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Ruins of ancient cities : with general and particular accounts of their rise, fall, and present condition (Volume 1) online

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judge of its ancient form ; only it appeared to have
been built of most beautiful white marble, and no
less admirable stone."

There are also remains of several old sepulchres ;
and- among these was lately found an inscription
relative to something dedicated to Ceres and her
daughter, by Fabius, the Dadouchos. Another is
in the wall of a cottage, and is relative to a member
of the Areopagus, who erected a statue to his wife.

The temple of Neptune is supposed to have been
near the sea, where traces now remain, composed of
dark Eleusinian marble. The foundations of the
ancient tombs are still visible ; but there are no
remains of the city walls ; but a long wall, which
united it with the port, may be still traced with little

The temple of Venus, which was of the Doric
order, is now a mass of rubbish, among which have
been found several marble doves of the natural si/e.

Many fragments, says Mr. Dodwell, have probably
been removed, owing to its propinquity to the sea,
and the consequent facility of exportation. The
church of St. Zacharias is almost entirely composed
of ancient fragments. This is probably the situation
of the temple of Diana ; and of a large ancient well
he supposes to be that mentioned by Pausanias,


round which the women of Eleusis danced in
honour of the goddess.

There were also temples dedicated to Triptolemus
and Neptune, the father ; but of these not a frag-
ment remains*.


ELIS was formed, like many of the Grecian cities,
more especially in the Peloponnesus, by the union of
several hamlets.

It was a large and populous city in the time of
Demosthenes; but in that of Homer it did not

Elis was originally governed by kings, and re-
ceived its name from Eleus, one of its monarchs.
It was famous for the horses it produced, whose cele-
brity was so often tried at the Olympic games.

" On our arrival at Elis," says Anacharsis, " we
met a procession on its way to the temple of Minerva,
and that made part of a ceremony, in which the
youth of Elis contended for the prize of beauty. The
victor was led in tiiumph ; the first, with his head
bound with ribands, bore the weapons to be conse-
crated to the goddess ; the second conducted the
victim ; and the third carried the other offerings.
I have often seen similar contests in Greece, for the
young men ; as well as for the women and girls.
Even among distant nations, I have seen women ad-
mitted to public competitions ; w r ith this difference,
however, that the Greeks decree the prize to the
most beautiful, and the barbarians to the most

This city was once ornamented with temples,
sumptuous edifices, and a number of statues. Among
these was particularly distinguished the group of
the Graces, in a temple dedicated to them. They

* Rollin ; Barthelemy ; Wheler ; Chandler ; Sandwich ;
Clarke j Hobhouse ; Dodwell.

300 in- ixs <ii

habited in a light and brilliant drapery ; tin 1
first held a myrtle branch in honour of Vrnns ; the
second, a rose, to denote the spring ; the third, u 'lie,
the symbol of infant sport <.

The ehicf t-nriosity at Elis, however, was a statue
of Jupiter, formed by Phidias*. The serene ma i
and l>eauty of this piece of sculpture ranked it
among the wonders of the world. Jupit'T was re-
presented sitting upon a throne, with an olive wreath
of gold about his temples ; the upper part of his
body was naked ; a wide mantle, covering the rc-t of
it, hung down in the richest folds to his feet, which
rested on a footstool. The naked parts of the statue
were of ivory ; the dross was of beaten gold, with an
imitation of embroidery, painted by Pana>nus, bro-
ther of Phidias. In the right hand stood the goddess
Victoria, turning towards the statue, and carved, like
it, out of ivory and gold ; she was holding out a
band, with which she appeared desirous to encircle
his olive crown. In his left hand the divinity held
a parti-coloured sceptre, made of various metals skil-
fully joined, and on the sceptre rested an eagle.
Power, wisdom, and goodness, were admirably ex-
pressed in his features. He sat with the air of a
divinity, presiding among the judges of the games,
and dispensing the laurel wreaths to the victors, calm
in conscious dignity. The statue was surround) d
with magnificent drapery, which was drawn aside
only on particular occasions, when the deity was to
be exhibited. A sense of greatness and splendour
overwhelmed the spectator, the height of the figure
l>eing about forty feet.

