Essays and Addresses/Delos

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Delos  (1880) 
by Richard Claverhouse Jebb
Printed in the Hellenic Journal. From Essays and Addresses.

DELOS[1]

The island of Delos is rather less than four miles long from north to south, with a greatest breadth of about a mile and a half. In its midst the granite platform of Cynthus rises to a height of some 350 feet above the sea-level. From the summit of Cynthus, looking westward, there is a view of rare beauty and surpassing interest. The narrow plain which extends along the western shore of the island was once covered by the ancient town of Delos. Near its middle point, a little to our right, and not far from the principal harbour, stood the temple of Apollo, with a cluster of sacred buildings surrounding it, in the brightness of Parian marble. The larger island of Rheneia, separated from Delos by a channel with an average breadth of half a mile, lies parallel with it on the west, but projects beyond it on the north,—veiling it from those who approach in a straight course from Syra. The two islets in this strait between Delos and Rheneia are now called Rheumatiari (ῥευματιάρια), "the channel isles"; the largest and southernmost once bore the name of Hecate, being the place where the women of Delos made their offerings of cakes to that goddess.

Look over Rheneia to the west: around us, beyond broad spaces of clear blue sea, the inner circle of the Cyclades rise in that marvellous harmony of clear contour with subtle blending of colour which is distinctive of Aegean scenery. There is Syra (the "isle Syria" of the Odyssey) in front, to the west,—a long dark line, with the conical hill above its busy port, Hermupolis, strongly marked;—to the right of Syra, in the north-west background, a glimpse of Gyaros,—one of the two islands (Myconos being the other) to which the legend said that floating Delos was made fast; on our right, to the north, rugged Tenos springs bluffly from the waves, its shoulder blocking Andros out of sight in the far north-west. Turn to the east—there is Myconos, hospitable in this century to the Greek exiles of Psara, a huge granite rock with a town nestling on an arable slope,—some two miles and a half away: and then in the south-east, about twenty miles off, the great island of Naxos, once the foremost of the Cyclades, whose early school of art has left traces here in Delos; next to it, to the south-west, its lesser neighbour, Paros, the mine of marble,—once, in Roman days, protectress of this island; between Naxos and Paros, a gleam of Ios, where old Greece said that Homer lay buried; and, remote in the south-west distance, little Seriphos, and Siphnos, in all ages nursing mother of seamen; just beyond it—though unseen from here—is Melos. As we look out on this wide sea-view, the past lives again; the "Songs of Deliverance" (ῥύσια) are once more floating on the breeze as the ships bear the sacred envoys to Delos; but, of all ancient memories, there is one which rises more vividly than the rest. In that north-west opening between Syra and Tenos we can see the sacred ship from Athens moving into the waters of the Cyclades: yesterday the Athenian priest of Apollo crowned it in the Peiraeus; to-day an Athenian court has passed sentence of death on Socrates: the ship will come into the harbour at our feet, the envoys will approach the temple beneath us with chants of praise to the giver of light and health, they will stay here in the summer sunshine of the holy month, while Socrates is waiting in the prison at Athens for their return, and is speaking words of good hope for the soul in that voyage on which it must soon put forth over the untried sea.

The position of Delos is central in a threefold sense. First, it is indeed what Callimachus called it, the Hearth of the Cyclades[2] Secondly, it is nearly at the centre of the southern Aegean, equally accessible from Greece Proper and from Asiatic Hellas, from Rhodes and Crete on the south, from Chios and Lesbos on the north. Thirdly, if our survey embraces the most distant regions to which early Greece sent out its colonies, or to which Greek civilisation was carried by the conquests of Alexander, Delos is still approximately at the midpoint of this Greater Hellas. It is a holy spot on which offerings might well converge—as it is known that they did—from Syria and from Sicily, from Egypt and from Italy, from the Marseilles to which Phocaean settlers had brought the fire of Ionian gods, and from that far place by the Inhospitable Sea where, as tradition told, priests from Delos itself had established the rites of the Tauric Artemis on the bleak shores of the Crimea.

This Sacred Island of the old world has been attended by a singular destiny. Delos emerges into the light of history as the seat of a worship distinctively Hellenic, yet embodying relics of older faiths. The story of Delos ceases when that Hellenic worship perishes. The modern life of Arachova and Salona has crept up to the very doors of the silent adyton in the cliff at Delphi. The plain of Olympia can show the ruins of a Byzantine church in close neighbourhood to the temples of Zeus and Hera. But since the days when the Emperor Julian, going to fight and fall in the East, sought counsel from the failing accents of the god who still haunted Delos, this rock, the birthplace of Apollo, has been only his grave. The Sibylline verse said—

          ἔσται καὶ Σάμος ἄμμος, ἐσεῖται Δῆλος ἄδηλος—
          Samos also shall be sand; the Far-seen Isle shall be obscure[3]:

and, for Delos, it has come true enough. No famous place could be named which is at once so conspicuously and so exclusively identified with the Hellenic past.

The topography of ancient Delos is not known in detail from any extant work. When Strabo wrote (circ. 18 A.D.), Delos had already entered on the period of decadence: he merely mentions a few of the leading facts in its history. Pausanias (160 A.D.) seems never to have visited it: in his day it was deserted by all but the priests. His passing notices do little more than attest its decay. Probably the guides in Greece Proper (and we know how much he was in their hands) told him that there was little to see in the island. As it is, we have to form our idea of ancient Delos from scattered hints in Greek and Roman literature, from the Homeric hymn to the writings of the Christian Fathers. Our modern authorities date from the opening of the fifteenth century. Cyriac of Ancona, who travelled in the East between 1412 and 1447, collected several inscriptions in Delos, as in other islands of the Aegean, He appears to have seen there a large quantity of ancient marbles: at Myconos he saw Delian monuments which had been brought thither for sale. His contemporary, Bondelmonte, whose journeys belonged to the years 1414–1422, notices "an ancient temple in the plain," "a prostrate statue of vast size" (idolum quod in tanta magnitudine iacet—the Naxian colossus of Apollo), and "more than a thousand statues here and there." After the Turkish conquest of Constantinople (1453), even these slight remains were rapidly destroyed or exported. The lower parts of Delos are covered with lime-kilns, which were actively employed as lately as 1820. Marble statues or slabs, which could be easily broken, were the first victims of the kilns. Then other relics followed, until scarcely a whole stone remained, except what had been buried under layers of earth accumulated upon the ancient soil. The scanty salvage from this general wreck had passed into the hands of Western collectors before the end of the sixteenth century. Wealthy Venetians obtained probably the largest share of such prizes. A few waifs and strays found their way to England[4].

Spon's account of Delos (1676) indicates that he saw little more than is to be seen at the present day. He tells a story of a proveditore at Tenos, who, baffled in an attempt to remove the colossus of Apollo, had sawed off a piece of the face as a souvenir. The church of Tenos, it may be remarked, is built of old materials brought from Delos. The German traveller Ross (1835) states that the Turks were in the habit of resorting to Delos for marbles with which to make their turbaned tombstones. The first accurate map of Delos was that published In his Voyage du Levant (1727) by Tournefort. Stuart and Revett (1810) added measurements and details relative to some of the remains. Leake spent only a few hours at Delos (1806), and could do little more than verify the observations of predecessors. A thorough exploration of the Sacred Island may be said to have commenced with the labours of the scientific Commission sent to the Morea by the French Government (1829). One of its members, M. Blouet, accurately delineated that portion of Delos, between Mount Cynthus and the western shore, in which the principal temples were situated. Ulrichs (1863) supplied many details relating to the ancient harbours and to the arrangements of commerce. In 1873 M. J. Albert Lebégue, a member of the French School of Athens, was authorised by the Minister of Public Instruction to commence excavations on Mount Cynthus, where an ancient grotto had already engaged the attention of M. Burnouf. The results of M. Lebégue's researches—to which I shall return—were published in an able monograph (1876). In 1876 M. Th. Homolle, also a member of the French School, was commissioned by its Director, M. Dumont, to visit Delos, and in 1877 commenced excavations on the site of the temple of Apollo in the plain—that part of the island which M. Blouet had carefully described. It was in the summer of 1878—the second year of M. Homolle's researches—that I enjoyed the advantage of seeing the excavations, on Cynthus and on the plain, under his kind and instructive guidance. The task to be attempted in these pages is one which, so far as I am aware, has not yet been performed, but for which the materials already accumulated are sufficiently abundant[5]. I shall endeavour to give a brief but systematic account of the results attained by the labours of the French explorers in Delos up to the present time.

These results may be classified under the heads of topography, sculpture, and epigraphy. But, as might have been expected from the special conditions, it is in the province of epigraphy that the harvest has been largest. And the principal value of the inscriptions consists in the light thrown on details in the history and administration of the island. It follows, however, from the complex relations of Delos that these details are seldom of merely local import, and that in numerous instances they are significant for the general history of the Hellenic or Roman world.

I believe that the best way of presenting these epigraphic results will be to exhibit them in chronological sequence. I shall first, therefore, sketch the story of Delos from the dawn to the close of its ancient life, inserting in the proper place each new fact derived from the inscriptions.


The Homeric hymn to the Delian Apollo is the oldest document for the history of the island. The earliest historical fact is that Delos was the seat of a Pan-Ionic festival. But mythology has something to tell. Three leading facts may be gathered from the myths. First, that the Hellenic sanctity of Delos was derived from a pre-Hellenic antiquity; secondly, that various races and cults had left their traces in the island; thirdly, that these older elements were partly displaced, partly absorbed, by a cult which came to Delos from Asia Minor, and which, fostered by Ionians on both shores of the Aegean, grew to be the worship of the Delian Apollo.

The Iliad never mentions Delos: but in the Odyssey Odysseus compares Nausicaa, flower of maidens, to the young sapling of a palm-tree which he had seen in Delos, springing up beside the altar of Apollo[6] He had seen it, he says, when he visited Delos, and much people with him, on that journey which was to bring him sore troubles. This leads us directly to the most suggestive of the Delian legends—that which concerns Anios[7]. Anios figures as the son of Apollo, and as his prophet at Delos. He receives the host of Agamemnon on their way across the Aegean. After the fall of Troy, he gives a hospitable welcome to Aeneas. Anios has three daughters,—Oeno, Spermo, Elaïs. These, by grace of Dionysos, command the gifts of wine, corn, and oil. Collectively they are called οἰνοτρόποι,—apparently with special reference to the faculty of the eldest, since she could turn water into wine[8]. This legend of Anios seems to disclose a glimpse of Delos in that phase of society which the Homeric poems mirror. We see an island governed by a patriarchal priest-king. Peaceful amid wars, because sacred, it can receive Greek and Trojan alike; and it has a local cult of deities who preside over the fruits of the earth. The fact that the infant Anios reaches Euboea in a floating chest (as Perseus reaches Seriphos), and is thence carried by Apollo to Delos, has been thought by some to betray the influence of Phoenicia on the myth[9]. However that may be, there can be no doubt that Phoenicia was in contact with Delos from an early time; at first, through the occasional voyages of Phoenician traders,—then through the posts of Phoenician commerce in the Aegean. The quail (ὄρτυξ), from which Delos took the name of Ortygia, was sacred not only to the Hellenic Leto but also to the Tyrian Heracles,—a solar god, whose worship at Delos, it can scarcely be doubted, was older than that of Apollo. Asteria, another name given to Delos, appears to have been sometimes confused or identified with Astarte[10]: and the Syrian Aphrodite, who at a later period held a shrine in Delos, had probably been known there since the first days when the traders of Tyre had entered the waters of the archipelago. Crete, again, has prehistoric relations with the sacred island. It is from Crete that Theseus brings to Delos the ancient wooden statue of Aphrodite. Cretan traits belong to another goddess worshipped at Delos,—Eileithyia[11] The connection between Delos and Egypt, though perhaps later, was at any rate old. The oval basin[12] (τροχοειδὴς λίμνη) at Delos recalls that of Saïs: the Delian stream called the Inopus was believed to swell with the rising of the Nile[13]. Among the early visitors to Delos we must not omit the Carians. The fact that part of Caria was known as Phoenice corresponds with the somewhat indeterminate use of the term "Carian" which may be remarked in Greek writers. The Carians are "speakers of a barbarous tongue"; and yet the Hellenic Apollo deigns to employ their language. The fact seems to be that the tribe or tribes of Hellenic origin settled in this south-west corner of the Asiatic sea-board were deeply saturated with alien and especially Semitic influences: by the other Hellenes they were not always recognised as kinsmen: and sometimes the name of "Carian" was applied to people who were wholly non-Hellenic, especially to Phoenician settlers on that part of the coast. In early times the "Carians" appear as pirates, clad in bronze armour, who make raids on the Aegean islands. The graves found on Delos when the Athenians exhumed the dead in 426 B.C. were chiefly Carian; and it is to the Carians that M. Lebégue would ascribe the primitive temple which he has excavated on Cynthus[14].

The Hellenic period of Delos begins with the arrival of Apollo. Prophet, musician, archer, he comes with attributes lent by Lycia, Ephesus, and the Troad. The Greek legend of his birth is preserved in two hymns which represent, on the whole, an older and a later version,—the Homeric hymn to the Delian Apollo, and the hymn "To Delos" by the Alexandrian Callimachus (circ. 260 B.C.). Setting minor discrepancies aside, we may say that the salient points of difference between the two versions are these:—(i) In the Alexandrian hymn, Delos is a floating isle, which becomes fixed when Leto touches it. The Homeric hymn knows nothing of this; it merely describes Delos as fearing lest it should be sunk in the depths by the spurning foot of the new-born god. The legend of a floating isle is, however, at least as old in Greece as Pindar, and is implied in the apparently ancient belief that Delos could no longer be shaken by earthquake[15]. (2) In the Homeric hymn, Hera is resolved to prolong the pangs of Leto even after she has reached Delos, and it is only by a ruse that the aid of Eileithyia is obtained. In the Alexandrian hymn, Hera relents as soon as Leto touches the sacred isle: the whole spirit of this later poem is one of mature reconciliation between the claims of conflicting worships. (3) In the Homeric hymn, the solar character of Apollo is seen through a transparent disguise of imagery: this radiant god who is rising on the world is swathed in white and finely woven raiment; his girdle is of gold[16] In the Alexandrian hymn this origin has been obscured under the symbolism of a learned theology; if any one aspect of the god predominates, it is the prophetic. But the leading idea of both hymns is the same:—Delos shall be for ever precious to Apollo as the place of his birth.

The "birthplace" of a god is the place where his votaries, or their informants, have first known his worship. In the case of Apollo, this place was, for the Greeks of the Asiatic seaboard, Lycia; for the Greeks of the Aegean and of the western coast, Delos. Delos was the point at which this worship, brought from Asia, first became conspicuous and familiar to this group of votaries. Other groups had other traditions: for the Cretans, Apollo was born in Crete; for the Boeotians, in Boeotia; for the Arcadians, in Arcadia. But, with regard to these three latter traditions, it may be remarked that every one of them belongs to a population detached, in the historical age, from the main current of Greek beliefs and sympathies. The tradition which placed the birth of Apollo in Delos was the most widely received: indeed, its acceptance was well-nigh universal. This fact is probably connected with the political insignificance of the oracle at Delos from the beginning of the historical age. There was a good understanding between Delos and Delphi. Delos yielded the palm of prophecy to Delphi; the influence of Delphi was used to sustain the belief that Delos had a separate and unique claim to reverence as the birthplace of the god.

Artemis, like Apollo, came to Delos from Asia. The legends vary. Sometimes she appears as a native of another place. More often she is said to have been born at Delos, either as the twin-sister of Apollo or before him by one day: in the latter case she becomes the Eileithyia who delivers Leto. The brother and sister are essentially alike in this—they displace solar deities who held Delos before them, and who are either merged in them or subordinated to their worship. A solar character clearly belongs to the nymphs who come to Delos from the Hyperboreans, who figure as handmaidens of Artemis, and whose tombs are made within the precincts of her shrine,—Opis (Οὖπις), Loxo, Arge, Hecaerge, Hyperoche. Down to late times Delos received offerings of first-fruits (ἀπαρχαί), wrapped in plaited straw (καλάμυ)), which were forwarded from distant temples, and which were designed to symbolize the immemorial tribute of the Hyperboreans[17]. There is some reason (as will be seen below) to believe that Apollo was at first co-templar on Cynthus with a solar god whom he eventually dethroned or subjected; and it would not be rash to conjecture that this god was the Tyrian Heracles. Apollo further succeeded at Delos to the oracular functions of older deities. Some of these prophetic gods were marine,—Poseidon, Glaucus, the Nereids; others were forms of Gaia and Themis. A goddess called Brizo, who sends portents in dreams, continued to be an object of popular reverence in Delos after the official cult of Apollo had been established[18].

The dawn of the historical age is now at hand. Delos has become the seat of a distinctively Hellenic worship: at the same time, in dependence on that worship, it preserves religious associations fitted to attract the veneration of visitors from the non-Hellenic East. Henceforth the history of Delos may be cast into four periods. We may call them the Early-Ionian; the Athenian; the Macedonian; and the Roman.

I. The Early-Ionian Period: to 478 B.C.

The golden age of the Ionian race falls between the conquest of the Peloponnesus by the Dorians and the subjugation of the Asiatic Greeks by the kings of Lydia. In the absence of data for a precise chronology, we may assign the best days of Ionian predominance in the Aegean to the interval between 900 and 700 B.C. All the members of the Ionian family—in Greece Proper, in the islands, in the Asiatic settlements—were closely united by the sentiment of a common ancestry and a common worship, which formed a circle within the circle of Hellenic kinship. Apollo Patroüs was the god of all who sprang from the loins of Ion: the true "sons of Javan" felt a peculiar pride in that Ionian name which, for Eastern nations, had become the universal appellative of the Hellenes. Athens was not as yet pre-eminent: Megara on one side of it, Chalcis and Eretria on the other, were at least its equals; and it may be noted that the Homeric hymn bears a slight but sure mark of its own age in the passage which speaks of "Euboea famed for ships[19]."

Delos was the centre of a great Pan-Ionic gathering (πανήγυρις), to which Ionians resorted from all the islands and the coasts. It was held in the month Thargelion, on the seventh day of which (about May 20) the birth of Apollo was celebrated and, like the later Ephesia, it was probably annual,—as the sacred embassies (θεωρίαι) and sacrifices certainly were from a very early time. The Homeric rhapsode of Chios has described it: "Many temples are thine, and wooded groves; all heights are dear to thee, and jutting capes of lofty hills, and rivers that flow to the sea; but it is in Delos that thy heart takes most joy. There, in thy honour, Phoebus, the long-robed Ionians assemble, with their children and their gracious dames: so often as they hold thy festival, they celebrate thee, for thy joy, with boxing, and dancing, and song. A man would say that they were strangers to death and old age evermore, who should come on the Ionians thus gathered: for he would see the goodliness of all the people, and would rejoice in his soul, beholding the men and the fairly-cinctured women, and their swift ships and their great wealth; and besides, that wonder of which the fame shall not perish, the maidens of Delos, handmaidens of Apollo the Far-darter. First they hymn Apollo, then Leto and Artemis delighting in arrows; and then they sing the praise of heroes of yore and of women, and throw their spell over the tribes of men[20].' The Delian panegyris combined the characters of a festival and a fair: like the temple at Miletus, like the Artemision of Ephesus and the Heraeon of Samos, the Delian shrine was a focus of maritime trade. The Pan-Ionic festival at Delos had much of the celebrity to which the Olympian festival succeeded, and in two points it indicates a higher phase of society. Women participate in it; and it includes a competition in poetry (μουσικὸς ἀγών), whereas the literary displays at Olympia were not among the regular contests[21].

The decline of the Delian festival must have begun with the gradual estrangement of the Asiatic Ionians from their brethren in the west. A softer luxury crept into the Ionian life of Asia, preparing the decline of Ionian spirit and freedom. Under the Mermnad dynasty of Lydia the process of reducing Ionia occupied some hundred and fifty years (circ. 700–550 B.C.). About the time of the Persian conquest (circ. 546 B.C.) we find the Asiatic Ionians of the twelve allied cities meeting at the Panionion on Mycale. For them, this gathering had probably superseded the Delian festival from a far earlier date[22]. In the age of Thucydides the Panionia had in turn yielded place to the Ephesia. But if Delos was no longer the Pan-Ionic centre, it could still look to the Ionians of the west, of whom the Athenians were now the foremost. At a later time Athens is found claiming Erysichthon, a legendary Athenian king, as the builder of the first temple at Delos[23]. This pretension doubtless arose at the time when the representation of the Ionian race at Delos had been left mainly to the Athenians. Peisistratus, when despot of Athens (560–527 B.C.), purified Delos, "in accordance with the oracles" (ἐκ τῶν λογίων), by removing to another part of the island all the graves which could be seen from the temple[24]. A more signal act of homage is ascribed to Polycrates (circ. 550–522 B.C.), tyrant of Samos, whose naval power had given to him the empire of the Aegean islands. Having taken Rheneia, he consecrated it to the Delian Apollo, and attached it by a chain to Delos[25]. It was probably his object to secure a religious sanction for a naval Ionian league under Samos, which would derive both lustre and strength from a revival of the Pan-Ionic festival in the sacred island. Meanwhile Delos had been receiving the first tributes of a nascent art: the infancy of Greek sculpture—as we shall presently see—has its memorials in the birthplace of Apollo.

Nor was it by Greeks alone that Delos was revered. At the approach of the Persians in 490 B.C. the Delians fled to Tenos. But, as the fleet drew near, Datis, the Persian general, sailed ahead, and directed his ships to anchor, not at Delos, but off Rheneia. He then sent a herald to Tenos, with this message:—"Holy men (ἄνδρες ἱροί), why have ye fled away, and judged me so harshly? It hath been enjoined on me by the king,—yea, and I myself have wit enough,—not to harm the place in which the Two Gods were born,—no, nor the dwellers therein. Now therefore return to your own, and inhabit your island[26].' He then offered 300 talents-weight of frankincense on the altar of Apollo. Just before this, his army had burned the Greek temples of Naxos. The host of Xerxes ten years later destroyed the temple of Apollo at Abae, and attacked Delphi. The special reason assigned by Datis for sparing Delos—that it had borne "the two gods"—appears rather Persian than Phoenician. So comprehensive were the claims to sanctity which interwoven traditions had concentrated on Delos. Outside of the Hellenic circle, the prestige of the Sacred Island could appeal to Aryan worshippers of Mithra and Homa no less than to Semitic votaries of Melcarth or Astarte.

Thus far the religious character of Delos has been joined to political independence; in the age which now opens we shall find them severed.


II. The Athenian Period: 478–322 B.C.

When, after the Persian Wars, the allies transferred the leadership from Sparta to Athens, the new Confederation took the solemn form of an amphictyony: that is, the federal obligations laid on the members were placed under a religious sanction, symbolized by common worship at a central shrine. For an Aegean amphictyony, this central shrine could be nowhere but at Delos, which therefore became the treasury (ταμιεῖον)[27] of the League,—the meetings of the deputies being held in the temple of the Delian Apollo. The Hellenotamiae (who were exclusively Athenians) were concerned solely with the Federal fund. But the temples of Delos were placed under the protection of the League. This afforded an easy pretext for meddling with their administration. The transference of the Federal treasury from Delos to Athens had taken place before 454 B.C. But Athens continued to interfere in the local management of Delian affairs. An inscription found at Athens, and referring to the years 434–433 B.C.[28], warrants the inference that the sacred revenues of the Delian Apollo were at that date controlled by Athenian officials; who, though now representing imperial Athens alone, presently appear under the plausible title of amphictyones, "Federal Commissioners." With a decent respect for the forms of independence, Athens still, indeed, permits the name of a Delian archon to appear in company with that of the Athenian eponymus.

It was in the winter of 426 B.C. that the Athenian Demos, imitating the example of the Athenian despot, undertook the purification of Delos. Peisistratus had obeyed a sacred text; and they too, says Thucydides, acted "on some oracle or other" (κατὰ χρησμὸν δή τινα). All the coffins (θῆκαι) in the Sacred Island were taken up:—more than half of them, we are told, contained bodies which could be recognised, by the fashion of the armour and by the mode of burial, as Carian. These remains were removed. It was ordered that henceforth all dying persons, and all parturient women, should be transported from Delos to Rheneia. At the same time a new festival was instituted. Year by year the sacred embassies, bringing choruses and offerings, had continued to visit Delos. But since the cessation of the Pan-Ionic gatherings, the brilliant contests had in great measure ceased. The Athenians now founded a celebration to be held in the third year of every Olympiad. The list of the ancient contests was enlarged by the addition of chariot-races[29]. Religion and policy alike counselled such a measure. Athens had lately been delivered from the plague. The Athenians and their allies were still excluded from Olympia. But the regulation of births and deaths had an ulterior aim which it is not difficult to perceive. When the Delians, in Plutarch's story, complain to the Spartan king, he drily rejoins that, under this double restriction, Delos has well-nigh ceased to be their own country[30]. The best comment on this apocryphal sarcasm is the next step actually taken by Athens. In 422 B.C. the Delians were expelled from their island; but the Apollo of Delphi pleaded for his birthplace, and in 421 the survivors were permitted to return.

Soon after this date may be placed a memorable and picturesque incident in the history of the island—the sacred embassy from Athens which was led by Nicias. The new Delian festival fell in the third year of each Olympiad: this embassy probably belonged to the first celebration after the peace of 421 B.C.,—that, namely, of Ol. 90. 3, or 418 B.C. Hitherto, it appears, an unseemly disorder had attended the arrival of sacred missions at the island. On the approach of vessels from the various cities, bringing the choruses who were to chant Apollo's praise, a crowd had thronged down to welcome them at the harbour of Delos. The persons (Δηλιασταί) who were to form the sacred procession had been compelled to disembark hurriedly, in the very act of donning their festal garb and adjusting the wreaths upon their heads. An idle population—those "parasites of Greece" whom Delos nourished—had been accustomed to press around them as soon as they touched the shore, to impede their movements, and to derange the spectacle of their progress to the shrine. Nicias was resolved to prevent this indecorum. Instead of proceeding directly to Delos, he landed, with his chorus, with the animals destined for sacrifice, and with all his sacred gear, on the adjacent isle of Rheneia. A wooden bridge had been prepared at Athens, and brought in pieces on a ship. During the night this bridge was erected, not, as Plutarch implies, between Rheneia and Delos, which would make it at least half a mile long, but obviously between the landing-place of Delos and the more northerly of the two small islands in the channel, just opposite the landing-place, where the distance to be spanned is about 150 yards. Next morning the expectant populace beheld an unwonted sight. Across the bridge, splendid in gold and colours, festooned with wreaths and spread with carpets, a magnificent procession, raising the chant of the festival, slowly passed into the Sacred Isle, and moved in stately order to the temple of Apollo. When the sacrifices and the games had been celebrated, and the feasting was over, Nicias dedicated to Apollo the offering of a palm-tree in bronze. He also purchased and presented to the Delians a site to be used for sacrificial banquets; placing on it a column with an inscription which prayed the feasters to ask many blessings for Nicias from the gods. Five years later he was to die miserably in Sicily—after that terrible retreat, at the outset of which he makes his confident appeal to the tenor of "a life religious before the gods, just and without offence among men[31]." Subsequently the bronze palm-tree was blown down by a storm, overturning in its fall a colossus of Apollo, which had been dedicated at an earlier time by the Naxians. Perhaps the superstition of those days may have whispered that the Erinyes of the unhappy Athenian were wroth with the god whom he had adored in vain[32].

It has hitherto been supposed that, at the end of the Peloponnesian War, Sparta left to Athens the control of Delos. This belief rested, partly on the Plutarchic anecdote of the Delians failing to obtain relief from Sparta, partly on the silence of ancient writers, and on the general probability of a concession at once cheap and politic. These grounds are inconclusive. And a fragmentary inscription lately found at Delos by M. Homolle makes it highly probable that the case was otherwise[33]. The words are ...καὶ θεῶν καὶ ναῶν καὶ τῶν χρημάτων τῶν τοῦ θεοῦ. Ἐβασίλεθον· Ἇγις Παθσανίας. Ἔφοροι ἦσαν· Θυιωνίδας Ἀριστογενίδας Ἀρχίστας Σολόγας Φεδίλας. Ἐν Δήλῳ [δ' ἦρχεν?]... The mention of Delos indicates that this document concerned the island. Agis I. and Pausanias II. were the only two Spartan kings of those names who reigned together: the date must therefore be either 427–426 B.C. or 401–398 B.C.; since Pleistoanax, the father of Pausanias, was recalled in 426 and reigned till 408. Now, if the date was 427–426 B.C., one of the five ephors named by the inscription ought to occur in that list of eponymous ephors from 431 to 404 B.C. which is read in Xenophon[34] But it is not so. Probably, then, the date lies between 408 and 398 B.C. The genitives at the beginning seem to depend on some lost verb with the notion of ἐπιμελεῖσθαι. We know from Diodorus[35] that Athens had occasion to complain of intrigues between Delos and the Peloponnesus. The story of the Delians applying to Pausanias points in the same direction.

It seems, then, a not unwarrantable hypothesis that, in this inscription, we have the fragment of a convention between Sparta and Delos with regard to the administration of the Delian temples and their treasures; and that this convention was made after the defeat of Athens in 404 B.C. If the hypothesis is correct, and if the Delians recovered for a time any measure of their old autonomy, this independence was not of long duration. Inscriptions found at Athens, and referring to Ol. 100. 4, Ol. 101. 1, 2, 3—i.e. to 377–374 B.C.—show that the sacred revenues of Delos were at that date administered by the Athenian officials called amphictyones[36]. We have the table of their receipts and expenses. They receive interest on money lent by the temple of the Delian Apollo, and rents of houses or lands appertaining to it. Their expenses are connected with the sacred mission, the sacrifices, and the games. More curious than these details is an item which figures among their receipts. Fines, equivalent to about £30 a head, had been levied on certain Delians guilty of assaulting the Athenian officials in the island,—dragging them from the temple of Apollo,—and beating them. Delos still possessed the shadowy privilege of nominating archons; and the Delian archons contemporary with this outrage bear in three instances the same names as the culprits. If the Delian archons were not chosen by lot, prominence in an insult to the tyrants from over the water would doubtless have commended a candidate to the constituency with a force which we can easily understand.

The existence of a home-rule party in the Sacred Island is indeed attested by a less obscure incident which occurred some years later. Delians who resented the usurpation of Athens might well think that their grievances could never have a better chance of being redressed than at the moment when Philip of Macedon had succeeded to the place of Phocis in the Council of the Delphic Amphictyony (346 B.C.). A court which at all times was peculiarly bound to chastise sacrilege now had for its virtual president a judge not too partial to Athens. In 345 B.C. the case (διαδικασία) came before the Amphictyonic Council. Euthycrates, the betrayer of Olynthus, was the advocate of the Delians. The Athenian cause had been entrusted by the Ecclesia to Aeschines, whose former relations with the Amphictyonic Council, and whose favour with Philip, must have designated him for the office. A belief grew, however, that Philip was playing into the hands of the Delians. It was resolved—probably on the motion of Demosthenes—that the final choice of an orator should be referred to the Areopagus. That body selected Hypereides. His speech before the Amphictyonic Council,—famous in antiquity as "the Delian oration,"—traced the history of the island temple to an Athenian origin, while it did not fail to remind the judges of those immemorial ties which linked Athens with Delphi. His ingenious eloquence prevailed: the Amphictyonic tribunal confirmed Athens in the administration of the Delian sanctuary[37]. After this repulse, it might have seemed that Delos was fated to remain in permanent dependence; but the time was at hand when the island was to enter on a new life of freedom and of brilliant prosperity.


III. The Macedonian Period: 322–166 B.C.

An Athenian inscription, presumed to be an inventory of objects preserved at Delos, mentions a gift bearing the date of the archon Polemon, i.e. 312 B.C.[38] It has been inferred that the Athenian domination in Delos still existed then[39] But this inference presumes that the Athenians would no longer have registered and dated their own offerings in the Delian temple when they had ceased to administer it. At any rate, the Delians became independent not much later,—if, indeed, the submission of Athens to Antipater after the battle of Crannon (322 B.C.) had not already emancipated them. The constitution of free Delos was like that of other Greek cities: it had a popular assembly and a senate. We find the guild of "Dionysiac artists" (τεχνῖται Διονυσιακοί) applying to the senate and people for permission to erect a statue, and these bodies appointing a committee (πρυτάνεις) to assign a site[40]. Hitherto epigraphy has given us only rare flashes of light: but from 300 to 100 B.C. the inscriptions are numerous: and from about 250 B.C. to 166 B.C. they are most abundant of all. They are chiefly of three classes: (1) decrees of the Delian Senate and People, awarding distinctions to benefactors of the island; (2) dedications, in honour of gods or men; (3) inventories of objects preserved in the temples.

The decrees are the most numerous. Their formula is nearly constant. A preamble sets forth that such or such a person "perseveres in benefits" (διατελεῖ ἀγαθὸς ὢν) to "the temple and the people" (τὸ ἱερὸν καὶ τὸν δῆμον) "of the Delians": that therefore it has seemed good to the Senate and the People to confer upon him such or such privileges. These are, in most cases, (i) the right of acquiring land and house-property in the island,—γῆς καὶ οἰκίας ἔγκτησις: (ii) exemption from taxes,—ἀτέλεια: (iii) precedence in the law-courts,—δίκαι πρόδικοι: (iv) the right of bringing private business before the Senate or People immediately after the affairs of religion,—πρόσοδος πρὸς τὴν βουλὴν καὶ τὸν δῆμον πρώτοις μετὰ τὰ ἱερά. A rarer distinction is a place of honour at festivals—προεδρία. Rarer still is the distinction of being publicly eulogized and crowned at the Apollonia (a festival distinct from the Delia, as another inscription shows[41])—when the sacred herald (ἱεροκῆρυξ) proclaimed the name of the person thus honoured. The decree usually adds that the recipient is to possess πάντα ὅσα δέδοται τοῖς προξένοις καὶ εὐεργέταις, all the privileges assigned to the public friends and benefactors of Delos[42].

Among the persons thus distinguished we find Pnytagoras[43], king of Salamis in Cyprus, and Philocles, king of Sidon, who had established a claim on the regard of the Delians by helping them to recover their debts from the islands[44]. A wreath is voted to a poet of Andros named Demoteles, because "he has made the Temple his theme, and has commemorated the legends of the place[45]." A physician named Archippus[46], of Ceos, receives the honours of hereditary proxenia because he has served Delos "by his medical science, as in other ways." Antiochus III. (the Great) of Syria, and his son Antiochus Epiphanes, are among those to whom statues were raised at Delos during this period, and who are commemorated in extant dedications; also a certain Sostratus, who may possibly be the builder of the Alexandrian Pharos in the reign of the first Ptolemy; and Heliodorus, the false treasurer of Seleucus Philopator, whose miraculous punishment for attempted sacrilege at Jerusalem is mentioned in the Second Book of Maccabees[47]. Two different inscriptions, on the bases of statues erected by private persons (one, a Rhodian), commemorate Masinissa, king of Numidia, the ally of Rome against Carthage. They style him Βασιλέα Μασαννάσαν, Βασιλέως Γαία[48]. The MSS. of Livy give his father's name as Gala. Another dedication honours Chysermus (of Alexandria), who lived in the reign of Ptolemy III. (Euergetes), 247–222 B.C. He is styled "kinsman of the king," "doctor of sacred law," "president of the physicians," "director of the Museum[49]." This is the man named by Plutarch as father of that Ptolemaeus who was involved at Alexandria in the tragic end of Cleomenes III.

From 300 to 200 B.C. every shore of the Mediterranean was constantly sending tributes to Delos. If the spirit of the old Greek worship was sinking, the area of Hellenic civilization had been greatly enlarged. The rulers of the new kingdoms into which Alexander's empire had been divided were proud of Hellenic lineage, or anxious to claim it. For them, it was a point of honour or of policy to heap gifts on the Aegean birthplace of Apollo. The Ptolemies, the Seleucidae, the kings of Macedon from Demetrius to Perseus, are among the benefactors of the temple. Choruses of maidens (Δηλιάδες) for the festivals of Apollo are provided at the charges of Alexandria, Megalopolis, Cos, and Rhodes. Gifts are sent by the Cyclades, Crete, Sicily, Rome. The mention of "a bowl presented by the people of the Tauric Chersonese" (φιάλη Χεπσονησιτῶν τῶν ἐκ τοῦ Πόντου) proves the continued intercourse between Delos and the remotest of her daughters[50]. It was at this period—between 300 and 200 B.C.—that Delos began to merit in the fullest degree that title which Pausanias gives to it, as "the common mart of the Greeks," τὸ κοινὸν Ἑλλήνων ἐμπόριον[51]. Its importance in this respect is indicated by the fact that the Tyrian traders of Delos formed a separate guild, which recorded decrees[52]. Both as a sanctuary and as a resort of merchants or sightseers, Delos offered peculiar advantages for the display of public documents. Thus a treaty between the Boeotians and Perseus of Macedon (172 B.C.) was exhibited on graven columns placed at Thebes, Delphi, and Delos[53]. When Perseus wished to give all possible publicity to an amnesty recalling exiles to Macedonia, Delos, Delphi, and the Itonian temple in Phthiotis were the three places at which he announced it[54]. A convention between towns of Lesbos, a convention between towns of Crete, decrees by the authorities of Tenos, Syros, Ceos, Teos, are registered at Delos[55]. The people of Cyzicus on the Propontis had obtained an oracle from Delphi, declaring their city to be sacred. They send an embassy to request that this response may be published in the temple of the Delian Apollo[56].

It is due to this quality of Delos as the common depository of archives that recent researches have been able to throw some fresh light on an interesting institution. For more than a century after Alexander the history of the Aegean islands is obscure. But three inscriptions published by Böckh had already taught us that there existed at this period a Confederation of the Islands, τὸ κοινὸν τῶν νησιωτῶν. One of these inscriptions was a decree in favour of a Syracusan named Timon; two others were dedications, in honour respectively of Ptolemy Philadelphus and of a Rhodian named Agathostratus[57]. M. Homolle has discovered at Delos five more inscriptions which record acts of this Island League. Two are dedications on statues erected by the Confederation,—one in honour of "the navarch Callicrates of Samos"—possibly the very navarch of that name mentioned in the epigrams of Poseidippus—the other, to Apollo. Three are decrees. In one, it is ordered by the "Council (σύνεδροι) of the Islanders" that a certain Thrasyllus shall be crowned "at the first contest of the Ptolemaea, when the tragic poets compete." Two others requite the services of Egyptian officials[58]. This Island League may probably be referred to the period from 300 to 180 B.C. The mention of a festival called Ptolemaea,—the fact that two of the persons honoured are described as "ministers of king Ptolemy" (τεταγμένος ὑπὸ τὸν βασιλέα Πτολεμαῖον),—sufficiently indicate that the Confederation was protected by the dynasty of the Lagidae. The Second Ptolemy (Philadelphus, 285–247 B.C.) had sufficient naval power for that purpose. The last mention of the League is in an inscription found at Tenos,—one of those already published by Böckh,—which must be earlier than 166 B.C. Tenos was one, at least, of the meeting-places[59]. There is no proof that the League, or its Council (σύνεδροι), exercised any functions beyond the regulation of festivals and of honorary rewards. It was probably in political dependence on Egypt. When the Delians desired to collect the moneys which they had lent to the Island Confederation, it is significant that their appeal was made to Philocles, king of Sidon.

While Delos was subject to Athens, the temples were administered by the Athenian "amphictyones." In free Delos these duties were entrusted to Delian officials called hieropoioi (ἱεροποιοί), "ministers of public worship." Like the "amphictyones," these guardians held office for one year only, at the end of which they rendered a minute account of their stewardship. The inventories or accounts relating to the temples form the most numerous class of Delian inscriptions. They give us a curious insight into the sacred administration at the period when the Delian sanctuary was most prosperous. The outgoing "hieropoioi" handed over the charge to their successors in presence of the Delian Senate. On doing so, they presented an inventory in two parts. The first part enumerates all the objects which they had received from their predecessors,—beginning with the temple of Apollo, and going on to the other Delian temples, of which (like the Athenian ταμίαι τῆς θεοῦ) they had the general charge. The formula is—τάδε παρελάβομεν ἐν τῷ ναῷ τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος, κ.τ.λ. The second part enumerates the objects acquired during their year of office. Articles of gold, silver, bronze, iron, marble, wood, glass, ivory, tortoise-shell, are successively recorded. Some of these are kept in coffers (κιβώτια); others, on stands of which the shelves or drawers (ῥυμοί) are numbered and catalogued; in other instances the place is indicated by a phrase: "on the right," or "left," "as you enter"; "near the corner of the picture"; "near the sun-dial"; "hanging against the wall." The objects themselves are of every kind: bowls (φιάλαι—of which Apollo's temple alone had some thousands); vases and chests or coffers of every class; lamps; censers; small altars or braziers; pictures (πίνακες); portraits (πίνακεσ εἰκονικοί); mosaics (πίνακες ἐμβλητοὺς γραφὰς ἔχοντες); statues of gods (ἀγάλματα) or men (ἀνδιάντες); jewellery; engraved gems. When there is an inscription on the gift, it is often quoted; in the case of the precious metals, the weight is given. The minuteness of description is often remarkable: "a little cow [dedicated to Isis in the Serapeion?] without its left horn"; "a kettle which has lost its bottom and its handles"; "a golden laurel-crown with twisted leaves"; "a golden wreath with [so many] leaves, counting those that have dropped off";—for the smallest fragments, the very morsels of gold dust (θραύματα, κλάσματα, ψήγματα) were recorded. Ex-voto offerings are frequently named—beaks of ships, rudders, a herald's staff, shields, spears, greaves, bows. A fragment of one such ex-voto has been found, part of a leaden quiver, with the legend, ταῦτα γὰρ πεινῆν ἔσωσεν ἡμᾶς—"these [arrows] saved us from starving":—one thinks of Philoctetes at Lemnos. Sacred envoys (θεωροί) used to wear a sort of plaited head-dress called στλεγγίς, and among the ex-votos are mentioned στλεγγίδια θεωρικά. One article is named which the modern world would gladly purchase at the cost of much else which the Delian temple contained—θήκην τρίγωνον ἔχουσαν βιβλία Ἀλκαίου, a three-cornered case containing works of Alcaeus[60].

But the wealth of the Delian god did not consist merely in the contents of his temple. He was also a land-owner and a money-lender. Rheneia, the greater part of Delos, and (in the second century B.C.) part of Myconos, were included in his domain. His revenues comprised rents of arable land (ἐνηρόσια), of pastures (ἐννόμια), and of houses (ἐνοίκια). The house-property is multifarious,—workshops, cellars, dwelling-houses, lodging-houses (συνοικίαι), an apothecary's shop, a bath. Apollo further levied taxes on the purple-fishery, on anchorage, and on the disembarcation of merchandise[61]. One item figures as στροφεῖα. I take this to mean charges for the use of windlasses employed in warping ships up to the jetty, or in landing their freight[62]. The Delian temple, like other rich temples, put out the balance of its revenues at usury. The town of Delos, the island communities, and also private persons, appear as debtors in the temple-register of loans. The capital sums (δάνεια) were usually lent for terms of five years, at the annual interest of ten per cent, (τόκοι ἐπιδέκατοι). An inscription presents us with a contract for repairing the temple of Apollo. In supervising this work the regular "hieropoioi" are assisted by inspectors termed ἐπιστάται or ἐπιμεληταί: and the signatures of guarantors are subjoined. The document certainly belongs to free Delos, and may probably be placed shortly before 200 B.C.[63]

During the Macedonian age we have seen Delos independent, widely venerated, and increasingly prosperous. In the period which now opens, independence is once more taken from it; worship gradually forsakes it; and the marts of Delos, still busy for a space, presently share the ruin of her freedom and the silence of her shrines.

IV. The Roman Period: from 166 B.C.

Livy says that Athens recovered Delos in 196 B.C.; Polybius, in 166 B.C.[64] The latter is doubtless right. Athenian hopes may have been raised when Rome proclaimed the freedom of Greece in 196 B.C., but they were realised, after urgent demands, only thirty years later[65]. From 166 B.C. onwards the archons of Athens are, as M. Dumont has shown, the archons of Delos also[66]. The last shadow of autonomy has vanished; Delos is more completely dependent than an ordinary cleruchia. The supreme administration was vested in an Athenian governor (ἐπιμελητής). But a special cause sustained, or stimulated, Delian commerce. The position of the Aegean island rendered it, at this time, a convenient station for the Romans in the Eastern Mediterranean. Rome granted to Delos the privilege of exemption from taxes on imports and exports. The result was to give Delos a decisive advantage over her commercial competitor, Rhodes[67]. The trade of Rhodes was, in fact, ruined. The prosperity of Delos, on the other hand, is sufficiently attested by inscriptions. Dedications belonging to the years 200–80 B.C. constantly speak of "the Romans,—Italians and Greeks,—who are trading in the island[68]." Many Orientals were settled in Delos or Rheneia; the Tyrian trading-guild has already been noticed. The Delians had some local industries. They manufactured a species of bronze much used for the legs of tables and like purposes; they prepared a certain unguent which was in request; they sold fish, and the honey of the Cyclades; they fattened fowls; and they maintained that ancient prestige as cooks which led ungrateful gourmands to nickname them ἐλεοδύται, "scullions[69]." Delos was an active centre of the slave-trade. The site of an enclosure in which the human cattle were penned can still be traced at the north-east corner of the island; and this traffic, flourishing close to the altars of the god whose praise was to kindle a light for the prisoners of darkness and pain, must have made Delos a name of horror to thousands of miserable beings.

