Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.2.20 Str. 10.2.22 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.3.1

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-

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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 of Sardis. 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

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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.

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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.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.2.20 Str. 10.2.22 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.3.1

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