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GREECE Proper lies between the 36th and 40th parallels of north latitude, and between the 21st and 26th degrees of east longitude. Its greatest length, from Mount Olympus to Cape Taenarus, may be stated at 250 English miles; its greatest breadth, from the western coast of Acarnania to Marathon in Attica, at 180 miles; and the distance eastward from Ambracia across Pindus to the Magnesian mountain Homole and the mouth of the Peneus is about 120 miles. Altogether, its area is somewhat less than that of Portugal. In regard, however, to all attempts at determining the exact limits of Greece proper, we may remark, first, that these limits seem not to have been very precisely defined even among the Greeks themselves; and next, that so large a proportion of the Hellens were distributed among islands and colonies, and so much of their influence upon the world in general produced through their colonies, as to render the extent of their original domicile a matter of comparatively little moment to verify.

Thermaic, Ambratian Gulfs and Epirus

The chain called Olympus and the Cambunian mountains, ranging from east and west, and commencing with the Aegean sea or the gulf of Therma, near the 40th degree of north latitude, is prolonged under the name of Mount Lingon, until it touches the Adriatic at the Akrokeraunian promontory. The country south of this chain comprehended all that in ancient times was regarded as Greece, or Hellas proper, but it also comprehended something more. Hellas proper, (or continuous Hellas, to use the language of Skylax and Dikaearchus) was understood to begin with the town and gulf of Ambrakia: from thence, northward to the Akrokeraunian promontory, lay the land called by the Greeks Epirus,—occupied by the Chaonians, Molossians, and Thesprotians, who were termed Epirots, and were not esteemed to belong to the Hellenic aggregate. This at least was the general understanding, though Aetolians and Acarnanians, in their more distant sections, seem to have been not less widely removed from the full type of Hellenism than the Epirots were; while Herodotus is inclined to treat even Molossians and Thesprotians as Hellens.

At a point about midway between the Aegean and Ionian seas, Olympus and Lingon are traversed nearly at right angles by the still longer and vaster chain called Pindus, which stretches in a line rather west of north from the northern side of the range of Olympus : the system to which these mountains belong seems to begin with the lofty masses of greenstone comprised under the name of Mount Scardus, or Scardus, (Schardagh,) which is divided only by the narrow cleft, containing the river Drin, from the limestone of the Albanian Alps. From the southern face of Olympus, Pindus strikes off nearly southward, forming the boundary between Thessaly and Epirus, and sending forth about the 39th degree of latitude the lateral chain of Othrys,—which latter takes an easterly course, forming the southern boundary of Thessaly, and reaching the sea between Thessaly and the northern coast of Euboea. Southward of Othrys, the chain of Pindus, under the name of Tymphrestus, still continues, until another lateral chain, called Oeta, projects from it again towards the east,—forming the lofty coast immediately south of the Maliac gulf, with the narrow road of Thermopylae between the two,—and terminating at the Euboean strait. At the point of junction with Oeta, the chain of Pindus forks into two branches; one striking to the westward of south, and reaching across Aetolia, under the names of Arakynthus, Kurius, Korax, and Taphiassus, to the promontory called Antirrhion, situated on the northern side of the narrow entrance of the Corinthian gulf, over against the corresponding promontory of Rhion in Peloponnesus; the other tending south-east, and forming Parnassus, Helicon, and Cithaeron; indeed, Aegaleus and Hymettus, even down to the southernmost cape of Attica, Sunium (Sounion), may be treated as a continuance of this chain. From the eastern extremity of Oeta, also, a range of hills, inferior in height to the preceding, takes its departure in a south-easterly direction, under the various names of Knemis, Ptoon, and Teumessus. It is joined with Kithaeron by the lateral communication, ranging from west to east, called Parnes; while the celebrated Pentelikus (Pentelikon), abundant in marble quarries, constitutes its connecting link, to the south of Parnes with the chain from Cithaeron to Sunium.

From the promontory of Antirrhion, the line of mountains crosses into Peloponnesus, and stretches in a southerly direction down to the extremity of the peninsula called Taenarus, now Cape Matapan. Forming the boundary between Elis with Messenia on one side, and Arcadia with Laconia on the other, it bears the successive names of Olenus, Panachaikus, Pholoe, Erymanthus, Lykaeus, Parrbasius, and Taygetus. Another series of mountains strikes off from Cithaeron towards the south-west, constituting, under the names of Geraneia and Oneia, the rugged and lofty Isthmus of Corinth, and then spreading itself into Peloponnesus. On entering that peninsula, one of its branches tends westward along the north of Arcadia, comprising the Akrokorinthus, or citadel of Corinth, the high peak of Kyllene, the mountains of Aroanii and Lampeia, and ultimately joining Erymanthus and Pholoe,—while the other branch strikes southward towards the south-eastern cape of Peloponnesus, the formidable Cape Malea (map), or St. Angelo,—and exhibits itself under the successive names of Apesas, Artemisium, Parthenium, Parnon, Thornax, and Zarex.

From the eastern extremity of Olympus, in a direction rather to the eastward of south, stretches the range of mountains first called Ossa, and afterwards Pelion, down to the south-eastern corner of Thessaly. The long, lofty, and naked back-bone of the island of Euboea, may be viewed as a continuance both of this chain and of the chain of Othrys: the line is farther prolonged by a series of islands in the Archipelago, Andros, Tenos, Mykonos, and Naxos, belonging to the group called the Cyclades, or islands encircling the sacred centre of Delos. Of these Cyclades, others are in like manner a continuance of the chain which reaches to Cape Sunium,—Keos, Kythnos, Seriphos, and Siphnos join on to Attica, as Andros does to Euboea. And we might even consider the great island of Crete as a prolongation of the system of mountains which breasts the winds and waves at Cape Male, the island of Kythera forming the intermediate link between them. Skiathus, Skopelus, and Skyrus, to the north-east of Euboea, also mark themselves out as outlying peaks of the range comprehending Pelion and Euboea.

By this brief sketch, which the reader will naturally compare with one of the recent maps of the country, it will be seen that Greece proper is among the most mountainous territories in Europe. For although it is convenient, in giving a systematic view of the face of the country, to group the multiplicity of mountains into certain chains, or ranges, founded upon approximative uniformity of direction; yet, in point of fact, there are so many ramifications and dispersed peaks, so vast a number of hills and crags of different magnitude and elevation, that a comparatively small proportion of the surface is left for level ground. Not only few continuous plains, but even few continuous valleys, exist throughout all Greece proper. The largest spaces of level ground are seen in Thessaly, in Aetolia, in the western portion of Peloponnesus, and in Boeotia; but irregular mountains, valleys frequent but isolated, land-locked basins and declivities, which often occur, but seldom last long, form the character of the country.

The islands of the Cyclades, Euboea, Attica, and Laconia, consist for the most part of micaceous schist, combined with and often covered by crystalline granular limestone. The centre and west of Peloponnesus, as well as the country north of the Corinthian gulf from the gulf of Ambracia to the strait of Euboea, present a calcareous formation, varying in different localities as to color, consistency, and hardness, but, generally, belonging or approximating to the chalk : it is often very compact, but is distinguished in a marked manner from the crystalline limestone above mentioned. The two loftiest summits in Greece (both, however, lower than Olympus, estimated at nine thousand seven hundred feet) exhibit this formation,—Parnassus, which attains eight thousand feet, and the point of St. Elias in Taygetus, which is not less than seven thousand eight hundred feet. Clay-slate, and conglomerates of sand, lime, and clay, are found in many parts : a close and firm conglomerate of lime composes the Isthmus of Corinth : loose deposits of pebbles, and calcareous breccia occupy also some portions of the territory. But the most important and essential elements of the Grecian soil, consist of the diluvial and alluvial formations, with which the troughs and basins are filled up, resulting from the decomposition of the older adjoining rocks. In these reside the productive powers of the country, and upon these the grain and vegetables for the subsistence of the people depend. The mountain regions are to a great degree barren, destitute at present of wood or any useful vegetation, though there is reason to believe that they were better wooded in antiquity: in many parts, however, and especially in Aetolia and Acarnania, they afford plenty of timber, and in all parts, pasture for the cattle during summer, at a time when the plains are thoroughly burnt up. For other articles of food dependence must be had on the valleys, which are occasionally of singular fertility. The low ground of Thessaly, the valley of the Kephisus, and the borders of the lake Kopais, in Boeotia, the western portion of Elis, the plains of Stratus on the confines of Acarnania and Aetolia, and those near the river Pamisus in Messenia, both are now, and were in ancient times, remarkable for their abundant produce.


