Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 973 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
PRECINCT OF APOLLO. Scale of Metres to 2U 3P 4? 1 Scale of Yards 10 20 3O If By permission from plan in Ilonrolle. Archives de rintendance Sacede Delos 972 which it dominates by the height of its steps as well as of the terrace already mentioned; its position must have been more commanding in ancient times than it is now that heaps of earth and debris cover so much of the level. The temple was of Doric style, with six columns at the front and back and thirteen at the sides; it was built early in the 4th century B.C.; little if any traces have been found of the earlier building which it superseded. Its sculptural decoration appears to have been but scanty; the metopes were plain. The groups which ornamented, as acroteria, the two gables of the temple have been in part recovered, and may now be seen in the national museum at Athens; at the one end was Boreas carrying off Oreithyia, at the other Eos and Cephalus, the centre in each case being occupied by the winged figure that stood out against the sky—a variation on the winged Victories that often occupy the same position on temples. To the east of the space in front of the temple was an oblong building of two chambers, with a colonnade on each side but not in front; this may have been the Prytaneum or some other official building; beyond it is the most interesting and characteristic of all the monuments of Delphi. This is a long narrow hall, running from north to south, and entered by a portico at its south end. At the north end was the famous altar, built out of the horns of the victims, which was sometimes reckoned among the seven wonders of the world. The rest of the room is taken up by a paved space, surrounded by a narrow gangway; and on this it is supposed that the yipavos or stork-dance took place. The most remarkable architectural feature of the building is the partition that separated the altar from this long gallery; it consists of two columns between antae, with capitals of a very peculiar form, consisting of the fore parts of bulls set back to back ; from these the whole building is sometimes called the sanctuary of the bulls. Beyond it, on the east, was a sacred wood filling the space up to the wall of the precinct; and at the south end of this was a small open space with the altar of Zeus Polieus. At the north of the precinct was a broad road, flanked with votive offerings and exedrae, and along the boundary were porticoes and chambers intended for the reception of the Bewpiat or sacred embassies; there are two entrances on this side, each of them through extensive propylaea. At the north-west corner of the precinct is a building of lime-stone, the 'rwpwos oiKOS often mentioned in the inventories of the treasures of the Delian shrine. South of it is the precinct of Artemis, containing within it the old temple of the goddess; her more recent temple was to the south of her precinct, opening not into it but into the open space entered through the southern propylaea of the precinct of Apollo. The older temple is mentioned in some of the inventories as " the temple in which were the seven statues "; and close beside it was found a series of archaic draped female statues, which was the most important of its kind until the discovery of the finer and better preserved set from the Athenian Acropolis. Within the precinct there were found many statues and other works of art, and a very large number of inscriptions, some of them giving inventories of the votive offerings and accounts of the administration of the temple and its property. The latter are of considerable interest, and give full information as to the sources of the revenue and its financial administration. Outside the precinct of Apollo, on the south, was an open place; between this and the precinct was a house for the priests, and within it, in a kind of court, a set of small structures that may perhaps be identified as the tombs of the Hyperborean maidens. Just to the east was the temple of Dionysus, which is of peculiar plan, and faces the open place; on the other side of it is a large rectangular court, surrounded by colonnades and chambers which served as offices, the whole forming a sort of commercial exchange; in the middle of it was a temple dedicated to Aphrodite and Hermes. To the .north of the precinct of Apollo, between it and the sacred lake, there are very extensive ruins of the commercial town of Delos; these have been only partially cleared, but haveyielded a good many inscriptions and other antiquities. The most extensive building is a very large court surrounded by chambers, a sort of club or exchange. Beyond this, on the way to the east coast, are the remains of the new and the old palaestra, also partially excavated. The shore of the channel facing Rheneia is lined with docks and warehouses, and behind them, as well as elsewhere in the island, there have been found several private houses of the and or 3rd century B.C. Each of these consists of a single:. court surrounded by columns and often paved with mosaic; various chambers open out of the court, including usually one of large proportions, the avSpwv or dining-room for guests. The theatre, which is set in the lower slope of Mount Cynthus, has the wings of the auditorium supported by massive sub-structures. The most interesting feature is the scena, which is unique in plan; it consisted of an oblong building of two storeys, surrounded on all sides by a low portico or terrace reaching to the level of the first floor. This was supported by pillars, set closer together along the front than at the sides and back. An inscription found in the theatre showed that this portico, or at least the front portion of it, was called the proscenium or logeum, two terms of which the identity was previously disputed. On the summit of Mount Cynthus, above the primitive cave-temple which has always been visible, there have been found the remains of a small precinct dedicated to Zeus Cynthius and Athena Cynthia. Some way down the slope of the hill, between the cave-temple and, the ravine of the Inopus, is a terrace with the temples of the foreign gods, Isis and Serapis, and a small odeum. II. History.