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Olympia (orum), I. the chief of the four great national games or festivals of the Greeks. They were celebrated at Olympia, a sacred spot on the banks of the Alpheus, near Elis, every fifth year. The exact interval at which they recurred was one of forty-nine and fifty lunar months alternately; so that the celebration sometimes fell in the month Apollonius (July), sometimes in the month Parthenius (August). (Böckh, ad Pind, Olymp., 3, 18–Muller's Dorians, vol. 1, p. 281, Eng. transl.) The period between two celebrations was called an Olympiad.—The Olympic festival lasted five days. Its origin is concealed amid the obscurity of the mythic period of Grecian history. Olympia was a sacred spot, and had an oracle of Jupiter long before the institution of the games. The Eleans had various traditions, which attributed the original soundation of the festival to gods and heroes at a long period prior to the Trojan war, and among these to the Idaean Hercules, to Pelops, and to Hercules the son of Alcmena. The Eleans farther stated, that, after the AEtolians had possessed themselves of Elis, their whole territory was consecrated to Jupiter; that the games were revived by their king Iphitus, in conjunction with Lycurgus, as a remedy for the disorders of Greece; and that Iphitus obtained the sanction of the Delphic oracle to the institution, and appointed a periodical sacred truce, to enable persons to attend the games from every part of Greece, and to return to their homes in safety. This event was recorded on a disc, which was preserved by the Eleans, and on which the names Iphitus and Lycurgus were inscribed. (Plut., Wit. Lycurg, 1.—Pausan, 5, 20, 21.) Other accounts mention Cleosthenes of Pisa as an associate of Iphitus and Lycurgus in the revival of the festival. All that can safely be inferred from this tradition, which has been embellished with a variety of legends, seems to be, that Sparta concurred with the two states most interested in the plan, and mainly contributed to procure the consent of the other Peloponnesians. (Thirlwall's Greece, vol. 1, p. 386.) The date of the revival by Iphitus is, according to Eratosthenes, 884 B.C.; according to Callimachus, 828 B.C. Mr. Clinton prefers the latter date. (Fast. Hell., vol. 2, p. 408, note h.) The Olympiads began to be reckoned from the year 776 B.C., in which year Coroebus was victor in the foot-race. We have lists of the victors from that year, which always include the victors in the foot-race, and in later times those in the other games. (Pausan., 5, 8, 3.)—The Olympic, like all the other public festivals, might be attended by all who were of the Hellenic race ; though at first probably the northern Greeks, and perhaps the Achaeans of Peloponnesus, were not admitted. Spectators came to Olympia, not only from Greece itsels, but also from the Grccian colonies in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Among them were solemn deputations sent to represent their respective states. Women, however, were forbidden to appear at Olympia, or even to cross the Alpheus, during the festival, under pain of death. But at a later period we find women taking part in the chariot-race, though it is doubtful whether they ever drove their own chariots. An exception was made to this law of exclusion in favour of the priestess of Ceres and certain virgins, who were permitted to be present at the games, and had a place assigned to them opposite the Judges. . The management of the festival was in the hands of the Eleans. Originally, indeed, Pisa, in whose territory Olympia lay, seems to have had an equal share in the administration; but in the fiftieth Olympiad the Eleans destroyed Pisa, and from that time they had the entire management of the games. They proclaimed the sacred truce, first in their own territories, and then throughout the whole of Greece. This truce took effect from the time of its proclamation in Elis, and while it lasted the Elean territory was inviolable, any armed invasion of it being
esteemed an act of sacrilege. On this privilege the Eleans founded a claim to five their territory always considered sacred, though in fact they themselves did not abstain from war. As the presiding nation, they gave laws for the regulation of the festival, imposed penalties on individuals and states, and had the power of excluding from the games those who resisted their decrees. They actually thus excluded the Lacedæmonians on one occasion, and the Athenians on another. The Eleans appointed the judges of the contest, who were called Hellanodica (EAAavodikal) These were instructed in the duties of their office, for a period of ten months before the festival, by Elean officers called Nomophylaces (Nouoyväaxes): they were sworn to act impartially, and an appeal might be made from their decision to the Elean senate. Their number varied at different periods: in the 106th Olympiad it was fixed at ten, which was the number ever afterward. The judges had under them different officers, called ážūral, whose business it was to keep order. These officers were called uadruy0%pot in the other Grecian games. (Consult, in relation to these details, Pausanias, 5, 9, 4, seq. —6, 24, 3)The Olympic festival consisted of religious ceremonies, athletic contests, and races. The chief deity who presided over it was Jupiter Olympius, whose temple at Olympia, containing the ivory and gold statue of the god, was one of the most magnificent works of art in Greece. The worship of Apollo was associated with that of Jupiter (Muller's Dorians, vol. 1, p. 279, seqq., Eng. transl.); and the early traditions connect Hercules with the festival. (Id. ib., p. 453.) This is another proof of the Dorian origin of the games, for Apollo and Hercules were two of the principal deities of the Doric race. There were altars at Olympia to other gods, which were said to have been erected by Hercules, and at which the vic. tors sacrificed. The most magnificent sacrifices and presents were also offered to Jupiter Olympius by the competitors, and by the different states of GreeceThe games consisted of horse and foot races, leaping, throwing, wrestling and boxing, and combinations of these exercises. 1. The earliest of these games was the foot-race (opóuoc), which was the only one revived by Iphitus. The space run was the length of the stadium, in which the games were held, namely, about 600 English feet. In the 14th Olympiad (724 B.C.), the diavao, was added, in which the stadium was trawersed twice. The 66Atxoc, which consisted of several lengths of the stadium (seven, twelve, or twenty-four, according to different authorities), was added in the 15th Olympiad (B.C. 720). A race in which the runners wore armour (6trattøv påuoç) was established in the 65th Olympiad, but soon after abolished. 3. Wrestling (táàn) was introduced in the 18th Olympiad (B.C. 708). - The wrestlers were matched in pairs by lot. When there was an odd number, the person who was left by the lot without an antagonist wrestled last of all with him who had conquered the others. He was called £9eópoc. The athlete who gave his antagonist three throws gained the victory. There was another kind of wrestling (āvax24voraž7), in which, if the combatant who fell could drag down his antagonist with him, the struggle was continued on the ground, and the one who succeeded in getting uppermost and holding the other down gained the vićtory.—3. In the same year was introduced the pentathlon (Irévratzov), or, as the Romans called it, quinquertium, which consisted of the five exercises enumerated in the following verse, ascribed to Simonides
their shoulders: the object was to leap the greatest distance, without regard to height. The discus, or quoit, was a heavy weight of a circular or oval shape; neither this nor the javelin was aimed at a mark, but he who threw farthest was the victor. In order to gain a victory in the pentathlon, it was necessary to conquer in each of its five parts.—4. Boxing (mvyuñ) was introduced in the 23d Olympiad (B.C. 688). #. boxers had their hands and arms covered with thongs of leather, called cestus, which served both to defend them and to annoy their antagonists. Virgil (Æm., 5, 405) describes the cestus as armed with lead and iron; but this is not known to have been the case among the Greeks.—5. The Pancratium (traykpártov) consisted of boxing and wrestling combined. In this exercise, and in the cestus, the vanquished combatant acknowledged his defeat by some sign; and this is supposed to be the reason why Spartans were forbidden by the laws of Lycurgus to practise them, as it would have been esteemed a disgrace to his country that a Spartan should confess himself defeated. In these games the combatants fought naked.—The horse-races were of two kinds. 1. The chariot-race, generally with four-horse chariots (irröv režeian épôuoc), was introduced in the 25th Olympiad (B.C. 680). The course (irroëpóuor) had two goals in the middle, at the distance probably of two stadia from each other. The chariots started from one of these goals, passed round the other, and returned along the other side of the hippodrome. This circuit was made twelve times. The great art of the charioteer consisted in turning as close as possible to the goals, but without running against them or against the other chariots. The places at the starting-post were assigned to the chariots by lot. There was another sort of race between chariots with two horses (6tapuc or ovvoptc). A race between chariots drawn by mules (ärnvä) was introduced in the 70th Olympiad, and abolished in the 84th-2. There were two sorts of races on horseback, namely, the kéâme, in which each competitor rode one horse throughout the course, and the kažth, in which, as the horse approached the goal, the rider leaped from his back, and, keeping hold of the bridle, finished the course on foot.—In the 37th Olympiad (B.C. 632), racing on foot and wrestling between boys was introduced.—There were also contests in poetry and music at the Olympian festival.— All persons were admitted to contend in the Olympic games who could prove that they were freemen, that they were of genuine Hellenic blood, and that their characters were free from infamy and immorality. So great was the importance attached to the second of these particulars, that the kings of Macedon were obliged to make out their Hellenic descent before they were allowed to contend. The equestrian contests were necessarily confined to the wealthy, who displayed in them great magnificence; but the athletic exercises were open to the poorest citizens. An example of this is mentioned by Pausanias (6, 10, 1). In the equestrian games, moreover, there was no occasion for the owner of the chariot or horse to appear in person. Thus Alcibiades, on one occasion, sent seven chariots to the Olympic games, three of which obtained prizes. The combatants underwent a long and rigorous training, the nature of which varied with the game in which they intended to engage. Ten months before the festival they were obliged to appear at Elis, to enter their names as competitors, stating at the same time the prize for which they meant to contend.
