Greece and the gean Islands (Illustrated)

Greece and the gean Islands (Illustrated)

by Philip Marden

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What follows makes no pretense whatever of being a scientific work on Greece, from an archæological or other standpoint. That it is written at all is the resultant of several forces, chief among which are the consciousness that no book hitherto published, so far as I am aware, has covered quite the same ground, and the feeling, based on the experience of myself and others, that some such book ought to be available.

By way of explanation and apology, I am forced to admit, even to myself, that what I have written, especially in the opening chapters, is liable to the occasional charge that it has a guide-bookish sound, despite an honest and persistent effort to avoid the same. In the sincere desire to show how easy it really is to visit Hellas, and in the ardent hope of making a few of the rough places smooth for first visitors, I have doubtless been needlessly prolix and explicit at the outset, notably in dealing with a number of sordid details and directions. Moreover, to deal in so small a compass with so vast a subject as that of ancient and modern Athens is a task fraught with many difficulties. One certainly cannot in such a book as this ignore Athens utterly, despite the fact that so much has been published hitherto about the city and its monuments that no further description is at all necessary. My object is not to make Athens more familiar, but rather to describe other and more remote sites in Greece for the information, and I hope also for the pleasure, of past and future travelers. Athens, however, I could not ignore; and while such brief treatment as is possible here is necessarily superficial, it may help to awaken an additional interest in that city where none existed before.

Aside from the preliminary chapters and those dealing with Athens itself, I hope to have been more successful. I have, at any rate, been free in those other places from the depressing feeling that I was engaged on a work of supererogation, since this part of the subject is by no means hackneyed even through treatment by technical writers. Since the publication of most of the better known books on Greek travel, a great deal has been accomplished in the way of excavation, and much that is interesting has been laid bare, which has not been adequately described, even in the technical works. In dealing with these additions and in describing journeys to less familiar inland sites, as well as cruises to sundry of the classic islands of the Ægean, I hope this book will find its real excuse for being.

In adopting a system for spelling the names of Greek cities, towns, and islands, I have been in something of a quandary, owing to the possibilities presented by the various customs of authors in this field, each one of which has something to recommend it and something, also, of disadvantage. If one spells Greek names in the more common Anglicized fashion, especially in writing for the average traveler, one certainly avoids the appearance of affectation, and also avoids misleading the reader by an unfamiliar form of an otherwise familiar word. Hence, after much debate and rather against my own personal preferences and usage in several instances, I have adhered in the main to the forms of name most familiar to American eyes and ears. In cases of obscure or little known sites, where it is occasionally more important to know the names as locally pronounced, I have followed the Greek forms. This, while doubtless not entirely logical, has seemed the best way out of a rather perplexing situation, bound to be unsatisfactory whichever way one attempts to solve the problem.

In mercy to non-Hellenic readers, I have likewise sought to exclude with a firm hand quotations from the Greek language, and as far as reasonably possible to avoid the use of Greek words or expressions when English would answer every purpose.

If, in such places as have seemed to demand it, I have touched upon archæological matters, I hope not to have led any reader far from the truth, although one admittedly an amateur in such matters runs grave risk in committing himself to paper where even the doctors themselves so often disagree. I hope especially to have escaped advancing mere personal opinions on moot points, since dilettanti in such a case have little business to own any opinions, and none at all to exploit them to the untutored as if they had importance or weight. Rather I have only the desire to arouse others to a consciousness that it is as easy now to view and enjoy the visible remnants of the glory that was Greece, as it is to view those of the grandeur that was Rome.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150924772
Publisher: Bronson Tweed Publishing
Publication date: 10/01/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 284 KB

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