ATHENS

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ATHENS ; called, by the Turks, Athiniah, and also Setines; the celebrated city, from whence the light of intellectual cultivation has spread for thousands of years, down to our own time. This capital of the old kingdom of Attica, and of the more modern democracy, was founded by Cecrops, 1550 years before Christ, and, in the most ancient times, was called Cecropia, which name, in after times, was retained merely by the Acropolis. Under the government of Ericthonius, it lost its old name, and received that of ATHENS, probably from Minerva, who was called, by the Greeks, Athena. The old city was built on the summit of some rocks, which lie in the midst of a wide and pleasant plain, which became filled with buildings as the inhabitants increased; and this made the distinction between Acropolis and Catapolis, or the upper and lower city. The citadel or Acropolis was 60 stadia in circumference, and included many extensive buildings. A. lies on the Saronic gulf, opposite the eastern coast of the Peloponnesus. It is built on a peninsula formed by the ┬Žjunction of the Cephissus and Ilissus. From the sea, where its real power lay, it was distant about five leagues. It was connected, by walls of great strength and extent, with three harborsthe Piraeus, Munychia and Phalerum. The first was considered the most convenient, and was one of the emporiums of Grecian commerce. The surrounding coast was covered with magnificent buildings, whose splendor vied with those of the city. The walls of rough stone, which connected the harbors with the city, were so broad, that carriages could go on their top. The Acropolis contained the most splendid works of art of which A. could boast. Its chief ornament was the Parthenon, or temple of Minerva. This magnificent building, which, even in ruins, has been the wonder of the world, was 217 feet long, 98 broad, and 65 high. Destroyed by the Persians, it was rebuilt in a noble manner by Pericles, 444 years B. C. Here stood the statue of Minerva by Phidias, a masterpiece of art, formed of ivory, 46 feet high, and richly decorated with gold, whose weight was estimated at from 40 to 44 talents (2000 to 2200 pounds), which, if we reckon according to Barthelemy, the silver talent at 5700 livres, and the ratio of gold to silver as 1 to 13, would make a sum of 2,964,000, or 3,260,400 livres '523,700, or 576,004 dollars). The Propyleeum, built of white marble, formed the entrance to the Parthenon. This building lay on the north side of the Acropolis, close to the Erectheum, also of white marble, consisting of two temples, the one dedicated to Pallas Minerva, and the other to Neptune; besides another remarkable building, called the Pandro seum. In the circle of Minerva's temple stood the olivetree, sacred to that goddess. On the front part of the Acropolis, and on each end, two theatres are visible, the one of Bacchus, the other, the Odeum; the former for dramatic exhibitions, the latter for musical competitions, also built with extraordinary splendor. The treasury is also in the back part of the temple of Minerva. In the lower city were many fine specimens of architecture, viz., the Poikile, or the gallery of historical paintings; besides the temple of the Winds, built by Andronicus Cyrrhestes, and the monuments of celebrated men. But the greatest pieces of architecture were without the citythe temples of Theseus and Jupiter Olympius, one of which stood on the north, the other on the south side of the city. The first was of Doric architecture, and resembled the Parthenon. On the metopes of this temple the famous deeds of old heroes and kings were excellently represented. The temple of Jupiter Olympius was of Ionic architecture, and far surpassed all the other buildings of Athens in splendor and beauty. Incalculable sums were spent on it. It was from time to time enlarged, and rendered more beautiful, until, at length, it was finished by Adrian. The outside of this temple was adorned by nearly 120 fluted columns, 60 feet high, and 6 feet in diameter. The inside was nearly half a league in circumference. Here stood the renowned statue of the god made by Phidias, of gold and ivory. The Pantheon (sacred to all the gods) must not be forgotten. Of this the Pantheon at Rome is an exact copy. Besides these wonderful works of art, Athens contains many other places which must always be interesting, from the recollections connected with them. The old philosophers were not accustomed, as is well known, to shut up their scholars in lecturerooms, but mingled with them on the freest and pleasantest terms, and, for this purpose, sought out spots which were still and retired. Such a spot was the renowned academy where Plato taught, lying about six stadia north of the city, forming a part of a place called Ceramicus. This spot, originally marshy, had been made a very pleasant place, by planting rows of trees, and turning through it streams of fresh water. Such a place was the Lyceum, where Aristotle taught, and which, through him, became the seat of the Peripatetic school. It lay on the bank of the Ilissus, opposite the city, and was also used for gymnastic exercises. Not far from thence was the less renowned Cynosarges, where Antisthenes, trie founder of the Cynic school, taught. The sects of Zeno and Epicurus held their meetings in the city. Zeno chose the wellknown Poikile, and Epicurus established himself in a garden within the walls, for he loved both society and rural quiet. Not only literary, but political assemblies gave a particular interest to different places in ATHENS. Here was the court of aieopagus, where that illustrious body gave their decisions; the Prytaneum, or senatehouse; the Pnyx, where the free people of Athens deliberated. After 23 centuries of war and devastation, of changes from civilized to savage masters, have passed over this great city, its ruins still excite astonishment. No inconsiderable part