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innumerable. We stopped, after an hour, at a handsome fountain. The cistern was a marble coffin, carved with festoons, and inscribed in Greek "Of Appius." In an old burying-ground near it were marble fragments. We travelled three hours and a half north-westward, and as long westward. We met numerous caravans, chiefly of mules, on the road; or saw them] by its side feeding on the green pasture, their burthens lying on the ground; the passengers sitting in groups eating, or sleeping on the grass. We pitched our tent about sunset, and the next day, after riding two hours in the same direction, arrived at Sardes, now called Sart.
Of Sardes—Taken by Cyrus—The town burnt by the Ionian*—Surrenders to Alexander—Suffers from an earthquake—Its later history—The theatre—A stratagem of Antiochus—Other remains—The hill, and Pactolus—The village—Ruin of a temple—Perhaps of Cybele.
Lydia was celebrated for its city Sardes, which was of great antiquity, though posterior to the war of Troy.* It was enriched by the fertility of the soil, and had been the capital of the Lydian kings. It was seated on the side of Mount Tmolus, and the citadel was remarkable for its strength. This was on a lofty hill; the back part, or that towards Tmolus, a perpendicular precipice. One of the kings, an ancestor of Croesus, it is related, believed, that by leading a
* Strabo, p. 625. Herodotus, 1. 1.
lion about the wall, he should render the fortress impregnable, and neglected that portion of it as totally inaccessible.
Croesus, who was tyrant or king of all the nations within the river Halys, engaging Cyrus, who had followed him into Lydia, was defeated in the plain before the city, the Lydian horses not enduring the sight, or smell of the camels. Cyrus then besieged him, and offered a reward for the person, who should first mount the wall. One of his soldiers had seen a Lydian descend for his helmet, which had rolled down the back of the citadel. He tried to ascend there, where not even a centinel was placed, and succeeded. Afterwards the Persian satrapas, or commandant, resided at Sardes, as the emperor did at Susa.
In the time of Darius, the Milesians sailed to Ephesus, and leaving their vessels at Mount Corissus, marched up by the river Cayster, and crossing Mount Tmolus, surprised the city, except the fortress, in which was a numerous garrison. A soldier set fire to one of the houses, which were thatched, and presently the town was in flames. The Ionians retreated to Tmolus, and in the night to their ships.*
The city and fortress surrendered on the approach of Alexander, after the battle of the Granicus. His army encamped by the river Hermus, which was twenty stadia, or two miles and a half distant. He went up to the citadel, which was then fortified with a triple wall, and resolved to erect in it a temple and altar to Jupiter Olympius, on. the site of the royal palace of the Lydians.-f
Sardes under the Romans was a large city, and not inferior to any of its neighbours, until the terrible earthquake, which
• Herodotut, I. v. f Arrian, p. 36. ,
happened in the time of Tiberius Caesar. Magnesia by Sipylus, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Ephesus, and several more cities partook largely in that calamity; but this place suffered prodigiously, and was much pitied. The munificence of the emperor was nobly exerted to repair the various damages, and Sardes owed its recovery to Tiberius.*
The emperor Julian made Chrysanthius, a Sardian of a senatorial family, pontiff of Lydia.-j- He attempted to restore the heathen worship; erecting temporary altars at Sardes, where none had been left, and repairing the temples, if any vestiges remained. In the year 400, the Goths, under Tribigild and Caianas, officers in the Roman pay, who had revolted from the emperor Arcadius, plundered the city. In the subsequent troubles in Asia, the natives in general were compelled to retire for safety to the hills and strong hords. At Sardes they permitted the Turks, on an incursion of the Tartars in 3304, to occupy a portion of the citadel-separated by a strong wall with a gate, and afterwards murdered them in their sleep.
The site of this once noble city was now green and flowery. Coming from the east, we had the ground-plot of the theatre at some distance on our left hand, with a small brook near us, running before it. This structure was in a brow, which unites with the hill of the citadel, and was called Prion. Some pieces of the vault, which supported seats, and completed the semicircle, remain.
It was on this side the effort was made, which gave An<tiochus possession of Sardes. An officer had observed that vultures and birds of prey gathered there about the offals
* Strabo, p. 579. 627. Tacitus Ann. 2 c. 47. + Eunapius, p. 154.
and dead bodies thrown into the hollow by the besieged, and inferred that the wall, standing on the edge of the precipices, was neglected as secure from any attempt. He scaled it with a resolute party, while Antiochus called off the attention both of his own army and of the enemy by a feint; marching as if he intended to attack the Persian gate. Two thousand soldiers rushed in at the gate opened for them, and took their post at the theatre, when the town was plundered and burned.*
Going on, we passed by remnants of massive buildings; marble piers, sustaining heavy fragments of arches of brick; and more indistinct ruins. These are in the plain, before the hill of the citadel. On our right hand, near the road, was a portion of a large edifice, with a heap of ponderous materials before and behind it. The walls are standing of two large, lofty, and very long rooms, with a space between them, as of a passage. This^ remain, it has been conjectured, was the house of Croesus,^ once appropriated by the Sardians, as a place of retirement, to superannuated citizens. It was called the Gerusia, and in it, as some Roman authors have remarked, was exemplified the extreme durability of the ancient brick4 The walls in this ruin have double arches beneath, and consist chiefly of that material, with layers of stone. The bricks are exceedingly fine and good, of various sizes, some flat, and broad. We employed a man to procure one entire, but the cement proved so very hard and tenacious, it was next to impossible. Both Croesus and Mausolus, neither of whom could be suspected of parsimony, used them in building their palaces. It was a substance in
* Polybius,!. 7. c. 4. + See Peyssonnel's Travels.
sensible of decay ; and, it is asserted, if the walls were erected true to their perpendicular, would, without violence, last for
The hill, on which the citadel stood, appears from the plain to be triangular. It is sandy, and the sides rough. The fortress is abandoned, but has a double wall, as in 1304, fronting the plain, besides out-works, in ruins.-f- The eminence affords a fine prospect of the country, and in the walls are two or three fragments with inscriptions. Not far from the west end is the celebrated river Pactolus, which rises in the mountain behind, and once flowed through the middle of the market-place of Sardes in its way to the Hermus, bringing down from Tmolus bits of gold. Herodotus observes, that, except this one and the barrow of Alyattes, Lydia was not remarkable for wonders. The treasures of Croesus and of his ancestors were collected chiefly from the Pactolus; but in time that source failed4 After snow or rain a torrent descends; but now the stream was very shallow; the bed sand or gravel, in colour inclining to a reddish yellow.
Beyond the supposed Gerusia, we turned from the road to the left. We passed the miserable village Sart, which stands, with a ruinous mosque, above the river, on a root or spur of the hill of the citadel, and, crossing the Pactolus, pitched our tent in a flowery meadow. Not far from us were booths of the Turcomans, with their cattle feeding. Some of them joined us, and one or two wanted raki or brandy, but were told we had none. A small gratuity was required for the aga of the village, which was opposite to our tent.
t Sec a plan and view in Peyssonnel.