The structures of Elisf seem to have been raised
with materials far less elegant nnd durable than the
produce of the Ionian and Attic quarries. The
ruins are of brick, and not considerable ; consisting

* Gillici. t Chandler.


of pieces of ordinary wall, and an octagon building
with niches, which, it is supposed, was the temple,
with a circular peristyle. These stand detached from
each other, ranging in a vale southward from the
wide bed of the river Peneus, which, by the margin,
has several large stones, perhaps the relics of the

The ruins of Elis, says Mr. Dodwell, are few and
uninteresting. Of Grecian remains nothing is seen
but a confused wreck of scattered blocks. There are
some masses of brick-work, and an octagon tower
of the same materials, which appears to be of Roman
origin. It is surprising that there should be so few
remains of the temples, porticoes, theatres, and other
edifices, which embellished the town at the time of
Pausanias ; but some suppose that much is covered
by the earth ; since it is considerably higher than its
original level*.


THIS city was once reputed the metropolis of Asia ;
and thence it was styled Epiphanestata, a name
signifying " Monstrous." It was at first not merely
a village, but a small village ; yet, in the time of
Strabo, it was the largest and most frequented em -
porium of all that continent. It was situated in
Ionia, about 50 miles south of Smyrna, near the
mouth of the river Cayster. Pliny tells us, that
before his age, it had been known by various names.
In the time of the Trojan war, it was called Alopes ;
soon after, Ortygia, and Morges ; then it took the
name of Smyrna ; then Samornium, and Ptelea.
" It is mounted on a hill," says he, " and hath the
river Cayster under it, which cometh out of the
Cilbian hills, and brings down with it the waters

* Pausanias; Plutarch; Barthelem}' ; Chandler ; Dodwell;
Kces; Gillies.


of many other rivers; but is principally maintained
and enriched by the lake Pegaseum, which di>di
itself by the river Phyrites, that runs into it. A
large quantity of mud is brought down, which in-
creases the land ; for already, a good way within the
land, is an island called Phyrie, nearly joined to the

Pliny, and several other ancient writers, assert
that this -city was founded by the Amazons ; hut
others, with greater probability, ascribe that honour
to a party emigrating from Athens. As this emi-
gration was important, we shall pause a little upon
it. It is called the Ionic emigration. It was led
from Athens by two young men, named Neleus and
Androcles, the younger sons of Codrus the king.
Multitudes followed them, especially certain Ionian
and Messenian families, who had taken refuge in
that city after the Dorian conquest. On landing,
they seized upon four hundred miles* of Asia
Minor, together with the islands of Samos and Chios ;
and having driven out the Carians and Scgetes,
founded twelve cities. Of these Ephesus was onet.
Neleus settled at Miletus ; but Androcles, the elder
brother, at Ephesus. Strabo relates, that the autho-
rity of Androcles was at first acknowledged over all
the cities ; but that a republican government was
soon after established, and that the municipality of
each city claimed sovereign authority ; the whole
being, nevertheless, united by confederacy ; having,
for considering their common affairs, a general coun-
cil. This council was called Panionium.

This form of government continued to the time of
Pythagoras, who lived before Cyrus the Great, and
was one of the most savage tyrants of whom history

* Breadth scarcely anywhere exceeding forty miles.
t The others were, Miletus, Myus, Lcbedoo, Colophon, Prime,
Teos, Erylhne, PhocM, Cl moment: , Chios, and SDIDS.


makes mention, lie was succeeded by Pyndarus,
who ruled with a less absolute and cruel sway ; in
whose time Ephesus was besieged by Croesus, king
of Lydia. That prince advised the inhabitants to
dedicate their city to Diana ; and they having re-
solved to follow his advice, he treated them with
kindness, and restored them to their former liberty.
The other tyrants, mentioned in Ephcsian history,
were, Athenagoras, Comes, Aristarchus, and Hege-
sias. The last of these governed under the patronage
of Alexander*. That conqueror, however, at length
expelled him ; and, having done so, bestowed upon
the temple of Diana, after having defeated the Persians
on the banks of the Granicus, all the tributes
which the Ephesians had been accustomed to pay to
the Persian kings. He also established a democracy
in the city.

Ephesus was greatly assisted, also, by Lysander
the Lacedemonian. Plutarch relates, that when that
person went to Ephesus, he found that city well
disposed to the Lacedemonians, but in a bad condition
as to its internal policy, and in danger of falling into
the hands of the Persians ; because it was near
Lydia, and the king's lieutenants often visited it.
Lysander, therefore, having fixed his quarters there,
ordered all his store-ships to be brought into the
harbour, and built a dock for his galleys. By these
means he filled the ports with merchants, their
markets with business, and their houses and shops
with money. So that from that time, and from his
services, continues Plutarch, Ephesus began to con-
ceive hopes of that greatness and splendour in which
it afterwards flourished.

We must now describe the temple at this place,
dedicated to Diana. It was in part built by the
hands of kings. It was four hundred and twenty-
five feet long and two hundred feet broad, and not
* Polyen. Strat. vi.


only adorned with the choicest paintings and statues,
but with whatever the hand of art or genius could
produce in that day of superior execution and mag-
nificence. The roof was supported by one hundred
and twenty-seven columns, sixty feet high. Of
these, thirty-six win- carved in a most exquisite
manner: nor was it entirely completed till two hun-
dred and twenty years after its first foundation. Its
architect was Ctesiphon. The riches plaeed in this
temple were very great, and the goddess was repre-
sented as crowned with turrets, holding in her anus
lions; while a number of beasts seemed to indicate
the fertility and resources of the earth, or of nature.
It was formed of ebony ; and Pliny states, that
though the staircase, which led up to the top of this
edifice, was not very narrow, it was formed out of the
trunk of one single vine.

This temple was destroyed on the day on whieh
Alexander was born. It was burnt by an Ephesian,
who thus desired to immortalise his name. In
order to frustrate the accomplishment of this de-
sire, the Ephesians enacted a law, that no one should
even be guilty of mentioning his name. The name
of Eratostratus, nevertheless, has descended to pos-

Such is the account left us by Plutarch and
Valerius Maximus. On this occasion, Hegesia?, the
Magnesian, " uttered a conceit," says Plutarch,
" frigid enough to have extinguished the flames.
" It is no wonder," said he, ** that the temple of
Diana was burnt, when she wns at a distance em-
ployed in bringing Alexander into the world."*

All the Magi, continues Plutarch, who were then
at Ephesus, looked upon the fire as a sign which
betokened a much greater misfortune; they ran
about the town beating their faces, and crying,

Diana MM the paliouckt of all women in labour, ai well M
f the children born.


" that the day had brought forth the greatest scourge
and destroyer of Asia."

Barthelemy makes Anacharsis visit Ephesus some
few years after this calamity. Nothing then re-
mained of this superb temple but the four walls and
some columns in the midst of ruins. The fire had
consumed the roof and the ornaments which deco-
rated the nave. Alexander offered to rebuild this
edifice ; but the offer being accompanied by the con-
dition, that the Ephesians should inscribe his name
upon it as that of the benefactor; the Ephesians
refused to accept his offer. They, nevertheless, re-
fused in a manner that gave him, no doubt, a superior
satisfaction. It was, that one deity ought not to
raise a temple to another !

At the time Barthelemy has named, the temple
was beginning to be rebuilt *. All the citizens had
contributed, and the women had sacrificed their
jewels. No change was made in the form of the
goddess' statue ; a form anciently borrowed from the
Egyptians, and which was found, also, in the tem-
ples of. several other Greek cities. The goddess
bore on her head a tower ; two iron rods sup-
ported her hands ; and the body terminated in a
sheath, encircled with symbols and the figures of

Thirty-six of the columns were carved by Scopas,
of the school of Praxiteles t, and it was in this

* The Ephesiuns have a very wise law lelative to the construction
of public edifices. The architect whose plan is chosen enters into
a bond, by which he engages all his property. If he exactly fulfils
the condition of his agreement, honours are decreed him ; if the
expense exceeds the sum stipulated only by one quarter, the sur-
plus is paid from the public treasury ; but if it amounts to more,
the property of the architect is taken to pay the remainder.
BARTHF.LF.MY, vol. v. 394, 5; from Vitruvius Prsef., lib. x. 203.

f We often see this temple represented upon medals with the
figure of Diana. It is never charged with more than eight pillars;



temple that the Ionic order in architecture was first
employed; and every column contained one hundred
and ten tons of marble*.

In the war between the Romans and Mithridates,
the Kphesians took part with the latter ; and by his
command went even so far as to massacre all the
If* mi. in- in their cityt. For this atrocity they \
severely fined, and reduced almost to beggars.

Whoever might have originally founded this city,
certain it is that the town, which in the Roman
times was the metropolis of Asia, was founded liy
Lysimachus ; he having caused the first city to be
destroyed. When he had effected that, he rebuilt it
in a more convenient place.

This new city became very splendid in process of
time ; but it was greatly damaged in the reign of
Tiberius by an earthquake. On this Tiberius ordered
it to be repaired and adorned with many stately
buildings ; and of that city the ruins which are now
visible are the remains.

Ephesus was in subsequent times sacked by the
Goths, and the temple of Diana again burnt to the
ground. The ruin of the temple is thus described by
Gibbon : " In the general calamities of mankind,
the death of an individual, however exalted, the ruin
of an edifice, however famous, are passed over with
careless inattention. Yet, we cannot forget that the
temple of Diana at Ephesus, after having risen with
increasing splendour from seven repeated misfor-
tunes , was finally burnt by the Goths in their third

and sometimes only with six, four, and now and then only
with two.

* The columns being; sixty feet high, the diameter, according to
rule, mutt bo six feet eight inches ; that is, one-ninth pan. Thus,
every column would contain one hundred and ten tons of marble,
besides base and capital ! WREN'S PARKNT*LU, p. 361.

t Mitiiridates caused 150,000 Romans in Asia to be massacred in
one <la" * Hist. August, p. 178 ; Jornandcs, c. 20.


naval invasion. The arts of Greece, and the wealth
of Asia, had conspired to erect that sacred and
magnificent structure. It was supported by one
hundred and twenty-seven marble columns of the
Ionic order. They were the gifts of devout mon-
archs, and each was sixty feet high. The altar was
adorned with the masterly sculpture of Praxiteles,
who had, perhaps, selected from the favourite legends
of the place, the birth of the divine children of Latona,
the concealment of Apollo after the slaughter of the
Cyclops, and the clemency of Bacchus to the van-
quished Amazons*. Yet the length of the temple of
Ephesus was only four hundred and twenty-five feet ;
about two- thirds of the measurement of the church
of St. Peter's at Rome t. In the other dimensions it
was still inferior to that sublime production of modern
architecture. The spreading arms of a Christian
cross require a much greater breadth than the oblong
temples of the pagans ; and the boldest architect of
antiquity would have been startled at the proposal
of raising in the air a dome of the size and propor-
tions of the Pantheon. The temple of Diana was,
however, admired as one of the wonders of the world.
Successive empires, the Persian, Macedonian, and the
Roman, had revered its sanctity, and enriched its
splendour. But the rude savages of the Baltic were
destitute of a taste for the elegant arts, and they de-
spised the ideal terrors of a foreign superstition J."

In regard to this temple, some have supposed
that the subterranean arches still existing are the
remains of it. This, however, cannot be allowed.
" A Sybilline oracle," says Sir John Hobhouse, " fore-

* Strabo, 1. xiv. 640 ; Vitruvius, 1. i. c. 1 ; Prsef. 1. vii.; Tacitu*
Anna!, iii. 61 ; Plin. Nat. Hist, xxxvi. 14.

f The length of St. Peter's is 840 Roman palms ; each palm is
very little short of nine English inches.

J They offered no sacrifices to the Grecian gods.



told, that the earth would tremble and open, and that
this glorious edifice would fall headlong into tin- ;i!
and present appearances might justify the belief, that
it was swept from the face of the earth by some over-
whelming catastrophe." " It is easier to conceive,"
he goes on to observe, "that such an event, although
unnoticed, did take place, than that a marble temple,
four hundred and twenty feet long, and two hundred
and twenty feet broad, whose columns (one hundred
and twenty-seven in number) were sixty feet high,
should have left no other vestige than two fragments
of wall, some brick subterraneous arches, and four
granite pillars." Certain it is that large portions of
this city were carried away at various times to assist
in building or adorning other cities, more especially
Constantinople. "It is probable," says Hobhouse,
" that Christian zeal accelerated the devastations of
time : and that the Kphesians, in order to prevent the
punishment denounced against the seven churches of
Asia, may have been eager to demolish this monu-
ment of their glory and their shame. The cedar roofs,
the cypress doors, the vine staircase, the sculptured
column of Scopas, the altar adorned by Praxiteles,
the paintings of Parrhasiusand Apelles, and the ebony
image of the goddess, may have fallen before tho
enemies of pagan idolatry ; and the piety of the
priests might have been more injurious to Diana than
the rapacity of the Goths ; but neither the cupidity
nor audacity of the reformers, against whom the
sophist Libanius, an eye- witness of their pro;.:
so forcibly exclaims, could have destroyed, although
they might have defaced, the vast fabric of the
Artemisium itself."

Under the reign of Alexius, father of the celebrated
Anna de Comnena, Ephesus fell under the dominion
of the Mahometans. In A.D. 1206, the Greeks
retook it ; but seventy-seven years after they loat it


again. At the commencement of the fourteenth cen-
tury, it became a part of the Turkish dominions, and
has remained so ever since.

Ephesus is greatly distinguished in ecclesiastical
history. " First," says Rees, " it may be considered
as the abode of many Jews, who obtained the privi-
lege of citizens ; and afterwards as the place where
the first Paul took up his residence for three years*;
where he wrought miraclest, and was resisted by
the Jews j ; and where Timothy was bishop ; and
where John resided ; and moreover, as containing
one of the seven churches whose character and doom
are recorded by that evangelist in the book of the
Revelation ."

We now pass to the times in which we live ; and
shall present descriptions of the ruins of this once
noble city, in the language of those who have visited

Aiasaluck is situated about thirteen or fourteen
hours from Smyrna. It is now a small village, inha-
bited by a few Turkish families, standing chiefly on
the south of a hill, called the Castle-hill, among
bushes and ruins. Near a caravanserai is a marble sar-
cophagus, which serves as a water-trough to a well
before it. It bears an inscription ; and from that is
learnt, that it once contained the bodies of the com-
mander of a Roman trireme named the Griffin, and
his wife. " We sat near this sarcophagus," says Dr.
Chandler," in the open air, while our supper was pre-
paring ; when suddenly fires began to blaze up among
the bushes, and we saw the villagers collected about
them in savage groups, or passing to and fro with
lighted brands for torches. The flames, with the
stars and a pale moon, afforded us a dire prospect
of ruin and desolation. A shrill owl, named Cucu-

* Acts xx. 31. f Acts xix. 11 ; 1 Cor. xv. 9.

J Acts xx. 19. Ch. ii.


vaia from its note, with a ni^ht-hawk, flitted near
u- ; and a jackal cried mournfully, as if forsaken
by his companions on the mountain." Such \v,i-
the scene where Ephesus had lurn ! " Wo n-tin !,"
continues this elegant and accomplished traveller,
" early in the evening to our shod ; not without some
sensations of melancholy, which were renewed at
the dawn of day. Wo had then a distinct view of
a solemn and most forlorn spot ; a neglected castle,
a grand mosque, and a broken aqueduct, with mean
cottages, and ruinous buildings, interspersed among
wild thickets, and spreading to a considerable ex-
tent. Many of the scattered structures are squares,
with domes, and have been baths. Some gravestones
occurred, finely painted and gilded, as the Turkish
manner is, with characters in relievo. But the
castle, the mosque, and the aqueduct, are alone suffi-
cient evidences, as well of the former greatness of
the place, as of its importance."

The castle is a large and barbarous edifice, with
square towers. You ascend to it over heaps of
stones, intermixed with scraps of marble. " An
outwork," continues Dr. Chandler, " which secured
the approach, once consisted of two lateral walls from
the body of the fortress, with a gateway. This is
supported on 'each side by a huge and awkward but-
tress, constructed chiefly with the seats of a theatre,
or stadium, many marked with Greek letters. Se-
veral fragments of inscriptions are inserted iff, it, or
lie near. Over the arch arc four pieces of ancient
sculpture. Two in the middle are in alto-relieve*, of
most exquisite workmanship, and parts of the same
design ; representing the death of Patroclus, and the
bringing of his body to Achilles." A third is in
basso-relievo. " The figures are, a man leading away
a little boy, a corpse extended, two women lament-
ing, and soldiers bearing forth the armour and


weapons of the deceased, to decorate his funeral pile."
This referred to the story of Hector. The fourth is
much injured, but sufficient remains to show boys and
vine- branches. The gateway faces the sea. Within
the castle were a few huts, an old mosque, and a
great deal of rubbish. " If you move a stone, it is
a chance but you find a scorpion under it."

The grand mosque is situated beneath the castle.
The side next the foot of the hill is of stone ; the rest
of polished marble, veined. In front is a court,
having a large fountain ; there are, also, broken
columns remains of a portico. The fabric was
raised with old materials ; and the large granite
columns which sustain the roof, as well as all the
marbles, are remains of what were long supposed to
constitute ancient Ephesus.

In regard to the aqueduct, the piers are square ;
not large, but many, with arches formed with brick.

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