This interval of ten months was spent in preparatory.
exercises; and for a part of it, the last thirty days at least, they were thus engaged in the gymnasium at Elis. When the festival arrived, their names were proclaimed in the stadium, and after proving that they were not disqualified from taking part in the games, they wo to the altar of Jupiter the guardian of
oaths (Zeir 8pxtor), where they swore that they had gone through all the preparatory exercises required by the laws, and that they would not be guilty of any fraud, nor of any attempt to interfere with the fair course of the games. Any one detected in bribing his adversary to yield him the victory was heavily fined. After they had taken the oath, their relations and countrymen accompanied them into the stadium, exhorting them to acquit themselves nobly.—The prizes in the Olympic games were at first of some intrinsic value, like those given in the games described by Homer. But, after the 7th Olympiad, the only prize given was a garland of wild olive, cut from a tree in the sacred grove at Olympia, which was said to have been brought by Hercules from the land of the Hyperboreans. Palm-leaves were at the same time placed in the hands of the victors, and their names, together with the games in which they had conquered, were proclaimed by a herald. A victory at Olympia, besides being the highest honour which a Greek could obtain, conferred so much glory on the state to which he belonged, that successful candidates were frequently solicited to allow themselves to be proclaimed citizens of states to which they did not belong. Fresh honours awaited the victor on his return home. He entered his native city in triumph, through a breach made in the walls for his reception; banquets were given to him by his friends, at which odes were sung in honour of his victory; and his statue was often erected, at his own expense or that of his fellow-citizens, in the Altis, as the sacred grove at Olympia was called. At Athens, according to a law of Solon, the Olympic victor was rewarded with a prize of 500 drachmae: at Sparta the foremost place in battle was assigned him. Three instances are on record in which altars were built and sacrifices offered to conquerors at the Olympic games.—It seems to be generally admitted that the chief object of this festival was to form a bond of union for the Grecian states. Besides this, the great importance which such an institution gave to the exercises of the body must have had an immense influence in forming the national character. Regarded as a bond of union, the Olympic festival seems to have had but little success in promoting kindly feelings between the Grecian states, and perhaps the rivalry of the contest may have tended to exasperate existing quarrels; but it undoubtedly furnished a striking exhibition of the nationality of the Greeks, of the distinction between them and other races. Perhaps the contingent effects of the ceremony were after all the most important. During its celebration, Olympia was a centre for the commerce of all Greece, for the free interchange of opinions, and for the publication of knowledge. The concourse of people from all Greece afforded a fit audience for literary productions, and gave a motive for the composition of works worthy to be laid before them. , Poetry and statuary received an impulse from the demand inade upon them to aid in perpetuating the victor's fame. But the most important and most difficult question connected with the subject is, whether their influence on the national character was for good or evil. The exercises of the body, on which these games conferred the greatest honour, have been condemned by some philosophers, as tending to unfit men for the active duties of a citizen (Aristot., Polit., 7, 14, 18.—Athenaeus, 10, p. 413); while they are regarded by others as a most necessary part of a manly education, and as the chief cause of the bodily vigour and mental energy which marked the character of the Hellenic race.—The description which we have given of the Olympic games will, for the most part, serve also for the other three great festivals of Greece, namely, the Isthmian, Nemean, and Pythian games. (Pausan.: lib. 5, 6, seqq. —West's Pindar, Prelim. Diss-Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alterthumsk., vol. 1, p. los-Po, Grecian Antiquities, vol. 1, p. 495–Thirlwall's Greece, vol. 1, p. 384, seqq. —Encyclop. Us. Knowl., vol. 16, p. 430, seqq.)—II. A name given to the aggregate of temples, altars, and other structures on the banks of the Alpheus in Elis, in the immediate vicinity of the spot where the Olympic games were celebrated. It was not, as many have incorrectly supposed, a city, nor did it at all resemble one. The main feature in the picture was the sacred grove Altis, planted, as le
