A History of the American School of Classical Studies, 1882-1942
Chapter IV: The Chairmanship of Edward Capps of Princeton University, 1918–1939
Edward Capps was graduated from Illinois College in 1887. He received his doctor’s degree from Yale in 1891. He had already been appointed Tutor in Latin at Yale in 1890 and two years later had the distinction of being invited to join that remarkable group of teachers whom President Harper gathered about him to build the newly founded University of Chicago. There he taught and wrote, edited the twenty-nine volumes of the University’s Decennial Publications, founded and edited Classical Philology. He lectured at Harvard on the Greek theater and was Trumbull Lecturer on Poetry at Johns Hopkins. He was called to Princeton as Professor of Greek in 1907. He had studied at the School when White was Annual Professor, and his work on the Greek theater and on Menander had given him a recognized place among the authorities on the Greek theater and the Attic drama.
Capps’s chairmanship began with an interregnum. When Wheeler died, February 9, 1918, the Executive Committee, consisting of Horatio M. Reynolds, Allen Curtis, James C. Egbert, Paul V. C. Baur, George E. Howe, Edward Capps and Alice Walton, at once asked Professor Edward D. Perry, of Columbia, to serve as Acting Chairman. At a meeting in New York, March 28, 1918, he appointed a committee to report at the annual meeting in May on the advisability of electing a permanent chairman at once or, in view of the conditions created by the war, postponing such a choice and carrying forward the affairs of the School under the direction of an acting chairman. This committee was also instructed to present a nomination in accordance with its recommendation. The committee appointed to make this important decision consisted of Perry, Curtis and Howe of the Executive Committee, and from the Managing Committee at large Allinson, Bassett, Fowler and Smyth.
Reporting unanimously May 11, 1918, the committee recommended the election of a permanent chairman and nominated Edward Capps. His election was immediate and unanimous.
Professor Capps’s engagements prevented him from assuming the duties of the chairman at once, and it was agreed that he should assume office on September 1, 1918. Perry was continued as Acting Chairman till that time.
During the summer, however, it was decided that a Red Cross Commission should be sent to Greece. Capps was asked to act as director with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and Henry B. Dewing was attached to his immediate staff with the rank of captain. Capps at once offered to resign the chairmanship of the Managing Committee, but the Executive Committee urged him to retain it, offering to continue the arrangement by which Perry served as Acting Chairman till Capps should be free to return to America. Fortunately for the School, Capps consented to these conditions. He actually assumed the chairmanship on December 1, 1919.
At the same meeting at which the Executive Committee had successfully urged Capps to retain the chairmanship, they had also voted to ask the Trustees to put the School property and the School personnel at the disposal of the American Red Cross. This the Trustees consented to do.
Accordingly Capps, on behalf of the Red Cross Commission, and Hill, on behalf of the School, arranged that the School building should be rented by the Red Cross for their headquarters. The staff of the Commission were accommodated in the student rooms of the upper floor and two rooms on the ground floor. This meant that the building was occupied continuously during the two years while the School was inactive (1918–1920) and that the School received a moderate compensation for the use of the building and the rent of the rooms. The building was (so the acting chairman thought) “subjected to unusual wear and tear” during its use by the Commission, but the Red Cross made a small grant to compensate for this. In addition, the members of Capps’s staff added many items of furniture to the rooms they occupied—articles which, in departing, they left behind them for the comfort of future students. Though the cost of repairs to the building at the close of its occupation” amounted to twenty-seven hundred dollars, by the arrangement the School had not only benefited from a financial point of view but had rendered a patriotic service which was not forgotten.
The Commission’s staff became much interested in the work of the School and established a Red Cross Excavation Fund. Among the first subscribers were Lieutenant Colonel Capps, Major Alfred F. James, of Milwaukee, Major Horace S. Oakley, of Chicago (later a Trustee of the School), Major A. Winsor Weld, of Boston (later a Trustee and Treasurer of the School) and Major Carl E. Black, of Jacksonville, Illinois. This fund amounted eventually to $3,034.57.
The Red Cross and the School also cooperated in securing a wholesome water supply for Old Corinth. The School provided the labor, and the Red Cross supervised the sanitation.
It has been noted that much difficulty arose in the excavations of Peirene from the fact that this fountain still supplied water to the village of Old Corinth. During the winter of 1919 heavy rains had brought down from the hills so much mud that the drains had been clogged, and the stagnant water accumulating in the excavations had become a breeding ground for malarial mosquitoes. The Red Cross joined the Greek Archaeological Society, the village and the American School in remedying this situation. The drains were cleaned, and pipes were laid, carrying Peirene’s waters to the village and restoring normal conditions. The Greek Archaeological Society contributed eight thousand drachmae, and the village gave the labor of two hundred men for a day and the entire cash balance in the village treasury, two hundred drachmae. These sanitary rearrangements were supervised by Hill.
During these two years there were no students in residence. The staff of the School consisted of the director, B. H. Hill; the secretary, Carl W. Blegen; the architect of the School, William B. Dinsmoor; and during the second year (1919–1920) Henry B. Dewing, who had been promoted to the rank of major in the Red Cross and who was appointed to the annual professorship in May, 1919. They all rendered conspicuous service to the Red Cross.
Hill took charge of the Home Service Bureau, where his chief duty was to see that allotment checks and insurance certificates for the twenty-five thousand-odd Greek soldiers in the American Army reached their proper destinations in Greece. Later he assisted efficiently in the anti-typhus campaign in eastern Macedonia and Bulgaria. Blegen organized relief work among villages near Mount Pangaeon and at Drama. He also inspected for the Red Cross concentration camps in Bulgaria and reported on conditions in western Macedonia and northern Epirus.
Dinsmoor was given a lieutenant’s commission in the United States Army in August, 1918, and assigned to duty as a military aide to the American Legation in Athens. In April and May, 1919, he found time to add further to his knowledge of the Propylaea area by excavations in the southwest wing. This excavation gave important evidence regarding the foundation of the early Propylon.
The Greek Government expressed its appreciation of the service of the School staff to the Greek nation by conferring on them distinguished decorations. Capps received the Gold Cross of a Commander of the Order of the Redeemer (the highest order of Greek chivalry) and the Order of Military Merit of the Second Class with Silver Palm; Hill and Blegen received the Gold Cross of an Officer of the Order of the Redeemer. Dewing also received this decoration and in addition the Order of Military Merit, and Dinsmoor was given the Order of Military Merit of the Fourth Class.
This is not the place to speak of Capps’s administration as Commissioner of the Red Cross to Greece. It was characterized by his usual clarity of vision and all-pervasive energy. As an Associate Director of Personnel in charge of the New York Branch of the National Headquarters I had reason to know this personally. The first official communication I received from him was a cable directing me to impound a certain chiropractor in the service of the Red Cross who was returning from Greece and relieve him of a Greek decoration which he had fraudulently obtained.
Capps presented his first report to the Trustees for the year ending August 31, 1920. It is a remarkable document. Clearly a new, vitalizing force was at work in the Managing Committee.
The report not only surveys the condition of the School at the close of the war and lays down the program for the resumption of work but makes a number of concise suggestions for the future and announces a plan of action. It is worth while to summarize this report and to see, in anticipation, how many of these proposed objectives were realized.
Capps at the beginning of this report paid a well deserved tribute to the wisdom of the founders of the School, who had been so careful to separate the functions of the Trustees from the functions of the Managing Committee:
The above recital of our relations with the Cooperating Institutions shows a most gratifying spirit on the part of their representatives on the Committee, and bears testimony to the wisdom of the policy which was adopted when the School was founded and has been tenaciously adhered to throughout the forty years of its existence. I refer to the plan of management which makes the elected representatives of the colleges and universities which contribute to its support the governing body of the School. The Trustees of the School are the custodians of its property and funds; but the income derived from the several sources is placed without restriction at the disposition of the Managing Committee, which makes the budget and directs the internal affairs of the School, electing as its administrative agents a Chairman and an Executive Committee. Thus clothed with complete authority, the Managing Committee of professors has discharged its duties skillfully and conscientiously year after year, without friction with either the Trustees on the one hand or the Cooperating Institutions on the other; and such a thing as a deficit, which is the chronic ailment of institutions conducted upon the usual plan, is unknown and virtually impossible. Students of academic administration are invited to study the record of the Athenian School, which has passed beyond the period of experiment. A wise distribution of function has resulted, on the one hand, in keeping the School a part of the educational system of the institutions which support it, and, on the other hand, in concentrating in the hands of educational experts the full responsibility for the educational administration; there has been efficiency combined with democracy; and the clashing of authority, so commonly witnessed where the position of the faculty is ill defined or too narrowly limited to teaching and discipline, has been conspicuously absent. It is a record of which the Managing Committee, and doubtless the Trustees also, are justly proud.
During the war some of the cooperating colleges found it impossible to continue their support. The revenue from this source had fallen from $4,695.42 in 1917–1918 to $3,662.07 in 1918–1919, a loss of about twenty-two per cent, a severe loss, since at this time the income from the colleges, even at this reduced figure, was one-third of the total School income (income from securities in 1918–1919, $7,816.08). Capps noted that there were twenty-five institutions cooperating in the School’s support and that the number had not been increased in twenty years. This static list he vigorously described as an anachronism. He suggested the addition of Bowdoin, Hamilton, Goucher, Oberlin, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Tulane and the State Universities of Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Colorado. During his chairmanship all these were added except Vanderbilt (which joined in 1940), Tulane and Colorado. And in lieu of these he succeeded in adding the Bureau of University Travel, the Catholic University of America, the College of the City of New York, the University of Cincinnati, Crozer Theological Seminary, Drake University (for one year), Duke, George Washington University, Haverford, Hunter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Rochester, Radcliffe, Swarthmore, Syracuse, Trinity, Washington University, Whitman College, the State Universities of Ohio and Texas, and the University of Toronto. The income from this source rose immediately. In 1921–1922 it was $8,733.29; for 1929–1930 it was ten thousand dollars.
To secure more publicity for the School Capps advocated that each cooperating institution mention in its catalogue the facilities of the School, which were open gratis to its graduates.
He further planned to secure extensive publicity for the School by articles of a popular nature in Art and Archaeology. Mitchell Carroll, who was then Editor-in-chief and represented the George Washington University on the Managing Committee, promised space, an offer which was later renewed by his successor, Arthur Stanley Riggs.
On the matter of deferred publication Capps spoke in no uncertain tone:
Referring to the problem of the School’s publications in general, the Chairman shares with the other members of the Committee the feeling that, while we have every reason to be proud of the work of research accomplished by our representatives in Athens, the time has come when the publication of discoveries which we have announced to be of the first importance must be pushed to early completion. Certainly the time has now come when no other task or preoccupation should be allowed to interfere with the prompt appearance, one after the other, of the books on the Erechtheum, the Propylaea, and Corinth. Corinth should, in fact, come first. It is therefore urgently recommended that every effort be made, by all the officers and committees concerned, to bring the three volumes mentioned to immediate completion. And the work already done at Corinth should be adequately reported in the preliminary publication before further excavations are undertaken, or funds solicited for them.
The cost of the final completion of work at Corinth and its publication was spoken of as a matter of fifty thousand dollars, a considerable underestimate, as the fact proved. Capps set himself to raise this fund as well as a permanent fund for excavation and research.
It has been noted that the final arrangements for the purchase of a lot for the women’s hostel had been announced by Capps while he was still in Athens. He now arranged for the building of the hostel itself by securing the appointment of W. Stuart Thompson as architect. His preliminary plans were formed, and a committee was appointed to secure the $150,000 necessary for the erection of the building.
The Auxiliary Fund, which he had founded, now had reached a principal sum of about ten thousand dollars, and interest from it could be used for current expenses. But this assistance was wholly inadequate to carry the increased expenses of the School.
Capps pointed out that the budget of $20,050 adopted for 1920–1921 was something like six thousand dollars in excess of the current income of the School. Though part of this was for nonrecurrent items and though part of it could be met from reserves accumulated, still it took a considerable amount of confidence in the future to pass and advocate this budget. Capps did not hesitate. He went a good deal further ; he closed his report with the bold statement that an additional endowment of at least two hundred thousand dollars was necessary and that at least half of this must be procured during the coming year.
The aim of Capps’s chairmanship was, then, (1) to increase the number of cooperating institutions; (2) to make the work of the School better and more widely known; (3) to publish the books on the Erechtheum, Corinth and the Propylaea; (4) to systematize and vigorously prosecute the further excavation of Corinth but preferably not till after these three publications had appeared; (5) to secure an endowment for excavation and research; (6) to erect a hostel for women; and (7) to more than double the endowment, and that without too much delay. This was no trifling program. No voice like this had been heard in the Managing Committee since the trenchant report of White in 1894 (Bulletin IV).
When Capps laid down the chairmanship twenty years later (1939), of these seven objectives all had been magnificently attained except the publication of the Propylaea.
In June, 1920, Capps was appointed, by President Woodrow Wilson, Minister of the United States to Greece and Montenegro. He promptly offered to resign his chairmanship, but the Executive Committee refused to entertain this suggestion and as before appointed Perry Acting Chairman. Capps sailed for Greece in August. While he was Minister in Athens he scrupulously refrained from active participation in the affairs of the School, though he could not withdraw his interest from what was the most absorbing activity of his rich and varied life.
There may be a difference of opinion regarding the effect on the nation of the defeat of the Democratic Party in the election of 1920. There can be no question that it was a blessing to the School, for it terminated Capps’s ministerial mission in March and sent him back to the United States in June, 1921, to devote himself again to the chairmanship. Perry presided at the meeting of the Managing Committee in May, 1921. The report for the year was written by Capps.
For the first time since 1914–1915 there was a student body at the School. (There had been one Fellow, part-time, in 1915–1916.) There were nine regular students, all Fellows. There were three Fellows of the Institute (two appointed before the war), one Fellow of the School and a Fellow in Architecture, two Charles Eliot Norton Fellows from Harvard, a Procter Fellow from Princeton and a Locke Fellow in Greek from Hamilton. Miss Priscilla Capps and Edward Capps, Jr., were associate members.
The stipend of the Fellows of the School and of the Institute was this year for the first time advanced to one thousand dollars. Among these Fellows at the School were several who were to maintain a long connection with it. Leicester B. Holland, Fellow in Architecture, was reappointed for the following year with the title Architect of the School and again for 1922–1923 as Associate Professor of Architecture. James P. Harland had been at the School the second semester of 1913–1914. He was now a Fellow of the Institute. He returned to the School twice later—1926–1927 and the second semester of 1939. Benjamin D. Meritt, Locke Fellow of Hamilton College, was the following year Fellow of the Institute, Assistant Director of the School (1926–1928), Annual Professor (1932–1933), Visiting Professor (1935–1936, first semester), member of the Managing Committee from 1926 on and Chairman of the Publications Committee 1939–.
Miss Alice L. Walker (Mrs. Georgios Kosmopoulos), who had been a student in the School 1909–1914, returned to Greece this year to work on the prehistoric remains about Corinth and the prehistoric pottery found there. This investigation was destined to be long continued. In 1939 she took the manuscript of her first volume to Munich, where she arranged to have it published by Bruckmann. When the book was printed, in 1940, it could not be delivered and probably is still in Munich. Volumes II and III are still “in preparation.”
Under the chairmanship of Professor Samuel E. Bassett the Committee on Fellowships recommended a change in the character of the examinations, which was approved by the Managing Committee. Under the new ruling the candidate was required to take examinations of a general character in Modern Greek, Greek Archaeology, Architecture, Sculpture, Vases, Epigraphy, Pausanias and the Topography of Athens and a more searching examination in one of the fields to be chosen by the candidate himself. The requirement had previously been Modern Greek and any three other topics.
The first open meeting in years was held at the School in March. Hill spoke on the excavations at Corinth, and Blegen on Korakou.
The progress of the School was signalized this year by the first automobile trouble. A Fiat camion and a Ford car had been obtained as a legacy, or spoils of war, from the Red Cross. Hill reported that the School trips had been unusually numerous and extensive, “owing to the speed of the camion.” These trips were diversified by all sorts of accidents to tires and running gear, causing delay and expense. The final debacle came when an elaborate interchange of locomotive activity with the students of the Roman School was attempted in the spring of 1920. The Athenian School were to proceed by train to Olympia and Messenia, thence by mule to Sparta. There they were to meet the Romans, who were to have gone by camion through Argolis. Here an exchange of transport was to be made, each school returning to Athens by the route the other had taken from Athens. The strategy was excellent, but the tactics faulty. The camion refused to leave Athens till repairs to vital organs had been effected. Meanwhile, the Romans proceeded to Nauplia by train, where the camion overtook them. At Sparta the exchange was made, but when the camion had transported the Athenians as far as Monemvasia it gave up the ghost. A disgusted chairman reported, “At last accounts the camion has been out of commission since April, 1920, on account of injuries undergone in the Peloponnesus trip.”
The Fortieth Annual Report (1920–1921) had contained this statement:
In accordance with the desire of the Committee, in which Dr. Hill fully shares, that no considerable new excavation, or even a continuation of the excavation of Old Corinth, should be undertaken until the officers of the School should have had time to catch up with arrears in the matter of publication, no programme for future excavations by the School itself has been proposed or considered. It is the Committee’s hope and expectation that for the next few years the Director and Assistant Director will devote the time which, in other conditions, they would be giving each year to the exploration of sites, in the search for new material, to the preparation for publication of the accumulations of earlier years.
Circumstances seemed to make a relaxation of this “substance of doctrine” advisable.
In October, 1920, Blegen, accompanied by Hill and the students of the School, stopped about halfway between Corinth and Mycenae for a casual investigation of a mound, Zygouries, which had seemed to Blegen to offer attractive possibilities. Here a very cursory examination revealed many traces of prehistoric culture, a bit of wall and many sherds. Lester M. Prindle, Charles Eliot Norton Fellow, found a marble idol that belonged to a type hitherto unknown on the mainland. Seager generously offered five hundred dollars for a trial excavation. [Fortieth Report, p. 17, states five hundred pounds, but the whole excavation cost less than one thousand dollars (Forty-first Report, p. 20).] Hill donated one hundred dollars given him by Mrs. Edward Robinson “for excavation.” At a further inspection the next March, Dr. Robinson offered to add five hundred dollars more to complete the excavation. Work was begun in April. Wace, of the British School, offered his assistance, and Holland, Harland and J. Donald Young, Procter Fellow of Princeton, joined the force.
This excavation was continued the next year (1922). A significant contribution toward defraying the expense was made by Mr. Carl B. Spitzer, of Toledo.
This excavation, made at the relatively small cost of about one thousand dollars, was one of the most successful undertaken by the School. It was shown that there had been a settlement here from 2400 to 1200 B.C. The earlier settlement was the more important. The plans of small houses separated by narrow, crooked streets were disclosed. Much pottery from this stratum was recovered. The Middle Helladic settlement (2000–1600 B.C.) was the least important. A “potter’s shop” belonging to the latest Helladic period was discovered in which about a thousand vases were found. In addition to this, Blegen during the second campaign was able to locate the burial place of this village. Here an Early Helladic cemetery was found. With the exception of a single grave discovered at Corinth these were the earliest examples of Early Helladic burial on the mainland. The objects found in these tombs were exceedingly valuable as establishing a connection with the Cyclades. There were also found graves of the Middle and Late Helladic periods.
When the objects found here were removed to Corinth, it was necessary to rent a special building to house them. Blegen at once made a preliminary publication of these excavations in Art and Archaeology. The final publication, a handsome volume with twenty illustrations in color, was issued by the School in 1928. (Plate XII)
An interesting arrangement was made this year with the Fogg Museum of Art, of Harvard University, for joint excavations. The Museum agreed to furnish not less than ten thousand dollars a year for five years. The School agreed to secure the necessary concessions and to attend to the formalities incident to the conduct of an excavation. Each party was to furnish one representative or more to oversee the work. The publication was to be sponsored by both institutions, the expense to be met by the Museum. This arrangement was obviously advantageous to the School, and it was hoped that such supervision as would be necessary could be furnished without interfering with the program of publication on which the Committee was determined.
This was the first of several joint excavations in Greece under the auspices of the School. D. M. Robinson’s dig at Olynthus and Lehman’s at Samothrace were later examples of such an arrangement. Miss Hetty Goldman was chosen by the Fogg Museum as their representative. She had been a student in the School for three years (1910–1913). She had excavated successfully at Halae. During the summer of 1921 Miss Goldman and Hill traveled extensively in Greece, the Islands and Asia Minor, investigating the possibility of digging at various sites. Colophon, about twenty-five miles south of Smyrna, was finally selected. Application was made to the Government at Smyrna in February, 1922. Hill spent ten days in March completing arrangements, and early in April the expedition set out.
Dr. Goldman was in charge with Miss Lulu Eldridge. The School was represented by Blegen and Holland, of the staff, and three students, Meritt, Franklin P. Johnson, Fellow of the School, and Kenneth Scott.
Most of the work was done on the acropolis. This rises terrace above terrace, as at Pergamon. On the main terrace the ground plans of several large houses were uncovered. Stairways and drains were cleared. These Greek houses proved to be of an early date, the earliest yet found except at Priene. A bathing establishment was also found, and the sanctuary of the Great Mother was located. A brief account of this excavation, written by Fowler, was published in Art and Archaeology, and a more complete statement appeared in Hesperia in 1944. Work was discontinued when the territory about Smyrna reverted from Greek to Turkish authority but was resumed for a brief time in the fall of 1925. The site proved unrewarding, and nothing further was done. Two publications were made, however, a preliminary article on the inscriptions by Meritt in the American Journal of Philology (1935) and an exhaustive discussion of the Colophonian house in Hesperia.
At the meeting in 1921 much dissatisfaction with the delay of the Erechtheum publication was manifest. On motion of Dr. Edward Robinson it was highly resolved that “the publication of the results of the investigation of the Erechtheum by the American School be not further delayed, and that no results of investigation later than the spring of 1921 be included.” Capps had personally seen each of the contributors. He was able to report that Dr. Paton would finish his chapter in 1922. Stevens’ work was complete, Fowler was making his final revisions, and Caskey was well along with the building inscriptions on which he had worked in Athens in 1921. It was hoped the printer would receive the material in 1922.
No such hope was expressed regarding Hill’s Bulletin on Corinth. It seemed likely that Paton, when released from the Erechtheum, might have to be assigned to this task, too.
The Propylaea book, though “in a somewhat more advanced state than a year ago,” was still further from completion than its author could wish.
This year the Auxiliary Fund, under the chairmanship of T. Leslie Shear, reached its high-water mark. The amount received was $10,751.32. Shear himself made a generous gift of five thousand dollars. It was hoped at the time that something like this amount might be realized annually. That has not been possible. For a considerable number of years the gifts amounted to about five thousand dollars annually but during the last few years of Capps’s administration they fell to about three thousand dollars. The very success which he attained in securing large gifts discouraged those who were able to give but a modest amount, and these constituted most of the personnel who made up the Auxiliary Fund Association.
One project begun some time earlier was completed this year. A piano had long been needed for the social rooms of the School. Mrs. A. C. McGiffert, of New York, had taken the matter in hand and with the assistance of Mrs. C. B. Gulick, of Cambridge, and others she raised funds to purchase a Mason and Hamlin Grand Piano, which is still appreciated by the students of the School.
Two other funds were begun in 1920–1921. One fund was in memory of Major Cyril G. Hopkins, of the University of Illinois, a member of the Red Cross Commission. He came to Greece at the request of Mr. Venizelos to advise the Greek Government as a soil expert. The value of his pamphlet on “How Greece Can Produce More Food” has proved the wisdom of Venizelos’ suggestion. He died at Gibraltar of malaria contracted in Greece. His friends at the suggestion of Dewing established this fund. The initial amount was $624.
The other fund was established in memory of John Huybers, an American press correspondent who died at Phaleron in 1919. His sympathetic understanding of the Greek people led his Greek friends to desire that his name might have a permanent place in an institution devoted, as he was, to American-Hellenic unity. This fund was $545. In neither case was there expectation that the fund would be very largely increased. The former amounts (1944) to $703.12, and the latter to $714.53. They remain part of the permanent School endowment and will continue to serve the friendly purpose for which they were established.
But the really memorable event of 1920–1921 was the beginning of Capps’s first campaign for a large endowment.
Capps realized that the time for such a campaign was unpropitious (it always seems to be) but unlike other chairmen he went ahead anyway. His motto seems to have been, “Today, Providence permitting; tomorrow, whether or no.” On June 1, 1920, he applied to the Carnegie Corporation and the General Education Board, asking each for an endowment fund of one hundred thousand dollars on condition that the Trustees and Managing Committee of the School raise one hundred thousand dollars. If both granted the request the School’s endowment would be increased by three hundred thousand dollars; if only one did so, by two hundred thousand dollars, the minimum absolutely required by the needs of the School. A similar request was also made to the Rockefeller Foundation.
The General Education Board was inhibited by its charter from assisting educational institutions in foreign countries, and the Rockefeller Foundation had made other commitments, but the President of the Carnegie Corporation, J. R. Angell, brought the matter to the attention of his Board of Trustees in the fall after Capps had gone as Minister to Greece. Apparently no action was taken at that meeting. Before their spring meeting Dr. Edward Robinson, who had been in Greece during the winter and had thus had an opportunity to study the work of the School personally, wrote a letter describing the achievements of the School and its needs to Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation. Dr. Pritchett had earlier been deeply interested in the School, and probably this letter to him and his influence in the Board were determining factors in the favorable decision at which they then arrived.
After several conferences between Capps and Allen Curtis, Treasurer of the School Trustees, and President Angell, on July 18, 1921, the Carnegie Corporation made this conditional offer to the Trustees and the Managing Committee of the School. The Carnegie Corporation would grant the School’s request for one hundred thousand dollars for endowment if the School would raise for endowment $150,000 before January 1, 1925. Further, to meet the immediate needs of the School, the Carnegie Corporation offered to pay five thousand dollars a year for five years conditioned on the School’s raising seventy-five thousand dollars by July 1, 1923. This was the first but by no means the last of Capps’s triumphs as an administrative financier.
The immediate payment of the first five thousand dollars enabled the Managing Committee to revise its budget for 1921–1922. The budget for 1920–1921 had been $20,050. It had been reduced to $13,250 for 1921–1922. It was now possible to increase this to eighteen thousand dollars, including an item of one thousand dollars for the purchase of annuities in favor of the director and the assistant director. Blegen had been given the title of assistant director at the annual meeting in 1920 in recognition of his distinguished services to the School as secretary from 1913 to 1920. He was the first to hold this title.
An organization committee was appointed, consisting of Capps, chairman, Perry and Allen Curtis. A Committee on Endowment was created by them and fully organized by November 1, 1921. The Committee on Organization were made the officers of this larger committee. Work was prosecuted with all the energy and enthusiasm characteristic of Capps.
As a preliminary to the endowment campaign the committee felt that more publicity of a dignified character for the School was necessary. Mitchell Carroll, a member of the Managing Committee, generously gave a whole issue of Art and Archaeology, of which he was editor, to an account of the School. This appeared in October, 1922. Harold North Fowler devoted his entire summer to writing and editing the articles, which were profusely and beautifully illustrated. They included a brief history, of the School and its earlier excavations, by Fowler; a chapter on the excavation of Corinth, written by Hill and edited by Fowler; a chapter on prehistoric sites by Blegen. “The Researches on the Athenian Acropolis” was contributed largely by Dinsmoor. “The Publications of the School” was written by George H. Chase, who also contributed, with the assistance of Leicester B. Holland, the article on Colophon. An interesting contribution on the opportunities for study in the Byzantine field at the School was contributed by Dr. Robert P. Blake.
When the annual meeting of the Managing Committee was held the following May, seventy thousand dollars had been raised. By August 1, 1922, the total was $89,506.83, well over half the amount sought in less than a year.
And now a very welcome testimony to the importance of the School as an American institution of the highest standing came from Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in whose behalf Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick wrote in June, 1922, to Capps, stating that after careful investigation Mr. Rockefeller had decided to give the School, preferably for permanent endowment, one hundred thousand dollars, provided the School was successful in its effort to raise the $150,000. Meanwhile, he very generously offered to pay the Trustees of the School the interest on his gift at five per cent. His offer was limited to two years, thereby setting forward the limit for completing the campaign for the $150,000 from January 1, 1925, to June 19, 1924.
More than a year before that date arrived, Capps was able to announce the completion of the task. On May 20, 1923, there had been subscribed $147,000. Dr. Joseph Clark Hop-pin had pledged two thousand dollars if the fund was completed before July 1, and Dr. Edward Robinson had asked to be allowed to give the last thousand dollars. He had already given the first thousand. Before July 1 additional gifts raised the total to $160,000. The final total was $165,473.99.
All of this amount, as well as the hundred thousand dollars from the Carnegie Corporation and the hundred thousand dollars from Mr. Rockefeller, was for permanent endowment. Of the remainder, $83,555 was given for unspecified purposes. Other endowment funds which were created at the time and which helped to make up the grand total were the American Red Cross Commissions Fund, the Hopkins and Huybers Funds, and funds to capitalize the participation of Adelbert College of Western Reserve University, Harvard University, the University of California and New York University.
