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'sionally presenting very beautiful scenes, and recalling to my mind the pic'turesque views on the banks of the Wye. In about two hours we came to 'a bridge of a single arch, without battlements, thrown across the river. At 'this place we quitted the bed of the stream, and followed a romantic path, 'amidst rocks and woods, for about half an hour, when we again descended 'to our former road. In about three hours we quitted it entirely, and turning 'to the left, ascended some steep hills. The road lay through deep ravines 'and glens, well wooded, and watered by a' rivulet. Every turn in its course 'presented iis with new scenes of grandeur and wildness. The path was 'rugged and dangerous, passing along the verge of precipices, and so narrow, 'that a false step of our horses would have been attended with the most 'serious consequences. We were now entering the defiles of Pindus, the 'long range which divides Epirus from Thessaly. In about four hours we 'had the first view of Metzovo, singularly situated on the brow of a mountain. A ride of another hour, abounding in romantic views, brought us to 'Metzovo, where we stopped to breakfast at a Khan, in a kind of open gal'lery, in which were several other parties of soldiers, merchants, and travel'lers. The situation of Metzovo is very striking, spreading down the side of 'a hill, and completely surrounded by mountains, amongst which the summit 'of Pindus forms the principal feature. It contains about 1000 houses, and 'is inhabited almost entirely by Greek merchants, who make long journeys c to Russia, and other parts, to procure and dispose of merchandise. About 'three o'clock we left Metzovo, and proceeded on our journey. We began 'immediately to re-ascend Pindus, and after we had gained a little elevation, 'upon looking back, we had a fine view of the country which we had traversed c in the morning. During two hours more we scaled the steep sides of Pindus, c and enjoyed, from every point, views of Alpine magnificence; projecting • cliffs—large woods of pine and fir covering the sides of the mountain— 'rocky beds of torrents—and, towering above all, the summit formed of 'immense crags. The road, or rather path, wound along above us in short 'and steep traverses, and we traced its course to a great distance, by the 'trains of mules and their guides which were passing along it. Such was 'the view above us; when we turned back and looked at the scenes we had 'left, we beheld the road gradually losing itself in the valley; the town of 'Metzovo stretching down the brow of a hill, and mountains extending range 'over range far beyond. The path passed over the summit of Pindus within 'a few feet of its highest point. The ridge is very narrow, so that we began 'to descend immediately after we reached it. At our feet commenced a 'wood of beech trees, which spread down the sides of the mountain; then 'hills of smaller size, and tamer appearance than those we had left; the 'plains of Thessaly beyond; and still farther in the distance, loftier mountains 'fading to the horizon.' Journal.
1. 302. Perieus.] On the summit of Pindus we came to a fountain of clear water. As I did not trace it to a junction with the main stream of the Peneus in the plains below, I must be understood only poetically to assert that it is the source of that celebrated river. Whilst, however, I decline any positive assertion on the subject, I shall not so readily concede the probability. We have the authority of Strabo,1 that the Peneus issued from the mountains of Pindus. The fountain rises almost at the highest point, is superior in elevation to any other stream on the mountain, and may with plausibility, at least, be affirmed to be the source of the Peneus.
The Peneus is one of the most considerable rivers in Greece. From the foot of Pindus to the vale of Tempe, we rode along its banks for thirty-three hours, which at the rate of three and a half miles the hour, (a low average in crossing the plains of Thessaly) gives a distance of about 115 miles. From Tempe to the sea must be a space of five or six more, which makes the entire range of the river about 120 miles. Pliny,2 however, allows only 500 stadia, or about sixty-two miles for the course of the Peneus ; half of which distance he says was navigable. In summer it flows generally in a broad bed of gravel, so shallow as to be easily fordable, except at Larissa, where there is a bridge. In winter, however, it is a considerable stream, and overflows its banks to a great distance. Long tracts of marshy ground bear witness to the ravages which its waters commit at that season; and the poor inhabitants have an additional reason to lament its incursions, from the frequency of intermittent fevers, which it generates amongst them.
Seneca says,3 that before the separation of Ossa and Olympus, by a violent earthquake, the Peneus was confined within the plains of Thessaly, which it overflowed with its waters.
