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But it does not precisely follow that he was founder in the strictest sense. May he not, too, have only the praise of a restitution ? The testimony of Herodotus seems decisive. Πανηγυριας δε αρα και πομπας και προσαγωγας πρωθοι ανθρωπων ΑιγυπΠιοι ασι οι ποιησαμενοι: και παρα των Ελληνες μεμαθηκασι. 66 The Egyptians were the earliest of mankind to institute the sacred throngs, processions, and offerings: and from them the Greeks were instructed."* The Judges of the Olympic Stadium sent (still according to Herodotus, t) ambassadors who were Eleans to Psammis, king of Egypt, to consult respecting these games, and to ask what improvements could be suggested. He called together the wisest of his subjects to give them the conference. Why was this done, if Egypt was not the source of these and similar rites ? But in the fifth book of Pausanias, there is yet stronger evidence: he says that the Eleans in their libations not only adore the Grecian divinities, but those which are worshipped in Libya; that they appear to have used, from the most ancient period, the oracle there; and that there existed, in his day, altars in the temple of Jupiter Ammon which were dedicated by them. Libya and Egypt, bordering on each other, differed little in their mythologies. And, above all, the different positions, or rounds, of wrestling contests are depicted in the most ancient Tombs at Ben Hassan, seventeen centuries in their excavation before Christ. This will greatly tend to show whence the earlier games were derived, and their strictly funereal character. And it is a strange forgetfulness, or ignorance, which they betray who seem to think that Egypt was little noticed by the Greeks. Hesiod, in his Theogony,I couples the Nile with the Alpheus ! No one can be the most slightly acquainted with the Euterpe and Thalia of Herodotus, who knows not his frequent reference to Egyptian dynasties, stories, and arcana. Homer, in the ninth book of the Iliad, makes Achilles speak of the Egyptian Thebes with its hundred gates. The same allusion is found in the Odyssey more than once. It is reasonable, consequently, to believe that a far older ritual was in the mind of Hercules, that he brought it with him from the eastern countries of Africa, and that much of the Saitic Mysteries shone in the mirth and ambition of Elis. Far more than revels and tilted lists did he intend. The persecution of living worth is well told in the cruelties of Eurystheus: its ultimate vindication, its eventual triumph, is not the less impressively proclaimed in the return, and in the glorious destinies, of the Heraclidæ.

+ Idem.

# Lin: 338. S Libri ii. 15 ; iv. 385 ; xiv. 257.

Four different places were devoted to this species of solemn entertainment. One was in Phocis,–Pytho,—the seat of the Pythian games. This was a most classical topography. It was mid-way between Helicon and Parnassus, making an isosceles triangle with the woodland of Daulis and the oracle of Delphi. Castalia yielded to the panting contendant its refreshing draught. The other three belonged to the Peloponnesus,the Isthmian, celebrated on the neck of land near which Corinth was built, and which bound Achaia to the Peloponnesian peninsula,—the Nemean, celebrated in Nemea, a city of the Argives, not far from the rise of the Inachus,—and the Olympic, celebrated at Pisa in Elea. Probably all partook of a common descent, but my Dissertation, only embracing the last, I shall merely allude to the others, as they, from a general resemblance, may furnish important illustrations.

The Geography of this far-famed Arena must be primarily settled. It stood hard by Pisa a town of Elis, or Elea. Olympia, which some have imagined to be another name for the territory of Elea, was really only another name for the town : the one being the vulgar and original, the other its classical and adopted name. And it is quite necessary to disabuse the confused allocations which have been gravely set down by those who seem to think that Greece is small as the space which it fills in maps. Near Pisa rose a mountain, or rather a hill, of no considerable elevation, which was called Olympus, in honour of Jupiter ; and sometimes in honour of his father Saturn, the Cronian steep. Strange that it should have been mistaken for the Olympus of Thessaly! There is another misapprehension. The River Peneus flows between the Thessalian Olympus and Ossa, forming the vale of Tempe. But another river of the same name flows higher in Elea than the Alpheus, the two forming natural divisions of that province. It need scarcely be said that the two mountains and the two rivers, each named Olympus and Peneus, are hundreds of miles apart.

We have every reason to believe that Elea was a most beautiful country. Occasionally undulating in its surface, it more commonly presented a fine champaign. Its very name speaks the luxuriance of its olive groves.

