Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση


praise of the patriots Harmodius, and Aristogiton, and Thrasybulus. Aristion and Sylla set it on fire; the former, when he fled to the acropolis, because the timber would have enabled the enemy to raise machines for an attack without loss of time. King Ariobarzanes the Second, named Philopator, who reigned in Cappadocia not long after, * restored it; and in a stable is an inscription, which has belonged to a statue of him erected by the persons, whom he appointed the overseers. He was honoured also with a statue by the people, as appears from another inscription. Before the entrance were statues of the kings of Egypt, and, within, a Bacchus worth seeing. This was the edifice in being when Pausanias 'published his Attica. Afterwards, as he informs us, it was

rebuilt by Atticus Herodes, in memory of his wife Regilla. This lady was a Roman of high extraction, and died of ill usage, which Herodes was supposed to have abetted; but he put his house into mourning, refused a second consulate, on account of his affliction, and dedicated her female ornaments in the temple at Eleusis. This fabric was roofed with cedar, and Greece had not a rival to it in dimensions and magnificence. The wall of the inner front of the proscenium is still standing, very lofty, with open arches; serving as part of an out-work of the castle ; and, beyond it, turning up toward the castle-gate, a portion of the exterior wall, of the right wing, is visible. On the right hand, within the gate, is the way into the area, which was sown with wheat; as was also the circular sweep of the hill, on which the seats once ranged. In the wall of the proscenium, on this side, is a small niche, or cavity, with a low entrance. The dervishes have a teckeh,

* From the year of Rome 692 to 712. v. Corsin. Inscriptiones Attica.

[ocr errors]

or place of worship, above, with a room, in which the bowstring, when a Turk is sentenced to be strangled, is commonly administered. A way leads from that part, within the outwork, to a door at the end next the theatre of Bacchus, and in that line Pausanias appears to have ascended to the front of the acropolis. Going on from the odéum, without turning, you descend among Turkish sepulchres, and, by the buryinggrounds, into the vale at the foot of the hill, she atte sa morto a be be to nabae

law tion isitis enomer need barl eed it seeயார் ப y CHAP XIII.


slog Of the areopagus--The tribunal when extinctThe pnya

Account of pnyr.

pastor In the preceding chapter we have mentioned the hill of the areopagus. This place is described by Pausanias as opposite to the cave of Apollo and Pan. In Lucian, Mercury, arriving at Athens with Justice, who is sent by Jupiter to hold a court on areopagus, bids her sit down on the hill, looking towards pnyx, while he mounts up to the acropolis, and makes proclamation for all persons concerned to appear before her. Justice desires to be informed, before he goes, who it was she beheld approaching them, with horns on his head, hairy legs, and a pastoral pipe in his hand. Mercury relates the story of Pan, and shewing her the cave, his dwelling, tells her, that seeing them from it, not far off, he was coming, it was likely, to receive them. The hill before noted is proved to have been that of the areopagus by its situation, both with respect to the cave and to pnyx, of which place we shall treat next. It is ascended by steps cut

in the rock, and by it, on the side next to the temple of Theseus, is a small church of St. Dionysius, near one ruined, and a well now choked up, in which, they tell you, St. Paul, on some occasion, was hid. The upper council of Athens assembled in the areopagus, and a writer of the Augustan age has recorded the clay-roof of the senate-house there as very ancient, and still existing. Pausanias informs us, that he saw, on the side next the acropolis, within the inclosure or wall, a monument and altar of dipus, and, after much inquiry, found that his bones had been removed thither from Thebes.

The areopagus was long the seat of a most serious, silent, solemn, and impartial tribunal. The end of this court of judicature is as obscure as its origin, which was derived from very remote antiquity. It existed, with the other magistracies, in the time of Pausanias. The term of its subsequent duration is not ascertained ; but a writer, who lived under the emperors Theodosius the elder and younger, mentions it as extinct. The actions for murder were introduced by the archon called the king, who laying aside his crown, which was of myrtle, voted as a common member; and these causes were usually tried in the open air, that the criminal and his accuser might not be under the same roof. It was the business of a herald to deliver a wand to each of the judges.

We have taken notice, more than once, of a valley between the hill of the acropolis and Lycabettus. That region of the ancient city was called Cole or The kollow. By the side of the mountain, beyond the way formerly called Through Cole, nearly opposite to the rock of the areopagus, is a large, naked, semicircular area or terrace supported by stones of

a vast size, the faces cut into squares. A track leads to it between the areopagus and the temple of Theseus. As you ascend to the brow, some small channels occur, cut perhaps to receive libations. The descent into the area is by hewn steps, and the rock within is smoothed down perpendicularly in front, extending to the sides, not in a straight line, but with an obtuse angle at the steps. This place has been mistaken for the areopagus, and for the odéum, but was the pnyx.

Pnyx was a place of public assembly, not boasting the curious labour of a theatre, but formed with the simplicity of primitive times. There the citizens met to transact their affairs; and by law no person could be crowned elsewhere, on a decree of the people. The business was done afterwards in the theatre of Bacchus ; but they continued to chuse the magistrates, and to vote the strategus, or prætor in pnyx, which was hallowed by command of an oracle. The furniture on record is a stone or altar, on which certain oaths were taken ; a pulpit for the orators ; and a sun-dial, made on the wall when Apseudes, was archon.* The pulpit, which before looked toward the sea, was turned a contrary way by the thirty tyrants, who considered naval dominion as the parent of democracy. A portion of the rock near the entrance, within, was probably left for the altar to be placed on it; and a broad step or bank, on each side by the perpendicular wall, was intended perhaps to raise the magistrates who presided, and persons of superior rank, above the crowd. The grooves, it may be conjectured, were for tablets containing decrees and orders. The circular wall, which now reaches only to the top of the terrace, it is likely, was higher and served as;

* Before Christ, 434

an inclosure. Excepting this, and the accession of soil, with the removal of the altar, the pulpit and the sun-dial, pnyx may be deemed to have undergone no very material alteration. It had formerly many houses about it, and that region of the city was called by its name. Cimon, with Elpinice his sister, lived in pnyx; and Plato relates of the earlier Athens, that it had extended on one side of the acropolis toward the rivers Eridanus and Ilissus, and on the other had comprised Pnyx, having beyond it Mount Lycabettus.


Story of TheseusA temple erected to him-The decorations

--Present state of the temple--The sculptures-Gymnasium of


We proceed now to the temple of Theseus. This most renowned hero, it is related, was born at Troezen, a city of the Peloponnesus, and was the son of Neptune and Ægeus king of Athens, by Æthra daughter of Pittheus. His mother conducted him, when sixteen years old, to a rock, beneath which Ægeus had deposited his sword and slippers. She directed him to bear these pledges to Athens; and he resolved to go by land, though the way was full of perils. In Epidauria he was stopped by Periphetes, whom he slew, and afterwards carried about his weapon, which was a club, in imitation of Hercules. Sinis or Pityocamptes, whose haunt was by the isthmus of Corinth, had been accustomed to fasten to bended pines the unfortunate persons, whom he could seize, to be torn in pieces by their elastic violence. On him Theseus retaliated. He killed Phoea the terrible sow of Crommyon,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »