Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.fragments.28 Str. 7.fragments.36 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.fragments.48


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.

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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,

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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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.fragments.28 Str. 7.fragments.36 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.fragments.48

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