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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10496
Strabo, Geography, 15.1.59-15.1.60


nan1. IF the scientific investigation of any subject be the proper avocation of the philosopher, Geography, the science of which we propose to treat, is certainly entitled to a high place; and this is evident from many considerations. They who first ventured to handle the matter were distinguished men. Homer, Anaximander the Milesian, and Hecataeus, (his fellow-citizen according to Eratosthenes,) Democritus, Eudoxus, Dicaearchus, Ephorus, with many others, and after these Erastosthenes, Polybius, and Posidonius, all of them philosophers. Nor is the great learning, through which alone this subject can be approached, possessed by any but a person acquainted with both human and divine things, and these attainments constitute what is called philosophy. In addition to its vast importance in regard to social life, and the art of government, Geography unfolds to us the celestial phenomena, acquaints us with the occupants of the land and ocean, and the vegetation, fruits, and peculiarities of the various quarters of the earth, a knowledge of which marks him who cultivates it as a man earnest in the great problem of life and happiness.,2. Admitting this, let us examine more in detail the points we have advanced. And first, [we maintain, ] that both we and our predecessors, amongst whom is Hipparchus, do justly regard Homer as the founder of geographical science, for he not only excelled all, ancient as well as modern, in the sublimity of his poetry, but also in his experience of social life. Thus it was that he not only exerted himself to become familiar with as many historic facts as possible, and transmit them to posterity, but also with the various regions of the inhabited land and sea, some intimately, others in a more general manner. For otherwise he would not have reached the utmost limits of the earth, traversing it in his imagination.,3. First, he stated that the earth was entirely encompassed by the ocean, as in truth it is; afterwards he described the countries, specifying some by name, others more generally by various indications, explicitly defining Libya, Ethiopia, the Sidonians, and the Erembi (by which latter are probably intended the Troglodyte Arabians); and alluding to those farther east and west as the lands washed by the ocean, for in ocean he believed both the sun and constellations to rise and set. Now from the gently-swelling flood profound The sun arising, with his earliest rays, In his ascent to heaven smote on the fields. (Iliad vii. 421). And now the radiant sun in ocean sank, Dragging night after him o'er all the earth. (Iliad viii. 485). The stars also he describes as bathed in the ocean.,4. He portrays the happiness of the people of the West, and the salubrity of their climate, having no doubt heard of the abundance of Iberia, which had attracted the arms of Hercules, afterwards of the Phoenicians, who acquired there an extended rule, and finally of the Romans. There the airs of Zephyr breathe, there the poet feigned the fields of Elysium, when he tells us Menelaus was sent thither by the gods: Thee the gods Have destined to the blest Elysian isles, Earth's utmost boundaries. Rhadamanthus there For ever reigns, and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there, No biting winter, and no drenching shower, But Zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them, to refresh the happy race. [Od. iv. 563],5. The Isles of the Blest are on the extreme west of Maurusia, near where its shore runs parallel to the opposite coast of Spain; and it is clear he considered these regions also Blest, from their contiguity to the Islands.,6. He tells us also, that the Ethiopians are far removed, and bounded by the ocean: far removed, — The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those toward the west. [Od. i. 23] Nor was he mistaken in calling them separated into two divisions, as we shall presently show: and next to the ocean, — For to the banks of the Oceanus, Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove, He journey'd yesterday. Speaking of the Bear, he implies that the most northern part of the earth is bounded by the ocean: Only star of these denied To slake his beams in Ocean's briny baths. Iliad xviii. 489; [Od. v. 275.] Now, by the Bear and the Wain, he means the Arctic Circle; otherwise he would never have said, It alone is deprived of the baths of the ocean, when such an infinity of stars is to be seen continually revolving in that part of the hemisphere. Let no one any longer blame his ignorance for being merely acquainted with one Bear, when there are two. It is probable that the second was not considered a constellation until, on the Phoenicians specially designating it, and employing it in navigation, it became known as one to the Greeks. Such is the case with the Hair of Berenice, and Canopus, whose names are but of yesterday; and, as Aratus remarks, there are numbers which have not yet received any designation. Crates, therefore, is mistaken when, endeavouring to amend what is correct, he reads the verse thus: οἷος δ᾽ ἄμμορός ἐστι λοετρῶν, replacing οἴη by οἶς, with a view to make the adjective agree with the Arctic Circle, which is masculine; instead of the Arctic Constellation, which is feminine. The expression of Heraclitus is far more preferable and Homeric, who thus figuratively describes the Arctic Circle as the Bear, — The Bear is the limit of the dawn and of the evening, and from the region of the Bear we have fine weather. Now it is not the constellation of the Bear, but the Arctic Circle, which is the limit of the rising and the setting stars. By the Bear, then, which he elsewhere calls the Wain, and describes as pursuing Orion, Homer means us to understand the Arctic Circle; and by the ocean, that horizon into which, and out of which, the stars rise and set. When he says that the Bear turns round and is deprived of the ocean, he was aware that the Arctic Circle [always] extended to the sign opposite the most northern point of the horizon. Adapting the words of the poet to this view, by that part of the earth nearest to the ocean we must understand the horizon, and by the Arctic Circle that which extends to the signs which seem to our senses to touch in succession the most northern point of the horizon. Thus, according to him, this portion of the earth is washed by the ocean. With the nations of the North he was well acquainted, although he does not mention them by name, and indeed at the present day there is no regular title by which they are all distinguished. He informs us of their mode of life, describing them as wanderers, noble milkers of mares, living on cheese, and without wealth.,7. In the following speech of Juno, he states that the ocean surrounds the earth. For to the green earth's utmost bounds I go, To visit there the parent of the gods, Oceanus. Iliad xiv. 200. Does he not here assert that ocean bounds all its extremities, and does it not surround these extremities? Again, in the Hoplopoeia, he places the ocean in a circle round the border of Achilles' shield. Another proof of the extent of his knowledge, is his acquaintance with the ebb and flow of the sea, calling it the ebbing ocean. Again, Each day she thrice disgorges, and again Thrice drinks, insatiate, the deluge down. The assertion of thrice, instead of twice, is either an error of the author, or a blunder of the scribe, but the phenomenon is the same, and the expression soft-flowing, has reference to the flood-tide, which has a gentle swell, and does not flow with a full rush. Posidonius believes that where Homer describes the rocks as at one time covered with the waves, and at another left bare, and when he compares the ocean to a river, he alludes to the flow of the ocean. The first supposition is correct, but for the second there is no ground; inasmuch as there can be no comparison between the flow, much less the ebb of the sea, and the current of a river. There is more probability in the explanation of Crates, that Homer describes the whole ocean as deep-flowing, ebbing, and also calls it a river, and that he also describes a part of the ocean as a river, and the flow of a river; and that he is speaking of a part, and not the whole, when he thus writes: — When down the smooth Oceanus impell'd By prosperous gales, my galley, once again, Cleaving the billows of the spacious deep, Had reach'd the Aeaean isle. He does not, however, mean the whole, but the flow of the river in the ocean, which forms but a part of the ocean. Crates says, he speaks of an estuary or gulf, extending from the winter tropic towards the south pole. Now any one quitting this, might still be in the ocean; but for a person to leave the whole and still to be in the whole, is an impossibility. But Homer says, that leaving the flow of the river, the ship entered on the waves of the sea, which is the same as the ocean. If you take it otherwise you make him say, that departing from the ocean he came to the ocean. But this requires further discussion.,8. Perception and experience alike inform us, that the earth we inhabit is an island: since wherever men have approached the termination of the land, the sea, which we designate ocean, has been met with: and reason assures us of the similarity of those places which our senses have not been permitted to survey. For in the east the land occupied by the Indians, and in the west by the Iberians and Maurusians, is wholly encompassed [by water], and so is the greater part on the south and north. And as to what remains as yet unexplored by us, because navigators, sailing from opposite points, have not hitherto fallen in with each other, it is not much, as any one may see who will compare the distances between those places with which we are already acquainted. Nor is it likely that the Atlantic Ocean is divided into two seas by narrow isthmuses so placed as to prevent circumnavigation: how much more probable that it is confluent and uninterrupted! Those who have returned from an attempt to circumnavigate the earth, do not say they have been prevented from continuing their voyage by any opposing continent, for the sea remained perfectly open, but through want of resolution, and the scarcity of provision. This theory too accords better with the ebb and flow of the ocean, for the phenomenon, both in the increase and diminution, is everywhere identical, or at all events has but little difference, as if produced by the agitation of one sea, and resulting from one cause.,9. We must not credit Hipparchus, who combats this opinion, denying that the ocean is every where similarly affected; or that even if it were, it would not follow that the Atlantic flowed in a circle, and thus continually returned into itself. Seleucus, the Babylonian, is his authority for this assertion. For a further investigation of the ocean and its tides we refer to Posidonius and Athenodorus, who have fully discussed this subject: we will now only remark that this view agrees better with the uniformity of the phenomenon; and that the greater the amount of moisture surrounding the earth, the easier would the heavenly bodies be supplied with vapours from thence.,10. Homer, besides the boundaries of the earth, which he fully describes, was likewise well acquainted with the Mediterranean. Starting from the Pillars, this sea is encompassed by Libya, Egypt, and Phoenicia, then by the coasts opposite Cyprus, the Solymi, Lycia, and Caria, and then by the shore which stretches between Mycale and Troas, and the adjacent islands, every one of which he mentions, as well as those of the Propontis and the Euxine, as far as Colchis, and the locality of Jason's expedition. Furthermore, he was acquainted with the Cimmerian Bosphorus, having known the Cimmerians, and that not merely by name, but as being familiar with themselves. About his time, or a little before, they had ravaged the whole country, from the Bosphorus to Ionia. Their climate he characterizes as dismal, in the following lines: — With clouds and darkness veil'd, on whom the sun Deigns not to look with his beam-darting eye, But sad night canopies the woeful race. [Od. xi. 15] and 19. He must also have been acquainted with the Ister, since he speaks of the Mysians, a Thracian race, dwelling on the banks of the Ister. He knew also the whole Thracian coast adjacent thereto, as far as the Peneus, for he mentions individually the Paeonians, Athos, the Axius, and the neighbouring islands. From hence to Thesprotis is the Grecian shore, with the whole of which he was acquainted. He was besides familiar with the whole of Italy, and speaks of Temese and the Sicilians, as well as the whole of Spain and its fertility, as we have said before. If he omits various intermediate places this must be pardoned, for even the compiler of a Geography overlooks numerous details. We must forgive him too for intermingling fabulous narrative with his historical and instructive work. This should not be complained of; nevertheless, what Eratosthenes says is false, that the poets aim at amusement, not instruction, since those who have treated upon the subject most profoundly, regard poesy in the light of a primitive philosophy. But we shall refute Eratosthenes more at length, when we have occasion again to speak of Homer.,11. What we have already advanced is sufficient to prove that poet the father of geography. Those who followed in his track are also well known as great men and true philosophers. The two immediately succeeding Homer, according to Eratosthenes, were Anaximander, the disciple and fellow citizen of Thales, and Hecataeus the Milesian. Anaximander was the first to publish a geographical chart. Hecataeus left a work [on the same subject], which we can identify as his by means of his other writings.,12. Many have testified to the amount of knowledge which this subject requires, and Hipparchus, in his Strictures on Eratosthenes, well observes, that no one can become really proficient in geography, either as a private individual or as a professor, without an acquaintance with astronomy, and a knowledge of eclipses. For instance, no one could tell whether Alexandria in Egypt were north or south of Babylon, nor yet the intervening distance, without observing the latitudes. Again, the only means we possess of becoming acquainted with the longitudes of different places is afforded by the eclipses of the sun and moon. Such are the very words of Hipparchus.,13. Every one who undertakes to give an accurate description of a place, should be particular to add its astronomical and geometrical relations, explaining carefully its extent, distance, degrees of latitude, and climate. Even a builder before constructing a house, or an architect before laying out a city, would take these things into consideration; much more should he who examines the whole earth: for such things in a peculiar manner belong to him. In small distances a little deviation north or south does not signify, but when it is the whole circle of the earth, the north extends to the furthest confines of Scythia, or Keltica, and the south to the extremities of Ethiopia: there is a wide difference here. The case is the same should we inhabit India or Spain, one in the east, the other far west, and, as we are aware, the antipodes to each other.,14. The [motions] of the sun and stars, and the centripetal force meet us on the very threshold of such subjects, and compel us to the study of astronomy, and the observation of such phenomena as each of us may notice; in which too, very considerable differences appear, according to the various points of observation. How could any one undertake to write accurately and with propriety on the differences of the various parts of the earth, who was ignorant of these matters? and although, if the undertaking were of a popular character, it might not be advisable to enter thoroughly into detail, still we should endeavour to include every thing which could be comprehended by the general reader.,15. He who has thus elevated his mind, will he be satisfied with any thing less than the whole world? If in his anxiety accurately to portray the inhabited earth, he has dared to survey heaven, and make use thereof for purposes of instruction, would it not seem childish were he to refrain from examining the whole earth, of which the inhabited is but a part, its size, its features, and its position in the universe; whether other portions are inhabited besides those on which we dwell, and if so, their amount? What is the extent of the regions not peopled? what their peculiarities, and the cause of their remaining as they are? Thus it appears that the knowledge of geography is connected with meteorology and geometry, that it unites the things of earth to the things of heaven, as though they were nearly allied, and not separated. As far as heaven from earth. Iliad viii. 16,16. To the various subjects which it embraces let us add natural history, or the history of the animals, plants, and other different productions of the earth and sea, whether serviceable or useless, and my original statement will, I think, carry perfect conviction with it. That he who should undertake this work would be a benefactor to mankind, reason and the voice of antiquity agree. The poets feign that they were the wisest heroes who travelled and wandered most in foreign climes: and to be familiar with many countries, and the disposition of the inhabitants, is, according to them, of vast importance. Nestor prides himself on having associated with the Lapithae, to whom he went, having been invited thither from the Apian land afar. So does Menelaus: — Cyprus, Phoenicia, Sidon, and the shores Of Egypt, roaming without hope I reach'd; In distant Ethiopia thence arrived, And Libya, where the lambs their foreheads show With budding horns defended soon as yean'd. [Od. iv. 83.] Adding as a peculiarity of the country, There thrice within the year the flocks produce. [Od. iv. 86.] And of Egypt: — Where the sustaining earth is most prolific. And Thebes, the city with an hundred gates, Whence twenty thousand chariots rush to war. Iliad ix. 383 Such information greatly enlarges our sphere of knowledge, by informing us of the nature of the country, its botanical and zoological peculiarities. To these should be added its marine history; for we are in a certain sense amphibious, not exclusively connected with the land, but with the sea as well. Hercules, on account of his vast experience and observation, was described as skilled in mighty works. All that we have previously stated is confirmed both by the testimony of antiquity and by reason. One consideration however appears to bear in a peculiar manner on the case in point; viz. the importance of geography in a political view. For the sea and the earth in which we dwell furnish theatres for action; limited, for limited actions; vast, for grander deeds; but that which contains them all, and is the scene of the greatest undertakings, constitutes what we term the habitable earth; and they are the greatest generals who, subduing nations and kingdoms under one sceptre, and one political administration, have acquired dominion over land and sea. It is clear then, that geography is essential to all the transactions of the statesman, informing us, as it does, of the position of the continents, seas, and oceans of the whole habitable earth. Information of especial interest to those who are concerned to know the exact truth of such particulars, and whether the places have been explored or not: for government will certainly be better administered where the size and position of the country, its own peculiarities, and those of the surrounding districts, are understood. Forasmuch as there are many sovereigns who rule in different regions, and some stretch their dominion over others' territories, and undertake the government of different nations and kingdoms, and thus enlarge the extent of their dominion, it is not possible that either themselves, nor yet writers on geography, should be equally acquainted with the whole, but to both there is a great deal more or less known. Indeed, were the whole earth under one government and one administration, it is hardly possible that we should be informed of every locality in an equal degree; for even then we should be most acquainted with the places nearest us: and after all, it is better that we should have a more perfect description of these, since, on account of their proximity, there is greater reed for it. We see there is no reason to be surprised that there should be one chorographer for the Indians, another for the Ethiopians, and a third for the Greeks and Romans. What use would it be to the Indians if a geographer should thus describe Boeotia to them, in the words of Homer: — The dwellers on the rocks Of Aulis follow'd, with the hardy clans Of Hyria, Schoenus, Scolus. Iliad ii. 496. To us this is of value, while to be acquainted with the Indies and their various territorial divisions would be useless, as it could lead to no advantage, which is the only criterion of the worth of such knowledge.,17. Even if we descend to the consideration of such trivial matters as hunting, the case is still the same; for he will be most successful in the chase who is acquainted with the size and nature of the wood, and one familiar with the locality will be the most competent to superintend an encampment, an ambush, or a march. But it is in great undertakings that the truth shines out in all its brilliancy, for here, while the success resulting from knowledge is grand, the consequences of ignorance are disastrous. The fleet of Agamemnon, for instance, ravaging Mysia, as if it had been the Trojan territory, was compelled to a shameful retreat. Likewise the Persians and Libyans, supposing certain straits to be impassable, were very near falling into great perils, and have left behind them memorials of their ignorance; the former a monument to Salganeus on the Euripus, near Chalcis, whom the Persians slew, for, as they thought, falsely conducting their fleet from the Gulf of Malea to the Euripus; and the latter to the memory of Pelorus, who was executed on a like occasion. At the time of the expedition of Xerxes, the coasts of Greece were covered with wrecks, and the emigrations from Aeolia and Ionia furnish numerous instances of the same calamity. On the other hand, matters have come to a prosperous termination, when judiciously directed by a knowledge of the locality. Thus it was at the pass of Thermopylae that Ephialtes is reported to have pointed out to the Persians a pathway over the mountains, and so placed the band of Leonidas at their mercy, and opened to the Barbarians a passage into Pylae. But passing over ancient occurrences, we think that the late expeditions of the Romans against the Parthians furnish an excellent example, where, as in those against the Germans and Kelts, the Barbarians, taking advantage of their situation, [carried on the war] in marshes, woods, and pathless deserts, deceiving the ignorant enemy as to the position of different places, and concealing the roads, and the means of obtaining food and necessaries.,18. As we have said, this science has an especial reference to the occupations and requirements of statesmen, with whom also political and ethical philosophy is mainly concerned; and here is an evidence. We distinguish the different kinds of civil government by the office of their chief men, denominating one government a monarchy, or kingdom, another an aristocracy, a third a democracy; for so many we consider are the forms of government, and we designate them by these names, because from them they derive their primary characteristic. For the laws which emanate from the sovereign, from the aristocracy, and from the people all are different. The law is in fact a type of the form of government. It is on this account that some define right to be the interest of the strongest. If, therefore, political philosophy is advantageous to the ruler, and geography in the actual government of the country, this latter seems to possess some little superiority. This superiority is most observable in real service.,19. But even the theoretical portion of geography is by no means contemptible. On the one hand, it embraces the arts, mathematics, and natural science; on the other, history and fable. Not that this latter can have any distinct advantage: for instance, if any one should relate to us the wanderings of Ulysses, Menelaus, and Jason, he would not seem to have added directly to our fund of practical knowledge thereby, (which is the only thing men of the world are interested in,) unless he should convey useful examples of what those wanderers were compelled to suffer, and at the same time afford matter of rational amusement to those who interest themselves in the places which gave birth to such fables. Practical men interest themselves in these pursuits, since they are at once commendable, and afford them pleasure; but yet not to any great extent. In this class, too, will be found those whose main object in life is pleasure and respectability: but these by no means constitute the majority of mankind, who naturally prefer that which holds out some direct advantage. The geographer should therefore chiefly devote himself to what is practically important. He should follow the same rule in regard to history and the mathematics, selecting always that which is most useful, most intelligible, and most authentic.,20. Geometry and astronomy, as we before remarked, seem absolutely indispensable in this science. This, in fact, is evident, that without some such assistance, it would be impossible to be accurately acquainted with the configuration of the earth; its climata, dimensions, and the like information. As the size of the earth has been demonstrated by other writers, we shall here take for granted and receive as accurate what they have advanced. We shall also assume that the earth is spheroidal, that its surface is likewise spheroidal, and above all, that bodies have a tendency towards its centre, which latter point is clear to the perception of the most average understanding. However we may show summarily that the earth is spheroidal, from the consideration that all things however distant tend to its centre, and that every body is attracted towards its centre of gravity; this is more distinctly proved from observations of the sea and sky, for here the evidence of the senses, and common observation, is alone requisite. The convexity of the sea is a further proof of this to those who have sailed; for they cannot perceive lights at a distance when placed at the same level as their eyes, but if raised on high, they at once become perceptible to vision, though at the same time further removed. So, when the eye is raised, it sees what before was utterly imperceptible. Homer speaks of this when he says, Lifted up on the vast wave he quickly beheld afar. [Od. v. 393.] Sailors, as they approach their destination, behold the shore continually raising itself to their view; and objects which had at first seemed low, begin to elevate themselves. Our gnomons, also, are, among other things, evidence of the revolution of the heavenly bodies; and common sense at once shows us, that if the depth of the earth were infinite, such a revolution could not take place. Every information respecting the climata is contained in the Treatises on Positions.,21. Now there are some facts which we take to be established, viz. those with which every politician and general should be familiar. For on no account should they be so uninformed as to the heavens and the position of the earth, that when they are in strange countries, where some of the heavenly phenomena wear a different aspect to what they have been accustomed, they should be in a consternation, and exclaim, Neither west Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun. [Od. x. 190.] Still, we do not expect that they should be such thorough masters of the subject as to know what stars rise and set together for the different quarters of the earth; those which have the same meridian line, the elevation of the poles, the signs which are in the zenith, with all the various phenomena which differ as well in appearance as reality with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle. With some of these matters, unless as philosophical pursuits, they should not burden themselves at all; others they must take for granted without searching into their causes. This must be left to the care of the philosopher; the statesman can have no leisure, or very little, for such pursuits. Those who, through carelessness and ignorance, are not familiar with the globe and the circles traced upon it, some parallel to each other, some at right angles to the former, others, again, in an oblique direction; nor yet with the position of the tropics, equator, and zodiac, (that circle through which the sun travels in his course, and by which we reckon the changes of season and the winds,) such persons we caution against the perusal of our work. For if a man is neither properly acquainted with these things, nor with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle, and such similar elements of mathematics, how can he comprehend the matters treated of here? So for one who does not know a right line from a curve, nor yet a circle, nor a plane or spherical surface, nor the seven stars in the firmament composing the Great Bear, and such like, our work is entirely useless, at least for the present. Unless he first acquires such information, he is utterly incompetent to the study of geography. So those who have written the works entitled On Ports, and Voyages Round the World, have performed their task imperfectly, since they have omitted to supply the requisite information from mathematics and astronomy.,22. The present undertaking is composed in a lucid style, suitable alike to the statesman and the general reader, after the fashion of my History. By a statesman we do not intend an illiterate person, but one who has gone through the course of a liberal and philosophical education. For a man who has bestowed no attention on virtue or intelligence, nor what constitutes them, must be incompetent either to blame or praise, still less to decide what actions are worthy to be placed on record.,23. Having already compiled our Historical Memoirs, which, as we conceive, are a valuable addition both to political and moral philosophy, we have now determined to follow it up with the present work, which has been prepared on the same system as the former, and for the same class of readers, but more particularly for those who are in high stations of life. And as our former production contains only the most striking events in the lives of distinguished men, omitting trifling and unimportant incidents; so here it will be proper to dismiss small and doubtful particulars, and merely call attention to great and remarkable transactions, such in fact as are useful, memorable, and entertaining. In the colossal works of the sculptor we do not descend into a minute examination of particulars, but look principally for perfection in the general ensemble. This is the only method of criticism applicable to the present work. Its proportions, so to speak, are colossal; it deals in the generalities and main outlines of things, except now and then, when some minor detail can be selected, calculated to be serviceable to the seeker after knowledge, or the man of business. We now think we have demonstrated that our present undertaking is one that requires great care, and is well worthy of a philosopher.,1. No one can [justly] blame us for having undertaken to write on a subject already often treated of, unless it appears that we have done nothing more than copy the works of former writers. In our opinion, though they may have perfectly treated some subjects, in others they have still left much to be completed; and we shall be justified in our performance, if we can add to their information even in a trifling degree. At the present moment the conquests of the Romans and Parthians have added much to our knowledge, which (as was well observed by Eratosthenes) had been considerably increased by the expedition of Alexander. This prince laid open to our view the greater part of Asia, and the whole north of Europe as far as the Danube. And the Romans [have discovered to us] the entire west of Europe as far as the river Elbe, which divides Germany, and the country beyond the Ister to the river Dniester. The country beyond this to the Maeotis, and the coasts extending along Colchis, was brought to light by Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, and his generals. To the Parthians we are indebted for a better acquaintance with Hyrcania, Bactriana, and the land of the Scythians lying beyond, of which before we knew but little. Thus we can add much information not supplied by former writers, but this will best be seen when we come to treat on the writers who have preceded us; and this method we shall pursue, not so much in regard to the primitive geographers, as to Eratosthenes and those subsequent to him. As these writers far surpassed the generality in the amount of their knowledge, so naturally it is more difficult to detect their errors when such occur. If I seem to contradict those most whom I take chiefly for my guides, I must claim indulgence on the plea, that it was never intended to criticise the whole body of geographers, the larger number of whom are not worthy of consideration, but to give an opinion of those only who are generally found correct. Still, while many are beneath discussion, such men as Eratosthenes, Posidonius, Hipparchus, Polybius, and others of their stamp, deserve our highest consideration.,2. Let us first examine Eratosthenes, reviewing at the same time what Hipparchus has advanced against him. Eratosthenes is much too creditable an historian for us to believe what Polemon endeavours to charge against him, that he had not even seen Athens. At the same time he does not merit that unbounded confidence which some seem to repose in him, although, as he himself tells us, he passed much of his time with first-rate [characters]. Never, says he, at one period, and in one city, were there so many philosophers flourishing together as in my time. In their number was Ariston and Arcesilaus. This, however, it seems is not sufficient, but you must also be able to choose who are the real guides whom it is your interest to follow. He considers Arcesilaus and Ariston to be the coryphaei of the philosophers who flourished in his time, and is ceaseless in his eulogies of Apelles and Bion, the latter of whom, says he, was the first to deck himself in the flowers of philosophy, but concerning whom one is often likewise tempted to exclaim, How great is Bion in spite of his rags! It is in such instances as the following that the mediocrity of his genius shows itself. Although at Athens he became a disciple of Zeno of Citium, he makes no mention of his followers; while those who opposed that philosopher, and of whose sect not a trace remains, he thinks fit to set down amongst the [great characters] who flourished in his time. His real character appears in his Treatise on Moral Philosophy, his Meditations, and some similar productions. He seems to have held a middle course between the man who devotes himself to philosophy, and the man who cannot make up his mind to dedicate himself to it: and to have studied the science merely as a relief from his other pursuits, or as a pleasing and instructive recreation. In his other writings he is just the same; but let these things pass. We will now proceed as well as we can to the task of rectifying his geography. First, then, let us return to the point which we lately deferred.,3. Eratosthenes says that the poet directs his whole attention to the amusement of the mind, and not at all to its instruction. In opposition to his idea, the ancients define poesy as a primitive philosophy, guiding our life from infancy, and pleasantly regulating our morals, our tastes, and our actions. The [Stoics] of our day affirm that the only wise man is the poet. On this account the earliest lessons which the citizens of Greece convey to their children are from the poets; certainly not alone for the purpose of amusing their minds, but for their instruction. Nay, even the professors of music, who give lessons on the harp, lyre, and pipe, lay claim to our consideration on the same account, since they say that [the accomplishments which they teach] are calculated to form and improve the character. It is not only among the Pythagoreans that one hears this claim supported, for Aristoxenus is of that opinion, and Homer too regarded the bards as amongst the wisest of mankind. Of this number was the guardian of Clytemnestra, to whom the son of Atreus, when he set out for Troy, gave earnest charge to preserve his wife, whom Aegisthus was unable to seduce, until leading the bard to a desert island, he left him, and then The queen he led, not willing less than he, To his own mansion. Ib. iii. 272. But apart from all such considerations, Eratosthenes contradicts himself; for a little previously to the sentence which we have quoted, at the commencement of his Essay on Geography, he says, that all the ancient poets took delight in showing their knowledge of such matters. Homer inserted into his poetry all that he knew about the Ethiopians, Egypt, and Libya. Of all that related to Greece and the neighbouring places he entered even too minutely into the details, describing Thisbe as abounding in doves, Haliartus, grassy, Anthedon, the far distant, Lilaea, situated on the sources of the Cephissus, and none of his epithets are without their meaning. But in pursuing this method, what object has he in view, to amuse [merely], or to instruct? The latter, doubtless. Well, perhaps he has told the truth in these instances, but in what was beyond his observation both he and the other writers have indulged in all the marvels of fable. If such be the case the statement should have been, that the poets relate some things for mere amusement, others for instruction; but he affirms that they do it altogether for amusement, without any view to information; and by way of climax, inquires, What can it add to Homer's worth to be familiar with many lands, and skilled in strategy, agriculture, rhetoric, and similar information, which some persons seem desirous to make him possessed of. To seek to invest him with all this knowledge is most likely the effect of too great a zeal for his honour. Hipparchus observes, that to assert he was acquainted with every art and science, is like saying that an Attic eiresione bears pears and apples. As far as this goes, Eratosthenes, you are right enough; not so, however, when you not only deny that Homer was possessed of these vast acquirements, but represent poetry in general as a tissue of old wives' fables, where, to use your own expression, every thing thought likely to amuse is cooked up. I ask, is it of no value to the auditors of the poets to be made acquainted with [the history of] different countries, with strategy, agriculture, and rhetoric, and suchlike things, which the lecture generally contains.,4. One thing is certain, that the poet has bestowed all these gifts upon Ulysses, whom beyond any of his other [heroes] he loves to adorn with every virtue. He says of him, that he Discover'd various cities, and the mind And manners learn'd of men in lands remote. [Od. i 3.] That he was Of a piercing wit and deeply wise. Iliad iii. 202. He is continually described as the destroyer of cities, and as having vanquished Troy, by his counsels, his advice, and his deceptive art. Diomedes says of him, Let him attend me, and through fire itself We shall return; for none is wise as he. Ib. x. 246. He prides himself on his skill in husbandry, for at the harvest [he says], I with my well-bent sickle in my hand, Thou arm'd with one as keen. [Od. xviii. 367.] And also in tillage, Then shouldst thou see How straight my furrow should be cut and true. Ib. xviii. 