|Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].|
|<<Str. 6||Str. 7 (Greek English(2))||>>Str. 8|
In the Seventh Book Strabo describes the remaining portions of Europe. That on the east is the country beyond the Rhine, as far as the Don [Note] and the mouth of the Sea of Azof; [Note] and on the south, that which the Danube [Note] bounds, lying between the Adriatic and the left shores of the Euxine, as far as Greece and the Sea of Marmora, [Note] including the whole of Macedonia.
WE have described Spain and the Keltic nations, together with Italy and the islands adjacent, and must now
speak of the remaining portions of Europe, dividing it in the
best way we can. That which remains is, on the east, all
the country beyond the Rhine, as far as the Don and the
mouth of the Sea of Azof; and, on the south, that which
the Danube bounds, lying between the Adriatic and the left
shores of the Euxine, as far as Greece and the Sea of Marmora, for the Danube, which is the largest of the rivers of
Europe, divides the whole territory of which we have spoken,
into two portions. This river from its commencement flows
southwards, then, making a sudden turn, continues its course
from west to east, which [terminates] in the Euxine Sea.
It takes its rise in the western confines of Germany, not far
from the head of the Adriatic, being distant from it about
1000 stadia, [Note]
Galatic and German tribes, as far as the territory of the Bastarnæ, [Note] the Tyregetæ, [Note] and the river Dnieper; so also is the country situated between the Dnieper, the Don, and the mouth of the Sea of Azof, which on one side stretches back as far as the [Northern] Ocean, [Note] and on another is washed by the Euxine. To the south of the Danube are situated the people of Illyria and Thrace, and mixed with them certain tribes of Kelts and other races, extending as far as Greece.
We will first speak of those nations to the north of the Danube, for their history is less involved than that of the tribes situated on the other side of the river.7.1.2
Next after the Keltic nations come the Germans who inhabit the country to the east beyond the Rhine; and these differ but little from the Keltic race, except in their being more fierce, of a larger stature, and more ruddy in countenance; but in every other respect, their figure, their customs and manners of life, are such as we have related of the Kelts. [Note] The Romans therefore, I think, have very appositely applied to them the name Germani, as signifying genuine; for in the Latin language Germani signifies genuine. [Note]7.1.3
The first division of this country is the land extending along the Rhine from its source to its embouchure. Indeed, the valley of that river extends nearly as far as the whole breadth of Germany on the west. Of the people who occupied this country, some have been transplanted by the Romans into Keltica, the others have retired to the interior, as the Marsi; [Note] there are but few remaining, and some portion of them
are Sicambri; [Note] next to the inhabitants of this valley succeeds the tribe dwelling between the Rhine and the river Elbe, [Note] which river flows towards the ocean in a direction nearly parallel with the Rhine, and traversing a country of no less extent. There are also between these other navigable rivers, such as the Ems, [Note] on which Drusus defeated the Bructeri [Note] in a naval engagement; all likewise flowing from south to north, and falling into the ocean; for the whole country rises towards the south, and forms a ridge of mountains near the Alps, which extends eastward as though it were a continuation of the Alps; [Note] and some have even so described it, as well on account of its position as because it produces the same system of vegetation; nevertheless, the altitude of this ridge in no part equals that of the Alps. Here is situated the Hercynian Wood, [Note] and the tribes of the Suevi, [Note] some of whom inhabit the forest, as do likewise some of the Quadi. [Note] Among these latter people is situated Bujemum, the royal city of Marobodus, whither he has assembled many strangers and many of the Marcomanni, a kindred nation with his own. This Marobodus, from a private station, raised himself to the administration of affairs after his return from Rome. For he went to that city while a youth, and was patronized by Augustus. After he came home, he acquired the sovereignty of his country, and added to the people I have enumerated, the Luji, [Note] a powerful nation, and the Zumi, [Note] and the Gutones [Note]
and Mugilones and Sibini, besides the Semnones, another con- siderable tribe of the Suevi. As I have previously stated, a portion of the Suevi dwells within the Forest, while another portion occupies the territory beyond, on the frontiers of the Getæ; wherefore the nation of the Suevi is the most considerable, as it extends from the Rhine as far as the Elbe, and even a part of them, as the Hermonduri and the Langobardi, inhabit the country beyond the Elbe; but at the present time these tribes, having been defeated, have retired entirely beyond the Elbe. All these nations easily change their abode, on account of the scantiness of provisions, and because they neither cultivate the lands nor accumulate wealth, but dwell in miserable huts, and satisfy their wants from day to day, the most part of their food being supplied by the herd, as amongst the nomade races, and in imitation of them they transfer their households in waggons, wandering with their cattle to any place which may appear most advantageous. There are many other smaller German tribes, as the Cherusci, Chatti, Gamabrivi, [Note] Chattuarii, and next the ocean the Sicambri, Chaubi, [Note] Bructeri, [Note] Cimbri, Cauci, Caulci, Campsiani, [Note] and many others.
In the same direction with the Ems, [Note] the Weser [Note] and the river Lippe [Note] take their course, the latter, distant about 600 stadia from the Rhine, flows through the territory of the Lesser Bructeri. And there is also the river Sala, [Note] between which and the Rhine Drusus Germanicus died, whilst in the midst of his victories. He not only subdued the greater part of the German tribes, but also the islands on the coast he passed along, one amongst which is Byrchanis, [Note] which he took by siege.7.1.4
All these nations became known through their wars with
the Romans, at one time submitting, at another revolting and quitting their habitations; and we should have become acquainted with a greater number of their tribes, if Augustus had permitted his generals to pass the Elbe, in pursuit of those who had fled thither; but he considered the war on hand would be more easily brought to a conclusion, if he left the people on the other side of the Elbe unmolested, and not by attacking provoke them to make common cause with his enemies.
The Sicambri inhabiting the country next the Rhine were the first to commence the war, under the conduct of their leader, Melon; other nations afterwards followed their example, at one time being victorious, at another defeated, and again recommencing hostilities, without regard to hostages or the faith of treaties. Against these people mistrust was the surest defence; for those who were trusted effected the most mischief. For example, the Cherusci, and those who were subject to them, amongst whom three Roman legions with their general, Quintilius Varus, perished by ambush, in violation of the truce; nevertheless all have received punishment for this perfidy, which furnished to Germanicus the Younger the opportunity of a most brilliant triumph, he leading publicly as his captives the most illustrious persons, both men and women, amongst whom were Segimuntus, [Note] the son of Segestes, the chief of the Cherusci, and his sister, named Thusnelda, the wife of Armenius, who led on the Cherusci when they treacherously attacked Quintilius Varus, and even to this day continues the war; likewise his son Thumelicus, a boy three years old, as also Sesithacus, the son of Segimerus, [Note] chief of the Cherusci, and his wife Rhamis, the daughter of Ucromirus, [Note] chief of the Chatti, [Note] and Deudorix, the son of Bætorix, the brother of Melon, of the nation of the Sicambri; but Segestes, the father-in-law of Armenius, from the commencement opposed the designs of his son-in-law, and taking advantage of a favourable opportunity, went over to the Roman camp and witnessed the triumphal procession over
those who were dearest to him, he being held in honour by the Romans. There was also led in triumph Libes the priest of the Chatti, and many other prisoners of the various vanquished nations, the Cathylci and the Ampsani, the Bructeri, the Usipi, the Cherusci, the Chatti, the Chattuarii, the Landi, [Note] the Tubattii. [Note]
The Rhine is distant from the Elbe about 3000 stadia, if one could travel in a direct line; but we are compelled to go a circuitous route, on account of the windings of the marshes and the woods.7.1.5
The Hercynian Forest [Note] is extremely dense, and overgrown with very large trees, covering an immense circuit of country, fortified by nature. In the midst of it is situated the region well suited for habitation, of which we have spoken. Near this forest are the sources of the Danube and the Rhine, and the lake [Note] situated between these, together with the marshes formed by the Rhine. The circuit of the lake is more than 300 [Note] stadia, and the distance across about 200. In this lake is an island which served Tiberius as an arsenal, in the naval war with the Vindelici. This lake is south of the sources of the Danube and the Hercynian Forest, so that in passing from Keltica [Note] to the forest, one has first to cross the lake, then the Danube, and afterwards by a more passable country, and over elevated plains, you approach the forest. When Tiberius had proceeded but one day's journey from the lake, he came in sight of the sources of the Danube. [Note]
and Vindelici [Note] [the Norici come next after the Vindelici in an easterly direction,] [Note] and the desert of the Boii. [Note] The nations as far as the Pannonians, [Note] but more especially the Helvetii and Vindelici, inhabit high table lands. The Rhæti and the Norici, [Note] verging towards Italy, extend over the very summits of the Alps; the former confining with the Insubri, [Note] the latter the Carni, [Note] and the districts about Aquileia. There is likewise another great forest, named Gabreta, on this side the territory of the Suevi, while beyond them lies the Hercynian Wood, which also is in their possession.
SOME of the accounts which we receive respecting the Cimbri are not worthy of credit, while others seem likely enough: for instance, no one could accept the reason given for their wandering life and piracy, that, dwelling on a peninsula, they were driven out of their settlements by a very high tide; [Note] for they still to this day possess the country which they had in former times, and have sent as a present to Au-
gustus the caldron held most sacred by them, supplicating his friendship, and an amnesty for past offences; and having obtained their request, they returned home. Indeed, it would have been ridiculous for them to have departed from their country in a pet, on account of a natural and constant phenomenon, which recurs twice every day. It is likewise evidently a fiction, that there ever occurred an overwhelming flood-tide, for the ocean, in the influences of this kind which it experiences, receives a certain settled and periodical increase and decrease. [Note] Neither is it true, as has been related, [Note] that the Cimbri take arms against the flood-tides, or that the Kelts, as an exercise of their intrepidity, suffer their houses to be washed away by them, and afterwards rebuild them; and that a greater number of them perish by water than by war, as Ephorus relates. For the regular order the flood-tides observe, and the notoriety of the extent of the country subject to inundation by them, could never have given occasion for such absurd actions. For the tide flowing twice every day, how could any one think for an instant that it was not a natural and harmless phenomenon, and that it occurs not only on their coasts, but on all others bordering on the ocean? Is not this quite incredible? Neither is Clitarchus to be trusted, [Note] when he says that their cavalry, on seeing the sea flowing in, rode off at full speed, and yet scarcely escaped by flight from being overtaken by the flood; for we know, by experience, that the tide does not come in with such impetuosity, but that the sea advances stealthily by slow degrees. And we should think, besides, that a phenomenon of daily occurrence, which would naturally strike the ear of such as
approached it, before even they could see it with their eyes, could not by any means terrify them so as to put them to flight, as if they had been surprised by some unexpected catastrophe.7.2.2
For such fables as these, Posidonius justly blames these writers, and not inaptly conjectures that the Cimbri, on account of their wandering life and habits of piracy, might have made an expedition as far as the countries around the Palus Mæotis, and that from them has been derived the name of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, or what we should more correctly denominate the Cimbrian Bosphorus, for the Greeks call the Cimbri Cimmerii.
He likewise tells us that the Boii formerly inhabited the Hercynian Forest, and that the Cimbri, having made an incursion into those parts, were repulsed by them, and driven towards the Danube, and the country occupied by the Scordisci, a Galatic tribe, and from thence to the Tauristæ, or Taurisci, a people likewise of Galatic origin, and farther to the Helvetii, who were at that time a rich and peaceful people; but, perceiving that the wealth of these freebooters far exceeded their own, the Helvetii, and more especially the Tigureni and the Toygeni, associated themselves with their expeditions. But both the Cimbri and their auxiliaries were vanquished by the Romans, the one part when they crossed the Alps and came down upon Italy, the others on the other side of the Alps.7.2.3
It is reported that the Cimbri had a peculiar custom. They were accompanied in their expeditions by their wives; these were followed by hoary-headed priestesses, [Note] clad in white, with cloaks of carbasus [Note] fastened on with clasps, girt with brazen girdles, and bare-footed. These individuals, bearing drawn swords, went to meet the captives throughout the camp, and, having crowned them, led them to a brazen vessel containing about 20 amphoræ, and placed on a raised
platform, which one of the priestesses having ascended, and holding the prisoner above the vessel, cut his throat; then, from the manner in which the blood flowed into the vessel, some drew certain divinations; while others, having opened the corpse, and inspected the entrails, prophesied victory to their army. In battle too they beat skins stretched on the wicker sides of chariots, which produces a stunning noise.7.2.4
As we have before stated, the northernmost of the Germans inhabit a country bordering on the ocean; but we are only acquainted with those situated between the mouths of the Rhine and the Elbe, of which the Sicambri [Note] and Cimbri [Note] are the most generally known: those dwelling along the coast [Note] beyond the Elbe are entirely unknown to us; for none of the ancients with whom I am acquainted have prosecuted this voyage towards the east as far as the mouths of the Caspian Sea, neither have the Romans as yet sailed coastwise beyond the Elbe, nor has any one travelling on foot penetrated farther into this country. But it is evident, by the climates and the parallels of distances, that in following a longitudinal course towards the east we must come to the countries near the Dnieper, and the regions on the north side of the Euxine. But as for any particulars as to Germany beyond the Elbe, or of the countries which lie beyond it in order, whether we should call them the Bastarnæ, as most geographers suppose, or whether other nations intervene, such as the Jazyges, [Note] or the Roxolani, [Note] or any others of the tribes dwelling in waggons, it is not easy to give any account. Neither can we say whether these nations extend as far as the [Northern] Ocean, along the whole distance, or whether [between them and the Ocean] there are countries rendered unfit for habitation by the cold or by any other cause; or whether men of a different race are situated between the sea and the most eastern of the Germans.
The same uncertainty prevails with regard to the other
nations [Note] of the north, for we know neither the Bastarnæ nor the Sauromatæ; [Note] nor, in a word, any of those tribes situate above the Euxine: we are ignorant as to what distance they lie from the Atlantic, [Note] or even whether they extend as far as that sea.
As to the southern part of Germany beyond the Elbe,
the country which adjoins the bank of that river is now occupied by the Suevi. Next lies the country of the Getæ, at first
narrow, its southern side extends along the Danube, and the
opposite side along the mountains of the Hercynian Forest,
even including part of those mountains, it then becomes broader
towards the north, and extends as far as the Tyregetæ; however, we are unable to declare its boundaries with accuracy;
and it is on account of our ignorance of these places that
those who relate fables of the Riphæan mountains and the
Hyperboreans have received credit; as also that which Pytheas of Marseilles has forged concerning the countries bordering on the Northern Ocean, making use of his acquaintance with astronomy and mathematics to fabricate his false
narration: let us therefore pass over them; as also what Sophocles, speaking of Orithya in one of his tragedies, says,
that she, being snatched by the north wind, was carried
Over the whole ocean, to the extremities of the earth,
This is of no value to our present inquiry, but must be omitted, as Socrates has done in the Phædrus of Plato. We
will relate only what we have learnt from ancient accounts,
and the reports made in our times.
Even to the place where night received its birth,
Where the opposite side of the heavens is beheld,
And where is situated the ancient garden of Phœbus.
The Greeks indeed considered the Getæ to be Thracians. They occupied either bank of the Danube, as also did
the Mysians, likewise a Thracian people, now called the Moesi,
from whom are descended the Mysians, settled between the
Lydians, the Phrygians, and the inhabitants of the Troad.
Even the Phrygians themselves are the same as the Briges, a
people of Thrace, as also are the Mygdones, the Bebryces,
the Mædobithyni, the Bithyni, the Thyni, and, as I consider,
also are the Mariandyni. All these people quitted Europe
entirely, the Mysians alone remaining. Posidonius appears
to me to have rightly conjectured that it is the Mysians of
Europe (or as I should say of Thrace) that Homer designates
when he says,
and his glorious eyes
Iliad xiii. 3.
Averting, on the land look'd down remote
Of the horse-breeding Thracians, of the bold
Close-fighting Mysian race. . . . [Note]
the Thracians on this side the Danube; also amongst these are the Keltic tribes of the Boii, Scordisci, and Taurisci. Some, indeed, call the Scordisci the Scordistæ, and give to the Taurisci the names of Ligurisci [Note] and Tauristæ.7.3.3
Posidonius relates that the Mysians religiously abstain
from eating any thing that had life, and consequently, from
cattle; but that they lived in a quiet way on honey, milk, and
cheese; wherefore they are considered a religious people, and
called Capnobatæ. [Note] He adds, that there are amongst the
Thracians some who live without wives, and who are known
by the name of Ctistæ. These are considered sacred and worthy
of honour, and live in great freedom. [He pretends] that the
poet comprehends the whole of these people when he says,
and where abide,
Iliad xiii. 5.
On milk sustain'd, and blest with length of days,
The Hippemolgi, justest of mankind. [Note]
Nevertheless it would perhaps be superfluous to change the text [of Homer], which has stood the test of so many years. For it appears more probable to suppose that the people were anciently called Mysians, but that their name is now altered. Further, any one would suppose that the Abii [Note] were no more so named from being unmarried than from their being houseless, [Note] or their dwelling in waggons.
In fact, as injustice is ordinarily committed in matters
relative to bonds for money and the acquisition of wealth,
it would be natural that the people living so frugally on
such small property should be called [by Homer] the justest of mankind: and the more so as the philosophers who
place justice next to moderation, aim at independence of
others and frugality as amongst the most desirable objects of
attainment; from which however some, having passed the
bounds of moderation, have wandered into a cynical mode of
life. [Note] But [the words of the poet] sanction no such assertion
of the Thracians, and the Getæ in particular, that they live
without wives. But see what Menander says of these people,
not out of his own imagination, as it should seem, but deriving it from history.
All the Thracians truly, and especially above all others we Getæ, (for
I myself glory in being descended from this race,) are not very chaste.
And a little after he gives examples of their rage for women.
For there is no one among us who marries fewer than ten or eleven
wives, and some have twelve, or even more. [Note] If any one loses his life who has only married four or five wives, he is lamented by us as unfortunate, and one deprived of the pleasures of Hymen.
Such a one would be accounted as unmarried amongst them.
These things are likewise confirmed by the evidence of other
historians. And it is not likely that the same people should
regard as an unhappy life that which is passed without the
enjoyment of many women, and at the same time regard as a
dignified and holy life that which is passed in celibacy without any women. But that those living without wives should
be considered holy, and termed Capnobatæ, is entirely opposed to our received opinions; for all agree in regarding
women as the authors of devotion to the gods, and it is they
who induce the men by their example to a more attentive
worship of the gods, and to the observance of feast-days and
supplications; for scarcely is there found a man living by
himself who pays any regard to such matters. And again attend to the words of the same poet when he speaks in one of
his characters, bringing in a man disgusted with the expenses [Note]
of the sacrifices of the women.
The gods weary us indeed, but especially our married men, who are
always obliged to celebrate some feast.
And his Misogynes, complaining of the same things, exclaims,
We sacrificed five times a day, while seven female slaves ranged in a
circle played on the cymbals, and others raised their suppliant cries.
It would therefore seem absurd to suppose that only those
among the Getæ who remained without wives were considered
pious, but that the care of worshipping the Supreme Being
is great among this nation is not to be doubted, after what
Posidonius has related, and they even abstain from animal
food from religious motives, as likewise on account of the
testimony of other historians.
For it is said that one of the nation of the Getæ, named
men, he there passed his life, rarely communicating with any- body except the king and his ministers. The king himself assisted him to play his part, seeing that his subjects obeyed him more readily than formerly, as promulgating his ordinances with the counsel of the gods. This custom even continues to our time; for there is always found some one of this character who assists the king in his counsels, and is styled a god by the Getæ. The mountain likewise [where Zamolxis retired] is held sacred, and is thus distinguished, being named Cogæonus, [Note] as well as the river which flows by it; and at the time when Byrebistus, against whom divus Cæsar prepared an expedition, reigned over the Getæ, Decæneus held that honour: likewise the Pythagorean precept to abstain from animal food, which was originally introduced by Zamolxis, is still observed to a great extent.7.3.6
Any one may well entertain such questions as these touching the localities mentioned by the poet [Homer], and with regard to the Mysians and the illustrious Hippemolgi: but what Apollodorus has advanced in his preface to the Catalogue of Ships in the Second Book [of the Iliad] is by no means to be adopted. For he praises the opinions of Eratosthenes, who says that Homer and the rest of the ancients were well versed in every thing that related to Greece, but were in a state of considerable ignorance as to places at a distance, in consequence of the impossibility of' their making long journeys by land or voyages by sea. In support of this he asserts, [Note] that Homer designated Aulis as 'rocky,' as indeed it is; Eteonus as 'mountainous and woody,' Thisbe as 'abounding in doves,' Haliartus as ' grassy;' but that neither Homer nor the others were familiar with localities far off; for although there are forty rivers which discharge themselves into the Black Sea, [Note] he makes no mention whatever even of the most considerable, as the Danube, [Note] the Don, [Note] the Dnieper, [Note] the Bog, [Note] the Phasz, [Note] the Termeh, [Note] the Kisil-Irmak, [Note] nor does
he even allude to the Scythians, but makes up fables about
certain illustrious Hippemolgi, Galactophagi, and Abii. He
had become acquainted with the Paphlagonians of the interior
from the relations of such as had penetrated into those regions
on foot, but he was perfectly unacquainted with the sea-coasts
of the country; which indeed was likely enough, for that sea
was in his time closed to navigation, and known by the name
of Pontus Axenus [or the Inhospitable] on account of the severity of the storms to which it was subject, as well as of the
savage disposition of the nations who inhabited its shores, but
more especially of the Scythian hordes, [Note] who made a practice
of sacrificing strangers, devouring their flesh, and using their
skulls for drinking-cups; although at a subsequent period,
when the Ionians had established cities along its shores, it
was called by the name of Pontus Euxinus [or the Hospitable]. He was likewise in ignorance as to the natural peculiarities of Egypt and Libya, [Note] as the risings of the Nile, and
the alluvial deposits, which he no where notices, nor yet the
isthmus [of Suez] which separates the Red Sea from the
Egyptian Sea; [Note] nor yet does he relate any particulars of
Arabia, Ethiopia, or the Ocean, unless we should agree with
the philosopher Zeno in altering the Homeric line as follows,
I came to the Ethiopians, the Sidonians, and the Arabians. [Note]
Indeed we ought not to be surprised at meeting with this in
Homer, for those who have lived at a more recent period than
he did, have been ignorant of many things, and have told
strange tales. Hesiod has talked of Hemicynes, [Note]
Megalocephali, and Pygmies; Alcman of
Steganopodes;æschylus of Cynocephali, Sternophthalmi, and Monommati, (they say it is in his Prometheus,) and ten thousand other absurdities. From these he proceeds to censure the writers who talk of
the Riphæan Mountains [Note] and Mount Ogyium, [Note] and the dwelling of the Gorgons [Note] and the Hesperides, [Note] the land of Meropis [Note] mentioned by Theopompus, Cimmeris, [Note] a city mentioned in Hecatæus, the land of Panchæa [Note] mentioned by Euhemerus, and the river-stones formed of sand mentioned by Aristotle, [Note] which were dissolved by rain-showers. Further, that there exists in Africa a city of Bacchus which no one can find twice. He likewise reproves those who assert that the wanderings of Ulysses mentioned in Homer were in the neighbourhood of Sicily, for again, if we should say that the wanderings did take place in those parts, we should have to confess that the poet transferred them to the ocean for the sake of making his account the more romantic. Some allowance might be made for others, but no manner of excuse can be put forward for Callimachus, who pretends to the character of a critic, and yet supposes that Gaudus was the island of Calypso, and identifies Scheria with Corcyra. [Note] Other writers he blames for misstatements as to Gerena, [Note] Acacesium, [Note] and
the Demus [Note] in Ithaca, Pelethronium [Note] in Pelium, and the
Glaucopium at Athens. [Note]
It has been our wish, while discoursing of the Thracians,
Iliad xiii. 5
Close-fighting Mysian race, and where abide,
On milk sustain'd, and blest with length of days,
The Hippemolgi, justest of mankind, [Note]
to compare what we have advanced with the remarks of Posidonius and the other critics. Now, in the first place, they have universally proved the very contrary of the allegations which they had undertaken to maintain; for where they undertook to show that amongst the ancients there was a greater amount of ignorance as to places far from Greece than there was among the moderns, they have proved the very contrary, and that not only with regard to the countries more remote, but even with respect to Greece itself; but, as I have said before, let the other matters remain in abeyance while we consider carefully the subject now before us. Thus they say that it was through ignorance Homer and the ancients omitted to speak of the Scythians, and their cruelty to strangers, whom they sacrificed, devoured their flesh, and afterwards made use of their skulls as drinking-cups, for which barbarities the sea was termed the Axine, [Note] or inhospitable; but in place of these they imagined fables as to illustrious Hippemolgi, Galactophagi, and Abii, the most just of mankind, who never existed any where in this world. But how came it that they named the sea the Axenus, if they were so ignorant of the barbarism of that region, or of those savages who were the most barbarous on earth? But these undoubtedly are the Scythians! Or in the early times were not those who dwelt beyond the Mysians, and Thracians, and Getæ, Hippemolgi, (or milkers of mares,) Galactophagi, and Abii? Nay rather, they exist at this very day, being called Hamaxoeci and Nomades, living on the herd, milk and cheese, and especially on cheese made of mare's milk, and being ignorant how to lay up treasure or deal in merchandise, except the simple barter of one commodity for another. How then can it be said that the poet [Homer] knew nothing of the Scythians, since he doubtless designates some of them by the names of Hippemolgi and Galactophagi? And that the men of that
time called these people Hippemolgi even Hesiod is a witness
in the words which Eratosthenes has quoted:
He went and saw the Ethiopians, the Ligurians, [Note] and the Scythians,
milkers of mares.
And when we consider the amount of fraud connected with
trading speculations even amongst ourselves, what ground
have we to wonder that Homer should have designated as the
justest and most noble those who had but few commercial and
monetary transactions, and with the exception of their swords
and drinking-cups, possessed all things in common, and especially their wives and children, who were cared for by the
whole community according to the system of Plato. æschylus
too seems to plead the poet's cause, when he says,
But the Scythians, governed by good laws, and feeding on cheese of
And this is still the opinion entertained of them by the
Greeks; for we esteem them the most sincere, the least deceitful of any people, and much more frugal and self-relying
than ourselves. And yet the manner of life customary among
us has spread almost every where, and brought about a change
for the worse, effeminacy, luxury, and over-great refinement,
inducing extortion in ten thousand different ways; and doubtless much of this corruption has penetrated even into the
countries of the nomades, as well as those of the other barbarians; for having once learnt how to navigate the sea, they
have become depraved, committing piracy and murdering
strangers; and holding intercourse with many different nations, they have imitated both their extravagance and their
dishonest traffic, which may indeed appear to promote civility
of manners, but do doubtless corrupt the morals and lead to
dissimulation, in place of the genuine sincerity we have before noticed.
Those however who lived before our time, and more especially those who lived near to the times of Homer, were such as he describes them, and so they were esteemed to be by the Greeks. Take for instance what Herodotus relates concerning the king [Note] of the Scythians, against whom Darius waged war, and especially the answer he sent [to the messen-
ger of Darius]. Take again what Chrysippus relates of the kings of the Bosphorus, [Satyrus [Note] and] Leuco. The letters of the Persians are full of the sincerity I have described; so likewise are the memorials of the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Indians. It was on this account that both Anacharsis and Abaris, and certain others of the same class, gained so great a reputation among the Greeks; for we may well believe they displayed their national characteristics of affability of manner, simplicity, and love of justice. But what occasion is there for me to speak of such as belonged to the times of old? for Alexander [the Great], the son of Philip, in his campaign against the Thracians beyond Mount Hæmus, [Note] is said to have penetrated as far as this in an incursion into the country of the Triballi, and observed that they occupied the territory as far as the Danube and the island Peuce, [Note] which is in it, and that the Getæ possessed the country beyond that river; however, he was unable to pass into the island for want of a sufficient number of ships, and because Syrmus, the king of the Triballi, who had taken refuge in that place, resisted the undertaking: but Alexander crossed over into the country of the Getæ and took their city, after which he returned home in haste, carrying with him presents from those nations, and also from Syrmus. Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, relates that in this campaign the Kelts who dwell on the Adriatic [Note] came to Alexander for the purpose of making a treaty of friendship and mutual hospitality, and that the king received them in a friendly way, and asked them, while drinking, what might be the chief object of their dread, supposing that they would say it was he; but that they replied, it was no man, only they felt some alarm lest the heavens should on some occasion or other
fall on them, but that they valued the friendship of such a man as him above every thing. These examples sufficiently manifest the open sincerity of the barbarians, both of the one who would not suffer Alexander to land on the island, but nevertheless sent presents and concluded a treaty of friendship with him, and also of those who asserted that they feared no man, but that they valued the friendship of great men above every price.
