Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.1.23 Str. 9.2.5 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.2.11

9.2.4

Ephorus relates that the Thracians, after making treaty with the Bœotians, attacked them by night, when encamped in a careless manner during a time of peace. The Thracians when reproached, and accused of breaking the treaty, replied, that they had not broken it, for the conditions were by day, whereas they had made the attack by night, whence the common proverb, a Thracian shuffle.

The Pelasgi and the Bœotians also went during the war to consult the oracle. He cannot tell, he says, what answer was given to the Pelasgi, but the prophetess replied to the Bœotians that they would prosper by committing some act of impiety. The messengers sent to consult the oracle suspecting the prophetess of favouring the Pelasgi on account of their relationship, (for the temple had originally belonged to the Pelasgi,) seized the woman, and threw her upon a burning pile, considering, that whether her conduct bad been right or

-- 94 --

wrong, in either case they were right; for if she had uttered a deceitful answer she was duly punished; but if not, they had only complied with the command of the oracle. Those in charge of the temple did not like to put to death, particularly in the temple, the perpetrators of this act without a formal judgment, and therefore subjected them to a trial. They were summoned before the priestesses, who were also the prophetesses, being the two survivors out of the three. The Bœotians alleged that there was no law permitting women to act as judges; an equal number of men were therefore chosen. The men acquitted; the women condemned. As the votes were equal, those for acquittal prevailed. Hence at Dodona it is to the Bœotians only that men deliver oracles. The prophetesses however give a different meaning to the answer of the oracle, and say, that the god enjoins the Bœotians to steal the tripods used at home, and to send them annually to Dodona. This they did, for they were in the habit of carrying away by night some of the dedicated tripods, which they concealed in their clothes, in order to convey them clandestinely as offerings to Dodona. 9.2.5

After this they assisted Penthilus in sending out the æolian colony, and despatched a large body of their own people with him, so that it was called the Bœotian colony.

A long time afterwards the country was devastated during the war with the Persians at Platææ. They afterwards so far recovered their power, that the Thebans, having vanquished the Lacedæmonians in two battles, [Note] disputed the sovereignty of Greece. Epaminondas, however, was killed, and they were disappointed in their hope of obtaining this supremacy. They, nevertheless, fought in defence of the Greeks against the Phocæans, who had plundered their common temple. Reduced by this war, and by the Macedonians, at the time they invaded Greece, they lost their city, which was afterwards restored to them, and rebuilt by the Macedonians themselves, who had razed it. [Note] From that period to our own

-- 95 --

times their affairs have continued to decline, nor do they retain the appearance even of a considerable village. Other cities (of Bœotia) have experienced a similar fate, with the exception of Tanagra and Thespiæ, which in comparison with Thebes are in a tolerable condition. 9.2.6

We are next to make a circuit of the country, beginning at the sea-coast, opposite Eubœa, which is continuous with that of Attica.

We begin this circuit from Oropus, and the Sacred Harbour, [Note] which is called Delphinium, opposite to which is the ancient Eretria in Eubœa, having a passage across of 60 stadia. After Delphinium, at the distance of 20 stadia, is Oropus, and opposite to this is the present Eretria. [Note] There is a passage over to it of 40 stadia. 9.2.7

Next is Delium, [Note] a place sacred to Apollo, in imitation of that at Delos. It is a small town of the Tanagræans, at the distance of 30 stadia from Aulis.

To this place the Athenians, after their defeat in battle, fled in disorder. [Note] In the flight, Socrates the philosopher (who having lost his horse, was serving on foot) observed Xenophon, the son of Gryllus, upon the ground, fallen from his horse; he raised him upon his shoulders and carried him away in safety, a distance of many stadia, until the rout was at an end. 9.2.8

Then follows a great harbour, which is called Bathys (or deep harbour): then Aulis, [Note] a rocky spot, and a village of the Tanagræans, with a harbour capable of containing 50 small vessels. So that probably the naval station of the

-- 96 --

Greeks was in the Great Harbour. Near it is the Chalcidic Euripus, to which, from Suniurn, are 70 stadia. On the Euripus, as I have already said, there is a bridge of two plethra in length; [Note] at each end is a tower, one on the side of Chalcis, the other on the side of Bœotia; and a passage (for the water) is constructed between them. [Note] With regard to the tide of the Euripus, it is sufficient to say thus much, that according to report, it changes seven times each day and night; the cause must be investigated elsewhere.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.1.23 Str. 9.2.5 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.2.11

Powered by PhiloLogic