Herodotus* observes that the whole of Thessaly was anciently one vast
1 Strabo, 1. ix. p. C35. * Plin. 1. iv. c. 8.
» Senec. Nat. Quaest. L 6. c. 25. * Herod. 1 vii. c. 1*8.
lake. He attributes it to the same cause as that assigned by Seneca, the want of a passage for the different rivers which flowed into the plains. Strabo5 gives the same account, and Lucan6 poetically alludes to this tradition:
Hos inter montes media, qui valle premuntur,
The Thessalians7 attributed the opening of a passage for Peneus to Neptune, and a memorial of the God's achievement is preserved in the name Salampria, the modern appellation of the Peneus. Eustathius observes, that the Peneus is called Z*X*/3fK»r, because it forces itself between Ossa and Olympus, through a passage made for it by Neptune. XxXafi*6 signifies 0u/i*f oim. Nonnus 9 has described this event with considerable poetic fancy: and it was also made the subject of a painting.1
Claudian,2 in the second part of his poem, de Raptu Proserpinae, alludes to this event
Sic cum Thessaliam scopulis inelusa teneret
A festival was instituted, and celebrated annually, by the inhabitants of the district near Tempe, to commemorate the bursting of the river Peneus through the barriers of Ossa and Olympus.
The Peneus was a favourite river with the Greek and Latin Poets. It is called n»iMiof o x«XXiJ»n«f by Euripides ;3 and on its banks Ovid has placed the scene of some of his most interesting tales. At Meteora, a singularly romantic
* Strab. L ix. p 623. • Lucan, 1 . 6.1. 343. 7 Herod. 1. vii. c. 1J9
• See Hcsychius. 8 Nonni Dionys. vi. sub. fin. 1 Philostrati Icones. I. ii. c. 14. 1 Claud. de Rapt. Proserp. L 179. 1 Eurip. Here. Fur. 1. 368.
spot near the foot of Pindus, and in the Vale of Tempe, the stream still maintains its claim to picturesque beauty.
1. 341. Tempe.] * Sep: 14. This day was spent most agreeably in exploring • Tempe. At eight o'clock in the' morning we left Larissa, and for three 'hours traversed the plain, having before us to the N. E.
** the snowy top "Of cold Olympus,"—
'where the Gods
"rul'd the middle air, "Their highest Heav'n." 1
'Ossa, a bold-pointed mountain, appeared on our right, and Pelion, a low c and tame range, was seen to the S. of Ossa. We passed
Avx ri n»iXiov, »vx ri zrgvfi.vxs
'lirrrolat rgeQtv "EAXaJi ipwf
Thro' Pelion and the forests deep,
1 These two mountains form steps to Olympus, Pelion being the lowest 'of the three; and the view of their relative heights called to our recollection 'the fables of the Poets, that by these mountains the giants attempted to 'scale the Heavens: . . ,
« Eurip. Elect.!. 445.
0^o-«i / tit Ouxu/ajti* pu/narav Ot/utv, «uJaf tir' Qirrw
On the Olympian summit thought to fix
By mountains heap'd on mountains to the skies. Cowper.
• In about three hours and a half we came to the Peneus, a shallow stream,
* very serpentine in its course; its bank,s adorned with trees and shrubs, and 'enlivened by numerous herds of cattle. Olympus appeared in the back 'ground. Fer about half an hour we passed through thick copses of the
* verbena, a plant formerly regarded vvith religious reyefeflce, and suspended 'on the altars: ..." .....
'Ex ara hinc sume verbenas.6
'The plain contracts as it approaches the roots of Olympus and . Ossa. 1 The bases of these two mountains approach very near each other; the river 'Peneus flows between them, and on its banks, in this defile, is situated the 'celebrated Vale of Tempe. The small Turkish village of Baba (which is 'probably near the position of the ancient Gonnus) stands at the entrance 'of the vale. This delightful place has attracted the praises of many cele'brated poets; but the most luxuriant imagination would find its baldest 'conceptions realised amid the scenes which Nature here offers to the sight. 'The sublime, the beautiful, prospects of pastoral tranquillity, and views 'of grandeur and magnificence, succeed each other in wild variety. The 'widest part of the valley is a little beyond Baba,7 where it expands to the 'breadth of a mile and a half. A wood of large and flourishing planes, the 'most beautiful I ever beheld, spreads along the banks of the Peneus, and
* on the right, about two-thirds on the ascent to the summit of Ossa, 'appears the village of Ambelakia, romantically situated. The mountains 'which surround this part of the vale, are covered with low wood, broken 'occasionally by small crags. After passing this pastoral spot, the scenery
5 Homer, Od. xi. 1 . 314. 6 Terent. Andr.
7 Tbis part of the valley may probably be the plain of Cranon noticed by Callunachus,
Itfipi $ '0<7<7>Jf
Ovfta xeu fftjton Kpawiior. Hymn. in. De1. 1.138.