In like manner Dromichætes, who was king of the Getæ in the times of the successors of Alexander, having taken captive Lysimachus, who had come to wage war against him, showed him his poverty and that of his people, and likewise their great frugality, bade him not to make war on such, but rather seek them as friends; after which he received him as a guest, made a treaty of friendship, and suffered him to depart. [Note] [*And Plato, in his Republic, [Note] considers that the neighbourhood of the sea ought to be shunned as being productive of vice, and that those who would enjoy a well-governed city, should plant it very far from the sea, and not near it. [Note]]7.3.9
Ephorus, in the fourth book of his History, which is entitled Of Europe, having gone over Europe as far as the Scythians, concludes by saying that there is great difference in the manner of life both of the Sauromatæ and the other Scythians, for while some of them are exceedingly morose, and are indeed cannibals, others abstain even from the flesh of animals. Other historians, he observes, descant upon their ferocity, knowing that the terrible and the wonderful always excite attention; but they ought also to relate the better features of these people, and point to them as a pattern; for his part, he declares he will speak of those who excel in the justness of their actions, as there are some of the nomade Scythians who subsist on mares' milk, and excel all
men in their justice, these are mentioned by the poets: as Homer, where he says that Jupiter beheld the land
Of the Galactophagi and Abii, justest of mankind; [Note]Iliad xiii. 5.
To the land of the Galactophagi, who have their dwellings in waggons.
Ephorus then proceeds to state the causes of their justice,
because they are frugal in their mode of life, not hoarders of
wealth, and just towards each other; they possess everything
in common, both their women, their children, and the whole
of their kin; thus when they come into collision with other
nations, they are irresistible and unconquered, having no cause
for which they need endure slavery. He then cites Chœrilus,
who in his Passage of the Bridge of Boats, which Darius [Note]
had made, says,
And the sheep-feeding Sacæ, a people of Scythian race, but they inhabited
Wheat-producing Asia: truly they were a colony of the nomades,
A righteous race.
And again Ephorus declares of Anacharsis, whom he designates as The Wise, that he was sprung from that race;
and that he was reckoned as one of the Seven Sages, on account of his pre-eminent moderation and knowledge. He
asserts too that he was the inventor of the bellows, the double-
fluked anchor, and the potter's wheel. [Note] I merely state this,
although I know very well that Ephorus is not at all times
to be relied on, especially when speaking of Anacharsis; (for
how can the wheel be his invention, with which Homer, who
is anterior to him, was acquainted; [who says],
as when, before his wheel
Iliad xviii. 600.
Seated, the potter twirls it with both hands," &c.; [Note])
for I wish to show by these references, that there was a ge- neral impression among both the ancients and moderns with regard to the nomades, that some were very far removed from the rest of mankind, that they subsisted on milk, and were very frugal, [Note] and the most just of men, and that all this was not the mere invention of Homer.7.3.10
It is but just too that Apollodorus should give some
explanation respecting the Mysians mentioned in the Epic
poems of Homer, whether he takes them to be but people of
his feigning, when the poet says,
Of the close-fighting Mysians and the illustrious Hippemolgi, [Note]Iliad xiii. 5.
Let us pass over the early history of the Getæ, and occupy ourselves with their actual condition. Bœrebistas, one of the Getæ, having taken the command of his tribe, reanimated the men who were disheartened by frequent wars, and raised them to such a degree of training, sobriety, and a habit of obedience to orders, that he established a powerful dominion within a few years, and brought most of the neighbouring states into subjection to the Getæ. He at length became formidable even to the Romans, fearlessly crossing the Danube, and laying waste Thrace as far as Macedonia and Illyria; he also subdued the Kelts who live among the Thracians and Illyrians, and thoroughly annihilated the Boii who were subject to Critasirus and the Taurisci. In order to
maintain the obedience of his subjects, he availed himself of the assistance of Decseneus a sorcerer, [Note] who had travelled in Egypt, and who, by predictions he had learnt to draw from certain natural signs, was enabled to assume the character of an oracle, and was almost held in the veneration of a god, as we have related when noticing Zamolxis. [Note] As an instance of their implicit obedience, we may relate that they were persuaded to root up their vines and live without wine. However, Bœrebistas was murdered in a sedition before the Romans sent an army against him. Those who succeeded to his government divided it into several states. Lately, when Augustus Cæsar sent an army against them, they were divided into five states, at another time they were four, for such divisions are but temporary in duration, and variable in their extent.7.3.12
There was, from ancient times, another division of these people which still exists; thus, some they call Dacians and others Getæ: the Getæ extend towards the Euxine and the east, but the Dacians are situated on the opposite side towards Germany and the sources of the Danube, [Note] whom I consider to have been called Daci from a very early period. Whence also amongst the Attics the names of Getæ and Davi were customary for slaves. This at least is more probable than to consider them as taken from the Scythians who are named Daæ, [Note] for they live far beyond Hyrcania, [Note] and it is not likely that slaves would be brought all that way into Attica. It was usual with them to call their slaves after the name of the nation from whence they were brought, as Lydus and Syrus, [Note] or else by a name much in use in their own country, as, for a Phrygian, Manes or Midas; for a Paphlagonian, Tibius. The nation which was raised to so much power by Bœrebistas has since been completely reduced by
civil dissensions and contests with the Romans; however, they are still able to set out 40,000 men armed for the wars.7.3.13
The river Maros [Note] flows through their country into the Danube, [Note] on which the Romans transported their military stores; for thus they termed the upper part of that river from its sources to the cataracts, which flows chiefly through the country of the Dacians, but the part below that point which flows through the country of the Getæ as far as the Black Sea, they call the Ister. [Note] The Dacians speak the same language as the Getæ. The Getæ are best known among the Greeks on account of the frequent wandering expeditions they make on both sides of the Danube, and their being mixed among the Thracians and Mysians. The like is the case with regard to the nation of the Triballi, a Thracian people; for they have received many refugees on occasions when their more powerful neighbours have driven out the weaker, for from time to time the Scythians of the opposite side of the river, and the Bastarnæ, and the Sarmatians, [Note] become victorious, and those who are driven out cross over and some of them take up their residence either in the islands of the river or in Thrace, while on the other side the inhabitants are distressed by the Illyrians. At one time when the Getæ and the Dacians had increased to the greatest numbers, they were able to set on foot an army of two hundred thousand men, but now they are reduced to about forty thousand men, and are even likely to become subject to the Romans; still they are not yet quite under their sway on account of their trust in the Germans, who are enemies to the Romans.7.3.14
Between [the Getæ and] the Black Sea, from the Danube to the Dniester, [Note] lies the desert of the Getæ. [Note] It is entirely a plain and destitute of water. It was there that Darius the son of Hystaspes, at the time he crossed the Danube, was in danger of being cut off with his whole army
for want of water; this he found out before it was too late, and returned. At a subsequent period, when Lysimachus was waging war against the Getæ and their king Dromichætes, he not only incurred the risk, [Note] but he fell into the hands of the enemy; but his life was spared by the courtesy of the barbarian, as I have before related.7.3.15
Near the mouths of the Danube is the large island called Peuce. [Note] This the Bastarnæ possessed, and were hence called Peucini. There are also other islands much smaller, some above this, and others nearer the sea. The Danube has seven mouths, the largest is called the Sacred Mouth, [Note] the passage by which to Peuce is 120 stadia. [Note] At the lower part of this island Darius made his bridge. It might likewise have been constructed at the upper part. This is the first mouth on the left-hand side as you sail into the Black Sea; the rest are passed while sailing along towards the Dniester; the seventh mouth is distant from this first mouth about 300 stadia. These mouths form several islands. The first three mouths next after the Sacred Mouth are but small, the remainder are much less than it, but greater than any of the three. Ephorus states that the Danube has five mouths. From hence to the Dniester, [Note] which is a navigable river, there are 900 stadia. [Note] In the district intervening there are two great lakes; one is open to the sea, and is used as a harbour, [Note] the other has no outlet.7.3.16
At the mouth of the Dniester there is a tower called the Tower of Neoptolemus, and a village called Hermōnax. [Note] As you sail up the river 140 stadia, there are cities on both sides; the one is Niconia, [Note] and that on the left Ophiussa. [Note] Those who dwell on the spot say that the city is but 120
stadia up the river. The island of Leuce [Note] is distant from the river's mouth a course of 500 stadia; it is quite in the sea, and is sacred to Achilles.7.3.17
Next is the Dnieper, [Note] a river navigable to the distance
of 600 [Note]
Indeed the whole of the northern regions with which we are acquainted, from Germany to the Caspian, is an extended plain. Whether any dwell still farther than the Roxolani is unknown to us. However, the Roxolani fought against the generals of Mithridates Eupator. Their leader was Tasius. They came as allies of Palacus, the son of Scilurus, and were considered good soldiers, but against the serried and well- armed phalanx every barbarous and light-armed tribe is ineffective. Thus they, although numbering fifty thousand men, could not withstand the six thousand arrayed by Diophantus, the general of Mithridates, but were almost all cut to pieces. They make use of helmets and breastplates made of untanned ox-hide. They bear wicker shields; and as weapons, lances, the bow, and the sword, such as most of the other barbarians do. The woollen tents of the nomades are fixed upon their chariots, in which they pass their lives. Their herds are scattered round their tents, and they live on the milk, the cheese, and the meat which they supply. They shift their quarters ever in search of pasture, changing the places they have exhausted for others full of grass. In the winter they encamp in the marshes near the Palus Mæotis, [Note] and in the summer on the plains.7.3.18
The whole of this country, which reaches to the seacoast extending from the Dnieper [Note] to the Palus Mæotis, is subject to severe winters; so also are the most northern of the districts bordering on the sea, as the mouth of the Palus Mæotis, and farther that of the Dnieper and the head of the Gulf of Tamyraca, or Carcinites, [Note] which washes the isthmus [Note] of the Magna Chersonesus. The intense cold of the districts inhabited, notwithstanding their being plains, is manifest, for they rear no asses, as that animal is too susceptible of cold; some of their oxen are without horns by nature, of the others they file off the horns, as a part most susceptible of injury from cold. Their horses are diminutive and their sheep large. Their brazen vessels are split with the frosts, and their contents frozen into a solid mass. However, the rigour of the frosts may be best illustrated by the phenomena which are
common in the neighbourhood of the embouchure of the Palus Mæotis; [Note] for the passage from Panticapæum, [Note] across to Phanagoria, [Note] is at times performed in waggons, thus being both a sea passage [Note] and an overland route [as the season may determine]. There are also fish which are taken in the ice by means of a round net called a gangama, and especially a kind of sturgeon called antacæus, [Note] nearly the size of a dolphin. It is related that Neoptolemus, the general of Mithridates, [Note] defeated the barbarians during summer-time in a naval engagement in this very strait, and during the winter in a cavalry action. They say that about the Bosphorus the vine is hidden away in the earth in winter, great mounds of mould being piled over it [to preserve it from the frost]. They also report that the heats are excessive, [this may be accounted for in several ways,] perhaps men's bodies not being accustomed to them, feel them the more; perhaps the plains are at that time unrefreshed by winds; or perhaps the thickness of the air is heated to a great degree, similar to the way in which the misty air is affected in times when a parhelion is observed.7.3.19
After the island [Note] situated opposite the mouth of the Dnieper, in sailing towards the east, we arrive at the cape of the Course of Achilles. [Note] The district is quite bare, notwithstanding that it is termed a wood. It is sacred to Achilles. Then we arrive at the Course of Achilles, a low peninsula; for it is a certain tongue of land about a thousand stadia in length, running out towards the east, and its width is but two
stadia [Note] in the broadest part, and but four plethra [Note] in the narrowest. It is distant from the main-land, which runs out on
both sides of the neck, about 60 stadia. It is sandy, but
water is obtainable by digging. About the midst of the
Course of Achilles [Note]
AT the bottom of the bay (Carcinites) commences the isthmus [Note] which separates the lake called Sapra, [or the Putrid Lake,] from the sea; it is 40 stadia in width, and forms the
Tauric or Scythian Chersonese. [Note] This, according to some, is 360 stadia across. The Putrid Lake [Note] is said to extend 4000 stadia (in circumference), and forms part of the [Palus] Mœotis on its western side, with which it communicates by a large opening. It abounds in marshy tracts, and is scarcely navigable with sewn [Note] boats. The shallower parts are soon uncovered, and again covered with water, by the force of the wind; but the marsh will not bear boats of a deeper draught. In the bay are three small islands; and in sailing along the coast, some shallows are met with, and rocks which rise above water.7.4.2
On the left in sailing out of the bay [Carcinites] there is a small town and another harbour [Note] belonging to the people of the Chersonese; for in coasting along the bay, there projects towards the south a large promontory, which is a part of the great Chersonese. Upon it stands a city of the Heracleotæ, who are a colony from Heraclea [Note] in the Euxine; it bears the same name, Chersonesus, as the territory. It is distant from the Dniester, [Note] in following the coast, 4400 stadia. In this city is a temple of the Virgin, some goddess, [Note] after whom the promontory, which is in front of the city, at the distance of 100 stadia, is called Parthenium. It has a shrine of the goddess and a statue. Between the city [Note] and the promontory are three harbours; next is the Old city Chersonesus in ruins; then follows a harbour with a narrow entrance. It was called Symbolon Limen, or Signal Harbour; and here principally was carried on a system of piracy against those who took
refuge in the ports. This, together with another harbour, called Ctenus, [Note] forms an isthmus of 40 stadia in extent. This isthmus locks in the Smaller Chersonesus, which we said was a part of the Great Chersonesus, having on it a city of the same name.7.4.3
It was formerly governed by its own laws, but after it was ravaged by barbarous nations, the inhabitants were obliged to elect as their protector, Mithridates Eupator, who was anxious to direct his forces against the barbarians who lived above the isthmus, and occupied the country as far as the Dnieper and the Adriatic, and thus to prepare himself against war with the Romans. Mithridates, with these views, readily despatched an expedition into the Chersonesus, and carried on war at the same time against the Scythians, Scilurus, and the sons of Scilurus, namely, Palacus and his brothers, whom Posidonius reckons to have been fifty, and Apollonides eighty, in number. By the subjugation of these enemies he became at once master of the Bosporus, which Pairisades, who held the command of it, voluntarily surrendered. From that time to the present the city of the Chersonitæ has been subject to the princes of the Bosporus.
