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VICTORY OF OLYMPIA
AUTHOR OF "four OLD GREEKS," ETC.
Instructor in History and English in the
Francis W. Parker School, Chicago
WITB MANY DRAWINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
FROM ORIGINAL SOURCES
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
THE iN£W YORK
ASTOR, LKNOX AND
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
All rights reserved — no part of this book may be
reproduced in any form without permission in writing
from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes
to quote brief passages in connection with a review
written for inclusion in magazine or newspaper.
Set up and printed, Published October, 1922.
Reprinted February, July, 1923; November,
1924; June, 1926; June, 1929; November,
1930; November, 1931; November, 1933.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BY THE FERRIS PRINTING COMPANY
The publishers are grateful to the estate of Miss
Jennie Hall and to her many friends for assistance in
planning the publication of this book. Especial thanks
are due to Miss Nell C. Curtis of the Lincoln School,
New York City, for helping to finish Miss Hall's work
of choosing the pictures, and to Miss Irene I. Cleaves of
the Francis Parker School, Chicago, who wrote the cap-
tions. It was Miss Katharine Taylor, now of the Shady
Hill School, Cambridge, who brought these stories to
FOREWORD: TO BOYS AND GIRLS
Do you like to dig for hidden treasure ? Have you ever
found Indian arrowheads or Indian pottery? I knew a boy
who was digging a cave in a sandy place, and he found an
Indian grave. With his own hands he uncovered the bones
and skull of some brave warrior. That brown skull was
more precious to him than a mint of money. Another boy I
knew was making a cave of his own. Suddenly he dug into
an older one made years before. He crawled into it with
a leaping heart and began to explore. He found an old
carpet and a bit of burned candle. They proved that some
one had lived there. What kind of a man had he been and
what kind of life had he lived — black or white or red, rob-
ber or beggar or adventurer? Some of us were walking in
the woods one day when we saw a bone sticking out of the
ground. Luckily we had a spade, and we set to work dig-
ging. Not one moment was the tool idle. First one bone
and then another came to light and among them a perfect
horse's skull. We felt as though w^e had rescued Captain
Kidd's treasure, and w^e went home draped in bones.
Suppose that instead of finding the bones of a horse w^e
had uncovered a gold-wTapped king. Suppose that instead
of a deserted cave that boy had dug into a whole buried
vi FOREWORD: TO BOYS AND GIRLS
city with theaters and mills and shops and beautiful houses.
Suppose that instead of picking up an Indian arrowhead
you could find old golden vases and crowns and bronze
swords lying in the earth. If you could be a digger and a
finder and could choose your find, would you choose a mar-
ble statue or a buried bakeshop with bread two thousand
years old still in the oven or a king's grave filled with gol-
den gifts ? It is of such digging and such finding that this
Foreword: To Boys and Girls . . . . . » » » o « v
1. The Greek Slave and the Little Roman Boy 1
2. Vesuvius o . 16
3. Pompeii Today 25
Pictures of Pompeii:
A Roman Boy 47
The City of "^ Naples 49
Vesuvius in Eruption 51
Pompeii from an Airplane 53
Nola Street; the Stabian Gate 55
In the Street of Tombs 57
The Amphitheater; the Baths 59
Temple of Apollo; School of the Gladiators .... 61
The Smaller Theater QS
A Sacrifice 65
Scene in the Forum; Hairpins; Bath Appliances . . 67
Peristyle of the House of the Vettii 69
Lady Playing a Harp 71
Kitchen of the House of the Vettii 73
Kitchen Utensils; Centaur Cup 75
The House of the Tragic Poet 77
Mosaic of Watch Dog 79
The House of Diomede 81
A Bakery; Section of a Mill 83
Lucius Caecilius Jucundus 85
Bronze Candleholder 87
The Dancing Faun 89
siii C O X T E X T S
Hermes in Repose 91
The Arch of Xero 93
1. Two Winners of Crowns 94
2. How a City Was Lost 123
Pictures of Olympia:
Entrance to Stadion 135
Boys in Gymnasium 139
Temple of Zeus 141
The Labors of Herakles 14-2-7
The Statue of Victory 149
The Hermes of Praxiteles 151
The Temple of Hera 153
Head of an Athlete 155
A Greek Horseman 157
1. How a Lost City Was Eound 159
Pictures of Mycenoe:
The Circle of Royal Tombs 175
Doctor and Mrs. Schliemann at Work 177
The Gate of Lions 179
Inside the Treasury of Atreus 181
The Interior of the Palace 183
Gold Mask; Cow's Head 185
The Warrior Vase 187
Bronze Helmets; Gem 189
Bronze Da^srers 191
Carved Ivory Head: Bronze Brooches 193
A Ctip from Vaphio 195
Gold Plates: Gold Ornament 197
Mvcenae in the Distance 1&9
THE GREEK SLAVE AND THE LITTLE ROMAN BOY
ARISTON, the Greek slave, was busily painting. He
stood in a little room with three smooth walls. The
fourth side was open upon a court. A little fountain
splashed there. Above stretched the brilliant sky of Italy.
The August sun shone hotly down. It cut sharp shadows
of the columns on the cement floor. This was the
master's room. The artist was painting the walls. Two
were already gay with pictures. They showed the mighty
deeds of warlike Herakles. Here was Herakles strangling
the lion, Herakles killing the hideous hydra, Herakles
carrying the wild boar on his shoulders, Herakles training
the mad horses. But now the boy was jDainting the best
deed of all — Herakles saving Alcestis from death. He had
made the hero big and beautiful. The strong muscles lay
smooth in the great body. One hand trailed the club. On
the other arm hung the famous lion skin. With that hand
Bronze Lamps. The bowl held olive oil. A wick came out at the nozzle.
These lamps gave a dim and smoky light.
2 BURIED CITIES
the god led Alcestis. He turned his head toward her and
smiled. On the ground lay Death, bruised and bleeding.
One batlike black wing hung broken. He scowled after
the hero and the woman. In the sky above him stood
Apollo, the lord of life, looking down. But the picture of
the god was only half finished. The figure was sketched
in outline. Ariston was rapidly laying on paint with his
little brushes. His eyes glow^ed with Apollo's own fire.
His lips were open, and his breath came through them
"O god of beauty, god of Hellas, god of freedom, help
me!" he half whispered while his brush worked.
For he had a great plan in his mind. Here he was, a
slave in- this rich Roman's house. Yet he was a free-born
son of Athens, from a family of painters. Pirates had
brought him here to Pompeii, and had sold him as a slave.
His artist's skill had helped him, even in this cruel land.
For his master, Tetreius, loved beauty. The Roman had
soon found that his young Greek slave was a painter. He
had said to his steward:
"Let this boy work at the mill no longer. He shall paint
the walls of my private room."
So he had talked to Ariston about what the pictures
should be. The Greek had found that this solemn, frown-
ing Roman was really a kind man. Then hope had sprung
up in his breast and had sung of freedom.
"I will do my best to please him," he had thought.
"When all the walls are beautiful, perhaps he will smile
at my work. Then I will clasp his knees. I will tell him
of my father, of Athens, of how I was stolen. Perhaps he
will send me home."
Now the painting was almost done. As he worked, a
thousand pictures were flashing through his mind. He saw
his beloved old home in lovely Athens. He felt his father's
hand on his, teaching him to paint. He gazed again at the
Parthenon, more beautiful than a dream. Then he saw
himself playing on the fishing boat on that terrible holiday.
He saw the pirate ship sail swiftly from behind a rocky
point and pounce upon them. He saw himself and his
friends dragged aboard. He felt the tight rope on his
wrists as they bound him and threw him under the deck.
He saw himself standing here in the market place of
Pompeii. He heard himself sold for a slave. At that
thought he threw down his brush and groaned.
But soon he grew calmer. Perhaps the sweet drip of
the fountain cooled his hot thoughts. Perhaps the soft
touch of the sun soothed his heart. He took up his brushes
again and set to work.
"The last figure shall be the most beautiful of all," he
said to himself. "It is my own god, Apollo."
So he worked tenderly on the face. With a few little
strokes he made the mouth smile kindly. He made the
blue eyes deep and gentle. He lifted the golden curls with
a little breeze from Olympos. The god's smile cheered
him. The beautiful colors filled his mind. He forgot his
sorrows. He forgot everything but his picture. Minute
4 BURIED CITIES
by minute it grew under his moving brush. He smiled into
the god's eyes.
Meantime a great noise arose in the house. There were
cries of fear. There was running of feet.
"A great cloud!" "Earthquake!" "Fire and hail!"
"Smoke from hell!" "The end of the world!" "Run!
And men and women, all slaves, ran screaming through
the house and out of the front door. But the painter only
half heard the cries. His ears, his eyes, his thoughts were
full of Apollo.
For a little the house was still. Only the fountain and
the shadows and the artist's brush moved there. Then came
a great noise as though the sky had split open. The low,
sturdy house trembled. Ariston's brush was shaken and
blotted Apollo's eye. Then there was a clattering on the
cement floor as of a million arrows. Ariston ran into the
court. From the heavens showered a hail of gray, soft
little pebbles like beans. They burned his upturned face.
They stung his bare arms. He gave a cry and ran back
under the porch roof. Then he heard a shrill call above
all the clattering. It came from the far end of the house.
Ariston ran back into the private court. There lay Caius,
his master's little sick son. His couch was under the open
sky, and the gray hail was pelting down upon him. He was
covering his head with his arms and wailing.
"Little master!" called Ariston. "What is it? What has
happened to us?"
*'Oh, take me!" cried the little boy.
*'Where are the others?" asked Ariston.
"They ran away," answered Caius. "They were afraid.
He pointed to the sky and screamed with terror.
Ariston looked. Behind the city lay a beautiful hill,
green with trees. But now from the flat top towered a
huge, black cloud. It rose straight like a pine tree and
then spread its black branches over the heavens. And
from that cloud showered these hot, pelting pebbles of
"It is a volcano," cried Ariston.
He had seen one spouting fire as he had voyaged on the
"I want my father," wailed the little boy.
Then Ariston remembered that his master was away
from home. He had gone in a ship to Rome to get a great
physician for his sick boy. He had left Caius in the charge
of his nurse, for the boy's mother was dead. But now every
slave had turned coward and had run away and left the
little master to die.
Ariston pulled the couch into one of the rooms. Here
the roof kept off the hail of stones.
"Your father is expected home to-day, master Caius,"
said the Greek. "He will come. He never breaks his
word. We will wait for him here. This strange shower
will soon be over."
So he sat on the edge of the couch, and the little
6 BURIED CITIES
Roman laid his head in his slave's lap and sobbed. Ariston
watched the falling pebbles. They were light and full of
little holes. Every now and then black rocks of the size of
his head whizzed through the air. Sometimes one fell into
the open cistern and the water hissed at its heat. The
pebbles lay piled a foot deep all over the courtyard floor.
And still they fell thick and fast.
"Will it never stop?" thought Ariston.
Several times the ground swayed under him. It felt
like the moving of a ship in a storm. Once there was
thunder and a trembling of the house. Ariston was look-
ing at a little bronze statue that stood on a tall, slender
column. It tottered to and fro in the earthquake. Then
it fell, crashing into the piled-up stones. In a few minutes
the falling shower had covered it.
Ariston began to be more afraid. He thought of
Death as he had painted him in his picture. He imagined
that he saw him hiding behind a column. He thought he
heard his cruel laugh. He tried to look up toward the
mountain, but the stones pelted him down. He felt terri-
bly alone. Was all the rest of the world dead? Or was
every one else in some safe place?
"Come, Caius, we must get away," he cried. "We shall
be buried here."
He snatched up one of the blankets from the couch.
He threw the ends over his shoulders and let a loop hang
at his back. He stood the sick boy in this and wound the
ends around them both. Caius was tied to his slave's back.
His heavy little head hung on Ariston's shoulder. Then
the Greek tied a pillow over his own head. He snatched
up a staff and ran from the house. He looked at his
picture as he passed. He thought he saw Death half rise
from the ground. But Apollo seemed to smile at his
At the front door Ariston stumbled. He found the
street piled deep with the gi'ay, soft pebbles. He had to
scramble up on his hands and knees. From the house op-
posite ran a man. He looked wild with fear. He was
clutching a little statue of gold. Ariston called to him,
"Which way to the gate?"
But the man did not hear. He rushed madly on. Aris-
ton followed him. It cheered the boy a little to see that
somebody else was still alive in the world. But he had a
hard task. He could not run. The soft pebbles crunched
under his feet and made him stumble. He leaned far for-
ward under his heavy burden. The falling shower scorched
his bare arms and legs. Once a heavy stone struck him on
his cushioned head, and he fell. But he was up in an in-
stant. He looked around bewildered. His head was ring-
ing. The air was hot and choking. The sun was gone.
The shower was blinding. Whose house was this? The
door stood open. The court was empty. Where was the
city gate? Would he never get out? He did not know
this street. Here on the corner was a wine shop with its
open sides. But no men stood there drinking. Wine cups
were tipped over and broken on the marble counter. Aris-
8 BURIED CITIES
ton stood in a daze and watched the wine spilling into the
Then a crowd came rushing past him. It was evi-
dently a family fleeing for their lives. Their mouths were
open as though they were crying. But Ariston could not
hear their voices. His ears shook with the roar of the moun-
tain. An old man was hugging a chest. Gold coins were
spilling out as he ran. Another man was dragging a faint-
ing woman. A young girl ran ahead of them with white
face and streaming hair. Ariston stumbled on after this
company. A great black slave came swiftly around a cor-
ner and ran into him and knocked him over, but fled on
without looking back. As the Greek boy fell forward, the
rough little pebbles scoured his face. He lay there moan-
ing. Then he began to forget his troubles. His aching
body began to rest. He thought he would sleep. He saw
Apollo smiling. Then Caius struggled and cried out. He
pulled at the blanket and tried to free himself. This roused
Ariston, and he sat up. He felt the hot pebbles again. He
heard the mountain roar. He dragged himself to his feet
and started on. Suddenly the street led him out into a
broad space. Ariston looked around him. All about
stretched wide porches with their columns. Temple roofs
rose above them. Statues stood high on their pedestals.
He was in the forum. The great open square was crowded
with hurrying people. Under one of the porches Ariston
saw the money changers locking their boxes. From a wide
doorway ran several men. They were carrying great bun-
dies of woolen cloth, richly embroidered and dyed with
precious purple. Down the great steps of Jupiter's temple
ran a priest. Under his arms he clutched two large plat-
ters of gold. Men were running across the forum drag-
ging bags behind them.
Every one seemed trying to save his most precious things.
And every one was hurrying to the gate at the far end.
Then that was the way out! Ariston picked up his heavy
feet and ran. Suddenly the earth swayed under him. He
heard horrible thunder. He thought the mountain was
falling upon him. He looked behind. He saw the columns
of the porch tottering. A man was running out from one
of the buildings. But as he ran, the walls crashed down.
The gallery above fell cracking. He was buried. Ariston
saw it all and cried out in horror. Then he prayed:
"O Lord Poseidon, shaker of the earth, save me! I am
Then he came out of the forum. A steep street sloped
down to a gate. A river of people was pouring out there.
The air was full of cries. The great noise of the crowd
made itself heard even in the noise of the volcano. The
streets were full of lost treasures. Men pushed and fell
and were trodden upon. But at last Ariston passed
through the gateway and was out of the city. He looked
"It is no better," he sobbed to himself.
The air was thicker now. The shower had changed to
hot dust as fine as ashes. It blurred his eyes. It stopped
10 BURIED CITIES
his nostrils. It choked his lungs. He tore his chiton from
top to bottom and wrapped it about his mouth and nose.
He looked back at Caius and pulled the blanket over his
head. Behind him a huge cloud was reaching out long
black arms from the mountain to catch him. Ahead, the
sun was only a red wafer in the shower of ashes. Around
him people were running off to hide under rocks or trees
or in the country houses. Some were running, running
anywhere to get away. Out of one courtyard dashed a
chariot. The driver was lashing his horses. He pushed
them ahead through the crowd. He knocked people over,
but he did not stop to see what harm he had done. Curses
flew after him. He drove on down the road.
Ariston remembered when he himself had been dragged
up here two years ago from the pirate ship.
"This leads to the sea," he thought. "I will go there.
Perhaps I shall meet my master, Tetreius. He will come
by ship. Surely I shall find him. The gods will send
him to me. O blessed gods!"
But what a sea! It roared and tossed and boiled. While
Ariston looked, a ship was picked up and crushed and
swallowed. The sea poured up the steep shore for hun-
dreds of feet. Then it rushed back and left its strange
fish gasping on the dry land. Great rocks fell from the
sky, and steam rose up as they splashed into the water.
The sun was growing fainter. The black cloud was com-
ing on. Soon it would be dark. And then what? Ariston
lay down where the last huge wave had cooled the ground.
"It is all over, Caius," he murmured. "I shall never see
For a while there were no more earthquakes. The sea
grew a little less wild. Then the half-fainting Ariston
heard shouts. He lifted his head. A small boat had come
ashore. The rowers had leaped out. They were dragging
it up out of reach of the weaves.
"How strange!" thought Ariston. "They are not run-
ning away. They must be brave. We are all cowards."
"Wait for me here!" cried a lordly voice to the rowers.
When he heard that voice Ariston struggled to his feet
"Marcus Tetreius! Master!"
He saw the man turn and run toward him. Then the
boy toppled over and lay face down in the ashes.
When he came to himself he felt a great shower of
water in his face. The burden was gone from his back.
He was lying in a row boat, and the boat was falling to the
bottom of the sea. Then it was flung up to the skies.
Tetreius was shouting orders. The rowers were streaming
with sweat and sea water.
In some way or other they all got up on the waiting
ship. It always seemed to Ariston as though a wave had
thrown him there. Or had Poseidon carried him? At any
rate, the great oars of the galley were flying. He could
hear every rower groan as he pulled at his oar. The sails,
too, were spread. The master himself stood at the helm.
His face was one great frown. The boat was flung up
12 BURIED CITIES
and down like a ball. Then fell darkness blacker than
"Who can steer without sun or stars?" thought the boy.
Then he remembered the look on his master's face as he
stood at the tiller. Such a look Ariston had painted on
Herakles' face as he strangled the lion.
"He will get us out," thought the slave.
For an hour the swift ship fought with the waves. The
oarsmen were rowing for their lives. The master's arm
was strong, and his heart was not for a minute afraid. The
wind was helping. At last they reached calm waters.
"Thanks be to the gods!" cried Tetreius. "We are out
of that boiling pot."
At his words fire shot out of the mountain. It glowed
red in the dusty air. It flung great red arms across the
sky after the ship. Every man and spar and oar on the
vessel seemed burning in its light. Then the fire died, and
thick darkness swallowed everything. Ariston's heart
seemed smothered in his breast. He heard the slaves on
the rowers' benches scream with fear. Then he heard their
leader crying to them. He heard a whip whiz through the
air and strike on bare shoulders. Then there was a crash
as though the mountain had clapped its hands. A thicker
shower of ashes filled the air. But the rowers were at their
oars again. The ship was flying.
So for two hours or more Tetreius and his men fought
for safety. Then they came out into fresher air and calmer
water. Tetreius left the rudder.
"Let the men rest and thank the gods," he said to his
overseer. "We have come up out of the grave."
When Ariston heard that, he remembered the Death he
had left painted on his master's walh By that time the
picture was surely buried under stones and ashes. The boy
covered his face with his ragged chiton and wept. He
hardly knew what he was crying for — the slavery, the pic-
ture, the buried city, the fear of that horrid night, the sor-
rows of the people left back there, his father, his dear home
in Athens. At last he fell asleep. The night was horrible
with dreams — fire, earthquake, strangling ashes, cries, thun-
der, lightning. But his tired body held him asleep for sev-
eral hours. Finally he awoke. He was lying on a soft
mattress. A warm blanket covered him. Clean air filled
his nostrils. The gentle light of dawn lay upon his eyes.
A strange face bent over him.
"It is only weariness," a kind voice was saying. "He
needs food and rest more than medicine."
Then Ariston saw Tetreius, also, bending over him.
The slave leaped to his feet. He was ashamed to be caught
asleep in his master's presence. He feared a frown for his
"My picture is finished, master," he cried, still half
"And so is your slavery," said Tetreius, and his eyes
"It was not a slave who carried my son out of hell on
his back. It was a hero."
14 BURIED CITIES
He turned around and called, "Come hither, my
Three Roman gentlemen stepped up. They looked
kindly upon Ariston.
"This is the lad who saved my son," said Tetreius. "I
call you to witness that he is no longer a slave. Ariston,
I send you from my hand a free man."
He struck his hand lightly on the Greek's shoulder, as
all Roman masters did when they freed a slave. Ariston
cried aloud with joy. He sank to his knees weeping. But
Tetreius went on.
"This kind physician says that Caius will live. But he
needs good air and good nursing. He must go to some
one of ^sculapius' holy places. He shall sleep in the tem-
ple and sit in the shady porches, and walk in the sacred
groves. The wise priests will give him medicines. The god
will send healing dreams. Do you know of any such place,
The Greek thought of the temple and garden of
^sculapius on the sunny side of the Acropolis at home
in Athens. But he could not speak. He gazed hungrily
into Tetreius' eyes. The Roman smiled.
"Ariston, this ship is bound for Athens! All my life I
have loved her — her statues, her poems, her great deeds. I
have wished that my son might learn from her wise men.
The volcano has buried my home, Ariston. But my wealth
and my friends and my son are aboard this ship. What do
you say, my friend? Will you be our guide in Athens?"
Ariston leaped up from his knees. A fire of joy burned
in his eyes. He stretched his hands to the sky.
"O blessed Herakles," he cried, "again thou hast con-
quered Death. Thou didst snatch us from the grave of
Pompeii. Give health to this Roman boy. O fairest
Athena, shed new beauty upon our violet crowned Athens.
For there is coming to visit her the best of men, my master
SO a living city was buried in a few hours. Wooded
hills and green fields lay covered under great ash
heaps. Ever since that terrible eruption Vesuvius has
been restless. Sometimes she has been quiet for a hun-
dred years or more and men have almost forgotten that she
ever thundered and spouted and buried cities. But all at
once she would move again. She would shoot steam and
ashes into the sky. At night fire would leap out of her
top. A few times she sent out dust and lava and destroyed
houses and fields. A man who lived five hundred years
after Pompeii was destroyed described Vesuvius as she was
in his time. He said:
"This mountain is steep and thick with woods below.
Above, it is very craggy and wild. At the top is a deep
cave. It seems to reach the bottom of the mountain. If
you peep in you can see fire. But this ordinarily keeps in
and does not trouble the people. But sometimes the moun-
A Marble Table: The lions' heads were painted yellow. You can see a taJble
much like this in the garden pictured later.
tain bellows like an ox. Soon after it casts out huge masses
of cinders. If these catch a man, he hath no way to save
his life. If they fall upon houses, the roofs are crushed
by the weight. If the wind blow stiff, the ashes rise out of
sight and are carried to far countries. But this bellowing
comes only every hundred years or thereabout. And the
air around the mountain is pure. None is more healthy.
Physicians send thither sick men to get well."
The ashes that had covered Pompeii changed to rich
soil. Green vines and shrubs and trees sprang up and cov-
ered it, and flowers made it gay. Therefore people said to
"After all, she is a good old mountain. There will never
be another eruption while we are alive."
So villages grew up around her feet. Farmers came
and built little houses and planted crops and were happy
working the fertile soil. They did not dream that they were
living above a buried city, that the roots of their vines
sucked water from an old Roman house, that buried statues
lay gazing up toward them as they worked.
About three hundred years ago came another terrible
eruption. Again there were earthquakes. Again the
mountain bellowed. Again black clouds turned day into
night. Lightning flashed from cloud to cloud. Tempests
of hot rain fell. The sea rushed back and forth on the shore.
The whole top of the mountain was blown out or sank into
the melting pot. Seven rivers of red-hot lava poured down
the slopes. They flowed for five miles and fell into the
18 BURIED CITIES
sea. On the way they set fire to forests and covered five
little villages. Thousands of people were killed.
Since that time Vesuvius has been very active. Almost
every year there have been eruptions with thunder and
earthquakes and showers and lava. A few of these have
done much damage.* And even on her calmest days a cloud
has always hung above the mountain top. Sometimes it
has been thin and white — a cloud of steam. Sometimes it
has been black and curling — a cloud of dust.
Vesuvius is a dangerous thing, but very beautiful. It
stands tall and pointed and graceful against a lovely sky.
Its little cloud waves from it like a plume. At night the
mountain is swallowed by the dark. But the red rivers
down its slopes glare in the sky. It is beautiful and ter-
rible like a tiger. Thousands of people have loved it. They
have climbed it and looked down its crater. It is like look-
ing into the heart of the earth. One of these travelers wrote
of his visit in 1793. He said:
"For many days Vesuvius has been in action. I have
watched it from Naples. It is wonderfully beautiful and
always changing. On one day huge clouds poured out
of the top. They hung in the sky far above, white as snow.
Suddenly a cloud of smoke rushed out of another mouth.
It was as black as ink. The black column rose tall and curl-
ing beside the snowy clouds. That was a picture in black
and white. But at another time I saw one in bright colors.
* In tliis year, 1922, Vesmdus has been very active for the first time since
1906. It has been causing considerable alarm in Naples. A new cone, 230 feet
high, has developed. — Ed.
"On a certain night there were towers and curls and
waves and spires of flames leaping from the top of the
mountain. Millions of red-hot stones were shot into the
sky. They sailed uj)ward for hundreds of feet, then curved
and fell like skyrockets. I looked through my telescope
and saw liquid lava boiling and bubbling over the crater's
edge. I could see it splash upon the rocks and glide slowly
down the sides of the cone. The whole top of the moun-
tain was red with melted rock. And above it waved the
changing flames of red, orange, yellow, blue.
"On another night, as I was getting into bed, I felt an
earthquake. I looked out of my window toward Vesuvius.
All the top was glowing with red-hot matter. A terrible
roaring came from the mountain. In an instant fire shot
high into the air. The red column curved and showered
the whole cone. In half a minute came another earth-
quake shock. My doors and windows rattled. Things
were shaken from my table to the floor. Then came the
thunder of an explosion from the mountain and another
shower of fire. After a few seconds there were noises like
the trampling of horses' hoofs. It was, of course, the noise
of the shot-out stones falling upon the rocks of the moun-
tainsides eight miles away.
"I decided to ascend the volcano and see the crater from
which all these interesting things came. A few friends went
with me. For most of the way we traveled on horses. Af-
ter two or three hours we reached the bottom of the cone
of rocks and ashes. From there we had to go on foot. We
went over to the river of red-hot lava. We planned to
walk up along its edge. But the hot rock was smoking, and
the wind blew the smoke into our faces. A thick mist of
fine ashes from the crater almost suffocated us. Sulphur
fumes blew toward us and choked us. I said,
" 'We must cross the stream of lava. On the other
side the wind will not trouble us.'
" 'Cross that melted rock?' my friends cried out. 'We
should sink into it and be burned alive.'
"But as we stood talking great stones were thrown out
of the volcano. They rolled down the mountainside close
to us. If they had struck us it would have been death.
There was only one way to save ourselves. I covered my
face with my hat and rushed across the stream of lava.
The melted rock was so thick and heavy that I did not sink
in. I only burned my boots and scorched my hands. My
friends followed me. On that side we were safe. We
climbed for half an hour. Then we came to the head of our
red river. It did not flow over the edge of the crater. Many
feet down from the top it had torn a hole through the cone.
I shall never forget the sight as long as I live. There was
a vast arch in the black rock. From this arch rushed a
clear torrent of lava. It flowed smoothly like honey. It
glowed with all the splendor of the sun. It looked thin
like golden water.
" 'I could stir it with a stick,' said one of my friends.
" 'I doubt it,' I said. 'See how slowly it flows. It must
be very thick and heavy.'
"To test it we threw pebbles into it. They did not sink,
but floated on Hke corks. We rolled in heavier stones of
seventy or eighty pounds. They only made shallow dents
in the stream and floated down with the current. A great
rock of three hundred pounds lay near. I raised it upon
end and let it fall into the lava. Very slowly it sank and
"As the stream flowed on it spread out wider over the
mountain. Farther down the slope it grew darker and
harder. It started from the arch like melted gold. Then
it changed to orange, to bright red, to dark red, to brown,
as it cooled. At the lower end it was black and hard and
broken like cinders.
"We cHmbed a little higher above the arch. There was
a kind of chimney in the rock. Smoke and stream were
coming out of it. I went close. The fumes of sulphur
choked me. I reached out and picked some lumps of pure
sulphur from the edge of the rock. For one moment the
smoke ceased. I held my breath and looked down the hole.
I saw the glare of red-hot lava flowing beneath. The moun-
tain was a pot, full of boiling rock."
Another man writes of a visit in 1868, a quieter year.
"At first we climbed gentle slopes through vineyards
and fields and villages. Sometimes we came suddenly upon
a black line in a green meadow. A few years before it had
flowed down red-hot. Further up we reached large
stretches of rock. Here wild vines and lupines were grow-
ing in patches where the lava had decayed into soil. Then
22 BURIED CITIES
came bare slopes with dark hollow and sharp ridges. We
walked on old stiff lava-streams. Sometimes we had to
plod through piles of coarse, porous cinders. Sometimes
we climbed over tangled, lumpy beds of twisted, shiny rock.
Sometimes we looked into dark arched tunnels. Red
streams had once flowed out of them. A few times we
jjassed near fresh cracks in the mountain. Here steam
"At last we reached a broad, hot piece of ground. Here
were smoking holes. The night before I had looked at
them with a telescope from the foot of the mountain. I
had seen red rivers flowing from them. Now they were
empty. Last night's lava lay on the slope, cooled and black.
I was standing on it. My feet grew hot. I had to keep
moving. The air I breathed was warm and smelled like
that of an iron foundry. I pushed my pole into a crack
in the rock. The wood caught fire. I was standing on a
thin crust. What was below? I broke out a piece of the
hard lava. A red spot glared up at me. Under the crust
red-hot lava was still flowing. I knew that it would be
several years before it would be perfectly cool."
So for three centuries people have watched Vesuvius
at work. But she is much older than that — thousands of
years older — older than any city or country or people in the
world. In all that time she has poured out millions of tons
of matter — lava, huge glassy boulders, little pebbles of
pumice stone, long shining hairs, fine dust or ashes. All
these things are different forms of melted rock. Some-
times the steam blows the liquid into fine dust; sometimes
it breaks it into little pieces and fills them with bubbles. At
another time the steam is not so strong and only pushes the
stuff out gently over the crater's edge, ^lany different
minerals are found in these rocks — iron, copper, lead, mica,
zinc, sulphur. Some pieces are beautiful in color — blue,
green, red, yellow. Precious stones have sometimes been
found — garnets, topaz, quartz, tourmaline, lapis lazuli.
But most of the stone is dull black or brown or gray.
All this heavy matter drops close to the mountain. And
on calm days the ashes, also, fall near at home. Indeed,
the volcano has built up its own mountain. But a heavy
wind often carries the fine dust for hundreds of miles.
Once it was blown as far as Constantinople and it dark-
ened the sun and frightened people there. Some of the
ashes fall into the sea. For years the currents carry them
about from shore to shore. At last they settle to the bot-
tom and make clay or sand or mud. The material lies
there for thousands of j^ears and is hard packed into a soft
fine grained rock, called tufa. The city of Xaples to-day
is built of such stone that once lay under the sea. An
earthquake long ago lifted the ocean bottom and turned
it into dry land. Xow men live upon it and cut streets in
it and grow crops on it.
So for many miles about, Vesuvius has been making
earth. Her ashes lie hundreds of feet deep. INIen dig wells
and still find only material that has been thrown out of the
volcano. When this matter grows old and lies under the
sun and rain it turns to good soil. The acids of water and
air and plants eat into it. Rain wears it away. Plant
24 BURIED CITIES
roots crack the rocks open. The top layer becomes pow-
dered and rotted and mixed with vegetable loam and is
fertile soil. So the country all around the volcano is a rich
garden. Tomatoes, melons, grapes, olives, figs, cover the
But Vesuvius alone has not made all this ground. She
is in a nest of volcanoes. They have all been at work like
her, spouting ashes and pumice and rocks and lava. Ten
miles away is a wide stretch of country where there are
more than a dozen old craters. Twenty miles out in the
blue bay a volcano stands up out of the water. A hundred
miles south is a group of small volcanic islands. They have
hot springs. One has a volcano that spouts every five or
six minutes. At night it is like a lighthouse for sailors.
One of these Islands is only two thousand years old. The
men of Pompeii saw it pushed up out of the sea during
an earthquake. A little farther south is JNIt. ^tna in
Sicily. It is a greater mountain than Vesuvius and has
done more work than she has done. So all the southern
part of Italy seems to be the home of volcanoes and earth-
There are many other such places scattered over the
world — Iceland, JMexico, South America, Japan, the Sand-
wich Islands. Here the same terrible play is going on —
thunder, clouds, falling ashes, scalding rain, flowing lava.
The earth is being turned inside out, and men are learning
what she is made of.
YEARS came and went and changed the world. The
old gods died, and the new religion of Christ grew
strong. The old temples fell into ruins, and new churches
were built in their places. Instead of the old Roman in
his white toga came merchants in crimson velvet and knights
in steel armor and gentlemen in ruffles and modern men in
Among all these changes, Pompeii was almost for-
gotten. But after a long while people began to be much
interested in ancient Italy. They read old Roman books,
and learned of her wonderful cities. They began to dig
here and there and find beautiful statues and vases and
Bronze lampholder : Five lamps hung from the branches of this bronze tree.
It was twenty inches high.
26 BURIED CITIES
jewels. They read the story of Pompeii in an old Roman
book — a whole city suddenly buried just as her people had
"There we should find treasures!" they said. "We
should see houses, temples, shops, streets, as they were
seventeen hundred years ago. We should find them full
of statues and rich things. Perhaps we should find some
of the people who lived in ancient days. But where to
Their question was answered by accident. At that
time certain men were making a tunnel to carry spring
water from the hills across the country to a little town
near Naples. The tunnel happened to pass over buried
Pompeii. They dug up some blocks of stone with Latin
inscriptions carved on them. After that other people found
little ancient relics near the same place.
"This must be where Pompeii lies buried," the wise
They began to excavate. That was about two hun-
dred years ago. Ever since that time the work has gone
on. Sometimes people have been discouraged and have
given up. At other times six hundred men have been
working busily. Kings have given money. Emperors
and princes and queens have visited the excavations. Ar-
tists have made pictures of the ruins, and scholars have
written books about them. But it is a great task to un-
cover a whole city that is buried ten or twelve feet deep.
The excavation is not yet finished. Perhaps when you
POMPEII TO-DAY 27
are old men and women the work will be completed, and
a whole Roman city will be open to your eyes.
But even as it is to-day, that ^host of a city is among
the world's wonders. There is the thick stone wall that goes
all about the town. On its wide top the soldiers used to
stand to fight in ancient days. Now the stones are fallen;
its towers are broken; its gates are open. Yet there the
battered little giant stands at its task of protecting the
town. Out of its eight gates stretch the paved streets.
Perhaps some day you will cross the ocean to visit this
"dead city." It lies on a slope at the foot of Vesuvius.
Behind stands the tall, graceful volcano with its floating
feather of steam and smoke. In front lies a little plain,
and beyond it a long ridge of steep mountains. Off at the
side shines the dark blue sea with island peaks rising out
of it. On hillsides and plain are green vineyards and
dark forests dotted with white farmhouses.
In some places there are high mounds of dirt outside
the city wall. They are made by the ashes that have been
dug out by the excavators and piled here. If you climb
one of them you will be able to look over the city. You
will find it a little place — less than a mile long and half a
mile wide inside its ragged wall. And yet many thousand
people used to live here. So the houses had to be crowded
together. You will see no grassy lawns nor vacant lots nor
playgrounds nor parks with pleasant trees. Many nar-
row streets cross one another and cut the city into solid
blocks of buildings. You will be confused because you
28 BURIED CITIES
will see thousands of broken walls standing up, but no
roofs. They are gone — crushed by the piling ashes long
At last you will come down and go in at one of the gates
through the rough, thick wall, past the empty watch tow-
ers. You will tread the very paving stones that men's feet
trampled nineteen hundred years ago as they fled from the
v^olcano. You will climb a steep, narrow street. This
is the street the fishermen and sailors used in olden times
H^hen they came in from the river or sea, carrying baskets
of fish or leading mules loaded with goods from their
ships. This is the street where people poured out to the
sea on that terrible day of the eruption.
You will pass a ruined temple of Apollo with standing
columns and lonely altar and steps that lead to a room that
is gone. A little farther on you will come out into a large
open paved space. It is the forum. This used to be the
busiest place in all Pompeii. At certain hours of the day
it was filled with little tables and with merchants calling
out and with gentlemen and slaves buying goods. But
now it is empty and very still. Around the sides a few
beautiful columns are yet standing with carved marble at
the top connecting them. But others lie broken, and most
of them are gone entirely. This is all that is left of the
porches where men used to walk and talk of business and
war and politics and gossip.
At one end of the forum is a high stone platform and
wide stone steps leading up to a row of broken columns
in front of a fallen wall. This is the ruin of the temple of
Jupiter, the great Roman god. Daily, men used to come
here to pray before a statue in a dim room. Here, in the
ruins, the excavators found the head of that statue — a beau-
tiful marble thing with long curling hair and beard, and
calm face. They found, too, a great broken body of marble.
And in that large body a smaller statue was partly carved.
This was a puzzling thing, but the excavators studied it out
at last. They said:
"Old Roman books tell us that sixteen years before
the great eruption there had been another earthquake. It
had shaken down many buildings and had cracked many
walls. But the people loved their city, and when the earth-
quake was over, they began to rebuild and to make their
houses and temples better than ever. We have found many
signs of that earthquake. We have found uncarved blocks
of marble in the forum. Evidently masons were at work
there when the eruption stopped them. We have found
rebuilt walls in some of the houses. And here is the temple
of Jupiter being used as a marble shop. Probably the
early earthquake had shaken down and broken the statue
of the god. A sculptor was set to work to carve a new
one from the ruin. But suddenly the volcano l)urst
forth, the artist dropped his chisel and mallet, and here
we have found his unfinished work — a statue within a
Behind the roofless porches of the forum are other
ruined buildings — where the officers of the city did busi-
so BURIED CITIES
ness, where the citizens met to vote, where tailors spread
out their cloth and sold robes and cloaks. One large mar-
ket building is particularly interesting. You will enter a
courtyard with walls all around it and signs of lost porches.
Broken partitions show where little stalls used to open upon
the court. Other stalls opened upon the street. In some
of these the excavators found, buried in the ashes and
charred by the fire, figs, chestnuts, plums, grapes, glass
dishes of fruit, loaves of bread, and little cakes. Were cus-
tomers buying the night's dessert when Vesuvius fright-
ened them away? In a cool corner of the building is a fish
market with sloping marble counter. Near it in the middle
of the courtyard are the bases of columns arranged in a
circle around a deep basin in the floor. In the bottom of
this basin the excavators found a thick layer of fish scales.
Evidently the masters used to buy their fish from the mar-
ket in the corner. Then the slaves carried them here to
the shaded pool of water and cleaned them and scaled
them and washed them. In another corner the excavators
found skeletons of sheep. Here w^as a pen for live ani-
mals which a man might buy for his banquet or for a
sacrifice to his gods. His slave would lead the sheep away
through the crowds. But on that terrible day when the vol-
cano belched, the poor bleating animals were deserted.
Their pen held them and the ashes covered them and to-day
we can see their skeletons.
The walls around the market are still standing, though
the top is broken and the roof is fallen. They are still
POMPEII TO-DAY 31
covered with paintings. If you will look at them you can
guess what used to be for sale here. There are game birds
and fish and wine jars all pictured here in beautiful colors.
There are cupids playing about a flour mill and cupids weav-
ing garlands. There are also pictures of the gods and
heroes and the deeds they did. Imagine this painted market
full of chattering people, the little shops gay with piles
of beautiful fruit and vegetables, the graceful columns and
dark porches adding beauty. Imagine these people cry-
ing out and running and these columns swaying and fall-
ing when Vesuvius bellowed and shook the earth. And
yet we can see the very fruits that men were buying and
the pictures they were enjoying.
The forum with its markets and shops and offices and
temples and statues was the very heart of the city. Many
streets led into it. Perhaps you will walk down one of
them, between broken walls, past open doorways. After
several street corners you will come to a large building
with high walls still standing and with tall, arched entrance.
This also was one of the gay places in Pompeii, for it was
a bathhouse. Every day all the ladies and gentlemen of the
town came strolling toward it down the streets. The men
went in at the wide doorway. The women turned and en-
tered their own apartments around the corner. And
as they walked toward the entrance they passed little
shops built into the walls of the bathhouse. At every
stall stood the shopkeeper, bowing, smiling, begging,
32 BURIED CITIES
"Perfumes, sweet lady!"
"Rings, rings, beautiful madam, for your beautiful
*'Oil for your body, sir, after the bath!"
"A taste of sweets, madam, before you enter! Honey
cakes of my own making!"
"Don't forget to buy my dressing for your hair before
you go in ! You'll get nothing like it in there."
So they chattered and called and coaxed. Some of the
people bought, and some went laughing by and entered
the bathhouse. As the gentlemen went in, a large court
opened before them. Here were men bowling or jump-
ing or running or punching the bag or playing ball or
taking some other kind of exercise before the bath. Others
were resting in the shade of the porches. A poet sat in
a cool corner reading his verses to a few listeners. Some
men, after their games, were scraping their sweating bodies
with the strigil. Others were splashing in the marble swim-
ming tank. Here and there barbers were working over
handsome gentlemen — smoothing their faces, perfuming
their hair, polishing their nails. There was talk and laugh-
ter everywhere. Men were lazily coming and going through
a door that led into the baths. There were large rooms
with high ceilings and painted walls. In one we can still
see the round marble basin. The walls are painted with
trees and birds and swimming fish and statues. It was
like bathing in a beautiful garden to bathe here. Another
room was for the hot bath, with double walls and hot air
circulating between to make the whole room warm. The
bathhouse was a great building full of comforts. No won-
der that all the idle Pompeians came here to bathe, to play,
to visit, to tell and hear the news. It was a gay and noisy
place. We have a letter that one of those old Romans
wrote to a friend. He says :
"I am living near a bath. Sounds are heard on all sides.
The men of strong muscle exercise and swing the heavy
lead weights. I hear their groans as they strain, and the
whistling of their breath. I hear the massagist slapping
a lazy fellow who is being rubbed with ointment. A ball
player begins to play and counts his throws. Perhaps there
is a sudden quarrel, or a thief is caught, or some one is
singing in the bath. And the bathers plunge into the swim-
ming tank with loud splashes. Above all the din you hear
the calls of the hair puller and the sellers of cakes and
sweetmeats and sausages."
After you leave the baths perhaps you will turn down
Stabian Street. It has narrow sidewalks. The broken
walls of houses fence it in closely on both sides and cast
black shadows across it. It is paved with clean blocks of
lava. You will see wheel ruts worn deep in the hard stone.
Almost two thousand years old they are, made by the carts
of the farmers, perhaps, who brought in vegetables for the
market. At the street crossings you will see three or four
big stone blocks standing up above the pavement. They
are stepping-stones for rainy weather. Evidently floods
used to pour down these sloping streets. You can imagine
34 BURIED CITIES
little Roman boys skipping across from block to block and
trying to keep their sandals dry.
The street will lead you to the district of good houses
where the wealthy men lived. Through open doorways
you will get glimpses into the old ruined courtyards. It
is hard guessing how the rooms used to look. But when
you come to the door of the house of Vettius you will cry
out with wonder. There is a lovely garden in the corner of
the house. A long passage leads to it straight from the
street. Around it runs a paved porch with pretty columns.
Here you will walk in the shade and look out at the gay
little garden, blooming in the sunshine. In every corner
tiny streams of water spurt from little statues of bronze
and marble and trickle into cool basins. Marble tables stand
among the flowers. You will half expect a slave to bring
out old drinking cups and wine bowls and set them here for
his master's pleasure, or tablets and stylus for him to write
his letters. Everything is in order and beautiful. It was
not quite so when the excavators uncovered this house. The
statues were thrown down. The flowers were scorched
and dead under the piled-up ashes. But it was easy for
the modern excavators to tell from the ground where the
flower beds had been and where the gravel paths. Even
the lead water pipe that carried the stream to the fountain
needed little repairing. So the excavators set up the
statues, cleaned the marble tables and benches, planted
shrubs and flowers, repaired the porch roof, and we have a
garden such as the old Romans loved and such as many
houses in Pompeii had.
Several rooms look out upon this garden. One of them
is perhaps the most interesting place in all Pompeii. You
will walk into it and look around and laugh with delight.
The whole wall is painted with pictures, big and little —
X)ictures of columns and roofs, of plants and animals, of
men and gods. They are all framed in with wide spaces of
beautiful red. And tucked away between them in narrow
bands of black are the gayest little scenes in the world.
They are worth going all the way across the ocean to see.
Psyches — delicate little winged girls like fairies — are pick-
ing slender flowers and putting them into tall, graceful
baskets. They are so light and so tiny that they seem to
be flitting along the wall like bright butterflies. In other
panels plump little cupids — winged boys — are playing at
being men. They are picking grapes and working a wine
press and selling wine. It is big work for tiny creatures,
and they must kick up their dimpled legs and puff out'
their chubby cheeks to do it. They are melting gold and
carrying gold dishes and selling jewelry and swinging a
blacksmith's hammer with their fat little arms. They are
carrying roses to market on a ragged goat and weaving rose
garlands and selling them to an elegant little lady. Every-
where these gay little creatures are skipping about at their
play among the beautiful red spaces and large pictures.
This was surely a charming dining room in the old days.
The guests must have been merry every time their eyes
lighted upon the bright wall. And if they looked out at the
open side, there smiled the garden with its flowers and
statues and splashing fountains and columns.
There lived in this house two men by the name of Vet-
tius. We know this because the excavators found here two
seals. In those days men fastened their letters and receipts
and bills with wax. While the wax was soft they stamped
their names in it with a metal seal. On the stamps that
were found in this house were carved Aulus Vettius Res-
titutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva. Perhaps they were
freedmen who once had been slaves of Aulus Vettius. But
they must have earned a fortune for themselves, for there
were two money chests in the house. And they must have
had slaves of their own to take care of their twenty rooms
and more. In the tiny kitchen the excavators found a
good store of charcoal and the ashes of a little fire on top
of the stone stove. And on its three little legs a bronze dish
was sitting over the dead fire. A slave must have been
cooking his master's dinner when the volcano frightened
Vettius' dining room is empty of its wooden tables and
couches. But some houses had stone ones built in their
gardens for pleasant summer days. These the ashes did
not crush, and they are still in place. Columns stood
about the tables and vines climbed up them and across
to make cool shade. The tables were always long and nar-
row and built around three sides of a rectangle. Low
couches stand along the outside edges. Here guests used
to lie propped up on their left elbows with pretty cushions
to make them comfortable. In the open space in the mid-
dle of the square servants came and went and passed the
dishes across the narrow tables. Children used to have
little wooden stools and sit in this middle space opposite
their elders. But in one old ruined garden dining room
vou will see a little stone bench for the children, built along"
the end of the table. It must have been pleasant to have
supper there with the sunset coloring the sky, behind old
Vesuvius, the cool breeze shaking the leaves of the gar-
den shrubs, and the fountain tinkling, and a bird chirping
in a corner, and the shadows beginning to creep under the
long porches, and the tiny flames of lamps fluttering in the
dusky rooms behind.
After you leave the house of Vettius and walk do^Mi
the street, you will come to a certain door. In the sidewalk
before it you will see "Have" spelled with bits of colored
marble. It is the old Latin word for "Welcome." It is
too pleasant an invitation to refuse. Go in through the
high doorway and down the narrow passage to the atrium.
Every Roman house had this atrium. It is like a large
reception hall with many rooms opening off it — bedrooms,
dining rooms, sitting rooms. Beautiful hangings instead
of doors used to shut these rooms in. The atrium had an
opening in the roof where the sun shone in and softly lighted
the big room. Here the master used to receive his guests.
In the house of A'ettius the two money chests were found
38 BURIED CITIES
in the atrium. In this same room in the house of "Wel-
come," there was found on the floor a little bronze statue,
a dancing faun, one of the gay friends of Dionysus. It is
a tiny thing only two feet high, but so pretty that the
excavators named the house after it — The House of the
Faun. Evidently the old owner loved beautiful things and
had money to buy them. Even the floors of some of his
rooms are made in mosaic pictures. There are doves at
play, and ducks and fish and shells all laid under your feet
in bright bits of colored marble. And beyond the pleasant
court with its porches and garden is a large sitting room.
In the floor of this the excavators found the most wonder-
ful mosaic picture of all, a picture of a battle, with waving
spears and prancing horses and fallen men. Two kings are
facing each other to fight — Darius, king of Persia, stand-
ing in his chariot, and Alexander, king of Greece, riding
his war horse. The bits of stone are so small and of such
perfect color that the mosaic looks like a beautiful painting.
Imagine how the excavators' hearts leaped when the spades
took the gray ashes off this bright picture. It was too pre-
cious a thing to leave here in the rain and wind. So the
excavators carefully took it up and put it into the museum
of Naples where there are other valuable things from
There are many other houses almost as pleasant and
beautiful as this House of the Faun. Every one has its
atrium and its sunny court and its fountains and statues and
its painted walls. But Pompeii was a city of business, too,
POMPEII TO-DAY 39
and had many workshops. There is a dye shop where the
excavators found large lead pots and glass bottles still full
of dye. There are cleaners' shops where the slaves used to
take their masters' robes to be cleaned. Here the excavators
found vats and white clay for cleaning, and pictures on the
wall showing men at work. There are tanneries where
leather was made. The rusted tools were found which the
men had thrown down so long ago. There is a pottery shop
with two ovens for baking the vases. On a certain street
corner you will see an old wine shop. It is a little room
cut into the corner wall of a great house. Its two sides
are open upon the street with broad marble counters. Be-
low the counters are big, deep jars. Their open tops thrust
themselves through the slab. You can look into their
mouths where the shopkeeper used to dip out the wine. On
the walls of the room are marks that show where shelves
hung in ancient days to hold cups and glasses. In the outer
edge of the sidewalk before the shop are two round holes
cut into the stone. Long ago poles were thrust into them
to hold an awning that shaded the walk in front of the
counters. We can imagine men stopping in this pleasant
shade as they passed. The busy slave inside the shop whips
out a cup and a graceful, long-handled ladle and dips out
the sweet-smelling wine from the wide-mouthed jar. And
we can imagine how the cups fell clattering from the men's
hands when Vesuvius thundered. In one shop, indeed, the
excavators found an overturned cup on the counter and a
wine stain on the marble.
40 BURIED CITIES
But the most interesting shops are the bakeries. There
were twenty of them in Pomj)eii. You will see the ovens
in the courtyard. They are big beehives built of stone or
brick. The baker made a fire inside and let the walls become
hot. Then he raked out the coals and cleaned the floor and
put in his bread. The hot walls baked the loaves. In one
oven the excavators found a burned loaf eighteen hundred
years old. When the earthquake shook his house, did the
baker snatch out the rest of the ovenful to feed his hungry
family as they groped about for safety in the terrible dark-
ness ? In several bakeries you will see, also, the mills. They
are great mortar-shaped things standing taller than a man.
The heavy stone above turned around upon the stone below.
A man poured wheat in at the top. It fell down and was
ground between the two stones and dropped out at the bot-
tom as flour. A horse or donkey was hitched to the mill to
turn it. Around and around he walked all day. He was
blindfolded to prevent his becoming dizzy. You will see
on the stone floor in one bakery the path that was made
by years of this walking. In the old days this silent empty
court must have been an interesting place. The donkey's
hoofs beat lazy time on the stone floor. Now and then a
slave lifted up a bag of wheat and poured it into the mill
or scooped out the white flour from the trough at the bottom.
Another man sifted the flour and the breeze blew the white
dust over his bare arms. Some of the ovens were smoking
and glowing with fresh fire. Others were shut, with the
browning bread inside, and a good smell hung in the air.
POMPEII TO-DAY 41
And out in front was a little shop where the master sold
the thin loaves and the fancy little cakes.
In the hundreds of houses and shops of this little town
the excavators have found bronze tables and lamps and
lamp stands and wine jars and kitchen pots and pans and
spoons and glass vases and silver cups and gold hairpins and
jewelry and ivory combs and bronze strigils and mirrors
and several statues of bronze and marble. But where they
had hoped to find thousands of precious things they have
found only hundreds. Many pedestals are empty of their
statues. Here and there the very paintings have been cut
from the walls. Those are the pictures we should most like
to see. How beautiful could they have been?
"Evidently men came back soon after the eruption," say
the excavators. "The tops of their ruined houses must have
Stood up above the ashes. They dug down and rescued
their most precious things. We have even found broken
places in walls where we think men dug tunnels from one
house to another. That is why the temple and market
place have so few statues. That is why we find so little
jewelry and money and dishes. But we have enough. The
city is our treasure."
One rich find they did make, however. There was a
pleasant farmhouse out of town on the slope of Vesuvius.
Evidently the man who owned it had a vineyard and an
olive grove and grain fields. For there are olive presses and
wine presses and a great court full of vats for making wine
and a floor for threshing wheat and a mill for grinding flour
42 BURIED CITIES
and a stable and a wide courtyard that must have held many
carts. And there are bathrooms and many pleasant rooms
besides. In the room with the wine presses was a stone
cistern for storing the fresh grape juice. Here the exca-
vators found a treasure and a mystery. In this cistern lay
the skeleton of a man. With him were a thousand pieces of
gold money, some gold jewelry, and a wonderful dinner
set of silver dishes. There are a hundred and three pieces
— plates, platters, cups, bowls. And every one has beaten
up from it beautiful designs of flowers and people. An
artist must have made them, and a rich man must have
bought them. How did they come here in this farmhouse?
They must have been meant for a nobleman's table. Had
some thief stolen them and hidden here, only to be caught
by the volcano? Did some rich lady of the city have this
farm for her country place ? And had she sent her treasure
here to escape when the volcano burst forth? At any rate
here it lay for eighteen hundred years. And now it is in
a museum in Paris, far from its old owner's home.
In this buried city we find the houses in which men lived,
the pictures they loved, the food they ate, the jewels they
wore, the cups they drank from. But what of the people
themselves? Were they real men and women? How did
they look? Did they all escape? Not all, for many skele-
tons have been found here and there through the city — in
the market place, in the streets, in the houses. And some-
times the excavators have found still stranger, sadder
things. Often as a man has been digging in the hard-packed
POMPEII TO-DAY 43
ashes, his spade has struck into a hole. Then he has called
the chief excavator.
"Let us see what it is," the excavator has said, "Per-
haps it will be something interesting."
So they have mixed plaster and poured it into the hole.
They have given it a little time to harden and then have
dug away the ashes from around it. In that way they have
made a plaster cast just the shape of the hole. And several
times when they have uncovered their cast they have found
it to be the form of a man or woman or child. Perhaps the
person had been hurrying through the street and had
stumbled and fallen. The gases had choked him, the ashes
had slowly covered him. Under the moistening rain and
the pressure of all the hundreds of years the ashes had
hardened almost to stone. Meantime the body had decayed
and had sunk down into a handful of dust. But the
hardened ashes still stood firm around the space where the
body had been. When this hole was filled with plaster, the
cast took just the form of the one who had been buried
there so long ago — the folds of his clothes, the ring on his
finger, the girl's knot of hair, the negro slave's woolly head.
So we can really look upon the faces of some of the ancient
people of Pompeii. And in another way we can learn the
names of many of them.
One of the streets that leads out from the wall is called
the "Street of Tombs." It is the ancient burying ground.
You will walk along the paved street between rows of monu-
ments. Some will be like great square altars of marble
44 BURIED CITIES
beautifully carved. Some will be tall platforms with steps
leading up. There wall be marble benches where you may
sit and think of the old Pompeians who were twice buried
in their beautiful tombs. And there on the marble monu-
ment you will see their names carved in old Latin letters,
and kind things that their friends said about them. There
Marcus Cerrinius Restitutus; Aulus Veius, who was
several times an officer of the city; Mamia, a priestess;
Marcus Porcius; Xumerius Istacidius and his wife and
daughter and others of his family, all in a great tomb stand-
ing on a high platform ; Titus Terentius Felix, whose wife,
Fabia Sabina, built his tomb; Tyche, a slave; Aulus Umbri-
cius Scaurus, whose statue was set up in the market place to
do him honor; Gains Calventius Quietus, who was given a
seat of honor at the theater on account of his generosity;
Naevoleia Tyche, w^ho had once been a slave, but who had
been freed, had married, and grown wealthy and had slaves
of her own; Gnseus Yibius Saturninus, whose freedman built
his tomb; Marcus Arrius Diomedes, a freedman; Xumerius
Velasius Gratus, twelve years old; Salvinus, six years old;
and many another.
After seeing the tombs and houses and shops you will
leave that little city, I think, feeling that the people of
ancient times were much like us, that men and mountains
have dore w^onderful things in this old world, that it is good
to know how people of other times lived and worked and
PICTURES OF POMPEII
This statue, now in the Metropolitan Museum, was found at
Pompeii. Probably Caius was dressed just like this, and carried
such a stick when he played in his father's courtyard.
THE CITY OF NAPLES, WITH MOUNT VESUVIUS ACROSS
VESUVIUS IN ERUPTION, FROM AN AIRPLANE.
Nowadays men know from history what may happen when Ve-
suvius wakes. But in 79 A.D., when Pompeii was buried^ the
mountain had slept for hundreds of years_, and no man knew that
an eruption might bury a city.
POMPEII FROM AN AIRPLANE.
The roofs are all gone and all the partitions inside the houses
show. That is why it all looks so crowded and confused. But
if you study it carefully you can see some interesting things.
The big open space is the forum. It is about five hundred feet
long, running northeast and southwest. South of it is the tem-
ple of Apollo. North of it, where you see the bases of columns
in a circle, was the market. Next to the market is the place
where the gods of the city were worshipped. The broad street
beside the forum running southeast is the one down which Aris-
ton fled. Then he turned into the forum, ran out the gate near
the lower end into the steep street that runs southwest and ends
at a city gate near the sea.
NOLA STREET AND THE TEMPLE OF FORTUNE.
You must imagine this temple with an altar in front, a broad
flight of steps, and a portico of beautiful columns. You can see
the street paved with blocks of lava, the deep wheel ruts, and
the stepping stones for rainy weather.
THE STABIAN GATE.
Pompeii was surrounded by two high walls fifteen feet apart,
with earth between. An embankment of earth was piled up in-
side also. This is one of the eight gates in tlie wall.
IN THE STREET OF TOMBS.
On the tomb of Naevoleia Tyche was a carving of a ship gliding
into port, the sailors furling the sails. Within this tomb is a
chamber where funeral urns stand, containing the ashes of Tyche
and her husband, and of the slaves they had freed. Pompeians
always burned the bodies of the dead.
Like other Roman towns^ Pompeii had an amphitheater. Here
twenty thousand people could come and watch the gladiators
fight in pairs till one was killed. Then the dead body was
dragged off, and another pair appeared and fought. Sometimes
the gladiators were prisoners captured in war, like the famous
Spartacus; sometimes they were slaves; sometimes criminals con-
demned to death. Sometimes a man w^as pitted against a wild
beast; sometimes two wild beasts fought each other. The amphi-
theater had no roof. Vesuvius, with its column of smoke, was in
plain view from the seats. There was a great awning to protect
the spectators. The lower seats were for officials and distin-
guished people; for the middle rows there was an admission fee;
all the upper seats were free.
RUINS OF THE GREAT STABIAN BATHS.
A few large houses had baths of their own, but most people
went every day to a great public bath which was a very gay
place. This open court which you see, was for games.
THE RUINED TEMPLE OF APOLLO.
The temple was built on a high foundation. A broad flight of
steps led up to it^ with an altar at the foot. There was a porch
all round it held up by a row of columns. Some of the columns
have stood up through all the earthquakes and eruptions of two
thousand years. Inside the porch was a small room for the
statue of Apollo. In the paved court around this temple were
many altars and statues of the gods. This was at one time the
most important temple in Pompeii.
THE SCHOOL OF THE GLADIATORS.
In this large open court the gladiators had their training and
practice. In small cells around the court they lived. They were
kept under close guard, for they were dangerous men. Sixty-
three skeletons were found herC; many of them in irons.
THE SMALLER THEATER.
Pompeii had two theaters lor plays and music, besides the amphi-
theater where the gladiators fought. The smaller theater, un-
like the others, had a roof. It seated fifteen hundred people.
We think perhaps contests in music were held here.
A boar^ a ram, and a bull are to be killed, and a part of the
flesh is to be burned on the altar to please the gods.
A SCENE IN THE FORUM.
On the walls of a room in a house in Pompeii men found this
picture^ showing how interesting the life of the forum was. At
the left is a table where a man has kitchen utensils for sale.
But he is dreaming and does not see a customer coming. So his
friend is waking him up. Near him is a shoemaker selling
sandals to some women.
Underneath are two ivory toilet boxes. One was probably for
APPLIANCES FOR THE BATH.
These were found hanging in a ring in one of the great public
baths. You see a flask for oil, a saucer to pour the oil into, and
four scrapers to scrape oif the oil and dirt before a plunge.
— From Man's "Pompeii'
PERISTYLE OF THE HOUSE OF THE VETTII.
With the columns and tables and statues that were found, this
court has been built on the site of an old ruined villa. Flowers
bloom and the fountain plays in it to-day just as they did over
two thousand years ago. There are wall paintings in the
shadows at the back. The little boys holding the ducks must
look very much like Caius when he was a little boy. When he
went to the farm in the hills for a hot summer^ he had ducks to
play with; here are statues to remind him, in the winter time, of
what fun that was.
A garden like this, not generally so large, was laid out inside
every important house in Pompeii. The family rooms sur-
rounded it. These rooms received most of their light and air
from this garden. Caius was lying on a couch in a garden like
this, when the shower of pebbles suddenly began. Ariston was
painting the walls of a room that overlooked the garden.
LADY PLAYING A HARP.
This is part of a beautiful wall painting in a Pompeian house,
the sort of painting that Ariston was making when the volcano
burst forth. See how much the little boy looks like his mother,
and what beautiful bands they both have in their hair. Chairs
like this one have been found in the ruins, and the same design
is on many other pieces of furniture.
The Metropolitan Museum owns the complete wall paintings for
a Pompeian room. They are put up just as they were in
Pompeii. There is even an iron window grating. A beautiful
table from Pompeii stands in the center. The room is one of the
gayest in the whole museum, with its rich reds and bright yel-
lows, greens, and blues.
KITCHEN OF THE HOUSE OF THE VETTII.
In this house the cook must have been in the kitchen, just ready
to go to work when he had to flee. He left the pot on a tripod
on a bed of coals, ready for use. You can see an arched open-
ing underneath the fireplace. This was where the cook kept his
fuel. The small size of the kitchens shows that the Pompeians
were not great gluttons.
These kettles and frying pans and ladles are made of bronze,
an alloy of copper and tin. They look very much like our kitchen
Some rich Pompeian had a pair of beautiful silver cups with
graceful handles. The design was made in hammered silver, and
showed centaurs talking to cupids that are sitting on their backs.
A centaur was half man, half horse.
— From Mau's ^'Pompeii'
— From Man's '^Pompeii'*
THE HOUSE OF THE TRAGIC POET (restored).
From the ruins and from ancient books, men know almost all
the rooms of a Pompeian house. So they have pictured this one
as it \vas before the disaster, with its many beautiful wall paint-
ings, its mosaic floors, its tiled roofs. If you can imagine these
two halves fitted together, and yourself inside, you can visit one
of the most attractive houses in Pompeii. Do you see how the
tiled roof slants downward from four sides to a rectangular
opening in the highest part of the house? Below this opening
was a shallow basin into which the rainwater fell. This basin
was in the center of the atrium, the most important room in the
house. The walls of this room were painted with scenes from
the Trojan war. This is the liouse which has the mosaic picture
of a dog on the floor of the long entrance hall (see next page).
On each side of the hall, facing the street, are large rooms for
shops, where, doubtless, the owner conducted his business. He
was not a "Tragic Poet." Some people think he was a goldsmith.
On each side of the atrium were sleeping rooms. Can you see
that the doors are very high with a grating at the top to let in
light and air.^ Windows were few and small, and generally the
rooms took light and air from the inside courts rather than from
outside. Back of the atrium was a large reception room with
bedrooms on each side. And back of this was a large open
court, or garden, with a colonnade on three sides and a solid wall
at the back. Opening on this garden was a large dining room
"vvith beautiful wall paintings, a tiny kitchen, and some sleeping
rooms. This house had stairways and second story rooms over
the shops. This seems to us a very comfortable homelike house.
THE HOUSE OF THE TRAGIC POET (as it looks to-day).
Here you see the shallow basin in the floor of the atrium. This
basin had two outlets. You can see the round cistern mouth
near the pool. There was also an outlet to the street to carry
off the overflow. At the back of the garden you can see a shrine
to the household gods. At every meal a portion was set aside
in little dishes for the gods.
MOSAIC OF WATCH DOG.
From the vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet. It says
loudly, "Beware the dog!" Pictures and patterns made of little
pieces of polished stone like this are called mosaic. Sometimes
American vestibules are tiled in a simple mosaic. Wouldn't it
be fun if they had such exciting pictures as this? A real dog,
or two or three, probably was standing inside the door, chained,
D>r held by slaves.
THE HOUSE OF DIOMEDE.
There was a wine cellar under the colonnade. Here were twenty
skeletons; two, children. Near the door were found skeletons of
two men. One had a large key, doubtless the key of this door.
He wore a gold ring and was carrying a good deal of money. He
was probably the master of the house. Evidently the family
thought at first that the wine cellar would be a safe place, but
when they found that it was not so, the master took one slave
and started out to find a way to escape. But they all perished.
RUINS OF A BAKERY, WITH MILLSTONES,
SECTION OF A MILL.
If one of the mills that were found in the bakery were sawed
in two^ it w^ould look like this. You can see where the baker's
man poured in the wheats and where the flour dropped down^
and the heavy timbers fastened to the upper millstone to turn
-From Mau's "Pompeii^
Portrait of lucius c^cilius jucundus.
This Lucius was an auctioneer who had set free one of his
slaves^ Felix. Felix, in gratitude, had this portrait of his master
cast in bronze. It stood on a marble pillar in the atrium of the
-From Mail's '■PompeW
It is the figure of the Roman God Silenus. He was the son of
Pan, and the oldest of the satyrs, who were supposed to be half
goat. Can you find the goat's horns among his curls ? He was a
rollicking old satyr, very fond of wine, always getting into
mischief. The grape design at the base of the little statue, and
the snake supporting the candleholder, both are symbols of the
THE DANCING FAUN.
In one of the largest and most elegant houses in Pompeii, on
the floor of the atrium, or principal room of the house, men
found in the ashes this bronze statue of a dancing faun. Doesn't
he look as if he loved to dance, snapping his fingers to keep
time? Although this great house contained on the floor of one
room the most famous of ancient mosaic pictures, representing
Alexander the Great in battle, and although it contains many
other fine mosaics, it was named from this statue, the House of
the Faun, Casa del Fauno.
HERMES IN REPOSE.
This bronze statue was found in Herculaneum, the city on the
other slope of Vesuvius which was buried in liquid mud. This
mud has become solid rock, from sixty to one hundred feet deep
so that excavation is very difficult, and the city is still for the
most part buried.
THE ARCH OF NERO.
The visitors to-day are walking where Caius walked so long ago,
on the same paving stones. The three stones were set up to
keep chariots out of the foruir*-
A Vase Store
TWO WINNERS OF CROWNS
THE July sun was blazing over the country of Greece.
Dust from the dry plain hung in the air. But what
cared the happy travelers for dust or heat? They were
on their way to Olympia to see the games. Every road
teemed with a chattering crowd of men and boys afoot
and on horses. They wound down from the high
mountains to the north. They came along the valley from
the east and out from among the hills to the south. Up
from the sea led the sacred road, the busiest of all. A
O L Y M P I A 95
little caravan of men and horses was trying to hurry ahead
through the throng. The master rode in front looking
anxiously before him as though he did not see the crowd.
After him rode a lad. His eyes were flashing eagerly here
and there over the strange throng. A man walked beside
the horse and watched the boy smilingly. Behind them
came a string of pack horses with slaves to guard the loads
of wine and food and tents and blankets for their master's
"What a strange-looking man, Glaucon!" said the boy.
"He has a dark skin."
The boy's own skin was fair, and under his hat his hair
was golden. As he spoke he pointed to a man on the road
who was also riding at the head of a little caravan. His skin
was dark. Shining black hair covered his ears. His gar-
ment was gay with colored stripes.
"He is a merchant from Egypt," answered the man.
"He will have curious things to sell — vases of glass, beads
of amber, carved ivory, and scrolls gay with painted figures.
You must see them, Charmides."
But already the boy had forgotten the Egyptian.
"See the chariot!" he cried.
It was slowly rolling along the stony road. A grave,
handsome man stood in it holding the reins. Beside him
stood another man with a staff in his hand. Behind the
chariot walked two bowmen. After them followed a long
line of pack horses led by slaves.
96 BURIED CITIES
"Thejr are the delegates from Athens/' explained
Glaucon. "There are, doubtless, rich gifts for Zeus on
the horses and perhaps some stone tablets engraved with
But the boy was not listening.
''Jugglers! Jugglers!" he cried.
And there they were at the side of the road, showing
their tricks and begging for coins. One man was walking
on his hands and tossing a ball about with his feet. Another
was swallowing a sword.
"Stop, Glaucon!" cried Charmides, "I must see him.
He will kill himself."
"No, my little master," replied the slave. "You shall
see him again at Olympia. See your father. He would be
vexed if we waited."
And there was the master ahead, pushing forward
rapidly, looking neither to the right hand nor the left. The
"He is hurrying to see Creon. He forgets me!" he
But immediately his eyes were caught by some new
thing, and his face was gay again. So the little company
traveled up the sloping road amid interesting sights. For
here were people from all the corners of the known world
— Greeks from Asia in trailing robes, Arabs in white tur-
bans, black men from Egypt, kings from Sicily, Persians
with tiieir curled beards, half civilized men from the north
in garments of skin.
O L Y M P I A 97
"See!" said Glaucon at last as they reached a hilltop,
He pointed ahead. There shone the tip of the roof and
its gold ornament. Hovering above was a marble statue
with spread wings.
"And there is Victory!" w^hispered Charmides. "She
is waiting for Creon. She will never wait for me," and he
The crowd broke into a shout when they saw the temple.
A company of young men flew by, singing a song. Char-
mides passed a sick man. The slaves had set down his
litter, and he had stretched out his hands toward the temple
and was praying. For the sick were sometimes cured by a
visit to Olympia. The boy's father had struck his heels
into his horse's sides and was galloping forward, calling to
his followers to hasten.
In a few moments they reached higher land. Then
they saw the sacred place spread out before them. There
was the wall all around it. Inside it shone a few buildings
and a thousand statues. Along one side stretched a row
of little marble treasure houses. At the far corner lay
the stadion with its rows of stone seats. Nearer and out-
side the wall was the gymnasium. Even from a distance
Charmides could see men running about in the court.
"There are the athletes!" he thought. "Creon is with
Behind all these buildings rose a great hill, dark green
with trees. Down from the hill poured a little stream. It
met a wide river that wound far through the valley. In
the angle of these rivers lay Olympia. The temple and
walls and gymnasium were all of stone and looked as
though they had been there forever. But in the meadow
all around the sacred place was a city of winged tents.
There were little shapeless ones of skins lying over sticks.
There were round huts woven of rushes. There were sheds
of poles with green boughs laid upon them. There were
tall tents of gaily striped canvas. Farther off were horses
tethered. And everywhere were gaily robed men moving
about. ]Menon, Charmides' father, looking ahead from the
high place, turned to a slave.
"Run on quickly," he said. "Save a camping place for
us there on Mount Kronion, under the trees."
The man was off. JNIenon spoke to the other servants.
"Push forward and make camp. I will visit the gym-
nasium. Come, Charmides, we will go to see Creon."
They rode down the slope toward Olympia. As they
passed among the tents they saw friends and exchanged
"Ah, Menon!" called one. "There is good news of
Creon. Every one expects great things of him."
"I have kept room for your camp next my tent, Menon,"
"Here are sights for you, Charmides," said a kind old
Charmides caught a glimpse of gleaming marble among
the crowd and guessed that some sculptor w^as showing his
L Y M P I A 99
statues for sale. Yonder was a barber's tent. Gentlemen
were sitting in chairs and men were cutting their hair or
rubbing their faces smooth with stone. In one place a man
was standing on a little platform. A crowd was gathered
about him listening, while he read from a scroll in his hands.
But the boy had only a glimpse of these things, for his
father was hurrying on. In a moment they crossed a bridge
over a river and stopped before a low, wide building. Glau-
con helped Charmides off his horse. Menon spoke a few
words to the porter at the gate. The man opened the door
and led the visitors in. Charmides limped along beside his
father, for he was lame. That was what had made him
sigh when he had seen Victory hovering over Olympia. She
would never give him the olive branch. But now he did not
think of that. His heart was beating fast. His eyes were
big. For before him lay a great open court baking in the
sun. jNIore than a hundred boys were at work there, leap-
ing, wrestling, hurling the disk, throwing spears. During
the past months they had been living here, training for the
games. The sun had browned their bare bodies. Xow
their smooth skins were shining with sweat and oil. As
they bent and twisted they looked like beautiful statues
turned brown and come alive. Among them walked men
in long purple robes. They seemed to be giving commands.
"They are the judges," whispered Glaucon. "They train
All around the hot court ran a deep, shady portico.
Here boys lay on the tiled floor or on stone benches, resting
from their exercise. Xear Charmides stood one with his
back turned. He was scraping the oil and dust from his
body with a strigil. Charmides' eyes danced with joy at the
beauty of the firm, round legs and the muscles moving
in the shoulders. Then the athlete turned toward the
visitors and Charmides cried out, '"Creon!" and ran and
threw his arms around him.
Then there was gay talk. Creon asked about the home
and mother and sisters in Athens, for he had been here in
training for almost ten months. ]Menon and Charmides had
a thousand questions about the games.
"I know I shall win, father," said Creon softly. "Four
nights ago Hermes appeared to me in my sleep and smiled
upon me. I awoke suddenly and there was a strange, sweet
perfume in the air."
Tears sprang into his father's eyes. "Xow blessed be
the gods!" he cried, "and most blessed Hermes, the god of
the gy mna sium ! ' '
After a little ]Menon and Charmides said farewell and
went away through the chattering crowd and up under
the cool trees on ]Mount Kronion to their camp. The slaves
had cut poles and set them up and thrown a wide linen
cover over them. Under it they had put a little table hold-
ing lumps of brown cheese, a flat loaf of bread, a basket of
figs, a pile of crisp lettuce. Just outside the tent grazed a
few goats. A man in a soiled tunic was squatted milking
one. ]Menon's slave stood waiting and, as his master came
up, he took the big red bowl of foaming milk and carried
O L Y M P I A 101
it to the table. The goatherd picked up his long crook and
started his flock on, calling, "Milk! ]\Iilk to sell!"
Menon was gay now. His worries were over. His
camp was pitched in a pleasant place. His son was well
and sure of victory.
"Come, little son." he called to Charmides. "You must
be as hungry as a wolf. But first our thanks to the gods."
A slave had poured a little wine into a flat cup and
stood now offering it to his master. ]Menon took it and
held it high, looking up into the blue heavens.
"O gracious Hermes!" he cried aloud, "fulfill thy omen!
And to Zeus, the father, and to all the immortals be thanks."
As he prayed he turned the cup and spilled the wine
upon the ground. That was the god's portion. A slave
spread down a rug for his master to lie upon and put
cushions under his elbow. Glaucon did the same for
Charmides, and the meal began. ]\Ienon talked gaily about
their journey, the games to-morrow, Creon's training. But
Charmides was silent. At last his father said:
"Well, little wolf, you surely are gulping! Are you
"Xo," said Charmides with full mouth. "I'm in a hurry.
I want to see things."
His father laughed and leaped to his feet.
"Just like me, lad. Come on!"
Charmides snatched a handful of figs and rolled out
of the tent squealing with joy. ^lenon came after him.
laughing, and Glaucon followed to care for them.
102 BURIED CITIES
"The sun is setting," said Menon. "It will soon be
dark, and to-morrow are the games. They will keep us
busy when they begin, so you must use your eyes to-day
if you want to see the fair."
He stopped on the hillside and looked down into the
"It is wonderful!" he said, half to himself. "The home
of glory! I love every stone of it. I have not been here
since I myself won the single race. And now my son is
to win it. That was when you were a baby, Charmides."
"I know, father," whispered the boy with shining eyes.
"I have kissed your olive wreath, where it hangs above our
altar at home."
The father put his hand lovingly on the boy's yellow
"By the help of Hermes there soon will be a green one
there for you to kiss, lad. The gods are very good to crown
our family twice."
"I wish there were crowns for lame boys to win," said
Charmides. "I would win one!"
He said that fiercely and clenched his fist. His father
looked kindly into his eyes and spoke solemnly,
"I think you w^ould, my son. Perhaps there are such
They started on thoughtfully and soon were among the
crowd. There were a hundred interesting sights. They
passed an outdoor oven like a little round hill of stones
and clay. The baker was just raking the fire out of the
little door on the side. Charmides waited to see him put
the loaves into the hot cave. But before it was done a
horn blew and called him away to a little table covered with
"Honey cakes! Almond cakes! Fig cakes!" sang the
man. "Come buy!"
There they lay — stars and fish and ships and temples.
Charmides picked up one in the shape of a lyre.
"I will take this one," he said, and solemnly ate it.
"Why are you so solemn, son?" laughed Menon.
The boy did not answer. He only looked up at his
father with deep eyes and said nothing. But in a moment
he was racing off to see some rope dancers.
"Glaucon," said the master to the slave, "take care of
the boy. Give him a good time. Buy him what he wants.
Take him back to camp when he is tired. I have business
Then he turned to talk with a friend, who had come up,
and Glaucon followed his little master.
What a good time the boy had ! The rope dancers, the
sword swallowers, the Egyptian with his painted scroll, a
trained bear that wrestled with a wild-looking man dressed
in skins, a cooking tent where whole sheep wxre roasting and
turning over a fire, another where tiny fish were boiling in
a great pot of oil and jumping as if alive — he saw them all.
He stood under the sculptors' awning and gazed at the
marble people more beautiful than life. And when he
came upon Apollo striking his lyre, his heart leaped into
his mouth. He stood quiet for a long time gazing at this
god of song. Then he walked out of the tent with shining
At last it grew dark, and torches began to blaze in front
of the booths.
"Shall we go home, Chanuides?" said Glaucon.
"Oh, no!" cried the boy. "I haven't seen it all. I am
not tired. It is gayer now than ever w^ith the torches. See
all those shining flames."
And he ran to a booth where a hundred little bronze
lamps hung, each with its tongue of clear light. It was an
imagemaker's booth. The table stood full of little clay
statues of the gods. Charmides took up one. It was a
young man leaning against a tree trunk. On his arm he
held a baby.
"It is a model of the great marble Hermes in the temple
of Hera, my little master," said the image maker. "Great
Praxiteles made that one, poor Philo made this one."
"It is beautiful," said Charmides and turned away, hold-
ing it tenderly in his hand.
Glaucon waited a moment to pay for the figure. Then
he followed Charmides who had walked on. He was stand-
ing on the bridge gazing at the water.
"Glaucon," he said, "I must see that statue of Hermes."
They stood there talking about the wonderful works
of Praxiteles and of many another artist. Glaucon pointed
to a little wooden shed lying in the meadow.
"That," he said, "is the workshop of Phidias. There he
O L Y M P I A 105
made the gold and ivory statue of Zeus that you shall see
in Zeus's temple. That workshop will stay there many a
year, I think, for people to love because so great a thing
was done there."
"Is it so wonderful?" asked Charmides.
"When it was finished," Glaucon answered solemnly,
"Phidias stood before it and prayed to Zeus to tell him
whether it pleased the god. Great Zeus heard the prayer,
and in his joy at the beautiful thing he hurled a blazing
thunderbolt and smote the floor before the statue as if to
say, 'This image is Zeus himself.' But I have never seen it,
for a slave may not pass the sacred wall."
Now the full moon had risen, and the world was swim-
ming in silver light. The statue of Victory hung over the
sacred place on spread wings. Many another great form
on its high pillar seemed standing in the deep sky above
the world. The little pool in the pebbly river had stars
in the bottom.
"This Kladeos is a savage little river in the spring," said
Glaucon. "It tries to tear away our Olympia or drown it or
cover it with sand. You see, men have had to fence it in
with stone w^alls."
But Charmides was looking at the sacred place and its
soft shining statues in the sky.
"Let us walk around the wall," he said.
So they left the river and passed the gymnasium and
the gate. Along this side the wall cast a wide shadow. Here
they walked in silence. Here there were no tents, no
106 BURIED CITIES
torches, no noisy people. Everything was quiet in the
evening air. The far-off sounds of the fair were a gentle
hum. A hundred pictures were floating in Charmides'
mind — Phidias, Zeus, Creon with the strigil, his own little
Hermes, the strange people in the fair, the marble Apollo
under the sculptor's tent. In a few moments they turned
a corner and came out into the soft moonlight. A little
beyond gleamed a broad river, the Alphseus. Charmides
and the slave went over and strolled along its banks. Here
they were again in the crowd and among tents. They saw
a group of people and went toward them. A man sat on
a low knoll a little above the crowd. His hair hung about
his shoulders and his long robe lay in glistening folds about
his feet. A lyre rested on his knees, and he was striking
the strings softly. The sweet notes floated high in the
moonlit air. At last he lifted his voice and sang:
When the swan spreadeth out his wings to alight
On the whirling pools of the foaming stream_,
He sendeth to thee, Apollo, a note.
When the sweet-voiced minstrel lifteth his lyre
And stretcheth his hand on the singing strings
He sendeth to thee, Apollo, a prayer.
Even so do I now, a worshiping bard,
With my heart lifted up to begin my lay.
Cry aloud to Apollo, the lord of song.
Then he sang of that lordliest of all minstrels, Orpheus
— how the trees swung circling about to his music ; how the
savage beasts lay down at his feet to listen; how the rocks
rose up at his bidding and followed him, dancing, to build
O L Y M P I A 107
a town without hands ; how he went to the dismal land of the
dead to seek his wife and with his clear lyre and sweet voice
drew tears from the iron heart of the king of hell and won
back his loved Eurydice and lost her again the same hour.
The boy, sitting there in the moonlight, went floating
away on the song until he felt himself straying through
that fair garden of the dead with singing lyre or riding with
Artemis through the sky in her moon chariot.
When the song was ended, Glaucon said, "Come, little
master, you have fallen asleep. Let us go home."
And Charmides rose and went, still clutching his image
of Hermes in his hand and still holding the song fast in
In the morning the whole great camp was awake and
moving long before daylight. Every man and boy was in
his fairest clothes. On every head was a fresh fillet. Every
hand bore some beautiful gift for the gods — a vase, a plate
of gold, an embroidered robe, a basket of silver. All were
pouring to the open gate in the sacred wall. Here a proces-
sion formed. Young men led cattle with gilded horns and
swinging garlands, or sheep with clean, combed wool.
Stately priests in long chitons paced to the music of flutes.
The judges glowed in their purple robes. Then walked
the athletes, their eyes burning with excitement. And last
came all the visitors with gift-laden hands. The slaves and
foreigners crowded at the gate to see the procession pass,
for on this first holy day only freedmen and Greeks of
pure blood might visit the sacred shrines.
When Charmides passed through, his heart leaped.
Here was no empty field with a few altars. He had never
seen a greater crowd in the busy market place at home in
Athens. But here the people were even more beautiful
than the Athenians. Their limbs were round and perfect.
They stood always gracefully. Their garments hung in
delicate folds, for they were people made by great artists — -
people of marble and of bronze. All the gods of Olympos
were there, and athletes of years gone by, wrestling, run-
ning, hurling the disc. There were bronze chariots with
horses of bronze to draw them and men of bronze to hold
the reins. There were heroes of Troy still fighting. And
here and there were little altars of marble or stone or earth
or ashes with an ancient, holy statue. At every one the pro-
cession halted. The priests poured a libation and chanted
a prayer. The people sang a hymn. Many left gifts
piled about the altar. Before Hermes Charmides left
his little clay image of the god. And while the priests
prayed aloud, the boy sent up a whispered prayer for his
Once the procession came before a low, narrow temple.
