Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

in the region called Agræ, which was beyond the Ilissas. They, who aspired to initiation, were forewarned to come with clean hands and hearts, and a knowledge of the Greek tongue ; besides an awful sense of the great holiness of those ancient things, to which they were about to be introduced. The herald commanded all murderers, magicians, and wicked or impious persons to depart. The assembly was purified by a solemn lustration on the mystic banks of the Ilissus. The ceremony was accompanied with prayer and sacrifice, the victim a young pig. When the rites had been fulfilled, they were admitted into the Eleusinium, probably in companies ; for it is described as a small building. Afterwards, they were styled Mystæ, and were expected to observe certain injunctions, of which one was to abstain from eating red mullet, a delicacy sacred to Ceres. One year at least intervened, before they could attain to the greater mysteries, to which these were preparatory. Secrecy impenetrable, with night, veiled the whole transaction. This initiation was, in the popular opinion, of no trivial consequence. The neglect of it is among the crimes imputed to Socrates. Greeks, Romans, and persons from remoter countries, of both sexes, were desirous to partake of it, and Athens at the season was crowded with devotees ; receiving, yearly, into the Eleusinium more people than repaired to some other cities.

Beyond the Eleusinium, in Agræ, was a temple of Diana Agræa. She was represented bearing a bow, and named Agrotera, the Huntress. Itwas said, she had hunted there on her first arrival from Delos. When the Medes landed at Marathon, the Athenians made a vow to her, to offer a goat for each of the enemy whom they should kill; but she proved so very propitious, that a sufficient number of victims could not be procured, and they decreed to sacrifice yearly five hundred, as was the custom in the time of Xenophon. From this event she was named Euclea, or Glorious. Her temple was erected from the spoils, which they dedicated, and in 1676 was a church called (Stavrosis Petru, or Stavro. ménu Petru) St. Peter's Crucifixion. It was of white marble, and the floor Mosaic. The site is now occupied by the church, mentioned as on our left coming from the stadium, a recent and mean structure, with fragments of columns and marbles lying in and about it. The Mosaic pavement was ordinary, much broken, and covered with dirt, swarming, as we experienced, with large fleas. A skull or two, and some human bones, were scattered on it. We found there an Ionic capital, with marks of the compasses used in forming the volute.

Beneath the Eleusinium, in a rocky dell, is a small church with some buildings, and trees, and vestiges of the fountain Callirhoe, or, as it was called after Pisistratus had furnished it with nine pipes, Enneacrunus. This was without the gate of Diochares, and near the Lyceum ; the water copious, clear, and fit to drink. The current is now conveyed into the town, and only the holes, at which it issued into the cistern, remain. These are in the rocky bank next to the temple of Jupiter Olympius, which is in the way to the gate dividing the cities of Theseus and Hadrian, and not remote. · At a little distance is a modern ruinous fountain.

In one of the dialogues of Plato, Socrates is represented as meeting Phædrus, who was going from a house by the temple of Jupiter Olympius toward the Lycéum, which was without the city. Perceiving, as they walked, that he had a book in his left hand, under his garment, Socrates proposed turning out of the road, and sitting down by the Ilissus. Phædrus consents, pointing to a lofty plane-tree as a proper place; and observing, that as both had their feet naked, it would not be disagreeable to wet them, especially at that time of the year and day. The conversation changes to a local story, that Boreas had carried off Orythia, daughter of Erectheus, as she was sporting by the Ilissus, not by the fountain, but two or three stadia lower down, where was the crossing over to go to the temple of Diana Agræa, and where was the altar of Boreas. On their arrival at the chosen spot, Socrates admires it, like a stranger or one rarely stirring out of the city into the hilly country round about. He praises the large and tall tree; the thicket of Agnus Castus, high and shady, then in full flower and fragrant; the cool delicious fountain running near, with the girls by it, and the images, which made it seem a temple of the Nymphs and Achelous; the grateful and sweet air; the shrill summer-chorus of locusts; and the elegance of verdure prepared, as it were, to meet the reclining head.

The vicinity of Enneacrunus has ceased to deserve encomiums, like those bestowed on it by Socrates, since it has been deprived of the waste water of the fountain, which chiefly nourished the herbage and the plane-tree. The marble facing and the images are removed ; and the place is now dry, except a pool at the foot of the rock, down which the Ilissus, commonly trickles. The water, which overflows after rain, is used by a currier, and is often offensive. The church in this dell occupies, it is probable, the site of the altar of the Muses, to whom, among other deities, the Ilissus was sacred. One lower down stands perhaps where Boreas had an altar. This god was believed to have assisted the Athenians in the Persian war, and was on that account honoured with a temple. By the Ilissus Codrus was slain,

CHAP. XVII.

The Muséum-Monument of Philopappus--Sepulchres--The

Cimonian sepulchresThe eminence fronting the acropolis.

FOLLOWING the course of the Ilissus, from Enneacrunus, you have the theatre of Bacchus and the Odéum at a distance on the right hand. The intermediate plain, which made part of the Ceramicus within the city, has in several places the scattered stones and rubbish of its former edifices. By the bed of the river are some masses of brick work and traces of building, with a solitary church founded on a small rock. Farther on is the mountainous range lying before the acropolis, of which the portion next to the Ilissus was called the Muséum, and was said to have received its name from Musæus, a disciple of Orpheus, who, it was related, sung, and dying of old age, was buried there. The summit was fortified by Antigonus and his son Demetrius Poliorcetes ; but a small body of the Athenians succeeded in an attempt to scale, and expelled the garrison of Macedonians. The path of the wall, which ascended the hill, may be seen, when the ground is free from corn and herbage.

Pausanias informs us, that a monument had been erected on the Muséum for a Syrian,* but conceals his name. A part of it is still extant, with inscriptions. The ruin is of white marble, a portion of a semicircle, the convex side toward the Piræus. It consists of two niches, and on the left was a third, which it is supposed completed the symmetry of the structure. In the first niche on the right is a statue sedent; and underneath an inscription in Greek. « King Antiochus, son of king Antiochus.” In the middle niche is another statue and inscription, “ Philopappus, son of Antiochus Epiphanes, of Bisa.” This place was one of the demi or towns of the tribe Antiochis, which had its name from king Antiochus, who had been a great benefactor to the Athenians. These were the ancestors of the person, who, it is probable, filled the third niche. He is recorded on a pilaster, between the two statues, in a Latin inscription, which, it has been conjectured, was continued on the pilaster now missing. His name was Caius Julius Antiochus Philopappus, and he lived under Trajan, The posterity of king Antiochus were removed by Pompey to Rome, and reduced to the rank of citizens. The Syrian of Pausanius, it is supposed, was this Pliloppapus, one of his descendants. From the inscription it appears that he attained to the dignity of consul; but, as he is not registered in the consular tables, it is most likely that he was only designed, and did not survive to take the chair. The emperor is styled in the inscription OPTVMvs, which title was not bestowed on him before the year of Christ one hundred and fifteen.* On the basement, beneath the pilaster, is a bold relievo representing a person in a chariot drawn by four horses, preceded by attendants, and followed by victory; the figures as large as life. The soil beneath is washed away, and the bare rock

* Pausanias, p. 24. See a comment on this passage in Daniel by the LXX. p. 629. Rome, 1772. The author of the dissertation makes Musæus to have been Moses, and Moses the Syrian here mentioned.

* v. Fabret. ad Col Traj. In the following year the title Parthicus was confirmed to Trajan. Dio. This does not occur among the titles on the pilaster, and the omission will ascertain the date, if it be supposed that the inscription was not continued.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »