The Story Of Dr. Schliemann

“THE story of a spiritual destiny embraced willingly, and embraced in youth.” These words hold in epitome the entire biography of Dr. Heinrich Schliemann, whose contribution to classical science in his discovery of the ancient Greek civilization has conferred the most splendid and notable service on contemporary life, the interest and importance of which are by no means limited to the domain of classical scholarship, but which become, instead, a part of the imperishable treasure of the world. Dr. Schliemann first formulated his theories regarding Troy, Mycenae, and Tiryns from the Homeric poems; but he did not hold these theories as eternal verities until he had put them to the test, and marshaled such evidence connecting the discoveries with the poems as has established more than a rational presumption that this great archaeologist has brought to light the remains of the life of three thousand years ago. His genius has revealed to mankind the real conditions of the pre-historic Greece described by Homer. “And, in fact,” says Dr. Schuchhardt, “every scholar who wishes to investigate the origins and actual contents of the Homeric poems, or the origins of the Greek people and their civilization, must nowadays base his researches in the first place on the material afforded by Schliemann’s excavations.” No student of Hellenism can be indifferent to these marvelous and epoch-making discoveries which, as Mr. Gladstone has remarked, have “thrust argument out of court.” These discoveries have suggested problems that future centuries alone, it may be, can fully solve.

Professor Rudolf Virchow, who was with Dr. Schliemann and was thus an eye-witness of the last excavations at Hissarlik, says, in his preface to Dr. Schliemann’s great work entitled Ilios, that while the enchanting picture of Homer’s immortal poetry may have ensnared the fancy of the renowned archaeologist, this fault of imagination, if it be so called, involved the very secret of his success. “The Burnt City would still have lain to this day hidden in the earth, had not imagination guided the spade,” he continued: “The Iliad is not merely an Epic which sings of human affairs; in the conflict of men the great circle of the Olympic gods takes part, acting and suffering. The theater for the action of the gods has been drawn much larger than for men. The range of these poems extends far beyond the Plain of Troy. The eye finds its boundary on the lofty summits of Ida, and the peak of Samothrace.” The life of the discoverer of the pre-Homeric civilization might almost be read as a manifestation of destiny. As he tells the story it falls into an almost mosaic-like grouping of circumstance and event, each of which is in definite relation to the complete scheme and achievement of his life, as now seen truly in retrospect, and in harmonious response to each other. Dr. Schliemann right-fully begins his story of the discovery of Troy with the story of his own life; not, as he himself says, “from any feeling of vanity, but from a desire to show how the work of my later life has been the natural consequence of the impressions I received in my earliest childhood.”

No one could fully understand the work it-self without some knowledge of the character and experiences that lead to such undertakings; and no one but himself could so well interpret the interrelations of character and circumstance.

Heinrich Schliemann was born on January 6, 1822, and died on December 26, 1890. These sixty-eight years were crowded with unprecedented discovery and the revelations of the buried life of long-gone ages. He was born in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the son of a Protestant clergyman in limited circumstances, , but with an impassioned enthusiasm for ancient history and for classical scholarship. He was not learned in Greek; but he was a good Latin scholar, and taught it with such success to his son that at the age of nine the lad produced “a badly-written Latin essay upon the principal events of the Trojan war and the adventures of Ulysses and Agamemnon.” Of his earliest childhood he thus writes in his great work on Troy :

” . My father often told me with warm enthusiasm of the tragic fate of Herculaenaum and Pompeii. He also related to me with admiration the great deeds of the Homeric heroes and the events of the Trojan war, always finding in me a warm defender of the Trojan cause. With great grief I heard from him that Troy had been so completely destroyed that it had disappeared without leaving any trace. My joy may be imagined, then, when I received as a Christmas gift a book with an engraving representing Troy in flames, with its huge walls and the Scan gate, from which AEneas is escaping with his father, Anchises, on his back, and holding his son Ascanius by the hand. I cried out: `Father, you were mistaken; if such walls existed they cannot have been completely destroyed; vast ruins of them must still remain, but they are hidden under the dust of ages.’ He maintained the contrary, but I was firm in my opinion, and at last we both agreed that I should one day excavate Troy.”

