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1. 129. Nauplia's bay.] Nauplia was the ancient port of Argos:
'hxii f«f fk fVjv MivcXtut Tfotaf Oltto
Kx-rXHTw Of/Af i * . .
—— From Troy the warlike Menelaus comes,
On a bold rocky promontory, projecting into the bay, the modern Turkish town of Nauplia di Romania, one of the most flourishing in the Morea, is situated. It was formerly the residence of the Pasha of the Morea. It carries on some commerce; the harbour, however, is not able to admit large vessels.
1. 137. In Tiryns.] Hercules resided at Tiryns, whence he is called Tirynthius.* It was an epithet applied also to his oppressor, Eurystheus.5
'We left Argos to visit the ruins of Tiryns, situated near the bay of Nauplia, 'and distant an hour's ride. The road lies the whole way along a plain. 'Tiryns is a very interesting relie of antiquity. It is placed on a small rocky 'hill, which extends N. and S. and around which the walls of the town are 'built. They are most perfect on the eastern side. The stones are in general 'of an immense size, laid upon each other with great exactness, and without 'any cement; the interstices between the large stones are filled with some of 'smaller dimensions. The masonry of the wall is of the style called Cyclo'pian. One of the stones is ten feet long, nor is it one of the lowest range, 'so that this enormous block must have been raised to its present situation
* by a mechanical power. About the middle of the eastern side was the prin'cipal entrance, and ruins of a square tower still remain there. Above the 'tower, and within the fortress, is an angle of a building in the same style 'of masonry. At the S. E. corner of the ruins is a narrow gallery, running in 'the direction from S. to N. It is a most curious structure. It is about twelve
* feet high, six wide, and ninety long. It has four ranges of immense stones, 'the two upper tiers projecting till they meet, and form a pointed arch. No 'cement is employed, but the walls, from their massive ponderousness, seem 'built to last for ever. They are twenty-five feet thick. On the E. side of
'Eurip. Orest. 1. 53. 1 Callim. Hymn, in Dian. 146. * Enrip. Alceet. 1.48*
'the gallery are openings in the wall, which might have communicated with 'other galleries. These walls are of very remote antiquity. It is not unreac sonable to ascribe them to the heroic ages. The sight of them fills the mind 'with astonishment and admiration; they have existed for ages, and outlived 'the more beautiful but perishable fabrics of later times.' Journal.
'Strabo mentions Tiryns, and says that Proetus employed the Cyclops to ■ build it.'4
Pausanias remarks that the smallest of the stones used in the walls of Tiryns could not be moved except by a yoke of mules.5 He notices also the peculiar construction of filling up the intervals between the large masses with small stones. The walls, he says, are as worthy of admiration as the Pyramids of vEgypt.'
The epithets applied to Tiryns by the Poets, allude to the stability of its structure/
I do not recollect that the Tirynthians are noticed for actions of any historical importance. Athenaeus* has left us a story of their unconquerable propensity to laughter; and the same author quotes an old comic poet, Ephippus, to prove their drunkenness and cowardice.'
1. 139. Hence Diomed.] See Homer.1
1. 141. There Danaus,
From JEgypt fugitive^ See the Supplices of iEschylus.
1. 143. Argos. ' There are two principal features in the situation of ancient
* Argos, the hill of Larissa, on which is a modern fortress, erected on the foun
* dations of the old one, and to the N. E. of it the Phoronamn hill. The hill of "* Larissa (the old Acropolis1) is bold and rocky, precipitous on every side,
* except on the S. where it is accessible. The Phoronaean hill is much lower, of 'an oval form, from whence I believe it was called Aspis, or Shield. It received 'its appellation from Phoronius, the son of Inachus,1 who first settled in this 'district. Between these tvvo hills is a hollow pass, through which was probably
* a street leading to one of the gates. The ancient town of Argos was situated
* Strabo, 1. viii p. 540. * Paus. ii. c. 25. * Id. ix. c. 36. » Horn. II. ii. 1. 559. Hes. Scut. Here. 1 . 81.
* I quote from memory, and cannot refer to the passage.
» Athen.x. c. 59. 1 Horn. 11. ii. 1. 559. * Paus. ii.c.23. Hd.ii.c. 15.
'in the plain immediately below these two hills, on the site of the present 'town. The structure of the walls ofArgos (I suppose of the Acropolis) was 'Cyclopian, like those of Tiryns:
Aeili/a. KvxXuirei' sfana vi^oilai*
Horse-feeding Argos, where are walls of stone,
« On each side of the hills of Larissa and Phoroneus, is a plain ; that to the E. 'very large, extending to the Bay of Nauplia, that to the N. W. smaller. 'The river Inachus1 runs through the largest of these plains into the sea, 'near the city. About half way down the north side of the rock of Larissa, is 'a monastery, and a little way below it a cavern, perhaps the prison of 'Danae'j so often alluded to by the Poets;
Etass Xm Aeuxxt agavm Quc
In brazen hall, conceal'd from light of day,
Shrouded from mortal eye
In long and sad captivity.
