Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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6.3.6

In the inland are Rudiæ and Lupiæ, and at a short distance from the sea Aletia; [Note] about the middle of the isthmus is Uria, [Note] in which is still shown the palace of a certain famous nobleman. [Note] As Hyria [Note] is described by Herodotus as situated in Iapygia, and as founded by the Cretans who strayed from the fleet of Minos while sailing to Sicily; [Note] we must suppose that he meant either this place [Uria] or Veretum. It is said that a colony of Cretans settled in Brentesium, [Note] but the tradition varies; some say they were those who came with Theseus from Cnossus; [Note] others, that they were some out of Sicily who had come with Iapyx; they agree however in saying that they did not abide there, but went thence to Bottiæa. At a later period, when the state was under the government of a monarch, it lost a large portion of its territories, which was taken by the Lacedæmonians who came over under Phalanthus; notwithstanding this the Brundusians received him when he was expelled from Tarentum, and honoured him with a splendid tomb at his death. They possess a district of superior fertility to that of the Tarentines; for its soil is light, still it is fruitful, and its honey and wools are amongst the most esteemed; further, the harbour of Brentesium is superior to that of Tarentum, for many havens are protected by the single entrance, [Note] and rendered perfectly smooth, many

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bays [or reaches] being formed within it, so that it resembles in fashion the antlers of a stag, whence its name, for the place, together with the city, is exceedingly like the head of a stag, and in the Messapian language the stag's head is called Brentesium; while the port of Tarentum is not entirely safe, both on account of its lying very open, and of certain shallows near its head. 6.3.7

Further, the course for passengers from Greece and Asia is most direct to Brentesium, and in fact all who are journeying to Rome disembark here. Hence there are two ways to Rome; one, which is only walked by mules, through the Peucetii, who are called Pœdicli, the Daunii, and the Samnites, as far as Beneventum, on which road is the city Egnatia, [Note] then Celia, [Note] Netium, [Note] Canusium, [Note] and Herdonia. [Note]

[Note] and Venusia; [Note] the one [Uria] between Tarentum and Brentesium, the other on the confines of the Samnites and Lucani. Both the roads from Brentesium run into one near Beneventum and Campania, and thence to Rome it receives the name of Appian, and runs through Caudium, [Note] Calatia, [Note] Capua, [Note] and Casilinum, [Note] to Sinuessa. [Note] The way from thence to Rome has been already described.—The whole length of the Appian Way from Rome to Brentesium is 360 miles.

There is a third way from Rhegium, through the Bruttii, Lucani, and Samnites, along the chain of the Apennines, into

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Campania, where it joins the Appian Way; [Note] it is longer than those from Brentesium by about three or four days' journey. 6.3.8

From Brentesium the sea is traversed by two passages to the opposite coast, one crossing to the Ceraunian [Note] Mountains and the adjacent coasts of the Epirus and Greece, the other to Epidamnus, [Note] which is the longer [Note] of the two, being 1800 [Note] stadia. Still this is habitually traversed, on account of the situation of the city [Epidamnus] being convenient for the nations of Illyria and Macedonia. As we coast along the shore of the Adriatic from Brentesium we come to the city Egnatia, [Note] it is the general place to stop at for those travelling to Barium, [Note] as well by land as by sea. The run is made when the wind blows from the south. The territory of the Peucetii extends as far as this along the coast, in the interior of the land it reaches as far as Silvium. [Note] It is throughout rugged and mountainous, and chiefly occupied by the Apennine mountains. It is thought to have been colonized by a party of Arcadians. The distance from Brentesium to Barium is about 700 stadia. [Tarentum] is about equally distant from both. [Note] The Daunii inhabit the adjoining district, then the Apuli as far as the Phrentani. As the inhabitants of the district, except in ancient times, have never been particular in speaking of the Peucetii or Daunii precisely, and as the whole of this country is now called Apulia, the boundaries of these nations are necessarily but ill defined: wherefore we ourselves shall not be very exact in treating of them.

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6.3.9

From Barium to the river Ofanto, [Note]



on which the Canu- sitæ have established an emporium, there are 400 [Note] stadia. The course up the river to the emporium is 90 [stadia]. Near it is Salapia, [Note] the port of the Argyrippeni. For the two cities, Canusium and Argyrippa, are situated at no great distance from the sea, and in the midst of a plain; at one time they were the most important cities of the Greeks of Italy, as is manifest from the circumference of their walls, but now they have fallen off. One of them was originally called Argos Hippium, then Argyrippa, and then again Arpi. They are said to have been both founded by Diomed, and both the plain of Diomed and many other things are shown in these districts as evidence of his having possessed them. Such were the ancient offerings in the temple of Minerva, at Luceria. [Note] That was an ancient city of the Daunii, but now it is of no account. Again, in the neighbouring sea there are two islands called the Diomedean islands, one of which is inhabited, but the other, they say, is desert: in the latter it is fabled that Diomed disappeared from the earth, and that his companions were transformed into birds, [Note] and indeed the fable goes so far as to prolong their race to the present time, saying that they are tame, and lead a sort of human life, both in respect of food, and their readiness to approach men of gentle manners, and to shun the evil and wanton. We have already noticed [Note] what is currently reported amongst the Heneti concerning this hero [Diomed] and the honours decreed to him by custom. It is thought also that Sipus [Note] was a settlement founded by Diomed,

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it is distant from Salapia about 140 stadia, and was called by the Greeks Sepius, from the numbers of cuttle fish [Note] thrown up by the sea along its shore. Between Salapia and Sipus is a navigable river, and a considerable estuary; by both of these channels the merchandise, and wheat especially, of Sipus is conveyed to the sea. Two heroa or shrines are shown on a hill of Daunia, called Drium, one on the very brow of the hill sacred to Calchas, those who are about to inquire of the oracle offer a black ram to him, and sleep upon the fleece, the other below near the foot of the hill is dedicated to Podalirius, it is about a hundred stadia distant from the sea; from this hill also flows a stream, [Note] which is a potent cure for all manner of diseases among cattle. [Note] The promontory of Garganum [Note]
running into the sea, juts out from this bay about 300 stadia. [Note] As you turn the point you perceive the town of Urium, [Note] while off the headland are seen the Diomedean islands. All this coast produces everything in great abundance, it is exceedingly well adapted for horses and sheep, and the wool is finer than that of Tarentum, but less glossy. The district is mild on account of the cup-like situation of the plains. There are some who report that Diomed attempted to cut a canal to the sea, but being sent for to return home, where he died, left it incomplete, as well as other undertakings. This is one account of him: another makes him abide here till the end of his days; a third is the fable I have already noticed, that he vanished in the island [of Teutria], and one might reckon as a fourth that of the Heneti, [Note] for they somehow make out that he finished his career among them, as they

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assert his apotheosis. The distances I have thus given are laid down in accordance with those of Artemidorus.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 6.3.5 Str. 6.3.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.4.1

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