ends told, by Hercules, and which he dedicated to 5. (Pind., Olymp., 10, 51.) Throughout this grove were scattered in rich profusion the most splendid monuments of architectural, sculptural, and pictorial skill. The site was already celebrated as the seat of an oracle ; but it was not until the Eleans had conquered the Pisata, and destroyed their city, that a temple was erected to the god with the spoils of the vanquished. This temple of the Olympian Jove was of Doric architecture, with a peristyle. It was sixtyeight feet in height from the ground to the pediment, ninety-five in width, and two hundred and thirty in length. Its roof, at each extremity of which was placed a gilt urn, was covered with slabs of Pentelic marble. The architect was a native of the country, mamed Libo. In the centre of one of the pediments stood a figure of victory, with a golden shield, on which was sculptured a Medusa's head. Twenty-one gilt bucklers, the offering of the Roman general Mummius on the termination of the Achaean war, were also affixed to the outside frieze. The sculptures of the front pediment represented the race of Pelops and OEnomaus, with Myrtilus and Hippodamia; also Jupiter, and the rivers Alpheus and Cladeus; these were all by Patonius, an artist of Mende in Chalcidic Thrace. In the rear pediment, Alcmenes had sculptured the battle of the Centaurs and Lapithae. The other parts of the building were enriched with subjects taken from the labours of Hercules. On entering the gates, which were of brass, the spectator passed the statue of Iphitus crowned by Ecechiria, on his right; and, advancing through a double row of columns supporting porticoes, reached the statue of Jupiter, the chef-d'oeuvre of Phidias. The god was represented as seated on his throne, composed of gold, ebony, and ivory, studded with precious stones, and farther embellished with paintings and the finest carved work. (Pausan, 5, 11.) The Olympian deity was portrayed by the great Athenian artist in the sublime attitude and action conceived by Homer. (Il., 1,528, seqq.) The figure was of ivory and gold, and of such vast proportions that, though seated, it almost reached the ceiling, which suggested the idea that in rising it would bear away the roof. (Strabo, 354.) The head was crowned with olive. In the right hand it grasped an image of victory, and in the left a sceptre, curiously wrought of different metals, on which was perched an eagle. Both the sandals and vesture were of gold ; the latter was also enriched with paintings of beasts and flowers by Pananus, the brother, or, as some say, the nephew, of Phidias. (Pausan., l. c.—Strabo, l. c.) An enclosure surrounded the whole, by which spectators were prevented from approaching too near ; this was also decorated with paintings by the same artist, which are minutely described, together with the other ornamental appendages to the throne and its supporters, by Pausanias. The ivory parts of the statue were constantly rubbed with oil as a defence against the damp (Pausan, 5, 12), and officers, named patópuyrat, or cleansers, were appointed to keep it well polished. The veil of the temple was of wool dyed with Phoenician purple, and adorned with Assyrian embroidery, presented by King Antiochus. Various other offerings are mentioned by Pausanias, to whom the student is referred for an account of these, as well as a description, &c., of the other buildings at Olympia. Among the altars, the most remarkable was that in the
temple of Pelops. It was entirely composed of ashes collected from the thighs of victims, which, being diluted with water from the Alpheus, formed a kind of cement.—A conspicuous feature at Olympia was the Cronius, or Hill of Saturn, often alluded to by Pindar, and on the summits of which priests named Basila offered sacrifices to the god every year at the vernal equinox. (Pind., Olymp., 10, 56.) Xenophon mentions (Hist. Gr., 7, 4, 14) that, in a war waged by the Eleans with the Arcadians, Mount Cronius was occupied and fortified by the latter. Below that hill stood the temple of Lucina Olympia, where Sosipolis, the protecting genius of Elis, was worshipped. The stadium was a mound of earth, with seats for the Hellanodicae, who entered, as well as the runners, by a secret portico. The hippodrome, which was contiguous to the stadium, was likewise surrounded by a mound of earth, except in one part, where, on an eminence, was placed the temple of Ceres Chamyne. Not far from this were the Olympic gymnasia, for all sorts of exercises connected with the games.