Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 14.1.4 Str. 14.1.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 14.1.15


Ephorus relates that Miletus was first founded and fortified by the Cretans on the spot above the sea-coast where at present the ancient Miletus is situated, and that Sarpedon conducted thither settlers from the Miletus in Crete, [Note] and gave it the same name; that Leleges were the former occupiers of the country, and that afterwards Neleus built the present city.

-- 5 --

The present city has four harbours, one of which will admit a fleet of ships. [Note] The citizens have achieved many great deeds, but the most important is the number of colonies which they established. The whole Euxine, for instance, and the Propontis, and many other places, are peopled with their settlers.

Anaximenes of Lampsacus says, that the Milesians colonized both the island Icarus and Lerus, and Limnæ on the Hellespont, in the Chersonesus; in Asia, Abydus, Arisba, and Pæsus; on the island of the Cyziceni, Artace and Cyzicus; in the interior of the Troad, Scepsis. We have mentioned, in our particular description of places, other cities which this writer has omitted.

Both the Milesians and Delians invoke Apollo Ulius, as dispensing health and curing diseases; for οὔλειν [Note] is to be in health, whence οὐλή [Note] a wound healed, and the phrase in Homer, [Note] ολέ τε καὶ μέγα χαῖε, health and good welcome; for Apollo is a healer, and Artemis has her name from making persons ἀτεμέας, or sound. The sun, also, and moon are associated with these deities, since they are the causes of the good qualities of the air; pestilential diseases, also, and sudden death are attributed to these deities. 14.1.7

Illustrious persons, natives of Miletus, were Thales, one of the seven wise men, the first person who introduced among the Greeks physiology and mathematics; his disciple Anaximander, and Anaximenes the disciple of Anaximander. Besides these, Hecatæus the historian; [Note] and of our time, æschines the orator, who was banished for having spoken with two great freedom before Pompey the Great, and died in exile.

Miletus shut her gates against Alexander, and experienced the misfortune of being taken by storm, which was also the fate of Halicarnassus; long before this time it was captured by the Persians. Callisthenes relates, that Phrynichus the tragic writer was fined a thousand drachmæ by the Athenians for composing a play entitled The taking of Miletus by Darius.

-- 6 --

The island Lade lies close in front of Miletus, and small islands about Tragææ, [Note] which afford a shelter for pirates. 14.1.8

Next follows the Gulf of Latmus, on which is situated Heracleia under Latmus, [Note] as it is called, a small town with a shelter for vessels. It formerly had the same name as the mountain above, which Hecatæus thinks was the same as that called by the poet [Note] the mountain of the Phtheiri, for he says that the mountain of the Phtheiri was situated below Latmus; but some say that it was Grium, as being parallel to Latmus, and extending from the Milesian territory towards the east, through Caria, as far as Euromus and Chalcetores. However, the mountain rises up in sight of [Note] the city.

At a little distance further, after crossing a small river near Latmus, there is seen in a cave the sepulchre of Endymion. Then from Heracleia to Pyrrha, a small city, is about 100 stadia by sea, but a little more from Miletus to Heracleia, if we include the winding of the bays. 14.1.9

From Miletus to Pyrrha, in a straight line by sea, is 30 stadia; so much longer is the journey by sailing near the land. 14.1.10

When we are speaking of celebrated places, the reader must endure with patience the dryness of such geographical descriptions.

From Pyrrha to the mouth of the Mæander are 50 stadia. The ground about it is marshy and a swamp. In sailing up the river in vessels rowed by oars to the distance of 30 stadia, we come to Myus, [Note] one of the twelve Ionian cities, which, on account of its diminished population, is now incorporated with Miletus. Xerxes is said to have given this city to Themistocles to supply him with fish, Magnesia with bread, and Lampsacus with wine. [Note] 14.1.11

At four stadia from Myus is Thymbria, a Carian village, near which is Aornum; this is a sacred cave called Charo-

-- 7 --

nium, which emits destructive vapours. Above it is Magnesia [Note] on the Mæander, a colony of the Magnesians of Thessaly and Crete. We shall speak of it very soon. 14.1.12

After the mouths of the Mæander follows the shore of Priene. Above it is Priene, [Note] and the mountain Mycale. [Note] which abounds with animals of the chace, and is covered with forests. It is situated above the Samian territory, and forms towards it, beyond the promontory Trogilium, [Note] a strait of above 7 stadia in width. Priene is called by some writers Cadme, because Philotus, its second founder, was a Bœotian. Bias, one of the seven wise men, was a native of Priene, of whom Hipponax uses this expression; More just in pleadings than Bias of Priene.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 14.1.4 Str. 14.1.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 14.1.15

Powered by PhiloLogic