The glory of Hellenic worship in the island had already paled. Kings who felt or affected reverence for the Greek Apollo had been replaced by Roman officials, who were sceptical, avaricious, or both. But the administration of the temples—now once more controlled by Athens—seems to have been continued on the ancient lines. The new Athenian officials, who succeeded to the hieropoioi of free Delos, have no longer the specious name of amphictyones, as in the fifth and fourth centuries. They are described merely as "those appointed to the charge of the sacred treasure and the other revenues of the temple," οἱ (καθιστάμενοι) ἐπὶ τὴν φυλακὴν τῶν ἱερῶν χρημάτων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων προσόδων τῶν τοῦ ναοῦ[70]. This was a time at which mystic rites and Oriental worships probably gained the ascendancy at Delos. We find that mysteries (noticed also by Iamblichus) were celebrated on the top of Cynthus, near a cistern adjoining the temple of the Cynthian Zeus and Athena. One inscription of this age directs that the votaries shall ascend to that temple "pure in soul," "in white raiment," "with no shoes upon their feet[71]." Other inscriptions refer to the temple of Serapis lower down on the north-west slope of Cynthus; they mention the black-stoled priestesses (μελανηφόροι) and canephori of Isis[72]. A native of Ascalon is among those whose dedications are recorded[73]. The shrine of the Syrian Aphrodite and of the Tyrian Heracles had numerous worshippers in the island.

The first Mithridatic War (88–84 B.C.) brought the catastrophe of Delos. While Athens joined the Pontic king, the poorly defended isle was held loyal to Rome by interest and fear. During the tyranny of Aristion at Athens, Apellicon, whose prestige was that of a Peripatetic philosopher, received the command of an expedition against Delos. Successful at first, he was surprised and driven off, with the loss of his whole force, by the Romans under Orobius. Presently, however, the generals of Mithridates reduced the Cyclades. Menophanes (according to Pausanias) was the leader who captured Delos. "Delos was unfortified, and its inhabitants were unarmed. He sailed down upon it with his triremes; he slaughtered both the natives and the resident foreigners; he plundered much of the property belonging to the merchants, and all the objects dedicated to the gods. He further enslaved the women and children; and levelled the town of Delos with the soil" (αὐτὴν ἐς ἔδαφος κατέβαλε τὴν Δῆλον). At a later time the town of Boiae, opposite Cythera, possessed an ancient wooden statue of Apollo. Tradition said that, at the sack of Delos by Menophanes, the image had been cast into the sea, and that the waves had wafted it to the Laconian shore[74].

This event may be placed in 87 B.C. Two inscriptions[75] indicate that, during a brief space, Athens held Delos for the king of Pontus. Both he and his father, Mithridates Euergetes, figure among those who had sent gifts to the Sacred Isle. Its severe doom may have seemed in his eyes the merited recompense of ingratitude.

In 86 B.C. Sulla took Athens; and the peace of 84 B.C. restored Delos to Rome. A little later we find Delos placed under the control of Paros, but with municipal autonomy, and with the right of nominating archons. In a decree preserved by Josephus[76], Julius Caesar charges the Senate and People of Paros to protect the Jews of Delos in the free exercise of their religion. Delos was finally restored to Athens about 42 B.C.[77]. Henceforth, as from 166 to 87 B.C., it is administered by an Athenian governor (ἐπιμελητής).

The island never completely recovered from the blow dealt by Menophanes. It further suffered from the piracy which then infested the Aegean[78]. If Cicero may be believed, Verres attempted to carry off some statues by night, but failed to ship them[79]. It would, however, be a mistake to conceive Delos as already abandoned to the spoiler. Though much had been injured or removed, it was still the isle radiant with marble of which the poets speak[80]: its holy places could still attract the lovers of art and the pious students of antiquity. The general features in Ovid's description are doubtless borrowed from what he or his contemporaries had seen. His Cydippe sees the ancient altar which Apollo was said to have made from the horns of she-goats, and the tree at which Latona gave him birth. But that is not all. "Now I roam in colonnades," she cries, "now I marvel at the gifts of kings, and at the statues which are everywhere[81]." The dedications show that under the late Republic and the early Empire statues were still raised to distinguished persons. Among these we note Julia, the daughter of Augustus[82], and Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilaea and Peraea[83]. Yet the phrases used in these dedications serve to mark how commercial life was slowly ebbing from Delos. Three formulas of dedication prevail between 166 B.C. and about 50 A.D. The first we have already quoted. The second is current from about 80 to 28 B.C., and commonly runs thus:—"The Athenians, Romans, and Greeks generally who reside in Delos, with the merchants and ship-masters visiting it[84]." The third formula occurs from about 28 B.C. onwards: it is simply this:—"The Athenian people, and the residents in the island." The mention of the traders is no longer necessary[85].

It has been inferred from Lucan[86], and is more than likely on general grounds, that the oracle of Delos was still consulted in the first century A.D. The Delia are mentioned in an inscription of Hadrian's reign (117–138 A.D.), who, while at Athens, may have done something to restore the worship of the Sacred Isle[87]. In the time of Pausanias, however (circ. 160 A.D.), Delos was deserted, "if we leave out of account those who are sent from Athens to take care of the temple[88]." The most striking and interesting evidence of this statement is afforded by a series of epigrams in the Greek Anthology,—all, probably, of the first or early second century A.D.

"Would I were still drifting before the breath of all winds, rather than that I had been stayed to shelter homeless Leto! Then had I not so greatly mourned my poverty. Ah, woe is me, how many Greek ships sail past me, Delos the desolate, whom once men worshipped! Hera is avenged on me for Leto with vengeance late but sore[89]."

"Ye desolate isles, poor morsels of the earth, girdled by the waves of the sounding Aegean, ye have all become as Siphnos or parched Pholegandros, ye have lost your brightness that was of old. Verily ye are all ensampled of Delos,—of her who was once fair with marble, but was first to see the day of solitude[90]."

"Famous wert thou, Tenos, I deny it not; for of yore the winged sons of Boreas [slain in Tenos by Heracles] gave thee renown. But renowned was Ortygia also, and her fame went even to those who dwell beyond the North Wind on Rhiphaean hills. Yet now thou livest, and she is dead. Who would have looked to see Delos more lonely than Tenos[91]?"

Delos had been an important station only so long as the Romans had no firm footing on the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean. As that footing became more secure, the Aegean stepping-stone lost its value. Delos was not to the Roman world what it had been to the Hellenic: in the course of the first century A.D. it was already little more than a sacred rock on which temples were kept up by Athens. How Delos may have fared under the successors of Constantine can be guessed from the case of a shrine hardly less famous. When the Emperor Julian paid his devotions to the Apollo of Daphne near Antioch, he found that the once rich offerings had dwindled to "a single goose, provided at the expense of a priest, the pale and solitary inhabitant of this decayed temple[92]." The last recorded incident in the annals of ancient Delos fitly recalls the chief source of its early fame. At the moment of vanishing from history it appears once more among the great oracles. Julian, when meditating that invasion of Persia in which he perished, consulted before all others the priests of Delphi, Dodona, and Delo[93]. Thus, on the threshold of Asia, he honours these three great shrines, as Alexander, in whose steps he aspired to tread, had designed to honour them when his work in the East was done[94]. The Sacred Isle, which belongs so wholly to the pagan world, fitly passes out of view with this last champion of the pagan gods,—with him who in visions of the night saw the Genius of the Empire receding with veiled head from his tent, and to whom, on the eve of his death among the Persian hills, a lurid meteor showed the warning face of Mars[95].

Julian died in 363 A.D. In 376 the Scythians and Goths ravaged the Cyclades. If worship had not already ceased in Delos, it probably came to an end under Theodosius (378-395), or at latest in the reign of Justinian (527-565). The final destruction of the monuments must have been hastened by the Saracens[96], the Slavs in the eighth century, and the Agarenian pirates from Spain in the ninth. Some remains on the top of Cynthus have been supposed to mark the site of a castle built by the Knights of St John, who, according to Cantacuzenus, occupied Delos. M. Lebégue is of opinion that these vestiges are exclusively Hellenic or Romans[97] If the Hospitallers had permanent quarters, they were probably on Rheneia. In 1878 there were no habitations whatever on Delos: on Rheneia, only a cottage or two, and the buildings erected by the Greek government for the officers of quarantine.

The foregoing sketch will have served to show the historical interest of the Delian inscriptions. Many gaps in our previous knowledge have been filled up. Much that was dim and vague has become vivid and precise. For the years from 300 to 100 B.C. the gain is especially large. Delos stands out with a more continuous clearness in its relations to the Greek and Roman world. The Sacred Isle is like a tiny disc in which a wide landscape is mirrored.

This general survey taken, we may next turn to the new results in topography. On the accompanying sketch-map, reduced from M. Lebégue's, I have marked the principal points of interest, (1) The summit of Cynthus, on which stood the temple of Zeus Cynthius and Athena Cynthia. (2) A grotto, once used as a temple, in the western face of Cynthus. (3) The temple of Serapis (designated by earlier writers as a temple of Isis), near the junction of two sacred roads leading to the temples higher up on Cynthus. (4) The theatre, of which the left
Jebb - Delos 1.jpg
wing was hollowed out of the hill, while the right was of marble. (5) A small amphitheatre, capable of seating about 100 persons, where the Delian Senate, or its committee (πρυτάνεις), may have met. (6) A deep ravine, which some take for the bed of the stream called the Inopus. (7) Ruins of the temple of Apollo in the plain. (8) A dot marking the place where the Naxian colossus of Apollo stood. (9) Ruins of a portico built by Philip V. of Macedon (220–179 B.C.). (10) An oval basin, about 289 ft. by 200, encircled by a granite wall about 4 feet high, and placed in a large rectangular precinct once surrounded by a colonnade. This was the famous τροχοειδὴς λίμνη. The swans of Apollo floated upon its waters, which were brought by a conduit still traceable at the north-east corner. Near it was the palm-tree at which Leto had given birth to Apollo: also the κεράτινος βωμός, the altar made by Apollo with the left-horns of she-goats slain by Artemis on Cynthus (according to Callimachus),—or with the right horns of oxen (Plutarch). Around this was performed the ancient dance called the γέρανος. "Behind" the κεράτινος βωμός (Diog. Laertius viii. § 13)—more we do not know—was the altar of Apollo Genitor (γεννήτωρ, γενέτωρ), on which only cereal gifts were offered, and which was thence called "bloodless," or "the altar of the pure[98]." It was said that, when Pythagoras visited Delos, this was the only altar at which he worshipped[99]. Near this, too, must have been the κακὸς βωμός, round which sailors were whipped, with their hands tied behind their backs, while they bit morsels of sacred olive[100]. (11) A modern well (perhaps on the site of an ancient one), called "the well of the Maltese." (12) Site of a gymnasium. (13) A stadium. (14) Remains of walls built across the north-east isthmus; probably a depôt for slaves to be sold. (15) A clear and copious spring. Some think that this was the "Inopus," and that it was connected with the well (No. 11).

The points to which research has been chiefly directed since 1873 are marked on our map by (2) and (7). M. Lebégue has explored the grotto on Mount Cynthus. M. Homolle has examined the site of Apollo's temple in the plain.

The grotto[101] is about half-way up the western slope of Cynthus. The bare hill is here cleft by a long and narrow ravine with granite sides. The grotto spans the lower end of this ravine. The granite sides of the ravine form natural side-walls for the grotto. The roof is artificial. It is formed by five pairs of massive stones, leaning against each other by their tops. A number of rough granite blocks had been piled on the roof. Some of these blocks have rolled off. Those that remain have a layer of small stones and lime between them and the roof. They help to make the grotto look like a natural cavern. The western entrance of the grotto was closed by a wall with a door in it, of which parts

Jebb - Delos 2.jpg

remain. The eastern end, resting against the mountain, was not so completely closed but that light could penetrate. The floor, though artificially raised, was not paved. As the ravine widens in descending, the grotto widens also. At the west entrance it is about 16 ft. broad: at the back, only 7 feet 8 inches. From the top of the roof (inside) to the floor. Its height is 18 feet 11 inches. Its length is 17 feet 1 inch.

Within the grotto, to the north side, is a deep receptacle for water, which is supplied by a small spring in the cavern. This is the χάσμα, which was a constant feature of oracular caves. On the floor of the grotto was found a pedestal, with the left foot of a statue still placed upon it. Other fragments of the same statue,—pieces of arm, leg, and shoulder, were found near: the statue was of good workmanship: it represented a young god, and was about 6 feet 6 inches high. Two marble claws were also found: M. Lebégue thinks that they belonged to a large lion. Another marble fragment showed part of a tree's trunk with a lion's skin hanging on it. A holy table had been supported by two pieces of Parian marble. Fragments of amphoras (Thasian or Cnidian) occurred near the south-west corner of the grotto: one vase had borne the letters KPO. Lastly, it must be noted that the pedestal above-mentioned is supported on one side by a huge block of granite, which had been cut to receive it. Outside the west front of the grotto was a sacred precinct. Here, at about 23 ft. from the door of the grotto, were found two fragments of a rough marble basin, notched in three places as if to receive the metallic legs of a tripod, which had probably supported a cortina. Near this some Athenian coins were found. Between the fragments of the basin and the door of the grotto a small square pit was filled with cinders, probably from ancient sacrifices: but the precinct was too small for sacrifice on any large scale. A flight of thirteen steps, descending from the south-west corner of the temenos, leads to a sacred way which went down the mountain and came out near the temple of Serapis.

These facts warrant at least the following inferences:—

1. The grotto on Cynthus was a primitive temple[102], whoever were the people that first worshipped there. It shows the very genesis of the early temple from step to step. First, an altar in the open air; then a roof to shelter the altar; next, a door to keep out the profane; lastly, a precinct added to the house of the god.

2. This temple was the seat of an oracle. The presence of the cleft for water (χάσμα) in such a cavern would of itself make this almost certain. The grotto on Cynthus is analogous in this respect to the adyton at Delphi, the cave of the Clarian Apollo, the cave of Trophonius, the shrines of the Sibyl at Cumae and Lilybaeum, the oracle of the earth in Elis, with many more that could be named[103] We need not lay stress on the probable presence of tripod and cortina.

3. Among the deities once adored here was a young god whose statue shows Greek workmanship of a mature age.

4. The whole character of the grotto proves, however, that it must have been used as a temple long before such Greek art existed. We have mentioned the enormous block of granite in which the pedestal of the statue was set. This block was probably a βαίτυλος—one of those stones which were worshipped as having fallen from heaven, or as emblems of gods. It may have symbolized the god originally worshipped in the grotto, before the days of even archaic sculpture. The baetyl and the later statue probably represented different gods. But they may have represented the same god, just as stones (πέτραι), said to have fallen from heaven, were worshipped in the ancient temple of the Orchomenian Charites conjointly with "the finished statues" (ἀγάλματα τὰ σὺν κόσμῳ πεποιημένα), made in the time of Pausanias himself, who notes a similar conjunction of sacred stone (πέτρα) and brazen image (εἰκών) in the Orchomenian shrine of Actaeon[104]

Before going further, or discussing the place which this grotto held among the shrines of Delos, we must refer to the results obtained by M. Homolle at another point. His excavations were upon and around the site occupied by the temple of Apollo in the plain between Cynthus and the sea. I give a tracing (Fig. 2) from the plan published by M. Blouet, in the Expédition Scientifique de Morée (Paris, 1838, vol. iii. pl. i), which will serve to indicate roughly where the groups of remains lie. A, site of temple of Apollo; B, ruins of a portico about 197 feet long. It was of Oriental character, supported by pillars of which the capitals were formed by pairs of kneeling bulls, and adorned with heads of bulls in the middle of the triglyphs. C, remains too slight to permit measurement or description of the buildings to which they belonged; one

Jebb - Delos 3.png

was a large oblong, facing east and west. D, remains of the portico of Philip (in grey marble). E, the oval basin.

