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to their present contemplation. There is also an interruption in the arrangement of Dr. Musgrave's metre by Anapæsts in the mouth of Ion in the last Antistrophe, which destroys its uniform correspondent appearance with the preceding Strophe.
Verse 224. "Ağ 717ws usoov oupanòr yãs ;
Whether this Temple's scite 216. Be the earth's center ?
THE question, which the Chorus here demands of Ion, whether the Delphick Temple contained the central navel of the Earth, was of a very delicate nature: The best illustration of it will be the translation of Plutarch in the opening of his dissertation', “Why the Oracles had ceased to give answers :” “ There is an old story, that two Eagles ? or Swans, flying from the opposite extremes of the Earth to the center, met in that very spot at Delphi in the place now called the navel : In process of time Epimenides the Phestian, willing to prove the veracity of this fable, consulted the Deity, and reported this obscure and equivocal answer, “ There is neither “ center of the Earth nor Sea; but if there be, it is known " only to the Gods, and concealed from Mortals 3.". Thus
1 Ed. Xylan. vol. II. p. 409.
2 See also the Scholiast on the Orestes of our Poet, (v. 331.) who mentions this story, and my Preliminary Essay on the Ion, (p. 12.) These Eagles or Swans (says the learned Mr. Bryant) undoubtedly relate to Colonies from Egypt and Canaan, (Anal. of Anc. Myth. vol. I. p. 378.)
3 This answer of the God is inaccurately cited by Mr. Bryant in his new System of Ancient Mythology, as the assertion of Epimenides instead of the oracle : “ Epimenides long before had said the fame,” (Vol. I. p. 241.) H 2
deservedly defervedly the Gods chastized this attempt to explore an old story by the touck, as one would do an ancient picture; but, continues the Philosopher, in our time, not long before the celebration of the Pythian games, during the magistracy of Callistratus, two eminent Men met at Delphi, coming from the two opposite boundaries of the Earth: The one was Demetrius the Grammarian, who came from Bretania, in order to return home to Tarsus, and the other Cleombrotus the Lacedemonian, who had long wandered in Égypt." This latter teft, in the opinion of the Modern reader, will be allowed to be no better than the fable of the eagles. According to Phurnutus *, the reason why the temple of Delphi was called the õubanos or navel of the Earth, was not on account of its central situation; but from the ovon, or divine voice, being there delivered: And the Scholiast on the Orestess of our Poet mentions this derivation : But the Author of the Analysis of Ancient Mythology, in his dissertation on the Omphi or worship of high places, fupposes this hill at Delphi to have been derived from Omphi-El, or the Oracle of the Sun, which the Greeks transferred into their óupanós or navel : He cites this line of Euripides, as " averring ? that it was the precise center of the earth :" But out Poet in this paffage makes the Chorus demand it only as a question ; and consequently it is no affertion, as it is printed in his book without the interrogation.
Στέμμασί γ' ενδυθός, Verse 226. 'Aupí de Topyóves.
Hence with garlands crown'd, 217. And Gorgons all around. THIS is the immediate reply of Ion to the preceding ques. tion of the Chorus; and I believe it will strike every Reader of the Original and Translation, as an answer involving great obscurity : The obvious acceptation of the former line, which naturally suggests itself at first sight, is whether the temple of Delphi was in reality the central navel of the earth ; and with this idea the reply scarcely admits of any sense : But Dr. Musgrave observes, " that the question does not regard the temple itself, but a certain white stone, which was called the navel of the earth, as appears from the testimony of Pausanias : This he imagines to have been adorned with garlands as other sacred things, for the sake of securing it from the multitude; hence perhaps Sophocles called it aferlöv óv padov, or the navel which ought not to be touched :" The words of Pausanias' imply, that the navel under Delo phi, which was made of White Stone, was afferted by the Delphians to be the identical center of the whole earth ; and he adds, that Pindar ?, in one of his odes corresponds with
Τον δε υπό Δελφων καλεμένον ομφαλόν, λίθα πιποιημένον λευκό, τέτο είναι το εν μέσω γης πάσης αυτοί λέγεσιν οι Δελφοί, και εν ωδη τινί Πίνδαρος ομολογενία σφισιν Étoinos, (1. 10. C. 16. p. 835.