Here one discerns the beginning, in the childish resolve of a lad of eight years, of the most wonderful and epoch-making archae ological discoveries known to the civilized world. About this time the elder Schliemann removed to Ankershagen, a village whose atmosphere was full of the kind of legend and tradition that would appeal to an imaginative child. The house in which they lived was reported to be haunted by the ghost of the clergyman whom Mr. Schliemann had succeeded. Back of their garden was a pond, “das Silberschalchen,” out of whose depths every midnight a maiden was supposed to rise, holding a silver bowl. There was also a grave in a neighboring hill in which it was rumored that a robber had buried his child in a golden cradle, and the delicious horrors of the lad in these legends were still further in-creased by the stories that an old knight who had lived in a neighboring castle was greatly in evidence in uncanny midnight revelries. All these inspirations so wrought upon the sensitive child that he engaged his little playmate, Minna Meincke, to marry him when they were grown up, and go with him to discover Troy.

About this time the father died, and the poor little lad was apprenticed to a grocer, where he was kept at work from five in the morning until late in the evening; yet, incredible as it seems, amid all this hardship, and extreme privation, he managed to keep abreast of study. “I applied myself with extraordinary diligence,” he says, “to the study of English. Necessity taught me a method which greatly facilitates the study of a language. This method consists in reading a great deal aloud. . . . I went twice every Sunday to the English church, and repeated to myself in a low voice, every word of the clergyman’s sermon.”

One of the mosaic-like events that happened was that on one evening there came to the shop a miller’s son, who had been born in better circumstances and educated at a gymnasium, who recited about a hundred lines from the Homer which he had never forgotten. The rhythmic cadence of the verses entranced the youth, “and although I did not understand a syllable,” Dr. Schliemann related in after years, “the melodious flow of the words made a deep impression upon me, and I wept over my unhappy fate. Three times over did I implore him to repeat to me those divine verses, rewarding his trouble with the few pence that were all I had in the world. From that moment I never ceased to pray to God that by His grace I might yet have the happiness of learning Greek.”

Somewhat later the future archaeologist shipped as cabin boy on an outgoing steamer for Venezuela, and sold his only coat to buy a blanket for the voyage. The ship set sail in November of 1841, but was wrecked off the Dutch coast; the crew were rescued, and young Schliemann procured employment in an office in Holland, and went on errands with his book in his hand. He finally was made copying clerk; he learned both English and French within six months; and by extreme economy saved half of his salary of eight hundred francs a year. He acquired Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and finally the Russian language, on which, in 1846, his employers sent him to St. Petersburg as their agent. A year later he founded a mercantile house of his own and de-voted himself to the indigo trade. He prospered so marvelously that in 1858, at the age of thirty-six, he was enabled to retire on his for-tune and devote himself to the pursuit of his passionate enthusiasm, archaeology. Within the succeeding ten years his fortune increased so as to give him an income of ten thousand pounds a year.

To an extraordinary facility for acquiring languages Dr. Schliemann added that final and supreme test of genius, the capacity for diligent and persistent work, which alone is the source of great achievement. His indomitable power of will, his ceaseless energy, were the keys by means of which he unlocked the extraordinary problems which he set himself to solve.

In 1864 he visited India, China, and Japan, writing his first book, Le Chine et le Japon, which was published in Paris, where he took up his residence to devote himself to the study of archaeology. He had written this book during his fifty days’ voyage from Japan to the Pacific coast of the United States.

In a letter written to Kate Field, from Paris, under date of March 28, 1868 (preserved in the Public Library of Boston), Dr. Schliemann says:

“…I am very ambitious to be nominated by the American government as their representative at the Exposition Universelle at Paris, of course sans remuneration; quite the other way, for I might contribute to make it better.

I merely want the nomination as delegate; for I have always done honor to my name as a United States citizen, and every one in America knows me.”

Dr. Schliemann added that he would also be glad to have the appointment of consul to Athens from the United States, ” for the dignity of the office;” and that he would amply reward such recognition by gifts of antiquities to the Smithsonian Institute. In case of securing this office, he intended to employ an able consular agent at his own expense. But, apparently, the appointment was not made.

By some technicality of the law he had become, on landing in California, an American citizen, and his manifest pride in this relation to the United States attests his great appreciation of the country. Soon after, he visited Greece, making careful inspection of the classical places which were destined to be the scenes of his remarkable labors, and in 1869 he published, in French, another work entitled Ithaca, The Peloponnesus, and Troy. In this he announced his two leading theories, which he mainly drew from a careful study of the descriptions of Pausanias and from the Homeric poems. He came to believe that Troy had not stood far inland on the summit of the Balidagh, as the scholars of the day held, but that its site, instead, was on the height called Hissarlik, near the coast, an hypothesis whose correctness his own future excavations were destined to prove. The publication of this book, and a treatise written in Greek, gained for him a doctor’s degree from a German University.