Ctenus is equally distant from the city of the Chersonitæ, and from Symbolon Limen. From Symbolon Limen the Tauric coast extends 1000 stadia to the city Theodosia. [Note] The coast is rugged and mountainous, and during the prevalence of the north winds, tempestuous. From this coast a promontory projects far into the sea, and stretches out southwards towards Paphlagonia, and the city Amastris. It is called Criu-metopon, or Ram's Head. Opposite to it is Ca-
rambis, [Note] the promontory of the Paphlagonians. Criu-metopon and Carambis together form a strait compressed between them, and divide the Euxine into two parts. Carambis is distant from the city of the Chersonesus 2500 stadia, and from Criu-metopon much less; for many persons who have sailed through the strait say, that they saw both promontories at once. [Note]
In the mountainous district of the Tauri there is a hill called Trapezus, [Note] of the same name as the city, [Note] which is near Tibarania and Colchis. There is another hill also, the Kimmerium, [Note] in the same mountainous district, for the Kimmerii were once sovereigns of the Bosporus, and hence the whole of the strait at the mouth of the [Palus] Mæotis is called the Kimmerian Bosporus.7.4.4
After leaving the above-mentioned mountainous district, is the city Theodosia, situated on a plain; the soil is fertile, and there is a harbour capable of containing a hundred vessels. This formerly was the boundary of the territory of the Bosporians and of the Tauri. Then follows a fertile country extending to Panticapæum, [Note] the capital of the Bosporians, which is situated at the mouth of the Palus Mæotis. [Note] Between Theodosia [Note] and Panticapæum there is a tract of about 530 stadia in extent. The whole country is corn-producing; there are villages in it, and a city called Nymphæum, with a good harbour.
Panticæpsum is a hill inhabited all round for a circuit of 20 stadia. To the east it has a harbour, and docks capable of containing about thirty vessels; there is also an acropolis. It was founded by the Milesians. Both this place and the neighbouring settlements on each side of the mouth of the Palus Mæotis were for a long period under the monarchical dynasty of Leucon, and Satyrus, and Pairisades, till the latter surrendered the sovereignty to Mithridates. They had the
name of tyrants, although most of them were moderate and just in their government, from the time of Pairisades and Leucon. Pairisades was accounted even a god. The last sovereign, whose name was also Pairisades, being unable to resist the barbarians, by whom great and unusual tributes were exacted, surrendered the kingdom into the hands of Mithridates. After him it became subject to the Romans. The greater portion of it is situated in Europe, but a part of it is also situated in Asia.7.4.5
The mouth of the [Palus] Mæotis is called the Kimmerian Bosporus. The entrance, which at the broadest part
is about 70 stadia across, where there is a passage from the
On sailing into the Kimmerian Bosporus, [Note] on the left hand is Myrmecium, [Note] a small city, 20 stadia from Panticapæum, and 40 stadia from Parthenium; [Note] it is a village where is the narrowest entrance into the lake, about 20 stadia in breadth; opposite to it is a village situated in Asia, called Achilleum. Thence to the Don, and to the island at its mouths, is a voyage in a direct line of 2200 stadia. The distance is somewhat greater if the voyage is performed along the coast of Asia, but taking the left-hand side, (in which direction the isthmus of the Chersonese is fallen in with,) the distance is more than tripled. This latter course is along the desert shore of Europe, but the
Asiatic side is not without inhabitants. The whole circum- ference of the lake is 9000 stadia.
The Great Chersonesus resembles Peloponnesus both in figure and size. The kings of the Bosporus possess it, but the whole country has been devastated by continual wars. They formerly possessed a small tract only at the mouth of the [Palus] Mæotis near Panticapæum, extending as far as Theodosia. The largest part of the territory, as far as the isthmus and the Gulf Carcinites, was in possession of the Tauri, a Scythian nation. The whole of this country, comprehending also a portion on the other side of the isthmus as far as the Dnieper, was called Little Scythia. In consequence of the number of people who passed from thence across the Dniester and the Danube, and settled there, no small part of that country also bore the name of Little Scythia. The Thracians surrendered a part of it to superior force, and a part was abandoned on account of the bad quality of the ground, a large portion of which is marshy.7.4.6
Except the mountainous tract of the Chersonesus on the
sea-coast, extending as far as Theodosia, all the rest consist of
plains, the soil of which is rich, and remarkably fertile in corn.
It yields thirty-fold, when turned up by the most ordinary
implements of husbandry. The tribute paid to Mithridates
by the inhabitants, including that from the neighbourhood of
Sindace in Asia, amounted to 180,000 medimni of corn, and
200 talents of silver. The Greeks in former times imported
from this country corn, and the cured fish of Palus Mæotis.
Leucon is said to have sent to the Athenians 2,100,000 medimni of corn from Theodosia. [Note]
The name of Georgi, or husbandmen, was appropriately given to these people, to distinguish them from the nations situated above them, who are nomades, and live upon the flesh of horses and other animals, on cheese of mares' milk, milk, and sour milk. The latter, prepared in a peculiar manner, is a delicacy. [Note] Hence the poet designates all the nations in that quarter as Galactophagi, milk-eaters.
The nomades are more disposed to war than to robbery. The occasion of their contests was to enforce the payment of tribute. They permit those to have land who are willing to cultivate it. In return for the use of the land, they are satisfied with receiving a settled and moderate tribute, not such as will furnish superfluities, but the daily necessaries of life. If this tribute is not paid, the nomades declare war. Hence the poet calls these people both just, and miserable, (Abii,) [Note] for if the tribute is regularly paid, they do not have recourse to war. Payment is not made by those, who have confidence in their ability to repel attacks with ease, and to prevent the incursion of their enemies. This course was pursued, as Hypsicrates relates, by Ansander, who fortified on the isthmus of the Chersonesus, at the Palus Mæotis, a space of 360 stadia, and erected towers at the distance of every 10 stadia. [Note]
The Georgi (husbandmen) are considered to be more civilized and mild in their manners than the other tribes in this quarter, but they are addicted to gain. They navigate the sea, and do not abstain from piracy, nor from similar acts of injustice and rapacity.7.4.7
Besides the places in the Chersonesus already enumerated, there are the fortresses Palacium, and Chabum, and Neapolis, [Note] which Scilurus and his sons constructed, from which they sallied out against the generals of Mithridates.
There was also a fortress called Eupatorium, built by Diophantus, one of the generals of Mithridates. [Note]
There is a promontory, distant about 15 stadia from the wall of Chersonesus, which forms a large bay, which bends towards the city. Above this bay is a sea-lake, where there are salt pits. Here was the harbour Ctenus. The generals of the king, in order to strengthen their means of resistance in case of siege, stationed a garrison on the above-mentioned promontory, which was further protected by a fortification. The mouth of the Gulf was closed by an embankment which extended to the city, and was easily traversed on foot. The garrison and the city were thus united. The Scythians were afterwards easily repulsed. They attacked that part of the wall built across the isthmus which touches upon Ctenus, and filled the ditch with straw. The kind of bridge thus formed by day, was burnt at night by the king's generals, who continued their resistance and defeated the enemy. At present the whole country is subject to whomsoever the Romans may appoint as king of the Bosporus.7.4.8
It is a custom peculiar to all the Scythian and Sarmatian tribes, to castrate their horses, in order to make them more tractable, for although they are small, yet they are spirited, and difficult to manage. Stags and wild boars are hunted in the marshes, and wild asses and roes [Note] in the plains. It is a peculiarity of this country, that no eagles are to be found in it. Among the quadrupeds there is an animal called Colus, in size between a deer and a ram; it is white, and swifter in speed than either of those animals. It draws up water into the head through the nostrils; from this store it can supply itself for several days, and live without inconvenience in places destitute of water.
Such is the nature of the whole of the country beyond the Danube, lying between the Rhine and the Don, and extending as far as the Pontic Sea and the Palus Mæotis.
THERE remains to be described that part of Europe included between the Danube and the sea which surrounds it,
beginning from the inner recess of the Adriatic, and extending to the Sacred mouth of the Danube.
This part contains Greece, Macedonia, Epirus, and the people who live above them, extending to the Danube and to the two seas (the Adriatic and the Euxine Sea) on each side. On the Adriatic are the Illyrians; on the Euxine Sea, as far as the Propontis [Note] and Hellespont, are the Thracians, and the Scythian or Keltic tribes intermixed with them. We must begin from the Danube, and treat of the countries which follow next in order to those already described, that is to say, the parts contiguous to Italy, the Alps, the Germans, the Dacians, and the Getæ.
These may be divided into two parts. For the mountains of Illyria, Pæonia, and Thrace, may be considered as forming, as it were, a single line, parallel to the Danube, and extending from the Adriatic to the Euxine. To the north of this line is the country included between the Danube and the mountains. To the south is Greece and the barbarous tract contiguous to these mountains.
Near the Euxine Sea is Mount Hæmus, [Note] the largest and the highest of the mountains in that quarter, and divides Thrace nearly in the middle. According to Polybius, both seas may be seen from this mountain; but he is mistaken, for the distance to the Adriatic is considerable, and many things obstruct the view.
Almost the whole of Ardia [Note] lies near the Adriatic, Pæonia is in the middle, and all this country consists of elevated ground. On the side towards Thrace, it is bounded by Rhodope, [Note] a mountain next in height to Hæmus; on the other side to the north is Illyria, and the country of the Autariatæ, [Note] and Dardania. [Note]
I shall first describe Illyria, which approaches close to the Danube, and to the Alps which lie between Italy and Germany,
taking their commencement from the lake in the territory of the Vindelici, Rhæti, and Helvetii. [Note]7.5.2
The Daci depopulated a part of this country in their wars with the Boii and Taurisci, Keltic tribes whose chief was Critasirus. The Daci claimed the country, although it was separated from them by the river Parisus, [Note] which flows from the mountains to the Danube, near the Galatæ Scordisci, a people who lived intermixed with the Illyrian and the Thracian tribes. The Illyrians were destroyed by the Daci, while the Scordisci were frequently their allies.
The rest of the country as far as Segestica, [Note] and the Danube, towards the north and east, is occupied by Pannonii, but they extend farther in an opposite direction. The city Segestica, belonging to the Pannonii, is situated at the confluence of several rivers, all of which are navigable. It is in a convenient situation for carrying on war against the Daci, for it lies at the foot of the Alps, which extend to the Iapodes, [Note] a mixed Keltic and Illyrian tribe. Thence also flow the rivers by which is conveyed to Segestica a great quantity of merchandise, and among the rest, commodities from Italy. The distance from Aquileia to Nauportus, [Note] a settlement of the Taurisci, across the mountain Ocra, [Note] is 350, or, according to some writers, 500 stadia. Merchandise is transported to Nauportus in waggons. The Ocra is the lowest part of the Alps, which extend from Rhætica to the Iapodes, where the mountains rise again, and are called Albii. From Tergeste, [Note] a village of the Carni, [Note] there is a pass across and through the Ocra to a marsh called Lugeum. [Note] A river, the Corcoras, flows near Nauportus, and conveys the merchandise from that place. It discharges itself into the Save, and this latter river into the
Drave; the Drave again into the Noarus at Segestica. Here
the Noarus, having received the Colapis [Note] as it descends in its
full stream from the mountain Albius through the Iapodes,
enters the Danube among the Scordisci. The navigation on
the rivers is in general towards the north. The journey from
Tergeste to the Danube is about
The Breuci, Andizetii, Ditiones, Peirustæ, Mazæi, Daisitiatæ, whose chief was Baton, and other small obscure communities, which extend to Dalmatia, and almost to the Ardiæi to the south, are Pannonians. The whole mountainous tract from the recess of the Adriatic bay to the Rhizonic gulf, [Note] and to the territory of the Ardiæi, intervening between the sea and Pannonia, forms the coast of Illyria.
Here perhaps we ought to begin an uninterrupted account of these places, after a short repetition.
In describing Italy we said, that the Istri were the first
nation on the Illyrian coast, contiguous to Italy and to the
Carni, and that the present government had advanced the
limits of Italy to Pola, [Note] a city of Istria. These limits are distant about 800 stadia from the recess of the bay. It is the
same distance from the promontory in front of Pola to Ancon, [Note] keeping Henetica [Note] on the right hand. The whole voyage
along the coast of Istria is
Next is the voyage along the coast of the Iapodes, 1000 stadia in extent. The Iapodes are situated on Mount Albius, which is the termination of the Alps, and is of very great height. They reach in one direction to the Pannonii and the Danube, and in another to the Adriatic. They are a warlike people, but were completely subdued by Augustus. Their cities are Metulum, Arupinum, Monetium, Vendum. [Note] The country is poor, and the inhabitants live chiefly upon spelt and millet. [Note] Their armour is after the Keltic fashion. Their bodies are punctured, like those of the other Illyrian and Thracian people.
After the coast of the Iapodes follows that of Liburnia, exceeding the former by 500 stadia. On this coast is Scardon, [Note] a Liburnian city, and a river, [Note] which is navigable for vessels of burden as far as the Dalmatæ.7.5.5
Islands are scattered along the whole of the above-mentioned coast; among them are the Apsyrtides, where Medea is said to have killed her brother Apsyrtus, who was pursuing her.
Near the Iapodes is Cyrictica, [Note] then the Liburnian islands, about forty in number; other islands follow, of which the best known are Issa, Tragurium, founded by Isseans; Pharos, formerly Paros, founded by Parians, the birth-place of Demetrius, the Pharian; then the coast of the Dallnatæ and their naval arsenal, Salon. [Note] This nation was for a long time at war with the Romans. They had fifty considerable settlements, some of which were in the rank of cities, as Salon, Priomon, Ninias, and the old and new Sinotium. Augustus burnt them down. There is also Andetrium, a strong fortress, and Dalmatium, a large city, of the same name as the nation. Scipio Nasica greatly reduced its size, and converted the plain into a pasture for sheep, on account of the disposition of the people to rob and pillage.
It is a custom peculiar to the Dalmatæ to make a partition of their lands every eighth year. They do not use money, which is a peculiarity also when compared with the habits of the other inhabitants of this coast; but this is common among many other tribes of barbarians.
The mountain Adrion divides Dalmatia into two parts, one of which is on the sea, the other forms the opposite side of the mountain. Then follow the river Naron, and the people in the neighbourhood, the Daorizi, Ardiæi, and Pleræi. [Note] Near the former lies the island Black Corcyra, [Note] on which is a city founded by the Cnidians. Near the Ardiæi is Pharos, formerly called Paros, for it was founded by Parians.7.5.6
Later writers call the Ardiæi, Vard$sei. [Note] The Romans drove them into the interior from the sea-coast, which
was infested by their piracies, and compelled them to cultivate the ground; but as the country was rugged and barren, and not adapted to husbandry, the nation was entirely ruined and nearly extinguished. The same happened to other neighbouring nations. People formerly very powerful are extinct, or were reduced to the lowest condition, as the Boii and Scordisci among the Galatæ; the Autariatæ, Ardiæi, and Dardanii, among the Illyrians; and the Triballi among the Thracians. They first declined in consequence of disputes amongst themselves, but were finally prostrated by wars with the Macedonians and Romans.7.5.7
After the termination of the coast of the Ardiæi and Pleræi is the bay of the Rhizæi, a city Rhizon, [Note] other small towns, and the river Drilon, [Note] which may be navigated up its stream towards the east as far as Dardanica. This country is situated close to the Macedonian and Pæonian nations, towards the south, as also the Autariatæ and the Dasaretii are in parts contiguous to one another [and to the Autariatæ]. [Note] To the Dardaniatae belong the Galabrii, [Note] in whose territory is an ancient city; and the Thunatæ, who approach on the east close to the Mædi, [Note] a Thracian tribe.
