ἑλλαδικοί, as
the Byzantine writer scornfully calls them, set forth on their strange
and bootless errand of delivering Constantinople from Isaurian and
Iconoclastic rule. Below us lie the churches of Eirênê, monuments of
days when Athens and Constantinople were united in a common orthodoxy,
when Athens had given an Empress to the Eastern world, and when men
again dreamed of a union of East and West by the marriage of an
Athenian and a Frank. All these memories lead up naturally to the great
scene of Basil’s day of triumph, when a prince who might be deemed at
once Roman, Greek, and Slave, chose Athens and her still abiding
Parthenôn for the greatest ceremony of his long reign of warfare and
of victory. We pass on to another age. The spirit which will hardly
endure the memory of a Greek-speaking Cæsar on the holy hill of Athênê
will find times even less to its taste when an Italian prince, in his
will drawn up in the Italian tongue, bequeaths the city of Athens to
the Church of St. Mary. Things had indeed changed, alike from the days
of Periklês and from the days of Basil, yet Athens under the French
and Italian Dukes had in some sort come back nearer to her ancient
place than when she beheld the thanksgiving of the Macedonian Emperor.
Athens, by that name, was again one of the powers of the world, no
longer a mere province of Rome, either in her older or her newer
seat. It was indeed a time of foreign rule. A Latin Duke had made
his palace in the Propylaia of Periklês; a Latin Bishop had displaced
the Orthodox rite of Basil’s day in the church which was still the
Parthenôn. Yet those were days when Athens was the seat of a brilliant
court, when the fame of her princes was spread through Europe. The
formula of our own Shakespeare, so strange in the ears of many, when he
speaks of Thêseus Duke of Athens, is a mark of days when her Kings and
Archons had been forgotten, but the memory of her Dukes still lived in
the minds of men. But the wanton barbarism of classical exclusiveness
will not endure the memory or the record or the monuments of days like
these. Only yesterday the tower of the Dukes of Athens was standing.
Its stern and heavy mass well broke the horizontal lines of the Greek
architecture, and gave to the whole group somewhat of that outline
which the hill of Laon has, and which the hill of Athens has not. But
the tower was late; it was barbarous; it did not belong to the two or
three favoured ages; it was a reminder of times which the exclusive
votaries of those two or three favoured ages would fain wipe out from
the records of mankind. Mr. Mahaffy, indeed, who cannot distinguish
between the taking of Constantinople in 1204 and the taking of Athens
in 1687, believed that Morosini had found time to build this massive
tower during the few weeks of his occupation. Mr. Mahaffy, who looks
on the Akropolis as so sacred that it was a sin to bombard it, even to
drive the Turks out of it--who seems to think freedom and national
being something of less moment than the preservation of this or that
statue or column--calls for its destruction in his text and crows over
its completed destruction in a note. Of this piece of wanton barbarism
Dr. Schliemann must bear the blame. Who, if any, were his Greek
accomplices, we have forborne to ask. But the tower is gone; a most
striking memorial of one age in the history of Athens has been swept
away, under the paltry pretext that inscriptions might be found among
its materials. By a righteous Nemesis, when the destroyers had finished
their work of havoc, they found nothing to reward them.

We can conceive nothing more paltry, nothing more narrow, nothing more
opposed to the true spirit of scholarship, than these attempts to wipe
out the history of any age. So far from destroying the ducal tower,
we would have kept the Turkish minaret. For the Parthenôn, already the
temple of heathendom and of two forms of Christianity, became in the
end the temple of Islam. A mosque had of course its minaret. Its lower
part is still there in the form of a staircase, but the characteristic
upper part has vanished. We know not how it vanished, whether through
wanton destruction or in one of the sieges in the seventeenth or the
nineteenth century. In any case, we should have been well pleased to
see both minaret and tower breaking the outline, and speaking of days
which have been, but which have passed away. Greece is free; the rule
both of the Frank and of the Turk is gone; but that is no reason why
the memorials of either Frank or Turk should be swept away. A higher
national feeling would keep them carefully as trophies of victory. At
all events, let not men, calling themselves scholars, lend themselves
to such deeds of wanton destruction. The name of Morosini is unfairly
held up to execration because an accident of warfare, which he could
not control, made him the destroyer of the Parthenôn. A far heavier
blame rests on those who were the deliberate destroyers of the ducal
tower. On them indeed may well fall the words of withering scorn in
which Byron so well couples the destroying names of Eratostratos and
Elgin.



                      Athens Below the Akropolis.


The main characteristic of modern Athens, and one of its chief points
of contrast with Rome, is that whatever is not very old is so very
new. But the visitor is apt at once to press this characteristic
further than strict truth warrants, and to draw a more strongly marked
geographical limit between old and new than strict truth warrants
either. At first sight we are apt to fancy that everything that is old
stands above, and that everything that is new lies below. The fact
that the greatest work of all, the temple of Olympian Zeus, happens
to lie below, hardly makes a practical exception. By the loss of so
many of its columns it has ceased to be in appearance the greatest
work of all, and, what is more to the point, it has practically ceased
to be part of the city. It lies outside and alone, apart both from
the Akropolis and the modern city. It joins indeed to make one of the
best and most familiar views of the Akropolis, but it joins only as a
foreground to a distant object. To take Mr. Mahaffy’s illustration, it
has come to stand to the Akropolis as Hoar Abbey stands to the Rock of
Cashel. On another side, the Thêseion, in its absolute perfection as
it is seen in any general view, stands as a kind of intermediate link
between the upper and the lower region. Otherwise the impression given
by the general view of Athens is that the old things are all above, as,
with one or two exceptions which need not be dwelled on, the new things
undoubtedly are below. The Akropolis seems to throw out the hill of
the Mouseion with the monument of Philopappos as a kind of outwork;
and, if we take in objects which cannot be seen at the first glance,
the most remarkable and venerable objects, the remains of the ancient
walls, the tombs cut in the rock, the seats of the Pnyx, the steps on
the hill of Arês, all lie on the upper ground. Against these, setting
aside very recent diggings, the low city seems to have nothing to set,
except a mass of modern and ugly houses and one modern house bigger and
uglier than the rest.

This impression is not untrue as regards the general aspect of the
city, but it breaks down when we come to examine things somewhat more
in detail. There is more of antiquity in the modern city of Athens than
one thinks at first sight; still the comparative rarity of ancient
remains, and the strong contrast between such as there are and the
modern buildings, form a distinct feature in the character of Athens,
as distinguished from cities which present to us an unbroken series
of monuments from the earlier times to the latest. Again, it is true
that, of such ancient remains as there are, the greater part seem, as
it were, to shelter themselves under the shadow of the Akropolis, and
but few of them belong to the most brilliant times of Athenian history.
The Thêseion, standing as a link between the upper and the lower city,
has a position of its own. The most perfect of existing Greek temples,
it might alone make the fortune of Athens as a place of artistic
pilgrimage, even were there nothing else there to see. In the general
view it seems to be absolutely perfect. The one small change which it
has undergone reminds us at once of a living page of history and of
the folly of those who labour in vain to wipe out history. The temple,
like its greater fellow on the Akropolis, became a church, but in its
new character it still kept a certain appropriate remembrance of its
older use. As the house of the Virgin still remained the house of the
Virgin, so the house of the warrior hero remained, as the church of
St. George, the house of a warrior saint. If, as some say, the older
dedication was really not to Thêseus but to Hêraklês, the parallel is
in no way weakened, but rather strengthened. Thêseus indeed overthrew
the Marathonian bull; but Hêraklês and St. George were alike victorious
over dragons. To fit the building for its new use, no change seems to
have been needed, beyond taking down two columns of the inner range of
the eastern front to make room for the apse of the converted basilica.
The caprice of a generation back took away the apse without restoring
the columns, and so left the building in a state which would seem
incomplete in the eyes of either its heathen or its Christian patrons.
Thêseus might ask for his columns; George might ask for his apse; and
the common robber of both would be hard put to for an answer. Now, as
one of the many detached museums of Athens, the Thêseion contains a
collection of sculptures, inscriptions, and architectural fragments,
pre-eminent among which is the archaic statue wrought by Aristiôn,
which looks so unpleasantly like a specimen of barbaric art. Still, why
may we not hold that in sculpture, as in so many other things, likeness
does not prove direct connexion, but merely analogy of stage? At all
events, Assyria never made anything better than the work of Aristiôn,
while Athens went on and grew from the stage of Aristiôn into the stage
of Pheidias.

Before the diggings in the Kerameikos which have brought to light such
choice sculptures, as well as a large part of the city wall and the
Dipylon gate, the Thêseion stood almost alone as a representative of
the great days of Athens on ground lower than the Akropolis and the
hills which front it. The theatre of Dionysos and the other buildings
which have been dug out from the side of the hill are rather part of
the Akropolis itself. The temple of Olympian Zeus, and its feeble
companion, the Arch of Hadrian, stand apart and make a feeble company
by themselves. In that part, however, of the modern city which lies
nearest under the Akropolis, we still have a collection of remains
of later Greek and Roman times, while such of the Byzantine churches
as are left scattered here and there through the city form a study
of surprising interest in their own class. All the world knows the
monument of Lysikratês and the later _hôrologion_ of Andronikos
Kyrrhestês, better known as the Temple of the Eight Winds. Perhaps all
the world does not know the singular way in which they were adapted
to the uses of rival creeds, how Franciscan friars found a home under
the graceful Corinthian finial of Lysikratês, while howling dervishes
quartered themselves under the pagan symbols of Andronikos. We mourn as
we look at the graceful toy of Lysikratês, the parent of a whole class
of structures at St. Remi and Igel--is it sacrilege to add Northampton,
Geddington, and Waltham? Genuine Greek Corinthian capitals are so rare
that it is sad to see that not one is altogether perfect.

The _hôrologion_ of Andronikos--if it is lawful to speak so freely of
anything built at Athens before the Christian era--has never struck
us as anything specially graceful, but it is one of the links which
directly connect the ancient and the modern city. It stands at what
we may call the ancient end of one of the great modern streets, one
which seems to represent an ancient street and which from this monument
bears the name of Aiolos. But the quarter where the _hôrologion_ stands
is one of the quarters where these later and lesser antiquities stand
thickest on the ground. Not far off is the _Stoa_ of Hadrian, where
the Imperial architect, forsaking the fashion of his own day, tries,
like our modern architects, to call up the forms of a past time, and
reproduces the ancient Doric, of course in its slenderer form. But this
whole quarter is full of remains of one kind and another. The bazaar is
in every sense a link to past times; an ancient wall fences it in, and
the sight within, so unlike the European streets of the more polished
quarters, reminds us that Athens once was an Eastern city. Various
scraps lie around us; here are two little forsaken churches side by
side forming in a manner one building; the cupola of one is half broken
down, and its bell-gable, its κωδωνοστάσιον, is perched on a
neighbouring colonnade. Not far off are two buildings, works of
intrusive powers and intrusive architecture, both of which form part
of the history of the city, and of which the one ought to be preserved
as carefully as the other. No one is likely to propose to destroy the
colonnade of Roman Corinthian work because its capitals are not of the
same types as the capitals of Lysikratês. But it is equally needful to
keep the one mosque which remains from Turkish Athens, a building whose
style stands to that of the Byzantine churches in somewhat the same
relation in which the Roman colonnades stand to the true Grecian. The
mosque stands applied to some military purpose. A worthier use for it,
a better badge of triumph and deliverance, would have been to make it
a memorial church for some of the heroes of the War of Independence.
In the same quarter, drawing near to the Thêseion, are the remains of
the _gymnasion_ of Ptolemy, where a crowd of inscriptions of various
dates tempt us to spell them out, till we light on one which contains
the name of the wife of Hêrôdês of Marathôn. His theatre is on the
other side of the Akropolis, forming part, like the elder theatre,
of the Akropolis itself. But it is in the quarter to the north of
the Akropolis, the quarter of the new _agorê_, in which the visitor
to Athens finds more than elsewhere the opportunity for the process
so delightful in the old cities of Gaul and Germany, and Italy, the
process of prowling hither and thither, and lighting on some fragment
of antiquity--the more varied date of style the better--at every
quarter. The Akropolis is too carefully cleared of all that is new;
the modern city keeps too little that is old; here, in this quarter of
Athens, old and new are mingled together in that way which gives to the
inquirer the full interest of discovery.

But, among the later antiquities of Athens, it is the churches which
claim the highest place. To the traveller from the West they have a
special interest. As no other city of his pilgrimage gives him the
same store of buildings of pagan Greek architecture, so there is no
other which gives him such a store of buildings of the second--the
Christian-Greek architecture. Nor is their interest any the less
because of the small size of the modern Athenian churches. There is
not only nothing to rival St. Sophia, St. Vital, or St. Mark; there
is nothing to rival even their own neighbour at Daphnê. The Eastern
Church, like the ancient Church of Ireland, seems always to have been
better pleased to build a crowd of small churches rather than a single
one on the scale of the great minsters of Western Europe. One cause
of this peculiarity doubtless was the use of a single altar in the
Eastern rite, which suggested the building of several distinct churches
in cases where a Western architect would rather have built a single
large church with several chapels. Athens, therefore, is full of small
churches, the survivors, we fear, of a larger number, some of which
perished in the laying out of the modern city. A crowd of them cling,
as it were, to the roots of the Akropolis, in the region of the bazaar
and of the monument of Andronikos. The eye soon gets used to, but it
does not get tired of, their little cupolas and apses, which always
add a pleasing feature to the corners where they are found, though
none of them rival either the stateliness or the picturesque effect
of the churches of the West. A few are of greater size and of higher
architectural character, and one, without being of greater size, is one
of the greatest curiosities in Christendom. This is the metropolitan
church of Athens, surely the smallest church out of _Scotia_--we seek
for a word which shall take in both Cashel and St. Andrew’s--that ever
was designed for metropolitan or cathedral rank. It looks like a toy;
it has been wittily said that it seems meant to receive the throne
of the Boy Bishop. But it has the thorough Byzantine air; it has the
apse, the cupola of the Athenian form, the heads of the windows cutting
into the cupola--a form which stands to such cupolas as we have seen
at Corfu and Daphnê in the same relation in which a German apse or
tower with many gabled sides stands to an apse or tower of the more
usual form. The church, small as it is, is rich, covered with plates of
sculpture, some of which at least are ancient fragments used up again.

It is not easy, at all events for the traveller to whom Byzantine forms
are still new, to fix the exact date of the Athenian churches. Nor
can he find, at least off-hand, much to help him in easily accessible
books. Messrs. Texier and Pullan have put out a splendid book, most
valuable for the illustrations of the particular buildings which they
think good to describe, but which is useless as a general view of
Byzantine architecture, and which does not contain a single Athenian
or other Greek example. Mr. J. M. Neale, in his _History of the Holy
Eastern Church_, goes far more fully into the matter, though we are
sometimes tempted to kick at the guidance of a writer who talks about
“Arta in Ambracia,” and who attributes “a long and peaceful reign” to
the Slayer of the Bulgarians. Of the periods into which he divides
Byzantine art he places the metropolitan Church in the second, which
reaches from 537 to 1003. This takes in the time of Eirênê, the
Athenian Empress to whom Athenian tradition is fond of attributing
the churches of her native city. But most of the Athenian churches,
including the two which call for most special notice, he assigns to
his third period, 1003-1453. This period, we do not exactly know why,
is said to be one of Latin influence; but why should Latin influence
come in in 1003 of all years? and what Latin influence is there to
be seen in such buildings as the churches of St. Theodore and the
Kapnikarea? These are, on the whole, the two most striking churches in
Athens. They stand well in open places of the modern city, a relief,
though a strange contrast, among its modern forms--a contrast indeed
so strong that we have heard it whispered that their destruction has
sometimes been dreamed of. If there is any Latin element in either,
it is in the church of the Kapnikarea which has a kind of secondary
church, with a cupola of its own, alongside of the main building, with
its Greek cross and central cupola. This secondary church does not
appear at St. Theodore, but the Kapnikarea has another feature which
St. Theodore has not, in the form of a large _narthex_, which is surely
a special sign of orthodoxy. The remembrance of Peterborough flashed
across our mind as we saw this noble portico with its six arches, two
wider and four narrower, crowned by four gables. It has suffered much
in its effect from the glazing of some of the arches, as well as from
the rising of the ground, which has covered the columns up to nearly
half their height. This portico is indeed worthy of study; it is a
legitimate translation into the language of an arched style of the old
portico with its entablature, as the west front of Peterborough is
a further translation into the language of a style, not only arched,
but pointed. Joining on to the _narthex_ is also a porch on the north
side, a porch clearly forming part of the same design, with arches
resting on columns, and finished with three gabled faces. Instead of
these features, St. Theodore has a simple west front, composed, like
ordinary west fronts, of doors and windows. Its most marked external
feature is the large bell-gable perched on the south transept. Within,
the Kapnikarea has the advantage, as its cupola rests on columns with
quasi-Corinthian capitals. Those of the portico have capitals of
various forms, mostly unclassical. The material of both these churches
is mainly that later form of the alternation of stone and brick which
grew out of the earlier Roman masonry, and which we have already seen
in Corfu. These churches, and a crowd of others, smaller and less
striking, will not be passed unheeded by any one in whose eyes history,
whether political or artistic, is one unbroken tale. They are, unless
we may claim a place for their corrupt follower in the Turkish mosque,
the latest among the antiquities of Athens, and they are not less
worthy of study than the earliest. With them we will take our leave
of the city of the violet crown, and of the land of which the wisdom
of some præ-historic reformer made her more than the head. We pass
from Athens and from Attica; one stage more, one bound rather, over
the central sea of Greece, will lead us beyond the bounds of Hellas
itself. One thought more comes across us as we pass from Athens, as we
make ready to pass from Greece. Between the work of the earliest and of
the latest Grecian heroes there is a strange likeness. Thêseus--that
name will do as well as any other--brought together rival cities to
form one abiding commonwealth, and thereby to create the Athens alike
of archons, emperors, dukes, and kings. As rival cities forgot their
rivalry in the presence of Thêseus, so rival party leaders forget their
rivalries in the presence of Kanarês. The hero is gone; and while we
write this, Greece, and those who care for Greece, are wondering who
can fill his place. His place in truth no one can fill, but the lesson
taught by the close of his life ought not to pass away. If rival
leaders could work side by side at the bidding of the one man whom all
were proud to own as their master, they may go on in the same unselfish
path when the voice which calls them to union is no longer the voice of
one man, however illustrious, but the voice of their country itself.



                               Marathôn.


The visitor to Athens, even if he has not time to examine every
historic spot in Attica, must at least visit the most historic spot
of all, the spot where it was fixed that Attica should remain Attica
and that Europe should remain Europe. Mr. Lowe, we may well believe,
stood alone in looking on the fight of Marathôn as a matter of small
importance, because the day which fixed the destiny of the world saw
only a comparatively small amount of slaughter. Mr. Lowe of course
really knew better; but there are those who really seem not to know
better, those who measure things only by their physical bigness, and
cannot take in either their results or their moral greatness. There
has often been far more blood shed to decide which of two Eastern
despots should have the mastery than was shed to decide that Europe
should not fall under the dominion of Eastern despots. Never surely
did the future fate of the world hang in the same way on the will of a
single man as when the arguments of Miltiadês won over the Polemarch
Kallimachos to give his vote for immediate battle. That vote was, as
it were, the very climax of European constitutional life. All rested
on the voice of one man, not because all authority was vested in one
man, but because it was vested in many. When the ten generals were
equally divided, Kallimachos gave the casting vote, and Europe remained
Europe. It is inconceivable that, if Athenian freedom had been then
crushed when it was still in its first childhood, the course of the
world’s history could have been what it has been. Enslaved Greece could
never have been what free Greece was. Athens and Megalopolis could have
been no more than an Ephesos or Milêtos. It may well be that, even if
the Eastern peninsula had been rent away from the Western world, the
central peninsula might still have stood its ground. The barbarian
might still have been checked, and checked for ever, by the hands of
Romans or Samnites or Lucanians. The Roman power might still have been
spread over the world; the Teuton and the Slave might still have come
to discharge their later mission within the Roman world; but a Roman
world, untutored by Greece, could never have been what the Roman world
of actual history was and is. The men who fought at Marathôn fought as
the champions of every later generation of European man. If on the
Akropolis of Mykênê we feel that we have some small share, the share
of distant kinsmen, in the cradle of the oldest European civilisation,
the subject of the oldest European literature--so, as we stand on the
barrow of the one hundred and ninety-two who died at Marathôn, we feel
that we have a nearer claim, the claim of men who come on pilgrimage to
the resting-place of men who died that European lands and European men
should be all that they have been.

In fact, on the plain of Marathôn, the famous saying of Johnson becomes
clothed with a fuller meaning than its author is likely to have thought
of. “That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain
force upon the plain of Marathôn.” The saying is true, if we think
merely of association, of example, of analogy. It becomes true in a
yet higher sense, if we look on the day of Marathôn as being all
that it truly is, as having fixed, not only the destiny of Athens,
but the destiny of Europe. And we may look on that spot from another
point of view, less wide indeed than this, but wider than that which
looks on it simply as the scene of a single event of the year 490
before our era. Even setting aside the event which has made Marathôn
famous with an undying fame, Marathôn would still have a considerable
history, mythical and real--a history some chapters of which come
within the memory of many of us. We must remember that, besides the
view which looks on Greece as being almost in her first youth on the
day of Marathôn, there is another view which looks on Greece as being
then already in her decline. The one view is true, if we think only of
Athenian democracy, of Athenian art, of Athenian poetry; the other
view is no less true in the general history of the Greek nation. When
the fight of Marathôn was fought, the bondage of the Greek nation had
already begun; the work which was ended by Mahomet the Conqueror had
been already begun by Crœsus and Cyrus. Asiatic Greece was already
enslaved; the fight of Marathôn was fought in order that European
Greece might not be enslaved like it. It may also flash across the
minds of some who tread the plain of Marathôn that the fight which
Miltiadês waged there in the cause of Hellenic freedom was not the last
fight which has been waged on the same ground in the same cause. On
that same plain, where the Athenians of one age fought to save Greece
from coming under the yoke of the Persian, the Athenians of another age
fought to free enslaved Greece from the yoke of the Turk. The modern
fight of Marathôn, the fight of July, 1824, hardly ranks among the
great events of the War of Independence, as its leader certainly does
not rank among the purest heroes of the War of Independence. Yet when
Gouras smote the janissaries of Omar of Karystos on the same ground on
which Miltiadês had smitten the hosts of Datis and Artaphernês, to an
eye which takes in the whole range of Grecian and European history,
the fact has something more about it than mere association, than mere
coincidence. The two fights of Marathôn were in truth only two stages
in one long tale, the tale of the undying struggle between civilisation
and the freedom of the West and the barbarian despotism of the Eastern
world.

