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O/Jf fxtv f!f airtoi/ Toi J' T)juoi / .
Some holding sickles in their hands, cut down
In another passage of the same author,' however, it appears that they exposed their grapes to the sun for ten days, and then put them into a shady place for five more, before they drew off the juice into vessels.
The invention of the wine-press, attributed to Bacchus, is poetically described by Nonnus.1
The wine was anciently, as now, kept in skins, which were supposed to give it a flavour.3
In a marble bas-relief, which Dr. Clarke found on the outside wall of the Castle of Stancho, in the Isle of Cos, Satyrs are represented as pouring wine from skins into vases.4
1. 424. Upon his lofty shed.] In the vineyards it is usual to see a high shed raised ten or twelve feet from the ground, slightly made of poles and sticks, and covered with a thin roof of leaves to keep off the glare of the sun. In this the guard of the vineyard keeps watch. Such was the occupation of iEschylus, when Bacchus appeared to him, and commanded him to write tragedies.*
1.438. Thy wild rout,
O Bromius.] See the Bacchae of Euripides.
9 Hesiod. Seut. Here. 1. 292. See also Homer's account, which is very similar, Iliad xviii. 1. 561.
■ Hes. Op, et Dies. 1. 612. 1 Nonni Dionys. xii. 1.329.
J Eurip. Cyclops. 1. 145. and Id. 1. 526.
♦ Travels, ii. p. 212. 5 Paus. i. c. 21.
1. 441. Thy loud rattling cymbals.]
\ivlx xeXxSov «vt(3o«.*
Before the Bromian king
Clear and shrill the cymbals ring.
1. 443. 77ie peasant's cot.'] The description which I have given above, p. 150, of the cottage of a Thessalian peasant, will apply, with very little variation, to the general appearance of the dwellings of the lower orders through Greece, and I have endeavoured that the 'picture in the text should be as accurate as possible. It is formed from the memoranda which I have preserved of the different cottages which I visited in my tour.
1. 465. Tfie scanty meal.\ That the present diet of the Arcadians is not much worse than the fare of their ancestors, we learn from Athenaeus/
'Hecataeus the Milesian, describing an Arcadian supper in the third book of 'his Genealogies, says that it consisted of pork, entrails, and salt, along with 'meal and cheese; a small quantity of drink in an earthen jug, and after'wards a dish in common of porridge and mince-meat.'
1. 466. Curdled milk.] Called Yaourt; a dish much used in Turkey, and when eaten with rice not unpalatable.
1.481. Laconia's land.] (Oct. 14.) ' We left Leondari for Sparta. For 'about the first hour we passed along a narrow valley, filled with wood. By 'degrees the valley contracted into a glen, shaded with luxuriant oaks, and 'planes. After riding about three hours, we stopped at a small village to 'breakfast. The inhabitants were employed in beating out the Indian corn. 'Their cottages were of the rudest construction possible, and seemed only 'intended to last for the harvest season, being made merely of sticks and 'leaves. The valley in this part is very narrow; and on each side, on the 'summit of a hill, is the ruin of an ancient fortress. That on the right is 'called Lunaneko, that on the left Khelmo. The boundaries of Arcadia and 'Laconia are here, I think, distinctly marked, and it was in this range that
6 Eurip. Helena, 1.1324. and Cyclops, 1.102
i Athenaeus, iv. c. 31.
'Ion, and the district of Sciritis was situated, which Ischolaus,■ with a hand'ful of Spartans, defended against the Boeotians and allies, under Epami'nondas.' Soon after leaving this village, we rode through a narrow and 'woody glen, infested by robbers. Our Tatar pointed to different posts which 'were dangerous, and desired us to ride as fast as possible. After this the 'appearance of the country changed; we had low rugged hills on our left, 'and small plains, occasionally covered with oaks, planes, and poplars. On 'our right extended the long and very bold range of Mount; Taygetus,* termi'nating in peaks; its sides clothed with pines, precipitous, and marked by 'the lines of the wintery torrent. Taygetus joined on to the mountains of 'Arcadia." About two hours before we arrived at Mistra, we reached the 'banks of the Eurotas (now the Iri) a broad bed of gravel, with only a little 'water in it; its banks, adorned with poplars and planes; its course serpen'tine. The road passes amongst low hills, generally covered with wood. 'About an hour before we reached Mistra, the scenery assumed a grander 'appearance. We enjoyed fine views of Mount Taygetus, to which we 'approached; and the town of Mistra, seated at its foot, and surmounted by 'an old fortress, was a considerable feature in the scene. An extensive plain, * covered with trees, extended far to our left.' Journal.
1. 482. Through these defiles.] Laconia, from the strength of its natural barrier, was always considered as peculiarly secure from hostile surprise! Xenophon calls it Swi^oXuneLTn* and mentions the garrisons stationed to defend its weakest parts. Strabo calls Laconia xoiAn, op<ri iKfiigefior, rga^ux Ts (Juo-(3»Aof rc iroAf/*ioif.* 'Broken by defiles, surrounded by mountains, rugged, and difficult of access to an enemy.'
