« AnteriorContinuar »
feet fquare. The paintings in the corridors which furround the halls of audience, defcribe the power and wealth of fovereigns. On the walls are fculptured cafkets, fcreens, pearlnecklaces, perfume-pots, ftrong boxes, and hoods enriched with precious ftones. There are alfo pictures which reprefent different ceremonies of initiation; while others difplay the progrels of love.
At a hundred paces to the eaft of the palace is a long colonnade that ferves as a portico to the buildings which appear to have been occupied by the king's household: they contain a great number of feparate apartments; their form is oblong, and their dimenfions are above twenty-five feet in length, by fifteen in breadth. They are all decorated with pictures. A gate in a very fine ftyle of architecture, on the eaftern fide of the palace, and about four hundred paces from the range of buildings which terminates it, led to this part of the royal habitation.
To the fouth of the court of obelifks were four moles, which being in a line with each other, formed on this fide the avenue to the great palace. This appears to have been the entrance of the kings of Egypt. The people were admitted no farther than the veftibule, fupported by the foreft of columns, which has been already mentioned. The particular audiences were probably given in the halls of granite. The gate of the most fouthern mole was conftructed of granite, or rather, perhaps, repaired by it, and was approached by an avenue of ninety lions, many of which are in good prefervation. Their ftature is coloffal, and their length about fifteen feet: the interval between them is
but ten feet; and they are reprefented as lying down on a base about three feet high.
An avenue of fphinxes intersects it at right angles from east to west, and unites with an avenue of rams in the fame direction. Oppofite the gate of the little palace of Karnac, the latter avenue ftretches on to about a hundred fathom from that of Luxor, of which it appears to have been a part.
In front of each of the moles, which lead to the court of obelisks in the great palace, are two and fometimes four coloffal figures in ftone or in granite. They are either feated in the pofition of thofe of Luxor, or ftanding upright in the action of walking, the arms refting on their fides, and furnished with an inflected poignard.
The fides of these vaft buildings have fuffered various accidents, and the interior conftruction is very defective. Whatever precautions the Egyptians took, in general, to insure the duration of 'their monuments, they trufted fo much to the quality of the air, which is free from every deftructive principle, that they adorned the exterior parts of them with as much care and elegance as they employed for the decoration of the interior masonry.
To the fouth, and at two hundred paces from the flank of these moles, is a fuperb gate, which leads to a small palace, placed on a line with the court of the great palace. This gate, perhaps, is the only piece of Egyptian architecture which would be taken as a model in our days. It is now detached from two moles which flanked it, as they are levelled with the ground. The Egyptian gates in this ftate are infinitely more beautiful than when they form
a part of these buildings, whofe high elevation, by contracting the fpace they ought to occupy, and overwhelming them, as it were, by difproportions, deftroys their effect. The cornice, which terminates them, resembles, in its inflexion, the waving branch of the palm-tree: the diftinct parts are executed with infinite care. It is covered with pictures both within and without, and it leads to the Imall palace which has been already mentioned. It confifts of fifteen apartments, lighted fparingly by windows, which are never feen in the temples. A double range of rams leads to the fouth gate, of the fame proportion as the lions fituated before the gate of granite.
Account of the Sepulchres of Thebes
in Egypt; from the fame.
HE whole of the mountain
Tillich begins at half a league to the weft of the Memnonium, and ends immediately oppofite to Medinet-abou, is pierced from its base to three-fourths of its elevation with a great number of fepulchral grottos. Thofe which are nearest the furface of the ground are the most spacious, as well as the moft decorated; those which are in the most elevated part of the mountain, are much more rudely contrived and executed; while fuch as hold the middle place, bear an adjufted proportion of fpace and ornament. Those which belong to the poor are the most interefting, becaufe they always contain fome reprefentation of the arts which flourihed, and the trades which were practifed, at that epocha. The plan of thefe grottos is in a great mea
fure the fame. A door, opening towards the eaft, difplays a gallery of about twenty feet in length, which is fometimes formed in a ftraight line, and at other times runs off from the entrance in a right angle: it is indifferently supported by columns or pilafters, of which the number varies from four to ten. At the extremity of the gallery is a well which leads to the catacombs, where the mummies are depofited. The depth of thefe wells varies from forty to fixty feet, and they are connected with long fubterra neous paflages, rudely thaped in the rock, which terminate in a chamber of about thirty feet fquare; whole fides are fupported by pilafters, and contain large remains of the mummies. There are evident traces of numerous other fubterraneous communications, which probably lead to other chambers, that are at prefent concealed.
tured in bale relieve, or painted in frefco, a crowd of fubjects relating to funeral ceremonies. The mot interefting pictures, which are seen there, offer a detail of circumftances, connected with the ancient inhabitants of the country.. There are reprefented their first occupations, fuch as the chace and the fishery: thence we may trace the progrefs of civilization, in the employments of the fadler, the cart. wright, the potter, the money. changer, the husbandman, and in the duties and punishments of military life. Each grotto is adorned with a cieling painted with fubjects of fancy, and whose design is exactly the fame as that of the paperhangings which were faionaable in France about thirty years ago,
In the upper gallery are sculp
The tombs of the kings are about fix thousand four hundred paces from the river. They have been formed in a narrow valley, in the centre of the mountain Libycus. The ancient way thither is not known, and the fpot is now gained -by an artificial pallage. These fepulchres occupy a large ravine, which is flanked by the bed of a torrent. The plan of one of thefe tombs will be fufficient to explain the general difpofition of the reft.
Every grot communicates with the valley by a large gate, which opens to a gallery hollowed in the rock: its breadth and height are generally about twelve feet, and its length is twenty paces to the fecond gate, which opens to another gallery of the fame breadth, and is twenty-four feet in length. To the right and left of this gallery are chambers of five feet in breadth and ten feet long. There are found paintings of arms; fuch as hatchets, poignards, curvated fabres, ftraight Twords, lances, javelins, bows, arrows, quivers, coats of mail, fhields, implements of induftry, vafes, and trinkets of every kind. The detail of preparing food is alfo repreiented.
It is in one of these chambers where we saw the two harps which had been copied by Bruce. A third gallery fucceeds, of the fame dimentions as the former, and leads to a chamber above the level of the other apartments, which is eighteen feet fquare. From this chamber is the entrance to a gallery of thirtyfour paces in length; there is allo an inclining gallery, whofe length is twenty eight paces. At its extremity is a corridor of fixteen paces, leading to a chamber of eleven paces fquare, which is con
nected with another of the fame fize by a gallery of fix paces. A fquare faloon then fucceeds, fupported by eight pillars: its length is twenty paces, and its breadth twenty. Here is the farcophagus, which contained the mummy of the king. The Romans made fome attempts to carry away this farcophagus from the grotto where it is depofited, they had even tried to level the ground, in order to facilitate its removal: but they very foon renounced the impracticable enterprize.
To the faloon of the farcophagus, another apartment fucceeds, of twenty-five paces in breadth, and forty in length. The height of the tomb is feven feet, its length eight, and its breadth fix: the total length of the gallery is two hundred and twenty-five paces. The tombs of the kings throughout their whole extent are covered with pictures and hieroglyphics; but the greater part are painted in fresco, and reprefent the most fantastic subjects that can be conceived. There it was that the Romans caught that idea of the grotesque, which formed the principal fubject of their compofitions during the fecond and third age of the empire. The refearches into Herculaneum have difcovered a great number of paintings executed in a fimilar taste.
One of the most interesting of these grottos contains a farcophagus that is ftill entire and in its place. Its length is fixteen feet, its height twelve, and its breadth fix. ftill preferves the lid, adorned with the effigy of the king, which is a fingle-block of granite. The aftonifhment that is felt, on reflecting that this enormous mafs was tran ported to the extremity of a fubter
raneous paffage two hundred paces in length, exceeds all bounds, when it is confidered that it was worked upon the place where it remains. What difficulties must have been furmounted, in order to tranfport a weight of many hundred milliers, across the almoft impracticable roads of the mountain?
Human facrifices are continually represented.
Excavation of the fubterraneous City of Pompeii; from Mariana Starke's Letters from Italy.
РОМРЕЦ was buried under
afhes and pumice-itones thrown out from Vefuvius, A. D. 79; and accidentally difcovered by fome peasants, Á. D. 1750, as they were digging in a vineyard near the river Sarno. The excavation of this interefting city was attended with lefs trouble and expense than that of 'Herculaneum, it being buried only twelve or fifteen feet under athes and pumice-ftone.
On quitting your carriage you go down a fmall defcent to the foldiers barracks, nearly an oblong-square, with a portico round it, fupported by brick pillars fuccoed and painted, with feveral figures in armour engraved upon them, fuppofed to have been done by the Roman foldiers. The rooms within the portico are of various dimenfions, fome of the largest being about fifteen feet fquare; and in one of thefe (probably a prifon) iron ftocks were found, with ikeletons ftanding in them. This part of the city contains fragments of an ancient doric temple, evidently of an anterior date, and in its appearance, far more fimply majeftic than the rest of the yet
excavated buildings: within this temple is an altar, and without-fide, near the entrance, another. building in general feems to have been compofed of a fort of tufo formed by depofitions from water, and the fame with that of which the temples at Pæftum are built.Nearly adjoining to the doric temple, is an open theatre originally lined throughout with beautiful white marble: that part which held the fpectators is of a femi-circular form, and on either fide, near the ftage, is a confular-feat: the orchestra is enclofed with two ftraight walls, and divides the ftage from the fpectators: the ftage is very wide, but fo fhallow, that little or no fcenery could have been ufed; it had three entrances all in front, and behind were the greenroom, &c. That part where the fpectators fat, is built on the fide of a hill, according to the custom of the Greeks, and on the top of this hill were covered colonades for the fpectators to retire into when it rained-thefe colonades probably ferved at other times for a public walk, as they commanded a fine view of Capri, Stabia, &c. The different claffes of people afcended this theatre by different ftair-cafes and lobbies, all of which feem to have been very convenient. Nearly adjoining to the juft-described theatre is another, not quite fo large, though in moft refpects fimilar,except that it is faid to have been covered, but whether with an awning or a roof, does not appear. The temple of Ifis is in higher prefervation than many other of the ruins, and efpecially worth notice; for, to contemplate thofe altars from whence fo many oracles have iffited, to trace the very hiding-place into which the
priefts fqueezed themselves when they spoke for the ftatue of the goddefs, nay, to discover the fecret ftairs by which they afcended into the fanctum fan&torum; in fhort, to examine the conftruction of a temple evidently built long before Pompeii was destroyed, is furely a moft interefting, fpeculation. Inftruments for facrifice, candelabres, &c. with the fkeletons of priests, thought to have been feafting at the time of the eruption, were found here. It appears that this temple had been defiroyed by an earthquake previous to the general overthrow of the city, feveral ftumps of columns, which feem originally to have fupported the buildings, being ftill difcernible: this earthquake is mentioned by Seneca; it happened in the year 63. The pillars now standing are compofed of brick ftuccoed and painted, the capitals are the fame-the whole building likewife is ftuccoed, painted, and beautifully polished within and without; the floor is Mofaic. The houses already excavated are, generally fpeaking, on a small scale; most of them, however, were evidently nothing more than fhops, and the habitations of fhopkeepers. Some few which feem to have belonged to perfons of a higher clafs are adorned with a handfome portico in front, fupported by doric columns, a large entrance, or hall, with a fountain in its centre, and on the fides, bedrooms which appear to have had little or no light except what came from the hall. In one houfe, which feems to have been three ftories high, there are three halls, and three fountains; indeed, wherever there is one of these courts, or halls, there
never fails to be a fountain in the middle of it. The pillars of every portico are compofed of brick ftuccoed and painted-the rooms are ftuccoed, painted, and beautifully vanished-the roofs arched, with terraces on the top-the floors Mofaic, and fcarce two of them alike. The windows were generally clofed with wooden fhutters; fome few, however, had glafs, which feems to have been thick, and not tranfparent-others had ifinglafs (plit into thin plates. The paintings in the fhops and very fmall houfes feem nearly as elegant as in the large ones. The houses ufually pointed out to travellers contain-First houfe-a lion on the door-fill, in Mofaic-a fountain in the middle of the yard. Second houfe-various paintings, namely, a woman feated, reading a fcroll-a landscape-comic and tragic mafks -a pretty bed-room, with paintings on the walls, reprefenting Venus attired by the graces, and Venus and Adonis-here, likewife, is a painting of a white ftag faftened to a column, and an aliar adorned with trophies emblematical of his death. Third houfe-two fnakes, emblems of longevity, done in Mofaic at the entrance. Fourth house
SALVE "welcome," in Mofaic on the threshold, and a curious labyrinth, or table for playing at an ancient game, in the centre of one of the floors -paintings reprefenting an altar, with a cock prepared for facrifice, and inftruments for facrifice lying by-a figure of Efculapius, and another of Mars-a lady dreffing her hair-fighting gladiators-a dancing Bacchante-a fine bull's head-fifh-flowers-poultry
The two juft-named Mofaics feem to indicate that this houfe was an inn.