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GREECE &s
THE i^GEAN

^ ISLANDS -^

PHILIP S.MARDEN

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Class

Book.

16

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COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT.

GREECE
AND

THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

GREECE
AND THE

^GEAN

ISLANDS
BY

PHILIP

SANFORD MARDEN

BOSTON AND NEW YORK


HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
MDCCCCVII

flWhARY of CONCREJSS
Two Coules Racetved

NOV
,

\90f

-^Cnnyrtehf Entn-

JLAs//f /

COPY

COPYRIGHT

1907

XXc:, No.

u.

BY PHILIP

S.

MARDEN

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Published November iqoj

"^

PROLEGOMENA

WHAT

makes no pretense whatever of


being a scientific work on Greece, from an
follows

archaeological or other standpoint.


at all

is

That

it is

written

the resultant of several forces, chief

among

which are the consciousness that no book hitherto


published, so far as

am aware,

has covered quite the

same ground, and the feeling, based on the experience of myself and others, that some such book ought
to

be available.

By way

of explanation

and apology,

admit, even to myself, that what


cially in the

opening chapters,

sional charge that


spite

it

is

have

am forced to

written, espe-

liable to the occa-

has a guide-bookish sound, de-

an honest and persistent effort to avoid the same.

show how easy it really is to


and in the ardent hope of making a few
of the rough places smooth for first visitors, I have
doubtless been needlessly prolix and explicit at the
outset, notably in dealing with a number of sordid details and directions. Moreover, to deal in so small a
compass with so vast a subject as that of ancient and
modern Athens is a task fraught with many difficulIn the sincere desire to

visit Hellas,

ties.

One certainly cannot in such a book as this ignore

PROLEGOMENA

vi

Athens

much has been

utterly, despite the fact that so

published hitherto about the city and


that

no further description

ject is not to

is

its

monuments

at all necessary.

make Athens more

familiar,

My ob-

but rather

more remote sites in Greece for


and I hope also for the pleasure, of

to describe other and

the information,

past and future travelers. Athens, however,

ignore
here

is

and while such

necessarily superficial,

an additional

could not

brief treatment as is possible


it

may

interest in that city

help to

awaken

where none existed

before.

Aside from the preliminary chapters and those dealing with Athens
cessful.

itself, I

have, at

any

hope

rate,

to

have been more suc-

been

free in those other

places from the depressing feeling that

on a work

was engaged

of supererogation, since this part of the

is by no means hackneyed even through treatment by technical writers. Since the publication of
most of the better known books on Greek travel, a

subject

great deal has been accomplished in the


cavation,
bare,

and much that

is

way

of ex-

interesting has been laid

which has not been adequately described, even

in the technical works. In dealing with these addi-

tions

and

in describing journeys to less familiar in-

land

sites,

as well as cruises to sundry of the classic

islands of the

^gean,

real excuse for being.

hope

this

book

will find its

PROLEGOMENA

vii

In adopting a system for spelling the


cities,

towns, and islands,

a quandary, owing to the

have been

possibilities

various customs of authors in this

names of Greek
something

in

of

presented by the

field,

each one of

which has something to recommend it and something,


also, of

disadvantage.

If

one spells Greek names in the

more common Anglicized

fashion, especially in writ-

ing for the average traveler, one certainly avoids the

appearance
the reader
iar

of affectation,

after much

famil-

debate and rather against

personal preferences and usage in several

instances,

name most

have adhered
familiar to

in the

main

to the

American eyes and

forms of
ears.

In

known sites, where it is occamore important to know the names as locally

cases of obscure or
sionally

also avoids misleading

by an unfamiliar form of an otherwise

word. Hence,

my own

and

pronounced,

little

have followed the Greek forms. This,

while doubtless not entirely logical, has seemed the


best
to

way

out of a rather perplexing situation, bound

be unsatisfactory whichever way one attempts to

solve the problem.

In mercy to non-Hellenic readers,

sought

to

have likewise

exclude with a firm hand quotations from

the Greek language,


to avoid the use of

and as far as reasonably possible

Greek words or expressions when

English would answer every purpose.


If,

in

such places as have seemed to

demand

it,

PROLEGOMENA

viii

have touched upon archaeological matters,


to

hope not

have led any reader far from the truth, although one

admittedly an amateur in such matters runs grave risk


in

committing himself to paper where even the doctors

themselves so often disagree.

hope especially to have

escaped advancing mere personal opinions on moot


points, since dilettanti in such

own any

ness to

them

weight.

Rather

and none at

opinions,

to the untutored as

a case have

if

have only the desire

view and enjoy the

visible

was Greece, as
was Rome.

to

busi-

to exploit

they had importance or

others to a consciousness that

it is

all

little

it is

remnants

view those

to

as easy

arouse

now

to

of the glory that

of the

grandeur that

In the writing of these chapters an effort has been

made

to set forth in non-technical terms only

the writer himself has seen

what

and observed among

these haunts of remote antiquity, with the idea of

confining the scope of this

who,

like himself, possess

things,

to see

book

to the needs of those

a veneration

an amateur's love

for the old

for the classics, and a


and know that world which was born,

desire
lived,

and died before our own was even dreamed of as


existing. If by what is written herein others are led
to go and see for themselves, or are in any wise
assisted in

making

or, better still,

their acquaintance with Greece,

are enabled the

more

readily to recall

PROLEGOMENA
days spent

in that

most fascinating

nations, then this book,

ix
of all the

bygone

however unworthily dealing

with a great subject, will not have been written in


vain.

Philip
Lowell, Mass., August,

1907.

Sanford Marden.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

VL
VIL
VIII.

IX.

X.

XL
XII.

XIII.

XIV.

XV.
XVI.
XVII.

XVIIL
XIX.

XX.

TRAVELING IN GREECE
CRETE
i8
THE ENTRANCE TO GREECE
.
37
ATHENS THE MODERN CITY
50
ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS
76
ANCIENT ATHENS THE OTHER MONUMENTS
96
EXCURSIONS IN ATTICA
123
DELPHI
146
MYCEN^ AND THE PLAIN OF ARGOS
169
NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS
.193
211
IN ARCADIA
.
AND
THE
ANDHRITS.^NA
BASS^
229
TEMPLE
OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA
247
272
THE ISLES OF GREECE: DELOS
SAMOS AND THE TEMPLE AT BRAN2S6
CHID^.
COS AND CNIDOS
.304
318
RHODES
.

.....
.....
.

...

THERA
Nios

CORFU
INDEX

334

PAROS

a midnight mass

351

368
381

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
PAGE

........

ACROPOLIS, SHOWING PROPYL^EA

MAP

Frontispiece

LANDING-PLACE AT CANEA
THRONE OF MINOS AT CNOSSOS
STORE-ROOMS IN MINOAN PALACE, CNOSSOS
OLD CHURCH IN TURKISH QUARTER, ATHENS
TEMPLE OF NIKE APTEROS
THE PARTHENON, WEST PEDIMENT
TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS
.

20.

.34-^
36

....
...
.

60

80
86
104

108
THE AREOPAGUS
112
THE THESEUM
.116
TOMB AMPHORA, CERAMICUS
118
TOMB RELIEF, CERAMICUS
BRONZE EPHEBUS, NATIONAL MUSEUM, ATHENS 120
THE TEMPLE AT SUNIUM
134
THE APPROACH TO ^GINA
.138
THE TEMPLE AT ^GINA
138
PEASANT DANCERS AT MENIDI
.142
THE PLAIN BELOW DELPHI
50
156-^
THE VALE OF DELPHI
.

....
.

CHARIOTEER, DELPHI
AGORA, MYCEN^
WOMAN SPINNING ON ROAD TO EPIDAURUS
.

166 -180

198

XIV

LIST

OF ILLUSTRATIONS

EPIDAURIAN SHEPHERDS
THEATRE AT EPIDAURUS
AN OUTPOST OF ARCADY
THE GORGE OF THE ALPHEIOS

202

....
.

ANDHRITS^NA
AN ARBOREAL CAMPANILE. ANDHRITS^NA
THRESHING FLOOR AT BASS^
TEMPLE AT BASS^, FROM ABOVE
TEMPLE AT BASS^, FROM BELOW
HER^UM. OLYMPIA
ENTRANCE TO THE STADIUM. OLYMPIA
DELOS, SHOWING GROTTO
GROTTO OF APOLLO, DELOS
COLUMN BASES. SAMOS
CARVED COLUMN-BASE. BRANCHID^
.

TREE OF HIPPOCRATES. COS


CNIDOS, SHOWING THE TWO HARBORS
SCULPTURED TRIREME IN ROCK AT
(From a Sketch by the Author)

ARCHED PORTAL OF ACROPOLIS. LINDOS


SANTORIN
LANDING-PLACE AT THERA

THERA
A THERAN STREET
OLD COLUMNS IN CHURCH, PAROS
" SHIP OF ULYSSES." CORFU

GREECE
AND

THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

TRAVELING
GREECE

CHAPTER

THE

days

be

set

which a

in

down

IN

I.

visit

to

Greece might

as something quite unusual and

apart from the beaten track of European travel have

passed away, and happily

so.

The announcement

one's intention to visit Athens

and

its

environs no

longer affords occasion for astonishment, as

when Greece was held


stamping-ground
logists.

To be

of

wonderment

the classic land

it

did

be almost the exclusive

more strenuous

the

sure, those

enced the delights


to

to

of

who have never

of Hellenic travel are

archaeoexperi-

still

given

at one's expressed desire to revisit


;

but even this must pass

away

in its

few voyage thither without awakening

turn, since

that desire.
It is

no longer an undertaking fraught with any

difficulty

much

less

with any danger

main points

of interest in the

and, what

more

is

to the

Hellenic

to visit the

kingdom

purpose in the estimation

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

no longer an enterprise beset with disgreater degree than is involved in


any
comfort, to
a journey through Italy. The result of the growing
of

many,

it is

consciousness of this fact has been a steadily increas-

ing volume of travel to

this richest of classic lands

richest not alone in its intangible memories, but richest also in its visible

monuments

a remote past,

of

presenting undying evidence of the genius of the

Greeks

and

for expressing the beautiful in

One may,

stone.

terms of marble

of course, learn to appreciate

the beautiful in Greek thought without leaving home,

embodied as
be met with

But

it is

in the

and

literary

remains to

in traversing the ordinary college course.

in order fully to

tures

imposing

know

the beauty of the sculp-

architecture, such as culminated in the

one must

of Pericles,

visit

own eyes what the hand

Greece and see

of

Time has

indeed in fragmentary form, but

still

age

with' his

spared, often
occasionally

touched with even a new loveliness through the mel-

lowing processes

To any

of the ages.

thinking, reading

man

or

woman

of the

present day, the memories, legends, and history of


ancient Greece must present sufficient attraction.
of us stop to realize

and

feeling

was

how much

first

of

Few

our modern thought

given adequate expression by

the inhabitants of ancient Athens, or

our own daily speech

is

how much

of

directly traceable to their

TRAVELING
Modern

tongue.

GREECE

IN

may

politics

still

learn

much

tact

and oratorical excellence of ^schines,


modern philosophy has developed from Socrates,

of Pericles,

as

Plato,

and

Aristotle. Is

modern

part of
at least,

if

not even true that a large

it

religious thought, the

not the means of grace, finds

Athenians for a hope of


?

The

remembered
from

its

abstract
ities,

crowning architec-

transition of the

of the virgin (parthenos)

Mary

was, after

strongest

of the

tural glory of the Acropolis at

Virgin

its

of glory

more enlightened
immortality and life beyond

foreshadowing in the groping


the grave

hope

Athens from a temple

Athena

all,

to

a church

not so violent,

it

is

paganism had softened

that the later

old system of corrupt personal deities to an

embodiment

of their chief attributes or qual-

such as wisdom, healing, love, and war.

to this

of the

when

day the

Down

traces of the pagan, or let us say the

classic period, are

easy to discern, mingled with the

modern Greek Christianity,

often unconsciously,

and

of course entirely devoid of any content of pagan-

ism, but

still

unmistakably there.

once sacred to Asklepios

still

To this day festivals

survive, in effect, though

observed on Christian holy days and under Christian


nomenclature, with no thought of reverence for the

Epidaurian god, but nevertheless preserving intact


the ancient central idea, which

impelled the wor-

shiper to sleep in the sanctuary awaiting the healing

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

visit of

In every church in Greece to-day

a vision.

one may see scores of


other bodily organs

little

metal arms, legs, eyes, and

hung up

as votive offerings on

the iconastasis, or altar screen, just as small anatom-

models were once laid by grateful patients on the

ical

shrine of Asklepios at Cos.

most striking and

It is

impressive, this interweaving of relics of the old-time

paganism with the modern Greek


as

it

does a well-marked

religion,

line of descent

showing
from the

ancient beliefs without violent disruption or transition.

It

has become a well-recognized

modern churches

fact that certain

often directly replace the ancient

temples of the spot in a sort of orderly system, even

be hard occasionally to explain. The successors

if it

Athena are ordinarily churches

of the fanes of

Virgin Mary, as was the case

was used

for Christian worship.

worship of Poseidon gave


St.

when

Nicholas.

The

way

of the

the Parthenon

In other sites the

to churches sacred to

old temples of Ares occasionally

flowered again, and not inappropriately, as churches


of the martial St.

in churches

George. Dionysus lives once more

named

"St. Dionysius,"

though no longer

possessing any suspicion of a Bacchic flavor. Most


striking of

all is

and mountains

the almost appalling


in

Greece named

number

of hills

" St. Elias,"

and

often bearing monasteries or churches of that designation.

There

is

hardly a

site in all

Greece from which

TRAVELING

IN

GREECE

not possible to see at least one "

it is

have been told that

this is

St. Elias,"

nothing more nor

and

than

less

the perpetuation of the ancient shrines of Helios (the

modern

sun) under a Christian name, which, in the

Greek pronunciation,

of

is

a sound almost exactly

The substitution, therecame to its own, was not

similar to the ancient one.


fore,

when

Christianity

an unnatural, nor indeed an

entirely inappropriate,

one.
It

Greek

show

conspires to

all
is

and devoutly a

sincerely

sition into his

new

est ancestors has

faith

Christian, his tran-

from the religion

of his

remot-

been accompanied by a very consid-

erable retention of old usages

and by the persistence


idealistic

modern

that, while the

and old nomenclature,

of ineradicable traces of the

residuum that remained

after the

more gross

portions of the ancient mythology had refined

and had

left

to the worshiper abstract godlike attri-

gods and goddesses

butes, rather than the

fathers

while
the

had created

nobody can

in

call in

modern Greek,

question the Christianity of

his churches nevertheless often


of the ancient

days with the modern incense and odor


mind,

his fore-

man's unworthy image. So,

mingle a quaint perfume

To my own

away

this

and

do

classic

of sanctity.

obvious direct descent of many

a churchly custom or churchly name from the days of


the mythical

Olympian theocracy

is

one

of the

most

GREECE AND THE .EGEAN ISLANDS

modern Hellas

impressively interesting things about

and her people.


In a far less striking, but no less real way,

we

our-

selves are of course the direct inheritors of the classic

Greeks, legatees of their store of thought, literature,

and
first

culture,

and

pioneered.

They and not we have been

ators in civilization, with


ity

from

on the path the Greeks

followers

politics to art.

all its

the cre-

varied fields of activ-

Of our own mental race the

Greeks were the progenitors, and

it is

enough

to re-

cognize this fact of intellectual descent and kinship


in order to
of

view the Athenian Acropolis and the

Hill

Mars with much the same thrill that one to-day


us say, in coming from Kansas or California

feels, let

upon Plymouth Rock, the

to look

Philadelphia, or the fields of

old state house at

Lexington and Concord.

by way of introduction to the thought that


to visit Hellas is by no means a step aside, but rather
one further step back along the highway traversed
All this

from east to west by the slow course


therefore a step natural

every one

who

man, the better


it

and proper

and

be taken by

to understand the present

The

notable that the

growing annually.

by viewing

" philhellene," as the

call their friend of to-day,

it is

to

and

interested in the history of civilized

in the light of the past.

Greeks

is

is

of empire,

needs no apologist,

number of such

philhellenes

TRAVELING IN GREECE

Time was, of course, when the visit to Greece meant


so much labor, hardship, and expense that it was
made by few. To-day it is no longer so. One may now
visit the more interesting sites of the Greek peninsula
at

and even

certain of the islands with perfect ease,

no greater cost

in

money

or effort than

is

entailed

by any other Mediterranean journey, and with the


added

satisfaction that

one sees not only inspiring

and vales peopled with a thousand


ghostly memories running far back of the dawn of

scenery, but hills

history

and losing themselves

when

the misty past

and

strove, intrigued, loved,

The

natural result of a

attractions of Greece

which
of

in its turn

accommodation

pagan legend,

in

the fabled gods of high

is

in

Olympus

ruled.

growing appreciation

an increase

of the

in travel thither,

has begotten increasing excellence


at those points

where

visitors

most

do congregate. Railroads have been extended, hotels


have multiplied and improved, steamers are more

more comfortable. One need no longer


be deterred by any fear of hardship involved in such
frequent and

a journey. Athens to-day

offers hostelries of

every

Rome. The more famous towns likely


can show very creditable inns for the

grade, as does
to

be visited

wayfarer, which are comfortable enough, especially


to one inured to the

Railway coaches, while

hill
still

towns

of Italy or Sicily.

much below the standard

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

of the corridor cars of the

more western

nations, are

comfortable enough for journeys of moderate length,

and must inevitably improve from year to year as


the hotels have done already. As for safety of person
and property, that ceased to be a problem long ago.
Brigandage has been unknown in the Peloponnesus
for many a long year. Drunkenness is exceedingly
rare,

and begging

is infinitely

and

more uncommon than


Time is certain

in

most

to

remove the objection of the comparative isolation


Greece still more than it has done at this writing,

of

Italian provinces

no doubt.

cities.

It is still true that

and purposes, an

Greece

despite

island,

nection with the mainland

of

is,

to all intents

physical con-

its

Europe. The northern

mountains, with the wild and semi-barbaric inhabitants

thereamong, serve to insulate the kingdom

effectually

on the mainland

insulates

on every other hand, so that one

it

more out

of the

All arrival

Athens

stantinople
tion

world at Athens than

and departure

shall

be

side, just as the

finally

and the

is

by sea

in

Palermo.

rail

with Con-

communica-

north, the bulk of

between Greece and the western world


still

really

and even when

connected by

be chiefly maritime, and

is

ocean

subject, as

will

still

now, to the

delays and inconveniences that must always beset

an island kingdom. Daily steamers, an


attained, will be the

one

effective

way

ideal not yet

to shorten the

TRAVELING

IN

GREECE

distance between Hellas and Europe proper

not to

mention America.
It

may

be added that one need not be deterred

from a tour

in

Greece by a lack

of

knowledge

of the

tongue, any more than one need allow an unfamil-

with Italian to debar him from the pleasures

iarity

The

of Italy.

case

is

essential

and

striking difference in the

the distinctive form of the Greek

letters,

which

naturally tends to confuse the unaccustomed visitor


rather

own

more than do

Italian words, written in our

familiar alphabet.

Still,

miliar with the Hellenic text

with comparatively
rance,

hotels,

visit

inconvenience from his igno-

days perfect English

and French

at large

the prevalence of French


to surprise
linguists,

one

at

first.

is

spoken at

and small

among

classes

all

and many a man or woman

ledge of the Gallic tongue.

a few more years the

English

among

met with men


English

well,

it

does

of

is

likely

humble

sta-

probable that

effect of the present

strong

will reflect

general knowledge of

the poorer people.


in

Indeed,

working know-

It is entirely

now a

large

are excellent

tendency toward emigration to America

even more than

all

alike.

The Greeks

tion will be found to possess a fair

in

the country

content to follow the frequented routes, since

if

in these

little

even one quite unfa-

may

have frequently

obscure inland towns

who spoke

and once or twice discovered that they

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

lo

learned

it

my own

in

on the population

city,

of the

which has drawn heavily

Peloponnesus within recent

years.
If

the traveler

ancient Greek

what

him

is

more

is

rare

to recognize

a few

to

of the

of

often stated that

the days of Chaucer

may

not be
it is still

it

once familiar words, he

Greek has changed

and while

strictly true,

possible for

to enable

a considerable advantage

Agamemnon's time than English has

that

have studied

and college days, and

retains enough

will naturally find


It is

enough

fortunate

in his school

therein.

less since

altered since

this generalization

very near the

fact,

so

any student well versed

in

it

is

modern Athenian newspaper with considerable ease. The pronunciation,

the ancient Greek to read a

however,
in

is

vastly different from the systems taught

England and

in

America, so that even a good

classical student requires

long practice to deliver his

Greek trippingly on the tongue

in

modern Athenian can understand


speaking, Greek
in the

days

is

such wise that the


it.

Grammatically

to-day vastly simpler than

of Plato.

It

has been shorn of

it

many

those fine distinctions that were, and are, such


rors to the

is

of

ter-

American schoolboy. But the appearance

of the letters

accents,

was

and words, with

quite unchanged,

words are perfectly good

in

their breathings

and many

and

of the ancient

modern Greek with

their

TRAVELING

GREECE

IN

When

old meanings unimpaired.

modern pronunciation, even

the

degree, one

ii

one has mastered


a very moderate

to

sure to find that the once despised

is

"dead language " is not a dead language at all, but


one in daily use by a nation of people who may claim
with truth that they speak a speech as old as Aga-

memnon and

more homogeneous in
than modern Italian as it comes from the
It

far

know

knowledge

names

clue to the

Aside from

that, the

always picks up
where.

One

will

will often serve to

of

very

give one a

streets or railroad stations.

few words the habitual traveler


serve as well in Greece as any-

"how much?" and

too dear." These are the

European

travel,

for

saying "It

primal necessities of

always and everywhere. With these

alone as equipment, one

may go

earth. In addition to these

a simple kind, devised

for

almost anywhere

rudimentary

the ever-versatile Baedeker supplies,


of

is

should know, of course, the colloquial

forms of asking

on

it

Greek alphabet, even

one does not speak or read the language, since

this little

is

the

descent

Latin.

cannot be disguised, however, that

desirable at least to
if

its

essentials,

believe, phrases

every possible contin-

gency, remote or otherwise, which might beset the


traveler
ful

omitting, curiously enough, the highly use-

expression for hot water, which the traveler will

speedily discover

is

" zesto nerd."

Among

the con-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

12

veniences, though not essential, might be included a

smattering of knowledge of the Greek numerals to

be used

in

bargaining with merchants and cab-drivers.

But since the Greek merchant,

never without his

will later appear, is


cil,

and since the written

own, the custom

for reasons

is

which

pad and pen-

figures are the

same

as our

to conduct bargains with Euro-

peans generally by written symbols. The inevitable

haggling over prices

in the small

shops requires

little

more than the sign manual, plus a determination to


seem indifferent at all hazards. The Greek merchant,
like every other, regards the

voyager from foreign

and long experience has led


price to be questioned. Hence

parts as legitimate prey,

him

to expect his

nothing would surprise a small dealer more than to

be taken at his
riving at

initial figure,

and the process

of ar-

some middle ground remotely resembling


often a complicated but perfectly

reasonableness

is

good-humored

affair.

The cab-drivers present rather more difficulty.


They seldom speak French and they carry no writing
pads. The result is a frequent misunderstanding as
to both price

and

destination, while in the settlement

of all differences at the close of the " course "

cabby and
tic
is

his fare are evidently at

disadvantage.

The

twofold, as a rule.

a mutual

both

linguis-

trouble over the destination

Part of the time the

cabman

TRAVELING
is

"green" and not

and part

of the

nize, in the

GREECE

IN

13

well acquainted with the city;

time he

is

wholly unable to recog-

name pronounced
he may know

tion of a street

to him,

any sugges-

when

perfectly well

pronounced with the proper accent. The element


accent

highly important in speaking Greek

is

unless the stress

properly

is

a word

laid,

of

for

will often

elude entirely the comprehension of the native,

al-

though every syllable be otherwise correctly sounded.

The names
tive case,

of the

Greek

streets are all in the geni-

which makes the matter

small avail to say "

Hermes

to get the idea clearly in mind.

but

worse.

It is of

Street " to a driver.

Hermes "

" Street of

must have the Greek for


alize,

still

incline to rate the

It is

He

in order

not safe to gener-

Greeks as rather slower

than Italians at grasping a foreigner's meaning, despite their cleverness

and quickness

languages themselves. However,


siderably ahead of our narrative
losing sight of the
is

easy enough to

main

visit

point,

at acquiring other

this is getting con-

and

which

and enjoy, even

in

that Greece

if

one

For those who

know a

is

it,

there

of

is

rant of the language.


trifle of

danger

is

igno-

feel safer to

ample time on the steamer

voyage toward the Grecian goal

to acquire all that

ordinary necessities demand.

Let

it

be said, in passing from these general and

preliminary remarks to a more detailed discussion of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

14

Hellenic travel, that the

modern Greek has

lost

none

of his ancient prototype's reverence for the guest as

a person having the highest claims upon him and

none

of the ancient

hospitality.

Greek

regard for the sacred

Whatever may be

character,

it

said of the

name

of

modern

cannot be called in question as

lacking in cordiality and kindness to the stranger.

The most unselfish entertainer in the world is the


Greek, who conceives the idea that he may be able to
add

your happiness by

to

his courtesy,

The

in the country as well as in the city.

on the highway has always a


it

is

come

to taste

it

and see

native

that they are good.

house and

He

from the earthen jar which

he

is

pungent

fear to-day, unless

it

be a fear

hospitality such as admits of

drive a hard bargain with

ham

kept for just such occa-

nothing

sets out to entertain,

done by halves. The Greek bearing


no

will

set before

"mastika," or perhaps a bit of smoke-cured

If

If

you are wel-

milk, the rich preserved quince, the glass of

sions as this.

met

you the
the sweet "sumadha" or almond

to his

affords,

this is true

salutation for you.

the season for harvesting grapes,

welcome you
best

and

gifts

of

need cause

superabundant

no repayment.

you

is

in business,

He

will

no doubt.

Occasionally an unscrupulous native will commit a


petty theft, as in any other country where only
is vile.

But once appear to him

man

in the guise of friend-

TRAVELING

GREECE

IN

15

ship and he will prove himself the most obliging


creature in the world.

He may

of the general history of his

remote ancestors as you

are yourself, but what he does


ity

he

will relate to

not be as well aware

know about

you with pride and

his vicin-

explicitness.

Curiously enough, the Greek in ordinary station

you wish

likely to think

He

ancient things.

modern

to see

cannot understand

is

rather than

why you go

every evening to the Acropolis and muse on the steps

Parthenon while you omit to

of the
of

Kephissia or

Tato'is.

He would

visit

the villas

rather

show you

a tawdry pseudo-Byzantine church than a ruined


temple. But the cordial spirit

who
it

is

there,

and everybody

ever visited Greece has had occasion to

and admire

it.

There remains necessary a word as


of routes to Greece.

may

enter

speak

by

know

As

in the case of Venice,

either the front or the

and probably, as

actually elect to enter

to the choice

back door, so to

in the case of Venice,

by the

rear.

may

more

The two gateways

of Hellas are the Piraeus at the eastern front,

Patras at the back. Either

one

and

be selected as the

point for beginning a land journey in the kingdom,

and each has


visitor

other,

certain advantages. In

any event the

should enter by one portal and leave by the

and the

direction

may

safely be left to be de-

cided by the convenience and aims of each particular

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i6

Taking Naples as the natural startAmerican travelers, two routes lie open.

visitor's case.

ing-point of

One

is

the railroad to Brindisi, traversing the

moun-

tainous Italian interior to the Adriatic coast, where

on stated days very comfortable steamers ply be-

The

tween Brindisi and Patras, touching at Corfu.


other route
either

from Naples to the Piraeus by sea on

is

French or

Italian steamers, the

latter

lines

being slower and enabling stops in Sicily and


Crete.

To

those fortunately possessed of ample time

willing to see something of

and

in

Magna

Graecia as

well as of Greece proper, the slower route

is

decid-

edly to be recommended.

For the purposes

of this

book

let

us choose to enter

Greece by her imposing main portal

of the Piraeus,

setting at naught several considerations which incline us to believe that,


lies

on the whole, the advantage

rather with the contrary choice.

may

be said

true that in

things.

and

it

else

remains

any case one immediately encounters

mythology and legend


Ulysses,

Whatever

in favor of either selection,

is

in

the

shape of the wily

thus at once en rapport with Grecian

The steamers from Naples must

the Strait of Messina, between Scylla

sail

through

and Charybdis,

once the terror of those mariners who had the experiences of

Homer's wandering hero before

while not far below Charybdis and just

their eyes

off

the Sicil-

"

TRAVELING
ian shore they

number

GREECE

IN

show the wondering

still

Polyphemus hurled

rage after the fleeing Odysseus, but

in his blind

fortunately without doing

we

sail

him any harm.

on the

If,

from Brindisi to Patras, we must

pass Corfu, which as


island

traveler

small rocks, rising abruptly from the

of

ocean, as the very stones that

contrary,

17

the world

all

knows was the


his ship and

on which Odysseus was cast from

where, after he had refreshed himself with sleep, he

was awakened by the laughter


maids as they played at
done. Whichever

of

Nausicaa and her

ball after the

way we

go,

we soon

washing was

have run into a land older than those with

have been

familiar,

this distance

who

we
which we

find that

whose legends greet us even

at

over miles of tossing waves. Let those

are content to voyage with us through the pages

that follow, be content to reserve Corfu for the

ward journey, and

now toward

to

assume that our prow

is

home-

headed

Crete, through a tossing sea such as led

the ancients to exclaim, "

The Cretan sea

The shadowy mountains on

the

left

is

wide

are the lofty

southern prongs of the Grecian peninsula. Ahead,

and not yet


razor-like

visible

edge

above the horizon,

of Crete,

us in harbor at Canea.

is

the sharp,

and the dawn should

find

CHAPTER

II.

CRETE

19

on the wind and weather, not only

at Canea, with

which we are at present concerned, but at Candia,


which we

speak

shall

later.

of

In a north wind, such as

frequently blows for days together, a landing on the

northern coast
ers

is

often quite impossible,

have been known to

for

lie

days

off

and steamthe island

waiting a chance to approach and discharge.


contretemps, however,

is less

to be feared at

This

Canea

because of the proximity of the excellent though

Suda Bay, which is landlocked and deep,


any weather, but presenting
the drawback that it is about four miles from the city
of Canea, devoid of docks and surrounded by flat
isolated

affording quiet water in

marshes. Nevertheless, steamers finding the weather


too rough off the port do proceed thither on occasion

and transact
difficulty.

their business there,

The

made save

though with some

resort to Suda, however,

in

is

seldom

exceedingly rough weather, for the

stout shore boats of the Cretans are capable of brav-

ing very considerable waves and landing passengers

and

freight before the city itself in

west gale, as our

own

fairly stiff north-

experience in several Cretan

landings has proven abundantly.

It is

not a trip to

be recommended to the timorous, however, when the


sea

is

high

gerous as

it

for

although

looks, the

it

is

probably not as dan-

row across the open water

between steamer and harbor

is

certainly rather terri-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

20

fying in appearance, as the boats rise and


in sight of

now

each other on the

now

fall,

crest of the waves,

disappearing for what seem interminable

inter-

vals in the valleys of water between what look like

mountains

of

boatmen are

wave tossing angrily on all sides. The


skillful and comparatively few seas are

shipped, but even so

dampening

more ways than

to the ardor in

a calm day, when the wind


is

naturally

seemed

to

no

me

trouble,

a passage likely to be

is

it

one.

On

light or ofTshore, there

is

and the boatmen have never

rapacious or insolent, but quite ready

by the very reasonable tariff charge for the


round trip. In bad weather, as is not unnatural, it often
happens that the men request a gratuity over and

to abide

above the established franc-and-a-half

rate,

on the

plea that the trip has been "molto cattivo" and the
labor consequently out of

charge

which

is true.

or four stout natives to

all

It is

proportion to the

no

row a heavy boat containing

eight people over such a sea as often

running

off

and easing

Canea, fighting
off

now and

tariff

light task for three

for

is

to

be found

every foot of advance,

then to put the boat head up

an unusually menacing comber.

to

The landing
ing at

all,

is

at

Canea,

if

the weather permits land-

on a long curving stone quay, lined

with picturesque buildings, including a mosque with


its

minaret, the latter testifying to the considerable

LANDING-PLACE AT CANEA

CRETE
residuum

Turkish and

of

that remains

sent

Greek

powers

of

21

Mohammedan

population

in this polyglot island, despite its pre-

rule

under the oversight

of the Christian

The houses along

Europe.

the

quay are

mostly a grayish white, with the light green shutters

one learns to associate with similar towns everywhere


in the

^gean. Behind

distance

may

mountains, snowcapped
brief ride out

some

the

town

be seen rising

from the

down

city to

at

lofty

no very great

and forbidding

May

to early

Suda Bay

will

but a

serve to

and open valleys such as save


Crete from being a barren and utterly uninviting
land. The ordinary stop of an Italian steamer at this
reveal

port

is

fertile

something

like

six.

or eight hours, which

a very good idea

amply

sufficient to give

and

immediate neighborhood. The time

for

its

of
is

is

Canea
enough

a walk through the tortuous and narrow high-

walks in which one


ways and byways of the city
is attended by a crowd of small boys from the start,

and indeed by large boys as


ently offering their

well, all

most

persist-

most unnecessary guidance in

the hopepf receiving " backsheesh," which truly Oriental

word

is

to

be heard at every turn, and affords

one more enduring

local

monument

to the former

rule of the unspeakable Turk.

These lads apparently

every

known language, and


New York or Naples

speak a smattering
are as quick

and

of

alert as the

GREECE AND THE tEGEAN ISLANDS

22

gamin. Incidentally,

Canea

to

is afflicted

landing there

wonder

if

every other visitor

with " Mustapha "

we were

told,

as

of the steamer to brave the

On

we went over

our

last

the side

tempestuous journey

ashore in the boat which bobbed below, to be sure


to look for "

Mustapha." The captain always recom-

mended Mustapha, he

and no Americano that


Mustapha as guide, phi-

said,

ever enlisted the services of


losopher,

and

regretted

friend for four

So we began

it.

he knew

boatman

if

and who

better?

his

diligent inquiry of the

Mustapha. Yes, he did

he not Mustapha himself,

in

this

Was

Canean hours had ever

own proper person? Inwardly

congratulating

ourselves at finding the indispensable with such re-

markable promptitude, we soon gained the harbor,

and the subsequent landing at the quay was assisted


by at least forty hardy Caneans, including one

in

bullet-headed

Nubian, seven shades

particularly black ace of clubs,

who

darker than
exhibited a

mouthful of ivory and proclaimed himself, unsolicited, as

the true and only Mustapha,

that caused an instant


rision

a declaration

and spontaneous howl

of de-

from sundry other bystanders, who promptly

filed their

claims to that Oriental

excellences that

it

name and

all

the

implied. Apparently Mustapha's

name was Legion. Search for him was abandoned on the spot, and I would advise any subother

CRETE

23

sequent traveler to do the same.

Search

is

quite

unnecessary. Wherever two or three Cancans are


gathered together, there is Mustapha in the midst of
and perhaps two or three of him.
them,
It is by no means easy to get rid of the Cancan
urchins who follow you away from the landing-place
and into the quaint and narrow streets of the town.

By deploying your landing


sufficiently

numerous

party,

which

is

generally

for the purpose, in blocks of

three or four, the convoy of youth

detachments and destroyed

may

be

in detail. It

split into

may be an

inexpensive and rather entertaining luxury to permit


the brightest lad of the lot to go along, although,

as has been intimated, guidance

thing needed in Canea.

The

is

about the

streets are

last

very narrow,

very crooked, and not over clean, and are lined with

houses having those projecting basketwork windows

common enough in every


semi-Turkish city. Many of the women

overhead, such as are

Turkish or

go heavily

veiled,

sometimes showing the upper face

and sometimes not even

that,

giving an additional

Oriental touch to the street scenes. This veiling


part a survival of Turkish usages,
to the dust
in
It

many
is

and

other

this

glare. It is

^gean

perpetual

and

a practice

in part is

to be

is

in

due

met with

islands as well as in Crete.

recurrence

of

Mohammedan

touches that prevents Canea from seeming typically

24

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

Greek, despite

seeming

is

it

its

above

arets rise

one surveys

it

To all outward

nominal allegiance.

Turkish
its

still,

roofs in

and mosques and min-

more than one spot as

from the harbor or from the

streets with their

hills.

The

narrow alleys and overshadowing

archways are tempting indeed to the camera, and it


may as well be said once and for all that it is a grave
mistake to

Greece and the adjacent lands with-

visit

out that harmless instrument of retrospective pleasure.

As
none

for sights,

to offer

that are of the traditional kind, " double-starred

There

in Baedeker."
ruins.
for

Canea must be confessed

The

hills

a view. The

sioner. Prince
visitor

no museum

are too far

away

palace of the

George,

all

to permit

itself,

an ascent

of the streets

and

the coffee-houses, and

Canea

is

no mean place

hunter with an eye to handsome, though

barbaric, blankets, saddle-bags,

bizarre effect of the scene

is

and the

may

like.

The

increased by the mani-

fold racial characteristics of face, figure,

that one

and no

offers slight attraction to the

the curious shops.

for the curio

there,

Greek royal commis-

compared with the scenes

squares in the town

above

is

observe there

and dress

men and women

quaintly garbed in the peasant dress of half a dozen


different nations. In

a corner, sheltered from the heat

or from the wind, as the case

weazen old men, cloaks

may

be, sit knots of

wrapped about

their shoul-

CRETE
muddy

ders, either drinking their

some

trifling trade

baric

melody

that cannot,

will

violin

or

and solemn

tortured out of

trickle

a wild and bar-

a long-suffering fiddle

stretch of

men may be
circle,

doubtless

From a neighboring coffee-

be heard to

by any

coffee or plying

while they gossip,

about the changed times.

house there

25

euphemism, be called

seen dancing in a sedate

arms spread on each

other's shoul-

ders in the Greek fashion, to the minor cadences of


the plaintive " bouzouki," or Greek guitar. There are

shops of every kind, retailing chiefly queer woolen


bags, or shoes of

soft,

white skins, or sweetmeats of

the Greek and Turkish fashion. Here


for the first

it

is

possible

time to become acquainted with the cele-

brated "loukoumi" of Syra, a soft paste

made

of

gums, rosewater, and flavoring extracts, with an addition of

chopped

in soft sugar.

who

nuts, each block of the

It is

much esteemed by

candy

rolled

the Greeks,

are notorious lovers of sweetmeats, and

imitated
alias of

and grossly

libeled in

it

is

America under the

"Turkish Delight."

From Canea a very good road


gently rolling country to

leads out over a

Suda Bay.

Little is to

be

seen there, however, save a very lovely prospect of


hill

and

vale,

and a few warships

of various nations

lying at anchor, representing the four or five jealous

powers who maintain a constant watch over the

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

26

this troublous isle.

destinies of

character of these naval visitants


fied to

by the signs

that one

may

The cosmopolitan
is

abundantly

testi-

see along the high-

road near Suda, ringing all possible linguistic changes

on legends that indicate

ment
up

of

facilities for

summed
"Army and Navy Bar." The

Jack ashore, and capable of being

in the single phrase,

Greeks were ever a hospitable

The road

race.

to Suda, however, is far

from being lined

by nothing more lovely than these


shops

the entertain-

for the

audacious

of its length lie

orchards and

would look

through

tar.

The

decrepit wine

three or four miles

fertile fields

devoted to olive

to the cultivation of grain,

far for

and one

a more picturesque sight than

the Cretan farmer driving his jocund team afield

a team

of large

or wielding

oxen attached to a primitive plow

cumbersome hoe in turning up the


vine and olive trees. It is a pleassod under his
ing and pastoral spectacle. The ride out to Suda is
easily made while the steamer waits, in a very comhis

own

fortable carriage procurable in the public square for

a moderate sum.

It

may be

ever, that carriages in

as well to remark, how-

Greece are

not, as

anywhere nearly as cheap as in Italy.


It is a long jump from Canea to Candia, the

ond

city of the island, situated

many

rule,

sec-

miles farther to

the east along this northern shore. But

it

easily sur-

CRETE
passes

Canea

27

in classic interest,

being the

King Minos,
name

whom we

of

we

say. Candia, as

shall call

Megalokastron,

is

site of

the

most ancient times,

traditional ruler of Crete in the

shall
it,

have much to

although

its

local

not touched by any of

is

the steamers en route from the west to Athens, but

must be

visited in connection with

the islands of the

^gean. From

a cruise

the sea

it

among

resembles

Canea in nature as well as in name. It shows the


same harbor fortifications of Venetian build, and
bears the same lion of St. Mark. It possesses the
same lack of harborage for vessels other than small
sailing craft. Its water front

is

lined with white houses

with green blinds, and slender white minarets stand


loftily

above the

much

like

roofs.

Its streets

and squares are

Canea's, too, although they are rather

broader and more modern in appearance

crowds of people
of racial

in the streets present

More handsome men

city.

seen, splendid specimens of

baggy

trousers

wearing the
thick

and

and

fez.

and jackets

Candia

is

of

in the

cut, and
by a very

Turkish

well walled

lofty fortification erected in

lies at

are to be

humanity clad

Venetian times,

the opening of a broad valley stretching

across the island to the south, and by

and

while the

types to that already referred to in describ-

ing the former

blue

a similar array

central situation

its

topography

was the natural theatre

of ac-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

28

with which

tivity in the distant period

to

we

are about

make our first acquaintance. Even without leaving

the city one

may get some


by a

of

some

in

an old Venetian palace

of its reUcs

where are

to

idea of the vast antiquity

museum

located

in the heart of the town,

be seen the finds

who have labored

the

visit to

of various excavators

Most

in the island.

of these

belong

to a very remote past, antedating vastly the Myce-

naean period, which used to seem so old, with


ditions of

Agamemnon and

its tra-

the sack of Troy.

Here

we encounter relics of monarchs who lived before


Troy was made famous, and the English excavator,
Evans, who has exhumed the palace of Minos not
far outside the city gates,

displayed as of the
idle in this place to

has classified the articles

Minoan "
attempt any

of the subdivisions of "early,"

Minoan
relics to

any

"

period.

'*

in the

museum

affix

is

must

suffice to

so early that any

dates must be conjectural, and that

we may safely take


far

to the manifold

collection, or to give

detailed description of them. It

say that the period represented

attempt to

would be

"middle," and "late

which have been appended

be seen

It

detailed explanation

it

in general

terms as a period so

preceding the dawn of recorded history that

was largely legendary even


Greeks,

who

demi-god and

in the

it

time of the classic

already regarded Minos himself as a


sort of immortal

judge

in the

realm

CRETE
of the shades.

The museum, with

quaint old vases, rudely


patterns,

its

sarcophagi,

fantastic
its

visitor long.

its

ornamented

hundreds
in

of

toil,

and

all

of

geometric

and faded mural paintings,

implements

fold testimony to

overwhelming

29

its

the mani-

a civilization so remote that

it

is

to the mind, will serve to hold the

Nor

is

it

to

be forgotten that

among

and Gortyn, are


many contributed by the industry and energy of the

these relics from Cnossos, Phaestos,

American

work

in

investigator, Mrs.

Hawes {iiee Boyd), whose

Crete has been of great value and archaeo-

logical interest.

Having whetted one's appetite for the remotely


antique by browsing through this collection of treasures, one is ready enough to make the journey out
to Cnossos, the site of the ancient palace, only four

miles away. There


to

walk

if

is

a good road, and

desired, although

it

is

it is

possible

about as hot and

uninteresting a walk as can well be imagined.


easier

and

in general,

It is

better to ride, although the Cretan drivers

and the Candian ones

in particular,

enjoy

the reputation of being about the most rapacious in


the civilized world.

On

the

way

out to the palace at

Cnossos, the road winds through a rolling country,

and crosses repeatedly an old paved Turkish road,


which must have been much
the present one to traverse.

less

agreeable than

On the right,

far

away to

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

30

the southwest, rises the peak which

is

supposed to be

the birthplace of Zeus, the slopes of Mt. Ida. Crete


is

the land most sacred to Zeus of

all

the lands of the

ancient world. Here his mother bore him, having fled

god
unbecoming habit of

thither to escape the wrath of her husband, the

Cronos,

who had formed

the

swallowing his progeny as soon as they were born.

Having been duly delivered of the child Zeus, his


mother, Rhsea, wrapped up a stone in some cloth
and presented it to Cronos, who swallowed it, persuaded that he had once more ridded the world of
the son it was predicted should oust him from his
godlike dignities and power. But Rhaea concealed

when he came to
maturity he made war on Cronos and deprived him
of his dominion. Hence Zeus, whose worship in Crete

the real Zeus in a cave on Ida, and

soon spread to other islands and mainland, was held


in highest esteem in the isle of his birth,

and

his cult

we
the Candia museum
palaces, like that we

symbol the double-headed axe, which

had

for its

find

on so many

of the relics of

and on the walls of the ancient


are on the way to visit at Cnossos.
It is necessary to remark that there were two char-

named Minos in the ancient mythology. The


original of the name was the child of Zeus and

acters

Europa, and he ruled over Crete, where Saturn is


supposed to have governed before him, proving a

CRETE

31

The

wise law-giver for the people.

a grandson of the

first,

other Minos was

child of Lycastos

and

Ida.

This Minos later grew up and married Pasiphae,

whose unnatural passion begot the Minotaur, or savage bull with the body of a man and an appetite for

human

flesh.

To house this monster Minos was com-

pelled to build the celebrated labyrinth,

the bull with


into the

condemned

mazes

who were

sent

never to return.

Still

criminals,

of the labyrinth

and he fed

later,

taking offense at the Athenians because in

their

Panathenaic games they had killed his

son,

own

Minos sent an expedition against them, defeated

them, and thereafter levied an annual tribute of seven

boys and seven

girls

upon the

inhabitants,

who were

taken to Crete and fed to the Minotaur. This cruel

came to Crete and,


the thread furnished him by Ariadne,

exaction continued until Theseus

with the aid of


tracked his

way

into the labyrinth, slaughtered the

monster and returned alive to the light


course such a network of myths,
else,

to

if

it

of day.

Of

does nothing

argues the great antiquity of the Minoan period,

which the ruins around Candia are supposed to

belong, and they naturally lead us to an inquiry

whether any labyrinth was ever found or supposed


to be found in the vicinity.
is

an extensive

artificial

of Cnossos, doubtless

believe there actually

cave in the mountains south

an ancient subterranean quarry,

32

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

which

is

"the labyrinth" to-day, though

called

doubtless never sheltered the Minotaur.


ciently large to

have served once as the abode

several hundred persons during times

it

It is suffi-

of

of revolution,

they living there in comparative comfort save for the

and it is interesting to know that they


employed Ariadne's device of the thread to keep

lack of light

them in touch with the passage out of their selfimposed prison when the political atmosphere cleared
and it was safe to venture forth into the light of day.
It seems rather more probable that the myth or legend
of the labyrinth of Minos had its origin in the labyrinthine character of the king's

own

palace, as

now shown to have been a perfect maze


and rooms, through which

it

at will, since the excavators


after the lapse of

many

is

possible to

have

centuries.

laid

it is

of corridors

wander

them open

glance at the

plans of the Cnossos palace in the guide-books, or a

survey of them from the top of Mr. Evans's rather

and incongruous but highly useful tower on


the spot, will serve to show a network of passageways and apartments that might easily have given
garish

rise to the tale of the

impenetrable man-trap which

Theseus alone had the wit

The
valley.

ruins

lie

to evade.

at the east of the high road, in a deep

Their excavation has been very complete and

satisfactory,

and while some

restorations

have been

CRETE

33

attempted here and there, chiefly because of absolute


necessity to preserve portions of the structure, they

are not such restorations as to jar on one, but exhibit

saves them from the com-

fidelity to tradition that

mon

fate of

such

Little or

efforts.

no retouching was

necessary in the case of the stupendous flights of

up to the door
and which are the

steps that were found leading

of this

prehistoric royal residence,

first of

the

many

may

sights the visitor of to-day

in the so-called

hand

restoring

*'

room

throne

is first

Minos

of

met. Here

see. It is

" that the

has been found

it

damage by weather
throne room is a dusky

necessary to provide a roof, that

be avoided
spot, rather

and to-day the

below the general

chief treasure
in rather
size of

is

the throne

level of the place. Its

itself,

a stone chair, carved

rudimentary ornamentation, and about the

an ordinary

chair.

The

roof

is

supported by

the curious, top-heavy- looking stone pillars, that are

known

to

have prevailed not only

Mycenaean period

in the

in the

Minoan but

monoliths noticeably larger

at the top than at the bottom, reversing the usual

form

of stone pillar with

which

later

ages have made

us more familiar. This quite illogical inversion of

what we now regard as the proper form has been


accounted

for in theory,

by assuming

natural successor of the sharpened

When

that it was the


wooden stake.

the ancients adopted stone supports for their

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

34

roofs,

they simply took over the forms they had been

famihar with in the former use of wood, and the result

was a stone

Time,

in shape.

natural

way

custom

copied the earlier wooden one

pillar that

of course, served to

of building

demanded

show

that the

the reversal of this

but in the Mycenaean age

it

had not been

discovered, for there are evidences that similar pillars


existed in buildings of that period,
tation of

stands between the two lions

pillar that

on Mycenae's famous gate has

Many

may

hours

and the represen-

be spent

this inverted form.

in detailed

examination

what must have


day an enormous and impressive palace.
One cannot go far in traversing it without noticing

of this colossal ruin, testifying to

been in

its

the traces

still

evident enough of the

viously destroyed

many

it

hundred,

fire

that ob-

not several

if

thousand, years before Christ. Along the western side

have been discovered long


scores of long

from which

corridors,

and narrow rooms were

to

be entered.

These, in the published plans, serve to give to the


ruin a large share of

its

labyrinthine character.

seems to be agreed now that these were the

rooms
the

of the palace,

huge earthen

and

jars

tain the palace supplies.

them may

It

store-

still

be seen

which once served

to con-

in

Long rows of them stand

in

the ancient hallways and in the narrow cells that

lead off them, each jar large

enough

to hold a fair-

CRETE
sized

35

in number sufficient to have accomBaba and the immortal forty thieves.

man, and

modated

Ali

In the centre of the palace

remains

little

but in the

southeastern corner, where the land begins to slope

abruptly to the valley below, there are to be seen

Here one

several stories of the ancient building.

comes upon the rooms marked with the


" distaff " pattern,

the

women's

quarters.

The

restorer has

Much

here, but not offensively so.

wall

is intact,

and

in

one place

a very diminutive bath-tub


eastern side

is

so-called

supposed to indicate that they were

also

still

shown the

were once made to yield

is

been busy
the ancient

of

a bath-room with

in place.

oil press,

Along the

where olives

their coveted juices,

and

from the press proper a stone gutter conducted the


fluid

down

receive

it.

buildings,

to the point

where

This discovery of

jars

oil

by the way, has served

were placed to

presses in ancient
in

more than one

case to arouse speculation as to the antiquity of

oil

lamps, such as were once supposed to belong only to

a much

Whether

Minoan days
they had such lamps or not, it is known that they had
at least an oil press and a good one. In the side of
the hill below the main palace of Minos has been unlater epoch.

in the

earthed a smaller structure, which they


"villa,"

and

in

now

call

the

which several terraces have been un-

covered rather similar to the larger building above.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

36

Here

is

another throne room, cunningly contrived to

be lighted by a long shaft

on the seat
is

of light

from above

falling

of justice itself, while the rest of the

room

in obscurity.
It

may be

tion to

that

it

requires a stretch of the imagina-

compare the palace

Cnossos with Troy,

of

but nevertheless there are one or two features that

seem not unlike the

mann on

that

famous

me, are the traces


at

discoveries

made by

Notably

site.

of the final fire,

Dr. Schlieit

seems to

which are

to be seen

Cnossos as at Troy, and the huge

so,

jars,

which maybe

compared with the receptacles the Trojan excavators


unearthed, and found

still

to contain dried peas

other things that the Trojans


fled

left

and

behind when they

from their sacked and burning

city.

Few

are

privileged to visit the site of Priam's city, which

hard indeed to reach

but

it is

easy enough

to

is

make

and visit the palace of old


amply worth the trouble, be-

the excursion to Candia

King Minos, which

is

sides giving a glimpse of


sibly vastly older than

civilization that is pos-

even that of Troy and Mycenae.

For those who reverence the great

and
ing,

its

pre-classic

antiquities,

Candia

suburb are distinctly worth

and are unique among the sights

Hellenic and pre-Hellenic world.

visit-

of the ancient

CHAPTER

THE ENTRANCE

III.

TO GREECE

LEAVING

Crete behind, the steamer turns her

prow northward
proper,
will

and

into the

in the early

^gean toward

morning,

if

all

be found well inside the promontory

approaching the

Piraeus.

Greece

goes smoothly,

Sunium,

of

One ought most

infallibly

to be early on deck, for the rugged, rocky shores of

the Peloponnesus are close at

hand on the

left,

in-

dented here and there by deep inlets or gulfs, and


looking as most travelers seem to think " Greece

ought to look."

If it is

clear,

a few islands

may be

seen on the right, though none of the celebrated ones


are near

Sunium
is

enough
itself is

to

be seen with any

so far

away

to the

satisfaction.

eastward that

it

impossible at this distance to obtain any idea of

the ancient ruin that

Although

to enter

still

crowns

its

summit.

Greece by way of the Piraeus

is

actually to enter the front door of the kingdom, nevertheless, as

has been hinted heretofore, one

may

vote

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

38

on the whole that

better to

it is

make

this the point

departure instead of that of initiation. Leaving

of

Greece as most
regret,

do with a poignant sense

of us

not unfitting that

it is

we depart with

of

the bene-

diction of the old Acropolis of Athens, crowned with

famous

its

at sea,

an

which are

ruins,

glowing

be seen even when

of this land of

far

and furnishing

in the afternoon sun,

view

ideal last

to

golden memories.

makes such an ideal last view,


leaving the crowning " glory that was Greece " last
Simply because

it

may

one

in the mind's eye,

well regard this point as

may be

the best one for leaving, whatever


it

said for

as a place of beginning an acquaintance with

must be confessed that

Hellas. It

ing for the

first

to

one approach-

time, save in the clearest weather,

the view of the Acropolis from the sea

is

likely to

be somewhat disappointing, because the locating of


it

in the landscape

cloudy sky

even

in

and

not an easy matter.

is

Under a

there are occasionally such skies

sunny Greece

it

is

not at

all

easy to pick

out the Acropolis, lying low in the foreground and


flanked by such superior heights as Lycabettus and

Hence

Pentelicus.

home from a
of the

receding

newcomer and
;

may

it

is

that the voyager, returning

stay in Athens, enjoys the seaward view

more than the approaching


must be added that, however one

site far
it

reverence the Acropolis from his reading,

it

can

THE ENTRANCE TO GREECE

him as it will after a few days


personal acquaintance, when he has learned to

never
of

much

39

mean

know
one

its

may

so

to

What

every stone.

on

feel

first

slight disappointment

beholding the ancient rock of

Athena from the ocean,

after

is,

and due solely to the distance.

moved

later

when

all,

only momentary

It is

certain to be re-

closer acquaintance

the stupendous rock

it

really

is,

shows

to

it

standing alone, and

seen to better advantage than

when

the Attic plain overshadow

in the perspective.

As

it

be

the

hills

that wall

the steamer approaches, the loftier heights of

Hymettus, Pentelicus, Parnes, ^gina, and Salamis


intrude themselves and will not be denied, framing

between them the valley

in

which Athens

scured for the time being by the

tall

lies,

ob-

chimneys and

the forest of masts that herald the presence of the


Piraeus in the
of

immediate foreground. That

yore the seaport of Athens, and

in itself,

capital
like

although from

it

its

is

a thriving city

proximity to the famous

loses individual prestige,

and seems rather

a dependence of the main city than a separate

and important town, rivaling Athens


if

city is as

herself in size,

not in history.

Perhaps the most trying experience to the new-

comer

is

this

landing at the Piraeus and the labor

involved in getting ashore and up to Athens


after

all, it is

trying only in the sense that

it is

but,

a mat-

40

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


much

ter for

itor is at

bargaining, in which the unfamiliar vis-

an obvious disadvantage. As

which are manned by watermen having no

boats,

connection at

would seem

provide

ashore,

and

in

with the steamship companies.

all

to

line to

be the reasonable duty


facilities

time this

unfortunate fact that

senger

is left

it is

of

passengers

for setting its

may

be done

but

is

it

an

not done now, and the pas-

to bargain for himself with the

The harbor

painfully berthed.

It

a steamer

crowd

small craft that surrounds the vessel as she

and

Greek

in all

be accomplished only by small

ports, the landing is to

of

slowly

is

seen to

itself is

be a very excellent and sheltered one, protected by

two long breakwaters, which admit

more

of hardly

than a single large vessel at a time between their

narrow jaws. Within,


panse

of

it

opens out into a broad ex-

smooth water, lined throughout

its

ery by a low stone quay. While the steamer

warped

to her position,

periph-

is

being

always with the stern toward

the shore, a fleet of small boats, most of

them

flying

the flags of hotels in Athens or of the several tourist


agencies, eagerly

swarm around and await the

ing of the landing

stairs,

lower-

meantime gesticulating

vio-

lently to attract the attention of passengers

on deck.

however, can be done

until the

Little that is definite,

gangway
tives

is

lowered and the boatmen's representa-

have swarmed on the deck

itself.

There

is

time

THE ENTRANCE TO GREECE


and
to

voyager has no occasion to

to spare, so that the

hurry, but

make

may

41

possess his soul in patience and seek

the most advantageous terms possible with

the lowest bidder.

The boatmen, be well assured, know

English enough to negotiate the bargain.


Despite the apparent competition, which ought by
the laws of economics to be the

all

will

city for

if

tariff of

one

is

twelve francs. That

do well

But

make
is

the

the hotels which send out boats,

to close

it

is

Athens

immediately with

boatman displaying the insignia

ular hostelry.

it

landing and getting up to the

certain of his stopping-place in

will doubtless

the

for

sum much under

published

he

of trade,

doubtless be found quite impossible to

any arrangement

and

life

of that partic-

entirely probable that

regular habitue would say that the hotel

any

tariff is

grossly out of proportion to the actual cost, since the

boatman's fee should be not more than a franc and

more than six. As for the


tourist agencies, they may be depended upon to ask
more than the hotel runners do, and the only limit
is the visitor's credulity and ignorance of the place.
Whatever bargain is made, the incoming passenger
the ride to Athens not

will,

if

wise, see to

everything,

it

that

including

it

is

understood to cover

the supposititious "landing

is so often foisted upon the customer after


landing in Athens as an " extra." These are doubtless

tax" that

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

42

sordid details, but necessary ones, and matters which

may prove profitable to understand before venturing


in. Having dismissed them as such, we may turn with
more enjoyment to the prospect now presenting itself.
it

Piraeus, as all the

now

world knows,

is

the port of Athens

as in classic times. Topographically

good

it

has three

harbors, the Piraeus proper, Zea,

and Munychia

name also applying

rocky promon-

the

latter

tory which juts out

Saronic Gulf.

It

to the

and separates the harbor from the

was on the Munychia peninsula

and

that

was

Themistocles in 493

B, C.

erected a town,

Themistocles, also,

who

conceived and carried out

it

the scheme for the celebrated " long walls " which ran

from the port up to Athens, and made the


tically

impregnable by making

of the rest of Attica, so

it

city prac-

quite independent

long as the Athenian supremit came to


when all the

acy by sea remained unquestioned. Thus


pass that, during the Peloponnesian War,
rest of the Attic plain

had

the Lacedaemonians, Athens

fallen into the

herself

hands

remained

cally undisturbed, thanks not only to the

of

practi-

long walls

of Cimon
The Athenian navy, however, was
finally overwhelmed in the battle of ^gospotamoi in
404 B, c, and the port fell a prey to the enemy, who

and

ships, but also to the fortifications

and

Pericles.

demolished the long walls, to the music

of the flute.

Ten years later, when Athens had somewhat

recov-

THE ENTRANCE TO GREECE


ered from the

and Athens, with

Conon

defeat,

first

Piraeus, for

43

rebuilt the walls,

a space enjoyed a

Roman

under Sulla came

in

86

B.

re-

The

turn of her ancient greatness and prosperity.

C, and practically

put an end to the famous capital, which became an


inconsiderable village, and so remained

down

to the

Grecian risorgimento. The present city of Piraeus, and


the city of Athens also, practically date from 1836,

though the old names had been revived the year pre-

Up

vious.

to that time the spot

under the unclassic name

Inasmuch as the fame


rested on the

as the navy

navy as

made

its

ories to share with the


of the

for years

passed

Athens and her empire

of

its

foundation,

home

and Munychia, the

raeus

had

of Porto Leone.

locality

still

and inasmuch

in the waters of the Pi-

has its glorious

more

mem-

glorious traditions

neighboring Salamis, where the Persians of

Xerxes were put to such utter


harbor that the splendid, but

rout. It

was from

ill-fated, Sicilian

dition set out, with flags flying, paeans sounding,


libations pouring.

And

it

was

this

expe-

and

to the Piraeus that a

lone survivor of that sorry campaign returned to relate


the incredible

The harbor
ping

and

news

to the village barber.

of the Piraeus is generally full of ship-

of all sorts, including

steamers of every size

nationality, as well as high-sided schooners that

recall the

Homeric

epithet of the " hollow ships."

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

44

Some are en route to

or from Constantinople, Alexan-

dria, Naples, the ports of the Adriatic, the Orient,

everywhere.

The Greek

coastwise vessels often bear

names printed in large white letters amidfamiliar names looking decidedly odd in the

their
ships,

Greek characters. All are busily loading or discharging, for the Piraeus

is,

as ever, a busy port.

Under

the sterns of several such ships the shore boat passes,

occupants ducking repeatedly under the sagging

its

stern cables, until in a brief time


at the custom-house.

give the visitor


of reasonable

little

That

all

institution,

are set ashore

however, need

apprehension. The examination

luggage

is

seldom or never oppressive

or fraught with inconvenience, doubtless because the

duly recognized by the government as a

visitor is

being whose presence

who should

is

bound

not, therefore,

kingdom.

Little is in-

on save a declaration that the baggage con-

sisted

are

and

be wantonly discouraged

at the very threshold of the

tains

to be of profit,

no tobacco or

more

cigarettes.

The

porters as a rule

tolerant of copper tips than the present

rapidly spoiling race of Italian /accktm.

The

sensible

way

riage, taking the

which

is

subway

very well

if

one

Athens

Phalerum road. The

a very commodious

bling the
all

to proceed to

trains of
is

free

third-rail

Boston or

is

by

car-

electric tram,

system resem-

New

York,

from impedimenta. But

is

for

THE ENTRANCE TO GREECE

45

the ordinary voyager, with several valises or trunks,


the carriage

is

not only best but probably the most

The carriages are comfortable,

economical in the end.

and capable

of carrying four persons with reasonable

baggage.
Little of interest will

which

Piraeus,

is

The long

in driving out of the

a frankly commercial place, devoid

of architectural or
tions.

be found

enduring

recommenda-

classical

walls that once connected the port

with Athens have disappeared almost beyond

although the sites are known. Nor

is

recall,

the beach of

New

Phalerum (pronounced Fal-eron) much more attractive

of

than the Piraeus

It

itself.

reminds one strongly

suburban beach places at home, lined as

it is

with

cheap cottages, coffee-houses, restaurants, bicycle


shops,

and here and there a more pretentious

dence, while at least one big and garish hotel

be seen. The

sea,

resiis

to

varying from a light green to a

deep Mediterranean

along the side

blue, laps gently

of the

highway toward the open ocean, while ahead,

up the

straight boulevard, appears the Acropolis of

Athens,

now

as one

of the

seen for the

first

time in

The road

thither is

When

long lines of pepper

its

infancy, shall

highway

its

most magnificent ruins

proper light

of the earth.

good but uncomfortably new.

have attained

lined with shade

trees,

now

their growth,

it

in their
will

be a

and affording a prospect

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

46
of

much

is

destined to endure for

beauty. In

long, straight,

present state, however, which

its

some years

to come,

it is

and rather dreary boulevard, relieved

only by the glorious prospect of the crowning ruin of

Athens something

like four miles

away, but tower-

ing alone and grand, and no longer dwarfed by the

surrounding gray
infinitely better,

from

Piraeus,

Still this

hills.

me

route seems to

even to-day, than the older road

which approaches Athens from the west-

ern side without going near the sea, but which

not without

its

is

charms, nevertheless, and certainly

does give the one

who

takes

it

a splendid view of

the imposing western front of the Acropolis

and

its

array of temples, across a plain green with waving


grasses.

Approaching the

city

Phalerum side

from the

serves to give a very striking impression of the inaccessibility of the Acropolis,

showing

its

precipitous

southern face, crowned by the ruined Parthenon,

whose ancient

pillars,

weathered to a golden brown,

stand gleaming in the sun against the deep and


liant blue of the

bril-

Greek sky. Those who have pictured

the temple as glistening white will be vastly surprised,

no doubt, on seeing

its

actual color

for the iron

and

other metals present in the Pentelic marble, of which


it

or

was

built,

creamy

have removed almost

tints,

and have given

entirely the white

in their place

a rich

THE ENTRANCE TO GREECE

47

mottled appearance, due to the ripe old age of this


shrine.

Aside from the ever present prospect of the Acropolis

and

Athens

is

promise

its

devoid of

of interest in store, the

much

road to

to attract attention.

The

long, gray ridge of Hymettus, which runs along just


east of the road, of course

reason of

its

other reason.
city there

is

a famous mountain by

is

well-known brand

sins at this point.

On the left, and still far ahead,

of

still

no

rises

conspicuous

Philopappus. Situated on a

ing eminence south of the Acropolis, this


is

for

two would-be assas-

crowned by the ruined but

monument

if

incline to the

made by the king in thank-

fulness at escaping the bullets of

hill,

honey,

a small and rather unattractive church,

said to be a votive offering

the

of

Halfway up the gradual

commandmonument

a dominant feature of almost every view of Athens

but

it is

of the

entirely out of proportion to the importance

man whose vague memory

it

recalls.

Passing the eastern and most lofty end of the Acropolis, the

carriage at last turns into the outskirts of

the city proper and traverses a broad and pleasant

avenue,

its

wide sidewalks shaded by graceful and

luxuriant pepper trees, while the prosperous looking

houses give an attractive


tial

Athens.

first

The modern

with the ancient

for

is

on the

impression of residencuriously intermingled

right, in the fields

which

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

48

border the highway, are to be seen the few remaining


colossal

columns

of the rather florid

temple of Olym-

pian Zeus and the fragmentary arch of Hadrian, the

Roman emperor
last

completed.

in

whose reign

It is

was

that temple

at

peculiarly fitting to enter Athens

between these ruins on the one hand and the Acropolis

on the

other, for they are so characteristic of

the great chief attraction of the place,

its

immortal

past.

The

city

proper

now opens

out before, and as the

carriage enters the great principal square of Athens,


the " Syntagma," or Place de la Constitution, hand-

some

streets

may be

seen radiating from

it

in all

directions, giving a general impression of cleanly

whiteness, while the square

itself,

spreading a wide

open space before the huge and rather barnlike royal


palace, is filled with humanity passing to and fro, or
seated at small tables in the open

air,

partaking of

the coffee so dear to the heart of the Greek


carriages dash here

and

there,

and

warning pedestrians

only by the driver's repeated growl of " empros, empros!"

(e/A7rpos),

which

player's " fore "


!

may
far

is

And

exactly equivalent to the golf-

here in the crowded square

we

leave the traveler for the present, doubtless not

from his

hotel,

for hotels are all about,

with

only the parting word of advice that he shall early

seek repose, in the certitude that there

will

be some

THE ENTRANCE TO GREECE

49

noise. For the Athenians are almost as noisy


and nocturnal creatures as the Palermitans or Nea-

little

politans,

many

and the nights

will

be

other sounds of revelry.

no paved

streets

filled

and no clanging

the passing throngs will

with music and

To be

make up

sure, there are

trolley cars
for

but

any lack

that regard, even until a late hour of the night.

in

ATHENS THE
MODERN CITY

CHAPTER

IV.

ATHENS

lies in a long and narrow plain between


two rocky mountain ridges that run down

from the north. The plain to-day

is

ing nor particularly fertile, although

some

neither interest-

it is still tilled

with

Once when it was better watered by


and Ilissus rivers, whose courses are
though in the main dry and rocky, it was

success.

the Cephissus
still

visible

doubtless better able to support the local population

but to-day

it is

rather a bare

and unattractive

vale between mountains quite as bare


heights, covered with

little

inter-

gray, rocky

vegetation save the sparse

gorse and thyme. At that point in the plain where a


lofty, isolated,

and nearly oblong

rock, with precipi-

tous sides, invited the foundation of a citadel, Athens

sprang into being.

And

there she stands to-day, hav-

ing pivoted around the hoary Acropolis crag


centuries, first south, then west, then

the latter has

become the

final

for

north, until

abiding place

of the

ATHENS THE MODERN CITY

51

modern town, while the older sites to the southward


and westward lie almost deserted save for the activities of the archaeologists and students, who have
found them rich and interesting ground for exploration.

Always, however, the Acropolis was the fulcrum

or focus, and

it

was on

and Athena waged

this

their

unique rock that Poseidon

immortal contest

for the

possession of the Attic plain. Tradition says that

Poseidon smote with his trident and a

spring

salt

gushed

forth

power

but that the judgment of the gods was in

from the

cleft rock,

who made

thus proving his

up from the
ground an olive tree. Wherefore the land was allotted

favor of Athena,

to her,

and from her the

city

to spring

took

its

the northern side of the towering rock


the east of

spreading

along the
into

it

name. Under
and around to

runs the thriving city of to-day, thence

off for

perhaps two miles to the northward

plain, first closely congested, then

more open modernized

streets,

and

widening

finally

dwin-

dling into scattered suburbs out in the countryside.

The growth

of

Athens has

gress in well-defined strata.

slummy

left

its

marks

The narrow,

of pro-

squalid,

streets of the quarter nearest the Acropolis

belong to the older or Turkish period

of the city's

Beyond these one meets newer and


many cases with neat modern shops, called into life by the city's remarkable

renascent

life.

broader highways, lined in

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

52

growth

two decades, which have raised

of the past

Athens from the rank

of

a dirty village to a clean and

attractive metropolis

in the better sense of that

much abused word.

Still

away

farther

are seen the

natural products of the overflow of a thriving

town

suburbs

wine-presses.

modern

clustering around isolated mills or

The

present population

is

not far from

a hundred thousand persons, so that Athens to-day


is

not an inconsiderable place.

The population

chiefly the native Greek, modified

is

no doubt by long

submission to Turkish rule and mingled with a good


deal of Turkish blood, but

still

preserving the lan-

guage, names, and traditions that bespeak a glorious


past.

Despite the persistence of such names as Aris-

teides, Miltiades, Themistocles, Socrates,

among

the

modern Athenians,

be rashly unreasonable

it

and the

like

would no doubt

to expect to find in

a popu-

was to all intents and purposes so long


enslaved by Turkey very much that savors of the

lation that

traditional

Greek character as

it

stood in the days of

Pericles.

But there have not been wanting eminent

scholars,

who have

of the ancient

insisted that our exalted ideas

Greeks are really derived from a com-

paratively few exceptional

and

and shining examples,

that the ancient population

the present citizens


in traits

may have

resembled

more than we are prone

and general

ability.

to think,

ATHENS THE MODERN CITY

53

On

his native

heath the modern Greek openly

own race with a lack of industry and love


too much in the coffee-houses, although it

charges his
of idling
is

an indictment which has never struck

and one which,

if

coming from a

doubtless be resented.

It

is

me

as just,

foreigner,

would

true that the coffee-

houses are seldom deserted, and the possession of an

drachma or two is generally enough to tempt


one to abandon his employ for the seclusion that the
extra

kaffeneion grants, there to sip slowly until the cups


of

syrupy coffee which the money

will

buy are gone.

Nevertheless, one should be slow to say that the race


is

indolent

by

nature, especially in view of

matic surroundings
thrifty

for there are too

and hard-working Hellenes

America as

well to refute

cli-

in

Greece and

in

any such accusation. The

one vast trouble, no doubt,


industrial ambition at

its

many thousand

is

the lack of

home, or

of

any spur

any very

to

attractive

employment compared with the opby the cities of the newer world.
of the tide of emigration to American

or remunerative

portunities offered

The strong

set

shores has tended largely to depopulate Greece


it is

is

but

not unlikely that the return of the natives, which

by no means uncommon, will in time work large


and the attraction of her sons

benefit to Hellas herself,

to foreign lands thus prove

was once supposed, a

a blessing rather than, as

curse.

54

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

This, however, is rather aside from any consideration


of the

modern

city of Athens.

outset that one

may go

and be quite unmolested


dicant persons.

It is

Let

anywhere

either

by malicious or men-

ors will tend

somewhat

begging, as

has elsewhere

race to say that

it is

by foreign

but

countries, will

penny, especially
to render

due the Greek

it is

infinitely less lazy

without work, than the

visit-

to increase the tendency to

less inclined to proletarianism, or to

all

in the city

not improbable, of course, that

the increasing inundation of Athens

it

be said at the

it

freely

Italian.

and

infinitely

seeking to live

Small children, as

in

be found occasionally begging a


if

they have gone out of their

way

a fancied service, by ostentatiously opening

a gate that already stood

ajar.

But there are few

the lame, halt, and blind, such as infest Naples

of

and

many smaller Mediterranean cities, seeking to extort


money from sheer pity of unsightliness. Here and
there in Athens one may indeed see a cripple patiently
awaiting alms, but generally in a quiet and unobtrusive way. Neither

is

the visitor bothered

tunities of carriage drivers,

by the impor-

although the carriages

enough and anxious for fares


a conwelcome indeed to one newly come from

are numerous
trast that is

Italy

and

fresh

from the

Neapolitan cabbies.
is

The

tireless pursuit of

offset to this

warring

welcome peace

the fact that carriage fares in Athens are undoubt-

ATHENS THE MODERN CITY

55

edly high compared with the astonishingly low charges

produced

Naples by active and incessant com-

in

The

petition of the vetturini.

dangers

sole

Athe-

of

nian streets are those incident to the fast driving of


carriages over the

own way to make and

trian has his


gxiard, as

on him

is

unpaved roadways

largely true in Paris,

and

to stop, look,

for the pedes-

his

and

own

incumbent

it is

listen before

safety to

venturing into

the highway.

The

street

venders of

laces,

sponges, flowers, and

postal cards are perhaps the nearest to


class,

though they generally await invitation

attack,

and their

The region
full

an importunate

efforts are invariably

''Syntagma" square

of the

Men will be seen with long strips


heaps

of curiously

attractive sponges, fresh

generally
their

of fascinating

island lace over their shoulders, baskets


of flowers,

is

and laden with

of them, lining the curb

wares.

to the

good-humored.

on baskets

shaped, marvelously

and white from the near-by

ocean, or packets of well-executed postal cards pictur-

ing the

city's classic

whomsoever

remains,

will exhibit

Needless to say, the


tably excessive

and

all

offered for sale to

the faintest trace of interest.

initial

prices

asked are

inevi-

yield to treatment with surprising

revelations of latitude.

Athens
are

still

is

a clean

city.

fairly hard. Its

Its streets,

while unpaved,

buildings are in the

main

of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

56

stone, covered with


color, or

tone

is

a stucco

tint of buff

white,

and

finish

is

To

Most notable

go

sun

it is

of the

pepper

clambering vines and

of the

flowers that in their season


attractive.

prevailing

relieve the white-

always the feathery green

and the contrast

trees,

The

in the glare of the brilliant

often rather trying to the eyes.

ness there

and given a white

or light blue.

far to

make the city so

of all the contrasts in color is

unquestionably the rich purple of the bougainvillea

blooms splashed
late

walls

houses.
roses,

in great

and porticoes

The gardens

iris,

blossoms.

masses against the immacuof

the

more pretentious

numerous and run riot with


and hundreds of other fragrant and lovely
are

The sidewalks

an easy town

in

are broad

and smooth.

which to stroll about,

It is

for the distances

and the

street scenes are interesting

and frequently unusual

to a high degree, while vistas

are not great

are constantly opening to give


the towering Acropolis.
built
is

on

It is

momentary views

not a hilly

city,

of

but rather

rolling ground, the prevailing slope of

which

toward the west, gently down from the pointed Lyca-

bettus to the ancient course of the Cephissus, along

which once spread the famous grove

The
for

lack of a sufficient water supply

is

of

Academe.

unfortunate,

one misses the gushing of fountains which makes

Rome

so delightful, and the restricted volume avail-

able for domestic uses

is

sometimes

far

from pleasant.

ATHENS; THE MODERN CITY


The Athenians had a prodigious mine
upon for the naming of their streets, in the

57

draw

to

magnifi-

cent stretch of their history and in the fabulous wealth

mythology.

of

And

it is

fact

worth remarking that

the mythological gods and heroes appear to have

decidedly the better of the famous mortals in the


selection of street

names

to

do them honor. For ex-

ample, Pericles, the greatest Athenian in


is

recalled

fare

by the name

of

more than an alley while Pheidias,


Homer, Solon, and a score of others fare but

little better.

On

the contrary, the great gods of high

Olympus, Hermes, Athena, ^olus, and


their

names

to the finest, broadest,

others, give

most magnificent

streets of this city that likes to call herself

Paris.
for

ways,

a decidedly poor thorough-

hardly

Pindar,

many

The

result of

it all is

by the time one gets out

a curious mental
of

little

state,

Athens and into the

highlands of Delphi or of the Peloponnesus, where

every peak and vale

is

the scene of sortie godlike

encounter or amour, one

is

more than

half

ready to

accept those ancient deities as actually having lived

and done the things


They become fully as
Tell or Pocahontas.

by the

classic

names

that legend ascribes to them.


real to the

The same

mind

as William

illusion is

helped on

afiected for the engines of the

Piraeus-Athens-Peloponnesus Railroad, and by the


time one has ridden for a day behind the " Hermes "

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

58

or the

**

Hephaistos," one

is

quite ready to expect to

see Proteus rising from the sea, or hear old Triton

blow

wreathed horn.

his

It is at first

trifle

perplexing to one not versed in

the Greek language to find the streets


the genitive case, such as
" street of

6Sos 'Epfj.ov

course, however.

length

its

is

the

of

the

no reference
city,

"Olympic" games
in itself

is

in

newly
Street

is

cafes,

is

of the lesser classic


feet.

The name

are occasionally held, and which

fine sight to see, as

surfaces

of

city,

purest

it lies

and

in its natural

brilliant in its

marble.

Stadium

perhaps the most modern and up-to-date

handsome

stores, hotels,

thronged day and night, and perhaps even

more gay and Parisian-looking by


many lights and teeming life.
Athens at
cars,

so called

which the so-called modern

street in Athens, lined with

and

latter

to the magnificent athletic

amphitheatre east of the


built

con-

about one kilometre, which

length of approximately six hundred


therefore has

district is

of

highways of Hermes, ^olus, and

modern "stadion," instead

field

(othos Ermoia),

The main shopping

Athena, and to Stadium Street

the

labeled in

Hermes." This soon becomes a matter

fined to the greater

because

all

this writing

night, with

its

has no system of trolley

but sticks obstinately to an old-fashioned and

quite inadequate horse-railway, the several lines ra-

ATHENS; THE MODERN CITY


dialing from the Omonoia Square

Ammonia

"

59

pronounced much

which, being interpreted, means

Hke

"

the

same as Place de la Concorde. To master the


tramway system requires a consid-

intricacies of this

erable acquaintance with Athens, but

and

Paris,

and naturally so because

size of the town.

Odd

little

vastly less

it is

involved a problem than the omnibuses

of

London

of the smaller

carriages plying between

stated points eke out the local transportation service,

while the third-rail, semi-underground line to

the Piraeus

and the antiquated steam tram

Phalerum give a suburban service that

is

to

New

not to be

despised. In a very few years no doubt the trolley


will

invade Athens, for

it

already has a foothold in

Greece at the thriving port


does, one

may

of Patras

and when

whirl incongruously about the classic

regions of the Acropolis as one

now

Forum at Rome.
The admirable Baedeker warns

whirls about the

visitors to Hellas

against assuming too hastily that Greece


land, merely because

country, and our

even

in April

own

it is

greater part of the year Athens

still

a tropical

experiences have proved that

with snow capping Hymettus

cities

is

a southern Mediterranean

Athens can be as cold as

most southern

it

business

is

itself.

is

in

mid- winter,

But

for

the

warm, and as

in

practically at a stand-

between the noon hour and two o'clock

in the

GREECE AND THE AEGEAN ISLANDS

6o

summer months, which

afternoon.

In the

means the

interval

cessation

between

May and

late

a practical necessity, owing

is

Athens

in

fall,

this

to the heat

and

the glare of the noontide sun on the white streets

and

buildings.

makes

the city

But the comparative compactness


it

entirely possible to

anywhere, even on a

warm

day, for the coolness of

shade as compared with the heat

Thus

noticeable.

of the

who has

the visitor

for his stay in the city is practically

For those who

and carriages.
and who must cover the
cars

of

walk almost

sites, or,

sun

is

always

plenty of time

independent

of

find time pressing

as Baedeker some-

times says, " overtake " the points of interest in short

employed by a
not come amiss. Hav-

order, the ingenious device once


friend similarly situated

may

ing limited

speech in the native tongue,

and being

facilities of

means

practically without other

munication with the cabman,


supplied himself with a

full

of

com-

this resourceful traveler

set of picture post-cards

dealing with the more celebrated features of Athens,

and by

dint of

his Jehu,
if

showing these one

after

he managed to "do" Athens

one could

call it that.

He was

another to

in half

a day

not the only one

to see the ancient capital in such short order, but

remains true that any such cavalier disposition

famous a place
Athens

is

is

it

of so

unfortunate and wholly inadequate.

no place

for the

hasty " tripper," for not

X
<

W
H

Pi

ATHENS THE MODERN CITY

6i

monuments worthy of long and


thoughtful contemplation, but the modern city itself
only are the ancient

is

abundantly worthy
It

of intimate acquaintance.

has been spoken of as a noisy

especially so after nightfall,

thronged with people

until

when

city,

after the

it

merry bands

of

will

a late hour and the coffeefull

swing.

be heard shouting or singing

from three to a dozen, especially

The Athenian

be election time.

as he takes his coffee


little

is

ordinary person has gone to bed,

passing Athenians
in

it

the streets are

houses and open-air restaurants are in

Long

and

if

takes his politics

in deliberate sips,

go a long way. The general

making a

election period

usually extends over something like two weeks, dur-

ing which time the blank walls of the city blossom


with the portraits of candidates and the night
vocal with the rallying cries of the free-born.

lying " carriages are employed


practical politicians

much

employ them,

to

made

is

" Ral-

as our

own

convey the de-

crepit or the reluctant able-bodied voters to the polls,

with the difference that the Athenian rallying con-

veyance

is

generally decorated with partisan banners

and not infrequently bears on


driver,

a musical

penny

whistle,

its

box, beside the

outfit consisting of

a drum and

with which imposing panoply the

proud voter progresses grandly through the


to the ballot box, attended

streets

by a shouting throng.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

62

make up in noise for


their lack of numbers, are common every night during the election. The Athenian, when he does make

Torchlight processions, which

up

his

mind

to shout for

whole being,

any

Noisy enough at

Stentor.

aspirant, shouts with his

and with a vigor that


all

recalls the

times,

Athens

days
is

of

more

so than ever in days of political excitement or on

high

festivals

when

notably on the night before

Easter,

the joy over the resurrection of the Lord

is

a whole-hearted outpouring of the


manifested
spirit, finding vent in explosives, rockets, and other
in

pyrotechnics.

Religious anniversaries, such as the

birthday of a saint, or the Nativity, or the final

umph

same pomp and circumstance


Fourth

tri-

of Jesus, are treated by the Greek with the

of July

that

and, indeed, the

Mediterranean countries.

same

Orthodox Church,

most sacred

is

of the capital,

and

it is

true of

all

to

have been told

of the festivals of the

the one occasion

dangerous or disagreeable

is

to the

have never experienced a

night before Easter in Athens, but


that this, one of the

we accord

when

it is

be abroad in the

at all

streets

so only because of the exu-

berant and genuine joy that the native feels in the

thought

of his salvation, the idea of

nually to be a perfectly

new and

which seems an-

hitherto unexpected

one.

By day

the chief tumult

is

from the ordinary press

ATHENS THE MODERN CITY

63

of traffic, with the unintelHgible street-cries of itin-

erant peddlers offering


tables,

fish,

eggs, and divers vege-

not to mention fire-wood. Nor should one omit

the newsboys, for the Athenian has abandoned not a

whit of his traditional eagerness to see or to hear

some new

thing,

and has

settled

upon the

daily paper

as the best vehicle for purveying to that taste. Athens

boasts perhaps half a dozen journals, fairly good

though somewhat given


poor

citizen

who does

indeed

of them as he drinks his

evening are

filled

to exaggeration,

and

it is

not read two or three

Early morn and late

coffee.

with the cries of the paper boys

ringing clear and distinct over the general hubbub,

and

of all the street

sounds their

calls are

by

far the

easiest to understand.

Most fascinating

of all to the foreign visitor

always be the narrower and

Hermes and -^olus

streets,

narrow

lane of the red shoes, which

a mere

must

ornate streets of the

in attractiveness the little

old quarter, leading off

and paramount

less

is

a perfect bazaar.

It is

from end to end with small open


and devoted almost exclusively to

alley, lined

booths, or shops,

the sale of shoes, mostly of red leather and provided

with red pompons, though

soft,

white leather boots

are also to be had, and to the dealing in embroidered

bags, coats, pouches, belts, and the


trade of each

is

like.

The stock

in

very similar to that of every neighbor,

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

64

and the
and

quent

To

visits,

is

venture there once

and one

is

highly curious
is

to insure fre-

absolutely certain sooner or

The wares seem rather Turkish than


Of course, patience and tact are

later to buy.

Greek

ensemble

effect of the tout

striking.

in character.

needful to enable one to avoid outrageous extortion.

Nothing would surprise a shoe-lane dealer more,


all

probability, than to find a foreigner willing

ready to accept his

and

price as final. Chaffering

initial

in

is

amount

of

advancing and retreating, the intending purchaser

is

the order of the day, and after a sufficient

sure to succumb and return laden with souvenirs,

from the inexpensive

little

embroidered bags to the

coats heavy with gold lace, which are the festal gear
of the peasant girls.

The

latter

garments are mostly

second-hand, and generally show the blemishes due


to actual use.

made

of

heavy

They
felt

are sleeveless over-garments

but gay with red and green cloth,

on which, as a border, gold braid and tracery have


been lavished without

stint until

they are splendid

to see. Needless to say, they are the


sive things in shoe lane.

The

most expen-

process of bargaining

between one who speaks no English and one who


speaks no Greek

dumb

is

naturally largely a matter of

show, although the ever-ready pad and pencil

figure in

it.

Madame

handsome Greek

coat,

looks inquiringly up from a

and

is

told

by the pad

that the

ATHENS; THE MODERN CITY


price

50 drachmas. Her face

is

plainly as

but

it is

words could say

it

falls

that she

65

she says as
is

very sorry,

out of the question. She turns and approaches

the door. V

Madame

madame

She turns back,

"

and the pad, bearing the legend 45, is shoved toward


her. Again the retreat, and once more the summons
to return

and see a new and

ually the blank paper

still

lower price. Event-

passed to " madame," and

is

she writes thereon a price of her

own

inevitably too

low. Finally, however, the product of the extremes

produces the Aristotelian golden mean, and the


passes.

Indeed,

it

title

sometimes happens that the mer-

inform you of an outrageous price and


"
haste, " What will you give ?
shameless
add with

chant

will

Experience
easiest

way

will

soon teach the purchaser that the

to secure reasonable prices is to

make a

lump sum for several articles at a single sale.


Shoe lane, for all its narrowness and business, is far
from squalid, and is remarkably clean and sweet. In
this

it

differs

from the market

where vegetables, lambs,


viands are offered for
but

its

One need

pigs, chickens,

sale.

olfactory appeal

is

district farther along,

The

is

interesting,

stronger than the ocular.

not venture there, however, to see the

wayside cook at his work

of roasting

on the curb. Even the business

show

sight

and other

this spectacle.

The

stove

streets
is

a whole sheep

up-town often

a mere sheet-iron

66

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


and containing a slow
on an iron spit, which is

chest without a cover,

Over this
through the lamb from end
charcoal.

slowly turning, legs,

ribs,

motive power being a

fire of

thrust

end, the roast

to

head, eyes, and

all,

is

the

little

boy.

From

establishment cooked meat

may

be bought, as in the

days

be taken home, or to be

of Socrates, either to

this primitive

eaten in

some corner by the Athenian quick-lunch

devotee.

Farther along in the old quarter, not far

from the Monastiri Station

of the Piraeus Line, is the

from afar by

street of the coppersmiths, heralded

the noise of

its

hammers. By

all

the rules of appro-

priateness this should be the street of Hephaistos. In

the gathering dusk, especially, this

an interesting

is

place to wander through, for the forge

dark

little

darkness, while the busy

evening.

song

It is

hammers

coffee-mills

coffee-pots used in concocting the Turkish

to like cofEee thus

made

and any
will

utensils, since the process is

are

ply far into the

Here one buys the

coffee peculiar to the East,

easily

the

the tinkers' chorus and the armorer's

rolled into one.

and the

fires in

shops gleam brightly in the increasing

visitor

do well

who learns

to secure both

simple and the drink can

be made at home. The coffee-pots themselves

little

and the

brass or copper dippers, of varying sizes

mills are cylinders of brass with

arrangements

for pulverizing the coffee beans to a fine powder.

ATHENS; THE MODERN CITY

6y

This powder, in the proportion of about a teaspoonful


to

a cup,

is

put into the dipper with an equal quantity

of sugar. Boiling

on the

fire until it

water
'*

is

added, and the mixture set

boils up."

times before pouring

This

off into cups,

is

repeated three

the coffee being

vigorously stirred or beaten to a froth between the


several boilings.
like liquid,

At the end

it is

a thick and syrup-

astonishingly devoid of the insomnia-

producing qualities commonly attributed to coffee by


the makers of

American

" substitutes." In

any event

the long-handled copper pots and the mills for grind-

At the

ing are quaint and interesting to possess.


coffee-houses the practice
coffee

on

in its

by the patron

little

generally to bring the

is

individual pot, to be poured out

himself.

always accompanied by

It is

a huge glass of rather dubious drinking water and


often

by a

bit of

loukoumi, which the Greek esteems

by a handful of salty pistachio nuts, equally efficacious for the same purpose.
The consumption of coffee by the Greek nation is
stupendous. Possibly it is harmful, too. But in any
as furnishing a thirst, or

event

it

cheers without inebriating, and a drunken

Greek

is

a rare sight indeed.

Walking homeward

in the

sunset on the Acropolis, one

dusk

is

of

evening

sure to pass

after

many

out-

of-door stoves set close to the entrances of humbler

houses and stuffed with light wood which

is

blazing

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

68

cheerily in preparation of the evening meal, the

glow

and the aromatic wood-smoke adding to the charm


of the scene. Small shops, in the windows of which
stand fresh-made bowls of giaourti (ya-o6r-ti), are also
to be seen, calling attention to that favorite Athenian

delicacy, very popular as

a dessert and not unlikely

to please the palate of those not to the

The

giaourti

is

manner

born.

sort of " junket," or thick curd of

goat's milk, possessing a sour or acid taste.

It is

best

eaten with an equal quantity of sugar, which ren-

As

ders the taste far from disagreeable.

common

for the other

foods of the natives, doubtless the lamb

comes nearest

to being the chief national dish, while

chickens and eggs are every-day features of


table.

of

Unless one

is far

from the congested haunts

men, the food problem


visitor

would

find

it

is

not a serious one. That

rather hard to live long on the

ordinary native cookery, however,

but fortunately there


ment.

One

passing,
is

rice

many a

is little

is

need to

no doubt true

make the

experi-

other native dish deserves mention, in

and that

is

the "

pilafifi,"

or "pilaff," which

covered with a rich meat gravy, and which

almost any foreigner

will appreciate as

a palatable

article of food.

Of the ruins and museums of Athens, it is necessary


to speak in detail in another chapter. Of the modern
city and its many oddities, it is enough to deal here.

ATHENS; THE MODERN CITY


Rambles through the town

in

any

69

direction are sure to

prove delightful, not only in the older quarter which

we have been considering, but through


tentious

shops,

modern

the

pre-

streets as well, with their excellent

pseudo-classic architecture,

their

more
and

their

constant glimpses of gardens or of distant ruined


temples. Occasionally the classic style of building rises
to

something really

fine,

as in the case of the univer-

sity buildings, the polytechnic school, or the national

museum

itself.

The

local

churches are by no means

beautiful, however. Indeed the ordinary Greek church

makes no pretension to outward attractiveness, such


as the cathedrals and minor churches of the Roman
possess.

faith

Perhaps the most striking

Athenian houses

of

worship

is

the

little

brown

of

the

struc-

ture which has been allowed to remain in the midst

Hermes Street, recalling the situation of St. Clement


Danes, or St. Mary le Strand in London. It is a squat

of

Byzantine

and a

edifice,

not beautiful, but evidently old,

familiar sight of the city. Within, the

Greek

churches are quite different in arrangement from the

Roman. At

the entrance to the altar space there

is

always a high screen, pierced by a door leading to


the altar

The

itself,

and used only by the

altar screen, or

as a rule with

**

iconastasis,"

officiating priest.
is

embossed work, and

richly

adorned

the " icons," or

holy pictures, are generally painted faces set in raised

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

70

which supply the figure and robes

silver-gilt frames,

of the saints, only the facial features

Images are not allowed

in the

being in pigment.

Orthodox worship, but

the relief employed to embellish the faces in the icons

goes

far to simulate

The

imagery.

residential architecture of the city finds its

best exemplification in the splendid marble mansions


of the princes of the royal house,
fine,

which are really

and which are surrounded by attractive grounds

and gardens. The palace of the king is far less attractive, being a huge and barn-like structure in the
centre of the city, relieved from utter barrenness only

by a very good
be

lovelier

classic portico.

But nothing could

than the deep dells of the palace gar-

dens, which form a magnificent park well deserving

the classic
flowers,

name

of

TrapaSeio-os,

shrubs, and magnificent

welcome sight

with
trees

its

jungle of

the

latter

in treeless Attica.

One cannot pass from the subject of modern Athens


without mentioning the soldiery, for the soldiers are

everywhere, in
of dress,

all

degrees of rank and magnificence

from the humble private to the glittering

and altogether gorgeous generalissimo. The uniforms are of a variety that would put to blush the
variegated equipment of the famous Ancient and
Honorable Artillery Company of Boston. These
manifold uniforms have their proper signification,

ATHENS; THE MODERN CITY

71

however, and they are undeniably handsome.

what could

The army
to

fit

If

the

soldiers could only fight as well as they look,

Greek

modern Athenian empire

restrain the

clothes are admirably designed with

and

color,

an eye

and the men carry themselves with

admirable military hauteur.

Most picturesque

of all

are the king's body-guard, with their magnificent

physique and national dress. They are big, erect

fel-

lows, clad in the short fustanella skirts of the ancient

regime,

tight-fitting leggings,

the

shoes, the dark over-jacket,

and the

the

fez.

pomponed

These are the

only troops that wear the old-time garb of the Greek.

But the dress

is

districts, often

a familiar sight in the outside country

worn by

well-to-do peasants,

and

still

regarded as the national dress despite the general


prevalence of ordinary European clothes.
It

remains to speak briefly of the national money,

for that is

a subject the visitor cannot avoid.

drachma, which corresponds to the


thing.
is

If

franc, is

one means the metal drachma,

simple enough.

It circulates at

The

a peculiar

of silver,

it

par with the franc.

But the paper drachma varies in value from day to


day at the behest of private speculation, and is almost
never at par.

have experienced variations

of

it

from

a value

of fourteen cents to eighteen. In small trans-

actions,

when

ence

negligible.

is

the paper

drachma

When

it

is

is

low

high, the differin value,

or in

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

72

large amounts,

it is

pencils in the shops, for

only by constant multi-

it is

is

ing visitor

merchant

able to

is

from francs into drachmas or

vice

when

the

occasion requires.

as

versa,

drachma

fluctua-

the reason for the pads and

is

plication or division that the

translate prices

The

highly appreciable.

money

tion of this

Naturally

worth only fourteen


is liable

to

cents, the unsuspect-

pay more than he should,

if

assuming that a franc and a drachma are synony-

mous

terms.

In such a case a paper

requires a

bill

addition of copper lepta to

considerable

make it
The

equal the metal drachma or the French franc.


diiTerence in value from

day

to

day may be learned

from the newspapers. Most bargains are made

and the French money, both gold and

francs,
is

freely used. Nevertheless, the local

very

useful,

and

it

use. Particularly

the

drachma

on a

merely requires a

is it

desirable to

in securing

know

cash on a

inferior

banks

in

one

may

obtain

paper;

for

although the principal

be relied upon as a rule to be honest,

individual clerks
tation to

the status of

amount and not content himself with an

sum

may

is

care in the

letter of credit or

traveler's cheque, in order that

the proper

paper money
little

in

silver,

may not

be proof against the temp-

impose upon the ignorant and pocket the

difference. I

would advise the use

of the Ionian

Bank

as far as possible, rather than the tourist agencies, for

ATHENS; THE MODERN CITY


the latter often extort

money

on the plea

stamps or

of needful

dation," that the

less

than in

quite without warrant,


fees for "

bank does not require.

way

will be found to exist in the


Italy.

The one

73

accommo-

Little trouble

of false coin

far

difficulty is to follow the

paper drachma up and down, and not be mulcted to


a greater or
paper.

less extent in the

The copper

coins,

exchange

of silver for

which are either the

five or

ten lepta pieces, occasion no trouble, being like the


Italian centesimi or English

One

not

uncommon

nian streets
is

is

pence and ha' pennies.

sight to be

met with

the funeral procession

liable at first

to give the

in

Athe-

a sight which

unaccustomed witness

a serious shock, because of the custom of carrying the

dead uncoffined through the

city.

The

coffin

and

its

cover are borne at the head of the procession, as

rule,

while the body of the deceased, in an open

hearse, rides jokingly along in the middle of the cor-

To

tege.

those not used to this method of honoring

the dead, the exposure of the face to the sight of

every passer-by must seem incongruous and revolting.

But

it is

the custom of the place,

of a funeral causes

and the passing

no apparent concern

to those

who

calmly view the passing corpse from the chairs where


they sip their
beads.

coffee, or idly finger their strings of

The beads which are

of nearly

to

be seen in the hand

every native have no religious significance,

GREECE AND THE .EGEAN ISLANDS

74

as might be thought at
of the

but are simply one

first sight,

innocuous things that the Hellene finds

hands to do. They are large beads,

of various colors,

though the strings are generally uniform


selves,

and

their sole function is to furnish

There

give

some play

in

them-

something

doing nothing in

to toy with while talking, or while


particular.

for idle

a sufficiency of loose string to

is

to the beads,

and they become a

familiar sight.

Royalty
attitude.

to

Greece

in

is

decidedly democratic in

King George and

his sons are frequently

much

be seen riding about town,

citizens.

its

like ordinary

Quite characteristic was an encounter of re-

cent date, in which an American gentleman accosted

one

whom

he found walking in the palace gardens

with the inquiry as to what hour would be the best

The

for seeing the royal children.

mutual

and the two conversed

interest

the American asking with


lars of the household,

much

*'

fills

'*

What

woman

of

her high station admirably."

" Oh, the king

He

is

some time,

curiosity for particu-

She 's exceedingly

the reply. " She

for

with which his interlocutor

professed to be acquainted.

he inquired.

question elicited

I regret to

of the

queen

well beloved,"

"

was

high character and

"And

say that he

has done nothing for the country.

give no offense but as a king the

the
is

king?"

no good.

He

tries to

less said of

him

ATHENS THE MODERN CITY

75

the better

Needless to say, this oracle was the

"

king himself. Nobody

else

would have passed so

harsh a judgment. King George


since 1863,

when

has been reigning

the present government, with the

sponsorship of the Christian powers, was inaugurated.

King
so many thrones of Europe
and queens from his numerous

He came from Denmark,


Christian, who furnished
with acceptable rulers

and

being a son of the

excellent family, so that the king

Greek

at

all.

The years

him highly acceptable


countrymen,

measure

who have

have proved

to the Athenians

and

their

seen their land regain a large

and

their chief city

considerable proportions under the


is

not himself a

of successful rule

of its prosperity

kingly ofBce

is

late

hereditary, the

new

grow to
The

order.

crown prince reaching

his majority at eighteen years.

Prince Constantine, the heir to the throne, lives on


the street behind the palace gardens,
ily of

handsome

children.

Prince George

missioner in charge of Crete.

embraced the

faith of the

and has a fam-

The

is

com-

royal family has

Greek Orthodox Church.

CHAPTER V. ANCIENT ATHENS:


THE ACROPOLIS

THE

visible

remains of the ancient city of Athens,

as distinguished from the city of to-day,

lie

mainly to the south and west of the Acropolis, where


are to be seen

many

distinct traces of the classic

town, close around the base of the great rock and the
Hill of Mars.

How

had extended

far the ancient city

around to the eastward can only be conjectured by


the layman, for there exist almost no remains in that
direction save the choragic

and the ruins

of the

temple

on the northern side

known

monument
of

of Lysicrates

Olympian Zeus while

of the Acropolis,

although

it is

that there once lay the agora, or market place,

but some porticoes of a

little is

left

Roman,

date.

however,

it is

late,

if

not of

Not being bent on exact archaeology,


not for us here to speculate

much over

the probable sites of the ancient metes and bounds,


the location of the fountain of nine spouts called
"

Enneacrunus," nor the famous spring of Callirrhoe,

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS


:

which furnish

skilled in the art.


is

mass

the

charm

ground

fertile

for dissent

What must now

of visible ruins,

every

of the city to

among

those

concern us most

which provide the

visitor,

77

and most

chief

of all to

those possessed of the desirable historic or classical

"background"

to

make

the ruins the

more

inter-

esting.

many

Despite her

inglorious vicissitudes, Athens

has been so fortunate as to retain

many of

her ancient

structures in such shape that even to-day a very

idea

age

be had of their magnificence

to

is

of Hellenic empire.

The Greek

in the

good

golden

habit of building

temples and fanes in high places, apart from the


dwellings of men, has contributed very naturally to
the preservation of

been

lost.

were

set

The

much

that

might otherwise have

chief attractions of the classic city

on high, and the degenerate modern town

that succeeded the ancient capital did not entirely

swallow them up, as was so largely the case at Rome.

To be

sure, the

Turks did invade the sacred precincts

of the Acropolis with their

tions of war,

beyond hope

and the

mosques and

latter

of restoration

at that noble
of lime

muni-

ruined the Parthenon

when

Morosini's lament-

able advisers caused the Venetian


edifice.

their

bomb

to be fired

Local vandalism and the greed

burners have doubtless destroyed much. But

the whole course of these depredations has failed to

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

78

remove the crowning

and the
and the

treasures of Athens,

Acropolis temples are

still

the inspiration

despair of architects. In passing, then, to a

more

and perhaps superfluous consideration

tailed

monuments surviving from


be remarked that the

the ancient

may-

city, it

more of the
him than is

visitor will find

remains to reward and delight

classic

de-

of the

Rome, rich as that eternal city is.


The Acropolis is naturally the great focus of

the case at

est,

not only for what remains in situ on

because of

about

many remnants

base.

its

The rock

inter-

its top,

but

of buildings that cluster

itself, if

it

were stripped

of

every building and devoid of every memory, would


still

be commanding and imposing, alone by sheer

force of

its

height and steepness.

reveal the use of marble


fortifications themselves,

mere

inaccessibility.

below

its

into
of

it is,

made the more


Cimon and ancient engineers,

beetling sides
fices of

As

top

it

with

its

by the artiwhose walls

precipitous

column drums
it

is

built into the

doubly impressive

Something

a hundred

like

for
feet

ceases to be so sheer, and spreads out

a more gradual slope, on the southern expanses

which were

built the city's theatres

sacred to Asklepios.

was the crag


to-day

is

precincts.

Only on the

at all approachable,

and a precinct

west, however,

and on that

side

the only practicable entrance to the sacred

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS

79

more magnificent approach it would be hard to


conceive. One must exempt from praise the so-called
" Beule " gate at the

very entrance, at the foot of the

grand

it

staircase, for

a mere late patchwork of

is

marble from other ancient monuments, and

way

is

in every-

unworthy of comparison with the majestic Pro-

pylaea at the top.

It

takes

name from

its

who unearthed it. As

explorer

the French

for its claim to interest,

must found that, if at all, on the identification of the


stones which now compose it with the more ancient
monument of some choragic victor. Looking up the

it

steep incline to the Propylsea, or fore gate of the


Acropolis, the Parthenon
is visible

from

this point

of the magnificent

completely hid. Nothing

is

but the walls and columns

gateway

itself,

designed to be a

worthy prelude to the architectural glory


temple

He

did not at

all

above, yet he gave


to-day, with so

pylaea in ruins,

close range.
it

achieving the desired

in

dwarf or
it

it

is

main

result.

belittle his chief creation

a most admirable setting. Even

much

proach, not only

but

The

of the goddess.

ceeded admirably

of the

architect certainly suc-

of the

colonnade of the Pro-

a splendid and satisfying ap-

when seen from a

Not alone

commands from

is it
its

distance, but at

beautiful in

and

of itself,

platform a grand view

of

the Attic plain below, of the bay of Salamis gleaming


in the

sun beyond,

of the

long cape running down to

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

8o

Sunium, and

of the distant

mountains of the ArgoHd,

rolling like billows in the southwest far across the

gulf

and beyond ^Egina. To pause

for

moment on

gaining this threshold of the Acropolis and gaze upon


this
is

imposing panorama

of plain,

mountain, and sea,

an admirable introduction to Greece.

On

by which one climbs

either side of the stairway

to the Propylaea are buttresses of rock,

on one

of

which stands an object worthy of long contemplation.

At the

right,

on a platform leveled from the


Nike Apteros

rock, stands the tiny temple of

Wingless
less one

Victory), "restored "

of the

At one time

most perfect

ful

hands out

true,

(the

but neverthe-

buildings imaginable.

removed

entirely

Turkish watch-tower,

it is

little

solid

to

make room

for

has been re-created by care-

it

of its original

stood of old, on

to-day, as

it

the grand

stairway of Athena.

marbles

its

and

it

stands

narrow parapet beside

The process of rebuild-

ing has not, indeed, been able to give the unbroken

The

stones are chipped at

there,

and there are places

lines of the old temple.

the corners here

where
in the
frieze

entirely

and

new blocks have been

main everything, even


around

its top, is in

required. But

to the delicately carved

place

and

for

once at least

the oft-berated " restorer " of ancient buildings has

triumphed and has silenced

all

his critics.

The rem-

nants of the incomparable carved balustrade, which

ANCIENT ATHENS: THE ACROPOLIS


once served as a railing
seen in

for the parapet, are to

museum

small

tlie

8i

be

of the Acropolis, reveal-

ing the extreme grace which the Greek sculptors had

achieved

in the

The

relief.

known

as

modeling

slab,

"

of exquisite figures in

which has come to be

particularly,

Nike binding her sandal

the favorite of

though the

all,

high

others,

"

seems

even

to

be

in their

headless and armless state, are scarcely less lovely.

As

for the isolated pedestal

the stairway,
is

known

on the other side

as the "pedestal of Agrippa,"

not only devoid of any statue to give

excuse

for being, but

it

such a state

in

it is

fall,

and seems an object rather

than for perpetuation, although


the effect produced

by the Nike

it

it

continued

of decrepi-

tude as to cause the uncomfortable thought that

about to

of

for

it is

removal

serves to balance

bastion.

Standing on the Nike platform, the

visitor finds the

noble columns of the Propylaea towering above him

These Doric

close at hand.
first

give one for the

time an adequate idea of the perfection to which

the column

and

pillars

was

carried

architects of his time

by
;

Ictinus

for

and the builders

although each

pillar is

up drum upon drum, it is still true in many cases


that the joints between them are almost invisible, so
perfect are they, despite the lapse of ages and the
built

ravages

of war,

quake shocks

to

not to mention the frequent earth-

which the whole region has been

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

82

Age

subjected.

has been kind also to the Pentelic

marble, softening

its

original whiteness to a golden

brown without destroying its


Nothing more charming can

exquisite satin texture.


well be

imagined than

the contrast of the blue Athenian sky with these stately


old columns, as one looks outward or inward through
their majestic rows.

The rock rises sharply as one passes


cinct of the Acropolis,

within the pre-

and the surface

of

it

appears

have been grooved to give a more secure footing


to pedestrians. Stony as is the place, it still affords
to

soil

enough

to support

a growth of grasses and strug-

gling bits of greenery to cradle the

But one has eyes only


front of

now
From its

which

full effect.

in its midst

many fallen drums.

for the Parthenon, the

appears for the

first

western

time in

its

western end, the havoc wrought

being concealed, the Parthenon appears

almost perfect. The pedimental sculptures,

it is

true,

are gone save for a fragment or two, having been


carried off to England.

umns
one

still

But the massive Doric

col-

stand in an unbroken double row before

the walls of the cella appear to be intact

the

pediment
glyphs,

rises almost unbroken above; frieze, triand metopes remain in sufficient degree to

give an idea of the ancient magnificence of the shrine

and

all

conspire to compel instant and unstinted

admiration. Speculation as to the ethics of the re-

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS


:

moval

of the

83

Parthenon sculptures by Lord Elgin

has become an academic matter, and therefore one

beyond our present purpose. Doubtless to-day


no such removal would be countenanced for a moment. It is no longer possible to say, as former critics
quite

have

said, that

the place

is

the local regard for the treasures of

so slight as to endanger their safety.

The

present custodianship of the priceless relics of an-

Athens

tiquity in
tory.

therefore,

If,

own a

admirably careful and

is

satisfac-

Greece had only come into her

century or so earlier than she did, the famous

sculptures of the miraculous birth of Athena, spring-

ing

grown from the head

full

representation of the

don

strife

of Zeus,

temple

or

excellent

enough

if

might

they

still

at the other

be seen

end

still

adorn

of the great
in the

very

of the city. It is

us to know, however, that they are not in

for

Athens but
bility

and western gables

not that, might

museum

colossal

between Athena and Posei-

for possession of the Attic land,

as of yore the eastern

and the

in

will

London, and that there


ever return to Greek

soil

is

no proba-

and

to

know,

had they not been removed as they were,


they might never have been preserved at all. That
also, that

is

the one comfortable state of

mind

in

which to view

the vacant pediments of the Parthenon.

To work up

a Byronic frenzy over what cannot be helped, and

may,

after

all,

be

for the best, is of

no

benefit.

84

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

Writers on Athens have often called attention to


the curved stylobate of the Parthenon

feature

which

is

by no means confined

which

is

to be noticed in almost every considerable

to this temple, but

The base of the building curves sufmake the device visible, rising from either

ruin of the sort.


ficiently to

end to the centre


easily

prove

it

trying to see

of the sides

by placing a hat

and the curious may


at

one extremity and

from the other, sighting along the

it

line of the basic stones.

The curve was necessary

to

cure an optical defect, for a straight or level base


would have produced the illusion of a decided sagging Similarly it has long been recognized that the

columns must swell

at the

middle drums,

appear to the eye to be concaved. In

Gardner has pointed

as Professor

Parthenon

yet the

effect

absolute straightness everywhere.

Obviously
it

they

lest

out, there is actually hardly

really straight line in the


is of

fact,

this

was, imposed

curvature of the base, slight though

some engineering problems of no inwhen it came to setting the col-

considerable nature

umn drums

for the

columns must stand

erect,

and

the bottom sections must be so devised as to meet

the configuration of the convex stylobate.

The

cor-

ner columns, being set on a base that curved in both


directions,

with.

must have been more

difficult still to deal

But the problem was solved

successfully,

and

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS


:

85

the result of this cunningly contrived structure was a

temple that comes as near architectural perfection as


earthly artisans are ever likely to attain.

were

set

up

an unfluted

in

The columns
being

state, the fluting

added after the pillar was complete. Each drum is said


to have been rotated upon its lower fellow until the

became so exact as

joint

to

poses indistinguishable.

drums

be to

all

intents

In the centre of the fallen

be seen always a square hole, used to

will

wood designed

contain a peg of

and

plug has been found

intact. All

in

to hold the finished

many

sections immovable,

be seen the

tion

fallen

drums

of the sides, but

that once

They

lie like fallen

children's building blocks,

the temple

is

umns from

made

are to

composed the

heaps

and the

a gaping void.

attempt has been

fell,

which were blown out

by the bomb from the Venetian

Morosini.

wooden

cases this

along the sides of the

Parthenon, lying on the ground as they

umns

and pur-

fleet of

of

col-

of posi-

Admiral

dominoes or

entire centre of

Here and there an

to reconstruct the fallen col-

the original portions, but the result

no means reassuring and seems not to

is

by

justify the

further prosecution of the task. Better a ruined Par-

thenon than an obvious patchwork. The few restored

columns are quite devoid

marks the extant


fully

felt,

originals,

of that

and

homogeneity that

their joints are pain-

being chipped and uneven, where the old

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

86
are

all

but imperceptible

so that the whole effect

is

and lack of perfection entirely out of


harmony with the Parthenon itself. Opinions, howof insecurity

ever, differ.

Some

do advocate the rebuilding

still

of

the temple rather than leave the drums, seemingly so


perfect

still,

lying as they

of the Acropolis.

on which debate

It is
is

one

now

are

amid the grasses

of those questions of taste

traditionally idle

and purposeless.

For those who must demand restorations other than


those constructed by the mind's eye, there are models

and drawings enough


in the Acropolis

extant,

and some are

Museum. Most

to

be seen

interesting of the

attempts are doubtless the speculations as to the

pedimental sculptures, the remains of which are in

Museum, but which are so fragmentary


new home that much of the
original grouping is matter for conjecture. With the
aid of drawings made by a visitor long years ago,
before Lord Elgin had thought of tearing them down,
the British

and so

ill

placed in their

the two great pediments have been ingeniously reconstructed in miniature,

showing a multitude

of figures

attending on the birth of the city's tutelary goddess,


full armed from the head of Zeus asby the blow of Hephaistos's hammer, or the
concourse of deities that umpired the contest between
Athena and Poseidon for the land. The Acropolis

as she sprang
sisted

Museum has

only casts of the Elgin marbles, but

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS


:

there

to

is still

nal frieze. It

be seen a good proportion

would be out

of place in

87

of the origi-

any such work

as this to be drawn into anything like a detailed ac-

count of these famous sculptures, the subjects of a


vast volume of available literature already and sources

a considerable volume also of controversial writ-

of

ing involving conflicts of the highest authority.

must therefore

suffice to refer the reader interested in

the detailed story of the Parthenon,

ment,

its

any one

external adorn-

and the

within,

its frieze

of those learned authors

of all these things so copiously


less

its

huge gold-and-ivory statue

great Panathenaic festival which


to

It

portrayed,

who have

and

clearly

written

doubt-

none more so than Dr. Ernest Gardner

in his

admirably lucid and readable "Ancient Athens," or in


his

"Handbook

no one should

of

visit

Greek Sculpture," without which

museum

the

One must remember

in that city.

that the Parthenon

and the

monuments of
an earlier day. The

other features of the Acropolis are

the age of Pericles, and not of

Persians

who invaded Greece

in obtaining possession of

in

480

B. C.

Athens and

succeeded

of the

whole

Attic plain, the inhabitants fleeing to the island of

Salamis.

The hordes

of barbarians

Xerxes were opposed by a very few

whom

brought

in

by

of the citizens,

some

of

polis,

thinking that thereby they satisfied the oracle

erected a stockade around the Acro-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

88

which had promised the


impregnability of

massed

on Mars

and a hot

attempting to

Hill, just

means

carrying burning tow, while the besieged


of

round stones with considerable

the

Persians

west of the

fight took place, the invaders

the stockade by

fire

through the

"Wooden Walls." The

its

their forces

larger rock,

city salvation

of

made use

Eventually

effect.

enemy discovered an unsuspected means

cess to the citadel

they burned
rest of the

and took

temples and

its

fleet,

despite the

on

land.

It left

after

of ac-

which

a sorry ruin.

allied

navy

The

at Salamis

and Xerxes, disgusted,

fact that

have been quite possible


cesses

by storm,

left it

Athenians with the

repulsed the Persian

withdrew,

it

arrows

for

him

it

would seem

to

to pursue his suc-

Athens a waste, but on that

waste grew up a city that for architectural beauty has


never, in

all

probability,

tion from the horrors of

been surpassed. The reac-

war gave us the Parthenon,

the Propylsea, and the Erechtheum,


haps, from the

fifth

while properly entitled to the

epithet " elegant " as

a building, seems decidedly

a favorite than the Parthenon. It

its

no doubt,

in

ornamentation

the Parthenon,

but possesses

dating, per-

century before Christ.

The Erechtheum,

tiful,

all

is

less

extremely beau-

a delicate and elaborate way, and


is

it is

pillars

certainly of a high order. Unlike

not surrounded by a colonnade,

only in

its

several porticoes.

The

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS

89

columns are not Doric, but


plan,

Ionic.

As

for its general

so complicated and devoted to so many-

it is

obscure purposes that the lay visitor doubtless


find

it

an extremely

will

place to understand.

difficult

There appear to have been at


involved in

it,

and the name

one, given

it

because in part

least three precincts

bears

it

it

is

the ancient

was a temple

of

Erechtheus. That deity was of the demi-god type.

He was an ancient Attic


theosis

hero,

who had

received apo-

and become highly esteemed, doubtless be-

cause in part he had instituted the worship of Athena


in the city
festival.

Athena

and had devised the celebrated Panathenaic

Tradition says that he was brought up by


herself,

and that she

intrusted

him as a babe,

secreted in a chest, to the daughters of Cecrops to

guard.

They were enjoined not

but being overcome with

to

open the

chest,

curiosity they disobeyed,

and discovered the babe entwined with serpents


whereat, terrified beyond measure, they rushed to the
steeper part of the Acropolis

down from
it is

and threw themselves

the rock. Therein they were not alone, for

also related that the father of

thrown himself down from

this

Theseus had also

eminence

in despair,

because he beheld his son's ship returning from Crete


with black

sails,

imagining therefrom that the Mino-

taur had triumphed over his heroic son,


reverse

was the

fact.

when

the

90

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

The complicated

character of the Erechtheum

is

by the fact that a portion of it was


gash made by Poseidon with
his trident when he was contending with Athena for
the land, as well as the olive tree that Athena caused
to grow out of the rock. The two relics were naturally held in veneration, and it was the story that in
the cleft made by the trident there was a salt spring,
further emphasized

supposed

to shelter the

or " sea " as Herodotus calls

it,

which gave forth to

murmuring like that of the ocean. The cleft


The olive tree, unfortunately, has disappeared. It was there when the Persian horde came to

the ear a

is still there.

Athens, however,

we may

if

and
had burned the

believe Herodotus

tradition says that after the invaders

Acropolis over, the tree-stump immediately put forth

a shoot which was

in length

cubit, as

the deity had not abandoned the

city.

a sign that
It

had been

the custom of the place to deposit a cake of honey


at stated intervals in the temple door for the food of

the sacred serpents

and when, on the

arrival of the

Persians, this cake remained untouched, the inhabitants

were convinced that even the god had

left

the

Acropolis and that naught remained but ruin. The renewed and miraculous life of the olive tree dispelled
this error. The Erechtheum in part overlaps the
oldest precinct sacred to Athena,
earlier

where stood an

temple supposed to have contained the sacred

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS

91

image

of the goddess,

down from
tions of the

made

of

wood, which came

heaven. For exact and detailed descrip-

Erechtheum and

its

uses, the reader

once again turn to the archaeologists.


ternal features, the

most famous

As

must

for its ex-

of all is

unques-

tionably the caryatid portico, in which the roof

borne up by a row

marble maidens. The use


natural,

is

is

undeniably sturdy,

of graceful, but

of the caryatid,

always un-

here rather successful on the whole, for the

beholder derives no sensation that the maidens are


restive

under the weight imposed on them. They are

entirely free

from any indictment

Nevertheless,

it is

of grotesqueness.

questionable whether the portico

altogether pleasing.

One

of the figures

is,

as

is

is

well

known, a reproduction of the one Lord Elgin carried

away

to the British

Museum, but

the remainder of

the six are the original members.

The Acropolis Museum

many

serves to house a great

interesting fragments found

on the

spot, in-

cluding a host of archaic representations of Athena,


still

bearing ample traces of the paint which the

Greeks used so lavishly on

their

marble statues.

This use of pigment might seem to have been a

very doubtful exhibition of

taste,

ern standards, not only in

its

as judged by

application to statues,

but in the decoration of marble temples as well.

hard

for

modIt is

us to-day, accustomed to pure white marble

92

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

sculpture, to

ing the

imagine any added beauty from paint-

and garments

hair, eyes,

conceive

how

a statue

of

or to

commonly made

the polychromy so

use of in bedecking such masterpieces as the Par-

thenon could have been anything but a blemish.


Nevertheless, the fact that the Greeks did

they were in
it

all else

it,

and that

so consummately tasteful,

makes
and

entirely probable that their finished statues

edifices thus

adorned were perfectly congruous

and surrounded

especially under that brilliant sky

by so many

brilliant

costumes.

multitude of statues of Athena,

Greeks conceived her as a


rather almond-eyed,
of the

ruddy hair

From
it is

woman

the surviving

evident that the

of majestic mien,

and possessed of abundant braids

later

vouchsafed to Queen Eliza-

The more rudimentary figure of the " Typhon,"


also preserved in this museum, which was doubtless
a pedimental sculpture from some earlier acropolitan
beth.

temple, bears abundant traces of paint on

and on the beards


tesque to furnish

of its triple head.

much

of

an idea

of the

on such statues as the great masters

The remnants

of the

trace of

any

commonly

laid

no

Parthenon

of the blue

It is

body

use of paint

later

frieze

its

too gro-

produced.

give

little

or

background, such as was

on to bring out the figures carved

on such ornaments, nor are there any traces remaining of polychrome decoration on the Parthenon

itself.

ANCIENT ATHENS: THE ACROPOLIS


The

Acropolis,

common
being

"

of course,

has not escaped the

fate of all similar celebrated places


"

done

now and

93

that

of

then by parties of tourists in

absurdly hasty fashion, that to the lover of the spot

seems

little

less

than sacrilege.

body

sight to see a

It

is

no infrequent

men and women numbering

of

from a dozen to over a hundred,

keeping

in the

of

a voluble courier, scampering up the steps of the


Propylsea, over the summit, through the two temples,
in

and out

of the

having spent a

about

always

less
tell

half

for the rest of their days. It is

is,

to see

a wonder

of the

pity, as

one should never

It is

better to

visit

world so cavalierly

the Acropolis of Athens.

a moment than never


The Acropolis is no place to

have looked

have looked at

all.

hurry through. Rather

is it

for

a spot to

visit

again and

again, chiefly toward sunset, not merely to

through the

it

one hesitates to say that rather than do

Still,

this,

to

amply

hour or even

it

treated.

again,

those immortal ruins, and prepared to

satisfied with

among

museum, and down

ruins, or to rest

on the steps

wander

of the Par-

thenon musing over the remote past to which

this

place belongs, but also to see the sun sink to the

west as Plato and Socrates must often have seen

it

sink from this very place, behind the rugged sky-line


of the Argolid,

which never changes, lengthening the

purple shadows of the

hills

on the peaceful plain and

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

94

touching the golden-brown of the temples with that


afterglow which, once seen, can never be forgotten.

The

gates of the Acropolis are closed at sunset

by the guards, and lingering visitors are insistently


herded into groups and driven downward to the gate
like sheep by the little band of blue-coated custodians. Still, they are not hard-hearted, and if a belated visitor finds the outer gates locked a

happens with the idea

sunset, as often

hill

of

Athena

before

preventing
(five

min-

be honored even without a petty

utes) is likely to

But at

trifle

"pende lepta"

needless ascent, a plea for

bribe.

of

last

every one must go, and the holy

is left

untenanted for one more of

its

endless round of nights.

A visit to

moonlight

worth while, and the need-

ful

is

traditionally

permission

is

not

difficult to

the Acropolis

obtain once the

nicipal office dealing with such things is located.

Parthenon on a

clear,

by

muThe

moonlit night must be inde-

scribably lovely, even in

its

lamentable ruin.

Other sights of Athens, ancient and modern, are


interesting,

and many are magnificent. But the Acro-

polis is unquestionably the best that

show, and the Parthenon


of the Acropolis.

It is

the

is

incomparably the best

first

and the

seek in visiting Athena's famous

glimpse the departing voyager


not unmanly tear

catches

Athens has to

city,

very

last

spot to

and the

last

likely with

from his ship as

it

sails

ANCIENT ATHENS THE ACROPOLIS


:

out into the blue JEgean

reposing

in

kind on

its

of

is

of this

rocky height.

It

has seen the worship

Athena Parthenos give way

own

hoary temple

calm and serene indifference to man-

another Virgin
its

95

a holier ideal

precincts,

to the reverence of
of

Wisdom

set

up

in

and worshiped there on the very

spot where once the youth of Athens did honor to

pagan goddess. Gods and religions have risen


and departed, despots have come and gone but the
Parthenon has stood unchanging, the unrivaled embodiment of architectural beauty to-day, as it was
the

when

Ictinus,

Mnesicles, Pheidias,

were with them created

and

colossal genius,

Pericles.

it

out of

and those who


their combined

under the wise ordainment of

CHAPTER VI. ANCIENT ATHENS;


THE OTHER MONUMENTS
XI

THERE

ways whereby those


leaving the AcropoHs are wont to descend to
the modern city. One lies around to the right as you
leave the gates, passing between the Acropolis and
Mars Hill to the north side of the former, where
steps will be found leading down to the old quarter and
thence past Shoe Lane to Hermes Street and home.

The
its

are two favorite

other passes to the south of the Acropolis along

southerly slopes, finally emerging through an iron

gate at the eastern end, whence a street leads directly

homeward, rather cleaner and sweeter than the other


route but hardly as picturesque. Since, however, this

way

leads to

some

of the other notable

classic Athens, for the present let us take

remains of
it.

Immediately on leaving the avenue in front

of

the gates of the Acropolis, one finds a path leading

eastward directly behind and above the Odeon of

Herodes

Atticus,

which

is

made conspicuous

in the

ANCIENT ATHENS

97

landscape by the lofty stone arches remaining at

ear-mark

of the later

Roman

epoch. Moreover they

strike the beholder as rather unstable, as

they might

be a

its

These arches are blackened and bear every

front.

pity, nevertheless, for

striking

Greek

harmony with

to the sight despite

the received ideas of pure

architecture. It hardly repays

to the pit of this


cert hall, since

commodious

one to descend

theatre, or rather con-

one gets a very accurate idea

from above looking down into


tiers of

some day

they certainly present a

and agreeable feature

their lack of

if

unless removed. But their loss would

fall

grass-grown

seats.

its

of

it

orchestra over the

For more detailed inspec-

tion of ancient theatrical structures, the Dionysiac

theatre

farther along our path

is

decidedly more

worth while, besides being much more ancient and

more

On

interesting

the

way

by

association.

thereto are passed several remnants of

a long " stoa," or portico, called that of Eumenes,


curiously intermingled with brick relics of the Turkish
times,

and the non-archaeological

visitor will hardly

care to concern himself long with either. But he will

doubtless be interested to turn aside from the path

and clamber up
inspect the

to the base of the steeper rock to

damp and

was an important shrine


" sacred spring "

still

dripping cave where once


of Asklepios, with the usual

flowing,

and

still

surrounded

98

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

with remains of the customary porticoes, in which the


faithful in

need

heaHng once reposed themselves

of

by night, awaiting the cure which the vision of the


god might be hoped to bestow. The cave is now a
Catholic shrine, with a picture of

its

particular saint

and an oil lamp burning before it. It is dank and dismal, and for one to remain there long would doubtless necessitate the services of

of

some

skillful

modern

Asklepios himself, or

disciple of his healing art

by the way, Athens can boast not a few.


The Greek seems to take naturally to the practice
of medicine, and some of the physicians, even in
of which,

remote country

districts,

are said to possess unusual

talent.

Not

far

below the shrine

lies

the theatre of Dio-

nysus, scooped out of the hillside as are most Greek

a paved, semi-circular "orchestra," or

theatres, with

dancing place, at
ing capacity

is

its foot.

of the original seat-

concealed by the overgrowth of grass,


likely greatly to underestimate its

so that one

is

former

Once

size.

Much

the seats rose far

up toward the

and the path that to-day travthe slope passes through what was once the

precinct of Asklepios,
erses

upper portion

of the amphitheatre. It is only in the

lower portions that the stones

ner of

still

remain

in a fair

and serve to show us the manthe same in


theatre that the Athenians knew

state of preservation

ANCIENT^ ATHENS
earlier generations

which the
the

saw

99

for the first

time

tragedies of that famous trio of playwrights,

^schylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

This theatre

has undergone manifold changes since its first construction, as one will discover from his archaeological
books.

It is idle for

us here to seek to recall the suc-

cessive alterations which

changed the present theatre

from that which the ancients actually saw, or to point


out the traces of each transformation that

now

remain,

show that the "orchestra" was once a complete


circle and lay much farther back. It will, however,
be found interesting enough to clamber down over
the tiers of seats to the bottom and inspect at leisure

to

the carved chairs once allotted to various dignitaries,

day the names

and bearing

to this

used them.

Particularly fine

is

of the officers

who

the chief seat of

all,

the carved chair of the high priest of Dionysus, in


the very centre of the row, with

ing cocks on the chair-arms


It is

well to

bas-relief of fight-

its

still

plainly to be seen.

remember, however, that most

the visitor sees

is

of

little

is

than the third century

B.
is

of

Romans. This

for

it is

stated

of the present visible theatre is of

even a more recent time and

earlier date

what

a rather recent period as com-

pared with other Athenian monuments,


that very

of

is true,

C, while

much

work

of the

the

especially, of the conspicuous

carved screen that runs along behind the orchestra

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

loo

and which may have supported the stage


there was a stage at all. The paved orchestra
space,

if

will

also strike one as unusual, contrasting with the green-

sward

to

be seen

in other similar structures,

such as

the theatre at Epidaurus.

The vexed question of the use


in

Greek theatres so divides the

into warring

an amateur

of

camps even to-day

in the field to

one way or the

that

becomes

it ill

advance any opinion at

upon the

other,

any elevated stage

skilled archaeologists

subject.

all,

There are

eminent authorities who maintain that the use of a

was

raised stage in such a theatre

by the

ancients,

utterly

unknown

and that any such development can

only have come in comparatively modern times, under

Roman

positiveness, that

the

Others

auspices.

some

insist,

and with equal

sort of a stage

was used by

more ancient Greeks. The arguments pro and

con have waxed

warm

vincing either side of

for several years,


its error.

American students generally


there

was no such raised

without con-

It is safe to

incline to the

say that

view that

stage, agreeing with the

Germans, while English scholars appear generally to


believe that the stage did exist

remarked, the views

of

are of small account,

my own,

saying

onl)?-

Greek plays that

and was used. As

mere laymen

and

in

just

such a case

shall spare the reader

that in the few reproductions of

myself have seen, there has been

ANCIENT ATHENS

loi

no confusion whatever produced by having the

"orchestra" space with

cipal actors present in the

the

chorus and

too,

this,

prin-

without the aid of the

distinguishing cothurnos, or sandal, to give to the


principals

me

any added

From

height.

this

not unreasonable to contend that,

if

it

seems

to

a stage did

by any pressing
necessity to avoid confusion, as some have argued
while, on the contrary, it does seem as if the separation of the chief actors to the higher level would
often mar the general effect. Such a play as the
exist, it

was hardly

called into being

"

Agamemnon "

of

^Eschylus would,

it

seems

to

me,

lose

much by

form

for those actors not of the chorus. In fact, there

the

was no more need

employment
of

any such

of

an elevated

plat-

difference in level, to

separate chorus from principal, in ancient times than


there

is

to-day.

The

ancients did, however, seek to

differentiate the principals

by adding a cubit unto

from the chorus players,

their stature, so to speak, for

they devised thick-soled sandals that raised them

above the ordinary height.

Besides this they em-

ployed masks, and occasionally even mechanism for


aerial acting,

and

also subterranean passages.

Whatever we may each conclude as

to the exist-

ence or non-existence of an elevated stage at the


time of Pericles,

modern

we shall

stagecraft takes

all
its

agree, no doubt, that our

nomenclature direct from

I02

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


The

the Greek.

meant the
place,

" orchestra,"

circle in

we have taken over

floor space

filled

which

in the old

Greek

which the dancing and acting took


as a

word

referring to the

with the best seats, and by a

still

meaning we have come


to apply it to the musicians themselves. Our modern
" scene " is simply the old Greek word a-K-qv-fj (skene),
meaning a " tent," which the ancient actors used as
a dressing-room. The marble or stone wall, of varying height, and pierced by doors for the entrance
and exit of actors, was called by the Greeks the "proless justifiable stretch of the

skenion," or structure before the skene, serving to

conceal the portions behind the scenes and add back-

ground

same

The word is obviously the


modern "proscenium," though the mean-

to the action.

as our

ing to-day

is

entirely different. In ancient times the

proskenion, instead of being the arch framing the

foreground of a "scene," was the background, or

more like our modern " drop " scene. Being of permanent character and made of stone, it generally
represented a palace, with three entrances, and often
with a colonnade. At either side of the proskenion

were broad roads leading into the orchestra space,


called the " parodoi,"

rus entered

by means of which the choand departed on occasion, and through

which chariots might be driven. Thus,


the "

Agamemnon,"

that hero

for instance, in

and Cassandra drove

ANCIENT ATHENS
through one

of the

103

parodoi into the orchestra, char-

a much more effective entrance than


and all
would have been possible had they been forced to

iots

climb aloft to a stage by means of the ladder represented on

The

some

side from

of the

vases as used for the purpose.

which the actor entered often possessed

significance, as indicating

country or from the sea.

whether he came from the

As

for disagreeable scenes,

such as the murders which form the motif of the


Oresteian trilogy,

mark

it

may

not be out of place to re-

that they were almost never represented

on the

stage in sight of the orchestra or spectators, but were

supposed always to take place indoors, the audience


being apprized

of events

planations of the chorus.

formance was

by groans and by the

The ordinary

in the nature of

ex-

theatrical per-

a religious ceremony,

god being in the centre of the orchestra space, and served by the priest before the
play began. And in leaving the subject, one may add
the altar of the

that

many Greek

often

came

in

plays required sequels, so that they

groups

of three,

each separate from

the other, but bearing a relation to each other not

So much
and the theatre of

unlike our several acts of a single piece.


for

Greek theatres

Dionysus

in general,

in particular.

Leaving

it

by the

into a labyrinthine

iron gate

mass

of

above and plunging

houses just outside, one

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

I04

come upon an interesting monument


monument of Lysicrates." This

will speedily

called the " choragic


is

the only remaining representative of a series of

pedestals erected

This one, which

aged

and

street is

is

and

to survive

several fires

The

by

victors in musical or

exceedingly graceful, has manis

a thing

of

vicissitudes of

beauty

which

it

still,

despite

bears traces.

called the " Street of the Tripods."

still

few steps farther, and one emerges from the nar-

rower lanes into the broader avenues


is

dancing

support tripods celebrating their victories.

fetes to

of the city,

and

confronted at once by the arch of Hadrian, which

stands in an open field across the boulevard of Amalia.


It is

frankly

does not
Greek.
tall

and outspokenly Roman,

flatter

It

of course,

and

the Latin taste as compared with the

need delay nobody long, however,

Zeus are just before,

for the

Olympian
and are commanding enough

remaining columns

of the

to inspire attention at once.

To

temple

those

of

who

prefer the

stern simplicity of the Doric order of columns, the

Corinthian capitals will not appeal. But the few huge,

weathered

much

of

pillars,

despite the absence of roof or of

the entablature, are grand in their

peculiar way,

and the vast

may

size of the

own

temple as

it

show the reverence in


which the father of the gods was held in the city of
his great daughter, Athena. The more florid Corin-

originally stood

serve to

TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS

ANCIENT ATHENS

105

thian capital seems to have appealed to the

and

taste,

be remembered that

to

is

it

Roman

this

great

in the time of

begun by Greeks, was completed


Hadrian and after the dawn of the

Christian era

so that

temple, although

more

parison with the


polis,

may

it

be set

if

it

disappoints one in com-

classic structures of the

down

to the

Acro-

decadent Hellenistic

taste rather than to a flaw in the old Hellenic.


for the

Corinthian order of capital,

it is

supposed

As
to

have been devised by a Corinthian sculptor from a

and flowers which he saw one day

basket of

fruit

on a

perhaps as a funeral

wall,

spired

him

to devise

tribute.

The

idea in-

a conventionalized flower basket

with the acanthus leaf as the main feature, and to

apply the same to the ornamentation of the tops of

marble columns, such as these.

On the northern side of the Acropolis, down among


the buildings and alleys of the so-called "Turkish"
quarter, there exist several fragmentary

which

may

be passed over with

little

monuments,

more than a

word. The most complete and at the same time the

most interesting

"Tower

of the

of these relics is

unquestionably the

Winds," an octagonal building not

unlike a windmill in shape and general

size,

but de-

voted originally to the uses of town clock and weather bureau.

On

its

cornices, just

below the

top, are

carved eight panels facing the different points of the

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

io6

compass, the figures in high


eral winds.
of

The

relief

representing the sev-

appropriate general characteristics

each wind are brought out by the sculpture

here

an old man

of sour visage brings snow and storms


more kindly mien, brings gentle rain
others bring flowers and ripening fruits. A weathervane once surmounted the structure. Near by, scat;

another, of

among

tered

the houses, are bits of old porticoes,

sometimes areas

of

broken columns, and

quite perfect specimens

still

at others

bearing their pedimental

stones, testifying to the former presence of ancient

market

meeting places,

places, or public

belonging to the

later,

or

Roman,

in large part

this general vicinity that the original agora, or

place, stood,

no doubt. In some

was

period. It

market

of the porticoes

were

often to be found teachers of one sort or another,


in

" stoa" of this kind,

one

we

in

and

are told, taught those

philosophers who, from the location of their school,

came

to

be called "stoics"

which to-day has


significance.

lost

giving us an adjective

every vestige of

Nothing remains

structures that are supposed to


this vicinity, or at least
yet,

although possibly

rather

some

mean houses

its

derivative

of the other

famous

have been located

in

nothing has been unearthed as


if

some

of the

congested and

of the quarter could

be removed,

vestiges of this important section of the clas-

sic city

might be recovered. Nothing remains

of the

ANCIENT ATHENS

107

ancient "agora," or market place, in which St. Paul

saw the altar with this inscription, " To the


unknown god." But the Areopagus, or Mars Hill,
where Paul is supposed to have stood when he made
said he

his noble

and

speech to the

men

of Athens, is

still

left

well repays frequent visitation. Its ancient

fame

god Ares, or Mars, was

tried

as the place where the


for his

life,

and as the place

gravest Athenian
celebrity

it

gument,

in

affairs,

of deliberation over the

has been augmented by the

derived from the apostle's eloquent ar-

which he commented on the activity

the Athenian

mind and

characteristic rather inadequately

brought out by the

Bible's rendering, "too superstitious."

to-day

is

The Areopagus

a barren rock devoid of vegetation or of any

rough-hewn steps here

trace of building, although

and there and a rude leveling

of the top are visible.

Of the great events that have passed on

With

not a trace remains.

knoll

of

fondness for theology, a

its

this

rocky

reference to the

Acropolis towering above and close at hand. Mars


Hill
is

seems small, but the ascent

long and steep enough.

It is

of

it

from the plain

apparently no more

than an outlying spur of the main rock of the Acropolis,

but

from which
it

it is

separated by a slight depression

shares with the holy

which makes
attention.

it

hill of

Athena a

celebrity

the object of every thoughtful visitor's

From

its

top one

may

obtain almost the

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

io8

best view of the afterglow of sunset on the temples

and the Propylaea of the Acropolis, after the custodians of the latter have driven all visitors below and
;

sitting there as the light fades

one

may

lose himself

mighty ones

readily in a reverie in which the

from Ares himself down to the mortal sages

mind and leave the eloquent

apostle of the newer

around him,

religion saying to the citizens gathered


'*

Whom,

clare

was

therefore,

ye ignorantly worship,

unto you." Let

" in the midst of

us,

Mars

we

if

Hill " that

of " the spot. If

among

we paid undue heed

our cherished legends?

loses half the

as a

little

true

enough

charm

child

of the place

of

traveler in Greece
if

he cannot become
to

be

that perhaps can hardly stand the severe

And why

should he not do this?

Peopled with ghostly memories also


of

midst

to these icono-

and believe a good many things

test of archaeology.

low ridge

somewhere

what would become

The

it

schol-

to " rather than "in the

clastic theories of scientists,


all

de-

Paul preached his

ars to suggest that he probably stood

by or near

Him

believe that

will,

sonorous sermon, despite a tendency


else, " close

of later

away from

days, pass in grand review, only to fade

the

of old,

is

the long,

rocky ground to the westward, across

the broad avenue that leads from the plain up to


the Acropolis,

"Pnyx."

still

bearing

its

ancient

In the valley between

lie

name

of the

evidences of a

ANCIENT ATHENS
bygone

civilization, the

109

crowded foundations

cient houses, perhaps of the poorer class,

of an-

huddled

together along ancient streets, the lines of which are


faintly discernible

among

the ruins, while here

and

there are traces of old watercourses and drains, with

deep wells and

Thus much
lying as

it

of

yawning up at the beholder.


the older town has been recovered,

cisterns

does in the open and beyond the reach of

the present line of dwellings.


the

hill rises

Above

this

mass

of ruin

to the ancient assembling place of the

enfranchised citizens

the " Bema," or rostrum, from

which speeches on public topics were made

to the

assembled multitude.

The Bema

backed by a wall

huge "Cyclopean" masonry.

of

is

Curiously enough the ground slopes


the

Bema to-day, instead

of

upward

in place,

still

downward from
good amphi-

as a

theatre for auditors should do, giving the impression


that the eloquence of the Athenian orators
erally

That

have gone over the heads


this

was anciently the case appears

nied, however,

and we are

must

lit-

of their audiences.

to

be de-

told that formerly the topo-

graphy was quite the reverse

of

modern

conditions,

made so artificially with the aid of retaining walls,


now largely destroyed. Until this is understood, the
Bema and its neighborhood form one of the hardest
things in Athens to reconstruct in memory.

It is

from

the rocky platform of this old rostrum that one gets

no GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


the ideal view of the Acropolis, bringing out the perfect

subordination of the Propylaea to the Parthe-

non, and giving even to-day a very


of the Acropolis

appearance
ancients

may

and

fair

its

idea of the

temples as the

saw them. Fortunate, indeed,

is

one who

see these in the afternoon light standing out

sharply against a background of opaque cloud, yet

themselves colored by the glow of the declining sun.

Of all the magnificent ruins in Greece, this is the finest


the Acropolis from the Bema, or from any
and best,

point along the ridge of the Pnyx.

Of course that temple which is called, though


possibly erroneously, the Theseum, is one of the best
preserved of

and

is

one

all

extant Greek temples of ancient date,

of the

most conspicuous sights

after the Acropolis

despite that fact,


like the

Just

why

but

it

and the temples thereon. And

somehow

same enthusiasm
this is so

suspect

it

is

of Athens,

it

may

fails

in

yet,

to arouse anything

the average visitor.

be rash to attempt to say,

chiefly because the

Theseum

is,

all, a rather colorless and uninspiring thing by


comparison with the Parthenon, lacking in individu-

after

ality,

although doubtless one would look long before

finding real flaws in


It

its

simply suffers because

grander.

If

it

architecture or proportions.
its

neighbors are so

much

stood quite alone as the temple at

Segesta stands, or as stand the magnificent ruins at

ANCIENT ATHENS
Paestum,

would be a

it

iii

As

different matter.

down from

the Parthenon looking

it is,

the Acropolis not

away, the Theseum loses immeasurably

far

effect that

all

command.

justice, to

to the

bors,

It

entirely probable that the failure of this smaller

temple to inspire and lay hold on Athenian

due

in the

a specimen of ancient architecture so ob-

viously perfect ought, in

seems

with

overshadowing

which

it

visitors is

effect of its greater

neigh-

feebly resembles in form without at

all

equaling their beauty, and in part also, perhaps, to


the uncertainty about

temple

of

no longer

its

to

really

be believed by any, although no very

seems

remain the Theseum

no doubt,

was

it

Theseus, an early king of Athens, seems

satisfactory substitute
It will

name. That

if

not for

all

to be generally accepted.

many

for

time.

years to come,

Theseus certainly de-

served some such memorial as

this,

and

it

is

not

amiss to believe that the bones of the hero were


actually deposited here

by Cimon when he brought

them back from Scyros. The


the city were great.

If

services of

we may,

cept the testimony of legend, Theseus


of

King ^geus and

JEthra.,

in the supposition that

to

was the son

but was brought up

he was a son of Poseidon,

in the far city of Trcezen.


ever, he

Theseus

in childlike trust, ac-

When

was given a sword and

he grew up, howshield

and sent

to

Athens, where his father, ^geus, was king. Escaping

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

112

poisoning by Medea, he appeared at the Athenian


court,

was recognized by

nated by

^geus

and was desig-

his armor,

as his rightful successor.

formed various heroic

exploits, freed

Athens

and seven

horrid tribute of seven boys

He

girls

per-

of her

paid to

came back triumphant to Athens


only to find that ^geus, mistaking the significance
of his sails, which were black, had committed suicide
by hurling himself in his grief from the Acropolis
and thereupon, Theseus became king. He united the
the Cretan Minotaur,

Attic cities in

one

state, instituted

the democracy

and generously abdicated a large share

of the

kingly

power, devised good laws, and was ever after held in

high esteem by the


at Scyros, to

city

although

he died

which place he withdrew because

temporary coolness

of his people

The Theseum owes

to the fact that

it

in the

its

of

toward him. Cimon

brought back his bones, however, in 469

Theseus became a demi-god


tion.

in exile

B.

C, and

popular imagina-

splendid preservation

was used, as many other temples

were, as a Christian church, sacred to St.

George

of

Cappadocia.
Infinitely

more pregnant with

definite interest is

the precinct of the Ceramicus, near the Dipylon, or

double gate, of the

city,

which gave egress

to the

Eleusis road on the western side of the town, the re-

mains

of

which are easily to be seen to-day. The

ANCIENT ATHENS

113

excavations at this point have recently been pushed


with thoroughness and

some very

ments have come to Hght, buried


ries in the

"

interesting frag-

for all these centu-

Themistoclean wall" of the

It will

city.

be recalled that the Spartans, being jealous of the

growing power

of

Athens, protested against the re-

building of the walls. Themistocles,

who was

not only

a crafty soul but in high favor at Athens at the time,

undertook to go to Sparta and hold the citizens of


that

town

at

bay

until the walls

should be of sufficient

height for defense. Accordingly he journeyed

and pleaded the non-arrival

to Sparta

sadorial colleagues as

of his

down

ambas-

an excuse for delaying the open-

Days
colleagues did not come, much

ing of negotiations on the subject of the wall.


passed and

still

the

to the ostensible anxiety

who

asserted they

still

and disgust of Themistocles,

must soon

arrive.

Meantime

every man, woman, and child in Athens was working night and day to build those walls, heaping up

outworks
rial,

for the city

from every conceivable mate-

sparing nothing, not even the gravestones of the

Ceramicus

district, in their feverish

anxiety to get the

enough to risk an attack. The Roman conworked no more assiduously at hewing down the

walls high
sul

famous bridge, nor did Horatius labor more arduously


at his task, than did Themistocles in diplomatic duel

with the

men

of Sparta.

At

last the

news leaked out

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

114

but

it

at

and

last,

was too
all

late.

The

walls were high

further pretense of

enough

a delayed embassy

was dropped. The diplomacy of the wily Themistocles


and by no means for the first time.
had triumphed

Out

of this so-called

some

recently been taken


flat

Themistoclean wall there have


of the

slabs sculptured in low

grave "

stelae," or

from the places

relief,

where the harassed Athenians cast them

more than

haste

four centuries before Christ.

are battered and broken, but the figures on


still

easily visible,

remarkable the

in

and while by no means

relics

such

They

them are

sculpturally

possess an undoubted historical

interest.

The tombs

of the

Ceramicus

district,

an important part

of the sculptural

nian

numerous enough

art,

are

still

Dipylon Gate, although

housed

in the National

tion against weather

which form

remains of Athejust outside the

many examples have been


Museum for greater protec-

and vandals. Of those that

for-

tunately remain in situ along what was the beginning


of the

Sacred

give a very

Way

fair

to Eleusis, there are

enough

to

idea of the appearance of this ancient

necropolis, while the entire collection of tombstones


affords

one

of the

most interesting and complete

exhibits to be seen in Athens.

work

calls attention to the

The

excellence of the

high general level

achieved by the artisans of the time, for

it is

of skill

hardly

ANCIENT ATHENS
to

be assumed that these memorials

any more often the work


of that

day than

of the first

among

the case

is

115

of the

dead were

Athenian
our

artists

own people

at present.

The whole question


is

of the

Greek tomb sculpture

a tempting one, and a considerable volume

of liter-

The

artistic

ature already exists with regard to

it.

excellence of the stelae in their highest estate, the

quaintness of the earlier


tion of the size

and

efforts,

by

style

the ultimate regula-

statute to discourage

extravagance, the frequent utilization of an older


stone for second-hand uses, and a score of other
interesting facts,

As

chapter.

it

is,

might well furnish

we

shall

much

an entire

be obliged here briefly

to pass over the salient points

out

forth

and consider with-

pretense of detail the chief forms of

adornment that the present age has


served from the day

when

all

tomb

to show, pre-

good Athenians dying

were buried outside the gates on the Eleusinian way.

Not only carved on the

stelae themselves, but also

placed on top of them, are to be seen

reliefs

or repro-

ductions of long-necked amphorae, or two-handled


vases, in great numbers.

have had

These are now known to

their significance as referring to the un-

married state of the deceased. They are nothing more

nor

less

than reproductions of the vases the Greek

maidens used to carry to the spring Callirrhoe

for

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

ii6

them

water for the nuptial bath, and the use

of

tomb

who

sculpture,

on the graves

of those

in the

died un-

grown out of the idea that


" those who died unwed had Hades for their bridegroom." These vases come the nearest to resembling
modern grave memorials of any displayed at Athens,
perhaps. The rest of the gravestones are entirely
different both in appearance and in idea from anything we are accustomed to-day to use in our cemeteries, and it is likely to be universally agreed that
they far eclipse our modern devices in beauty. The
modern graveyard contents itself in the main with
having its graves marked with an eye to statistics,
married,

is

stated to have

rather than artistic


rich,

who may invoke

adorn
to

have been

The

may

There

In Athens this seems not


is

very

on the stones, save

majority are

which

so.

save in the cases of the very

the aid of eminent sculptors to

their burial plots.

inscription

to

effect,

or

single

may

way of
name. The

in the

for the

panels containing bas-reliefs,

not be portraits of the departed.

usual type of

be a group

little

tomb

of figures,

relief of this sort

seems

sometimes two, sometimes

three or four, apparently representing a leave-taking,


or frequently the figure of a person performing

some

characteristic act of life. Of the latter the well-known


tomb of Hegeso, representing a woman attended by
her maid fingering trinkets in a jewel casket, is as

TOMB AMPHORA, CERAMICUS

ANCIENT ATHENS
good a type as any, and
its

Others

this

kind are numerous enough in the

museum. The aversion


itself

among

has the added merit of

it

original place in the street of the tombs.

standing in
of

117

to the representation of death

the ancient Greeks

is

well understood,

and many have argued from it that these tomb reliefs


indicate an intention to recall the deceased as he
or she was in life, without suggestion of mourning.
Nevertheless, the obvious attitudes of sorrowful part-

ing visible in

do violence

many

of the

tomb

to this theory in

stelae

its full

seem

those which seem most indicative of this


well-executed one showing three figures,

man, a youth, and a

little

lad.

The

old

me to
Among

to

strength.
is

a very

an

man

old

stands

looking intently, but with a far-away gaze, at a


splendidly built but thoughtful-visaged
before him, while the lad behind

is

posture plainly indicating extreme

grief,

apparently bathed in tears.

young man

doubled up

The calm

in

with his face


face of the

youth, the grave and silent grief of the paternal-

looking man, and the unbridled emotion of the boy,


all

speak

of

a parting fraught with intense sorrow.

might be any parting


to

assume that

it

but

is it

It

not more reasonable

means the parting which involves

no return?

The more

archaic gravestones are best typified

the not unfamiliar sculpture, in low

relief, of

by

a war-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

ii8

on a spear, or by the well-known

rior leaning

little

figure of Athena, similarly poised,

mourning beside

what appears

of

one

of the

to

be a gravestone

former type that

a hero.

It

was

we saw exhumed from

the Themistoclean wall, with the warrior's figure and


portions of the spear

out

easily discernible.

remains to speak, though very briefly and with-

It

is

still

much detail,

one

National

of the

Museum itself, which

of the chief glories of Athens,

and which divides

with the Acropolis the abiding interest and attention


of

every

among

visitor.

the great

show more beautiful and more famous


The British Museum has the Elgin

others can

Greek

many ways incomparable


museums of the world, although

It is in

statues.

marbles from the Parthenon, which one would to-day


greatly prefer to see restored to Athens

holds

many

priceless

and

the Vatican

beautiful examples of the

highest Greek sculptural art

Munich has the

esting pedimental figures from the temple at

inter-

^gina

Naples and Paris have collections not to be despised


but nowhere

wide a range

may one
of

find

Greek

strivings after form

under a single roof so

sculpture,

from the

and expression

to the highest

ultimate success, as in the Athenian National

with

its

priceless treasures in

The wealth
tive or

of statues, large

commandingly

earliest

Museum,

marble and in bronze.

and small, quaintly primi-

lovely, in all degrees of relief

TOMB

RELIEF, CERAMICUS

ANCIENT ATHENS
and

in the round, is

119

And

stupendous.

while

it

may

be heresy to pass over the best of the marbles for


anything
all

else, it is still

fact that

many will turn from

the other treasures of the place to the

boy

" as

we

will call

him

if

bronze

a better name.

for lack of

This figure of a youth, of more than


poised lightly as

**

life

size

and

about to step from his pedestal,

with one hand extended, and seemingly ready to


speak,

is far less

chiefly because

divers found

well

it is

him

known than he

deserves to be,

but a few years since the sponge

in the

bed

of the

ocean and brought

him back to the light of day. At present nobody presumes to say whether this splendid figure represents
any particular hero. He might be Perseus, or Paris,
or even Hermes. His hand bears evidence of having
at one time clasped some object, whether the head
of

Medusa, the apple, or the caduceus,

sible to say.

But the absence

of

it is

impos-

winged sandals ap-

pears to dismiss the chance that he was Hermes, and


the other identifications are so vague as to leave

it

perhaps best to refer to him only as an " ephebus,"


or youth.

and such

The bronze has turned


restorations as

invisible, so that to all


is

had

to

to

a dark green,

be made are quite

outward seeming the statue

when it was first cast. The eyes, inwith consummate skill to simulate real eyes, sur-

as perfect as

laid

pass in

lifelike effect

those of the celebrated bronze

I20

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

charioteer at Delphi.

That a more detailed descrip-

tion of this figure

given here

it

is

is

is

it

so recent in

its

that

museum, but

surpasses the other statues of the

because

much

not so

discovery that almost

nothing has been printed about

it

for general circula-

tion.
It

would be almost endless and

to attempt

any

entirely profitless

detailed consideration of the multitude

of objects of this general sculptural nature

museum

contains,

about them

all,

which the

and volumes have been written

from the largest and noblest

marbles to the smallest of the island gems.


not be out of place, however, to

make

brief

Mycenae which are housed

of the spoils of

because
itself

and

we

shall

have occasion to

to discuss in

more

visit

detail that

may

mention

here,

which reproductions have made generally


later

of the
It

and

familiar,

Mycenae

once proud

now deserted city, the capital which Agamemnon


made so famous. In a large room set apart for the

but

purpose are to be seen the treasures that were taken

from the

six

tombs, supposed to be royal graves, that

were unearthed

in the

midst of the Mycenaean agora,

including a host of gold ornaments, cups, rosettes,


chains, death

masks, weapons, and

Whether Dr. Schliemann,

human

as he so fondly

bones.

hoped and

claimed, really laid bare the burial place of the con-

queror of Troy, or whether what he found was some-

National Museum, Athent

BRONZE EPHEBUS

ANCIENT ATHENS

121

thing far less momentous, the fact remains that he


did

exhume

number

the bodies of a

personages

of

buried in the very spot where legend said the famous


heroes and heroines were buried, together with such

an array

of

golden gear that

that these were at

one can divest

any

his

by the ever-cautious

rate the

mind

seems

safe to assert

tombs

of royalty. If

it

the suspicions raised

of

archaeologist

and can persuade

himself that he sees perhaps the skeleton and sword


of the leader of the

Argive host that went to

capture Helen, this Mycenaean

overwhelming
the
that

room

interest.

Case

after case

reveals the cunningly

gave

to

room

is

re-

of literally

ranged about

wrought ornaments

Mycenae the well-deserved Homeric

epithet "rich-in-gold."

From

the grotesque death

masks of thin gold leaf to the heavily embossed


Vaphio cups, everything bears testimony to the high
perfection of the goldsmith's art in the pre-Homeric

age.

Of

all this

jects are

multitude of treasures, the chief ob-

unquestionably the embossed daggers and

the large golden cups, notably the two that bear the

exceedingly well-executed golden


called "

Nestor" cup, which, with

shape and

its

bulls,
its

and the

so-

rather angular

double handle, reproduces exactly the

cup that Homer describes as belonging


and reverend counselor.

As has been

to that wise

hinted, the scientific archaeologists.

122

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

less

swept away by Homeric enthusiasm than was

Schliemann, have proved skeptical as to the

identifi-

tombs which Schliemann so confidently


proclaimed at first discovery. The unearthing of a
sixth tomb, where the original excavator had looked
cation of the

for

only

five, is

supposed to have done violence to

the Agamemnonian theory. But what harm can it do


if we pass out of the Mycenaean room with a secret,
though perhaps an ignorant, belief that we have looked
upon the remains and accoutrements of one who was

an epic hero, the victim

of

a murderous queen, the

avenger of a brother's honor, and the conqueror of a

famous

city

It is

simply one more

of those cases in

which one gains immeasurably in pleasure


dismiss scientific questionings from his

mighty

past,

themselves.

if

It

not

may

he can

of the heroes of the

through the scene unskeptical


of the

if

mind and pass

very gods of high Olympus

be wrong

tigator such guileless trust

But on our own heads be

is

it if

to

scientific inves-

doubtless laughable.

therein

we

err

CHAPTER

AS

EXCURSIONS IN
ATTICA

VII.

the admirable Baedeker well says, the stay

in

Athens

undoubtedly the

is

finest part of

visit to Greece, and it is so not merely because of the


many attractions and delights of the city itself, but

because also of the numerous short trips aside which

can be

made

in

a day's time, without involving a

Such

night's absence.

little

journeys include the

ascent of Pentelicus, whose massive peak rises only

a few miles away, revealing even from afar the great

gash made
marble

to the battlefield of

to Eleusis
last,

by the ancients

in his side

for their buildings

ride out

the jaunt

by

but by no means

terest attaching to that


is

Marathon the incomparable drive

nothing to

rail

least,

Marathon has no ruins


there

in quest of

and statues the


or sea to
the

sail

Sunium and
;

over to JEgina..

to show. Aside

from the

famous battleground as a

call

one

thither,

if

in-

site,

we except

the

tumulus, or mound, which marks the exact spot of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

124

was so important to the history of


western Europe. Neither Marathon nor Thermopylae

the conflict which

can

offer

much

to-day but memories. But Sunium,

^gina, and Eleusis possess


visit in

much

addition to

last-named

and best

is

in

ruins decidedly worth a

scenic loveliness,

and the

a spot so interwoven with the highest

Greek

tradition that

it

offers

a peculiar

charm.
It is

perfectly possible to journey to Eleusis

but to elect that method of approach

be had

of the finest carriage rides to

The road

Athens.

to miss

one

in the vicinity of

leads out of the city through

unpretentious western quarter, by

tombs

is

by train,

" to the vale of the Cephissus,

the line of the old

*'

sacred

its

the " street of the

way "

where

it

follows

to Eleusis, over

which, on the stated festivals, the procession of torch-

bearing

initiates

wended

its

way by

night to the

which to-day
shrine
Demeter. From the
the year the smooth,
a mere sandy channel most
river

of

is

of

hard highway

rises

gradually from the Attic plain to

the mountain wall

of Parnes,

narrow

known

defile

still

making

straight for a

as the Pass of Daphne,

This pass affords direct communication between the


Attic

and Thriasian

plains,

and save

for the loftier

valley farther north, through which the Peloponnesian


railroad runs,
rier.

Eleusis

is

the only break in the mountain bar-

and Attica were always so near

and

EXCURSIONS
When

yet so far apart.


region, Athens

felt

IN

ATTICA

the Spartans invaded the

no alarm from

their proximity

they had actually entered her

until

125

own

plain, so

remote seemed the valley about Eleusis, despite


scant ten miles of distance, simply because

completely out of sight.

As

it

its

was so

the carriage ascends the

gentle rise to the pass, the plain of Attica stretches

out behind, affording an open vista from the Piraeus


to the northern mountains,

despite

a green and pleasant vale

dearth of trees, while the city of Athens

its

dominates the scene and promises a

fine spectacle

by

sunset as one shall return from the pass at evening,


facing the

commanding Acropolis aglow

in the after-

light.

halt of a few

moments

at the top of the pass

gives an opportunity to alight and visit an old church


just beside the road. It

monastic

cloisters,

Greek churches,

now

this

was once adjoined by some


in ruins.

Unlike most of the

one possesses a quaint charm

from without, and within displays some very curious


old mosaics in the ceiling.

way

On

either side of

its

door-

stand two sentinel cypresses, their sombre green

contrasting admirably with the dull

brown tones

of

the building, while across the close, in a gnarled old


tree,

are

hung

the bells of the church.

the neighboring tree as a campanile

uncommon

in Greece,

is

The use

of

by no means

and a pretty custom

it is.

The

126

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

groves were God's


longer
trees

so,

first

temples

if

they are no

yet true in Greece at least that the

it is

bear the chimes that

still

and

the devout to

call

prayer. Inside the building, in addition to the quaint

may

Byzantine decorations, one


interest in the curious

ferred to as

on the

common

in

something

of

Greek churches, suspended

Thanks

altar screen.

find

votive offerings, before re-

for the recovered use of

arms, eyes, legs, and the like seem to be expressed

by hanging

in the

restored.

church a small white-metal model

organ which has been so happily

of the afflicted

believe

have called attention

to this

practice as a direct survival of the old custom of

the worshipers of Asklepios, which finds a further


amplification in
Sicily,

many

for example,

churches farther west,

where pictures

in

of accidents are

by those who have been


delivered from bodily peril and who are desirous to
commemorate the fact. In the church in Daphne Pass
often found

we found

hung

in churches

for the first

time instances of the votive

offer-

The
know, but by

ing of coins, as well as of anatomical models.


significance of this

do not pretend

to

analogy one might assume that the worshiper was


returning thanks for

The

coins

we saw

denominations,

relief

in this

all of silver,

from depleted finances.


church were of different

and representing several

different national currency systems.

EXCURSIONS

IN

ATTICA

Behind the church on either side

127

rise the pine-

clad slopes of the Parnes range, displaying a most


attractive

grove

through the midst

of fragrant trees,

of

which Daphne's road permits us

in

brief

to pass.

way descends toward

time the

And

the bay of

Salamis, shining in the sun, directly at one's

feet,

while the lofty and extensive island of that immortal

name appears behind

it.

So narrow are the

straits

that for a long time Salamis seems almost like a part


of the mainland, while the included
like

The

sea.

bay

bay appears more

a large and placid lake than an arm

of

a tideless

carriage road skirts the wide curve of the

for several level miles, the village of Eleusis

now called Levsina

being always

visible at the far

extremity of the bay and marked from afar by prosaic

modern
which

factory chimneys. It lies low in the landscape,

is

a pastoral one. The highway winds along

past a score of level farms, and at least two curious


salt lakes are to

be seen, lying close to the road and

said to be tenanted

by sea

fish,

apparently from inland sources.


level than the bay,

them

is

They

are higher in

a strong outflow from

to the sea waters beyond. Nevertheless, they

are said to be salt


Eleusis as a

on the

and

and there

although supplied

and

town

visitor is

is

to support salt-water

not attractive.

The

life.

sole claim

found in the memories of the place

in the ruined temples,

which are

in the heart of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

128

the village
its

itself.

The

secret of the mysteries, despite

wide dissemination among the Athenians and

others, has

nothing

been well kept

known

is

of the

teaching. In a general
fact that

it

had

to

so

well that almost

ceremony and

way

there

is

less of its

known only the

do with the worship

of

Demeter,

the goddess of the harvest, and that the mysteries

concerned in some

Kora

(Proserpine)

way

the legend of the rape of

by Hades

There are hints

(Pluto).

as to certain priests, sacred vessels, symbols and

some

of

rites,

which appear not to have been devoid

grossness

but nothing

definite is

of

known, and prob-

ably nothing definite ever will be. The general tone of


the mysteries seems to have been high, for no less an

who was initiated into the cult


and decadent days of the Greek nation,
regarded the teachings embodied in the Eleusinian

authority than Cicero,


in the later

rites

as the highest product of the Athenian culture,

and averred that they "enabled one to live more


happily on earth and to die with a fairer hope." It
was, of course, unlawful for anybody to reveal the
secrets

open

to

and although the

was apparently
so that the num-

initiation

any one who should seek

it,

ber of devotees was large during a long succession


of years, the secret

was

faithfully

kept by reason of

the great reverence in which the mysteries were held.

That some

of the features

verged on wanton license

EXCURSIONS
has been alleged, and

and

inspired the wild

Athenians and to his

from

on

trial

Sicily

ATTICA

may have

brilliant

129

been

this that

young Alcibiades

ceremony, to the scandal

burlesque the

was a

it

IN

this

and

own

pious

of

ultimate undoing. For

charge that recalled Alcibiades

to the vast

it is by an
Even to-day the

in that

main temple

is

unusual,

inclined plane rather than

by steps.

ruts of chariot wheels are to be

The

distinguished in this approaching pavement.

was

temple

itself

narrow

cella sufficient

also

most unusual,

of worshipers.

On

room

for

a large

the side next the

hil-

lock against which the temple was built there


long, low flight of

hewn

many column

steps, possibly

used

is

for seats,

bases seem to argue either a

second story or a balcony as well as a spacious

Much

for instead of

only for the colossal image of

the deity, there was a vast nave, and

while the

it

led to his disgrace.

The approach

concourse

to

roof.

of the original building is distinguishable, de-

spite the fact that the


for the Latin race
its liking,

so that

the place after

its

it

Romans added a

great deal

seems to have found the

rites to

took care to preserve and beautify

own

ideas of beauty.

ing medallion of some

Roman emperor

be seen near the entrance


sample, however, one

If

the surviv-

which

of the Propylaea

may

is

is

to

fair

doubt with reason the

effectiveness of the later additions to the buildings

on

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

I30

the spot.

The Roman Propylsea was

Claudius Pulcher, but

built

by Appius

the medallion portrait

if

is

his

own, one must conclude that the "Pulcher" was gross


flattery.

The

ruins are extensive, but mainly

flat,

so that

their interest as ruins is almost purely archaeological.

The ordinary
memories
on the
large

visitor will find the chief

of the place.

Of course there

spot, as in every

number

It

in the

museum

contains a

and bas-relief having chiefly

do with Demeter and her attendant goddesses.

By

most interesting and most perfect

far the

Eleusinian
at

site.

is

from the temples and

of fragments

Propylaea, bits of statuary


to

Greek

charm

reliefs,

Athens a

however,

in the national

large slab representing

Proserpine bestowing the

youth Triptolemus, who


of the plow.

is

is

gift of

of the

museum

Demeter and

seed corn on the

credited with the invention

For some reason, doubtless because

the hospitality of his family to her, Triptolemus


the lasting favor of Demeter,

corn but instructed

born glebe.

It

him

seems

who

of

won

not only gave him

in the art of tilling the stub-

entirely probable that Triptole-

mus and Kora shared in the mystic rites at Eleusis.


As for the dying with a " fairer hope " spoken of by
Cicero as inculcated by the ceremonies of the

one

may

pagan

conjecture that

it

cult,

sprang from some early

interpretation of the principle later enunciated

EXCURSIONS
in the Scriptural "

ground and
Eleusis

IN ATTICA

Except a grain

of

wheat

131
fall

into the

die."

itself lies

on a low knoll

in the midst of the

Thriasian plain, which in early spring presents a most


attractive

priately

enough

on every

side,

appro-

to the traditions of the spot.

From

appearance

of fertility

the top of the hillock behind the great temple and

museum, one obtains a good view of the vale


northward and of the sacred way winding off toward
Corinth by way of Megara. Where the plain stops
the

and the mountain wall approaches once again close


to the sea, this road grows decidedly picturesque,
recalling in a mild

as

rises

it

and

way

the celebrated Amalfi drive

on the face

falls

one pass from the subject


ing the numerous

little

of the

and

Kids are

Nor should

of Eleusis without

mention-

kids that frisk over the ruins,

attended by anxious mother-goats,


friendly.

cliff.

common enough

all far

from un-

sights in Greece,

to lovers of pets they are always irresistible

nowhere are they more so than

add

at Eleusis,

is

far

but

where they

their mite of attractiveness to the scene.

grown-up goat

The

from pretty, but by some curious

dispensation of nature the ugliest of animals seem


to

have the most attractive young, and the frisking

lambs and kids


of

of

Greece furnish striking examples

it.

The

ride

back to the

city

must be begun

in

season

132

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


on the west front

to get the sunset light

poHs, which

road

the

all

proper.

As

the pass

it

way from Daphne's Pass


which

crossed,
is

it

a place

is

always

is

enough

of

memories

that one sees from the Eleusis road

which the great naval

on the other

side,

battle

was

toward the open

seen from the sea.

Few care

sion to the island

itself,

and

of the

to

which

to the city

in sight until

to say that, like

is

only.

The account

The bay

not the one in

fought.

That

and

gulf,

make a special
is

is

lies

best

excur-

rocky and barren,

after all the chief interest is in its

waters.

Acro-

especially effective from the Eleusis

for Salamis,

is

Marathon,

is

of the battle in

immediate

Herodotus

is

decidedly worth reading on the spot, and to this day

show you a rocky promontory supposed to


have been the point where Xerxes had his throne

they

will

placed so that he might watch the fight which resulted


so disastrously to his ships.

was another monument

who

The

battle,

by the way,

to the wiles of Themistocles,

recognized in the bulwarks of the ships the

"

wooden walls " which the oracle said would save


Athens, and who, when he found the commanders
weakening, secretly sent word to the Persians urging them to close in and fight. This was done and
the navy being reduced to the necessity of conflict
;

acquitted

itself

Of the other

nobly.
local excursions, that to

Marathon

is

EXCURSIONS
made

easily

in

IN

ATTICA

133

a day by carriage. There

is little

to

see there, save a plain, lined on the one hand by the

mountains which look on Marathon, and on the other

by the sea, largely girt with marshes. The lion which


once crowned the tumulus is gone, nobody knows
whither.

much, however, from a purely

It is

have stood upon the

mental point of view, to


self,

senti-

site

it-

the scene of one of the world's famous battles.

Some grudging critics,

including the erudite Mahaffy,

incline to believe that

Marathon was a rather small

affair,
flict

judged by purely military standards

of

a con-

one undisciplined host with an even

ciplined one, in

an age when

won by an endurance

of

less dis-

battles ordinarily

were

nerve in the face of a

hand-to-hand charge rather than by actual carnage.

These maintain that the


rests not

on

its

chief celebrity of

military glories, but

on the fame which

the Athenians, a literary race, gave


story.

Marathon

it

in

song and

But even these have to admit that Marathon

meant much
effect of

it

sians were

to history,

and that the psychological

was enormous, as showing that the Per-

by no means

invincible, so that ten years

later Salamis put the finishing blow to Persian attempts

on the west. For those who do not care


long ride to the

field

itself,

it

is

to

make

the

quite possible to

obtain a view of the plain from the summit of Pentelicus,

something

like fifteen miles

away, although

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

134
this

does not reveal the

mound marking

the actual

site.

That mountain's

chief celebrity

is,

be

of course, to

found in the great marble quarries from which came


the stone for the Acropolis temples, and
rather than the view of
to the

it is

Marathon that draw climbers

famous height. The ancient quarries

up on the

side of the slope,

chisels are

still

these

and the marks

plainly to be discerned.

far

lie

of the old

The

difficul-

ties of getting out perfect stone in the ancient days

seem

to

have been enormous

surmounted

is

but that they were

obvious from the fact that the great

blocks used in building the Parthenon and PropyIsea

were handled with comparative speed, as shown

by the
It

relatively

few years occupied in erecting them.

seems probable that the stone was

mountain side
feasible to

in chutes to the point

begin carting

it.

defects naturally occurred,

managed

to detect

slid

down

where

it

the

was

Inherent but invisible

and these the ancients

by sounding with a

mallet.

Sam-

ples of these imperfect blocks are to be seen lying

where they

fell

when

the builders rejected them, not

only on the road by the quarries but on the Acropolis itself.

Sunium, the famous promontory at the extremity


of the Attic peninsula,

may be

reached by a train

on the road that serves the ancient

silver

mines

of

THE TEMPLE AT SUNIUM

EXCURSIONS

ATTICA

IN

135

Laurium, but as the trains are slow and infrequent


it is better, if one can, to go down by sea. Our own
visit

was so made, the

vessel landing us

accommo-

datingly at the foot of the promontory on which a

few columns of the ancient temple are

The columns

still

standing.

that remain are decidedly whiter than

those on the Acropolis, and the general effect

is

highly satisfying to one's preconceived ideas of Greek


ruins.

Dispute

whom

this shrine

rivalry

lies

rife

is

as to the particular deity to

was anciently consecrated, and the

between those traditional antagonists,

Athena and Poseidon, each


sible claims.

How

of

whom

advances plau-

the case can be decided without

another contest between the two, like that supposed


to

have taken place on the Acropolis

itself

by Pheidias, is not clear. For who


when doctors of archaeology disagree ?
The chief architectural peculiarity of
picted

temple
antis,"

is

the arrangement of

that

is

its

frontal

to say, included

jecting ends of the side walls.


regrets to say that the ruin

is

of signatures

the

Sunium

columns

" in

And,

in addition,

one

peculiar in affording

common in our

than in Hellas, namely, the scratching

on the surface

names have been scrawled


Italian,

shall decide

between two pro-

evidences of modern vandalism more

own country

and de-

American, Greek,

of the stone. All sorts of

there,

English,

French,

and most famous of

all,

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

136

no doubt, the unblushing signature


sonage than Byron himself
not really

his.

low form

this

recall

any

There
of

may

of

no

it is

be isolated instances

vandalism elsewhere, but

that can

a per-

less

Perhaps, however,

of

do not

compare with the volume

of de-

facing scrawls to be seen at Sunium.

Lovelier far than

Sunium

is

the situation of the

temple in ^gina, occupying a commanding height


in that large
gulf,

and

on the other side

lofty island

of the

opposite the Pirseus and perhaps six or seven

The journey

miles distant from that port.

by

necessarily

sea,

and

to

it

is

has become a frequent

it

objective point for steamer excursions landing near

the temple

itself

rather than at the distant town. In

the absence of a steamer,

is

it

and with a

native boats for a small cost

make

the run across the

time.

From

bay

possible to charter

in

fair

breeze

a comparatively brief

the cove where parties are generally

landed the temple cannot be seen, as the slopes are

covered with trees and the shrine

some twenty minutes on

foot.

itself

is

distant

Donkeys can be had,


and the

as usual, but they save labor rather than time,

walk, being through a grove of fragrant pines,

from arduous or fatiguing. The odor

most agreeable, the more so because

is far

of the pines is

after

one has

so-

journed for a brief time in comparatively treeless Attica

one

is

the

more ready

to

welcome a scent

of the

EXCURSIONS
The pungency

forest.

less to the

IN

of the

ATTICA

grove

is

137

due, however,

pine needles and cones than to the tapping,

or rather " blazing," of the trunks for their resin.

der nearly every tree will

which the native juice


slowness.

The

which the

Greek much

gredient.
taste,

Un-

be found stone troughs, into

of the tree oozes with painful

resin, of course, is for the native wines,

prefers flavored with that in-

The drinking of resinated wine is an acquired

Some

so far as foreigners are concerned.

emnly aver

that they like

the unresinated kind

it,

and even

but the average

prefer

man

solit

to

not to the

manner born declares it to be only less palatable than


The Greeks maintain that the resin adds to
the healthfulness of the wines, and to get the gum they
medicine.

have ruined countless pine groves by

this

tapping

process so evident in the ^gina woods, for the gashes


cut in the trees have the effect of stunting the growth.

After a steady ascent of a mile or so, the temple

comes suddenly

into view,

framed

in

a foreground of

green boughs, which add immensely to the effectiveness of the picture, and which

make one

regret the

passing of the Greek forests in other places. Once

upon a time the ordinary temple must have gained


greatly by reason of its contrast with the foliage of
the surrounding trees but to-day only those at
;

and at Bassae present this feature

^gina

temple

is

^gina

to the beholder.

This

variously attributed to Athena and

138
to

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


that, as at

Zeus Panhellenius, so

a chance

for doubt.

The

Sunium, there

chief peculiarity

that the entrance door, which

seems

to

be

as usual in the eastern

is

side, is not exactly in the centre of the cella.

umns are still standing

to

is

The

col-

a large extent, but the pedi-

mental sculptures have been removed to Munich, so


that the spot
tion of

its

is

robbed, as the Acropolis

charm.

It is

is,

of

a por-

because the yEginetan

pity,

pedimental figures were most interesting, furnishing

a very good idea


of

an early

number

date.

of the

The

^ginetan

style of sculpture

figures which survive, to the

of seventeen, in

a very

fair state of

preserva-

tion, represent warriors in various active postures, and

several draped female figures, including a large statue


of

who have never

Athena. Those

seen these at

Mu-

nich are doubtless familiar with the reproductions in


plaster

which are

common

in all first-class

museums

boasting collections of Greek masterpieces.

The

island of

^gina, which

is

large and mountain-

ous, forms a conspicuous feature of the gulf in


it lies.

It is

the temple a magnificent view


direction, not only

is

outspread in every

over the mountains of the Argolid

but northward toward Corinth,


is

which

close to the Peloponnesian shore, and from

said that even the

summit

scried. Directly opposite lies

and on a clear day

of

it

Parnassus can be de-

Athens, with which city

the island long maintained a successful rivalry.

