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|<<Str. 9||Str. 10 (Greek English(2))||>>Str. 11|
The Tenth Book contains ætolia and the neighbouring islands; also the whole of Crete, on which the author dwells some time in narrating the institutions of the islanders and of the Curetes. He describes at length the origin of the Idæan Dactyli in Crete, their customs and religious rites. Strabo mentions the connexion of his own family with Crete. The Book contains an account of the numerous islands about Crete, including the Sporades and some of the Cyclades.
SINCE Eubœa [Note] stretches along the whole of this coast from Sunium to Thessaly, except the extremity on each side, [Note] it may be convenient to connect the description of this island with that of Thessaly. We shall then pass on to ætolia and Acarnania, parts of Europe of which it remains to give an account.10.1.2
It approaches nearest to the continent at Chalcis. It projects with a convex bend towards the places in Bœotia near Aulis, and forms the Euripus, [Note] of which we have before spoken at length. We have also mentioned nearly all the places on either side of the Euripus, opposite to each other across the strait, both on the continent and on the island. If anything is omitted we shall now give a further explanation.
And first, the parts lying between Aulis (Chalcis?) and the places about Geræstus are called the Hollows of Eubœa, for the sea-coast swells into bays, and, as it approaches Chalcis, juts out again towards the continent.10.1.3
The island had the name not of Macris only, but of
Abantis also. The poet in speaking of Eubœa never calls the
inhabitants from the name of the island, Eubœans, but always
they who possessed Eubœa, the resolute Abantes; [Note]
Aristotle says that Thracians, taking their departure from
Aba, the Phocian city, settled with the other inhabitants in
the island, and gave the name of Abantes to those who already occupied it; other writers say that they had their name
from a hero, [Note] as that of Eubœa was derived from a heroine. [Note]
But perhaps as a certain cave on the sea-coast fronting the
in his train Abantes were following.
ægean Sea is called Boos-Aule, (or the Cow's Stall.) where lo is said to have brought forth Epaphus, so the island may have had the name Eubœa [Note] on this account.
It was also called Oché, which is the name of one of the largest mountains [Note] there.
It had the name of Ellopia, from Ellops, the son of Ion; according to others, he was the brother of æclus, and Cothus, who is said to have founded Ellopia, [Note] a small place situated in the district called Oria of the Histiæotis, near the mountain Telethrius. [Note] He also possessed Histiæa, Perias, Cerinthus, ædepsus, [Note] and Orobie, where was an oracle very free from deception. There also was an oracle of Apollo Selinuntius.
The Ellopians, after the battle of Leuctra, were compelled by the tyrant Philistides to remove to the city Histiea, and augmented the number of its inhabitants. Demosthenes [Note] says that Philistides was appointed by Philip tyrant of the Oreitæ also, for afterwards the Histiæans had that name, and the city, instead of Histiæa, was called Oreus. According to some writers, Histiæa was colonized by Athenians from the demus of the Histiæeis, as Eretria was from the demus of the Eretrieis. But Theopompus says, that when Pericles had reduced Eubœa, the Histiæans agreed to remove into Macedonia, and that two thousand Athenians, who formerly composed the demus of the Histiæans, came, and founded Oreus. [Note]10.1.4
It is situated below Mount Telethrius, at a place called Drymus, near the river Callas, on a lofty rock; [Note] whence perhaps because the Ellopians, the former inhabitants, were a mountain tribe, [Note] the city had the name of Oreus. Orion, who was brought up there, seems to have had his name from the place. But according to some writers, the Oreitæ, who had a
city of their own, being attacked by the Ellopians, migrated, and settled with the Histiæans, and although it was a single city it had both appellations, as Lacedæmon and Sparta were the same city. We have said, that the Histiæotis in Thessaly had its name from the people who were carried away from this country by the Perrhæbi.10.1.5
As Ellopia induced us to commence our description with Histiæa and Oreus, we shall proceed with the places continuous with these.
The promontory Cenæum is near Oreus, and on the promontory is situated Dium, [Note] and Athenæ Diades, a town founded by Athenians, and overlooks the passage across the strait to Cynus. Canæ in æolia received colonists from Dium. These places are situated near Histiea, and besides these Cerinthus, a small city, close to the sea. Near it is a river Budorus, of the same name as the mountain in Salamis on the side of Attica,10.1.6
Geræstus [Note] is not mentioned by Homer in the Catalogue of the Ships; it is however mentioned by him elsewhere;
The vessels came to Geræstus by night; [Note]Od. iii. 177.
Next to Geræstus is Eretria, which, after Chalcis, is the largest city in Eubœa. Next follows Chalcis, the capital as it were of the island, situated immediately on the Euripus. Both these cities are said to have been founded by Athenians before the Trojan war; [but it is also said that] after the Trojan war, æclus and Cothus took their departure from Athens; the former to found Eretria, and Cothus, Chalcis. A body of æolians who belonged to the expedition of Penthilus remained in the island. Anciently, even Arabians [Note] settled there, who came over with Cadmus.
These cities, Eretria and Chalcis, when their population was greatly augmented, sent out considerable colonies to Macedonia, for Eretria founded cities about Pallene and Mount Athos; Chalcis founded some near Olynthus, which Philip destroyed. There are also many settlements in Italy and Sicily, founded by Chalcidians. These colonies were sent out, according to Aristotle, [Note] when the government of the Hippobatæ, (or Knights,) as it is called, was established; it was an aristocratical government, the heads of which held their office by virtue of the amount of their property. At the time that Alexander passed over into Asia, they enlarged the compass of the walls of their city, including within them Canethus, [Note] and the Euripus, and erected towers upon the bridge, a wall, and gates.10.1.9
Above the city of the Chalcidians is the plain called Lelantum, in which are hot springs, adapted to the cure of diseases, and which were used by Cornelius Sylla, the Roman general. There was also an extraordinary mine which produced both copper and iron; such, writers say, is not to be found elsewhere. At present, however, both are exhausted.
The whole of Eubœa is subject to earthquakes, especially
the part near the strait. It is also exposed to violent subterraneous blasts, like Bœotia, and other places of which I have
before spoken at length. [Note] The city of the same name as the
island is said to have been swallowed up by an earthquake. [Note]
It is mentioned by æschylus in his tragedy of Glaucus
Euboïs near the bending shore of Jupiter Cenæus, close to the tomb of
the wretched Lichas.
There is also in ætolia a town of the name of Chalcis,
Chalcis on the sea-coast, and the rocky Calydon, [Note]Il. ii. 640.
they passed along Cruni, and the rocky Chalcis, [Note]Od. xv. 295.
Some say, that the Eretrians were a colony from Macistus in Triphylia, under the conduct of Eretrieus; others, that they came from Eretria, in Attica, where now a market is held. There is an Eretria also near Pharsalus. In the Eretrian district there was a city, Tamynæ, sacred to Apollo. The temple (which was near the strait) is said to have been built by Admetus, whom the god, according to report, served a year [Note] for hire.
Eretria, [Note] formerly, had the names of Melaneïs and Arotria. The village Amarynthus, at the distance of 7 stadia from the walls, belongs to it.
The Persians razed the ancient city, having enclosed with multitudes the inhabitants, according to the expression of Herodotus, [Note] in a net, by spreading the Barbarians around the walls. The foundations are still shown, and the place is called ancient Eretria. The present city is built near it.
The power which the Eretrians once possessed, is evinced by a pillar which was placed in the temple of Diana Amarynthia. There is an inscription on it to this effect, that their processions upon their public festivals consisted of three thousand heavy-armed soldiers, six hundred horsemen, and
sixty chariots. They were masters, besides other islands, of
Andros, Tenos, and Ceos. They received colonists from
Elis, whence their frequent use of the letter R, (,) [Note] not only
at the end, but in the middle of words, which exposed them
to the raillery of comic writers.
Œchalia, [Note] a village, the remains of a city destroyed by
Hercules, belongs to the district of Eretria. It has the same
name as that in Trachinia, as that near Tricca, [Note] as that in
Arcadia, (which later writers call Andania,) and as that in
ætolia near the Eurytanes.
11. At present Chalcis [Note] is allowed, without dispute, to hold
the first rank, and is called the capital of the Eubœans.
Eretria holds the second place. Even in former times these
cities had great influence both in war and peace, so that
they afforded to philosophers an agreeable and tranquil retreat. A proof of this is the establishment at Eretria of the
school of Eretrian philosophers, disciples of Menedemus; and
at an earlier period the residence of Aristotle [Note]
13. The Eubœans excelled in standing [Note] fight, which was
also called close fight, [Note] and fight hand to hand. [Note] They used
spears extended at length according to the words of the poet;
warriors eager to break through breastplates with extended ashen
The missile weapons were perhaps of different kinds, as, probably, was the ashen spear of Pelion, which, as the poet says,
Achilles alone knew how to hurl. [Note]Il. xix. 389.
I strike farther with a spear than any other person with an arrow, [Note]Od. viii. 229.
he wounded him with a polished spear, pointed with brass, and unbraced his limbs. [Note]
He represents the Eubœans as fighting in this manner; but
he describes the Locrian mode as contrary to this;
It was not their practice to engage in close fight, but they followed him
to Ilium with their bows, clothed in the pliant fleece of the sheep. [Note]
An answer of an oracle is commonly repeated, which was returned to the ægienses;
a Thessalian horse, a Lacedæmonian woman, and the men who drink
the water of the sacred Arethusa,
meaning the Chalcideans as superior to all other people, for
Arethusa belongs to them.
At present the rivers of Eubœa are the Cereus and Neleus. The cattle which drink of the water of the former become white, and those that drink of the water of the latter become black. We have said that a similar effect is produced by the water of the Crathis. [Note]10.1.15
As some of the Eubœans, on their return from Troy, were driven out of their course among the Illyrians; pursued their journey homewards through Macedonia, and stopped in the neighbourhood of Edessa; having assisted the people in a war, who had received them hospitably; they founded a city,
Eubœa. There was a Eubœa in Sicily, founded by the Chalcideans, who were settled there. It was destroyed by Gelon, and became a strong-hold of the Syracusans. In Corcyra also, and at Lemnus, there was a place called Eubœa, and a hill of this name in the Argive territory.10.1.16
We have said, that ætolians, Acarnanians, and Athamanes are situated to the west of the Thessalians and Œtæans, if indeed we must call the Athamanes, [Note] Greeks. It remains, in order that we may complete the description of Greece, to give some account of these people, of the islands which lie nearest to Greece, and are inhabited by Greeks, which we have not yet mentioned.
æTOLIANS and Acarnanians border on one another, having between them the river Achelous, [Note] which flows from the north, and from Pindus towards the south, through the country of the Agræi, an ætolian tribe, and of the Amphilochians.
Acarnanians occupy the western side of the river as far as the Ambracian Gulf, [Note] opposite to the Amphilochians, and the temple of Apollo Actius. ætolians occupy the part towards the east as far as the Locri Ozolæ, Parnassus, and the Œtæans.
Amphilochians are situated above the Acarnanians in the interior towards the north; above the Amphilochians are situated Dolopes, and Mount Pindus; above the ætolians are Perrhæbi, Athamanes, and a body of the ænianes who occupy Œta.
The southern side, as well the Acarnanian as the ætolian, is washed by the sea, forming the Corinthian Gulf, into which the Achelous empties itself. This river (at its mouth) is the boundary of the ætolian and the Acarnanian coast. The Achelous was formerly called Thoas. There is a river of this name near Dyme, [Note] as we have said, and another near Lamia. [Note] We have also said, [Note] that the mouth of this river is
considered by some writers as the commencement of the Corinthian Gulf.10.2.2
The cities of the Acarnanians are, Anactorium, situated upon a peninsula [Note] near Actium, and a mart of Nicopolis, which has been built in our time; Stratus, [Note] to which vessels sail up the Achelous, a distance of more than 200 stadia; and $Oeniadæ [Note] is also on the banks of the river. The ancient city is not inhabited, and lies at an equal distance from the sea and from Stratus. The present city is at the distance of 70 stadia above the mouth of the river.