The year 1869 Dr. Schliemann passed in the United States; but in 1870 he entered on the great work which was the purpose of his life in so exceptional a way that regarding it he might well have said: ” For this cause came I into the world.”

It has been questioned as to why, in the divine order, a man with such invaluable gifts to the world should have been born into poverty and privation, and led through the experience of hardships. But who can fail to recognize the truth in the lines of Lowell:

“Nor can I count him happiest who has never Been forced with his own hand the chain to sever And for himself find out the way divine.”

The eternal truth embodied by Goethe in the lines asserting that no one may ever know the Heavenly Powers save those who have eaten their bread in sorrow; those who have known the “lonely midnight,” is forever being made manifest anew.

The great savant might well have said, again in the words of Lowell:

…For me, I have no choice; I might turn back to other destinies, For one sincere key opes all Fortune’s doors; But whoso answers not God’s earliest call Forfeits or dulls that faculty supreme Of lying open to his genius Which makes the wise heart certain of its ends.”

It is pleasant to read that Dr. Schliemann obtained a firman from the Sublime Porte through the offices of the American Minister resident at that time, Hon. Wayne McVeagh, whose personal interest as well as diplomatic services greatly assisted Dr. Schliemann. He had married a remarkable Greek lady, Mademoiselle Sophia Kastromenos, a woman of the most liberal and polished culture, whose family was one of the noted ones in Greece; a woman of great nobility of character and original gifts, and also of wealth that has enabled her to constantly carry out many important works in philanthropy and education which have been among her lifelong interests. Of his wife Dr. Schliemann said, with pardonable pride and enthusiasm, that she was “a warm admirer of Homer, and joined, with glad devotion,” in the great purpose of his life. With the joyous inspiration of such companionship, for Madame Schliemann holds recognized intellectual rank among the first in Europe, the conditions were indeed ideal for Dr. Schliemann’s entrance upon the supreme work of his life. The future lay fair before him.

Of this marriage there were two children : a daughter, Andromache, who is now the wife of a distinguished Greek; and a son, Agamemnon, who is a leading member of the Chambre des Députés, and who, with his wife, a charming Parisienne, occupy, with Madame Schliemann, the family residence in Athens known as the “Palace of Ilium.”

The year 1870 arrived and revealed itself to Dr. Schliemann, not as an “année terrible,” but as the year for which all the preceding years of his life had been given. He was now forty-eight years of age; he had amassed a very large for-tune; he was still in comparative youth, with infinite confidence in his speculative convictions regarding the site of Troy, and with all-abounding energy. “At last,” he says, “I was able to realize the dream of my life, and to explore at leisure the scene of those events which had always had such an intense interest for me, and the country of those heroes whose adventures had delighted and comforted my child-hood.” Was not his, indeed, “a spiritual destiny embraced willingly and embraced in youth?”

In 1871 Dr. and Madame Schliemann set out for the Dardanelles. In opening his work at Hissarlik he employed from eighty to a hundred and fifty workmen, an engineer, and two overseers. For his own use he had built a comfortable house out of the excavated stone; but he found that his workmen were so illy clad that they must have some place of shelter and warmth, so he devoted this house to their comfort, while he and his wife took refuge in a poor habitation through whose walls the wind blew at night to a degree that utterly pre-vented them from keeping lights burning. While they had a fire, yet water would freeze on the hearth. “During the’ day,” he says, “we could to some degree bear the cold by working in the excavations; but in the evenings we had nothing to keep us warm except our enthusiasm for the great work of discovering Troy.”

In his enthralling description of this work of the excavations Dr. Schliemann, in his Ilios, writes :

“We had to break through a wall ten feet thick, consisting of large blocks of marble, most of which were drums of Corinthian columns cemented with lime. We then had to pierce the wall of Lysimachus, also ten feet thick, and built of large hewn stones; . . besides, we had to force our way through two Trojan walls from five to ten feet in thickness. While making this excavation I found a great number of large, earthen, wine-jars, from three to six feet high, as well as numerous drums of Corinthian columns, and other sculptured blocks of marble. All these must have belonged to the Hellenic buildings, the southern wall of which I laid bare to the distance of nearly three hundred feet. Three inscriptions found here leave no room for doubt that this was the temple of the Ilium Athene, which surpassed all other temples of novum Ilium.

