Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 8.7.2 Str. 8.7.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.8.2

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. 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.

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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

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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. 8.7.2 Str. 8.7.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 8.8.2

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