Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

tony allowing the sanctuary to reach somewhat more than a stadium from it, a part of the city was comprised within those limits. It was, moreover, without the Magnesian gate, which, I should suppose, was that next Aiasaluck; and, in the second century, was joined to the city by Damianus, a sophist, who continued the way down to it through the Magnesian gate, by erecting a stoa or portico, of marble, a stadium, or six hundred twenty five feet in length; which expensive work was inscribed with the name of his wife, and intended to prevent the absence of the ministers, when it rained. He likewise dedicated a banquetting-room in the temple, as remarkable for its dimensions as its beauty. It is adorned with Phrygian marble, such as had never been cut in quarries before.*

The extreme sanctity of the temple inspired universal awe and reverence. It was for many ages a repository of foreign and domestic treasures. There property, whether public or private, was secure, amid all revolutions. The civility of Xerxes was an example to subsequent conquerors, and the impiety of sacrilege was not extended to the Ephesian goddess. But Nero was less polite. He removed many costly offerings and images, and an immense quantity of silver and gold. It was again plundered by Goths from beyond the Danube, in the time of Gallienus;-f - a party under Raspa crossing the Hellespont, and ravaging the country, until compelled to retreat, when they carried off a prodigious booty.

The destruction of so illustrious an edifice deserved to have been carefully recorded by contemporary historians.

* Philostratus, p. 601. f In the year of Christ, 262.

.We may conjecture it followed the triumph of Christianity. The Ephcsian reformers, when authorized by the imperial edicts, rejoiced in the opportunity of insulting Diana; and deemed it piety to demolish the very ruin of Iter habitation. Hence, perhaps, while the columns of the Corinthian temple have owed their preservation to their bulk, those of this fabric, with the vast architraves, and all the massive materials, have perished and are consumed. Thongh its stones were far more ponderous, and the heap larger beyond comparison, the whole is vanished we know not how or whither. An ancient author has described it as standing at the head of the port, and shining as a meteor. We may add, that as such too it has since disappeared.

It has been supposed, that the son terrain by the morass or city-port, with two pieces of ancient wall, of square stone, by one of which is the entrance to it, are reliques of the temple ; but that spot was nearly in the centre of the city of Lysimachus; and besides, the temple was raised on a lofty basement with steps. The edifice was deemed a wonder, not for its form, as at all uncommon; but for the grandeur of its proportions, the excellence of its workmanship, and the magnificence of its decorations. The vaulted substructions by the stadium might, it is believed, furnish an area corresponding better with this idea, and more suited to receive the mighty fabric; which, however, as has been shewn above, was in the plain, and distinct, though not remote, from the present city.

A writer,* who lived toward the end of the second century, has cited a Sibyl as foretelling, that, the earth opening and

. * Clemens Alexandrinus, t. 1. p. 44. See the Sibylline Verses, 1.5. p. 607.

T

quaking, the temple of Diana would be swallowed, like a ship in a storm, into the abyss: and Ephesus lamenting and weeping by the river banks, would inquire for it, then inhabited no more. If the authenticity of the oracle were undisputed, and the Sibyl acknowledged a genuine prophetess, we might infer from the visible condition of the place, the full accomplishment of the whole prediction. We now seek in vain for the temple; the city is. prostrate; and the goddess gone.

CHAP. XL.

We leave Aiasah'tckRoad to Scala NovaOf PhygelaOf OrtygiaThe lower way to Scala NovaChangesOf Scala Nova.

After staying at Aiasaluck four days, we set out at half past seven in the morning, with a guide on an ass, for Neapolis or Scala Nova, distant three hours. The plain was covered with mud and slime from the recent inundation. It produces corn, cotton, sesamus, and tobacco; but in several places was swampy, and overgrown with rushes and reeds. Flocks, and herds, and camels were feeding On it. We had Ephesus, and the morass or port on our left hand, until we were opposite the square tower, which has been mentioned as standing on a precipice.

We came in an hour to the gap in Corissus, and left the plain behind; our course winding south-westward, and the castle of Aiasaluck bearing 10m north of east. We soon had the back of Corissus on our left hand, with the exterior front of the city-wall, high in the air, on the ridge, which is steep and inaccessible. On the mountain, between the gap and the sea, are likewise traces of a wall. Before us was a pleasant valley, with a Turkish burying ground, and a village named Arvisia beyond a mean ruinous aqueduct, which the road approaches, and then becomes rough and rugged; leading over the rock, in view of the sea, of the mouth of the Cayster, and of the extremity of the plain of Ephesus; into which a track descends, crossing a piece of wet low ground at the end of the mountain. We met a peasant on an ass laden with grapes, and purchased some of admirable flavour.

Going on southward, we passed under a fragment of a wall, which appears, from the earthen pipes in it, to have conveyed water across the road from the mountain on our left, which had a channel still in use, running a considerable way along its side. Near this remnant, on our right, were vestiges of a small town, Pygela or Phygela, upon a hill. There was once a temple of Diana, founded, as they related, by Agamemnon. He was said to have touched at this place, in his voyage.homeward, and to have left behind some of his men, who were disabled by rowing. The wine of Phygela is commended by Dioscorides; and its territory was nowgreen with vines. We had remarked, that about Smyrna the leaves were decayed, or stripped by the camels and herds of goats, which are admitted to browze after the vintage. We came soon after in sight of the sea, and of Scala Nova.

In the Ephesian decree, inserted in a preceding chapter, the city is styled, The Nurse of her own Goddess. The local story was, that Latona had been delivered of her in Ortygia, a beautiful grove of trees of various kinds, chiefly cypresses, near Ephesus; on the coast, a little up from the sea. This place was filled with shrines and images. A general assembly was held there yearly; and splendid entertainments were provided, and mystic sacrifices solemnized. The Cenchrius, probably a crooked river, ran through it; and above it was the mountain Solmissus, on which, it was fabled, the Curetes stood and rattled on their shields, to divert the attention of Juno.*

As the site of Ortygia is marked by a mountain and a river, we expected to discover it without much difficulty; and with that view preferred, in our second journey from Ephesus, the lower way to Scala Nova, going from the gymnasium, where we had pitched our tent, to the extremity of the plain, and then along by the sea. We came in sight of the town sooner than before, and turned into the road near Phygela, a little beyond the broken wall, without meeting with any thing remarkable.

The improved face of a country is perishible, like human beauty. Not only the birth-place of Diana and its sanctity are forgotten, but the grove and buildings, which adorned it, appear no more: and, perhaps, as I have since suspected, the land has encroached on the sea, and the valley, in which Arvisia is, was once Ortygia. The houses of Damianus, in the suburbs of the city, with the pleasant plantations on his estate, and the artificial islands and portlets, which he made by the sea side, are all now equally invisible.

Scala Nova, called by the Turks Koushadase, is situated in a bay, on the slope of a hill, the houses rising one above another, intermixed with minarets, and tall slender cypresses. A street, through which we rode, was hung with goat-skins

* Strabo, p. 639.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »