Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.5.19 Str. 9.5.21 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.5.23

9.5.20

The poet speaks both of this river and of the Perrhæbi in the subsequent verses, when he says, Guneus brought from Cyphus two and twenty vessels. His followers were Enienes and Peræbi, firm in battle. They dwelt near the wintry Dodona, and tilled the fields about the lovely Titaresius. [Note]

He mentions therefore these places as belonging to the Perrhæbi, which comprised a part of the Hestiæotis. [Note] They were in part Perrhæbic towns, which were subject to Polypcetes. He assigned them however to the Lapithæ, because these people and the Perrhæbi lived intermixed together, and the Lapithæ occupied the plains. The country, which belonged to the Perrhæbi, was, for the most part, subject to the Lapithæ, but the Perrhæbi possessed the more mountainous tracts towards Olympus and Tempe, such as Cyphus, Dodonē, and the country about the river Titaresius. This river rises

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in the mountain Titarius, which is part of Olympus. It flows into the plain near Tempe belonging to Perrhæbia, and somewhere there enters the Peneius.

The water of the Peneius is clear, that of the Titaresius is unctuous; a property arising from some matter, which prevents the streams mingling with each other, but runs over the surface like oil. [Note]
Il. ii. 754

Because the Perrhæbi and Lapithæ lived intermingled together, Simonides calls all those people Pelasgiotæ, who occupy the eastern parts about Gyrton and the mouths of the Peneius, Ossa, Pelion, and the country about Demetrias, and the places in the plain, Larisa, Crannon, Scotussa, Mopsium, Atrax, and the parts near the lakes Nessonis and Bœbeis. The poet mentions a few only of these places, either because they were not inhabited at all, or badly inhabited on account of the inundations which had happened at various times. For the poet does not mention even the lake Nessonis, but the Bœbeis only, which is much smaller, for its water remained constant, and this alone remains, while the former probably was at one time filled irregularly to excess, and at another contained no water.

We have mentioned Scotussa in our accounts of Dodona, and of the oracle, in Thessaly, when we observed that it was near Scotussa. Near Scotussa is a tract called Cynoscephalæ. It was here that the Romans with their allies the ætolians, and their general Titus Quintius, defeated in a great battle Philip, son of Demetrius, king of Macedon. 9.5.21

Something of the same kind has happened in the territory of Magnetis. For Homer having enumerated many places of this country, calls none of them Magnetes, but those only whom he indicates in terms obscure, and not easily understood; They who dwelt about Peneius and Pelion with waving woods. [Note]
Il. ii. 756.
Now about the Peneius and Pelion dwell those (already mentioned by Homer) who occupied Gyrton, and Ormenium, and many other nations. At a still greater distance from Pelion, according to later writers, were Magnetes, begin- ning from the people, that were subject to Eumelus. These

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writers, on account of the continual removals from one settle ment to another, alterations in the forms of government, and intermixture of races, seem to confound both names and nations, which sometimes perplexes persons in these times, as is first to be observed in the instances of Crannon and Gyrton.

Formerly they called the Gyrtonians Phlegyæ, from Phlegyas, the brother of Ixion; and the Crannonii, Ephyri, so that there is a doubt, when the poet says, These two from Thrace appeared with breastplates armed against Ephyri, or haughty Phlegyæ, [Note] what people he meant. 9.5.22

The same is the case with the Perrhæbi and ænianes, for Homer joins them together, as if they dwelt near each other; and it is said by later writers, that, for a long period, the settlement of the ænianes was in the Dotian plain. Now this plain is near Perrhæbia, which we have just mentioned, Ossa, and the lake Bœbeis: it is situated about the middle of Thessaly, but enclosed by itself within hills. Hesiod speaks of it in this manner; Or, as a pure virgin, who dwells on the sacred heights of the Twin hills, comes to the Dotian plain, in front of Amyrus, abounding with vines, to bathe her feet in the lake Bœbias. The greater part of the ænianes were expelled by the Lapithæ, and took refuge in Œta, where they established their power, having deprived the Dorians and the Malienses of some portions of country, extending as far as Heracleia and Echinus. Some of them however remained about Cyphus, a Perrhæbic mountain, where is a settlement of the same name. As to the Perrhæbi, some of them collected about the western parts of Olympus and settled there, on the borders of the Macedonians. But a large body took shelter among the mountains near Athamania, and Pindus. But at present few, if any, traces of them are to be found.

The Magnetes, who are mentioned last in the Thessalian catalogue of the poet, must be understood to be those situated within Tempe, extending from the Peneius and Ossa to Pelion, and bordering upon the Pieriotæ in Macedonia, who occupy the country on the other side the Peneius as far as the sea.

Homolium, or Homolē, (for both words are in use,) must

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be assigned to the Magnetes. I have said in the description of Macedonia, that Homolium is near Ossa at the beginning of the course which the Peneius takes through Tempe.

If we are to extend their possessions as far as the sea-coast, which is very near Homolium, there is reason for assigning to them Rhizus, and Erymnæ, which lies on the sea-coast in the tract subject to Philoctetes and Eumelus. Let this however remain unsettled. For the order in which the places as far as the Peneius follow one another, is not clearly expressed, and as the places are not of any note, we need not consider that uncertainty as very important. The coast of Sepias, however, is mentioned by tragic writers, and was chaunted in songs on account of the destruction of the Persian fleet. It consists of a chain of rocks.

Between Sepias and Casthanæa, a village situated below Pelion, is the sea-shore, where the fleet of Xerxes was lying, when an east wind began to blow violently; some of the vessels were forced on shore, and immediately went to pieces; others were driven on Hipnus, a rocky spot near Pelion, others were lost at Melibœa, others at Casthanæa.

The whole of the coasting voyage along Pelion, to the extent of about 80 stadia, is among rocks. That along Ossa is of the same kind and to the same extent.

Between them is a bay of more than 200 stadia in extent, upon which is situated Melibœa.

The whole voyage from Demetrias, including the winding of the bays, to the Peneius is more than 1000 stadia, from the Spercheius 800 stadia more, and from the Euripus 2350 stadia.

Hieronymus assigns a circuit of 3000 stadia to the plain country in Thessaly and Magnesia, and says, that it was inhabited by Pelasgi, but that these people were driven into Italy by Lapithæ, and that the present Pelasgic plain is that in which are situated Larisa, Gyrton, Pheræ, Mopsium, Bœbeis, Ossa, Homole, Pelion, and Magnetis. Mopsium has not its name from Mopsus, the son of Manto the daughter of Teiresias, but from Mopsus, one of the Lapithæ, who sailed with the Argonauts. Mopsopus, from whom Attica is called Mopsopia, is a different person.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.5.19 Str. 9.5.21 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.5.23

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