7. The New Science and its Enemies.

© 2022 William St Clair, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0136.07

Of the three main ‘ways of looking’ at the Parthenon that arrived in Athens at much the same time, a century and a half before the Greek Revolution, the first was that of the ‘viewer as topographer’. He, or occasionally she, preceded the arrival of the ‘viewer as connoisseur’ who professed to admire the ancient remains for their artistic, or, in recently invented western eighteenth-century terms, their ‘aesthetic’ qualities, and the ‘viewer as philosopher’ who hoped that, by studying the remains, he could discover universal laws of human history that, when applied, would improve the quality of decision-making in his own time.1 Taken together, the three viewing genres, with their overlaps, variants, and subdivisions, constituted a mental world that, with only a few harbingers from before that time, began to overlay, and to an extent to displace, the viewing genres recommended by the leaders of the local communities in Athens.

The topographer, by systematically comparing what was visible in the landscape above ground with information about ancient Athens that was recorded, often only incidentally, in the writings of the ancient authors accessible in his time, attempted to build a knowledge of the geography of the ancient city. In his imagination he reversed the physical changes of the intervening centuries.2 As a young English poet later wrote in a composition that won a prize at Oxford University:

Yet still Oblivion seems to toil in vain,

For what she razes, Fancy rears again.3

Topography was the collecting of primary evidence and regarding it as data, valuable in itself, but also foundational for any attempts to answer more complex questions about the societies of the ancient world and their mental worlds. The topographer, we see looking back, was the predecessor of the ‘archaeologist’ who, since the early nineteenth century, has been able to dig and bring to the surface objects previously hidden.4 In more recent times, the ‘survey archaeologist’ has extended the possibilities further by studying the landscape as a human construct, and who, with the help of drones and X-ray cameras, can look at what lies beneath the surface without destroying the site’s potential for yielding future knowledge.5

The topographers who arrived in Athens from the 1670s were better equipped to recover the cityscape of ancient Athens than any of the local peoples or visitors during the previous thousand years and more. Intellectually they carried into the Ottoman territories the principles of what is conventionally called the ‘scientific revolution’, although that phrase risks exaggerating the suddenness and extent of a change that co-existed with older ways of thinking, rather than, as in political revolution, superseding them. They were participating in an intellectual movement that aimed to reduce the reliance on sacralized texts, oral traditions, and the authority of the institutions that interpreted such texts as sources of knowledge. Suspicious of backward-looking approaches that implied that the past is wiser than the present, the men and women of the new science planned to build a body of knowledge founded on observation, on critique of the observations reported by others, and on actively embracing provisionality as part of an ongoing relationship between evidence, interpretation, and degree of reliability of the resulting knowledge.

The new science, which took as its purview the whole domain of intellectual inquiry, had been pioneered in a few cities in northern Europe, notably Leiden, Paris, and London. By the late seventeenth century, especially in France and England, it had been given institutional form in the founding of learned academies under royal patronage. The men of science, (in France the savants or sçavans), were in many cities both a real community who met regularly, and an imagined community held together by personal correspondence by letter, and by sharing their findings with others not known to them in specialist journals. The members of this new community regarded social class, gender, wealth, income, and hereditary privilege as irrelevant to the collective intellectual enterprise. In their work, in word if not always in deed, many tried to ignore differences in nationality and in the systems of belief professed by members of religious organizations, insofar as that was possible at a time when almost everyone was so identified.

A Tiny Republic of Letters: Spon, Wheler, Vernon and Eastcote

Jacob Spon, a medical doctor from Lyon, who visited Athens in 1676, brought not only the new way of seeing and thinking, but a specialist vocabulary that he had invented himself, which he set out later in a sumptuous volume.6 Written in Latin, dedicated to the Dauphin, the King of France’s eldest son and heir, and prepared and published at his own expense, Spon’s Miscellanea eruditae antiquitatis suggested the overarching term archaeography (Latin archaeographia) that Spon defined as the description of the physical remains of the objects and monuments that the ancients had employed in their religious practices, in their politics, and in all the writings, visual arts, and sciences of their time. He exuberantly subdivided the new science into numismatography, the study of coins; epigraphy, the study of ancient inscriptions; architectonography, the study of buildings; icononography, of statues; glyptography, of gems; toreumatography, of low-reliefs; bibliography, of manuscripts; and finally the science of angeiography, the study of the instruments employed in the making of each type of ancient artefact, an idea he took from the specialist surgical instruments that, as a medical practitioner, he knew well.

As a taxonomy arranged by the physical nature of the objects of study, Spon’s list may now appear to have been too concentrated on form rather than function, following the Linnaean system of classifying animals and plants. But Spon, perhaps anticipating this line of criticism, also suggested four ‘auxiliary sciences’, that he named dipnographia, the study of banquets; irnatographia, the study of clothes; doulographia; the study of slavery; and taphographia, the science of funerary customs and of the commemoration of the dead.7 Spon, the most thoughtful of the pioneers, was already moving away from describing ancient objects as in a museum catalogue arranged in accordance with modern European material categories (statue, picture, vase, coin, etc.) towards an anthropology of the cultural practices of the ancient world, an approach that attempted to discover the uses to which objects were put by the human beings and institutions who had first caused them to be brought into existence in ancient times.

The words Spon invented and proposed could have been formed as — ologies rather than as — ographies, that is, as divisions of knowledge rather than as divisions of writings about knowledge, but as Spon’s choice implied, the dissemination of the results of researches to those able to engage with them was as much part of the intellectual aims of the new science as the work of research itself. By writing in Latin, Spon could hope that his work would reach learned readers outside as well as inside France, although only at the cost of excluding many more, including most women.

Looking back across the subsequent developments in the ways of seeing and studying that Spon proposed, it is noticeable that, although some were carried forward by successors under different names, his proposal to develop a formal knowledge of the instruments and tools by which ancient objects were brought into existence long remained dormant. For centuries, the study of how and why ancient buildings such as the Parthenon had been brought into existence was pushed aside by a western romanticism among whose rhetorics was a disdain for the materiality of what they called ‘art’, and for the political economy, widely defined, within whose conventions they were used and meanings made.8

Spon and Sir George Wheler, along with Francis Vernon and Sir Giles Eastcote, constituted themselves into a real community, a tiny republic of letters in Athens, although they had arrived there unknown to one another by different geographical routes and with different aims and expectations.9 They turned to the distance media of their day to widen their small actual community into a larger imagined community. Spon himself conducted an extensive correspondence, some of which he published in print as well as writing a book describing his travels and discoveries.10 Vernon, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, published an initial report in Philosophical Transactions, the printed journal of the Society.11 Neither Spon nor Wheler, whose two names were to be conjoined from the beginning in the title pages of their books, paid much attention to the western distinction between ‘works of art’ and other ancient objects, except to recommend that modern artists should study the masterpieces of antiquity.12

The sudden quickening of interest in the Parthenon that had brought the four men to Athens was, to a large extent, a consequence of a political shift, and a result of the decisions by the Governments of France and the Ottoman Empire to develop closer commercial ties, a process that culminated in trade agreements, known as ‘capitulations’, by which French trading companies were accorded privileges. The embassy led by the Marquis de Nointel, which was sent to Constantinople to ratify and publicize the new relationship with public ceremonies, returned to France after two years. In December 1674 on their way home, Nointel and his staff made a detour to Athens, where they were received with honours, including the privilege of visiting the Acropolis.

At that time the Parthenon was a working building that had scarcely changed externally since it had been converted into a church at the end of antiquity and subsequently into a mosque. Nointel was ‘ravished’ by ‘these miracles’, as he declared in his report to the French king. He wished to know what the ancient authors had written about Athens and he suggested that the king might commission him to make another visit.13 Nointel had been permitted by the Ottoman authorities to employ a French artist to make drawings of the pediments, metopes, and frieze of the Parthenon, which were soon to become an indispensable resource for anyone who wished to understand how the Parthenon had appeared in ancient as well as in Byzantine, Frankish, and Ottoman times.14 And it was partly as a result of reports circulated in court circles and among the internationally-minded savants by Nointel and by members of his staff that we see a rush to Athens and a flurry of books in the years that followed.

Objects, Stone Inscriptions and Artifacts: What They Could Tell

In his earliest researches, Spon, working mainly with Roman-era objects, but with some Greek including a few from Athens, showed how his methods could recover knowledge not available to those who only had ancient literary texts, as in his reconstruction of ancient music-making, and of how it was related to dance, and to social occasion, as shown as Figure 7.1, in which he put together images from different objects to form a tableau.

Figure 7.1. Ancient music and dance as shown on ancient objects. Copper engraving.15

Spon showed that studies of ancient objects could add to an understanding of ancient literary texts, including, in this case, a passage in the Epistle of Paul of Tarsus (St Paul) to the Corinthians, familiar to anglophone readers as: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.’16 Quite suddenly the study of the ancient world as it was practiced in a few European centres was moving from a mainly self-contained philological study of ancient written texts, as had been the dominant mode during the centuries since the Italian humanists of the fifteenth century, to one in which material remains and the written texts, including biblical texts, could be studied together, with benefits to the understanding of both, but also as a new contribution to an understanding of the societal conditions and cultural practices within which they had come into being. Besides the physical remains and the writings of ancient authors, the topographer had access to a third type of evidence: ancient inscriptions mostly on stone, often fragmentary, that he had either seen and transcribed himself or that had been transcribed and published by others. In 1663, one the five academies founded in Paris to advance and apply knowledge in accordance with a scientific paradigm, the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (‘Academy of Fine Literature and Inscriptions’) took the study of antiquity as its main focus. Ancient inscriptions, that could often be dated, and could sometimes be related directly to passages in ancient authors, were a rapidly growing resource. Spon was to devote a whole volume of his three-volume Voyage to transcriptions of inscriptions, deliberately making them available in provisional form even when he knew his transcriptions could be improved on, so that others could take account of them. Only gradually was it appreciated that, unlike the literary texts surviving from the ancient world that had been copied and recopied across centuries, inscriptions on stone and on other durable materials were primary documents almost contemporaneous with the events they recorded, which had been socially produced and approved; in many cases they were the public statements and speech acts of some collectivity such as the ancient city made after the event that caused them to be set up.

If inscriptions on stone were to be used as evidence for the ancient past, it was therefore necessary to understand how and why they had come into existence in their material form, and how their rhetorics could be historically recovered and understood within the conventions of the time they were first displayed on durable stone. As few at the time of the excitement of their rediscovery explicitly or fully understood, the inscriptions also bring out the fact that the ancient classical world, including those who commissioned and built the Parthenon, had made use of documents on perishable material, such as papyrus and wax tablets, of which no examples were found until much later.17

The topographer also collected and applied information from a fourth type of evidence: ancient coins (‘medals’), ancient vases, and other artifacts, including ancient statues, that were themselves often inscribed with words, and inscribed bases that had survived even when the statues had not. These were another source of knowledge that also required an understanding of the ways in which they had come into being in material form, of their rhetorics, and of their later history as objects.

Spon and the others also recorded a fifth type of evidence, the stories about the ancient monuments that were told locally in Athens by the people who lived there, including senior churchmen. But whereas the evidence of the other four types mostly cohered with one another, and often with discoveries made later, and so offered reassurance that the methodology was a secure means of recovering knowledge of the past, the local stories were frequently contradicted by the ancient literary texts as collected by Meursius. Spon, for example, immediately realised that the cave below the Thrassylos monument on the south slope of the Acropolis, to be discussed and shown in Chapter 17, although locally said to be the Cave of Pan, could not be the Cave of Pan mentioned by Euripides and Lucian, which had to be on the north slope.18 When a smaller cave on the north slope was explored, inscriptions and artefacts that associated the place with cults of Pan were found, and the passages in the ancient authors in which the cave was mentioned made greater sense.19 In one of many examples of how ‘publication’ has to reach readers if it is to make any impact, the wrong cave was still being pointed out to visitors as late as 1816, when the authorities of Ottoman Athens arranged for Louise Demont, the lady’s maid of the British Queen Caroline, to be given a special tour as part of an elaborate welcome.20

Spon also saw at once that the tall ‘Frankish Tower’, which was to be removed in the 1870s and which was built into the Propylaia was not of ancient date, and that its local name, ‘the Arsenal of Lycurgus’, had been bestowed by people who had little knowledge of the history of their city.21 The choragic monument of Lysicrates, easily identifiable by its Greek inscription, was known locally as ‘the Lantern of Demosthenes’, the famous orator, or sometimes as ‘the Lantern of Diogenes’, the philosopher who distrusted received conventions.22 The Tower of the Winds, another monument identifiable from its Greek inscriptions, was known as ‘the Prison of Socrates’ or sometimes ‘the Tomb of Socrates.’ The massive columns of the temple dedicated to Olympian Zeus, that had been completed in the second century by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, were ‘the palace of Theseus’ or ‘the palace of Pericles.’ The Nike temple, which could be seen from a distance, even although the Acropolis was not normally open to visitors, was ‘the school of Aristophanes’, the comic dramatist, or the ‘school of Pythagoras,’ the mathematician and metaphysician, both names evidently thought of as ‘philosophers’, a word used as a term of contempt, whose ‘schools’ Justinian the Byzantine emperor had forcibly closed in c.529 CE after a continuous history of about a thousand years.23 To the local peoples, the Parthenon and other monuments were what the modern tourist industry calls ‘dark heritage’, visited and remembered not to be celebrated but as uncomfortable and disconcerting warnings from the past to the present.24

The surprising aspect of the interest in the monuments of ancient Athens is that it did not happen much earlier. The western European quest to recover a knowledge of the ancient Hellenic world had begun in Italy in the fifteenth century, with a systematic search in institutional libraries for manuscripts of texts from the ancient Greco-Roman world in hopes of adding to the small corpus that had been continuously copied and read between the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west and the period known opaquely as ‘Christian humanism.’ With the discovery of manuscripts that coincided with the arrival of print technology came a rich harvest of editing, scholarship, and dissemination of the results. By 1500, a huge number of clearly printed copies of most of the recovered ancient Latin and Greek authors were available to be bought at cheap prices all over western, although not eastern, Christendom, with increasing numbers of the populations of western countries able and eager to read them and to recommend them to young people as part of their education.

The ancient world that was recovered during this humanist phase was, however, almost exclusively one of words, and its method of study philological. Even those ancient authors whose works cried out to be compared with what may still have remained on the ground, especially Pausanias, but also writers of practical advice books such as Dioscorides who described the medicinal properties of plants found in Greece, were, for centuries, only annotated with reference to the written words of other ancient authors.25 In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Demetrios Chalkokondylas, an Athenian scholar of ancient Greek living in Italy who taught in Perugia, Florence and Milan, went several times to the Acropolis of Athens, which was then in the jurisdiction of the Acciaiuoli family, to whom he was related—but he is not known to have paid any attention to the Parthenon or the other monuments.26 At present no adequate explanation is available for the humanist corralling of ancient Hellas into an exclusively textual world. Many of their successors inhabited a self-contained world of literary and historiographical texts untethered from the geography and climate of the places in which they had been composed and from the ancient remains that were still to be seen there. This was the case even after the findings of Spon and the early topographers became available and through to the time of Korais and other members of the so-called Greek Enlightenment.

Although the printed works of Spon and Wheler were widely circulated in translations into several languages, it took a long time for the change in the ways of seeing the monuments that they championed to undermine the older traditions. A generation after their work it was still possible for a high-ranking French churchman, writing in an expensive book with a royal privilege, to say that the Parthenon was dedicated to Jupiter/Zeus and to express no opinion on the damage that had been caused by bombardment by the western army under the command of the Venetian general Morosini, which caused the Parthenon to blow up.27

Among the local Orthodox population, the Parthenon was sometimes called ‘the Temple to the Unknown God,’ easily recognizable as a memory of ‘the altar to the unknown god’ mentioned by the author of the biblical Acts of the Apostles as having been seen by Paul of Tarsus during his brief visit; like other examples of renaming, this had altered over time.28 And there were local stories about Paul’s visit, such as those told to visitors who were taken to see the well in which he was said to have hidden to escape pursuers who wanted to kill him.29 As the French churchman Robert de Dreux heard, when he was shown round Athens in 1669, a few years before Spon’s visit, some of the fanciful names were the starting point for stories about Demosthenes, Socrates, Paul, and the others that, for anyone familiar with the works of the ancient authors, had little or no historical validity.30 Nor were traditional names only used by local uneducated people in a popular tradition that existed alongside a more evidence-based knowledge among the more educated classes. The popular and ecclesiastical traditions were much the same.

