Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 4.1885-1886

Seite: 259
Lizenz: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen Nutzung / Bestellung
1 cm


that their left wing extended to the Areopagus, near which the Ama-
zoneum, a temple which commemorated the battle, also stood. Their
right wing extended to the Pnyx (Trpos ryv Uvvko). The conformation
of this region can be readily learned from a map. North-east of the
Pnyx Hills, stretching along their foot, is a depression which separates
them from the Acropolis and Areopagus, which are on the opposite
side. A low ridge extends across this depression from the Acropolis,
to the Pnyx Hill. The camp of the Amazons was north-west of this
low ridge, and the new site which Curtius assigns to the Pnyx is on
the south-east of it. If the Pnyx was situated where it is usually sup-
posed to have been, it will be seen that the battle line of the Amazons
extended across the depression almost at right angles. If the Pnyx
was situated where Curtius thinks it was, we stretch their line of battle
inordinately, and make it extend not only along the lowest part of
the depression, but also over this low ridge, a distance of between a
quarter and a half a mile. Plutarch tells us, further, that the battle
took place in the open ground near the so-called temple of Theseus,
which was still north of where the line would stand if we locate the
Pnyx in the usual place. If we accept Curtius's site of the Pnyx, we
must suppose that the Athenians, who, Plutarch says, made their
attack from the Museum, drove the Amazons nearly half a mile before
the two armies reached the battle-field proper. But this cannot have
been the case, as Plutarch tells us in the same connection that in the
first onset the Amazons were victorious and drove the Athenians back
to the temple of the I^umenides, which stood at the foot of the Acrop-
olis, between it and the Areopagus. Plutarch then says that an attack
was made on their right wing by persons who made the attack from
the Palladium, Ardettus, and the Lyceum, and that the Amazons
were driven back to their camp, many of them being killed. To
this part of the passage Curtius, as has been pointed out by Bursian,1
does violence by substituting left wing where Plutarch says right wing.
If we accept the usual site of the Pnyx, the place where the line stood
at first is quite near the open space in which Plutarch says the battle
took place and in which the graves of the fallen were to be seen. We
are also relieved of the supposition that the Amazons adopted the
queer tactics of closing a valley or depression by stretching their line
along the lowest part of it. Notwithstanding Curtius's view.'we must

1 Literarischts Centralblatt, No. 30, p. 712 (1863).
loading ...