Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.7.1 Str. 7.7.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.5


THESE are the nations, bounded by the Danube and by the Illyrian and Thracian mountains, which are worthy of record. They occupy the whole coast of the Adriatic Sea, beginning from the recess of the gulf, and the left side, as it is called, of the Euxine Sea, from the river Danube to Byzantium.

The southern parts of the above-mentioned mountainous tract, and the countries which follow, lying below it, remain to be described. Among these are Greece, and the contiguous barbarous country extending to the mountains.

Hecatæus of Miletus says of the Peloponnesus, that, before the time of the Greeks, it was inhabited by barbarians. Perhaps even the whole of Greece was, anciently, a settlement of barbarians, if we judge from former accounts. For Pelops brought colonists from Phrygia into the Peloponnesus, which

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took his name; Danaus [Note] brought colonists from Egypt; Dry- opes, Caucones, Pelasgi, Leleges, and other barbarous nations, partitioned among themselves the country on this side of the isthmus. [Note] The case was the same on the other side of the isthmus; for Thracians, under their leader Eumolpus, [Note] took possession of Attica; Tereus of Daulis in Phocæa; the Phœnicians, with their leader Cadmus, [Note] occupied the Cadmeian district; Aones, and Temmices, and Hyantes, Bœotia. Pindar says, there was a time when the Bœotian people were called Syes. [Note] Some names show their barbarous origin, as Cecrops, Codrus, Œclus, Cothus, Drymas, and Crinacus. [Note] Thracians, Illyrians, and Epirotæ are settled even at present on the sides of Greece. Formerly the territory they possessed was more extensive, although even now the barbarians possess a large part of the country, which, without dispute, is Greece. Macedonia is occupied by Thracians, as well as some parts of Thessaly; the country above Acarnania and ætolia, by Thesproti, Cassopæi, Amphilochi, Molotti, and Athamanes, Epirotic tribes. 7.7.2

We have already spoken of the Pelasgi. [Note] Some writers conjecture that the Leleges and Carians are the same people; others, that they were only joint settlers, and comrades in war, because there are said to be some settlements called Settlements of the Leleges in the Milesian territory, and in many parts of Caria there are burial-places of the Leleges, and deserted fortresses, called Lelegia.

The whole country called Ionia was formerly inhabited by Carians and Leleges; these were expelled by the Ionians, who themselves took possession of the country. In still ear-

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lier times, the captors of Troy [Note] had driven out the Leleges from the places about Ida near the rivers Pedasus and Satnioeis.

The fact of the association of these people with the Carians may be regarded as a proof of their being barbarians, and Aristotle, in his Politics, shows that they were a wandering nation, sometimes in company with the Carians, sometimes alone, and that from ancient times; for, in speaking of the polity of the Acarnanians, he says that the Curetes occupied a part of the country, and the Leleges (and after them the Teleboæ) the western side. On the subject of the ætolian polity, he calls the present Locri, Leleges, and observes that they occupy Bœotia. He repeats the same remark on the subject of the polity of the Opuntians and Megareans. In speaking of the polity of the Leucadians, he mentions an aboriginal by name, Leleges, and a grandson by his daughter of the name of Teleboas, and besides two and twenty of his sons of the name of Teleboas, some of whom inhabited Lucas. But we should chiefly rely upon Hesiod, who thus speaks of them: For Locrus was the leader of the nation of the Leleges, whom Jupiter, the son of Saturn, in his infinite wisdom, once gave as subjects to Deucalion, a people gathered from among the nations of the earth. For it seems to me to be obscurely intimated by the etymology of the name, Leleges, that they were a mixed people anciently collected together, which had become extinct. And this may be said of the Caucones, who exist no where at present, yet were formerly settled in several places. 7.7.3

Although Greece was formerly composed of small nations, many in number, and obscure; nevertheless their valour, and their separate government by kings, prevented any difficulty in defining their boundaries. As the greatest part of the country, however, is at present uninhabited, and the settlements, especially the cities, have been destroyed, it would be of no service, even if it were possible, to ascertain the names of cities and regions occupied by obscure and extinct people. This destruction, which began a long time since, still continues in many parts in consequence of rebellion. It has been checked by the Romans, who accepted the supreme authority from the inhabitants and lodged soldiers in their houses.

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Polybius says that Paulus [Emilius], after the defeat of the Macedonians [Note] and their king Perseus, destroyed 70 cities of the Epirotæ (most of which belonged to the Molotti) and reduced to slavery 150,000 of the inhabitants. Still, however, I shall endeavour, as far as it is compatible with the design of this work, to describe, as far as I am able, these places in detail, beginning from the sea-coast near the Ionian Gulf, where the navigation out of the Adriatic terminates.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.7.1 Str. 7.7.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.5

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