374. And Homer was not singular in his opinion regarding these matters, for all educated people appeal to him in favour of the idea that such practical knowledge is one of the chief means of acquiring understanding.,5. That eloquence is regarded as the wisdom of speech, Ulysses manifests throughout the whole poem, both in the Trial, the Petitions, and the Embassy. Of him it is said by Antenor, But when he spake, forth from his breast did flow A torrent swift as winter's feather'd snow. Iliad iii. 221. Who can suppose that a poet capable of effectively introducing into his scenes rhetoricians, generals, and various other characters, each displaying some peculiar excellence, was nothing more than a droll or juggler, capable only of cheating or flattering his hearer, and not of instructing him. Are we not all agreed that the chief merit of a poet consists in his accurate representation of the affairs of life? Can this be done by a mere driveller, unacquainted with the world? The excellence of a poet is not to be measured by the same standard as that of a mechanic or a blacksmith, where honour and virtue have nothing to do with our estimate. But the poet and the individual are connected, and he only can become a good poet, who is in the first instance a worthy man.,6. To deny that our poet possesses the Graces of oratory is using us hardly indeed. What is so befitting an orator, what so poetical as eloquence, and who so sweetly eloquent as Homer? But, by heaven! you'll say, there are other styles of eloquence than those peculiar to poetry. Of course [I admit this]; in poetry itself there is the tragic and the comic style; in prose, the historic and the forensic. But is not language a generality, of which poetry and prose are forms? Yes, language is; but are not the rhetorical, the eloquent, and the florid styles also? I answer, that flowery prose is nothing but an imitation of poetry. Ornate poetry was the first to make its appearance, and was well received. Afterwards it was closely imitated by writers in the time of Cadmus, Pherecydes, and Hecataeus. The metre was the only thing dispensed with, every other poetic grace being carefully preserved. As time advanced, one after another of its beauties was discarded, till at last it came down from its glory into our common prose. In the same way we may say that comedy took its rise from tragedy, but descended from its lofty grandeur into what we now call the common parlance of daily life. And when [we find] the ancient writers making use of the expression to sing, to designate eloquence of style, this in itself is an evidence that poetry is the source and origin of all ornamented and rhetorical language. Poetry in ancient days was on every occasion accompanied by melody. The song or ode was but a modulated speech, from whence the words rhapsody, tragedy, comedy, are derived; and since originally eloquence was the term made use of for the poetical effusions which were always of the nature of a song, it soon happened [that in speaking of poetry] some said, to sing, others, to be eloquent; and as the one term was early misapplied to prose compositions, the other also was soon applied in the same way. Lastly, the very term prose, which is applied to language not clothed in metre, seems to indicate, as it were, its descent from an elevation or chariot to the ground.,7. Homer accurately describes many distant countries, and not only Greece and the neighbouring places, as Eratosthenes asserts. His romance, too, is in better style than that of his successors. He does not make up wondrous tales on every occasion, but to instruct us the better often, and especially in the Odyssey, adds to the circumstances which have come under his actual observation, allegories, wise harangues, and enticing narrations. Concerning which, Eratosthenes is much mistaken when he says that both Homer and his commentators are a pack of fools. But this subject demands a little more of our attention.,8. To begin. The poets were by no means the first to avail themselves of myths. States and lawgivers had taken advantage of them long before, having observed the constitutional bias of mankind. Man is eager after knowledge, and the love of legend is but the prelude thereto. This is why children begin to listen [to fables], and are acquainted with them before any other kind of knowledge; the cause of this is that the myth introduces them to a new train of ideas, relating not to every-day occurrences, but something in addition to these. A charm hangs round whatever is new and hitherto unknown, inspiring us with a desire to become acquainted with it, but when the wonderful and the marvellous are likewise present, our delight is increased until at last it becomes a philtre of study. To children we are obliged to hold out such enticements, in order that in riper years, when the mind is powerful, and no longer needs such stimulants, it may be prepared to enter on the study of actual realities. Every illiterate and uninstructed man is yet a child, and takes delight in fable. With the partially informed it is much the same; reason is not all-powerful within him, and he still possesses the tastes of a child. But the marvellous, which is capable of exciting fear as well as pleasure, influences not childhood only, but age as well. As we relate to children pleasing tales to incite them [to any course] of action, and frightful ones to deter them, such as those of Lamia, Gorgo, Ephialtes, and Mormolyca. So numbers of our citizens are incited to deeds of virtue by the beauties of fable, when they hear the poets in a strain of enthusiasm recording noble actions, such as the labours of Hercules or Theseus, and the honours bestowed on them by the gods, or even when they see paintings, sculptures, or figures bearing their romantic evidence to such events. In the same way they are restrained from vicious courses, when they think they have received from the gods by oracles or some other invisible intimations, threats, menaces, or chastisements, or even if they only believe they have befallen others. The great mass of women and common people, cannot be induced by mere force of reason to devote themselves to piety, virtue, and honesty; superstition must therefore be employed, and even this is insufficient without the aid of the marvellous and the terrible. For what are the thunderbolts, the aegis, the trident, the torches, the dragons, the barbed thyrses, the arms of the gods, and all the paraphernalia of antique theology, but fables employed by the founders of states, as bugbears to frighten timorous minds. Such was mythology; and when our ancestors found it capable of subserving the purposes of social and political life, and even contributing to the knowledge of truth, they continued the education of childhood to maturer years, and maintained that poetry was sufficient to form the understanding of every age. In course of time history and our present philosophy were introduced; these, however, suffice but for the chosen few, and to the present day poetry is the main agent which instructs our people and crowds our theatres. Homer here stands pre-eminent, but in truth all the early historians and natural philosophers were mythologists as well.,9. Thus it is that our poet, though he sometimes employs fiction for the purposes of instruction, always gives the preference to truth; he makes use of what is false, merely tolerating it in order the more easily to lead and govern the multitude. As a man Binds with a golden verge Bright silver, so Homer, heightening by fiction actual occurrences, adorns and embellishes his subject; but his end is always the same as that of the historian, who relates nothing but facts. In this manner he undertook the narration of the Trojan war, gilding it with the beauties of fancy and the wanderings of Ulysses; but we shall never find Homer inventing an empty fable apart from the inculcation of truth. It is ever the case that a person lies most successfully, when he intermingles [into the falsehood] a sprinkling of truth. Such is the remark of Polybius in treating of the wanderings of Ulysses; such is also the meaning of the verse, He fabricated many falsehoods, relating them like truths: [Od. xix. 203.] not all, but many falsehoods, otherwise it would not have looked like the truth. Homer's narrative is founded on history. He tells us that king Aeolus governed the Lipari Islands, that around Mount Aetna and Leontini dwelt the Cyclopae, and certain Laestrygonians inhospitable to strangers. That at that time the districts surrounding the strait were unapproachable; and Scylla and Charybdis were infested by banditti. In like manner in the writings of Homer we are informed of other freebooters, who dwelt in divers regions. Being aware that the Cimmerians dwelt on the Cimmerian Bosphorus, a dark northern country, he felicitously locates them in a gloomy region close by Hades, a fit theatre for the scene in the wanderings of Ulysses. That he was acquainted with these people we may satisfy ourselves from the chroniclers, who report an incursion made by the Cimmerians either during his life-time or just before.,10. Being acquainted with Colchis, and the voyage of Jason to Aea, and also with the historical and fabulous relations concerning Circe and Medea, their enchantments and their various other points of resemblance, he feigns there was a relationship between them, notwithstanding the vast distance by which they were separated, the one dwelling in an inland creek of the Euxine, and the other in Italy, and both of them beyond the ocean. It is possible that Jason himself wandered as far as Italy, for traces of the Argonautic expedition are pointed out near the Ceraunian mountains, by the Adriatic, at the Posidonian Gulf, and the isles adjacent to Tyrrhenia. The Cyaneae, called by some the Symplegades, or Jostling Rocks, which render the passage through the Strait of Constantinople so difficult, also afforded matter to our poet. The actual existence of a place named Aea, stamped credibility upon his Aeaea; so did the Symplegades upon the Planctae, (the Jostling Rocks upon the Wandering Rocks) and the passage of Jason through the midst of them; in the same way Scylla and Charybdis accredited the passage [of Ulysses] past those rocks. In his time people absolutely regarded the Euxine as a kind of second ocean, and placed those who had crossed it in the same list with navigators who had passed the Pillars. It was looked upon as the largest of our seas, and was therefore par excellence styled the Sea, in the same way as Homer [is called] the Poet. In order therefore to be well received, it is probable he transferred the scenes from the Euxine to the ocean, so as not to stagger the general belief. And in my opinion those Solymi who possess the highest ridges of Taurus, lying between Lycia and Pisidia, and those who in their southern heights stand out most conspicuously to the dwellers on this side Taurus, and the inhabitants of the Euxine by a figure of speech, he describes as being beyond the ocean. For narrating the voyage of Ulysses in his ship, he says, But Neptune, traversing in his return From Ethiopia's sons, the mountain heights Of Solyme, descried him from afar. [Od. v. 282.] It is probable he took his account of the one-eyed Cyclopae from Scythian history, for the Arimaspi, whom Aristaeus of Proconnesus describes in his Tales of the Arimaspi, are said to be distinguished by this peculiarity.,11. Having premised thus much, we must now take into consideration the reasons of those who assert that Homer makes Ulysses wander to Sicily or Italy, and also of those who denied this. The truth is, he may be equally interpreted on this subject either way, according as we take a correct or incorrect view of the case. Correct, if we understand that he was convinced of the reality of Ulysses' wanderings there, and taking this truth as a foundation, raised thereon a poetical superstructure. And so far this description of him is right; for not about Italy only, but to the farthest extremities of Spain, traces of his wanderings and those of similar adventurers may still be found. Incorrect, if the scene-painting is received as fact, his Ocean, and Hades, the oxen of the sun, his hospitable reception by the goddesses, the metamorphoses, the gigantic size of the Cyclopae and Laestrygonians, the monstrous appearance of Scylla, the distance of the voyage, and other similar particulars, all alike manifestly fabulous. It is as idle to waste words with a person who thus openly maligns our poet, as it would be with one who should assert as true all the particulars of Ulysses' return to Ithaca, the slaughter of the suitors, and the pitched battle between him and the Ithacans in the field. But nothing can be said against the man who understands the words of the poet in a rational way.,12. Eratosthenes, though on no sufficient grounds for so doing, rejects both these opinions, endeavouring in his attack on the latter, to refute by lengthened arguments what is manifestly absurd and unworthy of consideration, and in regard to the former, maintaining a poet to be a mere gossip, to whose worth an acquaintance with science or geography could not add in the least degree: since the scenes of certain of Homer's fables are cast in actual localities, as Ilium, Pelion, and Ida; others in purely imaginary regions, such as those of the Gorgons and Geryon. Of this latter class, he says, are the places mentioned in the wanderings of Ulysses, and those who pretend that they are not mere fabrications of the poet, but have an actual existence, are proved to be mistaken by the differences of opinion existing among themselves: for some of them assert that the Sirenes of Homer are situated close to Pelorus, and others that they are more than two thousand stadia distant, near the Sirenussae, a three-peaked rock which separates the Gulfs of Cumaea and Posidonium. Now, in the first place, this rock is not three-peaked, nor does it form a crest at the summit at all, but a long and narrow angle reaching from the territory of Surrentum to the Strait of Capria, having on one side of the mountain the sanctuary of the Sirens, and on the other side, next the Gulf of Posidonium, three little rocky and uninhabited islands, named the Sirenes; upon the strait, is situated the Athenaion, from which the rocky angle itself takes its name.,13. Further, if those who describe the geography of certain places do not agree in every particular, are we justified in at once rejecting their whole narration? Frequently this is a reason why it should receive the greater credit. For example, in the investigation whether the scene of Ulysses' wanderings were Sicily or Italy, and the proper position of the Sirenes, they differ in so far that one places them at Pelorus, and the other at Sirenussae, but neither of them dissents from the idea that it was some where near Sicily or Italy. They add thereby strength to this view, inasmuch as though they are not agreed as to the exact locality, neither of them makes any question but that it was some where contiguous to Italy or Sicily. If a third party should add, that the monument of Parthenope, who was one of the Sirens, is shown at Naples, this only confirms us the more in our belief, for though a third place is introduced to our notice, still as Naples is situated in the gulf called by Eratosthenes the Cumaean, and which is formed by the Sirenussae, we are more confident still that the position of the Sirenes was some where close by. That the poet did not search for accuracy in every minor detail we admit, but neither ought we to expect this of him; at the same time we are not to believe that he composed his poem without inquiring into the history of the Wandering, nor where and how it occurred.,14. Eratosthenes thinks it probable that Hesiod, having heard of the wanderings of Ulysses, and of their having taken place near to Sicily and Italy, embraced this view of the case, and not only describes the places spoken of by Homer, but also Aetna, the Isle of Ortygia, near to Syracuse, and Tyrrhenia. As for Homer, he was altogether unacquainted with these places, and further, had no wish to lay the scene of the wanderings in any well-known locality. What! are then Aetna and Tyrrhenia such well-known places, and Scyllaion, Charybdis, Circaion, and the Sirenussae, so obscure? Or is Hesiod so correct as never to write nonsense, but always follow in the wake of received opinions, while Homer blurts out whatever comes uppermost? Without taking into consideration our remarks on the character and aptitude of Homer's myths, a large array of writers who bear evidence to his statements, and the additional testimony of local tradition, are sufficient proof that his are not the inventions of poets or contemporary scribblers, but the record of real actors and real scenes.,15. The conjecture of Polybius in regard to the particulars of the wandering of Ulysses is excellent. He says that Aeolus instructed sailors how to navigate the strait, a difficult matter on account of the currents occasioned by the ebb and flow. and was therefore called the dispenser of the winds, and reputed their king. In like manner Danaus for pointing out the springs of water that were in Argos, and Atreus for showing the retrograde movement of the sun in the heavens, from being mere soothsayers and diviners, were raised to the dignity of kings. And the priests of the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and Magi, distinguished for their wisdom above those around them, obtained from our predecessors honour and authority; and so it is that in each of the gods, we worship the discoverer of some useful art. Having thus introduced his subject, he does not allow us to consider the account of Aeolus, nor yet the rest of the Odyssey, as altogether mythical. There is a spice of the fabulous here, as well as in the Trojan War, but as respects Sicily, the poet accords entirely with the other historians who have written on the local traditions of Sicily and Italy. He altogether denies the justness of Eratosthenes' dictum, that we may hope to discover the whereabout of Ulysses' wanderings, when we can find the cobbler who sewed up the winds in the leathern sack. And [adds Polybius] his description of the hunt of the galeotes at Scylla, 'Plunged to her middle in the horrid den She lurks, protruding from the black abyss Her heads, with which the ravening monster dives In quest of dolphins, Dogfish, or of prey More bulky, [Od. xii. 95.] accords well with what takes place around Scyllaion: for the tunny-fish, carried in shoals by Italy, and not being able to reach Sicily, fall into [the Strait], where they become the prey of larger fish, such as dolphins, Dogfish, and other cetacea, and it is by this means that the galeotes (which are also called sword-fish) and dogs fatten themselves. For the same thing occurs here, and at the rising of the Nile and other rivers, as takes place when a forest is on fire. Vast crowds of animals, in flying from the fire or the water, become the prey of beasts more powerful than themselves.,16. He then goes on to describe the manner in which they catch the sword-fish at Scyllaion. One look-out directs the whole body of fishers, who are in a vast number of small boats, each furnished with two oars, and two men to each boat. One man rows, the other stands on the prow, spear in hand, while the look-out has to signal the appearance of a sword-fish. (This fish, when swimming, has about a third of its body above water.) As it passes the boat, the fisher darts the spear from his hand, and when this is withdrawn, it leaves the sharp point with which it is furnished sticking in the flesh of the fish: this point is barbed, and loosely fixed to the spear for the purpose; it has a long end fastened to it; this they pay out to the wounded fish, till it is exhausted with its struggling and endeavours at escape. Afterwards they trail it to the shore, or, unless it is too large and full-grown, haul it into the boat. If the spear should fall into the sea, it is not lost, for it is jointed of oak and pine, so that when the oak sinks on account of its weight, it causes the other end to rise, and thus is easily recovered. It sometimes happens that the rower is wounded, even through the boat, and such is the size of the sword with which the galeote is armed, such the strength of the fish, and the method of the capture, that [in danger] it is not surpassed by the chase of the wild boar. From these facts (he says) we may conclude that Ulysses' wanderings were close to Sicily, since Homer describes Scylla as engaging in a pursuit exactly similar to that which is carried on at Scyllaion. As to Charybdis, he describes just what takes place at the Strait of Messina: Each day she thrice disgorges, [Od. xii. 105.] instead of twice, being only a mistake, either of the scribe or the historian.,17. The customs of the inhabitants of Meninx closely correspond to the description of the Lotophagi. If any thing does not correspond, it should be attributed to change, or to misconception, or to poetical licence, which is made up of history, rhetoric, and fiction. Truth is the aim of the historical portion, as for instance in the Catalogue of Ships, where the poet informs us of the peculiarities of each place, that one is rocky, another the furthest city, that this abounds in doves. and that is maritime. A lively interest is the end of the rhetorical, as when he points to us the combat; and of the fiction, pleasure and astonishment. A mere fabrication would neither be persuasive nor Homeric; and we know that his poem is generally considered a scientific treatise, notwithstanding what Eratosthenes may say, when he bids us not to judge poems by the standard of intellect, nor yet look to them for history. It is most probable that the line Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne Athwart the fishy deep, [Od. ix. 82.] should be understood of merely a short distance, (for cruel storms do not blow in a right course,) and not of being carried beyond the ocean, as if impelled by favourable winds. And, says Polybius, allowing the distance from Malea to the Pillars to be 22,500 stadia, and supposing the rate of passage was the same throughout the nine days, the voyage must have been accomplished at the speed of 2500 stadia per diem: now who has ever recorded that the passage from Lycia or Rhodes to Alexandria, a distance of 4000 stadia, has been made in two days? To those who demand how it was that Ulysses, though he journeyed thrice to Sicily, never once navigated the Strait, we reply that, long after his time, voyagers always sedulously avoided that route.,18. Such are the sentiments of Polybius; and in many respects they are correct enough; but when he discusses the voyage beyond the ocean, and enters on minute calculations of the proportion borne by the distance to the number of days, he is greatly mistaken. He alleges perpetually the words of the poet, Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne; but at the same time he takes no notice of this expression, which is his as well, And now borne sea-ward from the river stream Of the Oceanus; and this, In the island of Ogygia, the centre of the sea, and that the daughter of Atlas dwells there. And the following concerning the Phaeacians, Remote amid the billowy deep, we hold Our dwelling, utmost of all human kind, And free from mixture with a foreign race. These passages clearly refer to the Atlantic Ocean, but though so plainly expressed, Polybius slily manages to overlook them. Here he is altogether wrong, though quite correct about the wandering of Ulysses having taken place round Sicily and Italy, a fact which Homer establishes himself. Otherwise, what poet or writer could have persuaded the Neapolitans to assert that they possessed the tomb of Parthenope the Siren, or the inhabitants of Cumae, Dicaearchia, and Vesuvius [to bear their testimony] to Pyriphlegethon, the Marsh of Acherusia, to the oracle of the dead which was near Aornus, and to Baius and Misenus, the companions of Ulysses. The same is the case with the Sirenussae, and the Strait of Messina, and Scylla, and Charybdis, and Aeolus, all which things should neither be examined into too rigorously, nor yet [despised] as groundless and without foundation, alike remote from truth and historic value.,19. Eratosthenes seems to have had something like this view of the case himself, when he says, Any one would believe that the poet intended the western regions as the scene of Ulysses' wanderings, but that he has departed from fact, sometimes through want of perfect information, at other times because he wished to give to scenes a more terrific and marvellous appearance than they actually possessed. So far this is true, but his idea of the object which the poet had in view while composing, is false; real advantage, not trifling, being his aim. We may justly reprehend his assertion on this point, as also where he says, that Homer places the scene of his marvels in distant lands that he may lie the more easily. Remote localities have not furnished him with near so many wonderful narrations as Greece, and the countries thereto adjacent; witness the labours of Hercules, and Theseus, the fables concerning Crete, Sicily, and the other islands; besides those connected with Cithaerum, Helicon, Parnassus, Pelion, and the whole of Attica and the Peloponnesus. Let us not therefore tax the poets with ignorance on account of the myths which they employ, and since, so far from myth being the staple, they for the most part avail themselves of actual occurrences, (and Homer does this in a remarkable degree,) the inquirer who will seek how far these ancient writers have wandered into fiction, ought not to scrutinize to what extent the fiction was carried, but rather what is the truth concerning those places and persons to which the fictions have been applied; for instance, whether the wanderings of Ulysses did actually occur, and where.,20. On the whole, however, it is not proper to place the works of Homer in the common catalogue of other poets, without challenging for him a superiority both in respect of his other [excellences] and also for the geography on which our attention is now engaged. If any one were to do no more than merely read through the Triptolemus of Sophocles, or the prologue to the Bacchae of Euripides, and then compare them with the care taken by Homer in his geographical descriptions, he would at once perceive both the difference and superiority of the latter, for wherever there is necessity for arrangement in the localities he has immortalized, he is careful to preserve it as well in regard to Greece, as to foreign countries. They On the Olympian summit thought to fix Huge Ossa, and on Ossa's towering head Pelion with all his forests. And Juno starting from the Olympian height O'erflew Pieria and the lovely plains Of broad Emathia; soaring thence she swept The snow-clad summit of the Thracian hills Steed-famed, nor printed, as she pass'd, the soil, From Athos the foaming billows borne. In the Catalogue he does not describe his cities in regular order, because here there was no necessity, but both the people and foreign countries he arranges correctly. Having wandered to Cyprus, and Phoenice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians, and Sidonians, and Erembi, and Libya. Hipparchus has drawn attention to this. But the two tragedians where there was great necessity for proper arrangement, one where he introduces Bacchus visiting the nations, the other Triptolemus sowing the earth, have brought in juxta-position places far remote, and separated those which were near. And having left the wealthy lands of the Lydians and Phrygians, and the sunny plains of the Persians and the Bactrian walls, and having come over the stormy land of the Medes, and the Happy Arabia. And the Triptolemus is just as inaccurate. Further, in respect to the winds and climates, Homer shows the wide extent of his geographical knowledge, for in his topographical descriptions he not unfrequently informs us of both these matters. Thus, My abode Is sun-burnt Ithaca. Flat on the deep she lies, farthest removed Toward the west, while situate apart, Her sister islands face the rising day. [Od. ix. 25.] And, It has a two-fold entrance, One towards the north, the other south. [Od. xiii.] 109, 111. And again, Which I alike despise, speed they their course With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east, Or leftward down into the shades of eve. Iliad xii. 239. Ignorance of such matters he reckons no less than confusion. Alas! my friends, for neither west Know we, nor east; where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun. [Od. x. 190.] Where the poet has said properly enough, As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace, Boreas and Zephyrus, Iliad ix.5. Eratosthenes ill-naturedly misrepresents him as saying in an absolute sense, that the west wind blows from Thrace; whereas he is not speaking in an absolute sense at all, but merely of the meeting of contrary winds near the bay of Melas, on the Thracian sea, itself a part of the Aegean. For where Thrace forms a kind of promontory, where it borders on Macedonia, it takes a turn to the south-west, and projects into the ocean, and from this point it seems to the inhabitants of Thasos, Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace, and the surrounding sea, that the west winds blow. So in regard to Attica, they seem to come from the rocks of Sciros, and this is the reason why all the westerly winds, the north-west more particularly, are called the Scirones. Of this Eratosthenes was not aware, though he suspected as much, for it was he who described this bending of the land [towards the south-west] which we have mentioned. But he interprets our poet in an absolute sense, and then taxes him with ignorance, because, says he, Zephyr blows from the west, and off Spain, and Thrace does not extend so far. Does he then think that Homer was not aware that Zephyr came from the west, notwithstanding the careful manner in which he distinguishes its position when he writes as follows: The east, the south, the heavy-blowing Zephyr, And the cold north-wind clear. (Odyssey v. 295). Or was he ignorant that Thrace did not extend beyond the Paeonian and Thessalian mountains. To be sure he was well acquainted with the position of the countries adjoining Thrace in that direction, and does he not mention by name both the maritime and inland districts, and tells us of the Magnetae, the Malians, and other Grecian [territories], all in order, as far as Thesprotis; also of the Dolopes bordering on Paeonia, and the Sellae who inhabit the territory around Dodona as far as the [river] Achelous, but he never mentions Thrace, as being beyond these. He has evidently a predilection for the sea which is nearest to him, and with which he is most familiar, as where he says, Commotion shook The whole assembly, such as heaves the flood Of the Icarian deep. Iliad ii. 144.,21. Some writers tell us there are but two principal winds, the north and south, and that the other winds are only a slight difference in the direction of these two. That is, (supposing only two winds, the north and south,) the south wind from the commencement of the summer quarter blows in a south-easterly direction; and from the commencement of the winter quarter from the east. The north wind from the decline of the summer, blows in a westerly direction, and from the decline of the winter, in a north-westerly direction. In support of this opinion of the two winds they adduce Thrasyalces and our poet himself, forasmuch as he mentions the north-west with the south, From the north-west south, Iliad xi. 306, xxi. 334. and the west with the north, As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace, Boreas and Zephyrus. Iliad ix. 5. But Posidonius remarks that none of those who are really acquainted with these subjects, such as Aristotle, Timosthenes, and Bion the astronomer, entertain so mistaken an opinion in regard to the winds. They say that the north-east (Caecias) blows from the commencement of summer, and that the southwest wind (Libs), which is exactly opposite to this, blows from the decline of winter. And again, the south-east wind (Eurus), which is opposite to the north-west wind (Argestes), from the commencement of winter. The east and west winds being intermediate. When our poet makes use of the expression stormy zephyr, he means the wind which is now called by us the north-west; and by the clear-blowing zephyr our west wind; our Leuconotus is his Argestes-notus, or clearing south wind, for this wind brings but few clouds, all the other southern winds bringing clouds and rain, As when whirlwinds of the west A storm encounter from the clearing south. Iliad xi. 305. Here he alludes to the stormy zephyr, which very frequently scatters the feathery clouds brought up by the Leuconotus, or, as it is called by way of epithet, the clearing south. The statements made by Eratosthenes in the first book of his Geography, require some such correction as this.,22. Persisting in his false views in relation to Homer, he goes on to say, He was ignorant that the Nile separated into many mouths, nay, he was not even acquainted with the name of the river, though Hesiod knew it well, for he even mentions it. In respect of the name, it is probable that it had not then been given to the river, and as to the mouths, if they were obscure and little known, will not every one excuse him for not being aware whether there were several or merely one? At that time, the river, its rising, and its mouths were considered, as they are at the present day, amongst the most remarkable, the most wonderful, and most worthy of recording of all the peculiarities of Egypt: who can suppose that those who told our poet of the country and river of Egypt, of Egyptian Thebes, and of Pharos, were unaware of the many embouchures of the Nile; or that being aware, they would not have described them, were it not that they were too generally known? But is it not inconceivable that Homer should describe Ethiopia, and the Sidonians, the Erembi, and the Exterior Sea, — should tell us that Ethiopia was divided into two parts, and yet nothing about those things which were nearer and better known? Certainly not, his not describing these things is no proof that he was not acquainted with them. He does not tell us of his own country, nor yet many other things. The most probable reason is, they were so generally known that they did not appear to him worth recording.,23. Again, they are entirely wrong when they allege as a mark of Homer's ignorance, that he describes the island of Pharos as entirely surrounded by the sea. On the contrary, it might be taken advantage of as a proof that our poet was not unacquainted with a single one of the points concerning Egypt which we have just been speaking of: and thus we demonstrate it: — Every one is prone to romance a little in narrating his travels, and Menelaus was no exception to the rule. He had been to Ethiopia, and there heard much discussion concerning the sources of the Nile, and the alluvium which it deposited, both along its course, and also at its mouths, and the large additions which it had thereby made to the main-land, so as fully to justify the remark of Herodotus that the whole of Egypt was a gift from the river; or if not the whole, at all events that part of it below the Delta, called Lower Egypt. He had heard too that Pharos was entirely surrounded by sea, and therefore misrepresented it as entirely surrounded by the sea, although it had long ago ceased so to be. Now the author of all this was Homer, and we therefore infer that he was not ignorant concerning either the sources or the mouths of the Nile.,24. They are again mistaken when they say that he was not aware of the isthmus between the sea of Egypt and the Arabian Gulf, and that his description is false, The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those toward the west. [Od. i. 23.] Nevertheless he is correct, and the criticism of the moderns is quite out of place: indeed, there is so little truth in the assertion that Homer was ignorant of this isthmus, that I will venture to affirm he was not only acquainted with it, but has also accurately defined it. But none of the grammarians, not even the chiefs of their number, Aristarchus and Crates, have understood the words of our poet on this subject. For they disagree as to the words which follow this expression of Homer, The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those towards the west, [Od. i. 23.] Aristarchus writing, These towards the west, and those towards the east, and Crates, As well in the west as also in the east. However, in regard to their hypotheses, it makes no difference whether the passage were written this way or that. One of them, in fact, takes what he considers the mathematical view of the case, and says that the torrid zone is occupied by the ocean, and that on each side of this there is a temperate zone, one inhabited by us and another opposite thereto. And as we call the Ethiopians, who are situated to the south, and dwell along the shores of the ocean, the most distant on the face of the inhabited globe; so he supposed that on the other side of the ocean, there were certain Ethiopians dwelling along the shores, who would in like manner be considered the most distant by the inhabitants of the other temperate zone; and thus that the Ethiopians were double, separated into two divisions by the ocean. He adds, as well in the west as also in the east, because as the celestial zodiac always corresponds to the terrestrial, and never exceeds in its obliquity the space occupied by the two Ethiopias, the sun's entire course must necessarily be within this space, and also his rising and setting, as it appears to different nations according to the sign which he may be in. He (Crates) adopted this version, because he considered it the more astronomical. But it would have maintained his opinion of the division of the Ethiopians into two parts, and at the same time have been much more simple, had he said that the Ethiopians dwelt on either side of the ocean from the rising to the setting of the sun. In this case what difference does it make whether we follow his version, or adopt the reading of Aristarchus, These towards the west, and those towards the east? which also means, that whether east or west, on either side of the ocean, Ethiopians dwell. But Aristarchus rejects this hypothesis. He says, The Ethiopians with whom we are acquainted, and who are farthest south from the Greeks, are those described by the poet as being separated into two divisions. But Ethiopia is not so separated as to form two countries, one situated towards the west, the other towards the east, but only one, that which lies south of the Greeks and adjoins Egypt; but of this the poet was ignorant, as well as of other matters enumerated by Apollodorus, which he has falsely stated concerning various places in his second book, containing the catalogue of the ships.,25. To refute Crates would require a lengthened argument, which here perhaps may be considered out of place. Aristarchus we commend for rejecting the hypothesis of Crates, which is open to many objections, and for referring the expression of the poet to our Ethiopia. But the remainder of his statement we must discuss. First, his minute examination of the reading is altogether fruitless, for whichever way it may have been written, his interpretation is equally applicable to both; for what difference is there whether you say thus — In our opinion there are two Ethiopias, one towards the east, the other to the west; or thus — For they are as well towards the east as the west? Secondly, He makes false assumptions. For admitting that the poet was ignorant of the isthmus, and that he alludes to the Ethiopia contiguous to Egypt, when he says, The Ethiopians separated into two divisions; [Od. i. 23.] what then? Are they not separated into two divisions, and could the poet have thus expressed himself if he had been in ignorance? Is not Egypt, nay, are not the Egyptians, separated into two divisions by the Nile from the Delta to Syene, These towards the west, those towards the east? And what else is Egypt, with the exception of the island formed by the river and overflowed by its waters; does it not lie on either side of the river both east and west? Ethiopia runs in the same direction as Egypt, and resembles it both in its position with respect to the Nile, and in its other geographical circumstances. It is narrow, long, and subject to inundation; beyond the reach of this inundation it is desolate and parched, and unfitted for the habitation of man; some districts lying to the east and some to the west of [the river]. How then can we deny that it is separated into two divisions? Shall the Nile, which is looked upon by some people as the proper boundary line between Asia and Libya, and which extends southward in length more than 10,000 stadia, embracing in its breadth islands which contain populations of above ten thousand men, the largest of these being Meroe, the seat of empire and metropolis of the Ethiopians, be regarded as too insignificant to divide Ethiopia into two parts? The greatest obstacle which they who object to the river being made the line of demarcation between the two continents are able to allege, is, that Egypt and Ethiopia are by this means divided, one part of each being assigned to Libya, and the other to Asia, or, if this will not suit, the continents cannot be divided at all, or at least not by the river.,26. But besides these there is another method of dividing Ethiopia. All those who have sailed along the coasts of Libya, whether starting from the Arabian Gulf, or the Pillars, after proceeding a certain distance, have been obliged to turn back again on account of a variety of accidents; and thus originated a general belief that it was divided midway by some isthmus, although the whole of the Atlantic Ocean is confluent, more especially towards the south. Besides, all of these navigators called the final country which they reached, Ethiopia, and described it under that name. Is it therefore at all incredible, that Homer, misled by such reports, separated them into two divisions, one towards the east and the other west, not knowing whether there were any intermediate countries or not? But there is another ancient tradition related by Ephorus, which Homer had probably fallen in with. He tells us it is reported by the Tartessians, that some of the Ethiopians, on their arrival in Libya, penetrated into the extreme west, and settled down there, while the rest occupied the greater part of the sea-coast; and in support of this statement he quotes the passage of Homer, The Ethiopians, the farthest removed of men, separated into two divisions.,27. These and other more stringent arguments may be urged against Aristarchus and those of his school, to clear our poet from the charge of such gross ignorance. I assert that the ancient Greeks, in the same way as they classed all the northern nations with which they were familiar under the one name of Scythians, or, according to Homer, Nomades, and afterwards becoming acquainted with those towards the west, styled them Kelts and Iberians; sometimes compounding the names into Keltiberians, or Keltoscythians, thus ignorantly uniting various distinct nations; so I affirm they designated as Ethiopia the whole of the southern countries towards the ocean. Of this there is evidence, for Aeschylus, in the Prometheus Loosed, thus speaks: There [is] the sacred wave, and the coralled bed of the Erythraean Sea, and [there] the luxuriant marsh of the Ethiopians, situated near the ocean, glitters like polished brass; where daily in the soft and tepid stream, the all-seeing sun bathes his undying self, and refreshes his weary steeds. And as the ocean holds the same position in respect to the sun, and serves the same purpose throughout the whole southern region, he therefore concludes that the Ethiopians inhabited the whole of the region. And Euripides in his Phaeton says that Clymene was given To Merops, sovereign of that land Which from his four-horsed chariot first The rising sun strikes with his golden rays; And which its swarthy neighbours call The radiant stable of the Morn and Sun. Here the poet merely describes them as the common stables of the Morning and of the Sun; but further on he tells us they were near to the dwellings of Merops, and in fact the whole plot of the piece has reference to this. This does not therefore refer alone to the [land] next to Egypt, but rather to the whole southern country extending along the sea-coast.,28. Ephorus likewise shows us the opinion of the ancients respecting Ethiopia, in his Treatise on Europe. He says, If the whole celestial and terrestrial globe were divided into four parts, the Indians would possess that towards the east, the Ethiopians towards the south, the Kelts towards the west, and the Scythians towards the north. He adds that Ethiopia is larger than Scythia; for, says he, it appears that the country of the Ethiopians extends from the rising to the setting of the sun in winter; and Scythia is opposite to it. It is evident this was the opinion of Homer, since he places Ithaca Towards the gloomy region, that is, towards the north, but the others apart, Towards the morning and the sun, by which he means the whole southern hemisphere: and again when he says, speed they their course With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east, Or leftward down into the shades of eve. Iliad xii. 239. And again, Alas! my friends, for neither west Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun. [Od. x. 190.] Which we shall explain more fully when we come to speak of Ithaca. When therefore he says, For to the banks of the Oceanus, Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove, He journey'd yesterday, Iliad i. 423. we should take this in a general sense, and understand by it the whole of the ocean which washes Ethiopia and the southern region, for to whatever part of this region you direct your attention, you will there find both the ocean and Ethiopia. It is in a similar style he says, But Neptune, traversing in his return From Ethiopia's sons the mountain heights Of Solyme, descried him from afar. [Od. v. 282.] which is equal to saying, in his return from the southern regions, meaning by the Solymi, as I remarked before, not those of Pisidia, but certain others merely imaginary, having