Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.7 Str. 9.2.14 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.2.19


On going from Thebes to Argos, [Note] on the left hand is Tanagra; and [near the road] on the right lies Hyria. Hyria now belongs to the Tanagrian territory, but formerly to the Thebais. Here Hyrieus is fabled to have lived, and here is the scene of the birth of Orion, which Pindar mentions in the dithyrambics. It is situated near Aulis. Some persons say that Hysiæ is called Hyria, which belongs to Parasopia, situated below Cithæron, near Erythræ, in the inland parts; it is a colony of the Hyrienses, and was founded by Nycteus, the father of Antiope. There is also in the Argive territory a village, Hysiæ, the inhabitants of which are called Hysiatæ. Erythræ in Ionia is a colony of this Erythræ.

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Heleon, a Tanagrian village, has its name from (Hele) the marshes there. 9.2.13

After Salganeus is Anthedon, a city with a harbour, the last on the Bœotian coast towards Eubœa, as the poet says, Anthedon at the extremity. [Note]
Il. ii. 508.
As we proceed a little farther, there are besides two small towns, belonging to the Bœotians, Larymna, near which the Cephissus discharges its waters; and farther above, Halæ, of the same name as the Attic demus. Opposite to this coast is situated, it is said, ægæ [Note] in Eubœa, where is the temple of the ægæan Neptune, of which we have before spoken. There is a passage across from Anthedon to ægæ of 120 stadia, and from the other places much less than this. The temple is situated upon a lofty hill, where was once a city. Near ægæ was Orobiæ. [Note] In the Anthedonian territory is the mountain Messapius, [Note] which has its name from Messapus, who when he came into Iapygia called it Messapia. Here is laid the scene of the fable respecting the Anthedonian Glaucus, who, it is said, was transformed into a sea-monster. [Note] 9.2.14

Near Anthedon is a place called Isus, and esteemed sacred, belonging to Bœotia; it contains remains of a city, and the first syllable of Isus is short. Some persons are of opinion, that the verse ought to be written, ισόν τε ζαθέην ανθηδόνα τ ἐσχατόωσαν, The sacred Isus, and the extreme Anthedon,
lengthening the first syllable by poetical licence for the sake of the metre, instead of νῖσάν τε ζαθέην, The sacred Nisa;
for Nisa is not to be found anywhere in Bœotia, as Apollodorus says in his observations on the Catalogue of the Ships;

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so that Nisa could not stand in this passage, unless by Nisa Homer meant Isus, for there was a city Nisa, in Megaris, from whence Isus was colonized, situated at the base of Cithæron, but it exists no longer. [Note] Some however write κρεῦσιάν τε ζαθέην, The sacred Creusa,
meaning the present Creusa, the arsenal of the Thespieans, situated on the Crisæan Gulf. Others write the passage φαάς τε ζαθέας, The sacred Pharæ,
Pharæ is one of the four villages, (or Tetracomiæ,) near Tanagra, namely, Heleon, Harma, Mycalessus, Pharæ. Others again write the passage thus, νῦσάν τρ ζαθέηα The sacred Nysa.
Nysa is a village of Helicon.

Such then is the description of the sea-coast opposite Eubœa. 9.2.15

The places next in order, in the inland parts, are hollow plains, surrounded everywhere on the east and west by mountains; on the south by the mountains of Attica, on the north by those of Phocis: on the west, Cithæron inclines, obliquely, a little above the Crisæan Sea; it begins contiguous to the mountains of Megaris and Attica, and then makes a bend towards the plains, and terminates near the Theban territory. 9.2.16

Some of these plains become lakes, by rivers spreading over or falling into them and then flowing off. Some are dried up, and being very fertile, are cultivated in every possible way. But as the ground underneath is full of caverns and fissures, it has frequently happened, that violent earthquakes have obstructed some passages, and formed others under-ground, or on the surface, the water being carried off, either by subterranean channels, or by the formation of lakes and rivers on the surface. If the deep subterranean passages are stopped up, the waters of the lakes increase, so as to inundate and cover cities and whole districts, which become uncovered, if the same or other passages are again opened. The same regions are thus traversed in boats or on foot, according

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to circumstances; and the same cities are, occasionally, on the borders of, or at a distance from, a lake. 9.2.17

One of two things took place. The cities either retained their sites, when the rise of the water was insufficient to overflow the houses, or they were deserted and rebuilt in some other place, when the inhabitants, being frequently exposed to danger from their vicinity to the lake, released themselves from further apprehension, by changing to a more distant or higher situation. It followed that the cities thus rebuilt retained the same name. Formerly, they might have had a name derived from some accidental local circumstance, but now the site does not correspond with the derivation of the name. For example, it is probable that Platææ was so called, from πλάτη, or the flat part of the oar, and Platæans from gaining their livelihood by rowing; but at present, since they live at a distance from the lake, the name can no longer, with equal propriety, be derived from this local circumstance. Helos also, and Heleon, and Heilesium [Note] were so called from their situation close to ἕλη, (Hele,) or marshes; but at present the case is different with all these places; either they have been rebuilt, or the lake has been greatly reduced in height by a subsequent efflux of its waters; for this is possible.

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