Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 13.3.3 Str. 13.4.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 13.4.5

13.3.6

Cyme is the largest and best of the æolian cities. This and Lesbos may be considered the capitals of the other cities, about 30 in number, of which not a few exist no longer. The inhabitants of Cyme are ridiculed for their stupidity, for, according to some writers, it is said of them that they only began to let the tolls of the harbour three hundred years after the foundation of their city, and that before this time the town had never received any revenue of the kind; hence the report that it was late before they perceived that they inhabited a city lying on the sea.

There is another story, that, having borrowed money in the name of the state, they pledged their porticos as security for the payment of it. Afterwards, the money not having been repaid on the appointed day, they were prohibited from walking in them. The creditors, through shame, gave notice by the crier whenever it rained, that the inhabitants might take shelter under the porticos. As the crier called out, Go under the porticos, a report prevailed that the Cymæans did not perceive that they were to go under the porticos when it rained unless they had notice from the public crier. [Note]

Ephorus, a man indisputably of high repute, a disciple of Isocrates the orator, was a native of this city. He was an historian, and wrote the book on Inventions.

Hesiod the poet, who long preceded Ephorus, was a native of this place, for he himself says, that his father Dius left Cyme in æolis and migrated to the Bœotians; he dwelt near Helicon in Ascra, a village wretched in winter, in summer oppressive, and not pleasant at any season.

-- 399 --

It is not generally admitted that Homer was from Cyme, for many dispute about him.

The name of the city was derived from an Amazon, as that of Myrina was the name of an Amazon, buried under the Batieia in the plain of Troy; men call this Batieia; but the immortals, the tomb of the bounding Myrina. [Note]

Ephorus is bantered, because, having no achievements of his countrymen to commemorate among the other exploits in his history, and yet being unwilling to pass them over unnoticed, he exclaims, at this time the Cymæans were at peace.

After having described the Trojan and æolian coasts, we ought next to notice cursorily the interior of the country as far as Mount Taurus, observing the same order.

CHAPTER IV. 13.4.1

PERGAMUM [Note] has a kind of supremacy among these places. It is a city of note, and flourished during a long period under the Attalic kings; and here we shall begin our description, premising a short account of her kings, their origin, and the end of their career.

Pergamum was the treasure-hold of Lysimachus, the son of Agathocles, and one of the successors of Alexander. It is situated on the very summit of the mountain which terminates in a sharp peak like a pine-cone. Phileterus of Tyana was intrusted with the custody of this strong-hold, and of the treasure, which amounted to nine thousand talents. He became an eunuch in childhood by compression, for it happened that a great body of people being assembled to see a funeral, the nurse who was carrying Philetærus, then an infant, in her arms, was entangled in the crowd, and pressed upon to such a degree that the child was mutilated.

He was therefore an eunuch, but having been well educated he was thought worthy of this trust. He continued for

-- 400 --

some time well affected to Lysimachus, but upon a disagree ment with Arsinoë, the wife of Lysimachus, who had falsely accused him, he caused the place to revolt, and suited his political conduct to the times, perceiving them to be favourable to change. Lysimachus, overwhelmed with domestic troubles, was compelled to put to death Agathocles his son. Seleucus Nicator invaded his country and destroyed his power, but was himself treacherously slain by Ptolemy Ceraunus.

During these disorders the eunuch remained in the fortress, continually employing the policy of promises and other courtesies with those who were the strongest and nearest to himself. He thus continued master of the strong-hold for twenty years. 13.4.2

He had two brothers, the elder of whom was Eumenes, the younger Attalus. Eumenes had a son of the same name, who succeeded to the possession of Pergamum, and was then sovereign of the places around, so that he overcame in a battle near Sardes [Note] Antiochus, the son of Seleucus, and died after a reign of two-and-twenty years.

Attalus, the son of Attalus and Antiochis, daughter of Achæus, succeeded to the kingdom. He was the first person who was proclaimed king after a victory, which he obtained in a great battle with the Galatians. He became an ally of the Romans, and, in conjunction with the Rhodian fleet, assisted them in the war against Philip. He died in old age, having reigned forty-three years. He left four sons by Apollonis, a woman of Cyzicus,—Eumenes, Attalus, Philetærus, and Athenæus. The younger sons continued in a private station, but Eumenes, the elder, was king. He was an ally of the Romans in the war with Antiochus the Great, and with Perseus; he received from the Romans all the country within the Taurus which had belonged to Antiochus. Before this time there were not under the power of Pergamum many places which reached to the sea at the Elaïtic and the Adramyttene Gulfs. Eumenes embellished the city, he ornamented the Nicephorium [Note] with a grove, enriched it with votive offer-

-- 401 --

ings and a library, and by his care raised the city of Perga mum to its present magnificence. After he had reigned forty-nine years he left the kingdom to Attains, his son by Stratonice, daughter of Ariarathus, king of Cappadocia.

He appointed as guardian of his son, who was very young, [Note] and as regent of the kingdom, his brother Attalus, who died an old man after a reign of twenty years, having performed many glorious actions. He assisted Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, in the war against Alexander, the son of Antiochus, and was the ally of the Romans in the war against the Pseudo-Philip. In an expedition into Thrace he defeated and took prisoner Diegylis, king of the Cæni. [Note] He destroyed Prusias by exciting his son Nicomedes to rebel against his father. He left the kingdom to Attalus his ward. His cognomen was Philometor. He reigned five years, and died a natural death. He left the Romans his heirs. [Note] They made the country a province, and called it Asia by the name of the continent.

The Caïcus flows past Pergamum through the plain of Caïcus, as it is called, and traverses a very fertile country, indeed almost the best soil in Mysia.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 13.3.3 Str. 13.4.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 13.4.5

Powered by PhiloLogic