As for the Muslim community, to judge from the account by Evliya, who visited Athens in 1667–1668, the Muslims had conferred on the monuments a different set of names. Some were associated with the ‘philosophers’ that the Muslim religion, like the Christian, claimed to have superseded. The ‘Tower of the Winds’ was ‘Plato’s Pavilion’.31 The columns of Olympian Zeus were all that remained of the ‘Pleasure-dome of the Queen of Sheba’.32 As in the Christian traditions, names morphed into other similar names, for example Solon became Solomon. And they too were the starting points for stories that owed little to historicity or even plausibility. For example, Evliya, the educated and privileged traveller and formerly high-ranking official, reported that Plato had harangued the people from the Christian pulpit in the now Muslim Parthenon.33 If we compare the names selected by the Muslims for commemoration, however, the inclusion in the lists of Hippocrates and Galen, physicians; of Aristotle and Ptolemy, describers of the natural world; and of Plato, the theist’s friend; may be traces of some ambition to save the ancient knowledge regarded as useful while disregarding the rest.34

The ancient monuments of Athens and elsewhere were nonetheless present in the lives of the local communities, and when the record is searched, even although it consists mostly of reports by visitors, there are many examples of local resistance to the removal of antiquities, and to foreigners breaking off parts of buildings, even when consent was given by local political and religious leaders.35 Whether it is useful to call such examples of local engagement ‘indigenous archaeology’, the phrase favoured by Yannis Hamilakis, may be queried.36 The naming of cultural practices with words ending in ‘-ology’ implies a more structured approach to studying and understanding the ancient past than we find in the record.

Reading versus Observation: Contested Ways of Seeing

There is little evidence to suggest that, until a few decades before the Greek Revolution, the Greek or the Turkish-speaking societies of Athens and elsewhere in Greece knew much about the ancient world or were concerned to discover more. Nor did they have the means even if they had been so inclined. Although, for example, the text of Pausanias was known to Greek Orthodox communities in Venice and elsewhere among the Greek-speaking diaspora since it was first printed, there is no evidence that, at the time of the visit of Spon, Pausanias’s description of Athens was known to anyone in Athens outside the tiny foreign community, and even amongst them it had only arrived a few years earlier.37 The local Orthodox population and their leaders, with whom Spon, Wheler, and Vernon conversed, can be regarded as applying an inherited Byzantine way of seeing, not quite dancing on the graves of the defeated ‘pagans’ and their despised philosophical schools, but demonstrating an active indifference.

But, if Meursius’s Cecropia made possible the move from the library overseas to the actual site, the topographers such as Spon did not have matters all their own way, even amongst those who were most sympathetic to their enterprise. The title page and frontispiece of the second volume of L’Utilité des Voyages, et de l’avantage que la recherche des antiquitez procure aux sçavans (‘The usefulness of travels and the benefit that the study of antiquities brings to learned men’) by Charles-Caesar Baudelot de Dairval, a lawyer and, as he called himself, a new arrival in the republic of letters, is reproduced as Figure 7.2. As with other early modern frontispieces, it includes viewers within the picture. Readers are invited to identify with the ancient philosophers pictured and to share their methods of inquiry.

Figure 7.2. The Usefulness of Travels. The title page and frontispiece of the second volume of the edition of 1693.38

Reversing the dismissive comment of the narrator of the Acts of the Apostles that the men of ancient Athens were always chasing new ideas, Baudelot reminded his readers that, although the ancients had not been Christians, they had made great progress in knowledge. Noting in his Dedication that it is experience that leads to perfection, and that now ‘the sciences are on the throne and reign in sovereignty,’ he called on the savants of Paris, a city that he dubbed the new Athens, to raise their eyes from their old books, to look forward to the future, and if they could not themselves go to see strange lands, to read the books of those who did, especially Pausanias and Spon.39

Paradoxically, in one respect, Baudelot’s book is itself an example of the older thinking that Spon wished to supersede, a tendency to accord high value to ancient authors, just because they were ancient. Baudelot could scarcely write a sentence or offer a thought without quoting from half a dozen ancient authors, all carefully referenced and transcribed in Greek and Latin, as his authority and support. Nor did Baudelot ask for much real, as distinct from imagined travelling. At its heart of his book is a plea to discover the remains of antiquity, including those held in western museums, as a modern resource that would be useful and enlightening for educated men of modern times as it had been for those who had lived in antiquity, more a form of modern education than an inquiry into the actuality of the past.

But, if Baudelot’s work can be regarded as a precursor of the not-yet-theorised eighteenth-century aesthetic, or as a revival of the ancient notion of ‘paideia’ as a process of instilling an official ideology, the other challenges that Spon had to face were more serious. And it was on a matter concerning the topography of Athens that he found himself personally caught up in a dispute in which the point at issue was the nature of authority itself. In 1675 in Paris had appeared a short book that in its English translation published the following year was entitled An Account of a late Voyage to Athens, containing the estate both ancient and modern of that famous City, and of the present Empire of the Turks: … By Monsieur de la Guillatiere … Now Englished.40 The book purported to record the experiences of a French military man who, while serving in the wars against the Ottoman armies in Hungary, had been captured, enslaved, and later freed on the payment of a ransom. Monsieur de la Guilletiere, it was claimed, had visited Athens with a party of savants and had sent the topographical notes he had made on the spot to his brother in Paris, a published author called Guillet de St. Georges, who edited and published them. Monsieur de la Guilletiere claimed to have adopted the methods of a modern topographer, reading up on the ancient authors before visiting a particular locality, explicitly mentioning Pausanias and Meursius, and sometimes giving the exact date on which he had written up his observations.41

Spon, who had obtained a copy of Guillet’s book in its first edition before he set out, read it on his journey, and had it with him in Athens, where he shared it with Wheler and his other companions. In the third volume of his own book describing Athens, Spon had affirmed his commitment to the ‘Republic of the Savants’ [so capitalised], by making available copies of the inscriptions he had found before he had fully researched them, in a small book that could be accessed by those who were not savants.42 Unlike some savants, he noted, he would not play the Cerberus and guard his discoveries from scrutiny. And he occasionally footnoted the book by Guillet, in cases where he was in agreement.

However, while declaring that M. de Guilletiere wrote well, Spon, the physician, said playfully that his book was in need of medical attention.43 Adopting a tone of puzzlement, he noted his surprise at some of the descriptions of what M. de la Guilletiere had seen. To an alert reader the implication was clear. Spon suspected that the alleged author of Athènes ancienne et nouvelle, et l’estat present de l’Empire des Turcs … avec un plan de la ville d’Athènes. Par le Sieur de la Guilletière had never been to Athens but had run it up in a library in Paris, making much use of Meursius. As Spon’s companion, Francis Vernon wrote more directly to the Royal Society in London, in a letter published soon after in Philosophical Transactions, Guillet’s book was ‘meer fancy and invention’.44 In a few words the credibility of the book was damned in the publication that, with the Journal des Savants in Paris, carried the highest authority of the emerging new scientific age.

In facing his Galileo moment, Spon’s first response had been amused detachment. But when, soon afterwards, M. de la Guilletiere produced another book, this time about the antiquities of Sparta, again with exact dates for his alleged visit there, and drawing heavily on another work by Meursius, for a savant like Spon there could no longer be any doubt.45 Guillet had seen a gap in the market and, with the resources of the royal library in Paris to which he had privileged access, he pretended to have been to places that he had only read about.46

An event in Athens in the 1670s shows how older, local ways of seeing operated in practice, and may have done for centuries before. We know of it only because it was recorded by the author of one of the first modern accounts of Athens, written as a letter by someone present at, and participating in, the transition between old and new, which Spon caused to be printed in a small edition in Lyon with some explanatory notes of his own drawn from Meursius and others.47 The anonymous author was long thought to be Father Babin, a Jesuit missionary, but it is more probable that it was composed at least in part by Jean Giraud of Lyon who served as French and later as English consul.48 The author records that in the 1660s when masons were making repairs to the episcopal church of Dionysios the Areopagite, they came across a three-dimensional statue of a woman and child, which was assumed to be of the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus. The archbishop immediately ordered it to be destroyed.49 His fear, Spon reports in printing the account, was that ‘the Latins’ [Roman Catholics] would use the existence of the statue as an argument against ‘the Greeks’ [Orthodox Christians] such as himself. The westerners might claim that the doctrine on three-dimensional images [‘les images en bosse’] that their church allowed, but that, since the ecclesiastical Council of Nicaea of 787, the Greek Orthodox Church did not, would be questioned. If it became known that a three-dimensional religious statue had been found in the ruins of the house of Dionysios the Areopagite, the first bishop of Athens, then its manufacture must have been assented to either by Dionysios himself or by his ecclesiastical successors as bishops of Athens.50

It is just possible that what was uncovered was the work by Kephisodotos of ‘Peace holding Wealth in her arms’ which is mentioned by Pausanias as having been dedicated in the Agora at Athens in 370 BCE and of which later copies survive.51 The one in Munich is pictured in Figure 7.3.