An examination of the remains at A has enabled M. Homolle to determine the dimensions and the general arrangement of Apollo's temple. Two rectangles can be traced, one exterior, the other interior. The exterior rectangle supported the steps and columns of a portico. It measured, on the north and south sides, 29·49 mètres, or 96 feet 9 inches nearly; on the west and east sides, 13·55 mètres, or 44 feet 6 inches nearly. The interior rectangle supported the walls of the cella, which stood between two porticoes, one on the east, the other on the west. It measured, on the north and south sides, 20·67 mètres, or 67 feet 7 inches nearly; on the west and east sides, 7·53 mètres, or 24 feet 8 inches nearly.

The temple at Delos was thus a little smaller than the temple at Athens known as the Theseion, and its plan was similar. It was enclosed by a colonnade (περίστυλος); it comprised pronaos, naos, and opisthodomos; it had six columns on each front, east and west (ἑξάστυλος), and it was peripteral,—the columns at each side (north and south) being thirteen in number, counting the corner column. There is nothing to show whether the entrance was at the west front, on the side of the sea (as practical convenience would rather have suggested), or on the east, as in the temples of the Athenian acropolis. M. Homolle notes that the columns (Doric) were fluted only at the base of the shaft and again just below the capital; the rest of the shaft was left smooth. Other temples exhibit the same peculiarity. But at Segesta (for example) it is merely a sign of unfinished work. At Delos it appears to have been a deliberate device of artists who sought novelty at the expense of good taste. On the whole, the mason's work is excellent; one mark is present which M. Beulé regards as characteristic of good Greek building—the double-T joining of stones; but in the style M. Homolle finds a certain heaviness, a want of character and elegance. Judging by the evidence of the remains themselves, he concludes that the temple of Apollo is "at least of the fourth century B.C., and doubtless of the beginning of that century."

Along the outer rectangle of the temple, on its north side, was an avenue about 9 feet 10 inches broad, which was once bordered on right and left by two lines of small marble pedestals. Here were found some 150 inscriptions, chiefly accounts relating to the temple of Apollo and the temple of Artemis. North of this avenue, which separated it from the temple of Apollo, stood a much smaller temple on a different plan: it had four columns on each front, east and west, but no columns on the sides, north and south (ἀμφιπρόστυλος); the cella was probably square: it had pronaos and naos, but no opisthodomos. This may have been the Artemision; or, if Artemis shared the temple of Apollo, the Letoön. The former hypothesis seems the more probable, but it is not certain.

Such, in brief, is the sum of the topographical results to which M. Homolle's researches have led. He had to deal, in truth, with "the ruins of ruins," and it required such skill and perseverance as his to ascertain thus much. But, even if he had not been rewarded with some 350 new inscriptions, and with some valuable relics of art, his labour would not have been in vain. We now know the exact site, the size, the character, and the arrangements of Apollo's Delian temple[105]

A question at once occurs. Was this temple (which M. Homolle would refer to thie beginning of the fourth century B.C.) the earliest which Apollo possessed at Delos? And if not, can any earlier temple of Apollo be traced? M. Lebégue holds that the grotto on Cynthus was the primitive temple and oracle of Apollo, who succeeded a solar god previously worshipped there; that, when the later temple was built in the plain, some of the legends, migrating from Cynthus, attached themselves to the new site; but that the grotto continued to be the oracle, just as the temple (ἱερόν) of Apollo is distinguished from the oracle (μαντεῖον) at Claros and at Branchidae[106]. Among the texts on which this view relies, two are prominent: (1) Leto, according to the Homeric hymn (v. 17), bears her children, "reclining against the lofty hill, the slope of Cynthus, close to the palm, by the streams of Inopus." And Leto promises (v. 80) that Apollo shall build "a beauteous shrine, to be an oracle of men," at Delos first of all, before he builds his temples elsewhere. This, it is argued, shows (i) that the birthplace of Apollo was originally placed on Cynthus, not in the plain; (ii) that there was an oracular shrine of such immemorial age that the building of it could be ascribed to Apollo himself. This latter point may be allowed. As to the first, the words of the hymn would, I think, be equally suitable if the scene of Leto's pangs had been in the neighbourhood of the oval basin. I rendered κεκλιμένη πρὸς "reclining against," for argument's sake: but it is not necessarily more than "reclining towards" i.e. on the ground at the foot of the hill. (2) Themistius (circ. 360 A.D.) says:—"In Delos the inhabitants say that a certain temple is shown, simple in style and furniture, but venerable by reason of its tradition and of the legends which are told concerning it. There, the story has it, Leto was released from her pangs when she was giving birth to the two gods; and, in honour of the spot, Apollo fixed there his sacred tripods, and thence gave his decrees to the Greeks[107]." This passage is very striking. Clearly it would not apply to a handsome temple in the plain, close to the town. It implies that the shrine had to be sought out. And the description applies exactly to the grotto on Cynthus, before which a tripod appears to have stood in a conspicuous place.

It has been seen that the Phoenicians had probably been in contact with Delos before the worship of Apollo had come thither from Asia, and had brought with them a cult which is found in Delos at a later time—that of Melcarth, the Tyrian Heracles, a solar divinity. M. Lebégue seems unquestionably right in holding that the grotto on Cynthus was once associated with Apollo. If this grotto was the most venerable sanctuary of the island at the early time when the worship of Apollo first came in, it would doubtless have become the dwelling of the new god as soon as he had prevailed over his predecessors. Among the marble fragments found in the grotto were a lion's claws and part of the trunk of a tree, covered with a lion's skin.

I think that these objects may help us to conjecture what happened. The solar god of Tyre may have been in possession of the grotto when Apollo came. By and by Apollo became its principal divinity; but the memory of his predecessor was still preserved, and the granite baetyl remained in the grotto as the sacred emblem of the earlier solar god. Afterwards a new temple for Apollo was built in the plain. This now became the principal seat of his worship. Greeks visiting the less frequented grotto on Cynthus, and finding there the traditions of a god whom they identified with their own Heracles, worshipped the ancient god of the grotto as Heracles; and thus the Tyrian sun-god, though still associated with Apollo, may once more have become the chief deity of that primitive shrine. The number of Tyrians who visited or inhabited Delos in the age of its commercial prosperity would have favoured such a result. The temple of the Tyrian Heracles at Delos is mentioned in an inscription[108]. The tripod and cortina were attributes of Heracles as well as of Apollo. So long as oracles continued to be given at the grotto, they were doubtless given in Apollo's name.

But, granting that the grotto was the earliest temple of Apollo, was it his only Delian temple down to such a date as (say) 400 B.C., the superior limit which M. Homolle is disposed to assign for the temple in the plain? I will briefly state the reasons which make such a hypothesis very difficult to my mind.

1. In the days of Ionian greatness the Pan-Ionic festival drew to Delos all the wealth of the race. The Homeric hymn pictures the Ionians of all cities vying with each other in the display of their "swift ships and great possessions." All were animated and united by a common sentiment of devotion to Apollo, the father of Ion. Is it conceivable that no fraction of their wealth was expended on an object which the spirit of the festival so strongly commended, and which would have brought public credit to the donor—on making offerings (ἀναθήματα) to the god? It is surely certain that, besides votive statues, the Apollo of the Ionians must have received gifts of gold, silver, bronze, gifts of those various materials and forms which his temple is known to have contained at a later time. But if he then had no temple but the grotto,—17 feet long, with an average breadth of 11, seamed by the chasma, and partly open to the sky,—where could those gifts have been preserved? The Greek priests had always the instinct of bankers. When the fountain of piety, quickened by vanity, was flowing so freely, they would not have seen it run to waste. It would have been strange if, in the course of two or three centuries, the whole wealth of the Ionian world had not housed their god and his treasures in some better abode than the granite hovel half-way up Cynthus.

2. Supposing—though to me the supposition is scarcely possible—that no new temple of Apollo had been built in the Ionian days, at least the sixth century B.C. would hardly have passed by without seeing it arise. Peisistratus showed devotion to Delos. If the Delian Apollo still lacked a treasure-house, to build one for him would have been to balance the influence which the Alcmaeonidae had gained by a similar attention to the Apollo of Delphi. Polycrates, again, by becoming the founder of a Delian temple, could have secured just the hold which he desired to have on the Sacred Island.

3. Thucydides says, speaking of the formation of the Delian Confederacy (i. 96), ἦν δ' ὁ πρῶτος φόρος ταχθεὶς τετρακόσια τάλαντα καὶ ἑξήκοντα, ταμιεῖόν τε Δῆλος ἦν αὐτοῖς καὶ αἱ ξύνοδοι ἐς τὸ ἱερὸν ἐγίγνοντο. The word ταμιεῖον means that the great sums raised by the levy of tribute on the allies were kept for security in the temple at Delos, as they were afterwards kept in the temple on the Acropolis: we remember that the sacred treasurers at Athens were called ταμίαι τῆς θεοῦ. Now the grotto on Cynthus certainly could not have been used for such a purpose: neither its structure nor its situation afforded the needful security.

Considering all these facts, we cannot, I think, resist the conclusion that, as early at least as 475 B.C., and almost certainly at a much earlier date, Apollo already possessed a temple in Delos distinct from the grotto. Now we know that the most ancient altars in Delos (the κεράτινος and that of Apollo Genitor) stood near the oval basin. And, as early at least as the Odyssey, the palm which saw Latona's pangs was shown near an altar. The site of Apollo's temple can scarcely be sought, then, elsewhere than on the spot where remains now exist. If all these remains were of the same age, we should have our choice between referring them to a much higher date than 400 B.C., or supposing that the temple to which they belonged had occupied the site of an older building. I have stated my difficulty. I do not propound a definite solution, for which it may be doubted whether sufficient data exist. The hypothesis, however, to which I should incline is this. The temple, of which the remains have been examined by M. Homolle, may have been partially repaired at more than one time, and these fragments, from which he estimates the date of the whole building, may be of the age which he assigns to them, i.e. about 400 B.C. But, either on these foundations, or at least on this plain, a temple of Apollo, however rude, must have stood long before 400 B.C.; probably as early as 700 B.C.; in any case, not later than 475 B.C.

Before parting from the grotto on Cynthus, the students of ancient astronomy may be invited to consider a question which can scarcely fail to interest them. In the Revue archéologique of August, 1873, M. Burnouf intimated that "a series of astronomical considerations, supported by numerous texts, had led him to think that Delos had been a centre of very ancient observations, and had performed for the Ionians a part similar to that which afterwards belonged to the Acropolis of Athens." The solar character of Apollo was, he added, in favour of this view. This theory has been developed with great ingenuity by M. Lebégue. We have seen that the east end of the grotto—that which rests against Cynthus—was not completely closed. On an April morning a ray of the sun pierces the cavern and fills it in a moment. Apollo was supposed to spend the winter in Lycia, and to revisit Delos with the spring: we hear, too, of his Delian oracle being consulted in the morning. M. Lebégue suggests that the grotto may have been a station at which the process of the seasons was observed by noting the length and inclination of the sun's rays. Solstitial dials or gnomons were known from a remote age in Greece, which may have received them, through the Phoenicians, from Chaldaea. Referring to Odyssey, xv. 403,

νῆσός τις Συρίη κικλήσκεται, εἴ που ἀκούεις,
Ὀρτυγίης καθύπερθεν, ὅθι τροπαὶ ἠελίοιο,

"There is an isle called Syria (Syros), west of Ortygia (Delos), where are the turnings of the sun": M. Lebégue takes this to mean; "where the course of the sun on the ecliptic is observed from the grotto on Cynthus." Eustathius took ὅθι τροπαὶ ἠελ. to mean, "where (at Syria) is the sunset"; but adds this remarkable comment:—ἕτεροι δέ φασι σπήλαιον εἶναι ἐκεῖ, δι' οὗ τὰς ἡλίου, ὡς εἰκός, ἐσημειοῦντο τροπάς, ὅ καὶ ἡλίου διὰ τοῦτο σπήλαιον ἔλεγον. Didymus, also, in his commentary on the Odyssey, mentioned the ἡλίου σπήλαιον. Nothing could be more brilliant, more tempting, than this combination. It is an ungracious task to confess the fear that it is too brilliant. Yet I cannot but think that the words ὅθι τροπαὶ ἠελίοιο merely express a hazy notion of the poet's—whence derived, the Muses alone can tell—that "the Syrian isle" lay beneath a turning-point in the sun's heavenly course. As to the comment of the old grammarians, I conceive that it blends two elements. (i) This grotto in Delos may have been anciently called "the Cavern of the Sun" because a solar god had been worshipped there; and (ii) τροπαὶ ἠελίοιο at once suggested the familiar word ἡλιοτρόπιον, a

sun-dial[109].


Scarcely any objects of ancient art have been discovered at Delos, except marble statues, more or less fragmentary. The state of the island when the French explorers came to it sufficiently explains this. But, among M. Homolle's prizes, some are of the very highest interest and value. In July, 1878, he found about a dozen pieces of sculpture beneath the soil of a hollow which divides the group of remains at C from the ruins of the two temples at A. Among these sculptures were six statues of Artemis. They are of life-size, and are all archaic in style. Five of them are tightly swathed in a robe which, slightly drawn from right to left, shows the outlines of the legs. Where the arms remain, the left hangs by the side: the right arm is bent; the hand was held out. These five statues resemble those which were lately found in excavating the Asklêpieion at Athens, and which had doubtless been thrown down from the temenos of Artemis Brauronia on the Acropolis. The latest in date of these five, though still archaic, shows the beginnings of a more free and masterly art: it is probably not much older than 500–450 B.C.[110]

But the sixth is the most remarkable. It is a bretas, with the edges rounded, roughly marked off into three parts, for legs, torso, and head; arms are rudely indicated at the sides. On the left side it bears an inscription, saying that it was dedicated to the ἑκηβόλος ἰοχέαιρα by Nicandra, daughter of Deinodikos, a Naxian. The date of the image itself might be placed between 700 and 600 B.C., or 580 B.C. at latest. But the type which it represents is much older. Daedalus, said the legend[111], first made statues to walk and see: his name symbolizes the first effort of the artist to represent the open eyes, and to give some measure of freedom to the limbs. The art called "prae-daedalian" had left the eyes closed and the limbs sheathed, mummy-wise, in a scabbard resembling the posts of the Hermae. The ancient wooden images—such as that of the Ephesian Artemis, swaddled in her tight, stiff robe—were of prae-daedalian character. Bupalus and Athenis of Chios are said to have sculptured marble about 540 B.C., the art having been then hereditary in their house for three generations. Delos had no school of sculpture. But Naxos had eminent sculptors from about 580 B.C., and the art must have prospered there during the period at which Naxos was the first island of the Aegean, i.e. from about 520 to 490 B.C. The Delian Artemis is apparently an imitation of a very ancient model in wood; and, being a ruder work than even the Artemis of Ephesus, may be regarded as representing the oldest type of Greek sculpture hitherto known.

Another figure represents a woman in a tunic, with wings on her shoulders and feet; the left foot scarcely touched earth; she seems flying. Prof. E. Curtius has shown that this half-kneeling pose is often used in early Greek art to express hasty motion—as in the case of the Gorgons chasing Perseus[112].This is probably a winged Artemis, perhaps of the 6th century B.C. M. Homolle makes a remark a propos of this Delian series which is a seasonable corrective to exaggerated estimates of Oriental influence on early Hellenic art. This gradual development of a plastic type which the Delian statues of Artemis present—from the rudest bretas to the comparatively finished statue—reminds us how essentially original, how patiently self-disciplined, Greek sculpture was[113].


