Images de page

donia made a part. II. Middle Greece, or Hellas (now Livadia), contains, 1. Acarnania, inhabited by a rough and warlike people, with no remarkable rivers or mountains; 2. Ætolia (q. v.); 3. Doris, or Doris Tetrapolis (formerly Dryopolis); 4. Locris (q. v.), with the pass of Thermopyla; 5. Phocis, watered by the Ce phissus, and containing mount Parnassus, under which lay Delphi (q. v.); 6. Bootia (q. v.); 7. Attica (q. v.); 8. Megaris, with the city of Megara, the smallest of all the Grecian states. III. The peninsula of the Peloponnesus, to which the isthmus of Corinth led through Megaris, contained, 1. the territory of Corinth (q. v.), with the city of the same name, called, in earlier times, Ephyra; 2. the small territory of Sicyon, with the ancient city of the same name; 3. Achaia, anciently called Egialos, and, afterwards, Ionia, contained 12 cities on the coast which stretched along the Corinthian gulf to the river Melas; 4. Elis, divided into two parts by the river Alpheus, stretched from Achaia, south-west, to the sea-coast; it contained the celebrated cities of Cyllene and Olympia (q. v.); 5. Messenia, with the river Pamisus, extending from the southern part of Elis along the sea to the extremity of the continent, with the city of Messene, and the frontier towns of Ithome and Ira; 6. Laconia, Laconica, Lacedæmon, a mountainous country traversed by the Taygetus, and watered by the Eurotas, bounded on three sides by the Messenian, the Laconian and the Argolic gulfs; Sparta (q. v.) was the capital; 7. Argolis (q. v.); 8. Arcadia (q. v.). The islands which belong to Greece, lie, I. in the Ionian sea, on the west and south of the main land. 1. Corcyra (Corfu); 2. Cephalonia; 3. As teris; 4. Ithaca (Teaki); 5. Zacynthus (Zante: St. Maura is the ancient peninsula of Leucadia, formerly connected with the main land of Acarnania); 6. Cythera (Cerigo); 7. the group of islands in the Argolic gulf; 8. the island of Pelops, near the territory of Trazene, and, not far off, Sphæria, Calauria (Poros); 9. Ægina; 10. Salamis (Coluri), and many surrounding islands; 11. Crete (Candia). II. In the Ægean sea, now called the Archipelago, on the south and east sides of the main land, lie, 1. Carpathos (Scarpan to); 2. Rhodes; 3. Cyprus; 4. the Cyclades, i. e., Delos, and the surrounding islands on the west; and, 5. the Sporades, i. e., those scattered over the eastern Archipelago. To the Cyclades belong Delos (Sdilli), Rhenea, Miconos, Tenos

(Tine), Andros, Gyaros, Ceos (Zia), Syros, Cythnus (Thermia), Seriphos, Siphnos, Cimolis (Argentiere), Melos (Milo), Thera (Santorin), Ios, where Homer is said to have been buried, Naxos (in more ancient times, Dia), Paros (Paria), &c. To the Sporades belong Cos (Stanchio, Stingo), Parmacusa, Patmos (Palmo, Palmosa), Samos, Chios (Scio), with many smaller surrounding islands, Lesbos (Mitylene), the surrounding islands called Hecatonnysoi, i. e., the hundred islands, Tenedos (Bogdscha, Adassi), Lemnos (Stalimene), Imbros (Lembro), Samothrace, Thasos, and, nearer the Grecian coast, Scyros and Euboea (Negropont). Ancient Macedonia was, in its interior, rough, woody and barren, and produced wine, oil and fruit-trees only on the coast. The same is true of Epirus. But Thessaly was a fruitful and well watered country, and produced the finest horses. Baotia was likewise fruitful, and abounded in fine herds of cattle. The soil of Locris was moderately good; that of Doris was more fruitful, and that of Phocis still more so, producing, in abundance, good wine, fine oil and madder. The rough mountains of Etolia were neither suited to pasturage nor to agriculture. Acarnania, the sea-coast of Attica, and the mountainous parts of Megaris, were as little remarkable for fertility as Achaia. Argolis had a fruitful soil; and in Laconia, Messenia and Elis, both agriculture and pasturage flourished. Arcadia was a mountainous country, well adapted for the raising of flocks. The Grecian islands lie under a fortunate sky, and are most of them very rich in wine and in wild and cultivated fruits.*