Stratus lies half-way between Alyzia and Anactorium. [Note]10.2.3
To the ætolians belong both Calydon [Note] and Pleuron, which at present are in a reduced condition, but, anciently, these settlements were an ornament to Greece.
ætolia was divided into two portions, one called the Old, the other the Epictetus (the Acquired). The Old comprised the sea-coast from the Achelous as far as Calydon, extending far into the inland parts, which are fertile, and consist of plains. Here are situated Stratus and Trichonium, which has an excellent soil. The Epictetus, that reaches close to the Locri in the direction of Naupactus [Note] and Eupalium, [Note]
is a rugged and sterile tract, extending as far as Œtæa, to the territory of the Athamanes, and the mountains and nations following next in order, and which lie around towards the north.10.2.4
There is in ætolia a very large mountain, the Corax, [Note] which is contiguous to Œta. Among the other mountains, more in the middle of the country, is the Aracynthus, [Note] near which the founders built the modern Pleuron, having abandoned the ancient city situated near Calydon, which was in a fertile plain country, when Demetrius, surnamed ætolicus, laid waste the district.
Above Molycreia [Note] are Taphiassus [Note] and Chalcis, [Note] mountains of considerable height, on which are situated the small cities, Macynia and Chalcis, (having the same name as the mountain,) or, as it is also called, Hypochalcis. Mount Curium is near the ancient Pleuron, from which some supposed the Pleuronii had the appellation of Curetes.10.2.5
The river Evenus rises in the country of the Bomianses, a nation situated among the Ophienses, and an ætolian tribe like the Eurytanes, Agræi, Curetes, and others. It does not flow, at its commencement, through the territory of the Curetes, which is the same as Pleuronia, but through the country more towards the east along Chalcis and Calydon; it then makes a bend backwards to the plains of the ancient Pleuron, and having changed its course to the west, turns again to the south, where it empties itself. It was formerly called Lycormas. There Nessus, who had the post of ferryman, is said to have been killed by Hercules for having attempted to force Deianeira while he was conveying her across the river.10.2.6
The poet calls Olenus and Pylene ætolian cities, the former of which, of the same name as the Achæan city, was razed by the æolians. It is near the new city Pleuron. The Acarnanians disputed the possession of the territory. They transferred Pylene to a higher situation, and changed its name to Proschium. Hellanicus was not at all acquainted with the history of these cities, but speaks of them as still existing in their ancient condition, but Macynia and Molycria, which were built subsequent to the return of the Heracleidæ,
he enumerates among ancient cities, and shows the greatest carelessness in almost every part of his work.10.2.7
This, then, is the general account of the country of the Acarnanians and ætolians. We must annex to this some description of the sea-coast and of the islands lying in front of it.
If we begin from the entrance of the Ambracian Gulf, the first place we meet with in Acarnania is Actium. The temple of Apollo Actius has the same name as the promontory, which forms the entrance of the Gulf, and has a harbour on the outside.
At the distance of 40 stadia from the temple is Anactorium, situated on the Gulf; and at the distance of 240 stadia is Leucas. [Note]10.2.8
This was, anciently, a peninsula belonging to the territory of the Acarnanians. The poet calls it the coast of
Epirus, meaning by Epirus the country on the other side of
Ithaca, [Note] and Cephallenia, [Note] which country is Acarnania; so
that by the words of the poet,
the coast of Epirus,
we must understand the coast of Acarnania.
To Leucas also belonged Neritus, which Lærtes said he
as when I was chief of the Cephallenians, and took Nericus, a well built city, on the coast of Epirus, [Note]
and the cities which he mentions in the Catalogue,
and they who inhabited Crocyleia, and the rugged ægilips. [Note]Il. ii. 633.
9. It has upon it the temple of Apollo Leucatas, and the
Leap, which, it was thought, was a termination of love.
Here Sappho first 'tis said, (according to Menander,) in pursuit of
the haughty Phaon, and urged on by maddening desire, threw herself [Note]
from the aerial rock, imploring Thee, Lord, and King.
Menander then says that Sappho was the first who took the
leap, but persons better acquainted with ancient accounts assert that it was Cephalus, who was in love with Pterelas, the
son of Deioneus. [Note] It was also a custom of the country among
the Leucadians at the annual sacrifice performed in honour of
Apollo, to precipitate from the rock one of the condemned
criminals, with a view to avert evil. Various kinds of wings
were attached to him, and even birds were suspended from his
body, to lighten by their fluttering the fall of the leap. Below many persons were stationed around in small fishing boats
to receive, and to preserve his life, if possible, and to carry
him beyond the boundaries of the country. The author of
the Alcmæonis says that Icarius, the father of Penelope, had
two sons, Alyzeus, and Leucadius, who reigned after their
father in Acarnania, whence Ephorus thinks that the cities
were called after their names.
At present those are called Cephallenians who inhabit
Cepliallenia. But Homer calls all those under the command
of Ulysses by this name, among whom are the Acarnanians;
for when he says,
Ulysses led the Cephallenians, those who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum, waving with woods, [Note]
(the remarkable mountain in this island; so also,
they who came from Dulichium, and the sacred Echinades, [Note]Il. ii. 625.
Buprasium and Elis, [Note]Il. ii. 615.
they who inhabited Eubœa, Chalcis, and Eretria, [Note]Il. ii. 536.
Trojans, Lycians, and Dardanians, [Note]Il. viii. 173.
and these also were Trojans): but after mentioning Neritum,
and they who inhabited Crocyleia and rocky ægilips, Zacynthus, Samos, Epirus, and the country opposite to these islands; [Note]
he means by Epirus the country opposite to the islands, intending to include together with Leucas the rest of Acarnania,
of which he says,
twelve herds, and as many flocks of sheep in Epirus, [Note]Od. xiv. 100.
The present Cephallenia he calls Samos, as when he says,
in the strait between Ithaca and the hilly Samos, [Note]Od. iv. 671
all the chiefs of the islands, Dulichium, Same, and the woody Zacynthus, [Note]Od. i. 246.
But Apollodorus at one time says that the ambiguity is removed by the epithet, which the poet uses, when he says,
and hilly Samos,
meaning the island; and at another time he pretends that we
ought to write
Dulichium, and Samos,
and evidently supposes that the city is called by either name,
Samos or Samé, but the island by that of Samos only. That
the city is called Same is evident from the enumeration of
the suitors from each city, where the poet says,
there are four and twenty from Samé, [Note]Od. xvi. 249.
they afterwards gave her in marriage at Samé. [Note]Od. xv. 366.
There is reason in this. For the poet does not express himself distinctly either about Cephallenia, or Ithaca, or the other neighbouring places, so that both historians and commentators differ from one another.10.2.11
For instance, with respect to Ithaca, when the poet
and they who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum with its waving woods, [Note]Il. ii. 632.
I dwell at Ithaca, turned to the western sun; where is a mountain,
Neritum, seen from afar with its waving woods; [Note]
but whether he means the city, or the island, is not clear, at
least from this verse;
they who possessed Ithaca, and Neritum.
Any one would understand these words in their proper sense
to mean the city, as we speak of Athens, Lycabettus, Rhodes,
Atabyris, Lacedæmon, and Taygetus, but in a poetical sense
the contrary is implied.
In the verses,
I dwell at Ithaca, turned to the western sun, in which is a mountain
the meaning is plain, because the mountain is on the island
and not in the city; and when he says,
we came from Ithaca situated under Neium, [Note]Od. iii. 81.
But this line seems to imply some contradiction;
it lies in the sea both low, and very high, [Note]Od. ix. 25.
The expression does imply contradictions, which admit how-
ever of some explanation. They do not understand χθαμαλὴ
to signify in that place low, but its contiguity to the continent, to which it approaches very close; nor by πανυπετάτη
great elevation, but the farthest advance towards darkness,
(πὸς ζόφον,) that is, placed towards the north more than all
the other islands, for this is what the poet means by towards
darkness, the contrary to which is towards the south, (πὸς
the rest far off (ἄνευφε) towards the morning, and the sun. [Note]Od. ix. 26.
whether they go to the right hand, towards the morning and the sun, or
to the left, towards cloudy darkness; [Note]
and still more evidently in these lines,
my friends, we know not where darkness nor where morning lie, nor
where sets nor where rises the sun which brings light to man. [Note]
We may here understand the four climates, [Note] and suppose the
morning to denote the southern part (of the heavens), and
this has some probability; but it is better to consider what
is near to the path of the sun to be opposite to the northern
part (of the heavens). For the speech in Homer is intended
to indicate some great change in the celestial appearances, not
a mere obscuration of the climates. For this must happen
during every cloudy season either by day or by night. Now the celestial appearances alter very much as we advance more or less towards the south, or the contrary; but this alteration does not prevent our observing the setting and rising of the sun, for in fine weather these phenomena are always visible whether in the south or the north. For the pole is the most northerly point: when this moves, and is sometimes over our heads and sometimes below the earth, the arctic circles change their position with it. Sometimes they disappear during these movements, so that you cannot discern the position of the northern climate, nor where it commences; [Note] and if this is so, neither can you distinguish the contrary climate.
The circuit of Ithaca is about 80 [Note] stadia. So much then concerning Ithaca.10.2.13
The poet does not mention Cephallenia, which contains four cities, by its present name, nor any of the cities except one, either Samé or Samos, which no longer exists, but traces of it are shown in the middle of the Strait near Ithaca. The inhabitants have the name of Samæ. The rest still exist at present, they are small cities, Paleis, Pronesus, and Cranii. In our time Caius Antonius, the uncle of Marcus Antonius, founded an additional city, when (being an exile after his consulship in which he was the colleague of Cicero the orator) he lived at Cephallenia, and was master of the whole island, as if it had been his own property. He returned from exile before he completed the foundation of the settlement, and died when engaged in more important affairs.10.2.14
Some writers do not hesitate to affirm, that Cephallenia
and Dulichium are the same; others identify it with Taphos,
and the Cephallenians with Taphians, and these again with
Teleboæ. They assert that Amphitryon, with the aid of Cephalus, the son of Deioneus, an exile from Athens, undertook
an expedition against the island, and having got possession of
it, delivered it up to Cephalus; hence this city bore his name,
and the rest those of his children. But this is not in accordance with Homer, for the Cephallenians were subject to
Ulysses and Lærtes, and Taphos to Mentes;
I boast that I am Mentes, son of the valiant Anchialus,
Od. i. 181.
And king of the Taphians, skilful rowers. [Note]
Taphos is now called Taphius. [Note] Nor does Hellanicus follow Homer when he calls Cephallenia, Dulichium, for Dulichium, and the other Echinades, are said to be under the command of Meges, and the inhabitants, Epeii, who came from Elis; wherefore he calls Otus the Cyllenian,
companion of Phyleides, chief of the magnanimous Epeii; [Note]
but Ulysses led the magnanimous Cephallenes. [Note]
Neither, as Andro asserts, is Cephallenia, according to Homer,
Dulichium, nor does Dulichium belong to Cephallenia, for
Epeii possessed Dulichium, and Cephallenians the whole of
Cephallenia, the former of whom were under the command
of Ulysses, the latter of Meges. Paleis is not called Dulichium by Homer, as Pherecydes says. But he who asserts
that Cephallenia and Dulichium are the same contradicts
most strongly the account of Homer; for as fifty-two of the
suitors came from Dulichium, and twenty-four from Samé,
would he not say, that from the whole island came such a
number of suitors, and from a single city of the four came
half the number within two? If any one should admit this,
we shall inquire what the Samé could be, which is mentioned
in this line,
Dulichium and Samé, and the woody Zacynthus. [Note]Od. i. 246.
