Topography And Antiquities The Attic plain, -ro ircSlov, slopes gently towards the coast of the Saronic Gulf on the south-west; on the east it is overlooked by Mount Hymettus (3369 ft.); on the north-east by Pentelicus or Brilessus (3635 ft.) from which, in ancient and modern times, an immense quantity of the finest marble has been quarried; on the north-west by Parnes (4636 ft.), a continuation of the Boeotian Cithaeron, and on the west by Aegaleus (1532 ft.), which descends abruptly to the bay of Salamis.
The Cephisus, rising in Pentelicus, enters the sea at New Phalerum; in summer it dwindles to an insignificant stream, while the Ilissus, descending from Hymettus, is totally dry, probably owing to the destruction of the ancient forests on both mountains, and the consequent denudation of the soil.
For the architectural embellishment of the city the finest building material was procurable without difficulty and in abundance; Pentelicus forms a mass of white, transparent, blue-veined marble; another variety, somewhat similar in appearance, but generally of a bluer hue, was obtained from Hymettus.
The marble of Hymettus, which often has a bluish tinge, was used extensively for building in ancient Athens, and also, in early times, for sculpture; but the white marble of Pentelicus was preferred for both purposes.
PENTELICUS (BpAno-o-Os, or Iievtexlkov Epos from the deme IIEVTEXq; mod.
High, Pentelicus 3635, and Hymettus 3370, while Aegaleos does not rise higher than 1534 ft.
Among the other products we must notice the marble - both that of Pentelicus, which afforded a material of unrivalled purity and whiteness for building the Athenian temples, and the blue marble of Hymettus - the trabes Hymettiae of Horace - which used to be transported to Rome for the construction of palaces.
The north-eastern boundary of the plain of Athens is formed by the graceful pyramid of Pentelicus, which received its name from the deme of Pentele at its foot, but was far more commonly known as Brilessus in ancient times.
It lies between Parnes, Pentelicus and the sea.