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That thus her babe might ne'er proclaim
The cave of Pan is represented as situated under the temple of Minerva on a bronze coin of Athens. See Galerie Mythologique, par Millin, t. i. pi. 32, No. 133.
I. 591. The Propyleea.'] The remains of this beautiful edifice are considerable, but they are so built up and defaced by modern Turkish walls, that a very small part is visible to the spectator as he ascends the Acropolis. The range of Doric columns, through which the crowd of suppliants passed to an Ionic portico, are now connected with each other by a miserable wall of Turkish fabric, and the barbarians, only a short time before my arrival at Athens, knocked off the capitals of these Doric columns, in order to erect one of their wretched batteries on the summit. Of the two edifices which Pausanias mentions * as erected on each side of the range of Doric pillars, that to the N. (which was a chamber for paintings) is tolerably perfect; that to the S. which was a temple of Victory, is nearly demolished. After pasing these two edifices, the spectator traversed an Ionic colonnade, at right angles, to the Doric front, and then came to another range of Doric pillars parallel with the first. With respect to the flight of steps by which was the ascent, M. Fauvel entertains a singular opinion. He thinks that it was divided up the middle by a deep path, along which the beasts wanted for sacrifice were driven. I cannot believe that the Greeks, so attentive always to propriety in their edifices, would have thus sacrificed beauty to convenience.
1. 592. Tfte Parthenon.] The Parthenon has been described as it existed in its perfect state by Guilletiere, 1669, and by Wheler and Spon, 1675. When Athens was besieged by the Venetians in 1687, a bomb fell on the roof of the Temple, and reduced a great part of it to ruins. Yet enough still remains to excite the liveliest emotions of awe and admiration.3 The noble simplicity of its structure, the perfect beauty of its proportions, the glowing tints with which the hand of Time has stained its polished marble, still charm, and will
* Paus. 1. c. 23.
1 A French Jesuit, (quoted by Chateaubriand,) has the modesty to doubt whether all France can produce a piece of sculpture so well executed as the figures in the frontispiece of the Parthenon. Chat. Itineraire, t. i. p. 240.
continue to charm, as long as Taste remains to admire what Genius has executed.
The explosion destroyed the centre of the temple; but there are thirty-nine columns still standing. The western front and cell, with the columns of the adjoining angles, are tolerably perfect. The form of the pediment remains, but of the figures which adorned it, only two mutilated ones exist, and the metopes are so defaced as to be almost unintelligible. The columns of the eastern front, and of its two angles, are still entire, supporting their architraves. The walls of the cell at this end are totally destroyed, and the ground is strewed all around with enormous masses of columns, architraves, and frizes.
The eastern front is supposed to have been the grand entrance,4 an arrangement which in the Parthenon must have had a bad effect. The spectator, ascending a magnificent flight of steps through the Propylaea, came at once upon the western front of the temple; but there he could not enter, he was obliged to make the half circuit of the edifice, and thus his surprise and astonishment were suffered to subside before he arrived at the grand front. The force of delight frequently depends upon the suddenness of the impact, and the admiration which is compelled and extorted by a boldness of effect, is much more valuable than the praise for which a train is laid by artful disposition.
It is not yet decided whether the Parthenon was Hypaethral. Lusieri is of opinion that it was not; but M. Haller, architect to the King of Bavaria, a man of much talent in his profession, as strenuously maintains the contrary. Stuart also concludes that it was Hypaethral.
There is another idea entertained by men of ability which I cannot at all reconcile with the justness of taste which the Greeks so constantly display in their works of art. Both Lusieri and Fauvel suppose that there was painting and gilding on the frize, in order to give effect and relief to the figures sculptured upon it. This appears almost as bad as painting the eyes of statues, or any other similar absurdity.
Yet there is a passage in Euripides which may imply that an ornament of gold was used in the frize. He mentions the
4 I should however infer, from Pausanias, that he entered at the end next to the Propylaea, or at the West. Paus. i. c. 24.
Nawn p£fuo-nffif Ofifxa?.5
and Homer, in his description of the palace of Alcinous, speaks of the blue or azure Of ifxof.'
Now the question is here, what part of the temple was the fififxof, and I think it appears probable, from Apollonius Rhodius, that it was nearly in the situation of the frize. He says,
Axivtos yoOouai<rw twt Jxu$iowirii> »puu. Eustathius also calls the flfWxor, To avulxrov T« Tmx*s, ' the upper part of the wall.*
1. 624. The metopes.] I allude to those admirable specimens of ancient sculpture, which represent the wars of the Centaurs and Lapithae, now in Lord Elgin's collection.
1. 627. the long
Procession moves.] The sculptures of the frize of the Parthenon represent a religious procession. The figures which I have attempted to describe in the text are in Lord Elgin's collection.
1. 692. / look'd, a port appear'd.] The port of Aulis, whence the Grecian navy sailed for Troy. Athens partook of the glories of that expedition, and sent fifty ships under the command of Menestheus.i The appearance of the Greek armament, previous to sailing, is graphically described by Euripides;
o-' «l^»aXeov Voxtuv Tgoqov
'Iph. in Taur. 1.128. • Odyss. vii. 1 . 87.
i ApoU. Rhod.iii. 1.217.' * Hom. II. ii. 1 . 556.
A^xiuv re irXxrxt vxwiirogist,
xv eXxlxit ^iXiowKufiv
Evtwao-', AT«/*fjuvoi/« T" iwrrxIgiSxn
I left my native town, whose tow'rs
The streams of Arethusa lave;
By Chalcis its indignant wave.
And gal lies of majestic size
A thousand ships for Ilion steer,
And round the two AtridaVs spear
In allusion to this, Agamemnon is called the Chiliarch by Lycophron: 1. 697. Arm'd warriors.]
AffiriJof tgvpx xxi xXimaf
Eager to view the serried shield,
• Eurip. Iph. in Au1. 1.164. 1 Lycoph. Cassand. * Eurip. Iph. ia Au1. 1. 189.