Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.7.3 Str. 7.7.6 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.8


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-

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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 1300 stadia to the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf. In this interval is Panormus, [Note] a large port in the middle of the Ceraunian mountains. Next to this is Onchesmus, [Note] another harbour, opposite to which are the western extremities of Corcyra, [Note] and then again another port, Cassiope, [Note] (Cassope?) whence to Brundusium [Note] are 1700 stadia. It is the same distance to Tarentum from another promontory more to the south than Cassiope, which is called Phalacrum. Next after Onchesmus are Posidium, and Buthrotum, [Note] (which is situated upon the mouth of the lake Pelodes, in a spot of a peninsula form, and has a Roman colony,) and the Sybota. The Sybota [Note] are small islands at a little distance from Epirus, lying near Leucimme, [Note] the eastern promontory of Corcyra. There are also other small islands, not worthy of notice, which are met with along the coast.

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,

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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 Cæsar [Note] dedicated as offerings one-tenth of the vessels taken in war, from vessels of one bank to vessels of ten banks of oars. The vessels, and the buildings destined for their reception, were destroyed, it is said, by fire.

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

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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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.7.3 Str. 7.7.6 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.8

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