Three funds were also started in honor of the first three chairmen of the Managing Committee, John Williams White, Thomas Day Seymour and James Rignall Wheeler. At the time it was hoped that these might be built up to twenty thousand dollars each and that then each would support a fellow in residence at Athens with a stipend of one thousand dollars. The fellowship in Seymour’s memory was to be awarded for the study of the Greek Language, Literature and History. These fellowship funds have later been raised to thirty thousand dollars each, and a fourth in honor of Edward Capps was added by the Trustees after his retirement from the chairmanship. Seymour, White, Wheeler and Capps Fellows were all appointed in 1940. The details of these gifts with a complete list of all the donors are given in Capps’s meticulous report for the year 1922–1923.
When Capps was made chairman in 1918 the endowment accumulated in thirty-six years was less than $150,000. His active work as chairman had begun in 1920. In less than four years he had increased the endowment to more than five hundred thousand dollars.
During the year 1921–1922 there were four regular students at the School. Meritt was spending his second year in Athens, as Institute Fellow. He devoted this year largely to work on Thucydides, spending much time in Elis, Acarnania, Aetolia and the Chalcidic Peninsula. He prepared a paper on the Apodotia campaign of the Athenian general Demosthenes and by careful study of the tribute lists was able to point out unfairness in Thucydides’ treatment of Cleon.
Miss Alice Walker continued her study of Corinthian pottery but spent considerable time in investigating prehistoric sites in the Peloponnesus, especially in Arcadia.
This was the year in which Blegen was completing his dig at Zygouries, and, in fact, the attention of the School was being drawn more continuously to the prehistoric sites. Blegen suggested a complete survey of the Peloponnesus with this in view. Another promising site near Thisbe in Boeotia was also considered. The Managing Committee was so impressed with the work of Blegen that they voted an appropriation of fifty dollars at the meeting in May, 1922, for a small investigation on Mount Hymettus, where the year before Prindle had found a few geometric sherds in a hollow near the summit. A preliminary excavation the next year disclosed a deposit of considerable depth containing many sherds of the geometric period and some of the classical age. A few of the geometric fragments were scratched with rude lettering. In 1924 this excavation was completed. A very large number of shattered vases was found, mostly heaped together, apparently votive offerings from a shrine. Some two or three hundred were nearly intact. These were removed to the National Museum for repair and study. The expense of this excavation was met by T. Leslie Shear.
In March and June, 1939, Rodney Young, of the Agora staff, made a supplementary excavation here. Foundations were discovered indicating a sanctuary, and a three-letter inscription that suggested Heracles as the deity worshipped. An altar was found with another sanctuary nearby, identified as the sanctuary of Zeus, and a stele which, it was suggested, formed the basis of the statue of Zeus of Hymettus, mentioned by Pausanias. The altar would then probably be the altar of Zeus of the Showers, also said by Pausanias to be on Mount Hymettus. Many of the pieces of pottery found were inscribed, but none seems to be earlier than the seventh century B.C.
The Managing Committee took steps at its meeting in 1922 to secure closer relations with the staff of the School and better to acquaint the members of the Committee with what was going on in Athens.
These regulations provided that the director should each year before May 1 provide the chairman of the Managing Committee with a list and description of the courses to be offered during the year, a list of the proposed School trips and of the excavations to be made. The annual professor was to outline his work for the coming year during the preceding December. Monthly reports were to be made by the director and the associate director. The annual professor and other members of the staff were to submit, through the director, reports on January 1 and at the close of the year. The director was further asked to file with the chairman before May 1 each year a detailed report of the year’s work “which shall indicate clearly all changes from the proposed plan of work, with the reasons therefor.” The Executive Committee was empowered to approve the plan of the year’s work or to suggest changes. Explicitly no excavation was to be undertaken by any member of the School staff “unless provided for in the Budget, or approved in advance by the Executive Committee.” The idea of publishing the courses in advance recalls White’s suggestion, but the general tone of these resolutions, unanimously recommended by the Executive Committee, suggests growing tension between the Managing Committee and the staff. For a time, however, they seem to have served a very useful purpose.
Dinsmoor’s book on the Propylaea was now pronounced to be as nearly complete as it could be made till the author could revisit Athens to verify details. Hill’s Bulletin on Corinth showed no progress, but the article on the excavations which he was preparing for Art and Archaeology was felt to be progressing in the right direction. The hopes for the publication of the Erechtheum had not been fully realized, but such progress had been made that it seemed probable that part of the material would reach the printer in the spring of 1923.
Capps concludes his report for this annus mirabilis (1921–1922), which assured the conditional gifts of one hundred thousand dollars each from the Carnegie Corporation and Mr. Rockefeller, with this paragraph:
I have reserved for the last place in this Report the most remarkable piece of good fortune that has fallen to the lot of the School since its foundation—the gift it has received of the Gennadius Library, of the building to house it, and of the land in Athens on which to build it.
The remarkable story can best be told in Capps’s own words:
The magnificent Library of His Excellency Dr. Joannes Gennadius, who for many years and during the late war represented the Greek Government at the Court of St. James, has long been known to connoisseurs as, within its field, without a rival in the world. Housed in London in the residence of Dr. Gennadius, it has drawn visitors from every country, and was known to contain collections of unsurpassed completeness for the illustration of Hellenic civilization in every age and numberless individual treasures of unique beauty and rarity. . . . . The items number between 45,000 and 50,000.
When President Harding proposed the Washington Disarmament Conference, Dr. Gennadius was living, as the Dean emeritus of the Greek Diplomatic Service, in well-earned scholarly leisure among his books in London. His government summoned him from his retirement to attend the Conference as the representative of Greece, paying to the United States the compliment of sending here one who had rendered to his country and to the Allies distinguished service during the war, who enjoyed the friendship and esteem of the statesmen of the other countries to be represented in the Conference, and who, besides, was widely known among scholars and collectors the world over. After the work of the Conference was finished, he and Madame Gennadius stayed on in Washington for a time. It was during this period and in the following circumstances that the possibility of the School’s receiving from Dr. Gennadius the gift of his Library came to be considered.
It had long been the wish of Dr. Gennadius that his Library and Collections should ultimately go to Athens, there to be used by the scholars of all nations; but owing to their great value, the physical requirements of their proper care, and the scholarly requirements of their use, he had as yet found no means of carrying out his purpose, and the troubled condition of Europe and especially of Greece seemed to make his dream of a great establishment in Athens, worthy of the Library and adequate to its scholarly employment, difficult if not impossible of immediate realization. He spoke of this problem to Professor Mitchell Carroll, Secretary and Director of the Archaeological Society of Washington, and Professor Carroll suggested the possibility that the American School at Athens might be able to provide the building and the custody of the Library. I was accordingly invited, in March 1922, to a series of conferences with Dr. Gennadius and Professor Carroll, in which this possibility was fully discussed from every point of view. Professor Carroll, a pupil of the School and a member of the Managing Committee, had not only prepared the way for these conferences, but contributed many practical suggestions toward the solution which was finally agreed upon. Dr. Gennadius showed himself most sympathetic toward the School, then in the midst of an arduous endowment campaign and possessing no general resources which could be used for a building or even the adequate custody of the Library, and readily adapted the conditions of his gift to what seemed at the time to be within the reasonable expectations of the School. The letter offering the Library to the School was addressed to Professor Carroll and myself, under date of March 29, 1922. I quote here the first part of the letter, omitting the description of the Library which follows:
“In accordance with the preliminary conversations which I have already had with you, I now beg to place before you, in a more detailed and precise form, the proposal I made, with the full approval and concurrence of my wife, Madame Gennadius, for the presentation of my Library and the collections supplementary to it, as hereinafter summarily described, to the American School at Athens, on the following conditions:
“(1) That the said Library and Collections be kept permanently and entirely separate and distinct from all other books or collections, in a special building, or part of a suitable building, to be provided for this purpose.
“(2) That the Library, etc., be known as the Gennadeion in remembrance of my Father, George Gennadius, whose memory is held by my countrymen in great veneration and gratitude.
“(3) That as soon as practicable a subject catalogue of the whole Library and of the collections be completed and published on the same principle of classification as the Sections already catalogued by me.
“(4) That no book or pamphlet, or any items of the Collections, be lent, or allowed to leave the Library; but that rules be drawn up for the proper and safe use of the books, etc The rarest and most valuable items may even be withheld from any hurtful use, at the discretion of the Directorate.
“(5) That a competent and specially trained bibliognost be employed as Librarian and Custodian.
“(6) That the special section, containing the published works of my Father, of other members of my family, and my own publications, be kept apart, in a separate bookcase, as now arranged in the Library. Likewise the publications of my wife’s Father and of his family.
“(7) That the Professors of the University of Athens, the Council of the Greek Archaeological Society, and the members of the British, French, and German Schools at Athens be admitted to the benefits of the use of the Library and of Collections on special terms and conditions to be determined by the Directorate.
“(8) That if ever the American School of Archaeology in Athens ceases to exist, or is withdrawn from Greece, the Library with all the supplementary collections, without exception, shall then revert to the University of Athens on the same conditions as above in respect to their preservation and management.
“My wife and I make this presentation in token of our admiration and respect for your great country—the first country from which a voice of sympathy and encouragement reached our fathers when they rose in their then apparently hopeless struggle for independence; and we do so in the confident hope that the American School in Athens may thus become a world center for the study of Greek history, literature and art, both ancient, Byzantine and modern, and for the better understanding of the history and constitution of the Greek Church, that Mother Church of Christianity, in which the Greek Fathers, imbued with the philosophy of Plato, first determined and expounded the dogmas of our common faith.
“Holding as I do a strong preference for giving away during life what one can, rather than willing after death what one may no longer use, I am ready to make over to the School the whole of the said Library and the other collections as soon as provision for their due housing has been made; and I pray that my wife and I may be spared to enjoy the sight of their actual utilization in full working order.”
During the period of negotiations culminating in this most generous offer, I had been unable to consult with the President of the Board of Trustees owing to his serious illness; but as soon as he was able to attend to affairs Judge Loring wrote the following letter of acceptance to Dr. Gennadius, under the date of April 12:
“2 Gloucester St.
April 12, 1922.
“His Excellency Mr. J. Gennadius
Envoy Extraordinary of the Royal Government of Greece,
Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D. C.
“My dear Mr. Gennadius:
“The Chairman of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Professor Capps, has transmitted to me, as President of the Board of Trustees of that institution, your most generous offer, dated March 29, 1922, of your magnificent private Library and supplementary Collections as a gift to the School, as a memorial to your distinguished father, Mr. George Gennadius, together with the conditions attaching to your offer.
“I regret that illness has prevented my earlier acknowledgment of your proposal, whose extraordinary character, as well as the high motives which have inspired your action, have not failed to impress me deeply. No more fitting memorial to George Gennadius could have been conceived by his equally distinguished son; Greece is obviously the most appropriate home for your remarkable collection of documents relating to the history of Hellas and the Levant: and Greece as well as America are equally benefited by the permanent establishment in Athens, under the care of the American School, of your Library and Collections, the result of many years of scholarly selection. May I express to Madame Gennadius and to you my profound appreciation of the honor and recognition that your proposal itself confers upon the American School at Athens.
“I accept, in the name of the American School and its Trustees, your generous gift and the conditions subject to which you make it—with the proviso, however, which necessarily attaches to the acceptance of so heavy a responsibility before we have had time to ascertain whether or not we can obtain the funds with which to fulfill the obligations we should be assuming—viz., that before taking title to the Library and Collections we must first consult with possible donors of the necessary funds for the erection of the building or wing to house the Library. Mr. Capps tells me that he has already laid the matter before one benevolent corporation, and I can assure you that he will proceed with all diligence in his search. I trust that, even in these difficult times, we may soon meet with success.
“If the undertaking is consummated in accordance with your highminded and generous proposal, I feel confident that the Gennadeion of the American School in Athens will become the resort of all scholars of the world who devote themselves to the interpretation of the Hellenic civilization in all its branches, from the Ancient Greece, through the Byzantine Empire, to the Greece of today. And I am sure that I share with you the belief that your gift to the world of scholarship, through the agency of the American School, will greatly strengthen the ties, already close, that bind the Republic of the West to your native country, the fountain-head of our European civilization.
“Accept, Excellency, for Madame Gennadius and yourself the assurance of my sincere and profound gratitude, in the name of my colleagues of the Board of Trustees.
“Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) “William Caleb Loring,
“President of the Board of Trustees.”
Dr. Gennadius was momentarily expecting to be ordered home by his government and the margin of time for finding the money for the building to house the Library was slight, if the transaction was to be completed before his departure. There was also the question of the site for the building, for which we should have to depend upon the generosity of the Greek Government. Furthermore, it was difficult, without detailed knowledge of the space required for the books and collections of the Gennadius Library, to estimate the size and probable cost of the building. But fortunately Dr. Gennadius, on the one hand, possessed the most exact recollection of the number of volumes, their size and grouping, and the space required for the exhibition of the rarest items; and Mr. W. Stuart Thompson, on the other hand—a practicing architect of New York who had once held the Carnegie Fellowship in Architecture at the School and had superintended the construction of the Library Addition to the School building—had an exact survey of the tract of land lying to the north of the present School property just south of the aqueduct of Hadrian on the slopes of Mt. Lycabettus, which was the only appropriate and available plot near the School for such a building. Tentative plans and estimates were therefore made by Mr. Thompson on the assumption that the proposed site could be obtained, and on April 8 I laid the whole situation before Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, Acting President of the Carnegie Corporation.
In the negotiations which followed I had the invaluable cooperation of Dr. Edward Robinson of the Managing Committee, who had personal knowledge of the Gennadius Library in London and instantly saw how advantageous for the School its acquisition would be. “An acquisition like this,” he wrote to Dr. Pritchett, “would at once place the School in the front rank of learned bodies in Europe, and enable it to afford unparalleled facilities to scholars from all parts of the world who visit Athens. Such an opportunity does not come once in the lifetime of every institution, and if allowed to pass by it can never recur.”
On May 20 the Carnegie Corporation voted a grant of $200,000 for the erection of the Gennadeion. The conditions attached to the grant were “that a building plan satisfactory to the Corporation be submitted, that the building be begun not later than January 1, 1924, and that the building be built and completed, ready for use, free of debt, including all architect’s fees and other charges, within the limits of the appropriation.”
Meanwhile an application was made to the Greek Government, through Director Hill, for the expropriation of the desired site, which was the property of the Petraki Monastery. In this transaction a letter which Mr. Elihu Root, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation, wrote to the Prime Minister of Greece played so important a part that it should be quoted here as a matter of record; it is valuable also as showing the considerations which moved the Corporation to make its prompt and generous grant:
“Carnegie Corporation, 522 Fifth Avenue,
New York, June 6, 1922.
“The President of the Ministerial Council of the Kingdom of Greece
“I have the honor, on behalf of the Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation, formally to make known to Your Excellency and your associates of the Ministerial Council, that the Carnegie Corporation has voted an appropriation of $200,000 to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for the erection of a building to accommodate the Library and Collections which His Excellency, Mr. Joannes Gennadius, citizen of Greece and Dean of the Greek Diplomatic Service, has recently presented to the School.
“The Corporation was moved to make this contribution, not only by its deep interest in the American School, which we are happy to think worthily represents American scholarship in the capital of Greece, but also by the desire to make prompt and adequate recognition, on the part of America, of the remarkably generous, public-spirited and enlightened act of Mr. Gennadius. We cordially sympathize with his twofold purpose—both to enrich the scholarly resources of his native country for the use and benefit of the scholars of all nations who resort to Athens for the study of the Hellenic civilization, and at the same time to promote and confirm the long-time friendship between the peoples of Greece and the United States of America by means of a visible monument in Athens and a continuing beneficent stream of influence flowing from his foundation. We trust and believe that his purpose will be realized.
“I take this occasion to express to Your Excellency our appreciation of the fine spirit of cooperation which the Greek Government, on its part, has manifested in undertaking to assist the American School to procure, as a site for the Gennadius Library, the tract of land adjacent to the present property of the School. It was with full knowledge of your generous action, and in the confident belief that it would speedily be crowned with success, that our Trustees have made the grant for the erection of the building.
“Accept, Excellency, the assurance of my distinguished consideration.
(Signed) “Elihu Root,
“Chairman of The Board of Trustees.”
Mr. Root’s letter, in a modern Greek translation, was read in Parliament and was received with enthusiasm. A bill was soon introduced by the Government, and in spite of the pressure of business of the most distressing nature (this was only a short time before the Smyrna disaster) pushed through to its passage. By this bill the tract of land which we desired was expropriated, with the consent of the Petraki Monastery, to the perpetual use of the School for the Gennadeion. The Municipal Council of Athens afterwards vacated the two streets which had been projected, but never built, running through this plot, and added the vacant ground east of this plot to the forest preserve which covers the upper slopes of Mt. Lycabettus. The School property is therefore protected on the north and east sides from building encroachment. The negotiations connected with the acquisition of this land were, in the nature of the case, complicated in the extreme, and beginning in May were not finished for many months. The School is under the greatest obligations to Director Hill for his inexhaustible patience and resourcefulness in the conduct of this business, which he followed through changes of government, political and social disturbances, and legal complications until the land was wholly ours to build the Gennadeion upon. Probably no other person, Greek or foreigner, could have succeeded in the circumstances, in spite of the utmost good will on the part of all the Greek authorities concerned.
The following were appointed as members of the Building Committee by the joint action of the Managing Committee and the Board of Trustees: Dr. Edward Robinson, Professor Perry, Mr. Allen Curtis, Treasurer, Professor W. B. Dinsmoor, Secretary, and Professor Capps, Chairman. Mr. W. Stuart Thompson was sent to London to take exact measurements of the Gennadius Library, and on his return Messrs. Van Pelt and Thompson submitted a series of studies of the projected building. These having been laid before the Carnegie Corporation and approved as the basis of the design, the Building Committee recommended to the Trustees the appointment of Messrs. Van Pelt and Thompson to be the architects of the building. This was done in July, and a formal contract with this firm was executed by the Trustees. During the summer the design and plans were perfected, so that in the early autumn estimates might be made as to the probable cost of the building, with the expectation of letting the contracts during the winter and begin the actual work of construction in the spring of 1923. Mr. Thompson will go to Athens to superintend the construction, and it is our hope that the building may be completed and ready for use by the autumn of 1924. A full description of the site and the building is reserved for the next Annual Report.
It is impossible here to make suitable acknowledgment to all who have contributed in some essential way to making possible this notable enlargement of the scholarly resources of the School, but I can at least mention their names again. To Professor Mitchell Carroll is due the original suggestion which bore fruit in the magnificent gift of Dr. Gennadius; Mr. W. Stuart Thompson gave valuable aid when it was most needed, before Dr. Gennadius’ decision was made to give his Library to the School; Dr. Edward
Robinson, immediately appreciating the vast significance to the School of the acquisition of the Library, lent the weight of his influence to gaining for the project the favorable attention of the Carnegie Corporation; Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, representing the Corporation, in the negotiations, showed a scholar’s enthusiasm for the rare opportunity so unexpectedly offered to the School and must have presented our cause to his associates with conviction, so prompt and generous was their response; Mr. Root so skillfully communicated to the Greek Government the decision of the Corporation as to insure its favorable action on our application for the site; and Dr. Hill in Athens rendered invaluable services as diplomat, lawyer and director of legislation.
The gratitude of the School and its governing bodies to Dr. Gennadius and Madame Gennadius is boundless. The recognition which came to them during the few weeks of their sojourn in America after the public announcement of their gift was a slight and inadequate expression of the sentiments which all sections of the American people feel. The Washington Society of the Archaeological Institute of America elected him to honorary membership ; George Washington University conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, and Princeton University that of Doctor of Law; and the Secretary of State took a special occasion to convey to him personally the thanks of the nation. The Managing Committee has spread upon its records the following letter, which Professor Perry as its Secretary addressed to Dr. Gennadius on May 20, 1922:
“The Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, at its Annual Meeting held a few days ago, laid upon me the pleasant duty of expressing to you its lively sense of the signal honor done to the School, and through the School to the United States of America, by the munificent and unparalleled gift of your great library and the accompanying collections; and of conveying to you the profound gratitude of the Committee not only for the gift itself but also for the confidence you have thereby shown in the ability of the School to administer a trust of such magnitude and far-reaching importance. Your generosity makes possible not only the broadening, along the old lines, of the work of our institution as strictly a ‘School of Classical Studies,’ but also its development, in many new directions, as an institution of research in fields where hitherto we have been unable to tread.
“The members of the Committee understand fully how great and how honorable is their responsibility in undertaking to provide for the care and administration of the library and the proper utilization of its advantages; and we beg to assure Your Excellency that we and our successors will in every way endeavor to prove ourselves worthy of the distinction conferred upon us.”
The Gennadeion Library and the small houses connected with it by pillared colonnades make one of the most beautiful among the beautiful buildings of Athens. The two houses accommodate the librarian and the annual professor.
As erected, the actual group occupies a little more ground than had originally been planned. This was made possible by the generous action of the Greek Government in expropriating land for the site. The additional space made it possible to place the residences a little farther from the library, a change which greatly enhanced the beauty of the group, which now has a frontage of 187 feet and a depth of 117 feet. The Gennadeion itself is a rectangular building 79.5 by 55.5 feet. So pleased were the members of the Carnegie Corporation with the model submitted that they voted an additional fifty thousand dollars so that this entire structure—not the façade only—might be marble. (Plates XIII, XIV)
It would have been natural to construct the Gennadeion of Pentelic marble, but the quarries could not deliver the desired amount, nor was the quality of their output at all attractive. It was a white marble but shot through with bluish veins. The appearance would have resembled cipollino. Thompson, therefore, very wisely decided to use marble from the Island of Naxos. This Naxian marble is harder than Pentelic but does not have the large crystals so characteristic of the Naxian marble used for ancient statues and buildings. It retains its white color and does not take on with age the soft brown shades that add charm to the Parthenon and the Propylaea. The eight columns that adorn the façade are, however, Pentelic.
Building was begun promptly. The excavations were started on May 1, 1923, and on the twenty-seventh the monks of the Asomaton Monastery performed the ceremony of laying the foundation stone. On Christmas Day the lintel of the main doorway was lowered into place, and on it the workmen placed wild onions to avert the evil eye.
This onion poultice seems not to have been effective in relieving labor troubles, for by these Thompson was hampered during 1924. He dealt with the strikes in a masterful fashion. He declared an open shop and imported a new lot of stonemasons from Constantinople. The insufficient supply of water provided by the city system he remedied by sinking an artesian well, which incidentally proved a godsend to the occupants of the School during a water famine created in the second World War in 1944 when the city’s water mains were cut by Greek guerillas. Thompson com-batted the problem of rising prices by buying material in large quantities and storing it till wanted. But in spite of all he could do, the shortage of material, particularly marble, and the rising cost of labor and supplies made it clear that the buildings could not be completed for the $250,000 allocated by the Carnegie Corporation. Capps presented the situation to them, and they voted an additional twenty-five thousand dollars so that the original design might be carried out in full. The final amount received by the School for the Gennadeion Library was $275,000.
It was hoped that the Library might be ready for use in July, 1925, but it was not till fall that the Librarian, Dr. Gilbert Campbell Scoggin, was able to begin unpacking the books.
The dedication of the Gennadeion took place on April 23 and 24, 1926. Extensive preparations for the event had been made in America and in Athens. Capps reached Athens in March. Dr. and Mrs. Gennadius came on April 13. They were entertained as guests of Dr. and Mrs. Scoggin, and they actually lived again with the books, the collection of which had been a lifelong pleasure. Dr. and Mrs. Pritchett came from America. Seven members of the Board of Trustees were present, including the President, Judge Loring; the Vice-President, Frederick P. Fish; the Secretary, A. Winsor Weld; and the Treasurer, Allen Curtis. Mr. Van Pelt and Mr. W. Stuart Thompson, the architects who had designed and constructed the building, were there. To have completed the group of buildings in twenty-four months under the trying conditions that vexed Greece was an accomplishment of which they might well be very proud. Ten members of the Managing Committee, including Ralph V. D. Magoffin, President of the Archaeological Institute,
attended the ceremony. The entire list of delegates from America numbered 104.
Dean Walter Miller, the Annual Professor for 1925–1926, was delegated to conduct the guests from America on their visits to the museums and monuments of Athens and on short tours about Greece. He met the first group at Patras on April 6 and continued to interpret the country he so loves to his countrymen throughout the month. He led two excursions to Olympia and the Argolid, and two to Boeotia and Delphi, besides giving a dozen half-day programs in Athens on the Acropolis and in the museums.
The official guests included Madame Pangalos and Major Zervos, Captain Laskos and Captain Gennadis, aides to the President of the Republic, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Education, the Mayor of Athens, with their wives, the British Minister and Lady Cheetham, the Austrian Consul General and Madame Walter, the American Consul General and Mrs. Garrels.
The Gennadeion was finally presented by Dr. Pritchett, representing the Carnegie Corporation, to Judge Loring, representing the Board of Trustees, and by him to Dr. Capps, as Chairman of the Managing Committee.
The packing and removal of the books from London to Athens presented a problem in itself. Dr. Gennadius very generously took it upon himself to superintend personally the dismantling of his London library and the oversight of the packing. The books were all put in perfect condition, especial care being given to those volumes encased in rare and precious bindings, nearly a thousand in number. In this work Dr. Gennadius had the assistance of experienced experts, notably Mr. Constantine Hutchins. The books were packed carefully in 192 zinc-lined cases. The cases were soldered shut and stored in London till they were shipped to Greece, in 1924. There they arrived safely.
The mere enumeration of the classes into which the boxes were divided for purposes of record gives some faint indication of the unique character of the splendid collection: Manuscripts, Classical Authors, Family Collections, Archaeology and Art, Editions de luxe, Geography and Travels, Natural History, War of Independence, Periodicals, Historians, Bibliography and Memoirs, Greek Language, Theology, Bibliography, Modern Greek Literature, Question d’Orient, Turkey and the Slav Countries, World War, Balkan Wars, Choral Music, Byzantine Literature, Poetical Works.
One of the obligations assumed by the School in accepting the gift of the library was the publication of the catalogue. As a preliminary to this Dr. Gennadius had prepared a great catalogue raisonné, contained in many typed quarto volumes. He had completed this work for about three-fourths of the volumes before they left London. Each volume is herein described in detail, with many interesting facts concerning its history and acquisition. In some cases, as the notes on the work and the correspondence of the Greek patriots, Adamantios Corais and George Gennadius, the father of the donor, this catalogue gives many facts which are of great value for the history of modern Greece. Dr. Gennadius also prepared for publication in Art and Archaeology an article on “Bookbindings: Their History, Their Character and Their Charm,” illustrated from some of the rare volumes in his own library. For working purposes a card catalogue was at once begun.
To care properly for this collection there was needed not so much a professional librarian alert to all the pitfalls of the Dewey decimal system as a bibliophile who would appreciate these rare volumes and cherish them with something of the loving care bestowed on them by Dr. Gennadius. In the words of the donor, a “bibliognost” was required.
For this post the Managing Committee selected Gilbert Campbell Scoggin, a graduate of Vanderbilt with a doctorate from Harvard. He had been a professor of Greek at the University of Missouri and Western Reserve University and had lectured at Harvard. But above all he was a “collector” of books in his own right.
To commemorate this princely gift the Trustees and the Managing Committee decided to issue a volume, Selected Bindings from the Gennadius Library. This, as Judge Loring said in a prefatory letter of dedication printed in this volume, was offered to Dr. Gennadius “as a slight expression of our gratitude.” It was a sumptuous volume, forty-two pages of letter press, thirty-nine plates, twenty-six of them in full color, giving a very adequate idea of the rich and varied bindings that glorify this library. Dr. James M. Paton had editorial charge of the volume. Dr. Lucy Allen Paton wrote the introduction and the description of the plates. An edition limited to three hundred copies was done by the Cheswick Press of Messrs. Whittingham and Griggs, of London.
The disaster to the Greek army in 1922, the burning of Smyrna and the tragic transportation to Greece of all the Greek residents of Turkey brought the School, through its director, into immediate contact with the Athenian population.
The condition of these refugees in Athens was pitiful in the extreme. An Athenian-American Relief Committee was formed, with Hill as Chairman. To this work he devoted himself
wholeheartedly, bringing to it his wide knowledge of Athenian resources and his persuasive personality. No American in Athens could have done more. This committee functioned till the Red Cross could take over.
In 1922–1923 there were four men and six women in residence. Pending the building of the hostel the women students had been forced to room in private dwellings. With the overcrowding of the city, due to the influx of refugees, this now became difficult or impossible. In this emergency the chairman and the director decided to allow some of the women to occupy rooms in what had been the men’s main dormitory at the east end of the School building. This solution was approved by the Managing Committee at its meeting in May, 1923, but there was considerable discussion, and a motion to allow the director a free hand in assigning rooms to students of either sex was displaced by a substitute motion transferring this discretionary power to the chairman and expressing an “earnest hope” that the emergency arrangements of the year 1922–1923 might not recur.
This discussion naturally revived in acute form the question of a women’s hostel. There being no immediate prospect of this being built, the suggestion was made in the Managing Committee that an annex might be rented which could be used for the accommodation of the women. Hill, resourceful as ever, at once produced a suitable dwelling, the palace of Prince George on Academy Street. This was rented by the School for 1923–1924. Since there were, however, only two women registered for that year, it was used to accommodate Mr. W. Stuart Thompson and his family and Professor and Mrs. Buck, of the School staff. The School continued to rent this property till Loring Hall became available to house amply both staff and students.