Marathôn, like Eleusis, gives us the usual lesson in Greek geography,
and makes us better understand the greatness of that wonderful change
which fused all the towns of Attica into a single commonwealth. We see
at once that Marathôn--the name was, at least in later use, extended to
the whole Tetrapolis--was, no less than Eleusis, designed, according
to the common laws of Greek political geography, to form a separate
state, distinct from Athens. Indeed it is more thoroughly cut off than
Eleusis. In the view from the Akropolis, Pentelikos altogether hides
the Marathônian plain; while, though Eleusis is actually kept out of
sight by Aigaleôs, Kithairôn and the other greater heights beyond it
suggest the existence of the Thriasian plain. Marathôn therefore,
naturally enough, has a long mythical history distinct from that of
Athens. Not only Thêseus, but Hêraklês and the Hêrakleidai figure in
it, and legend tells of a fight of Marathôn earlier than either of
those which history records. Hêraklês remained in historical times the
chief object of local worship, and it was by his sanctuary that the
Athenian host encamped before, what we suppose we must call, the second
battle. Athênê too, as on other spots of Attic soil, was not without
her temple by the marsh. Marathôn does not appear in the Catalogue any
more than Eleusis, and for the same reason as Eleusis. But its name
appears in the Odyssey in a passage which may suggest some geographical
reflections:

         Ὤς ἄρα Φωνήσασ’ ἀπέβη γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη
         Πὸντον ἐπ’ ἀτρύγετον· λίπε δὲ Σχερίην ἐρατεινήν·
         Ἴκετο δ’ ἐς Μαραθῶνα καὶ εὐρυάἈγυιαν Ἀθήνην,
         Δῦνε δ’ Ἐρεχθῆος πυκινὸν δόμον·

If Scheriê really be Corfu, this may seem a most unexpected route to
Athens, and yet it is hardly more wonderful than the route by Syra
by which the modern traveller often actually goes. In history the
first appearance of Marathôn is when Peisistratos lands there on his
return from exile. The second is when the son of Peisistratos led the
Persian host thither, as a fitting place for the use of the cavalry
which after all they seemed not to have used. No battle in history
has been more minutely examined, and that in some cases by men who
united technical military knowledge with a thorough knowledge of the
country. Colonel Leake, to mention only one inquirer, has done all
that the union of both qualities could do, though one is amazed at
his constantly referring to Herodotus as a contemporary writer. Yet,
after all his labours, after all the labours of Mr. Finlay and others,
everybody complains that the narrative of Herodotus is unsatisfactory.
The comments of Dean Blakesley strike us as among the most acute
that have been made. One may doubt whether Herodotus had ever been
there; he certainly shows no knowledge of the ground. He makes no
mention of the marshes which form so marked a feature in the character
of the Marathônian plain. The marshes lie between the sea and the
fighting-ground, as the fighting-ground lies between the marsh and the
mountains. The marsh is not only not mentioned by Herodotus, but his
account seems almost inconsistent with its existence. But Pausanias
saw the picture in the Poikilê which showed the Persians falling into
the marsh. It is like appealing to the Bayeux Tapestry from the later
accounts of the battle of Senlac. Pausanias, though he lived so many
ages after, was in this way really nearer to the time than Herodotus.
The picture commemorated the fact; Herodotus tells the story as it
had grown up a generation later. By that time, as Dean Blakesley says,
the story had come under the operation of the law by which “popular
tradition rapidly drops all those particulars of a battle which evince
strategic genius, and substitutes for them exaggerated accounts of
personal bravery.” Miltiadês, as a good general, took advantage of
the ground, and largely owed his success to the nature of the ground.
Popular tradition made everything be done by sheer hard fighting.

In short, almost every detail of this memorable fight seems shrouded in
uncertainty. It is hard to fix the exact position of either army, and
the very name of Marathôn has perhaps shifted its place. The site of
the old town seems quite as likely to be, not at the modern Marathôn,
but, as Colonel Leake puts it, at Brana. Yet, amid all this doubt,
there is essential certainty. Of the work that was done that day, of
the general site, there is no doubt, and the most living and speaking
monument of all is there to bear its witness. We stand, not, as the
poet puts it, on the Persians’ grave, but on the mound which covers the
ashes of the men of Athens who fell that day. Within the space between
the bay with its blue waters and the hills which fence in the plain,
the fate of Europe was fixed. We stand on the mound; the eye passes
over the hills, from Probalinthos to the cape of Kynosoura. We look
on the older and the newer candidate of the name of Marathôn; we look
on the hill where older legends fixed the home of Pan, and where the
later name of Drakonera speaks of some older or later dragon myth. We
know that it was within these bounds that the might of Asia was broken
by the force of two Hellenic cities. Standing on that mound, instead
of dreaming, as the poet dreamed in the days of enslaved Greece, we
may call to mind how, in the cycle of human things, another triumph of
Europe over Asia was won on the same spot, and if there be, as other
poets tell us, two special voices which call to freedom, no spot could
be better chosen for the work that was done there than the Marathônian
plain. Once that land was said to be

               Unchanged in all except its foreign lord.

Now the foreign lord is gone, and for the rest no change is needed. The
mountains are there, the sea is there, and, almost as imperishable as
themselves, the mound of the fallen heroes is there also. At no great
distance from the mound, some stones remain which are held to mark the
separate monument of the leader of that day’s battle. Standing there,
by the grave of Miltiadês, we think of that day only. On the plain of
Marathôn, we will not think either of Paros or of Chersonêsos.

While we write, perhaps no inopportune moment, the news comes that
Greece has lost the last and the noblest of her later heroes. The man
of other times in whom all his countrymen trusted--the man before whom
the chiefs of contending parties could lay their jealousies aside--is
taken away from his country in the moment of her utmost need. One tie
which binds us to the past is rudely snapped, when the last of the
heroes of the past, the last of the ἡμιθέων γένος ἀνδρῶν, passes away
from the work to which his county had again called him. After a life
of ninety years and more--a life in which the severest of censors,
whose scourge spared neither Greek nor Englishman, could not find
a single flaw--the hero of the fire-ships is no more. The name of
Constantine Kanarês is added to the same roll of departed worthies as
Miaoulês and Botzarês, as Church and Hastings. And in the long list of
men who for so many ages have done honour to the Hellenic name, among
the chosen few whose glory no speck tarnishes, along with Phormiôn and
Kallikratidas, men of his own calling and his own element, the pen of
history will engrave no nobler name than the name of him who has just
gone, of him who has as truly died in the service of his country as if
he had fallen fifty years back, like Kynaigeiros himself by the shore
of Marathôn.



                           The Saronic Gulf.


Travelling in Greece has in some measure to be done backwards. The
stranger who reaches Athens, as it will often be convenient to reach
it, by way of Syra, and who does not mean to cross the bounds of the
Greek kingdom, will naturally take Athens on his way homewards. The
voyage from Syra to Athens is a voyage made from the rising to the
setting sun. In the like sort Athens itself is the practical centre
for many points which lie to the west of it, and which geographically
form further steps on the return journey. To a traveller of the age
of Pausanias, one of the earliest of antiquarian travellers in the
modern sense, Athens might have seemed a strange centre for a journey
in the Argolic land, with Mykênê as its main object. Mykênê was in his
day as desolate as it is now, but Argos and Corinth were in a very
different case. In his day Argos and Corinth were united by a carriage
road, as there is hope that they may before long be united again. The
sea was then less thoroughly the highway of Hellas than it had been
in earlier times, or than it has become again in later times. Now the
traveller who has not a frame of extra hardihood will most likely
look on Mykênê and what naturally goes with Mykênê as an excursion
to be done from the capital, an excursion as great a part of which
as possible is to be made by water. That is to say, the most natural
approach to the Argolic land will be to most travellers by sea from
Peiraieus to Nauplia. The traveller will thus begin his researches
with one of those charming voyages among islands and peninsulas which
form so special a feature in Greek travel. The voyage from Peiraieus
to Nauplia strongly brings out some of the characteristics of Greek
geography and history. As Sulpicius remarked long ago, famous cities
lie close together. We better understand the nature of Greek politics
and Greek warfare when we fully take in the fact that so many of the
contending powers lay within sight of one another. This feeling comes
strongly into the mind when we look down from such a point as the hill
of Brescia and see the commonwealths of Lombardy grouped as it were in
order before us. But there is a wide difference between commonwealths
thus grouped, almost as it were in regular array, marked each by its
tower rising from the boundless plain, and commonwealths the site of
each of which forms a marked natural feature, an island, a promontory,
an inland hill. We see why the duration of the Greek commonwealths was
far longer than those of Lombardy, and why they were not in the same
way easily brought together under the hands of a few powerful lords.
Mr. Mahaffy, who occasionally arrives at untrustworthy conclusions on
things which he has not sufficiently studied, but who yields to few
in keenness of observation on the things which he has really studied,
has some good remarks on the geographical separation between state and
state which was brought about by the physical features of the country,
above all by the mountain ranges. Athens and Thebes were, as modern
states go, very near to one another, but Athens and Thebes had real
difficulties in getting at one another. The sea indeed was, whether
for peaceful or for war-like purposes, not a barrier but a highway,
but just as the physical position of the Greek commonwealths gave them
a more distinct national being, so the long and winding coasts of the
islands and peninsulas on which so many of them were placed gave them,
near as they lay together, an actual extent of territory altogether
out of proportion to their nearness. Thus, short as the life of the
commonwealths of ancient Greece seems to us, it was at least far longer
than the life of the commonwealths of mediæval Italy. Of the last, the
few that survived were just those whose geographical position enabled
them to survive. Venice and Genoa speak for themselves; so does Ragusa
on the other side of the great gulf. Lucca too, it has been well
observed, was, just like Athens and Thebes, cut from its neighbour Pisa
by mountains which hindered either of the once rival states from seeing
each other.

With this train of thought in our minds, we may start on our voyage
from Peiraieus to Nauplia, the first stage of our journey from Athens
to Mykênê. The heights of Megaris, the Akrokorinthos itself, come
within the distant view; but, as our course is marked out, of Megara
and Corinth we shall see something more and nearer, while of the other
states which border the gulf we take our nearest glimpse on the present
voyage. From the Akropolis of Athens, from not a few other points of
Attic soil, we have looked down on the varied outlines of the two rocky
islands which form the main features of the maritime landscape. Farther
from us lies Aigina, eyesore of Peiraieus; nearer lies Salamis, the
proudest name, save one, in Athenian history. In the general view one
island is as prominent as the other, and we naturally ask the cause
of the wide difference in their history. Aigina is itself a famous
island; Salamis is simply an island which became the scene of one of
the most famous of events. One of those caprices of destiny which,
above all, make and mar the fortunes of commercial states, made Aigina
for a while one of the great powers of Greece. The rival of Athens on
the element which belonged to Aigina before it belonged to Athens,
she became first the subject, then the victim, of her rival. So, when
again an independent state in after days, she underwent a blow no less
fearful at the hands of Rome and her Aitolian and Pergamene allies.
Salamis has no such history. The isle of the Aiakids, the subject
of the poetical oratory of Solon, once disputed between Megara and
Athens, became an integral part of the Attic land, the scene of the
great fight where Athenian and Aiginetan fought side by side against
the barbarian. But Salamis had no share in the glories of Aigina,
though she had some share in her sorrow. Aigina has a history of her
own, though a history in which her relations towards Athens play the
chief part. The history of Salamis is simply a part of the history of
Attica. Long indeed after the days of Solôn or of Periklês she suffered
at Athenian hands only less severely than Aigina had done, but that was
when Athens, tossed to and fro from one Macedonian lord to another,
suspected Salamis of treacherous dealings with one to whom the city
was for a while hostile. Salamis has gained a separate being in the
days of Kassandros, as Eleusis has again a separate being in the days
of the Thirty. Is the cause of this difference between the conquered
rival and the incorporated territory to be found in the fact that there
was no power in the Argolic _Aktê_ which could possibly draw Aigina to
itself--the island was far more likely to attract its neighbours on
the mainland--while Salamis lay near enough to the Attic coast to come
within the range of that strange influence which made the history of
Attica so opposite to that of all other Hellenic lands? As Eleusis and
Marathôn could be fused into Athens, so could Salamis; but Aigina lay
out of that influence, and lay within no other. Aigina, too powerful
to be incorporated with Athens, became, as we have seen, the rival
and victim of Athens, while Salamis, weaker and less powerful, became
indeed her victim, but in the character, not of a foreign enemy, but of
a home district charged with treason.

We pass then by Salamis. We muse on the great sea-fight; we muse
specially as we pass by the little dependency of Salamis, that isle
of Psyttaleia, beloved by Pan, where Aristeidês dealt the last blow
against the noblest of the Persian host. These things happened at
Salamis and Psyttaleia, but they were not the work of the men of
Salamis and Psyttaleia, even if Psyttaleia had any men. But we do see
the work of the men of Aigina, the memory of the greatness of Aigina,
as we draw near the coast of the historic isle, and the temple of
Panhellenian Zeus looks down upon us from its height. We pass round
the northern end of the island; we mark the modern town, and the
fringe of fertile land which lies between the sea and the soaring and
jagged heights of the island. We catch a glimpse of Epidauros, city of
Asklêpios, and our thoughts wander away to the second Epidauros on the
Lakonian coast, to the third Epidauros far away, parent of Ragusa and
all her argosies. We pass by Methana, of all peninsulas the nearest
to an island, cleaving to the Argolic _Aktê_ as the _Aktê_ cleaves to
Peloponnêsos, as Peloponnêsos cleaves to Hellas, as Hellas and the
adjoining lands cleave to the general mass of Europe. We pass on to
the spots famous in later as well as in earlier times, to some which
are famous in later times only. Kalaureia, with its Amphiktiony, is
perhaps less thought of than modern Pôros, the arsenal of Greece, the
scene of stirring events in the war which made Greece free. We skirt
the Troizenian land, but Troizên itself hardly comes within our ken;
and, if Pôros disputes the place with Kalaureia, Hermionê cannot even
attempt to dispute the place in our thoughts with the islands lying off
her shore which the warfare of modern days has made so illustrious.
There lie the homes of those famous Albanian colonists, two of the
three great nurseries of the seamen of Hellas. Their fate has been what
to shallow observers may seem a strange one, but which simply follows
the commonest laws of human nature. Specially privileged under the
Turk, they were foremost in the war against the Turk. Delivered from
his yoke, they have greatly fallen from the position which they held
under his yoke. The explanation is simple. The Hydriots, independent
in their own island on the single condition of furnishing men to the
Sultan’s navy, enjoyed that kind of half-freedom which makes men long
more keenly for perfect freedom. They know better what freedom is than
those who are utterly crushed down, and, as they know better what it
is, they also know better how to win it. In such cases we always hear
the silly charge of ingratitude--gratitude seemingly being due to the
invader if, for his own ends, he leaves his victim something. Hydra
then, the land of Miaoulês, was foremost in the strife simply because
it could be foremost. But when the strife was over, Hydra lost not
a little. That is to say, what was lost by Hydra was won by Greece
as a whole. In the days of bondage Hydra flourished, because it was
comparatively free. With the establishment of general freedom, Hydra
lost all special privilege; commerce, as commerce always will, went to
such spots as best suited it; Peiraieus and Syra rose as Hydra went
down. Yet Hydra and Spetza at least form part of free Greece. Psara,
the isle of Constantine Kanarês, is still in bondage. It is something
to stand before the house of the last of the old heroes, to look out on
Salamis, and to remember that, when the battle was fought, Themistoklês
too was ἄπολις ἀνήρ. By a happy analogy men speak of that house as
Caprera; the owner of Caprera is ἄπολις ἀνήρ also.

Hydra then, like Aigina in an earlier day, is a witness of the way
in which commerce flits from one shore to another. With its fellow,
Spetza, the main interest of our voyage itself, as distinguished from
the interest of the spots to which our voyage is to lead us, pretty
well ends. We now turn the last main corner; we enter the specially
Argolic gulf. Before long, eyes familiar with the scene begin to point
out to us the whereabouts of the great objects of our pilgrimage. We
see--we at least see where we ought to look for--Tiryns on her lonely
hill in the plain, the Larissa of Argos crowning her peaked height,
Mykênê herself darkly spied out among the mountains. With these
objects before us, we may be forgiven if, as soon as we are once on
the shore, we hasten towards them, even to the prejudice of a spot
which has some claims, both earlier and later, upon our thoughts.
We land at Nauplia. With the great sites now close to us, we may be
again forgiven if we pass by the fortress which preserves the name of
the legendary Palamêdês, and the remains which show that Nauplia too,
though its fame and importance belong mainly to far later times, was
a dwelling-place and a fortress of primæval Hellas. Of little fame in
the old days of Hellenic freedom, Nauplia held under the later Empire,
under the Venetian, and under the Turk, so high a place that forsaken
and forgotten Tiryns came in popular speech to bear no other name than
_Old Nauplia_. To Old Nauplia then we hasten, but we do not hasten so
fast but that we catch a glimpse of the winged lion over the gate of
the younger city, the symbol of ages of Peloponnesian history which we
are too apt to forget. In those ages, if Tiryns had to take the name
of Nauplia, Nauplia had to take the name of a far more distant city.
By one of the many attempts to make a name in one language bear a
meaning in another--in this case it would be more accurate to say, to
make the name bear another meaning in its own language--Nauplia, the
port of Argos, became the Venetian stronghold of _Napoli di Romania_.
Peloponnêsos, no longer _Sclavinia_ was still Romania; on no man’s
lips in those days was it Hellas. Nowhere, least of all in such a seat
of its power as this, can the badge of the great republic be seen
without interest, wonder, and admiration. Another lion not far off,
commemorating the coming of a Bavarian king, it is only kindness to
pass by. We are on the road--for a road there is--to the most wondrous
relic of the præ-historic ages of the land. We soon stop before an
elevation in the plain which suggests our own Old Sarum, which, at a
second glance, may suggest Worlebury. We have at last reached one of
the objects which alone would repay us for coming from Old Sarum or
from Worlebury to see them. Salamis, Aigina, Pôros, Hydra itself, all
seem but mere stages on the way as we stand below the vast and desolate
walls of Tiryns.



                                Tiryns.


We have slightly sketched the main objects which flit before the eye
in the delightful voyage from the harbour of Athens to what we may in
some sort look on as the harbour of Argos. Once on the Argolic soil,
close in the very centre and cradle of Hellenic legend, among the
cities whose names have from childhood been surrounded with a halo of
mythic lore, we must pause and muse at greater length on each of the
famous and wondrous objects before us. Each has its own charm, its
own lesson. Mykênê is the special goal of our pilgrimage, the object
which--even putting modern discoveries apart--would of itself fully
reward a journey from the Western world. But half the charm, half the
lesson, of Mykênê comes from its relation to the other cities in the
neighbourhood. Argos and Mykênê, the destroyer and the destroyed,
suggest one another, and are coupled together, confounded together, in
many a verse and many a legend. But they do not stand alone. Before
we reach them we come to another spot, less famous, less striking in
many points, but still having its own fame, its own charm, a spot
which must not be passed by even by those who are hastening on to
the most famous spot of all. The first of our hill-fortresses plays,
beside its fellows, a comparatively small part either in legend or in
history. Fixed on a less striking spot than either, not crowning such a
height as the Larissa of Argos, not backed by mountain and gorge like
the akropolis of Mykênê, desolate as Mykênê itself, but containing
no such wonders of primitive art within its walled circuit, Tiryns
stands before us, claiming our study simply by its walled circuit and
nothing else. It is the hill-fort, and nothing but the hill-fort. But
it is something to gaze on a hill-fort whose walls were ancient and
wonderful in Homer’s day, and which abide much as they must have stood
in Homer’s day. Argos, Mykênê, Corinth, are all to be seen and studied;
but we shall lose no small part of the teaching of those cities and of
the land of which they form a part, unless we begin our research with
the wonderful spot which enabled the first of Greek poets, the first
no less of Greek geographers, to fill up his verse with the sounding
formula:

                     Τίρυνθά τε τειχιόεσσαν.

There is moreover one aspect of Tiryns which will give it a special
interest to any one who has already seen something of the primitive
cities of Italy, but to whom Tiryns itself is his first introduction to
the primitive cities of Greece. He who has visited Fæsulæ and Tusculum,
he who has looked thoroughly at Rome itself, will feel a certain
impression come strongly upon him that his work is imperfect as long
as he keeps himself on the western side of the Hadriatic. Tusculum,
above all things, points to Tiryns. The collection of primæval remains
in Greece and Italy made long ago by Dodwell--an observer, we may
add, second only to the great name of Leake--was perhaps unlucky in
helping to give greater currency to the dangerous word Pelasgian. But
it was a great gain to bring the Greek and Italian examples together.
It would be a greater gain still to bring together as many examples
as possible of the same kind from all parts of the world. The rash
theorist may be indeed led into any number of those wild imaginings
which find their expression in names like “Druidical” in Britain, and
“Pelasgian” in Italy and Greece. But the critical inquirer, the votary
of the Comparative method, will be strengthened in his researches
by seeing how in the art of building, as in everything else, like
effects spring from like causes, how the same stage of process leads
to the same results in distant lands and distant ages. The helpless
devisers of theories about the origin of the arch, and especially of
the pointed arch, may profitably learn that the arch has been striven
after in endless places--that it has been successfully striven after
in many places--that the pointed arch, simply as a constructive form,
is as old as the round, and most likely older. The guide who shows the
single “arco Gotico” at Tusculum illustrates the state of mind in which
professed inquirers into architectural history were only two or three
generations back. To them the Gothic style and the pointed arch meant
the same thing. That belief, as well as many other kindred beliefs, may
be well unlearned on the akropolis of Tiryns.

Tiryns lies on the way to Argos; and Argos lies on the way from Tiryns
to Mykênê. The three should be studied together; their position and
history supply at once so much of likeness and so much of contrast.
All alike, no less than Fæsulæ and Tusculum, no less than Athens
itself, no less than “the great group of village communities by the
Tiber,” are examples of the primitive hill-fort which has grown into
the later city. All show, in different ways, the peculiarities which
are characteristic of cities of this immemorial type. But they show
also the different forms which that immemorial type might assume,
according to difference of local or other circumstances. Athens,
Corinth, a crowd of others, all belong to the same general class. We
might say that all the strictly immemorial cities of Greece did so.
For the river city the small streams of Greece gave no room; and, even
where the river city was possible, it doubtless marks a later stage
than the hill-fort. The cities of colonial Greece, founded close by or
actually in the sea, mark a later stage still. Tiryns, Argos, Mykênê,
are all hill cities; but they occupy hills of very different heights
and figures. They all stand at no great distance from the sea, but
none of them ever grew into a maritime city like Athens, Corinth,
or Megara. Near together, but not so near that they could be fused
together like the constituent elements of Rome or Sparta, they had to
endure the other alternatives which commonly waited on cities which lay
near together, but where such union was impossible. Rivalry, enmity,
destruction of the weaker by the stronger, formed the staple of the
history of the three most famous among the cities of the Argolic land.

We stand then before Tiryns. We are almost surprised at finding that we
have so soon reached it from modern Nauplia. Itself as utterly forsaken
as Mykênê, it does not stand in the same way as Mykênê, utterly cut
off from all signs of modern life, from all signs of any date later
than that of the primæval days of Greece. There is indeed something
startling in finding a primæval city, and that a city so rich in
mythical renown, standing at only a small distance from the roadside.
More than seventeen hundred years back Pausanias lighted on it in the
same way, and found it as desolate as it is now; then, as now, the
wall remained, and nothing more. The site is not for a moment to be
compared with that of either of the rival cities. The site of Mykênê
would be striking indeed as a mere piece of scenery, even though Mykênê
were not there. So would the site, if not of Argos itself, at least
of its Larissa and its theatre. But the hill of Tiryns is simply one,
and that the lowest, of several small isolated hills in the low ground
between the gulf and the mountains. Had other hill-forts arisen on
those other nearer hills, the group might have been fused together into
one great city by the same process which girded the hills of Rome with
a single wall. But this was not to be; Argos was to grow, but it was
to grow only by the utter wiping out of Tiryns and Mykênê as inhabited
cities. There then, wholly forsaken, not containing so much as a
shepherd’s hut, stand the mighty walls, the walls which supplied Homer
with a speaking epithet, the walls which in later days men deemed to be
too great to be the work of mortal hands, and set down as having been
wrought by the superhuman skill of the legendary Kyklôpes. The name
marks a change in the idea which had come to attach to that name since
the days of Homer. The Kyklôpes of later Grecian legend, always artists
of one kind or another--sometimes builders of gigantic walls, sometimes
forgers of the thunderbolts of Zeus--have no likeness but in name and
strength to the solitary and savage Kyklôpes of the Odyssey. But when
we see, not only a vast expenditure of mere force, but the display of
real skill which is shown in these primitive works of defence--works,
as we are tempted to think, of a rude age, when, if force was abundant,
no great skill was to be looked for--it is not wonderful if men in
later days looked on them as the work of more than mortal hands. For
ornament, for polish or finish of any kind, we are not to look in the
stage represented by Tiryns. Yet the way in which the rugged material
is dealt with, the piling together of these vast unhewn rocks so as
to fit them together and to bring to the front so many comparatively
smooth surfaces, was, in the ages and under the circumstances of the
builders, as true a work of artistic skill as the care which dictated
the delicate curves, the minute differences in distance and direction,
in the portico of the Parthenôn itself. Who those builders were it is
in vain for us to guess. They belong to the primæval, the unrecorded,
days of Hellas, to the days before even legendary history begins.
Mykênê has a history--a history which different minds may set down
as truth, as mere fable, as fable grounded upon truth, but which
still is a history, which still is something different from that mere
guessing at the names of founders which was prescribed by the supposed
necessity of finding an eponymous hero for every land and city. The
legends of Tiryns hardly get beyond this stage. Hêraklês indeed figures
in its story, but Hêraklês is in his own nature ubiquitous. That Mykênê
contains monuments marking a far higher stage of art than anything at
Tiryns proves nothing as to the relative date of the two cities. For
the works at Tiryns and the oldest work at Mykênê may well be of the
same date. All that we can say is that these walls belong to an age
before history, before tradition. If Homer had spoken of these walls as
the works of Kyklôpes, we might have seen in it a dim tradition that
they were the works of some race of men older than his own Achaians.
As it is, we can only say that they are the works of the earliest
inhabitants of Peloponnêsos of whom any works remain to us. Whatever we
may guess from the analogy of other lands, we have no evidence of the
existence of any inhabitants of Peloponnêsos earlier than the Achaians
of Homer.

We come then somewhat suddenly on the hill-fortress by the roadside.
We are guided to the southern face of a hill much longer from north to
south than from east to west, and we find ourselves before the main
approach of Tiryns, or at least of its akropolis. The great gate has
perished; there is nothing to set against the lions of Mykênê. But to
the right of where it stood is one of the two main features which have
given the walls of Tiryns their special fame. This is what the Greek
antiquaries call the σύριγξ, what in English may be called the
sally-port, the long passage with its roof made of the great stones
of primæval masonry so placed together as to make the form, though
not the construction, of the pointed arch. Of the many examples of
striving after the archaic construction without ever actually reaching
it which are to be found scattered through so many parts of the world,
none is more instructive than this. In the history of architectural
construction it fully deserves a place alongside of the Mykenaian
treasuries. Here is a great military work of the earliest times, the
builders of which were striving hard, though without perfect success,
to form an arch. This fact at once puts a barrier between the primitive
and the historical buildings of Greece. It is indeed strange that a
people which had come so near to the greatest of mechanical discoveries
should have failed of altogether reaching it, and should have developed
its historical architecture from a principle altogether different. In
Italy it was otherwise. We there see exactly the same strivings after
the arch which we see in Greece; but here the strivings were rewarded
with success at an early time. The attempt succeeded; the perfect arch
was lighted on, and the historical architecture of Rome was developed
from the principle of the arch. Thus, while Fæsulæ, Tusculum, Signia, a
crowd of others have their Greek parallels, there is no Greek parallel
to the _cloaca maxima_ of Rome.

Then, again, as we have already hinted, these examples show that the
pointed arch, simply as a constructive form, is as old as the round.
Because the pointed arch happened to become the leading feature of an
architectural style later than the round arch, we are apt to fancy that
the form is later in its own nature, that it must have been developed
out of the round, that he who built the first pointed arch must have
seen round arches. Yet the pointed form is just as natural in itself,
just as likely to occur to a primitive builder. Indeed we might almost
say that it was more likely. The first step towards the arch would
doubtless be setting two stones to lean against one another, and this
would lead much more easily to the pointed arch than to the round. It
so happened that the first Italian builders whose strivings after the
arch were quite successful were led to the round and not to the pointed
form. But had the Tusculan or the Tirynthian engineer actually reached
the construction to which he came so near, an architectural style, with
the pointed arch for its great constructive feature, might have arisen
in Latium or Argolis a thousand years before it actually did arise
under Saracenic hands.

Again, in considering these matters, we must carefully keep ourselves
back from any tempting ethnological theories, above all from such
ethnological theories as lurk in the dangerous word Pelasgian. No one
doubts the near connexion of the old Italian and the old Greek races, a
connexion nearer than that of common Aryan origin. But the same kind of
analogies which may be seen in their earlier buildings may be seen also
in the early buildings of races which are much further apart. If Tiryns
finds its best parallel at Tusculum, Mykênê finds its best parallel at
New Granga. Nearly just the same strivings after the arch may be found
in more than one land altogether beyond the pale of European or Aryan
fellowship, as for instance in the ruined cities of Central America.
The analogies in the primæval architecture of remote nations exactly
answer to the analogies in their weapons, dress, and customs. They
belong to the domain of Mr. Tylor.

But, while the remains at Tiryns have this special interest for the
student of architectural history, they show also how far the primitive
engineers had advanced in the scientific study of the art of defence.
Even the non-military observer can well take this in on the eastern
side. There rises what, seen from within, seen in a direct view from
without, the beholder is apt to call a tower. But it is merely that
the wall is either better preserved at this point or else was higher
from the beginning. Here was one chief approach to the fortress, and
it was guarded by what, in the technical language of Colonel Leake,
is called a ramp. The only approach to the gate was by going up an
ascent formed by an advanced wall, made so that an assailant would
expose his unshielded side to the defenders of the fort. This skilful
piece of fortification, with the sally-port which is so nearly perfect,
and another, traces of which remain on the other side, shows that the
primitive engineers, call them Kyklôpes or anything else, had advanced
a long way beyond mere mechanical piling together of stones.

The walls doubtless fence in only the akropolis, the primitive city,
answering to the oldest Athens, to the oldest Rome on the Palatine.
How far the town may have spread itself over the surrounding plain we
have no means of judging. We cannot believe that Tiryns ever became a
great city like Argos and Corinth. Its name vanishes from history too
soon for that. But at Tiryns, as we shall also see at Mykênê, there was
an upper and a lower city within the fortified enclosure itself. Greek
antiquaries call the higher level a καταφύγιον, a place of refuge, but
it is the strongly fortified part to which the approaches lead. Was
this the royal citadel, and was the lower part the dwelling-place of
the other original settlers before the town had spread at all beyond
the present akropolis? The military objects of the two levels are
gone into by Colonel Leake, but we must remember that these ancient
strongholds were not, like modern forts, built simply to be attacked
and defended. They were dwelling-places of man, fortified because they
were dwelling-places of man. One would think that the whole of the
first body of settlers would find shelter within the walls. There was
the king on the higher level; the rest of the tribe was below. A δῆμος
might or might not arise beyond their defences. At Rome and Athens such
a δῆμος did arise, and made the history of Rome and Athens different
from that of Tiryns.

It is a wonderful thing to stand beneath these mighty walls, raised
out of the huge blocks which seem too great for mortal men to have
piled. Nowhere else does the line of thought which they suggest come
out so strongly. On the Athenian akropolis there are blocks ruder than
those of Tiryns itself, but they are hidden by the great works of more
polished days. At Mykênê the walls, mighty as they are, have almost
yielded to tombs, gates, and treasuries. At Tiryns it is the walls and
the walls alone which seem to speak of its days of power. Tiryns struck
men as being τειχιόεσσα in the days of the Homeric Catalogue. It is as
τειχιόεσσα and as τειχιόεσσα only, that it strikes us still.



                                 Argos.


A short drive--we are still within the region where driving is
possible--takes us from Tiryns to Argos, from the destroyed city to the
destroyers. The contrast is striking. Argos, through all changes, has
always remained a dwelling-place of man, and not only a dwelling-place
of man, but a town of some importance, according to the standard of its
own age and place. Modern Athens is an artificial city. It is a town
which might have stood anywhere else, built at the foot of the ancient
akropolis and around the churches of Eirênê. Modern Argos is not an
artificial town; it has come to be what it is by the gradual operation
of ordinary historical causes. It shows us what an ancient Greek city,
neither ruined nor forsaken nor artificially fostered, but left to
the working of natural circumstances, finds itself after long ages of
Roman, Venetian, Turkish, and restored Greek rule. The chief remark
which the place suggests to a Western eye is how little there is to
remark. In the modern town there is no remarkable building of any kind,
old or new. The modern cathedral is large and is meant to be of some
pretensions, but one would gladly exchange it for the tiny metropolitan
church of Athens, or for any other church of genuine Byzantine
style and date. The town itself covers a large space, and contains
a considerable population. Setting apart the capital and the great
seaports, Argos ranks high among the existing cities of Greece. Yet to
a Western eye it has an unpleasing, almost a barbarous, look. It is
dirty, irregular, with neither Western neatness nor Eastern picturesque
effect. An old Venetian possession, one might have expected that St.
Mark might have planted somewhat of his impress here, as he has done
on so many of his subject cities. If Argos were even as Traü, no one
would complain, but, since the Venetian, Argos has seen the Turk, and
that is enough to account for the difference. Argos is not lacking in
recent history. It was the scene of important events during the War of
Independence, when it acted several times as the common meeting-place
of Greece. It is still, we believe, a thriving place after its own
standard, but that is not the standard of Western Europe, nor yet the
standard of Syra and Patras. Yet it sets us thinking whether a town in
Western Europe, five or six hundred years back, may not have looked
much the same. In one point indeed there was a difference. No Western
mediæval town of the same population as modern Argos would have spread
over the same space. That is to say, the modern town lies scattered,
doubtless because it represents an ancient city of far greater extent.

But the objects which give Argos its main interest in the eyes of the
historical inquirer, the objects which bear witness to the existence of
Argos in the days of its greatness, lie outside the modern town. One,
the chief of all, proclaims its presence from afar. The akropolis of
Argos, the famous Larissa, the soaring height crowned by the stronghold
which from a primæval fortress grew into a modern castle, is an
akropolis in quite another sense than the lowlier hill of Tiryns, or
even than that of Athens. The name leads to a long train of thought.
It is the Larissa of Argos. How many spots bear the name of Larissa?
How many lands and cities bear the name of Argos? He who has a taste
for Pelasgian speculation has a wide field opened to him. He who keeps
himself within the range of recorded history and of such tradition as
may be said to prove itself, may perhaps be led to think how largely
the fame of Argos is a borrowed fame. Argos and the Argeians meet us in
every page of the Homeric tale; they seem to be the most familiar names
for Greece and the Greeks before Greece and the Greeks had as yet an
acknowledged common name. A little thought will, however, show that in
most of the places where they are named there is no immediate reference
to the local city of Argos. The Bretwalda of Hellas ruled over many
islands and over all Argos. Whatever this means, it can hardly mean
anything short of all Peloponnêsos; at least it cannot mean the local
Argos, which did not come within his immediate kingdom. To suppose any
reference to the local Argos would be like quartering a Karling at
Paris or a West-Saxon at York. But the local Argos dealt with Mykênê
like the savage who swallows the eye of his slain enemy in order to
take to himself his strength, courage, and glory. Only a few years
after Mykênê fell we find the Attic dramatists transferring the whole
tale of Pelops’ line from its own place to the destroying city. The
confusion has become hopeless. Argos becomes surrounded by a mythical
glory to which it has no claim. The name of Argos brings up a crowd
of associations, most of which it is our first duty to drive back. We
must remember that Agamemnôn--we take the personal name to express the
fact of the Mykênaian empire--was lord of the local Argos only in the
sense in which he was lord of any other spot in Peloponnêsos. The two
neighbouring cities were the heads, as the Catalogue shows us, of two
kingdoms of strangely irregular shape, but whose very shape is the sign
that the geography is genuine. No inventor could have hit on anything
so unlike the arrangements of historic Greece. Argos destroyed Mykênê
and took its glories to itself. If we can conceive Paris and Laon--or,
by a still bolder flight, Paris and Aachen--within sight of one
another, and if we can further conceive the elder seat of rule not only
robbed of its history, but actually rased to the ground, by the younger
seat, we shall get a fair illustration of what really happened in the
case of Argos and Mykênê.

Yet Argos has a history of its own, and that a long and stirring
history, though it is a history which can seldom be called honourable,
and one which never, in the days of contemporary record, places the
city in the first rank, along with Sparta, Athens, and, for a moment,
Thebes. In contemporary history Argos seems chiefly to live on the
memory of earlier days when she did hold such a place. And it is one
of Mr. Grote’s services to those parts of Grecian history which lie
rather out of the range of his main strength that he has brought out
clearly that there was a time when Argos did hold the first place in
Peloponnêsos. In the Iliad she is one of the three cities which Hêrê
best loved, but which she could endure to see overthrown as the price
of seeing the overthrow of hated Ilios. Argos there ranks with Sparta
and Mykênê. When the day of overthrow came, when Achaian rule gave way
to Dorian, when Argos in the wider sense became Peloponnêsos, the local
Argos appears as first of three chief Dorian powers, with Sparta and,
no longer Mykênê, but Messênê--the land and not the later city--as her
secondary yokefellows. _Prima inter pares_ among these, she gradually
loses the first place to Sparta, and spends the rest of her days as
a Greek city in feeble assertion of the place which she had lost. In
every age of Greek history, in the days of Persian, Peloponnesian,
Corinthian, Macedonian, and Achaian warfare, the name of Argos meets
us at every page, but the annals of the city are nowhere adorned by
any great strokes of heroism or wisdom. Her policy is often isolated,
often cowardly, almost always dictated by jealousy of Sparta. In her
last age Pyrrhos dies beneath her walls, and she joins the League under
a reclaimed tyrant. But the distance between Aristomachos and Lydiadas
may mark the distance between Argos and the first of Grecian cities,
when that name had passed away from Argos, Sparta, Athens, and Thebes
to Megalopolis, mother of Achaian statesmen.

Still with all this, Argos is a great name. A continuous being,
a continuous history, from the Homeric Catalogue to the War of
Independence, is something which Megalopolis and even Sparta cannot
boast of. Sparta--_Lakedaimonia_ in later phrase--gave way to Misthra;
modern Sparta is a new and artificial creation. But Argos, the Argos
that we now see, with its queer-looking streets and shops and open
spaces, is, by unbroken succession, the city of Diomêdês, the city of
Kleobis and Bitôn. We look in vain for the temple which witnessed the
filial piety of Kleobis and Bitôn, but the Larissa of Diomêdês, the
_Aspis_--the shield of Argos--which was stormed by the last Kleomenês,
is there still. The huge hill with the ruined buildings at the base,
with the castle containing remains of almost every age on its crest,
with the signs of human occupation covering almost every step of its
steep sides, all are now utterly desolate, but they bear witness to
the lesson that the modern town over which they soar is the unbroken
successor of the dwelling-place of man in præ-historic times. The
Larissa of Argos is an akropolis indeed, utterly dwarfing, as far as
the works of nature go, the far lowlier height of primæval Athens. No
Parthenôn, no Propylaia, crowned the hill of Argos. The nature of the
site could hardly have allowed them to stand there, and, if it could,
they would have seemed out of place on that mountain-top. The fortress
however is there, shattered and forsaken as it is; the walls of the
mediæval castle are propped on the walls of unrecorded days with their
vast Kyklopean masonry. Other parts rest on masonry of later date, but
still masonry of early Hellenic times, stones which were there before
Argos thought it her interest in the greatest national peril of Greece,
to find out that her hero Perseus was the forefather of the invading
barbarian. We look down from the height on the modern city, on the
plain, on the gulf which parts the Argolic _Aktê_ from the main mass
of Peloponnêsos; we mark the coast stretching away towards the hostile
Lakonian land; we gaze on the mountain heights of the central land of
the peninsula, fencing in the home of that old Arkadian race which
boasted that alone among Greeks it had never changed its dwelling.
There rises Artemision, there rises the hoary peak of Kronion, its
snow-capped crest seeming no unfit dwelling-place of the aged god
who reigned before Zeus and his children. At the foot of the hill
lie a number of buildings, all forsaken and shattered, witnessing to
the many changes which Argos has seen, to the many masters who have
ruled over her. There is one piece of mighty ancient walling strangely
brought together with sculpture of Roman times. There is the theatre
with its ranges of seats cut deep in the hill-side, a theatre looking
out on the wide expanse of city, plain, sea, and mountains. Almost
at its foot stands a ruin of the days when Argos formed part of the
subject lands of the city by the Tiber, a ruin which bespeaks its
kindred with the baths of Antoninus, and shows us in all its boldness
the great constructive invention after which men strove at Tiryns, but
which Greece, in all other things the mother of arts, had to learn
from her Roman masters. We look at the broken brick vault of the Roman
building, but if our eye turns a little to the right, we soon see how
it was the lands east of the Hadriatic which first learned how to give
the great constructive invention of Italy its noblest form and to
apply it to its highest use. At no great distance from the Roman ruin
stands a church of Byzantine days, which fitly finishes the series.
The forms to which men were feeling their way in the sally-port of
Tiryns and in the treasure-house of Mykênê reached their perfection
when the architects of the East taught the cupola, soaring or spreading
as it might be, to rise on its supporting columns over the centre of
the churches of Eastern Christendom. Primæval Greece strove after the
arch; historic Greece, if she knew its constructive use, confined it
to a few purposes of constructive usefulness. Primæval Italy strove,
and strove with more success, in the same path, and made the form
which Greece used so timidly the life of her national architecture.
On Roman ground the arch grew into the cupola, but it was on the
ground that was Greek and Roman alike, on the ground of the Eastern
peninsula, that the cupola took its noblest form. On the Larissa of
Argos a few traces have been found of galleries like those of Tiryns.
Pausanias bears witness that Argos once had her subterranean chamber
like those of Mykênê, and doubtless following the same construction.
At Tiryns and Mykênê the series goes no further; the destroying hand
of Argos decreed that it should go no further. The long life of Argos
allowed every form to stand there side by side, from the gallery and
the treasury to the Roman bath and the Byzantine church. Yet it is not
in Argos itself that the series can be really studied. In the life of
cities nothing preserves like early overthrow, nothing destroys like
continuous life. Of the members of the Argive series the latest alone
is perfect. The vault of the Roman bath is broken down; the gallery
can scarcely be traced; for the existence of the treasury we have only
the witness of a traveller seventeen hundred years back. It is among
the victims of Argos that early overthrow has preserved to us the works
of the earliest times. In forsaken Tiryns and Mykênê we learn more of
the earliest days of Greece than we can learn in the city which has
survived them by three-and-twenty centuries. We have mused over the
walls, the guarded gate, the sally-port of Tiryns; we must go on to
muse on the walls, the mightier gate, the treasuries, the rifled tombs,
of Mykênê, Imperial city of Hellas in her earliest day.



                        The Akropolis of Mykênê.


Euripides was perhaps after all not so far wrong as he seemed to the
mocking genius of comedy, when he raised the question whether life and
death were not in truth things which had exchanged their names:

     τίς οἶδεν εἰ τὸ ζῆν πέν ἐστι κατθανεῖν, τὸ κατθανεῖν δέ ζῆν;

It is at least very often so in the case of cities; it is emphatically
so in the case of the great cities of the Argolic land. Argos, as we
have seen, if it has not altogether died, has at least been brought
down to a kind of life which, judged by its ancient standard, might
pass for little better than death. Its continued being has destroyed
well nigh every trace of its ancient state within the circuit which
still remains inhabited. Argos is thus dead because it has lived.
Mykênê, on the other hand, has remained alive because it died. Had
Mykênê remained a ruling city, or even a dwelling-place of men in any
shape, during all the ages which have passed since the fifth century
before Christ, we should not see, as we now see, what the imperial
city of the Pelopid house really was. Thanks to its happy destruction,
no work of Turk, or Venetian, or Roman has ever arisen to jar on the
associations of the primæval city. Even the works of those whom at
Mykênê we must call the later Greeks, the men who dwelled there from
the Dorian invasion to the days of Periklês, have passed away as though
they had never been. No columns rise, as at Nemea, over the forsaken
spot; we meet no tomb by the wayside, no legend graven on the rock,
such as we light on as we tread the holy way from Athens to Eleusis.
House and wall, temple and tower, were either utterly swept away by
Argive wrath, or else they have crumbled away into nothingness since
the scourge of Argos passed over the devoted city. Where once stood
the wide streets of Mykênê, we meet only the shepherd with his crook
to guide his flock, or the peasant woman, with Paionian industry,
plying her distaff as she gathers her sheep or her goats to watering.
For the hum of assembled citizens in the _agorê_, for the tramp of
gathering warriors on the akropolis, we hear only the pipe of the
shepherd himself and the bark of the shepherd’s dog. The shepherds who
wander over the site of Mykênê may not wholly answer to the pictures of
Theokritos or Virgil, but the crook, the pipe, the distaff, are here no
figures of speech. They may be seen and heard daily as the sun rises
over the deep gorge which fences in the Mykênaian akropolis, or when
he “reigns” at eve over the heights of Artemis and Kronos. But even
those few shepherds do not, like the few inhabitants of modern Corinth,
dwell on the old site of Mykênê, nor do they profess to carry on the
Mykênaian name. At the foot of the lower hill, the hill of the city as
distinguished from the hill of the akropolis, a small church and a few
houses, seeming almost to grow out of the rocky soil, form the small
village, not of Mykênê but of Chorbati. Yet in one sense Chorbati has
become Mykênê. Gathered there in a small museum are the less splendid
and precious of the relics which modern discovery has brought to light
on Mykênaian soil. And there too is one relic, torn from a rifled tomb
on the akropolis, which to the eye of faith must be more precious even
than the treasury and the lion-gate. There lies the nearly perfect
skeleton which those who have trodden doubts and difficulties under
their feet believe to be the very bones of Agamemnôn. The more cautious
Greek antiquary is less rash in committing himself. Mr. Stamatâkês, the
learned and zealous guardian of the Mykênaian treasury, points to it
with a wise qualification. The rest of his explanation is given in the
tongue which is alike his own and Homer’s. But, to express his doubts,
the Hellenic lips have learned to form a Teutonic genitive. He does not
commit himself to the belief that they are the bones of “Agamemnôn,”
pure and simple; they are the bones of “Schliemann’s Agamemnôn.” Yet
primæval Hellas, primæval Mykênê, has a history which may well live
through alike unreasonable doubts and undiscerning faith. Call him what
we will--Agamemnôn or anything else--the name matters little. It is a
marked moment in one’s life when one looks on the bones of one who, we
need not doubt, was, in days long before Hekataios wrote or even before
Homer sang, a lord of many islands and of all Argos.

The position of the akropolis at Mykênê differs widely from that of
either of the neighbouring akropoleis of Tiryns and Argos. The hill
of Tiryns is a mere mound in the plain. The loftier hill of Argos,
though far outtopped by the mountains behind it, still stands out as
a marked object. But the akropolis of Mykênê, though we find it to
be in a manner isolated, when we come to it, seems like an outpost
of the far loftier hills immediately behind it. On one side the rock
rises precipitously above a narrow gorge whose limestone cliffs at
once, to an eye familiar with the West of England, suggest the gorges
of Mendip, and, above all, the great pass of Cheddar. In the early
days of fortifications, when there was no missile to be feared but
darts and arrows, a fortress was not deemed to be in greater danger by
reason of being thus overlooked. Indeed, to be overlooked by high and
inaccessible mountains was in itself a kind of shelter. The Mykênaian
akropolis thus stands upon the rocks and among the hills in a way in
which its fellows at Tiryns and Argos do not. For that same reason
it does not stand out in the same way as an object in the distant
view. Its true form and position grow gradually upon us as we rise
from the modern village along the paths--paths only of the shepherd
and his flock--which are now all that represent the wide streets of
the city beloved of Hêrê. More than one path may be chosen, and each
will lead by one or more of the wonderful remains of the city itself,
the so-called treasuries, as distinguished from the remains of the
akropolis. But the path to be taken by choice, as it is the path to
which the traveller’s instinct will most likely lead him, is that
most to the right, that which skirts the brook which runs down from
the limestone gorge, and which will lead his steps by the greatest
monuments of all, the first and the second treasuries. But let the
treasuries wait for a moment; they are works, though of unrecorded
days, yet still of days far later than the defences of the akropolis
itself. We will gaze first at the very centre of all, the centre,
we may say, of præ-historic Hellas. And, as we draw near, we cannot
help having our wrath slightly kindled against the last discoverer of
Mykênê. Dr. Schliemann has done well in what he has brought to light;
we cannot think that he has done well in what he has hidden. As we
draw near, the height and outline of a great part of the outer wall
of the akropolis are utterly hidden, the general view is spoiled, the
proportion of the whole work is sadly damaged, because Dr. Schliemann
chose to throw the rubbish which he dug out of the tombs anywhere
where it might light. He has for the most part thrown it in vast heaps
over the wall, by which a really large part of the course of the wall
is hidden, and the whole view blurred and confused. A little trouble
might have avoided this at first; a little more trouble might get rid
of the rubbish now. In the last diggings at Athens much more care has
been taken. The rubbish has been all carried away, and is piled in
heaps where it does no harm. If in times to come those heaps should
grow into hills like the “mons testaceus” at Rome, no harm will have
been done, and an odd little piece of history will have been made. But
Dr. Schliemann’s heaps of rubbish do seriously mar the general effect
of the Mykênaian akropolis. They make it hard to understand the real
line of the walls until we come quite close to them. Among the rocks
and the walls, the walls growing out of the rocks, we see something
which is neither rock nor wall, but which confuses the outline of both;
as we come nearer, we find it to be the former contents of the royal
tombs and of the other works which have been brought to light within
the walls. As at Tiryns, there is a higher and a lower, an inner and
an outer fortress within the akropolis itself. But the greater height
of the Mykênaian hill makes this arrangement far more prominent, far
more effective than it is at Tiryns. Only at Mykênê the lower enclosure
has more of the air of an excrescence or an appendage than the lower
enclosure of Tiryns. But it is this lower enclosure, the enclosure
immediately entered by the famous lion-gate, which, whether an
addition or not to the fortress above, has become the great centre of
the associations of the place. There lie the empty tombs, thence came
the wondrous treasures, which have carried us back into the depths of
what we may fairly call præ-historic history, which have made us stand
face to face, if not with the personal heroes of Homer, at least with
the men of that age of Hellenic culture which the songs of Homer set
before us.

The buildings of Mykênê have been described over and over again till
their general effect must be almost as familiar to those who have not
seen them as to those who have. But here, as everywhere else, it is
the merely artistic character which can be thus taken at a distance.
To feel Mykênê, as to feel any other place, we must see it. And even
some of the artistic points can, as usual, be thoroughly made out only
on the spot. One must see the place thoroughly to take in the wide
difference between the masonry and artistic finish of the lion-gate and
of the two chief treasuries. The lion-gate--we mean the gate itself,
as distinguished from the lions--is a mere piling together of stones.
The work is done doubtless with great mechanical skill, and it has the
wonderful effect which all such primitive buildings have; still it is
altogether without any claims on the score of art. But in the gateways
of the treasuries, instead of the vast erect jambs of the lion-gate,
we find well-wrought courses of stone in two orders, with something
that may almost be called a moulding. These gateways had columns too.
Unluckily nearly all are gone, even the precious fragment which was
seen and drawn by the earlier travellers. This last, be it remembered,
was of a kind which would not have looked out of place in any
Romanesque building in England or Normandy. This is a most instructive
fact, as the likeness must have been purely accidental; and this may
serve to remind us that there are such things as accidental likenesses,
and to warn us against leaping to conclusions when such likenesses
are found in times and places far distant from one another. In the
second treasury, the one lately brought to light by Dr. Schliemann,
there is a fragment of another column, no longer in its place, which
looks like the first rude attempt at the later Doric. Now over both
these gateways, and also over the lion-gate, are openings of the same
triangular form, though of course wrought far more carefully in the
treasuries than in the lion-gate. In the treasuries these openings are
openings; they are at present filled up with nothing. That over the
lion-gate is filled, as all the world knows, with a basaltic stone
which would seem more natural at Bamburgh than at Mykênê, carved with
the famous lions, if lions they be, which guard a column that would
not seem out of place in the _duomo_ of Fiesole, in the apse of La
Couture at Le Mans, or even in the slype at Worcester. Can we believe
that the lion-gate and the lions, that the lion-gate and the gates of
the treasuries, are all of the same date? And in point of work the
lions at once connect themselves with the gateways of the treasuries,
not with the gateway over which they stand. Surely we have in these
gateways signs of an abiding type which lived on through several stages
of advancing art. Over the square-headed gate there was to be, for
whatever reason, a triangular hole, doubtless meant to be filled with a
stone of its own shape. In the treasuries either this stone was never
put in or it is gone. In the lion-gate it was put in, as it seems to
us, when art had passed the stage represented by the lion-gate itself,
and had reached the stage which is represented by the gateways of the
treasuries.

Another thought suggests itself. At Mykênê, as less clearly at Tiryns,
the lion-gate, with its skilfully guarded approach, does not lead at
once into the higher enclosure of the akropolis, but into the outer
and lower one. Does this go at all to show that this outer enclosure,
at Mykênê at least, was an addition to the primitive fortress of all,
fencing in the upper part of the hill? The fact that the tombs were
found in the lower enclosure also looks this way. There must have been
a time when this ground was looked upon as being outside the city, or
it would hardly have been used for purposes of burial. The argument
does not quite reach demonstration; burial within the walls was not
absolutely unknown even in historical Greece, and it may not be safe
to argue from historical to primæval Greece. Still the two arguments
so far fall together as at least to suggest the idea that we have in
the inner enclosure something yet more ancient and venerable than
all--something which may have been ancient and venerable, not only in
the days of Homer, but in the days of those whose tale Homer has told.

For the present we keep within the akropolis, within the old hill fort
which forms the inner circle of the Ekbatana of the imperial lords
of præ-historic Hellas. We stand here within the walls which struck
the minds of so many of the poets of Greece in the days when their
desolation was a thing of yesterday--walls which seemed too mighty to
be the work of mortal men, and which, like their fellows elsewhere,
were deemed to have been wrought by the same hands which forged the
thunderbolts of Zeus. Here we may in truth

  Φάσκειν Μυκήνας τὰς πολυχρύσους ὁρᾷν, πολύφθορόν τε δῶμα Πελοπιδῶν
  τόδε--

and we may deem that the house of the Pelopids was something which grew
up as a new thing beneath the shadow of the Cyclopean walls. That inner
fortress may well be to the Mykênaian empire of Homeric times what Roma
Quadrata on the Capitol was to the Rome which bore rule over all Italy.
But not a word is there in the Homeric tale to make us think that that
empire was a dominion of foreign princes, or that the patriarch of
the Pelopids was other than a son of the peninsula to which the race
gave its name. From the akropolis one may look down on the enclosure
which holds the rifled tombs, on the space beyond--the site of the
wide streets of Mykênê--which holds the treasuries, and so on to
destroying Argos and to Tiryns, the fellow-sufferer in overthrow. There
is no other spot where we are carried so deep into unrecorded ages,
and where unrecorded ages tell their tale so clearly. But the tale of
the akropolis, even the tale of the inner fortress, is enough for one
while. The tombs of the lower enclosure, the treasuries, if treasuries
they be, of the outer city, may supply their own materials for separate
thought.



                The Treasuries and Treasures of Mykênê.


The Treasuries of Mykênê we have heard of all our days; the Treasures
have become famous only since the diggings of Dr. Schliemann brought
them to light. The names are perhaps unlucky; as, to those who have
not seen the spot, they may suggest a connexion between the treasuries
and the treasures which does not exist in fact. The treasures were
not found in the treasuries, nor even in the same part of the city as
the treasuries. The treasures come from the tombs, and all the tombs
that have been opened lie in the outer and lower enclosures of the
akropolis. The treasuries, one of which has long been famous, lie
altogether outside the akropolis, in what must have been the outer
city, among the wide streets of Mykênê. The word “treasures” again may
suggest a false idea. Objects thrown into tombs as part of the honour
done to deceased persons are hardly “treasures” in any ordinary sense
of the word. A treasure is something which may be drawn upon for use;
objects which are thrown into tombs are, in the nature of the case,
never meant to be used again. But, by whatever name they are to be
called, there they are; remains of a great age, of an age which, though
beyond the reach of chronology, we can hardly call unrecorded. Though
the great works of Mykênê are manifestly of various dates, yet all may
in a general way be said to belong to one period--the period, whatever
its length, whatever its distance from ourselves, when Mykênê was
the head of Hellas. To some stage of that period the objects found in
the tombs must belong. It is enough to say that they are work of the
period which Homer had before his eyes when he sang of the transfer of
the sceptre through the successive generations of the house of Pelops,
no stranger house in his song. To attempt to assign the tombs, the
skeletons, the ornaments, to particular persons is rash. And, on the
other hand, the time is hardly come for those who take a general view
of history to commit themselves to any decided judgment as to the place
which these objects have in the history of art, or as to their relation
to objects found in other lands. It is well that the specialists
should for a little time longer have that branch of the subject in
their keeping. Some new light will doubtless be thrown on the matter
by the find which has just been made in Attica. When all these points
have been thoroughly sifted, the historian will be glad to accept the
results. As it is, it is enough for him that here are the tombs of the
Mykênaian lords of Hellas, that here are the objects which the creed of
their days deemed becoming offerings of reverence for the dead.

Besides the field which these objects open for the more direct student
of art, they open also a field of almost higher interest for the
historian of customs. The mode of disposing of the dead seems to have
been a strange kind of compromise between burning and burying. If we
rightly understand the process, the bodies were placed in the tombs;
they were then half burned; lastly the masks were placed upon them, and
the tombs were filled up with the vases and other objects. Here indeed
is work for Mr. Tylor and any other labourers in that field. The
effect of the masks is wonderful. Whether they are really likenesses or
not, we accept them as such while we look on them; we feel ourselves
brought more directly into the presence of the men of old than we are
even by the sight of the skeleton. Physically the actual bones of the
man are more truly part of himself; but we really feel brought nearer
to him as we see the thin covering which has rested on his face, and
which seems at least to profess to keep the stamp of his features. We
will not dare to call him Agamemnôn or any other name. We look at least
on what would be the likeness of one of those on whom our own Alfred
so happily bestowed the name of the Cæsars that were to be, on one
whose historic position is best brought home to us if we call him, in
Alfred’s tongue, the Bretwalda of primæval Hellas.

The ornaments and other objects have been described and discussed over
and over again by those who have a special object in their study. But
there is one among them which we do not remember to have seen described
in any of the published accounts, one which, if it has been already
mentioned, will certainly stand being mentioned again. Of all the
objects which Mr. Stamatâkês has under his care, and which he so fully
and clearly explains to all who can follow him in his own tongue, there
is none more curious in itself, none which speaks more directly home
to us, than those pieces of thin gilding which were found in one of
the tombs over the breast of one of the female bodies, and which, when
put together, were found to make the complete figure of a young babe.
There is nothing wonderful in this. A royal infant--a _clitunculus_,
as some of our own chroniclers would have called him--may have died
at Mykênê and have been buried with his mother, as well as anywhere
else. But the sight of the impression of the little limbs seems to
bring us more nearly into the presence of the home-life of those old
kings than any other object in the whole collection. Criticism for a
moment holds back; we are more inclined than usual to listen to the
voice of legend, when we are told that we are looking on the masks of
Kassandra and her child. Neither the Homeric nor the Æschylean story
would ever put it into our heads to attribute children to Kassandra;
but the local tradition in the days of Pausanias showed the tombs of
the twin sons of Kassandra and Agamemnôn, slain and buried with their
parents. In our fit of belief we even put aside the obvious question,
Where is the mask of the other brother? The legend doubtless erred;
in all cases where any tyrant seeks the destruction of a pair of twin
brothers, or of young brothers of any kind, one, whether in history or
in legend, escapes and lives. In our own eleventh-century history two
doubly widowed mothers are left with twin children, each pair sought
after by the Aigisthos of their own day. Of the original “clitunculi,”
the twin babes of Eadmund and Ealdgyth, both indeed were saved, but
one only lived. Of the second pair, the babes of Harold and the second
Ealdgyth, one fell into the hands of the Conqueror, safe in his hands
from death, though it might be to drag on life only in a dungeon; the
other lived to show himself like a shadow on the fleet of Magnus. And,
while we are believing, we may for a moment believe that, of a later
pair of princes, one escaped, and that Perkin Warbeck was truly Richard
the Fourth. The Mykênaian tradition must have erred in boasting of the
tomb both of Pelops and of Têledamos. One must have been carried away
along with Orestês his half-brother. The impression of the other’s form
in beaten gold we will for a moment indulge ourselves in believing that
our eyes have looked upon.

But, leaving dreams and analogies, leaving too the strictly scientific
examination of the objects as works of art, the picture which they give
us of the state of things in the age to which they belong is wonderful
and interesting beyond words. We are indeed in the age of Homer, the
age of gold and bronze, when, if we cannot strictly say with Hesiod
that black iron was not yet, we can at least say that it had gone no
way at all to displace the elder metal. We see before our eyes that
abundance of gold the tradition of which clave to the Pelopid capital
even in the days of the tragedians, and made Sophoklês speak of Mykênê
as πολυχρύσος. It jars indeed slightly on the feelings to see the tombs
themselves rifled and the more precious part of their contents borne
off to distant Athens. As a mere matter of sentiment we might have said
of the old King whose skeleton lies in the museum, “Let him alone, let
no man move his bones.” We might be tempted to wish that the treasures
themselves had remained in the state of

          Aurum inrepertum, et sic melius situm
          Cum terra celat.

But, without thus rifling the tombs of the dead, we should never have
known that the dead and their treasures were there. When once the tombs
were opened, the treasures could not be left in them; and, if they were
to be borne away at all, they were best borne away to the national
capital. In other cases we might plead for the capital of the district,
but in this case we could not bear to give Argos another triumph. We
must take the relics as they are, in their new place under the best of
guardianship. But what a moment it must have been to have stood by the
tombs themselves when they were first brought to light!

From the treasures, better perhaps called the relics, let us turn to
the treasuries. What were they? Tombs, treasuries, or what? In the time
of Pausanias they were clearly deemed to be treasuries. His words are
explicit:--Ἀτρέως καὶ τῶν παίδων ὑπόγαια οἰκοδομήματα, ἕνθα oἰ θησαυροί
σφισι τῶν χρημάτων ἦσαν. He pointedly distinguishes them from the tombs
of Atreus and of those who perished with Agamemnôn on his return, among
them Kassandra and her babes. These tombs can hardly fail to be the
tombs which have been lately brought to light, though we should hardly
find out from Pausanias’s account that the tombs are in the outer
circle of the akropolis, while the treasuries are in the outer city of
all. The treasuries--at least the great one, that known specially as
the Treasury of Atreus--have been described and engraved over and over
again. Yet when we at last stand before the gateway, when we pass in
and stand beneath the mighty roof, the thing is not the less wonderful
because we come to it as to an old friend. The feeling of familiarity
is stronger than in the case of the lion-gate. Of this last we may know
every detail, but certainly none of the ordinary engravings, hardly
the best and latest photographs to be found at Athens, can thoroughly
set before us its peculiar effect in the position where it stands. The
treasuries we know to be underground works--one is strongly tempted to
say vaults or cupolas--and we have a general notion of what they must
be. But our previous knowledge takes away nothing from the feeling of
the approach--the part which the common views least bring out; and the
fact that the building is one which we have so long known and thought
of, that it is the goal of a long-hoped-for pilgrimage, brings out
feelings as strong and as keen, though of quite another kind, as those
which are drawn forth by the act of discovery. And, after all, the
best representation cannot fully bring home to us such features as the
mighty stone which covers the entrance to the great treasury. Whence
came it? who raised it, and wherefore? Was it a proud display of mere
mechanical skill on the part of men whose works showed that they had
advanced far beyond mere mechanical skill? Our thoughts flit beyond the
sea to the yet mightier stone beneath which Theodoric once lay. In
both cases, in the age when constructive art was slowly feeling its way
and in the age when constructive art had reached all but its highest
stage, there is a display of mere power, when the same result might
have been brought about by easier means. There was no absolute need to
seek and to raise so vast a block as that under which we pass into the
great treasury. Still less was there any need to bring that gigantic
block across the sea from Istria, when Theodoric might have been as
easily covered with a dome of the ordinary construction as Galla
Placidia had been.

We enter. It needs some effort of faith to believe that this roof, so
cunningly put together of stones which have all but reached the secret
of the true cupola, was once covered with brazen plates--that we are,
in fact, in what once was one of the brazen chambers of which the
poets tell us. From one point of view we may be glad that they are
gone, as otherwise we could not so well have studied this wonderful
construction. It is as marked a moment in a course of constructive
study when we stand in the treasury of Mykênê as when we stand in the
peristyle of Spalato. Each marks a great step in the history of art. In
one we see how nearly men could come to the arched construction without
actually reaching it. In the other we see the perfect construction
applied for the first time to its highest artistic use. But Spalato
is the direct parent of all that came after it. Mykênê is the parent
of nothing. It surely points to some great revolution, some overthrow
of the more civilized people by the less civilized, that the art
of primæval Greece should have stopped where it did. In all these
early buildings we find the arched construction only not brought to
perfection. In the artistic architecture of historical Greece the arch,
or any approach to it, as an artistic feature, was utterly unknown.
At the outside, it is barely used here and there, in works which did
not claim to be works of art, where the merest constructive necessity
called for it.

To any one who is familiar with Irish remains the treasury of Mykênê
cannot fail to suggest New Grange. The essential construction of the
two works is the same. But here again the ever needful warning comes
in. All that the undoubted likeness really proves is that the same
stage of constructive skill was reached, in times perhaps far removed
from one another, in Ireland and in Peloponnêsos. It does not prove, it
does not even suggest, any nearer connexion than this. Otherwise, no
field could be more tempting for a mystic ethnologist. Were there not
Danaoi in Argolis? And was there not in Ireland also a people with a
name very like Danaoi, but which we will not attempt to spell without
an Irish library at hand?

The treasuries are, as Pausanias says, underground, wrought in the
hill-side. There is something very singular in a work of this kind, a
work of real building as much as anything that ever was built above
ground, a work which has nothing in common with rock-hewn tombs,
temples, churches, or houses, hidden so that a wayfarer who was not on
the look-out might pass by without notice. Was concealment or safety
the object sought? Then why were they not made within the fortified
akropolis, and not in the midst of the outer city? And, be they tombs,
be they treasuries or anything else, why were they so many and so
scattered? Five have been reckoned up in all. One, the best preserved
after the great one, has been, if not actually discovered, at least
brought more fully to light, during Dr. Schliemann’s researches. The
roof is broken through, so that it can be looked into from above; but
the entrance is as perfect as that of the great treasury. Here it is
that the quasi-Doric column is found, a sign perhaps of later date
again than the great one. The others are partly pushed down, partly
choked up. The great stone of the gateway thus brought near to the
ground has much the air of a cromlech. We need hardly say that in
mechanical construction a cromlech and the Parthenôn are exactly the
same.

Such are some of the thoughts which press upon the mind as we walk
where once were the wide streets of Mykênê rich in gold. There is no
other spot like it. It is something to stand among the temples of
Poseidônia, standing well nigh perfect within the Hellenic walls,
while the remains of Roman Pæstum have to be sought for around them.
It is something to stand on the akropolis of Kymê, and to feel that
its very desolation has in sort brought things back to their ancient
state. But at Mykênê the temples of Poseidônia would seem modern.
They would seem as much out of place as the Roman amphitheatre seems
at Poseidônia. They would, like them, speak of foreign invasion and
foreign conquest, of the invading Dorian instead of the invading Roman.
At Mykênê, not only is there no trace of later times, Macedonian,
Roman, Frankish, Turkish; the very works of the Dorian are swept away.
The Pelopid city is there, and the Pelopid city only. The Argive swept
away the memorials of his own kinsfolk; he left the memorials of the
elder race. There is nothing to disturb, nothing to keep us back from
the thoughts of primæval times, and of none other. Beside Mykênê,
Kymê itself seems modern, as Poseidônia seems modern beside Kymê.
The colony far away on the Italian shore, with the akropolis rising
almost straight above the sea, belongs to a state of things many stages
later than the akropolis nestling among the inland mountains of Hellas
itself, with the sea which brought so many dangers as a mere distant
object in the landscape. The works at Mykênê stand as relics neither
of a recorded nor of an unknown time; they stand as relics of days
before history, but of days of which they are themselves the history.
Once more we may give the warning: let names and dates be eschewed. It
is enough that the stones were piled, the gold was hammered, the lions
were carved in their slab of basalt, the skeleton on which we gaze was
buried with its strange rites, by men of the race and age whose picture
lives in the oldest and noblest songs of European man. At Mykênê we
have reached the hearth and cradle of all Hellas; we have reached the
hearth and cradle of all Europe. There we can give thanks for those
lights of modern science which teach us to feel that in that hearth and
cradle we are not wholly strangers. There we can feel that we come of
the same ancestral stock, that we speak a form of the same ancestral
speech, that we have our share in the ancestral institutes, which the
common forefathers of Greek and Teuton brought from the common home.
On the wonders of Egypt and Nineveh we may gaze with simple wonder; in
them and their makers we have no share. At Mykênê we may say, as we
gaze on the imperial skeleton, “The man is near of kin to us.” Within
those walls the lay of Agamemnôn and the lay of Beowulf seem like
strophes of the same poem. We may say, with our own Traveller in our
own tongue:--

              Mid Creacum ic wæs,
              And mid Cásere,
              Se þe win-burga
              Ge-weald áhte.

Nowhere else do the remains of a time at once so famous and so distant
stand up with such full life before our eyes. There is in truth no spot
like it on earth.



                           Mykênê to Corinth.


Mykênê and Tiryns have taught us a lesson in the history of those Greek
cities which perished in days which we are used to look on as still
ancient. Argos has given us one type of the Greek city which has lived
on through all changes down to our own times. Corinth, a city hardly
less famous than Argos, from some points of views even more famous,
has had yet another destiny. After perishing utterly and rising again,
Corinth has lived on through all later changes down to recent times,
to give way, in recent times, to a new city bearing its own name. And
on the way which leads us from Mykênê to Corinth we pass by a site of
another kind, the site of a spot which never was a city, but which was
as famous and venerable in Hellenic legend and Hellenic religion as
any city not of the very foremost rank. Olympia is yet far off, but a
foretaste of Olympia may well be had in the plain which was hallowed
by the lesser festival, beneath the columns of Nemea, alongside of its
ruined church.

