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ing of it presents itself too naturally for the poet to let it escape him, if the tradition about that monument had had place in his time.
Herodotus, who, after Homer, is the most ancient writer which now remains to us of antiquity, has likewise kept a profound silence about the monument of Crete. Yet he speaks of Minos : he relates, that that prince died in Sicily about the time when he pursued Dædalus"He might have made some digreffion on this occasion, on the adventures and works of that artist; and we cannot reproach Herodotus of losing occasions to entertain his readers with curious and interesting anecdotes. For what reasons then, describing the labyrinth of Egypt, should he say nothing of that of Crete? It was nevertheless the place to call it to mind, by so much the more, as, on this subject, he cites the celebrated works on which Greece plumes itself • : Herodotus then would not have forgot a monument, which, though inferior to that of Egypt, would not have failed to have done honour to the Greeks.
Pausanias, who has, moreover, entered into a grand detail of the works attributed to Dædalus, does not say, that the labyrinth of Crete had been constructed by that famous artist. Lastly, if it is true, as I hope to fhew, that the labyrinth of Egypt, from which all these authors avow that Dædalus had taken the model of his, was not constructed till above 600 years after the time we now speak of p, they will grant how little reality there was in the monument of Crete. This is also the sentiment of Strabo. He gives us to understand very clearly, that all that the Greeks have uttered of the labyrinth and of the minotaur, was only a fable 9. I think further, that it is the same with all the inventions attributed to Dedalus. They are pure imaginations, founded on some idioms of the Greek langnages.
n L. 7.0.170.
o L. 2. n. 148. p See part 3. book 2.
9 L. 10. p. 730.& 735. We find, it is true, ancient medals and ancient stones, on which this labyrinth is represented with its turnings and windings. We see the minotaor in the middle of that edifice. See Goltzius, Aug. tab. 49. 11.; Montfaucon, antiq. expliquée, t. 1. p. 76.
These monuments would then equally prove the existence of the mino. taur and the labyrinth. I doubt whether any one would maintain at this Dd2
I fall not enter into a particular detail of the manner in which the houses of private persons were then built: Homer only supplies us with slight hints on this object. We are very little assured of the signification of the greatest part of the terms which he uses to design the different parts of an edifice. We see that anciently the roofs were a terrass. This was a custom almost general in all the east. But the practice of the Greeks, of making the doors of their houses open outwards into the street, must appear very fingular : they were obliged each time they wanted to ge 0:1t, first to make a noise against the door, to give notice to passengers to keep at a distances,
It is very difficult to comprehend, and still more to explain, the manner in which, according to Homer, the doors could be opened and shut. We see plainly, that the locks and the keys which the Greeks used, did not refemble ours; but it is not easy to comprehend the contrivance and the mechanism of these instruments. We may conjecture, that there was on the inside of the door a sort of bar, or bolt, which they could let down or raise up by means of a latchet *. The keys which they used for this purpose were made in the manner of a pick-lock; it was a piece of copper pretty long, turned like a fickle, and had a handle of wood or ivory y. There was in the door a hole which was just under the bolt : they put in the key by the hole, and seized on the latchet which held the bolt; and so lifted it up, and opened the door. The locks which the pegroes of Guinea use at this time, may give us some idea of all this mechanism, almost unintelligible in the writings of the ancients.
time that there really exifted a monster, such as these medals and ingrayed ftones represent to us. We ought to put the labyrinth of Daedalus and the minotaur among the number of those popular traditions which certain cities adopted, and with which they loved to decorate their monuments.
" Acción nos figrifies in general a workman very ingenious, very able, and cren a work made with ait. This is an observation which has not escaped Paufanias. He adds, that they gave the name Aaidonos to ancient ftatues of wood, even before Daedalus, l.9. c. 3.
sodyil. 1. 10. V. 552. &c. 1 Odysl. I. 21. V. 391. See Madam Dacier's notes.
a Phot p. 196.; Terent. Andria, ct 4. fcen, 1. V. 687. The Andrian was translated from Menander, and the scene was at Athens. x Odyil. 1. 1. V. 441. 442. 1. 4. v. 802.
y Odyll. 1. 21. v. 6. & 7. We may see the figure of those keys in the remarks of M. Huet, in Manil, 1. 1. p. 8.
It appears, that, in the heroic times, they were very cu. rious to adorn and enrich the inside of their houses. The apartments of the palace of Menelaus were very sumptuous and very magnificent: : but there is great reason to think they did not then know the art of decorating the build. ings on the outside. Of all the edifices described by Homer, not one of them presents us with what may be called the ornaments of architecture. This poet only speaks of porticoes, and yet we have not a sufficiently clear idea of these sorts of works. We are ignorant of what could have been their structure and disposition. The use which the Greeks then made of these porticoes is absolutely contrary to what we now understand by that sort of building. It was in effect under these porticoes that they lodged their friends and other strangers of confideration. This reflection fuffices to destroy the ideas which that name naturally presents in our language ; and we must agree, that we cannot explain at this time what Homer understood by the word which we commonly tranflate by that of portico *.