the same name, and bearing the like relation to the navigators in [Ulysses'] ship, and the southern inhabitants there called Ethiopians, as those of Pisidia do in regard to Pontus and the inhabitants of Egyptian Ethiopia. What he says about the cranes must likewise be understood in a general sense. Such clang is heard Along the skies, when from incessant showers Escaping, and from winter's cold, the cranes Take wing, and over ocean speed away. Woe to the land of dwarfs! prepared they fly For slaughter of the small Pygmaean race. Iliad iii. 3. For it is not in Greece alone that the crane is observed to emigrate to more southern regions, but likewise from Italy and Iberia, from [the shores of] the Caspian, and from Bactriana. But since the ocean extends along the whole southern coast, and the cranes fly to all parts of it indiscriminately at the approach of winter, we must likewise believe that the Pygmies were equally considered to inhabit the whole of it. And if the moderns have confined the term of Ethiopians to those only who dwell near to Egypt, and have also restricted the Pygmies in like manner, this must not be allowed to interfere with the meaning of the ancients. We do not speak of all the people who fought against Troy as merely Achaeans and Argives, though Homer describes the whole under those two names. Similar to this is my remark concerning the separation of the Ethiopians into two divisions, that under that designation we should understand the whole of the nations inhabiting the sea-board from east to west. The Ethiopians taken in this sense are naturally separated into two parts by the Arabian Gulf, which occupies a considerable portion of a meridian circle, and resembles a river, being in length nearly 15,000 stadia, and in breadth not above 1000 at the widest point. In addition to the length, the recess of the Gulf is distant from the sea at Pelusium only three or four days' journey across the isthmus. On this account those who are most felicitous in their division of Asia and Africa, prefer the Gulf as a better boundary line for the two continents than the Nile, since it extends almost entirely from sea to sea, whereas the Nile is so remote from the ocean that it does not by any means divide the whole of Asia from Africa. On this account I believe it was the Gulf which the poet looked upon as dividing into two portions the whole southern regions of the inhabited earth. Is it possible, then, that he was unacquainted with the isthmus which separates this Gulf from the Egyptian Sea?,29. It is quite irrational to suppose that he could be accurately acquainted with Egyptian Thebes, which is separated from our sea by a little less than 5000 stadia; and yet ignorant of the recess of the Arabian Gulf, and of the isthmus there, whose breadth is not more than 1000 stadia. Still more, would it not be ridiculous to believe that Homer was aware the Nile was called by the same name as the vast country [of Egypt], and yet unacquainted with the reason why? Especially since the saying of Herodotus would occur to him, that the country was a gift from the river, and it ought therefore to bear its name. Further, the best known peculiarities of a country are those which have something of the nature of a paradox, and are likely to arrest general attention. Of this kind are the rising of the Nile, and the alluvial deposition at its mouth. There is nothing in the whole country to which travellers in Egypt so immediately direct their inquiries, as the character of the Nile; nor do the inhabitants possess anything else equally wonderful and curious, of which to inform foreigners; for in fact, to give them a description of the river, is to lay open to their view every main characteristic of the country. It is the question put before every other by those who have never seen Egypt themselves. To these considerations we must add Homer's thirst after knowledge, and his delight in visiting foreign lands, (tastes which we are assured both by those who have written histories of his life, and also by innumerable testimonies throughout his own poems, he possessed in an eminent degree,) and we shall have abundant evidence both of the extent of his information, and the felicity with which he described objects he deemed important, and passed over altogether, or with slight allusion, matters which were generally known.,30. These Egyptians and Syrians whom we have been criticising fill one with amazement. They do not understand [Homer], even when he is describing their own countries, but accuse him of ignorance where, as our argument proves, they are open to the charge themselves. Not to mention a thing is clearly no evidence that a person is not acquainted with it. Homer does not tell us of the change in the current of the Euripus, nor of Thermopylae, nor of many other remarkable things well known to the Greeks; but was he therefore unacquainted with them? He describes to us, although these men, who are obstinately deaf, will not hear: they have themselves to blame. Our poet applies to rivers the epithet of heaven-sent. And this not only to mountain torrents, but to all rivers alike, since they are all replenished by the showers. But even what is general becomes particular when it is bestowed on any object par excellence. Heaven-sent, when applied to a mountain torrent, means something else than when it is the epithet of the ever-flowing river; but the force of the term is doubly felt when attributed to the Nile. For as there are hyperboles of hyperboles, for instance, to be lighter than the shadow of a cork, more timid than a Phrygian hare, to possess an estate shorter than a Lacedemonian epistle; so excellence becomes more excellent, when the title of heaven-sent is given to the Nile. The mountain torrent has a better claim to be called heaven-sent than other rivers, but the Nile exceeds the mountain torrents, both in its size and the lengthened period of its overflow. Since, then, the wonders of this river were known to our poet, as we have shown in this defence, when he applies this epithet to the Nile, it must only be understood in the way we have explained. Homer did not think it worth mentioning, especially to those who were acquainted with the fact, that the Nile had many mouths, since this is a common feature of numerous other rivers. Alcaeus does not mention it, although he tells us he had been in Egypt. One might infer the fact of its alluvial deposit, both From the rising [of the river] and what Homer tells us concerning Pharos. For his account, or rather the vulgar report concerning Pharos, that it was distant from the mainland a whole day's voyage, ought not to be looked upon as a downright falsehood. It is clear that Homer was only acquainted with the rising and deposit of the river in a general way, and concluding from what he heard that the island had been further removed in the time of Menelaus from the mainland, than it was in his own, he magnified the distance, simply that he might heighten the fiction. Fictions however are not the offspring of ignorance, as is sufficiently plain from those concerning Proteus, the Pygmies, the efficacy of charms, and many others similar to these fabricated by the poets. They narrate these things not through ignorance of the localities, but for the sake of giving pleasure and enjoyment. But [some one may inquire], how could he describe [Pharos], which is without water as possessed of that necessary? The haven there is good, and many a ship Finds watering there from rivulets on the coast. [Od. iv. 358.] [I answer, ] It is not impossible that the sources of water may since have failed. Besides, he does not say that the water was procured from the island, but that they went thither on account of the safety of the harbour; the water was probably obtained from the mainland, and by the expression the poet seems to admit that what he had before said of its being wholly surrounded by sea was not the actual fact, but a hyperbole or fiction.,31. As his description of the wanderings of Menelaus may seem to authenticate the charge of ignorance made against him in respect to those regions, it will perhaps be best to point out the difficulties of the narrative, and their explanation, and at the same time enter into a fuller defence of our poet. Menelaus thus addresses Telemachus, who is admiring the splendour of his palace: After numerous toils And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep, In the eighth year at last I brought them home. Cyprus, Phoenicia, Sidon, and the shores Of Egypt, roaming without hope, I reach'd, In distant Ethiopia thence arrived, And Libya. [Od. iv. 81.] It is asked, What Ethiopians could he have met with on his voyage from Egypt? None are to be found dwelling by our sea, and with his vessels he could never have reached the cataracts of the Nile. Next, who are the Sidonians? Certainly not the inhabitants of Phoenicia; for leaving mentioned the genus, he would assuredly not particularize the species. And then the Erembi; this is altogether a new name. Our contemporary Aristonicus, the grammarian, in his [observations] on the wanderings of Menelaus, has recorded the opinions of numerous writers on each of the heads under discussion. It will be sufficient for us to refer to them very briefly. They who assert that Menelaus went by sea to Ethiopia, tell us he directed his course past Cadiz into the Indian Ocean; with which, say they, the long duration of his wanderings agrees, since he did not arrive there till the eighth year. Others, that he passed through the isthmus which enters the Arabian Gulf; and others again, through one of the canals. At the same time the idea of this circumnavigation, which owes its origin to Crates, is not necessary; we do not mean it was impossible, (for the wanderings of Ulysses are not impossible,) but neither the mathematical hypothesis, not yet the duration of the wandering, require such an explanation; for he was both retarded against his will by accidents in the voyage, as by [the tempest] which he narrates five only of his sixty ships survived; and also by voluntary delays for the sake of amassing wealth. Nestor says [of him], Thus he, provision gathering as he went, And gold abundant, roam'd to distant lands. [Od. iii. 301.] [And Menelaus himself], Cyprus, Phoenicia, and the Egyptians' land I wandered through. [Od. iv. 83.] As to the navigation of the isthmus, or one of the canals, if it had been related by Homer himself, we should have counted it a myth; but as he does not relate it, we regard it as entirely extravagant and unworthy of belief. We say unworthy of belief, because at the time of the Trojan war no canal was in existence. It is recorded that Sesostris, who had planned the formation of one, apprehending that the level of the sea was too high to admit of it, desisted from the undertaking. Moreover the isthmus itself was not passable for ships, and Eratosthenes is unfortunate in his conjecture, for he considers that the strait at the Pillars was not then formed, so that the Atlantic should by that channel communicate with the Mediterranean, and that this sea being higher than the Isthmus [of Suez], covered it; but when the Strait [of Gibraltar] was formed, the sea subsided considerably; and left the land about Casium and Pelusium dry as far over as the Red Sea. But what account have we of the formation of this strait, supposing it were not in existence prior to the Trojan war? Is it likely that our poet would make Ulysses sail out through the Strait [of Gibraltar] into the Atlantic Ocean, as if that strait already existed, and at the same time describe Menelaus conducting his ships from Egypt to the Red Sea, as if it did not exist. Further, the poet introduces Proteus as saying to him, Thee the gods Have destined to the blest Elysian Isles, Earth's utmost boundaries. [Od. iv. 563.] And what this place was, namely, some far western region, is evident from [the mention of] the Zephyr in connexion with it: But Zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them. [Od. iv. 567.] This, however, is very enigmatical.,32. But if our poet speaks of the Isthmus of Suez as ever having been the strait of confluence between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea s, how much more credit may we attribute to his division of the Ethiopians into two portions, being thus separated by so grand a strait! And what commerce could he have carried on with the Ethiopians who dwelt by the shores of the exterior sea and the ocean? Telemachus and his companions admire the multitude of ornaments that were in the palace, Of gold, electrum, silver, ivory. [Od. iv. 73.] Now the Ethiopians are possessed of none of these productions in any abundance, excepting ivory, being for the most part a needy and nomad race. True, [you say, ] but adjoining them is Arabia, and the whole country as far as India. One of these is distinguished above all other lands by the title of Felix, and the other, though not dignified by that name, is both generally believed and also said to be preeminently Blessed. But [we reply], Homer was not acquainted with India, or he would have described it. And though he knew of the Arabia which is now named Felix, at that time it was by no means wealthy, but a wild country, the inhabitants of which dwelt for the most part in tents. It is only a small district which produces the aromatics from which the whole territory afterwards received its name, owing to the rarity of the commodity amongst us, and the value set upon it. That the Arabians are now flourishing and wealthy is due to their vast and extended traffic, but formerly it does not appear to have been considerable. A merchant or camel-driver might attain to opulence by the sale of these aromatics and similar commodities; but Menelaus could only become so either by plunder, or presents conferred on him by kings and nobles, who had the means at their disposal, and wished to gratify one so distinguished by glory and renown. The Egyptians, it is true, and the neighbouring Ethiopians and Arabians, were not so entirely destitute of the luxuries of civilization, nor so unacquainted with the fame of Agamemnon, especially after the termination of the Trojan war, but that Menelaus might have expected some benefits from their generosity, even as the breastplate of Agamemnon is said to be The gift Of Cinyras long since; for rumour loud Had Cyprus reached. Iliad xi. 20. And we are told that the greater part of his wanderings were in Phoenicia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, around Cyprus, and, in fact, the whole of our coasts and islands. Here, indeed, he might hope to enrich himself both by the gifts of friendship and by violence, and especially by the plunder of those who had been the allies of Troy. They however who dwelt on the exterior ocean, and the distant barbarians, held out no such encouragement: and when Menelaus is said to have been in Ethiopia, it is because he had reached the frontiers of that country next Egypt. But perhaps at that time the frontiers lay more contiguous to Thebes than they do now. At the present day the nearest are the districts adjacent to Syene and Philae, the former town being entirely in Egypt, while Philae is inhabited by a mixed population of Ethiopians and Egyptians. Supposing therefore he had arrived at Thebes, and thus reached the boundary-line of Ethiopia, where he experienced the munificence of the king, we must not be surprised if he is described as having passed through the country. On no better authority Ulysses declares he has been to the land of the Cyclops, although he merely left the sea to enter a cavern which he himself tells us was situated on the very borders of the country: and, in fact, wherever he came to anchor, whether at Aeolia, Laestrygonia, or elsewhere, he is stated to have visited those places. In the same manner Menelaus is said to have been to Ethiopia and Libya, because here and there he touched at those places, and the port near Ardania above Paraetonium is called after him the port of Menelaus.,33. When, after mentioning Phoenicia, he talks of Sidon, its metropolis, he merely employs a common form of expression, for example, He urged the Trojans and Hector to the ships. (Iliad xiii.1) For the sons of magnanimous Oeneus were no more, nor was he himself surviving; moreover, fair-haired Meleager was dead. He came to Ida — and to Gargarus. Iliad viii.47 He possessed Euboea, Chalcis, and Eretria. Iliad ii. 536. Sappho likewise [says], Whether Cyprus, or the well-harboured Paphos. But he had some other cause besides this for mentioning Sidon immediately after having spoken of the Phoenicians: for had he merely desired to recount the nations in order, it would have been quite sufficient to say, Having wandered to Cyprus, Phoenice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians. But that he might record his sojourn amongst the Sidonians, which was considerably prolonged, he thought it well to refer to it repeatedly. Thus he praises their prosperity and skill in the arts, and alludes to the hospitality the citizens had shown to Helen and Alexander. Thus he tells us of the many [treasures]of this nature laid up in store by Alexander. There his treasures lay, Works of Sidonian women, whom her son, The godlike Paris, when he crossed the seas With Jove-begotten Helen, brought to Troy. Iliad vi. 289. And also by Menelaus, who says to Telemachus, 'I give thee this bright beaker, argent all, But round encircled with a lip of gold. It is the work of Vulcan, which to me The hero Phaedimus presented, king Of the Sidonians, when on my return Beneath his roof I lodged. I make it thine.' [Od. xv. 115.] Here the expression, work of Vulcan, must be looked upon as a hyperbole: in the same way all elegant productions are said to be the work of Minerva, of the Graces, or of the Muses. But that the Sidonians were skilful artists, is clear from the praises bestowed [by Homer] on the bowl which Euneos gave in exchange for Lycaon: Earth Own'd not its like for elegance of form. Skilful Sidonian artists had around Embellish'd it, and o'er the sable deep Phoenician merchants into Lemnos' port Had borne it. Iliad xxiii.742.,34. Many conjectures have been hazarded as to who the Erembi were: they who suppose the Arabs are intended, seem to deserve the most credit. Our Zeno reads the passage thus: — I came to the Ethiopians, the Sidonians, and the Arabians. But there is no occasion to tamper with the text, which is of great antiquity; it is a far preferable course to suppose a change in the name itself, which is of frequent and ordinary occurrence in every nation: and in fact certain grammarians establish this view by a comparison of the radical letters. Posidonius seems to me to adopt the better plan after all, in looking for the etymology of names in nations of one stock and community; thus between the Armenians, Syrians, and Arabians there is a strong affinity both in regard to dialect, mode of life, peculiarities of physical conformation, and above all in the contiguity of the countries. Mesopotamia, which is a motley of the three nations, is a proof of this; for the similarity amongst these three is very remarkable. And though in consequence of the various latitudes there may be some difference between those who dwell in the north and those of the south, and again between each of these and the inhabitants of the middle region, still the same characteristics are dominant in all. Also the Assyrians and Arians have a great affinity both to these people and to each other. And [Posidonius] believes there is a similarity in the names of these different nations. Those whom we call Syrians style themselves Armenians and Arammaeans, names greatly like those of the Armenians, Arabs, and Erembi. Perhaps this [last] term is that by which the Greeks anciently designated the Arabs; the etymon of the word certainly strengthens the idea. Many deduce the etymology of the Erembi from ἔραν ἐμβαίνειν, (to go into the earth,) which [they say] was altered by the people of a later generation into the more intelligible name of Troglodytes, by which are intended those Arabs who dwell on that side of the Arabian Gulf next to Egypt and Ethiopia. It is probable then that the poet describes Menelaus as having visited these people in the same way that he says he visited the Ethiopians; for they are likewise near to the Thebaid; and he mentions them not on account of any commerce or gain, (for of these there was not much,) but probably to enhance the length of the journey and his meed of praise: for such distant travelling was highly thought of. For example, — Discover'd various cities, and the mind And manners learn'd of men in lands remote. [Od. i. 3.] And again: After numerous toils And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep, In the eighth year at last I brought them home. [Od. iv. 81.] Hesiod, in his Catalogue, writes, And the daughter of Arabus, whom gracious Hermes and Thronia, descended from king Belus, brought forth. Thus, too, says Stesichorus. Whence it seems that at that time the country was from him named Arabia, though it is not likely this was the case in the heroic period.,35. There are many who would make the Erembi a tribe of the Ethiopians, or of the Cephenes, or again of the Pygmies, and a thousand other fancies. These ought to be regarded with little trust; since their opinion is not only incredible, but they evidently labour under a certain confusion as to the different characters of history and fable. In the same category must be reckoned those who place the Sidonians and Phoenicians in the Persian Gulf, or somewhere else in the Ocean, and make the wanderings of Menelaus to have happened there. Not the least cause for mistrusting these writers is the manner in which they contradict each other. One half would have us believe that the Sidonians are a colony from the people whom they describe as located on the shores of the [Indian] Ocean, and who they say were called Phoenicians from the colour of the Erythraean Sea, while the others declare the opposite. Some again would transport Ethiopia into our Phoenicia, and make Joppa the scene of the adventures of Andromeda; and this not from any ignorance of the topography of those places, but by a kind of mythic fiction similar to those of Hesiod and other writers censured by Apollodorus, who, however, couples Homer with them, without, as it appears, any cause. He cites as instances what Homer relates of the Euxine and Egypt, and accuses him of ignorance for pretending to speak the actual truth, and then recounting fable, all the while ignorantly mistaking it for fact. Will anyone then accuse Hesiod of ignorance on account of his Hemicynes, his Macrocephali, and his Pygmies; or Homer for his like fables, and amongst others the Pygmies themselves; or Alcman for describing the Steganopodes; or Aeschylus for his Cynocephali, Sternophthalmi, and Monommati; when amongst prose writers, and in works bearing the appearance of veritable history, we frequently meet with similar narrations, and that without any admission of their having inserted such myths. Indeed it becomes immediately evident that they have woven together a tissue of myths not through ignorance of the real facts, but merely to amuse by a deceptive narration of the impossible and marvellous. If they appear to do this in ignorance, it is because they can romance more frequently and with greater plausibility on those things which are uncertain and unknown. This Theopompus plainly confesses in the announcement of his intention to relate the fables in his history in a better style than Herodotus, Ctesias, Hellanicus, and those who had written on the affairs of India.,36. Homer has described to us the phenomena of the ocean under the form of a myth; this [art] is very desirable in a poet; the idea of his Charybdis was taken from the ebb and flow of the tide, and was by no means a pure invention of his own, but derived from what he knew concerning the Strait of Sicily. And although he states that the ebb and flow occurred thrice during the four and twenty hours, instead of twice, (Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day Thrice swallows it) we must suppose that he said this not through any ignorance of the fact, but for tragic effect, and to excite the fear which Circe endeavours to infuse into her arguments to deter Ulysses from departing, even at a little expense of truth. The following is the language Circe makes use of in her speech to him: Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day Thrice swallows it. Ah! well-forewarn'd beware What time she swallows, that thou come not nigh, For not himself, Neptune, could snatch thee thence. [Od. xii. 105.] And yet when Ulysses was ingulfed in the eddy he was not lost. He tells us himself, 'It was the time when she absorb'd profound The briny flood, but by a wave upborne, I seized the branches fast of the wild fig, To which bat-like I clung. And then having waited for the timbers of the wreck he seized hold of them, and thus saved himself. Circe, therefore, had exaggerated both the peril, and also the fact of its vomiting forth thrice a day instead of twice. However, this latter is a hyperbole which every one makes use of; thus we say thricehappy and thrice-miserable. So the poet, Thrice-happy Greeks! [Od. v. 306.] Again, O delightful, thrice-wished for! Iliad viii. 488. And again, O thrice and four times. Iliad iii. 363. Any one, too, might conclude from the passage itself that Homer even here hinted at the truth, for the long time which the remains of the wreck lay under water, which Ulysses, who was all the while hanging suspended to the branches, so anxiously desired to rise, accords much better with the ebb and flow taking place but twice during the night and day instead of thrice. Therefore hard I clench'd the boughs, till she disgorged again Both keel and mast. Not undesired by me They came, though late; for at what hour the judge, After decision made of numerous strifes Between young candidates for honour, leaves The forum, for refreshment's sake at home, Then was it that the mast and keel emerged. [Od. xii. 437.] Every word of this indicates a considerable length of time, especially when he prolongs it to the evening, not merely saying at that time when the judge has risen, but having adjudicated on a vast number of cases, and therefore detained longer than usual. Otherwise his account of the return of the wreck would not have appeared likely, if he had brought it back again with the return of the wave, before it had been first carried a long way off.,37. Apollodorus, who agrees with Eratosthenes, throws much blame upon Callimachus for asserting, in spite of his character as a grammarian, that Gaudus and Corcyra were among the scenes of Ulysses' wandering, such an opinion being altogether in defiance of Homer's statement, and his description of the places as situated in the exterior ocean. This criticism is just if we suppose the wandering to have never actually occurred, and to be merely the result of Homer's imagination; but if it did take place, although in other regions, Apollodorus ought plainly to have stated which they were, and thus set right the mistake of Callimachus. Since, however, after such evidence as we have produced, we cannot believe the whole account to be a fiction, and since no other more likely places have as yet been named, we hold that the grammarian is absolved from blame.,38. Demetrius of Skepsis is also wrong, and, in fact, the cause of some of the mistakes of Apollodorus. He eagerly objects to the statement of Neanthes of Cyzicus, that the Argonauts, when they sailed to the Phasis, instituted at Cyzicus the rites of the Idaean Mother. Though their voyage is attested both by Homer and other writers, he denies that Homer had any knowledge whatever of the departure of Jason to the Phasis. In so doing, he not only contradicts the very words of Homer, but even his own assertions. The poet informs us that Achilles, having ravaged Lesbos and other districts, spared Lemnos and the adjoining islands, on account of his relationship with Jason and his son Euneos, who then had possession of the island. How should he know of a relationship, identity of race, or other connexion existing between Achilles and Jason, which, after all, was nothing else than that they were both Thessalians, one being of Iolcos, the other of the Achaean Phthiotis, and yet was not aware how it happened that Jason, who was a Thessalian of Iolcos, should leave no descendants in the land of his nativity, but establish his son as ruler of Lemnos? Homer then was familiar with the history of Pelias and the daughters of Pelias, of Alcestis, who was the most charming of them all, and of her son Eumelus, whom Alcestis, praised For beauty above all her sisters fair, In Thessaly to king Admetus bore, Iliad ii. 714. and was yet ignorant of all that befell Jason, and Argo, and the Argonauts, matters on the actual occurrence of which all the world is agreed. The tale then of their voyage in the ocean from Aeeta, was a mere fiction, for which he had no authority in history.,39. If, however, the expedition to the Phasis, fitted out by Pelias, its return, and the conquest of several islands, have at the bottom any truth whatever, as all say they have, so also has the account of their wanderings, no less than those of Ulysses and Menelaus; monuments of the actual occurrence of which remain to this day elsewhere than in the writings of Homer. The city of Aea, close by the Phasis, is still pointed out. Aeetes is generally believed to have reigned in Colchis, the name is still common throughout the country, tales of the sorceress Medea are yet abroad, and the riches of the country in gold, silver, and iron, proclaim the motive of Jason's expedition, as well as of that which Phrixus had formerly undertaken. Traces both of one and the other still remain. Such is Phrixium, midway between Colchis and Iberia, and the Jasonia, or towns of Jason, which are everywhere met with in Armenia, Media, and the surrounding countries. Many are the witnesses to the reality of the expeditions of Jason and Phrixus at Sinope and its shore, at Propontis, at the Hellespont, and even at Lemnos. Of Jason and his Colchian followers there are traces even as far as Crete, Italy, and the Adriatic. Callimachus himself alludes to it where he says, Aigleten Anaphe, Near to Laconian Thera. In the verses which commence, I sing how the heroes from Cytaean Aeeta, Return'd again to ancient Aemonia. And again concerning the Colchians, who, Ceasing to plough with oars the Illyrian Sea,Near to the tomb of fair Harmonia,Who was transform'd into a dragon's shape,Founded their city, which a Greek would callThe Town of Fugitives, but in their tongueIs Pola named. Some writers assert that Jason and his companions sailed high up the Ister, others say he sailed only so far as to be able to gain the Adriatic: the first statement results altogether from ignorance; the second, which supposes there is a second Ister having its source from the larger river of the same name, and discharging its waters into the Adriatic, is neither incredible nor even improbable.,40. Starting from these premises, the poet, in conformity both with general custom and his own practice, narrates some circumstances as they actually occurred, and paints others in the colours of fiction. He follows history when he tells us of Aeetes and Jason also, when he talks of Argo, and on the authority of [the actual city of Aea], feigns his city of Aeaea, when he settles Euneos in Lemnos, and makes that island friendly to Achilles, and when, in imitation of Medea, he makes the sorceress Circe Sister by birth of the all-wise Aeetes, [Od. x. 137.] he adds the fiction of the entrance of the Argonauts into the exterior ocean as the sequel to their wanderings on their return home. Here, supposing the previous statements admitted, the truth of the phrase the renowned Argo, is evident, since, in that case, the expedition was directed to a populous and well-known country. But if, as [Demetrius] the Skepsian asserts, on the authority of Mimnermus, Aeetes dwelt by the Ocean, and Jason was sent thither far east by Pelias, to bring back the fleece, it neither seems probable that such an expedition would have been undertaken into unknown and obscure countries after the Fleece, nor could a voyage to lands desert, uninhabited, and so far remote from us, be considered either glorious or renowned. [Here follow the words of Demetrius.] Nor as yet had Jason, having accomplished the arduous journey, carried off the splendid fleece from Aea, fulfilling the dangerous mission of the insolent Pelias, nor had they ploughed the glorious wave of the ocean. And again: The city of Aeetes, where the rays of the swift sun recline on their golden bed by the shore of the ocean, which the noble Jason visited.,1. ERATOSTHENES is guilty of another fault in so frequently referring to the works of men beneath his notice, sometimes for the purpose of refuting them; at others, when he agrees with them, in order to cite them as authorities. I allude to Damastes, and such as him, who even when they speak the truth, are utterly unworthy of being appealed to as authorities, or vouchers for the credibility of a statement. For such purposes the writings of trustworthy men should only be employed, who have accurately described much; and though perhaps they may have omitted many points altogether, and barely touched on others, are yet never guilty of wilfully falsifying their statements. To cite Damastes as an authority is little better than to quote the Bergaean, or Euemerus the Messenian, and those other scribblers whom Eratosthenes himself sneers at for their absurdities. Why, he even points out as one of the follies of this Damastes, his observation that the Arabian Gulf was a lake; likewise the statement that Diotimus, the son of Strombicus and chief of the Athenian legation, sailed through Cilicia up the Cydnus into the river Choaspes, which flows by Susa, and so arrived at that capital after forty days' journey. This particular he professes to state on the authority of Diotimus himself, and then expresses his wonder whether the Cydnus could actually cross the Euphrates and Tigris in order to disgorge itself into the Choaspes.,2. However, this is not all we have to say against him. Of many places he tells us that nothing is known, when in fact they have every one been accurately described. Then he warns us to be very cautious in believing what we are told on such matters, and endeavours by long and tedious arguments to show the value of his advice; swallowing at the same time the most ridiculous absurdities himself concerning the Euxine and Adriatic. Thus he believed the Gulf of Issos to be the most easterly point of the Mediterranean, though Dioscurias, which is nearly at the bottom of the Pontus Euxinus, is, according to his own calculations, farther east by a distance of 3000 stadia. In describing the northern and farther parts of the Adriatic he cannot refrain from similar romancing, and gives credit to many strange narrations concerning what lies beyond the Pillars of Hercules, informing us of an Isle of Kerne there, and other places now nowhere to be found, which we shall speak of presently. Having remarked that the ancients, whether out on piratical excursions, or for the purposes of commerce, never ventured into the high seas, but crept along the coast, and instancing Jason, who leaving his vessels at Colchis penetrated into Armenia and Media on foot, he proceeds to tell us that formerly no one dared to navigate either the Euxine or the seas by Libya, Syria, and Cilicia. If by formerly he means periods so long past that we possess no record of them, it is of little consequence to us whether they navigated those seas or not, but if [he speaks] of times of which we know any thing, and if we are to place any trust in the accounts which have come down to us, every one will admit that the ancients appear to have made longer journeys both by sea and land than their successors; witness Bacchus, Hercules, nay Jason himself, and again Ulysses and Menelaus, of whom Homer tells us. It seems most probable that Theseus and Pirithous are indebted to some long voyages for the credit they afterwards obtained of having visited the infernal regions; and in like manner the Dioscuri gained the appellation of guardians of the sea, and the deliverers of sailors. The sovereignty of the seas exercised by Minos, and the navigation carried on by the Phoenicians, is well known. A little after the period of the Trojan war they had penetrated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and founded cities as well there as to the midst of the African coast. Is it not correct to number amongst the ancients Aeneas, Antenor, the Heneti, and all the crowd of warriors, who, after the destruction of Troy, wandered over the face of the whole earth? For at the conclusion of the war both the Greeks and Barbarians found themselves deprived, the one of their livelihood at home, the other of the fruits of their expedition; so that when Troy was overthrown, the victors, and still more the vanquished, who had survived the conflict, were compelled by want to a life of piracy; and we learn that they became the founders of many cities along the sea-coast beyond Greece, besides several inland settlements.,3. Again, having discoursed on the advance of knowledge respecting the Geography of the inhabited earth, between the time of Alexander and the period when he was writing, Eratosthenes goes into a description of the figure of the earth; not merely of the habitable earth, an account of which would have been very suitable, but of the whole earth, which should certainly have been given too, but not in this disorderly manner. He proceeds to tell us that the earth is spheroidal, not however perfectly so, inasmuch as it has certain irregularities, he then enlarges on the successive changes of its form, occasioned by water, fire, earthquakes, eruptions, and the like; all of which is entirely out of place, for the spheroidal form of the whole earth is the result of the system of the universe, and the phenomena which he mentions do not in the least change its general form; such little matters being entirely lost in the great mass of the earth. Still they cause various peculiarities in different parts of our globe, and result from a variety of causes.,4. He points out as a most interesting subject for disquisition the fact of our finding, often quite inland, two or three thousand stadia from the sea, vast numbers of muscle, oyster, and scallop-shells, and salt-water lakes. He gives as an instance, that about the sanctuary of Ammon, and along the road to it for the space of 3000 stadia, there are yet found a vast amount of oyster shells, many salt-beds, and salt springs bubbling up, besides which are pointed out numerous fragments of wreck which they say have been cast up through some opening, and dolphins placed on pedestals with the inscription, Of the delegates from Cyrene. Herein he agrees with the opinion of Strato the natural philosopher, and Xanthus of Lydia. Xanthus mentioned that in the reign of Artaxerxes there was so great a drought, that every river, lake, and well was dried up: and that in many places he had seen a long way from the sea fossil shells, some like cockles, others resembling scallop shells, also salt lakes in Armenia, Matiana, and Lower Phrygia, which induced him to believe that sea had formerly been where the land now was. Strato, who went more deeply into the causes of these phenomena, was of opinion that formerly there was no exit to the Euxine as now at Byzantium, but that the rivers running into it had forced a way through, and thus let the waters escape into the Propontis, and thence to the Hellespont. And that a like change had occurred in the Mediterranean. For the sea being overflowed by the rivers, had opened for itself a passage by the Pillars of Hercules, and thus, much that was formerly covered by water, had been left dry. He gives as the cause of this, that anciently the levels of the Mediterranean and Atlantic were not the same, and states that a bank of earth, the remains of the ancient separation of the two seas, is still stretched under water from Europe to Africa. He adds, that the Euxine is the most shallow, and the seas of Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia much deeper, which is occasioned by the number of large rivers flowing into the Euxine both from the north and east, and so filling it up with mud, whilst the others preserve their depth. This is the cause of the remarkable sweetness of the Euxine Sea, and of the currents which regularly set towards the deepest part. He gives it as his opinion, that should the rivers continue to flow in the same direction, the Euxine will in time be filled up [by the deposits], since already the left side of the sea is little else than shallows, as also Salmydessus, and the shoals at the mouth of the Ister, and the desert of Scythia, which the sailors call the Breasts. Probably too the sanctuary of Ammon was originally close to the sea, though now, by the continual deposit of the waters, it is quite inland: and he conjectures that it was owing to its being so near the sea that it became so celebrated and illustrious, and that it never would have enjoyed the credit it now possesses had it always been equally remote from the sea. Egypt too [he says] was formerly covered by sea as far as the marshes near Pelusium, Mount Casius, and the Lake Sirbonis. Even at the present time, when salt is being dug in Egypt, the beds are found under layers of sand and mingled with fossil shells, as if this district had formerly been under water, and as if the whole region about Casium and Gerrha had been shallows reaching to the Arabian Gulf. The sea afterwards receding left the land uncovered, and the Lake Sirbonis remained, which having afterwards forced itself a passage, became a marsh. In like manner the borders of the Lake Moeris resemble a sea-beach rather than the banks of a river. Every one will admit that formerly at various periods a great portion of the mainland has been covered and again left bare by the sea. Likewise that the land now covered by the sea is not all on the same level, any more than that whereon we dwell; which is now uncovered and has experienced so many changes, as Eratosthenes has observed. Consequently in the reasoning of Xanthus there does not appear to be any thing out of place.,5. In regard to Strato, however, we must remark that, leaving out of the question the many arguments he has properly stated, some of those which he has brought forward are quite inadmissible. For first he is inaccurate in stating that the beds of the interior and the exterior seas have not the same level, and that the depth of those two seas is different: whereas the cause why the sea is at one time raised, at another depressed, that it inundates certain places and again retreats, is not that the beds have different levels, some higher and some lower, but simply this, that the same beds are at one time raised, at another depressed, causing the sea to rise or subside with them; for having risen they cause an inundation, and when they subside the waters return to their former places. For if it is so, an inundation will of course accompany every