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near the village of Marathon, where the ground is favourable for the position of a small army, each wing being flanked by hills. The most dreadful carnage of the Persians was made in their flight to their ships.
There is not much wood in the plain. It was anciently adorned with trees, particularly olives:
Ttptvot (SxQvSivlgov iXauKOpa M«f«Owwf.f
1. 48. The conqu'ror's arm entwin'd.] In this and the four following lines of the text, I have taken my description from an alto-relievo in Lord Elgin's collection. A drawing of it is given by Stuart,* and he supposes it to have belonged to the small Ionic temple of Aglauros, where the young Athenians received their first armour. The figures, though very small, are executed with uncommon spirit, and though now much mutilated cannot be viewed without the liveliest admiration.
I. 53. Tlie neigh of steeds.1 Pausanias/ with the credulity of superstition, or the enthusiasm of poetry, says, speaking of Marathon,
'There through all the night may be heard the neighing of horses, and the 'noise of warriors engaged in battle."
1. 75. Illustrious dead, Sfc.] The battle of Marathon was the most important, not only to Greece but to the whole world, that was ever fought. It is not too much to assert that we feel its effects to this day, and that if we have produced any thing excellent in Art or Science, we owe it to the triumph of the Greeks in that memorable conflict. Had Greece been overwhelmed by the host of barbarians which then assailed her, she would have been erased from the list of nations; nor would she have given birth to that illustrious succession of great men whose works civilised their contemporaries, and have served as models for whatever is pure and noble in composition from that age to the present moment. The day of Grecian slavery would in short have been accelerated above two thousand years; and before she had acted her great part on the theatre of the world, she would have sunk to her present abject condition—the province of an eastern empire.
* Nonni. Dionys. xiiL 1. 184. * Antiquities of Athens, Vo1. ii. Plate xii. xiij.
7 Paus. 1. i. c. Stt.
1. 83. Now loose the cable.] The Greek boatmen have not altered the method of mooring their barks since the days of Homer.' They still tie the cable to a rock.
1. 96. Sunium's cape.] 'The promontory of Sunium, now cape Colonna, • on which the ruins of the temple of Minerva are situated, projects boldly into 'the iEgean sea, and terminates in a rocky precipice. The sides of the pro'montory are clothed with trees, as of old;
'lv ' VX»tv ttttft Woils
'Tiro irXxxa Sans.'
Where frowns above the foaming deep
'In our ascent we passed broken columns, large masses of marble, and an 'angle of the peribolus of the temple. The ruins consist of nine columns on 'the S. side, three on the N. and two of the Pronaos, with one of the Antae. 'They are of marble, which has not taken the same tints as the temples of 'Athens, but owing to the spray and air of the sea is almost entirely white. 'The architraves remain on the columns, which are of the Doric order and 'fluted. Owing to their diameter bearing a less proportion to their altitude c than is usual, they have in their appearance more elegance than firmness. 'The view from the summit of the promontory is extensive and magnificent, 'taking in a great part of the iEgean, and the numerous iles floating on those 'waves on which the Nereids used to celebrate their dances:
AJaiov xXfxvfov (2»6ot
Th' iEgean depths, where Nereids meet,
» Homer. Odyss. x. 96. See also Coluthus de Rapt. He1. 1 . 234, and Nonni Dionys. iii. 1.46. » Soph. Ajax Lorar. 1218. * Eurip. Troades, 1.1.
'There were three trophies erected for the victory of Salamis, one at the 'Isthmus, one at Sunium, and one at Salamis." Journal.
The promontory was consecrated to Minerva/ but Neptune also took one of his titles from it. The chorus, in the Knights of Aristophanes, invoking that God, says,
AtXQtvuv ptStuv, Xsvixpxrt.
Come hither to the chorus, God adorn'd
L 109. The lawless Mainote.] The seas in the vicinity of Sunium, particularly between that promontory and the I. of Zea, are infested by pirates, chiefly outlaws from Maina. On the third day of our visit to the temple we were put to flight by a boat full of these desperados who landed at the foot of the rock with the intention of attacking us. During the winter that I resided at Athens, their depredations were so successful that they cut off almost all our supplies of wine, &c. from the iEgean islands. The neighbouring seas have been infested with pirates ever since the days of Homer, when, however, their occupation was more honourable than it is at present.'
iEacus, according to Pausanias * piled up crags and rocks on the shores of the I. of iEgina through fear of the pirates.
The suppression of the outlaws in these seas was esteemed an occupation not unworthy of the abilities of the great Pompey.
