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never been there, and what he says of that city is one of the most glaring falsehoods that ever traveller had the impudence to publish.
“Its ruins," says he, “are, as may be supposed, the most remarkable part of Athens. In fact, though the houses are very numerous in that city, and the climate delicious, there are scarcely any inhabitants. find an accommodation that you meet with no where else; whoever pleases may live here without paying any rent, the houses being given away for nothing. For the rest, if this celebrated city surpasses all those of antiquity in the number of monuments which it has consecrated to posterity ; it may likewise be asserted that the excellence of its climate has preserved them in better condition than those of any other place in the world, at least, of all such as I have seen. It would seem as if elsewhere people had taken delight in the work of destruction; and war has, in almost every country, occasioned ravages which, while they have ruined the inhabitants, have at the same time disfigured all the monuments of their better days. Athens alone, either accidentally, or from that respect which must necessarily be commanded by a city, once the seat of the sciences, and to which the whole world is under obligation-Athens, I say, was alone spared in the universal destruction. In every part of it you meet with marbles of astonishing beauty and magnitude ; they were profusely introduced ; and at every step you discover columns of granite and of jasper.'
Athens is very populous; houses are not given away there, neither are columns of granite and jasper to be met with at every step: in a word, seventeen years prior to 1704 the monuments of that celebrated city had been demolished by the Venetians. The most singular circumstance is, that we were already in possession of M. de Nointel's drawings and Spon's Travels when Paul Lucas printed this account, worthy of a place in the Arabian Nights. Pellegrin.
The Narrative of the Travels of the
A. D. 1718
A. D. 1728.
Sieur Pellegrin, in the kingdom of Morea, is dated 1718. The author seems to have been a man of little education, and still less science. His paltry pamphlet of one hundred and eighty-two pages is a collection of anecdotes of gallantry, songs, and wretched poetry. The Venetians had remained masters of the Morea from 1685; they lost it in 1715. Pellegrin has sketched the history of this last conquest of the Turks, which is the only interesting part of his work.
The Abbé Fourmont went to the Levant, by order of Louis XV. in quest of inscriptions and manuscripts. I shall have occasion to mention in the present work some of the discoveries made at Sparta by that learned antiquary. His travels have remained in manuscript, and only some fragments of them are known; their publication would be highly desirable, as we possess nothing complete respecting the monuments of the Peloponnese.
Pococke visited Athens on his return from Egypt. He has described the monuments of Attica with that accuracy which communicates a knowledge of the arts, but excites no enthusiasm for them.
Wood, Dawkins, and Bouverie, were just then making their literary tour in honour of kins, and BouHomer.
The first picturesque tour of Greece was that of Leroi. Chandler accuses the French artist of a violation of truth in some of his drawings; and I have myself remarked in them superfluous ornaments. Leroi's sections and plans have not the scrupulous fidelity of Stuart's ; but, taking it altogether, his work is a monument honourable to France. Leroi was at Lacedæmon, which he clearly distinguishes from Misitra, and where he recognized the theatre and the dromos.
I know not, if the Ruins of Athens by Robert Sayer be not an English translation of Leroi's book, with new engravings of the plates. I
A. D. 1739
A. D. 1740. Wood, Daw
A. D. 1758
A. D. 1759.
A. D. 1761 Stuart.
A. D. 1764.
must likewise acknowledge my ignorance of Pars' work, which Chandler mentions with commendation.
In 1761, Stuart enriched his country with
his celebrated work, intituled, Antiquities of Athens. It is a grand undertaking, particularly useful to artists, and executed with that accuracy of admeasurement, which is, at the present day, considered such a high recommendation : but the general effect of the prints is not good; the whole together is deficient in that truth which pervades the details.
Chandler's Travels, which speedily fol
lowed Stuart’s Antiquities, might enable us to dispense with all the others. In this work the doctor has displayed uncommon fidelity, a pleasing and yet profound erudition, sound criticism, and exquisite taste. I have only one fault to find with him, which is, that he frequently mentions Wheeler, but never introduces the name of Spon without a marked reluctance. Spon certainly deserves to be noticed when the partner of his labours is spoken of: Chandler, as a scholar and a traveller, ought to have forgotten that he was an English
In 1805, he published his last work on Athens, which I have not been able to procure.