But how is Nemea to be reached? It is perhaps a tribute to the ancient
greatness of Mykênê that it is there that civilization in one important
branch may be said to come to an end. From Nauplia the journey by
Tiryns and Argos may be made in a carriage; but it cannot be said that
the latter part of the road from Argos to Mykênê is made according
to the principles of Macadam. Indeed, we think it would be possible
to carry the drive a little further than Mykênê, or, to speak more
accurately, than Chorbati. But as such a drive would not take the
traveller to any point in particular, and as he certainly could not
continue it to Corinth, we may say that the carriage-road ends at
Mykênê. Mykênê is the last point which the traveller can examine by
that mode of journeying. At Chorbati he will begin his really Greek
journey. He will have to go after the fashion of the country so far as
to travel, as one of a cavalcade, on one of the small and hardy horses
of the country, which seem, very much like their guides or drivers, to
be able to do anything and to eat nothing. Perhaps however he may not
so far conform to the fashion of the country as himself to become a
package on the back of his pack-horse, and to sit there with both his
legs on one side. Such a manner of going, besides other things to be
said against it, has this manifest disadvantage, that it compels the
traveller to take a one-sided view of the land which he goes through.
On a journey on which the traveller has to take everything with him,
he will hardly forget to take European saddles also. But, even with a
European saddle, it needs a calm head and good horsemanship to take in
much of the view, or to call up many of its associations, when you are,
not indeed, like General Wolfe, “scrambling up,” but, if the phrase be
accurate, “scrambling down”

                      ... Rough rugged rocks
                Well nigh perpendiklar.

The scrambling up is well enough; it is with the scrambling down, that
the hardship comes. It is easy to convince one’s intellect that there
is really no danger, that the beast on which one is mounted, most
unfairly called ἄλογον, knows thoroughly what he is about, and is far
wiser than the ζωὸν λογικόν whom he carries. To give him his head, and
to let him go where he pleases, is the dictate of common-sense; but
there are moments when common-sense will not be heard. At such moments
the traveller begins to wish that he was like Pheidippidês--most
rightly named as sparing horses and not sparing his own feet--to whom
the journey from Mykênê to Corinth would clearly have been no more than
a pleasant morning’s walk. Or better still would it be, if the days
of Pausanias could come back, as there is indeed fair hope that they
soon may, and that the whole road from Nauplia to Corinth may again be
passed by the help of wheels. To the young and adventurous the novelty
and roughness of the mode of going seem to have their charms. The
traveller more advanced in life would be better pleased even to go on
his own feet, and he might think it better still if he might enjoy the
Eastern luxury of going

                  ἐφ’ ἁρμαμαξῶν μαλθακός κατακείμενοι.

One thing however is certain--a land without inns is in every
way better than a land with bad inns. The travelling party is
self-supporting, and carries along with it all the necessaries of life,
as well as some of its comforts and conveniences. It is wonderful
how shortly and how thoroughly a sleeping-room and a well-furnished
dinner-table can be called as it were out of nothing. It may be better
not to ask too minutely what becomes of the hospitable inhabitants
who so readily turn out to make way for the strangers. Certain it
is, that for the native part of the travelling party, reasonable and
unreasonable, any quarters for the night will do. One point, however,
calls for a protest; if the man chooses to look on his fustanella and
his other garments as an inseparable part of himself, that is his
own look-out; but it is hard to treat the unreasonable beast as if
his pack-saddle were an inseparable part of him, and to give him no
rest from his burthen either by day or by night. As for the traveller
himself, he certainly would not exchange the fare, he might not always
be anxious to exchange the lodging, which he makes for himself in
the museum at Mykênê or in the house of the single priest of fallen
Corinth; for those that he could get in some lands where, as there are
inns, people do not take everything with them.

The cavalcade leaves Chorbati to make its way to Corinth by way of
Nemea. Pausanias gives a choice of routes; the one chosen is that
which he distinguishes as the τρητὸς, which he describes as narrow,
but passable for carriages. Narrow enough it is, and well it deserves
its name as a passage cleft through the rocks, but the wheel tracks
are there to show that carriages did once go that way. We are between
Corinth and Argos, not between Thebes and Delphi; but we can well
fancy the difficulties and the likelihood of quarrel if Laios and
Oidipous met in such a strait as this.

We pass on, over ground which five-and-fifty years ago beheld one of
the fiercest struggles of the War of Independence. Each of the passes,
each of the heights, was held and stoutly contested in the August
of 1822, when the men of Peloponnêsos beat back the Turkish host of
Dramali in utter defeat. On our immediate path the ground rises and
falls, but we are led over no special heights till, as we descend, the
plain of Nemea breaks upon us. The columns rise in all the stateliness
of solitude. Beyond rise the hills in which the ancients placed the
cave of the Nemeian lion. This then is one of the seats of Pan-hellenic
religion and Pan-hellenic festive gathering. If its glory did not reach
that of Olympia or Delphi or even of the Isthmus, it is the first of
the four to which our journey leads us, and we remember that Nemeian
victories called forth the song of Pindar, and that Alkibiadês did
not disdain either to win triumphs there, or to have those triumphs
recorded in the choicest art of the sculpture of his day. There is
the temple in the plain, a plain well fitted for the purposes of the
games, and, cut out of one of the hills to the right as in the Larissa
of Argos, we see where the theatre of Nemea once was. Though the place
hardly ranks among sites of first-rate interest, though it calls up
no such primæval associations as Mykênê which we have left, no such
later associations as Corinth to which we are going, there is much to
muse upon in the plain of Nemea. The legend of the lion comes home to
us all the more strongly after seeing the sculptured forms which the
world has agreed to call lions in the Mykênêan akropolis. Science and
scholarship going hand in hand have given him a new interest. The lion,
whose cave we cannot see, though we see the mountain side in which
it is hollowed, may be mythical in his own person, but he is no mere
creature of fiction. If, with Mr. Dawkins, we trace out the retreat
of the lion from Europe, we see at Nemea one very important stage in
his retreat. We trace him from the day when he made his lair in the
caves of Mendip to the day when Herodotus so accurately marked out
his geographical limits within the European continent. In his day the
lion was still found in the region which stretched from the Achelôos
to the Nestos; and when we look at the evidently careful nature of the
notice itself, and when we go on to put that notice in its right place
among other notices, we shall not be tempted for one moment to think
that the lions of Herodotus were other than real lions. Some indeed
have suggested that Herodotus was so poor a naturalist as to mistake
lynxes or wild cats for lions. No one will be likely to think this when
he has once put the whole evidence in its right order. Just as we can
believe in a Mykênaian empire without pledging ourselves to a personal
Agamemnôn, so we can believe in lions in Peloponnêsos without pledging
ourselves to a personal Hêraklês. The constant references to the lion
in the Homeric poems must come from actual knowledge or from very
recent tradition. The beast has a two-fold name; he is not only λέων
but λῖς, and we are tempted, though it is slightly dangerous, to carry
our thoughts on a little further with regard to his name. We ourselves
seem never to have called him by anything but a name borrowed from the
Latin; but are not _Löwe_ and λῖς strictly cognate, signs of a time
when the king of beasts had a name common to the whole Aryan family?
Anyhow we may be sure that primitive legend would not have quartered
the lion at Nemea, that primitive art would not have sculptured him at
Mykênê, except at times when his presence in Peloponnêsos was, if a
thing of the past at all, a thing of a very recent past.

The modern fauna of Nemea, as it strikes the passer-by, is of a
lowlier and more harmless kind. The shepherdesses are there with their
goats among the ruins, and a draught of their milk in the Greek May
is a refreshment not to be scorned. And he who uses his eyes as he
passes along may have the same luck as the infant Hermês when he met
the tortoise in his path. The tortoise of that adventure willingly
sacrificed himself for the good of mankind, that the baby-god might
make a lyre out of his shell. The tortoise kept his place in the human
nursery speech of Greece, and we may still ask the question of the
Greek girls,

              χελὶ χελώνη, τί ποεῖς ἐν τῷ μέσω;

There is a temptation to carry him off as a living memorial of the
spot; but the way from Nemea to Britain is long.

But we must not forget man and his works when we are in one of the
chief seats of Hellenic worship. Here is the temple of Nemeian Zeus,
standing desolate in the plain, almost as some of our Cistercian
abbeys stand in their valleys. The history of the holy place is
characteristic of Greek religion and of Greek politics. As Elis wrested
the possession of Olympia from Pisa, so Argos wrested the possession
of Nemea from Kleônai. In each case the possession of the temple and
all that belonged to it was a source of dignity and political power.
It was therefore eagerly sought for, and unscrupulously seized, by
the greater city at the expense of the smaller. In the Olympian case
indeed, one ground of refusing the ancient claim of the men of Pisa
was that they had no city at all, but were mere villagers, unable and
unworthy to preside over one of the great religious solemnities of the
Greek nation. With our Northern notions, we are inclined to ask why
Olympia and Nemea did not themselves grow into cities. Why did not a
town grow up around the sanctuary? Not a few English towns, some of
them of considerable size, grew up round some venerated monastery or
other great church. A few devotees of the saint, a few dependents of
his ministers, began the settlement. Traffic, shelter, all the motives
which draw men together, increased the colony. In course of time it
either wrested municipal rights from its ecclesiastical lords or
received them as a free gift. In either case a new borough was formed,
a borough which had not been made but had grown. But in Greek ideas
a city was something which did not grow but was made. It might grow
indefinitely after it was once made; but its first making did not take
the form of growing. A new city was called into being by special and
solemn acts, and no such foundation would have been endured at Olympia
by Elis or at Nemea by either Argos or Kleônai. Some accommodation
there must have been for the ministers of the God and his worshippers,
even in ordinary times. At the great festival seasons, so we gather
from the story of the assault on the tents of the envoys of Dionysios
at Olympia, the crowds which assembled were encamped in the open plain
like an army. But such a camp did not, like so many of the camps of
Rome, grow into a permanent city. One might have fancied that it might
become an object of Pan-hellenic policy to remove these national
sanctuaries from the power of particular cities, and to place them
under some kind of management in which all who had a right to share in
the festival might be represented. But such an idea was foreign to the
Greek political mind. The presidency of the temple and the games was
essentially a privilege of this or that city. Pisa or Kleônai, Elis
or Argos, were hosts, and the rest of Greece were their guests. There
were, indeed, Amphiktionies, where a temple belonged to several cities
in common; but the action of the most famous of their number in Greek
affairs did not do much to impress the general Greek mind in favour
of that system of management. Throughout Grecian history the Delphic
Amphiktiony either does nothing or becomes the tool of some powerful
commonwealth or prince.

But, besides the memories of Nemea and the thoughts which it suggests,
there is the temple itself. There is enough left to trace out the
whole ground plan, and three columns soar above the plain, catching
the eye as a prominent object in the descent. We say “soar,” for these
are perhaps the only Doric columns which do soar. They are taller and
slenderer than any others to be seen in Greece, and they have thereby
lost much of the true Doric character. That they are of much later date
than the Attic Parthenôn none can doubt. Greek antiquaries are even
inclined to fix them as late as Macedonian times. One almost wonders
that an architect who departed so far from the primitive Doric idea in
the proportion of his columns did not venture to adopt either of the
later forms of capitals, one of which at least must have come into use
before his time. We have seen the Ionic capital in use on the Athenian
akropolis, and it certainly would have looked more in place as a finish
to the columns of Nemea than the form which seems the natural finish
at Poseidônia and even at Athens. But they are grand objects all the
same. Nothing can wholly take away the inherent majesty of the Doric
architecture, and beside them is a relic of even greater interest
than themselves. Within the precinct, built out of the remains of the
heathen sanctuary, are the ruins of a small church, clearly of early
date, one of the many instances in which the professors of the new
faith turned the holy places of the old faith to their own purposes.
A train of thoughts are suggested by the neighbourhood of the two
temples, now alike equally fallen. But on this head we shall do well to
check ourselves; a greater opportunity for musings of this kind will be
found on the western side of Peloponnêsos.

We leave the temple; we pass by the remains of the theatre; we climb
to a fountain where the women gathering around may afford a study in
the varied ornaments of their dress. We pass on; we come down again,
marking a number of quarries which supplied stone for the neighbouring
building and which have almost the look of buildings themselves. It
is to our shame that we pass by the remains of Kleônai, its akropolis
covering a low hill, without stopping for a nearer examination? Such
questions are not always decided by the traveller for himself; they are
for the most part settled for him. And he who has lingered at Mykênê in
the morning and must needs reach Corinth in the evening may be forgiven
if he fail to give Kleônai her due. A halt and a meal are taken at a
more convenient point, within sight of the hill of Kleônai, where a few
trees give shade, and where a few ruined and forsaken houses remain as
memories of the last earthquake. Of that earthquake we shall hear and
see more at Corinth. We press on to the city of the two seas and the
mountain crowned by its citadel. Before we reach them, we learn again
at once how thoroughly Greece is a land of mountains, and how near one
part of Greece is to another. Here in Peloponnêsos we see over the gulf
to the mountains of Northern Greece. The hoary head of Parnassos rises
before us,

          Not in the phrensy of a dreamer’s eye,
          Not in the fabled landscape of a lay,
          But soaring snow-clad through its native sky,
          In the wild pomp of mountain majesty.

There in truth it soars, as no figure of speech, but as the mountain
which guarded a Pan-hellenic sanctuary greater than that of Nemea.
Presently we reach a winding descent, and a flat meadow alone lies
between us and Akrokorinthos. The hills of Tiryns, Mykênê, and
Kleônai, the Athenian akropolis itself, are as nothing to the Larissa
of Argos; but the Argive height itself yields utterly to the great
Corinthian steep. Still, as yet we see only the hinder side, the
land side, of the mountain; we see the highest point of the fortress
which crowns it, but we do not yet see how Akrokorinthos stands to
Corinth, New and Old, and to the seas on either side of it. We have
yet to study one of the sites of Greece than which none is of higher
interest in general history, a site which has to tell a tale of ruin,
of restoration, and of renewed ruin, of a different kind from any with
which we have as yet met.



                                Corinth.


Thus far on our Hellenic journey we have been able to contrast cities
which were swept away for ever in days which we call ancient with
cities which have kept on an uninterrupted being to our own day.
The city of the two seas, the city which guards the Isthmus, the
city beside whose hill-fortresses all rival hill-fortresses seem as
molehills, has a history which is unlike either, a history which,
among the great cities of Greece, is wholly her own. And, as none of
the great cities of Greece has seen such ups and downs of fortune as
Corinth, so none has won for itself a more varied fame. There is no
Greek city whose name has entered into more familiar sayings; it even
sank to be a kind of a byword in very modern times. Holding, never
a first, but always a high secondary place, alike in Grecian legend
and in the most brilliant times of Grecian history, Corinth came to
be the centre of all Grecian history in the days of the second birth
of Grecian freedom; it was swept from the earth by Roman vengeance as
none other of the great Grecian cities ever was; it arose afresh as
a Roman colony, again under the influence of sky and soil to change
into a Greek city; it kept on its Greek character through the ages of
Slavonic invasion, to become one of the points most fiercely struggled
for in the warfare of Turk and Venetian, to be taken and retaken by
the patriots and the oppressors of yet later warfare. And now, after
so long and so busy a life, after the endurance of so many blows at
the hand of man, the last blow has been dealt by the hand of nature.
The last of many earthquakes has sealed the doom of Corinth yet more
effectually than it was sealed when Mummius swept it with the besom
of destruction. Mummius simply destroyed, and what Mummius destroyed
Cæsar could restore. But the last overthrow of Corinth has given her a
neighbour and a rival. Old Corinth is forsaken; New Corinth has sprung
up by the shore. New Corinth may well grow, and she may have ages of
prosperity in store for her. But while New Corinth grows and flourishes
by the shore, the only chance for Old Corinth at the foot of the
mountain is that New Corinth may grow to such a degree as some day to
annex the venerable site as one of its suburbs.

Those who believe in Semitic or other foreign settlements in Greece
are apt, though they have no legend like those of Pelops or Kekrops to
help them, to quarter a Phœnician settlement on Akrokorinthos. A name
or two is all that they have to show, and a hill called φοινίκαιον,
and an Ἀθήνη Φοινίκη do not prove much. No site can be more thoroughly
Greek; the hill-top, near the sea, but not on it, is the ideal position
for a Greek coast town of the earliest type; and at Corinth we have
the mightiest of hilltops, near but not on, not one sea only, but two.
It is the central point of Hellas, looking all ways, commanding her
coasts and her mountains on every side. Its earliest name of Ephyrê
is one scattered over many sites of central and northern Greece, from
Argolis and Sikyonia to Thessaly and Thesprotia. Semitic elements may
have mingled with the local worship of Aphroditê without supporting
any Semitic occupation. Corinth traded with all the world, and she
may have learned many things from Phœnician visitors without Phœnician
settlers ever occupying her soil. The most Hellenic in its position of
all Hellenic cities cannot be given up to the barbarian. Instead of a
Phœnician origin, the votaries of the East must be satisfied with the
most striking of Phœnician analogies. If Corinth and Carthage were not
sisters in origin, they were at least sisters in destiny. They perished
together, and they rose again together, if the foundation of the
Roman colony can be called a rising again of either the Greek or the
Phœnician city.

The old memories of far-distant Poseidônia come again on the mind--not
unfittingly in a place where Poseidôn was so highly honoured--when we
look on the one surviving building of the lower city. Old Corinth is
now a mere village of a few houses. A few memorials of Roman times
are there; but, as at Poseidônia, they have to be looked for. The one
ancient building which strikes the eye and gives a character to the
place is the shattered temple, where seven columns still stand in all
the stern majesty of the earliest and severest Doric. Corinth gives her
name to the latest, the richest, the most graceful form of architecture
of Greece. But her one surviving relic is, of all buildings on old
Hellenic soil, the one which is furthest removed from the character
of her own order. The birthplace, so men deemed, of painting, one of
the chosen seats of sculpture, a city crowded with splendid temples
of later date, has now nothing to show but these half-fallen columns,
carrying us back to the earliest days of the historical being of the
city. Young as they seem beside the gates and vanished columns of
Mykênê, the Parthenôn is young beside them. They carry us back to the
days of Bacchiads and Kypselids, the days when Corinth was the mistress
of the Western seas, and sent forth her colonists and artists to follow
on the peninsular of Korkyra the models which she had reared at the
foot of her own guardian mountain.

The columns stand over the modern village, over a site almost as
desolate as that over which they must have stood in the hundred years
between Mummius and Cæsar. The other fragments, Greek and Roman, hardly
come into the view. But the lower city is not the true Corinth. It is
the mountain citadel round which the great associations of the city
gather. As we look on from far, as we climb up its steep sides, we
think of the two great moments of its deliverance, the day

                  When first Timoleon’s brother bled,

and the night when Aratos, in his earlier and nobler days, climbed
up that steep in the teeth of Macedonian guards and baying dogs, and
made Corinth once more a free Hellenic city. We picture him the next
morning in the _agorê_, leaning wearied on his spear, and telling
to the citizens whom he had delivered the tale of the night’s work
which had set them free. And with such a scene before us, we are not
tempted to dwell on the darker day when the deliverer undid his own
work, when, rather than divide the possession of Peloponnêsos with a
Spartan rival, he could give back the mount of Corinth to a Macedonian
lord. High indeed the mount soars above the city, as high above the
Larissa of Argos as the Larissa of Argos soars above the little hill of
Tiryns. Stern and bare it rises above the city; stern and bare it rises
above the open land on either side. But where the mountain sinks more
gently towards the lesser height on its Sikyonian side, we may climb
the winding path; we may enter the gateway of the forsaken fortress;
and here indeed we find the history of Corinth, the history of Hellas,
written legibly in stone. The fortress which, but fifty-five years
back, was so fiercely disputed between the men of the land and their
barbarian masters is now a fortress only in name. The warder keeps the
gate; but he keeps it only as a form. The walls shelter only ruins. But
they are ruins which tell their tale, fragments which tell how

          Many a vanish’d year and age,
          And tempest’s breath, and battle’s rage,
          Have swept o’er Corinth.

Every age, from the earliest to the latest, has left its living and
speaking memorials on that memorable hill, and no classical barbarian
has yet taken in hand the cruel work of wiping out that long and
wondrous history. Here, in the very gateway, is a primæval wall,
reared, it may well be, before Corinth was Dorian, a wall of stones
such as Corinth’s own Sisyphos might have been set to roll up the
mountainside. Hard by is an arch of the thirteenth century of our era,
an arch, not of Venetian, but of genuine French work, work of the days
when there were Latin Princes of Achaia and Latin Emperors of the New
Rome. We pass on among the fortifications, the dwellings, the temples,
of all the creeds and races which Corinth has seen as citizens or as
masters. Here is work of Hellenic days, of days when Corinth sent forth
her colonies on her one sea and met the Persian in arms on the other.
Here are traces of the temples of the Roman colony, traces of the
Corinth where Paul taught and which Alaric entered as the first armed
disciple of Paul’s teaching. Here is the Byzantine church, witness of
the long years when Corinth stood as an outpost of Christendom, in one
age against the heathen Slave, in another against the Mahometan Turk.
Here is the Turkish mosque, the Turkish dwelling, telling of the long
struggle when the Turk wrested the fortress from the Greek, when the
Venetian wrested it back from the Turk, when the Turk wrested it once
more from the Venetian, till the happier day when the fetter of Hellas,
the horn of Peloponnêsos, again passed into the hands of her sons. All
are in ruins, all are fittingly in ruins, seeing that all are memorials
of powers which have passed away. But as ruins let them be guarded and
revered, as ruins which tell their tale, the tale of Corinthian and
Hellenic history. The blind fury of the destroyer has decreed that the
history of Athens shall no longer be read on the akropolis of Athens.
Let Corinth harbour no such enemies. Let not a wall be touched, let not
a stone be swept away, which still lives to tell how many times and by
how many hands

                       Was Corinth lost and won.

The ascent is long; to any but the young and active or else the
practised mountaineer it is toilsome. But the toil is broken by the
relics on which we stop to gaze on our path; it is repaid by the
mighty landscapes on which we gaze. It is not too much to say that
we look on Hellas from its centre. The small ruined church on the
height brings Akrokorinthos within the company of the sacred hills of
Christendom, the hills where a sanctuary on the height looks down on
town or city at its feet. Cashel has been seized by another hand as a
parallel to the akropolis of Athens; a miniature more like the model
is found in our own island, where the Tor of Glastonbury looks down on
the battle-fields of Western England. Nearer in size however, in the
mountain fittings of the landscape, are the twin hills of Sitten. But
the giant alps which fence in the Rhone valley of themselves hinder
the varied prospect of mountain and plain and sea and island which
meets us from the hill of Corinth. The lowlier English height really
comes nearer, both in effect and in historic sentiment, to the central
citadel of Hellas. If the Sugarloaf, as we prosaically call it--the
Pen-y-val of its own people--which so proudly guards the entrance to
the Usk valley, had the castle and church of Abergavenny on its summit
instead of at its foot, we should have a nearer approach than all to
Akrokorinthos, though it would be Akrokorinthos without its seas. But
without the seas there could be no Corinth, there could be no Hellas.
The point where the Eastern and Western seas most nearly touch is in
truth the centre, the key-stone as the poet puts it, of the whole
peninsular land south of Olympos. From the citadel of Corinth, if all
Hellas does not itself lie within our sight, yet all Hellas lies within
sight, as it were, by representation. Peloponnêsos and Attica, the land
north and south of the gulf, the shores of the two great confederacies,
the mountains of Arkadia and of Phôkis, and the snowy head of Aitolian
Korax, stand there as if to speak of the lands north and south of
them. And if the Western islands, once the special scene of Corinthian
enterprise and Corinthian dominion, are beyond our sight, we may pass
on to them in thought along the gulf over which the triremes of Corinth
were rowed to their first sea-fight with revolted Korkyra. The eastern
sea opens to the right, and the curved shore of Salamis speaks of
the nobler warfare where Corinth joined with Athens and with Aigina
to beat back the invading lord of Asia. At some favourable moment the
eye may even catch the pillared steep of the akropolis of Athens, that
Athens which Corinth once hoped to see turned into a sheep-walk, but
whose help she was so soon to crave against the very Sparta which held
back her destroying hand. From that height the Isthmus seems but a
flat plain between the two seas--the Isthmus so often fortified, so
often stormed by successive invaders. By that narrow neck Agêsilaos
and Antigonos, Mummius and Alaric, James of Avesnes and Francesco
Morosini, Amurath and Mahomet and Ali Koumourgi have all made their way
into the peninsula. But in all that long history there are two days,
not far apart in so long a tale, which stand out conspicuously above
all. There is the day of the Roman deliverer and the day of the Roman
destroyer, the day of Flamininus and the day of Mummius. Not that it
was the freedom of Greece which Flamininus proclaimed in the _agorê_ of
Corinth; such a proclamation would have been an insult to the allies of
Rome and to all those Greek states which in name at least kept their
freedom then and for ages after. But he proclaimed the freedom of
Corinth, the freedom of all the Greek lands which the last Philip held
in bondage. Fifty years later Corinth was swept from the earth; but
let no man deem that even then Achaia became a Roman province. Corinth
fell, Corinth rose again, to live a longer and a more varied life as
the foundation of Cæsar than as the foundation of Alêtês. And those
seven aged columns have stood and looked on all these changes; they
beheld the reign of Periandros; they have lived to behold the reign of
George of Denmark.