The

THE APPROACH TO ^GINA

THE TEMPLE AT yEGINA

EXCURSIONS
chief celebrity of the spot

ATTICA

IN

139

was achieved under

its in-

dependent existence, about the seventh century

and before Athens subjugated it.


by

colonists

instinct,

B.

c,

was then tenanted

It

from Epidaurus, who had the commercial

and who made ^gina a most prosperous

The name is said to be derived from the nymph


^gina, who was brought to the island by Zeus. The
hardy ^ginetan sailors were an important factor in
place.

the battle of Salamis, to which they contributed not

men

and they were not entirely expelled from their land by the Athenian domination until 431 B. C. Thereafter the prominence of
only

but sacred images

and has never returned.


describe an excursion which we made

the city dwindled


It

remains to

to the north of

Athens one day shortly

after Easter, to

some peasant dances. These particular festiviwere held at Menidi, and were rather less exten-

witness
ties

sive than the annual Easter dances at Megara, but


still

of the

same general type

and as they

a regular spring feature of Attic


if

one

is

at

Athens

is

may

them

here.

be reached easily by

not a hard carriage

ride,

constitute

well worth seeing

at the Easter season,

of place to describe

Menidi

life,

it is

Either
train,

being only

not out

Megara

six miles or so

north of Athens, in the midst of the plain.

be that these dances are direct descendants


cient rites, like so

many

or

and Menidi
It

may

of an-

of the features of the present

I40

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

Orthodox church but whatever


;

their significance

and

history, they certainly present the best opportunity to

see the peasantry of the district in their richest gala

which

array,

something almost too gorgeous

is

to

describe.

The

drive out to the village over the old north road

was dusty and

hot,

that the dances

and we were haunted by a

fear

might be postponed, as occasionally

happens. These doubts were removed, however, when

Menidi at

last

hove

dulation of the plain

in sight as

we drove

over an un-

and came suddenly upon the

vil-

lage in holiday dress, flags waving, peasant girls and

swains in gala garb, and streets lined with booths for


the vending of sweetmeats, Syrian peanuts, pistachio
nuts, loukoumi,

chant would

and what the

call " notions."

suggestive of the

New England
it

was

all

county

fair,

save for

Indeed,

New England

the gorgeousness of the costumes.

thronged and everybody was

What

it

was

all

about we

in

The

streets

effect that

it

it

it

was, and

a churchly affair

some
but

all

very

were

a high good-humor.

never knew.

Conflicting

some
was not,

reports were gleaned from the natives,

tially

mer-

that

it

to the

essen-

agreed apparently that

had no connection with the Easter feast, although


was celebrated something like five days thereafter.

Others mentioned a spring as having something to

do with

it,

suggesting

a possible pagan

origin.

EXCURSIONS

IN

ATTICA

141

This view gained color from the energy with which


lusty youths were manipulating the

the village square, causing

it

town pump

in

to squirt a copious

stream to a considerable distance,

performance

which the bystanders took an unflagging and

in

unbounded delight That the


void of

its

celebration

religious significance

was not de-

was evident from

by thronged with devout peocoming and going, each obtaining a thin yellow
taper to light and place in the huge many-branched

the open church close


ple

candelabrum. The number of these soon became so


great that the priests removed the older ones and

threw them in a heap below, to make room


lighted candles.

for fresh-

Those who deposited coins

in the

baptismal font near the door were rewarded with a


sprinkling of water by the attendant priest,
stantly dipped a rose in the font

those

who sought

this particular

who

and shook

form

it

con-

over

of benison.

square was thronged with merry-

Outside, the

makers, some dancing in the solemn Greek fashion,


in

ders,

with arms extended on each others' shoulmoving slowly around and around to the mono-

circle

tonous wail

of

a clarionet. Others were seated under

awnings sipping

coffee,

and

to such a resort

we were

courteously escorted by the local captain of the gendarmerie, whose acquaintance

and who proved the

we had made

soul of hospitality.

in

Athens

Here we

sat

142

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

and drank the

delicious thick coffee,

the inevitable

huge beaker

rocky slopes

of

accompanied by

water drawn from the

Fames, and watched the dancers and


dress of the

men was seldom

Many wore European

clothes like our

The

the passing- crowds.


conspicuous.

of

own, although here and there might be seen one in


the national costume of

full

white skirts and close-

fitting leggings, leather wallet,

But the

women were

nificence.

and zouave

jacket.

visions of incomparable

mag-

Their robes were in the main of white, but

the skirts were decked with the richest of woolen


embroideries, heavy

and

thick,

extending for several

upward from the lower hem, in a profusion of


rich reds, blues, and browns. Aprons similarly adorned
were worn above. Most impressive of all, however,
inches

were the sleeveless overgarments or

we had seen and


coats of white

such as

bickered over in Shoe Lane,

stuff,

and overlaid with

coats,

bordered with a deep red facing

intricate tracery in

gold lace and

gold braid. These were infinitely finer than any we had

made the scene


splendor. To add to the

seen in the Athens shops, and they

gay indeed with a barbaric

gorgeousness of the display, the

girls

wore

flat

bordered with gold lace and coins, giving the

caps,

effect of

crowns, flowing veils which did not conceal the face

but

fell

over the shoulders, and on their breasts

many

displayed a store of gold and silver coins arranged as

PEASANT DANCERS AT MENIDI

EXCURSIONS IN ATTICA
bangles

their dowries,

it

young women were

these

143

was explained. Most


betrothed,

it

of

developed,

and custom dictated this parade of the marriage portion, which is no small part of the Greek wedding
arrangement. The cuffs of the

embroidered

like the

the whole effect

full

aprons and

was such as

to

white sleeves were


skirt bottoms,

be impossible

and

of ade-

quate description.

One comely
photograph

damsel, whose friends clamored us to

her,

scampered nimbly into her court-

yard, only to be dragged forth bodily

by a proud
young swain, who announced himself her betrothed
and who insisted that she pose for the picture, willynilly,

which she

hilarity,

did, joining

amiably

and exacting a promise

of

in the general

a print when the

The ice once broken, the


became seized with a desire
be photographed, and it was only the beginning

picture should be finished.


entire peasant population

to

of the

great dance that dissolved the clamoring

throng.

The dance was

held on a broad level space, just

east of the town, about

gathered.

We

which a crowd had already

were escorted thither and duly pre-

sented to the demarch, or mayor,

who bestowed upon

us the freedom of the city and the hospitality of his

own home if we required it. He was

a handsome man,

dressed in a black cut-away coat and other garments

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

144
of

a decidedly civilized nature, which seemed curi-

ously incongruous in those surroundings, as indeed

own face, which was pronouncedly Hibernian


and won for him the sobriquet of " O'Sullivan " on
did his

the spot. His stay with us was

the dance was


and nothing would do but the mayor should
lead the first two rounds. This he did with much
brief, for

to begin,

grace,
task,

though we were

and only did

it

told that he did not relish the

because

if

he balked the votes

at the next election would go to some other aspirant.


The dance was simple enough, being a mere solemn
circling

around

of

a long procession

of those gor-

geous maidens, numbering perhaps a hundred or


more, hand in hand and keeping time to the music
of

a quaint band composed


of

penny

and

after

a sort
of

all,

closure

left

whistle.

two

clarionet,

and

The demarch danced

best

stately

of

drum,

rounds

of the

the circle and watched the

leisure, his face

green

show

in-

at his

beaming with the sweet conscious-

ness of political security and duty faithfully per-

formed.

How

long the dance went on we never knew. The

evening was to be marked by a display

of fireworks,

the frames for which were already in evidence and

betokened a magnificence

tumes

of the celebrants.

the display,

we

in

keeping with the cos-

For ourselves, satiated with

returned to our carriage laden with

EXCURSIONS
flowers, pistachio nuts,

by the abundant

and

IN

ATTICA

145

strings of beads

bestowed
and bowled home
be rewarded with a fine

local hospitality,

across the plain in time to

sunset glow on the Parthenon as a fitting close for a

most unusual and enjoyable day.

CHAPTER

THE

DELPHI

VIII.

pilgrimage to Delphi, which used to be

fraught with considerable hardship and inconvenience,

is

happily so no longer.

It is still

the Greek steamers plying between

true that

the Piraeus

and

Itea, the port nearest the ancient oracular shrine, leave

much to be desired and are by no means to be depended


upon

keep

to

to their schedules

but aside from this

minor difficulty there is nothing to hinder the ordinary


visitor

from making the journey, which is far and away

the best of

all

ordinary short rambles in Greece, not

only because of the great celebrity of the

because
to show.

site itself,

but

of the

imposing scenic attractions Delphi has

The

old-time drawback, the lack of decent

accommodation

at Delphi

itself,

or to be

more

exact,

modern village of Kastri, has been removed by


the presence of two inns, of rather limited capacity, it

at the

is true,

but

still

affording very tolerable lodging. In-

deed, hearsay reported the newer of these tiny hostel-

DELPHI
ries to

be one

of the best in

147

Greece outside

of

Athens,

owned and operated by


Vasili
Paraskevas,
one of the " local characamiable
the
while the other quaint resort,

ters " of the place,

has long been esteemed by Hellenic

visitors. Vasili, in

appearance almost as formidable as

the ancient Polyphemus, but in

sucking dove, has

felt

all else

as gentle as the

the force of competition,

and his

advertisements easily rival those of the Hotel Cecil.

As a matter
primitive,

of fact, the establishment is delightfully

seemingly hanging precariously to the very

of the deep ravine that lies just under lofty Delphi,

edge

boasting several small rooms and even the promise of

a bath-tub, although Vasili was forced to admit that


his advertisement in that respect
tive

and indicative

The

truly

was purely prospec-

of intention rather

adventurous

may

still

than actuality.

approach Delphi

over the ancient road by land from the eastward, doubt-

same highway that was taken by old King


when he was slain on his way to the oracle, all
unwitting of the kinship, by his own son CEdipus,

less the

Laios

possibly because of a dispute as to which should yield

the road.

deep

For the old road was a narrow one, with

ruts, suitable for

of frequent broils

a single

when two such haughty spirits met

on the way. To come


to depart

by sea

chariot, but productive

is

to Delphi over this road

and

doubtless the ideal plan. That

elected not to take the land voyage

was due

we

to the

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

148

early spring season, with

snows on the shoulder

its

of

Parnassus, around which the path winds. For those


less

hindered by the season,

it is

said that the journey

overland from Livadia to Delphi, passing through

Arakhova and possibly spending


a night in the open air on Parnassus, is well worth
the trouble, and justifies the expense of a courier and
the tiny hamlet of

horses, both of which are necessary.

The way which we


easier, is far
tures.
raeus,

chose, besides being infinitely

from being devoid

We set sail in the

of its interesting fea-

early afternoon from the Pi-

passing over a glassy sea by Psyttalea, and the

famous waters

the canal proved sufficiently wide to

steam through to the gulf beyond.


ering dusk that
still it

canal,

was

where

in front of Salamis, to Corinth,

light

we

let

It

our

was

little

entered this unusual channel, but

enough to see the entire length

along the deep sides

glimmered few and

craft

in the gath-

faint as

of

which

electric

of the

lamps

a rather ineffectual illumi-

nant of the tow-path on either hand. The walls towered


above, something like two hundred feet in spots, and

never very low, making

this four-mile

ribbon of water

between the narrow seas a gloomy cavern indeed.

was wide enough

for

It

only one craft of the size of our

own, therein resembling the land highway to Delphi


but fortunately, owing to the system of semaphore
signals,

no CEdipus disputed the road with

us,

and we

DELPHI

149

shot swiftly through the channel, between

its

towering

walls of rock, under the spidery railroad bridge that

spans

near the Corinth end, and out into the gulf

it

beyond.

It is

of the canal.

men

rather a nice job of steering, this passage

Everybody was ordered off the bow, three

stood nervously at the wheel, and the jack

staff

was kept centred on the bright line that distantly


marked the opening between the precipitous sides of
the

cleft,

line of light that

gradually widened, reveal-

ing another sea and a different land as

and looked out

of

we drew near

our straight and narrow path of

water into the Corinthian Gulf beyond. The magnificence of the prospect would be hard indeed to exag-

On either side of the narrow

gerate.

gulf rose billowy

mountains, the northern line of summits dominated by

snowy dome of Parnassus, the southern by Cyllene,


likewise covered with white. They were ghostly in
the

the darkness, which the

shining

Gulf
all

fitfully

is fine

the

way

relieved only a

little,

from an overcast sky. The Corinthian

enough from the railway which


to Patras, but

whence one sees both


their steep

moon

it is

finer far

sides at once in

skirts

from the

all

it

sea,

the glory of

gray mountains. Happily the night was

calm, and the gulf, which can be as bad as the English

Channel at its worst, was smooth for once as we swung


away from the little harbor of modern Corinth and laid
our course

for the

capes

off Itea,

something

like forty

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

I50

And

miles away.

thus

we went

to rest, the steamer

plowing steadily on through the night with Parnassus


towering on the starboard quarter.

vigorous blowing of the whistle roused the ship's

company

at dawn.

The vessel was

a starveling village not at

have been forced

to

all

sample

on

these, for

one

Itea,

who

its

tions for a night. Fortunately


to rely

anchor off

praised by those

at

meagre accommoda-

it is

no longer necessary

may drive to

Delphi

in

a few

and on a moonlight night the ride, while chilly,


is said to be most delightful. Arriving as we did at
early dawn, we were deprived of this experience, and
hours,

set out

from the village at once on landing to cover the

nine miles to Kastri, some riding in carriages or spring


carts,

locally called "sustas,"

and others proceeding on

foot.

some
From

on mules,

afar

we

could

already see the village, perched high on the side of the


foothills of Parnassus,

miles

be

away

which

rise

across a level plain.

delightful.

Walled in on

either

abruptly

The

some three

plain proved to

hand by rocky cliffs,

with olive trees, through

whole bottom was filled


which vast grove the road wound

its

leisurely along.

Brooks babbled by through the grass


orchard, and the green of the herbage

of the great

was spangled

with innumerable anemones and other wild-flowers in

a profusion

of color.

Far behind us in the background

towered the Peloponnesian mountains, and before rose

DELPHI
the forbidding

cliffs

distant Kastri, there

151

that shut in Delphi.

was always the

lofty

Above the
summit of

somewhat dwarfed by proximity and therefore a trifle disappointing to one whose preconceived
notions of that classic mountain demanded splendid
Parnassus,

but

isolation,

still

Naturally on

passed

us,

impressive.

this long, level plain the carriages

and disappeared

the footpath

left

into the olive

grove

When

it

highway and plunged

it

boldly

went straight up, leaving the road to

more gradual way by zigzags and

its

off

in the general direction of Delphi.

attained the base of the sharp ascent of the

mountain-side,
find

the

soon

in the hills ahead, while

detours,

it

soon developed that the car-

riages which so long ago

had distanced us were in turn

windings so long that

displaced and were later seen toiling

up the steep be-

hind us The prospect rearward was increasingly lovely


1

we climbed and looked down upon the plain. It


resembled nothing so much as a sea of verdure, the
as

olive trees
river,

and

this plain

pouring into
filling

it

it

from the uplands

from bank to bank.

like

No wonder

was deemed a ground worth fighting

for

by

the ancients.

Despite the fact that the snows of Parnassus were


apparently so near, the climb was warm.
hillside
it

gave back the heat

The rocky

of the April sun,

although

was cloudy, and progress became necessarily slow,

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

152

in part because of the

warmth and

in larger part be-

cause of the increasing splendor of the view.

The path

bore always easterly into a narrow gorge between two

massive mountains, a gorge that narrowed and nar-

rowed as the climb proceeded. Before very long we


passed through a wayside hamlet that lies halfway up
the road, exchanged greetings with the inhabitants,

who proved a friendly people anxious to set us right


on the way to Delphi, and speedily emerged from the
nest of buildings

on the path again, with Kastri always

ahead and above, and seemingly as distant as

ever. It

was Palm Sunday, we discovered, and the populace


the tiny village

all

of

bore sprigs of greenery, which they

pressed upon us and which later turned out to be more


political

than religious in their significance, since

it

was

not only the day of the Lord's triumphal entry but the
closing day of the general elections as well.

Admiration
hind

for the

now gave place

and the beetling

green and

to

cliffs

fertile

valley far be-

awe at the grim gorges

before

towering overhead, up through

which, like dark chimney

flues,

ran deep

clefts in

the

gloomy and mysterious, and doubtless potent in


producing awe in the ancient mind by thus adding

rock,

to the impressiveness of
left

blue

god-haunted Delphi.

the mountain rose abruptly


;

on the right the

cliff

and

On the

loftily to

the

descended sharply from

the path to the dark depths of the ravine, while close

DELPHI
on

153

other side rose again a neighboring mountain

its

that inclosed this ever-narrowing gulch.

At

we

last after

a three-hour scramble over the rocks

and found

attained Kastri,

it

a poor town lined

Mount Zion, beautiful for situaA brawling brook, fed by a spring above, dashed

with hovels, but, like


tion.

across the single street

On

the ravine below.

and

either

sides of the surrounding


ley

wound around a

lost itself in the

cliffs,

this site,

while before us the val-

shoulder of the mountain and

seemingly closed completely.

occupy

depths of

hand towered the steep

Kastri did not always

but once stood farther along around

the mountain's sharp corner, directly over the ancient


shrine

itself

and

was necessary

it

for the

French ex-

who laid bare the ancient sites to have the


moved bodily by force and arms before any

cavators
village

work could be done,


with no

a task that was accomplished

little difficulty,

but which,

when completed,

enabled the exploration of what was once the most

famous

of

all

enough the
to the

Pagan

religious shrines.

hands

of the

enough

and

fell

French, the descendants of those

very Gauls who, centuries before, had


shrines

Curiously

restoration of the temples at Delphi

treasuries of Loxias.

at Vasili's to

We

laid

waste the

stopped long

sample some " mastika,"

native liqueur resembling anisette, very refreshing on

a warm day,

and then walked on to the ruins which

154

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

some few minutes' walk farther around the

lie

shoul-

der of the mountain.

Nothing could well be more impressive than the


prospect that opened out as

famous

site itself.

be seen from

among
below

No

to the

was

outlet of the great vale

this point, for the

to

gorge winds about

the crags which rise high above and drop far

to the base of the

tion there

On the

we came down

is

rocky glen.

none. Kastri was

Human

habita-

now out of sight behind.

roadside and in the more gradual slopes of the

ravine below one might find olive trees, and here and
there a plane. Beyond, through the mysterious wind-

ings of the defile runs the road to Arakhova.

on

this spot that

It

was

Apollo had his most famous shrine,

the abode of his accredited priestesses gifted with pro-

phecy; and no

fitter

habitation for the oracle could

have been found by the worshipers of old time than


this gloomy mountain glen where nature conspires
with herself to overawe mankind by her grandeur.

The legend has it that Apollo, born as all the world


knows in far-off Delos, transferred his chief seat to
Delphi just after his feat

of slaying the

said to have followed that exploit

Python.

He

is

by leaping into the


huge dolphin

sea, where he assumed the form of a


(delphis),

and

in this guise

he directed the course

a passing Cretan ship to the landing place


Crissa. There,

of

at Itea, or

suddenly resuming his proper shape of

DELPHI

155

a beautiful youth he led the wondering crew


vessel

up from the shore

of the

to the present site of Delphi,

proclaimed himself the god, and persuaded the sailors


to

remain there, build a temple and become his

priests,

calling the spot " Delphi." Tradition also asks us to

believe that there then existed

on the spot a cavern,

from which issued vapors having a peculiar


the

human mind, producing

in those

who

effect

on

breathed

them a stupor in which the victim raved, uttering


words which were supposed to be prophetic. Over this
cave, if it existed, the temple was erected and therein
;

the priestess, seated on a tripod where she might in-

hale the vapors, gave out her answers to suppliants,

which answers the corps of

priests later rendered into

hexameter verses having the semblance


generally so ambiguous as to admit of

of sense,

but

more than one

interpretation. All sorts of tales are told of the effect


of the mephitic

gas on the pythoness

writhe in uncontrollable fury,

on her head as she poured


berish,

and so

forth

credulous race "

all, it

her hair would rise

forth her unintelligible gib-

stories well calculated to impress

much given to

so sagely observed.
at

how

how she would

If

there ever

has disappeared, possibly

religion" as St. Paul

was any such cavern


filled

with the debris

by earthquake. Perhaps there


never was any cave at all. In any event the wonders
of the ruins or closed

of the Delphic oracle

were undoubtedly explicable,

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

156

as such

phenomena nearly always

natural facts.

It

are,

all

perfectly

has been pointed out that the corps

of priests, visited continually as they

from

by

were by people

parts of the ancient world, were probably the

best informed set of

men on

earth,

and the sum

total

knowledge thus gleaned so far surpassed that


of the ordinary mortal and so far exceeded the average
of their

comprehension that what was perfectly natural was


easily

made to appear miraculous. To the already awed

suppliant, predisposed to belief

and impressed by the

wonderful natural surroundings of the place,


not hard to pass

off this

it

was

world-wide information as in-

spired truth. Nor was it a long step from this, especially


for clever men such as the priests seem to have been,
to begin forecasting future events by basing shrewd

guesses on data already in hand


received with

prophecy.

full faith

by the worshiper as god-given

As an added safeguard

handed down

their predictions in

for example, in the

when he asked
against Cyrus
will

these guesses being

if

the priests often

ambiguous form, as,

famous answer sent to Croesus,

he should venture an expedition

"If Croesus

destroy a great empire."

shall attack Cyrus,

Such answers were

he
of

course agreeable to the suppliant, for they admitted


of flattering interpretation

and

it

was only

after trial

that Croesus discovered that the " great empire " he

was

fated to destroy

was

his

own. At other times the

THE VALE

DELPHI

157

ambiguous form, went sadly astray


where
the Pythian, after balancing probin
the
case
as
abilities and doubtless assuming that the gods were
guesses, not in

always on the side of the heaviest battalions, advised


the Athenians not to hope to conquer the invading
Persians. This erroneous estimate
for

informed persons to

able that

it

was the natural one

make, and

was influenced

in part

it is

highly prob-

by presents from

the Persian king, for such corruption of the oracle was

by no means unknown. In fact it led to the ultimate


discrediting of the oracle, and it was not long before
the shrine ceased to be revered as a fountain of good
advice. Nevertheless for many hundred years it was
held in unparalleled veneration by the whole ancient
world. Pilgrims came and went. Cities and states
maintained rich treasuries there, on which was founded
a considerable banking system.

Games

in

honor

of

Pythian Apollo were celebrated in the stadium which


is still

to

be seen high up on the mountain-side above

the extensive ruins of the sacred precinct.


after

god.

Temple

temple arose about the great main shrine of the

Even

distant

Cnidus erected a treasury, and

victorious powers set


battles

won by

up trophy

land or sea

after

the

trophy there for

politeness of the

time preventing the mention of any Hellenic victim

by name.
All these remains

have been patiently uncovered

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

158

and laboriously
ance

identified

and

labeled, with the assist-

voluminous writings

of the

of travelers,

of that

patron saint

Pausanias. The work was done under the

direction of the erudite French school,

and the

visitor

provided with the plan in his guide-book

of to-day,

and aided by the numerous guide-posts erected on


the spot, will find his

way about with much

ease.

One

of the buildings, the " treasury of the Athenians," a

small structure about the size of the Nike Apteros


temple,

being " restored

is

"

by the excavators, but

with rather doubtful success. Aside from this one instance, the ruins are

mainly reconstructible only in the

imagination from the visible ground-plans and from


the fragments lying all about. In the

museum close by,

however, some fractional restorations indoors serve


to give a very excellent idea of the appearance of at
least

two

of the ancient buildings.

Space and the intended scope of


forbid anything

like

merous ruins that


" sacred way."

line the

The

the French school,

this narrative alike

a detailed discussion of the nu-

visitor,

is left

in

zigzag course of the old

thanks to the ability of

no doubt as

to the identity

and the wayfaring man, though no


need not err. One may remark in pass-

of the buildings,

archaeologist,
ing,

however, the curious polygonal wall of curved

stones
still

still

standing along a portion of the

way and

bearing the remnant of a colonnade, with an

in-

DELPHI

159

scription indicating that once a trophy

by the Athenians,

was set up here

possibly the beaks of conquered

Of course the centre and soul of the whole prewas the great temple of Apollo, now absolutely
in ruins, but once a grand edifice indeed. The

ships.

cinct
flat

Alcmaeonidae,
surprised

who had

the contract for building

it,

and delighted everybody by building better

than the terms of their agreement demanded, providing marble ends for the temple and pedimental adorn-

ment as

well,

have been

when

the letter of the contract would

satisfied with native stone.

Thus shrewdly

did a family that w^as in temporary disfavor at Athens


its way back
However easy

win

to
it

esteem

may

be to explain with some

plausibility the ordinary feats of the oracle at

as accomplished

Delphi

by purely natural means, there was

an occasional tour de force that even to-day would


pass for miraculous

supposing that there

truth in the stories as

originally told.

be any

The most

notable instance was one in which Croesus figured.

That wealthy monarch was extremely


acles,

partial to or-

and generally consulted them before any con-

siderable undertaking.

On

the occasion in question

he contemplated an expedition against Cyrus

the

same which he eventually undertook because of the


enigmatic answer before referred to
and made ex-

traordinary preparations to see that the advice given

i6o

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

him was trustworthy. For Croesus, with all his credulity, was inclined to be canny, and proposed to test
the powers of the more famous oracular shrines by
a little experiment. So he sent different persons, according to Herodotus, to the various oracles in

Greece and even in Libya, "some to Phocis, some to

Dodona, others

to

Amphiaraus and Trophonius, and

others to Branchidse of Milesia, and

Ammon

in Libya.

make

desiring to

order that,

if

He

sent

trial of

them

others to

still

in different

ways,

what the oracle knew,

they should be found to

know the

in

truth,

he might send a second time to inquire whether he


should venture to

make war on

He

the Persians.

laid

upon them the following orders That, computing the


:

days from the time

of their departure

from Sardis,

they should consult the oracles on the hundredth

day by asking what Crcesus, the son of Alyattes, was


then doing. They were to bring back the answer in
writing. Now what the answers were that were given

by the other oracles is mentioned by none; but no


sooner had the Lydian ambassadors entered the
temple at Delphi and asked the question than the
Pythian spoke thus, in hexameter verse
the
I

number

of the

understand the

speak

*
:

know

sands and the measure of the sea

dumb and

hear him that does not

the savor of the hard-shelled tortoise boiled

in brass with the flesh of

lambs

strikes

on

my senses

DELPHI
brass

beneath

laid

is

it

i6i

and brass

is

put over

Now

it.'

of all the

answers opened by Croesus none pleased him

but only

this.

And when he had heard the answer from

Delphi he adored

it

and approved

and was conDelphi was a real oracle

vinced that the pythoness of

it,

because she alone had interpreted what he had done.

For when he sent out


watching

oracles,

his

for the

messengers to the several


appointed day, he had

re-

course to the following contrivance, having thought


of

what

it

was impossible to discover or guess at. He


and a lamb and boiled them him-

cut

up a

self

together in a brazen caldron, and laid over

tortoise

cover of brass."

it

Thus, on one occasion, the oracle

what we should now

have performed a

feat of

down

and which,

as telepathy,

would be explicable

in

supposed to

is

if

it

really

no other way.

It

set

happened,
sufficed to

mind
and to propitiate the god he sent magnificent gifts. And as these may serve to give some
idea of the vast riches of the spot in bygone ages, it
may be well to relate here what Croesus is supposed
establish Delphi as a shrine to be revered, in the
of Crcesus,

to

have

Herodotus

sent.

relates that

he

made a

pro-

digious sacrifice, in the flames of which he melted

down an

incredible

of the metal thus


1

amount

melted

of

gold and

down he

Herodotus, Book

I,

silver.

"

Out

cast half-bricks, of

sections 46-48.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i62

which the longest was


est three

and

palms

six

in length, the short-

was one palm.

thickness, each

in

Their number was one hundred and seventeen. Four

and a
two

pure gold, weighed each two talents

of

of these,

The

half.

talents each.

of fine gold,

other bricks, of pale gold, weighed

He made

weighing ten

also the figure of a lion,


talents.

This

the temple at Delphi was burned down,


pedestal of half-bricks, for
It

now

lies in

from

fell

its

was placed upon them.

it

half,

were melted from

half

when

the treasury of the Corinthians, weigh-

ing only six talents and a

lion,

it

for three talents

in the

and

Crcesus, hav-

fire.

ing finished these things, sent them to Delphi, and


with them the following two large bowls, one of gold
:

and one

of silver.

The golden one was placed on

the

right as one enters the temple, and that of silver

on the

left

when
gold bowl was

but they were removed

was burning, and the

treasury of the Clazomense

which contains

six

ner of the Propylaea, and

is

The Delians

used

for

lies in

a cor-

said

it

was the

Theodorus the Samian, which was probably

of

true, for

it

casks of
treasury;
of gold

the

mixing wine on

the Theophanian

work

set in

while the silver one,

hundred amphorae,

festival.

the temple

was no common work. He sent

also four

which also stand

in the

Corinthian

and he dedicated two

lustral

vases,

silver,

and the other

of silver.

The Spartans

one

claim

'

DELPHI
that the golden one
inscription,

wrong,

is

offerings,

From

was

their offering, for

the

Lacedaemonians

for Croesus gave it. He


among them some round

also a golden statue of a

woman,

which the Delphians say

baking-woman. And
the necklaces

Such

163

is

and

is

the

it
;

bears an

but this

'

many

sent

other

silver covers,

and

three cubits high,

image

of Crcesus's

things he added

to all these

girdles of his wife."

the account given by Herodotus of the

bestowed by the king regarded as the richest

gifts

of

the ancient monarchs. In return for his gifts he


got the answer that " if Croesus shall make war on

all

the Persians he will destroy a mighty empire," Croe-

sus was so delighted at this that he sent

"giving

to

each of the inhabitants

staters of gold."

more

further question as to

he was destined to rule

gifts,

Delphi two

of

how long

elicited the response, "

When

a mule shall become king of the Medes, then, tenderfooted Lydian, flee over the pebbly
lay,

Hermus nor

nor blush to be a coward." There

even

is

apparent enigma about that statement

de-

less of

yet never-

day when a man,


he deemed a " mule," did become ruler of the

theless Croesus lived to see the

whom

own mighty empire


Croesus is typical in many

Medes, and he likewise saw his


destroyed.

ways

The

case of

of the attitude of the ancients


*

Herodotus, Book

I,

toward the

sections 50-51.

oracle,

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i64

their belief in

and

as inspired,

it

attempts to predispose

it

to favor

by

their frequent
gifts of

great

magnificence. Not everybody could give such offerings as Croesus, to be sure. But the presents piled

up

in the buildings of the sacred precinct

been

of

enormous

value,

must have

and the contemplation

of

them somewhat overpowering. By the way, recent


estimates have been published showing that the
wealth of Croesus, measured by our modern stand-

would

ards,

only about $11,000,000.

total

Doubtless the

awe

the spot sufficed in the

felt for

theft.

When

Xerxes came into Greece and approached the

shrine,

main

to protect the

from

treasures

the inhabitants proposed that the valuables be buried

Phoebus, speaking through the priest-

in the earth.
ess,

forbade this, however, saying that "he was able

to protect his
for the

own." And, in

fact,

he proved to be

so,

approaching host were awed by the sight

of the sacred

arms

of the god,

by superhuman means from

moved apparently

their

temple to the steps outside.

armory within the

And moreover

while

the invaders were approaching along the vale below,

where the temple

of

Athena Pronoia

still

stands, a

storm broke, and two great crags were dashed from


the overhanging cliffs above, killing some and demoralizing the

rest.

war shout was heard from the

temple of Athena, and the Delians, taking heart at

DELPHI
down from

these prodigies, swept

many

stroyed

The most

165

of the fleeing

the hills

and de-

Medes.

successful attempt to prejudice

and

cor-

rupt the oracle seems to have been that of the Alc-

who have been

maeonidae,

temple after

of the great

had been driven out

and during

of

referred to as the builders

its

destruction

by

Athens by the

They

fire.

Pisistratidae,

Am-

their exile they contracted with the

phictyons to rebuild the great shrine of Apollo, That

they imported Parian marble for the front of the edifice

when

the contract would have been

amply

Poros stone seems to have been

fied with

less

satis-

dis-

interested act than an effort to win the favor of the

god.
ers

The Athenians long maintained


still

money

persuaded the oracle by

further

to

gifts

of

urge upon the Spartans the liberation

of

Athens from the tyrants


tratidae

were driven

and

out, in

in the

came back

as had been their design from the

was rather a

relief at last to

wildering array of ruins to the


large, but

things,

and

it

contains

chief of

the charioteer.

all,

Pisis-

in triumph,

first.

turn from the be-

museum itself.

some wonderfully

It is

not

interesting

no doubt, the bronze figure of

cannot bring myself to believe that

he surpasses the bronze " ephebus


he instantly

end the

obedience to this man-

date, while the Alcmaeonidae

It

that the build-

recalls

" at Athens,

whom

both from the material and from

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i66

the treatment of the eyes

but he

is

wonderful, never-

he stands slightly leaning backward as one

theless, as

might

in the act of driving, the

remnants

of

a rein still

one hand. His self-possession and rather

visible in

aristocratic

mien have

careful examination

often been remarked,

will reveal

what

and a

doubtless the

is

namely,
most curious thing about the whole statue
the little fringe of eye-lashes, which those who cast the

image allowed to protrude around the inlaid eye-ball.


They might easily be overlooked by a casual observer,
but their effect is to add a subtle something that gives
the unusual naturalness to the eyes.

a marble

replica of

One other statue,

an original bronze by Lysippus,

deserves a word of comment also, because

good
of

authorities to be

Lysippus than the

a better example
far better

known

it is

of the school

"

Apoxyome-

nos " in the Braccio Nuovo at Rome. Each


ures

is

the

work

of

a pupil

of Lysippus,

held by

of the fig-

but the claim

a youth at Delphi was doubt-

made that the copy of


made by a pupil working under the master's own
supervision, while the Apoxyomenos was carved after
Lysippus had died. From this it is natural enough to

is

less

infer that the

duction than

Delphi example

is

a more

faithful repro-

the Vatican's familiar figure.

In this

a carved stone which is known as the


omphalos," because of its having marked the supposed navel of the earth. The legend is that Zeus

museum also
"

is

CHARIOTEER DELPHI

DELPHI
once

let fly

two eagles from opposite sides of the world,

bidding them

They met

fly

toward one another with equal wing.

at Delphi,

of celebrity with

this

cleft in

suppliants

which

came

the rock, as

did in

it

thither first of all to

After a long journey one

purify themselves.

form

in Epirus.

visited the Castalian spring,

gushes forth from a

days when

the

which therefore shares

Dodona

Of course we
still

167

is

not

loath to rest beside this ancient fount after washing

and drinking deep


is
is

of its unfailing supply, for the

water

good and the chance to drink fresh water in Greece


rare enough to be embraced wherever met. The

cleft

from which the spring emerges

It is

narrow and dark enough

running

far

flow has

An

of the

old stone trough

was once

cliff

now been

filled

by

diverted and

truly wonderful.

a colossal chimney,

back into the bowels

heights behind.
side of the

for

is

mountain

hewn out

this spring,

it

runs

off in

of the

but the

a bab-

Not the least inspiring


to stand here and reflect, as one en-

bling stream over the pebbles.

thing at Delphi

is

joys the Castalian water,

how many

of the great in by-

gone ages stood on this very spot and listened to the


same murmur of this brook which goes on forever.
Hard by the spring, under two great plane trees that

we

fondly believed were direct descendants of those

Agamemnon, we sat down to


khan across the way affording shelter

planted on the spot by


lunch, a stone

i68

and
bled

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


fire for

our

among

coffee.

And

in the afternoon

we ram-

the ruins below on the grassy slopes of

the lower glen, where are to be seen a ruined gym-

nasium, a temple of Athena Pronoia, and a fascinating


circular "tholos," all of which,
still

present

much beauty

though sadly shattered,

of detail.

devoid of every ruined temple

worth a

visit,

it

the site were

If

would

be well

still

not merely from the importance

it

once

enjoyed as Apollo's chief sanctuary, but also for the

grandeur and impressiveness


of

Greece at her

who may

best.

tarry here awhile,

has been robbed

of its setting, so typical

Fortunate indeed are those

now

that local lodging

of its ancient hardships.

as in the days of the priests, Delphi


the uttermost parts of the earth by

To-day,

in

touch with

means

of the tele-

is

graph, the incongruous wires of which accompany

way from Itea, so that details of


arrival, departure, or stay may be arranged readily
enough from afar. Long sojourn, however, was not
to be our portion, and we were forced to depart,
though with reluctant steps, down along the rough

the climber

all

the

side of the mountain, through the vast

and

silent olive

groves, back into the world of men, to sordid Itea

and our

ship.

MYCENvE AND THE


PLAIN OF ARGOS

CHAPTER

WE

journeyed down to Mycenae from Athens

by

Corinth

IX.

it

train.

The moment

the railroad leaves

branches southward into the Peloponne-

sus and into a country which, for legendary interest,

has few equals in the world. Old Corinth

herself,

mo-

ther of colonies, might claim a preeminent interest

from the purely

must
charm

historical point of view, but she

forever subordinate herself to the half-mythical

and desolate Mycenae, the faAtreus and his two celebrated sons,

that surrounds ruined

mous

capital of

Menelaus and Agamemnon. As

for

Corinth

herself,

the ancient site has lately been explored under the

auspices of the American school at Athens, and these


excavations, with the steep climb to the isolated

and

lofty Acrocorinth, furnish the attractions of the place

to-day.

The

train runs fairly close to the mountain,

so that even from the car

on

its

top

may

window

be distinguished

the fortifications

but evidently they

lyo

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

are Venetian battlements rather than old Greek re-

mains that are thus

nomenon

the Acrocorinth

resembling not a
Ithome.

It is

serve the

As a purely

visible.

little

natural phe-

immensely impressive,

is

the Messenian AcropoHs at

a precipitous rock, high enough to de-

name

of

a mountain, and sufficiently

iso-

lated to be a conspicuous feature of the landscape for

you approach Corinth from the sea or from


Athens by train. Circumstances have never permitted
us to ascend it, but the view from the summit over
miles as

the tumbling surface of the mountainous Peloponne-

sus

is

same

said to be indescribably fine, giving the

effect as that

produced by a

relief

map, while the

prospect northward across the Gulf of Corinth

is

of

course no less magnificent.

Fate ordained that we should stick to the


the railway
nae, in

and

which

line of

proceed directly to the site of

Myce-

had been whetted by the reMycenaean relics in the museum

interest

markable display

of

at Athens, as well as by the consciousness that

were about

and

of his

to visit the

home

of the

murderous queen.

steep climbing as

it

conqueror

The

rounded the shoulder

Acrocorinth, and for two hours or so

of

train did

it

we

Troy
some

of the

was a steady

up-grade, winding around long valleys

in spacious

curves, the old road from Sparta generally visible

below.

At every

station the mail car threw off bun-

MYCEN^ AND THE


dies of newspapers,

PLAIN OF ARGOS

which the crowds gathered on

the platform instantly snatched


avidity.

The

love of news

is

and purchased with

by no means confined to
and

Athenians, but has spread to their countrymen

every morning the same scene

on the

railroad station in Hellas


train.

At every stop the

for this or that

171

air

morning

enacted at every

is

arrival of the

Athens

was vocal with demands

daily,

and

each, having se-

cured the journal of his choice, retired precipitately


to the

shade

of

a near-by

tree,

while those

who

could

not read gathered near and heard the news of the

world retailed by the more learned, at second-hand.

The peasant costumes were most


were now

interesting, for

in the country of the shepherds, far

we

from

madding crowd and dressed for work. The dress


each was substantially the same,
a heavy capote
wool, if it was at all chilly, the tight drawers gar-

the
of
of

tered below the knee, the

heavy leather wallet on the

front of the belt, the curious tufted shoes

pons at the
or

if

toe,

if

whose pom-

large denoted newly bought gear,

sheared small meant that the footwear was old.

For the custom

is

to cut

down

these

odd

bits

adornment as they become frayed, a process that


repeated until the tuft

time to buy

new

is

entirely

removed, when

of
is

it is

shoes.

The landscape was most

striking now.

The

plains

were small and separated from one another by walls

of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

172

rugged
in

hills,

whose

were not to be despised

barriers

days when communication was primitive and slow,

and which bore an important part

in

keeping the sev-

eral ancient states so long apart, instead of allowing

them permanently to unite. The neighboring peaks


began to be increasingly redolent of mythology,
chiefly relating to various heroic exploits of Herakles.

Nemea itself, and the site


Nemean lion was indicated

Indeed the train stopped at


of the struggle with the

to us

from

afar,

while a distant summit was said to be

near the lake where were slain the Stymphalian birds.


Shortly beyond the grade began to drop sharply, until,

rushing through a pass of incredible narrowness,

the

site of

a bloody modern battle between the

Greek

patriots

and the Turks,

into the

broad plain

breeder of horses.
leys

hemmed

to this

in

immense

to the sea,

by bare

well

hills of

level tract of

On

plain towered the


trees,

dashed out

rather sterile val-

gray rock gave place

sandy

soil

leading

in the distance

either side of the

mountain

though

train

Argos, once famous as the

The narrow and

which gleamed

noonday sun.
bare of

of

the

wall,

in the old

under the

broad expanse of
always gray and

days

wooded. With the departure

down

it

was doubtless

of trees

came

the

drouth, and to-day the rivers of the Argolid are mere

sandy channels, devoid


of the

of

water save in the season

melting mountain snows.

MYCEN^ AND THE


The

PLAIN OF ARGOS

173

My-

train halted at Phychtia, the station for

and there we found waiting a respectable carriage that had seen better days in some city, but
cenae,

which was now relegated

conveying

to the task of

the curious to various points in the Argolic plain.


It

was there

response to the inevitable telegraph,

in

which we had the forethought to employ. Otherwise

we should have had


cenae

on

foot,

to

go over

than the distance would have


to-day

is

to the site of

a task which the heat

made

My-

day rather

of the

arduous. Mycenae

absolutely deserted and desolate, lying per-

haps two miles eastward from the railway, on the

Toward this
we had

spurs of two imposing mountain peaks.

point the road rises steadily, and before long

passed through a starveling village of peasant huts

and came suddenly upon a two-story structure bearing the portentous sign, " Grand Hotel of Helen and

Menelaus

"

To outward view

the rest of the hamlet, which


for its children

and dogs.

spection, to be a queer

ing rooms in

its

upper

an outside stairway.

was a ground

little

office.

The

in

keeping with

chiefly

remarkable

proved, on closer

inn, boasting

most

was

be reached only by

literal

which

sense of that

a broad room, used

and partly as a

actual eating-place

in-

a few sleep-

the ground floor

floor in the

partly as a dining-room

was

was

It

story, to

On

overworked expression

it

store

and

was separated from

174

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

the remainder of the apartment by a grill-work of

with a wicket gate, through which

laths, or pickets,

not only the guests and the proprietor, but sundry


dogs, chickens, and cats passed from the main hall
to the table. This, being the only available hotel in

the region,

title,

and bearing so resounding and sonorous

proved

Lunch, consisting

irresistible.

excellent broiled chickens,

of

very

and sundry modest con-

was promptly served by a tall slip of a


girl, the daughter of the house, and probably named
Helen, too. During the meal various hens, perhaps

comitants,

the ancestors of our pieces de resistance, clucked contentedly in

and

out,

and a mournful hound sneaked

repeatedly through the gate, only to be as repeatedly

by the
"Grand

thrust into the outer darkness of the office

cook and

waitress. In former times, before the

Hotel of Helen and Menelaus " sprang into being,


it

was necessary

to carry one's food

and

eat

it

shadow of the famous Lion Gate on the


a place replete with
the old town itself

the

Nevertheless

a place
it

it

seems

under
site of
thrills.

well" that the vicinity

now has

and doubly

well that

of public entertainment,

has been so sonorously named.


It

may not have been more

to the ruins, but

reaching them.

it

was up

and very warm work


of the high road, where

hill

On either side

presumably once lay the

than half a mile farther

real

every-day city of My-

MYCEN^ AND THE


cense, there

was

little

in the

PLAIN OF ARGOS

175

way of remains to be seen,

remarkable avenue leading to the subsave


terranean tomb, or treasury, of which it will be best
for the

to

speak somewhat

later.

The

slopes were covered

with grass, and here and there a trace of very old


"

Cyclopean

"

masonry was

all

that remained to bear

witness to the previous existence of a city wall, or

highway with a primitive arch-

possibly an ancient

bridge spanning a gully. Back over the plain the view

was expansive. The


non's kingdom were
Argos, and Tiryns,

several strongholds of
all in sight,

Agamem-

Mycenae, Nauplia,

at the corners of the great plain,

which one might ride

all

around

in

a day

so that

from his chief stronghold on the height at Mycenae

Agamemnon might well

claim to be monarch of

all

he

surveyed. Behind the valley, the twin peaks at whose

base the stronghold lay rose abruptly, bearing no trace


of the forests of

a rocky
ably

foothill

fitted

oak that once covered them and on


;

stood the acropolis of the

by nature

for defense. It

city,

was on

ground that the ruins were found, and the


informed that

main town

this

was the

admir-

this

visitor is

citadel rather than the

the place to which

the beleaguered in-

habitants might flock for safety in time of war,


in

which Atreus and

his line

high

had

their palace. It

and

was

here that Dr. Schliemann conducted his remarkable


researches, of which

we

shall

have much

to say. It is

176

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

a remarkable

fact that the events of the past twenty-

years or so have given a most astonishing insight into

the age

Homer so that

the dimness of the so-called "heroic" age

was sung by

that long after

actually possible

the daily

life

now

to say that

and conditions

besiegers than

we do

it is

we know more

of the

of

time of Troy's

Homer himself,
than about those who sang

of the

time of

and more about the heroes


their exploits. Knowledge of the more remote periods
seems to vary

directly with the distance.

The dark

ages, as has been sagely remarked, were too dark

altogether to admit

ancient
it is

men

to read the story told

monuments such as survived

by the

at Mycenae,

and

only lately that light has increased sufficiently

to enable

them

to be understood with such clear-

ness that the dead past has suddenly seemed to live


again.

From

the remains at Mycenae the savants

have unearthed the houses,

walls, palaces, reservoirs,

ornaments, weapons, and daily utensils of the pre-

Homeric age. Bones and other

relics cast

aside in

rubbish heaps give an idea of the daily food of the


people.

The tombs have

revealed

how

they were

buried at death, and have yielded a wealth of gold

ornaments showing a marvelous

skill

in

working

metals.

This upper city

we soon

of

Mycenae was built on a rock, which

discovered to be separated from the rest of

MYCEN^ AND THE


the mountain

by

PLAIN OF ARGOS

177

ravines, leaving the sides very steep

and smooth, so that on nearly every hand the place


was inaccessible. The gorges toward the mountains
were natural moats, and wide enough to prevent
assault or even the effective hurling of missiles from

above

The stronghold, however, was

into the citadel.

by

vastly strengthened

proved

artificial

construction and

be walled entirely about, the fortress being

to

especially strong

on the more exposed

portions,

and

blocks of

main gate, where the enormous


stone and the tremendous thickness of the

wall were

most in evidence. The road winds up the last

most especially at the

steep ascent until


scarcely wide

it

becomes a mere narrow driveway,

enough

for

more than a

single chariot,

and right ahead appears suddenly the famed Lion


Gate, flanked on one hand by a formidable wall facing
the side of the native rock, and on the other

by a proThe

jecting bastion of almost incredible thickness.

stones are of remarkable size,

hewn to a sort

of

rough

by the Cyclopean builders, and the wonder


rude and primitive an age, men were able
to handle such great blocks with such skill. No wonder the tale gained currency that it was the work of
and indeed
the Cyclopes, imported from abroad
regularity
is that,

in so

the tale

is

not without

there are evidences


sites

its

abiding plausibility, since

enough

in scattered Phoenician

elsewhere to warrant the assumption that the

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

78

builders of these

numerous

fortresses in Argolis did

come from over seas.


Of all the ruins at Mycenae the
is

" gate of the lions "

unquestionably the most impressive.

end

of the

of rock,

spans the

It

long and narrow vestibule between the walls

its

jambs made

even to-day show the

huge upright stones that


cut for hinges and the deep

of

slots

holes into which were shot the ancient bolts.

top

is

It is

Over the

another massive single stone, forming the

peculiarity of the

lintel.

Cyclopean doorways at My-

cenae that the weight on the centre of the lintel

is

almost invariably lightened by leaving a triangular


aperture in the stonework above, and in the main gate

immense blocks

the

of the wall

leave such an opening.

were so disposed as to

Even the massive

broad gate would probably have

lintel of this

failed to

support the

some such expedient


was
the triangular opening is still in place, and

pressure of the walls had not

been devised. As
used to
it is

fill

it is,

the light stone slab that

what gives the name

to the gateway,

rudely sculptured lions that grace

minus
'*

it.

their heads, are sitting facing

heraldically opposed," as the phrase

his fore feet resting

on the base

of

an

is

lions,

each other
is

each with

altar

sculptured column, which marks the centre

The column

from the

These two

bearing a

of the slab.

represented as larger at the top than

at the base, a peculiarity of the stone

columns

of the

MYCEN^ AND THE

PLAIN OF ARGOS

Mycenaean age, and recalling the

179

fact that the first

stone pillars were faithful copies of the sharpened


stakes that had been used as supports in a
day.

still

earlier

The missing heads of the lions were doubtless

of metal,

bronze, perhaps, and were placed so as

seem to be gazing down the road. They are gone,


nobody knows whither. It used to be stated that this
quaint bas-relief was the "oldest sculpture in Europe,"
to

but this

is

another of the comfortable delusions that

modern science has destroyed. Nobody, however, can


deny that the Gate of the Lions is vastly impressive, or
that it is so old that we may, without serious error,
feel that

we

are looking on something that

non himself perhaps saw over

Agamem-

his shoulder as

out for Troy. Just inside the gate

he set

we found a narrow

opening in the stones, leading to a sort of subterranean


chamber, presumably for the sentry. The impression

produced by the gate and


is

its

massive flanking walls

that of absolute impregnability,

and

it

was easy

enough to fancy the Argive javelin-men thronging the


bastion above and pouring death and destruction

down upon the exposed right hands of the invaders


jammed tight in the constricted vestibule below.
Inside the gate, the old market-place opens out,

and

it was here that were discovered the tombs from which

came the numerous relics seen at Athens. The market


place

is still

encircled

by a curious

elliptical structure.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i8o

which is in effect a double ring of

bench all around the inclosure.

to believe that these actually

by the
is

stones, with slabs

forming what looks

laid flat across the top,


of oval

flat

old

like

were seats to be occupied

men and councilors

of the city

but

if

that

the truth, there were indeed giants in the land in

those times. Other authorities conjecture that

a retaining wall

for

the graves within

this

remarkable

was within

shafts

which it seems
Whatever the purpose of

stone slabs,

it is

hardly to

it

did once inclose an "agora," and

this

space that Schliemann sunk his

and brought up so much that was wonderful

from the tombs below.

and

was
over

an hypothesis

circle of

be doubted that

it

mound heaped up

a sort of

almost as hard to adopt.

it

a sort

We were asked

filled

well be

in so central

a spot,

with such a plethora of gold, certainly might

deemed

royalty,

Tombs

and

to

sovereigns of the
of men" himself

have been the

last resting-place of

agreeable to believe that they were

it is

Agamemnonian

be not one

of

line,

them.

It is

if

the " prince

the fashion to

aver that Schliemann was too ready to jump at conclusions

prompted by

own fond hopes and


make little of his claim

his

conceived ideas, and to

he had unearthed the grave

who overcame
justified.

Priam's city

of the
;

pre-

that

famous warrior

and perhaps

this is

But one cannot forget that the old legend

insisted that Atreus, Agamemnon, Cassandra, Electra,

MYCEN^ AND THE

PLAIN OF ARGOS

i8i

Eurymedon, and several others were buried in the


which was doubtless what

market place of Mycenae,

prompted the excavation

at this point

which moreover proved to be so

excavations

prolific of royal re-

ward.

On the heights above,

where

chariots to follow, there

is

which

it

royal palace

itself,

was

it

far too steep for

a pathway direct to the


will doubtless

do no harm

Agamemnon's. Of course it is practically flat


little more than traces of the foundation,

to call

to-day, with

save for a bit of pavement here and there, or a frag-

ment

on which possibly one may detect a

of wall

faint surviving

touch of fresco. All around the

cit-

adel below are traces of other habitations, so con-

gested as to preclude any application of Homer's epithet,

"Mycenae

of the

broad

section of the city. All


wall,

around the summit ran the

even at points where

necessary.

streets," to this particular

it

As we explored

would seem no wall was


the site the guide kept

gathering handfuls of herbage that grew

and speedily

led us to a curious

made by allowing two

all

about,

Cyclopean "arch,"
fall

toward

each other at the top of an approaching row

of wall-

blocks,

which

it

sloping stones to

developed was the entrance to a

subterranean gallery that led


of the fort. It

down

to the reservoir

was a dark and tortuous

descent to the bowels of the

hill

place,

and

its

was quite abrupt, so

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i82
that

we

did not venture very

guide to creep gingerly

down

but allowed the

far,

until

he was

far

below

whereupon he set fire to the grasses he had been


accumulating and lighted up this interior gallery for
us. The walls of this passageway had been polished
smooth

for centuries

by passing goats which had

rubbed against the stone, and

it

gleamed and

glit-

tered in the firelight, revealing a long tunnel leading

downward and out of sight to a cavern far below,


where was once stored the water supply conveyed
thither

cast

from a spring north

down the

along

its

of the citadel.

Stones

tunnel reverberated for a long distance

slippery floor,

and

came
Then came the

at last apparently

against a final obstacle with a crash.

upward rush of smoke from the impromptu torch,


and we were forced hastily to scramble out into the
open air. We returned later, however, for a passing
shower swept down from the mountains and threatened a drenching, which rendered the shelter
ancient aqueduct welcome indeed.

It

however, and afforded us a chance to

most rock of the acropolis, looking

of the

was soon
sit

over,

on the top-

down over what

was once the most important of the Greek kingdoms,


from the mountains on the north and west down to
the sea
a pleasing sight, which was cut short only

by the
**

reflection that

we had

still

to visit the so-called

treasury of Atreus" beside the road below.

MYCEN^ AND THE


This

one more

is

PLAIN OF ARGOS
odd

of the

183

structures of the place

over which controversy has raged long and

fiercely,

was a tomb. There


these underground chambers near

the problem being whether or not it

number

are a

by, but the

common
is

of

most celebrated one

type and

easily to

is

mentioned

depth had been reached to excavate a

it

sufficient

lofty subter-

and narrow door stands

tall

the end of this curious lane, placed against the

made

the

is by a long
on both sides with well-hewn

avenue terminating only when a

ranean chamber.

lintel

is

be explored. The approach

cut in the hillside, walled


stone, the

just

completely excavated so that

of

a noticeably massive

hill, its

fiat stone,

the inevitable triangular opening over

it

at

with

but in this

case the block which presumably once closed

it

is

knows whether it, like its mate


main gateway, bore sculptured lions or not.
Within, the tomb is shaped like an old-fashioned straw
gone, and nobody

at the

beehive, lined throughout with stone, which bears

marks indicating that


with bronze plates.

it

It is

its

northern side
to

turn

it is

in

which the

lighted only from the

triangular opening above. Just off the


is

a smaller chamber, where light

be had by lighting some more

gathered without. Those


this

was once faced

a huge place,

voice echoes strangely, and

door and

in

of the

who adhere

was a tomb maintain that the

is

only

dry grasses

to the idea that

real sepulchre

was

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i84

in the smaller adjoining

chamber. Respectable au-

thority exists, however, for saying that these

bers were not tombs at

all,

amount of controversial
over which one
If it

may

was a tomb,

it

but treasuries, and a vast

literature exists

on the subject,

pore at his leisure

is

cham-

if

he desires.

obvious from the other burial-

place discovered on the acropolis above that there

must have been

and

at least

two

different styles of burial,

the tombs above appear to have contained

people of consequence, such as might be expected to

have as honorable and imposing sepulchres as there


were.

No

bones were found

in the

" treasury

of

Atreus," and plenty of bones were found elsewhere, a


fact

sive

which might seem significant and indeed concluif it

were not known that bones had been found

in beehive

tombs like this elsewhere in Greece, notably

near Menidi, where six skeletons were discovered in

a similar structure. Of course

it

might be true that

the bodies found on the heights at Mycenae


to

Athens belonged

to

an

entirely different

and taken

epoch from

those that were buried in the beehive tombs, and that


the beehive tombs might easily have been looted long

any such booty as the marketplace graves yielded had even been suspected. The

before the existence of

layman
call this

is

therefore

left

to suit himself,

whether he

will

underground chamber a tomb or a treasury,

and devote

his time to

admiring the ingenuity with

MYCEN^ AND THE


which the stone Hning

PLAIN OF ARGOS

of the place

of stone slightly projecting

was

above

built,

fection of this subterranean treasure-house

The

per-

seems no

remarkable than the ease with which the ancient

builders

As
is

tier

lower fellow so

its

as at last to converge at the top in a point.

less

each

185

managed

large masses of rock.

for the history of

Mycenae,

unquestionably that which

of the Atreidai,

Argos.

It is

when

it

it

its

greatest celebrity

achieved in the time

was the home

of the

kings of

supposable that in the palace on the height

Clytaemnestra spent the ten years of her lord's absence


at Troy,
turn.

and that therein she murdered him on

The

poets have

woven a great web

story about the place, largely imaginative


ary, to

tions

of

his re-

song and

and legend-

be sure. But the revelations of the later excava-

have revealed that the poets came exceedingly

close to fact in their descriptions of material things.

The benches before the doors,


of heroes, the cups,

all

the

weapons and shields

such as Nestor used,

for

example,

these find their counterparts in the recently dis-

covered actualities and give the more color to the


events that the ancient writers describe. That Mycenae

was

practically

abandoned soon

eminence doubtless accounts


that the excavators found,

for the

after her great

wealth of

and her low

relics

estate during

the centuries of neglect curiously but not unnaturally

insured her return to celebrity, with a vast volume

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i86
of

most interesting testimony

to her former greatness

quite unimpaired.

