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Moreover, the surface of the walls, though not actually polished, is smoothed down to a sufficiently uniform face to paint upon.
The southern wing (B) is almost entirely ruined (Penr. 62), two of its columns being embedded in the walls of an adjacent mediaeval tower. There can be no doubt that it was originally intended to be symmetrical with the north wing; but, as Mr. Penrose states, there are some circumstances which lead to the belief that it was never entirely finished,-in fact, that only half of it was actually built.
The centre, or Propylaea properly so called, consisted of two hexastyle pedimented porticoes, the western facing the Agora below, and the eastern opening upon the platform of the Acropolis above, to which, says Dr. Arnold (Thucyd. i. 134), the Propylaea formed an entrance, as the gateways of the closes of Salisbury and Peterborough do to the Precincts' there. The columns were fluted Doric, six at each end, those of the western portico being taller by more than a foot than those of the eastern, where they were nearly 29 feet high (almost exactly five and a half diameters), and about 51 feet in the full round at their base. The full upper diameter of the angle columns between the fillets of the flutes was 3.97 feet. The shafts alone were 25.6 inches in height. (Penr. 40. 42. 63. Plate xxxi.) The portico towards the west communicated with a vestibule or corridor (D), the roof of which was supported by six Ionic columns, three on each side of the passage. "The marble beams (Penr. 63) which spanned the interval between their architraves and the side walls have a longer bearing than is found in the ceiling of any other building at Athens." Pausanias (i. 22) alludes to them thus: rà de προπύλαια λίθου λευκοῦ τὴν ὀροφὴν ἔχει καὶ κόσμῳ καὶ μεγέθει τῶν λίθων μέχρι γε καὶ ἐμοῦ προεῖχε.
Immediately behind this vestibule was the terminal wall, with five openings or gateways of bronze, diminishing in width and height as they receded from the central opening. This was large enough to admit a carriage, and there are or were "traces of a skilfully constructed inclined plane, by which carriages passed on to the interior of the Acropolis." (Antiq. of Athens, by Cockerell and Kinnard, p. 4.) This in some places was formed out of the natural rock, in others of slabs of Pentelic marble, both roughened by cross grooves to give a better footing. Traces of wheel-ruts may even now be found, but not regular enough to show the width of the carriages. (Penr. 63.) But the central door was equal in width to the space between the two central columns of the Doric portico in front, as well as to the space between the rows of Ionic columns in the vestibule. (Leake i. 315.) Beyond this terminal wall again was the Posticum, or back portico
(G), also with six Doric columns, and pediment like that in front, facing the east, and opening immediately on the platform of the Acropolis. The whole structure was built of white Pentelic marble, under the administration of Pericles (Plut. in Vit. c. 13), and the superintendence of Mnesicles, as architect, who completed it (B.C. 342) in five years, and, as Harpocration (s. v.) states, at a cost of 2012 talents. Whether or not the cost was thus enormous, it was in after times cavilled at by Demetrius Phalereus, "qui Periclem vituperabat quod tantam pecuniam in praeclara illa Propylaea conjecerit." (Cicero, Offic. ii. 17.) But it may well have been immense; for Col. Leake (i. 315) describes this work as "the greatest production of civil architecture in Athens, which equalled the Parthenon in felicity of execution, and surpassed it in boldness and originality of design." So much was it admired, and so well was it known throughout Greece, that Epaminondas, when he wished to inspire his fellow-citizens with the resolution to supplant Athens in her pre-eminence, told them (Aesch. F. L. § 112) "that they must remove the Propylaea of the Athenian Acropolis to the front of their own Cadmeia” εἶπε διαρρήδην ἐν τῷ πλήθει των tậ Θηβαίων ὡς δεῖ τὰ τῆς ̓Αθηναίων ἀκροπόλεως προπύλαια μετενεγκεῖν εἰς τὴν προστασίαν τῆς Καδμείας).
To the Athenian himself it was the portal to all the glories of his country, through the opening gates of which he saw the hearths of her home, the shrines of her temples, and the statues of her guardian deity. For thus in a burst of patriotic pride sang the poet:
ὄψεσθε δέ· καὶ γὰρ ἀνοιγνυμένων ψόφος ἤδη τῶν προπυλαίων.