From all that I have said, it follows, that we can determine nothing of the state and the progress of architecture in Greece for the ages we are at present about. We hould not be in this difficulty, if we would adopt the fentiment of Vitruvius on the origin and the epoch of the different orders of architecture invented by the Greeks. “ Anciently," fays he, “ they were ignorant of the art “ of proportioning the various parts of a building : they “ used columns, but they cut them at hazard, without · “ rules, without principles, and without having any atten“ tion to the proportions which they ought to give them: “ they placed them likewise without any regard to the o“ ther parts of the edifice. Dorus, son of Helen and “ grandson of Deucalion *, having caused a temple to “ he built at Argos in honour of Juno; that edifice was “ found by chance to be constructed according to the taste “ and the proportions of the order which afterwards they “ called Doric. The form of this building having appear. " ed agreeable, they conformed to it for the construction “ of edifices which they afterwards had to build a.
2 Nouv. relat. de la France Equinox, p. 143. & 144. * Odyff. 1. 4. V. 72. &c.
b Ibid. 1.4. V. 297. & 302. c Iliad. 1. 24. v. 644. ; Odyff. I. 4. v. 297.
* It is only by a sort of tradition that we are used to translate by the term portico, the word c:9804, used by Homer in the description of these palaces. The grounds of that explication are entirely unknown to us. It is plain, that wilson comes from ooiw, uro, luceo; but it is not equally proved, that they were formerly in conftant use, as the scholiafts say, that they lighted fires under the porticoes of great houses. It is, notwithstanding, on this pretended use that they ground their explication,
“ About the same time," adds Vitruvius, “ the Athe“ nians fent into Asia a colony under the conduct of Ion, “ nephew of Dorus +: this undertaking had very good “ success. Ion seized on Caria, and there founded many “ cities : these new inhabitants thought to build temples. “ They proposed for a model that of Juno at Argos; but
ignorant of the proportion which they ought to give to “ the columns, and in general to the whole edifice, they
fought for rules capable of regulating their operation. “ These people wanted, in making their columns sufficient“ ly strong to support the whole edifice, to render them at “ the same time agreeable to the sight. For this purpose, “ they thought to have given it the same proportion “ that they found between the foot of man and the “ rest of his body. According to their ideas, the foot “ made a fixth part of the human height: in confe
quence, they gave at first to a Doric column, taking " in its chapiter, fix of its diameters; that is to say,
* He was king of all Peloponnesus, and lived about 1522 years before Chrift. d Vitruv. J. 4. C. 1.
Ion was fon of Xuthus, brother of Dorus.
“ they made it fix times as high as it was thicke : after“ wards they added to it a seventh diameter *.
« This new order of architecture was not long in giving « birth to a second : they would immediately go beyond " their first invention. The Ionians (it is Vitruvius who “ still speaks) tried to throw still more delicacy and ele
gance into their edifices. They employed the same “ method which they had before put in practice for the “ composition of the Doric order : but instead of taking " for a model the body of a man, the Ionians were regu"lated by that of a woman. With a view to make the " columns of this new order more agreeable and more “ pleasing, they gave them eight times as much height as “ they had diameters. They also made channelings all
along the trunk to imitate the folds of the robes of wor ~ men : the volutes of the chapiter represented that part ” of the hair which hung in curls on each side of the face. “ The Ionians added, lastly, to these columns a base
which was not in use in the Doric order 8." - According to Vitruvius, these bases were made in the manner of twisted cords, as a kind of case for the columns. This order of architecture was called lonic from the name of the people who had invented it.
This is what Vitruvius relates of the origin and epoch of the Doric and Ionic orders: he makes it ascend as we have seen, to very early times.
I shall not stop to fhew the little resemblance to truth there is in this whole narration ; but whatever had been the origin of these two orders, I think we cannot refer them to the ages in which Vitruvius has placed them. We
• Vitruy. I. 4. C. 1.
At that time we may fay, that the Doric column had the proportion of the body of a man. For the foot of a man is at least the seventh part of his height.
f Vitruy. 1. 4. C. I.
Afterwards they gave to these columns the height of eight of their diameters. At this time, they have nine, if we include the chapiter and the base.
6 See M. de Chambray, p. 15. 19. & 33: ; see also the notes of Perrault on Vitryvius, P. 176. note 6.