Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 1.2.32 Str. 1.2.34 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 1.2.36

1.2.33

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. [Note]Iliad xiii. 1.
For the sons of magnanimous Œneus were no more, nor was he himself surviving; moreover, fair-haired Meleager was dead. [Note] He came to Ida—and to Gargarus. [Note]
Iliad viii. 47.

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He possessed Eubœa, Chalcis, and Eretria. [Note]
Iliad ii. 536.
Sappho likewise [says], Whether Cyprus, or the spacious-harboured Paphos. [Note]

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, Phœnice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians. [Note]

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. [Note] 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. [Note]
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 Phædimus presented, king
Of the Sidonians, when on my return
Beneath his roof I lodged. I make it thine. [Note]
Odyssey xv. 115.
Here the expression, work of Vulcan, must be looked upon as a hyperbole: in the same way all elegant productions are

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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
Phœnician merchants into Lemnos' port
Had borne it. [Note]
Iliad xxiii. 742.
1.2.34

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 [Note] and those of the the south, [Note] and again between each of these and the inhabitants of the middle region, [Note] 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 Arammæans, names greatly like those of the Armenians, Arabs, and Erembi. Perhaps this [last] term

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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 ἐμ<>αίνειν, (to go into the earth,) which [they say] was altered by the people of a later generation into the more intelligible name of Troglodytes, [Note] 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. [Note]
Odyssey 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. [Note]
Odyssey iv. 81.
Hesiod, in his Catalogue, [Note] 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. [Note]



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 1.2.32 Str. 1.2.34 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 1.2.36

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