From Delian topography and sculpture we return to epigraphy. The inscriptions have been surveyed in their historical aspect. But several of them demand particular notice, especially on philological grounds. Of these I will now speak,—beginning with the latest age, and thence remounting to the earlier.

Close as had been the relations between Rome and Delos, only two Latin inscriptions from the island had been known up to 1877, and these only through copies taken by Cyriac of Ancona (Corp. Inscr. Lat. iii. 484, 485). No. 484 runs thus:—

BRANDVTIVS·L·L·ARISTIPPVS
DESVOFECIT.

M. Homolle has found two fragments of this inscription, which show that on the stone it formed a single line, and that for fecit we should read refecit. He has also discovered three new Latin inscriptions. One was on the plinth of a statue dedicated by "the Italians and Greeks in Delos" to Aulus Terentius Auli f. Varro, who in 167 B.C. was one of the ten commissioners appointed to reorganise Macedonia. Another was on the base of a statue dedicated by several Romans to Mercury and Maia: it presents the forms magistres (magistri), and Mircurio[114]. The third was on the base of a statue dedicated by "the Athenian people, the Italian and Greek merchants in Delos," to Lucullus, the conqueror of Mithridates. He is styled pro quaestore. Lucullus went as quaestor to Asia with Sulla in 88 B.C., and was in the East till 80 B.C. His quaestorship, more than once noticed by Cicero, was mentioned by only one inscription previously known (Corp. I. L. i. 292, xxxiv)[115]. Among the Greek inscriptions of Delos relating to Romans we note a dedication to Augustus by ὁ δῆμος ὁ Ἀθηναίων, which (as restored by M. Homolle) styles him Αὐτοκράτορα Καίσαρα θεὸν Σεβαστὸν ἀρχιερέα μέγιστον (i.e. pontifex maximus). The last words show that the date is after 13 B.C. Another Greek dedication (date, a few years B.C.), also by ὁ δῆμος ὁ Ἀθεναίων, honours Λεύκιον Αἰμύλιον Παῦλλον Παύλλου υἱὸν Λέπεδον as "benefactor and saviour." This, as M. Homolle shows, must be Lucius Aemilius Paullus, son of the Paullus Aemilius Lepidus who was consul in 34 B.C., and grandson of Lucius Aemilius Paullus (cons. 50 B.C.). The latter (brother of the Triumvir) was the first of the Lepidi who took Paullus as a cognomen. His son made it his praenomen. The grandson reverted to its use as a cognomen. Mommsen has pointed out that the tendency to revive an ancient praenomen, or to adopt an altogether new one, is a patrician trait which coincides with the Sullan restoration: the hereditary patrician praenomina had in many cases been usurped by the new nobility. Before quitting the inscriptions concerning Romans, we may notice one in honour of Manius Aemilius Lepidus (48–42 B.C.), who is styled ἀντιταμίας (pro quaestore)[116].

Two inscriptions in the Cretan dialect, both of which had been placed in the temenos of the Delian Apollo, are of curious interest. The first[117] is certainly later than 166 B.C., and may probably be referred to 150–120 B.C. It is a decree by the magistrates (κόσμοι) and city of Cnossus in Crete, conferring the titles of proxenus and citizen on one Dioscorides of Tarsus,—a city which, during the last 150 years B.C., was one of the chief seats of literary activity[118]. "Following the example of the poet" (κατὰ τὸν ποιητάν)—i.e. Homer—Dioscorides, who was both an epic and a lyric writer, had composed an eulogy (ἐγκώμιον) on Cnossus, and had sent thither his pupil Myrinus—a native of Amisus in Pontus—to recite it. The emissary had performed his part with zeal,—"as was becoming," the decree remarks, "in the cause of his own teacher." A copy of the decree was to be placed in the temple of Apollo Delphidius at Cnossus: another was to be sent "to the people of Tarsus" (πορτὶ τὸν Ταρσέων δᾶμον); while leave was to be asked from "the Athenians dwelling in Delos" to place a third copy "in the most conspicuous place" available within Apollo's temenos. The allusion to Homer's eulogy of Cnossus cannot be justified from our Iliad, but clearly refers to that passage of the Homeric hymn which describes how Apollo committed the service of his Pythian shrine to "Cretans from Minoan Cnossus" (Hymn. in Apoll 391–544). Here, then, is a fresh proof that, about 150 B.C, this hymn was still ascribed without question to 'Homer.'

The inscription adds some valuable illustrations to the forms of the Cretan dialect. Thus we have the acc. plur. τὰς καταξίανς χαρίτας: ἐσγόνος = ἀκγόνους: ὀσκίας = οἰκίας: θίνων = θεΐνων, for θείων: both τόνς and τός for τούς. Among the verbal forms, ἀκούσαντεν = ἀκούσαντες: ἴονσα = οὖσα: ποριόμενς = πορεόμενος in sense of ποριζόμενος, and similarly προαιριομένοις: τιμέονσα = τιμέουσα, as if from τιμέω, not τιμάω: ἀπήστελκε = ἀπέσταλκε: and the remarkable αἰτησάθθαι = αἰτήσασθαι. ὅπαι, with subjunctive, has the sense of ὅπως, "in order that." At the end we read, Αἱρέθη ἐπὶ τᾶς ἀναθέσιος τᾶς στάλας Μακκιάδων Θαρυμάχω καὶ Λεόντιος Κλυμενίδα. M. Homolle regards αἱρέθη as 3rd pers. plur., but remarks that we should have expected the termination in , comparing διέλεγεν, C. I. G. 3050. I should take αἱρέθη to be 3rd pers. sing., and the construction to be like that of Lysias in Eratosth. § 12, ἐπιτυγχάνει Μηλόβιός τε καὶ Μνησιθείδης. In v. 18 there is a doubtful reading: M. Homolle gives ἀκούσαντεν τὰ πεπραγματευμένα καὶ τὰν [ἄλ]λαν (?) αἵρεσιν τῶ ἀνδρὸς ἃν ἔχων τυγχάνει εἰς τὰν ἁμὰν πόλιν. Perhaps [κα]λὰν: "having heard his compositions (the poem), and those kind sentiments which he entertains towards our city" (as further evinced by a letter, ἔγγραφον, which Myrinus had read[119].

The date of the second[120] Cretan inscription is fixed by the Athenian archonship of Sarapion, which M. Dumont places in 134 B.C. It relates to a convention between three Cretan towns, Cnossus, Olus, Lato, by which the first-named was to have the arbitration (ἐπιτροπάν) in certain issues pending between the two latter. The archaeological interest here is for the Cretan calendar. Each of the three towns had different names for the months. The second day of the month Σπέρμιος at Cnossus is the second of Ἐλευσύνιος (sic) at Olus, and of Θιοδαίσιος at Lato. Similarly Νεκύσιος (Cnossus) answers to Ἀπέλλαιος (Olus) and Θεσμοφόριος (Lato). The month Δελφίνιος (Olus) corresponds with two of which the reading is doubtful,—ἀρ[a trace of ἄρχοντος?]ωβιαρίω (Lato), and Καρ[ώ?]νιος (Cnossus). This last was certainly not Κάρνειος. As to dialect, we have the dat. πόλι—whereas πόλει had been noted by Böckh as the constant Cretan form: ἔντων as 3rd plur. imperative of εἰμί: μέστα κα, with subjunct., as = μέχρι ἄν, "until": genitive Διοκλεῖος = Διοκλέους: κριθένσι = κριθεῖσι: ποτρὶ in compos. (πορτιγράψαι): αὐτοσαυτοῖς for ἑαυτοῖς (in sense of ἀλλήλοις). So in the former inscription we find τὸν αὐτὸς αὐτῶ μαθέταν = τὸν ἑαυτοῦ μ. In v. 19 there is a difficulty. The passage runs thus:—ἀποσρηλάντων [sic] οἵ τε Κνώσιοι καὶ οἱ Λάτιοι καὶ οἱ Ὀλόντιοι πορτὶ τὸν ἐπιμελητὰν [the Athenian governor of Delos] πρειγείαν [=πρεσβείαν] καὶ γράμματα ἐν ἁμέραις τριάκοντα ὥστε στᾶσαι στάλαν ἐς ἃν ἀναγραφησ . . τὰ δεδογμένα. M. Homolle thinks (and I agree with him) that after ΑΝΑΓΡΑΦΗΣ there is not room for the four letters ΕΤΑΙ before ΤΑ. He says that there is room for two letters only.

Now I can suggest a restoration which gives the sense required, and which is satisfied by the insertion of just two letters, viz.: ΦΙ. I would read, ἐς ἃν ἀναγραφῇ σφι τὰ δεδογμένα, "on which they may have their resolutions recorded[121]." If the iota subscript of ἀναγραφῇ is absent (as the copy indicates), this was doubtless a mere slip of the stone-cutter's. In v. 53 of this same document he has given us προγραμμένον instead of προγεγραμμένον: a Neo-Hellenic curtailment which we certainly should not find in a public document of the second century B.C.

Passing upward from the Roman to the Macedonian period, we note some points of interest in an inventory drawn up by the hieropoioi of the Delian temple[122]. This mentions a gift dedicated by Perseus before he was king (i.e. somewhere between 200 and 179 B.C.); and one of the most recent items gives the name of Lucius Hortensius, doubtless the praetor of 171 B.C. The inscription belongs, probably, to the very last years of free Delos, 171–166 B.C. It exhibits the diphthong ΕΙ used both for Η and for ΗΙ: thus ἐνειρόσια, ἐνεῖσαν ( = ἐνῆσαν): τεῖ as well as τῇ: στήλει as well as στήλῃ. The values of the objects are given in Attic terms (εἰς Ἀττικοῦ λόγον), but certain fractions are expressed in terms of the Delian copper currency (Δήλιος χαλκοῦς). The weight of an object is commonly denoted by the participle of ἄγω, or by the phrase οὗ ὁλκή, κ.τ.λ. But here we have a peculiarity,—the use of the neuter participle ἷκον even with a masculine noun; e.g. ἄλλον (ῥυμὸν?), ἔχοντα ἱστία ἷκον ["weighing"] εἰς Ἀττικοῦ λόγον δραχμὰς ΗΔ, χαλκοῦς Δηλίος ἐννέα. The sign ˓ (half ο) is used for the half-obol; Τ (τεταρτημόριον) for the quarter-obol; the sign \ (perhaps from χ, initial of χαλκοῦς) for 1/12 obol.

The Athenian age of Delos furnishes, first, an important bilingual inscription on which M. Ernest Renan has commented[123] It is in Greek and Phoenician, and belongs to the fourth century B.C. The Greek text reads...[Τ]ύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος...[εἰκ]όνας οἱ ἐκ Τύρου ἱεροναῦται Ἀπόλλωνι ἀνέθηκαν. In the Phoenician text M. Renan deciphers the name of "the king Abdaschtoreth" ("servant of Astarte"). This name, he adds, corresponds with the Greek name "Straton," borne by several kings of Sidon; and may here indicate Straton the Philhellene (who reigned from about 374 to 362 B.C.), or else the Straton deposed by Alexander in 332 B.C. M. Renan regrets that the fragmentary inscription does not tell us how the name of Apollo was translated in Phoenician.

A puzzle is presented by the inscription which I have already mentioned as probable evidence for the fact that, soon after 404 B.C, Sparta made a convention with Delos regarding the administration of the Delian temples.

The Greek alphabets may, with Kirchhoff, be classed geographically as Eastern and Western. The alphabets of Asia Minor, of the Aegean isles, and of Attica, belonged to the eastern group; that of Laconia, to the western, which was distinguished from the eastern by these among other traits:—(i) the use of Η only as the sign of the rough breathing; (ii) the use of the sign ψ for the letter χ; (iii) the use of X or + with the value of ξ.

The first six lines of our inscription exhibit the characters of the Laconian alphabet as it was after 476 B.C.[124] The rest of the inscription is in characters of the eastern type: we have Η for eta; X represents, not ξ, but (as now) χ. How are we to explain the fact that two different alphabets are used in two different parts of the same inscription? M. Homolle justly rejects the hypothesis that the inscription is a late copy of an older document. In such a case the original orthography, if not wholly altered, would have been consistently preserved.

I venture to propose a simpler explanation. This was a convention between Sparta and Delos, of which Sparta—victorious in the war—doubtless prescribed the terms. It was dated, on the one hand, by the names of the Spartan kings and ephors; on the other hand, by the names of the Delian magistrates. The first six lines of our inscription form the end of the part which prescribed the terms: these are in the Laconian alphabet. The names which mark the date are in the later Ionian alphabet. I conceive that the terms were framed at Sparta, and that a copy of them was sent to Delos. At Delos they were engraved on stone, to be set up in the temple; and the names marking the date were then added by the Delians, who, in making this addition, naturally used their own alphabet. Probably the authorities at Sparta did not know the names or styles of the Delian officials whom it was proper to record, and therefore, in sending the terms, merely directed that such and such Spartan names were to be added beneath; leaving the Delians to complete the task of dating the document. It may be noted that in the latter or Ionian part we find Ω for omega. This sign, as denoting omega, occurs at Miletus about 540 B.C., but not earlier.

But the interest of the new Delian inscriptions culminates in the oldest of all—that which is found on the left side of the archaic bretas representing Artemis. It consists of three hexameter verses, written βουστροφηδόν,—the first, from left to right. Reversing the second line, we read:—

    ΝΙΚΑΝΔΡΗΜΑΝΕΘΕΚΕΝPhoenician heth.svgΚΗϹΟΛΟΙΙΟΧΕΑΙΡPhoenician heth.svgΙ
     ϘΟΡΗΔΕΙΝΟΔΙΚPhoenician heth.svgΟΤΟΝΑPhoenician heth.svgΣΙΟΕPhoenician heth.svgΣΟΧΟΣΑΛPhoenician heth.svgΟΝ
     ΔΕΙΝΟΜΕΝΕΟΣΔΕΚΑΣΙΛΝΕΤPhoenician heth.svgPhoenician heth.svgΡΑPhoenician heth.svgΣΟΔ
     ΑΛΟΧΟΣΜ

that is:

    Νικάνδρη μ' ἀνέθηκεν ἑκηβόλῳ ἰοχεαίρῃ,
     κούρη Δεινοδίκου τοῦ Ναξίου ἔξοχος ἄλλων,
     Δεινομένεος δὲ κασιγνήτη, (Φ)ράξου (?) δ' ἄλοχος· μ(ε)
.

The sculptor's name, with ἐποίησεν, may have followed, as M. Homolle thinks. Hitherto the older alphabet of Naxos had been known from only two inscriptions, 1. One was that on the base of the Naxian colossus of Apollo at Delos, first noticed by Spon, which Bentley read as an iambic trimeter (with hiatus), ταὐτοῦ λίθου εἴμ' ἀνδριὰς καὶ τὸ σφέλας, "I am of one stone, the image and the pedestal." The first letters are (T)ΟΑϜΥΤΟ, as if αὐτοῦ had been written ἀϝυτοῦ, a phenomenon in which Kirchhoff[125] could scarcely believe, but which M. Homolle's accurate transcript confirms. 2. The other early Naxian inscription is on a bas-relief at Rhomaïko, a village not far from Orchomenus, on the road to Chaeronea: it reads (Θ)ελξήνωρ ἐποίησεν ὁ Νάξιος· ἀλλ' ἐσίδεσθε.

