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

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

CHAPTER XV THE MYCENAEAN WORLD AND HOMER

Thus far we have passed in review the more important monuments of prehistoric Greece, from the mighty walls of Tiryns to the exquisite Vaphio vases ; and from all we have sought to sketch, however rudely, the main features of primitive Greek life and culture. At best the mirror is not flawless enough "to show the very age and body of the time his form and pressure," but for all that the image is surprisingly full and authentic. We have before our eyes the impregnable strongholds which sheltered these ancient people, as at Tiryns and Mycenae, or which long withstood their siege, as at Troy. We have the palaces of their kings, in ruins, to be sure, but still with their foundations as well as their hearths and altars intact, and enough of their decorations to enable us to build them up again and adorn them anew with almost absolute precision, while other sources have yielded us the means of refurnishing them with countless articles of use and luxury. We have recovered their actual swords and sceptres ; the bracelets they wore and the signets they used ; the goblets and tankards that went round the festal company as they quaffed the honey-hearted wine or made libation to their gods.

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And, where actual objects fail, their artists come in to fill the gap: before our eyes they bring princes in their chariots chasing the deer or proceeding to war ; lion and bull hunts ; scenes of siege and battle, of worship and sacrifice,

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