The Akrokorinthos is a mountain covered with ruins; the lower city has
sunk to a small village. A few houses are all that remain of that busy
meeting-place of two worlds; the shattered temple alone speaks of the
creeds that are fallen; one mean church and another small chapel are
all that are there to tell of the church which an Apostle founded. Yet
the single priest of Corinth and his small flock may boast themselves
that they have two epistles of the New Testament all their own, a
privilege of which those few Christian households may seem more worthy
than the mixed multitude of the modern Thessalonians. A night may be
spent in Corinth, and that unharmed by the enemies on whom the comic
poet of Athens has so grotesquely bestowed the Corinthian name. There
is no fear of the δήμαρχος ἐκ τῶν στρωμάτων--no fear that the traveller
may have to cry ἐξείρπουσιν οἱ Κορίνθιοι. But in Greece all animals
seem to send forth louder and clearer notes than in other parts of the
world; and in Corinth, the centre of Greece, they seem, though it may
be merely fancy, to be louder and shriller than in the rest of Greece.
A poet more recent than he whom we have so often quoted has sung of

     The deep grey of the morning, when Bulgarian cocks are shrill.

Of the vocal powers of Bulgarian cocks we can say nothing; but there
must just now be many witnesses either to confirm or to correct the
poet’s description. But in the solitude of modern Corinth the few
voices that are heard, whether of man or beast or fowl, seem certainly
to sound louder and shriller even than in Athens itself. Aphroditê had
one of her special homes in Corinth, though the seven massive columns
are said to belong, as surely they ought to belong, to her greater
sister Athênê. But the bird who once played Aphroditê so sorry a trick,
and the beast which carried Dionysos and Zanthias on their journey to
the lower world, call us betimes, with a power of voice which surely no
Bulgarian cock could surpass, to make our way, not to Kenchreaï, but
to its modern substitute Kalamaki--thence once more to draw near to
Athens, this time by way of the shore of Megara and of her own Salamis.



                          The Corinthian Gulf.


Corinth, we have said, with its mountain citadel, is truly the central
point of Greece. But we do not thoroughly feel how the Isthmus parts
asunder two different spheres of Greek life and history till we find
ourselves on the gulf which takes its name from the city on the
Isthmus. We can, if we will, make our way to Athens first of all by
way of the gulf; but we shall perhaps better understand the position
in Grecian history which is held by the shores of the gulf, if we take
them at a later stage of our journey. It may, in short, be well to
leave Greece by the Corinthian gulf, to make it our way back again to
the western islands from whence we started. It is impossible to study
Greece in strict chronological order, unless we could anyhow drop from
the clouds on the akropolis of Mykênê. But by taking the Corinthian
gulf and its shores late in our course, we shall be enabled to end
our survey with those parts of Greece which, at least in the days of
her old independence, were the last to come to the front. And by this
course we shall perhaps better understand why those parts came to the
front later than others.

Greece, the most eastern of the three great peninsulas of Europe,
begins to play its part in the history of the world earlier than
the peninsulas of Italy and Spain; and in the like sort, it is the
eastern side of Greece which begins to play its part in the history
of Greece earlier than the western side. Is it answered that the
position of Athens, the most eastern part of the Greek continent,
as a leading state in Greece, is of comparatively late date? As
far as dominion goes, Mykênê, Argos, Sparta, all came to the front
before her. But it was Athens which, in some unrecorded age, made the
first advance in Greek and in European political life by that union
which made one commonwealth--we might say, one city--of Athens and
Eleusis, of Marathôn and Sounion. Here was in truth the beginning of
political history, the foundation of a state of such happy dimensions
as to become the model of city-commonwealths for all time. And as
for the cities which came before Athens in dominion, they too lie,
if not so far east as Athens, yet on the eastern side of their own
peninsula. All the earliest greatness, the earliest history, of Greece
gathers round her Ægæan, not round her western, shores. Her colonies
go eastward and northward, covering all the eastern coast with an
Hellenic fringe, while far distant Kymê was the single outpost in the
west. Down at least to Macedonian times the eastern side of Greece
keeps its predominance; the western side is important mainly as the
road to a distinct Hellenic world in Italy and Sicily. Ever and anon
this distinct western world influences the eastern Hellenic world,
sometimes, as in the great Athenian overthrow before Syracuse, with
terrible effect. But, on the whole, the western side of Greece, the
side where Corinth was greater than either Sparta or Athens, remained
secondary in Grecian affairs, while the Greek world still further to
the west lived a life of its own, broken only by occasional dealings
with the states of the older Hellenic land. Politically the older
Greek world looks in the main eastward. It is only the great religious
centres of the nation which in any sort cast their eyes towards the
islands of the blessed. Dôdônê lies to the west, in a land whose
Hellenic character was called in question. So does Olympia within
Peloponnêsos itself, while Delphoi, if it does not look absolutely
westward, if its connexion with Thermopylai binds it in some sort
to the eastern side of Greece, still looks directly on that central
gulf which forms the great highway to the western shores. At Corinth
indeed the rule is reversed; the city of the two seas and the two
havens looks far more to her western than to her eastern outlet; but
her great Isthmian sanctuary looks to the Saronic and not to the
Corinthian gulf. The names are well chosen. The western gulf was the
true gulf of Corinth. No other city of equal rank stood on its shore,
while its waters formed the highway to the insular and quasi-insular
dominion of Corinth on the western seas, to Leukas and Korkyra and
long-lived Epidamnos, to Ambrakia, fated to be the capital of Pyrrhos,
to mightier and more distant Syracuse, fated to be the capital of whole
dynasties of tyrants and kings.

We at last then bid farewell to Athens and Attica; and, in bidding
farewell to Athens and Attica, we bid farewell to something more. We
pass from one Hellenic world to another. We once more cross the head
of the Saronic gulf to Kalamaki; thence carriages bear us, it may be
to New Corinth, it may be to Loutraki to the north of it, according
to exigencies of which the landsman is a poor judge. In either case
we are carried far more distinctly away from one geographical and
historical region to another than when we simply cross from one side of
the Saronic gulf to another. As we are borne over the Isthmian hills,
we look to Peloponnêsos on one side, to Northern Greece on the other;
we look forward on the Corinthian gulf, and we are borne along to all
that it suggests in the further West. On the East we have turned our
backs; and we feel that we have done something more than turn our backs
in the way which the physical necessities of travel compel us to do. We
begin to understand that the northern, the southern, and the western
view really make up a system in which the lands and seas which we
leave behind us have no share. And when we once find ourselves on the
waters of the Corinthian gulf, we begin to feel ourselves in another
world from the world of the eastern Hellas, the world of Athens and
Sparta. In both of the great divisions of the inland sea, within and
without the straits, in the gulf of Krissa and in the gulf of Patrai,
we feel that we have left the Greece of Herodotus, Thucydides, and
Xenophôn behind us. We are in a world which their history touches
only by fits and starts; we have sailed into the Greece of Polybios.
We have made our way from the world of city-commonwealths into the
world of federations; as we pass along, the lands of the two great
Leagues lie on either side of us. Through nearly the whole of our
journey we skirt the Achaian shore to the south, and what, in later
times at least, became the Aitôlian shore to the north of us. Lesser
Leagues, Boiôtia--for in those later times Boiôtia must count among
lesser Leagues--Phôkis, and Lokris, fill up whatever space Aitôlia
left unannexed. And, when we have cleared the gulf and are fairly in
the western sea, we draw near to another federal land on the shores of
Akarnania. We may even cast, if not our eyes, at least our thoughts,
to the great northern mainland which in those days had become both
Hellenic and federal as the Confederation of Epeiros. Here then is a
world where we go by many spots which call up both earlier and later
associations, but where the main interest as distinctly belongs to
the second and third centuries before our æra as the main interest of
the lands washed by the Ægæan belongs to the fourth, fifth, and sixth
centuries before our æra.

We should be the last to shut out either the earlier or the later
associations. We do not forget that Aitôlia, poor in early history,
is rich in yet earlier legend, or that it reached the height of its
legendary fame when the divine Epeians gave way to the Aitôlian colony
which was to grow into the Eleian guardians of Olympia, the special
servants of Zeus. As we skirt the inner bay of Krissa, we may think of
all the sacred wars from Solôn to Aischinês. Naupaktos has its place
alike in legend and in history; in the waters of the outer gulf we
remember alike Phormiôn of Athens and Don John of Austria. As we pass
by Patras, we remember how well St. Andrew fought for his city against
Slave and Saracen. As we look on the southern shore, we remember that
there were once Frank Princes of Achaia no less than Frank Dukes of
Athens. As we look to the northern shore, we remember that there was
a day when the Empire of Servia stretched, without a break, from the
Danube to the Corinthian gulf. And, beyond all this, as we skirt the
northern shore of the outer gulf, we pass by a spot whose fame in later
times outshines every other association from Meleagros to Don John. We
pass by Mesolongi, the city of the two immortal sieges, of the long
defence where the Fanariot Mavrokordatos, alone among his class, placed
his name alongside of the men of Souli and the men of Hydra--of the
night of the great sally which places the name of Mesolongi alongside
of Ithomê and Eira, of Saguntum, of Numantea, and of Zaragoza. All
these memories go to make up the history of the shores along which
we pass; still they lie outside its main and special interest. They
come either before or after the days when the two shores of the gulf
formed the main centre of Hellenic history. The Achaian cities line
the shore, and, with our usual protest against vain attempts to call
back a past which is gone for ever, for a moment we hardly regret that
Slavonic Vostizza has again become Hellenic Aigion. But before we reach
the older Achaian shore, we pass by the territory of the city but for
whose help those Achaian cities, whose place in earlier history is so
small, could never have risen to become one of the two leading powers
of Greece. There is the land of Sikyôn, city of Aratos, deliverer and
betrayer of Corinth to the right--the man who taught the cities to
the left the art of Themistoklês, the art which teaches how a small
state may become a great one. And we see plainly written on the two
shores, why, in the warfare of those times, the League of the North
was commonly the aggressor, the League of the South was commonly the
victim. Save here and there some more favoured spot, the shore of
Aitôlia seems bare beyond the common bareness of Grecian hills; the
shore of Achaia seems rich with a richness the like of which we have
hardly seen on any other part of the Hellenic mainland. The narrow
strait, the strait by which Phormiôn won his glory, brings into that
close neighbourhood which is so characteristic of Greek geography--a
neighbourhood as near as that of Euboia to Boiôtia at one point and
to Northern Achaia at another--two races as unlike one another as any
could be who worshipped the same ancestral gods and spoke dialects of
the same ancestral tongue. The development and the rivalry of those
two powers give us our second lesson in Grecian history, the lesson
of the days when, if the scale of men is smaller, the scale of things
is larger, when cities have grown into federations, when the range of
Grecian politics is no longer shut up within the Grecian seas, but when
Macedonia and Pergamos, Syria and Egypt, Carthage and Rome herself,
have begun to appear as actors on the scene. The seas of Eastern Greece
belong to the days of her more brilliant yet narrower fame, when
Greece was her own world, when the teachings of her history are mainly
teachings of example and analogy. The seas of Central and Western
Greece belong to the days when Greece, less free it may be, less
brilliant, less rich in great deeds and mighty men, had become part of
a greater world, and when her destinies had become connected with the
destinies of later days by a direct chain of cause and effect. The
historical position of the Corinthian gulf is that it is, above all the
waters of Hellas, the sea which washes the shores of the Federal lands.

As we get clear of the gulf, by the mouth of Achelôos, the White River
of later nomenclature, we are again among the Western islands, though
we now see them from wholly different points, and in wholly different
relations to one another from those in which we saw them as we first
made our way from Corfu round Peloponnêsos. Our course is somewhat
erratic; but it enables us to see a coast which has a character of its
own and a history of its own. We skirt the shore of Akarnania. Here is
a land which has no place in the Homeric Catalogue--a land therefore
which has no place in the Hellas of those days, so far as we have any
right in these days to make use of the name of Hellas at all. It was
then the _Epeiros_, the nameless mainland, the non-Hellenic shore, as
opposed to the Hellenic islands, the realms of Megês and of Odysseus.
In the Federal age we find it a Federal commonwealth, weak besides its
robber neighbours of Aitôlia, but holding the first place in Greece
for what Livy calls the “fides insita genti,” the people who never
broke their faith to either friend or enemy. Yet they had enough of
worldly wisdom to plead their absence from the Catalogue as a merit
in Roman eyes. Aitôlians, Achaians, all the rest, had a share in the
overthrow of the mother city of Rome; Akarnania was guiltless. Here is
a special history, and the coast has a special character. It is, like
other Grecian coasts, a coast of bays and islands and peninsulas; but
nowhere else have we seen such a crowd of small islands, mere spots of
rock some of them, among which we thread our way, reminding us less
of anything that we have seen in Greece than of the northern and more
desolate part of the Dalmatian archipelago. There are the Echinades,
the Oxeiai, the sharp islands, the urchin islands of later times;
but can these dots be Doulichion and the holy Echinai, islands which
sent forty ships to the war of Ilios? We pass in and out among them,
steering northward between Leukas and the mainland, with the Epeirot
mountains in the distant view; but we ourselves do not even reach the
channel--after so many changes it is a channel--which divides Leukas or
Santa Maura from the mainland. We turn; above the smaller islands rises
Ithakê; above Ithakê rises Kephallênia. We enter the haven, as we would
believe, of the realm of Odysseus, but not without feeling a difficulty
how an island which clearly lies to the north-east can be said to lie
πρὸς ζόφον. We pass in and in, hardly dreaming beforehand of the
windings of the deep bay which so truly bears the name of Bathy.
Scepticism vanishes for a time, and we cannot keep ourselves from
greeting the men of Ithakê as countrymen of the elder Odysseus.

But there is still one spot of the mainland to be seen. Before we
leave the Hellenic islands, we have still to make another, a more
momentary, incursion on the Peloponnêsian mainland. We have seen the
sites of Isthmian and Nemeian games; we have still to take a glimpse
of the scene of the great festival of Zeus himself. We have passed
by the Aitôlian shore; we must visit the great Aitôlian colony. Our
last record of Hellenic travel must draw its inspiration from the spot
where--

                  ... κραίνων ἐφετμὰς
                  Ἡρακλέος προτέρας,
                  ἀτρεκὴς Ἑλλανοδίκας γλεφάρων
                  Αἰτωλὸς ἀνὴρ ὑψόθεν
                  ἀμφὶ κόμαισι βάλοι γλαυκόχροα
                  κόσμον ἐλαίας.

It is hard to conceive the rude Aitôlian discharging such a duty.
We may be inclined to fall back on the doctrine of oppressed
nationalities, to say,

                  ἦτοι Πίσα μὲν Διός,

but to deny all place as his ministers to strangers from the northern
shore of the gulf. What if we make our way to Olympia, under the belief
that the Olympiad of B.C. 364, held by genuine Pisatans under the
protection of Arkadian spears, was the only lawful celebration of the
festival within historic times?



                          Corinth to Eleusis.


We could never understand why Lord Palmerston called the horse-races at
Epsom “our Isthmian Games” rather than Olympic, Pythian, or Nemeian.
But, as it was Lord Palmerston who said it, the saying was accepted
as having some special point; as doubtless many people believed on
the same authority that Gothic architecture was a style specially
appropriate to Jesuit colleges. The only point of special connexion
between Epsom and the games of the Isthmus would seem to be that these
last were dedicated to Poseidôn, Ποσειδὼν ἵππιος, and might therefore
perhaps seem to be in some way more specially “horsey” than the
others. Anyhow the connexion with Poseidôn was a connexion with Thêseus
and with Athens, and Athens always claimed a special right in the
Isthmian festival, alongside of Corinth its proper president. It was
somewhat strange then that, during the century when Corinth was not,
the presidency of the games was bestowed on Sikyôn, rather than on
Athens, the cherished ally of Rome. But in any case the games supply a
link between Corinth and Athens. It is well then that the road--we were
going to say between the two cities, but we must now rather say between
the village and the capital--lies by the site of the games. We tread
the path across the Isthmus which looks so flat from the mountain top,
but which we now find to have its ups and downs. We pass by the traces
of the _stadium_; we pass by the foundations of the great temple of
Poseidôn; we see traces of the wall which in so many ages has proved
so vain a barrier; we see signs of the canal which has been so often
no less vainly tried as a means to make the Isle of Pelops truly an
island. Now that Athens and Corinth are no longer enemies, the work
is more needful than ever. No small amount of commerce which now goes
elsewhere would, we are told, pass at once through an Isthmian canal to
the haven of Peiraieus. We leave the site of Kenchreia to the right,
and take ship again at the modern Kalamaki; we thus better see that
northern part of the Saronic Gulf which we saw only in the distance as
we passed from Peiraieus to Nauplia. We skirt the shore of Megaris; we
better take in the outline of Salamis and its satellite Psyttaleia,
the scene of the bloody exploit of Aristeidês. We land once more; we
pass along the now familiar road, this time perhaps less anxious than
before to catch the first glimpse of the holy rock of Athênê. We may
perhaps rather feel that, as we near the olive groves of Kolônos, we
are still within the domain of Poseidôn. We may perhaps rather fix our
eyes on the lowlier and more perfect Thêseion than on the mightier and
more shattered Parthenôn. Fresh from the site of the Isthmia, we are
inclined to dwell on the legend which tells us how near Athens once was
to being Poseidônia. The sea-god thus follows us on our way back from
Corinth to Athens. He will follow us through some of the journeys which
we must make in Attica itself, before we steer our course back again
to the western shores of Peloponnêsos and to the islands more western
still. He who cannot see the whole of the Attic land, he who must be
satisfied with picturing to himself from the Athenian akropolis how
Agis sent forth his plundering bands from Dekeleia, and how the spirit
of freedom set with Thrasyboulos on the brow of Phylê, must at least
make his way by the Sacred Way to the holy place of Christendom at
Daphnê, and to the holy place of heathendom at Eleusis. He must muse on
the mound of Marathôn, not to dream that Greece may yet be free, but to
wonder and to hope how soon the freedom which stops at Othrys may reach
at the very least to Olympos. He must stand too on the marbled steep
of Sounion, no longer to shrink from the land on which he stands as a
land of slaves. And on two at least of these three journeys he will
still find himself in the company of the same deity who reigned on the
Isthmus and on Kolônos. If Dêmêtêr and her child held the first place
at Eleusis, yet by the bay which is guarded by Salamis, the sea-god
was not forgotten, and on the height of Sounion the two powers who
strove for the rule of Athens divided the sacred spot between them.
The Isthmus with its games, Eleusis on its bay, Sounion on its height,
may all be fittingly taken, as nearly as may be at a glance, as being
all of them spots where the sea-god received at least a partial local
worship.

The traveller who goes from Corinth to Athens by land will take
Eleusis on his way; and those who, like the wearied Ten Thousand at
Kerasos, have had enough of their land passage, and who prefer to pass
toillessly--it may be asleep like Odysseus--over the waves, may well
make Eleusis the object of an early journey after they again find
themselves at Athens. We have come back to civilized life. From Athens
to Eleusis the journey may be made along the Sacred Way by the same
means by which the still abiding wheel-tracks tell us that it was made
of old. The journey is one of the highest interest; it is a journey
of double interest for those at least who count Daphnê and its abiding
church no less worthy of interest than Eleusis and its fallen temple.
The Sacred Way of Athens has its Roman parallel; but it is not to
be found in the Sacred Way of Rome, but in the road which bears the
name of the great Censor. The Sacred Way, like the Appian Way, like
all ways more or less, though these two seem to have been conspicuous
above others, was a street of monuments, a few of which may still be
traced. Parting from the monumental quarter of Athens, from the tombs
lately brought to light in Kerameikos, the Sacred Way started from the
Dipylon--itself brought to light with the tombs--and passed through
the olive groves, leaving Poseidôn’s hill of Kolônos to the right. The
starting-point of the modern road is not exactly the same, but the two
join at no great distance from the ancient walls. The tombs, which are
there no longer, may be studied in the itinerary of Pausanias. But one
connects itself with a monument of which some traces are to be found
further on. The most splendid of all the monuments by the Sacred Way is
that which commemorated the most worthless ashes in its whole course.
We feel that Athens had indeed fallen when the most splendid of all the
tombs was raised by the son-in-law of Phôkiôn, at the bidding and the
cost of Harpalos, to commemorate Pythionikê. Further on our journey
we come to the spot where the ancient temple of Aphroditê was turned
to the worship of Philê, Philê-Aphroditê, the wife of Dêmêtrios the
Besieger. Philê was indeed one of the noblest of women, as Pythionikê
was one of the vilest; but tomb and temple alike mark the spirit of a
time when strangers were turning the men, and even the gods, of Hellas
out of their native homes and altars. But, before we reach the temple
of Philê, we reach one of those sites where long ages of Greek history
are gathered together in a single spot. There, in the pass, was the
temple of Apollo; there, girded by its _peribolos_, standing on its
site with the foundations built out of its stones, is the monastic
church of Daphnê. It is well to gaze and study while we can. Daphnê has
once been sacked already; here, as at Athens,

                Quod non fecerunt Gothi fecerunt Scoti;

here, as on the Athenian akropolis, we may curse the name of Elgin, and
bewail the columns carried off from their own place to lose beauty,
value, and interest in an English museum. And so in our own time the
modern spoilers of Athens, in their zeal to wipe out the history of
the land, may some day doom the apses, the cupola, the campanile, of
Daphnê to be swept away, in the hope of finding inscriptions among
their ruins. On a foundation of the temple-stones rises the church with
its mingled stone and brickwork, its elaborate windows, its spreading
cupola on a far greater scale than those at Corfu or at Athens. And
there, perhaps more interesting than all, is the Frankish work at the
west end, the defences of the fortified church, raised by the Latin
princes, with the contemporary cloister, all alike the work of Western
architects on Eastern soil. The barbarians who stole the columns seem
to have left something behind them besides mere fragments. An Ionic
column embedded in the wall helps to support an arch, once evidently
part of a greater number, which carries off our thoughts to the
basilicas, not of Ravenna, but of Rome.

