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atoned in some measure for bringing us this way by his laborious activity, in which he was equalled by our Swiss; but the Armenians are a dull and heavy race. We pitched our tent near a tree, not far from a rill, on a green spot surrounded with brown, naked rocks.
Our toil was renewed in the morning, but about noon we got clear from the mountain. When near Bafi, we entered a small plain half-encircled with a bare ridge. This avenue had been barricadoed. We pitched our tent soon after upon a pleasant green area within the city-walls of My&s.
Of Myas—The site and remains—Graves, §c.—An oratory— Another—Ruined churches and monasteries—Of Tymbria— Gnats ardflies.
The story ofMytis is remarkable, but not singular. A town by Pergamum, named Atarneus, had suffered in the same manner. Mytis was originally seated on a bay of the sea, not large, but abounding in fish. Hence, this city was given to Themistocles to furnish that article for his table. The bay changed into a lake, and became fresh. Myriads of gnats swarmed on it, and the town was devoured, as it were, from the water. The Myusians retired from this enemy to Miletus, carrying away all their moveables, and the statues of their gods. They were incorporated with the Milesians, and sacrificed, and gave their suffrage with them at the Panionian congress. Pausanius relates, that nothing remained at Myfts in his time, but a temple of Bacchus of white stone.*
» P 207. Vitruvius, I. 4. c. I. Strabo, p. 636. Diodorus, sic. 1. 11. c 57
The site of Myus is as romantic as its fortune was extraordinary. The wall encloses a jumble of naked rocks rudely piled, of a dark dismal hue, with precipices and vast hollows, from which perhaps stone has been cut. A few huts, inhabited by Turkish families, are of the same colour, and scarcely distinguishable. Beyond these, fronting the lake, you find on the left hand a theatre hewn in the mountain, with some mossy remnants of the wall of the proscenium or front; but the marble seats are removed. Between the huts and the lake are several terraces with steps cut as at Priene. One, by which our tent stood, was a quadrangular area edged with marble fragments; and we conjectured, it had been the market place. By another were stones ornamented with shields of a circular form. But the most conspicuous ruin is the small temple of Bacchus, which is seated on an abrupt rock, with the front only, which is toward the east accessible. The roof is destroyed. The cell is well-built, of smooth stone with a brown crust on it. The portico was in Antis. We measured some marble fragments belonging to it, and regretted that any of the members were missing. This edifice has been used as a church, and the entrance walled up with patch-work. The marbles, which lie scattered about, the broken columns, and mutilated statues, all witness a remote antiquity. We met with some inscriptions, but not legible. The city-wall was constructed, like that at Ephesus, with square towers, and is still standing, except toward the water. It runs up the mountain-slope so far as to be in some places hardly discernible.
Without the city are the cemeteries of its early inhabitants; graves cut in the rock, of all sizes, suited to the human stature at different ages; with innumerable flat stones, which served as lids. Some are yet covered, and many open, and by the lake filled with water. The lids are overgrown, with a short, dry, brown moss, their very aspect evincing old age. We were shewn one inscription,* close by a small hut in a narrow pass of the mountain westward, on marble, in large characters. It records a son of Seleucus, who died young, and the affliction of his parents; concluding with a tender expostulation with them on the inefficacy, and impropriety of their immoderate sorrow. Nearer the city, among some trees, is a well with the base of a column perforated on the mouth.
A couple of Myusians, who undertook to shew something extraordinary, conducted me, with one of my companions, up into the mountain on the east side of the city; on which are many traces of ancient walls and towers. We climbed several rocks in the way; our guides with bare feet, carrying in their hands their papouches or slippers, which were of red leather; a colour not allowed to be worn, except by Turks. We came in about an hour to a large rock, which was scooped out, and had the inside painted with the history of Christ in compartments, and with heads of bishops and saints. It is in one of the most wild and retired recesses imaginable. Before the picture of the crucifixion was a heap of stones piled as an altar, and scraps of charcoal, which had been used in burning incense; with writing on the wall.
Going back, I tarried with one of the Turks, while a shower fell, in a single rock, hollowed out; with the door-way above the level of the ground. It stands distinct and tall. On the dome within, Christ was pourtrayed, and on the round beneath, the Panagia, or Virgin, with saints. The figures are large and
* Inscript. Ant. p. 18
at full length; the design and colouring such as may be viewed with pleasure. On the plaster are inscriptions painted, and faint from age. One, which I carefully copied,* informs us, the oratory had been beautified, for the sake of the prayers, and salvation of a certain sub-deacon and his parents. Here seemed to have been a quarry. The brown rocks had graves on their tops, and the soft fresh turf between them was enamelled with flowers.
It may be inferred from the remnants of the monasteries and churches, which are numerous, that Myus was re-peopled, when monkery, spreading from Egypt, toward the end of the fourth century, over-ran the Greek and Latin empires. The lake, abounding in large and fine fish, afforded an article of diet, not unimportant under a ritual, which enjoined frequent abstinence from flesh. It probably contributed to render this place, what it appears to have been, a grand resort of fanciful devotees and secluded hermits, a nursery of saints, another Athos, or holy mountain.
We were supplied with corn for our horses, and with provisions from a village by the head of the lake; where are vestiges of ancient building. There probably was Thymbria,-f- a village in Caria, within four stadia, or half a mile of Myus ; by which was a Charonium or sacred cave; one of those which the ancients supposed to communicate with the infernal regions, and to be filled with the deadly vapours of lake Avernus. We purchased bad water from the huts in Myus at a dear rate; and fish taken in the lake with a small trident. The carp here, and by the Mueander, were extremely fine.
The old nuisance of Myus, gnats, swarmed already in the
* Inscript. Ant. p. 18. + Strabo, p. 579- 036.
air, teasing us exceedingly; and, toward the evening, the inside of our tent was blackened with flies, clustering round about the poles. One of our men, thinking to expel and destroy them by a sudden explosion of gunpowder, procured a momentary riddance, and set fire to the canvas in three or four places.
The lake of MyHs—An islet—A rock in the lake—Another islet—Another—Junction of the lake with the Maander— Altars and niches.
The lake of My us is visible both from Priene and Miletus, and is called by the neighbouring Greeks (Ba\ao*a) The Sea. The water is not drinkable. We observed the inbat here as at Smyrna; a breeze lightly skimming along the smooth surface, then springing gently up, and increasing with the day; the waves agitated, and moving in regular progression toward the shore. On the edges and round about it are square towers and ruinous castles, besides one at Myus, erected in times of war or rapine, to secure and command the passes.
The lake, which is much longer than broad, has in it several rocky islets. One, near Myus, is surrounded with an ordinary wall inclosing the ruin of a church. The water is so shallow that we once waded across. It was chosen as the best point of view for a drawing of the city and mountain. Our servant found there the nest of some water-fowl in a hole of