rian Account of Ancient Greece and its Colonies, * See Hellas, or a Geographical and Antiquawith a View of the Modern Discoveries made in that Country, by F. K. G. Kruse, professor (Leipsic, 1826), two volumes, with an Atlas. A Journal of a Tour through Greece and Albania of Ancient Greece, particularly in a military (Berlin, 1826), contains very satisfactory accounts point of view. Gell and Dodwell have written on the geography, topography and history of Greece in ancient and modern times, with the well's companion, Pomardi, has given some adwritings of the ancients in their hands. Dodditional information (Rome, 1820), Chandler, Stuart, Revett, have given accurate descriptions of the remains of the architecture and sculpture of the ancient Greeks. Spohn and Wheeler, Le Turner have furnished accurate accounts of parts Chevalier, Choiseul-Gouffier, and Clark and of the country previously little known. See also Horner's Picture of Grecian Antiquities, or an Account of the most celebrated Places and Greece, (Zurich, 1824, et seq.). The journals of most important Works of Art of Ancient Hughes, Holland, Vaudoncourt, Leake, Douglas, Castellan, and also Galt's Letters from the Le


chus planted the vine. The Egyptian fugitive Danaus came to Argos, and Cecrops to Attica. Now began the heroic age, to which Hercules, Jason, Pirithous and Theseus belong, and that of the old bards and sages, as Thamyris, Amphion, Orpheus, Linus, Museus, Chiron and many others. A warlike spirit filled the whole nation, so that every quarrel called all the heroes of Greece to arms, as, for instance, the war against Thebes, and the Trojan war, 1200 years B. C., which latter forms one of the principal epochs in the history of Greece. This war deprived many kingdoms of their princes, and produced a general confusion, of which the Heraclide took advantage, 80 years after the destruction of Troy, to possess themselves of the Peloponnesus. They drove out the Ionians and Achæans, who took refuge in Attica. But, not finding here sufficient room, Neleus (1044) led an Ionian colony to Asia Minor, where a colony of Eolians, from the Peloponnesus, had already settled, and was followed, 80 years after, by a colony of Dorians. In other states republics were founded, viz., in Phocis, in Thebes, and in the Asiatic colonies, and at length also in Athens and many other places; so that, for the next 400 years, all the southern part of Greece was for the most part occupied by republics. Their prosperity and the fineness of the climate, in the mean time, made the Asiatic colonies the mother of the arts and of learning. They gave birth to the songs of Homer and Hesiod. There commerce, navigation and law flourished. Greece, however, still retained its ancient simplicity of manners, and was unacquainted with luxury. If the population of any state became too numerous, colonies were sent out; for example, in the 7th and 8th centuries, the powerful colonies of Rhegium, Syracuse, Sybaris, Crotona, Tarentum, Gela, Locris and Messena were planted in Sicily and the southern part of Italy. (See Magna Gracia.) The small independent states of Greece needed a common bond of union.

The History of Greece is divided into three principal periods-the periods of its rise, its power, and its fall. The first extends from the origin of the people, about 1800 years B. C., to Lycurgus, 875 years B. C.; the second extends from that time to the conquest of Greece by the Romans, 146 B. C.; the third shows us the Greeks as a conquered people, constantly on the decline, until at length, about A. D. 300, the old Grecian states were swallowed up in the Byzantine empire. According to tradition, the Pelasgi, under Inachus, were the first people who wandered into Greece. They dwelt in caves in the earth, supporting themselves on wild fruits, and eating the flesh of their conquered enemies, until Phoroneus, who is called king of Argos, began to introduce among them. Pelasgus in Arcadia, and Ægialeus in Achaia, endeavored at the same time to civilize their savage subjects. The Cyclopean walls are their work. (See Cyclopean Works.) Small kingdoms arose; e. g., Sparta and Athens. Some barbarous tribes received names from the three brothers, Achæus, Pelasgus and Pythius, who led colonies from Arcadia to Thessaly, and also from Thessalus and Græcus (the sons of Pelasgus), and others. Deucalion's flood, 1514 B. C, and the emigration of a new people from Asia, the Hellenes, produced great changes. The Hellenes spread themselves over Greece, and drove out the Pelasgi, or mingled with them. Their name became the general name of the Greeks. Greece now raised itself from its savage state, and improved still more rapidly after the arrival of some Phoenician and Egyptian colonies. About 60 years after the flood of Deucalion, Cadmus, the Phoenician, settled in Thebes, and introduced a knowledge of the alphabet. Ceres, from Sicily, and Triptolemus, from Eleusis, taught the nation agriculture, and Bacvant, contain good observations on the manners and customs of Modern Greece, and the islands of the Archipelago. The principal work, however, is that of Pouqueville (formerly French consul-general near Ali Pacha) Voy. dans la Grèce (Paris, 1820, six volumes). Iken's Hellenion, &c., contains information on the history of the cultivation of the modern Greeks. Gell, in his Narrative of a Journey in the Morea (London, 1823), maintains that the Greeks do not posess such cultivation as to be worthy of freedom. The contrary opinion is maintained by Ed. Bla quiere, in his Report on the present State of the Greek Confederation, &c. (London, 1823). P. O. Bronsted's Voyages dans la Grèce accompagnes de Recherches Archéologiques (Paris, 1826, with engravings), is a valuable work. (For a list of works on the Greek revolution, see the close of that division of this article, in which it is treated.)

