Project Gutenberg's The Geography of Strabo, Volume II (of 3), by Strabo

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Title: The Geography of Strabo, Volume II (of 3)
       Literally Translated, with Notes

Author: Strabo

Translator: H. C. Hamilton
            W. Falconer

Release Date: February 13, 2014 [EBook #44885]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Anna Tuinman, Turgut Dincer and the Online
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Transcriber's note:

Volumes I and III are available from Project Gutenberg at and respectively.

In this book many city names are spelled in different ways. When the correct spelling is obvious these have been corrected for the sake of consistency. See the list of modern names at the end of volume III.

The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.











The remaining parts of Macedonia are considered, and the whole of Greece; on this the author dwells some time on account of the great reputation of the country. He corrects minutely, and clears up, the confused and vague accounts respecting the cities contained therein, given by poets and historians, and especially in the Catalogue and in many other parts of the Poem.


1. After having described as much of the western parts of Europe as is comprised within the interior and exterior seas, and surveyed all the barbarous nations which it contains, as far as the Don1 and a small part of Greece, [namely, Macedonia,]2 we propose to give an account of the remainder of the Helladic geography. Homer was the first writer on the subject of geography, and was followed by many others, some of whom composed particular treatises, and entitled them “Harbours,” “Voyages,” “Circuits of the Earth,”3 or gave them some name of this kind, and these comprised the description of the Helladic country. Some, as Ephorus and Polybius, included in their general history a separate topography of the continents; others, as Posidonius and Hipparchus, introduced matter relating to geography in their writings on physical and mathematical subjects.

It is easy to form an opinion of the other writers, but the poems of Homer require critical consideration, both because he speaks as a poet, and because he describes things not as [Pg 2]
[CAS. 333]
they exist at present, but as they existed anciently, and the greater part of which have been rendered obscure by time.

We must however undertake this inquiry as far as we are able, beginning from the point where our description ended.

It ended with an account of the Epirotic and Illyrian nations on the west and north, and of Macedonia as far as Byzantium on the east.

After the Epirotæ and Illyrii follow the Acarnanes,[4] the Ætoli, the Locri-Ozolæ, then the Phocæenses and Bœoti, Grecian nations. Opposite to these on the other side of the strait is Peloponnesus, which comprises the Gulf of Corinth,5 interposed between, and determining the figure of the latter, from which it also receives its own. Next to Macedonia6 are the Thessalians,7 extending as far as the Malienses,8 and the other nations, situated on both sides of the isthmus.

2. There are many Greek tribes, but the chief people are equal in number to the Greek dialects with which we are acquainted, namely, four. Of these, the Ionic is the same as the ancient Attic; (for Iones was the former name of the inhabitants of Attica; from thence came the Iones who settled in Asia,9 and use the dialect now called Ionic;) the Doric was the same as the Æolic dialect, for all the people on the other side of the isthmus except the Athenians, the Megareans, and the Dorians about Parnassus, are even now called Æolians; it is probable that the Dorians, from their being a small nation, and occupying a most rugged country, and from want of intercourse [with the Æolians], no longer resemble that people either in language or customs, and, although of the same race, have lost all appearance of affinity. It was the same with the Athenians, who inhabiting a rugged country with a light soil, escaped the ravages of invaders. As they always occupied the same territory, and no enemy attempted to expel them, nor had any desire to take possession of it themselves, on this account they were, according to Thucydides, regarded as Autochthones, or an indigenous race. This was [Pg 3] probably the reason, although they were a small nation, why they remained a distinct people with a distinct dialect.

It was not in the parts only on the other side of the isthmus, that the Æolian nation was powerful, but those on this side also were formerly Æolians. They were afterwards intermixed first with Ionians who came from Attica, and got possession of Ægialus,10 and secondly with Dorians, who under the conduct of the Heracleidæ founded Megara and many of the cities in the Peloponnesus. The Iones were soon expelled by the Achæi, an Æolian tribe; and there remained in Peloponnesus the two nations, the Æolic and the Doric. Those nations then that had little intercourse with the Dorians used the Æolian dialect. (This was the case with the Arcadians and Eleians, the former of whom were altogether a mountain tribe, and did not share in the partition of the Peloponnesus; the latter were considered as dedicated to the service of the Olympian Jupiter, and lived for a long period in peace, principally because they were of Æolian descent, and had admitted into their country the army of Oxylus, about the time of the return of the Heracleidæ.11) The rest used a kind of dialect composed of both, some of them having more, others less, of the Æolic dialect. Even at present the inhabitants of different cities use different dialects, but all seem to Dorize, or use the Doric dialect, on account of the ascendency of that nation.

Such then is the number of the Grecian nations, and thus in general are they distinguished from each other.

I shall resume my account of them, and describe each nation in their proper order.

3. According to Ephorus, Acarnania is the commencement of Greece on the west, for it is the first country which lies contiguous to the Epirotic nations. As this author follows the coast in his measurements, and begins from thence, considering the sea the most important guide of topographical description, (for otherwise he might have placed the beginning of Greece in Macedonia and Thessaly,) so ought I, observing [Pg 4]
CAS. 334
the natural character of places, to keep in view the sea as a mark by which I should direct the course of my description.

The sea coming from Sicily spreads itself on one side towards the Corinthian Gulf, and on the other forms a large peninsula, the Peloponnesus, united to the mainland by a narrow isthmus.

The two largest bodies of country in Greece are that within the isthmus, and that without the isthmus, [extending to the mouths of the river Peneius]. That within the isthmus is however larger, and more celebrated. The Peloponnesus is, as it were, the acropolis or citadel of all Greece; and all Greece in a manner holds the chief or leading position in Europe. For independently of the fame and power of the nations which inhabited it, the position itself of the places in it suggests this superiority. One site succeeds another diversified with numerous most remarkable bays, and large peninsulas. The first of these peninsulas is the Peloponnesus, closed in by an isthmus of forty stadia in extent. The second comprehends the first, and has an isthmus reaching from Pagæ in Megaris to Nisæa, which is the naval arsenal of the Megareans; the passage across the isthmus from sea to sea is 120 stadia.

The third peninsula also comprises the latter. Its isthmus extends from the farthest recess of the Crissæan Gulf to Thermopylæ. The line supposed to be drawn between these is about 508 stadia in length, including within it the whole of Bœotia, and cutting Phocis and the country of the Epicnemidii obliquely. The fourth peninsula has the isthmus extending from the Ambracian Gulf through Mount Œta and Traclinia to the Maliac Gulf and Thermopylæ, about 800 stadia.

There is another isthmus of more than 1000 stadia reaching from the same Gulf of Ambracia, and passing through the country of the Thessalians and Macedonians to the recess of the Thermæan Gulf.

The succession of peninsulas furnishes a convenient order to be followed in describing the country.

We must begin from the smallest, as being also the most famous of these peninsulas.12

[Pg 5]


1. The Peloponnesus resembles in figure the leaf of a plane tree.13 Its length and breadth are nearly equal, each about 1400 stadia. The former is reckoned from west to east, that is, from the promontory Chelonatas through Olympia and the territory Megalopolitis to the isthmus; the latter from south to north, or from Maliæ though Arcadia to Ægium.

The circumference, according to Polybius, exclusive of the circuit of the bays, is 4000 stadia. Artemidorus however adds to this 400 stadia, and if we include the measure of the bays, it exceeds 5600 stadia. We have already said that the isthmus at the road where they draw vessels over-land from one sea to the other is 40 stadia across.

2. Eleians and Messenians occupy the western side of this peninsula. Their territory is washed by the Sicilian Sea. They possess the coast also on each side. Elis bends towards the north and the commencement of the Corinthian Gulf as far as the promontory Araxus,14 opposite to which across the strait is Acarnania; the islands Zacynthus,15 Cephallenia,16 Ithaca,17 and the Echinades, to which belongs Dulichium, lie in front of it. The greater part of Messenia is open to the south and to the Libyan Sea as far as the islands Thyrides near Tænarum.18

Next to Elis, is the nation of the Achæi looking towards the north, and stretching along the Corinthian Gulf they terminate at Sicyonia. Then follow Sicyon19 and Corinth, extending as far as the isthmus. Next after Messenia are [Pg 6]
[CAS. 335]
Laconia and Argeia, which latter country also reaches as far as the isthmus.

The bays of the Peloponnesus are the Messeniac,20 the Laconian,21 a third the Argolic,22 and a fourth the Hermionic,23 or the Saronic,24 which some writers call the Salaminiac bay. Some of these bays are supplied by the Libyan, others by the Cretan and Myrtoan Seas. Some call even the Saronic Gulf a sea. In the middle of Peloponnesus is Arcadia, lying contiguous to all the other nations.

3. The Corinthian Gulf begins from the mouths of the Evenus,25 (some say from the mouths of the Achelous,26 which is the boundary between the Acarnanes and Ætoli,) and from the promontory Araxus. For there the shores on both sides first begin to contract, and have a considerable inclination towards each other; as they advance farther onwards they nearly meet at Rhium27 and Antirrhium,28 leaving a channel of only about 5 stadia between them.

Rhium is a promontory of Achaia, it is low, and bends inwards like a sickle, (indeed it has the name of Drepanum, or the Sickle,) and lies between Patræ29 and Ægium,30 on it there is a temple of Neptune. Antirrhium is situated on the confines of Ætolia and Locris. It is called Rhium Molycrium. From this point the sea-shore again parts in a moderate degree on each side, and advancing into the Crissæan Gulf, terminates there, being shut in by the western boundaries of Bœotia and Megaris.

The Corinthian Gulf is 2230 stadia in circuit from the river Evenus to the promontory Araxus; and if we reckon from the Achelous, it would be increased by about 100 stadia.

The tract from the Achelous to the Evenus is occupied by Acarnanians; next are the Ætoli, reaching to the Cape Antirrhium. The remainder of the country, as far as the isthmus, is occupied by Phocis, Bœotia, and by Megaris, it extends 1118 stadia.

The sea from Cape Antirrhium as far as the isthmus is [the Crissæan Gulf, but from the city Creusa it is called the Sea of] Alcyonis, and is a portion of the Crissæan Gulf.31

[Pg 7]

From the isthmus to the promontory Araxus is a distance of 1030 stadia.

Such in general then is the nature and extent of the Peloponnesus, and of the country on the other side of the strait up to the farther recess of the gulf. Such also is the nature of the gulf between both.

We shall next describe each country in particular, beginning with Elis.


1. At present the whole sea-coast lying between the Achæi and Messenii is called Eleia, it stretches into the inland parts towards Arcadia at Pholoe, and the Azanes, and Parrhasii. Anciently it was divided into several states; afterwards into two, Elis of the Epeii, and Elis under Nestor, the son of Neleus. As Homer says, who mentions Elis of the Epeii by name,

“Sacred Elis, where the Epeii rule.”32

The other he calls Pylus subject to Nestor, through which, he says, the Alpheius flows:

“Alpheius, that flows in a straight line through the land of the Pylians.”33

The poet was also acquainted with a city Pylus;

“They arrived at Pylus, the well-built city of Neleus.”34

The Alpheius however does not flow through nor beside the city, but another river flows beside it, which some call Pamisus, others Amathus, from which Pylus seems to be termed Emathöeis, but the Alpheius flows through the Eleian territory.

2. Elis, the present city, was not yet founded in the time of Homer, but the inhabitants of the country lived in villages. It was called Cœle [or Hollow] Elis, from the accident of its locality, for the largest and best part of it is situated in a hollow. It was at a late period, and after the Persian war, that the people collected together out of many demi, or [Pg 8]
[CAS. 337]
burghs, into one city. And, with the exception of a few, the other places in the Peloponnesus which the poet enumerates are not to be called cities, but districts. Each contained several assemblages of demi or burghs, out of which the famous cities were afterwards formed, as Mantineia in Arcadia, which was furnished with inhabitants from five burghs by Argives; Tegea from nine; Heræa from as many during the reign of Cleombrotus, or Cleonymus; Ægium out of seven, or eight; Patræ out of seven; Dyme out of eight; thus Elis also was formed out of the surrounding burghs. The demus of the Agriades was one of those added to it. The Peneius35 flows through the city by the Gymnasium, which the Eleii constructed long after the countries which were subject to Nestor had passed into their possession.

3. These were the Pisatis, of which Olympia is a part, and Triphylia, and the territory of the Caucones. The Triphylii had their name from the accident of the union of three tribes; of the Epeii, the original inhabitants; of the Minyæ, who afterwards settled there; and last of all of the Eleii, who made themselves masters of the country. Instead of the Minyæ some writers substitute Arcadians, who had frequently disputed the possession of the territory, whence Pylus had the epithet Arcadian as well as Triphylian. Homer calls all this tract as far as Messene by the name of Pylus, the name of the city. The names of the chiefs, and of their abodes in the Catalogue of the Ships, show that Cœle Elis, or the Hollow Elis, was distinct from the country subject to Nestor.

I say this on comparing the present places with Homer’s description of them, for we must compare one with the other in consideration of the fame of the poet, and our being bred up in an acquaintance with his writings; and every one will conclude that our present inquiry is rightly conducted, if nothing is found repugnant to his accounts of places, which have been received with the fullest reliance on their credibility and his veracity.

We must describe these places as they exist at present, and as they are represented by the poet, comparing them together as far as is required by the design of this work.

4. The Araxus is a promontory of Eleia situated on the north, 60 stadia from Dyme, an Achæan city. This promontory [Pg 9] we consider the commencement of the coast of Eleia. Proceeding thence towards the west is Cyllene,36 the naval arsenal of the Eleii, from whence is an ascent of 120 stadia to the present city. This Cyllene Homer mentions in these words,

“Cyllenian Otus, chief of the Epeii,”

for he would not have given the title of chief of Epeii to one who came from the Arcadian mountain of this name. It is a village of moderate size, in which is preserved the Æsculapius of Colotes, a statue of ivory, of admirable workmanship.

Next to Cyllene is the promontory Chelonatas,37 the most westerly point of the Peloponnesus. In front of it there is a small island and shoals on the confines of Hollow Elis, and the territory of the Pisatæ. From hence [Cyllene] to Cephallenia is a voyage of not more than 80 stadia. Somewhere on the above-mentioned confines is the river Elisson, or Elissa.

5. Between the Chelonatas and Cyllene the river Peneius empties itself, and that also called by the poet Selleïs, which flows from the mountain Pholoe. On this river is situated Ephyra, a city to be distinguished from the Thesprotian, Thessalian, and Corinthian Ephyras; being a fourth city of this name, situated on the road leading to the Lasion sea-coast, and which may be either the same place as Bœonoa, (for it is the custom to call Œnoe by this name,) or a city near this, distant from Elis 120 stadia. This Ephyra seems to be the reputed birth-place of Astyochea, the mother of Tlepolemus, the son of Hercules,

“Whom Hercules brought from Ephyra, from the river Selleis;”38

(for this was the principal scene of the adventures of Hercules; at the other places called Ephyra, there is no river Selleis;) hence came the armour of Meges,

“Which Phyleus formerly brought from Ephyra, from the river Selleis;”39

from this Ephyra came also mortal poisons. For Minerva says, that Ulysses went to Ephyra

“In search of a mortal poison wherewith to anoint his arrows:”40

And the suitors say of Telemachus;

“Or he will go to the rich country of Ephyra to bring back poison destructive of our lives.”41

[Pg 10]
[CAS. 338]

And Nestor introduces the daughter of Augeas, king of the Epeii, in his account of the war with that people, as one who administered poisons:

“I first slew a man,42 Mulius, a brave soldier. He was son-in-law of Augeas; he had married his eldest daughter; she was acquainted with all the poisons which the earth brings forth.”

There is also near Sicyon a river, Selleis, and a village of the name of Ephyra near it; and a village Ephyra in the territory of Agræa in Ætolia, the people of which are called Ephyri. There are also other Ephyri among the Perrhæbi near Macedonia, who are Crannonians,43 and the Thesprotic Ephyri of Cichyrus, which was formerly called Ephyra.

6. Apollodorus, when he informs us in what manner the poet usually distinguishes places with the same names, as Orchomenus for instance, designating that in Arcadia by the epithet, “abounding with sheep;” the Bœotian Orchomenus, as “Minyeïus;” by applying to Samos the term Thracian, and adds,

“Between Samos and Imbros,”44

to distinguish it from Ionian Samos; so he says the Thesprotic Ephyra is distinguished from others by the words, “at a distance,” and “from the river Selleis.” This does not agree with what Demetrius of Scepsis says, from whom he borrows most of his information. For Demetrius does not say that there is a river Selleis in Thesprotia, but in Elis, near the Thesprotic Ephyra, as I have said before.

What he says also about Œchalia requires examination, where he asserts that the city of Eurytus of Œchalia is the only city, when there is more than one city of that name. It is therefore evident that he means the Thessalian city mentioned by Homer:

“And they who occupied Œchalia, the city of Eurytus, the Œchalian.”45

What city, then, is that on the road from which “Thamyris [Pg 11] the Thracian was met by the Muses, and deprived of the power of song,” for he says,

“Coming from Œchalia, from the dwelling of Eurytus, the Œchalian.”46

If this were the city in Thessaly, the Scepsian is mistaken in mentioning some city in Arcadia, which is now called Andania. If he is not mistaken, still the Arcadian Œchalia is said to be the city of Eurytus, so that there is not one city only of that name, although Apollodorus asserts that there is but one.

7. There existed between the mouths of the Peneius and the Selleis near Scollis, a Pylus, not the city of Nestor, but another of that name, having nothing in common with that on the Alpheius, nor even with that on the Pamisus, or, if we must so call it, the Amathus. Some writers, through their solicitude for the fame and noble descent of Nestor, give a forced meaning to these words. Since there are three places in Peloponnesus of the name of Pylus, (whence the saying originated,

“There is a Pylus in front of Pylus, and still there is another Pylus,”)

namely, this and the Lepreatic Pylus in Triphylia, and a third, the Messeniac near Coryphasium,47 the advocates for each place endeavour to show that the river in his own country is (Emathois) ἠμαθόεις or sandy, and declare that to be the country of Nestor.

The greater number of other writers, both historians and poets, say, that Nestor was a Messenian, assigning as his birth-place the Pylus, which continued to exist to their times. Those, however, who adhere to Homer and follow his poem as their guide, say, that the Pylus of Nestor is where the territory is traversed by the Alpheius. Now this river passes through the Pisatis and Triphylia. The inhabitants of the Hollow Elis were emulous of the same honour respecting the Pylus in their own country, and point out distinctive marks, as a place called Gerenus, and a river Geron, and another river Geranius, and endeavour to confirm this opinion by pretending that Nestor had the epithet Gerenius from these places.

The Messenians argue in the very same manner, but apparently [Pg 12]
[CAS. 340]
with more probability on their side. For they say, that in their territory there is a place better known, called Gerena, and once well inhabited.

Such then is the present state of the Hollow Elis.48

8. The poet however, after having divided the country into four parts, and mentioned the four chiefs, does not clearly express himself, when he says:

“those who inhabit Buprasium and the sacred Elis, all whom Hyrminē and Myrsinus, situated at the extremity of the territory and the Olenian rock, and Aleisium contain, these were led by four chiefs; ten swift vessels accompanied each, and multitudes of Epeii were embarked in them.”49

For, by applying the name Epeii to both people, the Buprasians and the Eleii, and by never applying the name Eleii to the Buprasians, he may seem to divide, not Eleia, but the country of the Epeii, into four parts, which he had before divided into two; nor would Buprasium then be a part of Elis, but rather of the country of the Epeii. For that he terms the Buprasians Epeii, is evident from these words:

“As when the Epeii were burying King Amarynces at Buprasium.”50

Again, by enumerating together “Buprasium and sacred Elis,” and then by making a fourfold division, he seems to arrange these very four divisions in common under both Buprasium and Elis.

Buprasium, it is probable, was a considerable settlement in Eleia, which does not exist at present. But the territory only has this name, which lies on the road to Dyme from Elis the present city. It might be supposed that Buprasium had at that time some superiority over Elis, as the Epeii had over the Eleii, but afterwards they had the name of Eleii instead of Epeii.

Buprasium then was a part of Elis, and they say, that Homer, by a poetical figure, speaks of the whole and of the part together, as in these lines:

“through Greece and the middle of Argos;”51 “through Greece and Phthia;”52 “the Curetes and the Ætoli were fighting;”53 “those from Dulichium and the sacred Echinades;”54

for Dulichium is one of the Echinades. Modern writers also use this figure, as Hipponax,

[Pg 13]

“they eat the bread of the Cyprians and the wheat of the Amathusii;”

for the Amathusii are Cyprians: and Alcman;

“leaving the beloved Cyprus, and Paphos, washed on all sides by the sea:”

and Æschylus;

“possessing as your share by lot the whole of Cyprus and Paphos.”

If Homer has not called the Buprasii by the name of Eleii, we shall reply, nor has he mentioned many other places and things which exist. For this is not a proof that they did not exist, but only that he has not mentioned them.

9. But Hecatæus of Miletus says, that the Epeii are a different people from the Eleii; that the Epeii accompanied Hercules in his expedition against Augeas, and joined him in destroying Elis, and defeating Augeas. He also says, that Dyme was both an Epeian and an Achæan city.

The ancient historians, accustomed from childhood to falsehood through the tales of mythologists, speak of many things that never existed. Hence they do not even agree with one another, in their accounts of the same things. Not that it is improbable that the Epeii, although a different people and at variance with the Eleii, when they had gained the ascendency, united together, forming a common state, and their power extended even as far as Dyme. The poet does not mention Dyme, but it is not improbable that at that time it was subject to the Epeii, and afterwards to the Iones, or perhaps not even to this people, but to the Achæi, who were in possession of the country of the Iones.

Of the four portions, which include Buprasium, Hyrminē and Myrsinus belong to the territory of Eleia. The rest, according to the opinion of some writers, are situated close on the borders of the Pisatis.

10. Hyrminē was a small town, which exists no longer, but there is a mountainous promontory near Cyllene, called Hormina or Hyrmina.

Myrsinus is the present Myrtuntium, a settlement extending to the sea, and situated on the road from Dyme to Elis, at the distance of 70 stadia from the city of the Eleii.

It is conjectured that the Olenian rock is the present Scollis. For we might mention probable conjectures, since both places and names have undergone changes, and the poet himself does not explain his meaning clearly in many passages.

[Pg 14]
[CAS. 341]

Scollis is a rocky mountain, common to the Dymæi, and Tritæenses, and Eleii, situated close to Lampeia, another mountain in Arcadia, which is distant from Elis 130 stadia, from Tritæa 100, and an equal number [from Dyme] Achæan cities.

Aleisium is the present Alesiæum, a place near Amphidolis, where the neighbouring people hold a market every month. It is situated upon the mountain road leading from Elis to Olympia. Formerly, it was a city of the Pisatis, the boundaries of the country being different at different times on account of the change of masters. The poet also calls Aleisium, the hill of Aleisius, when he says,

“Till we brought our horses to Buprasium rich in grain, and to the Olenian rock, and to the place which is called the hill of Aleisium,”55

for we must understand the words by the figure hyperbaton. Some also point out a river Aleisius.

11. Since a tribe of Caucones is mentioned in Triphylia near Messenia, and as Dyme is called by some writers Cauconis, and since between Dyme and Tritæa in the Dymæan district there is also a river called Caucon, a question arises respecting the Caucones, whether there are two nations of this name, one situate about Triphylia, and another about Dyme, Elis, and Caucon. This river empties itself into another which is called Teutheas, in the masculine gender, and is the name of a small town that was one of those that composed Dyme; except that the town is of the feminine gender, and is pronounced Teuthea, without the s, and the last syllable is long.

There is a temple of Diana Nemydia (Nemeæa?). The Teutheas discharges itself into the Achelous, which runs by Dyme, and has the same name as that in Acarnania, and the name also of Peirus. In the lines of Hesiod,

“he lived near the Olenian rock on the banks of the broad Peirus,”

some change the last word Πείροιο to Πώροιο, but improperly. 56[But it is the opinion of some writers, who make the Caucones a subject of inquiry, that when Minerva in the Odyssey, who has assumed the form of Mentor, says to Nestor;

“At sunrise I go to the magnanimous Caucones, where a debt neither of a late date nor of small amount is owing to me.57 When Telemachus comes to thy house send him with thy son, thy chariot, and thy horses;”

[Pg 15]

a certain district in the territory of the Epeii appears to be designated, which the Caucones, a different nation from that in Triphylia, possessed, and who perhaps extended even as far as the Dymean territory.] But it was not proper to omit, whence Dyme had the name Cauconitis, nor why the river was called Caucon, because the question is, who the Caucones58 were, to whom Minerva says, she is going to recover a debt. For if we understand the poet to mean those in Triphylia about Lepreum, I know not how this is probable; whence some persons even write the passage,

“where a large debt is owing to me in the sacred Elis.”

This will appear more clearly, when we describe the Pisatis, and after it Triphylia as far as the confines of Messenia.

12. Next to the Chelonatas is the long tract of coast of the Pisatæ; then follows a promontory, Pheia; there was also a small town of this name;

“by the walls of Pheia about the stream of the Jardanes,”59

for there is a small river near it.

Some writers say, that Pheia is the commencement of the Pisatis. In front of Pheia is a small island and a harbour; thence to Olympia by sea, which is the shortest way, is 120 stadia. Then immediately follows another promontory, [Icthys,] projecting very far towards the west, like the Chelonatas; from this promontory to Cephallenia are 120 stadia. Next the Alpheius discharges itself, at the distance from the Chelonatas of 280, and from the Araxus of 545, stadia. It flows from the same places as the Eurotas. There is a village of the name of Asea in the Megalopolitis, where the two sources, whence the above-mentioned rivers issue, are near to one another. After running under the earth the distance of many stadia, they then rise to the surface, when one takes its course to Laconia, the other to the Pisatis. The Eurotas reappears at the commencement of the district Bleminates, flowing close beside Sparta, and passing through a long valley near Helos, which the poet mentions, empties itself between Gythium, the naval arsenal of Sparta, and AcrŠa. But the Alpheius, after receiving the Celadon, (Ladon?) and Erymanthus, and other obscure streams, pursues its course through Phrixa, and the Pisatis, and Triphylia, close to Olympia, [Pg 16]
[CAS. 343]
and discharges itself into the Sicilian Sea between Pheia and Epitalium. At its mouth, and at the distance of 80 stadia from Olympia, is situated the grove of Artemis Alpheionia, or Alpheiusa, for both words are in use. At Olympia an annual festival, to which multitudes resort, is celebrated in honour of this goddess, as well as of Diana Elaphia and Diana Daphnia. The whole country is full of temples dedicated to Diana, and Aphrodite, and the Nymphs, which are situated amidst flowery groves, and generally where there is abundance of water. Hermeia, or images of Mercury, are frequently met with on the road, and on the sea-shore, temples dedicated to Neptune. In the temple of Diana Alpheionia are pictures by Cleanthes and Aregon, Corinthian painters; the former has depicted the taking of Troy, and the birth of Minerva; the latter, Diana borne upon a griffin; which are highly esteemed.

13. Next is the mountain, which separates Macistia in Triphylia from the Pisatis; then follows another river Chalcis, and a spring called Cruni, and Chalcis a village, and next to these the Samicum, where is the temple of the Samian Neptune, which is held in the highest honour. There is also a grove full of wild olive trees. It was intrusted to the care of the Macistii, whose business it was to announce the Samian truce as it is called. All the Triphylii contribute to the temple.

[The temple of the Scilluntian Minerva at Scillus in the neighbourhood of Olympia, opposite the Phellon, is among the celebrated temples.]60

14. Near these temples, at the distance of 30 stadia, or a little more, above the sea-coast, is situated the Triphyliac, or Lepreatic, Pylus, which the poet calls Emathoeis, or Sandy, and transmits to us as the native country of Nestor, as may be collected from his poetry. It had the epithet Emathoeis either from the river, which flows by the city towards the north, and was formerly called Amathus, but now Mamaus, or Arcadicus; or because this river was called Pamisus, the same name as that of two rivers in Messenia, while with respect to the city, the epithet Emathoeis, or sandy, is of uncertain origin, since it is not the fact, it is said, that either the river or the country abounds with sand.

[Pg 17]

Towards the east is a mountain near Pylus, named after Minthe, who, according to the fable, was the mistress of Hades, and being deluded by Proserpine, was transformed into the garden mint, which some call hedyosmus, or the sweet-smelling mint. There is also near the mountain an enclosure, sacred to Hades, held in great veneration by the Macistii; and a grove dedicated to Ceres, situated above the Pyliac plain. This plain is fertile, and situated close to the sea-coast; it extends along the interval between the Samicum and the river Neda. The sea-shore is sandy and narrow, so that no one could be censured for asserting that Pylus was called “sandy” from this tract.

15. Towards the north there were two small Triphyliac towns, Hypana and Typaneæ, bordering upon Pylus; the former of which was incorporated with Elis, the other remained separate. Two rivers flow near, the Dalion and the Acheron, and empty themselves into the Alpheius. The Acheron has its name from its relation to Hades. For at that place were held in extraordinary reverence the temples of Ceres, Proserpine, and Hades, perhaps on account of the contrariety of the properties of the country, which Demetrius of Scepsis mentions. For Triphylia is fertile, but the soil is subject to mildew, and produces rushes,61 whence in these places, instead of the product being large, there is frequently no crop whatever.

16. Towards the south of Pylus is Lepreum. This also was a city, situated 40 stadia above the sea-coast. Between the Lepreum and the Annius (Anigrus? Alphæus?) is the temple of the Samian Neptune. These places are distant 100 stadia from each other. This is the temple in which the poet says that the Pylii were found by Telemachus engaged in offering sacrifice:

“They came to Pylus, the well-built city of Neleus; the people were sacrificing on the sea-shore bulls, entirely black, to Neptune, the god of the dark locks, who shakes the earth.”62

For the poet was at liberty to feign things which did not exist, but when it is possible to adapt poetry to reality, and [Pg 18]
[CAS. 345]
preserve the narrative ... it is better to abstain from fiction.

The Lepreatæ possessed a fertile country, on the confines of which were situated the Cyparissenses. But Caucones were masters of both these tracts, and even of the Macistus, which some call Platanistus. The town has the same name as the territory. It is said, that in the Lepreatis there is even a monument of a Caucon, who had the name of the nation, either because he was a chief, or for some other reason.

17. There are many accounts respecting the Caucones. They are said to be an Arcadian tribe, like the Pelasgi, and also, like them, a wandering people. Thus the poet relates, that they came as auxiliaries to the Trojans, but from what country he does not mention, but it is supposed from Paphlagonia. For in that country there is a tribe of the name of Cauconiatæ, that border upon the Mariandyni, who are themselves Paphlagonians. We shall say more of them when we describe that country.63

At present I must add some remarks concerning the Caucones in Triphylia. For some writers say, that the whole of the present Elis, from Messenia to Dyme, was called Cauconia. Antimachus calls them all Epeii and Caucones. But some writers say that they did not possess the whole country, but inhabited it when they were divided into two bodies, one of which settled in Triphylia towards Messenia, the other in the Buprasian district towards Dyme, and in the Hollow Elis. And there, and not in any other place, Aristotle considered them to be situated. The last opinion agrees better with the language of Homer, and the preceding question is resolved. For Nestor is supposed to have lived at the Triphyliac Pylus, the parts of which towards the south and the east (and these coincide towards Messenia and Laconia) was the country subject to Nestor, but the Caucones now occupy it, so that those who are going from Pylus to Lacedæmon must necessarily take the road through the Caucones. The temple of the Samian Neptune, and the naval station near it, where Telemachus landed, incline to the west and to the north. If then the Caucones lived there only, the account of the poet must be erroneous.

[Pg 19]

[For, according to Sotades, Minerva enjoins Nestor to send his son with Telemachus in a chariot to Lacedæmon towards the east, while she herself returns back to the west, to pass the night in the vessel;

“but at sunrise she sets out to the magnanimous Caucones,”

to obtain payment of the debt, in a forward direction. How then are we to reconcile these opinions? for Nestor might say, “The Caucones are my subjects, and lie directly in the road of persons who are going to Lacedæmon; why then do you not accompany Telemachus and his friends on his journey, but take a road in an opposite direction?” Besides, it was natural for one, who was going to recover payment of a debt, and that a considerable sum, as she says, from a people under the command of Nestor, to request some assistance from him in case they should be so unjust, as usually happens, as to refuse to discharge it. But she did not do this.

If therefore the Caucones are to be found in one situation only, these absurdities would follow. But if one division of this tribe occupied the places in Elis near Dymē, Minerva might be said to direct her journey thither, and even the return to the ship would not be absurd, nor the separation from the company of Telemachus, when her road was in an opposite direction.

The question respecting Pylus may perhaps be resolved in a similar manner, when we come, as we proceed, to the description of the Messenian Pylus.64]

18. There is also, it is said, a nation, the Paroreatæ, who occupy, in the hilly district of Triphylia, the mountains, which extend from about Lepreum and Macistum to the sea near the Samian grove sacred to Neptune.

19. Below these people on the coast are two caves; one, of the nymphs Anigriades; the other, the scene of the adventures of the Atlantides,65 and of the birth of Dardanus. There also are the groves, both the Ionæum and Eurycydeium.

Samicum is a fortress. Formerly there was a city of the name of Samos, which perhaps had its designation from its [Pg 20]
[CAS. 346]
height, since they called heights Sami; perhaps also this was the acropolis of Arēnē, which the poet mentions in the Catalogue of the Ships;

“who inhabited Pylus, and the pleasant Arene;”66

for as the position of Arēnē has not been clearly discovered anywhere, it is conjectured, that it was most probably situated where the adjoining river Anigrus, formerly called Minyeius, empties itself. As no inconsiderable proof of this, Homer says,

“There is a river Minyeius, which empties itself into the sea, near Arene.”67

Now near the cave of the nymphs Anigriades is a fountain, by which the subjacent country is rendered marshy, and filled with pools of water. The Anigrus however receives the greater part of the water, being deep, but with so little current that it stagnates. The place is full of mud, emits an offensive smell perceptible at a distance of 26 stadia, and renders the fish unfit for food. Some writers give this fabulous account of these waters, and attribute the latter effect to the venom of the Hydra, which some of the Centaurs68 washed from their wounds; others say, that Melampus used these cleansing waters for the purification of the Prœtades.69 They are a cure for alphi, or leprous eruptions, and the white tetter, and the leichen. They say also that the Alpheus had its name from its property of curing the disease alphi.70

Since then the sluggishness of the Anigrus, and the recoil of the waters of the sea, produce a state of rest rather than a current, they say, that its former name was Minyeïus, but that some persons perverted the name and altered it to Minteïus. The etymology of the name may be derived from other sources; either from those who accompanied Chloris, the mother of Nestor, from the Minyeian Orchomenus; or, [Pg 21] from the Minyæ descendants of the Argonauts, who were banished from Lemnos, and went to Lacedæmon, and thence to Triphylia, and settled about Arēnē, in the country now called Hypæsia, which however no longer contains places built by the Minyæ.

Some of these people, with Theras the son of Autesion, who was a descendant of Polynices, having set sail to the country between Cyrenæa and the island of Crete, “formerly Calliste, but afterwards called Thera,” according to Callimachus, founded Thera, the capital of Cyrene, and gave the same name to the city, and to the island.

20. Between the Anigrus and the mountain from which the Jardanes rises, a meadow and a sepulchre are shown, and the Achææ, which are rocks broken off from the same mountain, above which was situated, as I have said, the city Samos. Samos is not mentioned by any of the authors of Peripli, or Circumnavigations; because perhaps it had been long since destroyed, and perhaps also on account of its position. For the Poseidium is a grove, as I have said, near the sea, a lofty eminence rises above it, situated in front of the present Samicum, where Samos once stood, so that it cannot be seen from the sea.

Here also is the plain called Samicus, from which we may further conjecture that there was once a city Samos.

According to the poem Rhadinē, of which Stesichorus seems to have been the author, and which begins in this manner,

“Come, tuneful Muse, Erato, begin the melodious song, in praise of the lovely Samian youths, sounding the strings of the delightful lyre:”

these youths were natives of this Samos. For he says that Rhadinē being given in marriage to the tyrant, set sail from Samos to Corinth with a westerly wind, and therefore certainly not from the Ionian Samos. By the same wind her brother, who was archi-theorus, arrived at Delphi. Her cousin, who was in love with her, set out after her in a chariot to Corinth. The tyrant put both of them to death, and sent away the bodies in a chariot, but changing his mind, he recalled the chariot, and buried them.

21. From this Pylus and the Lepreum to the Messenian Pylus71 and the Coryphasium, fortresses situated upon the sea, [Pg 22]
[CAS. 348]
and to the adjoining island Sphagia, is a distance of about 400 stadia, and from the Alpheius a distance of 750, and from the promontory Chelonatas 1030 stadia. In the intervening distance are the temple of the Macistian Hercules, and the river Acidon, which flows beside the tomb of Jardanus, and Chaa, a city which was once near Lepreum, where also is the Æpasian plain. It was for this Chaa, it is said, that the Arcadians and Pylians went to war with each other, which war Homer has mentioned, and it is thought that the verse ought to be written,

“Oh that I were young as when multitudes of Pylii, and of Arcades, handling the spear, fought together at the swift-flowing Acidon near the walls of Chaa,”72

not Celadon, nor Pheia, for this place is nearer the tomb of Jardanus and the Arcades than the other.

22. On the Triphylian Sea are situated Cyparissia, and Pyrgi, and the rivers Acidon and Neda. At present the boundary of Triphylia towards Messenia is the impetuous stream of the Neda descending from the Lycæus, a mountain of Arcadia, and rising from a source which, according to the fable, burst forth to furnish water in which Rhea was to wash herself after the birth of Jupiter. It flows near Phigalia, and empties itself into the sea where the Pyrgitæ, the extreme tribe of the Triphylii, approach the Cyparissenses, the first of the Messenian nation. But, anciently, the country had other boundaries, so that the dominions of Nestor included some places on the other side of the Neda, as the Cyparisseïs, and some others beyond that tract, in the same manner as the poet extends the Pylian sea as far as the seven cities, which Agamemnon promised to Achilles,

“All near the sea bordering upon the sandy Pylus,”73

which is equivalent to, near the Pylian sea.

23. Next in order to the Cyparisseïs in traversing the coast towards the Messenian Pylus and the Coryphasium, we meet with Erana, (Eranna,) which some writers incorrectly suppose was formerly called Arene, by the same name as the Pylian city, and the promontory Platamodes, from which to the Coryphasium, and to the place at present called Pylus, are [Pg 23] 100 stadia.74 There is also a cenotaph and a small town in it both of the same name—Protē.

We ought not perhaps to carry our inquiries so far into antiquity, and it might be sufficient to describe the present state of each place, if certain reports about them had not been delivered down to us in childhood; but as different writers give different accounts, it is necessary to examine them. The most famous and the most ancient writers being the first in point of personal knowledge of the places, are, in general, persons of the most credit. Now as Homer surpasses all others in these respects, we must examine what he says, and compare his descriptions with the present state of places, as we have just said. We have already considered his description of the Hollow Elis and of Buprasium.

24. He describes the dominions of Nestor in these words:

“And they who inhabited Pylus, and the beautiful Arene, and Thryum, a passage across the Alpheius, and the well-built Æpy, and Cyparisseis, and Amphigeneia, and Pteleum, and Helos, and Dorium, where the Muses having met with Thamyris the Thracian, deprived him of the power of song, as he was coming from Œchalia, from the house of Eurytus the Œchalian.”75

It is Pylus, therefore, to which the question relates, and we shall soon treat of it. We have already spoken of Arene. The places, which he here calls Thryum, in another passage he calls Thryoessa,

“There is a city Thryoessa, lofty, situated on a hill,
Far off, on the banks of the Alpheius.”76

He calls it the ford or passage of the Alpheius, because, according to these verses, it seems as if it could be crossed at this place on foot. Thryum is at present called Epitalium, a village of Macistia.

With respect to εὔκτιτον Αἶπυ], “Æpy the well-built,” some writers ask which of these words is the epithet of the other, and what is the city, and whether it is the present Margalæ of Amphidolia, but this Margalæ is not a natural fortress, but another is meant, a natural stronghold in Macistia. Writers who suppose this place to be meant, say, that Æpy is the name of the city, and infer it from its natural properties, as in the example of Helos,77 Ægialos,78 and many others: [Pg 24]
[CAS. 349]
those who suppose Margalæ to be meant here, will assert the contrary.

Thryum, or Thryoessa, they say, is Epitalium, because all the country is θρυώδης, or sedgy, and particularly the banks of the rivers, but this appears more clearly at the fordable places of the stream. Perhaps Thryum is meant by the ford, and by “the well-built Æpy,” Epitalium, which is naturally strong, and in the other part of the passage he mentions a lofty hill;

“The city Thryoessa, a lofty hill,
Far away by the Alpheus.”79

25. Cyparisseïs is near the old Macistia, which then extended even to the other side of the Neda, but it is not inhabited, as neither is Macistum. There is also another, the Messenian Cyparissia, not having quite the same name, but one like it. The city of Macistia is at present called Cyparissia, in the singular number, and feminine gender, but the name of the river is Cyparisseis.

Amphigeneia, also belonging to Macistia, is near Hypsoeis, where is the temple of Latona.

Pteleum was founded by the colony that came from Pteleum in Thessaly, for it is mentioned in this line,

“Antron on the sea-coast, and the grassy Pteleum.”80

It is a woody place, uninhabited, called Pteleasimum.

Some writers say, that Helos was some spot near the Alpheius; others, that it was a city like that in Laconia,

“and Helos, a small city on the sea;”81

others say that it is the marsh near Alorium, where is a temple of the Eleian Artemis, (Diana of the Marsh,) belonging to the Arcadians, for this people had the priesthood.

Dorium is said by some authors to be a mountain, by others a plain, but nothing is now to be seen; yet it is alleged, that the present Oluris, or Olura, situated in the Aulon, as it is called, of Messenia, is Dorium. Somewhere there also is Œchalia of Eurytus, the present Andania, a small Arcadian town of the same name as those in Thessaly and Eubœa, whence the poet says, Thamyris, the Thracian, came to Dorium, and was deprived by the Muses of the power of song.

26. Hence it is evident that the country under the command of Nestor is on each side of the Alpheius, all of which tract [Pg 25] he calls the country of the Pylians, but nowhere does the Alpheius touch Messenia, nor the Hollow Elis.82

It is in this district that we have the native country of Nestor, which we call the Triphylian, the Arcadian, and the Lepreatic Pylus. For we know that other places of the name of Pylus are pointed out, situated upon the sea, but this is distant more than 30 stadia from it, as appears from the poem. A messenger is sent to the vessel, to the companions of Telemachus,—to invite them to a hospitable entertainment. Telemachus, upon his return from Sparta, does not permit Peisistratus to go to the city, but diverts him from it, and prevails upon him to hasten to the ship, whence it appears that the same road did not lead both to the city and to the haven. The departure of Telemachus may in this manner be aptly understood:

“they went past Cruni, and the beautiful streams of Chalcis; the sun set, and all the villages were in shade and darkness; but the ship, exulting in the gales of Jove, arrived at Pheæ. She passed also the divine Elis, where the Epeii rule;”83

for to this place the direction of the vessel was towards the north, and thence it turns to the east. The vessel leaves its first and straight course in the direction of Ithaca, because the suitors had placed an ambush there,

“In the strait between Ithaca and Samos,
And from thence he directed the vessel to the sharp-pointed islands, νήσοισι θοῇσι;”84

the sharp-pointed (ὀξείαι) he calls θοαὶ. They belong to the Echinades, and are near the commencement of the Corinthian Gulf and the mouths of the Achelous. After having sailed past Ithaca so as to leave the island behind him, he turns to the proper course between Acarnania and Ithaca, and disembarks on the other side of the island, not at the strait of Cephallenia, where the suitors were on the watch.

27. If any one therefore should suppose that the Eleian Pylus is the Pylus of Nestor, the ship would not properly be said, after setting off thence, to take its course along Cruni and Chalcis, as far as the west, then to arrive by night at Pheæ, and afterwards to sail along the territory of Eleia, for [Pg 26]
[CAS. 351]
these places are to the south of Eleia, first Pheæ, then Chalcis, then Cruni, then the Triphylian Pylus, and the Samicum. In sailing then to the south from the Eleian Pylus this would be the course. In sailing to the north, where Ithaca lies, all these places are left behind, but they must sail along Eleia itself, and before, although he says after, sunset. Again, on the other side, if any one should suppose the Messenian Pylus and the Coryphasium to be the commencement of the voyage after leaving the country of Nestor, the distance would be great, and would occupy more time. For the distance only to the Triphylian Pylus and the Samian Poseidium is 400 stadia, and the voyage would not be along Cruni, and Chalcis, and Pheæ, the names of obscure places and rivers, or rather of streams, but first along the Neda, then Acidon, next Alpheius, and the places and countries lying between these rivers, and lastly, if we must mention them, along the former, because the voyage was along the former places and rivers also.

28. Besides, Nestor’s account of the war between the Pylians and Eleians, which he relates to Patroclus, agrees with our arguments, if any one examines the lines. For he says there, that Hercules laid waste Pylus, and that all the youth were exterminated; that out of twelve sons of Neleus, he himself alone survived, and was a very young man, and that the Epeii, despising Neleus on account of his old age and destitute state, treated the Pylians with haughtiness and insult. Nestor therefore, in order to avenge this wrong, collected as large a body of his people as he was able, made an inroad into Eleia, and carried away a large quantity of booty;

“Fifty herds of oxen, as many flocks of sheep,
As many herds of swine,”85

and as many flocks of goats, an hundred and fifty brood mares, bay-coloured, most of which had foals, and “these,” he says,

“We drove away to Pylus, belonging to Neleus,
By night towards the city;”86

so that the capture of the booty, and the flight of those who came to the assistance of people who were robbed, happened in the day-time, when, he says, he slew Itamon; and they returned by night, so that they arrived by night at the [Pg 27] city. When they were engaged in dividing the booty, and in sacrificing, the Epeii, having assembled in multitudes, on the third day marched against them with an army of horse and foot, and encamped about Thryum, which is situated on the Alpheius. The Pylians were no sooner informed of this than they immediately set out to the relief of this place, and having passed the night on the river Minyeius near Arene, thence arrive at the Alpheius at noon. After sacrificing to the gods, and passing the night on the banks of the river, they immediately, in the morning, engaged in battle. The rout of the enemy was complete, and they did not desist from the pursuit and slaughter, till they came to Buprasium,

“and the Olenian rock, where is a tumulus of Alesius, whence again Minerva repulsed the multitudes;”87

and adds below,

“but the Achæi
Turned back their swift horses from Buprasium to Pylus.”

29. From these verses how can it be supposed that Eleian or Messenian Pylus is meant. I say the Eleian, because when this was destroyed by Hercules, the country of the Epeii also was ravaged at the same time, that is, Eleia. How then could those, who were of the same tribe, and who had been plundered at that time, show such pride and insult to persons, who were suffering under the same injuries? How could they overrun and ravage their own country? How could Augeas and Neleus be kings of the same people, and yet be mutual enemies; for to Neleus

“a great debt was owing at the divine Elis; four horses, which had won the prize; they came with their chariots to contend for prizes; they were about to run in the race for a tripod; and Augeas, king of men, detained them there, but dismissed the charioteer.”88

If Neleus lived there, there Nestor also lived. How then were there

“four chiefs of Eleians and Buprasians, with ten swift ships accompanying each, and with many Epeii embarked in them?”

The country also was divided into four parts, none of which was subject to Nestor, but those tribes were under his command,

“who lived at Pylus, and the pleasant Arēnē,”

and at the places that follow next as far as Messene. [Pg 28]
[CAS. 352]
How came the Epeii, when marching against the Pylians, to set out towards the Alpheius and Thryum, and after being defeated there in battle, to fly to Buprasium? But on the other side, if Hercules laid waste the Messenian Pylus, how could they, who were at such a distance, treat the Pylians with insult, or have so much intercourse and traffic with them, and defraud them by refusing to discharge a debt, so that war should ensue on that account? How too could Nestor, after having got, in his marauding adventure, so large a quantity of booty, a prey of swine and sheep, none of which are swift-footed, nor able to go a long journey, accomplish a march of more than 1000 stadia to Pylus near Coryphasium? Yet all the Epeii arrive at Thryoessa and the river Alpheius on the third day, ready to lay siege to the stronghold. How also did these districts belong to the chiefs of Messenia, when the Caucones, and Triphylii, and Pisatæ occupied them? But the territory Gerena, or Gerenia, for it is written both ways, might have a name which some persons applied designedly, or which might have originated even in accident.

Since, however, Messenia was entirely under the dominion of Menelaus, to whom Laconia also was subject, as will be evident from what will be said hereafter, and since the rivers, the Pamisus and the Nedon, flow through this country, and not the Alpheius at all, which runs in a straight line through the country of the Pylians, of which Nestor was ruler, can that account be credible, by which it appears that one man takes possession by force of the dominion of another, and deprives him of the cities, which are said to be his property in the Catalogue of the Ships, and makes others subject to the usurper.

30. It remains that we speak of Olympia, and of the manner in which everything fell into the power of the Eleii.

The temple is in the district Pisatis, at the distance of less than 300 stadia from Elis. In front of it is a grove of wild olive trees, where is the stadium. The Alpheius flows beside it, taking its course out of Arcadia to the Triphylian Sea between the west and the south. The fame of the temple was originally owing to the oracle of the Olympian Jove; yet after that had ceased, the renown of the temple continued, and increased, as we know, to a high degree of celebrity, both on account of the assembly of the people of Greece, [Pg 29] which was held there, and of the Olympic games, in which the victor was crowned. These games were esteemed sacred, and ranked above all others. The temple was decorated with abundance of offerings, the contributions of all Greece. Among these offerings was a Jupiter of beaten gold, presented by Cypselus, the tyrant of Corinth. The largest was a statue of Jupiter in ivory, the workmanship of Phidias of Athens, the son of Charmides. Its height was so great, that although the temple is very large, the artist seems to have mistaken its proportions, and although he made the figure sitting, yet the head nearly touches the roof, and presents the appearance that, if it should rise, and stand upright, it would unroof the temple. Some writers have given the measurement of the statue, and Callimachus has expressed it in some iambic verses. Panænus, the painter, his nephew, and joint labourer, afforded great assistance in the completion of the statue with respect to the colours with which it was ornamented, and particularly the drapery.

There are exhibited also many and admirable pictures around the temple, the work of this painter. It is recorded of Phidias, that to Panænus, who was inquiring after what model he intended to form the figure of Jupiter, he replied, that it would be from that of Homer delineated in these words;

“He spoke, and gave the nod with his sable brows, the ambrosial hair shook on the immortal head of the king of gods, and vast Olympus trembled.”89

[This is well expressed, and the poet, as from other circumstances, so particularly from the brows, suggests the thought that he is depicting some grand conception, and great power worthy of Jupiter. So also in his description of Juno, in both he preserves the peculiar decorum of each character, for he says,

“she moved herself upon the throne, and shook vast Olympus:”90

this was effected by the motion of her whole body, but Olympus shakes when Jupiter only nods with his brows, the hair of his head partaking of the motion. It was elegantly said [of Homer] that he was the only person who had seen and had made visible the figures of the gods.]91

[Pg 30]
[CAS. 354]

To the Eleii above all other people is to be ascribed the magnificence of the temple at Olympia, and the reverence in which it was held. For about the Trojan times, and even before that period, they were not in a flourishing state, having been reduced to a low condition by war with the Pylii, and afterwards by Hercules, when Augeas their king was overthrown. The proof is this. The Eleii sent forty ships to Troy, but the Pylians and Nestor ninety; then after the return of the Heracleidæ the contrary happened. For the Ætoli returning with the Heracleidæ under the command of Oxylus, became joint settlers with the Epeii, on the ground of ancient affinity. They extended the bounds of Hollow Elis, got possession of a large portion of the Pisatis, and subjected Olympia to their power. It was these people who invented the Olympic games,92 and instituted the first Olympiad. For we must reject the ancient stories both respecting the foundation of the temple, and the establishment of the games, some alleging that Hercules, one of the Idæan Dactyli, was the founder; others, that the son of Alcmene and Jupiter founded them, who also was the first combatant and victor. For such things are variously reported, and not entitled to much credit. It is more probable, that from the first Olympiad,93 when Corœbus the Eleian was the victor in the race in the stadium, to the twenty-sixth, the Eleians presided over the temple, and at the games. But in the Trojan times, either there were no games where a crown was awarded, or they had not yet acquired any fame, neither these nor any of the games which are now so renowned. Homer does not speak of these games, but of others of a different kind, which were celebrated at funerals. Some persons however are of opinion that he does mention the Olympic games, when he says, that Augeas detained four victorious horses, which had been sent to contend for the prize. It is also said that the Pisatæ did not take any part in the Trojan war, being considered as consecrated to the service of Jupiter. But neither was the Pisatis, the tract of country in which Olympia is situated, subject at that time to Augeas, but Eleia only, nor were the Olympic games celebrated [Pg 31] even once in the Eleian district, but always at Olympia. But the games, of which Homer speaks, seem to have taken place in Elis, where the debt was owing,

“For a great debt was owing in the divine Elis,
Namely, four victorious horses.”94

But it was not in these, but in the Olympic games, that the victor was crowned, for here they were to contend for a tripod.

After the twenty-sixth Olympiad, the Pisatæ, having recovered their territory, instituted games themselves, when they perceived that these games were obtaining celebrity. But in after-times, when the territory of the Pisatis reverted to the Eleii, the presidency and celebration of the games reverted to them also. The Lacedæmonians too, after the last defeat of the Messenians, co-operated with the Eleii as allies, contrary to the conduct of the descendants of Nestor and of the Arcadians, who were allies of the Messenians. And they assisted them so effectually that all the country as far as Messene was called Eleia, and the name continues even to the present time. But of the Pisatæ, and Triphylii, and Caucones, not even the names remain. They united also Pylus Emathoeis itself with Lepreum in order to gratify the Lepreatæ, who had taken no part in the war. They razed many other towns, and imposed a tribute upon as many as were inclined to maintain their independence.

31. The Pisatis obtained the highest celebrity from the great power of its sovereigns, Œnomaus and his successor Pelops, and the number of their children. Salmoneus is said to have reigned there, and one of the eight cities, into which the Pisatis is divided, has the name of Salmone. For these reasons, and on account of the temple at Olympia, the fame of the country spread everywhere.

We must however receive ancient histories, as not entirely agreeing with one another, for modern writers, entertaining different opinions, are accustomed to contradict them frequently; as for example, according to some writers, Augeas was king of the Pisatis, and Œnomaus and Salmoneus kings of Eleia, while others consider the two nations as one. Still we ought to follow in general what is received as true, since writers are not agreed even upon the derivation of the word Pisatis. Some derive it from Pisa, (Πῖσα) a city of the same [Pg 32]
[CAS. 356]
name as the fountain, and say that the fountain had that name, as much as to say Pistra, (Πίστρα) which means Potistra, (ποτίστρα,) or “potable.” The city of Pisa is shown, situated on an eminence between two mountains, which have the same names as those in Thessaly, Ossa and Olympus. Some say, that there was no such city as Pisa, for it would have been one of the eight, but a fountain only, which is now called Bisa, near Cicysium, the largest of the eight cities. But Stesichorus calls the tract of country named Pisa, a city, as the poet calls Lesbos, a city of Macar; and Euripides in the play of Ion says

“Eubœa is a neighbour city to Athens,”

and so in the play of Rhadamanthus,

“they who occupy the land of Eubœa, an adjoining state;”

thus Sophocles also in the play of the Mysi,

“O stranger, all this country is called Asia,
But the state of the Mysi is called Mysia.”

32. Salmonē is near the fountain of the same name, the source of the Enipeus. It discharges itself into the Alpheius, [and at present it is called Barnichius.95] Tyro, it is said, was enamoured of this river;

“who was enamoured of the river, the divine Enipeus.”96

for there her father Salmoneus was king, as Euripides says in the play of Æolus. [The river in Thessaly some call Eniseus, which, flowing from the Othrys, receives the Apidanus, that descends from the mountain Pharsalus.97] Near Salmonē is Heracleia, which is one of the eight cities, distant about 40 stadia from Olympia on the river Cytherius, where there is a temple of the nymphs, the Ioniades, who are believed to heal diseases by means of the waters of the river.

Near Olympia is Arpīna, which also is one of the eight cities. The river Parthenius runs through it in the direction of the road to Pheræa. Pheræa belongs to Arcadia. [It is situated above Dymæa, Buprasium, and Elis, which lie to the north of the Pisatis.98] There also is Cicysium, one of the eight cities; and Dyspontium, on the road from Elis to Olympia, situated in a plain. But it was razed, and the [Pg 33] greatest part of the inhabitants removed to Epidamnus and Apollonia.

Above and so very near Olympia, is Pholoe, an Arcadian mountain, that the country at its foot belongs to the Pisatis. Indeed the whole of the Pisatis and a great part of Triphylia border upon Arcadia. For this reason, most of the places, which have the name of Pylian in the Catalogue of the Ships, seem to be Arcadian. Persons, however, who are well informed, say, that the river Erymanthus, one of those that empty themselves into the Alpheius, is the boundary of Arcadia, and that the places called Pylian are beyond the Erymanthus.

33. According to Ephorus, “Ætolus, being banished by Salmoneus, king of the Epeii, and the Pisatæ, from Eleia to Ætolia, called the country after his own name, and settled the cities there. His descendant Oxylus was the friend of Temenus, and the Heracleidæ his companions, and was their guide on their journey to Peloponnesus; he divided among them the hostile territory, and suggested instructions relative to the acquisition of the country. In return for these services he was to be requited by the restoration of Elis, which had belonged to his ancestors. He returned with an army collected out of Ætolia, for the purpose of attacking the Epeii, who occupied Elis. On the approach of the Epeii in arms, when the forces were drawn up in array against each other, there advanced in front, and engaged in single combat according to an ancient custom of the Greeks, Pyræchmes, an Ætolian, and Degmenus, an Epeian: the latter was lightly armed with a bow, and thought to vanquish easily from a distance a heavy-armed soldier; the former, when he perceived the stratagem of his adversary, provided himself with a sling, and a scrip filled with stones. The kind of sling also happened to have been lately invented by the Ætolians. As a sling reaches its object at a greater distance than a bow, Degmenus fell; the Ætolians took possession of the country, and ejected the Epeii. They assumed also the superintendence of the temple at Olympia, which the Epeii exercised; and on account of the friendship which subsisted between Oxylus and the Heracleidæ, it was generally agreed upon, and confirmed by an oath, that the Eleian territory was sacred to Jupiter, and that any one who invaded that country with an army, was a sacrilegious person: he also was to be accounted sacrilegious, who did not [Pg 34]
[CAS. 358]
defend it against the invader to the utmost of his power. It was for this reason, that the later founders of the city left it without walls, and those who are passing through the country with an army, deliver up their arms and receive them again upon quitting the borders. Iphitus instituted there the Olympic games, because the Eleians were a sacred people. Hence it was that they increased in numbers, for while other nations were continually engaged in war with each other, they alone enjoyed profound peace, and not themselves only, but strangers also, so that on this account they were a more populous state than all the others.”

Pheidon the Argive was the tenth in descent from Temenus, and the most powerful prince of his age; he was the inventor of the weights and measures called Pheidonian, and stamped money, silver in particular. He recovered the whole inheritance of Temenus, which had been severed into many portions. He attacked also the cities which Hercules had formerly taken, and claimed the privilege of celebrating the games which Hercules had established, and among these the Olympian games. He entered their country by force and celebrated the games, for the Eleians had no army to prevent it, as they were in a state of peace, and the rest were oppressed by his power. The Eleians however did not solemnly inscribe in their records this celebration of the games, but on this occasion procured arms, and began to defend themselves. The Lacedæmonians also afforded assistance, either because they were jealous of the prosperity, which was the effect of the peaceful state of the Eleians, or because they supposed that they should have the aid of the Eleians in destroying the power of Pheidon, who had deprived them of the sovereignty ἡγεμονίαν of Peloponnesus, which they before possessed. They succeeded in their joint attempt to overthrow Pheidon, and the Eleians with this assistance obtained possession of Pisatis and Triphylia.

The whole of the coasting voyage along the present Eleian territory comprises, with the exception of the bays, 1200 stadia.

So much then respecting the Eleian territory.

[Pg 35]


1. Messenia is continuous with the Eleian territory, inclining for the most part towards the south, and the Libyan Sea. Being part of Laconia, it was subject in the Trojan times to Menelaus. The name of the country was Messene. But the present city called Messene, the acropolis of which was Ithome, was not then founded. After the death of Menelaus, when the power of those who succeeded to the possession of Laconia was altogether weakened, the Neleidæ governed Messenia. At the time of the return of the Heracleidæ, and according to the partition of the country at that time, Melanthus was king of the Messenians, who were a separate community, but formerly subject to Menelaus. As a proof of this, in the space from the Messenian Gulf and the continuous gulf, (called the Asinæan from the Messenian Asine,) were situated the seven cities which Agamemnon promised to Achilles;

“Cardamyle, Enope, the grassy Hira, the divine Pheræ,99 Antheia with rich meadows, the beautiful Æpeia, and Pedasus abounding with vines.”100

He certainly would not have promised what did not belong either to himself or to his brother. The poet mentions those, who accompanied Menelaus from Pheræ to the war,101 and speaks of (Œtylus) in the Laconian catalogue, a city situated on the Gulf of Messenia.

Messene follows next to Triphylia. The promontory, after which are the Coryphasium and Cyparissia, is common to both. At the distance of 7 stadia is a mountain, the Ægaleum, situated above Coryphasium and the sea.

2. The ancient Messenian Pylus was a city lying below the Ægaleum, and after it was razed, some of the inhabitants settled under the Coryphasium. But the Athenians in their second expedition against Sicily, under the command of Eurymedon and Stratocles, got possession of it, and used it as a stronghold against the Lacedæmonians.102 Here also is the Messenian Cyparissia, (and the island Prote,) lying close [Pg 36]
[CAS. 359]
to Pylus, the island Sphagia, called also Sphacteria. It was here that the Lacedæmonians lost three hundred men,103 who were besieged by the Athenians and taken prisoners.

Two islands, called Strophades,104 belonging to the Cyparissii, lie off at sea in front of this coast, at the distance of about 400 stadia from the continent, in the Libyan and southern sea. According to Thucydides this Pylus was the naval station of the Messenians. It is distant from Sparta 400 stadia.

3. Next is Methone.105 This city, called by the poet Pedasus, was one of the seven, it is said, which Agamemnon promised to Achilles. There Agrippa killed, in the Actian war, Bogus, the king of the Maurusii, a partisan of Antony’s, having got possession of the place by an attack by sea.

4. Continuous with Methone is Acritas,106 where the Messenian Gulf begins, which they call also Asinæus from Asine, a small city, the first we meet with on the gulf, and having the same name as the Hermionic Asine.

This is the commencement of the gulf towards the west. Towards the east are the Thyrides,107 as they are called, bordering upon the present Laconia near Cænepolis,108 and Tænarum.

In the intervening distance, if we begin from the Thyrides, we meet with Œtylus,109 by some called Beitylus; then Leuctrum, a colony of the Leuctri in Bœotia; next, situated upon a steep rock, Cardamyle;110 then Pheræ, bordering upon Thuria, and Gerenia, from which place they say Nestor had the epithet Gerenian, because he escaped thither, as we have mentioned before. They show in the Gerenian territory a temple of Æsculapius Triccæus, copied from that at the Thessalian Tricca. Pelops is said to have founded Leuctrum, and Charadra, and Thalami, now called the Bœotian Thalami, having brought with him, when he married his sister Niobe to Amphion, some colonists from Bœotia.

[Pg 37]

The Nedon, a different river from the Neda, flows through Laconia, and discharges its waters near Pheræ. It has upon its banks a remarkable temple of the Nedusian Minerva. At Pœaessa also there is a temple of the Nedusian Minerva, which derives its name from a place called Nedon,111 whence, they say, Teleclus colonized Pœaessa,112 and Echeiæ, and Tragium.

5. With respect to the seven cities promised to Achilles, we have already spoken of Cardamyle, and Pheræ, and Pedasus. Enope, some say is Pellana; others, some place near Cardamyle; others, Gerenia.113 Hira is pointed out near a mountain in the neighbourhood of Megalopolis114 in Arcadia, on the road to Andania, which we have said is called by the poet Œchalia. Others say that the present Mesola was called Hira, which extends to the bay situated between Taÿgetum and Messenia. Æpeia is now called Thuria, which we said bordered upon Pheræ. It is situated upon a lofty hill, whence its name.115 The Thuriatic Gulf has its name from Thuria; upon the gulf is a single city, named Rhium, opposite Tænarum. Some say that Antheia is Thuria, and Æpeia Methone; others, that Antheia is Asine, situated between Methone and Thuria, to which, of all the Messenian cities, the description, “with its rich pastures,” is most appropriate. Near it on the sea is Corone. There are some writers who say that this town is called Pedasus by the poet. These cities are “all near the sea;” Cardamyle close to it; Pheræ at the distance of 5 stadia, having an anchorage, which is used in the summer. The rest are situated at unequal distances from the sea.

6. Near Corone, about the middle of the gulf, the river Pamisus116 discharges itself, having, on the right hand, this city, and the rest in succession, the last of which, towards the west, are Pylus and Cyparissia, and between these is Erana, which some writers erroneously suppose to be the ancient [Pg 38]
[CAS. 361]
Arene; on the left hand it has Thyria and Pheræ. It is the largest (in width) of the rivers within the isthmus, although its course from its springs does not exceed 100 stadia in length; it has an abundant supply of water, and traverses the Messenian plain, and the district called Macaria.117 It is distant from the present city of the Messenians 50 stadia.118 There is also another Pamisus, a small torrent stream, running near Leuctrum of Laconia, which was a subject of dispute between the Messenians and Lacedæmonians in the time of Philip.

I have before said that some persons called the Pamisus, Amathus.119

7. Ephorus relates that Cresphontes, after he had taken Messene, divided it into five cities, and chose Stenyclarus, situated in the middle of this district, to be the royal seat of his kingdom. To the other cities, Pylus, Rhium, (Mesola,) and Hyameitis, he appointed kings, and put all the Messenians on an equal footing with the Dorians as to rights and privileges. The Dorians, however, taking offence, he changed his intention, and determined that Stenyclarus alone should have the rank of a city, and here he assembled all the Dorians.

8. The city of the Messenians120 resembles Corinth, for above each city is a lofty and precipitous mountain, enclosed by a common wall in such a manner as to be used as an acropolis; the Messenian mountain is Ithome,121 that near Corinth is Acrocorinthus. Demetrius of Pharos seemed to have counselled Philip the son of Demetrius well, when he advised him to make himself master of both cities, if he desired to get possession of Peloponnesus; “for,” said he, “when you have seized both horns, the cow will be your own;” meaning, by the horns, Ithome and Acrocorinthus, and, by the cow, Peloponnesus. It was no doubt their convenient situation which made these cities subjects of contention. The Romans therefore razed Corinth, and again rebuilt it. The Lacedæmonians [Pg 39] destroyed Messene, and the Thebans, and subsequently Philip, the son of Amyntas, restored it. The citadels however continued unoccupied.

9. The temple of Diana in Limnæ (in the Marshes), where the Messenians are supposed to have violated the virgins who came there to offer sacrifice, is on the confines of Laconia and Messenia, where the inhabitants of both countries usually celebrated a common festival, and performed sacrifices; but after the violation of the virgins, the Messenians did not make any reparation, and war, it is said, ensued. The Limnæan temple of Diana at Sparta is said to have its name from the Limnæ here.

10. There were frequent wars (between the Lacedæmonians and Messenians) on account of the revolts of the Messenians. Tyrtæus mentions, in his poems, that their first subjugation was in the time of their grandfathers;122 the second, when in conjunction with their allies the Eleians [Arcadians], Argives, and Pisatæ, they revolted; the leader of the Arcadians was Aristocrates, king of Orchomenus, and of the Pisatæ, Pantaleon, son of Omphalion. In this war, Tyrtæus says, he himself commanded the Lacedæmonian army, for in his elegiac poem, entitled Eunomia, he says he came from Erineum;

“for Jupiter himself, the son of Saturn, and husband of Juno with the beautiful crown, gave this city to the Heracleidæ, with whom we left the windy Erineum, and arrived at the spacious island of Pelops.”

Wherefore we must either invalidate the authority of the elegiac verses, or we must disbelieve Philochorus, and Callisthenes, and many other writers, who say that he came from Athens, or Aphidnæ, at the request of the Lacedæmonians, whom an oracle had enjoined to receive a commander from the Athenians.

The second war then occurred in the time of Tyrtæus. But they mention a third, and even a fourth war, in which the Messenians were destroyed.123

[Pg 40]
[CAS. 362]

The whole voyage along the Messenian coast comprises about 800 stadia, including the measurement of the bays.

11. I have exceeded the limits of moderation in this description, by attending to the multitude of facts which are related of a country, the greatest part of which is deserted. Even Laconia itself is deficient in population, if we compare its present state with its ancient populousness. For, with the exception of Sparta, the remaining small cities are about thirty; but, anciently, Laconia had the name of Hecatompolis, and that for this reason hecatombs were annually sacrificed.


1. Next after the Messenian is the Laconian Gulf, situated between Tænarum and Maleæ, declining a little from the south to the east. Thyrides, a precipitous rock, beaten by the waves, is in the Messenian Gulf, and distant from Tænarum 100 stadia. Above is Taÿgetum, a lofty and perpendicular mountain, at a short distance from the sea, approaching on the northern side close to the Arcadian mountains, so as to leave between them a valley, where Messenia is continuous with Laconia.

At the foot of Taÿgetum, in the inland parts, lie Sparta and Amyclæ,124 where is the temple of Apollo, and Pharis. The site of Sparta is in rather a hollow, although it comprises mountains within it; no part of it, however, is marshy, although, anciently, the suburbs were so, which were called Limnæ. The temple of Bacchus, also in Limnæ, was in a wet situation, but now stands on a dry ground.

In the bay on the coast is Tænarum, a promontory projecting into the sea.125 Upon it, in a grove, is the temple of Neptune, and near the temple a cave, through which, according to the fable, Cerberus was brought up by Hercules from [Pg 41] Hades. Thence to the promontory Phycus in Cyrenaica, is a passage across towards the south of 3000 stadia; and to Pachynus, towards the west, the promontory of Sicily, 4600, or, according to some writers, 4000 stadia; to Maleæ, towards the east, including the measurement of the bays, 670 stadia; to Onugnathus,126 a low peninsula a little within Maleæ, 520 stadia. (In front of Onugnathus, at the distance of 40 stadia, lies Cythera,127 an island with a good harbour, and a city of the same name, which was the private property of Eurycles, the commander of the Lacedæmonians in our time. It is surrounded by several small islands, some near it, others lying somewhat farther off.) To Corycus, a promontory of Crete, the nearest passage by sea is 250 stadia.128

2. Next to Tænarum on the voyage to Onugnathus and to Maleæ129 is Amathus, (Psamathus,) a city; then follow Asine, and Gythium,130 the naval arsenal of Sparta, situated at an interval of 240 stadia. Its station for vessels, they say, is excavated by art. Farther on, between Gythium and Acræa, is the mouth of the Eurotas.131 To this place the voyage along the coast is about 240 stadia; then succeeds a marshy tract, and a village, Helos, which formerly was a city, according to Homer;

“They who occupied Amyclæ, and Helos, a small town on the sea-coast.”132

They say that it was founded by Helius the son of Perseus. There is a plain also call Leuce; then Cyparissia,133 a city upon a peninsula, with a harbour; then Onugnathus with a harbour; next Bœa, a city; then Maleæ. From these cities to Onugnathus are 150 stadia. There is also Asopus,134 a city in Laconia.

3. Among the places enumerated by Homer in the Catalogue of the Ships, Messa, they say, is no longer to be found; and that Messoa is not a part of Laconia, but a part of Sparta itself, as was the Limnæum near Thornax. Some understand [Pg 42]
[CAS. 364]
Messē to be a contraction of Messene, for it is said that this was a part of Laconia. [They allege as examples from the poet, the words “cri,” and “do,” and “maps,”135 and this passage also;

“The horses were yoked by Automedon and Alcimus,”136

instead of Alcimedon. And the words of Hesiod, who uses βρῖ for βριθὺ and βριαρὸν; and Sophocles and Io, who have ῥᾳ for ῥᾴδιον; and Epicharmus, λῖ for λίαν, and Συρακὼ for Συράκουσαι; Empedocles also has ὂψ for ὄψις (μία γίγνεται ἀμφοτέρων ὄψ or ὄψις); and Antimachus, Δήμητρός τοι Ἐλευσινίης ἱερὴ ὄψ, and ἄλφι for ἄλφιτον; Euphorion has ἧλ for ἧλος; Philetes has δμωίδες εἰς ταλάρους λευκὸν ἄγουσιν ἔρι for ἔριον; Aratus, εἰς ἄνεμον δὲ τὰ πηδά for τὰ πηδάλια; Simmias, Dodo for Dodona.]137

Of the rest of the places mentioned by the poet, some are extinct; of others traces remain, and of others the names are changed, as Augeiæ into Ægææ: [the city] of that name in Locris exists no longer. With respect to Las, the Dioscuri are said to have taken it by siege formerly, whence they had the name of Lapersæ, (Destroyers of Las,) and Sophocles says somewhere, “by the two Lapersæ, by Eurotas, by the gods in Argos and Sparta.”

4. Ephorus says that the Heracleidæ, Eurysthenes and Procles, having obtained possession of Laconia, divided it into six parts, and founded cities throughout the country, and assigned Amyclæ to him who betrayed to them Laconia, and who prevailed upon the person that occupied it to retire, on certain conditions, with the Achæi, into Ionia. Sparta they retained themselves as the royal seat of the kingdom. To the other cities they sent kings, permitting them to receive whatever strangers might be disposed to settle there, on account of the scarcity of inhabitants. Las was used as a naval station, because it had a convenient harbour; Ægys, as a stronghold, from whence to attack surrounding enemies; Pheræa, as a place to deposit treasure, because it afforded security from138 attempts from without. * * * * that all the neighbouring people submitted to the Spartiatæ, but were to enjoy an equality of rights, and to have a share in the government and [Pg 43] in the offices of state. They were called Heilotæ. But Agis, the son of Eurysthenes, deprived them of the equality of rights, and ordered them to pay tribute to Sparta. The rest submitted; but the Heleii, who occupied Helos, revolted, and were made prisoners in the course of the war; they were adjudged to be slaves, with the conditions, that the owner should not be allowed to give them their liberty, nor sell them beyond the boundaries of the country. This was called the war of the Heilotæ.139 The system of Heilote-slavery, which continued from that time to the establishment of the dominion of the Romans, was almost entirely the contrivance of Agis. They were a kind of public slaves, to whom the Lacedæmonians assigned habitations, and required from them peculiar services.

5. With respect to the government of the Lacones, and the changes which have taken place among them, many things, as being well known, may be passed over, but some it may be worth while to relate. It is said that the Achæan Phthiotæ, who, with Pelops, made an irruption into Peloponnesus, settled in Laconia, and were so much distinguished for their valour, that Peloponnesus, which for a long period up to this time had the name of Argos, was then called Achæan Argos; and not Peloponnesus alone had this name, but Laconia also was thus peculiarly designated. Some even understand the words of the poet,

“Where was Menelaus, was he not at Achæan Argos?”140

as implying, was he not in Laconia? But about the time of the return of the Heracleidæ, when Philonomus betrayed the country to the Dorians, they removed from Laconia to the country of the Ionians, which at present is called Achaia. We shall speak of them in our description of Achaia.

Those who were in possession of Laconia, at first conducted themselves with moderation, but after they had intrusted to Lycurgus the formation of a political constitution, they acquired such a superiority over the other Greeks, that they alone obtained the sovereignty both by sea and land, and continued to be the chiefs of the Greeks, till the Thebans, and soon afterwards the Macedonians, deprived them of this ascendency.

[Pg 44]
[CAS. 365]

They did not however entirely submit even to these, but, preserving their independence, were continually disputing the sovereignty both with the other Greeks and with the Macedonian kings. After the overthrow of the latter by the Romans, the Lacones living under a bad government at that time, and under the power of tyrants, had given some slight offence to the generals whom the Romans sent into the province. They however recovered themselves, and were held in very great honour. They remained free, and performed no other services but those expected from allies. Lately however Eurycles141 excited some disturbances amongst them, having abused excessively, in the exercise of his authority, the friendship of Cæsar. The government soon came to an end by the death of Eurycles, and the son rejected all such friendships. The Eleuthero-Lacones142 however did obtain some regular form of government, when the surrounding people, and especially the Heilotæ, at the time that Sparta was governed by tyrants, were the first to attach themselves to the Romans.

Hellanicus says that Eurysthenes and Procles regulated the form of government, but Ephorus reproaches him with not mentioning Lycurgus at all, and with ascribing the acts of the latter to persons who had no concern in them; to Lycurgus only is a temple erected, and sacrifices are annually performed in his honour, but to Eurysthenes and Procles, although they were the founders of Sparta, yet not even these honours were paid to them, that their descendants should bear the respective appellations of Eurysthenidæ and Procleidæ.143 [The descendants of Agis, however, the son of Eurysthenes, were called Agides, and the descendants of Eurypon, the son of Procles, were called Eurypontiadæ. The former were legitimate princes; the others, having admitted strangers as settlers, reigned by their means; whence they were not regarded as original authors of the settlement, an honour usually conferred upon all founders of cities.]

[Pg 45]

6. As to the nature of the places in Laconia and Messenia, we may take the description of Euripides;144

“Laconia has much land capable of tillage, but difficult to be worked, for it is hollow, surrounded by mountains, rugged, and difficult of access to an enemy.”

Messenia he describes in this manner:

“It bears excellent fruit; is watered by innumerable streams; it affords the finest pasture to herds and flocks; it is not subject to the blasts of winter, nor too much heated by the coursers of the sun;”

and a little farther on, speaking of the division of the country by the Heracleidæ according to lot, the first was

“lord of the Lacænian land, a bad soil,”

the second was Messene,

“whose excellence no language could express;”

and Tyrtæus speaks of it in the same manner.

But we cannot admit that Laconia and Messenia are bounded, as Euripides says,

“by the Pamisus,145 which empties itself into the sea;”

this river flows through the middle of Messenia, and does not touch any part of the present Laconia. Nor is he right, when he says that Messenia is inaccessible to sailors, whereas it borders upon the sea, in the same manner as Laconia.

Nor does he give the right boundaries of Elis;

“after passing the river is Elis, the neighbour of Jove;”

and he adduces a proof unnecessarily. For if he means the present Eleian territory, which is on the confines of Messenia, this the Pamisus does not touch, any more than it touches Laconia, for, as has been said before, it flows through the middle of Messenia: or, if he meant the ancient Eleia, called the Hollow, this is a still greater deviation from the truth. For after crossing the Pamisus, there is a large tract of the Messenian country, then the whole district of [the Lepreatæ], and of the [Macistii], which is called Triphylia; then the Pisatis, and Olympia; then at the distance of 300 stadia is Elis.

7. As some persons write the epithet applied by Homer to Lacedæmon, κητώεσσαν, and others καιετάεσσαν, how are we to understand κητώεσσα, whether it is derived from Cetos,146 or [Pg 46]
[CAS. 367]
whether it denotes “large,” which is most probable. Some understand καιετάεσσα to signify, “abounding with calaminthus;” others suppose, as the fissures occasioned by earthquakes are called Cæeti, that this is the origin of the epithet. Hence Cæietas also, the name of the prison among the Lacedæmonians, which is a sort of cave. Some however say, that such kind of hollows are rather called Coi, whence the expression of Homer,147 applied to wild beasts, φηρσὶν ὀρεσκῴοισιν, which live in mountain caves. Laconia however is subject to earthquakes, and some writers relate, that certain peaks of Taÿgetum have been broken off by the shocks.148

Laconia contains also quarries of valuable marble. Those of the Tænarian marble in Tænarum149 are ancient, and certain persons, assisted by the wealth of the Romans, lately opened a large quarry in Taÿgetum.

8. It appears from Homer, that both the country and the city had the name of Lacedæmon; I mean the country together with Messenia. When he speaks of the bow and quiver of Ulysses, he says,

“A present from Iphitus Eurytides, a stranger, who met him in Lacedæmon,”150

and adds,

“They met at Messene in the house of Ortilochus.”

He means the country which was a part of Messenia.151 There was then no difference whether he said “A stranger, whom he met at Lacedæmon, gave him,” or, “they met at Messene;” for it is evident that Pheræ was the home of Ortilochus:

“they arrived at Pheræ, and went to the house of Diocles the son of Ortilochus,”152

namely, Telemachus and Pisistratus. Now Pheræ153 belongs to Messenia. But after saying, that Telemachus and his friend set out from Pheræ, and were driving their two horses the whole day, he adds,

[Pg 47]
[CAS. 368]

“The sun was setting; they came to the hollow Lacedæmon (κητώεσσαν), and drove their chariot to the palace of Menelaus.”154

Here we must understand the city; and if we do not, the poet says, that they journeyed from Lacedæmon to Lacedæmon. It is not otherwise improbable that the palace of Menelaus should not be at Sparta; and if it was not there, that Telemachus should say,

“for I am going to Sparta, and to Pylus,”155

for this seems to agree with the epithets applied to the country,156 unless indeed any one should allow this to be a poetical licence; for, if Messenia was a part of Laconia, it would be a contradiction that Messene should not be placed together with Laconia, or with Pylus, (which was under the command of Nestor,) nor by itself in the Catalogue of Ships, as though it had no part in the expedition.


1. After Maleæ follow the Argolic and Hermionic Gulfs; the former extends as far as Scyllæum,157 it looks to the east, and towards the Cyclades;158 the latter lies still more towards the east than the former, reaching Ægina and the Epidaurian territory.159 The Laconians occupy the first part of the Argolic Gulf, and the Argives the rest. Among the places occupied by the Laconians are Delium,160 a temple of Apollo, of [Pg 48]
[CAS. 368]
the same name as that in Bœotia; Minoa, a fortress of the same name as that in Megara; and according to Artemidorus, Epidaurus Limera;161 Apollodorus, however, places it near Cythera,162 and having a convenient harbour, (λιμὴν, limen,) it was called Limenera, which was altered by contraction to Limera. A great part of the coast of Laconia, beginning immediately from Maleæ, is rugged. It has however shelters for vessels, and harbours. The remainder of the coast has good ports; there are also many small islands, not worthy of mention, lying in front of it.

2. To the Argives belong Prasiæ,163 and Temenium164 where Temenus lies buried. Before coming to Temenium is the district through which the river Lerna flows, that having the same name as the lake, where is laid the scene of the fable of the Hydra. The Temenium is distant from Argos 26 stadia from the sea-coast; from Argos to Heræum are 40, and thence to Mycenæ 10 stadia.

Next to Temenium is Nauplia, the naval station of the Argives. Its name is derived from its being accessible to ships. Here they say the fiction of the moderns originated respecting Nauplius and his sons, for Homer would not have omitted to mention them, if Palamedes displayed so much wisdom and intelligence, and was unjustly put to death; and if Nauplius had destroyed so many people at Caphareus.165 But the genealogy offends both against the mythology, and against chronology. For if we allow that he was the son of Neptune,166 how could he be the son of Amymone, and be still living in the Trojan times.

Next to Nauplia are caves, and labyrinths constructed in them, which caves they call Cyclopeia.

[Pg 49]

3. Then follow other places, and after these the Hermionic Gulf. Since the poet places this gulf in the Argive territory, we must not overlook this division of the circumference of this country. It begins from the small city Asine;167 then follow Hermione,168 and Trœzen.169 In the voyage along the coast the island Calauria170 lies opposite; it has a compass of 30 stadia, and is separated from the continent by a strait of 4 stadia.

4. Then follows the Saronic Gulf; some call it a Pontus or sea, others a Porus or passage, whence it is also termed the Saronic pelagos or deep. The whole of the passage, or Porus, extending from the Hermionic Sea, and the sea about the Isthmus (of Corinth) to the Myrtoan and Cretan Seas, has this name.

To the Saronic Gulf belong Epidaurus,171 and the island in front of it, Ægina; then Cenchreæ, the naval station of the Corinthians towards the eastern parts; then Schœnus,172 a harbour at the distance of 45 stadia by sea; from Maleæ the whole number of stadia is about 1800.

At Schœnus is the Diolcus, or place where they draw the vessels across the Isthmus: it is the narrowest part of it. Near Schœnus is the temple of the Isthmian Neptune. At present, however, I shall not proceed with the description of these places, for they are not situated within the Argive territory, but resume the account of those which it contains.

5. And first, we may observe how frequently Argos is mentioned by the poet, both by itself and with the epithet designating it as Achæan Argos, Argos Jasum, Argos Hippium, or Hippoboton, or Pelasgicum. The city, too, is called Argos,

“Argos and Sparta”—173

those who occupied Argos

“and Tiryns;”174

and Peloponnesus is called Argos,

“at our house in Argos,”175

for the city could not be called his house; and he calls the whole of Greece, Argos, for he calls all Argives, as he calls them Danai, and Achæans.

[Pg 50]
[CAS. 369]

He distinguishes the identity of name by epithets; he calls Thessaly, Pelasgic Argos;

“all who dwelt in Pelasgic Argos;”176

and the Peloponnesus, the Achæan Argos;

“if we should return to Achæan Argos;”177
“was he not at Achæan Argos?”178

intimating in these lines that the Peloponnesians were called peculiarly Achæans according to another designation.

He calls also the Peloponnesus, Argos Jasum;

“if all the Achæans throughout Argos Jasum should see you,”179

meaning Penelope, she then would have a greater number of suitors; for it is not probable that he means those from the whole of Greece, but those from the neighbourhood of Ithaca. He applies also to Argos terms common to other places,

“pasturing horses,” and “abounding with horses.”

6. There is a controversy about the names Hellas and Hellenes. Thucydides180 says that Homer nowhere mentions Barbarians, because the Greeks were not distinguished by any single name, which expressed its opposite. Apollodorus also says, that the inhabitants of Thessaly alone were called Hellenes, and alleges this verse of the poet,

“they were called Myrmidones, and Hellenes;”181

but Hesiod, and Archilochus, in their time knew that they were all called Hellenes, and Panhellenes: the former calls them by this name in speaking of the Prœtides, and says that Panhellenes were their suitors; the latter, where he says

“that the calamities of the Panhellenes centred in Thasus.”

But others oppose to this, that Homer does mention Barbarians, when he says of the Carians, that they spoke a barbarous language, and that all the Hellenes were comprised in the term Hellas;

“of the man, whose fame spread throughout Hellas and Argos.”182

And again,

“but if you wish to turn aside and pass through Greece and the midst of Argos.”183

[Pg 51]

7. The greater part of the city of the Argives is situated in a plain. It has a citadel called Larisa, a hill moderately fortified, and upon it a temple of Jupiter. Near it flows the Inachus, a torrent river; its source is in Lyrceium [the Arcadian mountain near Cynuria]. We have said before that the fabulous stories about its sources are the inventions of poets; it is a fiction also that Argos is without water—

“but the gods made Argos a land without water.”

Now the ground consists of hollows, it is intersected by rivers, and is full of marshes and lakes; the city also has a copious supply of water from many wells, which rises near the surface.

They attribute the mistake to this verse,

“and I shall return disgraced to Argos (πολυδίψιον) the very thirsty.”184

This word is used for πολυπόθητον, or

“much longed after,”

or without the δ for πολυίψιον, equivalent to the expression πολύφθορον in Sophocles,

“this house of the Pelopidæ abounding in slaughter,”185

[for προϊάψαι and ἰάψαι and ἴψασθαι, denote some injury or destruction;

“at present he is making the attempt, and he will soon destroy (ἴψεται) the sons of the Achæi;”186

and again, lest

“she should injure (ἰάψῃ) her beautiful skin;”187


“has prematurely sent down, προΐαψεν, to Ades.”188]189

Besides, he does not mean the city Argos, for it was not thither that he was about to return, but he meant Peloponnesus, which, certainly, is not a thirsty land.

With respect to the letter δ, they introduce the conjunction by the figure hyperbaton, and make an elision of the vowel, so that the verse would run thus,

Καί κεν ἐλέγχιστος πολὺ δ’ ἴψιον Ἄργος ἱκοίμην,

that is, πολυίψιον Ἄργοσδε ἱκοίμην, instead of, εἰς Ἄργος.

8. The Inachus190 is one of the rivers, which flows through the Argive territory; there is also another in Argia, the [Pg 52]
[CAS. 371]
Erasīnus. It has its source in Stymphalus in Arcadia, and in the lake there called Stymphalis, where the scene is laid of the fable of the birds called Stymphalides, which Hercules drove away by wounding them with arrows, and by the noise of drums. It is said that this river passes under-ground, and issues forth in the Argian territory, and waters the plain. The Erasīnus is also called Arsīnus.

Another river of the same name flows out of Arcadia to the coast near Buras. There is another Erasinus also in Eretria, and one in Attica near Brauron.

Near Lerna a fountain is shown, called Amymone. The lake Lerna, the haunt of the Hydra, according to the fable, belongs to the Argive and Messenian districts. The expiatory purifications performed at this place by persons guilty of crimes gave rise to the proverb, “A Lerna of evils.”

It is allowed that, although the city itself lies in a spot where there are no running streams of water, there is an abundance of wells, which are attributed to the Danaïdes as their invention; hence the line,

“the Danaïdes made waterless Argos, Argos the watered.”

Four of the wells are esteemed sacred, and held in peculiar veneration. Hence they occasioned a want of water, while they supplied it abundantly.

9. Danaus is said to have built the citadel of the Argives. He seems to have possessed so much more power than the former rulers of the country, that, according to Euripides,

“he made a law that those who were formerly called Pelasgiotæ, should be called Danai throughout Greece.”

His tomb, called Palinthus, is in the middle of the market-place of the Argives. I suppose that the celebrity of this city was the reason of all the Greeks having the name of Pelasgiotæ, and Danai, as well as Argives.

Modern writers speak of Iasidæ, and Argos Iasum, and Apia, and Apidones. Homer does not mention Apidones, and uses the word apia only to express distance. That he means Peloponnesus by Argos we may conclude from these lines,

“Argive Helen;”191


“in the farthest part of Argos is a city Ephyra;”192

[Pg 53]


“the middle of Argos;”193


“to rule over many islands, and the whole of Argos.”194

Argos, among modern writers, denotes a plain, but not once in Homer. It seems rather a Macedonian and Thessalian use of the word.

10. After the descendants of Danaus had succeeded to the sovereignty at Argos, and the Amythaonidæ, who came from Pisatis and Triphylia, were intermixed with them by marriages, it is not surprising that, being allied to one another, they at first divided the country into two kingdoms, in such a manner that the two cities, the intended capitals, Argos and Mycenæ, were not distant from each other more than 50 stadia, and that the Heræum at Mycenæ should be a temple common to both. In this temple were the statues the workmanship of Polycletus. In display of art they surpassed all others, but in magnitude and cost they were inferior to those of Pheidias.

At first Argos was the most powerful of the two cities. Afterwards Mycenæ received a great increase of inhabitants in consequence of the migration thither of the Pelopidæ. For when everything had fallen under the power of the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon, the elder, assumed the sovereign authority, and by good fortune and valour annexed to his possessions a large tract of country. He also added the Laconian to the Mycenæan district.195 Menelaus had Laconia, and Agamemnon Mycenæ, and the country as far as Corinth, and Sicyon, and the territory which was then said to be the country of Iones and Ægialians, and afterwards of Achæi.

After the Trojan war, when the dominion of Agamemnon was at an end, the declension of Mycenæ ensued, and particularly after the return of the Heracleidæ.196 For when these people got possession of Peloponnesus, they expelled its former masters, so that they who had Argos possessed Mycenæ likewise, as composing one body. In subsequent times Mycenæ was razed by the Argives, so that at present not even a trace is to be discovered of the city of the Mycenæans.197

[Pg 54]
[CAS. 372]

If Mycenæ experienced this fate, it is not surprising that some of the cities mentioned in the Catalogue of the Ships, and said to be subject to Argos, have disappeared. These are the words of the Catalogue:

“They who occupied Argos, and Tiryns, with strong walls, and Hermione, and Asine situated on a deep bay, and Eïones, and Epidaurus with its vines, and the valiant Achæan youths who occupied Ægina, and Mases.”198

Among these we have already spoken of Argos; we must now speak of the rest.

11. Prœtus seems to have used Tiryns as a stronghold, and to have fortified it by means of the Cyclopes. There were seven of them, and were called Gasterocheires,199 because they subsisted by their art. They were sent for and came from Lycia. Perhaps the caverns about Nauplia, and the works there, have their name from these people. The citadel Licymna has its name from Licymnius. It is distant from Nauplia about 12 stadia. This place is deserted, as well as the neighbouring Midéa, which is different from the Bœotian Mídea, for that is accentuated Mídea, like πρόνοια, but this is accentuated Midéa, like Tegéa.

Prosymna borders upon Midéa; it has also a temple of Juno. The Argives have depopulated most of these for their refusal to submit to their authority. Of the inhabitants some went from Tiryns to Epidaurus; others from Hermione to the Halieis (the Fishermen), as they are called; others were transferred by the Lacedæmonians to Messenia from Asine, (which is itself a village in the Argive territory near Nauplia,) and they built a small city of the same name as the Argolic Asine. For the Lacedæmonians, according to Theopompus, got possession of a large tract of country belonging to other nations, and settled there whatever fugitives they had received, who had taken refuge among them; and it was to this country the Nauplians had retreated.

12. Hermione is one of the cities, not undistinguished. The coast is occupied by Halieis, as they are called, a tribe who subsist by being employed on the sea in fishing. There is a general opinion among the Hermionenses that there is a short descent from their country to Hades, and hence they do not place in the mouths of the dead the fare for crossing the Styx.

[Pg 55]

13. It is said that Asine as well as Hermione was inhabited by Dryopes; either Dryops the Arcadian having transferred them thither from the places near the Spercheius, according to Aristotle; or, Hercules expelled them from Doris near Parnassus.

Scyllæum near Hermione has its name, it is said, from Scylla, daughter of Nisus. According to report, she was enamoured of Minos, and betrayed to him Nisæa. She was drowned by order of her father, and her body was thrown upon the shore, and buried here.

Eïones was a kind of village which the Mycenæi depopulated, and converted into a station for vessels. It was afterwards destroyed, and is no longer a naval station.

14. Trœzen is sacred to Neptune,200 from whom it was formerly called Poseidonia. It is situated 15 stadia from the sea. Nor is this an obscure city. In front of its harbour, called Pogon,201 lies Calauria, a small island, of about 30 stadia in compass. Here was a temple of Neptune, which served as an asylum for fugitives. It is said that this god exchanged Delos for Calauria with Latona, and Tænarum for Pytho with Apollo. Ephorus mentions the oracle respecting it:

“It is the same thing to possess Delos, or Calauria,
The divine Pytho, or the windy Tænarum.”

There was a sort of Amphictyonic body to whom the concerns of this temple belonged, consisting of seven cities, which performed sacrifices in common. These were Hermon, Epidaurus, Ægina, Athenæ, Prasiæ, Nauplia, and Orchomenus Minyeius. The Argives contributed in behalf of Nauplia, and the Lacedæmonians in behalf of Prasiæ. The veneration for this god prevailed so strongly among the Greeks, that the Macedonians, even when masters of the country, nevertheless preserved even to the present time the privilege of the asylum, and were restrained by shame from dragging away the suppliants who took refuge at Calauria. Archias even, with a body of soldiers, did not dare to use force to Demosthenes, [Pg 56]
[CAS. 372]
although he had received orders from Antipater to bring him alive, and all other orators he could find, who were accused of the same crimes. He attempted persuasion, but in vain, for Demosthenes deprived himself of life by taking poison in the temple.202

Trœzen and Pittheus, the sons of Pelops, having set out from Pisatis to Argos, the former left behind him a city of his own name; Pittheus succeeded him, and became king. Anthes, who occupied the territory before, set sail, and founded Halicarnassus. We shall speak of him in our account of Caria and the Troad.

15. Epidaurus was called Epitaurus [Epicarus?]. Aristotle says, that Carians occupied both this place and Hermione, but upon the return of the Heracleidæ those Ionians, who had accompanied them from the Athenian Tetrapolis to Argos, settled there together with the Carians.

Epidaurus203 was a distinguished city, remarkable particularly on account of the fame of Æsculapius, who was supposed to cure every kind of disease, and whose temple is crowded constantly with sick persons, and its walls covered with votive tablets, which are hung upon the walls, and contain accounts of the cures, in the same manner as is practised at Cos, and at Tricca. The city lies in the recess of the Saronic Gulf, with a coasting navigation of 15 stadia, and its aspect is towards the point of summer sunrise. It is surrounded with lofty mountains, which extend to the coast, so that it is strongly fortified by nature on all sides.

Between Trœzen and Epidaurus, there was a fortress Methana,204 and a peninsula of the same name. In some copies of Thucydides Methone is the common reading,205 a place of the same name with the Macedonian city, at the siege of which Philip lost an eye. Hence Demetrius of Scepsis is of opinion, that some persons were led into error by the name, and supposed that it was Methone near Trœzen. It was against this town, it is said, that the persons sent by Agamemnon to levy sailors, uttered the imprecation, that

“they might never cease to build walls,”

[Pg 57]

but it was not these people; but the Macedonians, according to Theopompus, who refused the levy of men; besides it is not probable that those, who were in the neighbourhood of Agamemnon, would disobey his orders.

16. Ægina is a place in the territory of Epidaurus. There is in front of this continent, an island, of which the poet means to speak in the lines before cited. Wherefore some write,

“and the island Ægina,”

instead of

“and they who occupied Ægina,”

making a distinction between the places of the same name.

It is unnecessary to remark, that this island is among the most celebrated. It was the country of Æacus and his descendants. It was this island which once possessed so much power at sea, and formerly disputed the superiority with the Athenians in the sea-fight at Salamis during the Persian war.206 The circuit of the island is said to be about 180 stadia. It has a city of the same name on the south-west. Around it are Attica, and Megara, and the parts of Peloponnesus as far as Epidaurus. It is distant from each about 100 stadia. The eastern and southern sides are washed by the Myrtoan and Cretan seas. Many small islands surround it on the side towards the continent, but Belbina is situated on the side towards the open sea. The land has soil at a certain depth, but it is stony at the surface, particularly the plain country, whence the whole has a bare appearance, but yields large crops of barley. It is said that the Æginetæ were called Myrmidones, not as the fable accounts for the name, when the ants were metamorphosed into men, at the time of a great famine, by the prayer of Æacus; but because by digging, like ants, they threw up the earth upon the rocks, and were thus made able to cultivate the ground, and because they lived in excavations under-ground, abstaining from the use of bricks and sparing of the soil for this purpose.

Its ancient name was Œnone, which is the name of two of the demi in Attica, one near Eleutheræ;

“to inhabit the plains close to Œnone, (Œnoe,) and Eleutheræ;”

and another, one of the cities of the Tetrapolis near Marathon, to which the proverb is applied,

“Œnone (Œnoe?) and its torrent.”

[Pg 58]
[CAS. 375]

Its inhabitants were in succession Argives, Cretans, Epidaurians, and Dorians. At last the Athenians divided the island by lot among settlers of their own. The Lacedæmonians, however, deprived the Athenians of it, and restored it to the ancient inhabitants.

The Æginetæ sent out colonists to Cydonia207 in Crete, and to the Ombrici. According to Ephorus, silver was first struck as money by Pheidon. The island became a mart, the inhabitants, on account of the fertility of its soil, employing themselves at sea as traders; whence goods of a small kind had the name of “Ægina wares.”

17. The poet frequently speaks of places in succession as they are situated;

“they who inhabited Hyria, and Aulis;”208
“and they who occupied Argos, and Tiryns,
Hermione, and Asine,
Trœzen, and Eïones.”209

At other times he does not observe any order;

“Schœnus, and Scolus,
Thespeia, and Græa.”210

He also mentions together places on the continent and islands

“they who held Ithaca,
and inhabited Crocyleia,”211

for Crocyleia is in Acarnania. Thus he here joins with Ægina Mases, which belongs to the continent of Argolis.

Homer does not mention Thyreæ, but other writers speak of it as well known. It was the occasion of a contest between the three hundred Argives against the same number of Lacedæmonians; the latter were conquerors by means of a stratagem of Othryadas. Thucydides places Thyreæ in Cynuria, on the confines of Argia and Laconia.212

Hysiæ also is a celebrated place in Argolica; and Cenchreæ, which lies on the road from Tegea to Argos, over the mountain Parthenius, and the Creopolus.213 But Homer was not acquainted with either of these places, [nor with the Lyrceium, nor Orneæ, and yet they are villages in the Argian territory; the former of the same name as the mountain there; the latter of the same name as the Orneæ, situated between Corinth and Sicyon].214

[Pg 59]

18. Among the cities of the Peloponnesus, the most celebrated were, and are at this time, Argos and Sparta, and as their renown is spread everywhere, it is not necessary to describe them at length, for if we did so, we should seem to repeat what is said by all writers.

Anciently, Argos was the most celebrated, but afterwards the Lacedæmonians obtained the superiority, and continued to maintain their independence, except during some short interval, when they experienced a reverse of fortune.

The Argives did not admit Pyrrhus within the city. He fell before the walls, an old woman having let a tile drop from a house upon his head.

They were, however, under the sway of other kings. When they belonged to the Achæan league they were subjected, together with the other members of that confederacy, to the power of the Romans. The city subsists at present, and is second in rank to Sparta.

19. We shall next speak of those places which are said, in the Catalogue of the Ships, to be under the government of Mycenæ and Agamemnon: the lines are these:

“Those who inhabited Mycenæ, a well-built city,
and the wealthy Corinth, and Cleonæ well built,
and Orneiæ, and the lovely Aræthyrea,
and Sicyon, where Adrastus first reigned,
and they who inhabited Hyperesia, and the lofty Gonoessa,
and Pellene, and Ægium,
and the whole range of the coast, and those who lived near the spacious Helice.”215

Mycenæ exists no longer. It was founded by Perseus. Sthenelus succeeded Perseus; and Eurystheus, Sthenelus. These same persons were kings of Argos also. It is said that Eurystheus, having engaged, with the assistance of the Athenians, in an expedition to Marathon against the descendants of Hercules and Iolaus, fell in battle, and that the remainder of his body was buried at Gargettus, but his head apart from it at Tricorythus216 (Corinth?), Iolaus having severed it from the body near the fountain Macaria, close to the chariot-road. The spot itself has the name of “Eurystheus’-head.”

Mycenæ then passed into the possession of the Pelopidæ, who had left the Pisatis, then into that of the Heracleidæ, [Pg 60]
[CAS. 377]
who were also masters of Argos. But after the sea-fight at Salamis, the Argives, together with the Cleonæi, and the Tegetæ, invaded Mycenæ, and razed it, and divided the territory among themselves. The tragic writers, on account of the proximity of the two cities, speak of them as one, and use the name of one for the other. Euripides in the same play calls the same city in one place Mycenæ, and in another Argos, as in the Iphigeneia,217 and in the Orestes.218

Cleonæ is a town situated upon the road leading from Argos to Corinth, on an eminence, which is surrounded on all sides by dwellings, and well fortified, whence, in my opinion, Cleonæ was properly described as “well built.” There also, between Cleonæ and Phlius, is Nemea, and the grove where it was the custom of the Argives to celebrate the Nemean games: here is the scene of the fable of the Nemean Lion, and here also the village Bembina. Cleonæ is distant from Argos 120 stadia, and 80 from Corinth. And we have ourselves beheld the city from the Acrocorinthus.

20. Corinth is said to be opulent from its mart. It is situated upon the isthmus. It commands two harbours, one near Asia, the other near Italy, and facilitates, by reason of so short a distance between them, an exchange of commodities on each side.

As the Sicilian strait, so formerly these seas were of difficult navigation, and particularly the sea above Maleæ, on account of the prevalence of contrary winds; whence the common proverb,

“When you double Maleæ forget your home.”

It was a desirable thing for the merchants coming from Asia, and from Italy, to discharge their lading at Corinth without being obliged to double Cape Maleæ. For goods exported from Peloponnesus, or imported by land, a toll was paid to those who had the keys of the country. This continued afterwards for ever. In after-times they enjoyed even additional advantages, for the Isthmian games, which were celebrated there, brought thither great multitudes of people. The Bacchiadæ, a rich and numerous family, and of illustrious descent, were their rulers, governed the state for nearly two hundred years, and peaceably enjoyed the profits of the mart. Their power was destroyed by Cypselus, who became king himself, [Pg 61] and his descendants continued to exist for three generations. A proof of the wealth of this family is the offering which Cypselus dedicated at Olympia, a statue of Jupiter of beaten gold.

Demaratus, one of those who had been tyrant at Corinth, flying from the seditions which prevailed there, carried with him from his home to Tyrrhenia so much wealth, that he became sovereign of the city which had received him, and his son became even king of the Romans.

The temple of Venus at Corinth was so rich, that it had more than a thousand women consecrated to the service of the goddess, courtesans, whom both men and women had dedicated as offerings to the goddess. The city was frequented and enriched by the multitudes who resorted thither on account of these women. Masters of ships freely squandered all their money, and hence the proverb,

“It is not in every man’s power to go to Corinth.”219

The answer is related of a courtesan to a woman who was reproaching her with disliking work, and not employing herself in spinning;

“Although I am what you see, yet, in this short time, I have already finished three distaffs.”220

21. The position of the city as it is described by Hieronymus, and Eudoxus, and others, and from our own observation, since its restoration by the Romans, is as follows.

That which is called the Acrocorinthus is a lofty mountain, perpendicular, and about three stadia and a half in height. There is an ascent of 30 stadia, and it terminates in a sharp point. The steepest part is towards the north. Below it lies the city in a plain of the form of a trapezium, at the very foot of the Acrocorinthus. The compass of the city itself was 40 stadia, and all that part which was not protected by the mountain was fortified by a wall. Even the mountain itself, the Acrocorinthus, was comprehended within this wall, wherever it would admit of fortification. As I ascended it, the ruins of the circuit of the foundation were apparent, which gave a circumference of about 85 stadia. The other sides of the mountain are less steep; hence, however, it stretches onwards, [Pg 62]
[CAS. 379]
and is visible everywhere. The summit has upon it a small temple of Venus, and below it is the fountain Peirene, which has no efflux, but is continually full of water, which is transparent, and fit for drinking. They say, that from the compression of this, and of some other small under-ground veins, originates that spring at the foot of the mountain, which runs into the city, and furnishes the inhabitants with a sufficient supply of water. There is a large number of wells in the city, and it is said in the Acrocorinthus also, but this I did not see. When Euripides says,

“I come from the Acrocorinthus, well-watered on all sides, the sacred hill and habitation of Venus,”

the epithet “well-watered on all sides,” must be understood to refer to depth; pure springs and under-ground rills are dispersed through the mountain; or we must suppose, that, anciently, the Peirene overflowed, and irrigated the mountain. There, it is said, Pegasus was taken by Bellerophon, while drinking; this was a winged horse, which sprung from the neck of Medusa when the head of the Gorgon was severed from the body. This was the horse, it is said, which caused the Hippocrene, or Horse’s Fountain, to spring up in Helicon by striking the rock with its hoof.

Below Peirene is the Sisypheium, which preserves a large portion of the ruins of a temple, or palace, built of white marble. From the summit towards the north are seen Parnassus and Helicon, lofty mountains covered with snow; then the Crissæan Gulf,221 lying below both, and surrounded by Phocis, Bœotia, Megaris, by the Corinthian district opposite to Phocis, and by Sicyonia on the west. * * * *

Above all these are situated the Oneia222 mountains, as they are called, extending as far as Bœotia and Cithæron, from the Sceironides rocks, where the road leads along them to Attica.

22. Lechæum is the commencement of the coast on one side; and on the other, Cenchreæ, a village with a harbour, distant from the city about 70 stadia. The latter serves for the trade with Asia, and Lechæum for that with Italy.

Lechæum is situated below the city, and is not well inhabited.

[Pg 63]

There are long walls of about 12 stadia in length, stretching on each side of the road towards Lechæum. The sea-shore, extending hence to Pagæ in Megaris, is washed by the Corinthian Gulf. It is curved, and forms the Diolcus, or the passage along which vessels are drawn over the Isthmus to the opposite coast at Schœnus near Cenchreæ.

Between Lechæum and Pagæ, anciently, there was the oracle of the Acræan Juno, and Olmiæ, the promontory that forms the gulf, on which are situated Œnoe, and Pagæ; the former is a fortress of the Megarians; and Œnoe is a fortress of the Corinthians.

Next to Cenchreæ223 is Schœnus, where is the narrow part of the Diolcus, then Crommyonia. In front of this coast lies the Saronic Gulf, and the Eleusiniac, which is almost the same, and continuous with the Hermionic. Upon the Isthmus is the temple of the Isthmian Neptune, shaded above with a grove of pine trees, where the Corinthians celebrated the Isthmian games.

Crommyon224 is a village of the Corinthian district, and formerly belonging to that of Megaris, where is laid the scene of the fable of the Crommyonian sow, which, it is said, was the dam of the Calydonian boar, and, according to tradition, the destruction of this sow was one of the labours of Theseus.

Tenea is a village of the Corinthian territory, where there was a temple of Apollo Teneates. It is said that Archias, who equipped a colony for Syracuse, was accompanied by a great number of settlers from this place; and that this settlement afterwards flourished more than any others, and at length had an independent form of government of its own. When they revolted from the Corinthians, they attached themselves to the Romans, and continued to subsist when Corinth was destroyed.

An answer of an oracle is circulated, which was returned to an Asiatic, who inquired whether it was better to migrate to Corinth;

“Corinth is prosperous, but I would belong to Tenea;”

[Pg 64]
[CAS. 380]

which last word was perverted by some through ignorance, and altered to Tegea. Here, it is said, Polybus brought up Œdipus.

There seems to be some affinity between the Tenedii and these people, through Tennus, the son of Cycnus, according to Aristotle; the similarity, too, of the divine honours paid by both to Apollo affords no slight proof of this relationship.225

23. The Corinthians, when subject to Philip, espoused his party very zealously, and individually conducted themselves so contemptuously towards the Romans, that persons ventured to throw down filth upon their ambassadors, when passing by their houses. They were immediately punished for these and other offences and insults. A large army was sent out under the command of Lucius Mummius, who razed the city.226 The rest of the country, as far as Macedonia, was subjected to the Romans under different generals. The Sicyonii, however, had the largest part of the Corinthian territory.

Polybius relates with regret what occurred at the capture of the city, and speaks of the indifference the soldiers showed for works of art, and the sacred offerings of the temples. He says, that he was present, and saw pictures thrown upon the ground, and soldiers playing at dice upon them. Among others, he specifies by name the picture of Bacchus227 by Aristeides, (to which it is said the proverb was applied, “Nothing to the Bacchus,”) and Hercules tortured in the robe, the gift of Deïaneira.228 This I have not myself seen, but I have seen the picture of the Bacchus suspended in the Demetreium at Rome, a very beautiful piece of art, which, together with the temple, was lately consumed by fire. The greatest number and the finest of the other offerings in Rome were brought from Corinth. Some of them were in the possession of the cities in the neighbourhood of Rome. For Mummius being more [Pg 65] brave and generous than an admirer of the arts, presented them without hesitation to those who asked for them.229 Lucullus, having built the temple of Good Fortune, and a portico, requested of Mummius the use of some statues, under the pretext of ornamenting the temple with them at the time of its dedication, and promised to restore them. He did not, however, restore, but presented them as sacred offerings, and told Mummius to take them away if he pleased. Mummius did not resent this conduct, not caring about the statues, but obtained more honour than Lucullus, who presented them as sacred offerings.

Corinth remained a long time deserted, till at length it was restored on account of its natural advantages by divus Cæsar, who sent colonists thither, who consisted, for the most part, of the descendants of free-men.

On moving the ruins, and digging open the sepulchres, an abundance of works in pottery with figures on them, and many in brass, were found. The workmanship was admired, and all the sepulchres were examined with the greatest care. Thus was obtained a large quantity of things, which were disposed of at a great price, and Rome filled with Necro-Corinthia, by which name were distinguished the articles taken out of the sepulchres, and particularly the pottery. At first these latter were held in as much esteem as the works of the Corinthian artists in brass, but this desire to have them did not continue, not only because the supply failed, but because the greatest part of them were not well executed.230

The city of Corinth was large and opulent at all periods, and produced a great number of statesmen and artists. For here in particular, and at Sicyon, flourished painting, and modelling, and every art of this kind.

The soil was not very fertile; its surface was uneven and [Pg 66]
[CAS. 382]
rugged, whence all writers describe Corinth as full of brows of hills, and apply the proverb,

“Corinth rises with brows of hills, and sinks into hollows.”

24. Orneæ has the same name as the river which flows beside it. At present it is deserted; formerly, it was well inhabited, and contained a temple of Priapus, held in veneration. It is from this place that Euphronius, (Euphorius?) the author of a poem, the Priapeia, applies the epithet Orneates to the god.

It was situated above the plain of the Sicyonians, but the Argives were masters of the country.

Aræthyrea231 is now called Phliasia. It had a city of the same name as the country near the mountain Celossa. They afterwards removed thence and built a city at the distance of 30 stadia, which they called Phlius.232 Part of the mountain Celossa is the Carneates, whence the Asopus takes its rise, which flows by Sicyon,233 and forms the Asopian district, which is a part of Sicyonia. There is also an Asopus, which flows by Thebes, and Platæa, and Tanagra. There is another also in Heracleia Trachinia, which flows beside a village, called Parasopii, and a fourth at Paros.

Phlius is situated in the middle of a circle formed by Sicyonia, Argeia, Cleonæ, and Stymphalus. At Phlius and at Sicyon the temple of Dia, a name given to Hebe, is held in veneration.

25. Sicyon was formerly called Mecone, and at a still earlier period, Ægiali. It was rebuilt high up in the country about 20, others say, about 12, stadia from the sea, upon an eminence naturally strong, which is sacred to Ceres. The buildings anciently consisted of a naval arsenal and a harbour.

Sicyonia is separated by the river Nemea from the Corinthian territory. It was formerly governed for a very long period by tyrants, but they were always persons of mild and moderate disposition. Of these, the most illustrious was Aratus, who made the city free, and was the chief of the Achæans, who voluntarily conferred upon him that power; [Pg 67] he extended the confederacy by annexing to it his own country, and the other neighbouring cities.

Hyperesia, and the cities next in order in the Catalogue of the poet, and Ægialus,234 [or the sea-coast,] as far as Dyme, and the borders of the Eleian territory, belong to the Achæans.


1. The Ionians, who were descendants of the Athenians, were, anciently, masters of this country. It was formerly called Ægialeia, and the inhabitants Ægialeans, but in later times, Ionia, from the former people, as Attica had the name of Ionia, from Ion the son of Xuthus.

It is said, that Hellen was the son of Deucalion, and that he governed the country about Phthia between the Peneius and Asopus, and transmitted to his eldest son these dominions, sending the others out of their native country to seek a settlement each of them for himself. Dorus, one of them, settled the Dorians about Parnassus, and when he left them, they bore his name. Xuthus, another, married the daughter of Erechtheus, and was the founder of the Tetrapolis of Attica, which consisted of Œnoe, Marathon, Probalinthus, and Tricorythus.

Achæus, one of the sons of Xuthus, having committed an accidental murder, fled to Lacedæmon, and occasioned the inhabitants to take the name of Achæans.235

Ion, the other son, having vanquished the Thracian army with their leader Eumolpus, obtained so much renown, that the Athenians intrusted him with the government of their state. It was he who first distributed the mass of the people into four tribes, and these again into four classes according to their occupations, husbandmen, artificers, priests, and the fourth, military guards; after having made many more regulations of this kind, he left to the country his own name.

[Pg 68]
[CAS. 383]

It happened at that time that the country had such an abundance of inhabitants, that the Athenians sent out a colony of Ionians to Peloponnesus, and the tract of country which they occupied was called Ionia after their own name, instead of Ægialeia, and the inhabitants Ionians instead of Ægialeans, who were distributed among twelve cities.

After the return of the Heracleidæ, these Ionians, being expelled by the Achæans, returned to Athens, whence, in conjunction with the Codridæ, (descendants of Codrus,) they sent out the Ionian colonists to Asia.236 They founded twelve cities on the sea-coast of Caria and Lydia, having distributed themselves over the country into as many parts as they occupied in Peloponnesus.237

The Achæans were Phthiotæ by descent, and were settled at Lacedæmon, but when the Heracleidæ became masters of the country, having recovered their power under Tisamenus, the son of Orestes, they attacked the Ionians, as I said before, and defeated them. They drove the Ionians out of the country, and took possession of the territory, but retained the same partition of it which they found existing there. They became so powerful, that, although the Heracleidæ, from whom they had revolted, occupied the rest of Peloponnesus, yet they defended themselves against them all, and called their own country Achæa.

From Tisamenus to Ogyges they continued to be governed by kings. Afterwards they established a democracy, and acquired so great renown for their political wisdom, that the Italian Greeks, after their dissensions with the Pythagoreans, adopted most of the laws and institutions of the Achæans. After the battle of Leuctra the Thebans238 committed the disputes of the cities among each other to the arbitration of the Achæans. At a later period their community was dissolved by the Macedonians, but they recovered by degrees their former power. At the time of the expedition of Pyrrhus into Italy they began [Pg 69] with the union of four cities, among which were Patræ and Dyme.239 They then had an accession of the twelve cities, with the exception of Olenus and Helice; the former refused to join the league; the other was swallowed up by the waves.

2. For the sea was raised to a great height by an earthquake, and overwhelmed both Helice and the temple of the Heliconian Neptune, whom the Ionians still hold in great veneration, and offer sacrifices to his honour. They celebrate at that spot the Panionian festival.240 According to the conjecture of some persons, Homer refers to these sacrifices in these lines,

“But he breathed out his soul, and bellowed, as a bull
Bellows when he is dragged round the altar of the Heliconian king.”241

It is conjectured that the age242 of the poet is later than the migration of the Ionian colony, because he mentions the Panionian sacrifices, which the Ionians perform in honour of the Heliconian Neptune in the territory of Priene; for the Prienians themselves are said to have come from Helice; a young man also of Priene is appointed to preside as king at these sacrifices, and to superintend the celebration of the sacred rites. A still stronger proof is adduced from what is said by the poet respecting the bull, for the Ionians suppose, that sacrifice is performed with favourable omens, when the bull bellows at the instant that he is wounded at the altar.

Others deny this, and transfer to Helice the proofs alleged of the bull and the sacrifice, asserting that these things were done there by established custom, and that the poet drew his comparison from the festival celebrated there. Helice243 was overwhelmed by the waves two years before the battle of [Pg 70]
[CAS. 384]
Leuctra. Eratosthenes says, that he himself saw the place, and the ferrymen told him that there formerly stood in the strait a brazen statue of Neptune, holding in his hand a hippocampus,244 an animal which is dangerous to fishermen.

According to Heracleides, the inundation took place in his time, and during the night. The city was at the distance of 12 stadia from the sea, which overwhelmed the whole intermediate country as well as the city. Two thousand men were sent by the Achæans to collect the dead bodies, but in vain. The territory was divided among the bordering people. This calamity happened in consequence of the anger of Neptune, for the Ionians, who were driven from Helice, sent particularly to request the people of Helice to give them the image of Neptune, or if they were unwilling to give that, to furnish them with the model of the temple. On their refusal, the Ionians sent to the Achæan body, who decreed, that they should comply with the request, but they would not obey even this injunction. The disaster occurred in the following winter, and after this the Achæans gave the Ionians the model of the temple.

Hesiod mentions another Helice in Thessaly.

3. The Achæans, during a period of five and twenty years, elected, annually, a common secretary, and two military chiefs. Their common assembly of the council met at one place, called Arnarium, (Homarium, or Amarium,) where these persons, and, before their time, the Ionians, consulted on public affairs. They afterwards resolved to elect one military chief. When Aratus held this post, he took the Acrocorinthus from Antigonus, and annexed the city as well as his own country to the Achæan league.245 He admitted the Megareans also into the body, and, having destroyed the tyrannical governments in each state, he made them members, after they were restored to liberty, of the Achæan league. * * * * * He freed, in a [Pg 71] short time, Peloponnesus from the existing tyrannies; thus Argos, Hermion, Phlius, and Megalopolis, the largest of the Arcadian cities, were added to the Achæan body, when they attained their greatest increase of numbers. It was at this time that the Romans, having expelled the Carthaginians from Sicily, undertook an expedition against the Galatæ, who were settled about the Po.246 The Achæans remained firmly united until Philopœmen had the military command, but their union was gradually dissolved, after the Romans had obtained possession of the whole of Greece. The Romans did not treat each state in the same manner, but permitted some to retain their own form of government, and dissolved that of others.


[He then assigns reasons for expatiating on the subject of the Achæans, namely, their attainment of such a degree of power as to be superior to the Lacedæmonians, and because they were not as well known as they deserved to be from their importance.]247

4. The order of the places which the Achæans inhabited, according to the distribution into twelve parts, is as follows. Next to Sicyon is Pellene; Ægeira, the second; the third, Ægæ, with a temple of Neptune; Bura, the fourth; then Helice, where the Ionians took refuge after their defeat by the Achæans, and from which place they were at last banished; after Helice are Ægium, Rhypes, Patræ, and Phara; then Olenus, beside which runs the large river [Peirus?]; then Dyme, and Tritæeis. The Ionians dwelt in villages, but the Achæans founded cities, to some of which they afterwards united others transferred from other quarters, as Ægæ to Ægeira, (the inhabitants, however, were called Ægæi,) and Olenus to Dyme.

Traces of the ancient settlement of the Olenii are to be seen between Patræ and Dyme: there also is the famous temple of Æsculapius, distant from Dyme 40, and from Patræ 80 stadia.

In Eubœa there is a place of the same name with the [Pg 72]
[CAS. 386]
Ægæ here, and there is a town of the name of Olenus in Ætolia, of which there remain only vestiges.

The poet does not mention the Olenus in Achaia, nor many other people living near Ægialus, but speaks in general terms;

“along the whole of Ægialus, and about the spacious Helice.”248

But he mentions the Ætolian Olenus in these words;

“those who occupied Pleuron and Olenus.”249

He mentions both the places of the name of Ægæ; the Achæan Ægæ in these terms,

“who bring presents to Helice, and to Ægæ.”250

But when he says,

“Ægæ, where his palace is in the depths of the sea,
There Neptune stopped his coursers,”251

it is better to understand Ægæ in Eubœa; whence it is probable the Ægæan Sea had its name. On this sea, according to story, Neptune made his preparations for the Trojan war.

Close to the Achæan Ægæ flows the river Crathis,252 augmented by the waters of two rivers, and deriving its name from the mixture of their streams. To this circumstance the river Crathis in Italy owes its name.

5. Each of these twelve portions contained seven or eight demi, so great was the population of the country.

Pellene,253 situated at the distance of 60 stadia from the sea, is a strong fortress. There is also a village of the name of Pellene, whence they bring the Pellenian mantles, which are offered as prizes at the public games. It lies between Ægium254 and Pellene. But Pellana, a different place from these, belongs to the Lacedæmonians, and is situated towards the territory of Megalopolitis.

[Pg 73]

Ægeira255 is situated upon a hill. Bura is at the distance from the sea-coast of about 40 stadia. It was swallowed up by an earthquake. It is said, that from the fountain Sybaris which is there, the river Sybaris in Italy had its name.

Æga (for this is the name by which Ægæ is called) is not now inhabited, but the Ægienses occupy the territory. Ægium, however, is well inhabited. It was here, it is said, that Jupiter was suckled by a goat, as Aratus also says,

“the sacred goat, which is said to have applied its teats to the lips of Jupiter.”256

He adds, that,

“the priests call it the Olenian goat of Jupiter,”

and indicates the place because it was near Olenus. There also is Ceryneia, situated upon a lofty rock. This place, and Helice, belong to the Ægienses,257 and the Ænarium, [Homarium,] the grove of Jupiter, where the Achæans held their convention, when they were to deliberate upon their common affairs.

The river Selinus flows through the city of the Ægienses. It has the same name as that which was beside Artemisium at Ephesus, and that in Elis, which has its course along the spot, that Xenophon258 says he purchased in compliance with the injunction of an oracle, in honour of Artemis. There is also another Selinus in the country of the Hyblæi Megarenses, whom the Carthaginians expelled.

Of the remaining Achæan cities, or portions, Rhypes is not inhabited, but the territory called Rhypis was occupied by Ægienses and Pharians. Æschylus also says somewhere,

“the sacred Bura, and Rhypes struck with lightning.”

Myscellus, the founder of Croton, was a native of Rhypes. Leuctrum, belonging to the district Rhypis, was a demus of Rhypes. Between these was Patræ, a considerable city, and in the intervening country, at the distance of 40 stadia from Patræ, are Rhium,259 and opposite to it, Antirrhium.260 Not long since the Romans, after the victory at Actium, stationed there a large portion of their army, and at [Pg 74]
[CAS. 387]
present it is very well peopled, since it is a colony of the Romans. It has also a tolerably good shelter for vessels. Next is Dyme,261 a city without a harbour, the most westerly of all the cities, whence also it has its name. It was formerly called Stratos.262 It is separated from Eleia at Buprasium by the river Larisus,263 which rises in a mountain, called by some persons Scollis, but by Homer, the Olenian rock.

Antimachus having called Dyme Cauconis, some writers suppose that the latter word is used as an epithet derived from the Caucones, who extended as far as this quarter, as I have said before. Others think that it is derived from a river Caucon, in the same way as Thebes has the appellation of Dircæan, and Asopian; and as Argos is called Inachian, and Troy, Simuntis.264

A little before our time, Dyme had received a colony consisting of a mixed body of people, a remnant of the piratical bands, whose haunts Pompey had destroyed. Some he settled at Soli in Cilicia, and others in other places, and some in this spot.

Phara borders upon the Dymæan territory. The inhabitants of this Phara are called Pharenses; those of the Messenian Phara, Pharatæ. In the territory of Phara there is a fountain Dirce, of the same name as that at Thebes.

Olenus is deserted. It lies between Patræ and Dyme. The territory is occupied by the Dymæi. Next is Araxus,265 the promontory of the Eleian district, distant from the isthmus 1000 stadia.


1. Arcadia is situated in the middle of Peloponnesus, and contains the greatest portion of the mountainous tract in that [Pg 75] country. Its largest mountain is Cyllene.266 Its perpendicular height, according to some writers, is 20, according to others, about 15 stadia.

The Arcadian nations, as the Azanes, and Parrhasii, and other similar tribes, seem to be the most ancient people of Greece.267

In consequence of the complete devastation of this country, it is unnecessary to give a long description of it. The cities, although formerly celebrated, have been destroyed by continual wars; and the husbandmen abandoned the country at the time that most of the cities were united in that called Megalopolis (the Great City). At present Megalopolis itself has undergone the fate expressed by the comic poet;

“the great city is a great desert.”

There are rich pastures for cattle, and particularly for horses and asses, which are used as stallions. The race of Arcadian horses, as well as the Argolic and Epidaurian, is preferred before all others. The uninhabited tracts of country in Ætolia and Acarnania are not less adapted to the breeding of horses than Thessaly.

2. Mantinea owes its fame to Epaminondas, who conquered the Lacedæmonians there in a second battle, in which he lost his life.268

This city, together with Orchomenus, Heræa, Cleitor, Pheneus, Stymphalus, Mænalus, Methydrium, Caphyeis, and Cynætha, either exist no longer, or traces and signs only of their existence are visible. There are still some remains of Tegea, and the temple of the Alæan Minerva remains. The latter is yet held in some little veneration, as well as the temple of the Lycæan Jupiter on the Lycæan mountain. But the places mentioned by the poet, as

“Rhipe, and Stratia, and the windy Enispe,”

are difficult to discover, and if discovered, would be of no use from the deserted condition of the country.

[Pg 76]
[CAS. 389]

3. The mountains of note, besides Cyllene, are Pholoë,269 Lycæum,270 Mænalus, and the Parthenium,271 as it is called, which extends from the territory of Tegea to that of Argos.

4. We have spoken of the extraordinary circumstances relative to the Alpheius, Eurotas, and the Erasinus, which issues out of the lake Stymphalis, and now flows into the Argive country.

Formerly, the Erasinus had no efflux, for the Berethra, which the Arcadians call Zerethra,272 had no outlet, so that the city of the Stymphalii, which at that time was situated upon the lake, is now at the distance of 50 stadia.

The contrary was the case with the Ladon, which was at one time prevented running in a continuous stream by the obstruction of its sources. For the Berethra near Pheneum, through which it now passes, fell in in consequence of an earthquake, which stopped the waters of the river, and affected far down the veins which supplied its source. This is the account of some writers.

Eratosthenes says, that about the Pheneus, the river called Anias forms a lake, and then sinks under-ground into certain openings, which they call Zerethra. When these are obstructed, the water sometimes overflows into the plains, and when they are again open the water escapes in a body from the plains, and is discharged into the Ladon273 and the Alpheius,274 so that it happened once at Olympia, that the land about the temple was inundated, but the lake was partly emptied. The Erasinus275 also, he says, which flows by Stymphalus, sinks into the ground under the mountain (Chaon?), and reappears in the Argive territory. It was this that induced Iphicrates, when besieging Stymphalus, and making no progress, to attempt to obstruct the descent of the river into the ground by means of a large quantity of sponges, but desisted in consequence of some portentous signs in the heavens.

Near the Pheneus there is also the water of the Styx, as it is called, a dripping spring of poisonous water, which was esteemed to be sacred.

So much then respecting Arcadia.

[Pg 77]

5.276 Polybius having said, that from Maleæ towards the north as far as the Danube the distance is about 10,000 stadia, is corrected by Artemidorus, and not without reason; for, according to the latter, from Maleæ to Ægium the distance is 1400 stadia, from hence to Cirrha is a distance by sea of 200 stadia; hence by Heraclea to Thaumaci a journey of 500 stadia; thence to Larisa and the river Peneus, 340 stadia; then through Tempe to the mouth of the Peneus, 240 stadia; then to Thessalonica, 660 stadia; then to the Danube, through Idomene, and Stobi, and Dardanii, it is 3200 stadia. According to Artemidorus, therefore, the distance from the Danube to Maleæ would be 6500. The cause of this difference is that he does not give the measurement by the shortest road, but by some accidental route pursued by a general of an army.

It is not, perhaps, out of place to add the founders mentioned by Ephorus, who settled colonies in Peloponnesus after the return of the Heracleidæ; as Aletes, the founder of Corinth; Phalces, of Sicyon; Tisamenus, of cities in Achæa; Oxylus, of Elis, Cresphontes, of Messene; Eurysthenes and Procles, of Lacedæmon; Temenus and Cissus, of Argos; and Agræus and Deïphontes, of the towns about Acte.

[Pg 78]
[CAS. 390]



Continuation of the geography of Greece. A panegyrical account of Athens. A description of Bœotia and Thessaly, with the sea-coast.


1. Having completed the description of Peloponnesus, which we said was the first and least of the peninsulas of which Greece consists, we must next proceed to those which are continuous with it.277

We described the second to be that which joins Megaris to the Peloponnesus [so that Crommyon belongs to Megaris, and not to the Corinthians];278 the third to be that which is situated near the former, comprising Attica and Bœotia, some part of Phocis, and of the Locri Epicnemidii. Of these we are now to speak.

Eudoxus says, that if we imagine a straight line to be drawn towards the east from the Ceraunian Mountains to Sunium, the promontory of Attica, it would leave, on the right hand, to the south, the whole of Peloponnesus, and on the left, to the north, the continuous coast from the Ceraunian

[Pg 79]

Mountains to the Crisæan Gulf, and the whole of Megaris and Attica. He is of opinion that the shore which extends from Sunium to the Isthmus, would not have so great a curvature, nor have so great a bend, if, to this shore, were not added the parts continuous with the Isthmus and extending to the Hermionic Bay and Acté; that in the same manner the shore, from the Ceraunian Mountains to the Gulf of Corinth, has a similar bend, so as to make a curvature, forming within it a sort of gulf, where Rhium and Antirrhium contracting together give it this figure. The same is the case with the shore about Crissa and the recess, where the Crissæan Sea terminates.279

2. As this is the description given by Eudoxus, a mathematician, skilled in the delineations of figures and the inclinations of places, acquainted also with the places themselves, we must consider the sides of Attica and Megaris, extending from Sunium as far as the Isthmus, to be curved, although slightly so. About the middle of the above-mentioned line280 is the Piræus, the naval arsenal of the Athenians. It is distant from Schœnus, at the Isthmus, about 350 stadia; from Sunium 330. The distance from the Piræus to Pagæ281 and from the Piræus to Schœnus is nearly the same, yet the former is said to exceed the latter by 10 stadia. After having doubled Sunium, the navigation along the coast is to the north with a declination to the west.

3. Acte (Attica) is washed by two seas; it is at first narrow, then it widens towards the middle, yet it, nevertheless, takes a lunated bend towards Oropus in Bœotia, having the convex side towards the sea. This is the second, the eastern side of Attica.

The remaining side is that to the north, extending from the territory of Oropus towards the west, as far as Megaris, and consists of the mountainous tract of Attica, having a variety of names, and dividing Bœotia from Attica; so that, as I have before remarked, Bœotia, by being connected with [Pg 80]
[CAS. 391]
two seas, becomes the Isthmus of the third peninsula, which we have mentioned before, and this Isthmus includes within it the Peloponnesus, Megaris, and Attica. For this reason therefore the present Attica was called by a play upon the words Acta and Actica, because the greatest part of it lies under the mountains, and borders on the sea; it is narrow, and stretches forwards a considerable length as far as Sunium. We shall therefore resume the description of these sides, beginning from the sea-coast, at the point where we left off.

4. After Crommyon, rising above Attica, are the rocks called Scironides, which afford no passage along the sea-side. Over them, however, is a road which leads to Megara and Attica from the Isthmus. The road approaches so near the rocks that in many places it runs along the edge of precipices, for the overhanging mountain is of great height, and impassable.

Here is laid the scene of the fable of Sciron, and the Pityocamptes, or the pine-breaker, one of those who infested with their robberies the above-mentioned mountainous tract. They were slain by Theseus.

The wind Argestes,282 which blows from the left with violence, from these summits is called by the Athenians Sciron.

After the rocks Scironides there projects the promontory Minoa, forming the harbour of Nisæa. Nisæa is the arsenal of Megara, and distant 18 stadia from the city; it is joined to it by walls on each side.283 This also had the name of Minoa.

5. In former times the Ionians occupied this country, and were also in possession of Attica, before the time of the building of Megara, wherefore the poet does not mention these places by any appropriate name, but when he calls all those dwelling in Attica, Athenians, he comprehends these also in the common appellation, regarding them as Athenians; so when, in the Catalogue of the Ships, he says,

“And they who occupied Athens, a well-built city,”284

[Pg 81]

we must understand the present Megarenses also, as having taken a part in the expedition. The proof of this is, that Attica was, in former times, called Ionia, and Ias, and when the poet says,

“There the Bœoti, Iaones,”285

he means the Athenians. But of this Ionia Megaris was a part.

6. Besides, the Peloponnesians and Ionians having had frequent disputes respecting their boundaries, on which Crommyonia also was situated, assembled and agreed upon a spot of the Isthmus itself, on which they erected a pillar having an inscription on the part towards Peloponnesus,

“this is peloponnesus, not ionia;”

and on the side towards Megara,

“this is not peloponnesus, but ionia.”

Although those, who wrote on the history of Attica,286 differ in many respects, yet those of any note agree in this, that when there were four Pandionidæ, Ægeus, Lycus, Pallas, and Nisus; and when Attica was divided into four portions, Nisus obtained, by lot, Megaris, and founded Nisæa. Philochorus says, that his government extended from the Isthmus to Pythium,287 but according to Andron, as far as Eleusis and the Thriasian plain.

Since, then, different writers give different accounts of the division of the country into four parts, it is enough to adduce these lines from Sophocles where Ægeus says,

“My father determined that I should go away to Acte, having assigned to me, as the elder, the best part of the land; to Lycus, the opposite garden of Eubœa; for Nisus he selects the irregular tract of the shore of Sciron; and the rugged Pallas, breeder of giants, obtained by lot the part to the south.”288

Such are the proofs which are adduced to show that Megaris was a part of Attica.

7. After the return of the Heraclidæ, and the partition of the country, many of the former possessors were banished from their own land by the Heraclidæ, and by the Dorians, who came with them, and migrated to Attica. Among these was Melanthus, the king of Messene. He was voluntarily appointed [Pg 82]
[CAS. 393]
king of the Athenians, after having overcome in single combat, Xanthus, the king of the Bœotians. When Attica became populous by the accession of fugitives, the Heraclidæ were alarmed, and invaded Attica, chiefly at the instigation of the Corinthians and Messenians; the former of whom were influenced by proximity of situation, the latter by the circumstance that Codrus, the son of Melanthus, was at that time king of Attica. They were, however, defeated in battle and relinquished the whole of the country, except the territory of Megara, of which they kept possession, and founded the city Megara, where they introduced as inhabitants Dorians in place of Ionians. They destroyed the pillar also which was the boundary of the country of the Ionians and the Peloponnesians.

8. The city of the Megarenses, after having experienced many changes, still subsists. It once had schools of philosophers, who had the name of the Megaric sect. They succeeded Euclides, the Socratic philosopher, who was by birth a Megarensian, in the same manner as the Eleiaci, among whom was Pyrrhon, who succeeded Phædon, the Eleian, who was also a Socratic philosopher, and as the Eretriaci succeeded Menedemus the Eretrean.

Megaris, like Attica, is very sterile, and the greater part of it is occupied by what are called the Oneii mountains, a kind of ridge, which, extending from the Scironides rocks to Bœotia and to Cithæron, separates the sea at Nisæa from that near Pagæ, called the Alcyonian Sea.

9. In sailing from Nisæa to Attica there lie, in the course of the voyage, five small islands. Then succeeds Salamis, which is about 70, and according to others, 80, stadia in length. It has two cities of the same name. The ancient city, which looked towards Ægina and to the south, as Æschylus has described it;

“Ægina lies towards the blasts of the south:”

it is uninhabited. The other is situated in a bay on a spot of a peninsular form contiguous to Attica. In former times it had other names, for it was called Sciras, and Cychreia, from certain heroes; from the former Minerva is called Sciras; hence also Scira, a place in Attica; Episcirosis, a religious rite; and Scirophorion, one of the months. From Cychreia [Pg 83] the serpent Cychrides had its name, which Hesiod says Cychreus bred, and Eurylochus ejected, because it infested the island, but that Ceres admitted it into Eleusis, and it became her attendant. Salamis was called also Pityussa from “pitys,” the pine tree. The island obtained its renown from the Æacidæ, who were masters of it, particularly from Ajax, the son of Telamon, and from the defeat of Xerxes by the Greeks in a battle on the coast, and by his flight to his own country. The Æginetæ participated in the glory of that engagement, both as neighbours, and as having furnished a considerable naval force. [In Salamis is the river Bocarus, now called Bocalia.]289

10. At present the Athenians possess the island Salamis. In former times they disputed the possession of it with the Megarians. Some allege, that Pisistratus, others that Solon, inserted in the Catalogue of Ships immediately after this verse,

“Ajax conducted from Salamis twelve vessels,”290

the following words,

“And stationed them by the side of the Athenian forces;”

and appealed to the poet as a witness, that the island originally belonged to the Athenians. But this is not admitted by the critics, because many other lines testify the contrary. For why does Ajax appear at the extremity of the line not with the Athenians, but with the Thessalians under the command of Protesilaus;

“There were the vessels of Ajax, and Protesilaus.”291

And Agamemnon, in the Review4 of the troops,

“found the son of Peteus, Menestheus, the tamer of horses, standing, and around were the Athenians skilful in war: near stood the wily Ulysses, and around him and at his side, the ranks of the Cephalleni;”292

and again, respecting Ajax and the Salaminii;

“he came to the Ajaces,”293

and near them,

“Idomeneus on the other side amidst the Cretans,”294

not Menestheus. The Athenians then seem to have alleged [Pg 84
[CAS. 394]
some such evidence as this from Homer as a pretext, and the Megarians to have replied in an opposite strain of this kind;

“Ajax conducted ships from Salamis, from Polichna, from Ægirussa, from Nisæa, and from Tripodes,”295

which are places in Megaris, of which Tripodes has the name of Tripodiscium, situated near the present forum of Megara.

11. Some say, that Salamis is unconnected with Attica, because the priestess of Minerva Polias, who may not eat the new cheese of Attica, but the produce only of a foreign land, yet uses the Salaminian cheese. But this is a mistake, for she uses that which is brought from other islands, that are confessedly near Attica, for the authors of this custom considered all produce as foreign which was brought over sea.

It seems as if anciently the present Salamis was a separate state, and that Megara was a part of Attica.

On the sea-coast, opposite to Salamis, the boundaries of Megara and Attica are two mountains called Cerata, or Horns.296

12. Next is the city Eleusis,297 in which is the temple of the Eleusinian Ceres, and the Mystic Enclosure (Secos),298 which Ictinus built,299 capable of containing the crowd of a theatre. It was this person that built300 the Parthenon in the Acropolis, in honour of Minerva, when Pericles was the superintendent of the public works. The city is enumerated among the demi, or burghs.

13. Then follows the Thriasian plain, and the coast, a demus of the same name,301 then the promontory Amphiale,302 above which is a stone quarry; and then the passage across the sea to Salamis, of about 2 stadia, which Xerxes endeavoured to fill up with heaps of earth, but the sea-fight and the flight of the Persians occurred before he had accomplished it.

[Pg 85]

There also are the Pharmacussæ,303 two small islands, in the larger of which is shown the tomb of Circe.

14. Above this coast is a mountain called Corydallus, and the demus Corydalleis: then the harbour of Phoron, (Robbers,) and Psyttalia, a small rocky desert island, which, according to some writers, is the eye-sore of the Piræus.

Near it is Atalanta, of the same name as that between Eubœa and the Locri; and another small island similar to Psyttalia; then the Piræus, which is also reckoned among the demi, and the Munychia.

15. The Munychia is a hill in the shape of a peninsula, hollow, and a great part of it excavated both by nature and art, so as to serve for dwellings, with an entrance by a narrow opening. Beneath it are three harbours. Formerly the Munychia was surrounded by a wall, and occupied by dwellings, nearly in the same manner as the city of the Rhodians, comprehending within the circuit of the walls the Piræus and the harbours full of materials for ship-building; here also was the armoury, the work of Philon. The naval station was capable of receiving the four hundred vessels; which was the smallest number the Athenians were in the habit of keeping in readiness for sea. With this wall were connected the legs, that stretched out from the Asty. These were the long walls, 40 stadia in length, joining the Asty304 to the Piræus. But in consequence of frequent wars, the wall and the fortification of the Munychia were demolished; the Piræus was contracted to a small town, extending round the harbours and the temple of Jupiter Soter. The small porticoes of the temple contain admirable paintings, the work of celebrated artists, and the hypæthrum, statues. The long walls also were destroyed, first demolished by the Lacedæmonians, and afterwards by the Romans, when Sylla took the Piræus and the Asty by siege.305

16. What is properly the Asty is a rock, situated in a plain, with dwellings around it. Upon the rock is the temple [Pg 86]
[CAS. 396]
of Minerva, and the ancient shrine of Minerva Polias, in which is the never-extinguished lamp; and the Parthenon, built by Ictinus, in which is the Minerva, in ivory, the work of Pheidias.

When, however, I consider the multitude of objects, so celebrated and far-famed, belonging to this city, I am reluctant to enlarge upon them, lest what I write should depart too far from the proposed design of this work.306 For the words of Hegesias307 occur to me;

“I behold the acropolis, there is the symbol of the great trident;308 I see Eleusis; I am initiated in the sacred mysteries; that is Leocorium;309 this the Theseium.310 To describe all is beyond my power, for Attica is the chosen residence of the gods; and the possession of heroes its progenitors.”

Yet this very writer mentions only one of the remarkable things to be seen in the Acropolis. Polemo Periegetes311 however composed four books on the subject of the sacred offerings which were there. Hegesias is similarly sparing of remarks on other parts of the city, and of the territory: after speaking of Eleusis, one of the hundred and seventy demi, to which as they say four are to be added, he mentions no other by name.

17. Many, if not all the demi, have various fabulous tales and histories connected with them: with Aphidna is connected the rape of Helen by Theseus, the sack of the place by the Dioscuri, and the recovery of their sister; with Marathon, [Pg 87] the battle with the Persians; at Rhamnus was the statue of Nemesis, which, according to some writers, is the work of Diodotus, according to others, of Agoracritus, the Parian, so well executed, both as to size and beauty, as to rival the art of Pheidias. Deceleia was the rendezvous of the Peloponnesians in the Decelic war. From Phyle Thrasybulus brought back the people to the Piræus, and thence to the Asty. Thus also much might be told respecting many other places; the Leocorium, the Theseium, and the Lyceum have their own fables, and the Olympicum, called also the Olympium, which the king, who dedicated it, left, at his death, half finished; so also much might be said of the Academia, of the gardens of the philosophers, of the Odeium,312 of the Stoa Pœcile, [or painted Portico,] and of the temples in the city, all of which contain the works of illustrious artists.

18. The account would be much longer if we were to inquire who were the founders of the city from the time of Cecrops, for writers do not agree, as is evident from the names of persons and of places. For example, Attica,313 they say, was derived from Actæon; Atthis, and Attica, from Atthis, the daughter of Cranaus, from whom the inhabitants had the name Cranaï; Mopsopia from Mopsopus; Ionia from Ion, the son of Xuthus; Poseidonia and Athenæ, from the deities of that name. We have said, that the nation of the Pelasgi seem to have come into this country in the course of their migrations, and were called from their wanderings, by the Attici, Pelargi, or storks.

19. In proportion as an earnest desire is excited to ascertain the truth about remarkable places and events, and in proportion as writers, on these subjects, are more numerous, so much the more is an author exposed to censure, who does not make himself master of what has been written. For example, in “the Collection of the Rivers,” Callimachus says, that he should laugh at the person, who would venture to describe the Athenian virgins as

[Pg 88]
[CAS. 397]

“drinking of the pure waters of the Eridanus,”

from which even the herds would turn away. There are indeed fountains of water, pure and fit for drinking, it is said, without the gate called Diochares, near the Lyceium; formerly also a fountain was erected near it, which afforded a large supply of excellent water; but if it is not so at present, is it at all strange, that a fountain supplying abundance of pure and potable water at one period of time, should afterwards have the property of its waters altered?

In subjects, however, which are so numerous, we cannot enter into detail; yet they are not so entirely to be passed over in silence as to abstain from giving a condensed account of some of them.

20. It will suffice then to add, that, according to Philochorus, when the country was devastated on the side of the sea by the Carians, and by land by the Bœotians, whom they called Aones, Cecrops first settled a large body of people in twelve cities, the names of which were Cecropia, Tetrapolis, Epacria, Deceleia, Eleusis, Aphidna, (although some persons write it in the plural number, Aphidnæ,) Thoricus, Brauron, Cytherus, Sphettus, Cephisia [Phalerus]. Again, at a subsequent period, Theseus is said to have collected the inhabitants of the twelve cities into one, the present city.

Formerly, the Athenians were governed by kings; they afterwards changed the government to a democracy; then tyrants were their masters, as Pisistratus and his sons; afterwards there was an oligarchy both of the four hundred and of the thirty tyrants, whom the Lacedæmonii set over them; these were expelled by the Athenians, who retained the form of a democracy, till the Romans established their empire. For, although they were somewhat oppressed by the Macedonian kings, so as to be compelled to obey them, yet they preserved entire the same form of government. Some say, that the government was very well administered during a period of ten years, at the time that Casander was king of the Macedonians. For this person, although in other respects he was disposed to be tyrannical, yet, when he was master of the city, treated the Athenians with kindness and generosity. He placed at the head of the citizens Demetrius the Phalerean, a disciple of Theophrastus the philosopher, who, far from dissolving, restored the democracy. This appears from his [Pg 89] memoirs, which he composed concerning this mode of government. But so much hatred and dislike prevailed against anything connected with oligarchy, that, after the death of Casander, he was obliged to fly into Egypt.314 The insurgents pulled down more than three hundred of his statues, which were melted down, and according to some were cast into chamber-pots. The Romans, after their conquest, finding them governed by a democracy,315 maintained their independence and liberty. During the Mithridatic war, the king set over them such tyrants as he pleased. Aristio, who was the most powerful of these persons, oppressed the city; he was taken by Sylla, the Roman general, after a siege,316 and put to death. The citizens were pardoned, and, to this time, the city enjoys liberty, and is respected by the Romans.

21. Next to the Piræus is the demus Phalereis, on the succeeding line of coast, then Halimusii, Æxoneis, Alæeis, the Æxonici, Anagyrasii; then Theoris, Lampesis; Ægilieis, Anaphlystii, Azenieis; these extend as far as the promontory Sunium. Between the above-mentioned demi is a long promontory, Zoster,317 the first after the Æxoneis; then another promontory after Thoreis, Astypalæa; in the front of the former of these is an island, Phabra,318 and of the latter an island, Eleüssa,319 opposite the Æxoneis is Hydrussa. About Anaphlystum is the Paneum, and the temple of Venus Colias. Here, they say, were thrown up by the waves the last portions of the wrecks of the vessels after the naval engagement with the Persians near Salamis, of which remains Apollo predicted,

“The women of Colias shall shudder at the sight of oars.”

In front of these places lies off, at no great distance, the island Belbina; and the rampart of Patroclus; but most of these islands are uninhabited.

22. On doubling the promontory at Sunium, we meet with Sunium, a considerable demus; then Thoricus, next a demus called Potamus, from which the inhabitants are called Potamii; next Prasia,320 Steiria, Brauron, where is the temple of

[Pg 90]
[CAS. 399]

Diana Brauronia, Halæ Araphenides, where is the temple of Diana Tauropola; then Myrrhinus, Probalinthus, Marathon, where Miltiades entirely destroyed the army of Datis the Persian, without waiting for the Lacedæmonians, who deferred setting out till the full moon. There is laid the scene of the fable of the Marathonian bull, which Theseus killed.

Next to Marathon is Tricorynthus, then Rhamnus, where is the temple of Nemesis; then Psaphis, a city of the Oropii. Somewhere about this spot is the Amphiaraeum, an oracle once in repute, to which Amphiareus fled, as Sophocles says,

“The dusty Theban soil opened and received him with his armour, and the four-horse chariot.”

Oropus has frequently been a subject of contention, for it is situated on the confines of Attica and Bœotia.

In front of this coast, before Thoricum and Sunium, is the island Helena; it is rocky and uninhabited, extending in length about 60 stadia, which, they say, the poet mentions in the words, in which Alexander addresses Helen,

“Not when first I carried thee away from the pleasant Lacedæmon, across the deep, and in the island Cranaë embraced thee.”321

For Cranaë, from the kind of intercourse which took place there, is now called Helena. Next to Helena,322 Eubœa323 lies in front of the following tract of coast. It is long and narrow, and stretching along the continent like Helena. From Sunium to the southern point of Eubœa, which is called Leuce Acte,324 [or, the white coast,] is a voyage of 300 stadia, but we shall speak hereafter of Eubœa.

It would be tedious to recite the names of the Demi of Attica in the inland parts, on account of their number.325

23. Among the mountains which are most celebrated, are the Hymettus, Brilessus, Lycabettus, Parnes, and Corydallus.326 Near the city are excellent quarries of Hymettian and Pentelic marble. The Hymettus produces also the finest honey. The silver mines in Attica were at first of importance, but are now exhausted. The workmen, when the mines yielded [Pg 91] a bad return to their labour, committed to the furnace the old refuse and scoria, and hence obtained very pure silver, for the former workmen had carried on the process in the furnace unskilfully.

Although the Attic is the best of all the kinds of honey, yet by far the best of the Attic honey is that found in the country of the silver mines,327 which they call acapniston, or unsmoked, from the mode of its preparation.

24. Among the rivers is the Cephissus, having its source from the Trinemeis, it flows through the plain (where are the Gephyra, and the Gephyrismi) between the legs or walls extending from the Asty to the Piræus, and empties itself into the Phalericum. Its character is chiefly that of a winter torrent, for in the summer time it fails altogether. Such also, for the most part, is the Ilissus, which flows from the other side of the Asty to the same coast, from the parts above Agra, and the Lyceium, and the fountain celebrated by Plato in the Phædrus. So much then respecting Attica.


1. Next in order is Bœotia. When I speak of this country, and of the contiguous nations, I must, for the sake of perspicuity, repeat what I have said before.

We have said, that the sea-coast stretches from Sunium to the north as far as Thessalonica, inclining a little toward the west, and having the sea on the east, that parts situated above this shore towards the west extend like belts328 parallel to one another through the whole country. The first of these belts is Attica with Megaris, the eastern side of which extends [Pg 92]
[CAS. 400]
from Sunium to Oropus, and Bœotia; on the western side is the isthmus, and the Alcyonian sea commencing at Pagæ and extending as far as the boundaries of Bœotia near Creusa, the remaining two sides are formed by the sea-shore from Sunium to the Isthmus, and the mountain tract nearly parallel with this, which separates Attica from Bœotia.

The second belt is Bœotia, stretching from east to west from the Eubœan sea to the Crisæan Gulf, nearly of equal length with Attica, or perhaps somewhat less; in quality of soil however it greatly surpasses Attica.

2. Ephorus declares the superiority of Bœotia over the bordering nations not only in this respect, but also because it alone has three seas adjoining it, and a great number of harbours. At the Crisæan and Corinthian Gulfs it received the commodities of Italy, Sicily, and Africa. Towards Eubœa the sea-coast branches off on each side of the Euripus; in one direction towards Aulis and Tanagrica, in the other, to Salganeus and Anthedon; on one side there is an open sea to Egypt, and Cyprus, and the islands; on the other to Macedonia, the Propontis, and the Hellespont. He adds also that Eubœa is almost a part of Bœotia, because the Euripus is very narrow, and the opposite shores are brought into communication by a bridge of two plethra in length.329

For these reasons he praises the country, and says, that it has natural advantages for obtaining supreme command, but that from want of careful education and learning, even those who were from time to time at the head of affairs did not long maintain the ascendency they had acquired, as appears from the example of Epaminondas; at his death the Thebans immediately lost the supremacy they had just acquired. This is to be attributed, says Ephorus, to their neglect of learning, and of intercourse with mankind, and to their exclusive cultivation of military virtues. It must be added also, that learning and knowledge are peculiarly useful in dealing with Greeks, but in the case of Barbarians, force is preferable to reason. In fact the Romans in early times, when carrying on war with savage nations, did not require such accomplishments, but from the time that they began to be concerned in transactions with more civilized people, they applied themselves to learning, and so established universal dominion.

[Pg 93]

3. Bœotia was first occupied by Barbarians, Aones, and Temmices, a wandering people from Sunium, by Leleges, and Hyantes. Then the Phœnicians, who accompanied Cadmus, possessed it. He fortified the Cadmeian land, and transmitted the government to his descendants. The Phœnicians founded Thebes, and added it to the Cadmeian territory. They preserved their dominion, and exercised it over the greatest part of the Bœotians till the time of the expedition of the Epigoni. At this period they abandoned Thebes for a short time, but returned again. In the same manner when they were ejected by Thracians and Pelasgi, they established their rule in Thessaly together with the Arnæi for a long period, so that all the inhabitants obtained the name of Bœotians. They returned afterwards to their own country, at the time the Æolian expedition was preparing at Aulis in Bœotia which the descendants of Orestes were equipping for Asia. After having united the Orchomenian tract to Bœotia (for formerly they did not form one community, nor has Homer enumerated these people with the Bœotians, but by themselves, calling them Minyæ) with the assistance of the Orchomenians they drove out the Pelasgi, who went to Athens, a part of which city is called from this people Pelasgic. The Pelasgi however settled below Hymettus. The Thracians retreated to Parnassus. The Hyantes founded Hyampolis in Phocis.

4. Ephorus relates that the Thracians, after making treaty with the Bœotians, attacked them by night, when encamped in a careless manner during a time of peace. The Thracians when reproached, and accused of breaking the treaty, replied, that they had not broken it, for the conditions were “by day,” whereas they had made the attack by night, whence the common proverb, “a Thracian shuffle.”

The Pelasgi and the Bœotians also went during the war to consult the oracle. He cannot tell, he says, what answer was given to the Pelasgi, but the prophetess replied to the Bœotians that they would prosper by committing some act of impiety. The messengers sent to consult the oracle suspecting the prophetess of favouring the Pelasgi on account of their relationship, (for the temple had originally belonged to the Pelasgi,) seized the woman, and threw her upon a burning pile, considering, that whether her conduct had been right or [Pg 94]
[CAS. 402]
wrong, in either case they were right; for if she had uttered a deceitful answer she was duly punished; but if not, they had only complied with the command of the oracle. Those in charge of the temple did not like to put to death, particularly in the temple, the perpetrators of this act without a formal judgment, and therefore subjected them to a trial. They were summoned before the priestesses, who were also the prophetesses, being the two survivors out of the three. The Bœotians alleged that there was no law permitting women to act as judges; an equal number of men were therefore chosen. The men acquitted; the women condemned. As the votes were equal, those for acquittal prevailed. Hence at Dodona it is to the Bœotians only that men deliver oracles. The prophetesses however give a different meaning to the answer of the oracle, and say, that the god enjoins the Bœotians to steal the tripods used at home, and to send them annually to Dodona. This they did, for they were in the habit of carrying away by night some of the dedicated tripods, which they concealed in their clothes, in order to convey them clandestinely as offerings to Dodona.

5. After this they assisted Penthilus in sending out the Æolian colony, and despatched a large body of their own people with him, so that it was called the Bœotian colony.

A long time afterwards the country was devastated during the war with the Persians at Platææ. They afterwards so far recovered their power, that the Thebans, having vanquished the Lacedæmonians in two battles,330 disputed the sovereignty of Greece. Epaminondas, however, was killed, and they were disappointed in their hope of obtaining this supremacy. They, nevertheless, fought in defence of the Greeks against the Phocæans, who had plundered their common temple. Reduced by this war, and by the Macedonians, at the time they invaded Greece, they lost their city, which was afterwards restored to them, and rebuilt by the Macedonians themselves, who had razed it.331 From that period to our own [Pg 95] times their affairs have continued to decline, nor do they retain the appearance even of a considerable village. Other cities (of Bœotia) have experienced a similar fate, with the exception of Tanagra and Thespiæ, which in comparison with Thebes are in a tolerable condition.

6. We are next to make a circuit of the country, beginning at the sea-coast, opposite Eubœa, which is continuous with that of Attica.

We begin this circuit from Oropus, and the Sacred Harbour,332 which is called Delphinium, opposite to which is the ancient Eretria in Eubœa, having a passage across of 60 stadia. After Delphinium, at the distance of 20 stadia, is Oropus, and opposite to this is the present Eretria.333 There is a passage over to it of 40 stadia.

7. Next is Delium,334 a place sacred to Apollo, in imitation of that at Delos. It is a small town of the Tanagræans, at the distance of 30 stadia from Aulis.

To this place the Athenians, after their defeat in battle, fled in disorder.335 In the flight, Socrates the philosopher (who having lost his horse, was serving on foot) observed Xenophon, the son of Gryllus, upon the ground, fallen from his horse; he raised him upon his shoulders and carried him away in safety, a distance of many stadia, until the rout was at an end.

8. Then follows a great harbour, which is called Bathys (or deep harbour): then Aulis,336 a rocky spot, and a village of the Tanagræans, with a harbour capable of containing 50 small vessels. So that probably the naval station of the [Pg 96]
[CAS. 403]
Greeks was in the Great Harbour. Near it is the Chalcidic Euripus, to which, from Sunium, are 70 stadia. On the Euripus, as I have already said, there is a bridge of two plethra in length;337 at each end is a tower, one on the side of Chalcis, the other on the side of Bœotia; and a passage (for the water) is constructed between them.338 With regard to the tide of the Euripus, it is sufficient to say thus much, that according to report, it changes seven times each day and night; the cause must be investigated elsewhere.

9. Salganeus is a place situated near the Euripus, upon a height. It has its name from Salganeus, a Bœotian, who was buried there. He was guide to the Persians, when they sailed into this passage from the Maliac Gulf. It is said, that he was put to death before they reached the Euripus, by the commander of the fleet, Megabates, as a traitor, for conducting the fleet deceitfully into a narrow opening of the sea, having no outlet. The Barbarian, however, perceived his mistake, and regretting what he had done, thought him worthy of burial, because he had been unjustly put to death.

10. Near Oropus339 is a place called Graia, the temple also of Amphiaraus, and the monument of Narcissus the Eretrian, surnamed Sigelus, (the Silent,) because passers-by keep silence. Some say that Graia and Tanagra340 are the same. The territory of Pœmandris, however, is the same as that of Tanagra. The Tanagræans are also called Gephyræans. The temple of Amphiaraus was transferred by command of an oracle to this place from the Thebaic Cnopia.

11. Mycalessus is a village in the Tanagrian district. It lies upon the road from Thebes to Chalcis. It is called in the Bœotian dialect Mycalettus. Harma, also, an uninhabited village in the Tanagrian territory, derives its name from the [Pg 97] chariot (ἅρμα) of Amphiaraus, and is a different place from Harma in Attica, near Phyle,341 a demus of Attica bordering upon Tanagra. There the proverb originated,

“When it has lightened through Harma,”

The Pythaïstæ, as they are called, signify, by the order of an oracle, the occurrence of any lightning when they are looking in the direction of Harma, and despatch the sacrifice to Delphi whenever it is observed. They were to keep watch for three months, and for three days and nights in each month, at the altar of Jupiter Astrapius, or Dispenser of lightning. This altar is in the wall, between the Pythium and the Olympium. Respecting the Bœotian Harma, some say, that Amphiaraus fell in battle out of his chariot, [harma,] near the spot where his temple now stands, and that the chariot was drawn empty to the place, which bears the same name [Harma].342 Others say, that the chariot of Adrastus, in his flight, was there dashed in pieces, but that he himself escaped on his horse Areion. According to Philochorus, his life was preserved by the inhabitants of the village; in consequence of which they obtained among the Argives the right of citizenship.

12. On going from Thebes to Argos,343 on the left hand is Tanagra; and [near the road] on the right lies Hyria. Hyria now belongs to the Tanagrian territory, but formerly to the Thebais. Here Hyrieus is fabled to have lived, and here is the scene of the birth of Orion, which Pindar mentions in the dithyrambics. It is situated near Aulis. Some persons say that Hysiæ is called Hyria, which belongs to Parasopia, situated below Cithæron, near Erythræ, in the inland parts; it is a colony of the Hyrienses, and was founded by Nycteus, the father of Antiope. There is also in the Argive territory a village, Hysiæ, the inhabitants of which are called Hysiatæ. Erythræ in Ionia is a colony of this Erythræ.

[Pg 98]
[CAS. 405]

Heleon, a Tanagrian village, has its name from (Hele) the marshes there.

