Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.1.1 Str. 9.1.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.1.11


In former times the Ionians occupied this country, and were also in possession of Attica, before the time of the building of Megara, wherefore the poet does not mention these places by any appropriate name, but when he calls all those dwelling in Attica, Athenians, he comprehends these also in the common appellation, regarding them as Athenians; so when, in the Catalogue of the Ships, he says, And they who occupied Athens, a well-built city, [Note]
Il. ii. 546.

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we must understand the present Megarenses also, as having taken a part in the expedition. The proof of this is, that Attica was, in former times, called Ionia, and Ias, and when the poet says, There the Bœoti, and Iaones, [Note]
Il. xiii. 685.
he means the Athenians. But of this Ionia Megaris was a part. 9.1.6

Besides, the Peloponnesians and Ionians having had frequent disputes respecting their boundaries, on which Crommyonia also was situated, assembled and agreed upon a spot of the Isthmus itself, on which they erected a pillar having an inscription on the part towards Peloponnesus, THIS IS PELOPONNESUS, NOT IONIA;
and on the side towards Megara, THIS IS NOT PELOPONNESUS, BUT IONIA.
Although those, who wrote on the history of Attica [Note] differ in many respects, yet those of any note agree in this, that when there were four Pandionidæ, ægeus, Lycus, Pallas, and Nisus; and when Attica was divided into four portions, Nisus obtained, by lot, Megaris, and founded Nisæa. Philochorus says, that his government extended from the Isthmus to Pythium, [Note] but according to Andron, as far as Eleusis and the Thriasian plain.

Since, then, different writers give different accounts of the division of the country into four parts, it is enough to adduce these lines from Sophocles where ægeus says, My father determined that I should go away to Acte, having assigned to me, as the elder, the best part of the land; to Lycus, the opposite garden of Eubœa; for Nisus he selects the irregular tract of the shore of Sciron; and the rugged Pallas, breeder of giants, obtained by lot the part to the south. [Note] Such are the proofs which are adduced to show that Megaris was a part of Attica. 9.1.7

After the return of the Heraclidæ, and the partition of the country, many of the former possessors were banished from their own land by the Heraclidæ, and by the Dorians, who came with them, and migrated to Attica. Among these was Melanthus, the king of Messene. He was voluntarily ap-

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pointed king of the Athenians, after having overcome in single combat, Xanthus, the king of the Bœotians. When Attica became populous by the accession of fugitives, the Heraclidæ were alarmed, and invaded Attica, chiefly at the instigation of the Corinthians and Messenians; the former of whom were influenced by proximity of situation, the latter by the circumstance that Codrus, the son of Melanthus, was at that time king of Attica. They were, however, defeated in battle and relinquished the whole of the country, except the territory of Megara, of which they kept possession, and founded the city Megara, where they introduced as inhabitants Dorians in place of Ionians. They destroyed the pillar also which was the boundary of the country of the Ionians and the Peloponnesians. 9.1.8

The city of the Megarenses, after having experienced many changes, still subsists. It once had schools of philosophers, who had the name of the Megaric sect. They succeeded Euclides, the Socratic philosopher, who was by birth a Megarensian, in the same manner as the Eleiaci, among whom was Pyrrhon, who succeeded Phædon, the Eleian, who was also a Socratic philosopher, and as the Eretriaci succeeded Menedemus the Eretrean.

Megaris, like Attica, is very sterile, and the greater part of it is occupied by what are called the Oneii mountains, a kind of ridge, which, extending from the Scironides rocks to Bœotia and to Cithæron, separates the sea at Nisæa from that near Page, called the Alcyonian Sea. 9.1.9

In sailing from Nisæa to Attica there lie, in the course of the voyage, five small islands. Then succeeds Salamis, which is about 70, and according to others, 80, stadia in length. It has two cities of the same name. The ancient city, which looked towards ægina, and to the south, as æschylus has described it; ægina lies towards the blasts of the south:
it is uninhabited. The other is situated in a bay on a spot of a peninsular form contiguous to Attica. In former times it had other names, for it was called Sciras, and Cychreia, from certain heroes; from the former Minerva is called Sciras; hence also Scira, a place in Attica; Episcirosis, a religions rite; and Scirophorion, one of the months. From Cychreia

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the serpent Cychrides had its name, which Hesiod says Cychreus bred, and Eurylochus ejected, because it infested the island, but that Ceres admitted it into Eleusis, and it became her attendant. Salamis was called also Pityussa from pitys, the pine tree. The island obtained its renown from the æacidæ, who were masters of it, particularly from Ajax, the son of Telamon, and from the defeat of Xerxes by the Greeks in a battle on the coast, and by his flight to his own country. The æginetæ participated in the glory of that engagement, both as neighbours, and as having furnished a considerable naval force. [In Salamis is the river Bocarus, now called Bocalia.] [Note]

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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