Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.7.1 Str. 8.7.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.8.1


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. 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

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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

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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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.7.1 Str. 8.7.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.8.1

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