Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 9.2.10 Str. 9.2.17 (GreekEnglish) >>Str. 9.2.21

9.2.14Near Anthedon, and belonging to Boeotia, is a place that is esteemed sacred, and contains traces of a city, Isus, as it is called, with the first syllable pronounced short. Some, however, think that the verse should be written, "sacred Isus and Anthedon at the extremity," [Note] lengthening the first syllable by poetic licence on account of the meter, [Note] instead of "sacred Nisa," [Note] for Nisa is nowhere to be seen in Boeotia, as Apollodorus says in his work On Ships; [Note] so that Nisa could not be the correct reading, unless by "Nisa" the poet means "Isus"; for there was a city Nisa bearing the same name in the territory of Megara, whose inhabitants emigrated to the foothills of Cithaeron, but it has now disappeared. Some, however, think that we should write "sacred Creusa," taking the poet to mean the Creusa of today, the naval station of the Thespians, which is situated in the Crisaean Gulf; but others think that we should read "sacred Pharae." Pharae is one of the "Four United Villages" in the neighborhood of Tanagra, which are: Heleon, Harma, Mycalessus, and Pharae. And still others write as follows: "sacred Nysa." And Nysa is a village in Helicon. [Note] Such, then, is the seaboard facing Euboea.

9.2.15The plains in the interior, which come next in order, are hollows, and are surrounded everywhere on the remaining sides [Note] by mountains; by the mountains of Attica on the south, and on the north by the mountains of Phocis; and, on the west, Cithaeron inclines, obliquely, a little above the Crisaean Sea; it begins contiguous with the mountains of Megara and Attica, and then bends into the plains, terminating in the neighborhood of Thebes.

9.2.16Some of these plains are marshy, since rivers spread out over them, though other rivers fall into them and later find a way out; other plains are dried up, and on account of their fertility are tilled in all kinds of ways. But since the depths of the earth are full of caverns and holes, [Note] it has often happened that violent earthquakes have blocked up some of the passages, and also opened up others, some up to the surface of the earth and others through underground channels. The result for the waters, therefore, is that some of the streams flow through underground channels, whereas others flow on the surface of the earth, thus forming lakes and rivers. And when the channels in the depths of the earth are stopped up, it comes to pass that the lakes expand as far as the inhabited places, so that they swallow up both cities and districts, and that when the same channels, or others, are opened up, these cities and districts are uncovered; and that the same regions at one time are traversed in boats and at another on foot, and the same cities at one time are situated on the lake [Note] and at another far away from it.

9.2.17One of two things has taken place: either the cities have remained unremoved, when the increase in the waters has been insufficient to overflow the dwellings because of their elevation, or else they have been abandoned and rebuilt elsewhere, when, being oftentimes endangered by their nearness to the lake, they have relieved themselves from fear by changing to districts farther away or higher up. And it follows that the cities thus rebuilt which have kept the same name, though at first called by names truly applying to them, derived from local circumstances, have names which no longer truly apply to them; for instance, it is probable that "Plataeae" was so called from the "blade" [Note] of the oars, and "Plataeans" were those who made their living from rowing; but now, since they live far away from the lake, the name can no longer truly apply to them. Helos and Heleon and Heilesium were so called because they were situated near marshes; [Note] but now the case is different with these places, since they have been rebuilt elsewhere, or else the lake has been greatly reduced because of outflows that later took place; for this is possible.

9.2.18This is best shown by the Cephissus, which fills lake Copais; for when the lake had increased so much that Copae [Note] was in danger of being swallowed up (Copae is named by the poet, [Note] and from it the lake took its name), a rent in the earth, which was formed by the lake near Copae, opened up a subterranean channel [Note] about thirty stadia in length and admitted the river; and then the river burst forth to the surface near Larymna in Locris; I mean the Upper Larymna, for there is another Larymna, which I have already mentioned, [Note] the Boeotian Larymna [Note] on the sea, to which the Romans annexed the Upper Larymna. [Note] The place is called Anchoe; [Note] and there is also a lake of the same name. And when it leaves this lake the Cephissus at last flows out to the sea. Now at that time, when the flooding of the lake ceased, there was also a cessation of danger to those who lived near it, except in the case of the cities which had already been swallowed up. And though the subterranean channels filled up again, Crates the mining engineer of Chalcis ceased clearing away the obstructions [Note] because of party strife among the Boeotians, although, as he himself says in the letter to Alexander, many places had already been drained. Among these places, some writers suppose, was the ancient site of Orchomenus, and others, those of Eleusis and Athens on the Triton River. [Note] These cities, it is said, were founded by Cecrops, when he ruled over Boeotia, then called Ogygia, but were later wiped out by inundations. And it is said that a fissure in the earth opened up near Orchomenus, also, and that it admitted the Melas River, which flowed through the territory of Hiliartus [Note] and formed there the marsh which produces the reed that is used for flutes. [Note] But this river has completely disappeared, either because it is dispersed by the fissure into invisible channels or because it is used up beforehand by the marshes and lakes in the neighborhood of Haliartus, from which the poet calls the place "grassy," when he says, "and grassy Haliartus." [Note]



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