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ascend in like manner, which at some seasons, and in certain situations he might do, he would have confidently pronounced that the goddess had performed her errand, and was going back to heaven.
The citadel of Priene—Descent from it—Remains of the city— The wall and gate-ways—-Taken by Bajazet.
The morning after we arrived at Kelibesh, we set out to survey the ruins of Priene, with the Greek, at whose house we lodged, for our guide. He led us first through the village up to the acropolis or citadel; the ascent lasting an hour, the track bad, by breaks in the mountain, and small cascades. We then arrived on a summit of Mycale, large, distinct, and rough, with stunted trees and deserted cottages, encircled, except toward the plain, by an ancient wall of the masonry called Pseudisodomum. This has been repaired, and made tenable in a later age by additional out-works. A steep, high, naked rock rises behind; and the area terminates before in a most abrupt and formidable precipice, from which we looked down with wonder on the diminutive objects beneath us. The massive heap, of a temple below appeared, to the naked eye, but as chippings of marble.*
A winding track leads down the precipice to the city. The way was familiar to our guide, and a lad, his son, who was with us. We listened to their assurances, and enticed by a
* See a view in the Ionian Antiquities.
fair setting out, followed them; but it soon became difficult and dangerous. The steps cut in the rock were narrow, the path frequently not wider than the body, and so steep as scarcely to allow footing. The sun shone full upon us, and was reverberated by the rugged side of the mountain, to which we leaned, avoiding as much as possible the frightful view of the abyss beneath us, and shrinking from the brink. The long-continued descent made the whole frame quiver; and, looking up from the bottom, we were astonished at what we had done. We could discern no track, but the rock appeared quite perpendicular; and a soaring eagle was below the top of the precipice. At the temple we were joined by our servants, who led our horses down on the side opposite to that which we ascended; and with them came the fat janizary, who had very wisely sneaked off on perceiving our intention.
The temple of Minerva Polias, though prostrate, was a remain of Ionian elegance and grandeur too curious to be hastily or slightly examined. An account of it, with a view and plates of the architecture, has been published at the expense of the society of Dilettanti. Several inscribed marbles remain in the heap.* When entire, it overlooked the city, which was seated on the side of the mountain, flat beneath flat, in gradation, to the edge of the plain. The areas are levelled, and the communication is preserved by steps cut in the slopes. Below the temple are broken columns, and pieces of marble, the remnants of edifices of the Ionic and Doric orders. Farther down is the ground plat of the stadium, by the city-wall. The area was narrow, and the seats ranged only on the side
* Inscript. Ant. p. 14, 15, 16.
facing the plain. In the mountain, on the left hand, going from the temple, is the recess, with some vestiges of the theatre. Among the rubbish and scattered marbles is an inscription,* with a fragment or two, and ruins of churches, but no wells or mosques, as at Miletus. The whole circuit of the wall of the city is standing, besides several portions within it, worthy of admiration for their solidity and beauty. It descends on each side of the precipice, and is the boundary next the plain.
Priene, not including the citadel, had three gate-ways. One is toward Kelibesh, and has without it vaults of sepulchres. The entrance was not wide. A part of the arch, consisting of a single row of massive stones, still remains; but those on which it rests are so corroded by age, broken, or distorted, as to seem every moment ready to yield, and let down their load. A rugged way leads to a second opening in the wall opposite to this, and as we guessed, about a mile from it; beyond which are likewise vaults of sepulchres. Between these was a gate facing the plain; and on the left hand going out of it is a hole, resembling the mouth of an oven, in the side of a square tower; and over it an inscription in small characters, exceedingly difficult to be read.-f- It signifies, that a certain Cyprian, in his sleep, had beheld Ceres and Proserpine, arrayed in white; and that, in three visions, they had enjoined the worship of a hero, the guardian of the city, and pointed out the place, where, in obedience to them, he had erected the god. This was probably some local hero, whose little image was set in the wall, and whose name and memory have perished.
The modern history of Priene, as well as of Miletus, is very
* Inscript. Ant. p, 14, 15, 16. t Inscript. Ant. p. 13.
imperfect. It is now called Samsun and Samsun-kalesi, which names seem not very recent. Samsun is among the places taken in 1391 by Bajazet, who subdued Ionia.
Mount Tit anus—Rocks in the plain—The Maander—We are entangled oti the mountain—Benighted—Arrive at My&s.
We have mentioned in a preceding chapter, that on Gallesus we saw a summit remarkably craggy. The clouds rest on its tops, which, being weather-worn, are of a whitish shining aspect. These continued long visible in various parts of the country, and sometimes far remote. The ancient name of the mountain was Titanus, taken from their colour as resembling chalk.* Beneath the ridge on the south-side, by a lake, is Bafi or Capoumoulti, six hours, as we were told, from Kelibesh. The Greek our host undertook to conduct us thither.
We left the village, on the 15th of April, at seven in the morning. We found the torrent-bed, which occasioned our perplexity in going to Miletus, less formidable here, crossing it by a wooden bridge made for foot passengers. It had received some water from the late rains, which had also flooded the plain at the foot of the mountain. The air was sharp; and snow, recently fallen, glistened on the northern summits. About nine we came to three distinct, bare rocks, resembling islets of the iEgean sea, but surrounded with land instead
of water. On one is a village named Osebashd, and on the side next Priene is a very wide torrent-bed.
We went on, and after half an hour were stopped by the Maeander. Here we were ferried over in a triangular float, with a rope, in two minutes and a half. The stream was broad, rapid, and muddy, but low within the banks, which were indented by the gradual sinking of its surface. We ascended the mountain, and enjoyed a delightful view of the river, crossing with mazy windings from the foot of Mount Messogis, the northern boundary of the plain.
We were informed at the ferry, that the road to Bafl, distant four hours from thence, was bad. We met on it a few camels, which carry their burthens high on their backs, or I should have described it as not absolutely impassable. It lies over a branch of Titanus, which mountain is uncommonly rough and horrid, consisting of huge, single, irregular, and naked rocks piled together: poised, as it were, on a point; or hanging dreadfully over the track; and interspersed with low shrubs and stunted oaks. Our horses suffered exceedingly, sliding down, or jammed with their burthens, or violently forced from the road, and rolling over the steeps; and our men were much jaded with loading and unloading them, and bruised by transporting our baggage on their shoulders at the narrow passes.
We were benighted in this wild mountain, when we came to a strait, where the difficulty seemed insurmountable. Three or four of us at length pushed through; and, leading our horses into a vale beneath, committed them to the care of the janizary. We then joined our companions in distress, who were perplexed above; and, lighting candles, began, all? hands, to carry down our baggage piece-meal. The Greek;