Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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9.3.1

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. 9.3.2

The two most celebrated cities of this country are Delphi and Elateia. Delphi is renowned for the temple of the Pythian Apollo, and the antiquity of its oracle; since Agamemnon is said by the poet to have consulted it; for the minstrel is introduced singing of the fierce contest of Ulysses, and Achilles, the son of Peleus, how once they contended together, and Agamemnon king of men was pleased, for so Phœbus Apollo had foretold by the oracle in the illustrious Pytho. [Note] Delphi then was celebrated on this account. Elateia was famous as being the largest of the cities in that quarter, and for its very convenient position upon the straits; for he, who is the master of this city, commands the entrances into Phocis and Bœotia. First, there are the Œtæan mountains, next the mountains of the Locri, and the Phocians; they are not every where passable for invading armies, coming from Thessaly, but having narrow passes distinct from each other, which the adjacent cities guard. Those, who take the cities, are masters

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of the passes also. But since from its celebrity the temple at Delphi possesses a pre-eminence, this, together with the position of the places, (for they are the most westerly parts of Phocis,) suggest a natural commencement of our description, and we shall begin from thence. 9.3.3

We have remarked, that Parnassus itself is situated on the western boundaries of Phocis. The western side of this mountain is occupied by the Locri Ozolæ; on the southern is Delphi, a rocky spot, resembling in shape a theatre; on its summit is the oracle, and also the city, which comprehends a circle of 16 stadia. Above it lies Lycoreia; here the Delphians were formerly settled above the temple. At present they live close to it around the Castalian fountain. In front of the city, on the southern part, is Cirphis, a precipitous hill, leaving in the intermediate space a wooded ravine, through which the river Pleistus flows. Below Cirphis near the sea is Cirrha, an ancient city, from which there is an ascent to Delphi of about 80 stadia. It is situated opposite to Sicyon. Adjoining to Cirrha is the fertile Crisæan plain. Again, next in order follows another city Crisa, from which the Crissæan Gulf has its name; then Anticyra, [Note] of the same name as the city, on the Maliac Gulf, and near æta. The best hellebore is said to grow in the Maliac Anticyra, [Note] but here it is prepared in a better manner; on this account many persons resort hither for the purpose of experiencing its purgative qualities, and of being cured of their maladies. In the Phocian territory there is found a medicinal plant, resembling Sesamum, (Sesamoides,) with which the Œtæan hellebore is prepared.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.41 Str. 9.3.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.3.6

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