Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.21 Str. 9.2.27 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.2.31


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.

-- 105 --

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.

-- 106 --


After Thespiæ the poet enumerates Graia and Mycalessus, of which we have before spoken.

He proceeds as before, They who lived near Harma, Eilesium, and Erythræ,
And they who occupied Eleon, Hyle, and Peteon. [Note]
Il. ii. 499.
Peteon is a village of the Thebais near the road to Anthedon. Ocalea is midway between Haliartus, [Note] and Alalcomene, [Note] it is distant from each 30 stadia. A small river of the same name flows by it. Medeon, belonging to Phocis, is on the Crisæan Gulf, distant from Bœotia 160 stadia. The Medeon of Bœotia has its name from that in Phocis. It is near Onchestus, under the mountain Phœnicium, [Note] whence it has the appellation of Phœnicis. This mountain is likewise assigned to the Theban district, but by others to the territories of Haliartus, as also Medeon and Ocalea. 9.2.27

Homer afterwards names, Copæ, and Eutresis, and Thisbe, abounding with doves. [Note]
Il. ii. 502.

-- 107 --

We have spoken of Copæ. It lies towards the north on the lake Copais. The other cities around are, Acræphiæ, Phœnicis, Onchestus, Haliartus, Ocalea, Alalcomenæ, Tilphusium, Coroneia. Formerly, the lake had no one general name, but derived its appellation from every settlement on its banks, as Copais from Copæ, [Note] Haliartis from Haliartus, and other names from other places, but latterly the whole has been called Copaïs, for the lake is remarkable for forming at Copæ the deepest hollow. Pindar calls it Cephissis, and places near it, not far from Haliartus and Alalcomenæ, the fountain Tilphossa, which flows at the foot of Mount Tilphossius. At the fountain is the monument of Teiresias, and in the same place the temple of the Tilphossian Apollo. 9.2.28

After Copæ, the poet mentions Eutresis, a small village of the Thespians. [Note] Here Zethus and Amphion lived before they became kings of Thebes.

Thisbē is now called Thisbē. The place is situated a little above the sea-coast on the confines of the Thespienses, and the territory of Coroneia; on the south it lies at the foot of Cithæron. It has an arsenal in a rocky situation abounding with doves, whence the poet terms it Thisbe, with its flights of doves.
Thence to Sicyon is a voyage of 160 stadia.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.21 Str. 9.2.27 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.2.31

Powered by PhiloLogic