Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.6 Str. 8.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.8

CHAPTER VII. 8.7.1

THE Ionians, who were descendants of the Athenians, were, anciently, masters of this country. It was formerly called ægialeia, and the inhabitants ægialeans, but in later times, Ionia, from the former people, as Attica had the name of Ionia, from Ion the son of Xuthus.

It is said, that Hellen was the son of Deucalion, and that he governed the country about Phthia between the Peneins and Asopus, and transmitted to his eldest son these dominions, sending the others out of their native country to seek a settlement each of them for himself. Dorus, one of them, settled the Dorians about Parnassus, and when he left them, they bore his name. Xuthus, another, married the daughter of Erechtheus, and was the founder of the Tetrapolis of Attica, which consisted of Œnoe, Marathon, Probalinthus, and Tricorythus.

Achæus, one of the sons of Xuthus, having committed an accidental murder, fled to Lacedæmon, and occasioned the inhabitants to take the name of Achæans. [Note]

Ion, the other son, having vanquished the Thracian army with their leader Eumolpus, obtained so much renown, that the Athenians intrusted him with the government of their state. It was he who first distributed the mass of the people into four tribes, and these again into four classes according to their occupations, husbandmen, artificers, priests, and the fourth, military guards; after having made many more regulations of this kind, he left to the country his own name.

-- 68 --

It happened at that time that the country had such an abundance of inhabitants, that the Athenians sent out a colony of Ionians to Peloponnesus, and the tract of country which they occupied was called Ionia after their own name, instead of ægialeia, and the inhabitants Ionians instead of ægialeans, who were distributed among twelve cities.

After the return of the Heracleidæ, these Ionians, being expelled by the Achæans, returned to Athens, whence, in con- junction with the Codridæ, (descendants of Codrus,) they sent cut the Ionian colonists to Asia. [Note] They founded twelve cities on the sea-coast of Caria and Lydia, having distributed themselves over the country into as many parts as they occupied in Peloponnesus. [Note]

The Achæans were Phthiotæ by descent, and were settled at Lacedæmon, but when the Heracleidæ became masters of the country, having recovered their power under Tisamenus, the son of Orestes, they attacked the Ionians, as I said before, and defeated them. They drove the Ionians out of the country, and took possession of the territory, but retained the same partition of it which they found existing there. They became so powerful, that, although the Heracleidæ, from whom they had revolted, occupied the rest of Peloponnesus, yet they defended themselves against them all, and called their own country Achæa.

From Tisamenus to Ogyges they continued to be governed by kings. Afterwards they established a democracy, and acquired so great renown for their political wisdom, that the Italian Greeks, after their dissensions with the Pythagoreans, adopted most of the laws and institutions of the Achæans. After the battle of Leuctra the Thebans [Note] committed the disputes of the cities among each other to the arbitration of the Achæans. At a later period their community was dissolved by the Macedonians, but they recovered by degrees their former power. At the time of the expedition of Pyrrhus into Italy they be-

-- 69 --

gan with the union of four cities, among which were Patræ and Dyme. [Note] They then had an accession of the twelve cities, with the exception of Olenus and Helice; the former refused to join the league; the other was swallowed up by the waves. 8.7.2

For the sea was raised to a great height by an earthquake, and overwhelmed both Helice and the temple of the Heliconian Neptune, whom the Ionians still hold in great veneration, and offer sacrifices to his honour. They celebrate at that spot the Panionian festival. [Note] According to the conjecture of some persons, Homer refers to these sacrifices in these lines, But he breathed out his soul, and bellowed, as a bull
Bellows when he is dragged round the altar of the Heliconian king. [Note]
Il. xx. 403.
It is conjectured that the age [Note] of the poet is later than the migration of the Ionian colony, because he mentions the Panionian sacrifices, which the Ionians perform in honour of the Heliconian Neptune in the territory of Priene; for the Prienians themselves are said to have come from Helice; a young man also of Priene is appointed to preside as king at these sacrifices, and to superintend the celebration of the sacred rites. A still stronger proof is adduced from what is said by the poet respecting the bull, for the Ionians suppose, that sacrifice is performed with favourable omens, when the bull bellows at the instant that he is wounded at the altar.

