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wards to have omitted the name Augustus, would have been an affront both to Caius, and to the senate. The two friends, it is likely, were joined in the Athenian decree, and as Agrippa graced the approach to the propyléa on the left hand, Caius was on the right. The theatre in the Ceramicus was called for some time the Agrippéum, probably as a compliment to this Agrippa. No dog or goat was suffered to enter the propyléa.
CHAP. X. Of the parthenon-Of the statue of Minerva--Of Phidias
The statue remaining after Julian-When removed—The temple when ruined- Described in 1676—Present state The pediments—Other sculptures-Copied by Mr. Pars.
The chief ornament of the acropolis was the parthenon, · or great temple of Minerva, a most superb and magnificent
fabric. The Persians had burned the edifice, which before occupied the site, and was called hecatompedon, from its being a hundred feet square. The zeal of Pericles, and of all the Athenians was exerted in providing a far more ample and glorious residence for their favourite goddess. The architects were Callicrates and Ictinus; and a treatise on the building was written by the latter and Carpion. It was of white marble, of the doric order, the columns fluted and without bases, the number in front eight; and adorned with admirable sculpture. The story of the birth of Minerva was carved in the front pediment; and in the back, her contest with Neptune for the country. The beasts of burthen, which had conveyed up the materials, were regarded as sacred, and recompensed with pastures; and one, which had voluntarily headed the train, was maintained during life, without labour, at the public expense.
The statue of Minerva, made for this temple by Phidias, was of ivory, twenty-six cubits, or thirty-nine feet high. It was decked with pure gold to the amount of forty-four talents,* so disposed, by the advice of Pericles, as to be taken off and weighed, if required. The goddess was represented standing, with her vestment reaching to her feet, Her helmet had a sphinx for the crest, and on the sides were griffins. The head of Medusa was on her breast-plate. In one hand she held her spear, and in the other supported an image of Victory, about four cubits high. The battle of the Centaurs and Lapithæ was carved on her sandals ; and on her shield which lay at her feet, the war of the gods and giants, and the battle of the Athenians and Amazons. By her spear was a serpent, in allusion to the story of Erichthonius; and, on the pedestal, the birth of Pandora. The sphinx, the victory, and serpent, were accounted eminently wonderful. This image was placed in the temple, in the first year of the eightyseventh Olympiad, † in which the Peloponnesian war began. The gold was stripped off by the tyrant Lachares, when Demetrius Poliorcetes compelled him to fly. The same plunderer plucked down the golden shields in the acropolis, and carried away the golden Victories, with the precious vessels, and ornaments provided for the Panathenæan festival.
It was observed of Phidias, that, as a statuary, he excelled more in forming gods than men ; a short encomium containing the substance of a panegyric. The Minerva of Athens, with a statue, which he made afterwards, of Jupiter at Olympia, raised him far above competition in ivory. Such an artist deserved to be generously treated, but Phidias had enemies as well as his patron. He had inserted in the shield of Minerva a beautiful figure of Pericles, without his knowledge, fighting with an Amazon, the face partly concealed ; a hand with a spear, extended before it, seemingly designed to prevent the likeness from being perceived. Much envy and obloquy followed, when that with his own image was detected. Phidias was represented as an old man and bald, but with a ponderous stone uplifted in his hands; and this figure, cementing, as it were, the whole work, could not be removed without its falling in pieces. He was accused of having embezzled some ivory, by charging more for the scales of the serpent than had been consumed. He fled to Elis, and was killed by the people, to secure their Jupiter from a rival.
* Forty talents valued, according to Herodotus, at thirteen times the weight in silver will amount to above 120,0001. sterling.
^ Before Christ, 430. Pericles survived only two years and a half.
Minerva had been too long in possession, and was too firmly established, to be easily expelled from Athens. The partiality of Constantine the Great, it is probable, averted from this city the tide of reformation, and preserved to the tuteJary goddess, and its deities, in general, their sacred portions and revenues, their temples and customary rites. The emperor Julian, in a letter to the Athenians, reminds them, that when he was summoned by Constantius, the destroyer of his family, to a court filled with his enemies, he had left them reluctantly, weeping plentifully, as many of them could witness, stretching forth his hands toward the acropolis, and supplicating Minerva to save and protect him; and, he affirms, she did not abandon or give up her servant, as had been man nifest; but was always his guide, accompanying him with guardian angels, which she had taken from the sun and moon. His beard had been shaven, and the philosophic cloke relinquished at the command of Constantius. Julian was transformed into a courtier and soldier, but he retained his affection for Athens and for Minerva, to whom he sacrificed every morning in his closet. The orator Libanius coincided with his own belief, when he affirmed to him, that none of his exploits had been achieved without the Athenian goddess, and that she had been continually his counsel and co-adjutor. Minerva preserved her station in the acropolis, under his successors Valentinian and Valens.
The extirpation of gentilism at Athens seems to have been accomplished by Alaric and his Goths. Indeed, one historian* relates, that this barbarian, on his irruption into Greece, through the straits of Thermopylæ, hastened to Athens, expecting an easy conquest, as he could cut off the communication with the Piræus, and the city was too large to be defended by the inhabitants ; but that, on his approach he beheld Minerva armed on the battlements, and preparing to
sally forth ; with Achilles, standing before the wall, and ter· rible, such as he is described by Homer, when he appeared to
the Trojans, after the death of Patroclus ; that Alaric, dismayed by these spectres, was induced to treat ; and being admitted with a small party into the city, was conducted to the bath, entertained by the principal persons, and gratified with valuable presents; and that he then led his army toward the isthmus, leaving Athens and Attica unspoiled. But this is the narrative of a pagan, zealous for the credit of the proscribed deities; and it has been proved, that Athens suffered with the other cities of Greece. The potent and revered idol of Minerva then, it is likely, submitted to their common plunderer, who levelled all their images, without distinction, alike regardless whether they were heaven-descended, or the works of Phidias.
* Zozimus, p. 512.
The parthenon remained entire for many ages after it was deprived of the goddess. The Christians converted it into a church, and the Mahometans into a mosque. It is mentioned in the letters of Crusius, and miscalled the pantheon, and the temple of the unknown god.* The Venetians, under Koningsmark, when they besieged the acropolis in 1687, threw a bomb, which demolished the roof, and, setting fire to some powder, did much damage to the fabric. The floor, which is indented, still witnesses the place of its fall. This was the sad forerunner of farther destruction; the Turks breaking the stones, and applying them to the building of a new mosque, which stands within the ruin, or to the repairing of their houses and the walls of the fortress. The vast pile of ponderous materials, which lay ready, is greatly diminished ; and the whole structure will gradually be consumed and disappear.
The temple of Minerva in 1676 was, as Wheler and Spon assert, the finest mosque in the world, without comparison. The Greeks had adapted the fabric to their ceremonial by constructing, at one end, a semicircular recess for the holy tables, with a window ; for before it was enlightened only by the door, obscurity being preferred under the heathen ritual, except on festivals, when it yielded to splendid illuminations; the
* See also Modern Universal History, v. 5. p. 417.