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

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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,

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and Gortyna, a walled city; [Note]
Il. ii. 646.
it lost afterwards its walls, which were destroyed from their foundation, and it has remained ever since without walls; for Ptolemy Philopator, who began to build a wall, proceeded with it to the distance only of about 8 stadia. Formerly the building occupied a considerable compass, extending nearly 50 stadia It is distant from the African sea, and from Leben its mart, 90 stadia. It has also another arsenal, Matalum. [Note] It is distant from that 130 stadia. The river Lethæus [Note] flows through the whole of the city. 10.4.12

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

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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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.4.5 Str. 10.4.11 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.4.15

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