A pleasant incident of this year was a cruise among the Greek Islands (Aegina, Delos, Paros, Melos, Thera, Crete), on a yacht chartered by Mr. George D. Pratt, to which the members of the School were invited. Mr. Pratt further showed his interest in the work of the School by a gift the next year of five thousand dollars for the excavation of a site “preferably in Attica.”
As has been so often noted, the publication of the Erechtheum volume had been vexatiously delayed. This year, at last, tangible results were achieved, “principally,” as the Committee on Publications stated, due to the energy of Capps. The note of irritation engendered by hope long deferred is evident in such statements as, “Under his [Capps’s] urgings Mr. Hill has begun to send final notes to Professor Paton.” At last the Harvard Press was beginning to put this book into type. Capps made the cautious prediction, the result of so many disappointments and so many unfulfilled hopes, that “the process of proof reading will be slow” and that some conferences between the editor, Paton, Stevens in Rome and Hill in Athens would be necessary.
The following year (1923–1924) “the Erechtheum book is steadily approaching completion, but with disappointing slowness.” It is all in type but “final” conferences in Rome and Athens are necessary. A year later the book was still “steadily, if too slowly,” progressing toward completion, and Chase rashly prophesied that the publication might confidently be expected during 1926. But in 1926 the long-continued process of gestation was still going on. The volume “should be published, at the latest, in the spring of 1927.” And this was by a narrow margin correct, for the spring of 1927 had run to June before there appeared from the Harvard Press: The Erechtheum, Measured, Drawn and Restored, by Gorham Phillips Stevens, the text by Lacey Davis Caskey, Harold North Fowler, James Morton Paton, edited by James Morton Paton. The “text” is a quarto volume of xxvi + 673 pages, with 236 illustrations. The “plates,” fifty-four in number, twenty-one by fifteen inches in size, are in a separate portfolio. The work was dedicated to the two men who conceived it twenty-four years before, James Rignall Wheeler and Theodore Woolsey Heermance. In commenting on the completion of this most notable work, Capps pointed out how much the finished publication owed to Heermance’s work during the all too short period of his directorate. His scholarship had well withstood the test of time, and the greatness of the loss sustained by his untimely death was emphasized by the completion of an enterprise that owed to him its inception. The drawings prepared by Stevens and practically completed in 1905 have long since gained recognition as architectural classics. The originals were acquired by the University of Cincinnati.
William Bell Dinsmoor had returned to America, after ten years’ residence at the School, in 1919. With him he had brought his unfinished book on the Propylaea. The completion of this book was earnestly desired not only by Capps but by the many scholars who had read Dinsmoor’s publication preliminary to its issue and had been alike impressed by his learning and charmed by his style. Capps was now able to arrive at an agreement with Columbia University, where Dinsmoor was now a member of the staff, which seemed to offer ideal conditions for the completion of this important publication. Columbia agreed to give Dinsmoor leave of absence for one semester each year for five years with continuance of salary. The Managing Committee appointed him Professor of Architecture in the School with a subvention of twenty-five hundred dollars per year as compensation for the expenses of travel. His duties to the School were threefold: to finish the volume on the Propylaea, to study the Parthenon, and, if called on, to help the students in their study of architecture. To this Capps added the completion of his drawings of the excavations at Corinth and the suggestion of lectures on the Acropolis, if desired, but concluded that the “position is essentially a research position.”
In his earlier work on the Propylaea Dinsmoor had laid the foundations for a treatise that would include much more than that single building. During his four years in America his study in connection with his work at Columbia and at the Metropolitan Museum of Periclean buildings and Periclean proportions had caused him to look forward to a great publication which should add to his almost complete study of the Propylaea, in fact, the whole west end of the Acropolis. How much careful work he had already done in preparation for this is indicated by his letter to Chase, Chairman of the Committee on Publications. Here is sketched a work of twenty-two chapters and five appendices. It covers the central building of the Propylaea and the wings, the older Propylaea, three early temples (A, B, C), the Pelargikon, the Pyrgos and the Temple of Athena Nike. In addition there were a general introduction and three chapters on the Documentary Sources. The five appendices treated of the Propylaea Plan in General, the Greater Propylaea at Eleusis, the Nicias Monument, the Monument of Thrasyllus and the Temple on the Ilissus. Much of this was nearly ready or practically ready. Much of it needed only reduction and coordination in treatment with the central chapters.
During Dinsmoor’s first half-year at Athens under this arrangement (March-August, 1924) Hill reports that his work on the Propylaea book was uninterrupted by any School duties, that steady progress was made and that the book “should be ready for printing next year.” He did, however, discover at Nemea the sunken adyton which Blegen reported in 1926.
After his second half-year’s residence Dinsmoor reports steady progress. On his way to Athens he had taken the trouble to go to Strasbourg to examine the notes of Haller von Hallerstein on two stones from the Propylaea and one from the Nicias Monument that have disappeared. He also made important corrections to the interpretation of the Propylaea building inscription.
The summer of 1925 was devoted to the parapet of the Temple of Athena Nike. Here, by a careful study of the holes for the dowels at the bottom of the slabs which compose the parapet and by a correlation of these with the evenly spaced holes for the bronze railing that was affixed to the top, he was able to show that Heberdey had, with an inaccuracy that was so perfect that it might almost be regarded as genius, located forty-three of the forty-four slabs in incorrect positions. Using his novel method, he was able to locate sixteen pieces accurately, twelve others with a high degree of probability, leaving unplaced only sixteen.
During his third half-year (in 1926) Dinsmoor again worked on the Nike Temple. Again his meticulous care and amazing command of detail were evident. He doubted the then accepted fact that the temple was trapezoidal at the architrave and rectagular at the stylobate level and by his careful measurements and exact knowledge of architectural detail was able to show precisely where the error in the rebuilding of the temple lay and to correct it in his drawing. The temple was proved to be a perfect rectangle at all levels. Again the expectation was expressed that the drawings would be completed at the end of the summer of 1926 and that the manuscript would be ready for the Publications Committee soon after.
Dinsmoor visited the British Museum before his fourth term of service as Professor of Architecture. He lectured on the Propylaea but devoted most of his time to the study of architectural problems. He interrupted his work on the buildings at the west end of the Acropolis to study the temple at Bassae and the problems connected with the reerection of the columns in the north peristyle of the Parthenon. He still expected to complete his drawings during his fifth year and the manuscript as soon as he returned finally to America.
Dinsmoor’s five-year appointment to the staff of the School ended in 1928. That summer he was conducting exploratory excavations on the western slope of the Acropolis. Here he found some new architectural clues but also recovered an inscription which was of such significance that it made necessary a revision of Athenian chronology before the Christian era, particularly that of the third century. In view of the importance of this work he felt it necessary to put aside his architectural studies and prepare for publication this new historical material.
This was a serious, almost tragic, change of plan. His book on the Propylaea had been long expected; now that it had grown to a treatise on the whole west slope of the Acropolis its importance was greatly enhanced. Time and facilities had been granted to him for the completion of this task. That other interests should have prevented its completion was not so much a loss for Dinsmoor—Bassae and the chronology of Athens fascinated him—but for the School and for all students of Greek archaeology it was a tragedy. For America has not produced a scholar who combines as he does a rare knowledge of Greek architecture, a memory for minute and multitudinous detail, a flair that amounts to genius for deducing reconstructions from microscopic data, an ability to combine seemingly unassociated details into a rational system and to cause a building to rise from its scattered fragments as a mango tree rises beneath the blanket of a magician. Add to this a style of exposition so lucid that technicalities are made understandable to the layman, a feeling for narrative so true that the most arid subject becomes readable, and a dramatic sense so vivid that the reader often comes breathless to the climax; these are the gifts that uniquely fitted Dinsmoor to write the story of the western slope of Athena’s Hill. That he did not do so is an infinite pity.
At the annual meeting in May, 1924, Capps spoke of the death on January 9 of Professor Gildersleeve at the age of ninety-four. He had for years been the dean of American classical scholars; he was the last survivor (except William M. Sloane, who died in 1928 but had withdrawn from the Managing Committee in 1897 and from the Trustees in 1918) of the original Managing Committee.
The fiscal year was altered at this time so as to close June 30 instead of August 31. The Treasurer’s report for this year has a slightly pessimistic tone because it records the income of only the ten months during which almost all of the School bills for the entire year were paid—a condition which was, of course, remedied the following year.
The practice of printing yearly the annual report of the director was resumed, and this year for the first time since 1909–1910 such a report appears in the records.
At this meeting, also, Professor Samuel Bassett, Chairman of the Committee on Fellowships, made his first report on the newly established fellowship in the Greek Language, Literature and History. An examination had been held in the spring of 1925, but none of the contestants had shown sufficient promise to secure appointment. The Committee reported that it favored the selection of fellows by competitive examination—not on the basis of credentials, as in the Roman School—and that for this fellowship they favored examinations from Greek authors, Greek literature and Greek history (with an emphasis on one of these subjects, to be chosen by the candidate) and an examination in either modern Greek or Greek prose composition. An innovation in the work of the School was provided for at this meeting (1924) by the establishment of a summer session.
Dr. Harry H. Powers, Founder and President of the Bureau of University Travel, was elected to the Managing Committee at the time the Bureau became a cooperating institution. His love for ancient Greece was attested by his volume on The Message of Greek Art and his brochure “The Hill of Athena.” He proposed to a committee, the other two members of which were Capps and Dean Walter Miller, of the University of Missouri, a plan for a summer session, according to which the Bureau should assume all the financial burden of the session and the School should appoint a director whose scholastic standing would qualify him to be a member of the School’s staff. The facilities of the School were to be at the disposal of the summer session. The Bureau would also assume the expenses of giving the session publicity.
This generous offer was accepted, and Miller was asked to direct the first two sessions, 1925 and 1926. The year between he was to spend in Athens as Annual Professor at the School. The first summer (1925) there were six members enrolled. The session technically began with the arrival of the group at Corfu on July 17, though preliminary lectures had been given on board the steamer and in Italy. Most of the time was spent in Athens, though the sites usually visited on the School trips were also included. Among those enrolled was Dr. Shirley H. Weber, of Princeton, later to be Librarian of the Gennadeion.
There were two students during the summer of 1926. Miller again had charge. Capps made the interesting suggestion that there might well be a number of scholarships of four or five hundred dollars each for summer students. Such scholarships, to be offered to the ablest teachers of Greek and Latin, he thought, would have a “beneficial effect upon our classical teaching.”
The third session was under the direction of Benjamin D. Meritt, while Oscar Broneer, then a Special Fellow in Archaeology, had charge of the students while they were traveling in Italy and in Greece. There were six regular students and five part-time members. The first part of the course was given in Italy, with Naples as headquarters (July 12–20). The session in Greece lasted from July 20 to August 26. About two weeks were spent in Athens. Four trips were taken: one to central Greece, a second to Corinthia and Argolis, a third to Olympia and a fourth to Crete. Several scholars besides the staff lectured to the group.
Dr. Broneer also conducted the fourth session (1928), at which there were three regular and four part-time students.
The summer session was then allowed to lapse till Capps asked me to assume the direction of it in the fall of 1930. I conducted it for nine sessions, till the beginning of the war (1931–1939). The attendance varied from a dozen to twenty students of graduate rank, a number which I thought should not be exceeded. The students were accommodated in Loring Hall, and their presence made it profitable to keep the dining room open during the summer. This proved a great convenience to members of the staff and students of the School who happened to be working in Greece. The School received enough money in tuitions and room rent to compensate for the employment of the director. The support which the students gave to the Auxiliary Fund Association was also considerable.
Those students who took the examinations set at the close of the session were given graduate credit where it was desired. The length of the session was in each case six weeks, all of which were spent in Greece. About half the time was devoted to Attica, the rest to trips in the Peloponnesus and central Greece.
On two occasions (1936 and 1938) after the close of the session a steamer was chartered for a cruise. Sixty to seventy persons availed themselves of this opportunity, on the first cruise to visit most of the Aegean Islands, and on the second to see a few of the Aegean Islands and several sites in Asia Minor, from Troy to Didyma, and Cos, Rhodes, Patmos and Cyprus. I believe strongly with Capps that through the summer session the School can render a great service to the cause of Greek in America. Seymour wrote, “It is better to know Greece than to know what is written about Greece.” I know of nothing that will contribute so much toward vitalizing the teaching of classical languages and ancient history as a period of study in Greece. The summer session offers that opportunity to many a teacher who cannot afford a full year’s study abroad.
Irritation over the long postponement of the Bulletin on Corinth had been increasing. In 1923 the Managing Committee adopted a resolution stating that it was their considered opinion that this report was so important that the director should not participate in any excavation till this report on Corinth was completed. Heermance had conceived the idea of this Bulletin at the time he assumed the directorate (1904). It was to sum up in a scientific manner the excavations of Corinth to that time. Before his death he had made considerable progress toward its completion. As has been already said, Wheeler in 1906 reported that Hill thought a new map was necessary and that some points in his discussion needed verification but that the manuscript would be ready in 1907.
Meanwhile, seventeen years had passed. The excavations were continued for ten years, till the war brought them to a stop. Articles—creditable articles—had been written and published, but a systematic account of the work as a whole had not been forthcoming. Masses of objects found during the excavations still lay uncleaned and unevaluated in their original receptacles. Capps felt, and the Committee shared his opinion, “that the School has so far failed in its obligation to the Greek Government . . . . and to the scientific world that justly looks to us for a publication of our discoveries.”
The whole trying situation was reviewed by Capps in a careful report to the Managing Committee. It was quite clear now that so long a time had elapsed since the Bulletin was planned that its publication, even if a manuscript could be secured from the director, would be inadequate to meet the situation. In the twenty years that had elapsed many of the buildings had been completely excavated and were ready for final publication. It was therefore decided that the pursuit of the Bulletin which had been a subject of discussion in the Managing Committee at every meeting for the last fifteen years should at last be abandoned. The responsibility for the final publication of the Corinth excavations was transferred from the director to the Publications Committee, and Professor Harold N. Fowler was appointed Annual Professor for 1924–1925 and made editor-in-chief of the Corinth publications. In place of the Bulletin, Hill was asked to write a guide to Corinth, giving a general idea of the plan of the city and of the excavations. It was not to be an elaborate manual but a pamphlet of ninety-five to a hundred pages, based on the account already published in Art and Archaeology, using some of the same illustrations. To quote Capps, “It would not be a heavy task. Its main object would be to help us raise money.” Fowler was to proceed to Athens in the fall of 1924, survey the situation at Corinth, map out a series of volumes that would adequately cover all the material that had been excavated and the buildings that had been uncovered. He was then to assign to competent hands the various volumes of the series and finally do what work he could on such contributions as he himself would make to the publication. It was a competent and sensible solution of a most difficult situation. “The vague drifting of the last eighteen years” was at an end.
When Capps had induced the Publications Committee to accept this grave responsibility, and Fowler had indicated his willingness to take up this onerous task, it was expected that work at Corinth would not be resumed till 1926–1927 or 1927–1928. But now events occurred that made such a delay seem inadvisable.
On April 2, 1924, Hill cabled Capps the news of two most generous gifts which made it possible to conduct excavations on a large scale again at Corinth in 1925.
T. Leslie Shear had already financed the small dig on Mt. Hymettus. He now offered to contribute for excavation at Corinth five thousand dollars a year for two years if a similar gift of five thousand dollars a year for two years offered by Mr. J. P. Morgan for excavation “preferably at Corinth” and a further gift of one thousand dollars from Mrs. Morgan could also definitely be assigned to that excavation. This was an irresistible argument for resuming at once the digging that had been discontinued in 1916.
Two other gifts subscribed for excavation were also given to the School this year. William T. Semple, of the University of Cincinnati, secured the cooperation of a group of business men to “adopt” a site in Greece and finance its excavation. The site selected was Nemea, and one thousand dollars was contributed. The work was entrusted to Blegen. And finally Professor Hoppin, who had hoped to renew the excavations at the Heraeum, where he had begun his career as an archaeologist, was now compelled by illness to relinquish the project. But he did offer the School one thousand pounds for the excavation and agreed to be responsible also, up to five thousand dollars, for the expense of publishing the results.
Mr. George D. Pratt’s gift of five thousand dollars for excavation, “preferably in Attica,” has already been mentioned. Hill decided that the most promising site for the excavation would be Phlius, not far distant from Nemea, where the “Cincinnati dig” was to be made.
The funds given by Morgan, Shear and Hoppin could not be used during 1924, but both the Cincinnati and the Pratt gifts were available. Excavations by the School were therefore resumed at two sites in 1924 with the expectation that in 1925 work at Corinth on a large scale would be resumed.
The excavation at Phlius was in charge of Blegen. The site was very extensive—an acropolis more than half a mile from east to west and a lower town of greater extent. The excavation was begun in June and lasted till the end of July. It was of an exploratory nature. None of the many buildings mentioned by Pausanias was located. A surprising discovery was a Byzantine wall immediately above a deposit of Helladic pottery, the period of three thousand years between unrepresented by any remains. The prehistoric pottery found here was important as representing the period of transition from the neolithic to the bronze age of civilization. Many Byzantine tombs constructed of Greek blocks were found; the church of Rachiotissa was built almost entirely of Greek material re-used. Many votive offerings were recovered. Concrete paved cisterns and water channels with their Corinthian tile covers indicated an excellent water supply. A large and important building of the Hellenistic period was found on the terrace called the “Palati,” in form a rectangular colonnade facing a central court. A building with several rows of interior columns was also located. It apparently belongs to the “telesterion” type, like the Hall of Mysteries at Eleusis. A hypocaust helped to identify one building as of the Roman era. The location of the theater was also established with a high degree of probability which was converted into certainty by a few days’ digging in February, 1925. Blegen described this excavation in Art and Archaeology. (Plate XV)
At Nemea the staff consisted of Hill, Blegen, Philip H. Davis (Fellow of the Institute), Prentice Duell (Norton Fellow) and C. A. Robinson, Jr. Work extended from April 16 to June 3. The digging was west of the temple whose three standing columns form a well-known landmark. A simple fourth-century gymnasium was discovered with a pool for a plunge bath and four tubs resembling those found by the School at Eretria. Remains of a large Christian church of the sixth to eighth centuries were found, also an inscription containing the names of L. Mummius, a few bronze fragments and some terra-cotta figurines, presumably votive offerings. The campaign was described by Blegen in Art and Archaeology. (Plate XVI)
A second campaign was undertaken at Nemea in December, 1925, again under Blegen’s direction and again financed by the Cincinnati group. The first object was to locate, if possible, a ceremonial way leading up to the Temple of Zeus. No traces of this were found, but there was recovered an extensive foundation immediately in front of the temple which probably supported a large altar, the first of its kind and size to be found in the Peloponnesus. The building beneath the church which had been discovered the previous year was examined. It was of very considerable size. It seems probable that it was an adjunct to the gymnasium and the adjacent bath. The stadium in which the Nemean games were held every two years, making with Olympia, Delphi and the Isthmus the four great athletic events of ancient Greece, was also definitely located, and some of the details of it recovered. A considerable deposit of votive offerings was found, carefully buried in an artificial pit, several hundred small vases and some figurines. A cave whose roof had long since collapsed was also found and partially cleared. Extensive neolithic remains were found. The finely preserved Hellenic bath discovered the previous year was enclosed within a simple but permanent building, also provided by the Cincinnati patrons. The account of this season’s digging also was published by Blegen in Art and Archaeology.
A final campaign was conducted at Nemea in the winter of 1926–1927. The west end of the temple was completely cleared, and the curious semi-subterranean crypt at the western end of the cella studied. The west end of the gymnasium was also entirely uncovered, and the plan of the building revealed. The south half was divided into a series of rooms. The north half was a large hall. A building of unknown use was located between the temple and the gymnasium. The stadium was further studied. It clearly never had permanent stone seats, like those at Delphi and Epidaurus. A water channel cut in poros blocks extended along the east side of the running course. The collapsed cave yielded some thirty boxes of neolithic pottery, the earliest up to that time found in the Peloponnesus.
In 1921, again in 1923 and finally in 1931 Miss Hetty Goldman worked at Halae, where with Miss Alice Walker (Mrs. Kosmopoulos) she had dug in 1911–1914. The ancient wall was traced, a stoa of late date was found, and a sixth-century altar, terra cottas and bronzes. Mr. Piet de Jong drew the plans for this excavation. Reports of these excavation were published in Hesperia. One dealt with the acropolis, the other with the terra-cotta figurines.
Also under the auspices of the School, Richard B. Seager excavated briefly in Crete near Kato Zakro, hoping to find a Minoan cemetery. In this he was not successful. Seager’s death occurred May 10, 1925. His splendid services to the School and its deep debt to him have already been mentioned.
This year, 1924–1925, saw the passing of two other men to whom the School owed much, Joseph Clark Hoppin and Mitchell Carroll. The contributions of the former have already been stated: his support of the library, the Agnes Hoppin Memorial Fellowship, the excavation at Zygouries, his loyal assistance in the endowment campaign. There were many other friendly services that went unrecorded. He had been made Research Professor on the staff of the School in 1922 and retained that position till his death. He had hoped to continue the excavation of the Heraeum, and when failing health made that impossible he arranged that the work should be done by amply financing the excavation and the publishing of the results.
Mitchell Carroll died suddenly on March 2, 1925. His great and unique service to the School was in initiating the negotiations with Dr. Gennadius that eventually led to the gift of his library and the erection of the Gennadeion.
At the annual meeting in May, 1925, two important actions were taken: the conclusion of an agreement with the Harvard University Press to take over the distribution of all the publications of the School and in effect to become its official publisher, and the constitution of a standing Committee on Personnel, consisting of the chairman of the Managing Committee and two other members appointed by him. The function of this committee is to nominate the annual professor and to make recommendations for appointments on the staff of the School. Also there was added this year (1926) a new member to the staff of the School, the bursar. Hitherto the bookkeeping of the School had been done by the director during his spare time or under his supervision by an officer of the School. The increasing importance of the School and the multiplication of the financial details made desirable the employment of a competent accountant. The School was fortunate in being able to appoint George E. Mylonas, who not only fulfilled this qualification but was also a thoroughly trained classical scholar. He served the School as Bursar for three years, acting also as a part-time assistant in the Gennadeion. Later he assisted in the excavation at Eleusis conducted by the Greek Archaeological Society and came to America to be a member of the faculty of Washington University.
Mr. John S. Newbold, by a gift of one thousand dollars, inaugurated the Joannes Gennadius Fund for Byzantine Studies. Such a fund was much needed, since it had been necessary to use a considerable portion of the School’s income to operate the Gennadeion. This fund has been increased by gifts and the addition of interest till it now (1944) amounts to $5,805.04.
Among the gifts received this year should be mentioned twelve hundred dollars from Mrs. William H. Moore, whose generosity was more than once to enrich the School, and a new Ford car from Mrs. J. Montgomery Sears, who had done so much for the excavation of Corinth.
A legal complication which had prevented the American and British Schools from securing a clear title to all the land needed for the women’s hostel was finally resolved by Hill’s efforts. Miss M. Carey Thomas, who had visited Athens during the summer, had revised the hostel plans, but the funds necessary for its erection were still lacking.
During the year Fowler had made considerable progress toward the publication of the Corinth excavations. Seven chapters had been written, and the whole undertaking, which was now seen to be extensive, was taking shape.
But another project, which was destined to surpass by far that of Corinth in importance, was now beginning to occupy the attention of Capps and the Managing Committee, the excavation of the Athenian Agora.
For many years the successive Greek governments had discouraged the erection of new and expensive buildings in the area north of the Areopagus and east of the “Theseum.” It was pretty well agreed that beneath that area lay the Hellenic agora; the position of the Roman market place was well known. The Greek Government had entertained the hope that the uncovering of the Greek agora might be done by Greek archaeologists. But Athens was a rapidly growing city, and the repatriation of the Asia Minor Greek population had accelerated that growth. It now became clear that the landowners in this district must either be bought out soon or allowed to develop there properly. The Government had not the money to do the former by expropriation proceeding, nor was it likely that they would have it in the near future; to allow the latter would mean that this area, covered with new and costly buildings, would be closed to excavation for many years, perhaps permanently.
A bill was introduced into the Athenian Parliament in the summer of 1924, authorizing the expropriation and excavation of this area. It was defeated.
The movers of the bill had expected to assign certain zones to the different archaeological schools. It was intimated to Hill that the authorities would be glad to be informed of any interest the American School might have in such a project. Hill therefore inquired on behalf of the School whether or not there was a chance for excavation in the district east of the “Theseum,” and if so would the American School be allowed to participate in the enterprise? On December 16 the Archaeological Council informed Hill that the School would indeed be granted that privilege.
Hill then informed Capps of the turn affairs had taken. Capps’s reaction was immediate and, as always, positive. He welcomed this opportunity for an expansion of the School’s activities, though he must have known what an amount of responsibility and labor it would throw on him. When the Minister of Public Instruction learned of this decision, he officially informed Hill, on January 14, 1925, that permission would be given the American School “to conduct excavations in the ancient Agora of Athens to whatever extent desired, provided only the School obtains sufficient funds of its own to pay for the expropriation of the private houses occupying the land in question.”
When Capps presented this subject at length to the Managing Committee at its meeting in May, 1925, the proposal was enthusiastically accepted. It was noted that every effort should be made to take advantage of this “magnificent opportunity,” and the Chairman was encouraged and empowered to make the effort. He proved quite capable of doing so. But to Hill in Athens there were “lions in the path”—at least two hundred thousand dollars for purchase of the land, generous support for excavations “more expensive than any hitherto undertaken” and the lack of a competent staff.
There were eight regular students in 1924–1925. Among them was Oscar T. Broneer, Traveling Fellow of the University of California. The next year he became Institute Fellow, then Fellow of the School and Special Fellow in Archaeology, 1927–1928. He then was made successively Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and finally Professor of Archaeology in the School. His conscientious, consistent and prolific work has added immensely to the scholarly reputation of the School; Miss Dorothy Burr (Mrs. Homer Thompson), Fellow of Bryn Mawr, was later to be engaged in the excavation of the Agora. Prentice Duell, Charles Eliot Norton Fellow, long maintained his connection with the School. C. A. Robinson, Jr., in his second year at the School, later became Visiting Professor (1934–1935), and Richard Stillwell, Fellow in Architecture, served successively as Honorary Fellow and Special Fellow, Assistant Professor of Architecture (1928–1931), Assistant Director (1931–1932) and Director of the School (1932–1935).
The School session was marred by the tragic death of John W. Logan, Albert Markham Fellow of the University of Wisconsin. With several other members of the School and some from the British School he was making an excursion to Epirus and Acarnania. They were traveling by automobile between Arta and Karavassara, March 18, 1925, when they were fired upon from what proved to be a deliberately planned ambush. None of the party was struck but Logan. He received a bullet wound through the lower lung. Word was at once telegraphed to Athens, and Doctors Marden and Lorandos of the Near East Relief answered the call, Logan lived to be brought to Athens but died soon after his arrival. This was not an act of brigandage, for no attempt at robbery was made, and the assailants fled immediately after firing the fatal shots. Feeling in Greece was at the time intensely bitter against Italy, and the most likely explanation seemed to be that the students of the School had been mistaken for a party of Italian officers who were rumored to be in that part of the country. The Greek Government did everything it could to assist while assistance was possible and to express its sorrow after Logan’s death by a public funeral and other acts of gracious courtesy. On three occasions only have American archaeological students suffered violence in Greece. Considering the unsettled condition of the country during the early years and the primitive character of the civilization in the outlying districts like Epirus and Macedonia, this is a remarkable record. In the spring of 1872, before the founding of the School, an attempt was made to kidnap White when he was returning from a visit to Marathon. This resulted in the kidnapping of the kidnapper by White. The sandbagging of Miller in 1886 (see Appendix II) resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of his assailants. The attack on Logan alone ended in tragedy.
Allusion has already been made to the provision Hoppin had made to carry forward the investigation at the Argive Heraeum which failing health forbade him to make himself. Death intervened and denied him even the satisfaction of knowing that his conjecture of what might be found by a reexamination of the site was correct.
The first season’s excavation (March 9-May 9, 1925) proved the truth of Hoppin’s belief that the settlement at the Heraeum was of great antiquity. The site known as Prosymna had been occupied from the neolithic period, and there had been a considerable settlement all through the bronze age.
Hoppin had in mind two distinct objects, the exploration of the ground about the Old Temple cleared by Waldstein, and a search for more chamber tombs near those he had already discovered. Both investigations produced rich results.