13. After Salganeus is Anthedon, a city with a harbour, the last on the Bœotian coast towards Eubœa, as the poet says,

“Anthedon at the extremity.”344

As we proceed a little farther, there are besides two small towns, belonging to the Bœotians, Larymna, near which the Cephissus discharges its waters; and farther above, Halæ, of the same name as the Attic demus. Opposite to this coast is situated, it is said, Ægæ345 in Eubœa, where is the temple of the Ægæan Neptune, of which we have before spoken. There is a passage across from Anthedon to Ægæ of 120 stadia, and from the other places much less than this. The temple is situated upon a lofty hill, where was once a city. Near Ægæ was Orobiæ.346 In the Anthedonian territory is the mountain Messapius,347 which has its name from Messapus, who when he came into Iapygia called it Messapia. Here is laid the scene of the fable respecting the Anthedonian Glaucus, who, it is said, was transformed into a sea-monster.348

14. Near Anthedon is a place called Isus, and esteemed sacred, belonging to Bœotia; it contains remains of a city, and the first syllable of Isus is short. Some persons are of opinion, that the verse ought to be written, Ἶσόν τε ζαθέην Ἀνθηδόνα τ’ ἐσχατόωσαν,

“The sacred Isus, and the extreme Anthedon,”

lengthening the first syllable by poetical licence for the sake of the metre, instead of Νῖσάν τε ζαθέην,

“The sacred Nisa;”

for Nisa is not to be found anywhere in Bœotia, as Apollodorus says in his observations on the Catalogue of the Ships; [Pg 99] so that Nisa could not stand in this passage, unless by Nisa Homer meant Isus, for there was a city Nisa, in Megaris, from whence Isus was colonized, situated at the base of Cithæron, but it exists no longer.349 Some however write Κρεῦσάν τε ζαθέην,

“The sacred Creusa,”

meaning the present Creusa, the arsenal of the Thespieans, situated on the Crisæan Gulf. Others write the passage Φαράς τε ζαθέας,

“The sacred Pharæ,”

Pharæ is one of the four villages, (or Tetracomiæ,) near Tanagra, namely, Heleon, Harma, Mycalessus, Pharæ. Others again write the passage thus, Νῦσάν τε ζαθέην,

“The sacred Nysa.”

Nysa is a village of Helicon.

Such then is the description of the sea-coast opposite Eubœa.

15. The places next in order, in the inland parts, are hollow plains, surrounded everywhere on the east and west by mountains; on the south by the mountains of Attica, on the north by those of Phocis: on the west, Cithæron inclines, obliquely, a little above the Crisæan Sea; it begins contiguous to the mountains of Megaris and Attica, and then makes a bend towards the plains, and terminates near the Theban territory.

16. Some of these plains become lakes, by rivers spreading over or falling into them and then flowing off. Some are dried up, and being very fertile, are cultivated in every possible way. But as the ground underneath is full of caverns and fissures, it has frequently happened, that violent earthquakes have obstructed some passages, and formed others under-ground, or on the surface, the water being carried off, either by subterranean channels, or by the formation of lakes and rivers on the surface. If the deep subterranean passages are stopped up, the waters of the lakes increase, so as to inundate and cover cities and whole districts, which become uncovered, if the same or other passages are again opened. The same regions are thus traversed in boats or on foot, according [Pg 100]
[CAS. 406]
to circumstances; and the same cities are, occasionally, on the borders of, or at a distance from, a lake.

17. One of two things took place. The cities either retained their sites, when the rise of the water was insufficient to overflow the houses, or they were deserted and rebuilt in some other place, when the inhabitants, being frequently exposed to danger from their vicinity to the lake, released themselves from further apprehension, by changing to a more distant or higher situation. It followed that the cities thus rebuilt retained the same name. Formerly, they might have had a name derived from some accidental local circumstance, but now the site does not correspond with the derivation of the name. For example, it is probable that Platææ was so called, from πλάτη, or the flat part of the oar, and Platæans from gaining their livelihood by rowing; but at present, since they live at a distance from the lake, the name can no longer, with equal propriety, be derived from this local circumstance. Helos also, and Heleon, and Heilesium350 were so called from their situation close to ἕλη, (Hele,) or marshes; but at present the case is different with all these places; either they have been rebuilt, or the lake has been greatly reduced in height by a subsequent efflux of its waters; for this is possible.

18. This is exemplified particularly in the Cephissus,351 which fills the lake Copais.352 When the increase of the water of that lake was so great, that Copæ was in danger of being swallowed up, (the city is mentioned by the poet, and from it the lake had its name,)353 a fissure in the ground, which took place not far from the lake, and near Copæ, opened a subterraneous channel, of about 30 stadia in length, and received the river, which reappeared on the surface, near Upper Larymna in Locris; for, as has been mentioned, there is another Larymna, in Bœotia, on the sea, surnamed the Upper by the Romans. The place where the river rises again is called Anchoë, as also the lake near it. It is from this point that the Cephissus begins its course354 to the sea. When the overflowing of the water ceased, there was also a cessation of danger to the inhabitants on the banks, but not before some cities had been [Pg 101] already swallowed up. When the outlets were again obstructed, Crates the Miner, a man of Chalcis, began to clear away the obstructions, but desisted in consequence of the Bœotians being in a state of insurrection; although, as he himself says, in the letter to Alexander, many places had been already drained; among these, some writers supposed was the site of the ancient Orchomenus; others, that of Eleusis, and of Athens on the Triton. These cities are said to have been founded by Cecrops, when he ruled over Bœotia, then called Ogygia, but that they were afterwards destroyed by inundations. It is said, that there was a fissure in the earth near Orchomenus, that admitted the river Melas,355 which flows through the territory of Haliartus, and forms there a marsh, where the reed grows of which the musical pipe is made.356 But this river has entirely disappeared, being carried off by the subterraneous channels of the chasm, or absorbed by the lakes and marshes about Haliartus; whence the poet calls Haliartus grassy,

“And the grassy Haliartus.”357

19. These rivers descend from the Phocian mountains, and among them the Cephissus,358 having its source at Lilæa, a Phocian city, as Homer describes it;

“And they who occupied Lilæa, at the sources of Cephissus.”359

It flows through Elateia,360 the largest of the cities among the Phocians, through the Parapotamii, and the Phanoteis, which are also Phocian towns; it then goes onwards to Chæroneia in Bœotia; afterwards, it traverses the districts of Orchomenus and Coroneia, and discharges its waters into the lake Copais. The Permessus and the Olmeius361 descend from Helicon, and uniting their streams, fall into the lake Copais near Haliartus. The waters of other streams likewise discharge themselves into it. It is a large lake with a circuit of 380 stadia;362 the outlets are nowhere visible, if we [Pg 102]
[CAS. 407]
except the chasm which receives the Cephissus, and the marshes.

20. Among the neighbouring lakes are Trephea363 and Cephissis. Homer mentions it;

“Who dwelt in Hyla, intent upon amassing wealth, close to the lake Cephissis;”364

for he did not mean to specify the lake Copais, as some suppose, but that called Hylicus,365 from the neighbouring village, which is called Hylæ: nor did he mean Hyda, as some write the passage,

“He lived in Hyda,”

for there is a place of this name in Lydia,

“at the foot of the snowy Tmolus, in the fruitful country of Hyda;”366

and another in Bœotia; he therefore adds to

“behind the lake Cephissis,”

these words,

“near dwelt other Bœotians.”

For the Copais is of great extent, and not situated in the Theban district, but the other is small, and filled from the former by subterraneous channels; it is situated between Thebes367 and Anthedon. Homer however makes use of the word in the singular number, sometimes making the first syllable long by poetical licence, as in the Catalogue, ἠδ’ Ὕλην καὶ Πετεῶνα,368 and sometimes shortening it, as in this instance; Ὅς ῥ’ ἐν Ὗλῃ ναίεσκε; and again, Tychius Σκυτοτόμων ὄχ’ ἄριστος Ὕλῃ ἔνι οἰκία ναίων.369 Nor do some persons correctly write in this passage, Ὗδῃ ἔνι,

“In Hyda,”

for Ajax was not to send for his shield from Lydia.

21.370The lakes themselves would indicate the order in [Pg 103] which the places stand, and thence it would be easy to perceive that the poet, when naming them, whether they were places of importance or otherwise, has observed no order. Indeed it would be difficult in the enumeration of so many places, obscure for the most part, and situated in the interior, to preserve a regular order. The sea-coast affords more convenient means of doing this; the places there are better known, and the sea affords greater facilities for marking their position. We shall therefore endeavour to take our point of departure from the sea-coast, and without further discussion, shall follow the poet in his enumeration of places; at the same time, taking from other sources whatever may prove useful to us, but which has been omitted by him. He begins from Hyria and Aulis, of which we have already spoken.

22. Schœnus371 is a district of the Theban territory on the road to Anthedon, distant from Thebes about 50 stadia. A river of the name of Schœnus flows through it.

23. Scolus372 is a village belonging to the district of Parasopia situated at the foot of Cithæron; it is a rugged place, and scarcely habitable, hence the proverbial saying,

“Neither go yourself, nor follow any one going to Scolus.”

It is said that Pentheus was brought from thence, and torn in pieces. There was among the cities near Olynthus another of the name of Scolus. We have said that in the Heracleian Trachinia there was a village of the name of Parasopii, beside which runs a river Asopus, and that there is another river Asopus in Sicyonia, and that the country through which it flows is called Asopia. There are however other rivers of the same name.

24. The name of Eteonus was changed to that of Scarphe, which belongs to Parasopia. [Parasopia belongs to the Thebais,] for the Asopus and the Ismenus flow through the plain in front of Thebes. There is the fountain Dirce, and also Potniæ, where is laid the fable of Glaucus of Potniæ, who was torn in pieces near the city by Potnian mares. The Cithæron373 terminates not far from Thebes. The Asopus flows by it, and washes the foot of the mountain, and occasions the Parasopii to be distributed among several settlements, but all of these bodies of people are subject to the [Pg 104]
[CAS. 409]
Thebans. (Other writers say, that Scolus, Eteonus, and Erythræ, are in the district of Platææ, for the Asopus flows past Platææ, and discharges its waters into the sea near Tanagra.) In the Theban territory are Therapnæ and Teumessus, which Antimachus has extolled in a long poem, enumerating excellencies which it had not;

“There is a small hill exposed to the winds,” &c.:

but the lines are well known.

25. He calls the present place Thespiæ374 by the name of Thespia, for there are many names, of which some are used both in the singular and in the plural number, in the masculine and in the feminine gender, and some in either one or the other only. It is a city close to Helicon, lying more to the south. The city itself and Helicon are situated on the Crisæan Gulf. Thespiæ has an arsenal Creusa, or, as it is also named, Creusia. In the Thespian territory, in the part lying towards Helicon, is Ascra,375 the birth-place of Hesiod. It is on the right of Helicon, situated upon a lofty and rocky spot, at the distance of about 40 stadia from Thespiæ. Hesiod has satirized it in verses addressed to his father, for formerly emigrating (to this place) from Cume in Ætolia, as follows:

“He dwelt near Helicon in a wretched village, Ascra; bad in winter, in summer intolerable, and worthless at any season.”376

Helicon is contiguous to Phocis on its northern, and partly on its western side, as far as the last harbour of Phocis, which is called from its characteristic situation, Mychus, or the Recess.

[Pg 105]

Just above this part of the Crisæan Gulf, Helicon, Ascra, Thespiæ, and its arsenal Creusa, are situated. This is considered as the part of the Crisæan and of the Corinthian Gulf which recedes most inland. The coast extends 90 stadia from the recess of the harbour to Creusa, and thence 120 as far as the promontory called Holmiæ. In the most retired part of the Crisæan Gulf, Pagæ and Œnoa, which I have already mentioned, are situated.

Helicon, not far distant from Parnassus, rivals it in height377 and circumference. Both mountains are covered with snow, and are rocky. They do not occupy a circuit of ground of great extent. There are, the fane of the Muses, the Horse-fountain Hippocrene,378 and the grottoes of the nymphs, the Leibethrides. Hence it might be conjectured, that Helicon was consecrated to the Muses, by Thracians, who dedicated also Pieris, the Leibethrum, and Pimpleia to the same goddesses. The Thracians were called Pieres, and since their expulsion, the Macedonians possess these places.

It has been remarked, that the Thracians, (having expelled the Bœotians by force,) and the Pelasgi, and other barbarous people, settled in this part of Bœotia.

Thespiæ was formerly celebrated for a statue of Cupid by Praxiteles. Glycera the courtesan, a native of Thespiæ, received it as a present from the artist, and dedicated it as a public offering to her fellow-citizens.

Persons formerly used to repair thither to see the Cupid, where there was nothing else worth seeing. This city, and Tanagra, alone of the Bœotian cities exist at present, while of others there remain nothing but ruins and names.

[Pg 106]
[CAS. 410]

26. After Thespiæ the poet enumerates Graia and Mycalessus, of which we have before spoken.

He proceeds as before,

“They who lived near Harma, Eilesium, and Erythræ,
And they who occupied Eleon, Hyle, and Peteon.”379

Peteon is a village of the Thebais near the road to Anthedon. Ocalea is midway between Haliartus,380 and Alalcomenæ,381 it is distant from each 30 stadia. A small river of the same name flows by it. Medeon, belonging to Phocis, is on the Crisæan Gulf, distant from Bœotia 160 stadia. The Medeon of Bœotia has its name from that in Phocis. It is near Onchestus, under the mountain Phœnicium,382 whence it has the appellation of Phœnicis. This mountain is likewise assigned to the Theban district, but by others to the territories of Haliartus, as also Medeon and Ocalea.

27. Homer afterwards names,

“Copæ, and Eutresis, and Thisbe, abounding with doves.”383

[Pg 107]

We have spoken of Copæ. It lies towards the north on the lake Copais. The other cities around are, Acræphiæ, Phœnicis, Onchestus, Haliartus, Ocalea, Alalcomenæ, Tilphusium, Coroneia. Formerly, the lake had no one general name, but derived its appellation from every settlement on its banks, as Copaïs from Copæ,384 Haliartis from Haliartus, and other names from other places, but latterly the whole has been called Copaïs, for the lake is remarkable for forming at Copæ the deepest hollow. Pindar calls it Cephissis, and places near it, not far from Haliartus and Alalcomenæ, the fountain Tilphossa, which flows at the foot of Mount Tilphossius. At the fountain is the monument of Teiresias, and in the same place the temple of the Tilphossian Apollo.

28. After Copæ, the poet mentions Eutresis, a small village of the Thespians.385 Here Zethus and Amphion lived before they became kings of Thebes.

Thisbē is now called Thisbæ. The place is situated a little above the sea-coast on the confines of the Thespienses, and the territory of Coroneia; on the south it lies at the foot of Cithæron. It has an arsenal in a rocky situation abounding with doves, whence the poet terms it

“Thisbe, with its flights of doves.”

Thence to Sicyon is a voyage of 160 stadia.

29. He next recites the names of Coroneia, Haliartus, Platææ, and Glissas.

Coroneia386 is situated upon an eminence, near Helicon. The Bœotians took possession of it on their return from the Thessalian Arne, after the Trojan war, when they also occupied Orchomenus. Having become masters of Coroneia, they built in the plain before the city the temple of the Itonian Minerva, of the same name as that in Thessaly, and called the river [Pg 108]
[CAS. 411]
flowing by it, Cuarius, the name of the Thessalian river. Alcæus, however, calls it Coralius in these words,

“Minerva, warrior queen, who o’er Coroneia keepest watch before thy temple, on the banks of Coralius.”

The festival Pambœotia was here celebrated. Hades is associated with Minerva, in the dedication of the temple, for some mystical reason. The inhabitants of the Bœotian Coroneia are called Coronii, those of the Messenian Coroneia, Coronenses.

30. Haliartus387 is no longer in existence, it was razed in the war against Perseus. The territory is occupied by the Athenians, to whom it was given by the Romans. It was situated in a narrow spot between an overhanging mountain and the lake Copaïs, near the Permessus, the Olmeïus, and the marsh that produces the flute-reed.

31. Platææ, which the poet uses in the singular number, lies at the foot of Cithæron, between this mountain and Thebes, on the road to Athens and Megara; it is on the borders of Attica and Bœotia, for Eleutheræ is near, which some say belongs to Attica, others to Bœotia. We have said that the Asopus flows beside Platææ. There the army of the Greeks entirely destroyed Mardonius and three hundred thousand Persians. They dedicated there a temple to Jupiter Eleutherius, and instituted gymnastic games, called Eleutheria, in which the victor was crowned. The tombs erected at the public expense, in honour of those who died in the battle, are to be seen there. In the Sicyonian district is a demus called Platææ, where the poet Mnasalces was born:

“the monument of Mnasalces of Platææ.”

Glissas,388 Homer says, is a village on Mount Hypatus, which is near Teumessus and Cadmeia, in the Theban territory. * * * * * * * beneath is what is called the Aonian plain, which extends from Mount Hypatus [to Cadmeia?].389

[Pg 109]

32. By these words of the poet,

“those who occupied under Thebes,”390

some understand a small town, called Under-Thebes, others Potniæ, for Thebes was abandoned after the expedition of the Epigoni, and took no part in the Trojan war. Others say that they did take part in it, but that they lived at that time under Cadmeia, in the plain country, after the incursion of the Epigoni, being unable to rebuild the Cadmeia. As Thebes was called Cadmeia, the poet says that the Thebans of that time lived “under Thebes” instead of “under Cadmeia.”

33. The Amphictyonic council usually assembled at Onchestus, in the territory of Haliartus, near the lake Copaïs, and the Teneric plain. It is situated on a height, devoid of trees, where is a temple of Neptune also without trees. For the poets, for the sake of ornament, called all sacred places groves, although they were without trees. Such is the language of Pindar, when speaking of Apollo:

“He traversed in his onward way the earth and sea; he stood upon the heights of the lofty mountains; he shook the caves in their deep recesses, and overthrew the foundations of the sacred groves” or temples.

As Alcæus is mistaken in the altering the name of the river Cuarius, so he makes a great error in placing Onchestus at the extremities of Helicon, whereas it is situated very far from this mountain.

34. The Teneric plain has its name from Tenerus. According to mythology, he was the son of Apollo and Melia, and declared the answers of the oracle at the mountain Ptoum,391 which, the same poet says, had three peaks:

“At one time he occupied the caves of the three-headed Ptoum;”

and he calls Tenerus

“the prophet, dwelling in the temple, and having the same name as the soil on which it stands.”

The Ptoum is situated above the Teneric plain, and the lake Copaïs, near Acræphium.

[Pg 110]
[CAS. 413]

Both the oracle and the mountain belonged to the Thebans.

Acræphium392 itself is situated upon a height. This, it is said, is the place called Arnē by the poet, having the same name as the Thessalian Arnē.

35. Some say that Arnē and Mideia were swallowed up by the lake. Zenodotus, however, when he writes the verse thus,

“they who occupied Ascra abounding with vines,”393

does not seem to have read Hesiod’s description of his native country, and what has been said by Eudoxus, who relates things much more to the disparagement of Ascra. For how could any one believe that such a place could have been described by the poet as

“abounding with vines?”

Neither are those persons in the right, who substitute in this passage Tarnē for Arnē, for there is not a place of the name of Tarne to be found in Bœotia, although there is in Lydia. Homer mentions it,

“Idomeneus then slew Phæstus, the son of Borus, the artificer, who came from the fruitful soil of Tarnē.”394

Besides Alalcomenæ and Tilphossium, which are near the lake, Chæroneia, Lebadia, and Leuctra, are worthy of notice.

36. The poet mentions Alalcomenæ,395 but not in the Catalogue;

“the Argive Juno and Minerva of Alalcomenæ.”396

It has an ancient temple of Minerva, which is held in great veneration. It is said that this was the place of her birth, as Argos was that of Juno, and that Homer gave to both these goddesses designations derived from their native places. Perhaps for this reason he has not mentioned, in the Catalogue, the inhabitants; for having a sacred character, they were exempted from military service. Indeed the city has never suffered devastation by an enemy, although it is inconsiderable in size, and its position is weak, for it is situated in a plain.

[Pg 111]

All in reverence to the goddess abstained from every act of violence; wherefore the Thebans, at the time of the expedition of the Epigoni, abandoning their own city, are said to have taken refuge here, and on the strong mountain above it, the Tilphossium.397 Below Tilphossium is the fountain Tilphossa, and the monument of Teiresias, who died there on the retreat.

37. Chæroneia398 is near Orchomenus,399 where Philip, the son of Amyntas, after having overcome, in a great battle,400 the Athenians, Bœotians, and Corinthians, became the master of Greece. There are seen the sepulchres erected at the public charge of the persons who fell in that battle.

38. At Lebadeia401 is the oracle of Jupiter Trophonius, having a descent through an opening, which leads under-ground. The person himself, who consults the oracle, descends into it. It is situated between Helicon and Chæroneia, near Coroneia.

39. Leuctra402 is the place where Epaminondas overcame the Lacedæmonians in a great battle, and first weakened their power; for after that time they were never able to regain the supremacy over the Greeks, which they before possessed, and particularly after they were defeated in a second battle at Mantinea. Even after these reverses they preserved their independence until the establishment of the Roman dominion, and were always respected by that people on account of the excellency of their form of government. The field of battle is shown on the road which leads from Platææ to Thespiæ.

40. The poet next mentions the Orchomenians in the Catalogue, and distinguishes them from the Bœotian nation. He gives to Orchomenus the epithet Minyeian from the nation of the Minyæ. They say that a colony of the Minyeians went hence to Iolcus,403 and from this circumstance the Argonauts were called Minyæ. It appears that, anciently, it was a rich [Pg 112]
[CAS. 414]
and very powerful city. Homer bears witness to its wealth, for in his enumeration of places of great opulence, he says,

“Not all that is brought to Orchomenus, or to Ægyptian Thebes.”404

Of its power there is this proof, that the Thebans always paid tribute to the Orchomenians, and to Erginus their king, who it is said was put to death by Hercules. Eteocles, one of the kings that reigned at Orchomenus, first displayed both wealth and power. He built a temple dedicated to the Graces, who were thus honoured by him, either because he had been fortunate in receiving or conferring favours, or perhaps for both these reasons.

[For one who was inclined thus to honour these goddesses, must have been naturally disposed to be a benefactor, and he must have possessed the power. But for this purpose wealth is required. For he who has not much cannot give much, nor can he who does not receive much possess much; but when giving and receiving unite, then there is a just exchange. For a vessel which is simultaneously emptied and filled is always full; but he who gives and does not receive cannot succeed in either giving or receiving, for the giver must desist from giving from failure of means. Givers also will desist from giving to him who receives only, and confers no benefits, so that he must fail in receiving. The same may be said of power. For independently of the common saying,

“That money is the thing most highly valued,
And has the greatest influence in human affairs,”405

we may examine the subject more in detail. We say, for example, that kings have the greatest power, (μάλιστα δύνασθαι,) whence the name, dynasty. Their power is exerted by leading the multitude whither they like, by persuasion or by force. Their power of persuasion chiefly rests in doing acts of kindness; for persuasion by words is not princely, but belongs to the orator. By princely persuasion, I mean, when kings direct and lead men whither they please by acts of kindness. They persuade by acts of kindness, but compel by means of arms. Both power and possessions may be purchased by money. For he has the largest body of forces, who is able to maintain the largest; and he who has the largest possessions, can confer the greatest benefits.406]

[Pg 113]

The spot which the present lake Copaïs occupies, was formerly, it is said, dry ground, and was cultivated in various ways by the Orchomenians, who lived near it; and this is alleged as a proof of wealth.

41. Some persons use the word Aspledon407 without the first syllable, Spledon. The name both of the city and of the territory was changed to Eudeielos,408 which expressed perhaps some peculiar advantage the inhabitants derived from their western position, and especially the mild winters. The extreme parts of the day are the coldest. Of these the evening is colder than the morning, for as night approaches the cold is more intense, and as night retires the cold abates. The severity of the cold is mitigated by the heat of the sun, and the part which during the coldest season has received most of the sun’s heat, is mildest in winter.

It is distant from Orchomenus409 20 stadia. The river Melas is between them.

42. Panopeus, a Phocian city, and Hyampolis410 are situated above Orchomenus. Opus, the metropolis of the Locri Epicnemidii, borders upon these places. It is said, that Orchomenus was formerly situated on a plain, but, as the waters overflowed, the settlers removed to the mountain Acontium, which extends 60 stadia in length, as far as Parapotamii in Phocis. It is said, that those people, who are called Achæi in Pontus, are colonists from the Orchomenians, who, after the capture of Troy, wandered thither under the conduct of Ialmenus. There was also an Orchomenus near Carystus.

The writers on the Catalogue of Ships [in Homer], have furnished us with these materials, and they have been followed, wherever they introduced anything adapted to the design of this work.


1. Next to Bœotia and Orchomenus is Phocis, lying along the side of Bœotia to the north, and, anciently, nearly from sea [Pg 114]
[CAS. 416]
to sea. For at that time Daphnus belonged to Phocis, dividing Locris into two parts, and situated midway between the Opuntian Gulf and the sea-coast of the Epicnemidii. At present, however, the district belongs to the Locri; but the town is in ruins, so that Phocis no longer extends to the sea opposite Eubœa; but it is close to the Crisæan Gulf. For Crisa itself belongs to Phocis, and is situated immediately upon the sea. Cirrha, Anticyra,411 and the places above them, in the interior near Parnassus in continuous succession, namely, Delphi,412 Cirphis, and Daulis,413 belong to Phocis, so also Parnassus itself, which is the boundary of the western side.

In the same manner as Phocis lies along the side of Bœotia, so are both the divisions of Locris situated with respect to Phocis, for Locris is composed of two parts, being divided by Parnassus. The western part lies along the side of Parnassus, occupies a portion of it, and extends to the Crisæan Gulf; the eastern part terminates at the sea near Eubœa. The inhabitants of the former are called Locri Hesperii, or Locri Ozolæ, and have engraven on their public seal the star Hesperus. The rest are again divided into two bodies: one, the Opuntii, who have their name from the chief city, and border upon the Phocæans and Bœotians; the other, the Epicnemidii, who have their name from the mountain Cnemis;414 and adjoin the Œtæi, and the Malienses. In the midst of the Hesperii, and the other Locri, is Parnassus, lying lengthwise towards the northern part, and extending from the neighbourhood of Delphi to the junction of the Œtæan, and the Ætolian mountains, and to the Dorians, who are situated between them. For as both divisions of Locris extend along the side of Phocis, so also the region of Œta with Ætolia, and some of the places situated in the Doric Tetrapolis, extend along the sides of the two Locri, Parnassus and the Dorians. Immediately above these are situated the Thessalians, the northern Ætolians, the Acarnanians, and some of the Epirotic and Macedonian nations, as I observed before, the above-mentioned tracts of country may be considered as a kind of parallel bands stretching from the west to the east.

The whole of Parnassus is esteemed sacred, it contains caves, and other places, which are regarded with honour and [Pg 115] reverence. Of these the most celebrated and the most beautiful is Corycium, a cave of the nymphs, having the same name as that in Cilicia. Of the sides of Parnassus, the western is occupied by the Locri Ozolæ, and by some of the Dorians, and by the Ætoli, situated near Corax, an Ætolian mountain. The eastern side is occupied by Phocians and by the greater part of the Dorians, who hold the Tetrapolis, situated as it were round the side of Parnassus, but spreading out in the largest extent towards the east. The sides of the above-mentioned tracts and each of the bands are parallel, one side being northern, and the other southern. The western sides, however, are not parallel to the eastern, for the sea-coast from the Crisæan Gulf to Actium415 is not parallel to the coast opposite Eubœa, and extending to Thessalonica. It is on these shores the above-mentioned nations terminate. For the figure of these countries is to be understood from the notion of lines drawn parallel to the base of a triangle, where the separate parts lie parallel to one another, and have their sides in latitude parallel, but not their sides in longitude. This is a rough sketch of the country which remains to be examined. We shall examine each separate part in order, beginning with Phocis.

2. The two most celebrated cities of this country are Delphi and Elateia. Delphi is renowned for the temple of the Pythian Apollo, and the antiquity of its oracle; since Agamemnon is said by the poet to have consulted it; for the minstrel is introduced singing of the

“fierce contest of Ulysses, and Achilles, the son of Peleus, how once they contended together, and Agamemnon king of men was pleased, for so Phœbus Apollo had foretold by the oracle in the illustrious Pytho.”416

Delphi then was celebrated on this account. Elateia was famous as being the largest of the cities in that quarter, and for its very convenient position upon the straits; for he, who is the master of this city, commands the entrances into Phocis and Bœotia. First, there are the Œtæan mountains, next the mountains of the Locri, and the Phocians; they are not every where passable for invading armies, coming from Thessaly, but having narrow passes distinct from each other, which the adjacent cities guard. Those, who take the cities, are masters [Pg 116]
[CAS. 418]
of the passes also. But since from its celebrity the temple at Delphi possesses a pre-eminence, this, together with the position of the places, (for they are the most westerly parts of Phocis,) suggest a natural commencement of our description, and we shall begin from thence.

3. We have remarked, that Parnassus itself is situated on the western boundaries of Phocis. The western side of this mountain is occupied by the Locri Ozolæ; on the southern is Delphi, a rocky spot, resembling in shape a theatre; on its summit is the oracle, and also the city, which comprehends a circle of 16 stadia. Above it lies Lycoreia; here the Delphians were formerly settled above the temple. At present they live close to it around the Castalian fountain. In front of the city, on the southern part, is Cirphis, a precipitous hill, leaving in the intermediate space a wooded ravine, through which the river Pleistus flows. Below Cirphis near the sea is Cirrha, an ancient city, from which there is an ascent to Delphi of about 80 stadia. It is situated opposite to Sicyon. Adjoining to Cirrha is the fertile Crisæan plain. Again, next in order follows another city Crisa, from which the Crisæan Gulf has its name; then Anticyra,417 of the same name as the city, on the Maliac Gulf, and near Œta. The best hellebore is said to grow in the Maliac Anticyra,418 but here it is prepared in a better manner; on this account many persons resort hither for the purpose of experiencing its purgative qualities, and of being cured of their maladies. In the Phocian territory there is found a medicinal plant, resembling Sesamum, (Sesamoides,) with which the Œtæan hellebore is prepared.

4. Anticyra still remains, but Cirrha and Crisa419 are in ruins; Cirrha was destroyed by the Crisæans; and Crisa, afterwards, by Eurylochus the Thessalian, in the Crisæan war; for the Crisæi enriched themselves by duties levied on merchandise brought from Sicily and Italy, and laid grievous imposts on those who resorted to the temple, contrary to the decrees of the Amphictyons. The same was the case with the Amphissenses, who belong to the Locri Ozolæ. This people made an irruption into the country, and took possession of Crisa, and restored it. The plain, which had been consecrated [Pg 117] by the Amphictyons, was diligently cultivated, but strangers were more harshly treated than by the Crisæans before them. The Amphictyons punished them and restored the territory to the god. The temple at Delphi is now much neglected, although formerly it was held in the greatest veneration. Proofs of the respect which was paid to it are, the treasuries constructed at the expense of communities and princes, where was deposited the wealth dedicated to sacred uses, the works of the most eminent artists, the Pythian games, and a multitude of celebrated oracles.

5. The place where the oracle is delivered, is said to be a deep hollow cavern, the entrance to which is not very wide. From it rises up an exhalation which inspires a divine frenzy: over the mouth is placed a lofty tripod on which the Pythian priestess ascends to receive the exhalation, after which she gives the prophetic response in verse or prose. The prose is adapted to measure by poets who are in the service of the temple. Phemonoë is said to have been the first Pythian prophetess, and both the prophetess and the city obtained their appellation from the word Pythesthai, to inquire, (πυθέσθαι). The first syllable was lengthened, as in the words ἀθάνατος, ἀκάματος, διάκονος.

420 [The establishment of cities, and the honour paid to common temples, are due to the same feelings and causes. Men were collected together into cities and nations, from a natural disposition to society, and for the purpose of mutual assistance. Hence common temples were resorted to, festivals celebrated, and meetings held of the general body of the people. For friendship commences from and is promoted by attending the same feasts, uniting in the same worship, and dwelling under the same roof. The advantages derived from these meetings were naturally estimated from the number of persons who attended them, as also from the number of places from whence they came.]

6. Although the highest honour was paid to this temple on account of the oracle, (for it was the most exempt of any from deception,) yet its reputation was owing in part to its situation in the centre of all Greece, both within and without the isthmus. It was also supposed to be the centre of the habitable [Pg 118]
[CAS. 420]
earth, and was called the Navel of the earth. A fable, referred to by Pindar, was invented, according to which two eagles, (or, as others say, two crows,) set free by Jupiter, one from the east, the other from the west, alighted together at Delphi. In the temple is seen a sort of navel wrapped in bands, and surmounted by figures representing the birds of the fable.

7. As the situation of Delphi is convenient, persons easily assembled there, particularly those from the neighbourhood, of whom the Amphictyonic body is composed. It is the business of this body to deliberate on public affairs, and to it is more particularly intrusted the guardianship of the temple for the common good; for large sums of money were deposited there, and votive offerings, which required great vigilance and religious care. The early history of this body is unknown, but among the names which are recorded, Acrisius appears to have been the first who regulated its constitution, to have determined what cities were to have votes in the council, and to have assigned the number of votes and mode of voting. To some cities he gave a single vote each, or a vote to two cities, or to several cities conjointly. He also defined the class of questions which might arise between the different cities, which were to be submitted to the decision of the Amphictyonic tribunal; and subsequently many other regulations were made, but this body, like that of the Achæans, was finally dissolved.

At first twelve cities are said to have assembled, each of which sent a Pylagoras. The convention was held twice a year, in spring and autumn. But latterly a greater number of cities assembled. They called both the vernal and the autumnal convention Pylæan, because it was held at Pylæ, which has the name also of Thermopylæ. The Pylagoræ sacrificed to Ceres.

In the beginning, the persons in the neighbourhood only assembled, or consulted the oracle, but afterwards people repaired thither from a distance for this purpose, sent gifts, and constructed treasuries, as Crœsus, and his father Alyattes, some of the Italians also, and the Siceli (Sicilians).

8. But the wealth, being an object of cupidity, was guarded with difficulty, although dedicated to sacred uses. At present, however, whatever it might have been, the temple at [Pg 119] Delphi is exceedingly poor. Some of the offerings have been taken away for the sake of the money, but the greater part remain there. It is true that the temple was once very opulent, as Homer testifies;

“Nor all the wealth, which the marble threshold of Phœbus Apollo, the Archer, (Aphetor,)421 contains in the rocky Pytho.”422

The treasuries indicate its riches, and the plunder committed by the Phocians, which gave rise to the Phocic or Sacred war, as it was called. It is however supposed that a spoliation of the temple must have taken place at some more remote period, when the wealth mentioned by Homer disappeared; for no vestige of it whatever was preserved to later times, when Onomarchus and Phayllus pillaged the temple, as the property [then] removed was of a more recent date than that referred to by the poet. For there were once deposited in the treasuries, offerings from spoils, bearing inscriptions with the names of the donors, as of Gyges, of Crœsus, of the Sybaritæ, of the Spinetæ on the Adriatic, and of others also. It would be unbecoming to suppose423 that modern and ancient treasures were confounded together: other places pillaged by these people confirm this view.

Some persons, however, understanding the word Aphetor to signify treasure, and the threshold of the aphetor the repository of the treasure under-ground, say, that this wealth was buried beneath the temple, and that Onomarchus and his companions attempted to dig it up by night; violent shocks of an earthquake caused them to fly out of the temple, and desist from their excavation; thus others were impressed with a dread of making similar attempts.

9. Of the shrines, the winged shrine424 is to be placed among fabulous stories. The second is said to have been the workmanship of Trophonius and Agamedes, but the present shrine425 was built by the Amphictyons. A tomb of Neoptolemus is shown in the sacred enclosure. It was built according [Pg 120]
[CAS. 421]
to the injunction of an oracle. Neoptolemus was killed by Machæreus, a Delphian, when, as the fable goes, he was seeking redress from the god for the murder of his father, but, probably, he was preparing to pillage the temple. Branchus, who presided over the temple at Didyma, is said to have been a descendant of Machæreus.

10. There was anciently a contest held at Delphi, of players on the cithara, who executed a pæan in honour of the god. It was instituted by Delphians. But after the Crisæan war the Amphictyons, in the time of Eurylochus, established contests for horses, and gymnastic sports, in which the victor was crowned. These were called Pythian games. The players426 on the cithara were accompanied by players on the flute, and by citharists,427 who performed without singing. They performed a strain (Melos),428 called the Pythian mood (Nomos).429 It consisted of five parts; the anacrusis, the ampeira, cataceleusmus, iambics and dactyls, and pipes.430 Timosthenes, the commander of the fleet of the Second Ptolemy, and who was the author of a work in ten books on Harbours, composed a melos. His object was to celebrate in this melos the contest of Apollo with the serpent Python. The anacrusis was intended to express the prelude; the ampeira, the first onset of the contest; the cataceleusmus, the contest itself; the iambics and dactyls denoted the triumphal strain on obtaining the victory, together with musical measures, of which the dactyl is peculiarly appropriated to praise, and the use of the iambic to insult and reproach; the syringes or pipes described the death, the players imitating the hissings of the expiring monster.431

11. Ephorus, whom we generally follow, on account of his exactness in these matters, (as Polybius, a writer of repute, testifies,) seems to proceed contrary to his proposed plan, and to the promise which he made at the beginning of his work. For after having censured those writers who are fond of intermixing fable with history, and after having spoken in praise of truth, he introduces, with reference to this oracle, a grave declaration, that he considers truth preferable at all [Pg 121] times, but especially in treating subjects of this kind. For it is absurd, he says, if, in other things, we constantly follow this practice, but that when we come to speak of the oracle, which of all others is the most exempt from deception, we should introduce tales so incredible and false. Yet immediately afterwards he says, that it is the received opinion that Apollo, by the aid of Themis, established this oracle with a view to benefit the human race. He then explains these benefits, by saying, that men were invited to pursue a more civilized mode of life, and were taught maxims of wisdom by oracles; by injunctions to perform or to abstain, or by positive refusal to attend to the prayers of petitioners. Some, he says, suppose, that the god himself in a bodily form directs these things; others, that he communicates an intimation of his will to men [by words].

12. And lower down, when speaking of the Delphians and their origin, he says, that certain persons, called Parnassii, an indigenous tribe, anciently inhabited Parnassus, about which time Apollo, traversing the country, reclaimed men from their savage state, by inducing them to adopt a more civilized mode of life and subsistence; that, setting out from Athens on his way to Delphi, he took the same road along which the Athenians at present conduct the procession of the Pythias; that when he arrived at the Panopeis, he put to death Tityus, who was master of the district, a violent and lawless man; that the Parnassii having joined him informed him of Python, another desperate man, surnamed the Dragon. Whilst he was despatching this man with his arrows, they shouted, Hie Paian;432 whence has been transmitted the custom of singing the Pæan before the onset of a battle; that after the death of the Python the Delphians burnt even his tent, as they still continue to burn a tent in memorial of these events. Now what can be more fabulous than Apollo discharging his arrows, chastising Tityi and Pythons, his journey from Athens to Delphi, and his travels over the whole country? If he did not consider these as fables, why did he call the fabulous Themis a woman, and the fabulous dragon a man, unless he intended to confound the provinces of history and fable. His account of the Ætolians is similar to this. After having [Pg 122]
[CAS. 423]
asserted that their country was never ravaged at any period, he says, that at one time it was inhabited by Ætolians, who had expelled the Barbarians; that at another time, Ætolus, together with the Epeii from Elis, inhabited it; [that Ætolus was overthrown by the Epeii,] and these again by Alcmæon and Diomedes.

I now return to the Phocians.

13. Immediately on the sea-coast, next after Anticyra,433 and behind434 it, is the small city Marathus; then a promontory, Pharygium, which has a shelter for vessels; then the harbour at the farthest end, called Mychus,435 from the accident of its situation between Helicon436 and Ascra.

Nor is Abæ,437 the seat of an oracle, far from these places, nor Ambrysus,438 nor Medeon, of the same name as a city in Bœotia.

In the inland parts, next after Delphi, towards the east is Daulis,439 a small town, where, it is said, Tereus, the Thracian, was prince; and there they say is the scene of the fable of Philomela and Procne; Thucydides lays it there; but other writers refer it to Megara. The name of the place is derived from the thickets there, for they call thickets Dauli. Homer calls it Daulis, but subsequent writers Daulia, and the words

“they who occupied Cyparissus,”440

are understood in a double sense; some persons supposing it to have its name from the tree of the country, but others from a village situated below the Lycoreian territory.

14. Panopeus, the present Phanoteus, the country of Epeius, is on the confines of the district of Lebadeia. Here the fable places the abode of Tityus. But Homer says, that the Phæacians conducted Rhadamanthus to Eubœa,

“in order to see Tityus, son of the earth;”441

[Pg 123] they show also in the island a cave called Elarium, from Elara the mother of Tityus, and an Heroum of Tityus, and some kind of honours are spoken of, which are paid to him.

Near Lebadeia is Trachin, having the same name as that in Œtæa; it is a small Phocian town. The inhabitants are called Trachinii.

15. Anemoreia442 has its name from a physical accident, to which it is liable. It is exposed to violent gusts of wind from a place called Catopterius,443 a precipitous mountain, extending from Parnassus. It was a boundary between Delphi and the Phocians, when the Lacedæmonians made the Delphians separate themselves from the common body of the Phocians,444 and permitted them to form an independent state.

Some call the place Anemoleia; it was afterwards called by others Hyampolis,445 (and also Hya,) whither we said the Hyantes were banished from Bœotia. It is situated quite in the interior, near Parapotamii, and is a different place from Hyampea on Parnassus.

Elateia446 is the largest of the Phocian cities, but Homer was not acquainted with it, for it is later than his times. It is conveniently situated to repel incursions on the side of Thessaly. Demosthenes447 points out the advantage of its position, in speaking of the confusion which suddenly arose, when a messenger arrived to inform the Prytaneis of the capture of Elateia.

16. Parapotamii is a settlement on the Cephissus, in the neighbourhood of Phanoteus, Chæroneia, and Elateia. This place, according to Theopompus, is distant from Chæroneia about 40 stadia, and is the boundary between the Ambryseis, Panopeis, and Daulieis. It is situated at the entrance from Bœotia to the Phocians, upon an eminence of moderate height, between Parnassus and the mountain [Hadylium, where there is an open space] of 5 stadia in extent, through which runs the Cephissus, affording on each side a narrow pass. This river has its source at Lilæa, a Phocian city, as Homer testifies;

[Pg 124]
[CAS. 424]

“they who occupied Lilæa, near the source of the Cephissus;”448

and empties itself into the lake Copais. But Hadylium extends 60 stadia, as far as Hyphanteium, on which Orchomenus is situated. Hesiod also enlarges on the river and its stream, how it takes through the whole of Phocis an oblique and serpentine course;

“which, like a serpent, winds along Panopeus and the strong Glechon, and through Orchomenus.”449

The narrow pass near Parapotamii, or Parapotamia, (for the name is written both ways,) was disputed in [the Phocian war,] for this is the only entrance [into Phocis].450

There is a Cephissus in Phocis, another at Athens, and another at Salamis. There is a fourth and a fifth at Sicyon and at Scyrus; [a sixth at Argos, having its source in the Lyrceium].451 At Apollonia,452 also, near Epidamnus,453 there is near the Gymnasium a spring, which is called Cephissus.

17. Daphnus454 is at present in ruins. It was at one time a city of Phocis, and lay close to the Eubœan Sea; it divided the Locri Epicnemidii into two bodies, namely, the Locri on the side of Bœotia,455 and the Locri on the side of Phocis, which then extended from sea to sea. A proof of this is the Schedieum, [in Daphnus,] called the tomb of Schedius.456 [It has been already said] that Daphnus [divides] Locris into two parts, [in such a manner as to prevent] the Epicnemidii and Opuntii from touching upon each other in any part. In after-times Daphnus was included within the boundaries of the [Opuntii].

On the subject of Phocis, this may suffice.

[Pg 125]


1. Locris, which we are now to describe, follows next in order.

It is divided into two parts, one of which is occupied by the Locri opposite Eubœa, and, as we have already said, formerly consisted of two bodies, situated one on each side of Daphnus. The Locri Opuntii had their surname from Opus,457 the capital; the Epicnemidii from a mountain called Cnemis.458 The rest are the Locri Hesperii, who are called also Locri Ozolæ. These are separated from the Locri Opuntii and Epicnemidii by Parnassus, which lies between them, and by the Tetrapolis of the Dorians. We shall first speak of the Opuntii.

2. Immediately after Halæ, where the Bœotian coast opposite Eubœa terminates, is the Opuntian bay. Opus is the capital, as the inscription intimates, which is engraved on the first of the five pillars at Thermopylæ, near the Polyandrium:459

“Opoeis, the capital of the Locri, hides in its bosom those who died in defence of Greece against the Medes.”

It is distant from the sea about 15 stadia, and 60 from the naval arsenal. The arsenal is Cynus,460 a promontory, which forms the boundary of the Opuntian bay. The latter is 40 stadia in extent. Between Opus and Cynus is a fertile plain, opposite to Ædepsus in Eubœa, where are the warm baths461 of Hercules, and is separated by a strait of 160 stadia. Deucalion is said to have lived at Cynus. There also is shown the tomb of Pyrrha; but that of Deucalion is at Athens. Cynus is distant from Mount Cnemis about 50 stadia. The island Atalanta462 is opposite to Opus, having the [Pg 126]
[CAS. 425]
same name as the island in front of Attica. It is said, that some Opuntii are to be found in the Eleian territory, whom it is not worth while to notice, except that they pretend to trace some affinity subsisting between themselves and the Locri Opuntii. Homer463 says that Patroclus was from Opus, and that having committed murder undesignedly, he fled to Peleus, but that the father Menœtius remained in his native country; for it is to Opus that Achilles promised Menœtius that he would bring back Patroclus on his return from the Trojan expedition.464 Not that Menœtius was king of the Opuntii, but Ajax the Locrian, who, according to report, was born at Narycus. The name of the person killed by Patroclus was [Ae]anes; a grove, called after him [Ae]aneium, and a fountain, [Ae]anis, are shown.

3. Next after Cynus is Alopē465 and Daphnus, which last, we have said, is in ruins. At Alopē is a harbour, distant from Cynus about 90 stadia, and 120 from Elateia, in the interior of the country. But these belong to the Maliac, which is continuous with the Opuntian Gulf.

4. Next to Daphnus, at the distance of about 20 stadia by sea, is Cnemides, a strong place, opposite to which in Eubœa is Cenæum, a promontory, looking towards the west and the Maliac Gulf, and separated by a strait of nearly 20 stadia.

At Cnemides we are in the territory of the Locri Epicnemidii. Here are the Lichades, as they are called, three islands, having their name from Lichas; they lie in front of Cnemides. Other islands also are met with in sailing along this coast, which we purposely pass over.

At the distance of 20 stadia from Cnemides is a harbour, above which at the same distance, in the interior, is situated Thronium.466 Then the Boagrius, which flows beside Thronium, empties itself into the sea. It has another name also, that of Manes. It is a winter torrent; whence its bed may be crossed at times dry-shod, and at another it is two plethra in width.

Then after these is Scarpheia, at a distance of 10 stadia [Pg 127] from the sea, and of 30 from Thronium, but at a little [less from its harbour.]467 Next are Nicæa and Thermopylæ.

5. It is not worth while to speak of any of the other cities. Of those mentioned by Homer, Calliarus is no longer inhabited, it is now a well-cultivated plain. Bessa, a sort of plain, does not now exist. It has its name from an accidental quality, for it abounds with woods. χώραν ἔχουσι Σκαρφιεῖς, &c. It ought to be written with a double s, for it has its name from Bessa, a wooded valley, like Napē,468 in the plain of Methymna,469 which Hellanicus, through ignorance of the local circumstances, improperly calls Lapē; but the demus in Attica, from which the burghers are called Besæenses, is written with a single s.

6. Tarphē is situated upon a height, at the distance of 20 stadia from [Thronium]. It has a territory, productive and well wooded; for this place also has its name from its being thickly wooded. It is now called Pharygæ. A temple of Juno Pharygæa is there, called so from the Argive Juno at Pharygæ; and the inhabitants assert that they are of Argive origin.

7. Homer does not mention, at least not in express words, the Locri Hesperii, but only seems to distinguish them from the people of whom we have spoken;

“Locri, who dwell beyond the sacred Eubœa;”470

as if there were other Locri. They occupied the cities Amphissa471 and Naupactus.472 The latter still subsists near Antirrhium.473 It has its name from the ships that were built there, either because the Heraclidæ constructed their fleet at this place, or because the Locri, as Ephorus states, had built vessels there long before that time. At present it belongs to the Ætolians, by a decree of Philip.

8. There also is Chalcis, mentioned by the poet474 in the Ætolian Catalogue. It is below Calydon. There also is the hill Taphiassus, on which is the monument of Nessus, and of the other Centaurs. From the putrefaction of the bodies of these people there flows, it is said, from beneath the foot of that hill a stream of water, which exhales a fœtid odour, and [Pg 128]
[CAS. 427]
contains clots of blood. Hence also the nation had the name of Ozolæ.475

Opposite Antirrhium is Molycreia,476 a small Ætolian city.

Amphissa is situated at the extremity of the Crisæan plain. It was razed, as we have said before, by the Amphictyons. Œanthia and Eupalium belong to the Locri. The whole voyage along the coast of the Locri is a little more than 200 stadia.

9. There is an Alope477 both here among the Locri Ozolæ, as also among the Epicnemidii, and in the Phthiotis. These are a colony of the Epicnemidii, and the Epizephyrii a colony of the Ozolæ.

10. Ætolians are continuous with the Locri Hesperii, and the Ænianes, who occupy Œta with the Epicnemidii, and between them Dorians. These last are the people who inhabited the Tetrapolis, which is called the capital of all the Dorians. They possessed the cities Erineus, Bœum, Pindus, Cytinium. Pindus is situated above Erineus. A river of the same name flows beside it, and empties itself into the Cephissus, not far from Lilæa. Some writers call Pindus, Acyphas.

Ægimius, king of these Dorians, when an exile from his kingdom, was restored, as they relate, by Hercules. He requited this favour after the death of Hercules at Œta by adopting Hyllus, the eldest of the sons of Hercules, and both he and his descendants succeeded him in the kingdom. It was from this place that the Heracleidæ set out on their return to Peloponnesus.

11. These cities were for some time of importance, although they were small, and their territory not fruitful. They were afterwards neglected. After what they suffered in the Phocian war and under the dominion of the Macedonians, Ætolians, and Athamanes, it is surprising that even a vestige of them should have remained to the time of the Romans.

It was the same with the Ænianes, who were exterminated by Ætolians and Athamanes. The Ætolians were a very powerful people, and carried on war together with the Acarnanians. The Athamanes were the last of the Epeirotæ, who attained distinction when the rest were declining, and acquired power by the assistance of their king Amynander. The Ænianes, however, kept possession of Œta.

[Pg 129]

12. This mountain extends from Thermopylæ and the east, to the Ambracian Gulf and the west; it may be said to cut at right angles the mountainous tract, extending from Parnassus as far as Pindus, and to the Barbarians who live beyond. The portion of this mountain verging towards Thermopylæ478 is called Œta; it is 200 stadia in length, rocky and elevated, but the highest part is at Thermopylæ, for there it forms a peak, and terminates with acute and abrupt rocks, continued to the sea. It leaves a narrow passage for those who are going from Thessaly to Locris.

13. This passage is called Pylæ, or gates, straits, and Thermopylæ, because near the straits are hot springs, which are held in honour as sacred to Hercules. The mountain above is called Callidromus; but some writers call by the name of Callidromus the remaining part of the range extending through Ætolia and Acarnania to the Ambracian Gulf.

At Thermopylæ within the straits are strongholds, as Nicæa, on the sea of the Locri, Teichius and Heracleia above it, formerly called Trachin, founded by the Lacedæmonians. Heracleia is distant from the ancient Trachin about 6 stadia. Next follows Rhoduntia, strong by its position.

14. These places are rendered difficult of access by a rocky country, and by bodies of water, forming ravines through which they pass. For besides the Spercheius,479 which flows past Anticyra, there is the Dyras, which, it is said, endeavoured to extinguish the funeral pile of Hercules, and another river, the Melas, distant about 5 stadia from Trachin. Herodotus says,480 that to the south of Trachin there is a deep fissure, through which the Asopus, (which has the same name as other rivers that we have mentioned,) empties itself into the sea without the Pylæ, having received the river Phœnix which flows from the south, and unites with it. The latter river bears the name of the hero, whose tomb is shown near it. From the Asopus (Phœnix?) to Thermopylæ are 15 stadia.

15. These places were of the greatest celebrity when they formed the keys of the straits. There were frequent contests for the ascendency between the inhabitants without and those within the straits. Philip used to call Chalcis and Corinth the fetters of Greece with reference to the opportunity which they afforded for invasions from Macedonia; and persons in [Pg 130]
[CAS. 429]
later times called both these places and Demetrias “the fetters,” for Demetrias commanding Pelion and Ossa, commanded also the passes at Tempe. Afterwards, however, when the whole country was subject to one power, the passes were freely open to all.481

16. It was at these straits that Leonidas and his companions, together with a small body of persons from the neighbourhood, resisted the numerous forces of the Persians, until the Barbarians, making a circuit of the mountains along narrow paths, surrounded and cut them to pieces. Their place of burial, the Polyandrium, is still to be seen there, and the celebrated inscription sculptured on the Lacedæmonian pillar; “Stranger, go tell Lacedæmon that we lie here in obedience to her laws.”

17. There is also a large harbour here and a temple of Ceres, in which the Amphictyons at the time of every Pylæan assembly offered sacrifice. From the harbour to the Heracleian Trachin are 40 stadia by land, but by sea to Cenæum482 it is 70 stadia. The Spercheius empties itself immediately without the Pylæ. To Pylæ from the Euripus are 530 stadia. And here Locris terminates. The parts without the Pylæ towards the east, and the Maliac Gulf, belong to the Thessalians; those towards the west, to the Ætolians and Acarnanians. The Athamanes are extinct.

18. The Thessalians form the largest and most ancient community. One part of them has been mentioned by Homer, and the rest by many other writers. Homer constantly mentions the Ætolians under one name; he places cities, and not nations dependent upon them, if we except the Curetes, whom we must place in the division of Ætolians.

We must begin our account with the Thessalians, omitting very ancient and fabulous stories, and what is not generally admitted, (as we have done in other instances,) but propose to mention what appears suited to our purpose.

[Pg 131]


1. The sea-coast, extending from Thermopylæ to the mouths of the Peneius,483 and the extremities of Pelion, looking towards the east, and the northern extremities of Eubœa, is that of Thessaly. The parts opposite Eubœa and Thermopylæ are occupied by Malienses, and by Achæan Phthiotæ; those towards Pelion by the Magnetes. This may be called the eastern and maritime side of Thessaly. From either side from Pelion, and the Peneius, towards the inland parts are Macedonians, who extend as far as Pæonia, (Pindus?) and the Epeirotic nations. From Thermopylæ, the Œtæan and Ætolian mountains, which approach close to the Dorians, and Parnassus, are parallel to the Macedonians. The side towards the Macedonians may be called the northern side; the other, the southern. There remains the western side, enclosed by Ætolians and Acarnanians, by Amphilochians and Athamanes, who are Epirotæ; by the territory of the Molotti, formerly said to be that of the Æthices, and, in short, by the country about Pindus. Thessaly,484 in the interior, is a plain country for the most part, and has no mountains, except Pelion and Ossa. These mountains rise to a considerable height, but do not encompass a large tract of country, but terminate in the plains.

2. These are the middle parts of Thessaly, a district of very fertile country, except that part of it which is overflowed by rivers. The Peneius flows through the middle of the country, and receiving many rivers, frequently overflows. Formerly, according to report, the plain was a lake; it is enclosed on all sides inland by mountains, and the sea-coast is more elevated than the plains. When a chasm was formed, at the place now called Tempe, by shocks of an earthquake, and Ossa was riven from Olympus, the Peneius flowed out through it to the sea, and drained this tract of country. Still there remained the large lake Nessonis, and the lake Bœbeis; which is of less extent than the Nessonis, and nearer to the sea-coast.

[Pg 132]
[CAS. 430]

3. Such then is Thessaly, which is divided into four parts, Phthiotis, Hestiæotis, Thessaliotis, and Pelasgiotis.

Phthiotis comprises the southern parts, extending along Œta from the Maliac and (or) Pylaïc Gulf485 as far as Dolopia and Pindus, increasing in breadth to Pharsalia and the Thessalian plains.

Hestiæotis comprises the western parts and those between Pindus and Upper Macedonia; the rest is occupied by the inhabitants of the plains below Hestiæotis, who are called Pelasgiotæ, and approach close to the Lower Macedonians; by the [Thessalians] also, who possess the country next in order, as far as the coast of Magnesia.

The names of many cities might here be enumerated, which are celebrated on other accounts, but particularly as being mentioned by Homer; few of them, however, but most of all Larisa, preserve their ancient importance.

4. The poet having divided the whole of the country, which we call Thessaly, into ten486 parts and dynasties, and having taken in addition some portion of the Œtæan and Locrian territory, and of that also which is now assigned to the Macedonians, shows (what commonly happened to every country) the changes which, entirely or in part, they undergo according to the power possessed by their respective governors.

5. The poet first enumerates the Thessalians subject to Achilles, who occupied the southern side, and adjoined Œta, and the Locri Epicnemidii;

“All who dwelt in Pelasgic Argos; they who occupied Alus, Alope, and Trachin; they who possessed Phthia, and Hellas, abounding with beautiful women, were called Myrmidones, Hellenes, and Achæi.”487

He joins together with these the people under the command of Phœnix, and makes them compose one common expedition. The poet nowhere mentions the Dolopian forces in the battles near Ilium, neither does he introduce their leader Phœnix, as undertaking, like Nestor, dangerous enterprises. But Phœnix is mentioned by others, as by Pindar,

[Pg 133]

“Who led a brave band of Dolopian slingers,
Who were to aid the javelins of the Danai, tamers of horses.”

The words of the poet are to be understood according to the figure of the grammarians, by which something is suppressed, for it would be ridiculous for the king to engage in the expedition,

(“I live at the extremity of Phthia, chief of the Dolopians,”488)

and his subjects not to accompany him. For [thus] he would not appear to be a comrade of Achilles in the expedition, but only as the commander of a small body of men, and a speaker, and if so, a counsellor. The verses seem to imply this meaning, for they are to this effect,

“To be an eloquent speaker, and to achieve great deeds.”489

From this it appears that Homer considered the forces under Achilles and Phœnix as constituting one body; but the places mentioned as being under the authority of Achilles, are subjects of controversy.

Some have understood Pelasgic Argos to be a Thessalian city, formerly situated near Larisa, but now no longer in existence. Others do not understand a city to be meant by this name, but the Thessalian plain, and to have been so called by Abas, who established a colony there from Argos.

6. With respect to Phthia, some suppose it to be the same as Hellas and Achaia, and that these countries form the southern portion in the division of Thessaly into two parts. But others distinguish Phthia and Hellas. The poet seems to distinguish them in these verses;

“they who occupied Phthia and Hellas,”490

as if they were two countries. And, again,

“Then far away through wide Greece I fled and came to Phthia,”491


“There are many Achæan women in Hellas and Phthia.”492

The poet then makes these places to be two, but whether cities or countries he does not expressly say. Some of the later writers, who affirm that it is a country, suppose it to have extended from Palæpharsalus to Thebæ Phthiotides. In this country also is Thetidium, near both the ancient and the modern Pharsalus; and it is conjectured from Thetidium [Pg 134]
[CAS. 432]
that the country, in which it is situated, was a part of that under the command of Achilles. Others, who regard it as a city, allege that the Pharsalii show at the distance of 60 stadia from their own city, a city in ruins, which they believe to be Hellas, and two springs near it, Messeïs and Hypereia. But the Melitæenses say, that at the distance of about 10 stadia from their city, was situated Hellas on the other side of the Enipeus,493 when their own city had the name of Pyrrha, and that the Hellenes migrated from Hellas, which was built in a low situation, to theirs. They adduce in proof of this the tomb of Hellen, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, which is in their market-place. For according to historians, Deucalion was king of Phthiotis and of all Thessaly. The Enipeus flows from Othrys494 beside Pharsalus,495 and empties itself into the Apidanus,496 and the latter into the Peneius.

Thus much, then, respecting the Hellenes.

7. The people under the command of Achilles, Protesilaus, and Philoctetes, are called Phthii. The poet furnishes evidence of this. Having recited in the Catalogue of those under the command of Achilles,

“the people of Phthia,”497

he represents them at the battle at the ships, as remaining in the ships with Achilles, and inactive; but those under the command of Philoctetes, as fighting with Medon [as their leader], and those under the command of Protesilaus, with Podarces [as their chief]. Of these the poet speaks in general terms;

“there were Bœoti and Iaones wearing long robes, Locri, Phthii, and illustrious Epeii.”498

But here he particularizes them;

“at the head of the Phthii fought Medon and Podarces, firm in battle. These armed with breastplates fought together with Bœoti, at the head of the magnanimous Phthii, keeping away the enemy from the ships.”499

Perhaps the people with Eurypylus were called Phthii, as they bordered upon the country of the latter. At present, however, historians assign to Magnesia the country about Ormenium, which was subject to Eurypylus, and the whole of that subject to Philoctetes; but they regard the country under [Pg 135] the command of Protesilaus as belonging to Phthia, from Dolopia and Pindus to the sea of Magnesia; but as far as the city Antron, (now written in the plural number,) which was subject to Protesilaus, beginning from Trachinia and Œta, is the width of the territory belonging to Peleus and Achilles. But this is nearly the whole length of the Maliac Gulf.

8. They entertain doubts respecting Halus and Alope, whether Homer means the places which are now comprised in the Phthiotic government, or those among the Locri, since the dominion of Achilles extended hither as well as to Trachin and the Œtæan territory. For Halus and Halius, as well as Alope, are on the coast of the Locri. But some substitute Halius for Alope, and write the verse in this manner;

“they who inhabited Halus, and Halius, and Trachin.”500

But the Phthiotic Halus lies under the extremity of the mountain Othrys, which lies to the north of Phthiotis, and borders upon the mountain Typhrestus and the Dolopians, and thence stretches along to the country near the Maliac Gulf. Halus,501 either masculine or feminine, for it is used in both genders, is distant from Itonus502 about 60 stadia. Athamas founded Halus; it was destroyed, but subsequently [restored by the Pharsalii]. It is situated above the Crocian plain, and the river Amphrysus503 flows by its walls. Below the Crocian plain lies Thebæ Phthiotides; Halus likewise, which is in Achaia, is called Phthiotis; this, as well as the foot of Mount Othrys, approaches close to the Malienses. As Phylace too, which was under the command of Protesilaus, so Halus also belongs to Phthiotis, which adjoins to the Malienses. Halus is distant from Thebes about 100 stadia, and lies in the middle between Pharsalus and Thebæ Phthiotides. Philip, however, took it from the latter, and assigned it to the Pharsalii. Thus it happens, as we have said before, that boundaries and the distribution of nations and places are in a state of continual change. Thus Sophocles also called Phthiotis, Trachinia, Artemidorus places Halus on the coast beyond the Maliac Gulf, but as belonging to Phthiotis. For proceeding thence in the direction of the Peneius, he places Pteleum after Antron, then Halus at the distance of 110 stadia from Pteleum.

[Pg 136]
[CAS. 433]

I have already spoken of Trachin, and described the nature of the place. The poet mentions it by name.

9. As Homer frequently mentions the Spercheius as a river of the country, having its source in the Typhrestus, a Dryopian mountain, formerly called [Tymphrestus], and emptying itself near Thermopylæ, between Trachin and Lamia,504 he might imply that whatever parts of the Maliac Gulf were either within or without the Pylæ, were subject to Achilles.

The Spercheius is distant about 30 stadia from Lamia, which lies above a plain, extending to the Maliac Gulf. That the Spercheius is a river of the country [subject to Achilles], appears from the words of Achilles, who says, that he had devoted his hair to the Spercheius; and from the circumstance, that Menesthius, one of his commanders, was said to be the son of Spercheius and the sister of Achilles.

It is probable that all the people under the command of Achilles and Patroclus, and who had accompanied Peleus in his banishment from Ægina, had the name of Myrmidons, but all the Phthiotæ were called Achæans.

10. They reckon in the Phthiotic district, which was subject to Achilles, beginning from the Malienses, a considerable number of towns, and among them Thebæ Phthiotides, Echinus, Lamia, near which the war was carried on between the Macedonians and Antipater, against the Athenians. In this war Leosthenes, the Athenian general, was killed, [and Leonnatus,] one of the companions of Alexander the king. Besides the above-mentioned towns, we must add [Narthac]ium, Erineus, Coroneia, of the same name as the town in Bœotia, Melitæa, Thaumaci, Proerna, Pharsalus, Eretria, of the same name as the Euboic town, Paracheloïtæ, of the same name as those in Ætolia; for here also, near Lamia, is a river Achelous, on the banks of which live the Paracheloïtæ.

This district, lying to the north, extended to the north-western territory of the Asclepiadæ, and to the territory of Eurypylus and Protesilaus, inclining to the east; on the south it adjoined the Œtæan territory, which was divided into fourteen demi, and contained Heracleia and Dryopis, which was once a community of four cities, (a Tetrapolis,) like Doris, and accounted the capital of the Dryopes in Peloponnesus. To the Œtæan district belong also the Acyphas, Parasopias, [Pg 137] Œneiadæ, and Anticyra, of the same name as the town among the Locri Hesperii. I do not mean that these divisions always continued the same, for they underwent various changes. The most remarkable, however, are worthy of notice.

11. The poet with sufficient clearness describes the situation of the Dolopes, as at the extremity of Phthia, and says that both they and the Phthiotæ were under the command of the same chief, Peleus;

“I lived,” he says, “at the farthest part of Phthia, king of the Dolopes.”505

Peleus, however, had conferred on him the authority.

This region is close to Pindus, and the places about it, most of which belong to the Thessalians. For in consequence of the renown and ascendency of the Thessalians and Macedonians, those Epeirotæ, who bordered nearest upon them, became, some voluntarily, others by force, incorporated among the Macedonians and Thessalians. In this manner the Athamanes, Æthices, and Talares were joined to the Thessalians, and the Orestæ, Pelagones, and Elimiotæ to the Macedonians.

12. Pindus is a large mountain, having on the north Macedonia, on the west Perrhæbi, settlers from another country, on the south Dolopes, [and on the east Hestiæotis] which belongs to Thessaly. Close upon Pindus dwelt Talares, a tribe of Molotti, detached from the Molotti about Mount Tomarus, and Æthices, among whom the poet says the Centaurs took refuge when expelled by Peirithous.506 They are at present, it is said, extinct. But this extinction is to be understood in two senses; either the inhabitants have been exterminated, and the country deserted, or the name of the nation exists no longer, or the community does not preserve its ancient form. Whenever the community, which continues, is insignificant, we do not think it worth while to record either its existence or its change of name. But when it has any just pretensions to notice, it is necessary to remark the change which it has undergone.

13. It remains for us to describe the tract of sea-coast subject to Achilles: we begin from Thermopylæ, for we have spoken of the coast of Locris, and of the interior.

Thermopylæ is separated from the Cenæum by a strait 70 stadia across. Coasting beyond the Pylæ, it is at a distance from the Spercheius of about 10, (60?) and thence to Phalara [Pg 138]
[CAS. 435]
of 20 stadia. Above Phalara, 50 stadia from the sea, lies the city of the [Lamians]. Then coasting along the shore 100 stadia, we find above it, Echinus. At the distance of 20 stadia from the following tract of coast, in the interior, is Larisa Cremaste, which has the name also of Larisa Pelasgia.

14. Then follows a small island, Myonnesus; next Antron; which was subject to Protesilaus. Thus much concerning the territory subject to Achilles.

As the poet, in naming the chiefs, and cities under their rule, has divided the country into numerous well-known parts, and has given an accurate account of the whole circuit of Thessaly, we shall follow him, as before, in completing the description of this region.

Next to the people under the command of Achilles, he enumerates those under the command of Protesilaus. They were situated, next, along the sea-coast which was subject to Achilles, as far as Antron. The boundary of the country under the command of Protesilaus, is determined by its being situated without the Maliac Gulf, yet still in Phthiotis, though not within Phthiotis subject to Achilles.

Phylacē507 is near Thebæ Phthiotides, which was subject to Protesilaus, as were also Halus, Larisa Cremaste, and Demetrium, all of which lie to the east of Mount Othrys.

The Demetrium he speaks of508 as an enclosure sacred to Ceres, and calls it Pyrasus. Pyrasus was a city with a good harbour, having at the distance of 2 stadia from it a grove, and a temple consecrated to Ceres. It is distant from Thebæ 20 stadia. The latter is situated above Pyrasus. Above Thebæ in the inland parts is the Crocian plain at the extremity of the mountain Othrys. Through this plain flows the river Amphrysus. Above it is the Itonus, where is the temple of the Itonian Minerva, from which that in Bœotia has its name, also the river Cuarius. [Of this river and] of Arnē we have spoken in our account of Bœotia.

These places are in Thessaliotis, one of the four divisions of all Thessaly, in which were the possessions of Eurypylus. Phyllus, where is a temple of the Phyllæan Apollo, Ichnæ, where the Ichnæan Themis is worshipped, Cierus, and [all the places as far as] Athamania, are included in Thessaliotis.

At Antron, in the strait near Eubœa, is a sunk rock, called [Pg 139] “the Ass of Antron.” Next are Pteleum and Halus; next the temple of Ceres, and Pyrasus in ruins; above these, Thebæ; then Pyrrha, a promontory, and two small islands near, one of which is called Pyrrha, the other Deucalion. Somewhere here ends the territory of Phthiotis.

15. The poet next mentions the people under Eumelus, and the continuous tract of coast which now belongs to Magnesia, and the Pelasgiotis.

Pheræ is the termination of the Pelasgic plains towards Magnesia, which plains extend as far as Pelion, a distance of 160 stadia. Pagasæ is the naval arsenal of Pheræ, from which it is distant 90 stadia, and 20 from Iolcus. Iolcus has been razed from ancient times. It was from this place that Pelias despatched Jason and the ship Argo. Pagasæ had its name,509 according to mythologists, from the building of the ship Argo at this place. Others, with more probability, suppose that the name of the place was derived from the springs, (πηγαί,) which are very numerous and copious. Near it is Aphetæ, (so named) as the starting-place510 from which the Argonauts set off. Iolcus is situated 7 stadia from Demetrias, overlooking the sea. Demetrias was founded by Demetrius Poliorcetes, who called it after his own name. It is situated between Nelia and Pagasæ on the sea. He collected there the inhabitants of the neighbouring small cities, Nelia, Pagasæ, Ormenium, and besides these, Rhizus, Sepias, Olizon, Bœbe, and Iolcus, which are at present villages belonging to Demetrias. For a long time it was a station for vessels, and a royal seat of the Macedonian kings. It had the command of Tempe, and of both the mountains Pelion and Ossa. At present its extent of power is diminished, yet it still surpasses all the cities in Magnesia.

The lake Bœbeis511 is near Pheræ,512 and approaches close to the extremities of Pelion and Magnesia. Bœbe is a small place situated on the lake.

As civil dissensions and usurpations reduced the flourishing condition of Iolcus, formerly so powerful, so they affected Pheræ in the same manner, which was raised to prosperity, and was destroyed by tyrants.

Near Demetrias flows the Anaurus. The continuous line [Pg 140]
[CAS. 436]
of coast is called also Iolcus. Here was held the Pylaic (Peliac?) assembly and festival.

Artemidorus places the Gulf of Pagasæ farther from Demetrias, near the places subject to Philoctetes. In the gulf he says is the island Cicynethus,513 and a small town of the same name.

16. The poet next enumerates the cities subject to Philoctetes.

Methone is not the Thracian Methone razed by Philip. We have already noticed the change of name these places and others in the Peloponnesus have undergone. Other places enumerated as subject to Philoctetes, are Thaumacia, Olizon, and Melibœa, all along the shore next adjacent.

In front of the Magnetes lie clusters of islands; the most celebrated are Sciathus,514 Peparethus,515 Icus,516 Halonnesus, and Scyrus,517 which contain cities of the same name. Scyrus however is the most famous of any for the friendship which subsisted between Lycomedes and Achilles, and for the birth and education of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. In after times, when Philip became powerful, perceiving that the Athenians were masters of the sea, and sovereigns both of these and other islands, he made those islands which lay near his own country more celebrated than any of the rest. For as his object in waging war was the sovereignty of Greece, he attacked those places first which were near him; and as he attached to Macedonia many parts of Magnesia itself, of Thrace, and of the rest of the surrounding country, so also he seized upon the islands in front of Magnesia, and made the possession of islands which were before entirely unknown, a subject of warlike contention, and brought them into notice.

Scyrus however is particularly celebrated in ancient histories. It is also highly reputed for the excellence of its goats, and the quarries of variegated marble, such as the Carystian, the Deucallian, (Docimæan?) the Synnadic, and the Hierapolitic kinds. For there may be seen at Rome columns, consisting of a single stone, and large slabs of variegated marble, (from Scyrus,) with which the city is embellished both at the public charge and at the expense of individuals, which has caused works of white marble to be little esteemed.

[Pg 141]

17. The poet having proceeded so far along the Magnesian coast, returns to Upper Thessaly, for beginning from Dolopia and Pindus he goes through the region extending along Phthiotis to Lower Thessaly.

“They who occupy Tricca and rocky Ithome.”518

These places belong to Histiæotis, which was formerly called Doris. When it was in the possession of the Perrhæbi, who destroyed Histiæotis in Eubœa, and had removed the inhabitants by force to the continent, they gave the country the name of Histiæotis, on account of the great numbers of Histiæans among the settlers. This country and Dolopia are called Upper Thessaly, which is in a straight line with Upper Macedonia, as Lower Thessaly is in a straight line with Lower Macedonia.

Tricca,519 where there is a very ancient and famous temple of Æsculapius, borders upon the Dolopes, and the parts about Pindus.

Ithome, which has the same name as the Messenian Ithome, ought not, they say, to be pronounced in this manner, but should be pronounced without the first syllable, Thome, for this was its former name. At present, it is changed to [Thumæum]. It is a spot strong by nature, and in reality rocky. It lies between four strong-holds, which form a square, Tricca, Metropolis, Pelinnæum, and Gomphi.520 Ithome belongs to the district of the Metropolitæ. Metropolis was formed at first out of three small obscure cities, and afterwards more were included, and among these Ithome. Callimachus says in his Iambics,

“among the Venuses, (for the goddess bears several titles,) Venus Castnietis surpasses all others in wisdom,”

for she alone accepts the sacrifice of swine. Certainly Callimachus, if any person could be said to possess information, was well informed, and it was his object, as he himself says, all his life to relate these fables. Later writers, however, have proved that there was not one Venus only, but several, who accepted that sacrifice, from among whom the goddess worshipped at Metropolis came, and that this [foreign] rite was delivered down by one of the cities which contributed to form that settlement.

[Pg 142]
[CAS. 438]

Pharcadon also is situated in the Hestiæotis. The Peneius and the Curalius flow through it. The Curalius, after flowing beside the temple of the Itonian Minerva, empties itself into the Peneius.

The Peneius itself rises in Mount Pindus, as I have before said. It leaves Tricca, Pelinnæum, and Pharcadon on the left hand, and takes its course beside Atrax and Larisa. After having received the rivers of the Thessaliotis it flows onwards through Tempe, and it empties itself into the sea.

Historians speak of Œchalia, the city of Eurytus, as existing in these parts, in Eubœa also, and in Arcadia; but some give it one name, others another, as I have said in the description of Peloponnesus.

They inquire particularly, which of these was the city taken by Hercules, and which was the city intended by the author of the poem, “The Capture of Œchalia”?

The places, however, were subject to the Asclepiadæ.

18. The poet next mentions the country which was under the dominion of Eurypylus;

“They who possessed Ormenium and the spring Hypereia,
And they who occupied Asterium and the white peaks of Titanus.”521

Ormenium is now called Orminium. It is a village situated below Pelion, near the Pagasitic Gulf, but was one of the cities which contributed to form the settlement of Demetrias, as I have before said.

The lake Bœbeis must be near, because both Bœbe and Ormenium belonged to the cities lying around Demetrias.

Ormenium is distant by land 27 stadia from Demetrias. The site of Iolcus, which is on the road, is distant 7 stadia from Demetrias, and the remaining 20 from Ormenium.

Demetrius of Scepsis says, that Phœnix came from Ormenium, and that he fled thence from his father Amyntor, the son of Ormenus, to Phthia, to king Peleus. For this place was founded by Ormenus, the son of Cercaphus, the son of Æolus. The sons of Ormenus were Amyntor and Euæmon; the son of the former was Phœnix, and of the latter, Eurypylus. The succession to his possessions was preserved secure for Eurypylus, after the departure of Phœnix from his home, and we ought to write the verse of the poet in this manner:

[Pg 143]

“as when I first left Ormenium, abounding with flocks,”522

instead of

“left Hellas, abounding with beautiful women.”

But Crates makes Phœnix a Phocæan, conjecturing this from the helmet of Meges, which Ulysses wore on the night expedition; of which helmet the poet says,

“Autolycus brought it away from Eleon, out of the house of Amyntor, the son of Ormenus, having broken through the thick walls.”523

Now Eleon was a small city on Parnassus, and by Amyntor, the son of Ormenus, he could not mean any other person than the father of Phœnix, and that Autolycus, who lived on Parnassus, was in the habit of digging through the houses of his neighbours, which is the common practice of every house-breaker, and not of persons living at a distance. But Demetrius the Scepsian says, that there is no such place on Parnassus as Eleon, but Neon, which was built after the Trojan war, and that digging through houses was not confined to robbers of the neighbourhood. Other things might be advanced, but I am unwilling to insist long on this subject. Others write the words

“from Heleon;”

but this is a Tanagrian town; and the words

“Then far away I fled through Hellas and came to Phthia,”524

would make this passage absurd.

Hypereia is a spring in the middle of the city of the Pheræi [subject to Eumelus]. It would therefore be absurd [to assign it to Eurypylus].

Titanus525 had its name from the accident of its colour, for the soil of the country near Arne and [Aphe]tæ is white, and Asterium is not far from these places.

19. Continuous with this portion of Thessaly are the people subject to Polypœtes.

“They who possessed Argissa; those who inhabited Gyrtone,526
Orthe, Elone, and the white city Oloosson.”527

This country was formerly inhabited by Perrhæbi, who [Pg 144]
[CAS. 439]
possessed the part towards the sea and the Peneius, as far as528 its mouth and the city Gyrton, belonging to the district Perrhæbis. Afterwards the Lapithæ, Ixion and his son Peirithous, having reduced the Perrhæbi,529 got possession of these places. Peirithous took possession also of Pelion, having expelled by force the Centaurs, a savage tribe, who inhabited it. These

“he drove from Pelion to the neighbourhood of the Æthices,”530

but he delivered up the plains to the Lapithæ. The Perrhæbi kept possession of some of these parts, those, namely, towards Olympus, and in some places they lived intermixed altogether with the Lapithæ.

Argissa, the present Argura, is situated upon the banks of the Peneius. Atrax lies above it at the distance of 40 stadia, close to the river. The intermediate country along the side of the river was occupied by Perrhæbi.

Some call Orthe the citadel of the Phalannæi. Phalanna is a Perrhæbic city on the Peneius, near Tempe.

The Perrhæbi, oppressed by the Lapithæ, retreated in great numbers to the mountainous country about Pindus, and to the Athamanes and Dolopes; but the Larisæi became masters of the country and of the Perrhæbi who remained there. The Larisæi lived near the Peneius, but in the neighbourhood of the Perrhæbi. They occupied the most fertile portion of the plains, except some of the very deep valleys near the lake Nessonis, into which the river, when it overflowed, usually carried away a portion of the arable ground belonging to the Larisæi, who afterwards remedied this by making embankments.

These people were in possession of Perrhæbia, and levied imposts until Philip became master of the country.

Larisa is a place situated on Ossa, and there is Larisa Cremaste, by some called Pelasgia. In Crete also is a city Larisa, the inhabitants of which were embodied with those of Hierapytna; and from this place the plain below is called the Larisian plain. In Peloponnesus the citadel of the Argives is [Pg 145] called Larisa, and there is a river Larisus, which separates Eleia from Dyme. Theopompus mentions a city Larisa, situated on the immediate confines of this country. In Asia is Larisa Phriconis near Cume, and another Larisa near Hamaxitus, in the Troad. There is also an Ephesian Larisa, and a Larisa in Syria. At 50 stadia from Mitylene are the Larisæan rocks, on the road to Methymne. There is a Larisa in Attica; and a village of this name at the distance of 30 stadia from Tralleis, situated above the city, on the road to the plain of the Cayster, passing by Mesogis towards the temple of Mater Isodroma. This Larisa has a similar position, and possesses similar advantages to those of Larisa Cremaste; for it has abundance of water and vineyards. Perhaps Jupiter had the appellation of Larisæus from this place. There is also on the left side of the Pontus (Euxine) a village called Larisa, near the extremities of Mount Hæmus, between Naulochus [and Odessus].531

Oloosson, called the White, from its chalky soil, Elone, and Gonnus are Perrhæbic cities. The name of Elone was changed to that of Leimone. It is now in ruins. Both lie at the foot of Olympus, not very far from the river Eurotas, which the poet calls Titaresius.

