Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg
Hinweis: Your session has expired. A new one has started.

Dodwell, Edward
Views in Greece — London, 1821

DOI Page / Citation link: 
loading ...
1 cm
OCR fulltext

TO the south-oast of the Agora is the octagonal Toner of the Eight Winds; the
Clepsydra of Androniciis Cyrrhesles, described bv Vitruvius; called Horologium by
Varro, and wis the waterclock, or chronometer, as well as weather guide of ancient
Athens. It is worthy admiration more from its peculiarity than beauty. It escaped the
observation of l'ausanias, while Stuart, in numerous plates, renders justice to so con-
siderable and i>erfect a remain of antiquity.

Over the lintel, which faces the north-east, upon a red ground, is inscribed the
Arabic La lllah, Allah, Mahamed u rcsoul ullah—-declaring there to be no God but God,
and Mahamed to be his prophet.

The wooden floor of the interior rests upon the lower cornice, many feet above
the ancient pavement. The marble walls arc washed with an uniform white. The
Mihrab, painted in perpendicular stripes of green and red, indicates by its position the
direction of the Kaaba, or oratory of Mecca; each side of this is a wax candle, and the
green flag of the prophet has nlso its place. The Koran is deposited within this niche,
and an imitation of the two-edged sword of Ali is attached to the adjoining wall.

Before these is performed the circularly whirling dance of the Dervishes, wit-
nessing which, the spectator will find it as diiiicult to remain serious, as it would 1*
dangerous to appear otherwise. Dervishes arc not alone the actors in this piece of
mummery, as other Turks mix with the party. In a circle, sitting upon the floor, they
begin with the praises of God and the prophet; their heads and bodies by their motion
backwards and forwards indicating the fervency of their devotion, as well as keeping
time in unison with two small drums, the only instrumental accompaniment, until the
paroxysm of enthusiasm animates the whole congregation, who simultaneously start up
and whirl in ceaseless frenzy around the apartment, while the sheikh or chief, attired in
the sacred green, and wearing a large white turban, incites them by his voice and
the sound of Ins larger tambour. This curious ceremony bears a strong resemblance
to the festivals of the Corybantes, who, in honour of Cyl)ele, danced to the sound of
their cymbals until they became delirious; of which dance the description furnished by
Apuleius and Straho is remarkably applicable to thai practised by the modern Athenian