On the terrace above the Old Temple, Blegen found the remains of a prehistoric settlement, Late and Middle Helladic pottery and a thick, undisturbed layer of Early Helladic pottery. But it was to the northwest of the Heraeum, on the so-called Yerogalaro Ridge, that the most significant finds were made. Here thirteen chamber tombs were discovered, seven Middle Helladic graves, and one Early Helladic “chamber tomb” and remains of the neolithic period, the first neolithic pottery to be found in the Argolid. In all, something like two hundred vases were found—most of them either whole or capable of being entirely repaired—of the three Helladic periods. Many bronze objects were found, including daggers, a large bowl and a long sword. The most striking objects were two bronze daggers inlaid with gold, one with three birds flying in a row on either side and the other with a single dolphin on either side. These are like the daggers found by Schliemann at Mycenae. Two gold necklaces were found, and an ivory pendant in the form of an elephant, a unique subject in Mycenaean art. An Egyptian scarab from the era of the New Kingdom was important as a check on the date of these tombs. (Plate XVII)
Two subsequent campaigns were conducted at Prosymna by Blegen in 1927 and 1928. To the expenses of the latter Mrs. Hoppin generously contributed. In both these campaigns numerous tombs were opened. During the first, seventeen Mycenaean chamber tombs were cleared. They were of the usual type—a rock-cut chamber approached by a dromos. Several of these had side chambers like that in the “Treasury of Atreus”; one had three such chambers. Over three hundred vases were found, as well as great numbers of beads, knives, daggers, figures of animals and men in terra cotta, and two little two-horse chariots, each with two riders. A fine deposit of geometric and Corinthian pottery was also found, the remains of dedicatory offering from some shrine. Among other objects in this deposit was a bronze panel about eighteen inches long with figures in repoussé. It is excellent workmanship, probably from the latter part of the seventh century. One group, incomplete, shows a warrior in full armor following a woman, the other panel a woman stabbing with a dagger another woman whom she holds by the hair. This might well be a bit of local color—the return of Agamemnon and the murder of Cassandra by Clytemnestra.
The final work was done here between April 18 and June 8, 1928. Again the emphasis, or rather the whole effort, was on the tombs. The results were two neolithic burials, nineteen Middle Helladic graves, twenty-one Mycenaean chamber tombs. There were no objects in the neolithic tombs; the Middle Helladic cist graves yielded some forty vases and a few other objects; but the Mycenaean chamber tombs were unusually rich in vases—about four hundred—and jewelry of gold, silver, bronze, amethyst, crystal, carnelian, amber and paste. A massive gold ring with a bezel bearing an intaglio design of two standing griffins separated by a pillar, and a small ivory goddess in the familiar Minoan dress were also found.
The vases from these three campaigns (1925, 1927, 1928) number over a thousand. The collection makes the finest exhibition of Mycenaean ware yet assembled. These excavations were magnificently published by the Cambridge University Press in two volumes under the title Prosymna.
Miss Hetty Goldman continued her excavations, under the joint auspices of the School and the Fogg Museum, at Eutresis, an ancient site in Boeotia, seven miles southwest of Thebes, overlooking the plain of Leuctra. Here she dug with assistance from the School in the fall of 1924, the spring of 1925 and the spring and summer of 1926 and 1927—four campaigns. Though Eutresis was inhabited down into Byzantine times, as the remains showed, the interest in and the importance of these excavations is the light they shed on Helladic civilization. Nowhere else on the mainland of Greece had it been possible to recover such complete plans of Early Helladic houses. During the recent campaign enough of these house plans were revealed so that it was possible to distinguish types of three successive periods. The Early Helladic house was rectangular with usually two rooms with pits beneath the floor. In the Middle Helladic period apsidal and rectangular houses appear without the pits; in Late Helladic, rectangular houses only were found. The discovery of many terra-cotta figures of women seemed to indicate the existence of a sanctuary. The pottery was so profuse that it is proving a valuable aid in determining Helladic chronology. A preliminary report was issued by the Fogg Museum in 1927. The final publication, Excavations at Eutresis in Boeotia, was published by the Harvard
University Press in 1931. The volume contains 294 pages of text, 341 figures, 21 plates and 4 plans. (Plate XVIII)
At Corinth excavation was resumed in the spring of 1925 after ten years of inactivity broken only by the work done by Miss A. L. Walker (Mrs. Kosmopoulos) in sorting and studying the pottery, the studies of the sculpture made by Franklin P. Johnson (including “Byzantine Sculpture at Corinth” and “Imperial Portraits at Corinth”), and Blegen’s volumes on the prehistoric sites of Korakou and Zygouries.
It had been expected that two simultaneous campaigns could be carried on, one at the theater by T. Leslie Shear and the other near the temple of Apollo and the Agora by Hill. As a matter of fact, the lack of workmen and of a suitable staff of students to supervise the work compelled Hill and Shear to conduct their excavations in succession.
Work began at the theater on March 9. Shear was ably assisted by Mrs. Shear, Broneer and C. A. Robinson, Jr., while the drawings were made by Stillwell. The difficulty of uncovering the theater was increased by the fact that some of the earth from previous excavations had to be removed before work on the new project could begin. However, before the close of the season the level of the orchestra had been reached, and surprising frescoes representing gladiatorial contests were uncovered, painted on the wall separating the orchestra from the seats. (Plate XIX)
A second important find was a series of beautiful floor mosaics found at a Roman villa, the remains of which were located about a mile west of the theater. In the atrium the best preserved mosaic shows a shepherd playing a flute beneath an olive tree. In other rooms are a standing figure of Dionysus, Europa on the bull, and a beautiful head of Dionysus set in the midst of a wonderful geometric design. The tesserae, of which there are many shades, are partly glass and partly stone. These mosaics were handsomely published by Shear in a large folio volume with seven illustrations and eleven plates (1930). The colors have been very carefully reproduced. This publication is one of the most beautiful books issued by the School. A preliminary report of this year’s excavation was made by Shear in the Journal.
The excavation near the Apollo Temple was also hampered by the necessity of removing previous dumps and soil that had been deposited by floods during the last ten years. Nevertheless, much was accomplished. The long, Greek Northwest Stoa was cleared. The stoa dates from the third century and was repaired after the destruction of Corinth in 146 B.C. The bases of practically all the forty-seven outer Doric columns were found intact, and most of the twenty-two inner Ionic column bases. Some architectural fragments were found, and a few pieces of sculpture, among them a poros fragment of a horse that may be from a metope of the Apollo Temple.
The rest of the time was devoted to clearing the space north of the Basilica, where a substantial Roman building was located. The eastern part of the area cleared here presents a most confused complex of walls, many of them of the Byzantine period. The accumulated debris from the Lechaeum Road shops and the peribolos of Apollo was also cleared away. A report of this excavation was made by Hill and Broneer in the Journal.
The annual meeting of the Managing Committee in 1926 was not held till June 5 because the chairman and many other members were not able to return from the dedication of the Gennadeion till that date.
Capps reported among other gifts ten thousand dollars from the estate of Joseph C. Hoppin, half for general endowment and half for the publication of the excavation at the Heraeum; two thousand dollars from Cyrus H. McCormick for endowment; the second installment of five thousand dollars from J. P. Morgan for excavation at Corinth; five thousand dollars for the same purpose from T. Leslie Shear and an additional thousand dollars for the Shear House at Corinth; undesignated gifts of twelve hundred dollars from Mrs. William H. Moore; five hundred dollars from an anonymous friend of B. H. Hill; and two hundred dollars for an investigation of the Temple of Aphrodite on Acrocorinth given to Dr. Doerpfeld for that purpose by John M. Wulfing.
George E. Mylonas was appointed the first Bursar of the School, but the systematic organization of the School’s accounts had to wait three years more.
The attendance at the School during 1925–1926 was the largest in its history till that time—fifteen regular and five associate members—among them Alfred R. Bellinger, of Yale, the first Fellow in Greek History and Literature to be appointed; John H. Finley, Jr., Norton Fellow; Miss Barbara McCarthy, Alumnae Fellow of Brown; and Allen B. West, the first Guggenheim Memorial Fellow to register at the School.
Benjamin D. Meritt had come first to the School as Locke Fellow of Hamilton College, in 1920–1921. The following year he had remained in Athens as Fellow of the Institute. After securing his doctorate from Princeton in 1924 he had taught at Brown and Princeton.
During his two years in Athens he had been interested in the tribute lists of the Delian League. He soon became convinced that a thorough re-examination of the fragments was necessary and that a correct rearrangement might lead to great additions to our knowledge of the history of the Athenian Empire. His studies now began to parallel those of West in the financial history of Athens. The Bureau of University Travel and two alumni of Hamilton who had been interested in Meritt’s work by Professor Edward Fitch, of Hamilton, made it possible for Meritt to spend the summer of 1925 in Athens, collaborating with West. This was the beginning of one of the most brilliant chapters in the history of classical scholarship in America. The untimely death of West in an automobile accident in 1936 cut short a career of great promise, but even before that these two young scholars had begun to write a new chapter in Greek epigraphy.
Meritt was appointed Assistant Director of the School for 1926–1928. He returned to America to hold positions in the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He was made a Doctor of Literature by Oxford at an age when most men are looking with longing to an associate professorship. He is respected as an authority in his field by European scholars with more unquestioning unanimity than is accorded to any other American classicist.
Articles by West and Meritt in collaboration with each other and with other students began to appear almost at once as a result of their meeting in 1924: “Aristidean Tribute in the Assessment of 421 B.C.,” West, American Journal of Archaeology, XXIX, p. 135; “The Peace between Athens and Bottice,” Meritt, American Journal of Archaeology, XXIX, p. 29; “Cleon’s Amphipolitan Campaign and the Assessment List of 421,” West and Meritt, American Journal of Archaeology, XXIX, pp. 59 ff.; Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, Volume V, Meritt and West, 1931; “The Athenian Assessment of 425 B.C.,” Meritt and West, 1934.
In 1928 the School issued Meritt’s first book, The Athenian Calendar in the Fifth Century, a quarto volume of 144 pages of close reasoning and accurate factuality.
This was followed by three others, all dealing with inscriptions: Documents on Athenian Tribute, 1937; The Athenian Tribute Lists, Volume I (with H. T. Wade-Gery and Malcolm F. McGregor), in 1939, a monumental folio of over six hundred pages, with twenty-four plates, nearly two hundred figures in the text, and a map; and the Chronology of Hellenistic Athens, in collaboration with W. Kendrick Pritchett, in 1940.
There were four excavations at Corinth in 1926. The most important were those of T. Leslie Shear in the theater area, beginning in March and continuing through July. He was assisted by Mrs. Shear, Stillwell as Architect, Broneer, Edward Capps, Jr., and John Day, Fellow of the School. One of the quests in the excavation of Corinth had been the location of the sanctuary of Athena Chalinitis, described by Pausanias. This Shear located, beyond any reasonable doubt, at a point north of the Sicyon road. Here a wall of some pretensions was found, built of re-used material and buttressed where necessary—about every ten feet. It was apparently built about the time of Corinth’s rebuilding by Julius Caesar, in 46–44 B.C. Within the wall, which was not completely cleared at the time, was a great quantity of Arretine ware and local imitation of Arretine. The presence of a large number of votive objects further pointed to this as the sanctuary sought.
The greater part of Shear’s time, however, was spent in excavating the orchestra of the great theater, which had been only partially excavated in 1925. Now not only was the orchestra completely cleared, but also the whole front of the skenê, both parodoi and the cavea to a distance of over thirty feet from the edge of the orchestra. It was on the face of the wall separating the auditorium from the orchestra that the frescoes discovered in 1925 were painted. They are adequately described in Shear’s article on the 1926 excavation in the Journal. They represent gladiators in combat with various animals, bulls, lions, leopards. An interesting graffito in Greek was translated by Shear, “The lion recognizes the man under the bull as his savior and licks him.” Quite clearly a reference to Androcles and the Lion.
The orchestra of the Greek theater is situated about a foot below the lower of two Roman pavements.
Besides the recovery of these interesting frescoes, there were found in the theater some fine pieces of sculpture—a bust (probably of Galba), a colossal male figure and a statue of a Greek philosopher. But most important of all there were considerable remains of at least two fine friezes, one representing the combat of the Greeks against the Amazons, and the other the battle of the gods and the giants. The workmanship on the latter is of a very superior order. But the best pieces found were a Parian marble head, probably a Greek copy of the bronze doryphoros of Polyclitus, and a beautiful female head identified by Shear as Sappho.
In addition to his work at the excavation in 1926, Shear also rendered a conspicuous service to a grateful School by rearranging the material in the Corinth Museum. This had been literally a terrifying place, filled with an amorphous agglomeration of what looked like rubbish in hopeless disorder. To the Augean task of rearrangement Mr. and Mrs. Shear gave an inordinate amount of time and labor, with the result that an attractive, well ordered museum was created.
Blegen excavated on Acrocorinth with the assistance of Stillwell, John Day, John Finley, Jr., and Franklin Jones. This excavation was undertaken at the request of Doerpfeld, to whom, as has been noted, J. M. Wulfing had given two hundred dollars to excavate the Temple of Aphrodite. The site was located, but not a single stone of the temple was in situ. The fountain of Upper Peirene was cleared, and the excellent Hellenistic vault that covers it was protected by a permanent structure built over it. This excavation was published in 1930 as Volume III, Part I, of the Corinth series. This volume was the work of Blegen, Stillwell, Broneer and Bellinger.
The other two excavations removed most of the unsightly masses of earth that had disfigured the site. A large area north of the Temple of Apollo was cleared under Stillwell’s direction down to the Roman pavement, greatly improving the setting of the temple.
A further section of the Lechaeum Road was cleared by Hill, the Roman colonnade bordering the road was investigated, and Greek foundations beneath it discovered. Some of the shops next to the road and the whole area north of the Basilica were cleared. This also added greatly to the appearance of the excavated area.
The general publication of the excavations at Corinth prior to 1916 had been entrusted to the Publications Committee, and Fowler had been made Editor-in-chief of Corinth Publications in 1924. At the meeting of the Managing Committee in 1926 he made an interesting report of progress.
It had been decided not to issue a uniform series of volumes but to allow the subject matter of each volume to determine its format.
As planned by Fowler, Part I was to have an introduction containing a sketch history of Corinth and a brief account of the American excavations. This was to be followed by a publication of the Apollo Temple, Peirene, the “Old Spring” with its fake oracle, a chapter on the topography of Corinth and the Corinthia, the fountain of Glauce. All this material was “nearly ready.” Part II was to contain the Captives Façade, the Propylaea, the Peribolos of Apollo, the Northwest Stoa, the Northwest Shops, Prehistoric Pottery, Architectural Terra Cottas.
In addition to these two parts, carefully planned, the following subjects had been decided on, and in most cases allotted to competent scholars: the Julian Basilica and the Portico, the Agora, the Odeum, the Sculptures, Vases, Terra Cottas, Greek Inscriptions, Latin Inscriptions, Coins, Lamps, Graves, Bronzes, Miscellaneous Objects, the Acrocorinth and a detailed history of Corinth.
Fowler stated that this plan, so simple on paper, really involved a huge amount of work and quoted a letter from K. K. Smith, of Brown, in which it was pointed out that the only sure way to secure its speedy completion would be to send scholars to Athens to do the work there, a solution of the problem beyond the means of the School.
In spite of this a vast amount was accomplished during Capps’s chairmanship. A comparison of the following list of Corinth volumes issued by the School with Fowler’s tentative proposal will be interesting. [A complete list of these, with authors, pages, illustrations, etc. will be found in Appendix IV.] It will serve also as a further proof, if such were needed, of Capps’s driving energy:
- Volume I, Part I Introduction, Topography, Architecture 1932
Part II Architecture 1941
Volume III, Part I Acrocorinth 1930
Part II The Defenses of Acrocorinth and the Lower Town 1936
Volume IV, Part I Decorated Architectural Terra Cottas 1929
Part II Terra-cotta Lamps 1930
Volume V The Roman Villa 1930
Volume VI The Coins 1933
Volume VIII, Part I Greek Inscriptions 1931
Part II Latin Inscriptions 1931
Volume IX Sculpture 1931
Volume X The Odeum 1932
The present plan for the publication of Corinth involves the addition to this impressive list of the following volumes: a volume or two on architecture, including The Fountain of Glauce, The Sacred Spring and Peirene, The West Shops, The South Stoa and Associated Buildings, The Shops North of the Temple, and The Amphitheater. Separate volumes on The Theater, Figurines, Miscellaneous Finds, The North Cemetery, The Asklepieion, The Potters’ Quarter, Prehistoric Pottery, and a supplementary volume on Sculpture are also in preparation.
The close of the year 1926 witnessed the retirement from the directorate of Bert Hodge Hill, after twenty years of service. Signs of friction between the Managing Committee and the director had not been wanting. At the 1925 meeting Hill’s term of office had been limited to a year, with the hope expressed and doubtless cherished that it would be possible to extend it further. At the same time the chairman was instructed to convey to the director the Committee’s definite dissatisfaction with his conduct of the School’s affairs. These resolutions of the Managing Committee very definitely pointed toward a change in the directorate at Athens. Hill’s retirement was the cause of much discussion in the Managing Committee and not a little bad feeling. It caused several of Hill’s friends who had been actively interested in the School to retire from its management and withdraw their support. There was a prolonged discussion of the matter at the May meeting of the Managing Committee, and a special meeting was later held in Cambridge, December 27, 1926. These resulted in Hill’s retirement and the appointment of Blegen as Acting Director for 1926–1927.
To be a judge in Israel is not an enviable position, and it is perhaps too soon to hazard a verdict on this, the only serious controversy in the School’s history.
Hill’s conduct of the School had in many ways been admirable. As an excavator he introduced into the work of the School a technique of excavation hitherto quite unknown there. The work done by him and under him was equal to that of any of the archaeological schools in Greece and far superior to most. He was the first American archaeologist to appreciate and to make his own the new methods introduced by the Germans at Olympia. He was a great and inspiring teacher. It was he who taught Blegen and Dinsmoor and Holland, Thompson, Stillwell, Shear and Meritt and Broneer, to mention only a few of his many pupils. To him these men owed their conception of what an archaeological investigation should be and of what scientific thoroughness and accuracy meant when applied to dowel holes and potsherds.
It was perhaps this very thoroughness, this perfectionism, that finally made his retirement from the directorate inevitable. He was never satisfied with incomplete or imperfect results. So he was continually searching for new data to make his presentation of an excavation complete—but new data are forever forthcoming, and publication cannot indefinitely wait (witness the decision of the Managing Committee that no data on the Erechtheum later than 1921 should be included in that “iam, iam futurus” publication). Carpenter’s dictum that excavation is destruction must be remembered constantly. If excavation is not followed by publication it is worse than useless, it is criminal. No amount of argument could gainsay the fact: twenty years of excavation and no definite publication.
In Hill’s case, as so often happens, there was the conflict between the immediate executive emergency and the less insistent scholarly necessity. When it was a question of action—the negotiations for ground for the Gennadeion is a case in point—he was magnificent. His charming personality, his knowledge of the puzzling currents of Greek diplomacy and intrigue, his cordial and intimate relations with the King, ministers and people, his untiring kindness and unfailing geniality, his amazing resourcefulness, all combined to make him, in those respects, an ideal director.
His skill as an excavator tempted him to continue digging when publication was imperative. Excavation, like gold mining, is exciting. At any moment the spade of a workman may bring to light a new statue, or an inscription that will change the history of Greece, or (most precious of all) a sherd that may make it possible to show how wrong another archaeologist is. But to write the account of an excavation is a tedious and toilsome task that must be performed in the musty atmosphere of a study, not in the bright air of Hellas. This part of his duty as director Hill found it increasingly hard to perform, till at the close of his long and useful term it became an almost insurmountable inhibition. He published in the Journal a few preliminary reports, but on the title pages of the volumes on Corinth his name does not appear; his chapter on Peirene, which Fowler reported to be “nearly ready” in 1926, is still incomplete.
The action of the Managing Committee was unavoidable. It was accepted by Hill as inevitable. He continued to live in Athens and to work, often in collaboration with the officers and students of the School, on subjects of archaeological research. He was very helpful to the School in its later work at Corinth, and his advice and assistance were always available and were given, when desired, with the same cheerful spirit of friendly cooperation that has always been one of the most attractive qualities of his winsome personality.
Carl W. Blegen was Acting Director in charge of the School during 1926–1927, and Benjamin D. Meritt was Assistant Director.
Meritt and West, as has been said, had been working together on a rearrangement of the fragments of the Athenian tribute lists. The fragments had been built into stelae in the Epigraphical Museum at Athens. West and Meritt had been able to demonstrate so clearly that the placing of the fragments was incorrect that Dr. Leonardos, the Director of the Museum, had given permission to have these stelae broken up and new ones constructed in which the fragments should be rearranged according to Meritt and West’s plan. To defray the expense of this reconstruction, the Honorable F. G. Griffith and Dr. H. H. Powers each contributed two hundred dollars to the School.
The protection of excavated areas had become something of a problem. It has already been mentioned that a permanent roof had been built over the Greek bath at Nemea. Mr. Henry J. Patten this year provided at his expense for a similar protection for the Hellenic vault over the spring of Peirene in Acrocorinth and for building a simple but substantial structure over the Roman mosaics discovered by Shear at Corinth.
Mr. Horace S. Oakley, of Chicago, a Trustee of the School, who had also been a member of the Red Cross Commission to Greece, had seen something of the conditions under which the staff of the School lived while they were working at Corinth. He now laid the School under renewed obligation to him by giving five thousand dollars for the erection of an excavation house to accommodate the staff during the period of excavation and while they were working at the finds in the Museum. Stillwell drew the plans for the house, and Thompson prepared the working drawings. Mr. Oakley subsequently gave a considerable additional sum to make the house more attractive, contributing in all about eighty-five hundred dollars for this and five hundred dollars for books to form a small working library. When the house was partially wrecked by the great earthquake in 1928, he had it repaired at his own expense.
Two events occurred in Greece during 1926–1927 which concerned the School, though not as part of its responsibility. The Delphi Festival was organized by Mr. and Mrs. Sikilianos at Delphi, May 9 and 10. Aeschylus’ Prometheus was produced with great fidelity to the original in the marvelous setting of the theater, and Greek athletic contests modeled on the Pythian Games were held in the stadium. Many of the members of the School attended this Festival.
Two momentous announcements were made by Capps in his annual report for 1926–1927.
When the proposal that the School should have a part in the excavation of the Athenian Agora was first made, it was the general supposition that the Greek Government would expropriate the land, pay for it and assign it in sections to several archaeological schools for excavation. The proposal made by the Greek Government to the American School now was, in effect, that the School should pay for the expropriated land and excavate as much as it could afford. That, of course, meant that a very much larger sum would be required. Capps was not, however, daunted by the prospect, which had been tentatively broached on several occasions.
In March, 1927, a most remarkable response to his efforts came. A friend of the School—who remained for a considerable time anonymous—proposed to place $250,000 at the disposal of the School as soon as satisfactory arrangements for the excavation should be made with the Greek Government. He expressed his hope and intention of continuing his interest in the undertaking if the results of the excavation seemed scientifically satisfactory and if the necessary cooperation could be secured. The Trustees at once voted to send Capps to Athens to negotiate with the Greek Government. Oakley was to accompany him, to give him the benefit of his legal advice.
Capps characterized his second announcement by saying, “No chairman of the Managing Committee since the foundation of the School has had the privilege of making an announcement of such far-reaching importance for the future of our institution as it is now my delightful duty to make.” It was the answer of the International Education Board to his request for new endowment for the School.
Beginning in the spring of 1926, Capps had had a long series of conferences with Dr. Abraham Flexner, Director of Educational Studies of the International Education Board. Capps had laid before him carefully the program of the School and its needs. A long and searching investigation of the work of the School had followed. The magnificent gift which came as a result of this investigation was a well-deserved tribute to Capps’s leadership and to the scholarly work of the School.
The International Education Board offered to contribute a sum not to exceed five hundred thousand dollars, for endowment, construction and equipment, and a revolving publication fund. No definite condition was laid down with the gift, but there was an understanding that the authorities of the School would endeavor to raise $250,000 to supplement this. This was to be done by December 31, 1932. But the International Education Board proposed to begin making their contribution without awaiting this date.
Capps had presented the needs of the School under these headings: (1) new endowment for increase of salaries, enlargement of staff, increase in stipends of fellows and larger appropriations for the library and administration, $500,000; (2) a residence hall for students and staff, $200,000; (3) a revolving publication fund, $50,000. The proposal was, then, that the Board would contribute two-thirds of each of these items. No time was lost. Capps at once set about organizing his committees.
When the excavations had been renewed at Corinth in 1925, the Managing Committee had left the question of further activity at this site to be settled by the outcome of these investigations. Now after two campaigns (1925 and 1926) the results seemed to justify the determination to proceed with major excavations here for at least five years. For these excavations Mr. Morgan offered a third subvention of five thousand dollars for the campaign of 1927, and Semple and the supporters of the Cincinnati Fund decided after the completion of the work at Nemea in December, 1926, to select a definite project at Corinth and excavate that for at least three years, subscribing five thousand dollars a year for this purpose.
Shear conducted no excavation at Corinth during 1927. The interesting material he had secured during the campaign of 1926 required arrangement and study. He very wisely avoided the all too common practice of allowing excavation to outrun examination and publication.
The gift of Mr. Morgan, the third of five thousand dollars, enabled the School to continue its clearing of the main excavation area. Here the digging was in charge of Meritt, who was assisted by Broneer; R. S. Darbishire, a graduate of Oxford; Jotham Johnson, of Princeton (Fellow of the Institute the following year); Miss Miriam C. Akers, of Illinois College; and Ferdinand J. M. De Waele, of Aloysius College, the Hague. The area cleared was again along the Lechaeum Road, freeing that fine, well paved highway almost up to the Museum and thus making a dignified and impressive approach to the Corinth excavations.
There was found a large number of coins, but the most interesting discovery was that there had apparently been near this point a monument representing the seven hills of Rome. No trace of the foundations or plan of the monument was secured, but several blocks were found inscribed Capitolinus Mons, Collis Viminalis, Aventinus, Esquilinus Mons. Meritt made a preliminary report of this excavation in the Journal.
The same staff also began the excavation of the Odeion this year. The clearing of this structure, located by Hill in 1906, had been taken on by Semple and the Cincinnati group as their project. The results of the season’s digging were unusually interesting. A considerable part of the cavea was found to be well preserved, the lower seats rock-cut, the upper ones of concrete. The lowest seats were at the edge of a vertical scarp which rose from the floor of the orchestra six feet below. This vertical scarp had been covered with stucco that was probably decorated with fresco painting like that of the theater, though no traces of design or color remained. The Odeion had suffered much by being used later as a quarry. Meritt confirmed the identification, made in 1906, of this as the Odeion mentioned by Pausanias and as probably the “covered theater” built by Herodes Atticus. His preliminary report was printed in the Journal. This excavation was completed the following year (1928) under the direction of Broneer, the funds again being supplied by Semple and the Cincinnati group. Broneer agreed with Meritt in believing that the Odeion is that referred to as being “built” by Herodes Atticus. He could, however, show that the building was of an earlier date—the middle of the first century— and that it was rebuilt, probably by Herodes. Broneer completely cleared the Odeion. Several notable pieces of sculpture were found—the torso of a statue of Athena Archegetis, of heroic size, and a badly broken statue of a Roman in armor. The details of this shattered statue show excellent workmanship, such as the straps of the leather cuirass and heads of Medusa and Zeus from the lappets dependent from the cuirass. Broneer gave an excellent preliminary report of this excavation in the Journal. He wrote also the final report published in the Corinth series, Volume X. The complete excavation of the Odeion added an unexpectedly imposing building to those already cleared. Its extensive stage is a huge piece of masonry, and the vaulting, while fragmentary, has a thoroughly Roman dignity.
To succeed Bert Hodge Hill as Director, the Managing Committee unanimously elected Rhys Carpenter, Professor of Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College, B.A. and M.A. of Oxford University (Balliol College) and A.B., M.A. and Ph.D. of Columbia. It was no small source of pride to the Managing Committee that he declined the directorship of the Classical School in the American Academy at Rome to accept this position. He had been Drisler Fellow of Columbia during his year as a student in the School (1912–1913). He had twice re-visited Greece since then and had been Annual Professor in the Classical School in Rome in 1925–1926. He brought to the directorate a richer training and a wider interest than any of his predecessors. He was not only an archaeologist, as his Greeks in Spain showed, but an art critic, as he proved by his Aesthetic Basis of Greek Art, and an artist, as his volumes of verse reveal him. An unusual master of language and of English style, his vivid energy augured well for the five years he was to direct the School. Years later, in opposing the appointment of a candidate for this position, he said, “If you appoint him, there will be nothing exciting during his directorate.” That was a criticism that no one could think of leveling at Carpenter.
The coming of Carpenter to Athens meant more than the appointment of another director. It meant that Capps’s program could now be promptly implemented. In Stuart Thompson and Carpenter he had found two lieutenants on whom he could rely for action. He was no longer stymied. With Carpenter to excavate, publish and stimulate research, and Thompson to build his buildings, Capps’s plans for the School went swiftly forward. No reader of the School’s history can fail to note the accelerated tempo. On these two men more than any others depended the success of Capps’s administration.
Carpenter was ably supported during his first year by Meritt as Assistant Director. Meritt returned to America at the close of the year, to be succeeded by Stephen B. Luce. Mylonas, the Bursar, resigned at the same time, and his varied duties were variously disposed. Mrs. Carpenter acted as Bursar for a year. She entirely reorganized the School accounts and introduced an orderly system of bookkeeping which has been retained till the present time. Franz Filipp, appointed in 1929, served till 1939.
The added revenue which was now available made it possible to increase the staff by the appointment of “Special Fellows.” Oscar Broneer was the first (1927–1928). These Special Fellows were given various stipends, usually larger than those of the Fellows of the School or of the Institute. These latter fellowships had now been advanced to twelve hundred dollars, a sum which was regarded as insufficient. For it sometimes happened that unsuccessful candidates for these appointments would later be awarded Carnegie Fellowships that paid as much as two thousand dollars. Later in Capps’s regime an advance of one hundred dollars was made, but at the time of his retirement he still felt that thirteen hundred dollars was inadequate.