20. The poet speaks both of this river and of the Perrhæbi in the subsequent verses, when he says,

“Guneus brought from Cyphus two and twenty vessels. His followers were Enienes and Peræbi, firm in battle. They dwelt near the wintry Dodona, and tilled the fields about the lovely Titaresius.”532

He mentions therefore these places as belonging to the Perrhæbi, which comprised a part of the Hestiæotis.533 They were in part Perrhæbic towns, which were subject to Polypœtes. He assigned them however to the Lapithæ, because these people and the Perrhæbi lived intermixed together, and the Lapithæ occupied the plains. The country, which belonged to the Perrhæbi, was, for the most part, subject to the Lapithæ, but the Perrhæbi possessed the more mountainous tracts towards Olympus and Tempe, such as Cyphus, Dodonē, and the country about the river Titaresius. This river rises [Pg 146]
[CAS. 441]
in the mountain Titarius, which is part of Olympus. It flows into the plain near Tempe belonging to Perrhæbia, and somewhere there enters the Peneius.

The water of the Peneius is clear, that of the Titaresius is unctuous; a property arising from some matter, which prevents the streams mingling with each other,

“but runs over the surface like oil.”534

Because the Perrhæbi and Lapithæ lived intermingled together, Simonides calls all those people Pelasgiotæ, who occupy the eastern parts about Gyrton and the mouths of the Peneius, Ossa, Pelion, and the country about Demetrias, and the places in the plain, Larisa, Crannon, Scotussa, Mopsium, Atrax, and the parts near the lakes Nessonis and Bœbeis. The poet mentions a few only of these places, either because they were not inhabited at all, or badly inhabited on account of the inundations which had happened at various times. For the poet does not mention even the lake Nessonis, but the Bœbeis only, which is much smaller, for its water remained constant, and this alone remains, while the former probably was at one time filled irregularly to excess, and at another contained no water.

We have mentioned Scotussa in our accounts of Dodona, and of the oracle, in Thessaly, when we observed that it was near Scotussa. Near Scotussa is a tract called Cynoscephalæ. It was here that the Romans with their allies the Ætolians, and their general Titus Quintius, defeated in a great battle Philip, son of Demetrius, king of Macedon.

21. Something of the same kind has happened in the territory of Magnetis. For Homer having enumerated many places of this country, calls none of them Magnetes, but those only whom he indicates in terms obscure, and not easily understood;

“They who dwelt about Peneius and Pelion with waving woods.”535

Now about the Peneius and Pelion dwell those (already mentioned by Homer) who occupied Gyrton, and Ormenium, and many other nations. At a still greater distance from Pelion, according to later writers, were Magnetes, beginning from the people, that were subject to Eumelus. These [Pg 147] writers, on account of the continual removals from one settlement to another, alterations in the forms of government, and intermixture of races, seem to confound both names and nations, which sometimes perplexes persons in these times, as is first to be observed in the instances of Crannon and Gyrton.

Formerly they called the Gyrtonians Phlegyæ, from Phlegyas, the brother of Ixion; and the Crannonii, Ephyri, so that there is a doubt, when the poet says,

“These two from Thrace appeared with breastplates armed against Ephyri, or haughty Phlegyæ,”536

what people he meant.

22. The same is the case with the Perrhæbi and Ænianes, for Homer joins them together, as if they dwelt near each other; and it is said by later writers, that, for a long period, the settlement of the Ænianes was in the Dotian plain. Now this plain is near Perrhæbia, which we have just mentioned, Ossa, and the lake Bœbeis: it is situated about the middle of Thessaly, but enclosed by itself within hills. Hesiod speaks of it in this manner;

“Or, as a pure virgin, who dwells on the sacred heights of the Twin hills, comes to the Dotian plain, in front of Amyrus, abounding with vines, to bathe her feet in the lake Bœbias.”

The greater part of the Ænianes were expelled by the Lapithæ, and took refuge in Œta, where they established their power, having deprived the Dorians and the Malienses of some portions of country, extending as far as Heracleia and Echinus. Some of them however remained about Cyphus, a Perrhæbic mountain, where is a settlement of the same name. As to the Perrhæbi, some of them collected about the western parts of Olympus and settled there, on the borders of the Macedonians. But a large body took shelter among the mountains near Athamania, and Pindus. But at present few, if any, traces of them are to be found.

The Magnetes, who are mentioned last in the Thessalian catalogue of the poet, must be understood to be those situated within Tempe, extending from the Peneius and Ossa to Pelion, and bordering upon the Pieriotæ in Macedonia, who occupy the country on the other side of the Peneius as far as the sea.

Homolium, or Homolē, (for both words are in use,) must [Pg 148]
[CAS. 443]
be assigned to the Magnetes. I have said in the description of Macedonia, that Homolium is near Ossa at the beginning of the course which the Peneius takes through Tempe.

If we are to extend their possessions as far as the sea-coast, which is very near Homolium, there is reason for assigning to them Rhizus, and Erymnæ, which lies on the sea-coast in the tract subject to Philoctetes and Eumelus. Let this however remain unsettled. For the order in which the places as far as the Peneius follow one another, is not clearly expressed, and as the places are not of any note, we need not consider that uncertainty as very important. The coast of Sepias, however, is mentioned by tragic writers, and was chaunted in songs on account of the destruction of the Persian fleet. It consists of a chain of rocks.

Between Sepias and Casthanæa, a village situated below Pelion, is the sea-shore, where the fleet of Xerxes was lying, when an east wind began to blow violently; some of the vessels were forced on shore, and immediately went to pieces, others were driven on Hipnus, a rocky spot near Pelion, others were lost at Melibœa, others at Casthanæa.

The whole of the coasting voyage along Pelion, to the extent of about 80 stadia, is among rocks. That along Ossa is of the same kind and to the same extent.

Between them is a bay of more than 200 stadia in extent, upon which is situated Melibœa.

The whole voyage from Demetrias, including the winding of the bays, to the Peneius is more than 1000 stadia, from the Spercheius 800 stadia more, and from the Euripus 2350 stadia.

Hieronymus assigns a circuit of 3000 stadia to the plain country in Thessaly and Magnesia, and says, that it was inhabited by Pelasgi, but that these people were driven into Italy by Lapithæ, and that the present Pelasgic plain is that in which are situated Larisa, Gyrton, Pheræ, Mopsium, Bœbeis, Ossa, Homole, Pelion, and Magnetis. Mopsium has not its name from Mopsus, the son of Manto the daughter of Teiresias, but from Mopsus, one of the Lapithæ, who sailed with the Argonauts. Mopsopus, from whom Attica is called Mopsopia, is a different person.

23. This then is the account of the several parts of Thessaly.

[Pg 149]

In general we say, that it was formerly called Pyrrhæa, from Pyrrha, the wife of Deucalion; Hæmonia, from Hæmon; and Thettalia, from Thettalus, the son of Hæmon. But some writers, after dividing it into two portions, say, that Deucalion obtained by lot the southern part, and called it Pandora, from his mother; that the other fell to the share of Hæmon, from whom it was called Hæmonia; that the name of one part was changed to Hellas, from Hellen, the son of Deucalion, and of the other to Thettalia, from Thettalus, the son of Hæmon. But, according to some writers, it was the descendants of Antiphus and Pheidippus, sons of Thettalus, descended from Hercules, who invaded the country from Ephyra in Thesprotia, and called it after the name of Thettalus their progenitor. It has been already said that once it had the name of Nessonis, as well as the lake, from Nesson, the son of Thettalus.

[Pg 150]




The Tenth Book contains Ætolia and the neighbouring islands; also the whole of Crete, on which the author dwells some time in narrating the institutions of the islanders and of the Curetes. He describes at length the origin of the Idæan Dactyli in Crete, their customs and religious rites. Strabo mentions the connexion of his own family with Crete. The Book contains an account of the numerous islands about Crete, including the Sporades and some of the Cyclades.


1. Since Eubœa537 stretches along the whole of this coast from Sunium to Thessaly, except the extremity on each side,538 it may be convenient to connect the description of this island with that of Thessaly. We shall then pass on to Ætolia and Acarnania, parts of Europe of which it remains to give an account.

2. The island is oblong, and extends nearly 1200 stadia from Cenæum539 to Geræstus.540 Its greatest breadth is about 150 stadia, but it is irregular.541

[Pg 151]

Cenæum is opposite to Thermopylæ, and in a small degree to the parts beyond Thermopylæ: Geræstus542 and Petalia543 are opposite to Sunium.

Eubœa then fronts544 Attica, Bœotia, Locris, and the Malienses. From its narrowness, and its length, which we have mentioned, it was called by the ancients Macris.545

It approaches nearest to the continent at Chalcis. It projects with a convex bend towards the places in Bœotia near Aulis, and forms the Euripus,546 of which we have before spoken at length. We have also mentioned nearly all the places on either side of the Euripus, opposite to each other across the strait, both on the continent and on the island. If anything is omitted we shall now give a further explanation.

And first, the parts lying between Aulis (Chalcis?) and the places about Geræstus are called the Hollows of Eubœa, for the sea-coast swells into bays, and, as it approaches Chalcis, juts out again towards the continent.

3. The island had the name not of Macris only, but of Abantis also. The poet in speaking of Eubœa never calls the inhabitants from the name of the island, Eubœans, but always Abantes;

“they who possessed Eubœa, the resolute Abantes;”547
“in his train Abantes were following.”

Aristotle says that Thracians, taking their departure from Aba, the Phocian city, settled with the other inhabitants in the island, and gave the name of Abantes to those who already occupied it; other writers say that they had their name from a hero,548 as that of Eubœa was derived from a heroine.549 But perhaps as a certain cave on the sea-coast fronting the [Pg 152]
[CAS. 445]
Ægean Sea is called Boos-Aule, (or the Cow’s Stall,) where Io is said to have brought forth Epaphus, so the island may have had the name Eubœa550 on this account.

It was also called Oché, which is the name of one of the largest mountains551 there.

It had the name of Ellopia, from Ellops, the son of Ion; according to others, he was the brother of Æclus, and Cothus, who is said to have founded Ellopia,552 a small place situated in the district called Oria of the Histiæotis, near the mountain Telethrius.553 He also possessed Histiæa, Perias, Cerinthus, Ædepsus,554 and Orobiæ, where was an oracle very free from deception. There also was an oracle of Apollo Selinuntius.

The Ellopians, after the battle of Leuctra, were compelled by the tyrant Philistides to remove to the city Histiæa, and augmented the number of its inhabitants. Demosthenes555 says that Philistides was appointed by Philip tyrant of the Oreitæ also, for afterwards the Histiæans had that name, and the city, instead of Histiæa, was called Oreus. According to some writers, Histiæa was colonized by Athenians from the demus of the Histiæeis, as Eretria was from the demus of the Eretrieis. But Theopompus says, that when Pericles had reduced Eubœa, the Histiæans agreed to remove into Macedonia, and that two thousand Athenians, who formerly composed the demus of the Histiæans, came, and founded Oreus.556

4. It is situated below Mount Telethrius, at a place called Drymus, near the river Callas, on a lofty rock;557 whence perhaps because the Ellopians, the former inhabitants, were a mountain tribe,558 the city had the name of Oreus. Orion, who was brought up there, seems to have had his name from the place. But according to some writers, the Oreitæ, who had a [Pg 153] city of their own, being attacked by the Ellopians, migrated, and settled with the Histiæans, and although it was a single city it had both appellations, as Lacedæmon and Sparta were the same city. We have said, that the Histiæotis in Thessaly had its name from the people who were carried away from this country by the Perrhæbi.

5. As Ellopia induced us to commence our description with Histiæa and Oreus, we shall proceed with the places continuous with these.

The promontory Cenæum is near Oreus, and on the promontory is situated Dium,559 and Athenæ Diades, a town founded by Athenians, and overlooks the passage across the strait to Cynus. Canæ in Æolia received colonists from Dium. These places are situated near Histiæa, and besides these Cerinthus, a small city, close to the sea. Near it is a river Budorus, of the same name as the mountain in Salamis on the side of Attica.

6. Carystus560 lies at the foot of the mountain Oche, and near it are Styra561 and Marmarium,562 where is a quarry, from which are obtained the Carystian columns. It has a temple of Apollo Marmarinus, where there is a passage across to Halæ-Araphenides. At Carystus there is found in the earth a stone,563 which is combed like wool, and woven, so that napkins are made of this substance, which, when soiled, are thrown into the fire, and cleaned, as in the washing of linen.564 These places are said to be inhabited by colonists from the Tetrapolis of Marathon, and by Steirieis. Styra was destroyed in the Maliac (Lamiac?) war by Phædrus, the general of the Athenians. But the Eretrians are in possession of the territory. There is also a Carystus in Laconia, a place belonging to Ægys, towards Arcadia; from whence comes the Carystian wine, spoken of by Alcman.

7. Geræstus565 is not mentioned by Homer in the Catalogue of the Ships; it is however mentioned by him elsewhere;

[Pg 154]
[CAS. 447]

“The vessels came to Geræstus by night;”566

which shows, that the place being near Sunium lies conveniently for persons who cross from Asia to Attica. It has a temple of Neptune the most remarkable of any in that quarter, and a considerable number of inhabitants.

8. Next to Geræstus is Eretria, which, after Chalcis, is the largest city in Eubœa. Next follows Chalcis, the capital as it were of the island, situated immediately on the Euripus. Both these cities are said to have been founded by Athenians before the Trojan war; [but it is also said that] after the Trojan war, Æclus and Cothus took their departure from Athens; the former to found Eretria, and Cothus, Chalcis. A body of Æolians who belonged to the expedition of Penthilus remained in the island. Anciently, even Arabians567 settled there, who came over with Cadmus.

These cities, Eretria and Chalcis, when their population was greatly augmented, sent out considerable colonies to Macedonia, for Eretria founded cities about Pallene and Mount Athos; Chalcis founded some near Olynthus, which Philip destroyed. There are also many settlements in Italy and Sicily, founded by Chalcidians. These colonies were sent out, according to Aristotle,568 when the government of the Hippobatæ, (or Knights,) as it is called, was established; it was an aristocratical government, the heads of which held their office by virtue of the amount of their property. At the time that Alexander passed over into Asia, they enlarged the compass of the walls of their city, including within them Canethus,569 and the Euripus, and erected towers upon the bridge, a wall, and gates.

9. Above the city of the Chalcidians is the plain called Lelantum, in which are hot springs, adapted to the cure of diseases, and which were used by Cornelius Sylla, the Roman general. There was also an extraordinary mine which produced both copper and iron; such, writers say, is not to be found elsewhere. At present, however, both are exhausted.

[Pg 155]

The whole of Eubœa is subject to earthquakes, especially the part near the strait. It is also exposed to violent subterraneous blasts, like Bœotia, and other places of which I have before spoken at length.570 The city of the same name as the island is said to have been swallowed up by an earthquake.571 It is mentioned by Æschylus in his tragedy of Glaucus Pontius;

“Euboïs near the bending shore of Jupiter Cenæus, close to the tomb of the wretched Lichas.”

There is also in Ætolia a town of the name of Chalcis,

“Chalcis on the sea-coast, and the rocky Calydon,”572

and another in the present Eleian territory;

“they passed along Cruni, and the rocky Chalcis,”573

speaking of Telemachus and his companions, when they left Nestor to return to their own country.

10. Some say, that the Eretrians were a colony from Macistus in Triphylia, under the conduct of Eretrieus; others, that they came from Eretria, in Attica, where now a market is held. There is an Eretria also near Pharsalus. In the Eretrian district there was a city, Tamynæ, sacred to Apollo. The temple (which was near the strait) is said to have been built by Admetus, whom the god, according to report, served a year574 for hire.

Eretria,575 formerly, had the names of Melaneïs and Arotria. The village Amarynthus, at the distance of 7 stadia from the walls, belongs to it.

The Persians razed the ancient city, having enclosed with multitudes the inhabitants, according to the expression of Herodotus,576 in a net, by spreading the Barbarians around the walls. The foundations are still shown, and the place is called ancient Eretria. The present city is built near it.

The power which the Eretrians once possessed, is evinced by a pillar which was placed in the temple of Diana Amarynthia. There is an inscription on it to this effect, that their processions upon their public festivals consisted of three thousand heavy-armed soldiers, six hundred horsemen, and [Pg 156]
[CAS. 448]
sixty chariots. They were masters, besides other islands, of Andros, Tenos, and Ceos. They received colonists from Elis, whence their frequent use of the letter R, (ρ,)577 not only at the end, but in the middle of words, which exposed them to the raillery of comic writers.

Œchalia,578 a village, the remains of a city destroyed by Hercules, belongs to the district of Eretria. It has the same name as that in Trachinia, as that near Tricca,579 as that in Arcadia, (which later writers call Andania,) and as that in Ætolia near the Eurytanes.

11. At present Chalcis580 is allowed, without dispute, to hold the first rank, and is called the capital of the Eubœans. Eretria holds the second place. Even in former times these cities had great influence both in war and peace, so that they afforded to philosophers an agreeable and tranquil retreat. A proof of this is the establishment at Eretria of the school of Eretrian philosophers, disciples of Menedemus; and at an earlier period the residence of Aristotle581 at Chalcis, where he also died.

12. These cities generally lived in harmony with each other, and when a dispute arose between them respecting Lelantum, they did not even then suspend all intercourse so as to act in war entirely without regard to each other, but they agreed upon certain conditions, on which the war was to be conducted. This appears by a column standing in the Amarynthium, which interdicts the use of missiles. [For with respect to warlike usages and armour, there neither is nor was any common usage; for some nations employ soldiers who use missile weapons, such as bows, slings, and javelins; others employ men who engage in close fight, and use a sword, or charge with a spear.582 For there are two methods of using the spear; one is to retain it in the hand; the other, to hurl it like a dart; the pike583 answers both purposes, for it is used in close encounter and is hurled to a distance. The sarissa and the hyssus are similarly made use of.]584

[Pg 157]

13. The Eubœans excelled in standing585 fight, which was also called close fight,586 and fight hand to hand.587 They used spears extended at length according to the words of the poet;

“warriors eager to break through breastplates with extended ashen spears.”588

The missile weapons were perhaps of different kinds, as, probably, was the ashen spear of Pelion, which, as the poet says,

“Achilles alone knew how to hurl.”589

When the poet says,

“I strike farther with a spear than any other person with an arrow,”590

he means with a missile spear. They, too, who engage in single combat, are first introduced as using missile spears, and then having recourse to swords. But they who engage in single combat do not use the sword only, but a spear also held in the hand, as the poet describes it,

“he wounded him with a polished spear, pointed with brass, and unbraced his limbs.”591

He represents the Eubœans as fighting in this manner; but he describes the Locrian mode as contrary to this;

“It was not their practice to engage in close fight, but they followed him to Ilium with their bows, clothed in the pliant fleece of the sheep.”592

An answer of an oracle is commonly repeated, which was returned to the Ægienses;

“a Thessalian horse, a Lacedæmonian woman, and the men who drink the water of the sacred Arethusa,”

meaning the Chalcideans as superior to all other people, for Arethusa belongs to them.

14. At present the rivers of Eubœa are the Cereus and Neleus. The cattle which drink of the water of the former become white, and those that drink of the water of the latter become black. We have said that a similar effect is produced by the water of the Crathis.593

15. As some of the Eubœans, on their return from Troy, were driven out of their course among the Illyrians; pursued their journey homewards through Macedonia, and stopped in the neighbourhood of Edessa; having assisted the people in a war, who had received them hospitably; they founded a city,

[Pg 158]
[CAS. 450]

Eubœa. There was a Eubœa in Sicily, founded by the Chalcideans, who were settled there. It was destroyed by Gelon, and became a stronghold of the Syracusans. In Corcyra also, and at Lemnus, there was a place called Eubœa, and a hill of this name in the Argive territory.

16. We have said, that Ætolians, Acarnanians, and Athamanes are situated to the west of the Thessalians and Œtæans, if indeed we must call the Athamanes,594 Greeks. It remains, in order that we may complete the description of Greece, to give some account of these people, of the islands which lie nearest to Greece, and are inhabited by Greeks, which we have not yet mentioned.


1. Ætolians and Acarnanians border on one another, having between them the river Achelous,595 which flows from the north, and from Pindus towards the south, through the country of the Agræi, an Ætolian tribe, and of the Amphilochians.

Acarnanians occupy the western side of the river as far as the Ambracian Gulf,596 opposite to the Amphilochians, and the temple of Apollo Actius. Ætolians occupy the part towards the east as far as the Locri Ozolæ, Parnassus, and the Œtæans.

Amphilochians are situated above the Acarnanians in the interior towards the north; above the Amphilochians are situated Dolopes, and Mount Pindus; above the Ætolians are Perrhæbi, Athamanes, and a body of the Ænianes who occupy Œta.

The southern side, as well the Acarnanian as the Ætolian, is washed by the sea, forming the Corinthian Gulf, into which the Achelous empties itself. This river (at its mouth) is the boundary of the Ætolian and the Acarnanian coast. The Achelous was formerly called Thoas. There is a river of this name near Dyme,597 as we have said, and another near Lamia.598 We have also said,599 that the mouth of this river is [Pg 159] considered by some writers as the commencement of the Corinthian Gulf.

2. The cities of the Acarnanians are, Anactorium, situated upon a peninsula600 near Actium, and a mart of Nicopolis, which has been built in our time; Stratus,601 to which vessels sail up the Achelous, a distance of more than 200 stadia; and Œniadæ602 is also on the banks of the river. The ancient city is not inhabited, and lies at an equal distance from the sea and from Stratus. The present city is at the distance of 70 stadia above the mouth of the river.

There are also other cities, Palærus,603 Alyzia,604 Leucas,605 the Amphilochian Argos,606 and Ambracia:607 most of these, if not all, are dependent upon Nicopolis.

Stratus lies half-way between Alyzia and Anactorium.608

3. To the Ætolians belong both Calydon609 and Pleuron, which at present are in a reduced condition, but, anciently, these settlements were an ornament to Greece.

Ætolia was divided into two portions, one called the Old, the other the Epictetus (the Acquired). The Old comprised the sea-coast from the Achelous as far as Calydon, extending far into the inland parts, which are fertile, and consist of plains. Here are situated Stratus and Trichonium, which has an excellent soil. The Epictetus, that reaches close to the Locri in the direction of Naupactus610 and Eupalium,611 [Pg 160]
[CAS. 451]
is a rugged and sterile tract, extending as far as Œtæa, to the territory of the Athamanes, and the mountains and nations following next in order, and which lie around towards the north.

4. There is in Ætolia a very large mountain, the Corax,612 which is contiguous to Œta. Among the other mountains, more in the middle of the country, is the Aracynthus,613 near which the founders built the modern Pleuron, having abandoned the ancient city situated near Calydon, which was in a fertile plain country, when Demetrius, surnamed Ætolicus, laid waste the district.

Above Molycreia614 are Taphiassus615 and Chalcis,616 mountains of considerable height, on which are situated the small cities, Macynia and Chalcis, (having the same name as the mountain,) or, as it is also called, Hypochalcis. Mount Curium is near the ancient Pleuron, from which some supposed the Pleuronii had the appellation of Curetes.

5. The river Evenus rises in the country of the Bomianses, a nation situated among the Ophienses, and an Ætolian tribe like the Eurytanes, Agræi, Curetes, and others. It does not flow, at its commencement, through the territory of the Curetes, which is the same as Pleuronia, but through the country more towards the east along Chalcis and Calydon; it then makes a bend backwards to the plains of the ancient Pleuron, and having changed its course to the west, turns again to the south, where it empties itself. It was formerly called Lycormas. There Nessus, who had the post of ferryman, is said to have been killed by Hercules for having attempted to force Deïaneira while he was conveying her across the river.

6. The poet calls Olenus and Pylene Ætolian cities, the former of which, of the same name as the Achæan city, was razed by the Æolians. It is near the new city Pleuron. The Acarnanians disputed the possession of the territory. They transferred Pylene to a higher situation, and changed its name to Proschium. Hellanicus was not at all acquainted with the history of these cities, but speaks of them as still existing in their ancient condition, but Macynia and Molycria, which were built subsequent to the return of the Heracleidæ, [Pg 161] he enumerates among ancient cities, and shows the greatest carelessness in almost every part of his work.

7. This, then, is the general account of the country of the Acarnanians and Ætolians. We must annex to this some description of the sea-coast and of the islands lying in front of it.

If we begin from the entrance of the Ambracian Gulf, the first place we meet with in Acarnania is Actium. The temple of Apollo Actius has the same name as the promontory, which forms the entrance of the Gulf, and has a harbour on the outside.

At the distance of 40 stadia from the temple is Anactorium, situated on the Gulf; and at the distance of 240 stadia is Leucas.617

8. This was, anciently, a peninsula belonging to the territory of the Acarnanians. The poet calls it the coast of Epirus, meaning by Epirus the country on the other side of Ithaca,618 and Cephallenia,619 which country is Acarnania; so that by the words of the poet,

“the coast of Epirus,”

we must understand the coast of Acarnania.

To Leucas also belonged Neritus, which Laertes said he took—

“as when I was chief of the Cephallenians, and took Nericus, a well-built city, on the coast of Epirus,”620

and the cities which he mentions in the Catalogue,

“and they who inhabited Crocyleia, and the rugged Ægilips.”621

But the Corinthians who were despatched by Cypselus and Gorgus, obtained possession of this coast, and advanced as far as the Ambracian Gulf. Ambracia and Anactorium were both founded. They cut through the isthmus of the peninsula, converted Leucas into an island, transferred Neritus to the spot, which was once an isthmus, but is now a channel connected with the land by a bridge, and changed the name to Leucas from Leucatas, as I suppose, which is a white rock, projecting from Leucas into the sea towards Cephallenia, so that it might take its name from this circumstance.

[Pg 162]
[CAS. 452]

9. It has upon it the temple of Apollo Leucatas, and the Leap, which, it was thought, was a termination of love.

“Here Sappho first ’tis said,” (according to Menander,) “in pursuit of the haughty Phaon, and urged on by maddening desire, threw herself622 from the aerial rock, imploring Thee, Lord, and King.”

Menander then says that Sappho was the first who took the leap, but persons better acquainted with ancient accounts assert that it was Cephalus, who was in love with Pterelas, the son of Deïoneus.623 It was also a custom of the country among the Leucadians at the annual sacrifice performed in honour of Apollo, to precipitate from the rock one of the condemned criminals, with a view to avert evil. Various kinds of wings were attached to him, and even birds were suspended from his body, to lighten by their fluttering the fall of the leap. Below many persons were stationed around in small fishing boats to receive, and to preserve his life, if possible, and to carry him beyond the boundaries of the country. The author of the AlcmŠonis says that Icarius, the father of Penelope, had two sons, Alyzeus, and Leucadius, who reigned after their father in Acarnania, whence Ephorus thinks that the cities were called after their names.

10. At present those are called Cephallenians who inhabit Cephallenia. But Homer calls all those under the command of Ulysses by this name, among whom are the Acarnanians; for when he says,

“Ulysses led the Cephallenians, those who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum, waving with woods,”624

(the remarkable mountain in this island; so also,

“they who came from Dulichium, and the sacred Echinades,”625

for Dulichium itself was one of the Echinades; and again,

“Buprasium and Elis,”626

when Buprasium is situated in Elis; and so,

“they who inhabited Eubœa, Chalcis, and Eretria,”627

when the latter places are in Eubœa; so again,

“Trojans, Lycians, and Dardanians,”628

[Pg 163]

and these also were Trojans): but after mentioning Neritum, he says,

“and they who inhabited Crocyleia and rocky Ægilips, Zacynthus, Samos, Epirus, and the country opposite to these islands;”629

he means by Epirus the country opposite to the islands, intending to include together with Leucas the rest of Acarnania, of which he says,

“twelve herds, and as many flocks of sheep in Epirus,”630

because the district of Epirus (the Epirotis) extended anciently perhaps as far as this place, and was designated by the common name Epirus.

The present Cephallenia he calls Samos, as when he says,

“in the strait between Ithaca and the hilly Samos,”631

he makes a distinction between places of the same name by an epithet, assigning the name not to the city, but to the island. For the island contains four cities, one of which, called Samos, or Same, for it had either appellation, bore the same name as the island. But when the poet says,

“all the chiefs of the islands, Dulichium, Same, and the woody Zacynthus,”632

he is evidently enumerating the islands, and calls that Same which he had before called Samos.

But Apollodorus at one time says that the ambiguity is removed by the epithet, which the poet uses, when he says,

“and hilly Samos,”

meaning the island; and at another time he pretends that we ought to write

“Dulichium, and Samos,”

and not


and evidently supposes that the city is called by either name, Samos or Samé, but the island by that of Samos only. That the city is called Samé is evident from the enumeration of the suitors from each city, where the poet says,

“there are four and twenty from Samé,”633

and from what is said about Ctimene,

[Pg 164]
[CAS. 454]

“they afterwards gave her in marriage at Samé.”634

There is reason in this. For the poet does not express himself distinctly either about Cephallenia, or Ithaca, or the other neighbouring places, so that both historians and commentators differ from one another.

11. For instance, with respect to Ithaca, when the poet says,

“and they who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum with its waving woods,”635

he denotes by the epithet, that he means Neritum the mountain. In other passages he expressly mentions the mountain;

“I dwell at Ithaca, turned to the western sun; where is a mountain, Neritum, seen from afar with its waving woods;”636

but whether he means the city, or the island, is not clear, at least from this verse;

“they who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum.”

Any one would understand these words in their proper sense to mean the city, as we speak of Athens, Lycabettus, Rhodes, Atabyris, Lacedæmon, and Taygetus, but in a poetical sense the contrary is implied.

In the verses,

“I dwell at Ithaca, turned to the western sun, in which is a mountain Neritum,”

the meaning is plain, because the mountain is on the island and not in the city; and when he says,

“we came from Ithaca situated under Neium,”637

it is uncertain whether he means that Neium was the same as Neritum, or whether it is another, either mountain or place. [He, who writes Nericum for Neritum, or the reverse, is quite mistaken. For the poet describes the former as “waving with woods;” the other as a “well-built city;” one in Ithaca, the other on the sea-beach of Epirus.]638

12. But this line seems to imply some contradiction;

“it lies in the sea both low, and very high,”639

for χθαμαλὴ is low, and depressed, but πανυπερτάτη expresses great height, as he describes it in other passages, calling it Cranae, (or rugged,) and the road leading from the harbour, as,

[Pg 165]

“a rocky way through a woody spot,”640

and again,

“for there is not any island in the sea exposed to the western sun,641 and with good pastures, least of all Ithaca.”642

The expression does imply contradictions, which admit however of some explanation. They do not understand χθαμαλὴ to signify in that place “low,” but its contiguity to the continent, to which it approaches very close; nor by πανυπερτάτη great elevation, but the farthest advance towards darkness, (πρὸς ζόφον,) that is, placed towards the north more than all the other islands, for this is what the poet means by “towards darkness,” the contrary to which is towards the south, (πρὸς νότον,)

“the rest far off (ἄνευθε) towards the morning, and the sun.”643

For the word ἄνευθε denotes “at a distance,” and “apart,” as if the other islands lay to the south, and more distant from the continent, but Ithaca near the continent and towards the north. That the poet designates the southern part (of the heavens) in this manner appears from these words,

“whether they go to the right hand, towards the morning and the sun, or to the left, towards cloudy darkness;”644

and still more evidently in these lines,

“my friends, we know not where darkness nor where morning lie, nor where sets nor where rises the sun which brings light to man.”645

We may here understand the four climates,646 and suppose the morning to denote the southern part (of the heavens), and this has some probability; but it is better to consider what is near to the path of the sun to be opposite to the northern part (of the heavens). For the speech in Homer is intended to indicate some great change in the celestial appearances, not a mere obscuration of the climates. For this must happen [Pg 166]
[CAS. 455]
during every cloudy season either by day or by night. Now the celestial appearances alter very much as we advance more or less towards the south, or the contrary; but this alteration does not prevent our observing the setting and rising of the sun, for in fine weather these phenomena are always visible whether in the south or the north. For the pole is the most northerly point: when this moves, and is sometimes over our heads and sometimes below the earth, the arctic circles change their position with it. Sometimes they disappear during these movements, so that you cannot discern the position of the northern climate, nor where it commences;647 and if this is so, neither can you distinguish the contrary climate.

The circuit of Ithaca is about 80648 stadia. So much then concerning Ithaca.

13. The poet does not mention Cephallenia, which contains four cities, by its present name, nor any of the cities except one, either Samé or Samos, which no longer exists, but traces of it are shown in the middle of the Strait near Ithaca. The inhabitants have the name of Samæ. The rest still exist at present, they are small cities, Paleis, Pronesus, and Cranii. In our time Caius Antonius, the uncle of Marcus Antonius, founded an additional city, when (being an exile after his consulship in which he was the colleague of Cicero the orator) he lived at Cephallenia, and was master of the whole island, as if it had been his own property. He returned from exile before he completed the foundation of the settlement, and died when engaged in more important affairs.

14. Some writers do not hesitate to affirm, that Cephallenia and Dulichium are the same; others identify it with Taphos, and the Cephallenians with Taphians, and these again with Teleboæ. They assert that Amphitryon, with the aid of Cephalus, the son of Deïoneus, an exile from Athens, undertook an expedition against the island, and having got possession of it, delivered it up to Cephalus; hence this city bore his name, and the rest those of his children. But this is not in accordance with Homer, for the Cephallenians were subject to Ulysses and Laertes, and Taphos to Mentes;

“I boast that I am Mentes, son of the valiant Anchialus,
And king of the Taphians, skilful rowers.”649

[Pg 167]

Taphos is now called Taphius.650 Nor does Hellanicus follow Homer when he calls Cephallenia, Dulichium, for Dulichium, and the other Echinades, are said to be under the command of Meges, and the inhabitants, Epeii, who came from Elis; wherefore he calls Otus the Cyllenian,

“companion of Phyleides, chief of the magnanimous Epeii;”651
“but Ulysses led the magnanimous Cephallenes.”652

Neither, as Andro asserts, is Cephallenia, according to Homer, Dulichium, nor does Dulichium belong to Cephallenia, for Epeii possessed Dulichium, and Cephallenians the whole of Cephallenia, the former of whom were under the command of Ulysses, the latter of Meges. Paleis is not called Dulichium by Homer, as Pherecydes says. But he who asserts that Cephallenia and Dulichium are the same contradicts most strongly the account of Homer; for as fifty-two of the suitors came from Dulichium, and twenty-four from Samé, would he not say, that from the whole island came such a number of suitors, and from a single city of the four came half the number within two? If any one should admit this, we shall inquire what the Samé could be, which is mentioned in this line,

“Dulichium and Samé, and the woody Zacynthus.”653

15. Cephallenia is situated opposite to Acarnania, at the distance from Leucatas of about 50, or according to others, of 40 stadia, and from Chelonatas654 of about 80 stadia. It is about 300 stadia (1300?) in circumference. It extends in length towards the south-east (Eurus). It is mountainous; the largest mountain in it is the Ænus,655 on which is the temple of Jupiter Ænesius. Here is the narrowest part of the island, which forms a low isthmus, that is frequently overflowed from sea to sea.656 Cranii657 and Paleis658 are situated near the straits in the Gulf.

16. Between Ithaca and Cephallenia is the small island [Pg 168]
[CAS. 457]
Asteria,659 or Asteris, as it is called by the poet, which, according to Demetrius, the Scepsian, does not remain in the state described by the poet,

“there are harbours in it, open on both sides, for the reception of vessels.”660

But Apollodorus says that it exists even at present, and mentions a small city in it, Alalcomenæ, situated quite upon the isthmus.

17. The poet also gives the name of Samos to Thracia, which we now call Samothracé. He was probably acquainted with the Ionian island, for he seems to have been acquainted with the Ionian migration. He would not, otherwise, have made a distinction between islands of the same names, for in speaking of Samothrace, he makes the distinction sometimes by the epithet,

“on high, upon the loftiest summit of the woody Samos, the Thracian,”661

sometimes by uniting it with the neighbouring islands,

“to Samos, and Imbros, and inaccessible Lemnos;”662

and again,

“between Samos and rocky Imbros.”663

He was therefore acquainted with the Ionian island, although he has not mentioned its name. Nor had it formerly always the same name, but was called Melamphylus, then Anthemis, then Parthenia, from the river Parthenius, the name of which was changed to Imbrasus. Since then both Cephallenia and Samothracé were called Samos664 at the time of the Trojan war, (for if it had not been so Hecuba would not have been introduced saying, that Achilles would sell any of her children that he could seize at Samos and Imbros,665) Ionian Samos was not yet colonized (by Ionians), which is evident from its having the same name from one of the islands earlier (called Samos), that had it before; whence this also is clear, that those persons contradict ancient history, who assert, that colonists came from Samos after the Ionian migration, and the arrival of Tembrion, and gave the name of Samos to Samothracé. The Samians invented this story out of vanity. Those are more entitled to credit, who say, that heights are [Pg 169] called Sami,666 and that the island obtained its name from this circumstance, for from thence

“was seen all Ida, the city of Priam, and the ships of the Greeks.”667

But according to some writers, Samos had its name from the Saii, a Thracian tribe, who formerly inhabited it, and who occupied also the adjoining continent, whether they were the same people as the Sapæ, or the Sinti, whom the poet calls Sinties, or a different nation. Archilochus mentions the Saii;

“one of the Saii is exulting in the possession of an honourable shield, which I left against my will near a thicket.”

18. Of the islands subject to Ulysses there remains to be described Zacynthus.668 It verges a little more than Cephallenia to the west of Peloponnesus, but approaches closer to it. It is 160 stadia in circumference, and distant from Cephallenia about 60 stadia. It is woody, but fertile, and has a considerable city of the same name. Thence to the Hesperides belonging to Africa are 3300669 stadia.

19. To the east of this island, and of Cephallenia, are situated the Echinades670 islands; among which is Dulichium, at present called Dolicha, and the islands called Oxeiæ, to which the poet gives the name of Thoæ.671

Dolicha is situated opposite to the Œniadæ, and the mouth of the Achelous: it is distant from Araxus,672 the promontory of Elis, 100 stadia. The rest of the Echinades are numerous, they are all barren and rocky, and lie in front of the mouth of the Achelous, the most remote of them at the distance of 15, the nearest at the distance of 5 stadia; they formerly were farther out at sea, but the accumulation of earth, which is brought down in great quantity by the Achelous, has already joined some, and will join others, to the continent. This accumulation of soil anciently formed the tract Paracheloitis, which the river overflows, a subject of contention, as it was continually confounding boundaries, which had been determined by the Acarnanians and the Ætolians. For want of arbitrators they decided their dispute by arms. The most [Pg 170]
[CAS. 458]
powerful gained the victory. This gave occasion to a fable, how Hercules overcame the Achelous in fight, and received in marriage as the prize of his victory, Deïaneira, daughter of Œneus. Sophocles introduces her, saying,

“My suitor was a river, I mean the Achelous, who demanded me of my father under three forms; one while coming as a bull of perfect form, another time as a spotted writhing serpent, at another with the body of a man and the forehead of a bull.”673

Some writers add, that this was the horn of Amaltheia, which Hercules broke off from the Achelous, and presented to Œneus as a bridal gift. Others, conjecturing the truth included in this story, say, that Achelous is reported to have resembled a bull, like other rivers, in the roar of their waters, and the bendings of their streams, which they term horns; and a serpent from its length and oblique course; and bull-fronted because it was compared to a bull’s head; and that Hercules, who, on other occasions, was disposed to perform acts of kindness for the public benefit, so particularly, when he was desirous of contracting an alliance with Œneus, performed for him these services; he prevented the river from overflowing its banks, by constructing mounds and by diverting its streams by canals, and by draining a large tract of the Paracheloïtis, which had been injured by the river; and this is the horn of Amaltheia.

Homer says, that in the time of the Trojan war the Echinades, and the Oxeiæ were subject to Meges,

“son of the hero Phyleus, beloved of Jupiter, who formerly repaired to Dulichium on account of a quarrel with his father.”674

The father of Phyleus was Augeas, king of Elis, and of the Epeii. The Epeii then, who possessed these islands, were those who had migrated to Dulichium with Phyleus.

20. The islands of the Taphii, and formerly of the Teleboæ, among which was Taphus, now called Taphius, were distinct from the Echinades, not separated by distance, (for they lie near one another,) but because they were ranged under different chiefs, Taphii and Teleboæ. In earlier times Amphitryon, in conjunction with Cephalus, the son of Deïoneus, an exile from Athens, attacked, and then delivered them up to the government of Cephalus. But the poet says that [Pg 171] Mentes was their chief, and calls them robbers, which was the character of all the Teleboæ.

So much then concerning the islands off Acarnania.

21. Between Leucas and the Ambracian gulf is a sea-lake, called Myrtuntium.675 Next to Leucas followed Palærus, and Alyzia, cities of Acarnania, of which Alyzia is distant from the sea 15 stadia. Opposite to it is a harbour sacred to Hercules, and a grove from whence a Roman governor transported to Rome “the labours of Hercules,” the workmanship of Lysippus, which was lying in an unsuitable place, being a deserted spot.676

Next are Crithote,677 a promontory, and the Echinades, and Astacus, used in the singular number, a city of the same name as that near Nicomedia, and the Gulf of Astacus, Crithote, a city of the same name as that in the Thracian Chersonesus. All the coast between these places has good harbours. Then follows Œniadæ, and the Achelous; then a lake belonging to the Œniadæ, called Melite, 30 stadia in length, and in breadth 20; then another Cynia, of double the breadth and length of Melite; a third Uria,678 much less than either of the former. Cynia even empties itself into the sea; the others are situated above it at the distance of about half a stadium.

Next is the river Evenus, which is distant from Actium 670 stadia.

Then follows the mountain Chalcis, which Artemidorus calls Chalcia; [next Pleuron, then Licyrna, a village, above which in the interior is situated Calydon at the distance of 30 stadia. Near Calydon is the temple of Apollo Laphrius;]679 then the mountain Taphiassus; then Macynia, a city; then Molycria, and near it Antirrhium, the boundary of Ætolia and of Locris. To Antirrhium from the Evenus are about 120 stadia.

Artemidorus does not place the mountain, whether Chalcis or Chalcia, between the Achelous and Pleuron, but Apollodorus, [Pg 172]
[CAS. 460]
as I have said before, places Chalcis and Taphiassus above Molycria; and Calydon between Pleuron and Chalcis. Are we then to place one mountain of the name of Chalcia near Pleuron, and another of the name of Chalcis near Molycria?

Near Calydon is a large lake, abounding with fish. It belongs to the Romans of Patræ.

22. Apollodorus says, that there is in the inland parts of Acarnania, a tribe of Erysichæi, mentioned by Aleman,

“not an Erysichæan, nor a shepherd; but I came from the extremities of Sardis.”

Olenus belonged to Ætolia; Homer mentions it in the Ætolian Catalogue,680 but traces alone remain of it near Pleuron below Aracynthus.681

Lysimachia also was near Olenus. This place has disappeared. It was situated upon the lake, the present Lysimachia, formerly Hydra, between Pleuron and the city Arsinoë,682 formerly a village of the name of Conopa. It was founded by Arsinoë, wife and also sister of the second Ptolemy. It is conveniently situated above the passage across the Achelous.

Pylene has experienced nearly the same fate as Olenus.

When the poet describes Calydon683 as lofty, and rocky, we must understand these epithets as relating to the character of the country. For we have said before, that when they divided the country into two parts, they assigned the mountainous portion and the Epictetus684 to Calydon, and the tract of plains to Pleuron.

23. The Acarnanians, and the Ætolians, like many other nations, are at present worn out, and exhausted by continual wars. The Ætolians however, in conjunction with the Acarnanians, during a long period withstood the Macedonians and the other Greeks, and lastly the Romans, in their contest for independence.

But since Homer, and others, both poets and historians, frequently mention them, sometimes in clear and undisputed terms, and sometimes less explicitly, as appears from what we have already said of these people, we must avail ourselves of some of the more ancient accounts, which will supply us with [Pg 173] a beginning, or with an occasion of inquiring into what is controverted.

24. First then with respect to Acarnania. We have already said, that it was occupied by Laertes and the Cephallenians; but as many writers have advanced statements respecting the first occupants in terms sufficiently clear, indeed, but contradictory, the inquiry and discussion are left open to us.

They say, that the Taphii and Teleboæ, as they are called, were the first inhabitants of Acarnania, and that their chief, Cephalus, who was appointed by Amphitryon sovereign of the islands about Taphus, was master also of this country. Hence is related of him the fable, that he was the first person who took the reputed leap from Leucatas. But the poet does not say, that the Taphii inhabited Acarnania before the arrival of the Cephallenians and Laertes, but that they were friends of the Ithacenses; consequently, in his time, either they had not the entire command of these places, or had voluntarily retired, or had even become joint settlers.

A colony of certain from Lacedæmon seems to have settled in Acarnania, who were followers of Icarius, father of Penelope, for the poet in the Odyssey represents him and the brothers of Penelope as then living;

“who did not dare to go to the palace of Icarius with a view of his disposing of his daughter in marriage.”685

And with respect to the brothers;

“for now a long time both her father and her brothers were urging her to marry Eurymachus.”686

Nor is it probable that they were living at Lacedæmon, for Telemachus would not, in that case, have been the guest of Menelaus upon his arrival, nor is there a tradition, that they had any other habitation. But they say that Tyndareus and his brother Icarius, after being banished from their own country by Hippocoon, repaired to Thestius, the king of the Pleuronii, and assisted in obtaining possession of a large tract of country on the other side of the Achelous on condition of receiving a portion of it; that Tyndareus, having espoused Leda the daughter of Thestius, returned home; that Icarius continued there in possession of a portion of Acarnania, and had Penelope and her brothers by his wife Polycasta, daughter of Lygæus.

[Pg 174]
[CAS. 461]

We have shown by the Catalogue of the Ships in Homer, that the Acarnanians were enumerated among the people who took part in the war of Troy; and among these are reckoned the inhabitants of the Acté, and besides these,

“they who occupied Epirus, and cultivated the land opposite.”

But Epirus was never called Acarnania, nor Acté, Leucas.

25. Ephorus does not say that they took part in the expedition against Troy; but he says that Alcmæon, the son of Amphiaraus, who was the companion of Diomede, and the other Epigoni in their expedition, having brought the war against the Thebans to a successful issue, went with Diomede to assist in punishing the enemies of Œneus, and having delivered up Ætolia to Diomede, he himself passed over into Acarnania, which country also he subdued. In the mean time Agamemnon attacked the Argives, and easily overcame them, the greatest part having attached themselves to the followers of Diomede. But a short time afterwards, when the expedition took place against Troy, he was afraid, lest, in his absence with the army, Diomede and his troops should return home, (for there was a rumour that he had collected a large force,) and should regain possession of a territory to which they had the best right, one being the heir of Adrastus, the other of his father. Reflecting then on these circumstances, he invited them to unite in the recovery of Argos, and to take part in the war. Diomede consented to take part in the expedition, but Alcmæon was indignant and refused; whence the Acarnanians were the only people who did not participate in the expedition with the Greeks. The Acarnanians, probably by following this account, are said to have imposed upon the Romans, and to have obtained from them the privilege of an independent state, because they alone had not taken part in the expedition against the ancestors of the Romans, for their names are neither in the Ætolian Catalogue, nor are they mentioned by themselves, nor is their name mentioned anywhere in the poem.

26. Ephorus then having represented Acarnania as subject to Alcmæon before the Trojan war, ascribes to him the foundation of Amphilochian Argos, and says that Acarnania had its name from his son Acarnan, and the Amphilochians from his brother Amphilochus; thus he turns aside to reports contrary to the history in Homer. But Thucydides and other [Pg 175] writers say, that Amphilochus, on his return from the Trojan expedition, being displeased with the state of affairs at Argos, dwelt in this country; according to some writers, he obtained it by succeeding to the dominions of his brother; others represent it differently. So much then respecting the Acarnanians considered by themselves. We shall now speak of their affairs where they are intermixed in common with those of the Ætolians, and we shall then relate as much of the history of the Ætolians as we proposed to add to our former account of this people.


1. Some writers reckon the Curetes among the Acarnanians, others among the Ætolians; some allege that they came from Crete, others that they came from Eubœa. Since, however, they are mentioned by Homer, we must first examine his account of them. It is thought that he does not mean the Acarnanians, but the Ætolians, in the following verses, for the sons of Porthaon were,

“Agrius, Melas, and the hero Œneus,
These dwelt at Pleuron, and the lofty Calydon,”687

both of which are Ætolian cities, and are mentioned in the Ætolian Catalogue; wherefore since those who inhabited Pleuron appear to be, according to Homer, Curetes, they might be Ætolians. The opponents of this conclusion are misled by the mode of expression in these verses,

“Curetes and Ætolians, firm in battle, were righting for the city Calydon,”688

for neither would he have used appropriate terms if he had said,

“Bœotians and Thebans were contending against each other,”


“Argives and Peloponnesians.”

But we have shown in a former part of this work, that this mode of expression is usual with Homer, and even trite among other poets. This objection then is easily answered. But let the objectors explain, how, if these people were not Ætolians, [Pg 176]
[CAS. 463]
the poet came to reckon the Pleuronii among the Ætolians.

2. Ephorus, after having asserted that the nation of the Ætolians were never in subjection to any other people, but, from all times of which any memorial remains, their country continued exempt from the ravages of war, both on account of its local obstacles and their own experience in warfare, says, that from the beginning Curetes were in possession of the whole country, but on the arrival of Ætōlus, the son of Endymion, from Elis, who defeated them in various battles, the Curetes retreated to the present Acarnania, and the Ætolians returned with a body of Epeii, and founded ten of the most ancient cities in Ætolia; and in the tenth generation afterwards Elis was founded, in conjunction with that people, by Oxylus, the son of Hæmon, who had passed over from Ætolia. They produce, as proofs of these facts, inscriptions, one sculptured on the base of the statue of Ætolus at Therma in Ætolia, where, according to the custom of the country, they assemble to elect their magistrates;

“this statue of Ætolus, son of Endymion, brought up near the streams of the Alpheius, and in the neighbourhood of the stadia of Olympia, Ætolians dedicated as a public monument of his merits.”

And the other inscription on the statue of Oxylus is in the market-place of Elis;

“Ætolus, having formerly abandoned the original inhabitants of this country, won by the toils of war the land of the Curetes. But Oxylus, the son of Hæmon, the tenth scion of that race, founded this ancient city.”

3. He rightly alleges, as a proof of the affinity subsisting reciprocally between the Eleii and the Ætolians, these inscriptions, both of which recognise not the affinity alone, but also that their founders had established settlers in each other’s country. Whence he clearly convicts those of falsehood who assert, that the Eleii were a colony of Ætolians, and that the Ætolians were not a colony of Eleii. But he seems to exhibit the same inconsistency in his positions here, that we proved689 with regard to the oracle at Delphi. For after asserting that Ætolia had never been ravaged by war from all time of which there was any memorial, and saying, that from the first the Curetes were in possession of this country, he [Pg 177] ought to have inferred from such premises, that the Curetes continued to occupy the country of Ætolia to his days. For in this manner it might be understood never to have been devastated, nor in subjection to any other nation. But forgetting his position, he does not infer this, but the contrary, that Ætolus came from Elis, and having defeated the Curetes in various battles, these people retreated into Acarnania. What else then is there peculiar to the devastation of a country than the defeat of the inhabitants in war and their abandonment of their land, which is evinced by the inscription among the Eleii; for speaking of Ætolus the words are,

“he obtained possession of the country of the Curetes by the continued toils of war.”

4. But perhaps some person may say, that he means Ætolia was not laid waste, reckoning from the time that it had this name after the arrival of Ætolus; but he takes away the ground of this supposition, by saying afterwards, that the greatest part of the people, that remained among the Ætolians, were those called Epeii, with whom Ætolians were afterwards intermingled, who had been expelled from Thessaly together with Bœotians, and possessed the country in common with these people. But is it probable that, without any hostilities, they invaded the country of another nation and divided it among themselves and the original possessors, who did not require such a partition of their land? If this is not probable, is it to be believed that the victors agreed to an equal division of the territory? What else then is devastation of a country, but the conquest of it by arms? Besides, Apollodorus says that, according to history, the Hyantes abandoned Bœotia and came and settled among the Ætolians, and concludes as confident that his opinion is right by saying it is our custom to relate these and similar facts exactly, whenever any of them is altogether dubious, or concerning which erroneous opinions are entertained.

5. Notwithstanding these faults in Ephorus, still he is superior to other writers. Polybius himself, who has studiously given him so much praise, has said that Eudoxus has written well on Grecian affairs, but that Ephorus has given the best account of the foundation of cities, of the relationship subsisting between nations, of changes of settlements, and of leaders of colonies, in these words, “but I shall explain the [Pg 178]
[CAS. 465]
present state of places, both as to position and distances; for this is the peculiar province of chorography.”690

But you, Polybius, who introduce popular hearsay, and rumours on the subject of distances, not only of places beyond Greece, but in Greece itself, have you not been called to answer the charges sometimes of Posidonius, sometimes of Artemidorus, and of many other writers? ought you not therefore to excuse us, and not to be offended, if in transferring into our own work a large part of the historical poets from such writers we commit some errors, and to commend us when we are generally more exact in what we say than others, or supply what they omitted through want of information.

6. With respect to the Curetes, some facts are related which belong more immediately, some more remotely, to the history of the Ætolians and Acarnanians. The facts more immediately relating to them, are those which have been mentioned before, as that the Curetes were living in the country which is now called Ætolia, and that a body of Ætolians under the command of Ætolus came there, and drove them into Acarnania; and these facts besides, that Æolians invaded Pleuronia, which was inhabited by Curetes, and called Curetis, took away their territory, and expelled the possessors.

But Archemachus691 of Eubœa says that the Curetes had their settlement at Chalcis, but being continually at war about the plain Lelantum, and finding that the enemy used to seize and drag them by the hair of the forehead, they wore their hair long behind, and cut the hair short in front, whence they had the name of Curetes, (or the shorn,) from cura, (κουρά,) or the tonsure which they had undergone; that they removed to Ætolia, and occupied the places about Pleuron; that others, who lived on the other side of the Achelous, because they kept their heads unshorn, were called Acarnanians.692

But according to some writers each tribe derived its name from some hero;693 according to others, that they had the [Pg 179] name of Curetes from the mountain Curium,694 which is situated above Pleuron, and that this is an Ætolian tribe, like the Ophieis, Agræi, Eurytanes, and many others.

But, as we have before said, when Ætolia was divided into two parts, the country about Calydon was said to be in the possession of Œneus; and a portion of Pleuronia in that of the Porthaonidæ of the branch of Agrius,695 for

“they dwelt at Pleuron, and the lofty Calydon.”696

Thestius however, father-in-law of Œneus, and father of Althæa, chief of the Curetes, was master of Pleuronia. But when war broke out between the Thestiadæ, Œneus, and Meleager about a boar’s head and skin, according to the poet,697 following the fable concerning the boar of Calydon, but, as is probable, the dispute related to a portion of the territory; the words are these,

“Curetes and Ætolians, firm in battle, fought against one another.”698

These then are the facts more immediately connected (with geography).

7. There699 are others more remote from the subject of this [Pg 180]
[CAS. 466]
work, which have been erroneously placed by historians under one head on account of the sameness of name: for instance, accounts relating to “Curetic affairs” and “concerning the Curetes” have been considered as identical with accounts “concerning the people (of the same name) who inhabited Ætolia and Acarnania.” But the former differ from the latter, and resemble rather the accounts which we have of Satyri and Silenes, Bacchæ and Tityri; for the Curetes are represented as certain dæmons, or ministers of the gods, by those who have handed down the traditions respecting Cretan and Phrygian affairs, and which involve certain religious rites, some mystical, others the contrary, relative to the nurture of Jupiter in Crete; the celebration of orgies in honour of the mother of the gods, in Phrygia, and in the neighbourhood of the Trojan Ida. There is however a very great variety700 in these accounts. According to some, the Corybantes, Cabeiri, Idæan Dactyli, and Telchines are represented as the same persons as the Curetes; according to others, they are related to, yet distinguished from, each other by some slight differences; but to describe them in general terms and more at length, they are inspired with an enthusiastic and Bacchic frenzy, which is exhibited by them as ministers at the celebration of the sacred rites, by inspiring terror with armed dances, accompanied with the tumult and noise of cymbals, drums, and armour, and with the sound of pipes and shouting; so that these sacred ceremonies are nearly the same as those that are performed among the Samothracians in Lemnus, and in many other places; since the ministers of the god are said to be the same.701 The whole of this kind of [Pg 181] discussion is of a theological nature, and is not alien to the contemplation of the philosopher.

8. But since even the historians, through the similarity of the name Curetes, have collected into one body a mass of dissimilar facts, I myself do not hesitate to speak of them at length by way of digression, adding the physical considerations which belong to the history.702 Some writers however endeavour to reconcile one account with the other, and perhaps they have some degree of probability in their favour. They say, for instance, that the people about Ætolia have the name of Curetes from wearing long dresses like girls, (κόραι,) and that there was, among the Greeks, a fondness for some such fashion. The Ionians also were called “tunic-trailers,”703 and the soldiers of Leonidas,704 who went out to battle with their hair dressed, were despised by the Persians, but subjects of their admiration in the contest. In short, the application of art to the hair consists in attending to its growth, and the manner of cutting it,705 and both these are the peculiar care of girls and youths;706 whence in several ways it is easy to find a derivation of the name Curetes. It is also probable, that the practice of armed dances, first introduced by persons who paid so much attention to their hair and their dress, and who were called Curetes, afforded a pretence for men more warlike than others, and who passed their lives in arms, to be themselves called by the same name of Curetes, I mean those in Eubœa, Ætolia, and Acarnania. Homer also gives this name to the young soldiers;

“selecting Curetes, the bravest of the Achæans, to carry from the swift ship, presents, which, yesterday, we promised to Achilles.”707

[Pg 182]
[CAS. 467]

And again;

“Curetes Achæi carried the presents.”708

So much then on the subject of the etymology of the name Curetes. [The dance in armour is a military dance; this is shown by the Pyrrhic dance and by Pyrrichus, who, it is said, invented this kind of exercise for youths, to prepare them for military service.]709

9. We are now to consider how the names of these people agree together, and the theology, which is contained in their history.

Now this is common both to the Greeks and the Barbarians, to perform their religious ceremonies with the observance of a festival, and a relaxation from labour; some are performed with enthusiasm, others without any emotion; some accompanied with music, others without music; some in mysterious privacy, others publicly; and these are the dictates of nature.710 For relaxation from labour withdraws the thoughts from human occupations, and directs the reflecting mind to the divinity: enthusiasm seems to be attended with a certain divine inspiration, and to approach the prophetic character; the mystical concealment of the sacred rites excites veneration for the divinity, and imitates his nature, which shuns human senses and perception; music also, accompanied with the dance, rhythm, and song, for the same reason brings us near the deity by the pleasure which it excites, and by the charms of art. For it has been justly said, that men resemble the gods chiefly in doing good, but it may be said more properly, when they are happy; and this happiness consists in rejoicing, in festivals, in philosophy, and in music.711 For let not the art be blamed, if it should sometimes be abused by the musician employing it to excite voluptuousness in convivial [Pg 183] meetings at banquets, on the stage, or under other circumstances, but let the nature of the institutions which are founded on it be examined.712

10. Hence Plato, and, before his time, the Pythagoreans, called music philosophy. They maintained that the world subsisted by harmony, and considered every kind of music to be the work of the gods. It is thus that the muses are regarded as deities, and Apollo has the name of President of the Muses, and all poetry divine, as being conversant about the praises of the gods. Thus also they ascribe to music the formation of manners, as everything which refines the mind approximates to the power of the gods.

The greater part of the Greeks attribute to Bacchus, Apollo, Hecate, the Muses, and Ceres, everything connected with orgies and Bacchanalian rites, dances, and the mysteries attended upon initiation. They call also Bacchus, Dionysus, and the chief Dæmon of the mysteries of Ceres.713 The carrying about of branches of trees, dances, and initiations are common to the worship of these gods. But with respect to Apollo and the Muses, the latter preside over choirs of singers and dancers; the former presides both over these and divination. All persons instructed in science, and particularly those who have cultivated music, are ministers of the Muses; these and also all who are engaged in divination are ministers of Apollo. Those of Ceres, are the Mystæ, torch-bearers and Hierophants; of Dionysus, Seileni, Satyri, Tityri, Bacchæ, Lenæ, Thyiæ, Mimallones, Naïdes, and Nymphæ, as they are called.

11. But in Crete both these, and the sacred rites of Jupiter in particular, were celebrated with the performance of orgies, and by ministers, like the Satyri, who are employed in the worship of Dionysus. These were called Curetes, certain youths who executed military movements in armour, accompanied with dancing, exhibiting the fable of the birth of Jupiter, in which Saturn was introduced, whose custom it was to devour his children immediately after their birth; Rhea attempts to conceal the pains of childbirth, and to remove the new-born infant out of sight, using her utmost endeavours to preserve it. [Pg 184]
[CAS. 468]
In this she has the assistance of the Curetes who surround the goddess, and by the noise of drums and other similar sounds, by dancing in armour and by tumult, endeavour to strike terror into Saturn, and escape notice whilst removing his child. The child is then delivered into their hands to be brought up with the same care by which he was rescued. The Curetes therefore obtained this appellation, either because they were boys (κόροι), or because they educated Jupiter in his youth (κουροτροφεῖν), for there are two explanations, inasmuch as they acted the same part with respect to Jupiter as the Satyri (with respect to Dionysus). Such then is the worship of the Greeks, as far as relates to the celebration of orgies.

12. But the Berecyntes, a tribe of Phrygians, the Phrygians in general, and the Trojans, who live about Mount Ida, themselves also worship Rhea, and perform orgies in her honour; they call her mother of gods, Agdistis, and Phrygia,714 the Great Goddess; from the places also where she is worshipped, Idæa, and Dindymene,715 Sipylene,716 Pessinuntis,717 and Cybele.718 The Greeks call her ministers by the same name Curetes, not that they follow the same mythology, but they mean a different kind of persons, a sort of agents analogous to the Satyri. These same ministers are also called by them Corybantes.

13. We have the testimony of the poets in favour of these opinions. Pindar, in the Dithyrambus, which begins in this manner;

“formerly the dithyrambus used to creep upon the ground, long and trailing.”

After mentioning the hymns, both ancient and modern, in honour of Bacchus, he makes a digression, and says,

“for thee, O Mother, resound the large circles of the cymbals, and the ringing crotala; for thee, blaze the torches of the yellow pine;”

where he combines with one another the rites celebrated among the Greeks in honour of Dionysus with those performed among the Phrygians in honour of the mother of the [Pg 185] gods. Euripides, in the Bacchæ, does the same thing, conjoining, from the proximity of the countries,719 Lydian and Phrygian customs.

“Then forsaking Tmolus, the rampart of Lydia, my maidens, my pride, [whom I took from among barbarians and made the partners and companions of my way, raise on high the tambourine of Phrygia, the tambourine of the great mother Rhea,] my invention.

“Blest and happy he who, initiated into the sacred rites of the gods, leads a pure life; who celebrating the orgies of the Great Mother Cybele, who brandishing on high the thyrsus and with ivy crowned, becomes Dionysus’ worshipper. Haste, Bacchanalians, haste, and bring Bromius Dionysus down from the Phrygian mountains to the wide plains of Greece.”

And again, in what follows, he combines with these the Cretan rites.

“Hail, sacred haunt of the Curetes, and divine inhabitants of Crete, progenitors of Jove, where for me the triple-crested Corybantes in their caves invented this skin-stretched circle [of the tambourine], who mingled with Bacchic strains the sweet breath of harmony from Phrygian pipes, and placed in Rhea’s hands this instrument which re-echoes to the joyous shouts of Bacchanalians; from the Mother Rhea the frantic Satyri succeeded in obtaining it, and introduced it into the dances of the Trieterides, among whom Dionysus delights to dwell.”720

[Pg 186]
[CAS. 479]

And the chorus in Palamedes says,

“Not revelling with Dionysus, who together with his mother was cheered with the resounding drums along the tops of Ida.”

14. Conjoining then Seilenus, Marsyas, and Olympus, and ascribing to them the invention of the flute, they thus again combine Dionysiac and Phrygian rites, frequently confounding Ida and Olympus,721 and making them re-echo with their noise, as if they were the same mountain. There are four peaks of Ida called Olympi, opposite Antandros.722 There is also a Mysian Olympus, bordering upon Ida, but not the same mountain. Sophocles represents Menelaus in the Polyxena as setting sail in haste from Troy, and Agamemnon as wishing to remain behind a short time, with a view to propitiate Minerva. He introduces Menelaus as saying,

“But do thou remain there on the Idæan land,
Collect the flocks on Olympus, and offer sacrifice.”723

15. They invented terms appropriate to the sounds of the pipe, of the crotala, cymbals, and drums; to the noise also of shouts; to the cries of Evoe; and to the beating of the ground with the feet. They invented certain well-known names also to designate the ministers, dancers, and servants employed about the sacred rites, as Cabeiri, Corybantes, Pans, Satyri, Tityri, the god Bacchus; Rhea, Cybele, Cybebe, and Dindymene, from the places where she was worshipped. [The god] Sabazius belongs to the Phrygian rites, and may be considered the child as it were of the [Great] Mother. The traditional ceremonies observed in his worship are those of Bacchus.724

16. The rites called Cotytia, and Bendideia,725 celebrated [Pg 187] among the Thracians, resemble these. The Orphic ceremonies had their origin among these people. Æschylus mentions the goddess Cotys, and the instruments used in her worship among the Edoni.726 For after saying,

“O divine Cotys, goddess of the Edoni,
With the instruments of the mountain worship;”

immediately introduces the followers of Dionysus,

“one holding the bombyces, the admirable work of the turner, with the fingers makes the loud notes resound, exciting frenzy; another makes the brass-bound cotylæ to re-echo.”

And in another passage;

“The song of victory is poured forth; invisible mimes low and bellow from time to time like bulls, inspiring fear, and the echo of the drum rolls along like the noise of subterranean thunder;”727

for these are like the Phrygian ceremonies, nor is it at all improbable that, as the Phrygians themselves are a colony of Thracians, so they brought from Thrace their sacred ceremonies, and by joining together Dionysus and the Edonian Lycurgus they intimate a similarity in the mode of the worship of both.

17. From the song, the rhythm, and the instruments, all Thracian music is supposed to be Asiatic. This is evident also from the places where the Muses are held in honour. For Pieria, Olympus, Pimpla, and Leibethrum were anciently places, and mountains, belonging to the Thracians, but at present they are in the possession of the Macedonians. The Thracians, who were settled in Bœotia, dedicated Helicon to the Muses, and consecrated the cave of the Nymphs, Leibethriades. The cultivators of ancient music are said to have been Thracians, as Orpheus, Musæus, Thamyris; hence also Eumolpus had his name. Those who regard the whole of Asia as far as India as consecrated to Bacchus, refer to that country as the origin of a great portion of the present music. One author speaks of “striking forcibly the Asiatic cithara:” another calls the pipes Berecynthian and Phrygian. [Pg 188]
[CAS. 471]
Some of the instruments also have barbarous names, as Nablas, Sambyce,728 Barbitus,729 Magadis,730 and many others.

18. As in other things the Athenians always showed their admiration of foreign customs, so they displayed it in what respected the gods. They adopted many foreign sacred ceremonies, particularly those of Thrace and Phrygia; for which they were ridiculed in comedies. Plato mentions the Bendidean, and Demosthenes the Phrygian rites, where he is exposing Æschines and his mother to the scorn of the people; the former for having been present when his mother was sacrificing, and for frequently joining the band of Bacchanalians in celebrating their festivals, and shouting, Evoï, Saboï, Hyes Attes, and Attes Hyes, for these cries belong to the rites of Sabazius and the Great Mother.

19. But there may be discovered respecting these dæmons, and the variety of their names, that they were not called ministers only of the gods, but themselves were called gods. For Hesiod says that Hecaterus and the daughter of Phoroneus had five daughters,

“From whom sprung the goddesses, the mountain nymphs,
And the worthless and idle race of satyrs,
And the gods Curetes, lovers of sport and dance.”

The author of the Phoronis calls the Curetes, players upon the pipe, and Phrygians; others call them “earth-born, and wearing brazen shields.” Another author terms the Corybantes, and not the Curetes, Phrygians, and the Curetes, Cretans. Brazen shields were first worn in Eubœa, whence the people had the name of Chalcidenses.731 Others say, that the Corybantes who came from Bactriana, or, according to some writers, from the Colchi, were given to Rhea, as a band of armed ministers, by Titan. But in the Cretan history the Curetes are called nurses and guardians of Jove, and are described as having been sent for from Phrygia to Crete by Rhea. According to other writers, there were nine Telchines in Rhodes, who accompanied Rhea to Crete, and from nursing732 Jupiter had the name of Curetes;733 that Corybus, one of their party, was the founder of Hierapytna, and furnished the

[Pg 189]

Prasians734 in Rhodes with the pretext for saying that Corybantes were certain dæmons, children of Minerva and the sun. By others, the Corybantes are represented to be the children of Saturn; by others, of Jupiter and Calliope, or to be the same persons as the Cabeiri; that they went away735 to Samothrace,736 which was formerly called Melite; but their lives and actions are mysterious.

20. The Scepsian (Demetrius) who has collected fabulous stories of this kind, does not receive this account because no mysterious tradition about the Cabeiri is preserved in Samothrace, yet he gives the opinion of Stesimbrotus of Thasus, to the effect that the sacred rites in Samothrace were celebrated in honour of the Cabeiri.737 Demetrius, however, says that they had their name from Cabeirus, the mountain in Berecynthia. According to others, the Curetes were the same as the Corybantes, and were ministers of Hecate.

The Scepsian says in another place, in contradiction to Euripides, that it is not the custom in Crete to pay divine honours to Rhea, and that these rites were not established there, but in Phrygia only, and in the Troad, and that they who affirm the contrary are mythologists rather than historians; and were probably misled by an identity of name, for Ida is a mountain both in the Troad and in Crete; and Dicte is a spot in the Scepsian territory, and a mountain in Crete.738 Pytna is a peak of Ida, (and a mountain in Crete,) whence the city Hierapytna has its name. There is Hippocorona in the territory of Adramyttium, and Hippocoronium739 in Crete. Samonium also is the eastern promontory of the island, and a plain in the Neandris,740 and in the territory of the Alexandrians (Alexandria Troas).

21. But Acusilaus, the Argive, mentions a Camillus, the [Pg 190]
[CAS. 473]
son of Cabeira and Vulcan; who had three sons, Cabeiri, (and three daughters,) the Nymphs Cabeirides.741

According to Pherecydes, there sprung from Apollo and Rhetia nine Corybantes, who lived in Samothrace; that from Cabeira, the daughter of Proteus and Vulcan, there were three Cabeiri, and three Nymphs, Cabeirides, and that each had their own sacred rites. But it was at Lemnos and Imbros that the Cabeiri were more especially the objects of divine worship, and in some of the cities of the Troad; their names are mystical.

Herodotus742 mentions, that there were at Memphis temples of the Cabeiri as well as of Vulcan, which were destroyed by Cambyses. The places where these dæmons received divine honours are uninhabited, as Corybantium in the territory Hamaxitia belonging to the country of the Alexandrians, near Sminthium;743 and Corybissa in the Scepsian territory about the river Eureïs, and a village of the same name, and the winter torrent Æthaloeïs.744

The Scepsian says, that it is probable that the Curetes and Corybantes are the same persons, who as youths and boys were employed to perform the armed dance in the worship of the mother of the gods. They were called Corybantes745 from their dancing gait, and butting with their head (κορύπτοντας); by the poet they were called βητάρμονες,

“Come hither, you who are the best skilled Betarmones among the Phæacians.”746

Because the Corybantes are dancers, and are frantic, we call those persons by this name whose movements are furious.

22. Some writers say that the first inhabitants of the country at the foot of Mount Ida were called Idæan Dactyli, [Pg 191] for the country below mountains is called the foot, and the summits of mountains their heads; so the separate extremities of Ida (and all are sacred to the mother of the gods) are called Idæan Dactyli.747

But Sophocles748 supposes, that the first five were males, who discovered and forged iron,749 and many other things which were useful for the purposes of life; that these persons had five sisters, and from their number had the name of Dactyli.750 Different persons however relate these fables differently, connecting one uncertainty with another. They differ both with respect to the numbers and the names of these persons; some of whom they call Celmis, and Damnameneus, and Hercules, and Acmon, who, according to some writers, were natives of Ida, according to others, were settlers, but all agree that they were the first workers in iron, and upon Mount Ida. All writers suppose them to have been magicians, attendants upon the mother of the gods, and to have lived in Phrygia about Mount Ida. They call the Troad Phrygia, because, after the devastation of Troy, the neighbouring Phrygians became masters of the country. It is also supposed that the Curetes and the Corybantes were descendants of the Idæan Dactyli, and that they gave the name of Idæan Dactyli to the first hundred persons who were born in Crete; that from these descended nine Curetes, each of whom had ten children, who were called Idæan Dactyli.751

23. Although we are not fond of fabulous stories, yet we have expatiated upon these, because they belong to subjects of a theological nature.

All discussion respecting the gods requires an examination of ancient opinions, and of fables, since the ancients expressed enigmatically their physical notions concerning the nature of things, and always intermixed fable with their discoveries. It is not easy therefore to solve these enigmas exactly, but if we lay before the reader a multitude of fabulous tales, some consistent with each other, others which are contradictory, we [Pg 192]
[CAS. 474]
may thus with less difficulty form conjectures about the truth. For example, mythologists probably represented the ministers of the gods, and the gods themselves, as coursing over the mountains, and their enthusiastic behaviour, for the same reason that they considered the gods to be celestial beings, and to exercise a providential care over all things, and especially over signs and presages. Mining, hunting, and a search after things useful for the purposes of life, appeared to have a relation to this coursing over the mountains, but juggling and magic to be connected with enthusiastic behaviour, religious rites, and divination. Of such a nature, and connected in particular with the improvement of the arts of life, were the Dionysiac and Orphic arts. But enough of this subject.


1. Having described the islands about the Peloponnesus, and other islands also, some of which are upon, and others in front of, the Corinthian Gulf, we are next to speak of Crete,752 (for it belongs to the Peloponnesus,) and the islands near Crete, among which are the Cyclades and the Sporades. Some of these are worthy of notice, others are inconsiderable.

2. At present we are to speak first of Crete.

[Pg 193]

According to Eudoxus, it is situated in the Ægæan sea, but he ought not to have described its situation in that manner, but have said, that it lies between Cyrenaica and the part of Greece comprehended between Sunium and Laconia,753 extending in length in the direction from west to east, and parallel to these countries;754 that it is washed on the north by the Ægæan and Cretan seas, and on the south by the African, which joins the Ægyptian sea.

The western extremity of the island is near Phalasarna;755 its breadth is about 200 stadia, and divided into two promontories; of which the southern is called Criu-Metopon, (or Ram’s head,) and that on the north, Cimarus.756 The eastern promontory is Samonium,757 which does not stretch much further towards the east than Sunium.758

3. Sosicrates, who, according to Apollodorus, had an exact knowledge of this island, determines its length (not?)759 to exceed 2300 stadia, and its breadth (about 300),760 so that according to Sosicrates the circuit of the island is not more than 5000 stadia, but Artemidorus makes it 4100. Hieronymus [Pg 194]
[CAS. 475]
says, that its length is 2000 stadia, and its breadth irregular, and that the circuit would exceed the number of stadia assigned by Artemidorus. Throughout one-third of its length, (beginning from the western parts, the island is of a tolerable width).761 Then there is an isthmus of about 100 stadia, on the northern shore of which is a settlement, called Amphimalla;762 on the southern shore is Phœnix,763 belonging to the Lampeis.

The greatest breadth is in the middle of the island.

Here again the shores approach, and form an isthmus narrower than the former, of about 60 stadia in extent, reckoning from Minoa,764 in the district of the Lyctii,765 to Therapytna,766 and the African sea. The city is on the bay. The shores then terminate in a pointed promontory, the Samonium, looking towards Ægypt and the islands of the Rhodians.767

4. The island is mountainous and woody, but has fertile valleys.

The mountains towards the west are called Leuca, or the White Mountains,768 not inferior in height to the Taÿgetum,769 and extending in length about 300 stadia. They form a ridge, which terminates at the narrow parts (the isthmus). In the middle of the island, in the widest part, is (Ida),770 the highest of the mountains there. Its compass is about 600 stadia. It is surrounded by the principal cities. There are other mountains equal in height to the White Mountains, some of which terminate on the south, others towards the east.

5. From the Cyrenæan771 territory to Criu-metopon772 is a [Pg 195] voyage of two days and nights. From Cimarus [to Malea] are 700 stadia.773 In the midway is Cythera.774 From the promontory Samonium775 to Ægypt a ship sails in four days and nights, but, according to other writers, in three. Some say that it is a voyage of 5000 stadia; others, of still less than this. According to Eratosthenes, the distance from Cyrenaïca to Criu-Metopon is 2000 stadia, and thence to Peloponnesus less than [1000].776

6. One language is intermixed with another, says the poet; there are in Crete,

“Achæi, the brave Eteocretans, Cydones, Dorians divided into three bands,777 and the divine Pelasgi.”778

Of these people, says Staphylus, the Dorians occupy the eastern parts of the island, Cydonians the western, Eteocretans the southern, to whom Prasus, a small town, belonged, where is the temple of the Dictæan Jupiter; the other nations, being more powerful, inhabited the plains. It is probable that the Eteocretans779 and Cydonians were aboriginal inhabitants, and that the others were foreigners, who Andron says came from Thessaly, formerly called Doris, but now Hestiæotis, from which country he says the Dorians, who were settled about Parnassus, migrated, and founded Erineum, Bœum, and Cytinium, whence they are called by the poet Trichaïces, or tripartite. But the account of Andron is not generally admitted, who represents the Tetrapolis Doris as composed of three cities, and the metropolis of the Dorians as a colony of Thessalians. The epithet Trichaïces780 is understood to be derived either from their wearing a triple crest,781 or from having crests of hair.782

7. There are many cities in Crete, but the largest and most distinguished are Cnossus,783 Gortyna,784 Cydonia.785 Both Homer and later writers celebrate Cnossus(11) above the rest, [Pg 196]
[CAS. 476]
calling it vast, and the palace of Minos. It maintained its pre-eminence for a long period. It afterwards lost its ascendency, and was deprived of many of its customs and privileges. The superiority was transferred to Gortyna and Lyctus.786 But it afterwards recovered its ancient rank of the capital city. Cnossus lies in a plain, with its ancient circumference of 30 stadia, between the Lyctian and Gortynian territory; [distant] 200 stadia from Gortyna, and from Lyttus 120, which the poet787 calls Lyctus. Cnossus is at the distance of 25 stadia from the northern sea; Gortyna 90, and Lyctus 80, stadia from the African sea. Cnossus has a marine arsenal, Heracleium.788

8. Minos, it is said, used as an arsenal Amnisus,789 where is a temple of Eileithyia. Cnossus formerly had the name of Cæratus, which is the name of the river790 which runs beside it.

Minos791 is regarded as an excellent legislator, and the first who possessed the sovereignty of the sea. He divided the island into three portions, in each of which he built a city; Cnossus * * * * * * *,792 opposite to Peloponnesus, which lies toward the north.

According to Ephorus, Minos was an imitator of Rhadamanthus, an ancient personage, and a most just man. He had the same name as his brother, who appears to have been the first to civilize the island by laws and institutions, by founding cities, and by establishing forms of government. He pretended to receive from Jupiter the decrees which he promulgated. It was probably in imitation of Rhadamanthus that Minos went up to the cave of Jupiter, at intervals of nine years, and brought from thence a set of ordinances, which he said were the commands of Jove; for which reason the poet thus expresses himself;

“There reigned Minos, who every ninth year conversed with the great Jupiter.”793

[Pg 197]

Such is the statement of Ephorus; the ancients on the other hand give a different account, and say that he was tyrannical and violent, and an exactor of tribute, and speak in the strain of tragedy about the Minotaur, the Labyrinth, and the adventures of Theseus and Dædalus.

9. It is difficult to determine which is right. There is another story also not generally received; some persons affirming that Minos was a foreigner, others that he was a native of the island. Homer seems to support the latter opinion, when he says, that

“Minos, the guardian of Crete, was the first offspring of Jupiter.”794

It is generally admitted with regard to Crete that in ancient times it was governed by good laws, and induced the wisest of the Greeks to imitate its form of government, and particularly the Lacedæmonians, as Plato shows in his “Laws,” and Ephorus has described in his work “Europe.” Afterwards there was a change in the government, and for the most part for the worse. For the Tyrrheni, who chiefly infested our sea, were followed by the Cretans, who succeeded to the haunts and piratical practices of the former people, and these again afterwards were subject to the devastations of the Cilicians. But the Romans destroyed them all after the conquest of Crete,795 and demolished the piratical strongholds of the Cilicians. At present Cnossus has even a colony of Romans.

10. So much then respecting Cnossus, a city to which I am no stranger; but owing to the condition of human affairs, their vicissitudes and accidents, the connexion and intercourse that subsisted between ourselves and the city is at an end. Which may be thus explained. Dorylaüs, a military tactician, a friend of Mithridates Euergetes, was appointed, on account of his experience in military affairs, to levy a body of foreigners, and was frequently in Greece and Thrace, and often in the company of persons who came from Crete, before the Romans were in possession of the island. A great multitude of mercenary soldiers was collected there, from whom [Pg 198]
[CAS. 478]
even the bands of pirates were recruited. During the stay of Dorylaüs in the island, a war happened to break out between the Cnossians and the Gortynians. He was appointed general by the Cnossians, and having finished the war speedily and successfully, he obtained the highest honours. A short time afterwards, being informed that Euergetes had been treacherously put to death by his courtiers at Sinope, and that he was succeeded in the government by his wife and children, he abandoned everything there, remained at Cnossus, and married a Macedonian woman of the name of Sterope, by whom he had two sons, Lagetas and Stratarchas, (the latter I myself saw when in extreme old age,) and one daughter. Of the two sons of Euergetes, he who was surnamed Eupator succeeded to the throne when he was eleven years of age; Dorylaüs, the son of Philetærus, was his foster-brother. Philetærus was the brother of Dorylaüs the Tactician. The king had been so much pleased with his intimacy with Dorylaüs when they lived together as children, that on attaining manhood he not only promoted Dorylaüs to the highest honours, but extended his regard to his relations and sent for them from Cnossus. At this time Lagetas and his brother had lost their father, and were themselves grown up to manhood. They quitted Cnossus, and came to Mithridates. My mother’s mother was the daughter of Lagetas. While he enjoyed prosperity, they also prospered; but upon his downfall (for he was detected in attempting to transfer the kingdom to the Romans with a view to his own appointment to the sovereignty) the affairs of Cnossus were involved in his ruin and disgrace; and all intercourse with the Cnossians, who themselves had experienced innumerable vicissitudes of fortune, was suspended.

