126 Route 9. LAURION. Excursions
which may possibly have been a Parascenium (see p. 51) or side-
scene. A little to the N. of the theatre is an ancient circular Cistern,
the stones of which are coated with mortar; part of the enclosing
wall, in the polygonal style, is also preserved. More to the W. is
an ancient Watch Tower, still of considerable height, near which
are the stumps of some columns and other remains.
Another section of the ruins lies to the E. of the village of Tho¬
riko and of the large factory (closed) built on the tongue of land
separating the Porto Mandri from the smaller bay to the N., called
the Vrysaki or Franko Limani The remains here are those of a line
of fortifications of polygonal masonry, provided at intervals with
towers, which faced the E. and ran from the Bay of Vrysaki to the
Bay of Mandri. At the highest point of this wall, near the little
chapel of St. Nicholas, are the foundations of a large tower, to the N.
of which are traces of a gateway. On the W. this line of fortifications
is answered by another, not so distinctly traceable, which crosses
the hill, where the factory-chimney rises, to the Bay of Mandri.
Beyond Thoriko the railway skirts the coast, traversing the hol¬
low between the low coast-hills (100 ft.) on the E., with the vil¬
lage of Nyktochori on their slopes, and the higher hills to the W.
It ends at the bay of Laurion.
40 M. Laurion. — Hotels. 'Hotel de l'Eceope, opposite the W.
side of the station, with six clean rooms (containing sixteen beds, from
2 fr. each) and a small restaurant. — Cafis in the market-place.
Carriage to Cape Colonna (p. 127; 1 hr.)j obtained from the Hellenike
Metallevtike Hetaeria, 10 fr.; other carriages i5 fr. It is prudent to order
carriages by telegraph.
Laurion or Laurium (pronounced Ldvrion), pleasantly situated
on the bay of Ergastiri (Ergasteria = work shops), is an entirely
modern town with 5100 inhabitants, all of whom, except a few
French, German, Italian, and English officials at the mines, are of
Hellenic race. It consists of a colony of workmen's houses, laid out
in regular lines and on a uniform pattern round the large smelting-
works. The roomy harbour, which must certainly have been used by
the ancient Greeks, generally contains a few steamers, taking in or
discharging cargo, and some of the market-boats that keep up a
traffic with the iEgean Islands.
The name of Laurion, which may perhaps have survived in that of
Legrana now assigned to one of the minnig districts, was applied by the
ancient Greeks to the whole of the hilly and metalliferous part of the
Attic peninsula to the S. of a line drawn from Thorikos (p. 125) to Ana-
phystos. The exact period at which the art of mining, long known in the
Orient, was introduced into Attica is unknown, but it was not practised
with any very profitable result in the time of Solon. The mines were the
property of the state and farmed out to enterprising citizens, on heredi¬
tary leases. The price of the lease, which at a later date was usually a
talent (ca. 2252.) for each mine, and V24 of the annual returns were paid
into the public treasury. All that was left after defraying the ordinary
expenses of government was divided among the citizens. The miners
were invariably slaves. The workings consisted, as in our own time,
of shafts (ypiaza, wells) and galleries OJTtdvofjioi, mines), and the large
chambers excavated underground were supplied with air by ventilating