Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Statue Of Euripides.

Statue Of Euripides.

The Greek Theatre.

The Greek Theatre.

Syracuse And The Harbor, From The Greek Theatre.

Syracuse And The Harbor, From The Greek Theatre.

A million more, a million less, What matters it? The earth rolls on, Unmindful of mankind's distress, Or if the race be here, or gone.

Man, insect, earth, or distant star, They differ only in degree; Their transient lives, or near or far, Are moments in eternity.

Leaving this noble relic of the past, a short walk brought us to the Roman Amphitheatre an edifice completed several centuries later than the Grecian theatre, and shortly before the commencement of the Christian era. It is a stately ruin, of the oval form peculiar to such buildings, with curving rows of moss-grown seats ascending, one above another, from the arena to the topmost rim, which is at present tapestried with grass and flowers. At either end of the ellipse a solitary arch still stands, like a decrepit, weary sentinel, forgotten and abandoned by a vanished world. The space between them is a quiet, peaceful spot, - such as the Roman Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla used to be a quarter of a century ago, - where one can spend an afternoon alone, with nothing to disturb his reading or his reverie. Yet this vast auditorium could not rouse in me the same enthusiasm which the old Greek theatre always kindled, for its associations are not intellectual, but brutal. In one the most refined and cultivated citizens assembled to enjoy the elevating products of Athenian genius; but to the other came a multitude debased by gladiatorial combats introduced to the Syracusans by their Roman conquerors. The earlier Grecians here had no such tastes, despite the fact that only a few steps distant from this amphitheatre we may still behold a monstrous sacrificial altar, more than six hundred feet in length, where, it is said, four hundred and fifty oxen every year were offered to the gods in gratitude for their divine assistance in the popular revolution which ended in the expulsion of the tyrant, Thrasybulus. But this by no means proves the ancient Syracusans to have been bloodthirsty; for sacrificial offerings of animals have formed a part of the ritual of all religions of antiquity at a certain stage of their development, and characterized particularly the religion of the Hebrews down to the very destruction of their Temple, and the dispersion of their race. There is a world-wide difference, therefore, between the blood shed on this altar in religious rites and that which flowed in the Roman amphitheatre at the bidding of degenerate rulers, to gratify the tigerish lust of a degraded populace, which found delight in watching the destruction of their fellow-men between the jaws of famished beasts, or by the still more pitiless short sword of the gladiators.

Entrance To The Roman Amphitheatre.

Entrance To The Roman Amphitheatre.

The Roman Amphitheatre.

The Roman Amphitheatre.

In The Roman Amphitheatre, Syracuse.

In The Roman Amphitheatre, Syracuse.

The Great Sacrificial Altar, Built By Hieron II.

The Great Sacrificial Altar, Built By Hieron II.

Compared with the remains of ancient Syracuse upon the mainland, the relics of antiquity within the present town - that is to say, upon the island of Or-tygia - are few in number, yet extremely interesting. Some of these are now sheltered in the Syracuse Museum, among them being a beautiful statue of Venus in Parian marble, which, al- though sadly mutilated, ranks undoubtedly among the loveliest representations of the female form which have come down to us. In this museum, too, is a remarkable collection of old Syracusan coins, which would elicit admiration even from those who usually take no interest in numismatics. For Syracuse produced the most beautiful coins in the world during its period of Grecian sovereignty, and skilled numismatists consider the Sicilian coins, made here in the fifth century before Christ, the finest specimens of medallion art that the world has ever seen. Some of the heads of men and forms of horses, cast then in both gold and silver, are modeled with a technical perfection and delicacy of execution which have never been surpassed, and bear examination under a magnifying-glass.