Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.6.1 Str. 8.6.5 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.6.8


To the Argives belong Prasiæ, [Note] and Temenium [Note] where Temenus lies buried. Before coming to Temenium is the district through which the river Lerna flows, that having the same name as the lake, where is laid the scene of the fable of the Hydra. The Temenium is distant from Argos 26 stadia from the sea-coast; from Argos to Heræum are 40, and thence to Mycenæ 10 stadia.

Next to Temenium is Nauplia, the naval station of the Argives. Its name is derived from its being accessible to ships. Here they say the fiction of the moderns originated respecting Nauplius and his sons, for Homer would not have omitted to mention them, if Palamedes displayed so much wisdom and intelligence, and was unjustly put to death; and if Nauplius had destroyed so many people at Caphareus. [Note] But the genealogy offends both against the mythology, and against chronology. For if we allow that he was the son of Neptune, [Note] how could he be the son of Amymone, and be still living in the Trojan times.

Next to Nauplia are caves, and labyrinths constructed in them, which caves they call Cyclopeia.

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3. Then follow other places, and after these the Hermionic Gulf. Since the poet places this gulf in the Argive territory, we must not overlook this division of the circumference of this country. It begins from the small city Asine; [Note] then follow Hermione, [Note] and Trœzen. [Note] In the voyage along the coast the island Calauria [Note] lies opposite; it has a compass of 30 stadia, and is separated from the continent by a strait of 4 stadia. 8.6.4

Then follows the Saronic Gulf; some call it a Pontus or sea, others a Porus or passage, whence it is also termed the Saronic pelagos or deep. The whole of the passage, or Porus, extending from the Hermionic Sea, and the sea about the Isthmus (of Corinth) to the Myrtoan and Cretan Seas, has this name.

To the Saronic Gulf belong Epidaurus, [Note] and the island in front of it, ægina; then Cenchreœ, the naval station of the Corinthians towards the eastern parts; then Schœnus, [Note] a harbour at the distance of 45 stadia by sea; from Maleæ tile whole number of stadia is about 1800.

At Schœnus is the Diolcus, or place where they draw the vessels across the Isthmus: it is the narrowest part of it. Near Schœnus is the temple of the Isthmian Neptune. At present, however, I shall not proceed with the description of these places, for they are not situated within the Argive territory, but resume the account of those which it contains. 8.6.5

And first, we may observe how frequently Argos is mentioned by the poet, both by itself and with the epithet designating it as Achæan Argos, Argos Jasum, Argos Hippium, or Hippoboton, or Pelasgicum. The city, too, is called Argos, Argos and Sparta— [Note]
Il. iv. 52.
those who occupied Argos and Tiryns; [Note]
Il. 559.
and Peloponnesus is called Argos, at our house in Argos, [Note]
Il. i. 30.
for the city could not be called his house; and he calls the whole of Greece, Argos, for he calls all Argives, as he calls them Danai, and Achæans.

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He distinguishes the identity of name by epithets; he calls Thessaly, Pelasgic Argos; all who dwelt in Pelasgic Argos; [Note]
Il. ii. 681.
and the Peloponnesus, the Achæan Argos; if we should return to Achæan Argos;
Il. ix. 141.
was he not at Achæan Argos?
Od. iii. 251.
intimating in these lines that the Peloponnesians were called peculiarly Achæans according to another designation.

He calls also the Peloponnesus, Argos Jasum; if all the Achæans throughout Argos Jasum should see you, [Note]
Od. xviii. 245.
meaning Penelope, she then would have a greater number of suitors; for it is not probable that he means those from the whole of Greece, but those from the neighbourhood of Ithaca. He applies also to Argos terms common to other places, pasturing horses, and abounding with horses. 8.6.6

There is a controversy about the names Hellas and Hellenes. Thucydides [Note] says that Homer nowhere mentions Barbarians, because the Greeks were not distinguished by any single name, which expressed its opposite. Apollodorus also says, that the inhabitants of Thessaly alone were called Hellenes, and alleges this verse of the poet, they were called Myrmidones, and Hellenes; [Note]
Il. ii. 684.
but Hesiod, and Archilochus, in their time knew that they were all called Hellenes, and Panhellenes: the former calls them by this name in speaking of the Prœtides, and says that Panhellenes were their suitors; the latter, where he says that the calamities of the Panhellenes centred in Thasus.

But others oppose to this, that Homer does mention Barbarians, when he says of the Carians, that they spoke a barbarous language, and that all the Hellenes were comprised in the term Hellas; of the man, whose fame spread throughout Hellas and Argos. [Note]
Od. i. 344.
And again, but if you wish to turn aside and pass through Greece and the midst of Argos. [Note]
Od. xv. 80.

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