Figure 7.3.’Peace holding Wealth in her arms’ by Kephisodotus. Photograph of the version in Munich.52

In modern terms, the archbishop was destroying a work of art. In scientific terms, he was destroying evidence that did not fit his explanatory paradigm or his institutional interests. In pre-modern terms, he may have seen his office as entitling him to control the memory and therefore the minds of his flock by monument cleansing.

When faced with Spon’s critique, however, Guillet did not back away, as he might have done by saying that he had invented the brother as a literary device. Instead he counter-attacked, raising the stakes. In his Epistle Dedicatory to his patron, which was included in a second edition of his book, he apologised for his brother’s mistakes, which he said were a result of his not having been there long enough, and declared that his work was therefore not of as high standard as both he and the Dauphin (‘we savants’) would have liked. In this battle of his own choosing, Guillet, we can now see, offered an implied compliment to the new science and its protocols. And shortly afterwards he raised the stakes even higher. In a pamphlet that he published soon afterwards, Guillet claimed that he was the victim of cold-blooded aggression by a bilious critic.53 In his rush to victimhood, a rhetorical device well-known in modern times, he offered a long list of alleged errors in Spon’s book. He also adopted a tone of menace. He was ‘a man of the sword’, he reminded Spon, implying a threat to challenge him to a duel.54 By couching his remarks in the form of an imagined meeting of savants, for whose remarks he, as narrator, did not have to assume responsibility, he implied that Spon himself had never actually visited Athens, an obvious absurdity but enough to accomplish the rhetorical trick of implanting doubt. How dare a mere medical man from the provinces cast doubt on the works of the savants of Paris, he sneered? How could a mere ‘antiquary’, a word he used disparagingly, presume to discuss the highly specialised field of ancient inscriptions? By casting doubt on the work of his brother, le Sieur de la Guilletière, Guillet declared, Spon was casting doubt on his brother’s authorities, including the works of the great ancient authors, Strabo and Pliny, as well as on the greatest of modern scholars, among whom he mentioned Meursius.

And there was another consideration whose implications did not need to be spelled out. Members of post-Reformation churches, of whom Spon and his family were members, had been allowed to live and work in France under the Edict of Nantes of 1598, but only on sufferance. Agitation to have the Edict of Nantes revoked was already under way. An intellectual gap was opening up between the ways of thinking of the republic of letters and those of the monarchical-ecclesiastical state of His Most Catholic Majesty. In his dedication to the Dauphin, Guillet called on the monarchy to protect him from being ‘confounded into eternity’. His battle with Spon, he declared, like those of the recent religious wars, was being fought not just on earth but in heaven. In daring to adopt a critical stance towards ancient authors such as Pausanias, Guillet declared, Spon was committing ‘blasphemies and heresies’, and deserved to be hauled before a ‘divine tribunal’.55

Spon, on his travels in Ottoman lands, had worn the costume of an Armenian, and presented himself in that dress in a portrait frontispiece to his book as shown as Figure 7.4.56

Figure 7.4. Title page and frontispiece of Spon’s Voyage. Engraving and letterpress.

Why he should have chosen to do this has not been explained. In the Ottoman territories, where external appearance was the main marker of civic and religious identity, it separated him from the Orthodox, the Muslims, the Jews, but also from the Roman Catholic Franks, linking him instead with one of the smaller communities of the millet.57 But to some, including Guillet, his self-portrait may have been seen as a provocative flaunting of difference. In the book allegedly written by Guillet’s brother, the French consuls in Athens are reported as complaining bitterly about the unfair competition they faced from the Armenians.58

But Guillet may have been more enraged by the frontispiece to another of Spon’s books, as already shown above as Figure 4.1. The medical doctors and lawyers of Lyon were permitted to wear a sword and be ranked as noblemen.59 In the picture Spon included a portrait of himself, recognizable from his long nose, carrying a sword and dressed as a gentleman (‘gentilhomme’). His companion with the feathered hat may represent his travelling companion, Sir George Wheler, a church-and-king English clergyman of the time of the restoration of the Stuart dynasty, whose leaders enjoyed flaunting their differences from the plainly dressed Puritans whom they had replaced in government.60

As was the case with other French cities at around this time, Spon’s home town of Lyon was frequently gripped by illnesses that neither the potions of the physicians nor the prayers of the churchmen could alleviate, a recurring plague that caused dysentery and an illness of the lungs that was probably tuberculosis. Interpreted by some as a punishment for sin, the illnesses may have contributed to the unrest, the search for scapegoats, and the demands to expel non-Catholics, beginning with apothecaries and physicians whose unsuccessful attempts to deal with the illness could be misrepresented as conspiracies to spread it.61 In Lyon, the signs of an impending, state-encouraged religious cleansing were becoming more obvious. Spon’s father, Charles Spon, who had immigrated into France from Germany and was now a burger of the city and physician to the French king, saw his co-religionists put under surveillance.62 In post-Reformation London, a reciprocal process saw the great plague of 1665 and the great fire of 1666 officially presented as divine punishment incited by a conspiracy instigated by Roman Catholics.63

Among the claims made in Guillet’s book was that his brother had seen an inscription on the pediment of the Parthenon dedicating the building to the ‘Unknown God’, an apparent confirmation of the local story, As M. de la Guilletiere wrote, in the English version: ‘Upon this Frontispiece, it was, that with great Joy and Veneration we read that Famous Inscription mentioned in Scripture, To the unknown God: it is not ingraven upon the door of a little Chappel, as some People would have it, who do not remember, that in the Mosca’s there are neither Chappels nor Altars permitted to remain.’64 The story was well established, having long been curated by the Orthodox archbishop and his ‘xenagogue’, the priest whose duty was to welcome visitors.65 It was part of the Orthodox way of seeing and discussing the monuments of antiquity.

When Spon and Wheler looked for the inscription, they could not see it, nor could they find anyone who remembered having seen it. In his own book Spon did not directly contradict the story, perhaps sensing that it was prudent to stay away from matters of religion, or perhaps anticipating objections by the censor.66 He did, however, mention from his own prior reading in the library that the story had reached western Europe when the German professor Martin Kraus (Crusius) in the previous century had published a letter from an Orthodox monk of Constantinople, ‘more a savant of his breviary than of ancient history’ as Spon sardonically described him, who did not even know that the building was the Parthenon.67 It was now evident that Guillet had picked up the story from an old book, for example, the work by the sixteenth-century German scholar Heinrich Bünting, much reprinted across Europe, including in an English version by Adam Islip, famous as the publisher of the first folio of Shakespeare.68 To Wheler, the claim was another of Guillet’s ‘manifest untruths.’69

Visible on the Parthenon there are a number of holes where an inscription had once been hung, whose text was first reconstructed in 1906 by an American archaeological student, Eugene P. Andrews, who climbed on the building and made squeezes.70 It turned out to be in praise of the emperor Nero, put up at the time of his visit to Athens in 67 CE. But if Spon was turning away from confrontation, Guillet was now being forced into a binary choice between loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church and capitulation to the heretic.71 There were, he declared in his pamphlet, ‘men of faith’ living in Paris who in 1669 had not only seen the inscription but seen it more than a hundred times. By his insinuation, he claimed, Spon was impugning their honesty as priests and the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. If the inscription that his brother had seen in 1669 was no longer there at the time of Spon’s visit in 1676, it must have become detached, he said, blaming the usual duo, the Turks and the ravages of time.72 In what he must have regarded as a clinching piece of evidence, Guillet published in their entirety recent letters from two of the Capuchin missionaries who had lived in Athens for several years. In his letter, Father Barnabé duly confirmed that he had seen the inscription. Father Simon was more circumspect, noting that there was an inscription with damaged letters that people said was the dedication to the unknown god, apparently support for Guillet but in effect siding with Spon in treating local stories with scepticism.