Besides the scarcity of wood for fuel, there is another serious inconvenience to which the low grounds of Greece are exposed, the want of a supply of water at once adequate and regular. Abundance of rain falls during the autumnal and winter months, little or none during the summer; while the naked limestone of the numerous hills, neither absorbs nor retains moisture, so that the rain runs off as rapidly as it falls, and springs are rare. Most of the rivers of Greece are torrents in early spring, and dry before the end of the summer : the copious combinations of the ancient language, designated the winter torrent by a special and separate word. The most considerable rivers in the country are, the Peneius, which carries off all the waters of Thessaly, finding an exit into the Aegean through the narrow defile which parts Ossa from Olympus,— and the Achelous, which flows from Pindus in a south-westerly direction, separating Aetolia from Akarnania, and emptying itself into the Ionian sea: the Euenus also takes its rise at a more southerly part of the same mountain chain, and falls into the same sea more to the eastward. The rivers more to the southward are unequal and inferior. Kephisus and Asopus, in Boeotia, Alpheius, in Elis and Arcadia, Pamisus in Messenia, maintain each a languid stream throughout the summer; while the Inachus near Argos, and the Kephisus and Ilissus near Athens, present a scanty reality which falls short still more of their great poetical celebrity. Of all those rivers which have been noticed, the Achelous is by far the most important. The quantity of mud which its turbid stream brought down and deposited, occasioned a sensible increase of the land at its embouchure, within the observation of Thucydides.

But the disposition and properties of the Grecian territory, though not maintaining permanent rivers, are favorable to the multiplication of lakes and marshes. There are numerous hollows and enclosed basins, out of which the water can find no superficial escape, and where, unless it makes for itself a subterranean passage through rifts in the mountains, it remains either as a marsh or a lake according to the time of year. In Thessaly, we find the lakes Nessonis and Boebeis; in Aetolia, between the Achelous and Euenus, Strabo mentions the lake of Trichonis, besides several other lakes, which it is difficult to identify individually, though the quantity of ground covered by lake and marsh is, as a whole, very considerable. In Boeotia, are situated the lakes Kopais, Hylike, and Harma; the first of the three formed chiefly by the river Kephisus, flowing from Parnassus on the north-west, and shaping for itself a sinuous course through the mountains of Phocis. On the north-east and east, the lake Kopais is bounded by the high land of Mount Ptoon, which intercepts its communication with the strait of Euboea. Through the limestone of this mountain, the water has either found or forced several subterraneous cavities, by which it obtains a partial progress on the other side of the rocky hill, and then flows into the strait. The Katabothra, as they were termed in antiquity, yet exist, but in an imperfect and half-obstructed condition. Even in antiquity, however, they never fully sufficed to carry off the surplus waters of the Kephisus; for the remains are still found of an artificial tunnel, pierced through the whole breadth of the rock, and with perpendicular apertures at proper intervals to let in the air from above. This tunnel — one of the most interesting remnants of antiquity, since it must date from the prosperous days of the old Orchomenus, anterior to its absorption into the Boeotian league, as well as to the preponderance of Thebes,— is now choked up and rendered useless. It may, perhaps, have been designedly obstructed by the hand of an enemy, and the scheme of Alexander the Great, who commissioned an engineer from Chalcis to reopen it, was defeated, first, by discontents in Boeotia, and ultimately by his early death.

The Katabothra of the lake Kopais, are a specimen of the phenomenon so frequent in Greece,—lakes and rivers finding for themselves subterranean passages through the cavities in the limestone rocks, and even pursuing their unseen course for a considerable distance before they emerge to the light of day. In Arcadia, especially, several remarkable examples of subterranean water communication occur; this central region of Peloponnesus presents a cluster of such completely enclosed valleys, or basins.

