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8.6.7

The greater part of the city of the Argives is situated in a plain. It has a citadel called Larisa, a hill moderately fortified, and upon it a temple of Jupiter. Near it flows the Inachus, a torrent river; its source is in Lyrceium [the Arcadian mountain near Cynuria]. We have said before that the fabulous stories about its sources are the inventions of poets; it is a fiction also that Argos is without water— but the gods made Argos a land without water.
Now the ground consists of hollows, it is intersected by rivers, and is full of marshes and lakes; the city also has a copious supply of water from many wells, which rises near the surface.

They attribute the mistake to this verse, and I shall return disgraced to Argos (πολυδιψιον) the very thirsty. [Note]
Il. iv. 171.
This word is used for πολυπόθητον, or much longed after,
or without the δ for πολυίψιον, equivalent to the expression πολύφθορον in Sophocles, this house of the Pelopidæ abounding in slaughter,
Sophocles, El. 10.
[for ποϊάψαι and ἰάψαι and ἴψασθαι, denote some injury or destruction; at present he is making the attempt, and he will soon-destroy (ἴψεται) the sons of the Achæi; [Note] and again, lest she should injure (ἰάψν) her beautiful skin; [Note]
Od. ii. 376.
and, has prematurely sent down, προαψεν, to Ades. [Note]] [Note]
Il. i. 3.

Besides, he does not mean the city Argos, for it was not thither that he was about to return, but he meant Peloponnesus, which, certainly, is not a thirsty land.

With respect to the letter δ, they introduce the conjunction by the figure hyperbaton, and make an elision of the vowel, so that the verse would run thus, και κεν ἐλὲγχιστος, πολὺ δ' ἴψιον αργος ἱκοίμην,
that is, πολυίψιον αγοσδε ἱκοίμην, instead of, εἰς αγος. 8.6.8

The Inachus [Note] is one of the rivers, which flows through the Argive territory; there is also another in Argia, the

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Erasīnus. It has its source in Stymphalus in Arcadia, and in the lake there called Stymphalis, where the scene is laid of the fable of the birds called Stymphalides, which Hercules drove away by wounding them with arrows, and by the noise of drums. It is said that this river passes under-ground, and issues forth in the Argian territory, and waters the plain. The Erasīnus is also called Arsinus.

Another river of the same name flows out of Arcadia to the coast near Buras. There is another Erasinus also in Eretria, and one in Attica near Brauron.

Near Lerna a fountain is shown, called Amymone. The lake Lerna, the haunt of the Hydra, according to the fable, belongs to the Argive and Messenian districts. The expiatory purifications performed at this place by persons guilty of crimes gave rise to the proverb, A Lerna of evils.

It is allowed that, although the city itself lies in a spot where there are no running streams of water, there is an abundance of wells, which are attributed to the Danaides as their inven- tion; hence the line, the Danaïdes made waterless Argos, Argos the watered.
Four of the wells are esteemed sacred, and held in peculiar veneration. Hence they occasioned a want of water, while they supplied it abundantly. 8.6.9

Danaus is said to have built the citadel of the Argives. He seems to have possessed so much more power than the former rulers of the country, that, according to Euripides, he made a law that those who were formerly called Pelasgiotæ, should be called Danai throughout Greece. His tomb, called Palinthus, is in the middle of the marketplace of the Argives. I suppose that the celebrity of this city was the reason of all the Greeks having the name of Pelasgiotæ, and Danai, as well as Argives.

Modern writers speak of Iasidæ, and Argos Iasum, and Apia, and Apidones. Homer does not mention Apidones, and uses the word apia only to express distance. That he means Peloponnesus by Argos we may conclude from these lines, Argive Helen; [Note]
Il. vi. 623.
and, in the farthest part of Argos is a city Ephyra; [Note]
Il. vi. 152.

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and, the middle of Argos; [Note]
Od. i. 344.
and, to rule over many islands, and the whole of Argos. [Note]
Il. ii. 108.
Argos, among modern writers, denotes a plain, but not once in Homer. It seems rather a Macedonian and Thessalian use of the word.



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