« AnteriorContinuar »
Pantheon, was a temple dedicated to all the gods, who, as they were thus united in one temple, were honoured with one common festival. This was a very magnificent structure, and supported by an hundred and twenty marble pillars. On the outside, were all the histories of the gods, curiously sculptured; and upon the great gate stood two horses, excellently carved by Praxitiles.
The temple of the eight winds, omitted by Pausanias, but mentioned and described by Sir George Wheeler, out of Vitruvius, who reports, that such as had made exact observation about the winds, divided them into eight; of these were Andronicus Cymhastes, who gave this model to the Athenians; for the tower of marble having eight sides, on every side of which he carved a figure of a wind, according to the quarter it blew from.
On the top of the tower, he erected a little pyramid of marble, ou the point of which was placed a brazen triton, holding a switch in his right hand, which, as the figure turned on: a pivot, pointed to the quarter from which the wind then blew. This is an early specimen of the weather vane: but this mode of indicating the direction of the wind, was in use in Egypt much earlier.
All the winds answered exactly to the compass, and were represented by appropriate emblematical figures, over which were written their names, in large Greek characters; and are these that follow: Eurus, Southeast; Subsolanus, East; Cæcias, North-east; Boreas, North; Skiron, North-west; Zephyros, West; Notos, South; Libs, South-west. This tower remains yet entire, the weathercock only excepted.
The Athenians had many porticos, the most remarkable was that which was called Poikile, from the variety of curious pictures which it contained, drawn by the greatest masters of Greece; such as, Polygnatus, Micon and Pandanus, the brother of Phidias. Here it was that Zeno taught philosophy, and founded that sect, that received its name from the place, that is Stoics; as much as to say the sages or philosophers of the portico; and vice versa, the word portico was often used for the sect that taught these.
Musæum, was a fort near the citadel, so called from the old poet Musæus, who is said to have repeated his verses in irai place, where also he was buried.
Odæum, was a theatre for music, built by Pericles. In the inside, it was full of seats and ranges of pillars, and on the outside, in the roof or covering of it, was made from one point at the top, with a great many bindings, all shelving downwards, and it is reported, that it was so framed in imitation of the king of Persia's pavilion.
There was also a tribunal, as we learn from Aristophanes. It was very much beautified by Lycurgus, but being demolished during the Mithridatic war, was rebuilt by Herodes Atticus, with such splendour and magnificence, that, as Pausanias tells us, it surpassed all the famous buildings in Greece. It stood in the Ceramicus, of which name there were two places, so called, either from Ceramus, the son of Bacchus and Ariadne, or from the potter's art, which was first invented in one of those places by Coræbus. One of them was in the city, and contained innumerable buildings, such as temples, theatres, porticos, &c. The other was in the suburbs, and was a public burying place, and contained the academy, and many other edifices,
The Fora of the Athenians were very numerous, of which two were most noted. The new Forum was in a place called Eretria, by Strabo. It is probable, that this was not far from Zeno's portico, because Pausanias tells us, that in his time, the forum was near that place. The old forum was in the Ceramicus within the city. In it were held the public assemblies of the people; but the chief design of it was for the people to meet to buy and sell in ; it was therefore divided into different parts, according to the wares exposed to sale; for every trade had a different place assigned it. These places were denominated according to the articles sold in them. Sometimes they called the Fora by the single rame of the things sold in them; as Oinos, the wine market, Elaion, the oil market, &c.
The time in which things were exposed to sale, was called, Plethousa Agora, i. e. the full market, from the multitudes of people that assembled at such times. There seem to have been different houses appointed for the different wares; which may be the reason that Suidas, in some places, tells us, that the full market was at the third hour, in others, that it was at the fourth, fifth and sixth.
Besides these, the tradesmen had their own particular halls, wherein each company met, and consulted about their respective concerns; for trades were very much encouraged at Athens; and if any reproached another with gettivg his living by trading, the person affronted might bring an action of slander against the person so upbraiding him. Nay trades were so far from being accounted a mean and ignoble way of getting a living, that persons of the greatest quality did not disdain to, betake themselves to such employments, especially to merchandize, as Plutarch informs us, who says, that Solon applied himself to merchandize, though, there are some that say, he travelled rather to get learning, and experience, than to acquire an estate. In the time of Hesiod, to follow a trade was not thought dishonourable, nor a degradation to those who were engaged in. it; but that was rather deemed an honourable employ. ment, which brought home the good things that barbarous nations enjoyed, that led to an alliance or friendship with their kings; and that was the mother of experience,
Some merchants have been the founders of great cities, as the founder of Massilia, he, who was so much esteemed by the Gauls, who resided about the Rhine. Some also report that Thales, and Hippocrates, the
mathematician, traded : and that Plato defrayed the expences of his travelling by selling oil in Egypt.
Were not common at Athens before the Roman times, and the want of them was supplied by wells, some of which were dug at the expence of private persons ; but because the country had few rivers, whose water was fit to be drank; for Strabo tells us, that the Eridanus was muddy and unfit for use; and having few lakes or springs, the city was poorly supplied with water. To remedy this inconvenience, Solon enacted a law, that where there was a public well within an hippicon, that is four furlongs, all should have the privilege of drawing water from it, but that those, who lived at a greater distance, should be obliged to provide a private well; and if they had dug ten fathoms deep and could find no water, they had liberty to fetch ten gallons a day from their neighbour's well; for he thought it prudent, as this author observes, to make provision against want, but not to encourage laziness.
· Adrian, besides other magnificent structures, laid the foundations of a stately aqueduct, which was finished by his successor, Antoninus. One part of this still remains, supported by Ionic pillars; which Sir George Wheeler supposes to have been the frontispiece of the repository or reservoir of the water.
Are said to be first in use at Lacedamon; but they were afterwards very common in all parts of Greece; and imitated, and also very much augmented and improved at Rome. They were not single edifices, but were a cluster of buildings united; so capacious as to hold many thousands of people at once, and having
room enough for philosophers, rhetoricians, and the professors of all other sciences, to read their lectures in; at the same time that wrestlers, dancers, and others, might perform their different exercises without incommoding the students and professors in their pursuits.
The principal parts of the Gymnasia were the following: . . : 1. The Porticos, which were well accommodated with recesses and seats; these were equally adapted to study or conversation.
2. The Ephebaum, or place where the Ephebi, or Youths exercised; or, according to others, were those that designed to exercise, met, and agreed what kind of exercise they should contend in, and what should be the victor's reward..
3. The undressing room...
4. The place where those that were to wrestle, or had bathed, were to be anointed.
5. The place where the dust, with which they besprinkled those that had been anointed, was kept. - 6.. The Palæstrà; which is sometimes taken for the whole Gymnasium, in its proper acceptation, means the place wherein all the exercises of the Pantathlon, or, as others say, of the Pancratium, were performed. And lest the combatants should slip, and hurt themselves hy falling, the bottom was covered withi duşt or sand.
7. There was another room also in the Gymnasium filled with gravel, much deeper than that in the Palæstra,
8. The spaces between the porticos and the wall left vacant to admit the light, and the area of the piazza, which was a large place that was square, or sometimes oblong, in the middle of the Gymnasium, desigued for walking, and the perforinance of those exercises, which were not practised in the Palæstra, or the deeper sand, or any other part of the Gymnasium; such, according to the opinion of some, were the leapers, and those who threw the discus, which resembled our coit.