It will be seen from these circumstances, that Greece, considering its limited total extent, offers but little motive, and still less of convenient means, for internal communication among its various inhabitants. Each village, or township, occupying its plain with the enclosing mountains, supplied its own main wants whilst the transport of commodities by land was sufficiently difficult to discourage greatly any regular commerce with neighbors. In so far as the face of the interior country was concerned, it seemed as if nature had been disposed, from the beginning, to keep the population of Greece socially and politically disunited, —by providing so many hedges of separation, and so many boundaries, generally hard, sometimes impossible, to overleap. One special motive to intercourse, however, arose out of this very geographical constitution of the country, and its endless alternation of mountain and valley. The difference of climate and temperature between the high and low grounds is very great; the harvest is secured in one place before it is ripe in another, and the cattle find during the heat of summer shelter and pasture on the hills, at a time when the plains are burnt up. The practice of transferring them from the mountains to the plain according to the change of season, which subsists still as it did in ancient times, is intimately connected with the structure of the country, and must from the earliest period have brought about communication among the otherwise disunited villages.


Such difficulties, however, in the internal transit by land, were to a great extent counteracted by the large proportion of coast and the accessibility of the country by sea. The prominences and indentations in the line of Grecian coast, are hardly less remarkable than the multiplicity of elevations and depressions which everywhere mark the surface. The shape of Peloponnesus, with its three southern gulfs, (the Argolic, Laconian, and Messenian,) was compared by the ancient geographers to the leaf of a plane-tree: the Pagasaean gulf on the eastern side of Greece, and the Ambracian gulf on the western, with their narrow entrances and considerable area, are equivalent to internal lakes : Xenophon boasts of the double sea which embraces so large a proportion of Attica, Ephorus of the triple sea, by which Boeotia was accessible from west, north, and south, — the Euboean strait, opening a long line of country on both sides to coasting navigation. But the most important of all Grecian gulfs are the Corinthian and the Saronic, washing the northern and north-eastern shores of Peloponnesus, and separated by the narrow barrier of the Isthmus of Corinth. The former, especially, lays open Aetolia, Phocis, and Boeotia, as well as the whole northern coast of Peloponnesus, to water approach. Corinth, in ancient times, served as an entrepôt for the trade between Italy and Asia Minor, —goods being unshipped at Lechaeum, the port on the Corinthian gulf; and carried by land across to Cenchreae, the port on the Saronic: indeed, even the merchant vessels themselves, when not very large, were conveyed across by the same route. It was accounted a prodigious advantage to escape the necessity of sailing round Cape Malea : and the violent winds and currents which modern experience attests to prevail around that formidable promontory, are quite sufficient to justify the apprehensions of the ancient Greek merchant, with his imperfect apparatus for navigation.

It will thus appear that there was no part of Greece proper which could be considered as out of reach of the sea, while most parts of it were convenient and easy of access : in fact, the Arcadians were the only large section of the Hellenic name, (we may add the Doric, Tetrapolis, and the mountaineers along the chain of Pindus and Tymphrestus) who were altogether without a seaport. But Greece proper constituted only a fraction of the entire Hellenic world, during the historical age : there were the numerous islands, and still more numerous continental colonies, all located as independent intruders on distinct points of the coast, in the Euxine, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, and the Adriatic; and distant from each other by the space which separates Trebizond from Marseilles. All these various cities were comprised in the name Hellas, which implied no geographical continuity : all prided themselves on Hellenic blood, name, religion, and mythical ancestry. As the only communication between them was maritime, so the sea, important, even if we look to Greece proper exclusively, was the sole channel for transmitting ideas and improvements, as well as for maintaining sympathies—social, political, religious, and literary—throughout these outlying members of the Hellenic aggregate.