Dinsmoor’s discovery of an important historical inscription on the west slope of the Acropolis has been mentioned. This year, his last at the School as Professor of Architecture, was partly spent on his research into the details of Athenian history based on this inscription. It showed that Olympiodorus had by a sort of dictatorship interrupted for two years the usual functions of Athenian government. This explained why Ferguson’s Law of Tribal Cycles had apparently broken down when applied to the third century. Dinsmoor was able now to give an accurate list of archons for this century. He made use of Delphian and Delian inscriptions and of Egyptian papyri, bringing his investigations down to 26 B.C. In an elaborate study of the calendar he attempted to assign to the correct date in the Julian calendar every Attic month from 432 to 109 B.C. These results the School published in 1931 under the title The Archons of Athens in the Hellenistic Age, an elaborate quarto volume of 498 pages.
During this year he became interested also in the temple at Bassae. Here he collaborated with Carpenter in a publication of this unique structure, but like the work on the west slope it is still “expected.” But his study of the dowel holes, like that of the Nike balustrade, led to an entire rearrangement of the frieze in the British Museum. It was a brilliant piece of work that no other archaeologist had conceived and perhaps none other had the skill to execute.
Two other volumes were conceived this year by Carpenter, and these were not destined to be like Bassae—stillborn. “The Nike Balustrade, to be written by Rhys Carpenter and William Bell Dinsmoor” appeared in 1929 but, significantly, with a different title and authorship: The Sculpture of the Nike Parapet, by Rhys Carpenter. It is a delightful book of eighty-four pages with twenty-nine plates and fifteen figures. It is a rearrangement of the slabs of the parapet frieze, determined not by dowel holes but by the style of the sculptures. Several artists are distinguished, and the slabs belonging to each are grouped together.
The second book was not written by members of the School but by two German scholars interested in Byzantine art. Ernst Diez and Otto Demus produced in Byzantine Mosaics in Greece: Hosios Lucas and Daphni a really remarkable study of the mosaics in these two rich churches. Besides forty-two half-tone plates to illustrate the 120 pages of text, there were fifteen color plates. In producing these the authors were greatly helped by Mrs. Carpenter, who had made a name for herself as an artist and decorator. She visited
Daphni and Hosios Lucas again and again to verify the accuracy of the color reproductions, braving not only the hardships of the journey but the somewhat terrifying hospitality of the Abbot. The result is that these plates reproduce not the colors which the traveler vaguely remembers the originals had, but the colors that they actually do have. This volume was issued in 1931.
The guide to Corinth which had been so long vainly sought from the preceding administration was issued by Carpenter almost overnight. The first edition came out in 1927: Ancient Corinth: A Guide to the Excavations, by Rhys Carpenter. A second edition appeared in 1933, and a third edition, enlarged to 121 pages by Morgan, in 1936. As Carpenter says, this was issued “in an effort to take advantage of the very general interest and the rather occasional learning of visitors.”
Work on cataloguing the Gennadeion Library had gone steadily forward. The titles of about sixteen thousand volumes had been recorded on cards, but ten thousand still remained, and nothing had yet been done toward publishing the catalogue of the library, an obligation that was incurred when the gift was accepted and which still remains undischarged.
The great project of excavating the Athenian Agora occupied Capps’s time during the entire summers of 1927 and 1928. The former summer he spent in Athens in company with Mr. Horace Oakley, as has been already stated. The experiences of the summer are best told in Capps’s own words:
The political conditions were peculiarly unfavorable, the Ministry of Mr. Kaphandaris, which was then in power, being a coalition government composed of discordant and, under the surface, hostile political elements. All the political leaders had to be consulted, but none was willing to commit himself, especially since the population of the entire “archaeological area” to the north, east and south of the Acropolis had been thoroughly organized, ostensibly to resist the granting of any concession to excavators, but in reality, as one often had reason to suspect, to extract unreasonable indemnifications from the Americans. At any rate, the group of protestants were numerous enough to exercise strong political pressure, and they were supported by the majority of the newspapers.
The strength of this popular opposition to the proposed concession to the School was due in part to the altogether laudable desire of the Greek archaeologists, both those of the Archaeological Bureau of the Ministry of Education and those of the University, to save as large an area as possible for future scientific exploitation. Consequently the Ministry insisted that the American concession should embrace the territory under which lie, not only the ancient Agora of the classical period, which was bounded on the east by about the line of Aeolus Street, but also the Roman Agora, which extended to the Horologion of Andronicus. This doubling of the minimum area nearly doubled the number of persons who would be affected, making some 10,000 in place of about 5,000; and the organizers and agitators, following the most approved political methods, did not scruple to admit to their numbers owners and residents of the fringes and outskirts of the delimited region, taking in members from the Ceramicus, Shoe Lane, the squatters district high up on the northeast slopes of the Acropolis, the Street of the Tripods, and even the neighborhood of the Odeum of Pericles. The newspapers could thus, without straining their consciences, speak of the “hundred thousand autochthonous citizens who were going to be driven from their ancestral homes by the Americans!”
The task that we had hoped could be achieved in a few weeks was protracted from June to July and from July into August with little real progress and not much prospect of success, in spite of the unremitting efforts of the distinguished archaeologist who is the Chief of the Archaeological Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Dr. K. Kourouniotis. It finally became necessary to engage passage in the last steamer that would reach New York in time for the beginning of the next academic year. Matters then, when only a few days in Athens were left, came quickly to a head. A concession which the negotiator thought would be acceptable to the Trustees was signed by the Minister of Education, Mr. Argyros, countersigned by the Prime Minister, Mr. Kaphandaris, and the leaders of each of the political groups represented in the Ministry, and delivered to the Chairman a few hours before his train was to leave for Patras.
This concession, however, did not satisfy the Board of Trustees. Their objection was based on the fact that under the conditions suggested they would become owners of land on which were buildings still occupied. They shrank from the responsibility of becoming landlords for a large number of Greeks, all of whom would probably be of an intensely litigious persuasion.
Capps was forced to spend a second summer (1928) in negotiations in Athens. These were finally successful, and he was able to report at a special meeting December 26, 1928, that the Trustees had accepted the conditions to which the Greek Government had agreed and that the anonymous donor had given the $250,000 for the inception of the project.
Difficulties, however, were not all past, for when the text of the Greek law authorizing the expropriation of the property over the Agora was printed, it was found that three important changes contrary to the original agreement and all favorable to the Greek landholders had been introduced. Ecclesiastical and monasterial property was not to be expropriated, materials necessary to the work of the excavations were not to enter Greece duty-free, and on the expropriation board the property owners were to have two representatives instead of one. It was found necessary to correct these changes by amendment of the law. A Commission for the Excavation of the Athenian Agora was erected. It was to consist of representatives of the Trustees and the Managing Committee, and its members were to serve for terms longer than a year. The first members of the Commission were, for the Trustees, Peabody, Weld, Curtis; for the Managing Committee, Capps, Chase, Meritt, Edward Robinson and Van Hook.
The Commission proposed that Carpenter be made General Director of the excavations, and Dr. T. Leslie Shear Field Director. In addition, the first two Agora Fellows were appointed—Homer A. Thompson, of the University of Michigan, and Frederick O. Waage, of the University of Pennsylvania. The Agora fellowships were financed by the Rockefeller Foundation. Thompson served during the entire time the excavation was carried on before the war, 1931–1939, Waage for only the first year. [A complete list of the Agora Commission and the Agora staff will be found in Appendix VI.]
The provision by which Carpenter was to be the General Director of the excavation was never effective. Shear was in complete charge throughout.
The project of the women’s hostel had gone through various stages, beginning with the subscriptions secured by Chairman Wheeler and the contributions of the women’s colleges. When the Gennadeion Library was being constructed, a committee of university women headed by Miss M, Carey Thomas had undertaken with the consent of the School Trustees and in the name of the School to raise funds for a women’s hostel on a somewhat larger scale. It was hoped that sufficient money could be raised to acquire the part of the original lot owned by the British School, and on this and the portion owned by the American School to erect a building that should serve as a hostel for all university women in Athens. It was to be operated during the entire year and was to provide rooms for women only, but men from the School would be admitted to the dining room.
This plan was not realized because funds could not be raised in time to construct the building while work was proceeding on the Gennadeion.
This being the situation, the offer of the International Education Board to contribute $133,333.33 toward a $200,000 building for the general dormitory and boarding needs of the School completely altered the situation. The building as now envisioned would not be exclusively for women but would none the less provide the accommodations they had so long needed.
Judge Loring of the Board of Trustees made the legal arrangements necessary to transfer to this building the funds given by the women’s colleges and other donors to the hostel. The interests of the women were protected by asking President Pendleton, of Wellesley, and Dean Gildersleeve, of Barnard, to act on the Building Committee with Capps, Perry and Van Hook. The British School’s share of the property was acquired in 1928, and plans for the new hall were pushed forward. The campaign to raise $250,000 to add to the $500,000 appropriated by the International Education Board was launched in 1928. Judge Loring became the Honorary Chairman of the Committee to raise this fund, Capps the active chairman. The $250,000 to be raised was to be allocated as follows: $166,666.67 to endowment, $66,666.67 to the residence hall, and $16,666.67 to the revolving publication fund. Even before the organization of the committee there had been subscribed to the endowment and building fund $35,500. The first subscriber was Mrs. Gustav Radeke, and the second James Loeb, a Trustee to whom the School already was greatly indebted. Other generous givers at the outset of the campaign were Judge Loring and William Amory Gardner of the Trustees, and Mrs. William H. Moore, Miss Caroline Hazard and Miss Elizabeth W. Frothingham. The total subscriptions at the time of Capps’s annual report for 1927–1928 were $53,000. In May, 1929, Capps announced at the Managing Committee meeting that $132,963 had been subscribed. It was hoped that the remainder might be secured before January 1, 1930.
The collapse of the country’s financial system in 1929 made this impossible, and in May, 1930, almost $95,000 was still to be raised. The $66,666.67 to make up the School’s share of the two hundred thousand needed for the residence hall had been paid in, however, before that date. The $95,000 was, therefore, a deficit in the endowment and revolving publication funds. During the next year about forty thousand dollars of this amount was subscribed. This left fifty-five thousand dollars to be secured before December 31, 1932, to meet the desires of the International Education Board. By a special arrangement with the Board this amount was made up by adding to endowment unspent annual income. The entire amount of the $250,000 had thus been raised by Capps and his committee.
It had been a practice hallowed by time that excavations in Greek territory by Americans should be under the auspices of the School. This was a tradition of gradual growth. One of Norton’s purposes in founding the School was that it should train scholars to serve the Institute in its excavations. Delphi was to have been an Institute dig in which the School might be invited to cooperate. But during the forty years that had elapsed since then the daughter had been growing, the mother had been aging. In 1928 the School, thanks to Capps, was a much more potent force than the Institute. It was an institution equipped with funds and personnel to conduct excavations in the most scientific manner. In recognition of this fact the Fogg Museum had associated itself with the School in the excavations conducted by Miss Goldman, and the University of Cincinnati had followed a similar course.
It seemed an appropriate time, therefore, to clarify this situation and to lay down rules which might apply to enterprises of this kind in the future. The matter was brought to a head by a new decree issued by the Greek Government allowing to foreigners who were not connected with any of the archaeological schools certain privileges of excavation. The Managing Committee sent to Carpenter for presentation to the Government a request that the operation of this decree be suspended. This protest was at once presented by Carpenter to Mr. Kourouniotis, Chief of the Archaeological Division of the Ministry of Education. After an interview in which the Minister radiated a considerable amount of heat (private letter of Carpenter), the School’s protest was successfully sustained by Carpenter, and Mr. Kourouniotis wrote to Capps a letter which he read to the Managing Committee at a special meeting in December, 1928, in which he gave assurances “that no permission would be granted to an American Archaeologist to excavate in Greece in conjunction with a Greek, independent of the American School at Athens.”
In conformity with this principle David M. Robinson, of the Johns Hopkins University, excavated under the auspices of the School from February 17 to June 2, 1928, at a site which he had tentatively identified as Olynthus. Besides Dr. George Mylonas, representing the School, he had a large staff of assistants and about two hundred workmen. The funds for this excavation (about fifteen thousand dollars) were furnished by friends of Robinson in Baltimore.
The remains of the city lay but a few feet below the surface, the digging was not difficult, and a large area was cleared. The identification of the site as Olynthus was abundantly confirmed. Besides uncovering the fortress, barracks and the agora, a large residential area was cleared. The plans of many houses of the fifth and early fourth century were determined, usually a central court paved with cobblestones opening into numerous rooms. Examples of houses of this date had heretofore been rare. These houses, all facing the south, were about sixty feet square, and there were two general types with three or four rooms on the north facing a portico and other rooms grouped about a court or peristyle. The blocks were arranged in two rows of five houses each, and there was much variety in the interiors of the houses, which were evidently arranged to suit the owner. These houses, with walls white, yellow, blue and especially red, had stone foundations with walls of adobe. The doors and rafters were made of wood studded with bronze nails and knobs. The roof tiles were of terra cotta. There was a room (the oecus) with its hearth, a kitchen with a broiling pit in the floor, and next to it a bathroom with a terra cotta bathtub. That there was a second story is evident from the preserved lower step of the staircase in the court. The men’s room often had an anteroom so arranged as to ensure privacy. There was a raised border all around for the couches used at dinner. In the center was often a beautiful pebble mosaic floor with geometric or floral designs. Great numbers of coins and terra cottas were found. The excavation proved very important for the light it threw on the private life of this period. A preliminary report was published in the Journal. Later the complete publication of Olynthus was issued by the Johns Hopkins University Press.
Under a similar arrangement with the School, Blegen investigated a small mound at Hagiorgitika, near Tripolis in Arcadia, in 1928. The funds were furnished by the University of Cincinnati. The campaign lasted only three weeks. No metal implements were found, but the numerous sherds and terra cotta fragments indicated two chronologically different periods of occupation, both belonging entirely to the neolithic period.
Capps had frequently complained of the uncombed appearance of the excavated area at Corinth. This year (1928) a welcome gift of five thousand dollars came from Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Chace, of Providence, for “putting the excavations at Corinth in complete order.” The results of this gift were soon apparent.
Mr. Henry J. Patten again gave five hundred dollars toward the expenses of excavating Corinth. He had for many years been giving generously to the School and for the last three years had consistently supported Shear’s excavation at Corinth at the theater and at the Roman villa.
Meanwhile, under the direction of Fowler, work was going forward steadily on the publication of Corinth. The publication of the Roman villa and the Odeion has already been mentioned. In 1929 the Decorated Architectural Terracottas by Ida Thallon-Hill and Lida Shaw King appeared; the next year Broneer’s Terracotta Lamps and the Acrocorinth by Blegen and others; in 1931 the Greek Inscriptions by Meritt, the Latin Inscriptions by Allen B. West, and the Sculpture by Franklin P. Johnson; and in 1932 an Introductory Volume containing chapters on Topography and Architecture by Fowler, Stillwell and others. Broneer’s volume on Terracotta Lamps, the first systematic treatment of this subject, has proved extremely useful to all excavators concerned with classical sites. In 1928 Miss Katherine M. Edwards began her work on the mass of coins that had accumulated since the beginning of the excavations at Corinth. It was a tedious task demanding endless patience and labor. When it was published in 1933 it covered the coins found from 1896–1929. The volume was nicely illustrated with ten plates.
Mrs. Broneer materially assisted in “clearing up Corinth” by arranging, identifying and labeling the smaller finds, a task which greatly aided Mrs. Gladys Davidson Weinberg in her publication of these objects.
From the twenty-third to the thirtieth of April, 1928, Corinth suffered from a series of violent earthquakes. Practically every building in Old Corinth except Shear’s house was damaged. Part of Glauce collapsed, the Oakley Excavation House was seriously shaken and had to be largely repaired. The funds of the School did much to relieve the distress in the village. Mr. Edwin S. Webster, of the Board of Trustees, gave two thousand dollars, and sixteen hundred dollars more was subscribed by other friends.
Carpenter explored the site of Corinth somewhat widely in 1928, prompted by a vote of the Managing Committee that a search should be made “by trial excavations for other buildings mentioned by ancient writers.” Carpenter was able to locate the street along which Pausanias passed. He discovered Greek and Roman graves that lined its course. Here he found a large basilica church of the age of Justinian which was later carefully excavated. This was doubtless the “cathedral” church of the Bishop of Corinth. This interesting edifice is described by Carpenter in the Journal.
Shear’s campaign at Corinth, February 22-June 6, 1928, cleared the east parodos of the theater. An impressive paved road east of the theater was cleared for a considerable distance. It runs roughly north and south. A little work was done at the precinct of Athena Chalinitis, but since it appeared that the paved road would skirt the precinct, further excavation there was deferred, awaiting its clearance.
A cemetery about half a mile northwest of the theater had been located by Hill and Dinsmoor in 1915. Here Shear opened thirty-three graves, mostly burials in stone sarcophagi. There were found lamps, strigils and 194 complete vases, Attic ware, Corinthian ware and Corinthian imitation of Attic. Many of these vases were beautiful examples of ceramic art. A preliminary report of this appeared in the Journal for 1928.
In his report for the year 1927–1928 Carpenter makes a significant comment on the School’s appropriate functions:
We should encourage Byzantine investigation, especially in connection with the Gennadius collection, and pre-Hellenic research, especially in excavation; hut our ultimate reason for existence must always and necessarily be the pre-eminence of things Greek over things un-Greek, or pre-Greek, or post-Greek. It is in so far as we insist on this old faith of the Humanists in the humanities (and not in the pre-human-ities, or even the exhume-anities) that our school will have a torch to hand down to future days.
The first Fellow in the Greek Language, Literature and History had been appointed for 1925–1926. A fellow was appointed for each of the next two years, but then difficulties began. At the May meeting of the Managing Committee in 1929 Bassett reported that in three out of the six years since this fellowship was established no appointment had been made because none of the candidates was qualified. The committee had considered, informally, reducing the requirements but strongly recommended instead a wider publicity for the fellowships. Effective steps were taken to secure this end. In 1933 the principal of the Seymour Fund had reached an amount ($25,025.35) where it seemed wise to appoint a fellow on this foundation, the Thomas Day Seymour Fellow in the Greek Language, Literature and History. From 1930 till 1939 there was but one year when no fellow was appointed in Greek Literature.
At this meeting in 1929 the Managing Committee took a most important step in the development of the School on the recommendation of the Committee on Publications.
Since the last volume of School papers had been issued in 1897, containing School papers written down to 1895, the preliminary reports of the work done in Athens and articles embodying the results of research of permanent value had been published in several periodicals. Most of these had appeared in the American Journal of Archaeology. Since its founding by Mitchell Carroll in 1922, Art and Archaeology had frequently published popular summaries of School activities. Some articles had appeared in the American Journal of Philology. Others had been published in the Bulletin of the French School, the Annual of the British School, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology and the Century Magazine.
Chase, Chairman of the Publications Committee, now brought in a report stating that Carpenter had suggested that with the beginning of the excavation of the Athenian Agora the School should organize and publish a journal of its own which should, it was hoped, not only carry the preliminary reports on the Agora but should also enable members of the School to publish promptly their researches. The Committee recommended the establishment of such a journal. The recommendation was adopted, and the name Hesperia was suggested.
The new residence hall was approaching completion in the summer of 1929. So nearly done was it that Prince George’s Palace was vacated the first of July, and the Treasurer’s report carries the lugubrious item, “Annex Repairs, $1,500.”
The building was designed and built by W. Stuart Thompson, a former Fellow of the School, and the Architect of the Gennadeion. The eastern building contains, besides kitchen and laundry, a fine living room, an airy (but well heated) dining room and a game room on the main floor. Below, but still above ground, owing to the varying slope of the terrain, is a comfortable suite of rooms for the manager or bursar of the School. The upper floor is occupied by single rooms for women. The central portion of the building has on each floor a suite, consisting of sitting room, bedroom and bath; west of each of these suites is a series of single rooms and a bath. The suites and the rooms are so arranged that men or women may be accommodated on either floor. It has thus been possible to accommodate all the students of the School in this excellent residence hall, dividing the rooms occupied by the men and women as their respective numbers may vary from year to year. The western wing of the building is a self-contained unit, with kitchen, dining room and bedrooms. This has been occupied usually by the annual or the visiting professor and his family.
This was the final and most satisfactory solution of the “Hostel for Women Problem.”
The students’ rooms were occupied in the fall of 1929. The building was turned over by Thompson to the Managing Committee on February 1, 1930, furnished and ready for operation. The cost, including the landscaping of the grounds, had exceeded by only eight hundred dollars Thompson’s estimate of two hundred thousand dollars. The cost of the building had been defrayed one-third by subscriptions and two-thirds by the International Education Board. The Trustees of the School voted to name the new building the William Caleb Loring Hall. (Plate XX)
Judge Loring well deserved this tribute. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. He had been President of the Board of Trustees from the time of his election in 1911 till 1928, when he resigned in favor of William Rodman Peabody, remaining a member of the Board until his death, September 18, 1930.
He had given his time and his mature knowledge unstintingly to the service of the School. During the trying negotiations that preceded the expropriation of the Agora area he had striven to bring about a settlement that would be fair to the evicted owners and to the School. In all the campaigns for raising money he had loyally supported Capps, both by generous personal gifts and by soliciting assistance from others. When he became President of the Board the School was a small, struggling institution. He lived to see it become the best equipped school in Athens. In this growth he had had a large share, and in it he took great pride.
The Parthenon was undergoing repairs in the spring of 1929, and Capps, with the assistance of John H. Finley, took advantage of the occasion to raise considerable sums of money, with which the fallen columns of the north peristyle and a few columns of the south peristyle were re-erected under the direction of Dr. Balanos, supervising architect of the Acropolis. The two ends of the Parthenon, rent asunder by the explosion of powder stored there in the siege of 1687, were once more reunited. The size of the temple seemed to be magically increased, and its regal domination of the Hill of Athena restored.
The excavations at Corinth during 1929 were conducted by the director, and during the summer by De Waele. The area cleared lay north of the Temple and west of the Museum. Here a Roman market place was uncovered. It was laid put symmetrically. It encroached slightly on the rock of the Temple Hill. The shops in this market are of the type well known from other Roman cities, characterized by uniformity, stability and monotony—a monotony that was somewhat relieved by finding in the third shop five skulls without their attendant skeletons. Some beautiful Byzantine pottery was found here, reproductions of which were later to grace Charles H. Morgan’s volume on Byzantine Pottery.
This excavation also threw light on the elaborate drainage system of Corinth. Some interesting mosaics were found, and a few pieces of sculpture. The preliminary report of the dig was made by De Waele in the Journal.
Shear was again at work at the theater, this time from February 20 to July 15, Stillwell and De Waele assisting him. The central part of the cavea was cleared, greatly improving the general appearance of the excavation and securing confirmatory evidence placing the Roman remodeling of the theater in the time of Augustus. The earth was also removed from the west parodos. At the exit a road, unpaved, was found, as expected, along the west side of the theater. Among the interesting objects uncovered in this area was a fifth-century inscription containing a digamma. A third exploration was undertaken at the northeast edge of the theater. Here Byzantine pottery was found, and an inscription stating that paving had been laid there at the expense of Erastus. Shear suggests that he was Paul’s friend of Romans 16, 23. Still-well published an excellent account of the theater in the thirty-third volume of the Journal.
Several fine pieces of sculpture came to light during the excavation at the theater—more pieces of the interesting friezes representing the battle of the Greeks and Amazons and the battle of the gods and giants, on which Edward Capps, Jr., had been working, a marble head of Dionysus, of good Greek workmanship, and a beautiful life-sized statue of Artemis, headless but otherwise almost undamaged.
Shear also opened graves in two areas this season. In the eastern part of the city, surprisingly within the city wall, he explored a sizable cemetery, investigating thirty-seven graves. These were of the fourth and third centuries B.C. Carpenter has suggested that the city at that time did not fill the area enclosed by the walls, and so burial at this point was not prohibited. The other graves were in the North Cemetery already mentioned. Here two hundred graves were opened. The vases found were not only numerous, but many of them were very lovely examples of Corinthian art. An interesting discovery was that this cemetery had been used from prehistoric times as a Middle Helladic burial ground. Shear’s excellent account of this year’s work in the Journal is really more than a preliminary report.
During 1929–1930 three members of the Managing Committee died—Miss Ellen F. Mason, Horatio M. Reynolds and Kendall K. Smith. Miss Mason, of Boston, was elected to membership in 1898. She had the distinction of being the first member elected to the Managing Committee who did not represent any cooperating institution. She did not often attend the meetings of the Committee but was deeply interested in the School and left a generous bequest of twenty-five thousand dollars. Horatio M. Reynolds, of Yale, had been a member of the Committee since 1901 and was for eighteen years its Secretary. The Committee was under deep obligation to him for his long and faithful service. At her death Mrs. Reynolds left a fund to commemorate his name in the School. It has since been increased to twenty thousand dollars—the Horatio M. Reynolds Library Fund. Kendall K. Smith, of Brown, had been a member of the Committee for only eight years, but his services on the Committee on Fellowships had made him one of the most valued and influential members. He had been deeply interested in the establishment of the fellowship in History and Literature, and his advice had largely determined the policy adopted in its award.
Three members of the Board of Trustees died during 1929–1930, William Amory Gardner, Secretary of the Board 1910–1920, Alexander Smith Cochran and Horace S. Oakley. They had all been staunch supporters of the School. Gardner and Oakley each bequeathed it five thousand dollars. Oakley’s bequest provided for the upkeep of Oakley
Excavation House at Corinth. He left five thousand dollars also to the University of Wisconsin, the income to be paid to the School annually as Wisconsin’s contribution to the support of the School.
For almost the only time in his chairmanship Capps was seriously ill during this year. At the May meeting in 1930 he asked to be relieved of the chairmanship, and a committee was appointed to nominate a successor. The committee showed an unusual degree of sagacity by never meeting, and fortunately Capps quite regained his lost vigor if not all his unusually good health.
An increase of the fellowship stipend to fourteen hundred dollars was voted at this meeting. It became effective in 1931–1932. By the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Prentice Duell a special fellowship in archaeology was made available for several years. Miss Lucy T. Shoe, of Bryn Mawr, was appointed to the fellowship and held it from 1929 to 1932.
One of the urgent needs of the School was a new museum at Corinth to house adequately the growing collection of vases and statuary coming from the excavations. Capps spoke of this at the meeting in 1930. He not only spoke of it but began at once to see that the museum was provided.
Many years before, Seymour had had some very uncomplimentary things to say about the olive orchard in which the grounds of the School terminated as they sloped south to the all-too-available Evangelismos Hospital. Now came Mrs. Carpenter with a gift of six hundred dollars from one of her Philadelphia friends to change all this. With her usual energy and her unfailing taste, by judicious planting and landscaping she transformed this unsightly agglomeration of Athena-created arborage into a most attractive garden. Seymour, a real lover of nature, would have been pleased.
The excavation of the Agora was now on the verge of becoming a reality. A third Agora Fellow, Miss Dorothy Burr (Mrs. Homer Thompson), of Bryn Mawr, was appointed, and an artist, Miss Mary Wyckoff, also of Bryn Mawr. It was voted that the Agora staff “be given the status and privileges of members of the School.” Expropriation of the Agora area was actually begun, and on motion of Edward Robinson the Managing Committee appropriately voted to express to its chairman its “high appreciation of the able manner in which the negotiations concerning the Agora have been carried out.”
Carpenter had expressed his desire to retire from the directorate in 1932. A special committee, after careful consideration of the situation, voted to recommend that Richard Stillwell be appointed Assistant Director for 1931–1932 and Director for 1932–1935. These recommendations were adopted at a special meeting of the Managing Committee at New York, February 7, 1931.
Shear began his excavations at Corinth on January 27, 1930, and continued them till May 10. His work was confined to further exploration of the North Cemetery, where 235 graves were opened, and to an adjacent site about a quarter of a mile distant, where more graves were found. Of these, 113 were opened.
The results of this third excavation confirmed the earlier conclusion of Blegen that there was a large neolithic settlement at Corinth. Fifty-one vases of the Early Helladic period were recovered from a well shaft. Many of these were intact or could be completely reconstructed from the pieces into which they had been broken after they were thrown into the pit. Among them were many examples of the sauceboat and bowl. Vases of the Middle Helladic period were found in the North Cemetery. Here were also found other interesting objects, among them a gold diadem, large bronze spirals adorning the skulls of women, and other jewelry.
No graves of the Late Helladic period were found, though some scattered sherds did come to light. This was a distinct disappointment, because it would have enabled the excavators
to refute further the statement of Dr. Walter Leaf that no Mycenaean town existed at Corinth, a statement already challenged successfully by Blegen.
The graves of later date yielded a veritable harvest of beautiful vases of Proto-Corinthian, early and late Corinthian, Attic and other imported ware. From this collection alone an almost complete history of the ceramic industry at Corinth could be written—the growth and development of the local style and its displacement by the superior art of the potters of Athens. Roman graves were also found, containing lamps and unusual children’s toys. A very careful and beautifully illustrated report of this is given by Shear in his article in the Journal. An excellent popular account of these splendid finds was written by Miss Josephine Platner (Mrs. T. Leslie Shear) in Art and Archaeology.