Not much further on we can mark wheel-tracks on the rock, and we see
the rude foundations--the ἀργοὶ λίθοι of Pausanias--of the _peribolos_
of the temple of the two-fold Aphroditê. We are brought nearer to the
days of heathendom, heathendom in so strange a form, when we see the
niches carved in the rock to receive the votive offerings--exactly the
same fashion which has lingered on in our own times in many churches
in Southern lands--and when we see from the inscription Φίλῃ Ἀφροδίτῃ
that the Macedonian Queen really had Attic worshippers. By this time we
begin better to understand the geography of the country, and to see,
what no view from Athens itself would teach us, how strong was the
geographical barrier between Athens and Eleusis. This has been well
pointed out by Mr. Mahaffy; it is the kind of thing which Mr. Mahaffy,
so unlucky on some points, is as well able to take in as any man. In
the view from the Athenian akropolis the eye rests on the mountains
which part the Attic land from the Bœotian; it passes over the lower
range which parts the more specially Athenian land from the Eleusinian.
From that range itself, even from the pass that crosses it, we see how
completely the two districts were shut out from one another, how--no
small point in Grecian political geography--they lie out of sight of
one another. We now better understand the tales in the Hymn to Dêmêtêr
and in Solôn’s story of Tellos, which set before us Eleusis as a state
distinct from Athens, and as having its wars with Athens. We understand
how it alone among the Attic δῆμοι kept, in honour doubtless of its
sacred character, the name of πόλις, and how once in later times, after
Athens was cleared from the Thirty, it did for a moment again become
a separate state. We pass along the shore of the bay, by the Rheitoi,
the reservoir once sacred to the Eleusinian goddesses, in whose waters
only their priests might fish. Then comes the tomb of Stratôn, where
we meet with our first sign that Eleusis was a great and flourishing
town even in later Roman times. Stratôn had a wife both whose names
are Roman; and in the name of her birthplace we get one of those happy
misspellings which help us to trace the history of Greek pronunciation.
Her description, Πώλλα Μουνατία Ἡράκληα, teaches us that, when the
monument was set up, at some time after the days of Pausanias, η and
ει had already the same sound, but that Greek αυ no longer represented
Latin _au_.

We have come to Eleusis in the guise of votaries of Poseidôn; but it
is to be confessed that, when we reach the sacred city, we have to
take it on trust from Pausanias that the sea-god ever was worshipped
there. He tells us that there was at Eleusis a temple of Poseidôn
the Father; but the remains which we have to study are the remains of
the temple of the powers which were emphatically the Mother and the
Daughter. Eleusis, like other cities, began as a hill-fort; it still
has its akropolis, part of the circuit of whose wall can be traced. It
is crowned by a church and bell-tower, of no wonderful architecture
certainly, but which we trust may be allowed to abide, even though
there may be the ten-thousandth part of a chance that a stone with
two or three letters upon it might be found in their foundations. The
hill of the Eleusinian akropolis forms a long irregular ridge, rising
in the greater part of its course close above the bay, but running
a little inland at the point where it becomes an akropolis. It thus
leaves a considerable space for the lower city between the hill and
the haven. In a walk along the hill, a shattered tower of Frankish
times, standing on a nearly detached height, is a prominent object.
When reached, it presents no details for study. But in the walk thither
we look out on Salamis and the bay which it guards--a lake, as it might
seem, between the mainland and the curved island--while on the other
side we look down on the Thriasian plain, the plain so often ravaged
by Peloponnesian invaders before they crossed the ridge of Aigaleôs to
deal havoc in the neighbourhood of Athens itself. And, on the ridge
before we reach the tower, one of the smallest and humblest of churches
will not be scorned by those who deem that no aspect of the history
of the land is beneath their notice. At the foot of the hill, at the
opposite end from the tower, lay, as Athens might lie were its haven
close at hand, the holy city of the Great Goddesses. At the very end
of the ridge, keeping away, as it would seem, from the sea, are the
ruins of the temple which was once the greatest in size among the holy
places of Hellas. Little now can be made out of its vast circuit. The
confused and shattered ruins which are left are those of the temple
of Athênê Propylaia. Its plan may be made out with no difficulty; the
results may be seen in more than one book from Colonel Leake onward.
But one feature, which is not the least instructive of all, seems
hardly to have drawn to itself any notice. Among its ruins lie capitals
of the same class as those in the baths of Antoninus, capitals in which
the traditional trammels are forsaken, and in which a wider scope is
given for representation of forms divine, human, or animal. These are
memorials of what was in truth one of the most flourishing times in
Eleusinian history; when, under the _Pax Romana_, no Tellos could fight
in warfare between Athens and Eleusis, no traitors driven from Athens
could find shelter in Eleusis, but when Athens and Eleusis flourished
side by side, the one as the university of the world, the other as one
of its chief seats of pilgrimage. Are these remains of the temple, as
rebuilt by the philosophic Marcus? In any case they are links in that
long chain of the history of art which here, as we stand in Eleusis,
carries off our thoughts to Lucca and to Wetzlar. The last age then of
the glories of Eleusis begins with the saint of heathendom, the prince
in whose days the martyrs of Lyons bore their torments and Polycarp
played the man at the stake. They were avenged when Eleusis fell before
the attack of a Christian and a Teutonic invader. The desolation which
we see around us dates from that inroad of Alaric which marked so great
an epoch in Grecian history, the great turning-point when pagan Hellas
changed into the Christian land which scorned the Hellenic name. Since
that day Eleusis has never again raised her head. A time came when
she had passed away as utterly as Tiryns or Mykênê. Not an inhabited
house was there when Spon and Wheler rode to Eleusis. A small town
which had arisen in the days of Leake had become yet smaller during the
War of Independence. And now Eleusis seems to be beginning to arise
again at the point of her circuit which lies furthest away from her
ancient sanctuary. Vessels are in the bay; a modern factory--we forget
its exact object--covers a large space between the hill and the sea.
Signs of life are to be welcomed everywhere; they are especially to be
welcomed when they show that Greece has life in other spots than her
encroaching capital. Let the factory grow and prosper; let the vessels
come in greater numbers, they will do no harm to what remains of the
temple of Dêmêtêr and Athênê; only we should be glad to be equally sure
that some æsthetic doctor, Greek or German, may not some day meditate a
raid on the churches, the campanile, and the ruined tower.



                                Sounion.


One more excursion, this time not on the Attic soil, but on the Attic
sea, must be added to the Eleusinian and the Marathônian pilgrimage,
even by those who cannot undertake to follow the keen guidance of
Colonel Leake into every corner of the Attic δῆμοι. The survey of the
Attic land may well be ended at the point where, in geographical
accuracy, it ought, by those at least who approach by way of Syra, to
have begun. But to one thus drawing nigh for the first time, Sounion
is at most the beacon which points to Athens; it may even be that, if
he chances to draw nigh on a dim and cloudy morning, he may fail to
distinguish the marbled steep of Sounion among the other lofty points
over which his eye wanders. He expects, it may well be, that the height
and the temple will front him boldly as the first point of Attic ground
to catch his eye. He may not thoroughly take in the fact that the
promontory lies in a manner round a corner. Unless he has studied his
map very carefully, he may draw near under the belief that the Attic
peninsula ends in a point, in the same way in which the three southern
peninsulas of Peloponnêsos, that of Tainaros above all, certainly do.
Pausanias indeed begins his picture, not only of Attica, but of all
Greece, with the “height of Sounion, stretching forth from the Attic
land and the mainland of Hellas towards the Kyklades and the Ægæan
sea.” Yet it is certain that some who have approached the mainland of
Hellas from the Kyklades have not been lucky enough to catch a sight
of Athênê on the promontory as a harbinger of Athênê on the inland
rock. Even he who is more favoured cannot, at that moment, stop to
study the arrangement of the columns which still keep their ancient
whiteness. Nor will he, as he sails by, find out that there too the
rival of Athênê was not wholly ousted, that the sea-god kept at Sounion
a secondary place, at least as important as that which he kept at
Eleusis alongside of Dêmêtêr and her Child.

A voyage to Sounion forms then a necessary part of even a short sojourn
in Athens and Attica. He who is careful about mines, old or new, might
prefer a land journey which should combine Sounion with Laureion.
Otherwise it may be better to put oneself under the guardianship of the
lord of the dolphins, to whom men prayed on Sounion (ὦ χρυσοτρίαιν’,
ὦ δελφίνων μεδέων Σουνιάρατε), and to trust to his golden trident to
clear the way. That way leads by several striking points of coast,
each cape having, as a rule, an island placed before it as a kind of
outpost. Such above all is Zôstêr, where the narrow isthmus, as Dean
Blakesley hints, tied the promontory to the shore, but where pious
etymologers at a later time saw the spot where Lêtô loosed her girdle.
Such an etymology is much of a piece with many popular etymologies
in our own land. From the hill of Battle we look out on Telham, so
called, says the local legend, because the advancing Norman there
_told_ his army. Not far off flows one of the “cold becks” which have
given their names to so many spots from Normandy to Scotland. Here it
is said to mark the spot where the Duke _called back_ his flying men.
The derivation of Zôstêr from Lêtô’s zone is a guess essentially of
the same kind as these; yet there is a difference between them which is
not uninstructive in comparing the history of the Greek and the English
language. In the English derivations the real meaning is absolutely
forgotten; wholly wrong words, having merely an accidental likeness
in sound, are pressed into the service. In one of the two cases the
word thus misapplied has itself in that meaning become obsolete. It
is not unlikely that a new legend may arise, and that Telham, instead
of the spot where William _told_--that is, numbered--his army, may
become the spot where he _told_ them to do this or that. But Greek
had not, in the days at least when the Zôstêr legend was invented,
been so utterly broken up as that men were likely to go off to an
altogether wrong root. The tale kept within the prescribed range of
tying or untying something or other; and Lêtô, Artemis, and Apollôn
gained a fresh seat of worship through the etymological guess. But
Zôstêr has its place in history as well as in legend. The Persians,
after Salamis, took, so says Herodotus, the three small peaks which
form the peninsula for Athenian ships, and fled all the more till
they found out their mistake. One sceptical historian suggests that
it must have been a moonlit night. But, after all, may not this story
be less legendary than that of Lêtô, only so far as that real actors
are brought in? That the Persians took the rocks of Zôstêr for ships
and fled all the more is the kind of mocking saying which was likely
to be said at the time, whether true or false. And, even if it was a
mere mocking saying, it might well have passed into serious belief
before Herodotus, a four-years-old child at the time, had grown into an
inquiring historian. After all, the story belongs to a class. There
are the thistles which the armies took for spears after the fight
of Montl’hery. There are the Welshwomen in the red cloaks, whom the
French at Fishguard took for regular soldiers coming to the help of
the valiant militia of Pembrokeshire. Did all these things happen, or
are they all mere sayings which have found their way into history? Let
comparative mythologists argue the point.

But we are followed by etymologies along the whole coast. Every one who
has ever looked at the map knows the long island, immediately east of
the southern point of Attica, whose name fluctuates between the mere
description Makris and the more attractive name of Helenê. How came
Helen hither? We may be sure, with all deference to Strabo, that this
is not the Kranaê of the third book of the Iliad; that was far away
by the Lakonian shore, and the Homeric reference was commemorated by
a temple of Aphroditê with an unseemly surname. So Pausanias tells
us, though he does not explain what brought Helen to the long island
off Sounion. We will not hint that according to one Homeric story
(see Odyssey iii. 278) she must have been, if not on the island, at
least near it, in better company and at a later and better part of her
story, than that in which Strabo would bring her into these parts.
But on Attic soil or on Attic waters we must learn to feel an Attic
patriotism, and, so minded, we can give her a chance from another
quarter. We must not forget that Helen has her independent place in
Attic as well as in Peloponnesian legend. She was carried off by
Thêseus as well as by Paris. She was known at Aphidna, at Dekeleia,
and at Rhamnous; and it would be only a fair freak of etymological
invention to give her an island off the Attic as well as off the
Lakonian coast.

But with Helen in this way to guard the eastern side of the southern
extremity of the Attic land, it is a little disappointing when we find
the real origin of the name of the much smaller island which guards its
western side. There lies the isle of Patroklos. Helen and Patroklos
seem well matched; and a charm seems to be broken when we find that
the island takes its name, not from the Homeric antitype of Jonathan,
but from the Admiral of Ptolemy Philadelphos, who there dug a trench
and threw up a wall when he came to help Athens against Antigonos
Gonatas. Such a fall from poetry to prose, from legend to history, is
really sad. Yet we may draw some small comfort. Everything is a gain
which reminds us that the history of Athens did not end with the war of
Chairôneia or with the war of Lamia, but that Ptolemy and Antigonos,
and men later by ages on ages than Ptolemy and Antigonos, had something
to do with fixing her destinies.

The island of Patroklos is the last of the series of capes and islands
between Peiraieus and Sounion. All have lost their names, unless any
one takes _Phaura_ and _Phleua_ to be forms of the same name. All the
rest have descriptive names ending in νησί--the diminutive form, which,
according to rule in modern Greek, has supplanted the older νῆσος--just
as along our own shores they might end in _holm_ or _ey_. We turn round
the last point, and now--

               Σούνιον ἱρὸν ἀφικόμεθ’, ἄκρον Ἀθηνῶν.

A sceptical thought will flash across the mind. Ought we not to read
Ἀθήνης for Ἀθηνῶν? But if we stifle the thought, we have again another
witness to the way in which all Attica had even in Homeric times
already become Athens. There is the little bay fenced in by the height,
crowned by the white columns, which gives the cape its modern, its
Italian, name. The name is well applied; Sounion is before all things
the Cape of the Columns. The pure white which their marble still keeps
is striking to the eye which has been for some time accustomed to the
yellowish brownish hue of the standing columns of Athens. We say the
standing columns, because those columns of the Parthenôn which have
been thrown down are as white as those on Sounion. But for this last
fact, it would be easy to account for the difference in the hue of the
columns by the difference between the pure sea-air of Sounion and the
air of an akropolis rising above a great city. Only here comes in the
difficulty which is suggested by the whiteness of the fallen columns
at Athens. Either the discolouring of the columns which are still
standing has happened since Morosini’s siege, or else the columns that
are overthrown have regained their whiteness since their fall. We do
not pretend to explain the difficulty; we only state it. All that we
are concerned with is the striking effect of the white marble of the
columns on Sounion as contrasted either with the discoloured columns
of the Parthenôn, or with the primitive columns of rougher stone which
were covered with some kind of plaster from the beginning. The actual
material of the columns of Sounion is something intermediate between
the two. It is marble, but marble from the neighbouring hills, much
less fine than the Pentelic marble of the Parthenôn. Another point at
once strikes the eye. Thirteen architectural objects stand up, but
it is soon seen that only twelve are of the usual shape of columns.
What is the thirteenth? It looks like a square pier, such as we should
expect to find inside a basilica at Lucca, but not outside a temple
at Sounion. The appearance is puzzling until we actually reach the
site of the temple and there carefully spell out the ground plan.
But before we do this two other remains have to be studied. Sounion,
besides being a holy place, was also a fortress. When the news of the
overthrow at Syracuse came to Athens, when every means was used to prop
up the tottering commonwealth, one means of defence that was taken was
the fortification of Sounion. This was done with the special object
of supplying a defence to the corn ships which brought in the foreign
food that Athens needed more than ever when the Peloponnesians were at
Dekeleia. A large part of the wall which cut off the promontory is
still to be traced, a wall of the best Hellenic masonry, strengthened
by square towers at intervals. Within this military circuit again we
come to the remains of the Propylaia, the entrance, as at Eleusis and
at Athens itself, to the immediate sacred precinct. But the summit of
all, crowning the promontory and immediately overlooking the sea, is
the temple itself. And when we come carefully to study its plan, we see
the meaning of the anomalous square object which seemed so puzzling
from below. The temple was one _in antis_, and the square object is the
end of one of the walls of the _cella_. The fellow to it may be traced,
though it does not rise high enough to make a feature in the general
view. One of the columns ranging with the _antæ_, two on the northern
side towards the land and nine on the southern or seaside, are still
standing with their architraves; but the eastern and western fronts,
with their columns and pediments, have perished.

It is indeed a spot to stand and gaze, though now with quite other
and happier feelings than those which Byron put into the mouth of
his imaginary Greek poet. The impulse is to gaze on the sea and the
islands, the realm of Athens, the realm which her fortress on Sounion
was to guard. But it is well to look landward also, and a short walk
from the temple will show that Athênê was not the only power that was
worshipped on Sounion. That the sea-god, lord of the Sounion dolphins,
was worshipped there is plain from Aristophanes. The jokes in the
Birds, where the god is addressed,

           Ὦ Σουνιέρακε χαῖρ’ ἄναξ Πελαργικέ,

give us another title of the sea-god. Poseidôn at Sounion, like Zeus
at Dodônê, was prayed to as Pelasgian. The comic poet, when he had
once got into Nephelokokkygia, does not scruple to change the epithets
of the deity into “hawky” and “storky.” We might be sure from this
that Colonel Leake was misled in fancying that Poseidôn had nothing
more than a mere altar on Sounion. We come down from the temple of
Athênê, we pass the Propylaia; we pass the ruins of the wall; we reach
the little isthmus--for the site of the temple is peninsular--and on
a lower height we find remains, not enough to enable us to make out
the plan of any building, but enough to show that a building of some
importance must have stood there. Surely here we have the site of the
temple of the god who was prayed to on Sounion. Poseidôn is here, as
well as at Corinth, at home on his isthmus.

The men of Sounion are the subject of an allusion of the poet
Anaxandridês, quoted by Athênaios, which at first sight is not very
clear:--

πολλοὶ δὲ νῦν μέν εἰσιν οὐκ ἐλεύθεροι, εἰς αὔριον δὲ Σουνιεῖς, εἶτ’ εἰς
τρίτην ἀγορᾷ κέκρηνται.

Some say that this refers to their prosperity as living near the
mines of Laureion. The words in themselves would seem rather to point
to a class intermediate between the slave and the full citizen. But
how could there be such in any part of Attica after the union of the
Attic towns? Of their modern successors, a few might be seen near the
mouth of a cave by the sea, some contemplating the strangers, others
following the useful occupation of Nausikaa. The whole scene--the
little bay, with its beach beside the blue waters; the hills behind,
with their white columns against the sky; the cave, suggesting endless
Homeric remembrances of nymphs and sea-gods--even the homely work
going on by the shore--all seems in harmony; all seems to carry us back
to the days when the powers which had striven for Athens seem to have
agreed to hold Sounion as a joint possession.



                        Olympia and its Church.


Olympia, when the German diggers have fled before the heat of a Greek
summer, when they have left all the statues and other beautiful things
that they have found sealed up against all men, Greek and barbarian,
may seem to be, even literally, Olympia with the spring taken out of
its year. But Olympia can, for all general historical purposes, be
Olympia without them; some minds may not greatly regret their absence.
To some minds galleries, museums, collections of all kinds, are
simply wearisome. The weariness is one which may be well endured for
the sake of the knowledge which may be gained through it; still the
contemplation of objects in rows and cases, catalogued and numbered,
is weariness compared with the pure pleasure of contemplating the same
objects, each in its right place, each forming part of the whole of
which it was meant to form part. Better one statue without a nose, in
the place where the sculptor first put it than ten statues with noses
set up apart from their context in any collection in Athens, Rome, or
London. No blame of course attaches to the diggers at Olympia. The
objects which they found were not in their places, and could not be
kept in their places. They can only be kept in a museum; and to our
minds that museum should not only not be at Berlin or London--an evil
of which Greek law forbids all danger--but it should be at Olympia
and not at Athens. The little collection at Eleusis is in its right
place; it is at Eleusis; so it should be with the greater collection at
Olympia. But the feeling that a museum, with all that it teaches, is in
itself a bore, that its lessons are painful lessons, somewhat tempers
the traveller’s disappointment at finding that the relics are all
shut up, and that the key is somewhere in Germany. For the buildings
themselves are not carried away; they can be studied without let or
hindrance, and perhaps with even a deeper feeling of thankfulness to
those whose untiring zeal and energy have uncovered them. And the plain
of Altis, the stream of Alpheios, the hill of Kronos, the mightier
Arkadian mountains, are there in any case. And they, with the immortal
remembrances of the spot, are the true Olympia.

From the port of Katakolon to the town of Pyrgos there is a road, and
that road goes on further to Olympia itself. The venerable spot can
therefore be reached in a carriage. The question might, however, be
raised whether a carriage journey over such a road as that between
Pyrgos and Olympia--a journey moreover modified by occasional spaces
where it is better to go on foot--is not at least as tiring as the ride
from Mykênê to Corinth. But, as the traveller goes along from Pyrgos to
Olympia, especially as he nears the immediate object of his pilgrimage,
he can hardly fail to draw the comparison between the nakedness of
Attica and the land through which he passes, rich with trees and with
cultivation, the bleak mountains replaced by lower hills which are
often green with verdure, with villages scattered thick among them,
the scenery in many places coming nearer to that of the hillier parts
of England than might have seemed possible in Greece. It is only here
and there, when the eye catches some of the more distant points of the
landscape, especially when the vast heights of Arkadia come in view,
that it is brought strongly home to his mind that it is through Hellas
that he is journeying. At last, however, he reaches the spot which was
the religious centre of Hellas, and there the Arkadian heights, soaring
over the lower hills which surround the Olympian plain itself, fully
remind him where he is. Here is the spot where, more than in any other,
every Greek was reminded that, however war and policy might divide
them, he was still a sharer with every other Greek in a heritage of
language, religion, and general culture in which the barbarian had no
share, where the Greek from the Spanish Zakynthos and the Greek from
the Tauric Chersonêsos could feel themselves, if not countrymen, at
least brethren, before the temple of the common Father of Gods and men.
Here were the victories won which were recorded in the odes of Pindar;
here, we would fain believe, Herodotus recited his history to assembled
Greece; here the Macedonian King had to prove his descent from an
Argeian stock before he could be admitted as a worthy competitor of
Hellenic freemen; here Alkibiadês made that display of lavish splendour
which at least proved that the resources of Athens were not worn out.
And as we read inscription after inscription recording the name of Elis
and her citizens, our thoughts go back to the never-forgotten claims
of the true people of the land. We remember how Pisa--the name may
almost seem strange in this, its more ancient seat--deemed herself to
be the lawful President of the Olympian feast by an older right than
could belong to the intruders from Aitolia. And we think too of that
one day in later times when the arms of Thebes won back for them their
ancient right for one passing moment. All this might press on the mind
as we look on the plain by Alpheios, and people it in imagination with
competitors, spectators, worshippers, the very realm and trysting-place
of the scattered Hellenic nation. All this we might call up, even if no
actual monument of those days were there to remind us of them. Yet it
is something to think of all this beside the uncovered foundations of
the great Pan-hellenic temple; and it is something more still to trace
out all that Olympia suggests in the presence of remains which tell us
of the times when the Pan-hellenic temple and its festival had passed
away.

The foundations of four principal buildings have been brought to light
by the German diggings. Two of them belong to the days alike of pagan
worship and of Hellenic freedom. There is the lesser, the older temple,
the temple of Hêrê, in the spreading capitals of its massive Doric
columns--capitals, be it remembered, now lying shivered around their
feet--carrying us back to the solemn and solid style of Poseidônia
and of Corinth. Side by side with this venerable fragment we find
inscriptions of Roman date, bearing witness to the unity of history,
and showing how Olympia still remained holy after captive Greece had
led captive her conquerors. Hard by stands the great central monument
of all, the temple of Zeus itself, not a column of its vast ranges
standing perfect, but with, frequently enough, capitals of less antique
form than those of the lesser temple, to show the date and style and
character of the building which held the greatest work of Pheidias.
But it is not only the days of Pheidias, the days of free Greece, the
days of Athenian, Spartan, and Theban rivalry, which are represented
in their remains with that memorable precinct. Two periods of the
history of Greece and the world have still to be represented. There
is that vast semicircle of Roman brickwork, looking like the apse of
a vast basilica, but which is in truth the exedra of Hêrôdês Atticus;
for the bountiful man of Marathôn extended his bounty to the shrine
of the common gods of Hellas as well as to the temples, the theatres,
and all the public works of his own city. But the cycle is not yet
complete; there is one age more to be represented, one phase more of
the history of man to furnish its contribution to the architectural
remains of Olympia. And that age, that phase, has, from one point of
view at least, the highest claims on us of all. We take our chance
of being set down as irreclaimable barbarians when we say that, after
all, the building of highest interest of which the remains are now to
be seen at Olympia is the admirable basilican church which occupies the
site of the temple of Hippodameia. Enough remains to enable us to make
out nearly the whole of its arrangements. It marks a very narrow view
of things, a strange imprisonment of thought within a few arbitrarily
chosen centuries when we see not a few who reverence every stone of
the great and the little temple, even, it may be, every brick of the
_exedra_ of Hêrôdês, but who seem to turn up their noses at a monument
at least as historical as any of them. No doubt the special interest
of this particular building is largely due to the place where it is
found. It is because it is found in the Altis of Olympia, because
it is built on the site of one of the ancient temples of Olympia,
because its materials have been supplied by that and by others of
those temples, that the church which now stands as a ruin alongside
of them has much of its special charm. To take the lowest view, it is
a memorial of the greatest revolution of the whole course of history,
the revolution which installed the worship of Christ and the Panagia on
the site of the shrines of Zeus and Hêrê and Hippodameia. The classical
purist cannot get rid either of the general history of mankind or of
the more enlarged view of the history of art merely by shutting his
eyes to both of them. The basilica is there; it is a fact; it is also
a fact that those who placed it there had a special motive in placing
it there--that of specially marking the triumph of the new faith by
setting up its altars on the site of the fallen altars of heathendom.
And it is a fact also that, however mere classical pedantry may
despise the style in which that basilica was reared, it is simply
pedantry that will despise it. The style, constructively perfect in
itself, contained in itself the germ of all that was to come after. We
cannot reach Köln and Westminster, except by the necessary stages of
Spalato and Olympia.