The ancient philosophers and legislators were deeply impressed with the contrast between an inland and a maritime city: in the former, simplicity and uniformity of life, tenacity of ancient habits, and dislike of what is new or foreign, great force of exclusive sympathy, and narrow range both of objects and ideas; in the latter, variety and novelty of sensations, expansive imagination, toleration, and occasional preference for extraneous customs, greater activity of the individual, and corresponding mutability of the state. This distinction stands prominent in the many comparisons instituted between the Athens of Pericles and the Athens of the earlier times down to Solon. Both Plato and Aristotle dwell upon it emphatically,—and the former especially, whose genius conceived the comprehensive scheme of prescribing beforehand and insuring in practice the whole course of individual thought and feeling in his imaginary community, treats maritime communication, if pushed beyond the narrowest limits, as fatal to the success and permanence of any wise scheme of education. Certain it is, that a great difference of character existed between those Greeks who mingled much in maritime affairs, and those who did not. The Arcadian may stand as a type of the pure Grecian landsman, with his rustic and illiterate habits, his diet of sweet chestnuts, barley-cakes, and pork (as contrasted with the fish which formed the chief seasoning for the bread of an Athenian,) his superior courage and endurance, his reverence for Lacedaemonian headship as an old and customary influence, his sterility of intellect and imagination, as well as his slackness in enterprise, his unchangeable rudeness of relations with the gods, which led him to scourge and prick Pan, if he came back empty-handed from the chase; while the inhabitant of Phocaea or Miletus exemplifies the Grecian mariner, eager in search of gain, active, skillful, and daring at sea, but inferior in steadfast bravery on land, more excitable in imagination as well as more mutable in character, full of pomp and expense in religious manifestations towards the Ephesian Artemis or the Apollo of Branchidae; with a mind more open to the varieties of Grecian energy and to the refining influences of Grecian civilization. The Peloponnesians generally, and the Lacedaemonians in particular, approached to the Arcadian type, while the Athenians of the fifth century BC stood foremost in the other; superadding to it, however, a delicacy of taste, and a predominance of intellectual sympathy and enjoyments, which seem to have been peculiar to themselves.

The configuration of the Grecian territory, so like in many respects to that of Switzerland, produced two effects of great moment upon the character and history of the people. In the first place, it materially strengthened their powers of defence : it shut up the country against those invasions from the interior, which successively subjugated all their continental colonies; and it at the same time rendered each fraction more difficult to be attacked by the rest, so as to exercise a certain conservative influence in assuring the tenure of actual possessors : for the pass of Thermopylae, between Thessaly and Phocis, that of Cithaeron, between Boeotia and Attica, or the mountainous range of Oneion and Geraneia along the Isthmus of Corinth, were positions which an inferior number of brave men could hold against a much greater force of assailants. But, in the next place, while it tended to protect each section of Greeks from being conquered, it also kept them politically disunited, and perpetuated their separate autonomy. It fostered that powerful principle of repulsion, which disposed even the smallest township to constitute itself a political unit apart from the rest, and to resist all idea of coalescence with others, either amicable or compulsory. To a modern reader, accustomed to large political aggregations, and securities for good government through the representative system, it requires a certain mental effort to transport himself back to a time when even the smallest town clung so tenaciously to its right of self-legislation. Nevertheless, such was the general habit and feeling of the ancient world, throughout Italy, Sicily, Spain, and Gaul. Among the Hellenes, it stands out more conspicuously, for several reasons, first, because they seem to have pushed the multiplication of autonomous units to an extreme point, seeing that even islands not larger than Peparethos and Amorgos had two or three separate city communities; secondly, because they produced, for the first time in the history of mankind, acute systematic thinkers on matters of government, amongst all of whom the idea of the autonomous city was accepted as the indispensable basis of political speculation; thirdly, because this incurable subdivision proved finally the cause of their ruin, in spite of pronounced intellectual superiority over their conquerors : and lastly, because incapacity of political coalescence did not preclude a powerful and extensive sympathy between the inhabitants of all the separate cities, with a constant tendency to fraternize for numerous purposes, social, religious, recreative, intellectual, and aesthetical. For these reasons, the indefinite multiplication of self-governing towns, though in truth a phenomenon common to ancient Europe, as contrasted with the large monarchies of Asia, appears more marked among the ancient Greek than elsewhere : and there cannot be any doubt that they owe it, in a considerable degree, to the multitude of insulating boundaries which the configuration of their country presented.

Nor, is it rash to suppose that the same causes may have tended to promote that unborrowed intellectual development for which they stand so conspicuous. General propositions respecting the working of climate and physical agencies upon character are, indeed, treacherous; for our knowledge of the globe is now sufficient to teach us that heat and cold, mountain and plain, sea and land, moist and dry atmosphere, are all consistent with the greatest diversities of resident men : moreover, the contrast between the population of Greece itself, for the seven centuries preceding the Christian era, and the Greeks of more modern times, is alone enough to inculcate reserve in such speculations. Nevertheless, we may venture to note certain improving influences, connected with their geographical position, at a time when they had no books to study, and no more advanced predecessors to imitate. We may remark, first, that their position made them at once mountaineers and mariners, thus supplying them with great variety of objects, sensations, and adventures; next, that each petty community, nestled apart amidst its own rocks, was sufficiently severed from the rest to possess an individual life and attributes of its own, yet not so far as to subtract it from the sympathies of the remainder; so that an observant Greek, commencing with a great diversity of half countrymen, whose language he understood, and whose idiosyncrasies he could appreciate, had access to a larger mass of social and political experience than any other man in so unadvanced an age could personally obtain. The Phoenician, superior to the Greek on ship-board, traversed wider distances, and saw a greater number of strangers, but had not the same means of intimate communion with a multiplicity of fellows in blood and language. His relations, confined to purchase and sale, did not comprise that mutuality of action and reaction which pervaded the crowd at a Grecian festival. The scene which hero presented itself, was a mixture of uniformity and variety highly stimulating to the observant faculties of a man of genius, who at the same time, if he sought to communicate his own impressions, or to act upon this mingled and diverse audience, was forced to shake off what was peculiar to his own town or community, and to put forth matter in harmony with the feelings of all. It is thus that we may explain, in part, that penetrating apprehension of human life and character, and that power of touching sympathies common to all ages and nations, which surprises us so much in the unlettered authors of the old epic. Such periodical intercommunion of brethren habitually isolated from each other, was the only means then open of procuring for the bard a diversified range of experience and a many-colored audience; and it was to a great degree the result of geographical causes. Perhaps among other nations such facilitating causes might have been found, yet without producing any result comparable to the Iliad and Odyssey. But Homer was, nevertheless, dependent upon the conditions of his age, and we can at least point out those peculiarities in early Grecian society, without which Homeric excellence would never have existed, — the geographical position is one, the language another.


In mineral and metallic wealth, Greece was not distinguished. Gold was obtained in considerable abundance in the island of Siphnos, which, throughout the sixth century BC, was among the richest communities of Greece, and possessed a treasure-chamber at Delphi, distinguished for the richness of its votive offerings. At that time, gold was so rare in Greece, that the Lacedaemonians were obliged to send to the Lydian Croesus, in order to provide enough of it for the gilding of a statue. It appears to have been more abundant in Asia Minor, and the quantity of it in Greece was much multiplied by the opening of mines in Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, and even some parts of Thessaly. In the island of Thasos, too, some mines were reopened with profitable result, which had been originally begun, and subsequently abandoned, by Phoenician settlers of an earlier century. From these same districts, also, was procured a considerable amount of silver; while, about the beginning of the fifth century BC, the first effective commencement seems to have been made of turning to account the rich southern district of Attica, called Laureion. Copper was obtained in various parts of Greece, especially in Cyprus and Euboea, in which latter island was also found the earth called Cadmeia, employed for the purification of the ore. Bronze was used among the Greeks for many purposes in which iron is now employed: and even the arms of the Homeric heroes (different in this respect from the later historical Greeks) are composed of copper, tempered in such a way as to impart to it an astonishing hardness. Iron was found in Euboea, Boeotia, and Melos, but still more abundantly in the mountainous region of the Laconian Taygetus. There is, however no part of Greece where the remains of ancient metallurgy appear now so conspicuous, as the island of Seriphos. The excellence and varieties of marble, from Pentelikus, Hymettus, Paros, Karystus, etc., and other parts of the country, so essential for the purposes of sculpture and architecture, is well known.