How far the two churchmen were leaned on is not known, but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that neither was being entirely honest. And their silences were as much a giveaway as their words. Neither man, for example, claimed to have seen M. de la Guilletiere, or his alleged named travelling companions, the Italians Boccanegra and Bianchi, the Germans Hermerstat and Hoenighen, and the Englishman Drelingston (a name more plausible in France than in England) who were named as the scholars, two versed in mathematics and chemistry and all five in ancient and modern history, who had, according to Guillet, lived in Athens in 1669 and travelled widely elsewhere in Greece as a travelling academy. All five, as well as M de Guilletiere, remain otherwise unknown.73

Spon was however still not ready to be browbeaten or to slink away. In a printed reply that he himself prepared, the provincial doctor adopted a different stance from that of his metropolitan enemy, not pugnacious counterattack or offended indignation, but sardonic amusement. He evidently had difficulty in getting the reply printed. Letters published from manuscripts in 1901 show Spon complaining to one of the editors of the Journal des Savants that since approval to print was being deliberately delayed by the censors, his complaint should be published.74 He prayed to God, he said, to convert Guillet from abusing his talent in telling readers what he thought would please them at the expense of the truth.75 In the old days, he wrote in his own Dedication to the Dauphin, when the book was printed, our ancestors fought duels before the king to decide who would win noble women. The lady that he and Guillet were now contending for was three thousand years old. He gave a list of answers to one hundred and twelve points raised by Guillet, some trivial, but also now fastened on the wider issue. As his first sentence began: ‘Criticism is a very useful and delicate science.’76 He had great respect for the great savants of the past, Scaliger, Casaubon, and Meursius, but everyone’s work was open to ‘Critique’. And not only that of modern scholars. One of the jibes that Guillet had thrown at Spon was that in describing Mount Kythnos on the island of Delos he had contradicted the great ancient geographer Strabo. And yes, it was true, Spon noted, that even Strabo was a fair object of criticism. If observation on the spot cast doubt on the text of Strabo, whose work was already becoming understood as a compilation, then observation was to be preferred.

Spon listed one hundred and eleven points where he considered Guillet’s book to be in error.77 In answer to the innuendo that he himself had never visited the places described, he transcribed in full the passport in the form of a personal letter of introduction written on his behalf by the French ambassador, the Marquis de Nointel.78 Nearly half of the book was devoted to a French translation of Vernon’s letter to the Royal Society of London, and transcriptions of other letters sent in his support, including one by a savant unnamed who was evidently a lawyer, possibly a judge, who made a point-by-point comparison between the two books and dismissed the story that the early Christians had dedicated the Parthenon to ‘the unknown god’ as an absurdity. To anyone patient enough to follow the whole correspondence, it was now established that M de Guilletiere had never existed, that Guillet’s book had been run up in France with the help of Meursius and notes by the Capuchins, and that Spon had been unjustly attacked and shamefully treated.

As the anti-Protestant mood intensified, Spon had considered going into exile to a country where, as he wrote, ‘he could speak freely’. Nonetheless, it was only when he went with his friend Moze, an apothecary, to research mineral springs in France and was falsely accused of carrying circular letters to churches containing material for forbidden preaching, that he realised he was in personal danger. The peaceful coexistence between the republic of letters and the monarchical ecclesiastical state was about to come to an end, or rather, the savants of Paris were about to be incorporated, outwardly at least, into the professed ideology of that state. On 30 July, the exercise of the reformed religion in episcopal towns in France was forbidden; on 6 August non-Roman-Catholic physicians who refused to join the official state religion were expelled from the medical schools, a measure that on 15 September was extended to apothecaries. Deprived of the opportunity to earn a living in France, and correctly foreseeing that the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was imminent, Spon and another apothecary called Dufour fled to Switzerland, but on their way they lost their belongings and their papers. Arriving penniless and ill at Vevey, a city later to be a centre of exiles from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, the two were taken into the hospital where Dufour died on 3 December and Spon on 25 December.79

What the Dauphin or his advisers made of the printed exchanges, assuming that they took any interest at all, is not recorded. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Guillet’s book was not what he claimed it was, and that he invented, bullied, blustered, and did harm to the reputation of the savants of Paris, he did not suffer any setback. On the contrary, in 1681, the year when all non-Catholics were expelled from the academies of Paris, Guillet was awarded a well-paid post as historiographer of the Academy of Fine Arts. One reason for the appointment, for which he had no qualifications and which has puzzled historians of the academies, may have been that his devotion to the Roman Catholic cause was regarded as outweighing his ethical failures.80 As for Spon, one of his last recorded actions before he died in 1685 was to write a letter to the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres [‘News of the Republic of Letters’] published in the Netherlands to escape the censorship in France, complaining that he had been treated unjustly.

Nor, despite the episode with Guillet, were Spon’s research methods adhered to by his successors. It is striking that the Abbé Gedoyn, writing nearly fifty years after Spon in his edition of Pausanias, figured as Figure 4.3 above, chooses largely to ignore his work, apart from his manifesto and a few footnotes. Although his book is addressed to the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres, of which he is a member, Gedoyn almost pooh-poohs the work of the ‘Learned Antiquary’ (sçavant Antiquaire) with his inscriptions and his coins.81 Gedoyn took Pausanias back into the world of ancient texts, with its commentaries that consisted largely of extracts from, and comparisons with, other ancient texts, putting him safely back in the library. However, images of the Parthenon derived from Spon and Wheler began to appear in textbooks and in universal histories printed outside France where the intellectual property (privilege) restrictions did not apply, although they were still largely presented as additions to the words rather than as sources of knowledge that could add to, and in some cases modify, the exclusively textual conception of antiquity that was then coming to an end.82

Controlling the Narrative: The Counter-Scientific Backlash

Although the topography of Athens might appear to be amongst the less important of the contested subjects in Counter-Reformation Europe, we see other examples of this counter-scientific reaction. Its very marginality in the grand struggle between contested world views, and the rewards each offered, enables us to isolate how individuals made their choices. In 1730, for example, the Abbé Fourmont was sent to Greece and the Levant by the French government with plenty of money as part of a long-sustained search for manuscripts by ancient authors. Fourmont, who might have been Spon’s successor and carried forward his work, devoted his sixteen months in Greece to copying ancient inscriptions, determined, as his letters constantly claim, to find more inscriptions than Spon and Wheler and to correct their errors. With the help of local Orthodox and Ottoman officials he hired local workers to dig out inscriptions, including many from Athens, sometimes even going personally down into wells.

In his letters to Paris, Fourmont was open about his practise of knocking down buildings to remove inscriptions built into them. After he and his team had copied the inscriptions, he ordered them to be mutilated with hammers to make them unreadable. On his return to France he withheld his transcriptions from other savants, and it was later discovered that he had faked and forged as well as destroyed. As one of his achievements, Fourmont claimed, for example, to have found not only examples of the actual metal instruments used in human sacrifice in ancient times, but celebratory inscriptions allegedly set up in front of a temple where the human sacrifices had taken place.83 Soon after the Greek Revolution, a number of knowledgeable archaeologists, who had a commitment to science and evidence, went to Sparta and other places where Fourmont had allegedly copied inscriptions. It emerged that, although some of his transcription work was vindicated, most was questionable, and evidence was found of deliberate damage.84

In scientific terms, Fourmont was hoping to make a reputation for making discoveries, but without enabling his empirical data to be checked. In ecclesiastical terms he was reviving an old Christian slur derived from the mythic stories of Iphigeneia and others, that the ancient Greeks of the classical period has practised human sacrifice. But, as was suspected later, he appears also to have been motivated, at least in part, by a pre-modern, pre-scientific sense that, as a churchman in ancien régime France, he had the right to control the official collective memory, what modern political spin-doctors call the ‘narrative’.85

Other pre-modern ideas persisted even longer. When Spon and Wheler looked at Athens and its ancient monuments, for example, each thought he could detect the workings of Providence, although what is more obvious to our generation is the continuing power of Providentialism itself, among even the most fearless of the champions of the new science. And neither Spon nor Wheler were willing to apply the new science to their own religion or its history. In his dispute with Guillet, Spon can be regarded as a martyr to the new science, but it was his decision to refuse to change his religious affiliation, a way of thinking that put strength of belief and personal commitment to an imagined community before science or pragmatism, that brought about his death. As for Wheler, who had been born in the Netherlands where his family had lived in exile during the period when the English monarchy had been abolished, and who was able to repossess an extensive fortune in 1666 after the institution had been reinstated in 1660, he was both a victim of the new and a beneficiary of the old. In the mass exodus brought about by the decision of the French monarchy, many of Spon’s co-religionists were given refuge in England. And it may have been partly with his dead friend in mind that Wheler made charitable gifts to help resettle French refugees in the Spitalfields quarter of London, including building a chapel.