From Mycenae down

to the

Argive Heraeum, the

Hera which was once the chief


something like two miles
but as it was over a rough ground, and as time failed
us, it was found necessary to eliminate this, which to a
ancient temple of

shrine of this region, is

strenuous archaeologist might doubtless prove highly


interesting as

an excursion, and more especially so

to Americans, since

American

was a

it

school. It lies

explored by the

site

oS on the

hills

that border

the plain of Argos on the east, on the direct line

between Mycenae and Nauplia. Our own road led


us back to Phychtia again and

the centre of

good carriage road, passing


waving grain, in the midst

the plain over a very

through broad

down

fields of

of which, breast deep, stood occasional horses con-

tentedly

munching without restraint. Almost the only


some still

buildings were isolated stone windmills,


in

use and others dismantled.

plunged down a bank and

what was doubtless

some time

at

At

into the
of

last

the road

sandy bed
year a

river,

of

but at this season, and probably most of the year as


well,

a mere broad

fiat

expanse

of

sand as destitute of

water as the most arid part of Sahara. The railroad,

which had borne us friendly company

was provided with an

iron

for

a few

miles,

bridge, spanning this

MYCEN^ AND THE

PLAIN OF ARGOS

broad desert with as much gravity as


raging torrent, which doubtless

beyond we
Argos

it

if

it

sometimes

many little

gardens. Nearly every


in the re-

spectable but superannuated depot carriage

able to look into the depths of


at their riot of roses
little

many

and greenery. As

and not

for the houses,

The

over-clean.

along the highway, the young

women

ing and the children bombarding

hope

of lepta.

we were

such, to marvel

populace,

however, was exceeding friendly, sitting

known

Just

is.

a rather large place, but decidedly unat-

is

house had them, and from our high seats

in the

were a

rattled into Argos.

tractive save for its

they were

187

e7t

masse

blithely salut-

us with nosegays

Over Argos towers a steep

hill,

as a "larisa" or acropolis, from the top of

which we could imagine a wonderful view over the


whole kingdom

of the

tains as well, not to

Argives and over the moun-

mention the Gulf

Nauplia but

of

as time was speeding on toward the dusk and

were

still

far

we

from Nauplia, we had to be content

with the imagination alone, and with the news that

little

been

monastery about halfway up the

set

on

fire

had

on the Easter Sunday previous by

too enthusiastic celebrants,

who had been

with the inevitable rockets and

we had

hillside

Roman

over-free

candles. Also

to give short shrift to the vast theatre,

out of the solid rock at the foot of the

larisa,

hewn

and said

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

i88

to be one of the largest in Greece. It

grown, however, and

was sadly grass-

infinitely less attractive

than

the smallest at Athens, not to mention the splendid

playhouse at Epidaurus, which we promised our-

So we were not

selves for the morrow.

reluctant to

swing away from old Argos, with her shouting

vil-

and high-walled gardens, and to skirt the


harbor, now close at hand along the dusty Nauplia
lagers

road. Across the dancing waters lay Nauplia herself,

a white patch at the foot

of

a prodigious

cliff

far

around the bay. By the roadside the country seaward

was marshy, while inland


to the

gray

hills

from which the sons

of

lofty rock of

Atreus had looked

Mycenae

down over

broad acres.

was not long before we were aware that

It

walled " Tiryns


close

back

which showed the northern bounds

kingdom, and the

of the old

their

rolled the great plain

was

at

hand and

that

we were

a day already well marked by memories

" well-

not to
of

Cy-

clopean masonry without adding thereto the most stu-

pendous

up

of

all,

the

in prehistoric

memory

ages at

of the great stones piled

this ancient palace

whose

size

impressed even that hardened sight-seer Pausa-

nias.

Tiryns proved to be a highly interesting place

in general

appearance much

tail sufficiently different

on what

is little

to

like

keep us exclaiming.

more than an

Mycenae, but in deIt lies

isolated hillock beside

MYCEN^ AND THE


the highroad, and there

height or length.

is

PLAIN OF ARGOS

nothing imposing about

of

its

a long, low rock, devoid of any

It is

building save for the solid retaining walls that

back to the days

189

may go

Herakles himself.

Whoever built the fortress at Tiryns had seen fit to


make the front door face the plain rather than the
sea so that
;

it

was necessary

around to the north side


incline afforded

to leave the

an easy approach

or terrace, defended

by

road and go

where a gradual

of the rock,

to

a sort of ramp,

walls of the

most astonish-

ing Cyclopean construction.

It

has been stated that

these great and rudely squared blocks of native rock,

taken from the quarries in the

hills

northward, were

once bonded together with a rude clay mortar, which


has since entirely disappeared.

How

such enormous

blocks were quarried in those primitive days, or

they were handled,


it is

is

a good deal

of

how

a mystery. But

claimed that swelled wedges of wet wood were

used to separate the stones from their native bed.

As a

ruin,

Tiryns

is

rather difficult to reconstruct in

the imagination from the visible remains.

ramp and

The inclined

the gateway, remains of which are

still

standing, are interesting, but chiefly from the remark-

able size of the stones employed in their construction.

Within, the old palace

comprehensive

ruin.

is

The

of

complete and

lines of the

former palace

in

walls may, however, be seen

a state

on the rocky

floor,

with

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

iQO

here and there a trace of an ancient column which has


left its

mark on

the foundation rock.

The

outer and

inner courts, megaron, men's and women's apart-

ments, and even the remnants of a "bathroom " are

made

to be

out, the

last-named bearing testimony to

the fact that even in the remote


position of waste water

was

Mycenaean age the

carefully looked to

per-

haps more carefully than was the case with the


Greeks.

The Tirynthian

dis-

later

feature which eclipses every-

thing else for interest, however,

is

the arrangement of

covered galleries of stone on two sides of the palace,

from which at intervals radiate side chambers sup-

posed to have been used


call

rather

ioned

forts.

for storage.

more the casements

To-day they

of our

own

re-

old-fash-

In these galleries the rude foreshadowings

of the arch principle are

even more clearly to be seen

than in the underground conduit at Mycenae which


leads to the sunken reservoir.

The

sides of the corri-

dor are vertical for only a short distance, and speedily

begin to slope inward, meeting in an acute angle

The side chambers are of a similar conNowhere does it appear that the "Cyclopes," if we may call them such, recognized the
principle of the keystone, although they seem to have
come very close to it by accident here and there, and

overhead.
struction.

notably so in the case of the


is to

be seen on the side

little

postern gate which

of the citadel

toward the

MYCEN^ AND THE

PLAIN OF ARGOS

191

modern highroad. As for the galleries, at the present


day they are polished to a glassy smoothness within
by the rubbing of sheltering flocks of sheep and goats.

And

they are interesting, not only because of the

massive stones used in building them, but because


the similarity of these corridors and storage chambers
to the

arrangements found near old Carthage and

other Phoenician sites

may well

ternity of architecture,

mense

skill

common

Argos secured

artisans of

and strength from abroad.

size of the

pa-

to the tale

that the ancient kings of

marvelous

argue a

and thus give color

The im-

roughly hewn rocks easily enough

begot the tradition that these alien builders were men


of gigantic stature, called "
of their king, Cyclops,

Thracian giants

Cyclopes " from the name

and supposed

to

be a race of

quite distinct, of course, from the

who served Hephaistos,


Sicilian ones who made life a burden for Odys-

other mythological Cyclopes


or the

seus on his wanderings.

now

opinion

It

seems to be a plausible

widely held that the foreign masons

who

erected the Cyclopean walls in the Argolid were not

from Thrace, but from the southern shores

yEgean

perhaps from Lycia.

know

to

And

it is

that there are examples of the

of the

interesting

same

sort of

stone work, bearing a similar name, to be found as

away as Peru.
A somewhat lower

far

hillock just west of the

main

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

192

acropolis

if

deserves that

it

name

once being the servants' quarters.


as

is

the

common

practice,

is

shown as

And we descended,

from the main ruin to

by a rude stone stairway at what was formerly the back of the castle, to the narrow postern, the

the road,

stones of which form an almost perfect, but doubtless


quite accidental, archway

and thence to our

carriage,

which speedily whirled us away to Nauplia. The road


thither lay

around a placid bay, sweeping

in

a broad

curve through a landscape which was happily marked

by some very

creditable trees. Nauplia herself

made

a pleasant picture to the approaching eye, lying on


her well-protected harbor at the base of an imposing
cliff,

on the top

of

which the frowning battlements

of

an old Venetian fortress proclaimed the presence of


the

modern

state prison of Greece.

brought out the whiteness of the

The evening sun

city against the for-

bidding rock behind, while far away westward across


the land-locked bay the evening light touched with a

rosy glow the snowy summit of Cyllene, and brought


out the rugged skyline of the less lofty Peloponnesian

mountains.

And

it

was these that lay before us as our

carriage rattled out of a narrow street

broad esplanade

of the

quay

and upon the

at the doors of our hotel.

NAUPLIA AND
EPIDAURUS

CHAPTER

WE

X.

were awakened

customed sound,

in the

morning by an unac-

a subdued, rapid, rhythmic

cadence coming up from the esplanade below, accompanied by the monotonous undertone of a voice saying something in time with the shuffle of marching
feet,

of

the whole punctuated

command and

now and

less frequently

then by a word
by the unmistakable

clang of arms. The soldiers from the fortress were

having their morning

sounded strangely

drill.

The words

natural, although

of

command

presumably

in

men the world over


commands of execugrunt. The counting

Greek, doubtless because military


fall

into the habit of uttering "

tion " in a sort of unintelligible


of " fours "

sounded

natural, too, despite the

marked Hellenism of the numbers. So

far

more

from being

a disturbance, the muffled tread of the troops was


rather soporific, which

been

in

is

fortunate, because

Nauplia on several occasions, and

have

this early

194

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

drill

appears to be the regular thing under the win-

dows of the H6tel des Etrangers.


The fine open space along the water

front

makes

a tempting parade-ground, and at other hours an


attractive place for general assemblage, especially at

when

evening,

the people of Nauplia are to be seen

lounging along the wharves or drinking their coffee


in the

shade under the white

quay curves
alongside

it

for

are

line of buildings.

The

a long distance around the bay, and

moored many

of those curious

hollow

schooners that do the coastwise carrying in Greece.

Nauplia appears

though

still

to be

something

of

a port,

and less busy than

infinitely smaller

al-

either the

Her name, of course, is redolent


The beauty of her situation has often

Piraeus or Patras.
of the sea.

reminded

visitors of Naples,

resemblance to the Italian

but

city.

it

is

only a faint

In size she

is little

indeed. Scenically, however, her prospects are


nificent,

mag-

with their inclusion of a panorama of distant

and imposing peaks towering

far

away across

the in-

ner bay, so admirably sheltered from the outer seas

by the massive promontory, on the inner shelf of


which the city stands. The town is forced to be narrow because
the great

room

of the little

cliff

for little

space between the water and

rising precipitously behind.

more than

consequence Nauplia

is

There

is

and

in

three parallel streets,

forced to

make up

in length

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS

195

what she lacks in breadth, and strings along eastward


in

a dwindling

the

line of buildings to the point

where

marshy shore curves around toward Tiryns, or

loses herself in the barren country that lies in the

gray

valleys that lead inland to Epidaurus.

From

the

windows

of the hotel the

most conspicu-

ous object in the middle distance was a picturesque


islet in

the midst of the bay, almost entirely covered

by a yellow
pearance

diminutive size and Venetian ap-

fort of

the

home

of

though a gruesome one

an interesting functionary,
to wit, the national execu-

day

tioner.

For Nauplia

else the

Sing-Sing

prison,

where are confined the principal criminals

at the present

of Hellas,

the

site of

is

above

all

the national
of

more especially those who are under


death. The medieval fortifications on the

the kingdom, and

sentence of

summit behind the town have been converted to the


base uses of a jail, and are locally known as the Palamide. ,We did not

although

it

make

the ascent to the prison,

cannot be a hard climb, but contented

ourselves with purchasing the small wares that are

vended by

street dealers in the

of " conversation beads,"

things, which

odd

lower town,

strings

and such

knives,

you are assured were made by

like

" brig-

ands" confined in the prison above. Somehow a string


of

beads made by a Greek " brigand

session to be coveted.

"

seems a pos-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

196
"

M. de Nauplia,"

ferring to the

generally,

that

if

headsman,

is

is

the proper

way

a criminal himself.

of re-

He

is

and probably always, one who has been

who has accepted

the post

of executioner as the price of escaping the

extreme

convicted of murder, but

penalty of the law.


while
exile
all

it

It is

no small price

saves the neck of the victim

during the term of the service,

good people

forever.

ecutioner at the time

We were

to pay, for

means virtual
and aversion of

it

told that the ex-

was a man who had indulged

in

perfect carnival of homicide so much so that in

al-

most any other country he would have been deemed


violently and irreclaimably insane and would have
escaped death by confinement in an asylum. But not
so he. Instead he was sentenced to a richly deserved

beheading by the

guillotine,

and the penalty was only

commuted by his agreement to assume the unwelan


come task of dispatching others of his kind

office

for

carrying with

it

virtual solitary

a term variously stated as from

imprisonment

five to eight years,

and coupled with lasting odium. For all those years


he must live on the executioner's island, unattended
save by the corporal's guard of soldiers from the fort,
which guard is changed every day or two, lest the

men be contaminated

or corrupted into conniving at

the prisoner's escape. Others told us that the term


of his

sanguinary employ was as long as twenty-five

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS


years, but this

was

set as his limit.

than the average story

far greater

On

Hberation,

is

it

said to be the

men to go abroad

ordinary practice for these unhappy

and seek spots where

197

their condition is

unknown.

On

days when death sentences are to be executed the


headsman is conveyed with solemn military pomp to

and there

the Palamide prison above the city,

prison yard the guillotine

is

ing for the hand that releases

Whether

death-dealing knife.

its

or not the executioner

is

paid a stated

tance in any event, or whether, as

some, he was paid so

found

out.

in the

found set up and wait-

much

pit-

we were told by
we never

" per head,"

Meantime the executioner's

island unde-

niably proves one of the features of Nauplia, quaint


to see,

and shrouded with a

The narrow

streets of

for a short time.

sort of

awesome mystery.

Nauplia furnished diversion

They proved

to

be

fairly clean,

and

the morning hours revealed a picturesque array of


barbaric colored blankets

upper balconies to

air.

and rugs hung out

of the

In one street a dense throng

about an open door drew attention to the morning


session of the municipal court.

The men roaming

the

were mainly in European dress, although here


and there a peasant from the suburbs displayed his
streets

quaint capote and

pomponed shoes. It was one of


who approached us with

these native-garbed gentry

a grin and stated

in excellent English, that sorted

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

198

strangely with his Hellenic clothes, that he was once

employed in an
he

like

it ?

Did

electric light plant in Cincinnati.

Oh, yes

In

fact,

he was quite ready to go

where pay was better than

back

there,

And

with an expressive shrug and comprehensive

in Nauplia.

gesture that took in the whole broad sweep of the


ancient

kingdom
no good

of the Atreidai,

he added,

" Argos is

One other such deserves mention, perhaps; one who broke in on a reverential
reverie one day, as we were contemplating a Greek

broke

dance

in

"

classic

neighborhood, with some English

that savored of the

he had been

in

Bowery brand, informing us

America and had traveled

that land of plenty in the peregrinations of


circus,

Barnum's

adding as a most convincing passport

friendship,

"I was

died." Greeks

wit' old

man Barnum

that

over

all

to our

w'en he

who speak English are plentiful


who make no

Peloponnesus, and even those

in the

other

pretensions to knowledge of the tongue are proud of

being able to say " all right " in response to labored


efforts at
It

pidgin Greek.

did not take long to exhaust the interest of the

city of

Nauplia

itself,

including a survey of the mas-

sive walls that survive from the Middle Ages.

was

fortunate, too,

And

it

because we had planned to spend

the day at Epidaurus, which

lies

eighteen miles or

so away, and was to be reached only by a long

and

WOMAN

SPINNING ON ROAD TO EPIDAURUS

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS


arduous ride

in

a carriage

199

the same highly respect-

able old landau in which

we had ridden

Agamemnon's kingdom

the

day

the length of

before.

Owing

to

the grade and the considerable solidity of our party

a third horse was in some miraculous way attached

by ropes to the carriage, the lunch was loaded in the


hood forward, and we rattled away through the nar-

row

streets

toward the open country east

a country that we soon discovered


of

to

of the

be

made up

narrow valleys winding among gray and

hills,

whose height increased

wound

along.

It

steadily as the

was a good highway

town

treeless

highway

the distances

being marked in "stadia," as the Greek classically


terms his kilometres, and the stadium posts constantly

reminding us that
national road.

this

was an

**

Odos Ethnike,"

or

But we missed sadly the large trees

that are to be seen in the close neighborhood of the


city as

we jogged out on

the dusty road in the heat

of the increasing April day.

The

was mainly upward


making the journey a mat-

grade, while not steep,

through the long valleys,

more than three hours under the most favorable


and the general sameness of the scenery
made it a rather monotonous drive. Of human habitation there was almost none, for although here and

ter of

of conditions

there one might find a vineyard, the greater part of

the adjacent land

is little

more than rocky pasture.

It

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

200

soon developed, however, that the modern Greek


shepherd

is

not afraid to play his pipes at noonday

through any fear

of exciting the

Pan, as was once the case

for

wrath or jealousy of

from the mountain-

and from under the scanty shade

sides

olive trees

we kept hearing

the pipes, faint

and

far

of isolated

the plaintive wailing of

away, where some tender

of

the flocks was beguiling the time in music. This distant piping
called
is

indescribable.

shrill, for it is

high

it is

is

hardly to be

is

so only in the sense that

like the ordinary


soft note,

The tone

human whistling

its

pitch

in quality

apparently following no particular

tune but wavering up and down, and generally end-

ing in a minor wail that soon grows pleasant to hear.


Besides,
torals

it

recalls the idyls of Theocritus,

and the pas-

and bucolics take on a new meaning

to any-

body who has heard the music of the shepherd lads


of Greece. Nothing would do but we must buy pipes
and learn to play upon them so a zealous inquiry
;

was instituted among the wayfaring men we met, with


a view to securing the same. It was not on this day,
however, but on the next that
in

buying what certainly looked

we

finally

like pipes,

succeeded
but which

turned out to be delusions and snares so far as music

was concerned. They were straight wooden tubes, in


which holes had been burned out at regular intervals to form " stops " for varying the tone.

No

reed

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS


was

and

inserted in them,

upon

at all

it

plished "lip."

if

they were to be played

must be by reason

We

201

of

a most accom-

derived considerable amusement

from them, however, by attempting to reproduce on

them the

mellifluous whistling- of the natives

the nearest approach to

which any

of

awakening any sound

but

at all

our party achieved was so lugubriously

melancholy that he was solemnly enjoined and com-

manded never
over to

**

to try

it

again, on pain of being turned

M. de Nauplia" as the only

fitting

punish-

we found that the flute-like notes that


we heard floating down over the vales from invisible
shepherds came from a very different sort of wind
instrument
a reed pipe of bamboo not unlike the
ment.

Later

American boy's willow

whistle, with six or seven

stops bored out of the tube.

The wayfarers were decidedly the most


sights

interesting

on the Epidaurus road. Several stadia out

Nauplia a stalwart

man came

striding

down a

from his flocks and took the road to town.

of

hill

He was

dressed in the peasant garb, and across his shoulders

he bore a yoke, from either end

of

which depended

large yellow sacks containing freshly

made

cheese,

the moisture draining through the meshes of the cloth


as he walked along to market. These cheeses

met with

in the little

we had

markets at Athens and found

not unpleasant, once one grows accustomed to the

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

202

goat's milk flavor


is

probable that a taste for

the resinated wine,

Groups

" freshness

and the
is

"

Greek cheese,

although

it

like that for

an acquired one.

now and
way where
They were all

shepherds were encountered

of

then, especially at the few points along the

buildings and shade were to be found.

picturesque in their country dress, but more especially

the women,

who spin flax as they walk and who

ably ply a trade as old as Hellenic civilization


in about the

itself

same general way that their most remote

ancestors plied
ily

prob-

it.

enough posed

These little knots of peasants readfor the

camera, and were contented

with a penny apiece for drink-money. Not the least


curious feature of these peasant herdsmen

type of

crook carried not

was the

the large, curved crook

that the ordinary preconceived ideal pictures, but


straight sticks with a queer

little

narrow quirk

in the

and

end, with which the shepherd catches the agile

lamb by the hind leg and thus holds


able to seize the animal in some more

elusive goat or
it

until

he

is

suitable part.
folk,

ready enough with

herd, which
it

These herdsmen proved hospitable

is

offers of

milk fresh from the

esteemed a delicacy by them, whatever

might have seemed

to our

uneducated palates.

Perhaps halfway out to Epidaurus one passes another remnant of the most remote time
fortification

on a deserted

hill.

It

is

of

lofty

polygonal

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS


masonry

that

is,

angular stones

of

fitted

203
together

without mortar, instead of being squared after the

manner

of the Cyclopes.

Hard

by, spanning a ravine

which has been worn by centuries


there

was

a Cyclopean bridge,

of winter torrents,

made

of

huge rocks

so arranged as to form an enduring arch, and on this

once ran no doubt the great highway from Epidaurus


to the plain of Argos,
It

was long

after the

noontide hour when the gray

theatre of Epidaurus, a
distant side of a green

or so

away across a

the remnants of

mere splash

hill,

came

level field, in

which lay scattered

what was once the most celebrated

hospital in the world.

For Epidaurus boasted

to be the birthplace of JEsculapius,

Greek

soil,

of stone in the

in sight, lying a mile

Asklepios,

and held

his

or, as we are on
memory in deep

reverence forever after by erecting on the


establishment such as to-day
tarium." After the heat

we might

and dust

herself

site

call

a vast

a "sani-

of the ride

it

was

pleasant to stretch out in the shade of the scanty local


trees,

on the fragrant grass

the theatre, and look back


its

distant blue

sive gray

hills.

of the rising

down

tains that

the long valley, with

mountains framed

in

a vista of mas-

The nearer ones were impressive

their height, but absolutely


like the hills

ground near

around Attica

denuded

and

it

in

of vegetation,

was these moun-

formed the sole scenery for the background

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

204

produced

of plays

in the great theatre close by.

The

theatre, of course, is the great

and

at Epidaurus

in splendid preserva-

tion while

No

to-day, for

one

is

central attraction

a confusing mass of

all else is

flat ruins.

is

better preserved, or can surpass

for general

grace of lines or perfection of

ancient theatre

this

it

Many were

acoustic properties.

among all

the old

doubtless larger, but

Greek theatres Epidaurus best

pre-

modern eye the playhouse of the ancircular orchestra and all. The acoustics any-

serves to the
cients,

body may test

easily

We disposed ourselves

enough.

over the theatre in various positions, high and low,

along the half-a-hundred


to

tiers of seats,

an oration dealing with the points

and

listened

of interest in the

theatre's construction delivered in a very ordinary

tone,

from the centre

the remotest

The

of the orchestra,

but audible in

tier.

circle of the orchestra is

not paved, as had

been the case with the theatres seen at Athens, but


a green lawn, in the centre of which a stone dot
veals the

site of

the circle

is

the ancient altar.

not actually as perfect as

shorter in one set of radii

But to

all

easily the

appearance

if

indeed

re-

was stated that


it

by something

it is

looks, being
like

two

absolutely round,

most beautiful type

in existence to-day,

one.

It

is

feet.

and

is

of the circular orchestra


it is

not the only perfect

The immense amphitheatre surrounding

it

was

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS


evidently largely a natural one, which a

stonework easily made complete


to-day that a very

little

Some such

now

it is

make

so perfect
entirely

it

before a vast audi-

no doubt, because

difficulty of getting

company

of auditors to

would be necessary,

also, to rebuild

the proskenion, the foundations of which are

be seen behind the orchestra, and one


to think of

of the

any very considerable


the spot, or of housing them

apparent

It

little artificial

plan was actually talked of a few

years ago, but abandoned,

while there.

and

labor would

possible to give a play there


ence.

205

what might happen

may

still

to

tremble

in the process should

the advocates of the stage theory and their opponents


fail

to agree better than they

From
ment

have hitherto done.

the inspection of the theatre

of the

and the enjoy-

view across the plain to the rugged

hills

our dragoman called us to lunch, which was spread


in a little rustic

pergola below.

He had

thoughtfully

provided fresh mullets, caught that morning

Nauplia quay, and had cooked them in the

ofT

little

the

house

occupied by the local custode. Hunger, however, was


far less

a matter

warned not

of

concern than

thirst.

We had been

to drink of the waters of the sacred well

of Asklepios in the field below,

and as there was no

spring vouched for with that certitude that had at-

tended the waters of Castalia,

we were thrown

back,

as usual, on the bottled product of the island of

An-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

2o6
dros

a water which

and

excellent, but well worth the price of admission

not only intrinsically pure

is

from the quaint English on


their

In rendering

its label.

panegyric on the springs of Andros into the

English tongue, the translators have declared that


"

is

the equal of

its

it

superior mineral waters of Eu-

rope."

The sacred
in the

day

well of the god, however, proved later

that

had not

it

lost all its virtues

even un-

der the assaults of the modern germ theory for while


;

we were wandering through

the

maze

of ruins in the

strong heat of the early afternoon one of our

company

was decidedly inconvenienced by an ordinary " nosebleed"

which

prompt applications

of

the water,

drawn up in an incongruous tin pail, instantly stopped.


thus did we add what is probably the latest cure,

And

and the only one

for

some

centuries,

worked by the

once celebrated institution patronized by the native


divinity. It is related that the
hillside just east of the

god was born on the

meadow, but this

in conflict with other traditions.

klepios

was not

in ancient

came

story

later,

times,

in the

is

sadly

seems that As-

originally a divinity, but a

man, as he seems to be
deification

It

mere hu-

Homeric poems. His

as not infrequently happened

and with

it

came a network

of

legends ascribing a godlike paternity to him and assigning no less a sire than Apollo. Indeed,

it is

stated

THEATRE AT EPIDAURUS

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS


by some

207

authorities that the worship of Asklepios did

not originate in Epidaurus at


that the cult

all,

but in Thessaly and


;

was a transplanted one

in its chief site

Peloponnesus, brought there by Thessalian

in the

adventurers.

meadow below

All over the

the great theatre are

scattered the remains of the ancient establishment.

The ceremony
been

of healing at

in large part

not entirely so

a faith-cure arrangement, although

for there is

at Delphi, there

Epidaurus seems to have

reason to believe that, as

was more or

less natural

common

sense employed in the miracle-working, and that the


priests of the healing art actually acquired not

primitive

skill in

medicine.

It

was a

which was attended by more or

skill,

but this

is

little

mummery and

less

circumstance, useful for impressing the


patient

however,

mind

of the

not even to-day entirely absent

from the practice of medicine with

its "

"therapeutic suggestion" elements.

sending the patient to rest

in

placebos " and

The custom

of

a loggia with others,

where he might expect a nocturnal

visitation of the

god himself, has been referred to in these pages before,


and survives even to-day in the island of Tenos at the
eve of the Annunciation. The tales of marvelous cures
at Epidaurus were doubtless as common and as well
authenticated as the similar modern stories at Lourdes
and Ste. Anne de Beaupre.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

2o8

In addition to the actual apartments devoted to the


sleeping patients, which were but a small part of the
sanitarium's equipment, there was the inevitable great

temple of the god himself,

a large gymnasium sug-

gestive of the faith the doctors placed in bodily exercise as

the

first

a remedy, and a large building said to be

example

of

a hospital ward, beside numerous

incidental buildings devoted to lodgment.

commentators have called attention


of shrines to the

honor

of

Satirical

to the presence

Aphrodite and Dionysus as

bearing enduring witness to the part that devotion to


those divinities seems to have been thought to bear

The presence of the


magnificent theatre and the existence of a commodious stadium testify that life at Epidaurus was not
without its diversions to relieve the tedium of the medical treatment. And in its day it must have been a

in afflicting the

human

race.

large and beautiful agglomeration of buildings. To-

much
Olympia. The

day
at

it is

as

of

a maze as the ruins at Delphi or

non-archaeological visitor will prob-

ably find his greatest interest in the theatre and in


the curious circular "tholos"
ing, the purpose of

which

is

a remarkable build-

not clear,

made

of a

num-

ber of concentric rings of stone which once bore col-

onnades.

and

It

stands in the midst of the great precinct,

in its ruined state

as the once

it

resembles nothing so

much

celebrated " pigs-in-clover " puzzle. In the

NAUPLIA AND EPIDAURUS


museum on

little

attempt has been


ful

209

the knoll above, a very successful

made to

give an idea of this beauti-

temple by a partial restoration. Being indoors,

can give no idea either of the diameter or height


the original
trave

it

of

but the inclusion of fragments of archi-

and columns serve

to

convey an impression

the general beauty of the structure, as

of

we had seen to

be the case with similar fractional restorations at Del-

The

phi.

extensive ruins in the precinct

itself

do not

They

lend themselves to non-technical description.


are almost entirely
to identify

most

flat,

and the ground plans serve

of the buildings, without giving

appearance when complete.

very good idea

of their

Pavements

remain intact

and

still

altar bases

any

and exedral

in

some

seats

of the

lie all

rooms,

about in ap-

parent confusion. Nevertheless the discoveries have

been plotted and identified with practical completeness,

and

to pass

it is

easy enough with the aid of the plans

through the precinct and get a very good idea

of the manifold buildings

which once went to make

up what must have been a populous and


resort for the sick.

attractive

Whatever may be thought

of the

religious aspects of the worship of Asklepios,

evident

that the

at Epidaurus, with

and

regimen prescribed by the


its

is

cult

regard for pure mountain air

healthful bodily exercise, not to

diversion

it

and amusement

for the

mention welcome

mind, was furthered

2IO

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

by ample

facilities in

the

way

of

equipment

of this

world-famous hospital.

When we

were there the Greek School

of Archae-

ology was engaged in digging near the great temple


of the god, the foundations of

which have now been

completely explored to a considerable depth, and

was

interesting to see the primitive

excavation was being carried on.

way in which

it

the

Men with curiously

shaped picks and shovels were loosening the earth

and tossing

it

into baskets of wicker stuff,

turn were borne on the heads of

and there dumped.

It

women

which

in

to a distance

was slow work, and apparently

nothing very exciting was discovered. Certainly nothing was unearthed while
laborious

toil.

we were watching

this

CHAPTER XL

WITHsend

IN

ARCADIA

the benison of the landlord,

to

little

boy,"

who promised

our luncheon over to the station " in

we departed from Nauplia on a

toward noontime, headed


ponnesus by way

train

for the interior of the Pelo-

of Arcadia.

The journey

that

we

had mapped out for ourselves was somewhat ofi the


beaten path, and it is not improbable that it always
will

be

so, at least for

those travelers

who

insist

on

railway lines and hotels as conditions precedent to an


inland voyage, and

who

prefer to avoid the primitive

towns and the small comforts

of peasants' houses.

Indeed our own feelings verged on the apprehensive

was all over we wonOur plan was to leave


line of the railway, which now entirely encircles
Peloponnesus, at a point about midway in the

at the time, although

dered not a
the
the

eastern side,
of the

little

and

when

it

at the fact.

to strike boldly across the middle

Peloponnesus to the western coast at Olympia,

visiting

on the way the towns

of Megalopolis

and

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

212

Andhritsaena, and the temple at Bassae. This

meant

a long day's ride in a carriage and two days of horseback riding over mountain trails and as none of us,
including the two ladies, was accustomed to eques;

trian exercises, the

apprehensions that attended our

departure from the Nauplia station were perhaps not


unnatural.

had been necessary to secure the services of a


dragoman for the trip, as none of us spoke more than
Greek enough to get eggs and such common necesIt

saries of

life,

and we knew absolutely nothing

country into the heart of which

of the

we were about

to

The dragoman on such a trip takes entire


charge of you. Your one duty is to provide the costs.

venture.

He

attends to everything else

riages, secures horses, guides,


all the food, hotel

ets,

tea.

tips,

railway tick-

This comprehensive ser-

be secured at the stated sum

vice

is

lars

a day per person, and

for car-

and muleteers, provides

accommodation,

and even afternoon


to

wires ahead

in

our case

of ten dolit

included

not only the above things, but beds and bedding and

our

own

tomed

private

and

especial cook.

those accus-

to traveling in luxury, ten dollars a

not seem a high traveling average.


selves

To

accustomed

to seeing the

To those like our-

world on a daily ex-

penditure of something like half that sum,


to

seem at first a trifle

day does

it is

extravagant. However,

likely

let it

be

IN
added with

ARCADIA

becoming

all

haste,

see the interior of Greece with


the comfort which
cost that

From
of

it

the

it

it

213
is

the only

any comfort

does enable

is

easily

at

way
all,

to

and

worth the

entails.

moment we

any care whatever.

left

Nauplia we were devoid

We placed ourselves unreserv-

young Athename of Spyros Apostolis, who came


to us well recommended by those we had known in
the city, and who contracted to furnish us with every
edly in the keeping of an accomplished

nian bearing the

reasonable comfort and transportation as hereinbefore set forth,

and

also to supply

archaeology, geography, history,

all

the mythology,

and so

forth that

should happen to require. For Spyros, as


to call him,

we

we

learned

was versed not only in various languages,

including a very excellent brand of English, but

boasted not a

command

little

of ancient history that

in traversing

famous ground.

very few days that


of

an old

technical archaeological lore

came in very aptly


came to pass in a

we regarded Spyros

and appealed

friend,

It

to

It

was

in the

next few days

and

from that

name of a distant

of

peak.

comfortable knowledge that for the

we had

absolutely no bargaining to

that for the present Spyros,

in the train,

in the light

him as the supreme

arbiter of every conceivable question,

proper wearing apparel to the

and

had

do

who was somewhere

first-class tickets for

our transporta-

214

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

tion, that

we settled back on the cushions and watched

the receding landscape and the diminishing bulk of


the Nauplia

cliffs.

The train religiously stopped at the

think
deserted acropolis and
station of Tiryns

of

then jogged comfortably

along to Argos, where

was here

a station provided for a

we were

to

change

we bought our shepherd

that

pipes

cars. It
;

and we

were practicing assiduously on them with no

result

save that of convulsing the gathered populace on the

when an urchin
steam up the line and

platform,

of the village spied a puff

of

set all

exclamation, "
lad's " she

's

epxerai,"

comin'

The comfort

of

agog by the

equivalent to the

classic

New England

being handed into that train by

Spyros and seeing our baggage

set in after us with-

out a qualm over the proper fee for \he/acchim can

only be realized by those

who have

experienced

it.

And, by the way, the baggage was reduced to the


minimum for the journey, consisting of a suit case
apiece.

Our party was composed of those who habitu-

ally " travel light," even

but for the occasion

amount
around
rail.

of

on the regular lines

we had

curtailed even our usual

impedimenta by sending two

to the other

Nobody would

end

of

of traffic

of

our grips

our route by the northern

care to essay this cross-country

jaunt with needless luggage, where every extra tends


to multiply the

number

of

pack mules.

IN

The

train,

ARCADIA

which was fresh from Athens and bound


Kalamata, soon turned aside

for the southern port of

from the

215

^gean

and began a laborious ascent


deep valleys, the line making im-

coast

along the sides of

mense horseshoes as

picked

it

its

way

along, with

frequent rocky cuts but never a tunnel.

do not

we passed through a single tunnel in all


The views from the windows, which were

recall that

Greece.

and
up the long grades, nevertheless were of

frequently superb as the train panted slowly


painfully

the traditional rocky character

rugged

all

hills

devoid of greenery, barren valleys where no water

much
make

was, often suggesting nothing so


heights of Colorado.
the sharper
last,

when

tended to

It

as the rocky

the contrast

the train, attaining the heights at

shot through a pass which led us out of the

barren rocks and into the heart of the broad plain


of

Arcady.

and

It

was the

real

painters, utterly different

Arcadia

of the poets

from the gray country

which we had been sojourning

in

and had come

to

regard as typical of

It

was the Arcadia

of

our dreams

and

Greece.

a broad, peaceful,

fertile plain,

green

smiling, peopled with pastoral folk, tillers of the

fields,

shepherds, and doubtless poets, pipers, and

nymphs. There
hills

all

is

grandeur and beauty

and narrow valleys

wrong

to

in the

of the north, but

assume that Greece

is

it

rugged

would be

simply that and no-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

2i6

thing more. At least a portion of Arcadia

what the poets

sing.

The

the remote distance and

hills

left

Far

off to

retreated suddenly to

Water ran

rejoicing

the banks of the brooks.

the south the rugged bulk of Taygetos

marked from
of the

waved on

exactly

the railway running along

level plain dotted with farms.

through. Trees

is

afar the site of Sparta, the long ridge

mountain

still

covered with a

field of

gleaming

snow.
Arcadia boasts two of these large, oval plains, the

one dominated by Tripolis and the other by Megalopolis.

Into the first-mentioned the train trundled

early in the afternoon

and came to a

halt

amid a shout-

ing crowd of carriage drivers clamoring for passengers to alight and make the drive down to Sparta.
The road is said to be an excellent one, and that
we had not planned to lengthen our journey to that

and thence westward by the Langada Pass to


the country which we later saw, has always been one
point,

which mark our Hellenic memories.

of the regrets

Sparta has

made

little

appeal to the modern visitor

through any surviving remains


ness,

and has

cydides predicted for her.


in

of her ancient great-

fallen into exactly the state that

comparing the

city with Athens, that future

were certain to underestimate Sparta's

power because

Thu-

For he sagely remarked,

of the paucity of

size

ages

and

enduring monu-

ARCADIA

IN

217

ments, whereas the buildings at Athens would be


likely to inspire the beholder with the idea that she

was greater than she

That

really was.

is

exactly true

to-day, although the enterprising British school has


lately

undertaken the task of exploring the

ancient Lacedaemonian

city

site of

the

and has already uncov-

ered remains that are interesting archaeologically,

whatever

may be

monuments

nian

true of their comparison with Athefor beauty.

In

any

event, Sparta,

with her stern discipline, rude ideals, and martial


rather than intellectual virtues, can never

hope to

appeal to modern civilization as Athens has done,

although her ultimate overwhelming of the Athenian


Sparta

state entitles her to historical interest.

hard by the mountain Taygetos, and to

this

lies

day they

show you a ravine on the mountain-side where it is


claimed the deformed and weakly Spartan children
were cast, to remove them from among a race which
prized bodily vigor above every other consideration.
It is

a pity that Sparta, which played so vast a part

in early history, should

material existence.

she was strong

If

have

left

so

little

to recall her

she was not elegant or cultured,

and her ultimate triumph went

to

prove that the land where wealth accumulates and

men decay has a less sure

grip on

life

than the ruder,

sterner nations.

So

it

was that we passed Sparta by on the other

2i8
side

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


and journeyed on from the smiling

polis to the equally smiling

ing thoroughly into the

one

plain of Tri-

of Megalopolis, enter-

spirit of

Arcadia and vainly

seeking the while to bring from those shepherd pipes

melody

fit

to voice the joy of the occasion.

now

apparent

that

we had

It

was

crossed the main water-

was on a downward
grade and the brakes shrieked and squealed shrilly
as we ground into a tiny junction where stood the

shed

of Hellas, for the train

little

branch-line train for Megalopolis.

And

in the

cool of the afternoon

we found

named town,

very heart of Arcadia, the late

in the

ourselves in that mis-

afternoon light falling obliquely from the westering

sun as

it

sank behind an imposing row

of serrated

mountains, far away.

To one even remotely acquainted with Greek roots,


the name Megalopolis must signify a large city. As
once was

It was erected demaking a large city,


founded by three neighboring states, as a makeweight against the increasing power of the Lacedaemonians but, like most places built on mere fiat, it

a matter

of fact,

it

so.

liberately with the intention of

dwindled away,

until

to-day

more appropriately be
it is

entitled to

it is

a village that might

called Mikropolis

be called a

" polls " of

any

if,

indeed,

sort.

The

railway station, as usual, lay far outside the village,

and

in the station

yard the one carriage of the town

ARCADIA

IN
was awaiting

us.

Into

mounted beside the

219

we were

it

thrust

with a rattle that recalled the famous

The

hole, to put
of

village itself

and

off to

the

proved to be but a sorry

in the mildest form.

it

Spyros

Deadwood

coach we whirled out of the inclosure and


town.

a swarthy native

driver,

It

was made up

a fringe of buildings around a vacant common,

level as

a floor and sparsely carpeted with grass and

weeds.

As we passed house

ing

in,

hope grew, along with thankfulness, that we

had

at least

after

house without turn-

escaped spending the night


Nevertheless

hitherto seen.

before a dingy abode,

we did

in

any hovel

eventually stop

and were directed

to alight

and

Under a dark stone archway and over a


pavement we picked our gingerly way, emerging in a sort of inner court, which
Spyros pointed out was a " direct survival of the
hypaethral megaron of the ancient Mycenaean house "
enter there.

muddy

floor of stone

glorified ancestry

indeed for a dirty area around

which were grouped the apartments

of the family pig,

cow, and sundry other household appurtenances and


attaches. It

lodging, but

was an unpromising prelude


it

made

emerged, by means
little

surprise
of

all

for

a night's

the greater

when we

flight of rickety stairs,

on a

balcony above, and beheld adjoining it the apart-

ments destined

for

our use.

and garnished, and the

They had been swept

floors

had been scrubbed

220

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

until

they shone.

erected

The

collapsible iron

beds had been

and the bedding spread upon them, while

near by stood the dinner table already laid for the

evening meal

and presiding over

it

all

stood the

cook, to whose energy all these preparations were


due, smiling genially through a forest of mustache,
to us as " Stathi."

and duly presented

we whetted our

In the twilight

by a brisk walk out

of the village,

appetites for dinner

perhaps half a mile

away, to the site of the few and

meagre

ruins that

Megalopolis has to show. Our progress thither was


attended with

pomp and pageantry

furnished

by the

rabble of small boys and girls whose presence was at


first

who

undesirable enough, but

later

proved useful

as directing us to the lane that led to the ruins

and

sundry sheep dogs that

dis-

as guards in stoning

off

puted the way with

us.

lepta ensued,

The

and we were

usual disbursement of

left

to inspect the

Those remains were

of ancient greatness in peace.

few and grass-grown. They included

theatre,

remains

little

more than

once one of the greatest in Greece, with the

structures behind the orchestra

still

largely visible,

and a few foundations of buildings behind these, on


the bank of a winding river. Aside from these the
old Megalopolis

is

That night we

no more.

sat

down

hotels in Athens could

to

a dinner such as few

have bettered. The candle-

IN
sticks

ARCADIA

on the table were

221

of polished silver,

which bore

Our tablecloth and napkins were embroidered. Our dishes


were all of a pattern, and we afterwards discovered

the

monogram

of the ancestors of Spyros.

that every piece of our household equipment, from

soup plates to the humblest


supply, bore the

same

we have laughed

time

" crockery " of the family

tasteful decoration.

Many a

at the incongruity

between

our surroundings and the culinary panorama that


Stathi conjured
side

up from

his primitive kitchen out-

and served with such elegance.

piece of the chef's

was a master-

six courses following each

art,

other in rapid succession,

oven where a charcoal

It

all

fire

produced

in the

narrow

blazed in answer to the

Soup gave place


macaroni to lamb chops and green
to macaroni
peas chickens followed, flanked by beans and new
energetic fanning of a corn broom.
;

potatoes from the gardens of the neighborhood

man pancakes wound up

the repast

and

ter of

wa-

Andros, which cheers without inebriating, and

capable of doing both.

lamp helped

remote

furnish heat as well as light, for

district the

suspect

very modern-looking

high above the sea and the night was


this

was

the

of the

beakers of the red wine of Solon, which


is

Ger-

coffee

served in an adjoining coffee-house afterward

whole accompanied by copious draughts

chilly.

oil

we were
Even to

product of the Rockefeller

in-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

222

more common
cans, with a wooden

dustry has penetrated, and no sight

than the characteristic square

oil

is

bar across the centre for carrying, which the peasants


use for water buckets when the original

They

hausted.

are useful, of

oil

is

ex-

course more so than

the old-fashioned earthen amphorse.

But they are

not as picturesque.

My

companion,

the Professor,

below

for

and

New

and, like

Bowery

will

be convenient to

call

adjourned to the cofifee-house

modern Greek, only

response, " Sure,"

bar

it

our after-dinner smoke, and demanded cofTee

in our best

lived in

whom

life,

to

from our host.

evoke the hearty


It

seemed he had

York, where he maintained an oyster


all

who have

ever tasted the joys of

he could not be happy anywhere

else,

but yearned to hear the latest news from that land of


his heart's desire.

and had

to force

We

tarried long over our cups,

payment on him. Thence we

through the low-browed arch that led


barred and locked

it

on our

retired

our abode,

with ponderous fastenings that

might have graced the Lion Gate


to repose

to

collapsible beds,

itself,

and lay down

which happily did

not collapse until Spyros and Stathi prepared them


for the next day's ride.
fasted.

This they did while we break-

The morning meal came

into the

bedrooms

bodily on a table propelled by our faithful servitors,


the food having been prepared outside

and as we

ARCADIA

IN
ate, the

chamber work progressed merrily

side, so that in short

The

223

order

we were ready

at our table

for the road.

carriage for the journey stood without the

gate,

manned by a dangerous-looking but

affable native,

and behind

it

main

actually

lay a spring cart of

two

wheels, wherein were disposed our beds, cooking


utensils,

and other impedimenta. The word

mand was

given,

and the caravan

of

com-

set out blithely for

bowed out of town by the


man who had kept an oyster bar.

the western mountains,

beaming face of the


The road had an easy time
mile.

ran through a

It

of

fertile

it

for

many

plain,

a level

watered by

the sources of the famous Alpheios River, which


skirted for hours, the

hills

steadily converging

we

upon

us until at last they formed a narrow gorge through

which the river forced

its

way, brawling over rocks,

way was an
which we alighted

to the Elian plains beyond. Beside the

old

and dismantled winepress,

long enough to
to

visit.

Disused as

it

imagine the barefooted maidens

hood treading out the


upper

loft,

was,

it

of the

was easy
neighbor-

juices of the grapes in the

the liquid flowing

down through

flooring into the vats beneath.

It is

the loose

the poetic

way

of

preparing wine but having seen one night of peasant


;

life

already,

methods
preferred.

we were

forced to admit that

of extracting the juice

modern

seem rather

to

be

224

GREECE AND THE AEGEAN ISLANDS

Just

ahead lay the gateway

by a conspicuous

conical

narrowing plain between

hill

of Arcadia,

set in the

named

Karytaena.

too brief and the sun too hot to permit us

to ascend thereto, but

even from the highway below

proved an immensely attractive

famous

midst of the

two mountain chains and

bearing aloft a red-roofed town

Time was

guarded

hill

towns

of Italy.

it

place, recalling the

Behind

it

lay the broad-

ening plain of Megalopolis and before the narrow


ravine of the Alpheios, walled in by two mighty

hills.

Karytaena seems like an inland Gibraltar, and must


in the old

days have been an almost impregnable

defense of the Arcadian country on


set as

But

it

for

is in

some

its

western side,

the very centre of a constricted pass.


reason, possibly because the enemies

of

Greece came chiefly from the

east,

to

have figured prominently as a

fortress in history.

Below the town the road wound down

it

seems not

to the river's

edge and crossed the stream on a quaint six-arched

some thankful persons had erected a shrine of Our Lady. And beyond
the road began a steady ascent. We had left the
bridge, against one pier of which

plain for good,

and tortuous

it

appeared. Before us lay the deep

defile

through which the river flows to

the western seas, the roar of

its

rushing waters grow-

ing fainter and fainter below as the panting horses

clambered upward with their burdens,

until at last

AN OUTPOST OF ARCADY

IN

ARCADIA

225

only a confused murmuring of the river was heard

mingling with the

rustle of the

leaves of the wayside trees.

wind through the

The road was not

pro-

vided with parapets save in a few unusually danger-

ous corners, and the thought of a plunge down that


steep incline to the river so far below was not at

all

pleasant. Fortunately on only one occasion did

we

meet another wagon, and on that one occasion our


party incontinently dismounted and watched the careIt

was

accomplished safely and easily enough, but we

felt

ful

passage of the two with mingled feelings.

much more

comfortable to be on the ground and see

the wheels graze the edge of the unprotected outside

rim of the highway.

Every now and then a cross ravine demanded an


abrupt descent of the road from

down we would go

to the

bottom

its

of

airy height,

and

a narrow valley,

the driver unconcernedly cracking his whip, the bells


of

our steeds jangling merrily, and our party hang-

ing on and trying hard to enjoy the view in a nervous


and apprehensive way, although increasingly mindful of

the exposed right-hand edge of the shelf.

bothered Stathi, the cook, not at

all.

He was

It

riding

behind on the baggage cart which followed steadily


after,

and

at the steepest of the descent he

ing from side to side on the narrow


ette

hanging neglected from

his lips

was sway-

seat, his cigar-

sound asleep.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

226

These occasional ravines appeared


centuries of water action,

and

well covered with woods, were

by

to

be due to

their banks,

which were

marked here and

tiny threads of cascades which

down

the

cliffs

there

sang pleasantly

from above, crossed the road, and

appeared into the wooded depths

dis-

of the river valley

below. Baedeker had mentioned a huge plane tree

and a gushing spring


to lunch, but

of

we looked

water as a desirable place

them

for

in vain.

Instead

we

took our midday meal beside a stone khan lying


deserted by the roadside, in which on the open hearth
Stathi kindled a

fire

and produced another

culinary miracles, which

we

ate in the

the road, under a plane tree that


gigantic.
"

more on

When

The remainder
hardly to be

that one has


is

sudden

for

a month

is

not lightly to be regarded.

by few

was a steady climb

deemed a drawback. The knowledge

two thousand

loss of all the height

feet to

climb before the


of

one has by an hour's hard

The tedium of

broken by descending

to enjoy the

to

descents, although this

reached does not conduce to welcome

climb attained.
easily

was anything but

one has lived

of the ride

Andhritsaena, varied

goal

by

bottled waters, the expectation of drink-

ing at nature's fount

is

air

We have never quite forgiven Baedeker that

gushing spring."

or

open

of his

the hours of riding was


to walk, the better thus

view which slowly opened out to the

IN
westward.

ARCADIA

We were in

227

the midst of the mountains of

the Peloponnesus now, and they billowed

all

around.

was a deserted country. Distant sheep bells and


occasional pipes testified that there was life someIt

where near, but the only person we met was a woman

who came down from a

hill

to

ask the driver to get

a doctor for her sick son when he should reach


Andhritsaena. At

last,

well toward evening, the drivers

pointed to a narrow cut in the top of the

we were

which

slowly ascending by long sweeping turns of

road and announced the top of the pass.

view that greeted us as we entered the


not easy to forget.
the

hill

And

defile

was one

Through the narrow passage


different country, and

summit lay a new and

the midst of

it,

the

in
in

nestling against the mountain-side, lay

Andhritsaena, red roofed

and white walled, and punc-

tuated here and there by pointed cypress trees. Below


the town, the hills swept sharply

beneath,
of the

filled

away

to the valleys

with green trees, while above the rocks

mountain-side rose steeply toward the even-

ing sky. In the western distance

we saw

for the first

time Erymanthus and his gigantic neighbors, the

mountains that

hem

in

the plain about Olympia,

the taller ones snow-clad and capped with evening


clouds.

We

straightened in our seats.

out of his doze.


into the

Stathi

came

The whips cracked and we dashed

town with the smartness

of gait

and poise

228
that

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


seem

to

be demanded by every arrival

of

coach

and four from Greece to Seattle. And thus they


deposited us in the main square of Andhritsaena,
under a huge plane

tree,

the entire village street,

the buildings at

its side.

The dragoman and

we

The

lost itself in

carriage labored away.

his faithful attendant

lodging house to set


time

whose branches swept over

and whose trunk

it

stretched our

in order.

And

sought our

in the

cramped limbs

in

mean-

a walk

around the town, attended as usual by the entire idle


population of youths and maidens, to see the village

from end to end before the sun went down.


I

add the remark that in my


Andhritssena " I have done conscious

should, perhaps,

spelling of "

violence to the

added

"

word as

it

stands on the

map

the

h " representing a possibly needless attempt

to give the local pronunciation of the

accented on the second syllable.

name.

It is

CHAPTER XII. ANDHRITS^NA AND


THE BASS^ TEMPLE

WE

found the village

without.

It

of Andhritssena fascinat-

ing in the extreme, from within as well as from

was obviously

with a degree of

afflicted

poverty, and suffers, like most Peloponnesian towns,

from a steady drain on

its

population by the emigra-

tion to America. Naturally


lopolis

had been, but

natural beauty of

creased

its

its

in

it

was

Megadid not mar the

squalid, as

a way that

situation, and,

if

internal picturesqueness.

abundant opportunity

anything, in-

This

we had

to observe during our initial

ramble through the place, starting from the gigantic


plane tree which forms a sort of nucleus of the entire
village,

and which shelters with

its

the chief centre of local activity,


diately adjacent to the

spreading branches

the region imme-

town pump.

a pump, however. The term

and one must understand by

is
it

It

was not exactly

merely conventional,
a stone fountain, fed

by a spring, the water gushing out by means

of

two

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

230

an almost continuous stream of towns-

spouts, whither

came with the

folk

inevitable tin oil-cans to obtain

water for domestic uses.

The main, and

practically the only, street of the

town led westward from the

plane, winding along

through the village

in

was

either side

lined close

on

were generally two

an amiable and casual way.

It

by the houses, which

stories in height,

with latticed balconies above to

and provided

make up

for the

necessary lack of piazzas below. Close to the great


central tree these balconies

arboreal habitation

seemed almost

made dear

like the

to the childish heart

by the immortal Swiss Family Robinson and


;

in these

elevated stations the families of Andhritsaena were


disporting themselves after the burden and heat of
the day, gossiping affably to

or in

some

We
guard

fro across the street,

cases reading.

found
of

and

it

as impossible to disperse our

boys and

girls as

body

had been the case the

evening before at Megalopolis. Foreign

visitors in

Andhritsaena are few enough to be objects of universal but not unkindly curiosity to

young and

and the young, being unfettered by the

mands

of cofTee-drinking,

insistent de-

promptly insisted on

was

tending our pilgrimage en masse.

It

sun was low and the mountain

had begun

on the

chill of

evening.

old

air

We clambered

at-

cool, for the

up

to

to take

lofty

ANDHRITS^NA AND BASS^ TEMPLE


knoll over the

ing

smoke

town and looked down over

the

tiles to

of the

wooded

its

231
slant-

valley beneath, the evening

chimneys rising straight up

in thin,

curling wisps, while from the neighboring hills

the faint clatter of the herd bells


soft

came
and occasionally the

some boy's piping. Far away to the north


snowy dome of Erymanthus, rising
a tumbling mass of blue mountains, while be-

note of

we could
out of

see the

tween lay the opening and


widening from its narrows

level plain of the Alpheios,

to

form the broad meadows

on the western coasts

of Elis

of the

Peloponnesus.

Here and there the house of some local magnate,


more prosperous than the rest, boasted a small yard
and garden, adorned with the sombre straightness of
cypresses.

Behind the town rose the rocky heights

neighboring

of the

among

hills,

long gorges running deep

them. Whichever

way

was charm. The body guard


respectful distance
fully to

babies

the eye turned, there

of infantry retired to

and stood watching us,

finger bash-

mouth in silent wonderment. Mothers with


came out of near-by hovels to inspect us, and

enjoyed us as

opened

From

much

as

we enjoyed

the prospect that

before.

the aspect of the houses of the

adjudged

it

town we had

prudent to allow Spyros and Stathi a

decent interval for the preparation of our abode before

descending to the main street again and seeking

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

232

out the house. Apparently the exact location of

was known by the

we descended,

entire population

this time,

willing natives pointed the

for,

as

by

gesticulations, indicating a

way

narrow and not en-

down from

prepossessing alley leading

tirely

by

it

the

central thoroughfare by some rather slimy steps, to

a sort
if

of

second

anything

less

street,

and thence

to another alley,

prepossessing than the

first,

where a

formidable wooden gateway gave entrance to a court.

Here the merry

villagers

their coffee again.

ened.

It

Once

bade adieu and

retired to

within, the prospect bright-

was, of course, the fore-court of a peasant's

house, for hotels are entirely lacking in Andhritsaena.


It

was paved with stone flagging, and above the

courtyard rose a substantial veranda on which stood


the host

a bearded man, gorgeous

the voluminous skirt of which

in native dress,

was immaculate

in its

From tasseled fez to


pomponed shoes he was a fine type of peasant, contrasting with his wife, who wore unnoticeable clothes
yards and yards of fustanella.

European kind. She was a pleasant-faced little


body, and evidently neat, which was more than all.
of

And

she ushered us into the house to the rooms

where Spyros and the cook were busily engaged in


making up the beds, discreetly powdering the mat-

and setting things generally to rights. The


embroidered bed linen which had given us such de-

tresses,

ANDHRITS^NA AND BASS^ TEMPLE


by

light

its

lopolis at

contrast with the surroundings at

once caught the eye

233

Mega-

peasant woman,

of the

and she promptly borrowed a pillow-case to learn the


stitch with which it was adorned. As for the rooms,
they were scrubbed to a whiteness.
Just

overlooking

outside,

narrow by-way

the

through which we had entered, was the inevitable


balcony, whence the view off to the northern mountains

was uninterrupted

we wrapped

and while supper was preparing

ourselves in sweaters

and shawls and

stood in mute admiration of the prospect

the deep

valley below, the half-guessed plain beyond,

rugged

line of

peaks silhouetted against the golden

afterglow of the sunset.

was

distracted only

bell close at

and the

From

this

view our attention

by the sudden clamor

of

a church

hand, which a priest was insistently ring-

ing for vespers.

The

bell

was hung, as so often hapand to prevent the

pens, in a tree beside the church

unauthorized sounding of

it

by the neighborhood

urchins the wise priest had caused the bell-rope to

be shortened so that the end of


the branches, and

it

hung far up among

was only to be reached

for the pur-

poses of the church by a long iron poker, which the


holy

man had produced from somewhere

within his

sanctuary and which he was wielding vigorously to


attract the attention of the devout.

a sort

of

Greek angelus, designed

It

to

may have been


mark

the hour

234

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

of general sunset prayer

for

nobody appeared

in re-

summons, and after clanging away for


what seemed to him a sufficient interval the priest
unshipped the poker and retired with it to the inner
sponse to

its

recesses of the church, to be seen no more.

nipping and eager evening


shelter,

and the heat

welcome as

air likewise

cold which the night

drove us to

lamp and candles was

of the

though ever so

lessening,

The

had brought.

slightly, the

It

was

further

temporarily forgotten in the discussion of the smil-

ing Stathi's soups and

chickens

and flagons

of

Solon.

The
of the

professor

yard

and

after the

stumbled out

in the

evening meal

coffee-house, for the better

prandial cigarettes, but

in search of

enjoyment

we got no

darkness

of

our post-

farther than the

outer court before deciding to return for a lantern.

Andhritsaena turned out to be not only


tensely dark

o'

but

in-

by-ways were
and even the main

nights. Its serpentine

devoid of a single ray


street,

chilly,

of light,

when we had found

it,

was

relieved from utter

gloom only by the lamps which glimmered few and


faint in wayside shops that had not yet felt the force
of the early-closing movement. The few wayfarers
that we met as we groped our way along by the ineffectual fire of

a square lantern, wherein a diminu-

tive candle furnished the illuminant, likewise carried

ANDHRITS^NA AND BASS^ TEMPLE


and looked

similar lights,

man,
of

terrible

Diogenes-like,

their capotes.

enough hooded

in

we sought an honest

and speedily discovered him in the proprietor

a tiny "kaffeneion," who welcomed us to

and

235

set before us

cups of thick

his tables

coffee, fervently dis-

claiming the while his intention to accept remunera-

Indeed

tion therefor.
its

own

reward, for

it

this generosity

bade

fair to

known

apparently became

be

in a

surprisingly short time that the foreign visitors were

taking refreshment in that particular inn, with the


result that

patronage became

however, apparently cared


for the

brisk.

The

patrons,

less for their coffee

than

chance to study the newcomers in their midst

at close range,

and

after

we had basked

for

suffi-

cient time in the affable curiosity of the assembled

multitude

we stumbled

off

again through the night

and awful

to our abode, the lantern casting gigantic

shadows on the wayside walls the

Now

while.

the chief reason for our visiting this quaint

and out-of-the-way hamlet was its contiguity to the


mountain on the flat top of which stands the ancient
Bassae temple.
really the

isolated

The

correct designation,

believe, is

"temple at Bassse," but to-day

and

alone, with

it

stands

no considerable habitation

when
show that
same ease

nearer than Andhritsaena, whatever was the case


it

was

erected.

The evidence tended

to

Bassae might be reached with about the

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

236

on foot as on horseback, or at

least in

about the

same time but as we were entirely without experience


in riding, it was voted best that we begin our train^^S by securing steeds for this minor side trip, in
order to have some slight preparation for the twelve
hours in the saddle promised us for the day following
a portentous promise that had cast a sort of indefinite shadow of apprehension over our inmost souls
since leaving Nauplia. It was a wise choice, too, be;

cause

it

revealed to us

among

other things the

diffi-

Greek mountain trails and the almost absolute

culty of

sure-footedness of the mountain horse.

We

were

Indian

file

in the saddle

we

set out

promptly at nine, and

through the village

with the tremors natural to those


for the first

in

street, filled

who find themselves

time in their lives seated on horseback.

But these tremors were as nothing to what beset us


almost immediately on leaving the town and striking
into the
it.

It

narrow ravine that led up into the

hills

behind

developed that while the prevailing tendency of

the road was upward, this did not

by any means

pre-

clude several incidental dips, remarkable alike for


their
for

appalling steepness and terrifying rockiness,

which

atoned.

their

The

comparative brevity only partially

sensation of looking

down from

the

back of even a small horse into a gully as steep as a


sharp pitch roof,

down which

the

trail is

nothing but

ANDHRITS^NA AND BASS^ TEMPLE


the path of a dried-up torrent

thing but reassuring.

It

with boulders,

filled

and

loose stones, smooth ledges, sand,

was with

237

gravel,

silent

is

any-

misgivings

and occasional squeals of alarm that our party encountered the

learned to trust our mounts, and

we

the well-trained mountain horse

is

likely to

We had not yet

of these descents.

first

know that

did not

a good deal more

stumble on a level road than on one of those

perilous downward

pitches.

From the lofty

perches on

top of the clumsy Greek saddles piled high with rugs,


it

seemed a

ground

terrifying distance to the

and

the thought of a header into the rocky depth along


the side of which the path skirted or
it

down

plunged was not lightly to be shaken

much

better

into
ofT.

which
It

was

going up grade, although even here we

found ourselves smitten with pity

much

that scrambled with so

for the little beasts

agility

up

cruel steeps of

rock, bearing such appreciable burdens of well-nour-

ished Americans on their backs. Spyros did his best to


reassure us.

He was

riding ahead

and throwing what

were intended as comforting remarks over


der to Mrs. Professor,

who rode

next in

his shoul-

line.

And

as

he was not aware

of the exact

mounts, he

volunteered the opinion that horses

finally

were a good deal

safer than

make-up

mules

for

of the party's

such a

trip,

be-

Whereupon Mrs. Professor,


who was riding on a particularly wayward and mouncause mules stumbled

so.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

238

tainous mule, emitted a shriek of alarm and descended

with amazing alacrity to the ground, vowing that

walking to Bassae was amply good enough

for her.

Nevertheless the mule, although he did stumble a


little

now and

then,

managed

to stay with us all the

way to Olympia, and no mishap occurred.


The saddles lend themselves to riding either
astride or sidesaddle, and the ordinary man we met
seemed to prefer the latter mode. The saddle frame
is

something the shape

is set

on the back

blankets, rugs,

of

a sawhorse, and after

of the beast

it

piled high with

it is

and the like, making a lofty but fairly


For the ladies the guides had

comfortable seat.

wooden swings suspended by rope to


The
arrangement was announced to be comfortable
enough, although it was necessary for the riders to
hold on fore and aft to the saddle with both hands,
devised

little

serve as stirrups for the repose of their soles.

while a muleteer went ahead and led the beasts. In

some

of the steeper places the

maintenance

under these conditions required no

the men, there were no special muleteers.

supposed to know how

we had

discovered

how

to ride,

it

in

by pulling

across the horse's neck.

Greek horse you

and

a seat

As

for

We were

a short time

to guide the horses with the

single rein provided, either

ing

of

little skill.

whistle.

That

To
is

it,

or

by pressmodern

stop the

to say,

you

whistle

ANDHRITS^NA AND BASS^ TEMPLE


if

you can muster a whistle

at

which

all,

is

239

some-

difficult when a panic seizes you and your


mouth becomes dry and intractable. In the main
our progress was so moderate that no more skill was
needed to ride or guide the steeds than would be
required on a handcar. Only on rare occasions, when
some of the beasts got off the track or fell behind,
was any real acquaintance with Greek horsemanship
required. This happened to all of us in turn before
we got home again, and in each case the muleteers
came to our aid in due season after we had com-

times

pletely lost all recollection of the proper procedure


for

stopping and were seeking to accomplish

loud " whoas


is

the

" instead of the

it

by

soothing sibilant which

modern Greek equivalent

for that useful,

and

indeed necessary, word.

We found

it

highly desirable

now and then

unaccustomed

to alight

and walk,

for to the

sitting in

a cramped position on a horse for hours at

a time

On

is

wearying and benumbing to the lower limbs.

the ride

at all

found

arrived.

up
it

to Bassse, those

decidedly

The one

who

difficult to

deterrent

way to

little,

in

difficulty of getting

this operation the

our clumsiness not a

did no walking

walk when they

was the labor involved

dismounting and the prospective

aboard again. In

the

rider the strain of

muleteers assisted

and we discovered that

attract their attention to

a desire

to alight

240

was

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


say"ka-t6,

to

" in

commanding

tone

the

same being equivalent to " down."


So much for our experiences as we wound along
the sides of rocky ravines and gorges in the heart of
the hills behind Andhritsaena. When we had grown
accustomed to the manipulation of the horses and had
learned that the beasts really would not

fall

down and

dash us into the depths below, we began to enjoy the


scenery. It
at the

was rugged,

bottoms

meadow

for the

most

of the valleys there

part,

although

was frequently

land spangled with innumerable wildflowers

and shrubbery, watered by an occasional brook. It


was a lovely morning, still cool and yet cloudless. The

among

birds twittered

the stunted trees.

from narrow vale to narrow

no

outlet

was

to

no wood
oaks

of

and

We passed

at last,

when

be seen, we ceased to descend and

began a steady climb out


along the side

vale,

of the

shady undergrowth

a rocky mountain, where there was

at all save for scattered groves of pollard

curious

old trees, low

and gnarled, covered

with odd bunches, and bearing an occasional wreath


of mistletoe.

At the ends

of their branches the trees

put forth handfuls of small twigs, which


told the inhabitants are
is

chance to

live

to

to lop off for

evident that the trees do not get half a

fagots. It

way

accustomed

we were

and

thrive.

But they manage

in

some

prolong their existence, and they give to the

ANDHRITS^NA AND BASS^ TEMPLE

241

region at Bassae and to the temple there a certain

weird charm.

we climbed

Off to the west as

there appeared a

shining streak of silver which the guides saw and


pointed

shouting " Thalassa

to,

And, indeed,

sea).

ocean west
the

was

it

the

Thalassa

first

we

attained

summit and began a gentle descent along a

of tableland

oaks,

through a sparse grove

among which

flat floors of

something
slowly
itself

like

visible at

a score.

down through

and

hills

of these

in the valleys,

one time proved to be

we wound

All at once, as

the avenue of oaks, the temple

burst unexpectedly into view, gray like the sur-

rounding rocks, from which, indeed,


approach a shrine

mon

Many

stone used for threshing.

and the number

sort

of the stunted

here and there appeared round

could be seen on the adjacent

in

like this

was

it

from above

built.

To

not com-

is

Greece, and this sudden apparition of the

temple, which

is

admirably preserved, seem.s to have

struck every visitor

who has

described

ingly beautiful, particularly as one sees

a foreground of these odd

enough above the


it is

(the

"

glimpse of the

Shortly beyond

of Greece.

of course

devoid of any roof


it

the " hypaethral " type,

it

We

trees.

framed

in

were high

down

structure to look

of the other temples,

as exceed-

it

into

it,

for

and unlike most

was always

so, for

and intended

to

it

was

of

be open to

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

242

the sky.

Nor was

temple at Bassae.
shrines in that

and

west,

it

this the

only unusual feature of the

was peculiar among the older


ran north and south instead of east
It

which was the regular custom among the

roofed structures of the Greeks. Of course this

ence in orientation has given


of discussion

rise to

differ-

a great deal

and speculation among those whose

opinions are of weight in such matters. Probably the


casual visitor in Greece
of so fixing the axes of

is

well aware of the custom

temples as to bring the east-

ern door directly in line with the rising sun on certain appropriate days, for the better illumination of

the interior on those festivals.

Although such expe-

dients as the use of translucent marble roofs were

resorted
ples
this

to,

the lighting of the interior of roofed tem-

was always a matter of some little difficulty, and


arrangement of the doorways was necessary to

bring out the image of the god in sufficiently strong


light.

From

sionally

this

system

of orientation it

has occa-

been possible to identify certain temples

by noting the
sun would have come ex-

as dedicated to particular deities,

days on which the rising

actly opposite the axis of the shrine.

sideration

No

would apply with the same

such con-

force to a

hypaethral temple, whatever else might have figured


in the general determination of the orientation.

But

even at Bassae, where the length of the temple so

ANDHRITS^NA AND BASSJE TEMPLE


obviously runs north and south,

one opening

in

is still

it

was eastward, and

it

it

that in the end of the temple space

is

243

true that

supposed

was an older

shrine to Apollo, which, like other temples, faced the

This older precinct was not interfered

rising sun.

with in erecting the greater building, and

it

is

still

where the original sacred precinct

plainly to be seen

was.

The members of the single


umns are still intact, although
thrown out

of

alignment

the entire entablature.


practically intact,

and

in

facing inward,
is

justly

Greek

is

bear almost

it

are

still

standing large

engaged half-columns which


its

sides.

The great

which once ran around the

now

in the British

top,

Museum, where

it

regarded as one of the chief treasures of the

collection. It hardly

such arrangement of the

needs the comment that

frieze

inside the building, instead of

the

still

of col-

slightly

cella wall within is also

encircled the cella, standing against


frieze in bas-relief,

row

some cases

and they

The

inside

sections of the unusual

encircling

cella,

as

was the case

was highly unusual,


on the outer side

in the Parthenon.

of

Ictinus,

the architect of the Parthenon, also built the temple


at Bassae, which

was dedicated by the Phigalians

to

" Apollo the Helper," in gratification for relief from a

plague. That fact has given rise to the conjecture that


it

was perhaps

built at the

same time that the plague

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

244

ravaged Athens, during the early part


ponnesian War. However
true that

it

that

may

be,

of the Pelo-

it is

evidently

belongs to the same golden age that gave

us the Parthenon and the Propylsea at Athens. Unlike

them,

it

does not glow with the varied hues of the

weathered Pentelic marble, but


the native stone of which

gray

color, contrasting

it

soft gray,

was constructed.

much the same

framework

of trees.

is

thousand

feet

above the sea

The ocean is visible to the south


west. The rolling mountains to the

grand.

to the

an imposing pageant, culminating


getos range.

Looming

like

is

site

Needless to say, the outlook from this lofty


like four

to

satisfactory

be seen at ^gina, where the temple

seen, like this, in a

something

due

And this

with the sombreness of the

surrounding grove, gives


effect as is to

is

as well as
east form

in the lofty

a black

mound

centre of the middle distance to the southward

Tay-

in the
is

the

imposing and isolated acropolis of Ithome, the stronghold of the ancient Messenians.
of the

As usual,

temple at Bassae selected a most advantageous

site for their shrine.

It

was while we were enjoying

the view after lunch that a solitary

from the direction


the

the builders

modern

of

Phigalia.

aside from that he

German appeared

Ithome, having passed through

He had

a boy for a guide, but

was roaming through

section of Greece alone.

this deserted

He knew nothing

of the Ian-

TEMPLE AT

BASSA:,

FROM ABOVE

TEMPLE AT

BASS^E,

FROM BELOW

ANDHRITS.ENA AND BASS^ TEMPLE


guage.
places

He had no dragoman to make the rough


smooth. He had spent several sorry nights in
most did congregate.

peasants' huts, where vermin

But he was enjoying


true Philhellene,

way

245

it all

with the enthusiasm of the

and on the whole was making

about surprisingly well.

a long time

in the

shade

We sat and

of the temple,

his

chatted for

comparing

it

with the lonely grandeur of the temple at Segesta, in


Sicily.

And as the sun was sinking we took the home-

ward way again, but content

to

than harrow our souls by riding

walk

down

this

time rather

the excessively

steep declivity that led from the mountain to the


valleys below.

At dinner that night


appeared with wares to

in Andhritsaena
sell

an old

barbaric blankets, saddlebags,


ently fresh

and new, but

of his wife

who had long been

really,

and the

like,

appar-

he claimed, the dowry


dead.

He had no

ther use for the goods, but he did think he


find uses for the

man

curiously wrought and


fur-

might

drachmae they would bring. Need-

our saddlebags were the heavier the next


day when our pack-mules were loaded for the journey

less to say,

over the

hills to

Olympia.

One other thing deserves a word of comment bewe leave Andhritsaena, and that is the cemetery.
We had seen many funeral processions at Athens,
fore

carrying the uncoffined dead through the streets, but

246

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

we had never paid much attention to


because they are

mainly to be found outside the

commonly taken by
At Andhritsaena we came upon one, how-

city gates,
visitors.

ever,

still

and not

the burial places,

and

in the line

for the first

time noticed the curious

little

wooden boxes placed at the heads of the graves,


resembling more than anything else the bird-houses
that humane people put on trees at home. Inside of
the boxes we found oil stains and occasionally the
remains of broken lamps, placed there, we were told,
as a "mnemeion"
doubtless meaning a memorial,
which word is a direct descendant. The lamps appear

to be kept lighted for a time after the death of the per-

son thus honored, but none were lighted when

we saw

the cemetery of Andhritsaena, and practically

all

fallen into neglect, as

away that

grief at their

had

had been so long


departure had been forgotten.

if

the dead

A little
plate

chapel stood hard by, and on its wall a metal


and a heavy iron spike did duty for a bell.

Then
saena,

the cold night settled

and we

retired to the

beds, ready for the

down upon

warmth

of

summons which should

forth to begin our fatiguing ride to the


of old

Olympia.

Andhrit-

our narrow
call

famous

us
site

CHAPTER

AT

OVER THE HILLS


TO OLYMPIA
XIII.

thumping

of

Spyros

on the bedroom doors announced the

call of

five o'clock the persistent

incense-breathing morn, though Phoebus had not yet

by any means driven his horses above the rim of the


horizon. The air outside was thick o' fog,
doubtless a
low-lying cloud settling on the mountain,
and it was
dark and cheerless work getting out of our narrow

beds and dressing

in the cold twilight. Nevertheless

was necessary,

Olympia

it

for the ride to

is

long,

and

Spyros had promised us a fatiguing day, with twelve


hours

in the saddle as

a minimum.

the pessimistic Baedeker lent

much

To

this forecast

plausibility

by his

reference to the road as being unspeakably bad

and

we ourselves had on the previous day gathmuch personal experience of the mountain trails

besides

ered

of the region.

was a

Breakfast under these circumstances

rather hasty meal,

silence.

consumed

in

comparative

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

248

jam had disappeared and the task of furling up the beds was well
advanced, a clatter of hoofs in the village street drew
one of the party to the door, whence word was speedily returned that the street outside was full of horses.

By

And

the time the last of the rolls and

it

was. There were ten steeds, including four for

our party, two for Spyros and Stathi, one for a muleteer relief conveyance,

the latter being small

burros or

and the

rest for the

baggage

and seemingly quite inadequate

donkeys, who proved more notable

for their

patient indifference than for size or animation.

While

these were being laden, four other beasts drew near,

German of the day before and


another of his countrymen who had materialized during the night, with their impedimenta. They were
bearing our solitary

welcomed

to the caravan, which,

numbering fourteen

and almost as many humans, took the road out


of town with commendable promptitude at sharp six
o'clock. The cloud had lifted as we rounded the west-

beasts

ern edge of the valley and looked back at Andhritssena,

glimmering

in the

Indian

morning

light.

We

were

along a very excellent

streaming

off in

road, like

that on which we had ridden up from

file

Megalopolis two days before, and which promised well


for

a speedy removal of the apprehensions awakened

by Baedeker. But the road did not

we had

fairly lost

last long.

Andhritsaena in the

hills

Before
behind,

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


the leading guide turned sharply to the

left,

249

through

and precipitated us down

a rocky defile

in the hillside,

one

rocky torrent beds, with the nature of

of those

which we had become only too familiar the day before.

It

was the

because we had

less disturbing this time,

our horses, with no more than a firm grip

ful feet of

on bridle and pommel and an occasional


or

however,

learned to trust implicitly to the care-

murmured

soft whistle,

" ochs', ochs'," to the intelligent beasts

as an outward and audible sign of inward and spiritual


perturbation.

It

was steep but

short,

and we came out

below upon the road again, to everybody's unconcealed delight.

The

road, however, soon lost

When
much
pose

it

is

a meadow.

ultimately finished, the journey will be

easier than
it

itself in

we found

it.

In a few years

sup-

be perfectly possible to ride to Olympia

will

in a carriage,

and the horseback problem

will

cease

to deter visitors to Bassae from continuing their jour-

ney westward. The way now lay along a pleasant

and

rolling

meadow

country, dotted with primitive

farms, which glowed under the bright

We splashed through a narrow upland


another rocky ascent,

ward pitch

morning

sun.

and up
beyond which another down-

carried us to a

still

river

lower meadow. Mean-

time the cold of morning gave place to a growing

warmth, and the wraps became saddle blankets

in

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

250

We rode and walked alternately,

short order.

choos-

ing the level stretches through the grass for pedes-

and riding only when we came

trianism

upward

climbs, thus easing the fatigue that

to sharp

we should

otherwise have found in continued riding. Always

we

could see the imposing peaks to the north, and

the

downward tendency

the altitude of the hills

of the trail

soon brought out

behind Andhritssena.

The im-

mediate vicinity of our path was pastoral and agrimain, for the recurring ridges over

cultural, in the

which we scrambled served only as boundaries be-

tween well-watered vales

in

which small trees and

bushes flourished, and where the occasional sharp


whir of pressure from a primitive penstock called
attention to the presence of a water mill. Aside from

these isolated mills there was


for the fields

the far distance

like

sign of habitation,

of its confining walls of

In

rock to what

a sandy reach in the plain far below, and

we should be ferried
we caught the

we were

told that at nightfall

across

close to Olympia, provided

it

to grass.

we could see the valley of the Alpheios,

broadening out

seemed

little

seemed mostly grown up

boatmen before they left for home. It v/as this anxiety


to be on time that led Spyros to urge us along, lest

when we came out at


find

no response

Varka

"

the

bank

of the river

we should

to the ferryman's call of "

the common mode

of hailing

Varka

boatmen

in

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA

251

we wasted little time on


the way, but proceeded steadily, now riding, now
walking, up hill and down dale, through groves of
low acacias or Judas trees, or along grassy meadows
With

Greece.

this for

where a profusion

a spur

of wild flowers

added a touch

of

color to the green.

The

pleasant valley, however, proved not to be

the road for very long. In an hour or so the guides

branched

off

again into a range of

we had

hills

that

seemed

and there entered a tortuous ravine worn by a mountain brook, along which
as high as those

the path

left,

wound higher and higher toward a

distant

house which the muleteers pointed out and pro-

nounced to be a "

ievoSoxuov,"

long ago learned to

call

it

"

the

Professor had

Senator Sheehan,"

at

which wayside inn the mistaken impression prevailed


that

we were

however.

rested under
there,

speedily to lunch.

When we had
two

It

was not so

leafy plane trees that

Spyros repeated

to be,

achieved the height and

we found

about the ferrymen

his tale

sundown and we must away


at once, with no more refreshment than was to be
drawn from some crackers and a bottle of Solon.
And so we pressed on again, still climbing, though
more gradually. The path was not so bad after all,
despite the Baedeker, and in one place we voted it
and

their departure at

easily the finest spot

we had found

in all

our Pelo-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

252

ponnesian rambles.

We were riding along at the time

through a shady grove when we came suddenly upon


a collection of

mammoth

planes,

whose branches

spread far and wide, and from the midst of the

cleft

them a spring bubbled forth joyously,


flooding the road. It was here that the king on one
of his journeys the year before had stopped to rest
and partake of his noonday meal. It seemed to us,
famished by six hours of hard riding, that the king's
example was one all good citizens should follow but
Spyros was inexorable, and reminded us that ferrymen might wait for the King of Greece, but not for
any lesser personages whatsoever. We must not halt
side of one of

until

we got

to

Gremka

for at

Gremka we should

it was four hours


good road, and beyond
travel, and we might judge exactly how much time

find a
of

there

we had for rest by the hour of our reaching the place.


So we obediently proceeded, joined now by two more
beasts so laden with the empty oil-cans common to
the region that only their legs were visible.

furnished the
ences, for the

trary

little

comedy element

donkeys thus loaded proved

creatures,

These

in the day's experi-

always getting

off

to

the

be con-

trail

and

careering down the mountain-side through the scrubby

and bushes, their deck-loads of tin making a


merry din as they crashed through the underbrush,

trees

while our guides roared with derisive laughter at the

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


When

discomfiture of the harassed attendants.

engaged

in ridiculing the

owners

253

of those

not

numerous

and troublesome oil-cans, the muleteers sang antiphonally some music in a minor key which Spyros
said was a wedding song wherein the bridegroom
and the

bride's family interchange sentiments.

This

seems to be the regular diversion of muleteers, judging by the unanimity with which travelers in Greece
relate the experience.

Anon our

muleteers would like-

wise find amusement by stealing around behind and

administering an unexpected smack on the plump


buttocks of the horses, with the inevitable result of
starting the beast out of his meditative

amble

something remotely resembling a canter, and

into

elicit-

ing an alarmed squeal from the rider at which the


muleteer, with the most innocent face in the world,

would appear under the horse's nose and grasp the


bridle,

assuring the frightened equestrian that the

beast was "kala"


All the steeds

altitudinous

or

**all

were small with the exception

mule ridden by one

they were not at

all

however, the

riders.

effort to

and

we wended our way. Not


The thorny branches that

just cleared the nonchalant horse's

the saddle with

of the

of the ladies,

bothered by the low branches of

the trees through which


so,

right."

uncompromising

head swept over


vigor,

swing the beast away from one

and the

tree

meant

254

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

encountering similar
the narrow path.

Charybdis

difficulties

Through

was extremely

it

on the other side

this arboreal Scylla


difficult

of

and

navigation and

the horses took no interest in our plight at

we emerged from
groves along the way we were a

that long before

so

all,

the last of the

beraveled and

bescratched company.
Shortly after noon two villages appeared far ahead,

and we were engaged in speculating as to which


one was Gremka, when the guides suddenl}^ turned
again and shot straight up the hill toward a narrow
defile in the

mountain wall we had been

skirting.

proved as narrow as a chimney and almost as

and
little

for

It

steep,

a few moments we scrambled sharply, our

horses struggling hard to get their burdens up

the grade

but at last they gained the top, and

we

emerged from between two walls of towering rock


into another and even fairer landscape. The plain of
the Alpheios spread directly below, but

allowed to descend to
to climb,

and

for

it.

Instead

we

we were not

actually

began

an hour or two more we rode along

the side of the range of

hills

through the midst of

which we had just penetrated. The path was pleasantly wooded,

and the

afford a grateful shade


of

foliage

above and a

dead leaves below. The

balsamic fragrance of

was thick enough

to

soft carpeting

was heavy with the


the boughs, and the birds sang
air

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


merrily although
that

opened

it

was midday. Through the

in this delightful

open

of

vistas

grove we got recurring

glimpses of the Erymanthus range,

from us only by the miles

255

now

plain,

separated

and vastly

impressive in their ruggedness.

The sides of the range of hills along which our


path wound were corrugated again and again by
ravines,

worn by the brooks, and our progress was

a continual rising and falling in consequence. The


footing was slippery, due to the minute particles of

reddish

gravel and sand,

so that here even our

mountain horses slipped and stumbled, and we were

warned

dismount and pick our own way down,

to

which we

shouting gayly " Varka

did,

the crossing of every absurd


to the intense

by two
poor
plain,

enjoyment

Varka

we

" at

three-inch brook,

of the muleteers.

in the afternoon

And

thus

arrived at Gremka, a

hamlet almost at the edge

of the great

told that we had made


we might have almost an hour

of rest, while

little

and were

so that

little

Stathi unlimbered

splendid time,

the

sumpter mules and spread

luncheon under two pleasant plane trees beside a


real spring.

From Gremka on, we found the road again. It was


we left the minor foothill on which Gremka sits, and for the remainder of
our day we were to all intents and purposes in civilialmost absolutely level after

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

256

Curiously enough,

zation again.

horses, that

little

precipitous trails

it

was here

that our

had been so admirably reliable


of loose rock and sand, began

stumble occasionally, as

if

careless

now

in

to

that the road

was smooth and doubtless somewhat weary with the


miles of climbing and descending. The guides and
little

food and a vast

began

to sing marriage

muleteers, refreshed with a

amount

of resinated wine,

music louder than ever, and the most imposing figure


of

all,

man who

in

every-day

life

was a butcher and

who

carried his

belt,

essayed to converse with us in modern Greek,

huge cleaver

thrust in his leathern

The landscape,

but with indifferent success.

while no

longer rugged, was pleasant and peaceful as the road

wound about
knolls

the valley through low hillocks and

crowned with

little

groves of pine, the broad

we were
nearing the sea. And at last, toward sunset, we swung
in a long line down over the sands that skirt the rushing Alpheios and came to rest on the banks opposite
Olympia, whose hotels we could easily see across the
lower reaches of the rivers testifying that

swelling flood.

The Alpheios
April.

It is

is

not especially wide, but

good many Greek


of

it,

not to be despised as a river in

rivers

do

not,

it

has what a

water, and plenty

running a swift course between the low banks

of the south

and the steeper

bluffs that confine

it

on

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


the

Olympia

side.

The

ferry

was waiting.

257

proved

It

to be a sizable boat, of the general shape of a coast-

wise schooner, but devoid of masts, and mainly hollow, save for a

and, as

little

deck fore and

proved, rapacious natives

it

Three voluble

aft.

manned

it,

the

motive power being poles. With these ferrymen Spyros


in

and

Stathi almost immediately

became involved

a furious controversy, aided by our cohort of mule-

teers.

It

did not surprise us greatly, and

knowing that

whatever happened we should be financially scathless,

we

sat

water.

down on
It

the

bank and skipped pebbles

in the

developed that the boatman had demanded

thrice his fee,

and that Spyros, who had no

about departed

spirits,

illusions

objected strenuously to being

gouged in this way and was protesting vehemently


and volubly, while Stathi, whose exterior was ordinarily so calm, was positively terrible to behold as he
danced about the gesticulating knot

became so
as fierce as

of

serious that the Professor

men.

and

I,

It finally

looking

we could, ranged ourselves alongside, men-

tioning a wholly mythical intimacy with the head of


the Hellenic police department in the hope of promot-

ing a wholesome

spirit of

compromise, but really more

anxious to calm the excited cook,

who was

clamor-

ing for the tools of his trade that he might dispatch


these thrice-qualified knaves of
there.

boatmen then and

Eventually, as tending to induce a cessation

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

258

of hostilities,

we

cast off the

mooring

whereat the

dispute suddenly ended and the beasts of burden went

aboard. So also did the Professor,


to establish a strategic base

and the

rest of us sat

who was anxious

on the opposite bank

and watched the

craft

pushed

and well up against the


was reached whence the force of
the river took her and bore her madly down to her
berth on the Olympia bank. Here fresh difficulties

painfully out into the stream


current, until a point

arose,

not

loaded

financial but mechanical.

donkeys proved

little

The

heavily

utterly unable to step

over the gunwale and get ashore.

It

was an inspiring

sight to watch, the Professor tugging manfully at the

and the remainder

bridle

of the

might and main but it was


;

wrought mightily,

and

in

of

crew boosting with

no avail, although they

until at the psychological

the spot most

fitted to receive

it,

gave the needed impetus by a prodigious


lifted

bank.

moment

a muleteer
kick,

which

the patient ass over the side and out on the

The

rest

was

We were

easy.

ferried over in

our turn and disappeared from the view of the boat-

men, each side expressing


terms which

its

opinion of the other in

we gathered from

the tones employed

were the diametrical reverse of complimentary.

It

was

twelve hours to a dot from the time of our departure

from Andhritsaena when we


at which fact Spyros

strolled into our hotel

plumed himself not a

little.

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA

259

had not been an unduly fatiguing day, after all.


The frequent walking that we had done served to
break up the tedium of long riding, which otherwise
It

would have been productive

numb

limbs and

bear this in mind, for

joints. It is well to

unaccustomed

of

riders assisted

stiff

have seen

from their saddles after

too long jaunts utterly unable to stand, and of course

much

a long period

less to walk, until

of rest

had

restored the circulation in the idle members. Fortunately, too,

day.

which would have made the path dangerous

in spots
it

with an incomparable

Spyros confessed that he had secretly dreaded

rain,

As

we had been blessed

where

was,

condition,

we

it

was narrow and composed

arrived in

Olympia

and on schedule

unready to welcome
for unlimited

Olympia,

warm
like

real

time,

of clay.

in surprisingly

good

though by no means

beds again and the chance

water.

Delphi,

is

a place

of

memories

The visible remains are numerous, but so


that some little technical knowledge is needed to
restore them in mind. There is no village at the mod-

chiefly.
flat

em Olympia at all, nothing but five or six little inns


and a railway

station,

the advantage of

so that

Olympia

Delphi really has

in this regard.

As a

connected with ancient Greek history and Greek


ligion, the

site

re-

two places are as similar in nature as they

are in general ruin.

The

field in

which the ancient

26o

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

structures stand lies just across the tiny tributary

spanned by a footbridge.
Even from the opposite bank, the ruins present

river Cladeus,

a most interesting picture, with

its

greatly enhanced by the neighboring

attractiveness
pines,

through the precinct

scatter themselves

which

itself

and

of Kronos close
grow luxuriantly
among the fallen stones of the former temples and
apartments of the athletes. The ruins are so numer-

cover densely the

little

conical

hill

by, while the grasses of the plain

ous and so prostrate that the non-technical


seriously embarrassed to describe them, as

with every

have been
they

all

site of

is

visitor is

the case

the kind. All the ruins, practically,

identified

and explained, and naturally

have to do with the housing or with the con-

tests of the visiting athletes of ancient times, or with

the worship of tutelary divinities.

Almost the

extensive ruin that

we found on

cling precinct wall

was the Prytaneum

first

passing the encir-

sort of

ancient training table at which victorious contestants

were maintained gratis

while

beyond lay other

equally extensive remnants of exercising places, such


as the Palaestra for the wrestlers. But

all

these were

dominated, evidently, by the two great temples, an


ancient one of comparatively small size sacred to

Hera, and a

which

still

mammoth

edifice dedicated to Zeus,

gives evidence of

its

enormous

extent.

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA

261

some idea of
It was in its day the chief
and the statue of the god

while the fallen column-drums reveal


the other proportions.

glory of the inclosure,

was even reckoned among the seven wonders of the


world. Unfortunately this statue, like that of Athena
at Athens, has

enough

been irretrievably

of the great shrine

its

museum

is

standing in the midst of

the ruins to inspire one with an idea of

and, in the

But there

lost.

greatness

its

above, the heroic figures from

two pediments have been restored and

set

up

in

such wise as to reproduce the external adornment of


the temple with remarkable success. Gathered around

remainder of the ancient

this central building, the

structures having to

do with the peculiar uses of the

spot present a bewildering array of broken stones

An

and marbles.
church

is

obtrusive remnant of a Byzantine

the one discordant feature. Aside from this

the precinct recalls only the distant time

regular

games

the " peace of

dom. Just

called

God"

all

mark

the

Greece to Olympia, while

prevailed throughout the king-

at the foot of

flight of steps

when

Kronos a long

the position of a

suries, as at Delphi, while

row

terrace

and

of old trea-

along the eastern side

of

the precinct are to be seen the remains of a portico

once famous

for its echoes,

distributed the prizes.

arch remaining to

where

There

mark

is

sat the judges

also a

who

most graceful

the entrance to the ancient

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

262

stadium, of which nothing else

on

later structures

now

the site, the "

remains.

house

the most interesting and extensive.

games were

still

of

reign.

He

Nero "

is

The Olympic

celebrated, even after the

domination, and Nero himself entered the

own

Of the

Roman

lists in his

caused a palace to be erected for him

on that occasion

and

of course

he won a victory,

for

any other outcome would have been most impolite,


not to say dangerous. Nero was more fortunately
lodged than were the other ancient contestants,
appears, for there were no hostelries in old
in

it

Olympia

which the visiting multitudes could be housed, and

who came from all over


the land were accustomed to bring their own tents
and pitch them roundabout, many of them on the

the athletes and spectators

farther side of the Alpheios.

The many treasuries,


made as running along

to

which reference has been

the terrace wall at the very

foot of the hill of Kronos, are

Enough
one

to

of

them

judge

is

how

spoken

of

by Pausanias.

occasionally to be found to enable

they appeared

somewhat,

no

doubt, like the so-called "treasury of the Athenians"


that one

may

see in a restored form at Delphi.

In

these tiny buildings were kept the smaller votive


gifts of the

various states and the apparatus for the

games. Not
close

by the

far

from

this

row

of foundations

terrace wall that leads along the

and
hill

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


down

to the arch that

263

marks the stadium entrance,

are several bases on which stood bronze statues


Zeus, set

up by the use

of

moneys derived from

for fracturing the rules of the

athletes achieved

of

fines

games. Various ancient

a doubtful celebrity by having to

erect these " Zanes," as they

were

called,

one

of

them

being a memorial of the arrant coward Sarapion


Alexandria,

who was

entering the pankration for which he had set


his

name

of

so frightened at the prospect of

that he fled the

day before the

Within the precinct one may

still

down

contest.

see fragments

which supported Phidias's wonderful

of the pedestal

gold-and-ivory image of Zeus.

The god

himself

is

said to have been so enchanted with the sculptor's

work that he hurled a thunderbolt down, which struck


and the spot was marked with a vase
of marble. Just how approval was spelled out of so
equivocal a manifestation might seem rather difficult to see but such at any rate was the fact. Of the
other remaining bases, the most interesting is doubtnear the statue

less the tall triangular pedestal of the

nius,
is

still

to be seen in situ,

though

museum.
above the meadows on the

its

Nike

of Paeo-

graceful statue

in the

Just

runs a range of
cently ridden.

hills,

farther bank, there

through which we had but

re-

And it was there that the ancients found

a convenient crag from which

to hurl the unfortunate

264

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

women who dared venture to look on at the games.


The law provided that no woman's eye should see
those contests, and so far as is known only one wo-

man

caught breaking

alty of

it.

law ever escaped the pen-

She was the mother

athletes that
her.

this

of so

many

victorious

an unwonted immunity was extended

to

Other women, whose disguise was penetrated,

were made stern examples to frighten future venture-

some maids and matrons out of seeking to view what


was forbidden.
The games at Olympia were celebrated during a
period of about a thousand years, throughout which time

they furnished the one recognized system of dates.

They recurred at four-year intervals. Long before the


appointed month of the games, which were always
held in midsummer, duly accredited ambassadors

were sent

forth to all the cities

announce the coming

and

of the event

states of Hellas to

and

to proclaim the

" peace of God," which the law decreed should prevail

during the days of the contest, and in which


sacrilege not to join, whatever the exigency.

appointed date the


of their

cities of all

it

was

On

the

Greece sent the flower

youth to Olympia, runners, wrestlers, discus

throwers, chariot drivers, boxers,

and the

like,

as well

as their choicest horses, to contend for the coveted

trophy. During the

first

but one athletic event,

thirteen

Olympiads there was

a running

race. In later times

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


number was added

the

had grown

" pentathlon," or contest of five kinds,

to

to until the race

265

and

later to include twenty-four different exercises.

still

None

but Greeks of pure blood could contest, at least until

Roman

the

times,

and nobles and plebeians vied

in

striving for the victor's wreath, although the richer

were at a decided advantage


races.

The

value at

and

it

not a

in the matter of the horse

prize offered, however,

all,

was

being nothing but a crown

of

no

intrinsic

of wild olive,

astonished and dismayed the invading Persians


little

to find that they

were being led against a

nation that would strive so earnestly and steadfastly


for
it

a prize that seemed so

was not as

slight a

in the incidental

seldom seen
to be

its

reward as

honors that

it

it

appeared to

of fact

be, for

carried the world has

The man who proved his right


simple wreath was not only

equal.

crowned with

As a matter

little.

this

regarded as honored in himself, but honor was im-

puted to his family and to his city as well


city generally

and the

went wild with enthusiasm over him,

some even going

so far as to raze their walls in token

that with so gallant sons they needed

Special privileges were conferred

and even abroad.

In

Olympic contest was

many

no bulwarks.
upon him at home

cities

entitled to

the victor of an

maintenance at the

public charge in the utmost honor,

and the greatest

poets of the day delighted to celebrate the victors in

266

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

their stateliest odes.

Thus, although games in honor

gods were held at various other points

of the

in

Greece, as for example at Delphi and at the isthmus


of Corinth,

none surpassed the Olympic as a national

institution,

sharing the highest honors with the oracle

at

Delphi as an object

Of course the
shrouded

origin

of

these

games

great

which has, as usual,

in mystery,

lized into legend.


of the

of universal reverence.

And

is

crystal-

as the pediment in one end

temple of the Olympian Zeus, preserved in the

museum

near by, deals with this story,

in order to

speak of

it.

CEnomaus had a splendid


he was

justly proud,

it

may

be

King

Tradition relates that

stud of race horses of which

and likewise was possessed

a surpassingly beautiful daughter

whom men

Hippodameia, who was naturally sought

in

of

called

marriage

young men from all around. The condiby


tion precedent set by CEnomaus to giving her hand
was, however, a difficult one. The suitor must race
eligible

his horses against those of

team himself and


;

if

he

lost

CEnomaus, driving the

he was put to death.

version relates that CEnomaus,

if

One

he found himself

being distanced, was wont to spear the luckless swains

from behind. At any rate nobody had succeeded


in

winning Hippodameia when young Pelops came

along and entered the contest.

He had no

doubt

heard of the king's unsportsmanlike javelin tactics.

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


for

he adopted some subterfuges of his own,

something or other to the chariot

of his

267

doing

opponent,

such as loosening a linchpin or bribing his charioteer

with the result that


weaken it in some other part,
came
off
the
race
CEnomaus
when
was thrown out
and killed, and Pelops won the race and Hippodato

meia

and of course lived happily ever after.

The pedimental

sculptures from the great temple

reproduce the scene that preceded the race in figures


of heroic size, with

no

less

a personage than Zeus

himself in the centre of the group, while

and Pelops with

their chariots

CEnomaus

and horses and

their

attendants range themselves on either side, and Hip-

podameia stands expectantly waiting. The


tions

have been

restora-

but on the whole successful

liberal,

and besides giving a very good idea of the legend


itself,

they are highly interesting from a sculptural

point of view as showing a distinctive style of carving

The other pediment, preserved in about the

in marble.

same

proportion,

standpoint, but
terest.

It

is less

is

full

interesting from a legendary

of

animation and

artistic in-

represents the contest between the Centaurs

and Lapiths, with Apollo

just in the act of interven-

ing to prevent the rape of the Lapith women. This


episode had
so far as

little

appropriateness to the Olympic

site,

know, but the ease with which the Centaur

lent himself to the limitations of

pedimental sculpture

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

268

well explain the adoption of the incident here.

might

The head

of

Apollo

of the interesting type with

is

which one grows familiar

in

going through museums

most notable thing being

devoted to early work, the

the curious treatment of hair and eyes.

The

precinct about the great temple

was once filled

with votive statues, and Pliny relates that he counted

something

est.

But out

there

is

one

suage any
is

Of these

like three thousand.

that few remain

it

appears

whole to add much

sufficiently

assemblage

of all the great

at least surviving that

inter-

of sculptures

must forever

as-

grief at the loss of the rest. That, of course,

the inimitable

Hermes

which every-

of Praxiteles,

body knows through reproductions and photographs,


but which in the original
that

is

so incomparably beautiful

no reproduction can hope

idea of

it,

tures, its poise

of marble.

and grace, or

They have

an adequate

to give

either in the expression of

body and

in the exquisite

wisely set

it

off

by

fea-

sheen

itself

in

room which cannot be seen from the great main hall


of the museum, and the observer is left to contemplate

that
It is

it

undistracted.

it is

nearly perfect in

is

seems generally

to be

agreed

the masterpiece of extant Greek sculpture.

arm and small


that

It

missing.

its

preservation, the upraised

portions of the legs being about

The

latter

all

have been supplied, not

unsuccessfully, to join the admirable feet to the rest.

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


No

effort

has been made, and happily

the missing arm.


the

left

arm

is

The

slight

one

drawback cannot

feels for so perfect

justifies

will

but even this

interfere with the admiration

the journey to Olympia,

The

never be forgotten.

fully

and once seen he

satin

smoothness

human

of

(or god-like)

doubtless because of the processes which the

Greeks knew
of

a work. Hermes alone

the marble admirably simulates


flesh,

and

to the statue,

were not there

it

supply

Dionysus perched on

infant

no great addition

one might well wish

so, to

269

wax.

of

rubbing

it

down

with a preparation

No trace of other external treatment survives,

save a faint indication of gilding on the sandals.

If

the hair and eyes were ever painted, the paint has
entirely disappeared in the centuries that the statue

lay buried in the sands that the restless Alpheios

Cladeus washed into the sacred inclosure.


rivers frequently left their

narrow beds

and invaded the precincts


efforts of

man

irreparable

to wall

damage

in

former times

of the gods, despite the

them

out.

They have done

to the buildings there, but since

they at the same time preserved Hermes almost


tact for

modern eyes

vandalisms

may

and

For the

in-

to enjoy, perhaps their other

be pardoned.

The museum also includes among its treasures a


number of the metopes from the great temple of Zeus,
representing the labors of Hercules. But probably next

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

270

after the

Nike
end

incomparable Hermes must be reckoned the

on a high pedestal at one

of Pseonius, standing

main

of the great

hall,

and seemingly sweeping

triumphantly through space with her draperies flowing

a wonderful lightness being suggested despite

free

the weight of the material.

seemed

to

me

fair rival of

This Nike has always


her more famous sister

from Samothrace, suggesting the idea

more

forcibly than the statue

of victory

on the staircase

even

of the

Louvre, which has an Amazonian quality suggestive


of actual conflict rather

The
pia

than a past successful

is

that her

head

is

gone, and they have sought to

suspend the recovered portion

an iron rod.
one

wrist

is

in like

it over the body by


manner appended to

of

and the two give a jarring

of the arms,

recalling Ichabod

Crane and Cap'n Cuttle

incongruous surroundings.

if it

these lamentable attempts to restore


sible to

Of

in

by

most

were not

what

is

is

for

not pos-

be restored.

all

the

Olympia

housed

note,

Nevertheless the Nike

wonderful, and would be more so

in

issue.

unfortunate circumstance about the Nike at Olym-

in

many
is

little

collections in Greece, that

doubtless the best, and

a building

patriotic Greek,

it is

in the classic style,

fittingly

given by a

M. Syngros. Aside from the

remnants, there are a number of


athletic aspect of

Olympia

its

relics

artistic

bearing on the

chief side, of course.

OVER THE HILLS TO OLYMPIA


And among these are some ancient discs
stone,

and a huge rock which bears an

lating that a certain strong

able to

lift it

tance. It

man

and

inscription re-

of ancient times

over his head and to toss

seems incredible

of metal

271

it

a stated

was
dis-

but there were giants

in

the land in those days.

The modern Olympic games, such

as are held in

Athens every now and then, are but feeble attempts to


give a classic tone to a very ordinary athletic meet of
international character.

There

is

none

of the signifi-

cance attached to the modern events that attended the

and the management leaves much to be desired.


Former visitors are no longer maintained at the Pry-

old,

taneum

but,

on the contrary, are even denied passes

to witness the struggles

games fill Athens with a

of their successors.

The

profitable throng and serve to

advertise the country, but aside from this they have

no excuse

for

being on Greek

soil,

and mar the land

so far as concerns the enjoyment of true Philhellenes.

Fortunately there

any such

is

substitute

no possible chance

games

at

Olympia

glory has departed forever, save as

memory.

of holding

herself.

it

Her

survives in

CHAPTER

THE

XIV.

ISLES OF

GREECE: DELOS

for Greece. The sky was


was a gray morning
ITovercast,
the wind blew chill from the north, and

anon the rain would


of

and give us a few moments


cease again and permit a brief

set in

downpour, only to

glimpse ahead across the ^gean, into which classic


sea our
rising

little

and

steamer was thrusting her blunt nose,

falling

on the heavy

swell.

We had borne

around Sunium in the early dawn, and our course was

now in an easterly direction toward the once famous


but now entirely deserted island of Delos, the centre
of the Cyclades. Ahead, whenever the murk lifted, we
could see several of the nearer and larger islands of
the group,
tain

that imposing row

of

peaks that reveal the continuation of the Attic

peninsula under water as


east from the

it

promontory

streams away to the southof

Sunium. The seeming

chaos of the Grecian archipelago


to

submerged moun-

It is really

is

easily reducible

by keeping this fact in mind.


composed of two parallel submerged moun-

something

like order

THE

ISLES

OF GREECE: DELOS

tain ranges, the prolongations of Attica

summits

respectively, the

of

and

of

273

Euboea

which pierce the surface

again and again, forming the islands

of the water

which every schoolboy recalls as having names that

end in "os." Just before


the drifting rain,
nos, while

us, in

a row looming through

we saw Kythnos, Seriphos, and

beyond them, and belonging

Siph-

to the other

My-

ridge, the chart revealed Andros, Tenos, Naxos,

konos, and Paros, as yet impossible of actual sight.

This galaxy
ful to

of islands

must have proved highly use-

of their

numbers and proximity

the mainland, as well as

shapes and contours,

some

by reason

the ancient mariners, no doubt, since

sort of

able in days

sailors

and steered only by the


recall the

to

keep

was highly

desir-

knew nothing

stars.

to

Lovers

of

of

compasses

Browning will

embarrassment that overtook the Rhodian

bark that set

sail

with Balaustion for Athens, only to

lose all reckoning

cient ship

in sight, as

and

distinctive

was possible always

it

landmark

when

to each other

by reason of their

was

and bring up

in Syracuse.

No

an-

at all sure of accurate navigation with-

out frequent landfalls, and even the hardy mariners of

Athens were accustomed, when en route to

Sicily, to

hug the rugged shores of the Peloponnesus all the way


around

to the

opening

of the Corinthian Gulf,

and

thence to proceed to Corfu before venturing to strike


off

westward across the Adriatic to the

" heel " of

274

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

Italy,

where one could skirt the shore again until Sicily

hove

in sight near the

dreaded haunts

of Scylla.

Of

course other considerations, such as food and water,


added to the desirability of keeping the land in sight
most of the time on so long a voyage but not the least
;

important of the reasons

was the necessity of keeping

on the right road.

We

had

on a chartered

set sail

numbering about

forty,

most

of

ship, in

whom

a party

were bent on

the serious consideration of things archaeological,

while the inconsiderable remainder were unblushingly in search of pleasure only slightly tinged by
scientific

enthusiasm. In no other way, indeed, could

such a journey be

The Greek
small,

that

is

of

anything

like comfort.

to be

recommended

for cleanliness or

much
who are

while their stated routes include

no especial

chiefly eager to
celebrity,

in

steamers, while numerous, are slow and

and not

convenience

made

interest

to visitors,

view scenes made glorious by past

and are

less

concerned with the modern sea-

ports devoted to a prosaic trafBc in wine

and

fruits.

To one fortunate enough to be able to number himself among those who go down to the sea in yachts,
the ^Egean furnishes a fruitful source of pleasure. To
us, the

only recourse was to the native lines of freight

and passenger

craft,

of investigators

or to join ourselves to a party

who were

taking an annual cruise

THE
among
ter,

ISLES

OF GREECE: DELOS

the famous ancient

sites.

We chose

275

the

lat-

not merely because of the better opportunity to

we had long most wished

the islands

visit

to see,

but because of the admirable opportunity to derive

So

instruction as well as pleasure from the voyage.

behold us in our
our

own

own

ship, with

sailing master

our

and crew,

own

supplies,

sailing eastward

over a gray sea, through the spring showers, toward


the barren

Delos
It

is

isle

where Phcebus sprung.

easy enough to find now, small as

it

is.

long ago ceased to be the floating island that

le-

gend

we can permit
paganism, we may

describes.

indulgence in

rocky

islet

If

was a

chip,

ourselves a

little

believe that this

broken from the bed

of the

ocean by Poseidon, which was floating about at ran-

dom

until

that she

Zeus anchored

to afford a

it

bed

for Leto,

might be comfortably couched at the

of Apollo, despite the

birth

promise of Earth that the guilty

Leto should have no place to lay her head. Thus the

vow which

Hera had procured was

the jealousy of

brought to naught, and in Delos was born the most


celebrated of the sons of Zeus, together with his twin
sister,

Artemis.

Delos

row

is

in fact

strait into

a double island, divided by a nar-

Greater and Lesser Delos.

with the lesser portion that

we had

ancient history. For despite

its

And

it

was

to do, as also did

insignificant size

and

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

276

remoteness, Delos the Less was once a chief seat of

empire and a great and flourishing city, as well as the


repository of vast wealth. Distant as

Athens, the island

is

really quite central with reference

to the rest of the archipelago,

mit

may

day.

be seen most

The narrow

about

all

to-day.

seems from

it

and from

strait

its

low sum-

Cyclades on a clear

of the

before referred to furnishes

the harbor that

is

to be 'found at Delos

Into this sheltered bit of water

we steamed

and dropped anchor, happy in the favoring wind that


allowed us a landing where it is occasionally difficult
to find water sufBciently smooth for the small boats
for here, as in all Greek waters, small boats furnish
the only means of getting ashore. There was a shallow basin just before what was once the ancient city,
and doubtless it was considered good harborage for
the triremes and galleys of small draught but for even
;

a small steamer
depth, and

like ours

we came

it

was

quite insufficient in

to rest perhaps a quarter of

mile from the landing, while the clouds broke and


the afternoon

sun came out

we clambered down

warm and

to the dories

bright as

and pulled

for the

shore.

There proved to be

little

the French excavators


pleting

a notable work

and
in

cient precincts of Apollo

or no habitation save for


their

men, who were com-

uncovering not only the an-

and of the headquarters of the

THE

ISLES

OF GREECE: DELOS

277

Delian league, but the residence portion of the ancient


city as well,

which we later discovered to

lie off

to the

east on the high ground. We landed on a sort of


rocky mole erected along the edge of what was once

the sacred harbor and picked our way along a narrow-

gauge track used by the excavators,


ruins that lay beyond.

mass

It

to the

maze

of

proved as bewildering a

marbles as that at Olympia. The main

of fallen

part of the ruin

is

apparently a

relic of

side of the place, dominated, of course,

the religious

by the

cult of

Apollo. Centuries of reverence had contributed to the

enrichment of the environs of the shrine. All about


the visitor finds traces of porticoes and propylsea, the
largest of these being erected

don, as

is

testified to

by Philip V.

by an extant

of

Mace-

inscription. Little

remains standing of any of the buildings, but the

and entablature

bits of capital

that

lie

strewn about

serve to give a faint idea of the nature of the adorn-

ment
not

that attended the temples in their prime.

difficult to trace

the course of the sacred

It is

way lead-

ing from the entrance around the sacred precinct to


the eastern fagade of the main temples, lined through-

out most of

its

and remnants

course by the bases of statues, altars,

of the foundations of small rectangular

buildings which are supposed to have been treasuries,


as at Delphi and Olympia.

main temple of the god

Not

is still

to

far

away from

the

be seen the base of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

278

an inscription reciting that the

his colossal statue,

Naxians made it, and that they carved statue and base
from the same stone. Whether

this

means

that the

and base were actually a single block, or only


that the figure and base were made of the same specific
figure

some

material, has caused

the statue

itself,

little

speculation.

far

away, easily identified by the

modeling as parts of the huge back and breast

One

for

there are at least two large fragments

on the ground not

colossus.

As

of the

of his feet is preserved in the British

Museum, and a hand


Mykonos. The

is

at the neighboring island of

rest is either buried in the earth near

by vandals. That the earth


up is evident by the
occasional accidental discoveries recently made on the

by, or has been carried off

has

many

site

by the

treasures

still

diggers.

to yield

When we

were there the con-

struction of a trench for the diminutive car-track

had

unearthed a beautifully sculptured lion deep in the

and since that time I have heard that several


other similar finds have been made. So it may be
soil

that the lime burners have not

made away

with the

great Apollo entirely.

There are three temples, presumably all devoted


to the cult of Apollo, and one of them no doubt to
the

memory

of his unfortunate mother, Leto,

bore him, according to tradition, on


sacred lake near by.

Not

far

who

the shores of the

from the Apollo group

THE

ISLES

OF GREECE: DELOS

279

are two other ruined shrines, supposed to have been

More interesting than either, however, to the layman is the famous **hall of the bulls,"
which is the largest and best preserved of all the
buildings, and which takes its name from the carved

sacred to Artemis.

bullocks on

its capitals.

ever, to say that

it is

It is

only so in the sense that

It is

plan are easier to trace.


"

horned

which

one

it

not saying much, how-

better preserved than the others.

altar of Apollo,"

its

and general

extent

known

Its altar,

as the

from the rams' heads with

was adorned, was accounted by the ancients

of the

seven wonders of the world.

We were well

content to leave the sacred precinct, and to wander

along toward the north, past the

Roman agora,

general direction of the sacred lake.

It

in the

proved to

be a sorry pool, stagnant and unattractive compared


with what
with
its

its

it

must have been when

shores

we were shown

cient houses, also of the

rooms were
height.

it

was

in its prime,

banks adorned with curbing. Not

still

far

from

the remains of several an-

Roman

period, in which the

divided by walls of a considerable

These walls gave occasional evidence

having been adorned with stucco and

frescoes,

of

and

the rooms revealed fragments of tessellated pave-

ment, while under each house was a capacious cistern


for the preservation of rain water.

Of course these

dwellings, while recalling Pompeii, were far less per-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

28o

feet in the

way

being so much

of artistic revelations,

older.

These houses, interesting as they were, did not compare with those which we were later shown on the
hill

above the

up

to the theatre,

precinct.

and

These we passed on our way

skilled in archaeological science they

most absorbing

of all the ruins

There are a good


streets, as at

in

one

many

proved

on the

be the

to

little

island.

of them, lining several old

Pompeii. Their walls are of sufficient

even an idea

altitude to give

and

who were un-

to those of us

case, at least,

a sadly ruined stone

of the

we were

upper

stories,

by
what was once

able to mount,

staircase, to

The general arrangement of the


similar to that made familiar by the

the upper landing.

rooms was quite

excavated houses at Pompeii, the great central court,


or atrium, being adorned with a most remarkable

mosaic representing Dionysos riding on a dragon


of ferocious mien.

It is

kept covered, but a guard

obligingly raised the heavy


it

wooden door that

from the weather, and propped

so that
lid.

its

it

The

it

shields

up with a

stick

resembled nothing so much as a huge piano


coloring of the mosaic was lively in spite of

sombreness, and the eyes of the figures were ad-

mirably executed.
All

around the atrium were traces

of

a colonnade,

pieces of the columns remaining intact.

The

walls

THE

ISLES

OF GREECE: DELOS

were apparently decorated with


in

281

bits of stone set

deep

a coating of mortar, and once adorned with a

ored wash of red, yellow, and blue.

col-

Mural paintings

naturally were wanting, for these houses were not

only older than those of the Neapolitan suburb, but

they perished by a slow weathering process instead


of

by a sudden overwhelming such as overtook Pom-

peii.

What

traces of painting there are

left

on the

Delian walls are indistinct and rather unsatisfactory,

and

recall the childish scrawls of

our

own

day.

But

the houses themselves, with their occasional pave-

ments and the one admirable mosaic, leave

little

to

be desired. Particularly interesting was the revelation of the drainage system.

The houses were not

only carefully provided with deep cisterns for preserving rain water they had also well-designed chan;

nels for carrying waste water away.

these streets had

Every house

drain covered with

its

running out to the main sewer

flat

in

stones

of the street, while

those in turn converged in a trunk sewer at the foot


of the slope.

It is

evident enough that Delos was a

dry sort of place, both

by nature and by

artifice,

and

that in the period of the city's greatest celebrity

would be impossible

for the historian to refer to the

muddy condition existing at that period


just before the streets
ing.

it

underwent

of the

month

their regular clean-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

282

We had passed

well

up toward the theatre on the


Kythnos before we cleared

slopes of the height called

The

the ancient dwellings.

theatre

proved to

itself

be roomy, but largely grass-grown and exceedingly


steep to clamber over.

The

was

occupying considerably more

chiefly notable for

portion devoted to seats

than the traditional semicircle, and for having

ends

built

up with huge

walls of masonry.

lower seats are preserved.

which

nion,

Only the

The colonnaded

may have supported

a stage,

is,

its

proske-

however,

highly unusual and interesting.

Sundry venturesome
of

Kythnos, but

that eminence

great

many of

it

is

spirits

was no day

climbed to the summit


for the

celebrated.

On

view

for

which

a clearer day a

the Cyclades could be seen, no doubt,

because of the central location of the island and the

marvelous
is

clear at

clarity of the
all.

Greek atmosphere, when

We were unfortunate

enough

with a showery April day, which promised

way

of distant prospects.

to

little

it

meet
in the

Halfway down the side

of

Kythnos, however, was easily to be seen the grotto


of Apollo.

In

fact, it is

feature of the island. It

the side of the

hill

the most constantly visible


is

a sort

toward the

of artificial

ruins,

cave in

and here was

the earliest of the temples to the god. Ancient hands

what natural grotto there was by erecting a


primitive portal for it. Two huge slabs of stone seem

added

to

DELOS,

SHOWING GROTTO

GROTTO OF APOLLO. DELOS

THE
to

OF GREECE DELOS

ISLES

283

have been allowed to drop toward one another

until

they met, forming a mutual support, so that the

effect is that of

a gable. Other slabs have been

ranged to form a pitch roof over the


ble lintel

and gate posts have

presumably much

later

than the

able that this venerable shrine

rest.

but

if

there

It is

even prob-

also the seat of

arrangements

grotto bear a resemblance to those


existed at Delphi

and a mar-

also been added,

was

oracle, for certain of the internal

spot,

ar-

known

was one

to

an

of the

have

in Delos,

it

never attained to the reputation that attended the

home of the far-darting god.


The births of Apollo and Artemis appear to have
been deemed quite enough for the celebrity of Delos
for in after years, when the Athenians felt called upon
later chief

to " purify " the city, they enacted that

no mortal

in

the future should be permitted to be born or to die

on the

island.

In consequence, temporary habitations

were erected across the narrow


Delos

of Greater

for the

strait

on the shores

use of those in extremis or

those about to be confined. Aside from this


larger island has

There
it

of

will

of course,

is,

fact,

the

or no interest to the visitor.

little

museum

at Delos.

Some day

be a very interesting one indeed. At the time

our visit

it

was only

just finished,

and had not been

provided with any floor but such as nature gave. In

due season

it

will

probably rank with any for

its

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

284

archaeological value, although

it

will

be

infinitely less

interesting than others to inexpert visitors,

who gen-

erally prefer statues of fair preservation to small frag-

ments and bits of inscription. Of the notable sculptures


that must have abounded in Delos once, comparatively

little

remains

certainly nothing to

compare

with the charioteer and the Lysippus at Delphi, or

Hermes and pedimental figures at OlymThe great charm of Delos to the unskilled mind

with the
pia.
is

to

be found

As

roundings.
of

in its history

and

in its beautiful sur-

a birthplace of one of the major gods

high Olympus, the seat of the Delian league against

the Persians, and the original treasury of the Athe-

nian empire, Delos has history enough to satisfy an


island

many times

her

size.

Traces

still

remain

of the

dancing place where the Delian maidens performed


their wonderful evolutions

during the annual pilgrim-

was a feature during the Athenian suand the temples and treasuries, ruined as

age, which

premacy

they are, forcibly recall the importance which once


attached to the spot.

The memory

still

survives of

the so-called "Delian problem" of the doubling of


the cube, a task that proved a poser for the ancient

mathematicians when the oracle propounded, as the


price of staying a plague, that the Delians should

double the pedestal of Parian marble that stood in


the great temple. But

it is

almost entirely a place of

THE

ISLES

OF GREECE DELOS
:

memories, deserted by

all

but the excavators and an

occasional shepherd. To-day

bare rock that

bed

it

ever,

it is little

was when Poseidon

Apollo gave

of the sea.

it

more than the

split

it

from the

an immortality, how-

which does not wane although Apollo himself

dead. Athens and Corinth gave

it

which proved but temporary so

far as

activity in the

/Egean, has

world of

little

the long tides

hour

285

it

Delos,

depended on

washed by the

to look forward to but to

idle,

of glorious

affairs.

life,

well content with her

and

is

a worldly celebrity,

satisfied that

should have the age without a name.

drowse

crowded

her neighbors

CHAPTER XV. SAMOS AND THE


TEMPLE AT BRANCHID^

THE

stiff

north wind, which was

known

to

be

blowing outside, counseled delaying departure

from Delos
to

Samos

until after the

evening meal,

for

our course

lay through the trough of the sea. In the

shelter of the

narrow channel between Greater and

Lesser Delos the water was calm enough to enable

was the commendable rule


seek shelter for meals, owing to the

eating in comfort, and


of the cruise to

it

lack of " racks " to prevent the contents of the tables

from shifting when the vessel


well along in the

rolled.

Hence

it

was

evening before the anchor was

weighed and as the engines gave


;

their first

premon-

word was passed from the bridge that


who did not love rough weather would better re-

itory wheezes,
all

tire at

once, as

we were

certain to " catch

it

" as

soon

we rounded the capes of the neighboring Mykonos


and squared away for Samos across a long stretch of
open water. The warning served to bring home to us
one of the marked peculiarities about cruising in the
as

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^

287

JEgesin, namely, the succession of calm waters

tempestuous

seas,

streaks of fat

man's

pig,

which interlard themselves

and lean

in the

which was fed

bacon from the

to repletion

starved the next. This, of course,

ous islands, never

is

due

and

like the
Irish-

one day and


to the

numer-

many miles apart, which are forever

affording shelter from the breezes and waves, only to

open up again and subject the


boisterous sea as

sudden
to

a rolling and

crosses the stretches of open chan-

it

nel between them.

craft to

When the experiences due to these

transitions

were not trying, they were

likely

be amusing, we discovered, as was the case on one

morning when the


fast rather

tables

had been

imprudently just before rounding a windy

promontory. The instant the ship


she began to
fast dishes

laid for break-

roll

heavily,

promptly

left

and the

felt

the cross seas

entire array of break-

the unprotected table, only

to crash heavily against the stateroom doors that lined

the saloon, eliciting shrieks from those within

the following

roll of

while

the vessel sent the debris career-

ing across the floor to bring up with equal resonance


against the doors on the other side, the stewards mean-

time being harassed beyond measure to recover their

scudding cups and saucers.


ofif Samos we found
moving along on an even keel, under the
that extensive island and close also to the

In the morning of our arrival


ourselves
lee of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

288

shores of Asia Minor, the famous promontory of

Mykale looming large and blue ahead. We coasted


along the Samian shore, close enough to distinguish
even from a distance the ruins

Heraeum, which was

among

of the

once famous

the objects of our

visit.

It was marked from afar by a single gleaming


umn, rising apparently from the beach. For the

sent

we passed

it

by, the ship heading for the

col-

prelittle

white town farther ahead and just opposite the bay

made by

the great bulk of Mykale.

ground, for

it

was

at

Mykale

It

was

final

the

army and navy in the


by the final defeat
Mykale, however, we viewed only from

B. C, just after Salamis,

of Tigranes.

The

ship rounded the mole protecting the har-

bor of what was once the chief city

came

made

quietus of the Persian

year 479

afar.

pursuing

that the

Greeks, under Leotychides and Xantippus,

historic

of

Samos, and

to anchor for the first time in Turkish waters.

While the necessary official visits and examination


of passports were being made, there was abundant
opportunity to inspect the port from the deck.

It

lay

rugged mountain, and the buildings


lined the diminutive harbor on two sides,

at the base of a
of the city

curving along a low quay.

In general appearance

the town recalled Canea, in Crete, by the whiteness


of its

houses and the pale greenness of

and the occasional slender tower

of

its

shutters

a mosque. Tech-

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^


nically

Samos

is

a Turkish

only in the sense that


the Sultan and that

by

its

that monarch. It

it

island. Practically

nominated

is

sufficiently Turkish, in

event, to require passports and the

tiny skiff flying the crescent flag

were

due time the

dom
ettes,

and bearing a

re-

The

fez.

arranged by proxy ashore, and in

ship's boat returned, bearing the free-

of the city

which

all

any

official call of

splendent local officer crowned with a red


formalities

so

it is

pays an annual tribute to

Greek governor

was

289

and a limited supply

retailed at the

of

modest sum

Samian
of

cigar-

a franc and

a half the hundred.

Herodotus devotes a considerable space to the

his-

tory of the Samians in the time of the Persian supre-

macy and especially to the deeds of the tyrant Polywho seized the power of the island and proved

crates,

a prosperous

ruler.

In fact the rampant successes of

Polycrates alarmed his friend and


of

Egypt,

who had

ally,

King Amasis

the wholesome dread of the an-

cients for the "jealousy" of the

gods and
;

in conse-

quence Amasis sent a messenger up to Samos to


Polycrates that he was too successful for his

Amasis was

some

evil

afraid,

tell

own good.

according to the messenger, that

would overtake the Samian

ruler,

and he

away whatever thing he


a propitiation of the gods. The

advised Polycrates to cast

valued the most as

advice so impressed Polycrates that he recounted his

290

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

possessions, selected a certain emerald seal-ring that

he cherished exceedingly, took


galley and,

when

it

aboard a fifty-oared

sufficiently far out at sea, hurled the

Whereat he returned

treasured ring into the water.

content that he had appeased the presumably jealous


gods. In less than a

week a fisherman, who had taken

an unusually beautiful
it

fish in

those waters, presented

as a great honor to Polycrates, and in dressing

for the table the servants found in

that Polycrates

had

tried so

its

it

belly the ring

hard to cast away

The

event was held to be superhuman, and an account of


it

was promptly sent

ever,

judging from

it

to

Amasis

in

Egypt. He, how-

that Polycrates

doomed by heaven, ended

was

inevitably

his alliance with

Samos on

the naive plea that he should be sorry to have anything

happen

to

friend,

and therefore proposed

to

make of
when

Polycrates an enemy, that he need not grieve

misfortune overtook him

Misfortune did indeed over-

take Polycrates, and Herodotus describes at some


length

how

it

occurred, ending his discourse with the

remark that he

feels justified in

dealing at such length

with the affairs of the Samians because they have ac-

complished " three works, the greatest that have been


achieved by

all

the Greeks.

one hundred and

fifty

The first is of a mountain,

orgyiae in height, in which is dug

a tunnel beginning at the base and having an opening at either side of the mountain.

The

length of the

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^


tunnel

is

291

seven stadia, and the height and breadth are

eight feet respectively.

Through the whole length

of

the tunnel runs another excavation three feet wide and

twenty cubits deep, through which cutting the water,

conveyed by pipes, reaches the

being drawn from

city,

a copious fount on the farther side

The

architect of this excavation

of the

mountain.

was a Megarian, Eu-

palinus the son of Naustrophus. This, then,


of the three great works.

around the harbor,

in the sea

dred orgyiae and


third

The second

work

in length

in

is

is

one

mound

depth about a hun-

about two stadia. The

a great temple, the largest we

of theirs is

ever have seen, of which the architect was Rhoecus,

son of Phileos, a native Samian.


things

account of these

have dwelt longer on the

Samians."
It

On

of

affairs

the

was, then, inside this mole, two stadia in length,

that

we were anchored. Doubtless the modern mole

still

standing on the ancient foundation, but

it

not be considered anything remarkable in the

is

would

way

of

engineering to-day, whatever it may have been deemed


in the

childhood of the race. Something in the air of

Samos must have bred a


no doubt,

for not only

race of natural engineers,

were these

artificial

wonders

constructed there, but Pythagoras, the mathematical


philosopher,

was born

in the island.

Herodotus, Book III, section

60.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

292

From

the city

aqueduct

to the
is

remnants
not a

of the ancient

difficult

chmb, and

many points of interest.


an age when tunneling was not a common or well-

the tunnel

In

up

mountain

in the
itself

affords a great

must indeed have seemed a great


wonder that theSamians were able to pierce the bowels
understood

art, it

of this considerable

rocky height to get a water supply

The source

that could not be cut

off.

was a spring located

in the valley

mountain away from the town, and


perfectly possible to

out any tunnel at

flowage

on the side
it

of the

would have been

convey the water

all,

of the

to the city with-

merely by following the valley

around. For some reason this was deemed inexpedient

doubtless because
would have
question

is,

chance an enemy

of the evident

The obvious
what was gained by making the tunnel,
for cutting off the supply.

since the spring

itself

was

in the

open and could have

been stopped as readily as an open aqueduct ?


only answer that has been suggested
alone

is

so concealed and so

is

And the

that the spring

difficult to find that,

even

with the clue given by Herodotus, it was next to impossible to locate


still

it.

And

in order to conceal the source

further, the burial of the conduit in the heart of the

mountain certainly contributed not a


less

it is

discovered

fact that the farther

end

little.

Neverthe-

of the tunnel

was

some years ago by

tracing a line from the

now

the aqueduct has been

site of this spring,

so that

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^


relocated

and

is

by Herodotus
Most

293

found to be substantially as described

in the

passage quoted.

possessed of comparatively limited

visitors,

time like ourselves, are content with inspecting only


the town end of the tunnel, which
of the mountain.

up in the side
amply large enough to enter,

It is

lies

but tapers are needed to give light to the feet as one

walks

carefully,

and often

sidewise, along the ledge

that borders the deeper cutting below, in which once

ran the actual water pipes. The depth of the

which Herodotus

calls "

twenty cubits,"

is

latter,

consider-

ably greater at this end of the tunnel than at the


other,

fact

which

is

apparently accounted for by

the necessity of correcting errors of level, after the

tunnel was finished, to give sufficient pitch to carry


the water down.

In those primitive days

it

is

not

evidence that the tunnel was

was made. There is


dug by two parties

working from opposite ends, as

is

surprising that such an error

That they met

the custom to-day.

in the centre of the

mountain with

such general accuracy speaks well for the engineering

skill of

for the

the time, and that they allowed too

drop

of the

result of this

by

is

stream

that, in the

travelers, there is

slip

not at

is

need

all

strange.

little

The

end commonly visited

of caution lest the

unwary

from the narrow ledge at the side into the sup-

plementary cut thirty

feet

below

fall

not to be

294

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

despised, either because of

because
again.

its

chance

of injury or

of the difficulty of getting the victim out

So much, as Herodotus would

say, for the

water-conduit of the Samians.

From

the tunnel

down

to the ancient

Heraeum,

whither our ship had sailed to await us, proved to

be a walk

of

something over two miles along a curv-

ing beach, across which occasional streams


their shallow

way from

inland to the sea.

It

made
was a

pleasant walk, despite occasional stony stretches

for

the rugged mountain chain inland presented constantly

changing views on the one hand, while on

the other, across the deep blue of the ^Egean, rose

commanding heights of Asia Minor, stretching


away from the neighboring Mykale to the distant,
the

and

still

snow-crowned, peaks of the Latmian range.

Under the morning sun the prospect was

indescrib-

ably lovely, particularly across the sea to the bold


coasts of Asia, the remote mountains being revealed
in that delicate chiaroscuro

white peaks against the blue.

which so often attends

Ahead was always

the

column which is all that remains standing of


once
vast temple of Hera, " the largest we ever
the
solitary

have seen," according to the ingenuous and

truthful

Herodotus.

There
cial

is

a reason for holding the spot in an espe-

manner sacred

to Hera, for

it is

said

by legend

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^


that she

was born on the banks

streams whose waters

we

of

one

295

of the little

splashed through in cross-

ing the beach to her shrine. The temple

found to

lie far

back from the water's edge,

itself

its

we

founda-

tions so buried in the deposited earth that consider-

able excavation has been necessary to reveal them.

The one remaining column


fairly lofty.

still

It

is

not complete, but

bears no capital, and

are slightly jostled out of place, so that


unfinished look, to which
utes

for,

its

was

is

drums

has a rather

lack of fluting contrib-

as even the amateur knows, the fluting of

Greek columns was never put on


lar

it

its

set up,

and every

as to be invisible.

whole

pil-

ground so

fine

until the

joint of

it

We walked up to the ruin through

the inevitable cutting, in which lay the inevitable nar-

row-gauge track

was no

for the excavator's cars,

but there

The excavation had prolittle more to be done, or

activity to be seen.

gressed so far as to leave

was no more money, or something had intervened to put an end to the operations for the time.
Not far away, however, along the beach, lay a few

there

houses, which constituted the habitation of the dig-

gers and of a few fishermen, whose seine boats were

being warped up as we passed.

The

exploration of the great temple of

Hera has re-

vealed the not unusual fact that there had been two

temples on the same spot at successive periods. They

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

296

were not identical

in location, but the later

overlapped

the earlier, traces of the latter being confined to

lowest foundation stones.

Of the ruins

temple there was but slightly more

its

of the later

save

visible,

for

the one standing column and a multitude of drums,

and bases lying about. The latter were of a


had
type we
not previously seen. They were huge lozenges of marble ornamented with horizontal grooves
capitals,

and resembling nothing so much as great cable drums


partially

wound

the

effect of

a multitude of narrow

grooves in a slightly concave trough around the

umn. They
marble

of

col-

were of a noticeable whiteness, for the

which

temple was composed was not

this

so rich in mineral substances as the Pentelic, and

gave none

of that

golden brown

effect so familiar in

the Athenian temples.


It

was

in this great

Heraeum, which in

the great temples at Ephesus

and

size rivaled

at Branchidae, that

the Samians deposited the brazen bowl filched from


the Spartans, of which the ancients
It

made

so much.

appears that because of Crcesus having sought an

alliance with Lacedsemonia, the inhabitants of that

land desired to return the compliment by sending him

a present. They caused a huge brass bowl to be made,

adorned with
three

many

figures

and capable

of

holding

hundred amphorse. This they dispatched

Sardis.

But as the ship bearing

it

to

was passing Samos

COLUMN

BASES.

SAMOS

CARVED COLUMX-BASE. BRANCHIUiE

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^

297

on her way, the Samians came out in force, seized the


ship, and carried the great bowl off to the temple,
where

it

was consecrated

That the Samians


nantly denied,

stole

to the uses of the goddess.

it

thus was of course indig-

the islanders retorting that the bowl

was sold them by the Spartans when they discovered


that Crcesus

had

fallen

longer an ally to be desired.


relic of
is

course

very little to

is

to

and was no

before Cyrus

No

trace of

be seen there now.

recall the

any such

In fact there

former greatness of the place

but the silent and lonely column and a very diminutive

museum

standing near the beach, which contains dis-

appointingly

little.

It is,

as a matter of

fact,

no more

than a dark shed, similar in appearance to the rest


of the

houses of the hamlet.

The steamer was waiting near by in the sheltered


we were desirous of visiting the temple at Branchidae that same afternoon,
we left Samos and continued our voyage. Under
waters of the sound, and as

that wonderfully clear

sky the beauty

The Asian

of

both shores

toward which we

was

indescribable.

now

bore our way, was, however, the grander of the

two, with
its

its

coast,

foreground of plains and

meadows and

magnificent background of imposing mountains

stretching far into the interior


in the

and losing themselves

unimagined distances beyond. The sun-kissed

ripples of the sea

were

of that incredible blue that

one

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

298

never ceases to marvel at in the Mediterranean, and


it

was the sudden change from

defined area of

muddy

this color to

a well-

yellow in the waters through

which we glided that called attention to the mouth


of

That proverbially

the Maeander on the shore.

crooked and winding stream discharges so large a


bulk of

soil in

surface

is

shore;

projecting

itself

into the sea that the

discolored for a considerable distance off

and through

this

our steamer took her way,

always nearing the low-lying beach,

a projecting headland, and rounded

calm as those

of

a pond. Here

until
it

we descried

into waters as

we dropped anchor

and once again proceeded to the land, setting our


feet for the first time on the shores of Asia.

Samos

was, of course,

to be seen to the north-

still

west, like a dark blue cloud rising from a tossing sea.

Before us, glowing in the afternoon sun, stretched a

long expanse

of

open seashore meadow, undulating

here and there, almost devoid of

trees,

but thickly

covered with tracts of shrubs and bushes, through

which we pushed our way


isolated farmhouse

moor.
the

It

fields,

we came upon an

and a path leading

was a mere

off

over the

cart-track through the green of

leading toward a distant hillock, on which

we could from afar make


of windmills

of the

until

many

out the slowly waving arms

and indications
rambles

of

we took

a small town. None


in the

Greek islands

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^

299

The

surpassed this two-mile walk for pure pleasure.


air

was balmy yet

with flowers,
others.

cool.

The

wild orchids,

There were no gray

fields

iris,

were spangled

gladioli,

hills,

and many

save so far in the

become purple and had lost


around was a deserted yet plea-

distance that they had


their bareness. All

sant and pastoral country


the general

What

name

of

deserving, none the

less,

moor.

way were

few people we met on the

farmers

and shepherds, leading pastoral lives in the little brush

wigwams so common in Greek uplands in the summer months. They gave us the usual cheerful goodday, and looked after our invading host with wonder-

ing eyes as

we streamed

off

over the rolling country

in the general direction of Branchidae.

That ancient

site

looking the ocean.


largely swallowed

appeared at

last

on a hillock over-

A small and mean hamlet had


up the immediate environs of the

famous temple that once stood

there, contrasting

strangely with the remaining columns that soon


into

view over the

roofs, as

we drew

came

near, attended

by an increasing army of the youth. The name of


the little modern village on the spot we never knew.
Anciently this was the site of the temple of Apollo
Didymeus, erected by the Branchidae,
a clan of the

neighborhood

of ancient Miletus

from Branchus. The temple

of

who claimed descent

Apollo which had

for-

GREECE AND THE .EGEAN ISLANDS

300

was destroyed in some way


century before Christ, and the Branchidse

merly stood upon the


in the sixth

set out to erect

site

a shrine that they boasted should

rival

the temple of Diana at Ephesus in size and in orna-

Nor was this an inappropriate desire, since


or Artemis, as we ought to call
Apollo and Diana
her
were twins, whence indeed the name " Didymeus " was applied to the temple on the spot. Unmentation.

fortunately the great temple which the Branchidae

designed was never completed, simply because of the


vastness of the plan.

Before the work was done,

Apollo had ceased to be so general an object of ven-

and what had been planned to be his most


notable shrine fell into gradual ruin and decay.
eration,

It

has not been

sufficient,

however, to destroy the

beauty of much that the Branchidse accomplished


during the centuries that the work was progressing,
for
in

it is

stated that several hundred years were spent

adorning the

columns
capital

still

is

site.

fact that
still

one

bearing

of the

its

few

crowning

unfluted bears silent testimony to the fact

that the temple never

columns

The

standing and

it is

was completed. Of the

finished

impossible to overstate their grace and

lightness or the elegance of the carving

on their bases,

which apparently were designed to be


from another. The

pillars that

different

remain are

one

of great

height and remarkable slenderness. Nineteen drums

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^


were employed

many

in building

301

The bases, of which


about, and some m situ,

them.

are to be seen lying

and carving im-

display the most delicate tracery

some being adorned with round bands of


and others divided into facets, making the base

aginable,
relief,

dodecagonal instead
different

round, each panel bearing a

of

and highly ornate design. Close by we found


huge stone face, or mask, apparently

the remains of a

designed as a portion of the adornment of the cornice

and presumably one

of the

metopes

of the temple.

The mass of debris of the great structure has been


heaped up for so long that a sort of conical hill rises
in the

midst of

it

so far as

however,

it

is

and on

may

from which one

remains.
at

its

this

has been built a tower

down on the ground


The major part of the

look

plan
ruin,

eastern end, the front, presumably,

where the only standing columns are

to be seen, ris-

ing gracefully from a terrace which has been carefully

uncovered by the explorers.

Enough remains

better

immense size projected for the


still enough to give an idea

of the elegance with

which the ancients proposed

to give

an idea

building,

to adorn

and

it,

of the

that the Ephesians need not eclipse the

Milesians in honoring the twin gods.

Of the rows

of

statues that once lined the road from the sea to the
shrine,

one

is

to

be seen

in the British

Museum

curious sitting colossus of quaintly archaic

workman-

302

GREECE AND THE AEGEAN ISLANDS

ship,

and somewhat suggestive,

an Egyptian influence

to

my own

in the squat

mind, of

modeling

of the

figure.

As one might expect

of

a shrine sacred to Apollo,

there seems to have been an oracle of


here; for Croesus,

who was

some repute

credulous in the extreme

where oracles were concerned, sent hither

for

advice

on various occasions, and dedicated a treasure here


that

was

similar to the great wealth he

upon the shrine

bestowed

Furthermore one Neco,

at Delphi.

who had been engaged in digging a canal to connect


the Nile with the Red Sea,
a prototype of the Suez,

dedicated the clothes


to the

god

at the

he wore during that period

temple of the Branchidae.

while the site never attained the fame


cians that

seems to

among

the inhabitants of Asia Minor

may

and even

of

easily account for the elaborate

Branchidae proposed to bestow and did

bestow upon

Our

Gre-

was accorded the Delphian, it nevertheless


have inspired a great deal of reverence

Egypt, which
care the

among

Thus

it.

inspection of the temple

town was the source

and the surrounding

immense interest upon the part


which the number is enormous. The entire pit around the excavations was lined
of

of the infantile population, of

three deep with boys


fifteen,

and

who surveyed our

girls,

the oldest not over

party with open-mouthed

SAMOS AND BRANCHID^


amazement. They escorted us

303

to the city gates,

a small detachment accompanied us on the

and

way back

over the moor to the landing, hauling a protesting

whose mother had been shot the week besomewhere in the mountains of Latmos by some

bear-cub,
fore

modern Nimrod, and whose

wails indicated the pre-

sence of a capable pair of lungs in his small and furry

body.

He was

taken aboard and became the ship's

pet forthwith, seemingly content with his lot and de-

cidedly partial to sweetmeats.

The walk back over that vast and


the twilight

was one never

something mystical
of

to

silent

meadow

in

be forgotten. There was

in the deserted plain, in the clumps

bushes taking on strange shapes in the growing

dusk, in the great orb of the

moon rising over the ser-

rated tops of the distant mountains of the interior

and

last,

but not

least, in

the roaring

fire

which the

boatmen had kindled on the rocks to indicate the landing place as the dark drew on. We pushed off, three
boatloads of tired but happy voyagers, leaving the

fire

leaping and crackling on the shore, illuminating with

a red glare the rugged rocks, and casting gigantic and


awful shadows on the sea.

CHAPTER

XVI.

COS

AND CNIDOS
!fi

COS AND CNIDOS

of the so-called

"Knights

settled in these regions

and

of

305

Rhodes," who once

built strongholds that for

those times were impregnable enough.

Our next day

or two brought us often in contact with the relics of

who were

these stout old knights,


of

Rhodes, or

variously

of St. John, and, last of

known as
of Malta.

all,

As far as Cos was concerned, the knightly fortress was


chiefly remarkable from the water, as we steamed past
the frowning battlements of buff and dropped anchor
in the

open roadstead before the

city

as

for,

is

gen-

Cos no
modern draught,
whatever might have been the case anciently when
erally the case with these old towns, there is at

actual harborage for a steamer of

ships were small.

The morning sun revealed


out behind the

fortress, in

the city

spreading

itself

a great splash

of dazzling

white amidst the green of the island verdure,

and minarets interspersed with the tops


trees.

Behind the

of

green

southward and into the


easily the

most

encountered
that

in

fertile

domes

waving

the land rose gradually to the

city,

base of a long range

its

of

hills

stretching off to the

interior of the island. It

was

and agreeable land we had yet

our ^gean pilgrimage, and so lovely

we almost forgot

that

it

was Turkish and that we

had been warned not to separate far from one another


on going ashore for fear of complications and loss of
the road.

However it was Turkish,

this time,

pure and

3o6

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

unadulterated, and the examination of our papers and

passports was no idle formality, but was performed

with owl-like solemnity by a local dignitary black-

mustachioed and red-fezzed.


ceeding the members

of

While

this

was pro-

our party stood huddled be-

hind a wicket gate barring egress from the landing


stage and speculated on the probability of being haled
to the dungeons,

which might easily be imagined as

damp and gloomy behind the neighboring yellow


walls of stone.

The Sultan's representative being fully satisfied


that we might safely be permitted to enter the island,
the gate was thrown back, and in a quaking body we
departed through a stone arcade in which our feet

echoed and reechoed valiantly, past rows

of natives

sipping coffee and smoking the nargileh in the shade,

and thence through a stone archwa)'- into a spacious


public square, paved with cobble-stones and dominated by the most gigantic and venerable plane tree
imaginable.

Its

enormous trunk stood

tre of the square, rising

from a sort

full in

the cen-

of stone dais, in

the sides of which were dripping stone fountains,


deeply incrusted with the green mildew of age. Over-

head, even to the uttermost parts of the square, the

branches spread a curtain of fresh green leaves. They

were marvelous branches


limbs, that

were

great, gnarled, twisted

as large in themselves as the trunk of

TREE OF HIPPOCRATES. COS

COS AND CNIDOS


a very respectable
of poles. Actual

the trunk

itself

feet in girth,

gend

tree,

and shored up with a

measurement

revealed

and

it

307

it

to

was not

of the

forest

circumference of

be something over forty


the

difficult to believe

that this impressive tree really did date

le-

back to

the time of Hippocrates, the great physician of Cos,

who was born

in the island

long before the dawn of

the Christian era. In any event, the great plane of

day the

" tree of Hippocrates,"

Cos

whether

is

called to this

it

has any real connection with that eminent father of

medicine or not.

We left the shady square by a narrow and roughly


paved

street, little

wider than an alley and lined with

whitewashed houses, closely

set.

It

wound

along through the thickly settled portion

and

at last

opened out

aimlessly

of the city,

into the country-side,

the houses grew fewer and other splendid trees

where

became

more numerous, generally shading wayside fountains,


beside which crouched veiled native

ing over their water-jars.


soldiers

women

gossip-

A pair of baggy-trousered

went with us on the road, partly as overseers,

no doubt, but
latter office

chiefly as guides

and protectors

proving quite needless save

the

for the occa-

sional expert kicking of a barking cur

from some

wayside hovel. They proved to be a friendly

pair,

although of course conversation with them was impossible,

and a

lively

exchange

of cigarettes

and

to-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

3o8

bacco was kept up as we walked briskly along out of


the city and into the open country that lay toward

the

Their chief curiosity was a kind

hills.

of inex-

tinguishable match, which proved exceedingly useful

smokers bothered by the

for

lively

morning

breeze.

They were flat matches, seemingly made of rude


brown paper such as butchers at home used to employ for wrapping up raw meat. The edges were serrated, and when once the match was lighted it burned
without apparent flame and with but little smoke until
was consumed.

the entire fabric

The object of

this walk,

which proved to be

of

some-

thing like three or four miles into the suburbs of


Cos, was to view the remnants of the famous health

We found

temple, sacred, of course, to Asklepios.


situated on an elevation looking

down

it

across a smil-

ing plain to the sea, with the white walls and roofs
of

Cos a

to

trifle

be forgotten.
haze in the

It

one

side.

It

was not a prospect

was a bright day, but with

to

sufficient

air to give to the other islands visible

across the intervening water an amethystine quality,

and

and

to

make

the distant summits in Asia Minor faint

ethereal.

The nearer green

of the fields,

the

purple of the sea, and the delicate hues of the islands

and far-away peaks, held us

for

a long time before

turning to the curious ruin of the temple, which, as


usual,

was

less

a temple than a hospital.

COS AND CNIDOS


Little

remains of

it,

309

save for the foundations. Three

enormous

terraces, faced with flights of steps of easy-

grade, led

up

paratively

little

main sanctuary of the god, com-

to the
of

which remains to be seen. Various

smaller buildings, shrines for allied divinities, porticoes

apartments

for the sick,

the

like,

for the priests, treasuries

and

are readily distinguishable, and serve to re-

veal what an extensive establishment the health temple

was in its time. Restorations of

it,

on paper, reveal

as having been probably most impressive, both

it

architecturally
sition,

and by reason

of its

commanding

po-

which was not only admirable by nature but

accentuated by the long approach over the three successive terraces to the

many-columned main building

above.

Of the numerous smaller structures lying about the


precinct, the

most curious and interesting were the

that the proper name

the
them
which have been discovered

subterranean treasuries
for

if

is

at

of the slope.
earth, each

The

slab

is

They apparently consist

foot

of vaults in the

covered over with a massive stone

slab.

removable, but only at great pains.

through the centre, suitable

for

circular hole pierces

it

dropping money or other valuables into the receptacle

to

beneath and for inserting the tackle with which


lift

The

the rock

when

the treasury

vast weight of the stone

was

to

be opened.

and the time required

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

3IO

would have been ample guarantee


against unauthorized visits to the treasury. Other
theories accounting for these underground chambers

for raising

and

it

their curious coverings

have been advanced

the most fantastic one being the supposition that these

were the chambers devoted

to

housing the sacred

serpents of the god, the holes serving for their emer-

gence and

for the insertion of food

cult of Asklepios certainly

But while the

made
mummery, it

does appear to have

use of the sacred snakes as a part of

its

seems hardly

likely that these subterranean cavities

were used

any such purpose.

As

for

for the practice of

medicine in Cos,

it is

widely

believed to have been of a sensible and even of an


" ethical " sort, largely devoid of

tive effects,

mere

reliance

formalism for

on

its

cura-

though unquestionably employing

these,

idle superstition or religious

as was not only the case in ancient times, but as even


persists to-day in

The
form
of

some

localities of the archipelago.

religious ceremonies, which generally took the


of sleeping in the sacred precincts in the

hope

being divinely healed, appear to have been sup-

plemented at Cos by the employment


healing that were rudely

scientific.

of

means

of

Hippocrates, the

most celebrated of the Coan physicians, has left abundant proof that he was no mere charlatan, but a

common-sense

doctor,

whose contributions

to medical

COS AND CNIDOS


by any means

science have not

esteem. Reference has been

tom of depositing in

311

entirely passed out of

made hitherto

to the cus-

the temple anatomical specimens

representing the parts healed, as votive offerings from


grateful patients

custom which

persists in the

modern Greek church, as everybody who examines


the altar-screen of any such church will speedily
discover.

The extreme

veneration of Asklepios at Cos

doubtless to be explained

an Epidaurian colony
that the healing

by the

for the

god was born

fact that

is

Cos was

Epidaurians claimed
in the hills overlook-

ing their valley in the Peloponnesus. At any rate the


health temple at

Cos and the great sanitarium

at Epi-

daurus shared the highest celebrity in ancient times


as resorts for the sick
traces to

show

and

in

each case there are

that they were sites devoted not only

to the worship of a deity, but to the ministration unto

the ailing

by physical means, as

far as

such means

were then understood.


Cos, however, was far from basing her sole claim
to ancient celebrity

Her embroideries

on her physicians and

rivaled the

work, and she was an early

hospitals.

more famous Rhodian


of culture and re-

home

sort of noted students, not only of medicine, but of


rhetoric,

Ptolemy

grammar, poetry, philosophy, and


II,

otherwise

known

science.

as Ptolemy Philadel-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

312
phus,
all

is

known

have studied here, and

to

it is

not at

improbable that the Sicilian poet, Theocritus, was

a fellow student with him. For it is known that Theocritus was a student at Cos at some time, and he

was later summoned to Ptolemy's Egyptian court,


where he wrote the epithalamium for the unholy marriage between Philadelphus and his sister. Not a little of

the present knowledge of ancient

the writings that Theocritus

left

Cos

is

due

to

as the result of his

student days in the island.

The

curator of antiquities in charge of the excava-

tions at the Asklepeion took us in charge

on our

re-

own
home, where, although we were on Turkish soil, we
had a taste of real Greek hospitality. Our party was
turn walk and led us through the city to his

numerous enough
but

to appall

we were ushered

any unsuspecting

into the great

hostess,

upper room

of

the house, with no trace of dismay on the part of the


wife

and daughter.

It

was a huge room, scrupulously

neat and clean, and the forty or so included in our

number found chairs ranged in line about the apartment, where we sat at ease examining the fragments
that the curator had to show from the mass of inscriptions recovered from the temple. Meantime, after the

national custom, the eldest daughter served refresh-

ment

to each in turn, consisting of preserved quince,

glasses of mastika,

and huge tumblers

of water.

It

COS AND CNIDOS


was a

stately

313

ceremony, each helping himself gravely

to the quince from the

same

dish,

and sipping the

cordial, while the mother bustled about supplying

fresh spoons.

And

with a general exchange of cards

and such good wishes as were


limited traveler's Greek,

to be expressed in

we departed

and again embarked.


We designed to push on

to the landing

to Cnidos at once,

and

to

climb the heights of that ancient promontory of Asia

Minor

But inasmuch as Hali-

in the late afternoon.

carnassus, the native city of Herodotus, lay directly

on the way, we

sailed into

its

capacious harbor and

out again without stopping, for the sake of such

glance at the

site

as might be had from the water.

The bay on which


Boudrun

is

the city

it

is

now

called

wonderfully beautiful, running well into

the mainland, while the city

Knights

itself,

with

its

great white

John as the central feature,


at the inmost end. Of the castle we were able to

castle of the
lies

lies

of St.

get a very good view, going close enough to arouse


the violent excitement of a
official

who came

with the crescent

gesticulating Turkish

out in a tiny boat, bravely decked


flag, to

show us where

to

anchor

if

so desired. The site of the famous Mausoleum


was pointed out from the deck, and most of us were
confident that we saw it, although it was not easy to

we

find.

The remains

of this

incomparably magnificent

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

314

tomb, designed for King Mausolus,

knows, to be seen
It

in the British

was but a few miles

are, as

Museum

everybody
to-day.

promontory

farther to the

and we dropped anchor there

of Cnidos,

in

mid-

afternoon, in one of the double bays for which the

ancient naval station was famous.

separated by a narrow isthmus

The bays

are

still

the same which the

ancients tried in vain to sever.

The

story goes that

the drilling of the rocks caused such a flying of frag-

ments as

endanger the eyes

to

of the

workmen, and

when questioned dissuaded them from conmade the


land an island if he had intended so to do." Hence

the oracle

tinuing the work, saying "Zeus could have

the two
of the

little

neck

harbors remain, one on either side

of land that juts into the sea.

used as anchorage
respectively,

for triremes

and merchant ships

when Cnidos was a power

To-day the spot

is

absolutely deserted,

both the diminutive bays devoid of


until at

They were

in the world.

and we found

all

trace of

evening a passing fisherman came

made all snug for the night.


Above the waters of the harbor towered
manding rock
like twelve

of the

hundred

in

life,

and

the com-

Cnidian acropolis, something

feet in

height

a bare and

for-

bidding rock, indeed. Of the town and the temples


that once clustered along
seen.

Man

its

base nothing was to be

has long ago abandoned this spot and

left

COS AND CNIDOS


it

absolutely untenanted save

315

by memories.

It

was

in

ancient times a favorite haunt of Aphrodite, and three

temples did honor to that goddess on the knolls above


the sea. Here also stood the marble Aphrodite carved

by Praxiteles, and esteemed his masterpiece by many.


It was carried off to Constantinople centuries ago, and
perished miserably in a

Our

on the abrupt rocks


to
off

the land.

edge

that city in 1641.

to the

of the shore,

no

little

being somewhat put

It

was a sharp scramble from the water's

narrow and ascending

shelf above,

which the temples had stood. The ruins


grasses and in

of

the latter growing in

huge clumps
the most remarkable

With a

of the knife

buried in

difficulty

sundry submerged boulders lying just

to avoid

it

fire in

three boatloads landed with

tall

single

sweep

them

on
lay

of daisies,

profusion.

cut a prodigious

armful of them, and the dining saloon that night was

made a

perfect

bower by the wild flowers that the

re-

turning party brought back with them.


It

was one

of the

days when the non-archaeological

section of the party hastily


cient greatness

below and

left

the remnants of an-

set out precipitately for

climb, for the prospect of a view from the overshad-

owing

cliff

above was promising.

formidable ascent that


cruising.

means

It

we undertook

proved the most


in all

our ^gean

Anciently there was a gradual ascent by

of a zigzag

causeway

to the fortified heights

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

3i6

above, but the majority of us disregarded

it

and struck

up the steep toward the summit. It is not a wise


plan for any but hardened climbers, for the slope soon
off

became so sharp

down

that

it

made one giddy to

look back

the mountain, and the footing

was often difficult because of the shelving stone and fragments of


loose rock. Small bushes were the only growth, and
they were often eagerly seized upon to give the needful purchase to lift us onward and upward. The summit, however,

amply rewarded our

It

toil.

was

easier

top, for we found the old road and


more gradually toward the point where the an-

going toward the


rose

cient walls began.

From the pinnacle of the rock the sweep of the view


was indescribably fine. The sun was sinking rapidly
to the horizon, illuminating the islands

The wind had dropped, the haze had

and the

sea.

disappeared, and

the shore line of Asia Minor stretched away, clear cut,


in either direction.

We were practically at the south-

west corner of the peninsula. The rugged headlands


retreated to the north

and

to the east

from our

feet,

while inland piled the impressive interior mountains


rearing their snow-capped heads against the blue

evening dusk. Over the ^gean, dark blue and violet


islands rose from a sea of molten gold.

At our

feet lay

the twin harbors and our steamer, looking like a toy


ship, the thin

smoke

of

her funnel rising in a blue wisp

COS AND CNIDOS


into the silent

evening

air.

317

The fishermen from

the

had sought a night's berth there had


kindled a gleaming fire on the beach. Along the sharp
spine of the promontory we could see the ancient line

tiny

smack

that

of wall, rising

and

falling

alongthe summit and flanked

here and there by ruined towers

a stupendous

gineering work of a nation long dead.


pressively silent,

and deserted save for

course of empire had indeed taken

and

its

It

was

all

ourselves.

en-

im-

The

westward way

once powerful Cnidos a barren waste.

left

But the darkness coming suddenly in these latitudes


at this season
fire

that

slipped

warned us

to descend in haste to the

was signaling us from the landing, and we

and

down the old causeway to the boats.


moon was at the full, and we sat late

slid

That night the

on the after-deck enjoying the incomparable brilliancy


of the light

on sea and cliffs, shining as of old on a time-

defying and rock-bound coast, but on a coast no longer

teeming with
ships.

And

at

life

and harbors no longer

midnight the wheezing

and the jarring

of the

Rhodes.

engines

screw gave notice that we were

slipping out of the harbor of Cnidos


sea, to

alive with

of the

and out

into the

CHAPTER

XVII.

RHODES

purpose to land on Rhodes the

our
ITatwas
Rhodes

the town.

To

visit

isle,

not

the famous north-

ern city where once stood the Colossus would have

been highly agreeable had opportunity presented


itself;

but as

it

was we planned to coast along the


Rhodes and make our landing

southeasterly side of
at the

little less

celebrated

and probably even more

So

picturesque site of Lindos.

woke
just

dos

in the

morning we
a cross sea

to find our vessel rolling merrily in

oS the entrance
for

table of

to the

little

bay that serves Lin-

a harbor, a sea that stripped our breakfast


its

few dishes and converted the floor of the

saloon into a sea of broken crockery.


the bay proved calm

The waters

enough when we had

slid

of

past

the imposing promontory on which stood the acropolis of ancient Lindos,

and

felt

our

way

across the

rapidly shoaling waters to a safe anchorage.


ter

was

of

a wonderful clarity as well as

blueness, the bottom being visible for

of

The wa-

remarkable

many fathoms

RHODES

319

and seeming much more shoal than was the case in


fact. We were able to go quite close to shore before
anchoring,

and found ourselves

in

good

shelter

from the wind that was then blowing, although well


outside the tiny inner port which lay at the foot of a

Towering above the whole town stood


the precipitous and seemingly inaccessible acropolis,
steep

bluff.

steep sides running

its

down

to the sea, the rich

redness of the rock contrasting on the one hand

with the matchless blue of the

^gean, and on

the

other with the pure whiteness of the buildings of


the

town.

The summit

crowned with the ruin

of

the

of

promontory was

castle of the

Rhodes, who had once made

this

Knights

of

a famous strong-

hold in the Middle Ages. In fact the residence of the


knights had obliterated the more ancient remnants
of the classic period,

which included a temple

of

and the work of exhuming the Greek ruins


from under the debris of the Crusaders' fortress was
Athena

only just beginning

From

when we landed

there.

the ship, the most conspicuous object on the

heights was the ruined castle of

St.

John, the portal of

which, giving the sole means of access to the plateau

on top

we

of the

sailed in.

promontory, was plainly to be seen as


It

gave the impression

brown sandstone from below, a

of yellowish-

color which

with the goodly battlements that frowned

it

shared

down from

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

320
all

sides of the citadel, even

where the abruptness

of

the declivity for something like three hundred feet

made

battlements a seeming work of supererogation.

Nestling under the shadow of the mighty rock on the

landward side lay the modern village

Lindos

of

itself,

apparently freshly whitewashed and gleaming in the

sun wherever the rock

morning warmth.
brilliant

It

failed to shelter

was one

of those

it

from the

marvelously

days that have made the Greek atmosphere

cloudless and

so famous

clear,

with that clearness

that reveals distant objects so distinctly, yet so softly


withal.

As

for the nearer prospects,

they were almost

trying to the eyes, under the forenoon glare beating

down on

that immaculate array of close-set white

houses and shops.

Our

boats set

off

shoreward across a placid sheet

of

water that varied from a deep indigo at the ship to


the palest of greens as

it

surged

among the fringes of

slippery rock along the foot of the bluff.

The landing

stage was but a narrow shelf of pebbly beach, from

which a rough paved way led steeply up to the town


just

above the

sea.

The

the white purity of the

contrast of the blue sky

town was dazzling

and

in the ex-

treme, and the glare accounted in a measure for the


veiled

women and

sore-eyed children

courtyards of the town.


sufficiently to

make

we met

in the

Our own eyes soon ached

us walk in single

file

along the

RHODES
shady side
at the

of the

321

high-walled streets, looking chiefly

shadow and only occasionally at the houses and

shops as we wound along into the heart of the village.

But even these occasional glimpses revealed the most


fascinating of

little

details in the local architecture,

curious Gothic and Moorish windows surviving from


a bygone day and ornamented with the border of

"rope" pattern worked in the stone. Almost everything had been covered with the dazzling whitewash,
save here and there a relic of former days which
was allowed

to retain the natural color of the native

rock.

In most of the cases the actual dwellings were set


well back from the streets, which were extremely nar-

row and crooked. Between the highway and the house


was invariably a tiny courtyard, screened from the view
of passers by a lofty wall, always of white. The yards
were occasionally to be peered
a gate

left

temptingly

ajar.

into,

however, through

These diminutive courts

were floored with pebble work in black and white designs throughout their extent, save where the matron
of the

house had a flower bed under cultivation. These

beds and boxes


filled

of flowers

were a

riot of color

and

the air with fragrance, while the green foliage

furnished a lively contrast with the dead white of the


walls behind.

In the doorways of the dwellings within could be

322

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

seen groups of bashful women, and shy children hid-

ing in their mothers'

skirts,

who looked

furtively at us

we stopped hesitatingly before their gates. Growwe finally ventured to set foot within the
courtyards now and then, charmed with the sweetness
and at length we made bold to
of the tiny gardens
as

ing bolder

enter

and

to

walk over the pleasant firmness

of the

pebbly pavements of white and black tracery to the

doorways, where the

women gave a

coming good-day and bade us come


of

men was

notable.

timid but wel-

in.

The absence

We were later told that the male

population of Lindos was temporarily away, being


largely

employed

in the construction of the great

at Assouan, on the Nile

women had

and that

in

dam

consequence the

practically the sole charge in Lindos at

the time, which

may have accounted for

lateness of everything.

the

We were likewise

immacu-

told that in

was reserved for the sole


use of the women, who might be free to wander at will
the evening a certain hour

through the streets, chiefly to get water

for their

house-

holds, without fear of molestation. Lindos for the time

was an Adamless Eden, and as spick and span a town


as it would be possible to find on earth.

The houses
to

into

which we were welcomed proved

be as clean within as without. The lower story ap-

parently consisted as a general thing of a single great

room, with possibly a smaller apartment back of

it

for

RHODES

323

room was the living room and


The floor was scrubbed until
shone. The walls were of the universal
its boards
white. On one side of the room
and occasionally on
both sides
was to be seen a sort of dais, or elevated
cooking. This large

sleeping room

as well.

platform, which apparently served for the family bed.

The bedding,
splendor,

including blankets and rugs of barbaric

was neatly

over the railing of

piled

it.

And

on the platform or hung


it

was

here, according to

all

appearance, that the entire household retired to rest

in

a body

What

at night, in

interested us

harmonious contiguity.

most

of

all,

however, was the

we
hung on

decoration of the rooms. Nearly every one that

entered was adorned with numerous plates


the wall in great profusion, seldom

more than two

being of the same pattern, and including


designs, from the valuable

mon

Rhodian down

" willow " patterns of

collections at

sorts of

to the

com-

own grandmothers'

home. This heterogeneous array

plates puzzled us not a

versal

our

all

among the

little

at

first.

It

was so

of

uni-

householders, and representative of

some explanation of the presence of these plates seemed necessary. Later it developed that the Rhodian custom
has long been to mark the birth of each child by the
so wide a

field of the

ceramic

art,

that

addition of a plate to the family collection, the fewer


duplicates the better.

The agglomeration

of these

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

324

dishes that

we saw

represented the family trees for

generations. Despite the connection presumably existing between the plates

we found

ever,

specimens for a

women not

the

price,

The comparatively

and the family

how-

history,

reluctant to part with

and we carried away not a

rare instances in which

few.

we found

any of the genuine and celebrated Rhodian ware, however, proved that its great value was well known by
the native

women. Their

prohibitive, especially in

prices in such cases proved

view

of the risk of

breakage

home from

so distant

involved in getting the plates

an

island.

These plates, notable for the beauty of

their

design and for the distinguishing rose pattern in the

be found in

centre, are often to

and

their great rarity

them

for other uses

few that we found

museum

collections,

and consequent value

unfits

than those of the collector.


in

The

Lindos were to be had for

prices equivalent to about eighty dollars apiece in our

money, which seemed exorbitant


told that

until

we were

later

even one hundred dollars would have been

reasonable enough for some of the finer specimens.


Indeed,

it is

getting to be rather unusual to find one

of these for sale at

all.

There are opportunities enough, as we discovered,


to

purchase the famous Rhodian embroidery but


;

we

were cautioned to leave the bargaining to experts


familiar with values, for the infrequent visitor

is al-

RHODES
most certain
action.

to be

325

imposed upon

These embroideries, or at

in

any such

trans-

least the older ones,

are very elaborate creations of colored wools on a

background
markably
that

is

of

rich

unbleached

and

fresh despite their age,

re-

an age

eloquently testified to by the stains and worn

The

places in the cloth.

broidery

is

subject of

Rhodian em-

a most interesting one, but too

and technical
growth

being

linen, the colors

to

intricate

be gone into here. The study of the

of certain well-defined

groups

of convention-

might well furnish material for a conbody of literature, if it has not already done

alized figures

siderable
so.

We were

informed that the wealth of Rhodian

embroidery was due to the ancient custom

may

still

exist

among

the

Rhodian

girls

which

to begin

the preparation of the nuptial gear at a tender age,

they plying their needles almost daily, until by the

time they are marriageable they have accumulated a


surprising

amount of bizarre blankets,


dower chests.

cloths,

and

bits

of finery for their

The leisurely progress through the town required


some time, occupied as we were by frequent visits to
the odd little houses in the quest of curious wares to
carry away. And by the time we had reached the
centre of the town, the hot sun
to step

made

us glad indeed

under a spacious arch, washed underneath

with a sky-blue

tint

which was

restful to

our tired

326

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

eyes,

and thence

to

go

into the cool

and aromatic

quiet of a very old Greek church, where the glare of

the sun on the white buildings could be forgotten.

Most notable

of all the curious things

the attendant priest

which, after so

much

was decidedly

difficult to

gloom

roof,

excessive light out of doors,

see at

all

it

in the grateful

of the church.

We delayed
polis

shown us by

was the quaintly carved

but a

little

while there, for the acro-

above was the ultimate goal

spot. Thither

of

our

visit to

the

we were conducted by the Danish gen-

tleman who had charge


prosecuted there.

of the investigations

The way led out

of the

being

dense build-

ings of the town and along the base of the over-

hanging

cliff

to the side

toward the open

sea,

always

upward and above the flat roofs of the little town


below, until we came to the foot of the stairway of
stone leading up through a defile in the rock to the
arched portal of the castle on the height. It was a
long

flight of steps,

one side against the smooth face

of the rock, the other unprotected.


of the impressive

at the foot

was one of
the discoveries made on the

approach to the

the most interesting of

And

citadel

was a gigantic sculpture in bas-relief hewn out


of the face of the cliff itself and representing, in " life
size," so to speak, the stern of an ancient trireme. The
relief was sufficiently high to give a flat space on what

site.

It

RHODES
was intended

be the deck

to

some

as a pedestal for

The curved end

of the ship,

supposably

statue which has disappeared.

of the trireme with its sustaining

bolt, the seat of the

the oars, were

327

still

helmsman, and a blade

intact,

of

one

of

and as a large representa-

SCULPTURED TRIREME IN ROCK AT LINDOS


Prom a
tion of

Sketch by the

Author

a classic ship the sculpture

To all intents and purposes it is


when the artists first carved it.

is

doubtless unique.

as perfect to-day as

In the grateful shade of the rock

we sat and listened

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

328

to the description of the archaeological

the spot

been

by

work done on

the Danes, which has not, at this writing,

officially published,

and therefore seems not

proper matter for inexpert discussion here.


teresting fact, however, which

One

we were told, was

in-

that,

by means of certain records deciphered from tablets


found on the acropolis, it had been possible to fix
definitely the date of the statue of the Laocoon as
a work

and

This was
names of the priests,
who worked for them, at periods

of the first century before Christ.

established

by the

list

of the sculptors

which

of the

proved possible to

it

fix

with a remarkable

degree of exactness.

We ascended to the

height above, where

permitted to wander at will

among

we were
As

the ruins.

from below, the chief features were those

of the

me-

had so largely swallowed up the


Athena. Nevertheless the excavators had

dieval period, which

temple of
restored

enough

of the original site

from

its

cover^

ing of debris to reveal the vestiges of the old temple

and an imposing

propylaea, with traces

enough

in

fragmentary form to enable making drawings of the


structures as they probably appeared to the ancient
eye.

For the

relics of the

of the

rest the chief interest centred in the

abode

of the knights.

Just at the head

grand entrance stairway was the tower which

defended the acropolis on

its

one accessible

side.

The

ARCHED PORTAL OF ACROPOLIS. LINDOS

RHODES
arched portal
passes under

is

it,

329

very nearly perfect

across a sort of moat,

still,

and one

by means

of

an

improvised bridge of planks, where once, no doubt,

a drawbridge served to admit or to bar out at the


will of the

Grand Master of the ancient commandery.

Beyond the entrance hall lay a succession of vaulted


and chambers leading around to the open precincts of the acropolis, the most evidently well-preserved buildings being the chapel of St. John and the
halls

house once occupied by the Grand Master himself.


All

were

of the

brownish native rock, and were un-

mistakably medieval in their general style of architecture.


little

On

the open terraces above the entrance,

remained to be seen save the heaps

and the

faint traces of the classic temples.

impressive of
all

sides

all

was the sheer drop

But most
rock on

around the acropolis and the views

sea and inland over Rhodes.

The

where, save at the entrance alone,


dicularly to the sea, which

hundred

of the

of debris

off to

precipices everyfell

away perpen-

murmured two

or three

feet below. Nevertheless, despite the evident

hopelessness of ever scaling the height, the pains-

taking knights had built a wall with battlements

all

about, less serviceable as protecting the inhabitants

against assault than for preserving them from

fall-

ing over to a certain and awful death themselves.

The drop on

the landward side

was considerably less.

330

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

but quite as steep and quite as impregnable to would-

be scaling

parties.

Even a few munitions

of war, in

the shape of rounded stones about the size of old-

fashioned cannon balls seen in our


parks, were

to

The views from


not only

off

modern

military

be found about the summit.


this elevated

height were superb,

across the sea to the mountainous land

of

Asia Minor, but inland toward the rocky interior

of

Rhodes

herself.

The land

just across the

little

de-

pression in which the white town lay, rose to an-

other though less


of

commanding

height, in the slopes

which the excavator said they had but recently

unearthed some ancient rock tombs.

Beyond, the

country rolled in an undulating sea of green

hills

pleasant land as always, and doubtless as flowery as

when she took her name from the rose (rhodos)


and when the wild pomegranate flower gave Brow^ning's " Balaustion " her nickname. As a colony of
of old

the Athenian empire she stood loyal to the Attic city

down to 412 B. C, in those


ponnesian war, when the
most of the Rhodians at

troublous days of the Pelostar of

Athens waned and

last revolted.

Those who

clung to Athens probably went away

and returned, if at
laid waste to the sound
did,

all,

still

as Balaustion

only after Athens had been

of the flute.

Under the Roman

domination Rhodes enjoyed a return to high favor,

and Tiberius selected the smiling

isle

as his place of

RHODES

331

banishment. For siding with Caesar, Cassius punished


the island by plundering

overrun by the Arabs

For centuries after, it was


and from them it was taken
it.

by the Byzantines, who turned

who took

it

over to the Knights

new name of the Knights


of Rhodes, fortified the spot as we saw, and held it for
a long time against all comers, down to 1522, when
of St. John,

the

Solyman II. reduced it. It is still Turkish


and of the finds made by the archaeolo-

the Sultan
territory,

gists

on the

site of

Lindos, the great bulk have been

sent to Constantinople, including several hundred

The

terra cotta figurines.

zealous Turks, the exca-

vators complained, had taken

away

books on

their

landing, with the result that they had led a lonely


of

it,

their only diversion

life

being their labors on the

acropolis.

We
island,

had no chance
which other

to inspect the interior of the

have described

visitors

in

glow-

ing colors as most attractive in the profusion of

almost tropic verdure and


ander, myrtle,

figs,

its

growths

its

of cactus, ole-

and pomegranates.

Like Cos,

Rhodes was an ancient seat of culture, greatly favored


by students, and the site of a celebrated university,
^schines founded here a famous school of oratory,
and

in later years the institution

patronage
Cicero.

Of

of

no

less

was honored by the

a personage than the

these, of course,

we saw no

trace.

Roman

332

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

Neither had

we any opportunity to visit

the ancient

"Rhodes the town," which boasts the ruins of


As for the famous
Colossus, which nearly everybody remembers first of

capital,

a very similar castle of the knights.

trying to recall what were the wonders of the

all in

world,

it

no longer

exists.

But

remark that the notion that

in passing

may

one

this gigantic statue be-

strode the harbor has been exploded, destroying one

most cherished delusions of childhood which


the picture in the back of Webster's Unabridged contributed not least of all in producing, in the past two
of the

generations.

Rhodes in its
golden age
Lindos, lalysos, and Kameiros
which,
with Cos, Cnidos, and Halicarnassus, formed the anThere were three celebrated

cities in

cient
it

Dorian "hexapolis," or

six cities, four of

had been our good fortune

two days. The


tively late

to visit within the past

Rhodes was formed compara-

by inhabitants from the three original

of the island,
tial port.

city of

which

The

and became a prosperous and

influen-

inhabitants were seafaring people

developed a high degree of

an interesting corollary in
from which a

cities

skill in

their

faint survival is

of " general average " in our

code

and

navigation, with
of

found

maritime law,

in the doctrine

own admiralty

practice,

sometimes referred to as the Rhodian law, and having to do with the participation of

all

shippers in such

RHODES
losses as

may

333

be occasioned by throwing a part of

the cargo overboard to save the whole from


visit

Kameiros and the

interior

To

loss.

would have been

inter-

and we found our consolation


visit other Rhodian sites in the

esting but impossible,


for the inability to

loveliness of Lindos, with

its

acropolis above

pure white walls below, its gardens,


its

collections of plates.

And we

its

and

courtyards,

left it

its

and

with regret

a regret which was shared no doubt by the lonely

Danish explorer

whom we

left

waving adieu

to us

from the shore as we pulled away across the shallow


waters of the harbor to the steamer, and turned our
faces once

more toward the west and

which Balaustion dreamed.

that Athens of

CHAPTER

NO
be,

island that

XVIII.

we

THERA

^gean

visited in our

cruise

was more interesting than Thera proved to


when we had steamed across the intervening

ocean from Rhodes and into the immense basin that


serves Thera

or modern

No more remarkable
If

bay

Santorin

for

a harbor.

harbor could well be conceived.

Vesuvius could be imagined to sink into Naples


until there

thousand

were

left

protruding only about a

feet of the present altitude

if

the ocean

should be admitted to the interior of the volcano

one
by two great channels or fissures in the sides
at the point where the ubiquitous Mr. Cook has
or did have

his funicular railway,

in the general locality represented

Bosco Trecase
into

which so

and

if

the present

many thousand

should thus be

filled

and the other

by the

ill-starred

awesome

visitors

throughout

its

crater,

have peered,
extent

by the

cooling waters, so as to form a great and placid bay


within the mountain,

then we should

have an

al-

THERA
most exact reproduction
something
more,

if

of

335

what happened

thousand years ago.

like four

we may add

to our

at

Thera

Further-

Vesuvian hypothesis the

supposition that there be built along the eastern


of the crater

lip

a long white town, stretching for per-

haps a mile along the sharp spine

summit, we

of the

should have an equally exact reproduction of what


exists at

Thera to-day.

Thera

the end of the chain of

lies at

peaks that reveal the continuation


insula under the waters of the

rocky range
sea at

of the Attic pen-

^gean. The same

mountains that disappears into the

of

Sunium

submerged

rises

again and again as

it

stretches

the southeast to form the islands of Cythnos,

off to

Seriphos, Siphnos,

and

and the

their fellows,

series

closes, apparently, in the volcanic island of Santorin,

under which name the moderns know the island

which the ancients called successively Kallista (most

and Thera. Considering her beauty as an


and her comparative nearness to the mainland of Greece or to Crete, Thera is surprisingly little

beautiful)

island

known. Historically Thera had small


pared with her neighbors

seemed

left

has

filled

them

all.

com-

way

it

Legend

the island comparatively unhon-

and poetry has permitted her

No Byron

celebrity

but in every other

to us that she surpassed

appears to have
ored,

to

remain unsung.

high his bowl with Theran wine.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

336

No

burning poetess lived or sang

tuous

No god

street.

for his birthright.

But

in her single tor-

of

Olympus claimed

for

beauty

history

and

^gean and
;

characteristics,

fellow in the world.

For

isle

every kind, from

of

the pastoral to the sublimely awful,

fellow in the

the

Thera has no

for extraordinary natural


it

it is

is

doubtful

if

it

has a

a sunken volcano, with

a bottomless harbor, where once was the centre


fiery activity,

a harbor, rimmed

of encircling precipices,

of

about with miles

on the top

of

one

of

which

THERA
lies

337

the town of Thera, a thousand feet straight

above the

up
and reachable only by a steep and

sea,

winding mule track which connects

it

with the dimin-

utive landing stage below.

There appears to be a wide divergence


as to the exact date

blown

when

and sunk

to pieces

of opinion

was

the original mountain


in the ocean, but

it

may be

roughly stated to have occurred in the vicinity

of the

some auhave come

sixteenth century before Christ, although


thorities incline to believe the eruption to

to pass at a

still

earlier period.

As

to the inhabitants

before the time of that extraordinary upheaval,


is

known save what may be gleaned from a

tude of pottery vases

left

little

multi-

behind by those early

set-

and bearing ornamentation of a rude sort that


stamps them as belonging to the remote pre-Mycetlers,

naean age, the age that preceded the greatness of

Agamemnon's

city

and the sack

entirely probable that the early

Phoenicia,

and

of Troy.

Cadmus

himself.

however,

is

that at

of

no

less

came over

a personage than

What we know
some

seems

Therans were from

tradition says that they

under the leadership

It

for

a certainty,

prehistoric time the original

volcano underwent a most remarkable change and


subsided, with a blaze of glory that can hardly be

imagined, into the waters of the ^^gean, until only


the upper rim

and three

central cones are

now

to

be

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

338

seen above the water's edge. Through two enormous


crevices torn in the northern
irresistible

and southern slopes the

ocean poured into the vast central cavity,

cooling to a large extent the fiery ardor of the


tain

ing

and leaving
clifTs,

it

as

we found

it,

circle of

mounfrown-

nearly a thousand feet in height and some-

thing like eighteen miles in periphery, inclosing a


placid

and

what was

practically bottomless harbor in

once the volcano's heart, the surface

of the

bay pierced

by only three diminutive islands, once the cones of


the volcano, and not entirely inert even to-day. In
fact

one

of these central islands

appeared as recently

as 1866 during an eruption that showed the

fires of

Santorin not yet to be extinguished by any means

fact that is further testified to

by the heat

of certain

portions of the inclosed waters of the basin.


Into this curious harbor our

little

chartered ship

glided in the early light of an April morning, which

dimly revealed the walls


high above in

cliffs

of forbidding stone

of that black, scarred

peculiar to volcanic formation, marred


of the ancient fires, yet

utter sullenness here

none the

towering

appearance

by the ravages

less relieved

and there by

from

strata of rich red

stone or by patches of grayish white tufa. Neverthe-

sombre and forbidding, especially in


the early twilight for the sun had not yet risen above
less

it

was

all

the horizon,

much

less

penetrated into the cavernous

THERA

High above, however,

depths of Thera's harbor.

perched on what looked


sition

along the summit

339

a most precarious po-

like

of the

cliff,

of the city, already catching the

domes and

towers, but

north,

on another portion

seemed rather a

on the

morning

men

while far

its

Lilliputian

away to

of the crater wall,

lining of frost or

on

light

seeming rather a

village than a habitation of

city

ran the white line

the

a smaller

snow gathered

crater's lip.

A few shallops made shift to anchor close to the foot


of the precipice,

where a narrow submarine

jects sufficiently to give

for small craft

shelf pro-

a precarious holding ground

and near them were grouped a few

white buildings showing duskily in the morning halflight

and serving

to indicate the landing stage.

the main, however, there


entire bay,

which

is

is

little

anchorage

practically bottomless.

in the

No

cable

could fathom the depth of the basin a few rods


shore,

and fortunately none

ter is perfect.

is

In

off

needed, since the shel-

The steamer held her own

by a mere occasional lazy turning

for

hours

of her screw.

To

the southward lay the broad channel through which

our ship had entered, and to the north lay the nar-

row passage through which at nightfall we proposed


to depart for Athens. Everywhere else was the encircling wall of strangely variegated rock, buttressed

here and there by enormous crags of black lava,

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

340

which sometimes seemed to strengthen


times threatened to

fall

and some-

crashing to the waters directly

below. Indeed landslides are by no


in Thera,

it

means uncommon

and several persons have been killed even


by masses of stone falling from

at the landing place

above.

As

the light increased at the base of the

became

possible to see the

cliff, it

donkey track leading

in

a score or more of steep windings up the face of the


rock from the landing to the city high above, arched
here and there over old landslips or ravines, while

near by were to be seen curious cave-dwellings, where


caverns in the tufa had been walled up, provided with

doors and windows, and inhabited.

There was some

little

delay in landing, even after

our small boats had set us ashore on the narrow quay,


slippery with seaweed

and covered with

We were herded in a rather


a row

of shore boats

barnacles.

impatient group behind

drawn up on the landing

stage,

and detained there until " pratique " had been obtained,

which

entitled us to proceed

through the de-

vious byways of the tiny village close by to the be-

ginning of the ascent. The wharf was covered with


barrels,

heaps

and

the paraphernalia to be expected of the port

of

all

of

wood, carboys covered with wicker,

a wine-exporting, water-importing community

Thera has

to send abroad for water, aside from

for

what

"

THERA
she

341

and

able to collect from the rains,

is

also relies

largely on her neighbors for wood. There are almost

no native

trees

and no springs

at

all

and one French

writer apparently has been greatly disturbed by this

embarrassing
neither

wood nor

abroad

for

each

water, so that

and

have wood, and to go

On

cliff

which leads to the

One

it is

finds

there

necessary to go

yet to build ships one must

for

water ships are necessary

emerging from the

the base of the

"

saying,

difficulty,

cluster of small buildings at

and entering upon the steep path

city above,

we at once encountered
means of comThera above and

the trains of asses that furnish the only

munication between the village of


the ships below

asses patiently bearing broad deck-

loads of fagots, or of boards, or of various containers


useful for transporting liquids. It
to hire beasts to ride

was

easily possible

up the winding high way to Thera,

but as the grade was not prohibitive and as the time


required for a pedestrian to ascend was predicted to be

from twenty minutes to

half

unnecessary, especially as
side of the

we

cliff

it

an hour, these were voted

was still shady on the bay

and would continue so

set out, not too briskly,

up the

for hours.

So

path. It proved to

be utterly impracticable for anything on wheels, be-

ing not only steep but frequently provided with the

broad steps so often to be seen


hill

towns, while

it

in

Greek and

Italian

was paved throughout with blocks

342

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

of basalt

which continual

traffic

had rendered

slip-

pery in the extreme. The slipperiness, indeed, renders the ascent to Thera

coming down,

for

on the

if

anything easier than the

latter

journey one must ex-

ercise constant care in placing the feet

at

a pace that

anything but brisk, despite the

is

downward grade.
The only care in going up was
trains of

and proceed

to avoid the

little

donkeys with their projecting loads and

their

mischievous desire to crowd pedestrians to the parapet side of the road, a propensity which

we

speedily

learned to avoid by giving the beasts as wide a berth


as the constricted path would allow, choosing always

the side next the

cliff itself

for the sheer

drop from

the parapet soon became too appalling to contemplate

as the

way wound higher and

higher, turn after turn,

above the hamlet at the landing. The view speedily


gained in magnificence, showing the bay in
extent, with the

called Therasia, as

if

it

were, as

entirely separate island of

instead of one

away and
crater wall, now

two entrance channels

the detached portion of the opposite


it

a small

its full

far

appears to be, an
local archipelago,

homogeneous but sunken mountain.

Directly below lay the landing stage with

its

cluster

of white warehouses, the scattered cave-dwellings,

the tiny ships moored close to the quay

and

small enough

at close range, but from this height like the vessels in

THERA
a toy-shop So precipitous

343

the crater wall that one

is

could almost fling a pebble over the parapet and strike


the settlement at the foot of the path.

when brought out by the growing

colors of the rock,

added a sombre

sunlight,

red tones of the

ding black

liveliness to the view, the

preponderating over the forbid-

cliff

of the lava, while here

gash revealed the ravages


It

The varying

and there a long

a considerable

of

landslip.

was, indeed, a half-hour's hard climb to Thera.

But when the town did begin,

it

stole

upon us

we

ere

were aware, isolated and venturesome dwellings of the


semi-cave type dropping

down

meet the highway winding

the face of the

cliff

giving place to more pretentious dwellings with


or

domed

roofs, all

morning

in the

sun, in sharp

contrast with the dark rocks on which they

The

flat

shining with immaculate white-

wash and gleaming


foundation.

to

painfully up, these in turn

scriptural architect

who

had

their

built his

house upon the sand might well have regarded that


selection as stable
of these

and secure compared with some

Theran dwellings

for

founded upon a rock and are


in

it,

there seems to be

little

in

although they are

some

cases half sunk

guarantee that the rock

may not some day split off and


among the ships.
itself

land them

down

When the winding path finally attained the summit,


it

was found

to

debouch

into a

narrow public square,

344

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

flanked by the inevitable

museum

and a

of antiquities

rather garish church the latter painfully new, and, like


;

all

of

Greek houses of worship, making small pretense


outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual

grace. It

may

be sacred to

St. Irene,

and very

likely

modern name from that saint


and boasts innumerable shrines to her memory. We
take credit to ourselves that, although Thera called
is,

for the island takes its

we first sought the sancwe did not remain there long.

loudly with manifold charms,

tuary but to our shame


;

venerable priest, perspiring under a multitude of

gorgeous vestments, was

officiating in the presence of

a very meagre congregation, composed of extremely

young boys and a scant


peace of mind,

was on the

choir. Fortunately for

this particular church's

side of the square

our

one foundation

away from the

precipice,

giving a sense of security not otherwise to be gained.

But the mountain, even on


being gradual, and
inner basin.

Greek

is

is

gentler side,

is

far

from

only less steep than toward the

The "blessed mutter

of the

mass"

so unintelligible to foreign ears that

drove us forth into the

museum

its

air outside

it

in

soon

and then to the little

next door, where were displayed the rather

overwhelming antiquities

of the place,

mainly vases

that had been made and used long before the eruption

which destroyed the island's original form so


thousand years before.

Many

of these

many

were graceful

THERA

345

and some are in quite perfect preservation


despite their fragility and the enormous lapse of time,
in form,

revealing

still

the rude efforts of the early artist's brush

in geometric patterns, lines, angles,

and occasionally

even primitive attempts to represent animal shapes.


Doubtless these relics are no more ancient than those to

be seen by the curious in the palace of Minos in Crete,

and are

paralleled in antiquity

other pre-Mycenaean sites

lapse of ages since they were

home

to

where,

one with more

by pottery remnants

made and used comes

reality in

suppose because

in

but for some reason the

Thera than

else-

of the impressive story of

the eruption at such a hazy distance before the

dawn

recorded history. So overpowering did these

silent

of

witnesses of a bygone day prove, that

we disposed

them with a celerity that would have shocked an


and betook ourselves straightway to the
modern town without, which ran temptingly along
the ridge of the summit northward, presenting, like
of

archaeologist,

Taormina, a single narrow


est of

shops and dwellings, with here and there nar-

row byways
might

street lined with the whit-

of steps leading

up or down, as the case

be, to outlying clusters of buildings.

This main

thoroughfare, hardly wider than a city sidewalk,

lows the uneven

line of the

mountain

top,

fol-

winding

about and dodging up and down, sometimes by

in-

clined planes and sometimes by flights of steps, such

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

346

as are

common enough

Greek

hill

From

in side streets of Italian or

towns.

the higher points the city presented a sea of

undulating white, the roofs divided almost evenly

between the

flat,

parapeted

the falling rain, which

and the dome, or

is

style,

designed to catch

doubly precious

half-barrel style,

in the island,

which bears wit-

ness to the local scarcity of timber, making necessary


this self-supporting arch of cement.

over again

is

the lack of

wood

Thus over and

and water brought to

mind. At a turn in the main street there disclosed


self

a fascinating vista of white

it-

walls, inclosing neat

courtyards, pebble-paved in black and white after the


island manner,

and framing

arched campanile in clear

many-

in the distance a

relief

against the brilliant

sky, the glare of the whiteness mitigated

by the

strong oblique shadows and the bronze green of the


bells.

Two

things prevented our tarrying in Thera in-

definitely.

One was

the urgent need of returning to

our steamer and pursuing our cruise through the

^gean

However,

the other
it is

was the lack

of suitable lodging.

likely that the latter

would have proved

anything but an insuperable obstacle

if

tested

irresistible force of intrepid determination, for

ing

we could have found, despite the

boasts no hotel.

Wandering along

fact that

by an
lodg-

Thera

the street

and

A THERAN STREET

THERA
stopping

now and

347

then to inspect the curious way-

wonder through gaps in the


walls of dwellings at the incredible gulf yawning beyond and beneath, we came suddenly upon a coffeehouse which completed our capture. The proprietor,
as it developed, spoke Italian enough to give us
common ground, ushered us out upon a balcony that
looked toward the water, and produced a huge flagon
side shops, or to gaze in

of the

try

wine

It

was

Samian

of the country.

yellow.

that

It

Ah, the wine of the coun-

was not

Byron praised

sickish sweet, like the

so.

It

was warming

to

the midriff and made one charitable as one sipped.

Overhead flapped a dingy awning in the lazy western breeze. Below wound the donkey path, with its
trains of asses silently

ascending and descending

through the shimmering heat


Far, far beneath,
feet,
little

of the April

and indeed almost

morning.

directly at our

and the steamer, close by the


the landing stage, where tiny people,

lay the toy-ships

hamlet

of

like ants, scurried busily, but at this distance

made no
came

sound. Across the sea of rising and falling roofs


the tinkle of an insistent church

gregation of some church of

bell,

St. Irene.

is

cheap at three drachmas, with a

of

Greek coppers

for good-will

It

balcony overlooking the bay that


Thera.

Before

calling the conBliss like this

trifling addition

was on

we

we had been merely

fell

this

narrow

in love with

prepossessed.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

348

The Greek word

sounds suspiciously

for hotel

like

mouth of the native, as we


had long ago learned so we instituted inquiry as to
"Senator Sheehan"

in the
;

that feature of the town, in the

hope some day

of re-

turning thither for a more extended stay, with opportunity to explore the surrounding country.

and not unpromising


house

like

edifice

was pointed

A distant

out,

a coffee-

our own, but provided with a large room

where rather dubious beds were sometimes spread


for the weary,

may

according to our entertainer; and

be that his shrug was the mere product

fessional jealousy.

that

we should not

Inexorable

it

of pro-

however, decreed

fate,

investigate, but content ourselves

with rambling through the town from end to end,

enjoying

lieved only
blues,

and

its

its

quaint architecture,

its

by touches

its

white walls re-

of bufT or the lightest of light

incomparable situation on

views, either into the

this

chasm

outward across the troubled expanse


to other

rocky saddle,

of the harbor or
of the

JEgean

neighboring islands.

At the north end of the city, where the houses


ceased and gave place to the open ridge of the
mountain, there stood an old

mill, into

the cavern-

we were bidden enter by an


It revealed some very primitive magearing being hewn out of huge slices

ous depths of which

aged

crone.

chinery, the
of

round logs

in

which rude cogs were

cut. Just out-

THERA

349

side stood a sooty oven, for the miller not only

the neighborhood corn, but converted

Beyond the
tation,

was

mill there

although on

was nothing

a distant

a white patch

visible

bend

it

in the

ground

into bread.

way of habi-

of the crater there

of basalt that

bore the ap-

pearance of a populous city with towers and battlements.

Still

farther to the north, at the cape next the

channel out to sea,


larly situated

lies

on the

an inconsiderable town, simi-

ridge, while

along the bay to the

south are occasional settlements and windmills.

Thera town

is

But

the only congested centre of popula-

tion.

In attempting to analyze the impression that Thera

made on

us,

we have come

chief charm, aside

and

from

its

to the conclusion that

curious position, is

that the difficulty of describing

it is

due

its

its

color;

in large

part to the inability to paint in words the amazing


contrasts of rock, city, and sky, not to mention the sea.

One may

depict,

although feebly, the architectural

charm, with the aid of his camera,

may

of geological statistics

tain

or,

if

duly

gifted,

chant the praise of Theran wine. With the aid

would appear

expose

its

if

one

may tell just how the moun-

we could draw

lower depths, leaving a

inclosing a three-thousand foot cup,


tral cones.

One

off

the ocean

circle of

and jagged cen-

might, by a superhuman

justice to the importunity of the

and

mountain

effort,

begging children

do
of

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

350

the town. But to give a true account of Thera de-

mands

the aid of the artist with his pigments, while

best of

all is

a personal

trouble to one

visiting

visit,

Greece

involving

little

little

time and

trouble,that

is

to

say, in

comparison with the charms that Thera has to

show.

And it is safe to say that every such visitor will


way gingerly down over the slippery paving

pick his

stones to the landing below with a poignant sense of


regret at leaving this beauty spot of the ^gean,
sail

and

out of the northern passage with a sigh, look-

ing back at the lights of Thera, on the rocky height

above the bay, mingling


the steady stars of the

their blinking points with

warm Mediterranean

night.

CHAPTER XIX. NIOS; PAROS;


A MIDNIGHT MASS
>

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

352

The Greek
a part

Good

takes his religion seriously, and makes

of his life afloat

and ashore,

it

would seem.

it

On

our national flag was low-

Friday, for example,

ered to half-mast and kept there in token of mourn-

ing for the crucified Lord, until the church proclaimed

His rising from the dead, when it once again mounted

The men seemed

joyously to the peak.


inclined,

and

it

was

in deference to

we

united crew, preferred while


Santorin, that

it

was decided

island to Nios, which

religiously

a request of the

lay in the harbor of

from that

to run north

away and which


harbors in the ^gean, in

was not

possessed one of the best

far

order that the native sailors and the captain might

observe the churchly festival according to custom


request that was the

more readily granted because we

were all rather anxious to see the Easter-eve ceremony


at its climax.

Those who had witnessed

years vouched for

it

proved

fact

itself

to

be the

it

in previous

and such

as highly interesting,
;

and the excitement

evening furnished one

between the ceremony

for

of reaching the scene, this

of the

most enjoyable

of all

our

island experiences.

In reply to questions touching upon the remoteness


of the
officer,

church at Nios from the landing, the second

who spoke

Italian,

had assured us with a high

disregard of the truth that


It

it

was

" vicino

vicino

"
!

was pitch dark before we neared Nios, however,

A MIDNIGHT MASS

353

and as the moon was due to be late in rising that night


we got no warning glimpse of the land, but were made
aware

of its

approach only by a shapeless bulk

in the

dark which suddenly appeared on either hand, the


entrance to the harbor being vaguely indicated by a

we felt our way at little more


pace until we were dimly conscious of

single light, past which

than a drifting
hills all

about, half-guessed rather than visible in the

gloom. Then,

and

faint

far

away, we began to hear

the clamor of the village bells, rung with that insistent


clatter so familiar to those

European churches. That


tant

acquainted with southern


their notes

sounded so

dis-

gave us some idea at the outset that the mate's

" vicino "

might prove

mise, but very

to be a rather misleading pro-

was

little

to be told

by the sound, save

that the churches from which the bells were pealing

lay
hill.

somewhere

and apparently up a
Light there was none, not even a glimmer and

oflE

to the right

off for the shore over an inky sea


inbecoming and decorous silence, toward the point
where a gloom even more dense than the sky showed

our three dories put

that there

was land. The effect

had not a little

of solemnity in

to shore with careful oars

dark for the landing.


that

some stone

of

it,

it all

as

was curious and

we groped our way

and then

felt

about

in the

The forward boat soon announced


upward from the water

steps leading

had been found, and the rowers immediately raised

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

354

a shout

for lights, as

one by one we were handed up

the slimy stairs to the top of a broad stone quay, on

which some white buildings could be dimly seen.


lantern did materialize mysteriously from

among
save to

By

its

came bobbing down

the ghostly houses, and

to the water's edge, serving

make

some nook

little

purpose, however,

more

the rest of the darkness

obscure.

diminished ray the party were assembled in a

compact body, and received admonition

keep

to

to-

gether and to follow as closely as possible the leader,

who bore
These

the light.
instructions, while simple

proved decidedly

brilliant,

land,

who

gave

and the

little

stars,

to give,

The moon was

difficult to follow.

far below the horizon,

and

enough

while numerous

aid to strangers in a strange

could see no more than that they were on

a deserted pier flanked by dim warehouses, and a

long distance from the

bells

which were calling the

devout to midnight prayer. The lantern set


the flagstones of the deserted hamlet
single

we

file

could.

group

and

clattered the rest of us,

We emerged

and

off

along

after

it

in

keeping up as best

in short order

from the

little

by the wharf and came out into a vast


country, where all was darker than before,

of huts

silent

save where the leading lantern pursued

way upward

its

fantastic

over what turned out to be a roughly

paved mule track leading

into

hill.

Like most mule

A MIDNIGHT MASS
tracks,

it

mounted by

steps, rather

and the progress of the long

and

file

of

355

than by indines,

our party was slow

on the part

painful, necessitating frequent halts

of the

guide with the lantern, while a warning word

was constantly being passed back along the stumbling


each

line of pedestrians as

over an unlooked-for
little

danger

of

in turn

stubbed his toes

There was

rise in the grade.

wandering

off

the path, for

it

was bor-

dered by high banks. The one trouble was to keep


one's feet

and not

we climbed in the
much less

to stumble as

dark, able scarcely to see one another and


to see anything of the path.

as

we

bells

ceased to ring

proceeded, and even that dim clue to the dis-

tance of the town was


this

The

lost.

Decidedly

it

was weird,

stumbling walk up an unknown and unfrequented

island path in the

dead

of night

for

it

was long past

eleven of the clock, and the Easter mass, as

should reach

its

the

town

little

aware,

most interesting point at about twelve.

we made such

Knowing

this

its silent

we knew,

haste as

we

could and

Nios stole upon us ere

we were

buildings of gray closing in

upon the

of

road and surrounding us without our realizing their


presence, until a sudden turning of the

way caused

the lantern far ahead to disappear entirely from our

view
It

in the

mazes

of the town.

was as deserted as the

Moreover

it

was as crooked as

little
it

wharf had been.

was dark. Here and

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

356

doorway gave out across the way a


yellow light, but most of the habitations

there an open
single bar of

were as

silent as the

tomb, their owners and occu-

pants being in church long before.

a seeming labyrinth

On and on through

of little streets

we wound,

the

long thread of the party serving as the sole clue to


the way, as did Ariadne's cord

for the lantern

was

never visible to the rear guard now, owing to the


turns

and

highway. Twice we met be-

twists of the

lated church-goers

coming down from


and the

their tiny lanterns,

beholding

their faces at

this

side paths with

utter astonishment

on

unexpected inundation

hour of night was as


Once the thread of the
a corner, and for an anxious

of foreigners at that unearthly

amusing as

it

was

natural.

party was broken at

moment

was a council of war as to which street


was a lucky guess, however, for a sudden
turn brought the laggards out of the obscurity and
there

to take. It

into a lighted square before the doors of the church


itself

and

a tiny church, white walled and low roofed,

filled

apparently to

portals trickled the

its

doors, while from

monotonous chant

of

the voices always returning to a well-marked

unmelodious

its

a male

open
choir,

and not

refrain.

some mysterious way, room was made for us in


the stifling church, crowded as it was with men and
women. Candles furnished the only light. On the
In

A MIDNIGHT MASS
right a choir of

men and

boys, led

by the

357
local school-

master, chanted their unending, haunting minor

any.

An

and bespectacled

old

priest peered

lit-

down

over the congregation from the door of the iconostasis.

Worshipers came and went. The men seemed

up the icon before the entrance and kissing it passionately and repeatedly.
On each of us as we entered was pressed a slender
especially devout, taking

taper of yellow wax, perhaps a foot in length, and

stood crowded in the

little

auditorium holding these

before us expectantly, and regarded with lively

good-humored

by the good people

curiosity

Presently the priest

came forward from

signal for an excited scramble

him

fire

body bore

his tiny torch

we

all

was the

by a dozen small boys

to get their tapers lighted first

which the

and

within.

the door of

the altar-screen with his candle alight, which

nearest

we

after

ran from candle to candle until every-

and following the old

priest,

trooped out into the square before the church,

where the service continued.


That was a sight not

easily to

be forgotten

the

tiny square, in the centre of which stood the cata-

falque of Christ, while

all

around stood the throng

of

worshipers, each bearing his flaring taper, the whole

place flooded with a yellow glow.

the service continued as before.

breeze sufficed

now and

The monotone of
The gentle night

then to put out an unshel-

358

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

tered candle here

and

there, but as often as this

occurred the bystanders gave of their


illumination

was renewed as

The quaint

at

thrown

off

and the

service culminated with the proclama-

tion of the priest that Christ

aneste,"

fire,

often as interrupted.

had

risen,

which magic words

all

" Christos

restraint

was

and the worshipers abandoned them-

selves to transports of holy joy.

A stalwart man seized

the bell-rope that dangled outside the church and rang

lively toccata

uberant boys
of

on the multiple

let fly

bells

above, while ex-

explosive torpedoes at the walls

neighboring houses, making a merry din after the

true Mediterranean fashion

vals of all southern countries

for the religious festi-

appear to be held

fit

occasions for demonstrations akin unto those with

which we are wont to observe our own national


day.

birth-

We were soon aware that other churches of the

had reached the " Christos aneste " at about


the same hour, for distant bells and other firecrackers
vicinity

and torpedoes speedily announced the

rising of the

Lord.

Doubtless a part of the Easter abandon

is

due to

the reaction from the rigorous keeping of Lent among


the Greeks, as well as to a devout sentiment that re-

news

itself

annually at this festival with a fervor that

might well betoken the

first

novel discovery of eter-

nal salvation as a divine truth.

The Greek Lent

is

an

A MIDNIGHT MASS

359

austere season, in which the abstinence from food and

wine

astonishingly thorough. Indeed,

is

it

has been

reported by various travelers in Hellas in years past


that they were seriously inconvenienced
ability they met, especially in

in-

to procure

for the peasantry were unanimously


and unexpected wayfarers in the interior could

sufficient food

fasting,

Holy Week,

by the

find but

little

surprisingly

The

cheer.

On the arrival of
restraint to the

native

Easter

on

to exist

it is

not strange that he casts

winds and manifests a delight that

obviously unbounded.
ferred from this that

However,

undue

it

need not be

is

in-

license prevails, for this

apparently was not the case

The

manages

sustenance during the forty days.

little

not

in Nios, at

any

said

by
and cannonading, resumed its course, and was
to endure until three o'clock in the morning a

fact

which might seem to indicate that the Easter

rate.

bells

service, after the interruption afforded

pleasuring was capable of a decent restraint and post-

ponement, although the Lord had

officially risen

and

death was swallowed up in victory.

Our own devotion was not equal


staying through this long mass, as
past the midnight hour, and

strenuous day of

it.

" Christos aneste "


lagers,

we

set out

it

to the task of

was already well

we had made a long and

So, with repeated exchanges of

between ourselves and the

vil-

again through the narrow byways

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

36o

and down over the rough mule path

of the town,

to

the ship, each of us bearing his flaring taper and


shielding

as well as possible from the night wind;

it

were bent on getting some

for the sailors

of that

sacred flame aboard alive, and in consequence saw to


it

that extinguished candles were promptly relighted

lest

we

lose altogether the precious

fire.

We made a

long and ghostly procession of winking lights as we


streamed down over the

fitting

and out

to the boats

culmination to one of the most curious

experiences which the

We

hillside

found

the " red

^gean

vouchsafed

us.

" peculiar to the

eggs

hard-boiled

lar coloring matter,

become a

bowls of which were destined to

week

familiar sight during the

a commemoration

of a miracle

which was once

performed to convince a skeptical woman

bought,

full

when she met a

of

friend

not,"

was the

Have you heard


reply.

"What

whose countenance

skeptic, " that

cannot believe

this

is

is

risen

who ran

the

news ? "

to

meet

" Surely

news?" "Why,

" " Indeed,"

Christ the Lord

it

eggs which she had

expressed unusual rejoicing, and


her, crying, "

of the real-

She was walking home,

ity of the resurrection.

seems, with an apron

or two that

The Greeks maintain that

followed the Easter season.


this is

Greek

when we came aboard


eggs,
and colored with beet juice or some simi-

Easter awaiting us

responded the

nor shall

believe

it

A MIDNIGHT MASS
unless the eggs that

turned red."

And

carry in

my

361

apron

shall

have

when she

red they proved to be

looked at them

Owing

to the exhaustion

the night before,


quiet
to

due

to the festivities of

found Easter Sunday at Paros a

we

day indeed. The

streets of the little

be practically deserted,

for

it

town proved

was a day

sional vicious snap of

a firecracker was

home-

of

The

keeping, and no doubt one of feasting.

occa-

to be heard

the mole that serves the chief town

as

we landed on

of

Paros for a wharf and started for a short Sunday

morning ramble through the streets. From the landing stage the most conspicuous object in Paros was
a large white church not
in the

name

w^e

tonpyliani."

It

from the water, rejoicing

Virgin of a Hundred Gates," as


should interpret the epithet " heka-

of the

we were told

far

**

proved to be a sort

of triple church,

possessing side chapels on the right and

left of

the

main auditorium, and almost as large. In that at the


right was to be seen a cruciform baptismal font, very
venerable and only a

little

raised from the level of

the floor, indicating the uses to which this apartment


of the

ble

church was put. The presence of ancient mar-

columns incorporated into

edifice

was likewise

this

early Christian

striking. In the

main church the

most noticeable thing was the employment

of

a stone

altar-screen, or iconcstasis, wath three doors leading

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

362

customary single

into the apse behind instead of the

arrangement which has often been com-

one, an

mented upon as resembHng the proskenion of the


ancient theatre. It was all deserted, and the air was
heavy with old incense and with the balsamic per-

fume

and branches that had fallen


and been trampled upon during the mass

of the leaves

the floor

the previous night.

It

was

all

very

still,

very

to
of

damp

and evidently very old, doubtless supplanting some previous pagan shrine.

and

cool,

In the court before the church stood a sort of aban-

doned monastery, as

at the pass of

one was spotless white, and with

Daphne, only

its

this

walls served to

shut in completely the area in front of the church


itself.

is

In a portion of the buildings of this inclosure

a small museum, chiefly notable

one

of

which

bic verse,

for inscriptions,

refers to Archilochus, the writer of

who

Iam-

lived in Paros in the seventh century

before the birth of Christ.

The chief fame of Paros was, of course, for its marThe quarries whence these superb blocks came
lay off to the northeast, we were aware and had time

bles.

only allowed, they might have been explored with

The Parian marble was

profit.

the favorite one for

statues,

owing

lucence,

and the facility with which

up

to

a high

to its incomparable purity

finish.

It

it

and

trans-

could be worked

was quarried under ground,

OLD COLUMNS IN CHURCH. PAROS

A MIDNIGHT MASS
and thus derived

designation,

its

363

"lychnites," or

Those who have

" quarried-by-candlelight."

the subterranean chambers formed by the

visited

men who

anciently took marble from the spot relate that the exploration of the quarries
interest

and with not a

complex nature of the

fraught with considerable

is

little

galleries

the

name

site of

the

of Paroikia,

and the varying

levels.

modern town which


ancient city of Paros, and bears

In wandering around the

occupies the

danger, owing to the

little

we found

not a

little

color to

delight the eye, although the streets were generally


rather

muddy and

On

squalid.

the southerly side of

the harbor, where the basic rock of the island rises


to

a considerable height, there was anciently a small

acropolis,

which

sive tower built

is still

by

marble structures.

crowned with a rather mas-

the Franks out of bits of ancient

From the

outside, the curious log-

cabin effect caused by using marble columns for the


walls,

each drum laid with ends outward, was most

apparent and striking. Within

we found a tiny shrine,

deserted as the great church had been, but

still

giv-

ing evidence of recent religious activity. Aside from


the remnants of old temples, serving as the marble

logs of this Frankish stronghold, there


little

in

Paros to

the richest of
historic

all

recall the

seemed

to be

days when she was one

the Athenian tributaries.

of

A few pre-

houses have been uncovered and several an-

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

364

But the most lasting

cient tombs.

monuments

are the quarries,

now

of all the classic

deserted, but

still

revealing the marks of the ancient chisels, whence

came

the raw material for most of the famous Greek

sculptures preserved to us.

To

us, seated

on the pebbly beach and idly

ing to the lapping of the ^Egean waves, as

listen-

we sunned

ourselves and awaited the time for embarking, there

appeared a native, gorgeous


ciously American cut.

in clothes of

a suspi-

He drew near, smiling frankly,

and with a comprehensive gesture which

explicitly

"

Where do

included the ladies in his query, said

you

fellers

ican navy,

come from?" He had served


it

in the

Amer-

appeared, and had voyaged as far as

the Philippines. Other Parians ranged themselves at

a respectful distance and gazed

in

open-mouthed

who understood
how to talk with the foreigners, and who walked along
admiration at their fellow townsman

with a lady on either side,


dressed as "

ment and

you

whom

fellers " to their

delight.

We

he constantly ad-

unbounded amuse-

convoyed him

to

a wayside

inn near the quay, under two spindling plane trees,

him with cofiee as a reward for his courtesy


and interest and later we left him standing with bared
head watching our little ship steam away westward,
toward the setting sun and that land to which he
hoped one day to follow us once more.

and

plied

A MIDNIGHT MASS

365

Our return to Athens from our island cruise was


by way of the southeastern shore of the Peloponnesus, touching at

Monemvasia, a rocky promontory

near the most southern cape, and connected with the

mainland by a very narrow isthmus, which


even been necessary to bridge at one point
strictly

speaking,

Monemvasia

is

than a promontory or peninsula.

an

it

has

so that,

island, rather

It is

a most

strik-

ing rock, resembling Gibraltar in shape, though


vastly smaller. In fact, like Gibraltar,

it

has the his-

tory of an important strategic point, though

no longer.

Its

it is

such

summit

of defenses built

is still crowned by a system


by the Franks, and the inclosure,

which includes the entire top

tains a ruined church.

of the rock, also con-

narrow and not unpictur-

esque town straggles along the shore directly beneath


the towering rock
tar does,

and

in

it

much

as the town of Gibral-

may be seen

other ruined churches,

itself,

belonging to the Prankish period largely, and unused

now. The entrance to

this village is

midable stone gateway in the

from the sheer side

of the

cliff

wall,

above.

zag path leads up from the town


although deserted

is

through a

for-

which descends

steep zig-

to the fort,

which

kept locked, so that a key must

be procured before ascending.

Those who have seen the Norman defenses


promontory

of Cefalu,

on the northern coast

at the

of Sicily,

366

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

will

recognize at once a striking similarity between

that place

and

this

Grecian one, not only from a to-

pographical standpoint, but from the arrangement of


the walls at the top

and lower down

at the

gateway

upward path. Cefalii, however, is in a


more ruinous condition than this Prankish fortress
to-day. In point of general situation and view from
the summit the two are certainly very similar, with
their broad outlook over sea and mainland. The
that bars the

sheer sides of the promontory

made

it

a practically

inaccessible citadel from nearly every direction, save

that restricted portion

and the defense

was an easy

of

it

matter.

up which the path ascends,

against every foe but starvation

Even

besiegers found

thing to starve out the garrison, for

it

is

it

no easy

on record

that the stout old Crusader Villehardouin sat

before the gates of

Monemvasia

down

for three years before

the inhabitants were forced to capitulate.

The name

of

Monemvasia

that the isolated rock

is

derived from the fact

crowned with the

connected with the mainland by

fortress is

a single narrow neck

Hence the Greek f^ovrj


(mone emvasis) was combined in the modern

affording the only entrance.


c/AjSacris

pronunciation to form the not unmusical

name

of the

and has a perfectly natural explanation. Moreover the same name, further shortened, lives again in

place

the

name

of

"Malmsey"

wine, which

is

made from

A MIDNIGHT MASS

367

grapes grown on rocky vineyards and allowed to


wither before gathering, as was the custom in the old

Monemvasia wine industry.


Of course the village at the base of the cliff is wholly
unimportant now. Malmsey wine is no longer the chief
product of this one solitary spot, but comes from Santorin, Portugal, Madeira, and a dozen other places,
while Monemvasia and the derivation of the word are
largely forgotten. The town has sunk into a state of
poverty, and as for the
artifice

fort, it is

capable neither by

nor by natural surroundings of defending any-

thing of value,
tance. It has

and hence

had

its

of

no strategic imporwill

never have

however, ruggedly beautiful, and the

another.

It is,

town,

degraded and

if

is

day and probably

half ruined, is

still

highly

picturesque, though unfortunately seldom visited

Greek pilgrimages.
island cruise,

an island

It

formed a

and indeed

itself,

it is,

as

fitting close for

by
our

we discovered, really

the ribbon of isthmus connecting

it

with the Peloponnesus having been severed years ago,

when Monemvasia was worthy to be counted a stronghold. The gap in the land is now spanned by a permanent bridge, so that practically Monemvasia is a
promontory
ful

and

its

still,

lofty

and rugged, but not ungrace-

imposing bulk loomed large astern as we

steamed back along the coast toward the Piraeus and

home.

CHAPTER
lIlilM

XX.

CORFU

CORFU

369

Patras appears to have been as uninteresting in


antiquity as

it is

to-day,

though doubtless from

vantageous position on the Gulf of Corinth

ways a more or less prosperous

place.

it

its

ad-

was

al-

A very dubious

Andrew was crucified


not, St. Andrew has re-

tradition says that the Apostle

here and whether he was or


;

mained the patron

saint of the town. In

any

event,

Patras shares with Corinth the celebrity of being one


of the earliest seats of Christianity in Greece,
it is

a celebrity which Corinth so

poor Patras
to

is

far

generally forgotten.

most Hellenic

travelers, as

it

after

Still,

It

probably figures

has in our

as either an entrance or an exit,

although

overshadows that

own

case,

and nothing more.

one has spent a fortnight or more

in the

wilds of the Peloponnesian mountains, an evening

through the

stroll

city

brilliantly lighted streets of the

comes not amiss, and gives one the sense

ilization

once more

the pastoral
It

and

after

archaic.

was stated early

ideal departure

of civ-

a prolonged experience of

in this

from Greece

book
is

that probably the

by way

of the Piraeus,

as by that route one leaves with the benediction of

the Acropolis, which must be reckoned the crowning

glory of

it all.

But since we have elected to enter by

the eastern gate in voyaging through these pages,


is

our

back

lot to

to Italy

it

depart by the western, and to journey

by way

of Corfu, the island of Nausicaa.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

370
It is

for

One might look far

not to be regretted, after all.

a lovelier view than that to be had from the harbor

The narrow strait

of Patras.

that leads into the Corin-

panorama

thian Gulf affords a splendid

and

hill

on the

of

mountain

farther side, as the northern coast

sweeps away toward the east while outside, toward


;

the setting sun, one


"
it

may

huge blue shapes

see the

shady Zakynthos," and "low-lying" Ithaca


has always struck

decidedly

hilly.

me

is

which

not low-lying at

Through the

straits

of

but

all,

and past these

islands the steamers thread their way, turning north-

ward

into

the Adriatic and heading for Corfu

generally, alas,

by

The redeeming
while

it

Greece,

night.

feature of this arrangement

is that,

robs one of a most imposing view of receding


it

to Corfu

gives a compensatingly beautiful approach

on the following morning

a more charming island

and there

not

is

in the world. It lies close to

the Albanian shore, and with reference to the voyage

between Patras and Brindisi


way. In Greek

it still

it is

bears the

survival of the ancient Corcyra,


it

was known

fought over

it.

in the

The

almost exactly half

name of Kerkyra, a
the name by which

days when Athens and Corinth

ancients affected to believe

island mentioned in the

Odyssey

Phaeacian land ruled over by King Alcinoos


there

is

it

the

as " Scheria," the


;

and

no very good reason why we also should not

CORFU
accept this story and

371

call it the

very land where the

wily Odysseus was cast ashore, the


since his ship, converted into stone

don,
far

and,

if

we

the hero
of

to

is still

from the

be seen

city

mouth

in the

more

especially

by the angry Posei-

bay not

of a tiny

We may easily drive

down

to

it

choose, pick out the spot on shore where

was wakened from

his

dreams by the shouts

Nausicaa and the maids as they played at

the beach while the washing

In the ancient days,


in primitive fashion

ball

on

was drying.

when navigation was conducted

without the aid of the mariner's

compass, and when the only security lay in creeping

from island

to island

and hugging the

became a most important

shore, Corcyra

strategic point.

In their

conquest of the west, the Greeks were wont to

northward as

land of Greece, and thence to strike

off

westward to

the heel of Italy, where the land again afforded

guidance and supplies


of Messina.

So

from the haunts

until

they reached the

that the route of


of Scylla

sail

main-

far as this island, skirting the

them

straits

Odysseus homeward

and Charybdis and the

isle

Ortygia was by no means an unusual or roundabout


one.

This course of western navigation gave

to continual bickering

among

old as to the control of Corcyra,

makes

rise

the great powers of

and Thucydides

the contention over the island the real starting-

point of the difficulties that culminated in the Pelo-

372

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

ponnesian war and

in the

overthrow

Athenian

of the

empire.

Modern Corfu has a very good outer


able for large
possible only

craft,

harbor, suit-

although landing, as usual,

by means

of small boats.

tion in Baedeker that the

The

boatmen are

is

declara-

insolent

and

The matter
have been made the

rapacious appears no longer to be true.


of ferriage to shore

seems to

subject of wise regulation,

short

row

is

no longer

and the charge

extortionate.

From

for the

the water

the city presents a decidedly formidable appearance,

being protected by some massive

fortifications

were doubtless regarded as impregnable


but which are unimportant now.
tian build, as are so

waters.

many

They

in their day,

are of Vene-

of the fortresses in

Aside from the frowning ramparts

ancient defenses, the town


in the extreme, with

its tall

white and gray houses,

It is

a town by no means
it

will

a few moments' inspection to convince the


is

by nature

of these

a peaceful looking place

green-shuttered and trim.

Corfu

Greek

is

devoid of picturesqueness, although

its

which

take but

visitor that

Italian rather than Greek, despite

incorporation in the domains of

King George.

Corfu has always been in closer touch with western

Europe than with the

East,

and

it is

doubtless because

she has enjoyed so intimate a connection with Italy


that her external aspects are anything but Hellenic.

CORFU
some years the
and have left their mark on

Moreover the English were


rains of the island,

the island's good, although


British

373
suze-

for

it is

many years

it,

for

since the

government honorably surrendered the land

to Greece, in deference to the wish of the inhabitants.

Despite the Venetian character of the fortresses, they

remind one continually of Gibraltar, although of course


infinitely less extensive. Particularly is this true of the

" fortezza

nuova," which

it is

well worth while to ex-

plore because of the fine view over the city


to be
in

had from

its

highest point.

and harbor

A custodian resides

a tiny cabin on the height and

offers

a perfectly

needless telescope in the hope of fees, although


doubtful that

many

ever care to supplement the eye

by recourse

to the glass.

comparably

beautiful.

row

streets

and

The prospect

Below

lies

lofty buildings,

decked with white

certainly

the city with

and before

bluer than at Corfu. Across the straits not


rises the bluff

illimitable distances.

into

on the

far

most

its

nar-

the bay

is

nowhere

many miles

and mountainous mainland

bania and Epirus, stretching

away

it

is in-

ships, contrasting with the almost

incredible blue of the water, for the ocean

away

it is

off

of Al-

north and south into

Behind the town the country rolls

fertile

swales and meadows, bounded

north by a high and apparently barren

mountain. All the narrow southern end of the island

is

374

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

a veritable garden, well watered, well wooded, covered


with grass and flowers, and rising here and there into
low, tree-clad

on a distant

hills.

hill

Trim villas dot the landscape, and

may

be seen from afar the gleam-

ing walls of the palace which belonged to the

Empress

From

ill-fated

of Austria.

the fortress southward toward the bay where

lies the " ship of Ulysses," there runs a beautiful es-

planade along the water

front, lined

with trees and

flanked on the landward side by villas with most luxu-

Even though the British occupation


came to an end as long ago as 1865, the roadways of
the island bear the marks of the British thoroughness,
and make riding in Corfu a pleasure. The houses
riant gardens.

along the way are largely of the summer-residence


variety, the property of

than of native Corfiotes

in the springtime, are

the high

walls, or

themselves, and
grance.

The

wealthy foreigners rather

and

their gardens, especially

riot of roses,

clambering

making

trees are

are well shaded

no

all

tumbling over

over the houses

the air heavy with their fraless beautiful,

and the roads

by them. After a month or so

of the

comparatively treeless and often barren mainland of


Greece, this exuberant

joyment with
It
is

its

Eden

is

a source

wanton profligacy

of

of

keen en-

bloom.

cannot be more than two miles, and perhaps

rather less, over a

it

smooth road and through a con-

"SHIP OF ULYSSES." CORFU

CORFU

375

tinuous succession of gardens, from the town of Corfu

out to the Httle knoll which overlooks the bay and

down on

"ship of Ulysses," and the view

and across the placid waters

picturesque

islet

narrow arm

of the sea in

of the

which

it lies,

most beautiful prospects

" ship " itself is

that

most

of the

furnishes one

in the island.

The

a rather diminutive rock not far from

shore, almost completely enshrouded in sombre, slen-

der cypresses, which give

it its

supposed similarity to

the Phaeacian bark of the wily Ithacan.


similarity that

is

entirely imaginary.

tance, the pointed trees


this tiny isle

grouped

in

do give the general

Those who know

Nor

is it

Seen from a disa dark mass on

effect of

a vessel.

the picture called the " Island of

Death "

will be struck at once with the similarity between the " ship" and the painter's ideal of the abode

of shades

and with the best

that this island

of reasons, for

it is

said

was the model employed. Amidst

the dusk of the crowded trees one

monastery, tenanted

we were

told

may distinguish

by a single monk,

while on a neighboring island, closer to the shore

and connected therewith by a


there

is

ful

rocky causeway,

another monastery occupied by some band

of religious brothers.
its

sort of

This island also

is

not without

charms, but the eye always returns to that mourn-

abandoned

fascination

" ship,"

which surpasses

in its weird

any other thing that Corfu has

to show.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

376

The

Villa Achilleion,

ward on a

lofty

hill,

which

the south-

lies off to

shares with the ship of Ulysses

the attention of the average visitor, and worthily so,

not only because of the great beauty of the villa


with

its

mural paintings

itself,

and

of classic subjects

its

wonderful gardens, but because of the exquisite view


that

is

to

be had over the island from the

lively verdure, the vivid blueness of the sea,

gloomy rocks

of the

Turkish shore,

all

and the

combine to

form a picture not soon to be forgotten. As


Achilleion
tria,

to

believe,

it is

now and

way

Empress of Aussome years ago, and the

passed into private hands.

excellent,

scenery along the

for the

built for the

assassinated

estate has now,

The road

was

itself, it

who was

The

spot.

and occasional

bits of the

are highly picturesque, with

then an isolated and many-arched campa-

nile,

adorned with

ner,

obtruding

its

itself

multiple bells in the Greek

unexpectedly from the

man-

trees.

There are unquestionably many rides around the


island that are quite as enjoyable as this, but the ordi-

nary

visitor is doubtless the

one who stops over

a few hours only, during the stay


the port, and therefore has

little

the sights described. Those

who

island

more than a

of his

for

steamer in

time for more than

make the
on the way to

are able to

brief way-station

or from Greece express themselves as enchanted with


it,

and the number

of attractive villas built

by

for-

CORFU
eigners of

means would seem

ment. Corfu as an island

The

city itself

Italian than

is

to

377

emphasize the

state-

altogether lovely.

has already been referred to as more

Greek

in appearance. Nevertheless

it is

really Greek, and its shops are certainly more like those
of

Athens than

like those of Italy, while the ordinary

signboards of the street are in the Greek characters.


It is

the height of the houses, the narrowness of the

streets, the occasional

archways, and the fact that

most everybody can speak

Italian, that

al-

give the un-

mistakable Italian touch to Corfu after one has seen


the broader highways and lower structures of Athens.

But Greco-Italian as
the fact that, after

it is,

all, it

one cannot get away from

reminds one quite as much

of

The town does this, quite as


much as the fortresses, with its narrow ways and its
evident cosmopolitanism. The shops, although devoted
Gibraltar as of anything.

largely to

Greek merchandise, are a good deal

the Gibraltar bazaars, and

like

make quite as irresistible an

appeal to the pocket, with their gorgeous embroidered


jackets, blue

and gold vestments, and other barbaric

but incredibly magnificent fripperies, fresh from the


tailor's

wares

of

hand, and not, as at Athens, generally the

second-hand dealers.

and vests

of red

and

blue,

To

see peasant jackets

and heavily ornamented

with gold tracery, go to Corfu. Nothing at Athens

approaches the Corfiote display.

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS

378

There are some archaeological remains


but not of
visitor,

at Corfu,

commanding prominence and the average


;

busied with the contemplation of the loveliness

of the country and the quaintness of the


brief hours,

town

for

a few

probably omits to hunt them up, as we

ourselves did.

The most obvious monuments of the past

are those of the medieval period, the Venetian strong-

holds that served to protect Corfu

when

the island

was

an important bulwark against the Saracens. Of the


days when the

rival

powers

of classic

Greece warred

over the Corcyreans and their fertile island,


has survived. There

is

erly suburb of Kastrades

and the foundation

ancient temple, but neither


terest with the host of

to be seen in Greece
Italy,

little

trace

a very old tomb in the south-

is

to

be compared

monuments
and even

of

of

an

for in-

equal antiquity

in Sicily. Corfu, like

has suffered a loss of the evidences of her anti-

by being so constantly on the great highway to


western Europe. She has never been left to one side,
quity

as Greece so long was.

Her fertility prevented her de-

generating into mere barren pasturage, as happened


in Hellas proper,

tant

all

and her

situation

made

through the Middle Ages, just as

her imporit

made

her

important during the expansion period of the Athenian

And as Rome, through active and continuous


existence, has gradually eaten up her own ancient
empire.

monuments

before they achieved the value of great

CORFU

379

age, so Corfu has lost almost entirely

the ancient Corcyreans built

all

trace of

what

while Athens, through

her long ages of unimportance, preserved

much

of her

monumental glories unimpaired, and thanks to


of them will cherish them

classic

an awakened appreciation
for all time.

The long years


serted

now appear

in

which Greece lay fallow and de-

not to have been in vain. Through

and monu-

that period of neglect her ancient sites

ments lay buried and forgotten, but

Men were

intact.

too busy exploring and expanding elsewhere to waste

a thought on the dead


ing,

past.

Even the revival

of learn-

which exhumed the

classic writings

from the ob-

monkish

and made the

literature of

livion of

Greece

live again,

cells

was

insufficient to give

back to the

world the actual physical monuments of that classic

when the
earth has been all but completely overrun and when
men have found a dearth of new worlds to conquer,
that we have had the time and the interest to turn back
to Greece, sweep away the rubbish of ages, and give
back to the light of day the palaces of Agamemnon,
time. It has

remained

for the present day,

the strongholds of Tiryns, and the hoary old labyrinth


of

Minos.

On the fringes of Magna Graecia, where the

empire was

in

touch with the unceasing tides of western

civilization, as in Sicily

the older days fared but

and
ill.

It

at Corfu, the

remnants of

was in the mountain fast-

38o

GREECE AND THE ^GEAN ISLANDS


gloomy glens
and even of the

nesses of the Peloponnesus and in the


of

Delphi that so

prehistoric

much of the ancient,

and preheroic days, survived as to give us


definite knowledge of the times

moqlerns even a more


of the

Achaeans and Trojans than perhaps even Homer

himself had.

INDEX

INDEX
ACROCORINTH,

63

169.

Acropolis, of Athens,

46

description of, 76

to,

first

79

gates of, 79

views

of,

approach

view from,

^gina,

Museum,

39, 80,

Agamemnon,
Agora,

at

Shoe Lane,

smiths, 66

86, 91, 92.

Athens, 76, 106.

shop-

funerals,

y;^

by Persians,

modern

69; churches, 69,


soldiery, 70,

71

conversation beads,

74; Acropolis, 76

137-139-

28, 167, 175, 180, 181.

64

63,

giaourti, 68

architecture,

70; icons, 69

79, 80.

Acropolis

ping, 64; street of the copper-

destruction of,

88.

Atreus, treasury

of, 183, 184.

Alcmasonidae, 165.
Andhritsaena, 227, 229246.

" Balaustion,"
273, 330.
Bassae, 235-245.

Aphrodite, of Praxiteles, 315.


Apollo, 154, 243, 277, 278, 299.

Bema,

Apoxyomenos, of Lysippus,

Beule gate,

Alpheios, 223, 256-258.

166.

Aqueduct, at Samos, 291-294.


Arcadia, 211-228.

Arch, development of, 181,


Areopagus, 107.
Argive Herseum, 186.
Argos, 187, 172-192.
Ariadne, 31.

with

of, 83,

86

Poseidon, 83,

Candia, 26-29.

Castalian spring, 167.

sacred

image of, 90 Archaic representa;

tions of, 92

Pronoia, 164, 168.

to, 46 modern
50-75 ancient traditions of,
51; growth and history, 51, 52;
street venders, 55; street names,

Athens, approaches
city,

street car sys57; stadium, 58


tem, 58
climate of, 59, 60
;

street scenes,

79.

Branchidae, 297-303.
Burial customs, 73, 246.

Canea, 18-26.
Caryatid portico, 91.

strife of,

90

109.

192.

Artemis, 279, 300.


Asklepios, 3, 4, 97, 98, 203, 207,
308-311.

Athena, birth

Bee-hive tombs, 183, 184.

61-68; newspapers,

Cephissus, 50.
1 12-1

Ceramicus,

18.

Charioteer, statue

of,

at

Delphi,

166.

Choragic monument of Lysicrates,


76, 104.

Churches, Greek, 69, 70.


Cnidos, 314-317.
Cnossos, 29-36.
Coffee, 66, 67.

Coffee-houses, 53, 54.

Corcyra (Kerkyra) 370.


Corfu, 368-380.
Corinth, 169, 170.

INDEX

384
Corinthian canal, 148, 149.
Corinthian capitals, 105.

Giaourti, 68.

Corinthian Gulf, 149, 150.


Cos, 304-313.

to, 37-49 landing in, 44.


Greek churches, 69, 70,
Greek language, 9-13.
Greek people, character of,

Greece, traveling in, 1-17; entrances


;

Crete, 18-36.
Croesus, 156;
160, 161

of

trial

oracles by,

gifts to oracle at

Delphi,

53.

Gremka,

161-163.

Cyclopean masonry,

255.

175, 189.

Hadrian, arch

Cyclopes, 191.

Dances, of peasants, 139-145.


of, 124; convent

Daphne, pass

of,

legend

dual nature, 276

of, 275
excavations at,

277; ancient houses, 279-281.


Delphi, 146-168; excavations

153-158; legend

of,

of, 48,

104.

Halicamassus, 313.
Hera, 275, 294.

125.

Delos, 272-285

14, 15,

54-

Heraeum, Argive, 186; at Olympia,


260; at Samos, 291-294.
Hermes, of Praxiteles, 268, 269.
Herodotus, 90, 160-163, 290, 291.
Hippocrates, tree

at,

154, 155; or-

of, at

Cos, 307.

Hippodameia, 266.
Hymettus, 39, 47.

acle at, 155-157, 159-165; gifts

of

161- 163;

Croesus to oracle,

great temple

of oracle,

at,

165; corruption

157-165;

statue

of

los (Nios) 352-360.

the iEgean, 272-367

geographical arrangement, 273;

128, 130.

communication with, 274.

Dipylon, 112.

Drachma, fluctuation
Dragoman, 212.

Ictinus, 81, 243.

Islands, of

charioteer, 166.

Demeter,

Icons, 69.

of,

71-73.

Dress, of peasants, 142, 171, 201.

Karytasna, 224.

King George,

74, 75.

Knights of Rhodes, 305, 319.


Easter eggs, 360.
Eleusinian mysteries, 128.

Labyrinth, of Minos, 31, 32.

Eleusis, 124-132.

Lindos, 318.

Elgin marbles, 83, 86.


Embroideries, 311, 325.

Lion Gate,

Ephebus, bronze statue at Athens,

Loukoumi,

118, 119.

Epidaurus, 198-210.

Long

at Mycenae, 178, 179.

walls, at Athens, 42,


25.

Lycabettus, 38.
Lysippus, 166.

Erechtheum, 88; sacred precinct


of, 90.

Erechtheus, 89.

Malmsey wine,
Marathon, 133.

367.

INDEX
Mars Hill, 76, 88,
Mausoleum, 313.
Megalokastron,

385

Olympic games, 264-266 modern,

107.

271.

Orientation of temples, 242.

27.

Megalopolis, 218-223.

Menidi, dances at, 139-145.


Midnight mass, 353-361.

Paganism,

Minoan

Painting, of statues, 91.

church,

age, 28.

Minos, 27-31

throne

Panathenaic

of, 33.

Minotaur, 31, 32, 89, 112.


Monemvasia, 365-367.
Mycenae, 169-186; accommodation
at,

excavations

173;

175;

at,

Lion Gate,
Cyclopean masonry,

acropolis of, 177

179;

180

at,

reservoir,

Parnassus, 145, 151.


Paros, 351, 361-365.
Parthenon, 3, 4
destruction by
;

175,

82-88

182

pillars

description of,

pedimental sculptures

of,

83 curious architectural devices,


84-86 restorations of, 86 frieze
;

Patras, 368.

Paul,

of, 33. 178.

relics at

of, 87.

Mycenaean age, 28; stone


Mycenaean

festival, 89.

Morosini, 77, 85

treasury of Atreus, 183.

Greek

in

of,

Parian marble, 362.

178,

178, 179; inverted columns, 178;

tombs

traces
3, 4.

Athens, 120-

sermon

to

the

Athenians,

107.

Peasant dances, 139-145.


Peasant dress, 142, 171, 201.

122.

Mykale, 288.

Pedestal of Agrippa, 81.

National Museum, at Athens, iiS.


Nauplia, 193-198.

non, 83

Nausicaa, 371.
Navigation, in ancient times, 273,

at Olympia, 267, 268.

Pelops, 266.
Pentelic marble, 134.
Pentelicus, 38, 134.

371-

Newspapers, 10, 63.


Nike Apteros, temple
ing

Pedimental sculptures, of Parthe-

sandal,

81

Pericles, 42.
of,

bind-

Paeonius,

of

80

Persians, invasion by, 87, 88;

Phalerum,

263, 270.

45.

Philopappos,

Odeon

of

Herodes Atticus,

Odysseus, 16,

site of,

259-271

of, 47.

Pnyx, 108.
Political customs, 61.

of, 266.

Olympia, overland route


258;

monument

Piraeus, 39-46.

96.

17, 370.

CEnomaus, legend

at

Delphi, 164.

to, 247temple of

Zeus at, 260, 263.


Olympian Zeus, temple
Athens, 48, 76, 104.

Polychrome decoration of temples,


92.

Polycrates, 290.
of,

at

Poseidon,

strife

with Athena, 83, 90.

Praxiteles, 268, 315.

INDEX

386

Taygetos, 216.

Propylaea, 79, 80, 81.


Ptolemy IL, 311.

Temples, survival
churches,

Pythagoras, 291.

of, as

Theatre of Dionysus, 98
Religious anniversaries,

62,

353-

Chnstian

4.

of Epi-

daurus, 204.

Theatres, 99-103.

361.

Themistoclean wall, 113.

Reservoir, at Mycenae, 182.

Resinated wine, 137.


Rhodes, 318-333; Colossus

of,

Themistocles, 42, 113.


Theocritus, 312.

Thera, 334-350-

332-

Rhodian plates, 323, 324.


Routes to Greece, 15, 16.

Theseum, no.
Theseus, 31, 89, in.
Tiryns, 188-192.

successor of ancient He-

St. Elias,
lios, 5.

Salamis, 39, 43, 132.


Samos, 286-297.
Santorin, 334-350" Ship of Ulysses, " 375.
Shoe Lane, at Athens, 63-65.

Shopping

in Athens, 63-65.

Soldiery, 70, 71.

Tomb-sculpture, 114-118.

Tombs, at Mycenae, 183, 184.


Tower of the Winds, 105.
Treasury of Atreus, 183.
Troy, 28, 36.
Villa Achilleion, 376.
" Virgin of a Hundred Gates, " 361.

Votive offerings, 126.

Sparta, 216.
Stage, use of, in Greek theatre, 100,

Xerxes, 87, 88.

lOI.

Zeus, legends

Stoa, 106.

of, in

ple in Athens, 48, 76, 104

Suda Bay,

at Olympia,

Sunium,

19, 25, 26.

37, 134-138-

pia,

263

260

temtemple

Crete, 30

Stoics, 106.

statue at Olym-

see also, 275

et seq.

(Sil)z

Stitecjfiitre

Tj^n^^

CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS
.