Situated under the same parallels of latitude as the coast of Asia Minor, and the southernmost regions of Italy and Spain, Greece produced wheat, barley, flax, wine, and oil, in the earliest times of which we have any knowledge; though the currants, Indian corn, silk, and tobacco, which the country now exhibits, are an addition of more recent times. Theophrastus and other authors, amply attest the observant and industrious agriculture prevalent among the ancient Greeks, as well as the care with which its various natural productions, comprehending a great diversity of plants, herbs, and trees, were turned to account. The cultivation of the vine and the olive, the latter indispensable to ancient life, not merely for the purposes which it serves at present, but also from the constant habit then prevalent of anointing the body, appears to have been particularly elaborate; and the many different accidents of soil, level, and exposure, which were to be found, not only in Hellas proper, but also among the scattered Greek settlements, afforded to observant planters materials for study and comparison. The barley-cake seems to have been more generally eaten than the wheaten loaf; but one or other of them, together with vegetables and fish, (sometimes fresh, but more frequently salt,) was the common food of the population; the Arcadians fed much upon pork, and the Spartans also consumed animal food; but by the Greeks, generally, fresh meat seems to have been little eaten, except at festivals and sacrifices. The Athenians, the most commercial people in Greece proper, though their light, dry, and comparatively poor soil produced excellent barley, nevertheless, did not grow enough corn for their own consumption : they imported considerable supplies of corn from Sicily, from the coast of the Euxine, and the Tauric Chersonese, and salt-fish both from the Propontis and even from Gades : the distance from whence these supplies came, when we take into consideration the extent of fine corn-land in Boeotia and Thessaly, proves how little internal trade existed between the various regions of Greece proper. The exports of Athens consisted in her figs and other fruit, olives, oil, for all of which she was distinguished, together with pottery, ornamental manufactures, and the silver from her mines at Laureion. Salt-fish, doubtless, found its way more or less throughout all Greece; but the population of other states in Greece lived more exclusively upon their own produce than the Athenians, with less of purchase and sale,—a mode of life assisted by the simple domestic economy universally prevalent, in which the women no only carded and spun all the wool, but also wove out of it the clothing and bedding employed in the family. Weaving was then considered as much a woman's business as spinning, and the same feeling and habits still prevail to the present day in modem Greece, where the loom is constantly seen in the peasants' cottages, and always worked by women.

The climate of Greece appears to be generally described by modern travellers in more favorable terms than it was by the ancients, which is easily explicable from the classical interest, picturesque beauties, and transparent atmosphere, so vividly appreciated by an English or a German eye. Herodotus, Hippocrates, and Aristotle, treat the climate of Asia as far more genial and favorable both to animal and vegetable life, but at the same time more enervating than that of Greece : the latter, they speak of chiefly in reference to its changeful character and diversities of local temperature, which they consider as highly stimulant to the energies of the inhabitants. There is reason to conclude that ancient Greece was much more healthy than the same territory is at present, inasmuch as it was more industriously cultivated, and the towns both more carefully administered and better supplied with water. But the differences in respect of healthiness, between one portion of Greece and another, appear always to have been considerable, and this, as well as the diversities of climate, affected the local habits and character of the particular sections. Not merely were there great differences between the mountaineers and the inhabitants of the plains, between Locrians, Aetolians, Phocaeans, Dorians, Oetaeans, and Arcadians, on one hand, and the inhabitants of Attica, Boeotia, and Elis, on the other, but each of the various tribes which went to compose these categories, had its peculiarities; and the marked contrast between Athenians and Boeotians was supposed to be represented by the light and heavy atmosphere which they respectively breathed. Nor was this all : for, even among the Boeotian aggregate, every town had its own separate attributes, physical as well as moral and political : Oropus, Tanagra, Thespix, Thebes, Anthedon, Haliartus, Koroneia, Onchestus, and Plataea, were known to Boeotians each by its own characteristic epithet : and Dikaearchus even notices a marked distinction between the inhabitants of the city of Athens and those in the country of Attica. Sparta, Argos, Corinth, and Sicyon, though all called Doric, had each its own dialect and peculiarities. All these differences; depending in part upon climate, site, and other physical considerations, contributed to nourish antipathies, and to perpetuate that imperfect cohesion, which has already been noticed as an indelible feature in Hellas.

