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were appointed by a decree of the people, B.C. 409, and while the temple was still building. In this elaborate report, which may be likened to a blue-book such as a modern Parliamentary Commission draws up in pursuance of an order from the House of Commons, the exact state in which the building is found by the surveyors is noted with a minuteness which could have left no room for future subterfuge or procrastination, for every block of marble which carries any ornament is specified as either finished and in position, or as partially finished and not yet in its place on the building. In close connection with this survey we must take the fragments of another inscription, which records, item by item, the expenses of building the Erechtheum. This document is of peculiar interest to the student of ancient art, because it contains a statement of the sums actually paid for the sculptural decorations of the Erechtheum, with the names of the artists by whom they were executed. These sculptors, none of whose names are otherwise known to us, were evidently employed under the direction of the architect to execute certain figures and groups in a continuous composition, designed by some master hand. We can hardly doubt that this composition was the frieze mentioned in the survey as having a background of dark Eleusinian marble, and of which the fragments were discovered on the Akropolis some years ago, and were first recognized as belonging to the Erechtheum by Rangabė. The prices paid to the artists for the several figures are certainly not high, if we assume that the charge entered in each case represents the sum due. The prices range from 120 drachma (rather less than £5) downward to 60 drachmæ. A group in which a young man was represented guiding two horses, cost 240 drachmæ. It must be borne in mind that the figures in this frieze were only two feet in height, and that being attached to the background they are not sculptured in the round. It would be interesting to compare the prices paid for sculpture in this account with the prices paid by Messrs. Armistead and Philip to the skilful hands who carved the frieze round the Albert Memorial.
Many other curious entries will be found in this record. A carpenter employed in making the roof was paid at the rate of five obols, about sixpence, a day. Two talents' weight of lead, forming the cramps of the statues, cost ten drachma. The cost of fluting one of the columns of the temple, as calculated by Rangabe from the entries, was 400 drachmæ. This work of fluting was executed by small gangs of workmen not exceeding seven in number, and hence may have been piece-work.
The third architectural document which I have to notice here is a contract for repairing and strengthening the Long Walls which connected Athens with the Piræus. The date of this contract is fixed by Rangabe to the administration of Lykurgos, B.C. 334–330. The precision and minuteness of its specifications make this document a model for all future Boards of Works to study.
The lists of the treasure which, from the time of Perikles to the downfall of Athenian supremacy, was stored up in the Parthenon and the other temples on the Akropolis, are among the most complete and curious documents which have been handed down to us on Greek marble.
The treasure in the Parthenon itself, which was deposited there immediately after its completion (B.C. 438), and which was called the treasure sacred to Athenè, was composed of various precious objects dedicated by States or individuals, the tenth of the spoils of war, the money accruing from sacred lands, and lastly the balance of the income of the State not required for current expenses, and which was kept as a reserve fund only to be drawn upon for some special necessity. A board of ten treasurers, appointed by lot yearly from the wealthiest class, took charge of this sacred deposit; and it was their duty on going out of office every year to take stock of the treasure, and to hand it to their successors as per inventory. Every fifth year at the great Panathenaic festival, the registers of the four preceding years were inscribed on marble stelæ, the series of which is nearly complete from B.C. 434 to the downfall of Athens, B.C. 404. The inventories specify a great variety of precious objects, adding the weight in every case where it could be ascertained. As we read through this list of statues, crowns, cups, lamps, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and other ornaments, all of gold or silver, and many of them, doubtless, exquisitely fashioned, and remember that these beautiful objects, once so jealously guarded, have all long since vanished in the crucible, we may learn to set greater store on the few specimens of Greek jewellery which have been rescued from destruction by the happy accident that they were deposited, not in temples under the immediate protection of tutelary deities, but in the dark and silent tomb under no other protection than that of the dead. After the anarchy at the close of the PeloponDesian war, the treasures from the temples of the other Attic deities, which had originally been kept apart, were also deposited in the Parthenon. Of these registers we have unfortunately only a few fragments, which belong to the period after the Peloponnesian war.
The silver mines of Laurium furnished one of the principal sources of Athenian revenue. These were leased by the State to individuals on certain conditions defined in documents called διαγραφεί μετάλλων. The character of these ancient leases is shown in two fragments of inscriptions, in which the boundaries of the portion of mine leased are minutely stated.
Considering the long maritime ascendency of Athens, and the multitude and complexity of her relations with other States, it is disappointing to find how small a proportion of the extant Attic inscriptions have reference to the foreign affairs of the great republic. How valuable such inscribed documents would have been to the historian may be inferred from the few texts of treaties and other diplomatic records which have been preserved in Thukydides and the Orators. Among the few extant inscriptions of this class the following may be here mentioned as especially worthy of notice. In the recent excavations which have been made at Athens at the foot of the Akropolis, on its southern side, an inscription has been found, which tells us in the most explicit terms what were the conditions imposed by Athens on her tributaries in the most powerful period of her empire. It records the terms of a convention to be concluded between the Athenians and Chalcidians of Euboea after Perikles had reduced that island to submission, B.C. 445. The treaty consists of two parts: in the first part the senate and people of Athens swear not to expel the Chalcidians from Chalcis, nor to subvert their city, nor to molest or injure any citizen of Chalcis by depriving him of life, liberty, or property without the proper legal trial, nor to proceed against either the city or any individual without giving them due notice and free access to the Athenian senate and popular assembly. The Chalcidians on their part swear not to revolt against Athens, to denounce all who are disaffected, to pay the tribute, to be their faithful allies. This oath is to be taken by all adult male citizens of Chalcis, and whoever refuses to take it will forfeit his goods, and a tenth of them will be dedicated to the Zeus of Olympia. More than half a century after the date of this convention we have the decree passed in the archonship of Nausinikos (B.C. 378), which shows how entirely the old relations between Athens and her tributaries had been changed. In this decree the republic proclaims a new league, formed with Thebes, Chios, Mitylene, and other States, against Sparta. This formidable league, according to historians, comprised from seventy to seventy-five States, whom the arrogance of Spartan rule had induced to make common cause with Athens, and the names of fifty-three of these States have been preserved on the marble. Many of these had been former tributaries of Athens, and in that relation had doubtless suffered much from the overbearing rule of the great maritime republic. Hence the decree offers the strongest guarantees for the protection of the weaker allies. They are to pay no tribute, to be entirely free to choose their own form of government; all land heretofore appropriated either by the Athenian State or by Athenian citizens
of the territories of the allies is to be absolutely surrendered, and from the date of the treaty all conveyance of such land to
Athenian citizens is absolutely prohibited under pain of confiscation. Death or exile, with forfeiture of all rights of citizenship, are to be the penalty for any attempt to abrogate or alter this law.
Among the new allies whose names are entered on the back of this marble are two princes of the Molossians, Alketas and Neoptolemos, whose descendant Olympias was the mother of Alexander the Great. We learn from another contemporary Attic decree the special protection accorded by Athens to Arybbas, the brother of Neoptolemos, with whom he appears to have disputed the succession to the throne on the death of Alketas. The alliance of this little kingdom lying almost on the extreme verge of Hellenic civilization in northern Greece had been cultivated by the Athenians ever since the Peloponnesian War, when the Molossians, under the rule of Tharytas, first appear in Greek history. From the heading of this decree we learn that Arybbas was victor both in the Olympic and Pythian games. From two mutilated fragments of another Attic decree it is proved that the elder Dionysius of Syracuse was on friendly terms with the Athenians shortly before his death, though in the earlier part of his reign he was the ally of the Lacedæmonians. The extensive foreign trade of Athens must have caused a number of commercial treaties, regulating the conditions of export and import. Of such treaties we have a curious fragment relating to the export of vermilion, Midros, from the island of Ceos. In this inscription, which Böckh assigns to the third century B.C. and Rangabe to some period between Olymp. 101. 1 and 105. 3, it is enacted that all the vermilion exported from Ceos must be sent to Athens. This exportation can only be carried on in certain vessels chartered for this service by the Athenian State. The amount of freight is fixed by law, and the penalty of confiscation is imposed for transgression of this law. It is probable that this treaty, which gave the Athenians an absolute monopoly of the article to which it relates, was conceded by the people of Ceos when, like the rest of the Cyclades, they were in a state of vassalage under Athenian dominion.
I have now noticed the principal Attic inscriptions from the beginning of the Peloponnesian War to the time of Alexander the Great. The inscriptions in other Greek States in the same period are few in number, and seldom of historical interest.
Among the most important are the decrees of the Carian city Mylasa, punishing certain conspirators who had attempted to assassinate Mausolos when attending a solemn festival in the temple of Labranda ; the commercial treaty hetween Amyntas I., King of Macedon, and the Chalcidians of Euboea, regulating the exportation of timber; the alliance between the Erythræans and Hermias, tyrant of Atarneus in Mysia, the friend of Aristotle, in which it is provided that the goods of either of the contracting parties may be deposited in the other's territories, no duty being payable while they are in bond. After the accession of Alexander the Great the interest of Attic inscriptions diminishes as the political importance of Athens begins to decline; but if we extend our survey over the Hellenic world generally, it will be found that one class of inscriptions constantly recurs in the cities of European and Asiatic Greece—the honorary decrees—under which class may be placed the grants of proxenia. In these documents services either of citizens or strangers are rewarded by a statue, a gold crown, and other honours, or by some more substantial privileges; and in the preamble of the decree the particular public services so rewarded are always specified, and thus we recover here and there precious bits of history which are not found in the meagre and fragmentary chronicles of the Macedonian period. Among the most important of the public services recorded in these decrees are those rendered either by citizens charged with diplomatic missions or by foreign States and individuals who have acted as mediators or arbitrators, or who have otherwise exerted their good offices. The honorary decrees relating to diplomatic envoys must be studied in connection with another class of documents of which we have unfortunately too few—the letters from kings to autonomous Greek States, or from one Greek State to another. These tattered pages torn from the blue-books of ancient Hellas are the more valuable because they relate to a period which, from the want of contemporary historians, is very imperfectly known to us. In the letters addressed by Alexander and his successors to Greek cities we have the prototypes of those imperial rescripts which afterwards became an integral part of the Roman civil law.
Some of the letters of Alexander and his successors were edicts, addressed generally to Hellenic States, and couched in the haughty language of irresponsible despotism. Diodorus has preserved two specimens of such royal circulars, the letter from Alexander the Great ordering the return of all Greek exiles to their respective States, and the letter of Philip Arrhidæus relating to the same matter. Equally arbitrary in tone are the two rescripts addressed by Antigonus, shortly after the battle of Ipsus, B.C. 301, to the people of Teos, ordering them to incorporate in their city the entire population of the neighbouring town of Lebedos, whose consent to this wholesale transfer was probably never asked. But other royal letters preserved by inscriptions show that the successors of Alexander did not always adopt so autocratic a tone in dealing with States which still had the pretension to be autonomous, and were likely to be useful allies.