Others deny this, and transfer to Helice the proofs alleged of the bull and the sacrifice, asserting that these things were done there by established custom, and that the poet drew his comparison from the festival celebrated there. Helice [Note] was overwhelmed by the waves two years before the battle of

-- 70 --

Leuctra. Eratosthenes says, that he himself saw the place, and the ferrymen told him that there formerly stood in the strait a brazen statue of Neptune, holding in his hand a hippocampus, [Note] an animal which is dangerous to fishermen.

According to Heracleides, the inundation took place in his time, and during the night. The city was at the distance of 12 stadia from the sea, which overwhelmed the whole intermediate country as well as the city. Two thousand men were sent by the Achæans to collect the dead bodies, but in vain. The territory was divided among the bordering people. This calamity happened in consequence of the anger of Neptune, for the Ionians, who were driven from Helice, sent particularly to request the people of Helice to give them the image of Neptune, or if they were unwilling to give that, to furnish them with the model of the temple. On their refusal, the Ionians sent to the Achæan body, who decreed, that they should comply with the request, but they would not obey even this injunction. The disaster occurred in the following winter, and after this the Achæans gave the Ionians the model of the temple.

Hesiod mentions another Helice in Thessaly. 8.7.3

The Achæans, during a period of five and twenty years, elected, annually, a common secretary, and two military chiefs. Their common assembly of the council met at one place, called Arnarium, (Homarium, or Amarium,) where these persons, and, before their time, the Ionians, consulted on public affairs. They afterwards resolved to elect one military chief. When Aratus held this post, he took the Acrocorinthus from Antigonus, and annexed the city as well as his own country to the Achæan league. [Note] He admitted the Megareans also into the body, and, having destroyed the tyrannical governments in each state, he made them members, after they were restored to liberty, of the Achæan league. * * * * * He freed, in a

-- 71 --

short time, Peloponnesus from the existing tyrannies; thus Argos, Hermion, Phlius, and Megalopolis, the largest of the Arcadian cities, were added to the Achæan body, when they attained their greatest increase of numbers. It was at this time that the Romans, having expelled the Carthaginians from Sicily, undertook an expedition against the Galatæ, who were settled about the Po. [Note] The Achæans remained firmly united until Philopoemen had the military command, but their union was gradually dissolved, after the Romans had obtained possession of the whole of Greece. The Romans did not treat each state in the same manner, but permitted some to retain their own form of government, and dissolved that of others. * * * * * [He then assigns reasons for expatiating on the subject of the Achæans, namely, their attainment of such a degree of power as to be superior to the Lacedæmonians, and because they were not as well known as they deserved to be from their importance.] [Note] 8.7.4

The order of the places which the Achæans inhabited, according to the distribution into twelve parts, is as follows. Next to Sicyon is Pellene; ægeira, the second; the third, ægæ, with a temple of Neptune; Bura, the fourth; then Helice, where the Ionians took refuge after their defeat by the Achæans, and from which place they were at last banished; after Helice are ægium, Rhypes, Patræ, and Phara; then Olenus, beside which runs the large river [Peirus?]; then Dyme, and Tritsæis. The Ionians dwelt in villages, but the Achæans founded cities, to some of which they afterwards united others transferred from other quarters, as ægæ to ægeira, (the inhabitants, however, were called ægæi,) and Olenus to Dyme.

Traces of the ancient settlement of the Olenii are to be seen between Patræ and Dyme: there also is the famous temple of æsculapius, distant from Dyme 40, and from Patræ 80 stadia.

In Eubœa there is a place of the same name with the

-- 72 --

ægæ here, and there is a town of the name of Olenus in ætolia, of which there remain only vestiges.

The poet does not mention the Olenus in Achaia, nor many other people living near ægialus, but speaks in general terms; along the whole of ægialus, and about the spacious Helice. [Note]
Il. ii. 576.
But he mentions the ætolian Olenus in these words; those who occupied Pleuron and Olenus. [Note]
Il. ii. 639.
He mentions both the places of the name of ægæ; the Achæan ægæ in these terms, who bring presents to Helice, and to ægæ. [Note]
Il. viii. 203.
But when he says, ægæ, where his palace is in the depths of the sea,
There Neptune stopped his coursers, [Note]
Il. xiii. 21, 34.
it is better to understand ægæ in Eubœa; whence it is probable the ægæan Sea had its name. On this sea, according to story, Neptune made his preparations for the Trojan war.

