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were allowed to pass beyond it. In the centre of the building stood the statue of the god on a pedestal raised above the altar and enclosed by a railing. On festival occasions, the people brought laurel, olive, or ivy, to decorate the pillars and walls. Before they entered, they always washed their hands as a type of purification from sin. A story is told of a man who was struck dead by a thunderbolt because he omitted this ceremony when entering a temple of Jupiter. Sometimes they crawled up the steps on their knees, and bowing their heads to the ground, kissed the threshold. Always when they passed one of these sacred edifices they kissed their right hand to it, in token of veneration. All classes, including foreigners and slaves, were free to enter, either from curiosity or devotion ; but it was ordained that no unclean action should be committed within the consecrated precincts. There was a law that no person should be forced away from the altars or statues, or be subject to any violence there; and it was believed that such an action would bring down certain vengeance from the gods. The princess Laodamia fled to Diana's altar for protection, during a sedition of the people, and was killed in the tumult. A terrible famine and civil wars followed, which were all attributed to this circumstance. The institution was intended to protect abused slaves and persecuted debtors; but in process of time all sorts of knaves and criminals took refuge in the temples, and no authority could expel them. The evil finally became so great, that only one or two were allowed to be places of protection for offenders, and those under certain regulations.
Each deity had consecrated plants and animals, often represented near them in the sculptures and paintings. The oak and eagle were sacred to Jupiter, the owl and olive to Minerva, the swan and laurel to Apollo. Serpents were often introduced in connection with Apollo and Æsculapius; they were twined round the rod of Mercury, and sometimes lay at the foot of Minerva's spear. A large serpent was kept in the citadel at Athens, to which they every month offered cakes of honey. The pomegranate, which Hindoo Siva carries as a symbol of his reproducing power, was placed in the hands of the dead on Grecian monuments, as a sign that they would live again. A butterfly emerging from its chrysalis is often represented on such monuments, as a type of transmigration, which they called metempsychosis, or change of soul.
Among the innumerable temples of Greece, the most beautiful was the Parthenon, meaning the Temple of the Virgin Goddess. It was a magnificent Doric edifice, dedicated to Minerva, the presiding deity of Athens. It was surrounded by three rows of stately columns of pure Pentelic marble, and, standing on the highest eminence in the city, it was seen from afar relieved against the clear blue sky. The eastern front was covered with figures sculptured in bold relief, representing Jupiter in the centre, and a procession of the gods following the car of Minerva to his throne. On either side was represented the Panathenaic pomp of Athenian citizens carrying offerings in solemn procession to the altar of their patron goddess. The figures were relieved by a groundwork of painting in metallic colours; rich purple, bright azure, glowing red, and brilliant sea-green. Wreaths of honeysuckle and festoons of gold adorned the cornice. “This profusion of vivid colours threw around the fabric a joyful and festive beauty, harmonizing admirably with the brightness and transparency of the atmosphere which encircled it." All the ornaments, within and without, were wrought with the exquisite finish of a cameo. Sculptured groups of deities and demi-gods, the most beautiful the world has ever seen, abounded everywhere. In the centre of the temple stood the celebrated colossal statue of Minerva in full armour, by Phidias. It was sixty feet high, made of ivory and gold. The amount of six hundred thousand dollars in gold was taken from the public treasury for its completion. The offerings in this temple were of immense value. Statues without number, superb paintings, golden vases, golden shields, splendid armour taken in war, lyres of ivory inlaid with gold, golden wreaths of victory, golden medals and rings. It was sixteen years from the commencement to the completion of this superb structure. Every Athepian was eager to have some share in the glorious work. The women embroidered rich veils for the statues, the wealthy gave their gold, the artists their genius, the labourers their strength. Even the animals which dragged the marble from the quarry were honoured for the service, and a law was passed that the best pastures around the city should thenceforth be reserved for them.
In Athens also was a magnificent temple to Jupiter, half a mile in circuit. It was supported by one hundred and twenty marble columns, richly seulptured, sixty feet high, and six in diameter.
