Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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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. 8.3.22

On the Triphylian Sea are situated Cyparissia, and Pyrgi, and the rivers Acidon and Neda. At present the boundary of Triphylia towards Messenia is the impetuous stream of the Neda descending from the Lycæus, a mountain of Arcadia, and rising from a source which, according to the fable, burst forth to furnish water in which Rhea was to wash herself after the birth of Jupiter. It flows near Phigalia, and empties itself into the sea where the Pyrgitæ, the extreme tribe of the Triphylii, approach the Cyparissenses, the first of tile Messenian nation. But, anciently, the country had other boundaries, so that the dominions of Nestor included some places on the other side of the Neda, as the Cyparisseïs, and some others beyond that tract, in the same manner as the poet extends the Pylian sea as far as the seven cities, which Agamemnon promised to Achilles, All near the sea bordering upon the sandy Pylus, [Note]
Il. ix. 153.
which is equivalent to, near the Pylian sea. 8.3.23

Next in order to the Cyparisseis in traversing the coast towards the Messenian Pylus and the Coryphasium, we meet with Erana, (Eranna,) which some writers incorrectly suppose was formerly called Arene, by the same name as the Pylian city, and the promontory Platamodes, from which to the Coryphasium, and to the place at present called Pylus, are

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100 stadia. [Note] There is also a cenotaph and a small town in it both of the same name—Protē.

We ought not perhaps to carry our inquiries so far into antiquity, and it might be sufficient to describe the present state of each place, if certain reports about them had not been delivered down to us in childhood; but as different writers give different accounts, it is necessary to examine them. The most famous and the most ancient writers being the first in point of personal knowledge of the places, are, in general, persons of the most credit. Now as Homer surpasses all others in these respects, we must examine what he says, and compare his descriptions with the present state of places, as we have just said. We have already considered his description of the Hollow Elis and of Buprasium. 8.3.24

He describes the dominions of Nestor in these words: "And they who inhabited Pylus, and the beautiful Arene, and Thryum, a passage across the Alpheius, and the well-built æpy, and Cyparisseis, and Amphigeneia, and Pteleum, and Helos, and Dorium, where the Muses having met with Thamyris the Thracian, deprived him of the power of song, as he was coming from Œchalia, from the house of Eurytus the Œchalian. [Note] It is Pylus, therefore, to which the question relates, and we shall soon treat of it. We have already spoken of Arene. The places, which he here calls Thryum, in another passage he calls Thryoessa, There is a city Thryoessa, lofty, situated on a hill,
Far off, on the banks of the Alpheius. [Note]
Il. xi. 710.
He calls it the ford or passage of the Alpheius, because, according to these verses, it seems as if it could be crossed at this place on foot. Thryum is at present called Epitalium, a village of Macistia.

With respect to εὔκτιτον αἶπυ, æpy the well-built," some writers ask which of these words is the epithet of the other, and what is the city, and whether it is the present Margalæ of Amphidolia, but this Margalæ is not a natural fortress, but another is meant, a natural strong-hold in Macistia. Writers who suppose this place to be meant, say, that æpy is the name of the city, and infer it from its natural properties, as in the example of Helos, [Note] ægialos, [Note] and many others:

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those who suppose Margalæ to be meant here, will assert the contrary.

Thryum, or Thryoessa, they say, is Epitalium, because all the country is θυώδης, or sedgy, and particularly the banks of the rivers, but this appears more clearly at the fordable places of the stream. Perhaps Thryum is meant by the ford, and by the well-built æpy, Epitalium, which is naturally strong, and in the other part of the passage he mentions a lofty hill; The city Thryoessa, a lofty hill,
Far away by the Alpheus. [Note]
Il. xi. 710.



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