sudden increase of the waters of the sea, [as in the spring-tides, ] or the periodical swelling of rivers, in the one instance the waters being brought together from distant parts of the ocean, in the other, their volume being increased. But the risings of rivers are not violent and sudden, nor do the tides continue any length of time, nor occur irregularly; nor yet along the coasts of our sea do they cause inundations, nor any where else. Consequently we must seek for an explanation of the cause either in the stratum composing the bed of the sea, or in that which is overflowed; we prefer to look for it in the former, since by reason of its humidity it is more liable to shiftings and sudden changes of position, and we shall find that in these matters the wind is the great agent after all. But, I repeat it, the immediate cause of these phenomena, is not in the fact of one part of the bed of the ocean being higher or lower than another, but in the upheaving or depression of the strata on which the waters rest. Strato's hypothesis evidently originated in the belief that that which occurs in rivers is also the case in regard to the sea; viz. that there is a flow of water from the higher places. Otherwise he would not have attempted to account for the current he observed at the Strait of Byzantium in the manner he does, attributing it to the bed of the Euxine being higher than that of the Propontis and adjoining ocean, and even attempting to explain the cause thereof: viz. that the bed of the Euxine is filled up and choked by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it; and its waters in consequence driven out into the neighbouring sea. The same theory he would apply in respect to the Mediterranean and Atlantic, alleging that the bed of the former is higher than that of the latter, in consequence of the number of rivers which flow into it, and the alluvium they carry along with them. In that case there ought to be a like influx at the Pillars and Calpe, as there is at Byzantium. But I waive this objection, as it might be asserted that the influx was the same in both places, but owing to the interference of the ebb and flow of the sea, became imperceptible.,6. I rather make this inquiry: — If there were any reason why, before the outlet was opened at Byzantium, the bed of the Euxine (being deeper than either that of the Propontis or of the adjoining sea) should not gradually have become more shallow by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it, allowing it formerly either to have been a sea, or merely a vast lake greater than the Palus Maeotis? This proposition being conceded, I would next ask, whether before this the bed of the Euxine would not have been brought to the same level as the Propontis, and in that case, the pressure being counterpoised, the overflowing of the water have been thus avoided; and if after the Euxine had been filled up, the superfluous waters would not naturally have forced a passage and flowed off, and by their commingling and power have caused the Euxine and Propontis to flow into each other, and thus become one sea? no matter, as I said above, whether formerly it were a sea or a lake, though latterly certainly a sea. This also being conceded, they must allow that the present efflux depends neither upon the elevation nor the inclination of the bed, as Strato's theory would have us consider it.,7. We would apply the same arguments to the whole of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, and account for the efflux of the former, not by any [supposed] difference between the elevation and inclination of its bed and of that of the Atlantic, but attribute it to the number of rivers which empty themselves into it. Since, according to this supposition, it is not incredible that, had the whole of the Mediterranean Sea in times past been but a lake filled by the rivers, and having overflowed, it might have broken through the Strait at the Pillars, as through a cataract; and still continuing to swell more and more, the Atlantic in course of time would have become confluent by that channel, and have run into one level, the Mediterranean thus becoming a sea. In fine, the Physician did wrong in comparing the sea to rivers, for the latter are borne down as a descending stream, but the sea always maintains its level. The currents of straits depend upon other causes, not upon the accumulation of earth formed by the alluvial deposit from rivers, filling up the bed of the sea. This accumulation only goes on at the mouths of rivers. Such are what are called the Stethe or Breasts at the mouth of the Ister, the desert of the Scythians, and Salmydessus, which are partially occasioned by other winter-torrents as well; witness the sandy, low, and even coast of Colchis, at the mouth of the Phasis, the whole of the coast of Themiscyra, named the plain of the Amazons, near the mouths of the Thermodon and Iris, and the greater part of Sidene. It is the same with other rivers, they all resemble the Nile in forming an alluvial deposit at their mouths, some more, some less than others. Those rivers which carry but little soil with them deposit least, while others, which traverse an extended and soft country, and receive many torrents in their course, deposit the greatest quantity. Such for example is the river Pyramus, by which Cilicia has been considerably augmented, and concerning which an oracle has declared, This shall occur when the wide waters of the Pyramus have enlarged their banks as far as sacred Cyprus. This river becomes navigable from the middle of the plains of Cataonia, and entering Cilicia by the defiles of the Taurus, discharges itself into the sea which flows between that country and the island of Cyprus.,8. These river deposits are prevented from advancing further into the sea by the regularity of the ebb and flow, which continually drive them back. For after the manner of living creatures, which go on inhaling and exhaling their breath continually, so the sea in a like way keeps up a constant motion in and out of itself. Any one may observe who stands on the sea-shore when the waves are in motion, the regularity with which they cover, then leave bare, and then again cover up his feet. This agitation of the sea produces a continual movement on its surface, which even when it is most tranquil has considerable force, and so throws all extraneous matters on to the land, and Flings forth the salt weed on the shore. Iliad ix. 7. This effect is certainly most considerable when the wind is on the water, but it continues when all is hushed, and even when it blows from land the swell is still carried to the shore against the wind, as if by a peculiar motion of the sea itself. To this the verses refer — O'er the rocks that breast the flood Borne turgid, scatter far the showery spray, Iliad iv. 425. and, Loud sounds the roar of waves ejected wide. Iliad xvii. 265.,9. The wave, as it advances, possesses a kind of power, which some call the purging of the sea, to eject all foreign substances. It is by this force that dead bodies and wrecks are cast on shore. But on retiring it does not possess sufficient power to carry back into the sea either dead bodies, wood, or even the lightest substances, such as cork, which may have been cast out by the waves. And by this means when places next the sea fall down, being undermined by the wave, the earth and the water charged with it are cast back again; and the weight [of the mud] working at the same time in conjunction with the force of the advancing tide, it is the sooner brought to settle at the bottom, instead of being carried out far into the sea. The force of the river current ceases at a very little distance beyond its mouth. Otherwise, supposing the rivers had an uninterrupted flow, by degrees the whole ocean would be filled in from the beach onwards, by the alluvial deposits. And this would be inevitable even were the Euxine deeper than the sea of Sardinia, than which a deeper sea has never been sounded, measuring, as it does, according to Posidonius, about 1000 fathoms.,10. Some, however, may be disinclined to admit this explanation, and would rather have proof from things more manifest to the senses, and which seem to meet us at every turn. Now deluges, earthquakes, eruptions of wind, and risings in the bed of the sea, these things cause the rising of the ocean, as sinking of the bottom causes it to become lower. It is not the case that small volcanic or other islands can be raised up from the sea, and not large ones, nor that all islands can, but not continents, since extensive sinkings of the land no less than small ones have been known; witness the yawning of those chasms which have ingulfed whole districts no less than their cities, as is said to have happened to Bura, Bizone, and many other towns at the time of earthquakes: and there is no more reason why one should rather think Sicily to have been disjoined from the main-land of Italy than cast up from the bottom of the sea by the fires of Aetna, as the Lipari and Pithecussan Isles have been.,11. However, so nice a fellow is Eratosthenes, that though he professes himself a mathematician, he rejects entirely the dictum of Archimedes, who, in his work On Bodies in Suspension, says that all liquids when left at rest assume a spherical form, having a centre of gravity similar to that of the earth. A dictum which is acknowledged by all who have the slightest pretensions to mathematical sagacity. He says that the Mediterranean, which, according to his own description, is one entire sea, has not the same level even at points quite close to each other; and offers us the authority of engineers for this piece of folly, notwithstanding the affirmation of mathematicians that engineering is itself only one division of the mathematics. He tells us that Demetrius intended to cut through the Isthmus of Corinth, to open a passage for his fleet, but was prevented by his engineers, who, having taken measurements, reported that the level of the sea at the Gulf of Corinth was higher than at Cenchreae, so that if he cut through the isthmus, not only the coasts near Aigina, but even Aigina itself, with the neighbouring islands, would be laid completely under water, while the passage would prove of little value. According to Eratosthenes, it is this which occasions the current in straits, especially the current in the Strait of Sicily, where effects similar to the flow and ebb of the tide are remarked. The current there changes twice in the course of a day and night, like as in that period the tides of the sea flow and ebb twice. In the Tyrrhenian sea the current which is called descendent, and which runs towards the sea of Sicily, as if it followed an inclined plane, corresponds to the flow of the tide in the ocean. We may remark, that this current corresponds to the flow both in the time of its commencement and cessation. For it commences at the rising and setting of the moon, and recedes when that satellite attains its meridian, whether above [in the zenith] or below the earth [in the nadir]. In the same way occurs the opposite or ascending current, as it is called. It corresponds to the ebb of the ocean, and commences as soon as the moon has reached either zenith or nadir, and ceases the moment she reaches the point of her rising or setting. [So far Eratosthenes.],12. The nature of the ebb and flow has been sufficiently treated of by Posidonius and Athenodorus. Concerning the flux and reflux of the currents, which also may be explained by physics, it will suffice our present purpose to observe, that in the various straits these do not resemble each other, but each strait has its own peculiar current. Were they to resemble each other,. the current at the Strait of Sicily would not change merely twice during the day, (as Eratosthenes himself tells us it does,) and at Chalcis seven times; nor again that of Constantinople, which does not change at all, but runs always in one direction from the Euxine to the Propontis, and, as Hipparchus tells us, sometimes ceases altogether. However, if they did all depend on one cause, it would not be that which Eratosthenes has assigned, namely, that the various seas have different levels. The kind of inequality he supposes would not even be found in rivers only for the cataracts; and where these cataracts occur, they occasion no ebbing, but have one continued downward flow, which is caused by the inclination both of the flow and the surface; and therefore though they have no flux or reflux they do not remain still, on account of a principle of flowing which is inherent in them; at the same time they cannot be on the same level, but one must be higher and one lower than another. But who ever imagined the surface of the ocean to be on a slope, especially those who follow a system which supposes the four bodies we call elementary, to be spherical. For water is not like the earth, which being of a solid nature is capable of permanent depressions and risings, but by its force of gravity spreads equally over the earth, and assumes that kind of level which Archimedes has assigned it.,13. To what we cited before concerning the sanctuary of Ammon and Egypt, Eratosthenes adds, that to judge from appearances, Mount Casius was formerly covered by sea, and the whole district now known as Gerra lay under shoal water touching the bay of the Erythraean Sea, but was left dry on the union of the [Mediterranean] Sea [with the ocean]. A certain amphibology lurks here under this description of the district lying under shoal water and touching the bay of the Erythraean Sea; for to touch both means to be close to, and also to be in actual contact with, so that when applied to water it would signify that one flows into the other. I understand him to mean, that so long as the strait by the Pillars of Hercules remained closed, these marshes covered with shoalwater extended as far as the Arabian Gulf, but on that passage being forced open, the Mediterranean, discharging itself by the strait, became lower, and the land was left dry. On the other hand, Hipparchus understands by the term touching, that the Mediterranean, being over-full, flowed into the Erythraean Sea, and he inquires how it could happen, that as the Mediterranean flowed out by this new vent at the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythraean Sea, which was all one with it, did not flow away too, and thus become lower, but has always retained the same level? and since Eratosthenes supposes the whole exterior sea to be confluent, it follows that the Western Ocean and the Erythraean Sea are all one; and thus [remarks Hipparchus] as a necessary consequence, the sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythraean Sea, and that also which is confluent with it, have all the same level.,14. But, Eratosthenes would reply, I never said that, in consequence of the repletion of the Mediterranean, it actually flowed into the Erythraean Sea, but only that it approached very near thereto: besides, it does not follow, that in one and the self-same sea, the level of its surface must be all the same; to instance the Mediterranean itself, no one, surely, will say it is of the same height at Lechaion and at Cenchreae. This answer Hipparchus anticipated in his Critique; and being aware of the opinion of Eratosthenes, was justified in attacking his arguments. But he ought not to have taken it for granted, that when Eratosthenes said the exterior sea was all one, he necessarily implied that its level was every where the same.,15. Hipparchus rejects as false the [account] of the inscription on the dolphins by the delegates from Cyrene, but the reason he assigns for this is insufficient, viz. that though Cyrene was built in times of which we have record, no one mentions the oracle, as being situated on the sea-shore. But what matters it that no historian has recorded this, when amongst the other proofs from which we infer that this place was formerly on the sea-shore, we number this of the dolphins which were set up, and the inscription, by the delegates from Cyrene? Hipparchus agrees that if the bottom of the sea were raised up, it would lift the water with it, and might therefore overflow the land as far as the locality of the oracle, or more than 3000 stadia from the shore; but he will not allow that the rising would be sufficient to overflow the Island of Pharos and the major portion of Egypt, since [he says] the elevation would not be sufficient to submerge these. He alleges that if before the opening of the passage at the Pillars of Hercules, the Mediterranean had been swollen to such an extent as Eratosthenes affirms, the whole of Libya, and the greater part of Europe and Asia, must long ago have been buried beneath its waves. Besides, he adds, in this case the Euxine would in certain places have been connected with the Adriatic, since in the vicinity of the Euxine, [near to its source,) the Ister is divided in its course, and flows into either sea, owing to the peculiarities of the ground. To this we object, that the Ister does not take its rise at all in the vicinity of the Euxine, but, on the contrary, beyond the mountains of the Adriatic; neither does it flow into both the seas, but into the Euxine alone, and only becomes divided just above its mouths. This latter, however, was an error into which he fell in common with many of his predecessors. They supposed that there was another river in addition to the former Ister, bearing the same name, which emptied itself into the Adriatic, and from which the country of Istria, through which it flowed, gained that appellation. It was by this river they believed Jason returned on his voyage from Colchis.,16. In order to lessen surprise at such changes as we have mentioned as causes of the inundations and other similar phenomena which are supposed to have produced Sicily, the islands of Aeolus, and the Pithecussae, it may be as well to compare with these others of a similar nature, which either now are, or else have been observed in other localities. A large array of such facts placed at once before the eye would serve to allay our astonishment; while that which is uncommon startles our perception, and manifests our general ignorance of the occurrences which take place in nature and physical existence. For instance, supposing any one should narrate the circumstances concerning Thera and the Therasian Islands, situated in the strait between Crete and the Cyrenaic, Thera being itself the metropolis of Cyrene; or those [in connexion with] Egypt, and many parts of Greece. For midway between Thera and Therasia flames rushed forth from the sea for the space of four days; causing the whole of it to boil and be all on fire; and after a little an island twelve stadia in circumference, composed of the burning mass, was thrown up, as if raised by machinery. After the cessation of this phenomenon, the Rhodians, then masters of the sea, were the first who dared to sail to the place, and they built there on the island a sanctuary to the Asphalian Neptune. Posidonius remarks, that during an earthquake which occurred in Phoenicia, a city situated above Sidon was swallowed up, and that nearly two-thirds of Sidon also fell, but not suddenly, and therefore with no great loss of life. That the same occurred, though in a lighter form, throughout nearly the whole of Syria, and was felt even in some of the Cyclades and the Island of Euboea, so that the fountains of Arethusa, a spring in Chalcis, were completely obstructed, and after some time forced for themselves another opening, and the whole island ceased not to experience shocks until a chasm was rent open in the earth in the plain of Lelanto, from which poured a river of burning mud.,17. Many writers have recorded similar occurrences, but it will suffice us to narrate those which have been collected by Demetrius of Skepsis. Apropos of that passage of Homer: — And now they reach'd the running rivulets clear, Where from Scamander's dizzy flood arise Two fountains, tepid one, from which a smoke Issues voluminous as from a fire, The other, even in summer heats, like hail For cold, or snow, or crystal stream frost-bound: Iliad xxii. 147. this writer tells us we must not be surprised, that although the cold spring still remains, the hot cannot be discovered; and says we must reckon the failing of the hot spring as the cause. He goes on to relate certain catastrophes recorded by Democles, how formerly in the reign of Tantalus there were great earthquakes in Lydia and Ionia as far as the Troad, which swallowed up whole villages and overturned Mount Sipylus; marshes then became lakes, and the city of Troy was covered by the waters. Pharos, near Egypt, which anciently was an island, may now be called a peninsula, and the same may be said of Tyre and Clazomenae. During my stay at Alexandria in Egypt the sea rose so high near Pelusium and Mount Casius as to overflow the land, and convert the mountain into an island, so that a journey from Casius into Phoenicia might have been undertaken by water. We should not be surprised therefore if in time to come the isthmus which separates the Egyptian sea from the Erythraean Sea, should part asunder or subside, and becoming a strait, connect the outer and inner seas, similarly to what has taken place at the strait of the Pillars. At the commencement of this work will be found some other narrations of a similar kind, which should be considered at the same time, and which will greatly tend to strengthen our belief both in these works of nature and also in its other changes.,18. The Piraeus having been formerly an island, and lying πέραν, or off the shore, is said to have thus received its name. Leucas, on the contrary, has been made an island by the Corinthians, who cut through the isthmus which connected it with the shore [of the mainland]. It is concerning this place that Laertes is made to say, Oh that I possessed Such vigour now as when in arms I took Nericus, continental city fair. Here man devoted his labour to make a separation, in other instances to the construction of moles and bridges. Such is that which connects the island opposite to Syracuse with the mainland. This junction is now effected by means of a bridge, but formerly, according to Ibycus, by a pier of picked stones, which he calls elect. Of Bura and Helice, one has been swallowed by an earthquake, the other covered by the waves. Near to Methone, which is on the Hermionic Gulf, a mountain seven stadia in height was cast up during a fiery eruption; during the day it could not be approached on account of the heat and sulphureous smell; at night it emitted an agreeable odour, appeared brilliant at a distance, and was so hot that the sea boiled all around it to a distance of five stadia, and appeared in a state of agitation for twenty stadia, the heap being formed of fragments of rock as large as towers. Both Arne and Mideia have been buried in the waters of Lake Copais. These towns the poet in his Catalogue thus speaks of; Arne claims a record next for her illustrious sons, Vine-bearing Arne. Thou wast also there Mideia. Iliad 2.507. It seems that several Thracian cities have been submerged by the Lake Bistonis, and that now called Aphnitis. Some also affirm that certain cities of Trerus were also overwhelmed, in the neighbourhood of Thrace. Artemita, formerly one of the Echinades, is now part of the mainland; the same has happened to some other of the islets near the Achelous, occasioned, it is said, in the same way, by the alluvium carried into the sea by that river, and Hesiod assures us that a like fate awaits them all. Some of the Aetolian promontories were formerly islands. Asteria, called by Homer Asteris, is no longer what it was. There is a rocky isle In the mid-sea, between Samos the rude And Ithaca, not large, named Asteris. It hath commodious havens, into which A passage clear opens on either side. [Odyssey 4.844] There is no good anchorage there now. Neither is there in Ithaca the cavern, nor yet the sanctuary of the nymphs described to us by Homer. It seems more correct to attribute this to change having come over the places, than either to the ignorance or the romancing of the poet. This however, being uncertain, must be left to every man's opinion.,19. Myrsilus tells us that Antissa was formerly an island, and so called because it was opposite to Lesbos, then named Issa. Now, however, it forms one of the towns of Lesbos. Some have believed that Lesbos itself has been disjoined from Mount Ida in the same way as Prochytas and Pithecussa from Misenum, Capreae from the Athenaion, Sicily from Rhegium, and Ossa from Olympus. Many changes similar to these have occurred elsewhere. The river Ladon in Arcadia ceased for some time its flow. Duris informs us that the Rhagae in Media gained that appellation from chasms made in the ground near the Caspian Gates by earthquakes, in which many cities and villages were destroyed, and the rivers underwent various changes. Ion, in his satirical composition of Omphale, has said of Euboea, The light wave of the Euripus has divided the land of Euboea from Boeotia; separating the projecting land by a strait.,20. Demetrius of Callatis, speaking of the earthquakes which formerly occurred throughout the whole of Greece, states that a great portion of the Lichadian Islands and of Kenaion were submerged; that the hot springs of Aedepsus and Thermopylae were suppressed for three days, and that when they commenced to run again those of Aedepsus gushed from new fountains. That at Oreus on the sea-coast the wall and nearly seven hundred houses fell at once. That the greater part of Echinus, Phalara, and Heraclaea of Trachis were thrown down, Phalara being overturned from its very foundations. That almost the same misfortune occurred to the Lamians and inhabitants of Larissa; that Scarpheia was overthrown from its foundations, not less than one thousand seven hundred persons being swallowed up, and at Thronium more than half that number. That a torrent of water gushed forth taking three directions, one to Scarphe and Thronium, another to Thermopylae, and a third to the plains of Daphnus in Phocis. That the springs of [many] rivers were for several days dried up; that the course of the Sperchius was changed, thus rendering navigable what formerly were highways; that the Boagrius flowed through another channel; that many parts of Alope, Cynus, and Opus were injured, and the castle of Oeum, which commands the latter city, entirely overturned. That part of the wall of Elateia was thrown down; and that at Alponus, during the celebration of the games in honour of Ceres, twenty-five maidens, who had mounted a tower to enjoy the show exhibited in the port, were precipitated into the sea by the falling of the tower. They also record that a large fissure was made [by the water] through the midst of the island of Atalanta, opposite Euboea, sufficient for ships to sail in; that the course of the channel was in places as broad as twenty stadia between the plains; and that a trireme being raised [thereby] out of the docks, was carried over the walls.,21. Those who desire to instill into us that more perfect freedom from [ignorant] wonder, which Democritus and all other philosophers so highly extol, should add the changes which have been produced by the migrations of various tribes: we should thus be inspired with courage, steadiness, and composure. For instance, the Western Iberians, removed to the regions beyond the Euxine and Colchis, being separated from Armenia, according to Apollodorus, by the Araxes, but rather by the Cyrus and Moschican mountains. The expedition of the Egyptians into Ethiopia and Colchis. The migration of the Heneti, who passed from Paphlagonia into the country bordering on the Adriatic Gulf. Similar emigrations were also undertaken by the nations of Greece, the Ionians, Dorians, Achaians, and Aeolians; and the Aenians, now next neighbours to the Aetolians, formerly dwelt near Dotium and Ossa, beyond the Perrhaebi; the Perrhaebi too are but wanderers here themselves. Our present work furnishes numerous instances of the same kind. Some of these are familiar to most readers, but the migrations of the Carians, the Treres, the Teucrians, and the Galatae or Gauls, are not so generally known. Nor yet for the most part are the expeditions of their chiefs, for instance, Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus of Trerus, Sesostris and Psammeticus the Egyptians; nor are those of the Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes familiar to every one. The Kimmerians, or a separate tribe of them, called the Treres, have frequently overrun the countries to the right of the Euxine and those adjacent to them, bursting now into Paphlagonia, now into Phrygia, as they did when, according to report, Midas came to his death by drinking bull's blood. Lygdamis led his followers into Lydia, passed through Ionia, took Sardis, but was slain in Cilicia. The Kimmerians and Treres frequently made similar incursions, until at last, as it is reported, these latter, together with [their chief] Cobus, were driven out by Madys, king of the Scythians. But enough has been said in this place on the general history of the earth, as each country will have a particular account.,22. We must now return to the point whence we digressed. Herodotus having observed that there could be no such people as Hyperborean, inasmuch as there were no Hypernotii, Eratosthenes calls this argument ridiculous, and compares it to the sophism, that there are no epichaerekaki, inasmuch as there are no epichaeragathi; [adding] perhaps there are Hypernotii; since at all events in Ethiopia Notus does not blow, although lower down it does. It would indeed be strange, since winds blow under every latitude, and especially the southern wind called Notus, if any region could be found where this latter was not felt. On the contrary, not only does Ethiopia experience our Notus, but also the whole country which lies above as far as the equator. If Herodotus must be blamed at all, it is for supposing that the Hyperboreans were so named in consequence of Boreas, or the north wind, not blowing upon them. The poets are allowed much licence in their modes of expression; but their commentators, who endeavour always to give us the correct view, tell us that the people who dwelt in the extreme north, were styled Hyperboreans. The pole is the boundary of the northern winds, and the equator of the southern; these winds have no other limit.,23. Eratosthenes next finds fault with the writers who fill their narrative with stories evidently feigned and impossible; some as mere fable, but others as history, which did not deserve mention. In the discussion of a subject like his, he should not have wasted his time about such trifles. Such is the way in which this writer completes the First Book of his Memoirs.,1. IN his Second Book Eratosthenes endeavours to correct some errors in geography, and offers his own views on the subject, any mistakes in which we shall endeavour in our turn to set right. He is correct in saying that the inductions of mathematics and natural philosophy should be employed, and that if the earth is spheroidal like the universe, it is inhabited in all parts; together with some other things of this nature. Later writers do not agree with him as to the size of the earth, nor admit his measurement. However Hipparchus, when noting the celestial appearances for each particular locality, adopts his admeasurements, saying that those taken for the meridian of Meroe, Alexandria, and the Dnieper, differ but very slightly from the truth. Eratosthenes then enters into a long discussion concerning the figure of the globe, proving that the form of the earth together with the water is spheroidal, as also the heavens. This however we imagine was foreign to his purpose, and should have been disposed of in the compass of a few words.,2. After this he proceeds to determine the breadth of the habitable earth: he tells us, that measuring from the meridian of Meroe to Alexandria, there are 10,000 stadia. From thence to the Hellespont about 8100. Again; from thence to the Dnieper, 5000; and thence to the parallel of Thule, which Pytheas says is six days' sail north from Britain, and near the Frozen Sea, other 11,500. To which if we add 3400 stadia above Meroe in order to include the Island of the Egyptians, the Cinnamon country, and Taprobane, there will be in all 38,000 stadia.,3. We will let pass the rest of his distances, since they are something near, — but that the Dnieper is under the same parallel as Thule, what man in his senses could ever agree to this? Pytheas, who has given us the history of Thule, is known to be a man upon whom no reliance can be placed, and other writers who have seen Britain and Ierne, although they tell us of many small islands round Britain, make no mention whatever of Thule. The length of Britain itself is nearly the same as that of Keltica, opposite to which it extends. Altogether it is not more than 5000 stadia in length, its outermost points corresponding to those of the opposite continent. In fact the extreme points of the two countries lie opposite to each other, the eastern extremity to the eastern, and the western to the western: the eastern points are situated so close as to be within sight of each other, both at Kent and at the mouths of the Rhine. But Pytheas tells us that the island [of Britain] is more than 20,000 stadia in length, and that Kent is some days' sail from France. With regard to the locality of the Ostimii, and the countries beyond the Rhine, as far as Scythia, he is altogether mistaken. The veracity of a writer who has been thus false in describing countries with which we are well acquainted, should not be too much trusted in regard to unknown places.,4. Further, Hipparchus and many others are of opinion that the parallel of latitude of the Dnieper does not differ from that of Britain; since that of Byzantium and Marseilles are the same. The degree of shadow from the gnomon which Pytheas states he observed at Marseilles being exactly equal to that which Hipparchus says he found at Byzantium; the periods of observation being in both cases similar. Now from Marseilles to the centre of Britain is not more than 5000 stadia; and if from the centre of Britain we advance north not more than 4000 stadia, we arrive at a temperature in which it is scarcely possible to exist. Such indeed is that of Ierne. Consequently the far region in which Eratosthenes places Thule must be totally uninhabitable. By what guesswork he arrived at the conclusion that between the latitude of Thule and the Dnieper there was a distance of 11,500 stadia I am unable to divine.,5. Eratosthenes being mistaken as to the breadth [of the habitable earth], is necessarily wrong as to its length. The most accurate observers, both ancient and modern, agree that the known length of the habitable earth is more than twice its breadth. Its length I take to be from the [eastern] extremity of India to the [westernmost] point of Spain; and its breadth from [the south of] Ethiopia to the latitude of Ierne. Eratosthenes, as we have said, reckoning its breadth from the extremity of Ethiopia to Thule, was forced to extend its length beyond the true limits, that he might make it more than twice as long as the breadth he had assigned to it. He says that India, measured where it is narrowest, is 16,000 stadia to the river Indus. If measured from its most prominent capes it extends 3000 more. Thence to the Caspian Gates, 14,000. From the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates, 10,000. From the Euphrates to the Nile, 5000. Thence to the Canopic mouth, 1300. From the Canopic mouth to Carthage, 13,500. From thence to the Pillars at least 8000. Which make in all 70,800 stadia. To these [he says] should be added the curvature of Europe beyond the Pillars of Hercules, fronting the Iberians, and inclining west, not less than 3000 stadia, and the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, named Cabaion, and the adjoining islands, the last of which, named Uxisama, is distant, according to Pytheas, a three days' sail. But he added nothing to its length by enumerating these last, viz. the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, the island of Uxisama, and the rest; they are not situated so as affect the length of the earth, for they all lie to the north, and belong to Keltica, not to Iberia; indeed it seems but an invention of Pytheas. Lastly, to fall in with the general opinion that the breadth ought not to exceed half the length, he adds to the stated measure of its length 2000 stadia west, and as many east.,6. Further, endeavouring to support the opinion that it is in accordance with natural philosophy to reckon the greatest dimension of the habitable earth from east to west, he says that, according to the laws of natural philosophy, the habitable earth ought to occupy a greater length from east to west, than its breadth from north to south. The temperate zone, which we have already designated as the longest zone, is that which the mathematicians denominate a continuous circle returning upon itself. So that if the extent of the Atlantic Ocean were not an obstacle, we might easily pass by sea from Iberia to India, still keeping in the same parallel; the remaining portion of which parallel, measured as above in stadia, occupies more than a third of the whole circle: since the parallel drawn through Athens, on which we have taken the distances from India to Iberia, does not contain in the whole 200,000 stadia. Here too his reasoning is incorrect. For this speculation respecting the temperate zone which we inhabit, and whereof the habitable earth is a part, devolves properly on those who make mathematics their study. But it is not equally the province of one treating of the habitable earth. For by this term we mean only that portion of the temperate zone where we dwell, and with which we are acquainted. But it is quite possible that in the temperate zone there may be two or even more habitable earths, especially near the circle of latitude which is drawn through Athens and the Atlantic Ocean. After this he returns to the form of the earth, which he again declares to be spheroidal. Here he exhibits the same churlishness we have previously pointed out, and goes on abusing Homer in his old style. He proceeds:,7. There has been much argument respecting the continents. Some, considering them to be divided by the rivers Nile and Tanais, have described them as islands; while others suppose them to be peninsulas connected by the isthmuses between the Caspian and the Euxine Seas, and between the Erythraean Sea and Ecregma. He adds, that this question does not appear to him to be of any practical importance, but rather, as Democritus observed, a bone of contention for angry litigants. Where there are no precise boundary marks, columns, or walls, as at Colyttus and Melite, it is easy for us to say such a place is Colyttus, and such another Melite, but not so easy to show the exact limits: thus disputes have frequently arisen concerning certain districts; that, for instance, between the Argives and Lacedemonians concerning [the possession of] Thyrea, and that between the Athenians and Boeotians relative to Oropus. Further, in giving names to the three continents, the Greeks did not take into consideration the whole habitable earth, but merely their own country and the land exactly opposite, namely, Caria, which is now inhabited by the Ionians and other neighbouring tribes. In course of time, as they advanced further and daily became acquainted with new countries, this their division came to be general. I take this last part first, and (to use Eratosthenes' own words, not those of Democritus) willing to pick my bone of contention, inquire, whether they who first made the division of the three continents were the same persons as those who first desired to distinguish their own land from that of the Carians opposite, or whether they were only acquainted with Greece, Caria, and some few other adjoining countries, and not with Europe, Asia, or Africa; but that others who followed them, and were able to write a description of the habitable earth, were the real authors of the division into three continents. How did he know that these were not the men who made this division of the habitable earth? And he who divided the earth into three parts, giving to each portion the name of continent, could he not form in his mind a just idea of that taken as a whole, which he had so parcelled out. But if indeed he were not acquainted with the whole habitable earth, but merely made a division of some part thereof, pray what portion of that part did he denominate Asia, or Europe, or simply continent? Such talk is altogether nonsense.,8. The reasoning of Eratosthenes, however, is still more absurd, when he declares that he sees no advantage in being acquainted with the exact boundaries of countries, and then cites the example of Colyttus and Melite, which prove just the contrary of his assertion. Surely if a want of certainty respecting the boundaries of Thyrea and Oropus gave rise to war, a knowledge of the limits of different districts must be of practical importance. Will he tell us that the boundaries of districts, or the limits of kingdoms, may be of some service, but when applied to continents it is carrying the matter too far. We reply, it is of equal consequence here. Suppose a dispute between two powerful princes, one claiming the possession of Asia and the other of Africa, to which of these should Egypt, I mean the country called Lower Egypt, appertain. Will any one paws over such cases on account of their rarity? By no means. It is acknowledged by every one that the limits of each continent ought to be defined by some notable boundary, indicated by the configuration of the whole habitable earth. In following out this principle, we should not be very particular if they who determine boundaries by the rivers leave some districts undefined, since the rivers do not reach from sea to sea, nor leave the continents altogether as islands.,9. At the close of the book Eratosthenes blames the system of those who would divide all mankind into Greeks and Barbarians, and likewise those who recommended Alexander to treat the Greeks as friends, but the Barbarians as enemies. He suggests, as a better course, to distinguish them according to their virtues and their vices, since amongst the Greeks there are many worthless characters, and many highly civilized are to be found amongst the Barbarians; witness the Indians and Ariani, or still better the Romans and Carthaginians, whose political system is so beautifully perfect. Alexander, considering this, disregarded the advice which had been offered him, and patronized without distinction any man he considered to be deserving. But we would inquire whether those men who thus divided the human race, abandoning one portion to contempt, and exalting to dignity the other, were not actuated to this because they found that on one side justice, knowledge, and the force of reason reigned supreme, but their contraries on the other. Alexander did not disregard the advice tendered him, but gladly embraced and followed it, respecting the wisdom of those who gave it; and so far from taking the opposite course, he closely pursued that which they pointed out.


