Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 14.1.7 Str. 14.1.13 (GreekEnglish) >>Str. 14.1.19

14.1.9But the voyage from Miletus to Heracleia, including the sinuosities of the gulfs, is a little more than one hundred stadia, though that from Miletus to Pyrrha, in a straight course, is only thirty—so much longer is the journey along the coast. But in the case of famous places my reader must needs endure the dry part of such geography as this.

14.1.10The voyage from Pyrrha to the outlet of the Maeander River is fifty stadia, a place which consists of shallows and marshes; and, travelling in rowboats thirty stadia, one comes to the city Myus, one of the twelve Ionian cities, which, on account of its sparse population, has now been incorporated into Miletus. Xerxes is said to have given this city to Themistocles to supply him with fish, Magnesia to supply him with bread, and Lampsacus with wine.

14.1.11Thence, within four stadia, one comes to a village, the Carian Thymbria, near which is Aornum, a sacred cave, which is called Charonium, since it emits deadly vapors. Above it lies Magnesia on the Maeander, a colony of the Magnesians of Thessaly and the Cretans, of which I shall soon speak. [Note]

14.1.12After the outlets of the Maeander comes the shore of Priene, above which lies Priene, and also the mountain Mycale, which is well supplied with wild animals and with trees. This mountain lies above the Samian territory [Note] and forms with it, on the far side of the promontory called Trogilian, a strait about seven stadia in width. Priene is by some writers called Cadme, since Philotas, who founded it, was a Boeotian. Bias, one of the Seven Wise Men, was a native of Priene, of whom Hipponax says stronger in the pleading of his cases than Bias of Priene.
[Note]

14.1.13Off the Trogilian promontory lies an isle of the same name. Thence the nearest passage across to Sunium is one thousand six hundred stadia; on the voyage one has at first Samos and Icaria and Corsia on the right, and the Melantian rocks on the left; and the remainder of the voyage is through the midst of the Cyclades islands. The Trogilian promontory itself is a kind of spur of Mt. Mycale. Close to Mycale lies another mountain, in the Ephesian territory, I mean Mt. Pactyes, in which the Mesogis terminates.

14.1.14The distance from the Trogilian promontory to Samos [Note] is forty stadia. Samos faces the south, both it and its harbor, which latter has a naval station. The greater part of it is on level ground, being washed by the sea, but a part of it reaches up into the mountain that lies above it. Now on the right, as one sails towards the city, is the Poseidium, a promontory which with Mt. Mycale forms the seven-stadia strait; and it has a temple of Poseidon; and in front of it lies an isle called Narthecis; and on the left is the suburb near the Heraeum, and also the Imbrasus River, and the Heraeum, which consists of an ancient temple and a great shrine, which latter is now a repository of tablets. [Note] Apart from the number of the tablets placed there, there are other repositories of votive tablets and some small chapels full of ancient works of art. And the temple, which is open to the sky, is likewise full of most excellent statues. Of these, three of colossal size, the work of Myron, stood upon one base; Antony took these statues away, [Note] but Augustus Caesar restored two of them, those of Athena and Heracles, to the same base, although he transferred the Zeus to the Capitolium, having erected there a small chapel for that statue.

14.1.15The voyage round the island of the Samians is six hundred stadia. In earlier times, when it was inhabited by Carians, it was called Parthenia, then Anthemus, then Melamphyllus, and then Samos, whether after some native hero or after someone who colonized it from Ithaca and Cephallenia. [Note] Now in Samos there is a promontory approximately facing Drepanum in Icaria which is called Ampelus, but the entire mountain which makes the whole of the island mountainous is called by the same name. The island does not produce good wine, although good wine is produced by the islands all round, and although most of the whole of the adjacent mainland produces the best of wines, for example, Chios and Lesbos and Cos. And indeed the Ephesian and Metropolitan wines are good; and Mt. Mesogis and Mt. Tmolus and the Catacecaumene country and Cnidos and Smyrna and other less significant places produce exceptionally good wine, whether for enjoyment or medicinal purposes. Now Samos is not altogether fortunate in regard to wines, but in all other respects it is a blest country, as is clear from the fact that it became an object of contention in war, and also from the fact that those who praise it do not hesitate to apply to it the proverb that "it produces even birds' milk," as Menander somewhere says. This was also the cause of the establishment of the tyrannies there, and of their enmity against the Athenians.

14.1.16Now the tyrannies reached their greatest height in the time of Polycrates and his brother Syloson. Polycrates was such a brilliant man, both in his good fortune and in his natural ability, that he gained supremacy over the sea; and it is set down, [Note] as a sign of his good fortune, that he purposely flung into the sea his ring, a ring of very costly stone and engraving, and that a little later one of the fishermen brought him the very fish that swallowed it; and that when the fish was cut open the ring was found; and that on learning this the king of the Egyptians, it is said, declared in a kind of prophetic way that any man who had been exalted so highly in welfare would shortly come to no happy end of life; and indeed this is what happened, for he was captured by treachery by the satrap of the Persians and hanged. Anacreon the melic poet lived in companionship with Polycrates; and indeed the whole of his poetry is full of his praises. It was in his time, as we are told, that Pythagoras, seeing that the tyranny was growing in power, left the city and went off to Egypt and Babylon, to satisfy his fondness for learning; but when he came back and saw that the tyranny still endured, he set sail for Italy and lived there to the end of his life. So much for Polycrates.



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