Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.6.21 Str. 8.6.25 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.7.1


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

Polybius relates with regret what occurred at the capture of the city, and speaks of the indifference the soldiers showed for works of art, and the sacred offerings of the temples. He says, that he was present, and saw pictures thrown upon the ground, and soldiers playing at dice upon them. Among others, he specifies by name the picture of Bacchus [Note] by Aristeides, (to which it is said the proverb was applied, Nothing to the Bacchus,) and Hercules tortured in the robe, the gift of Deïaneira. [Note] This I have not myself seen, but I have seen the picture of the Bacchus suspended in the Demetreium at Rome, a very beautiful piece of art, which, together with the temple, was lately consumed by fire. The greatest number and the finest of the other offerings in Rome were brought from Corinth. Some of them were in the possession of the cities in the neighbourhood of Rome. For Mummius being more

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brave and generous than an admirer of the arts, presented them without hesitation to those who asked for them. [Note] Lucullus, having built the temple of Good Fortune, and a portico, requested of Mummius the use of some statues, under the pretext of ornamenting the temple with them at the time of its dedication, and promised to restore them. He did not, however, restore, but presented them as sacred offerings, and told Mummius to take them away if he pleased. Mummius did not resent this conduct, not caring about the statues, but obtained more honour than Lucullus, who presented them as sacred offerings.

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

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

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

The soil was not very fertile; its surface was uneven and

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rugged, whence all writers describe Corinth as full of brows of hills, and apply the proverb, Corinth rises with brows of hills, and sinks into hollows.

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

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

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

Phlius is situated in the middle of a circle formed by Sicyonia, Argeia, Cleonæ, and Stymphalus. At Phlius and at Sicyon the temple of Dia, a name given to Hebe, is held in veneration. 8.6.25

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

Sicyonia is separated by the river Nemea from the Corinthian territory. It was formerly governed for a very long pe- riod by tyrants, but they were always persons of mild and moderate disposition. Of these, the most illustrious was Aratus, who made the city free, and was the chief of the Achæans, who voluntarily conferred upon him that power;

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he extended the confederacy by annexing to it his own coun- try, and the other neighbouring cities.

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

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.6.21 Str. 8.6.25 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.7.1

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