Sivut kuvina
[ocr errors]


data, except the position of the altar, behind which he places the statue of the goddess. It would have been well if Mr. Wood had described more fully the foundations which he discovered in the part of the cella where he places this altar, and which he states (p. 271) to have been large enough both for the altar and the statue of the goddess.* Many fragments of the marble tiles with which the roof was covered were found lying on the pavement. Mr. Wood conjectures that the flat tiles were about 4 feet wide; the curved tiles, imbrices, which covered the joints were 10 inches wide.

After the earth had been entirely cleared away from the site of the temple, and a plan made of it, Mr. Wood took to pieces the Byzantine piers within the cella already referred to, and found in the rubble masonry about 100 small fragments of archaic frieze, on some of which red and blue colour still remained. He also found remains of two marble pavements, the lowest of which was nearly 7 ft. 6 in. below the pavement of the peristyle (p. 262), and the intermediate pavement about half way between the two.t It is evident that these three pavements belong to three different temples. The lowest must be the pavement of the temple which Chersiphron was building in the time of Crasus, with which it was identified by the discovery below it of a layer of charcoal 3 in. thick placed between two strata 4 in. thick of a substance of the consistency of putty, which was found on analysis to be a kind of mortar (p. 259). This is evidently the layer of charcoal which was laid in fleeces of wool under the foundation of Chersiphron's temple by the advice of Theodoros of Samos. If the pavement under which this layer was found is that of Chersiphron's temple, it follows that the pavement next above it was that of a subsequent temple, which can be no other than that burnt by Herostratus, and thus we have a confirmation of Strabo's words, . The first architect of the Temple of Artemis *was Chersiphron, then another enlarged it.' It seems probable that by another Strabo referred to Demetrius and Pæonius.

At a very low level in the excavations were found a number of remains of sculpture, which from their archaic character and their resemblance to the statues from the Sacred Way at Branchidæ, and those recently found by MM. Rayet and


See p. 258, where he states that the great altar was nearly 20 ft. square.

† See the plates which give the longitudinal and transverse sections of the temple.

Thomas at Miletus, evidently belong to the first of the three temples, that built by Chersiphron. Among these sculptures are a female head, on which are still traces of colour, fragments of two other female heads, and portions of the bodies of several draped female figures under life size. All these sculptures are in high relief, and attached to a curved background, with a moulding at the foot, from the curve of which was obtained a circle 6 ft. 8 in. in diameter. It seems more than probable, therefore, that these fragments have been broken from the columnæ cælate belonging to the first temple, and that we may possess in them a relic of the very columns which Crosus dedicated. Among the fragments of inscribed torus are several which, from the archaic character of the writing, must belong to the same early period.* Mr. Wood also found a number of lions' heads from a cornice which probably belong to Chersiphron's temple. They are several inches smaller than the lions' heads of the latest temple, which measure nearly two feet across the forehead (p. 272).

Such are the scanty and mutilated remains of that once famous temple of the great Ephesian goddess. And here perhaps the question will occur to the reader, why should this temple more than any other have ranked among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world ? Not certainly from its great size, for the Temple of Apollo at Branchidæ, and several other temples, we know to have been larger. We can scarcely yet judge of the merits of the Artemision as an architectural design, because we cannot be sure that Mr. Wood's restoration presents it in its true proportions, but we know that the ornaments exhibit the same rich combination of force of general effect with exquisite delicacy of finish which is the characteristic of the Mausoleum and the contemporary temple of Athene Polias at Priene. Anyone who will take the trouble to compare the enriched cornice of the Mausoleum, the Priene Temple, and the Artemision, as they are exhibited in juxtaposition at the British Museum, will see that the lions' heads and the floral ornaments of the cymatium in all three examples must have issued from the same school of architecture. With regard to the sculptured decorations of the Ephesian temple our knowledge is at present confined to the fragments of sculptured columns and the reliefs which Mr. Wood applies as a frieze, and our power of appreciating these remains is greatly impaired by the mutilated condition which makes it almost impossible for us to ascertain their subjects or to understand the

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

particular action represented in each group. The most perfect of all these sculptures is the base drum, which forms the frontispiece to Mr. Wood's work. On one side of this drum, six figures, one of whom is certainly Hermes, are represented with a skilful contrast of drapery and nude forms, of seated and standing positions, and consummate ingenuity is shown in obtaining the requisite variety of planes without disturbing the general outline of the shaft by undue projection. The sculpture, in short, is quite worthy of the age of Scopas, to whom Pliny attributes one of these cælatæ columna. But whether these sculptured shafts of the Artemision, which we find nowhere else in Greek architecture, were an improvement on the more chaste and severe forms to which our eye is accustomed in the Ionic order, or whether this peculiar mode of embellishment was not rather an Asiatic tradition, derived perhaps originally from Lydia, than the genuine offspring of Greek art, may be at present fairly considered an open question.

