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35 See an admirable differtation of M. d’Anville upon the Hellespont or Dardanelles, in the Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xxviii. p. 318–346. Yet even that ingenious geogra. pher is too fond of supposing new, and perhaps imaginary measures, for the purpose of rendering ancient writers as accurate as himself. The stadia employed by Herodotus in the description of the Euxine, the Bosphorus, &c. (l. iv. c. 85.) must undoubtedly be all of the same species ; but it seems impossible to reconcile them either with truth or with each other. 16. The oblique distance between Cestus and Abydus was thirty stadia. The improbable tale of Hero and Leander is exposed by M. Mahudel, but is defended on the authority of poets and medals by M. de la Nauze. See the Academie des Inscriptions, tom. vii. Hist, p. 74. Mem. p. 24.o. 17 See the seventh book of Herodotus, who has ere&ted an elegant trophy to his own fame and to that of his country. The review appears
pears to have been made with tolerable accuracy; but the vanity, first of the Per fians, and afterwards of the Greeks, was interested to magnify the armament and the vićtory. I should much doubt whether the invaders have ever outnumbered the men of any country which they attacked.
from the Sigaean to the Rhaetean promontory; and the flanks of the army were guarded by the bravest chiefs who fought under the banners of Agamemnon. The first of those promontories was occupied by Achilles with his invincible Myrmidons, and the dauntless Ajax pitched his tents on the other. After Ajax had fallen a sacrifice to his disappointed pride, and to the ingratitude of the Greeks, his sepulchre was erected on the ground where he had defended the navy against the rage of Jove and of Hector; and the citizens of the rising town of Rhaeteum celebrated his memory with divine honours”. Before Constantine gave a just preference to the situation of Byzantium, he had conceived the design of erecting the seat of empire on this celebrated spot, from whence the Romans derived their fabulous origin. The extensive plain which lies below ancient Troy, towards the Rhaetean promontory and the tomb of Ajax, was first chosen for his new capital; and though the undertaking was soon relinquished, the stately remains of unfinished walls and towers attracted the notice of all who failed through the streights of the Hellespont “.
zo Strabo, l. xiii. p. 595. The disposition of the ships which were drawn upon dry land, and the posts of Ajax and Achilles, are
very clearly described by Homer. See Iliad ix. 220. 3 Zosim. l. ii. p. 105. Sozomen, l. ii. c. 3. Theophanes, p. 18. Nicephorus Callistus, l. vii. p. 48. Zonaras, tom. ii. 1. xiii. p. 6. Zofimus places the new city between Ilium and Alexandria, but this apparent difference may be reconciled by the large extent of its circumference. Before the foundation of Constantinople, Thessalonica
We are at present qualified to view the advantageous position of Constantinople; which appears to have been formed by Nature for the centre and capital of a great monarchy. Situated in the forty-first degree of latitude, the Imperial city commanded, from her seven hills “, the opposite shores of Europe and Asia; the climate was healthy and temperate, the soil fertile, the harbour secure and capacious; and the approach on the side of the continent was of small extent and easy defence. The Bosphorus and the Hellespont may be confidered as the two gates of Constantinople; and the prince who possessed those important passages could always shut them against a naval enemy, and open them to the fleets of commerce. The preservation of the eastern provinces may, in some degree, be ascribed to the policy of Constantine, as the barbarians of the Euxine, who in the preceding age had poured their armaments into the heart of the Mediterranean, soon defisted from the exercise of piracy, and despaired of forcing this insurmountable barrier. When the gates of the Hellespont and Bosphorus were shut, the capital still enjoyed, within their spacious inclosure, every production which could supply the wants, or gratify the luxury, of its nu
*3 See Belon. Observations, c. 72–76. Aunong a variety of different species, the Pelamides, a sort of Thunnies, were the most celebrated. We may learn from Polybius, Strabo, and Tacitus, that the profits of the fishery constituted the principal revenue of Byzantium.
* See the eloquent description of Busbequius, epistol. i. p. 64. Est in Europa; habet in conspeštu Asam, Aegyptum, Africanque à dexträ; quae tamets contigua non sunt, maris-tamen navigandique commoditate, voluti junguntur. A finistra vero Pontus est Euxinus, &c.
Foundation of the city