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road worn with wheels, separating the hill of the Museum from Lycabettus, and once leading to the Melitensian gate, which was before the acropolis.
We kept on in the plain, and crossed the dry bed of the Ilissus. On our left were the door-ways of ancient sepulchres hewn out in the rock; the Muséum, and on it the marble monument of Phil,pappus; and then the lofty acropolis, beneath which we passed. Before us was a temple standing on the farther bank of the Ilissus ; and some tall columns, of vast size, the remains of the temple of Jupiter Olympius. We arrived at the French convent, which is at this extremity of the town, infinitely delighted and awed by the majesty of situation, the solemnity and grandeur of the ruins which had met us.
Early in the morning we were visited by the French consul, Monsieur de Gaspari; and by the archons or principal Greeks in a body. With the latter came an Italian named Lombardi, who had resided several years at Athens, and who was known to one of my companions. This man was well received by the Turks, who regarded him as a Mahometan, and as he affected humility, and poverty, had bestowed on him the appellation of Dervish. He offered to serve us, and we found it our interest to employ him. He attended us on our visit of ceremony to Achmet Aga, the chief Turk of Athens ; to the vaiwode or governor of the city ; to the disdar or officer who commands in the acropolis ; to the mufti; the archbishop, and archons; interpreted for us, and adjusted the presents, necessary to be made, for the purchase of permission to examine the antiquities and of protection during our stay; with the smaller gratuities to inferior persons. We were pleased with the civil behaviour of the people in general, and enjoyed a tranquillity to which we had long been strangers.
The city of Cecrops-Athens burned by the Persians, fc.
Under the Macedonians--Receives a Roman garrison—Defaced by Sylla-State under the Roman emperors-Governed by a pro-consul— Kindness of Hadrian—The city-wall restored --Besieged and taken--Favoured by Constantine the Great-In danger from the Goths-Sacked by Alaric-A chasm in its history—Under various masters after the twelfth century-Unknown in the sixteenth--Ancient extent of the walls.
It was the boast of the early Athenians, that their origin was from the land which they inhabited, and their antiquity co-equal with the sun. The reputed founder of their city was Cecrops, who uniting a body of the natives,* then living dispersed and in caves, settled on the rock of the acropolis. He was there secure from inundation, a calamity much dreaded after the deluge, which had happened under Ogyges, one hundred and ninety years before. The hill was nearly in the centre of his little territory; rising majestically in the middle of the plain, as if designed by nature for the seat of government. The town and its domain were called Cecropia, but the name of the former was afterwards changed in' honour of Minerva. Her dispute with Neptune was said to have happened in this reign, and on the second day of the month called Boedromion. Neptune displayed his power by striking the rock with his trident, when salt water arose ; and Minerva, by producing the olive tree, which it is related was long peculiar to Attica. This town was watered by a copious fountain, which failed after an earthquake. Beneath it lived artificers and husbandmen, chiefly on the south side, until the time of Theseus ; the houses not spreading then in every direction round about, as in subsequent ages. A wandering people, called Pelasgi, were first employed to level the summit of the rock, and to encompass it with a wall, which they completed, except on the south, where the deficiency was supplied by trunks of olive trees, and palisades. The entrance was by nine gates. Afterwards Cimon, son of Miltiades, erected the wall on the south side, with the spoils he had taken in the Persian war.
* Before Troy was taken 355 years.
The tyranny of Pisistratus was celebrated by his getting possession of the acropolis or citadel, from which he could command and overawe the town below. His son Hippias was expelled, and then followed the invasion by Darius, and the battle of Marathon. Thirty-three years after this, Athens was taken, and set on fire by Xerxes ; and, in the next year, by his general Mardonius ; but, on the victories of Platæ and Salamis, it emerged from ruin to superior lustre and extended dominion. The Peloponnesian war then ensued ; the long walls were demolished ; and it was even proposed to raze the city, and lay waste the plain.
The victory obtained over the Thebans at Mantinea left Athens at leisure to indulge in elegant dissipation. A poet was preferred to a general, and vast sums were expended on plays and public spectacles. At this period Philip of Macedonia was aspiring to the empire of Greece and Asia. Alexander, his son, sacrificed an hecatomb to Minerva at Athens, and fortified the Piræus to keep the city in subjection. On his death the Athenians revolted, but were defeated by Antipater, who garrisoned Munychia. They rebelled again, but the garrison and oligarchy were re-instated. Demetrius,* the Phalerean, who was made governor, beautified the city, and they erected to him three hundred and sixty statues, which, on his expulsion, they demolished; except one in the acropolis. Demetrius Poliorcetes withdrew the garrison and restored the democracy, when they deified him, and lodged him in the Opisthodomos, or the back part of the Parthenon, as a guest to be entertained by their Minerva. Afterwards they decreed, that the Piræus, with Munychia, should be at his disposal ; and he took the Muséum. They expelled his garrison, and he was persuaded by Craterus, a philosopher, to leave them free. Antigonus Gonates, the next king, maintained a garrison in Athens ; but, on the death of his son Demetrius, the people, with the assistance of Aratus, regained their liberty ; and the Piræus, Munychia, Salamis, and Sunium, on paying a sum of money.
Philip, son of Demetrius, encamping near the city, destroying and burning the sepulchres and temples in the villages, and laying their territory waste, the Athenians were reduced to solicit protection from the Romans, and to receive a garrison, which remained until the war with Mithridates, king of Pontus, when the tyrant Aristion made them revolt.
Archelaus, the Athenian general, unable to withstand the Roman fury, relinquished the long walls, and retreated into the Piræus and Munychia. Sylla laid siege to the Piræus, and to the city, in which Aristion commanded. He was informed, that some persons' had been overheard talking in the Ceramicus, and blaming Aristion for his neglect of the avenues about the Heptachalcos, where the wall was accessible. Sylla resolved to storm there, and about midnight entered the town, at the gate called Dipylon or the Piræan, having levelled all obstacles in the way between it and the gate of the Piræus. Aristion fled to the acropolis, but was compelled to surrender hy the want of water, when he was dragged from the temple of Minerva, and put to death. Sylla burned the Piræus and Munychia, and defaced the city and suburbs, not sparing even the sepulchres.
* This Demetrius was the author of the ancient and famous Chronicon inscribed on marble at Paros, and now preserved, but not entire, at Oxford. See Daniel LXX. p. 480. Rome, 1772
In the civil war, the Athenians took the side of Pompey. Cæsar, generously refused to punish the city, which afterwards caressed his murderers. They next joined Antony, who gave them Ægina and Cea, with other islands. Augustus was unkind to them, and they revolted, four years before he died. Under Tiberius, the city was declining, but free, and regarded as an ally of the Romans. The high privilege of having a lictor to precede the magistrates was conferred on it by Germanicus; but he was censured as treating with too much condescension a mixture of nations, instead of génuine Athenians, whieh race was then considered as extinct.
The emperor Vespasian reduced Achaia to a province paying tribute and governed by a pro-consul. Nerva was more propitious to the Athenians; and Pliny, under Trajan his successor, exhorts Maximus to be mindful whither he was sent; to rule genuine Greece, a state composed of free cities. “ You will revere the gods and heroes their founders. You will respect their pristine glory, and even their age. You