340 Route 32. TIRYNS.
lie scattered around, at about 05 ft.; while its average thickness
was 26 ft. The rock-citadel is 985 ft. long and nearly 330 ft. broad.
Its flat top consists of a smaller and lower N. portion and a broader
and longer S. portion. The former, or Lou-er Castle, contained the
dwellings of the attendants and the stables for the horses and
cattle; the Upper Castle was occupied by the lordly owner. The
chief entrance to the castle was in the middle of the E. side;
another gate lay on the W.side, and there were several small posterns
at other points.
The ascription of the building of the walls to tbe Cyclopes, who had
been invited from Lycia by Proetos, the brother of King Akrisios of Argos,
is in all probability a reference to some immigration from Asia Minor.
Subsequently, according to the legend, Tiryns was ruled by Perseus, the
grandson of Akrisios, who shrank from taking the Argive kingdom of
his grandfather, whom he had accidentally killed. Another legend makes
Tiryns the birthplace of Hercules, the son of Zeus and Alkmene, the
granddaughter of Perseus. The importance of Tiryns falls entirely
within the mythical period; for although in conjunction with Mycenae it
sent 400 men to the battle of Plataea (B.C. 479), it was destroyed in B.C. 468
by the jealous Argives. Subsequent settlers added only a few unimportant
structures (p. 342), and the massive blocks of the ancient walls appear
never to have been used for any other buiiding purpose.
At two points (on the S. and S.E.) the wall is considerably
thicker, and contains various chambers and covered passages, which
were used as storehouses. These so-called Galleries are among the
most remarkable relics of the prehistoric age. A flight of stone
steps descends to these chambers, while the S.E. gallery (the longer
and better preserved) may al<o be reached from without, as the
wall is most ruinous on that side. Doors resembling pointed arches
lead from these passages to the adjoining Chambers, some of which
have been cleared out (two on the S.E., four on the S.), while
others remain full of blocks of stone. The roofs of the galleries
and chambers are not vaulted, but are formed by horizontal and
gradually overlapping layers of projecting stones (comp. p. 334).
In the S.E. gallery the surface of the stones has been worn per¬
fectly smooth by the closely packed flocks of sheep, which have
used it as a fold for centuries.
The excavations of Dr. Schliemann and Dr. Dbrpfeld, carried on
in the upper castle in 1884-1885, brought to light the plan of a palace
of the Homeric epoch. + Later excavations have established the
existence of three successive building-periods. We begin with the
Main Entrance in the middle of the E. side. From the plain this en¬
trance is reached by a broad inclined plane with walls, ascending
along the E. citadel-wall (25 ft. thick) so as to present to the latter
the unshielded right side of assailants (comp. p. 335). The Gateway
at the top, to the right, is formed by the approaching of the walls
(now about 3 ft. in height) and probably was never closed by doors.
t Comp. 'Tiryns, der prahistorische Palast der Kbnige von Tiryns',
von Dr. Heinr. Schliemann, mit Beitriigen von Dr. W. Dbrpfeld (Leipzig,
1886; English translation published by John Murray, London, 1886).