Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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With regard to Apollodorus, who mentions these places in his discourse on the array of the Trojan forces, we have

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said much before in reply to him, and we must now speak of him again. [Note] He is of opinion that we ought not to understand the Halizoni without the Halys, for no auxiliaries came to Troy from the country on the other side of the Halys. First, then, we will inquire of him who are the Halizoni within the Halys, and situated far from Alybe, where are silver mines?
He will not be able to reply. Next we will ask the reason why he does not admit that some auxiliaries came from the country on the other side of the Halys. For if it was the case, that all the rest were living on this side the Halys, except the Thracians, nothing prevented this one body of allies from coming from afar, from the country beyond the Leuco- Syrians? Or, was it possible for the persons immediately engaged in the war to pass over from those places, and from the country beyond them, as the Amazons, Treres, and Cimmerians, but impossible for allies to do so?

The Amazons were not allies, because Priam had fought in alliance with the Phrygians against them: at that time, says Priam, I was among their auxiliaries on that day, when the Amazons came to attack them. [Note]

The people also who were living on the borders of the country of the Amazons were not situated at so great a distance that it was difficult to send for them from thence, nor did any animosity exist, I suppose, at that time to prevent them from affording assistance. 12.3.25

Nor is there any foundation for the opinion, that all the ancients agree that no people from the country beyond the Halys took part in the Trojan war. Testimony may be found to the contrary. Mæandrius at least says that Heneti came from the country of the Leuco-Syrians to assist the Tro- jans in the war; that they set sail thence with the Thracians, and settled about the recess of the Adriatic; and that the Heneti, who had no place in the expedition, were Cappadocians. This account seems to agree with the circumstance, that the people inhabiting the whole of that part of Cappadocia near the Halys, which extends along Paphlagonia, speak two dialects, and that their language abounds with Paphlagonian names, as

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Bagas, Biasas, æniates, Rhatotes, Zardoces, Tibius, Gasys, Oligasys, and Manes. For these names are frequently to be found in the Bamonitis, the Pimolitis, the Gazaluitis, and Gazacene, and in most of the other districts. Apollodorus himself quotes the words of Homer, altered by Zenodotus; from Henete, whence comes a race of wild mules,
and says, that Hecatæus the Milesian understands Henete to mean Amisus. But we have shown that Amisus belongs to the Leuco-Syrians, and is situated beyond the Halys. 12.3.26

He also somewhere says that the poet obtained his knowledge of the Paphlagonians, situated in the interior, from persons who had travelled through the country on foot, but that he was not acquainted with the sea-coast any more than with the rest of the territory of Pontus; for otherwise he would have mentioned it by name. We may, on the contrary, after the description which has just been given of the country, retort and say that he has traversed the whole of the sea-coast, and has omitted nothing worthy of record which existed at that time. It is not surprising that he does not mention Heracleia, Amastris, or Sinope, for they were not founded; nor is it strange that he should omit to speak of the interior of the country; nor is it a proof of ignorance not to specify by name many places which were well known, as we have shown in a preceding part of this work.

He says that Homer was ignorant of much that was remarkable in Pontus, as rivers and nations, otherwise he would have mentioned their names. This may be admitted with respect to some very remarkable nations and rivers, as the Scythians, the Palus Mæotis, and the Danube. For he would not have described the Nomades, by characteristic signs, as living on milk, Abii, a people without certain means of subsistence, most just and renowned Hippemolgi, (milkers of mares,) and not distinguished them as Scythians, or Sauromatæ, or Sarmatæ, if, indeed, they had these names among the Greeks (at that time). Nor in mentioning the Thracians and Mysians, who live near the Danube, would he have passed over in silence the Danube itself, one of the largest rivers, particularly as, in other instances, he is inclined to mark the boundaries of places by rivers; nor in speaking of the Cimmerians would he have omitted the Bosporus, or the Mæotis.

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27. With respect then to places not so remarkable, or not famous at that time, or not illustrating the subject of his poem, who can blame the poet for omitting them? As, for example, omitting to mention the Don, famed only as it is for being the boundary of Asia and Europe. The persons however of that time were not accustomed to use the name either of Asia or Europe, nor was the habitable earth divided into three continents; otherwise he would have mentioned them by name on account of their strong characteristic marks, as he mentioned by name Libya (Africa), and the Libs (the south-west wind), blowing from the western parts of Africa. But as the continents were not yet distinguished, it was not necessary that he should mention the Don. There were many things worthy of record, which did not occur to him. For both in actions and in discourse much is done and said without any cause or motive, by merely spontaneously presenting itself to the mind.

It is evident from all these circumstances that every person who concludes that because a certain thing is not mentioned by the poet he was therefore ignorant of it, uses a bad argument; and we must prove by several examples that it is bad, for many persons employ this kind of evidence to a great extent. We must refute them therefore by producing such instances as these which follow, although we shall repeat what has been already said.

If any one should maintain that the poet was not acquainted with a river which he has not mentioned, we should say that his argument is absurd, for he has not mentioned by name even the river Meles, which runs by Smyrna, his birth-place according to many writers, while he has mentioned the rivers Hermus and Hyllus by name, but yet not the Pactolus, [Note] which discharges itself into the same channel as these rivers, and rises in the mountain Tmolus. [Note] He does not mention either Smyrna itself, or the other cities of the Ionians, or most of those of the æolians, although he specifies Miletus, Samos, Lesbos, and Tenedos. He does not mention the Lethæus, which flows beside Magnesia, [Note] nor the Marsyas, which rivers empty themselves into the Mæander, [Note] which he mentions by name, as well as

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the Rhesus, Heptapous, Caresus, and Rhodius, [Note]
Il. xii. 20.
and others, many of which are not more than small streams. While he specifies by name many countries and cities, sometimes he makes an enumeration of rivers and mountains, sometimes he does not do so. He does not mention the rivers in ætolia and Attica, nor many others. And if, in mentioning people that live afar off, he does not mention those who are very near, it is certainly not through ignorance of them, for they were well known to other writers. With respect to people who were all equally near, he does not observe one rule, for some he mentions, and not others, as for instance he mentions the Lycii, and Solymi, but not the Milye, nor Pamphylians, nor Pisidians; the Paphlagonians, Phrygians, and Mysians, but not the Mariandyni, nor Thyni, nor Bithynians, nor Bebryces; the Amazons, but not the Leuco-Syrians, nor Syrians, nor Cappadocians, nor Lycaonians, while he frequently speaks of the Phœnicians, ægyptians, and æthiopians. He mentions the Aleian plain, and the Arimi mountains, but not the nation among which these are situated.

The argument drawn from this is false; the true argument would have been to show that the poet has asserted what is not true. Apollodorus has not succeeded in this attempt, and he has more particularly failed when he ventures to call by the name of fiction the renowned Hippemolgi and Galactophagi. So much then in reply to Apollodorus. I now return to the part of my description which follows next in order.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 12.3.20 Str. 12.3.26 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 12.3.30

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