We may for a moment sympathize with the pedants as we read the
inscription of Jovianus at Corfu. Jovianus destroyed, and he put very
little in the place of that which he destroyed. We treasure his work
and his boast as pieces of history; but we must allow that art, as
such, has no reason to thank him. But the case is quite different with
the basilica of Olympia. Its architect may take his place alongside of
those who did the bidding of Diocletian and Theodoric. He destroyed
indeed, but he destroyed only to put to new uses. The shrine of the
new faith was reared out of the very stones of the shrine of the old.
The columns which, in a past state of things, had known only how to
bear the dead weight of the entablature, were now taught to lift up
the arch, as a living thing rising from their own substance. Enough is
left of the basilica of Olympia to show that it might have held its own
even among the basilicas of Ravenna. But at Olympia the name of Ravenna
seems to awake no echo, to carry with it no meaning. In all accounts
that we have seen the building is said to be Byzantine. That perhaps
simply means that it is Christian and not heathen. Byzantine, in any
architectural sense, the church assuredly is not. It is essentially
basilican, without any Byzantine features. Nor can the date be late
enough to be called Byzantine in any political sense. We may talk about
Byzantine after the final separation of the Empires in 800; before
that time the word leads to confusion. One cannot conceive this church
to be later than Justinian’s time; it may well be earlier. When could
such a building have been so utterly overthrown and swallowed up? We
can think of no time so likely as the Slavonic and Avar inroads of
Justinian’s own day and of the days of his immediate successors.

The church itself is a not very large basilica of the purest and
simplest type. There is no dome, no approach to Byzantine arrangement,
not even the _chalkidikê_ or transept. Two arcades supported by the
smaller columns of the former building, showing Ionic capitals of
two types, led to an apse of which the arch of triumph has unluckily
together vanished. But of the well-wrought _cancelli_, carrying the
mind across the sea to St. Clement’s, a large part still remains. The
apse has its windows divided by what at first sight seem to be coupled
columns--the type which ranges from St. Constantia to the Moissac
cloister--but which really form a single block within and without.
The walls are of brick; several of the windows are preserved, and in
their jambs we see long stones set upright, just as in the primitive
work both of England and Ireland. Everywhere we find these witnesses
to the universality of the earliest form of Christian architecture.
The pavement contains many inscribed stones of various dates. Some
are Pagan, recording votes of the city of Elis in the days of the
early Emperors; some are Christian, as that which records the zeal of
a certain pious reader ἀναγνωστής towards the making of the pavement
itself. To the west of the nave is a range of Ionic columns forming
the portico, but their arches or entablature has perished. But to the
south-west is an attached building where alone the arches are preserved.
They are set on the Ionic columns with an intervening stilt set
crosswise in a most ingenious fashion. The column becomes a mid-wall
shaft.

Such a building, on such a site, found in such a case, suggests
thoughts which bring all the ages of the world together. The old glory
of Olympia passed away; free Elis--whatever we say of free Pisa--no
longer gathered the competitors of free Hellas from Massalia to
Trapezous to strive in a national solemnity before the national gods
of Hellas. But Olympia lived on as long as the Roman masters of Hellas
clave to the gods of Rome, and saw the gods of Rome in the gods of
Hellas. A day came when the lord of Rome cast away his faith alike in
Zeus of Olympia and in Jupiter of the Capitol; a day followed when a
later prince forbade either worship, when the games of Olympia ceased
as a rite of the forbidden worship, when her temples were forsaken or
destroyed or made into materials for new temples of the new creed.
Presently barbaric invasions swept away the new temple and the old
alike. Zeus was still worshipped on Tainaros; St. Andrew still helped
his votaries at Patras; but the temples, pagan and Christian, of the
Olympian Altis lay hidden and forgotten, and the hill of Kronos looked
down on solitude instead of on the great religious centre of the
Hellenic race. Ages after, the zeal of strangers working on Hellenic
ground brings to light the ruins of the pagan temples, and with them
the ruins of the Christian Church. We rejoice in both discoveries; only
let it be remembered that each alike is part of the history of Hellas
and of the history of man. We will at least believe that there is no
fear that the recovered church of Olympia may share the same fate which
the narrowness of classical barbarism decreed for the ducal tower of
Athens.



                                 INDEX.


  A

  _Acciauoli_, Nerio, his bequest of Athens, 26

  _Achaia_, League of, 209;
    cities of, 212;
    contrasted with Aitôlia, 213, 214

  _Ægæan Sea_, islands of, 14;
    Greek colonies on, 204

  _Ælfred_, King of the West Saxons, his view of the rule of Odysseus,
      3, 4

  _Agamemnôn_, “Schliemann’s,” preserved at Chorbati, 126, 149, 160

  _Aigina_, position and history of, 73-77;
    compared with Salamis, _ib._

  _Aitôlia_, League of, 209;
    her legendary fame, 210;
    contrasted with Achaia, 213, 214

  _Akarnania_, not in the Homeric Catalogue, 215, 216;
    special character of, 216

  _Akrokorinthos_, pre-eminence of, 182, 186, 189, 199;
    its historical associations, 190-194;
    compared with Glastonbury Tor, 195

  _Akropolis_ of Athens, how its history should be studied, 18-24;
    its position, 33, 35

  _Aktê_ (Argolic), 77, 117

  _Alaric_, King of the West-Goths, at Athens, 24;
    at Corinth, 192;
    at Eleusis, 236

  _Andronikos Kyrrhestês_, octagonal tower of, 38-40

  _Appian Way_, the, its analogy with the Sacred Way of Athens, 226

  _Aratos_, deliverer and betrayer of Corinth, 190, 212

  _Arch_, the pointed, as old or older, in its constructive form, than
      the round, 89, 99, 153, 154;
    its beginning in the sally-port of Tiryns, 97;
    earlier perfection of the round arch in Italy, 99, 100, 119;
    development of the arch at Spalato, 118, 154;
    its perfection in the Eastern Churches, 119

  _Argos_, contrasted with Mykênê and Tiryns, 86, 90, 93, 96, 97, 106,
      121, 123;
    increase of her power, 93;
    modern Argos contrasted with modern Athens, 106, 107;
    Turkish influence on modern Argos, 107, 108;
    its later history, 108;
    use of the name Argos, 110;
    Homeric position of, _ib._, 113;
    her destruction of Mykênê, 111, 112, 120, 124, 158;
    her early history and its continuity, 112-115, 162;
    ancient wall and theatre of, 118;
    Roman remains in, _ib._, 120;
    Byzantine church at, 119, 120

  _Arta_, modern Greek frontier fixed at, 1

  _Athens_, continuity of its history, 16-22, 247, 248;
    the birthplace of political history, 16, 204;
    contrast between old and new Athens, 17, 32, 34;
    compared with Rome, _ib._;
    results of Turkish rule in, 18;
    her primæval and later walls, 19, 20, 22;
    historical importance of the earliest wall, 20, 22;
    her position in the Homeric Catalogue, 21;
    visit of Basil the Second to, 23, 24, 26;
    Alaric at, 24;
    extinction of her schools by Justinian, _ib._;
    bequeathed by Nerio Acciauoli to Venice, 26;
    fame of, under foreign Dukes, 27;
    a piece of history wiped out by the destruction of the tower of the
      Dukes, 28-31, 274;
    temple of Olympian Zeus at, 32, 33, 38;
    how Athens differs from other cities, 34, 35;
    growth of art in, from Aristiôn to Pheidias, 37;
    one remaining mosque at, 41, 50;
    variety of remains in the _agorê_, 42;
    study of Christian-Greek architecture in, 43-50;
    metropolitan church at, 45, 47;
    date of Byzantine architecture in, difficult to fix, 46, 47;
    latest buildings at, not less worthy of study than the earliest, 50;
    the practical centre of modern Greek travelling, 68-70;
    modern Athens contrasted with modern Argos, 106;
    its geographical separation from Eleusis, 230, 231

  _Attica_, 15;
    not mentioned as a land in the Homeric map, 21;
    merged in Athens, _ib._


  B

  _Basil I._, the Macedonian, converts the Mainotes, 9

  _Basil II._, the Slayer of the Bulgarians, visits Athens after his
      Bulgarian conquests, 23, 24, 26

  _Blakesley_, Dean, value of his comments on the narrative of Herodotus,
      61, 63;
    on Zôstêr, 242

  _Byron_, at Mesolongi, 2;
    application of “the curse of Minerva” to the destroyers of the ducal
      tower, 31


  C

  _Carthage_, her fate compared with that of Corinth, 187

  _Cashel_, Rock of, serves as a parallel to the Athenian Akropolis, 33,
      194

  _Cerigo_, 6, 13

  _Cheddar_, pass of, its Mykênaian character, 128

  _Chorbati_, 125, 164

  _Commonwealths_, Greek and Lombard, compared, 70-73

  _Constantine Porphyrogennêtos_, his use of the name _Hellênes_, 8-10

  _Corinth_, her position in Grecian legend and history, 183, 184,
      195-198;
    taken by Mummius, 185, 198;
    her final overthrow by earthquake, _ib._;
    her origin Hellenic, not Phœnician, 186, 187;
    her fate compared with that of Carthage, 187;
    temple of Athênê at, 188, 189, 198, 201;
    her freedom proclaimed by Flamininus, 198;
    absence of “Corinthians” in, 199, 200;
    special vocal powers of man, beast, and fowl in, 200, 201;
    her western position, 206

  _Corinthian Gulf_, the, its historical position, 215


  D

  _Daphnê_, church of, 226, 228, 229

  _Dawkins_, W. Boyd, on the retreat of the lion from Europe, 171

  “_Druidical_,” abuse of the name, 89


  E

  _Eirênê_, Empress, her marriage with Leo the Fourth, 25, 26, 47

  _Eleusis_, not in the Homeric Catalogue, 21, 60;
    its geographical separation from Athens, 230, 231;
    tomb of Stratôn at, 232;
    temple of Dêmêtêr and Athênê at, 233, 235, 238;
    its akropolis, 233;
    Roman period of its history, 235, 236;
    Alaric at, 236;
    modern Eleusis, 237

  “_Epeiros_,” use of the name, 216

  _Epidauros_, city of Asklêpios, 77

  _Epidauros_ (Dalmatian), 77

  _Epidauros_ (Lakonian), 14, 77. See _Monembasia_.


  F

  _Flamininus_, proclaims the freedom of Corinth, 198


  G

  _Glastonbury Tor_, compared with Akrokorinthos, 195

  _Greece_, Ionian Islands ceded to, 7;
    origin of cities in, 176;
    history of eastern earlier than that of western, 203-209, 214;
    western, position of her religious centres, 205, 206;
    leagues in, 209

  _Greek_ hill-cities, compared with Italian, 88, 90;
    colonial cities mark a later stage, 91

  _Grote_ George, on the position of Argos in Peloponnêsos, 113


  H

  _Hadrian_, Arch of, at Athens, 24, 38;
    _Stoa_ of, reproduces the Doric order, 40

  _Helenê_, her island off Sounion, 245;
    her place in Attic legend, 246

  _Hellas_, insular, more striking than peninsular, 5

  _Hellênes_, use of the name, 7;
    confined by Constantine Porphyrogennêtos to the Mainotes, 8-10

  _Hêraklês_, 36;
    worship of, at Marathôn, 59, 60;
    at Tiryns, 96

  _Hermoupolis_, 15. See _Syros_.

  _Hêrôdês Atticus_, theatre of, at Athens, 24, 42;
    his _exedra_ at Olympia, 265, 266

  _Herodotus_, his account of Marathôn, 61, 62;
    range of the lion fixed by, 171

  _Homer_, his description of Tiryns, 87

  _Homeric Catalogue_, the, position of Athens in, 21;
    Marathôn and Eleusis have no place in, _ib._, 60;
    Tiryns how described in, 105;
    Akarnania has no place in, 215, 216

  _Hydra_, its history, 78-81


  I

  _Ionian Islands_, 7;
    merged in the Greek kingdom, _ib._

  _Isthmian Games_, the, strange application of the name to Epsom races,
      220

  _Isthmus of Corinth_, its varied history, 197

  _Ithakê_, Homeric, 3, 217, 218


  J

  _Johnson_, Samuel, application of his saying on the battle of
      Marathôn, 55, 56

  _Justinian_, fortifies Athens and extinguishes her schools, 24


  K

  _Kalaureia_, 78

  _Kallimachos_, fate of Europe decided by the casting vote of, 53

  _Kanarês_, Constantine, compared with Theseus, 50, 51;
    his death, _ib._, 66, 67;
    his home in Psara, 80

  _Kapnikarea_, the, church of, at Athens, 47;
    its _narthex_ compared with the west front of Peterborough, 48, 49

  _Kephallênia_, 3, 5, 217

  _Kyklopês_, their change of character, 94

  _Kymê_, contrasted with Mykênê, 158, 159;
    her western position, 205


  L

  _Larissa_, the, of Argos, 86, 109, 110, 116, 120, 182

  _Laureion_, mines of, 241, 255

  _Leake_, Colonel, on the battle of Marathôn, 61, 63;
    on Tiryns, 102, 104;
    on the worship of Poseidôn at Sounion, 254

  _Lion_, the, range of, in Europe, 171;
    cognate forms of his name, _ib._

  _Lowe_, Robert (late Lord Sherbroke), his view of the battle of
      Marathôn, 52

  _Lysikratês_, choragic monument of, 38, 39


  M

  _Mahaffy_, J. P., his views on the destruction of the tower of the
      Dukes in Athens, 28, 29;
    his illustration of the position of the temple of Olympian Zeus,
      33, 144;
    on the physical position of the Greek commonwealths, 71;
    on the geographical separation of Eleusis from Athens, 230

  _Maina_, name of Hellênes confined to, 8

  _Mainotes_, their independence, 8;
    how distinguished from the Slaves by Constantine Porphyrogennêtos,
      8;
    their conversion, 9

  _Marathôn_, not in the Homeric Catalogue, 21, 60;
    the most historic spot in Attica, 52;
    battle of, the most memorable in the world’s history, 54 _et seq._;
    the earliest and the latest fight compared, 57, 58;
    geographical use of the name, 59;
    its mythical history, _ib._;
    temple of Athênê at, 60;
    named in the Odyssey, _ib._;
    earliest historical notices of, 61;
    the marshes not mentioned by Herodotus, 62;
    Pausanias’ account of the battle, _ib._;
    site of ancient Marathôn uncertain, 63;
    the barrow of the one hundred and ninety-two at, 64;
    grave of Miltiadês at, _ib._

  _Mavrokordatos_, at Mesolongi, 211

  _Mesolongi_, two sieges of, 2, 211

  _Methana_, 77

  _Miltiadês_, influence of his arguments on Kallimachos, 53;
    his success at Marathôn largely owing to the nature of the ground,
      63;
    his grave, 65

  _Monembasia_, Latin conquest of Peloponnêsos completed by the taking
      of, 14

  _Morea_ (Môraia), earlier application of the name, 3

  _Morosini_, Francesco, Venetian occupation of Athens under, 28, 31

  _Mykênê_, contrasted with Argos and Tiryns, 86, 90, 93, 96, 97, 121;
    history of, 95, 126;
    its point of likeness with New Grange, 101, 155;
    destroyed by Argos, 111, 112, 120, 124, 158;
    preserved by destruction, 123;
    its primæval relics, 126;
    position of the akropolis, 127 _et seq._;
    the walls, 130, 131, 137;
    the lion-gate, 132, 134-136, 159;
    the tombs and treasures, 132;
    gateways of the treasuries, 133, 134;
    the inner fortress, 136-138;
    Homeric description of, 138;
    the treasuries and treasures, 140 _et seq._;
    use of the word “treasures,” 141;
    process of burial, 143;
    striking effect of the masks, 144, 146;
    beginnings of the arch, 154;
    its special primæval character, 158-161;
    carriage-road practically ends at, 164


  N

  _Naupaktos_ (Lepanto), 210

  _Nauplia_, high position of, under the Venetian and Turkish power, 82,
      83

  _Navarino_ (Pylos), battle of, 11, 13

  _Neale_, J. M., his _History of the Holy Eastern Church_, 46, 47

  _Nemea_, temple of Zeus at, 169, 170, 174, 178, 179;
    the seat of Pan-hellenic worship, 169, 175;
    legendary lion of, 169-172;
    theatre at, 170, 180;
    modern fauna of, 173

  _New Grange_, its point of likeness with Mykênê, 101, 155


  O

  _Olympia_, the religious centre of Hellas, 261-264;
    temples of Hêrê and of Zeus at, 264;
    _exedra_ of Hêrôdês, 265;
    special interest of the basilican church at, 266-274;
    desolation of, 273


  P

  _Parnassos_, 181

  _Parthenôn_, the, 17, 22;
    its continuance as such in different ages, 23, 25, 27, 36;
    thanksgiving of Basil the Second in, 23, 24;
    changed into a mosque, 30;
    its destruction in the Venetian occupation, 31

  _Patras_, siege of, 2, 210, 273

  _Patroklos_, Admiral of Ptolemy Philadelphos, his island off Sounion,
      247

  _Pausanias_, how his story of the battle of Marathôn differs from that
      of Herodotus, 62;
    Greek travelling in his day, 68, 69, 166, 168;
    his description of Tiryns, 92;
    on Argos, 120;
    on the treasuries of Mykênê, 150, 151, 156;
    distinguishes the treasuries of Mykênê from the tombs, 150, 156,
      157;
    records the tombs of the Sacred Way, 227;
    the temple of Philê-Aphroditê, 230;
    the worship of Poseidôn at Eleusis, 232;
    his description of Sounion, 240

  “_Pelasgian_,” abuse of the name, 88, 89, 100, 101

  _Peloponnêsos_, southern, characteristics of its coastline, 5, 6;
    lack of good roads in, 12

  _Pentedaktylos_, 5, 8, 10, 13

  _Periklês_, works of, how they should be studied, 18, 22

  _Peterborough_ Cathedral, its west front compared with the _narthex_
      of the Kapnikarea at Athens, 48

  _Philé-Aphroditê_, temple of, 227, 230

  _Pôros_, 78

  _Poseidôn_, his worship at Eleusis, Sounion, and the Isthmus, 224,
      225;
    at Sounion, 241, 253, 254

  _Poseidônia_ (Pæstum), contrasted with Mykênê, 158;
    with Kymê, 159;
    analogy between its temples and the temple of Athênê at Corinth,
      187, 264

  _Psara_, under the Turk, 80

  _Psyttaleia_, 76, 77, 222

  _Ptolemy_, gymnasion of, at Athens, 42

  _Pylos_, occupation of, 11, 13. See _Navarino_

  _Pyrrhos_, his death at Argos, 114

  _Pythionikê_, tomb of, 227


  R

  _Rome_, her unbroken series of historical monuments, 17


  S

  _Sacred Way_, the, of Athens, 225 _et seq._;
    its analogy with the Appian Way, 226

  _Saint Andrew_, his defence of Patras, 2, 210, 273

  _Saint Theodore_, church of, at Athens, 47, 49

  _Salamis_, how her history differs from that of Aigina, 74-76;
    battle of, 74, 76, 197

  _Scheriê_, whether Corfu, 60

  _Schliemann_, Dr., his share in the destruction of the ducal tower
      at Athens, 29;
    his work at Mykênê, 126, 129, 130, 134, 140, 157

  _Scotia_, use of the name, 45

  _Sikyôn_, 212, 221

  _Sounion_, 15;
    its geographical position, 240;
    temple of Athênê at, 241, 249-255;
    worship of Poseidôn at, 241, 253, 254;
    fortification of, 251

  _Spalato_, development of the arch at, 118, 154

  _Sparta_, 6;
    ancient and modern, 114, 115

  _Sphagia_ (Sphaktêria), 11

  _Stamatâkês_, guardian of the Mykênaian treasury, 126, 145;
    his qualification of the skeleton of Agamemnôn, _ib._

  _Stratôn_, his tomb at Eleusis, 232;
    inference drawn from his wife’s description, _ib._

  _Syros_ (Syra), 14


  T

  _Tainaros_, 7, 8, 13, 240, 273

  _Taÿgetos_. See _Pentedaktylos_.

  _Telham_, its legendary etymology compared with that of Zôstêr, 242,
      243

  _Thêseion_, the, re-dedicated to St. George, 25, 36, 37;
    its position, 33, 35, 38;
    architectural changes in, 36;
    serves as a museum, 37

  _Thêseus_, wall of, at Athens, 19-22

  _Thêseus_, Temple of, dedicated to St. George, 25, 36, 37

  _Theodoric_, tomb of, its Mykenaian character, 153

  _Timophanês_, Tyrant of Corinth, his death, 189

  _Tiryns_, called _Old Nauplia_, 82;
    compared with English sites, 83;
    its position and history, 86 _et. seq._;
    Homeric description of, 87, 93, 105;
    special point of likeness with Tusculum, 88, 89, 101;
    desolate aspect of, 92, 93;
    its mighty walls, 93, 97, 103, 104, 105;
    their primæval origin, 96;
    earliest beginnings of the pointed arch in the sally-port, 97-100

  _Tusculum_, its special point of likeness with Tiryns, 88, 89, 101

  _Tylor_, E. B., 101, 143


  V

  _Vostizza_ (Aigion), 212


  W

  _War of Independence_, the, 58, 108, 169


  Z

  _Zante_ (Zakynthos), 5

  _Zôstêr_, its place in legend and in history, 242-245;
    its legendary etymology, 242, 243


Transcriber’s Note

A number of obvious printer’s errors have been corrected, and are
listed below.

Given the context, the Greek phrase on p. 15, “προσείποιμ’ αν Ἀθάνας”,
is most likely a version of line 1222 of Sophocles’ _Ajax_,
“προσείποιμεν Ἀθάνας”.

p.  11 brough[t] back “the men,”                      Added.

p.  18 so it [is] is no fault                         Removed.

p.  21 Greek po[t/l]itical ideas                      Corrected.

p.  41 as the capitals of Lysikratês[.]               Added.

p. 149 [D/C]um terra celat.                           Corrected.

p. 157 a si[g]n perhaps of later date                 Corrected.

p. 169 we are led over no special[s] heights          Removed.

p. 216 Yet they had enough of world[l]y wisdom        Added.

p. 275 Æg[ae/æ]an Sea                                 Corrected.





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