The Dardanii are entirely a savage people, so much so that they dig caves beneath dungheaps, in which they dwell; yet they are fond of music, and are much occupied in playing upon pipes and on stringed instruments. They inhabit the inland parts of the country, and we shall mention them again in another place.7.5.8
is situated. Then follow the rivers Apsus [Note] and the Aous, [Note] on the banks of which is situated Apollonia, [Note] a city governed by excellent laws. It was founded by Corinthians and Corcyræans, and is distant from the river 10, and from the sea 60, stadia. Hecatæus calls the Aous, Aias, and says that from the same place, or rather from the same sources about Lacmus, [Note] the Inachus flows southward, to Argos, [Note] and the Aias westward, into the Adriatic.
In the territory of the Apolloniatæ there is what is called a Nymphæum. It is a rock which emits fire. Below it are springs flowing with hot water and asphaltus. The earth containing the asphaltus is probably in a state of combustion. The asphaltus is dug out of a neighbouring hill; the parts excavated are replaced by fresh earth, which after a time are converted into asphaltus. This account is given by Posidonius, who says also, that the ampelitis, an asphaltic earth found in the Pierian Seleucia, [Note] is a remedy for the lice which infest the vine. If the vine is smeared with this earth mixed with oil, the insects are killed before they ascend from the root to the branches. This earth, but it required for use a larger quantity of oil, he says was found at Rhodes also, while he held there the office of Prytanes.
Next to Apollonia is Bylliace (Bullis) and Oricum, [Note] with its naval arsenal, Panormus, and the Ceraunian mountains, which form the commencement of the entrance of the Ionian and Adriatic Gulfs.7.5.9
The mouth is common to both; but this difference is to be observed, that the name Ionian [Note] is applied to the first part of the gulf only, and Adriatic to the interior sea up to the farthest end, but the name Adriatic is now applied to the whole
sea. According to Theopompus, the name Ionian was de- rived from a chief (Ionius) of that country, a native of Issa; and the name Adriatic from a river, Adrias. [Note]
From the Liburni to the Ceraunian mountains is a distance of a little more than 2000 stadia. But Theopompus says, that it is six days' sail from the farthest recess of the bay, but a journey of thirty days by land along the length of Ilyria. This appears to me an exaggeration, but he makes many incredible statements. Among other instances, he pretends that there is a subterraneous passage between the Adriatic and the ægæan Seas, grounding his opinion on the discovery of Chian and Thasian pottery in the river Naron. [Note] The two seas, he says, may be seen from some pretended mountain. He describes the Liburnian islands as occupying a position so extensive as to form a circle of 500 stadia. According to him, the Danube discharges itself by one of its mouths into the Adriatic. [Note] Similar mistakes are to be found in Eratosthenes, which Polybius, when speaking of him and other writers, describes as having their origin in vulgar error. [Note]7.5.10
On the coast of Illyria, along its whole extent, and in the neighbouring islands, there are numerous excellent harbours, contrary to what occurs on the opposite Italian coast, where there are none. As in Italy, however, the climate is warm, and the soil productive of fruits; olives also and vines grow readily, except in some few excessively rugged places. Although Illyria possesses these advantages, it was formerly neglected, through ignorance, perhaps, of its fertility; but it was principally avoided on account of the savage manners of the inhabitants, and their piratical habits.
The region situated above the sea-coast is mountainous, cold, and at times covered with snow. The northern part is still colder, so that vines are rarely to be met with either in the hills or in the plains lower down. These mountain-plains are in the possession of the Pannonians, and extend towards the south as far as the Dalmatians and Ardiæi. They terminate towards the north at the Ister, and approach towards
the east close to the Scordisci, who live near the Macedonian and Thracian mountains.7.5.11
The Autariatæ were the most populous and the bravest tribe of the Illyrians. Formerly, there were continual disputes between them and the Ardiæi respecting the salt which was spontaneously formed on the confines of their respective territories, in the spring season, from water which flows through a valley. The salt concreted five days after the water was drawn and deposited in reservoirs. The right of collecting salt was, by agreement, to be exercised alternately by each party, but the compact was broken and war was the consequence. After the Autariatæ had subdued the Triballi, a people whose territory extended a journey of fifteen days, from the Agrianæ to the Danube, they became masters of the Thracians and Illyrians. The Autariatæ were first conquered by the Scordisci, and afterwards by the Romans, who overpowered the Scordisci, for a long time a powerful nation.7.5.12
This people inhabited the country on the banks of the Danube, and were divided into two tribes, the Great and the Little Scordisci. [Note] The former occupied the space between two rivers, which empty themselves into the Danube, the Noarus, [Note] which runs beside Segestica, and the Margus, or, as some call it, Bargus. The Little Scordisci lived beyond this river close to the Triballi and Mysi. [Note] The Scordisci possessed some of the islands also. They increased so much in strength and numbers as to advance even to the Illyrian, Pæonian, and Thracian confines. Most of the islands on the Danube fell into their hands, and they possessed the cities Heorta and Capedunum. [Note]
Next to the territory of the Scordisci, lying along the banks of the Danube, is the country of the Triballi and Mysi, whom we have before mentioned; we have also spoken of the
marshes [Note] of the Lesser Scythia on this side the Danube. This nation, and the Crobyzi, and the nation called Troglodytæ, live above the districts in which are situated Callatis, Tomis, and Ister. [Note] Next are the people about the Mount Hæmus, and those who live at its foot, extending as far as the Pontus, Coralli, and Bessi, and some tribes of Mædi and of Dantheletæ. All these nations are very much addicted to robbery. The Bessi possess far the greatest part of Mount Hæmus, and are called Robbers from their mode of life as free-booters. Some of them live in huts and lead a life of hardship. They extend close to Rhodope, the Pæeones, and to the Illyrian nations; to the Autariatæ also, and the Dardanians. Between these and the Ardiæi are the Dasaretii, Hybrianes, and other obscure nations, whose numbers the Scordisci were continually reducing, until they had made the country a desert, full of impassable forests, which extended several days' journey.
OF the country situated between the Danube and the mountains on each side of Pæonia, there remains to be described the Pontic coast, which reaches from the Sacred mouth of the Danube to the mountainous district about Hæ- mus, and to the mouth of the Pontus at Byzantium. As in describing the Illyrian coast we had proceeded as far as the Ceraunian mountains, which, although they stretch beyond the mountainous district of Illyria, yet constitute a sort of proper boundary, we determined by means of these mountains the limits of the nations in the inland parts, considering, that such separating lines would be better marks both for our present and future use; so here also the coast, although it may fall beyond the mountainous line, will still end at a proper kind of limit, the mouth of the Pontus, which will be useful both for our present and our future descriptions.
If we set out from the Sacred mouth of the Danube, having on the right hand the continuous line of coast, we find at the
distance of 500 stadia, Ister, [Note] a small town founded by Mile-
sians; then Tomis, [Note] another small town, at the distance of
250 stadia; then Callatis, [Note] a city, a colony of the Heracleotæ,
at 280 stadia; then, at
On this coast is the promontory Tirizis, a place naturally
strong, which Lysimachus formerly used as a treasury. Again,
from Apollonia to the Cyanetæ are about
The Cyaneæ [Note] are two small islands at the mouth of the Pontus, one lying near Europe, the other near Asia, and are separated by a channel of about 20 stadia. This is the mea-
sure of the distance between the temple of the Byzantines and the temple of the Chalcedonians, where is the narrowest part of the mouth of the Euxine Sea. For proceeding onwards 10 stadia there is a promontory, which reduces the strait to 5 stadia; the strait afterwards opens to a greater width, and begins to form the Propontis.7.6.2
From the promontory, then, that reduces the strait to 5 stadia, to the Port under the Fig-tree, as it is called, are 35 stadia; thence to the Horn of the Byzantines, 5 stadia. This Horn, close to the walls of Byzantium, is a bay, extending westwards 60 stadia, and resembling a stag's horn, for it is divided into a great many bays, like so many branches. The Pelamides [Note] resort to these bays, and are easily taken, on account of their great number, and the force of the current, which drives them together in a body; and also on account of the narrowness of the bays, which is such that they are caught even by the hand. These fish are bred in the marshes of the Mæotis. When they have attained a little size and strength, they rush through the mouth in shoals, and are carried along the Asiatic coast as far as Trapezus and Pharnacia. It is here that the fishery begins, but it is not carried on to any considerable extent, because the fish are not of a proper size at this place. When they get as far as Sinope, they are in better season for the fishery, and for the purpose of salting. But when they have reached and passed the Cyaneæ, a white rock projects from the Chalcedonian shore, which alarms the fish, so that they immediately turn away to the opposite coast. There they are caught by the stream, and the nature of the places being such as to divert the current of the sea in that part towards Byzantium, and the Horn near it, the fish are impelled thither in a body, and afford to the Byzantines, and to the Roman people, a large revenue. The Chalcedonians, however, although situated near, and on the opposite side, have no share of this supply, because the Pelamides do not approach their harbours.
After the foundation of Chalcedon, Apollo is said to have
enjoined the founders of Byzantium, in answer to their in- quiries, to build their city opposite to the Blind, applying this name to the Chalcedonians, who, although they were the first persons to arrive in these parts, had omitted to take possession of the opposite side, which afforded such great resources of wealth, and chose the barren coast.
We have continued our description to Byzantium, because
this celebrated city, [Note]
Above Byzantium is the nation of the Asti, in whose territory is the city Calybe, which Philip the son of Amyntas made a settlement for criminals.
THESE are the nations, bounded by the Danube and by the Illyrian and Thracian mountains, which are worthy of record. They occupy the whole coast of the Adriatic Sea, beginning from the recess of the gulf, and the left side, as it is called, of the Euxine Sea, from the river Danube to Byzantium.
The southern parts of the above-mentioned mountainous tract, and the countries which follow, lying below it, remain to be described. Among these are Greece, and the contiguous barbarous country extending to the mountains.
Hecatæus of Miletus says of the Peloponnesus, that, before the time of the Greeks, it was inhabited by barbarians. Perhaps even the whole of Greece was, anciently, a settlement of barbarians, if we judge from former accounts. For Pelops brought colonists from Phrygia into the Peloponnesus, which
took his name; Danaus [Note]
We have already spoken of the Pelasgi. [Note] Some writers conjecture that the Leleges and Carians are the same people; others, that they were only joint settlers, and comrades in war, because there are said to be some settlements called Settlements of the Leleges in the Milesian territory, and in many parts of Caria there are burial-places of the Leleges, and deserted fortresses, called Lelegia.
The whole country called Ionia was formerly inhabited by Carians and Leleges; these were expelled by the Ionians, who themselves took possession of the country. In still ear-
lier times, the captors of Troy [Note] had driven out the Leleges from the places about Ida near the rivers Pedasus and Satnioeis.
The fact of the association of these people with the Carians
may be regarded as a proof of their being barbarians, and
Aristotle, in his Politics, shows that they were a wandering
nation, sometimes in company with the Carians, sometimes
alone, and that from ancient times; for, in speaking of the
polity of the Acarnanians, he says that the Curetes occupied
a part of the country, and the Leleges (and after them the
Teleboæ) the western side. On the subject of the ætolian
polity, he calls the present Locri, Leleges, and observes that
they occupy Bœotia. He repeats the same remark on the
subject of the polity of the Opuntians and Megareans. In
speaking of the polity of the Leucadians, he mentions an aboriginal by name, Leleges, and a grandson by his daughter
of the name of Teleboas, and besides two and twenty of his
sons of the name of Teleboas, some of whom inhabited Lucas.
But we should chiefly rely upon Hesiod, who thus speaks
For Locrus was the leader of the nation of the Leleges, whom Jupiter,
the son of Saturn, in his infinite wisdom, once gave as subjects to Deucalion, a people gathered from among the nations of the earth.
For it seems to me to be obscurely intimated by the etymology
of the name, Leleges, that they were a mixed people anciently
collected together, which had become extinct. And this
may be said of the Caucones, who exist no where at present,
yet were formerly settled in several places.
Although Greece was formerly composed of small nations, many in number, and obscure; nevertheless their valour, and their separate government by kings, prevented any difficulty in defining their boundaries. As the greatest part of the country, however, is at present uninhabited, and the settlements, especially the cities, have been destroyed, it would be of no service, even if it were possible, to ascertain the names of cities and regions occupied by obscure and extinct people. This destruction, which began a long time since, still continues in many parts in consequence of rebellion. It has been checked by the Romans, who accepted the supreme authority from the inhabitants and lodged soldiers in their houses.
Polybius says that Paulus [Emilius], after the defeat of the
The first parts of this coast are those about Epidamnus and Apollonia. From Apollonia to Macedonia is the Egnatian Way; its direction is towards the east, and the distance is measured by pillars at every mile, as far as Cypselus [Note] and the river Hebrus. [Note] The whole distance is 535 miles. But reckoning, as the generality of persons reckon, a mile at eight stadia, there may be 4280 stadia. And according to Polybius, who adds two plethra, that is, the third of a stadium, to every eight stadia, we must add 178 stadia more, a third part of the number of miles. [Note] A traveller from Apollonia, [Note] and a traveller from Epidamnus, [Note] on the same road, meet midway between the two cities. The whole is called the Egnatian Way. The first part of it is called the road to Candavia, which is an Illyrian mountain. It passes through Lychnidus, [Note] a city, and Pylon, a place which separates Illyria from Macedonia. Thence its direction is beside Barnus through Heracleia, the Lyncestæ, and the Eordi, to Edessa [Note] and Pella, [Note] as far as Thessalonica. [Note] Polybius says, that this is a distance of 267 miles. In travelling this road from the neighbourhood of Epidamnus and Apollonia, on the right hand are the Epirotic nations situated on the coast of the Sicilian Sea, and extending as far as the Gulf of Ambracia; [Note] on the left are the Illyrian mountains, which we have before described, and the nations that live near them, extending as far as Macedonia and the Pæones.
From the Gulf of Ambracia the places next in order, in- clining to the east, and extending opposite to Peloponnesus, belong to Greece; they terminate at the ægean Sea, leaving the whole of Peloponnesus on the right hand.
