Page images
PDF
EPUB

Anabasis. The South Eastern part of Pontus was occupied by the tribes of Chalybes, or, as Strabo calls them, the Chaldæi.

Returning to the coast of the Ægean, the first province is Mysia, bounded by Bithynia on the East, the Propontis on the North, the Ægean on the West, and Lydia on the South. The Rhyndacus, often mistaken by modern travellers for the Granicus, separates it from Bithynia. Proceeding from thence Westward, along the shore of Propontis, we come to the island of Cyzicus, now a peninsula, which preserves its name; it was antiently a very flourishing city. A little West of it is the river Granicus, the famous scene of the first great battle between Alexander and the armies of Darius, May 22, B. C. 334, Ol. 111, 3, where 30,000 Macedonians are said to have defeated 600,000 Persians; it is now a torrent called Ousvola. The city of Lampsacus, now Lamsaki, is on the Hellespont. It was famous for the worship of Priapus, hence called the Hellespontian, or Lampsacan God. * Alexander resolved to destroy this city on account of the vices of its inhabitants, but it was saved by the philosopher Anaximenes, who, knowing that Alexander had sworn to deny his request, begged him to destroy it. A little below is Percote, which was given by Artaxerxes to Themistocles, to maintain his wardrobe. Below it is Abydos, which we have already mentioned as nearly opposite to Sestos, but a little more to the South. South of it, towards the mouth of the Hellespont, is the sacred plain of Troy, immortalized by the first and

* Hellespontiaci servet tutela Priapi.

Virg. Georg. IV. 111.

..

greatest of poets. The coast of Mysia, between the
Hellespont and the promontory of Lectum, has received
the names of Troas, from Troy, and, in its Northern
part, Dardania, from the city of Dardanus, at the en-
trance of the Hellespont, which, though now destroyed,
still gives to the Hellespont the name of the Dardanelles.
Modern travellers very much differ in their accounts of
this celebrated plain, and in the position they assign to
the antient city of Troja, or Ilium. Mr. Gell, in his
accurate and interesting survey of the Troad, accom- .
panied with many beautiful and faithful coloured en-.
gravings, thinks he has discovered some vestiges of
this most famous city near the village of Bounarbachi;
but the fact probably is, that though some greatand strong
outlines, such as Ida, and the promontory of Rhotæum
and Sigæum, may remain, the lapse of 3000 years may
have caused so great a change in the general face of
the country, as to have obliterated every vestige of the
antient city, and even several of those minor features
which may be said to have outlived even nature herself
in the immortal poem of Homer. Troy was more than
once rebuilt under the names of Troja and Ilium,
generally in a situation nearer the sea than the antient
city is supposed to have occupied. It stood between
two rivers, the Scamander, or Xanthus, and the Simois,
which formed a junction before they entered the Helles-
pont. Both these rivers rose in Mount Ida, a very lofty
range of mountains East of Troy. The summit of
Ida was called Gargarus. The Northern promontory
of the shore, at the entrance of the Hellespont,
was called the promontory of Rhætæum, and the
Southern that of Sigæum ; between these the Grecian

camp and ships were stationed. South of the island of Tenedos were Chrysa and Sminthium, where was the temple of the Sminthian Apollo, and the residence of his priest Chryses, the father of Briseis. Below it is the promontory of Lectum, now called Cape Baba. South East of it is Assus, now Asso; South East of which was Antandrus, now Antandro. Inland, about the middle of the Troad, was Scepsis, memorable as being the place where the original writings and library of Aristotle were discovered, as we are told by Strabo, much injured by having been buried carelessly in a damp place by the descendants of Neleus, the scholar of Theophrastus, to whom Aristotle had left them, in order to preserve them from being seized by Eumenes, king of Pergamus, for his library: they were at length dug up and sold to Apellicon of Teios, for a large sum. North East of Scepsis was the city of Zeleia, mentioned in Homer, and South East of it the Hypoplacian Thebes, the birth-place of Andromache, which was occupied by a Cilician colony in the time of the Trojan war: a little below, the shore begins to turn to the South. The remainder of the coast of Mysia, and part of Lydia, to the river Hermus *, whose sands were mingled with gold, was called Æolia, or Æolis, being occupied, after the fall of Troy, by Æolian Greeks. Here is Adramyttium,

or Adramitti, an Athenian colony, mentioned in the Acts, 1 ch. xxvii. 2. Below Adramyttium was Pergamus, now . Bergamo, the capital of a kingdom which the Romans considerably enlarged in favour of Eumenes, after they had defeated Antiochus, king of Syria, and which was * Auro turbidus Hermus.

Virg. Georg. II. 137.

left to the Roman people by Attalus, the last king, B. C. 133, A. U. C. 621. Here was the famous library founded by Eumenes in opposition to that of Ptolemy at Alexandria, who, from motives of jealousy, forbad the exportation of Egyptian papyrus, in consequence of which Eumenes invented vellum, called hence Pergamena. This library, having contained 200,000 volumes was transported to Alexandria by Antony and Cleopatra. Pergamus is one of the churches mentioned in the Revelation of St. John, ch. ii. 11. Here also the great physician Galen was born. It stood on the banks of the Caicus, and its port Elæa is now Ialea. Between Adramyttium and Elæa were the maritime cities of Lyrnessus, the original country of Briseis, Atarneus and Pitane, and a little below Elæa was the promontory of Cana, or Coloni, near which were the little islands called Arginusæ, where the Lacedæmonian fleet was completely defeated by the Athenians, under the command of Conod, B. C. 406, Ol. 93, 3.

Below the river Caicus was Lydia, called antiently Mæonia, having Mysia on the North, Phrygia on the East, Caria on the South, and the Ægean on the West. The coast of Lydia, nearly to the Hermus, 'was called Æolis, and below the Hermus, having been occupied by Grecian colonies about B. C. 900, obtained the name of Ionia, the cities of which we shall first describe, before we give an account of the interior, or Persian part of it. Below the Caicus was Cyme, or Cumæ, the most powerful of the Æolian colonies, now affording but a few vestiges at a place called Nemourt: a colony from hence founded the city of Cumæ, on the coast of Campania, in Italy, the residence of the Cumæan Sibyl. Below it is Phocæa *, now Fochia, an Ionian colony, whose inhabitants deserted it, to avoid being subject to the power of Cyrus, and having sworn never to return, till a mass of iron, which they sank, should rise to the surface, founded the city of Marseilles, in Gaul, about 540 B.C. Below Phocæa was the celebrated city of Smyrna, now called Ismur, one of the reputed birth-places of Homer, and a flourishing city of Anatolia. The little river Meles, which flows by Smyrna, has given to Homer the name of Melesigenes, he having been said to have been born on its banks; he is also called Mæonius t, from having been born in Lydia. Smyrna stands at the Eastern extremity of a Gulph called the Smyrnæus Sinus, which forms a peninsula, near the entrance of which is Clazomenæ, now Vourla, the birth-place of the philosopher Anaxagoras and other great men; north West of it is Erythræ, opposite to the island of Chios, the residence of one of the Sibyls. At the Southern entrance of this peninsula was Teos, the birth-place of Anacreon, hence called the Teian bard, and below it Lebedus, which was ruined by

* Sed juremus in hæc; simul imis saxa renarint

Vadis levata, ne redire sit nefas :
Nulla sit hac potior sententia, Phocæorum
Velut profugit execrata civitas.

Hor. Epod. XVI. 25. have reversed the order of the lines in Horace, for the convenience of shortening the quotation.

+ Non si priores Mæonius tenet
Sedes Homerus.

Hor. Od. IV. 9, 5.

« PreviousContinue »