Riedesel visited the Peleponnese and Attica
in 1773. He has filled his little work with many grand reflections on the manners, laws, and religion of the Greeks and Turks. The baron travelled in the Morea three years after the Russian expedition. A great number of monuments had perished at Sparta, at Argos, and at Megalopolis, in consequence of this invasion ; in the same manner as the antiquities of Athens owed their final destruction to the expedition of the Venetians.
The first volume of M. de Choiseul's
magnificent work appeared at the beginning of 1778. This performance I shall have frequent occasion to mention with deserved commendation. I shall merely remark in this place, that M. de Choiseul has not yet published the Monuments of Attica and of
A. D. 1773. Riedesei.
A. D. 1778.
A. D. 1780.
A. D. 1785. Lechevalier.
the Peloponnese. The author was at Athens in 1784 ; and it was the same year, I believe, that M. Chabert determined the latitude and longitude of the temple of Minerva.
The researches of Messrs. Foucherot and A. D. 1780. Fauvel began about 1780, and were prose- Fauvel. cuted in the succeeding years. The memoirs of the latter describe places and antiquities heretofore unknown. M. Fauvel was my host at Athens, and of his labours I shall speak in another place.
Our great Greek scholar, d'Ansse de Villoison, travelled over Greece nearly about this period, but we have not reaped the benefit of his studies.
M. Lechevalier paid a hasty visit to Athens in 1785.
The travels of M. Scrofani bear the stamp A. D. 1794. of the age, that is to say, they are philosophical, political, economical, &c. To the study of antiquity they contribute nothing ; but the author's observations on the soil, population, and commerce of the Morea are excellent and new.
At the time of M. Scrofani's travels, two Englishmen ascended the most elevated summit of the Taygetus.
In 1797, Messrs. Dixo and Nicolo Stephanopoli were sent to the republic of Maina by Dcomo Srep Nathe French government.
These travellers nopoli. highly extol that republic, which has been the subject of much discussion. For my part, I have the misfortune to consider the Mainottes as a horde of banditti, of Sclavonian extraction, and no more the descendants of the ancient Spartans than the Druses are the offspring of the Count de Dreux. I cannot therefore share the enthusiasm of those who behold in these pirates of Taygetus the virtuous heirs of Lacedæmonian liberty.
M. Poucqueville would certainly be the best guide for the Morea, if he had been Poucqueville. able to visit all the places that he has described. He was unfortunately a prisoner at Tripolizza.
A. D. 1803
About this time Lord Elgin, the English
ambassador at Constantinople, caused researches and ravages to be made in Greece, which I shall have occasion to praise and to deplore. Soon after him, his countrymen Swinton and Hawkins visited Athens, Sparta, and Olympia.
The Fragments designed to contribute to the
Knowledge of Modern Greece conclude the list of all these travels. They are indeed but fragments.
Let us now sum up, in a few words, the history of the monuments of Athens. The Parthenon, the temple of Victory, great part of the temple of the Olympian Jupiter, another monument denominated by Guillet the Lantern of Diogenes, were seen in all their beauty by Zygomalas, Cabasilas, and Deshayes.
De Monceaux, the Marquis de Nointel, Galland, Father Babin, Spon, and Wheeler, also admired the · Parthenon while yet entire ; but the Lantern of Diogenes had disappeared, and the temple of Victory had been blown up by the explosion of a powder-magazine ;* so that no part of it was left standing but the pediment.
Pococke, Leroi, Stuart, and Chandler, found the Parthenon half destroyed by the bombs of the Venetians, and the pediment of the temple of Victory demolished. Since that period the ruins have kept continually increasing. I shall relate in what manner they were augmented by Lord Elgin.
The learned world consoles itself with the drawings of M. de Nointel, and the picturesque tours of Leroi and Stuart. M. Fauvel has taken casts of two cariatides of the Pandroseum and some basso-relievos of the temple of Minerva. A metope of the same temple is in the hands of M. de Choiseul. Lord Elgin took away several others, which, perhaps, perished with the ship that foundered at. Cerigo. Messrs. Swinton and Hawkins possess a bronze trophy found at Olympia. The mutilated statue of Ceres Eleusina is also in England.
This accident happened in 1656.