of the Acropolis was lately standing. The Turks have surrounded it with a broad, irregular wall. In this wall one may perceive the remains of the old wall, together with fragments of ancient pillars, which have been taken from the ruins of the old to construct new edifices. The right wing of the Propylseum, built by Pericles at an expense of 2012 talents, and which formed the ancient entrance, was a temple of victoiy. The roof of this building stood as late as 1656, when it was destroyed by the explosion of some powder kept there. In a part of the present wall, there are fragments of excellent designs in basso relievo, representing the contest of the Athenians with the Amazons. On the opposite wing of the Propyla?um are six whole columns, with gateways between them. These pillars, half covered on the front side by the wall built by the Turks, are of marble, white as snow, and of the finest workmanship. They consist of three or four stones, so artfully joined together, that, though they have been exposed to the weather for 2000 years, yet no separation has been observed. From the Propylgeum we step into the Parthenon. On the eastern front of this building, also, there are eight columns standing, and several colonnades on the side. Of the pediment, which represented the contest of Neptune and Minerva for Athens, there is nothing remaining but the head of a seahorse, and the figures of two women without heads; but in all we must admire the highest degree of truth and beauty. The battle between the Centaurs and Lapithse is better preserved. Of all the statues with which it was adorned, that of Adrian alone remains. The inside of this temple is now changed into a mosque. In the whole of this mutilated building, we find an indescribable expression of grandeur and sublimity. There are also astonishing remains to be seen of the Erectheum (the temple of Neptune Erectheus), especially the beautiful female figures called Caryatides, and which form two archways. Of both theatres there is only so much of the outer walls remaining, that one can estimate their former condition and enormous size. The arena has sunk down, and is now planted with com. In the lower city itself, there are no vestiges to be found of equal beauty and extent. Near a church, sacred to Santa Maria Maggiore, stand three very beautiful Corinthian columns, which support an architrave. They have been supposed to be the remains of a temple of Jupiter Olympius, but the opinion is not well grounded: probably, they are the remains of the old Poikile. The temple of the Winds, built by Andronicus Cyrrhestes, is not entire. Its form is an octagon: on each side it is covered with reliefs, which represent one of the principal winds: the work is excellent. The preservation of this edifice is owing to its being occupied by the dervises as a mosque. Of the monuments of distinguished men, with which a whole street was filled, only the fine one of Lysicrates remains. It consists of a pedestal surrounded by a colonnade, and is surmounted by a dome of Corinthian architecture. This has been supposed to be the spot which Demosthenes used for his study, but the supposition is not well supported. What lord Elgin has done for the preservation of the remains of old Grecian architecture, may be seen by a reference to the articles on Elgin, and Elgin's Marble Monuments. Some prostrate walls are the only remains of the splendid gymnasium built by Ptolemy. Outside of the city, our wonder is excited by the lofty ruins of the temple of the Olympian Jupiter. Of 120 pillars, 16 remain ; but none of the statues are in existence. The pedestals and inscriptions are scattered here and there, and partly buried in the earth. The main body of the temple of Theseus has remained almost entire, but much of it, as it now stands, is of modern origin. The figures on the outside are mostly destroyed, but those which adorn the frieze within are well preserved. They represent the actions of the heroes of antiquity. The battle between Theseus and the Centaur is likewise depicted. On the hill where the famous court of areopagus held its sittings, you find steps hewn in the rock, places for the judges to sit, and over against these the stations of the accuser and the accused. The hill is now a Turkish burialground, and is covered with monuments. The Pnyx, the place of assembly for the people, not far from the Areopagus, is very nearly in its primitive state. One may see the place from which the orators spoke hewn in the rock, the seats of the scribes, and, at both ends, the places of those officers whose duty it was to preserve silence, rind to make known the event of public deliberations. The niches are still to be seen, where those who had any favor to ask of the people deposited their petitions. The paths for running are also visible, where the gymnastic exercises were performed, and which Herodes Atticus (q. v.) built of white marble. The spot occupied by the Lyceum is only known by a quantity of fallen stone. A more modern edifice stands in the garden in the place of the academy. In the surrounding space, the walks of the Peripatetics can be discerned, and some olivetrees of high antiquity still command the reverence of the beholder. The long walls are totally destroyed, though the foundations are yet to be found on the plain. The Pirseus has scarcely any thing of its ancient splendor, except a few ruined pillars, scattered here and there: the same is the case with the Phalerum and Munychia. Some little commerce is carried on here, and a customhouse stands on the place.Modern Athens, in Livadia, lately contained 1300 houses, and 12,000 inhabitants, 2000 of whom were Turks. The Greeks here experienced from the Turks a milder government than elsewhere. They also retained some remains of their ancient customs, and annually chose ^)ur archons. The Greek archbishop residing here had a considerable income. In 1822, the Acropolis, after a 'K>ng siege, fell into the hands