2 The passage in Pindar, to which Pausanias here alludes, is probably loit; for though that Poet mentions in his works now preserved the oppoids
this opinion. The Scholiast on Lucian 3, who ridicules this difcovery of the earth’s center by the fight of Eagles, also mentions, “that at Delphi on the pavement of the temple was the navel, and this they affirmed the center of the whole earth.” Few Readers, I conceive, would be tempted on this evidence to acquiesce in the ingenious conjecture of Dr. Mufgrave; as here is no allusion to the ornaments of chaplets, or other devices ; I proceed therefore to establish this interpretation by other historical testimony, in regard to these essential circumstances : “ The situation of Delphi, says Strabo, is in the middle of all Græce, which is within and without the Isthmus; and it has been supposed the center of the whole inhabited earth; they therefore called it the navel, inventing the fable, which is mentioned by Pindar, that two Eagles there met, sent by Jupiter, one from the East and the other from the West; cr, as others report, they were crows. He then immediately subjoins, there is a certain navel still shewn in the temple, adorned with fillets 4, and upon it are two images of this fable :" Here then the expression of Strabo, “ Télcy1wuévos, or adorned with fillets,” is the counterpart of the séupací sy xvdu7ós of Euripides, or invested with garlands: For taivia is defined by Hesychius 5," a sacred chaplet, or. nament, or bandage. Thus far I have thrown a clear ray of light on a paffage, never perhaps before understood by the Modern Reader, and certainly to my knowledge never
five times, there is no marked allusion to the stone : But if it be among his remaining Odes, it is in the fourth Pythian, where he calls the Oracle Map pécor ón aniv. (v. 131.).
3 De Salt. vol. 2. ed. Hemster, p. 291.
4 Deínyzico de xoà óne conòstis, ¿v TW y seño Telairwpévos, xaù fr’aulo ás dúw eixoYES TŠ uobs. (l. 9. p. 643-) s Eteparoi, xoguoi, ñ dsouoi všçoio
explained. It remains however to consider the Gorgons, whom all the Commentators have paffed over in profound filence : It appears from the passage of Strabo just cited, that there were images of the fable on the stone representing the navel ; these I apprehend were the two eagles 6; for I cannot discover how the figures of the Gorgons could ever be the emblems of the fable; and consequently they were not the images of Strabo; besides the expression of Euripides here implies “ the Gorgons all around, oud," which would not correspond with the idea of the representation on the navel, ¿Te ocúrã: We must therefore endeavour to investigate this circumstance still further : Among the several images within the recess of the Delphick Temple, Pausanias? mentions a Medusa fitting on the pavement, and supporting with both her hands ÚTosatrin ails, the prop of a stone: Now Medufa is well known to have been the principal Gorgon; and is mentioned as such with her two sisters by Hesiod ' : Virgil emphatically calls her the Gorgon,
Nimbo effulgens & Gorgone fævâ.
(Æn. 2. v. 616.)
6 That there were golden eagles at Delphi appears from Pindar, who calls the Pythia the Afleflor to them,
Xpuréwy Adós ceintãy napedzoso (Pyth. Od. 4. v.7.) The Scholiast there informs us, that these were deposited by Jupiter in the sacred inclosure of the God, in commemoration of the story concerning the eagles : And the Scholiast on the Oreites of our Author also mentions, that golden eagles were depofited, the einblems of the fabulous eagles, (v. 331.) But these I imagine were not the same images to which Strabo alludes.
7 Μέδεσα δε κατέχεσα ταϊς χερσιν αμφολέραις τον υπογαίαν επί το έδαφος καβηται, (1. 10. C. 26. p. 864.) 8 (Theog. v. 276.) See also Hyginus Fab. p. & Fulg. Mythol, c. 29. p. 655. ed. Van Staveren,