I. 489. Eurotas bank.} The Eurotas (according to Strabo) rises in the same place as the Alpheus, at Asea, a village of Megalopolis. Both these rivers sink under ground for some distance; when emerging again, the former
* Xenoph. He1. 1. vi. c. 5.
9 There was another strong pass into Laconia, described by Polybius, ii. c. 65.
1 M. Chateaubriand observes, that Polybius compares Taygetus to the Alps. So far from comparing them, the historian says, that the Alps were five times as high. See Polyb. quoted by Strabo, lib. iv.p.293.Ed.Oxon.
* Strab. viii. p. 526. 3 Xenoph. He1. 1. vi. c. 5. 4 Strabo viii. p. 532.
flows to Laconia, the latter to Elis. The Eurotas issues from its subterraneous course at Belbina, in Laconia, and passing by Sparta, and through a small valley at Helos, celebrated by the Poets, falls into the sea between Gythium, the port of Sparta, and Acriae.' It is called the reedy Eurotas by Euripides:
1. 492. On five low hills their city rose.] 'Sparta was situated on an exten'sive plain, covered with trees, on the west side of the Eurotas/ The plain 'is bounded on the north by eminences of small elevation; on the south, at a 'distance, by a low chain of hills; on the east by hills of a tamer appearance, 'rising above each other in three distinct and separate tiers; on the west by 'the range of Mount Taygetus, wild and bold, partially clad with pines, 'deeply indented by the beds of torrents, rising into pointed peaks, some 'of which, when 1 saw it (Oct. 14.) were covered with snow. The river 'Eurotas runs in a southerly direction through the plain, and the town was 'situated at a small distance from it, on the western bank. The ruins of Sparta 'are inconsiderable in magnitude, and nothing remains at all approaching to 'a perfect edifice. Detached pieces of brick walls are visible in different 'parts, and extend to the banks of the river, marking the site of ancient 'Sparta. In this part the plain is broken into several small hills,' separated • from each other by narrow vallies. On these hills are ruins of walls; and 'one higher and larger than the rest, and on which there are still remains of 'buildings, marks where the citadel formerly stood. Pausanias says,' that
* Strab. viii. p. 498. See also Paus. viii. c. 44. and Dionysius Periergetes, 1. 41©. It has not been satisfactorily determined whether the name is Belbina, Bembina, or Belimina.
* Eurip. Iph. inAu1. 1. 179.
1 In Homer we find a sketch of the Plain of Sparta. Teleinachus says to Menelaus,*
'the Lacedaemonians have not a citadel so lofty as that of Thebes or Argos, c but they call that the Acropolis which rises above the other hills in the city. 'This description answers perfectly to the present appearance of what I call 'the citadel, and of the adjoining hills. The inhabitants of Sparta, divided 'into five tribes,' lived in as many separate districts on low hills, a circum'stance still strongly marked by the peculiarity of the features which distin'guish the site of ancient Sparta. To the west of the citadel an oblong space 'indistinctly marked, may have been the Stadium. To the east, an imperfect 'curve may have been the Theatre; but all is unsatisfactory conjecture. 'Close to the Eurotas is a level space of ground, where the Spartan youths 'exercised themselves in warlike and manly exercises.' Journal.
The modern town of Mistra was a short time ago a flourishing place, having an extensive manufactory of silk, and exporting a large quantity of the raw material. Since the war with Russia, it has declined much, and at present contains only about 2000 inhabitants. It is governed by a Vaivode, who buys his place of the court at Constantinople. The present Vaivode has purchased his office for two years, and gives 120 purses, 3000 per annum, for it.
1. 492. no walls,
No ramparts, clos'd it round.]
"Oi St Siraflj«jai arn^ifon f^oi/7ff rnv iroXiv, says Xenophon.1
Fuerat quondam sine muro Sparta.* Tyranni nuper locis patentibus planisque objecerant murum; altiora loca, et difficiliora aditu stationibus armatorum pro munimento objectis tutabantur.
Sparta was fortified with wallsfor the first time after the battle of Leuctra,* in the decline of its glory; as Rome was fortified by Aurelian and Probus, when the enervated spirit of its inhabitants looked to towers and ramp art for that protection which their forefathers had found in their own valour.*
1. 493. its battlements
And totcrs of strength were men.] A sentiment inculcated both by an historian and poet of antiquity:
"For men form a city, and not walls, and ships, without men."
'Thucyd. i. c. 10. * Xen. He1. 1. vi. c. 5.and Xen. Agesilaus, c.ii. s. 24.
3 Liv. 1. xxxiv. c. 38. 4 Justin. 1. xiv. c. 5. J See Gibbon, vo1. ii. p. 28. 'Thucyd. yii. c. 77.