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Exploration of the Boeotian Orchomenus

  • Heinrich Schliemann

The traveller from Athens who desires to visit the Boeotian Orchomenus proceeds thither on the turnpike-road by way of Eleusis, Thebes, and Lebadeia. He leaves Athens by descending the Hermes Street, turning to the right nearly opposite to the Theseum, and passing on the left the magnificent ancient funeral monuments at the Hagia-Trias as well as the Dipylum, and other vast ruins brought to light in the adjoining excavations. He soon passes to his left the Botanical Garden, enters (18 minutes) the vast plantations of olive trees, and sees at a distance of half a mile to his right the hill of Colonos, which has been rendered celebrated by Sophocles, and on which are the sepulchres of Charles Lenormant and Karl Otfried Müller. In the grove he successively passes three arms of the river Kephissus, which are nearly always dry; among the olive trees there are several to which the famous Athenian botanist, Th. von Heldreich, ascribes an age of more than 1,500 years. It is probable that for some distance from its issue from the olive grove (20 minutes) the present road is identical with the ancient sacred road, for we see there the little chapel of St. George, apparently on the site of a temple on the ancient roadside; a number of excavated rock-cut tombs, which border the road, can leave almost no doubt in this respect. But at the foot of the conical hill of Poikilus, at the entrance of the defile (20 minutes), the sacred road appears to have turned to the right, whilst the modern way turns to the left. The defile is bordered on the right by Mount Icarus, on the left by Mount Corydallus (that is, lark, Alauda cristata), which latter is crowned by a tower and ruined walls. On the left, in entering the defile, we see in an excavation foundations of large stones, which mark the famous sepulchre of the Hetaera Pythionike, excavated in 1855 by General Vassoignes. This monument, which is described by Pausanias as the most remarkable and most magnificent of all ancient Greek tombs, was—according to him—erected by the Macedonian Harpalos in honour of Pythionike, with whom he had fallen so deeply in love that he had made her his lawful wife.

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page 123 note 1 Pausanias, i. 7, 5.

page 123 note 2 Idem.

page 124 note 1 Strabo, ix. p. 395.

page 124 note 2 Strabo, ix. p. 394.

page 125 note 1 ‘Castellum, quod et imminet, et circumdatum est templo.’—Livy, xxxi. 25.

page 127 note 1 Bursian, , Geographie von Griechenland, vol. i. p. 225, Leipzig, 1862.

page 127 note 2 Il. ii. 505.

page 128 note 1 ix. 39.

page 130 note 1 Travels in Northern Greece, ii. p. 143.

page 130 note 2 Travels in Northern Greece, ii. p. 145.

page 133 note 1 Pausanias, ix. 38.

page 133 note 2 Strabo, ix. p. 416.

page 134 note 1 Paus. ix. 34 and 38.

page 134 note 2 Müller, O., Orchomenos und die Minyer, pp. 177186; Clarke, , Travels, ii. p. 152.

page 134 note 3 ix. 379–382:

page 134 note 4 Iliad, ii. 511: οἳ δ' Ἀσπληδόνα ναῖον Ὀρχομενὸν Μινύειον See also Pindar, Ol. xiv. 4, Thucydides, iv. 76, and Strabo, ix. p. 414, who confirms the tradition of the former power and wealth of Orchomenus.

page 134 note 5 Pausanias, ix. 36:

page 135 note 1 ix. 38:

page 135 note 2 It is difficult to determine when Pausanias visited Orchomenus, for he lived under Hadrian (see i. 5) and the two Antonines (see ii. 27, viii. 43, x. 34). The latest date given in his work is the year 174 A.D.; we find it by adding the 217 years, which the Periegete reckons from the restoration of Corinth to his time, to the year 44 B.C. or 710 of Rome, the date of that restoration.

page 135 note 3 Itinéraire de l'Orient, Paris, 1873, p. 181.

page 135 note 4 Orchomenos und die Minyer, p. 235.

page 135 note 5 Travels in Northern Greece, ii. p. 148.

page 135 note 6 Travels in Northern Greece, ii. p. 148.

page 136 note 1 Travels in Northern Greece, ii. p. 149.

page 141 note 1 See my Mycenae, Plate IV.

page 143 note 1 Travels in Northern Greece, ii. p. 150.

page 145 note 1 Odyssey, vii. 84–87.

page 145 note 2 Il. i. 426.

page 145 note 3 ii. 23.

page 148 note 1 See my Ilios, Nos. 836–838.

page 148 note 2 See my Mycenae, Nos. 140, 153, 472, 476.

page 148 note 3 See my Mycenae, Nos. 151, 470, 471.

page 148 note 4 See Ilios, Nos. 842, 843, 835, 873, 907, 920, 903; and Mycenae, Nos. 281, 283, 284, 285, 337, 344, 354, etc.

page 152 note 1 See my Mycenae, Coloured Plate A, fig. a and b, and Nos. 84, 88.

page 152 note 2 See my Mycenae, No. 230.

page 154 note 1 See my Ilios, No. 1381.

page 156 note 1 ix. 38.

page 156 note 2 Idem.

page 156 note 3 Idem.

page 161 note 1 Life of Pelopidas.

page 162 note 1 ix. p. 411.

page 162 note 2 Aristophanes, , Acharn. v. 880; also Archestrat, apud Athen. i. 7, 13: Poll. i. 6.

page 162 note 3 ix. 24:

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