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most. Our janizary galloped up, and interposing, was informed the aga insisted on backshish.
We rode on to Pambouk, and, while our tent was pitching, the janizary went to the aga with our jirhman, and a present of coffee and sugar. He was civilly received, the aga commiserating our late ill usage, of which he had heard, and complaining, that the same person had extorted from him an extravagant ransom for a stray beast; saying, he was a man of a bad character, of an imperious temper, and, from his superior power, the tyrant of that country: He demanded five okes of coffee; and some other claims were made for his officers, amounting in the whole to ten okes, for which money was accepted. He declared we had no danger to apprehend by day at Pambouk, but recommended our leaving the ruins early in the evening. We enjoyed by anticipation the security he foretold.
Our tent stood on a green dry spot beneath the cliff. The view before us was so marvellous, that the description of it, to bear even a faint resemblance, ought to appear romantic. The vast slope, which, at a distance, we had taken for chalk, was now beheld with wonder, it seeming an immense frozen cascade, the surface wavy, as of water at once fixed, or in its headlong course suddenly petrified. Round about us were many high, bare, stony ridges; and close by our tent, one with a wide basis, and a slender rill of water, clear, soft, and warm, running in a small channel on the top. A woman was washing linen in it, with a child at her back; and beyond were cabins of the Turcomans, standing distinct, much neater than any we had seen; each with poultry feeding, and a fence of reeds in front.
It is an old observation, that the country about the Maeander, the soil being light and friable, and full of salts generating inflammable matter, was undermined by lire and water. Hence it abounded in hot springs, which, after passing underground from the reservoirs, appeared on the mountain, or were found bubbling up in the plain, or in the mud of the river: and hence it was subject to frequent earthquakes; the nitrous vapour, compressed in the cavities and sublimed by heat or fermentation, bursting its prison with loud explosions, agitating the atmosphere, and shaking the earth and waters with a violence as extensive as destructive; and hence, moreover, the pestilential grottos, which had subterraneous communications with each other, derived their noisome effluvia; and, serving as smaller vents to these furnaces or hollows, were regarded as apertures of hell, as passages for deadly fumes rising up from the realms of Pluto. One or more of the mountains perhaps has burned. It may be suspected, that the surface of the country has, in some places, been formed from its own bowels; and in particular, it seems probable, that the hill of Laodicea was originally an irruption.
The hot waters of Hierapolis have produced that most extraordinary phenomenon, the cliff, which is one entire incrustation. They were anciently renowned for this species of transformation.* It is related, they changed so easily, that being conducted about the vineyards and gardens, the channels became long fences, each a single stone. They produced the ridges by our tent. The road up to the ruins, which appears as a wide and high causey, is a petrification; and over
* See Strabo, p. 62§. 437. Pausanias, p. $41. Vitruvius,). 8. c. 3. Ulpian Pandect, 1.43.
looks many green spots, once vineyards and gardens, separated by partitions of the same material. The Surface of the flat, above the cliff, is rough with stone and with channels, branching out in various directions; a large pool overflowing and feeding the numerous rills, some" of which spread over the slope, as they descend, and give to the white stony bed a humid look, resembling salt or driven snow, when melting. This crust, which has no taste or smell, being an alkaline, will ferment with acids; and Picenini relates, that trial of it has been made with spirit of vitriol. The waters, though hot, were used in agriculture.
Tamerlane, when he invaded this country, encamped for the summer at Tanguzlik, where many of his men were destroyed by drinking of a spring, which stagnated and petrified. I should have supposed that place to have been Hierapolis; but other hot waters, with a similar cliff, will be mentioned in a following chapter. The Turkish name Pambouk signifies cotton, and, it has been said, refers to the whiteness of the incrustation.
The shepherd-poet of Smyrna, after mentioning a cave in Phrygia sacred to the nymphs, relates, that there Luna had once descended from the sky to Endymion, while he was sleeping by his herds; that marks of their bed were then extant under the oaks; and that in the thickets around it the milk of cows had been spilt, which men still beheld with admiration; for, such was the appeararance, if you saw it very far off; but, that from thence flowed clear or warm water, which in a little while concreted round about the channels, and formed a stone pavement4 The writer de
scribes the cliff of Hierapolis, if I mistake not, as in his time, and has added a local story, current when he lived. It was the genius of the people to unite fiction with truth; and, as in this and other instances, to dignify the tales of their mythology with fabulous evidence, taken from the natural wonders, in which their country abounded.
Remains of Hierapolis—The theatre—Ancient manner of sitting —Use of the hot waters—The pool—The Plutonium—Our disappointment.
We ascended in the morning to the ruins, which are on a flat, passing by sepulchres with inscriptions, and entering the city from the east. We had soon the theatre on our right hand, and the pool between us and the cliff. Opposite to it, near the margin of the cliff, is the remain of an amazing structure, once perhaps baths, or as we conjectured, a gymnasium; the huge vaults of the roof striking horror as we rode underneath. Beyond it is the mean ruin of a modern fortress; and, farther on, are massive walls of edifices, several of them leaning from their perpendicular, the stones distorted, and seeming every moment ready to fall, the effects and evidences of violent and repeated earthquakes. In a recess of the mountain, on the right hand, is the area of a stadium. Then again sepulchres succeed, some nearly buried in the mountain-side, and one, a square building, with an inscription in large letters. All these remains are plain, and of the stone created by the waters. The site has been computed about two hundred paces wide, and a mile in length.
After taking a general survey, we returned to the theatre, intending to copy inscriptions and examine more particularly, as we changed our station. We found this a very large and sumptuous structure, and the least ruined of any we had seen. Part of the front is standing. In the heap, which lies in confusion, are many sculptures well executed in basso-relievo; with pieces of architrave inscribed, but disjointed; or so encumbered with massive marbles, that we could collect from them no information. The character is large and bold, with ligatures. The marble seats are still unremoved. The numerous ranges are divided by a low semicircular wall, near mid-way, with inscriptions on the face of it, but mostly illegible. I copied a short, but imperfect one, in which Apollo Archegetes of The Leader is requested to be propitious. In another compartment, mention is made of the city by its name Hierapolis; and on a third is an encomium in verse,* which may be thus translated, " Hail golden city Hierapolis ;. the spot to be preferred before any in wide Asis; revered for
the rills of the nymphs; adorned with splendour." The
nymphs presided over springs and fountains.
The reader may recollect some other theatres and a stadium, in which many of the seats remained in their places,, and entire. After attentively viewing them, and considering their height, width, and manner of arrangement, I am inclined to believe that the ancient Asiatics sate at their plays and public spectacles, like the modern, with their legs crossed, or1gathered under them; and, it is probable, upon carpets..
* Inscript. Ant. p. 3 Ii.