It was of sun-dried bricks coated with plaster. Its columns
were all different from one another. Some were slender,
others thick ; some fluted, others plain : and all were brightly
painted. Charmides smiled up at his father.
"It is not so beautiful as the Parthenon," he said.
*'No," his father answered, "but it is very old and very
holy. Every generation of man has put a new column
O L Y M P I A 109
here. That is why they are not aHke. This is the ancient
temple of Hera."
Then they entered the door. Down the long aisle they
w^alked between small open rooms on either side. Here
stood statues gazing out — some of marble, some of gold and
ivory. The priests had moved to the front and stood pray-
ing before the ancient statues of Zeus and Hera. But sud-
denly Charmides stopped and would go no farther. For
here, in a little room all alone, stood his Hermes with the
baby Dionysus. The boy cried out softly with joy and
crept toward the lovely thing. He gently touched the
golden sandal. He gazed into the kind blue eyes and smiled.
The marble was delicately tinted and glowed like warm
skin. A frail wreath of golden leaves lay on the curling
hair. Charmides looked up at the tiny baby and laughed
at its coaxing arms.
"Are you smiling at him?" he whispered to Hermes.
"Or are you dreaming of Olympos? Are you carrying him
to the nymphs on jMount Xysa?" And then more softly
still he said, "Do not forget Creon, blessed god."
When his father came back he found him still gazing
into the quiet face and smiling tenderly with love of the
beautiful thing. As Menon led him away, he waved a
loving farewell to the god.
The most w^onderful time was after the sacrifice to
Zeus before the great temple with its deep porches and its
marble watchers in the gable. The altar was a huge pile
of ashes. For hundreds of years Greeks had sacrificed
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here. The holy ashes had piled up and piled up until they
stood as a hill more than twenty feet high. The people
waited around the foot of it, watching. The priests walked
up its side. Men led up the sleek cattle to be slain for the
feast of the gods. And on the very top a fire leaped toward
heaven. Far up in the sky Charmides could half see the
beautiful gods leaning down and smiling upon their wor-
Then he turned and walked with the crowd under the
temple porch and into the great, dim room. He trembled
and grasped his father's hand in awe. For there in the soft
light towered great Zeus. In embroidered robes of dull
gold he sat high on his golden throne. His hands held his
scepter and his messenger eagle. His great yellow curls
almost touched the ceiling. He bent his divine face down,
and his deep eyes glowed upon his people. Sweet smoke
was curling upward, and the room rang with a hymn.
As Charmides gazed into the solemn face, a strange
light quivered about it, and the boy's heart shook with
awe. The words of Homer sprank to his lips:
"Zeus bowed his head. The divine hair streamed back
from the kindly brows, and great Olympos quaked."
After the sacrifices w^ere over there was time to wander
again among the statues and to sit on the benches under
the cool porches and watch the moving crowd and the glit-
tering sun on the gold ornaments of the temple peaks.
Then there was time to see again the strange sights of the
fair in the plain.
The next morning was noisier and gayer than anything
Charmides had ever known. While it was still twilight his
father hurried him down the hill and through the gates, on
through the sacred enclosure to another gate. And all
about them was a hurrying, noisy crowd. They stumbled up
some steps and began to wait. As the light grew, Charmides
saw all about him men and boys, sitting or standing, and
all gaily talking. Below the crowd he saw a long, narrow
stretch of ground. He clapped his hands. That was the
ground Creon's feet would run upon! Up and down both
sides of the track went long tiers of stone seats. They
were packed with people who were there to see Creon win.
The seats curved around one narrow end of the course.
But across the other end stood a wall with a gate. JMenon
pointed to a large white board hanging on the wall and
said, "See! The hst of athletes."
Here were written names, and among them, "Creon,
son of the Olympic winner Menon." Charmides' eyes
glowed with pride.
Every eye was watching the gate. Soon the purple-
clad judges entered. Some of them walked the whole length
of the stadion and took their seats opposite the goal posts.
Two or three waited at the starting line. There was a blast
of a trumpet. Then a herald cried something about games
for boys and about only Greeks of pure blood and about
the blessing of Hermes of the race course.
Immediately there entered a crowd of boys, while the
spectators sent up a rousing cheer. The lads gathered to
112 BURIED CITIES
cast lots for places. At last eight of them stepped out and
stood at the starting line. Creon was not among them.
A post with a little fluttering flag was between every two.
The boys threw off their clothes and stood ready. One of
the judges said to them:
"The eyes of the world are upon you. Your cities love
an Olympic winner. From Olympos the gods look down
upon you. For the glory of your cities, for the joy of your
fathers, for your own good name, I exhort you to do your
Then he gave the signal and the runners shot forward.
Down the long course they went with twinkling legs. The
spectators cheered, called their names, waved their chlamyses
and himations. Their friends cried to the gods to help.
Down they ran, two far ahead, others stringing out behind.
Every runner's eyes were on the marble goal post with its
little statue of Victory. In a moment it was over, and Leo-
tichides had first laid hand upon the post and was winner
of the first heat.
Immediately eight other boys took their places at the
starting line. Charmides snatched his father's hand and
held it tight, for Creon was one of them. Another signal
and they were off, with Creon leading by a pace or two.
So it was all the way, and he gave a glad shout as he touched
the goal post.
Charmides heard men all about him say;
"A beautiful run!"
"How easily he steps!"
"We shall see him do something in the last heat."
"Who is he?"
And when the herald announced the name of the win-
ner, the benches buzzed with,
"Creon, Creon, son of Menon the Athenian."
Four more groups were called and ran. Then the six
winners stepped up to the line. This .time the goal was the
altar at the farther end of the stadion. A wave of excite-
ment ran around the seats. Everybody leaned forward.
The signal ! Leotichides sprang a long pace ahead. Next
came Creon, loping evenly. One boy stumbled and fell
behind. The other three were running almost side by side.
Menon was muttering between his teeth:
"Hermes, be his aid! Great Zeus look upon him!
Herakles give him wind!"
Now they were npar the goal, and Leotichides was still
leading by a stride. Then Creon threw back his head and
stretched out his legs and with ten great leaj)s he had
touched the altar a good pace ahead. He had won the
The crowd went wild with shouting. Menon leaped
over men's heads and went running down the course calling
for his son. But the guards caught him and forced him
back upon the seats. Charmides sat down and wept for joy.
And nobody saw him, for everybody was cheering and
watching the victor.
One of the judges stepped out and gave a torch to
Creon. The boy touched the flame to the pile on the altar.
114 BURIED CITIES
As the fire sprang up, he stretched his hands to the sky
"O blessed Hermes, Creon will not forget thy help."
As he turned away the judge gave him a pahii in sign
of victory. The boy walked back down the course with the
palm waving over his shoulder. His body was glistening,
his cheeks were flushed, his eyes were burning with joy. He
was looking up at the crowd, hoping to see his father and
brother. And at every step men reached out a hand to him
or called to him, until at last ]Menon's own loving arms
pulled him up upon the benches. Then there was such a
noise that no one heard any one else, but everybody knew
that everybody was happy. ]Men pushed their heads over
other men's shoulders, and boys peeped between their
fathers' legs to see the Olympic winner. And in that circle
of faces ]Menon stood with his arms about Creon, laughing
and crying. And Charmides clung to his brother's hand.
But at last Creon whispered to his father:
"I must go and make ready. I am entered for the
Menon cried out in wonder.
"I kept that news for a surprise," laughed Creon.
"Good-by, little one," he said to Charmides, and pushed
through the crowd.
]\Ienon sat down trembling. If his boy should win in
the pentathlon also! That would be too great glory. It
could not happen. He began to mutter a hundred prayers.
Another race was called — the double race, twice around the
course. But INIenon did not stand to see it. He could
think of nothing but his glorious son. After the race was
another great shout. Some other boy was carrying a palm.
Some other father was proud. Then followed wrestling,
bout after bout, and cheering from the crowd. But ]Menon
cared little for it all.
It was now near noon. The sun shone down scorchingly.
A wind whirled dust up from the race course into people's
"]My throat needs wetting," cried a man.
He pulled off a little vase of wine that hung from his
girdle and passed it to ]Menon, saying:
'T should be proud if the father of the victor would
drink from my bottle."
And ]Menon took it, smiling proudly. Then he him-
self opened a little cloth bag and drew out figs and nuts.
"Here is something to munch, lad," he said to Char-
Other people, also, were eating and drinking. They
walked about to visit their friends or sat down to rest.
INIenon's neighbor sank upon his seat with a sigh.
"This is the first time I have sat down since sunrise,"
Then the pentathlon was announced. Everyone leaped
to his feet again. A group of boys stood ready behind a
line. One of the judges was softening the ground with a
pick. An umpire made a speech to the lads. Then, at a
word, a boy took up the lead jumping weights. He swung
116 BURIED CITIES
his hands back and forth, swaying his graceful body with
them. Then a backward jerk! He threw his weights
behind him and leaped. The judges quickly measured and
called the distance. Then another boy leaped, and another,
and another — twenty or more. Last Creon took the weights
and toed the line.
"Creon! Creon!" shouted the crowd: "The victor! Creon
He swung and swayed and then sailed through the air.
"By Herakles!" shouted a man near Charmides. "He
alights like a sea-gull."
There went up a great roar from the benches even before
the judges called the distance. For any one could see
that he had passed the farthest mark. The first of the five
games was over and Creon had won it.
Now the judges brought a discus. A boy took it and
stepped behind the line. He fitted the lead plate into the
crook of his hand. He swung it back and forth, bending his
knees and turning his body. Then it flew into the air and
down the course. Where it stopped rolling an umpire
marked and called the distance.
"I like this game best of all," said a man behind Char-
mides. "The whole body is in it. Every movement is grace-
ful. See the curve of the back, the beautiful bend of the
legs, the muscles working over the chest ! The body moves
to and fro as if to music."
One after another the boys took their turn. But when
Creon threw, Charmides cried out in sorrow, and Menon
groaned. His disc fell short of the mark. He was
"It was gracefully done," Charmides heard some one
say, "but his arms are not so good as his legs. See the arms
and chest of that Timon. No one can throw against him."
After that a judge set up a shield in the middle of the
course. Every boy snatched a spear from a pile on the
ground and threw at the central boss of the shield. Again
Creon was beaten. Phormio of Corinth, son of a famous
Then they paired off for wrestling. Creon and Eudorus
of iEgina were together. Each boy poured oil into his
hand from a little vase and rubbed the body of his antagonist
to limber his muscles. Then he took fine sand from a box
and dusted it over his skin for the oiled body might slip out
of his arms in the wrestling match. Then, at a signal, the
pairs of wrestlers faced each other.
Creon held his hands out ready, bent his knees, thrust
forward his head, and stood waiting. Eudorus leaped to
and fro around him trying to get a hold. At last he rushed
at him. Creon caught him around the waist and hurled
him to the ground. Charmides laughed and shouted and
clapped his hands. That was one throw. There must be
three. Eudorus was up immediately and was circling
around and around again. Suddenly Creon leaped low and
caught him by the leg and threw him. He had won two
bouts out of three and stood victor without a throw.
Soon all the pairs had finished. The eight victors stood
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forth and cast lots for new partners. Again they wrestled.
This time, also, Creon won. Then these four winners
paired off and wrestled, and at the end Creon and Timon
were left to try it together.
In the first bout the Spartan boy lifted Creon off the
ground and threw him, back down. Then the men on the
benches began shouting advice.
"Look out for his arms!"
"Don't let him grapple you!"
Creon leaped to his feet. He began circling around
Timon as Eudorus had circled around him. He dodged
out from under Timon's arms. He wriggled from between
his hands. The benches rang with cheers and laughs.
"He is an eel," cried one man.
Suddenly Creon ducked under Timon's arms, caught
him by his legs and tripped him. The two boys were
In the next bout Timon ran at Creon like a wild bull.
He caught him around the waist in his strong arms to whirl
him to the ground. But with a crook of his leg Creon
tripped him and wriggled out of his arms before he fell.
Menon caught up Charmides and threw him to his
shoulder laughing and stamping his feet.
"Do you see, lad?" he cried. "He has won two games.
Only the race is left, and we know how he can run."
And how he did run! He threw back his head and
leaped out like a deer, skimming over the ground in long
strides and leaving his dust to the others. He had the three
games out of five and was winner of the pentathlon.
Then there was no holding the crowd. They poured
down off the seats and ran to Creon. Some lifted him upon
their shoulders and carried him out of the stadion, for this
was the end of the games for that day. And those who
could not come near Creon and his waving palms crowded
around ]Menon. So they went, shouting, out of the gate
and among the statues and on to the river. There they put
Creon down, and his father and Charmides led him away
That was the happiest night of Charmides' life. He
heard his wonderful brother talk for hours of the life in
the gymnasium. He heard new tales of Creon's favorite
god, Hermes. He heard of the women's games that were
held once a year at Olympia in honor of Hera. He heard a
hundred new names of boys and cities, for there had been
athletes from every corner of Greece in training here. He
held the victor's palms in his own hands. He slept beside
this double winner of Olympic crowns. He dreamed that
Apollo and Hermes came hand in hand and gazed down at
him and Creon as they lay sleeping and dropped a great
garland over them both. It was twined of Olympic olive
leaves and Apollo's own laurel.
On the next day there were games for the men, like
those the boys had played. On the day after that there were
chariot races in a wide place outside the walls. Every night
there was still the gay noise of the fair. But instead of
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going to see it, Charmides stretched himself under the
trees on Mount Kronion and gazed up at the moon and
Then came the last day, with its great procession again
and its sacrifices at every altar. The proud victors walked
with their palm leaves in their hands. In the temple of
Zeus, under the eyes of the glowing god, the priests put
the precious olive crowns upon the winners' heads. They
were made from sacred olive leaves. They were cut with a
golden sickle from the very tree that godlike Herakles had
brought out of the far north. That wreath it was which
should be more dear than a chest of gold to Creon's family
and Creon's city. That was the crown which poets should
sing about. When the priest set the crown upon Creon's
head, Charmides thought he felt a god's hands upon his
own brow. Menon leaned upon a friend's shoulder and
burst into tears.
"I could die happy now," he said. "I have done enough
for Athens in giving her such a glorious son."
As the three walked back to camp, Menon said :
"Who shall write your chorus of triumph, Creon?
Already my messengers have reached Athens, and the
dancers are chosen who shall lead you home. But the song
is not yet made. It must be a glorious one!"
Then Charmides blushingly whispered,
"May I sing you something, father? Apollo helped
me to make it."
His father smiled down in surprise.
"So that is why you have been lying so quiet under the
trees these moonlit nights!" he said.
Charmides ran ahead and was sitting thrumming a lyre
when his father and Creon came up. He struck a long,
ringing chord and raised his clear voice in a dancing song:
When Creon, son of Menon, bore off the Olympic olive,
Mount Kronion shook with shouting of Hellas' hosts assembled.
They praised his manly beauty, his grace and strength of body.
They praised his eyes' alertness, the smoothness of his muscles.
They blessed his happy father and wished themselves his brothers.
Sweet rang the glorious praises in ears of Creon's lovers.
But I, when upward gazing, beheld a sight more wondrous.
The gates of high Olympos were open wide and clanging,
Deserted ev'ry palace, the golden city empty.
And all the gods w^ere gathered above Olympia's race-course.
They smiled upon my Creon and gifts upon him showered.
From golden Aphrodite dropped half a hundred graces.
Athene made him skillful. Boon Hermes gave him litheness.
Fierce Ares added courage, Queen Hera happy marriage.
Diana's blessed fingers into his soul shed quiet.
Lord Bacchus gave him friendship and graces of the banquet,
Poseidon luck in travel, and Zeus decreed him victor.
Apollo, smiling, watched him and saw his thousand blessings.
"Enough," he said, "for Creon. I'll bless the empty-handed."
He turned to where I trembled, and stepping downward crowned me.
"To thee my gift," he whispered, "to sing thy brother's glory."
"Well done, little poet!" cried Menon.
"A happy man am I. One son is beloved by Hermes,
the other by Apollo. Bring wax tablets, Glaucon, and
write down the song. I will prepare a messenger to hurry
with it to Athens."
So it happened that a lame boy won a crown. And
when Creon stepped ashore at Pirseus, and all Athens stood
shouting his name, a chorus of boys came dancing toward
him singing his brother's song. Creon was led home wear-
ing Zeus' wreath upon his head, and Charmides with
Apollo's crown in his heart.
HOW A CITY AVAS LOST
SUCH was Olympia long ago. Every four years such
games took place. Then the plain was crowded and
busy and gay. Year after year new statues were set up,
new gifts were brought, new 'buildings were made. Olympia
was one of the richest places in the world. Its fame flew to
every land. At every festival new people came to see its
beauties. It was the meeting place of the world.
But meantime the bad fortune of Greece began. Her
cities quarreled and fought among themselves. A king
came down from the north and conquered her. After that
the Romans sailed over from Italy and conquered her again.
Often Roman emperors carried off some of her statues to
make Rome beautiful. Shipload after shipload they took.