Meanwhile, excavation had been going on under Carpenter and De Waele in the area delimited by the North Market, the Temple, Glauce and the Odeion. Here was discovered a Greek stoa, or rather three Greek stoas, the latest of which had been partially destroyed by the building of the Roman Market. By careful and painstaking work it was possible to demonstrate that this uppermost stoa, about three hundred feet long, was of two stories, and that the upper story opened to the south on the terrace of the Temple. This third stoa is tentatively dated about 387 B.C. A Greek street was also identified and cleared. A fine portrait head of Caracalla found during the excavation of this stoa was published by Ess Askew in the thirty-fifth volume of the Journal.
Many incidental finds of interest were made, but these were overshadowed completely by the discovery of a hoard of gold coins—forty-one staters of Philip II and ten of Alexander the Great. At least thirty-three different dies were used in stamping the Philip staters. The Alexander coins were all minted at Tarsos, Salamis in Cyprus, and in Macedonia. Besides this remarkable collection of coins there was found a beautiful gold necklace, nor was the evidence lacking that for this valuable treasure trove posterity is indebted to the crafty care of a Hellenistic thief of the second half of the fourth century B.C.; for coins and necklace were found secreted beneath the floor of the Greek stoa.
Another hoard of coins was discovered this year by Still-well in the North Cemetery. This consisted of twenty-nine bronze coins buried in the reign of Gallienus (254–268
A.D.). Some of them were of the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–161). Besides Corinth, nine other Peloponnesian cities were represented in this collection. The coins were very badly corroded, and the successful cleaning of them by the electrolytic method clearly proved the superiority of this process over that employed by other numismatists. A chemical analysis also brought out interesting facts, notably that the frugal inhabitants of Sicyon used about thirteen and a half per cent of lead in their coins, whereas the Corinthians used only about four and three quarters. The hoard was also published by Shear.
During 1929, 1930 and 1931 Miss Agnes Newhall (Mrs. Richard Stillwell) excavated an area on the eastern slope of a ravine about a mile west of the Corinth agora. Here she located the Corinthian potters’ quarter, the Cerameicus. Abundant proof of pottery factories was found—the character of the buildings, the abundance of fine clay deposits near at hand, the elaborate water system and the large number of pots discarded because of various flaws due to imperfect firing. The number of vases discovered was very large and represented a wide variety of form and a range in time from Proto-Corinthian in the eighth to the decline of the Corinthian ware in the fourth century B.C. Among the finds were about a thousand miniature vases, many terra-cotta figurines of unusual shapes and terra-cotta shields. One of these carried on its outer side a fine relief of a horseman leaping from his horse. Miss Newhall published the results of the first two years’ excavations in the Journal.
The Managing Committee met in 1931 on May 9, the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of W. W. Goodwin, the first director of the School. Capps spoke with great feeling of the death of Edward Robinson, Director of the Metropolitan Museum. He had been a member of the Managing Committee since 1903 and had been most influential. He had been of conspicuous help to Capps in securing the aid of the great foundations, especially in connection with the building of the Gennadeion. Sherwood O. Dickerman, of Williams, also died during the year. He had been a consistent supporter of the School and had for many years anonymously given to Williams College the Greek fellowship for study in Europe.
Professor Jane Gray Carter, of Hunter College, presented the School with five thousand dollars in memory of her sister, a fund to make Hunter a cooperating college in perpetuity, the M. Caroline Carter Fund.
Gilbert C. Scoggin resigned his position as Librarian of the Gennadeion after six years of service and was succeeded by Clarence G. Lowe, of the Greek Department of the University of Nebraska, who also held the office for six years (1931–1937). Progress had been made toward cataloguing the Library, but none of the catalogue was yet ready for publication. Few additions had been made to the Library during Scoggin’s term. Lowe began the policy of filling the gaps in the collection and in the magazine files by systematic purchase.
An appropriation of three thousand dollars was made to remove the upper story of Oakley House, which was deemed unsafe since the earthquake, and to build an anti-seismic annex providing sleeping accommodations for about ten persons. The latter project was promptly accomplished, but objections to the former, made by some of the staff, blocked this precautionary action for several years.
A School publication of some sort had already been approved by the Managing Committee. It was now time for its organization, since the excavation of the Agora was about to begin, and much new material for publication would be available.
That an annual like that of the British School had been definitely considered is clear from the Minutes of the Managing Committee. But fortunately the suggestion of Carpenter that a periodical rather than an annual publication be initiated prevailed. The result was the quarterly Hesperia, A Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Volume I covered the year 1932. It was at first edited by the director in Athens and printed in Vienna. Later this arrangement was changed. The plates and the extra copies were brought to America and stored at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The editorial control was transferred to the Publications Committee, of which Meritt became chairman in 1939. The same year Paul Clement, of the Institute for Advanced Study, was added to the School staff and made Managing Editor of Publications.
Hesperia filled a long-felt want. Half of the numbers were devoted to the Agora, giving space for preliminary publication of each year’s work and for articles describing in detail some of the discoveries. The other two numbers were devoted to articles by members of the School. In addition to the numbers issued quarterly, seven supplementary volumes were published during Capps’s chairmanship:
- Prytaneis: A Study of the Inscriptions Honoring the Athenian Councillors, by Sterling Dow, 259 pages, 1937;
Late Geometric Graves and a Seventh Century Well in the Agora, by Rodney S. Young, (with an Appendix on the Skeletal Remains);
Geometric Athenians, by J. Lawrence Angel, ix + 250 pages, 1939;
The Setting of the Periclean Parthenon, by Gorham Phillips Stevens, 91 pages, 1940;
The Tholos of Athens and Its Predecessors, by Homer A. Thompson, 160 pages, 1940;
Observations on the Hephaisteion, by William Bell Dinsmoor, 171 pages, 1941;
The Sacred Gerusia, by James H. Oliver, xii + 204 pages, 1941.
The format and press work of Hesperia were excellent. The new journal secured wide recognition and praise. It was another of Capps’s great contributions to the School’s upbuilding. Without the confidence that he inspired it is doubtful if the School would have undertaken so fine, albeit ambitious, a publication. Nor did it automatically win the necessary support. To build up the subscription list Capps wrote literally hundreds of letters with his own hands to friends and libraries. The result was success, but it was achieved by the toil and patience of the chairman.
At the annual meeting of 1931 Carpenter’s plan for a survey of the defenses of Acrocorinth was approved. The result was an investigation that began the following autumn. It included not only a survey of the impressive Venetian fortress that crowns the height of Acrocorinth with its elaborately defended approach and the interesting postern that looks down on the old city but also a survey of the circuit wall that enclosed the Greek and Roman town. This was completed and published in 1936. Carpenter was assisted by the mediaevalist Antoine Bon. Arthur W. Parsons also contributed to the volume, which contained over three hundred pages, ten plates, 242 illustrations and a map. (Plate XXI)
During 1931 excavations were also conducted at Corinth in the hope of discovering the Asklepieion. These, under the direction of De Waele, were highly successful.
In 1930, as has been said, Shear discovered and opened a large number of tombs in the North Cemetery and in the small ridge near it called Cheliotomylos. He had hoped to find tombs of the Late Helladic period but had been disappointed in this, though plenty of scattered sherds were discovered. In 1931 he made a further search in this locality but instead of Late Helladic tombs he found that the whole hillside across a shallow ravine from Cheliotomylos was honeycombed with chamber tombs cut into the hard clay. These chamber tombs were of Roman date. Four of these tombs were excavated. In every case the roof had collapsed. All had been re-used. In three of those tombs there was a second, inner chamber. The most interesting feature of these tombs was the paintings with which the walls were adorned. These had in places scaled off the clay background, and the entire surface had then been covered with a coat of white stucco. The recovery of these paintings beneath the stucco required great care and skill. One painting in orange and red represents two tritons and two dolphins symmetrically grouped about a large crater. Another depicts a Roman soldier with a green (to represent bronze) breastplate standing between two sketchily drawn plants of doubtful lineage. The third fresco shows two peacocks with trailing tails standing either side of a large handleless vase. These tombs, judging from considerable inscriptional evidence and from the coins, seem to have been constructed and painted during the latter part of the first century A.D., re-used during the second and third centuries and filled and abandoned in the fourth, at the time of Alaric’s destruction of the city in 396. These tombs are fully described in an article by Shear in the Journal.
In 1931 from March to June, David M. Robinson again excavated at Olynthus under the auspices of the School. The funds were provided by Baltimore friends, and five thousand dollars was contributed by the American Council of Learned Societies. Twenty-seven houses on North Hill were cleared, and some variations in the Hellenic house-plan were noted. Two cemeteries were also discovered, and many vases found, some of an interesting local Olynthian ware. The terracotta finds were also important. Of all the coins found (1,222), only six were of Hellenistic date, and fifteen post-classical. The others date before 348, when Olynthus was destroyed. Many of the houses contained fine examples of black and white pebble mosaics. One of these, Pegasos slaying the chimera, Robinson believes to be the earliest figure mosaic representing a mythological scene. The preliminary account of this second season of work at Olynthus is reported by Robinson in the Journal.
But the most notable discovery of the year won by the American School was not made with the spade. It was the result of the keen observation of the director and his thorough knowledge of Greek sculpture. At the entrance to the Acropolis Museum, lying quite exposed—indeed, discarded as not worth the protection of the museum roof—was one of the missing figures from the west pediment of the Parthenon. Every archaeologist, great and small, who had visited Athens for the last fifty years had seen it. But Carpenter was the first to recognize it. There could be no doubt as to the identification: it fitted exactly the appropriate place on the pediment floor. If “excitement” was a desideratum of a directorate, Carpenter himself had provided it. The account of this discovery very appropriately was the first article in the first volume of Hesperia. As if this were not enough, the following year Carpenter extracted from the discarded fragments in the Acropolis Museum sculpture which he again clearly demonstrated belonged to the Parthenon’s east pediment. The account of this discovery became the leading article in Hesperia, Volume II. This volume also contained Capps’s Foreword on the excavation of the Agora and Shear’s account of the first campaign. No archaeological school at Athens has issued so momentous a record of a year’s work.
The annual meeting in 1932 was postponed till the twenty-eighth of May to enable Capps, who had been in Greece, to be present. He reported the School and the School property in excellent condition. The common rooms in Loring Hall had been nicely furnished. A gift of five thousand dollars from Edward S. Harkness had made this possible.
Carpenter had resigned the directorate, and Richard Still-well had been appointed for three years to succeed him. Carpenter’s directorate had lasted only five years, but the results achieved had been remarkable. A mere glance at the list of articles published by members of the School during those five years (1927–1932) in the American Journal of Archaeology and in Hesperia will show the stimulating character of his leadership. His wide knowledge of literature and his keen aesthetic appreciation were added to thoroughly sound archaeological practice, a combination that kindled the enthusiasm of his students. The wide variety of his interests is shown by his studies of the Nike balustrade, the temple at Bassae, the fortifications of Corinth and Acrocorinth, the Byzantine mosaics (he inspired and edited the book by Diez and Demus) and the startling discoveries of statues belonging to both pediments of the Parthenon. The School had never known a quinquennium so exciting.
Richard Stillwell, of Princeton, who succeeded Carpenter, had long been associated with the School, as Special Fellow in Architecture (1924–1925), Honorary Fellow (1925–1926), Assistant Professor of Architecture (1927–1931), Assistant Director (1931–1932). His familiarity with the excavations at Corinth was complete, for he had measured and drawn most of the buildings, and his association with the School had been so varied that he was familiar with most of the problems of its management. He was the first director who was not a classical Greek scholar.
The previous year Capps had spoken of the great need for a new museum at Corinth to house the objects found in the excavations. With his characteristic energy he had found in Mrs. William H. Moore a friend of the School who would provide this museum. Mrs. Moore had before on several occasions made generous gifts to the School. She now gave forty thousand dollars for the erection of the museum in memory of her father and ten thousand dollars for endowment to assist in its upkeep. The museum was designed by W. Stuart Thompson. (Plates XXII, XXIII)
It is situated in the midst of the excavation but is so well designed and placed that it is quite inconspicuous and in no way detracts from the architectural remains which surround it. The outside of the building is severely plain. Within, however, is a beautiful court designed in the style of the buildings which are such an attractive feature of the Greek Islands. Careful planting about the museum and in the courts adds much to its charm. The building contains a sculpture hall, a room in which the coins and vases are displayed, and another room in which the inscriptions are collected. A small separate room houses the objects found in the Asklepieion. In addition there are study rooms, a reception room and a library. The museum is so built that additions can be made to it without interfering with the general plan. The collections in the interior have been beautifully arranged, and the result is that Corinth now has one of the most attractive of all the many museums in Greece.
In addition to this, Capps secured from the Rockefeller Foundation a gift of fourteen thousand dollars to erect a museum in Mytilene. Thompson designed and erected this,
also. It is a charming building, small but adequate to the needs of the island. It houses a unique collection of Aeolic architectural fragments. And while this museum is in no way connected with the School, its gift to the Greek Government was due to the chairman of the Managing Committee. It is a continuing source of cordial relations between Greek and American archaeologists. (Plate XXIV)
In December, 1930, excavation had been started at the Pnyx by Homer A. Thompson, of the School, and K. Kourouniotis, of the Greek Archaeological Service.
Here Crow had conducted a cursory investigation during the first year of the School’s history. Thompson confirmed his location of the ancient Pnyx by identifying the original position of a boundary stone that had long been known. He was able also to show that the Pnyx had been arranged in three different ways. During the first period the speaker stood near the middle of the present area and faced roughly south, toward what is now the bema. He found the line of the retaining wall for the Pnyx of this period. It was in this Pnyx that Dicaeopolis sat on the ground and looked north toward his home in Acharnae. The natural slope of the land is from the south toward the north.
In the second period this slope was reversed. The bema was placed at the south—the exact spot could not be located. The level was then artificially raised so that the speaker, facing north, looked upward at his audience. This is confirmed by a passage in Plutarch which says the change occurred in 404–403 B.C., a passage hitherto not understood. Thompson and Kourouniotis found the retaining wall of this edition of the Pnyx, and the pottery finds agree with the date assigned by Plutarch.
The third period saw the second Pnyx greatly enlarged but the orientation retained. The present bema belongs to this third construction, as do the massive stones forming the retaining wall to the north, which are so familiar. Pottery found behind the retaining wall indicated a date in the time of Hadrian. The excavators were also able to point out the beginnings of the stairways that led over this retaining wall and served the crowd that would surge up from the Agora to attend the meetings of the assembly.
The excavators were also able to locate with certainty the sanctuary of Zeus the Highest and to assign its date to the second century A.D.
In the summers of 1932 and 1934 further work was done at the Pnyx. As far as the Pnyx was concerned, much was done to preserve the results of the former excavations and to render the site intelligible to the student. The earth removed from the floor of the earlier Pnyx was used to restore the raised level of the third structure. The quarry at the southeast corner was left completely exposed.
More votive plaques from the sanctuary of Zeus the Highest were found. Investigating the ground about the Pnyx toward the south, Thompson found traces of many structures. He cleared some of the towers of the city wall and discovered in front of the wall to the north a long building of the stoa type. Between it and a retaining wall which roughly prolongs the eastern line of the Pnyx he found votive offerings of a character that led him to locate here the Thesmophorion so familiar to readers of Aristophanes.
Further investigations, however, on the Pnyx hill undertaken in 1936 and 1937 led Thompson to be less sure of this identification. Broneer had meanwhile argued that the Thesmophorion shared with the Eleusinion a site on the north slope of the Acropolis. While this question still remains undecided, the later work of Thompson and Kourouniotis did disclose the details of an ambitious but abortive building project of the time of Lycurgus. With the aid of R. L. Scranton, a Fellow of the School, Thompson also established the sequence of the series of city walls that appear on the Pnyx hill.
In the spring of 1937 the Department of Public Works of the City of Athens was constructing a public bath at the little Square of Karamanos, where Bysse and Boreas Streets join Athena Street. Here the workmen engaged in excavating came upon ancient foundations. Homer Thompson was invited to clear and examine them. He was assisted by N.
Kyparisses. A short section of an ancient road was found, probably connecting the northeast corner of the Agora with the Acharnian Gate. Beneath this was a drain of Hellenistic date, but covered with later Roman brick work. On the east side of the road lay a small temenos in which stood an altar dedicated, as the inscription proved, to Zeus and Athena Phratrios. The date indicated by the lettering was of the late fourth or early third century B.C. The altar is strikingly like one dedicated to the same divinities found in the Agora. That, however, had a small temple associated with it, while this has none. The Agora altar probably served a state cult; this one was maintained by some single phratry.
In 1931 Broneer began a “minor excavation” on the north slope of the Acropolis which proved to be one of the most interesting investigations conducted by the School.
Two inscriptions cut into the north slope beside niches which had held votive offerings led him to think that in that neighborhood was located a shrine of Eros and Aphrodite. This he was able to locate just below the Mycenaean postern gate in the north wall of the Acropolis. Broneer established the strong probability that this is the sanctuary of Aphrodite of the Garden. He further cleared part of a passage through which he believed the maidens descended from the Acropolis, celebrating a ceremony described in an interesting passage in Pausanias: (Plate XXV)
Two maidens dwell not far from the temple of the Polias: the Athenians call them Arrephoroi. These are lodged for a time with the Goddess; but when the festival comes round they perform the following ceremony by night. They put on their heads the things which the priestess of Athena gives them to carry, but what it is she gives is known neither to her who gives nor to them who carry. Now there is in the city an enclosure not far from the sanctuary of Aphrodite called Aphrodite of the Garden and there is an underpass direct through it. Down this way the maidens go; below they leave their burdens, and getting something else which is wrapped up, they bring it back.
The preliminary work of 1931 was followed by further investigations on a small scale in the late spring of 1932 and again by a seven-week campaign in the fall. The area cleared was about a hundred feet wide north from the Acropolis wall and two hundred feet eastward from the sanctuary of Eros and Aphrodite. An inscription was found giving in stadia and feet the circumference of the Acropolis. Confirmatory evidence appeared showing the fertility nature of the cults worshipped here. Two fragments from the Erechtheum frieze were recovered, and several more steps of the stairway that led up to the postern in the Mycenaean wall.
In 1933 and 1934 Broneer continued his interesting investigation along the north slope. He discovered the foundations of many houses belonging to a late Mycenaean settlement. These were built over the steps leading to the Mycenaean postern, making it clear that the gate had for some reason been closed. Many bronze arrowheads that were used by the Persians in their attack on the Acropolis in 480 B.C. were found, as well as a few of iron and one of obsidian. Several more small altars with numerous phallic symbols were found. Two drums of the Old Parthenon came to light—one badly broken but the other intact. The latter, like most of those already known, was fluted at the bottom for only a few inches. The ramp approaching the sanctuary of Aphrodite and Eros was uncovered. These excavations made it indisputably clear that here was the precinct of Aphrodite of the Garden mentioned by Pausanias, to which the Arrephoroi came from the Temple of Athena Polias by the underground passage west of the Erechtheum.
A number of very interesting fragments from the Erechtheum frieze were found, including one badly damaged head that still suggests some of its ancient loveliness. Among the many inscriptions found was one that adds an important detail—the exact amount of money borrowed from Artemis Mounichia. The terra-cotta finds and the pottery fragments are described in Hesperia by Charles H. Morgan, II, and Miss Mary Zelia Pease. Broneer’s excellent report precedes these articles.
In 1936, with funds provided by Mr. Lincoln MacVeagh, Broneer cleared most of the debris from the large cave on the east slope of the Acropolis. No sculptural finds of importance were made, but many interesting fragments of pottery were recovered.
During the spring and summer of 1937 Broneer continued digging along the north slope of the Acropolis. In a well filled up during the sixth century he found a bronze statuette of a horse and rider and fragments of a magnificent black-figured vase painted by Exekias. Several important pieces of inscriptions were found; one from the stele recording the erection of Athena Promachos and another from the building accounts of the Erechtheum. A large fragment of a Parthenon metope was discovered. But the most spectacular find was 190 ostraka, all bearing the name of Themistocles and accompanied in some cases by the terse ITΩ (“get out”). Careful examination showed that several groups of these were inscribed, each by a single hand. Clearly they were not done by the individual voters, and it seems very possible, as Broneer suggests, that they were prepared by Themistocles’ opponent for free distribution here. He had come on the Republican Party headquarters! (Plate XXVI)
During the spring of 1938 the excavation of the north slope of the Acropolis went on. More fragments of the vase painted by Exekias were found. This fine vase, about two-thirds of which were recovered, is one of the most beautiful examples of Attic black-figured ware in existence. Five wells filled during the fifth century were cleared. Many interesting vase fragments were recovered, but the most interesting object was the head of Heracles which belongs to the poros pediment in the Acropolis Museum, representing Heracles’ conflict with the Triton. This has now been attached to its proper place in the group. (Plate XXVII)
The color which was so conspicuous in the other figures of this group when discovered on the Acropolis had largely disappeared from this head of Heracles, but traces were left from which it appears that the flesh color was pinkish, the top of the head black, the curls dark green. The fillet around the head appeared like a twisted band, the folds alternately red and white. (Plate XXVIII)
The entire underground passage northwest of the Erechtheum was cleared. The upper part of this had long been known and was probably in use till classical times, affording a passage from the Acropolis to the cult shrine at its base. Wooden stairs came down this far. Here there was an entrance from outside which was closed in Mycenaean times. From this level down to the bottom the cleft had been filled in Mycenaean times. When this fill was removed, traces of a series of six stairways with stone steps were found. These led down over forty feet. Here a shaft, roughly circular, begins, which about twenty-five feet farther down reached the water level. There were traces of steps leading down this shaft, but the water may have been drawn up by ropes. Before the entrance above was opened this well would be accessible to the defenders in the Acropolis without outside interference, furnishing them an abundant and secret water supply like that afforded the garrison of Mycenae by the cistern without its walls. From a careful examination of the pottery from this deep fountain some very interesting conclusions can be drawn. The construction of this secret water supply took place at the end of the thirteenth century B.C. It was used only a short time, and the stairways were allowed to collapse. About the middle of the twelfth century the opening from the outside was made, and the two upper flights of stairs repaired. This and other evidence seem to point to some great danger which threatened Athens near the close of the thirteenth century. At that time the houses outside the walls of the Acropolis were abandoned, the walls of the citadel strengthened, and this elaborate construction for the supply of water provided. After the danger passed, this was abandoned, and water was secured from more easily accessible sources. The traditional date of the Dorian Invasion is 1104 B.C. If Herodotus is right in placing the first attempt of the Dorians to conquer Greece three generations earlier, the date of this attempt could exactly coincide with the building of this well, and the statement of Thucydides that the Dorians had not conquered Athens would be verified. (Plate XXIX)
In the following year (1939) Broneer extended his investigation of the Acropolis slopes to the east. Here, some 150 feet east of the Theater of Dionysus, he uncovered a road paved with thin marble slabs. This was apparently a road for ceremonial approach to the theater for processions or people on foot. The thinness of the slabs and steps seems to preclude the possibility of heavy traffic. On the north slope on a narrow shelf (about twelve feet wide) were found many small vases, cuplike in shape, all inverted and arranged in straight lines—four or six in each series. The interpretation of this curious find is uncertain. It must, apparently, have something to do with the cults of worship so conspicuous in this area.
This north slope excavation well illustrates the hazards of archaeology. Begun as a quite unimportant, casual dig, inadequately financed, it developed under Broneer’s methodical, painstaking direction into one of the most spectacular and interesting of all the School’s undertakings. It not only recovered the beautiful crater by Exekias and the head of Heracles from the poros pediment but threw new light on early Attic history. The clearance of the Mycenaean stairway was a triumph of excavating technique. The School could well be proud of Broneer’s work and recognize that much of the success of its later campaigns of excavation was due to his expert supervision.
De Waele’s successful search for the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Corinth has already been mentioned. It is situated about a quarter of a mile north of the Temple of Apollo on a terrace which was once the north boundary of Corinth. Here he had made a short investigation in 1929. A trial trench had been dug in 1930, and systematic work was continued through 1931 and 1932. The earlier temple devoted to Asklepios and Hygieia was located. This was displaced in the middle of the fourth century by a much larger Asklepieion and the fountain of Lerna. The sanctuary consisted of a temple, porticoes, halls that surrounded three sides of the precinct and on the fourth (south) side a covered street. The rooms of the abaton, where the patients slept, were found. The sculptural finds consisted of rather unimportant pieces, but the votive offerings were remarkable; among them were limbs and other parts of the body in lifesize terracotta reproductions. These were the first of the kind found in Greece. Similar reproductions were known only from Italy. An account of this excavation is given by De Waele in the Journal. (Plate XXII)
The fountain of Lerna was further examined in 1933. It consisted of five large reservoirs and a network of subterranean channels. De Waele was able to find no inscriptional confirmation to connect this fountain with the Lerna of Pausanias, but the identification seems highly probable. Fragments of the architrave of an archaic temple were also secured. A Christian cemetery was discovered here, in use from the second half of the fourth century of our era till the time of Justinian, in the middle of the sixth century. So numerous were the finds at the Asklepieion that a separate room was set aside for them in the new museum.
Shear began the excavation of the Athenian Agora in 1931. A campaign was conducted each year till, after the season of 1940, work had to be abandoned because of the war. The work was pressed eagerly forward but always with the greatest thoroughness and care. In no excavation in Greece has such meticulous attention been focused on details. The greatest precautions were taken to see that no slightest evidence was lost. Every fragment was inspected. Elaborate catalogues were kept. All objects were listed. Excavation was never allowed to outstrip examination. There were no huge piles of unclassified and unsorted material accumulating from year to year to dishearten the excavator and bewilder the visitor. It was a systematic, orderly but vast and complex excavation.
Shear organized his staff with the greatest of care. A complete list of his appointments is given in the Directory (Appendix VI). They included architects and fellows, specialists in epigraphy, pottery and coins; artists, photographers, chemists and record keepers. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the undertaking was the spirit of good fellowship and helpful cooperation that Shear succeeded in maintaining among his large staff during the entire time from the beginning to the end of the excavation.
The Agora Commission was extremely fortunate in securing the services of Anastasios Adossides as a liaison officer in charge of relations with the Greek Government and with the owners of the property in the Agora area. He met all the vexatious problems that arose from expropriation proceedings with a patience and fairness that relieved the School of many a tiresome law suit. His business acumen and his wide political influence (he had been Governor General of Macedonia) saved the School many thousands of dollars. His charming personality and his warm friendliness won the hearts of his American associates. He was deeply devoted to the interests of the School. The conscientious care which he gave to the School property at the risk of his own health while he was Consultant for the School during the war undoubtedly hastened his death. The School has known no truer or more loyal friend.
It is impossible here to give more than a sketch of this excavation.
Shear had made an enviable reputation for himself during his work at Corinth by the prompt publication of preliminary reports. Though the Agora was a far larger task, he did even better in this respect. Reports were faithfully and promptly made in the American Journal of Archaeology each year. In Hesperia, too, each year there were much more complete reports of the digging and numerous articles about discoveries of special interest. The complete list of these articles, given in Appendix IV, is impressive. In addition there were frequent reports in the public press—The New York Times, The Illustrated London News, Time. During the latter campaigns weekly bulletins were printed in Athens and sent to the members of the Managing Committee. (Plates XXX, XXXI)
The campaign of 1931 was only exploratory in its nature. The year 1932 saw six months of digging. The results were highly satisfactory. The two buildings at first identified as those mentioned by Pausanias on his visit to the Agora were discovered—the Royal Stoa and the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios. While the statue of Zeus which stood before the stoa was not found, the statue of Hadrian which was next to it was actually recovered, although not in situ. A north and south street running through the Agora was located, and a sixth-century water channel with excellent masonry construction.
Among the objects found were an archaic head of Hermes, a fine female statue of the fourth century, of the Nereid type, a striking bronze head of a woman adorned with strips of silver inlay. It seems probable that this is a head of Nike and that the bits of silver and gold in the channels are remnants of an overlay of the precious metals. A remarkable marble statuette of a faun of the Roman period was skillfully reconstructed from seventy-three pieces. It is a work of great animation and charm. (Plate XXXII)
The pottery covered a vast period of time, nearly two thousand years. Prehistoric pottery was represented only by sherds, but surprisingly enough some unopened geometric graves were found with vases (amphorae) intact. All periods down through Byzantine to Turkish were represented.
On the north slope of the Areopagus, not far from the shrine of the Eumenides, a unique terra-cotta plaque was found. On it was a figure of a snake goddess—a woman with hands upraised between the two snakes—the one red with blue dots, the other blue with red dots. The goddess’ hair is red, her eyes blue in red orbits. Many other terra cottas were found, and a large number of lamps representing all stages of development from the simple saucer with a spout of the seventh century B.C. to the complete lamp of the Roman period with its artistic designs. Over nine thousand coins were recovered, and twelve ostraka, four bearing the name of Aristides and two of Themistocles. (Plate XXXIII)
The following year (1933) work was again begun in February and continued till July. The areas cleared were east and south of the Royal Stoa and south of the Stoa of Attalos. In the first locality inscriptional evidence led to the belief that the Metroon must be in this vicinity, and the heavy foundation walls of a large building were tentatively identified with the Bouleuterion. South of the Stoa of Attalos a wall made of re-used material—some of the blocks from the Stoa itself—indicates a fortification hastily built to protect the interior city. This wall was excavated along its whole length from the Stoa up to the bastion below the Propylaea, where it terminates. It was clearly the Valerian Wall, and its date was definitely fixed as A.D. 275–300.