So much then respecting Cnossus.

11. After Cnossus, the city Gortyna seems to have held the second place in rank and power. For when these cities acted in concert they held in subjection all the rest of the inhabitants, and when they were at variance there was discord throughout the island; and whichever party Cydonia espoused, to them she was a most important accession.

The city of the Gortynians lies in a plain, and was perhaps anciently protected by a wall, as Homer also intimates,

[Pg 199]

“and Gortyna, a walled city;”796

it lost afterwards its walls, which were destroyed from their foundation, and it has remained ever since without walls; for Ptolemy Philopator, who began to build a wall, proceeded with it to the distance only of about 8 stadia. Formerly the building occupied a considerable compass, extending nearly 50 stadia. It is distant from the African sea, and from Leben its mart, 90 stadia. It has also another arsenal, Matalum.797 It is distant from that 130 stadia. The river Lethæus798 flows through the whole of the city.

12. Leucocomas and Euxynthetus his erastes (or lover), whom Theophrastus mentions in his discourse on Love, were natives of Leben.799 One of the tasks enjoined Euxynthetus by Leucocomas was this, according to Theophrastus, to bring him his dog from Prasus.800 The Prasii border upon the Lebenii at the distance of 60 stadia from the sea, and from Gortyn 180. We have said that Prasus was subject to the Eteocretans, and that the temple of the Dictæan Jupiter was there. For Dicte801 is near; not, as Aratus802 alleges, near Ida; since Dicte is distant 1000 stadia from Mount Ida, and situated at that distance from it towards the rising sun; and 100 stadia from the promontory Samonium. Prasus was situated between the promontory Samonium, and the Cherrhonesus, at the distance of 60 stadia from the sea. It was razed by the Hierapytnii. He says, too, that Callimachus803 is not right in asserting that Britomartis, in her escape from the violence offered by Minos, leaped from Dicte among the nets of the fishermen (δίκτυα), and that hence she had the name of Dictynna from the Cydoniatæ, and the mountain that of [Pg 200]
[CAS. 479]
Dicte. For Cydonia is not at all situated in the neighbourhood of these places, but lies at the western extremity of the island. The mountain Tityrus804 belongs to the Cydonian territory; upon it is situated a temple, not called Dictæan, but Dictynnæan.

13. Cydonia is situated on the sea, fronting Laconia, at an equal distance from both Cnossus and Gortyn, about 800 stadia, and from Aptera 80, and from the sea in this quarter 40 stadia. Cisamus805 is the naval arsenal of Aptera.806 The Polyrrhenii border upon the Cydoniatæ towards the west; in their territory is the temple of Dictynna. They are at the distance of about 30 stadia from the sea, and 60 from Phalasarna. Formerly they lived in villages; then Achæans and Laconians settled there together, and fortified with a wall a strong site fronting the south.

14. Of the three cities founded by Minos, the last, which was Phæstus,807 was razed by the Gortynians; it was at the distance of 60 stadia from Gortyn, 20 from the sea, and from Matalum, the arsenal, 40 stadia. They who razed the city possess the territory. Rhytium also together with Phæstus belongs to the Gortynians,

“both Phæstus and Rhytium.”808

Epimenides, who performed lustrations by the means of his poetry, is said to have been a native of Phæstus. Olyssa (Lisses?) also belonged to the territory of Phæstus.

Cherrhonesus,809 as it is called, is the arsenal of Lyttus or (Lyctus), which we have before mentioned; on the former is the temple of Britomartis.

Miletus and Lycastus, the cities which were enumerated together with Lyctus, no longer exist; but the territory, after they had razed the city (Lyctus), was partitioned among Lyctians and Cnossians.

15. As the poet in one place speaks of Crete as having a hundred, and in another ninety, cities, Ephorus says, that ten were founded in later times after the Trojan war by the Dorians, [Pg 201] who accompanied Althæmenes the Argive, and that hence Ulysses speaks of its ninety cities. This account is probable. But others say, that the ten were razed by the enemies of Idomeneus; but the poet does not say that Crete had a hundred cities at the time of the Trojan war, but in his own age, for he speaks in his own person; but if the words had been those of some person then living, as those in the Odyssey, where Ulysses says, Crete had ninety cities, they might have been properly understood in this manner. But even if we admit this, the subsequent verses will not be exempt from objection. For neither at the time of the expedition, nor after the return of Idomeneus, is it probable that these cities were destroyed by his enemies, for the poet says,

“but Idomeneus brought back all his companions who had survived the war to Crete; the sea had not deprived him of any of them;”810

for he would have mentioned such a misfortune. Ulysses indeed might not have been acquainted with the destruction of these cities, for he had not had any intercourse with any of the Greeks either during or after his wanderings; but (Nestor), who had been the companion of Idomeneus in the expedition and in his escape from shipwreck, could not be ignorant of what had happened at home during the expedition and before his return. But he must certainly have been aware of what occurred after his return. For if he and all his companions escaped, he returned so powerful that their enemies were not in a position to deprive them of ten cities.

Such then is the general description of the country of Crete.

16. With respect to the form of government, which Ephorus has described at large, it will be sufficient to give a cursory account of the principal parts. The law-giver, says Ephorus, seems to lay, as the foundation of his constitution, the greatest good that states can enjoy, namely, liberty; for it is this alone which makes the property of every kind which a man possesses his own; in a state of slavery it belongs to the governor, and not to the governed. The liberty also which men enjoy must be guarded. Unanimity ensues, when the dissensions that arise from covetousness and luxury811 are [Pg 202]
[CAS. 481]
removed. Now where all live temperately and frugally, neither envy, nor injuries, nor hatred have place among equals. Whence the young were enjoined to repair to the Agelæ, and those of mature age to assemble at the Syssitia, or common meals, called Andreia, in order that the poorer sort, who were fed at the public charge, might partake of the same fare as the rich.

With a view that courage, and not fear, should predominate, they were accustomed from childhood to the use of arms, and to endure fatigue. Hence they disregarded heat and cold, rugged and steep roads, blows received in gymnastic exercises and in set battles.

They practised archery, and the dance in armour, which the Curetes first invented, and was afterwards perfected by Pyrrhichus, and called after him Pyrrhiche. Hence even their sports were not without their use in their training for war. With the same intention they used the Cretan measures in their songs; the tones of these measures are extremely loud; they were invented by Thales, to whom are ascribed the pæans and other native songs and many of their usages. They adopted a military dress also, and shoes, and considered armour as the most valuable of all presents.

17. Some, he says, alleged that many of the institutions supposed to be Cretan were of Lacedæmonian origin; but the truth is, they were invented by the former, but perfected by the Spartans. The Cretans, when their cities, and particularly Cnossus, were ravaged, neglected military affairs, but some usages were more observed by the Lyttii and Gortynii, and some other small cities, than by the Cnossians. Those persons, who maintain the priority of the Laconian institutions, adduce as evidence of this those of the Lyttii, because as colonists they would retain the customs of the parent state. Otherwise, it would be absurd for those, who lived under a better form of constitution and government, to be imitators of a worse. But this is not correct. For we ought not to form conjectures respecting the ancient from the present state of things, for each has undergone contrary changes. The Cretans were formerly powerful at sea, so that it was a proverbial saying addressed to those who pretended to be ignorant of what they knew, “a Cretan, and not know the sea;” but at present they have abandoned nautical affairs.

[Pg 203]

Nor did it follow necessarily that, because there were some cities in Crete colonized by Spartans, they should continue to observe Spartan usages, since many of the cities of colonists do not preserve the customs of the mother country; and there are many cities in Crete, the inhabitants of which are not colonists, and yet have the same usages as those that have received colonies.

18. Lycurgus, the Spartan legislator, he says, was five generations later than Althæmenes, who conducted the colony into Crete. He is said by historians to have been the son of Cissus, who founded Argos812 about the same time that Procles was engaged in establishing a colony at Sparta. It is also generally admitted that Lycurgus was the sixth in descent from Procles.813 Copies do not precede the models, nor modern precede ancient things. The usual kind of dancing practised among the Lacedæmonians, the measures, and the pæans sung according to a certain mood, and many other usages, are called among them Cretan, as if they came from Crete. But among the ancient customs, those relative to the administration of the state have the same designations as in Crete,814 as the council of Gerontes815 and that of the Knights,816 except that in Crete the knights had horses; whence it is conjectured, that the council of Knights in Crete is more ancient, since the origin of the appellation is preserved. But the Spartan knight did not keep a horse. They who perform the same functions as the Cosmi in Crete, have the different title of Ephori [in Sparta]. The Syssitia, or common meal, is even at present called Andreia among the Cretans; but among the Spartans they did not continue to call it by its former name, as it is found in the poet Alcman;

“In festivals and in joyous assemblies of the Andreia, it is fit to begin the pæan in honour of the guests.”

19. The occasion of the journey of Lycurgus to Crete is said by the inhabitants to be as follows. The elder brother of Lycurgus was Polydectes, who, at his death, left his wife pregnant. Lycurgus reigned in place of his brother till the [Pg 204]
[CAS. 483]
birth of a son. He then became the guardian of the child, who was heir to the kingdom. Some one said to him insultingly, he was sure Lycurgus would be king. Suspecting that by this speech he might be accused of contriving a plot against the child, and fearing that, if the child should die by any accident, his enemies might impute its death to him, he departed to Crete. This is said to have been the cause of his journey. Upon his arrival in Crete he became acquainted with Thales, the lyric poet and legislator. He learnt from this person the plan adopted by Rhadamanthus in former times, and afterwards by Minos in promulgating their laws, so as to procure a belief that they proceeded from Jupiter. He was also in Ægypt, and obtained information respecting the laws and customs of that country.817 According to some writers, he met at Chios with Homer, who was living there, and then returned to his own country, where he found Charilaus, the son of his brother Polydectes, upon the throne. He then began to frame laws, repairing to the god at Delphi, and bringing thence ordinances, as Minos brought his from the cave of Jupiter.818 The greater part of these ordinances were similar to those of Minos.

20. The following are the principal of the laws of Crete, which Ephorus has given in detail.

All the Cretans, who are selected at the same time from the troop (ἀγέλη) of youths, are compelled to marry at once. They do not however take the young women whom they have married immediately to their homes, until they are qualified to administer household affairs.

The woman’s dower, if she has brothers, is half of the brother’s portion.

The children are taught to read, to chaunt songs taken from the laws, and some kinds of music.

While they are still very young they are taken to the Syssitia, called Andreia. They sit on the ground, eating their food together, dressed in mean garments, which are not changed in winter or summer. They wait upon themselves and on the men. Both those of the same and those of different messes have battles with one another. A trainer of boys presides over each Andreion. As they grow older they are formed into [Pg 205] (Ἀγέλαι) or troops of youths. The most illustrious and powerful of the youths form Agelæ, each individual assembling together as many as he can collect. The governor of the troop is generally the father of the youth who has assembled them together, and has the power of taking them to hunt and to exercise themselves in running, and of punishing the disobedient. They are maintained at the public charge.

On certain set days troop encounters troop, marching in time to the sound of the pipe and lyre, as is their custom in actual war. They inflict blows, some with the hand, and some even with iron weapons.

21. They have a peculiar custom with respect to their attachments. They do not influence the objects of their love by persuasion, but have recourse to violent abduction. The lover apprizes the friends of the youth, three or more days beforehand, of his intention to carry off the object of his affection. It is reckoned a most base act to conceal the youth, or not to permit him to walk about as usual, since it would be an acknowledgment that the youth was unworthy of such a lover. But if they are informed that the ravisher is equal or superior in rank, or other circumstances, to the youth, they pursue and oppose the former slightly, merely in conformity with the custom. They then willingly allow him to carry off the youth. If however he is an unworthy person, they take the youth from him. This show of resistance does not end, till the youth is received into the Andreium to which the ravisher belongs. They do not regard as an object of affection a youth exceedingly handsome, but him who is distinguished for courage and modesty. The lover makes the youth presents, and takes him away to whatever place he likes. The persons present at the abduction accompany them, and having passed two months in feasting, and in the chase, (for it is not permitted to detain the youth longer,) they return to the city. The youth is dismissed with presents, which consist of a military dress, an ox, and a drinking cup; the last are prescribed by law, and besides these many other very costly gifts, so that the friends contribute each their share in order to diminish the expense.

The youth sacrifices the ox to Jupiter, and entertains at a feast those who came down with him from the mountains. He then declares concerning the intercourse with the lover, [Pg 206]
[CAS. 484]
whether it took place with his consent or not, since the law allows him, if any violence is used in the abduction, to insist upon redress, and set him free from his engagement with the lover. But for the beautiful and high-born not to have lovers is disgraceful, since this neglect would be attributed to a bad disposition.

The parastathentes, for this is the name which they give to those youths who have been carried away, enjoy certain honours. At races and at festivals they have the principal places. They are permitted to wear the stole, which distinguishes them from other persons, and which has been presented to them by their lovers; and not only at that time, but in mature age, they appear in a distinctive dress, by which each individual is recognised as Kleinos, for this name is given to the object of their attachment, and that of Philetor to the lover.

These then are the usages respecting attachments.

22. They elect ten Archons. On matters of highest moment they have recourse to the counsel of the Gerontes, as they are called. They admit into this council those who have been thought worthy of the office of Cosmi, and who were otherwise persons of tried worth.

I considered the form of government among the Cretans as worthy of description, on account both of its peculiarity and its fame. Few of these institutions are now in existence, and the administration of affairs is chiefly conducted according to the orders of the Romans, as is the case also in their other provinces.


1. The islands about Crete are Thera,819 the capital of the Cyrenæans, and a colony of the Lacedæmonians; and near Thera is Anaphe,820 in which is the temple of Apollo Ægletes. Callimachus speaks of it in one place, thus,

[Pg 207]

“And Æglete Anaphe, close to the Lacedæmonian Thera;”

and in another, he mentions Thera only,

“Mother of my country, celebrated for its fine breed of horses.”

Thera is a long island, about 200 stadia in circumference. It lies opposite to the island Dia,821 towards the Cnossian Heracleium. It is distant about 700 stadia from Crete. Near it are Anaphe and Therasia.822 The little island Ios823 is distant from the latter about 100 stadia. Here according to some authors the poet Homer was buried.824 In going from Ios towards the west are Sicenus825 and Lagusa,826 and Pholegandrus,827 which Aratus calls the iron island, on account of its rocks. Near these islands is Cimolus,828 whence is obtained the Cimolian earth. From Cimolus Siphnus829 is visible. To this island is applied the proverb, “a Siphnian bone (astragalus),” on account of its insignificance. Still nearer, both to Cimolus and Crete, is Melos,830 more considerable than these. It is distant from the Hermionic promontory, the Scyllæum,831 700 stadia, and nearly as many from the Dictynnæan promontory. The Athenians formerly despatched an army to Melos,832 and put to death the inhabitants from youth upwards.

These islands are situated in the Cretan sea. Delos,833 the Cyclades about it, and the Sporades adjacent to these, belong rather to the Ægæan sea. To the Sporades also are to be referred the islands about Crete, which I have already mentioned.

2. The city of Delos is in a plain. Delos contains the temple of Apollo, and the Latoum, or temple of Latona. The Cynthus,834 a naked and rugged mountain, overhangs the city. [Pg 208]
[CAS. 485]
The Inopus,835 not a large river, for the island is small, flows through it. Anciently, even from the heroic times, this island has been held in veneration on account of the divinities worshipped here. Here, according to the fable, Latona was relieved from the pains of labour, and gave birth to Apollo and Diana.

“Before this time,” (says Pindar,836) “Delos was carried about by the waves, and by winds blowing from every quarter, but when the daughter of Cœus set her foot upon it, who was then suffering the sharp pangs of approaching childbirth, at that instant four upright columns, resting on adamant, sprang from the depths of the earth and retained it fast on the rugged rock; there she brought forth, and beheld her happy offspring.”

The islands lying about it, called Cyclades, gave it celebrity, since they were in the habit of sending at the public charge, as a testimony of respect, sacred delegates, (Theori,) sacrifices, and bands of virgins; they also repaired thither in great multitudes to celebrate festivals.837

3. Originally, there were said to be twelve Cyclades, but many others were added to them. Artemidorus enumerates (fifteen?) where he is speaking of the island Helena,838 and of which he says that it extends from Thoricus839 to Sunium,840 and is about 60 stadia in length; it is from this island, he says, the Cyclades, as they are called, begin. He names Ceos,841 as the nearest island to Helena, and next to this Cythnus, Seriphus,842 Melos, Siphnus, Cimolus, Prepesinthus,843 Oliarus,844 and besides these Paros,845 Naxos,846 Syros,847 Myconus,848 Tenos,849 Andros,850 Gyarus.851 The rest I consider as belonging to the Twelve, but not Prepesinthus, Oliarus, and Gyarus. When I put in at the latter island I found a small village inhabited by fishermen. When we left it we took in a fisherman, deputed from the inhabitants to go to Cæsar, who was at Corinth on his way to celebrate his triumph after the victory at Actium.852 He told his fellow-passengers, that he was [Pg 209] deputed to apply for an abatement of the tribute, for they were required to pay 150 drachmæ, when it was with difficulty they could pay 100.

Aratus,853 in his Details, intimates how poor they were;

“O Latona, thou art shortly going to pass by me [an insignificant island] like to the iron-bound Pholegandrus, or to unhappy Gyarus.

4. Although Delos854 was so famous, yet it became still more so, and flourished after the destruction of Corinth by the Romans.855 For the merchants resorted thither, induced by the immunities of the temple, and the convenience of its harbour. It lies favourably856 for those who are sailing from Italy and Greece to Asia. The general festival held there serves the purposes of commerce, and the Romans particularly frequented it even before the destruction of Corinth.857 The Athenians, after having taken the island, paid equal attention to the affairs both of religion and of commerce. But the generals858 of Mithridates, and the tyrant,859 who had occasioned the defection of (Athens from the Romans), ravaged it entirely. The Romans received the island in a desolate state on the departure of the king to his own country; and it has continued in an impoverished condition to the present time.860 The Athenians are now in possession of it.

5. Rheneia861 is a small desert island 4 stadia from Delos, where are the sepulchral monuments of the Delians. For it is not permitted to bury the dead in Delos, nor to burn a [Pg 210]
[CAS. 486]
dead body there. It is not permitted even to keep a dog in Delos.

Formerly it had the name of Ortygia.862

6. Ceos863 once contained four cities. Two remain, Iulis and Carthæ, to which the inhabitants of the others were transferred; those of Pœëessa to Carthæ, and those of Coressia to Iulis. Simonides the lyric poet, and Bacchylides his nephew, and after their times Erasistratus the physician, and Ariston the Peripatetic philosopher, the imitator of Bion,864 the Borysthenite, were natives of this city.

There was an ancient law among these people, mentioned by Menander.

“Phanias, that is a good law of the Ceans; who cannot live comfortably (or well), let him not live miserably (or ill).”865

For the law, it seems, ordained that those above sixty years old should be compelled to drink hemlock, in order that there might be sufficient food for the rest. It is said that once when they were besieged by the Athenians, a decree was passed to the effect that the oldest persons, fixing the age, should be put to death, and that the besiegers retired in consequence.

The city lies on a mountain, at a distance from the sea of about 25 stadia. Its arsenal is the place on which Coressia was built, which does not contain the population even of a village. Near the Coressian territory and Pϑessa is a temple of Apollo Sminthius. But between the temple and the ruins of Pϑessa is the temple of Minerva Nedusia, built by Nestor, on his return from Troy. The river Elixus runs around the territory of Coressia.

7. After Ceos are Naxos866 and Andros,867 considerable islands, and Paros, the birth-place of the poet Archilochus. Thasos868 was founded by Parians, and Parium,869 a city in the Propontis. In this last place there is said to be an altar worthy of notice, each of whose sides is a stadium in length.

[Pg 211]

In Paros is obtained the Parian marble, the best adapted for statuary work.870

8. Here also is Syros, (the first syllable is long,) where Pherecydes the son of Babys was born. The Athenian Pherecydes is younger than the latter person. The poet seems to have mentioned this island under the name of Syria;

“above Ortygia is an island called Syria.”871

9. Myconus872 is an island beneath which, according to the mythologists, lie the last of the giants, destroyed by Hercules; whence the proverb, “all under one Myconus,” applied to persons who collect under one title things that are disjoined by nature. Some also call bald persons Miconians, because baldness is frequent among the inhabitants of the island.873

10. Seriphos874 is the island where is laid the scene of the fable of Dictys, who drew to land in his net the chest in which were enclosed Perseus and his mother Danaë, who were thrown into the sea by order of Acrisius, the father of Danaë. There it is said Perseus was brought up, and to this island he brought the head of the Gorgon; he exhibited it to the Seriphians, and turned them all into stone. This he did to avenge the wrongs of his mother, because their king Polydectes, with the assistance of his subjects, desired to make her his wife by force. Seriphus abounds so much with rocks, that they say in jest that it was the work of the Gorgon.

11. Tenos875 has a small city, but there is, in a grove beyond it, a large temple of Neptune worthy of notice. It contains large banqueting rooms, a proof of the great multitudes that repair thither from the neighbouring places to celebrate a feast, and to perform a common sacrifice in honour of Neptune.

12. To the Sporades belongs Amorgos,876 the birth-place of [Pg 212]
[CAS. 488]
Simonides, the Iambic poet; Lebinthus877 also, and Leria (Leros).878 Phocylides refers to Leria in these lines;

“the Lerians are bad, not some, but all, except Procles; but Procles is a Lerian;”

for the Lerians are reputed to have bad dispositions.

13. Near these islands are Patmos,879 and the Corassiæ880 islands, situated to the west of Icaria,881 as the latter is with respect to Samos.

Icaria has no inhabitants, but it has pastures, of which the Samians avail themselves. Notwithstanding its condition it is famous, and gives the name of Icarian to the sea in front of it, in which are situated Samos, Cos, and the islands just mentioned,882 the Corassiæ, Patmos, and Leros883 [in Samos is the mountain the Cerceteus, more celebrated than the Ampelus, which overhangs the city of the Samians].884 Continuous to the Icarian sea, towards the south, is the Carpathian sea, and the Ægyptian sea to this; to the west are the Cretan and African seas.

14. In the Carpathian sea, between Cos, Rhodes, and Crete, are situated many of the Sporades, as Astypalæa,885 Telos,886 Chalcia,887 and those mentioned by Homer in the Catalogue.

“They who occupied Nisyrus, Crapathus, Casus, and Cos,
The city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnæ islands.”888

Except Cos, and Rhodes, of which we shall speak hereafter, [Pg 213] we place the rest among the Sporades, and we mention them here although they do not lie near Europe, but Asia, because the course of my work induces me to include the Sporades in the description of Crete and of the Cyclades.

We shall traverse in the description of Asia the considerable islands adjacent to that country, as Cyprus, Rhodes, Cos, and those situated on the succeeding line of coast, Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos. At present we are to describe the remaining islands of the Sporades, which deserve mention.

15. Astypalæa lies far out at sea, and contains a city.

Telos, which is long, high, and narrow, in circumference about 140 stadia, with a shelter for vessels, extends along the Cnidian territory.

Chalcia is distant from Telos 80, from Carpathus 400 stadia, and about double this number from Astypalæa. It has a settlement of the same name, a temple of Apollo, and a harbour.

16. Nisyrus lies to the north of Telos, at the distance of about 60 stadia, which is its distance also from Cos. It is round, lofty, and rocky, and has abundance of mill-stone, whence the neighbouring people are well supplied with stones for grinding. It contains a city of the same name, a harbour, hot springs, and a temple of Neptune. Its circumference is 80 stadia. Near it are small islands, called the islands of the Nisyrians. Nisyrus is said to be a fragment broken off from Cos; a story is also told of Neptune, that when pursuing Polybotes, one of the giants, he broke off with his trident a piece of the island Cos, and hurled it at him, and that the missile became the island Nisyrus, with the giant lying beneath it. But some say that the giant lies beneath Cos.

17. Carpathus, which the poet calls Crapathus, is lofty, having a circumference of 200 stadia. It contained four cities, and its name was famous, which it imparted to the surrounding sea. One of the cities was called Nisyrus, after the name of the island Nisyrus. It lies opposite Leuce Acte in Africa, which is distant about 1000 stadia from Alexandria, and about 4000 from Carpathus.

18. Casus is distant from Carpathus 70, and from the promontory Salmonium in Crete 250 stadia. It is 80 stadia in circumference. It contains a city of the same name; and many islands, called the islands of the Casii, lie about it.

19. They say that the poet calls the Sporades, Calydnæ, [Pg 214]
[CAS. 489]
one of which is Calymna.889 But it is probable that as the islands, which are near and dependent, have their names from the Nisyrii and Casii, so those that lie around Calymna had their name from that island, which was then perhaps called Calydna. Some say that the Calydnæ islands are two, Leros and Calymna, and that the poet means these. But the Scepsian says, that the name of the island was used in the plural number, Calymnæ, like Athenæ, Thebæ, and that the words of the poet must be understood according to the figure hyperbaton, or inversion, for he does not say, the islands Calydnæ, but,

“they who occupied the islands Nisyrus, Crapathus, Casus, and Cos, the city of Eurypylus, and Calydnæ.”

All the honey of the islands is, for the most part, excellent, and rivals that of Attica; but the honey of these islands surpasses it, particularly that of Calymna.890

[Pg 215]




The Eleventh Book commences with Asia and the river Don, which, taking its rise in the northern regions, separates Europe from Asia. It includes the nations situated in Asia near its sources on the east and south, and the barbarous Asiatic nations who occupy the neighbourhood of Mount Caucasus, among whom are the Amazones, Massagetæ, Scythians, Albani, Iberes, Bactriani, Caspii, Medes, Persians, and the two Armenias, extending to Mesopotamia. Among these nations are included the Troglodytæ, Heniochi, Sceptuchi, Soanes, Assyrians, Polyphagi, Nabiani, Siraci, and Tapyri. Mention is made of Jason and Medea, and of the cities founded by them:—of Xerxes, Mithridates, and Alexander, son of Philip.


1. Asia is contiguous to Europe, approaching close to it at the Tanaïs or Don.

I am to describe this country next, after dividing it, for the sake of perspicuity, by certain natural boundaries. What Eratosthenes has done with respect to the whole habitable earth, this I propose to do with respect to Asia.

2. The Taurus, extending from west to east, embraces the middle of this continent, like a girdle, leaving one portion to the north, another to the south. The Greeks call the former Asia Within the Taurus,891 the latter, Asia Without the Taurus. We have said this before, but it is repeated now to assist the memory.

3. The Taurus has in many places a breadth of 3000 stadia; its length equals that of Asia, namely 45,000 stadia,892 [Pg 216]
[CAS. 491]
reckoning from the continent opposite to Rhodes to the eastern extremities of India and Scythia.

4. It is divided into many parts, which are circumscribed by boundaries of greater or less extent, and distinguished by various names.

But as such an extended range of mountains must comprise nations some of which are little known, and others with whom we are well acquainted, as Parthians,893 Medes, Armenians, some of the Cappadocians, Cilicians, and Pisidians; those which approach near the northern parts must be assigned to the north, (northern Asia,) those approximating the southern parts, to the south, (southern Asia,) and those situated in the middle of the mountains must be placed on account of the similarity of the temperature of the air, for it is cold to the north, while the air of the south is warm.

The currents of almost all the rivers which flow from the Taurus are in a direction contrary to each other, some running to the north, others to the south, at least at the commencement of their course, although afterwards some bend towards the east or west. They naturally suggest the adoption of this chain of mountains as a boundary in the division of Asia into two portions; in the same manner that the sea within the Pillars, which for the most part runs in the same line with these mountains, conveniently forms two continents, Europe and Africa, and is a remarkable boundary to both.

5. In passing in our geographical description from Europe to Asia, the first parts of the country which present themselves are those in the northern division, and we shall therefore begin with these.

Of these parts the first are those about the Tanaïs, (or Don,) which we have assumed as the boundary of Europe and Asia. These have a kind of peninsular form, for they are surrounded on the west by the river Tanaïs (or Don) and the Palus Mæotis894 as far as the Cimmerian Bosporus,895 and that part of the coast of the Euxine which terminates at Colchis; on the north by the Ocean, as far as the mouth of the Caspian Sea; on the east by the same sea, as far as the [Pg 217] confines of Albania and Armenia, where the rivers Cyrus896 and Araxes897 empty themselves; the latter flowing through Armenia, and the Cyrus through Iberia898 and Albania;899 on the south is the tract of country extending from the mouth of the Cyrus as far as Colchis, and comprising about 3000 stadia from sea to sea, across the territory of the Albani, and Iberes,900 so as to represent an isthmus.901

Those writers do not deserve attention who contract the isthmus as much as Cleitarchus, according to whom it is subject to inundations of the sea from either side. According to Posidonius the isthmus is 1500 stadia in extent, that is, as large as the isthmus from Pelusium to the Red Sea. And I think, says he, that the isthmus between the Palus Mæotis and the Ocean is not very different from this in extent.

6. I know not how any one can rely upon his authority respecting what is uncertain, when he has nothing probable to advance on the subject; for he reasons so falsely respecting things which are evident, and this too when he enjoyed the friendship of Pompey, who had carried on war against the Iberes and Albani, and was acquainted with both the Caspian and Colchian902 Seas on each side of the isthmus. It is related, that when Pompey903 was at Rhodes, on his expedition against the pirates, (he was soon afterwards to carry on war against Mithridates and the nations as far as the Caspian Sea,) he accidentally heard a philosophical lecture of Posidonius; and on his departure he asked Posidonius if he had any commands; to which he replied,

[Pg 218]
[CAS. 492]

“To stand the first in worth, as in command.”904

Add to this, that he wrote the history of Pompey. For these reasons he ought to have paid a greater regard to truth.

7. The second portion is that above the Hyrcanian,905 which we also call the Caspian Sea, extending as far as the Scythians near the Indians.

The third portion is continuous with the above-mentioned isthmus, and consists of the country following next in order to the isthmus and the Caspian Gates,906 and approaching nearest the parts within the Taurus, and to Europe; these are Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, and the intervening country.907

The fourth portion consists of the tract within the Halys,908 and the parts upon and without the Taurus, which coincide with the peninsula formed by the isthmus,909 which separates the Euxine and the Cilician Seas. Among the other countries beyond the Taurus we place Indica and Ariana,910 as far [Pg 219] as the nations which extend to the Persian Sea, the Arabian Gulf, and the Nile, and to the Ægyptian and the Issic seas.


1. According to this disposition, the first portion towards the north and the Ocean is inhabited by certain tribes of Scythians, shepherds, (nomades,) and Hamaxœci (or those who live in waggon-houses). Within these tribes live Sarmatians, who also are Scythians, Aorsi,911 and Siraci, extending as far as the Caucasian Mountains towards the south. Some of these are Nomades, or shepherd tribes, others Scenitæ, (or dwellers in tents,) and Georgi, or tillers of the ground. About the lake Mæotis live the Mæotæ. Close to the sea is the Asiatic portion of the Bosporus and Sindica.912 Next follow Achæi, Zygi, Heniochi,913 Cercetæ, and Macropogones (or the long-beards). Above these people are situated the passes of the Phtheirophagi (or Lice-eaters). After the Heniochi is Colchis, lying at the foot of the Caucasian and Moschic mountains. Having assumed the Tanaïs as the boundary of Europe and Asia, we must begin our description in detail from this river.

[Pg 220]
[CAS. 493]

2. The Tanaïs or Don flows from the northern parts. It does not however flow in a direction diametrically opposite to the Nile, as some suppose, but its course is more to the east than that of the latter river; its sources, like those of the Nile, are unknown. A great part of the course of the Nile is apparent, for it traverses a country the whole of which is easy of access, and its stream is navigable to a great distance from its mouth. We are acquainted with the mouths of the Don, (there are two in the most northerly parts of the Mæotis, distant 60 stadia from each other,) but a small part only of the tract above the mouths is explored, on account of the severity of the cold, and the destitute state of the country; the natives are able to endure it, who subsist, like the wandering shepherd tribes, on the flesh of their animals and on milk, but strangers cannot bear the climate nor its privations. Besides, the nomades dislike intercourse with other people, and being a strong and numerous tribe have excluded travellers from every part of the country which is accessible, and from all such rivers as are navigable. For this reason some have supposed that the sources of the river are among the Caucasian mountains, that, after flowing in a full stream towards the north, it then makes a bend, and discharges itself into the Mæotis. Theophanes914 of Mitylene is of the same opinion with these writers. Others suppose that it comes from the higher parts of the Danube, but they do not produce any proof of so remote a source, and in other climates, though they seem to think it impossible for it to rise at no great distance and in the north.

3. Upon the river, and on the lake, stands a city Tanaïs, founded by the Greeks, who possess the Bosporus; but lately the King Polemon915 laid it waste on account of the refractory disposition of the inhabitants. It was the common mart both of the Asiatic and of the European nomades, and of those who navigate the lake from the Bosporus, some of whom bring slaves and hides, or any other nomadic commodity; others exchange wine for clothes, and other articles peculiar to a civilized mode of life.

[Pg 221]

In front of the mart at the distance of 100 stadia is an island Alopecia, a settlement of a mixed people. There are other small islands not far off in the lake.

The city Tanaïs,916 to those who sail in a direct line towards the north, is distant from the mouth of the Mæotis 2200 stadia, nor is the distance much greater in sailing along the coast (on the east).

4. In the voyage along the coast, the first object which presents itself to those who have proceeded to the distance of 800 stadia from the Tanaïs, is the Great Rhombites, as it is called, where large quantities of fish are captured for the purpose of being salted. Then at the distance of 800 stadia more is the Lesser Rhombites,917 and a promontory, which has smaller fisheries. The [nomades] at the former have small islands as stations for their vessels, those at the Lesser Rhombites are the Mæotæ who cultivate the ground. For along the whole of this coasting voyage live Mæotæ, who are husbandmen, but not less addicted to war than the nomades. They are divided into several tribes; those near the Tanaïs are more savage, those contiguous to the Bosporus are more gentle in their manners.

From the Lesser Rhombites to Tyrambe, and the river Anticeites, are 600 stadia; then 120 to the Cimmerian village, whence vessels set out on their voyage along the lake. In this coasting voyage we meet with some look-out places, (for observing the fish,) said to belong to the Clazomenians.

5. Cimmericum was formerly a city built upon a peninsula, the isthmus of which it enclosed with a ditch and mound. The Cimmerii once possessed great power in the Bosporus, whence it was called the Cimmerian Bosporus. These are the people who overran the territory of the inhabitants of the inland parts, on the right of the Euxine, as far as Ionia. They were dislodged from these places by Scythians, and the Scythians by Greeks, who founded Panticapæum,918 and the other cities on the Bosporus.

[Pg 222]
[CAS. 494]

6. Next to the village Achilleium,919 where is the temple of Achilles, are 20 stadia. Here is the narrowest passage, 20 stadia or more, across the mouth of the Mæotis; on the opposite continent is Myrmecium, a village. Near are Heracleium and Parthenium.

7. Thence to the monument of Satyrus are 90 stadia; this is a mound raised on a promontory,920 in memory of one of the illustrious princes of the Bosporus.

8. Near it is Patræus,921 a village, from which to Corocondame,922 a village, are 130 stadia. This is the termination of the Cimmerian Bosporus, as it is called. The narrow passage at the mouth of the Mæotis derives its name from the straits opposite the Achilleium, and the Myrmecium; it extends as far as Corocondame and a small village opposite to it in the territory of the Panticapæans, called Acra,923 and separated by a channel of 70 stadia in width. The ice reaches even to this place, for the Mæotis is frozen during severe frost so as to become passable on foot. The whole of this narrow passage has good harbours.

9. Beyond Corocondame is a large lake924 which is called from the place Corocondametis. It discharges itself into the sea at the distance of 10 stadia from the village. A branch925 of the river Anticeites empties itself into the lake, and forms an island, which is surrounded by the waters of the lake, of the Mæotis, and of the river. Some persons give this river the name of Hypanis,926 as well as to that927 near the Borysthenes.928

10. Upon sailing929 into the Corocondametis, we meet with [Pg 223] Phanagoria, a considerable city, Cepi, Hermonassa, and Apaturum, the temple of Venus (Apatura). Of these cities Phanagoria and Cepi are situated in the above-mentioned island on the left hand at the entrance of the lake; the others are on the right hand in Sindica beyond the Hypanis. There is Gorgipia,930 but the royal seat of the Sindi is in Sindica near the sea, and Aborace.

All those who are subject to the princes of the Bosporus are called Bosporani. The capital of the European Bosporani is Panticapæum, and of the Asian Bosporani, the city of Phanagorium,931 for this is the name given to it. Phanagoria seems to be the mart for those commodities which are brought down from the Mæotis, and from the barbarous country lying above it; and Panticapæum, the mart for the commodities which are transported thither from the sea. There is also in Phanagoria a magnificent temple of Venus Apatura, the Deceitful. This epithet of the goddess is derived from a fable, according to which the giants assaulted her in this place. Having obtained the assistance of Hercules she hid him in a cave, and then admitted the giants one by one into her presence, and delivered them over to Hercules, thus craftily932 to be put to death.

11. The Sindi, Dandarii, Toreatæ, Agri, Arrhechi, and besides these, the Tarpetes, Obidiaceni, Sittaceni, Dosci, and many others, belong to the Mæotæ; to this people belong the Aspurgiani also, who live between Phanagoria and Gorgipia, at the distance of 500 stadia [from the Mæotis?]. Polemon, the king, entered the country of these people under a [Pg 224]
[CAS. 495]
show of friendship, but his design was discovered, and they on their part attacked him unawares. He was taken prisoner, and put to death.

With respect to the Asian Mæotæ in general, some of them were the subjects of those who possessed the mart on the Tanaïs; others, of the Bosporani; and different bodies have revolted at different times. The princes of the Bosporani were frequently masters of the country as far as the Tanaïs, and particularly the last princes, Pharnaces, Asander, and Polemon.

Pharnaces is said to have once brought even the river Hypanis over the territory of the Dandarii through some ancient canal, which he had caused to be cleared, and inundated the country.

12. Next to Sindica, and Gorgipia upon the sea, is the sea-coast inhabited by the Achæi, Zygi, and Heniochi. It is for the most part without harbours and mountainous, being a portion of the Caucasus.

These people subsist by piracy.

Their boats are slender, narrow, light, and capable of holding about five and twenty men, and rarely thirty. The Greeks call them camaræ. They say, that at the time of the expedition of Jason the Achæi Phthiotæ founded the Achaia there, and the Lacedæmonians, Heniochia. Their leaders were Rhecas, and Amphistratus, the charioteers933 of the Dioscuri; it is probable that the Heniochi had their name from these persons. They equip fleets consisting of these camaræ, and being masters of the sea sometimes attack vessels of burden, or invade a territory, or even a city. Sometimes even those who occupy the Bosporus assist them, by furnishing places of shelter for their vessels, and supply them with provision and means for the disposal of their booty. When they return to their own country, not having places suitable for mooring their vessels, they put their camaræ on their shoulders, and carry them up into the forests, among which they live, and where they cultivate a poor soil. When the season arrives for navigation, they bring them down again to the coast. Their habits are the same even in a foreign country, for they are acquainted with wooded tracts, in which, after concealing their camaræ, they wander about on foot day [Pg 225] and night, for the purpose of capturing the inhabitants and reducing them to slavery. But they readily allow whatever is taken to be ransomed, and signify this after their departure to those who have lost their property. In places where there is a regular government, the injured find means of repelling them. For, frequently, the pirates are attacked in return, and are carried off together with their camaræ. But the country subject to the Romans is not so well protected, in consequence of the neglect of those who are sent there.

13. Such then is their mode of life. But even these people are governed by persons called Sceptuchi, and these again are subject to the authority of tyrants, or of kings. The Heniochi had four kings at the time that Mithridates Eupator fled from the country of his ancestors to the Bosporus, and passed through their country, which was open to him, but he avoided that of the Zygi on account of its ruggedness, and the savage character of the people. He proceeded with difficulty along the sea-coast, frequently embarking in vessels, till he came to the country of the Achæi, by whom he was hospitably received. He had then completed a journey from the Phasis of not much less than 4000 stadia.

14. From Corocondame, the course of the voyage is directly towards the east. At the distance of 180 stadia is the Sindic harbour, and a city. Then at the distance of 400 stadia is Bata,934 as it is called, a village with a harbour. It is at this place that Sinope on the south seems to be directly opposite to this coast, as Carambis935 has been said to be opposite to Criu-Metopon.936

Next to Bata Artemidorus places the coast of the Cercetæ, which has places of shelter for vessels, and villages along an extent of about 850 stadia; then at 500 stadia more the coast of the Achæi, then that of the Heniochi, at 1000 stadia, then the Great Pityus, from which to Dioscurias are 360 stadia.

The authors most worthy of credit who have written the history of the Mithridatic wars, enumerate the Achæi first, then Zygi, then Heniochi, then Cercetæ, Moschi, Colchi, and above these the Phtheirophagi, Soanes, and other smaller nations about the Caucasus.

[Pg 226]
[CAS. 497]

The direction of the sea-coast is at first, as I have said, towards the east, with a southern aspect; but from Bata it makes a bend for a small distance, then fronts the west, and terminates towards Pityus, and Dioscurias, for these places are contiguous to the coast of Colchis, which I have already mentioned. Next to Dioscurias is the remainder of the coast of Colchis, and Trapezus contiguous to it; where the coast, having made a considerable turn, then extends nearly in a straight line, and forms the side on the right hand of the Euxine, looking to the north.

The whole of the coast of the Achæi, and of the other nations, as far as Dioscurias, and the inland places lying in a straight line towards the south, are at the foot of the Caucasus.

15. This mountain overhangs both the Euxine and the Caspian seas, forming a kind of rampart to the isthmus which separates one sea from the other. To the south it is the boundary of Albania and Iberia, to the north, of the plains of the Sarmatians. It is well wooded, and contains various kinds of timber, and especially trees adapted to ship-building. Eratosthenes says that the Caucasus is called Mount Caspius by the natives, a name borrowed perhaps from the Caspii. It throws out forks towards the south, which embrace the middle of Iberia, and touch the Armenian and those called the Moschic mountains,937 and besides these the mountains of Scydises, and the Paryadres. All these are portions of the Taurus, which forms the southern side of Armenia, and are broken off in a manner from it towards the north, and extend as far as Caucasus, and the coast of the Euxine which lies between Colchis and Themiscyra.938

16. Situated on a bay of this kind, and occupying the most easterly point of the whole sea, is Dioscurias,939 called the recess [Pg 227] of the Euxine Sea, and the extreme boundary of navigation, for in this sense we are to understand the proverbial saying,

“To Phasis where ships end their course.”

Not as if the author of the iambic intended to speak of the river, nor of the city of the same name upon the river, but Colchis designated by a part, because from the city and the river there remains a voyage of not less than 600 stadia in a straight line to the recess of the bay. This same Dioscurias is the commencement of the isthmus lying between the Caspian Sea and the Euxine. It is a common mart of the nations situated above it, and in its neighbourhood. There assemble at Dioscurias 70 or, according to some writers who are careless in their statements,940 300 nations. All speak different languages, from living dispersed in various places and without intercourse, in consequence of their fierce and savage manners. They are chiefly Sarmatians, but all of them Caucasian tribes. So much then respecting Dioscurias.

17. The greater part of the rest of Colchis lies upon the sea. The Phasis,941 a large river, flows through it. It has its source in Armenia, and receives the Glaucus,942 and the Hippus,943 which issue from the neighbouring mountains. Vessels ascend it as far as the fortress of Sarapana,944 which is capable of containing the population even of a city. Persons proceed thence by land to the Cyrus in four days along a carriage road.945 Upon the Phasis is a city of the same name, a mart of the Colchians, bounded on one side by the river, on another by a lake, on the third by the sea. Thence it is a voyage of three or two946 days to Amisus and Sinope, on account of the softness of the shores caused by the discharge of rivers.947

The country is fertile and its produce is good, except the [Pg 228]
[CAS. 498]
honey, which has generally a bitter taste. It furnishes all materials for ship-building. It produces them in great plenty, and they are conveyed down by its rivers. It supplies flax, hemp, wax, and pitch, in great abundance. Its linen manufacture is celebrated, for it was exported to foreign parts; and those who wish to establish an affinity of race between the Colchians and the Ægyptians, advance this as a proof of it.

Above the rivers which I have mentioned in the Moschic territory is the temple of Leucothea,948 founded by Phrixus949 and his oracle, where a ram is not sacrificed. It was once rich, but was plundered in our time by Pharnaces, and a little afterwards by Mithridates of Pergamus.950 For when a country is devastated, in the words of Euripides,

“respect to the gods languishes, and they are not honoured.”951

18. How great anciently was the celebrity of this country, appears from the fables which refer obscurely to the expedition of Jason, who advanced as far even as Media; and still earlier intimations of it are found in the fables relative to the expedition of Phrixus. The kings that preceded, and who possessed the country when it was divided into Sceptuchies,952 were not very powerful, but when Mithridates Eupator had enlarged his territory, this country fell under his dominion. One of his courtiers was always sent as sub-governor and administrator of its public affairs. Of this number was Moaphernes, my mother’s paternal uncle. It was from this country that the king derived the greatest part of his supplies for the equipment of his naval armament. But upon the overthrow of Mithridates, all the country subject to his power was disunited, and divided among several persons. At last Polemon [Pg 229] obtained possession of Colchis, and after his death his wife Pythodoris reigned over the Colchians, Trapezus, Pharnacia, and the Barbarians situated above them, of whom I shall speak in another place.

The territory of the Moschi, in which is situated the temple, is divided into three portions, one of which is occupied by Colchians, another by Iberians, and the third by Armenians. There is in Iberia on the confines of Colchis, a small city, the city of Phrixus, the present Idessa, a place of strength. The river Charis953 flows near Dioscurias.

19. Among the nations that assemble at Dioscurias are the Phtheiropagi, who have their appellation from their dirt and filth.

Near them live the Soanes, not less dirty in their habits, but superior perhaps to all the tribes in strength and courage. They are masters of the country around them, and occupy the heights of Caucasus above Dioscurias. They have a king, and a council of three hundred persons. They can assemble, it is said, an army of two hundred thousand men, for all their people are fighting men, but not distributed into certain orders. In their country the winter torrents are said to bring down even gold, which the Barbarians collect in troughs pierced with holes, and lined with fleeces; and hence the fable of the golden fleece. Some954 say that they are called Iberians (the same name as the western Iberians) from the gold mines found in both countries. The Soanes use poison of an extraordinary kind for the points of their weapons; even the odour of this poison is a cause of suffering to those who are wounded by arrows thus prepared.

The other neighbouring nations about the Caucasus occupy barren and narrow tracts of land. But the tribes of the Albanians and Iberians, who possess nearly the whole of the above-mentioned isthmus, may also be denominated Caucasian, and yet they live in a fertile country and capable of being well peopled.

[Pg 230]
[CAS. 499]


1. The greater part of Iberia is well inhabited, and contains cities and villages where the houses have roofs covered with tiles, and display skill in building; there are market-places in them, and various kinds of public edifices.

2. Some part of the country is encompassed by the Caucasian mountains; for branches of this range advance, as I have said, towards the south. These districts are fruitful, comprise the whole of Iberia, and extend to Armenia and Colchis. In the middle is a plain watered by rivers, the largest of which is the Cyrus, which, rising in Armenia, immediately enters the above-mentioned plain, having received the Aragus,955 which flows at the foot of the Caucasus, and other streams, passes through a narrow channel into Albania. It flows however between this country and Armenia in a large body through plains, which afford excellent pasture. After having received several rivers, and among these the Alazonius,956 Sandobanes, the Rhœtaces, and Chanes, all of which are navigable, it discharges itself into the Caspian Sea. Its former name was Corus.

3. The plain is occupied by those Iberians who are more disposed to agriculture, and are inclined to peace. Their dress is after the Armenian and Median fashion. Those who inhabit the mountainous country, and they are the most numerous, are addicted to war, live like the Sarmatians and Scythians, on whose country they border, and with whom they are connected by affinity of race. These people however engage in agriculture also, and can assemble many myriads of persons from among themselves, and from the Scythians and Sarmatians, whenever any disturbance occurs.

4. There are four passes into the country; one through Sarapana, a Colchian fortress, and through the defiles near it, along which the Phasis, rendered passable from one side to the other by a hundred and twenty bridges, in consequence [Pg 231] of the winding of its stream, descends abruptly and violently into Colchis. The places in its course are hollowed by numerous torrents, during the rainy season. It rises in the mountains which lie above, and many springs contribute to swell its stream. In the plains it receives other rivers also, among which are the Glaucus957 and the Hippus.958 The stream thus filled and navigable discharges itself into the Pontus. It has on its banks a city of the same name, and near it a lake. Such is the nature of the entrance into Iberia from Colchis, shut in by rocks and strongholds, and by rivers running through ravines.

5. From the Nomades on the north there is a difficult ascent for three days, and then a narrow road by the side of the river Aragus, a journey of four days, which road admits only one person to pass at a time. The termination of the road is guarded by an impregnable wall.

From Albania the entrance is at first cut through rocks, then passes over a marsh formed by the river (Alazonius),959 in its descent from the Caucasus. On the side of Armenia are the narrow passes on the Cyrus, and those on the Aragus, for before the junction of these rivers they have on their banks strong cities set upon rocks, at the distance from each other of about 18 stadia, as Harmozica960 on the Cyrus, and on the other (Aragus) Seusamora. Pompey formerly in his way from Armenia, and afterwards Canidius, marched through these passes into Iberia.

6. The inhabitants of this country are also divided into four classes; the first and chief is that from which the kings are appointed. The king is the oldest and the nearest of his predecessor’s relations. The second administers justice, and is commander of the army.

The second class consists of priests, whose business it is to settle the respective rights of their own and the bordering people.

The third is composed of soldiers and husbandmen. The fourth comprehends the common people, who are royal slaves, and perform all the duties of ordinary life.

[Pg 232]
[CAS. 501]

Possessions are common property in families, but the eldest governs, and is the steward of each.

Such is the character of the Iberians, and the nature of their country.


1. The Albanians pursue rather a shepherd life, and resemble more the nomadic tribes, except that they are not savages, and hence they are little disposed to war. They inhabit the country between the Iberians and the Caspian Sea, approaching close to the sea on the east, and on the west border upon the Iberians.

Of the remaining sides the northern is protected by the Caucasian mountains, for these overhang the plains, and are called, particularly those near the sea, Ceraunian mountains. The southern side is formed by Armenia, which extends along it. A large portion of it consists of plains, and a large portion also of mountains, as Cambysene, where the Armenians approach close both to the Iberians and the Albanians.

2. The Cyrus, which flows through Albania, and the other rivers which swell the stream of the Cyrus, improve the qualities of the land, but remove the sea to a distance. For the mud, accumulating in great quantity, fills up the channel in such a manner, that the small adjacent islands are annexed to the continent, irregular marshes are formed, and difficult to be avoided; the reverberation also of the tide increases the irregular formation of the marshes. The mouth of the river is said to be divided into twelve branches, some of which afford no passage through them, others are so shallow as to leave no shelter for vessels. The shore for an extent of more than 60 stadia is inundated by the sea, and by the rivers; all that part of it is inaccessible; the mud reaches even as far as 500 stadia, and forms a bank along the coast. The Araxes961 discharges its waters not far off, coming with an impetuous stream from Armenia, but the mud which this [Pg 233] river impels forward, making the channel pervious, is replaced by the Cyrus.

3. Perhaps such a race of people have no need of the sea, for they do not make a proper use even of the land, which produces every kind of fruit, even the most delicate, and every kind of plant and evergreen. It is not cultivated with the least care; but all that is excellent grows without sowing, and without ploughing, according to the accounts of persons who have accompanied armies there, and describe the inhabitants as leading a Cyclopean mode of life. In many places the ground, which has been sowed once, produces two or three crops, the first of which is even fifty-fold, and that without a fallow, nor is the ground turned with an iron instrument, but with a plough made entirely of wood. The whole plain is better watered than Babylon or Ægypt, by rivers and streams, so that it always presents the appearance of herbage, and it affords excellent pasture. The air here is better than in those countries. The vines remain always without digging round them, and are pruned every five years. The young trees bear fruit even the second year, but the full grown yield so much that a large quantity of it is left on the branches. The cattle, both tame and wild, thrive well in this country.

4. The men are distinguished for beauty of person and for size. They are simple in their dealings and not fraudulent, for they do not in general use coined money; nor are they acquainted with any number above a hundred, and transact their exchanges by loads. They are careless with regard to the other circumstances of life. They are ignorant of weights and measures as far as exactness is concerned; they are improvident with respect to war, government, and agriculture. They fight however on foot and on horseback, both in light and in heavy armour, like the Armenians.

5. They can send into the field a larger army than the Iberians, for they can equip 60,000 infantry and 22,000 horsemen; with such a force they offered resistance to Pompey. The Nomades also co-operate with them against foreigners, as they do with the Iberians on similar occasions. When there is no war they frequently attack these people and prevent them from cultivating the ground. They use javelins and bows, and wear breastplates, shields, and coverings for [Pg 234]
[CAS. 502]
the head, made of the hides of wild animals, like the Iberians.

To the country of the Albanians belongs Caspiana, and has its name from the Caspian tribe, from whom the sea also has its appellation; the Caspian tribe is now extinct.

The entrance from Iberia into Albania is through the Cambysene, a country without water, and rocky, to the river Alazonius. The people themselves and their dogs are excessively fond of the chase, pursuing it with equal eagerness and skill.

6. Their kings differ from one another; at present one king governs all the tribes. Formerly each tribe was governed by a king, who spoke the peculiar language of each. They speak six and twenty languages from the want of mutual intercourse and communication with one another.

The country produces some venomous reptiles, as scorpions and tarantulas. These tarantulas cause death in some instances by laughter, in others by grief and a longing to return home.

7. The gods they worship are the Sun, Jupiter, and the Moon, but the Moon above the rest. She has a temple near Iberia. The priest is a person who, next to the king, receives the highest honours. He has the government of the sacred land, which is extensive and populous, and authority over the sacred attendants, many of whom are divinely inspired, and prophesy. Whoever of these persons, being violently possessed, wanders alone in the woods, is seized by the priest, who, having bound him with sacred fetters, maintains him sumptuously during that year. Afterwards he is brought forth at the sacrifice performed in honour of the goddess, and is anointed with fragrant ointment and sacrificed together with other victims. The sacrifice is performed in the following manner. A person, having in his hand a sacred lance, with which it is the custom to sacrifice human victims, advances out of the crowd and pierces the heart through the side, which he does from experience in this office. When the man has fallen, certain prognostications are indicated by the manner of the fall, and these are publicly declared. The body is carried away to a certain spot, and then they all trample upon it, performing this action as a mode of purification of themselves.

8. The Albanians pay the greatest respect to old age, which is not confined to their parents, but is extended to old persons [Pg 235] in general. It is regarded as impious to show any concern for the dead, or to mention their names. Their money is buried with them, hence they live in poverty, having no patrimony.

So much concerning the Albanians. It is said that when Jason, accompanied by Armenus the Thessalian, undertook the voyage to the Colchi, they advanced as far as the Caspian Sea, and traversed Iberia, Albania, a great part of Armenia, and Media, as the Jasoneia and many other monuments testify. Armenus, they say, was a native of Armenium, one of the cities on the lake Bœbeis, between Pheræ and Parisa, and that his companions settled in Acilisene, and the Suspiritis, and occupied the country as far as Calachene and Adiabene, and that he gave his own name to Armenia.


1. The Amazons are said to live among the mountains above Albania. Theophanes, who accompanied Pompey in his wars, and was in the country of the Albanians, says that Gelæ and Legæ,962 Scythian tribes, live between the Amazons and the Albanians, and that the river Mermadalis963 takes its course in the country lying in the middle between these people and the Amazons. But other writers, and among these Metrodorus of Scepsis, and Hypsicrates, who were themselves acquainted with these places, say that the Amazons bordered upon the Gargarenses964 on the north, at the foot of the Caucasian mountains, which are called Ceraunia.

[Pg 236]
[CAS. 504]

When at home they are occupied in performing with their own hands the work of ploughing, planting, pasturing cattle, and particularly in training horses. The strongest among them spend much of their time in hunting on horseback, and practise warlike exercises. All of them from infancy have the right breast seared, in order that they may use the arm with ease for all manner of purposes, and particularly for throwing the javelin. They employ the bow also, and sagaris, (a kind of sword,) and wear a buckler. They make helmets, and coverings for the body, and girdles, of the skins of wild animals. They pass two months of the spring on a neighbouring mountain, which is the boundary between them and the Gargarenses. The latter also ascend the mountain according to some ancient custom for the purpose of performing common sacrifices, and of having intercourse with the women with a view to offspring, in secret and in darkness, the man with the first woman he meets. When the women are pregnant they are sent away. The female children that may be born are retained by the Amazons themselves, but the males are taken to the Gargarenses to be brought up. The children are distributed among families, in which the master treats them as his own, it being impossible to ascertain the contrary.

2. The Mermodas,965 descending like a torrent from the mountains through the country of the Amazons, the Siracene, and the intervening desert, discharges itself into the Mæotis.966

It is said that the Gargarenses ascended together with the Amazons from Themiscyra to these places, that they then separated, and with the assistance of some Thracians and Eubœans, who had wandered as far as this country, made war against the Amazons, and at length, upon its termination, entered into a compact on the conditions above mentioned, namely, that there should be a companionship only with respect to [Pg 237] offspring, and that they should live each independent of the other.

3. There is a peculiarity in the history of the Amazons. In other histories the fabulous and the historical parts are kept distinct. For what is ancient, false, and marvellous is called fable. But history has truth for its object, whether it be old or new, and it either rejects or rarely admits the marvellous. But, with regard to the Amazons, the same facts are related both by modern and by ancient writers; they are marvellous and exceed belief. For who can believe that an army of women, or a city, or a nation, could ever subsist without men? and not only subsist, but make inroads upon the territory of other people, and obtain possession not only of the places near them, and advance even as far as the present Ionia, but even despatch an expedition across the sea to Attica? This is as much as to say that the men of those days were women, and the women men. But even now the same things are told of the Amazons, and the peculiarity of their history is increased by the credit which is given to ancient, in preference to modern, accounts.

4. They are said to have founded cities, and to have given their names to them, as Ephesus, Smyrna, Cyme, Myrina, besides leaving sepulchres and other memorials. Themiscyra, the plains about the Thermodon, and the mountains lying above, are mentioned by all writers as once belonging to the Amazons, from whence, they say, they were driven out. Where they are at present few writers undertake to point out, nor do they advance proofs or probability for what they state; as in the case of Thalestria, queen of the Amazons, with whom Alexander is said to have had intercourse in Hyrcania with the hope of having offspring. Writers are not agreed on this point, and among many who have paid the greatest regard to truth none mention the circumstance, nor do writers of the highest credit mention anything of the kind, nor do those who record it relate the same facts. Cleitarchus says that Thalestria set out from the Caspian Gates and Thermodon to meet Alexander. Now from the Caspian Gates to Thermodon are more than 6000 stadia.

5. Stories circulated for the purpose of exalting the fame [of eminent persons] are not received with equal favour by all; the object of the inventors was flattery rather than truth; [Pg 238]
[CAS. 505]
they transferred, for example, the Caucasus to the mountains of India, and to the eastern sea, which approaches close to them, from the mountains situated above Colchis, and the Euxine Sea. These are the mountains to which the Greeks give the name of Caucasus, and are distant more than 30,000 stadia from India. Here they lay the scene of Prometheus and his chains, for these were the farthest places towards the east with which the people of those times were acquainted. The expeditions of Bacchus and of Hercules against the Indi indicate a mythological story of later date, for Hercules is said to have released Prometheus a thousand years after he was first chained to the rock. It was more glorious too for Alexander to subjugate Asia as far as the mountains of India, than to the recess only of the Euxine Sea and the Caucasus. The celebrity, and the name of the mountain, together with the persuasion that Jason and his companions had accomplished the most distant of all expeditions when they had arrived in the neighbourhood of the Caucasus, and the tradition that Prometheus had been chained on Caucasus at the extremity of the earth, induced writers to suppose that they should gratify the king by transferring the name of the mountain to India.

6. The highest points of the actual Caucasus are the most southerly, and lie near Albania, Iberia, the Colchi, and Heniochi. They are inhabited by the people whom I have mentioned as assembling at Dioscurias. They resort thither chiefly for the purpose of procuring salt. Of these tribes some occupy the heights; others live in wooded valleys, and subsist chiefly on the flesh of wild animals, wild fruits, and milk. The heights are impassable in winter; in summer they are ascended by fastening on the feet shoes as wide as drums, made of raw hide, and furnished with spikes on account of the snow and ice. The natives in descending with their loads slide down seated upon skins, which is the practice in Media, Atropatia, and at Mount Masius in Armenia, but there they fasten circular disks of wood with spikes to the soles of their feet. Such then is the nature of the heights of Caucasus.

7. On descending to the country lying at the foot of these heights the climate is more northerly, but milder, for the land below the heights joins the plains of the Siraces. There are some tribes of Troglodytæ who inhabit caves on account [Pg 239] of the cold. There is plenty967 of grain to be had in the country.

Next to the Troglodytæ are Chamæcœtæ,968 and a tribe called Polyphagi (the voracious), and the villages of the Eisadici, who are able to cultivate the ground because they are not altogether exposed to the north.

8. Immediately afterwards follow shepherd tribes, situated between the Mæotis and the Caspian Sea, Nabiani, Pangani,969 the tribes also of the Siraces and Aorsi.

The Aorsi and Siraces seem to be a fugitive people from parts situated above. The Aorsi lie more to the north.970

Abeacus, king of the Siraces, when Pharnases occupied the Bosporus, equipped 20,000 horse, and Spadines, king of the Aorsi 200,000, and the Upper Aorsi even a larger body, for they were masters of a greater extent of territory, and nearly the largest part of the coast of the Caspian Sea was under their power. They were thus enabled to transport on camels the merchandise of India and Babylonia, receiving it from Armenians and Medes. They wore gold also in their dress in consequence of their wealth.

The Aorsi live on the banks of the Tanaïs, and the Siraces on those of Achardeus, which rises in Caucasus, and discharges itself into the Mæotis.


1. The second portion of northern Asia begins from the Caspian Sea, where the first terminates. This sea is called also the Hyrcanian Sea. We must first speak of this sea, and of the nations that live near its shores.

It is a bay extending from the Ocean to the south. At its commencement it is very narrow; as it advances further inwards, and particularly towards the extremity, it widens to the extent of about 500 stadia. The voyage from the entrance [Pg 240]
[CAS. 507]
to the extremity may exceed that a little, the entrance approaching very near the uninhabited regions.

Eratosthenes says that the navigation of this sea was known to the Greeks, that the part of the voyage along the coast of the Albanians and Cadusïi971 comprised 5400 stadia; and the part along the country of the Anariaci, Mardi, [or Amardi,] and Hyrcani, as far as the mouth of the river Oxus,972 4800 stadia, and thence to the Iaxartes973 2400 stadia.

But with respect to the places situated in this portion of Asia, and to those lying so far removed from our own country, we must not understand the accounts of writers in too literal a sense, particularly with regard to distances.

2. Upon sailing into the Caspian, on the right hand, contiguous to the Europeans, Scythians and Sarmatians occupy the country between the Tanaïs and this sea; they are chiefly Nomades, or shepherd tribes, of whom I have already spoken. On the left hand are the Eastern Scythian Nomades, who extend as far as the Eastern sea, and India.

The ancient Greek historians called all the nations towards the north by the common name of Scythians, and Kelto-Scythians. Writers still more ancient than these called the nations living above the Euxine, Danube, and Adriatic, Hyperboreans, Sauromatæ, and Arimaspi.974 But in speaking of the nations on the other side the Caspian Sea, they called some Sacæ,975 others Massagetæ. They were unable to give any exact account of them, although they relate the history of the war of Cyrus with the Massagetæ. Concerning these nations no one has ascertained the truth, and the ancient histories of Persia, Media, and Syria have not obtained much credit on account of the credulity of the writers and their love of fable.

3. For these authors, having observed that those who professedly were writers of fables obtained repute and success, supposed that they also should make their writings agreeable, [Pg 241] if, under the form of history, they related what they had never seen nor heard, (not at least from eye-witnesses,) and had no other object than to please and surprise the reader. A person would more readily believe the stories of the heroes in Hesiod, Homer, and in the tragic poets, than Ctesias, Herodotus, Hellanicus, and writers of this kind.

4. We cannot easily credit the generality of the historians of Alexander, for they practise deception with a view to enhance the glory of Alexander; the expedition also was directed to the extremities of Asia, at a great distance from our country, and it is difficult to ascertain or detect the truth or falsehood of what is remote. The dominion of the Romans and of the Parthians has added very much to former discoveries, and the writers who speak of these people describe nations and places, where certain actions were performed, in a manner more likely to produce belief than preceding historians, for they had better opportunities of personal observation.


1. The nomades, or wandering tribes, who live on the left side of the coast on entering the Caspian Sea, are called by the moderns Dahæ, and surnamed Parni.976 Then there intervenes a desert tract, which is followed by Hyrcania; here the Caspian spreads like a deep sea till it approaches the Median and Armenian mountains. The shape of these hills at the foot is lunated.977 Their extremities terminate at the sea, and form the recess of the bay.

A small part of this country at the foot of the mountains, as far as the heights, if we reckon from the sea, is inhabited by some tribes of Albanians and Armenians, but the greater portion by Gelæ, Cadusii, Amardi, Vitii, and Anariacæ. It is said, that some Parrhasii were settled together with the Anariacæ, who are now called Parrhasii, (Parsii?) and that the Ænianes built a walled city in the territory of the Vitii, which city is [Pg 242]
[CAS. 508]
now called Æniana (Ænia). Grecian armour, brazen vessels, and sepulchres are shown there. There also is a city Anariacæ, in which it is said an oracle is shown, where the answer is given to those who consult it, during sleep, [and some vestiges of Greek colonization, but all these] tribes are predatory, and more disposed to war than husbandry, which arises from the rugged nature of the country. The greater part of the coast at the foot of the mountainous region is occupied by Cadusii, to the extent of nearly 5000 stadia, according to Patrocles, who thinks that this sea equals the Euxine in size. These countries are sterile.

2. Hyrcania978 is very fertile, and extensive, consisting for the most part of plains, and has considerable cities dispersed throughout it, as Talabroce, Samariane, Carta, and the royal residence, Tape,979 which is said to be situated a little above the sea, and distant 1400 stadia from the Caspian Gates. The following facts are narrated as indications of the fertility of the country.980 The vine produces a metretes981 of wine; the fig-tree sixty medimni982 of fruit; the corn grows from the seed which falls out of the stalk; bees make their hives in the trees, and honey drops from among the leaves. This is the case also in the territory of Matiane in Media, and in the Sacasene, and Araxene of Armenia.983

But neither this country, nor the sea which is named after it, has received proper care and attention from the inhabitants, for there are no vessels upon the sea, nor is it turned to any use. According to some writers there are islands on it, capable of being inhabited, in which gold is found. The cause of this neglect is this; the first governors of Hyrcania were barbarians, Medes, and Persians, and lastly, people who were more oppressive than these, namely, Parthians. The whole of the neighbouring country was the haunt of robbers and wandering tribes, and abounded with tracts of desert land. For a short time Macedonians were sovereigns of the country, but being engaged in war were unable to attend to remote [Pg 243] possessions. Aristobulus says that Hyrcania has forests, and produces the oak, but not the pitch pine,984 nor the fir,985 nor the pine,986 but that India abounds with these trees.

Nesæa987 belongs to Hyrcania, but some writers make it an independent district.

3. Hyrcania988 is watered by the rivers Ochus and Oxus as far as their entrance into the sea. The Ochus flows through Nesæa, but some writers say that the Ochus empties itself into the Oxus.

Aristobulus avers that the Oxus was the largest river, except those in India, which he had seen in Asia. He says also that it is navigable with ease, (this circumstance both Aristobulus and Eratosthenes borrow from Patrocles,) and that large quantities of Indian merchandise are conveyed by it to the Hyrcanian Sea, and are transferred from thence into Albania by the Cyrus, and through the adjoining countries to the Euxine. The Ochus is not often mentioned by the ancients, but Apollodorus, the author of the Parthica, frequently mentions it, [and describes it] as flowing very near the Parthians.

4. Many additional falsehoods were invented inspecting this sea, to flatter the ambition of Alexander and his love of glory; for, as it was generally acknowledged that the river Tanaïs separated Europe from Asia throughout its whole course, and that a large part of Asia, lying between this sea and the Tanaïs, had never been subjected to the power of the Macedonians, it was resolved to invent an expedition, in order that, according to fame at least, Alexander might seem to have conquered those countries. They therefore made the lake Mæotis, which receives the Tanaïs, and the Caspian Sea, which also they call a lake, one body of water, affirming that there was a subterraneous opening between both, and that one was part of the other. Polycleitus produces proofs to show that this sea is a lake, for instance, that it breeds serpents, and that the water is sweetish.989 That it was not a different [Pg 244]
[CAS. 510]
lake from the Mæotis, he conjectures from the circumstance of the Tanaïs discharging itself into it. From the same mountains in India, where the Ochus and the Oxus rise, many other rivers take their course, and among these the Iaxartes, which like the former empties itself into the Caspian Sea, although it is the most northerly of them all. This river then they called Tanaïs, and alleged, as a proof that it was the Tanaïs mentioned by Polycleitus, that the country on the other side of the river produced the fir-tree, and that the Scythians there used arrows made of fir-wood. It was a proof also that the country on the other side of the river was a part of Europe and not of Asia, that Upper and Eastern Asia do not produce the fir-tree. But Eratosthenes says that the fir does grow even in India, and that Alexander built his ships of that wood. Eratosthenes collects many things of this kind, with a view to show their contradictory character. But I have said enough about them.

5. Among the peculiarities recorded of the Hyrcanian sea, Eudoxus and others relate the following. There is a certain coast in front of the sea hollowed out into caverns, between which and the sea there lies a flat shore. Rivers on reaching this coast descend from the precipices above with sufficient force to dart the water into the sea without wetting the intervening shore, so that even an army could pass underneath sheltered by the stream above. The inhabitants frequently resort to this place for the purposes of festivity and of performing sacrifices, one while reclining beneath the caverns, at another basking in the sun (even) beneath the fall of water. They divert themselves in various ways, having in sight on each side the sea and shore, the latter of which by the dew [and moisture of the falls] is rendered a grassy and flowery meadow.


1. In proceeding from the Hyrcanian Sea towards the east, on the right hand are the mountains which the Greeks call Taurus, extending as far as India. They begin from Pamphylia and Cilicia, and stretch to this part from the west in a continuous line, bearing different names in different places. [Pg 245] The northern parts990 of this range are occupied first by Gelæ, Cadusii, and Amardi, as we have said, and by some tribes of Hyrcanians; then follow, as we proceed towards the east and the Ochus, the nation of the Parthians, then that of the Margiani and Arii, and the desert country which the river Sarnius separates from Hyrcania. The mountain, which extends to this country, or within a small distance of it, from Armenia, is called Parachoathras.

From the Hyrcanian sea to the Arii are about 6000 stadia.991 Next follow Bactriana, Sogdiana, and lastly nomade Scythians. The Macedonians gave the name of Caucasus to all the mountains which follow after Ariana,992 but among the barbarians the heights and the northern parts of the Parapomisus were called Emoda, and Mount Imaus;993 and other names of this kind were assigned to each portion of this range.

2. On the left hand994 opposite to these parts are situated the Scythian and nomadic nations, occupying the whole of the northern side. Most of the Scythians, beginning from the Caspian Sea, are called Dahæ Scythæ, and those situated more towards the east Massagetæ and Sacæ; the rest have the common appellation of Scythians, but each separate tribe has its peculiar name. All, or the greatest part of them, are nomades. The best known tribes are those who deprived the Greeks of Bactriana, the Asii, Pasiani, (Asiani?) Tochari, and Sacarauli, who came from the country on the other side of the Iaxartes,995 opposite the Sacæ and Sogdiani, and which country was also occupied by Sacæ; some tribes of the Dahæ are surnamed Aparni, some Xanthii, others Pissuri.996 [Pg 246]
[CAS. 511]
The Aparni approach the nearest of any of these people to Hyrcania, and to the Caspian Sea. The others extend as far as the country opposite to Aria.

3. Between these people, Hyrcania, and Parthia as far as Aria lies a vast and arid desert, which they crossed by long journeys, and overran Hyrcania, the Nesæan country, and the plains of Parthia. These people agreed to pay a tribute on condition of having permission to overrun the country at stated times, and to carry away the plunder. But when these incursions became more frequent than the agreement allowed, war ensued, afterwards peace was made, and then again war was renewed. Such is the kind of life which the other Nomades also lead, continually attacking their neighbours, and then making peace with them.

4. The Sacæ had made incursions similar to those of the Cimmerians and Treres, some near their own country, others at a greater distance. They occupied Bactriana, and got possession of the most fertile tract in Armenia, which was called after their own name, Sacasene. They advanced even as far as the Cappadocians, those particularly situated near the Euxine; who are now called Pontici. When they were assembled together and feasting on the division of the booty, they were attacked by night by the Persian generals who were then stationed in that quarter, and were utterly exterminated. The Persians raised a mound of earth in the form of a hill over a rock in the plain, (where this occurred,) and fortified it. They erected there a temple to Anaïtis and the gods Omanus and Anadatus, Persian deities who have a common altar.997 They also instituted an annual festival, (in memory of the event,) the Sacæa, which the occupiers of Zela, for this is the name of the place, celebrate to this day. It is a small city chiefly appropriated to the sacred attendants. Pompey added to it a considerable tract of territory, the inhabitants of which he collected within the walls. It was one of the cities which he settled after the overthrow of Mithridates.

5. Such is the account which is given of the Sacæ by some writers. Others say, that Cyrus in an expedition against the [Pg 247] Sacæ was defeated, and fled. He advanced with his army to the spot where he had left his stores, consisting of large supplies of every kind, particularly of wine; he stopped a short time to refresh his army, and set out in the evening, as though he continued his flight, the tents being left full of provisions. He proceeded as far as he thought requisite, and then halted. The Sacæ pursued, who, finding the camp abandoned and full of the means of gratifying their appetites, indulged themselves without restraint. Cyrus then returned and found them drunk and frantic; some were killed, stretched on the ground drowsy or asleep; others, dancing and maddened with wine, fell defenceless on the weapons of their enemies. Nearly all of them perished. Cyrus ascribed this success to the gods; he consecrated the day to the goddess worshipped in his own country, and called it Sacæa. Wherever there is a temple of this goddess, there the Sacæan festival, a sort of Bacchanalian feast, is celebrated, in which both men and women, dressed in the Scythian habit, pass day and night in drinking and wanton play.

6. The Massagetæ signalized their bravery in the war with Cyrus, of which many writers have published accounts; we must get our information from them. Such particulars as the following are narrated respecting this nation; some tribes inhabit mountains, some plains, others live among marshes formed by the rivers, others on the islands among the marshes. The Araxes is said to be the river which is the chief cause of inundating the country; it is divided into various branches and discharges itself by many mouths into the other sea998 towards the north, but by one only into the Hyrcanian Gulf. The Massagetæ regard no other deity than the sun, and to his honour they sacrifice a horse. Each man marries only one wife, but they have intercourse with the wives of each other without any concealment. He who has intercourse with the wife of another man hangs up his quiver on a waggon, and lies with her openly. They account the best mode of death to be chopped up when they grow old with the flesh of sheep, and both to be devoured together. Those who die of disease are cast out as impious, and only fit to be the prey of wild beasts; they are excellent horsemen, and also fight well on foot. They use bows, swords, breastplates, and sagares [Pg 248]
[CAS. 513]
of brass, they wear golden belts, and turbans999 on their heads in battle. Their horses have bits of gold, and golden breastplates; they have no silver, iron in small quantity, but gold and brass in great plenty.

7. Those who live in the islands have no corn-fields. Their food consists of roots and wild fruits. Their clothes are made of the bark of trees, for they have no sheep. They press out and drink the juice of the fruit of certain trees.

The inhabitants of the marshes eat fish. They are clothed in the skins of seals, which come upon the island from the sea.

The mountaineers subsist on wild fruits. They have besides a few sheep, but they kill them sparingly, and keep them for the sake of their wool and milk. Their clothes they variegate by steeping them in dyes, which produce a colour not easily effaced.

The inhabitants of the plains, although they possess land, do not cultivate it, but derive their subsistence from their fiocks, and from fish, after the manner of the nomades and Scythians. I have frequently described a certain way of life common to all these people. Their burial-places and their manners are alike, and their whole manner of living is independent, but rude, savage, and hostile; in their compacts, however, they are simple and without deceit.

8. The Attasii (Augasii?) and the Chorasmii belong to the Massagetæ and Sacæ, to whom Spitamenes directed his flight from Bactria and Sogdiana. He was one of the Persians who, like Bessus, made his escape from Alexander by flight, as Arsaces afterwards fled from Seleucus Callinicus, and retreated among the Aspasiacæ.

Eratosthenes says, that the Bactrians lie along the Arachoti and Massagetæ on the west near the Oxus, and that Sacæ and Sogdiani, through the whole extent of their territory,1000 are opposite to India, but the Bactrii in part only, for the greater part of their country lies parallel to the Parapomisus; that the Sacæ and Sogdiani are separated by the Iaxartes, and the Sogdiani and Bactriani by the Oxus; that Tapyri occupy the country between Hyrcani and Arii; that around the shores of the sea, next to the Hyrcani, are Amardi, Anariacæ, Cadusii, Albani, Caspii, Vitii, and perhaps other tribes extending as far as the Scythians; that on the other side of the

[Pg 249]

Hyrcani are Derbices, that the Caducii are contiguous both to the Medes and Matiani below the Parachoathras.

9. These are the distances which he gives.

From the Caspian Sea to the Cyrus about 1800 
Thence to the Caspian Gates 5600 
Thence to Alexandreia in the territory of the Arii 6400 
Thence to the city Bactra, which is called also Zariaspa 3870 
Thence to the river Iaxartes, which Alexander reached, about 5000 
Making a total of 22,670 
He also assigns the following distances from the Caspian Gates to India.
To Hecatompylos1001 1960 
To Alexandreia1002 in the country of the Arii (Ariana) 4530 
Thence to Prophthasia1003 in Dranga1004 (or according to others 1500) 1600 
Thence to the city Arachoti1005 4120 
Thence to Ortospana on the three roads from Bactra1006 2000 
Thence to the confines of India 1000 
Which together amount to 15,3001007

[Pg 250]
[CAS. 514]

We must regard as continuous with this distance, in a straight line, the length of India, reckoned from the Indus to the Eastern Sea.

Thus much then respecting the Sacæ.


1. Parthia is not an extensive tract of country; for this reason it was united with the Hyrcani for the purpose of paying tribute under the Persian dominion and afterwards, during a long period when the Macedonians were masters of the country. Besides its small extent, it is thickly wooded, mountainous, and produces nothing; so that the kings with their multitude of followers pass with great speed through the country, which is unable to furnish subsistence for such numbers even for a short time. At present it is augmented in extent. Comisene1008 and Chorene are parts of Parthiene, and perhaps also the country as far as the Caspian Gates, Rhagæ, and the Tapyri, which formerly belonged to Media. Apameia and Heracleia are cities in the neighbourhood of Rhagæ.

From the Caspian Gates to Rhagæ are 500 stadia according to Apollodorus, and to Hecatompylos, the royal seat of the Parthians, 1260 stadia. Rhagæ1009 is said to have had its name from the earthquakes which occurred in that country, by which many cities and two thousand villages, as Poseidonius relates, were overthrown. The Tapyri are said to live between the Derbices and the Hyrcani. Historians say, that it is a custom among the Tapyri to surrender the married women to other men, even when the husbands have had two or three children by them, as Cato surrendered Marcia in our times, according to an ancient custom of the Romans, to Hortensius, at his request.

2. Disturbances having arisen in the countries beyond the Taurus in consequence of the kings of Syria and Media, who possessed the tract of which we are speaking, being engaged in other affairs,1010 those who were intrusted with the [Pg 251] government of it occasioned first the revolt of Bactriana; then Euthydemus and his party the revolt of all the country near that province. Afterwards Arsaces, a Scythian, (with the Parni, called nomades, a tribe of the Dahæ, who live on the banks of the Ochus,) invaded Parthia, and made himself master of it. At first both Arsaces and his successors were weakened by maintaining wars with those who had been deprived of their territory. Afterwards they became so powerful, in consequence of their successful warfare, continually depriving their neighbours of portions of their territory, that at last they took possession of all the country within the Euphrates. They deprived Eucratidas, and then the Scythians, by force of arms, of a part of Bactriana. They now have an empire comprehending so large an extent of country, and so many nations, that it almost rivals that of the Romans in magnitude. This is to be attributed to their mode of life and manners, which have indeed much of the barbarous and Scythian character, but are very well adapted for establishing dominion, and for insuring success in war.

