« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
of the ancient city, which, they were told, extended underground as far as they could go in two days.
The great road to the East from Ephesus was through Magnesia, Tralles, Nysa, and Antiochia. Magnesia, according to Strabo and Pliny, was only fifteen miles from Ephesus, but Picenini makes it eleven hours from Aiasaluck. He set out with his companions before five in the evening, going southward, and came to the vale, in which is the ancient bridge. They passed then over hills and through valleys. The next day they travelled in a pleasant plain, very extensive on their right hand, with the high tops of a mountain on their left, and arrived at Magnesia. The mountain was Messogis, and the plain that of the Maeander, but they seem not to have taken the direct road. The distance of Magnesia from Tralles was about eighteen miles. The way to it was in the plain of the Maeander. This was also on the right hand, and Messogis on the left; which arrangement was continued as far as Nysa and Antiochia.
CHAP. LXII. .
Of Tralles and Nysa—Characa—Tralles restored by Augustus Casar—Destroyed by the Turks—Rebuilt—Of Brula, Mastaura and Armata.
Tralles and Nysa were situated alike with respect to the plain, being both above it to the north. Tralles was seated on a flat, the eminence terminating in an abrupt point, and inaccessible all around. Ttie greater part of Nysa reclined on the mountain, which was Messogis; and the city was divided, as it were, into two, by a torrent, which had formed a deep bed. One portion of the course had a bridge over it, to connect the sides; and another was adorned with an amphitheatre, under which a passage was left for the waters. Below the theatre were two precipices; and on one of them was a gymnasium ; on the other, the agora, or market place, and the senate house.
In the way, between Tralles and Nysa, was a village of Nyseans, not far from the city, Characa or Acharaca; and a Plutonium or temple of Pluto and Prosperine, with a beautiful grove above it, and a charonium, or cave, of a wonderful nature. Thither sick people resorted, and the deities were their physicians, suggesting, as was believed, efficacious remedies in dreams, most commonly to the priests, who were expert in managing their patients, and would often lead them into the cave. They sometimes remained in it, as in a pit, several days fasting; but persons not guided by them perished in it. A general assembly was celebrated there yearly, when, toward noon, the youth of the gymnasium, with the boys, all naked and anointed, drove a bull with shoutings to the mouth of the cave, where he was let loose, and on entering fell down dead.
The geographer, Strabo, who studied rhetoric and grammar at Nysa, mentions Tralles as inhabited, if any of the Asian cities, by wealthy persons; some of whom were always Asiarchae, or prefects of the province under the Romans. Among its eminent men, his contemporaries, was Pythodorus, a native of Nysa, and friend of Pompey. But Tralles, though an opulent and thriving place, seems then to have contained nothing very remarkable. A prodigy is recorded to have happened there in the civil war. A palmtree was seen springing from between the stones of the pavement in the temple of Victory, in which a statue of Caesar had been erected. An earthquake happening, the edifices which suffered were rebuilt by Augustus. A writer,* who lived in the sixth century relates, that a husbandman named Chaeremon, in a transport of affliction and zeal for his country, hastened to the emperor, who was then in Cantabria, and by his entreaties prevailed on him to restore the city, which, he observes, had retained its form unaltered from that period. He found in a field near Tralles a pedestal, which had,supported a statue of this person, and copied from it the inscription, which he has preserved. It is in the Doric dialect, which was spoken there, and introduced by the Argives, who, with some Thracians, founded Tralles.
The Turks in 1175 making an irruption into the Roman empire on this side, and laying it waste, Tralles and Antiochia eapitulated. In 1266 they seized many towns and monasteries; but Tralles, with other advanced places, was secured by the Roman general. In the following year the Turks extended their frontier to the river Sangarius. Micheal Paleologus was then emperor. The garrisons by the Maeander, in Caria, Antiochia and the interior region, were exceedingly weak; and the fortresses by the Cayster, with Priene and Miletus, taken.
Andronicus, son of Paleologus, and his associate in the empire, arriving with succours in 1280, was charmed with the situation of Tralles, and resolved to rebuild the city, and replace in it the families, which had been driven out. He intended calling it Paleologopolis or Andronicopolis; and it
is related, that on a marble dug up by the workmen an oracle was found incribed, foretelling the restoration of Tralles, and promising long life to its new founder. When the walls were raised, it became one of the most considerable places by the Ma?ander; people, it is likely, flocking to it as a strong-hold. It had thirty-five thousand inhabitants; but was destitute both of reservoirs to receive rain, and of wells, which it seemed impossible to dig sufficiently deep. An army of Turks suddenly appeared, and intercepted the supply of water from the river. The citizens, persevering in their defence, they entered by storm, and put them all to the sword; Andronicus not moving from Nympheum near Smyrna. The Turks had before subdued Nysa.*
On the same side of the Maeander, were two other places worth mentioning, Briula and Mastaura, the former of which, on the establishment of Christianity, was made the seat of a bishop; and in the mountain, above Nysa, was Aromata, or, as the name seems to have been pronounced, Armata, noted for its wine, which excelled any other produced on Messogis. A village named Iack-cui, six miles eastward, is supposed by Pococke to have been Briula; and one, at an entrance in between the hills is, as he relates, still called Mastauro. He also mentions some walls on a very high summit over Nysa, which, he conjectures, may be remains of Aromata; but that perhaps was the name only of a district planted with vines.
* Pechesuyrus, p. 320.
H e arrive at Sultan-hissar—Of Eski-hissar—The supposed site of Tralles—Nysa—Approach to Tralles and Nysa—The remains of Tralles—Origin of Sultan-hissar—Proximity of Tralles and Nysa—Continue our journey.
We set out from Magnesia on the 23d at noon, going eastward. By the road near the town were several wells in a row, with attic bases of columns perforated, and placed over the mouths. These we supposed remnants of the famous temple of Diana. The way was straight and wide in the plain; the soil light and sandy, like that of Messogis the mountain on our left hand. On each side of us were orchards of figtrees sown with corn; and many nightingales were singing in the bushes. We passed some dry water-courses, and rivulets running down to the Maeander; which was once in view, the stream winding, with a ferry. It was dusk when we pitched our tent by Sultan-hissar, which is about five hours from Magnesia.
Sultan-hissar is an old fortress with houses in and by it; standing in the plain; the site corresponding neither with that of Tralles nor with Nysa. It has, however, some marble fragments, which have been removed from adjacent ruins; and on inquiry, we were informed that the eminence before us had on it some remains of old buildings; that the place was called Eski-hissar, and distant about half an hour. We now expected to find Tralles and Nysa there. It stands on a root of Mount Messogis, running out into the plain and