The country, from the commencement of the Macedonian and Pæonian mountains, as far as the river Strymon, [Note] is inhabited by Macedonians, and Pæones, and some of the Thracian mountain tribes. But all the country on the other side the Strymon, as far as the mouth of the Euxine Sea, and Mount Hæmus, [Note] belong to the Thracians, except the coast, which is occupied by Greeks, some of whom are settled on the Propontis, [Note] others on the Hellespont and on the Gulf Melas, [Note] and others on the ægean Sea.
The ægean Sea waters two sides of Greece; first, the eastern side, extending from the promontory Sunium [Note] to the north as far as the Thermæan Gulf, and Thessalonica, a Mace- donian city, which has, at present, the largest population in these parts. Then the southern side, which is a part of Macedonia, extending from Thessalonica to the Strymon. Some writers assign the coast from the Strymon as far as Nestus [Note] to Macedonia. For Philip showed the greatest solicitude to obtain, and at length appropriated it to himself. He raised a very large revenue from the mines, and from other sources which the richness of the country afforded.
From Sunium to the Peloponnesus are the Myrtoan, the Cretan, and the Libyan Seas, together with the Gulfs, as far as the Sicilian Sea, which consist of the Gulfs of Ambracia, of Corinth, and of Crissa.7.7.5
Theopompus says, that there are fourteen Epirotic nations. Of these, the most celebrated are the Chaones and Molotti, because the whole of Epirus was at one time subject, first to Chaones, afterwards to Molotti. Their power was greatly strengthened by the family of their kings being descended from the æacidæ, and because the ancient and famous oracle of Dodona [Note] was in their country. Chaones, Thesproti, and next after these Cassopæi, (who are Thes-
proti,) occupy the coast, a fertile tract reaching from the Ceraunian mountains to the Ambracian Gulf.
The voyage commencing from the Chaones eastward towards
the Gulfs of Ambracia and Corinth, and having the Ausonian
Sea on the right, and Epirus on the left, comprises
Next is the promontory Chimerium, and a harbour called Glycys-Limen, [or Sweet Harbour,] where the river Acheron, which receives several other rivers, empties itself and renders fresh the water of the gulf. The Thyamus [Note] flows near it. Above this gulf is situated Cichyrus, formerly Ephyra, a city of the Thesproti, and above the gulf at Buthrotum, Phœnice. [Note] Near Cichyrus is Buchetium, a small city of the Cassopæi, situated at a little distance from the sea; Elatria, Pandosia, and Batiæ are in the inland parts. Their territory extends as far as the gulf. Next after the harbour Glycys-Limen are two others, Comarus, [Note] the nearest and smallest, forming an isthmus of 60 stadia, near the Ambracian Gulf and Nicopolis, [Note] founded by Augustus Cæsar; the other, the more distant and larger, and better harbour, is near the mouth of the gulf, and distant from Nicopolis about 12 stadia.7.7.6
Then follows the entrance of the Ambracian Gulf,
which is a little more than four stadia in width. The circuit
of the gulf is 400 stadia, and the whole has good harbours.
On sailing into it, on the right hand are the Acarnanes, who
are Greeks; and here near the entrance of the gulf is a temple of Apollo Actius, situated on an eminence; in the plain
below is a sacred grove, and a naval station. Here Augustus
On the left hand are Nicopolis, [Note] and the Cassopæi, a tribe of the Epirotæ, extending as far as the recess of the gulf at Ambracia. Ambracia [Note] is situated a little above the recess of the bay, and was founded by Gorgus, (Torgus, Tolgus,) the son of Cypselus. The river Arathus flows beside it, which may be navigated up the stream to the city, a distance of a few stadia. It rises in Mount Tymphe, and the Paroræa. This city was formerly in a very flourishing condition, and hence the gulf received its name from the city. Pyrrhus, however, embellished it more than any other person, and made it a royal residence. In later times, [Note] the Macedonians and Romans harassed this and other cities by continual wars, caused by the refractory disposition of the inhabitants, so that Augustus, at length perceiving that these cities were entirely deserted, collected their remaining inhabitants into one city, which he called Nicopolis, situated upon the gulf. He called it after the victory which he obtained in front of
the gulf, over Antony, and Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, who was present in the engagement.
Nicopolis is well peopled, and is improving every day. It has a large territory, and is adorned with the spoils of war. In the suburbs is a sacred enclosure; part of it is a grove, containing a gymnasium and a stadium, intended for the celebration of quinquennial games; the other part, on a rising ground overhanging the grove, is sacred to Apollo. The Olympian game, called the Actia, [Note] is instituted there in honour of Apollo Actius. It is under the superintendence of the Lacedæmonians. The other surrounding settlements are dependent on Nicopolis. The Actian games [Note] were formerly celebrated in honour of the god by the neighbouring people; it was a contest in which the victor was crowned; but Cæsar has conferred on it greater honours.7.7.7
After Ambracia follows the Amphilochian Argos, founded by Alcmæon and his sons. According to Ephorus, Alcmæon, after the expedition of the Epigoni [Note] against Thebes, upon the solicitation of Diomed, accompanied him in his invasion of ætolia, and obtained joint possession of this country and of Acarnania. When Agamemnon invited them to come to the siege of Troy, Diomed went, but Alcmaeon remained in Acarnania, founded Argos, and gave it the name Amphilochian, after his brother Amphilochus. On the same authority the river Inachus, which flows through the country and empties itself into the bay, received its name from the river in the Argive territory. Thucydides, however, says that Amphilochus himself, upon his return from Troy, dissatisfied with the state of things at Argos, passed over into Acarnania, and having succeeded to the dynasty of his brother, founded the city which is called after his name.7.7.8
The Amphilochians are Epirotæ, as also are those nations who inhabit a rugged country situated above and close to the Illyrian mountains, the Molotti, Athamanes, æthices, Tymphæi, Orestæ Paroræi, and Atintanes, some of whom approach nearer to Macedonia, others to the Ionian Gulf. It is said that Orestes possessed the territory Orestias at the time of his flight, after the murder of his mother, and left the country
bearing his name, where also he had built a city called Orestic Argos. With these people are intermixed Illyrian nations, some of whom are situated on the southern part of the mountainous district, and others above the Ionian Gulf. For above Epidamnus and Apollonia, as far as the Ceraunian mountains, live the Bulliones, Taulantii, Parthini, and Brygi. [Note]
Somewhere near are the silver mines of Damastium. Here the Perisadyes had established their sway, and Enchelii, who are also called Sesarethii. Then come the Lyncestæ, the territory Deuriopus, Pelagonia-Tripolitis, the Eordi, Elimia, and Eratyra. Formerly each of these nations was under its own prince. The chiefs of the Enchelii were descendants of Cadmus and Harmonia, and scenes of the fables respecting these persons are shown in the territory. This nation, therefore, was not governed by native princes. The Lyncestæ were under Arrhabæus, who was of the race of the Bacchiadæ. Irra was his daughter, and his grand-daughter was Eurydice, the mother of Philip Amyntas.
The Molotti also were Epirotæ, and were subjects of Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, and of his descendants, who were Thessalians. The rest were governed by native princes. Some tribes were continually endeavouring to obtain the mastery over the others, but all were finally subdued by the Macedonians, except a few situated above the Ionian Gulf. They gave the name of Upper Macedonia to the country about Lyncestis, Pelagonia, Orestias, and Elimia. Later writers called it Macedonia the Free, and some extend the name of Macedonia to all the country as far as Corcyra, at the same time assigning as their reasons, the mode of cutting their hair, their language, the use of the chlamys, and similar things in which they resemble the Macedonians; some of them, however, speak two languages. On the dissolution of the Macedonian empire, they fell under the power of the Romans.
The Egnatian Way, from Epidamnus and Apollonia, passes through the territory of these people. Near the road to Candavia are the lakes about Lychnidus, which furnish large supplies of fish for salting, and rivers, some of which empty
themselves into the Ionian Gulf. Some flow towards the south, as the Inachus, the Arathus, (Ratoiis,) the Achelous, and the Evenus, formerly called Lycormas. The Ratous discharges its waters into the Ambracian Gulf, the Inachus into the Achelous, the Achelous itself into the sea, as also the Evenus; the former traverses Acarnania, the latter ætolia. The Erigon, after having received many streams which flow from the Illyrian mountains, and through the territories of Lyncestæ, Brygi, Deuriopes, and Pelagonians, empties itself into the Axius.7.7.9
There were formerly cities among these nations. The district Pelagonia-Tripolitis contained (as the name signifies) three cities, of which Azorus was one. All the cities of the Deuriopes were situated on the banks of the Erigon; among which were Bryanium, Alalcomenæ, [Note] and Stymbara. [Note] Cydriæ belonged to the Brygi, and æginium on the confines of æthicia, and Tricca, to the Tymphæi. Near Macedonia and Thessalia, about the mountains Pœus and Pindus, are the æthices, and the sources of the Peneus, which are a subject of dispute between the Tymphei and the Thessalians, who are situated below Pindus.
On the banks of the river Ion is Oxynia, a city distant from Azorus in the Tripolitis 120 stadia. Near Oxynia are Alalcomenæ, æginium, Europus, and the confluence of the Ion with the Peneus.
At that time then, as I said before, the whole of Epirus and Illyria were well peopled, although the country is rugged and full of mountains, such as Tomarus, and Polyanus, and many others. At present the greater part is uninhabited, and the inhabited parts are left in the state of villages, or in ruins. Even the oracle at Dodona has almost been deserted, like the rest.7.7.10
This oracle, according to Ephorus, was established by
Pelasgi, who are said to be the most ancient people that were
sovereigns in Greece. Thus the poet speaks,
O great Pelasgic Dodonæan Jove; [Note]Iliad, book xvi. 233.
He went to Dodona, the dwelling of the Pelasgi, and to the beech tree.
I have spoken of the Pelasgi in the account of Tyr- rhenia.
With respect to Dodona, Homer clearly intimates that the
people who lived about the temple were barbarians, from their
mode of life, describing them as persons who do not wash
their feet, and who sleep on the ground. Whether we should
read Helli, with Pindar, or Selli, as it is conjectured the word
existed in Homer, the ambiguity of the writing does not
permit us to affirm confidently. Philochorus says, that the
country about Dodona was called, like Eubœa, Hellopia; for
these are the words of Hesiod,
There is a country Hellopia, rich in corn-fields and pastures; at its
extremity is built Dodona.
It is supposed, says Apollodorus, that it had this name from
the hele, or marshes about the temple. He is of opinion
that the poet did not call the people about the temple Helli,
but Selli, adding, that Homer mentions a certain river (near)
of the name of Selleis. He specifies the name in this line,
At a distance far from Ephyra, from the river Selleis.
[Demetrius of Skepsis contends that] Ephyra of Thesprotia
is not here meant, but Ephyra of Elis. For the river Selleis
is in Elis, and there is no river of this name either in Thesprotia or among the Molotti. The fable of the oak and the
doves, and other similar things, like the stories connected with
Delphi, although they are subjects more adapted to engage
the attention of a poet, yet are appropriate to the description
of the country with which we are now occupied.
Dodona was formerly subject to the Thesproti, as was the mountain Tomarus, or Tmarus, (both names are in use,) be low which the temple is situated. The tragic writers and Pindar give the epithet of Thesprotis to Dodona. It was said to be subject, in later times, to the Molotti. Those called by the poet Jove's interpreters, [Note] and described by him as men with unwashen feet, who slept on the ground, were, it is said called Tomuri [Note] from Mount Tomarus, and the passage in the
Odyssey containing the advice of Amphinomus to the suitors
not to attack Telemachus before they had inquired of Jupiter
is as follows,
If the Tomuri of great Jove approve, I myself will kill him, and I
will order all to join in the deed; but if the god forbid it, I command to
withhold.Odys. xvi. 403.
In Homer, however, we must understand θέμιστες in a
more simple sense, and, like βουλαί, by the figure Catachresis,
as meaning commands and oracular injunctions as well as
laws; for such is the import of this line:
To listen to [Note] the will of Jove, which comes forth from the lofty and verdant oak.
The first prophets were men, and this the poet perhaps indicates, for he calls the persons interpreters, [Note] among whom the prophets [Note] might be classed. In after-times three old women were appointed to this office, after even Dione had a common temple with Jupiter.
Suidas, in order to court the favour of the Thessalians by
fabulous stories, says, that the temple was transported from
Scotussa of the Thessalian Pelasgiotis, accompanied by a great
multitude, chiefly of women, whose descendants are the present
prophetesses, and that hence Jupiter had the epithet Pelasgic.