3. They say that the Dahæ Parni were an emigrant tribe from the Dahæ above the Mæotis, who are called Xandii and Parii. But it is not generally acknowledged that Dahæ are to be found among the Scythians above the Mæotis, yet from these Arsaces according to some was descended; according to others he was a Bactrian, and withdrawing himself from the increasing power of Diodotus, occasioned the revolt of Parthia.

We have enlarged on the subject of the Parthian customs in the sixth book of historical commentaries, and in the second of those, which are a sequel to Polybius: we shall omit what we said, in order to avoid repetition; adding this only, that Poseidonius affirms that the council of the Parthians is composed of two classes, one of relatives, (of the royal family,) and another of wise men and magi, by both of which kings are chosen.


1. Aria and Margiana, which are the best districts in this portion of Asia, are partly composed of valleys enclosed by [Pg 252]
[CAS. 516]
mountains, and partly of inhabited plains. Some tribes of Scenitæ (dwellers in tents) occupy the mountains; the plains are watered by the rivers Arius and by the Margus.

Aria borders upon Bactriana, and the mountain1011 which has Bactriana at its foot. It is distant from [the] Hyrcania[n sea] about 6000 stadia.

Drangiana as far as Carmania furnished jointly with Aria payment of the tribute. The greater part of this country is situated at the foot of the southern side of the mountains; some tracts however approach the northern side opposite Aria.

Arachosia, which belongs to the territory of Aria, is not far distant; it lies at the foot of the southern side of the mountains, and extends to the river Indus.

The length of Aria is about 2000 stadia, and the breadth of the plain 300 stadia. Its cities are Artacaëna, Alexandreia, and Achaïa, which are called after the names of their founders.

The soil produces excellent wines, which may be kept for three generations in unpitched vessels.

2. Margiana is like this country, but the plain is surrounded by deserts. Antiochus Soter admired its fertility; he enclosed a circle of 1500 stadia with a wall, and founded a city, Antiocheia. The soil is well adapted to vines. They say that a vine stem has been frequently seen there which would require two men to girth it, and bunches of grapes two cubits in size.


1. Some parts of Bactria lie along Aria to the north, but the greater part stretches beyond (Aria) to the east. It is an extensive country, and produces everything except oil.

The Greeks who occasioned its revolt became so powerful by means of the fertility and advantages of the country, that they became masters of Ariana and India, according to Apollodorus of Artamita. Their chiefs, particularly Menander, (if he really crossed the Hypanis to the east and reached Isamus,)1012 conquered more nations than Alexander. These [Pg 253] conquests were achieved partly by Menander, partly by Demetrius, son of Euthydemus, king of the Bactrians. They got possession not only of Pattalene,1013 but of the kingdoms of Saraostus, and Sigerdis, which constitute the remainder of the coast. Apollodorus in short says that Bactriana is the ornament of all Ariana. They extended their empire even as far as the Seres and Phryni.

2. Their cities were Bactra, which they call also Zariaspa, (a river of the same name flows through it, and empties itself into the Oxus,) and Darapsa,1014 and many others. Among these was Eucratidia, which had its name from Eucratidas, the king. When the Greeks got possession of the country, they divided it into satrapies; that of Aspionus and Turiva1015 the Parthians took from Eucratidas. They possessed Sogdiana also, situated above Bactriana to the east, between the river Oxus (which bounds Bactriana and Sogdiana) and the Iaxartes; the latter river separates the Sogdii and the nomades.

3. Anciently the Sogdiani and Bactriani did not differ much from the nomades in their mode of life and manners, yet the manners of the Bactriani were a little more civilized. Onesicritus however does not give the most favourable account of this people. Those who are disabled by disease or old age are thrown alive to be devoured by dogs kept expressly for this purpose, and whom in the language of the country they call entombers.1016 The places on the exterior of the walls of the capital of the Bactrians are clean, but the interior is for the most part full of human bones. Alexander abolished this custom. Something of the same kind is related of the Caspii also, who, when their parents have attained the age of 70 years, confine them, and let them die of hunger. This custom, although Scythian in character, is more tolerable than that of the Bactrians, and is similar to the domestic law of the Cei;1017 the custom however of the Bactrians is much more according to Scythian manners. We may be justly at a loss [Pg 254]
[CAS. 517]
to conjecture,1018 if Alexander found such customs prevailing there, what were the customs which probably were observed by them in the time of the first kings of Persia, and of the princes who preceded them.

4. Alexander, it is said, founded eight cities in Bactriana and Sogdiana; some he razed, among which were Cariatæ in Bactriana, where Callisthenes was seized and imprisoned; Maracanda in Sogdiana, and Cyra, the last of the places founded by Cyrus, situated upon the river Iaxartes, and the boundary of the Persian empire. This also, although it was attached to Cyrus, he razed on account of its frequent revolts.

Alexander took also, it is said, by means of treachery, strong fortified rocks; one of which belonged to Sisimithres in Bactriana, where Oxyartes kept his daughter Roxana; another to Oxus in Sogdiana, or, according to some writers, to Ariamazas. The stronghold of Sisimithres is described by historians to have been fifteen stadia in height, and eighty stadia in circuit. On the summit is a level ground, which is fertile and capable of maintaining 500 men. Here Alexander was entertained with sumptuous hospitality, and here he espoused Roxana the daughter of Oxyartes. The height of the fortress in Sogdiana is double the height of this. It was near these places that he destroyed the city of the Branchidæ, whom Xerxes settled there, and who had voluntarily accompanied him from their own country. They had delivered up to the Persians the riches of the god at Didymi, and the treasure there deposited. Alexander destroyed their city in abhorrence of their treachery and sacrilege.

5. Aristobulus calls the river, which runs through Sogdiana, Polytimetus, a name imposed by the Macedonians, as they imposed many others, some of which were altogether new, others were deflections1019 from the native appellations. This river after watering the country flows through a desert and sandy soil, and is absorbed in the sand, like the Arius, which flows through the territory of the Arii.

It is said that on digging near the river Ochus a spring of oil was discovered. It is probable, that as certain nitrous, astringent, bituminous, and sulphurous fluids permeate the earth, greasy fluids may be found, but the rarity of their occurrence makes their existence almost doubtful.

[Pg 255]

The course of the Ochus, according to some writers, is through Bactriana, according to others parallel to it. Some allege that, taking a more southerly direction, it is distinct from the Oxus to its mouths, but that they both discharge themselves (separately) into the Caspian in Hyrcania. Others again say that it is distinct, at its commencement, from the Oxus, but that it (afterwards) unites with the latter river, having in many places a breadth of six or seven stadia.

The Iaxartes is distinct from the Oxus from its commencement to its termination, and empties itself into the same sea. Their mouths, according to Patrocles, are about 80 parasangs distant from each other. The Persian parasang some say contains 60, others 30 or 40, stadia.

When I was sailing up the Nile, schœni of different measures were used in passing from one city to another, so that the same number of schoeni gave in some places a longer, in others a shorter, length to the voyage. This mode of computation has been handed down from an early period, and is continued to the present time.

6. In proceeding from Hyrcania towards the rising sun as far as Sogdiana, the nations beyond (within?) the Taurus were known first to the Persians, and afterwards to the Macedonians and Parthians. The nations lying in a straight line1020 above these people are supposed to be Scythian, from their resemblance to that nation. But we are not acquainted with any expeditions which have been undertaken against them, nor against the most northerly tribes of the nomades. Alexander proposed to conduct his army against them, when he was in pursuit of Bessus and Spitamenes, but when Bessus was taken prisoner, and Spitamenes put to death by the Barbarians, he desisted from executing his intention.

It is not generally admitted, that persons have passed round by sea from India to Hyrcania, but Patrocles asserts that it may be done.

7. It is said that the termination of Taurus, which is called Imaus, approaches close to the Indian Sea, and neither advances towards nor recedes from the East more than India itself. But on passing to the northern side, the sea contracts (throughout the whole coast) the length and breadth of India, so as to shorten on the East the portion of Asia we are now [Pg 256]
[CAS. 519]
describing, comprehended between the Taurus and the Northern Ocean, which forms the Caspian Sea.

The greatest length of this portion, reckoned from the Hyrcanian Sea to the (Eastern) Ocean opposite Imaus, is about 30,000 stadia,1021 the route being along the mountainous tract of Taurus; the breadth is less than 10,000 stadia.1022 We have said before, that1023 from the bay of Issus to the eastern sea along the coast of India is about 40,000 stadia, and to Issus from the western extremities at the pillars 30,000 stadia. The recess of the bay of Issus is little, if at all, more to the east than Amisus; from Amisus to Hyrcania is about 10,000 stadia in a line parallel to that which we have described as drawn from the bay of Issus to India. There remains therefore for the portion now delineated the above-mentioned length towards the east, namely, 30,000 stadia.1024

[Pg 257]

Again, since the breadth of the longest part of the habitable earth, which has the shape of a chlamys, (or a military cloak,) is about 30,000 stadia, this distance would be near the meridian line drawn through the Hyrcanian and the Persian Seas, for the length of the habitable earth is 70,000 stadia. If therefore from Hyrcania to Artemita1025 in Babylonia are 8000 stadia according to Apollodorus of Artemita, and thence to the mouth of the Persian Sea 8000, and again 8000, or a little short of that number, to the places on the same parallel with the extremities of Æthiopia, there would remain, to complete the breadth as I have described it, of the habitable earth, the number of stadia1026 which I have mentioned, reckoning from the recess of the Hyrcanian Sea to its mouth. This segment of the earth being truncated towards the eastern parts, its figure would resemble a cook’s knife, for the mountainous range being prolonged in a straight line, answers to the edge, while the shape of the coast from the mouth of the Hyrcanian Sea to Tamarus on the other side terminates in a circular truncated line.

[Pg 258]
[CAS. 519]

8. We must mention some of the extraordinary circumstances which are related of those tribes which are perfectly barbarous, living about Mount Caucasus, and the other mountainous districts.

What Euripides expresses in the following lines is said to be a custom among them;

“they lament the birth of the new-born on account of the many evils to which they are exposed; but the dead, and one at rest from his troubles, is carried forth from his home with joy and gratulation.”

Other tribes do not put to death even the greatest offenders, but only banish them from their territories together with their children; which is contrary to the custom of the Derbices, who punish even slight offences with death. The Derbices worship the earth. They neither sacrifice, nor eat the female of any animal. Persons who attain the age of above seventy years are put to death by them, and their nearest relations eat their flesh. Old women are strangled, and then buried. Those who die under seventy years of age are not eaten, but are only buried.

The Siginni in general practise Persian customs. They have small horses with shaggy hair, but which are not able to carry a rider. Four of these horses are harnessed together, driven by women, who are trained to this employment from childhood. The best driver marries whom she pleases. Some, they say, make it their study to appear with heads as long as possible, and with foreheads projecting over their chins.

The Tapyrii have a custom for the men to dress in black, and wear their hair long, and the women to dress in white, and wear their hair short. [They live between the Derbices and Hyrcani.]1027 He who is esteemed the bravest marries whom he likes.

The Caspii starve to death those who are above seventy years old, by exposing them in a desert place. The exposed are observed at a distance; if they are dragged from their resting-place by birds, they are then pronounced happy; but if by wild beasts, or dogs, less fortunate; but if by none of these, ill-fated.

[Pg 259]


1. Since the Taurus constitutes the northern parts of Asia, which are called also the parts within the Taurus, I propose to speak first of these.

They are situated either entirely, or chiefly, among the mountains. Those to the east of the Caspian Gates admit of a shorter description on account of the rude state of the people, nor is there much difference whether they are referred to one climate1028 or the other. All the western countries furnish abundant matter for description. We must therefore proceed to the places situated near the Caspian Gates.

Media lies towards the west, an extensive country, and formerly powerful; it is situated in the middle of Taurus, which here has many branches, and contains large valleys, as is the case in Armenia.

2. This mountain has its beginning in Caria and Lycia, but does not exhibit there either considerable breadth or height. It first appears to have a great altitude opposite the Chelidoneæ,1029 which are islands situated in front of the commencement of the Pamphylian coast. It extends towards the east, and includes the long valleys of Cilicia. Then on one side the Amanus1030 is detached from it, and on the other the Anti-Taurus.1031 In the latter is situated Comana,1032 belonging to the Upper Cappadocia. It terminates in Cataonia, but Mount Amanus is continued as far as the Euphrates, and Melitene,1033 where Commagene extends along Cappadocia. It receives the mountains beyond the Euphrates, which are continuous with those before mentioned, except the part which is intercepted by the river flowing through the middle of them. [Pg 260]
[CAS. 521]
Here its height and breadth become greater, and its branches more numerous. The Taurus extends the farthest distance towards the south, where it separates Armenia from Mesopotamia.

3. From the south flow both rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris, which encircle Mesopotamia, and approach close to each other at Babylonia, and then discharge themselves into the sea on the coast of Persia. The Euphrates is the larger river, and traverses a greater tract of country with a tortuous course, it rises in the northern part of Taurus, and flows toward the west through Armenia the Greater, as it is called, to Armenia the Less, having the latter on the right and Acilisene on the left hand. It then turns to the south, and at its bend touches the boundaries of Cappadocia. It leaves this and Commagene on the right hand; on the left Acilisene and Sophene,1034 belonging to the Greater Armenia. It proceeds onwards to Syria, and again makes another bend in its way to Babylonia and the Persian Gulf.

The Tigris takes its course from the southern part of the same mountains to Seleucia,1035 approaches close to the Euphrates, with which it forms Mesopotamia. It then empties itself into the same gulf.

The sources of the Tigris and of the Euphrates are distant from each other about 2500 stadia.

4. Towards the north there are many forks which branch away from the Taurus. One of these is called Anti-Taurus, for there the mountain had this name, and includes Sophene in a valley situated between Anti-Taurus and the Taurus.

Next to the Anti-Taurus on the other side of the Euphrates, along the Lesser Armenia, there stretches towards the north a large mountain with many branches, one of which is called Paryadres,1036 another the Moschic mountains, and others by other names. The Moschic mountains comprehend the whole of Armenians as far as the Iberians and Albanians. Other mountains again rise towards the east above the Caspian Sea, and extend as far as Media the Greater, and the Atropatian-Media. They call all these parts of the mountains Parachoathras, as well as those which extend to the Caspian Gates, and those still farther above towards the east, which are contiguous [Pg 261] to Asia. The following are the names of the mountains towards the north.

The southern mountains on the other side of the Euphrates, extending towards the east from Cappadocia and Commagene,1037 at their commencement have the name of Taurus, which separates Sophene and the rest of Armenia from Mesopotamia, but some writers call them the Gordyæan mountains.1038 Among these is Mount Masius,1039 which is situated above Nisibis,1040 and Tigranocerta.1041 It then becomes more elevated, and is called Niphates.1042 Somewhere in this part on the southern side of the mountainous chain are the sources of the Tigris. Then the ridge of mountains continuing to extend from the Niphates forms the mountain Zagrius, which separates Media and Babylonia. After the Zagrius follows above Babylonia the mountainous range of the Elymæi and Parætaceni, and above Media that of the Cossæi.

In the middle of these branches are situated Media and Armenia, which comprise many mountains, and many mountain plains, as well as plains and large valleys. Numerous small tribes live around among the mountains, who are for the most part robbers.

We thus place within the Taurus Armenia and Media, to which belong the Caspian Gates.

5. In our opinion these nations may be considered as situated to the north, since they are within the Taurus. But Eratosthenes, having divided Asia into southern and northern portions, and what he calls seals, (or sections,)1043 designating some as northern, others as southern, makes the Caspian Gates the boundary of both climates. He might without any impropriety have represented the more southern parts of the Caspian Gates as in southern Asia, among which are Media and Armenia, and the parts more to the north than the Caspian Gates in northern Asia, which might be the case according to different descriptions of the country. But perhaps Eratosthenes did not attend to the circumstance, that there [Pg 262]
[CAS. 523]
is no part of Armenia nor of Media towards the south on the other side of the Taurus.


1. Media is divided into two parts, one of which is called the Greater Media. Its capital is Ecbatana,1044 a large city containing the royal seat of the Median empire. This palace the Parthians continue to occupy even at this time. Here their kings pass the summer, for the air of Media is cool. Their winter residence is at Seleucia, on the Tigris, near Babylon.

The other division is Atropatian Media. It had its name from Atropatus, a chief who prevented this country, which is a part of Greater Media, from being subjected to the dominion of the Macedonians. When he was made king he established the independence of this country; his successors continue to the present day, and have at different times contracted marriages with the kings of Armenia, Syria, and Parthia.

2. Atropatian Media borders upon Armenia and Matiane1045 towards the east, towards the west on the Greater Media, and on both towards the north; towards the south it is contiguous to the people living about the recess of the Hyrcanian Sea, and to Matiane.

According to Apollonides its strength is not inconsiderable, since it can furnish 10,000 cavalry and 40,000 infantry.

It contains a lake called Spauta,1046 (Kapauta,) in which salt effloresces, and is consolidated. The salt occasions itching and pain, but oil is a cure for both, and sweet water restores the colour of clothes, which have the appearance of being burnt,1047 when they have been immersed in the lake by ignorant persons for the purpose of washing them.

[Pg 263]

They have powerful neighbours in the Armenians and Parthians, by whom they are frequently plundered; they resist however, and recover what has been taken away, as they recovered Symbace1048 from the Armenians, who were defeated by the Romans, and they themselves became the friends of Cæsar. They at the same time endeavour to conciliate the Parthians.

3. The summer palace is at Gazaka, situated in a plain; the winter palace1049 is in Vera, a strong fortress which Antony besieged in his expedition against the Parthians. The last is distant from the Araxes, which separates Armenia and Atropatene, 2400 stadia, according to Dellius, the friend of Antony, who wrote an account of the expedition of Antony against the Parthians, which he himself accompanied, and in which he held a command.

The other parts of this country are fertile, but that towards the north is mountainous, rugged, and cold, the abode of the mountain tribes of Cadusii, Amardi, Tapyri, Curtii, and other similar nations, who are migratory, and robbers. These people are scattered over the Zagrus and Niphates. The Curtii in Persia, and Mardi, (for so they call the Amardi,) and those in Armenia, and who bear the same name at present, have the same kind of character.

4. The Cadusii have an army of foot soldiers not inferior in number to that of the Ariani. They are very expert in throwing the javelin. In the rocky places the soldiers engage in battle on foot, instead of on their horses. The expedition of Antony was harassing to the army, not by the nature of the country, but by the conduct of their guide, Artavasdes, king of the Armenii, whom Antony rashly made his adviser, and master of his intentions respecting the war, when at the same time that prince was contriving a plan for his destruction. Antony punished Artavasdes, but too late; the latter had been the cause of many calamities to the Romans, in conjunction with another person; he made the march from the Zeugma on the Euphrates to the borders of Atropatene to exceed 8000 stadia, or double the distance of the direct course, [by leading the army] over mountains, and places where there were no roads, and by a circuitous route.

[Pg 264]
[CAS. 524]

5. The Greater Media anciently governed the whole of Asia, after the overthrow of the Syrian empire: but afterwards, in the time of Astyages, the Medes were deprived of this extensive sovereignty by Cyrus and the Persians, yet they retained much of their ancient importance. Ecbatana was the winter (royal?) residence1050 of the Persian kings, as it was of the Macedonian princes, who overthrew the Persian empire, and got possession of Syria. It still continues to serve the same purpose, and affords security to the kings of Parthia.

6. Media is bounded on the east by Parthia, and by the mountains of the Cossæi, a predatory tribe. They once furnished the Elymæi, whose allies they were in the war against the Susii and Babylonians, with 13,000 archers. Nearchus says that there were four robber tribes; the Mardi, who were contiguous to the Persians; the Uxii and Elymæi, who were on the borders of the Persians and Susii; and the Cossæi, on those of the Medes; that all of them exacted tribute from the kings; that the Cossæi received presents, when the king, having passed his summer at Ecbatana went down to Babylonia; that Alexander attacked them in the winter time, and repressed their excessive insolence. Media is bounded on the east by these nations, and by the Parætaceni, who are contiguous to the Persians, and are mountaineers, and robbers; on the north by the Cadusii, who live above the Hyrcanian Sea, and by other nations, whom we have just enumerated; on the south by the Apolloniatis, which the ancients called Sitacene, and by the Zagrus, along which lies Massabatica, which belongs to Media, but according to others, to Elymæa; on the west by the Atropatii, and by some tribes of the Armenians.

There are also Grecian cities in Media, founded by Macedonians, as Laodiceia, Apameia, Heracleia near Rhagæ, and Rhaga itself, founded by Nicator, who called it Europus, and the Parthians Arsacia, situated about 500 stadia to the south of the Caspian Gates, according to Apollodorus of Artemita.

7. The greater part of Media consists of high ground, and is cold; such are the mountains above Ecbatana, and the places about Rhagæ and the Caspian Gates, and the northern parts in general extending thence as far as Matiane and Armenia. [Pg 265] The country below the Caspian Gates consists of flat grounds and valleys. It is very fertile, and produces everything except the olive, or if it grows anywhere it does not yield oil, and is dry. The country is peculiarly adapted, as well as Armenia, for breeding horses. There is a meadow tract called Hippobotus, which is traversed by travellers on their way from Persia and Babylonia to the Caspian Gates. Here, it is said, fifty thousand mares were pastured in the time of the Persians, and were the king’s stud. The Nesæan horses, the best and largest in the king’s province, were of this breed, according to some writers, but according to others they came from Armenia. Their shape is peculiar, as is that of the Parthian horses, compared with those of Greece and others in our country.

The herbage which constitutes the chief food of the horses we call peculiarly by the name of Medic, from its growing in Media in great abundance. The country produces Silphium,1051 from which is obtained the Medic juice, much inferior to the Cyrenaic, but sometimes it excels the latter, which may be accounted for by the difference of places, or from a change the plant may undergo, or from the mode of extracting and preparing the juice so as to continue good when laid by for use.

8. Such then is the nature of the country with respect to magnitude; its length and breadth are nearly equal. The greatest breadth (length?)1052 however seems to be that reckoned from the pass across the Zagrus, which is called the Median Gate, to the Caspian Gates, through the country of Sigriana, 4100 stadia.

The account of the tribute paid agrees with the extent and wealth of the country. Cappadocia paid to the Persians yearly, in addition to a tribute in silver, 1500 horses, 2000 mules, and 50,000 sheep, and the Medes contributed nearly double this amount.

9. Many of their customs are the same as those of the Armenians, from the similarity of the countries which they inhabit. The Medes however were the first to communicate them to the Armenians, and still before that time to the Persians, who were their masters, and successors in the empire of Asia.

[Pg 266]
[CAS. 526]

The Persian stole, as it is now called, the pursuit of archery and horsemanship, the court paid to their kings, their attire, and veneration fitting for gods paid by the subjects to the prince,—these the Persians derived from the Medes. That this is the fact appears chiefly from their dress. A tiara, a citaris, a hat,1053 tunics with sleeves reaching to the hands, and trowsers, are proper to be worn in cold and northerly places, such as those in Media, but they are not by any means adapted to inhabitants of the south. The Persians had their principal settlements on the Gulf of Persia, being situated more to the south than the Babylonians and the Susii. But after the overthrow of the Medes they gained possession of some tracts of country contiguous to Media. The custom however of the vanquished appeared to the conquerors to be so noble, and appropriate to royal state, that instead of nakedness or scanty clothing, they endured the use of the feminine stole, and were entirely covered with dress to the feet.

10. Some writers say that Medeia, when with Jason she ruled in these countries, introduced this kind of dress, and concealed her countenance as often as she appeared in public in place of the king; that the memorials of Jason are, the Jasonian heroa,1054 held in great reverence by the Barbarians, (besides a great mountain above the Caspian Gates on the left hand, called Jasonium,) and that the memorials of Medeia are the kind of dress, and the name of the country. Medus, her son, is said to have been her successor in the kingdom, and the country to have been called after his name. In agreement with this are the Jasonia in Armenia, the name of the country, and many other circumstances which we shall mention.

11. It is a Median custom to elect the bravest person as king, but this does not generally prevail, being confined to the mountain tribes. The custom for the kings to have many wives is more general, it is found among all the mountaineers also, but they are not permitted to have less than five. In the same manner the women think it honourable for husbands to have as many wives as possible, and esteem it a misfortune if they have less than five.

While the rest of Media is very fertile, the northern and mountainous part is barren. The people subsist upon the produce of trees. They make cakes of apples, sliced and [Pg 267] dried, and bread of roasted almonds; they express a wine from some kind of roots. They eat the flesh of wild animals, and do not breed any tame animals. So much then respecting the Medes. As to the laws and customs in common use throughout the whole of Media, as they are the same as those of the Persians in consequence of the establishment of the Persian empire, I shall speak of them when I give an account of the latter nation.


1. The southern parts of Armenia lie in front of the Taurus, which separates Armenia from the whole of the country situated between the Euphrates and the Tigris, and which is called Mesopotamia. The eastern parts are contiguous to the Greater Media, and to Atropatene. To the north are the range of the mountains of Parachoathras lying above the Caspian Sea, the Albanians, Iberians, and the Caucasus. The Caucasus encircles these nations, and approaches close to the Armenians, the Moschic and Colchic mountains, and extends as far as the country of the people called Tibareni. On the west are these nations and the mountains Paryadres and Scydises, extending to the Lesser Armenia, and the country on the side of the Euphrates, which divides Armenia from Cappadocia and Commagene.

2. The Euphrates rises in the northern side of the Taurus, and flows at first towards the west through Armenia, it then makes a bend to the south, and intersects the Taurus between the Armenians, Cappadocians, and Commageni. Then issuing outwards and entering Syria, it turns towards the winter sunrise as far as Babylon, and forms Mesopotamia with the Tigris. Both these rivers terminate in the Persian Gulf.

Such is the nature of the places around Armenia, almost all of them mountainous and rugged, except a few tracts which verge towards Media.

To the above-mentioned Taurus, which commences again in the country on the other side of the Euphrates, occupied [Pg 268]
[CAS. 527]
by the Commageni, and Meliteni formed by the Euphrates, belongs Mount Masius, which is situated on the south above the Mygdones in Mesopotamia, in whose territory is Nisibis; on the northern parts is Sophene, lying between the Masius and Anti-Taurus. Anti-Taurus begins from the Euphrates and the Taurus, and terminates at the eastern parts of Armenia, enclosing within it Sophene. It has on the other side Acilisene, which lies between [Anti-]Taurus and the bed of the Euphrates before it turns to the south. The royal city of Sophene is Carcathiocerta.1055

Above Mount Masius far to the east along Gordyene is the Niphates, then the Abus,1056 from which flow both the Euphrates and the Araxes, the former to the west, the latter to the east; then the Nibarus, which extends as far as Media.

3. We have described the course of the Euphrates. The Araxes, after running to the east as far as Atropatene, makes a bend towards the west and north. It then first flows beside Azara, then by Artaxata,1057 a city of the Armenians; afterwards it passes through the plain of Araxenus to discharge itself into the Caspian Sea.

4. There are many mountains in Armenia, and many mountain plains, in which not even the vine grows. There are also many valleys, some are moderately fertile, others are very productive, as the Araxenian plain, through which the river Araxes flows to the extremities of Albania, and empties itself into the Caspian Sea. Next is Sacasene, which borders upon Albania, and the river Cyrus; then Gogarene. All this district abounds with products of the soil, cultivated fruit trees and evergreens. It bears also the olive.

There is Phauene, (Phanenæ, Phasiana?) a province of Armenia, Comisene, and Orchistene, which furnishes large bodies of cavalry.

[Pg 269]

Chorzene1058 and Cambysene are the most northerly countries, and particularly subject to falls of snow. They are contiguous to the Caucasian mountains, to Iberia, and Colchis. Here, they say, on the passes over mountains, it frequently happens that whole companies of persons have been overwhelmed in violent snow-storms. Travellers are provided against such dangerous accidents with poles, which they force upwards to the surface of the snow, for the purpose of breathing, and of signifying their situation to other travellers who may come that way, so that they may receive assistance, be extricated, and so escape alive.

They say that hollow masses are consolidated in the snow, which contain good water, enveloped as in a coat; that animals are bred in the snow, which Apollonides call scoleces,1059 and Theophanes, thripes, and that these hollow masses contain good water, which is obtained by breaking open their coats or coverings. The generation of these animals is supposed to be similar to that of the gnats, (or mosquitos,) from flames, and the sparks in mines.

5. According to historians, Armenia, which was formerly a small country, was enlarged by Artaxias and Zariadris, who had been generals of Antiochus the Great, and at last, after his overthrow, when they became kings, (the former of Sophene, Acisene, (Amphissene?) Odomantis, and some other places, the latter of the country about Artaxata,) they simultaneously aggrandized themselves, by taking away portions of the territory of the surrounding nations: from the Medes they took the Caspiana, Phaunitis, and Basoropeda; from the Iberians, the country at the foot of the Paryadres, the Chorzene, and Gogarene, which is on the other side of the Cyrus; from the Chalybes, and the Mosynœci, Carenitis and Xerxene, which border upon the Lesser Armenia, or are even parts of it; from the Cataones, Acilisene,1060 and the country about the Anti-Taurus; from the Syrians, Taronitis;1061 hence they all speak the same language.

6. The cities of Armenia are Artaxata, called also Artaxiasata, [Pg 270]
[CAS. 529]
built by Hannibal for the king Artaxias, and Arxata, both situated on the Araxes; Arxata on the confines of Atropatia, and Artaxata near the Araxenian plain; it is well inhabited, and the seat of the kings of the country. It lies upon a peninsular elbow of land; the river encircles the walls except at the isthmus, which is enclosed by a ditch and rampart.

Not far from the city are the treasure-storehouses of Tigranes and Artavasdes, the strong fortresses Babyrsa, and Olane. There were others also upon the Euphrates. Ador, (Addon?) the governor of the fortress, occasioned the revolt of Artageræ, but the generals of Cæsar retook it after a long siege, and destroyed the walls.

7. There are many rivers in the country. The most celebrated are the Phasis and Lycus; they empty themselves into the Euxine; (Eratosthenes instead of the Lycus mentions the Thermodon, but erroneously;) the Cyrus and the Araxes into the Caspian, and the Euphrates and the Tigris into the Persian Gulf.

8. There are also large lakes in Armenia; one the Mantiane,1062 which word translated signifies Cyane, or Blue, the largest salt-water lake, it is said, after the Palus Mæotis, extending as far as (Media-) Atropatia. It has salt pans for the concretion of salt.

The next is Arsene,1063 which is also called Thopitis. Its waters contain nitre, and are used for cleaning and fulling clothes. It is unfit by these qualities for drinking. The Tigris passes through this lake1064 after issuing from the mountainous country near the Niphates, and by its rapidity keeps its stream unmixed with the water of the lake, whence it has its name, for the Medes call an arrow, Tigris. This river contains fish of various kinds, but the lake one kind only.

[Pg 271]

At the extremity of the lake the river falls into a deep cavity in the earth. After pursuing a long course under-ground, it reappears in the Chalonitis; thence it goes to Opis, and to the wall of Semiramis, as it is called, leaving the Gordyæi1065 and the whole of Mesopotamia on the right hand. The Euphrates, on the contrary, has the same country on the left. Having approached one another, and formed Mesopotamia, one traverses Seleucia in its course to the Persian Gulf, the other Babylon, as I have said in replying to Eratosthenes and Hipparchus.

9. There are mines of gold in the Hyspiratis,1066 near Caballa. Alexander sent Menon to the mines with a body of soldiers, but he was strangled1067 by the inhabitants of the country. There are other mines, and also a mine of Sandyx as it is called, to which is given the name of Armenian colour, it resembles the Calche.1068

This country is so well adapted, being nothing inferior in this respect to Media, for breeding horses, that the race of Nesæan horses, which the kings of Persia used, is found here also; the satrap of Armenia used to send annually to the king of Persia 20,000 foals at the time of the festival of the Mithracina. Artavasdes, when he accompanied Antony in his invasion of Media, exhibited, besides other bodies of cavalry, 6000 horse covered with complete armour drawn up in array.

Not only do the Medes and Armenians, but the Albanians also, admire this kind of cavalry, for the latter use horses covered with armour.

10. Of the riches and power of this country, this is no slight proof, that when Pompey imposed upon Tigranes, the father of Artavasdes, the payment of 6000 talents of silver, he immediately distributed the money among the Roman army, to each soldier 50 drachmæ, 1000 to a centurion, and a talent to a Hipparch and a Chiliarch.

11. Theophanes represents this as the size of the country; its breadth to be 100 schœni, and its length double this number, reckoning the schœnus at 40 stadia; but this computation exceeds the truth. It is nearer the truth to take the [Pg 272]
[CAS. 530]
length as he has given it, and the breadth at one half, or a little more.

Such then is the nature of the country of Armenia, and its power.

12. There exists an ancient account of the origin of this nation to the following effect. Armenus of Armenium, a Thessalian city, which lies between Pheræ and Larisa on the lake Bœbe, accompanied Jason, as we have already said, in his expedition into Armenia, and from Armenus the country had its name, according to Cyrsilus the Pharsalian and Medius the Larisæan, persons who had accompanied the army of Alexander. Some of the followers of Armenus settled in Acilisene, which was formerly subject to the Sopheni; others in the Syspiritis, and spread as far as Calachene and Adiabene, beyond the borders of Armenia.

The dress of the Armenian people is said to be of Thessalian origin; such are the long tunics, which in tragedies are called Thessalian; they are fastened about the body with a girdle, and with a clasp on the shoulder. The tragedians, for they required some additional decoration of this kind, imitate the Thessalians in their attire. The Thessalians in particular, from wearing a long dress, (probably because they inhabit the most northerly and the coldest country in all Greece,) afforded the most appropriate subject of imitation to actors for their theatrical representations. The passion for riding and the care of horses characterize the Thessalians, and are common to Armenians and Medes.

The Jasonia are evidence of the expedition of Jason: some of these memorials the sovereigns of the country restored, as Parmenio restored the temple of Jason at Abdera.

13. It is supposed that Armenus and his companions called the Araxes by this name on account of its resemblance to the Peneius, for the Peneius had the name of Araxes from bursting through Tempe, and rending (ἀπαράξαι) Ossa from Olympus. The Araxes also in Armenia, descending from the mountains, is said to have spread itself in ancient times, and to have overflowed the plains, like a sea, having no outlet; that Jason, in imitation of what is to be seen at Tempe, made the opening through which the water at present precipitates itself into the Caspian Sea; that upon this the Araxenian [Pg 273] plain, through which the river flows to the cataract, became uncovered. This story which is told of the river Araxes contains some probability; that of Herodotus1069 none whatever. For he says that, after flowing out of the country of the Matiani, it is divided into forty rivers, and separates the Scythians from the Bactrians. Callisthenes has followed Herodotus.

14. Some tribes of Ænianes are mentioned, some of whom settled in Vitia, others above the Armenians beyond the Abus and the Nibarus. These latter are branches of Taurus; the Abus is near the road which leads to Ecbatana by the temple of Baris (Zaris?).

Some tribes of Thracians, surnamed Saraparæ, or decapitators, are said to live above Armenia, near the Gouranii and Medes. They are a savage people, intractable mountaineers, and scalp and decapitate strangers; for such is the meaning of the term Saraparæ.

I have spoken of Medeia in the account of Media, and it is conjectured from all the circumstances that the Medes and Armenians are allied in some way to the Thessalians, descended from Jason and Medeia.

15. This is the ancient account, but the more recent, and extending from the time of the Persians to our own age, may be given summarily, and in part only (as follows); Persians and Macedonians gained possession of Armenia, next those who were masters of Syria and Media. The last was Orontes, a descendant of Hydarnes, one of the seven Persians: it was then divided into two portions by Artaxias and Zariadris, generals of Antiochus the Great, who made war against the Romans. These were governors by permission of the king, but upon his overthrow they attached themselves to the Romans, were declared independent, and had the title of kings. Tigranes was a descendant of Artaxias, and had Armenia, properly so called. This country was contiguous to Media, to the Albani, and to the Iberes, and extended as far as Colchis, and Cappadocia upon the Euxine.

Artanes the Sophenian was the descendant of Zariadris, and had the southern parts of Armenia, which verge rather to the west. He was defeated by Tigranes, who became master of the whole country. He had experienced many vicissitudes of fortune. At first he had served as a [Pg 274]
[CAS. 532]
hostage among the Parthians; then by their means he returned to his country, in compensation for which service they obtained seventy valleys in Armenia. When he acquired power, he recovered these valleys, and devastated the country of the Parthians, the territory about Ninus, and that about Arbela.1070 He subjected to his authority the Atropatenians, and the Gordyæans; by force of arms he obtained possession also of the rest of Mesopotamia, and, after crossing the Euphrates, of Syria and Phœnicia. Having attained this height of prosperity, he even founded near Iberia,1071 between this country and the Zeugma on the Euphrates, a city, which he named Tigranocerta, and collected inhabitants out of twelve Grecian cities, which he had depopulated. But Lucullus, who had commanded in the war against Mithridates, surprised him, thus engaged, and dismissed the inhabitants to their respective homes. The buildings which were half finished he demolished, and left a small village remaining. He drove Tigranes both out of Syria and Phœnicia.

Artavasdes, his successor, prospered as long as he continued a friend of the Romans. But having betrayed Antony to the Parthians in the war with that people, he suffered punishment for his treachery. He was carried in chains to Alexandria, by order of Antony, led in procession through the city, and kept in prison for a time. On the breaking out of the Actiac war he was then put to death. Many kings reigned after Artavasdes, who were dependent upon Cæsar and the Romans. The country is still governed in the same manner.

16. Both the Medes and Armenians have adopted all the sacred rites of the Persians, but the Armenians pay particular reverence to Anaïtis, and have built temples to her honour in several places, especially in Acilisene. They dedicate there to her service male and female slaves; in this there is nothing remarkable, but it is surprising that persons of the highest rank in the nation consecrate their virgin daughters to the goddess. It is customary for these women, after being [Pg 275] prostituted a long period at the temple of Anaïtis, to be disposed of in marriage, no one disdaining a connexion with such persons. Herodotus mentions something similar respecting the Lydian women, all of whom prostitute themselves. But they treat their paramours with much kindness, they entertain them hospitably, and frequently make a return of more presents than they receive, being amply supplied with means derived from their wealthy connexions. They do not admit into their dwellings accidental strangers, but prefer those of a rank equal to their own.

[Pg 276]




The Twelfth Book contains the remainder of Pontus, viz. Cappadocia, Galatia, Bithynia, Mysia, Phrygia, and Mæonia: the cities, Sinope in Pontus, Heracleia, and Amaseia, and likewise Isauria, Lycia, Pamphylia, and Cilicia, with the islands lying along the coast; the mountains and rivers.


1.1072Cappadocia consists of many parts, and has experienced frequent changes.

The nations speaking the same language are chiefly those who are bounded on the south by the Cilician Taurus,1073 as it is called; on the east by Armenia, Colchis, and by the intervening nations who speak different languages; on the north by the Euxine, as far as the mouth of the Halys;1074 on the west by the Paphlagonians, and by the Galatians, who migrated into Phrygia, and spread themselves as far as Lycaonia, and the Cilicians, who occupy Cilicia Tracheia (Cilicia the mountainous).1075

2. Among the nations that speak the same language, the ancients placed the Cataonians by themselves, contra-distinguishing them from the Cappadocians, whom they considered as a different people. In the enumeration of the nations they placed Cataonia after Cappadocia, then the Euphrates, and the nations on the other side of that river, so as to include even Melitene in Cataonia, although Melitene lies between Cataonia and the Euphrates, approaches close to Commagene, and constitutes a tenth portion of Cappadocia, [Pg 277] according to the division of the country into ten provinces. For the kings in our times who preceded Archelaus1076 usually divided the kingdom of Cappadocia in this manner.

Cataonia is a tenth portion of Cappadocia. In our time each province had its own governor, and since no difference appears in the language of the Cataonians compared with that of the other Cappadocians, nor any difference in their customs, it is surprising how entirely the characteristic marks of a foreign nation have disappeared, yet they were distinct nations; Ariarathes, the first who bore the title of king of the Cappadocians, annexed the Cataonians to Cappadocia.

3. This country composes the isthmus, as it were, of a large peninsula formed by two seas; by the bay of Issus, extending to Cilicia Tracheia, and by the Euxine lying between Sinope and the coast of the Tibareni.

The isthmus cuts off what we call the peninsula; the whole tract lying to the west of the Cappadocians, to which Herodotus1077 gives the name of the country within the Halys. This is the country the whole of which was the kingdom of Crœsus. Herodotus calls him king of the nations on this side the river Halys. But writers of the present time give the name of Asia, which is the appellation of the whole continent, to the country within the Taurus.

This Asia comprises, first, the nations on the east, Paphlagonians, Phrygians, and Lycaonians; then Bithynians, Mysians, and the Epictetus; besides these, Troas, and Hellespontia; next to these, and situated on the sea, are the Æolians and Ionians, who are Greeks; the inhabitants of the remaining portions are Carians and Lycians, and in the inland parts are Lydians.

We shall speak hereafter of the other nations.

4. The Macedonians obtained possession of Cappadocia after it had been divided by the Persians into two satrapies, and permitted, partly with and partly without the consent of the people, the satrapies to be altered to two kingdoms, one of which they called Cappadocia Proper, and Cappadocia [Pg 278]
[CAS. 534]
near the Taurus, or Cappadocia the Great; the other they called Pontus, but according to other writers, Cappadocia on Pontus.

We are ignorant at present how Cappadocia the Great was at first distributed; upon the death of Archelaus the king, Cæsar and the senate decreed that it should be a Roman province. But when the country was divided in the time of Archelaus and of preceding kings into ten provinces, they reckoned five near the Taurus, Melitene, Cataonia, Cilicia, Tyanītis, and Garsaurītis; the remaining five were Laviansene, Sargarausene, Saravene, Chamanene, Morimene. The Romans afterwards assigned to the predecessors of Archelaus an eleventh province formed out of Cilicia, consisting of the country about Castabala and Cybistra,1078 extending to Derbe, belonging to Antipater, the robber. Cilicia Trachea about Elæussa was assigned to Archelaus, and all the country which served as the haunts of pirates.


1. Melitene resembles Commagene, for the whole of it is planted with fruit-trees, and is the only part of all Cappadocia which is planted in this manner. It produces oil, and the wine Monarites, which vies with the wines of Greece. It is situated opposite to Sophene, having the river Euphrates flowing between it and Commagene, which borders upon it. In the country on the other side of the river is Tomisa, a considerable fortress of the Cappadocians. It was sold to the prince of Sophene for a hundred talents. Lucullus presented it afterwards as a reward of valour to the Cappadocian prince for his services in the war against Mithridates.

2. Cataonia is a plain, wide and hollow,1079 and produces everything except evergreen trees. It is surrounded by mountains, and among others by the Amanus on the side towards the south, a mass separated from the Cilician Taurus, and also by the Anti-Taurus,1080 a mass rent off in a contrary [Pg 279] direction. The Amanus extends from Cataonia to Cilicia, and the Syrian sea towards the west and south. In this intervening space it comprises the whole of the gulf of Issus, and the plains of the Cilicians which lie towards the Taurus. But the Anti-Taurus inclines to the north, and a little also to the east, and then terminates in the interior of the country.

3. In the Anti-Taurus are deep and narrow valleys, in which is situated Comana,1081 and the temple of Enyus (Bellona), which they call Ma. It is a considerable city. It contains a very great multitude of persons who at times are actuated by divine impulse, and of servants of the temple. It is inhabited by Cataonians, who are chiefly under the command of the priest, but in other respects subject to the king. The former presides over the temple, and has authority over the servants belonging to it, who, at the time that I was there, exceeded in number six thousand persons, including men and women. A large tract of land adjoins the temple, the revenue of which the priest enjoys. He is second in rank in Cappadocia after the king, and, in general, the priests are descended from the same family as the kings. Orestes, when he came hither with his sister Iphigenia from Tauric Scythia,1082 is thought to have introduced the sacred rites performed in honour of Diana Tauropolus, and to have deposited here the tresses (Coman, κόμην) of mourning, from which the city had the name of Comana.

The river Sarus flows through this city, and passes out through the valleys of the Taurus to the plains of Cilicia, and to the sea lying below them.

4. The Pyramus,1083 which has its source in the middle of the plain, is navigable throughout Cataonia. There is a large subterraneous channel, through which the water flows under-ground to a great distance, and then may be seen springing up again to the surface. If an arrow is let down into the pit from above, the resistance of the water is so great that it is scarcely immersed. Although it pursues its course with great1084 depth and breadth, it undergoes an extraordinary contraction of its size by the time it has reached the Taurus. There is also an extraordinary fissure in the mountain, through which the stream is carried. For, as in rocks which have burst and split in two [Pg 280]
[CAS. 536]
parts, the projections in one correspond so exactly with the hollows in the other that they might even be fitted together, so here I have seen the rocks at the distance of two or three plethra, overhanging the river on each side, and nearly reaching to the summit of the mountain, with hollows on one side answering to projections on the other. The bed between (the mountains) is entirely rock; it has a deep and very narrow fissure through the middle, so that a dog and a hare might leap across it. This is the channel of the river; it is full to the margin, and in breadth resembles a canal.1085 But on account of the winding of its course, the great contraction of the stream, and the depth of the ravine, a noise, like that of thunder, strikes at a distance on the ears of those who approach it. In passing out through the mountains, it brings down from Cataonia, and from the Cilician plains, so great a quantity of alluvial soil to the sea, that an oracle to the following effect is reported to have been uttered respecting it:

“The time will come, when Pyramus, with its deep whirlpools, by advancing on the sea-shore, will reach the sacred Cyprus.”

Something similar to this takes place in Egypt. The Nile is continually converting the sea into continent by an accumulation of earth; accordingly Herodotus calls Egypt a gift of the river, and Homer says, that the Pharos was formerly out at sea, not as it is at present connected with the mainland of Egypt.

5. [The third1086 in rank is the Dacian priesthood of Jupiter, inferior to this, but still of importance.] There is at this place a body of salt water, having the circumference of a considerable lake. It is shut in by lofty and perpendicular hills, so that the descent is by steps. The water it is said does not increase in quantity, nor has it anywhere an apparent outlet.

6. Neither the plain of the Cataonians nor Melitene have any city, but strongholds upon the mountains, as Azamora, and Dastarcum, round which runs the river Carmalas.1087 There is also the temple of the Cataonian Apollo, which is venerated [Pg 281] throughout the whole of Cappadocia, and which the Cappadocians have taken as a model of their own temples. Nor have the other provinces, except two, any cities. Of the rest, Sargarausene has a small town Herpa, and a river Carmalas, which also discharges itself into the Cilician sea.1088 In the other provinces is Argos, a lofty fortress near the Taurus, and Nora, now called Neroassus, in which Eumenes sustained a long siege. In our time it was a treasure-hold of Sisinus, who attempted to take possession of the kingdom of Cappadocia. To him belonged Cadena, a royal seat, built after the form of a city. Situated upon the borders of Lycaonia is Garsauira, a village town, said to have been formerly the capital of the country.

In Morimene, among the Venasii, is a temple of Jupiter, with buildings capable of receiving nearly three thousand servants of the temple. It has a tract of sacred land attached to it, very fertile, and affording to the priest a yearly revenue of fifteen talents. The priest is appointed for life like the priest at Comana, and is next to him in rank.

7. Two provinces only have cities. In the Tyanitis is Tyana,1089 lying at the foot of the Taurus at the Cilician Gates,1090 where are the easiest and the most frequented passes into Cilicia and Syria. It is called, “Eusebeia at the Taurus.” Tyanitis is fertile, and the greatest part of it consists of plains. Tyana is built upon the mound of Semiramis, which is fortified with good walls. At a little distance from this city are Castabala and Cybistra, towns which approach still nearer to the mountain. At Castabala is a temple of Diana Perasia, where, it is said, the priestesses walk with naked feet unhurt upon burning coals. To this place some persons apply the story respecting Orestes and Diana Tauropolus, and say that the goddess was called Perasia, because she was conveyed from beyond (πέραθεν) sea.

In Tyanitis, one of the ten provinces above mentioned, is the city Tyana. But with these I do not reckon the cities that were afterwards added, Castabala, and Cybistra, and those in Cilicia Tracheia, to which belongs Elæussa, a small [Pg 282]
[CAS. 538]
fertile island, which Archelaus furnished with excellent buildings, where he passed the greater part of his time.

In the Cilician province, as it is called, is Mazaca,1091 the capital of the nation. It is also called “Eusebeia,” with the addition “at the Argæus,” for it is situated at the foot of the Argæus,1092 the highest mountain in that district; its summit is always covered with snow. Persons who ascend it (but they are not many) say that both the Euxine and the sea of Issus may be seen from thence in clear weather.

Mazaca is not adapted in other respects by nature for the settlement of a city, for it is without water, and unfortified. Through the neglect of the governors, it is without walls, perhaps intentionally, lest, trusting to the wall as to a fortification, the inhabitants of a plain, which has hills situated above it, and not exposed to the attacks of missile weapons, should addict themselves to robbery. The country about, although it consists of plains, is entirely barren and uncultivated, for the soil is sandy, and rocky underneath. At a little distance further there are burning plains, and pits full of fire to an extent of many stadia, so that the necessaries of life are brought from a distance. What seems to be a peculiar advantage (abundance of wood) is a source of danger. For though nearly the whole of Cappadocia is without timber, the Argæus is surrounded by a forest, so that wood may be procured near at hand, yet even the region lying below the forest contains fire in many parts, and springs of cold water; but as neither the fire nor the water break out upon the surface, the greatest part of the country is covered with herbage. In some parts the bottom is marshy, and flames burst out from the ground by night. Those acquainted with the country collect wood with caution; but there is danger to others, and particularly to cattle, which fall into these hidden pits of fire.

8. In the plain in front of the city, and about 40 stadia from it, is a river of the name of Melas,1093 whose source is in ground lower than the level of the city. It is useless to the [Pg 283] inhabitants, because it does not flow from an elevated situation. It spreads abroad in marshes and lakes, and in the summer-time corrupts the air round the city. A valuable stone quarry is rendered almost useless by it. For there are extensive beds of stone, from which the Mazaceni obtain an abundant supply of materials for building, but the slabs, being covered with water, are not easily detached by the workmen. These are the marshes which in every part are subject to take fire.

Ariarathes the king filled in some narrow channels by which the Melas entered the Halys, and converted the neighbouring plain into a wide lake. There he selected some small islands like the Cyclades, where he passed his time in boyish and frivolous diversions. The barrier, however, was broken down all at once, and the waters again flowed abroad and swelled the Halys, which swept away a large part of the Cappadocian territory, and destroyed many buildings and plantations; it also damaged a considerable part of the country of the Galatians, who occupy Phrygia. In compensation for this injury he paid a fine of three hundred talents to the inhabitants, who had referred the matter to the decision of the Romans. The same was the case at Herpa; for he there obstructed the stream of the Carmalas, and, on the bursting of the dyke, the water damaged some of the places in the Cilician territories about Mallus; he was obliged to make compensation to those who had sustained injury.

9. Although the territory of the Mazaceni is destitute in many respects of natural advantages, it seems to have been preferred by the kings as a place of residence, because it was nearest the centre of those districts which supplied timber, stone for building, and fodder, of which a very large quantity was required for the subsistence of their cattle. Their city was almost a camp. The security of their persons and treasure1094 depended upon the protection afforded by numerous fortresses, some of which belonged to the king, others to their friends.

Mazaca is distant from Pontus1095 about 800 stadia to the south, and from the Euphrates a little less than double that distance; from the Cilician Gates and the camp of Cyrus, a [Pg 284]
[CAS. 539]
journey of six days by way of Tyana,1096 which is situated about the middle of the route, and is distant from Cybistra 300 stadia. The Mazaceni adopt the laws of Charondas, and elect a Nomōdist, (or Chanter of the Laws,) who, like the Jurisconsults of the Romans, is the interpreter of their laws. Tigranes the Armenian, when he overran Cappadocia, treated them with great severity. He forced them to abandon their settlements, and go into Mesopotamia; they peopled Tigranocerta, chiefly by their numbers. Afterwards, upon the capture of Tigranocerta, those who were able returned to their own country.

10. The breadth of the country from Pontus to the Taurus is about 1800 stadia; the length from Lycaonia and Phrygia, as far as the Euphrates to the east, and Armenia, is about 3000 stadia. The soil is fertile, and abounds with fruits of the earth, particularly corn, and with cattle of all kinds. Although it lies more to the south than Pontus, it is colder. Bagadania, although a plain country, and situated more towards the south than any district in Cappadocia, (for it lies at the foot of the Taurus,) produces scarcely any fruit-bearing trees. It affords pasture for wild asses, as does a large portion of the other parts of the country, particularly that about Garsauira, Lycaonia, and Morimene.

In Cappadocia is found the red earth called the Sinopic, which is better than that of any other country. The Spanish only can rival it. It had the name of Sinopic, because the merchants used to bring it down from Sinope, before the traffic of the Ephesians extended as far as the people of Cappadocia. It is said that even plates of crystal and of the onyx stone were discovered by the miners of Archelaus near the country of the Galatians. There was a place where was found a white stone of the colour of ivory in pieces of the size of small whetstones, from which were made handles for small swords. Another place produced large masses of transparent stone for windows, which were exported.

The boundary of Pontus and Cappadocia is a mountainous range parallel to the Taurus, commencing from the western extremities of Chammanene, (where stands Dasmenda, a fortress built upon a precipice,) and extending to the eastern parts of [Pg 285] Laviansene. Both Chammanene and Laviansene are provinces of Cappadocia.

11. When the Romans, after the defeat of Antiochus, first governed Asia, they made treaties of friendship and alliance both with the nations and with the kings. This honour was conferred upon the other kings separately and independently, but upon the king of Cappadocia in common with the nation. On the extinction of the royal race, the Romans admitted the independence of the Cappadocians according to the treaty of friendship and alliance which they had made with the nation. The deputies excused themselves from accepting the liberty which was offered to them, declaring that they were unable to bear it, and requested that a king might be appointed. The Romans were surprised that any people should be unwilling to enjoy liberty, but permitted1097 them to elect by suffrage any one they pleased from among themselves. They elected Ariobarzanes. The race became extinct in the third generation. Archelaus, who was not connected with the nation, was appointed king by Antony.

So much respecting the Greater Cappadocia.

With regard to Cilicia Tracheia, which was annexed to the Greater Cappadocia, it will be better to describe it when we give an account of the whole of Cilicia.


1. Mithridates Eupator was appointed King of Pontus. His kingdom consisted of the country bounded by the Halys,1098 extending to the Tibareni,1099 to Armenia, to the territory within the Halys, extending as far as Amastris,1100 and to some parts of Paphlagonia. He annexed to (the kingdom of) Pontus the sea-coast towards the west as far as Heracleia,1101 the birth-place of Heracleides the Platonic philosopher, and towards [Pg 286]
[CAS. 541]
the east, the country extending to Colchis, and the Lesser Armenia. Pompey, after the overthrow of Mithridates, found the kingdom comprised within these boundaries. He distributed the country towards Armenia and towards Colchis among the princes who had assisted him in the war; the remainder he divided into eleven governments, and annexed them to Bithynia, so that out of both there was formed one province. Some people in the inland parts he subjected to the kings descended from Pylæmenes, in the same manner as he delivered over the Galatians to be governed by tetrarchs of that nation.

In later times the Roman emperors made different divisions of the same country, appointing kings and rulers, making some cities free, and subjecting others to the authority of rulers, others again were left under the dominion of the Roman people.

As we proceed in our description according to the present state of things, we shall touch slightly on their former condition, whenever it may be useful.

I shall begin from Heracleia,1102 which is the most westerly of these places.

2. In sailing out of the Propontis into the Euxine Sea, on the left hand are the parts adjoining to Byzantium, (Constantinople,) and these belong to the Thracians. The parts on the left of the Pontus are called Aristera (or left) of Pontus; the parts on the right are contiguous to Chalcedon. Of these the first tract of country belongs to the Bithynians, the next to the Mariandyni, or, as some say, to the Caucones; next is that of the Paphlagonians, extending to the Halys, then that of the Cappadocians near the Pontus, and then a district reaching to Colchis.1103 All this country has the name of the Dexia (or right) of Pontus. This whole coast, from Colchis to Heracleia, was subject to Mithridates Eupator. But the parts on the other side to the mouth of the Euxine and Chalcedon, remained under the government of the king of Bithynia. After the overthrow of the kings the Romans preserved the same boundaries of the kingdoms; Heracleia was [Pg 287] annexed to Pontus, and the country beyond assigned to the Bithynians.

3. It is generally acknowledged by writers, that the Bithynians, who were formerly Mysians, received this name from Bithynians and Thyni, Thracian people, who came and settled among them. They advance as a proof of their statement, first as regards the Bithynians, that there still exists in Thrace a people called Bithynians, and then, as regards the Thyni, that the sea-shore, near Apollonia1104 and Salmydessus,1105 is called Thynias. The Bebryces, who preceded them as settlers in Mysia, were, as I conjecture, Thracians. We have said1106 that the Mysians themselves were a colony of those Thracians who are now called Mæsi.

Such is the account given of these people.

4. There is not, however, the same agreement among writers with regard to the Mariandyni, and the Caucones. For they say that Heracleia is situated among the Mariandyni, and was founded by Milesians.1107 But who they are, or whence they came, nothing is said. There is no difference in language, nor any other apparent national distinction between them and the Bithynians, whom they resemble in all respects. It is probable therefore the Mariandyni were a Thracian tribe.

Theopompus says that Mariandynus, who governed a part of Paphlagonia, which was subject to many masters, invaded and obtained possession of the country of the Bebryces, and that he gave his own name to the territory which he had before occupied. It is also said that the Milesians who first founded Heracleia, compelled the Mariandyni, the former possessors of the place, to serve as Helots, and even sold them, but not beyond the boundaries of their country. For they were sold on the same conditions as the class of persons called Mnoans, who were slaves to the Cretans, and the Penestæ,1108 who were slaves of the Thessalians.

5. The Caucones, who, according to history, inhabited the line of sea-coast which extends from the Mariandyni as far as the river Parthenius, and to whom belonged the city Tieium,1109 [Pg 288]
[CAS. 542]
are said by some writers to be Scythians, by others a tribe of Macedonians, and by others a tribe of Pelasgi. We have already spoken of these people elsewhere.1110 Callisthenes in his comment upon the enumeration of the ships inserts after this verse,

“Cromna, Ægialus, and the lofty Erythini,”1111

these lines,

“The brave son of Polycles led the Caucones,
Who inhabited the well-known dwellings about the river Parthenius,”

for the territory extends from Heracleia, and the Mariandyni as far as the Leucosyri, whom we call Cappadocians. But the tribe of the Caucones about Tieium extends to the Parthenius; that of the Heneti, who occupy Cytorum,1112 immediately follows the Parthenius, and even at present some Caucones are living about the Parthenius.

6. Heracleia is a city with a good harbour, and of importance in other respects. It has sent out colonies, among which are the Cherronesus,1113 and the Callatis.1114 It was once independent, afterwards for some time it was under the power of tyrants; it again recovered its freedom; but at last, when subject to the Romans, it was governed by kings. It received a colony of Romans, which was settled in a portion of the city, and of its territory. A little before the battle of Actium, Adiatorix, the son of Domnecleius the tetrarch of Galatia, who had received from Antony that portion of the city of which the Heracleiotæ were in possession, attacked the Romans by night, and put them to death by the command, as he said, of Antony; but after the victory at Actium, he was led in triumph, and put to death together with his son. The city belongs to the province of Pontus, which was annexed to Bithynia.

7. Between Chalcedon and Heracleia are several rivers, as the Psillis,1115 the Calpas, and the Sangarius, of which last the poet makes mention.1116 It has its source at the village Sangias, at the distance of 150 stadia from Pessinus. It flows through [Pg 289] the greater part of Phrygia Epictetus, and a part also of Bithynia, so that it is distant from Nicomedia a little more than 300 stadia, where the river Gallus unites with it. The latter river has its source at Modra in Phrygia on the Hellespont, which is the same country as the Epictetus, and was formerly occupied by the Bithynians.

The Sangarius thus increased in bulk, and navigable, although not so formerly, is the boundary of Bithynia at the part of the coast where it discharges itself. In front of this coast is the island Thynia.

In the territory of Heracleia grows the aconite.

This city is distant from the temple at Chalcedon about 1500, and from the Sangarius 500, stadia.

8. Tieium is now a small town and has nothing remarkable belonging to it, except that it was the birth-place of Philetærus, the founder of the family of the Attalic kings.

Next is the river Parthenius, flowing through a country abounding with flowers; from these it obtained its name.1117 Its source is in Paphlagonia. Then succeeded Paphlagonia, and the Heneti. It is a question what Heneti the poet means, when he says,

“the brave Pylæmenes led the Paphlagonians out of the country of the Heneti, where they have a race of wild mules;”1118

for at present, they say, no Heneti are to be found in Paphlagonia. Others say that it is a village on the shore distant ten schœni from Amastris. But Zenodotus writes the verse in this manner, “From Heneta,” and says that it means the present Amisus. According to others it was a tribe bordering upon the Cappadocians, which engaged in an expedition with the Cimmerians, and were afterwards driven away into Adria. But the account most generally received is, that the Heneti were the most considerable tribe of the Paphlagonians; that Pylæmenes was descended from it; that a large body of this people accompanied him to the Trojan war; that when they had lost their leader they passed over to Thrace upon the capture of Troy; and in the course of their wanderings arrived at the present Henetic territory.

Some writers say that both Antenor and his sons participated in this expedition, and settled at the inner recess of the [Pg 290]
[CAS. 544]
gulf of Adria, as we have said in the description of Italy.1119 It is probable that this was the cause of the extinction of the Heneti, and that they were no longer to be found in Paphlagonia.

9. The boundary of the Paphlagonians to the east is the river Halys, which flows from the south between the Syrians and the Paphlagonians; and according to Herodotus,1120 (who means Cappadocians, when he is speaking of Syrians,) discharges itself into the Euxine Sea. Even at present they are called Leuco-Syrians, (or White Syrians,) while those without the Taurus are called Syrians. In comparison with the people within the Taurus, the latter have a burnt complexion; but the former, not having it, received the appellation of Leuco-Syrians (or White Syrians). Pindar says that

“the Amazons commanded a Syrian band, armed with spears with broad iron heads;”

thus designating the people that lived at Themiscyra.1121 Themiscyra belongs to the Amiseni,1122 and the district of the Amiseni to the Leuco-Syrians settled beyond the Halys.

The river Halys forms the boundary of the Paphlagonians to the east; Phrygians and the Galatians settled among that people, on the south; and on the west Bithynians and Mariandyni (for the race of the Caucones has everywhere entirely disappeared); on the north the Euxine. This country is divided into two parts, the inland, and the maritime, extending from the Halys as far as Bithynia. Mithridates Eupator possessed the maritime part as far as Heracleia, and of the inland country he had the district nearest to Heracleia, some parts of which extended even beyond the Halys. These are also the limits of the Roman province of Pontus. The remainder was subject to chiefs, even after the overthrow of Mithridates.

We shall afterwards speak of those Paphlagonians in the inland parts, who were not subject to Mithridates; we propose at present to describe the country which he governed, called Pontus.

10. After the river Parthenius is Amastris, bearing the same name as the princess by whom it was founded. It is [Pg 291] situated upon a peninsula, with harbours on each side of the isthmus. Amastris was the wife of Dionysius, the tyrant of Heracleia, and daughter of Oxyathres, the brother of the Darius who fought against Alexander. She formed the settlement out of four cities, Sesamus, Cytorum, Cromna, (mentioned by Homer in his recital of the Paphlagonian forces,1123) and Tieium, which city however soon separated from the others, but the rest continued united. Of these, Sesamus is called the citadel of Amastris. Cytorum was formerly a mart of the people of Sinope. It had its name from Cytorus, the son of Phrixus, according to Ephorus. Box-wood of the best quality grows in great abundance in the territory of Amastris, and particularly about Cytorum.

Ægialus is a line of sea-coast, in length more than 100 stadia. On it is a village of the same name,1124 which the poet mentions in these lines,

“Cromna, and Ægialus, and the lofty Erythini;”1125

but some authors write,

“Cromna and Cobialus.”

The Erythini are said to be the present Erythrini, and to have their name from their (red) colour. They are two rocks.1126

Next to Ægialus is Carambis, a large promontory stretching towards the north, and the Scythian Chersonesus. We have frequently mentioned this promontory, and the Criu-metopon opposite it, which divides the Euxine into two seas.1127

Next to Carambis is Cinolis,1128 and Anti-Cinolis, and Aboniteichos,1129 a small city, and Armene,1130 which gave rise to the common proverb;

“He who had nothing to do built a wall about Armene.”

It is a village of the Sinopenses, with a harbour.

11. Next is Sinope itself, distant from Armene 50 stadia, the most considerable of all the cities in that quarter. It was founded by Milesians, and when the inhabitants had established a naval force they commanded the sea within the Cyanean [Pg 292]
[CAS. 545]
rocks, and were allies of the Greeks in many naval battles beyond these limits. Although this city was independent for a long period, it did not preserve its liberty to the last, but was taken by siege, and became subject first to Pharnaces, then to his successors, to the time when the Romans put an end to the power of Mithridates Eupator. This prince was born and brought up in this city, on which he conferred distinguished honour, and made it a capital of the kingdom. It has received advantages from nature which have been improved by art. It is built upon the neck of a peninsula; on each side of the isthmus are harbours, stations for vessels, and fisheries worthy of admiration for the capture of the pelamydes. Of these fisheries we have said1131 that the people of Sinope have the second, and the Byzantines the third, in point of excellence.

The peninsula projects in a circular form; the shores are surrounded by a chain of rocks, and in some parts there are cavities, like rocky pits, which are called Chœnicides. These are filled when the sea is high. For the above reason, the place is not easily approached; besides which, along the whole surface of rock the road is covered with sharp-pointed stones, and persons cannot walk upon it with naked feet. The lands in the higher parts and above the city have a good soil, and are adorned with fields dressed as gardens, and this is the case in a still greater degree in the suburbs. The city itself is well secured with walls, and magnificently ornamented with a gymnasium, forum, and porticos. Notwithstanding these advantages for defence, it was twice taken; first by Pharnaces, who attacked it unexpectedly; afterwards by Lucullus, who besieged it while it was harassed by an insidious tyrant within the walls. For Bacchides,1132 who was appointed by the king commander of the garrison, being always suspicious of treachery on the part of those within the city, had disgraced and put many to death. He thus prevented the citizens both from defending themselves with bravery, although capable of making a gallant defence, and from offering terms for a capitulation. The city was therefore captured. Lucullus took away [Pg 293] the Sphere of Billarus,1133 and the Autolycus,1134 the workmanship of Sthenis, whom the citizens regarded as a founder, and honoured as a god; he left the other ornaments of the city untouched. There was there an oracle of Sthenis. He seems to have been one of the companions of Jason in his voyage, and to have got possession of this place. In after times the Milesians, observing the natural advantages of the city, and the weakness of the inhabitants, appropriated it as their own, and sent out colonists. It has at present a Roman colony, and a part of the city and of the territory belongs to the Romans. It is distant from Hieron1135 3500, from Heracleia 2000, and from Carambis 700, stadia. It has produced men distinguished among philosophers, Diogenes the Cynic, and Timotheus surnamed Patrion; among poets, Diphilus, the writer of comedy; among historians, Baton,1136 who wrote the history of Persia.

12. Proceeding thence, next in order is the mouth of the river Halys. It has its name from the hales, or salt mines,1137 near which it flows. It has its source in the Greater Cappadocia, near the territory of Pontus, in Camisene. It flows in a large stream towards the west, then turning to the north through the country of the Galatians and Paphlagonians, forms the boundary of their territory, and of that of the Leuco-Syrians. The tract of land belonging to Sinope and all the mountainous country as far as Bithynia, situated above the sea-coast, which has been described, furnishes timber of excellent quality for ship-building, and is easily conveyed away. The territory of [Pg 294]
[CAS. 546]
Sinope produces the maple, and the mountain nut tree, from which wood for tables is cut. The whole country is planted with the olive, and cultivation begins a little above the sea-coast.

13. Next to the mouth of the Halys is Gadilonítis, extending as far as the Saramene; it is a fertile country, wholly consisting of plains, and produces every kind of fruit. It affords also pasture for flocks of sheep which are covered1138 with skins, and produce a soft wool; very little of this wool is to be found throughout Cappadocia and Pontus. There are also deer,1139 which are rare in other parts.

The Amiseni possess one part of this country. Pompey gave another to Deïotarus, as well as the tract about Pharnacia and Trapezus as far as Colchis and the Lesser Armenia. Pompey appointed him king of these people and countries: he had already inherited the tetrarchy of the Galatians, called the Tolistobogii. Upon his death various persons succeeded to the different parts of his kingdom.

14. Next to Gadilon1140 are the Saramene,1141 and Amisus, a considerable city distant from Sinope about 900 stadia. Theopompus says that the Milesians were the first founders, * * * * * * *1142 [then by] a chief of the Cappadocians; in the third place it received a colony of Athenians under the conduct of Athenocles, and its name was changed to Piræeus.

This city also was in the possession of the kings. Mithridates Eupator embellished it with temples, and added a part to it. Lucullus, and afterwards Pharnaces, who came from across the Bosporus, besieged it. Antony surrendered it to the kings of Pontus, after it had been declared free by Divus Cæsar. Then the Tyrant Strato oppressed the inhabitants, who again recovered their liberty under Cæsar Augustus after the battle of Actium. They are now in a prosperous condition. Among other fertile spots is Themiscyra,1143 the abode of the Amazons, and Sidene.1144

[Pg 295]

15. Themiscyra is a plain, partly washed by the sea, and distant about 60 stadia from the city (Amisus); and partly situated at the foot of a mountainous country, which is well wooded, and intersected with rivers, which have their source among the mountains. A river, named Thermodon, which receives the water of all these rivers, traverses the plain.

Another river very similar to this, of the name of Iris,1145 flowing from a place called Phanarœa,1146 traverses the same plain. It has its sources in Pontus. Flowing westward through the city of Pontic Comana,1147 and through Dazimonitis,1148 a fertile plain, it then turns to the north beside Gaziura,1149 an ancient seat of the kings, but now deserted; it then again returns to the east, where, uniting with the Scylax1150 and other rivers, and taking its course beside the walls of my native place, Amaseia,1151 a very strongly fortified city, proceeds to Phanarœa. There when joined by the Lycus,1152 which rises in Armenia, it becomes the Iris. It then enters Themiscyra, and discharges itself into the Euxine. This plain, therefore, is well watered with dews, is constantly covered with herbage, and is capable of affording food to herds of cattle as well as to horses. The largest crops there consist of panic and millet, or rather they never fail, for the supply of water more than counteracts the effect of all drought; these people, therefore, never on any occasion experience a famine. The country at the foot of the mountains produces so large an autumnal crop of spontaneous-grown wild fruits, of the vine, the pear, the apple, and hazel, that, in all seasons of the year, persons who go into the woods to cut timber gather them in large quantities; the fruit is found either yet hanging upon the trees or lying beneath a deep covering of fallen leaves thickly strewed upon the ground. Wild animals of all kinds, which resort here on account of the abundance of food, are frequently hunted.

16. Next to Themiscyra is Sidene, a fertile plain, but not watered in the same manner by rivers as Themiscyra. It has strongholds on the sea-coast, as Side,1153 from which Sidene has [Pg 296]
[CAS. 548]
its name, Chabaca and Phabda (Phauda).1154 Amisene extends as far as this place.

Among the natives of Amisus1155 distinguished for their learning were the mathematicians Demetrius, the son of Rathenus, and Dionysodorus, of the same name as the Ionian (Milesian?) geometrician, and Tyrannion the grammarian, whose lessons I attended.

17. Next to Sidene is Pharnacia1156 a small fortified city, and then follows Trapezus,1157 a Greek city, to which from Amisus is a voyage of about 2200 stadia; thence to the Phasis about 1400 stadia, so that the sum total of stadia from the Hieron1158 to the Phasis is about 8000 stadia, either more or less.

In sailing along this coast from Amisus we first come to the Heracleian promontory;1159 then succeeds another promontory, Jasonium,1160 and the Genetes;1161 then Cytorus (Cotyorus) a small city,1162 from which Pharnacia received a colony; then Ischopolis, which is in ruins. Next is a bay on which are situated Cerasus, and Hermonassa,1163 small settlements. Near Hermonassa is Trapezus, then Colchis. Somewhere about this place is a settlement called Zygopolis.

I have already spoken of Colchis, and of the sea-coast beyond.1164

18. Above Trapezus and Pharnacia are situated Tibareni, Chaldæi, Sanni, (who were formerly called Macrones,1165) and the Lesser Armenia. The Appaïtæ also, formerly called Cercitæ, are not far from these places. Through the country belonging to these people stretches the Scydises,1166 a very rugged mountain, contiguous to the Moschic mountains1167 above Colchis. The heights of the Scydises are occupied by the Heptacometæ.1168 This country is likewise traversed by the Paryadres,1169 which extends from the neighbourhood of Sidene and Themiscyra to the Lesser Armenia, and forms the eastern side of the Pontus.

[Pg 297]

All the inhabitants of these mountains are quite savage, but the Heptacometæ are more so than all the others. Some of them live among trees, or in small towers, whence the ancients called them Mosynœci,1170 because the towers were called mosȳnes. Their food consists of the flesh of wild animals and the fruits of trees. They attack travellers, leaping down from the floors of their dwellings among the trees. The Heptacometæ cut off three of Pompey’s cohorts, as they were passing through the mountains, by placing on their road vessels filled with maddening honey, which is procured from the branches of trees. The men who had tasted the honey and lost their senses were attacked and easily despatched. Some of these barbarians were called Byzeres.

19. The present Chaldæi were anciently called Chalybes. It is in their territory chiefly that Pharnacia is situated. On the sea-coast it has natural advantages for the capture of the pelamydes. For this fish is first caught at this place. On the mainland there are at present mines of iron; formerly there were also mines of silver. The sea-shore along all these places is very narrow, for directly above it are hills, which abound with mines and forests; much, however, of the country is not cultivated. The miners derive their subsistence from the mines, and the fishermen from the fisheries, especially from the capture of pelamydes and dolphins. The dolphins pursue shoals of fish, the cordyla, the tunny, and even the pelamys; they grow fat on them, and as they approach the land incautiously, are easily taken. They are caught with a bait and then cut into pieces; large quantities of the fat are used for all purposes.

20. These I suppose are the people who are called by Homer Halizoni, who in his Catalogue follow the Paphlagonians.

“But Odius and Epistrophus led the Halizoni
Far from Alybe, where there are silver mines;”1171

whether the writing was changed from “far from Chalybe,” or whether the people were formerly called Alybes instead of Chalybes. We cannot at present say that it is possible that Chaldæi should be read for Chalybes, but it cannot be maintained that formerly Chalybes could not be read for Alybes, especially [Pg 298]
[CAS. 549]
when we know that names are subject to many changes, more especially among barbarians. For example, a tribe of Thracians were called Sinties, then Sinti, then Saii, in whose country Archilochus is said to have thrown away his shield:

“one of the Saii exults in having a shield, which, without blame, I involuntarily left behind in a thicket.”

This same people have now the name of Sapæi. For all these people were settled about Abdera, they also held Lemnos and the islands about Lemnos. Thus also Brygi, Briges, and Phryges are the same people; and Mysi, Mæones, and Meones are the same people. But it is unnecessary to multiply instances of this kind.

The Scepsian (Demetrius) throws some doubt on the alteration of the name from Alybes to Chalybes, but not understanding what follows, nor what accords with it, nor, in particular, why the poet calls the Chalybes Alizoni, he rejects the opinion that there has been an alteration of name. In comparing his opinion with my own I shall consider also the hypotheses entertained by others.

21. Some persons alter the word to Alazones, others to Amazons, and “Alybe” to “Alope,” or “Alobe,” calling the Scythians above the Borysthenes Alazones and Callipidæ, and by other names, about which Hellanicus, Herodotus, and Eudoxus have talked very absurdly; some say that the Amazons were situated between Mysia, Caria, and Lydia near Cyme, which is the opinion also of Ephorus, who was a native of the latter place. And this opinion may not be unreasonable, for he may mean the country which in later times was inhabited by the Æolians and Ionians, but formerly by Amazons. There are some cities, it is said, which have their names from the Amazons; as Ephesus, Smyrna, Cyme, and Myrina. But would any one think of inquiring in these places after Alybe, or, according to some writers, Alope, or Alobe; what would be the meaning of “from afar,” or where is the silver mine?

22. These objections he solves by an alteration in the text, for he writes the verses in this manner,

“But Odius and Epistrophus led the Amazons,
Who came from Alope, whence the tribe of the Amazonides.”

But by this solution he has invented another fiction. For [Pg 299] Alope is nowhere to be found in that situation, and the alteration in the text, itself a great change, and contrary to the authority of ancient copies, looks like an adaptation formed for the occasion.

The Scepsian (Demetrius) does not adopt the opinion of Ephorus, nor does he agree with those who suppose them to be the Halizoni about Pallene, whom we mentioned in the description of Macedonia. He is at a loss also to understand how any one could suppose that auxiliaries could come to the Trojans from the Nomades situated above the Borysthenes. He much approves of the opinion of Hecatæus the Milesian, and of Menecrates of Elea, disciples of Xenocrates, and that of Palæphatus. The first of these says in his work entitled “the Circuit of the Earth,” “near the city Alazia is the river Odrysses, which after flowing through the plain of Mygdonia from the west, out of the lake Dascylitis, empties itself into the Rhyndacus.” He further relates that Alazia is now deserted, but that many villages of the Alazones through which the Odrysses flows are inhabited. In these villages Apollo is worshipped with peculiar honours, and especially on the confines of the Cyziceni.

Menecrates, in his work “the Circuit of the Hellespont,” says that above the places near Myrleia there is a continuous mountain tract occupied by the nation of the Halizoni. The name, he says, ought to be written with two l’s, Hallizoni, but the poet uses one only on account of the metre.

Palæphatus says that Odius and Epistrophus levied their army from among the Amazons then living in Alope, but at present in Zeleia.1172

Do the opinions of these persons deserve approbation? For besides their alteration of the ancient text, and the position of this people, they neither point out the silver mines, nor where in Myrleatis Alope is situated, nor how they, who came thence to Troy, came “from afar,” although it should be granted that there existed an Alope, or an Alazia. For these are much nearer Troy than the places about Ephesus. Those, however, are triflers, in the opinion of Demetrius, who speak of the existence of Amazons near Pygela, between Ephesus, Magnesia, and Priene, for the words “from afar” do not agree with the spot; much less will they agree with a situation about Mysia, and Teuthrania.

[Pg 300]
[CAS. 551]

23. This may be true, says he, but some expressions are to be understood as loosely applied, such as these,

“Far from Ascania,”1173


“His name was Arnæus, given to him by his honoured mother,”1174


“Penelope seized the well-turned key with her firm hand.”1175

But admitting this, the other assertions are not to be allowed to which Demetrius is disposed to attend; nor has he refuted in a convincing manner those persons who maintain that we ought to read “far from Chalybe.” For having conceded that, although at present there are not silver mines among the Chalybes, they might formerly have existed, he does not grant that they were far-famed, and worthy of notice, like the iron mines. But some one may say, what should prevent them from being as famous as the iron mines, or does an abundance of iron make a place celebrated, and not an abundance of silver? Again, if the silver mines had obtained celebrity in the age of Homer, but not in the heroic times, can any one blame the poet’s representation? How did their fame reach him? How did the fame of the copper mines at Temesa in Italy, or of the wealth of Thebes in Egypt, reach his ears, although Egyptian Thebes was situated almost at double the distance of the Chaldæi.

But Demetrius does not altogether agree with those whose opinions he espouses. For when he is describing the neighbourhood of Scepsis his own birth-place, he mentions Enea, a village, Argyria, and Alazonia, as near Scepsis, and the Æsepus;1176 but if these places exist at all, they must be near the sources of the Æsepus. Hecatæus places them beyond the mouths of that river. Palæphatus, who says that the Amazons formerly occupied Alope, and at present Zeleia, does not advance anything in agreement with these statements. But if Menecrates agrees with Demetrius, neither does Menecrates say what this Alope, or Alobe, is, (or, in whatever manner they please to write the name,) nor yet does Demetrius himself.

24. With regard to Apollodorus, who mentions these places in his discourse on the array of the Trojan forces, we have [Pg 301] said much before in reply to him, and we must now speak of him again.1177 He is of opinion that we ought not to understand the Halizoni without the Halys, for no auxiliaries came to Troy from the country on the other side of the Halys. First, then, we will inquire of him who are the Halizoni within the Halys, and situated

“far from Alybe, where are silver mines?”

He will not be able to reply. Next we will ask the reason why he does not admit that some auxiliaries came from the country on the other side of the Halys. For if it was the case, that all the rest were living on this side the Halys, except the Thracians, nothing prevented this one body of allies from coming from afar, from the country beyond the Leuco-Syrians? Or, was it possible for the persons immediately engaged in the war to pass over from those places, and from the country beyond them, as the Amazons, Treres, and Cimmerians, but impossible for allies to do so?

The Amazons were not allies, because Priam had fought in alliance with the Phrygians against them:

“at that time, says Priam, I was among their auxiliaries on that day, when the Amazons came to attack them.”1178

The people also who were living on the borders of the country of the Amazons were not situated at so great a distance that it was difficult to send for them from thence, nor did any animosity exist, I suppose, at that time to prevent them from affording assistance.

