Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.18 Str. 9.2.21 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.2.28

9.2.20

Among the neighbouring lakes are Trephea [Note] and Cephissis. Homer mentions it; Who dwelt in Hyla, intent upon amassing wealth, close to the lake Cephissis; [Note]
Il. v. 708.
for he did not mean to specify the lake Copais, as some suppose, but that called Hylicus, [Note] from the neighbouring village, which is called Hylæ: nor did he mean Hyda, as some write the passage, He lived in Hyda,
for there is a place of this name in Lydia, at the foot of the snowy Tmolus, in the fruitful country of Hyda; [Note]
Il. xx. 385.
and another in Bœotia; he therefore adds to behind the lake Cephissis,
these words, near dwelt other Bœotians.
For the Copais is of great extent, and not situated in the Theban district, but the other is small, and filled from the former by subterraneous channels; it is situated between Thebes [Note] and Anthedon. Homer however makes use of the word in the singular number, sometimes making the first syllable long by poetical licence, as in the Catalogue, ἠδ' υλην καὶ πετεῶνα [Note] and sometimes shortening it, as in this instance; ος ἐν υλῃ ναίεσκε; and again, Tychius σκυτοτόμων ὄχ' ἄιστος υλῃ ἔνι οἰκία ναίων [Note] Nor do some persons correctly write in this passage, υδῃ ενι, In Hyda,
for Ajax was not to send for his shield from Lydia. 9.2.21

[Note]The lakes themselves would indicate the order in

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which the places stand, and thence it would be easy to perceive that the poet, when naming them, whether they were places of importance or otherwise, has observed no order. Indeed it would be difficult in the enumeration of so many places, obscure for the most part, and situated in the interior, to preserve a regular order. The sea-coast affords more convenient means of doing this; the places there are better known, and the sea affords greater facilities for marking their position. We shall therefore endeavour to take our point of departure from the sea-coast, and without further discussion, shall follow the poet in his enumeration of places; at the same time, taking from other sources whatever may prove useful to us, but which has been omitted by him. He begins from Hyria and Aulis, of which we have already spoken. 9.2.22

Schœnusis [Note] a district of the Theban territory on the road to Anthedon, distant from Thebes about 50 stadia. A river of the name of Schœnus flows through it. 9.2.23

Scolus [Note] is a village belonging to the district of Parasopia situated at the foot of Cithæron; it is a rugged place, and scarcely habitable, hence the proverbial saying, Neither go yourself, nor follow any one going to Scolus.
It is said that Pentheus was brought from thence, and torn in pieces. There was among the cities near Olynthus another of the name of Scolus. We have said that in the Heracleian Trachinia there was a village of the name of Parasopii, beside which runs a river Asopus, and that there is another river Asopus in Sicyonia, and that the country through which it flows is called Asopia. There are however other rivers of the same name. 9.2.24

The name of Eteonus was changed to that of Scarphe, which belongs to Parasopia. [Parasopia belongs to the Thebais,] for the Asopus and the Ismenus flow through the plain in front of Thebes. There is the fountain Dirce, and also Potniæ, where is laid the fable of Glaucus of Potniæ, who was torn in pieces near the city by Potnian mares. The Cithæron [Note] terminates not far from Thebes. The Asopus flows by it, and washes the foot of the mountain, and occasions the Parasopii to be distributed among several settle- ments, but all of these bodies of people are subject to the

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Thebans. (Other writers say, that Scolus, Eteonus, and Erythræ, are in the district of Platææ, for the Asopus flows past Platææ, and discharges its waters into the sea near Tanagra.) In the Theban territory are Therapnæ and Teumessus, which Antimachus has extolled in a long poem, enumerating excellencies which it had not; There is a small hill exposed to the winds, &c.:
but the lines are well known. 9.2.25

He calls the present place Thespiæ [Note] by the name of Thespia, for there are many names, of which some are used both in the singular and in the plural number, in the masculine and in the feminine gender, and some in either one or the other only. It is a city close to Helicon, lying more to the south. The city itself and Helicon are situated on the Crisæan Gulf. Thespiæ has an arsenal Creusa, or, as it is also named, Creusia. In the Thespian territory, in the part lying towards Helicon, is Ascra, [Note] the birth-place of Hesiod. It is on the right of Helicon, situated upon a lofty and rocky spot, at the distance of about 40 stadia from Thespiæ. Hesiod has satirized it in verses addressed to his father, for formerly emigrating (to this place) from Cume in ætolia, as follows: He dwelt near Helicon in a wretched village, Ascra; bad in winter, in summer intolerable, and worthless at any season. [Note] Helicon is contiguous to Phocis on its northern, and partly on its western side, as far as the last harbour of Phocis, which is called from its characteristic situation, Mychus, or the Recess.

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Just above this part of the Crisæan Gulf, Helicon, Ascra, Thespiæ, and its arsenal Creusa, are situated. This is considered as the part of the Crisæn and of the Corinthian Gulf which recedes most inland. The coast extends 90 stadia from the recess of the harbour to Creusa, and thence 120 as far as the promontory called Holmiæ. In the most retired part of the Crisæan Gulf, Pagæ and Œnoa, which I have already mentioned, are situated.

Helicon, not far distant from Parnassus, rivals it in height [Note] and circumference. Both mountains are covered with snow, and are rocky. They do not occupy a circuit of ground of great extent. There are, the fane of the Muses, the Horse-fountain Hippocrene, [Note] and the grottoes of the nymphs, the Leibethrides. Hence it might be conjectured, that Helicon was consecrated to the Muses, by Thracians, who dedicated also Pieris, the Leibethrum, and Pimpleia to the same goddesses. The Thracians were called Pieres, and since their expulsion, the Macedonians possess these places.

It has been remarked, that the Thracians, (having expelled the Bœotians by force,) and the Pelasgi, and other barbarous people, settled in this part of Bœotia.

Thespiæ was formerly celebrated for a statue of Cupid by Praxiteles. Glycera the courtesan, a native of Thespiæ, received it as a present from the artist, and dedicated it as a public offering to her fellow-citizens.

Persons formerly used to repair thither to see the Cupid, where there was nothing else worth seeing. This city, and Tanagra, alone of the Bœotian cities exist at present, while of others there remain nothing but ruins and names.

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Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.18 Str. 9.2.21 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.2.28

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