Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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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. 9.5.9

As Homer frequently mentions the Spercheius as a river of the country, having its source in the Typhrestus, a Dryopian mountain, formerly called [Tymphrestus], and emptying itself near Thermopylæ, between Trachin and Lamia, [Note] he might imply that whatever parts of the Maliac Gulf were either within or without the Pylæ, were subject to Achilles.

The Spercheius is distant about 30 stadia from Lamia, which lies above a plain, extending to the Maliac Gulf. That the Spercheius is a river of the country [subject to Achilles], appears from the words of Achilles, who says, that he had devoted his hair to the Spercheius; and from the circumstance, that Menesthius, one of his commanders, was said to be the son of Spercheius and the sister of Achilles.

It is probable that all the people under the command of Achilles and Patroclus, and who had accompanied Peleus in his banishment from ægina, had the name of Myrmidons, but all the Phthiotæ were called Achæcans. 9.5.10

They reckon in the Phthiotic district, which was subject to Achilles, beginning from the Malienses, a considerable number of towns, and among them Thebæ Phthiotides, Echinus, Lamia, near which the war was carried on between the Macedonians and Antipater, against the Athenians. In this war Leosthenes, the Athenian general, was killed, [and Leonnatus,] one of the companions of Alexander the king. Besides the above-mentioned towns, we must add [Narthac]ium, Erineus, Coroneia, of the same name as the town in Bœotia, Melitæa, Thaumaci, Proerna, Pharsalus, Eretria, of the same name as the Euboic town, Paracheloïtæ, of the same name as those in ætolia; for here also, near Lamia, is a river Achelous, on the banks of which live the Paracheloïtæ.

This district, lying to the north, extended to the northwestern territory of the Asclepiadæ, and to the territory of Eurypylus and Protesilaus, inclining to the east; on the south it adjoined the Œtæan territory, which was divided into fourteen demi, and contained Heracleia and Dryopis, which was once a community of four cities, (a Tetrapolis,) like Doris, and accounted the capital of the Dryopes in Peloponnesus. To the Œtæan district belong also the Acyphas, Parasopias,

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$Oeneiadæ, and Anticyra, of the same name as the town among the Locri Hesperii. I do not mean that these divisions always continued the same, for they underwent various changes. The most remarkable, however, are worthy of notice.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.5.5 Str. 9.5.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 9.5.13

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