Both these inscriptions may be referred to the end of the sixth or beginning of the fifth century B.C., say to 520-490 B.C.[126] Now the new inscription has a mark which at once distinguishes it, and affords a presumption that it is older. This is the presence of Phoenician heth.svg, with three horizontal bars, instead of Η. The form Phoenician heth.svg occurs in the inscription by the mercenaries of Psammitichus at Abu-Simbel (circ. 620 B.C.), in the older inscriptions of Thera, and in others of which the date may be placed before or about 540 B.C. The later form Η occurs in texts of Melos and Paros, from about 540 B.C., and in the Rhomaïko inscription from Naxos. In both its shapes—the older Phoenician heth.svg and the later Η—this character is found serving a double purpose: (1) normally to denote the long e: (2) occasionally to denote the rough breathing—the use for which the Western alphabets regularly reserved it.

But our inscription presents new modifications of these uses:—

(1) In Phoenician heth.svgκηβόλῳ, Phoenician heth.svg by itself denotes epsilon with the rough breathing.

(2) In ΔεινοδικPhoenician heth.svgο, for Δεινοδίκου, it perhaps serves, as M. Homolle suggests, to aspirate the κ. While koppa was in use[127], it, not kappa, was preferred before o and u. Where kappa was so placed, the need of a complementary sound may have been felt. As, however, we have ϙόρη, it is not easy to see why we have not Δεινοδιϙο. Phoenician heth.svg does not strengthen ο to ου, for we have simply το Ναξιο for τοῦ Ναξίου.

(3) In ΝαPhoenician heth.svgσίο ἔPhoenician heth.svgσοχος, Phoenician heth.svgσ stands for ξ, which in the older inscriptions is normally expressed by χσ. Thus Phoenician heth.svg alone stands for an aspirated κ, just as above for an aspirated ε.

(4) Most remarkable of all is ΑΛPhoenician heth.svgΟΝ. No one, I think, who examines the facsimile given by M. Homolle will have any doubt that the word is rightly read thus. The letters are, indeed, clear. The preceding ἔξοχος is clear also. After ἔξοχος (which must be fem.), in hexameter verse, ἀστῶν is the only alternative which presents itself, and the word is certainly not that. Assuming, then, that the writer meant ἄλλων, how are we to explain the spelling? If it was a mere blunder of the stone-cutter, it was at least a strange one. In the Greek ἄλλος yodh does not elsewhere appear under a vowel form: nor is it likely that Phoenician heth.svg (originally cheth) should, among its other uses, have served for the yodh. Possibly Phoenician heth.svg is here the aspirate; the effect of a double λ in ἄλλ-ων may have been given by writing ἄλ-hων: or, if λ is in itself the archaic equivalent of λλ, the aspirate might be regarded as developed by the double letter[128].

To sum up: (1) the form Phoenician heth.svg, instead of Η, points to a date earlier than about 540 B.C.; (2) the use of Phoenician heth.svg is here various and (apparently) inconstant. It denotes long e; but long e is also denoted by Ε, as in ΚΑΣΙΓΝΕΤΗ, ΑΝΕΘΕΚΕΝ. It stands, not only for the aspirate, but also for an aspirated ε, and for an aspirated κ before σ. In specimens of the Eastern alphabets dating from about 600 to 540 B.C. Phoenician heth.svg is already fixed to two uses, (1) as the long e; (2) occasionally, as the aspirate. The fluctuating and seemingly tentative employments of Phoenician heth.svg in our inscription point to a time when the sign Phoenician heth.svg had been newly introduced, and when its application still varied with individual or local caprice.

Combining the epigraphic evidence with that afforded by the type of the Artemis, we can scarcely be far wrong if we refer the inscription to about 650–600 B.C. It would thus be of approximately the same age as the writing on the colossus at Abu-Simbel, and would rank among the very oldest specimens of Greek writing known to exist. I may remark that Ϲ for beta, which this old inscription shows to have been early Naxian, had already been proved for Paros, Siphnos, Thasos, and Ceos. The form Phoenician gimel.svg for gamma had been proved for the same islands,—also as one (the latest ?) of three Cretan forms, and as a form used at Athens both before and after the adoption of the matured Ionic alphabet in 403 B.C.[129]


The object of the foregoing pages has been twofold: first, to arrange the facts derived from the new researches in a general survey of Delian history; secondly, to mark the chief results in special departments, with such comments as they suggested. I have elsewhere sketched for English readers the system of the French school at Athens[130] It is well exemplified by these labours on ground which demanded so much skill and so much perseverance. Two successive directors, M. Burnouf and M. Dumont, encouraged the efforts of two successive explorers; the work of M. Lebégue in 1873 was completed by that of M. Homolle in 1877, 1878, and 1879. An English society for the promotion of Hellenic studies has a wide field open to it. It might do good service by undertaking the photographic reproduction of the most important Greek manuscripts in the libraries of Europe[131]; the influence of its members might well be employed in promoting the institution of travelling studentships, or other aids to archaeological study abroad; and, without transgressing the bounds of reasonable hope, it might further contemplate the eventual establishment of an English institute at Athens. France and Germany have long possessed such institutes; Russia is now to have one; all that is needed in order to secure a similar advantage for England is the co-operation of those sympathies to which our Society appeals. The value of such a permanent station has frequently been illustrated by fruitful enterprises, but seldom, perhaps, more signally than by the French exploration of Delos.

Notes[edit]

