World Fair of Paris 1889

Centenary of the French Revolution

May 6, 1889 - October 31, 1889


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Pelasges

Pelasges at the Exhibition Paris 1889

The Pelasgian dwelling is indeed a little small to give an idea of the constructions attributed to the Pelasgians, which are generally referred to as cyclopean monuments; But in the Field of Mars it is not a palace, nor a temple, even less a fortress, and it is especially in their enclosing walls that the peoples of antiquity, who inhabited European Turkey and Greece before the Greeks, piled up one on top of the other, and without any interposition of cement and mortar, blocks of stone so enormous that the handling of them is attributed to the Cyclops, who moreover have never existed except in mythology.

However, it is probable that before the Pelasges proper, whom the Greeks reduced to slavery, there were other peoples belonging to the prehistoric period, and there is no disadvantage in giving them the name of Cyclops, especially since we rely on the authority of Pausanias and Strabo.

Archaeologists distinguish, moreover, the primitive constructions, called cyclopean, from those which followed and which are really the pelasgic or pelasgian ones, because I believe that the two words are said.

It is a house of this kind that Mr. Charles Garnier wanted to reproduce, but a private house; he built it in relatively large blocks, but of cut stones, as did the Pelasgians, although they did not know the square, it is claimed; this is rather difficult to believe; they must have had at least an equivalent instrument, otherwise how would they have managed to superimpose stones exactly enough one on top of the other, so as not to have needed to use cement.

Of course, the architect of the history of housing used cement, - indeed, he used it the most, - but let us not forget that he owed us only an imitation, a specimen.

The door, which is less wide at the top than at the bottom, like the Egyptian bays, is surmounted by a triangular impost, which will be the pediment that the ancient Greeks used and even abused.

©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition - C. L. Huard