The temple of Diana at Ephesus was one of the most superb edifices ever dedicated to any form of worship. It was four hundred and twenty-five feet long and two hundred broad, supported by one hundred and twenty-seven marble columns, lofty and beautiful. The interior was ornamented with innumerable statues and paintings from the best Grecian masters, and the amount of wealth in votive offerings could hardly be calculated. All the nations of Asia Minor contributed to its erection, and were employed two
hundred and twenty years in its completion. Diana was • there worshipped as the Goddess of Fruitful Nature, as Isis
was in Egypt. The amulets and talismans eonsecrated by the priests were in great demand.
In the territory of Elis was a temple containing a colossal statue of Olympian Jupiter, by Phidias. It was sixty feet high, and reckoned one of the wonders of the world. It was formed of ivory, crowned with a golden wreath, and adorned with a mantle of beaten gold, which fell in ample folds from the waist to the feet. In his right hand was a statue of the Goddess of Victory, likewise made of ivory and gold. The left hand held a sceptre richly adorned, and surmounted by a golden eagle. The expression of the countenance was serene, benevolent, and godlike in its majesty.
One of the most renowned edifices consecrated to this form of worship, was built by the Macedonian kings in Syria. It was called Apollo Daphnæus, because it was intended to commemorate Apollo's love for the beautiful nymph Daphne, who, it is said, was here changed into a tree of laurel. The capacious sanctuary was almost filled by a colossal statue of the god, wrought with the most perfect skill of Grecian art, and enriched with gold and gems. He was slightly bending forward, to pour a libation on the earth, from a golden cup. The temple was embosomed in thick, impenetrable groves of laurel and cypress, which reached as far as a circumference of ten miles, and “suffered not the Sun to kiss their mother Earth.” Within the enclosures were gardens filled with flowers, whose fragrance floated through the balmy air, mingled with soft strains of seducing music. Many streams of pure water flowed from the hills; one of them was supposed to be derived from the same source as the Castalian Spring at Delphos, and to be endowed with the same prophetic power. The emperor Adrian is said to have read the history of his future fortunes on a leaf dipped in these waters. The grounds were enlarged and beautified by successive emperors, and every generation added something to the splendour of the temple. For many centuries it was visited by crowds of worshippers, both natives and foreigners. But soldiers and philosophers, who dreaded to lose their reputation by becoming effeminate, generally avoided those cool and shady groves, it being considered impossible for human nature to resist the voluptuous and seductive influences of a place so expressly consecrated to love.
In Athens was a large edifice called the Pantheon, because it contained statues of all the gods. One on the same model, and with the same name, was afterward built at Rome. That city alone was said to contain a thousand temples. Every part of Greece abounded with monuments of religious reverence. Gracefully ornamented, or severely simple in their grandeur, they crowned every city, gleamed through the foliage of every valley, and often on the
summit of solitary hills refreshed the traveller with a vision of unexpected beauty.
The spirit of freedom, conspicuous in poetry and the arts, manifested itself in all forms of thought. Theories of God and the soul escaped from the locks and keys of priests into the minds of philosophers, wbo lectured upon them openly, excited other minds to investigation, and led the way to general discussion. The world was beginning to pass out of the age of childhood, which receives unquestioning all it is taught. It was entering the age of youthful, inquiring intellect, poetic, erratic, allured by castles in the air, but eager, buoyant, and free. These teachers of the people, not included in the priesthood, differed much in doctrines and character. The earliest of them taught the old Braminical idea that God and Nature were eternally one; and that by an inherent necessity, without any exertion of the will, material forms must at certain times be evolved by energy of the Divine Spirit indwelling in Nature, like the soul in the human body. Others, like the Hindoo rationalists, maintained that God and Nature were eternally two distinct principles, differing entirely in essence, and forever opposed to each other. Some believed there was a Central Soul diffused throughout the universe, the original cause of all things. Others denied any Primary Intelligence, and said Nature existed by an accidental collision and combination of atoms. Some said the universe had always existed, and would forever remain as it
Others believed that deluges and conflagrations destroyed the earth at long intervals, returning as regularly as summer and winter; that all the forms of nature were renewed by energy of the indwelling Divine Soul, and so would be dissolved and renewed forever; that at every renovation the first race of men would be innocent and happy, and gradually degenerate more and more to the end. Some philosophers were absorbed in scientific studies and abstract metaphysical questions. Others renounced all science and speculative philosophy as useless and troublesome, and attended solely to the inculcation of