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Of the plain of Marathon-Extract from Wheler-Of Rhamnus-The battle of Marathon-Description of PausaniasThe large barrow.
The plain of Marathon is long and narrow. Opposite to the range of mountains, by which the village stands, is the sea. Pentele, with a lake' at the extremity, as I noted from one of the summits, is the southern boundary. At the other end is also a ridge, the isthmus of a considerable promontory, once named Cynosura. This is beyond a marsh or lake, from which a stream issued; the water at the head fit for cattle, but salt near the mouth, and full of sea-fish. Many aquatic birds, such as we saw by the Gygæan lake, were flying about. The soil is reputed exceedingly fertile. We rode through some very thick corn of most luxuriant growth, and the barley of this track was anciently named Achilléan, perhaps from its tallness.
Wheler, travelling on in the plain, passed by Marathon, and crossed a river, which descends from the mountains near it, and enters the sea. Soon after he came to a fountain, of which the water seemed presently to stagnate into a lake, or rather a marsh or bog, at times 'almost dry ; then covered with rushes and weeds. Some caloyers, or monks, of the convent of Pentelè attend the fishery, which furnishes very large eels, and look after the buffaloes, which are fond of feeding and wallowing in the mire. By the fountain was a ruined town and a church, where he supposes Tricorythus stood.. About a mile farther on was a village called Chouli, inhabited by Albanians, who had another village of the same name in the mountains ; the cold forcing them to descend with their cattle in winter, and the drought, with the flies swarming from the lake, to return in summer. He proceeded three or four miles northward, and came to the sea-shore, opposite to Eubea, and toʻa ruined town situated in the isthmus, and called Tauro-castro or Hebræo-castro, anciently Rhamnus. The mountain ends here in unpassable rocks and precipices.
Rhamnus was sixty stadia, or seven miles and a half, from Marathon, in the road going from thence to Oropus by sea. It was famous for a temple of Nemesis, now reduced to a heap lying on a hill in the middle of the isthmus. The statue was exceedingly celebrated, and ten cubits, or fifteen feet high. It was made by Phidias out of a block of marble, which the Barbarians, intending to erect a trophy in Attica, had transported from Paros. The ruins, consisting of white marble, are visible afar off. I wished to examine the spot, but was too slightly attended to advance farther on that side, the Turks of Eubea bearing a very bad character.
The Barbarians crossed from Ionia under Datis and Artaphernes, with a fleet of six hundred triremes. They reduced Carystus and Eretria, and set the slaves, taken at the latter town, on shore on Ægileia, an island belonging to Styra near Carystus. They were conducted by Hippias to the plain of Marathon, as a place suited to their cavalry. The Athenian army did not exceed nine thousand, reckoning the old men and the slaves. A thousand Platäensians, who joined it while drawn up in the Heracleum, or sacred portion of Hercules at Marathon, were placed in the left wing. The line was of equal extent with that of the enemy, and the distance between them not less than a mile. The Barbarians broke the centre, which was thin and weak, and pursued the routed troops up the country; but the wings, which conquered, uniting to receive them on their return, they also were beaten, and the slaughter reached to the ships, of which seven were seized. Many of the fugitives, from confusion and ignorance, took toward the marsh, and, crowding one on another, were driven into it. Six thousand and four hundred were slain. The loss of the Athenians amounted only to one hundred and ninety-two. It had been usual to inter the citizens, who perished in war, at the public expense, in the Ceramicus without the city; but the death of these was deemed uncomnionly meritorious. They were buried, and a barrow was made for them, where their bravery had been manifested. The Athenians continued to commemorate this victory, which was obtained in the first year of the seventy-second Olympiad,* in the time of Plutarch.
Pausanias examined the field of battle about six hundred years after this event. His account of it is as follows. “The barrow of the Athenians is in the plain, and on it are pillars, containing the names of the dead under those of the tribes, to which they belonged ; and there is another for the Platæensians and slaves ; and a distinct monument of Miltiades, the commander, who survived this exploit. There may be perceived nightly the neighing of horses, and the clashing of arms. No person has derived any good from waiting on purpose to behold the spectres; but their anger does not fall on any one, who happens to see them without design. The
* Before Christ, 491.
Marathonians worship those who were slain in the battle, styling them heroes.'— A trophy also of white marble has been erected. The Athenians say the Medes were buried, religion requiring that the corpse of a man be covered with earth ; though I was not able to find any place of sepulture ; for there is no barrow or other sign visible, but they threw them promiscuously into a pit. - Above the lake are the marble mangers of the horses of Artaphernes, with marks of a tent on the rocks.” topdass site flat wy torno
Many centuries have elapsed since the age of Pausanias, but the principal barrow, it is likely, that of the gallant Athenians, still towers above the level of the plain. It is of light fine earth, and has a bush or two growing on it. I enjoyed a pleasing and satisfactory view from the summit, and looked, but in vain, for the pillars on which the names were recorded, lamenting that such memorials should ever be removed. At a small distance northward is a square basement of white marble, perhaps part of the trophy. A Greek church has stood near it; and some stones and rubbish, disposed so as to form an open place of worship, remain. The other barrows mentioned by Pausanias are, it is probable, among those exa tant near Brauron. To set is borgere opp mot huet. Agus golpes de modello
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A cave and the goat-stand of Pan near Marathon-Story of the
woman of Nonoz—Way to the cave-Account of it--Remarks.
“ A LITTLE farther from the plain than Marathon,” says Pausanias, " is the mountain of Pan, and a cave worth seeing. The entrance into it is narrow. Passing it, there are houses, and fonts or washing-places, with the goat-stand of Pan, as it is called, being rocks, which have been likened chiefly to goats. On this side is Brauron.”
I inquired for this cave of a peasant, who came to me, while I tarried beneath the olive-tree. He affirmed it was not much out of my way to Marathon, and undertook to conduct me to it. In the vale, which we entered, near the vestiges of a small building, probably a sepulchre, was a headless statue of a woman sedent, lying on the ground. This my companions informed me was once endued with life, being an aged lady possessed of a numerous flock, which was folded near that spot. Her riches were great, and her prosperity was uninterrupted. She was elated by her good fortune. The winter was gone by, and even the rude month of March had spared her sheep and goats. She now defied Heaven, as unapprehensive for the future, and as secure from all mishap. But Providence, to correct her impiety and ingratitude, commanded a fierce and penetrating frost to be its avenging minister; and she, her fold, and flocks were hardened into stone. This story, which is current, was also re