« EelmineJätka »
as nine towns in various parts of the Grecian world, altar of Zeus Polieus, where the strange sacrifices of the among which Athence Diades, in the N.W. of Euboea, a Dipolia were celebrated. A Prytaneium, containing the town belonging to the Athenian confederation, is worthy of hearth-fire of the state, and serving as the residence of the mention. But it was the capital of Attica which invested king, would be another indispensable feature in the the name of Athens with an undying charm for the poet, primitive town. But while the king and some of the most the artist, the philosopher, the historian, for all time. It sacred families probably had dwellings within the fortress is situated in long. 23° 44' E., lat. 37° 58' N., towards the itself, Thucydides (ii. 15) points out that a great part of south of the central plain (nedlov) of Attica, about 41 the early population dwelt outside its walls, under the miles from the harbour of Piræeus, and nearly 4 from south side of the cliff, probably without fortification, but the Bay of Phalerum. The survey of Pausanias (i. 2–30), retiring to the citadel in times of peril. In this quarter, when compared with existing remains, and supplemented towards the Ilissus, stood the oldest Athenian sanctuary by the numerous incidental notices of ancient authors, of Dionysus, in a region called Alpval, from having been enables us to form a more perfect conception of the topo- literally a marsh in early times. Not far off, and nearer graphy of ancient Athens than of any other Greek city. the stream, stood the temple of Zeus Olympius, said to Recent excavations have added greatly to our knowledge be founded by Deucalion (Pausan., i. 18), of which more of it, and the literature of the subject is very extensive (see will be said presently, the precinct of Gæa Olympia, and p. 11, infra). Our object in this article will be to treat of other sacred places. Here also was the fountain of the topography of Athens from an historical point of view, Callirrhoe, afterwards ornamented by the Pisistratids, and and to show how the rise, the greatness, the decline of the called Enneacrunus, the water of which was sought for city may be read in the history of its buildings.
sacred purposes. long after the city had outgrown these There seems little reason to doubt that the earliest settle- early limits (Thucyd., ii. 15). The region we have been put ment on Athenian soil was upon the cliff afterwards famous describing formed the nucleus of the later city, and
as the Acropolis. Such is the express statement of therefore, at the subdivision of all Attica into demes, this Thucydides (ii. 15), who observes that the Acropolis was quarter was distinguished by the name Κυδαθήναιον. . commonly termed at Athens ý tróles, much as the oldest To the west of the Acropolis there extends from N. to part of London is styled “The City.” The earliest inhabi- S. a range of hills, the three most prominent heights of tants appear to have been Pelasgians; and though it was which are commonly known respectively as the Hill of the the boast of the Athenians that they alone of all Greek Nymphs, the Pnyx, and the Museium,—the Nymphs' Hill states were indigenous (aŭróxoves), yet their town would being separated from the Acropolis by the Areopagus, from the first have received accessions from various parts which intervenes between. Everywhere upon the slopes Early rockof the continent, the peaceful poverty of Attica affording of the hills just mentioned traces have lately been dis- dwellings. a welcome refuge in those early and unsettled times covered of ancient dwellings hewn out of the solid rock. (Thucyd., i. 2). The most accessible portion of the Acro- But while all these rock-dwellings are extremely ancient, polis is the western side, where it is joined by a neck of yet some appear less primitive than others; it is remarked hill to the Areopagus. On this side there existed down that those which exist on the Areopagus and on the hillto later times the remains of fortifications built by the sides nearest to the Acropolis are of a smaller and ruder earliest inhabitants, with nine doorways, one within the type, those more distant from the citadel being somewhat other, called το Πελασγικόν, Or το Εννεάπυλον. This fort more convenient in plan and extent. Legend declares the protected the only entrance to the citadel, which was Athenians to have originally dwelt in rock-hewn caves surrounded by a wall, and artificially levelled for the recep-(Dyer's Athens, ch. i.), and it would seem that primitive tion of buildings. Within this fortified enclosure stood the Athens gradually extended itself from the Acropolis in shrine of Athena Polias (Homer, Niad, ii. 449; Odyssey, this W. and S. W. direction. This quarter was afterwards