Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.5.2 Str. 10.5.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.5.12

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

-- 209 --

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. 10.5.5

Rheneia [Note] is a small desert island 4 stadia from Delos, where are the sepulchral monuments of the Delians. For it is not permitted to bury the dead in Delos, nor to burn a

-- 210 --

dead body there. It is not permitted even to keep a dog in Delos.

Formerly it had the name of Ortygia. [Note] 10.5.6

Ceos [Note]


once contained four cities. Two remain, Iulis and Carthæ, to which the inhabitants of the others were transferred; those of Poæëssa to Carthæ, and those of Coressia to Iulis. Simonides the lyric poet, and Bacchylides his nephew, and after their times Erasistratus the physician, and Ariston the Peripatetic philosopher, the imitator of Bion, [Note] the Borysthenite, were natives of this city.

There was an ancient law among these people, mentioned by Menander. Phanias, that is a good law of the Ceans; who cannot live comfortably (or well), let him not live miserably (or ill). [Note] For the law, it seems, ordained that those above sixty years old should be compelled to drink hemlock, in order that there might be sufficient food for the rest. It is said that once when they were besieged by the Athenians, a decree was passed to the effect that the oldest persons, fixing the age, should be put to death, and that the besiegers retired in consequence.

The city lies on a mountain, at a distance from the sea of about 25 stadia. Its arsenal is the place on which Coressia was built, which does not contain the population even of a village. Near the Coressian territory and Pϑessa is a temple of Apollo Sminthius. But between the temple and the ruins of Pϑessa is the temple of Minerva Nedusia, built by Nestor, on his return from Troy. The river Elixus runs around the territory of Coressia. 10.5.7

After Ceos are Naxos [Note] and Andros, [Note] considerable islands, and Paros, the birth-place of the poet Archilochus. Thasos [Note] was founded by Parians, and Parium, [Note] a city in the Propontis. In this last place there is said to be an altar worthy of notice, each of whose sides is a stadium in length.

-- 211 --

In Paros is obtained the Parian marble, the best adapted for statuary work. [Note]



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 10.5.2 Str. 10.5.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 10.5.12

Powered by PhiloLogic