The great drain discovered the preceding year was further cleared. It was found to divide into two channels, one leading northeast, the other southwest, probably indicating the direction of two streets, one running between the Areopagus and the Acropolis, and the other between the Areopagus and the Pnyx. About two acres of the Agora had been cleared.
Among the sculptures found were a fine marble Nike, an akroterion from the Stoa of Zeus, of the late fifth century, statuettes of Aphrodite and Attis, an excellent Roman portrait of the Republican period, a philosopher’s portrait, one of Commodus and one of the young Augustus, a charming quadriga relief, a relief in the neo-Attic style representing Dionysus, and the triangular base of a tripod decorated on each side with a graceful figure in relief.
In 1855 an inscribed block had been found which contained the last third of two epigrams. It had been conjectured that these were the epitaphs written in competition by Aeschylus and Simonides to commemorate the Athenians who fell at Marathon. Simonides had won. Aeschylus, according to tradition, withdrew in disgust to Sicily. This year the first third of the block on which these verses were written was found in the Agora. Across the top of the stone on a carefully dressed surface ran the two lines written by Simonides. Below them on the roughened stone were two more lines cut not long after. These were probably those of Aeschylus. These inscriptions were discussed by J. H. Oliver, Jr., in Hesperia. The following translations are by C. M. Bowra. Simonides: “The valor of these men shall possess forever an imperishable glory . . . . who fell at Marathon fighting the Persians. For on foot they kept back the loud barbarous battle cry so that all Hellas should not see the day of slavery.” Aeschylus: “These men had an unconquerable spirit in their hearts when they set their spears before the gates against the myriads of those who wished to burn the city of the Protectress by the sea, humbling the force of the Persians with strength.” Aeschylus is an Athenian, Simonides a Hellene.
As an example of the care with which the excavation was conducted, it may be mentioned that already over a thousand stamped amphora handles had been found and catalogued. A Mycenaean gold signet ring was discovered in a grave near the base of the Areopagus. The scene inscribed on the bezel represents a bull-headed man leading two captive women—perhaps a local version of the well-known Minotaur legend. At the close of the campaign of 1933 a broad strip of the Agora had been cleared, from the Athens-Piraeus railroad to the slope of the Areopagus.
The excavation in 1934 lasted from January 22 to May 12 and was of the greatest importance, because at last a building was uncovered that could be identified beyond doubt. Located at the west side of the American zone of excavation at the south end of the slope on which the “Theseum” stands was the Tholos—the building to which Socrates went when summoned by the Thirty Tyrants and from which he went in defiance home. Here were kept the public standard weights and measures. The building was identified by its circular shape (about sixty feet in diameter) and the fragments of some of these public measures. (Plate XXXIV)
While the discovery of the building was welcome, its presence in this particular location was something of a shock. It was now possible to identify the other buildings along this west side by simply reading those mentioned by Pausanias in reverse order. (His route was from north to south.)
Next to the Tholos, toward the north, close together, lay the Bouleuterion and the Metroon—the council chamber and the temple of the Mother of the Gods. The identification of the former was confirmed by the discovery of numerous curved marble benches among the ruins of the building. The hall would have furnished seating space for about five hundred persons. The identification of the Metroon was determined by its position near the Bouleuterion and by the discovery of roof tiles inscribed with a dedication to the Mother of the Gods, by marble statuettes representing her and by many inscriptions found nearby.
The Temple of Apollo Patroos stood next in order to the north. Here had been discovered in 1907 a colossal statue of Apollo, now in the National Museum. This is the only case where a cult statue has been recovered at its shrine. According to Pausanias it was the work of the celebrated Corinthian (early fourth century B.C.?) sculptor, Euphranor.
The stoa which lies north of this had now to be renamed. It had been tentatively called the Stoa Basileios because that was first mentioned by Pausanias. It was now shown, by process of elimination, to be the second one he mentions, the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios. This left the Stoa Basileios still undiscovered, and an eager search for it began.
Another triumph of the campaign of 1934 was the location of the Altar of the Twelve Gods dedicated by Peisistratos, the son of Hippias. This was identified beyond a doubt by an inscription on a statue base standing outside the west wall of the enclosure. The peribolos extended under the track of the Piraeus railroad, but the excavation of pits between the ties sufficed to establish the whole outline of the precinct. The circular altar adorned with figures of the gods in relief which now stands in the National Museum dates from the fourth century B.C. and so must be a replacement or an addition, not the original altar of this precinct.
The excavation now extended along the east edge of the hill upon which the “Theseum” stands till it reached the Areopagus, thence eastward to the Stoa of Attalos and for some distance along the railroad which forms the north boundary of the area. The buildings which Pausanias mentioned had one by one come to light—the Peribolos of the Twelve Gods (identified by a base in situ with inscription), the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios, the Temple of Apollo Patroos, the Metroon, the Bouleuterion with its Propylon, the Tholos.
The South Stoa was also cleared—a long building over 450 feet long, oriented at right angles with the Stoa of Attalos, from the southern end of which the South Stoa’s eastern terminus was about one hundred feet distant.
North of this, near the center, was discovered a building of a theatrical type, at that time not clearly identified, though it seemed most probable that it was the Odeion.
One of the surprising developments in the Agora excavation was the large number of graves of the geometric period. These were found chiefly in a family burial plot of the eighth and seventh centuries along the east foot of the hill of Kolonos Agoraios. Since burial was not customary within a city’s walls, these graves would indicate that Athens was at that period a well inhabited town but that it did not extend so far as the Agora. Late Helladic ware was found in two Mycenaean tombs, and one burial of the neolithic period was found, dating prior to 3,000 B.C.
Some beautiful sculpture was found—ivory statuettes, the head of a Maenad, several excellent Roman portraits, including one mounted as a herm, an archaic marble head and a statuette of the Venus Genetrix type.
Ostraka were found that bore the names of all those whom Aristotle mentions as having suffered banishment by this unique device and some who were not “by merit raised to that bad eminence.” By the time the fifth campaign had closed, June 29, 1935, approximately half the Agora had been partially cleared. It had been the prediction of Capps and Shear that the task would take ten years. The following objects had been found: bronzes, 259; inscriptions, 3,058; lamps, 1,921; pottery, 6,208; sculpture, 599; stamped amphora handles, 4,648; terra cottas, 940; coins, 41,290.
The sixth campaign in the Agora at Athens lasted from January 27 to June 13, 1936. Perhaps nothing testifies more eloquently to the excellence of Shear’s leadership than the fact that he had now trained so many young students in the technique of excavation that he was able to dig in eight different places during the season. The task of clearing entirely the north side of the area allotted to the American excavators was completed. It was now possible to draw with accuracy the ground plans of a very considerable number of buildings. In addition to those already mentioned there were a large pillared hall just northeast of the “Theseum” and a narrow stoa-like building about 150 feet farther in the same direction. A Greek building with an interior court surrounded by columns was found beneath the north end of the Stoa of Attalos, and upon the western side of this a small circular building. The plan of the South Stoa was now complete—a building with two colonnades facing north and south, over 450 feet in length, and south of it another stoa nearly as long, with a single colonnade facing north. The Odeion, too, took shape—a theater-like building with a stage on the north side and a covered colonnade underlying the auditorium on the three remaining sides. Almost directly south of the Tholos a fountain house was discovered, and tentatively identified as the much-pursued and diversely located Enneakrounos. South of the “Theseum” a series of four rows of square cuttings appeared in the rock. These were roughly aligned with the columns of the Temple. In some of these rows a broken pot of cheap quality, with a hole in the bottom, was found in each cutting. Mrs. Dorothy Burr Thompson cleverly identified these as plantings made exactly as Cato directs in his De Agri Cultura. When a vine or tree is to be planted by the layer method Cato directs that a branch should be passed through the perforated bottom of a jar. Earth is then packed closely into the jar about the branch and left for two years. Roots will by that time have started. The branch is then detached. The jar is placed in the ground and broken. Exactly this had been done in this garden about the “Theseum.” Mrs. Thompson suggests that the trees here were laurel. Near here also were discovered a series of moulds for bronze statues and a quantity of bronze and iron slag. Since much of this predates the Temple it seems possible to locate the metal-workers’ quarter here. (Plate XXXIV)
The finds in pottery and small objects were interesting this year: a beautifully polished statue of Aphrodite entering the bath, of the second century A.D.; a bronze bull well modeled, full of vigor; a statuette of Anubis from Egypt and another of Asclepius, of Roman workmanship, with drapery worked in broad masses.
Several inscribed bases were found, all interesting but one of them supremely so, for it bears the name of Praxiteles. The inscription records a dedication to Demeter and Kore, and hence the monument is in all probability to be identified with a group of Demeter, Kore and Iacchus by Praxiteles which Pausanias observed on his entry into the city at just this point. It is interesting, too, that this inscription makes possible a correction in the text of the forty-first oration of Demosthenes.
A statuette in ivory of Apollo Lykeios was restored by the careful work of Shear’s staff. Two hundred small pieces of ivory were found in one of the many wells in the Agora area. These, when pieced together with infinite labor, were found to restore almost completely this graceful figure. It is about a foot in height and represents the god with his left hand extended, his right thrown up and across his head. Shear suggests the possibility that this is the work of Praxiteles himself, a “replica of the statue of Apollo which he had previously made for the Lykeion.”
No one had hoped to find the well-known statues of the Tyrannicides in the excavation, but it was a distinct triumph when a piece of Pentelic marble came to light on which was the word “Harmodios,” so placed that it appeared to be from the epitaph attributed to Simonides which was carved on the base of the Tyrannicide monument. The fragment lay in the earth north of the Stoa of the Giants in front of the second giant from the eastern end.
Another even more thrilling historical discovery was made. At the bottom of a cistern was found a shield of bronze, terribly corroded and fragile. It was again a triumph of Shear’s scientific technique that this could be preserved. When cleaned the inscription read, “The Athenians dedicated the shield as a trophy taken from the Lacedaemonians in the battle of Pylos.” This is beyond doubt one of the actual shields taken in that battle in 424 B.C. and seen by Pausanias on the wall of the Stoa Poikile. (Plate XXXII)
The seventh campaign began January 25, 1937, and ran till June. Further digging was done about the “Theseum.” The Valerian wall was traced to its lair and forced to reveal its date (last quarter of the third century A. D.); but the most notable topographical discovery of the season was the location, clearly proved, of the Temple of Ares and the determination of its size and proportion. It was a Doric temple a little larger than the “Theseum,” with six columns on either end and thirteen on the sides. Enough architectural fragments were secured so that Dinsmoor was able to reconstruct it completely in an article in Hesperia.
As usual, the number of vases found was astonishing. Till this year there had been no good examples of Early and Middle Helladic ware. This gap was now filled by a fine group of vases found in a well situated beneath the Acropolis Street. It was now possible to see every period represented by Attic pottery, from the neolithic age to Byzantine and Turkish times. The array of Roman utensils was greatly increased. Several vases of unique shape of the Greek period were found, not all of them beautiful.
While no notable pieces of sculpture rewarded the excavators this year, there were some beautiful reliefs, a statuette of a triple Hecate grouped about a pillar, a beautifully preserved head of Aphrodite, and more excellent Roman portraits. In the ostraka campaign Themistocles still maintained his lead (eighty-three out of a total of 247); Aristides, forty-one; then follow two whose names are not otherwise historically known—Kallixenos (thirty-one) and Hippokrates (thirty); Alcibiades got but one.
The epigraphical discoveries of this season were notable. In fact, one of the most rewarding features of the great excavation was the new light that was being thrown on Attic history. Many new fragments of the Tribute List were found, archons hitherto unknown—among them the sons of Cephalus, participants in Plato’s Republic—were being rescued from oblivion, and the list of the property belonging to Alcibiades and others charged with mutilating the Herms, which was confiscated and sold at auction, was being steadily filled out as the fragments of the stele on which it was engraved came to light.
Work on the Agora in 1938 lasted from January 24 to June 18. Enough architectural details of the buildings along the west side were now known so that Mr. John Travlos, later architect of School excavations, was able to draw an elevation showing how they must have appeared to Pausanias.
To the east of the Tholos was found in situ a stone bearing the inscription, “I am the boundary stone of the Agora.” The letters are those of the sixth century, B. C. It had been hoped that the shrine of Demeter and Kore—the Eleusinion—would be found this year. The street of the Panathenaia was definitely located, and marble plaques and vases such as were used in the workshop of the Eleusinian goddesses were found in considerable numbers. It was, therefore, pretty clear that the shrine past which this street ran could not be far distant. The determination of the course of the Panathenaic street and the other streets already located made possible a complete plotting of the Agora. (Plate XXXV)
At the north end of the Stoa of Attalos the east end of a building was uncovered. It appeared to be a stoa marking the north side of the Agora, but as it disappears beneath the Athens-Piraeus railroad, it could not be completely investigated.
Much of the Roman system of water supply for the Agora was cleared. Parsons began his investigation of the Clepsydra. From his work this season it seemed to be clear that the connection of this spring with the Acropolis by the rock-cut brick vaulted passage was effected in the first century of our era.
As usual, much interesting pottery was found, particularly black-figured ware. Nearly ten thousand coins were recovered; the total for the excavation was now just short of eighty thousand. Among the 550 inscriptions was an ostrakon of Hyperbolus, a welcome addition to the Agora list, for he was the last Athenian to be ejected from his city in this way.
The Agora dig was drawing to a close. Shear wrote that only one major campaign remained.
During the ninth season (1939) digging at the Agora was mostly along the lower slope of the Areopagus. In the southwest corner of the zone preparation for the Agora museum was made by an excavation of considerable depth. Fifty-six thousand tons of earth were removed, the largest amount in any single campaign.
In the northwest corner of the area a boundary stone marking the limit of the Cerameicus was found in situ.
But the great discovery of the year, one of the most interesting in the course of the whole excavation, was the finding of one of the royal tombs of the Kings of Athens. It lies on the lower slope of the north side of the Areopagus, a chamber tomb of the Mycenaean type, approached by a dromos about thirty-five feet long, cut in the solid rock. At the entrance of the tomb chamber the dromos was blocked by a wall of stones carefully laid up and still undisturbed. The chamber was also hollowed out of the solid rock, but the architect had incorrectly calculated the strength of the rock and had left the roof too thin. It had collapsed after a single burial had been made. The body had been removed without entirely clearing the chamber of the broken fragment of the roof and the dirt that had fallen in with it and without removing the stone wall that blocked the dromos. Some of the offerings were left under the debris, and these fix the date of the tomb in the early part of the fourteenth century. The quality of the offerings and the elaborate character of the tomb indicate that it was to serve as the burial place of the royal family. This, so Shear held, was where one of the princesses of the family of Erechtheus was buried—where, if the roof had not collapsed, he himself would have been interred. (Plate XXXV)
Among the objects found here were a bronze mirror, ivory pins, two large ivory bars with hinged clasps to confine the hair, a small ivory box, a large ivory box with scenes of combat between deer and griffins elaborately engraved in high relief around the sides and on the cover. There were, besides, ninety-seven thin gold ornaments in the shape of leaves and rosettes like the well-known ornaments from Mycenae. Only traces of other chamber tombs were found. (Plate XXXIV)
Apart from the sentimental satisfaction of having found a tomb of the Royal House of Athens, the richness of this burial shows clearly the importance of early Athens as a seat of culture. One who believes strongly in the historical basis of Greek myths might even see here a proof of the growing importance of the city after Theseus had delivered it from its tributary subservience to Cnossus.
At the close of the ninth campaign Shear had cleared practically all the Agora except the sites on which stood the buildings that had been used for offices of the staff and for the temporary housing of the finds. These could not be destroyed till the new Agora museum was built.
Excavation for this was begun under the charge of Rodney S. Young in 1939. The amount of earth to be moved proved to be unexpectedly large, and the finding of some sixth-century graves delayed the work so that it could not be completed till 1940.
During the brief campaign of five weeks in 1940 the remaining graves were carefully examined, and the contents removed. In addition to several fine vases a remarkable poros disc, with a scene in high relief representing Demeter and Poseidon, and a Hellenistic marble statuette with many traces of color were found. Among the ostraka (five hundred in all have been found) was one inscribed with the name of Pericles, probably used in 443 B. C. About five hundred coins were found in this brief excavation, making the total number now about ninety thousand.
Only five weeks of excavation were undertaken because Europe was already aflame with war, and the American members of the Agora staff except Vanderpool were leaving Greece. What could be done to protect the objects found in the Agora was done. The most important objects had been boxed and were given to the Greek Government, the rest placed in cellars. The records were placed in a bombproof shelter. Duplicate records, as far as they existed, and a complete set of photographs were brought to America. The task of photographing in microfilm the four hundred field notebooks was begun, and its completion left to competent Greek technicians. Thus the hatches were battened down, and the decks cleared for the storm.
When the work in the Agora was interrupted by the war, Shear was nearing the completion of his task. He had been wonderfully accurate in his prophecy both as to the length and as to the cost of the excavation. The Agora Commission had spent on the project more than a million dollars, provided by the generosity of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. There were still two years’ work to be done, and the Agora museum, provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, had to be erected.
The excavation had cleared about sixteen acres. Three hundred and sixty-five undesirable buildings had been removed. These unsightly structures will be replaced by an archaeological area beautified by appropriate planting. The “Theseum,” now seen in its original setting, topping the Hill of Kolonus Agoraios, will take on a new dignity. Much work still remains to be done in investigating levels below that revealed by the present excavation. Here the School may well find years of fruitful study for its faculty and students.
But already the “Agora dig” takes its place as the School’s greatest achievement. The topography of ancient Athens has been clarified. Much has been added to our knowledge of prehistoric Athens by the objects found, and much to the knowledge of historic Athens by the inscriptions. The identification of the “Theseum” as the Temple of Hephaestus had been established, and the existence of a previously unsuspected interior colonnade had been proved. The sculpture recovered has been interesting and in some cases important. The pottery has been remarkable, both in its bulk and in the continuity of its sequence. And finally, by his painstaking care and ingenuity, Shear had set a new level in the history of scientific excavation. (Plates XXXVII–XXXIX)
The meeting of the Managing Committee in May, 1933, was uneventful. Carpenter had returned from his five years in Athens and contributed many interesting facts of an intimate nature about the conditions in Athens. The financial crisis had made drastic revisions of the budget advisable, though the School’s investments were on the whole sound and in much better condition than most funds of a like character. This was very largely due to the foresight and good judgment of the Treasurer, Mr. Allen Curtis, who had spent the entire summer of 1929 in radically overhauling and making more conservative the School’s investments. Mr. Curtis had served the School as Trustee and Treasurer since 1914. His death on November 20, 1933, was a heavy loss to the School, for his services had been tireless and his care unremitting. He had succeeded Gardiner M. Lane and he was succeeded by the present (1946) Treasurer, A. Winsor Weld.
Shortly after the annual meeting James Loeb died—May 29, 1933. He had been deeply interested in the School for many years. He had been a Trustee from 1909 to 1930. Some of his many gifts to the School have been mentioned in the course of this narrative. To every campaign for funds he contributed generously. He had established the Charles Eliot Norton Fellowship at Harvard for study at the School. He had supported the cause of the classics in many other ways. The Charles Eliot Norton Lectureship in the Archaeological Institute and the great Library of Greek and Roman classics that bears the name of Loeb are two conspicuous examples.
At his death it was found that he had been one of the School’s greatest benefactors. He left to the Trustees of the School five hundred thousand dollars to be used in conducting excavations in Greece. “Greece” was to be interpreted as meaning ancient Hellas. A liberal interpretation of this by the executor, Mr. Sol M. Stroock, also a friend of the School, gave the School the benefit of the income on this legacy from the time of Mr. Loeb’s death. For this noble gift the School was ultimately indebted to the founders, Norton and White, for it was they who had aroused in the college undergraduate the enthusiasm for the classics that became the dominant, lifelong interest of James M. Loeb.
The financial depression had made available for purchase many valuable libraries. To take advantage of the situation, four thousand dollars instead of two thousand was appropriated for the Gennadeion Library, and Lowe was able to make good use of the enlarged fund.
The value of the drachma had rapidly declined at Athens, and it was felt possible to reduce the stipend of the fellows from fourteen hundred dollars to twelve hundred. No Institute Fellow was appointed. But in spite of these and other minor reductions the budget as finally adopted for 1933–1934 called for an expenditure of $53,975; the School was very much a going concern.
Ferdinand Joseph Maria de Waele, Assistant in Archaeology for six years (1929–1934) was not reappointed. He had served the School well as an excavator, his work at the Asklepieion had been competent. But he never made a final report for publication, and the manner of his departure left behind him an odor of unsanctity highly offensive to the School.
The American Council of Learned Societies appropriated twenty-five hundred dollars for excavations by the School, and this amount was added to the usual appropriation of five thousand dollars for work at Corinth.
Here in 1932 Arthur W. Parsons, working under the direction of Stillwell, discovered a Roman bath and a fine dipylon gate in the east wall. This was Parsons’ second year at the School. He was appointed Agora Fellow in 1933; in 1939, Assistant Director; and in 1941, Director of the School.
A very interesting result of the season’s work at Corinth was the excavation under the direction of Miss Sarah Freeman of the podium of a Roman temple near the museum. Parts of fourteen Corinthian capitals were found, which surmounted tall, unfluted columns. This temple is probably the Capitolium mentioned by Pausanias, though the identification is not certain. It may be the Temple of Octavia, of which he also speaks. The excellence of the workmanship indicated an early imperial date.
Broneer succeeded in locating the West City Wall, which had long evaded the exasperated excavators.
After the final clearance of the northwest stoa in 1933 the great task of removing the earth from about two-thirds of the Agora remained. This Broneer began in 1933.
A circular foundation had been discovered at the east side of the agora, about half-way across from south to north and near the southwest corner of the Basilica Julia. Starting from this, Broneer worked west, finding the beginning of what seemed to be a long series of small shops. These were uniform in size and all opened north. Seven of these were cleared.
A beginning was made at both ends of the South Stoa. At the eastern end a space of about 150 feet was excavated, and at the west end about half as much. The whole stoa had a length of over two hundred feet. The shops in the South Stoa were found to have each its private well, used for purposes of refrigeration. They were supplied by a conduit from the main channel of Peirene. These were of Greek construction. When the Roman rebuilding took place the wells were filled and new floors laid. The wells were found to contain many terra-cotta architectural fragments with colored designs.
At the western end of the Stoa only a few shops were excavated, but an interesting colonnade was found—or. rather, re-found, for Heermance had noted it in 1904. This consisted of monolithic columns with archaic capitals resembling those of the Apollo Temple. So close is the resemblance that Broneer suggests that these may be the interior columns of that temple, brought here when the Romans repaired that structure. There seems to have been little rebuilding at this end of the Stoa, and it was unaltered till Byzantine times.
At the meeting of the Managing Committee in May, 1934, Capps announced the completion of the museum at Mytilene and its transference to the Greek authorities. Professor Thomas Means, of Bowdoin, the Annual Professor, had made it possible for three Rhodes Scholars to spend their spring vacations at the School, an interesting extension of the School’s usefulness, as Stillwell reported. Arrangements were made for the publication of Blegen’s work at the Heraeum by a contribution of twenty-five hundred dollars from the Taft Memorial Fund of the University of Cincinnati, twenty-five hundred dollars from Mrs. John Jay Whitehead, Jr., fifteen hundred dollars from the Managing Committee, and one thousand dollars remaining of the five-thousand-dollar fund left by Joseph C. Hoppin for the publication of these excavations. This resulted in the sumptuous publication, Prosymna, already mentioned.
The question of the admission of Canadian students to the School, or more exactly the awarding of fellowships to Canadians, occasioned much debate. The discussion was finally postponed till the following year. At that time (May, 1935) the Managing Committee after long deliberation voted that to be eligible for appointment to a fellowship the student must either hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university in the United States or have completed two years of graduate study in a United States college or university. Since 1938 candidacy for the three competitive fellowships has been limited to citizens of the United States.
In the spring of 1934 some progress was made in clearing the agora at Corinth. Work was pressed forward at either end, and some work was done south of the South Stoa.
In the excavation at the eastern end of the agora, further work was done in the line of Roman shops which roughly bisects the agora from east to west. Beyond the seven shops excavated in 1933 a larger room was partially cleared, and four more shops of the familiar pattern were discovered, continuing the line still farther west. Between this line of shops and the South Stoa a terrace was traced, along which were bases for statues.
The rooms built in the Roman period in the eastern end of the South Stoa did not prove to be uniform in size as had been at first supposed.
The Greek shops in this South Stoa, which is probably of the fourth century B. C., are all uniform in size except the easternmost and the westernmost. These two extend farther to the south than do the others. The later Roman buildings constructed in this Stoa are of various dimensions.
Above the South Basilica was a later building with an apse that is probably a Christian church, though it is oriented north and south.
The building south of the South Stoa was largely excavated. It proved to be of the Roman basilica type. West of this, three beautiful mosaic floors were found, a Nereid riding on the back of a triton, a Dionysiac scene and many geometric patterns.
The archaic columns investigated the year before were now found to have been used as the support of an aqueduct that carried water to a reservoir probably used for distribution purposes.
The group called the West Shops had been known since the early excavations. Now six more were discovered south of these, three of them having the Roman vaulting still in place. In front of these and of those to the north ran a colonnade.
A considerable number of architectural fragments were recovered. The capitals had animals’ heads, in one case human heads, flanked by wings. The sculptural finds were interesting, a portrait of Antoninus Pius, a fine marble statue of the Tyche type, an attractive Nike statue, an archaistic statue of Hermes carrying a ram.
During 1934 and 1935 Stillwell pressed forward the clearing of the agora at Corinth. In the fall of 1934 the area attacked was east of the south block of the West Shops. Here two small prostyle temples on podia were found. Some of the architectural members were recovered, showing that they were similar to the large temple near the museum. Here was also found a large settling basin or reservoir, and near it a base which probably served as a foundation for the fine acanthus column that lies in the courtyard of the museum. Two more small Roman temples were found to the north, and the foundation for the monument of Cnaeus Babbius Philinus. This was a small circular structure of eight delicate Corinthian columns surmounted by a conical roof.
Two of these four small temples are probably the temples of Tyche and of All the Gods, mentioned by Pausanias.
At the eastern end of the South Stoa much was done to clear the South Building. Around its inner core ran a cryptoporticus, which was partially excavated. It showed well preserved walls of fine masonry, nearly complete in places, with cuttings for transverse beams and bases for central supports for these beams which carried the main floor of the building.
About seventy-five more feet of the South Stoa was excavated, and an entrance to the building from the south was found. It had exactly the width of one of the shops which it replaced. Two more of the shops had been thrown together, and the room thus created used to house a fountain. This was part of the Roman construction. Some of the architectural decorations of this fountain show very beautiful carving. Enough material was found here to make a partial restoration of the fountain possible.
The sculptural finds and the vases were interesting but not notable except for the beautifully preserved ivory forearm of a lifesized chryselephantine statue. So rare are such fragments of this technique that this deserves careful study.
David M. Robinson dug for the third time at Olynthus, from the end of March to the middle of June, 1934. The American Council of Learned Societies again contributed five thousand dollars. In this campaign Robinson excavated more houses on “North Hill,” bringing the total number of houses examined here and at other points in Olynthus up to seventy. The city was laid out on the Hippodamian system of regular rectangular blocks, 120 Greek feet in width and three hundred in length. Slight variations occur where the slope of the hill or the proximity of the city wall makes them necessary.
The city walls were located during this campaign and traced for a considerable distance. In some cases the solid outer wall of the houses forms the city wall, a scant protection against even the inefficient Greek siege engines.
The absence of public buildings from the finds of the two preceding campaigns was in part compensated for this year by the discovery of a structure with seven interior columns of the Doric order (three capitals were found). The purpose of the building could not, however, be determined, nor its complete plan recovered.
In the cemetery about two hundred graves were opened. Forty-four skeletons were found buried in three mass graves without coffins or coverings. A common form of burial was beneath a covering of tiles. One chamber tomb with painted interior was found, but it had been rifled in antiquity.
Excavations at the port town, Mekyberna, disclosed houses similar to those at Olynthus.