— Olympia now presents scarcely any vestiges of the numerous buildings, statues, and monuments so elaborately detailed by Pausanias. Chandler could only trace “the walls of the cell of a very large temple, standing many feet high and well built, the stones all injured, and manifesting the labour of persons who have endeavoured by boring to get at the metal with which they were cemented. From a massive capital remaining, it was collected that the edifice had been of the Doric order.” (Travels, vol. 2, ch. 76.) Mr. Revett adds, that “this temple appears to be rather smaller than that of Theseus at Athens, and in no manner agrees with the temple of the Olympian Jove.” The ruins of this latter edifice, as Sir W. Gell reports, are to be seen towards the Alpheus, and fiftyfive geographic paces distant srom the Hill of Saturn. There are several bushes that mark the spot, and the Turks of Lalla are often employed in excavating the stones. Between the temple and the river, in the descent of the bank, are vestiges of the hippodrome, or buildings serving for the celebration of the Olympic games. These accompany the road to Miracca on the right for some distance. The whole valley is very beautiful. (Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 3, p. 95, scqq.) Olympias, I. an Olympiad, or the space of time intervening between any two celebrations of the Olympic games. (Vid. Olympia I.) The Greeks computed tine by means of them, beginning with B C. 776, each Olympiad being regarded as equal to four years. The last one (the 304th) fell on the 440th year of the Christian era. (Consult remarks at the commencement of the article Olympia I.)—II. daughter of Neoptolemus, king of Epirus, and wise of Philip, king of Macedon, by whom she had Alexander the Great. The conduct of Olympias had given rise to the suspi; cion that Alexander was not the son of Philip ; and the brilliant career of the Macedonian conqueror made his flatterers assign to him for a parent the Father of the Gods. Olympias herself, in the intoxication of female vanity, hesitated not, at a later day, to sanction the story, and Jupiter was said to have approached her under the form of a serpent. (Consult Wieland, ad Lucian. Pseudomant., § 13–Sueton. Wit. Aug. 92.—Böttiger, Sabina, p. 212.) The haughtiness of Olympias, or, more probably, her infidelity, led Philip to repudiate her, and contract a second marriage with Cleopatra, the niece of King Attalus. The murder of Philip, which happened not long aster, has been attributed by some to her intrigues, though with no great degree of probability. , Alexander, after his accession to the throne, treated her with great respect, but did not allow her to take part in the government. At a subsequent period, after the death of Antipater; Polysperchon, in order to confirm his power, recalled
Olympias from Epirus, whither she had fled, and confided to her the guardianship of the young son of Alexander. She now cruelly put to death Aridaeus, son of Philip, with his wife Eurydice, as also Nicanor, the brother of Cassander, together with many leading men of Macedonia who were inimical to her interests. Her cruelties, however, did not remain long unpunished. Cassander besieged her in Pydna, and she was obliged to surrender after an obstinate siege, and was put to death. (Vid. Cassander.—Justin, lib. 7, 9, 11, 14, &c.) OlympionóRus, a name common to many individuals. The most deserving of our notice are the following : I. A native of Thebes in Egypt, flourished in the beginning of the fifth century of our era. He continued the history of Eunapius from 407 to 425 A.D. His work, entitled "Yam 'Ioropiac (“Materials for History”), or 'Iaropukoi 26 you (“Historical Narratives”), consisted of twenty-two books. Only a fragment of it has been preserved by Photius. The work began with the seventh consulship of the Emperor Honorius, and was brought down to the accession of Valentinian. It was dedicated to the younger Theodosius. The historian appears to have been emloyed also on public business, for he mentions his #. been sent on a mission to Donatus, king of the Huns. In his description of the African Oases, he speaks of wells being made to the depth of 200, 300, and even 500 cubits, and of the water rising up and flowing from the aperture. Some have supposed that these must have been Artesian wells. Olympiodorus was a heathen. —II. An Alexandrean philoso. pher, who flourished about the year 430 B.C. He is celebrated for his knowledge of the Aristotelian doctrines, and was the master of Proclus, who attended upon his school before he was 20 years of age. This philosopher is not to be confounded with a Platonist of the same name who wrote a commentary upon Plato. He is also to be distinguished from a peripatetic of a still later age, who wrote a commentary on the Meteorology of Aristotle.