Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Str.].
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9.1.4After 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, [Note] 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 [Note] 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.

9.1.5In 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,"
[Note]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,"
[Note]he means the Athenians; and Megaris was a part of this Ionia.

9.1.6Furthermore, 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, [Note] his rule extended from the Isthmus to the Pythium, [Note] but according to Andron, [Note] 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."
[Note]These, then, are the proofs which writers use to show that Megaris was a part of Attica.

9.1.7But 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 [Note] 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.

9.1.8The 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.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.1.1 Str. 9.1.6 (GreekEnglish) >>Str. 9.1.10

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