—Many alternative names for Delos are given by tradition; one of these, Ortygia, is elsewhere also assigned to an island sacred to Artemis. Of the various traditions that were current among the ancient Greeks regarding the origin of Delos, the most popular describes it as drifting through the Aegean till moored by Zeus as a refuge for the wandering Leto. It supplied a birthplace to Apollo and Artemis, who were born beneath a palm tree beside its sacred lake, and became for ever sacred to these twin deities. The island first appears in history as the seat of a great Ionic festival to which the various Ionic states, including Athens, were accustomed annually to despatch a sacred embassy, or Theoria, at 'the anniversary of the birth of the god on the 7th of Thargelion (about May). In the 6th century B.C. the influence of the Delian Apollo was at its height; Polycrates of Samos dedicated the neighbouring island of Rheneia to his service and Peisistratus of Athens caused all the area within sight of the temple to be cleared of the tombs by which its sanctity was impaired. After the Persian wars, the predominance of Athens led to the transformation of the Delian amphictyony into the Athenian empire. (See DELIAN LEAGUE.) In 426 B.C., in connexion with a reorganization of the festival, which henceforth was celebrated in the third year of every Olympiad, the Athenians instituted a more elaborate lustration, caused every tomb to be removed from the island, and established a law that ever after any one who was about to die or to give birth to a child should be at once conveyed from its shores. And even this was not accounted sufficient, for in 422 they expelled all its secular inhabitants, who were, however, permitted to return in the following year. At the close of the Peloponnesian War the Spartans gave to the people of Delos the management of their own affairs; but the Athenian predominance was soon after restored, and survived an appeal to the amphictyony of Delphi in 345 B.C. During Macedonian times, from 322 to 166 B.C., Delos again became independent; during this period the shrine was enriched by offerings from all quarters, and the temple and its possessions were administered by officials called le pow-owl . After 166 B.C. the Romans restored the control of Delian worship to Athens, but granted to the island various commercial privileges which brought it great prosperity. In 87 B.C. Menophanes, the general of Mithradates VI. of Pontus, sacked the island, which had remained faithful to Rome. From this blow it never recovered; the Athenian control was resumed in 42 B.C., but Pausanias (viii. 33. 2) mentions Delos as deserted but for a few Athenian officials; and several epigrams of the 1st or end century A.D. attest the same fact, though the temple and worship were probably kept up until the official extinction of the ancient religion. A museum has now been built to contain the antiquities found in the excavations; otherwise Delos is now uninhabited, though during the summer months a few shepherds cross over with their flocks from Myconus or Rheneia. As a religious centre it is replaced by Tenos and as a commercial centre by the flourishing port of Syra. See Lebegue, Recherches sur Delos (Paris, 1876). Numerous articles in the Bulletin de correspondance hellenique record the various discoveries at Delos as they were made. See also Th. Homolle, Les Archives de l'intendance sacree d Delos (with plan). The best consecutive account is given in the Guide Joanne, Grece, ii. 443-464. For history, see Sir R. C. Jebb, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1. (1889), pp. 7-62. For works of art found at Delos see GREEK ART. (E. GR.) DE LOUTHERBOURG, PHILIP JAMES (1740-1812), English artist, was born at Strassburg on the 31st of October 1740, where his father, the representative of a Polish family, practised miniature painting; but he spent the greater part of his life in London, where he was naturalized, and exerted a considerable influence on the scenery of the English stage, as well as on the artists of the following generation. De Loutherbourg was intended for the Lutheran ministry, and was educated at the university of Strassburg. ,As the calling, however, was foreign to his nature, he insisted on being a painter, and placed him-self under Vanloo in Paris. The result was an immediate and precocious development of his powers, and he became a figure in the fashionable society of that day. In 1767 he was elected into the French Academy below the age required by the law of the institution, and painted landscapes, sea storms, battles, all of which had a celebrity above those of the specialists then working in Paris. His debut was made by the exhibition of twelve pictures, including " Storm at Sunset," " Night,'' " Morning after Rain." He is next found travelling in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, distinguishing himself as much by mechanical inventions as by painting. One of these, showing quite new effects produced in a model theatre, was the wonder of the day. The exhibition of lights behind canvas representing the moon and stars, the illusory appearance of running water produced by clear blue sheets of metal and gauze, with loose threads of silver, and so on, were his devices. In ?771 he came to London, and was employed by Garrick, who offered him £soo a year to apply his inventions to Drury Lane, and to superintend the scene-painting, which he did with complete success, making a new era in the adjuncts of the stage. Garrick's own piece, the Christmas Tale, and the pantomime, 1781-1782, introduced the novelties to the public, and the delight not only of the masses, but of Reynolds and the artists, was unbounded. The green trees gradually became russet, the moon rose and lit the edges of passing clouds; and all the world was captivated by effects we now take little notice of. A still greater triumph awaited him on his opening an entertainment called the " Eidophusicon," which showed the rise, progress and result of a storm at sea—that which destroyed the great Indiaman, the " Halsewell,"—and the Fallen Angels raising the Palace of Pandemonium. De Loutherbourg has been called the inventor of the panorama, but this honour does not belong to him, although it first appeared about the same time as the eidophusicon. The first panorama was painted and exhibited by Robert Barker. All this mechanism did not prevent De Loutherbourg from painting. " Lord Howe's Victory off Ushant " (1794), and other large naval pictures were commissioned for Greenwich Hospital Gallery, where they still remain. His finest work was the " Destruction of the Armada." He painted also the Great Fire of London, and several historical works, one of these being the " Attack of the Combined Armies on Valenciennes " (1793). He was made R.A., in addition to other distinctions, in 1781, shortly after which date we find an entirely new mental impulse taking possession of him. He joined Balsamo, comte de Cagliostro, and travelled about with this extraordinary person—leaving him, however, before his condemnation to death. We do not hearthat Mesmer had attracted De Loutherbourg, nor do we find an exact record of his connexion with Cagliostro. A pamphlet published in 1789, A List of a few Cures performed by Mr and Mrs De Loutherbourg without Medicine, shows that he had taken up faith-healing, and there is a story that a successful projection of the philosopher's stone was only spoiled by the breaking of the crucible by a relative. He died on the 1 r th of March 1812. His publications are few—some sets of etchings, and English Scenery (18os)
PRECINCT (from Lat. praecingere, to encircle, enclo...
PRECIOUS (O. Fr. precios, mod. precieux, Lat. preti...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.