« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
after three hours, not far from an ancient bridge of three arches, ranging with the bank, and witnessing, that the stream has changed its channel. He then passed on in a fertile and well-cultivated champaign country, between two high and snowy mountains, Tmolus and Messogis, in a region inexpressibly delightful; with frequent villages ; and in seven hours came to Tyria, once, it has been supposed, Tyriæum ; a populous city mentioned in Xenophon as by the plain of the Cayster.
From Tyria to Ephesus have been reckoned twenty-five miles. The way is in a long, narrow, and almost deserted
le. He came in seven hours near the end of Gallesus or the Alemán, on which is the old castle mentioned in our journey from Smyrna. The Cayster was on his right hand, and there mingled with the Pegaséan lake, which was large and muddy.
los The approach to Tyria is by a gentle ascent from the plain: The houses are numerous, with trees and gardens intermixed. It had then about fourteen mosques, one of which was of royal foundation, as the double minarets shewed. The Greeks had two churches. This, when Tamerlane ravaged Antolia in 1402, was one of the principal cities. He marched to it from Aiasaluck, forced the inhabitants to pay a ransom, and there was informed of the state of Smyrna. Tyria was in the interest of Cineis, and helped him to recover Ephesus from sultan Solyman.
We cross the Hermus-At Bazocleu— The Gygaan lake--Its
history-The cemetery of the. Lydian kings- The barrow of Alyattes--Custom of the Greeks—Remarks on the barrowThe difficulty of examining its contents Of the ancient Lydians.
BeFORE Sardes, on the opposite side of the plain, are many barrows on an eminence, some of which are seen afar off. We were told, that behind them was a lake ; and agreed to visit it. We left Sardes in the afternoon, and repassed Pactolus, farther on; the stream foul and dull. In an hour we came to the banks of the Hermus, which was also muddy, but wide and rapid. We forded with the water up to our girths, and then rode among huts of the Turcomans ; their large and fierce dogs barking vehemently, and worrying us. The plain now appeared as bounded with mountains. The view westward was terminated by a single, distinct, lofty range, the east end of Mount Sipylus.
We approached near to the high green ridge, on which the barrows are, and going on beyond its eastern extremity, pitched our tent after three hours by a village called Bazocleu. A continual noise or hooting was made to drive away the small birds, which lodged in the corn. We saw them changing their quarters, as soon as molested, in troops. A large dog had followed our men, who fed him, from Sart.
We were on horseback again at seven in the morning, and going north-westward for half an hour, came to the lake,
which lay behind the ridge, extending westward, and was anciently called Gygæa. It is very large, and abounds in fish, its colour and taste like common pond water, with beds of sedge growing in it. We saw, a few swans with cygnets, and many aquatic birds ; in particular, one species resembling a gull, flying about in flocks, or lighting on the ground. These were white, but with the whole head black. The air swarmed with gnats.
Some very ancient historians had related, that this lake was made as a receptacle for the floods, which happened when the rivers were swollen. The Lydians asserted it was perennial, or never dry. The name had been changed from Gygæa to Coloe. By it was a temple of Diana, called Coloene, of great sanctity. A story is recorded as current, that on the festivals of the goddess certain baskets danced.* The privilege of an asylum was conferred on it by Alexander.fo This probably is the Sardian Diana, mentioned in an inscription copied by Mr. Peyssonnel, and containing a panegyric on her priestess. If the lake be fictitious, the ridge may be regarded as an immense mound raised with the soil.
By Gygæa, which was within forty stadia or five miles of Sardes, is the burying place of the Lydian kings. The harrows are of various sizes, the smaller made perhaps for children of the younger branches of the royal family. Four or five are distinguished by their superior magnitude, and are visible as hills at a great distance. The lake, it is likely, furnished the soil. All of them are covered with green turf ; and as many' as I observed, in passing among them, retain their conical form without any sinking-in of the top.
* See Strabo, p. 626,627. + Tacitus Ann. I. 3. c. 63.
Strabo, p. 627.
One of the barrows on the eminence, near the middle, and toward Sardes, is remarkably conspicuous. This has been described by Herodotus,* as beyond comparison the greatest work in Lydia ; inferior only to the works of the Egyptians and Babylonians. It was the monument of Alyattes, the father of Croesus ; a vast mound of earth heaped on a basement of large stones by three classes of the people; one of which was composed of girls, who were prostitutes. Alyattes died, after a long reign, in the year 562 before the Christian era. Above a century intervened, but the historian relates, that to his time five stones (epo termini or stela) on which letters were engraved, had remained on the top, recording what each class had performed; and from the measurement it had appeared, that the greater portion was done by the girls. Strabo likewise has mentioned it as a huge mound raised on a lofty basement by the multitude of the city. The circumference was six stadia or three quarters of a mile ; the height two plethra or two hundred feet;t and the width thirteen plethra.
It was customary among the Greeks to place, on barrows, either the image of some animal, or stela, commonly round pillars with inscriptions. The famous barrow of the Athenians in the plain of Marathon, described by Pausanias, is
* L. 1. 92.
+ In Herodotus, neprodos oradia et kai dvo adepa to dɛ evpos eo imrepa tprakaideka. We have supposed το υψος wanting in the text after και δυο πλεθρα. See Note on the passage.
The pyramid of Chepos, in Egypt, was quadrangular, each side measuring eight plethra, and its height the same. 1. 2. c. 124.
The pyramid of Mycerinus, his son, was much smaller, each side measuring three plethra. c. 134.
The pyramid by the Labyrinth was likewise square, each side measuring four pletbra, and its beight the same. Strabo, p. 811.
an instance of the latter usage. An ancient monument in Italy by the Appian way, called, without reason, the sepulchre of the Curiatii has the same number of termini as remained on the barrow of Alyattes ; the basement, which is square, supporting five round pyramids.
The barrow of Alyattes is much taller and handsomer than any I have seen in England or elsewhere. The industry shewn, in carrying earth for its elevation, was probably excited by the pay which Croesus offered; for it is not likely, that the sepulchres of a regal family, which possessed immense riches, should be raised by public contribution or gratuitous labour. The mould, which has been washed down, conceals the stone-work, which, it seems, was anciently visible. The apparent altitude is diminished, and the bottom rendered wider and less distinct than before. Its measurements, which we were not prepared to take, deserve to be ascertained and compared with those given by Herodotus.
The barrows contain perhaps a considerable treasure. In this it is well secured. Some time and much labour would be consumed in penetrating to the basement, and afterwards it would be difficult to force a passage through the stone-work. Many men must be employed, and in the present state of the country a large guard would be necessary for their protection. A jealousy already prevails among the people, that strangers are in quest of hidden riches. The Turcomans and the neighbouring agas would not suffer the removal of the plunder, if obtained, without molestation. The enterprize is fitter for the basha of the district, or a general of an army, than for a private adventurer. The first, whether successful or otherwise, would probably be preyed on by his master for the attempt.