—III. A Platonic philosopher, who flourished towards the close of the sixth century. He was the author of Commentaries on four of Plato's dialogues, the first Alcibiades, the Phaedon, Gorgias, and Philebus. The first of these contains a life of Plato, in which we meet with certain particulars relative to the philosopher not to be found elsewhere. This Olympiodorus was a native of Alexandrea, and enjoyed great reputation in that capital, as will appear from a distich appended to his commentary on the Gorgias. The title which his commentaries bear appears to indicate by the words ātā Qovic (“from the mouth” of Olympiodorus) that they were copied down by the arers of the philosopher. Sainte-Croix, however, thinks that this phrase is merely employed to indicate that the doctrine contained in the commentaries was traditional in its nature. (Magasin. Encycl., 3 ann., vol. 1, p. 195.) Fragments of the commentary on the Phaedon are given in Fischer's edition of four Platonic dialogues (Lips., 1783, 8vo), and in Foster's edition of five of Plato's dialogues (Oron., 1752, 8vo). Fragments of the commentary on the Gorgias were published by Routh, in his edition of the Gorgias and Euthydemus (Oron., 1784, 8vo). The commentary or scholia on the Philebus will be found in Stallbaum's edition of that dialogue (Lips., 1820, 8vo). The commentary on the first Alcibiades forms the second part of Creuzer's Initia Philosophiae ac Theologiae, &c. (Francf., 1820, 8vo).—IV. A native of Alexandrea, a peripatetic, who flourished during the latter half of the sixth century. He was the author of a commentary on the Meteorology of Aristotle, which was edited by Aldus, Venet, 1551, fol.'(Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr, voi. 7, § 132, &c.) LvMPius, I. a surname of Jupiter at Olympia, where the god had a celebrated temple and statue, which
passed for one of the seven wonders of the world. (Wid. Olympia II.)—II. A poet. (Wid. Nemesianus.)
OLYMpus, I. a celebrated mountain on the coast of Thessaly, forming the limit, when regarded as an entire range, between the latter country and Macedonia. The highest summit in the chain, to which the name of Olympus was specially confined by the poets, was fabled to be the residence of the gods, and well deserved the honour. Travellers who have visited these shores dwell with admiration on the colossal magnificence of Olympus, which seems to rise at once from the sea to hide its snowy head amid the clouds. Dr. Holland, who beheld it from Litochori at its foot, observes, “We had not before been aware of the extreme vicinity of the town to the base of Olympus, from the thick fogs which hung over us for three successive days while traversing the country; but on leaving it, and accidentally looking back, we saw through an opening in the fog a faint outline of vast precipices, seeming almost to overhang the place, and so aerial in their aspect, that for a few minutes we doubted whether it might not be a delusion to the eye. The fog, however, dispersed yet more on this side, and partial openings were made, through which, as through arches, we saw the sunbeams resting on the snowy summits of Olympus, which rose into a dark blue sky far above the belt of clouds and mist that hung upon the sides of the mountain. The transient view we had of the mountain from this point showed us a line of precipices of vast height, forming its eastern front towards the sea, and broken at intervals by deep hollows or ravines, which were richly clothed with forest-trees. The oak, chestnut, beech, plane-tree, &c., are seen in great abundance along the base and skirts of the mountain ; and, towards the summit of the first ridge, large forests of pine spread themselves along the acclivities, giving that character to the face of the mountain which is so often alluded to by the ancient poets.” (Travels, vol. 2, p. 27.) The modern name of the mountain with the Greeks is Elimbo, and with the Turks Semavat Epi. (Kruse, Hellas, vol. 1, p. 282. — Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 1, p. 211, seqq.) “Few of the Grecian mountains,” remarks Dodwell, “soar to the height of Olympus.” Plutarch (Vit. AEmil. Paul.), citing the philosopher Xenagoras, says that it is more than ten stadia in height, and M. Bernouille makes it 1017 toises (6501 English feet). It forms a gigantic mass, and occupies a