Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.6.23 Str. 8.7.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.7.3


Orneæ has the same name as the river which flows beside it. At present it is deserted; formerly, it was well inhabited, and contained a temple of Priapus, held in veneration. It is from this place that Euphronius, (Euphorius?) the author of a poem, the Priapeia, applies the epithet Orneates to the god.

It was situated above the plain of the Sicyonians, but the Argives were masters of the country.

Aræthyrea [Note] is now called Phliasia. It had a city of the same name as the country near the mountain Celossa. They afterwards removed thence and built a city at the distance of 30 stadia, which they called Phlius. [Note] Part of the mountain Celossa is the Carneates, whence the Asopus takes its rise, which flows by Sicyon, [Note] and forms the Asopian district, which is a part of Sicyonia. There is also an Asopus, which flows by Thebes, and Platæa, and Tanagra. There is another also in Heracleia Trachinia, which flows beside a village, called Parasopii, and a fourth at Paros.

Phlius is situated in the middle of a circle formed by Sicyonia, Argeia, Cleonæ, and Stymphalus. At Phlius and at Sicyon the temple of Dia, a name given to Hebe, is held in veneration. 8.6.25

Sicyon was formerly called Mecone, and at a still earlier period, ægiali. It was rebuilt high up in the country about 20, others say, about 12, stadia from the sea, upon an eminences naturally strong, which is sacred to Ceres. The buildings anciently consisted of a naval arsenal and a harbour.

Sicyonia is separated by the river Nemea from the Corinthian territory. It was formerly governed for a very long pe- riod by tyrants, but they were always persons of mild and moderate disposition. Of these, the most illustrious was Aratus, who made the city free, and was the chief of the Achæans, who voluntarily conferred upon him that power;

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he extended the confederacy by annexing to it his own coun- try, and the other neighbouring cities.

Hyperesia, and the cities next in order in the Catalogue of the poet, and ægialus, [Note] [or the sea-coast,] as far as Dyme, and the borders of the Eleian territory, belong to the Achæans.


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.

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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-

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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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.6.23 Str. 8.7.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.7.3

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