“The floor of this temple of Athene consisted of large slabs of limestones resting upon double layers of hewn blocks of the same material. It was frequently covered with from one to three feet of vegetable soil, and this explains the en-tire absence of sculpture; for whatever there were in, or upon this temple, could not sink into the ground on the summit of the hill when the building was destroyed, and they therefore remained on the surface for many centuries till they were broken up by religious zeal, or out of sheer mischief. Hence we can easily explain the enormous mass of fragments of statues that covered the entire hill. In order to bring Troy itself to light, I was forced to sacrifice the ruins of this temple, of which I left standing only parts of the north and south walls. I found remains of houses, relics of great intrinsic value.”

But the astounding discovery was that four different sets of people had occupied this site, each of whom had covered it with their own buildings, unconscious of the others. A new chapter in the history of man was indeed revealed.

“The excavations,” continues Dr. Schliemann in the Ilios, a volume that is as fascinating as a fairy tale, “prove that the second nation which built a town on this hill (upon the débris of the first, which is from twenty to thirty feet thick), are the Trojans of whom Homer sings.”

Dr. Schliemann proceeds:

” . . The strata of this Trojan débris, which, without exception, bears marks of great heat, consists mainly of charred ashes of wood, and rise from five to ten feet above the great wall of Ilion, the double Scan gate, and the great surrounding wall, the construction of which Homer ascribes to Poseidon and Apollo, and they show that the town was destroyed by a fearful conflagration. How great this heat must have been is clear also from the large slabs of stone of the road leading from the double Scaean gate down to the plain; for when a few months ago I laid this road open, all the slabs appeared as much uninjured as if they had been put down quite recently; but after they had been exposed to the air a few days they began to crumble away; the slabs of the upper part of the road, to the extent of some ten feet, which had been exposed to the heat, also began to crumble away, and have now almost disappeared, while those of the lower part of the road, which had not been touched by the fire, have remained uninjured, and seem to be indestructible.

It was here that Dr. Schliemann found the prodigious structure he has named the “Tower of Ilium,” a building no less than forty feet thick. “This tower,” he states, “after having been buried for thirty-one centuries, and after, during thousands of years, one nation after an-other had built its houses and palaces high above its summit, has now again been brought to light, and commands a view, if not of the whole plain, at least of its northern parts, and of the Hellespont.” A little beyond this tower was a perfectly fitted gateway for two pairs ,of gates, one behind the other, the upper fastenings of which still remain in the stone posts. These Dr. Schliemann believed to be the “Scan gates” of Homer. He then came to what he calls the palace of Priam, at a depth of from twenty-two to twenty-six feet, resting upon the great tower, and directly under the temple of Minerva. In several of the rooms of houses Dr. Schliemann found red jars from seven to eight feet high. Of these he says:

“In the course of excavations on the Trojan wall, and in the immediate neighborhood of Priam’s house, I lighted on a great copper object of remarkable form, which attracted my attention all the more as I thought I saw gold behind. Upon this copper object rested a thick crust of red ashes in calcined ruins, on which again weighed a wall nearly six feet thick and eighteen feet high, built of great stones and earth, and which must have belonged to the period next after the destruction of Troy. In order to save this treasure from the greed of my workmen, I cut it out with a knife. It would, however, have been impossible for me to have removed the Treasure without the help of my dear wife, who stood at my side, ready to pack the things I cut out in her shawl, and to carry them away. . . . As I found all these things together, in the form of a rectangular mass, or packed into one another, it seems certain that they were placed on the city wall in a wooden chest. The supposition seems to be corroborated by the fact that close by the side of these articles I found a copper key. It is therefore possible that some one packed the treasure in a chest and carried it off, without having had time to pull out the key, and that when he reached the wall, the hand of an enemy, or the fire, overtook him, and he was obliged to abandon the chest, which was immediately covered to a height of five feet with the ashes and stones of the adjoining house. . . . That the Treasure was packed together at a moment of supreme peril appears to be proved, among other things, by the contents of the largest silver vase, consisting of nearly nine thousand objects of gold. To secure this required great exertion, and involved great risk, since the wall of fortifications beneath which I had to dig, threatened every moment to fall down upon me. But the sight of so many objects, every one of which is of inestimable value to archaeology, made me reckless and I never thought of danger.”