very extensive space. Its southern side constitutes the boundary of Thessaly, and its northern base encloses the plains of Macedon. To the west it branches out towards are blended with those of Pindus, which terminates in the Adriatic with the abrupt and stormy promontory of Acroceraunia. Its rugged outline is broken into many summits, from which circumstance Homer gives it the epithet of troAvdelpár. It is never completely free from snow, and Hesiod (Theog., 118) characterizes it with the epithet of vuò6etc. Homer, in his Iliad, calls it dyávvuòoc, whereas in his Odyssey he says that it is never agitated by the wind, rain, or snow, but enjoys a clear and luminous air. (Il., 1,420. — Od., 6, 45.) Nothing is easier, says an ingenious author, than to reconcile these apparent contradictions. M. Boivin, indeed, employs for this purpose a climax of singular conjecture. He supposes a heavenly Olympus, which he turns upside down, with its foot in the heavens, where it never snows, and its summit towards the earth; to which part he conceives Homer gave the epithet of snowy. As the gods and mortals were Anticephali, he maintains that Homer imagined mountains to be in similar situations ! (Mem. de Litt. dans l'Hist. de l'Acad, des Inscr., &c., vol. 7.) But the poet represents the seat of the gods as on the summit of Olympus, under the clouds, and of course he does not imagine it turned upside down.—Olympus is full of breaks, glens, and forests, whence it ** epithets
where its remote swells | of rožūrrvync and troAvôévôpeoc. (Dodwell's Tour, vol. 2, p. 105, seqq.)—Near the top Dodwell encountered large quantities of snow, and at last reached a part where the mountain became bare of all vegetation, and presented only a cap of snow and ice, on which it was impossible to be sustained or to walk. At this time it was the middle of July; the heat was extreme towards the base of the mountain, as well as in the plain, while the masses of snow near its summit gave no signs of melting. The view from the highest accessible part of Olympus is described as being very extensive and grand. The mountain seemed to touch Pelion and Ossa, and the vale of Tempe appeared only a narrow gorge, while the Peneus was scarcely perceptible. There are hardly any quadrupeds to be seen beyond the half height of Olympus, and scarcely do even birds pass this limit.—The idea has been started, on mere conjecture, however, that the name Olympus may have some reference to the idea of a “limit” or “boundary,” and it is a curious fact that the positions of most, if not all, of the mountains that bear this name would seem to countenance the assertion. The most remarkable instances, after the one we have just been considering, are the following.—II. A range of mountains in the southwestern angle of Bithynia. Mount Olympus, the loftiest of the range, rose above Prusa, and was one of the highest summits in Asia Minor, being covered with snow during great part of the year. (Browne's Travels, in Walpole's Collection, vol. 2, p. 112.) The lower parts, and the plains at the foot, especially on the western side, had from the earliest period been occupied by the Mysians, whence it was generally denominated the Mysian Olympus. (Plin, 5, 32.) Its sides were covered with vast forests, which afforded shelter to wild beasts, and not unfrequently to robbers, who erected strongholds there. (Strab., 574.) We read in Herodotus, that, in the time of Croesus, an immense wild boar, issuing from the woods of Olympus, laid waste the fields of the Mysians, and became so formidable that the inhabitants were obliged to send a deputation to the Lydian monarch to request his aid for deliverance from the monster. (Herod., 1, 36.) The lower regions of this great mountain are still covered with extensive forests, but the summit is rocky, and destitute of vegetation. The Turks call it Anadoli Dagh. (Cramer's Asia Minor, vol. 1, p. 178.)—III. A mountain range of Lycia, on the eastern coast, above the Sacrum Promontorium. A city of the same name was situate in a part of the range. Mount Olympus would appear to be the chain to which Homer alludes in the Odyssey (5,282, seqq.), under the name of the Solymaean mountains, whence he supposes Neptune to have beheld in his wrath Ulysses sailing towards Phoenicia. The mountains rising at the back of the perpendicular cliffs which line the shore in this quarter, attain to the height of six and seven thousand feet. The highest, as we learn from Captain Beaufort, bears the name of Adratchan, and appears to answer to the Olympus of Strabo. (Caramania, p. 43.—Cramer's Asia Minor, vol. 2, p. 257.)