Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.fragments.45 Str. 7.fragments.55 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.1.1


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;

-- 517 --

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-

-- 518 --

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 1400 and the breadth 500 stadia; the narrowest part also of the Hellespont to be 7 stadia, and the length 400. E. 7.fragments.58

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

-- 519 --

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,
My ships shall sail to Hellespont.
But the argument is contradicted in the following lines, 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 west. E.

-- --

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.fragments.45 Str. 7.fragments.55 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.1.1

Powered by PhiloLogic