Listed 4 sub titles with search on: Information about the place
for destination: "CHRYSSI
Information about the place (4)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
Smintheion (in Chrysa)
Smintheion. Strabo (13. 604.46-605.49) calls Smintheion an Apollo sanctuary, which
still in his time was in Chrysa, a site in S Troas. The cult image of Apollo Smintheus
is supposed to have been fashioned by Skopas. The name Smintheus supposedly referred
to the mouse that was fixed to the feet of the Apollo statue. According to Strabo
there were several sanctuaries so named, located especially in Troas and on the
nearby island of Tenedos. The sanctuary, i.e. the temple, in Chrysa was evidently
the most important of these.
In 1853 the English captain Spratt discovered in the SW corner of
Troas below the village then named Kulahli the remains of ancient Chrysa, at that
time probably better preserved than they are now. The location is called Gulpinar
today and lies at the end of a paved road 25 km long, leading W from Assos. The
W coast of Troas (near the ancient Hamaxitos) is only 3 to 4 km distant, the coast
of the Gulf of Edremit (Atramyttion) somewhat farther. Thirteen years after Spratt's
discovery, the Society of Dilettanti commissioned R. P. Pullan to investigate
the site of the Smintheion of Chrysa. In the autumn of 1866 Pullan's excavations
were completed. His report appeared in 1881 (Antiquities of Ionia, IV, pp. 40ff,
pls. 26-30). The plates depict not so much the state of the excavated findings
as Pullan's reconstructions. In vol. 5 of the same work (1915) appeared some supplements
to Pullan's publications by W. R. Lethaby (see below for further references).
Since the temple edifice excavated by Pullan no longer exists and the other architectural
remains have also almost all been lost, great importance has accrued to the early
publication even if it no longer satisfies present-day points of view.
According to Pullan the Temple of Chrysa was an Ionic pseudo-dipteral
structure (8 x 14 columns); the substructure of 11 steps has, however, been questioned
(see Dinsmoor below, p. 272, n. 2). The stylobate was 40.4 by 22.5 m. In front
of the cella to the E lay a deep pronaos or vestibule, in back, a short opisthodomos,
each with two columns in antis. The narrow Ionic columns of 24 flutes stood upon
an extraordinary base that represented a type of "Ephesian-Attic" mixed
form (cf. H. C. Butler, Sardis, II, p. 114, fig. 11). The columns carried richly
decorated Hellenistic capitals, one of which is still preserved. The visible parts
of the building were of marble. There was in addition a decorated figure frieze
(0.8 m in height) above the architrave. Pullan was not able to display the six
frieze slabs in his publication. They have now for the most part been lost, along
with the other remains of the temple, so that a few years ago only one complete
slab in Gulpinar and a few fragments were rediscovered and could be published
(see below, H. Weber). Depicted are a two-horse chariot with driver and two other
persons, two battle scenes between armed men, and single male and female figures,
which unfortunately have recently become detached from the relief.
To judge from the building ornamentation and the style of the frieze,
the temple was constructed ca. 200 B.C. or in the early 2d c. Accordingly the
cult image by Skopas (see below, Grace and Lacroix) must have been carried over
from an older edifice into the later Hellenistic temple.
The building remains that can still be seen in the valley below the
village of Gulpinar consist partly of brick walls and could belong to the site
of Chrysa seen by Strabo.
H. Weber, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites,
Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from
Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
A city on the coast of the Troad, near Thebes, with a temple of Apollo Smintheus; celebrated by Homer.
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)
Chrysa (Chruse, Chrusa: Eth. Chruseus). Stephanus (s. v.) has a list of various
places so called. He does not decide which is the Chrysa of Homer (Il. i. 37,
390, 431). He mentions a Chrysa on the Hellespont, between Ophrynium and Abydus.
Pliny (v. 30) mentions Chryse, a town of Aeolis, as no longer existing in his
time. He also mentions a Chryse in the Troad, and apparently places it north of
the promontory Lectum, and on the coast. He says that Chrysa did not exist, but
the temple of Smintheus remained; that is, the temple of Apollo Smintheus. The
name Smitheus, not Smintheus, appears on a coin of Alexandria of Troas (Harduin?s
note on Plin. v. 30). The Table places Smynthium between Alexandria and Assus,
and 4 miles south of Alexandria. Strabo places Chrysa on a hill, and he mentions
the temple of Smintheus, and speaks of a symbol, which recorded the etymon of
the name, the mouse which lay at the foot of the wooden figure, the work of Scopas.
According to an old story, Apollo had his name Smintheus, as being the mouse destroyer;
for Sminthus signified mouse, according to Apion. Strabo has an argument to show
that the Chrysa of the Iliad was not the Chrysa near Alexandria, but the other
place of the same name in the plain of Thebe, or the Adramyttene. He says that
this Chrysa was on the sea, and had a port, and a temple of Smintheus, but that
it was deserted in his time, and the temple was transferred to the other Chrysa.
There is, however, little weight in Strabo's argument, nor is the matter worth
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited Aug 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD)
- Chrysa: Perseus Lookup Tool, text search