—IV. A city of Lycia, alluded to in the preceding paragraph. It ranked among the six communities of Lycia. (Strab., 666.) Cicero also bears testimony to its importance and opulence. Having become the residence and haunt of pirates, it was captured by Servilius Isauricus, and became afterward a mere fortress. (Cic. in Werr.," 1, 21. – Eutrop., 6, 3. – Plin., 5, 27.) Strabo states, that it was the stronghold of the pirate Zenicetus; and the situation was so elevated that it commanded a view of Lycia, Pamphylia, and Pisidia. (Strab., 671.) We are indebted to Captain Beaufort for the discovery of the ruins of this place, which exist in a small circular plain, surrounded by the chain of Adratchan (vid. Olympus III.), and at a little distance from the sea. The only way leading to the site is by
a natural aperture in the cliff; it is now called Deliktash, or “the perforated rock.” (Cramer's Asia Minor, vol. 2, p. 257, seq.)—W. A mountain on the eastern coast of Cyprus, just below the promontory Dinaretum. It is now Monte Santa-Croce. This mountain had on it a temple sacred to Venus Acraea, from which women were excluded; the mountain itself was shaped like a breast. (Strab., 683.-Cramer's Asia Minor, vol. 2, p. 379, 385.) OLYNTHUs, a powerful city of Macedonia, in the district of Chalcidice, at the head of the Sinus Toronaicus. It was founded probably by the Chalcidians and Eretrians of Euboea. (Strabo, 447.) He rodotus relates, that it was afterward held by the Bots tiaei, who had been expelled from the Thermaic Gulf by the Macedonians; but on the revolt of Potidaea, and other towns on this coast, from the Persians, it was beseiged and taken by Artabazus, a commander of Xerxes, who put all the inhabitants to the sword, and delivered the town to Critobulus of Torone and the Chalcidians. (Herod., 8, 127.) Perdiccas, some years after, persuaded the Bottiaei and Chalcidians to abandon their other towns and make Olynthus their principal city, previous to their engaging in hostility with the Athenians. (Thucyd., 1, 58.) In this war, the Olynthians obtained some decisive advantages over that republic; and the expedition of Brasidas enabled them effectually to preserve their freedom and independence, which was distinctly recognised by treaty. From this time, the republic of Olynthus gradually acquired so much power and importance among the northern states of Greece, that it roused the jealousy and excited the alarm of the more powerful of the southern republics, Athens and Lacedaemon. The Olynthians, apparently proceeding on the federal system, afterward so successfully adopted by the Achaeans, incorporated into their alliance all the smaller towns in their immediate vicinity ; and, by degrees, succeeded in detaching several important places from the dominions of Amyntas, king of Macedonia, who had not the power of protecting himself from these encroachments. At length, however, a deputation from the Chalcidic cities of Apollonia and Acanthus, whose independence was at that time immediately threatened by Olynthus, having directed the attention of Sparta, then at the height of its political importance, to this rising power, it was determined, in a general assembly of the Peloponnesian states, to despatch an army of ten thousand men into Thrace. (Xen., Hist. Gr., 5, 2, 14.) Teleutias, brother of Agesilaus, and one of the most distinguished commanders of Sparta, was appointed to conduct the war. Having collected his forces, and those of Amyntas and his allies, he marched against the Olynthians, who ventured to give him battle before their walls; but, after a well-fought action, they were compelled to take refuge within their city. It a skirmish, however, which so not long after, the Peloponnesian forces, in their disorderly pursuit of a body of Olynthian cavalry close to the town, were thrown into confusion by a sortie of the enemy, which communicated such a panic to the whole army, that, notwithstanding the efforts of Teleutias to stop the flight of his troops, a total rout ensued, and he himself was slain. (Hist. Gr., 5, 3.) This disaster, instead of disheartening, called forth fresh exertions on the part of the Spartan government. Agesipolis one of the kings, was ordered to take the command, and prosecute the war with vigour. This young mon arch had already obtained some advantages over the enemy, when he was seized with a disorder, which, baffling all remedies, soon proved fatal:, he died a Aphyte, near the temple of Bacchus. Polybiades, his successor, had thus the credit of putting an end to the war; for the Olynthians, left to their own resources, found themselves unable to cope with their powerful