nan1. Attica Now that I have completed my circuit of the Peloponnesus, which, as I have said, was the first and the smallest of the peninsulas of which Greece consists, it will be next in order to traverse those that are continuous with it. The second peninsula is the one that adds Megaris to the Peloponnesus, so that Crommyon belongs to the Megarians and not to the Corinthians; the third is the one which, in addition to the second, comprises Attica and Boeotia and a part of Phocis and of the Epicnemidian Locrians. I must therefore describe these two. Eudoxus says that if one should imagine a straight line drawn in an easterly direction from the Ceraunian Mountains to Sounion, the promontory of Attica, it would leave on the right, towards the south, the whole of the Peloponnesus, and on the left, towards the north, the continuous coastline from the Ceraunian Mountains to the Crisaean Gulf and Megaris, and the coastline of all Attica. And he believes that the shore which extends from Sounion to the Isthmus would not be so concave as to have a great bend, if to this shore were not added the districts continuous with the Isthmus which form the Hermionic Gulf and Acte; and, in the same way, he believes that the shore which extends from the Ceraunian Mountains to the Corinthian Gulf would not, viewed by itself alone, have so great a bend as to be concave like a gulf if Rhium and Antirrhium did not draw closely together and afford this appearance; and the same is true of the shores that surround the recess of the gulf, where the sea in this region comes to an end.,2. Since this is the description given by Eudoxus, a mathematician and an expert both in geometrical figures and in climata, and acquainted with these places, one must conceive of this side of Attica together with Megaris — the side extending from Sounion to the Isthmus — as concave, though only slightly so. Now here, at about the center of the aforesaid line, is the Peiraeus, the seaport of Athens. It is distant from Schoenus, at the Isthmus, about three hundred and fifty stadia, and from Sounion three hundred and thirty. The distance from the Peiraeus to Pagae also is nearly the same as to Schoenus, though the former is said to exceed the latter by ten stadia. After doubling Sounion one's voyage is towards the north, but with an inclination towards the west.,3. Acte is washed by two seas; it is narrow at first, and then it widens out into the interior, though none the less it takes a crescent-like bend towards Oropus in Boeotia, with the convex side towards the sea; and this is the second, the eastern side of Attica. Then comes the remaining side, which faces the north and extends from the Oropian country towards the west as far as Megaris — I mean the mountainous part of Attica, which has many names and separates Boeotia from Attica; so that, as I have said before, Boeotia, since it has a sea on either side, becomes an isthmus of the third peninsula above-mentioned, an isthmus comprising within it the parts that lie towards the Peloponnesus, that is, Megaris and Attica. And it is on this account, they say, that the country which is now, by a slight change of letters, called Attica, was in ancient times called Acte and Actice, because the greatest part of it lies below the mountains, stretches flat along the sea, is narrow, and has considerable length, projecting as far as Sounion. I shall therefore describe these sides, resuming again at that point of the seaboard where I left off.,4. After Crommyon, and situated above Attica, are the Sceironian Rocks. They leave no room for a road along the sea, but the road from the Isthmus to Megara and Attica passes above them. However, the road approaches so close to the rocks that in many places it passes along the edge of precipices, because the mountain situated above them is both lofty and impracticable for roads. Here is the setting of the myth about Sceiron and the Pityocamptes, the robbers who infested the above-mentioned mountainous country and were killed by Theseus. And the Athenians have given the name Sceiron to the Argestes, the violent wind that blows down on the travellers left from the heights of this mountainous country. After the Sceironian Rocks one comes to Cape Minoa, which projects into the sea and forms the harbor at Nisaea. Nisaea is the naval station of the Megarians; it is eighteen stadia distant from the city and is joined to it on both sides by walls. The naval station, too, used to be called Minoa.,5. In early times this country was held by the same Ionians who held Attica. Megara, however, had not yet been founded; and therefore the poet does not specifically mention this region, but when he calls all the people of Attica Athenians he includes these too under the general name, considering them Athenians. Thus, when he says in the Catalogue, And those who held Athens, well-built city, we must interpret him as meaning the people now called Megarians as well, and assume that these also had a part in the expedition. And the following is proof: In early times Attica was called Ionia and Ias; and when the poet says, There the Boeotians and the Iaonians, he means the Athenians; and Megaris was a part of this Ionia.,6. Furthermore, since the Peloponnesians and Ionians were having frequent disputes about their boundaries, on which, among other places, Crommyonia was situated, they made an agreement and erected a pillar in the place agreed upon, near the Isthmus itself, with an inscription on the side facing the Peloponnesus reading: This is Peloponnesus, not Ionia, and on the side facing Megara, This is not Peloponnesus, but Ionia. And though the writers of the histories of The Land of Atthis are at variance on many things, they all agree on this (at least all writers who are worth mentioning), that Pandion had four sons, Aegeus, Lycus, Pallas, and the fourth, Nisus, and that when Attica was divided into four parts, Nisus obtained Megaris as his portion and founded Nisaea. Now, according to Philochorus, his rule extended from the Isthmus to the Pythium, but according to Andron, only as far as Eleusis and the Thriasian Plain. Although different writers have stated the division into four parts in different ways, it suffices to take the following from Sophocles: Aegeus says that his father ordered him to depart to the shorelands, assigning to him as the eldest the best portion of this land; then to Lycus he assigns Euboea's garden that lies side by side therewith; and for Nisus he selects the neighboring land of Sceiron's shore; and the southerly part of the land fell to this rugged Pallas, breeder of giants. These, then, are the proofs which writers use to show that Megaris was a part of Attica.,7. But after the return of the Heracleidae and the partitioning of the country, it came to pass that many of the former inhabitants were driven out of their homelands into Attica by the Heracleidae and the Dorians who came back with them. Among these was Melanthus, the king of Messene. And he reigned also over the Athenians, by their consent, after his victory in single combat over Xanthus, the king of the Boeotians. But since Attica was now populous on account of the exiles, the Heracleidae became frightened, and at the instigation chiefly of the people of Corinth and the people of Messene — of the former because of their proximity and of the latter because Codrus, the son of Melanthus, was at that time king of Attica — they made an expedition against Attica. But being defeated in battle they retired from the whole of the land except the Megarian territory; this they occupied and not only founded the city Megara but also made its population Dorians instead of Ionians. And they also destroyed the pillar which was the boundary between the Ionians and the Peloponnesians.,8. The city of the Megarians has experienced many changes, but nevertheless it has endured until the present time. It once even had schools of philosophers who were called the Megarian sect, these being the successors of Eucleides, the Socratic philosopher, a Megarian by birth, just as the Eleian sect, to which Pyrrhon belonged, were the successors of Phaedon the Eleian, who was also a Socratic philosopher, and just as the Eretrian sect were the successors of Menedemus the Eretrian. The country of the Megarians, like Attica, has rather poor soil, and the greater part of it is occupied by the Oneian Mountains, as they are called — a kind of ridge, which extends from the Sceironian Rocks to Boeotia and Cithaeron, and separates the sea at Nisaea from the Alcyonian Sea, as it is called, at Pagae.,9. On the voyage from Nisaea to Attica one comes to five small islands. Then to Salamis, which is about seventy stadia in length, though some say eighty. It contains a city of the same name; the ancient city, now deserted, faces towards Aigina and the south wind (just as Aeschylus has said, And Aigina here lies towards the blasts of the south wind), but the city of today is situated on a gulf, on a peninsula-like place which borders on Attica. In early times it was called by different names, for example, Sciras and Cychreia, after certain heroes. It is from one of these heroes that Athena is called Skiras, and that a place in Attica is called Scira, and that a certain sacred rite is performed in honor of Scirus, and that one of the months is called Scirophorion. And it is from the other hero that the serpent Cychreides took its name — the serpent which, according to Hesiod, was fostered by Cychreus and driven out by Eurylochus because it was damaging the island, and was welcomed to Eleusis by Demeter and made her attendant. And the island was also called Pityussa, from the tree. But the fame of the island is due to the Aiacidae, who ruled over it, and particularly to Aias, the son of Telamon, and also to the fact that near this island Xerxes was defeated by the Greeks in a naval battle and fled to his homeland. And the Aiginetans also shared in the glory of this struggle, since they were neighbors and furnished a considerable fleet. And there is in Salamis a river Bocarus, which is now called Bocalia.,10. At the present time the island is held by the Athenians, although in early times there was strife between them and the Megarians for its possession. Some say that it was Peisistratus, others Solon, who inserted in the Catalogue of Ships immediately after the verse, and Aias brought twelve ships from Salamis, the verse, and, bringing them, halted them where the battalions of the Athenians were stationed, and then used the poet as a witness that the island had belonged to the Athenians from the beginning. But the critics do not accept this interpretation, because many of the verses bear witness to the contrary. For why is Aias found in the last place in the ship-camp, not with the Athenians, but with the Thessalians under Protesilaus? Here were the ships of Aias and Protesilaus. And in the Visitation of the troops, Agamemnon found Menestheus the charioteer, son of Peteos, standing still; and about him were the Athenians, masters of the battle-cry. And near by stood Odysseus of many wiles, and about him, at his side, the ranks of the Cephallenians. And back again to Aias and the Salaminians, he came to the Aiantes, and near them, Idomeneus on the other side, not Menestheus. The Athenians, then, are reputed to have cited alleged testimony of this kind from Homer, and the Megarians to have replied with the following parody: Aias brought ships from Salamis, from Polichne, from Aegeirussa, from Nisaea, and from Tripodes; these four are Megarian places, and, of these, Tripodes is called Tripodiscium, near which the present marketplace of the Megarians is situated.,11. Some say that Salamis is foreign to Attica, citing the fact that the priestess of Athena Polias does not touch the fresh cheese made in Attica, but eats only that which is brought from a foreign country, yet uses, among others, that from Salamis. Wrongly, for she eats cheese brought from the other islands that are admittedly attached to Attica, since those who began this custom considered as foreign any cheese that was imported by sea. But it seems that in early times the present Salamis was a separate state, and that Megara was a part of Attica. And it is on the seaboard opposite Salamis that the boundaries between the Megarian country and Atthis are situated — two mountains which are called Cerata.,12. Then one comes to the city Eleusis, in which is the sanctuary of the Eleusinian Demeter, and the mystic chapel which was built by Ictinus, a chapel which is large enough to admit a crowd of spectators. This Ictinus also built the Parthenon on the Acropolis in honor of Athena, Pericles superintending the work. Eleusis is numbered among the demes.,13. Then one comes to the Thriasian Plain, and the shore and deme bearing the same name (Thria). Then to Cape Amphiale and the quarry that lies above it, and to the passage to Salamis, about two stadia wide, across which Xerxes attempted to build a mole, but was forestalled by the naval battle and the flight of the Persians. Here, too, are the Pharmacussae, two small islands, on the larger of which is to be seen the tomb of Circe.,14. Above this shore is the mountain called Corydallus, and also the deme Corydalleis. Then one comes to the harbor Phoron, and to Psyttalia, a small, deserted, rocky island, which some have called the eyesore of the Peiraeus. And near by, too, is Atalanta, which bears the same name as the island near Euboea and the Locrians, and another island similar to Psyttalia. Then one comes to the Peiraeus, which also is classed among the demes, and to Munychia.,15. Munychia is a hill which forms a peninsula; and it is hollowed out and undermined in many places, partly by nature and partly by the purpose of man, so that it admits of dwellings; and the entrance to it is by means of a narrow opening And beneath the hill lie three harbors. Now in early times Munychia was walled, and covered with habitations in a manner similar to the city of the Rhodians, including within the circuit of its walls both the Peiraeus and the harbors, which were full of ship-sheds, among which was the Arsenal, the work of Philon. And the naval station was sufficient for the four hundred ships, for no fewer than this the Athenians were wont to despatch on expeditions. With this wall were connected the legs that stretched down from the city; these were the Long Walls, forty stadia in length, which connected the city with the Peiraeus. But the numerous wars caused the ruin of the wall and of the fortress of Munychia, and reduced the Peiraeus to a small settlement, round the harbors and the sanctuary of Zeus Soter. The small roofed colonnades of the sanctuary have admirable paintings, the works of famous artists; and its open court has statues. The Long Walls, also, are torn down, having been destroyed at first by the Lacedemonians, and later by the Romans, when Sulla took both the Peiraeus and the city by siege.,16. The city itself is a rock situated in a plain and surrounded by dwellings. On the rock is the sacred precinct of Athena, comprising both the old temple of Athena Polias, in which is the lamp that is never quenched, and the Parthenon built by Ictinus, in which is the work in ivory by Pheidias, the Athena. However, if I once began to describe the multitude of things in this city that are lauded and proclaimed far and wide, I fear that I should go too far, and that my work would depart from the purpose I have in view. For the words of Hegesias occur to me: I see the Acropolis, and the mark of the huge trident there. I see Eleusis, and I have become an initiate into its sacred mysteries; yonder is the Leocorium, here is the Theseium; I am unable to point them all out one by one; for Attica is the possession of the gods, who seized it as a sanctuary for themselves, and of the ancestral heroes. So this writer mentioned only one of the significant things on the Acropolis; but Polemon the Periegete wrote four books on the dedicatory offerings on the Acropolis alone. Hegesias is proportionately brief in referring to the other parts of the city and to the country; and though he mentions Eleusis, one of the one hundred and seventy demes (or one hundred and seventy-four, as the number is given), he names none of the others.,17. Most of the demes, if not all, have numerous stories of a character both mythical and historical connected with them; Aphidna, for example, has the rape of Helen by Theseus, the sacking of the place by the Dioscuri and their recovery of their sister; Marathon has the Persian battle; Rhamnus has the statue of Nemesis, which by some is called the work of Diodotus and by others of Agoracritus the Parian, a work which both in grandeur and in beauty is a great success and rivals the works of Pheidias; and so with Deceleia, the base of operations of the Peloponnesians in the Deceleian War; and Phyle, whence Thrasybulus brought the popular party back to the Peiraeus and then to the city. And so, also, in the case of several other demes there are many historical incidents to tell; and, further, the Leocorium and the Theseium have myths connected with them, and so has the Lyceium, and the Olympicum (the Olympium is the same thing), which the king who dedicated it left half finished at his death. And in like manner also the Academy, and the gardens of the philosophers, and the Odeium, and the colonnade called Poecile, and the sanctuaries in the city containing very many marvellous works of different artists.,18. The account would be much longer if one should pass in review the early founders of the settlement, beginning with Cecrops; for all writers do not agree about them, as is shown even by the names. For instance, Actice, they say, was derived from Actaeon; and Atthis and Attica from Atthis, the daughter [or son?] of Cranaus, after whom the inhabitants were also called Cranai; and Mopsopia from Mopsopus; and Ionia from Ion, the son of Xuthus; and Poseidonia and Athens from the gods after whom they were named. And, as has already been said, the race of the Pelasgi clearly sojourned here too, and on account of their wanderings were called Pelargi.,19. The greater men's fondness for learning about things that are famous and the greater the number of men who have talked about them, the greater the censure, if one is not master of the historical facts. For example, in his Collection of the Rivers, Callimachus says that it makes him laugh if anyone makes bold to write that the Athenian virgins draw pure liquid from the Eridanus, from which even cattle would hold aloof. Its sources are indeed existent now, with pure and potable water, as they say, outside the Gates of Diochares, as they are called, near the Lyceium; but in earlier times there was also a fountain near by which was constructed by man, with abundant and excellent water; and even if the water is not so now, why should it be a thing to wonder at, if in early times the water was abundant and pure, and therefore also potable, but in later times underwent a change? However, it is not permitted me to linger over details, since they are so numerous, nor yet, on the other hand, to pass by them all in silence without even mentioning one or another of them in a summary way.,20. It suffices, then, to add thus much: According to Philochorus, when the country was being devastated, both from the sea by the Carians, and from the land by the Boeotians, who were called Aonians, Cecrops first settled the multitude in twelve cities, the names of which were Cecropia, Tetrapolis, Epacria, Deceleia, Eleusis, Aphidna (also called Aphidnae, in the plural), Thoricus, Brauron, Cytherus, Sphettus, Cephisia. And at a later time Theseus is said to have united the twelve into one city, that of today. Now in earlier times the Athenians were ruled by kings; and then they changed to a democracy; but tyrants assailed them, Peisistratus and his sons; and later an oligarchy arose, not only that of the four hundred, but also that of the thirty tyrants, who were set over them by the Lacedemonians; of these they easily rid themselves, and preserved the democracy until the Roman conquest. For even though they were molested for a short time by the Macedonian kings, and were even forced to obey them, they at least kept the general type of their government the same. And some say that they were actually best governed at that time, during the ten years when Cassander reigned over the Macedonians. For although this man is reputed to have been rather tyrannical in his dealings with all others, yet he was kindly disposed towards the Athenians, once he had reduced the city to subjection; for he placed over the citizens Demetrius of Phalerum, one of the disciples of Theophrastus the philosopher, who not only did not destroy the democracy but even improved it, as is made clear in the Memoirs which Demetrius wrote concerning this government. But the envy and hatred felt for oligarchy was so strong that, after the death of Cassander, Demetrius was forced to flee to Egypt; and the statues of him, more than three hundred, were pulled down by the insurgents and melted, and some writers go on to say that they were made into chamber pots. Be that as it may, the Romans, seeing that the Athenians had a democratic government when they took them over, preserved their autonomy and liberty. But when the Mithridatic War came on, tyrants were placed over them, whomever the king wished. The most powerful of these, Aristion, who violently oppressed the city, was punished by Sulla the Roman commander when he took this city by siege, though he pardoned the city itself; and to this day it is free and held in honor among the Romans.,21. After the Peiraeus comes the deme Phalereis, on the seaboard next to it; then Halimusii, Aexoneis, Alaeeis, Aexonici, and Anagyrasii. Then Thoreis, Lamptreis, Aegilieis, Anaphlystii, Ateneis. These are the demes as far as the cape of Sounion. Between the aforesaid demes is a long cape, the first cape after Aexoneis, Zoster; then another after Thoreis, I mean Astypalaea; off the former of these lies the island Phabra and off the latter the island Eleussa; and also opposite Aexonieis is Hydrussa. And in the neighborhood of Anaphlystus is also the shrine of Pan, and the sanctuary of Aphrodite Colias, at which place, they say, were cast forth by the waves the last wreckage of the ships after the Persian naval battle near Salamis, the wreckage concerning which Apollo predicted the women of Colias will cook food with the oars. Off these places, too, is the island Belbina, at no great distance, and also Patroclou Charax. But most of these islands are uninhabited.,22. On doubling the cape of Sounion one comes to Sounion, a noteworthy deme; then to Thoricus; then to a deme called Potamus, whose inhabitants are called Potamii; then to Prasia, to Steiria, to Brauron, where is the sanctuary of the Artemis Brauronia, to Halae Araphenides, where is the sanctuary of Artemis Tauropolos, to Myrrinus, to Probalinthus, and to Marathon, where Miltiades utterly destroyed the forces under Datis the Persian, without waiting for the Lacedemonians, who came too late because they wanted the full moon. Here, too, is the scene of the myth of the Marathonian bull, which was slain by Theseus. After Marathon one comes to Tricorynthus; then to Rhamnus, the sanctuary of Nemesis; then to Psaphis, the land of the Oropians. In the neighborhood of Psaphis is the Amphiaraeium, an oracle once held in honor, where in his flight Amphiaraus, as Sophocles says, with four-horse chariot, armour and all, was received by a cleft that was made in the Theban dust. Oropus has often been disputed territory; for it is situated on the common boundary of Attica and Boeotia. Off this coast are islands: off Thoricus and Sounion lies the island Helene; it is rugged and deserted, and in its length of about sixty stadia extends parallel to the coast. This island, they say, is mentioned by the poet where Alexander says to Helen: Not even when first I snatched thee from lovely Lacedemon and sailed with thee on the seafaring ships, and in the island Cranae joined with thee in love and couch; for he calls Cranae the island now called Helene from the fact that the intercourse took place there. And after Helene comes Euboea, which lies off the next stretch of coast; it likewise is narrow and long and in length lies parallel to the mainland, like Helene. The voyage from Sounion to the southerly promontory of Euboea, which is called Leuce Acte, is three hundred stadia. However, I shall discuss Euboea later; but as for the demes in the interior of Attica, it would be tedious to recount them because of their great number.,23. Of the mountains, those which are most famous are Hymettus, Brilessus, and Lycabettus; and also Parnes and Corydallus. Near the city are most excellent quarries of marble, the Hymettian and Pentelic. Hymettus also produces the best honey. The silver mines in Attica were originally valuable, but now they have failed. Moreover, those who worked them, when the mining yielded only meager returns, melted again the old refuse, or dross, and were still able to extract from it pure silver, since the workmen of earlier times had been unskillful in heating the ore in furnaces. But though the Attic honey is the best in the world, that in the country of the silver mines is said to be much the best of all, the kind which is called acapniston, from the mode of its preparation.,24. The rivers of Attica are the Cephissus, which has its source in the deme Trinemeis; it flows through the plain (hence the allusions to the bridge and the bridge-railleries and then through the legs of the walls which extend from the city to the Peiraeus; it empties into the Phaleric Gulf, being a torrential stream most of the time, although in summer it decreases and entirely gives out. And such is still more the case with the Ilissus, which flows from the other part of the city into the same coast, from the region above Agra and the Lyceium, and from the fountain which is lauded by Plato in the Phaedrus. So much for Attica.,1. Boeotia Next in order is Boeotia; and when I discuss this country and the tribes that are continuous with it, I must, for the sake of clearness, call to mind what I have said before. As I have said, the seaboard from Sounion to Thessaloniceia extends towards the north, slightly inclining towards the west and keeping the sea on the east; and that the parts above this seaboard lie towards the west — ribbon-like stretches of country extending parallel to one another through the whole country. The first of these parts is Attica together with Megaris — a ribbon-like stretch of country, having as its eastern side the seaboard from Sounion to Oropus and Boeotia, and as its western side the Isthmus and the Alcyonian Sea, which extends from Pagae to the boundaries of Boeotia near Creusa, and as its remaining two sides, the seaboard from Sounion to the Isthmus and the mountainous country approximately parallel thereto which separates Attica from Boeotia. The second of these parts is Boeotia, extending ribbon-like from the east towards the west, from the Euboean Sea to the sea at the Crisaean Gulf; and it is about equal in length to Attica or perhaps less; in the fertility of its soil, however, it is far superior.,2. Ephorus declares that Boeotia is superior to the countries of the bordering tribes, not only in fertility of soil, but also because it alone has three seas and has a greater number of good harbors; in the Crisaean and Corinthian Gulf s it receives the products of Italy and Sicily and Libya, while in the part which faces Euboea, since its seaboard branches off on either side of the Euripus, on one side towards Aulis and the territory of Tanagra and on the other towards Salganeus and Anthedon, the sea stretches unbroken in the one direction towards Egypt and Cyprus and the islands, and in the other direction towards Macedonia and the regions of the Propontis and the Hellespont. And he adds that Euboea has, in a way, been made a part of Boeotia by the Euripus, since the Euripus is so narrow and is spanned by a bridge to Euripus only two plethra long. Now he praises the country on account of these things; and he says that it is naturally well suited to hegemony, but that those who were from time to time its leaders neglected careful training and education, and therefore, although they at times achieved success, they maintained it only for a short time, as is shown in the case of Epameinondas; for after he died the Thebans immediately lost the hegemony, having had only a taste of it; and that the cause of this was the fact that they belittled the value of learning and of intercourse with mankind, and cared for the military virtues alone. Ephorus should have added that these things are particularly useful in dealing with Greeks, although force is stronger than reason in dealing with the barbarians. And the Romans too, in ancient times, when carrying on war with savage tribes, needed no training of this kind, but from the time that they began to have dealings with more civilized tribes and races, they applied themselves to this training also, and so established themselves as lords of all.,3. Be that as it may, Boeotia in earlier times was inhabited by barbarians, the Aones and the Temmices, who wandered thither from Sounion, and by the Leleges and the Hyantes. Then the Phoenicians occupied it, I mean the Phoenicians with Cadmus, the man who fortified the Cadmeia and left the dominion to his descendants. Those Phoenicians founded Thebes in addition to the Cadmeia, and preserved their dominion, commanding most of the Boeotians until the expedition of the Epigoni. On this occasion they left Thebes for a short time, but came back again. And, in the same way, when they were ejected by the Thracians and the Pelasgians, they established their government in Thessaly along with the Arnaei for a long time, so that they were all called Boeotians. Then they returned to the homeland, at the time when the Aeolian fleet, near Aulis in Boeotia, was now ready to set sail, I mean the fleet which the sons of Orestes were despatching to Asia. After adding the Orchomenian country to Boeotia (for in earlier times the Orchomenians were not a part of the Boeotian community, nor did Homer enumerate them with the Boeotians, but as a separate people, for he called them Minyae), they, with the Orchomenians, drove out the Pelasgians to Athens (it was after these that a part of the city was named Pelasgicon, though they took up their abode below Hymettus), and the Thracians to Parnassus; and the Hyantes founded a city Hyas in Phocis.,4. Ephorus says that the Thracians, after making a treaty with the Boeotians, attacked them by night when they, thinking that peace had been made, were encamping rather carelessly; and when the Boeotians frustrated the Thracians, at the same time making the charge that they were breaking the treaty, the Thracians asserted that they had not broken it, for the treaty said by day, whereas they had made the attack by night; whence arose the proverb, Thracian pretense; and the Pelasgians, when the war was still going on, went to consult the oracle, as did also the Boeotians. Now Ephorus is unable, he says, to tell the oracular response that was given to the Pelasgians, but the prophetess replied to the Boeotians that they would prosper if they committed sacrilege; and the messengers who were sent to consult the oracle, suspecting that the prophetess responded thus out of favor to the Pelasgians, because of her kinship with them (indeed, the sanctuary also was from the beginning Pelasgian), seized the woman and threw her upon a burning pile, for they considered that, whether she had acted falsely or had not, they were right in either case, since, if she uttered a false oracle, she had her punishment, whereas, if she did not act falsely, they had only obeyed the order of the oracle. Now those in charge of the sanctuary, he says, did not approve of putting to death without trial — and that too in the sanctuary — the men who did this, and therefore they brought them to trial, and summoned them before the priestesses, who were also the prophetesses, being the two survivors of the three; but when the Boeotians said that it was nowhere lawful for women to act as judges, they chose an equal number of men in addition to the women. Now the men, he says, voted for acquittal, but the women for conviction, and since the votes cast were equal, those for acquittal prevailed; and in consequence of this prophecies are uttered at Dodona by men to Boeotians only; the prophetesses, however, explain the oracle to mean that the god ordered the Boeotians to steal the tripods and take one of them to Dodona every year; and they actually do this, for they always take down one of the dedicated tripods by night and cover it up with garments, and secretly, as it were, carry it to Dodona.,5. After this the Boeotians cooperated with Penthilus and his followers in forming the Aeolian colony, sending with him most of their own people, so that it was also called a Boeotian colony. A long time afterwards the country was thoroughly devastated by the Persian war that took place near Plataeae. Then they recovered themselves to such an extent that the Thebans, having conquered the Lacedemonians in two battles, laid claim to supremacy over the Greeks. But Epameinondas fell in the battle, and consequently they were disappointed in this hope; but still they went to war on behalf of the Greeks against the Phocians, who had robbed their common sanctuary. And after suffering loss from this war, as also from the Macedonians when these attacked the Greeks, they lost their city, which was razed to the ground by these same people, and then received it back from them when rebuilt. From that time on the Thebans have fared worse and worse down to our own time, and Thebes today does not preserve the character even of a respectable village; and the like is true of other Boeotian cities, except Tanagra and Thespiae, which, as compared with Thebes, have held out fairly well.,6. Next in order I must make a circuit of the country, beginning at that part of the coastline opposite Euboea which joins Attica. The beginning is Oropus, and the Sacred Harbor, which is called Delphinium, opposite which is the ancient Eretria in Euboea, the distance across being sixty stadia. After Delphinium, at a distance of twenty stadia, is Oropus; and opposite Oropus is the present Eretria, and to it the passage across the strait is forty stadia.,7. Then one comes to Delium, the sanctuary of Apollo, which is a reproduction of that in Delos. It is a small town of the Tanagraeans, thirty stadia distant from Aulis. It was to this place that the Athenians, after their defeat in battle, made their headlong flight; and in the flight Socrates the philosopher, who was serving on foot, since his horse had got away from him, saw Xenophon the son of Gryllus lying on the ground, having fallen from his horse, and took him up on his shoulders and carried him in safety for many stadia, until the flight ceased.,8. Then one comes to a large harbor, which is called Bathys Limen; then to Aulis, a rocky place and a village of the Tanagraeans. Its harbor is large enough for only fifty boats; and therefore it is reasonable to suppose that the naval station of the Greeks was in the large harbor. And near by, also, is the Euripus at Chalcis, to which the distance from Sounion is six hundred and seventy stadia; and over it is a bridge two plethra long, as I have said; and a tower stands on each side, one on the side of Chalcis, and the other on the side of Boeotia; and tube-like passages have been constructed into the towers. Concerning the refluent currents of the Euripus it is enough to say only thus much, that they are said to change seven times each day and night; but the cause of the changes must be investigated elsewhere.,9. Near the Euripus, upon a height, is situated a place called Salganeus. It is named after Salganeus, a Boeotian, who was buried there — the man who guided the Persians when they sailed into this channel from the Maliac Gulf. It is said that he was put to death before they reached the Euripus by Megabates, the commander of the fleet, because he was considered a villain, on the ground that he had deceitfully rushed the fleet into a blind alley of the sea, but that the barbarian, when he perceived that he himself was mistaken, not only repented, but deemed worthy of burial the man who had been put to death without cause.,10. Near Oropus is a place called Graea, and also the sanctuary of Amphiaraus, and the monument of Narcissus the Eretrian, which is called Sigelus's, because people pass it in silence. Some say that Graea is the same as Tanagra. The Poemandrian territory is the same as the Tanagraean; and the Tanagraeans are also called Gephyraeans. The sanctuary of Amphiaraus was transferred hither in accordance with an oracle from the Theban Cnopia.,11. Also Mycalessus, a village, is in the Tanagraean territory. It is