THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Homer describes the 3,500-year-old Mycenaean acropolis of Tiryns as "the wall-girt city," and Pausanias, writing in the 2nd century AD, gave the cyclopean walls his highest praise: "Now the Hellenes have a mania for admiring that which is foreign much more than that which is in their own land. Whilst they bestow not a word on the treasure-house of Minyas or the walls of Tiryns, which nevertheless
are fully as deserving of admiration." The modern writer Henry Miller was repelled by the place, as he records in The Colossus of Maroussi: "Tiryns is prehistoric in character. Tiryns represents a relapse. Tiryns smells of cruelty, barbarism, suspicion, isolation." Today the well-preserved site seems harmless, surrounded by citrus trees and home to a few lizards who timidly sun themselves on the stones.
West of the isthmus, the countryside opens up into a low-lying coastal plain around the head of the gulf of Corinth. Modern Corinth, near the...
The ruins of this remarkably fortified ancient city, about 20 km (12 miles) north of the modern town of the same name, are set amid a lush landscape...