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Claudius, made themselves masters of it, but were soon driven out of their new conquest by Cleodemus, who, having escaped the fury of these barbarians, and got together a considerable number of men and ships, defeated part of them in a sea fight, and forced the rest to quit the city, and provide for their safety by a timely flight. Cedrenus reports one thing remarkable of the Goths; viz. that having heaped up a number of books, with the design of burning them, they desisted from their purpose for this reason, that the Greeks being employed in reading them, might be diverted from martial affairs.
State of Athens, from Constantine the Great.
Towards the decline of the Roman greatness, the chief magistrate had the title of duke; but Constantine, besides many other privileges granted to the city, honoured them with the title of grand duke, Constantius, at the request of Proæresius, enlarged their dominions, by a grant of several islands in the archipelago.
Under Arcadius and Honorius, Alaric, king of the Goths, made an incursion into Greece, pillaged and destroyed all before him; but, as Zosimus was diverted from his design upon Athens by a vision, wherein the tutelar goddess of that city appeared to him in armour, and, in the form of those statues, which are dedicated to Minerva the protectress; and Achilles, in the same manner that Homer represents him, when enraged for the death of Patroclus, when he fell with his utmost fury on the Trojans. But the writers of those times make no mention of any such thing; on the contrary, they tell us, that Athens suffered the common fate of the rest of Greece, and so Claudian reports; and Synesius, who lived in the same age, tells us, there was nothing left in it, either splendid or remarkable, nothing to be admired, but the famous names of ancient ruins,
And that, as in a sacrifice, when the body is consumed there remains nothing of the beast but an empty skin, so it was in Athens; where all the stately and magoificent structures were turned iato ruinous heaps, aud nothing but old decayed outsides left remaining.
Theodosius the second, is said to have favoured the Athenians, upon the account of his queen Eudocia, who was an Athenian by birth. Justinian is also reported to have been very kind to them; but from his reign, for the space of about seven hundred years, either for want of historians, in so barbarous an age, or be. cause they lived in peace and obscurity, without being either actively or passively occupied in any thing worthy of being transmitted to posterity, history is silent with respect to them till the thirteenth century.
At that time, Nicetas tells us, that Athens was in the hands of Baldwin; and was besieged by one of the generals of Theodorus Lascares, who was then the Greek emperor; but he was repulsed with loss, and forced to raise the siege. It was besieged again, not long after, by the Marquis Bonifacius, who made himself master of it.
It was afterwards governed by one Delves, of the house of Arragon; and after his death it fell into the hands of Bajazet, emperor of the Turks. It was afterwards taken by the Spaniards of Catalonia, under the command of Andronicus Palæologus, the elder; and these are the same that Chalcocondylas calls . Celtiberians; and says, that they were dipossessed of it by Reinerius Acciaioli, a Florentine, who having no legitimate male children, left it, by his last will and testament, to the state of Venice.
The Venetians were not long masters of it, being dispossessed by Antony, a natural son of Reinerius, who had given him the sovereignty of Thebes and Boeotia ; and from this time, it continued for some years under the government of the Acciaioli: for Antony was suc,
ceeded by one of his kinsmen, called Nerius: this Nerius was displaced by his brother Antony for his weakness, and incapacity to govern; but after Antony's death, he recovered it again; but leaving only one son, tben an infant, he was succeeded by his wife; who for her folly, was ejected by Mahomet, on the complaint of Francus, the son of Antony the second, who succeeded her; and, having confined her sometime in prison, put her to death, for which he was accused by her son to Mahomet the second, who sent an army, under queen Omares, to besiege him. Francus, upon this, applied to the Latins for their assistance, which they refused to grant him, unless he would engage that his subjects should conform in all things to the Romish superstitions, and renounce all those articles, wherein the Greek church differ from them; which he not being able to do, was forced to surrender it to the Turks, in the year one thousand, four hundred and fifty-five; and in their bands it has continued till this time.
Of the City of. Athens, and its Walls, Gates,
· Streets, Buildings, &'c.
. The City of Athens, when in full splendour, was one of the largest and most magnificent cities in all Greece. According to the most approved computations, its circuit was about two and twenty Roman miles.
But many were the changes of government that it underwent before it attained to this pitch of greatness; for at first, that which was afterwards the citadel was the whole city, and was called Cecropia, from its first founder Cecrops. Afterwards, in the reign of Ericthom nius, it changed its name from Cecropia to Athens; for which name several reasons are assigned; but that which is most general is, that the city was so called from Athene, one of the names of Minerva; and this name, it is said, applies to the goddess as protectress of the city. When I come to treat of the religion of
this people, I shall refer the name of Athene to a different origin.
Almost all towers and citadels were sacred to this goddess, who is therefore thus described by Catullas,
The city-dwelling goddess.
Minerva's temple was in the Trojan's citadel.
Cecropia was seated in the middle of a large and pleasant plain, upon the top of a high rock; for as the said author observes, it was usual for the first founders of cities, in those ages, to lay their foundations upon steep rocks, and high mountains; and this they did partly because in such situations, they were more secure from invaders, and that they were also out of the reach of inundations, which the people of those times exceedingly dreaded; the floods of Ogyges and Deucalion being still in their remembrance.
Afterwards, when the number of inhabitants was increased, the whole plain became covered with buildings, which from their situation were called the lower city; and Cecropia was then called Acropolis, or the upper city.
- The circuit of the citadel was threescore stadia, it was, according to some writers, encompassed with wooden pales, or as others say, surrounded with olive trees: and therefore in Xerxes's invasion, when the oracle advised the Athenians to defend themselves with walls of wood, some were of opinion, that they were commanded to enter into the Acropolis, and there receive the enemy, which some of them did; but after a desperate resistance, were overpowered by numbers, and forced to suffer the sad effects of their mis-interpretation of the oracle.'
The city was fortified with a strong wall, a part of which, on the south side of the citadel, was built by
Cimon, the son of Miltiades, out of the spoils taken in the Persian war, and named after him. The north wall was built many ages before, by Agrolas, according to Pausanias, but Pliny ascribes it to Euryalus and Hyperbius, two brothers, who are said to have been the first instructors of the Athenians in the art of building houses, whereas till that time they lived in caves.
This wall was built by Pelasgicon, or Pelargicon, from the Pelasgi, who were so called from their continually wandering from one place to another, like the Storks, which the Greeks call Pelargi.
· Thucydides tell us, that there was an execration upon those who should build 'houses under this wall; because the Pelargi, while they dwelt there, entered into a conspiracy against the Athenians; that is, in fact, the ancient inhabitants endeavoured to displace the Athenians, who were intruders. It was also unlawful to make trenches or sow corn there; and if any man was caught offending in this manner, he was seized by the officers, and carried before the archons; who were to lay a fine of three drachms upon him. i.
The city had nine gates, whence it was sometimes call ed Enneapolis. It had also many smaller entrances; but the citadel had but one great gate, or principal entrance, to which people went up by steps, covered with white marble. This gate was built by Pericles, and was so superb, that it cost above a thousand drachms.
The inside of the citadel was adorned with innumes' rable edifices, statues and monuments, on which were various historical sculptures, for drawings of many of which, we are indebted to our countryman Stewart, who, for his unwearied and successful efforts, has been distinguished by the honourable epithet of Athenian Stewart.
Among the most distinguished remains of ancient Athens, are, the temple of Minerva, called Niche, or