Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.7.1 Str. 8.7.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.7.4

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.

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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. 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

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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.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.7.1 Str. 8.7.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.7.4

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