Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

are written on the wall, in Greek and Oriental characters. This perhaps is the oratory or church of St. John, which was rebuilt by the emperor Justinian. It is still frequented, and had a path leading to it through tall strong thistles. Near it are remnants of brick buildings, and of sepulchres, with niches cut, some horizontally, in the rock. Going on, you come to the entrance into Ephesus from Ajasaluck. The quarries in the mountain have numberless mazes, and vast, awful, dripping caverns. In many are chippings of marble and marks of the tools. I found chippings also above by the mouths, which supplied marble for the citywall, and saw huge pieces lying among the bushes at the bottom. The view down the steep and solemn precipice was formidable. A flock of crows, disturbed at my approach, flew out with no small clamour,


Of old EphesusThe city of the Ionians--An oracle Of An

droclusThe city of 'Lysimachus--The port-Modern history of Ephesus--Its decline--The present EphesiansIts deplorable condition.

To complete the local history of Ephesus, we must deduce it from a period of remote antiquity. Prion had in former times been called Lepre Acte; and a part behind Prion was still called the back of Lepre, when Strabo wrote. Smyrna, a portion of the first Ephesus, was near the gymnasium, behind the city of Lysimachus, and between Lepre or Prion, and a spot called Tracheia beyond Corissus. When the Ionians arrived, Androclus, their leader, protected the natives, who had settled, from devotion, by the temple of Diana, and incorporated some of them with his followers ; but expelled those, who inhabited the town above.*

The city of Androclus was by the athenéum or a temple of Minerva, which was without the city of Lysimachus, and by the fountain called Hypelæus, or that under the olive tree; taking in part of the mountainous region by Corissus or of Tracheia. This was the city which Croesus besieged, and the Ephesians presented for an offering to their goddess, annexing it by a rope to her temple, which was distant seven stadia, or a mile, wanting half a quarter.

It is related, that Androclus with the Ephesians, invaded, and got possession of the Island of Samos. It was then debated, where to fix their abode. An oracle was consulted, and gave for answer, “ A fish should shew them, and a wild hog conduct them.” Some fishermen breakfasting on the spot, where afterwards was the fountain called Hypelæus, near the sacred port, one of the fish leaping from the fire with a coal, fell on some chaff, which lighting, communicated with a thicket, and the flames disturbed a wild hog lying in it. This animal ran over great part of the Tracheia, and was killed with a javelin, where afterwards was the athenéum or temple of Minerva.t. The reverse of a medalion of the emperor Macrinus, struck by the Ephesians, which has been otherwise interpreted, plainly refers to this story. The Ionians removed to the continent, and founded their city, with a temple of Diana by the market place, and of Apollo Pythius by the port ; the oracle having been obtained and fulfilled by the favour of these deities.

* Strabo, p. 638, p. 640. Pausanias, p. 207. + Athenæus, I. 8. p. 361. | See Museum Florentinum v. 4. pl. lxi, and v. 6, p. 85.

Androclus, assisting the people of Priene against the Carians, fell in battle. His body was carried away and buried by the Ephesians. Pausanias relates, that his monument, on which was placed a man armed, continued to be shewn in his time, near the road going from the temple of Diana by the olympium, toward the Magnesian gate.* His posterity had possessed hereditary honours under Tiberius Cæsar. They were titular kings, wore purple, and carried in their hands a wand or sceptre. They had, moreover, precedence at the games, and a right of admission to the Eleusinian mysteries.

The temple of Diana, which rose on the contributions of all Asia, produced a desertion of the city of Androclus. The Ephesians came down from the mountainous region, or Tracheia, and settled in the plain by it, where they continued to the time of Alexander. They were then unwilling to remove into the present city ; but a heavy rain falling, and Lysimachus stopping the drains, and flooding their houses, they were glad to exchange.

The port had originally a wide mouth, but foul with mud, lodged in it from the Cayster. Attalus Philadelphus and his architects were of opinion, that, if the entrance were contracted, it would become deeper, and in time be capable of receiving ships of burthen. But the slime, which had before been moved by the fux and reflux of the sea, and carried off, being stopped, the whole basin quite to the mouth was rendered shallow. The morass, of which I had a perfect view

[ocr errors]

* P. 207. He wrote about the year of the Christian era, 175.

from the top of Prion, was this port. It communicates with the Cayster, as might be expected, by a narrow mouth ; and at the water edge by the ferry, as well as in other places, may be seen the wall intended to embank the stream, and give it force by confinement. The masonry is of the kind termed Incertum, in which the stones are of various shapes, but nicely joined. The situation was so advantageous as to overbalance the inconveniencies attending the port. The town increased daily, and under the Romans was accounted the most considerable emporium of Asia within Mount Taurus.*

Toward the end of the eleventh century, Ephesus experienced the same fortune as Smyrna. A Turkish pirate, named Tangripermes, settled there. But the Greek admiral, John Ducas, defeated him in a bloody battle, and pursued the flying Turks up the Mæander. In 1306, it was among the places which suffered from the exactions of the grandduke Roger, and two years after, it surrendered to sultan Saysan, who, to prevent future insurrections, removed most of the inhabitants to Tyriæum, where they were massacred. The transactions, in which mention is made of Ephesus after this period, belong, as has been already observed, to its neighbour and successor Aiasaluck.

Ephesus appears to have subsisted as an inconsiderable place for some time. The inhabitants being few, and the wall of Lysimachus too extensive to be defended, or too ruinous to be repaired, it was found expedient or necessary to contract their boundary, by erecting an ordinary wall, which descends from near the stadium on one hand, and on the

* Strabo, p. 641.

other, from the wall on Mount Prion, toward the morass or port, not including the market-place. The difficulty of rendering even this small portion tenable, seems to have produced the removal to Aiasaluck, as a situation more safe and commodious. A farther motive may be added, that the port through time and neglect was changed, and become a nuisance, rather than of public utility.

The Ephesians are now a few Greek peasants, living in extreme wretchedness, dependance, and insensibility; the representatives of an illustrious people, and inhabiting the wreck of their greatness; some, the substructions of the glorious edifices which they raised; some, beneath the vaults of the stadium, once the crowded scene of their diversions ; and some, by the abrupt precipice, in the sepulchres, which received their ashes. We employed a couple of them to pile stones, to serve instead of a ladder, at the arch of the stadium, and to clear a pedestal of the portico by the theatre from rubbish. We had occasion for another to dig at the Corinthian temple ; and, sending to the stadium, the whole tribe, ten or twelve, followed ; one playing all the way before them on a rude lyre, and at times striking the sounding board with the fingers of his left hand in concert with the strings. One of them had on a pair of sandals of goat-skin, laced with thongs, and not uncommon. After gratifying their curio. sity, they returned back as they came, with their musician in front.

Such are the present citizens of Ephesus, and such is the condition to which that renowned city has been gradually reduced. It was a ruinous place, when the emperor Justinian filled Constantinople with its statues, and raised his church of St. Sophia on its columns. Since then it has been

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »