Charles Bucke.

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

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ing to the door, " Nothing spoken here must ever go
out there."

Lycurgus looked upon the education of youth as
the greatest and most important object of a legis-
lator's care. His grand principle was, that children
belonged more to the state than to their parents ;
and, therefore, he would not have them brought up
according to their humours and fancies ; he would
have the state intrusted with the general care of their
education, in order ' to have them formed upon cor -
rect and uniform principles, which might inspire
them betimes with the love of virtue and of their

The most usual occupation of the Lacedaemonians
was hunting, and other bodily exercises. They were
forbidden to exercise any mechanic art : the Elotae,
a sort of slaves, tilled their land for them ; for which
they were paid a certain revenue by way of wages.
Lycurgus would have his citizens enjoy a great deal
of leisure: they had common halls, where the people
used to meet to converse together ; and though their
discourses chiefly turned upon grave and serious
topics, yet they seasoned them with a mixture of
wit and facetious humour, both agreeable and in-

DD 2


structive. They passed little of their time alone;
being accustomed to live like Iwes, al\\.iy- farther,
always about their chiefs and leaders. The love of
their country and of the public good was their pre-
dominant passion ; and they did not iningine they
.belonged to themselves but to their country.

The end Lycurgus proposed was the public hap-
piness : convinced that the happiness of a city, like
that of a private person, depends upon virtue, and
upon being well within himself. lie regulated La-
cedajmon so as it might always suffice to its own
happiness, and act upon principles of wisdom and
equity. From thence arose that universal esteem of
the neighbouring people, and even of strangers, for
the Laceda'inonians, who asked them neither money,
ships, nor troops; but only that they should lend
them a Lacedaemonian to command their armies ;
and when they had obtained their request, they paid
him certain obedience, with every kind of honour
and respect.

There were a multitude of other regulations, some
of which were, doubtless, of a very imperfect tend-
ency ; but it is certain that the declension of Sparta
began with the violation of Lycurgus's laws. No
sooner had the ambition of reigning over all Greece
inspired them with the design of having naval armies
and foreign troops, and that money was necessary for
the support of those forces, than Lacedamion, forget-
ting her ancient maxims, saw herself reduced to have
recourse to the Barbarians, which, till then, she had
detested, and basely to betray her court to the kings
of Persia, whom she had formerly vanquished with
so much glory ; and that only to draw from them
some aids of money and troops against their own
brethren ; that is to say, against people born and
settled in Greece, like themselves. Thus had they
the imprudence and misfortune to recal, with gold


and silver, all the vices and crimes which the iron
money had banished ; and to prepare the way to the
changes which ensued, and were the causes of their
ruin. And this infinitely exalts the wisdom of Ly-
curgus, in having foreseen at such a distance what
might strike at the happiness of his citizens, and
provided salutary remedies against it in the form
of government he established at Lacedaemon.

Ancient Sparta is thus described by Polybius : .
'* It is of a circular form, and forty-eight stadia in
circumference, situated in a plain, but containing some
rough places and eminences. The Eurotas flows to
the east, and the copiousness of its waters renders it
too deep to be forded during the greater part of the
year. The hills, on which the Menelaion is situated,
are on the south-east of the city, on the opposite side
of the river. They are rugged, difficult of ascent,
and throw their shadows over the space which is
between the city and the Eurotas. The river flows
close to the foot of the hills, which are not above a
stadium and a half from the city." Its former
condition is thus described by Anacharsis : " The
houses at Lacedannon are small, and without orna-
ment. Halls and porticos have been erected, to
which the citizens resort to converse together, or
transact business. On the south side of the city is
the hippodromus, or course for foot and horse races ;
and at a little distance from that, the platanistas,
or place of exercise for youth, shaded by beau-
tiful plane-trees, and inclosed by the Eurotas on
one side, a small river which falls into it, and a
canal, by which they communicate, on the other.
It is entered by two bridges, on one of which is
the statue of Hercules, or ' All-subduing Force ;'
and on the other that of Lycurgus, or ' All-regulating
Law.' "


In what condition is this celebrated city at
" Passing over the Eurotas," says Mr. I>o<l\\ell.
viewed the first remains of the Lacediemonian capital,
now called Palaio-Kastro, consisting of uncertain
traces and heaps of large stones, tossed about in a
sort of promiscuous wreck. In a few minutes we
reached the theatre, which is of large dimensions.
The Koilon is excavated in the hill, which rose
nearly in the middle of the city, and which served
as an Acropolis. The theatre appears of Roman
construction, and the walls of the proscenium are
principally of brick. The white marble, of which,
Pausanias says, it was composed, lias disappeared.
Near the theatre are the remains of a Roman brick
tower. Sparta was originally without walls, and
Lycurgus prohibited their erection. Justin asserts
that the Spartans first surrounded their capital with
walls, when Cassander entered the Peloponnesus ;
according to Livy, they were built by the tyrant ;
and Plutarch says they were destroyed by Philopoe-
men. Pausanias asserts, that the walls were con-
structed with precipitate haste, when Demetrius and
Pyrrhus besieged Sparta. ' They were afterwards
strongly fortified by the tyrant Nabis, and destroyed
by the Achteans, by whom, it appears, they were
afterwards rebuilt.

A fine sepulchral chamber, of a square form,
regularly constructed with large blocks, is situated
nearly opposite the theatre, and a short distance
from it. It has been opened, and the interior is
found to be composed of brick-work. Many other
ruins are dispersed in this direction, some of which
arc of Roman origin. They appear to have suffered
more from sudden violence than from gradual decay ;
and have, no doubt, been torn to pieces to supply
materials for the modern town of Misithra. Several


inscriptions have also been found. From all this, it
will appear, that Chateauhriand is not quite correct,
when he asserts, that " SPARTA is occupied by the
single hut of a goat -herd, whose wealth consists in
the crop, that grows upon the graves of Agis and
Agesilaus." *


THIS city was long an inconsiderable place ; but it
increased towards the age of Augustus. The fertility
of the soil, and the good fortune of some of its citizens,
raised it to greatness. Several persons bequeathed
large sums to it ; amongst whom may be particularly
mentioned, Hiero, Zeno the rhetorician, and Polemo
his son. The first bequeathed it no less than 2000

In ancient times Laodicea collected a very consider-
able revenue from its flocks of sheep, celebrated for
the fineness of their wool. " Under the reign of the
Caesars," says an elegant writer, " the proper Asia
alone contained five hundred populous cities, enriched
with all the gifts of nature, and adorned with all the
refinements of art. Eleven cities of Asia had once
disputed the honour of dedicating a temple to Tiberius,
and their respective merits were examined by the
senate. Four of them were immediately rejected, as
unequal to the burthen ; and among these was
Laodicea, whose splendour is still displayed in its
ruins, and had received, a little before the contest,
a legacy of above 400,000/. by the testament of a
generous citizen. If such was the poverty of
Laodicea, what must have been the wealth of those
cities whose pretensions were admitted ? "

It was first called Ramitha ; but being, in process
of time, greatly embellished by Seleucus Nicator, he

*Polybius; Plutarch ; Rollin; Tiller; Barthelemy; Chateaubri-
and ; Dodwell.


took advantage of \\'\* li.'ii-f.iction, and called it
Laodicea in honour of liis mother. ( '.-i-sar afterwards
named it Juliopolis. It was in process of time
included in the empire of Saladin, conquered l>v
Sultan Selim, and not long after nearly destroyed \<y
an earthquake.

It was rehuilt by a Turkish Aga. " It is thus a
curiosity in its way," says a French Geography,
" being indebted for its revival to a race of people \vlio
usually confine their exertions to the work of destruc-

The ruins of this city have been described by
several travellers. We shall select the details left by
Dr. Chandler and Mr. Kinneir. The first ruin, says
the former, is the remains of an amphitheatre, of an
oblong form, the area of which is about one thousand
feet in extent, with many seats remaining. At the
west end is a wide vaulted passage, about one
hundred and forty feet long, designed for the horses
and chariots ; near it is an arch, with an inscription
on the mouldings, in large Greek characters, " To
the Emperor Titus Ceesar Augustus Vespasian, seven
times consul, son of the Emperor , the God, Vespasian;
and to the people" &c.

By another ruin is a pedestal, with an inscription :
" The senate and people hane honoured Tatia, daughter
of Nicostratus, ton of Pericles, a new heroine, both
on account of the magistracy and ministries and
public works of her father, and on account of her
great uncle, Nicostratus, icho lately, besides his other
benefactions, tras priest of the city, and changed the,
stadium into an amphitheatre."

On the north side of the amphitheatre is the ruin
of an ample edifice. In consists of many piers, and
arches of stone, with pedestals and marble fragments.
On the west side lies a large stone with an inscription :
The city " has exalted Ased, a man of sanctity and


piety, recorder for life ; on account of the services he
has performed to his countr;/."

There are remains also of an Odeum. The seats
remain in the side of the hill. The whole was of
marble. The proscenium lies a confused heap of
ruins. Sculpture had been lavished upon it, and the
style savoured less of Grecian taste than of Roman

Beyond the Odeum are seen some marble arches,
of, it is supposed, a gymnasium. Westward are three
other marble arches, crossing a dry valley, as a
bridge. There are also traces of the city walls, with
broken columns and pieces of marble. Within, the
whole surface is filled with pedestals and columns.

According to Mr. Kinneir, the greatest ornament
is a triumphal arched structure, of a square plan,
between thirty and forty feet in height, and encircled
near the top with a handsome entablature. The
arches, four in number, are in the Roman style of
architecture, supposed to have been erected in ho-
nour of Cassar, the patron of the city ; or Germanicus,
who died at Daphne, and was greatly beloved by
the Syrians. The corners are adorned with hand-
some pilasters of the Corinthian order, and one of its
fronts exhibits a basso-relievo with martial instru-
ments ; hence another traveller is inclined to suppose
that it formed part of a temple dedicated to Mars.
At no great distance from this, stands a mosque,
evidently built from the ruins of another ancient
edifice, of which several columns of a portico still
stand ; and amidst rocks and crags along the sea-
shore may be observed a prodigious number of small
catacombs, Dr. Shaw mentions several rows of
porphyry and granite pillars.

We cannnot close this account without citing what
has been recently said of the inhabitants and envi-
rons of this city : " The environs of Ledikea having


many olive grounds, gardens, little country r<-ti
and places of pleasure, the inhabitants arc all food
of rural recreation ; and those who cannot find time
for a longer excursion, seat themselves along the sides
of the public roads, both in the morning and in tin-
evening, to enjoy the freshness of the air, and, as
they themselves say, to lengthen out their days by


Tins city (in Boeotia) is famous for having hern
the scene of a great battle between the Thebans and
the Lacedaemonians, July 8, B. c. 371.

The two armies were very unequal in numbcrt.
That of the Lacedaemonians consisted of twenty-four
thousand foot, and sixteen hundred horse. The The-
bans had only six thousand foot, and four hundred
horse ; but all of them choice troops, animated by
their experience of the war, and determined to con-
quer or die. The Lacedaemonian cavalry, composed
of men picked up by chance, without valour, and ill
disciplined, was as much inferior to their enemies in
courage as superior in number. The infantry could
not be depended on, except the Lacedaemonians ; their
allies having engaged in the war with reluctance,
because they did not approve the motive of it, aitd
were besides dissatisfied with the Lacedaemonians.

Upon the day of battle, the two armies drew up
on a plain. Cleombrotus was upon the right, con-
sisting of I^vcedicmonians, on whom he confided most.
To take the advantage which his superiority of horse
gave him in an open country, he posted them in the
front of the Lacedaemonians. Archidamus, Agesilaus'
son, was at the head of the allies, who formed the
left wing.

Shaw ; Chandler ; Kinneir ; Malte-Brun ; Buckingham ;
Porter. t Rollin.


The action began by the cavalry. As that of the The-
bans were better mounted, and braver troops than the
Lacedaemonian horse, the latter were not long before
they Avere broke, and driven upon the infantry, which
they put into some confusion. Epaminondas following
his horse close, marched swiftly up to Cleombrotus,
and fell upon his phalanx with all the weight of his
heavy battalion. The latter, to make a diversion,
detached a body of troops with orders to take Epami-
nondas in flank, and to surround him. Pelopidas,
upon the sight of that movement, advanced with in-
credible speed and boldness at the head of the second
battalion to prevent the enemy's design, and flanked
Cleombrotus himself, who, by that sudden and unex-
pected attack, was put into disorder. The battle was
very rude and obstinate ; and whilst Cleombrotus
could act, the victory continued in suspense, and de-
clared for neither party. When he fell dead with his
wounds, the Thebans, to complete the victory, and
the Lacedemonians, to avoid the shame of abandoning
the body of their king, redoubled their efforts, and a
great slaughter ensued on both sides. The Spartans
fought with so much fury about the body, that at
length they gained their point, and carried it off.
Animated by so glorious an advantage, they prepared
to return to the charge, which would perhaps have
proved successful, had the allies seconded their ardour.
But the left wing, seeing the Lacedaemonian phalanx
had been broke, and believing all lost, especially
when they heard that the king was dead, took to
fligRt, and drew off the rest of the army along with
them. Epaminondas followed them vigorously, and
killed a great number in the pursuit. The Thebans
remained masters of the field of battle, erected a tro-
phy, and permitted the enemy to bury their dead.

The Lacedaemonians had never received such a


blow. THe most bloody l> Teat- till then had
ever cost them more than four or five hundred of their
citizens. They had been scon, however, animated,
or rather violently incensed against several hundred
of their citizens, who had suffered themselves to
be shut up in the little island of Sphaeteria. Here they
lost four thousand men, of whom one thousand
Lacedaemonians, and four hundred Spartans, out of
seven hundred who were in the battle. The Thebans
had only three hundred men killed ; among whom
were few of their citizens.

The city of Sparta celebrated at that time the
gymnastic games, and was full of strangers, whom
curiosity had brought thither. When the couriers
arrived from Leuctra with the terrible news of their
defeat, the Ephori, though perfectly sensible of all
the consequences, and that the Spartan empire had
received a mortal wound, would not permit the repre-
sentations of the theatre to be suspended, nor any
changes in the celebration of the festival. They sent
to every family the names of their relations wUo
were killed, and stayed in the theatre to see that the
dances and games were continued without inter-
ruption to the end.

The next day in the morning, the loss of each
family being known, the fathers and relations of those
who had died in the battle, met in the public place,
and saluted and embraced each other with great joy
and serenity in their looks ; whilst the others kept
themselves close in their houses; or, if necessity
obliged them to go abroad, it was with a sadness
and dejection of aspect, which sensibly expressed
their profound anguish and affliction. That difference
was still more remarkable in the women. Grief,
silence, tears, distinguished those who expected the
return of their sons ; but such as had lost their sons


were seen hurrying to the temples, to thank the gods,
and congratulating each other upon their glory and
good fortune *.

All that remains of this city, so celebrated and so
universally known by the battle just described,
and in which the Lacedaemonians forfeited for ever
the empire of Greece, after possessing it for three
centuries, are a few remains near the village of Para-
pongi, and a few blocks of stone t.


THIS city, situate on the Maeander, about fifteen
miles s. E. of Ephesus, was founded by a colony from
Magnesia in Thrace, united with the Cretans. It
was one of the cities given to Themistocles by the
king of Persia. The Turks call it " Guzel- Hisar,"
or the beautiful castle.

A great battle was fought here between the
Romans and Antiochus, king of Syria. The forces
of the former consisted of thirty thousand men ; those
of Antiochus to seventy thousand foot and twelve
thousand horse. The Syrians lost fifty thousand
foot and four thousand horse ; and the Romans only
three hundred foot and twenty-five horse. This dis-
proportion of loss, however, is incredible.

Magnesia is rendered remarkable by the circum-
stance of its having been, as we have before stated,
the place assigned by Artaxerxes for the residence of
Themistocles. The whole revenues of the city, as
well as those of Lampsacus and Myunte, were settled
upon him J. One of the cities was to furnish him
with bread, another with wine, and a third with
other provisions .

The temple of Diana at Magnesia was constructed

* Rollin. ^Turner.

J Those of Magnesia amounted to fifty talents every year, a
Bum equivalent to 11,250/. sterling.

Such was the custom of the ancient kings of the Eiist. Instead

414 ui INS or \M i! \ i .11 ii ft

under the dim-timi of II< rump 'lies, of \vlunu Yitru-
vius speaks with gmit vein-ration.

" The situation of Magnesia," says Pococke, " is
delightful ; for it commands a view of the fine plain
of the M wander, which is broad towards the v
The view extends to the sea, and from the height I
saw the Agathonisa islands, which are near Patnios.
Mount Thorax to the north is covernl \\itli snow.
What adds to the prospect, is a most beautiful in-
closed country to the south and west, and the fields
are planted with the fig and almond trees. '1 'In-
modern city, also, adds to the beauty of the view ;
which being large, and there being courts and gardens
to the houses, improved by cypress and orange trees,
and some of the streets planted with trees, it makes
it appear like a city in a wood."

Chandler visited this place in 1774. According to
him, Magnesia surrendered to the Romans imme-
diately after the decisive battle between Scipio and
Antiochus. It was a free city in the time of Til>e-
rius. It was selected as a place of security, in 1303,
by the Emperor Michael, who at length was com-
pelled to escape from it in the night. In 1313 it
ranked among the acquisitions of Sarkhan, afterwards
sultan of Ionia. In 1443, Amurath II. selected it
as a place of retreat, when he resigned his empire to
his son Mahomet II.

There are signs of many great buildings all over
the city ; but they are ruined in such a manner, that,
except two or three, it is difficult to judge of what
nature they were. Pococke speaks, however, of there
having been in his time very great ruins to the east,

of settling pension* on persons they rewarded, they gave them
cities, and sometimes even provinces, which, under the name of
bread, wine, Ac., wcrf to furnish them abundantly with all things
necessary fur supporting, in a magnificent manner, their family and
equipage. KOLLIN.


which appeared to be remains of some " magnificent
large palace." On the north, too, he observed the
ruins of a very grand temple, which he thinks must
have belonged to that of Diana Leucophryne, the
largest in Asia after the temples of Ephesus and
Didymi ; and though it yielded to that of Ephesus in
its riches, yet it exceeded it in its proportions, and in
the exquisiteness of its architecture.

In the Ionic temple* at Magnesia, designed by
that Hermogenes whose merits are highly extolled
by Vitruvius, the general dimensions are the -same as
the dipteros ; but having, in order to obtain free
space under the flank porticoes, omitted the inner
range of columns, he thereby established the pseudo-
dipteros ; but unless he continued the wooden beams
of the roof over the increased space, this mode was
impracticable, unless when the quarries afforded
marble of very large dimensions.

A Persian writer says of this place : " It is
situated at the skirt of a mountain ; and its running
streams afford water of the utmost purity ; and its
air, even in winter, is more delightful than the breath
of springt."


A CITY of the Peloponnesus, well known for a
famous battle fought near it between the Lacedemo-
nians and Thebans. The Greeks had never fought
among themselves with more numerous armies. The
Lacedaemonians consisted of twenty thousand foot,
and two thousand horse ; the Thebans of thirty thou-
sand foot, and three thousand horse.

The Theban general, Epaminondas, marched in the
same order of battle in which he intended to fight,
that he might not be obliged, when he canie up with

* Civil Architecture, 617.
t Pococke ; Chandler; Encycl. Metiop.

416 Kl IN> <'l \N( II \ I < I

the enemy, to lose, in the disposition of his army,
a time which cannot bo too much saved in
enterprises *.

He did not march directly, and with his front to
the ninny, but in a column upon the hills, with his
left wing foremost, as if he did not intend to li^Iit
that day. When ho was over against them at a
quarter of a league's distance, he made his troops
halt and lay down their arms, as if he designed to
encamp there. The enemy in effect were deceived \>y
that stand ; and reckoning no longer upon a battle,
they quitted their arms, dispersed tin inscho nlx.ut
the camp, and suffered that ardour to extinguish,
which the near approach of a battle is wont in Kindle
in the hearts of the soldiers. Epaminondaa, how-
ever, by suddenly wheeling his troops to the right,
having changed his column into a line, and having
drawn out the choicest troops, whom he had ex-
pressly posted in front upon his march, he made them
double their files upon the front of his left wing, to
add to its strength, and to put it into a condition to
attack in a point the Lacedaemonian phalanx, which,
by the movement he had made, faced it directly.

lie expected to decide the victory by that body of
chosen troops which he commanded in person, and
which he had fonncd in a column to attack the enemy
in a point like a galley, says Xenophon. He assured
himself, that if he could penetrate the Laceda>monian
phalanx, in which the enemy's principal force con-
sisted, he should not find it difficult to rout the rest
of their army, by charging upon the right and left.

Online LibraryCharles BuckeRuins of ancient cities : with general and particular accounts of their rise, fall, and present condition (Volume 1) → online text (page 32 of 36)