The new country was filled with Greek statues. The old
one was left almost empty. Later, after Christ was born,
and the Romans and the Greeks had become Christian, the
"It is not fitting for Christians to hold a festival in
honor of a heathen god."
A Coin of Alexander the Great. It shows Zeus sitting on his throne.
And he stopped the games. He took away the gold and
silver gifts from the treasure houses. He carried away the
gold and ivory statues. Where Phidias' wonderful Zeus
went nobody knows. Perhaps the gold was melted to make
money. Olympia sat lonely and deserted by her river banks.
Summer winds whirled dust under her porches. Rabbits
made burrows in Zeus' altar. Doors rusted off their hinges.
Foxes made their dens in Hera's temple. ^len camxC now
and then to melt up a bronze statue for swords or to haul
away the stones of her temples for building. The Alpheios
kept eating away its banks and cutting under statues and
monuments. Many a beautiful thing crumbled and fell
into the river and was rolled on down to the sea. Men
sometimes found a bronze helmet or a marble head in the
bed of the stream.
After a long time people came and lived among the
ruins. On an old temple floor they built a little church.
Men lived in the temple of Zeus, and women spun and
gossiped where the golden statue had sat. In the temple
of Hera people set up a wine press. Did they know that
the little marble baby in the statue near them was the god
of the vineyard and had taught men to make wine? Out
of broken statues and columns and temple stones they built
a wall around the little town to keep out their enemies.
Sometimes when they found a bronze warrior or a marble
god they must have made strange stories about it, for they
had half forgotten those wonderful old Greeks. But the
\narble statues they put into a kiln to make lime to plaster
their houses. The bronze ones they melted up for tools.
Sometimes they found a piece of gold. They thought them-
selves lucky then and melted it over into money.
But an earthquake shook down the buildings and toppled
over the statues. The columns and walls of the grand old
temple of Zeus fell in a heap. The marble statues in its
pediments dropped to the ground and broke. Victory fell
from her high pillar and shattered into a hundred pieces.
The roof of Hera's temple fell in, and Hermes stood
uncovered to the sky. Old Kronion rocked and sent
a landslide down over the treasure houses. Kladeos
rushed out of his course and poured sand over the sacred
That earthquake frightened the people away, and they
left Olympia alone again. Hermes was still there, but he
looked out upon ruins. Victory lay in a heap of fragments.
Apollo w^as there, but broken and buried in earth with the
other people of the pediments. Zeus and all the hundreds
of heroes and athletes were gone. So it was for a while.
Then a new race of people came and built another little
town upon the earth-covered ruins. They little guessed
what lay below their poor houses. But for some reason
this town, also, died and left the ruins alone. Then dusty
winds and flooding rivers began to cover up what was left.
Kladeos piled up sand fifteen feet deep. Alpheios swung
out of its banks and washed away the race-course for
chariots. Under the rains and floods the sun-dried bricks
of Hera's w alls melted again into clay and covered the floor,
126 BURIED CITIES
Again the earth quaked, and Hermes fell forward on his
face, and little was left of the beautiful old Olympia. Grass
and flowers crept in from the sides. Seeds blew in and
shrubs and trees took the place of columns. Soon the
flowers and the animals had Olympia to themselves. A few
gray stones thrust up through the soil. So it was for
hundreds of years. Greece was conquered by the men
of Venice and then by the Turks. But Olympia, in its far
corner, was forgotten and untouched except when a Turkish
officer or farmer went there to dig a few stones out of
the ground. And they knew nothing of the ancient gods
and the ancient festival and the old story of the place, for
they were foreigners and new people.
But about a hundred years ago Englishmen and Ger-
mans and Frenchmen began to visit Greece. They went to
see, not her new Turkish houses or her Venetian castles or
the strange dress of her new people, but her old ruins and
the signs of her old glory. These men had read of Olympia
in ancient Greek books and they knew what statues and
buildings had once stood there. They wrote back to their
friends things like this:
"I saw a piece of a huge column lying on top of the
ground. It was seven feet across. It must have belonged
to the temple of Zeus."
"To-day I saw a long, low place in the ground where
I think must have been the stadion in ancient days."
At last, about thirty years ago, Ernst Curtius and
several other Germans went there. They were men who
HOW A CITY WAS LOST 127
had studied Greek history and Greek art and they planned
to excavate Olympia.
"We will uncover the sacred enclosure again. Men
shall see again the ancient temples and altars, the stadion,
Germany had given them money for the work, and at
last Greece allowed them to begin. In October they started
their digging. Workmen up-rooted shrubs and dug away
dirt. Excavators watched every spadeful. They were
always measuring, making maps, taking notes. They found
a few vases, terra cotta figures, pieces of bronze statues,
swords and armor. They cleared off temple floors and were
able to make out the plans of the old buildings. They found
the empty pedestals of many statues. Yet they were dis-
appointed. Olympia had been a beautiful place, a rich
place. They were finding only the hints of these things.
The beauty was gone. Of the three thousand statues that
had been there should they not find one ?
Then they uncovered the fallen statues of the pediments
of Zeus' temple. Thirty or more there were — Apollo, Zeus,
heroes, women, centaurs, horses. Arms were gone, heads
were broken, legs were lost. The excavators fitted together
all the pieces and set the mended statues up side by side as
they had been in the gable. They found, too, the carved
marble slabs that showed the labors of Herakles. But
even these were not the lovely things that people had hoped
to see from Olympia. They were rather stiff and ungrace-
ful. They had not been made by the greatest artists.
128 BURIED CITIES
In the temple of Hera one day men were digging in
clay. Over all the rest of OljTnpia was only sand. The
excavators wondered for a long time why this one spot
should have clay. Where could it have come from? They
read their old books over and over. They thought and
studied. At last they said :
"The walls of the temple must have been made of sun-
dried brick. In the old days they must have been covered
with plaster. This and the roof kept them dry. But the
plaster cracked off, and the roof fell in, and the rain and
the floods turned the bricks back to clay again."
Then one INIay morning, when the men were digging in
the clay, a workman lifted off his spadeful of dirt, and
white marble gleamed out. After that there was careful
work, with all the excavators standing about to watch.
What would it be? They thought over all the statues that
the ancient books said had stood in Hera's temple. Then
were slowly uncovered, a smooth back, a carved shoulder,
a curly head. A white statue of a young man lay face down
in the gray clay. The legs were gone. The right arm was
missing. From his left hung carved drapery. On his left
shoulder lay a tiny marble hand.
"It is the Hermes of Praxiteles," the excavators whis-
pered among themselves.
In his day Praxiteles had been almost as famous as
Phidias. The old Greek world had rung with his praises.
Modern men had dreamed of what his statues must have
been and had longed to see them. How did he shape the
HOW A CITY WAS LOST 129
head? How did his bodies curve? What expression was
on his faces? All these things they had wished to know.
But not one of his statues had ever been found. Now here
lay one before the very eyes of these excavators. They put
out their hands and lovingly touched the polished marble
skin. But what would they find when they lifted it? — Per-
haps the nose would be gone, the face flattened by the fall,
the ears broken, the beautiful marble chipped. They almost
feared to lift it. But at last they did so.
When they saw the face, they were struck dumb by its
beauty, and I think tears sprang into the eyes of some of
them. No such perfect piece of marble had ever been
found before. There was not a scratch. The skin still
glowed with the polishing that Praxiteles' own hands had
given it. There was even a hint of color on the lips. The
soft clay bed had saved the falling statue. Here was a
statue that the whole world would love. It would make
the name of Olympia famous again. The excavators were
proud and happy. That old ruined temple seemed indeed
a sacred place to them as they gazed upon perhaps the most
beautiful statue in the world.
*' Surely we shall find nothing else so perfect," they said.
Yet they went on with the work. Before long Hermes'
right foot was found imbedded in the clay. Its sandal still
shone with the gilding put on two thousand years before.
Workmen were tearing down one of the houses of the little
town that had been built on the ancient ruins. Every stone
in it had some old story. Pieces of fluted columns, carved
130 BURIED CITIES
capitals, broken pedestals, blocks from the temple of Zeus
— all were cemented together to make these walls. The
workmen pulled and chipped and lifted out piece after
piece. The excavators studied each scrap to see whether
it was valuable. And at last they found a baby's body.
They carefully broke off the mortar. It was of creamy
marble, beautifully carved. They carried it to Hermes.
It fitted upon the drapery over his arm. On a rubbish heap
outside the temple they had found a little marble head.
They put it upon this baby's shoulders. It was badly
broken, but they could see that it belonged there. So after
two thousand years Hermes again smiled into the eyes of
the baby Dionysus.
Other things -were found. The shattered Victory was
uncovered. Carefully the excavators fitted the pieces to-
gether. But the wide wings could never be made again,
and the head w^as ruined. Even so, the statue is a beautiful
thing, with its thin drapery flying in the wind.
After five years the work was finished. Now again
hundreds of visitors journey to Olympia every year. They
see no gleaming roofs and high-lifted statues and joyful
games. They walk among sad ruins. But they can tread
the gymnasium floor where Creon and many another victor
wrestled. They can enter the gate of the grass-grown
stadion. They can see the fallen columns of the temple
of Zeus. In the museum they can see the statues of its
pediments and, at the end of the long hall, they see Victory
stepping toward them. They can wander on the banks of
HOW A CITY WAS LOST 131
the Kladeos and the Alpheios. They can climb Mount
Kronion and see the whole little plain and imagine it gay
with tents and moving people.
All these things are interesting to those who like the
old Greek life. But most people make the long journey
only to see Hermes. In the museum, in a little room all
alone, he stands, always calm and lovable, always dreaming
of something beautiful, always half smiling at the coaxing
PICTURES OF OLYMPIA
ENTRANCE TO STADION.
This was not the gate where Charmides entered. This entrance
was reserved for the judges, the competitors, and the heralds.
Inside there were seats for forty-five thousand people. On one
side the hill made a natural slope for seats. But on the other
sides a ridge of earth had to be built up. The track was about
two hundred yards long. Only the two ends have been excavated.
The rest still lies deep under the sand.
Here Creon and the other boys spent a month in training be-
fore the games. The gymnasium had a covered portico as long
as the track in the stadion, where the boys could run in bad
weather. A Greek boy of to-day is playing on his shepherd's
pipes in the foreground^ and they are the same kind of pipes
on which the old Greeks played.
BOYS IN GYMNASIUM.
From a vase painting. They are wrestling, jumping with
weights, throwing the spear, throwing the discus, while their
teachers watch them. One man is saying, "A beautiful boy.
— From Baumeister's "Bilder'
THE TEMPLE OF ZEUS.
When we see a picture of fallen broken columns lying about a
field in disorder^ we try to learn how the original building
looked and to imagine it in all its beauty. This^ men believe,
is the way the Temple of Zeus looked. The figures in the pedi-
ment were all of Parian marble. In the center stands Zeus him-
self. A chariot race is about to be run, and the contestants
stand on either side of Zeus, Zeus gave the victory to Pelops,
and Pelops became husband of Hippodameia, and king of
Pisa, and founded the Olympic Games. These games were held
every fourth year for more than a thousand years.
Note: This and the following plates of the Labors of Herakles and the
statue of Victory, were photographed from Curtius and Adler's "Olympia:
Die Ergebnisse der von dem Deutschen Reich Veranstalteten Ausgrabung,"
etc. This is one of the most beautiful books ever made for a buried city. Boys
and girls who can reach the Metropolitan Museum Library should not miss it.
It is in many volumes, each almost as large as the top of the table, and you
do not need to read German to appreciate the plates.
g^l^ S- g l EggE"!!^ ;^ ^ ^^^- •
Js u^ _.
rHE LABORS OF HERA-
Under the porches of the
Temple of Zeus were twelve
pictures in marble^ six at
each end, showing the La-
bors of Herakles. Herakles
was highly honored at Olym-
pia and, according to one
tale, he, instead of Pelops,
was the founder of the Olym-
herakles and the Xemean lion.
Herakles and the hvdra.
— Metropolitan Museum
THE LABORS OF HERA-
^' \ ,• Herakles giving Athena the
'^-X Stvmphalian birds.
Herakles and the bull.
THE LABORS OF HERA-
Herakles and the stag.
Herakles taking the girdle of
the Queen of the Ama-
THE LABORS OF HERA-
Herakles dragging away Cer^
Herakles cleaning the Augean
THE LABORS OF HERA-
On the way to the "Pillars of
Herakles winning the apples of
THE LABORS OF HERA-
Herakles and the boar of Ery-
\ Herakles stealing the mares of
THE STATUE OF VICTORY.
In the sand, not far from the Temple of Zeus, the explorers
found the fragments of this statue. It shows the goddess flying
down from heaven to bring victory to the men of Messene and
Naupaktos. So the victors must have erected this statue at
Olympia in gratitude.
Something like the picture used as the frontispiece, men believe
the statue looked originally. It stood upon a base thirty feet
high so that the goddess really looked as if she were descending
THE HERMES OF PHAXlTELES.
THE TEMPLE OF HERA.
This shows the ruins of the temple where Charmides saw the
statue of Hermes, perhaps the most beautiful statue in the world.
HEAD OF AX ATHLETE.
The Greek artist who made this statue believed that a beautiful
body is glorious, as well as a beautiful mind, and a fine spirit.
Do you think his statue shows all these things : The original
is now at the Metropolitan Museum.
— Metropolitan Museum
A GREEK HORSEMAN.
The artist had great skill who could chisel out of marble such a
strong, bold rider, and such a spirited horse.
This picture and the one before it are not pictures of things found at
Olympia. They are two of the most beautiful statues of Greek athletes, and we
give them to remind you of the sort of people who came to the games at
— Aletropolitaii Museuui
HOW A LOST CITY WAS FOUND
THIRTY years ago a little group of people stood on a
hill in Greece. The hilltop was covered with soft soil.
The summer sun had dried the grass and flowers, but little
bushes grew thick over the ground. In this way the hill
was like an ordinary hill, but all around the edge of it ran
the broken ring of a great wall. In some places it stood
thirty feet above the earth. Here and there it was twenty
feet thick. It was built of huge stones. At one place a
tower stood up. In another two stone lions stood on guard.
It was these ruined walls that interested the people on the
hill. One of the men was a Greek. A red fez was on his
head. He wore an embroidered jacket and loose white
sleeves. A stiff kilted skirt hung to his knees. He was
pointing about at the wall and talking in Greek to a lady
and gentleman. They were visitors, come to see these
ruins of JNIycense.
"Once, long, long ago," he was saying, "a great city
was inside these walls. Giants built the walls. See the
huge stones. Only giants could hft them. It was a city
of giants. See their great ovens."
He pointed down the hill at a doorway in the earth.
160 BURIED CITIES
"You cannot see well from here. I will take you down.
We can look in. A great dome, built of stone, is buried in
the earth. A passage leads into it, but it is filled with
dirt. We can look down through the broken top. The
room inside is bigger than my whole house. There giants
used to bake their bread. Once a wicked Turk came here.
He was afraid of nothing. He said, 'The giants' treasure
lies in this oven. I will have it.' So he sent men down.
But they found only broken pieces of carved marble — no
While the guide talked, the gentleman was tramping
about the walls. He peered into all the dark corners. He
thrust a stick into every hole. He rubbed the stones with
his hands. At last he turned to his guide.
"You are right," he said. "There was once a great city
inside these walls. Houses were crowded together on this
hill where we stand. JNIen and women walked the streets
of a city that is buried under our feet, but they were not
giants. They were beautiful women and handsome men.
"It was a famous old city, this Mycense. Poets sang
songs about her. I have read those old songs. They tell
of Agamemnon, its king, and his war against Troy. They
call him the king of men. They tell of his gold-decked
palace and his rich treasures and the thick walls of his
"But Agamemnon died, and weak kings sat in his
palace. The warriors of Mycenge grew few, and after
hundreds of years, when the city was old and weak, her
enemies conquered her. They broke her walls, they threw
down her houses, they drove out her people. Mycenae
became a mass of empty ruins. For two thousand years the
dry winds of summer blew dust over her palace floors.
The rains of winter and spring washed down mud from her
acropolis into her streets and houses. Winged seeds flew
into the cracks of her walls and into the corners of her
ruined buildings. There they sprouted and grew, and at
last flowers and grass covered the ruins. Now only these
broken walls remain. You feed your sheep in the city of
Agamemnon. Down there on the hillside farmers have
planted grain above ancient palaces. But I will uncover
this wonderful city. You shall see ! You shall see how your
"Oh! for years I have longed to see this place. When
I was a little boy in Germany my father told me the old
stories of Troy, and he told me of how great cities were
buried. My heart burned to see them. Then, one night,
I heard a man recite some of the lines of Homer. I loved
the beautiful Greek words. I made him say them over and
over. I wept because I was not a Greek. I said to myself,
T will see Greece! I will study Greek. I will work hard.
I will make a bankful of money. Then I will go to Greece.
I will uncover Troy-city and see Priam's palace. I will
uncover Mycenae and see Agamemnon's grave.' I have
come. I have uncovered Troy. Now I am here. I will
come again and bring workmen with me. You shall see
162 BURIED CITIES
He walked excitedly around and around the ruins. He
told stories of the old city. He asked his wife to recite the
old tales of Homer. She half sang the beautiful Greek
words. Her husband's eyes grew wet as he listened.
