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The classic regions of Greece have been recently explored by such a multiplicity of travellers, that the Author of the present Tour appeared to be precluded from the hope of making any considerable additions to that stock of information, which they have already communicated to the public. Indeed, the access which the Author has had to well-stored libraries, since his return to England, has convinced him that many of the observations and discoveries, for which he might once, perhaps, have claimed the palm of novelty, have been anticipated by the publications of those who travelled after him. But Greece is so rich in objects of curiosity, and of intellectual, scientific, or literary interest, that the stock has not been exhausted by previous investigation; and after all that has been done, much still remains to be performed. After all the light, which the diligence of busy inquiry, and the accuracy of personal observation have thrown upon the subject, some obscurity still remains to be dispersed, much misrepresentation to be removed, and many inaccuracies to be rectified.
It cannot be supposed but that these volumes must contain something which has been said before; but the information which may be found in other publications, has never been repeated in this, for the sake of enlarging the dimensions of the work, but solely for the purpose of connecting the general narrative, and of avoiding such omissions as might compel the reader to seek in other travels, what he ought to find in the present. While the Author has carefully omitted all irrelevant matter, and all superfluous details, he has
sedulously endeavoured to produce such a description of Greece, as may be interesting to the classical as well as to the general reader. Nothing extraneous has been wilfully introduced; and every thing essential has been studiously retained.
A work of this kind, from the very nature of the subject, required numerous quotations; but these have never been amassed for the sake of vain parade or learned ostentation, but solely because they were intimately connected with the subject of the Tour ; and were necessary to elucidate passages in ancient authors, which have been sometimes misunderstood by those who have never travelled in Greece, except in the seclusion of their cabinets. In these volumes the ancient state of Greece is described, in order to illustrate the present, and to add new interest to modern localities and customs, by identifying them with the events or the manners of a more early period. The reader must never forget, that a classic interest is breathed over the superficies of the Grecian territory; that its mountains, its valleys, and its streams, are intimately associated with the animating presence of the authors, by whom they have been immortalized, Almost every rock, every promontory, every river, is haunted by the shadows of the mighty dead. Every portion of the soil appears to teem with historical recollections; or it borrows some potent bụt invisible charm from the inspirations of poetry, the efforts of genius, or the energies, of liberty and patriotism. ;
In the Greek quotations the accents have been purposely omitted, because such marks have not the sanction of high antiquity. They are supposed to be the invention of the grammarian Aristophanes ; and are never seen upon inscriptions of any kind.
*.? See upon this subject Angelo Maria Ricci; Dissertationes Homerice; and Considerazione Intorno alla Pronunzia Greca, at the end of his Tavole Grece d'Esopo volgarizzate in rime Anacreontiche Toscane, in Firenzè, 1736, in 8vo. p. 331. et seq... . >
In the ancient names of places the Latin orthography has been relinquished for the Greek, except in those cases in which it would have been too great a deviation from the established custom. The K has been adopted instead of the Latin C, and the U instead of the Y, as often as it could with propriety. In some instances, the diphthongs ai and ei have been substituted for æ and e; and the Greek terminations os and on have been preferred to the Latin us and um, wherever it could be done without the appearance of pedantic precision, or affected singularity.
Many places in Greece, that are still known to the inhabitants only by their ancient appellations, are barbarously misnamed by foreign sailors. In these instances the Author has deemed it most expedient to retain those names which are at present in use in the country, which was the object of his tour.
As ancient authors aré by no means agreed, with respect to the orthography of cities and places that occur in the present volumes, the author has uniformly followed the authority of Pausanias. Modern writers differ so much in this respect, that it has been deemed advisable to insert in the Appendix, a list of some of the most striking variations. These will shew the numerous mistakes to which travellers are liable, who do not take the precaution of procuring the best written information which is to be had upon the spot, without placing any dependance upon the ear; than which nothing is more fallacious, in a country, where there is such an incongruous multiplicity of dialects and pronunciations.
The Author has been much perplexed in determining what method to pursue in the orthography of Turkish words, in order to accommodate them to the peculiarities of the English pronunciation. This difficulty was increased by the discrepancies that are to be found among authors, hardly any two of whom write the same word in the same way. Many authors are at variance even with
themselves, and spell the same word differently in the same work. I have seen the word Pasha written in eleven different manners, Voivode in ten, Shik and Mosque in fourteen, and Mohamed in fifteen. Similar confusion is observed respecting the names of places. I have seen the words Mesaloggion and Misithra written in eleven different manners, and Bostitza in seventeen ; of which other examples are given in the Appendix.
It was apprehended, that a strict adherence to the Turkish orthography, would have the appearance of novelty or affectation ; while too great a deviation from it might furnish a presumption of ignorance or negligence. Bashaw, Can, Coran, and an infinity of words, which have been thus tortured into English pronunciation, ought not to be admitted into any work above the level of a fairy tale. On such occasions, recourse should be had to an authority against which no reasonable objections can be alleged. Muradja D'Ohsson? has generally been followed ; and when the words have not been found in that accurate author, the next preference has been given to Herbelot.3
The names of towns, villages, and places are given as they were written by the inhabitants, though in some instances it was necessary to confide in the pronunciation of the country people who could not write. It is necessary to observe, that the letter B is pronounced by the modern Greeks like the V, and sometimes like the P. This appears also to have been the case in more ancient times. There are several instances of this in the Latin inscriptions which are found in Greece, where B is substituted for V. On some of the Greek coins of Ambracia, the P is used instead of the B. The D
· The author who styles himself Ali Bey, writes Mohamed in five different manners, which shews that he is no Mohamedan; many similar errors occur in this and other authors. 2 Empire Othoman.
3 Bibliot. Orient.
is sometimes pronounced as th, as in the word 'dev, or ouder, which is pronounced then. In order to produce the sound of the B, they use the letters ut, as in the word uTOUUTOuna, which is pronounced Boubouka. These few instances have merely been noticed, in order to facilitate the pronunciation of the examples which may occur in the following pages.
There are some words which it is absolutely necessary to spell according to the original language; and which, even then, almost defy the powers of English articulation; as TschitschekdjyBaschy,' and Muweschschihh. The Chinese and Russian languages alone furnish difficulties for the human voice, that are comparable to those of the Turkish!
Distances in Greece are not regulated by measure, but computed by time. The Tatars, who travel on small and fleet horses, without any incumbrance, except their pipe and tobacco bag, pass over rocks and mountains, through forests, swamps, and trackless wilds, with a truly astonishing velocity. They accordingly use a totally different method of computation from that which is commonly adopted in Greece, by those who travel with luggage horses, which are calculated to go throughout the day's journey, at the average pace of three miles an hour ; but from this rate, some deductions must be made in mountainous roads. This rough kind of calculation is more accurate than might be imagined. The Author, during bis journey, measured all the distances by this method, and comparing the result with Strabo and Pausanias, he had the satisfaction to find, that the difference was frequently very immaterial.
The distances, throughout the whole Tour, were minuted by
1 Superintendant of the flowers in the Sultan's garden.
One of the names of the Muezzinns who call to prayers from the minarets.