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

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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 and Diana. 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] 10.5.3

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] He told his fellow-passengers, that he was

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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. 10.5.4

Although Delos [Note] was so famous, yet it became still more so, and flourished after the destruction of Corinth by the Romans. [Note] For the merchants resorted thither, induced by the immunities of the temple, and the convenience of its harbour. It lies favourably [Note] for those who are sailing from Italy and Greece to Asia. The general festival held there serves the purposes of commerce, and the Romans particularly frequented it even before the destruction of Corinth. [Note] The Athenians, after having taken the island, paid equal attention to the affairs both of religion and of commerce. But the generals [Note] of Mithridates, and the tyrant, [Note] who had occasioned the detection of (Athens from the Romans), ravaged it entirely. The Romans received the island in a desolate state on the departure of the king to his own country; and it has continued in an impoverished condition to the present time. [Note] The Athenians are now in possession of it.



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