Cephallenia is situated opposite to Acarnania, at the distance from Leucatas of about 50, or according to others, of 40
stadia, and from Chelonatas [Note] of about 80 stadia. It is about 300
Between Ithaca and Cephallenia is the small island
Asteria, [Note] or Asteris, as t is called by the poet, which, according to Demetrius, the Scepsian, does not remain in the state
described by the poet,
there are harbours in it, open on both sides, for the reception of vessels. [Note]Od. iv. 846.
The poet also gives the name of Samos to Thracia,
which we now call Samothracé. He was probably acquainted
with the Ionian island, for he seems to have been acquainted
with the Ionian migration. He would not, otherwise, have
made a distinction between islands of the same names, for in
speaking of Samothrace, he makes the distinction sometimes
by the epithet,
on high, upon the loftiest summit of the woody Samos, the Thracian, [Note]Il. xiii. 12.
to Samos, and Imbros, and inaccessible Lemnos; [Note]Il. xxiv. 753.
between Samos and rocky Imbros. [Note]Il. xxiv. 78.
called Sami, [Note] and that the island obtained its name from this
circumstance, for from thence
was seen all Ida, the city of Priam, and the ships of the Greeks. [Note]Il. xiii. 13.
one of the Saii is exulting in the possession of an honourable shield,
which I left against my will near a thicket.
Of the islands subject to Ulysses there remains to be described Zacynthus. [Note] It verges a little more than Cephallenia to the west of Peloponnesus, but approaches closer to it. It is 160 stadia in circumference, and distant from Cephallenia about 60 stadia. It is woody, but fertile, and has a considerable city of the same name. Thence to the Hesperides belonging to Africa are 3300 [Note] stadia.10.2.19
To the east of this island, and of Cephallenia, are situated the Echinades [Note] islands; among which is Dulichium, at present called Dolicha, and the islands called Oxeiæ, to which the poet gives the name of Thoæ. [Note]
Dolicha is situated opposite to the Œniadæ, and the mouth of the Achelous: it is distant from Araxus, [Note] the promontory of Elis, 100 stadia. The rest of the Echinades are numerous, they are all barren and rocky, and lie in front of the mouth of the Achelous, the most remote of them at the distance of 15, the nearest at the distance of 5 stadia; they formerly were farther out at sea, but the accumulation of earth, which is brought down in great quantity by the Achelous, has already joined some, and will join others, to the continent. This accumulation of soil anciently formed the tract Paracheloitis, which the river overflows, a subject of contention, as it was continually confounding boundaries, which had been determined by the Acarnanians and the ætolians. For want of arbitrators they decided their dispute by arms. The most
powerful gained the victory. This gave occasion to a fable,
how Hercules overcame the Achelous in fight, and received in
marriage as the prize of his victory, Deianeira, daughter of
Œneus. Sophocles introduces her, saying,
My suitor was a river, I mean the Achelous, who demanded me of my
father under three forms; one while coming as a bull of perfect form,
another time as a spotted writhing serpent, at another with the body of a
man and the forehead of a bull. [Note]
Some writers add, that this was the horn of Amaltheia, which
Hercules broke off from the Achelous, and presented to
Œneus as a bridal gift. Others, conjecturing the truth included in this story, say, that Achelous is reported to have
resembled a bull, like other rivers, in the roar of their waters,
and the bendings of their streams, which they term horns;
and a serpent from its length and oblique course; and bull-fronted because it was compared to a bull's head; and that
Hercules, who, on other occasions, was disposed to perform
acts of kindness for the public benefit, so particularly, when he
was desirous of contracting an alliance with Œneus, performed
for him these services; he prevented the river from overflowing its banks, by constructing mounds and by diverting its
streams by canals, and by draining a large tract of the Paracheloitis, which had been injured by the river; and this is the
horn of Amaltheia.
Homer says, that in the time of the Trojan war the Echinades, and the Oxeiæ were subject to Meges,
son of the hero Phyleus, beloved of Jupiter, who formerly repaired to
Dulichium on account of a quarrel with his father. [Note]
The father of Phyleus was Augeas, king of Elis, and of the
Epeii. The Epeii then, who possessed these islands, were
those who had migrated to Dulichium with Phyleus.
The islands of the Taphii, and formerly of the Teleboæ, among which was Taphus, now called Taphius, were distinct from the Echinades, not separated by distance, (for they lie near one another,) but because they were ranged under different chiefs, Taphii and Teleboæ. In earlier times Amphitryon, in conjunction with Cephalus, the son of Deioneus, an exile from Athens, attacked, and then delivered them up to the government of Cephalus. But the poet says that
Mentes was their chief, and calls them robbers, which was the character of all the Teleboæ.
So much then concerning the islands off Acarnania.10.2.21
Between Leucas and the Ambracian gulf is a sea-lake, called Myrtuntium. [Note] Next to Leucas followed Palerus, and Alyzia, cities of Acarnania, of which Alyzia is distant from the sea 15 stadia. Opposite to it is a harbour sacred to Hercules, and a grove from whence a Roman governor transported to Rome the labours of Hercules, the workmanship of Lysippus, which was lying in an unsuitable place, being a deserted spot. [Note]
Next are Crithote, [Note] a promontory, and the Echinades, and Astacus, used in the singular number, a city of the same name as that near Nicomedia, and the Gulf of Astacus, Crithote, a city of the same name as that in the Thracian Chersonesus. All the coast between these places has good harbours. Then follows $Oeniadæ, and the Achelous; then a lake belonging to the $Oeniadæ, called Melite, 30 stadia in length, and in breadth 20; then another Cynia, of double the breadth and length of Melite; a third Uria, [Note] much less than either of the former. Cynia even empties itself into the sea; the others are situated above it at the distance of about half a stadium.
Next is the river Evenus, which is distant from Actium 670 stadia.
Then follows the mountain Chalcis, which Artemidorus calls Chalcia; [next Pleuron, then Licyrna, a village, above which in the interior is situated Calydon at the distance of 30 stadia. Near Calydon is the temple of Apollo Laphrius;] [Note] then the mountain Taphiassus; then Macynia, a city; then Molycria, and near it Antirrhium, the boundary of ætolia and of Locris. To Antirrhium from the Evenus are about 120 stadia.
Artemidorus does not place the mountain, whether Chalcis or Chalcia, between the Achelous and Pleuron, but Apollo-
dorus, as I have said before, places Chalcis and Taphiassus above Molycria; and Calydon between Pleuron and Chalcis. Are we then to place one mountain of the name of Chalcia near Pleuron, and another of the name of Chalcis near Molycria?
Near Calydon is a large lake, abounding with fish. It belongs to the Romans of Patræ.10.2.22
Apollodorus says, that there is in the inland parts of
Acarnania, a tribe of Erysichæi, mentioned by Aleman,
not an Erysichæan, nor a shepherd; but I came from the extremities
Olenus belonged to ætolia; Homer mentions it in the ætolian Catalogue, [Note] but traces alone remain of it near Pleuron
below Aracynthus. [Note]
Lysimachia also was near Olenus. This place has disappeared. It was situated upon the lake, the present Lysimachia, formerly Hydra, between Pleuron and the city Arsinoë, [Note] formerly a village of the name of Conopa. It was founded by Arsinoë, wife and also sister of the second Ptolemy. It is conveniently situated above the passage across the Achelous.
Pylene has experienced nearly the same fate as Olenus.
When the poet describes Calydon [Note] as lofty, and rocky, we must understand these epithets as relating to the character of the country. For we have said before, that when they divided the country into two parts, they assigned the mountainous portion and the Epictetus [Note] to Calydon, and the tract of plains to Pleuron.10.2.23
The Acarnanians, and the ætolians, like many other nations, are at present worn out, and exhausted by continual wars. The ætolians however, in conjunction with the Acarnanians, during a long period withstood the Macedonians and the other Greeks, and lastly the Romans, in their contest for independence.
But since Homer, and others, both poets and historians, frequently mention them, sometimes in clear and undisputed terms, and sometimes less explicitly, as appears from what we have already said of these people, we must avail ourselves of some of the more ancient accounts, which will supply us with
a beginning, or with an occasion of inquiring into what is controverted.10.2.24
First then with respect to Acarnania. We have already said, that it was occupied by Lærtes and the Cephallenians; but as many writers have advanced statements respecting the first occupants in terms sufficiently clear, indeed, but contradictory, the inquiry and discussion are left open to us.
They say, that the Taphii and Teleboæ, as they are called, were the first inhabitants of Acarnania, and that their chief, Cephalus, who was appointed by Amphitryon sovereign of the islands about Taphus, was master also of this country. Hence is related of him the fable, that he was the first person who took the reputed leap from Leucatas. But the poet does not say, that the Taphii inhabited Acarnania before the arrival of the Cephallenians and Lærtes, but that they were friends of the Ithacenses; consequently, in his time, either they had not the entire command of these places, or had voluntarily retired, or had even become joint settlers.
A colony of certain from Lacedæmon seems to have settled
in Acarnania, who were followers of Icarius, father of Penelope, for the poet in the Odyssey represents him and the
brothers of Penelope as then living;
who did not dare to go to the palace of Icarius with a view of his disposing of his daughter in marriage. [Note]
And with respect to the brothers;
for now a long time both her father and her brothers were urging her
to marry Eurymachus. [Note]
Nor is it probable that they were living at Lacedæmon, for
Telemachus would not, in that case, have been the guest of
Menelaus upon his arrival, nor is there a tradition, that they
had any other habitation. But they say that Tyndareus and
his brother Icarius, after being banished from their own
country by Hippocoon, repaired to Thestius, the king of the
Pleuronii, and assisted in obtaining possession of a large
tract of country on the other side of the Achelous on condition of receiving a portion of it; that Tyndareus, having
espoused Leda the daughter of Thestius, returned home; that
Icarius continued there in possession of a portion of Acarnania, and had Penelope and her brothers by his wife Poly-
casta, daughter of Lygæus.
We lave shown by the Catalogue of the Ships in Homer,
that the Acarnanians were enumerated among the people who
took part in the war of Troy; and among these are reckoned
the inhabitants of the Acté, and besides these,
they who occupied Epirus, and cultivated the land opposite.
But Epirus was never called Acarnania, nor Acté, Leucas.
Ephorus does not say that they took part in the expedition against Troy; but he says that Alcmæon, the son of Amphiaraus, who was the companion of Diomede, and the other Epigoni in their expedition, having brought the war against the Thebans to a successful issue, went with Diomede to assist in punishing the enemies of Œneus, and having delivered up ætolia to Diomede, he himself passed over into Acarnania, which country also he subdued. In the mean time Agamemnon attacked the Argives, and easily overcame them, the greatest part having attached themselves to the followers of Diomede. But a short time afterwards, when the expedition took place against Troy, he was afraid, lest, in his absence with the army, Diomede and his troops should return home, (for there was a rumour that he had collected a large force,) and should regain possession of a territory to which they had the best right, one being the heir of Adrastus, the other of his father. Reflecting then on these circumstances, he invited them to unite in the recovery of Argos, and to take part in the war. Diomede consented to take part in the expedition, but Alcmæon was indignant and refused; whence the Acarnanians were the only people who did not participate in the expedition with the Greeks. The Acarnanians, probably by following this account, are said to have imposed upon the Romans, and to have obtained from them the privilege of an independent state, because they alone had not taken part in the expedition against the ancestors of the Romans, for their names are neither in the ætolian Catalogue, nor are they mentioned by themselves, nor is their name mentioned anywhere in the poem.10.2.26
Ephorus then having represented Acarnania as subject to Alcmeon before the Trojan war, ascribes to him the foundation of Amphilochian Argos, and says that Acarnania had its name from his son Acarnan, and the Amphilochians from his brother Amphilochus; thus he turns aside to reports contrary to the history in Homer. But Thucydides and other
writers say, that Amphilochus, on his return from the Trojan expedition, being displeased with the state of affairs at Argos, dwelt in this country; according to some writers, he obtained it by succeeding to the dominions of his brother; others represent it differently. So much then respecting the Acarnanians considered by themselves. We shall now speak of their affairs where they are intermixed in common with those of the ætolians, and we shall then relate as much of the history of the ætolians as we proposed to add to our former account of this people.