Cineas relates what is still more fabulous * * * * *
* * * * *
[With the exception of the following Fragments, the rest of this book
THE oracle was formerly at Scotussa, a city of Pelasgiotis, but was transferred to Dodona by the command of Apollo, after some persons had burnt down the tree. The oracular answers were not conveyed by words, but by certain signs, as at the oracle of Ammon in Libya. Probably the three doves made some peculiar flight, which, observed by the priestesses, suggested the oracular answer. Some say that, in the language of the Molotti and Thesprote, old women are called peliæ, and old men pelii, so that the celebrated doves were probably not birds, but three old women who passed an idle time about the temple. EPIT.7.fragments.2
Among the Thesprotæ and Molotti old women are called peliæ, and old men pelii, as among the Macedonians. Persons at least who hold office are called peligones, as among the Laconians and Massilienses they are called ge- rontes. Hence it is asserted that the story of the doves in the oak at Dodona is a fable. E.7.fragments.3
The proverb, The brazen vessel of Dodona, thus arose. In the temple was a brazen vessel, having over it a statue of a man (an offering of the Corcyræans) grasping in the hand a brazen scourge of three thongs, woven in chains, from which were suspended small bones. The bones striking continually upon the brazen vessel, whenever they were agitated by the wind, produced a long protracted sound, so that a person from the beginning to the end of the vibrations might proceed to count as far as four hundred. Whence also came the proverb, The Corcyræan scourge. [Note] EPIT.7.fragments.4
Pæonia is to the east of these nations, and to the west of the Thracian mountains; on the north it lies above Macedonia. Through the city Gortynium and Stobi it admits of a passage to * * * (through which the Axius flows, and renders the access difficult from Pæonia into Macedonia, as
the Peneus flowing through Tempe protects it on the side of Greece.) On the south, Pæonia borders on the Autariatæ, the Dardanii, and the Ardiæi; it extends also as far as the Strymon. E.7.fragments.5
The Haliacmon [Note] flows into the Thermæan Gulf. E.7.fragments.6
Orestis is of considerable extent; there is in it a large mountain which reaches to Corax [Note] of ætolia and to Parnassus. It is inhabited by the Orestæ themselves, by the Tymphæans, and by Greeks without the isthmus, namely, those who also occupy Parnassus, æta, and Pindus. As a whole, the mountain is called by one name, Boion, (Peum?) but the separate divisions bear various names. The ægean, Ambracian, and Ionian Seas are said to be distinguishable from the highest elevations, but this appears to me to be an extravagant assertion; for Pteleum rises to a considerable height, and is situated near the Ambracian Gulf, stretching on one side to the Corcyræan and on the other to the Leucadian Seas. E.7.fragments.7
Corcyra, humbled by many wars, became a subject of ridicule, and passed into a proverb. E.7.fragments.8
Corcyra was formerly a flourishing place, and possessed a considerable naval force, but went into decay through war and the oppression of its rulers. In later times, although restored to liberty by the Romans, it acquired no renown, but the taunting proverb was applied to it, Corcyra the Free, ease yourself where you please. EPIT.7.fragments.9
Of Europe, there remains Macedonia, and the parts of Thrace contiguous to it, extending to Byzantium, Greece also, and the adjacent islands: indeed, Macedonia is a part of Greece. Following, however, the natural character of the country and its form, we have determined to separate it from Greece, and to unite it with Thrace, which borders upon it.——Strabo, after a few remarks, mentions Cypsela [Note] and the river Hebrus. [Note] He also describes a parallelogram in which is placed the whole of Macedonia. E.7.fragments.10
Macedonia is bounded on the west by the sea-coast of the Adriatic; on the east by a meridian line parallel to this coast, passing through the mouth of the river Hebrus, and the city Cypsela; on the north by an imaginary straight line passing through the mountains Bertiscus, Scardus, [Note] Orbelus, [Note]
Rhodope, [Note] and Hæmus. [Note] For these mountains extend in a straight line, beginning from the Adriatic, to the Euxine, forming towards the south a great peninsula, which comprehends Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, and Achaia. On the south, Macedonia is bounded by the Egnatian Way, which goes from Dyrrachium eastwards to Thessalonica, and thus has very nearly the form of a parallelogram. EPIT.7.fragments.11
The country now called Macedonia was formerly called Emathia. It acquired this name from Macedon, one of its ancient princes. There was also a city Emathia near the sea. The country was occupied by some of the Epirotæ and Illyrians, but the greatest part by Bottiæi and Thracians. The Bottiæi were of Cretan origin, and came under the command of Botton; the Pieres, who were Thracians, inhabited Pieria and the parts about Olympus; the Pæonians, the borders of the river Axius, from whence the region was called Amphaxitis; the Edoni and Bisalti, the rest of the country as far as the Strymon. The Bisalti retained their name, but the Edoni went under the various names of Mygdones, Edoni, (Odones?) and Sithones. Of all these people, the Argeadæ and the Chalcidenses of Eubœa became the chief. The Chalcidenses came from Eubœa into the territory of the Sithones, and there founded about thirty cities. They were subsequently driven out by the Sithones, but the greater part of them collected together into a single city, namely, Olynthus. [Note] They had the name of Chalcidenses-in-Thrace. E.7.fragments.12
The Peneus separates Lower Macedonia and the seaboard from Thessaly and Magnesia. The Haliacmon is the boundary of Upper Macedonia; and the Haliacmon, the Erigon, the Axius, and other rivers, form the boundary between Macedonia and the Epirotæ and the Pæonians. E.7.fragments.13
If a line is drawn from the recess of the Thermaic Gulf, on the sea-coast of Macedonia, and from Thessalonica, southwards, to Sunium, and another eastwards, towards the Thracian Chersonese, an angle will be made in the recess. Macedonia extends in both directions, and we must begin with the line first mentioned. The first part of it has beyond it Attica with Megaris to the Crissæan Bay. Next succeeds the sea-coast of Bœotia near Eubea. Above Eubœa an the
west lies the rest of Bœotia, parallel with Attica. Strabo says that the Egnatian Way begins from the Ionian Gulf and ends at Thessalonica. E.7.fragments.14
From these reefs, says Strabo, we shall first mark the boundaries of those who live about the river Peneus and Haliacmon near the sea. The Peneus flows from Mount Pindus through the middle of Thrace eastwards; passing through the cities of the Lapithæ and some of the cities of the Perrhæbi, it arrives at the vale of Tempe, having in its course received the waters of several rivers: of these, the Europus (Eurotas) is one, called by the poet Titaresius. It rises from Titarius, (Titarus,) a mountain continuous with Olympus, which at this point first begins to mark the boundary between Macedonia and Thessaly. Tempe is a narrow valley between Olympus and Ossa. The Peneus continues its course from this narrow pass 40 stadia, having Olympus, the highest of the Macedonian mountains, on the left, [and Ossa on the right, near] the mouth of the river. At the mouth of the Peneus on the right is situated Gyrton, a city of the Perrhæbi, and Magnetis, where Pirithous and Ixion were kings. The city Crannon is 100 stadia distant from Gyrton. Some assert, that in the lines of Homer, These two from Thrace, and what follows, for Ephyri we are to understand Crannonii, and for Phlegyes, the people of Gyrton. Pieria is on the other side. E.7.fragments.15
The Peneus, rising in Mount Pindus, flows through Tempe, the middle of Thessaly, the Lapithæ, and the Perrhæbi. It receives the Europus, (Eurotas,) which Homer calls Titaresius, in its course, and forms on the north the boundary of Macedonia, and on the south that of Thessaly. The sources of the river Europus are in Mount Titarius, which is contiguous to Olympus. Olympus itself is in Macedonia; Ossa and Pelion in Thessaly. EPIT.7.fragments.16
At the roots of Olympus, and on the banks of the Peneus, is Gyrton, a Perrhæbic city, and Magnetis, where Pirithous and Ixion ruled. [The city] Crannon is [100 stadia] distant [from Gyrton]; and it is said that when the poet writes Both from Thrace, we are to understand by Ephyri, the Crannonians, and by Phlegyes, the Gyrtonii. EPIT.7.fragments.17
The city Dium is not on the sea-shore of the Ther- mæan Gulf, at the roots of Olympus, but is about 7 stadia
distant. Near Dium is a village Pimplea, where Orpheus lived. EPIT.7.fragments.18
Beneath Olympus is Dium; near it is a village, Pimplea, where it is said Orpheus lived. He was a Cicon (of the tribe of the Cicones) and was a diviner. At first he drew people about him by the practice of music and witchcraft, and by the introduction of mysterious ceremonies in religious worship. After a time, obtaining a greater degree of self- importance, he collected a multitude of followers, and acquired influence. He had many willing followers, but becoming suspected by a few of entertaining secret designs, and of an intention of taking forcible possession of power, he was attacked by them and put to death. Near this place is Libethra. E.7.fragments.19
Anciently diviners practised the art of music. EPIT.7.fragments.20
After Dium follow the mouths of the Haliacmon;
then Pydna, Methone, Alorus, and the rivers Erigon and Ludias. The Ludias flows from Triclari, through the Oresti and
the Pellæan country (Pelagonia): leaving the city on the left
it falls into the Axius. The Ludias is navigable up the stream
to Pella 120 stadia. Methone is situated in the middle, about
40 stadia distant from Pydna, and 70 stadia from Alorus.
Alorus is situated in the farthest recess of the Thermæan
Gulf. It was called Thessalonica on account of the splendid
[victory obtained over the Thessalians]. Alorus is considered
as belonging to Bottiæa and Pydna to Pieria. Pella is in
Lower Macedonia, which was in possession of the Bottiæi.
Here was formerly the Macedonian Treasury. Philip, who
was brought up in this place, raised it from an inconsiderable
city to some importance. It has a citadel situated on a lake
called Ludias. From this lake issues the river Ludias, which
is filled by a branch of the Axius. The Axius discharges
itself between Chalastra and Therma. Near this river is a
fortified place, now called Abydos; Homer calls it Amydon,
and says that the Pæonians came from hence to assist the
Trojans during the siege of Troy.
From afar, from Amydon, from Axius' wide stream.
It was razed by the Argeadæ. E.
The water of the Axius is turbid. Homer, however, says that the water is month beautiful, probably on account
of a spring called æa which runs into it, the water of which is of surpassing clearness. This is sufficient to prove that the present reading in the poem is erroneous. After the Axius is the Echedorus, [Note] 20 stadia distant. Then Thessalonica, founded by Cassander, 40 stadia farther on, and the Egnatian Way. He named the city after his wife Thessalonice, the daughter of Philip Amyntas, and pulled down nearly 26 cities in the district of Crucis, and on the Thermræan Gulf, collecting the inhabitants into one city. It is the metropolis of the present Macedonia. The cities transferred to Thessalonica were Apollonia, Chalastra, Therma, Garescus, ænea, and Cissus. Cissus, it is probable, belonged to Cisseus, who is mentioned by the poet. Cisseus educated him, meaning Iphidamas. E.7.fragments.22
After the city Drium is the river Haliacmon, which discharges itself into the Thermæan Gulf. From hence to the river Axius the sea-coast on the north of the gulf bears the name of Pieria, on which is situated the city Pydna, now called Citrum. Then follow Methone and the river Alorus; then the rivers Erigon and Ludias. From Ludias to the city Pella the river is navigated upwards to the distance of 20 stadia. Methone is distant from Pydna 40 stadia, and 70 stadia from Alorus. Pydna is a Pierian, Alorus a Bottiæan city. In the plain of Pydna the Romans defeated Perseus, and put an end to the Macedonian empire. In the plain of Methone, during the siege of the city, Philip Amyntas accidentally lost his right eye by an arrow discharged from a catapult. EPIT.7.fragments.23
Philip, who was brought up at Pella, formerly a small
city, much improved it. In front of the city is a lake, out of
which flows the river Ludias. The lake is supplied by a
branch of the river Axius. Next follows the Axius, which
separates the territory of Bottiæa and Amphaxitis, and after
receiving the river Erigon, issues out between Chalestra and
Therme. On the river Axius is a place which Homer calls
Amydon, and says that the Pæones set out thence as auxiliaries to Troy:
From afar, from Amydon, from Axius' wide stream.
The Axius is a turbid river, but as a spring of clearest water
rises in Amydon, and mingles with the Axius, some have
altered the line
αξιοῦ, οὔ κάλλισττον ὕδω ἐπικίδναται αἶαν,
Axius, whose fairest water o'erspreads æa,
αξιοῦ, ὧ κάλλιστον ὕοδω ἐπικίδναται αἴης.
For it is not the fairest water which is diffused over the
spring, but the fairest water of the spring which is diffused over the Axius. [Note] EPIT.
Axius, o'er whom spreads æa's fairest water.
After the river Axius is the city Thessalonica, formerly called Therma. It was founded by Cassander, who called it after the name of his wife, a daughter of Philip Amyntas. He transferred to it the small surrounding cities, Chalastra, ænea, Cissus, and some others. Probably from this Cissus came Iphidamas, mentioned in Homer, whose grandfather Cisseus educated him, he says, in Thrace, which is now called Macedonia. EPIT.7.fragments.25
Somewhere in this neighbourhood is the mountain Bermius, [Note] which was formerly in the possession of the Briges, a Thracian nation, some of whom passed over to Asia and were called by another name, Phrygians (Phryges). After Thessalonica follows the remaining part of the Thermæan Gulf, [Note] extending to Canastræum. [Note] This is a promontory of a peninsula form, and is opposite to Magnesia. Pallene is the name of the peninsula. It has an isthmus 5 stadia in width, with a ditch cut across it. There is a city on the peninsula, formerly
called Potidæa, [Note] founded by the Corinthians, but afterwards it was called Cassandria, from king Cassander, who restored it after it was demolished. It is a circuit of 570 stadia round the peninsula by sea. Here giants were said to have lived, and the region to have been called Phlegra. Some consider this to be a mere fable, but others, with greater probability on their side, see implied in it the existence of a barbarous and lawless race of people who once occupied the country, but who were destroyed by Hercules on his return home, after the capture of Troy. Here also the Trojan women are said to have committed the destructive act of burning the ships, to avoid becoming the slaves of their captors' wives. E.7.fragments.26
The city Berœa [Note] lies at the roots of Mount Bermius. EPIT.7.fragments.27
Pallene is a peninsula. On the isthmus of Pallene lies what was once Potidæa, but now Cassandra. It was formerly called Phlegra, and was inhabited by the fabulous giants, an impious and lawless race, who were destroyed by Hercules. It has upon it four cities, Aphytis, Mende, Scione, and Sana. EPIT.7.fragments.28
Olynthus is distant from Potidæa 70 stadia. E.7.fragments.29
The arsenal of Olynthus is Mecyberna, on the Toronæan Gulf. EPIT.7.fragments.30
Near Olynthus is a hollow tract called Cantharolethron, from an accidental circumstance. The Cantharus, (the beetle,) which is bred in the surrounding country, dies as soon as it touches this tract. EPIT.7.fragments.31
Next after Cassandria is the remaining part of the seacoast of the Toronæan Gulf, as far as Derris. It is a promontory opposite the district of Canastrum, and forms a gulf. Opposite to Derris, to the east, are the promontories of Athos; between them is the Singitic Gulf, which receives its name from an ancient city in it, Singus, now destroyed. Next is the city Acanthus, situated on the isthmus of Athos, [Note] founded by the Andrii; whence, by many, it is called the Acanthian Gulf. E.7.fragments.32
Opposite to Canastrum, a promontory of Pallene, is the promontory Derris, near Cophus-Limen [or Deaf Harbour]:
these form the boundaries of the Toronæan Gulf. Again, towards the east lies the promontory of Athos, [Nymphaeum,] which bounds the Singitic Gulf. Then follow one another the gulfs of the ægean Sea, towards the north, in this order: the Maliac, [Note] the Pagasitic, [Note] the Thermæan, [Note] the Toronæan, [Note] the Singitic, [Note] and the Strymonic. [Note] The promontories are these: Posidium, [Note] situated between the Maliac and Pegasitic Gulfs; next in order, towards the north, Sepias; [Note] then Canastrum [Note] in Pallene; then Derris; [Note] next Nymphæum [Note] in Athos, on the Singitic Gulf; Acrathos, [Note] the promontory on the Strymonic Gulf; between them is Athos, to the east of which is Lemnos. Neapolis [Note] bounds the Strymonic Gulf towards the north. EPIT.7.fragments.33
The city Acanthus, on the Singitic Gulf, is a maritime city near the Canal of Xerxes. There are five cities in Athos; Dium, Cleonæ, Thyssos, Olophyxis, Acrothoi, which is situated near the summit of Athos. Mount Athos is pap-shaped, very pointed, and of very great height. Those who live upon the summit see the sun rise three hours before it is visible on the sea-shore. The voyage round the peninsula, from the city Acanthus to the city Stagirus, the birth-place of Aristotle, is 400 stadia. It has a harbour called Caprus, and a small island of the same name. Then follow the mouths of the Strymon; then Phagres, Galepsus, and Apollonia, all of them cities; then the mouth of the Nestus, which is the boundary of Macedonia and Thrace, as settled, in their own times, by Philip and Alexander his son. There are about the Strymonic Gulf other cities also, as Myrcinus, Argilus, Drabescus, and Datum, which has an excellent and most productive soil, dock-yards for ship-building, and gold mines; whence the proverb, A Datum of good things, like to the proverb, Piles of plenty. [Note] EPIT.7.fragments.34
There are numerous gold mines among the Crenides, where the city of Philip now stands, near Mount Pangæus. Pangæus itself, and the country on the east of the Strymon, and on the west as far as Pæonia, contains gold and silver
mines. Particles of gold, it is said, are found in Pæonia in ploughing the land. EPIT.7.fragments.35
Mount Athos is pap-shaped, and so lofty that the husbandmen on the summit are already weary of their labour, the sun having long since risen to them, when to the inhabitants of the shore it is the beginning of cockcrowing. Thamyris, the Thracian, was king of this coast, and followed the same practices as Orpheus. Here also, at Acanthus, is seen the canal, which Xerxes is said to have made, and through which he is said to have brought the sea from the Strymonic Gulf, across the isthmus. Demetrius of Skepsis is of opinion that this canal was not navigable; for, says he, the ground is composed of deep earth, and admits of being dug for a distance of 10 stadia only: the canal is a plethrum in width; then follows a high, broad, and flat rock, nearly a stadium in length, which prevents excavation throughout the whole distance to the sea. And even if the work could be carried on so far across, yet it could not be continued to a sufficient depth, so as to present a navigable passage. Here Alexarchus, the son of Antipater, built the city Uranopolis, 30 stadia in circumference.