The Epirotic tribes, neighbors of the Aetolians and Acarnanians, filled the space between Pindus and the Ionian sea until they joined to the northward the territory inhabited by the powerful and barbarous Illyrians. Of these Illyrians, the native Macedonian tribes appear to have been an outlying section, dwelling northward of Thessaly and Mount Olympus, eastward of the chain by which Pindus is continued, and westward of the river Axius. The Epirots were comprehended under the various denominations of Chaonians, Molossians, Thesprotians, Kassopaeans, Amphilochians, Athamanes, the Aethikes, Tyraphaei, Orestae, Paroraei, and Atintanes,—most of the latter being small communities dispersed about the mountainous region of Pindus. There was, however, much confusion in the application of the comprehensive name Epirot, which was a title given altogether by the Greeks, and given purely upon geographical, not upon ethnical considerations. Epirus seems at first to have stood opposed to Peloponnesus, and to have signified the general region northward of the gulf of Corinth; and in this primitive sense it comprehended the Aetolians and Acarnanians, portions of whom spoke a dialect difficult to understand, and were not less widely removed than the Epirots from Hellenic habits. The oracle of Dodona forms the point of ancient union between Greeks and Epirots, which was superseded by Delphi, as the civilization of Hellas developed itself. Nor is it less difficult to distinguish Epirots from Macedonians on the one hand, than from Hellenes on the other; the language, the dress, and the fashion of wearing the hair being often analogous, while the boundaries, amidst rude men and untravelled tracts, were very inaccurately understood.

In describing the limits occupied by the Hellens in 776 BC, we cannot yet take account of the important colonies of Leukas and Ambracia, established by the Corinthians subsequently on the western coast of Epirus. The Greeks of that early time seem to comprise the islands of Cephalonia, Zakynthus, Ithaka, and Dulichium, but no settlement, either inland or insular, farther northward.

They include farther, confining ourselves to 776 BC, the great mass of islands between the coast of Greece and that of Asia Minor, from Tenedos on the north, to Rhodes, Crete, and Cythera southward; and the great islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, and Euboea, as well as the groups called the Sporades and the Cyclades. Respecting the four considerable islands nearer to the coasts of Macedonia and Thrace,—Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace, and Thasos,— it may be doubted whether they were at that time Hellenized. The Catalogue of the Iliad includes, under Agamemnon, contingents from Aegina, Euboea, Crete, Karpathos, Kasus, Kos, and Rhodes : in the oldest epical testimony which we possess, these islands thus appear inhabited by Greeks; but the others do not occur in the Catalogue, and are never mentioned in such manner as to enable us to draw any inference. Euboea ought, perhaps, rather to be looked upon as a portion of Grecian mainland (from which it was only separated by a strait narrow enough to be bridged over) than as an island. But the last five islands named in the Catalogue are all either wholly or partially Doric: no Ionic or Aeolic island appears in it : these latter, though it was among them that the poet sung, appear to be represented by their ancestral heroes, who came from Greece proper.

The last element to be included, as going to make up the Greece of 776 BC, is the long string of Doric, Ionic, and Aeolic settlements on the coast of Asia Minor, — occupying a space bounded on the north by the Troad and the region of Ida, and extending southward as far as the peninsula of Cnidus. Twelve continental cities, over and above the islands of Lesbos and Tenedos, are reckoned by Herodotus as ancient Aeolic foundations,—Smyrna, Kyme, Larissa, Neon-Teichos, Temnos, Killa, Notium, Aegiroessa, Pitana, Aegae, Myrina, and Gryneia. Smyrna, having been at first Aeolic, was afterwards acquired through a stratagem by Ionic inhabitants, and remained permanently Ionic. Phokaea, the northernmost of the Ionic settlements, bordered upon Aeolis : Klazomenae, Erythrae, Tees, Lebedos, Kolophon, Priene, Myus, and Miletus, continued the Ionic name to the southward. These, together with Samos and Chios, formed the Panionic federation. To the south of Miletus, after a considerable interval, lay the Doric establishments of Myndus, Halicarnassus, and Cnidus : the two latter, together with the island of Kos and the three townships in Rhodes, constituted the Doric Hexapolis, or communion of six cities, concerted primarily with a view to religious purposes, but producing a secondary effect analogous to political federation.

Such, then, is the extent of Hellas, as it stood at the commencement of the recorded Olympiads. To draw a picture even. for this date, we possess no authentic materials, and are obliged to antedate statements which belong to a later age: and this consideration might alone suffice to show how uncertified are all delineations of the Greece of 1183 BC, the supposed epoch of the Trojan war, four centuries earlier.