Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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The poet next mentions the Orchomenians in the Catalogue, and distinguishes them from the Bœotian nation. He gives to Orchomenus the epithet Minyeian from the nation of the Minyæ. They say that a colony of the Minyeians went hence to Iolcus, [Note] and from this circumstance the Argonauts were called Minyæ. It appears that, anciently, it was a rich

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and very powerful city. Homer bears witness to its wealth, for in his enumeration of places of great opulence, he says, Not all that is brought to Orchomenus, or to ægyptian Thebes. [Note] Of its power there is this proof, that the Thebans always paid tribute to the Orchomenians, and to Erginus their king, who it is said was put to death by Hercules. Eteocles, one of the kings that reigned at Orchomenus, first displayed both wealth and power. He built a temple dedicated to the Graces, who were thus honoured by him, either because he had been fortunate in receiving or conferring favours, or perhaps for both these reasons.

[For one who was inclined thus to honour these goddesses, must have been naturally disposed to be a benefactor, and he must have possessed the power. But for this purpose wealth is required. For he who has not much cannot give much, nor can he who does not receive much possess much; but when giving and receiving unite, then there is a just exchange. For a vessel which is simultaneously emptied and filled is always full; but he who gives and does not receive cannot succeed in either giving or receiving, for the giver must desist from giving from failure of means. Givers also will desist from giving to him who receives only, and confers no benefits, so that he must fail in receiving. The same may be said of power. For independently of the common saying, That money is the thing most highly valued,
And has the greatest influence in human affairs, [Note]
Euripides, Phœn. 422
we may examine the subject more in detail. We say, for example, that kings have the greatest power, (μάλιστα δύνσθσι,) whence the name, dynasty. Their power is exerted by leading the multitude whither they like, by persuasion or by force. Their power of persuasion chiefly rests in doing acts of kindness; for persuasion by words is not princely, but belongs to the orator. By princely persuasion, I mean, when kings direct and lead men whither they please by acts of kindness. They persuade by acts of kindness, but compel by means of arms. Both power and possessions may be purchased by money. For he has the largest body of forces, who is able to maintain the largest; and he who has the largest possessions, can confer the greatest benefits. [Note]]

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The spot which the present lake Copaïs occupies, was formerly, it is said, dry ground, and was cultivated in various ways by the Orchomenians, who lived near it; and this is alleged as a proof of wealth. 9.2.41

Some persons use the word Aspledon [Note] without the first syllable, Spledon. The name both of the city and of the territory was changed to Eudeielos, [Note] which expressed perhaps some peculiar advantage the inhabitants derived from their western position, and especially the mild winters. The extreme parts of the day are the coldest. Of these the evening is colder than the morning, for as night approaches the cold is more intense, and as night retires the cold abates. The severity of the cold is mitigated by the heat of the sun, and the part which during the coldest season has received most of the sun's heat, is mildest in winter.

It is distant from Orchomenus [Note] 20 stadia. The river Melas is between them. 9.2.42

Panopeus, a Phocian city, and Hyampolis [Note] are situated above Orchomenus. Opus, the metropolis of the Locri Epicnemidii, borders upon these places. It is said, that Orchomenus was formerly situated on a plain, but, as the waters overflowed, the settlers removed to the mountain Acontium, which extends 60 stadia in length, as far as Parapotamii in Phocis. It is said, that those people, who are called Achæi in Pontus, are colonists from the Orchomenians, who, after the capture of Troy, wandered thither under the conduct of lalmenus. There was also an Orchomenus near Carystus.

The writers on the Catalogue of Ships [in Homer], have furnished us with these materials, and they have been followed, wherever they introduced anything adapted to the design of this work.


NEXT to Bœotia and Orchomenus is Phocis, lying along the side of Bœotia to the north, and, anciently, nearly from sea

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to sea. For at that time Daphnus belonged to Phocis, dividing Locris into two parts, and situated midway between the Opuntian Gulf and the sea-coast of the Epicnemidii. At present, however, the district belongs to the Locri; but the town is in ruins, so that Phocis no longer extends to the sea opposite Eubœa; but it is close to the Crisæan Gulf. For Crisa itself belongs to Phocis, and is situated immediately upon the sea. Cirrha, Anticyra, [Note] and the places above them, in the interior near Parnassus in continuous succession, namely, Delphi, [Note] Cirphis, and Daulis, [Note] belong to Phocis, so also Parnassus itself, which is the boundary of the western side.

In the same manner as Phocis lies along the side of Bœotia, so are both the divisions of Locris situated with respect to Phocis, for Locris is composed of two parts, being divided by Parnassus. The western part lies along the side of Parnassus, occupies a portion of it, and extends to the Crisæan Gulf; the eastern part terminates at the sea near Eubœa. The inhabitants of the former are called Locri Hesperii, or Locri Ozolæs, and have engraven on their public seal the star Hesperus. The rest are again divided into two bodies: one, the Opuntii, who have their name from the chief city, and border upon the Phocæans and Bœotians; the other, the Epicnemidii, who have their name from the mountain Cnemis; [Note] and adjoin the Œtæi, and the Malienses. In the midst of the Hesperii, and the other Locri, is Parnassus, lying lengthwise towards the northern part, and extending from the neighbourhood of Delphi to the junction of the Œtæn, and the ætolian mountains, and to the Dorians, who are situated between them. For as both divisions of Locris extend along the side of Phocis, so also the region of æta with ætolia, and some of the places situated in the Doric Tetrapolis, extend along the sides of the two Locri, Parnassus and the Dorians. Immediately above these are situated the Thessalians, the northern ætolians, the Acarnanians, and some of the Epirotic and Macedonian nations, as I observed before, the above-mentioned tracts of country may be considered as a kind of parallel bands stretching from the west to the east.

The whole of Parnassus is esteemed sacred, it contains caves, and other places, which are regarded with honour and

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reverence. Of these the most celebrated and the most beautiful is Corycium, a cave of the nymphs, having the same name as that in Cilicia. Of the sides of Parnassus, the western is occupied by the Locri Ozolæ, and by some of the Dorians, and by the ætoli, situated near Corax, an ætolian mountain. The eastern side is occupied by Phocians and by the greater part of the Dorians, who hold the Tetrapolis, situated as it were round the side of Parnassus, but spreading out in the largest extent towards the east. The sides of the above-mentioned tracts and each of the bands are parallel, one side being northern, and the other southern. The western sides, however, are not parallel to the eastern, for the sea-coast from the Crisæan Gulf to Actium [Note] is not parallel to the coast opposite Eubœa, and extending to Thessalonica. It is on these shores the above-mentioned nations terminate. For the figure of these countries is to be understood from the notion of lines drawn parallel to the base of a triangle, where the separate parts lie parallel to one another, and have their sides in latitude parallel, but not their sides in longitude. This is a rough sketch of the country which remains to be examined. We shall examine each separate part in order, beginning with Phocis.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.36 Str. 9.2.42 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.3.4

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