No. 166.
Mr. Read to Mr. Fish.

No. 230.]

Sir: I have forwarded to the Department of State an exact copy in plaster of a most ancient diplomatic instrument recently found in Greece.

The Archæological Society of Athens, of which I am a member, has been engaged for some time in making excavations on the south side of the Acropolis. The discoveries already reached in some respects surpass in importance those at Olympia.

Besides the ruins of three temples mentioned by Pausanias, numerous inscriptions and remains of ancient statues, evidently belonging to the Parthenon, have been found. But the most remarkable relic was discovered on the 28th of June, in the base of the southern wall of the Acropolis. It was nothing less than a treaty between the Athenians and Chalcedonians, of the third year of the eighty-third Olympiad, 446–445 B. C., engraved upon a large block of Pentelic marble, several years before the Parthenon was commenced by the orders of Pericles. Scarcely a letter is missing from this remarkable document. It completes a passage of Thucydides, and is referred to by Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus. Immediately after it was brought to light by the learned secretary of the society, M. Coumounadis, I directed a plaster-cast to be taken of the size of the original. It seems to me fitting that this should find a resting place in the treaty-making department of our Government.

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I have, &c.,