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In the plain of Ephesus were anciently two lakes,* formed partly by stagnant water from the river Selinus, which ran near the artemisium, or temple of Diana, propably from Mount Gallesus. The kings had taken from the goddess the revenue arising from them, which was great ; but it was restored by the Romans. The publicans then forced her to pay taxes. Artemidorus was sent ambassador to Rome, and pleaded successfully her privilege of exemption, for which and his other services the city erected a statue of him in gold. A temple in a bottom by one of the lakes was said to have been founded by Agamemnon.
The reader may recollect, that, coming from Claros, we
* Templam Dianæ complexi e diversis regionibus duo Selinuntes. Pliny. + Strabo, p. 387. p. 642.
crossed the mouth of a lake, and afterwards rode along by its side. This was the lower Selenusia. Near the ferry we discovered the other, a long lake, parallel with the first, and extending across the plain. The weir, which we saw, will inform us what were the riches of these waters. Ephesus was greatly frequented, and the receptacle of all who journeyed into the east, from Italy and Grecce. A fishery, so near to so populous a mart, must have been an article equally convenient to the city, and profitable to the proprietor. Some pieces of building, with cement, remain by the river side above the ferry.
The river Cayster, after entering the plain, runs by Gallesus, and crosses above the lakes, opposite the square tower. Lower down, it leaves but a narrow pass, obstructed with thickets, at the foot of the mountain. It then becomes wider and deeper ; and mingles, the stream still and smooth, with the sea. On the banks, and in the morass or port, and in the lake near the ferry, we saw thick groves of tall reeds, some growing above twenty feet high; and, it is observable, that the river-god is represented, on the Ephesian medals, with this aquatic as one of his attributes.
An ordinary bridge of three arches is built over the river, at the foot of Gallesus. The road on that mountain has been hewn in the rock. Our Armenians told us the work was done by St. Paul, with a single stroke of a scymitar. Some caravans still use it; crossing the plain and the mouth of the morass or port to the gap below the square tower, or ferrying over the Cayster lower down in a boat with a rope, and proceeding to Scala Nova, without touching at Aiasaluck.
The Cayster has its rise up in the country among the
hills formerly called Cilbianian. It brings down many riiers, with a lake once called the Pegaséan ; which was driven into it by the Pyrrhites, * a furious stream, as may be inferred from the name. The slime, which is collected in its course, propagates new land. The sea once acted by its flux and reflux on the port of Ephesus, which has been diminished in proportion as the soil has increased and become firm ground. The river also has perhaps gradually changed its own bed, while it has augmented the plain.
The arrangement of this portion of the coast, given by Strabo, is as follows :---After Neapolis, now Scala Nova, and Phygela, going northward, was port Panormus, which boasted the temple of the Ephesian Diana; then the city, which had arsenals and a port, beyond the mouth of the Cayster, was a lake, called Selenusia, made by water which the sea repelled ; and, in the same direction, another communicating with it; then Mount Gallesus. Panormus, it is likely, was the general name of the whole haven, and comprised both the Sacred Port, or that by which the temple stood, and the City Port, now the morass. The former is perhaps quite filled up.
Pliny mentions, that, in consequence of the encroachments of the river on the sea, the island Syrie was then seen in the middle of a plain. That island was, I suspect, the rock of Aiasaluck.
Of the temple of Diana—The idolAccount of it--The priests,
80.- Self manifestations of the goddess--An Ephesian decree --Remarks.
We would close our account of Ephesus with the preceding chapter, but the curious reader will ask, what is become of the renowned temple of Diana ? Can a wonder of the world be vanished, like a phantom, without leaving a trace behind ? We would gladly give a satisfactory answer to such queries; but, to our great regret, we searched for the site of this fabric to as little purpose as the travellers, who have preceded us.
The worship of the great goddess, Diana, had been established at Ephesus in a remote age. The Amazons, it is related, sacrificed to her there, on their way to Attica in the time of Theseus; and, some writers affirmed, the image was first set up by them under a tree. The vulgar afterwards believed it fell down from Jupiter. It was never changed, though the temple had been restored seven times.
This idol, than which none has been ever more splendidly enshrined, was of a middling size, and of very great antiquity, as was evident from the fashion; it having the feet closed. It was of wood, which some had pronounced cedar, and others ebony. Mutianus, a noble Roman, who was the third time consul in the year of our Lord seventy five, affirmed from his own observation, that it was vine, and had many holes filled with nard to nourish and moisten it, and to preserve the cement.* It was gorgeously apparelled ; the vest embroidered with emblems and symbolical devices; and, to prevent its tottering, a bar of metal, it is likely, of gold, was placed under each hand. A veil or curtain, which was drawn up from the floor to the ceiling, hid it from view, except while service was performing in the temple.
The priests of the goddess were eunuchs, and exceedingly respected by the people. The old institutions required, that virgins should assist them in their office, but, in process of time, these, as Strabo has remarked, were not all observed. The titles of some of the inferior ministers are perhaps recorded on the marble, which we found near the entrance of the valley; the sacred-herald, the incenser, the player on the flute at the libations, and the holy trumpeter.t.
It may be imagined, that many stories of the power and interposition of the goddess were current and believed at Ephesus. The most striking evidence of the reality of her existence, and of her regard for her suppliants, was probably furnished by her supposed manifestations of herself in visions. In the history of Massilia, I now Marseilles, it is related, that she was seen by Aristarche, a lady of high rank, while sleeping, and that she commanded her to accompany the Greek adventurers, by whom that city was founded. Metagenes,|| one of the architects of her temple at Ephesus, had invented a method of raising the vast stones to the necessary height, but it did not succeed, so well as was expected, with a marble of prodigious size, designed to be placed over the door-way. He was excessively troubled,
+ Inscript. Ant. p. 11.
Strabo, p. 179.