situated on the road that leads from Thebes to Chalcis; and in the Boeotian dialect it is called Mycalettus. And Harma is likewise in the Tanagraean territory; it is a deserted village near Mycalettus, and received its name from the chariot of Amphiaraus, and is a different place from the Harma in Attica, which is near Phyle, a deme of Attica bordering on Tanagra. Here originated the proverb, when the lightning flashes through Harma; for those who are called the Pythaistae look in the general direction of Harma, in accordance with an oracle, and note any flash of lightning in that direction, and then, when they see the lightning flash, take the offering to Delphi. They would keep watch for three months, for three days and nights each month, from the altar of Zeus Astrapaeus; this altar is within the walls between the Pythium and the Olympium. In regard to the Harma in Boeotia, some say that Amphiaraus fell in the battle out of his chariot near the place where his sanctuary now is, and that the chariot was drawn empty to the place which bears the same name; others say that the chariot of Adrastus, when he was in flight, was smashed to pieces there, but that Adrastus safely escaped on Areion. But Philochorus says that Adrastus was saved by the inhabitants of the village, and that on this account they obtained equal rights of citizenship from the Argives.,12. To anyone returning from Thebes to Argos, Tanagra is on the left; and . . . is situated on the right. And Hyria, also, belongs to the Tanagraean territory now, though in earlier times it belonged to the Theban territory. Hyria is the scene of the myth of Hyrieus, and of the birth of Orion, of which Pindar speaks in his dithyrambs; it is situated near Aulis. Some say that Hysiae is called Hyria, belonging to the Parasopian country below Cithaeron, near Erythrae, in the interior, and that it is a colony of the Hyrieans and was founded by Nycteus, the father of Antiope. There is also a Hysiae in the Argive territory, a village; and its inhabitants are called Hysiatae. The Erythrae in Ionia is a colony of this Erythrae. And Heleon, also, is a village belonging to Tanagra, having been so named from the hele.,13. After Salganeus one comes to Anthedon, a city with a harbor; and it is the last city on that part of the Boeotian seaboard which is opposite to Euboea, as the poet says, Anthedon at the extremity. As one proceeds a little farther, however, there are still two small towns belonging to the Boeotians: Larymna, near which the Cephissus empties, and, still farther on, Halae, which bears the same name as the Attic demes. Opposite this seaboard is situated, it is said, the Aegae in Euboea, in which is the sanctuary of the Aegaean Poseidon, which I have mentioned before. The distance across the strait from Anthedon to Aegae is one hundred and twenty stadia, but from the other places it is much less. The sanctuary is situated on a high mountain, where there was once a city. And Orobiae also is near Aegae. In the Anthedonian territory is Mount Messapius, named after Messapus, who, when he came into Iapygia, called the country Messapia. Here, too, is the scene of the myth of Glaucus, the Anthedonian, who is said to have changed into a sea-monster.,14. Near Anthedon, and belonging to Boeotia, is a place that is esteemed sacred, and contains traces of a city, Isus, as it is called, with the first syllable pronounced short. Some, however, think that the verse should be written, sacred Isus and Anthedon at the extremity, lengthening the first syllable by poetic licence on account of the meter, instead of sacred Nisa, for Nisa is nowhere to be seen in Boeotia, as Apollodorus says in his work On Ships; so that Nisa could not be the correct reading, unless by Nisa the poet means Isus; for there was a city Nisa bearing the same name in the territory of Megara, whose inhabitants emigrated to the foothills of Cithaeron, but it has now disappeared. Some, however, think that we should write sacred Creusa, taking the poet to mean the Creusa of today, the naval station of the Thespians, which is situated in the Crisaean Gulf; but others think that we should read sacred Pharae. Pharae is one of the Four United Villages in the neighborhood of Tanagra, which are: Heleon, Harma, Mycalessus, and Pharae. And still others write as follows: sacred Nysa. And Nysa is a village in Helicon. Such, then, is the seaboard facing Euboea.,15. The plains in the interior, which come next in order, are hollows, and are surrounded everywhere on the remaining sides by mountains; by the mountains of Attica on the south, and on the north by the mountains of Phocis; and, on the west, Cithaeron inclines, obliquely, a little above the Crisaean Sea; it begins contiguous with the mountains of Megara and Attica, and then bends into the plains, terminating in the neighborhood of Thebes.,16. Some of these plains are marshy, since rivers spread out over them, though other rivers fall into them and later find a way out; other plains are dried up, and on account of their fertility are tilled in all kinds of ways. But since the depths of the earth are full of caverns and holes, it has often happened that violent earthquakes have blocked up some of the passages, and also opened up others, some up to the surface of the earth and others through underground channels. The result for the waters, therefore, is that some of the streams flow through underground channels, whereas others flow on the surface of the earth, thus forming lakes and rivers. And when the channels in the depths of the earth are stopped up, it comes to pass that the lakes expand as far as the inhabited places, so that they swallow up both cities and districts, and that when the same channels, or others, are opened up, these cities and districts are uncovered; and that the same regions at one time are traversed in boats and at another on foot, and the same cities at one time are situated on the lake and at another far away from it.,17. One of two things has taken place: either the cities have remained unremoved, when the increase in the waters has been insufficient to overflow the dwellings because of their elevation, or else they have been abandoned and rebuilt elsewhere, when, being oftentimes endangered by their nearness to the lake, they have relieved themselves from fear by changing to districts farther away or higher up. And it follows that the cities thus rebuilt which have kept the same name, though at first called by names truly applying to them, derived from local circumstances, have names which no longer truly apply to them; for instance, it is probable that Plataeae was so called from the blade of the oars, and Plataeans were those who made their living from rowing; but now, since they live far away from the lake, the name can no longer truly apply to them. Helos and Heleon and Heilesium were so called because they were situated near marshes; but now the case is different with these places, since they have been rebuilt elsewhere, or else the lake has been greatly reduced because of outflows that later took place; for this is possible.,18. This is best shown by the Cephissus, which fills lake Copais; for when the lake had increased so much that Copae was in danger of being swallowed up (Copae is named by the poet, and from it the lake took its name), a rent in the earth, which was formed by the lake near Copae, opened up a subterranean channel about thirty stadia in length and admitted the river; and then the river burst forth to the surface near Larymna in Locris; I mean the Upper Larymna, for there is another Larymna, which I have already mentioned, the Boeotian Larymna on the sea, to which the Romans annexed the Upper Larymna. The place is called Anchoe; and there is also a lake of the same name. And when it leaves this lake the Cephissus at last flows out to the sea. Now at that time, when the flooding of the lake ceased, there was also a cessation of danger to those who lived near it, except in the case of the cities which had already been swallowed up. And though the subterranean channels filled up again, Crates the mining engineer of Chalcis ceased clearing away the obstructions because of party strife among the Boeotians, although, as he himself says in the letter to Alexander, many places had already been drained. Among these places, some writers suppose, was the ancient site of Orchomenus, and others, those of Eleusis and Athens on the Triton River. These cities, it is said, were founded by Cecrops, when he ruled over Boeotia, then called Ogygia, but were later wiped out by inundations. And it is said that a fissure in the earth opened up near Orchomenus, also, and that it admitted the Melas River, which flowed through the territory of Haliartus and formed there the marsh which produces the reed that is used for flutes. But this river has completely disappeared, either because it is dispersed by the fissure into invisible channels or because it is used up beforehand by the marshes and lakes in the neighborhood of Haliartus, from which the poet calls the place grassy, when he says, and grassy Haliartus.,19. Now these rivers flow down from the Phocian mountains, and among them the Cephissus, which takes its beginning at Lilaea, a Phocian city, as Homer says: And those who held Lilaea, at the sources of Cephissus. And flowing through Elateia, the largest of the cities of Phocis, and through Parapotamii and Phanoteus, which are likewise Phocian towns, it goes on into Chaeroneia in Boeotia, and then through the territories of Orchomenus and Coroneia, and discharges into Lake Copais. And also the Permessus and the Olmeius, flowing from Helicon, meet one another and fall into the same Lake Copais near Haliartus; and also other streams empty into it. Now it is a large lake, having a circuit of three hundred and eighty stadia, but its outlets are nowhere to be seen, except for the fissure which admits the Cephissus, and for the marshes.,20. Among the neighboring lakes are Lake Trephia and the Cephissian Lake, which is also mentioned by the poet: Who dwelt in Hyle, strongly intent upon wealth, on the shore of the Cephissian Lake. For he does not mean Lake Copais, as some think, but lake Hylice (accented on the last syllable like lyrice), which is named after the village near by that is called Hyle (accented like lyra and thyra), not Hyde, as some write, who dwelt in Hyde. For Hyde is in Lydia, below snowy Tmolus in the fertile land of Hyde, whereas Hyle is in Boeotia; at any rate, the poet appends to the words, on the shore of the Cephissian lake, the words, and near him dwelt the rest of the Boeotians. For Lake Copais is large, and not in the territory of Thebes; whereas the other is small, and is filled from lake Copais through subterranean channels; and it is situated between Thebes and Anthedon. Homer, however, uses the word in the singular number, at one time making the first syllable long, as in the Catalogue, and Hyle and Peteon, by poetic licence, and at another making it short, who dwelt in Hyle, and Tychius . . ., by far the best of leather workers, who had his home in Hyle. And certain critics are not correct in writing Hyde here, either; for Aias was not sending to fetch his shield from Lydia.,21. These lakes suggest the order of the places that come next after them, so that nominally their positions are clearly determined, because the poet observes no order in naming the places, whether those that are worthy of mention or those that are not. But it is difficult, in naming so many places, most of them insignificant and situated in the interior, to avoid error in every case in the matter of their order. The seaboard, however, has a certain advantage with regard to this: the places there are better known; and, too, the sea more readily suggests the order of places. Therefore I, too, shall try to take my beginnings from the seaboard, although at present I shall disregard this intention, and following the poet shall make my enumeration of the places, adding everything taken from other writers, but omitted by him, that may be useful to us. He begins at Hyria and Aulis, concerning which I have already spoken.,22. Schoenus is a district of the Theban territory on the road that leads from Thebes to Anthedon, and is about fifty stadia distant from Thebes; and there is also a river Schoenus which flows through it.,23. Scolus is a village in the Parasopian country at the foot of Mount Cithaeron, a place that is rugged and hardly habitable; whence the proverb, neither go to Scolus thyself nor follow another thither. And this is also said to be the place from which Pentheus was brought when he was torn to pieces. And there was another Scolus among the cities in the neighborhood of Olynthus bearing the same name as this village. And, as I have already said, there is also in the Trachinian Heracleia a village called Parasopii, past which flows a River Asopus; and in Sikyonia there is another Asopus River, and also the country Asopia, through which that Asopus flows; and there are also other rivers which bear this name.,24. The name Eteonus was changed to Scarphe, and Scarphe too is in Parasopia; for the Asopus and the Ismenus flow through the plain which is in front of Thebes. And there is the spring called Dirce; and also Potniae, where is the scene of the myth of Glaucus of Potniae, who was torn to pieces by the Potnian mares near the city. Cithaeron, also, ends not far from Thebes. The Asopus flows past it, washing its foothills and causing the division of the Parasopii into several settlements; and all the settlements are subject to Thebes, though another set of writers say that Scolus, Eteonus, and Erythrae are in the territory of the Plataeans, for the river flows past Plataea, also, and empties near Tanagra. And in the territory of Thebes are also Therapnae and Teumessus, which latter Antimachus has adorned with praise in many verses, although he enumerates goodly attributes which do not belong to it, as, for instance, there is a windy little hill; but the verses are well known.,25. The Thespiae of today is by Antimachus spelled Thespeia; for there are many names of places which are used in both ways, both in the singular and in the plural, just as there are many which are used both in the masculine and in the feminine, whereas there are others which are used in either one or the other number only. Thespiae is a city near Mt. Helicon, lying somewhat to the south of it; and both it and Helicon are situated on the Crisaean Gulf. It has a seaport Creusa, also called Creusis. In the Thespian territory, in the part lying towards Helicon, is Ascre, the native city of Hesiod; it is situated on the right of Helicon, on a high and rugged place, and is about forty stadia distant from Thespiae. This city Hesiod himself has satirized in verses which allude to his father, because at an earlier time his father changed his abode to this place from the Aeolian Cyme, saying: And he settled near Helicon in a wretched village, Ascre, which is bad in winter, oppressive in summer, and pleasant at no time. Helicon is contiguous to Phocis in its northerly parts, and to a slight extent also in its westerly parts, in the region of the last harbor belonging to Phocis, the harbor which, from the fact in the case, is called Mychus (inmost depth); for, speaking generally, it is above this harbor of the Crisaean Gulf that Helicon and Ascre, and also Thespiae and its seaport Creusa, are situated. This is also considered the deepest recess of the Crisaean Gulf, and in general of the Corinthian Gulf. The length of the coastline from the harbor Mychus to Creusa is ninety stadia; and the length from Creusa as far as the promontory called Holmiae is one hundred and twenty; and hence Pagae and Oinoe, of which I have already spoken, are situated in the deepest recess of the gulf. Now Helicon, not far distant from Parnassus, rivals it both in height and in circuit; for both are rocky and covered with snow, and their circuit comprises no large extent of territory. Here are the sanctuary of the Muses and Hippu-crene and the cave of the nymphs called the Leibethrides; and from this fact one might infer that those who consecrated Helicon to the Muses were Thracians, the same who dedicated Pieris and Leibethrum and Pimpleia to the same goddesses. The Thracians used to be called Pieres, but, now that they have disappeared, the Macedonians hold these places. It has been said that Thracians once settled in this part of Boeotia, having overpowered the Boeotians, as did also Pelasgians and other barbarians. Now in earlier times Thespiae was well known because of the Eros of Praxiteles, which was sculptured by him and dedicated by Glycera the courtesan (she had received it as a gift from the artist) to the Thespians, since she was a native of the place. Now in earlier times travellers would go up to Thespeia, a city otherwise not worth seeing, to see the Eros; and at present it and Tanagra are the only Boeotian cities that still endure; but of all the rest only ruins and names are left.,26. After Thespiae Homer names Graea and Mycalessus, concerning which I have already spoken. He likewise says concerning the rest: And those who lived about Harma and Heilesium and Erythrae, and those who held Eleon and Hyle and Peteon. Peteon is a village in the Theban territory near the road to Anthedon. Ocalea is midway between Haliartus and Alalcomenium, thirty stadia distant from each; and a river bearing the same name flows past it. The Phocian Medeon is on the Crisaean Gulf, at a distance of one hundred and sixty stadia from Boeotia, whereas the Boeotian Medeon, which was named after it, is near Onchestus at the base of the mountain Phoenicius; and from this fact its name has been changed to Phoenicis. This mountain is also called a part of the Theban territory; but by some both Medeon and Ocalea are called a part of the territory of Haliartus.,27. Homer then goes on to say: Copae, and Eutresis, and Thisbe abounding in doves. Concerning Copae I have already spoken. It lies towards the north on Lake Copais; and the others around the lake are these: Acraephiae, Phoenicis, Onchestus, Haliartus, Ocalea, Alalcomenae, Tilphusium, Coroneia. In early times, at least, the lake had no common name, but was called by different names corresponding to the several settlements lying on it, as, for instance, Copais from Copae, Haliartis from Haliartus, and so in the case of the rest of the settlements; but later the whole lake was called Copais, this name prevailing over all others; for the region of Copae forms the deepest recess of the lake. Pindar calls this lake Cephissis; at any rate, he places near it the spring Tilphossa, which flows at the foot of Mount Tilphossius near Haliartus and Alalcomenae, near which latter is the tomb of Teiresias; and here, too, is the sanctuary of the Tilphossian Apollo.,28. Next in order after Copae Homer names Eutresis, a small village of the Thespians, where Zethus and Amphion are said to have lived before they reigned over Thebes. Thisbe is now called Thisbae; the place is inhabited and is situated slightly above the sea, bordering on the territory of the Thespians and on that of Coroneia; and it, too, lies at the foot of Helicon on the south; and it has a seaport situated on a rocky place, which abounds in doves, in reference to which the poet says, Thisbe abounding in doves. From here to Sikyon is a voyage of one hundred and sixty stadia.,29. Next Homer names Coroneia, Haliartus, Plataeae, and Glissas. Now Coroneia is situated on a height near Helicon. The Boeotians took possession of it on their return from the Thessalian Arne after the Trojan War, at which time they also occupied Orchomenus. And when they got the mastery of Coroneia, they built in the plain before the city the sanctuary of the Itonian Athena, bearing the same name as the Thessalian sanctuary; and they called the river which flowed past it Cuarius, giving it the same name as the Thessalian river. But Alcaeus calls it Coralius, when he says, Athena, warrior queen, who dost keep watch o'er the cornfields of Coroneia before thy temple on the banks of the Coralius River. Here, too, the Pamboeotian Festival used to be celebrated. And for some mystic reason, as they say, a statue of Hades was dedicated along with that of Athena. Now the people in Coroneia are called Coronii, whereas those in the Messenian Coroneia are called Coronaeis.,30. Haliartus is no longer in existence, having been razed to the ground in the war against Perseus; and the country is held by the Athenians, a gift from the Romans. It was situated in a narrow place, between the mountain situated above it and Lake Copais, near the Permessus and Olmeius Rivers and the marsh that produces the flute reed.,31. Plataeae, which Homer speaks of in the singular number, is at the foot of Cithaeron, between it and Thebes, along the road that leads to Athens and Megara, on the confines of Attica and Megaris; for Eleutherae is near by, which some say belongs to Attica, others to Boeotia. I have already said that the Asopus flows past Plataeae. Here it was that the forces of the Greeks completely wiped out Mardonius and his three hundred thousand Persians; and they built a sanctuary of Zeus Eleutherius, and instituted the athletic games in which the victor received a crown, calling them the Eleutheria. And tombs of those who died in the battle, erected at public expense, are still to be seen. In Sikyonia, also, there is a deme called Plataeae, the home of Mnasalces the poet: The tomb of Mnasalces the Plataean. Homer speaks of Glissas, a settlement in the mountain Hypatus, which is in the Theban country near Teumessus and Cadmeia. The hillocks below which lies the Aonian Plain, as it is called, which extends from the Hypatus mountain to Thebes, are called Dria.,32. In these words of the poet, and those who held Hypothebes, some take him to mean some little city called Hypothebes, others Potniae; for Thebes, the latter say, was deserted because of the expedition of the Epigoni and had no part in the Trojan War. The former, however, say that the Thebans indeed had a part in the war, but that they were living in the level districts below Cadmeia at that time, since they were unable to rebuild Cadmeia; and since Cadmeia was called Thebes, they add, the poet called the Thebans of that time Hypothebans instead of people who live below Cadmeia.,33. Onchestus is where the Amphictyonic Council used to convene, in the territory of Haliartus near Lake Copais and the Teneric Plain; it is situated on a height, is bare of trees, and has a sacred Precinct of Poseidon, which is also bare of trees. But the poets embellish things, calling all sacred precincts sacred groves, even if they are bare of trees. Such, also, is the saying of Pindar concerning Apollo: stirred, he traversed both land and sea, and halted on great lookouts above mountains, and whirled great stones, laying foundations of sacred groves. But Alcaeus is wrong, for just as he perverted the name of the River Cuarius, so he falsified the position of Onchestus, placing it near the extremities of Helicon, although it is at quite a distance from this mountain.,34. The Teneric Plain is named after Tenerus. In myth he was the son of Apollo by Melia, and was a prophet of the oracle on the Ptous Mountain, which the same poet calls three-peaked: and once he took possession of the three-peaked hollow of Ptous. And he calls Tenerus temple minister, prophet, called by the same name as the plains. The Ptous lies above the Teneric Plain and Lake Copais near Acraephium. Both the oracle and the mountain belonged to the Thebans. And Acraephium itself also lies on a height. They say that this is called Arne by the poet, the same name as the Thessalian city.,35. Some say that Arne too was swallowed up by the lake, as well as Mideia. Zenodotus, who writes and those who possessed Ascre rich in vineyards, seems not to have read the statements of Hesiod concerning his native land, nor those of Eudoxus, who says much worse things concerning Ascre. For how could anyone believe that such a place was called rich in vineyards by the poet? Wrong, also, are those who write Tarne instead of Arne; for not a single place named Tarne is pointed out among the Boeotians, though there is one among the Lydians, and this the poet mentions: Idomeneus then slew Phaestus, son of Borus the Maeonian, who came from fertile Tarne. The remaining Boeotian cities concerning which it is worthwhile to make mention are: of those situated round the lake, Alalcomenae and Tilphossium, and, of the rest, Chaeroneia, Lebadeia, and Leuctra.,36. Now as for Alalcomenae, the poet mentions it, but not in the Catalogue: Argive Hera and Alalcomenian Athena. It has an ancient sanctuary of Athena which is held in great honor; and they say, at least, that the goddess was born there, just as Hera was born in Argos, and that it was because of this that the poet named them both in this way, as natives of these places. And it was because of this, perhaps, that he did not mention in the Catalogue the men of Alalcomenae, since, being sacred, they were excused from the expedition. And in fact the city always continued unravaged, although it was neither large nor situated in a secure position, but in a plain. But all peoples, since they revered the goddess, held aloof from any violence towards the inhabitants, so that when the Thebans, at the time of the expedition of the Epigonoi, left their city, they are said to have fled for refuge to Alalcomenae, and to Tilphossius, the mountain, a natural stronghold that lies above it; and at the base of this mountain is a spring called Tilphossa, and the monument of Teiresias, who died there at the time of the flight.,37. Chaeroneia is near Orchomenus. It was here that Philip the son of Amyntas conquered the Athenians, Boeotians, and Corinthians in a great battle, and set himself up as lord of Greece. And here, too, are to be seen tombs of those who fell in the battle, tombs erected at public expense. And it was in the same region that the Romans so completely defeated the forces of Mithridates, many tens of thousands in number, that only a few escaped in safety to the sea and fled in their ships, whereas the rest either perished or were taken captive.,38. At Lebadeia is situated an oracle of Trophonian Zeus. The oracle has a descent into the earth consisting of an underground chasm; and the person who consults the oracle descends into it himself. It is situated between Mt. Helicon and Chaeroneia, near Coroneia.,39. Leuctra is the place where Epameinondas defeated the Lacedemonians in a great battle and found a beginning of his overthrow of them; for after that time they were never again able to regain the hegemony of the Greeks which they formerly held, and especially because they also fared badly in the second clash near Mantineia. However, although they had suffered such reverses, they continued to avoid being subject to others until the Roman conquest. And among the Romans, also, they have continued to be held in honor because of the excellence of their government. This place is to be seen on the road that leads from Plataeae to Thespiae.,40. Next the poet gives the catalogue of the Orchomenians, whom he separates from the Boeotian tribe. He calls Orchomenus Minyeian, after the tribe of the Minyae. They say that some of the Minyae emigrated from there to Iolcus, and that from this fact the Argonauts were called Minyae. Clearly it was in early times both a rich and very powerful city. Now to its wealth Homer also is a witness, for when enumerating the places that abounded in wealth he says: Nor yet all that comes to Orchomenus nor all that comes to Egyptian Thebes. And of its power there is this proof, that the Thebans were wont to pay tribute to the Orchomenians and to Erginus their tyrant, who is said to have been put to death by Heracles. Eteocles, one of those who reigned as king at Orchomenus, who founded a sanctuary of the Graces, was the first to display both wealth and power; for he honored these goddesses either because he was successful in receiving Graces, or in giving them, or both. For necessarily, when he had become naturally inclined to kindly deeds, he began doing honor to these goddesses; and therefore he already possessed this power; but in addition he also had to have money, for neither could anyone give much if he did not have much, nor could anyone have much if he did not receive much. But if he has both together, he has the reciprocal giving and receiving; for the vessel that is at the same time being emptied and filled is always full for use; but he who gives and does not receive could not succeed in either, for he will stop giving because his treasury fails; also the givers will stop giving to him who receives only and grants no favours; and therefore he could not succeed in either way. And like things might be said concerning power. Apart from the common saying, money is the most valuable thing to men, and it has the most power of all things among men, we should look into the subject in detail. We say that kings have the greatest power; and on this account we call them potentates. They are potent in leading the multitudes whither they wish, through persuasion or force. Generally they persuade through kindness, for persuasion through words is not kingly; indeed, this belongs to the orator, whereas we call it kingly persuasion when kings win and attract men whither they wish by kindly deeds. They persuade men, it is true, through kindly deeds, but they force them by means of arms. Both these things may be bought with money; for he has the largest army who is able to support the largest, and he who possesses the most means is also able to show the most kindness. They say that the place now occupied by Lake Copais was formerly dry ground, and that it was tilled in all kinds of ways when it was subject to the Orchomenians, who lived near it. And this fact, accordingly, is adduced as an evidence of their wealth.,41. Aspledon was by some called Spledon, without the first syllable. Then the name, both of it and of the country, was changed to Eudeielos, perhaps because, from its evening inclination, it offered a special advantage peculiar to its inhabitants, especially the mildness of its winters; for the two ends of the day are coldest; and of these the evening is colder than the morning, for as night approaches the cold is more intense, and as night retires it abates. But the sun is a means of mitigating the cold. The place, therefore, that is warmed most by the sun at the coldest time is mildest in winter. Eudeielos is twenty stadia distant from Orchomenus. And the River Melas is between them.,42. Above the Orchomenian territory lies Panopeus, a Phocian city, and also Hyampolis. And bordering on these is Opus, the metropolis of the Epicnemidian Locrians. Now in earlier times Orchomenus was situated on a plain, they say, but when the waters overflowed, the inhabitants migrated up to the mountain Acontius, which extends for a distance of sixty stadia to Parapotamii in Phocis. And they relate that the Achaeans in Pontus, as they are called, are a colony of Orchomenians who wandered there with Ialmenus after the capture of Troy. There was also an Orchomenus in the neighborhood of Carystus. Those who have written concerning the Ships have supplied us well with such materials, and are the writers we follow when they say things appropriate to the purpose of our work.,1. Phocis After Boeotia and Orchomenus one comes to Phocis; it stretches towards the north alongside Boeotia, nearly from sea to sea; it did so in early times, at least, for in those times Daphnus belonged to Phocis, splitting Locris into two parts and being placed by geographers midway between the Opuntian Gulf and the coast of the Epicnemidians. The country now belongs to the Locrians (the town has been razed to the ground), so that even here Phocis no longer extends as far as the Euboean Sea, though it does border on the Crisaean Gulf. For Crisa itself belongs to Phocis, being situated by the sea itself and so do Cirrha and Anticyra and the places which lie in the interior and contiguous to them near Parnassus — I mean Delphi, Cirphis, and Daulis — and Parnassus itself which belongs to Phocis and forms its boundary on its western side. In the same way as Phocis lies alongside Boeotia, so also Locris lies alongside Phocis on either side; for Locris is double, being divided into two parts by Parnassus, the part on the western side lying alongside Parnassus and occupying a part of it, and extending to the Crisaean Gulf, whereas the part on the side towards the east ends at the Euboean Sea. The Westerners are called Locrians and Ozolae; and they have the star Hesperus engraved on their public seal. The other division of inhabitants is itself also divided, in a way, into two parts: the Opuntians, named after their metropolis, whose territory borders on Phocis and Boeotia, and the Epicnemidians, named after a mountain called Cnemis, who are next to the Oitaeans and Malians. In the middle between both, I mean the Westerners and the other division, is Parnassus, extending lengthwise into the northerly part of the country, from the region of Delphi as far as the junction of the Oitaean and the Aitolian mountains, and the country of the Dorians which lies in the middle between them. For again, just as Locris, being double, lies alongside Phocis, so also the country of the Oitaeans together with Aitolia and with certain places of the Dorian Tetrapolis, which lie in the middle between them, lie alongside either part of Locris and alongside Parnassus and the country of the Dorians. Immediately above these are the Thessalians, the northerly Aitolians, the Acarnanians, and some of the Epeirote and Macedonian tribes. As I was saying before, one should think of the aforementioned countries as ribbon-like stretches, so to speak, extending parallel to one another from the west towards the east. The whole of Parnassus is esteemed as sacred, since it has caves and other places that are held in honor and deemed holy. Of these the best known and most beautiful is Corycium, a cave of the nymphs bearing the same name as that in Cilicia. Of the sides of Parnassus, the western is occupied by the Ozolian Locrians and by some of the Dorians and by the Aitolians who live near the Aitolian mountain called Corax; whereas the other side is occupied by Phocians and by the majority of the Dorians, who occupy the Tetrapolis, which in a general way lies round Parnassus, but widens out in its parts that face the east. Now the long sides of each of the aforementioned countries and ribbon-like stretches are all parallel, one side being towards the north and the other towards the south; but as for the remaining sides, the western are not parallel to the eastern; neither are the two coastlines, where the countries of these tribes end, I mean that of the Crisaean Gulf as far as Actium and that facing Euboea as far as Thessaloniceia, parallel to one another. But one should conceive of the geometrical figures of these regions as though several lines were drawn in a triangle parallel to the base, for the figures thus marked off will be parallel to one another, and they will have their opposite long sides parallel, but as for the short sides this is no longer the case. This, then, is my rough sketch of the country that remains to be traversed and is next in order. Let me now describe each separate part in order, beginning with Phocis.,2. Of Phocis two cities are the most famous, Delphi and Elateia. Delphi, because of the sanctuary of the Pythian Apollo, and because of the oracle, which is ancient, since Agamemnon is said by the poet to have had an oracle given him from there; for the minstrel is introduced as singing the quarrel of Odysseus and Achilles, son of Peleus, how once they strove . . ., and Agamemnon, lord of men, rejoiced at heart . . ., for thus Phoebus Apollo, in giving response to him at Pytho, had told him that it should be. Delphi, I say, is famous because of these things, but Elateia, because it is the largest of all the cities there, and has the most advantageous position, because it is situated in the narrow passes and because he who holds this city holds the passes leading into Phocis and Boeotia. For, first, there are the Oitaean Mountains; and then those of the Locrians and Phocians, which are not everywhere passable to invaders from Thessaly, but have passes, both narrow and separated from one another, which are guarded by the adjacent cities; and the result is, that when these cities are captured, their captors master the passes also. But since the fame of the sanctuary at Delphi has the priority of age, and since at the same time the position of its places suggests a natural beginning (for these are the most westerly parts of Phocis), I should begin my description there.,3. As I have already said, Parnassus is situated on the western boundaries of Phocis. Of this mountain, then, the side towards the west is occupied by the Ozolian