SOME writers reckon the Curetes among the Acarnanians, others among the ætolians; some allege that they came
from Crete, others that they came from Eubœa. Since,
however, they are mentioned by Homer, we must first examine his account of them. It is thought that he does not
mean the Acarnanians, but the ætolians, in the following
verses, for the sons of Porthaon were,
Agrius, Melas, and the hero Œneus,
Il. xiv. 116.
These dwelt at Pleuron, and the lofty Calydon, [Note]
Curetes and ætolians, firm in battle, were fighting for the city Calydon, [Note]Il. ix. 525.
Bœotians and Thebans were contending against each other,
Argives and Peloponnesians.
But we have shown in a former part of this work, that this
mode of expression is usual with Homer, and even trite among
other poets. This objection then is easily answered. But
let the objectors explain, how, if these people were not æto-
lians, the poet came to reckon the Pleuronii among the æto lians.10.3.2
Ephorus, after having asserted that the nation of the
ætolians were never in subjection to any other people, but,
from all times of which any memorial remains, their country
continued exempt from the ravages of war, both on account of
its local obstacles and their own experience in warfare, says,
that from the beginning Curetes were in possession of the
whole country, but on the arrival of ætōlus, the son of Endy-
nion, from Elis, who defeated them in various battles, the
Curetes retreated to the present Acarnania, and the ætolians
returned with a body of Epeii, and founded ten of the most
ancient cities in ætolia; and in the tenth generation afterwards Elis was founded, in conjunction with that people, by
Oxylus, the son of Hæmon, who had passed over from ætolia.
They produce, as proofs of these facts, inscriptions, one
sculptured on the base of the statue of ætolus at Therma in
ætolia, where, according to the custom of the country, they
assemble to elect their magistrates;
this statue of ætolus, son of Endymion, brought up near the streams of
the Alpheius, and in the neighbourhood of the stadia of Olympia, ætolians
dedicated as a public monument of his merits.
And the other inscription on the statue of Oxylus is in the
market-place of Elis;
ætolus, having formerly abandoned the original inhabitants of this
country, won by the toils of war the land of the Curetes. But Oxylus,
the son of Hæmon, the tenth scion of that race, founded this ancient
He rightly alleges, as a proof of the affinity subsisting reciprocally between the Eleii and the $Etolians, these inscriptions, both of which recognise not the affinity alone, but also that their founders had established settlers in each other's country. Whence he clearly convicts those of falsehood who assert, that the Eleii were a colony of ætolians, and that the ætolians were not a colony of Eleii. But he seems to exhibit the same inconsistency in his positions here, that we proved with regard to the oracle at Delphi. For after asserting that ætolia had never been ravaged by war from all time of which there was any memorial, and saying, that from the first the Curetes were in possession of this country, he [Note]
ought to have inferred from such premises, that the Curetes
continued to occupy the country of ætolia to his days. For
in this manner it might be understood never to have been
devastated, nor in subjection to any other nation. But forgetting his position, he does not infer this, but the contrary,
that ætolus came from Elis, and having defeated the Curetes
in various battles, these people retreated into Acarnania.
What else then is there peculiar to the devastation of a country
than the defeat of the inhabitants in war and their abandonment of their land, which is evinced by the inscription among
the Eleii; for speaking of ætolus the words are,
he obtained possession of the country of the Curetes by the continued
toils of war.
But perhaps some person may say, that he means ætolia was not laid waste, reckoning from the time that it had this name after the arrival of ætolus; but he takes away the ground of this supposition, by saying afterwards, that the greatest part of the people, that remained among the ætolians, were those called Epeii, with whom ætolians were afterwards intermingled, who had been expelled from Thessaly together with Bœotians, and possessed the country in common with these people. But is it probable that, without any hostilities, they invaded the country of another nation and divided it among themselves and the original possessors, who did not require such a partition of their land? If this is not probable, is it to be believed that the victors agreed to an equal division of the territory? What else then is devastation of a country, but the conquest of it by arms? Besides, Apollodorus says that, according to history, the Hyantes abandoned Bœotia and came and settled among the ætolians, and concludes as confident that his opinion is right by saying it is our custom to relate these and similar facts exactly, whenever any of them is altogether dubious, or concerning which erroneous opinions are entertained.10.3.5
Notwithstanding these faults in Ephorus, still he is superior to other writers. Polybius himself, who has studiously given him so much praise, has said that Eudoxus has written well on Grecian affairs, but that Ephorus has given the best account of the foundation of cities, of the relationship subsisting between nations, of changes of settlements, and of leaders of colonies, in these words, but I shall explain the
present state of places, both as to position and distances; for
this is the peculiar province of chorography. [Note]
But you, Polybius, who introduce popular hearsay, and rumours on the subject of distances, not only of places beyond Greece, but in Greece itself, have you not been called to answer the charges sometimes of Posidonius, sometimes of Artemidorus, and of many other writers? ought you not therefore to excuse us, and not to be offended, if in transferring into our own work a large part of the historical poets from such writers we commit some errors, and to commend us when we are generally more exact in what we say than others, or supply what they omitted through want of information.10.3.6
With respect to the Curetes, some facts are related which belong more immediately, some more remotely, to the history of the ætolians and Acarnanians. The facts more immediately relating to them, are those which have been mentioned before, as that the Curetes were living in the country which is now called ætolia, and that a body of ætolians under the command of ætolus came there, and drove them into Acarnania; and these facts besides, that æolians invaded Pleuronia, which was inhabited by Curetes, and called Curetis, took away their territory, and expelled the possessors.
But Archemachus [Note] of Eubœa says that the Curetes had their settlement at Chalcis, but being continually at war about the plain Lelantum, and finding that the enemy used to seize and drag them by the hair of the forehead, they wore their hair long behind, and cut the hair short in front, whence they had the name of Curetes, (or the shorn,) from eura, (κουά,) or the tonsure which they had undergone; that they removed to ætolia, and occupied the places about Pleuron; that others, who lived on the other side of the Achelous, because they kept their heads unshorn, were called Acarnanians. [Note]
But according to some writers each tribe derived its name from some hero; [Note] according to others, that they had the
name of Curetes from the mountain Curium, [Note] which is situated above Pleuron, and that this is an ætolian tribe, like the Ophieis, Agræi, Eurytanes, and many others.
But, as we have before said, when ætolia was divided into
two parts, the country about Calydon was said to be in the
possession of Œneus; and a portion of Pleuronia in that of
the Porthaonidæ of the branch of Agrius, [Note] for
they dwelt at Pleuron, and the lofty Calydon. [Note]Il. xiv. 117.
Curetes and ætolians, firm in battle, fought against one another. [Note]Il. ix. 525.
are others more remote from the subject of this
work, which have been erroneously placed by historians under one head on account of the sameness of name: for instance, accounts relating to Curetic affairs and concerning the Curetes have been considered as identical with accounts concerning the people (of the same name) who inhabited ætolia and Acarnania. But the former differ from the latter, and resemble rather the accounts which we have of Satyri and Silenes, Bacchæ and Tityri; for the Curetes are represented as certain dæmons, or ministers of the gods, by those who have handed down the traditions respecting Cretan and Phrygian affairs, and which involve certain religious rites, some mystical, others the contrary, relative to the nurture of Jupiter in Crete; the celebration of orgies in honour of the mother of the gods, in Phrygia, and in the neighbourhood of the Trojan Ida. There is however a very great variety [Note] in these accounts. According to some, the Corybantes, Cabeiri, Idæan Dactyli, and Telchines are repre- sented as the same persons as the Curetes; according to others, they are related to, yet distinguished from, each other by some slight differences; but to describe them in general terms and more at length, they are inspired with an enthusiastic and Bacchic frenzy, which is exhibited by them as ministers at the celebration of the sacred rites, by inspiring terror with armed dances, accompanied with the tumult and noise of cymbals, drums, and armour, and with the sound of pipes and shouting; so that these sacred ceremonies are nearly the same as those that are performed among the Samothracians in Lemnus, and in many other places; since the ministers of the god are said to be the same. [Note] The whole of this kind of
discussion is of a theological nature, and is not alien to the contemplation of the philosopher.10.3.8
But since even the historians, through the similarity of
the name Curetes, have collected into one body a mass of dissimilar facts, I myself do not hesitate to speak of them at
length by way of digression, adding the physical considerations which belong to the history. [Note] Some writers however endeavour to reconcile one account with the other, and perhaps
they have some degree of probability in their favour. They
say, for instance, that the people about ætolia have the name
of Curetes from wearing long dresses like girls, (κόραι,) and
that there was, among the Greeks, a fondness for some such
fashion. The Ionians also were called tunic-trailers, [Note] and
the soldiers of Leonidas, [Note] who went out to battle with their
hair dressed, were despised by the Persians, but subjects of
their admiration in the contest. In short, the application
of art to the hair consists in attending to its growth, and the
manner of cutting it, [Note] and both these are the peculiar care of
girls and youths; [Note] whence in several ways it is easy to find a
derivation of the name Curetes. It is also probable, that the
practice of armed dances, first introduced by persons who
paid so much attention to their hair and their dress, and who
were called Curetes, afforded a pretence for men more warlike
than others, and who passed their lives in arms, to be themselves called by the same name of Curetes, I mean those in
Eubœa, ætolia, and Acarnania. Homer also gives this name
to the young soldiers;
selecting Curetes, the bravest of the Ach$eans, to carry from the swift
ship, presents, which, yesterday, we promised to Achilles. [Note]
Curetes Acheei carried the presents. [Note]Il. xvi. 617.
We are now to consider how the names of these people agree together, and the theology, which is contained in their history.
Now this is common both to the Greeks and the Barbarians, to perform their religious ceremonies with the observance of a festival, and a relaxation from labour; some are performed with enthusiasm, others without any emotion; some accompanied with music, others without music; some in mysterious privacy, others publicly; and these are the dictates of nature. [Note] For relaxation from labour withdraws the thoughts from human occupations, and directs the reflecting mind to the divinity: enthusiasm seems to be attended with a certain divine inspiration, and to approach the prophetic character; the mystical concealment of the sacred rites excites veneration for the divinity, and imitates his nature, which shuns human senses and perception; music also, accompanied with the dance, rhythm, and song, for the same reason brings us near the deity by the pleasure which it excites, and by the charms of art. For it has been justly said, that men resemble the gods chiefly in doing good, but it may be said more properly, when they are happy; and this happiness consists in rejoicing, in festivals, in philosophy, and in music. [Note] For let not the art be blamed, if it should sometimes be abused by the musician employing it to excite voluptuousness in convivial
meetings at banquets, on the stage, or under other circum stances, but let the nature of the institutions which are founded on it be examined. [Note]10.3.10
Hence Plato, and, before his time, the Pythagoreans, called music philosophy. They maintained that the world subsisted by harmony, and considered every kind of music to be the work of the gods. It is thus that the muses are regarded as deities, and Apollo has the name of President of the Muses, and all poetry divine, as being conversant about the praises of the gods. Thus also they ascribe to music the formation of manners, as everything which refines the mind approximates to the power of the gods.