Mr. Wood places three tiers of these sculptured drums one over another in one of his fronts, while in the other façade the base drum only is sculptured, and he invites his readers to choose which they like best. We confess that sculptured drums piled on one another as they are drawn in his restoration are repugnant to our idea of Greek architecture, and seem more suitable to Herod's Beautiful Gate of the Temple at Jerusalem than to an edifice which Vitruvius cites as the standard example of perfect Ionic architecture. It is to be presumed that the pediments of the Artemision contained compositions in the round on a very large scale, but hardly a vestige was found in situ which could be referred to such figures. But it was not merely on account of the beauty of its architecture that the temple of the Ephesian Diana ranked among the Seven Wonders of the world. Like other ancient temples whose worship had attained a certain celebrity during many centuries, the Artemision had in Roman times become a museum, so great was the number of precious works of art which had been dedicated in the temple itself and its surrounding Hieron. We have no such detailed description of these as Pausanias has given us of the treasures which he saw in the temples at Olympia, but we know that there were sculptures by Praxiteles and Scopas,

and pictures by Apelles and other celebrated painters of the Ephesian school.

The exceeding choiceness and variety of these works is attested by Vitruvius, and Pliny says that it would require volumes to describe all the wonders of the temple. With this VOL. CXLV. NO. CCXCVII.


vague and general impression we must rest content. The statue of the goddess herself was probably made of wood plated with gold, and many precious offerings may have been attached to such an idol as personal ornaments. There was in the temple a priestess of high rank, the Kosmeteira, whom we must suppose to have been a kind of Mistress of the Robes to Artemis; and, as we know from the Salutaris inscription, fines were devoted to the adornment of the goddess. From what we read of the great wealth of the temple and the magnificent luxury of the Ephesian people, we may be sure that gold was lavishly used in the ornaments not only of the goddess herself, but of the stately dwelling-place in which she was enshrined. We have a proof of this in the fragment of moulding described by Mr. Wood, p. 245, in which a narrow fillet of gold inserted between two astragali still remained. This discovery confirms the truth of Pliny's statement that at Cyzicus was a temple in which in every joint of the masonry there was a narrow thread (filum) of gold. That gilding was used in the decoration of the Erechtheum we know from an Attic inscription.

This external splendour, which suggested to the worshippers how great were the treasures within, ultimately drew down upon the Artemision the hand of the spoiler. About the year A-D. 262, when the Goths ravaged Asia Minor, they burnt and plundered the famous shrine which Artemis herself was said to have defended from the Cimmerians, which Creesus and Xerxes had spared, which Alexander had treated with special honour, and which all-conquering Rome had associated with the worship of her own emperors. With its destruction by the Goths the Artemision disappears from history. But what became of the enormous mass of marble which we know to have been employed in its structure, and which the Goths had no motive for destroying? After the roof was burnt successive earthquakes probably threw down the columns, and the ruins must have been piled up in enormous masses, as the ruins of the temple at Branchidæ are to this day. Then came a new set of spoilers quarrying out building materials for the great Byzantine edifices, of which the remains still exist at Ephesus. We know from Mr. Wood's discoveries that inscribed blocks from the walls of the cella were used in repairing the proscenium of the Great Theatre, and fragments of the temple may still be seen in the piers of the aqueduct, which was certainly built in the Byzantine times.

As soon as Christianity got a permanent ascendency at Ephesus, the destruction of the sculptures with the sledge


hammer and the limekiln would be carried on continuously as a labour of love; and as soon as the site was sufficiently cleared of ruins to admit of a church being built on it, this was done, by following, as we have shown, the lines of the cella walls. This church in its turn was destroyed by the barbarous invaders of Christian Ephesus. At length when the mighty mass of ruins of the temple had been reduced to the scanty remnants found by Mr. Wood, the Cayster and its tributaries, which once, sowing in well-embanked channels skirted the sacred precinct of Diana, covered up the wreck of the temple with a thick mantle of alluvial deposit. Here, as at Olympia, the ancient river god has done good service to archæology by concealing what the spoiler has spared till a fitting time for its resurrection.

And now we take our leave of Mr. Wood and his discoveries, commending his book, and above all his plan of Ephesus, to the study of all future travellers. If, transporting ourselves in thought to the jagged ridge of Peion, we look down on the ancient city with the key to its topography which we have now obtained, what a host of historical associations crowd upon our memories! In that harbour at our feet, now a reedy swamp, rode the victorious triremes of Lysander; in that agora hard by Agesilaus exposed the white effeminate bodies of his Persian captives to the scornful gaze of his hardy, much-enduring veterans. In that theatre, now so silent, once resounded the shouts of the tumultuous multitude who condemned St. Paul, and half a century later the acclamations of the popular assembly who rewarded the piety of Salutaris with the highest honours the city could bestow. And now let us pass out of the theatre and follow the solemn procession on its return from the assembly to the temple; and, passing through the Coressian Gate along the paved road, lined on each side with the tombs of Ephesian dignitaries, we approach that sacred precinct where the Amazons dwelt in the pre-historic age, where the army of Alexander, fresh from its first victory over the Persians, marched in battle-array past the Temple of the great goddess of Asia, and where from time immemorial fugitives sought shelter in the hospitable sanctuary of Artemis.

When we think how much history has gained by the exploration, partial and inadequate as it has been, of 'the ruins of Ephesus; when we review the marvellous discoveries which have recently taken place in Cyprus and the Troad, and which are actually now going on at Olympia and Mycenæ, we feel bound to ask the question, why, in a generation distinguished beyond all previous generations for historical research, for

« EdellinenJatka »