Angell, Samuel
Sculptured metopes discovered amongst the ruins of the ancient city of Selinus in Sicily by William Harris and Samuel Angell in the year 1823 — London, 1826

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of the most important architectural members, the thickets antl dwarf palms'
by which the ruins were overgrown, were obstacles difficult to surmount in so
deserted a spot', and which have without doubt deterred other travellers, no
less zealous than we were, from devoting to the ruins of Selinus the time
and attention they undoubtedly deserve. We were enabled in a great mea-
sure to surmount these difficulties through our good fortune in obtaining a
farm-house immediately adjoining the ruins for our abode, and encouraged by
the facilities thus afforded us, we prosecuted our labour with zeal and dili-
gence. We soon found however that all attempts to ascertain the plans of
(he temples, without making considerable excavations, would be useless, and
being well aware of the difficulty and great uncertainty of obtaining a per-
mission to this effect from the Sicilian Government, and induced at the same
time by a powerful temptation, that of being the first travellers who have
correctly measured these ruins, we ventured to remove the accumulated
earth at our own risk without the knowledge or permission of the Govern-

Our labour was fully rewarded by the discovery of the sculptures, the
subject of the present work, and our operations in other respects were attended
with complete success, for we had the satisfaction of ascertaining and mea-
suring correctly the plans and architectural details of six temples, three of
which (marked A, B, (.', Plate I.) had till then been considered as mere heaps
of ruins, in too confused a state for their plans to be made nut.

On discovering the .sculptures, we felt most anxious that such in-
teresting specimens of ancient art should if possible be added to the na-
tional collection in the Uritish .Museum, where thev would acquire an addi-
tional interest from being viewed and compared with the fine examples of
Egyptian sculpture, and with the l'higaleian and Elgin collections. We lost

■ The channcriphes of Linnrcus. This plant is supposed to hove given occasion to t)tc expression
" palmosa Selinus,"' as applied by Virgil; " Tcquc datis linquo veutis, palmosa Minus;* .Encid. lib.
in. v. 70S. and is without doubt die same as alluded to by Cicero, in his " Orat. in Verr." where he
describes the misery of tin; Si -.lilof. in Iwinj; obliged to -ub-isi mi its roots in consequence of
having no other food. This plant is colled by the modem inhabitants " giumarra" or " palmetto,™ and
its leaves arc u-cd for making bro.nn. tin! lonhge by the peasantry.

* The nearest habitable spot to Sclitui- i. the town of I ':i-ii-l \ I'traiui, situated about seven miles to
the northward of the ruins

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