Aristoph. Equit. v. 1326.
It will be observed also, that in the text the buildings are described as IIporúλaia тavra. (Comp. c. Androt. § 95.) To understand this, we must remember that the oration was, or was supposed to have been delivered in the Pnyx, from which the Acropolis was visible (ἅτε ὁρωμένων τῶν Προπυλαίων ἀπὸ τῆς Πνυκός), though the hill of the Areiopagus lies partly between them. Thus describing what an orator would view from the Bema of the Pnyx, Dr. Wordsworth observes (Athens and Attica, 57): "Above all, turning to the right rose the stately Acropolis, faced with the Propylaea as a frontlet, and crested with the Parthenon as a crown."
Such buildings would naturally serve as a model; and it is said that the entrance to the precincts of the temple at Eleusis (Uned. Antiq. of Athens, c. v. and Plates), was nearly an exact copy of the
Propylaea at Athens, though the details are very inferior. (Penr. 65.) We need not, however, suppose that structures of this kind had their origin in Greece. On the contrary, we read of them as previously existing in Egypt; and Herodotus (ii. 121 and 153) informs us that there was not only a western, but also a southern Propylaea to the Hephaesteium at Memphis.
In connexion with the Propylaea at Athens is to be noticed the Temple (E) of Níkη "Aπтeроs, or 'Victory without wings,' a device by which the Athenians symbolized her constancy to themselves and the permanence of her favours. This building was of the Ionic order, and is described by Pausanias (i. 22) as on the right of the ascent to the Propylaea, at a point whence the sea was visible (ἐν δεξιᾷ Νίκης ἐστὶν ἀπτέρου ναός. Ἐντεῦθεν ἡ θάλασσά ἐστι σύνοπτος). According to Mr. Penrose (2), it was erected on a small tower of thirty feet high, which served as a substruction, at the termination of the s.w. reach of the Hellenic wall of the Acropolis. In the time of the travellers Spon and Wheler (A.D. 1676) it was still existing, and used by the Turks to stow their powder in. One hundred years afterwards it had completely disappeared. (Giffard's Tour, 129.) But some bas-reliefs of its frieze were found in the wall of a powder-magazine, where they remained till Lord Elgin brought away four of them, which are now transferred to the British Museum. At last, on the removal (A. D. 1835) of a Turkish battery, which guarded the approach to the Propylaea, fragments of Ionic pillars, and other ornamental masonry, were discovered, and finally the floor of an ancient temple, which was at once recognized as that of the Temple of Victory, on the site specified by Pausanias, i. e. at the s.w. angle of the Acropolis. Moreover, nearly the whole frieze (Zwpópos) was discovered, the subjects of which are supposed to be the Athenian victory over the Amazons, and that over the Persians at Marathon (Wordsworth, 288), executed in the time of Cimon.
Thereupon the Greek government rebuilt the temple in its original form, and so far as possible from the ancient materials on its ancient site. It consists of a simple cella of solid masonry, with four Ionic columns in front, and four at the back, raised on a stylobate of three feet, and having the sides of the cella in a line with the external columns. The length is 27 feet from E. to w., and the breadth The columns are thirteen and a half feet high; and the total height of the temple, from the stylobate to the apex of the pediment, is 23 feet. (Leake i. 321, and Appendix XV. See also a view of it in Dr. Smith's Hist. of Greece, 216.)
Its position is a remarkable instance of that want of parallelism amongst the buildings of the Acropolis, on which Mr. Penrose
(p. 4) observes thus: "Except the Propylaea and Parthenon, which were perhaps intended to bear a definite relation to one another, no two are parallel. This asymmetria is productive of very great beauty; for it not only obviates the dry uniformity of too many parallel lines, but also produces exquisite varieties of light and shade. One of the most happy instances of this latter effect is in the Temple of Nike Apteros, in front of the s. wing of the Propylaea. The façade of this temple and the pedestal of Agrippa (F), which is opposite to it, remain in shade for a considerable time after the front of the Propylaea has been lighted up, and they gradually receive every variety of light, until the sun is sufficiently on the decline to shine nearly equally on all the western faces of the entire group. A similar want of parallelism in the separate parts is found to obtain in several of the finest mediaeval structures, and may conduce in some degree to the beauty of the magnificent Piazza of St. Marc at Venice." The pedestal of Agrippa (so called from an inscription on its base), which still remains opposite to the Temple of Victory, on the north side of the grand flight of steps, is about 12 feet square, and 27 high. From the remarks of Pausanias (i. 22. 4) it has been inferred that on this pedestal there anciently stood two equestrian statues of the two sons of Xenophon, Gryllus and Diodorus. (Leake i. 327.)
We may now briefly notice the optical refinements in the construction of the buildings in question, referring the reader for complete information to Mr. Penrose's valuable and very instructive work. One of these is the curvature in a vertical plane of the horizontal lines, such as the stylobate (or steps on which the columns rest), and the entablature, or part above the abacus of the columns, including the architrave, frieze, and cornice.
On this subject Vitruvius (de Architec. iii. 3. 41) wrote thus: "Stylobatam ita oportet exaequari uti habeat per medium adjectionem. Si enim ad libellam dirigatur, alveolatus oculo videbitur," i.e., as translated by Mr. Wilkins (Civil Archit. of Vitruvius, 21): "The stylobate ought not to be constructed upon the horizontal level, but should rise gradually from the ends towards the centre, so as to have there a slight addition. If the line of the stylobate were perfectly horizontal, it would appear like the bed of a channel." Vitruvius adds (c. 51): "Capitulis perfectis, deinde in summis columnarum scapis non ad libellam sed ad aequalem modum collocatis, uti quae adjectio in stylobatis facta fuerit, in superioribus membris respondeat symmetria epistyliorum." This Mr. W. (p. 25) translates: "In placing the capitals upon the shafts of the columns, they are not to be arranged so that the abaci may
be in the same horizontal level, but must follow the direction of the upper members of the epistylium; which will deviate from the straight line drawn from the extreme points, in proportion to the addition given in the centre of the stylobate."
Accordingly, in the E. portico of the Propylaea, it is found that the entablature rises 119 in a length of 68.1 feet, i.e. 175 of a foot in 100. (Penr. 26.)
The entasis and inclination of the columns were also used as optical corrections (πρὸς τὰς τῆς ὄψεως ἀπάτας ἀλεξήματα), the former (from evreivew, to stretch a bow) being a swelling in the middle of a column, used to correct an optical delusion, which causes tall columns with straight sides to appear concave or attenuated' in the centre. With this view, the profile of the column was made in a delicate curve from the base to the neck; and Mr. Penrose (40) observes, "I have found the entasis in every case so nearly resembling one of the forms of the conic sections, viz. the hyperbola, that I cannot doubt that this was the curve used in the Athenian structures." It is quite perceptible and measurable in the columns of the Propylaea, but in the smaller structure of the Temple of Νίκη *Απτερος there is no entasis at all.
As for the inclination Mr. Penrose (35) observes: "The external columns of the Parthenon, Propylaea, Theseum, and Erechtheum, are found not to have their axes perpendicular, but to be inclined inwards at a uniform angle in each building; so that the axes of every pair of opposite columns, if produced far enough, would meet at a great height above the building." He adds: "The vertical faces of the architrave and frieze have an analogous inclination backwards, and generally we may remark that perpendicular faces are the exception, not the rule. In the Propylaea, the inclination of the columns is about the same as in the Parthenon, i. e. about 22 in the whole height, or 1 in 130. The antae, or pilasters, at the angles of the walls, lean forwards about 1 in 150, and the walls inwards at an angle of about 1 in 70. The architrave and frieze are inclined in the same way as the columns, but at a less angle of 1 in 140." "From these varieties of the positions of the different planes arise the delicate effects of light and shade, especially when light falls obliquely upon the fronts or flanks of the building." (Penr. 37.)
The last point for notice is the Polychromy of the Propylaea; for recent observations prove that it was highly ornamented, both in the inside and on the exterior, with colouring almost as varied and as bright as an ancient missal. (Penr. Plates xxiii-xxvi.) There is also reason to believe, that "a peculiar yellow tinge upon some parts of the columns" of the Parthenon is the result of a tint, or flat