The mass of precious metal found by Dr. Schliemann is simply astonishing, one single cup of gold weighing forty ounces, while there were innumerable objects in bronze, silver, and gold, spears and axes, daggers, and a large bronze shield. Dr. Schliemann describes one portion of these:

“That this treasure was packed in the greatest haste is shown by the contents of the vast silver chest, in which, quite at the bottom, I found two splendid golden diadems, a fillet for the head, and four gorgeous and artistic pendants for earrings. On them lay fifty-six golden ear-rings, and four thousand, seven hundred and fifty little golden rings, perforated prisms and dice, together with golden buttons, golden bracelets, and at the top of all, in the silver vase, two golden cups.”

Beginning another excavation near his own house, and west of the Great Tower, Dr. Schliemann found near the surface the ruins of a large house of the Greek period, “which must have belonged to a great man, possibly a high priest, for the floors of the rooms were made of large slabs of red stone, excellently polished.” Thirty feet below this house they brought to light a street, seventeen feet wide, paved with huge stone flags, and from the slope of the street the explorer conjectured that a large structure must have lain at one end, to which the thoroughfare led. Acting on this surmise, he set his men to digging in that direction and found the ruins of a large and important building, with two massive gateways. Dr. Schliemann accounted for the finding of such vast treasure all in one place by the theory that a fearful catastrophe fell on the city so suddenly that the inhabitants had no time to carry their possessions with them. He also recognized how this disposition of the third city on that site agreed with the Homeric description where the poet says: “Priam’s city used to be far-famed for its wealth in gold and bronze, but now the precious wealth has disappeared from its houses.” Dr. Schliemann notes that if, in spite of its exhaustion by a long, protracted siege, the third city of Hissarlik was still so rich that he could find in it ten treasures, this fact was to him an additional proof that it was identical with the poet’s city of Ilios.

The explorer adds :

“Still further, in proportion to the wealth and power of Ilium, it was but natural that the sudden catastrophe by which this rich and famous capital of the Trojan kingdom perished, should have made a very deep impression on the minds of men, both in Asia Minor and in Greece, and that it should at once have been taken up by the bards. But while, as Mr. Gladstone says, the local features of the site and plain of Troy were given sufficiently for a broad identification, the bards handled them loosely, and at will, in point of detail. They treated the plain without any assumption of a minute acquaintance with it, like one who was sketching a picture for his hearers, boldly 1 slightly, and not as one who laid his scene place with which he was already per acquainted, and which formed by far famous portion of the country. The ruins of the burnt Ilium having been completely buried under the ashes is, and people having no archaeological desire for the investigation of the matter, it was thought that the destroyed city had completely disappeared. The imagination of the bards had, therefore, full play; the small Ilium grew in their songs in the same proportion as the strength of the Greek fleet, the power of the besieging army, and the great actions of the heroes; the gods were made to participate in the war, and in-numerable legends were grouped around the magnified facts. . . . I wish I could have proved Homer to have been an eye-witness of the Trojan war,” continues Dr. Schliemann.

“Alas! I cannot do it! At his time swords were in universal use and iron was known, whereas they were totally unknown at Troy. Besides, the civilization he describes is later by centuries than that which I have brought to light in the excavations. Homer gives us the legend of Ilium’s tragic fate, as it was handed down to him by preceding bards, clothing the traditional facts of the war and destruction of Troy in the garb of his own day. Neither will I maintain that his acquaintance with the Troad and with Troy was that of a resident; but certainly he was not without personal knowledge of the localities, for his descriptions of the Troad in general, and of the Plain of Troy in particular, are too truthful for us to believe that he could have drawn all his details from the ancient myth. If, as appears likely, he visited the Plain in the ninth century B.C. he would probably have found the AEolic Ilium already long established, having its Acropolis on Hissarlik, and its lower town on the site of Novum Ilium. It would therefore be natural that he should depict Priam’s Troy as a large city, with an Acropolis called Pergamos, the more so as in his time every large city had its Acropolis.”

Dr. Schliemann’s discoveries actually, without doubt in the opinion of such authorities as Dr. Dorpfeld and Dr. Schuchhardt, and other of the most eminent archaeologists, reduced the Homeric Ilium to its true proportions.

