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The reader, it is likely, will wonder at the great number of girls, which were employed in this work; and will conceive a bad opinion of the morals of the Sardians
The historian relates, it was the custom of the Lydians to permit their daughters to procure their own dowries; deviating in this from the Greek laws, which were established among them. They-were an ingenious people, the inventors of gold and silver coin, of wine-taverns, and of several games in general use. The female Lydians were much admired for the elegance of their dress, the beauty of their persons, and their wonderful performance of a grand, choral, circular dance, in honour of Bacchus.*
We re-gain the road to Magnesia—The weather—At Durguthli —To Mount Sipylns—Of the city Sipylus and Sale-—To Magnesia—Of JS'iobe.
After riding an hour by the side of the calm and noble lake, we turned to the south-west, passing by a fountain with an inscription,-)- to recover the road from Sardes to Magnesia by Mount Sipylus. We crossed the ridge, and at eleven again forded the Hermus. The stream was very wide, rapid, and turbid. We entered on the road by three barrows, ranging on the side close by each other. We stopped, after two hours more, near a green barrow, at a neat coffee-hut by
* Dioiysius, Tltpitiy. v. 840. t Inscript. Ant. p. 30.
Uran-lui, four hours from Sardes. Our dog, which we had named Sart, here very wisely forsook us, and, as we supposed, returned to the Turcomans, his old masters.
The mountains, when we moved from Bazocleu in the morning, were all clear, except Sipylus, which was enveloped in mist. On the way a shower or two fell, which cooled the air, and occasioned a delicious freshness and fragrancy. Now Sipylus was quite hid; and thunder, with violent rain, proceeded from the thick black clouds, in which it was enwrapped. At half after four, the sun broke out, the clouds brightened, and above them its summit was discernible. Thin fleeces were yet hanging low on the side of the mountain beyond the Hermus.
After dining under a tree by a clear stream we rode briskly on, and arrived in two hours at Durguthli, or Casabar. This is a town of considerable extent, in the plain, with many minarets of mosques rising amid trees. The khan was most exceedingly wretched, and our stay, though for a single night, seemed tedious. The place was a great thoroughfare; and the accounts we received of the malady raging at Smyrna, became at every stage, as we advanced, more terrible as well as more authentic.
Early in the morning we went on toward Mount Sipylus. On our left was an opening into a plain, between that mountain, and the end of Mount Tmolus; and beyond it was a lofty ridge covered with snow. Magnesia, with the river Hermus, is on the north side of Sipylus. There must be the junction of the three plains, the Sardian, that of the Hermus, and the Caystrian; which have been described as below, or to the west of Sardes; as contiguous ; and as unrivalled in fertility and beauty*. We passed a wide water-course, and a river, and then a stream, after which we came to the extremity of the mountain.
Mount Sipylus was anciently noted for frequent thunder. At Smyrna I had often listened to the rumbling, and marked the remote lightning, which gleamed from that quarter. A city of the same name as the mountain was once the capital of M onia or Lydia. It was recorded, that, in the time of Tantalus, prodigious earthquakes had happened. Then many villages were absorbed, the city Sipylus was subverted, and marshes were changed into lakes. The credibility of this relation was demonstrated, as Strabo remarks, by the dreadful effects of the earthquake under Tiberius, and the overthrow of Magnesia. Where Sipylus had stood was a marsh called Sale. The mountain, terminating on the north-east in a vast naked precipice, has now beneath it a very limpid water, with a small marsh, not far from a sepulchre cut in the rock, and there perhaps was Sale, and the site of Sipylus.
We travelled on at the foot of the mountain, with the plain, of the Hermus, which is very extensive, on our right hand. Our horses were much jaded, and we fatigued, when, after eight hours, we reached Magnesia.
The famous story of the transformation of Niobe the daughter of Tantalus, had for its foundation a phenomenon extant in Mount Sipylus. I shall give an account of this extraordinary curiosity elsewhere. The phantom may be defined, " an effect of a certain portion of light and shade on a part of Sipylus, perceivable at a particular point of view." The traveller, who shall visit Magnesia after this information,
* Strabo, p. 626. is requested to observe carefully a steep and remarkable cliff, about a mile from the town; varying its distance, while the sun and shade, which come gradually on, pass over it. I have reason to believe he will see Niobe.
History of Magnesia—The present town—The royal mosques —A MausoUum—The castle—Of the Hyllus.
Magnesia surrendered to the Romans, immediately after the decisive battle between Scipio and Antiochus. It was a free city, and shared in the bounty of Tiberius Caesar, next to Sardes, as second in its sufferings from the earthquake. While the Turks made incursions into the field of Menomen by Smyrna, ruining the country, in 1303, the emperor Michael was shut up in this place; from which he escaped by night. The grand-duke Roger garrisoned it with Italians. The inhabitants rose, and killed some of them; when he beseiged the city, but was forced to retire. In 3313 it ranked among the acquisitions of Sarkhan, afterwards Sultan of Ionia. It was the city chosen for his retreat by Morat or Amurath the second in 1443, when he resigned the empire to his son Mahomet the second, the conqueror of Constantinople.
Soon after our arrival at the khan, we were visited by a Frenchman, a practitioner in physic; who told us that he had attended Mr. Bouverie in a pleurisy at Sanderli.* He
conducted us about the town, which retains its ancient name, and is still very extensive; spreading in the plain at the mountain foot, on the acclivity of the castle hill, and up a valley on each side.-f- It is populous, and has a great trade. The mosques are numerous; and the Greeks have a large and handsome church, and also a monastery.
Among the mosques at Magnesia, two have double minarets or turrets, and are very noble structures, of marble. Each has before it an area with a fountain. We were permitted to enter one of them, which had been lately beautified, leaving our boots or shoes at the door. The inside was as neat as possible; and the floor covered with rich carpets. The ornamental painting pleased by an odd novelty of design, and a lively variety of colour. The dome is lofty and of great dimensions. The lamps, which were innumerable, many pendant from the ceiling, with balls of polished ivory intermixed, must, when lighted, amaze equally by their artful disposition, their splendor, and their multitude. These edifices, a college of dervishes, and a bedlam, were erected and endowed by Sultan Morat and his queen.
Sultan Morat intended to lead a private life at Magnesia. We were shewn the site of his palace, his seraglio, and garden. The remains are some pieces of wall, with several large and stately cypress trees. Near them is a neat mausoleum, with a dome, over the tombs of his wives and children, in number twenty two, of different sizes, disposed in three rows, all plain, and of stone.
The castle hill is exceedingly high, the ascent steep and tiresome, with loose stones in the way. By the track is a
See a view, Le Brun, p. 37.