Spon may have gone to his death thinking that, like Galileo, he had been crushed by the church. But before long, his dispute with Guillet was forgotten and the value of his topographical work, and of his scientific approach, was recognized. As Jan ten Hoorn, the publisher of the offshore Dutch translation of his book, produced in the Netherlands where the censorship was minimal, wrote in his address to the reader, picking up a metaphor being used with success by the European Enlightenment, with Spon ‘a light has come’.86 And within a generation, in the bringing together of the ancient texts with the ancient stones, research in the library with autopsy on the ground, the editors of a work that Meursius had left unfinished at his death returned the favour and annotated Meursius with excerpts from Spon.87

In a frontispiece to one of the posthumous editions, printed offshore in the Netherlands, Athena herself is presented as commending the work of Spon and Wheler, as shown in Figure 7.5.

Figure 7.5. Athena (Latin ‘Minerva’) commends the work of Spon and Wheler to the reader. Frontispiece to volume 2 of an edition produced offshore in the Netherlands, 1714.88

Athena was at last returning home, revived and renewed, after her long exile in the darkness of hostility, neglect, and oblivion.

1 To be discussed in Chapters 10 and 9. For the convenience of readers I will use the generic ‘he’ to include all practitioners, irrespective of gender, community, nation, religious affiliation or other identities.

2 Set out explicitly by, for example, Wilkins, William, Atheniensia, or, Remarks on the Topography and Buildings (London: Murray, 1816), 77–78.

3 From ‘The Parthenon’ by Burdon, Richard, in Oxford Prize Poems, being a collection of such English poems as have at various times obtained prizes in the University of Oxford, sixth edition (Oxford: Parker, 1819), 151–54. In the English language, usage of the time, ‘fancy’ was almost synonymous with ‘imagination’, a key concept of literary romanticism widely defined, although a distinction was sometimes made.

4 By 1837, William Wilkins, by then a famous British architect in the neo-Hellenic style who had personally studied the ancient buildings when the Acropolis was still an Ottoman fortress, was already distinguishing the ‘archaeology’ then being practiced, from the ‘topography’ that was all that was possible when he wrote his earlier book, Wilkins, William, Prolusiones Architectonicæ; Or, Essays On Subjects Connected With Grecian And Roman Architecture (London: J. Weale, 1837), 6. Among the buildings he designed in London are the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, much of University College, London, and the former St George’s Hospital at Hyde Park Corner, now a hotel, unusual for its pilasters copied from the Thrassylos monument on the north slope of the Acropolis to be discussed in Chapter 17.

5 The nineteenth-century excavations on the Acropolis of Athens, which were pioneering in their day and are described in Chapter 21. Drones are now being used with success in some countries to spot the illegal digging up of objects that feed the international antiquities market and cause irreparable losses of knowledge. An example from Aphrodisias in Turkey was reported in the Archaeological Newsletter from Hurriyet on 9 November 2020.

6 Spon, Miscellanea eruditae antiquitatis: in quibus marmora, statuae, musiva, toreumata, gemmae, numismata, Grutero, Ursino, Boissardo, Reinesio, aliisque Antiquorum Monumentorum collectoribus ignota, & hucusque inedita referentur ac illustrantur … (Lyon: at author’s expense, with royal privilege granted in 1681, 1685). A bibliography of Spon’s extensive publications prepared by Henriette Pommier is included in Spon, Étienne and Mossière, Jacob Spon. Un humaniste lyonnais du XVIIèrme sièrcle edited by Étienne, Roland and Mossière, Jean-Claude (Paris: Boccard, 1993), 53–78.

7 Spon, Miscellanea eruditae antiquitatis: in quibus marmora, statuae, musiva, toreumata, gemmae, numismata, Grutero, Ursino, Boissardo, Reinesio, aliisque Antiquorum Monumentorum collectoribus ignota, & hucusque inedita referentur ac illustrantur … (Lyons: at author’s expense, with royal privilege, 1685), Praefatio, unnumbered.

8 The rhetorics of western romanticism are discussed in Chapter 9. The nineteenth-century discovery of the remains of the ancient workshop on the Acropolis and the fate of the ancient tools found there are discussed in Chapter 21. The importance of metaphors from the tools used in the building industries to be found in the literature and discursive practices of classical Athens is described with examples in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279

9 All four, having journeyed together from Venice, when they had a copy of Guillet’s book with them, appear to have been together in Athens for only a short time in August 1675. Eastcote died when visiting the Peloponnese from a sudden illness soon afterwards. Vernon was murdered in Persia in 1677. Summarized from mentions in Constantine, David, Early Greek Travellers and the Hellenic Ideal (Cambridge: OUP, 1984).

10 Notably in Spon, Jacob, Recherches Curieuses de l’Antiquité (Lyon: Amaulry, 1683). See also Omont, H., ‘Athènes au XVIIe Siècle, Relation du P. Robert de Dreux, Lettres de Jacob Spon et du P. Babin (1669–1680)’, in Revue des Etudes Grecques, xiv (Paris: Ledoux, 1901).

11 In Philosophical Transactions, 1676, full title and URL in Bibliography.

12 Examples of the visual presentation of their joint authorship in Figures 7.2 and 7.5. The full titles as they appear on the title pages of their books are given in the Bibliography.

13 Quoted by Vandal, Albert, de l’Académie Française, L’Odyssée d’un ambassadeur; les Voyages du Marquis de Nointel (1670–1680) (Paris: Plon, 1900), 165. Nointel assumed that the damage had been done by the Turks. He gave the other monuments the local names, ‘the Palace of Pericles’ [Olympian Zeus], the ‘Tomb of Socrates’ [Tower of the Winds]. The ‘lantern of Demosthenes’ [Choragic monument of Lysicrates] that Spon and others were to show were later re-namings

14 Summarized by Theodore Bowie and Diether Thimme, The Carrey Drawings of the Parthenon Sculptures (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1971). Some contemporary reports were included in Vandal and in two nineteenth-century works that remain indispensable, Laborde, Comte de, Athènes aux XVe, XVIe et XVIIe siècles, d’après des documents inédits, etc par le Comte de Laborde, membre de l’Institut Langues français (Paris: J. Renouard, two volumes, 1854), and Omont, Henri, editor, Athènes au XVIIe siècle. Dessins des sculptures du Parthénon attribués à J. Carrey et conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale, accompagnés de vues et plans d’Athènes et de l’Acropole (Paris: Leroux, 1898). An example of the artist’s work that, I will suggest, has led to a misunderstanding of the west pediment, the most often-seen of the stories in stone presented on the classical Parthenon, is reproduced in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279.

15 Spon, Miscellanea eruditae antiquitatis, 21. The image was compiled from separate engravings that were used again in other contexts.

16 English-language Bible, authorized ‘King James’ version, 1 Corinthians 13:1.

17 The culture of classical Athens, broadly defined, with my suggestions for how we might deal with the systemic gaps in the evidence, is described in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279.