“I have never called in doubt the unity of the Homeric poems,” said Dr. Schliemann, “and have always firmly believed both the Iliad and the Odyssey to be by one author, except, perhaps, the twenty-fourth Rhapsody of each poem, partly or entirely, on account of the contradictions they contain with the preceding text. Beside, to use Mr. Gladstone’s own words, `If I consider how much learning and ingenuity have been expended in a hundred efforts (scarcely any two of the assailants, how-ever, agreeing except in their negative or revolutionary criticism) to disintegrate the Homeric poems, to break up into nebulous fragments the Sun of all ancient literature,’ — I think it idle on my part to attempt a task already marked by so many failures; and I rest content with these immortal epics as they stand, — the first-fruits of the noblest literature of the world, and the fount of poetic inspiration for all later ages.”

Dr. Schliemann’s explorations at Mycenae, and at Tiryns, bringing to light the Lion Gate, the royal tombs, and other inestimable treasures of archaic history, or, rather, of the ages that precede all history, are not unfamiliar to all who are interested in the prehistoric life of the world. The extraordinary success that at-tended his still more extraordinary undertakings, the immense and priceless treasures with which he enriched the Greeks, the illumination that attends the results increasingly, are such that for ages to come travelers will make their pilgrimage to Athens to see there, and in the museum at Mycenae, the wonderful collections. They enable scholars to read time back-ward like the Chaldeans. During a part of 1879, Dr. Schliemann was joined by Professor Rudolf Virchow of Berlin, and by M. Emile Burnouf of Paris, the Honorary Director of the French Archaeological School at Athens, whom the French government, at the initiative of M. Jules Ferry, Minister of Public Instruction, sent to Troy on a scientific mission.

Some very interesting remains were found at Spata, in Attica, a town some nine miles from Athens, on the further side of Mount Hymettus, on the way to the plain of Marathon. The village of Spata was exclusively the abode of Albanians, and near it was a small mound, with a circular summit which had evidently been artificially leveled, and which was covered with débris to the depth of about three feet. The inhabitants assert that until within a comparatively recent time there were ruins of fortress walls surrounding the mound, these stones having been taken away for rebuilding purposes. In 1877 Dr. Schliemann, accompanied by Professor Castorches of the University of Athens, visited this mound, finding it to be a tomb whose sepulcher contained several chambers.

A few skeletons were there discovered which crumbled at the touch of air. Various objects were found, all indicating that this tomb be-longed to a later civilization than that of Mycenae.

The excavations at Tiryns brought to light the Cyclopaean walls, which Dr. Schliemann and other authorities agree in believing to be the most ancient monuments in Greece. In these excavations the explorer was accompanied by Madame Schliemann (his invariable companion and helper) and also by Professors Castorches, Phendikles, and Pappadakes, of the University of Athens, all of whom were specialists and experts in archaeological science. Fifty men were set to work, and by means of shafts sunk in the upper citadel the walls, buildings, and water conduits of the Cyclopaean civilization were brought to view. Tiryns was supposed to be the birthplace of Hercules; of its gigantic walls Pausanias has recorded that they were built by the Cyclops. Tiryns is in the plain of Argos, only one mile from the sea. The Lion Gate is believed to date to fourteen hundred years before the Christian era. The history of these wonderful excavations is graphically related by the great archaeologist in his work entitled Mycenoe, with an introduction by Mr. Gladstone. Perhaps never was a great scientist actuated more entirely by intense devotion to learning than was Dr. Schliemann. “As I love and worship science for her own sake,” he wrote, “I shall never make a traffic of it; my large collections of Trojan antiquities have a value which cannot be calculated, but they shall never be sold. If I do not present them in my lifetime, they shall, at all events, pass, in virtue of my last will, to the museum of the nation I most love and esteem.”

To the museum in Berlin Dr. Schliemann left a valuable collection; and in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, which owes its origin to M. Bernardakis, a wealthy and public-spirited Greek merchant in St. Petersburg, and which was completed by the State in 1889, is the splendid Mycenaean collection made by the eminent archaeologist, which fills several salons known as the Schliemann Galleries. The first of these is devoted to a rich mass of gold and silver jewelry, displayed in glass cases; diadems, tiaras, necklaces, pins, rings, bracelets, clasps, girdles, pendants, — every variety of ornament. While many are only in fragments, there is an astonishing number that are nearly if not entirely intact. All this jewelry is of a massive order. There are also quantities of amber beads, seals, and table utensils; cups, jugs, and vases of solid gold and of silver; gold plates; and decorations of weapons. It is one of the most curious revelations of ancient life. These were principally found at Mycenae and at Tiryns. There are two exquisitely shaped cups of gold, found by Dr. Schliemann in the Vapheio tomb, with the designs in répoussé; the delicacy of the work excites universal admiration.