This man's name was Dr. Henry Schliemann. He kept
his word. He went away but he came again in a few
years. He hired men and horse-carts. He rented houses
in the little village. Mycense was a busy place again after
three thousand years. More than a hundred men were
digging on the top of this hill. They wore the fezes and
kilts of the modern Greek. Little two-wheeled horse-carts
creaked about, loading and dumping.
Some of the men were working about the wall near the
"This is the great gate of the city," said Dr. Schliemann.
"Here the king and his warriors used to march through,
thousands of years ago. But it is filled up with dirt. We
must clear it out. We must get down to the very stones
But it was slow work. The men found the earth
full of great stone blocks. They had to dig around them
carefully, so that Dr. Schliemann might see what they
"How did so many great stones come here?" they said
Then Dr. Schliemann told them. He pointed to the
wall above the gate.
"Once, long, long ago," he said, "the warriors of
Mycenge stood up there. Down here stood an army — the
men of Argos, their enemies. The men of Argos battered
at the gate. They shot arrows at the men of Mycenee, and
the men of ^Mycenee shot at the Argives, and they threw
down great stones upon thern. See, here is one of those
broken stones, and here, and here. After a long time the
people of Mycense had no food left in their city. Their
warriors fainted from hunger. Then the Argives beat
down the gate. They rushed into the city and drove out
the people. They did not want men ever again to live in
JNIycense, so they took crowbars and tried to tear down the
wall. A few stones they knocked off. See, here, and here,
and here they are, where they fell off the wall. But these
great stones are very heavy. This one must weigh a hun-
dred twenty tons, — more than all the people of your vil-
lage. So the Argives gave up the attempt, and there stand
the walls yet. Then the rain washed down the dirt from
the hill and covered these great stones, and now we are
digging them out again."
The men worked at the gateway for many weeks. At
last all the dirt and the blocks had been cleared away. The
tall gateway stood open. A hole was in the stone door-
casing at top and bottom. Schliemann put his hand
"See!" he cried. "Here turned the wooden hinge of the
He pointed to another large hole on the side of the
164 BURIED CITIES
"Here the gatekeeper thrust in the beam to hold the
Just inside the gate he found the little room where the
keeper had stayed. He found also two little sentry boxes
high up on the wall. Here guards had stood and looked
over the country, keeping watch against enemies. From
the gate the wall bent around the edge of the hilltop, shut-
ting it in. In two places had been towers for watchmen.
Inside this great wall the king's palace and a few houses
had been safe. Outside, other houses had been built. But
in time of war all the people had flocked into the fortress.
The gate had been shut. The warriors had stood on the wall
to defend their city.
But while some of Dr. Schliemann's men were digging
at the gateway and the wall, others were working outside
the city. They were making a great hole, a hundred and
thirteen feet square. They put the dirt into baskets and
carried it to the little carts to be hauled away. And always
Dr. Schliemann and his wife worked with them. From
morning until dusk every day they were there. It was
August, and the sun was hot. The wind blew dust into
their faces and made their eyes sore, and yet they were
happy. Every day they found some little thing that excited
them, — a terra cotta goblet, a broken piece of a bone lyre, a
bronze ax, the ashes of an ancient fire.
At first Dr. Schliemann and his wife had fingered over
every spadeful of dirt. There might be something precious
"Dig carefully, carefully!" Dr. Schliemann had said to
the workmen. "Nothing must be broken. Nothing must
be lost. I must see everything. Perhaps a bit of a broken
vase may tell a wonderful story."
But during this work of many weeks he had taught his
workmen how to dig. Now each man looked over every
spadeful of earth himself, as he dug it up. He took out
every scrap of stone or wood or pottery or metal and gave
it to Schliemann or his wife. So the excavators had only
to study these things and to tell the men where to work.
When a man struck some new thing with his spade, he
called out. Then the excavators ran to that place and dug
with their own hands. When anything was found, Dr.
Schliemann sent it to the village. There it was kept in
a house under guard. At night Dr. Schliemann drew plans
of Mycenee. He read again old Greek books about the city.
As he read he studied his plans. He wrote and wrote.
"As soon as possible, I must tell the world about what
we find," he said to his wife. "People will love my book,
because they love the stories of Homer."
There had been four months of hard work. A few
precious things had been uncovered, — a few of bronze and
clay, a few of gold, some carved gravestones. But were
these the wonders Schliemann had promised? Was this to
be all? They had dug down more than twenty feet. A
few more days, and they would probably reach the solid
rock. There could be nothing below that. November was
rainy and disagreeable. The men had to work in the mud
166 BURIED CITIES
and wet. There was much disappointment on the hilltop.
Then one day a spade grated on gravel. Once before
that had happened, and they had found gold below. They
called out to Dr. Schliemann. He and his wife came
quickly. Fire leaped into Schliemann's eyes.
"Stop!" he said. "Now I will dig. Spades are too
So he and his wife dropped upon their knees in the
mud. They dug with their knives. Carefully, bit by
bit, they lifted the dirt. All at once there was a glint of
"Do not touch it!" cried Schliemann, "we must see it all
at once. What will it be?"
So they dug on. The men stood about watching. Every
now and then they shouted out, when some wonderful thing
was uncovered, and Schliemann would stop work and cry,
"Did not I tell you? Is it not worth the work?"
At last they had lifted off all the earth and gravel.
There was a great mass of golden things — golden hairpins,
and bracelets, and great golden earrings like wreaths of
yellow flowers, and necklaces with pictures of warriors
embossed in the gold, and brooches in the shape of stags'
heads. There were gold covers for buttons, and every one
was molded into some beautiful design of crest or circle
or flower or cuttle-fish.
And among them lay the bones of three persons. Across
the forehead of one was a diadem of gold, worked into
designs of flowers.
"See!" cried Schliemann, "these are queens. See their
crowns, their scepters."
For near the hands lay golden scepters, with crystal
And there were golden boxes with covers. Perhaps long
ago, one of these queens had kept her jewels in them. There
was a golden drinking cup with swimming fish on its sides.
There were vases of bronze and silver and gold. There was
a pile of gold and amber beads, lying where they had fallen
when the string had rotted away from the queenly neck.
And scattered all over the bodies and under them were
thin flakes of gold in the shapes of flowers, butterflies, grass-
hoppers, swans, eagles, leaves. It seemed as though a
golden tree had shed its leaves into the grave.
"Think! Think! Think!" cried Schliemann. "These
delicate lovely things have lain buried here for three thou-
sand years. You have pastured your sheep above them.
Once queens wore them and walked the streets we are
The news of the find spread like wildfire over the
country. Thousands of people came to visit the buried
city. It was the most wonderful treasure that had ever
been found. The king of Athens sent soldiers to guard
the place. They camped on the acropolis. Their fires
blazed there at night. Schliemann telegraphed to the king :
"With great joy I announce to your majesty that I
have discovered the tombs which old stories say are the
graves of Agamemnon and his followers. I have found
168 BURIED CITIES
in them great treasures in the shape of ancient things in
pure gold. These treasures, alone, are enough to fill a
great museum. It will be the most wonderful collection
in the world. During the centuries to come it will draw
visitors from all over the earth to Greece. I am working
for the joy of the work, not for money. So I give this
treasure, with much happiness, to Greece. May it be the
corner stone of great good fortune for her."
The work went on, and soon they found another grave,
even more wonderful. Here lay five people — two of them
women, three of them warriors. Golden masks covered the
faces of the men. Two wore golden breastplates. The
gold clasp of the greave was still around one knee. Near
one man lay a golden crown and a sceptre, and a sword
belt of gold. There was a heap of stone arrowheads, and
a pile of twenty bronze swords and daggers. One had
a picture of a lion hunt inlaid in gold. The wooden handles
of the swords and daggers were rotted away, but the gold
nails that had fastened them lay there, and the gold dust
that had gilded them. Near the warriors' hands were drink-
ing cups of heavy gold. There were seal rings with carved
stones. There was the silver mask of an ox head with golden
horns, and the golden mask of a lion's head. And scat-
tered over everything were buttons, and ribbons, and leaves,
and flowers of gold.
Schliemann gazed at the swords with burning eyes.
"The heroes of Troy have used these swords," he said
to his wife, "Perhaps Achilles himself has handled them "
He looked long at the golden masks of kingly faces.
*'I believe that one of these masks covered the face of
Agamemnon. I believe I am kneeling at the side of the
king of men," he said in a hushed voice.
Why were all these things there? Thousands of
years before, when their king had died, the people had
"He is going to the land of the dead," they had thought.
"It is a dull place. We will send gifts with him to cheer his
heart. He must have lions to hunt and swords to kill them.
He must have cattle to eat. He must have his golden cup
So they had put these things into the grave, thinking
that the king could take them with him. They even had
put in food, for Schliemann found oyster shells buried there.
And they had thought that a king, even in the land of the
dead, must have servants to work for him. So they had
sacrificed slaves, and had sent them with their lord. Schlie-
mann found their bones above the grave. And besides the
silver mask of the ox head they had sent real cattle. After
the king had been laid in his grave, they had killed oxen
before the altar. Part they had burned in the sacred fire
for the dead king, and part the people had eaten for the
funeral feast. These bones and ashes, too, Schliemann
found. For a long, long time the people had not forgotten
their dead chiefs. Every year they had sacrificed oxen to
them. They had set up gravestones for them, and after a
while they had heaped great mounds over their graves.
170 BURIED CITIES
That was a wonderful old world at Mycenge. The
king's palace sat on a hill. It was not one building, but
many — a great hall where the warriors ate, the women's
large room where they worked, two houses of many bed-
rooms, treasure vaults, a bath, storehouses. Narrow pas-
sages led from room to room. Flat roofs of thatch and clay
covered all. And there were open covirts with porches
about the sides. The floors of the court were of tinted con-
crete. Sometimes they were inlaid with colored stones.
The walls of the great hall had a painted frieze running
about them. And around the whole palace went a thick
One such old palace has been uncovered at Tiryns near
Mycense. To-day a visitor can walk there through the
house of an ancient king. The watchman is not there, so the
stranger goes through the strong old gateway. He stands
in the courtyard, where the young men used to play games.
He steps on the very floor they trod. He sees the stone
bases of columns about him. The wooden pillars have
rotted away, but he imagines them holding a porch roof, and
he sees the men resting in the shade. He walks into the
great room where the warriors feasted. He sees the hearth
in the middle and imagines the fire blazing there. He looks
into the bathroom with its sloping stone floor and its holes
to drain off the water. He imagines Greek maidens coming
to the door with vases of water on their heads. He walks
through the long, winding passages and into room after
"The children of those old days must have had trouble
finding their way about in this big palace," he thinks.
Such was the palace of the king. Below it lay many
poorer houses, inside the walls and out. We can imagine
men and women walking about this city. We raise the
warriors from their graves. They carry their golden cups
in their hands. Their rings glisten on their fingers, and
their bracelets on their arms. Perhaps, instead of the
golden armor, they wxar breastplates of bronze of the
same shape, but these same swords hang at their sides. We
look at their golden masks and see their straight noses and
their short beards. We study the carving on their grave-
stones, and we see their two-wheeled chariots and their
prancing horses. We look at the carved gems of their seal
rings and see them fighting or killing lions. We look at
their embossed drinking cups, and we see them catching the
wild bulls in nets. We gaze at the great walls of Mycense,
and wonder what machines they had for lifting such heavy
stones. We look at a certain silver vase, and see warriors
fighting before this very wall. We see all the beautiful
work in gold and silver and gems and ivory, and we think,
"Those men of old Mycense were artists."
PICTURES OF MYCEN^
THE CIRCLE OF ROYAL TOMBS.
Digging within this circle, Dr. Schliemann found the famous
treasure of golden gifts to the dead, which he gave to Greece.
In the Museum at Athens you can see these wonderful things,
(From a photograph in the Metropolitan Museum.)
DR. AND MRS. SCHLIEMANN AT WORK.
This picture is taken from Dr. Schliemann's own book on his
THE GATE OF LIONS.
The stone over the gateway is immensely strong. But the wall
builders were afraid to pile too great a weight upon it. So they
left a triangular space above it. You can see how they cut the
big stones with slanting ends to do this. This triangle they
filled with a thinner stone carvea with two lions. The lions'
heads are gone. They were made separately ;, perhaps of bronze,
and stood away from the stone looking out at people approaching
— Metropolita/n Museum
INSIDE THE TREASURY OF ATREUS.
No wonder the untaught modern Greeks thought that this was
a giants' oven, where the giants baked their bread. But learned
men have shown that it was connected with a tomb, and that in
this room the men of Mycenae worshipped their dead. It was
very wonderfully made and beautifully ornamented. The big
stone over the doorway was nearly thirty feet long, and weighs
a hundred and twenty tons. Men came to this beehive tomb
in the old days of Mycenae, down a long passage with a high
stone wall on either side. The doorway was decorated with
many-colored marbles and beautiful bronze plates. The inside
was ornamented^ too, and there was an altar in there.
THE INTERIOR OF THE PALACE.
From these ruins and relics^ we know much about the art of the
Mycenseans, something about their government, their trade, their
religion, tiieir home life, their amusements, and their ways of
fighting, though they lived three thousand years ago. If a great
modern city should be buried, and men should dig it up three
thousand years later, what do you think they will say about us ?
— Metropolitan Museum
This mask was still on the face of the dead king. The artist
tried to make the mask look just as the great king himself had
looked^ but this was very hard to do.
A COW'S HEAD OF SILVER.
The king's people put into his grave this silver mask of an ox
head with golden horns. It was a symbol of the cattle sacrificed
for the dead. There is a gold rosette between the eyes. The
mouthy muzzle, eyes and ears are gilded. In Homer's Iliad,
which is the story of the Trojan war, Diomede says, "To thee
will I sacrifice a yearling heifer, broad at brow, unbroken, that
never yet hath man led beneath the yoke. Her will I sacrifice
to thee, and gild her horns with gold."
— Metropolitan Alu^^nnm
-—From Schliemann's "Mycenw*
THE WARRIOR VASE.
This vase was made of clay and baked. Then the artist painted
figures on it with colored earth. This was so long ago that men
had not learned to draw very well, but we like the vase because
the potter made it such a beautiful shape, and because we learn
from it how the warriors of early Mycenae dressed. Under their
armor they wore short chitons with fringe at the bottom, and
long sleeves, and they carried strangely shaped shields and short
spears or long lances. Do you think those are knapsacks tied
to the lances.^
These may have been worn by King Agamemnon, or by the
Trojan warriors. They are now in the Metropolitan Museum
in New York.
GEM FROM MYCEN^.
Early men made many pictures much like this — a pillar guarded
by an animal on each side.
It would take a very skilfull man to-day, a man who was both
goldsmith and artist, to make such daggers as men found at
Mycenae. First the blade was made. Then the artist took a
separate sheet of bronze for his design. This sheet he enamelled,
and on it he inlaid his design. On one of these daggers we see
five hunters fighting three lions. Two of the lions are running
away. One lion is pouncing upon a hunter, but his friends are
coming to help him. If you could turn this dagger over, you
would see a lion chasing five gazelles. The artist used pure gold
for the bodies of the hunters and the lions; he used electron, an
alloy of gold and silver, for the hunters' shields and their
trousers; and he made the men's hair, the lions' manes, and the
rims of the shields, of some black substance. When the picture
was finished on the plate, he set the plate into the blade, and
riveted on the handle. On the smaller dagger we see three lions
CARVED IVORY HEAD.
It shows the kind of helmet used in Mycenae. Do you think
the button at the top may have had a socket for a horse hair
These brooches were like modern safety pins, and were used to
fasten the chlamys at the shoulder. The chlamys was a heavy
woolen shawl, red or purple.
Miti oiJoUt<ni Mus(um, from Tsouritas' ''The Mycencean Age'
ONE OF THE CUPS FOUND AT VAPHIO.
Some people say that these cups are the most wonderful things
that have been founds made by Mycenaean artists. Some people
say that no goldsmiths in the world since then^ unless perhaps
in Italy in the fifteenth century^ have done such lovely work.
The goldsmith took a plate of gold and hammered his design
into it from the wrong side. Then he riveted the two ends to-
gether where the handle was to go^ and lined the cup with a
smooth gold plate. One cup shows some hunters trying to catch
wild bulls with a net. One great bull is caught in the net. One
is leaping clear over it. And a third bull is tossing a hunter on
his horns. On the other cup the artist shows some bulls quietly
grazing in the forest^ while another one is being led away to
The Vaphian cups are now in the National museum in Athens,
They were found in a "bee-hive" tomb at Vaphio, an ancient
site in Greece, not far from Sparta. It is thought that they
were not made there, but in Crete.
— Broun Bros.
At Mycenae were found seven hundred and one large round
plates of gold, decorated with cuttlefish, flowers, butterflies,
and other designs.
GOLD ORNAMENT. (Lower right hand corner.)
^-From Schliemtmrt/s ^'MycewB'
MYCEN^ IN THE DISTANCE
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