25. Nor is there any foundation for the opinion, that all the ancients agree that no people from the country beyond the Halys took part in the Trojan war. Testimony may be found to the contrary. Mæandrius at least says that Heneti came from the country of the Leuco-Syrians to assist the Trojans in the war; that they set sail thence with the Thracians, and settled about the recess of the Adriatic; and that the Heneti, who had no place in the expedition, were Cappadocians. This account seems to agree with the circumstance, that the people inhabiting the whole of that part of Cappadocia near the Halys, which extends along Paphlagonia, speak two dialects, and that their language abounds with Paphlagonian names, as [Pg 302]
[CAS. 553]
Bagas, Biasas, Æniates, Rhatotes, Zardoces, Tibius, Gasys, Oligasys, and Manes. For these names are frequently to be found in the Bamonitis, the Pimolitis, the Gazaluïtis, and Gazacene, and in most of the other districts. Apollodorus himself quotes the words of Homer, altered by Zenodotus;

“from Henete, whence comes a race of wild mules,”

and says, that Hecatæus the Milesian understands Henete to mean Amisus. But we have shown that Amisus belongs to the Leuco-Syrians, and is situated beyond the Halys.

26. He also somewhere says that the poet obtained his knowledge of the Paphlagonians, situated in the interior, from persons who had travelled through the country on foot, but that he was not acquainted with the sea-coast any more than with the rest of the territory of Pontus; for otherwise he would have mentioned it by name. We may, on the contrary, after the description which has just been given of the country, retort and say that he has traversed the whole of the sea-coast, and has omitted nothing worthy of record which existed at that time. It is not surprising that he does not mention Heracleia, Amastris, or Sinope, for they were not founded; nor is it strange that he should omit to speak of the interior of the country; nor is it a proof of ignorance not to specify by name many places which were well known, as we have shown in a preceding part of this work.

He says that Homer was ignorant of much that was remarkable in Pontus, as rivers and nations, otherwise he would have mentioned their names. This may be admitted with respect to some very remarkable nations and rivers, as the Scythians, the Palus Mæotis, and the Danube. For he would not have described the Nomades, by characteristic signs, as living on milk, Abii, a people without certain means of subsistence, “most just” and “renowned Hippemolgi,” (milkers of mares,) and not distinguished them as Scythians, or Sauromatæ, or Sarmatæ, if, indeed, they had these names among the Greeks (at that time). Nor in mentioning the Thracians and Mysians, who live near the Danube, would he have passed over in silence the Danube itself, one of the largest rivers, particularly as, in other instances, he is inclined to mark the boundaries of places by rivers; nor in speaking of the Cimmerians would he have omitted the Bosporus, or the Mæotis.[Pg 303]

27. With respect then to places not so remarkable, or not famous at that time, or not illustrating the subject of his poem, who can blame the poet for omitting them? As, for example, omitting to mention the Don, famed only as it is for being the boundary of Asia and Europe. The persons however of that time were not accustomed to use the name either of Asia or Europe, nor was the habitable earth divided into three continents; otherwise he would have mentioned them by name on account of their strong characteristic marks, as he mentioned by name Libya (Africa), and the Libs (the south-west wind), blowing from the western parts of Africa. But as the continents were not yet distinguished, it was not necessary that he should mention the Don. There were many things worthy of record, which did not occur to him. For both in actions and in discourse much is done and said without any cause or motive, by merely spontaneously presenting itself to the mind.

It is evident from all these circumstances that every person who concludes that because a certain thing is not mentioned by the poet he was therefore ignorant of it, uses a bad argument; and we must prove by several examples that it is bad, for many persons employ this kind of evidence to a great extent. We must refute them therefore by producing such instances as these which follow, although we shall repeat what has been already said.

If any one should maintain that the poet was not acquainted with a river which he has not mentioned, we should say that his argument is absurd, for he has not mentioned by name even the river Meles, which runs by Smyrna, his birth-place according to many writers, while he has mentioned the rivers Hermus and Hyllus by name, but yet not the Pactolus,1179 which discharges itself into the same channel as these rivers, and rises in the mountain Tmolus.1180 He does not mention either Smyrna itself, or the other cities of the Ionians, or most of those of the Æolians, although he specifies Miletus, Samos, Lesbos, and Tenedos. He does not mention the Lethæus, which flows beside Magnesia,1181 nor the Marsyas, which rivers empty themselves into the Mæander,1182 which he mentions by name, as well as

[Pg 304]
[CAS. 554]

“the Rhesus, Heptaporus, Caresus, and Rhodius,”1183

and others, many of which are not more than small streams. While he specifies by name many countries and cities, sometimes he makes an enumeration of rivers and mountains, sometimes he does not do so. He does not mention the rivers in Ætolia and Attica, nor many others. And if, in mentioning people that live afar off, he does not mention those who are very near, it is certainly not through ignorance of them, for they were well known to other writers. With respect to people who were all equally near, he does not observe one rule, for some he mentions, and not others, as for instance he mentions the Lycii, and Solymi, but not the Milyæ, nor Pamphylians, nor Pisidians; the Paphlagonians, Phrygians, and Mysians, but not the Mariandyni, nor Thyni, nor Bithynians, nor Bebryces; the Amazons, but not the Leuco-Syrians, nor Syrians, nor Cappadocians, nor Lycaonians, while he frequently speaks of the Phœnicians, Ægyptians, and Æthiopians. He mentions the Aleian plain, and the Arimi mountains, but not the nation among which these are situated.

The argument drawn from this is false; the true argument would have been to show that the poet has asserted what is not true. Apollodorus has not succeeded in this attempt, and he has more particularly failed when he ventures to call by the name of fiction “the renowned Hippemolgi and Galactophagi.”1184 So much then in reply to Apollodorus. I now return to the part of my description which follows next in order.

28. Above the places about Pharnacia and Trapezus are the Tibareni, and Chaldæi, extending as far as the Lesser Armenia.

The Lesser Armenia is sufficiently fertile. Like Sophene it was always governed by princes who were sometimes in alliance with the other Armenians, and sometimes acting independently. They held in subjection the Chaldæi and Tibareni. Their dominion extended as far as Trapezus and Pharnacia. When Mithridates Eupator became powerful, he made himself master of Colchis, and of all those places which were ceded to him by Antipater the son of Sisis. He bestowed however so much care upon them, that he built seventy-five strongholds, in which he deposited the greatest part of his treasure. The most considerable of these were Hydara, Basgœdariza, and [Pg 305] Sinoria, a fortress situated on the borders of the Greater Armenia, whence Theophanes parodied the name, and called it Synoria.

All the mountainous range of the Paryadres has many such convenient situations for fortresses, being well supplied with water and timber, it is intersected in many places by abrupt ravines and precipices. Here he built most of the strongholds for keeping his treasure. At last on the invasion of the country by Pompey he took refuge in these extreme parts of the kingdom of Pontus, and occupied a mountain near Dasteira in Acilisene, which was well supplied with water. The Euphrates also was near, which is the boundary between Acilisene and the Lesser Armenia. Mithridates remained there till he was besieged and compelled to fly across the mountains into Colchis, and thence to Bosporus. Pompey built near this same place in the Lesser Armenia Nicopolis, a city which yet subsists, and is well inhabited.

29. The Lesser Armenia, which was in the possession of different persons at different times, according to the pleasure of the Romans, was at last subject to Archelaus. The Tibareni, however, and Chaldæi, extending as far as Colchis, Pharnacia, and Trapezus, are under the government of Pythodoris, a prudent woman, and capable of presiding over the management of public affairs. She is the daughter of Pythodorus of Tralles. She was the wife of Polemo, and reigned conjointly with him for some time. She succeeded, after his death, to the throne. He died in the country of the Aspurgiani, a tribe of barbarians living about Sindica. She had two sons by Polemo, and a daughter who was married to Cotys the Sapæan. He was treacherously murdered, and she became a widow. She had children by him, the eldest of whom is now king. Of the sons of Pythodoris, one as a private person, administers, together with his mother, the affairs of the kingdom, the other has been lately made king of the Greater Armenia. Pythodoris however married Archelaus, and remained with him till his death. At present she is a widow, and in possession of the countries before mentioned, and of others still more beautiful, of which we shall next speak.

30. Sidene, and Themiscyra are contiguous to Pharnacia. Above these countries is situated Phanarœa, containing the best portion of the Pontus, for it produces excellent oil and [Pg 306]
[CAS. 556]
wine, and possesses every other property of a good soil. On the eastern side it lies in front of the Paryadres which runs parallel to it; on the western side it has the Lithrus, and the Ophlimus. It forms a valley of considerable length and breadth. The Lycus, coming out of Armenia, flows through this valley, and the Iris, which issues from the passes near Amaseia. Both these rivers unite about the middle of the valley. A city stands at their confluence which the first founder called Eupatoria, after his own name. Pompey found it half-finished, and added to it a territory, furnished it with inhabitants, and called it Magnopolis. It lies in the middle of the plain. Close to the foot of the Paryadres is situated Cabeira, about 150 stadia further to the south than Magnopolis, about which distance likewise, but towards the west, is Amaseia. At Cabeira was the palace of Mithridates, the water-mill, the park for keeping wild animals, the hunting-ground in the neighbourhood, and the mines.

31. There also is the Cainochorion, (New Castle,) as it is called, a fortified and precipitous rock, distant from Cabeira less than 200 stadia. On its summit is a spring, which throws up abundance of water, and at its foot a river, and a deep ravine. The ridge of rocks on which it stands is of very great height, so that it cannot be taken by siege. It is enclosed with an excellent wall, except the part where it has been demolished by the Romans. The whole country around is so covered with wood, so mountainous, and destitute of water, that an enemy cannot encamp within the distance of 120 stadia. There Mithridates had deposited his most valuable effects, which are now in the Capitol, as offerings dedicated by Pompey.

Pythodoris is in possession of all this country; (for it is contiguous to that of the barbarians, which she holds as a conquered country;) she also holds the Zelitis and the Megalopolitis. After Pompey had raised Cabeira to the rank of a city, and called it Diospolis, Pythodoris improved it still more, changed its name to Sebaste, (or Augusta,) and considers it a royal city.

She has also the temple of Mēn surnamed of Pharnaces, at Ameria, a village city, inhabited by a large body of sacred menials, and having annexed to it a sacred territory, the produce of which is always enjoyed by the priest. The kings held this temple in such exceeding veneration, that this was the Royal oath, “by the fortune of the king, and by Mēn of [Pg 307] Pharnaces.” This is also the temple of the moon, like that among the Albani, and those in Phrygia, namely the temple of Mēn in a place of the same name, the temple of Ascæus at Antioch in Pisidia, and another in the territory of Antioch.

32. Above Phanarœa is Comana1185 in Pontus, of the same name as that in the Greater Cappadocia, and dedicated to the same goddess. The temple is a copy of that in Cappadocia, and nearly the same course of religious rites is practised there; the mode of delivering the oracles is the same; the same respect is paid to the priests, as was more particularly the case in the time of the first kings, when twice a year, at what is called the Exodi of the goddess, (when her image is carried in procession,) the priest wore the diadem of the goddess and received the chief honours after the king.

33. We have formerly mentioned Dorylaus the Tactician, who was my mother’s great grandfather; and another Dorylaus, who was the nephew of the former, and the son of Philetærus; I said that, although he had obtained from Mithridates the highest dignities and even the priesthood of Comana, he was detected in the fact of attempting the revolt of the kingdom to the Romans. Upon his fall the family also was disgraced. At a later period however Moaphernes, my mother’s uncle, rose to distinction near upon the dissolution of the kingdom. But a second time he and his friends shared in the misfortunes of the king, except those persons who had anticipated the calamity and deserted him early. This was the case with my maternal grandfather, who, perceiving the unfortunate progress of the affairs of the king in the war with Lucullus, and at the same time being alienated from him by resentment for having lately put to death his nephew Tibius, and his son Theophilus, undertook to avenge their wrongs and his own. He obtained pledges of security from Lucullus, and caused fifteen fortresses to revolt; in return he received magnificent promises. On the arrival of Pompey, who succeeded Lucullus in the conduct of the war, he regarded as enemies (in consequence of the enmity which subsisted between himself and that general) all those persons who had performed any services that were acceptable to Lucullus. On his return home at the conclusion of the war he prevailed upon the senate not to confirm those honours which Lucullus had promised to some persons of [Pg 308]
[CAS. 558]
Pontus, maintaining it to be unjust towards a general who had brought the war to a successful issue, that the rewards and distribution of honours should be placed in the hands of another.

34. The affairs of Comana were administered as has been described in the time of the kings. Pompey, when he had obtained the power, appointed Archelaus priest, and assigned to him a district of two schœni, or 60 stadia in circuit, in addition to the sacred territory, and gave orders to the inhabitants to obey Archelaus. He was their governor, and master of the sacred slaves who inhabited the city, but had not the power of selling them. The slaves amounted to no less than six thousand.

This Archelaus was the son of that Archelaus who received honours from Sylla and the senate; he was the friend of Gabinius, a person of consular rank. When the former was sent into Syria, he came with the expectation of accompanying him, when he was making preparations for the Parthian war, but the senate would not permit him to do so, and he abandoned this, and conceived a greater design.

Ptolemy, the father of Cleopatra, happened at this time to be ejected from his kingdom by the Ægyptians. His daughter however, the elder sister of Cleopatra, was in possession of the throne. When inquiries were making in order to marry her to a husband of royal descent, Archelaus presented himself to those who were negotiating the affair, and pretended to be the son of Mithridates Eupator. He was accepted, but reigned only six months. He was killed by Gabinius in a pitched battle, in his attempt to restore Ptolemy.

35. His son however succeeded to the priesthood, and Lycomedes succeeded him, to whom was assigned an additional district of four schœni (or 120 stadia) in extent. When Lycomedes was dispossessed he was succeeded by Dyteutus, the son of Adiatorix, who still occupies the post, and appears to have obtained this honour from Cæsar Augustus on account of his good conduct on the following occasion.

Cæsar, after leading in triumph Adiatorix, with his wife and children, had resolved to put him to death together with the eldest of his sons. Dyteutus was the eldest; but when the second of his brothers told the soldiers who were leading them away to execution that he was the eldest, there was a contest between the two brothers, which continued for some time, till [Pg 309] the parents prevailed upon Dyteutus to yield to the younger, assigning as a reason, that the eldest would be a better person to protect his mother and his remaining brother. The younger was put to death together with his father; the elder was saved, and obtained this office. When Cæsar was informed of the execution of these persons, he regretted it, and, considering the survivors worthy of his favour and protection, bestowed upon them this honourable appointment.

36. Comana is populous, and is a considerable mart, frequented by persons coming from Armenia. Men and women assemble there from all quarters from the cities and the country to celebrate the festival at the time of the exodi or processions of the goddess. Some persons under the obligation of a vow are always residing there, and perform sacrifices in honour of the goddess.

The inhabitants are voluptuous in their mode of life. All their property is planted with vines, and there is a multitude of women, who make a gain of their persons, most of whom are dedicated to the goddess. The city is almost a little Corinth. On account of the multitude of harlots at Corinth, who are dedicated to Venus, and attracted by the festivities of the place, strangers resorted thither in great numbers. Merchants and soldiers were quite ruined, so that hence the proverb originated,

“every man cannot go to Corinth.”

Such is the character of Comana.

37. All the country around is subject to Pythodoris, and she possesses also Phanarœa, the Zelitis, and the Megalopolitis.

We have already spoken of Phanarœa.

In the district Zelitis is the city Zela,1186 built upon the mound of Semiramis. It contains the temple of Anaïtis, whom the Armenians also worship. Sacrifices are performed with more pomp than in other places, and all the people of Pontus take oaths here in affairs of highest concern. The multitude of the sacred menials, and the honours conferred upon the priests, were in the time of the kings, upon the plan which I have before described. At present, however, everything is under the power of Pythodoris, but many persons had previously reduced the number of the sacred attendants, injured the property and diminished the revenue belonging to the [Pg 310]
[CAS. 560]
temple. The adjacent district of Zelitis, (in which is the city Zela, on the mound of Semiramis,) was reduced by being divided into several governments. Anciently, the kings did not govern Zela as a city, but regarded it as a temple of the Persian gods; the priest was the director of everything relating to its administration. It was inhabited by a multitude of sacred menials, by the priest, who possessed great wealth, and by his numerous attendants; the sacred territory was under the authority of the priest, and it was his own property. Pompey added many provinces to Zelitis, and gave the name of city to Zela, as well as to Megalopolis. He formed Zelitis, Culupene, and Camisene, into one district. The two latter bordered upon the Lesser Armenia, and upon Laviansene. Fossile salt was found in them, and there was an ancient fortress called Camisa, at present in ruins. The Roman governors who next succeeded assigned one portion of these two governments to the priests of Comana, another to the priest of Zela, and another to Ateporix, a chief of the family of the tetrarchs of Galatia; upon his death, this portion, which was not large, became subject to the Romans under the name of a province. This little state is a political body of itself, Carana1187 being united with it as a colony, and hence the district has the name of Caranitis. The other parts are in the possession of Pythodoris, and Dyteutus.

38. There remain to be described the parts of Pontus, situated between this country and the districts of Amisus, and Sinope, extending towards Cappadocia, the Galatians, and the Paphlagonians.

Next to the territory of the Amiseni is Phazemonitis,1188 [Pg 311] which extends as far as the Halys, and which Pompey called Neapolitis. He raised the village Phazemon to the rank of a city, and increasing its extent gave to it the name of Neapolis.1189 The northern side of this tract is bounded by the Gazelonitis, and by the country of the Amiseni; the western side by the Halys; the eastern by Phanarœa; the remainder by the territory of Amasis, my native country, which surpasses all the rest in extent and fertility.

The part of Phazemonitis towards Phanarœa is occupied by a lake, sea-like in magnitude, called Stiphane,1190 which abounds with fish, and has around it a large range of pasture adapted to all kinds of animals. Close upon it is a strong fortress, Cizari, [Icizari,] at present deserted, and near it a royal seat in ruins. The rest of the country in general is bare, but produces corn.

Above the district of Amasis are the hot springs1191 of the Phazemonitæ, highly salubrious, and the Sagylium,1192 a stronghold situated on a lofty perpendicular hill, stretching upwards and terminating in a sharp peak. In this fortress is a reservoir well supplied with water, which is at present neglected, but was useful, on many occasions, to the kings. Here the sons of Pharnaces the king captured and put to death Arsaces, who was governing without the authority of the Roman generals, and endeavouring to produce a revolution in the state. The fortress was taken by Polemo and Lycomedes, both of them kings, by famine and not by storm. Arsaces, being prevented from escaping into the plains, fled to the mountains without provisions. There he found the wells choked up with large pieces of rock. This had been done by order of Pompey, who had directed the fortresses to be demolished, and to leave nothing in them that could be serviceable to robbers, who might use them as places of refuge. Such was the settlement of the Phazemonitis made by Pompey. Those who came afterwards divided this district among various kings.

39. My native city, Amaseia, lies in a deep and extensive valley, through which runs the river Iris.1193 It is indebted to nature and art for its admirable position and construction. It [Pg 312]
[CAS. 561]
answers the double purpose of a city and a fortress. It is a high rock, precipitous on all sides, descending rapidly down to the river: on the margin of the river, where the city stands, is a wall, and a wall also which ascends on each side of the city to the peaks, of which there are two, united by nature, and completely fortified with towers. In this circuit of the wall are the palace, and the monuments of the kings. The peaks are connected together by a very narrow ridge, in height five or six stadia on each side, as you ascend from the banks of the river, and from the suburbs. From the ridge to the peaks there remains another sharp ascent of a stadium in length, which defies the attacks of an enemy. Within the rock are reservoirs of water, the supply from which the inhabitants cannot be deprived of, as two channels are cut, one in the direction of the river, the other of the ridge. Two bridges are built over the river, one leading from the city to the suburbs, the other from the suburbs to the country beyond; for near this bridge the mountain, which overhangs the rock, terminates.

A valley extends from the river; it is not very wide at its commencement, but afterwards increases in breadth, and forms the plain called the Chiliocomon (The Thousand Villages). Next is the Diacopene, and the Pimolisene, the whole of which is a fertile district extending to the Halys.

These are the northern parts of the country of the Amasenses, and are in length about 500 stadia. Then follows the remainder, which is much longer, extending as far as Babanomus, and the Ximene,1194 which itself reaches to the Halys. The breadth is reckoned from north to south, to the Zelitis and the Greater Cappadocia, as far as the Trocmi.1195 In Ximene there is found fossile salt, (ἅλες, Hales,) from which it is supposed the river had the name of Halys. There are many ruined fortresses in my native country, and large tracts of land made a desert by the Mithridatic war. The whole of it, however, abounds with trees. It affords pasture for horses, and is adapted to the subsistence of other animals; the whole of it is very habitable. Amaseia was given to the kings, but at present it is a (Roman) province.

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40. There remains to be described the country within the Halys, belonging to the province of Pontus, and situated about the Olgassys,1196 and contiguous to the Sinopic district. The Olgassys is a very lofty mountain, and difficult to be passed. The Paphlagonians have erected temples in every part of this mountain. The country around, the Blaene, and the Domanītis, through which the river Amnias1197 runs, is sufficiently fertile. Here it was that Mithridates Eupator entirely destroyed1198 the army of Nicomedes the Bithynian, not in person, for he himself happened to be absent, but by his generals. Nicomedes fled with a few followers, and escaped into his own country, and thence sailed to Italy. Mithridates pursued him, and made himself master of Bithynia as soon as he entered it, and obtained possession of Asia as far as Caria and Lycia. Here is situated Pompeiopolis,1199 in which city is the Sandaracurgium,1200 (or Sandaraca works,) it is not far distant from Pimolisa, a royal fortress in ruins, from which the country on each side of the river is called Pimolisene. The Sandaracurgium is a mountain hollowed out by large trenches made by workmen in the process of mining. The work is always carried on at the public charge, and slaves were employed in the mine who had been sold on account of their crimes. Besides the great labour of the employment, the air is said to be destructive of life, and scarcely endurable in consequence of the strong odour issuing from the masses of mineral; hence the slaves are short-lived. The mining is frequently suspended from its becoming unprofitable, for great expense is incurred by the employment of more than two hundred workmen, whose number is continually diminishing by disease and fatal accidents.

So much respecting Pontus.

41. Next to Pompeiopolis is the remainder of the inland parts of Paphlagonia as far as Bithynia towards the west. This tract, although small in extent, was governed, a little before our time, by several princes, but their race is extinct; at present it is in possession of the Romans. The parts bordering upon Bithynia are called Timonitis; the country of Gezatorix, [Pg 314]
[CAS. 562]
Marmolitis, Sanisene, and Potamia. There was also a Cimiatene, in which was Cimiata, a strong fortress situated at the foot of the mountainous range of the Olgassys. Mithridates, surnamed Ctistes, (or the Founder,) made it his head-quarters when engaged in the conquest of Pontus, and his successors kept possession of it to the time of Mithridates Eupator. The last king of Paphlagonia was Deïotarus,1201 son of Castor, and surnamed Philadelphus, who possessed Gangra,1202 containing the palace of Morzeus, a small town, and a fortress.

42. Eudoxus, without defining the spot, says, that fossil fish1203 are found in Paphlagonia in dry ground, and in marshy ground also about the lake Ascanius,1204 which is below Cius, but he gives no clear information on the subject.

We have described Paphlagonia bordering upon Pontus; and as the Bithynians border upon the Paphlagonians towards the west, we shall endeavour to describe this region also. We shall then set out again from the Bithynians and the Paphlagonians, and describe the parts of the country next to these nations lying towards the south; they extend as far as the Taurus, and are parallel to Pontus and Cappadocia; for some order and division of this kind are suggested by the nature of the places.


1. Bithynia is bounded on the east by the Paphlagonians, Mariandyni, and by some tribes of the Epicteti; on the north by the line of the sea-coast of the Euxine, extending from the mouth of the Sangarius1205 to the straits at Byzantium and Chalcedon; on the west by the Propontis; on the south by Mysia and Phrygia Epictetus, as it is called, which has the name also of Hellespontic Phrygia.

[Pg 315]

2. Here upon the mouth of the Pontus is situated Chalcedon, founded by the Megareans,1206 the village Chrysopolis, and the Chalcedonian temple. In the country a little above the sea-coast is a fountain, Azaritia, (Azaretia?) which breeds small crocodiles.

Next follows the coast of the Chalcedonians, the bay of Astacus,1207 as it is called, which is a part of the Propontis.

Here Nicomedia1208 is situated, bearing the name of one of the Bithynian kings by whom it was founded. Many kings however have taken the same name, as the Ptolemies, on account of the fame of the first person who bore it.

On the same bay was Astacus a city founded by Megareans and Athenians; it was afterwards again colonized by Dœdalsus. The bay had its name from the city. It was razed by Lysimachus. The founder of Nicomedia transferred its inhabitants to the latter city.

3. There is another bay1209 continuous with that of Astacus, which advances further towards the east, and where is situated Prusias,1210 formerly called Cius. Philip, the son of Demetrius, and father of Perseus, gave it to Prusias, son of Zelas, who had assisted him in destroying both this and Myrleia,1211 a neighbouring city, and also situated near Prusa. He rebuilt them from their ruins, and called the city Cius Prusias, after his own name, and Myrleia he called Apameia, after that of his wife. This is the Prusias who received Hannibal, (who took refuge with him hither after the defeat of Antiochus,) and retired from Phrygia1212 on the Hellespont, according to agreement with the Attalici.1213 This country was formerly called Lesser Phrygia, but by the Attalici Phrygia Epictetus.1214 Above Prusias is a mountain which is called Arganthonius.1215 Here is the scene of the fable of Hylas, one of the companions of Hercules in the ship Argo, who, having disembarked in order to obtain water for the vessel, was carried away by nymphs. Cius, as the story goes, was a friend and companion of Hercules; on his return from Colchis, he settled there and founded the city which bears his name. At the present time a festival called Oreibasia, [Pg 316]
[CAS. 564]
is celebrated by the Prusienses, who wander about the mountains and woods, a rebel rout, calling on Hylas by name, as though in search of him.

The Prusienses having shown a friendly disposition towards the Romans in their administration of public affairs, obtained their freedom. But the Apamies were obliged to admit a Roman colony.

Prusa, situated below the Mysian Olympus, on the borders of the Phrygians and the Mysians, is a well-governed city; it was founded by Cyrus,1216 who made war against Crœsus.

4. It is difficult to define the boundaries of the Bithynians, Mysians, Phrygians, of the Doliones about Cyzicus, and of the Mygdones and Troes; it is generally admitted that each of these tribes ought to be placed apart from the other. A proverbial saying is applied to the Phrygians and Mysians,

“The boundaries of the Mysi and Phryges are apart from one another,”

but it is difficult to define them respectively. The reason is this; strangers who came into the country were soldiers and barbarians; they had no fixed settlement in the country of which they obtained possession, but were, for the most part, wanderers, expelling others from their territory, and being expelled themselves. All these nations might be supposed to be Thracians, because Thracians occupy the country on the other side, and because they do not differ much from one another.

5. But as far as we are able to conjecture, we may place Mysia between Bithynia and the mouth of the Æsepus, contiguous to the sea, and nearly along the whole of Olympus. Around it, in the interior, is the Epictetus, nowhere reaching the sea, and extending as far as the eastern parts of the Ascanian lake and district, for both bear the same name. Part of this territory was Phrygian, and part Mysian; the Phrygian was further distant from Troy; and so we must understand the words of the poet1217, when he says,

“Phorcys, and the godlike Ascanius, were the leaders of the Phryges far from Ascania,”

that is, the Phrygian Ascania; for the other, the Mysian Ascania, was nearer to the present Nicæa, which he mentions, when he says,

[Pg 317]

“Palmys, Ascanius, and Morys, sons of Hippotion, the leader of the Mysi, fighting in close combat, who came from the fertile soil of Ascania, as auxiliaries.”1218

It is not then surprising that he should speak of an Ascanius, a leader of the Phrygians, who came from Ascania, and of an Ascanius, a leader of the Mysians, coming also from Ascania, for there is much repetition of names derived from rivers, lakes, and places.

6. The poet himself assigns the Æsepus as the boundary of the Mysians, for after having described the country above Ilium, and lying along the foot of the mountains subject to Æneas, and which he calls Dardania, he places next towards the north Lycia, which was subject to Pandarus, and where Zeleia1219 was situated; he says,

“They who inhabited Zeleia, at the very foot of Ida, Aphneii Trojans, who drink of the dark stream of Æsepus;”1220

below Zeleia, towards the sea, on this side of Æsepus, lies the plain of Adrasteia, and Tereia, Pitya, and in general the present district of Cyzicene near Priapus,1221 which he afterwards describes. He then returns again to the parts towards the east, and to those lying above, by which he shows that he considered the country as far as the Æsepus the northern and eastern boundary of the Troad. Next to the Troad are Mysia and Olympus.1222 Ancient tradition then suggests some such disposition of these nations. But the present changes have produced many differences in consequence of the continual succession of governors of the country, who confounded together people and districts, and separated others. The Phrygians and Mysians were masters of the country after the capture of Troy; afterwards the Lydians; then the Æolians and Ionians; next, the Persians and Macedonians; lastly, the Romans, under whose government most of the tribes have lost even their languages and names, in consequence of a new partition of the country having been made. It will be proper to take this into consideration when we describe its present state, at the same time showing a due regard to antiquity.

7. In the inland parts of Bithynia is Bithynium,1223 situated above Tieium,1224 and to which belongs the country about Salon, [Pg 318]
[CAS. 565]
affording the best pasturage for cattle, whence comes the cheese of Salon. Nicæa,1225 the capital of Bithynia, is situated on the Ascanian lake. It is surrounded by a very large and very fertile plain, which in the summer is not very healthy. Its first founder was Antigonus, the son of Philip, who called it Antigonia. It was then rebuilt by Lysimachus, who changed its name to that of his wife Nicæa. She was the daughter of Antipater. The city is situated in a plain. Its shape is quadrangular, eleven stadia in circuit. It has four gates. Its streets are divided at right angles, so that the four gates may be seen from a single stone, set up in the middle of the Gymnasium. A little above the Ascanian lake is Otrœa, a small town situated just on the borders of Bithynia towards the east. It is conjectured that Otrœa was so called from Otreus.

8. That Bithynia was a colony of the Mysians, first Scylax of Caryanda will testify, who says that Phrygians and Mysians dwell around the Ascanian lake. The next witness is Dionysius, who composed a work on “the foundation of cities.” He says that the straits at Chalcedon, and Byzantium, which are now called the Thracian, were formerly called the Mysian Bosporus. Some person might allege this as a proof that the Mysians were Thracians; and Euphorio says,

“by the waters of the Mysian Ascanius;”

and thus also Alexander the Ætolian,

“who have their dwellings near the Ascanian waters, on the margin of the Ascanian lake, where Dolion dwelt, the son of Silenus and of Melia.”

These authors testify the same thing, because the Ascanian lake is found in no other situation but this.

9. Men distinguished for their learning, natives of Bithynia, were Xenocrates the philosopher, Dionysius the dialectician, Hipparchus, Theodosius and his sons the mathematicians, Cleophanes the rhetorician of Myrleia, and Asclepiades the physician of Prusa.1226

[Pg 319]

10. To the south of the Bithynians are the Mysians about Olympus (whom some writers call Bithyni Olympeni, and others Hellespontii) and Phrygia upon the Hellespont. To the south of the Paphlagonians are the Galatians, and still further to the south of both these nations are the Greater Phrygia, and Lycaonia, extending as far as the Cilician and Pisidian Taurus. But since the parts continuous with Paphlagonia adjoin Pontus, Cappadocia, and the nations which we have just described, it may be proper first to give an account of the parts in the neighbourhood of these nations, and then proceed to a description of the places next in order.


1. To the south of the Paphlagonians are the Galatians, of whom there are three tribes; two of them, the Trocmi and the Tolistobogii, have their names from their chiefs; the third, the Tectosages, from the tribe of that name in Celtica. The Galatians took possession of this country after wandering about for a long period, and overrunning the country subject to the Attalic and the Bithynian kings, until they received by a voluntary cession the present Galatia, or Gallo-Græcia, as it is called. Leonnorius seems to have been the chief leader of these people when they passed over into Asia. There were three nations that spoke the same language, and in no respect differed from one another. Each of them was divided into four portions called tetrarchies, and had its own tetrarch, its own judge, and one superintendent of the army, all of whom were under the control of the tetrarch, and two subordinate superintendents [Pg 320]
[CAS. 567]
of the army. The Council of the twelve Tetrarchs consisted of three hundred persons, who assembled at a place called the Drynemetum.1227 The council determined causes relative to murder, the others were decided by the tetrarchs and the judges. Such, anciently, was the political constitution of Galatia; but, in our time, the government was in the hands of three chiefs, then of two, and at last it was administered by Deïotarus, who was succeeded by Amyntas. At present, the Romans possess this as well as all the country which was subject to Amyntas, and have reduced it into one province.

2. The Trocmi occupy the parts near Pontus and Cappadocia, which are the best which the Galatians possess. They have three walled fortresses, Tavium, a mart for the people in that quarter, where there is a colossal statue of Jupiter in brass, and a grove, which is used as a place of refuge; Mithridatium, which Pompey gave to Bogodiatarus, (Deïotarus?) having separated it from the kingdom of Pontus; and thirdly, Danala, where Pompey, when he was about to leave the country to celebrate his triumph, met Lucullus and delivered over to him as his successor the command of the war.

This is the country which the Trocmi possess.

The Tectosages occupy the parts towards the greater Phrygia near Pessinus,1228 and the Orcaorci. They had the fortress Ancyra,1229 of the same name as the small Phrygian city towards Lydia near Blaudus.1230 The Tolistobogii border upon the Bithynians, and Phrygia Epictetus, as it is called. They possess the fortresses Blucium, (Luceium,) which was the royal seat of Deïotarus, and Peïum, which was his treasure-hold.

3. Pessinus is the largest mart of any in that quarter. It contains a temple of the Mother of the Gods, held in the highest veneration. The goddess is called Agdistis. The priests anciently were a sort of sovereigns, and derived a large revenue from their office. At present their consequence is much diminished, but the mart still subsists. The sacred enclosure was adorned with fitting magnificence by the Attalic kings,1231 with a temple, and porticos of marble. The Romans [Pg 321] gave importance to the temple by sending for the statue of the goddess from thence according to the oracle of the Sibyl, as they had sent for that of Asclepius from Epidaurus.

The mountain Dindymus is situated above the city; from Dindymus comes Dindymene, as from Cybela, Cybele. Near it runs the river Sangarius, and on its banks are the ancient dwellings of the Phrygians, of Midas, and of Gordius before his time, and of some others, which do not preserve the vestiges of cities, but are villages a little larger than the rest. Such is Gordium,1232 and Gorbeus (Gordeus), the royal seat of Castor, son of Saocondarius, (Saocondarus?) in which he was put to death by his father-in-law, Deïotarus, who there also murdered his own daughter. Deïotarus razed the fortress, and destroyed the greater part of the settlement.

4. Next to Galatia towards the south is the lake Tatta,1233 lying parallel to that part of the Greater Cappadocia which is near the Morimeni. It belongs to the Greater Phrygia, as well as the country continuous with this, and extending as far as the Taurus, and of which Amyntas possessed the greatest part. Tatta is a natural salt-pan. The water so readily makes a deposit around everything immersed in it, that upon letting down wreaths formed of rope, chaplets of salt are drawn up. If birds touch the surface of the water with their wings, they immediately fall down in consequence of the concretion of the salt upon them, and are thus taken.


1. Such is the description of Tatta. The places around Orcaorci, Pitnisus and the mountainous plains of Lycaonia, are cold and bare, affording pasture only for wild asses; there is a great scarcity of water, but wherever it is found the wells are very deep, as at Soatra, where it is even sold. Soatra is a village city near Garsabora (Garsaura?). Although the country is ill supplied with water, it is surprisingly well adapted for feeding sheep, but the wool is coarse. Some persons have acquired very great wealth by these flocks alone. Amyntas had above three hundred flocks of sheep in these [Pg 322]
[CAS. 568]
parts. In this district there are two lakes, the greater Coralis, the smaller Trogitis. Somewhere here is Iconium,1234 a small town, well built, about which is a more fertile tract of land than the pastures for the wild asses before mentioned. Polemo possessed this place.

Here the Taurus approaches this country, separating Cappadocia and Lycaonia from Cilicia Tracheia. It is the boundary of the Lycaonians and Cappadocians, between Coropassus, a village of the Lycaonians, and Gareathyra (Garsaura), a small town of the Cappadocians. The distance between these fortressess is about 120 stadia.

2. To Lycaonia belongs Isaurica, near the Taurus, in which are the Isaura, two villages of the same name, one of which is surnamed Palæa, or the Old, the other [the New], the latter is well fortified.1235 There were many other villages dependent upon these. They are all of them, however, the dwellings of robbers. They occasioned much trouble to the Romans, and to Publius Servilius, surnamed Isauricus, with whom I was acquainted; he subjected these places to the Romans, and destroyed also many of the strong-holds of the pirates, situated upon the sea.

3. Derbe,1236 the royal seat of the tyrant Antipater, surnamed Derbætes, is on the side of the Isaurian territory close upon Cappadocia. Laranda1237 also belonged to Antipater. In my time Amyntas attacked and killed Antipater Derbætes, and got possession of the Isaura and of Derbe. The Romans gave him the Isaura where he built a palace for himself, after having destroyed Isauria Palæa (the Old). He began to build in the same place a new wall, but before its completion he was killed by the Cilicians in an ambuscade, when invading the country of the Homonadeis.

4. For being in possession of Antiocheia near Pisidia, and the country as far as Apollonias,1238 near Apameia Cibotus,1239 some parts of the Paroreia, and Lycaonia, he attempted to exterminate the Cilicians and Pisidians, who descended from the Taurus and overran this district, which belonged to the Phrygians and Cilicians (Lycaonians). He razed also many [Pg 323] fortresses, which before this time were considered impregnable, among which was Cremna, but he did not attempt to take by storm Sandalium, situated between Cremna and Sagalassus.

5. Cremna is occupied by a Roman colony.

Sagalassus is under the command of the same Roman governor, to whom all the kingdom of Amyntas is subject. It is distant from Apameia a day’s journey, having a descent of nearly 30 stadia from the fortress. It has the name also of Selgessus. It was taken by Alexander.

Amyntas made himself master of Cremna and passed into the country of the Homonadeis, who were supposed to be the most difficult to reduce of all the tribes. He had already got into his power most of their strong-holds, and had killed the tyrant himself, when he was taken prisoner by an artifice of the wife of the tyrant, whom he had killed, and was put to death by the people. Cyrinius (Quirinus)1240 reduced them by famine and took four thousand men prisoners, whom he settled as inhabitants in the neighbouring cities, but he left no person in the country in the prime of life.

Among the heights of Taurus, and in the midst of rocks and precipices for the most part inaccessible, is a hollow and fertile plain divided into several valleys. The inhabitants cultivate this plain, but live among the overhanging heights of the mountains, or in caves. They are for the most part armed, and accustomed to make incursions into the country of other tribes, their own being protected by mountains, which serve as a wall.


1. Contiguous to these, among other tribes of the Pisidians, are the Selgeis, the most considerable tribe of the nation.

The greater part of the Pisidians occupy the summits of Taurus, but some tribes situated above Side1241 and [Pg 324]
[CAS. 570]
Aspendus,1242 which are Pamphylian cities, occupy heights, all of which are planted with olives. The parts above these, a mountainous country, are occupied by the Catennenses, who border upon the Selgeis and the Homonadeis. The Sagalasseis occupy the parts within the Taurus towards Milyas.

2. Artemidorus says that Selge, Sagalassus, Petnelissus, Adada, Tymbrias, Cremna, Pityassus, (Tityassus?) Amblada, Anabura, Sinda, Aarassus, Tarbassus, Termessus, are cities of the Pisidians. Of these some are entirely among the mountains, others extend on each side even as far as the country at the foot of the mountains, and reach to Pamphylia and Milyas, and border on Phrygians, Lydians, and Carians, all of whom are disposed to peace, although situated to the north.1243

The Pamphylians, who partake much of the character of the Cilician nation, do not altogether abstain from predatory enterprises, nor permit the people on the confines to live in peace, although they occupy the southern parts of the country at the foot of Taurus.

On the confines of Phrygia and Caria, are Tabæ,1244 Sinda, and Amblada, whence is procured the Amblada wine, which is used in diet prescribed for the sick.

3. All the rest of the mountain tribes of the Pisidians whom I have spoken of are divided into states governed by tyrants, and follow like the Cilicians a predatory mode of life. It is said that anciently some of the Leleges, a wandering people, were intermixed with them, and from the similarity of their habits and manners settled there.

Selge1245 had the rank of a city from the first when founded by the Lacedæmonians, but at a still earlier period by Calchas. Latterly it has maintained its condition and flourished in consequence of its excellent constitution and government, so that at one time it had a population of 20,000 persons. The place deserves admiration from the advantages which nature has bestowed upon it. Among the summits of Taurus is a very fertile tract capable of maintaining many thousand inhabitants. Many spots produce the olive and excellent vines, and afford abundant pasture for animals of all kinds. Above and [Pg 325] all around are forests containing trees of various sorts. The styrax is found here in great abundance, a tree not large but straight in its growth. Javelins, similar to those of the cornel tree, are made of the wood of this tree. There is bred in the trunk of the styrax tree, a worm, which eats through the timber to the surface, and throws out raspings like bran, or saw-dust, a heap of which is collected at the root. Afterwards a liquid distils which readily concretes into a mass like gum. A part of this liquid descends upon and mixes with the raspings at the root of the tree, and with earth; a portion of it acquires consistence on the surface of the mass, and remains pure. That portion which flows along the surface of the trunk of the tree, and concretes, is also pure. A mixture is made of the impure part, which is a combination of wood-dust and earth; this has more odour than the pure styrax, but is inferior to it in its other properties. This is not commonly known. It is used for incense in large quantities by superstitious worshippers of the gods.

The Selgic iris1246 also, and the unguent which is made from it, are in great esteem. There are few approaches about the city, and the mountainous country of the Selgeis, which abounds with precipices and ravines, formed among other rivers by the Eurymedon1247 and the Cestrus,1248 which descend from the Selgic mountains, and discharge themselves into the Pamphylian Sea. There are bridges on the roads. From the strength and security of their position the Selgeis were never at any time, nor on any single occasion, subject to any other people, but enjoyed unmolested the produce of their country, with the exception of that part situated below them in Pamphylia, and that within the Taurus, for which they were carrying on a continual warfare with the kings.

Their position with respect to the Romans was that they possessed this tract on certain conditions. They sent ambassadors to Alexander and offered to receive his commands in the character of friends, but at present they are altogether subject to the Romans, and are included in what was formerly the kingdom of Amyntas.

[Pg 326]
[CAS. 571]


1. The people called Mysians, and Phrygians, who live around the so-called Mysian Olympus, border upon the Bithynians to the south. Each of these nations is divided into two parts. One is called the Greater Phrygia, of which Midas was king. A part of it was occupied by the Galatians. The other is the Lesser, or Phrygia on the Hellespont, or Phrygia around Olympus, and is also called Epictetus.

Mysia is also divided into two parts; Olympic Mysia, which is continuous with Bithynia, and with the Epictetus, (which, Artemidorus says, was inhabited by the Mysians beyond the Danube,) and the part around the Caïcus,1249 and the Pergamene1250 as far as Teuthrania, and the mouths of the river.

2. This country, however, as we have frequently observed, has undergone so many changes, that it is uncertain whether the district around Sipylus,1251 which the ancients called Phrygia, were a part of the Greater or the Lesser Phrygia, from whence Tantalus, Pelops, and Niobe were called Phrygians. Whatever the explanation may be, the change is certain. For Pergamene and Elaïtis,1252 through which country the Caïcus passes, and empties itself into the sea, and Teuthrania, situated between these two districts, where Teuthras lived, and Telephus was brought up, lies between the Hellespont, and the country about Sipylus, and Magnesia, which is at the foot of the mountain, so that, as I have said, it is difficult

“To assign the confines of the Mysians and Phryges.”—

3. The Lydians also, and the Mæones, whom Homer calls Meones, are in some way confounded with these people and with one another; some authors say that they are the same, others that they are different, nations. Add to this that some writers regard the Mysians as Thracians, others as Lydians, according to an ancient tradition, which has been preserved by Xanthus the Lydian, and by Menecrates of Elæa, who assign as the origin of the name Mysians, that the Lydians call the beech-tree (Oxya) Mysos, which grows in great abundance near Olympus, where it is said decimated persons1253 were exposed, whose descendants are the [Pg 327] later Mysians, and received their appellation from the Mysos, or beech-tree growing in that country. The language also is an evidence of this. It is a mixture of Lydian and Phrygian words, for they lived some time in the neighbourhood of Olympus. But when the Phrygians passed over from Thrace, and put to death the chief of Troy and of the country near it, they settled here, but the Mysians established themselves above the sources of the Caïcus near Lydia.

4. The confusion which has existed among the nations in this district, and even the fertility of the country within the Halys, particularly near the sea, have contributed to the invention of fables of this sort. The richness of the country provoked attacks, from various quarters, and at all times, of tribes who came from the opposite coast, or neighbouring people contended with one another for the possession of it. Inroads and migrations took place chiefly about the period of the Trojan war, and subsequently to that time, Barbarians as well as Greeks showing an eagerness to get possession of the territory of other nations. This disposition, however, showed itself before the time of the Trojan war; for there existed then tribes of Pelasgi, Caucones, and Leleges, who are said to have wandered, anciently, over various parts of Europe. The poet represents them as assisting the Trojans, but not as coming from the opposite coast. The accounts respecting the Phrygians and the Mysians are more ancient than the Trojan times.

Two tribes bearing the name of Lycians, lead us to suppose that they are the same race; either the Trojan Lycians sent colonies to the Carians, or the Carian Lycians to the Trojans. Perhaps the same may be the case with the Cilicians, for they also are divided into two tribes; but we have not the same evidence that the present Cilicians existed before the Trojan times. Telephus may be supposed to have come with his mother from Arcadia; by her marriage with Teuthras, (who had received them as his guests,) Telephus was admitted into the [Pg 328]
[CAS. 572]
family of Teuthras, was reputed to be his son, and succeeded to the kingdom of the Mysians.

5. “The Carians, who were formerly islanders, and Leleges,” it is said, “settled on the continent with the assistance of the Cretans. They built Miletus, of which the founder was Sarpedon from Miletus in Crete. They settled the colony of Termilæ in the present Lycia, but, according to Herodotus,1254 these people were a colony from Crete under the conduct of Sarpedon, brother of Minos and Rhadamanthus, who gave the name of Termilæ to the people formerly called Milyæ, and still more anciently Solymi; when, however, Lycus the son of Pandion arrived, he called them Lycii after his own name.” This account shows that the Solymi and Lycians were the same people, but the poet distinguishes them. He represents Bellerophon setting out from Lycia, and

“fighting with the renowned Solymi.”1255

He says Peisander (Isander?), his son, Mars

“slew when fighting with the Solymi,”1256

and speaks of Sarpedon as a native of Lycia.1257

6. That the common prize, proposed to be obtained by the conquerors, was the fertile country which I am describing, is confirmed by many circumstances which happened both before and after the Trojan times. When even the Amazons ventured to invade it, Priam and Bellerophon are said to have undertaken an expedition against these women. Anciently there were cities which bore the names of the Amazons. In the Ilian plain there is a hill

“which men call Batieia, but the immortals, the tomb of the bounding (πολυσκάρθμοιο) Myrina,”

who, according to historians, was one of the Amazons, and they found this conjecture on the epithet, for horses are said to be εὐσκάρθμοι on account of their speed; and she was called πολύσκαρθμος from the rapidity with which she drove the chariot. Myrina therefore, the place, was named after the Amazon. In the same manner the neighbouring islands were invaded on account of their fertility; among which were Rhodes and Cos. That they were inhabited before the Trojan times clearly appears from the testimony of Homer.1258

[Pg 329]

7. After the Trojan times, the migrations of Greeks and of Treres, the inroads of Cimmerians and Lydians, afterwards of Persians and Macedonians, and lastly of Galatians, threw everything into confusion. An obscurity arose not from these changes only, but from the disagreement between authors in their narration of the same events, and in their description of the same persons; for they called Trojans Phrygians, like the Tragic poets; and Lycians Carians, and similarly in other instances. The Trojans who, from a small beginning, increased so much in power that they became kings of kings, furnished a motive to the poet and his interpreters, for determining what country ought to be called Troy. For the poet calls by the common name of Trojans all their auxiliaries, as he calls their enemies Danai and Achæi. But certainly we should not give the name of Troy to Paphlagonia, or to Caria, or to Lycia, which borders upon it. I mean when the poet says,

“the Trojans advanced with the clashing of armour and shouts,”1259

and where he speaks of their enemies,

“but the Achæi advanced silently, breathing forth warlike ardour,”1260

and thus frequently in other passages.

We must endeavour, however, to distinguish as far as we are able one nation from another, notwithstanding this uncertainty. If anything relative to ancient history escapes my notice, it must be pardoned, for this is not the province of the geographer; my concern is with the present state of people and places.

8. There are two mountains situated above the Propontis, the Mysian Olympus1261 and Ida.1262 At the foot of Olympus is Bithynia, and, contiguous to the mountain, between Ida and the sea, is Troy.

We shall afterwards speak of Troy, and of the places continuous with it on the south. At present we shall give an account of the places about Olympus, and of the adjoining country as far as the Taurus, and parallel to the parts which we have previously described.

The country lying around Olympus is not well inhabited. On its heights are immense forests and strongholds, well adapted [Pg 330]
[CAS. 574]
for the protection of robbers, who, being able to maintain themselves there for any length of time, often set themselves up as tyrants, as Cleon a captain of a band of robbers did in my recollection.

9. Cleon was a native of the village Gordium, which he afterwards enlarged, and erected into a city, giving it the name of Juliopolis. His first retreat and head-quarters was a place called Callydium, one of the strongest holds. He was of service to Antony in attacking the soldiers who collected money for Labienus, at the time that the latter occupied Asia, and thus hindered the preparations which he was making for his defence. In the Actian war he separated himself from Antony and attached himself to the generals of Cæsar; he was rewarded above his deserts, for in addition to what he received from Antony he obtained power from Cæsar, and exchanged the character of a freebooter for that of a petty prince. He was priest of Jupiter Abrettenus, the Mysian god, and a portion of the Morena was subject to him, which, like Abrettena, is Mysian. He finally obtained the priesthood of Comana in Pontus, and went to take possession of it, but died within a month after his arrival. He was carried off by an acute disease, occasioned either by excessive repletion, or, according to the account of those employed about the temple, inflicted by the anger of the goddess. The story is this. Within the circuit of the sacred enclosure is the dwelling of the priest and priestess. Besides other sacred observances relative to the temple, the purity of this enclosure is an especial object of vigilance, by abstinence from eating swine’s flesh. The whole city, indeed, is bound to abstain from this food, and swine are not permitted to enter it. Cleon, however, immediately upon his arrival displayed his lawless disposition and character by violating this custom, as if he had come there not as a priest, but a polluter of sacred things.

10. The description of Olympus is as follows. Around it, to the north, live Bithynians, Mygdonians, and Doliones; the rest is occupied by Mysians and Epicteti. The tribes about Cyzicus1263 from Æsepus1264 as far as Rhyndacus1265 and the lake Dascylitis,1266 are called for the most part Doliones; those next to the Doliones, and extending as far as the territory of the Myrleani,1267 are called Mygdones. Above the [Pg 331] Dascylitis are two large lakes, the Apolloniatis,1268 and the Miletopolitis.1269 Near the Dascylitis is the city Dascylium, and on the Miletopolitis, Miletopolis. Near a third lake is Apollonia on the Rhyndacus, as it is called. Most of these places belong at present to the Cyziceni.

11. Cyzicus is an island1270 in the Propontis, joined to the continent by two bridges. It is exceedingly fertile. It is about 500 stadia in circumference. There is a city of the same name near the bridges, with two close harbours, and more than two hundred docks for vessels. One part of the city is in a plain, the other near the mountain which is called Arcton-oros (or Bear-mountain). Above this is another mountain, the Dindymus, with one peak, having on it a temple founded by the Argonauts in honour of Dindymene, mother of the gods. This city rivals in size, beauty, and in the excellent administration of affairs, both in peace and war, the cities which hold the first rank in Asia. It appears to be embellished in a manner similar to Rhodes, Massalia,1271 and ancient Carthage. I omit many details. There are three architects, to whom is intrusted the care of the public edifices and engines. The city has also three store-houses, one for arms, one for engines, and one for corn. The Chalcidic earth mixed with the corn prevents it from spoiling. The utility of preserving it in this manner was proved in the Mithridatic war. The king attacked the city unexpectedly with an army of 150,000 men and a large body of cavalry, and made himself master of the opposite hill, which is called the hill of Adrasteia, and of the suburb. He afterwards transferred his camp to the neck of land above the city, blockaded it by land, and attacked it by sea with four hundred ships. The Cyziceni resisted all these attempts, and were even nearly capturing the king in a subterraneous passage, by working a countermine. He was, however, apprized of it, and escaped by retreating in time out of the excavation. Lucullus, the Roman general, was able, though late, to send succours into the city by night. Famine also came to the aid of the Cyziceni by spreading among this large army. The king did not foresee this, and after losing great numbers of his men went away. [Pg 332]
[CAS. 576]
The Romans respected the city, and to this present time it enjoys freedom. A large territory belongs to it, some part of which it has held from the earliest times; the rest was a gift of the Romans. Of the Troad they possess the parts beyond the Æsepus, namely, those about Zeleia and the plain of Adrasteia; a part of the lake Dascylitis belongs to them, the other part belongs to the Byzantines. They also possess a large district near the Dolionis, and the Mygdonis, extending as far as the lake Miletopolitis, and the Apolloniatis. Through these countries runs the river Rhyndacus, which has its source in the Azanitis. Having received from Mysia Abrettene, among other rivers, the Macestus,1272 which comes from Ancyra1273 in the Abaeitis it empties itself into the Propontis at the island Besbicus.1274

In this island of the Cyziceni is the mountain Artace, well wooded, and in front of it lies a small island of the same name, near it is the promontory Melas (or Black), as it is called, which is met with in coasting from Cyzicus to Priapus.1275

12. To Phrygian Epictetus belong the Azani, and the cities Nacoleia, Cotiaeium,1276 Midiaeium, Dorylæum,1277 and Cadi.1278 Some persons assign Cadi to Mysia.

Mysia extends in the inland parts from Olympene to Pergamene, and to the plain of Caïcus, as it is called; so that it lies between Ida and the Catacecaumene, which some place in Mysia, others in Mæonia.

13. Beyond the Epictetus to the south is the Greater Phrygia, leaving on the left Pessinus, and the parts about Orcaorci, and Lycaonia, and on the right Mæones, Lydians, and Carians. In the Epictetus are Phrygia Paroreia, and the country towards Pisidia, and the parts about Amorium,1279 Eumeneia,1280 and Synnada.1281 Next are Apameia Cibotus,1282 and Laodiceia,1283 the largest cities in Phrygia. Around them lie the towns [and places], Aphrodisias,1284 Colossæ,1285 Themisonium,1286 Sanaus, Metropolis,1287 Apollonias, and farther off than these, Peltæ, Tabeæ, Eucarpia, and Lysias.

14. The Paroreia1288 has a mountainous ridge extending from east to west. Below it on either side stretches a large plain, [Pg 333] cities are situated near the ridge, on the north side, Philomelium,1289 on the south Antiocheia, surnamed Near Pisidia.1290 The former lies entirely in the plain, the other is on a hill, and occupied by a Roman colony. This was founded by the Magnetes, who live near the Mæander. The Romans liberated them from the dominion of the kings, when they delivered up the rest of Asia within the Taurus to Eumenes. In this place was established a priesthood of Men Arcæus, having attached to it a multitude of sacred attendants, and tracts of sacred territory. It was abolished after the death of Amyntas by those who were sent to settle the succession to his kingdom.

Synnada is not a large city. In front of it is a plain planted with olives, about 60 stadia in extent. Beyond is Docimia, a village, and the quarry of the Synnadic marble. This is the name given to it by the Romans, but the people of the country call it Docimite and Docimæan. At first the quarry produced small masses, but at present, through the extravagance of the Romans, pillars are obtained, consisting of a single stone and of great size, approaching the alabastrite marble in variety of colours; although the distant carriage of such heavy loads to the sea is difficult, yet both pillars and slabs of surprising magnitude and beauty are conveyed to Rome.

15. Apameia is a large mart of Asia, properly so called, and second in rank to Ephesus, for it is the common staple for merchandise brought from Italy and from Greece. It is built upon the mouth of the river Marsyas, which runs through the middle of it, and has its commencement above the city; being carried down to the suburb with a strong and precipitous current, it enters the Mæander,1291 which receives also another river, the Orgas, and traverses a level tract with a gentle and unruffled stream. Here the Mæander becomes a large river, and flows for some time through Phrygia; it then separates Caria and Lydia at the plain, as it is called, of the Mæander, running in a direction excessively tortuous, so that from the course of this river all windings are called Mæanders. Towards its termination it runs through the part of Caria occupied by the Ionians; the mouths by which it empties itself are between Miletus and Priene.1292 It rises in a hill called Celænæ, on which was a city of the same name. Antiochus [Pg 334]
[CAS. 578]
Soter transferred the inhabitants to the present Apameia, and called the city after his mother Apama, who was the daughter of Artabazus. She was given in marriage to Seleucus Nicator. Here is laid the scene of the fable of Olympus and Marsyas, and of the contest between Marsyas and Apollo. Above is situated a lake1293 on which grows a reed, which is suited to the mouth-pieces of pipes. From this lake, it is said, spring the Marsyas and the Mæander.

16. Laodiceia,1294 formerly a small town, has increased in our time, and in that of our ancestors, although it received great injury when it was besieged by Mithridates Eupator; the fertility however of the soil and the prosperity of some of its citizens have aggrandized it. First, Hiero embellished the city with many offerings, and bequeathed to the people more than 2000 talents; then Zeno the rhetorician, and his son Polemo, were an ornament and support to it; the latter was thought by Antony, and afterwards by Augustus Cæsar, worthy even of the rank of king in consequence of his valiant and upright conduct.

The country around Laodiceia breeds excellent sheep, remarkable not only for the softness of their wool, in which they surpass the Milesian flocks, but for their dark or raven colour. The Laodiceans derive a large revenue from them, as the Colosseni do from their flocks, of a colour of the same name.

Here the Caprus and the Lycus, a large river, enter the Mæander. From the Lycus, a considerable river, Laodiceia has the name of Laodiceia on the Lycus. Above the city is the mountain Cadmus, from which the Lycus issues, and another river of the same name as the mountain. The greater part of its course is under-ground; it then emerges, and unites with other rivers, showing that the country abounds with caverns and is liable to earthquakes. For of all countries Laodiceia is very subject to earthquakes, as also the neighbouring district Carura.

17. Carura1295 is the boundary of Phrygia and Caria. It is [Pg 335] a village, where there are inns for the reception of travellers, and springs of boiling water, some of which rise in the river Mæander, and others on its banks. There is a story, that a pimp had lodgings in the inns for a great company of women, and that during the night he and all the women were overwhelmed by an earthquake and disappeared. Nearly the whole of the country about the Mæander, as far as the inland parts, is subject to earthquakes, and is undermined by fire and water. For all this cavernous condition of the country, beginning from the plains, extends to the Charonia; it exists likewise in Hierapolis, and in Acharaca in the district Nysæis, also in the plain of Magnesia, and in Myus. The soil is dry and easily reduced to powder, full of salts, and very inflammable. This perhaps is the reason why the course of the Mæander is winding, for the stream is diverted in many places from its direction, and brings down a great quantity of alluvial soil, some part of which it deposits in various places along the shore, and forcing the rest forwards occasions it to drift into the open sea. It has made, for example, Priene, which was formerly upon the sea, an inland city, by the deposition of banks of alluvial earth along an extent of 40 stadia.

18. Phrygia Catacecaumene, (or the Burnt,) which is occupied by Lydians and Mysians, obtained this name from something of the following kind. In Philadelphia,1296 a city adjoining to it, even the walls of the houses are not safe, for nearly every day they are shaken, and crevices appear. The inhabitants are constantly attentive to these accidents to which the ground is subject, and build with a view to their occurrence.

Apameia among other cities experienced, before the invasion of Mithridates, frequent earthquakes, and the king, on his arrival, when he saw the overthrow of the city, gave a hundred talents for its restoration. It is said that the same thing happened in the time of Alexander; for this reason it is probable that Neptune is worshipped there, although they are an inland people, and that it had the name of Celænæ from Celænus,1297 the son of Neptune, by Celæno, one of the Danaïdes, or from the black colour of the stones, or from the blackness which is the effect of combustion. What is related of Sipylus and its overthrow is not to be regarded as a fable. For earthquakes overthrew the present Magnesia, which is situated [Pg 336]
[CAS. 579]
below that mountain, at the time that Sardis and other celebrated cities in various parts sustained great injury.1298 The emperor1299 gave a sum of money for their restoration, as formerly his father had assisted the Tralliani on the occurrence of a similar calamity, when the gymnasium and other parts of the city were destroyed; in the same manner he had assisted also the Laodiceans.

19. We must listen, however, to the ancient historians, and to the account of Xanthus, who composed a history of Lydian affairs; he relates the changes which had frequently taken place in this country,—I have mentioned them in a former part of my work.1300 Here is laid the scene of the fable of what befell Typhon; here are placed the Arimi, and this country is said to be the Catacecaumene. Nor do historians hesitate to suppose, that the places between the Mæander and the Lydians are all of this nature, as well on account of the number of lakes and rivers, as the caverns, which are to be found in many parts of the country. The waters of the lake between Laodiceia and Apameia, although like a sea, emit a muddy smell, as if they had come through a subterraneous channel. It is said that actions are brought against the Mæander for transferring land from one place to another by sweeping away the angles of the windings, and a fine is levied out of the toll, which is paid at the ferries.

20. Between Laodiceia and Carura is a temple of Mēn Carus, which is held in great veneration. In our time there was a large Herophilian1301 school of medicine under the direction of Zeuxis,1302 and afterwards of Alexander Philalethes, as in the time of our ancestors there was, at Smyrna, a school of [Pg 337] the disciples of Erasistratus under the conduct of Hicesius. At present there is nothing of this kind.

21. The names of some Phrygian tribes, as the Berecyntes [and Cerbesii], are mentioned, which no longer exist. And Alcman says,

“He played the Cerbesian, a Phrygian air.”

They speak also of a Cerbesian pit which sends forth destructive exhalations; this however exists, but the people have no longer the name of Cerbesii. Æschylus in his Niobe1303 confounds them; Niobe says that she shall remember Tantalus, and his story;

“those who have an altar of Jupiter, their paternal god, on the Idæan hill,”

and again;

“Sipylus in the Idæan land,”

—and Tantalus says,

“I sow the furrows of the Berecynthian fields, extending twelve days’ journey, where the seat of Adrasteia and Ida resound with the lowing of herds and the bleating of sheep; all the plain re-echoes with their cries.”

[Pg 338]




The Thirteenth Book contains the part of Asia south of the Propontis (Sea of Marmara), the whole of the sea-coast, and the adjacent islands. The author dwells some time on Troy, though deserted, on account of its distinction, and the great renown it derived from the war.


1. These are the limits of Phrygia. We return again to the Propontis, and to the sea-coast adjoining the Æsepus,1304 and shall observe, in our description of places, the same order as before.

The first country which presents itself on the sea-coast is the Troad.1305 Although it is deserted, and covered with ruins, yet it is so celebrated as to furnish a writer with no ordinary excuse for expatiating on its history. But we ought not only to be excused, but encouraged, for the reader should not impute the fault of prolixity to us, but to those whose curiosity and desire of information respecting the celebrated places of antiquity is to be gratified. The prolixity is greater than it would be otherwise, from the great number of nations, both Greeks and Barbarians, who have occupied the country, and from the disagreement among writers, who do not relate the same things of the same persons and places, nor even do they express themselves with clearness. Among these in particular is Homer, who suggests occasions for conjecture in the greatest part of his local descriptions. We are therefore to examine what the poet and other writers advance, premising a summary description of the nature of the places.

2. The coast of the Propontis extends from Cyzicene and the places about the Æsepus and Granicus1306 as far as Abydos, [Pg 339] and Sestos.1307 Between Abydos and Lectum1308 is the country about Ilium, and Tenedos and Alexandreia Troas.1309 Above all these is the mountain Ida, extending as far as Lectum. From Lectum to the river Caïcus1310 and the Canæ mountains as they are called is the district comprising Assus,1311 Adramyttium,1312 Atarneus,1313 Pitane,1314 and the Elaïtic bay, opposite to all which places lies the island Lesbos.1315 Next follows the country about Cyme1316 as far as Hermus,1317 and Phocæa,1318 where Ionia begins, and Æolis terminates. Such then is the nature of the country.

The poet implies that it was the Trojans chiefly who were divided into eight or even nine bodies of people, each forming a petty princedom, who had under their sway the places about Æsepus, and those about the territory of the present Cyzicene, as far as the river Caïcus. The troops of auxiliaries are reckoned among the allies.

3. The writers subsequent to Homer do not assign the same boundaries, but introduce other names, and a greater number of territorial divisions. The Greek colonies were the cause of this; the Ionian migration produced less change, for it was further distant from the Troad, but the Æolian colonists occasioned it throughout, for they were dispersed over the whole of the country from Cyzicene as far as the Caïcus, and occupied besides the district between the Caïcus and the river Hermus. It is said that the Æolian preceded the Ionian migration four generations, but it was attended with delays, and the settlement of the colonies took up a longer time. Orestes was the leader of the colonists, and died in Arcadia. He was preceded by his son Penthilus, who advanced as far as Thrace, sixty years1319 after the Trojan [Pg 340]
[CAS. 582]
war, about the time of the return of the Heracleidæ to Peloponnesus. Then Archelaus the son of Penthilus conducted the Æolian colonies across the sea to the present Cyzicene, near Dascylium. Gras his youngest son proceeded as far as the river Granicus, and, being provided with better means, transported the greater part of those who composed the expedition to Lesbos, and took possession of it.

On the other side, Cleuas, the son of Dorus, and Malaus, who were descendants of Agamemnon, assembled a body of men for an expedition about the same time as Penthilus, but the band of Penthilus passed over from Thrace into Asia before them; while the rest consumed much time near Locris, and the mountain Phricius. At last however they crossed the sea, and founded Cyme, to which they gave the name of Phriconis, from Phricius, the Locrian mountain.

4. The Æolians then were dispersed over the whole country, which we have said the poet calls the Trojan country. Later writers give this name to the whole, and others to a part, of Æolis; and so, with respect to Troja, some writers understand the whole, others only a part, of that country, not entirely agreeing with one another in anything.

According to Homer, the commencement of the Troad is at the places on the Propontis, reckoning it from the Æsepus. According to Eudoxus, it begins from Priapus, and Artace, situated in the island of the Cyziceni opposite to Priapus, and thus he contracts the boundaries [of the Troad]. Damastes contracts them still more by reckoning its commencement from Parium.1320 He extends the Troad as far as Lectum. But different writers assign different limits to this country. Charon of Lampsacus diminishes its extent by three hundred stadia more, by reckoning its commencement from Practius, for this is the distance between Parium and Practius, but protracts it to Adramyttium. It begins, according to Scylax of Caryanda, at Abydos. There is the same diversity of [Pg 341] opinion respecting the boundaries of Æolis. Ephorus reckons its extent from Abydos to Cyme, but different writers compute it in different ways.

5. The situation of the country actually called Troja is best marked by the position of Ida, a lofty mountain, looking to the west, and to the western sea, but making a slight bend to the north and towards the northern coast. This latter is the coast of the Propontis, extending from the straits near Abydos to the Æsepus, and to the territory of Cyzicene. The western sea is the exterior (part of the) Hellespont, and the Ægæan Sea.

Ida has many projecting parts like feet, and resembles in figure a tarantula, and is bounded by the following extreme points, namely, the promontory1321 at Zeleia, and that called Lectum; the former terminates in the inland parts a little above Cyzicene (to the Cyziceni belongs the present Zeleia), and Lectum projects into the Ægæan Sea, and is met with in the coasting voyage from Tenedos to Lesbos.

“They (namely, Somnus and Juno) came, says Homer, to Ida, abounding with springs, the nurse of wild beasts, to Lectum where first they left the sea,”1322

where the poet describes Lectum in appropriate terms, for he says correctly that Lectum is a part of Ida, and that this was the first place of disembarkation for persons intending to ascend Mount Ida.1323 [He is exact in the epithet “abounding with springs;” for the mountain, especially in that part, has a very large supply of water, which appears from the great number of rivers which issue from it;

“all the rivers which rise in Ida, and proceed to the sea, the Rhesus, and Heptaporus,”1324

and others, which he mentions afterwards, and which are now to be seen by us.]

In speaking of the projections like feet on each side of Ida, as Lectum, and Zeleia,1325 he distinguishes in proper terms [Pg 342]
[CAS. 584]
the summit Gargarum,1326 calling it the top1327 (of Ida), for there is now in existence in the higher parts of Ida a place, from which the present Gargara, an Æolian city, has its name. Between Zeleia and Lectum, proceeding from the Propontis, are first the parts extending to the straits at Abydos. Then the parts below the Propontis, extending as far as Lectum.

6. On doubling Lectum a large bay opens,1328 formed by Mount Ida, which recedes from Lectum, and by Canæ, the promontory opposite to Lectum on the other side. Some persons call it the Bay of Ida, others the Bay of Adramyttium. On this bay are situated the cities of the Æolians, extending, as we have said, to the mouths of the Hermus. I have mentioned also in a former part of my work, that in sailing from Byzantium in a straight line towards the south, we first arrive at Sestos and Abydos through the middle of the Propontis; then at the sea-coast of Asia as far as Caria. The readers of this work ought to attend to the following observation; although we mention certain bays on this coast, they must understand the promontories also which form them, situated on the same meridian.1329

7. Those who have paid particular attention to this subject conjecture, from the expressions of the poet, that all this coast was subject to the Trojans, when it was divided into nine dynasties, but that at the time of the war it was under the sway of Priam, and called Troja. This appears from the detail. Achilles and his army perceiving, at the beginning of the war, that the inhabitants of Ilium were defended by walls, carried on the war beyond them, made a circuit, and took the places about the country;

“I sacked with my ships twelve cities, and eleven in the fruitful land of Troja.”1330

[Pg 343]

By Troja he means the continent which he had ravaged. Among other places which had been plundered, was the country opposite Lesbos,—that about Thebe, Lyrnessus, and Pedasus belonging to the Leleges, and the territory also of Eurypylus, the son of Telephus;

“as when he slew with his sword the hero Eurypylus, the son of Telephus;”1331

and Neoptolemus,

“the hero Eurypylus.”

The poet says these places were laid waste, and even Lesbos;

“when he took the well-built Lesbos,”1332


“he sacked Lyrnessus and Pedasus,”1333


“laid waste Lyrnessus, and the walls of Thebe.”1334

Briseïs was taken captive at Lyrnessus;

“whom he carried away from Lyrnessus.”1335

In the capture of this place the poet says, Mynes and Epistrophus were slain, as Briseïs mentions in her lament over Patroclus,

“Thou didst not permit me, when the swift-footed Achilles slew my husband, and destroyed the city of the divine Mynes, to make any lamentation;”1336

for by calling Lyrnessus “the city of the divine Mynes,” the poet implies that it was governed by him who was killed fighting in its defence.

Chryseïs was carried away from Thebe;

“we came to Thebe, the sacred city of Eetion,”1337

and Chryseïs is mentioned among the booty which was carried off from that place.

Andromache, daughter of the magnanimous Eetion, Eetion king of the Cilicians, who dwelt under the woody Placus at Thebe Hypoplacia.1338

This is the second Trojan dynasty after that of Mynes, and in agreement with what has been observed are these words of Andromache;

[Pg 344]
[CAS. 585]

“Hector, wretch that I am; we were both born under the same destiny; thou at Troja in the palace of Priam, but I at Thebe.”

The words are not to be understood in their direct sense, but by a transposition; “both born in Troja, thou in the house of Priam, but I at Thebe.”

The third dynasty is that of the Leleges, which is also a Trojan dynasty;

“of Altes, the king of the war-loving Leleges,”1339

by whose daughter Priam had Lycaon and Polydorus. Even the people, who in the Catalogue are said to be commanded by Hector, are called Trojans;

“Hector, the mighty, with the nodding crest, commanded the Trojans;”1340

then those under Æneas,

“the brave son of Anchises had the command of the Dardanii,”1341

and these were Trojans, for the poet says,

“Thou, Æneas, that counsellest Trojans;”1342

then the Lycians under the command of Pandarus he calls Trojans;

“Aphneian Trojans, who inhabited Zeleia at the farthest extremity of Ida, who drink of the dark waters of Æsepus, these were led by Pandarus, the illustrious son of Lycaon.”1343

This is the sixth dynasty.

The people, also, who lived between the Æsepus and Abydos were Trojans, for the country about Abydos was governed by Asius;

“those who dwelt about Percote and Practius, at Sestos, Abydos, and the noble Arisbe, were led by Asius, the son of Hyrtacus.”1344

Now it is manifest that a son of Priam, who had the care of his father’s brood mares, dwelt at Abydos;

“he wounded the spurious son of Priam, Democoon, who came from Abydos from the pastures of the swift mares.”1345

At Percote,1346 the son of Hicetaon was the herdsman of oxen, but not of those belonging to strangers;

“first he addressed the brave son of Hicetaon, Melanippus, who was lately tending the oxen in their pastures at Percote.”1347

[Pg 345]

so that this country also was part of the Troad, and the subsequent tract as far as Adrasteia, for it was governed by

“the two sons of Merops of Percote.”1348

All therefore were Trojans from Abydos to Adrasteia, divided, however, into two bodies, one governed by Asius, the other by the Meropidæ, as the country of the Cilicians is divided into the Thebaic and the Lyrnessian Cilicia. To this district may have belonged the country under the sway of Eurypylus, for it follows next to the Lyrnessis, or territory of Lyrnessus.1349

That Priam1350 was king of all these countries the words with which Achilles addresses him clearly show;

“we have heard, old man, that your riches formerly consisted in what [Pg 346]
[CAS. 586]
Lesbos, the city of Macar, contained, and Phrygia above it and the vast Hellespont.”1351

8. Such was the state of the country at that time. Afterwards changes of various kinds ensued. Phrygians occupied the country about Cyzicus as far as Practius; Thracians, the country about Abydos; and Bebryces and Dryopes, before the time of both these nations. The next tract of country was occupied by Treres, who were also Thracians; the plain of Thebe, by Lydians, who were then called Mæonians, and by the survivors of the Mysians, who were formerly governed by Telephus and Teuthoras.

Since then the poet unites together Æolis and Troja, and since the Æolians occupied all the country from the Hermus as far as the sea-coast at Cyzicus, and founded cities, we shall not do wrong in combining in one description Æolis, properly so called, (extending from the Hermus to Lectum,) and the tract which follows, as far as the Æsepus; distinguishing them again in speaking of them separately, and comparing what is said of them by Homer and by other writers with their present state.

9. According to Homer, the Troad begins from the city Cyzicus and the river Æsepus. He speaks of it in this manner:

“Aphneian Trojans, who inhabited Zeleia at the farthest extremity of Ida, who drink the dark waters of Æsepus, these were led by Pandarus, the illustrious son of Lycaon.”1352

These people he calls also Lycians. They had the name of Aphneii, it is thought, from the lake Aphnitis, for this is the name of the lake Dascylitis.

10. Now Zeleia is situated at the farthest extremity of the country lying at the foot of Ida, and is distant 190 stadia from Cyzicus, and about 801353 from the nearest sea, into which the Æsepus discharges itself.

The poet then immediately gives in detail the parts of the sea-coast which follow the Æsepus;

“those who occupied Adrasteia, and the territory of Apæsus, and Pityeia and the lofty mountain Tereia, these were commanded by Adrastus, and Amphius with the linen corslet, the two sons of Merops of Percote,”1354

[Pg 347]

These places lie below Zeleia, and are occupied by Cyziceni, and Priapeni as far as the sea-coast. The river Tarsius1355 runs near Zeleia; it is crossed twenty times on the same road, like the Heptaporus, mentioned by the poet, which is crossed seven times. The river flowing from Nicomedia to Nicæa is crossed four-and-twenty times; the river which flows from Pholoe to Eleia, several times; [that flowing from * * * * to Scardon,1356] five-and-twenty times; that running from Coscinii to Alabanda, in many places, and the river flowing from Tyana through the Taurus to Soli, is crossed seventy-five times.

11. Above the mouth of the Æsepus about * * stadia is a hill on which is seen the sepulchre of Memnon, the son of Tithonus. Near it is the village of Memnon. Between the Æsepus and Priapus flows the Granicus, but for the most part it flows through the plain of Adrasteia, where Alexander defeated in a great battle the satraps of Dareius, and obtained possession of all the country within the Taurus and the Euphrates.

On the banks of the Granicus was the city Sidene, with a large territory of the same name. It is now in ruins.

Upon the confines of Cyzicene and Priapene is Harpagia, a place from which, so says the fable, Ganymede was taken away by force. Others say that it was at the promontory Dardanium, near Dardanus.

12. Priapus is a city on the sea, with a harbour. Some say that it was built by Milesians, who, about the same time, founded Abydos and Proconnesus; others, that it was built by Cyziceni. It has its name from Priapus,1357 who is worshipped there; either because his worship was transferred thither from Orneæ near Corinth, or the inhabitants were disposed to worship him because the god was said to be the son of Bacchus and a nymph, for their country abounds with vines, as also the country on their confines, namely, the territory of the Pariani and of the Lampsaceni. It was for this reason that Xerxes assigned Lampsacus1358 to Themistocles to supply him with wine.

It was in later times that Priapus was considered as a god. [Pg 348]
[CAS. 588]
Hesiod for instance knew nothing of Priapus, and he resembles the Athenian gods Orthane, Conisalus, Tychon, and others such as these.

13. This district was called Adrasteia, and the plain of Adrasteia, according to the custom of giving two names to the same place, as Thebe, and the plain of Thebe; Mygdonia, and the plain of Mygdonia.

Callisthenes says that Adrasteia had its name from King Adrastus, who first built the temple of Nemesis. The city Adrasteia is situated between Priapus and Parium, with a plain of the same name below it, in which there was an oracle of the Actæan Apollo and Artemis near the sea-shore.1359 On the demolition of the temple, all the furniture and the stone-work were transported to Parium, where an altar, the workmanship of Hermocreon, remarkable for its size and beauty, was erected, but the oracle, as well as that at Zeleia, was abolished. No temple either of Adrasteia or Nemesis exists. But there is a temple of Adrasteia near Cyzicus. Antimachus, however, says,

“There is a great goddess Nemesis, who has received all these things from the immortals. Adrastus first raised an altar to her honour on the banks of the river Æsepus, where she is worshipped under the name of Adrasteia.”

14. The city of Parium lies upon the sea, with a harbour larger than that of Priapus, and has been augmented from the latter city; for the Pariani paid court to the Attalic kings, to whom Priapene was subject, and, by their permission, appropriated to themselves a large part of that territory.

It is here the story is related that the Ophiogeneis have some affinity with the serpent tribe (τοὺς ὄφεις). They say that the males of the Ophiogeneis have the power of curing persons bitten by serpents by touching them without intermission, after the manner of the enchanters. They first transfer to themselves the livid colour occasioned by the bite, and then cause the inflammation and pain to subside. According to the fable, the founder of the race of Ophiogeneis, a hero, was transformed from a serpent into a man. He was perhaps one of the African Psylli. The power continued in the race for some time.

[Pg 349]

Parium was founded by Milesians, Erythræans, and Parians.

15. Pitya is situated in Pityus in the Parian district, and having above it a mountain abounding with pine trees (πιτυῶδες); it is between Parium and Priapus, near Linum, a place upon the sea, where the Linusian cockles are taken, which excel all others.

16. In the voyage along the coast from Parium to Priapus are the ancient and the present Proconnesus,1360 with a city, and a large quarry of white marble, which is much esteemed. The most beautiful works in the cities in these parts, and particularly those in Cyzicus, are constructed of this stone.

Aristeas, the writer of the poems called Arimaspeian, the greatest of impostors, was of Proconnesus.

17. With respect to the mountain Tereia, some persons say that it is the range of mountains in Peirossus, which the Cyziceni occupy, contiguous to Zeleia, among which was a royal chase for the Lydian, and afterwards for the Persian, kings. Others say that it was a hill forty stadia from Lampsacus, on which was a temple sacred to the mother of the gods, surnamed Tereia.

18. Lampsacus, situated on the sea, is a considerable city with a good harbour, and, like Abydos, supports its state well. It is distant from Abydos about 170 stadia. It had formerly, as they say Chios had, the name of Pityusa. On the opposite territory in Cherronesus is Callipolis,1361 a small town. It is situated upon the shore, which projects so far towards Asia opposite to Lampsacus that the passage across does not exceed 40 stadia.

19. In the interval between Lampsacus and Parium was Pæsus, a city, and a river Pæsus.1362 The city was razed, and the Pæseni, who, as well as the Lampsaceni, were a colony of Milesians, removed to Lampsacus. The poet mentions the city with the addition of the first syllable,

“and the country of Apæsus;”1363

and without it,

“a man of great possessions, who lived at Pæsus;”1364

and this is still the name of the river.

[Pg 350]
[CAS. 589]

Colonæ also is a colony of Milesians. It is situated above Lampsacus, in the interior of the territory Lampsacene. There is another Colonæ situated upon the exterior Hellespontic Sea, at the distance of 140 stadia from Ilium; the birth-place, it is said, of Cycnus. Anaximenes mentions a Colonæ in the Erythræan territory, in Phocis, and in Thessaly. Iliocolone is in the Parian district. In Lampsacene is a place well planted with vines, called Gergithium, and there was a city Gergitha, founded by the Gergithi in the Cymæan territory, where formerly was a city called Gergitheis, (used in the plural number, and of the feminine gender,) the birthplace of Cephalon1365 the Gergithian, and even now there exists a place in the Cymæan territory called Gergithium, near Larissa.