Other rooms of the Schliemann collection contain sculptures, funeral urns, fragments of walls, inscriptions, reliefs, and memorials of every kind.

The choice and rich collection in cabinets and cases in his own house, the “Palace of Ilium,” has already been mentioned. Madame Schliemann often wears necklaces, pins, rings, a tiara, girdle, or bracelets of this prehistoric jewelry found in tombs and ruins, which are rich and beautiful, and almost seem as if expressly designed for her adornment.

The tomb of Dr. Schliemann is in the Greek cemetery on the outskirts of Athens near the banks of the classic Ilissus. The design is that of an Ionic temple, his portrait bust placed on high between the columns, while below is a massive chamber for the sarcophagus. The temple is further enriched with many sculptured reliefs from the Homeric poems, and from scenes of his own picturesque researches in Troy and Mycenae. There are also on it several inscriptions from Homer. This magnificent mausoleum is set on a hill, almost facing the Acropolis, in the very haunts of the gods of Hellas. The tomb is within easy walking distance from the majestic temple of the Olympian Zeus, the place defined by groups of dark cypress trees.

It has been left to a period as recent as the early spring of 1913 for the public announcement of a possible discovery of Dr. Schliemann’s which holds within it all the elements of myth and romance.’ The death of the great archaeologist occurred on December 26, 1890 in Naples, where he was stopping in transit from Paris to his home in Athens. To an attendant he committed a sealed package which bore the following inscription: “This may be opened only by a member of my family, who solemnly vows to devote his life to the re-searches outlined in it.” Dr. Schliemann called for paper and pencil and wrote, in a trembling hand, the following additional directions :

” Confidential addition to the sealed envelope. Break the owl-headed vase, pay attention to its contents. It concerns Atlantis. Investigate east of the ruins of the temple of Sais and the cemetery in Chacuna Valley. Important. It proves the system. Night approaches. Lebe wohl.”

This note he enclosed in an envelope and directed the attendant to deliver it, with the other sealed envelope, to his family. He died an hour after.

This letter and the accompanying package were placed in the Bank of France and lay with their seals unbroken until 1906, when his grandson, Dr. Paul Schliemann, decided to accept the trust, and gave the required pledge to devote himself to the research so mysteriously indicated. The documents were then given into his hands, and on breaking the seals the younger Schliemann found several written papers, numerous photographs, and the following impressive letter from his grandfather:

“Whoever opens this must solemnly swear to carry out the work which I have left unfinished. I have arrived at the conclusion that Atlantis was not merely a vast territory between America and the West coast of Africa and Europe, but also the cradle of all our civilization. There has been much dispute among scientists on this matter. According to one group the tradition of Atlantis is pure fiction, founded upon fragmentary accounts of a deluge some thousands of years before the Christian era. Others declare the tradition to be historical, but incapable of absolute proof. In the included material records there will be found notes and explanations giving the proofs that, in my mind, exist with regard to the matter. Whoever takes charge of this mission is solemnly adjured to continue my researches, and to publish a definite record, employing the matter I leave behind me and crediting me with my just dues in connection with the discovery.

“A special fund is deposited in the Bank of France to be paid to the bearer of the enclosed authorization, this fund being intended to recoup the expenses of the research. May the Almighty be with this great effort.


Now the special document in this package, whose contents seem as mythological as the tales of the gods, was one bearing the serious statement by Dr. Schliemann that, when he was excavating the ruins of Troy, and had discovered in the second city the famous treasure of Priam, among the objects constituting that treasure he had found a peculiar bronze vase, of great size. Inside were many pieces of pottery, and numerous small images of peculiar metal, with many coins of the same metal and other objects made of fossilized bone. The great bronze vase and some of the objects were engraved with a sentence in Phoenician hieroglyphics which, when translated, read: “From King Chronos of Atlantis.”