This bond was found in the temple of Delphi, the Amphictyonic council, and the solemn games, among which the Olympic were the most distinguished, the institution, or rather revival of which, 776 B. C., furnished the Greeks with a chronological era. (See Epoch.) From this time, Athens and Sparta began to surpass the other states of Greece in power and importance. At the time of the Persian war, Greece had already made important advances in civilization. Besides the art

of poetry, we find that philosophy began to be cultivated 600 B. C., and even earlier in Ionia and Lower Italy than in Greece Proper. Statuary and painting were in a flourishing condition. The important colonies of Massilia (Marseilles), in Gaul, and Agrigentum, in Sicily, were founded. Athens was continually extending her commerce, and established important commercial posts in Thrace. In Asia Minor, the Grecian colonies were brought under the dominion of the Lydian Croesus, and soon after under that of Cyrus. Greece itself was threatened with a similar fate by the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes. Then the heroic spirit of the free Greeks showed itself in its greatest brilliancy. Athens and Sparta almost alone withstood the vast armies of the Persian, and the battles of Marathon, Thermopyla and Platea, as well as the sea-fights at Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale, taught the Persians that the Greeks were not to be subdued by them. Athens now exceeded all the other states in splendor and in power. The supremacy which Sparta had hitherto maintained, devolved on this city, whose commander, Cimon, compelled the Persians to acknowledge the independence of Asia Minor. Athens was also the centre of the arts and sciences. The Peloponnesian war now broke out, Sparta being no longer able to endure the overbearing pride of Athens. This war devastated Greece, and enslaved Athens, until Thrasybulus again restored its freedom; and, for a short time, Sparta was compelled, in her turn, to bend before the Theban heroes Epaminondas and Pelopidas. In spite of these disturbances, poets, philosophers, artists and statesmen, continued to arise, commerce flourished, and manners and customs were carried to the highest degree of refinement. But that unhappy period had now arrived, when the Greeks, ceasing to be free, ceased to advance in civilization. A kingdom, formed by conquest, had grown up on the north of Greece, the ruler of which, Philip, united courage with cunning. The dissensions which prevailed among the different states, afforded him an opportunity to execute his ambitious plans, and the battle of Charonea, 338 B. C., gave Macedonia the command of all Greece. In vain did the subjugated states hope to become free after his death. The destruction of Thebes was sufficient to subject all Greece to the young Alexander. This prince, as generalissimo of the Greeks, gained the most splendid victories over the Persians.

An attempt to liberate Greece, occasioned by a false report of his death, was frustrated by Antipater. The Lamian war, after the death of Alexander, was equally unsuccessful. Greece was now little better than a Macedonian province. Luxury had enervated the ancient courage and energy of the nation. At length, most of the states of Southern Greece, Sparta and Ætolia excepted, concluded the Achæan league, for the maintenance of their freedom against the Macedonians. A dispute having arisen between this league and Sparta, the latter applied to Macedonia for help, and was victorious. But this friendship was soon fatal, for it involved Greece in the contest between Philip and the Romans, who, at first, indeed, restored freedom to the Grecian states, while they changed Ætolia, and soon after Macedonia, into Roman provinces; but they afterwards began to excite dissensions in the Achæan league, interfered in the quarrels of the Greeks, and finally compelled them to take up arms to maintain their freedom. So unequal a contest could not long remain undecided; the capture of Corinth, 146 B. C., placed the Greeks in the power of the Romans. During the whole period which elapsed between the battle of Chæronea and the destruction of Corinth by the Romans, the arts and sciences flourished among the Greeks; indeed, the golden age of the arts was in the time of Alexander. The Grecian colonies were yet in a more flourishing condition than the mother country; especially Alexandria, in Egypt, became the seat of learning. As they, also, in process of time, fell under the dominion of the Romans, they became, like their mother country, the instructers of their conquerors. In the time of Augustus, the Greeks lost even the shadow of their former freedom, and ceased to be an independent people, although their language, manners, customs, learning, arts and taste spread over the whole Roman empire. The character of the nation was now sunk so low, that the Romans esteemed a Greek as the most worthless of creatures. Asiatic luxury had wholly corrupted them; their ancient love of freedom and independence was extinguished; and a mean servility was substituted in its place. At the beginning of the fourth century, the nation scarcely showed a trace of the noble characteristics of their fathers. The barbarians soon after began their ruinous incursions into Greece. Besides the well known works on the history of Greece,

by Mitford, Gillies, Barthélemy (Anacharsis), &c., we would mention Clinton's Fasti Hellenici (Oxford, 1824), an important work on the political and literary chronology of Greece, from the 55th to the 124th Olympiad; and Wachsmuth's Hellenische Alterthumskunde (1 vol., Halle, 1826); also Heeren's Politics of Ancient Greece (translated, Boston, 1824).-The principal traits in the character of the ancient Greeks, were simplicity and grandeur. The Greek was his own instructer, and if he learned any thing from others, he did it with freedom and independence. Nature was his great model, and in his native land, she displayed herself in all her charms. The uncivilized Greek was manly and proud, active and enterprising, violent both in his hate and in his love. He esteemed and exercised hospitality towards strangers and countrymen. These features of the Grecian character had an important influence on the religion, politics, manners and philosophy of the nation. The gods of Greece were not, like those of Asia, surrounded by a holy obscurity; they were human in their faults and virtues, but were placed far above mortals. They kept up an intercourse with men; good and evil came from their hands; all physical and moral endowments were their gift. The moral system of the earliest Greeks taught them to honor the gods by an exact observance of customs; to hold the rights of hospitality sacred, and even to spare murderers, if they fled to the sanctuaries of the gods for refuge. Cunning and revenge were allowed to be practised against enemies. No law enforced continence. The power of the father, of the husband or the brother, alone guarded the honor of the female sex, who therefore lived in continual dependence. The loss of virtue was severely punished, but the seducer brought his gifts and offerings to the gods, as if his conduct had been guiltless. The security of domestic life rested entirely on the master of the family. From these characteristic traits of the earliest Greeks, originated, in the sequel, the peculiarities of their religious notions, their love of freedom and action, their taste for the beautiful and the grand, and the simplicity of their manners. The religion of the Greeks was not so much mingled with superstition as that of the Romans; thus, for example, they were unacquainted with the practice of augury. The Greek was inclined to festivity, even in religion, and served the gods less in spirit than in out

ward ceremonies. His religion had little
influence on his morals, his belief, and
the government of his thoughts. All it
required was a belief in the gods, and in
a future existence; a freedom from gross
crimes, and an observance of prescribed
rites. The simplicity of their manners,
and some obscure notions of a supreme
God, who hated and punished evil, loved
and rewarded good, served, at first, to
maintain good morals and piety among
them. These notions were afterwards
exalted and systematized by poetry and
philosophy, and the improvement spread
from the cultivated classes through the
great mass of the people. In the most
enlightened period of Greece, clearer
ideas of the unity of the deity, of his om-
niscience, his omnipresence, his holiness,
his goodness, his justice, and of the ne-
cessity of worshipping him by virtue and
purity of heart, prevailed. The moral
system of some individuals among the
Greeks was equally pure. The precepts
of morality were delivered at first in sen-
tentious maxims; for example, the sayings
of the seven wise men. Afterwards, Soc-
rates and his disciples arose, and promul-
gated their pure doctrines. The love of
freedom among the Greeks sprang from
their good fortune, in having lived so long
without oppression or fear of other na-
tions, and from their natural vivacity of
spirit. It was this which made small ar-
mies invincible, and which caused Lycur-
gus, Solon and Timoleon to refuse crowns.
Their freedom was the work of nature,
and the consequence of their original pa-
triarchal mode of life. The first kings
were considered as fathers of families, to
whom obedience was willingly paid, in
return for protection and favors. Impor
tant affairs were decided by the assemblies
of the people. Each man was master in
his own house, and in early times no tax-
es were paid. But as the kings strove
continually to extend their powers, they
were ultimately compelled to resign their
dignities, and free states arose, with forms
of government inclining more or less to
aristocracy or democracy, or composed of
a union of the two; the citizens were at-
tached to a government which was ad-
ministered under the direction of wise
laws, and not of arbitrary power. It was
this noble love for a free country, which
prompted Leonidas to say to the king of
Persia, that he would rather die than hold

