Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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14.1.17

Syloson was left by his brother in a private station. But he made a present to Darius, son of Hystaspes, of a robe which the latter saw him wearing, and very much desired to possess. Darius was not king at this time, but when he became king, Polycrates received as a compensation the tyranny of Samos. He governed with so much severity, that the city was depopulated, which gave occasion to the proverb, By the pleasure of Syloson there is room enough. 14.1.18

The Athenians formerly sent Pericles their general, and with him Sophocles the poet, who harassed with the evils of a siege the refractory Samians. Afterwards [Note] they sent thither a colony of two thousand citizens, among whom was Neocles the father of Epicurus, and, according to report, a schoolmaster. It is said, that Epicurus was educated here and at Teos, and was admitted among the ephebi at Athens, having as his comrade in that class Menander the comic poet. Creophylus was a native of Samos, [Note] who, it is said, once entertained Homer as his guest, and received, in return, his poem entitled The taking of Œchalia. Callimachus, on the contrary, intimates in an epigram that it was the composition of

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Creophylus, but ascribed to Homer on account of the story of his hospitable entertainment by Creophylus:

I am the work of the Samian, who once entertained in his house, as a guest, the divine Homer. I grieve for the sufferings of Eurytus, and mourn for the yellow-haired Ioleia. I am called Homer's writing. O Jupiter, how glorious this for Creophylus.

Some say that he was Homer's master; according to others, it was not Creophylus, but Aristeas of Proconnesus.
14.1.19

The island of Icaria, from which the Icarian Sea has its name, is near Samos. The island has its name from Icarus, the son of Dædalus, who, it is said, having accompanied his father in his flight, when both of them, furnished with wings, set out from Crete, fell on that island, unable to sustain his flight. He had mounted too near the sun, and the wings dropped off on the melting of the wax [with which they were fastened].

The whole island is 300 stadia in circumference; it has no harbours, but only anchorages, the best of which is called Histi. A promontory stretches towards the west. There is also on the island a temple of Diana, called Tauropolium, and a small town Œnoë; and another, Dracanum, [Note] of the same name as the promontory on which it stands, with an anchorage for vessels. The promontory is distant from the promontory of the Samians, called Cantharius, 80 stadia, which is the shortest passage from one to the other. The Samians occupy it at present in its depopulated state, chiefly for the sake of pasture which it affords for cattle. 14.1.20

Next to the Samian strait at Mycale, on the right hand on the voyage to Ephesus, is the sea-coast of the Ephesians, a part of which even the Samians possess. First on the sea-coast is the Panionium, [Note] distant from the sea three stadia, where the Panionia, a common festival of the Ionians, is celebrated, and a sacrifice is performed in honour of the Heliconian Neptune. The priests are Prienians. We have spoken of them in the description of Peloponnesus.

Then follows Neapolis, which formerly belonged to the Ephesians, but now belongs to the Samians, having exchanged Marathesium [Note] for it, the more distant for the nearer place. Next is Pygela, a small town, containing a temple of Diana Munychia. It was founded by Agamemnon, and colonized

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by some of his soldiers, who had a disease in the buttocks, and were called Pygalgeis; as they laboured under this complaint, they settled there, and the town had the appropriate name of Pygela. [Note]

Next is a harbour called Panormus, with a temple of the Ephesian Diana; then the city.

On the same coast, at a little distance from the sea, is Ortygia, a fine wood with trees of all kinds, but the cypress in the greatest abundance. Through this wood flows the river Cenchrius, in which Latona is said to have bathed after the birth of her child. For here is laid the scene of the birth of the child, the cares of the nurse Ortygia, the cave in which the birth took place, the neighbouring olive tree under which the goddess first reposed when the pains of child-birth had ceased.

Above the wood is the mountain Solmissus, where, it is said, the Curetes stationed themselves, and with the noise of their arms perplexed and terrified Juno, who was enviously watching in secret the delivery of Latona, who was thus assisted in concealing the birth of the child.

There are many temples in the place, some of which are ancient, others of later times; in the former are ancient statues; in the latter are works of Scopas, Latona holding a sceptre, and Ortygia standing by her with a child in each arm.

A convention and festival are celebrated there every year. It is the custom for young men to vie with each other, particularly in the splendour of their convivial entertainments. The body of Curetes celebrate their Symposia at the same time, and perform certain mystic sacrifices. 14.1.21

The city of Ephesus was inhabited both by Carians and Leleges. After Androclus had expelled the greatest part of the inhabitants, he settled his companions about the Athenæum, and the Hypelæum, and in the mountainous tract at the foot of the Coressus. It was thus inhabited till the time of Crœsus. Afterwards, the inhabitants descended from the mountainous district, and settled about the present temple, and continued there to the time of Alexander. Then Lysimachus built a wall round the present temple, and, perceiving the in-

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habitants unwilling to remove thither, took advantage of a heavy storm of rain which he saw approaching, and obstructed the drains so as to inundate the city, and the inhabitants were glad to leave it for another place.

He called the city Arsinoë, after the name of his wife, but the old name prevailed. A body of elders was enrolled, with whom were associated persons called Epicleti, who administered all the affairs of the city.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 14.1.13 Str. 14.1.19 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 14.1.24

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