The immediate inference of this inscription (however incredible and startling) would be to support the belief in the reality of Atlantis. If Chronos were “king of Atlantis,” it presupposes that such a country existed. Yet, in the poetry of Hesiod, there is an allusion to a purely mythical Chronos. The lines, in translation, run :

“And first the golden race of speaking men Were by the dwellers in Olympian world; They under Chronos lived, when he was king In heaven. Like gods were they …”

The speculative question suggests itself as to whether the inscription found by Dr. Schliemann on the vase and other articles in the treasure could possibly have been a reference as purely imaginary as that of Hesiod? Should it be that Dr. Schliemann’s scientific imagination had grasped the truth regarding the fabled Atlantis, and that the instructions he has left to his grandson shall eventually solve this wonderful problem, it will invest his marvelous life with a new miracle of achievement, unique in all history.

Among the most important of the services Dr. Schliemann has rendered to archa eological science is his discovery of the remains of the palace in the citadel at Tiryns. By means of these remains, Dr. Dorpfeld was enabled to reconstruct the plan of these colossal walls, with their towers and gates; and the vast court, surrounded by porticoes and pillars.

Many scientists, indeed, believe that Dr. Schliemann has thus brought to light an entire epoch of prehistoric civilization, of which the world knew nothing. The excavations at Tiryns disclosed massive walls and mysterious galleries, houses, treasure, and subterranean tombs of kings. The sculpture that gave the name to the Lion Gate is found to be monumental and to antedate any records of authentic history. It establishes the fact that there was an Agamemnon. “What was the origin of this civilization?” questions an archaeologist. “It bears witness to a free and long-continued intercourse between the dwellers in Eastern Greece and the various peoples who dwelt on the islands and along the coast of Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt. . . . We trace the suggestions of the walled strongholds, palaces, and tombs of the Mycenaean period to Oriental influences, but they surpassed their models and took on a new artistic perfection. The special endowment of the Greek race for scientific plan and artistic form here displayed itself.”

The beautiful marble villa (Palace of Ilium) which Dr. Schliemann built in Athens is a home unique in its magnificence. The double porticoes of the first and second story are sup-ported by Ionic pillars, and the walls and floor are inlaid with mosaics; the roof is surmounted by classic statues, and the house stands in the midst of extensive grounds, with luxuriant palm-trees, orange and lemon trees that seem in perpetual bloom, surrounded with the pink blossoms of the Judas-tree, and masses of roses and the purple wistaria. Madame Schliemann draws about her a distinguished circle, and her lavish hospitalities make the villa a not-able center of social life. The most eminent scholars and travelers who visit the Grecian capital would feel their sojourn to be quite incomplete without an opportunity of presenting their respects to a lady whose gifts and beneficences are so highly appreciated. The Palace of Ilium is one of the treasure-houses of the world. There are cabinets filled with rich specimens from Troy: vases, urns, jewels, and ornaments of various kinds; mural paintings from scenes in Greek poems adorn the walls; Homeric quotations are inscribed on mantel and in niche or corner; and the very atmosphere is classic. Madame Schliemann is known as a brilliant conversationalist, and a ceremonial elegance pervades the entire establishment. Madame Schliemann, indeed, holds a position in Greece that cannot but remind the visitor of that of Margheretta, Regina Madre, in Italy, each of the two ladies being sought by savant and distinguished traveler, for their culture and sympathy with art and progress. The servants in the Palace of Ilium are in fustanelle, as they are in the royal households in Athens.

The habits of accuracy, promptness, and swift decision, and the power of will that Dr. Schliemann developed in his business life, when he was making the fortune which enabled him to give himself to science, were quite as invaluable to him in his scientific life. The clearness with which he describes his discoveries and their processes, and the trains of association that led him on, reveal the trained intellect and fine balance of mind. No man was ever more loyal to the counsel of Schiller, “Keep true to the dreams of thy youth,” than was this epoch-making archaeologist. The world has not yet arrived at any fully accepted theories of the problems suggested by the relations between the Homeric poems and the buried civilization brought to light by Dr. Schliemann’s discoveries; but there can be no question of immortality for the genius that divined, and the energy that revealed, the origin of these stupendous epochs of life.

The great successes of his life and his immeasurably valuable contributions to the sum of human knowledge in the face of the obstacles and difficulties that beset his early youth, cannot but recall to the mind the profound truth in the words of Emerson : “When a god wishes to ride, every chip and stone will bud and shoot out wined feet to carry him.”

It is forever and unvaryingly true. A lofty and noble purpose cuts its own channel. The very stars in their courses fight for its ultimate triumph, and the worker is caught up to be numbered with those immortals,

“Spirits with whom the stars connive To work their will!”