of the free Greeks. In 1825, a Greek school, under the care of the patriot professor George Gennadios, was in a flourishing condition. The most thorough investigation of the places among the ruins of A. worthy of attention, is contained in Leake's Topography of Athens, with some Remarks on its Antiquities, London, 1821, with an atlas in folio. (See Stuart and Revett's splendid work, the Antiquities of Athens, which the architect Eberhard copied, and had printed on zinc plates, and published, Darmstadt, 1824, folio.) Leake makes it appear probable, that, in the time of Pausanias, many monuments were extant which belonged to the period before the Persian war; because so transitory a possession as Xerxes had of the city, scarcely gave him time to finish the destruction of the walls and principal public edifices. In the restoration of the city to its former state, Themistocles looked more to the useful, Cimon to magnificence and splendor; and Pericles far surpassed them both in his buildings. The great supply of money which he had from VOL. i. 38 the tribute of the other states, belonged to no succeeding ruler. A. at length saw much of her ancient splendor restored; but, unluckily, Attica was not an island, and, after the sources of power, which belonged to the fruitful and extensive country of Macedonia, were developed by an able and enlightened prince, the opposing interests of many free states could not long withstand the disciplined army of a warlike people, led by an active, able and ambitious monarch. When Sylla destroyed the works of the Pirseus, the power of A. by sea was at an end, and with that fell the whole city. Flattered by the triumvirate, favored by Adrian's love of the arts, A. was at no time so splendid as under the Antonines, when the magnificent works of from 8 to 10 centuries stood in view, and the edifices of Pericles were in equal preservation with the new buildings. Plutarch himself wonders how the structures of Ictinus, of Menesicles and Phidias, which were built with such surprising rapidity, could retain such a perpetual freshness. The most correct criticism on the accounts of Greece by Pausanias and Strabo is in Leake. Probably Pausanias saw Greece yet unplundered. The Romans, from reverence towards a religion approaching so nearly to their own, and wishing to conciliate a people more cultivated than themselves, were ashamed to rob temples where the masterpieces of art were kept as sacred, and were satisfied with a tribute of money in Philipsdors, although in Sicily they did not abstain from the plunder of the temples, on account of the prevalence of Carthaginian and Phoenician influence in that island. Pictures, even in the time of Pausanias, may have been left in their places. The wholesale robberies of collectors, the removal of great quantities of the works of art to Constantinople, when the creation of new specimens was no longer possible, Christian zeal, and the attacks of barbarians, destroyed, after a time, in A., what the emperors had spared, We have reason to think, that the colossal statue of Minerva Promachos was standing in the time of Alaric. About 420 A. D., paganism was totally annihilated at A., and, when Justinian closed even the schools of the philosophers, the recollection of the mythology was lost. The Parthenon was turned into a church of the Virgin Mary, and St. George stepped into the place of Theseus. The manufactory of silk, which had hitherto remained, was destroyed by the transportation of a colony of weavers, by Roger of Sicily, and, in 1456, the place fell into the hands of Omar. To complete its degradation, the city of Minerva obtained the privilege (an enviable one in the East) of being governed by a black eunuch, as an appendage to the haram. The Parthenon became a mosque, and, at the west end of the Acropolis, those alterations were commenced, which the new discovery of artillery then made necessaiy. In 1687, at the siege of A. by the Venetians under Morosini, it appears that the temple of Victory was destroyed, the beautiful remains of which are to be seen in the British museum. Sept. 28, of this year, a bomb fired the powdermagazine kept by the Turks in the Parthenon, and, with this building, destroyed the ever memorable remains of the genius of Phidias. Probably, the Venetians knew not what they destroyed; they could not have intended that their artillery should accomplish such devastation. The city was surrendered to them Sept. 29. They wished to send the chariot of Victory, which stood on the west pediment of the Parthenon, to Venice, as a trophy of their conquest, but, in removing, it fell and was dashed to pieces. April, 1688, A. was again surrendered to the Turks, in spite of the remonstrances of the inhabitants, who, with good reason, feared the revenge of their returning masters. Learned travellers have, since that time, often visited A.; and we may thank their relations and drawings for the knowledge which we have of many of the monuments of the place. How little the Greeks of modern times have understood the importance of these buildings, is proved by Crusius' TurcoGrecia. From them originated the names temple of the unknown God, lantern of Demosthenes, &c. It is doing injustice to the Turks to attribute to them, exclusively, the crime of destroying these remains of antiquity. From these ruins the Greeks have supplied themselves with all their materials for building for hundreds of years. The ruins are in the neighborhood of inhabited places, and, in the seaport towns, are particularly exposed, because ease of transportation is added to the daily want of materials. In the mean time, the most accessible part of A. has rich treasures to reward welldirected researches; and each fragment, which comes to light in A., proves the allpervading art and taste of this people. It is fortunate that many of the remains of Grecian art have been covered by barbarous structures, until a brighter day should dawn on Greece.