18 It was a point on which Meursius had been mistaken. Spon, Voyage, ii, 161 and 167.

19 Spon, ii, 167; Wheler, 370. On this point Spon was able to correct Meursius.

20 Demont, Louise, Journal of the Visit of Her Majesty the Queen to Tunis, Greece, and Palestine … translated by Edgar Garston (London: T. and J. Allan, 1821), 26. Demont, author of one the few non-elite western accounts, records other fantastical stories. At Mount May [perhaps a printer’s error for the Hill of Mars, that is, the Areopagus] she saw ‘the spot where St Paul preached to ten thousand Athenians, who became converts the same day’, Demont, 29. She believed, or at least reports, a story that the wooden horse of Troy had had ‘ten thousand men enclosed within it’, Demont, 33.

21 Spon, Voyage, ii, 142.

22 Pictured in Figures 14.3 and 14.4. The reference to ‘Herodotus Atticus’ [for Herodes Atticus] in Demont, 27 is, however, more likely to be a mistranscription by the printer.

23 Kaldellis, Anthony, The Christian Parthenon, Classicism and Pilgrimage in Byzantine Athens (Cambridge: CUP, 2009), xiii. Some examples and pictures, including the text of the hymn that celebrates the expulsion of the philosophers were given in my essay, St Clair, William, ‘Looking at the Acropolis of Athens from Modern Times to Antiquity’ in Sandis, Constantine, ed., Cultural Heritage Ethics: Between Theory and Practice (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2014), 57–102.

24 The revival of this way of seeing in the nineteenth century is discussed in Chapter 22.

25 This emerges from the summaries of the early editions in Following Pausanias.

26 I record my thanks to Antonio Corso for this point.

27 He mentions that the interior columns that he presumably saw on the ground were of black marble and porphyry, as had been seen by Spon when they were in place and also noticed by the anonymous manuscript account of Athens published as St Clair, William, and Robert Picken, ‘The Parthenon in 1687: New Sources’, in Michael Cosmopoulos, ed., The Parthenon and its Sculptures (Cambridge: CUP, 2004).

28 ‘Les Chrétiens du pays disent que ce temple est celui měme qui étoit dédié au Dieu incognu, dans lequel Saint Paul préscha; a présent il sert de mosquée, et les Turcs y vont faire leurs oraisons.’ Laborde, i, 63 from Deshayes, Louis, Baron de Courmenin, Voiage de Levant fait par le commandement du Roy en lannée 1621 par le Sr. D. C. (Paris: Adrian Taupinart, 1624). Noted also, from Laborde, by Hobhouse, 1858 edition, ii, 438.

29 The history of this local story, which continued to be promoted and credited at least until the later nineteenth century, is discussed in The Classical Parthenon. The tradition included an ambiguity between whether the Parthenon was called the temple to the unknown god in Paul’s day or had later been appropriated as a piece of ironic triumphalism, and the alleged connexions with Dionysios the Areopagite, mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. I will also discuss the ideological purposes that the attribution served in places far from Athens, especially in France, for many centuries.

30 See Dreux, Robert de, Voyage en Turquie et en Grèce du R. P. Robert De Dreux, published and annotated by Hubert Pernot (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1925) and Omont, H., ‘Athènes au XVIIe Siècle, Relation du P. Robert de Dreux, Lettres de Jacob Spon et du P. Babin (1669–1680)’, in Revue des Etudes Grecques, xiv (Paris: Ledoux, 1901).

31 Evliya, 288.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid., 282.

34 A list in Evliya, 290, some names not identified.

35 Many examples given in Thomasson, Fredrik, ‘Justifying and Criticizing the Removals of Antiquities in Ottoman Lands: Tracking the Sigeion Inscription’, in International Journal of Cultural Property, 17:3, 2010, 493–517. Other examples, some not picked up by earlier authors, are noted by Tolias, George, ‘”An Inconsiderate love of the Arts”: The Spoils of Greek Antiquities, 1780–1820’ in Bahrani, Zeynep and Eldem.

36 For example Hamilakis, Yannis, ‘Indigenous Archaeologies in Ottoman Greece’ in Bahrani, Zinab, Zeynep Çelik, Zeynep, and Eldem, Edhem, 49–71.

37 In Appendix F, I make available some locally written accounts, including one published for the first time. The first printed book in modern times about Athens written in Greek that includes knowledge of Pausanias is the work by Kondares, a Serbian, that he says was compiled from Italian sources, Ίστορίαι παλαιού και πάνυ ωφέλιμοι της περίφημου πόλεως Άθήνης (‘Ancient and Useful Stories of the Famous City of Athens’) that was printed in Venice in 1676 and never reprinted. Discussed by Tunali who quotes the opening words in translation: ‘Therefore, the Holy Scripture teaches us that is God’s will to try and save what is worthy of narration from the old stories, that is the lives of famous men and cities. So we will begin writing the history of Athens, not by using rhetorical praise or excessive words (because that should be avoided according to Lucian), because it is not the work of a historian to mix narration with poetry and rhetoric. Therefore we will narrate the facts simply, without exaggerations, how I found them in old Greek and Italian books, which I translated into the common language. And we have not left anything out nor added on our own words.’ There is no evidence for this book having reached Athens or changed local attitudes to the monuments. It is, however, one of the first to refer to the contemporary Greeks as Hellenes.

38 Private collection.

39 The sneer by the narrator of the Acts in describing the visit of Paul of Tarsus to Athens is noted, along with numerous examples from ancient authors and some modern, without acknowledging that, by contextualizing, he has changed the meaning, in Baudelot, Utilité, i, 20. A discussion of the remark, which runs contrary to the advice in ancient rhetorical manuals never to insult whole groups of people, is included in The Classical Parthenon.

40 Full titles of the French and English versions are in the Bibliography under Guillet and others relating to the controversy under Spon. The spelling Guiillatiere in the English translation appears to have been an error. The debate between Spon and Guillet is discussed by Laborde, two-volume edition, ii, 1–55, with many extracts and references to relevant documents. Strangely, the modern spelling edition of Spon’s account of his visit, Spon, Jacob, Voyage d’Italie, de Dalmatie, de Grèce, et du Levant 1678, Textes présentés et édités sous la direction de R. Etienne by A. Duchêne, R. Étienne et J.-Cl. Mossière (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2004), does not discuss the dispute with Guillet except for a mention in one brief footnote. The Guillet episode is summarised by Augustinos 109–12. Discussed by Constantine, David, Early Greek Travellers and the Hellenic Ideal (Cambridge: OUP, 1984), 1–9, brushing aside the deception, and making a defence of the imposture as having in the end highlighted what was authentic in Guillet’s book, namely, for Constantine, his imagined response to place, although that too was artificial and conventional as has already been discussed.

41 ‘When we had reposed our selves a little at our Lodgings, as our custom was we fell to our Memoirs, and set down what we had observed.’ Guillet, English version, 316. See also 127.

42 Spon, Voyage, iii, 7–8.

43 Spon, Étienne edition, 310. Vernon notebook, 25, ‘read Meursius, read Pausanias, read Guillet, later Vitruvius’. Vernon arrived in Athens shortly before Spon and Wheler. Spon pays tribute to the fact that his measuring skill was able to correct an ancient error about the latitude on which Athens stands. ‘Monsieur Vernhum Gentilhomme Anglois.’ Spon, Voyage, ii, 60.

44 In Philosophical Transactions, 1676, full title and URL in Bibliography.

45 Guillet, Lacédémone ancienne et nouvelle, où l’on voit les moeurs, & les coûtumes des Grecs modernes, des Mahométans, & des Juifs du pays. Et quelques particularitez du séiour que le Sultan Mahomet IV a fait dans la Thessalie. Avec le plan de la ville de Lacédémone. Par le sieur de La Guilletière (Paris: Ribou, 1676) and two later editions. He drew on Mersius, Miscellanea Laconica, sive variarum Antiquitatum Laconicarum Libri IV., nunc primum editi cura S. Puffendorfii (Amsterdam:1661).

46 According to researches made by the Marquis de Laborde in the nineteenth century (Laborde, 2 volume edition, i, 215), Guillet was born in the Auvergne in 1625 and died in 1705. The unpublished manuscript described by an unknown later hand as ‘Description de la ville de Constantinople et de ses Antiquitées par Guillet de la guilletierre’ that, in its Preface, mentions the books on Athens and Lacedaimon, provides no evidence that Guillet had ever visited the places mentioned or that his brother de la Guilletiere was ever more than a literary device to give the authenticity of an alleged on-the-spot eye-witness to what was in reality a compilation from the works of others made in a library in Paris.