The greater part of the Greeks attribute to Bacchus, Apollo, Hecate, the Muses, and Ceres, everything connected with orgies and Bacchanalian rites, dances, and the mysteries attended upon initiation. They call also Bacchus, Dionysus, and the chief Dæmon of the mysteries of Ceres. [Note] The carrying about of branches of trees, dances, and initiations are common to the worship of these gods. But with respect to Apollo and the Muses, the latter preside over choirs of singers and dancers; the former presides both over these and divination. All persons instructed in science, and particularly those who have cultivated music, are ministers of the Muses; these and also all who are engaged in divination are ministers of Apollo. Those of Ceres, are the Mystæ, torch-bearers and Hierophants; of Dionysus, Seileni, Satyri, Tityri, Bacchæ Lenæ, Thyiæ, Mimallones, Naïdes, and Nymphæ, as they are called.10.3.11
But in Crete both these, and the sacred rites of Jupiter in particular, were celebrated with the performance of orgies, and by ministers, like the Satyri, who are employed in the worship of Dionysus. These were called Curetes, certain youths who executed military movements in armour, accompanied with dancing, exhibiting the fable of the birth of Jupiter, in which Saturn was introduced, whose custom it was to devour his children immediately after their birth; Rhea attempts to conceal the pains of childbirth, and to remove the new-born infant out of sight, using her utmost endeavours to preserve it.
In this she has the assistance of the Curetes who surround the goddess, and by the noise of drums and other similar sounds, by dancing in armour and by tumult, endeavour to strike terror into Saturn, and escape notice whilst removing his child. The child is then delivered into their hands to be brought up with the same care by which he was rescued. The Curetes therefore obtained this appellation, either because they were boys (κόροι), or because they educated Jupiter in his youth (κουροτροθεῖν), for there are two explanations, inasmuch as they acted the same part with respect to Jupiter as the Satyri (with respect to Dionysus). Such then is the worship of the Greeks, as far as relates to the celebration of orgies.10.3.12
But the Berecyntes, a tribe of Phrygians, the Phrygians in general, and the Trojans, who live about Mount Ida, themselves also worship Rhea, and perform orgies in her honour; they call her mother of gods, Agdistis, and Phrygia, [Note] the Great Goddess; from the places also where she is worshipped, Idæa, and Dindymene, [Note] Sipylene, [Note] Pessinuntis, [Note] and Cybele. [Note] The Greeks call her ministers by the same name Curetes, not that they follow the same mythology, but they mean a different kind of persons, a sort of agents analogous to the Satyri. These same ministers are also called by them Corybantes.10.3.13
We have the testimony of the poets in favour of these
opinions. Pindar, in the Dithyrambus, which begins in this
formerly the dithyrambus used to creep upon the ground, long and
After mentioning the hymns, both ancient and modern, in
honour of Bacchus, he makes a digression, and says,
for thee, O Mother, resound the large circles of the cymbals, and the
ringing crotala; for thee, blaze the torches of the yellow pine;
where he combines with one another the rites celebrated
among the Greeks in honour of Dionysus with those performed among the Phrygians in honour of the mother of the
gods. Euripides, in the Bacchæ, does the same thing, con
joining, from the proximity of the countries, [Note] Lydian and
Blest and happy he who, initiated into the sacred rites of the gods,
leads a pure life; who celebrating the orgies of the Great Mother Cybele, who brandishing on high the thyrsus and with ivy crowned, becomes
Dionysus' worshipper. Haste, Bacchanalians, haste, and bring Bromius
Dionysus down from the Phrygian mountains to the wide plains of
"Then forsaking Tmolus, the rampart of Lydia, my maidens, my pride,
[whom I took from among barbarians and made the partners and companions of my way, raise on high the tambourine of Phrygia, the tambourine of the great mother Rhea,] my invention.
And again, in what follows, he combines with these the Cretan rites.
Hail, sacred haunt of the Curetes, and divine inhabitants of Crete,
progenitors of Jove, where for me the triple-crested Corybantes in their
caves invented this skin-stretched circle [of the tambourine], who
mingled with Bacchic strains the sweet breath of harmony from Phrygian
pipes, and placed in Rhea's hands this instrument which re-echoes to the
joyous shouts of Bacchanalians: from the Mother Rhea the frantic
Satyri succeeded in obtaining it, and introduced it into the dances of the
Trieterides, among whom Dionysus delights to dwell. [Note]
Blest and happy he who, initiated into the sacred rites of the gods, leads a pure life; who celebrating the orgies of the Great Mother Cybele, who brandishing on high the thyrsus and with ivy crowned, becomes Dionysus' worshipper. Haste, Bacchanalians, haste, and bring Bromius Dionysus down from the Phrygian mountains to the wide plains of Greece.
And the chorus in Palamedes says,
Not revelling with Dionysus, who together with his mother was cheered
with the resounding drums along the tops of Ida.
Conjoining then Seilenus, Marsyas, and Olympus, and
ascribing to them the invention of the flute, they thus again
combine Dionysiac and Phrygian rites, frequently confounding Ida and Olympus, [Note] and making them re-echo with their
noise, as if they were the same mountain. There are four
peaks of Ida called Olympi, opposite Antandros. [Note] There is
also a Mysian Olympus, bordering upon Ida, but not the same
mountain. Sopholes represents Menelaus in the Polyxena
as setting sail in haste from Troy, and Agamemnon as wishing to remain behind a short time, with a view to propitiate
Minerva. He introduces Menelaus as saying,
But do thou remain there on the Idæan land,
Od. iii. 144.
Collect the flocks on Olympus, and offer sacrifice. [Note]
They invented terms appropriate to the sounds of the pipe, of the crotala, cymbals, and drums; to the noise also of shouts; to the cries of Evoe; and to the beating of the ground with the feet. They invented certain well-known names also to designate the ministers, dancers, and servants employed about the sacred rites, as Cabeiri, Corybantes, Pans, Satyri, Tityri, the god Bacchus; Rhea, Cybele, Cybebe, and Dindymene, from the places where she was worshipped. [The god] Sabazius belongs to the Phrygian rites, and may be considered the child as it were of the [Great] Mother. The traditional ceremonies observed in his worship are those of Bacchus. [Note]10.3.16
The rites called Cotytia, and Bendideia, [Note] celebrated
among the Thracians, resemble these. The Orphic ceremonies
had their origin among these people. æschylus mentions the
goddess Cotys, and the instruments used in her worship
among the Edoni. [Note] For after saying,
O divine Cotys, goddess of the Edoni,
With the instruments of the mountain worship;"
immediately introduces the followers of Dionysus,
one holding the bombyces, the admirable work of the turner, with the
fingers makes the loud notes resound, exciting frenzy; another makes
the brass-bound cotylæ to re-echo.
And in another passage;
The song of victory is poured forth; invisible mimes low and bellow
from time to time like bulls, inspiring fear, and the echo of the drum rolls
along like the noise of subterranean thunder; [Note]
for these are like the Phrygian ceremonies, nor is it at all
improbable that, as the Phrygians themselves are a colony of
Thracians, so they brought from Thrace their sacred ceremonies, and by joining together Dionysus and the Edonian
Lycurgus they intimate a similarity in the mode of the worship of both.
From the song, the rhythm, and the instruments, all Thracian music is supposed to be Asiatic. This is evident also from the places where the Muses are held in honour. For Pieria, Olympus, Pimpla, and Leibethrum were anciently places, and mountains, belonging to the Thracians, but at present they are in the possession of the Macedonians. The Thracians, who were settled in Bœotia, dedicated Helicon to the Muses, and consecrated the cave of the Nymphs, Leibethriades. The cultivators of ancient music are said to have been Thracians, as Orpheus, Musaus, Thamyris; hence also Eumolpus had his name. Those who regard the whole of Asia as far as India as consecrated to Bacchus, refer to that country as the origin of a great portion of the present music. One author speaks of striking forcibly the Asiatic cithara; another calls the pipes Berecynthian and Phry-
As in other things the Athenians always showed their admiration of foreign customs, so they displayed it in what respected the gods. They adopted many foreign sacred ceremonies, particularly those of Thrace and Phrygia; for which they were ridiculed in comedies. Plato mentions the Bendidean, and Demosthenes the Phrygian rites, where he is exposing æschines and his mother to the scorn of the people; the former for having been present when his mother was sacrificing, and for frequently joining the band of Bacchanalians in celebrating their festivals, and shouting, Evoi, Saboi, Hyes Attes, and Attes Hyes, for these cries belong to the rites of Sabazius and the Great Mother.10.3.19
But there may be discovered respecting these dæmons,
and the variety of their names, that they were not called ministers only of the gods, but themselves were called gods. For
Hesiod says that Hecaterus and the daughter of Phoroneus
had five daughters,
From whom sprung the goddesses, the mountain nymphs,
The author of the Phoronis calls the Curetes, players upon
the pipe, and Phrygians; others call them earth-born, and
wearing brazen shields. Another author terms the Corybantes, and not the Curetes, Phrygians, and the Curetes, Cretans. Brazen shields were first worn in Eubœa, whence the
people had the name of Chalcidenses. [Note] Others say, that the
Corybantes who came from Bactriana, or, according to some
writers, from the Colchi, were given to Rhea, as a band of armed
ministers, by Titan. But in the Cretan history the Curetes
are called nurses and guardians of Jove, and are described as
having been sent for from Phrygia to Crete by Rhea. According to other writers, there were nine Telchines in
Rhodes, who accompanied Rhea to Crete, and from nursing [Note]
Jupiter had the name of Curetes; [Note] that Corybus, one of
their party, was the founder of Hierapytna, and furnished the
And the worthless and idle race of satyrs,
And the gods Curetes, lovers of sport and dance.
Prasians [Note] in Rhodes with the pretext for saying that Cory bantes were certain dæmons, children of Minerva and the sun. By others, the Corybantes are represented to be the children of Saturn; by others, of Jupiter and Calliope, or to be the same persons as the Cabeiri; that they went away [Note] to Samothrace, [Note] which was formerly called Melite; but their lives and actions are mysterious.10.3.20
The Scepsian (Demetrius) who has collected fabulous stories of this kind, does not receive this account because no mysterious tradition about the Cabeiri is preserved in Samothrace, yet he gives the opinion of Stesimbrotus of Thasus, to the effect that the sacred rites in Samothrace were celebrated in honour of the Cabeiri. [Note] Demetrius, however, says that they had their name from Cabeirus, the mountain in Berecynthia. According to others, the Curetes were the same as the Cory- bantes, and were ministers of Hecate.
The Scepsian says in another place, in contradiction to Euripides, that it is not the custom in Crete to pay divine honours to Rhea, and that these rites were not established there, but in Phrygia only, and in the Troad, and that they who affirm the contrary are mythologists rather than historians; and were probably misled by an identity of name, for Ida is a mountain both in the Troad and in Crete; and Dicte is a spot in the Scepsian territory, and a mountain in Crete. [Note] Pytna is a peak of Ida, (and a mountain in Crete,) whence the city Hierapytna has its name. There is Hippocorona in the territory of Adramyttium, and Hippocoronium [Note] in Crete. Samonium also is the eastern promontory of the island, and a plain in the Neandris, [Note] and in the territory of the Alexandrians (Alexandria Troas).10.3.21
But Acusilaus, the Argive, mentions a Camillus, the
son of Cabeira and Vulcan; who had three sons, Cabeiri,
(and three daughters,) the Nymphs Cabeirides. [Note]
According to Pherecydes, there sprung from Apollo and Rhetia nine Corybantes, who lived in Samothrace; that from Cabeira, the daughter of Proteus and Vulcan, there were three Cabeiri, and three Nymphs, Cabeirides, and that each had their own sacred rites. But it was at Lemnos and Imbros that the Cabeiri were more especially the objects of divine worship, and in some of the cities of the Troad; their names are mystical.