Locrians, whereas the southern is occupied by Delphi, a rocky place, theatre-like, having the oracle and the city on its summit, and filling a circuit of sixteen stadia. Situated above Delphi is Lycoreia, on which place, above the sanctuary, the Delphians were established in earlier times. But now they live close to the sanctuary, round the Castalian fountain. Situated in front of the city, toward the south, is Cirphis, a precipitous mountain, which leaves in the intervening space a ravine, through which flows the Pleistus River. Below Cirphis lies Cirrha, an ancient city, situated by the sea; and from it there is an ascent to Delphi of about eighty stadia. It is situated opposite Sikyon. In front of Cirrha lies the fertile Crisaean Plain; for again one comes next in order to another city, Crisa, from which the Crisaean Gulf is named. Then to Anticyra, bearing the same name as the city on the Maliac Gulf near Oita. And, in truth, they say that it is in the latter region that the hellebore of fine quality is produced, though that produced in the former is better prepared, and on this account many people resort thither to be purged and cured; for in the Phocian Anticyra, they add, grows a sesame-like medicinal plant with which the Oitaean hellebore is prepared.,4. Now Anticyra still endures, but Cirrha and Crisa have been destroyed, the former earlier, by the Crisaeans, and Crisa itself later, by Eurylochus the Thessalian, at the time of the Crisaean War. For the Crisaeans, already prosperous because of the duties levied on importations from Sicily and Italy, proceeded to impose harsh taxes on those who came to visit the sanctuary, even contrary to the decrees of the Amphictyons. And the same thing also happened in the case of the Amphissians, who belonged to the Ozolian Locrians. For these too, coming over, not only restored Crisa and proceeded to put under cultivation again the plain which had been consecrated by the Amphictyons, but were worse in their dealings with foreigners than the Crisaeans of old had been. Accordingly, the Amphictyons punished these too, and gave the territory back to the god: The sanctuary, too, has been much neglected, though in earlier times it was held in exceedingly great honor. Clear proofs of this are the treasure houses, built both by peoples and by potentates, in which they deposited not only money which they had dedicated to the god, but also works of the best artists; and also the Pythian Games, and the great number of the recorded oracles.,5. They say that the seat of the oracle is a cave that is hollowed out deep down in the earth, with a rather narrow mouth, from which arises breath that inspires a divine frenzy; and that over the mouth is placed a high tripod, mounting which the Pythian priestess receives the breath and then utters oracles in both verse and prose, though the latter too are put into verse by poets who are in the service of the sanctuary. They say that the first to become Pythian priestess was Phemonoe; and that both the prophetess and the city were so called from the word pythesthai, though the first syllable was lengthened, as in athanatos, akamatos, and diakonos. Now the following is the idea which leads to the founding of cities and to the holding of common sanctuaries in high esteem: men came together by cities and by tribes, because they naturally tend to hold things in common, and at the same time because of their need of one another; and they met at the sacred places that were common to them for the same reasons, holding festivals and general assemblies; for everything of this kind tends to friendship, beginning with eating at the same table, drinking libations together, and lodging under the same roof; and the greater the number of the sojourners and the greater the number of the places whence they came, the greater was thought to be the use of their coming together.,6. Now although the greatest share of honor was paid to this sanctuary because of its oracle, since of all oracles in the world it had the repute of being the most truthful, yet the position of the place added something. For it is almost in the center of Greece taken as a whole, between the country inside the Isthmus and that outside it; and it was also believed to be in the center of the inhabited world, and people called it the navel of the earth, in addition fabricating a myth, which is told by Pindar, that the two eagles (some say crows) which had been set free by Zeus met there, one coming from the west and the other from the east. There is also a kind of navel to be seen in the sanctuary; it is draped with fillets, and on it are the two likenesses of the birds of the myth.,7. Such being the advantages of the site of Delphi, the people easily came together there, and especially those who lived near it. And indeed the Amphictyonic League was organized from the latter, both to deliberate concerning common affairs and to keep the superintendence of the sanctuary more in common, because much money and many votive offerings were deposited there, requiring great vigilance and holiness. Now the facts of olden times are unknown, but among the names recorded Acrisius is reputed to have been the first to administer the Amphictyony and to determine the cities that were to have a part in the council and to give a vote to each city, to one city separately or to another jointly with a second or with several, and also to proclaim the Amphictyonic Rights — all the rights that cities have in their dealings with cities. Later there were several other administrations, until this organization, like that of the Achaeans, was dissolved. Now the first cities which came together are said to have been twelve, and each sent a Pylagoras, the assembly convening twice a year, in spring and in late autumn; but later still more cities were added. They called the assembly Pylaea, both that of spring and that of late autumn, since they convened at Pylae, which is also called Thermopylae; and the Pylagorae sacrificed to Demeter. Now although at the outset only the people who lived near by had a share both in these things and in the oracle, later the people living at a distance also came and consulted the oracle and sent gifts and built treasure houses, as, for instance, Croesus, and his father Alyattes, and some of the Italiotes, and the Sicilians.,8. But wealth inspires envy, and is therefore difficult to guard, even if it is sacred. At present, certainly, the sanctuary at Delphi is very poor, at least so far as money is concerned; but as for the votive offerings, although some of them have been carried off, most of them still remain. In earlier times the sanctuary was very wealthy, as Homer states: nor yet all the things which the stone threshold of the archer Phoebus Apollo enclosed in rocky Pytho. The treasure houses clearly indicate its wealth, and also the plundering done by the Phocians, which kindled the Phocian War, or Sacred War, as it is called. Now this plundering took place in the time of Philip, the son of Amyntas, although writers have a notion of another and earlier plundering, in ancient times, in which the wealth mentioned by Homer was carried out of the sanctuary. For, they add, not so much as a trace of it was saved down to those later times in which Onomarchus and his army, and Phayllus and his army, robbed the sanctuary; but the wealth then carried away was more recent than that mentioned by Homer; for there were deposited in treasure houses offerings dedicated from spoils of war, preserving inscriptions on which were included the names of those who dedicated them; for instance, Gyges, Croesus, the Sybarites, and the Spinetae who lived near the Adriatic, and so with the rest. And it would not be reasonable to suppose that the treasures of olden times were mixed up with these, as indeed is clearly indicated by other places that were ransacked by these men. Some, however, taking aphetor to mean treasure-house, and threshold of the aphetor to mean underground repository of the treasure-house, say that that wealth was buried in the sanctuary, and that Onomarchus and his army attempted to dig it up by night, but since great earthquakes took place they fled outside the sanctuary and stopped their digging, and that their experience inspired all others with fear of making a similar attempt.,9. Of the temples, the one with wings must be placed among the myths; the second is said to be the work of Trophonius and Agamedes; and the present temple was built by the Amphictyons. In the sacred precinct is to be seen the tomb of Neoptolemus, which was made in accordance with an oracle, Machaereus, a Delphian, having slain him because, according to the myth, he was asking the god for redress for the murder of his father; but according to all probability it was because he had attacked the sanctuary. Branchus, who presided over the sanctuary at Didyma, is called a descendant of Machaereus.,10. As for the contests at Delphi, there was one in early times between citharoedes, who sang a paean in honor of the god; it was instituted by the Delphians. But after the Crisaean war, in the time of Eurylochus, the Amphictyons instituted equestrian and gymnastic contests in which the prize was a crown, and called them Pythian Games. And to the citharoedes they added both fluteplayers and citharists who played without singing, who were to render a certain melody which is called the Pythian Nome. There are five parts of it: angkrousis, ampeira, katakeleusmos, iambi and dactyli, and syringes. Now the melody was composed by Timosthenes, the admiral of the second Ptolemy, who also compiled The Harbours, a work in ten books; and through this melody he means to celebrate the contest between Apollo and the dragon, setting forth the prelude as anakrousis, the first onset of the contest as ampeira, the contest itself as katakeleusmos, the triumph following the victory as iambus and dactylus, the rhythms being in two measures, one of which, the dactyl, is appropriate to hymns of praise, whereas the other, the iamb, is suited to reproaches (compare the word iambize), and the expiration of the dragon as syrinxes, since with syrinx players imitated the dragon as breathing its last in hissings.,11. Ephorus, whom I am using more than any other authority because, as Polybius, a noteworthy writer, testifies, he exercises great care in such matters, seems to me sometimes to do the opposite of what he intended, and at the outset promised, to do. At any rate, after censuring those who love to insert myths in the text of their histories, and after praising the truth, he adds to his account of this oracle a kind of solemn promise, saying that he regards the truth as best in all cases, but particularly on this subject; for it is absurd, he says, if we always follow such a method in dealing with every other subject, and yet, when speaking of the oracle which is the most truthful of all, go on to use the accounts that are so untrustworthy and false. Yet, though he says this, he adds forthwith that historians take it for granted that Apollo, with Themis, devised the oracle because he wished to help our race; and then, speaking of the helpfulness of it, he says that Apollo challenged men to gentleness and inculcated self control by giving out oracles to some, commanding them to do certain things and forbidding them to do other things, and by absolutely refusing admittance to other consultants. Men believe that Apollo directs all this, he says, some believing that the god himself assumes a bodily form, others that he transmits to human beings a knowledge of his own will.,12. A little further on, when discussing who the Delphians were, he says that in olden times certain Parnassians who were called indigenous inhabited Parnassus; and that at this time Apollo, visiting the land, civilized the people by introducing cultivated fruits and cultured modes of life; and that when he set out from Athens to Delphi he went by the road which the Athenians now take when they conduct the Pythias; and that when he arrived at the land of the Panopaeans he destroyed Tityus, a violent and lawless man who ruled there; and that the Parnassians joined him and informed him of another cruel man named Python and known as the Dragon, and that when Apollo shot at him with his arrows the Parnassians shouted Hie Paean to encourage him (the origin, Ephorus adds, of the singing of the Paean which has been handed down as a custom for armies just before the clash of battle); and that the tent of Python was burnt by the Delphians at that time, just as they still burn it to this day in remembrance of what took place at that time. But what could be more mythical than Apollo shooting with arrows and punishing Tityuses and Pythons, and travelling from Athens to Delphi and visiting the whole earth? But if Ephorus did not take these stories for myths, by what right did he call the mythological Themis a woman, and the mythological Dragon a human being — unless he wished to confound the two types, history and myth? Similar to these statements are also those concerning the Aitolians; for after saying that from all time their country had been unravaged, he at one time says that Aeolians took up their abode there, having ejected the barbarians who were in possession of it, and at another time that Aetolus together with the Epeii from Elis took up their abode there, but that these were destroyed by the Aeolians, and that these latter were destroyed by Alcmaeon and Diomedes. But I return to the Phocians.,13. On the seacoast after Anticyra, one comes first to a town called Opisthomarathus; then to a cape called Pharygium, where there is an anchoring-place; then to the harbor that is last, which, from the fact in the case, is called Mychus; and it lies below Helicon and Ascre. And the oracle of Abae is not far from this region, nor Ambrysus, nor Medeon, which bears the same name as the Boeotian Medeon. Still farther in the interior, after Delphi, approximately towards the east, is a town Daulis, where Tereus the Thracian is said to have held sway (the scene of the mythical story of Philomela and Procne is laid there, though Thucydides says at Megara). The place got its name from the thickets, for they call thickets dauli. Now Homer called it Daulis, but later writers call it Daulia. And Cyparissus, in the words held Cyparissus, is interpreted by writers in two ways, by some as bearing the same name as the tree, and by others, by a slight change in the spelling, as a village below Lycoreia.,14. Panopeus, the Phanoteus of today, borders on the region of Lebadeia, and is the native land of Epeius. And the scene of the myth of Tityus is laid here. Homer says that the Phaeacians led Rhadamanthys into Euboea to see Tityus, son of the Earth. And a cave called Elarium is to be seen in the island, named after Elara the mother of Tityus; and also a hero-sanctuary of Tityus, and certain honors which are paid to him. Near Lebadeia, also, is Trachin, a Phocian town, which bears the same name as the Oitaean city; and its inhabitants are called Trachinians.,15. Anemoreia has been named from a circumstance connected with it: squalls of wind sweep down upon it from Catopterius, as it is called, a beetling cliff extending from Parnassus. This place was a boundary between Delphi and the Phocians when the Lacedemonians caused the Delphians to revolt from the common organization of the Phocians, and permitted them to form a separate State of their own. Some, however, call the place Anemoleia. And then one comes to Hyampolis (later called Hya by some), to which, as I have said, the Hyantes were banished from Boeotia. This city is very far inland, near Parapotamii, and is not the same as Hyampeia on Parnassus; also far inland is Elateia, the largest city of the Phocians, which is unknown by Homer, for it is more recent than the Homeric age, and it is advantageously situated in that it commands the passes from Thessaly. Demosthenes clearly indicates the natural advantage of its position when he speaks of the commotion that suddenly took place at Athens when a messenger came to the Prytanes with the report that Elateia had been captured.,16. Parapotamii is a settlement on the Cephissus River near Phanoteus and Chaeroneia and Elateia. Theopompus says that this place is distant from Chaeroneia about forty stadia and marks the boundary of the territories of the Ambryseans, the Panopeans and the Daulians; and that it lies on a moderately high hill at the pass which leads from Boeotia into Phocis, between the mountains Parnassus and Hadylius, between which is left a tract of about five stadia divided by the Cephissus River, which affords a narrow pass on each side. The river, he continues, has its beginnings in the Phocian city Lilaea (just as Homer says, and those who held Lilaea, at the fountains of Cephissus ), and empties into Lake Copais; and the mountain Hadylius extends over a distance of sixty stadia as far as the mountain Acontius, where Orchomenus is situated. And Hesiod, too, describes at considerable length the river and the course of its flow, saying that it flows through the whole of Phocis in a winding and serpentine course; like a dragon it goes in tortuous courses out past Panopeus and through strong Glechon and through Orchomenus. The narrow pass in the neighborhood of Parapotamii, or Parapotamia (for the name is spelled both ways), was an object of contention in the Phocian war, since the enemy had here their only entrance into Phocis. There are, besides the Phocian Cephissus, the river at Athens, the one in Salamis, a fourth and a fifth in Sikyon and in Scyros, and a sixth in Argos, which has its sources in Mt. Lyrceius; and at Apollonia near Epidamnus there is a fountain near the gymnasium which is called Cephissus.,17. Daphnus is now razed to the ground. It was at one time a city of Phocis, bordering on the Euboean Sea; it divided the Epicnemidian Locrians into two parts, one part in the direction of Boeotia, and the other facing Phocis, which at that time reached from sea to sea. And evidence of this is the Schedieium in Daphnus, which, they say, is the tomb of Schedius; but as I have said, Daphnus split Locris on either side, so that the Epicnemidian and Opuntian Locrians nowhere bordered on one another; but in later times the place was included within the boundaries of the Opuntians. Concerning Phocis, however, I have said enough.,1. Locris Locris comes next in order, and therefore I must describe this country. It is divided into two parts: one part is that which is inhabited by the Locrians and faces Euboea; and, as I was saying, it was once split into two parts, one on either side of Daphnus. The Opuntians were named after their metropolis, and the Epicnemidians after a mountain called Cnemis. The rest of Locris is inhabited by the Western Locrians, who are also called Ozolian Locrians. They are separated from the Opuntians and the Epicnemidians by Parnassus, which is situated between them, and by the Tetrapolis of the Dorians. But I must begin with the Opuntians.,2. Next, then, after Halae, where that part of the Boeotian coast which faces Euboea terminates, lies the Opuntian Gulf. Opus is the metropolis, as is clearly indicated by the inscription on the first of the five pillars in the neighborhood of Thermopylae, near the Polyandrium: Opoeis, metropolis of the Locrians of righteous laws, mourns for these who perished in defence of Greece against the Medes. It is about fifteen stadia distant from the sea, and sixty from the seaport. Cynus is the seaport, a cape which forms the end of the Opuntian Gulf, the gulf being about forty stadia in extent. Between Opus and Cynus is a fertile plain; and Cynus lies opposite Aedepsus in Euboea, where are the hot waters of Heracles, and is separated from it by a strait one hundred and sixty stadia wide. Deucalion is said to have lived in Cynus; and the grave of Pyrrha is to be seen there, though that of Deucalion is to be seen at Athens. Cynus is about fifty stadia distant from Mount Cnemis. The island Atalanta is also situated opposite Opus, and bears the same name as the island in front of Attica. It is said that a certain people in Eleia are also called Opuntians, but it is not worth while to mention them, except to say that they are reviving a kinship which exists between them and the Opuntians. Now Homer says that Patroclus was from Opus, and that after committing an involuntary murder he fled to Peleus, but that his father Menoetius remained in his native land; for thither Achilles says that he promised Menoetius to bring back Patroclus when Patroclus should return from the expedition. However, Menoetius was not king of the Opuntians, but Aias the Locrian, whose native land, as they say, was Narycus. They call the man who was slain by Patroclus Aeanes; and both a sacred precinct, the Aeaneium, and a spring, Aeanis, named after him, are to be seen.,3. Next after Cynus, one comes to Alope and to Daphnus, which latter, as I said, is razed to the ground; and here there is a harbor which is about ninety stadia distant from Cynus, and one hundred and twenty stadia from Elateia, for one going on foot into the interior. We have now reached the Maliac Gulf, which is continuous with the Opuntian Gulf.,4. After Daphnus one comes to Cnemides, a natural stronghold, about twenty stadia by sea; and opposite it, in Euboea, lies Kenaion, a cape facing the west and the Maliac Gulf, and separated from it by a strait about twenty stadia in width. At this point we have now reached the territory of the Epicnemidian Locrians. Here, too, lying off the coast, are the three Lichades Islands, as they are called, named after Lichas; and there are also other islands along the coast, but I am purposely omitting them. After twenty stadia from Cnemides one comes to a harbor, above which, at an equal distance in the interior, lies Thronium. Then one comes to the Boagrius River, which flows past Thronium and empties into the sea. They also call it Manes. It is a winter stream, so that at times one can cross it dry-shod, though at other times it has a breadth of two plethra. After this one comes to Scarpheia, which is situated ten stadia above the sea, thirty stadia distant from Thronium, and slightly less from the harbor itself. Then one comes to Nicaea and Thermopylae.,5. As for the remaining cities, it is not worthwhile to mention any of them except those which are mentioned by Homer. Calliarus is no longer inhabited, but is now a beautifully-tilled plain, and they so call it from what is the fact in the case. Bessa, too, does not exist; it is a wooded place. Neither does Augeiae, whose territory is held by the Scarphians. Now this Bessa should be written with a double s (for it is named from its being a wooded place, being spelled the same way — like Nape in the plain of Methymne, which Hellanicus ignorantly names Lape), whereas the deme in Attica, whose inhabitants are accordingly called Besaeeis, should be written with one s.,6. Tarphe is situated on a height, at a distance of twenty stadia from Thronium; its territory is both fruitful and well-wooded, for already this place had been named from its being thickly wooded. But it is now called Pharygae; and here is situated a sanctuary of Pharygaean Hera, so called from the Hera in the Argive Pharygae; and, indeed, they say that they are colonists of the Argives.,7. However, Homer does not mention the Western Locrians, or at least not in express words, but only in that he seems by contrast to distinguish these from those other Locrians of whom I have already spoken, when he says, of the Locrians who dwell opposite sacred Euboea, implying that there was a different set of Locrians. But they have not been much talked about by many others either. The cities they held were Amphissa and Naupactus; of these, Naupactus survives, near Antirrhium, and it was named from the shipbuilding that was once carried on there, whether it was because the Heracleidae built their fleet there, or (as Ephorus says) because the Locrians had built ships there even before that time. It now belongs to the Aitolians, having been adjudged to them by Philip.,8. Here, also, is Chalcis, which the poet mentions in the Aitolian Catalogue; it is below Calydon. Here, also, is the hill Taphiassus, on which are the tombs of Nessus and the other Centaurs, from whose putrefied bodies, they say, flows forth at the base of the hill the water which is malodorous and clotted; and it is on this account, they add, that the tribe is also called Ozolian. Molycreia, an Aitolian town, is also near Antirrhium. The site of Amphissa is on the edge of the Crisaean Plain; it was razed to the ground by the Amphictyons, as I have said. And both Oiantheia and Eupalium belong to the Locrians. The whole voyage along the Locrian coast slightly exceeds two hundred stadia in length.,9. There is a place named Alope, not only here and among the Epicnemidian Locrians, but also in Phthiotis. Now these are colonists of the Epicnemidian Locrians, but the Epizephyrian Locrians are colonists of these.,10. The Aitolians border on the western Locrians; and the Aenianians who inhabit Mount Oita border on the Epicnemidian Locrians; and in the middle between them are Dorians. Now these Dorians are the people who inhabited the Tetrapolis, which, they say, was the metropolis of all the Dorians; and the cities they held were Erineus, Boeum, Pindus and Cytinium. Pindus is situated above Erineus; and a river bearing the same name flows past it, emptying into the Cephissus not very far from Lilaea. By some, however, Pindus is called Acyphas. The king of these Dorians was Aegimius, who was driven from his throne, but was brought back again, as the story goes, by Heracles; accordingly, Aegimius requited the favor to Heracles after the latter's death on Oita; for he adopted Hyllus, the eldest of the sons of Heracles; and Hyllus and his descendants became his successors on the throne. From here it was that the Heracleidae set out on their return to the Peloponnesus.,11. Now for a time the cities in question were held in respect, although they were small and had poor soil, but afterwards they were lightly esteemed. During the Phocian War and the domination of the Macedonians, Aitolians, and Athamanians — it is marvellous that even a trace of them passed to the Romans. And the Aenianians had the same experience, for they too were destroyed by the Aitolians and the Athamanians: by the Aitolians, when they waged war in conjunction with the Acarnanians, and were very powerful, and by the Athamanians, when they attained to distinction (the last of the Epeirotes to do so, the other peoples having by this time been worn out) and under their king Amynander had acquired power. These Athamanians kept possession of Oita.,12. This mountain extends from Thermopylae in the east to the Ambracian Gulf in the west; and, in a way, it cuts at right angles the mountainous country which extends from Parnassus to Pindus and to the barbarians who are situated beyond Pindus. Of this mountain, the part which verges towards Thermopylae is called Oita; its length is two hundred stadia, and it is rugged and high; but it is highest at Thermopylae, for there it rises into a peak, and ends at the sea in sharp and abrupt precipices, though it leaves a narrow pass for invasions from Thessaly into the country of the Locrians.,13. Now the pass is called not only Pylae and Narrows, but also Thermopylae, for there are hot waters near it that are held in honor as sacred to Heracles; and the mountain that lies above it is called Callidromus, but by some the remaining part of the mountain, which extends through Aitolia and Acarnania to the Ambracian Gulf, is also called Callidromus. Near Thermopylae, inside the narrows, are forts — Nicaea, towards the sea of the Locrians, and above it, Teichius and Heracleia, the latter in earlier times having been called Trachin, a settlement of Lacedemonians. Heracleia is about six stadia distant from the old Trachin. Next one comes to Rhoduntia, a natural stronghold.,14. These places are rendered difficult of access both by the ruggedness of the country and by the number of streams of water which here form ravines through which they flow. For besides the Spercheius, which flows past Anticyra, there is the Dyras River, which, they say, tried to quench the funeral pyre of Heracles, and also another Melas, which is five stadia distant from Trachin. To the south of Trachin, according to Herodotus, there is a deep gorge through which the Asopus, bearing the same name as the aforesaid Asopus Rivers, empties into the sea outside Pylae after receiving the Phoenix River, which meets it from the south and bears the name of the hero Phoenix, whose tomb is to be seen near it. The distance from the Asopus to Thermopylae is fifteen stadia.,15. Now at that time these places were at the height of their fame when they held the mastery over the keys of the Narrows, and when there were struggles for the primacy between the peoples outside the Narrows and those inside them; for instance, Philip used to call Chalcis and Corinth the fetters of Greece, having Macedonia in view as his base of operations; and the men of later times called, not only these, but also the city Demetrias shackles, for Demetrias commanded the passes round Tempe, since it held both Pelion and Ossa. But later, now that all peoples have been brought into subjection to a single power, everything is free from toll and open to all mankind.,16. It was at these Narrows that Leonidas and his men, with a few who came from the neighborhood thereof, held out against all those forces of the Persians, until the barbarians, coming around the mountains through by-paths, cut them down. And today their Polyandrium is to be seen, and pillars, and the oft-quoted inscription on the pillar of the Lacedemonians, which is as follows: Stranger, report to the Lacedemonians that we lie here in obedience to their laws.,17. There is also a large harbor here, and a sanctuary of Demeter, in which at the time of every Pylaean assembly the Amphictyons performed sacrificial rites. From the harbor to Heracleian Trachin the distance on foot is forty stadia, and by boat to Kenaion seventy stadia. The Spercheius empties immediately outside Pylae. The distance to Pylae from the Euripus is five hundred and thirty stadia. And whereas Locris ends at Pylae, the parts outside Pylae towards the east and the Maliac Gulf belong to the Thessalians, and the parts towards the west belong to the Aitolians and the Acarnanians. As for the Athamanians, they are now extinct.,18. Now the largest and most ancient composite part of the Greeks is that of the Thessalians, who have been described partly by Homer and partly by several others. The Aitolians Homer always speaks of under one name, classing cities, not tribes, under them, except the Curetes, who should be classified as Aitolians. But I must begin with Thessaly, omitting such things as are very old and mythical and for the most part not agreed upon, as I have already done in all other cases, and telling such things as seem to me appropriate to my purpose.,1. Thessaly Thessaly comprises, first, on the sea, the coast which extends from Thermopylae to the outlet of the Peneius River and the extremities of Pelion, and faces the east and the northern extremities of Euboea. The parts that are near Euboea and Thermopylae are held by the Malians and the Achaean Phthiotae, and the parts near Pelion by the Magnetans. Let this side of Thessaly, then, be called the eastern or coastal side. As for the two sides of Thessaly: on one side, beginning at Pelion and the Peneius, Macedonia stretches towards the interior as far as Paeonia and the Epeirote tribes, and on the other side, beginning at Thermopylae, the Oitaean and Aitolian mountains lie parallel to Macedonia, bordering on the country of the Dorians and on Parnassus. Let the former side, which borders on Macedonia, be called the northern side, and the latter the southern side. There remains the western side, which is surrounded by the Aitolians and Acarnanians and Amphilochians, and, of the Epeirotes, the Athamanians and Molossians and what was once called the land of the Aethices, or, in a word, the land about Pindus. The land of Thessaly, as a whole, is a plain, except Pelion and Ossa. These mountains rise to a considerable height; they do not, however, enclose much territory in their circuits, but end in the plains.,2. These plains are the middle parts of Thessaly, a country most blest, except so much of it as is subject to inundations by rivers. For the Peneius, which flows through the middle of it and receives many rivers, often overflows; and in olden times the plain formed a lake, according to report, being hemmed in by mountains on all sides except in the region of the seacoast; and there too the region was more elevated than the plains. But when a cleft was made by earthquakes at Tempe, as it is now called, and split off Ossa from Olympus, the Peneius poured out through it towards the sea and drained the country in question. But there remains, nevertheless, Lake Nessonis, which is a large lake, and Lake Boebeis, which is smaller than the former and nearer to the seacoast.,3. Such being its nature, Thessaly was divided into four parts. One part was called Phthiotis, another Hestiaeotis, another Thessaliotis, and another Pelasgiotis. Phthiotis occupies the southern parts which extend alongside Oita from the Maliac, or Pylaic, Gulf as far as Dolopia and Pindus, and widen out as far as Pharsalus and the Thessalian plains. Hestiaeotis occupies the western parts and the parts between Pindus and Upper Macedonia. The remaining parts of Thessaly are held, first, by the people who live in the plains below Hestiaeotis (they are called Pelasgiotae and their country borders on Lower Macedonia), and, secondly, by the Thessaliotae next in order, who fill out the districts extending as far as the Magnetan seacoast. Here, too, there will be an enumeration of famous names of cities, and especially because of the poetry of Homer; only a few of the cities preserve their ancient dignity, but Larisa most of all.,4. The poet, after dividing into ten parts, or dynasties, the whole of the country which we now call Thessaly, and after adding certain parts both of the Oitaean and the Locrian countries, and likewise certain parts of the country now classed under Macedonia, intimates a fact which is common to, and true of, all countries, that whole regions and their several parts undergo changes in proportion to the power of those who hold sway.,5. Now the first peoples he names in the Catalogue are those under Achilles, who occupied the southern side and were situated alongside Oita and the Epicnemidian Locrians, all who dwelt in the Pelasgian Argos and those who inhabited Alus and Alope and Trachin, and those who held Phthia and also Hellas the land of fair women, and were called Myrmidons and Hellenes and Achaeans. with these he joins also the subjects of Phoenix, and makes the expedition common to both leaders. It is true that the poet nowhere mentions the Dolopian army in connection with the battles round Ilium, for he does not represent their leader Phoenix as going forth into the perils of battle either, any more than he does Nestor; yet others so state, as Pindar, for instance, who mentions Phoenix and then says, who held a throng of Dolopians, bold in the use of the sling and bringing aid to the missiles of the Danaans, tamers of horses. This, in fact, is the interpretation which we must give to the Homeric passage according to the principle of silence, as the grammarians are wont to call it, for it would be ridiculous if the king Phoenix shared in the expedition (I dwelt in the farthermost part of Phthia, being lord over the Dolopians) without his subjects being present; for if they were not present, he would not have been regarded as sharing in the expedition with Achilles, but only as following him in the capacity of a chief over a few men and as a speaker, perhaps as a counsellor. Homer's verses on this subject mean also to make this clear, for such is the import of the words, to be a speaker of words and a doer of deeds. Clearly, therefore, he means, as I have already said, that the forces under Achilles and Phoenix are the same. But the aforesaid statements concerning the places subject to Achilles are themselves under controversy. Some take the Pelasgian Argos as a Thessalian city once situated in the neighborhood of Larisa but now no longer existent; but others take it, not as a city, but as the plain of the Thessalians, which is referred to by this name because Abas, who brought a colony there from Argos, so named it.,6. As for Phthia, some say that it is the same as Hellas and Achaea, and that these constitute the other, the southern, of the two parts into which Thessaly as a whole was divided; but others distinguish between Hellas and Achaea. The poet seems to make Phthia and Hellas two different things when he says, and those who held Phthia and Hellas, as though there were two, and when