  1. Hellenic Journal, 1880.
  2. ἱστίη ὦ νήσων: Hymn. Del. 325.
  3. Orac. Sibyll. iii. 363, ed. C. Alexandre. Samos lost its privileges as a free state in the reign of Vespasian; and the decay of its ancient prosperity seems to have commenced about the end of the first century A.D. Tertullian paraphrases this verse (de pallio 2, inter insulas nulla iam Delos, harena Samos) which must therefore be older than about 200 A.D.
  4. Two marbles, now at Oxford, bear inscriptions of which the origin has hitherto been doubtful: one (Corp. Insc. Gr. 2860), a list of gifts to Apollo, was attributed by Böckh to Ephesus; the other (C. I. G. 2953 b), containing the accounts of a temple called the Artemision, was ascribed by Böckh to Ephesus, by Corsini to Smyrna. M. Homolle has shown that the first certainly, the second presumably, belongs to Delos (Bulletin de Corr. hellén. vol. ii. p. 321 f.).
  5. They are principally these:—Expédition Scientifique de Morée, edited by M. Blouet (Paris, 1838); vol. iii. contains 23 plates relating to Delos, with a brief prefatory notice of the state in which the island was found.—Recherches sur Délos, by M. J. Albert Lebégue (Paris, 1876).—Bulletin de Correspondance hellénique: the following articles by M. Th. Homolle, giving details of his excavations at Delos, and of inscriptions or sculptures found there:—vol. i. (1877), pp. 219, 279; vol. ii. (1878), pp. 1, 397; vol. iii. (1879), pp. 1, 99, 116, 290, 360, 473, 515; vol. iv. (1880), pp. 29, 182, 320, 345, 471: by M. O. Riemann;—vol. i. p. 81: by M. Ernest Renan;—vol. iv. p. 69.—Monuments grecs, No. 7 (1878), Les Fouilles de Délos, by M. Th. Homolle (pp. 25–63).—La Chronologie athénienne à Délos, by M. Albert Dumont (Rev. archéol. 1873, xxvi. 257).—Articles on the grotto of Cynthus, by M. Émile Burnouf (Rev. archéol. Aug. 8, 1873), and Hr. Adler (Archaeolog. Zeitung, ed. Curtius and Schöne, vol. viii. p. 59, May, 1875).
  6. Od. vi. 162.
  7. M. Lebégue (p. 225) has collected the ancient sources for the myth. Vergil (Aen. iii. 80) marks the essential point,—that Anius is 'rex idem hominum Phoebique sacerdos.'
  8. Tzetzes ad Lycophr. 370 (Cycl. fragmenta, ed. Didot, p. 593). γεννᾶ τὰς Οἰνοτρόπους, Οἰνὼ Σπερμὼ καὶ Ἐλαΐδα· αἶς ὁ Διόνυσος ἐχαρίζετο, ὁπότε Βούλοιντο, οἶνον σπέρματα καὶ ἔλαιον ποιεῖν καὶ λαμβάνειν κατὰ τὰς τῶν ὀνομάτων θέσεις. We are reminded of the name Oeneus derived from οἴνη, the vine-plant, his son being called Φύτιος (Hecataeus in Müller, Frag. Hist. Gr. i. 26). Can οἰνοτρόφοι have been corrupted to οἰνοτρόποι, and the fable invented to explain the latter?
  9. Ῥοιώ (ῥοιά, pomegranate) is the Danae of the story, and her father Στάφυλος is the Acrisius (Tzetzes, l.c.).
  10. The name of Astartê is given to Delos only by Latin mythographers of the decadence (Lebégue, p. 21); but the associations which suggested it may have been very ancient.
  11. Olen had composed hymns to this goddess (Paus, ix. 27. 2), in whom the character of an Hyperborean Artemis seems blended with that of a Cretan Aphrodite.
  12. Theognis, v. 7; Callim. Hymn. Del. (τροχόεσσα) 261; In Apoll. 59 (περιηγής): cp. Her. ii. 170.
  13. Callim. l.c. 206; Paus. ii. 5. 2. Tournefort heard a local legend that the spring in the N.E. of Delos was fed by the Jordan. But the same thing was said also of a spring in Mykonos (Lebégue, p. 16).
  14. Thuc. iii. 104; Lebégue, p. 75. Carians preceded Ionians in other places which afterwards became seats of Apollo's worship—as at Tralles, Colophon, Claros, and Miletus.
  15. Πόντου θύγατερ, χθονὸς εὐρείας ἀκίνητον τέρας: Pind. frag. 58 (from a παιὰν προσοδιακός, a paean to be sung during the procession to Apollo's Delian temple). Herodotus (vi. 98) had been told at Delos of an earthquake said to have occurred there in 490 B.C. Thuc. (ii. 8) mentions another "shortly before" 431 B.C. Each is the first and only earthquake. The statements cannot, and need not, be reconciled. By ascribing their own tremors to their island the Delians maintained its divine prestige, and marked their recurring sense of a crisis.
  16. Hom. Hymn. Apoll. 121.
  17. Callim. Hymn. Del. 285 ff.
  18. Eustath. ad Od. xii. 252, who says that the Delian women offered dainties to Brizo: Hesych. βριζόμαντις, ἐνυπνιόμαντις. At Delphi, as M. Lebégue notes (p. 117), divination by dreams is found in early rivalry with the oracle of Apollo (cp. Eur. I. T. 1250 f.): at Delos there is no trace of such a conflict.
  19. v. 30, ὅσσους Κρήτη τ' ἐντὸς ἔχει καὶ δῆμοσ Ἀθηνῶν, | νῆσός τ' Αἰγίνη ναυσικλειτή τ' Εὔβοια.
  20. vv. 143–161. The Δελιάδες "know how to imitate the voices of all men, and the sounds of their castanets" (κρεμβαλιαστύνi.e. the measure of their dances): "each man would say that he was speaking himself, so wondrous is the weaving of their lay": ib. 162–165. This has been referred to ventriloquism (?). At any rate, it suggests the variety of the elements which composed the Pan-Ionic gathering.
  21. Thus Lysias, Or. xxxiii. §2, is accurate in speaking of γνώμης ἐπίδειξιν: cp. the note in my "Selections from the Attic Orators," p. 188.
  22. Speaking of the reign of Gyges, whose accession he would place about 716 B.C., Professor E. Curtius says, "the federal festival on Delos, which had formerly united the Ionians on either side of the sea, had long lost all its significance" (vol. ii. 104, tr. Ward). For Thucydides, the festival already belongs to a past age, of which "Homer" is the chief witness (iii. 104).
  23. Euseb. Chron. ii. (sub ann. 500 after Abraham); other accounts make him merely erect a statue. See Lebégue, p. 223.
  24. Her. i. 64.
  25. Thuc. iii. 104.
  26. Her. vi. 97.
  27. Thuc. i. 96.
  28. Corpus Inscr. Att. i. No. 283. The inscription gives the accounts of the officials who administered the sacred revenues in Ol. 86, 3, 4.
  29. Thuc. iii. 104.
  30. Plutarch, Apophth. Lacon., Παυσανίου τοῦ Κλεομβρότου, i. (p. 230 D); πῶς οὖν, ἔφη, αὕτη πατρὶς [ἂν] ὑμῶν εἴη, ἐν ᾗ οὔτε γέγονέ τις ὑμῶν, οὔτ' ἔσται; The last word seems corrupt. I would read, οὔτε κείσεται;
  31. Thuch. vii. 77.
  32. Plutarch, Nicias, 3.
  33. Bulletin de Correspondance hellénique, vol. iii. p. 12.
  34. Hellen. ii. 3, §§9, 10.
  35. xii. 73.
  36. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 158, 159. The library of Trinity College, Cambridge, contains the original Marmor Sandvicense, so called because it was brought to England, and presented to the college, by John, Lord Sandwich, in 1739. Under that name it was first described by Dr John Taylor (Cambridge, 1743): see also Rose, Inscr. Graec. (1825), p. 313. The opening words are Τάδε ἔπραξαν ἀμφικτύονες Ἀθηναιων. Then follow (1) receipts from communities (chiefly insular) and individuals; (2) expenses connected with the worship of the Delian Apollo; (3) arrears due from the public and private debtors. The whole statement covers the four years ending with the archonship of Socratides (374 B.C.).
  37. Schäfer, Demosth. u. seine Zeit, vol. ii. pp. 346 f.: the fragments of the Δηλιακός of Hypereides in Sauppe, Frag. Or. Att. p. 285.
  38. Le Bas, Voy. archéol., Inscr. att. no. 245, l. 31.
  39. M. Homolle, Bulletin de Corr. hellén. vol. ii. p. 582. The doubt, which appears to me well-founded, is expressed by M. Lebégue, p. 301, note.
  40. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 3067.
  41. Bulletin de Corr. hellén. vol. iii. p. 379: a dedication by parents in honour of their daughter, κανηφορήσασαν Δήλια καὶ Ἀπολλώνια.
  42. About fifty decrees of προξενία have been found, of which some thirty are complete: see M. Homolle, Monuments grecs, No. 7, p. 38; Bulletin de Corr. hellén. vol. i. p. 279, where some specimens are given in full.
  43. A temple-inventory mentions an offering on which the decree in his favour was engraved—ἔχον προξενίαν Πνυταγόρᾳ Βασιλεῖ Σαλαμινίῳ: Mon. grecs, l. c. p. 49.
  44. See the inscription in the Bulleting de C. h. vol. iv. p. 327. Philocles πᾶσιν ἐπιμέλειαν ἐποιήσατο ὅπως Δήλιοι κομίσωνται τὰ δάνεια.
  45. πεπραγμάτευται περί τε τὸ ἱερὸν καὶ μύθους τοὺς ἐπιχωρίους γέγραφεν: Bulletin de C. h. vol. iv. p. 345.
  46. Ib. p. 349.
  47. Bulletin de C. h. vol. iii. pp. 360 ff.
  48. Bulletin de C. h. vol. ii. p. 400; vol. iii. p. 469. These inscriptions may be referred to 200–150 B.C.; whether they were earlier or later than 166 B.C. can scarcely be determined. The latter has Πολυάνθης ἐπόει (sic). The same sculptor's name occurs in an inscription of Melos, published by M. Tissot (Bulletin, vol. ii. p. 522), where we read, Πολυάνθης ἐποίησεν.
  49. Τὸν συγγενῆ βασιλέως Πτολεμαίου καὶ ἐξηγητὴν καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἰατρῶν καὶ ἐπιστάτην τοῦ Μουσείου: Bulletin, vol. ii. p. 470. His son, too, is styled φίλος τοῦ βασιλέως, Plut. Cleom. 36.
  50. Monuments grecs, No. 7, p. 45.
  51. Paus. viii. 32, 2.
  52. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2273. The funeral inscriptions of Rheneia (ib. 2319b, 41), and a Delian dedication (ib. 2290) further attest the presence of the Tyrians in Delos.
  53. Liv. xlii. 12: Tribus nunc locis cum Perseo foedus incisum litteris esse; uno Thebis; altero ad Delum, augustissimo et celeberrimo templo; tertio Delphis.
  54. Polyb. xxvi. fr. 5, 1, 2: τούτων ἐξετίθει προγραφὰς εἴς τε Δῆλον καὶ Δελφοὺς καὶ τὸ τῆς Ἰτωνίας Ἀθῆνας ἱερόν: a place which makes against the proposed emendation Delium in Liv. l. c.
  55. Lesbos: Expédition de Morée, vol. iii. Inscriptions of the Aegean isles; Delos, No. 2, p. 24:—Tenos, Ceos, Teos, Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2334, 2272, 3067:—Syros, Crete, inscriptions found by M. Homolle, Bulletin de Corr. h. vol. iii. p. 292.
  56. Bulletin de C. h. vol. iv. p. 471.
  57. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2234, 2273, 2283 c.
  58. Bulletin de C. h. vol. iv. pp. 320 f.
  59. Strabo notices the size of the ἑστιατόρια at the Tenian temple of Poseidon as a proof that the festivals there must have been largely attended (x. v. 11).
  60. Monuments grecs, No. 7, pp. 40 f.
  61. Bulletin de C. h. vol. ii. pp. 341 f.
  62. Cp. Lucian, πλοῖον 5, where αἱ ἄγκυραι καὶ στροφεῖα (windlasses) καὶ περιαγωγεῖς (capstans) are among the objects which the visitor admires on the deck.
  63. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2266; Lebégue, p. 303.
  64. Liv. xxxiii. 30; Polyb. xxx. 18.
  65. The question has been discussed by Hertzberg, Gesch. Griechenlands, vol. i. p. 84, who in his note (60, ib.) collects the authorities.
  66. Revue archéol. 1873, xxvi. pp. 257 f.
  67. In his word on the Chronological Sequence of the Coins of Ephesus (1880), Mr Barclay V. Head has proved a fact which is of interest for the commercial history of Rhodes. He has shown that the pan-Asiatic coinage of the cistophori was introduced by Eumenes II. of Pergamus, with the consent of the Romans, about 167 B.C., when Rhodes shared in the reverses of Macedonia. Hitherto the Rhodian coinage had been the general medium of commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean: the new cistophori were designed to supplant it.
  68. Bulletin de C. h. vol. iii. p. 371. Ῥωμαίων οἱ ἀργαζόμενοι—Ῥωμαίων Ἰταλικοὶ καὶ Ἕλληνες οἱ κα...(?)—"Italicei et Graecei qui negotiantur." We may complete the lacuna after κα with the letters πηλεύοντες: unless it was κατοικοῦντες.
  69. Pliny, xxxiv. 4, xxxi. 2: Dioscorides, ii. 101: Athenaeus, iv. 173 A (who explains the nickname, διὰ τὸ τοῖς ἐλεοῖς ὑποδύεσθαι, διακονοῦντες ἐν ταῖς θοίναις). The preparation of sacrificial feasts had always been an engrossing occupation for the islanders: μαγείρων καὶ τραπεζοποιῶν παρείχοντο χρείας τοῖς παραγιγνομένοις πρὸς τὰς ἱερουργίας (l.c.). Besides the general appellative ἐλεοδύται, they had, says Athenaeus, many special soubriquets—such as Χοίρακοι, Ἀμνοί, Σήσαμοι, etc. Cp. Cic. Acad. 2, 26. Nothing is certain about the Δηλιάς of the comic poet Nicochares (in Aristot. Poet. 2, Castelvetro would read Δειλιάδα, poltroniad): but Philostephanus wrote a comedy called Δήλιος (Athen. vii. 293 A), and the Δηλιάδες of Cratinus is often cited (Meineke, Frag. I, p. 11). The Δηλία of Antiphanes is known only by name (ib. p. 364).
  70. Monuments grecs, No. 7, p. 41.
  71. Lebégue, p. 158: ψυχῇ καθα[ρούς]—ἔχοντας ἐσθῆτα λευκήν . . ἀνυποδέτους.
  72. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2293–2298.
  73. Lebégue, p. 116, Inscr. No. 21.
  74. Paus. iii. 23.
  75. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2279, 2277; Lebégue, p. 318.
  76. Ant. Jud. xiv. 10, 8.
  77. Ἁλέξανδρος Πολυκλείτου Φλυεύς is named as ἐπιμελητής (Athenian governor) of Delos in the archonship of Zenon: Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2287. Two archons of the name occur at this period—in 54 B.C. and 41 B.C. (Dumont, La Chronol. athén à Délos). M. Homolle recognises the earlier Zenon here (Bulletin de C. h. iii. 372): M. Lebégue (p. 321), the later.
  78. Photius (cod. 97) quotes Phlegon of Tralles for the statement that the pirate Athenodorus made a successful descent upon Delos, and carried many of the inhabitants into slavery.
  79. In Verrem, De praetura urbana, 17, 18.
  80. Ovid, Heroid. Ep. xxi. 82, Candida Delos: Anthol. Gr., ed. Jacobs, ii. 149, No. 421, v. 5, ἡ τότε λευκὴ Δῆλος.
  81. Ovid, l. c. 97, "Et modo porticibus spatior, modo munera regum Miror, et in cunctis stantia signa locis."
  82. Bulletin de C. h. vol. ii. p. 399. The date, M. Homolle thinks (ib. iii. 155), may have been 17 B.C., when Julia visited Asia Minor with her husband Agrippa.
  83. Bulletin de. C. h. iii. 366. The Herods, as M. Homolle remarks, were brought into relation with the Greeks by their tastes, and (as at Delos) by the instrumentality of Jewish colonies. A statue to Herod Antipas had been erected at Cos also (Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2502); and his father, Herod the Great, had received a like honour at Athens (Corp. Inscr. Att. iii. 1, 550). The date is somewhere between 4 B.C. and 38 A.D.
  84. Ἀθηναίων καὶ Ῥωμαίων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων Ἑλλήνων οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐν Δήλῳ καὶ παρεπιδημοῦντες ἔμποροι καὶ ναύκληροι. Sometimes παρεπιδημοῦντες is replaced by καταπλέοντες εἰς τὴν νῆσον: sometimes ξένων is substituted for Ἑλλήνων: sometimes we have Ἀθην. καὶ Ῥωμ. οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐν Δήλῳ καὶ οἱ ἔμποροι καὶ οἱ ναύκληροι (Bulletin de C. h. iii. 371).
  85. ὁ δῆμος ὁ Ἀθηναίων καὶ οἱ τὴν νῆσον οἰκοῦντες (ib.).
  86. Pharsal. vi. 425 (of Sextus Pompeius), Non tripodas Deli, non Pythia consulit antra.
  87. Lebégue, 263, 326: referring to Heydemann, Die Antiken Marmorbildwerke (1874), No. 235.
  88. Paus. viii. 33, 2.
  89. Anthol. Graec. ed. Jacobs, vol. ii. p. 144, No. 408 (εἴθε με παντοίοισιν—).
  90. ib. p. 149, No. 421 (νῆσοι ἐρημαῖαι—).
  91. ib. p. 195, No. 550 (κλεινὴν οὐκ ἀπόφημι—). Antipater of Thessalonica, to whom these epigrams are ascribed (though the first is given also to Apollonides) lived in the early part of the first century A.D. In another epigram (Jacobs, ii. 35, No. 100, Λητοῦς ὠδίνων ἱερὴ τροφέ) Alpheus of Mitylene (whose date was about the same) says that he cannot follow Antipater in calling Delos wretched (δειλαίην): the glory of having borne Apollo and Artemis is enough for all time.—I may note in passing that Tibullus, iii. 27 (Delos ubi nunc, Phoebe, tua est?), inadvertently quoted by M. Lebégue (324) as referring to the decay of Delos, has a different context.
  92. Gibbon, ch. xxiii. vol. iii. p. 168 (ed. Dr Smith).
  93. Theodoretus, Hist. iii. 16, πέμψας δὲ εἰς Δελφοὺς καὶ Δῆλον καὶ Δωδώνην καὶ τὰ ἄλλα χρηστήρια, εἰ χρὴ στρατεύειν ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μάντεις· οἱ δὲ καὶ στρατεύειν ἐκέλευον καὶ ὑπισχνοῦντο τὴν νίκην. Gibbon has not recorded this detail, which, trivial in itself, is highly characteristic of Julian's reverence for pagan precedents.
  94. Delphi, Dodona, and Delos were the three holy places beyond the limits of Macedonia at which Alexander had intended to build new temples: Droysen, Gesch. des Hellenismus, ii. 38.
  95. The presage of the meteor ("facem cadenti similem...minax Martis sidus," Ammian. Marcell. xxv. 2) may have been more instantly striking to Julian, if he had in his mind the only oracle concerning his campaign of which Theodoretus (l. c.) gives the terms: νῦν πάντες ὡρμήθημεν θεοὶ νίκης τρόπαια κομίσασθαι παρὰ Θηρὶ ποταμῷ (the Tigris). τῶν δ' ἐγὼ ἡγεμονεύσω, θοῦρος πολεμόκλονος Ἄρης.
  96. Finlay, Hist. of Greece, vol. ii. p. 190.
  97. Recherches sur Délos, p. 129.
  98. Cyril, Adv. Julian. ix. 307 B (quoting Poryphyry, περὶ ἀποχῆς ἐμψύχων), θεωρῆσαι δ' ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ περὶ Δῆλον ἔτι σωζομένου βωμοῦπρὸς ὃν οὐδενὸς προσαγομένου αὐτοῖς οὐδὲ θυομένου εὐσεβῶν κέκληται βωμός. Clem. Alex. Strom. vii. 848, τὸν μὲν ἀρχαιότατον βωμὸν ἐν Δήλῳ ἁγνὸν εἷναι τεθρυλλήκασι, κ.τ.λ. Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 5, τὸν ἀναίμακτον λεγόμενον τὸν τοῦ Γενέτορος Ἀπόλλωνος βωμόν.
  99. l. c.: Diog. Laert. viii. § 13: Macrobius, Sat. iii. 6.
  100. Callim. Hymn. Del. 321.
  101. See Fig. 1. The original in M. Lebégue's work is from a drawing by M. É. Burnouf.
  102. Virgil's phrase, "Templa dei saxo venerabar structa vetusto" (Aen. iii. 84) is referred to by M. Lebégue to the grotto. I hestitate to recognize so special an allusion.
  103. Lebégue, p. 89.
  104. Paus. ix. 8, 4.
  105. Monuments grecs, No. 7, pp. 28–34.
  106. Paus. vii. 3, 1; 2, 6.
  107. Orat. 18. 1, ἐν Δήλῳ, ταύτῃ τῇ νήσῳ, νεών τινα φασὶν οἱ ἐπιχώριοι δείκνυσθαι, λιτὸν μὲν ταῖς κατασκευαῖς, εὐαγῆ δὲ τῷ λόγῳ καὶ τοῖς περὶ αὐτοῦ διηγήμασιν. ἔνθα κατέχει λόγος, ὅτε ἔτικτεν ἡ Λητὼ θεούς, λυθῆναι τὰς ὠδῖνας αὐτῇ, καὶ τὸν Ἀπόλλωνα τιμῇ τοὺ χωρίου μετὰ κλάδων ἐκεῖ τοὺς ἱεροὺς πηγν;μενον τρίποδας θεμιστεύειν ἐκεῖθεν τοῖς Ἕλλησιν. The word θεμιστεύειν reminds us that in the Homeric hymn Θέμις attends the birth of the Delian Apollo (94).
  108. Corp. Inscr. Graec. 2271.
  109. Among the miscellaneous objects found on the top of Cynthus was part of a ἡλιοτρόπιον—viz.: the two supports, and a piece of the dial, which was almost vertical, like the hemisphere at Ravenna and the old solar dials in the Naples Museum (Lebégue, p. 136).
  110. M. Homolle, in the Bulletin de C. h. iii. 99. See plates i., ii., iii. published with part i. of vol. iii.
  111. Cp. Overbeck, Schriftquellen, pp. 11 f.
  112. E. Curtius, Die knieenden Figuren der algriech. Kunst (1869).
  113. Bulletin de C. h. iii. 107; cp. Monuments grecs, No. 7, p. 61.
  114. Bulletin de C. h. i. 284.
  115. Ib. iii. 147.
  116. Bulletin de C. h. i. 151.
  117. Ib. iv. 350.
  118. Cp. Strabo, xiv. 673.
  119. Cp. the contemporary Polybius, in a place which also illustrates the use of διάλαμψιν (=διάληψιν) in this Cretan text for "extimation"; ii. 61, τίνα γε χρὴ περὶ Μεγαλοπολιτῶν ἔχειν διάληψιν;...οἳ πρῶτον μὲν τὴν χώραν Κλεομένει προεῖντο, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα...ἔπταισαν τῇ πατρίδι διὰ τὴν πρὸς τοὺς Ἀχαιοὺς αἵρεσιν, "through their attachment to the Achaean League." The phrase of our text, διαθησιόμενον (to recite) τὰ πεπραγματευμένα ὑπ' αὐτῶ, may again be illustrated by Polyb. iii. 108, ἐξ αὐτοπαθείας τοῦ Λευκίου διατιθεμένουτοὺς λόγους, "thr harangue of L. being founded on his own experience." The phrase διατίθεσθαι ῥῆσιν, etc., was common in later Greek.
  120. Bulletin de C. h. iii. 290.
  121. The epic σφι would not be at variance with the general complexion of the Cretan dialect. For the subjunct. after the relative, cp. Isocrates Pan. § 44, ὥστε...ἑκατέρους ἔχειν ἐφ' οἷς φιλοτιμηθῶσιν: and ll. cc. in Goodwin, Moods § 65, I. n. 3. The Greek ἔχομεν ὅ τι εἴπωμεν seems to have been developed out of the negative form (where the subj. is deliberative), οὐκ ἔχομεν ὅ τι εἴπωμεν.
  122. Bulletin de C. h. ii. 570.
  123. Bulletin de C. h. iv. 69.
  124. See Table II. in Kirchhoff's Studien zur Gesch. des Griech. Alphabets (3rd ed. 1877).
  125. Studien, p. 73.
  126. "Etwa um die Scheide des sechsten und fünften Jahrhunderts," ib. p. 78.
  127. The mere presence of the koppa is a point on which it is unsafe to insist here. In Kirchhoff's opinion (op. cit. p. 39) the known evidence does not compel us to suppose that the koppa had falledn into disuse so early as about Ol. 60 (540 B.C.).
  128. Another possibility which occurs is that, λ standing for λλ, η is the termination of the feminine stem.
  129. See Table's I. and II. in Kirchhoff's Studien.
  130. Contemporary Review, vol. 33, p. 776 (Nov. 1878).
  131. The cost of photographic the seven plays of Sophocles in the Laurentian MS. (32, 0) at Florence has been estimated at about £500. The number of subscribers (libraries or individuals) in Europe and America would probably be sufficient to warrant this or any similar undertaking.