despotic sway over Greece. It was this which inspired Solon, Themistocles, Demosthenes and Phocion, when, in spite of the ingratitude of their countrymen, they

chose to serve the state and the laws, rather than their own interests. The cultivation of their fruitful country, which, by the industry of the inhabitants, afforded nourishment to several millions, and the wealth of their colonies, prove the activity of the Greeks. Commerce, navigation and manufactures flourished on all sides; knowledge of every sort was accumulated; the spirit of invention was busily at work; the Greeks learned to estimate the pleasures of society, but they also learned to love luxury. From these sources of activity sprang also a love of great actions and great enterprises, so many instances of which are furnished by Grecian history. Another striking trait of the Grecian character, was a love of the beautiful, both physical and intellectual. This sense of the beautiful, awakened and developed by nature, created for itself an ideal of beauty, which served them, and has been transmitted to us, as a criterion for every work of art. A noble simplicity pervades every thing which comes from them. It is this which has made the Greeks the instructers of all ages and nations.

Greek Language and Writing. The language, which we call Greek, was not the primitive language of Greece, for Greece was originally inhabited by the Pelasgi. Their language was already extinct in the time of Herodotus, who asserts that it was different from the Hellenic, and adds, that it is probable that the Hellenes have retained their original language (I. 57). But on the question whence it originated, there is a diversity of opinion; for some derive it from the Persian, others from the Scythian-two opinions, which are not, perhaps, incompatible with each other. Out of Greece, it was spoken in a great part of Asia Minor, of the south of Italy and Sicily, and in other regions which were settled by Grecian colonies. From the great number of Hellenic tribes of the same race, it was to be expected that there would be different dialects, the knowledge of which is the more necessary for becoming acquainted with the Greek language, since the writers of this nation have transmitted the peculiarities of the different dialects in the use of single letters, words, forms, terminations and expressions, and that not merely to characterize more particularly an individual represented as speaking, but even when they speak in their own person. It is customary to distinguish three leading dialects, according to the three leading branches of the Greeks, the Æolic, the Doric, and the Ionic, to which

was afterwards added the mixed Attic dialect; besides these, there are several secondary dialects. The four leading dialects may be reduced to two, the Hellenic-Doric and the Ionic-Attic. The former was the oldest; in fact, Doric was generally used to signify what was ancient. The oldest Doric style is displayed in the Æolic dialect, from which the Latin language is derived. The Doric was hard and harsh; the Ionic was the softest. The Æolic was spoken on the north of the Isthmus (excepting in Megara, Attica and Doris), in the Eolian colonies of Asia Minor, and on some of the northern islands of the Egean sea. The Doric was spoken in the Peloponnesus, in the Doric Tetrapolis, in the Doric colonies of Asia Minor, of Lower Italy (Tarentum), of Sicily (Syracuse, Agrigentum), and most purely by the Messenians; the Ionic in the Ionian colonies of Asia Minor, and on the islands of the Archipelago; and the Attic in Attica. In each of these dialects, there are celebrated authors. To the Ionic dialect belong, in part, the works of the oldest poets, Homer, Hesiod, Theognis, etc.; it is found pure in some prose writers, especially Herodotus and Hippocrates; the poems of Pindar, Theocritus, Bion and Moschus. Little Doric prose remains, and that is mostly on mathematical or philosophical subjects. In Eolic, we have fragments of Alcæus and Sappho. After Athens had obtained the supremacy of Greece, and rendered itself the centre of all literary cultivation, the masterpieces of Eschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, Isocrates, Demosthenes, etc., made the Attic the common dialect of literature. Grammarians afterwards distinguished the genuine Attic, as it exists in those masters, from the Attic of common life, calling the latter the common Greek or Hellenic dialect, and even the later Attic writers, posterior to the golden age of the literature, Hellenes or common Greeks. In this latter class are Aristotle, Theophrastus, Apollodorus, Polybius, Plutarch and others, many of whom, however, wrote genuine Attic, as Lucian, Ælian and Arrian. Except the dramatists, the poets by no means confined themselves to the Attic; the dramatists themselves assumed the Doric, to a certain degree, in their choruses, for the sake of giving them additional solemnity, because these belonged to the oldest liturgy of the Greeks; and the other poets retained the Homeric style. It cannot be denied, that the Greeks were

« PrécédentContinuer »