Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.4.3 Str. 9.4.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.4.17


It is not worth while to speak of any of the other cities. Of those mentioned by Homer, Calliarus is no longer inhabited, it is now a well-cultivated plain. Bessa, a sort of plain, does not now exist. It has its name from an accidental quality, for it abounds with woods. χώαν ἔχουσι σκαρφιεῖς, &c. It ought to be written with a double s, for it has its name from Bessa, a wooded valley, like Napē, [Note] in the plain of Methymna, [Note] which Hellanicus, through ignorance of the local circumstances, improperly calls Lapē; but the demus in Attica, from which the burghers are called Besæenses, is written with a single s. 9.4.6

Tarphe is situated upon a height, at the distance of 20 stadia from [Thronium]. It has a territory, productive and well wooded; for this place also has its name from its being thickly wooded. It is now called Pharygæ. A temple of Juno Pharygæa is there, called so from the Argive Juno at Pharygæ; and the inhabitants assert that they are of Argive origin. 9.4.7

Homer does not mention, at least not in express words the Locri Hesperii, but only seems to distinguish them from the people of whom we have spoken; Locri, who dwell beyond the sacred Eubœa; [Note]
Il. ii. 535.
as if there were other Locri. They occupied the cities Amphissa [Note] and Naupactus. [Note] The latter still subsists near Antirrhium. [Note] It has its name from the ships that were built there, either because the Heraclidæ constructed their fleet at this place, or because the Locri, as Ephorus states, had built vessels there long before that time. At present it belongs to the ætolians, by a decree of Philip. 9.4.8

There also is Chalcis, mentioned by the poet [Note] in the ætolian Catalogue. It is below Calydon. There also is the hill Taphiassus, on which is the monument of Nessus, and of the other Centaurs. From the putrefaction of the bodies of these people there flows, it is said, from beneath the foot of that hill a stream of water, which exhales a fœtid odour, and

-- 128 --

contains clots of blood. Hence also the nation had the name of Ozolæ. [Note] Opposite Antirrhium is Molycreia, [Note] a small ætolian city.

Amphissa is situated at the extremity of the Crissæan plain. It was razed, as we have said before, by the Amphictyons. Œanthia and Eupalium belong to the Locri. The whole voyage along the coast of the Locri is a little more than 200 stadia. 9.4.9

There is an Alopē [Note] both here among the Locri Ozole, as also among the Epicnemidii, and in the Phthiotis. These are a colony of the Epicnemidii, and the Epizephyrii a colony of the Ozolæ. 9.4.10

ætolians are continuous with the Locri Hesperii, and the ænianes, who occupy Œta with the Epicnemidii, and between them Dorians. These last are the people who inhabited the Tetrapolis, which is called the capital of all the Dorians. They possessed the cities Erineus, Bœum, Pindus, Cytinium. Pindus is situated above Erineus. A river of the same name flows beside it, and empties itself into the Cephissus, not far from Lilæa. Some writers call Pindus, Acyphas.

ægimius, king of these Dorians, when an exile from his kingdom, was restored, as they relate, by Hercules. He requited this favour after the death of Hercules at Œta by adopting Hyllus, the eldest of the sons of Hercules, and both he and his descendants succeeded him in the kingdom. It was from this place that the Heracleidæ set out on their return to Peloponnesus. 9.4.11

These cities were for some time of importance, although they were small, and their territory not fruitful. They were afterwards neglected. After what they suffered in the Phocian war and under the dominion of the Macedonians, ætolians, and Athamanes, it is surprising that even a vestige of them should have remained to the time of the Romans.

It was the same with the ænianes, who were exterminated by ætolians and Athamanes. The ætolians were a very powerful people, and carried on war together with the Acarnanians. The Athamanes were the last of the Epeirotæ, who attained distinction when the rest were declining, and acquired power by the assistance of their king Amynander. The ænianes, however, kept possession of Œta.

-- 129 --

12. This mountain extends from Thermopylæ and the east, to the Ambracian Gulf and the west; it may be said to cut at right angles the mountainous tract, extending from Parnassus as far as Pindus, and to the Barbarians who live beyond. The portion of this mountain verging towards Thermopylæ [Note] is called Œta; it is 200 stadia in length, rocky and elevated, but the highest part is at Thermopylæ, for there it forms a peak, and terminates with acute and abrupt rocks, continued to the sea. It leaves a narrow passage for those who are going from Thessaly to Locris. 9.4.13

This passage is called Pylæ, or gates, straits, and Thermopylæ, because near the straits are hot springs, which are held in honour as sacred to Hercules. The mountain above is called Callidromus; but some writers call by the name of Callidromus the remaining part of the range extending through ætolia and Acarnania to the Ambracian Gulf.

At Thermopylæ within the straits are strongholds, as Nicæa, on the sea of the Locri, Teichius and Heracleia above it, formerly called Trachin, founded by the Lacedæmonians. Heracleia is distant from the ancient Trachin about 6 stadia. Next follows Rhoduntia, strong by its position.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.4.3 Str. 9.4.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.4.17

Powered by PhiloLogic