The climate was genial and attempered. Its rivers bore with them the pure springs and refreshing snows of Pholoë and Stimphalus, and their sea-tide wafted back the briny breeze. Arcadia might be considered a portion of it. Its cheerful uplands and fruitful plains have long since been sung. Its pastures are ever-smiling types of peace and plenty. Its soft reeds breathe the sweetest conception of the rural lay. Bucolic verse could want but the bleating of the fold to compose its spell. The bee on the flower, —the lowing herd,—the nightingale in the copse,—the music of waters,—must have filled the shepherd-minstrel with the ecstacy of harmony and the soul of song. What happy swains of the crook, and Dryads were not envied there! It was the Sylva of green-wood, -simplicity found there its retreat, and melody trilled its carol. Pan peeped through those glades and played his merriest pipe.

Fauns stole from their covert, and wove their graceful dance. The forester sounded his horn through its thicket, and woke the echoes of the chase.

“What gallant chiding! for, besides the groves,

The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seems all one mutual cry! Who ever heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder ?
The hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind :
So flewed, so sanded ; and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-kneed, and dew-lap'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never holla'd to, nor cheered with horn !**

Phigaleia, so famed for its exquisite compositions of sculptured

Shakspeare's Mid: Night's Dream.

relief, was a city of Arcadia. And such a vicinage was suited to the scene. “For Elea,” says Polybius, “far exceeds all the other parts of Peloponnesus, both in the number of the inhabitants, and in the natural riches which are there produced. There are among the people, those who are so fixed in the enjoyment of a country life, and so satisfied with the abundance of which they are possessed, that, in the course even of two or three generations, they are never known to visit the capital. This affection for their country is chiefly nourished by that high regard which, by the Constitution of the government, is shown to those who are settled in it....... The motive that inclined their Legislators to make such laws...... seems partly to have been, that the province was itself of very wide extent; but principally because the inhabitants lived in ancient times a kind of holy life: when their country, on account of the Olympic Games being celebrated in it, was regarded by the Greeks as sacred and inviolable, and the people all enjoyed a full repose, secure from danger, and exempted from all the miseries of war."

These Games were considered to transcend every other class of similar exhibitions. It was a gymnasium which distant nations crowded to behold. Pindar, who might, as a Theban, rather have inclined in favour towards others nearer home, unequivocally assigns this preference. He calls its garlands, 58pavwv awlou, the most renowned of coronals.* But it is more conspicuous when chanting the praises of the other games. In his fifth Pythian, at the end, having extolled the feats of Arcesilaus in other games, he says, “ I pray that Jove may grant to the race of Battus the highest success, an Olympian victory."+ In his tenth Nemean he exclaims, “Pisa contains the highest rites of Hercules.”This, beyond doubt, was deemed the grandest tournament of the civilised world.

Of Pisa, as a city, we know little or nothing. It reposed on the Alpheus,-a city not so much of commerce, as of wealth consecrated by religion and of trophy bequeathed by valour. Seneca, in his first Chorus of the Thyestes, says,

*Olym : ix. 30. + “ Ευχομαι νιν Ολυμπια τουτο δομεν

I'spas it. BaTToy ysver.”—Pyth : v. 166. + * Υπατον δ' ισχιν Πισα

Ηρακλιος τιθμον."-Nem: x. 60, 61.

“ Piseas domos turribus inclytas."

And a little after,

“Gelido flumine lucidus

Alpheus, stadio notus Olympico."

We may therefore infer, that it was a city of towered height and majesty, of templar beauty and venerableness, glassing itself in the clear and noble stream which washed its base.

But it was the Temple of Jupiter which glorified this place. It was enclosed by a peristyle of columns--but built after the Doric rule, it was not of the elevation of modern shrines ; sixty-eight feet was its altitude, ninety-five its breadth, and two hundred and thirty its stretch. It was composed of the Parian Marble,-while laminæ of the same material from Pantelicus covered the roof, an invention claimed for a Naxian : but there seems nothing very original in slabbing marble. Perhaps, therefore, it was the mode of binding them that made him so eminent that statues were raised to his honour; and if bis insertion of them resembled, or in any degree anticipated, the roof of King's College Chapel, Cambridge,—those statues were not undeserved. Eagles supported, perhaps like Caryatides, the pediment; the friezes and architraves were nobly embossed with historic reliefs. On the summit, there seem to have been figures human and equestrian : together with chariots and shields. The Propylæum, with its union of chasteness and magnificence, filled the beholder with deepmost awe. The portals were of brass. The Thunderer was sculptured by Phidias, and it was called his master-work. The posture was sitting, and the throne was wrought of ivory and gold. His conception was that of Homer in the first book of the Iliad :

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