Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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9.5.11

The poet with sufficient clearness describes the situation of the Dolopes, as at the extremity of Phthia, and says that both they and the Phthiotæ were under the command of the same chief, Peleus; I lived, he says, at the farthest part of Phthia, king of the Dolopes. [Note]
Il. ix. 484.
Peleus, however, had conferred on him the authority.

This region is close to Pindus, and the places about it, most of which belong to the Thessalians. For in consequence of the renown and ascendency of the Thessalians and Macedonians, those Epeirotæ, who bordered nearest upon them, became, some voluntarily, others by force, incorporated among the Macedonians and Thessalians. In this manner the Athamanes, æthices, and Talares were joined to the Thessalians, and the Orestæ, Pelagones, and Elimiotæ to the Macedonians. 9.5.12

Pindus is a large mountain, having on the north Macedonia, on the west Perrhæbi, settlers from another country, on the south Dolopes, [and on the east Hestiæotis] which belongs to Thessaly. Close upon Pindus dwelt Talares, a tribe of Molotti, detached from the Molotti about Mount Tomarus, and æthices, among whom the poet says the Centaurs took refuge when expelled by Peirithous. [Note] They are at present, it is said, extinct. But this extinction is to be understood in two senses; either the inhabitants have been exterminated, and the country deserted, or the name of the nation exists no longer, or the community does not preserve its ancient form. Whenever the community, which continues, is insignificant, we do not think it worth while to record either its existence or its change of name. But when it has any just pretensions to notice, it is necessary to remark the change which it has undergone. 9.5.13

It remains for us to describe the tract of sea-coast subject to Achilles: we begin from Thermopylæ, for we have spoken of the coast of Locris, and of the interior.

Thermopylæ is separated from the Cenæum by a strait 70 stadia across. Coasting beyond the Pylæ, it is at a distance from the Spercheius of about 10, (60?) and thence to Phalara

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of 20 stadia. Above Phalara, 50 stadia from the sea, lies the city of the [Lamians]. Then coasting along the shore 100 stadia, we find above it, Echinus. At the distance of 20 stadia from the following tract of coast, in the interior, is Larisa Cremaste, which has the name also of Larisa Pelasgia. 9.5.14

Then follows a small island, Myonnesus; next Antron; which was subject to Protesilaus. Thus much concerning the territory subject to Achilles.

As the poet, in naming the chiefs, and cities under their rule, has divided the country into numerous well-known parts, and has given an accurate account of the whole circuit of Thessaly, we shall follow him, as before, in completing the description of this region.

Next to the people under the command of Achilles, he enumerates those under the command of Protesilaus. They were situated, next, along the sea-coast which was subject to Achilles, as far as Antron. The boundary of the country under the command of Protesilaus, is determined by its being situated without the Maliac Gulf, yet still in Phthiotis, though not within Phthiotis subject to Achilles.

Phylacē [Note] is near Thebæ Phthiotides, which was subject to Protesilaus, as were also Halus, Larisa Cremaste, and Demetrium, all of which lie to the east of Mount Othrys.

The Demetrium he speaks of [Note] as an enclosure sacred to Ceres, and calls it Pyrasus. Pyrasus was a city with a good harbour, having at the distance of 2 stadia from it a grove, and a temple consecrated to Ceres. It is distant from Thebæ 20 stadia. The latter is situated above Pyrasus. Above Thebæ in the inland parts is the Crocian plain at the extremity of the mountain Othrys. Through this plain flows the river Amphrysus. Above it is the Itonus, where is the temple of the Itonian Minerva, from which that in Bœotia has its name, also the river Cuarius. [Of this river and] of Arnē we have spoken in our account of Bœotia.

These places are in Thessaliotis, one of the four divisions of all Thessaly, in which were the possessions of Eurypylus. Phyllus, where is a temple of the Phyllæan Apollo, Ichnæ, where the Ichnæan Themis is worshipped, Cierus, and [all the places as far as] Athamania, are included in Thessaliotis.

At Antron, in the strait near Eubœa, is a sunk rock, called

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the Ass of Antron. Next are Pteleum and Halus; next the temple of Ceres, and Pyrasus in ruins; above these, Thebæ; then Pyrrha, a promontory, and two small islands near, one of which is called Pyrrha, the other Deucalion. Somewhere here ends the territory of Phthiotis. 9.5.15

The poet next mentions the people under Eumelus, and the continuous tract of coast which now belongs to Magnesia, and the Pelasgiotis.

Pheræ is the termination of the Pelasgic plains towards Magnesia, which plains extend as far as Pelion, a distance of 160 stadia. Pagasæ is the naval arsenal of Pheræ, from which it is distant 90 stadia, and 20 from Iolcus. Iolcus has been razed from ancient times. It was from this place that Pelias despatched Jason and the ship Argo. Pagasæ had its name, [Note] according to mythologists, from the building of the ship Argo at this place. Others, with more probability, suppose that the name of the place was derived from the springs, (πηγαί,) which are very numerous and copious. Near it is Aphetæ, (so named) as the starting-place [Note] from which the Argonauts set off. Iolcus is situated 7 stadia from Demetrias, overlooking the sea. Demetrias was founded by Demetrius Poliorcetes, who called it after his own name. It is situated between Nelia and Pagasæ on the sea. He collected there the inhabitants of the neighbouring small cities, Nelia, Pagasæ, Ormenium, and besides these, Rhizus, Sepias, Olizon, Bœbe, and Iolcus, which are at present villages belonging to Demetrias. For a long time it was a station for vessels, and a royal seat of the Macedonian kings. It had the command of Tempe, and of both the mountains Pelion and Ossa. At present its extent of power is diminished, yet it still surpasses all the cities in Magnesia.

The lake Bœbeis [Note] is near Pheræ, [Note] and approaches close to the extremities of Pelion and Magnesia. Bœbe is a small place situated on the lake.

As civil dissensions and usurpations reduced the flourishing condition of Iolcus, formerly so powerful, so they affected Pheræ in the same manner, which was raised to prosperity, and was destroyed by tyrants.

Near Demetrias flows the Anaurus. The continuous line

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of coast is called also Iolcus. Here was held the Pylaic (Peliac?) assembly and festival.

Artemidorus places the Gulf of Pagasæ farther from Demetrias, near the places subject to Philoctetes. In the gulf he says is the island Cicynethus, [Note] and a small town of the same name.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.5.8 Str. 9.5.13 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.5.18

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