Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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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,
And king of the Taphians, skilful rowers. [Note]
Od. i. 181.

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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.
10.2.15

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 stadia (1300?) in circumference. It extends in length towards the south-east (Eurus). It is mountainous; the largest mountain in it is the ænus, [Note] on which is the temple of Jupiter ænesius. Here is the narrowest part of the island, which forms a low isthmus, that is frequently overflowed from sea to sea. [Note] Cranii [Note] and Paleis [Note] are situated near the straits in the Gulf. 10.2.16

Between Ithaca and Cephallenia is the small island

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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.
But Apollodorus says that it exists even at present, and mentions a small city in it, Alalcomenæ, situated quite upon the isthmus. 10.2.17

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.
sometimes by uniting it with the neighbouring islands, to Samos, and Imbros, and inaccessible Lemnos; [Note]
Il. xxiv. 753.
and again, between Samos and rocky Imbros. [Note]
Il. xxiv. 78.
He was therefore acquainted with the Ionian island, although he has not mentioned its name. Nor had it formerly always the same name, but was called Melamphylus, then Anthemis, then Parthenia, from the river Parthenius, the name of which was changed to Imbrasus. Since then both Cephallenia and Samothracé were called Samos [Note] at the time of the Trojan war, (for if it had not been so Hecuba would not have been introduced saying, that Achilles would sell any of her children that he could seize at Samos and Imbros, [Note]) Ionian Samos was not yet colonized (by Ionians), which is evident from its having the same name from one of the islands earlier (called Samos), that had it before; whence this also is clear, that those persons contradict ancient history, who assert, that colonists came from Samos after the Ionian migration, and the arrival of Tembrion, and gave the name of Samos to Samothracé. The Samians invented this story out of vanity. Those are more entitled to credit, who say, that heights are

-- 169 --

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.
But according to some writers, Samos had its name from the Saii, a Thracian tribe, who formerly inhabited it, and who occupied also the adjoining continent, whether they were the same people as the Sapæ, or the Sinti, whom the poet calls Sinties, or a different nation. Archilochus mentions the Sail; one of the Saii is exulting in the possession of an honourable shield, which I left against my will near a thicket.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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