Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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8.3.19

Below these people on the coast are two caves; one, of the nymphs Anigriades; the other, the scene of the adventures of the Atlantides, [Note] and of the birth of Dardanus. There also are the groves, both the Ionæum and Eurycydeium.

Samicum is a fortress. Formerly there was a city of the name of Samos, which perhaps had its designation from its

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height, since they called heights Sami; perhaps also this was the acropolis of Arēnē, which the poet mentions in the Catalogue of the Ships; who inhabited Pylus, and the pleasant Arene; [Note]
Il. ii. 591.
for as the position of Arēnē has not been clearly discovered anywhere, it is conjectured, that it was most probably situated where the adjoining river Anigrus, formerly called Minyeius, empties itself. As no inconsiderable proof of this, Homer says, There is a river Minyeius, which empties itself into the sea, near Arene. [Note]
Il. ii. 721.
Now near the cave of the nymphs Anigriades is a fountain, by which the subjacent country is rendered marshy, and filled with pools of water. The Anigrus however receives the greater part of the water, being deep, but with so little current that it stagnates. The place is full of mud, emits an offensive smell perceptible at a distance of 26 stadia, and renders the fish unfit for food. Some writers give this fabulous account of these waters, and attribute the latter effect to the venom of the Hydra, which some of the Centaurs [Note] washed from their wounds; others say, that Melampus used these cleansing waters for the purification of the Prœtades. [Note] They are a cure for alphi, or leprous eruptions, and the white tetter, and the leichen. They say also that the Alpheus had its name from its property of curing the disease alphi. [Note]

Since then the sluggishness of the Anigrus, and the recoil of the waters of the sea, produce a state of rest rather than a current, they say, that its former name was Minyeïus, but that some persons perverted the name and altered it to Minteïus. The etymology of the name may be derived from other sources; either from those who accompanied Chloris, the mother of Nestor, from the Minyeian Orchomenus; or,

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frown the Minyæ descendants of the Argonauts, who were banished from Lemnos, and went to Lacedæmon, and thence to Triphylia, and settled about Arēnē, in the country now called Hypæsia, which however no longer contains places built by the Minyæ.

Some of these people, with Theras the son of Autesion, who was a descendant of Polynices, having set sail to the country between Cyrenæa and the island of Crete, formerly Calliste, but afterwards called Thera, according to Callimachus, founded Thera, the capital of Cyrene, and gave the same name to the city, and to the island. 8.3.20

Between the Anigrus and the mountain from which the Jardanes rises, a meadow and a sepulchre are shown, and the Achææ, which are rocks broken off from the same mountain, above which was situated, as I have said, the city Samos. Samos is not mentioned by any of the authors of Peripli, or Circumnavigations; because perhaps it had been long since destroyed, and perhaps also on account of its position. For the Poseidium is a grove, as I have said, near the sea, a lofty eminence rises above it, situated in front of the present Samicum, where Samos once stood, so that it cannot be seen from the sea.

Here also is the plain called Samicus, from which we may further conjecture that there was once a city Samos.

According to the poem Rhadinē, of which Stesichorus seems to have been the author, and which begins in this manner, Come, tuneful Muse, Erato, begin the melodious song, in praise of the lovely Samian youths, sounding the strings of the delightful lyre: these youths were natives of this Samos. For he says that Rhadinē being given in marriage to the tyrant, set sail from Samos to Corinth with a westerly wind, and therefore certainly not from the Ionian Samos. By the same wind her brother, who was archi-theorus, arrived at Delphi. Her cousin, who was in love with her, set out after her in a chariot to Corinth. The tyrant put both of them to death, and sent away the bodies in a chariot, but changing his mind, he recalled the chariot, and buried them. 8.3.21

From this Pylus and the Lepreum to the Messenian Pylus [Note] and the Coryphasium, fortresses situated upon the sea,

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and to the adjoining island Sphagia, is a distance of about 400 stadia, and from the Alpheius a distance of 750, and from the promontory Chelonatas 1030 stadia. In the intervening distance are the temple of the Macistian Hercules, and the river Acidon, which flows beside the tomb of Jardanus, and Chaa, a city which was once near Lepreum, where also is the æpasian plain. It was for this Chaa, it is said, that the Arcadians and Pylians went to war with each other, which war Homer has mentioned, and it is thought that the verse ought to be written, Oh that I were young as when multitudes of Pylii, and of Arcades, handling the spear, fought together at the swift-flowing Acidon near the walls of Chaa, [Note] not Celadon, nor Pheia, for this place is nearer the tomb of Jardanus and the Arcades than the other.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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