Close to the Achæn ægæ flows the river Crathis, [Note] augmented by the waters of two rivers, and deriving its name from the mixture of their streams. To this circumstance the river Crathis in Italy owes its name. 8.7.5

Each of these twelve portions contained seven or eight demi, so great was the population of the country.

Pellene, [Note] situated at the distance of 60 stadia from the sea, is a strong fortress. There is also a village of the name of Pellene, whence they bring the Pellenian mantles, which are offered as prizes at the public games. It lies between ægium [Note] and Pellene. But Pellana, a different place from these, belongs to the Lacedæmonians, and is situated towards the territory of Megalopolitis.

-- 73 --

ægeira [Note] is situated upon a hill. Bura is at the distance from the sea-coast of about 40 stadia. It was swallowed up by an earthquake. It is said, that from the fountain Sybaris which is there, the river Sybaris in Italy had its name.

æga (for this is the name by which ægæ is called) is not now inhabited, but the ægienses occupy the territory. ægium, however, is well inhabited. It was here, it is said, that Jupiter was suckled by a goat, as Aratus also says, the sacred goat, which is said to have applied its teats to the lips of Jupiter. [Note]
Phœn. 163.
He adds, that, the priests call it the Olenian goat of Jupiter,
and indicates the place because it was near Olenus. There also is Ceryneia, situated upon a lofty rock. This place, and Helice, belong to the ægienses, [Note] and the ænarium, [Homarium,] the grove of Jupiter, where the Achæans held their convention, when they were to deliberate upon their common affairs.

The river Selinus flows through the city of the ægienses. It has the same name as that which was beside Artemisium at Ephesus, and that in Elis, which has its course along the spot, that Xenophon [Note] says he purchased in compliance with the injunction of an oracle, in honour of Artemis. There is also another Selinus in the country of the Hyblæi Megarenses, whom the Carthaginians expelled.

Of the remaining Achæan cities, or portions, Rhypes is not inhabited, but the territory called Rhypis was occupied by ægienses and Pharians. æschylus also says somewhere, the sacred Bura, and Rhypes struck with lightning.

Myscellus, the founder of Croton, was a native of Rhypes. Leuctrum, belonging to the district Rhypis, was a demus of Rhypes. Between these was Patræ, a considerable city, and in the intervening country, at the distance of 40 stadia from Patræ, are Rhium, [Note] and opposite to it, Antirrhium. [Note] Not long since the Romans, after the victory at Actium, stationed there a large portion of their army, and at

-- 74 --

present it is very well peopled, since it is a colony of the Romans. It has also a tolerably good shelter for vessels. Next is Dyme, [Note] a city without a harbour, the most westerly of all the cities, whence also it has its name. It was formerly called Stratos. [Note] It is separated from Eleia at Buprasium by the river Larisus, [Note] which rises in a mountain, called by some persons Scollis, but by Homer, the Olenian rock.

Antimachus having called Dyme Cauconis, some writers suppose that the latter word is used as an epithet derived from the Caucones, who extended as far as this quarter, as I have said before. Others think that it is derived from a river Caucon, in the same way as Thebes has the appellation of Dircæan, and Asopian; and as Argos is called Inachian, and Troy, Simuntis. [Note]

A little before our time, Dyme had received a colony consisting of a mixed body of people, a remnant of the piratical bands, whose haunts Pompey had destroyed. Some he settled at Soli in Cilicia, and others in other places, and some in this spot.

Phara borders upon the Dymæan territory. The inhabitants of this Phara are called Pharenses; those of the Messenian Phara, Pharatæ. In the territory of Phara there is a fountain Dirce, of the same name as that at Thebes.

Olenus is deserted. It lies between Patræ and Dyme. The territory is occupied by the Dymæi. Next is Araxus, [Note] the promontory of the Eleian district, distant from the isthmus 1000 stadia.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.6 Str. 8.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.8

Powered by PhiloLogic