The Mycenaean Age: A Study of the Monuments and Culture of Pre-Homeric Greece

By Chrestos Tsountas; J. Irving Manatt | Go to book overview

THE MYCENAEAN AGE

CHAPTER I LANDMARKS OF THE MYCENAEAN WORLD

THE Heroic Age of Greece has never been left quite without a witness. From time immemorial certain of its stately monuments have been known and unchallenged. The Greeks themselves, from Pindar to Pausanias, were of one mind about these landmarks of their heroic foretime. Thucydides even goes out of his way to reconcile the apparent insignificance of the Mycenae of his own day with its ancient fame, and the Tragedians repeople its solitude with the great figures of tradition. So too with strong-walled Tiryns, -- a wonder even to Homer, -- in which Pausanias sees not only a castle of the Heroic Age, but a work to be compared with the Pyramids of Egypt and to be accounted for only by its attribution to superhuman builders, the Lycian Cyclopes.

Enduring monuments of the Heroic Age

And beside these enduring walls, there were other witnesses less obtrusive but not less awe-inspiring. Of those solemn and splendid sepulchres best known to us in the so-called Treasury of Atreus, one at least -- the Treasury of Minyas -- was even better known in Roman times, when it could be named among the wonders of the world.1

Such landmarks, we may say, have been always in evidence even through the ages that were too dark to read

____________________
1
Pausanias, ix. 38.

-1-

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