Herodotus [Note] mentions, that there were at Memphis temples of the Cabeiri as well as of Vulcan, which were destroyed by Cambyses. The places where these demons received divine honours are uninhabited, as Corybantium in the territory Hamaxitia belonging to the country of the Alexandrians, near Sminthium; [Note] and Corybissa in the Scepsian territory about the river Eureis, and a village of the same name, and the winter torrent æthaloeïs. [Note]
The Scepsian says, that it is probable that the Curetes and
Corybantes are the same persons, who as youths and boys
were employed to perform the armed dance in the worship of
the mother of the gods. They were called Corybantes [Note] from
their dancing gait, and butting with their head (κούπτοντας)
by the poet they were called βητάπμονες,
Come hither, you who are the best skilled Betarmones among the
Because the Corybantes are dancers, and are frantic, we call
those persons by this name whose movements are furious.
Some writers say that the first inhabitants of the country at the foot of Mount Ida were called Idæan Dac-
tyli, for the country below mountains is called the foot, and the summits of mountains their heads; so the separate extremities of Ida (and all are sacred to the mother of the gods) are called Idæan Dactyli. [Note]
But Sophocles [Note] supposes, that the first five were males, who discovered and forged iron, [Note] and many other things which were useful for the purposes of life; that these persons had five sisters, and from their number had the name of Dactyli. [Note] Different persons however relate these fables differently, connecting one uncertainty with another. They differ both with respect to the numbers and the names of these persons; some of whom they call Celmis, and Damnameneus, and Hercules, and Acmon, who, according to some writers, were natives of Ida, according to others, were settlers, but all agree that they were the first workers in iron, and upon Mount Ida. All writers suppose them to have been magicians, attendants upon the mother of the gods, and to have lived in Phrygia about Mount Ida. They call the Troad Phrygia, because, after the devastation of Troy, the neighbouring Phrygians became masters of the country. It is also supposed that the Curetes and the Corybantes were descendants of the Idæan Dactyli, and that they gave the name of Idæan Dactyli to the first hundred persons who were born in Crete; that from these descended nine Curetes, each of whom had ten children, who were called Idæan Dactyli. [Note]10.3.23
Although we are not fond of fabulous stories, yet we have expatiated upon these, because they belong to subjects of a theological nature.
All discussion respecting the gods requires an examination of ancient opinions, and of fables, since the ancients expressed enigmatically their physical notions concerning the nature of things, and always intermixed fable with their discoveries. It is not easy therefore to solve these enigmas exactly, but if we lay before the reader a multitude of fabulous tales, some consistent with each other, others which are contradictory, we
may thus with less difficulty form conjectures about the truth. For example, mythologists probably represented the ministers of the gods, and the gods themselves, as coursing over the mountains, and their enthusiastic behaviour, for the same reason that they considered the gods to be celestial beings, and to exercise a providential care over all things, and especially over signs and presages. Mining, hunting, and a search after things useful for the purposes of life, appeared to have a relation to this coursing over the mountains, but juggling and magic to be connected with enthusiastic behaviour, religious rites, and divination. Of such a nature, and connected in particular with the improvement of the arts of life, were the Dionysiac and Orphic arts. But enough of this subject.
HAVING described the islands about the Peloponnesus, and other islands also, some of which are upon, and others in front of, the Corinthian Gulf, we are next to speak of Crete, [Note] (for it belongs to the Peloponnesus,) and the islands near Crete, among which are the Cyclades and the Sporades. Some of these are worthy of notice, others are inconsiderable.10.4.2
At present we are to speak first of Crete.
According to Eudoxus, it is situated in the ægæan sea, but he ought not to have described its situation in that manner, but have said, that it lies between Cyrenaica and the part of Greece comprehended between Sunium and Laconia, [Note] extending in length in the direction from west to east, and parallel to these countries; [Note] that it is washed on the north by the ægæan and Cretan seas, and on the south by the African, which joins the Egyptian sea.
The western extremity of the island is near Phalasarna; [Note]
its breadth is about 200 stadia, and divided into two promontories; of which the southern is called Criu-Metopon, (or
Ram's head,) and that on the north, Cimarus. [Note] The eastern
promontory is Samonium, [Note]
Sosicrates, who, according to Apollodorus, had an exact knowledge of this island, determines its length (not?) [Note] to exceed 2300 stadia, and its breadth (about 300), [Note] so that according to Sosicrates the circuit of the island is not more than 5000 stadia, but Artemidorus makes it 4100. Hieronymus
says, that its length is 2000 stadia, and its breadth irregular, and that the circuit would exceed the number of stadia assigned by Artemidorus. Throughout one-third of its length, (beginning from the western parts, the island is of a tolerable width). [Note] Then there is an isthmus of about 100 stadia, on the northern shore of which is a settlement, called Amphimalla; [Note] on the southern shore is Phœnix, [Note] belonging to the Lampeis.
The greatest breadth is in the middle of the island.
Here again the shores approach, and form an isthmus narrower than the former, of about 60 stadia in extent, reckoning from Minoa, [Note] in the district of the Lyctii, [Note] to Therapytna, [Note] and the African sea. The city is on the bay. The shores then terminate in a pointed promontory, the Samonium, looking towards ægypt and the islands of the Rhodians. [Note]10.4.4
The island is mountainous and woody, but has fertile valleys.
The mountains towards the west are called Leuca, or the White Mountains, [Note] not inferior in height to the Taygetum, [Note] and extending in length about 300 stadia. They form a ridge, which terminates at the narrow parts (the isthmus). In the middle of the island, in the widest part, is (Ida), [Note] the highest of the mountains there. Its compass is about 600 stadia. It is surrounded by the principal cities. There are other mountains equal in height to the White Mountains, some of which terminate on the south, others towards the east.10.4.5
voyage of two days and nights. From Cimarus [to Malea] are 700 stadia. [Note] In the midway is Cythera. [Note] From the promontory Samonium [Note] to ægypt a ship sails in four days and nights, but, according to other writers, in three. Some say that it is a voyage of 5000 stadia; others, of still less than this. According to Eratosthenes, the distance from Cyrenaica to Criu-Metopon is 2000 stadia, and thence to Peloponnesus less than . [Note]10.4.6
One language is intermixed with another, says the poet;
there are in Crete,
Achæi, the brave Eteocretans, Cydones, Dorians divided into three
bands, [Note] and the divine Pelasgi. [Note]
Of these people, says Staphylus, the Dorians occupy the
eastern parts of the island, Cydonians the western, Eteocretans
the southern, to whom Prasus, a small town, belonged, where
is the temple of the Dictæan Jupiter; the other nations, being
more powerful, inhabited the plains. It is probable that the
Eteocretans [Note] and Cydonians were aboriginal inhabitants, and
that the others were foreigners, who Andron says came from
Thessaly, formerly called Doris, but now Hestiæotis, from
which country he says the Dorians, who were settled about
Parnassus, migrated, and founded Erineum, Bœum, and Cytinium, whence they are called by the poet Trichaïces, or tripartite. But the account of Andron is not generally admitted,
who represents the Tetrapolis Doris as composed of three
cities, and the metropolis of the Dorians as a colony of Thessalians. The epithet Trichaïces [Note] is understood to be derived
either from their wearing a triple crest, [Note] or from having crests
of hair. [Note]
calling it vast, and the palace of Minos. It maintained its pre-eminence for a long period. It afterwards lost its ascend- ency, and was deprived of many of its customs and privi- leges. The superiority was transferred to Gortyna and Lyc- tus. [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note] [Note]
Il. xiii. 450.
It is generally admitted with regard to Crete that in ancient times it was governed by good laws, and induced the wisest of the Greeks to imitate its form of government, and particularly the Lacedæmonians, as Plato shows in his Laws, and Ephorus has described in his work Europe. Afterwards there was a change in the government, and for the most part for the worse. For the Tyrrheni, who chiefly infested our sea, were followed by the Cretans, who succeeded to the haunts and piratical practices of the former people, and these again afterwards were subject to the devastations of the Cilicians. But the Romans destroyed them all after the conquest of Crete, [Note] and demolished the piratical strongholds of the Cilicians. At present Cnossus has even a colony of Romans.10.4.10
So much then respecting Cnossus, a city to which I am no stranger; but owing to the condition of human affairs, their vicissitudes and accidents, the connexion and intercourse that subsisted between ourselves and the city is at an end. Which may be thus explained. Dorylaiis, a military tactician, a friend of Mithridates Euergetes, was appointed, on account of his experience in military affairs, to levy a body of foreigners, and was frequently in Greece and Thrace, and often in the company of persons who came from Crete, before the Romans were in possession of the island. A great multitude of mercenary soldiers was collected there, from whom
even the bands of pirates were recruited. During the stay of Dorylaüs in the island, a war happened to break out between the Cnossians and the Gortynians. He was appointed general by the Cnossians, and having finished the war speed- ily and successfully, he obtained the highest honours. A short time afterwards, being informed that Euergetes had been treacherously put to death by his courtiers at Sinope, and that he was succeeded in the government by his wife and children, he abandoned everything there, remained at Cnossus, and married a Macedonian woman of the name of Sterope, by whom he had two sons, Lagetas and Stratarchas, (the latter I myself saw when in extreme old age,) and one daughter. Of the two sons of Euergetes, he who was surnamed Eupator succeeded to the throne when he was eleven years of age; Dorylaüs, the son of Philetærus, was his foster brother. Philetærus was the brother of Dorylaüs the Tactician. The king had been so much pleased with his intimacy with Dorylaüs when they lived together as children, that on attaining manhood he not only promoted Dorylaiis to the highest honours, but extended his regard to his relations and sent for them from Cnossus. At this time Lagetas and his brother had lost their father, and were themselves grown up to manhood. They quitted Cnossus, and came to Mithridates. My mother's mother was the daughter of Lagetas. While he enjoyed prosperity, they also prospered; but upon his downfal (for he was detected in attempting to transfer the kingdom to the Romans with a view to his own appointment to the sovereignty) the affairs of Cnossus were involved in his ruin and disgrace; and all intercourse with the Cnossians, who themselves had experienced innumerable vicissitudes of fortune, was suspended.
So much then respecting Cnossus.10.4.11
After Cnossus, the city Gortyna seems to have held the second place in rank and power. For when these cities acted in concert they held in subjection all the rest of the inhabitants, and when they were at variance there was discord throughout the island; and whichever party Cydonia espoused, to them she was a most important accession.
The city of the Gortynians lies in a plain, and was perhaps anciently protected by a wall, as Homer also intimates,
and Gortyna, a walled city; [Note]Il. ii. 646.