This peninsula was inhabited by Pelasgi from Lemnos; they were distributed into five small cities, Cleonæ, Olophyxis, Acrothoi, Dium, Thyssos. After Athos comes the Strymonic Gulf, extending to the river Nestus, which forms the boundary of Macedonia, as settled by Philip and Alexander. Accurately speaking, there is a promontory forming a gulf with Athos, on which is the city Apollonia. First in the gulf, after the harbour of Acanthus, is Stagira, now deserted: it was one of the Chalcidic cities, and the birth-place of Aristotle. Caprus was the harbour, and there is a small island of the same name. Then comes the Strymon, and Amphipolis, at the distance of 20 stadia up the river. In this part is situated an Athenian colony, called Ennea-Odoi (the Nine-Ways). Then Galepsus and Apollonia, which were destroyed by Philip. E.7.fragments.36
He says, it is 120 stadia (300?) from the Peneus to Pydna. On the sea-coast of the Strymon and of the Dateni is Neapolis, and Datum also, which has fruitful plains, a lake, rivers, dockyards, and valuable gold mines. Hence the proverb, A Datum of good things, like "Piles of plenty.
The country beyond the Strymon, which borders upon the sea and includes the parts about Datum, is occupied by Odomantes, Edoni, and Bisaltæ, some of whom are an indigenous people, the others came from Macedonia and were under the government of Rhesus. Above Amphipolis live the Bisaltæ, extending to the city Heraclea (Sintica); they occupy a fertile valley, through which passes the Strymon, which rises among the Agrianes near Rhodope. Near the Agrianes is situated Parorbelia of Macedonia. In the interior, in a valley, which commences at Idomene, are situated Callipolis, Orthopolis, Philipopolis, and Garescus. Among the Bisaltæ, proceeding up the river Strymon, is situated Berga, a village, distant from Amphipolis about 200 stadia. Proceeding northwards from Heraclea, and to the narrows, through which the Strymon flows, keeping the river on the right, first on the left are Pæonia and the parts about Dobera; then on the right are the mountains Hæmus and Rhodope, with the adjacent parts. On this side of the Strymon, close upon the river, is Scotussa; near the lake Bolbe is Arethusa; the inhabitants above the lake are chiefly Mygdones. Not only is the course of the Axius through Pæonia, but that of the Strymon also; for it rises among the Agrianes, passes through the territory of the Mædi and Sinti, and discharges itself between the Bisaltæ and Odomantes. E.7.fragments.37
The source of the river Strymon is among the Agrianes near Rhodope. EPIT.7.fragments.38
The Pæonians, according to some, were a dependent colony of the Phrygians; according to others, they were an independent settlement. Pænonia, it is said, extended to Pelagonia and Pieria; Pelagonia is said to have been formerly called Orestia; and Asteropæus, one of the chiefs from Pæonia who went to Troy, to have been called, with great probability, the son of Pelagon, and the Pæonians themselves to have been called Pelagones. E.7.fragments.39
The Asteropæus in Homer, son of Pelegon, we are told, was of Pæonia in Macedonia: whence Son of Pelegon; for the Pæonians were called Pelagones. EPIT.7.fragments.40
As the pœanismus, or singing of the Thracian Pæan, was called titanusmus by the Greeks, in imitation of a well- known note in the pæan, so the Pelagones were called Titanes. E,
Anciently, as at present, the Pæonians appear to have been masters of so much of what is now called Macedonia as to be able to besiege Perinthus, and subject to their power Crestonia, the whole of Mygdonia, and the territory of the Agrianes as far as Mount Pangæus. Above the sea-coast of the Strymonic Gulf, extending from Galepsus to Nestus, are situated Philippi and the surrounding country. Philippi was formerly called Crenides; it was a small settlement, but increased after the defeat of Brutus and Cassius. E.7.fragments.43
[Note] The present city Philippi was anciently called Crenides. EPIT.7.fragments.44
In front of this coast lie two islands, Lemnos and Thasos. Beyond the strait at Thasos is Abdera, with its fables. It was inhabited by Bistones, over whom ruled Diomed. The Nestus does not always keep within its banks, but frequently inundates the country. Then Dicæa, a city on the gulf, with a harbour. Above it is the lake Bistonis, 200 stadia in circumference. They say that Hercules, when he came to seize upon the horses of Diomed, cut a canal through the sea-shore and turned the water of the sea upon the plain, which is situated in a hollow, and is lower than the level of the sea, and thus vanquished his opponents. The royal residence of Diomed is shown, called, from a local peculiarity, its natural strength, Cartera-Come [Strong-Village]. Beyond the inland lake are Xanthia, Maronia, and Ismarus, cities of the Cicones. Ismarus is now called Ismara-near-Maronia. Near it is the outlet of the lake Ismaris. The stream is called sweet * * * * * * At this place are what are called the heads of the Thasii. The Sapæi are situated above. E.7.fragments.45
Topeira is situated near Abdera and Maronia. E.7.fragments.46
The Sinti, a Thracian tribe, inhabit the island of Lemnos; whence Homer calls them Sinties, thus, There are the Sinties. EPIT.7.fragments.47
After the river Nestus to the west is the city Abdera, named after Abderus, who was eaten by the horses of Diomed; then, near, Dicæa, a city, above which is situated a large lake, the Bistonis; then the city Maronia. EPIT.7.fragments.48
The whole of Thrace is composed of twenty-two nations. Although greatly exhausted, it is capable of equipping
15,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry. After Maronia are Orthagoria, a city, and the district of Serrium (the navigation along the coast is difficult); the small city Tempyra belonging to the Samothracians, and another Caracoma, (the Stockade,) in front of which lies the island Samothrace. Imbros is at no great distance from Samothrace; Thasos is double the distance from it. After Caracoma is Doriscus, where Xerxes counted the number of his army. Then the Hebrus, with a navigation up the stream for 100 stadia to Cypsela. Strabo says that this was the boundary of Macedonia when wrested by the Romans, first from Perseus, and afterwards from Pseudophilip. Paulus, who overthrew Perseus, united the Epirotic nations to Macedonia, and divided the country into four parts; one he assigned to Amphipolis, a second to Thessalonica, a third to Pella, and a fourth to Pelagonia. Along the Hebrus dwell the Corpili, the Brenæ still higher up, above them, and lastly the Bessi, for the Hebrus is navigable up to this point. All these nations are addicted to plunder, particularly the Bessi, whom, he says, border upon the Odrysæ and Sapei. Bizya is the capital of the Astræ (?). Some give the name of Odrysæ to all those people who live on the mountains overhanging the coast, from the Hebrus and Cypsela to Odessus. They were under the kingly government of Amadocus, Khersobleptes, Berisades, Seuthes, (Theseus?) and Cotys. E.7.fragments.49
The river in Thrace now called Rhiginia (Rhegina?) was formerly called Erigon (Erginus?). EPIT.7.fragments.50
Samothrace was inhabited by the brothers Jasion and Dardanus. Jasion was killed by lightning, for his crime against Ceres; Dardanus moved away from Samothrace, and built a city, to which he gave the name of Dardania, at the foot of Mount Ida. He taught the Trojans the Samothracian mysteries. Samothrace was formerly called Samos. EPIT.7.fragments.51
The gods worshipped in Samothrace, the Curbantes and Corybantes, the Curetes and the Idæan Dactyli, are said by many persons to be the same as the Cabiri, although they are unable to explain who the Cabiri were. E.7.fragments.52
At the mouth of the Hebrus, which discharges itself by two channels, in the Gulf of Melas, is a city ænos, founded by the Mitylenæans and Cumæans; its first founders, however, were Alopeconnesi; then the promontory Sarpedon;
then the Chersonesus, called the Thracian Chersonesus, form- ing the Propontis, the Gulf of Melas, and the Hellespont. It stretches forwards to the south-east, like a promontory, bringing Europe and Asia together, with only a strait between them of 7 stadia in width, the Strait of Sestos and Abydos. On the left is the Propontis, on the right the Gulf Melas, [Note] so called from the river Melas, [Note] which discharges itself into it, according to Herodotus and Eudoxus. It is stated (says Strabo) by Herodotus, that the stream of this river was not sufficient to supply the army of Xerxes. The above promontory is closed in by an isthmus 40 stadia across. In the middle of the isthmus is situated the city Lysimachia, named after king Lysimachus, its founder. On one side of the isthmus, on the Gulf Melas, lies Cardia; its first founders were Milesians and Clazomenæans, its second founders Athenians. It is the largest of the cities in the Chersonesus. Pactya is on the Propontis. After Cardia are Drabus and Limnæ; then Alopeconnesus, where the Gulf Melas principally ends; then the great promontory Mazusia; then, in the gulf, Eleus, where is Protesilaum, from whence Sigeum, a promontory of Troas, is 40 stadia distant; this is about the most southern extremity of the Chersonesus, distant from Cardia rather more than 400 stadia; if the circuit is made by sea to the other side of the isthmus, the distance is a little greater. E.7.fragments.53
The Thracian Chersonesus forms three seas, the Propontis to the north, the Hellespont to the east, and the Gulf Melas to the south, where the river Melas, of the same name as the gulf, discharges itself. EPIT.7.fragments.54
In the isthmus of the Chersonesus are three cities, Cardia on the Gulf of Melas, Pactya on the Propontis, Lysimachia in the interior; the breadth of the isthmus is 40 stadia. EPIT.7.fragments.55
The name of the city Eleus is of the masculine gender, perhaps that of Trapezus is also masculine. EPIT.7.fragments.56
In the voyage round of which we have been speaking; beyond Eleus, first, is the entrance into the Propontis through the straits, where they say the Hellespont begins. There is a promontory here by some called Dog's Monument, by others the Monument of Hecuba, for on doubling the pro-
montory, the place of her burial is to be seen. Then Mady- tus and the promontory of Sestos, where was the Bridge of Xerxes; after these places comes Sestos. From Eleus to the Bridge it is 170 stadia; after Sestos it is 280 stadia to ægospotamos: it is a small city in ruins. At this place a stone is said to have fallen from heaven during the Persian war. Then Callipolis, from whence to Lampsacus in Asia is a passage across of 40 stadia; then a small city Crithote in ruins; then Pactya; next Macron-Tichos, and Leuce-Acte, and Hieron-Oros, and Perinthus, a colony of the Samians; then Selybria. Above these places is situated Silta. Sacred rites are performed in honour of Hieron-Oros by the natives, which is as it were the citadel of the country. It discharges asphaltus into the sea. Proconnesus here approaches nearest the continent, being 120 stadia distant; there is a quarry of white marble in it, which is plentiful and of good quality; after Selybria the rivers Athyras and [Bathynias]; then Byzantium and the parts reaching to the Cyanean rocks. E.7.fragments.57
From Perinthus to Byzantium it is 630 stadia; from
the Hebrus and Cypseli to Byzantium and the Cyanean rocks
it is, according to Artemidorus, 3100 stadia. The whole distance from Apollonia on the Ionian Gulf to Byzantium is
7320 stadia; Polybius makes this distance 180 stadia more,
by the addition of a third of a stadium to the sum of 8 stadia,
which compose a mile. Demetrius of Skepsis, in his account
of the disposition of the Trojan forces, says that it is 700
stadia from Perinthus to Byzantium, and the same distance
to Parium. He makes the length of the Propontis to be
All writers do not agree in their description of the Hellespont, and many opinions are advanced on the subject. Some describe the Propontis to be the Hellespont; others, that part of the Propontis which is to the south of Perinthus; others include a part of the exterior sea which opens to the ægæan and the Gulf Melas, each assigning different limits. Some make their measurement from Sigeum to Lampsacus, and Cyzicus, and Parium, and Priapus; and one is to be found who measures from Singrium, a promontory of Lesbos. Some do not hesitate to give the name of Hellespont to the whole distance as far as the Myrtoan Sea, because (as in the Odes
of Pindar) when Hercules sailed from Troy through the vir-
gin strait of Hella, and arrived at the Myrtoan Sea, he returned back to Cos, in consequence of the wind Zephyrus
blowing contrary to his course. Thus some consider it correct to apply the name Hellespont to the whole of the ægæan
Sea, and the sea along the coast of Thessaly and Macedonia,
invoking the testimony of Homer, who says,
Thou shalt see, if such thy will, in spring,
But the argument is contradicted in the following lines,
My ships shall sail to Hellespont.
Piros, Imbracius' son, who came from ænos.
Piros commanded the Thracians,
Whose limits are the quick-flowing Hellespont.
So that he would consider all people settled next to the
Thracians as excluded from the Hellespont. For ænos is
situated in the district formerly called Apsynthis, but now
Corpilice. The territory of the Cicones is next towards the
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