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NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
TO PART I.
1. 66. The vale of death.] The ancients varied the situation of the descent to the infernal regions with their advancement in geographical knowledge. They placed it on the imaginary verge of their horizon, on the confines of unknown lands, in the gloom of the western twilight, where night and day seemed to meet. Hence we find that they moved its position from the east towards the west,* according as their discoveries extended in that direction. Apollonius Rhodius2 fixes the descent to Hell, in the time of the Argonauts, on the shores of the Propontis. Orpheus 3 advances it a step farther to the west, and determines it to be at Hermione, in Argolis. It was afierwards removed to the shores of Epirus,4 and finally adjudged to the fertile regions of Campania.5
1. 71. Cocytus' roar.-] Cocytus received its name from Xwxum, to lament with shrieks. Milton says,
'Cocytus named of lamentation loud.'
'Les sauvages de l'Amenque ont aussi mis l'enfer a l'occident de leur pays; tant l'idee en, est naturelle, ou la tradition generalement repandiie. Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscript. t. vii. p.109. a Ap. Rhod. ii. 1. 730. see alsoXen. Anab. 1. vi. cap. 2. s. 2. 1 Orph. Argon. 1.1127, and Pausan, ii. c. 35. ♦ Strabo, 1. vii. p. 470. Edit. 0*on. « Ma. yi. 1. 2,
v. 85. The lake of Acherusia.] I have ventured to introduce the lake of Ioannina into the picture, though it is at some distance from the shores of the Cocytus and Acheron. I have also described it as the Acherusian lake, a name which it has received from most travellers, but to the honour of which it cannot lay claim. The authorities of Thucydides and of Strabo are decisive against such an opinion. The former6 represents it as situated on the coast, and discharging its waters into the sea, after it has received the stream of the Acheron. The latter7 assigns the same situation to Acherusia, but represents the Acheron as issuing from, and not falling into, the lake.
It is evident, therefore, from the authority of Thucydides and Strabo, that the lake of Ioannina, which is situated many miles from the sea, cannot be allowed the title of Acherusia. Its appearance, however, is singularly striking. Overhung by bleak and lofty mountains, it impresses the imagination with those terrors which the ancient Poets, in their description of the unknown regions beyond the grave, always endeavoured to excite. The district which lies between it and the sea is wild and sublime. In this tract of country Cocytus, Acheron, and the Acherusian lake were situated, and as those recollections, as well as the uncommon grandeur of its scenes, make it an interesting part of Epirus, I shall transcribe from my journal the account of a tour which I made from Ioannina to the shores of the Cocytus and Acheron.
'Aug. 31, 1810. About ten o'clock we set out on our journey on horses
• furnished us by the Vizir. A guard of three Albanian soldiers was also 'promised us, who were directed to overtake us in a village where we were ; to pass the night. The first part of the road was over the same plain which
• we had traversed in our way from Arta. After riding about an hour and a 'half, we turned to the west, and entered the defiles of the mountains, along a 'path rugged, and scarcely distinguishable. We ascended a steep hill, and 'came to a small wood, in which were some fine oaks. Looking back, we 'had a magnificent view of the Lake of Ioannina, and of Mount Pindus, 'around which the clouds were gathering, and the appearance of the sky 'announced an approaching storm. We descended by a path as stony and
• steep as the one along which we had passed in our ascent; and after riding 'about an hour, arrived at a small village called Dramasus, where we were 'to rest during the night. It is prettily situated amongst trees, on the side of a
6 Thucydid. 1. i. c. 4b". » Strabo, 1 . vii. p. 470.
'mountain, which rises boldly behind it. From the rocky cliffs in its vicinity, 'we had grand and extensive views. We proceeded to the house of the 'Capo, the best in the place, but a miserable dwelling. We found him 'sitting cross-legged in an open gallery, and smoking his pipe. Our firman 'from the Vizir secured us an immediate reception; our baggage was 'carried in, and mats spread for us in the gallery. We ascended the hill c above the house, and enjoyed from it a fine and magnificent prospect. The 'village of Dramasus is inhabited entirely by Greeks. There is more wood 'in it than in any place which we had seen in Greece; many of the trees are 'large and flourishing, with vines climbing to their summits—a picture 'which has furnished some of the writers in the Greek Anthologia with 'beautiful images, and allusions.
'Sept. 1. At day-break we proceeded on our journey; the road was very 'steep and rugged, ascending and descending continually; barely wide 'enough for one horse, and frequently passing along the edge of deep ravines. 'In some places none but the horses and mules accustomed to the country 'could have kept their footing. We were now entering upon the tract of 'country in which the imaginations of the ancient Greeks placed the entrance 'to the infernal regions; and with just poetic taste, for the scenery is grand 'and impressive, made awful by the shade of overhanging cliffs, and the 'whole prospect darkened by the gloomy tints which overspread them. We 'passed along a spacious valley, surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains, 'the sides of which were varied with crags and shrubs, and worn into num'berless channels by the course of the wintery torrents. Several of these 'torrent beds we passed in our road, dry at this season, but in winter they 'must present a terrific and sublime appearance, rolling from the top of 'steep precipices, and bringing along with them rocks, trees, and mounds of 'earth. The breadth of the valley which I describe is about two miles. The 'bottom of it is not spread out into a plain, but broken into numberless small 'hills, which meet the eye in every direction; some of them of a considerable 'height, round at their bases, and terminating in sharp points, others abruptly 'broken off, and ending in precipices. The whole valley appeared as if it 'had been torn by violent convulsions. Through this valley flows Cocytus, and 'Acheron, the wxuxofov IlopS^tu/x'aj^tiov, as it is expressively called by iEschylus. 'The place where they united their streams, the gvwu 3vu wdetpw i^Swnrw, in
Pouring continuous from the icy gulph,
I 94. TV astonislid hind.] It is evident, from many passages in the ancient Greek poets,9 that the appearance of spirits formed a part of their religious creed.
L 103. Alt Pasha's court.] 'Early in the morning after our arrival at 'Ioannina, an officer, with two soldiers, arrived from Ali Pasha at the house 'where we lodged, to desire our attendance at the Seraglio. We were 'mounted on two fine horses belonging to the Vizir, richly caparisoned after 'the Turkish manner, by the side of each of which walked an attendant, 'called a Thocadar. The officer and soldiers preceded us to the palace, 'which is situated on a gentle eminence. It consists of a long straight range 'of building, connecting two square wings; the roof is flat and projecting, 'and the walls beneath it are adorned with painting and gilding in a variety 'of patterns. Below this painting the windows are continued, without inter'vals, for a considerable space. We passed under an arched gateway, at which 'a guard was stationed, to the palace, at the door of which we alighted. We 'were preceded up stairs by the officer who conducted us from our house, 'and passing through a crowd of attendants, who were clad in a variety of 'splendid and sumptuous dresses, were introduced into the audience chamber. • The Vizir's secretary, Spiro Kolovo, received us at the door, and presented 'us to Ali, who was sitting cross-legged on the divan, at the farther corner 'of the room. He did not rise, but made signs to us to advance, and sit 'near him. At some distance sat another Turk; Kolovo stood near us to act 'as interpreter, and acrowd of attendants waited at the end of the room, near 'the door. The chamber in which we had our audience was very gaudily
» iEschy1. Persae. 1. 656. and Eurip. Hec. 1. 31. and 54. See also a Dissertation Sur les Ames des Morts, par M. Simon. Mem. de l'Acad des Inscript. i. p. 26.