Leucocomas and Euxynthetus his erastes (or lover), whom Theophrastus mentions in his discourse on Love, were natives of Leben. [Note] One of the tasks enjoined Euxynthetus by Leucocomas was this, according to Theophrastus, to bring him his dog from Prasus. [Note] The Prasii border upon the Lebenii at the distance of 60 stadia from the sea, and from Gortyn 180. We have said that Prasus was subject to the Eteocretans, and that the temple of the Dictæan Jupiter was there. For Dicte [Note] is near; not, as Aratus [Note] alleges, near Ida; since Dicte is distant 1000 stadia from Mount Ida, and situated at that distance from it towards the rising sun; and 100 stadia from the promontory Samonium. Prasus was situated between the promontory Samonium, and the Cherrhonesus, at the distance of 60 stadia from the sea. It was razed by the Hierapytnii. He says, too, that Callimachus [Note] is not right in asserting that Britomartis, in her escape from the violence offered by Minos,leaped from Dicte among the nets of the fishermen (δίκτυα), and that hence she had the name of Dictynna from the Cydoniatæ, and the mountain that of
Dicte. For Cydonia is not at all situated in the neighbour hood of these places, but lies at the western extremity of the island. The mountain Tityrus [Note] belongs to the Cydonian territory; upon it is situated a temple, not called Dictæan, but Dictynnsean.10.4.13
Cydonia is situated on the sea, fronting Laconia, at an equal distance from both Cnossus and Gortyn, about 800 stadia, and from Aptera 80, and from the sea in this quarter 40 stadia. Cisamus [Note] is the naval arsenal of Aptera. [Note] The Polyrrhenii border upon the Cydoniatæ towards the west; in their territory is the temple of Dictynna. They are at the distance of about 30 stadia from the sea, and 60 from Phalasarna. Formerly they lived in villages; then Achæans and Laconians settled there together, and fortified with a wall a strong site fronting the south.10.4.14
Of the three cities founded by Minos, the last, which
was Phæstus, [Note] was razed by the Gortynians; it was at the
distance of 60 stadia from Gortyn, 20 from the sea, and from
Matalum, the arsenal, 40 stadia. They who razed the city
possess the territory. Rhytium also together with Phæstus
belongs to the Gortynians,
both Phæstus and Rhytium. [Note]Il. ii. 648.
Cherrhonesus, [Note] as it is called, is the arsenal of Lyttus or (Lyctus), which we have before mentioned; on the former is the temple of Britomartis.
Miletus and Lycastus, the cities which were enumerated together with Lyctus, no longer exist; but the territory, after they had razed the city (Lyctus), was partitioned among Lyctians and Cnossians.10.4.15
As the poet in one place speaks of Crete as having a hundred, and in another ninety, cities, Ephorus says, that ten were founded in later times after the Trojan war by the Dori-
ans, who accompanied Alhæmenes the Argive, and that
hence Ulysses speaks of its ninety cities. This account is
probable. But others say, that the ten were razed by the
enemies of Idomeneus; but the poet does not say that Crete
had a hundred cities at the time of the Trojan war, but in his
own age, for he speaks in his own person; but if the words
had been those of some person then living, as those in the
Odyssey, where Ulysses says, Crete had ninety cities, they
might have been properly understood in this manner. But
even if we admit this, the subsequent verses will not be exempt from objection. For neither at the time of the expedition, nor after the return of Idomeneus, is it probable that
these cities were destroyed by his enemies, for the poet says,
but Idomeneus brought back all his companions who had survived the
war to Crete; the sea had not deprived him of any of them; [Note]
for he would have mentioned such a misfortune. Ulysses indeed might not have been acquainted with the destruction of
these cities, for he had not had any intercourse with any of the
Greeks either during or after his wanderings; but (Nestor),
who had been the companion of Idomeneus in the expedition
and in his escape from shipwreck, could not be ignorant of
what had happened at home during the expedition and before
his return. But he must certainly have been aware of what
occurred after his return. For if he and all his companions
escaped, he returned so powerful that their enemies were not
in a position to deprive them of ten cities.
Such then is the general description of the country of Crete.10.4.16
With respect to the form of government, which Ephorus has described at large, it will be sufficient to give a cur- sory account of the principal parts. The law-giver, says Ephorus, seems to lay, as the foundation of his constitution, the greatest good that states can enjoy, namely, liberty; for it is this alone which makes the property of every kind which a man possesses his own; in a state of slavery it belongs to the governor, and not to the governed. The liberty also which men enjoy must be guarded. Unanimity ensues, when the dissensions that arise from covetousness and luxury [Note] are
removed. Now where all live temperately and frugally, neither envy, nor injuries, nor hatred have place among equals. Whence the young were enjoined to repair to the Agelæ, and those of mature age to assemble at the Syssitia, or common meals, called Andreia, in order that the poorer sort, who were fed at the public charge, might partake of the same fare as the rich.
With a view that courage, and not fear, should predominate, they were accustomed from childhood to the use of arms, and to endure fatigue. Hence they disregarded heat and cold, rugged and steep roads, blows received in gymnastic exercises and in set battles.
They practised archery, and the dance in armour, which the Curetes first invented, and was afterwards perfected by Pyrrhichus, and called after him Pyrrhiche. Hence even their sports were not without their use in their training for war. With the same intention they used the Cretan measures in their songs; the tones of these measures are extremely loud; they were invented by Thales, to whom are ascribed the pæans and other native songs and many of their usages. They adopted a military dress also, and shoes, and considered armour as the most valuable of all presents.10.4.17
Some, he says, alleged that many of the institutions supposed to be Cretan were of Lacedæmonian origin; but the truth is, they were invented by the former, but perfected by the Spartans. The Cretans, when their cities, and particularly Cnossus, were ravaged, neglected military affairs, but some usages were more observed by the Lyttii and Gortynii, and some other small cities, than by the Cnossians. Those persons, who maintain the priority of the Laconian institutions, adduce as evidence of this those of the Lyttii, because as colonists they would retain the customs of the parent state. Otherwise, it would be absurd for those, who lived under a better form of constitution and government, to be imitators of a worse. But this is not correct. For we ought not to form conjectures respecting the ancient from the present state of things, for each has undergone contrary changes. The Cretans were formerly powerful at sea, so that it was a proverbial saying addressed to those who pretended to be ignorant of what they knew, a Cretan, and not know the sea; but at present they have abandoned nautical affairs.
Nor did it follow necessarily that, because there were some cities in Crete colonized by Spartans, they should continue to observe Spartan usages, since many of the cities of colonists do not preserve the customs of the mother country; and there are many cities in Crete, the inhabitants of which are not colonists, and yet have the same usages as those that have received colonies.10.4.18
Lycurgus, the Spartan legislator, he says, was five
generations later than Althæmenes, who conducted the colony
into Crete. He is said by historians to have been the son of
Cissus, who founded Argos [Note] about the same time that Procles
was engaged in establishing a colony at Sparta. It is also
generally admitted that Lycurgus was the sixth in descent
from Procles. [Note] Copies do not precede the models, nor modern precede ancient things. The usual kind of dancing
practised among the Lacedæmonians, the measures, and the
pæans sung according to a certain mood, and many other
usages, are called among them Cretan, as if they came from
Crete. But among the ancient customs, those relative to the
administration of the state have the same designations as in
Crete, [Note] as the council of Gerontes [Note] and that of the Knights, [Note]
except that in Crete the knights had horses; whence it is
conjectured, that the council of Knights in Crete is more
ancient, since the origin of the appellation is preserved. But
the Spartan knight did not keep a horse. They who perform the same functions as the Cosmi in Crete, have the different title of Ephori [in Sparta]. The Syssitia, or common
meal, is even at present called Andreia among the Cretans;
but among the Spartans they did not continue to call it by its
former name, as it is found in the poet Alcman;
In festivals and in joyous assemblies of the Andreia, it is fit to begin
the pean in honour of the guests.
The occasion of the journey of Lycurgus to Crete is said by the inhabitants to be as follows. The elder brother of Lycurgus was Polydectes, who, at his death, left his wife pregnant. Lycurgus reigned in place of his brother till the
birth of a son. He then became the guardian of the child, who was heir to the kingdom. Some one said to him insultingly, he was sure Lycurgus would be king. Suspecting that by this speech he might be accused of contriving a plot against the child, and fearing that, if the child should die by any accident, his enemies might impute its death to him, he departed to Crete. This is said to have been the cause of his journey. Upon his arrival in Crete he became acquainted with Thales, the lyric poet and legislator. He learnt from this person the plan adopted by Rhadamanthus in former times, and afterwards by Minos in promulgating their laws, so as to procure a belief that they proceeded from Jupiter. He was also in ægypt, and obtained information respecting the laws and customs of that country. [Note] According to some writers, he met at Chios with Homer, who was living there, and then returned to his own country, where he found Charilaus, the son of his brother Polydectes, upon the throne. He then began to frame laws, repairing to the god at Delphi, and bringing thence ordinances, as Minos brought his from the cave of Jupiter. [Note] The greater part of these ordinances were similar to those of Minos.10.4.20
The following are the principal of the laws of Crete, which Ephorus has given in detail.
All the Cretans, who are selected at the same time from the troop (ἀγέλη) of youths, are compelled to marry at once. They do not however take the young women whom they have married immediately to their homes, until they are qualified to administer household affairs.
The woman's dower, if she has brothers, is half of the brother's portion.
The children are taught to read, to chaunt songs taken from the laws, and some kinds of music.
While they are still very young they are taken to the Syssitia, called Andreia. They sit on the ground, eating their food together, dressed in mean garments, which are not changed in winter or summer. They wait upon themselves and on the men. Both those of the same and those of different messes have battles with one another. A trainer of boys presides over each Andreion. As they grow older they are formed into
(αγέλαι) or troops of youths. The most illustrious and powerful of the youths form Agelæ, each individual assembling together as many as he can collect. The governor of the troop is generally the father of the youth who has assembled them together, and has the power of taking them to hunt and to exercise themselves in running, and of punishing the disobedient. They are maintained at the public charge.
On certain set days troop encounters troop, marching in time to the sound of the pipe and lyre, as is their custom in actual war. They inflict blows, some with the hand, and some even with iron weapons.10.4.21
They have a peculiar custom with respect to their attachments. They do not influence the objects of their love by persuasion, but have recourse to violent abduction. The lover apprizes the friends of the youth, three or more days beforehand, of his intention to carry off the object of his affection. It is reckoned a most base act to conceal the youth, or not to permit him to walk about as usual, since it would be an acknowledgment that the youth was unworthy of such a lover. But if they are informed that the ravisher is equal or superior in rank, or other circumstances, to the youth, they pursue and oppose the former slightly, merely in conformity with the custom. They then willingly allow him to carry off the youth. If however he is an unworthy person, they take the youth from him. This show of resistance does not end, till the youth is received into the Andreium to which the ravisher belongs. They do not regard as an object of affection a youth exceedingly handsome, but him who is distinguished for courage and modesty. The lover makes the youth presents, and takes him away to whatever place he likes. The persons present at the abduction accompany them, and having passed two months in feasting, and in the chase, (for it is not permitted to detain the youth longer,) they return to the city. The youth is dismissed with presents, which consist of a military dress, an ox, and a drinking cup; the last are prescribed by law, and besides these many other very costly gifts, so that the friends contribute each their share in order to diminish the expense.
The youth sacrifices the ox to Jupiter, and entertains at a feast those who came down with him from the mountains. He then declares concerning the intercourse with the lover,
whether it took place with his consent or not, since the law allows him, if any violence is used in the abduction, to insist upon redress, and set him free from his engagement with the lover. But for the beautiful and high-born not to have lovers is disgraceful, since this neglect would be attributed to a bad disposition.
The parastathentes, for this is the name which they give to those youths who have been carried away, enjoy certain honours. At races and at festivals they have the principal places. They are permitted to wear the stole, which distinguishes them from other persons, and which has been presented to them by their lovers; and not only at that time, but in mature age, they appear in a distinctive dress, by which each individual is recognised as Kleinos, for this name is given to the object of their attachment, and that of Philetor to the lover.
These then are the usages respecting attachments.10.4.22
They elect ten Archons. On matters of highest moment they have recourse to the counsel of the Gerontes, as they are called. They admit into this council those who have been thought worthy of the office of Cosmi, and who were otherwise persons of tried worth.
