Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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SICILY is triangular in form, and on this account was at first called Trinacria, but afterwards the name was softened and it was changed into Thrinacia. [Note]

Three low headlands bound the figure: Pelorias is the name of that towards Cænys and the Columna Rheginorum which forms the strait; Pachynus [Note] is that which stretches towards the east, and is washed by the Sea of Sicily, looking towards the Peloponnesus and in the direction of the passage to Crete; the third is Lilybæum, [Note] and is next to Africa, looking towards that region and the setting of the sun in winter. [Note] Of the sides which these three headlands bound, two are somewhat concave, while the third is slightly convex, it runs from Lilybæum to Pelorias, and is the longest, being, as Posidonius has said, 1700 stadia adding

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further twenty. Of the others, that extending to Pachynus from Lilybæum is the longer, while the shortest faces the Strait and Italy, extending from Pelorias to Pachynus, being about 1120 or 1130 stadia. Posidonius shows that the circumference is 4400 stadia, but in the Chorography the distances are declared to exceed the above numbers, being severally reckoned in miles. Thus from Cape Pelorias to Mylæ, [Note] 25 miles; from Mylæ to Tyndaris, [Note] 25; thence to Agathyrnum, [Note] 30; from Agathyrnum to Alæsa, [Note]
30; from Alæsa to Cephalœdium, [Note] 30; these are but insignificant places; from Cephalœdium to the river Himera, [Note] which runs through the midst of Sicily, 18; from thence to Panormus, [Note] 35; [thence] to the Emporium [Note] of the ægestani, 32; leaving to Lilybæum [Note] a distance of 38; thence having doubled the Cape and coasting the adjacent side to Heracleum, [Note] 75; and to the Emporium [Note]

of the Agrigentini, 20; and to [Note] Cama-

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rina, [Note] another 20; then to Pachynus, 50; thence again along the third side to Syracuse, 36; [Note] from Syracuse to Catana, 60; then to Tauromenium, [Note] 33; thence to Messana, 30. [Note] Thus on foot [Note] from Pachynus to Pelorias we have 168 [miles], and from Messana [Note] to [Cape] Lilybeum, on the Via Valeria, [Note] we have 235 [Note] [miles]. Some have estimated the circuit in a more simple way, as Ephorus, who says that the compass of the island by sea takes five days and nights. Posidonius attempts to determine the situation of the island by climata, [Note] and places Pelorias to the north, Lilybæum to the south, and Pachynus to the east. We however consider that of necessity all climata are set out in the manner of a parallelogram, but that districts portrayed as triangles, and especially such triangles as are scalene, [Note] and whereof no one side lies parallel to a side of the parallelogram, cannot in any way be assimilated to climata on account of their obliquity. However, we must allow, that in treating of Sicily, Pelorias, which lies to the south of Italy, may well be called the most northern of the three angles, so that we say that the line which joins it [Note] to Pachynus faces the east but looks towards the north. [Note] Now this line [of coast] will make the side next the Strait [of Messina], and it must have a slight inclination towards the winter sunrise; [Note] for thus the shore slightly changes its direction as you travel from Catana towards Syracuse and Pachynus. Now the transit from Pachynus to the mouth of the Alpheus [Note] is 4000 stadia. But when Artemidorus says that from Pachy-

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nus to Tænarum [Note] it is 4600, and from the Alpheus to the Pamisus is 1130 stadia, [Note] he appears to me to lie open to the objection of having given distances which do not accord with the 4000 stadia from Pachynus to the Alpheus. The line run from Pachynus to Lilybæum (which is much to the west of Pelorias) is considerably diverged from the south towards the west, having at the same time an aspect looking towards the east and towards the south. [Note] On one side it is washed by the sea of Sicily, and on the other by the Libyan Sea, extending from Carthage to the Syrtes. The shortest run is 1500 stadia from Lilybæum to the coast of Africa about Carthage; and, according to report, a certain very sharp-sighted person, [Note] placed on a watch-tower, announced to the Carthaginians besieged in Lilybæum the number of the ships which were leaving Carthage. And from Lilybæum to Pelorias the side must necessarily incline towards the east, and look in a direction towards the west and north, having Italy to the north, and the Tyrrhenian Sea with the islands of æolus to the west. [Note] 6.2.2

The cities situated on the side which forms the Strait are, first Messana, then Tauromenium, [Note] Catana, and Syracuse; between Catana and Syracuse were the ruined cities Naxos [Note] and Megara, [Note] situated where the rivers descending from ætna fall into the sea, and afford good accommodation for shipping. Here is also the promontory of Xiphonia. They say that Ephorus founded these first cities of the Greeks in Sicily in

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the tenth generation from the Trojan war. For those who preceded him were so terrified by the piratical customs of the Tyrrheni, and the ferocity of the savages of the neighbourhood, that they did not even venture to resort thither for the purposes of commerce. Theocles the Athenian, however, having been driven to Sicily by storms, observed both the weakness of the inhabitants and the excellence of the soil. On his return home, he was unable to persuade the Athenians to make any attempt, but he collected a numerous band of Chalcidians in Eubœa, with some Ionians and Dorians, whereof the most part were Megarenses, and sailed. The Chalcidians founded Naxos, and the Dorians Megara, which was at first called Hybla. These cities no longer exist, but the name of Hybla survives on account of the Hyblæan honey.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 6.2.1 Str. 6.2.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.2.4

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