Neoptolemus,1366 surnamed the Glossographer, a writer of repute, was of Parium. Charon,1367 the Historian, was of Lampsacus. Adeimantes,1368 Anaximenes,1369 the Rhetorician, and Metrodorus, the friend of Epicurus, even Epicurus himself might be said to be a Lampsacenian, having lived a long time at Lampsacus, and enjoyed the friendship of Idomeneus and Leontes, the most distinguished of its citizens.

It was from Lampsacus that Agrippa transported the Prostrate Lion, the workmanship of Lysippus, and placed it in the sacred grove between the lake1370 and the strait.

20. Next to Lampsacus is Abydos, and the intervening places, of which the poet speaks in such a manner as to comprehend both Lampsacene and some parts of Pariane, for, in the Trojan times, the above cities were not yet in existence:

“those who inhabited Percote, Practius, Sestos, Abydos, and the famed Arisbe, were led by Asius, the son of Hyrtacus,”1371

[Pg 351]

who, he says,

“came from Arisbe, from the river Selleïs in a chariot drawn by large and furious coursers;”

implying by these words that Arisbe was the royal seat of Asius, whence, he says, he came,

“drawn by coursers from the river Selleïs.”

But these places are so little known, that writers do not agree among themselves about their situation, except that they are near Abydos, Lampsacus, and Parium, and that the name of the last place was changed from Percope to Percote.

21. With respect to the rivers, the poet says that the Selleïs flows near Arisbe, for Asius came from Arisbe and the river Selleïs. Practius is a river, but no city of that name, as some have thought, is to be found. This river runs between Abydos and Lampsacus; the words, therefore,

“and dwelt near Practius,”

must be understood of the river, as these expressions of the poet,

“they dwelt near the sacred waters of Cephisus,”1372


“they occupied the fertile land about the river Parthenius.”1373

There was also in Lesbos a city called Arisba, the territory belonging to which was possessed by the Methymnæans. There is a river Arisbus in Thrace, as we have said before, near which are situated the Cabrenii Thracians. There are many names common to Thracians and Trojans, as Scæi, a Thracian tribe, a river Scæus, a Scæan wall, and in Troy, Scæan gates. There are Thracians called Xanthii, and a river Xanthus in Troja; an Arisbus which discharges itself into the Hebrus,1374 and an Arisbe in Troja; a river Rhesus in Troja, and Rhesus, a king of the Thracians. The poet mentions also another Asius, besides the Asius of Arisbe,

“who was the maternal uncle of the hero Hector, own brother of Hecuba, and son of Dymas who lived in Phrygia on the banks of the Sangarius.”1375

22. Abydos was founded by Milesians by permission of Gyges, king of Lydia; for those places and the whole of the Troad were under his sway. There is a promontory near

[Pg 352]
[CAS. 591]

Dardanus called Gyges. Abydos is situated upon the mouth of the Propontis and the Hellespont, and is at an equal distance from Lampsacus and Ilium, about 170 stadia. At Abydos is the Hepta Stadium, (or strait of seven stadia,) the shores of which Xerxes united by a bridge. It separates Europe from Asia. The extremity of Europe is called Cherronesus, from its figure; it forms the straits at the Zeugma (or Junction)1376 which is opposite to Abydos.

Sestos is the finest1377 city in the Cherronesus, and from its proximity to Abydos was placed under the command of the same governor, at a time when the same limits were not assigned to the governments and to the continents. Sestos and Abydos are distant from each other, from harbour to harbour, about 30 stadia. The Zeugma is a little beyond the cities; on the side of the Propontis, beyond Abydos, and on the opposite side, beyond Sestos. There is a place near Sestos, called Apobathra, where the raft was fastened. Sestos lies nearer the Propontis, and above the current which issues from it; whence the passage is more easy from Sestos by deviating a little towards the tower of Hero, when, letting the vessel go at liberty, the stream assists in effecting the crossing to the other side. In crossing from Abydos to the other side persons must sail out in the contrary direction, to the distance of about eight stadia towards a tower which is opposite Sestos; they must then take an oblique course, and the current will not be entirely against them.

After the Trojan war, Abydos was inhabited by Thracians, then by Milesians. When the cities on the Propontis were burnt by Dareius, father of Xerxes, Abydos shared in the calamity. Being informed, after his return from Scythia, that the Nomades were preparing to cross over to attack him, in revenge for the treatment which they had experienced, he set fire to these cities, apprehending that they would assist in transporting the Scythian army across the strait.

In addition to other changes of this kind, those occasioned by time are a cause of confusion among places.

We spoke before of Sestos, and of the whole of the Cherronesus, when we described Thrace. Theopompus says that [Pg 353] Sestos is a small but well-fortified place, and is connected with the harbour by a wall of two plethra in extent, and for this reason, and by its situation above the current, it commands the passage of the strait.

23. In the Troad, above the territory of Abydos is Astyra, which now belongs to the Abydeni,—a city in ruins, but it was formerly an independent place, and had gold-mines, which are now nearly exhausted, like those in Mount Tmolus near the Pactolus.

From Abydos to the Æsepus are, it is said, about 700 stadia, but not so much in sailing in a direct line.

24. Beyond Abydos are the parts about Ilium, the sea-coast as far as Lectum, the places in the Trojan plain, and the country at the foot of Ida, which was subject to Æneas. The poet names the Dardanii in two ways, speaking of them as

“Dardanii governed by the brave son of Anchises,”1378

calling them Dardanii, and also Dardani;

“Troes, and Lycii, and close-fighting Dardani.”1379

It is probable that the Dardania,1380 so called by the poet, was anciently situated there;

“Dardanus, the son of cloud-compelling Jupiter, founded Dardania:”1381

at present there is not a vestige of a city.

25. Plato conjectures that, after the deluges, three kinds of communities were established; the first on the heights of the mountains, consisting of a simple and savage race, who had taken refuge there through dread of the waters, which overflowed the plains; the second, at the foot of the mountains, who regained courage by degrees, as the plains began to dry; the third, in the plains. But a fourth, and perhaps a fifth, or more communities might be supposed to be formed, the last of which might be on the sea-coast, and in the islands, after all fear of deluge was dissipated. For as men approached the sea with a greater or less degree of courage, we should have greater variety in forms of government, diversity also in manners and habits, according [Pg 354]
[CAS. 593]
as a simple and savage people assumed the milder character of the second kind of community. There is, however, a distinction to be observed even among these, as of rustic, half rustic, and of civilized people. Among these finally arose a gradual change, and an assumption of names, applied to polished and high character, the result of an improved moral condition produced by a change of situation and mode of life. Plato says that the poet describes these differences, alleging as an example of the first form of society the mode of life among the Cyclops, who subsisted on the fruits of the earth growing spontaneously, and who occupied certain caves in the heights of mountains;

“all things grow there,” he says, “without sowing seed, and without the plough.

But they have no assemblies for consulting together, nor administration of laws, but live on the heights of lofty mountains, in deep caves, and each gives laws to his wife and children.”1382

As an example of the second form of society, he alleges the mode of life under Dardanus;

“he founded Dardania; for sacred Ilium was not yet a city in the plain with inhabitants, but they still dwelt at the foot of Ida abounding with streams.”1383

An example of the third state of society is taken from that in the time of Ilus, when the people inhabited the plains. He is said to have been the founder of Ilium, from whom the city had its name. It is probable that for this reason he was buried in the middle of the plain, because he first ventured to make a settlement in it,

“they rushed through the middle of the plain by the wild fig-tree near the tomb of ancient Ilus, the son of Dardanus.”1384

He did not, however, place entire confidence in the situation, for he did not build the city where it stands at present, but nearly thirty stadia higher to the east, towards Ida, and Dardania, near the present village of the Ilienses. The present Ilienses are ambitious of having it supposed that theirs is the ancient city, and have furnished a subject of discussion to those who form their conjectures from the poetry of Homer; but it does not seem to be the city meant by the poet. Other writers also relate, that the city had frequently changed its place, but at last about the time of Crœsus it became stationary. [Pg 355] Such changes, which then took place, from higher to lower situations, mark the differences, I conceive, which followed in the forms of government and modes of life. But we must examine this subject elsewhere.

26. The present city of Ilium was once, it is said, a village, containing a small and plain temple of Minerva; that Alexander, after1385 his victory at the Granicus, came up, and decorated the temple with offerings, gave it the title of city, and ordered those who had the management of such things to improve it with new buildings; he declared it free and exempt from tribute. Afterwards, when he had destroyed the Persian empire, he sent a letter, expressed in kind terms, in which he promised the Ilienses to make theirs a great city, to build a temple of great magnificence, and to institute sacred games.

After the death of Alexander, it was Lysimachus who took the greatest interest in the welfare of the place; built a temple, and surrounded the city with a wall of about 40 stadia in extent. He settled here the inhabitants of the ancient cities around, which were in a dilapidated state. It was at this time that he directed his attention to Alexandreia, founded by Antigonus, and surnamed Antigonia, which was altered (into Alexandreia). For it appeared to be an act of pious duty in the successors of Alexander first to found cities which should bear his name, and afterwards those which should be called after their own. Alexandreia continued to exist, and became a large place; at present it has received a Roman colony, and is reckoned among celebrated cities.

27. The present Ilium was a kind of village-city, when the Romans first came into Asia and expelled Antiochus the Great from the country within the Taurus. Demetrius of Scepsis says that, when a youth, he came, in the course of his travels, to this city, about that time, and saw the houses so neglected that even the roofs were without tiles. Hegesianax1386 also relates, that the Galatians, who crossed over from Europe, being in want of some stronghold, went up to the city, but immediately left it, when they saw that it was not fortified with a wall; afterwards it underwent great reparation and [Pg 356]
[CAS. 595]
improvement. It was again injured by the Romans under the command of Fimbrias. They took it by siege in the Mithridatic war. Fimbrias was sent as quæstor, with the consul Valerius Flaccus, who was appointed to carry on the war against Mithridates. But having excited a sedition, and put the consul to death in Bithynia, he placed himself at the head of the army and advanced towards Ilium, where the inhabitants refused to admit him into the city, as they regarded him as a robber. He had recourse to force, and took the city on the eleventh day. When he was boasting that he had taken a city on the eleventh day, which Agamemnon had reduced with difficulty in the tenth year of the siege with a fleet of a thousand vessels, and with the aid of the whole of Greece, one of the Ilienses replied, “We had no Hector to defend the city.”

Sylla afterwards came, defeated Fimbrias, and dismissed Mithridates, according to treaty, into his own territory. Sylla conciliated the Ilienses by extensive repairs of their city. In our time divus Cæsar showed them still more favour, in imitation of Alexander. He was inclined to favour them, for the purpose of renewing his family connexion with the Ilienses, and as an admirer of Homer.

There exists a corrected copy of the poems of Homer, called “the casket-copy.” Alexander perused it in company with Callisthenes and Anaxarchus, and having made some marks and observations deposited it in a casket1387 of costly workmanship which he found among the Persian treasures. On account then of his admiration of the poet and his descent from the Æacidæ, (who were kings of the Molossi, whose queen they say was Andromache, afterwards the wife of Hector,) Alexander treated the Ilienses with kindness.

But Cæsar, who admired the character of Alexander, and had strong proofs of his affinity to the Ilienses, had the greatest possible desire to be their benefactor. The proofs of his affinity to the Ilienses were strong, first as being a Roman,—for the Romans consider Æneas to be the founder of their race,—next he had the name of Julius, from Iulus, one of his [Pg 357] ancestors, a descendant of Æneas. He therefore assigned to them a district, and guaranteed their liberty with exemption from imposts, and they continue at present to enjoy these advantages. They maintain by this evidence that the ancient Ilium, even by Homer’s account, was not situated there. I must however first describe the places which commence from the sea-coast, where I made the digression.

28. Next to Abydos is the promontory Dardanis,1388 which we mentioned a little before, and the city Dardanus, distant 70 stadia from Abydos. Between them the river Rhodius discharges itself, opposite to which on the Cherronesus is the Cynossema,1389 which is said to be the sepulchre of Hecuba. According to others, the Rhodius empties itself into the Æsepus. It is one of the rivers mentioned by the poet,

“Rhesus, and Heptaporus, Caresus, and Rhodius.”1390

Dardanus is an ancient settlement, but so slightly thought of, that some kings transferred its inhabitants to Abydos, others re-settled them in the ancient dwelling-place. Here Cornelius Sylla, the Roman general, and Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, conferred together, and terminated the war by a treaty.

29. Near Dardanus is Ophrynium, on which is the grove dedicated to Hector in a conspicuous situation, and next is Pteleos, a lake.

30. Then follows Rhœteium, a city on a hill, and continuous to it is a shore on a level with the sea, on which is situated a monument and temple of Ajax, and a statue. Antony took away the latter and carried it to Ægypt, but Augustus Cæsar restored it to the inhabitants of Rhœteium, as he restored other [Pg 358]
[CAS. 595]
statues to other cities. Antony took away the most beautiful offerings from the most celebrated temples to gratify the Ægyptian queen, but Augustus Cæsar restored them to the gods.

31. After Rhœteium is Sigeium,1391 a city in ruins, and the naval station, the harbour of the Achæans, the Achæan camp, the Stomalimne, as it is called, and the mouths of the Scamander. The Scamander and the Simoeis, uniting in the plain,1392 bring down a great quantity of mud, bank up the sea-coast, and form a blind mouth, salt-water lakes, and marshes.

Opposite the Sigeian promontory on the Cherronesus is the Protesilaeium,1393 and Eleussa, of which I have spoken in the description of Thrace.

32. The extent of this sea-coast as we sail in a direct line from Rhœteium to Sigeium, and the monument of Achilles, is 60 stadia. The whole of the coast lies below the present Ilium; the part near the port of the Achæans,1394 distant from the present Ilium about 12 stadia, and thirty stadia more from [Pg 359] the ancient Ilium,1395 which is higher up in the part towards Ida.

Near the Sigeium is a temple and monument of Achilles, and monuments also of Patroclus and Antilochus.1396 The Ilienses perform sacred ceremonies in honour of them all, and even of Ajax. But they do not worship Hercules, alleging as a reason that he ravaged their country. Yet some one might say that he laid it waste in such a manner that he left it to future spoilers in an injured condition indeed, but still in the condition of a city; wherefore the poet expresses himself in this manner,

“He ravaged the city of Ilium, and made its streets desolate,”1397

for desolation implies a deficiency of inhabitants, but not a complete destruction of the place; but those persons destroyed it entirely, whom they think worthy of sacred rites, and worship as gods; unless, perhaps, they should plead that these persons engaged in a just, and Hercules in an unjust, war, on account of the horses of Laomedon. To this is opposed a fabulous tale, that it was not on account of the horses but of the reward for the delivery of Hesione from the sea-monster. [Pg 360]
[CAS. 596]
Let us, however, dismiss this subject, for the discussion leads to the refutation of fables only, and probably there may be reasons unknown to us which induced the Ilienses to worship some of these persons, and not others. The poet seems, in speaking of Hercules, to represent the city as small, since he ravaged the city

“with six ships only, and a small band of men.”1398

From these words it appears that Priam from a small became a great person, and a king of kings, as we have already said.

A short way from this coast is the Achæïum, situated on the continent opposite Tenedos.

33. Such, then, is the nature of the places on the sea-coast. Above them lies the plain of Troy, extending as far as Ida to the east, a distance of many stadia.1399 The part at the foot of the mountain is narrow, extending to the south as far as the places near Scepsis, and towards the north as far as the Lycians about Zeleia. This country Homer places under the command of Æneas and the Antenoridæ, and calls it Dardania. Below it is Cebrenia, which for the most part consists of plains, and lies nearly parallel to Dardania. There was also formerly a city Cybrene. Demetrius (of Scepsis) supposes that the tract about Ilium, subject to Hector, extended to this place, from the Naustathmus (or station for vessels) to Cebrenia, for he says that the sepulchre of Alexander Paris exists there, and of Œnone, who, according to historians, was the wife of Alexander, before the rape of Helen; the poet says,

“Cebriones, the spurious son of the far-famed Priam,”1400

who, perhaps, received his name from the district, (Cebrenia,) or, more probably, from the city (Cebrene1401). Cebrenia extends as far as the Scepsian district. The boundary is the Scamander, which runs through the middle of Cebrenia and [Pg 361] Scepsia. There was continual enmity and war between the Scepsians and Cebrenians, till Antigonus settled them both together in the city, then called Antigonia, but at present Alexandria. The Cebrenians remained there with the other inhabitants, but the Scepsians, by the permission of Lysimachus, returned to their own country.

34. From the mountainous tract of Ida near these places, two arms, he says, extend to the sea, one in the direction of Rhœteium, the other of Sigeium, forming a semicircle, and terminate in the plain at the same distance from the sea as the present Ilium, which is situated between the extremities of the above-mentioned arms, whereas the ancient Ilium was situated at their commencement. This space comprises the Simoïsian plain through which the Simoeis runs, and the Scamandrian plain, watered by the Scamander. This latter plain is properly the plain of Troy, and Homer makes it the scene of the greatest part of his battles, for it is the widest of the two; and there we see the places named by him, the Erineos, the tomb of Æsyetes,1402 Batieia, and the tomb of Ilus. With respect to the Scamander and the Simoeis, the former, after approaching Sigeium, and the latter Rhœteium, unite their streams a little in front of the present Ilium,1403 and then empty themselves near Sigeium, and form as it is called the Stomalimne. Each of the above-mentioned plains is separated from the other by a long ridge1404 which is in a straight line with the above-mentioned arms;1405 the ridge begins at the present [Pg 362]
[CAS. 597]
Ilium and is united to it; it extends as far as Cebrenia, and completes with the arms on each side the letter θ.

35. A little above this ridge of land is the village of the Ilienses, supposed to be the site of the ancient Ilium, at the distance of 30 stadia from the present city. Ten stadia above the village of the Ilienses is Callicolone, a hill beside which, at the distance of five stadia, runs the Simoeis.

The description of the poet is probable. First what he says of Mars,

“but on the other side Mars arose, like a black tempest, one while with a shrill voice calling upon the Trojans from the summit of the citadel, at another time running along Callicolone beside the Simoeis;”1406

for since the battle was fought on the Scamandrian plain, Mars might, according to probability, encourage the men, one while from the citadel, at another time from the neighbouring places, the Simoeis and the Callicolone, to which the battle might extend. But since Callicolone is distant from the present Ilium 40 stadia, where was the utility of changing places at so great a distance, where the array of the troops did not extend? and the words

“The Lycii obtained by lot the station near Thymbra,”1407

[Pg 363]

which agree better with the ancient city, for the plain Thymbra,1408 is near, and the river Thymbrius, which runs through it, discharges itself into the Scamander, near the temple of Apollo Thymbræus, but is distant 50 stadia from the present Ilium. The Erineos,1409 a rugged spot abounding with wild fig-trees, lies below the ancient city, so that Andromache might say in conformity with such a situation,

“but place your bands near Erineos, where the city is most accessible to the enemy, and where they can mount the wall,”1410

but it is very far distant from the present city. The beech-tree was a little lower than the Erineos; of the former Achilles says,

“When I fought with the Achæans Hector was not disposed to urge the fight away from the wall, but advanced only as far as the Scæan gates, and the beech-tree.”1411

36. Besides, the Naustathmus, which retains its name at present, is so near the present city that any person may justly be surprised at the imprudence of the Greeks, and the want of spirit in the Trojans;—imprudence on the part of the Greeks, that they should have left the place for so long a time unfortified with a wall, in the neighbourhood of so large a city, and so great a body of men, both inhabitants and auxiliaries; for the wall, Homer says, was constructed at a late period; or perhaps no wall was built and the erection and destruction of it, as Aristotle says, are due to the invention of the poet;—a want of spirit on the part of the Trojans, who, after the wall was built, attacked that, and the Naustathmus, and the vessels themselves, but had not the courage before there was a wall to approach and besiege this station, although the distance was not great, for the Naustathmus is near Sigeium. The Scamander discharges itelf near this place at the distance of 20 stadia from Ilium.1412 If any one shall say that the Naustathmus is the present harbour of the Achæans, he must mean a place still nearer, distant about twelve stadia from the sea, [Pg 364]
[CAS. 599]
which is the extent of the plain in front of the city to the sea; but he will be in error if he include (in the ancient) the present plain, which is all alluvial soil brought down by the rivers,1413 so that if the interval is 12 stadia at present, it must have been at that period less in extent by one half. The story framed by Ulysses, which he tells Eumæus, implies a great distance from the Naustathmus to the city;

“when we lay in ambush below Troy,”1414

and he adds afterwards,

“for we had advanced too far from the ships.”1415

Scouts are despatched to learn whether the Trojans will remain near the ships when drawn away far from their own walls, or whether

“they will return back to the city.”1416

Polydamas also says,

“Consider well, my friends, what is to be done, for my advice is to return now to the city, for we are far from the walls.”1417

Demetrius (of Scepsis) adds the testimony of Hestiæa1418 of Alexandreia, who composed a work on the Iliad of Homer, and discusses the question whether the scene of the war was about the present city, and what was the Trojan plain which the poet mentions as situated between the city and the sea, for the plain seen in front of the present city is an accumulation of earth brought down by the rivers, and formed at a later period.

37. Polites also,

“who was the scout of the Trojans, trusting to his swiftness of foot, and who was on the summit of the tomb of the old Æsyetes,”1419

was acting absurdly. For although he was seated

“on the summit of the tomb,”

yet he might have observed from the much greater height of the citadel, situated nearly at the same distance, nor would his swiftness of foot have been required for the purpose of security, for the tomb of Æsyetes, which exists at present on the road to Alexandreia, is distant five stadia from the citadel.

[Pg 365]

Nor is the course of Hector round the city at all a probable circumstance, for the present city will not admit of a circuit round it on account of the continuous ridge of hill, but the ancient city did allow such a course round it.1420

38. No trace of the ancient city remains. This might be expected, for the cities around were devastated, but not entirely destroyed, whereas when Troy was overthrown from its foundation all the stones were removed for the reparation of the other cities. Archæanax of Mitylene is said to have fortified Sigeium with the stones brought from Troy. Sigeium was taken possession of by the Athenians, who sent Phryno, the victor in the Olympic games, at the time the Lesbians advanced a claim to nearly the whole Troad. They had indeed [Pg 366]
[CAS. 600]
founded most of the settlements, some of which exist at present, and others have disappeared. Pittacus of Mitylene, one of the seven wise men, sailed to the Troad against Phryno, the Athenian general, and was defeated in a pitched battle. (It was at this time that the poet Alcæus, as he himself says, when in danger in some battle, threw away his arms and fled. He charged a messenger with injunctions to inform those at home that Alcæus was safe, but that he did not bring away his arms. These were dedicated by the Athenians as an offering in the temple of Minerva Glaucopis.)1421 Upon Phryno’s proposal to meet in single combat, Pittacus advanced with his fishing gear,1422 enclosed his adversary in a net, pierced him with his three-pronged spear, and despatched him with a short sword. The war however still continuing, Periander was chosen arbitrator by both parties, and put an end to it.

39. Demetrius accuses Timæus of falsehood, for saying that Periander built a wall round the Achilleium out of the stones brought from Ilium as a protection against the attacks of the Athenians, and with a view to assist Pittacus; whereas this place was fortified by the Mitylenæans against Sigeium, but not with stones from Ilium, nor by Periander. For how should they choose an enemy in arms to be arbitrator?

The Achilleium is a place which contains the monument of Achilles, and is a small settlement. It was destroyed, as also Sigeium, by the Ilienses on account of the refractory disposition of its inhabitants. For all the sea-coast as far as Dardanus was afterwards, and is at present, subject to them.

Anciently the greatest part of these places were subject to the Æolians, and hence Ephorus does not hesitate to call all the country from Abydos to Cume by the name of Æolis. But Thucydides1423 says that the Mitylenæans were deprived of the Troad in the Peloponnesian war by the Athenians under the command of Paches.

40. The present Ilienses affirm that the city was not entirely demolished when it was taken by the Achæans, nor at any time deserted. The Locrian virgins began to be sent [Pg 367] there, as was the custom every year, a short time afterwards. This however is not told by Homer. Nor was Homer acquainted with the violation of Cassandra,1424 but says that she was a virgin about that time:

“He slew Othryoneus, who had lately come to the war from Cabesus, induced by the glory of the contest, and who sought in marriage the most beautiful of the daughters of Priam, Cassandra, without a dower.”1425

He does not mention any force having been used, nor does he attribute the death of Ajax by shipwreck to the wrath of Minerva, nor to any similar cause, but says, in general terms, that he was an object of hatred to Minerva, (for she was incensed against all who had profaned her temple,) and that Ajax died by the agency of Neptune for his boasting speeches.

The Locrian virgins were sent there when the Persians were masters of the country.

41. Such is the account of the Ilienses. But Homer speaks expressly of the demolition of the city:

“The day will come when at length sacred Ilium shall perish,1426
After we have destroyed the lofty city of Priam,1427
By counsel, by wisdom, and by artifice,
The city of Priam was destroyed in the tenth year.”1428

Of this they produce evidence of the following kind; the statue of Minerva, which Homer represents as in a sitting posture, is seen at present to be a standing figure, for he orders them

“to place the robe on the knees of Athene,”1429

in the same sense as this verse,

“no son of mine should sit upon her knees,”1430

and it is better to understand it thus, than as some explain it, “by placing the robe at the knees,” and adduce this line,

“she sat upon the hearth in the light of the fire,”1431

[Pg 368]
[CAS. 601]

for “near the hearth.” For what would the laying the robe at the knees mean? And they who alter the accent, and for γούνασιν read γουνασιν, like θυιάσιν, or in whatever way they understand it,1432 come to no conclusion. Many of the ancient statues of Minerva are found in a sitting posture, as those at Phocæa, Massalia, Rome, Chios, and many other cities. But modern writers, among whom is Lycurgus the rhetorician, agree that the city was destroyed, for in mentioning the city of the Ilienses he says, “who has not heard, when it was once razed by the Greeks, that it was uninhabited?”1433

42. It is conjectured that those who afterwards proposed to rebuild it avoided the spot as inauspicious, either on account of its calamities, of which it had been the scene, or whether Agamemnon, according to an ancient custom, had devoted it to destruction with a curse, as Crœsus, when he destroyed Sidene, in which the tyrant Glaucias had taken refuge, uttered a curse against those who should rebuild its walls. They therefore abandoned that spot and built a city elsewhere.

The Astypalæans, who were in possession of Rhœteium, were the first persons that founded Polium near the Simoïs, now called Polisma, but not in a secure spot, and hence it was soon in ruins.

The present settlement, and the temple, were built in the time of the Lydian kings; but it was not then a city; a long time afterwards, however, and by degrees, it became, as we have said, a considerable place.

Hellanicus, in order to gratify the Ilienses, as is his custom, maintains that the present and the ancient city are the same. But the district on the extinction of the city was divided by the possessors of Rhœteium and Sigeium, and the other neighbouring people among themselves. Upon the rebuilding of the city, however, they restored it.

43. Ida is thought to be appropriately described by Homer, [Pg 369] as abounding with springs on account of the multitude of rivers which issue from it, particularly where Dardania as far as Scepsis lies at its foot, and the places about Ilium.

Demetrius, who was acquainted with these places, (for he was a native,) thus speaks of them: “There is a height of Ida called Cotylus; it is situated about 120 stadia above Scepsis, and from it flow the Scamander, the Granicus, and the Æsepus;1434 the two last, being the contributions of many smaller sources, fall into the Propontis, but the Scamander, which has but a single source, flows towards the west. All these sources are in the neighbourhood of each other, and are comprised within a circuit of 20 stadia. The termination of the Æsepus is farthest distant from its commencement, namely, about 500 stadia.”

We may, however, ask why the poet says,

“They came to the fair fountains, whence burst forth two streams of the eddying Scamander, one flowing with water warm,”1435

that is, hot; he proceeds, however,

“around issues vapour as though caused by fire—the other gushes out in the summer, cold like hail, or frozen as snow,”

for no warm springs are now found in that spot, nor is the source of the Scamander there, but in the mountain, and there is one source instead of two.1436 It is probable that the [Pg 370]
[CAS. 602]
warm spring has failed, but the cold spring flowing from the Scamander along a subterraneous channel emerges at this place; or, because the water was near the Scamander, it was called the source of that river, for there are several springs, which are said to be its sources.

44. The Andirus empties itself into the Scamander; a [Pg 371] river which comes from the district of Caresene, a mountainous country, in which are many villages. It is well cultivated by the husbandmen. It adjoins Dardania, and extends as far as the places about Zeleia and Pityeia. The country, it is said, had its name from the river Caresus, mentioned by the poet,

“the Rhesus, Heptaporus, Caresus, and Rhodius,”1437

but the city of the same name as the river is in ruins.

Demetrius again says, the river Rhesus is now called Rhoeites, unless it is the Rhesus which empties itself into the Granicus.

The Heptaporus, which is called also Polyporus, is crossed seven times in travelling from the places about Cale Peuce (or the beautiful pitch tree) to the village Melænæ and to the Asclepieium, founded by Lysimachus.

Attalus, the first king, gives this account of the beautiful pitch tree; its circumference, he says, was 24 feet; the height of the trunk from the root was 67 feet; it then formed three branches, equally distant from each other; it then contracts into one head, and here it completes the whole height of two plethra, and 15 cubits. It is distant from Adramyttium 180 stadia towards the north.

The Caresus flows from Malus, a place situated between Palæscepsis and Achæïum, in front of the isle of Tenedos, and empties itself into the Æsepus.

The Rhodius flows from Cleandria and Gordus, which are distant 60 stadia from Cale Peuce, and empties itself into the Ænius (Æsepus?).

45. In the valley about the Æsepus, on the left of its course, the first place we meet with is Polichna, a walled stronghold; then Palæscepsis, next Alizonium, a place invented for the supposed existence of the Halizoni whom we have mentioned before.1438 Then Caresus, a deserted city, and Caresene, and a river of the same name, (Caresus,) which also forms a considerable valley, but less than that about the Æsepus. Next follow the plains of Zeleia, and the mountain plains, which are well cultivated. On the right of the Æsepus, between Polichna and Palæscepsis is Nea-Come,1439 and Argyria, [Pg 372]
[CAS. 603]
(the silver mines,)1440 which are another fiction framed to support the same hypothesis, in order that the words of Homer may be defended,

“where silver is produced.”1441

Where then is Alybe, or Alope, or in whatever way they please to play upon the name? For they ought to have had the impudence to invent this place also, and not to leave their system imperfect and exposed to detection, when they had once ventured so far. This is the contradiction which may be given to Demetrius.

As to the rest, we ought at least in the greatest number of instances to attend to a man of experience, and a native of the country, who also had bestowed so much thought and time on this subject as to write thirty books to interpret little more than 60 lines of the catalogue of the Trojan forces.

Palæscepsis, according to Demetrius, is distant from Ænea 50, and from the river Æsepus 30, stadia, and the name of Palæscepsis is applied to many other places.1442

We return to the sea-coast, from which we have digressed.

46. After the Sigeian promontory, and the Achilleium, is the coast opposite to Tenedos, the Achæïum, and Tenedos itself, distant not more than 40 stadia from the continent. It is about 80 stadia in circumference. It contains an Æolian city, and has two harbours, and a temple of Apollo Smintheus, as the poet testifies;

“Smintheus, thou that reignest over Tenedos.”1443

There are several small islands around it, and two in particular, called Calydnæ,1444 situated in the course of the voyage to Lectum. There are some writers who call Tenedos Calydna, [Pg 373] and others Leucophrys.1445 There are other small islands around it besides these. They lay near the scene of the fable about Tennes, from whom the island has its name, and of the story of Cycnus, a Thracian by descent, and father, according to some writers, of Tennes, and king of Colonæ.

47. Continuous with the Achæium are Larisa and Colonæ, formerly belonging to the people of Tenedos, who occupied the opposite coast; and the present Chrysa, situated upon a rocky height above the sea, and Hamaxitus lying below, and close to Lectum. But at present Alexandreia is continuous with the Achæium; the inhabitants of those small towns, and of many other strongholds, were embodied in Alexandreia. Among the latter were Cebrene and Neandria. The territory is in the possession of the Alexandrini, and the spot in which Alexandreia is now situated was called Sigia.

48. The temple of Apollo Smintheus is in this Chrysa, and the symbol, a mouse, which shows the etymology of the epithet Smintheus, lying under the foot of the statue.1446 They are the workmanship of Scopas of Paros. They reconcile the history, and the fable about the mice, in this following manner.

The Teucri, who came from Crete, (of whom Callinus, the elegiac poet, gave the first history, and he was followed by many others,) were directed by an oracle to settle wherever the earth-born inhabitants should attack them, which, it is said, occurred to them near Hamaxitus, for in the night-time great multitudes of field-mice came out and devoured all arms or utensils which were made of leather; the colony therefore settled there. These people also called the mountain Ida, after the name of the mountain in Crete.

[Pg 374]
[CAS. 604]

But Heracleides of Pontus says, that the mice, which swarmed near the temple, were considered as sacred, and the statue is represented as standing upon a mouse.

Others say, that a certain Teucer came from Attica, who belonged to the Demus of Troes, which is now called Xypeteon, but that no Teucri came from Crete. They adduce as a proof of the intermixture of Trojans with Athenians, that an Ericthonius was a founder of both people.

This is the account of modern writers. But the traces which now exist in the plain of Thebe, and at Chrysa situated there, coincide better with the description of Homer; and of these we shall speak immediately.1447

The name of Smintheus is to be found in many places, for near Hamaxitus itself, besides the Sminthian Apollo at the temple, there are two places called Sminthia, and others in the neighbouring district of Larissa. In the district also of Pariane is a place called Sminthia; others in Rhodes,1448 Lindus, and in many places besides. The temple is now called Sminthium.

Separate from the other is the Halesian plain near Lectum, which is not extensive, and the Tragasæan salt-pan near Hamaxitus,1449 where the salt spontaneously concretes on the blowing of the Etesian winds. On Lectum stands an altar dedicated to the Twelve Gods, erected, it is said, by Agamemnon.

These places are in sight of Ilium, at the distance of a little more than 200 stadia. On the other side the parts about Abydos are visible, although Abydos is somewhat nearer.

49. After doubling Lectum, there follow the most considerable cities of the Æolians, the bay of Adramyttium, on which Homer seems to have placed the greater part of the Leleges, and the Cilicians, divided into two tribes. There also is the coast of the Mitylenæans with some villages of the Mitylenæans on the continent. The bay has the name of the Idæan bay, for the ridge extending from Lectum to Ida overhangs [Pg 375] the commencement of the bay, where, according to the poet,1450 the Leleges were first settled.

50. I have spoken before of the Leleges, and I shall now add that the poet speaks of a Pedasus, a city of theirs which was subject to Altes;

“Altes, king of the war-loving Leleges, governs
The lofty Pedasus on the river Satnioeis:”1451

the spot exists but there is no city. Some read, but incorrectly, “below Satnioeis,” as if the city lay at the foot of a mountain called Satnioeis; yet there is no mountain there called Satnioeis, but a river, on which the city is placed. The city is at present deserted. The poet mentions the river;

“Ajax pierced with his spear Satnius, the son of Œnops, whom the beautiful nymph Naïs bore to Œnops, when he tended herds on the banks of the Satnioeis.”1452

And in another place;

“Œnops dwelt on the banks of the smooth-flowing Satnioeis
In lofty Pedasus.”1453

Later writers called it Satioeis, and some writers Saphnioeis. It is a great winter torrent, which the poet, by mentioning it, made remarkable. These places are continuous with the districts Dardania and Scepsia, and are as it were another Dardania, but lower than the former.

51. The country comprised in the districts of Antandria, Cebrene, Neandria, and the Hamaxitus, as far as the sea opposite to Lesbos, now belongs to the people of Assus and Gargara.1454

The Neandrians are situated above Hamaxitus on this side Lectum, but more towards the interior, and nearer to Ilium, from which they are distant 130 stadia. Above these people are the Cebrenii, and above the Cebrenii the Dardanii, extending as far as Palæscepsis, and even to Scepsis.

The poet Alcæus calls Antandrus a city of the Leleges:

“First is Antandrus, a city of the Leleges.”

Demetrius of Scepsis places it among the adjacent cities, so that it might be in the country of the Cilicians, for these people are rather to be regarded as bordering upon the Leleges, [Pg 376]
[CAS. 606]
having as their boundary the southern side of Mount Ida. These however are situated low down, and approach nearer the sea-coast at Adramyttium. After Lectum, at the distance of 40 stadia is Polymedium,1455 a stronghold; then at the distance of 80 stadia Assus, situated a little above the sea; next at 140 stadia Gargara, which is situated on a promontory, which forms the gulf, properly called the gulf of Adramyttium. For the whole of the sea-coast from Lectum to Canæ, and the Elaïtic bay, is comprised under the same name, the gulf of Adramyttium. This, however, is properly called the Adramyttene gulf, which is enclosed within the promontory on which Gargara stands, and that called the promontory Pyrrha,1456 on which is a temple of Venus. The breadth of the entrance forms a passage across from promontory to promontory of 120 stadia. Within it is Antandrus,1457 with a mountain above it, which is called Alexandreia, where it is said the contest between the goddesses was decided by Paris; and Aspaneus, the depository of the timber cut from the forests of Ida; it is here that wood is brought down and disposed of to those who want it.

Next is Astyra, a village and grove sacred to Artemis Astyrene. Close to it is Adramyttium, a city founded by a colony of Athenians, with a harbour, and a station for vessels. Beyond the gulf and the promontory Pyrrha is Cisthene, a deserted city with a harbour. Above it in the interior is a copper mine, Perperena, Trarium, and other similar settlements.

On this coast after Cisthene are the villages of the Mitylenæans, Coryphantis and Heracleia; next to these is Attea; then Atarneus,1458 Pitane,1459 and the mouths of the Caïcus. These, however, belong to the Elaïtic gulf. On the opposite side of the Caïcus are Elæa,1460 and the remainder of the gulf as far as Canæ.

We shall resume our description of each place, lest we should have omitted any one that is remarkable. And first with regard to Scepsis.

52. Palæscepsis is situated above Cebrene towards the most elevated part of Ida near Polichna. It had the name of [Pg 377] Scepsis1461 either for some other reason or because it was within view of the places around, if we may be allowed to derive words then in use among Barbarians from the Greek language. Afterwards the inhabitants were transferred to the present Scepsis, 60 stadia lower down, by Scamandrius, the son of Hector, and by Ascanius, the son of Æneas; these two families reigned, it is said, a long time at Scepsis. They changed the form of government to an oligarchy; afterwards the Milesians united with the Scepsians, and formed a democracy.1462 The descendants of these families had nevertheless the name of kings, and held certain dignities. Antigonus incorporated the Scepsians with the inhabitants of Alexandreia (Troas); Lysimachus dissolved this union, and they returned to their own country.

53. The Scepsian (Demetrius) supposes that Scepsis was the palace of Æneas, situated between the dominion of Æneas and Lyrnessus, where, it is said, he took refuge when pursued by Achilles.

“Remember you not,” says Achilles, “how I chased you when alone and apart from the herds, with swift steps, from the heights of Ida, thence indeed you escaped to Lyrnessus; but I took and destroyed it.”1463

Present traditions respecting Æneas do not agree with the story respecting the first founders of Scepsis. For it is said that he was spared on account of his hatred to Priam:

“he ever bore hatred to Priam, for never had Priam bestowed any honour upon him for his valour.”1464

His companion chiefs, the Antenoridæ, and Antenor, and myself, escaped on account of the hospitality which the latter had shown to Menelaus.

Sophocles, in his play, The Capture of Troy, says, that a panther’s skin was placed before Antenor’s door as a signal that his house should be spared from plunder. Antenor and [Pg 378]
[CAS. 608]
his four sons, together with the surviving Heneti, are said to have escaped into Thrace, and thence into Henetica on the Adriatic;1465 but Æneas, with his father Anchises and his son Ascanius, are said to have collected a large body of people, and to have set sail. Some writers say that he settled about the Macedonian Olympus; according to others he founded Capuæ,1466 near Mantineia in Arcadia, and that he took the name of the city from Capys. There is another account, that he disembarked at Ægesta1467 in Sicily, with Elymus, a Trojan, and took possession of Eryx1468 and Lilybæus,1469 and called the rivers about Ægesta Scamander and Simoïs; that from Sicily he went to Latium, and settled there in obedience to an oracle enjoining him to remain wherever he should eat his table. This happened in Latium, near Lavinium, when a large cake of bread which was set down instead of, and for want of, a table, was eaten together with the meat that was laid upon it.

Homer does not agree either with these writers or with what is said respecting the founders of Scepsis. For he represents Æneas as remaining at Troy, succeeding to the kingdom, and delivering the succession to his children’s children after the extinction of the race of Priam:

“the son of Saturn hated the family of Priam: henceforward Æneas shall reign over the Trojans, and his children’s children to late generations.”1470

In this manner not even the succession of Scamandrius could be maintained. He disagrees still more with those writers who speak of his wanderings as far as Italy, and make him end his days in that country. Some write the verse thus:

“The race of Æneas and his children’s children,” meaning the Romans,
“shall rule over all nations.”

54. The Socratic philosophers, Erastus, Coriscus, and Neleus, the son of Coriscus, a disciple of Aristotle, and Theophrastus, were natives of Scepsis. Neleus succeeded to the possession of the library of Theophrastus, which included that of Aristotle; for Aristotle gave his library, and left his school, [Pg 379] to Theophrastus. Aristotle1471 was the first person with whom we are acquainted who made a collection of books, and suggested to the kings of Ægypt the formation of a library. Theophrastus left his library to Neleus, who carried it to Scepsis, and bequeathed it to some ignorant persons who kept the books locked up, lying in disorder. When the Scepsians understood that the Attalic kings, on whom the city was dependent, were in eager search for books, with which they intended to furnish the library at Pergamus, they hid theirs in an excavation under-ground; at length, but not before they had been injured by damp and worms, the descendants of Neleus sold the books of Aristotle and Theophrastus for a large sum of money to Apellicon of Teos. Apellicon1472 was rather a lover of books than a philosopher; when therefore he attempted to restore the parts which had been eaten and corroded by worms, he made alterations in the original text and introduced them into new copies; he moreover supplied the defective parts unskilfully, and published the books full of errors. It was the misfortune of the ancient Peripatetics, those after Theophrastus, that being wholly unprovided with the books of Aristotle, with the exception of a few only, and those chiefly of the exoteric1473 kind, they were unable to philosophize according [Pg 380]
[CAS. 609]
to the principles of the system, and merely occupied themselves in elaborate discussions on common places. Their successors however, from the time that these books were published, philosophized, and propounded the doctrine of Aristotle more successfully than their predecessors, but were under the necessity of advancing a great deal as probable only, on account of the multitude of errors contained in the copies.

Even Rome contributed to this increase of errors; for immediately on the death of Apellicon, Sylla, who captured Athens, seized the library of Apellicon. When it was brought to Rome, Tyrannion,1474 the grammarian, who was an admirer of Aristotle, courted the superintendent of the library and obtained the use of it. Some vendors of books, also, employed bad scribes and neglected to compare the copies with the original. This happens in the case of other books which are copied for sale both here and at Alexandreia.

This may suffice on this subject.

55. Demetrius the grammarian, whom we have frequently mentioned, was a native of Scepsis. He composed a comment on the catalogue of the Trojan forces. He was contemporary with Crates and Aristarchus. He was succeeded by Metrodorus,1475 who changed from being a philosopher to [Pg 381] engage in public affairs. His writings are for the most part in the style of the rhetoricians. He employed a new and striking kind of phraseology. Although he was poor, yet, in consequence of the reputation which he had acquired, he married a rich wife at Chalcedon, and acquired the surname of the Chalcedonian. He paid great court to Mithridates Eupator, whom he accompanied with his wife on a voyage to Pontus, and received from him distinguished honours. He was appointed to preside over a tribunal where the party condemned by the judge had no power of appeal to the king. His prosperity however was not lasting, for he incurred the enmity of some very unjust persons, and deserted from the king at the very time that he was despatched on an embassy to Tigranes the Armenian. Tigranes sent him back much against his inclination to Eupator, who was then flying from his hereditary kingdom. Metrodorus died on the road, either in consequence of orders from the king, or by natural disease, for both causes of his death are stated.

So much then respecting Scepsis.

56. Next to Scepsis are Andeira, Pioniæ, and Gargaris. There is found at Andeira a stone, which when burnt becomes iron. It is then put into a furnace together with some kind of earth, when it distils a mock silver, (Pseudargyrum,) or with the addition of copper it becomes the compound called oreichalcum. There is found a mock silver near Tmolus also. These places and those about Assus were occupied by the Leleges.

57. Assus is a strong place, and well fortified with walls. There is a long and perpendicular ascent from the sea and the harbour, so that the verse of Stratonicus the citharist seems to be applicable to it;

[Pg 382]
[CAS. 610]

“Go to Assus, if you mean to reach quickly the confines of death.”

The harbour is formed of a large mole.

Cleanthes, the Stoic philosopher, was a native of this place. He succeeded to the school of Zeno of Citium, and left it to Chrysippus of Soli. Here also Aristotle resided for some time, on account of his relationship to Hermeas the tyrant. Hermeas was an eunuch, servant of a money-changer. When he was at Athens he was the hearer both of Plato and of Aristotle. On his return he became the associate in the tyranny of his master, who attacked the places near Atarneus and Assus. He afterwards succeeded his master, sent for both Aristotle and Xenocrates, and treated them with kindness. He even gave his niece in marriage to Aristotle. But Memnon of Rhodes, who was at that time general in the service of the Persians, invited to his house Hermeas, under the mask of friendship, and on pretence of business. He seized Hermeas, and sent him to the king, who ordered him to be hanged. The philosophers, avoiding places in possession of the Persians, escaped by flight.

58. Myrsilus says that Assus was founded by Methymnæans; but according to Hellanicus it was an Æolian city, like Gargara and Lamponia of the Æolians. Gargara1476 was founded from Assus; it was not well peopled, for the kings introduced settlers from Miletopolis,1477 which they cleared of its inhabitants, [Pg 383] so that Demetrius the Scepsian says that, instead of being Æolians, the people became semi-barbarians. In the time of Homer all these places belonged to Leleges, whom some writers represent as Carians, but Homer distinguishes them,

“Near the sea are Carians, and Pæonians with curved bows, Leleges, and Caucones.”1478

The Leleges were therefore a different people from the Carians, and lived between the people subject to Æneas and the Cilicians, as they are called by the poet. After being plundered by Achilles, they removed to Caria, and occupied the country about the present Halicarnassus.

59. Pedasus, the city which they abandoned, is no longer in existence. But in the interior of the country belonging to the people of Halicarnassus there was a city called by them Pedasa, and the territory has even now the name of Pedasis. It is said that this district contained eight cities, occupied by the Leleges, who were formerly so populous a nation as to possess Caria as far as Myndus, Bargylia, and a great part of Pisidia. In later times, when they united with the Carians in their expeditions, they were dispersed throughout the whole of Greece, and the race became extinct.

Mausolus, according to Callisthenes, assembled in Halicarnassus1479 alone the inhabitants of six out of the eight cities, but allowed Suangela and Myndus to remain untouched. Herodotus1480 relates that whenever anything unfortunate was about to befall the inhabitants of Pedasus1481 and the neighbourhood a beard appeared on the face of the priestess of Minerva, and that this happened three times.

There is now existing in the territory of the Stratoniceis1482 a small town called Pedasum. There are to be seen throughout the whole of Caria and at Miletus sepulchres, and fortifications, and vestiges of settlements of the Leleges.

60. The tract of sea-coast following next after the Leleges was occupied, according to Homer, by Cilicians, but at present it is occupied by Adramytteni, Atarneitæ, and Pitanæi as far as the mouth of the Caïcus. The Cilicians were divided into [Pg 384]
[CAS. 611]
two dynasties, as we have before said,1483 the head of one was Eetion, the other Mynes.

61. Homer says that Thebe was the city of Eetion;

“We went to Thebe, the sacred city of Eetion.”1484

To him also belonged Chrysa, which contained the temple of Apollo Smintheus, for Chryseïs was taken from Thebe;

“We went,”

he says,

“to Thebe, ravaged it, and carried everything away; the sons of the Achæans divided the booty among themselves, but selected for Atrides the beautiful Chryseïs.”

Lyrnessus he calls the city of Mynes, for

“having plundered Lyrnessus, and destroyed the walls of Thebe,”1485

Achilles slew Mynes and Epistrophus, so that when Bryseïs says,

“you suffered me not to weep when the swift Achilles slew my husband, and laid waste the city of the divine Mynes,”1486

the poet cannot mean Thebe, for that belonged to Eetion, but Lyrnessus, for both cities lay in what was afterwards called the plain of Thebe, which, on account of its fertility, was a subject of contest among the Mysians and Lydians formerly, and latterly among the Greeks who had migrated from Æolis and Lesbos. At present Adramytteni possess the greater part of it; there are Thebe and Lyrnessus, a strong place, but both are deserted. One is situated at the distance of 60 stadia from Adramyttium on one side, and the other 88 stadia on the other side.

62. In the Adramyttene district are Chrysa and Cilla. There is at present near Thebe a place called Cilla, in which is a temple of Apollo Cillæus. Beside it runs a river, which comes from Mount Ida. These places are near Antandria. The Cillæum in Lesbos has its name from this Cilla. There is also a mountain Cillæum between Gargara and Antandrus. Daes of Colonæ says that the temple of Apollo Cillæus was founded at Colonæ by the Æolians, who came by sea from Greece. At Chrysa also it is said that there is a Cillæan Apollo, but it is uncertain whether it is the same as Apollo Smintheus, or a different statue.

[Pg 385]

63. Chrysa is a small town on the sea-coast with a harbour. Near and above it is Thebe. Here was the temple of Apollo Smintheus, and here Chryseïs lived. The place at present is entirely abandoned. To the present Chrysa, near Hamaxitus, was transferred the temple of the Cilicians, one party of whom went to Pamphylia, the other to Hamaxitus. Those who are not well acquainted with ancient histories say that Chryses and Chryseïs lived there, and that Homer mentions the place. But there is no harbour at this place, yet Homer says,

“but when they entered the deep harbour,”1487

nor is the temple on the sea-coast, but Homer places it there;

“Chryseïs left the ship; then the sage Ulysses, leading her to the altar, placed her in the hands of her beloved father.”1488

Nor is it near Thebe, but it is near it, according to Homer, for he says, that Chryseïs was taken away from thence.

Nor is there any place of the name of Cilla in the district of the Alexandreia, (Troas,) nor a temple of Apollo Cillæus, whereas the poet joins them together:

“who art the guardian of Chrysa, and the divine Cilla.”1489

But it is in the plain of Thebe that they are seen near together. The voyage from the Cilician Chrysa to the Naustathmus (or naval station) is about 700 stadia, and occupies a day, which is as much as Ulysses seems to have completed; for immediately upon leaving the vessel he offers sacrifice to the god, and being overtaken by the evening, remains there. In the morning he sets sail. It is scarcely a third of the above-mentioned distance from Hamaxitus, so that Ulysses could have performed his sacrifice and have returned to the Naustathmus the same day. There is also a monument of Cillus, a large mound, near the temple of Apollo Cillæus. He is said to have been the charioteer of Pelops, and to have had the chief command in these parts. Perhaps the country Cilicia had its name from him, or he had his from the country.

64. The story about the Teucri, and the mice from whom the name of Smintheus is derived, (for mice are called Sminthii,) must be transferred to this place.

[Pg 386]
[CAS. 613]

They excuse the derivation of titles from insignificant objects by examples of this kind; as from the parnopes, which the Œtæans call cornopes, Hercules had a surname, and was worshipped under the title of Hercules Cornopion, because he had delivered them from locusts. So the Erythræans, who live near the river Melius, worship Hercules Ipoctonus, because he destroyed the ipes, or worms, which are destructive to vines; for this pest is found everywhere except in the country of the Erythræans. The Rhodians have in the island a temple of Apollo Erythibius, so called from erysibe, (mildew,) and which they call erythibe. Among the Æolians in Asia one of their months is called Pornopion, for this name the Bœotians give to parnopes, (locusts,) and a sacrifice is performed to Apollo Pornopion.

65. The country about Adramyttium is Mysia. It was once subject to Lydians, and there are now Pylæ Lydiæ (or the Lydian Gates) at Adramyttium, the city having been founded, it is said, by Lydians.

Astyra also, the village near Adramyttium, is said to belong to Mysia. It was once a small city, in which was the temple of Artemis Astyrene, situated in a grove. The Antandrians, in whose neighbourhood it is more immediately situated, preside over it with great solemnity. It is distant 20 stadia from the ancient Chrysa, which also has a temple in a grove. There too is the Rampart of Achilles. At the distance of 50 stadia in the interior is Thebe, uninhabited, which the poet says was situated below the woody Placus. But there is neither Placus nor Plax there, nor a wood above it, although near Ida.

Thebe is distant from Astyra 70, and from Andeira 60 stadia. All these are names of uninhabited places, or thinly inhabited, or of rivers which are torrents. But they owe their fame to ancient history.

66. Assus and Adramyttium are considerable cities. Adramyttium was unfortunate in the Mithridatic war, for Diodorus the general, in order to gratify the king, put to death the council of the citizens, although at the same time he pretended to be a philosopher of the Academy, pleaded causes, and professed to teach rhetoric. He accompanied the king on his voyage to Pontus, but upon his overthrow Diodorus was punished for his crimes. Many accusations were simultaneously [Pg 387] preferred against him: but, unable to endure the disgrace, he basely destroyed himself in my native city by abstaining from food.

Adramyttium produced Xenocles, a distinguished orator, who adopted the Asiatic style of eloquence and was remarkable for the vehemence of his manner; he defended Asia before the senate, at the time when that province was accused of favouring the party of Mithridates.

67. Near Astyra is a lake called Sapra, full of deep holes, that empties itself by a ravine among ridges of rocks on the coast. Below Andeira is a temple dedicated to the Andeirenian mother of the gods, and a cave with a subterraneous passage extending to Palæa. Palæa is a settlement distant 130 stadia from Andeira. A goat, which fell into the opening, discovered the subterraneous passage. It was found at Andeira the next day, accidentally, by the shepherd, who had gone there to a sacrifice.

Atarneus1490 is the royal seat of Hermeas the tyrant. Next is Pitane, an Æolian city, with two harbours, and the river Euenus flowing beside it, which supplies the aqueduct of the Adramyttium with water.

Arcesilaus of the Academy was a native of Pitane, and a fellow-disciple of Zeno of Citium in the school of Polemo.

There is a place in Pitane called “Atarneus under Pitane,” opposite to the island called Elæussa.

It is said that at Pitane bricks float upon the water, as was the case with a small island1491 in Tyrrhenia, for the earth, being lighter than an equal bulk of water, swims upon it. Poseidonius says, that he saw in Spain bricks made of an argillaceous earth (with which silver vessels are cleansed) floating upon water.

After Pitane the Caïcus1492 empties itself, at the distance of 30 stadia from it, into the Elaïtic bay. Beyond the Caïcus, at the distance of 12 stadia from the river, is Elæa, an Æolian city; it is the arsenal of Pergamum, and distant from it 120 stadia.

[Pg 388]
[CAS. 615]

68. At 100 stadia farther is Cane, the promontory opposite to Lectum, and forming the gulf of Adramyttium, of which the Elaïtic Gulf is a part. Canæ is a small city of the Locrians who came from Cynus; it is situated in the Canæan territory, opposite the most southerly extremities of Lesbos. This territory extends to the Arginusæ, and the promontory above, which some call Aiga, or the goat. The second syllable however must be pronounced long, Aigan, like Actan and Archan, for this was the name of the whole mountain, which at present is called Cane, or Canæ.1493 The sea surrounds the mountain on the south and west; towards the east the plain of Caïcus lies below, and on the north the Elaïtic district. The mountain itself is very much contracted. It inclines indeed towards the Ægæan Sea, from which it has the name (Æga), but afterwards the promontory itself was called Æga, the name which Sappho gives it, and then Cane and Canæ.

[Pg 389]

69. Between Elæa, Pitane, Atarneus, and Pergamum on this side the Caïcus, is Teuthrania, distant from none of these places above 70 stadia. Teuthras is said to have been king of the Cilicians and Mysians. According to Euripides, Auge, with her son Telephus, was enclosed in a chest and thrown into the sea, by command of her father Aleus, who discovered that she had been violated by Hercules. By the care of Minerva the chest crossed the sea, and was cast ashore at the mouth of the Caïcus. Teuthras took up the mother and her son, married the former, and treated the latter as his own child. This is a fable, but another concurrence of circumstances is wanting to explain how the daughter of the Arcadian became the wife of the king of the Mysians, and how her son succeeded to the throne of the Mysians. It is however believed that Teuthras and Telephus governed the country lying about Teuthrania and the Caïcus, but the poet mentions a few particulars only of this history:

“as when he slew the son of Telephus, the hero Eurypylus, and many of his companions, the Cetæi, were killed around him for the sake of the gifts of women.”1494

Homer here rather proposes an enigma than a clear meaning. For we do not know who the Cetæi were, nor what people we are to understand by this name, nor what is meant by the words, “for the sake of the gifts of women.”1495 Grammarians adduce and compare with this other stories, but they indulge in invention rather than solve the difficulty.

70. Let us dismiss this doubtful matter, and turn to what is more certain; for instance, according to Homer, Eurypylus appears to have been king of the places about the Caïcus, so that perhaps a part of the Cilicians were his subjects, and that there were not only two but three dynasties among that people.

This opinion is supported by the circumstance that in the Elaïtis there is a small river, like a winter torrent, of the name of Ceteium. This falls into another like it, then again [Pg 390]
[CAS. 616]
into another, but all discharge themselves into the Caïcus. The Caïcus does not flow from Ida, as Bacchylides says, nor does Euripides say correctly that Marsyas

“inhabited the famous Celænæ, at the extremity of Ida,”

for Celænæ is at a great distance from Ida, and so are the sources of the Caïcus, for they are to be seen in the plain.

There is a mountain, Temnum, which separates this and the plain of Asia; it lies in the interior above the plain of Thebe. A river, Mysius, flows from Temnum and enters the Caïcus below its source. Hence some persons suppose that Æschylus refers to it in the beginning of the prologue to the play of the Myrmidons,

“Caïcus, and ye Mysian streams”—

Near its source is a village called Gergitha, to which Attalus transferred the inhabitants of Gergitha in the Troad, after destroying their own town.


1. Since Lesbos, a very remarkable island, lies along and opposite to the sea-coast, extending from Lectum to Canæ, and since it is surrounded by small islands, some of which lie beyond it, others in the space between Lesbos and the continent, it is now proper to describe them, because they are Æolian places, and Lesbos is, as it were, the capital of the Æolian cities. We shall begin where we set out to describe the coast opposite to the island.

2. In sailing from Lectum to Assus the Lesbian district begins opposite to Sigrium,1496 its northern promontory. Somewhere there is Methymna,1497 a city of the Lesbians, 60 stadia from the coast, between Polymedium and Assus. The whole island is 1100 stadia in circumference. The particulars are these.

From Methymna to Malia,1498 the most southern promontory to those who have the island on their right hand, and to which Canæ1499 lies directly opposite, are 340 stadia. Thence [Pg 391] to Sigrium, which is the length of the island, 560 stadia, thence to Methymna 210 stadia.1500

Mitylene, the largest city, lies between Methymna and Malia, at the distance from Malia of 70 stadia, and from Canæ of 120, and as many from the Arginussæ islands,1501 which are three small islands near the continent, and situated near Canæ. In the interval between Mitylene and Methymna, at a village called Ægeirus in the Methymnæan territory, is the narrowest part of the island, having a passage of 20 stadia to the Pyrrhæan Euripus.1502 Pyrrha1503 is situated on the western side of Lesbos, at the distance of 100 stadia from Malia.

Mitylene has two harbours; of which the southern is a closed harbour for triremes, and capable of holding 50 vessels. The northern harbour is large, and deep, and protected by a mole. In front of both lies a small island, which contains a part of the city. Mitylene is well provided with everything.

3. It formerly produced celebrated men, as Pittacus, one of the Seven Wise Men; Alcæus the poet, and his brother Antimenidas, who, according to Alcæus, when fighting on the side of the Babylonians, achieved a great exploit, and extricated them from their danger by killing

“a valiant warrior, the king’s wrestler, who was four cubits in height.”

Contemporary with these persons flourished Sappho, an extraordinary woman; for at no period within memory has any woman been known at all to be compared to her in poetry.

At this period Mitylene was ruled by many tyrants, in consequence of the dissensions among the citizens. These dissensions are the subject of the poems of Alcæus called Stasiotica (the Seditions). One of these tyrants was Pittacus: Alcæus inveighed against him as well as against Myrsilus, Megalagyrus1504 the Cleanactidæ, and some others; nor was he [Pg 392]
[CAS. 617]
himself clear from the imputation of favouring these political changes. Pittacus himself employed monarchical power to dissolve the despotism of the many, but, having done this, he restored the independence of the city.

At a late period afterwards appeared Diophanes the rhetorician; in our times Potamo, Lesbocles, Crinagoras, and Theophanes the historian.1505 The latter was versed in political affairs, and became the friend of Pompey the Great, chiefly on account of his accomplishments and assistance he afforded in directing to a successful issue all his enterprises. Hence, partly by means of Pompey, partly by his own exertions, he became an ornament to his country, and rendered himself the most illustrious of all the Grecians. He left a son, Mark Pompey, whom Augustus Cæsar appointed prefect of Asia, and who is now reckoned among the number of the chief friends of Tiberius.

The Athenians were in danger of incurring irremediable disgrace by passing a decree that all the Mitylenæans who had attained the age of puberty should be put to death. They, however, recalled their resolution, and the counter-decree reached their generals only one day before the former order was to be executed.

4. Pyrrha is in ruins. But the suburb is inhabited, and has a port, whence to Mitylene is a passage of 80 stadia. Next after Pyrrha is Eressus.1506 It is situated upon a hill, and extends to the sea. Thence to Sigrium 28 stadia.

Eressus was the birth-place of Theophrastus, and of Phanias, Peripatetic philosophers, disciples of Aristotle. Theophrastus was called Tyrtamus before his name was changed by Aristotle to Theophrastus, thus getting rid of the cacophony of the former name, and at the same time expressing the [Pg 393] beauty of his elocution, for Aristotle made all his disciples eloquent, but Theophrastus the most eloquent of them all.

Antissa1507 is next to Sigrium. It is a city with a harbour. Then follows Methymna, of which place Arion was a native, who, as Herodotus relates the story, after having been thrown into the sea by pirates, escaped safe to Tænarus on the back of a dolphin. He played on the cithara and sang to it. Terpander, who practised the same kind of music, was a native of this island. He was the first person that used the lyre with seven instead of four strings, as is mentioned in the verses attributed to him:

“we have relinquished the song adapted to four strings, and shall cause new hymns to resound on a seven-stringed cithara.”

The historian Hellanicus, and Callias, who has commented on Sappho and Alcæus, were Lesbians.

5. Near the strait situated between Asia and Lesbos there are about twenty small islands, or, according to Timosthenes, forty. They are called Hecatonnesoi,1508 a compound name like Peloponnesus, the letter N being repeated by custom in such words as Myonnesus, Proconnesus, Halonnesus, so that Hecatonnesoi is of the same import as Apollonnesoi, since Apollo is called Hecatus;1509 for along the whole of this coast, as far as Tenedos, Apollo is held in the highest veneration, and worshipped under the names of Smintheus, Cillæus, Gryneus, or other appellations.

Near these islands is Pordoselene, which contains a city of the same name, and in front of this city is another island1510 larger than this, and a city of the same name, uninhabited, in which there is a temple of Apollo.

6. Some persons, in order to avoid the indecorum couched in these names,1511 say that we ought to read in that place Poroselene, and to call Aspordenum, the rocky and barren mountain near Pergamum, Asporenum, and the temple there of the mother of the gods the temple of the Asporene mother of the gods; what then are we to say to the names Pordalis, Saperdes, [Pg 394]
[CAS. 619]
Perdiccas, and to this word in the verse of Simonides, “with clothes dripping with wet,” (πορδάκοισιν for διαβρόχοις,) and in the old comedy somewhere, “the country is πορδακόν, for λιμνάζον, or ‘marshy.’”

Lesbos is at the same distance, rather less than 500 stadia, from Tenedos, Lemnos, and Chios.


1. Since there subsisted so great an affinity among the Leleges and Cilicians with the Trojans, the reason is asked, why these people are not included in Homer’s Catalogue. Perhaps it is that, on account of the loss of their leaders and the devastation of the cities, the few Cilicians that were left placed themselves under the command of Hector. For Eetion and his sons are said to have been killed before the Catalogue is mentioned;

“The hero Achilles,”

says Andromache,

“killed my father, and destroyed Thebe, with its lofty gates, the city of the Cilicians.”—

“I had seven brothers in the palace; all of them went in one day to Hades, for they were all slain by the swift-footed divine Achilles.”1512

Those also under the command of Mynes had lost their leaders, and their city;

“He slew Mynes, and Epistrophus,
And destroyed the city of the divine Mynes.”1513

He describes the Leleges as present at the battles;

“on the sea-coast are Carians, and Pæonians with curved bows, Leleges, and Caucones.”1514

And in another place,

“he killed Satnius with a spear—the son of Enops, whom a beautiful nymph Neis bore to Enops, when he was tending herds near the banks of Satnioeis,”1515

for they had not been so completely annihilated as to prevent [Pg 395] their forming a body of people of themselves, since their king still survived,

“Altes, king of the war-loving Leleges,”1516

nor was the city entirely razed, for he adds,

“who commanded the lofty city Pedasus.”1517

He has passed them over in the Catalogue, not considering the body of people large enough to have a place in it; or he comprised them among the people under the command of Hector, as being allied to one another. For Lycaon, the brother of Hector, says,

“my mother Laothoë, daughter of the old Altes, brought me into the world to live but a short time; of Altes, king of the war-loving Leleges.”1518

Such is the reasoning, from probability, which this subject admits.

2. We reason from probability when we endeavour to determine by the words of the poet the exact bounds of the territory of the Cilicians, Pelasgi, and of the people situated between them, namely, the Ceteii, who were under the command of Eurypylus.

We have said of the Cilicians and of the people under the command of Eurypylus what can be said about them, and that they are bounded by the country near the Caïcus.

It is agreeable to probability to place the Pelasgi next to these people, according to the words of Homer and other histories. Homer says,

“Hippothous led the tribes of the Pelasgi, who throw the spear, who inhabited the fertile Larisa; their leaders were Hippothous and Pylæus, a son of Mars, both sons of Lethus the Pelasgian, son of Teutamis.”1519

He here represents the numbers of Pelasgi as considerable, for he does not speak of them as a tribe, but “tribes,” and specifies the place of their settlement, Larisa. There are many places of the name of Larisa, but we must understand some one of those near the Troad, and perhaps we might not be wrong in supposing it to be that near Cyme; for of three places of the name of Larisa, that near Hamaxitus is quite in sight of Ilium and very near it, at the distance of about 200 stadia, so that Hippothous could not be said consistently with probability to fall, in the contest about Patroclus,

[Pg 396]
[CAS. 620]

“far from Larisa,”1520

at least from this Larisa, but rather from the Larisa near Cyme, for there are about 1000 stadia between them. The third Larisa is a village in the Ephesian district in the plain of the Caÿster; which, it is said, was formerly a city containing a temple of Apollo Larisæus, and situated nearer to Mount Tmolus than to Ephesus. It is distant from Ephesus 180 stadia, so that it might be placed rather under the government of the Mæonians. The Ephesians, having afterwards acquired more power, deprived the Mæonians, whom we now call Lydians, of a large part of their territory; but not even this, but the other rather, would be the Larisa of the Pelasgi. For we have no strong evidence that the Larisa in the plain of Caÿster was in existence at that time, nor even of the existence of Ephesus. But all the Æolian history, relating to a period a little subsequent to the Trojan times, proves the existence of the Larisa near Cyme.

3. It is said that the people who set out from Phricium, a Locrian mountain above Thermopylæ, settled on the spot where Cyme is now situated; and finding the Pelasgi, who had been great sufferers in the Trojan war, yet still in possession of Larisa, distant about 70 stadia from Cyme, erected as a defence against them what is at present called Neon-teichos, (or the New Wall,) 30 stadia from Larisa. They took Larisa,1521 founded Cyme, and transferred to it as settlers the surviving Pelasgi. Cyme is called Cyme Phriconis from the Locrian mountain, and Larisa also (Phriconis): it is now deserted.

That the Pelasgi were a great nation history, it is said, furnishes other evidence. For Menecrates of Elæa, in his work on the foundation of cities, says, that the whole of the present Ionian coast, beginning from Mycale and the neighbouring islands, were formerly inhabited by Pelasgi. But the Lesbians say, that they were commanded by Pylæus, who is called by the poet the chief of the Pelasgi, and that it was from him that the mountain in their country had the name of Pylæum.

The Chians also say, that the Pelasgi from Thessaly were [Pg 397] their founders. The Pelasgi, however, were a nation disposed to wander, ready to remove from settlement to settlement, and experienced both a great increase and a sudden diminution of strength and numbers, particularly at the time of the Æolian and Ionian migrations to Asia.

4. Something peculiar took place among the Larisæans in the plain of Caÿster, in the Phriconis, and in Thessaly. All of them occupied a country, the soil of which has been accumulated by rivers, by the Caÿster,1522 the Hermus,1523 and the Peneus.1524

At Larisa Phriconis Piasus is said to receive great honours. He was chief of the Pelasgi, and enamoured, it is said, of his daughter Larisa, whom he violated, and was punished for the outrage. She discovered him leaning over a cask of wine, seized him by his legs, lifted him up, and dropped him down into the vessel. These are ancient accounts.

5. To the present Æolian cities we must add Ægæ and Temnus, the birth-place of Hermagoras, who wrote a book on the Art of Rhetoric.

These cities are on the mountainous country which is above the district of Cyme, and that of the Phocæans and Smyrnæans, beside which flows the Hermus.

Not far from these cities is Magnesia under Sipylus, made a free city by a decree of the Romans. The late earthquakes have injured this place. To the opposite parts, which incline towards the Caïcus to Cyme from Larisa, in passing to which the river Hermus is crossed, are 70 stadia; thence to Myrina 40 stadia; thence to Grynium 40 stadia, and thence to Elæa. But, according to Artemidorus, next to Cyme is Adæ; then, at the distance of 40 stadia, a promontory, which they call Hydra, that forms the Elaïtic Gulf with the opposite promontory Harmatus. The breadth of the entrance is about 80 stadia, including the winding of the bays. Myrina, situated at 60 stadia, is an Æolian city with a harbour, then the harbour of Achæans, where are altars of the twelve gods; next is Grynium, a small city [of the Myrinæans], a temple of Apollo, an ancient oracle, and a costly fane of white marble. To Myrina are 40 stadia; then 70 stadia to Elæa, which has a harbour and a station for vessels of the Attalic kings, founded [Pg 398]
[CAS. 622]
by Menestheus and the Athenians who accompanied him in the expedition against Ilium.

The places about Pitane, and Atarneus, and others in this quarter, which follow Elæa, have been already described.

6. Cyme is the largest and best of the Æolian cities. This and Lesbos may be considered the capitals of the other cities, about 30 in number, of which not a few exist no longer. The inhabitants of Cyme are ridiculed for their stupidity, for, according to some writers, it is said of them that they only began to let the tolls of the harbour three hundred years after the foundation of their city, and that before this time the town had never received any revenue of the kind; hence the report that it was late before they perceived that they inhabited a city lying on the sea.

There is another story, that, having borrowed money in the name of the state, they pledged their porticos as security for the payment of it. Afterwards, the money not having been repaid on the appointed day, they were prohibited from walking in them. The creditors, through shame, gave notice by the crier whenever it rained, that the inhabitants might take shelter under the porticos. As the crier called out, “Go under the porticos,” a report prevailed that the Cymæans did not perceive that they were to go under the porticos when it rained unless they had notice from the public crier.1525

Ephorus, a man indisputably of high repute, a disciple of Isocrates the orator, was a native of this city. He was an historian, and wrote the book on Inventions.

Hesiod the poet, who long preceded Ephorus, was a native of this place, for he himself says, that his father Dius left Cyme in Æolis and migrated to the Bœotians;

“he dwelt near Helicon in Ascra, a village wretched in winter, in summer oppressive, and not pleasant at any season.”

[Pg 399]

It is not generally admitted that Homer was from Cyme, for many dispute about him.

The name of the city was derived from an Amazon, as that of Myrina was the name of an Amazon, buried under the Batieia in the plain of Troy;

“men call this Batieia; but the immortals, the tomb of the bounding Myrina.”1526

Ephorus is bantered, because, having no achievements of his countrymen to commemorate among the other exploits in his history, and yet being unwilling to pass them over unnoticed, he exclaims,

“at this time the Cymæans were at peace.”

After having described the Trojan and Æolian coasts, we ought next to notice cursorily the interior of the country as far as Mount Taurus, observing the same order.


1. Pergamum1527 has a kind of supremacy among these places. It is a city of note, and flourished during a long period under the Attalic kings; and here we shall begin our description, premising a short account of her kings, their origin, and the end of their career.

Pergamum was the treasure-hold of Lysimachus, the son of Agathocles, and one of the successors of Alexander. It is situated on the very summit of the mountain which terminates in a sharp peak like a pine-cone. Philetærus of Tyana was intrusted with the custody of this stronghold, and of the treasure, which amounted to nine thousand talents. He became an eunuch in childhood by compression, for it happened that a great body of people being assembled to see a funeral, the nurse who was carrying Philetærus, then an infant, in her arms, was entangled in the crowd, and pressed upon to such a degree that the child was mutilated.

He was therefore an eunuch, but having been well educated he was thought worthy of this trust. He continued for [Pg 400]
[CAS. 623]
some time well affected to Lysimachus, but upon a disagreement with Arsinoë, the wife of Lysimachus, who had falsely accused him, he caused the place to revolt, and suited his political conduct to the times, perceiving them to be favourable to change. Lysimachus, overwhelmed with domestic troubles, was compelled to put to death Agathocles his son. Seleucus Nicator invaded his country and destroyed his power, but was himself treacherously slain by Ptolemy Ceraunus.

During these disorders the eunuch remained in the fortress, continually employing the policy of promises and other courtesies with those who were the strongest and the nearest to himself. He thus continued master of the stronghold for twenty years.

2. He had two brothers, the elder of whom was Eumenes, the younger Attalus. Eumenes had a son of the same name, who succeeded to the possession of Pergamum, and was then sovereign of the places around, so that he overcame in a battle near Sardes1528 Antiochus, the son of Seleucus, and died after a reign of two-and-twenty years.

Attalus, the son of Attalus and Antiochis, daughter of Achæus, succeeded to the kingdom. He was the first person who was proclaimed king after a victory, which he obtained in a great battle with the Galatians. He became an ally of the Romans, and, in conjunction with the Rhodian fleet, assisted them in the war against Philip. He died in old age, having reigned forty-three years. He left four sons by Apollonis, a woman of Cyzicus,—Eumenes, Attalus, Philetærus, and Athenæus. The younger sons continued in a private station, but Eumenes, the elder, was king. He was an ally of the Romans in the war with Antiochus the Great, and with Perseus; he received from the Romans all the country within the Taurus which had belonged to Antiochus. Before this time there were not under the power of Pergamum many places which reached the sea at the Elaïtic and the Adramyttene Gulfs. Eumenes embellished the city, he ornamented the Nicephorium1529 with a grove, enriched it with votive offerings [Pg 401] and a library, and by his care raised the city of Pergamum to its present magnificence. After he had reigned forty-nine years he left the kingdom to Attalus, his son by Stratonice, daughter of Ariarathus, king of Cappadocia.

He appointed as guardian of his son, who was very young,1530 and as regent of the kingdom, his brother Attalus, who died an old man after a reign of twenty years, having performed many glorious actions. He assisted Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, in the war against Alexander, the son of Antiochus, and was the ally of the Romans in the war against the Pseudo-Philip. In an expedition into Thrace he defeated and took prisoner Diegylis, king of the Cæni.1531 He destroyed Prusias by exciting his son Nicomedes to rebel against his father. He left the kingdom to Attalus his ward. His cognomen was Philometor. He reigned five years, and died a natural death. He left the Romans his heirs.1532 They made the country a province, and called it Asia by the name of the continent.

The Caïcus flows past Pergamum through the plain of Caïcus, as it is called, and traverses a very fertile country, indeed almost the best soil in Mysia.

3. The celebrated men in our times, natives of Pergamum, were Mithridates, the son of Menodotus and the daughter of Adobogion; he was of the family of the Tetrarchs of Galatia. Adobogion, it is said, had been the concubine of Mithridates the king; the relatives therefore gave to the child the name of Mithridates, pretending that he was the king’s son.

This prince became so great a friend of divus Cæsar, that he was promoted to the honour of Tetrarch (of Galatia); out of regard also to his mother’s family, he was appointed king of Bosporus and of other places. He was overthrown by Asander, who put to death Pharnaces the king and obtained [Pg 402]
[CAS. 625]
possession of the Bosporus. He had a great reputation as well as Apollodorus the rhetorician, who composed a work on the Art of Rhetoric, and was the head of the Apollodorian sect of philosophers, whatever that may be; for many opinions have prevailed, the merits of which are beyond our power to decide upon, among which are those of the sects of Apollodorus and Theodorus.

But the friendship of Augustus Cæsar, whom he instructed in oratory, was the principal cause of the elevation of Apollodorus. He had a celebrated scholar Dionysius, surnamed Atticus, his fellow-citizen, who was an able teacher of philosophy, an historian, and composer of orations.

4. Proceeding from the plain and the city towards the east, we meet with Apollonia, a city on an elevated site. To the south is a mountainous ridge, which having crossed on the road to Sardes, we find on the left hand the city Thyateira, a colony of the Macedonians, which some authors say is the last city belonging to the Mysians. On the right hand is Apollonis, 300 stadia from Pergamum, and the same distance from Sardes. It has its name from Apollonis of Cyzicus (wife of Attalus). Next are the plains of Hermus and Sardes. The country to the north of Pergamum is principally occupied by Mysians; it lies on the right hand of the people called Abaïtæ, on whose borders is the Epictetus, extending to Bithynia.

5. Sardes is a large city, of later date than the Trojan times, yet ancient, with a strong citadel. It was the royal seat of the Lydians, whom the poet calls Meones, and later writers Mæones, some asserting that they are the same, others that they are a different people, but the former is the preferable opinion.

Above Sardes is the Tmolus, a fertile mountain having on its summit a seat1533 of white marble, a work of the Persians. There is a view from it of the plains around, particularly of that of the Caÿster. There dwell about it Lydians, Mysians, and Macedonians.1534

[Pg 403]

The Pactolus flows from the Tmolus.1535 It anciently brought down a large quantity of gold-dust, whence, it is said, the proverbial wealth of Crœsus and his ancestors obtained renown. No gold-dust is found at present. The Pactolus descends into the Hermus, into which also the Hyllus, now called Phrygius, discharges itself. These three and other less considerable rivers unite in one stream, and, according to Herodotus, empty themselves into the sea at Phocæa.

The Hermus takes its rise in Mysia, descending from the sacred mountain of Dindymene, after traversing the Catacecaumene, it enters the Sardian territory, and passes through the contiguous plains to the sea, as we have mentioned above. Below the city lie the plains of Sardes, of the Cyrus, of the Hermus, and of the Caÿster, which are contiguous to one another and the most fertile anywhere to be found.

At the distance of 40 stadia from the city is the lake Gygæa, as it is called by the poet.1536 Its name was afterwards altered to Coloë. Here was a temple of Artemis Coloëne, held in the highest veneration. It is said that at the feasts celebrated here the baskets dance.1537 I know not why the circulation of such strange and absurd stories should be preferred to truth.

6. The verses in Homer are to this effect,

“Mesthles and Antiphus, sons of Talæmenes, born of the lake Gygæa, were the leaders of the Meones, who live below Tmolus.”1538

Some persons add a fourth verse to these,

“below snowy Tmolus, in the rich district of Hyda.”

But no Hyda1539 is to be found among the Lydians. Others make this the birth-place of Tychius, mentioned by the poet,

“he was the best leather-cutter in Hyda.”1540

They add that the place is woody, and frequently struck with lightning, and that here also were the dwellings of the Arimi; for to this verse,

“Among the Arimi, where they say is the bed of Typhoëus,”1541

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they add the following,

“in a woody country, in the rich district of Hyda.”

Some lay the scene of the last fable in Cilicia, others in Syria, others among the Pithecussæ (islands),1542 who say that the Pitheci (or monkeys) are called by the Tyrrhenians Arimi. Some call Sardes Hyda; others give this name to its Acropolis.

The Scepsian (Demetrius) says that the opinion of those authors is most to be depended upon who place the Arimi in the Catacecaumene in Mysia. But Pindar associates the Pithecussæ which lie in front of the Cymæan territory and Sicily with Cilicia, for the poet says that Typhon lay beneath Ætna;

“Once he dwelt in far-famed Cilician caverns, but now Sicily, and the sea-girt isle, o’ershadowing Cyme, press upon his shaggy breast.”1543

And again,

“O’er him lies Ætna, and in her vast prison holds him.”

And again,

“’Twas the great Jove alone of gods that o’erpowered, with resistless force, the fifty-headed monster Typhon, of yore among the Arimi.”

Others understand Syrians by the Arimi, who are now called Aramæi, and maintain that the Cilicians in the Troad migrated and settled in Syria, and deprived the Syrians of the country which is now called Cilic