I considered the form of government among the Cretans as worthy of description, on account both of its peculiarity and its fame. Few of these institutions are now in existence, and the administration of affairs is chiefly conducted according to the orders of the Romans, as is the case also in their other provinces.
THE islands about Crete are Thera, [Note] the capital of the Cyrenæans, and a colony of the Lacedæmonians; and near Thera is Anaphe, [Note] in which is the temple of Apollo ægletes. Callimachus speaks of it in one place, thus,
And æglete Anaphe, close to the Lacedæmonian Thera;
and in another, he mentions Thera only,
Mother of my country, celebrated for its fine breed of horses. Thera is a long island, about 200 stadia in circumference. It lies opposite to the island Dia, [Note] towards the Cnossian Heracleium. It is distant about 700 stadia from Crete. Near it are Anaphe and Therasia. [Note] The little island Ios [Note] is distant from the latter about 100 stadia. Here according to some authors the poet Homer was buried. [Note] In going from Ios towards the west are Sicenus [Note] and Lagusa, [Note] and Pholegandrus, [Note] which Aratus calls the iron island, on account of its rocks. Near these islands is Cimolus, [Note] whence is obtained the Cimolian earth. From Cimolus Siphnus [Note] is visible. To this island is applied the proverb, a Siphnian bone (astragalus), on account of its insignificance. Still nearer, both to Cimolus and Crete, is Melos, [Note] more considerable than these. It is distant from the Hermionic promontory, the Scyllæum, [Note] 700 stadia, and nearly as many from the Dictynnæan promontory. The Athenians formerly despatched an army to Melos, [Note] and put to death the inhabitants from youth upwards.
These islands are situated in the Cretan sea. Delos, [Note] the Cyclades about it, and the Sporades adjacent to these, belong rather to the ægœan sea. To the Sporades also are to be referred the islands about Crete, which I have already mentioned.10.5.2
The city of Delos is in a plain. Delos contains the temple of Apollo, and the Latoum, or temple of Latona. The Cynthus, [Note] a naked and rugged mountain, overhangs the city.
The Inopus, [Note] not a large river, for the island is small, flows
through it. Anciently, even from the heroic times, this
island has been held in veneration on account of the divinities
worshipped here. Here, according to the fable, Latona was
relieved from the pains of labour, and gave birth to Apollo
Before this time, (says Pindar, [Note]) Delos was carried about by the
waves, and by winds blowing from every quarter, but when the daughter
of Cœus set her foot upon it, who was then suffering the sharp pangs of
approaching child-birth, at that instant four upright columns, resting on
adamant, sprang from the depths of the earth and retained it fast on the
rugged rock; there she brought forth, and beheld her happy offspring.
The islands lying about it, called Cyclades, gave it celebrity,
since they were in the habit of sending at the public charge,
as a testimony of respect, sacred delegates, (Theori,) sacrifices,
and bands of virgins; they also repaired thither in great
multitudes to celebrate festivals. [Note]
Originally, there were said to be twelve Cyclades, but
many others were added to them. Artemidorus enumerates
(fifteen?) where he is speaking of the island Helena, [Note] and
of which he says that it extends from Thoricus [Note] to Sunium, [Note]
and is about 60 stadia in length; it is from this island, he
says, the Cyclades, as they are called, begin. He names
Ceos, [Note] as the nearest island to Helena, and next to this Cythnus, Seriphus, [Note] Melos, Siphnus, Cimolus, Prepesinthus, [Note] Oliarus, [Note] and besides these Paros, [Note] "Naxos, [Note] Syros, [Note] Myconus, [Note]
Tenos, [Note] Andros, [Note] Gyarus. [Note] The rest I consider as belonging to the Twelve, but not Prepesinthus, Oliarus, and Gyarus.
When I put in at the latter island I found a small village inhabited by fishermen. When we left it we took in a fisherman, deputed from the inhabitants to go to C$esar, who was
at Corinth on his way to celebrate his triumph after the victory at Actium. [Note]
deputed to apply for an abatement of the tribute, for they were required to pay 150 drachmæ, when it was with difficulty they could pay 100.
Aratus, [Note] in his Details, intimates how poor they were;
"O Latona, thou art shortly going to pass by me [an insignificant is-
land] like to the iron-bound Pholegandrus, or to unhappy Gyarus.
Although Delos [Note] was so famous, yet it became still more
so, and flourished after the destruction of Corinth by the
Rheneia [Note] is a small desert island 4 stadia from Delos, where are the sepulchral monuments of the Delians. For it is not permitted to bury the dead in Delos, nor to burn a
dead body there. It is not permitted even to keep a dog in Delos.
Formerly it had the name of Ortygia. [Note]10.5.6
once contained four cities. Two remain, Iulis and Carthæ, to which the inhabitants of the others were transferred; those of Poæëssa to Carthæ, and those of Coressia to Iulis. Simonides the lyric poet, and Bacchylides his nephew, and after their times Erasistratus the physician, and Ariston the Peripatetic philosopher, the imitator of Bion, [Note] the Borysthenite, were natives of this city.
There was an ancient law among these people, mentioned
Phanias, that is a good law of the Ceans; who cannot live comfortably
(or well), let him not live miserably (or ill). [Note]
For the law, it seems, ordained that those above sixty years
old should be compelled to drink hemlock, in order that there
might be sufficient food for the rest. It is said that once
when they were besieged by the Athenians, a decree was
passed to the effect that the oldest persons, fixing the age,
should be put to death, and that the besiegers retired in consequence.
The city lies on a mountain, at a distance from the sea of about 25 stadia. Its arsenal is the place on which Coressia was built, which does not contain the population even of a village. Near the Coressian territory and Pœëessa is a temple of Apollo Sminthius. But between the temple and the ruins of Pœëessa is the temple of Minerva Nedusia, built by Nestor, on his return from Troy. The river Elixus runs around the territory of Coressia.10.5.7
After Ceos are Naxos [Note] and Andros, [Note] considerable islands, and Paros, the birth-place of the poet Archilochus. Thasos [Note] was founded by Parians, and Parium, [Note] a city in the Propontis. In this last place there is said to be an altar worthy of notice, each of whose sides is a stadium in length.
In Paros is obtained the Parian marble, the best adapted for statuary work. [Note]10.5.8
Here also is Syros, (the first syllable is long,) where
Pherecydes the son of Babys was born. The Athenian
Pherecydes is younger than the latter person. The poet seems
to have mentioned this island under the name of Syria;
above Ortygia is an island called Syria. [Note]Od. xv. 402.
Myconus [Note] is an island beneath which, according to the mythologists, lie the last of the giants, destroyed by Hercules; whence the proverb, all under one Myconus, applied to persons who collect under one title things that are disjoined by nature. Some also call bald persons Miconians, because baldness is frequent among the inhabitants of the island. [Note]10.5.10
Seriphos [Note] is the island where is laid the scene of the fable of Dictys, who drew to land in his net the chest in which were enclosed Perseus and his mother Danaë, who were thrown into the sea by order of Acrisius, the father of Danaë. There it is said Perseus was brought up, and to this island he brought the head of the Gorgon; he exhibited it to the Seriphians, and turned them all into stone. This he did to avenge the wrongs of his mother, because their king Polydectes, with the assistance of his subjects, desired to make her his wife by force. Seriphus abounds so much with rocks, that they say in jest that it was the work of the Gorgon.10.5.11
Tenos [Note] has a small city, but there is, in a grove beyond it, a large temple of Neptune worthy of notice. It contains large banqueting rooms, a proof of the great multitudes that repair thither from the neighbouring places to celebrate a feast, and to perform a common sacrifice in honour of Neptune.10.5.12
To the Sporades belongs Amorgos, [Note] the birth-place of
Simonides, the Iambic poet; Lebinthus [Note] also, and Leria
(Leros). [Note] Phocylides refers to Leria in these lines;
the Lerians are bad, not some, but all, except Procles; but Procies is
for the Lerians are reputed to have bad dispositions.
Icaria has no inhabitants, but it has pastures, of which the Samians avail themselves. Notwithstanding its condition it is famous, and gives the name of Icarian to the sea in front of it, in which are situated Samos, Cos, and the islands just mentioned, [Note] the Corassiæ, Patmos, and Leros [Note] [in Samos is the mountain the Cerceteus, more celebrated than the Ampelus, which overhangs the city of the Samians]. [Note] Continuous to the Icarian sea, towards the south, is the Carpathian sea, and the ægyptian sea to this; to the west are the Cretan and African seas.10.5.14
In the Carpathian sea, between Cos, Rhodes, and Crete,
are situated many of the Sporades, as Astypalæa, [Note] Telos, [Note]
Chalcia, [Note] and those mentioned by Homer in the Catalogue.
They who occupied Nisyrus, Crapathus, Casus, and Cos,
Il. ii. 676.
The city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnæ islands. [Note]
we place the rest among the Sporades, and we mention them here although they do not lie near Europe, but Asia, because the course of my work induces me to include the Sporades in the description of Crete and of the Cyclades.
We shall traverse in the description of Asia the considerable islands adjacent to that country, as Cyprus, Rhodes, Cos, and those situated on the succeeding line of coast, Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos. At present we are to describe the remaining islands of the Sporades, which deserve mention.10.5.15
Astypalæa lies far out at sea, and contains a city.
Telos, which is long, high, and narrow, in circumference about 140 stadia, with a shelter for vessels, extends along the Cnidian territory.
Chalcia is distant from Telos 80, from Carpathus 400 stadia, and about double this number from Astypalæa. It has a settlement of the same name, a temple of Apollo, and a harbour.10.5.16
Nisyrus lies to the north of Telos, at the distance of about 60 stadia, which is its distance also from Cos. It is round, lofty, and rocky, and has abundance of mill-stone, whence the neighbouring people are well supplied with stones for grinding. It contains a city of the same name, a harbour, hot springs, and a temple of Neptune. Its circumference is 80 stadia. Near it are small islands, called the islands of the Nisyrians. Nisyrus is said to be a fragment broken off from Cos; a story is also told of Neptune, that when pursuing Polybotes, one of the giants, he broke off with his trident a piece of the island Cos, and hurled it at him, and that the missile became the island Nisyrus, with the giant lying beneath it. But some say that the giant lies beneath Cos.10.5.17
Carpathus, which the poet calls Crapathus, is lofty, having a circumference of 200 stadia. It contained four cities, and its name was famous, which it imparted to the surrounding sea. One of the cities was called Nisyrus, after the name of the island Nisyrus. It lies opposite Leuce Acte in Africa, which is distant about 1000 stadia from Alexandria, and about 4000 from Carpathus.10.5.18
Casus is distant from Carpathus 70, and from the promontory Salmonium in Crete 250 stadia. It is 80 stadia in circumference. It contains a city of the same name; and many islands, called the islands of the Casii, lie about it.10.5.19
They say that the poet calls the Sporades, Calydnæ,
one of which is Calymna. [Note] But it is probable that as the
islands, which are near and dependent, have their names from
the Nisyrii and Casii, so those that lie around Calymna had
their name from that island, which was then perhaps called
Calydna. Some say that the Calydnœ islands are two, Leros
and Calymna, and that the poet means these. But the Scepsian
says, that the name of the island was used in the plural
number, Calymnæ, like Athenæ, Thebæ, and that the words
of the poet must be understood according to the figure hyperbaton, or inversion, for he does not say, the islands Calydnæ,
they who occupied the islands Nisyrus, Crapathus, Casus, and Cos, the
city of Eurypylus, and Calydnæ.
All the honey of the islands is, for the most part, excellent, and rivals that of Attica; but the honey of these islands surpasses it, particularly that of Calymna. [Note]
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