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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

37.3851795, 27.2566778

Sat Ap 13. [13 April 1907] Lovely morning, off at 7.30 and rode all
round the coast past the old harbour and up by the sacred way to
Didyma 2 hours. The Maeander [B¸y¸k Menderes] mouth and
Samos and the line of islands opposite most beautiful - Leros and
Kalymnos [Kalimnos (Calino)] and Patmos behind. Found Kaweran at
Wiegand's house and as we went out we met Knackfuss. We 3 went
to the temple. They have not as yet done much but remove the
windmill and dig round the temple. One sees the facade as
Hausoullier left it with the beautiful 3rd cent bases, wonderful
Hellenistic work, the palmettes so well drawn - form and movement
such as the later Roman work lacked altogether. Saw pieces of all
the entablature, the architrave, a cornice with Lesbian ..... and egg and
dart, the Medusa frieze and a colossal dentil. There was no cyma - it
was never finished. Also some of the columns on the north side were
never set up and many were never grooved. The cella was probably
completed and the chambers in front of it and the entrance. One of the
maeander bases is only marked out for cutting and was never cut.
The work of the architrave very coarse and poor. A beautiful oblong
capital from one of the pilasters of the cella lies in the middle of the
ruins, the two Corinthian caps of the inner cella door have been
broken into fragments. One sees the walls of the Byz fort across and
over the antae and before the temple lay a second Byz curved wall.
To the S and W the inner periblos steps. An interesting Byz cap lies
below with 2 crosses one [Latin cross] and one [Patriarchal cross].
Back to the house and lunched and then walked with Kawerau to the
place where they are [sic] uncovered the via Sacra. Several
fragments of the archaic Chares figures. So round the temple again
and back to write letters. Difficulty about horses. They are only to be
had at 3 mej each! Made the acquaintance of Caternia who was with
Hummel and has followed the excavators for many years. The two
were rather shy and stiff and as though they had long been unused to
company which was indeed so. Most kind however. Knackfuss
showed me photographs and plans of the Roman gate into the church
at Miletus. It has an architrave broken by an arch in the middle under
a pediment after the Syrian style and the whole Geb‰lk is carried
round the arch - very unusual this. The oriental influences seem to
come in about the 1st century AD. Also a cap, Doric but adorned with
a colossal egg moulding. This was used 200 years after in Rome
[Roma]. The buildings here are a couple of hundred years older than
Rome for the most part - Rome must have learnt from here if anything.
In the great and rich cities the work is much finer. In Ephesus the
Hellenistic and Roman period work is as fine as the Imperial work in
Rome. It was a question of means to employ better artists. We
looked at the Austrian publications of the Byz. columns in the middle
of the columned street set on ambone like niched bases and also of
the building above the theatre which is like the Tropaeum Trajaneum.
In the picture of the caps of the Byz columns I remarked the
arrangement of the acanthus leaves in two distinct rows. He showed
me interesting pictures of the caps from the Nymphaeum in Miletus
where the beginning of this system can be well traced. The big
church at Miletus has a circular passage round the apse, not vaulted,
probably roofed with wood. No apses in it. It was probably pre
Justinian for J.'s wall seems to be built so as to clear it. The circular
church most interesting in plan, unlike any other. So to bed about 9.

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