he says, And then (I fled) far away through spacious Hellas, and I came to Phthia, and, There are many Achaean women throughout Hellas and Phthia. So the poet makes them two, but he does not make it plain whether they are cities or countries. As for later authorities, some, speaking of Hellas as a country, say that it stretches from Palaepharsalus to Phthiotic Thebes. In this country also is the Thetideium, near both Pharsaluses, both the old and the new; and they infer from the Thetideium that this country too is a part of that which was subject to Achilles. As for those, however, who speak of Hellas as a city, the Pharsalians point out at a distance of sixty stadia from their own city a city in ruins which they believe to be Hellas, and also two springs near it, Messeis and Hypereia, whereas the Melitaeans say that Hellas was situated about ten stadia distant from themselves on the other side of the Enipeus, at the time when their own city was named Pyrrha, and that it was from Hellas, which was situated in a low-lying district, that the Hellenes migrated to their own city; and they cite as bearing witness to this the tomb of Hellen, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, situated in their marketplace. For it is related that Deucalion ruled over Phthia, and, in a word, over Thessaly. The Enipeus, flowing from Othrys past Pharsalus, turns aside into the Apidanus, and the latter into the Peneius. Thus much, then, concerning the Hellenes.,7. Phthians is the name given to those who were subject to Achilles and Protesilaus and Philoctetes. And the poet is witness to this, for after mentioning in the Catalogue those who were subject to Achilles and those who held Phthia, he represents these, in the battle at the ships, as staying behind with Achilles in their ships and as being inactive, but those who were subject to Philoctetes as taking part in the battle, having Medon as marshal, and those who were subject to Protesilaus as marshalled by Podarces. Concerning these, speaking in a general way, he says, And there the Boeotians and Ionians with trailing tunics, the Locrians and Phthians and illustrious Epeians; and, in a specific way, and in front of the Phthians was Medon, and also Podarces steadfast in war. These in their armour, in front of the great-hearted Phthians, were fighting along with the Boeotians in defence of the ships. Perhaps the men with Eurypylus also were called Phthians, since their country indeed bordered on Phthia. Now, however, historians regard as belonging to Magnesia, not only the region round Ormenium, which belonged to the country that was subject to Eurypylus, but also the whole of the country that was subject to Philoctetes; but they regard the country that was subject to Protesilaus as a part of Phthia, extending from Dolopia and Pindus as far as the Magnetan Sea; whereas the land subject to Peleus and Achilles, beginning at the Trachinian and Oitaean countries, is defined as extending in breadth as far as Antron, the city subject to Protesilaus, the name of which is now spelled in the plural number. And the Maliac Gulf has about the same length.,8. But as regards Halus and Alope, historians are thoroughly in doubt, suspecting that the poet does not mean the places so named which now are classed in the Phthiotic domain, but those among the Locrians, since the dominion of Achilles extended thus far, just as it also extended as far as Trachin and the Oitaean country; for there is both a Halus and a Halius on the seaboard of the Locrians, just as there is also an Alope. Some substitute Halius for Alope and write as follows: and those who dwelt in Halus and in Halius and in Trachin. The Phthiotic Halus is situated below the end of Othrys, a mountain situated to the north of Phthiotis, bordering on Mount Typhrestus and the country of the Dolopians, and extending from there to the region of the Maliac Gulf. Halus (either feminine or masculine, for the name is used in both genders) is about sixty stadia distant from Itonus. It was Athamas who founded Halus, but in later times, after it had been wiped out, the Pharsalians colonized the place. It is situated above the Crocian Plain; and the Amphrysus River flows close to its walls. Below the Crocian Plain lies Phthiotic Thebes. Halus is called both Phthiotic and Achaean Halus, and it borders on the country of the Malians, as do also the spurs of Othrys Mountain. And just as the Phylace, which was subject to Protesilaus, is in that part of Phthiotis which lies next to the country of the Malians, so also is Halus; it is about one hundred stadia distant from Thebes, and it is midway between Pharsalus and the Phthiotae. However, Philip took it away from the Phthiotae and assigned it to the Pharsalians. And so it comes to pass, as I have said before, that the boundaries and the political organizations of tribes and places are always undergoing changes. So, also, Sophocles speaks of Trachinia as belonging to Phthiotis. And Artemidorus places Halus on the seaboard, as situated outside the Maliac Gulf, indeed, but as belonging to Phthiotis; for proceeding thence in the direction of the Peneius, he places Pteleum after Antron, and then Halus at a distance of one hundred and ten stadia from Pteleum. As for Trachin, I have already described it, and the poet mentions it by name.,9. Since the poet often mentions the Spercheius as a river of this country, and since it has its sources in Typhrestus, the Dryopian mountain which in earlier times was called . . ., and empties near Thermopylae and between it and Lamia, he plainly indicates that both the region inside the Gates, I mean in so far as it belonged to the Maliac Gulf, and the region outside the Gates, were subject to Achilles. The Spercheius is about thirty stadia distant from Lamia, which is situated above a certain plain that extends down to the Maliac Gulf. And he plainly indicates that the Spercheius was a river of this country, not only by the assertion of Achilles that he fostered the growth of his hair as an offering to Spercheius, but also by the fact that Menesthius, one of his commanders, was called the son of Spercheius and the sister of Achilles. And it is reasonable to suppose that all the people, the subjects of Achilles and Patroclus, who had accompanied Peleus in his flight from Aigina, were called Myrmidons. And all the Phthiotae were called Achaeans.,10. Historians enumerate the settlements in the Phthiotic domain that was subject to Achilles, and they begin with the Malians. They name several, and among them Phthiotic Thebes, Echinus, Lamia (near which the Lamian War arose between the Macedonians, under Antipater, and the Athenians, and in this war Leosthenes, a general of the Athenians, fell, and also Leonnatus, the comrade of king Alexander), and also Narthacium, Erineus, Coroneia (bearing the same name as the Boeotian city), Melitaea, Thaumaci, Proerna, Pharsalus, Eretria (bearing the same name as the Euboean city), and Paracheloitae (this, too, bearing the same name as the Aitolian city), for here too, near Lamia, is a river Achelous, on whose banks live the Paracheloitae. This country bordered, in its stretch towards the north, on the country of the most westerly of the Asclepiadae, and on the country of Eurypylus, and also on that of Protesilaus, these countries inclining towards the east; and in its stretch towards the south, on the Oitaean country, which was divided into fourteen demes, and also Heracleia and Dryopis, Dryopis having at one time been a tetrapolis, like Doris, and regarded as the metropolis of the Dryopians who lived in the Peloponnesus. To the Oitaean country belong also Acyphas, Parasopias, Oineiadae, and Anticyra, which bears the same name as the city among the Western Locrians. But I am speaking of these divisions of the country, not as having always remained the same, but as having undergone various changes. However, only the most significant divisions are particularly worthy of mention.,11. As for the Dolopians, the poet himself says clearly enough that they were situated in the farthermost parts of Phthia, and that both these and the Phthiotae were under the same leader, Peleus; for I dwelt, he says, in the farthermost part of Phthia, being lord over the Dolopians, whom Peleus gave me. The country borders on Pindus, and on the region round Pindus, most of which belongs to the Thessalians. For both on account of the fame and of the predominance of the Thessalians and the Macedonians, the countries of those Epeirotes who were their nearest neighbors were made, some willingly and the others unwillingly, parts of Thessaly or Macedonia; for instance, the Athamanes, the Aethices, and the Talares were made parts of Thessaly, and the Orestae, the Pelagonians, and the Elimiotae of Macedonia.,12. The Pindus Mountain is large, having the country of the Macedonians on the north, the Perrhaebian immigrants on the west, the Dolopians on the south, and Hestiaeotis on the east; and this last is a part of Thessaly. The Talares, a Molossian tribe, a branch of those who lived in the neighborhood of Mount Tomarus, lived on Mount Pindus itself, as did also the Aethices, amongst whom, the poet says, the Centaurs were driven by Peirithous; but history now tells us that they are extinct. The term extinct is to be taken in one of two meanings; either the people vanished and their country has become utterly deserted, or else merely their ethnic name no longer exists and their political organization no longer remains what it was. When, therefore, any present political organization that survives from an earlier time is utterly insignificant, I hold that it is not worth mentioning, either itself or the new name it has taken; but when it affords a fair pretext for being mentioned, I must needs give an account of the change.,13. It remains for me to tell the order of the places on the coast that were subject to Achilles, beginning at Thermopylae; for I have already spoken of the Locrian and the Oitaean countries. Thermopylae, then, is separated from Kenaion by a strait seventy stadia wide; but, to one sailing along the coast beyond Pylae, it is about ten stadia from the Spercheius; and thence to Phalara twenty stadia; and above Phalara, fifty stadia from the sea, is situated the city of the Lamians; and then next, after sailing fifty stadia along the coast, one comes to Echinus, which is situated above the sea; and in the interior from the next stretch of coast, twenty stadia distant from it, is Larisa Cremaste (it is also called Larisa Pelasgia).,14. Then one comes to Myonnesus, a small island; and then to Antron, which was subject to Protesilaus. So much, then, for the portion that was subject to Achilles. But since the poet, through naming both the leaders and the cities subject to them, has divided Thessaly into numerous well-known parts and arranged in order the whole circuit of it, I, following him again, as above, shall go on to complete the remainder of my geographical description of the country. Now he enumerates next in order after those who were subject to Achilles those who were subject to Protesilaus; and these are also the people who come next in order after the stretch of coast which was subject to Achilles as far as Antron. Therefore, the territory that was subject to Protesilaus is in the boundaries of the country that comes next in order, that is, it lies outside the Maliac Gulf, but still inside Phthiotis, though not inside the part of Phthiotis that was subject to Achilles. Now Phylace is near Phthiotic Thebes, which itself is subject to Protesilaus. And Halus, also, and Larisa Cremaste, and Demetrium, are subject to him, all being situated to the east of the Othrys Mountain. Demetrium he speaks of as sacred precinct of Demeter, and calls it Pyrasus. Pyrasus was a city with a good harbor; at a distance of two stadia it had a sacred precinct and a holy sanctuary, and was twenty stadia distant from Thebes. Thebes is situated above Pyrasus, but the Crocian Plain is situated in the interior back of Thebes near the end of Othrys; and it is through this plain that the Amphrysus flows. Above this river are the Itonus, where is the sanctuary of the Itonian, after which the sanctuary in Boeotia is named, and the Cuarius Rivers. But I have already spoken of this river and of Arne in my description of Boeotia. These places are in Thessaliotis, one of the four portions of all Thessaly, in which were not only the regions that were subject to Eurypylus, but also Phyllus, where is the sanctuary of Phyllian Apollo, and Ichnae, where the Ichnaean Themis is held in honor. Cierus, also, was tributary to it, and so was the rest of that region as far as Athamania. Near Antron, in the Euboean strait, is a submarine reef called Ass of Antron; and then one comes to Pteleum and Halus; and then to the sanctuary of Demeter; and to Pyrasus, which has been razed to the ground; and, above it, to Thebes; and then to Cape Pyrrha, and to two isles near it, one of which is called Pyrrha and the other Deucalion. And it is somewhere here that Phthiotis ends.,15. Next the poet enumerates the peoples that were subject to Eumelus, that is, the adjacent seacoast, which from this point on belongs to Magnesia and the land of Pelasgiotis. Now Pherae is at the end of the Pelasgian plains on the side towards Magnesia; and these plains extend as far as Pelion, one hundred and sixty stadia. The seaport of Pherae is Pagasae, which is ninety stadia distant from Pherae and twenty from Iolcus. Iolcus has indeed been razed to the ground from early times, but it was from there that Pelias despatched Jason and the Argo. It was from the construction here of the ship Argo, according to mythology, that the place was called Pagasae, though some believe, more plausibly, that this name was given the place from its fountains, which are both numerous and of abundant flow. Nearby is Aphetae also, so named as being the apheterium of the Argonauts. Iolcus is situated above the sea seven stadia from Demetrias. Demetrias, which is on the sea between Nelia and Pagasae, was founded by Demetrius Poliorcetes, who named it after himself, settling in it the inhabitants of the nearby towns, Nelia and Pagasae and Ormenium, and also Rhizus, Sepias, Olizon, Boebe, and Iolcus, which are now villages belonging to Demetrias. Furthermore, for a long time this was both a naval station and a royal residence for the kings of the Macedonians; and it held the mastery over both Tempe and the two mountains, Pelion and Ossa, as I have already said. At present it is reduced in power, but still it surpasses all the cities in Magnesia. Lake Boebeis is near Pherae, and also borders on the foothills of Pelion and the frontiers of Magnesia; and Boebe is a place situated on the lake. Just as seditions and tyrannies destroyed Iolcus after its power had been greatly increased, so they reduced Pherae also, which had once been raised to greatness by its tyrants and was then destroyed along with them. Near Demetrias flows the Anaurus River; and the adjoining shore is also called Iolcus. Here, too, they used to hold the Pylaic Festal Assembly. Artemidorus places the Pagasitic Gulf in the region subject to Philoctetes, farther away from Demetrias; and he says that the island Cicynethos and a town bearing the same name are in the gulf.,16. The poet next enumerates the cities subject to Philoctetes. Now Methone is different from the Thracian Methone, which was razed to the ground by Philip. I have mentioned heretofore the change of the names of these places, and of certain places in the Peloponnesus. And the other places enumerated by the poet are Thaumacia and Olizon and Meliboea, which are on the next stretch of seacoast. Off the country of the Magnetans lie numerous islands, but the only notable ones are Sciathos, Peparethos, and Icos, and also Halonnesos and Scyros, all having cities of the same name. But Scyros is the most notable, because of the family relation between Lycomedes and Achilles, and of the birth and nurture there of Neoptolemus the son of Achilles. In later times, when Philip had waxed powerful and saw that the Athenians dominated the sea and ruled over the islands, both these and the rest, he caused the islands that were near him to be most famous; for, since he was fighting for the hegemony, he always attacked those places which were close to him, and, just as he added to Macedonia most parts of the Magnetan country and of Thrace and of the rest of the land all round, so he also seized the islands off Magnesia and made those which were previously well-known to nobody objects of contention and hence well-known. Now Scyros is chiefly commended by the place it occupies in the ancient legends, but there are other things which cause it to be widely mentioned, as, for instance, the excellence of the Scyrian goats, and the quarries of the Scyrian variegated marble, which is comparable to the Carystian marble, and to the Docimaean or Synnadic, and to the Hierapolitic. For at Rome are to be seen monolithic columns and great slabs of the variegated marble; and with this marble the city is being adorned both at public and at private expense; and it has caused the quarries of white marble to be of little worth.,17. However, the poet, after proceeding thus far on the Magnetan seacoast, returns to Upper Thessaly; for, beginning at Dolopia and Pindus, he recounts the parts that stretch alongside Phthiotis, as far as Lower Thessaly: And those who held Tricce and rocky Ithome. These places belong in fact to Histiaeotis, though in earlier times Histiaeotis was called Doris, as they say; but when the Perrhaebians took possession of it, who had already subdued Histiaeotis in Euboea and had forced its inhabitants to migrate to the mainland, they called the country Histiaeotis after these Histiaeans, because of the large number of these people who settled there. They call Histiaeotis and Dolopia Upper Thessaly, which is in a straight line with Upper Macedonia, as is Lower Thessaly with Lower Macedonia. Now Tricce, where is the earliest and most famous sanctuary of Asclepius, borders on the country of the Dolopians and the regions round Pindus. Ithome, which is called by the same name as the Messenian city, ought not, they say, to be pronounced in this way, but without the first syllable; for thus, they add, it was called in earlier times, though now its name has been changed to Ithome. It is a stronghold and is in reality a heap of stones; and it is situated between four strongholds, which lie in a square, as it were: Tricce, Metropolis, Pelinnaion, and Gomphi. But Ithome belongs to the territory of the Metropolitans. Metropolis in earlier times was a joint settlement composed of three insignificant towns; but later several others were added to it, among which was Ithome. Now Callimachus, in his Iambics, says that, of all the Aphrodites (for there was not merely one goddess of this name), Aphrodite Castnietis surpasses all in wisdom, since she alone accepts the sacrifice of swine. And surely he was very learned, if any other man was, and all his life, as he himself states, wished to recount these things. But the writers of later times have discovered that not merely one Aphrodite, but several, have accepted this rite; and that among these was the Aphrodite at Metropolis, and that one of the cities included in the settlement transmitted to it the Onthurian rite. Pharcadon, also, is in Histiaeotis; and the Peneius and the Curalius flow through its territory. Of these rivers, the Curalius flows past the sanctuary of the Itonian Athena and empties into the Peneius; but the Peneius itself rises in Pindus, as I have already said, and after leaving Tricce and Pelinnaion and Pharcadon on the left flows past both Atrax and Larisa, and after receiving the rivers in Thessaliotis flows on through Tempe to its outlet. Historians place the Oichalia which is called the city of Eurytus not only in this region, but also in Euboea and in Arcadia; and they give its name in different ways, as I have already said in my description of the Peloponnesus. They inquire concerning these, and particularly in regard to what Oichalia it was that was captured by Heracles, and concerning what Oichalia was meant by the poet who wrote The Capture of Oichalia. These places, then, were classed by Homer as subject to the Asclepiadae.,18. Next he speaks of the country subject to Eurypylus: and those who held the fountain Hypereia, and those who held Asterium and the white summits of Titanus. Now at the present time Ormenium is called Orminium; it is a village situated at the foot of Pelion near the Pagasitic Gulf, one of the cities included in the settlement of Demetrias, as I have said. And Lake Boebeis, also, must be near, since Boebe, as well as Ormenium itself, was one of the dependencies of Demetrias. Now Ormenium is distant by land twenty-seven stadia from Demetrias, whereas the site of Iolcus, which is situated on the road, is distant seven stadia from Demetrias and the remaining twenty stadia from Ormenium. The Scepsian says that Phoenix was from Ormenium, and that he fled thence from his father Amyntor the son of Ormenus into Phthia to Peleus the king; for this place, he adds, was founded by Ormenus the son of Cercaphus the son of Aeolus; and he says that both Amyntor and Euaemon were sons of Ormenus, and that Phoenix was son of the former and Eurypylus of the latter, but that the succession to the throne, to which both had equal right, was kept for Eurypylus, inasmuch as Phoenix had gone away from his homeland. Furthermore, the Scepsian writes thus, as when first I left Ormenium rich in flocks, instead of I left Hellas, land of fair women. But Crates makes Phoenix a Phocian, judging this from the helmet of Meges, which Odysseus used at the time of his night spying, concerning which the poet says, Autolycus filched it from Eleon, from Amyntor the son of Ormenus, having broken into his close-built home. For Eleon, he says, is a town of Parnassus; and Amyntor, son of Ormenus, means no other than the father of Phoenix; and Autolycus, who lived on Parnassus, must have broken into the house of a neighbor (as is the way of any housebreaker), and not into that of people far away. But the Scepsian says that there is no place called Eleon to be seen on Parnassus, though there is a place called Neon, founded in fact after the Trojan War, and also that housebreakings are not confined to neighbors only. And there are other arguments which one might give, but I hesitate to spend further time on this subject. Others write from Heleon, but Heleon is a place in Tanagria, and this reading would increase the absurdity of the statement, Then I fled afar off through Hellas and came to Phthia. The fountain Hypereia is in the middle of the city of the Pheraeans, which belonged to Eumelus. It is absurd, therefore, to assign the fountain to Eurypylus. Titanus was named from the fact in the case there; for the region near Arne and Aphetae has white soil. Asterium, also, is not far from these.,19. Continuous with this portion of Thessaly is the country of those who are called the subjects of Polypoetes: And those who held Argissa and dwelt in Gyrtone, Orthe, and Elone and the white city Oloosson. In earlier times the Perrhaebians inhabited this country, dwelling in the part near the sea and near the Peneius, extending as far as its outlet and Gyrton, a Perrhaebian city. Then the Lapiths humbled the Perrhaebians and thrust them back into the river country in the interior, and seized their country — I mean the Lapiths Ixion and his son Peirithous, the latter of whom also took possession of Pelion, forcing out the Centaurs, a wild folk, who had seized it. Now these he thrust from Pelion and made them draw near to the Aethices, and he gave over the plains to the Lapiths, though the Perrhaebians kept possession of some of them, those near Olympus, and also in some places lived completely intermingled with the Lapiths. Now Argissa, the present Argura, is situated on the Peneius; and forty stadia above it lies Atrax, which also is close to the river; and the Perrhaebians held the river country between the two places. Some have called Orthe the acropolis of the Phalannaeans; and Phalanna is a Perrhaebian city close to the Peneius near Tempe. Now the Perrhaebians, being overpowered by the Lapiths, for the most part emigrated to the mountainous country about Pindus and to the countries of the Athamanians and Dolopians, but their country and all Perrhaebians who were left behind there were seized by the Larisaeans, who lived near the Peneius and were their neighbors and dwelt in the most fertile parts of the plains, though not in the very low region near the lake called Nessonis, into which the river, when it overflowed, would carry away a portion of the arable soil belonging to the Larisaeans. Later, however, they corrected this by means of embankments. The Larisaeans, then, kept possession of Perrhaebia and exacted tribute until Philip established himself as lord over the region. Larisa is also the name of a place on Ossa; another is Larisa Cremaste, by some called Pelasgia; and in Crete is a city Larisa, now joined to Hierapytna, whence the plain that lies below is now called Larisian Plain; and, in the Peloponnesus both Larisa, the citadel of the Argives, and the Larisus River, which is the boundary between the Eleian country and Dyme. Theopompus speaks of another city Larisa situated on the same common boundary; and in Asia is a Larisa Phryconis near Cyme; and also the Larisa near Hamaxitis in the Troad; and there is the Ephesian Larisa, and the Larisa in Syria; and there are Larisaean Rocks fifty stadia from Mitylene on the road to Methymne; and there is a Larisa in Attica; and a village Larisa thirty stadia distant from Tralleis, above the city, on the road which runs through Mesogis towards the Cayster Plain near the sanctuary of the Isodromian Mother, which in its topographical position and its goodly attributes is like Larisa Cremaste, for it has an abundance of water and of vineyards; and perhaps the Larisaean Zeus received his epithet from this place; and also on the left of the Pontus is a village called Larisa, between Naulochus and. . ., near the end of Mount Haemus. And Oloosson, called white from the fact that its soil is a white clay, and Elone, and Gonnus are Perrhaebian cities. But Elone changed its name to Leimone, and is now in ruins. Both are situated below Olympus, not very far from the Europus River, which the poet calls the Titaresius.,20. The poet next mentions both Titaresius and the Perrhaebians, when he says, And Guneus led from Cyphus twenty-two ships. And there followed him the Enienians, and the Perrhaebians steadfast in war, who had established their homes round wintry Dodona, and dwelt in the fields about lovely Titaresius. Now he speaks of these places as belonging to the Perrhaebians, places which fell into their possession as a part of Hestiaeotis. And also the cities subject to Polypoetes were in part Perrhaebian. However, he assigned them to the Lapiths because the two peoples lived intermingled with one another, and also because, although the Lapiths held possession of the plains and the Perrhaebian element there were for the most part subject to the Lapiths, the Perrhaebians held possession of the more mountainous parts near Olympus and Tempe, as, for example, Cyphus, and Dodona, and the region about the Titaresius; this river rises in the Titarius Mountain, which connects with Olympus, and flows into the territory of Perrhaebia which is near Tempe, and somewhere in that neighborhood unites with the Peneius. Now the water of the Peneius is pure, but that of the Titaresius is oily, because of some substance or other, so that it does not mingle with that of the Peneius, but runs over it on the top like oil. Because of the fact that the two peoples lived intermingled, Simonides uses the terms Perrhaebians and Lapiths of all the Pelasgiotes who occupy the region about Gyrton and the outlets of the Peneius and Mount Ossa and Mount Pelion, and the region about Demetrias, and the region in the plain, I mean Larisa, Crannon, Scotussa, Mopsium, Atrax, and the region about Lake Nessonis and Lake Boebeis. Of these places the poet mentions only a few, because the rest of them had not yet been settled, or else were only wretched settlements, on account of the inundations which took place at various times. Indeed, he does not mention Lake Nessonis either, but Lake Boebeis only (though it is much smaller), because the latter alone persisted, whereas the former, in all probability, was at times filled at irregular intervals and at times gave out altogether. Scotussa I have already mentioned in my account of Dodona and of the oracle in Thessaly, saying that originally it was near this place. In the territory of Scotussa there is a place called Cynoscephalae, near which Titus Quintius and the Romans, along with the Aitolians, in a great battle conquered Philip the son of Demetrius, king of the Macedonians.,21. Magnetis, also, has been treated by Homer in about the same way. For although he has already enumerated many of the places in Magnetis, none of these are called Magnetan by him except those two places, and even these are designated by him in a dim and indistinct way: who dwelt about Peneius and Pelion with its shaking foliage. Assuredly, however, about the Peneius and Pelion lived those who held Gyrton, whom he had already named, as also those who held Ormenium, and several other Perrhaebian peoples; and yet farther away from Pelion there were still Magnetans, beginning with those subject to Eumelus, at least according to the writers of later times. These writers, however, on account of the continual migrations, changes of political administrations, and intermixture of tribes, seem to have confused both the names and the tribes, so that they sometimes present difficult questions for the writers of today. For example, this has proved true, in the first place, in the case of Crannon and Gyrton; for in earlier times the Gyrtonians were called Phlegyae, from Phlegyas, the brother of Ixion, and the Crannonians Ephyri, so that it is a difficult question who can be meant by the poet when he says, Verily these twain, going forth from Thrace, arm themselves to pursue the Ephyri, or to pursue the great-hearted Phlegyae.,22. Again, the same thing is true in the case of the Perrhaebians and Aenianians. For Homer connected the two, as living near one another; and in fact we are told by the writers of later times that for a long time the habitation of the Aenianians was in the Dotian Plain. This plain is near the Perrhaebia just mentioned above, and Ossa and Lake Boebeis; and while it is situated in the middle of Thessaly, yet it is enclosed all round by hills of its own. Concerning this plain Hesiod has spoken thus: Or as the unwedded virgin who, dwelling on the holy Didyman Hills, in the Dotian Plain, in front of Amyrus, bathed her foot in Lake Boebeis. Now as for the Aenianians, most of them were driven into Oita by the Lapiths; and there too they became predominant, having taken away certain parts of the country from the Dorians and the Malians as far as Heracleia and Echinus, although some remained in the neighborhood of Cyphus, a Perrhaebian mountain which had a settlement of the same name. As for the Perrhaebians, some of them drew together round the western parts of Olympus and stayed there, being neighbors to the Macedonians, but the greater part of them were driven out of their country into the mountains round Athamania and Pindus. But today little or no trace of them is preserved. At any rate, the Magnetans mentioned last by the poet in the Thessalian Catalogue should be regarded as those inside Tempe, extending from the Peneius and Ossa as far as Pelion, and bordering on the Pieriotae in Macedonia, who held the country on the far side of the Peneius as far as the sea. Now Homolium, or Homole (for it is spelled both ways), should be assigned to the Magnetans; as I have said in my description of Macedonia, it is close to Ossa, situated where the Peneius begins to discharge its waters through Tempe. And if one were to proceed as far as the seacoast nearest to Homolium, there is reason for assigning to them Rhizus and Erymnae, which were situated on that part of the seacoast which was subject to Philoctetes and on that which was subject to Eumelus. However, let this question remain undecided. And also the order of the places next thereafter as far as the Peneius is not plainly told by the poet; but since these places are without repute, neither should I myself regard the matter as of great importance. Cape Sepias, however, was afterwards celebrated both in tragedies and in hymns on account of the total destruction there of the Persian fleet. Sepias itself is a rocky cape, but between it and Casthanaea, a village situated at the foot of Pelion, is a beach where the fleet of Xerxes was lying in wait when, a violent east wind bursting forth, some of the ships were immediately driven high and dry on the beach and broken to pieces on the spot, and the others were carried along the coast to Ipni, one of the rugged places in the region of Pelion, or to Meliboea, or to Casthanaea, and destroyed. The whole voyage along the coast of Pelion is rough, a distance of about eighty stadia; and that along the coast of Ossa is equally long and rough. Between is a gulf more than two hundred stadia in circuit, on which is Meliboea. The whole voyage along the coast from Demetrias to the Peneius, following the sinuosities of the gulfs, is more than one thousand stadia in length, and from the Sperchius eight hundred more, and from the Euripus two thousand three hundred and fifty. Hieronymus declares that the plain country of Thessaly and Magnetis is three thousand stadia in circuit, and that it was inhabited by Pelasgians, and that these were driven out of their country by the Lapiths, and that the present Pelasgian Plain, as it is called, is that in which are situated Larisa, Gyrtone, Pherae, Mopsium, Boebeis, Ossa, Homole, Pelion, and Magnetis. Mopsium is named, not after Mopsus, the son of Manto the daughter of Teiresias, but after Mopsus the Lapith who sailed with the Argonauts. But Mopsopus, after whom the Attic Mopsopia is named, is a different person.,23. So much, then, for the several parts of Thessaly. But speaking of it as a whole, I may say that in earlier times it was called Pyrrhaea, after Pyrrha the wife of Deucalion, and Haemonia after Haemon, and Thessaly after Thessalus the son of Haemon. But some writers, dividing it into two parts, say that Deucalion obtained the portion towards the south and called it Pandora after his mother, and that the other part fell to Haemon, after whom it was called Haemonia, but that the former name was changed to Hellas, after Hellen the son of Deucalion, and the latter to Thessaly, after the son of Haemon. Some, however, say that descendants of Antiphus and Pheidippus, the sons of Thessalus the son of Heracles, invaded the country from Thesprotian Ephyra and named it after Thessalus, their own ancestor. And it has been said that the country too was once named Nessonis, like the lake, after Nesson the son of Thessalus.


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agriculture Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 7
architecture, temples (structure only), hellenistic age Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
cult of gods, goddesses, and heroes, of mother goddess Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
ephesus Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
epigoni, age of Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
eumenes i of pergamon Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
eunuchs Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
italy/italians Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
jünd dağ Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
mamurt kale Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
mediterranean, climate Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 7
mother goddess, aspordene Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
neolithic/chalcolithic age (ca. Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
olives Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 7
pergamon, attalids Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
pergamon, polis and royal residence Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
philetairos of pergamon Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
poseidonius Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
stoicism Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
strabo, heuristics Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
strabo Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
temple, demeter of pergamon Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
temple, meter aspordene (near pergamon) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
travel' Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8