Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.12 Str. 7.7.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.4


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

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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] by its proximity to the mouth of the Euxine Sea, forms a better-known and more remarkable termination of an account of the coast from the Danube than any other.

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

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took his name; Danaus [Note] brought colonists from Egypt; Dry- opes, Caucones, Pelasgi, Leleges, and other barbarous nations, partitioned among themselves the country on this side of the isthmus. [Note] The case was the same on the other side of the isthmus; for Thracians, under their leader Eumolpus, [Note] took possession of Attica; Tereus of Daulis in Phocæa; the Phœnicians, with their leader Cadmus, [Note] occupied the Cadmeian district; Aones, and Temmices, and Hyantes, Bœotia. Pindar says, there was a time when the Bœotian people were called Syes. [Note] Some names show their barbarous origin, as Cecrops, Codrus, Œclus, Cothus, Drymas, and Crinacus. [Note] Thracians, Illyrians, and Epirotæ are settled even at present on the sides of Greece. Formerly the territory they possessed was more extensive, although even now the barbarians possess a large part of the country, which, without dispute, is Greece. Macedonia is occupied by Thracians, as well as some parts of Thessaly; the country above Acarnania and ætolia, by Thesproti, Cassopæi, Amphilochi, Molotti, and Athamanes, Epirotic tribes. 7.7.2

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-

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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 of them: 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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.12 Str. 7.7.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.4

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