Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 6.2.10 Str. 6.3.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.3.3


We have noticed the islands of Lipari and Thermessa. As for Strongyle, [Note] it takes its name from its form. [Note] Like the other two, it is subigneous, but is deficient in the force of the flames which are emitted, while their brightness is greater. It is here they say that æolus resided. [Note] The fourth is Didyma; this island also is named from its form. [Note] Of the others, [the fifth and sixth] are Ericus-

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sa [Note] and phœnicussa; [Note] they are called from the plants which they produce, and are given up to pasture. The seventh [island] is called Euonymus; [Note] it is the farthest in the sea and barren. It is called Euonymus because it lies the most to the left when you sail from the island of Lipari to Sicily, [Note] and many times flames of fire have been seen to rise to the surface, and play upon the sea round the islands: these flames rush with violence from the cavities at the bottom of the sea, [Note] and force for themselves a passage to the open air. Posidonius says, that at a time so recent as to be almost within his recollection, about the summer solstice and at break of day, between Hiera and Euonymus, the sea was observed to be suddenly raised aloft, and to abide some time raised in a compact mass and then to subside. Some ventured to approach that part in their ships; they observed the fish dead and driven by the current, but being distressed by the heat and foul smell, were compelled to turn back. One of the boats which had approached nearest lost some of her crew, and was scarcely able to reach Lipari with the rest, and they had fits like an epileptic person, at one time fainting and giddy, and at another returning to their senses; and many days afterwards a mud or clay was observed rising in the sea, and in many parts the flames

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issued, and smoke and smoky blazes; afterwards it congealed and became a rock like mill-stones. Titus Flaminius, [Note] who then commanded in Sicily, despatched to the senate [of Rome] a fill account of the phenomenon; the senate sent and offered sacrifices to the infernal and marine divinities both in the little island [which had thus been formed] and the Lipari Islands. Now the chorographer reckons that from Ericodes to Phœnicodes are 10 miles, from thence to Didyma 30, from thence to the northernmost point [Note] of Lipari 29, and from thence to Sicily 19, while from Strongyle are 16. [Note] Melita [Note] lies before [Note] Pachynus; from thence come the little dogs called Maltese; [Note] so does also Gaudus, [Note] both of them are situated about 88 miles distant from that promontory. Cossura [Note] is situated before Cape Lilybæsum, and opposite the Carthaginian city Aspis, which they call [in Latin] Clypea, it is situated in the midst of the space which lies between those

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two places, and is distant from each the number of miles last given. [Note] ægimurus also and other little islands lie off Sicily and Africa. So much for the islands.


HAVING previously passed over the regions of ancient Italy as far as Metapontium, we must now proceed to describe the rest. After it Iapygia [Note] comes next in order; the Greeks call it Messapia, but the inhabitants, dividing it into cantons, call one the Salentini, [Note] that in the neighbourhood of the Cape [Note] Iapygia, and another the Calabri; [Note] above these towards the north lie the Peucetii, [Note] and those who are called Daunii [Note] in the Greek language, but the inhabitants call

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the whole region beyond the Calabri, Apulia. Some of these people are called Pœdicli, [Note] especially the Peucetii. Messapia forms a peninsula; the isthmus extending from Brentesium [Note] to Tarentum, which bounds it, being 310 stadia, and the circumnavigation round the Iapygian promontory [Note] about [one thousand] [Note] four hundred. [Tarentum [Note]] is distant from Metapontium [Note] about two hundred and twenty [Note]] stadia. The course to it by sea runs in an easterly direction. The Gulf of Tarentum is for the most part destitute of a port, but here there is a spacious and commodious [harbour [Note]], closed in by a great bridge. It is 100 stadia [Note] in circuit. This port, at the head of its basin which recedes most inland, forms, with the exterior sea, an isthmus which connects the peninsula with the land. The city is situated upon this peninsula. The neck of land is so low that ships are easily hauled over it from either side. The site of the city likewise is extremely low; the ground, however, rises slightly towards the citadel. The old wall of the city has an immense circuit, but now the portion towards the isthmus is deserted, but that standing near the mouth of the harbour, where the citadel is situated, still subsists, and contains a considerable city. It possesses a noble gymnasium and a spacious forum, in which there is set up a brazen colossus of Jupiter, the largest that ever was, with the exception of that of Rhodes. The citadel is situated between the forum and the entrance of the harbour, it still preserves some slight relics of its ancient magnificence

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and gifts, but the chief of them were destroyed either by the Carthaginians [Note] when they took the city, or by the Romans [Note] when they took it by force and sacked it. Amongst other booty taken on this occasion [Note] was the brazen colossus of Hercules, the work of Lysippus, now in the Capitol, which was dedicated as an offering by Fabius Maximus, who took the city.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 6.2.10 Str. 6.3.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.3.3

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