The heroine of one of the comedies of Terence7 was carried away by the pirates of Sunium, and the corsairs of these seas have been of great use to the early Greek romance writers, Heliodorus, Xenophon, and Chariton.
1. 119. Bleak JEgina.] 'The situation of the iEginetans, compared with 'that of some of their neighbours, is enviable. They pay a certain tribute, the 'tenth of the produce, to the Porte, and suffer no other extortion or oppres'sion. They are relieved from the presence of the Turks, none of that nation 'dwelling in the island. Mg\n& contains about 2000 inhabitants, and is bare 'and rugged.1
1 Herod. viii. c. 121. s Eurip. Cyclops. 1. 293. * Aristoph. Equites, 1. 559.
* Horn. Odyss. iii. 1.73. * Paus. ii. c. 29. 7 Ter. Eunuch. A, i. S.2.1.35.
* Strab. viii. p. 544.
'The road from the port of iEginato the temple of the Panhellenian Jupiter, 'is in aN. E. direction across the island. The road presented nothing worthy 'of observation, except the situation of the town, distant one hour's ride from 'the port, and placed on the summit and sides of a conical hill. The island 'is hilly, and the hills are of a moderate elevation, bleak, and rocky. Between 'them small level spots of ground occasionally appear clothed with vine'yards. The natives whom we saw were occupied in ploughing. Their 'plough is of the simplest construction, with a single handle, and drawn by 'two oxen. The cottages appeared much cleaner and more comfortable than 'those on the continent ofGreece, being generally made of stone, and whitened. 'Pursuing our journey, in an hour and a half we came in sight of the ruins of 'the temple of Jupiter, and in another half hour, reached them. Twenty-five 'columns remain standing, all of which support their architraves. They are 'of the Doric order, fluted, without bases, and of a rough porous stone, which 'has suffered much from time and the inclemencies of the weather. Viewed
* close, the ruin is very picturesque, the interior and the ground near it being 'covered with broken pillars, capitals, and architraves, beautifully inter'spersed with creeping plants and shrubs. Viewed at a little distance, the 'whole grandeur of its situation is perceived. The temple stands on the c summit of a hill, covered with low fir trees of a vivid green colour, and with 'shrubs of various and luxuriant hues; broken crags and pieces of rock occa'sionally breaking through them. About a mile from it appears the Saronic 'Gulph, and ranges of the mountains of Attica in the distance. From one 'point of view, the Acropolis of Athens, the Piraeus, and Mount Hymettus 'form a part of the picture. Traces of walls are visible in several parts of
* the summit of the hill on which the temple stands. The edifice itself is of
* very remote antiquity, and according to Pausanias ' was built by iEacus.'
The ancient name of the I. of iEgina was GSnone.*
The iEginetans were celebrated for their skill in nautical affairs. They were besides inveterate enemies of the Athenians. iEgina was called by the orator Demades,* the eye-sore of the Piraeus.
Their enmity to Athens was of early growth. Herodotus gives an account of its origin.3 They annoyed the Athenians4 very much, and the latter were
9 Paus. 1. ii. c. SO. 'Herod, viii. c. 46. * Athenaeus, iii. c. 55.
3 Herod. v. c. 80. ♦ Id. vi. c. B7
at one time so inferior to them in naval force as lo be obliged to borrow ships from the Corinthians.' To this war Herodotus' attributes the subsequent salvation of Greece from the Persian conquest, «v«fx«o-«f (he says) SaXaa-tnar
I. 123. Upon the sea they cast,
Stceetflow'ry wreaths, and cups of Samian wine J]
Afp£of tv Tg\ipv» iralff' OufxviSav
Then on the poop the chieftain stood
And rais'd the golden vase on high,
And him who rules the sky,
The sullen surge, the winged storm,
They did not always make the offering to Neptune, but were determined by particular circumstances in the choice of the deity: Jason, after his voyage, made libations to the earth, to the gods of the country, and the souls of heroes:
Aulof S' AiffowJ»if j(pv<rtu wolxpm$i xwrfXXu
Taiw r, mairxis rt Oeoif, ^"X"'* Tf **fA*t'l<*
Then Jason from his golden goblet pour'd
It is still the custom of the Greek sailors to make votive offerings to a tutelary saint after a prosperous voyage.
1 Herod. vi. c. 89, and Thucyd. i. c. 41. a Id. vii. c. 144.
» Pind. Pyth. iv. 1. 345.
* Apol1. Rhod. ii. 1.1275. See also an Epig. of Philodemus, Antho1 . ii. p. 90.