'Along the east side of the hill of Larissa are the ruins of a wall of tiles and 'strong cement, evidently Roman. At the S. E. corner, in the plain, is a 'square Roman ruin; and immediately above this ruin, at the S. E. point of 'the rock of Larissa, are the vestiges of a theatre. It is a curious relic. All the • 'steps which now remain, were cut out of the solid rock. I counted forty 'rows, but as they were very indistinct towards the bottom, I probably did 'not count all of them. There were originally superadded seats of stone 'joined to the end of those cut in the rock, in order to complete the semi
♦ Eurip. Trend. 1. 1087.
* Strab. viii. p. 537. Lucian however says, that even the channel of the Inachus no longer exists. Luc. Contempt, t. i. p. 523.
8 Sophoc. Antig. 1. 944. Pausanias call* it a subterraneous dwelling. 1. c, 23.
* circle. At the two points where the semicircle terminated, is still to be 'traced the line of the Proscenium, forming the chord of the arc. The Theatre
* must have been of a very large size, nearly equal to that at Iero. At the 'west side of the rock of Larissa are vestiges of walls, and in the citadel were 'some stones with inscriptions, which have been removed. On the Phoro'naean hill are some subterraneous passages, but not of any considerable 'extent.
'In a Turkish mosque built on the site of an ancient Greek temple, a tes
* selated pavement was discovered, which has been taken away by Veli Pasha. c The Pasha has made excavations in the town, and found some statues, busts,
* &c. most of them of rude workmanship. A small statue of ^Esculapius 'seemed to possess some merit.
'The modern town of Argos contains about 4000 inhabitants, but it stands
* on a large extent of ground; there being considerable intervals of courts and 'gardens left between the houses. The inhabitants are chiefly Greeks, and 'in their manners courteous to strangers. I met with some in a coffee-house 'who could speak Italian. There are no manufactures in the place. The 'inhabitants support themselves by the cultivation of the neighbouring fields, 'and by their shops, in which I saw articles of the manufacture of Smyrna, 'and English cotton goods brought from Malta. On the whole, modern 'Argos appeared to me a busy, thriving place. Its vicinity to Nauplia,
* which now, as in ancient times, serves as its port, may be a principal cause
* of its prosperity.'7 Journal.
1. 146. The meek Electro,.] See iEschyl. Coeph. 1.81.
1. 147. Streams of honied milk.] See Odyss. xi. L 26. and Soph. Elect. 894.
1. 148. Ringlets shorn.] See Sophoc. Elect. 1. 900.
1. 149. Myrtle wreaths.] See Eurip. Elect. 1. 323.
1. 151. Mycence.] The distance from Argos to Mycenae was fifty stadia, six miles and a quarter.1
'Between two high conical mountains appear three low hills, and on one
7 Strab. viii. p. 585. 8 lb. p. 539.
'of these, which has a flat summit, is the citadel of Mycenae. The remains 'here are particularly interesting. In a recess, formed by two walls, is the 'great gateway. The earth near it has accumulated very much, so that its 'height cannot exactly be ascertained. The architrave is an immense block of 'stone, nearly fifteen feet long, and four thick. Over the architrave is a most 'curious piece of sculpture, the only relic of the sculpture of the heroic ages 'known to exist. It consists of a small pillar, diminishing in size from the 'top downwards. This pillar rests upon a piece of stone, carved alternately 'into grooves and projections. On its top is a sort of abacus, then four balls, 'and then another abacus. On each side of the pillar is a lioness, its fore 'paws resting on the stone which supports the pillar, its hinder feet on the 'architrave of the gate; the heads are wanting. They are carved in basso'relievo, on a triangular piece of stone, which is supported by the architrave 'of the gale. In its general appearance this piece of sculpture resembles a 'modern armorial bearing; the two lionesses being the supporters, the four 'balls and abacus forming something not unlike a coronet. The sculpture is 'very rude, and deficient in grace and beauty, but extremely curious as a
• specimen of the art in a remote age. There can be no doubt that it was 'erected at the same time with the walls, which are as ancient as those of 'Tiryns, and resemble them in the massiveness of their structure. (See the 'engraving, p. 90.)
'Strabo never visited this part of the country, or he would not have affirmed 'that not a vestige of Mycenae was to be found.'
'Pausanias, who travelled through Greece more than a century and half 'after Strabo, describes the walls of the town, the gale, and the sculptured 'lionesses, or lions as he calls them.1
-' A considerable part of the walls of the citadel still remain, and also the 'ruins of another gateway.
'A little lower down the hill, to the south, is visible the top of a large cir'cular building, composed of stone; but it is almost entirely filled with earth, 'and therefore could not be examined. Still farther down the hill is a large
• chamber, of the same shape, which has been lately excavated. Through a 'narrow passage, fortified on each side by large stones, we arrived at the ( gateway. The portal is about twenty feet high, diminishing from the bottom
• to the top, like the great portal of the Parthenon. The walls are composed
9 Strabo. viii, p. 540, 547. * Paus. 1.ii. c 16.