47 Spon and Babin, Rélation de l’état présent de la Ville d’Athènes, Ancienne Capitale de la Grèce, bâtie depuis 3400 ans, avec un Abregé de son Histoire & de ses Antiquités (Lyon: Pascal, 1674), reprinted Paris: J. Renouard et Cie., 1854, and in the collection by Laborde, 1854. Dreux, Lettres de Jacob Spon et du P. Babin (1669–1680)’, Revue des Etudes Grecques, xiv, 1901 (Paris: Ledoux, 1901). For the circumstances of publication in print: ‘Dans la relation même du R. P. Babin de la même Compagnie, que je fis imprimer il y a trois ans …’ Spon, Voyage, ii, 141.

48 Collignon, Maxime, ‘Le Consul Giraud et sa Relation de L’Attique au XVIIe. Siècle’, in Mémoires de l‘Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, volume xxxix (Paris: 1913).

49 The archbishop was Anthimos III (1655–1676). Sicilianos, 347.

50 Babin, Relation 16. The story is mentioned more briefly by Spon, in his Voyage ii, 355, noting that the bishops and priests of the Orthodox Church do not allow ‘figures en bosse pour leur rendre quelque veneration’. Paradoxically one of the literary works attributed to Dionysios the Areopagite, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as having been converted by Paul, uses a metaphor of a sculptor finding the statue within by chiselling off the extraneous marble. The detail may have been intended to reinforce the seventh-century author’s claim to have been writing at the time of Paul, but since the reference to the practice of making statues in the round is not condemned, it could be used, as it was in the breakaway Roman Catholic church to justify their setting aside of the clear prohibitions in the Old Testament. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Mystic Theology, chap. 2, section 1. The structured display of mutilation of many of the images presented on the Parthenon and how, when we reverse the damage, we can to recover what was lost and why is discussed in The Classical Parthenon, https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0279.

51 Wigram, an English churchman, and a favourite lecturer on Hellenic Travellers’ Club cruises, made the same suggestion in the 1930s. Wigram, 45.

53 Guillet, Lettres écrites sur une dissertation d’un voyage de Grèce publié par Mr. Spon, Medicin Antiquaire (Paris: Chez Estienne Michallet, 1679). Père la Chaisse is said to have been ‘extremely annoyed’ for he had only given Guillet permission to reply to Spon provided he was honest. Noted in Conferences, 16. I have so far been unable to access the 1908 work by J. and G. Monval where the letter is said to be cited at page 53.

54 He had written a book on the topic, Art de l’homme d’épée, ou le dictionnaire du gentilhomme, 1678.

55 Guillet Lettres, 85.

56 Spon, Voyage, ii, 371, discussed by Laborde, ii, 20.

57 See Chapter 8.

58 ‘The Armenians do likewise create us much trouble, for having no right of Consulship of their own, the other Consuls repine to do their business, which turns often to their ruine’. Guillet, Athens, English version, 113.

59 Mollière, Antoine, le Docteur, Ex-Interne suppléant des Hôpitaux, Une Famille médicale lyonnaise au XVIIe siècle. Charles et Jacob Spon (Lyon: Rey, 1905), 18.

60 Confirmed by Mollière, 19.

61 Mollière, 17.

62 Mollière, 28.

63 For example on the Monument to the Fire in London that still stands, although the inscription that blamed Roman Catholics for the disaster was later amended.

64 Guillet, English version, 183.

65 Noted by Travlos and Franz, 193. Noted c.1602 by Arnaud 52, transcribed by Travlos and Franz, 195.

66 Spon, Voyage, ii, 151.

67 ‘plus sçavant en son Bréviaire que dans l’Histoire ancienne.’ Spon, Voyage, ii, 150. It is unlikely, for example, that Cerbilas or any of his colleagues knew the reference in Pausanias, i, 4: ‘Here [near Phaleron] there is also a temple of Athena Sciras, and one of Zeus some distance away, and altars of the gods named unknown’.

68 ‘The vppermost part of the citie, where formerly the temple stood dedicated to the unknown God, is now wholly and absolutely in the hands of the Turkes, in which they have built a strong and almost inuincible Castle, which hath commande of the rest of the towne’. Itinerarium Totius Sacrae Scripturae, or, The Trauels of the holy Patriarchs … with a Description of the Townes and Places to which they travelled, and how many English miles they stood from Ierusalem (London: Adam Islip, 1638), 543. There were other editions in English as well as in other languages.

69 Wheler, Journey, 363.

70 Discussed by Carroll, Kevin K., The Parthenon Inscription, in Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monographs; no. 9 (Durham, N.C: Duke University, 1982).

71 Guillet, Lettres, 122, 128–30, 159–66.

72 Ibid., 129.

73 Guillet, Athènes French version 7–8: English version 7.

74 Omont, H., ‘Athènes au XVIIe Siècle, Relation du P. Robert de Dreux, Lettres de Jacob Spon et du P. Babin (1669–1680)’, in Revue des Etudes Grecques, xiv (Paris: Ledoux, 1901), 14.

75 Dreux, Robert de, 15.

76 ‘La Critique est une science très utile et très delicate’.

77 Spon, Réponse, 303–20.

78 Ibid., 321–22.

79 Bayard, Françoise, ‘La Vie de Jacob Spon (1647–1685)’ in Jacob Spon. Un humaniste lyonnais du XVIIèrme sièrcle. edited by Étienne, Roland and Mossière, Jean-Claude (Paris: Boccard, 1993), 36.

80 Les conférences au temps de Guillet de Saint-Georges, 1682–1699 / édition critique intégrale sous la direction de Jacqueline Lichtenstein et Christian Michel; texte établi par Bénédicte Gady … [et al.] / édition critique intégrale sous la direction de Jacqueline Lichtenstein et Christian Michel; texte établi par Bénédicte Gady … [et al.] (Paris: Beaux-arts de Paris, 2 volumes, 2008), i, 15–16. In Lacedaimon, Father Simon is said to have enjoyed much success in converting boys from their schismatic and heretical Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism. And whenever visitors asked him the way to antiquities, he offered to hear their confessions and give absolution.

81 The full title of Gedoyn’s edition, with the qualifications he claimed, is noted in the reference to Figure 8.4 above and in the Bibliography.

82 For example Baumgarten, Siegmund Jakob, Uebersetzung der Algemeinen Welthistorie die in Engeland durch eine Geselschaft von Gelehrten ausgefertigt worden: nebst den Anmerkungen der holländischen Uebersetzung auch vielen Kupfern und Karten (Halle: Johann Justinus Gebauer, volume 5, 1747), opposite 187 and 189; and in later editions of Potter. This is a different Baumgarten from the author who invented the concept of ‘aesthetics’ as an autonomous domain of meaning discussed in Chapter 9.

83 Discussed by Lord Aberdeen in ‘Letter from the Earl of Aberdeen to the editor relating to some statements made by M.R. Rochette on his late on the authenticity of the inscriptions of Fourmont’, in Walpole, Travels, 489.

84 For example Phillipe le Bas, sent by the French Government, noted of one surviving piece: ‘Il est impossible de ne pas voir dans l’état actuel de ce monument une nouvelle preuve des mutilations dont Fourmont s’est rendu coupable et dont il se faisait gloire’. Le Bas, ‘Voyages et Recherches archéologiques de M. Le Bas, en Grèce et en Asie Mineure’ in Revue archéologique (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1844), 709. Fuller details of this publication in the Bibliography.

85 Discussed by Augustinos, Olga, French Odysseys, Greece in French Travel Literature from the Renaissance to the Romantic Era (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994), 89–92.

86 Spon, Jacob, Voyagie Door Italien, Dalmatien, Grieckenland, En de Levant. Gedaan in de Jaren 1675 en 1676 (Amsterdam: Jan ten Hoorn, 1689).

87 Meursius, J. Meursii Theseus, sive de ejus vita rebusque gestis liber postumus. Accedunt ejusdem Paralipomena de pagis Atticis, et excerpta ex … J. Sponii Itinerario de iisdem pagis (Utrecht: Halma, 1684).

88 Spon and Wheler, Voyage d’Italie, de Dalmatie, de Grèce, et du Levant Fait aux années 1675 et 1676, par Iacob Spon et George Wheler (The Hague: Alberts, 1714).

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