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

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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.

CHAPTER V. 10.5.1

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,

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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.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.4.19 Str. 10.4.22 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.5.3

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