« PrécédentContinuer »
ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE, HISTORY, POLITICS AND
A NEW EDITION;
A COPIOUS COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL ARTICLES
THE BASIS OF THE SEVENTH EDITION OF THE GERMAN
E WIGGLESWORTH AND T. G. BRADFORD.
B. B. MUSSEY & CO.
Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1831, by
In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Printed by T. K. & P. G. Collins.
GREECE, ANCIENT. The name of Gra
cia originated in Italy, and was probably derived from Pelasgian colonies, who, coming from Epirus, and calling themselves Grecians, from Græcus, the son of their ancestor, Thessalus, occasioned the application of this name to all the people who spoke the same language with them. In earlier times, e. g., in the time of Homer, Greece had no general name among the natives. It afterwards received the name of Hellas, and still later after the country was conquered by the Romans, the name of Achaia, under which Macedonia and Epirus were not included. The Grecian tribes were so widely dispersed, that it is difficult to determine, with precision, the limits of Greece, properly so called. The name was sometimes applied only to that country which was surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean sea, was separated from Macedonia by the Cambunian mountains, and contained about 42,000 square miles; sometimes it was taken in a wider sense, including Macedonia and Epirus, having mount Hamus and the gean and Ionian seas for its boundaries, and comprising the islands of these two seas. Greece consists partly of continental, and partly of insular regions. A chain of mountains, extending from the Ambracian gulf, the west, to Thermopyla, on the east, separates Northern Greece from Southern. The climate is alternately severe or mild, as the mountains or valleys predominate, but it is agreeable and healthy. People are not unfrequently found here, whose age is over 100 years. The soil of the valleys and plains is favorable to the growth of the finest tropical fruits, while the summits of the high
mountains are covered with the plants of
the polar regions. In Athens, the thermometer very seldom falls below the freezing point, or rises above 25° Reaumur (88 Fahrenheit). In the islands, every evening, at a particular hour, a gentle sea breeze sets in, which tempers the heat of the day. But in the plains of Thessaly, which lie 1200 feet above the level of the sea, and more especially in the mountains of Arcadia, the winter is as severe as in England. The fruits of the soil are as abundant as they are various. Even where it is not adapted for the purposes of husbandry, it produces thyme, marjoram, and a number of aromatic herbs, which afford a rich pasturage. Greece produces eight kinds of corn and ten kinds of olives. It is, perhaps, the native country of the grape, particularly of the small sort, from which the currants of commerce are made. The name of these is a corruption of Corinth, the chief plantation having formerly been on the isthmus of this name. There are 40 kinds of Grecian grapes known. The honey of this country is very famous. (See Hymettus., Greece produces all the necessaries of life, and there is no country whose coast is so well supplied with bays and harbors for commerce. The main land is now divided into Northern Greece, Middle Greece, Greece Proper, or Hellas, in its narrower sense, and the Peloponnesus (Morea). I. Northern Greece includes, 1. Thessaly (q. v.) (now Janna); 2. Epirus (q. v.) (now Albania); 3. Macedonia (now Macedonia, or Filiba-Vilajeti), accounted a part of Greece from the time of Philip and Alexander, and making a link in the chain between Greece and Thrace, of which, in earlier times, Mace