At Olynthus during 1934 a considerable amount of pottery was found, some of it interesting local ware. Bronze objects included handsome door plates. Over two thousand coins were found, the great majority from Chalcidice. At Mekyberna there were found sixty-nine coins of Philip II, and ninety-five of Alexander the Great, whereas only thirty-two of Philip were found at Olynthus, confirming the theory that while Alexander destroyed Olynthus he allowed the inhabitants to continue to live at Mekyberna. But Robinson’s most important discovery during this season was “the Villa of Good Fortune” (the name is outlined in mosaics), in which were found five very beautiful mosaics of the Hellenic period. These mosaics, showing mythological scenes, are “the only ones with inscriptions earlier than those of Delos.” The villa is distinctly larger than the usual Olynthus house. The mosaics are made of pebbles (not tiles or marble tesserae), mostly white and black, but with a few stones of other colors. In the main field of one of the mosaics can be discerned a swastika and a double axe outside the central design, which in this case is a rectangle carrying the inscription “Fair Aphrodite.” One of these pebble mosaics represents two Pans on either side of a large crater. There are about eight thousand pebbles in this relatively small mosaic. It lies in a passage between two rooms adorned with the two most notable of these beautiful mosaics. One of these has for its central panel Dionysus riding in a chariot drawn by two panthers done in red pebbles. Above flies an Eros. A nude figure precedes the chariot. All about this central scene goes a procession of dancing maenads, each brandishing a thyrsos, or dagger, pursuing hinds or tearing them limb from limb in true Dionysiac madness. The third mosaic has three of these fine borders, and the scene within is even more interesting, for it represents Thetis bringing to Achilles (the names appear in the mosaic) the armor fresh from Hephaestus’ workshop. The armor—a shield, a spear, a crested helmet—is borne by two Nereids who are riding on sea serpents. (Plate XL)
At the meeting of the Managing Committee in May, 1934, a joint committee, consisting of the members of the Executive Committee and the Personnel Committee, was asked to nominate to the Managing Committee a successor to Still-well, whose term expired in 1935. This committee met in New York, on December 20, 1934, and after a long debate voted to recommend that Charles H. Morgan, II, of Amherst, be appointed as Assistant Director for 1935–1936 and Director for 1936–1938.
Since it would be impossible to leave the election of a director till the regular meeting of the Managing Committee in May, 1935, the special committee asked permission to take a ballot on this recommendation by mail. The alternative would be a special meeting of the Managing Committee in January. When this request was placed before its members the Managing Committee voted sixty-seven to two for a mail ballot instead of a special meeting. The nomination of Morgan was thereupon submitted with the statement that if the recommendation of the special committee was adopted the Executive Committee would appoint Capps as Acting Director for the year 1935–1936. Morgan was elected by an almost unanimous vote. At the May meeting of the Managing Committee in 1935 Capps spoke in warm terms of the services of Stillwell during his three years as director. He had steadily prosecuted the excavation of Corinth and by his careful and systematic supervision had done much toward bringing the work close to a conclusion. His written reports and articles had been models of clarity.
Charles H. Morgan, II, who succeeded him after Capps’s year (1935–1936) as Acting Director, was a graduate and a doctor of philosophy from Harvard. He had received his degree in fine arts and archaeology. He had been a student at the School 1926–1928. He had taught at Harvard, Bryn Mawr and Amherst and had been Visiting Professor at the School 1933–1934. He had organized the Department of Fine Arts at Amherst and had shown himself capable both as an archaeologist and as an administrator.
Lowe had been able to make good use of the extra money appropriated for the purchase of books for the Gennadeion Library. He could report at this meeting in 1935 that the great Byzantine Collection of Dr. Ernst Gerland, consisting of over one thousand volumes and two thousand pamphlets, had been catalogued and made available for use. While Capps was to be in Athens as Director in 1935–1936, La Rue Van Hook was made Deputy Chairman of the Managing Committee.
The May meeting of the Managing Committee in 1936 was postponed a week to await Capps’s return from his year as Acting Director in Athens.
He gave a most complete account of the activities in Athens during the year. Morgan had been Assistant Director, and Meritt Visiting Professor for one semester. There had been no annual professor, since Shero had at the last minute found it impossible to go. There were only six regular students, but there had been an unusual number of American scholars studying in Athens, several of whom found accommodations at Loring Hall.
The increasing recognition given to the Gennadeion Library was indicated by the fact that one of the students in the School and a visiting professor from Bowdoin came to Athens to avail themselves of its collection. A member of the faculty of the University of Athens recently left his entire library to the Gennadeion because its facilities are at the disposal of Greeks as well as Americans.
The students’ programs during the year were enriched by lectures by B. H. Hill, Gorham P. Stevens and George Karo, Director of the German Archaeological Institute.
Among the gifts that came to the School during the year was a subvention of three thousand dollars from Mr. and Mrs. Philip R. Allen to aid in the excavations along the north slope of the Acropolis.
The excavations at Corinth during 1935–1936 were in charge of Assistant Director Morgan. During an exploratory campaign in September an interesting head of Eros was found. The main campaign began in March and lasted twelve weeks. Robert Scranton, Fellow of the School in Archaeology, had charge of the area south of Peirene, and Broneer excavated at the South Stoa.
The excavation south of Peirene did not disclose any new buildings, but two walls roughly parallel were found that suggest the possibility of a long light stoa that was never completed.
The line of Roman shops that bisects the agora was traced to its conclusion. Beyond them was a passage way with steps that led up through the shops from the lower north part of the agora. West of this was an elaborate room with nicely cut stone details used as a waiting room and containing a graffito giving the names of two lovers of the Corinthian courtesan Euphrosyne. Another room to the west, somewhat similar, was not completely cleared. A ninth-century church here yielded some interesting coins, and a well some fine specimens of Byzantine ware. Another interesting find in this area was a fragmentary archaic sphinx, apparently preserved because its awkward shape could be used in no building operation. Most of the cryptoporticus of the South Building was cleared, and the building was identified as a basilica. The most interesting topographical discovery of the year was the location and clearing of the Corinthian senate house. It was situated just west of the South Basilica and overlapped and displaced the shops of the South Stoa. Morgan suggests that in the Roman rebuilding of Corinth the South Stoa was rebuilt largely as a series of public edifices, and the Roman shops halfway across the open agora area took the place of the South Stoa shops.
Capps announced the final gift from Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for the excavation of the Athenian Agora. This amounted to $350,000. The total amount given by Mr. Rockefeller for this excavation was well over a million dollars. “In making this gift, Mr. Rockefeller stated that he was glad he had had the privilege of participating in this great undertaking, and wished to congratulate the School upon the efficiency with which the work had been conducted, and to thank the Commission for the Excavation of the Athenian Agora for keeping him so fully informed about its current progress each year, and for the completeness of its annual financial statements. He believed that the School could confidently look to other sources for the funds needed for the necessary expenditures which would come after the excavation itself should have been completed, as, for example, for the Agora Museum, landscaping the excavated area, publication of the results, etc.”
The question of erecting a museum in the Agora to display the objects found and to provide facilities for future study of the area was at once presented to the Rockefeller Foundation. After a thorough investigation of the matter and a personal visit to Athens by Dr. David Stevens, Director of Humanities in the Rockefeller Foundation, the Trustees of the Foundation appropriated $150,000 to the School for this purpose.
Clarence G. Lowe declined a reappointment as Librarian of the Gennadeion, and to succeed him Shirley H. Weber, Associate Professor of Classics at Princeton, was appointed. During the year the Gennadeion received from Madame Melas, the daughter of Heinrich Schliemann, the diaries, letters and other papers belonging to her father. This fine gift at once began to attract the attention of scholars and historians.
In anticipation of Morgan’s retirement as director in 1938, a special committee was appointed to recommend to the Managing Committee a successor. The Committee recommended that Dean H. Lamar Crosby, of the Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania, be made Acting Director for 1938–1939. This recommendation was approved. Two important volumes besides those already mentioned were added to the School publications and were reported at the 1936 meeting: The Periclean Entrance Court of the Acropolis in Athens, by Gorham P. Stevens, and Profiles of Greek Mouldings, by Lucy T. Shoe.
During the Balkan War of 1912–1913 some Greek soldiers serving along the lower Strymon came upon fragments of a stone lion somewhat like that which stands at Chaironeia. When the Monks-Ulen Company were draining the Serres and Drama plains for the Greek Government in 1929, the French School made some investigations of the site. Mr. Lincoln MacVeagh, Minister of the United States to Greece, later became interested in the project of collecting these fragments and restoring the monument and the lion, and the work became a joint enterprise of the American and French Schools. The French School was represented by M. Jacques Roger, and the American School by Broneer.
The site was thoroughly excavated in June, 1936, and some small but important fragments were found. The monument was re-erected during the summer of 1937. It is situated on the right bank of the Strymon on a hillside facing the river. The lion, seated on a high pedestal built of ancient stone blocks, looks out across the river to Amphipolis on the other side. The pedestal, as reconstructed, consists of an oblong base of four courses resting on a substructure of three steps and surmounted in turn by three more steps which support the statue of the lion itself. The pedestal is about twenty feet high, the lion sixteen. It is known, however, from the fragments that this is not a reproduction of the original pedestal. That was decorated with Doric pilasters, probably four on each side, above which was the usual Doric frieze of metopes and triglyphs. There may have been a chamber within. It was not thought wise to reconstruct this elaborate pedestal.
A careful study of similar and related works has led Broneer to refer this monument to the last quarter of the fourth century B. C. and to suggest that it was erected to commemorate Laomedon of Amphipolis, a general of Alexander the Great.
The monument was published by the School and is an attractive book of seventy-six pages, illustrated with thirty-six photographs and eleven plates, The Lion Monument at Amphipolis, by Oscar Broneer, 1941. (Plate XLI)
Morgan had been pushing the excavations at Corinth in the hope that he might be able to clear the entire agora and the district to the south of the agora before the expiration of his term. To help in this project Capps reported gifts of one thousand dollars from Mr. Paul B. Morgan to purchase the Church of St. John Theologos, and $150 from the President of the Board of Trustees, Mr. W. Rodman Peabody. The budgetary appropriation for the excavation was raised to nine thousand dollars for 1937–1938.
With this encouragement Morgan embarked energetically on his task. In the South Stoa, now clearly seen to have been rebuilt in Roman times, the shops west of the Senate House were cleared. The first had not been altered, but the next three had been thrown into one room about fifty feet square. The area south of these shops and west of the South Basilica yielded some pottery of the Early Christian period, a welcome addition to the Corinth collection. The clearing of the cryptoporticus in the South Basilica was completed. The same sturdy construction throughout was revealed.
The church of St. John was purchased in April and demolished. It was a single-aisled building of the Turkish period, built on the remains of a tenth- and eleventh-century church with three aisles and narthex.
More work on the central shops showed that west of the “waiting room” and the passage leading through this line of shops to the upper agora and the South Stoa was the foundation of the bema, a structure over fifty feet long. The discovery of this structure in 1936 and its identification were another triumph registered by the steady, competent work of Broneer. He has shown that this is beyond doubt the rostra referred to in a Latin inscription. It adjoins the senate house and is thus the bema referred to in the Acts from which Paul made his defence before Gallio, the Roman “Governor of Achaea. West of this again were a second “waiting room” and a second passage with steps, almost duplicating the arrangement on the eastern side. Beyond this symmetrical central group the line of shops continues. Some graves opened here contained fine specimens of geometric ware and jewelry. Fragments of a Greek pebble mosaic representing two griffins were found. (Plate XIX)
Morgan was able, through the courtesy of the Greek Government, to remove the road which had passed diagonally across the agora. This greatly improved the appearance of the dig and made possible the final clearance of the west portico of the Basilica Julia, southeast of Peirene. The exploration of the deeper levels below the agora floor must await later excavators.
The removal of the road led also to a most unexpected discovery. Just west of the Basilica Julia, in the Greek level below the Roman pavement, were found slabs marking the starting line of a race course. In these slabs were cuttings for sixteen contestants. These toeholds were not arranged in the position of those of Olympia, Epidauros and Delphi—narrow grooves close together for a standing start; here were two short grooves for each runner, one about twenty inches before the other and a little to the left. Morgan suggests that a crouching start is indicated, with the left hand in the forward cutting. This would leave the right hand free to hold a torch. The date of this starting line is the third century B. C. Below this was found a second starting line (only partially excavated this season) with a different orientation and belonging to the fourth century B. C. West of these interesting athletic remains was discovered a low mound with a curved front faced with two courses of poros. This, dating also from Hellenistic times, may very well have been used as the foundation for a temporary reviewing stand to watch the start, and perhaps the finish, of the races.
The annual meeting of the Managing Committee in 1938 was saddened by the absence for the first time in many years of its faithful Secretary, Edward Delavan Perry. He died March 28, 1938. He became a member of the Committee in 1897 and had been Secretary since 1920. Twice while Capps was in Europe he had been Acting Chairman. In his capacity as Secretary he had acted as the gracious host each year, inviting the Committee to luncheon in the well remembered courteous formula.
Professor Clarence H. Young had been Acting Secretary till the May meeting, when Professor La Rue Van Hook, of Columbia, was elected Secretary. On recommendation of the Committee on Personnel, Gorham Phillips Stevens was elected Director of the School. His connection with the School had begun in 1903, when he became the first Fellow in Architecture. He had later been Director of the School of Architecture in the American Academy in Rome, and Director of the Academy. His distinguished work on the Erechtheum has already been mentioned.
The School for 1937–1938 had the largest enrollment in its history, twenty-six. During this year there were also twenty-one on the Agora staff. The resources of Loring Hall were taxed to the utmost.
But it was not this large enrollment alone that demonstrated the success of Morgan’s directorate. In his energetic prosecution of the excavation of Corinth, in the promptness and clearness of his reports, in his business-like administration of the vexing details of his position and above all in the cordial cooperation he gave to the chairman and the committee and received from his staff, the Fellows and students, he proved himself a thoroughly competent and popular director.
Weber’s administration of the Gennadeion began well. He added over a thousand volumes to the Library by judicious purchases. He outlined in his report the need of further acquisitions. At his request Mr. Antonio Benaki consented to open to qualified students his Byzantine collection and library. He made constructive suggestions about the use of the Gennadeion for open meetings of the School. This practice had been inaugurated by Capps. The Gennadeion proved a very attractive place for these functions. The King of Greece attended one of these open meetings in 1937 and another in 1938.
Mrs. William H. Moore, who had given the museum at Corinth, was reported by Capps as considering favorably a request to finance the building of a much-needed addition. She later gave ten thousand dollars for this purpose. Plans for this were drawn, and the necessary excavation made when the war brought all archaeological activity in Greece to a standstill. As soon as normal conditions are restored this addition will be erected.
David M. Robinson excavated for the fourth time at Olynthus, from March to June, 1938. The dig was under the auspices of the School; Johns Hopkins University and Washington University of St. Louis participated by sending George E. Mylonas, who acted as Field Director. Most of the work was done on North Hill, East Spur Hill and the valley between. The houses excavated this year brought the total to over one hundred and added some new features to the now well-known Olynthian Hellenic house plan. Many of the houses were of the “villa” type—somewhat larger than the standard city house and sometimes with open spaces on either side. The price of a house in the better district is given in an inscription—4,500 drachmae (about nine hundred dollars).
An investigation of the South Hill seemed to show that the houses there were less pretentious. Two new cemeteries were located on the west side of North Hill. The aqueduct was also traced for a considerable distance, a terra-cotta pipe with cemented joints laid in a tunnel. An excellent elbow was discovered at a joint where a right-angle turn was necessary. The entire aqueduct was eight or ten miles long. Some excavation was also made at the port town, Mekyberna.
The objects found at Olynthus were placed in the museum at Salonika—a large number of terra cottas, many very interesting vases, some with unique designs, a beautiful shield rim of bronze with a guilloche and dot pattern, and, from this latest campaign alone, 635 coins.
Robinson has published these excavations with exemplary promptitude. Besides a long list of articles in popular and scientific journals, there have been issued (1944) twelve volumes. These cover the history of Olynthus, the prehistoric settlement, the architecture and sculpture, coins, terra cottas, vases, lamps, mosaics, miscellaneous finds, the Chalcidic mint, the tombs and the Hellenic houses.
The entire cost of the four campaigns was over fifty thousand dollars, to which Robinson generously contributed something over twenty thousand.
Under the auspices of the School but with funds of its own the Archaeological Research Fund of New York University began excavation at Samothrace in 1938 and continued in 1939. The enterprise was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Edward L. Holsten, of New York, and the staff was under the direction of Professor Karl Lehmann. The excavation was carried on in relatively short campaigns, while the entire group continued cooperative studies related to it throughout the remainder of each year. During the two years preceding the war a comprehensive exploration of Samothrace was initiated with results which promise well for the future.
Samothrace, because of the famous sanctuary of the “Great Gods” and the mystery that surrounded them, was an unusually attractive site, but its remoteness made it rather inaccessible. Little work had been done since two Austrian excavation campaigns and an earlier French expedition in the decades after the middle of the nineteenth century. These and succeeding scattered partial excavations by French and Czech scholars had concentrated for the most part on uncovering Hellenistic buildings.
The first campaign of the New York University expedition was of an exploratory nature. Various searches in the ancient town located among other things a Hellenistic temple and a sizable Early Christian church near the ancient harbor, recovered inscriptions from a Roman aqueduct and uncovered Hellenistic and Early Christian tombs. In the sanctuary an archaic altar near the “Old Temple” was excavated.
In the sanctuary the excavators discovered at the start an important building, the Anaktoron, the full excavation of which was accomplished in the second campaign (June-August, 1939). The building was obviously the telesterion of the cult. Dating from about 500 B. C., it is surprisingly well preserved, though some details were renewed and modified in later centuries. A stately hall, oriented north and south with entrances on the long western side, included a raised sanctuary at one end; at its doors a bilingual inscription, in Greek and in Latin, forbade the uninitiated to enter. The main hall, framed by wooden grandstands on two sides and a platform for spectators to the south, had a circular wooden stage in the center for the exhibition of the initiate, and in one corner a kind of altar structure (bothros) with a sacred stone.
A careful excavation of the well-known round building dedicated by Queen Arsinoe revealed details of the structure, the existence of an altar and of an earthen floor. In the corner between the Anaktoron and the Arsinoeion, a small “sacristy” of the Hellenistic age and inscriptions recording initiations were discovered. Various earlier structures preceded it, and at the lowest level a monumental building which extends in both directions beneath the Anaktoron and the Arsinoeion was unearthed. This structure indicates that the background of the cult was a “heroic,” in this pre-Greek, culture. M. Jean Charbonneau, of the Louvre, joined the excavations for the purpose of a renewed exploration of the site of the Victory.
An excavation on the site where the Victory was found demonstrated the falsity of previously published investigations, but what these results were have not yet been disclosed.
There were few sculptural finds, and no terra cottas were recovered inside the sanctuary. The ceramics dated from the prehistoric to the Roman period. The inscriptional finds on stones and vase fragments, together with some symbolic articles, began to throw light on the Kabeiric mysteries.
The technical difficulties of the wild terrain about the shrine and the local conditions added to the work a touch of adventure reminiscent of earlier days of archaeology. The staff lived in tents. At first the finds had to be stored provisionally. These and the monuments that had been carried off from town and sanctuary were collected. The building of a local museum was begun by the excavators in 1939.
At Corinth the fall excavation of 1937 (September 13–December 11) cleared nearly all the western part of the South Stoa. Just beyond the large room which had been carved out by the Romans from the Greek shops was found a small bath which occupied three more of the shops. Beyond this the work of the Roman rebuilders had been practically obliterated by that of the mediaeval rebuilders.
Farther north a great deal of the earth covering the area from the bema to the small temples at the western side of the agora was removed down through the mediaeval fill. Here the center of the Byzantine city of the tenth to the twelfth centuries was apparently situated. Many fragments from the bema were found, some of them in an interesting manhole of Peirene, built when the long west tunnel behind the spring’s storage chamber was constructed. Another large manhole admitting to the west supply of Peirene was found in the area between the South Stoa and the eastern end of the central shops. The large number of Byzantine sherds found in this excavation was to prove a help to Morgan in his volume on the Byzantine pottery, later published by the School. Morgan’s last campaign (from its driving speed it might almost be called Morgan’s last raid) continued from January 31 to June 6, 1938, and with it he completed the task he had set himself, the clearing of the agora and the district south of it.
In the center of the agora the line of central shops was found to continue west of the bema nearly to the boundary of the agora, the western shop being somewhat deeper than those near the “waiting room” and the bema. At the end of the line, however, was a building of undetermined use with a central apsidal room flanked by stairways on either side.
The removal of earth north of the central shops disclosed that the Byzantine city dated as early as the tenth century. In clearing the ground in the St. John’s area a monastic foundation was discovered.
Two of the little temples at the west side of the agora were proved by inscriptional evidence to belong to the reign of Commodus, at the close of the second century after Christ. The Greek and Roman drainage system was studied and partly cleared.
Among the finds of this campaign was a hoard of thirty gold coins of Manuel I. These were described in a careful article by Miss Josephine M. Harris, Institute Fellow, 1937–1938.
The completion of the excavation of the agora at Corinth was an admirable piece of work. What had previously been an unsightly series of holes separated by heaps of dirt now became an expanse of orderly foundations with an uninterrupted outlook stretching from the Basilica Julia to the museum and the Temple of Jupiter and from the South Basilica across the agora to the northwest shops and the great Temple of Apollo. (Plate XLII)
Some further investigation of the South Stoa was made by Broneer in the autumn of 1938. The three westernmost shops were carefully examined. They were built over fifth-century Greek houses. A fine Byzantine tomb was found, and another manhole of the Peirene water system was discovered and cleared.
Excavations under the direction of Saul S. Weinberg, Special Fellow in Archaeology, during the fall of 1938 near the Temple of Apollo, pointed to the third quarter of the sixth century as the probable date of the construction of the temple. He found also traces of an earlier temple destroyed by fire.
Before the area west of the museum could be properly landscaped, it was necessary to examine the ground so that no archaeological remains would be permanently concealed. This was done during the fall of 1938 and the spring of 1939. Here were found a great many fragments of vases, and some that could be reconstructed. They represented almost all periods from neolithic down. Two manholes were discovered, each leading to separate systems of underground water channels at a depth of over thirty feet below the present ground level.
The annual meeting of 1939 was held May 13, as usual in New York. Capps spoke with great satisfaction of the excellent administration of the School’s affairs during the past year by Dean H. Lamar Crosby, who had been Acting Director. Especial gratitude was due him for his careful survey of the buildings of the School and for recommending measures to keep them constantly in repair.
Under Crosby the work of the School had gone steadily forward. The courses of instruction by the Director; by the Annual Professor, George W. Elderkin, of Princeton; by the Visiting Professor, Miss Mary H. Swindler, of Bryn Mawr (whose lectures were so popular that the director had to limit the attendance); by Broneer and Weber; the School trips; the open meetings (one of which the King again honored with his presence); the supervision of the work of the Fellows and students—all ran in the well appointed routine established as the satisfactory result of nearly sixty years of trial and error.
The excavations, too, were all well ordered undertakings, those of the School at Corinth and the Agora, those under its auspices at Olynthus and Samothrace.
There were also the spectacular finds at Pylos. This excavation was under the joint direction of Carl W. Blegen, of the University of Cincinnati, and Dr. K. Kourouniotis, of the National Museum at Athens, representing the Greek Archaeological Society. The grant for the excavation was sponsored by the director of the School.
Mycenaean chamber tombs had been known for some time to exist near the Bay of Pylos, but it was reserved for Blegen and Kourouniotis to discover in a brief excavation from March 25 to May 11, 1939, at Ano Engalianos, not far from the north end of that bay, a palace which in its extent (to be judged by the preliminary dig) rivals those of Mycenae and Tiryns. This, one may say with confidence, was the Palace of Geranian Nestor, long-sought. But the most surprising feature of the excavation was the discovery of over six hundred tablets covered with writing that resembles the “linear B” script of Crete—the first to be found on the mainland of Greece.
Weber reported a year of achievement at the Gennadeion. Thirty-two large folio volumes—The Greek Fathers—had been purchased from the library of Dr. Kalopothakis with a fund subscribed by members of the Harvard Class of 1888. Forty-two war maps were acquired, giving the plans of all the fortifications in the hands of the Venetians from 1684 to 1718. These belonged to the Venetian General, Francesco Grimani. They contain plans of many portions, since destroyed, of the beautiful fortresses that line the Peloponnesian coast and dot the Islands. Their publication at an early date was recommended.
The work on the great catalogue had gone steadily forward, its publication an obligation of the School that could not be forgotten. Weber recommended also the establishment of a Gennadeion fellowship for the study of Greece and the Near East.
A new series of volumes published by the School was begun this year, the Gennadeion Monographs. The first of these to appear was The Venetians in Athens, 1687–1688, from the “Istoria” of Cristoforo Ivanovich, edited by James M. Paton. This was based on unique documents in the Gennadeion Library.
In his report of this year Weber had mentioned the possibility of publishing that part of Schliemann’s diary which dealt with his first visit to America. This he was able to do a little later in the Gennadeion Monograph Series, Schliemann’s First Visit to America, 1850–1851, edited by Shirley H.Weber.
The coming war cast its shadow on the School this year. The anschluss between Hitler’s Germany and Austria made it impossible any longer to print the School publications in Vienna. Accordingly, measures were taken to ship to America plates and unsold numbers of books and Hesperia. The result was that the back numbers of Hesperiaand the plates arrived and after considerable discussion with the Customs House were admitted free of duty and deposited with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The books left Bremerhaven and had reached mid-Atlantic when the ship which bore them was ordered home. They were disembarked and sent to Leipzig, where they are now reposing in the cellar of Harrassowitz if they have escaped the fury of the Allied bombers.
To care for the increasing publications of the School a new position on the staff was created. It was that of Managing Editor of Publications, and to this Paul Clement, of the Institute for Advanced Study, was appointed. Meritt was made Chairman of the Committee on Publications.
Capps announced the gift of three thousand dollars, through Mr. Sol M. Stroock, to be used as a fellowship fund to assist properly qualified Jewish students who had been driven from Germany by Hitler’s persecution. To this German Refugee Fellowship, Heinrich Immerwahr, a graduate of Breslau, was appointed. He had just received his doctorate from the University of Florence and went immediately to Greece, rescued thus from a German concentration camp.
At this meeting Capps resigned the chairmanship of the Managing Committee, which he had held since 1918. In presenting his resignation he said, “But since 1921 [the date when his active work as chairman began] the duties of that position, with which you have honored me, have, though not of my own choice, outweighed in time and strength all my academic and other responsibilities.” After the Committee had with reluctance accepted the chairman’s resignation, Dean George H. Chase, of Harvard, offered the following resolution, which was adopted by a rising vote. It expressed, though with true Attic restraint, the feelings of the entire Committee:
I am sure we all feel that the resignation of Professor Capps should not be allowed to take place without some record of the feeling of the members of the Committee about him. We all are proud of the great advances which the School has made during his chairmanship. We boast about them to our friends and hope that we have been helpful, but in our hearts we know that these advances are really due to the energy and foresight of Professor Capps. Indeed, during his chairmanship we have almost attained the Platonic ideal of a state ruled by a wise philosopher. I, therefore, move that the Committee place upon its records an expression of our deep appreciation of the many services to the School of the retiring Chairman and of our hope that we may for many years have the benefit of his wisdom in our councils.
In Capps’s first annual report to the Committee he had set up seven objectives to be attained:
1. To increase the number of cooperating institutions. When he assumed the chairmanship there were twenty-five; in 1939 there were forty-five.
2. To make the work of the School better and more widely known.
There could be no doubt of his success in this endeavor.
3. To publish the books on the Erechtheum, Corinth and the Propylaea.
The handsome volume on the Erechtheum and the long line of books in the Corinth series are the answer to that problem. Only the Propylaea volume is lacking.
4. To complete the excavation of Corinth.
The final clearing of the theater, the Odeion, the Asklepieion, the Roman Villa and the vast space of the agora—these abundantly satisfy that requirement.
5. To secure an endowment for excavation and research.
The Seager Fund of forty-five thousand dollars and the Loeb Fund of five hundred thousand dollars more than realize that dream.
6. To erect a hostel for women.
The William Caleb Loring Residence Hall is a far better solution of that problem than a mere women’s hostel.
7. To more than double the endowment.
When Capps was made Chairman the cash and securities amounted to $141,459.37. In 1939 the assets of the School (exclusive of the property in Athens) were $1,621,711.23.
Capps had more than attained the multiple goal he had set for himself and the Committee. To him also belongs the credit for creating the fellowship funds honoring the three previous chairmen (it is a pleasure to record that a Capps Fellowship Fund of thirty thousand dollars was at once created by the Trustees); for securing and administering the splendid gift for the excavation of the Athenian Agora; the building of Loring Hall; the Rotating Publication Fund that enabled the School to publish Corinth; the Gennadeios Library and the glorious buildings that house it and provide homes for the librarian and the annual professor; the museum at Corinth with its endowment and the one to rise in the Athenian Agora; the charming museum at Mytilene; Hesperia, the Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. These are the visible and outward signs of that astonishing change which Capps wrought in the School. It is idle to say that his chairmanship fell in a period of the country’s history when philanthropy was a habit and promotion a pastime. Other institutions went through the same period and showed no such phenomenal growth because they were not directed by men of Capps’s vision and dynamic force. If it was his privilege to be at the head of the Managing Committee during the years of prosperity, it was also his misfortune to be chairman during the depression. In both emergencies he was a wise and prophetic leader.
Nor will he be remembered only as one who built fine buildings, dug wide excavations and created great endowments. His scholarship equalled his executive ability. In the last two generations of classicists in America only two men have been, in the opinion of their contemporaries, both great executives and great scholars. Both have been chairmen of the Managing Committee of the American School at Athens: John Williams White, authority on Aristophanes, and Edward Capps, Editor of the Loeb Classical Library.
When a Greek city had been delivered from deadly peril or when it had received fresh life and vigor from some great benefactor who had within him the creative force that brings regeneration, it was customary to hail him as the city’s founder and to erase from the records the name of the man to whom that honor had belonged. No such proceeding is necessary for the School. It would not forget its debt to the great men of the past, but in no mere idle words or empty phrases it may well be writ that Edward Capps was the Second Founder of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.