Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.5.1 Str. 9.5.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.5.11


With respect to Phthia, some suppose it to be the same as Hellas and Achaia, and that these countries form the southern portion in the division of Thessaly into two parts. But others distinguish Phthia and Hellas. The poet seems to distinguish them in these verses; they who occupied Phthia and Hellas, [Note]
Il. ii. 683.
as if they were two countries. And, again, Then far away through wide Greece I fled and came to Phthia, [Note]
Il. ix. 498.
and, There are many Achæan women in Hellas and Phthia. [Note]
Il. ix. 395.
The poet then makes these places to be two, but whether cities or countries he does not expressly say. Some of the later writers, who affirm that it is a country, suppose it to have extended from Palæpharsalus to Thebæ Phthiotides. In this country also is Thetidium, near both the ancient and the modern Pharsalus; and it is conjectured from Theti-

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dium that the country, in which it is situated, was a part of that under the command of Achilles. Others, who regard it as a city, allege that the Pharsalii show at the distance of 60 stadia from their own city, a city in ruins, which they believe to be Hellas, and two springs near it, Messeis and Hypereia. But the Melitæenses say, that at the distance of about 10 stadia from their city, was situated Hellas on the other side of the Enipeus, [Note] when their own city had the name of Pyrrha, and that the Hellenes migrated from Hellas, which was built in a low situation, to theirs. They adduce in proof of this the tomb of Hellen, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, which is in their market-place. For according to historians, Deucalion was king of Phthiotis and of all Thessaly. The Enipeus flows from Othrys [Note] beside Pharsalus, [Note] and empties itself into the Apidanus, [Note] and the latter into the Peneius.

Thus much, then, respecting the Hellenes. 9.5.7

The people under the command of Achilles, Protesilaus, and Philoctetes, are called Phthii. The poet furnishes evidence of this. Having recited in the Catalogue of those under the command of Achilles, the people of Phthia, [Note]
Il. ii. 683.
he represents them at the battle at the ships, as remaining in the ships with Achilles, and inactive; but those under the command of Philoctetes, as fighting with Medon [as their leader], and those under the command of Protesilaus, with Podarces [as their chief]. Of these the poet speaks in general terms; there were Bœoti and Iaones wearing long robes, Locri, Phthii, and illustrious Epeii. [Note] But here he particularizes them; at the head of the Phthii fought Medon and Podarces, firm in battle. These armed with breastplates fought together with Bœoti, at the head of the magnanimous Phthii, keeping away the enemy from the ships. [Note]

Perhaps the people with Eurypylus were called Phthii, as they bordered upon the country of the latter. At present, however, historians assign to Magnesia the country about Ormenium, which was subject to Eurypylus, and the whole of that subject to Philoctetes; but they regard the country un-

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der the command of Protesilaus as belonging to Phthia, from Dolopia and Pindus to the sea of Magnesia; but as far as the city Antron, (now written in the plural number,) which was subject to Protesilaus, beginning from Trachinia and Œta, is the width of the territory belonging to Peleus and Achilles. But this is nearly the whole length of the Maliac Gulf. 9.5.8

They entertain doubts respecting Halus and Alope, whether Homer means the places which are now comprised in the Phthiotic government, or those among the Locri, since the dominion of Achilles extended hither as well as to Trachin and the Œtæan territory. For Halus and Halius, as well as Alope, are on the coast of the Locri. But some substitute Halius for Alope, and write the verse in this manner; they who inhabited Halus, and Halius, and Trachin. [Note]
Il. ii. 682.
But the Phthiotic Halus lies under the extremity of the mountain Othrys, which lies to the north of Phthiotis, and borders upon the mountain Typhrestus and the Dolopians, and thence stretches along to the country near the Maliæ Gulf. Halus, [Note] either masculine or feminine, for it is used in both genders, is distant from Itonus [Note] about 60 stadia. Athamas founded Halus; it was destroyed, but subsequently [restored by the Pharsalii]. It is situated above the Crocian plain, and the river Amphrysus [Note] flows by its walls. Below the Crocian plain lies Thebæ Phthiotides; Halus likewise, which is in Achaia, is called Phthiotis; this, as well as the foot of Mount Othrys, approaches close to the Malienses. As Phylace too, which was under the command of Protesilaus, so Halus also belongs to Phthiotis, which adjoins to the Malienses. Halus is distant from Thebes about 100 stadia, and lies in the middle between Pharsalus and Thebæ Phthiotides. Philip, however, took it from the latter, and assigned it to the Pharsalii. Thus it happens, as we have said before, that boundaries and the distribution of nations and places are in a state of continual change. Thus Sophocles also called Phthiotis, Trachinia, Artemidorus places Halus on the coast beyond the Maliac Gulf, but as belonging to Phthiotis. For proceeding thence in the direction of the Peneius, he places Pteleum after Antron, then Halus at the distance of 110 stadia from Pteleum.

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I have already spoken of Trachin, and described the nature of the place. The poet mentions it by name.

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