Recent Works On Asia Minor -- By: Anonymous
BSac 8:32 (Oct 1851) p. 857
Recent Works On Asia Minor
“There is no country that now affords so fertile a field of discovery as Asia Minor.” This observation was made by Mr. Leake in 1824, and it is still substantially true, notwithstanding the important investigations which have since been made by a number of eminent travellers and scholars. In point of deep and absorbing interest, it is in some respects not inferior to Greece, Egypt, or Italy.
The fabled Argonautic expedition sailed along the shores of Bithynia and Pontus. Here are the plains of Troy, and the scene of the great epic poem of antiquity. In regard to the earliest settlers of Lycia, we have more correct information from Homer and Herodotus, than from any other writers. Both almost claim this province as their native country, being perfectly familiar with its original legends. They tell the story of Europa’s visit, and of her sons taking possession of the country. Some of the most beautiful parts of the Iliad recount the history of the Lycian heroes, Sarpedon and Glaucus, and the exploits of Pandarus. The climate of the country, and its beauty and fertility are frequently praised. All the remains termed Lycian, recently discovered, probably belong to the age of Homer, and that immediately subsequent. Much of the rock architecture, the sculptures, the language and the coins, do not refer to Byzantine, Roman, or even Greek subjects, which are known. Some of the most valua-
BSac 8:32 (Oct 1851) p. 858
ble coins have reference to Bellerophon, the Pegasus, the Sphinx, etc.1
Subsequently, numerous Greek cities and colonies sprung up and flourished along the southern and western shores of Asia Minor, sometimes rivalling the parent States. These colonists boasted that they had built three of those works which were termed “the seven wonders” of the world, — the Colossus at Ehodes, the Mausoleum of Artemisia and the temple of the Ephesian Diana. The delightful narratives of Xenophon lead us twice through Asia Minor. Two of Alexander’s great battles were fought in the peninsula, at the Granicus and at Issus. In the conflicts and tumultuous changes of his successors, this part of his empire played a conspicuous part. Pergamus, her kings and her library, are prominent in the scene. In the period of the Roman dominion, our interest is not much diminished, as her orators and historians relate the stirring events which occurred in Pontus, Cappadocia and Cilicia.
Asia Minor has a sacred interest, partly grateful and partly sad. Flourishing Christian churches were planted in every direction from Pontus to Smyrna. Next to Palestine, the Christian scholar is attracted hither. The epistles of Paul find h...
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